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AROUND THE STATE

Houghton to seek ninth term in bid to save 31st District

CORNING (AP) -- Rep. Amo Houghton announced Saturday that he will seek a ninth term in the House, a move designed to help keep his district from disappearing as congressional lines are redrawn when New York loses two of its 31 House seats in next year's elections.

"What we have here is worth fighting for and saving," he told about 100 supporters crowded into Donna's Restaurant, where he has launched each of his campaigns since 1986.

"There are people who want to come in and carve up the district, and I'm fighting to stop that from happening."

Houghton, R-Corning, former chief executive of Corning Inc., has launched an aggressive lobbying campaign with the State Legislature to keep his 31st District intact.

There is also a bipartisan petition drive under way to save the 31st District.

Threat keeps plane to Cairo at airport for 10 hours

NEW YORK (AP) -- An airplane destined for Cairo was held at Kennedy International Airport for 10 hours after a threat to the flight was reported to authorities.

EgyptAir Flight 989 from Montreal arrived at Kennedy at about 9 p.m. Friday, said Pasquale DiFulco, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The flight was scheduled to depart for Cairo at 11 p.m. but faced delays unrelated to the threat, he said.

DiFulco said that after passengers had boarded the plane at about 11:30 p.m., Port Authority police received a call from Egypt-Air officials informing them of a threat to the plane. DiFulco said all 475 passengers and 20 crew members were evacuated. Cargo was also removed from the plane.

The plane and its cargo were searched manually, mechanically and by a canine explosives unit and found to be secure, DiFulco said.

DiFulco said he did not know the specific nature of the threat.

He said the flight departed at 9 a.m. Saturday without incident.

Giuliani forms commission on city charter changes

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has formed a Charter Revision Commission to consider rewriting election rules and making other changes in the structure of city government.

Other changes to be reviewed by the 15-member panel include merging the Buildings Department with the Fire Department and making the Administration for Children's Services and the Office of Emergency Management permanent city agencies.

In announcing the commission Friday, the mayor said he thought it should also consider nonpartisan elections.

Michael Bloomberg, a former Democrat, called for nonpartisan elections after announcing his Republican candidacy for mayor two weeks ago.

Giuliani appointed Randy Mastro, a former deputy mayor and longtime confidant, as chairman of the new commission, which has until early September to consider changes before deciding what, if anything, to put on the November ballot.

Colgate U. president resigns unexpectedly

HAMILTON (AP) -- After only two years on the job, the president of Colgate University has resigned unexpectedly.

President Charles Karelis did not explain his reason for leaving or indicate whether he had secured a new position, said James Leach, Karelis' assistant. The resignation was not decided or discussed at the last meeting of the university board of trustees, Leach said.

The two previous Colgate presidents -- Neil R. Grabois and George Langdon -- each held the position for 10 years.

Jane Pinchon, provost and dean of the faculty, will serve as interim president until a successor is named. Leach said the national search for a new president might take up to nine months.

Karelis, who was appointed Colgate's 14th president in July 1999, previously had spent 14 years heading the national Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education in Washington, D.C.

A prepared statement said he left the university to pursue a career in educational policy-making in Washington but did not elaborate.

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