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Two computer workers tied to Madoff fraud

NEW YORK (AP) -- Two former employees accused of helping fraudulent financier Bernard Madoff program an old computer to generate false records were indicted Wednesday.

The indictment accuses computer programmers Jerome O'Hara of Malverne and George Perez of East Brunswick, N.J., of conspiracy, falsifying records of a broker dealer and falsifying records of an investment adviser.

Messages left with their lawyers for comment were not immediately returned. Each remain free on $1 million bail.

Madoff, 71, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after admitting his multidecade fraud cost thousands of investors billions of dollars.


Taxis to alert fares to higher rates

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City taxis are being equipped with a warning system that lets passengers know the driver has activated a higher rate.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission announced the changes Wednesday after recently discovering thousands of drivers illegally charging the wrong rate.

Cabbies were secretly using a rate designated for trips to the suburbs. It is double the city-limits rate.

Officials said more than 5,100 taxis now have the warning on the screen in the back seat. The rest of the 13,200-vehicle fleet will get it over the next several days.


Crews start demolition
of building near I-81

SYRACUSE (AP) -- A demolition crew Wednesday began tearing down a Syracuse building whose deteriorating condition closed a northbound stretch of Interstate 81.

A one-mile section of the highway's northbound lanes has been closed since Feb. 26 after the former brewery partially collapsed. About 50,000 motorists have had to take detours ever since.

Officials say the northbound lanes could reopen later this week.


State bans shad fishing on the Hudson River

ALBANY (AP) -- State regulators have banned commercial and recreational shad fishing in the Hudson River and set new restrictions on shad fishing in the Delaware River to help the species recover from a steep decline in population.

The new regulations effective Wednesday also prohibit the sale of any American shad caught in New York State.

The new restrictions on the Delaware reduce the daily creel limit for shad from six to three and prohibit commercial shad fishing there.

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