Latest New York news, sports, business and entertainment


Officer hurt in deadly wrong-way crash plans to sue city

LINDEN, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey police officer who survived a wrong-way crash that killed two other people plans to sue his city over its handling of the officer who was allegedly driving drunk at the time of the crash.

The attorney for Linden police Officer Patrik Kudlac has filed a tort claim notice over the handling of a 2011 drunken driving ticket issued to Officer Pedro Abad in Roselle. That case was dismissed.

The notice alleges negligence, fraud and/or official misconduct in Abad's 2011 case.

Authorities say Abad had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit at the time of the March 20 crash in New York City that injured Kudlac and killed two other passengers, including another Linden police officer.

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead told he questioned whether the suit will have merit because the accident occurred while Abad was off-duty.


LIRR investigates death of person near Ronkonkoma station

(Information in the following story is from: Newsday, )

RONKONKOMA, N.Y. (AP) — The Long Island Rail Road says a person has been struck and killed by a train west of the Ronkonkoma (rahn-KAHN'-kuh-muh) station.

LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena tells Newsday (the person was hit at about 2:45 a.m. near Ocean Avenue, just west of the station.

He says the train left Penn Station in New York at 1:20 a.m. and was on the way to Ronkonkoma.

The spokesman had no other details, including the gender or identity of the person.

The accident caused minor delays during the early morning portion of Wednesday's rush hour.


Poll: Public backs Gov. Cuomo in clash with NYC mayor

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A poll says New York state voters are siding with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his clash with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Siena College survey found that 39 percent of voters statewide back Cuomo over de Blasio, compared to 28 percent who side with the mayor. De Blasio had slightly more support than Cuomo among Democrats and New York City voters.

Last month the mayor said Cuomo had disappointed him "at every turn" and pursues vendettas against opponents.

Cuomo has regularly thwarted de Blasio's agenda and has said his fellow Democrat doesn't know how to compromise.

The poll found that Cuomo's favorability dropped to 49 percent from 53 percent last month.

The July 6-9 telephone survey of 802 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.


Donald Trump: 'A vote that I will win is the Hispanic vote'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he's confident he could win substantial Hispanic votes if he's the party's nominee.

Brushing aside the controversy over labeling Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and "criminals," Trump argues "the Hispanics love me."

He tells MSNBC: "I employ thousands of Hispanics."

Trump also says he's not worried about any lack of support in the Latino community and argues he hasn't been hurt politically by his calls for clamping down on illegal immigration.

Trump has refused to soften his stand on immigration, even after a plea by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) that he tone down his remarks.

The GOP fared poorly with the Hispanic community in the 2012 presidential election.


Lawsuit stemming from child sex abuse allegations dismissed

(Information in the following story is from: The Post-Star, )

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by a former teacher and school principal that stemmed from child sexual abuse allegations against the teacher has been dismissed.

The Post-Star of Glens Falls reports two lawsuits were filed by Eric McHenry and Benjamin Pisani in federal court in 2013 and 2014 after criminal charges against both men were dismissed in Washington County.

McHenry, an elementary school teacher in Greenwich, was charged with sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Pisani, the school's principal, was accused of failing to notify the state about reports regarding McHenry.

McHenry sought $70 million in his lawsuit alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution and fabrication of evidence. Pisani's $25 million lawsuit was consolidated with McHenry's last year.

U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby dismissed the lawsuit Monday at the request of the plaintiffs' lawyer.


NY teen pleads guilty in sex attacks vs woman, child

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A Westchester County teenager has pleaded guilty in sex attacks against a woman and an 11-year-old girl.

District Attorney Jane DiFiore says Javon Roberts of Mount Vernon pleaded guilty Tuesday to rape and criminal sexual act.

Authorities say the child was abducted on Dec. 4 while walking home from a Christmas concert at a Mount Vernon library.

The attacker took her to an elementary school and raped her at knifepoint. He said he would kill her if she didn't stop screaming.

Prosecutors say the 23-year-old woman was abducted at knifepoint while walking home from work in Mount Vernon on the evening of Oct. 20. She was taken to the same elementary school and forced to perform sex acts.

DiFiore praised the victims' courage in aiding authorities.


NY AG: Pizza franchise owner in custody in wage-theft case

NEW YORK (AP) — The state attorney general says the owner of nine Papa John's pizza franchises in the Bronx has been taken into custody in connection with the alleged theft of wages from his employees.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office says Abdul Jamil Khokhar turned himself in to authorities on Wednesday morning.

