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ALBANY | A commemorative license plate for the New York Giants was unveiled hours after their Super Bowl victory.

Now, two New York lawmakers say a similar but delayed tribute to the real heroes of the 9/11 attacks is long overdue. They said first responders and victims shouldn’t take a back seat to millionaire athletes who are honored after championships with license tags. Those are exempt from the state’s moratorium on new commemorative plates.

The plate for the team that plays in New Jersey was issued despite a moratorium on new commemorative plates in New York. A lawsuit by an advocacy group has sought a “Choose Life” license plate since 2001 and brought a lawsuit on First Amendment grounds. That led in part to the state’s self-imposed moratorium on new plates.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration says the Super Bowl plates don’t violate the moratorium because they are a reworking of a 1987 Giants Super Bowl commemorative plate with a new date and logo. It’s the same policy that produced revised specialty plates for the 2008 Super Bowl plates and the 2009 World Series plates for the New York Yankees.


Marine sergeant not guilty in hazing case

KANEOHE BAY | A military jury on Thursday found a Marine sergeant not guilty of charges in the hazing of a lance corporal in his squad.

Sgt. Benjamin Johns was charged with violating a lawful order by wrongfully humiliating and demeaning Lance Cpl. Harry Lew, who committed suicide shortly afterward.

Prosecutors said Sgt. Johns hazed the lance corporal by forcing him to dig a foxhole as punishment for falling asleep on guard duty in Afghanistan. They also charged the 26-year-old from Russellville, Ark., didn’t intervene when a corporal punished Cpl. Lew by making him carry a sandbag around the base, he said.

Sgt. Johns’ attorney told the general court-martial jury of three officers and five enlisted Marines that the foxhole was needed to protect the base and Sgt. Johns tried to stop the sandbag carrying.

Sgt. Johns is one of three Marines accused of hazing Cpl. Lew in the hours before he fatally shot himself at Patrol Base Gowragi in Helmand province on April 3.

The 21-year-old was a nephew of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, California Democrat.


Polo mogul facing trial adopts his girlfriend, 42

WEST PALM BEACH | A millionaire polo mogul in Florida is raising eyebrows with his decision to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend.

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