- - Monday, June 4, 2012

ALBANY — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the world’s top developers will soon compete to propose a convention center and casino in or close to New York City, possibly including Manhattan or the Belmont racetrack.

The process may take more than a year and depends on voters approving a referendum to rewrite the state constitution to allow Las Vegas-style casinos, which now are confined to Indian land. That approval remains uncertain. Even Mr. Cuomo has said it will be a difficult sell among New Yorkers.

But he said Monday that planning continues for a project that could bring a casino to Manhattan or a convention center and casino package with lavish hotels to the outer boroughs. Other possible sites are the Yonkers racetrack or one of the publicly owned islands off Manhattan.

Large sugary drinks ban opposed in poll


About half of New Yorkers say Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proposed ban of sugary drinks over 16 ounces from the city’s eateries is an example of government going too far, while 42 percent say it would be good health policy, according to a poll released Monday.

Of the 500 adults surveyed Sunday for the NY1-Marist poll, 53 percent said the proposal is a bad idea, while 42 percent praised the concept - which would make New York the first American city to so directly attempt to limit portion sizes in an attempt to fight obesity.

Forty-five percent of those polled said they think the ban would help people lose weight, while 52 percent said it wouldn’t make a difference. More than half the people surveyed said they never order a sugary drink large enough to be banned.

ARIZONA

Phoenix man buys castle for $1.45M

PHOENIX — A castle in Phoenix that has secret passages, a dungeon and a drawbridge has sold for $1.45 million.

The Arizona Republic reports Robert Pazderka of Phoenix bought the 7,900-square-foot Copenhaver Castle, which was a financial nightmare for several previous owners.

Mr. Pazderka says he bought the unusual fortress on Camelback Mountain to get some publicity for his company, which makes armored trucks and cars in Detroit. He plans to spend $3 million to $5 million to renovate the castle before moving in and trying to get it designated as a historical landmark.

The castle was built by Dr. Mort Copenhaver, an orthodontist, over the course of a decade starting in 1967.

CALIFORNIA

Inmate dies hours before prison release

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