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State news in brief

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - Updated: 4:29 PM

Air Guard back from Antarctica

SCOTIA (AP) -- The last "skibird" airplane has returned from the South Pole to its home base near Albany, marking the end of the 25th year of missions to the remote scientific post.

The crew landed at Stratton Air National Guard base in Schenectady County late Thursday night, bringing home the last of six, ski-equipped LC-130s deployed to Antarctica since October.

Since 1988, the Air Guard units from the 109th Airlift Wing have supported scientific research conducted by the National Science Foundation at McMurdo Station and the South Pole Station.

The heavy-lift cargo planes provide enough fuel, equipment and supplies to keep researchers safe and working.

This season, the unit flew 310 missions, transporting 6.4 million pounds of cargo and fuel.

Man convicted in Sch'dy death

SCHENECTADY (AP) -- A jury has convicted a New York City man of killing of a 15-year-old boy nearly two years ago at a house party in Schenectady.

Local media report that 33-year-old James Wells was convicted in Schenectady County Court Friday of second-degree murder for the June 12, 2011 slaying of Eddie Stanley.

The teenager, who was a standout on the Schenectady High School varsity basketball team, was shot early in the morning after a fight broke out at a house party.

Prosecutors said Wells shot the unarmed Stanley four times during the fight that started because of a missing set of rental-car keys.

Wells claimed another man shot Stanley.

Wells faces up to 25 years to life in prison on the murder conviction when he is sentenced.

Bills' deal gives state luxury box

ALBANY (AP) -- A published report says the Cuomo administration is getting a 12-seat luxury box at the Buffalo Bills' stadium as part of the $130 million deal to renovate the NFL venue.

The New York Times reports that the suite was negotiated by the state as part of the agreement to keep the Bills in western New York. Citing state documents, the newspaper reports that the suite at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park will be used by public officials to promote New York state and the Buffalo-Niagara region.

Administration officials say since the stadium is publicly owned, using luxury boxes to promote the state is legitimate.

The team's 10-year, $271 million lease agreement was unanimously approved Thursday by Erie County lawmakers. State legislators are expected to give final approval to the deal soon.

     

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