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Electric taxis take test drive in city

Here's the latest buzz on the streets of New York: Six all-electric Nissan taxis are being used as part of a pilot program, city officials said.

Officials want to examine how well the operators of the cars can incorporate electric charging into their daily routine. Recharging can take about eight hours, although officials are also testing other devices that can provide partial recharging, said a spokesman for the city Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has set a goal of electrifying one-third of the city's taxi fleet by 2020.

The test is using Nissan Leaf models.

The city previously approved the Nissan NV200 minivan as its so-called "taxi of tomorrow." That phase-in starts in the fall.

Officials expect that besides environmental benefits from not burning fuel, the electric cars can also lower maintenance costs because the vehicles have no fan belts and do not require oil changes.

"Even though the 'taxi of tomorrow' won't be on the road for another six months, we're already looking ahead to the taxi of the day after tomorrow," Bloomberg said.

Prison for NYC man in 2 drug cases

A New York City man was sentenced Friday in upstate Jefferson County to six years in state prison for twice possessing controlled substances with the intent to sell the drugs.

Algernon A. Lovell, 32, also was placed on three additional years of supervision upon his release for March 27 guilty pleas to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He admitted that on Oct. 11, he had the stimulant methylphenidate, or Ritalin, without a prescription in Watertown and that on Nov. 8, he had cocaine in the city.

Lovell had been in County Court the morning of Oct. 11 to plead guilty to third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance for trying to sell cocaine in April and was awaiting sentencing when he was indicted in November on the Ritalin possession charge.

He was sentenced to a concurrent term of three years in prison, followed by two years' post-release supervision, for the attempted criminal sale conviction. He was sentenced as a second-felony offender, having been sentenced in County Court in August 2009 to 21/2 years in prison for a third-degree attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance conviction.

Probe into death at B'klyn disabled home

The NYPD is investigating the death of a resident of a Brooklyn home for mentally disabled adults, officials said.

Police said a 44-year-old man was found dead Sunday at the Institute for Community Living on Nevins Street in downtown Brooklyn. He had suffered an apparent head injury.

An autopsy was scheduled Monday but no results were available.

A spokesman for the not-for-profit home told The Wall Street Journal that it is cooperating with the investigation. He had no further comment.

Police seek suspect who fondled girl, 9

Authorities are seeking the public's help in identifying a suspect wanted for inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl.

Police said the April 14 incident occurred on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

The man approached the girl and touched her buttocks before fleeing.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-877-TIPS.

Compiled from wire service reports

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