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Rep. Owens to pay cost of Taiwan trip

ALBANY (AP) -- Rep. Bill Owens, D-Watertown, said Friday he'll pay back more than $22,000 to the sponsor of a trip he and his wife took to Taiwan.

The news organization ProPublica reported that Owens' December trip was organized by a lobbying firm founded by former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y. Members of Congress can't take officially connected travel organized by lobbyists.

Owens got approval for the trip, which he said was related to job creation, and listed the Chinese Culture University as the sponsor.

He said he didn't know that contact with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office affected the trip's permissibility. D'Amato's firm lobbies for that office.


Man accused of trading drugs for sex with child

HICKSVILLE (AP) -- A New York man faces solicitation and drug charges after police said he went to a Hicksville motel seeking to trade painkillers for sex with a 12-year-old.

What the suspect didn't know is that police were aware of the scheme. There never was a child waiting for him.

Instead, Walter Hurst, 57, of Bay Shore was arrested at the motel Thursday night.

Nassau County police said they learned of Hurst during a narcotics investigation when he allegedly revealed his interest in sex with children.


Vandals torch car at Audi dealership

LYNBROOK (AP) -- Police on Long Island said Friday that two vandals torched a car at an Audi dealership and fled.

It took 50 firefighters from five fire trucks to extinguish the blaze early Friday in Lynbrook. Nassau County police said two men entered the dealership around midnight Thursday and broke into a car.

They said the men left but then came back an hour later and set the same car on fire. They fled in a getaway car driven by a third person.

No injuries were reported, and no other cars were damaged.