New York in brief

Polar bear, 29,


POWELL, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio says it has euthanized a 29-year-old male polar bear after veterinarians determined he had liver cancer with limited treatment options.

Nanuq fathered five surviving offspring in a species with a low reproductive rate.

Three are cubs born to the zoo’s two female polar bears last November. Nanuq also fathered Luna, who remains at the Buffalo Zoo.

Officials say Nanuq was rescued as an orphaned cub in Alaska in 1988 and lived at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Wisconsin. He was moved to Buffalo in 2009 and to Columbus in 2012.

The zoo says Nanuq surpassed the median life expectancy for such a bear by eight years.

College president

quits amid scandal

SANBORN (AP) — A New York community college president, who was recorded disparaging an alleged victim of sexual assault, has retired, just before a vote to consider firing him.

Niagara County Community College says James Klyczek notified the board of trustees of his retirement shortly before a special meeting Wednesday evening in which the trustees were to decide whether to remove him as head of the two-year college located north of Buffalo.

In a statement, the board’s president called Klyczek’s reported words and actions inconsistent with the college’s values.

WKBW-TV of Buffalo aired a recording in which Klyczek is allegedly heard calling a middle-aged woman who reported being sexually assaulted near the campus library “too stupid to follow [her] instinct.”

Troy church might

become brew pub

TROY (AP) — A Baptist church in upstate New York has closed, but it may soon have a new purpose as a brew pub.

The Times-Union reports that the longtime Baptist church in Troy went up for sale and was recently removed from the active sales list. Collar City Brewing submitted the proposal to put a brew pub in the 12,000-square foot Mount Ida Community Baptist Church building, located on one of Troy’s busiest streets.

The move would require a variance with the city zoning board because the proposed restaurant would need parking for at least 100 vehicles.

A city councilor, Lynn Koepka, says that she’s excited for new business, but hopes all needed zoning issues are resolved quickly.

Onondaga Lake

project complete

SYRACUSE (AP) — A key phase in the ongoing effort to clean up Onondaga Lake, considered one of the nation’s most polluted, has been completed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that more than 3 million cubic yards of material has been deposited on the floor of the lake to prevent toxic materials from contaminating the water.

Morris Plains, New Jersey-based Honeywell International has been conducting the state-ordered cleanup effort.

State officials say the revitalization project has included the dredging of 2.2 million cubic yards of sediment from the lake bottom. Crews have capped the bottom with layers of sand, gravel and topsoil from 4 inches to more than

5 feet thick.

The lake became a toxic mess from decades of pollution dumped into it by manufacturing facilities that were located along the Syracuse-area waterway.

Erie Canal

events scheduled

ALBANY (AP) — New York state is planning to commemorate this year’s 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking for the Erie Canal with a series of major events along the waterway.

The state Canal Corp. announced Thursday that it will host three premier events in Waterford, at the canal’s eastern terminus; Lockport, near the waterway’s western end; and Rome, in central New York, where construction began on July 4, 1817.

The yearlong celebration kicks off May 19 in Waterford, near Albany.

The next big event is July 8 at Lockport’s set of locks known as the Flight of Five.

The third major event is scheduled for July 22 in Rome, where the “first dig” will be re-enacted.

Other events are scheduled into September.

The 1825 opening of the canal connecting Lake Erie to the Hudson River spurred the nation’s westward expansion.

By Chad Fleck

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