State news in brief

Report: NYC subway crimes increase

NEW YORK (AP) — Transit officials say anti-Semitic graffiti incidents are the top subway bias crime investigated so far this year by the New York Police Department.

The Daily News reports that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Transit Bureau says 22 of 31 hate crimes that have happened in the subway system this year targeted Jews. Most of the incidents involved graffiti.

The report to the MTA board says there were only seven bias crimes committed during the same period last year.

Transit police say each case gets an investigation from a captain or a higher ranking officer, but it’s sometimes difficult to make arrests. The anti-Semitic graffiti on subway cars and in stations has included swastikas and comments that advocate the killing of Jews.

Officials say felony assault cases and grand larcenies have also increased this year.

I-86 reopens after truck catches fire

NORTH HARMONY (AP) — The westbound lanes of Interstate 86 in New York’s Southern Tier have reopened after being shut down for hours overnight after a tractor-trailer hauling chicken caught fire.

Police dispatchers in Chautauqua County say the fire was reported around 11:30 p.m. Monday on I-86’s westbound lanes in the town of North Harmony, in the state’s southwestern corner 60 miles southwest of Buffalo.

The truck’s trailer was fully engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived on the scene. Officials say the truck driver was taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Both westbound lanes were closed while crews removed the truck’s cargo and cleaned up the scene. The lanes reopened around 6:30 a.m. today.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Defrocked fugitive priest charged

RIVERHEAD (AP) — A defrocked Roman Catholic priest, who fled to South America to avoid arrest, has been arraigned on charges he sexually abused a female juvenile on Long Island.

The Suffolk County district attorney’s office says Augusto Cortez pleaded not guilty Monday to sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Information on his lawyer wasn’t immediately available.

Authorities say the alleged incidents occurred in June 2014. He was indicted by a grand jury and was arrested Saturday when he was returned from Guatemala.

The 53-year-old Cortez is a registered sex offender. In 2009, Cortez was convicted of forcible touching involving a 12-year-old girl.

Shooting wounds three teenagers

SYRACUSE (AP) — Police in Syracuse are investigating a shooting that has wounded three teenagers.

Officials with the Syracuse Police Department say officers responded around 11 p.m. Monday to a report of a shooting on a block on the city’s south side. When officers arrived they found three young males suffering from gunshot wounds.

Police say the victims are two 17-year-olds and an 18-year-old. Officials say all three were taken to Upstate University Hospital for treatment of wounds that aren’t considered to be life-threatening.

Police say witnesses reported seeing two people running from the scene of the shooting. No arrests have been made.

O’Reilly surprised by Fox exit, says truth will come out

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bill O’Reilly says he’s sad and surprised that he’s off TV but is confident the truth will come out about his exit from Fox News.

Five days after his firing amid sexual harassment allegations, O’Reilly aired an episode Monday of his personal website’s “No Spin News” podcast.

In it, he defended himself and discussed his future online.

O’Reilly said he could only speak in general terms about losing his job as host of Fox’s top-rated “The O’Reilly Factor.” The show was replaced by “Tucker Carlson’s Tonight,” which was moving to the time slot Monday.

He said there’s “much stuff” happening that he can’t discuss. But he told his listeners that when the truth comes out, he thinks they will be shaken by it.

O’Reilly has denied the harassment allegations.

By Patricia Older

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