A "Look Ahead" at this week's headlines
Megan Eaton has your special 2012 edition of the Look Ahead. Many 2012 months are already filled with stories and anniversaries that Capital Regioners care about and YNN will be bringing you.
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The Move Over Law gets a little bit stronger January 1st. Motorists must now move over, or at least slow down, when they pass maintenance or utility vehicles and tow trucks on the side of the road. Police cars and ambulances are already on the list. In 2011, troopers issued around 16,000 citations for the law. This year, penalties include a $270 fine, points on your license, and jail time.
A new year means the start to another legislative session at the Capitol, kicking things off with Wednesday's State of the State. Andrew Cuomo begins his second year as governor with lofty ambitions following a productive rookie year.
Washington County native Matthew Slocum's trial is set to start in February. Police responding to a White Creek home on fire last August made a gruesome discovery - the bodies of Slocum's mother, stepfather, and stepbrother. Police say Slocum killed his family before setting fire to the house and taking off with his girlfriend and their baby. Caught in New Hampshire, Slocum is facing several charges, including murder and criminal possession of a weapon. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
A year ago in March, the Capital Region joined a worldwide effort in supporting the victims of a massive earthquake in Japan. The record 9.0 offshore-quake spawned a massive 23-foot tsunami, as well as aftershocks lasting for days. Its devastation had global impacts. Several of Japan's nuclear power plants were compromised, resulting in explosions and radioactive water leaks. The panic over whether nuclear power plants are built to survive natural disasters was felt at Indian Point - Hudson Valley's nuclear energy center. Several reports claim the center is not strong enough to survive an earthquake, and that its evacuation plans for surrounding areas aren't well-prepared. Indian Point denies the claims, saying they operate safely. The facility needs to relicense its nuclear reactors by 2015. The Governor has made it clear he intends to shut down the plant, while Congressman Gibson is advocating to build a nuclear power plant in our own backyard.
Wedding bells have been ringing for even more New Yorkers, ever since same-sex marriage became legal. The one-year anniversary is sure to be a celebration of what took place in the New York State Senate chambers June 24th, 2011. Opponents of same-sex marriage do have a pending lawsuit against the bill, claiming the Senate's open meetings law may have been violated.
It's been four long years, but London takes the torch to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. From archery to wrestling, the 26 events will be held at Olympic park - a venue being built as we speak. The game series runs from the end of July to the beginning of August. Upstate New Yorkers had success during the 2010 Vancouver Winter games. Ballston Spa native Trevor Marsicano put on his speed skates to win a silver medal, and Schenectady resident and bobsledder John Napier headed to Afghanistan after competing in a few Olympic events. We hope the Capital Region is represented this year as America goes for the gold.
Decision 2012 kicks off Tuesday with the first caucus in Iowa, and the first primary in New Hampshire a week later. A field of Republicans including Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry are trying to move into the White House and move out President Obama. Back here at home, all 212 seats in the state legislature are up, our congressional representatives are back on the ballot, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will try to secure a full term in the Senate.
That brings us to December 2012. We'd tell you what you have to look forward to for the month, but if you believe the Mayan Calendar's Doomsday prediction is right, the stories may be obsolete after December 21st. So that's it for your special Look Ahead at the year ahead. Hope you have a great start to 2012.