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NY senator: outlaw streaming violence on social media

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Legislation introduced in New York state would make it a crime to upload or livestream video of a crime to social media with the intent of glorifying violence or seeking fame.

State Sen. Phil Boyle, a Long Island Republican, said Thursday that his bill is a response to a series of "heinous crimes" that have been filmed and posted online by the perpetrators.

Boyle says his proposal is needed to prevent "attention-hungry criminals" from using the internet to celebrate violence.

Those who violate the proposed law would face up to four years in prison as well as fines.

Bystanders who film a crime while it is occurring - or news organizations covering a story - would be exempted from the law.


NY legislators push for a distracted driving Breathalyzer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Legislators in New York are pushing for the "Breathalyzer for distracted drivers," saying that the in-development technology would allow officers to determine if a person was using their smartphone at the time of an accident.

The Times-Union of Albany reports that the technology is still under development by Cellebrite, a data-extraction company.

There are also a number of privacy concerns with the hypothetical technology. The New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups issued a memo opposing the proposal, saying it would be a violation of privacy. They also noted that police and prosecutors can already obtain carrier records with warrants and subpoenas.


Former employee pleads guilty to fraud in $134,000 theft

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - A former employee has pleaded guilty to cheating an upstate New York business and bank out of $134,000.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says that while Cortney Vogt was working for SalesSource International in Rochester, she forged 132 checks over a two-year period. The checks were drawn on an account at Canandaigua National Bank.

Prosecutors say the charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8.


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.


Violent street gang MS-13 puts Long Island towns in its grip

BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to visit one of the suburbs on New York's Long Island that is in the grip of fear from a violent street gang with Central American ties, MS-13.

The gang has been blamed for the deaths of 11 mostly young people in blue-collar Brentwood and Central Islip since the school year began.

Some parents say they are afraid to let their children go to school. Teens say any perceived slight to a gang member, particularly a refusal to join, can mean death.

President Donald Trump says the killings are the result of immigration policies that let too many criminals slip through. Sessions plans to discuss the issue with law enforcement officers at the federal courthouse where some of the suspects are facing possible death penalty sentences.


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.

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