Members can send stories and tips to apalbany(at) for upstate and apnyc(at) for the New York metro area. The New York City bureau may be reached at 212-621-1670 and the Albany bureau at 518-458-7821. The photo desk is reachable at 212-621-1902. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from Reruns are available from the Service Desk (877-836-9477).











NEW YORK — A Japanese artist is erecting a contemporary living room around a statue of Christopher Columbus to give visitors a chance to come face-to-face with the iconic figure that looms six stories above a busy intersection of mid-Manhattan. But some Italian-Americans say the art project makes a mockery of the great explorer and trivializes history. "Discovering Columbus" is by Tatzu Nishi, an artist known for transforming historical monuments by surrounding them with domestic spaces. It was commissioned by the nonprofit Public Art Fund. By Ula Ilnytzky.

AP Photos. AP Video.


NEWARK, N.J. — As United Flight 731 climbed out of Newark with 107 people aboard, the pilot and first officer were startled to find screens that display crucial navigational information were blank or unreadable and radios were dead. They had no way to communicate with air traffic controllers or detect other planes around them in the New York City area's crowded airspace. The January 2008 emergency was far from the first such multiple electrical failure in what is known as the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, and it wasn't the last, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press. More than 50 episodes involving the planes, which first went into service more than two decades ago, have been reported. By David Porter.

AP Photos.


ALBANY, N.Y. — State Education Commissioner John King said Wednesday he has approved teacher evaluation plans for 10 school districts while providing feedback to more than 100 about the measures required under legislation passed earlier this year. King said he anticipates approving many more in coming weeks because of the approved model plans now posted online and technical assistance provided by the state Department of Education. By Michael Virtanen.


NEW YORK — A lawyer for the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to let him investigate why the government insists his imprisoned client is still a danger to America. Attorney Bernard Kleinman wants the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to let him gather facts from prosecutors about why Ramzi Yousef remains held under the strictest security measures 15 years after they were first imposed. The three-judge panel did not immediately rule. By Larry Neumeister.


ATLANTA — An outbreak of infected tattoos has led to an unlikely source: the ink. With the growing popularity of tattoos, health officials say they are seeing more cases of a nasty skin infection caused by a common bacteria traced to the ink. In the largest outbreak, 19 people in Rochester, N.Y., ended up with bubbly rashes on their new tattoos, researchers reported Wednesday. By Mike Stobbe.


ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has concluded that a child sex incident that predated his 27 years as an Onondaga County Family Court judge constitutes misconduct that disqualifies Bryan R. Hedges from ever again being a judge. The commission, in a report issued Wednesday, recommended permanent removal of Hedges, who resigned in April after learning he was under investigation for the 1972 incident. By Michael Virtanen.


ALBANY, N.Y. — Average scores by New York students on the ACT exam have generally held steady for the high school class of 2012 and top the national average. Scores also show modest progress in those who appear ready for college-level work in science. The report being released Wednesday shows 29 percent of the state's graduates took the ACT, traditionally a rival college entrance exam to the SAT. That's up slightly from a year earlier.

With BC-US--ACT Scores.


MONTPELIER, Vt. — A Long Island man convicted in 1995 of killing his wife while on vacation in Vermont was expected to be released from prison Wednesday, a day after a judge vacated his sentence and ordered a new trial because DNA from an unknown male was found on her body. John Grega, now 50, of Lake Grove, N.Y., had been serving a sentence of life without parole for the sexual assault and strangulation death of his wife Christine Grega while they were vacationing at a West Dover condominium in September 1994. By Dave Gram.


NEW YORK — The twin half brothers of an unarmed man who was killed by police were sentenced to prison Wednesday in a separate gun-gang case, rebuked by a judge who portrayed both cases as outgrowths of the prevalence of guns. Hodean and Kadean Graham got the maximum sentence for their conspiracy conviction: 1 1/3 to four years in prison. By Jennifer Peltz.


NEW YORK — The president of MTA's capital construction says steel plates covering an underground subway construction site failed during a blast that sent rocks into the street and damaged nearby buildings. Michael Horodniceanu said two 1,800-pound steel plates lifted into the air on Tuesday and allowed debris to come shooting into the street when workers blasted through rock underground.


