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DEATHS OF TWO WORKERS STIRS REVIEW OF SUBWAY SAFETY

Officials were reviewing safety procedures for maintenance work on the city's subway tracks Sunday after two workers were struck and killed by trains.

Roger Toussaint, president of Local 100, Transport Workers Union, said the union has complained repeatedly about inadequate warning procedures for track workers about oncoming trains. Saturday, he demanded an emergency meeting with New York City Transit officials about the deaths.

"What we hope to achieve out of this is no more deaths," Toussaint said. "We've had four fatalities in the last 18 months. We can't take this anymore."

Signal maintainer Joy Antony was struck and killed Thursday about 200 feet from a station on Manhattan's Upper West Side while checking the box that controls the signal lights.

Friday night, 57-year-old Kurien Baby, who washed, cleaned and replaced lights on the platform, was struck and killed in a lower Manhattan tunnel, authorities said.

The deaths came as the transit agency and union were negotiating a new contract. The workers' current contract expires Dec. 15.

Explosives found at home lead to evacuation

DELMAR (AP) -- About 100 homes were evacuated, and several roads were closed for about four hours, after a woman found high-explosive devices at her home, police said.

The woman was cleaning her garage at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday when she found a suspicious box.

The State Police Bomb Squad determined the box contained Class A explosives, sometimes used in the construction industry, according to the Bethlehem Police Department.

"It could have caused major destruction to the adjacent homes and broken windows in the area we evacuated," Bethlehem police Sgt. Thomas Heffernan said.

Heffernan said police were not releasing the woman's name because they believe she may have been the intended target.

"Somebody placed it there, and we're trying to determine who and for what purpose," he said. The woman lives with relatives and has been there for many years.

The explosives were removed safely, and no one was injured, police said.

Prosecutor defends probe in '89 Central Park attack

NEW YORK (AP) -- A key prosecutor in the infamous 1989 attack on a Central Park jogger says she has no regrets about the investigation that led to the convictions of five youths -- despite another man's recent confession.

"I don't think there's a question in the minds of anyone present during the interrogation process that these five men were participants" in the rape and beating, former prosecutor Linda Fairstein told the New Yorker.

Lawyers want a judge to overturn the convictions of the five men because another man, Matias Reyes, has confessed to the attack. DNA evidence supports the confession.

The randomness and brutality of the attack made national headlines, and the investigation stoked racial tension in New York. The victim was a 28-year-old white woman, and all five convicts are black. Fairstein left the Manhattan district attorney's office in February after 30 years. She was chief of the sex-crimes unit at the time of the attack.

State Supreme Court Justice Charles Tejada has said he will announce on Feb. 6 whether to throw out the convictions.

Pier development plan includes sports park

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Hudson River Park Trust is considering four proposals for development of Pier 40 in Manhattan, including one that would construct several superstores and a 15-acre sports park.

At least two big-box stores would take up 450,000 square feet on the lowest level of the Greenwich Village pier, while the sports park would occupy its top level, under a proposal submitted by private developer Forest City Ratner, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The plans do not identify the retailers that would lease the space.

Hudson River Park, a public benefit corporation, is building a five-mile park. Pier 40 is expected to provide the park's largest green space.

A second proposal calls for the construction of an aquarium at the pier. A third plan would create Federal Express' first maritime operation, and the fourth proposal would remove the pier's roof and walls.

In 2000, community leaders in Greenwich Village rebuffed a plan by Costco, the discount warehouse chain, to open a store there.

A decision is due in February.

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