- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - The new speaker of the New York state Assembly is heading north to visit with leaders and residents in the upstate region.

Bronx Democrat Carl Heastie has said the tour is part of an effort to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the entire state.

Heastie plans to meet Tuesday with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, a noted critic of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, before visiting a local school, a hospital, Syracuse University and meeting with local business owners.

On Wednesday the speaker will stop in Watertown and visit nearby Fort Drum. Trips to Ithaca, Binghamton, Rochester and Buffalo are planned for later this summer.

Heastie was elected speaker by the Assembly’s Democratic majority earlier this year to replace Sheldon Silver, who stepped down as speaker after his arrest on federal corruption charges.

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