X-RAY WEAPON PLOT
Feds: 2 upstate NY men tried to make X-ray weapon
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Two upstate New York men accused of assembling a portable X-ray weapon intended to secretly sicken opponents of Israel are being jailed at least overnight.
Prosecutors have charged 49-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford, of Galway, and 54-year-old Eric J. Feight, of Hudson, with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists with the weapon.
After they appeared Wednesday in court in handcuffs and jumpsuits, federal Magistrate Christian Hummel ordered them jailed until a detention hearing Thursday.
An attorney has been assigned to each man.
Prosecutors say they should remain jailed until trial.
Neither said anything to the crowd that filled the courtroom gallery.
Messages left on answering machines at their homes weren't initially returned Wednesday.
Cuomo, legislative leaders announce casino deal
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders say they have a deal to authorize four upstate New York casinos that would drive jobs and tourism to the long economically distressed area.
The agreement will allow four Las Vegas-style resort casinos upstate: In the Southern Tier near Binghamton, the Hudson Valley-Catskills area, the Albany area and a fourth possibly planned for the Catskills. One region may get two casinos.
The deal also authorizes two video slot centers of 1,000 machines each on Long Island run by the off-track betting agencies of Suffolk and Nassau counties.
Voters will have the final say this fall on a referendum that would open the way for up to seven non-Indian casinos statewide over several years.
More deals are expected to be announced Wednesday.
VEHICLE JUMPS CURB
Man arrested after car on NYC sidewalk injures 8
NEW YORK (AP) - Police have arrested a New York City man in connection with a car wreck that left a half city block in shambles and severely injured a 60-year-old man.
Police say Shaun Martin, of Queens, was driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs when his car rocketed onto a Manhattan sidewalk Wednesday morning.
Eight people were hurt as the car smashed through a tree, a telephone booth, parked bicycles, a parking kiosk and a flower stand.
Several people were hospitalized. One cyclist in the city's new bike-share program was hit by a flying fire hydrant.
Police say Martin was driving a rented Nissan Altima.
They say this isn't the first time he has been charged with inebriated driving.
Father, son acquitted in NY of sex trafficking
NEW YORK (AP) - A father and son who admitted they were pimps have been acquitted in New York of sex trafficking after several prostitutes testified they were treated well.
A judge delivered the verdict Wednesday at the trial of Vincent George Sr. and his son, Vincent George Jr. They were found guilty of promoting prostitution and money laundering.
The two said that they were pimps but didn't traffic women.
Several prostitutes testified on the Georges' behalf. They said they were one big happy family, enjoying a suburban life as "wife-in-laws" in Allentown, Pa., while commuting to New York by night.
Prosecutors say the women were too traumatized to admit they've been abused.
The prosecution played hours of wiretapped conversations in which the men threatened to assault them if they didn't make enough money
BICYCLIST IN CREEK
Bicyclist pulled from Buffalo-area creek dies
AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a teenage bicyclist found floating in a Buffalo-area creek by passersby has died at a hospital.
Police in the town of Amherst say 18-year-old Matthew Hovagimian of Tonawanda was found face-down in Ellicott Creek around 7:45 p.m. Monday. Officials say passersby pulled him from the water and started CPR on him before emergency responders arrived.
Police say the teen was revived and taken to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, where he died Tuesday night.
Officials say he was riding his bike on the path alongside the creek when he left the path for an unknown reason and fell in the water.
The Buffalo News reports that Hovagimian was found by a group of kayakers.
Police don't suspect foul play.
MEDICAID FRAUD ARRESTS
NY authorities accuse 6 in $16M Medicaid scam
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has accused six people and three corporations of stealing $16 million from Medicaid by paying HIV-infected patients not to fill prescriptions that were reimbursed by the public health program.
The indictment unsealed in a Bronx courtroom charges all the defendants with racketeering and grand larceny.
Prosecutors say ringleader 63-year-old Mujahid "Peter" Pervez operated 11 pharmacies in New York City and Long Island and 34-year-old physician assistant Richard Cedeno prescribed drugs, including highly addictive narcotics.
The indictment alleges that from 2009 to April 2012 they and four others defrauded Medicaid while victimizing hundreds of patients.
Five others have pleaded guilty.
Authorities say Pervez, convicted of Medicaid fraud in 1991, has fled to his native Pakistan. Cedeno was scheduled for arraignment later Wednesday. It wasn't initially known if he has a lawyer.
Feds charge 33 in Ga. gun trafficking case
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - Federal authorities in Savannah have charged 33 people as part of an undercover operation into gun and drug trafficking.
A majority of those named in 17 federal indictments that were unsealed Wednesday are from Georgia and South Carolina. The investigation, dubbed Operation Pulaski, began in late 2011.
Undercover federal agents infiltrated multiple regional and international criminal organizations. Over time, the agents bought 189 guns, illegal drugs and stolen vehicles.
Investigators found that the vehicles were stolen from the New York City area and were brought to the Southeast for resale or to be shipped abroad and sold.
Authorities believe 26 of those arrested are convicted felons. Eleven are believed to be in the country illegally. A number of the guns the undercover agents bought had also been reported stolen.
Blumenthal urges installation of RR safety device
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is calling on Metro-North Railroad to quickly install technology to prevent more fatalities.
The Connecticut Democrat headed a hearing before a congressional committee on Wednesday to examine the state of safety on the nation's passenger and freight rail networks. On a conference call with reporters, Blumenthal and Connecticut Transportation Commissioner James Redeker said a shunt that acts a red light can be installed quickly and cheaply.
Robert Luden, a 52-year-old track foreman, was struck and killed May 28 by a train at a Metro-North station under construction.
Blumenthal said the failure to install the technology is "inexplicable and inexcusable."
A spokeswoman for Metro-North did not immediately return a call seeking a response.
Wooden beam could be detached part of shipwreck
FAIRPORT, Mich. (AP) - Archaeologists say a wooden beam found embedded in the floor of Lake Michigan wasn't attached to a larger vessel, but that it could be a detached piece of wreckage from a ship that disappeared while exploring the Great Lakes in the 17th Century.
The discovery of the more than 10-foot-long section of the beam led to an expedition that began last week to determine whether it's part of the Griffin. The ship was commanded by the French explorer La Salle and disappeared in 1679.
Crews have been digging beside the timber for signs of the Griffin in mud below. Expedition leaders say the beam worked loose Tuesday, so a diver eased it to the lake floor.
A French archaeologist says it still appears the beam came from a ship.
NJ Gov. Christie is still a Dallas Cowboys fan
SAYREVILLE, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie surprised some schoolchildren when he told them his favorite football team is the Dallas Cowboys.
His pronouncement Tuesday at a school in central New Jersey drew shouts, gasps and some boos.
But his love of the Cowboys is no secret. In 2010, the then-rookie governor proclaimed his favorite sports teams to be the Cowboys, the New York Mets, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers.
Christie says those are teams he grew up rooting for.
The governor, now running for re-election, joked that being a Cowboys fan "is not the smartest thing for the governor of New Jersey to be."
The Cowboys are hated division rivals of both the Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, which also have a big New Jersey fan base.
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