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AROUND THE STATE

Dealer settles lawsuit over Gershwin letters

NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York memorabilia dealer has settled a lawsuit that sought to block him from selling 135 letters written by lyricist Ira Gershwin.

The Daily News reported that the settlement between memorabilia dealer Gary Zimet and the daughter of Gershwin's biographer was filed Friday in a Manhattan court.

The biographer's daughter, Carla Jablonski, had asked the court to block Zimet from selling the letters to the Library of Congress for $325,000.

Jablonski said in her lawsuit that the letters must have been stolen from her apartment. She hadn't accused Zimet of the theft.

Her father, Edward Jablonski, wrote several books on Gershwin including the 1958 biography "The Gershwin Years: George and Ira."

After he died, the family donated most of his Gershwin archive to the Library of Congress.

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Friend says boy, 15, confessed to fatal fire

ROCHESTER (AP) -- A friend of a teen charged with setting a deadly fire outside Rochester that killed the teen's father and two brothers has testified that the suspect admitted igniting the blaze with a can of gasoline, then talked about killing more people.

Michael Pilato, 15, was arrested after the December fire at his Webster home.

At a court hearing Friday, family friend Nathaniel Blood testified that the teen told him he lit the fire because he was angry at his father for calling him a "disgrace."

The Democrat and Chronicle reported that Blood also testified that Pilato told him as they drove to Rochester General Hospital that he felt like killing "all the people" there.

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Shooting victim tied to controversial firm

NEW YORK (AP) -- A man killed during a business meeting in New York City was a top official in a Florida dietary supplement company that has been the target of thousands of consumer complaints.

Brian Weiss died Thursday in a mysterious shooting at a hotel near Kennedy Airport. He was meeting with five other men in the lobby, when one of them stood up and shot him five times. The shooter, Gary Zalevsky, then killed himself.

The New York Times reported that Weiss was an officer at FWM Laboratories, a company once ordered by Florida's attorney general to return $34 million it had billed people for unwanted health supplements.

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Student gets diploma days after deadly crash

FARMINGDALE (AP) -- An aviation student who was the only survivor of a small plane crash in Pennsylvania picked up a diploma Saturday at a graduation ceremony at Farmingdale State College and expressed his undiminished passion for flying.

Evan Kisseloff, 21, of Oceanside, was able to attend the commencement just three days after walking away from the deadly wreck, which claimed the lives of two other students in the aviation program.

The victims -- pilot Patrick Sheridan, 34, and passenger Casey Falconer, 19 -- were memorialized during the ceremony at the college's Long Island campus.

"I'm going to remember their love for flying," he told reporters afterward. "This field is based on passion. It's not based on wanting to make money. This stuff is based on passion, especially becoming a pilot."

The trio had just taken off from an airport in Scranton, Pa., for a flight to Long Island's Republic Airport on Wednesday night when the plane stalled.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.