N.Y. May Face Storm Surges

BOSTON -- New York City could suffer huge storm surges as often as every several years if the sea rises as expected during the coming century, scientists said yesterday.

Seven-foot surges, which are now predicted once every 100 years, would be expected every 40 years at best and every 4 or 5 years at worst, according to the scientists' preliminary results.

Such surges could break through barrier islands and flood low-lying parts of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and other places around the metropolitan area, said Cynthia Rosenzweig, a NASA researcher who heads a team studying the potential impact of climate change on the New York City area. Much of Manhattan is within 10 feet of sea level.

The sea level will rise 1 to 3 feet by 2090 under different scenarios driven by such forces as polar melting caused by global warming, said Vivien Gornitz, a Columbia University geologist on the study team that reported its findings at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Boston.

No Verdict in Louima Case

NEW YORK -- The first day of jury deliberations in the Abner Louima police brutality case ended without a verdict.

The jury, which is deciding whether four police officers violated Haitian immigrant Louima's civil rights by beating him and by covering up the crime, will resume deliberations Monday morning. Jurors are not sequestered.

After the trial began, Officer Justin Volpe pleaded guilty to violating Louima's civil rights by sodomizing him with a broomstick, but U.S. District Judge Eugene Nickerson told the jury that Volpe's plea "cannot be used by you as evidence in determining whether the defendants . . . are guilty of any of the offenses with which they are charged."

Officer Charles Schwarz is charged with violating Louima's civil rights by allegedly holding him down in a Brooklyn station house bathroom, Officers Thomas Bruder and Thomas Wiese with beating Louima after his arrest outside a Brooklyn nightclub Aug. 9, 1997, and Sgt. Michael Bellomo with covering up the incident.

Chicago U. Chief Resigns

CHICAGO -- The president of the University of Chicago, accused of dumbing down the curriculum with his plans to reduce the number of required courses, is resigning to make way for someone he says will be "less a symbol of change."

Hugo Sonnenschein's resignation, announced Thursday, takes effect next June. He will continue to teach economics at the university.

Critics said he attempted to create a "U. of C. Lite" when the faculty voted last year, with his support, to reduce the number of classes in its core curriculum from 21 to 18. But his defenders said the faculty initiated the action and that the university is unlikely to change course.