State news in brief

Store celebrates 150th anniversary

ALBANY (AP) — A retail business that opened in downtown Albany two years after the Civil War ended is marking its 150th anniversary.

B. Lodge & Co. was established in 1867 by Barrington Lodge and his two sons, Charges and William. According to the store’s website, the Lodge family operated the store until 1960, when it was sold to Eve and Sid Ginsburg.

Their son Barry ran the store until 1995, when the business was sold to Jack and Elaine Yonally. The couple’s son Mark and daughter Sharon Freddoso took over the business in 2011.

The store located on Pearl Street is at its fourth location since 1867. Lodge’s is known for offering clothing and other merchandise at discounted prices, along with supplying uniforms for more than two dozen Albany-area schools.

Judge weighs suit against Trump

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City judge is scheduled to hear arguments on whether to toss a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump by a former “Apprentice” contestant who accused him of unwanted sexual contact.

Trump’s lawyers say the case should be thrown out because he is protected by the U.S. Constitution from being sued in state court while he’s president.

Summer Zervos was a contestant on Trump’s reality TV show in 2006. She said at a news conference last year that he made unwanted sexual contact with her at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007.

Trump dismissed her claims as “fabricated and made-up.” She sued in January, saying that was defamatory.

His lawyers also say his speech is protected by the First Amendment.

Judge Jennifer Schecter will issue a ruling after hearing arguments Tuesday.

State farmers donate food, fill food banks

ALBANY (AP) — New York has received an early holiday gift from its farmers: 9 million pounds of food donated to food banks around the state.

The New York Farm Bureau announced the contribution on Tuesday. It’s part of the organization’s annual “Harvest for All” program that encourages farmers to donate local agricultural products to state food banks.

The Farm Bureau says this year’s number could rise in the year’s final weeks. Last year, farmers contributed more than 13 million pounds of food.

Local food bank directors say hunger is an increasing problem with more families, seniors and even college students relying on soup kitchens and food pantries for food.

New York state food banks distribute more than 225 million pounds of food to almost 3 million people annually.

Teller steals $160K from bank accounts

ALBANY (AP) — State police have charged a New York woman with stealing more than $150,000 from a customer’s accounts at an upstate bank where she worked.

Troopers say 33-year-old Alicia Smarro, of Troy, was arrested Monday on charges that include grand larceny, falsifying business records and identity theft.

Investigators say Smarro used her position as a teller for Bank of America to withdraw about $160,000 from two savings accounts belonging to a customer. Police say the thefts occurred in neighboring Albany and Rensselaer counties over a one-year period ending this past March.

The victim has since been reimbursed by the bank. Trooper say Smarro had been fired because of an unrelated matter.

She’s being held in the Albany County Jail. The name of her public defender wasn’t available from authorities.

Drugs and alcohol killed freshman

ONEONTA (AP) — Authorities in an upstate New York college town say a combination of drugs and alcohol caused the death of a Long Island freshman found unconscious at a fraternity.

Police tell The Daily Star of Oneonta that 18-year-old Daniel William Michaels, of Dix Hills in Suffolk County, died of cardiac arrest after being brought to a hospital in a private vehicle early last Saturday morning.

Michaels was studying business economics at the State University of New York at Oneonta.

Police say he was found unconscious on a couch in the off-campus home of Alpha Pi, a frat that’s not recognized by the college. The newspaper reports he was a new pledge.

Authorities say a small amount of alcohol was found in his system. The amount of drugs detected won’t be available until a full toxicology report is completed.

Woman shot in late October has died

SYRACUSE (AP) — Authorities say a 20-year-old woman who was shot in the face in late October has died at a Syracuse hospital.

Syracuse police say Jamia Singleton was shot late on the night of Oct. 29. She was taken to Upstate University Hospital, where she died Nov. 28. Police announced her death Monday.

A 19-year-old Syracuse man accused of shooting Singleton remains in jail without bail. The man was arrested five days after the shooting and charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Police say a handgun was used in the shooting.

Authorities say the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy to determine Singleton’s cause of death and whether it is related to her being shot. Police say the results of autopsy weren’t available yet.