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The Yankees are Major League Baseball champions three years running, and they're No. 1 in the hearts of New York State motorists, too.

The license plate featuring the Yankees logo is the most popular specialty plate of the 246 offered by the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

A New York Post survey showed that 4,863 motorists in the state have Yankee plates, and 2,000 others have plates commemorating the team's 2000 World Series championship.

The second-most-popular plate is the one that can be purchased by environment-minded New Yorkers. The so-called Blue Bird plate is on 4,853 cars. Proceeds from the sale of that plate go to the state's Environmental Protection Fund.

The specialty plates generally cost motorists an extra $25 a year. They generate about $2 million annually for the state and appear to be getting more popular, according to DMV spokesman Joe Picchi.

Veterans seek return
to War Memorial name

ROCHESTER (AP) -- Some veterans are marshaling their forces in an effort rename a downtown sports arena.

The arena was named the Rochester Community War Memorial when it opened in 1955. But it was renamed Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial in 1998. Blue Cross & Blue Shield pays $195,000 a year for naming rights to the arena.

Mitchell Kaidy, president of the local chapter of the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, said that all too often the media leave out the "War Memorial" portion of the name. That's an insult to the war dead the arena was supposed to honor, he said.

Assemblyman David R. Koon, D-Fairport, said obtaining state money for naming rights could be a "tough sell" since Rochester is trying to land state funding for other local projects.

Feelings may be soothed somewhat when a new veterans memorial is erected inside the building.

Bone found at building site
tied to immigrant cemetery

NEW YORK (AP) -- A sliver of human bone found at a city-owned parking lot on Staten Island offers new evidence of a 19th-century cemetery for quarantined immigrants -- and may jeopardize construction of a $40 million court complex on the site.

Though officials have long suspected the cemetery was there, it wasn't until an inch-and-a-half-long bone fragment was found Jan. 18 during soil testing that they knew for sure. Forensic tests confirmed the fragment was most likely from a female shinbone, more than 100 years old.

"That changed everything," Jack D. Homkow, an environmental manager for the state Dormitory Authority, said last week.

The Staten Island complex would be part of a $2.3 billion plan to replace aging and overcrowded court facilities in New York.

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