Headlines for October 31, 2022

On Tuesday, The Tompkins County Board of Health sanctioned Dream Vape and Smoke more than $70,000 for violating state laws. On Thursday the department issued a warning to local retailers against increased illegal sales of flavored vape and nicotine products. The Department warned local businesses of potential fines for violating the New York State laws, which prohibit flavored nicotine products with the exception of tobacco flavors. The laws were made in an effort to decrease the skyrocketing rates of teen and pre-teen cigarette use, which are associated with an increased likelihood of future addiction to other substances. 

Letitia James is facing her first re-election campaign for State Attorney General, though largely overshadowed  by looming gubernatorial and congressional races. According to the Times Union, the lack of attention toward the race is likely due to the poor name recognition of her opponent, New York City attorney Michael Henry. During the race, he has followed the strategy laid out by his fellow Republican challengers across the nation, pointing to increased crime, government corruption, and the economy. James remains the first female and first Black Attorney General in the state’s history. Her name recognition has only grown in recent months after announcing a lawsuit against former President Trump and his family, as well as for her investigation into allegations of sexual assault by former Governor Cuomo.  

According to an investigation by the Times Union, thousands of students across New York State, many of whom have mental disabilities, have been forcibly restrained by teachers and police in school in recent years. Such interventions are common in the US and are meant for emergency situations, to protect the students from hurting themselves, other classmates, or staff. However, New York’s laws regulating the use of restraint in schools are more lax than many across the country and include provisions allowing restraint to be used to protect school property. The investigation also shows that educators sometimes restrained students multiple times a day or throughout a week—and for as long as two and a half hours at a time. Records and eyewitness accounts are conflicted on whether restraints were warranted.

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