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Local Updates from ABC News Radio for New York.

Wednesday
Sep172014

NY Man Accused of Trying to Recruit ISIS Fighters in US

(NEW YORK) -- Federal authorities have charged an upstate New York man with trying to persuade two others in the United States to join the Islamic State, or ISIS, the terrorist group wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria.

Mufid Elfgeeh, 30, of Rochester, also plotted to kill U.S. soldiers who had returned from Iraq, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Last year, two FBI informants began building relationships with Elfgeeh, who -- not realizing they were working with the FBI -- encouraged them to go overseas and join terrorists in Syria, prosecutors allege in court documents. For months, Elfgeeh had been posting Tweets and other messages online praising ISIS and, among other things, urging others to donate a third of their salaries to terrorists in Syria, according to charging documents.

ISIS "will one day rule the world with the will of Allah," Elfgeeh allegedly said in one message.

Since then, Elfgeeh helped the FBI informants take steps to get to Syria, including by partially paying for them to obtain passports, and he tried to set up contacts for them in Syria, according to federal prosecutors

Elfgeeh, a naturalized U.S. citizen who owned a food store in Rochester, was arrested in May, and the FBI has continued its investigation since then, officials said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep172014

Doctor Who Performed Throat Procedure on Joan Rivers Has Left Clinic

(NEW YORK) -- The doctor who performed a throat procedure on the late Joan Rivers has been asked to step down from the clinic where she went into cardiac arrest.

Lawrence Cohen performed the endoscopy on Joan Rivers at Yorkville Endoscopy and the clinic says he is no longer practicing there or serving as its medical director.

The clinic declined to say why but ABC News has learned it's because he allowed an unauthorized specialist into the room to perform another procedure on the legendary comedienne.

Rivers died earlier this month at age 81 after being rushed from the clinic to a New York City hospital.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep172014

Riders Get Stuck When NJ Six Flags Loses Power 

(NEW YORK) -- A blown transformer left some New Jersey adventure-seekers up in the air on Sunday.

The power went out at Six Flags Great Adventure Sunday afternoon in Jackson, N.J., forcing the the park's roller coasters and amusement rides to suddenly stop.

"All of our guests were safely unloaded from the affected rides within 20 minutes," Kaitlyn Turi, public relations supervisor for Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari and Hurricane Harbor said in a statement to ABC News.

The power loss was the result of a blown transformer, Jackson Township police said.

Jersey Central Power and light arrived at the park to assess the power outage, Turi said. Power had been restored to portions of the park by mid-afternoon, she added.

The rides that were affected by the outage were allowed to resume after undergoing safety checks.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep162014

Miss New York's Interview Coach Praises Her Cups Performance

(NEW YORK) -- The interview coach for Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, who was crowned Miss America on Sunday, praised her performance with a red plastic cup, saying it created a successful "intimate moment" that connected her to the judges.

"What people forget is only the judges were voting, they were right in front of her," Bill Alverson, who coached three pageant champs in a row, told ABC's Juju Chang in a Skype interview. "It was like they were sitting in her living room, and they got a chance to really see this girl that they fell in love with in the interview, they had seen compete all week, and look at her calmness and her presence and she's together, and boom, she did it."

For her talent portion of the competition, Kazantsev sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the judges and sang Pharrell Williams' song, "Happy," while banging a red plastic cup to the beat. Her performance, which she said was inspired by the movie, Pitch Perfect, set off a firestorm of comments on social media, many of which criticized her.

"It's not America's Got Talent and it's not American Idol," Alverson said. "There were other talents that were stronger, there were other talents that were weaker but what people are forgetting is stage presence and presentation to millions of people on TV and thousands of people in that arena, she sat down on the stage and made it an intimate moment."

Kazantsev is Alverson's third Miss America winner in a row. He had previously coached the past two Miss Americas, Nina Davuluri and Mallory Hagan, both also formerly Miss New York.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep162014

NY, NJ & PA Cops Looking for Gunman Who Ambushed PA State Police Troopers 

(NEW YORK) -- Authorities are searching for the gunman who ambushed two Pennsylvania State Police Troopers, leaving one dead and the other seriously injured.

Police across three states -- Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey -- are participating in the search for the person or persons behind the ambush, which happened before 11 p.m. Friday during a shift change at the State Police Barracks in Blooming Grove Township, Pike County, in the northeast part of the state.

Cpl. Bryon Dixon, 38, a husband and father of two young boys, died at the scene. Trooper Alex Douglass, 31, is recovering in hospital. Authorities say Douglass was conscious and talking Sunday after undergoing surgery.

State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said the attack at the remote outpost was calculated, and aimed specifically at law enforcement.

A nonprofit group is offering a $50,000 reward for tips about the assault. Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, which posted the reward offer, asked anyone with information to call 800-4PA-TIPS or submit the tip online.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio