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The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

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A federal judge has denied a request by ESPN to dismiss a libel suit filed by the wife of former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.

 Laurie Fine accused the sports cable television network of libel and slander in its coverage of child-molesting allegations against her husband. The lawsuit, filed in May 2012, claims the network's coverage was grossly irresponsible. State and federal investigators dropped charges against Fine.

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Bills owner Ralph Wilson's death has raised the sense of urgency for a newly formed stadium search committee to address the franchise's long-term needs to remain viable in Buffalo.

That was the consensus voiced by members of what's called the "New Stadium Work Group,'' which met for the first time Tuesday, a week after Wilson died.

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said members "understand the seriousness of the process.''

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz called the meeting productive, but cautioned it could take years before making recommendations.

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New York officials are warning about tax collection scams. 

Scammers are calling people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service or the state Tax Department and demanding immediate payments.

Tax officials say New Yorkers should be careful about providing personal information or making payments in response to telephone calls.

Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

SCRIBA, N.Y. (AP) _ The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the direct transfer of operating licenses for five commercial nuclear power reactors, including three in upstate New York. 

The licenses for the Nine Mile Point and Ginna nuclear power plants on Lake Ontario, along with two at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, will be transferred from Constellation Energy to Exelon. 

The license approval also includes three spent fuel storage installations and allows Exelon to integrate the operations of the facilities into its existing nuclear fleet. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino says he will pull his children from New York's Common Core tests this week, claiming the new academic standards are turning children into guinea pigs.

The Westchester County executive on Monday released a video on his campaign website saying he and his wife are protesting Common Core by opting out of the exams this week for their children in third and fifth grade. 

Astorino calls the standards "Cuomo's Common Core'' and says New York's parents and teachers will lose local control over classrooms.

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  ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A key lawmaker is pitching a plan to legalize, license and tax Internet poker in New York state. 

The legislation from Republican Sen. John Bonacic would amend state gambling laws to license up to 10 operators to offer online poker games, specifically including Texas Hold `em. 

Operators would pay a $10 million licensing fee and a tax of 15 percent of their gross revenues. 

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A senior official says Cuomo administration plans to expand college classes for New York's prison inmates will be privately funded and not financed by taxpayers. 

The administration official, who declined to be identified publicly under the terms of a background briefing with reporters, says Monday it's not part of the proposed state budget, noting lawmakers' opposition to spending state money. 

However, he says nonprofits and foundations are interested. 

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ State regulators selecting new casino operators in upstate New York say they will weigh local support from community groups and businesses. 

The state Gaming Commission's Facility Location Board put out requests for applications Monday for casinos in the Albany area, the Catskills and the Southern Tier. Applications need to be in by June. 

Regulators say they will seek exhaustive information from applicants on their finances, background and site plans. They also said they will consider a broad array of local opinion. 

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  ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Researchers at the State University at Albany report developing a fast, accurate method for crime scene investigators to detect and recover gunshot residue from a crime scene or suspect. 

According to the university, researchers Igor Lednev and Justin Bueno have developed an approach that combines tape lifting and infrared spectroscopic imaging. 

When a gun is fired, particles from the bullet are discharged onto the shooter's hands and clothes, nearby furniture, and other surfaces. 

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP)  Days after biology major Gillian Carll arrived at Stony Brook University last fall, she encountered a young woman on a bench outside her dormitory who said she had nothing to eat.

``I was just like, `Oh, my gosh!' I didn't know kids could afford to go here but couldn't have mac and cheese or something like that,'' said the Livonia, N.Y., freshman. ``It was kind of unbelievable.''

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