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NY Air Guard unit starts 30th season supporting S. Pole site

SCOTIA, N.Y. (AP) - Members of an Air National Guard unit based in upstate New York have departed for the 30th season of supporting U.S. scientific missions at the South Pole.

Two LC-130s took off early Tuesday morning from Schenectady County's Stratton Air National Guard Base, home of the 109th Airlift Wing. The first flight of the season departed from the base last Friday.

Other crews will follow as the unit gears up for its annual Operation Deep Freeze to support McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

The 109th, the only unit in the U.S. military to fly ski-equipped aircraft, provides logistical support to the National Science Foundation's Antarctic research program. Over the next few months hundreds of airmen will transport scientists, fuel, medical supplies and other cargo during missions on the frozen continent.


New York woman's ear torn off trying to break up dog fight

PORT JEFFERSON STATION, N.Y. (AP) - A Long Island woman is recovering after one of her ears was torn off as she tried to break up a fight between her dog and a neighbor's two dogs.

Officials say two dogs ran out of a Port Jefferson Station home and attacked another dog Saturday night. Both owners tried to separate the dogs and suffered injuries.

Tracey Thomas, owner of the dog that was attacked, had her right ear torn off during the attack and remains in the hospital with multiple injuries. The other owner, Cheryl Hoctor, was also injured.

Neighbors are calling on town of Brookhaven officials to do something about Hoctor's dogs, saying the animals are very aggressive. They're signing a grievance with the town to have the dogs removed.

Police haven't made any arrests. Brookhaven officials are investigating.


Sheriff: Custody Department deputy accidentally shoots self

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - The Onondaga (ahn-uhn-DAH'-gah) County Sheriff's Office says a Custody Department deputy has accidentally shot himself at the Onondaga County Justice Center in Syracuse.

Authorities say 28-year-old Deputy Justin Brannock accidentally fired his own weapon late Monday night while he was inside the employee locker room, which is located in an unsecured portion of the Justice Center.

The sheriff's office says Brannock was unholstering his firearm when it went off. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment. His injury is not believed to be life-threatening.

No one else was hurt. The shooting remains under investigation.

The sheriff's office says Brannock has been a member of the Custody Department for nearly five years. He's currently assigned to the Booking Section.


Old Buffalo train station makes global group's 'watch list'

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A long-defunct western New York train station being considered for redevelopment has made an international group's list of cultural treasures that need to be preserved.

The Manhattan-based World Monuments Fund on Monday released its 2018 watch list of cultural heritage sites that are threatened by warfare, natural disaster, climate change or urbanization.

The list features 25 sites, including the Central Terminal in Buffalo .

The facility closed in 1979 after a half-century in operation. The property featuring the old station and its 17-story Art Deco-style tower was abandoned and left to deteriorate before local preservationists stepped in.

The nonnrofit Central Terminal Restoration Corp. is overseeing ongoing renovation work as redevelopment projects are sought.

The group's Paul Lang tells WBEN-AM that inclusion on the list puts the terminal on "the world stage."


Oops! Actor Bill Pullman accepts, then breaks film award

KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) - Bill Pullman is a bit of a klutz when it comes to holding onto a film award.

The "Independence Day" actor was the recipient of the Excellence in Acting Award at the Woodstock Film Festival last Saturday night in Kingston, in New York's Hudson Valley.

The Daily Freeman reports that after being handed the award, Pullman placed it on a shelf attached to the lectern on the stage. As Pullman began to speak, he jostled the lectern, causing the award to topple to the floor and break in two pieces.

After being handed the broken award, Pullman held a piece in each hand and said, "I've got two awards tonight!"

The local artisan who made the award later repaired it.


NY to set new rules for solitary confinement in local jails

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York is poised to adopt new standards for the treatment of prisoners held in solitary confinement in local jails.

The state's Commission on Corrections is expected to approve the new rules Tuesday. The changes come at the urging of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The new regulations will mandate that all prisoners held in solitary at local jails get at least four hours of time outside their cell each day.

The rules also require local authorities to tell the state whenever a prisoner under 18 is placed in solitary or when an inmate is held in solitary for more than a month.

Cuomo says the standards will create consistent rules and prevent prisoner mistreatment.

The state has already implemented changes to reduce the use of solitary confinement in state facilities.


Group donates Schoharie County mountain to New York

MIDDLEBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - A nonprofit preservation group is donating a mountain in the Schoharie Valley to New York state.

Vroman's Nose has a popular hiking trail to its 600-foot cliffs giving an expansive view of the flat farmland around Route 30 near Middleburgh. The mountaintop features a broad, flat rock area commonly known as the "dance floor."

Susan Vroman Walker is a descendant of the family the mountain is named for and president of the nonprofit Vroman's Nose Preservation Corp. She tells the Albany Times Union the group has decided to donate the mountain to the state.

The mountain's popularity has surged in recent years thanks to social media. Visitors have increased from 4,000 in 2003 to nearly 13,000 in 2017.

The summit trail connects with the 350-mile-long (563-kilometer) Long Path.



NY village marking 240th anniversary of British surrender

SCHUYLERVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - The upstate New York village where British forces laid down their arms after the Battles of Saratoga is commemorating the surrender's 240th anniversary.

Officials with the village of Schuylerville and the surrounding town of Saratoga are holding their annual Surrender Day ceremony Tuesday morning.

The public event is being held in Fort Hardy Park along the upper Hudson River's west bank. It was at that spot on Oct. 17, 1777, that British Gen. John Burgoyne's redcoats and Germany mercenaries surrendered their muskets and other armaments to the victorious Americans.

The surrender came 10 days after American forces defeated Burgoyne's army in the second of two battles fought nearby.

Tuesday's event will include British and American re-enactors, cannon salutes, music and "13 toasts" to the American victory at Saratoga.

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