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AROUND THE STATE

TEARY CHAUFFEUR RELATES FINDING AMMON'S BODY

RIVERHEAD (AP) -- A chauffeur who found the lifeless body of Theodore Ammon in a bedroom of his East Hampton mansion wiped away tears Monday after being shown crime scene photos at the trial of the man accused of killing the millionaire investment banker.

Milton Macias testified about how he accompanied one of Ammon's business associates to East Hampton to look for Ammon after the banker failed to show up for work Oct. 22, 2001. They searched the house, calling, "Ted, Ted," but nobody answered, Macias told Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Janet Albertson. The search ended when they found Ammon lying naked and lifeless in his master bedroom.

Macias testified during the second day of testimony in the trial of Daniel Pelosi, who was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ammon, 52, who ran a private equity firm and was chairman of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Prosecutors say Pelosi, whose girlfriend was in the midst of a divorce from Ammon, killed the banker because he believed she was getting a paltry settlement.

STATE DISCOUNTS PERIL IN 3 RARE-DISEASE DEATHS

ALBANY (AP) -- State health officials said Monday an investigation found nothing unusual about the number of people who died of a rare, brain-wasting disorder in the Hudson Valley in the past year.

The state Health Department confirmed three people in two counties tested positive for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare, brain-destroying disorder that affects 1 in a million people worldwide.

"Based on our findings, at this point, we see no public health threat to the community," said William Van Slyke, a department spokesman.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease gained national attention in recent years because it has been linked to eating beef tainted with mad cow disease. State health officials said none of the confirmed cases is mad cow-related.

The state investigation comes after reports of five suspected deaths from the disease in the mid-Hudson Valley. Two confirmed deaths occurred in Ulster County in 2003 and 2004. The third death happened in Dutchess County in 2004.

One of the suspected deaths in Ulster County was ruled out after further tests.

POLICE PROBE OUTBREAK OF SWASTIKA VANDALISM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Police on Monday were investigating a rash of vandalism involving swastikas spray-painted at various sites in Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.

About a dozen locations, including several synagogues, were targeted. No arrests were made.

The vandalism was first reported early Monday by a medical facility in Brooklyn where someone used white spray paint to put swastikas on a door and a window. During a canvass of the surrounding area, police found the same symbol on synagogues, Jewish schools, cars and a funeral home in southern sections of Brooklyn and Queens.

Investigators with the Police Department's Hate Crime Task Force believe swastikas discovered last week at at least three other sites could be the work of the same vandal. Among the spots hit was a police car.

BOYFRIEND OF WOMAN, 19, ACCUSED OF HER MURDER

ALBANY (AP) -- The boyfriend of a young mother whose skeletal remains were found last week was charged with murder Monday.

Paul Colbert, 26, was arraigned on a second-degree murder count in the death of Cassandra Kindlon. The 19-year-old mother of two boys was last seen May 22 leaving the city home she shared with Colbert.

Police had previously named Colbert a suspect in Kindlon's disappearance. He has refused to cooperate with police.

Colbert has been jailed since June on unrelated charges in an alleged stalking case involving his ex-wife.

Kindlon's skeletal remains were found Thursday in a heavily wooded area.

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