NEW YORK — Supporters of a supermarket worker who died after delaying medical care for stomach pain that turned out to be cancer rallied Wednesday on the steps of City Hall, calling on legislators to pass a measure that would guarantee paid sick days for many of the city's workers. By Samantha Gross.



NEW YORK — Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan will give the benediction at the Republican National Convention on the night Mitt Romney accepts the presidential nomination. The cardinal's spokesman said the appearance was not an endorsement. Dolan is the New York archbishop and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.



NEW YORK — You know her by the sunglasses she always has with her. You know her from TV, and you might know her from the tabloids, too, but Nicole Richie isn't convinced any of it works for or against her when it comes to building her design career. Richie, it seems, is banking on a big fall season. That's when her limited-edition collection for Macy's contemporary department debuts, and she also stars in the ads. By Samantha Critchell.

AP Photos.


NEW YORK — Television productions that explored the children orphaned by Haiti's devastating earthquake and took viewers aboard a boat smuggling refugees from North Africa to the Italian island of Lampedusa are among the nominees for International Emmy awards in the current affairs and news categories.

— PEOPLE-NICOLE KIDMAN: Nicole Kidman to be honored by New York Film Festival

— BOOKS-ROWLING: Author Rowling schedules NYC appearance Oct. 16



NEW YORK — Grunts, shrieks and hoots. That's what fans can look forward to next week at the U.S. Open, where earplugs will be optional while watching some of the world's top players. On the women's side, the high-pitched shrieks get the most attention. The WTA in June announced plans to educate young players and coaches to keep the decibels down. There's also been talk about chair umpires using a hand-held "grunt-o-meter" — not unlike a radar gun on serves. By Melissa Murphy.

AP Photos.

—MSG EXHIBITIONS-NADAL: Sidelined for U.S. Open, Rafael Nadal to play NYC exhibition in March.

— METS-SANTANA: Mets' Santana not expected to pitch again in 2012

— CONCUSSION LAWSUITS-INSURANCE: NFL, insurers clash over concussion-suit defense


— JUDGE STRUCK: Queens DA won't charge NY cop in judge's claim

— SOBER SCHOOLS-NYC: NYC has 4 of Princeton Review's top sober schools

—LASER BEAM-AIRCRAFTS HIT: Police investigate two incidents of laser beams pointed at aircraft

—NYC APPLIED SCIENCES: Applications being accepted for new tech school

—HATE CRIME STABBING: Judge stands by decision to deny $40 million lawsuit in hate crime killing

—RAMADAN-SCATTERED BACON: Newspaper says anonymous caller claimed to have discarded spoiled bacon in park

—TEACHER ARREST-DWI: Teacher arrested on DWI and resisting arrest charges

—PEACOCK-NYC: Peacock strolls around NYC neighborhood of Kew Gardens, Queens

—ICE PICK ATTACKS: Police seek suspect who attacked two men with ice pick

—CAR INTO STORE: Driver in hospital after jumping curb, plowing into storefront

—SCHOOL-OLD CHEMICALS: Police detonate "highly explosive" old chemicals found at private school

—POLL-BIKE LANES: Poll finds most New Yorkers like bike lanes

—NYPD ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING: Police say suspect accidentally shot in leg

—BUILDING EXPLOSION: Second person dies after propane explosion

— BUS MONITOR-BULLYING: Bullied NY woman sets up anti-bullying foundation

— MINIMUM WAGE-POLL: Poll: Most NY voters back higher minimum wage

— FATAL ACCIDENT: Upstate NY woman, 94, dies after head-on crash

— METH LAB-BUST: Police charge 9 after meth lab is found in NY home

— MINIVAN-FATAL JUMP: Man dies after jumping out of moving vehicle in NY

— DOG SHOT-CHARGES: Cops: Upstate NY man fatally shot his family's dog

— I-81-FATAL CRASH: Canadian man dies in crash on northern NY highway

— MUSEUM SKUNKS: 2 skunks add whiff of wild to northern NY center

— RACCOON RABIES-BAIT: NY counties to bait raccoons to prevent rabies