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Driver going to prison for fatal sidewalk crash

NEW YORK (AP) -- A van driver who downed drinks before plowing onto a crowded sidewalk near the Empire State Building and killing a pregnant woman on her wedding anniversary was sentenced Monday to seven to 15 years in prison for the rush hour carnage.

Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Gregory Carro imposed the maximum possible sentence for Keston Brown's conviction on manslaughter and other charges, telling Brown he had no one but himself to blame for the 2009 crash.

Brown, 29, had acknowledged drinking but pinned the crash on mechanical problems with the van. He told the judge Monday he was deeply sorry for the wreck, which killed Ysemny Ramos and her unborn child and injured a friend walking with her.

"It sickens me" to think of what happened, Brown said. "I beat myself up every day.

"I never wanted to hurt anyone," he added as about a dozen of Ramos' family members and friends watched him with tears and ire.


Court allows release of teacher ratings

NEW YORK (AP) -- A judge ruled Monday that New York City can release performance ratings for 12,000 teachers based on a statistical analysis of student test scores.

Justice Cynthia Kern of Manhattan State Supreme Court denied a petition by the United Federation of Teachers to keep the teachers' names private, saying that releasing the ratings with their names attached would not be arbitrary or capricious under the law.

Union President Michael Mulgrew said it would appeal and would ask the Appellate Division to halt any release of the teacher ratings pending its review of the decision. Jesse Levine, a lawyer for the city, said officials would await the appeals court's ruling.

The union's lawyer, Charles Moerdler, had argued that releasing the data would be an invasion of privacy and would unfairly subject teachers to public ridicule. But Kern said the courts "have repeatedly held that release of job-performance-related information, even negative information such as that involving misconduct, does not constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy."


Car chased by police hits pole, killing two

ITHACA (AP) -- Authorities said Monday that two people died and two others were injured when their car crashed on a Central New York road after police tried unsuccessfully to pull over the driver.

The Tompkins County Sheriff's Office said the police began a brief chase Sunday when the car left the city and entered the town of Ithaca.

Deputies told the Ithaca Journal the car then hit a utility pole on Route 13. Killed were driver Corey L. Henderson, 25, of Ithaca, and passenger Tkeya Harris, 18, of Newfield.

Authorities said the injured were taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pa. One underwent surgery, but his condition wasn't known. The other was treated and released.


Locomotive fire delays Amtrak train

SCHENECTADY (AP) -- An Amtrak train heading from Chicago to Boston and New York City was delayed for about three hours east of Schenectady when the second of two locomotives caught fire.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said there were no injuries to the 287 passengers or crew on the combined No. 448 and No. 48 train, which was stopped when the fire broke out around 4 p.m. Sunday.

The train also would have made a scheduled stop in Buffalo prior to the onset of the fire.

All passengers stayed onboard.

He said the train resumed its trip after firefighters finished their work.

The cause of the fire wasn't immediately apparent. Amtrak officials were investigating.

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