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CORRUPTION COMMISSION-CUOMO

Cuomo defends handling of corruption panel

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is defending his handling of an anti-corruption commission, dismissing reports that his administration interfered with its work.

His comments Monday in Buffalo were his first since The New York Times reported last week that a top Cuomo aide pressured commissioners to stop subpoenas to a media-buying firm that Cuomo used and to a real estate organization whose members financially supported his campaign.

Cuomo says the commission made its own decisions and that his office only offered suggestions. Cuomo, a Democrat, created the commission a year ago and dismantled it this spring.

One of the commission's chairmen, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, said Monday that Cuomo's office never interfered.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has questioned the disbanding of the commission and says his office will review its files.

TEACHER TENURE-LAWSUIT

NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A group founded by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system.

Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester filed a lawsuit Monday in Albany alleging that job protections violate a student's right to a quality education.

The lawsuit is the work of a group founded by Brown called the Partnership for Educational Justice.

A similar lawsuit was filed earlier this month in New York City.

The legal challenges come after a California judge ruled in June that job protections for teachers violate children's constitutional rights.

State teachers' union president Karen Magee says the lawsuit filed Monday is a politically motivated attack on public school teachers. She says teacher tenure benefits students by protecting good teachers from unfair employment decisions.

COOPERSTOWN-HALL OF FAME

Huge crowd fills cash registers in Cooperstown

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) - What a difference a year and six living inductees make for the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sunday's induction ceremony in Cooperstown drew one of the largest crowds in the history of the Hall of Fame, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Nearly 50,000 baseball fans packed the upstate village to see the enshrinement of Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa.

Cooperstown merchants say it was the best induction weekend in years.

Gene Marra, owner of Cooperstown Distillery, told The Daily Star of Oneonta (http://bit.ly/1l6NZBl ) that his revenues for the weekend were "historical." The business got a boost Saturday when the wives of 42 Hall of Fame inductees visited his distillery.

Last July, business in Cooperstown suffered because no living person was inducted.

SENATE DEMOCRATIC SCHISM-CUOMO

Cuomo backs breakaway Democratic Senate leader

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is backing the leader of a breakaway faction of Democrats in the New York state Senate following his vow to return to the party fold.

Cuomo formally endorsed Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein on Monday.

Klein leads a five-member group of Senate Democrats who partnered with Republicans to take control of the chamber. Last month, under pressure from Democrats, Klein said his faction would end its power-sharing arrangement with Republicans to create a new coalition with traditional Democrats.

Klein faces a primary challenge from Oliver Koppell, a former lawmaker, New York City councilman and state attorney general.

In his endorsement, Cuomo called Klein a "strong partner" in state government.

FUGITIVE ARREST-SHOOTOUT

Suspect dead, marshals and cop wounded in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) - Authorities say a sex-assault suspect got in a shootout with law enforcement in New York City that left the suspect dead and two federal marshals and a police officer wounded.

The U.S. Marshals Service says it happened in the West Village when a fugitive apprehension task force tried to make an arrest.

The mayor and police commissioner say the suspect is dead.

The law enforcement officials' exact injuries are unclear. Mayor Bill de Blasio says the three are stable and that, "We pray everything we are hearing is true and that these officers will be OK in the long run."

Authorities say the suspect was wanted in a sexual assault case.

THRUWAY-FLOODING

Both eastbound Thruway lanes reopen after flooding

WHEATLAND, N.Y. (AP) - Officials say both eastbound lanes of the Thruway outside Rochester have reopened after both were closed because of flooding caused by heavy rains.

The Thruway Authority says the eastbound side of Interstate 90 was closed around 9 a.m. Monday by flooding between Exit 47 in Le Roy and Exit 46 in Henrietta, just south of Rochester.

State police say the left lane reopened around 10:20 a.m. and the right lane was open again about 20 minutes later.

Officials diverted all eastbound traffic off the highway at Exit 47 while both lanes were closed.

Heavy rains hit the region early Monday morning. The National Weather Service has announced a flash flood warning for parts of Monroe, Ontario and Livingston counties, through 12:45 p.m. Monday.

THEFT ARREST

Police: Man returns to scene of theft, arrested

SEAFORD, N.Y. (AP) - Police say a man stole $2,400 worth of merchandise from a Long Island store, then returned and tried to steal another $1,000 in goods.

Nassau County police say Andre Christmas, of Uniondale, was arrested Sunday and charged with grand larceny and petty larceny.

It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

Police say the first theft occurred Saturday at a Pathmark in Seaford.

They say Christmas returned the next day and tried to walk out with more goods without paying.

Police say the 57-year-old suspect was arrested as he attempted to flee in a taxi cab.

Police say an investigation revealed that Christmas was also a suspect in thefts at a Stop & Shop in Hicksville on July 9 and a Pathmark in Bethpage on July 20.

POISON BAN-PETITION

Groups urge NY to ban poisons that kill wildlife

NEW YORK (AP) - Six groups are petitioning New York State to ban a rat poison that is killing wildlife that feed on the tainted rodents.

The wildlife and conservation groups say the rat poisonings have killed animals from more than 30 species.

The petition seeks to ban what are known as second-generation anticoagulants.

The groups cite necropsy reports prepared by the agency they're petitioning, the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

A lawyer for one of the groups, the Center for Biological Diversity, tells The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/1xo80Zm ) the pesticides caused or contributed to the deaths of a long list of birds and animals between 1989 and 2013.

The Parks Department says the current citywide protocol is to suspend rodenticides during the nesting period of breeding red-tailed hawks in or near a park.

MOTORCYCLIST-RAMP CRASH

Biker dies after crashing, falling from ramp

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Police say a 36-year-old man has died after he crashed his motorcycle on an elevated ramp in Albany and fell 30 feet to the street below.

Authorities say officers responded around 3 a.m. Sunday to a report of an unconscious person near the Quay Street ramp leading to Broadway. The officers then found the man's motorcycle on the ramp above.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say it appears the man was riding the wrong way on the ramp when he lost control of his motorcycle and was ejected off of the ramp onto the street below.

The man's name is being withheld pending family notifications.

BRONX ZOO-ENDANGERED GOAT

Endangered goat herd added to Bronx Zoo

NEW YORK (AP) - An endangered species of spiral-horned goats has been added to the Bronx Zoo's Wild Asia habitats.

The Turkmenian Markhor is found in the mountains of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The Bronx Zoo herd numbers three adult males, several females and their offspring.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies markhor as endangered. Fewer than 2,500 are found in the wild. Their thick fur and horns make them a target for trophy hunters and poachers.

They scale steep rocky terrain to escape predators such as snow leopards and wolves.

The herd joins a herd of Himalayan tahr at the zoo. That's another species of Asiatic mount goat found in parts of China, Tibet, Nepal and northern India.

The markhor went on public display this month.

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

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  • SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:22:53 GMT
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
  • NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    NY teacher tenure system faces new legal challenge

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:14:16 GMT
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
    An educational advocacy group led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown is challenging New York state's teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit Monday that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. Seven parents of public school children from New York City and Rochester are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Supreme Court in Albany.
  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:10:52 GMT

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.

    Two deputy U.S. marshals and an NYPD detective were seriously wounded in a shootout with a fugitive sexual assault suspect in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened in smoke shop called Smoking Culture on West 4th Street near Jones Street.


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