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How Clean is the Water at Your Favorite Beach?

BUFFALO, NY--  On any hot day this summer, you might be considering a trip to the beach. 

How clean is the water at that beach? 

There's a way to find out. 

The Natural Resources Defense Council, a non-profit environmental group, has created an on-line map showing testing results for all of the beaches across the country.  By the way, their study shows New York ranks 24th out of 30 states monitored, for clean water beaches.

This map gives you an inter-active tour through all the beaches in the state

Nature's Recyclers On The Wing

"They're the clean-up crew, the recyclers, the garbage men of the natural world."

Among all of Earth's creatures, few are as misunderstood as scavengers. They are nature's sanitation experts, consuming only carrion, the decaying flesh of dead bodies.

Not a pretty job to be sure, but absolutely essential to the well being of the environment. Scavengers come in all shapes and sizes, but some of the most efficient scavengers are birds.

In Western New York, the Turkey Vulture reigns as the chief scavenger. Although considered ugly by many, Turkey Vultures are a prime example of the amazing adaptivity of nature. And once you get to know a little bit more about them, the old myths surrounding this impressive species disappear like the very carrion the vultures feed on.

Tanya Lowe of Hawk Creek Wildlife Center knows the species well.

Krull Park in Running for Coca-Cola's "Favorite Park"

Krull Park in Running for Coca-Cola's "Favorite Park"

Once again, Olcott Beach, N.Y. is trying to show America that it is a great destination vacationer. Krull Park is in the running for Coca-Cola's "America's Favorite Park." The contest is part of the third annual "America Is Your Park" campaign by the beverage maker.

Between now and July 15, 2012, online voting can help Krull Park win a $100,000 grant from Coca-Cola. By logging on to https://apps.facebook.com/coca-colaparks/, you can vote online or on Foursquare. For online voting, you can use the map to search for Krull Park. By clicking the "vote" button, one vote is earned for your park. You can vote as many times as you like.

If you have a Foursquare account, you can earn 100 votes when you "check in" from Krull Park. 

A Year Later, A Reflection On New York's Same-Sex Marriage Law

Albany Bureau Chief

ALBANY -- A year ago, a packed crowd inside the state Senate chamber roared when senators passed, 33-29, a bill to make same-sex marriage legal in New York - making it the largest state in the nation to do so.

Cheers could be heard from the hallways of the Capitol, and an impromptu chant of "U.S.A." broke out.

Now a year later, the effects of the same-sex marriage law are being felt across the state.

While the economic impact of the law has yet to be fully determined and a legal challenge is working through the courts, gay couples said they are experiencing something many never thought would come: equality.

"To be able to feel equal to your next door neighbors who are married and other family members, all of that has been kind of amazing," said Brian O'Neill, 42, an artist from Rochester. He and his partner Jim Hansen were the city's first couple to get married when the law took effect July 24.

2 Your Pet: Sapphire Needs a Home

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Suzanne Laba from the Buffalo Animal Shelter stopped by the Daybreak Saturday set again to share Sapphire, a beautiful two year old dog.

According to Laba, Sapphire is a blue pittie that came to the shelter shy and scared and would not even walk down the street. However she made great strides while in foster care and is now much more confident.

It is possible that Sapphire was used primarily as a breeding dog, but now she is spayed.

Laba says that she can be a bit shy when first meeting someone. But she becomes quite bonded when she gets comfortable. She loves her toys, car rides, giving kisses, and knows basic commands.

She has also been crate-trained and house-broken. She currently goes to daycare and loves sleeping on the couch.

WWII PT 728 Naval Torpedo Boat to Pass Through Orleans County on Friday

WWII PT 728 Naval Torpedo Boat to Pass Through Orleans County on Friday

by Virginia Kropf Batavia Daily News

MEDINA, NY - A World War II-era PT boat traveling the Erie Canal on its way to a museum in Ohio is expected to pass through the Orleans County portion of the Canal sometime Friday.

Medina Firefighters Rescue Ducklings from Storm Sewer

MEDINA, NY - Four ducklings are safe today thanks to some Medina firemen.

WEB EXTRA:   Photo Gallery of Ducklings being rescued

Firefighters got a call Tuesday night that four ducklings were trapped in a storm sewer in front of 902 South Main Street.

When they arrived, they removed the storm sewer grate and lowered a firefighter into the sewer to rescue the ducklings. 

All four ducklings were brought up safely.

Firefighters did not see the mother duck in the area and brought the babies back to the fire department.  An animal rehabilitator was called to help the ducklings.