Niagara Gazette — •••
PAY HIKES: There’s good news, starting Jan. 1, for people now working for a minimum wage.
In New York State, one of 13 states that have approved an increase, the current $7.25 per hour rate will be boosted to $8 per hour. The highest is Washington state where the rate rises from $9.19 per hour to $9.32. (In the Sea-Tac, Wash., area, which covers 6,000 airport workers in Seattle and Tacoma, the rate will soar from $9.19 per hour to $15. The latter is being challenged in court).
As you might expect, an annual minimum wage raise is always welcomed by low-wage worker advocates and criticized by business-friendly groups.
HELPING HANDS DEPT.: Doug Baker, president and chief executive officer of Mercy Flight-Western New York notes that in its last fiscal year, the agency forgave more than $1.3 million for care provided to uninsured and under-insured patients, an average of $1,209 per mission.
Mercy Flight continued to upgrade its equipment in 2013. Its fleet now includes one Bell 429 (helicopter) and four BK117 aircraft for its flight operations and 12 ambulances and three fly cars for its ground operations in Genesee County.
Individuals, clubs, businesses, youth groups or schools interested in finding out how to sponsor a mission should contact Samantha Ryan (716) 626-4100, ext. 308 or on the web at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR THE RECORD: Ask people familiar with the debate over The Common Core State Standard for education and they’ll tell you about the widespread myths that prevail. One example: It is said Common Core accelerates overtesting.
The American Federation of Teachers replies that the standards say nothing about testing. Some states are falling into the trap of too much assessment — by testing before implementing or rushing to impose high stakes. Others, however, are taking a more sensible approach. The AFT says that before administering new tests, states must get implementation right.
TRIVIA QUIZ: What former president was called The Little Magician? (Answer Sunday).
Contact Reporter Don Glynnat 282-2311, ext. 2246.