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Vandals trample sand sculpture

NEW YORK (AP) -- Artist Matthew Long spent days carving 23 tons of sand into a sculpture of a tall ship to display on New York City's waterfront. But in seconds, it suffered the fate of sand castles everywhere.

Long, a 57-year-old sand sculptor from Staten Island, arrived Saturday morning at Manhattan's South Street Seaport where he found his creation partially demolished and covered in boot prints.

"It was devastating -- such a hard, sinking feeling after days of carving in the hot sun," he said.

"It took the wind out of my sails," he added.

He said he had worried about leaving his work sitting outside on a Friday night but hoped a guard patrolling the area would keep it safe.

Saturday, he was trying to reconstruct his vandalized creation -- a promotion for an exhibit at a nearby museum. His tall ship, surrounded by sandy renderings of lower Manhattan buildings, was coming to life again. "I know I'm going to pull it off," he said.


Park Service support sought for 9/1 1 site

NEW YORK (AP) -- The governors of New York and New Jersey are asking the National Park Service to take a role in funding and managing the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Gov. Chris Christie sent a letter Saturday to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar saying Park Service involvement at the site would ensure its long-term stability. The memorial is now run by a private foundation, led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Work on the memorial's unfinished, underground museum stalled last fall after a funding dispute with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site. Since then, several groups and agencies have raised concern about its long-term fiscal health.


Sharpton leads protest to end 'stop-and-frisk'

NEW YORK (AP) -- Civil rights leaders joined protesters Saturday at a Harlem rally against a police practice that has led to hundreds of thousands of innocent people being stopped and searched by officers.

The Rev. Al Sharpton led the gathering of 200 people at the headquarters of his National Action Network, a day ahead of a planned Father's Day march against the Police Department's "stop-and-frisk" program.

Critics say the NYPD's practice of stopping, questioning and searching people deemed suspicious is illegal and humiliating to thousands of law-abiding blacks and Hispanics. The NYPD last year stopped more than 630,000 people, mostly black and Hispanic men. About half were frisked, and only about 10 percent were arrested.

A federal judge in May found "overwhelming evidence" that the practice has led to thousands of illegal stops. He granted class-action status to a lawsuit against the practice.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly say the stop-and-frisk program keeps guns off New York streets and helps reduce crime.


Thousands ticketed in seat belt crackdown

ALBANY (AP) -- State police issued tickets to nearly 12,700 motorists during a recent two-week seat belt enforcement campaign.

State troopers joined about 400 local law enforcement agencies during the "Buckle Up New York" campaign that began May 21 and ran through June 3. The tickets were issued throughout the state.

Troopers issued a total of 12,692 tickets to motorists or passengers who weren't wearing seat belts. The tickets included more than 800 issued for child restraint violations.

During 2011, more than 300,000 tickets were issued statewide to motorists who violated the seat belt law. The total included about 80,000 tickets issued by state police.