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AROUND THE STATE

MUSEUM OF MODERN ART UNVEILS RENOVATED SPACE

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Museum of Modern Art on Monday showed off its dramatic $425 million renovation: a spacious and airy glass structure that nearly doubles the size of its old home in midtown Manhattan.

"We are able to see the collection in a new light," MoMA Chairman Ronald Lauder said. "Art was not meant to be seen jam-packed in a room. When you see the collection now, it glows."

Claude Monet's 1920 impressionist masterpiece "Water Lilies" is presented on an entire wall. Most artworks are arranged in chronological order; pop artist Andy Warhol shares one space with American photorealist Chuck Close.

Hundreds of reporters and photographers from around the world crowded into MoMA for the press preview, which came 2 1/2 half years after the museum moved to a temporary home in Queens while the renovations were made.

The new museum, featuring higher ceilings, more natural light and reconfigurable exhibition spaces, will open to the public Saturday.

JUST-PROMOTED SOLDIER KILLED IN IRAQ ATTACK

WHITE LAKE (AP) -- A soldier from the mid-Hudson Valley was killed Saturday by a mortar round in Baghdad, his mother-in-law said.

Army Sgt. Catalin Dima, 31, called his wife, Florika, earlier in the day to tell her he had been promoted to sergeant.

Maria Zgrda told the Times Herald-Record of Middletown that Dima was proud of the promotion and that he "loved" being in the Army.

Dima immigrated from Romania eight years ago and became an American citizen last month. He worked as a truck driver before joining the Army three years ago and served in Iraq since last Christmas.

Dima and his wife recently bought a house in Smallwood, 80 miles northwest of New York City.

INNOCENCE PROJECT SEEKS TESTS ON CONVICTED KILLER

ROCHESTER (AP) -- A national group that tries to free wrongly convicted inmates through DNA testing asked a judge Monday to re-examine a 1988 slaying for semen or other possibly overlooked biological evidence that might exonerate the confessed killer.

Frank Sterling, 39, who is serving 25 years to life in prison for the bludgeoning death of Viola Manville, maintains the real culprit was a teenager, Mark Christie, who pleaded guilty nearly a decade later to strangling a 4-year-old neighbor in 1994.

"I'm not saying Frank Sterling is innocent . . . but DNA testing has brought about a revolution" in deciding "whether or not the confession is truthful," Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project, argued at a hearing.

Friday, after years of legal tussles, prosecutors agreed to allow DNA testing of a single strand of hair found clutched in Manville's left hand. The hair, which didn't belong to her, was light-colored in contrast with Sterling's jet-black hair.

STATE'S CANAL SYSTEM SHUTS DOWN FOR WINTER

ALBANY (AP) -- The New York State Canal System closed for the winter Monday.

As previously announced, the 57 locks and 16 lift bridges for recreational and commercial vessels were not available after 5 p.m. The 524-mile inland water system stretches from Albany to Buffalo, passing through 25 counties and close to 200 villages and towns.

The canal system is scheduled to reopen May 1.

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