Joseph Spector, Observer-Dispatch

Joseph Spector


Albany, NY, United States

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Recent articles by Joseph:

SUNY enrollment dips amid COVID, continuing downward trend. Check data by campus

ALBANY – Enrollment at SUNY’s 64 campuses fell nearly 6% for this fall semester compared to last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing a downward trend of enrollment at New York public colleges over the past decade, new figures showed.SUNY enrollment is now down 16% over the past decade — and a whopping 30% at community colleges.Overall, SUNY enrollment was at about 394,500 this fall, a… → Read More

Vernon Downs casino, others, opening Wednesday

ALBANY — New York''s 13 private casinos and racetracks can reopen their doors starting Wednesday, ending a COVID-19 shutdown that started in March. → Read More

NY gyms can reopen next week: What you need to know

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that gyms across New York can start to reopen Aug. 24 under strict COVID-19 safety guidelines. → Read More

Cuomo: NY schools can reopen in-person classes

ALBANY — New York schools will be able to open this fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.Cuomo said the infection rates due to COVID-19 are low → Read More

NY schools can reopen in-person classes, Cuomo says

ALBANY — New York schools will be able to open this fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.Cuomo said the infection rates due to COVID-19 are low enough so the districts can begin to reopen next month."By our infection rates, all school districts can open," Cuomo said on a conference call with reporters.He said, every region can open, "which is just great news," adding that New York's… → Read More

New York's rent relief program due to COVID-19 extended to Thursday. How to apply

ALBANY — New Yorkers have a little more time to apply for a emergency rental assistance program.The deadline for those income eligible has → Read More

Will New Yorkers get a second stimulus check?

ALBANY - Congress and the White House are in intense negotiations over what would be a fifth round of emergency stimulus aid to Americans, and the outcome → Read More

Database: NY bars that have cited for COVID-19 violations

ALBANY — New York has stepped up its enforcement at bars and restaurants that have flouted the state's executive orders related to COVID-19 safety → Read More

Will free SUNY tuition be cut this fall?

ALBANY — New York's free tuition program for SUNY and CUNY may face the chopping block due to the state's massive budget hole.The Excelsior Scholarship program was started in 2017 and provides free tuition for students whose households earn less than $125,000 a year. SUNY tuition last fall was $7,070.But the state agency that administers the program only started Friday to accept new applications… → Read More

NY bars, booze and food: Here's what you need to know

ALBANY — New York's decision to require bars to sell food in order to serve alcohol came as a surprise to places that have reopened in recent weeks → Read More

NY will ban booze at bars without eats to fight COVID-19

ALBANY - In a bid to maintain social distancing at bars and restaurants, New York will prevent bars and restaurants from selling alcohol to those who do → Read More

4 states added to NY quarantine list

ALBANY — Travelers from four additional states will have to quarantine for 14 days when they visit New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday. → Read More

When can New York malls reopen?

ALBANY — New York malls cannot reopen until they install new high-efficiency venting systems, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week.The announcement → Read More

NY asks air travelers to take COVID-19 surveys

ALBANY - New York health officials are handing out questionnaires to passengers on flights coming into the state as it looks to enforce a sweeping 14-day → Read More

Cuomo: COVID rates in U.S. could keep kids 'home for a long time'

ALBANY — New York has made no decision yet on whether schools will reopen for in-person learning this fall, but higher COVID-19 rates across the nation are reason for concern, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.New York has been among the states that have significantly lowered its death rate and number of COVID-19 cases as it has spiked in about two dozen states in recent weeks.That has offered hope… → Read More

Visit a high COVID-19 state, NY will make you ineligible for sick leave

ALBANY - Don't go to a state with a high COVID-19, come back to New York and expect to get paid sick leave benefits.Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive → Read More

Q&A: What to know on quarantine to NY, NJ and CT

Here's a look at how the quarantines in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will work → Read More

NY hits new low for COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations as rates soar in other states

ALBANY – As 22 states have had a spike in coronavirus cases over the past week, New York continues to see its number of hospitalizations and deaths → Read More

No sleep-away camps this summer in New York

ALBANY - New York will not allow sleep-away camps this summer due to coronavirus, the state Health Department said Friday.Gov. Andrew Cuomo said June 2 that New York will allow summer day camps to start June 29, but it is a different situation when it comes to overnight camps, said state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker."Throughout this entire public health response, there isn’t a single… → Read More

NY’s plastic bag ban took effect in March. Why the state has yet to enforce it

ALBANY — New York officials heralded the state's ban on plastic bags that took effect March 1, and many stores said they are complying. → Read More