Local News: November 20, 2023

- Smoke from Virginia wildfires reached Ithaca Southern Tier -

Smoke from Virginia wildfires could be smelled in Ithaca and nearby communities on Friday. The Ithaca Voice reported the air quality was considered hazardous to people. But it wasn’t nearly as harmful as the Canadian wildfires earlier this year. Monday morning the National Weather Service reported air quality was good for the Southern Tier region.

- Cornell subject to federal Education Department discrimination investigation -

Cornell is one of six colleges or universities the U.S. Department of Education has started investigating since the start of the Hamas-Israel war in October. The schools are facing allegations of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and harassment because of shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics. The department says that reports of antisemitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab discrimination increased after the start of the Hamas-Israel war on October 7. The investigations of Cornell, Columbia, and Cooper Union started in November. Cornell’s Jewish students were recently the target of violent antisemitic threats online. Last week, a letter from over 300 faculty, students, and alumni accused the school of not doing enough to support Muslim, Palestinian, and other BIPOC members of the campus community against harassment, intimidation, and doxxing.

- NY Cannabis Control Board deals another blow to license seekers -

Potential retail marijuana license holders will have to wait longer to open shop. The New York Cannabis Control Board delayed a vote on the settlements for two lawsuits. FingerLakes1.com item was taken off the agenda of the Board’s recent meeting. It’s not known when the board will vote on the settlements. A judge stopped the application process while the cases were being decided. The Board heard from retail license applicants and farmers seeking to enter the legal pot industry this summer. During public hearings, many told of how the delays have financially harmed them.

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