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AROUND THE STATE

New phase begins in tunneling project

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City transit officials are beginning a new phase of a tunneling project to connect Long Island to Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority held a ceremony Friday dedicating two tunnel boring machines that will create four tunnels under Queens. The tunnels will be completed in October 2012 and will form one link of the so-called East Side Access project.

When the project is completed in 2016, the Long Island Rail Road will offer service to either Grand Central or Penn Station.

All LIRR trains into Manhattan currently travel to Penn Station on the West Side. Long Islanders who work on the East Side have to take the subway and double back to get to their destinations.

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Plan seeks to destroy Asian clams in lake

BOLTON LANDING (AP) -- A group of community organizations and scientists is asking regulators for permission to dredge up and smother a colony of Asian clams found in the Adirondacks' Lake George.

They say it's important to move quickly against the invasive mollusks before warming water allows them to go through another prolific life cycle, with each clam producing as many as 2,000 to 4,000 offspring.

The plan calls for suctioning 6 inches of sediment from a 2 1/2 -acre patch of lake bottom and covering another 3 1/4 acres with PVC matting to cut off oxygen to the clams found last year at the south end of the 32-mile long lake.

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Obama aide reaffirms civilian terror trials

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser is reiterating the administration's commitment to civilian trials for terrorism suspects.

John Brennan said federal courts remain an important and necessary tool to prosecute detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This month, Obama ended a two-year moratorium on military trials for terrorism suspects.

Brennan spoke Friday at a seminar on law enforcement and intelligence gathering sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, named for a former U.S. Supreme Court justice. Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee, also spoke.

Brennan said Obama remains committed to eventually closing Guantanamo, but that goal appears more distant.

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