NY sheriffs fault new gun law, seek to join suit
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - County sheriffs have asked to join the federal lawsuit challenging New York's tough new gun restrictions, calling some provisions vague and impossible to enforce fairly.
The New York State Sheriffs' Association and five individual sheriffs are asking U.S. District Judge William Skretny to add their position to the record. They support gun rights advocates seeking to block enforcement of new bullet limits for magazines and the tighter definition of assault weapons.
The sheriffs agree with the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association that the law, passed after the Newtown, Ct., school massacre, is unconstitutional because it will prevent citizens from keeping commonly used firearms for home defense.
The law bans magazines with a capacity of more than 10 bullets and generally prohibits loading them with more than seven.
Lawyer: NY man at center of HIV scare not positive
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The attorney for a New York man imprisoned amid accusations he infected 13 young women with HIV in the 1990s says his client doesn't have the virus.
Nushawn Williams' lawyer says Williams' blood was examined by the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Attorney John Nuchereno tells Buffalo media that he doesn't believe Williams ever was HIV-positive.
Williams has been in prison since pleading guilty in 1999 to statutory rape and reckless endangerment in Chautauqua County in New York's southwest corner.
His sentence ended in 2010 but he remains in prison under a state law that allows confinement of dangerous sex offenders.
A civil trial is scheduled for next month to determine whether he will remain locked up.
Senate seeks 5 casinos, video slots on Long Island
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Senate Republicans are proposing five Las Vegas-style casinos including up to three in the Catskills with two video slot machine sites on Long Island.
The bill released Thursday also calls for a casino in the Southern Tier's Tioga County, one near Albany, and one in Westchester County or Queens.
The bill sponsored by Sen. John Bonacic (BAH'-nah-chek) calls for two video slot machine casinos run by off-track betting agencies in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The bill would also study authorizing more casinos limited to video slot machines and electronic table games elsewhere in the state. Currently, they are legal only at horse racing tracks and aren't run by OTBs.
The proposal is part of closed-door casino negotiations talks.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to start expansion with three casinos upstate.
Cornell student missing after canoeing on NY lake
COVERT, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say they've resumed their search for a 22-year-old Cornell University senior who went missing while canoeing alone on 1 of the Finger Lakes.
The Seneca County Sheriff's Office says Christopher Dennis of Ithaca left a campsite in the town of Covert around 5 a.m. Wednesday and put a canoe into Cayuga Lake.
When he didn't return later in the day, his friends looked for him and found an overturned canoe in the middle of the lake. They then called police.
Sheriff's deputies and fire rescue crews used boats to search the lake's southern end Wednesday but found no sign of Dennis. They resumed the search Thursday morning.
Officials at Cornell say Dennis was scheduled to graduate Sunday with the class of 2013. His friends and family plan to help with the search.
NY man charged with killing wife is free on bail
NORWICH, N.Y. (AP) - A 38-year-old central New York man charged with killing his wife last December has been released from jail after posting bail.
The Daily Star of Oneonta reports that Ganesh Ramsaran was released from Chenango County Jail Wednesday after he and relatives posted $300,000 worth of real estate for bail.
Prosecutors had requested that he be held without bail after the 38-year-old IBM project manager was arrested last Friday and charged with second-degree murder.
Authorities say he killed 36-year-old Jennifer Ramsaran last December. Her body was found in late February off a rural road in Pharsalia, 10 miles from the couple's home in New Berlin.
Ramsaran told investigators he last saw his wife when she left to go Christmas shopping.
His lawyer, James Chamberlain, says his client denies the charges.
2 men convicted in Rochester teen's fatal shooting
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Two men have been convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of a Rochester teenager last year.
The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports that a Monroe County Court jury convicted Darius Bursey and Van Cotton of first-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Lamar Shahid, a high school senior.
The two men, both 23, were acquitted of second-degree murder charges.
Authorities say Bursey and cotton attacked Shahid and his cousin inside a home in January 2012. Police say Bursey first shocked the cousins with a stun gun before Cotton shot Shahid in the back with a handgun.
Bursey and Cotton are scheduled for sentencing June 20.
Upstate NY man pleads guilty in wife's suicide
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (AP) - An upstate New York man who bought the shotgun his wife used to commit suicide has pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge.
The Post-Star of Glens Falls reports 69-year-old Willard Skellie pleaded guilty Wednesday in Warren County Court to second-degree manslaughter.
Skellie admitted to giving a shotgun to his 59-year-old wife, Kathy, after she had asked him to buy her one. Prosecutors say he showed her how to use the weapon before leaving their Glens Falls home on Dec. 15. Officials say Kathy Skellie used the gun to kill herself hours later.
Authorities say she had suffered from mental illness for years and had tried to commit suicide in the past.
Willard Skellie was placed him on interim probation for a year and ordered to perform community service.
Senator: Assaults let military culture continue
WASHINGTON (AP) - A senator says repeated sexual assaults in the military allow a culture to continue.
Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand (KEHR'-sten JIHL'-uh-brand) of New York addressed the latest case at West Point. An Army sergeant is charged with secretly taking pictures and video of at least a dozen women at West Point.
Gillibrand tells NBC "Today" that when sexual assault happens repeatedly, with no accountability, quote, "it allows the culture to continue."
Gillibrand is on the Senate Armed Services Committee. She says sexual assault should be reported outside the chain of command, directly to a military prosecutor, and victims need to know justice is possible.
The West Point case is just the latest in a series. A Pentagon report says as many as 26,000 service members may have been sexually assaulted last year.
LAKE CHAMPLAIN POWER LINE
Project would carry NY power to Mass. via Vt.
COLCHESTER, Vt. (AP) - A Massachusetts developer is hoping to carry renewable electricity from northern New York to the New England power grid via a power line that would run under Lake Champlain.
The proposal by the company called Anbaric Transmission would carry 400 megawatts of electricity from Plattsburgh, N.Y., under the lake to Vermont.
Anbaric CEO Ed Krapels says utilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut need more renewable power in their mix to meet clean-energy mandates.
The project is called the Grand Isle Intertie.
Krapels tells Vermont Public Radio the exact route has not been determined. The cost of the project would be borne by the users, not Vermont ratepayers.
NUCLEAR WASTE WORRIES
States to NRC: Better nuclear waste rules needed
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut are petitioning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a more thorough review of issues connected with storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste at plant sites.
Thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel are piling up at reactors like New York's Indian Point, the Vermont Yankee plant and the Pilgrim nuclear station in Massachusetts, as the federal government's 30-year-old promise to find a permanent waste site remains unfilled.
The state's petition asks the NRC to consider a broader range of possible solutions, including a possible industry-wide shut-down so no new waste is generated.
The petition comes nearly a year after a federal appeals court ruled the NRC had not adequately analyzed the risks of storing spent fuel at individual reactor sites.
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