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AROUND THE STATE

Federal judge bars anti-smoking ads

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal judge rejected on Wednesday New York City's campaign to scare people into quitting smoking with grisly advertisements near where they are sold, saying the effort is laudable but pre-empted by federal law.

Judge Jed Rakoff said "even merchants of morbidity are entitled to the full protection of the law" as he blocked on Wednesday a city campaign that was to require the ads to be posted wherever tobacco is sold.

The judge said the advertisements included images of a brain damaged by a stroke, a decaying tooth in gums and a diseased lung.

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Police say woman gave rum to two teens

WHITE PLAINS (AP) -- Police said Wednesday a New York woman shared two bottles of rum with two teenagers for helping her shovel snow after the blizzard.

White Plains public safety police commissioner David Chong said the boys came home in a "highly intoxicated state" on Monday and their parents called police.

Police charged Silvia Deleon, 41, with unlawfully dealing with a minor, a misdemeanor. The boys are 17 and 18. New York's legal drinking age is 21.

Chong said Deleon shared a bottle of rum with them after they shoveled her driveway. The boys then offered to dig her car out. Chong said she drove them to a liquor store and bought another rum bottle, which they consumed together.

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Crash that killed two blamed on high speed

PARIS, N.Y. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania couple was killed in a crash that authorities said was caused by driving too fast on a snow-covered upstate New York road.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office said Richard Holmes, 52, of West Chester, Pa., was traveling with his wife and two daughters when he lost control of his 2002 Honda Civic, skidded into the oncoming lane and collided with a 1995 Buick Park Avenue early Tuesday afternoon.

Holmes and his wife Kristin, 49, were pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities told the Utica Observer-Dispatch that both were wearing seat belts.

Their daughters -- age 12 and 15 -- are with relatives after initially being taken to a local hospital. The driver of the other car had chest, back and wrist pain.

The accident happened in Paris, about 40 miles east of Syracuse.

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Cuomo shifts site for 1st major speech

ALBANY (AP) -- Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo has shifted the venue for his first major policy speech from the State Assembly chamber to the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, roughly doubling the capacity with about 1,000 more seats.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said requests for invitations to the Jan. 5 State of the State Address have exceeded the Assembly capacity.

Cuomo said he wants more of the public to attend. General admission tickets will be distributed through a lottery process. Details were not immediately disclosed.

The address, where governors often lay out plans for the coming year, are usually attended by legislators, lobbyists and reporters.

Cuomo said Wednesday that Democrat Silver and Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos will also speak.

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