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Bartender almost loses finger to angry patron

GLENS FALLS -- Angered that he was being kicked out a bar for having sex there, a 38-year-old Fort Ann man almost bit off a bartender's finger Sunday morning, police said.

The bizarre incident unfolded at 4 a.m. in the Daily Double at 59 South St., said Glens Falls Police Sgt. Michelle Arnold.

There, Ernest Vannier allegedly dug his teeth into a male bartender's pinky, breaking bone and nearly severing the finger entirely, Arnold said.

At the time of the alleged attack, the bartender and several other employees were escorting Vannier out of the bar after he and a woman were allegedly caught engaging in a sex act in the bar's designated smoking room.

The bartender, whose name was not released, had the finger surgically reattached in Glens Falls Hospital, Arnold said.

Vannier was charged with second-degree assault, a felony that upon conviction could put him prison for up to seven years. He was arraigned Sunday morning in Glens Falls City Court and sent to Warren County Jail after not posting $5,000 bail.

-- McClatchy Newspapers


Wife of unstrung pilot asks for family privacy

NEW YORK (AP) -- The wife of the JetBlue pilot whose frightening behavior forced an emergency landing says the family is focusing on his recovery and will not be giving interviews.

Connye Osbon released her statement Sunday through the airline, asking the media to respect the family's privacy.

Pilot Clayton Osbon became increasingly incoherent on a Tuesday flight from New York to Las Vegas. Co-pilot Jason Dowd locked him out of the cockpit, and he was restrained by passengers. The plane landed in Texas.

Connye Osbon thanks the crew and passengers for the "effective yet compassionate handling of the situation." She says the family believed that Osbon wasn't intentionally trying to be violent.


Deal keeps 2,797 acres for recreational use

ALBANY (AP) -- New York State will keep nearly 3,000 acres of forest land open to recreation under a deal struck with a timber company.

The agreement reached last week transfers 2,797 acres of wildlife habitat in the Deer River corridor that touches parts of Franklin, Herkimer, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Most of the land is within Adirondack Park; about 650 acres are outside the park and will become a new state forest.

Leasing of recreational camps and activities including hunting, fishing, hiking and camping will be permitted on the former Champion lands.

In return, timber company Heartwood Forestland keeps the right to permanently lease up to 220 campsites on 110,000 acres of state easement land. Under the original terms of the 1999 easement, the camps were to be removed by 2014.


Inmate visitors are due for photo ID program

ALBANY (AP) -- Prison officials plan to start photographing visitors to state inmates in a pilot program this fall at a facility in northern New York and possibly a few others.

Those pictures will be filed in the Corrections Department's central visitor identification system.

Regulations to establish the practice in all 60 facilities housing 56,000 prisoners are expected to follow.

Separately, the department issued final regulations last week requiring that adult visitors present a photo identification starting Oct. 1 at all state prisons.

Signed identification documents without photographs have been acceptable.