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AROUND THE STATE

Sex abuse story spurs creation of hotline

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Bronx District Attorney's Office on Tuesday established a special hotline to report suspected sexual abuse at a prestigious New York City prep school.

District Attorney Robert Johnson encouraged anyone with information about possible inappropriate behavior by staff members at Horace Mann School to come forward.

The move came after a story published in the New York Times Magazine last week said the elite school was plagued in the 1980s and early 1990s by a series of teachers who sexually abused students.

Johnson said Tuesday his office received a copy of the school's policy on sexual abuse and was researching laws that may allow the office to prosecute cases, should anyone come forward. Under state law, only teachers and educational staff at public schools are required to report abusive acts.

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Health Board favors ban on large drinks

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City's Board of Health signaled strong support Tuesday for the mayor's plan to fight obesity by banning the sale of large, sugary beverages at local restaurants.

The proposal by Mayor Michael Bloomberg would require most licensed food service establishments in the city to limit serving high-calorie drinks like colas, lemonade and punch to containers no larger than 16 ounces.

People would be free to buy a second drink, but restaurants couldn't serve the 20-ounce cups popular at fast-food outlets.

The Health Board voted unanimously Tuesday to begin a public comment period on the new rule. A formal vote on approval will come later, but several board members spoke strongly in favor of the plan.

A spokesman for the city's restaurant association said the rule would infringe on people's right to buy a legal product.

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Ovid man swimming from boat drowns

ROMULUS (AP) -- A 20-year-old man drowned while boating with his family on one of the Finger Lakes, authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies in Seneca County told local media outlets that Emanuel Swarey, of Ovid, went swimming without a life vest at about 6 p.m. Monday near a state boat launch in the Town of Romulus, on Cayuga Lake's western shore 45 miles southeast of Syracuse.

Witnesses told deputies that Swarey had trouble getting back into the boat and disappeared under the water.

A police dive team recovered his body about two hours later in 20 feet of water about 200 feet from shore.

Authorities said alcohol didn't appear to have played a role in the drowning.