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NCPR News Staff: Karen DeWitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent
Karen DeWitt has covered state government and politics at the New York State Capitol for public radio for ten years. Before that she worked at WINS, New York. She has also written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life, Empire State Report, and Metroland. E-mail

Stories filed by Karen DeWitt

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Middle School Test Scores: Good News, Bad News

The latest 4th and 8th grade test scores from the state Education Department show that learning in New York's middle schools continues to be a problem. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

Death Penalty Conviction Overturned

The first death penalty conviction in New York since the statute was reinstated in 1995 has been overturned. The state's highest-level appeals court threw out Darryl Harris' death sentence yesterday and ordered that he be re-sentenced for killing three people in Brooklyn in 1996. Karen Dewitt reports from Albany.  Go to full article

Smog and Haze from Quebec Covers Northeast

People in most parts of New York State noticed a haze and smog this weekend, caused by fires in the Canadian province of Quebec. While the change of wind patterns meant clearer air on Monday, health organizations that monitor air quality say there could be more unhealthy air coming this week. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

Few Agreements on Final Issues in Albany

As the July 4th holiday approaches, a number of bills remain on the agenda for the New York State Assembly and Senate, but so far there are few agreements on issues ranging from raising the minimum wage to giving police more tools to fight terrorism. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

NY School Aid Funding Ruled Constitutional

Governor Pataki and the state legislature do not have to restructure the state school aid formula now that an appeals court has overturned a lower court ruling and declared that the current system of funding is indeed constitutional. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

Kids Tell Lawmakers to Ban Smoking in Restaurants

A bill to ban smoking in restaurants in New York is stuck in the New York State Senate. A group of children organized by the American Cancer Society and Lung Association gathered to urge the Senate to act on the bill. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

Appeals Court Says School-Aid Plan Doing a Good Job

A mid-level appeals court overturned a state Supreme Court judge's ruling that declared the state's school aid distribution formula unconstitutional. The appeals court ruled that the present school-aid structure does provide a sound and basic education for New York students. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

Bill Would Ban State Money For Union Organizing Attempts

Business groups and not-for-profits are lashing out against a bill in the state legislature that would forbid some recipients of state money from using the funds to talk to employees about union organizing attempts. Albany correspondent Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

NY Senate Adjourns Without Acting on Smoking Ban Bill

The New York State Senate adjourned without acting on a bill to ban smoking in restaurants across the state. While the Senate leader says talks will continue, anti-smoking advocates are disappointed. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

NY Lawmakers Debate Anti-Terrorism Bill

New York State lawmakers have still not agreed to an anti-terrorism package proposed by Governor Pataki. When the Republican-led State Senate passed the measure in the final days of the legislative session, Democrats raised a number of objections to the bills. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

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