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Cuomo nominates ex-Syracuse mayor to run Thruway Authority

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he'll nominate former Syracuse mayor Matthew Driscoll to run the New York state Thruway Authority.

The Democratic governor announces Tuesday that Driscoll, the current commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, will be nominated to serve as executive director of the agency that operates the 570-mile Thruway system. Driscoll, DOT commissioner since 2015, was mayor of Syracuse from 2001-2009.

He'll replace Bill Finch, the acting executive director for the past two years.

The Thruway's board of directors will meet to name Driscoll acting executive director. His nomination has to be confirmed by the state Senate after the Legislature starts its 2018 session in early January.

Cuomo says Cathy Calhoun, DOT's chief of staff, will serve as the agency's acting commissioner.


NY officials probe eavesdropping allegations against Senecas

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Prosecutors in western New York say they're investigating allegations that representatives of the Indian tribe that runs three casinos in the region eavesdropped on employees of the state Gaming Commission.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office in Buffalo confirms Tuesday that it's investigating allegations by commission workers who say they were eavesdropped by the Seneca Gaming Authority.

The Senecas operate casinos in downtown Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca.

Spectrum News in Buffalo first reported Monday that a listening device was found last year commission officials in an office the agency leases from the Senecas at the tribe's Buffalo casino.

Seneca officials weren't available for comment.

The allegations come amid testy relations between the Cuomo administration and the Senecas over the tribe's halting of payments of millions of dollars in casino revenue to the state.


Critics: Remove statue of doctor who experimented on slaves

NEW YORK (AP) - Critics want New York City to remove a statue in Central Park that honors a doctor who used slaves in developing a pioneering approach to treating physical problems women can develop after childbirth.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is among those calling for the removal of the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims.

Sims was a 19th century physician who used slave women to develop his surgical technique to repair fistulas and operated on these women without anesthesia.

The removal of Confederate statues sparked a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month. An anti-racist demonstrator was killed when a car drove into a crowd protesting the rally.

Following that violence, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said officials would review "symbols of hate" on city property.


Lawyer: NY man shot during traffic stop didn't have weapon

TROY, N.Y. (AP) - The attorney for a 22-year-old upstate New York man who was shot and wounded by police during a traffic stop says his client wasn't armed at the time of the confrontation.

Police in the city of Troy say Dahmeek McDonald was wanted on a parole violation when he was spotted by officers as he drove on a Troy street on Aug. 15. Authorities say after he was pulled over McDonald was shot twice by at least one of four officers at the scene.

Troy police and Rensselaer County prosecutors have declined to say if a weapon was found on McDonald or in his vehicle after the shooting.

The Times Union of Albany reports that his attorney, Mark Mishler, said that McDonald told him that he wasn't armed when he got pulled over.


NY man charged after boat slams into Lake Ontario pier

HAMLIN, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a western New York man was drunk when he drove his boat into a Lake Ontario pier, injuring two passengers in the vessel.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says a 27-year-old man from Hamlin was behind the controls of a boat around 9:20 p.m. Monday when he hit a jetty near where Sandy Creek flows into the lake in his hometown, located 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of Rochester.

Deputies say the boat's operator wasn't hurt, but a 30-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl were taken to a Rochester hospital to be checked out. Police say the woman was ejected in the collision, which caused the boat to start to sink.

A fourth person on board wasn't injured.

The man driving the boat has been charged with boating while intoxicated.


Longtime NY Assemblyman Farrell to retire next month

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Longtime New York state Assemblyman Herman "Denny" Farrell Jr. has announced that he'll retire from his Manhattan seat next month.

The 85-year-old Democrat announced Monday that he'll retire Sept. 5 to spend more time with his family and to deal with unspecified health issues.

Farrell was first elected in 1974 in the 71st Assembly District in northern Manhattan. He's currently the chairman of the chamber's Ways and Means Committee, a post he has held for the past 23 years.

Because his retirement will be official just a week before the state primaries, New York County Democratic leaders will select his replacement. Farrell says he supports his chief of staff, Al Taylor, to succeed him.

Farrell ran for mayor of New York City in 1985, losing to incumbent Democrat Edward Koch.


Police: Speeding motorcyclist flees officer, dies in crash

CAMILLUS, N.Y. (AP) - Police in upstate New York say a motorcyclist has died in a crash after fleeing from an officer.

The Post-Standard reports the crash happened early Tuesday morning in Camillus, near Syracuse. According to Camillus Police Chief Thomas Winn, an officer tried to pull over a motorcyclist who was spotted travelling 48 mph in a 30 mph speed zone. Winn says the biker refused to pull over after the officer turned on his emergency lights.

According to police, the driver lost control of the motorcycle while navigating a curve and crashed in the front yard of a home. The motorcyclist was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead.

The name of the driver is withheld pending family notification.

Winn says he has asked the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office to investigate the crash.



Man seeks remains of woman convicted in collar-bomb killing

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - A man claiming to be the common-law husband of a woman convicted in a bizarre Pennsylvania bank robbery plot that killed a pizza delivery driver with a bomb strapped to his neck wants federal prison officials to release her remains and confirm her death.

The Bureau of Prisons says 68-year-old Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong died April 4 of natural causes at a prison hospital in Texas.

Diehl-Armstrong was serving life plus 30 years in the 2003 Erie bank robbery plot that ended with the death of 46-year-old pizza deliveryman Brian Wells. He had been forced to rob a bank with a bomb locked to his neck that exploded afterward.

The Erie Times-News says Mark Marvin, of Walden, New York, wants to move Diehl-Armstrong's remains to a Quaker cemetery in New York.


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