News from the Associated Press - March 27, 2014

Associated Press
March 27, 2014

Judge: Cornell U. can be sued for bridge suicide

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge says that Cornell University and the city of Ithaca can be sued for negligence in the death of a student from Florida who jumped to his death from a bridge over a gorge near the Ivy League school's campus.

The Ithaca Journal reports that a U.S. District Court judge in Utica has ruled that Cornell provided ample input during the design phase of the reconstruction for the bridge from which 18-year-old Bradley Ginsburg leapt in February 2010. The judge also ruled that since the city never conducted a formal study of means restriction for the bridge, it wasn't entitled to immunity.

Ginsburg's father, Howard Ginsburg, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in November 2011, seeking $168 million in damages from Cornell and the city.


Authorities say 14 charged in Binghamton gang bust

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Federal authorities say they have charged 14 members and associates of the Bloods street gang called the "MacBallers" in a drug trafficking bust centered in Binghamton.

Prosecutors say arrest and search warrants in the greater Binghamton area and New York City were served early Wednesday and defendants will appear later Wednesday before a federal magistrate.

Locations searched include the nightclub called "17 East" in Binghamton, which authorities say the gang member's frequented.

The federal felony complaint alleges that since September 2009 the group was responsible for distributing quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana in the area, using rented vehicles, apartments, prepaid cell phones and guns to do it.

The defendants, ranging in age from 23 to 55, could face 10 years to life in prison.


Jack Wagner drops out of Pa. governor's race

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Jack Wagner says a lack of money prompted him to drop out of the Pennsylvania governor's race.

The former two-term state auditor general withdrew from the May 20 primary ballot on Wednesday, the last day he could do so.

Wagner told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that reality set in when he started soliciting contributions from his traditional supporters and discovered that many of them were backing another candidate or staying neutral.

That leaves four candidates for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Tom Corbett - York businessman Tom Wolf, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Treasurer Rob McCord and former state environmental protection secretary Katie McGinty.

Campaign spokesmen for Wolf and McGinty say they don't think Wagner's leaving will have any effect on the race.


NYC Assemblyman says he is under FBI investigation

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A state assemblyman from Queens says the FBI has raided his home, hotel and offices in an investigation of his daily expense claims.

Democrat William Scarborough says FBI agents left his office Wednesday with boxes marked evidence. He says they took his cell phone, calendars and "just about everything."

Scarborough tells reporters outside his Albany office that he hasn't misused per diems, the daily payments out-of-town lawmakers can collect when the stay over in Albany.

Scarborough says representatives from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office and the FBI raided his hotel room at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The Legislature has weathered a series of criminal and sexual harassment scandals in recent years.

FBI officials did not have any immediate comment.

Scarborough was elected to office in 1994.


Report: NY schools are most racially segregated

NEW YORK (AP) — A new report says New York state has the most segregated public schools in the nation.

The report is by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles. It looks at enrollment trends from 1989 to 2010 in New York state and in New York City, the largest school system in the U.S. with 1.1 million pupils.

The study's authors say segregation has the effect of concentrating black and Latino students in schools with high ratios of poor students.

The study suggests that New York's segregation is largely due to housing patterns but that it could be mitigated through policies intended to promote diversity.

Other states with highly segregated schools include Illinois, Michigan and California, according to the Civil Rights Project.

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