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CORRUPTION COMMISSION-CUOMO

US prosecutor warns Cuomo over corruption probe

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A criminal defense attorney says he's been retained by the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a federal prosecutor threatens to widen an investigation into the Democratic governor's handling of an anti-corruption commission.

Elkan Abramowitz said Thursday he was hired some time ago to represent the governor's office. Cuomo faces questions about whether his administration meddled with the commission.

The New York Times reports that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is threatening to investigate Cuomo's office for obstruction or witness tampering for allegedly asking commissioners to speak out about the panel's work.

Cuomo's office acknowledged Thursday having conversations with "relevant parties."

Five commissioners publicly rejected talk of interference on Monday, the same day Cuomo dismissed allegations that an adviser improperly pressured commissioners not to investigate entities linked to Cuomo.

BILLS FUTURE

Trump selected to advance in Bills' sale process

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Donald Trump's attorney has confirmed the real estate mogul has been chosen to advance to the next round of bidding to purchase the Buffalo Bills.

A person close to the process confirmed Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula also have been selected by Morgan Stanley, a firm overseeing the sale for late owner Ralph Wilson's estate. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sale process is supposed to be private.

The selections were made Thursday, two days after prospective groups submitted non-binding bids.

A Toronto group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi was expected to submit a bid. It's not known if that group has been selected to advance.

The next step is for finalists to obtain financial information before submitting a formal bid.

CLIFF DEATH

Police ID woman who fell to her death in Catskills

HUNTER, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a 23-year-old woman who fell 180 feet to her death in the Catskill Mountains was wearing flip-flops when she slipped at the top of a precipitous waterfall.

Greene County Coroner's physician Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard tells media outlets that Ariana Bedka of Wappingers Falls slipped and fell from the top of Kaaterskill Falls in the town of Hunter Tuesday evening. Her body was recovered at the base of the popular waterfall Wednesday morning.

She was the second woman to fall to her death from the falls this summer. Fifty-four-year-old Josephine Torlish of Beacon died after she fell 70 feet on June 29.

Kaaterskill Falls attracts scores of hikers because it's a short hike with beautiful vistas and cool mists. Authorities urge hikers to wear proper footwear and stay on marked trails.

DRUNKEN DRIVING-LAW

Cuomo expected to sign tougher drunken driving law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign an amendment to New York's laws against drunken driving that would turn three DWI-related offenses within 15 years into a felony.

Possible penalties for the felony are up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

The measure is called "Vince's Law" for a man killed in suburban Syracuse by a driver with five prior offenses.

Authorities say the driver's blood-alcohol content was four times the legal limit

The law would take effect Nov. 1 and apply to offenses after that.

GARBAGE TRAIN

New Jersey garbage raises stink in western NY

DEPEW, N.Y. (AP) - Trainloads of New Jersey garbage are raising a stink in western New York.

Residents of the village of Depew have been complaining all summer about the garbage trains left idling for hours on CSX railroad tracks. Village trustee Linda Hammer tells the Buffalo News she has spoken to CSX about the sickening smell, but the problem persists.

The trains go through the village eight miles east of Buffalo on their way from New Jersey to Kentucky.

After getting no response from CSX officials, Deputy Mayor Steven Hoffman and some residents contacted Sen. Charles Schumer's office, hoping he'll be able to get CSX to resolve the problem.

Schumer says he's urging CSX to find an alternate, non-residential location for the trains.

A CSX spokesman told the News he had no immediate comment.

LAND BANKS

NY applications open for $20M land bank funding

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York Attorney General's Office says it will take applications to help Land Banks restore abandoned properties with up to $20 million.

The office says that follows $13 million allocated in the initiative last year.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is dedicating money from the 2012 national settlement with five major mortgage lenders over foreclosure practices.

New York's Legislature passed a bill in 2011 establishing land banks that could acquire vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties, and choose to rebuild, demolish, or redesign them.

Currently there are nine land banks in New York, though up to 20 are authorized.

The nine are authorized for Newburgh, Rochester, Schenectady/Amsterdam, Albany County, Suffolk County, Buffalo and Erie County/Niagara County, Chautauqua County, Broome County, Syracuse and Onondaga County.

BORDER CROSSING TRAFFIC

Canadian border crossings could see busy weekend

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Customs officials are telling travelers to brace for the possibility of busy border crossings into Canada this weekend.

Monday is the civic holiday in Canada often called "Provincial Day." That can mean more Canadian travelers taking advantage of the long weekend by crossing the border at western and northern New York crossings.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection advises drivers to prepare for heavy traffic. Traffic conditions can be found online through the federal agency's website at CBP.gov.

For the Alexandria Bay region, travelers should select the least congested crossing.

DEPUTY HONORED

NY sheriff's office to honor deputy killed in 1925

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A New York sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty is being honored - nearly 90 years after his death.

On Friday, Erie County Sheriff's deputies will wear black bands over their badges in honor of Fredrick Kaesser, whose story only recently came to light.

Kaesser died on Aug. 1, 1925, a few days after being shot in the abdomen while trailing three armed robbery suspects.

Earlier this year, Kaesser's name was carved onto a memorial in Buffalo honoring fallen deputies after former Erie County Sheriff Tom Higgins discovered and researched Kaesser's story.

ANTIQUE BOAT MUSEUM-50TH

NY Antique Boat Museum holds its 50th annual show

CLAYTON, N.Y. (AP) - The Antique Boat Museum on the St. Lawrence River is holding its 50th annual show and auction this weekend.

The Watertown Daily Times reports that the museum's first boat show in 1965 featured 18 antique boats and a small exhibition. Up to 125 antique boats are expected to take part in this weekend's festivities at the museum in Clayton, in the Thousand Islands region along the Canadian border.

In the early 1970s, a permanent museum was constructed to host the annual boat show. It was called the 1000 Islands Shipyard Museum. But in 1990, its name was changed to the Antique Boat Museum.

It features more than 300 preserved boats and thousands of recreational boating artifacts.

The museum's Raceboat Regatta will take place the following weekend.

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

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