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CUNY drops its pay for Petraeus

CUNY has retreated from its plan to pay former CIA director and former U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus at least $150,000 to teach a single seminar at Macaulay Honors College throughout the coming academic year.

Instead, he will teach at CUNY for just $1, his attorney told the New York Times in a story posted on its website Monday.

"The general never was taking on this teaching assignment for the money," Petraeus' attorney, Robert Barnett, told the paper.

"I'm glad to hear the priorities were changed: It sounds like all the protests and the petitions being circulated had an effect," said Steve London, first vice president of the Professional Staff Congress, which represents some 25,000 CUNY staff and faculty members.

A firestorm of protest from the union, elected officials and students erupted after news broke this month that Petraeus would receive at least $150,000 to teach a single seminar. Many complained that a lavish salary for a single seminar was a misuse of assets when adjuncts received about $3,000 per semester.

CUNY contended his salary was coming from private funds and that Petraeus, who would also give speeches to the entire CUNY community, had a unique perspective that would be valuable to the university.

-- amNEWYORK

Welding sparks fire at transit center site

Firefighters Monday extinguished flames on the roof of the Fulton Street transit center being built in Lower Manhattan.

The fire broke out in the $1.4 billion project's dome roof, called the oculus, about 1:30 p.m., the FDNY said. The fire was under control shortly before 3 p.m.

Kevin Ortiz, a spokesman with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said the fire was apparently "caused by some welding that was being done and a couple of sparks touched some insulation."

Five firefighters suffered heat-related injuries from battling the blaze in afternoon, when temperatures hit the 90s.

-- amNEWYORK

Man electrocuted by subway third rail

A man was electrocuted Monday after touching the third rail in the Christopher Street station on the No. 1, 2, 3 line, disrupting service for nearly an hour, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and FDNY said.

The man, whom police did not identify, was dead when emergency crews arrived about 3:30 p.m., an FDNY spokeswoman said.

Fire and police officials did not yet know why the man was on the tracks.

-- amNEWYORK

Man charged with running off with tot

A New York City man remained in jail Monday on charges he scooped up a toddler from the beach and ran toward the water.

Police said Angel Esteves had been hanging around near the young family Sunday afternoon on Beach 84th Street and Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Beach.

Esteves picked up the child as his 18-year-old mother went for a swim, police said.

The 2-year-old's uncle ran after Esteves and the two briefly struggled until two police officers ran over and handcuffed Esteves.

There were no injuries.

Esteves, of Queens, was charged with kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. He was being held without bail.

PA charges trucker with cheating tolls

Port Authority police have arrested a truck driver who they say has cheated the agency of $28,000 in tolls, officials said Monday.

Police said Marcus Tifa, 34, of Queens, drove through the cash lanes of the George Washington Bridge Monday without paying.

Police said the license plates tags on Tifa's tractor-trailer were obscured.

Tifa is charged with theft of services and tampering with public records.

Compiled with wire service reports

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