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Republican Michael Bloomberg released a proposal to improve public health, and Democrat Mark Green secured the backing of former Rep. Floyd H. Flake on Sunday as the mayoral candidates headed into the final week of campaigning.

Bloomberg announced a "blueprint to improve public health," including ideas for meeting future bioterrorist threats.

Improving communications among federal and local law enforcement agencies, faster large-scale testing and a joint bioterrorism task force were among the ideas Bloomberg mentioned.

Meanwhile, Green said Flake "has always stood for hope and opportunity for everyone in our city."

"Mark has a lifetime record of fighting for all of New York's communities," said Flake, a minister and former Democratic congressman who has endorsed Republicans including Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in the past.

Victim of youth pack attack
starts on road to recovery

SYRACUSE (AP) -- Steven Bailey is learning how to live again. It won't happen overnight.

Bailey, now 21, suffered major brain trauma five weeks ago when a group of about eight youths attacked him with lead pipes and two-by-fours, allegedly after Bailey and two friends refused to buy the teens cigarettes at a convenience store.

Bailey, who nearly died, underwent three emergency brain surgeries at University Hospital. Recently, Bailey was taken by ambulance back home to Connecticut to begin months of rehabilitation.

Nurses and physical therapists at Gaylord Hospital in Wallingford, Conn., are helping him learn the motions that go into standing and sitting, and will eventually help him start to walk unassisted.

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