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New York starts building memorial for Irish famine

The Irish famine of 1845-50 left more than a million dead and launched an immigration wave that forever changed New York City and the nation.

Now, New York will build a memorial in Battery Park City honoring those who died.

Between 1845 and 1850, more than a million Irish starved when a blight destroyed the country's potato crop. Critics have long slammed Protestant England, which ruled largely Catholic Ireland at the time, for doing nothing to save the dying.

The Irish Hunger Memorial is expected to cost $4.7-million and be completed by next St. Patrick's Day. It will re-create a rugged Irish landscape, complete with stone walls, abandoned potato fields and dozens of species of native Irish plants. It will rise from a base inscribed with the history of the famine and the Irish people.

Teen zoo shooter gets

25 years in prison

WASHINGTON _ The teen who wounded seven youths when he opened fire at the National Zoo last April was sentenced on Friday to 25 years in prison.

Antoine Jones, now 17, fired toward a crowd at the entrance to the zoo on Easter Monday after the annual Black Family Celebration. All the victims were between ages 11 and 16.

He will not be eligible for parole and will be on five years probation once he is released from prison at age 42.

Three arrests made in slaying of Georgia sheriff

Three months and two days after the slaying of DeKalb County Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown, a 34-member multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force has arrested three men _ for lying.

Friday, the task force arrested David Isaiah Ramsey, 29, a Virgin Islands resident who turned himself in to DeKalb police.

Melvin D. Walker, 36, a former DeKalb County deputy who was fired in January, was arrested Tuesday. On Wednesday police announced they had arrested Devon Edwards, 35, Jan. 10.

All three are charged with providing false information to police about their whereabouts on Dec. 15, the night Brown was shot to death. If convicted, they could receive up to five years in prison.

Conservative group targets Rainbow/Push

WASHINGTON _ A conservative political group has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/Push Coalition, alleging that Jackson illegally moved Democratic Party money through his non-profit organization to cover campaign travel expenses.

The American Conservative Union, a political opponent of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, has also urged an Internal Revenue Service audit of Jackson's group.

Fish flu threatens Maine salmon industry

A deadly fish flu that has wreaked havoc on European and Canadian aquaculture salmon industries has been confirmed for the first time in the United States, at a fish farm in Maine.

Not only could the highly contagious infectious salmon anemia spell economic disaster for the state's burgeoning aquaculture industry, it may contaminate endangered wild salmon populations attempting to make a comeback in Maine rivers. The virus is harmless to humans.

"This is a disease that leaves us trembling," said Paul Nickerson, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist. "There is no cure. There is no vaccine, and when it's found in aquaculture, there is slaughter. And it could infect the wild salmon."

The lone contaminated fish was found at Treat's Island Salmon farm in Cobscook Bay off northern Maine's coast in a cage with 45,000 healthy fish. Farm owner Atlantic Salmon of Maine killed the healthy fish as a precaution at a loss of more than $300,000.

Also Friday . . .

REWARD IN CAPTURE: Seven Colorado residents have been awarded $425,000 in reward money for tips that led authorities to seven Texas prison escapees in Woodland Park and Colorado Springs in January.

If all six surviving escapees are convicted of killing Irving, Texas, police Officer Aubrey Hawkins, the tipsters will split another $98,000. Hawkins was killed Dec. 24 during a robbery of a sporting goods store.

OKLAHOMA SENTENCE UPHELD: A federal appeals court Friday upheld Michael Fortier's 12-year prison term in the Oklahoma City bombing, rejecting arguments that the judge was vindictive and improperly exceeded the sentencing guidelines.

OHIO MOTTO CONSTITUTIONAL: Ohio's motto, "With God, all things are possible," is constitutional and is not an endorsement of Christianity even though it quotes the words of Jesus, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. Voting 9-4, the full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court's 1998 ruling that Ohio's motto is constitutionally acceptable if the state did not attribute the words to their New Testament source.

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