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A Long Island man has been arrested for allegedly collecting thousands of dollars for an anti-violence organization and then using most of the money for personal expenses.

Michael Cashman, 47, of Westbury, was charged with scheming to defraud, according to Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon. He was to be arraigned Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead.

In 1994, in the wake of school shootings, Cashman set up an organization called Safety and Firearms Education, or SAFE; it also went by the name Safe Schools Organization.

In summer 2000, Cashman began soliciting funds for a black-tie gala which he said would feature singer Michael Bolton. The event was planned for November 2000, then postponed until April, then canceled.

Cashman deposited $16,875 in the SAFE bank account but allegedly spent less than $1,000 on the planned gala. Instead, the district attorney said, Cashman used SAFE money for personal expenses, including travel for himself and his girlfriend in Illinois, a car for her and a ring.

Limits on testimony sought
in woman's murder retrial

SYRACUSE (AP) -- Defense attorneys for a woman accused of murdering her estranged husband by giving him antifreeze-laced coffee have asked a judge to limit the testimony in her upcoming retrial.

Mitzi Badger, 38, of Baldwinsville, will go on trial beginning Oct. 4 for second-degree murder in the March 1999 death of Timothy Badger. Her first trial ended with a hung jury July 10.

Her attorneys have asked visiting Lewis County Judge Joseph McGuire to prohibit Dr. Debra Ough from testifying the victim told her during an examination that he had drunk some very sweet coffee at Mitzi Badger's home two days before he became ill at work.

Defense lawyer Kathy Karlovitz also asked McGuire to disallow the victim's girlfriend from testifying that Timothy Badger complained about having a bad taste in his mouth when he returned from his wife's home two days before he was stricken.

McGuire reserved decision.

Ex-head of Urban League
barred from charity work

ALBANY (AP) -- State Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer has banned the former head of the Urban League of Northeastern New York from any policy or fiscal role with a charity for 10 years following what Spitzer said was mismanagement of the Albany-based nonprofit agency.

Aaron Dare consented to Spitzer's "assurance of discontinuance," ending the case without admitting that he violated any laws, according to state records released Thursday.

Dare resigned a year ago this week from the Urban League.

"My office has determined that some remedy to address the clearest breach of duty -- the mismanagement and misconduct of Mr. Dare -- is necessary," Spitzer said Thursday.

The Urban League under Dare financed operations in part with $450,000 in federal and state taxes withheld from employees' paychecks. That action resulted in a $525,830 federal lien, including interest and penalties, against the Urban League of Northeastern New York in February 2000.

Woman's gift makes up
loss in theft of donations

SYRACUSE (AP) -- Gerald Malarkey lost some of his faith in his countrymen this week when a thief -- who draped an American flag over his license plate to aid his getaway -- stole a disaster donation jar containing $600 from the convenience store Malarkey manages.

Thursday, that faith was fully restored when an unknown woman walked into the Newark Valley Xtra Mart, handed Malarkey an envelope and said, "I hope this helps with your loss," and left. Inside was $700 in cash.

"When we were robbed, I was so angry that someone would do something so low, so terrible," Malarkey said from his small-town store, 15 miles northwest of Binghamton.

"But after seeing the worst of humanity, today I experienced the best. I've never seen this woman before. She just walked in off the street. What a beautiful person," Malarkey said.

Tioga County Undersheriff Ted Wido added to the good news, saying deputies had a suspect and obtained an arrest warrant.

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