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AROUND THE STATE

Severed-head scene draws HBO apology

NEW YORK (AP) -- HBO and producers of "Game of Thrones" apologized Thursday for a scene that depicted former President George W. Bush's severed head on a spike.

The scene first aired last year and was repeated on a DVD release in March. But in a particularly bad piece of timing for HBO, stories about it spread online this week, when the network premiered a documentary on Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush.

Bush's head was one of several on spikes in a scene where King Joffrey reveals to his fiancee the severed head of her father, whom he had judged disloyal.

The former president's features on the prosthetic head were partially obscured by long, scraggly hair, and the picture flashes by quickly. But in a commentary included with the DVD, producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff pointed out the Bush head.

The producers said they often order prosthetic body parts in bulk for "Game of Thrones" because it can be too expensive to make new ones. It wasn't until the scene was shot that someone pointed out the resemblance to Bush, they said.

Their DVD commentary mentioning the Bush head made its presence clear to any fans who might not have noticed it the first time around.

"We meant no disrespect to the former president and apologize if anything we said or did suggested otherwise," the producers said in a statement.

HBO said it has halted all further shipments of the DVD.

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Man indicted in blast killing six people

FORT EDWARD (AP) -- A man who narrowly escaped an explosion that leveled his eastern New York home and killed six people has been indicted on charges he tampered with a propane gas line, leading to the blast.

Steven McComsey, 33, of North Creek, was arraigned Thursday on six counts of second-degree manslaughter and two of reckless endangerment, Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said. McComsey isn't accused of intentionally causing the explosion at the home in Salem, but authorities said he was reckless and irresponsible.

Kortright declined to detail how the propane line was altered.

Investigators said a spark from a water pump switch ignited propane that had leaked and accumulated in the cellar, causing the explosion that killed six of the 11 people inside July 13. McComsey suffered minor injuries as he was leaving or standing outside when the building blew up. Several of his family members were among the dead.

McComsey didn't enter a plea at his arraignment.