State news in brief

Occupant kills man during burglary

TRUMANSBURG (AP) — Authorities say an occupant of a central New York home killed a man during a burglary.

The Tompkins County sheriff’s office says police responded around 1:45 a.m. Saturday to a report of a possible stabbing in the village of Trumansburg, near Cayuga Lake 45 miles southwest of Syracuse.

When deputies arrived, they found 35-year-old Patrick Mutter dying from apparent stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say Mutter and two other people forced their way into the home and were confronted by the occupant, who fought with Mutter.

The other two suspects — a 32-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman, both from Trumansburg — were charged with burglary. The man is free on bail while the woman remains in jail Monday on $25,000 cash bail.

Cuomo: $2B for clean water projects

ALBANY (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to spend $2 billion statewide for clean water projects.

The proposal is part of the Democratic governor’s State of the State package, which is being unveiled around New York this week.

The money would go toward upgrades for municipal drinking water systems, improvements of municipal wastewater systems and drinking water protection projects.

Cuomo says the money will protect generations of New York residents and help communities grow.

Assemblyman takes aim at drunk pilots

ALBANY (AP) — A state lawmaker from Brooklyn plans to propose legislation that would require pilots departing from New York airports to submit to a breathalyzer test before takeoff.

Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, a Democrat, tells the New York Daily News that the life and safety of pilots and the “flying public” must be protected.

Recent reports of pilots flying drunk spurred Ortiz to draft his bill.

An American Airlines pilot failed two sobriety tests before a flight from Detroit to Philadelphia and was charged with being drunk in the cockpit. An Alaska Airlines pilot was accused of being drunk when he completed a recent trip from California to Oregon and back.

Woman set to  make NASA history

SYRACUSE (AP) — NASA has selected a central New York woman for a mission to space that will make her the first African-American woman to work as a crew member on the International Space Station.

Syracuse native Jeanette Epps will serve as a flight engineer for Expeditions 56 and 57, the first of which is scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan in May 2018.

The Corcoran High School graduate has been working toward traveling to space since she became one of just nine people chosen for NASA’s 20th astronaut class from a pool of 3,500 applicants in 2009.

Epps earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Le Moyne College in 1992 and completed a master’s of science in 1994. She received her doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland in 2000.

Police looking for hit-and-run car

COLONIE (AP) — Police in New York’s capital region are searching for a damaged sedan in connection with a hit-and-run crash that resulted in the death of a pedestrian in Colonie.

The death was first reported just before 5 a.m. Sunday when a driver notified police that he struck an unidentified man on Watervliet-Shaker Road.

Police initially believed that only one motorist was involved in the accident. An early statement said the victim had recently left a local bar and was lying in the middle of the road when he was hit.

But an investigation of the crash scene turned up car parts belonging to a different vehicle than the driver who reported the collision.

Police now say a Mazda 6 struck the victim before the first motorist and then fled the scene.

Cash trail leads to $110K robbery arrest

ROCHESTER  (AP) — Authorities say they’ve made an arrest in a six-figure bank robbery in New York, thanks in part to the trail of cash the suspect left behind.

Federal prosecutors say Joseph Peeples III has been charged with robbing a Chase Bank branch in Rochester on Tuesday.

Officials say he walked out with nearly $110,000. They say Peeples then took a cab to a bus station, leaving nearly $10,000 in a jacket he left in the taxi and dumping $43,000 in the garbage in the bus station restroom where he changed clothes.

Peeples bought a bus ticket to New York City but got off in Binghamton, where he was arrested at a hotel. Officials say they found $50,000 in his hotel room.

It couldn’t be determined if he has a lawyer.

By Patricia Older

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