Justice Sotomayor to helm Times Square ball drop

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NEW YORK (AP) — The countdown to the new year in Times Square is getting some high-profile help — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (SOHN’-ya soh-toh-my-YOR’).

The organizers of the annual celebration announced Sunday that Sotomayor will lead the final 60-second countdown and push the ceremonial button to signal the descent of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball.

Sotomayor was appointed to the court in 2009. She is a native of the Bronx.

The giant New Year’s Eve ball is covered in more than 2,600 crystal triangles and lit from within by more than 32,000 lights.

The square will host millions Tuesday night counting down the last few moments of 2013.

Starting Saturday, six Citibikes from the city’s bike share program were being installed in Times Square and connected to 12-volt deep cycle batteries.

New Yorkers and tourists will generate power by pedaling. That will help illuminate the famed ball that will descend New Year’s Eve.

Each bike will generate an average of 75 watts an hour. It takes 50,000 watts to power the ball, which is lit by 30,000 LEDs.

Additionally, a giant paper shredder and a dumpster were installed in Times Square on Saturday to allow visitors to destroy bad memories of 2013.

The annual event is dubbed “Good Riddance Day.”

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