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Hate crime charge in NYC attack on Sikh professor

NEW YORK (AP) - A man police say pulled the beard of a Sikh professor last year in New York City has been charged with a hate crime.

Christian Morales was charged Saturday with aggravated harassment in the September attack of Columbia University professor Prabhjot Singh (PRUHB'-joht sihng) in upper Manhattan.

A phone number for Morales is out of service. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Singh has said a group of young men called him "Osama" and a "terrorist" before one grabbed his beard and others beat him. He suffered a fractured jaw.

Hate crimes task force detectives had been investigating the case.

Sikhism is a religion that originated in India. In some cases, practitioners have been targeted by attackers who confuse it with Islam.


NYC police investigating body in plastic container

NEW YORK (AP) - Police in New York City are questioning a suspect after discovering a dead body stuffed into a large, black plastic storage container.

Police say they made the discovery at a home in the Flatlands neighborhood of Brooklyn at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

They say they went there after a Brooklyn nightclub owner called police to report that a bouncer at the club admitted to the owner that he'd killed a man.

Police say they arrived at the red-brick, two-family home and found the body, but didn't disclose whether it showed any signs of trauma..

Emergency workers pronounced the unidentified man dead at the scene. Police are still investigating.

The home's owner couldn't immediately be reached.


Woman killed in NYC home with 2 children there

NEW YORK (AP) - Police say a woman has been shot dead in an apparent domestic argument at a New York City home while two children were there.

The gunfire erupted around 11 a.m. Saturday at a house on 104th Street in the Ozone Park section of Queens. Police say the woman was shot twice in the chest and died soon afterward at a hospital.

A man believed to be her husband was arrested in the area, and police have found a gun they believe was used. The man is in custody, and charges are to be decided.

Police haven't released the identities of the man and woman. Both are in their 30s.

It's not immediately clear whether the children saw the shooting.


Woman in custody in NYC stroller snatch attempt

NEW YORK (AP) - Police say an 8-month-old baby was nearly snatched by a stranger while being pushed down a Manhattan street in his stroller, but a bystander intervened to foil the abduction attempt.

A 46-year-old woman was in custody and undergoing psychiatric evaluation Saturday. She hasn't been charged, at least as yet.

The incident happened Thursday afternoon in the Chelsea neighborhood.

Police say a nanny was pushing the stroller when a stranger walked up and tried to grab it from her.

UPS driver William Marte was nearby and noticed the struggle. He stepped in to help.

He says the suspect insisted the baby was hers. Marte says he told her to leave the child alone.

Police say she fled. They found her after putting up fliers with a sketch of the suspect.


Carriage horse foes picket Liam Neeson's NYC home

NEW YORK (AP) - Animal rights activists protesting outside Liam Neeson's home say they don't agree with him that New York's carriage horses should keep working.

Neeson didn't appear Saturday as about 50 demonstrators filled the sidewalk in front of his Manhattan apartment building. They held signs with such slogans as: "Liam Neeson: Stop Supporting Cruelty!"

The 61-year-old actor is a vocal supporter of the city's carriage horse industry. His publicist hasn't immediately responded to a request for comment.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to ban the horse-drawn carriages and replace them with electric vintage-style cars, commissioned by a group called NYCLASS.

Its members joined protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Saturday.

They say it's inhumane for the horses to be subjected to traffic, pollution and possible accidents.


Archaeologists plan dig at NY's 1755 battleground

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) - An archaeological dig at a French and Indian War battleground in the southern Adirondacks has been given the green light.

Archaeologist David Starbuck says he has received permission from state officials to conduct excavations this summer in an area of Lake George Battlefield Park.

The park on the lake's southern shore was the site of the September 1755 Battle of Lake George. A force of Colonial American militia and Mohawk warriors defeated an army of French and Indians in one of the war's earliest battles.

The site to be excavated was the scene of extensive military activity throughout the Revolutionary War.

Starbuck leads summertime digs in the Lake George region as part of SUNY Adirondack's archaeology field school. His teams conducted digs in the battlefield park in 2000 and 2001.


Some bird species declining in Adirondack wetlands

SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. (AP) - A new study finds the populations of some bird species are declining in lowland wetlands in the Adirondacks.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reported Saturday on recent findings by a Wildlife Conservation Society researcher, Michale Glennon. She has studied what are known as boreal birds since 2003.

