Gold Star mother gets to keep license plate

      An 89-year-old Gold Star mother from central New York is getting back the special license plate she was forced to relinquish.

      When she took her car off the road in May, Ethel Barnes of Cato asked the state Department of Motor Vehicles office if she could keep the plate that paid tribute to her son Robert Barnes, an Army infantryman who died in Vietnam 44 years ago at age 21. She was dismayed when told it was impossible.

      The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that state Sen. Patty Ritchie stepped in and persuaded DMV to recreate the license plate. The replica will be presented to Barnes Thursday afternoon. She plans to display it with her son's medals.

      Gold Star Mothers is a national group for mothers who have lost children in battle.