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AROUND THE STATE

'Spider-Man' actor eager to return to cast

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stunt actor who fell 30 feet while playing Spider-Man on Broadway is walking again, and his father said Saturday that he can't wait to return to the role despite injuries that have confined him to the intensive care unit.

Christopher Tierney walked Friday for the first time since his fall during Monday's performance of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" and spent Christmas with his mother and brother in the hospital while recovering from back surgery, Tim Tierney said.

The $65 million production -- the most expensive ever on Broadway -- has been plagued by technical glitches, money woes and three other injuries -- a concussion and two broken wrists.

Tim Tierney said he believes his son will regain close to full mobility after recovering from a roster of injuries that included a hairline skull fracture, four broken ribs, a bruised lung, internal bleeding and cracks in three lumbar vertebrae.

Christopher Tierney will remain in the intensive care unit until at least Monday, then stay in New York City for rehabilitation.

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Subway riders lose inspirational messages

NEW YORK (AP) -- For years, riders packing New York subways could catch some relief -- by reading inspiring literature on placards in train cars.

No more.

Transit officials have replaced the words of Kafka, Galileo and other great thinkers with service announcements.

Jeremy Soffin, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman, says the agency "needs to communicate with customers about what we've done in the past year to improve the system."

The slogan "Improving, Nonstop" has displaced the so-called Train of Thought quotes sprinkled on inner car walls. Riders are now reading about the agency's improved new technology, equipment and infrastructure.

The service cuts and this week's fare increase -- 25 cents, to $2.50 for a single-ride ticket -- are not mentioned.