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AROUND THE STATE

War hero counsels troops at opening of firing range

FORT DRUM (AP) -- An indoor firing range named after the first Native American to receive the Medal of Honor will allow troops here to practice their marksmanship skills year-round.

The $4 million Ernest Childers Indoor Firing Facility opened Friday afternoon, as the building's namesake gave the 10th Mountain Division troops a pep talk.

"Take pride in what you do and be the best in what you do," said retired Army Lt. Col. Ernest Childers, a Creek Indian born in Broken Arrow, Okla. "Kill or be killed. Kill them before they do it to you, if you go to war."

Childers received the nation's highest military honor for his heroism Sept. 22, 1943, in Oliveto, Italy, where he single-handedly captured an enemy mortar observer after killing two German snipers and the occupants of two machine gun nests.

The indoor facility will allow marksmanship practice to continue during the long winters at the northern New York site.

Restitution weighed for man accused in anthrax hoax

HALFMOON (AP) -- A prosecutor said restitution of at least $10,000 would be sought from a man accused in an anthrax hoax that triggered an emergency response.

"As the case progresses, I will meet with representatives from emergency services and try to obtain the exact amount of restitution," said Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III.

Mark A. Woelfersheim, 45, of Clifton Park, is to be arraigned next week on a charge of second-degree falsely reporting a hazardous incident, a felony carrying a sentence of one to four years in prison. He was arrested Thursday and released on $500 bail.

Woelfersheim said he left an envelope of sugar marked "Anthrax" at a friend's house as a prank, according to State Police. Firefighters and emergency workers were called to the scene.

Woelfersheim is among the first in the state to be charged with the crime since it was upgraded from a misdemeanor as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Final vote tally gives Green mayoral primary in N.Y. City

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mark Green now has the numbers to seal his status as winner of the Democratic primary for mayor.

One day after challenger Fernando Ferrer conceded for the second time, the Board of Elections issued its final vote count from the Oct. 11 runoff election. Green received 402,706 votes and Ferrer earned 384,136 votes, said board spokeswoman Naomi Bernstein.

There remains only the technicality of the Board of Elections certification of those numbers, hardly in doubt because the board already ordered voting machines set up with Green on the Democratic line.

Green is opposed by Republican Michael Bloomberg in the Nov. 6 general election to choose a successor to Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Bloomberg was endorsed Saturday by State Sen. Olga Mendez, a Democrat from East Harlem.

Ferrer, who initially conceded the night of the runoff, had considered a legal challenge to the results when Green's lead narrowed in the Board of Elections' tally. But Friday, he endorsed Green to create a unified Democratic front.

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