State news in brief

Free snowmobile weekend planned

ALBANY (AP) — New York is courting winter tourists with a fee-free weekend for out-of-state snowmobilers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the plan Sunday at Saranac Lake. Fees will be waived March 14 and 15 for Canadian and other out-of-state visitors with registered, insured vehicles.

New York State Snowmobile Association President Rosanne Warner says a lack of snow has made it tough to get the state’s more than 10,000 miles of trails ready this season. The state has committed $4.2 million in grants for trail maintenance and grooming, funded by snowmobile registration fees.

Registration is $100 a year, or $45 with membership in a snowmobile club.

Cuomo’s office says winter tourism generates nearly $14.4 billion in direct visitor spending.

Teen charged in death of man

NEW CASSEL (AP) — A 17-year-old boy was charged in the beating death of a homeless man who was slated to testify against alleged MS-13 gang members, police said.

The teenager, a Long Island, New York, resident who police did not identify, was arrested Saturday and charged with second-degree murder, Nassau police said in a statement.

Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez, 36, was found beaten to death on Feb. 2 at an abandoned residence in New Cassel.

His death comes after prosecutors recently revealed his identity as a victim willing to testify against alleged MS-13 members authorities say severely beat and stabbed Rodriguez in October 2018, Newsday reported.

By Kerry Minor

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