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Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for an investigation into the soaring electricity rates in upstate New York.  Schumer says the Federal Trade Commission needs to look into whether anti-competitive business practices are taking place.  The utility companies have blamed the high electricity prices on record low temperatures and high demand for natural gas.  The biggest increases have been reported for National Grid customers, who are paying rates that are averaging more than 60-percent higher.

All of the federal lawsuits related to the crash of Continental Connection flight 3407 are now settled.  An attorney for several of the families announced yesterday that a final settlement has been reached.  That means unless a lawsuit proceeds in state court, there may never be a trial to answer the question of who is to blame for the Clarence Center crash in 2009 that killed 50 people.  Federal investigators have ruled that pilot error was the cause of the crash.

Genesee County’s unemployment rate improves over the past year.
Figures released by the State Department of Labor show the February jobless rate in Genesee County stood at 7.5 percent. One year earlier, the unemployment rate was 8.6 percent.

New York State taxes are notoriously high, but now numbers to prove that.
According to the Washington-based Tax Foundation, almost 13 percent of New Yorkers’ income went to taxes in 2011.
It’s officially 12.6 percent followed by New Jersey’s rate of 12.3 percent. It includes state, local and school taxes. The report found New Yorkers paid more than $6,600 in taxes in 2011.
The report using Census data indicates the national average is a hair under 10-percent.
The lowest are Alaska and Wyoming at around 7 percent of income.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to provide free college courses to state prisoners may not be in the budget, but it's not dead either. 
Cuomo says his revised plan calls for it to be funded with private money and run by a non-profit. 
Cuomo drew loud criticism when he initially announced his plan to use state money to fund the program. 
The governor says some non-profits already run similar inmate programs, which he says have proven to greatly reduce recidivism rates.

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