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AROUND THE STATE

Three jailed for protesting Vieques bombing are freed

NEW YORK (AP) -- Three city politicians who were imprisoned for their protest of U.S. bombing exercises in Puerto Rico were freed today after 37 days in jail.

Assemblyman Jose Rivera, 65; Bronx County Democratic Party Chairman Roberto Ramirez, 51; and New York City Councilman Adolfo Carrion Jr. walked out of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn shortly before 9 a.m.

Their fellow prisoner, the Rev. Al Sharpton, must remain in prison until Aug. 15.

Rivera, Ramirez and Carrion were sentenced to 40 days for trespassing on Navy property in May in a protest aimed at stopping bombing on the island of Vieques. They were released three days early for good behavior, Carrion's spokesman said.

Sharpton was given a 90-day sentence because of a prior arrest for civil disobedience.

Sharpton, Rivera and Ramirez participated in a monthlong hunger strike, ingesting no solid food, while in detention. Each lost about 25 pounds.

Hofstra student will face first-degree murder charge

NEW YORK (AP) -- A grand jury on Long Island has indicted a Hofstra University student on a first-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of a fellow student, making him eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors said Thursday.

Shaun Alexander, 23, who is being held without bail in the death of sophomore Max Kolb, also was charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping and attempted sexual abuse, Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon said in a statement.

Kolb, 20, of Newton, Mass., had been missing for three weeks before his body was found May 15, buried in the back yard of a house Alexander had rented.

Prosecutors said Alexander told them he lured Kolb to a motel April 25 to talk privately, made a sexual advance, was rejected and stabbed Kolb in a rage.

Congressional Gold Medal will honor late cardinal

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Bush has been to Slovenia, Sweden and Spain. Next month, he will make it to New York.

Bush will present the Congressional Gold Medal to the family of the late Cardinal John O'Connor at St. Patrick's Cathedral on July 10, according to the office of Rep. Vito Fossella.

The visit will be Bush's first to New York since being elected president. The state is a Democratic stronghold where Democrat Al Gore easily beat Bush in November.

House Chaplain David Coughlin will perform the invocation, and Senate Chaplain Lloyd Ogilve will offer the benediction. There are tentative plans to have the U.S. Navy Band perform and for the Navy color guard to present the colors.

Fossella, a Staten Island Republican, and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., sponsored legislation last year to award the Congressional Gold Medal to O'Connor, the longtime leader of the New York Archdiocese's 2.4 million Catholics. O'Connor died later that year.

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