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AROUND THE STATE

> BRENTWOOD

Mysterious blast destroys vacant house

BRENTWOOD (AP) -- A powerful explosion has destroyed a vacant house on New York's Long Island.

No one was seriously injured in the Easter morning blast, but 21 people from nearby homes have been taken to hospitals for evaluation.

The force of the explosion was strong enough to knock pictures off walls in houses blocks away from the blast site in Brentwood, in Suffolk County about 40 miles east of New York City.

Neighbor John Teuschler told Newsday that the explosion sounded like a bomb. He said it blew out the front windows of his house, ripped his front door off its hinges and caused everything on his walls to fall down.

About 100 firefighters from surrounding communities responded to the 10:45 a.m. explosion. Authorities are investigating the cause.

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> SYRACUSE

Cambodia holds doctor on child sex charge

SYRACUSE (AP) -- A New York doctor who traveled to Cambodia to volunteer at a children's hospital is being held in a Phnom Penh prison on a charge he had sex with a 14-year-old boy.

The Post-Standard reports Sunday that Dr. James D'Agostino was arrested Feb. 16 and charged in the Phnom Penh municipal court with purchasing child prostitution.

A judge says the 56-year-old D'Agostino could be held up to six months while the court reviews the case before deciding if it goes to trial.

If convicted, D'Agostino could face seven to 15 years in prison under Cambodian law.

Pek Vannak, a lawyer representing D'Agostino, says the doctor denies the charges.

D'Agostino is a pediatric emergency doctor at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. He went to Cambodia in January 2009.

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> FRANKLIN SQUARE

Man tosses, hurts dog after tiff with owner

FRANKLIN SQUARE (AP) -- A man is accused of throwing his neighbor's dog about ten feet into the middle of a road, injuring the animal's tail and causing stitches from a recent surgery to tear apart.

The 1-year-old dachshund named Coco was taken to a veterinarian for treatment.

Police say the 56-year-old suspect hurled the dog into the street in Franklin Square on Saturday after getting into an argument with Coco's owner.

His neighbor was walking Coco when police say the suspect threatened to sic his own dog on them if they got on his property.

The neighbors argued, and police say the suspect grabbed Coco's leash and threw the dog into the road.

The man was arrested on charges including overdriving and torturing animals. He was scheduled to be arraigned Sunday.

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