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AROUND THE STATE

Autopsy request on day of wake angers family

NEW YORK (AP) -- City medical officials declined to sign off on a police officer's death certificate this week after a hospice doctor declared that his fatal stomach cancer was caused by World Trade Center toxins, then angered his family by asking to examine his body on the day of the wake.

George Wong, who retired in 2006, was 48 when he died on March 24. His wake was about to get under way Monday when his family received a call from the office of the city medical examiner asking for permission to do an autopsy.

Normally, the city doesn't investigate cancer deaths, but it got involved after health department workers noticed that a doctor who had provided end-of-life care for Wong, Lyla Correoso, had filled out paperwork attributing his cancer to toxic exposure in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Wong's brother told the New York Post that city officials retrieved the body from the funeral home at 10 p.m. Monday, after the wake ended.

The family refused permission for an autopsy, so authorities performed an external examination before releasing the body Tuesday.

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Traces of radiation tied to Japan detected

ALBANY (AP) -- New York officials said Wednesday that traces of radioactive iodine likely from the damaged nuclear power station in Japan have been found at monitoring stations in the state.

The state health department described the levels as minute and said they don't pose a threat to the public safety.

The department said the traces found in air and rainwater are consistent with findings in other states. Federal officials said seven states previously recorded slightly elevated levels of radiation believed to be from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, which was damaged during the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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Unauthorized photos of crime scenes banned

ALBANY (AP) -- An emergency worker who photographed a woman found beaten and strangled and later posted the image on his Facebook page has led Staten Island lawmakers to propose making it a felony for others to do the same.

Democratic and Republican legislators, joined by the mother of victim Caroline Wimmer, said Wednesday the posting compounded the pain and horror. They said that shouldn't happen to anyone else, and this should be a model for laws around the country. Convictions would mean one to four years in jail.

Mark Musarella responded to the emergency call after Wimmer's body was found in her apartment. He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty in December to misdemeanor official misconduct and disorderly conduct, a violation.

Calvin Lawson, 30, was convicted in May of second-degree murder in the case.

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Orchestra's season halted amid debt

SYRACUSE (AP) -- The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra's board of trustees has voted to suspend operations on Sunday amid financial woes.

There were more than 20 concerts remaining in the orchestra's season, including an April 27 concert by renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The orchestra's 18 full- and part-time staffers and 61 core and 14 contract musicians will be laid off Monday.

Interim Executive Director Paul Brooks said the orchestra fell short of its March fundraising goal of $445,000, failed to receive $1.3 million in concessions from the musicians for the current season and had $5.5 million debt.

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