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ROSIE BUYS HOME IN N.Y.

Rosie O'Donnell's on-again, off-again return to Rockland County is on again.

The comedian, who lived in Nyack from 1996 to 1999, has purchased a home on North Midland Avenue in Upper Nyack, her publicist, Lois Smith, said Monday. She said she didn't know the purchase price, but the home was listed for sale at $766,000.

The publicist said the house would be used mostly on weekends. O'Donnell, who has a New York City-based television talk show, owns an apartment in Manhattan.

O'Donnell, who had become a familiar sight in Nyack shops, moved to Greenwich, Conn., looking for better home security. She caused an uproar there when a bodyguard hired to protect her oldest son applied for a concealed-weapon permit. O'Donnell is a gun control advocate, and National Rifle Association officials accused her of hypocrisy.

Last month, O'Donnell came close to buying a $1.95 million house in Valley Cottage, but the deal fell through.

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