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AROUND THE STATE

Sharpton working on book, capital drive

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Rev. Al Sharpton is getting 2011 off to a quick start.

The civil rights activist announced Sunday that he will be working with author Karen Hunter on a book. It's going to be a look at his life and the state of the country. The working title is "Mountain Highs and Valley Lows" and additional details are scheduled to be announced later this month.

Sharpton is also kicking off a $20 million capital drive to build a permanent headquarters and resource center in Harlem for his National Action Network.

The capital drive comes a couple of years after Sharpton and his organization were facing financial challenges. Since 2008, Sharpton has been working to clear up delinquent tax bills related to his personal business interests and his Harlem civil rights group.

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Stabbing death spurs manslaughter charge

SYRACUSE (AP) -- Police have charged a 35-year-old man with first-degree manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of another man after a fight at a party.

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says the two men were at a party early Saturday when the victim, 21-year-old Daequan Kerce, tried to stop an intoxicated Malcolm Dame from fighting with a woman on the street outside. Fowler said Dame started fighting with Kerce, stabbed him in the neck, and ran off, chased by two other men. Kerce died at University Hospital at around 2:30 a.m. Dame was arrested and taken to the Justice Center jail. Police didn't know if he had a lawyer Sunday.

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Authorities to probe propane gas leak

SHIRLEY (AP) -- Officials on Long Island say they'll be conducting an investigation into a propane gas leak that forced the evacuation of 900 homes.

Joe Williams, commissioner of Suffolk County's Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services Department, says the county and the Town of Brookhaven will be looking at how the tank holding the propane was installed and if there were any defects.

The leak in the 30,000-gallon underground tank was fixed at around 3 p.m. Saturday, about 14 hours after a propane delivery driver discovered it.

Stretches of the Sunrise Highway, Montauk Highway and some other major thoroughfares were closed in the area, and the Long Island Rail Road replaced trains with buses in the area for about 11 hours.

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