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AROUND THE STATE

Lost bear caught, returned to the wild

POUGHKEEPSIE (AP) -- A young black bear is headed back to the wilderness after wandering through the city streets of Poughkeepsie.

Workers with the state Department of Environmental Conservation shot the 200-pound bear with a tranquilizer dart Wednesday morning as it rested high in a pine tree in the Hudson River city.

The bear fell out of the tree and into a net.

The bear was expected to be released on state land in northeastern Dutchess County.

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Village's green law bans plastic bags

SOUTHAMPTON (AP) -- A Long Island village has passed a law prohibiting retailers from using nonbiodegradable bags.

The Southampton Village board voted, 5-0, for the ban.

Merchants have six months to start using paper or reusable bags.

Violators face a $1,000 fine and up to 14 days in jail.

The nonprofit Citizens Campaign for the Environment said Southampton is the first New York State municipality to implement a ban on plastic bags.

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Law on sex offenders has national impact

ALBANY (AP) -- A New York law is credited with removing 24,000 sex offenders from Internet social networking sites nationwide.

The law proposed by then-Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo requires sex offenders registered with the state to provide all their screen names and e-mail addresses, with regular updates.

The information is sent to two dozen social networking sites, which then block the offenders.

Cuomo, now governor, said the law passed by the Legislature in 2008 is one of the most effective means to protect children from sex offenders in the nation.

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