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AROUND THE STATE

N.Y. City schools chancellor lays off 70 employees

NEW YORK (AP) -- Layoff notices, effective Jan. 2, have gone out to 70 employees of the city Department of Education's central administration.

A published report said they were the first of 550 planned layoffs designed to help trim the city's $1 billion budget gap by $200 million.

"This is a very difficult task for any organization, and I am deeply disappointed that we have to take these steps," Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said in an e-mail to his central staff Friday.

The jobs being eliminated reportedly include budget and policy analysts as well as human resources and informational technology.

The New York Times reported that 480 more jobs could be eliminated by January.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, facing a $1 billion budget deficit this fiscal year, has called for the city's budget to be reduced by $850 million.

The Department of Sanitation is the only other agency that has laid off employees so far. It dismissed 103 employees last month.

Former Mayor Koch treated for swollen ankle, released

NEW YORK (AP) -- Former Mayor Ed Koch was discharged from a hospital Saturday after being treated for a painful, swollen ankle.

"He's doing fine," said Katherine Tsalos, a spokeswoman for New York Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University.

Koch, 77, was admitted Thursday. He said Friday his right ankle had been bothering him for at least three days. He first saw an orthopedist after his ankle had ballooned, preventing him from fitting his foot in a shoe.

"They still aren't sure what was causing it, whether it's an infection or gout, so they're sending me home with drugs for both," he said.

Koch said he was looking forward to returning to work Monday at his law firm.

Woman wins lawsuit for suffering abuse on bus

SCHENECTADY (AP) -- A jury has awarded $1.5 million to a woman who sued the Capital District Transportation Authority, accusing a city bus driver of sexually abusing her on his bus.

The award ended the second trial in a 1997 lawsuit that claimed 61-year-old John Taylor Humphrey sexually abused a woman on Oct. 15, 1996, in downtown Schenectady. The woman was his only passenger.

The jury in the first trial in April found no reason to believe the abuse ever took place. But the judge ordered a new trial, saying the verdict was "contrary to the weight of the credible evidence."

During the two-week civil trial, jurors learned that Humphrey's personnel file included other sexual abuse complaints.

Humphrey retired in December 1996 and pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse in June 1997. He also admitted to misdemeanor sexual abuse in two unrelated incidents in 1995 at a deli near the bus depot and was sentenced to six months in jail and five years' probation.

The transportation authority plans to appeal Thursday's verdict.

Trooper who shot suspect to death won't be charged

RIVERHEAD (AP) -- A Suffolk County grand jury has decided not to indict a state trooper who fatally shot a suspect in a drug raid in May.

Trooper Daniel Brown fatally shot John Rasanen, 28, of Aquebogue, during a dawn raid of his house. Police said Rasanen was shot after charging at Brown, who fired his gun once.

The Suffolk County district attorney said the grand jury, after four days of testimony, decided no criminal charges were warranted.

Daniel Rodgers, a lawyer for Rasanen's family, said he was disappointed with the decision. Rasanen's family is pursuing a wrongful-death suit against State Police and the county police, who participated in the raid.

Rasanen, a suspected midlevel drug dealer, had been under investigation for six months.

Police said that during the raid they recovered an unloaded gun from Rasanen's room as well as four ounces of cocaine and $5,000 in cash.

Nigerian woman gives birth to quintuplets in N.Y. City

NEW YORK (AP) -- A 28-year-old Nigerian woman delivered, and delivered, and delivered, and delivered, and delivered last week, becoming the mother of quintuplets.

The four girls, a boy and their mother, Omolola Ososami, were in stable condition Saturday in Kings County Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Gwen Green.

Ososami delivered the quintuplets by Caesarean section Tuesday. They weighed about 2 pounds each.

Ososami, a horticulturist, found out she was carrying quintuplets when she was two months pregnant, through a sonogram.

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