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This Hour: Latest New York news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EDT

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The Latest: Lawyer: School board member hearing a 'charade'

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The lawyer for a Buffalo school board member who publicly insulted former President Barack Obama and his wife says a state Education Department hearing for the lawyer's client is "all a charade."

Dennis Vacco says the hearing Thursday in Albany is "a subterfuge to get at Carl Paladino in retaliation for his intemperate remarks" in a Buffalo alternative weekly last December.

Vacco is a former New York attorney general. He says the derogatory remarks Paladino submitted to Buffalo's Artvoice were "low and unfortunate," but nonetheless constitutionally protected.

The hearing is being held to determine whether Paladino disclosed confidential school board business when he released information on teacher contract negotiations.


The Latest: Committee vote protects corals in Gulf of Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Federal regulars have decided to protect two areas in the Gulf of Maine that are home to slow-growing corals.

The protected areas encompass almost 40 square miles and are called Outer Schoodic Ridge and Mt. Desert Rock. The areas would still be open to lobster fishing but not to bottom trawling.

A committee of the New England Fishery Management Council voted on the protections on Thursday.

The committee decided earlier in the day to hold off on voting on options to protect corals near Georges Bank, another key fishing area. Committee members say they needed more updated information about fishing in the area.


Cuomo: NY lawmakers should return to cut deal on NYC schools

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it was a "dereliction of duty" for lawmakers to adjourn for the year without agreeing to extend mayoral control of schools in New York City.

The Democrat says Thursday that he would consider calling the Legislature back if it doesn't return to resolve a stalemate over the policy, first enacted in 2002.

Lawmakers adjourned Wednesday without an agreement. Senate Republicans wanted to tie an extension to the authorization of more charter schools, but Democrats balked.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday said lawmakers must "finish the work" to prevent control reverting back to community school boards.

Democratic Speaker Carl Heastie says that while there's no plan to return, the Assembly would consider any such request.


NY lawmakers approve Gov. Cuomo's pick for MTA chairman

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State lawmakers have confirmed Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nomination of former New York City mayoral candidate Joseph Lhota (LOH'-tuh) as the next leader of the troubled Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The Democratic governor nominated the 62-year-old Lhota as MTA chairman Wednesday and the Republican-controlled Senate approved the appointment late Wednesday night before adjourning for the summer.

Lhota returns to the leadership post at the nation's largest public transportation agency, where he served as chairman and CEO from October 2011 to December 2012. He resigned for an unsuccessfully run for New York City mayor as a Republican.

Cuomo says Lhota's salary will be $1 per year and he'll delegate the CEO duties to a permanent executive director.

The governor says Lhota will continue serving as senior vice president, vice dean and chief of staff at Manhattan-based NYU Langone Medical Center.


NY state Senate OKs bill naming new bridge after Mario Cuomo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's Republican-controlled state Senate has voted to name the new Tappan Zee Bridge after the late Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo.

The Democrat-led Assembly adjourned its 2017 session without taking up the bill after Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan introduced the proposal Wednesday night shortly before his chamber adjourned.

Flanagan's bill would name the new bridge currently under construction after Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's father, who died in 2015. The elder Cuomo was governor from 1983 through 1994. His son pushed to get a replacement bridge built.

The name of the current span linking Rockland and Westchester counties north of New York City is the Gov. Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge. Wilson was governor for a year starting in December 1973 after serving 14 years as lieutenant governor.


Former NY judge gets prison in sexual bribes case

CANTON, N.Y. (AP) - A former New York judge has been sentenced to prison on charges he accepted bribes for sexual favors.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says former Fowler town justice Paul Lamson was sentenced in St. Lawrence County Court on Thursday to two to six years in prison after pleading guilty to bribe receiving and official misconduct. Information on a defense lawyer who could provide comment wasn't immediately available.

Prosecutors say Lamson admitted to soliciting and accepting sexual favors from individuals who had pending criminal cases before him. They say he issued favorable rulings to keep some defendants out of prison and reduced their fines.

The sentence was part of a plea deal with the attorney general's office.

Lamson was the town judge from 2005 to Dec. 1, 2016 when he resigned.


2 charged with trying to steal 50 rescued fighting roosters

FRANKFORT, N.Y. (AP) - Officials say two people have been caught trying to steal dozens of roosters that were rescued when authorities busted up a large cockfighting ring in New York.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Thursday that a 41-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman, both from Utica, were arrested Tuesday in the Herkimer County village of Poland.

Schneiderman says the suspects broke into a barn where some 50 chickens were being kept after they were rescued last weekend from a bird fighting operation in the nearby town of Frankfort.

The police raid at a landscaping business uncovered cockfighting held in a barn, with an additional 180 birds in an adjacent structure being used as a game bird breeding and training facility.

Authorities charged 41 people and seized drugs, guns and $68,000 in cash.


Sex offender with parole violation jumped 11 floors to death

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a man who jumped to his death from an 11th-floor apartment building in New York was a sex offender who was being taken into custody at the time for a parole violation.

The Post-Standard reports that the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision issued a statement Wednesday night identifying the parolee as 37-year-old Jason Jock.

Syracuse police say parole officers had taken Jock into custody in his residence at the Skyline Apartments on Tuesday night. Officers say Jock used a phone to call a relative, then broke free from parole officers, ran toward an open window and jumped out.

The corrections department says Jock was being supervised in New York for the state of Colorado, where he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old.

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