Gov. Cuomo taps top aide to lead re-election campaign

ALBANY (AP) — A top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been picked to lead the Democratic governor’s bid for a third term.

Cuomo announced Monday that Bill Mulrow will serve as the chairman of Cuomo’s 2018 campaign.

Mulrow had been working as the secretary to the governor, a high-profile position within the administration. Prior to that he was a senior managing director at Blackstone, an investment firm based in New York City.

Cuomo also announced that his chief of staff, Melissa DeRosa, will replace Mulrow as secretary to the governor. DeRosa will be the first woman to hold the position.

Cuomo is widely considered a potential candidate for the White House in 2020 though he has said he intends to seek a third term in 2018.

Massive flooding turns a New York park into small lake

STILLWATER (AP) — A park in upstate New York has been flooded by 1 million gallons of water and turned into a lake.

The Post-Star reports that part of the Saratoga National Historical Park has been flooded with water from an unknown source since last year. The accidental lake at the parking area is estimated to be 3 feet deep and stretching more than 200 yards.

Officials believe a water main break or a drainage problem caused the flood.

The extensive flooding has spread into a cemetery next to the park, too.

Saratoga National Park Superintendent Amy Bracewell says the National Parks Service will examine all options. Park officials say they will drain the lake and dig a test pit to determine the cause of flooding.

Tests are scheduled for Monday.

Upstate Mohawk tribe funds cultural
preservation

AKWESASNE (AP) — A Native American tribe in upstate New York is investing awards from a pollution lawsuit into cultural preservation, funding tribal environmental groups and a language-preservation program.

The Plattsburgh Press-Republican reports that the St. Regis Mohawk tribe, residents of the Akwesasne Reservation, was awarded a $19.4 million settlement in 2013 in a case regarding the release of industrial pollutants into the environment. Tribal Council leaders then earmarked $8.4 million to be used for cultural restoration projects, like the preservation of the Mohawk language.

The three recipients of the monetary awards were chosen from a list of 33 applications for funding. The three previous award recipients will continue to be funded through December 2018.

Prosecutor: Former officer was drunk, speeding before crash

NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor at the opening of the New York trial for a former New Jersey police officer accused of a drunken wrong-way crash that killed a fellow officer and another man has said it was his extreme intoxication that led him to slam into a truck.

Assistant District Attorney Frank Prospero told jurors on Monday that former Linden officer Pedro Abad went the wrong way on a street at 73 miles per hour (117 kilometers per hour) because of how much he had drunk.

Abad faces charges including aggravated vehicular homicide and manslaughter in connection with the March 2015 crash on a Staten Island highway. He has pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorney Mario Gallucci says authorities didn’t properly obtain a blood sample and can’t prove intoxication.

Pilot charged after loaded gun found by baggage screeners

ALBANY (AP) — A Southwest Airlines pilot has been arrested on a weapons charge in New York after airport security officers found a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says 55-year-old Erik Gibson was slated to pilot a flight to Tampa, Florida, on Monday morning when Transportation Security Administration officers found the gun during routine screening.

Apple says Gibson, who’s from Louisiana, told authorities he forgot he was carrying the gun. He had flown to Albany from New Orleans on Sunday but had gone through a crew line that didn’t have security screening.

Apple said Gibson was charged with misdemeanor weapon possession and released on $200 bail.

Officials don’t know if he has a lawyer, and Southwest didn’t reply to an email seeking comment.

It was the second gun found by Albany baggage screeners in four weeks.