Headlines for September 27, 2022

Ithaca’s Health and Human Services Committee has begun discussing policies to combat the growing opioid crisis including the creation of a special task force. Other forms of assistance discussed include  providing addiction services and fentanyl testing strips. According to the Ithaca Voice, the committee intends on asking the Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature about the logistical considerations in creating a task force before moving forward with its plans. 

The state Education Department substantiated more than sixteen hundred claims of corporal punishment in public and charter schools across New York state. According to the Times Union, the investigation occurred following 18,000 complaints by students and their families between 2016 and 2021. State records indicate that students were “spanked, slapped, choked, [and] dragged,” and were intimidated with objects such as belts and duct tape. Corporal punishment has been banned in the state since 1985. Further protections were enacted in 2017 to cover more schools. The records also indicate that many substantiated claims resulted in employee termination or attempts at termination. Rarely were criminal charges filed. 

On Monday, Governor Hochul announced that state officials will seek repayments and legal action against those who falsely filed for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement followed a state Department of Labor investigation which revealed $11 million in fraudulent claims during the month of August. The 11 million is in addition to the $110 million stolen throughout 2022, which the Department of Labor continues to investigate. The Times Union Reports that people who committed fraud will be able to pay back the money through repayment plans, as well as their Federal or State tax returns.

Keep up to date on local news. Follow us wherever you get your podcasts.