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AROUND THE STATE

AFTER 28-YEAR ABSENCE, A NEW MS. SUBWAYS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ms. Subways rides again.

For the first time in 28 years, the city's 220-mile underground rail network has a human face, that of Caroline Sanchez-Bernat. The 29-year-old actress edged out three other contenders Monday for the title of Ms. Subways, a promotion revived for the transit system's centennial celebration this week.

Sanchez-Bernat was crowned Ms. Subways with a tiara and sash at Ellen's Stardust Diner, owned by Ellen Hart Strum, a 1959 Miss Subways.

The new winner's photo will be posted in the subway, as were those of the 300-plus women who held the title between 1941 and 1976.

Wednesday, the new Ms. Subways will take part in a 100th anniversary re-enactment of the New York subway's inaugural trip, from City Hall to Harlem. She will appear in transit system advertising and gets to ride free for a year.

After the promotion was announced by the MTA and the New York Post this summer, Sanchez-Bernat said she submitted her picture "on a total whim" at the urging of friends.

165-YEAR-OLD PARK TO RECEIVE MORE UPDATES

NEW YORK (AP) -- Union Square Park, which has undergone a series of renovations recently after years of neglect, will undergo more improvements starting next autumn, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Monday.

The $14 million redesign, which will focus on the north side of the 165-year-old park, will expand the park's two existing playgrounds into a single playground; introduce a year-round restaurant to replace a seasonal outdoor restaurant; and refurbish the plaza that holds the Union Square farmers' market.

The farmers' market will remain open during construction.

The project will be the final phase of the reconstruction of the park. The southern portion of the park was rebuilt in 1986, and the southwest portion was renovated in 2002.

WORLD'S OLDEST MAN, 113, LOOKING FOR RED SOX WIN

SYRACUSE (AP) -- In 113 years, Fred Hale Sr. has seen a lot. There's one thing he'd like to see again.

Hale, documented as the world's oldest man, is a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan.

Hale already has seen the Red Sox become the only team in baseball postseason history to overcome an 0-3 start to advance. Boston is up 2-0 on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

On game nights, Hale sits with his 84-year-old son, Fred Jr., to watch the first few innings of each World Series game before going to bed. Both live at the Nottingham, a senior residence center in Syracuse.

The senior Hale will turn 114 on Dec. 1. He is recognized as the world's oldest man by the Gerontology Research Group at the UCLA School of Medicine, a group that documents people over 100.

Hale was born in New Sharon, Maine. He retired as a railway postal clerk in 1957.

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