In new research, Glennon finds the boreal chickadee, olive-sided flycatcher and rusty blackbird "showed high extinction probabilities in Adirondack wetlands."

Glennon surveyed eight bird species. Only the yellow palm warbler was found to be growing in numbers.

The study was based on data collected between 2007 and 2011. It was recently published in the journal Northeastern Naturalist.

The Adirondack Park represents the birds' southern range in eastern North America.

Besides their ecological role, the creatures are magnets for bird watchers.


Nassau County police seek convicts - for their DNA

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - Nassau County police are out searching not only for criminals, but for their DNA.

Under New York law, people convicted of felonies and most misdemeanors are required to provide DNA samples for possible links to unsolved crimes.

Detective Sgt. Patrick Ryder tells Newsday in a story published Saturday that police in Nassau County search for convicts who owe authorities DNA, instead of relying on collecting a sample if an offender gets rearrested. That's common practice elsewhere.

Nassau police have yet to obtain DNA from about 1,200 convicted criminals.

The samples go into a state and federal database to be compared to DNA from crime scenes.

New York state has more than 500,000 computerized DNA profiles. According to state data, matches have been made in more than 17,000 cases.


70 attend anti-overdose drug training in NY suburb

CARMEL, N.Y. (AP) - An effort to train parents, drug-abuse counselors and others to administer an anti-overdose medication has drawn dozens of people in suburban New York.

The Journal News says more than 70 people attended a session Friday in Carmel to learn how to use naloxone. It can reverse the effects of heroin and opiate overdoses.

It's also known under the brand name Narcan.

Many first responders in New York and other states are trained to use it. At least 17 states and the District of Columbia allow Narcan to be distributed to the public.

Jack Mack, of Croton, lost his son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Jack Mack said he was glad to get Friday's training.

But he says, in his words: "I hope I never have to use it."


Replica canal attractions taking shape in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A new canal-themed water attraction is taking shape in Buffalo.

The Buffalo News reports that replica canals were being test-filled this past week at Canalside. The $20.5 million project is scheduled to be completed by this fall.

The canals will serve as reflecting pools in the summer and skating rinks in the winter.

Officials say that historically accurate bridges are under construction and will soon be installed over the canals. They were dug at the former site of an indoor arena where the Buffalo Sabres played.


Exhibit recreates Warhol's 1964 World's Fair mural

NEW YORK (AP) - Even for a 1964 New York World's Fair that celebrated "The World of Tomorrow," Andy Warhol may have been ahead of his time.

His monumental piece commissioned specifically for the fair was deemed too edgy for the family friendly event. The mural, depicting mug shots of the New York Police Department's most-wanted criminals, was painted over just before opening day.

Now, 50 years later, the work is the focus of a museum exhibition on the very fairgrounds where the pop-art provocateur was infamously censored.

"13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World's Fair" runs April 27 to Sept. 7 at the Queens Museum. It includes never-before-shown archival materials, including the NYPD mug shot booklet.

The show goes on view Sept. 27 at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.


Special car, plate for veteran at NY Auto Show

NEW YORK (AP) - A wounded Iraq war veteran has been given a specially outfitted SUV by Toyota, and he's gotten an honorary license plate for it from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo gave Army Spc. Robert J. Loria the special plate Saturday at the New York International Auto Show.

Loria lost his left hand and suffered shrapnel wounds in a 2005 bombing in Iraq. His new 2014 Toyota RAV4 has such devices as a steering wheel knob suitable for a mechanical hand.

Cuomo also spotlighted a state Department of Motor Vehicles booth at the auto show. The DMV hasn't been there in several years.

Cuomo says he knows how much New Yorkers love their cars. He has some spiffy rides himself: a 1975 Corvette Stingray and a 1968 Pontiac GTO convertible.


When NY court named for ex-judge, another bristles

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) - An upstate New York courthouse is being named for a recently retired judge, but another jurist is saying, "Objection!"

The Post-Star of Glens Falls says the Washington County Board of Supervisors voted Friday to name the county's courthouse after recently retired state Supreme Court Justice Thomas Mercure.

Former Washington County Judge Philip Berke says that's "a slap in the face" to other longtime judges in the area. Berke says that he's not criticizing Mercure but that others also deserve recognition for their judicial careers.

Berke told the Board of Supervisors he's "pretty ticked off." He noted that he was county judge when the courthouse was completed in 1993.

Mercure retired last month. Berke retired in 2006, when he hit a state mandatory retirement age for judges.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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