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This Hour: Latest New York news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:21 p.m. EDT

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Bald eagle threat: Lead ammo left behind by hunters

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Wildlife advocates across the country say a growing number of bald eagles are being poisoned by ingesting lead from ammunition in animal carcasses left behind by hunters.

New York biologists have documented an increase in bald eagle deaths from such poisoning. They acknowledge the trend hasn't impacted the eagle population as a whole, which has rebounded to record numbers after decades of restoration work.

Some advocates are calling for hunters to switch to copper or steel ammunition, or to remove or conceal the carcasses of the animals they kill.

Hunting and shooting sports groups say eagle populations have soared thanks to restoration efforts funded by excise taxes on lead ammunition and guns.


Capitol Watch: Silver decision reignites ethics debate

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A federal court decision overturning the conviction of ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver is bringing fresh attention to the New York Legislature's chronic corruption problem and reigniting efforts to address conflicts of interest and government ethics.

The downfall of the Democratic powerbroker from Manhattan sent shockwaves through the state Capitol but prompted only modest ethics reforms.

While federal prosecutors plan to retry Silver, some in Albany say there's no reason to wait for the final outcome of Silver's case to act.

They've floated ideas including tighter limits on campaign contributions, restrictions on how much lawmakers can make from outside jobs and even term limits.

Other suggested reforms include term limits on leadership positions, more robust ethics enforcement and greater government transparency to prevent top lawmakers from making big decisions behind closed doors.


4 arrested in Homer NY in meth lab bust

HOMER, N.Y. (AP) - The Cortland County Sheriff's Office says four people have been arrested in a methamphetamine lab bust.

Law enforcement went to the home in the town of Homer on Sunday morning looking for 24-year-old Stephanie Weirs, wanted on a charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance. When they got there, they smelled something similar to what's produced in meth labs. Four people were arrested, and officials obtained a search warrant and seized several items used in production of the drug, according to the Press & Sun Bulletin .

Police arrested Weirs, 31-year-old Sarah Wacht, 26-year old Travis Hartwick and 42-year old Robert Benson. They were awaiting arraignment and it wasn't immediately clear if they had lawyers who could comment on their behalf.



Schumer asking Amtrak to discard the idea of shrinking seats

NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is asking Amtrak to discard the idea of creating new economy seating with reduced legroom aboard its trains.

Schumer says in a statement Sunday that Amtrak should find other ways to save money without burdening passengers.

Outgoing Amtrak co-chief executive Wick Moorman said last week that the company was looking at creating the "economy" seating that would add more rows of seats in an effort to make more money.

Schumer is calling the idea "right out of the airline's playbook." The senator from New York is urging Amtrak to "scrap the shrinking seats idea" and look at other ways of making money.

He said the government should invest in Amtrak every year so the company doesn't have to consider proposals that hurt the consumer.


Students search John Brown's NY farm site for artifacts

NORTH ELBA, N.Y. (AP) - Students at a New York college are searching John Brown's Adirondack farm for artifacts linked to the 19th-century abolitionist.

The State University of New York at Potsdam has been conducting an archaeology field school at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site just outside the village of Lake Placid. The school's archaeology students are hosting an open house at the historic site Saturday.

Brown and his family lived at the farm in the 1850s, when he opposed slavery in the United States. In October 1859, he led the attack on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry in what is now West Virginia.

Brown and supporters were captured. He was executed the following December. His body was returned to the farm in North Elba a week later and buried there.


NY warplane museum honoring women aviators at air show

GENESEO, N.Y. (AP) - The National Warplane Museum in western New York is honoring the role of women in aviation during this weekend's air show.

The Geneseo (jeh-NEH'-see-oh) museum's guests of honor include 100-year-old Dawn Seymour, a member of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. Known as WASPs, they ferried warplanes across the United States to free male pilots for combat overseas.

Seymour, from South Bristol in Ontario County, piloted B-17 bombers during the war. The museum is home to one of less than a dozen B-17s still capable of flying.

The air show Saturday and Sunday features flights by such iconic WWII aircraft a B-25 bomber, a P-40 Warhawk fighter built in Buffalo, and the museum's "Whiskey 7," a C-47 transport plane that dropped American paratroopers on D-Day at Normandy.


Pastor: Worshippers afraid after sex assault nearby

NEW YORK (AP) - The pastor of a church where a congregant was attacked last week at gunpoint says people are afraid to come worship.

Pastor Kehinde Oyetunde told the Daily News that more than 200 people usually turn up on Sunday at the Celestial Church of Christ in Jamaica, Queens. But only a small group came this week, after a woman was held at gunpoint and attacked a half-block from the church. A group stood outside and prayed for the victim Sunday.

The 50-year-old congregant says she was robbed and forced to perform sex acts at about 11 p.m. on Tuesday. Police arrested three suspects. A fourth is at large.

Other congregants say they'd feel safer with better street lights and increased police patrols in the area near the church.



4 rescued from flooding vessel near Fire Island

NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard says crewmembers rescued four people from a sinking vessel near Captree State Park off the coast of New York's Fire Island.

At about 2:15 p.m. Sunday, the coast guard got a call that a vessel with four aboard was taking on water. When the rescue crew arrived, there were about eight inches of water and the on-board bilge pumps weren't working. Everyone aboard the 19-foot pleasure craft had on life vests. All four were safely brought to shore on a Coast Guard boat. It's not clear what caused the flooding. No one was injured. The Coast Guard towed the boat to shore.

Fire Island is a popular beach destination.

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