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Woman convicted in mom's death; case tied to found remains

KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) - A jury has returned a guilty verdict in the New York murder trial of the sister of a sex worker whose disappearance led to the discovery of 10 sets of human remains along a highway near a beach.

An Ulster County jury Thursday found 28-year-old Sarra Gilbert guilty of stabbing her mother to death, rejecting a defense claim she was driven by mental illness.

Prosecutors say she stabbed 52-year-old Mari Gilbert 200 times and bashed her head with a fire extinguisher in a Catskills home last July. She faces 25 years to life in prison when she's sentenced in August.

Her sister Shannan Gilbert vanished in 2010 after fleeing a client. Her searchers found 10 sets of human remains near Jones Beach. Police believe they were victims of unsolved serial killings but Shannan Gilbert accidentally drowned.


Hash brown recall for golf ball pieces expands to Wegmans

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - A food company has recalled Wegmans branded frozen hash browns in six states because they may contain pieces of golf balls that were apparently harvested along with the potatoes.

McCain Foods USA expanded an earlier recall to include 28-ounce bags of Wegmans frozen O'Brien hash browns manufactured on Oct. 21, 2016. They were distributed in New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The initial recall announced on April 21 included Harris Teeter and Roundy branded hash browns. It was expanded Wednesday after two additional consumer complaints of plastic or rubber pieces.

Consumers are advised to throw the products away or return them to the store.

McCain Foods says there have been no reported injuries.


Man pleads not guilty in shooting death of mother

EDEN, N.Y. (AP) - A man has pleaded not guilty to murder in the shooting death of his elderly mother inside their rural western New York home.

Wayne Kozak was returned to western New York and arraigned in Eden Town Court Wednesday after being arrested last week in a motel in Erie, Pennsylvania, about 75 miles away.

The April 20 arrest followed the discovery earlier in the day of Mary Louise Kozak's body. Police say the 79-year-old is the small town's first murder victim in 30 years.

Wayne Kozak's attorney, Emily Trott, says Thursday that the 48-year-old son has lived with his mother since breaking his neck in an accident. She says the injury changed him physically and psychologically.


NY college president heard blaming alleged assault victim

SANBORN, N.Y. (AP) - A New York community college president who was recorded disparaging an alleged victim of sexual assault has retired, just before a vote to consider firing him.

Niagara County Community College says James Klyczek (KLY'-zehk) notified the board of trustees of his retirement shortly before a special meeting Wednesday evening in which the trustees were to decide whether to remove him as head of the two-year college located north of Buffalo.

In a statement, the board's president called Klyczek's reported words and actions inconsistent with the college's values.

WKBW-TV of Buffalo aired a recording in which Klyczek is allegedly heard calling a middle-aged woman who reported being sexually assaulted near the campus library "too stupid to follow (her) instinct."

Klyczek doesn't have a public phone listing and couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.


Cuomo: Project to cap polluted central NY lake is completed

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A key phase in the ongoing effort to clean up a central New York lake considered one of the nation's most polluted has been completed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that more than 3 million cubic yards of material has been deposited on the floor of Onondaga Lake to prevent toxic materials from contaminating the water.

Morris Plains, New Jersey-based Honeywell International has been conducting the state-ordered cleanup effort.

State officials say the revitalization project has included the dredging of 2.2 million cubic yards of sediment from the lake bottom. Crews have capped the bottom with layers of sand, gravel and topsoil from 4 inches to more than 5 feet thick.

The lake became a toxic mess from decades of pollution dumped into it by manufacturing facilities that were located along the Syracuse-area waterway.


Upstate NY Baptist church eyed for conversion into brew pub

TROY, N.Y. (AP) - A Baptist church in upstate New York has closed, but it may soon have a new purpose as a brew pub.

The Times-Union of Albany reports that the longtime Baptist church in Troy went up for sale and was recently removed from the active sales list. Collar City Brewing submitted the proposal to put a brew pub in the 12,000-square foot Mount Ida Community Baptist Church building, located on one of Troy's busiest streets.

The move would require a variance with the city zoning board because the proposed restaurant would need parking for at least 100 vehicles.

A city councilor, Lynn Koepka, says that she's excited for new business, but hopes all needed zoning issues are resolved quickly.



NYPD: Man stabbed to death during fight at internet cafe

NEW YORK (AP) - Police say a 19-year-old man has died after being stabbed during a fight at a 24-hour internet cafe in New York City.

The New York Police Department says officers in Queens were called to Booth Memorial Hospital around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday after medical staff reported a man suffering from stab wounds had been brought in.

The man was later pronounced dead. His name hasn't been released.

Police say they learned that the man had been involved in a fight at the K & D Internet Cafe on Main Street in the borough's Flushing section.

The NYPD says Thursday morning that a 51-year-old man has been taken into custody and a knife was recovered at the crime scene.

The investigation is continuing.


The Latest: Christie says Amtrak fixes are what he sought

NEW YORK (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he's satisfied with Amtrak's announcement that it is accelerating repair work at New York's Penn Station starting next month.

Christie spoke Thursday in Jersey City. Earlier this month, the term-limited Republican governor said the state would withhold payments to Amtrak until a study verified that the rails were in a state of good repair.

Amtrak announced Thursday it would speed up repair work at the station that would continue through the summer.

Christie says the change was what he was looking for. He didn't specify when the state would resume making payments, however, and added that he wanted to review the plan before continuing to pay.

The national passenger railroad also warned Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit passengers to expect disruptions.

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