Booms heard outside building where gunman believed holed up
HERKIMER, N.Y. (AP) As a standoff with a suspected gunman stretched into another day, hundreds of police surrounded an abandoned building, where he's believed to be holed up.
Police say 64-year-old Kurt Myers abruptly opened fire with a shotgun Wednesday, killing two men in the opening salvo of a rampage that left four dead, and two wounded in the village of Mohawk and nearby Herkimer. They have no motive for the shootings.
Early Thursday, two loud booms were heard outside the building in downtown Herkimer, and police periodically blared sirens in an apparent attempt to encourage Myers to surrender, if alive. A police robot has been at the scene since Wednesday, and a witness says it went into the building early Thursday and came back out again.
Immigrant groups sue customs border agency
SEATTLE (AP) Immigrant advocacy groups have filed nearly a dozen complaints and lawsuits against U.S. Customs and Border Protection across the country, claiming federal agents and officers have mistreated and discriminated against both illegal immigrants and U.S. citizens.
New York, Texas, Washington and Ohio are among the states where cases were filed. They allege officers were complicit in sending a 4-year-old American girl to Guatemala without giving her parents a chance to get her, detained a naturalized citizen helping farmworkers, kept women in cold detention cells and lied on an arrest report that led to a man's detention.
The cases involve complaints against the agency and lawsuits filed in federal court. Some seek monetary damages.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection statement says it does not tolerate misconduct and can't comment on pending litigation.
New York Catholics happy with choice of new pope
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) New York Catholics are lauding the choice of Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to become Pope Francis as a nod to the universality of the Catholic Church.
In Buffalo, Deacon Alejandro Manunta says he has been waiting a long time to see a pope coming from someplace besides Europe. He tells the Buffalo News the choice sends a ``beautiful message'' to the world.
Inside New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral, worshippers filled pews yesterday for a Mass honoring the new pontiff. St. Patrick's rector, Msgr. Robert Ritchie, noted in his sermon that one cardinal called the new Pope Francis ``the holiest man'' he'd ever known.
Pope Francis celebrates his first Mass as pope today and, according to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, will travel to the papal retreat south of Rome to visit with the retired Pope Emeritus Benedict.
Grand jury clears Hudson Valley man of murder
NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) Prosecutors say a 21-year-old man won't face charges for killing another man during a gun battle outside a Hudson Valley bar last fall because a grand jury found he was protecting his brother from an armed man.
Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips says Wednesday that video from the scene showed 23-year-old Justin Doctor putting a gun to the head of Scottie Alexander and trying to shoot him just before Charles Alexander opened fire during a chaotic gunfight in their hometown Newburgh on Oct. 14.
He says the video shows Doctor apparently trying to clear several jams in the semi-automatic pistol just before Alexander shot and killed him.
Phillips says Alexander is no longer facing second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon charges
Aggressive female peregrine falcon relocated in NY
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) A peregrine falcon with a habit of swooping down on pedestrians has been relocated from the University at Buffalo.
The female falcon had been nesting in MacKay Tower on the Buffalo campus for the past few years.
She's been going after people working on roofs or walking on campus since 2010, but usually only in late spring and early summer when she's had newly hatched chicks. After two earlier-than-usual incidents this month--one of which left a UB employee with lacerations on his head--experts decided it would be best for all to capture and move the falcon to a rehabilitation center.
Department of Environmental Conservation manager Mark Kandel says the falcon's mate will likely find another female and remain in the tower.
Wisconsin Gouda named 2013 US Championship Cheese
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) A Wisconsin Gouda has been named the nation's top cheese.
Marieke Penterman, of Holland's Family Cheese in Thorp, Wisconsin, won the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest in Green Bay Wednesday with her Marieke Mature Gouda.
Out of a possible 100 points, Marieke Gouda scored 98.31 in the final round of judging.
First runner-up was Tarentaise, a semi-hard alpine cheese made by Spring Brook Farm/Farms For City Kids Foundation in Reading, Vt. Second runner-up was Medium Cheddar, made by Team Cracker Barrel Natural Cheese, Agropur Weyauwega for Kraft Foods in Glenview, Ill.
More than 1,700 cheeses were entered, including pepper-flavored, smoked and sheep cheeses.
Wisconsin captured the most gold medals, with 47 of the 81 categories judged. New York and Vermont came in second, with six gold medals each.
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)