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AROUND THE STATE

Obama 'HOPE' artist, AP settle copyright flap

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Associated Press and the artist who created the Barack Obama "HOPE" image announced Wednesday they have agreed to settle their copyright infringement claims against each other and will work together again on projects that use the news agency's pictures.

Both sides disclosed the agreement in a joint release, ending a fight that began after Shepard Fairey's art based on a 2006 AP photograph became an iconic image in Obama's presidential campaign. The red, cream and light-blue image shows a determined-looking Obama gazing upward, with the caption "HOPE."

Fairey sued the AP in 2009, seeking a court declaration that he did not violate AP's copyrights with the Obama image. The AP countersued, saying he did violate its copyrights through his uncredited, uncompensated use of its picture.

Neither side surrenders its view of the legal issues surrounding the dispute, the release said. Fairey and the AP have agreed to collaborate on a series of images that Fairey will create based on AP photos.

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School bus hits girl, pushes her down street

SYRACUSE (AP) -- Authorities said Wednesday a 14-year-old Syracuse girl is recovering after she was struck by a school bus and pushed several hundred feet down a street before the driver was flagged down by another motorist.

Police told Syracuse media outlets that Martinique Richardson wasn't run over by the bus and suffered only a minor leg injury after she was struck Tuesday morning and pushed along the pavement for about 300 feet or more.

Officials said the bus driver felt something wrong with the front wheel and thought the tire had gone flat. Police said the driver stopped after another motorist alerted him that a girl was trapped in front of the bus.

Officers said the bus was moving slowly when it hit the girl. Police are trying to determine whether the teen had fallen down in front of the bus.

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Old church destroyed in fire; man charged

WALTON (AP) -- Authorities have charged a 31-year-old man with starting a fire that destroyed a historic church in a rural Delaware County village.

Officials said a witness reported seeing Michael Allen of Walton running away from the burning First Baptist Church in his hometown early Tuesday. When firefighters and police arrived, they found the church fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters from several volunteer companies in the area 75 miles southwest of Albany had the blaze under control around 5 a.m. No one was injured.

Police Chief Brian Laauser said Allen was charged with arson. He was being held on $30,000 cash bail.

Officials said the church was built in the late 19th century.

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Archdiocese will close 27 Catholic schools

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Archdiocese of New York confirmed Wednesday that 27 Catholic schools that had received heavy subsidies due to declining enrollment will close at the end of the current academic year.

The archdiocese on its website said the closures of 26 elementary schools and one high school will affect roughly 3,700 students.

The schools include three in Manhattan, six in the Bronx and four on Staten Island. Nine schools are in Westchester and Putnam counties, and the others are in Orange and Ulster counties.

The closings will save the archdiocese approximately $10 million.

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