Fiber-optics maker Corning Inc., eager to attract high-tech workers to its small-town headquarters, managed to persuade voters on Tuesday to accept a $60 million gift to revamp its school system.
The unusual bequest will cover the local-taxpayer cost of rehabilitating several aging, overcrowded neighborhood schools and erecting a big high school.
Thousands of residents were so unhappy with the corporate-backed school building proposal that they tried to vote it down.
But in the end, voters approved the plan by a margin of 58 percent to 42 percent, or 6,077 votes in favor to 4,383 against, according to unofficial returns provided by the school district. Fifty-two percent of the 20,123 people eligible to vote cast ballots.
Criticism of a $76 million school district plan that banks on the company's deep pockets had been swelling this spring. On May 15, three School Board incumbents were unseated by Thomas O'Brien and two others united against the plan.
Missing for 22 years,
boy officially declared dead
NEW YORK (AP) -- Etan Patz was declared dead Tuesday, 22 years after the 6-year-old boy disappeared while walking two blocks to a bus stop.
Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge Eve Preminger ruled on the petition of Stanley K. Patz, the boy's father, to have his missing son officially declared dead.
Roger Olsen, a court-appointed guardian, said investigators had carried out the most exhaustive search for Etan -- who disappeared on May 25, 1979 -- since the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. He also pointed out that a convicted child molester, Jose Ramos, currently serving a 20-year sentence in Pennsylvania, had allegedly once claimed responsibility for Etan Patz's death.
Brian O'Dwyer, Patz's lawyer, said he plans to file a civil lawsuit against Ramos for the wrongful death of the child within a few weeks, by which time he expects to have received Preminger's written decision on the declaration.
Stuart GraBois, a former U.S. attorney, said searches on several continents through several law enforcement agencies had failed to find any indication that Etan was still alive.
Prosecutor seeks death
for convicted terrorist
NEW YORK (AP) -- A man convicted in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania should be put to death because he is an admitted killer who remains a threat, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia told a jury that the defendant, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, had confessed that, if not for his arrest, he would have joined in other terrorist attacks. Once in custody, he and his cellmate stabbed a prison guard in the eye, the prosecutor added.
In opening statements at a death penalty proceeding, Garcia called Mohamed, 27, of Tanzania, "the killer who said he would kill again -- and he almost did."
Jurors have found Mohamed guilty of mass murder. They now must decide if he should be executed.
Mohamed was accused of helping build and deliver a bomb that killed 11 people in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Aug. 7, 1998. A simultaneous bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, killed 213 people.
to Holocaust survivors
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thousands of Holocaust survivors were sent payments of about $4,400 each Tuesday, the first compensation to those who were forced by Germany to work as slave and forced laborers during World War II.
Payments were sent from New York to about 10,000 Jewish survivors in 25 countries by the Jewish Claims Conference. At the same time, checks were sent Tuesday to 10,000 non-Jewish survivors in the Czech Republic, and payments to survivors in Poland were expected to be made June 28.
". . . No survivors will get rich, and no amount of money can ever compensate," said Greg Schneider, conference assistant director.