Smokers will have a bit of a reprieve when lighting up in certain regions of New York State’s parks.

The Parks Department declared a number of smoke-free areas around places where children gather, including playgrounds and pools back in April.

Now the Office of Parks and Recreation says it will post signs to encourage visitors not to smoke in those areas, but it will not fine visitors until all the legal procedures to make the ban a law have been completed.

A smokers’ rights group has threatened to sue the state for not following the proper procedure.

The state will hold a 45-day comment period on the new regulations, and then start enforcement a few months later.

The original proposal calls for a charge of disorderly conduct and a fine if caught smoking in designated areas.

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Legislators Agree to New Telemarketing Bans

State legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo have agreed to pass legislation to relieve New Yorkers from intrusive telemarketing tactics.

The legislation would prohibit all telemarketers doing business in New York from delivering prerecorded messages by telephone to customers without consent from the recipient. The legislation also gives the Department of State authority to ban telemarketing companies that violate New York’s telemarketing laws.

Bruno Trial Set for February 4

Former senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno will face his second trial on February 4.

Bruno was convicted in 2009 of depriving the public of honest services related to his outside business interests while serving as one of the state’s most powerful figures. The conviction was overturned after the U.S. Supreme court struck down the provisions of the Honest Services law.

Bruno was re-indicted earlier this month.

NYS BOE Confirms Primary Races

The state Board of Elections has confirmed a number of races in this year’s Federal primaries, including a few districts in the southern tier and central New York.

The state’s new 19th congressional district includes parts of 11 counties, including Broome, Delaware and Otsego. The democratic challengers to Chris Gibbson’s seat are Julian Schreibman of Stone Ridge and Joel Tyner of Staatsburg. The new 22nd district runs from Binghamton to beyond Utica. That race pits republican incumbent, 24th district congressman Richard Hanna against Michael Kicinski of Earlville.

In the U.S. Senate, three republicans are competing for Kirstin Gillabrand’s seat in Washington. The congressional and senate primary will be held June 26.

Fox Reopens ER

The emergency room at Fox Hospital is open again.

The facility was shut down for a couple of hours yesterday when an elevator motor started smoking.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. The elevator got stuck between floors with one person inside. They were able to climb out and were treated for smoke inhalation.

Some of the patients, staff, and visitors in the building were evacuated for a while. The emergency room was back up and running by 4 p.m.