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AROUND THE STATE

> MANHATTAN

'Spider-Man' passes safety inspections

NEW YORK (AP) -- "Spider-Man" has survived the scrutiny of a state safety inspector and has been cleared for further leaps through the holiday weekend.

State Labor Department spokesman Leo Rosales said Friday that a new set of "very strict safety and security measures were properly in place when the show resumed Thursday night.

The most expensive Broadway show ever had to cancel two performances earlier this week after a scary 30-foot fall by a stunt actor brought an abrupt end to one show.

Rosales said the state still is investigating the accident and when the probe will be completed remained unclear.

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> ALBANY

Paterson pardons 24 to avert deportations

ALBANY (AP) -- Gov. David A. Paterson has issued pardons to 24 immigrants with prior criminal convictions, to prevent their deportation.

In a statement Friday, Paterson said his administration has reviewed more than 1,100 pardon applications and found that federal immigration laws often are "excessively harsh and in need of modernization."

Paterson said the 24 people he had pardoned committed offenses in the past but had paid their debt to society and are now making positive contributions to their communities.

In May, Paterson established the Immigration Pardon Panel to collect information and help deserving individuals avoid deportation.

He said the effort was designed to counter aspects of federal immigration laws that may result in inflexible and unjust decisions to deport legal immigrants.

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> MANHATTAN

Muslim cleric's tour to promote center

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Muslim cleric who hopes to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site in Manhattan is planning to tour the nation to promote the plan.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will first speak Jan. 15 in Detroit, the city with North America's largest Muslim population.

Zaheer Uddin, head of New York's Islamic Leadership Council, told the Associated Press on Friday that he thinks addressing misunderstandings between Muslims and others is a good idea for Rauf.

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has endorsed the project at the location two blocks from ground zero.

Opponents call it offensive to families of 9/1 1 victims.

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> ROCHESTER

Arrest follows theft of brass railings

ROCHESTER (AP) -- A man has been arrested on a felony possession charge after ornate brass railings that adorned the exterior of a government building in Rochester were ripped out at night and carted away.

The railings stolen from the historic Monroe County Office Building were valued at $64,000. They were taken over at least two nights in mid-

November and early December despite the structure's prominent downtown location.

Sheriff's investigators said Horace Watson, 59, was arrested Wednesday on charges of criminal possession of stolen property, a felony.

Many of the 8-foot-long railings that guarded the recesses of five windows had already been recovered in a scrap yard in Macedon, 20 miles east of Rochester.

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