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FOOTBRIDGE TO CONNECT MANHATTAN, HUDSON RIVER

A footbridge that will allow pedestrians to get from midtown Manhattan to the Hudson River without dodging traffic on the busy West Side Highway is reportedly scheduled to open this month.

The bridge, which was planned in the late 1990s, is an $11 million state project coordinated with the Hudson River Park Trust and the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space museum, the New York Times reported Saturday.

It is expected to open this month, a year behind schedule because of construction problems, the Times said.

The bridge begins at a construction site at 46th Street on the east side of the highway and provides access to an entrance to the Intrepid museum and a section of Hudson River Park.

Pedestrians currently must cross the busy highway using a regular crosswalk -- "a death-defying feat," according to Col. Tom Tyrell, the museum's director.

"If you are an able-bodied jogger you can probably make it, but if you are holding the hand of a 3-year-old, you are in trouble," he told the Times.

Ruling lets parent decide
comatose child's fate

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Manhattan judge has ruled that a parent should not need to ask a court's permission to take a child in a vegetative state off life support, unless there is a conflict of interest in the case.

The ruling, reported in Saturday's New York Times, was issued last week by State Supreme Court Judge Doris Ling-Cohan in the case of a 3-year-old girl who had a seizure on New Year's Eve and never regained consciousness.

A doctor said the girl, identified in court papers as A.B., had no hope of recovery, and her mother, identified as C.D., sued for the right to decide to take her off a respirator, the Times said.

Ling-Cohan agreed, and issued a verbal order in April. The child was taken off the respirator and died April 17, the Times said.

"C.D. believes that there is nothing peaceful about her daughter's condition," Ling-Cohan said in her written decision, issued Thursday. "C.D.'s grief is so severe that she is unable to sleep at night and cannot return to the home she once shared with her daughter."

The judge wrote, "There can be no state interest great enough to compel A.B. to remain subjected to this extraordinary life-sustaining measure."

New York, unlike other states, does not have a law that describes the rights of parents to make decisions about ending care for terminally ill children, and such a law has repeatedly failed to pass in the Legislature.

Man ticketed for using
dummy in fast lane

HOLTSVILLE (AP) -- A Long Island man has been ticketed for illegally using a high-occupancy vehicle lane after a police officer noticed the "passenger" in his car was actually a life-size store advertisement inside a stuffed sweat suit, Suffolk County police said.

Michael Rona, 43, of Shoreham, was ticketed for disobeying a posted traffic control device after he was stopped by Officer Richard Klages, who noticed his passenger looked a little funny, police said.

Klages pulled Rona over at Exit 62 on the Long Island Expressway in Holtsville, and found his suspicions were correct. The store advertisement was perfectly folded into the passenger seat and outfitted with the sweat suit, police said.

After finding the phony passenger, Klages called a supervisor to the scene to verify what he had found, police said. The fake passenger was wearing a seat belt.

According to police, Rona had no comment when asked how long he had used the ploy.

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