Criminal charges were expected to be filed later Wednesday. Schneiderman's office said they would include failure to pay wages and falsifying business records.

It is the first criminal case by Schneiderman's office against a fast-food franchise owner over alleged wage theft.

Officials say Khokar didn't pay minimum wage to some employees and also tried to avoid paying overtime.

A call and email to Khokar's attorney seeking comment were not immediately returned.


South Bronx kids get a pop-up library for the summer

NEW YORK (AP) — Kids in the South Bronx have access to a pop-up library and media center this summer.

The facility, called the Ideas Box, was created by the French designer Philippe Starck.

Besides books, it will provide Internet, tablets and cameras.

The Ideas Box will be in Hayden Lord Park until Sept. 5.

It's made possible by Libraries Without Borders, the Alexander Soros Foundation, DreamYard and the New York Public Library.


NYC to distribute 200,000 bundles of baby books

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is launching a two-year program to distribute 200,000 bundles of baby books.

City agencies and the Reach Out and Read program will distribute the books to families with children ranging from newborn to age 3.

Each bundle will include a book called "Love Is." It's designed to encourage early childhood language development and establish strong bonds between parents and children.

The books are being donated by Scholastic, Inc.


NJ Transit board approves fare hikes

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Transit's board of directors has approved fare increases that average about 9 percent for bus and rail riders.

Wednesday's action would go into effect in October.

Commuters in New Jersey take nearly 1 million trips on the agency's trains, buses and light rail cars each week. Officials have said increases are needed to cover a $60 million budget gap even after the agency cut $40 million internally.

The plan includes service cuts to late-night train departures on two lines leaving Hoboken, and on several bus routes in southern New Jersey.

Those include service from Freehold and Philadelphia to Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson.

Commuters have assailed the increases in online postings and at public forums including at Wednesday's meeting.


New combo ticket offers savings on 4 NYC tourist attractions

NEW YORK (AP) — The Empire State Building has announced the launch of a new ticket package that offers a discount on four New York City tourist attractions.

The ticket includes admission to the Empire State Building Observatory, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise and a City Sights Bus Tour.

The combo ticket, called NYC It All, costs $99 — a savings of $43.

Kids under 6 are free.


Manufacturing in New York state expands slightly in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing activity in New York state picked up slightly in July, though remained at a low level, suggesting that factory output remains subdued.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that its Empire State manufacturing index rose to plus 3.9, from negative 2 in June. Any reading above zero indicates expansion.

The index has fluctuated around zero for the past four months as manufacturing generally has struggled with a strong U.S. dollar, weak growth overseas, and lower oil prices.

A measure of new orders slipped to minus 3.5, a sign that output may slow in the coming months. A gauge of hiring showed that factories are adding workers, but at a slower pace than in June.


Farewell FAO Schwarz: Last day of business at NYC toy store

NEW YORK (AP) — The FAO Schwarz toy store on New York City's Fifth Avenue is taking a final bow.

The store is closing its doors for good on Wednesday night — though it may reopen elsewhere in midtown Manhattan.

Owner Toys R Us announced the decision in May, citing costs.

The company has had a New York City location since 1870. It opened the iconic flagship store in 1986.

The Fifth Avenue fixture included a candy store, three levels of specialty toy departments and personal shoppers.

It's been featured in several movies, including "Big," where Tom Hanks danced on its large floor piano.

Toys R Us of Wayne, New Jersey, has been privately held since 2005. It bought the FAO Schwarz brand in 2009.


Jane Krakowski joins Broadway cast of 'She Loves Me' revival

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Award-winner and "30 Rock" star Jane Krakowski has jumped aboard the upcoming Broadway revival of "She Loves Me."

The Roundabout Theatre Company said Wednesday that Krakowski will join Laura Benanti and Josh Radnor in the 1963 romantic musical about two star-crossed co-workers. René Auberjonois and Gavin Creel also were added to the cast.

The score — by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock — includes the songs "Tonight at Eight," ''Will He Like Me?" ''Grand Knowing You," and the title song. Choreography will be by Warren Carlyle and the director is Scott Ellis.

Previews at Studio 54 theater begin Feb. 5.

Krakowski won the 2003 Tony in the Broadway musical "Nine" opposite Antonio Banderas and earned a Tony nomination for her work in the original Broadway production of "Grand Hotel."

She also stars in the Netflix series "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."