New York- Despite financial constraints and cutbacks, top staff at the New York State United Teachers, the largest union in the state representing teachers, received generous annual salary increases. The President of NYSUT, Michael Iannuzzi, received a $44,808 raise.  The information is according to the most recent publicly filed tax returns from 2010.  A spokesman for the union defended the increases as personal use of an automobile, pension obligations and other benefits whose costs had increased.

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New York- Video slot machines have been added to Aqueduct race track.  4,525 video slot machines and 475 electronic games and other casino amenities are now available, despite almost a decade of controversy.  More than 1,300 jobs were created to build the flashy facility.  Aqueduct is the first racino in New York City and will hopefully lure those that go to Atlantic City and Connecticut.

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Health- The FDA says new birth control, such as the birth control Yaz, has a higher risk of causing a blood clot than older medications.  A new study released findings regarding the medical history of 800,000 women in the U.S.  Taking Yaz or other high estrogen birth controls can increase the person’s risk of a blood clot by 75%.  While the FDA has reached the conclusion on the drugs’ safety, they will hold a meeting with scientific advisors on December 8th.

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Capital Region- A Menands man was sentenced to 12 ½ years in federal prison for a massive Ponzi scheme that lured more than 300 victims.  Christopher Bass used his clients’ money to make mortgage payments, buy fancy cars, host lavish parties, his country club membership and buy liquor and Cuban cigars.  Bass scammed most of his victims out of their life savings.  He collected $6.7 million from investors according to Assistant U.S. Attorney, Rob Storch.