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This Hour: Latest New York news, sports, business and entertainment

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Scale will matter for success of New York casinos

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Less may be more when it comes to opening casinos in New York amid an increasingly competitive gambling environment.

More than a dozen contenders are proposing upstate casino projects. Developers say they've carefully studied the local market to ensure they don't overbuild.

That's a problem that's happened elsewhere as gambling options grow and customers favor casinos within a few hours' drive. This year, four casinos are closing in Atlantic City after facing increased competition from smaller casinos in nearby states like Pennsylvania.

Developers say a successful casino must strike a balance between being grand enough to attract customers and being modest enough to break even.

New York gambling regulators are set to award up to four upstate casino licenses this fall.


Report faults New York's anti-smoking plan

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A new report from the American Cancer Society says New York state needs to do more to prevent smoking.

The Cancer Action Network at the American Cancer Society analyzed the state's efforts to combat cancer through screenings, tobacco taxes, smoking bans and restrictions on tanning booths.

While the state won high marks for breast and cervical cancer screening programs and restrictions on where people can smoke, the group says the state should reverse recent cuts in funds for programs to prevent tobacco use.

The Cancer Action Network says that an estimated 107,000 New York state residents will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 35,000 people will die from the disease.


Man, 21, dies in North Country ATV crash

PHILADELPHIA, N.Y. (AP) - State police say a 21-year-old man has died after crashing his all-terrain vehicle in northern New York.

Around 6:15 p.m. Saturday in the Jefferson County town of Philadelphia, troopers say 21-year-old Brandon Hagan of Plessis failed to negotiate a curve on Sandy Hollow Road.

Hagan's 2004 Honda ATV went off the road and hit a guard rail, throwing the rider from the vehicle.

A second ATV driven by 27-year-old Jon Laclair of Evans Mills went into a ditch trying to avoid hitting Hagan. Troopers say Laclair suffered minor injuries.


Western NY man dies in motorcycle accident

SPARTA, N.Y. (AP) - Police say a 57-year-old man has died after a motorcycle accident in western New York.

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty says a passer-by came across the accident scene at 12:19 a.m. Sunday on Reeds Corners Road in the town of Sparta, 40 miles south of Rochester.

Deputies found 57-year-old Kenneth Cleveland of Sparta dead beside his 2002 Honda Gold Wing Trike. Investigators say Cleveland was heading north on State Route 256 when he failed to negotiate the turn onto Reeds Corners Road.


NY author, Rockefeller speechwriter Persico dies

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (AP) - A best-selling author, historian and speechwriter for then-New York Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller has died. Joseph Persico was 84.

His wife, Sylvia Persico, says he died Saturday at a hospital in Albany after a long illness.

Persico published 12 books including biographies of Rockefeller, Colin Powell, Edward R. Murrow, CIA director William Casey and President Franklin Roosevelt. He was selected to write the words etched in granite at the National World War II Memorial: "Here we mark the price of freedom."

His book "Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial" was made into a miniseries on Turner Network Television.

Persico was a Navy veteran. He lived in the Albany suburb Guilderland. He will have a private burial service at the National Cemetery in Schuylerville.


Road on east shore of Lake George being repaved

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) - Visitors planning some late-summer trips to Lake George should expect to find road crews on busy Route 9L.

State officials say a $1.6 million project to resurface 5.6 miles of the road is set to start this Friday and continue on weekdays through the end of the month.

The road on the east side of the lake has considerable winter damage that will be fixed by removing the old pavement and laying down new blacktop.

The work is being done from Beach Road in Lake George to Cleverdale Road in Queensbury.


NY State Fair sets new attendance record

GEDDES, N.Y. (AP) - Officials say good weather and popular concerts helped boost New York State Fair attendance to a record single-day high of 120,617.

The attendance level on Saturday beat the last record, set in 1989, by 101 people.

The fair is about 65,000 people ahead of last year's attendance. The fair ends on Labor Day.


Polar bear takes a tumble at Buffalo Zoo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - After the Buffalo Zoo's young polar bear Luna took a tumble into the dry moat of the tiger exhibit, zookeepers had to tranquilize her to haul her out.

The Buffalo News reports that Luna fell about 14 feet into moat Saturday afternoon. She and the zoo's other polar bear, Kali, have been sharing space with the tigers while their own exhibit undergoes a $14 million Arctic Edge makeover.

The cub was alert and walking but zookeepers couldn't coax her up the steep steps out of the moat. They had to use a tranquilizer dart, then carried her to the zoo's veterinary hospital to sleep it off.

The new arctic exhibit is due to open next fall.

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