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2 arrested in fatal shooting of New York violinist

WESTFIELD, N.Y. (AP) - Two men have been arrested in the fatal shooting of a violinist in her western New York home this week.

Chautauqua (shuh-TAW-kwuh) County Sheriff Joseph Gerace (jur-AH-see) announced the arrests of Jonathan Conklin and Charles Sanford on Friday.

He says they are accused of killing 61-year-old Mary Whitaker during a robbery at her Westfield home Wednesday. Whitaker died of a gunshot wound to the chest but also was shot in the leg.

Conklin and Sanford were arrested separately Friday in nearby Erie, Pennsylvania. It wasn't immediately known if they had lawyers.

Whitaker performed with the Chautauqua Institution's Symphony Orchestra during summers and the downstate Westchester Philharmonic the rest of the year.

Prosecutors say the suspects face federal carjacking and weapons charges, and a grand jury will consider state murder charges.


Life easing back to normal in NY Amish community

OSWEGATCHIE, N.Y. (AP) - Life among the Amish in a northern New York community is easing into a sense of normalcy a week after two young sisters were kidnapped from their family farm and as more allegations emerge about their day in captivity.

Smiling men waved from their buggies at passing strangers this week as the girls' father stood with his arms draped loosely around two of his young boys, offering produce for sale at the farm stand where the 7- and 12-year-old girls were lured into a car on Aug. 13.

The father says his daughters are "doing fine."

Investigators continue to go through evidence from the home of 25-year-old Nicole Vaisey and 39-year-old Stephen Howells Jr. They're being held on kidnapping charges.

Authorities say the couple intended to keep the girls as slaves and sexually abused them.


Man fatally shot in Brooklyn housing project lobby

NEW YORK (AP) - A 37-year-old man has been fatally shot inside the lobby of a Brooklyn apartment building.

The shooting happened at 1:24 a.m. Friday in the Farragut Houses in downtown Brooklyn.

Police say Raymond Ayala was shot in the head. He was taken to Brooklyn Hospital Center, where he died.

There have been no arrests.


NJ retailer pays $1.56 million over NY taxes

NEW YORK (AP) - A New Jersey appliance chain has agreed to pay $1.56 million to settle allegations it failed to pay New York taxes over a 10-year period.

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the settlement with Topline Appliance Center on Friday.

Schneiderman says Topline sold or delivered appliances to New Yorkers from its New Jersey stores without collecting any New York State and local sales taxes.

He says Topline also failed to pay proper New York corporate franchise taxes despite doing business in New York.

The action began when a whistleblower filed a complaint in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Schneiderman's investigation concluded that Topline and its principal owner evaded approximately $668,000 in taxes.

A Topline spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

San Francisco-based Fitbit said Friday that it has clarified its privacy policy to make it clear the company doesn't share information about its users.

Schumer raised concerns about the company's privacy policy earlier this month and called for federal rules to allow consumers to protect their data.

But the company said Friday that it's never sold private data and updated its online privacy policy to make that clear.

Schumer said Friday he hopes other manufacturers of wearable devices adopt similarly transparent rules.

Many Americans wear fitness bracelets and monitors or use mobile apps to monitor their activity.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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