Incoming governor: Time to get NY on track after scandal

ALBANY, N.Y. - Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who will take over as New York's governor following Gov. Eliot Spitzer's dramatic fall from power in a prostitution scandal, said Thursday he is ready to lead and 'get New York back on track.'

At a news conference at the state Capitol, Paterson said he promised Spitzer when he accepted the job as lieutenant governor that he would be prepared to take command of the state if necessary. 'I am prepared,' Paterson said.

'I promised the governor yesterday that I would commit myself to the people of this great state, that we would have stability and continue in these challenges that lie ahead. Now we have to get New York back on track,' Paterson said.

Prosecutor to drop charges against mom who left child alseep in the car

CHICAGO - Charges will be dropped against a woman who briefly left her 2-year-old daughter alone in the car to take her two older daughters to pour coins into a Salvation Army kettle, prosecutors said Thursday.

The woman, Treffly Coyne, was charged with misdemeanor child endangerment and obstructing a peace officer after a Crestwood police officer spotted her sleeping daughter alone in the vehicle Dec. 8. The mother claimed she was close by at all times and was gone for just minutes.

Sheriff: Man named in disappearance killed self with knife

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - A business executive questioned by investigators in a couple's disappearance apparently committed suicide by slashing his inner thigh with a knife, authorities said Thursday.

Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner said Dennis Ray Gerwing had been dead for several hours by the time investigators identified him as a person of interest in the case Tuesday. Gerwing's lawyer found his body in a condominium on this tiny resort island about 90 minutes after the sheriff's office made his name public.

Woman gives birth in broken down truck

CARROLLTON, Ohio - Amy and Jim Albert's truck handled a special delivery when it broke down on the way to a hospital.

A pregnant Amy was having painful contractions when the couple left their home on Wednesday. But they had to pull over about 45 minutes from the hospital when their truck died.

Jim said his newborn daughter was in his hands before he even knew what happened.

No voters show up for Fla. referendum

TAMARAC, Fla. - Every vote counts. But what happens when there are no votes at all?

That's the case in Tamarac. No voters showed up Wednesday night to cast a ballot in an annexation referendum for an unincorporated Broward County community.

There are 68 registered voters in the 200-person Prospect Bend neighborhood. Tamarac officials have proposed annexing the neighborhood.

Details were mailed to voters. If just one had shown up, that one vote would have decided the neighborhood's fate.

Suspect in student slaying charged in another recent death

DURHAM, N.C. - Authorities have charged a suspect in the slaying of the University of North Carolina student president with the January killing of a Duke University graduate student.

A warrant filed Thursday charges 17-year-old Lawrence Alvin Lovette Jr. with first-degree murder in the death of Abhijit Mahato.

The 29-year-old computational mechanics doctoral student was found shot to death inside his apartment in January.

Authorities have charged both Lovette and Demario James Atwater with first-degree murder in the death of Eve Carson. The 22-year-old was found last week lying on a street about a mile from campus.

Sheriff recommends charging boyfriend in case of woman stuck to toilet seat

NESS CITY, Kan. - A sheriff in Kansas is recommending charges in the case of a woman who sat on her boyfriend's toilet for so long that her body became stuck to the seat.

Sheriff Bryan Whipple says he has asked the Ness County attorney to file charges against the boyfriend for mistreatment of a dependent adult.

The sheriff says it appeared the Ness City woman's skin had grown around the seat in the two years she apparently was in the bathroom.

Kory McFarren says he did nothing wrong because his girlfriend had a phobia about leaving the bathroom.