A very cold week in the Tri-County area. Here are projected windchills January 7-10, 2014:
Frequent fliers will be able to move through several key upstate airports quicker when the Transportation Security Administration begins offering expedited screening in Syracuse, Albany, Buffalo-Niagara, Rochester and Westchester County. Pre-approved passengers that are a part of the program get to use select screening lanes and do not have to remove shoes, belts and can keep laptops in their case. The TSA says 15 million Americans have taken advantage of the program since it launched nearly two years ago. To find out if you’re eligible for the program, visit www.tsa.gov.
The Latest Siena Poll out yesterday said that consumer confidence in the state of New York and the rest of the country sank during the month of August, putting overall sentiment in the state was at it’s lowest level since December of 2011.
Broome county is putting out a request for proposals from private management companies to take over the operation of the BC Transit Bus system. The system has been battered by service cuts and fare increases in the last few years, so the county is now looking at private management to save money. The bid request would likely go out sometime in the next two weeks. The county said it will look at bid options, and then make a decision whether or not to move forward. The county said it has no plans for a fare hike or major service cuts in its 2014 proposal.
Senator Charles Schumer announced a plan yesterday to make Cornell University a center for excellence in dairy safety. He says Cornell has the strongest dairy program in the state and deserves the opportunity to lead the nation in safety protocol. The plan would facilitate joint research ventures between the government and Cornell and would bring Cornell’s research to the national stage more quickly, and to federal regulators who set the standards for dairy safety techniques and practices.
The Bainbridge-Guilford School Board will hold their next meeting on tonight at 6:30pm in the Guilford School cafeteria. The business portion of the meeting will begin at 7:30pm. The public is welcome.
A coalition of business groups that spent about $15 million pushing Gov. Cuomo’s legislative agenda is disbanding. The Committee to Save New York blanketed the tv airwaves in 2011 and 2012, promoting Cuomo’s budget plans and financial austerity measures like the state’s now-implemented property-tax cap. The group went silent in 2013 as new state rules took effect that would have required it to disclose its major donors. The decision to disband comes as the Moreland Act Commission, which was created by Cuomo earlier this year, conducts an investigation into corruption and the state’s campaign finance system.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced several stream improvement projects. Work includes Fly Creek at Fleischmanns – Middletown in Delaware County, receiving $1.3 million to stabilize eroded streambanks and damaged retaining walls. Another project will be started at Dry Brook at the Arkville Trailer Park – $400,000 to stabilize areas of erosion, and the stream bank and flood plain will be reconstructed to their approximate pre-flood locations.
Gov Cuomo raised the possibility of creating a “death penalty” for underperforming public schools in New York, suggesting he may push legislation next year allowing the state to take action. Cuomo said he will craft a plan for dealing with “failing schools” when lawmakers return to the state Capitol in January. The governor laid out a number of possibilities for dealing with underperforming schools, including potentially allowing the state, a local mayor or a charter school to take over. Any of those moves would require approval by state lawmakers.
Proposed tax incentives to encourage revitalization of house in Oneonta will be reviewed tonight at 6 in common council chambers at city hall in Oneonta. The city community imporovement committee will present motions on home rule pertaining to the program at the council’s regulary scheduled meeting which will start at 7pm. The public is welcome.
The New York State Fair has ended with a slight increase in attendance over last year, with more than 850,000 people visiting the fairgrounds in Syracuse. Fair officials say yesterday’s closing-day attendance was nearly 61,000, pushing overall attendance for 2013 to just over 851,000. That compares to about 845,000 last year. The all-time record for attendance was set in 2001, when more than 1 million people passed through the gates.
The New York State Police is reminding potential applicants that the application period for the upcoming Trooper examination ends on September 8. Applicants who file by the September 8th deadline can choose an exam date and location. Exam dates are scheduled for October 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2013. The online application can be found by at the New York State Police Recruitment website at http://www.nytrooper.com
Plans are underway for the 4th Annual Autumn Fest on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Unadilla Community Field beginning at 10 a.m. Activities will include craft vendors, food, a chili competition sponsored by the Unadilla Rotary Club and a scarecrow contest sponsored by the Unadilla Women’s Club.For vendor information and application call 434-5361.
Heavy rains and isolated hail storms caused power outages as they moved through the WCDO listening area on Labor Day Monday. Localized flooding was reported on many small streams and low lying areas. There was isolated basement flooding in the Whitney Point to Walton corridor and areas north including South New Berlin that had multiple calls. Water also flooded roads in many areas including State Highway 80 and Dunham Road in Smryna, and multiple roadways were covered in the Franklin and Walton areas. We remind you to use caution and pay attention to road conditions when travelling throughout the area today.
An apartment building fire in Castle Creek sent two to the hospital early Sunday morning. The fire broke out around 5 a.m. in one of the Glen View Apartment basement apartments. The two people living in that apartment were taken to Wilson Hospital for smoke inhalation. The fire ran up the left side of the building and the complex is destroyed. Seven fire departments responded and had the fire under control around 5:30 a.m. The investigation into what caused the fire is ongoing.
A house fire claimed four lives on Elmira’s south side Friday night. The Elmira Fire Department responded to a structure fire in the 100 block of Morrow Street, where four people, ages 17, 10, 7 and 5 were located inside the home and were transported to local hospitals for treatment. All four lated died from injuries sustained in the fire. Close to 200 family and friends held a candlelight vigil for them Saturday night.
The Delaware county clean sweep disposal days will be Friday September 20th for farms & businesses and Saturday September 21st for households. Those wishing to register by phone can start today, according to county solid waste manager Sue McIntyre:
(Sue McIntyre 9-3-13)
the number to register again is 865-6474, phone registrations will be taken through September 13th.
A black bear was found in Endicott late Sunday night. Police personnel, along with the Fire Department shut down Main Street for about 10 minutes Sunday night to clear the area for the bear, which was first spotted on Adams Avenue and eventually made its way through 10 blocks of the village. Police said the bear was above the average 250 pound size, weighing in between 300 and 350 pounds.
Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown released the second beer of its “Game of Throwns” series, which is related to the HBO TV series, during a tasting event at the brewery Monday. The beer is a deep, dark brew called Take the Black Stout. It joins the first “Game of Throwns” beer that was released back in March called Iron Throne Blonde Ale.
Several local fire departments worked into the early morning hours today fighting a fire that gutted the Bluestone Grill in Hancock. The fire was called in at 10:30 p.m.last night. Crews from Hancock, Deposit, Walton and East Branch responded. There were no injuries, and there was minimal damage to surrounding homes. Deleware County fire investigators are looking into the cause.
Police arrested a Windsor a man for allegedly stealing nearly $20,000 worth of merchandise from a Conklin business. Broome County deputies arrested 44 year old Greg Rought, who is charged with stealing tools and gift cards from E. Systems Group in Conklin on Aug. 14. Rought was arraigned in Town of Dickinson Court and sent to the Broome County jail. Anyone with any information should call the Sheriff’s Office at 778-2053
In an effort to promote economic growth, community leaders in Delaware County are proposing a new project at SUNY Delhi to create more business opportunities by recycling waste water. The project would take waste water from the Delhi Waste Water Treatment facility and recycle it through an irrigation system on campus golf course. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined campus and community leaders earlier this week in support of the project. Leaders hope Gillibrand will go to bat for them, as about half of the funding for the $2 million plan is still needed and the project is eligible for federal grants. Construction is anticipated to begin next spring.
State Police arrested 66 year old Stephen Hay of Sidney Center for DWI with a BAC of .09% following an investigation into a property damage accident on Sherman Hill Road in Franklin. Hay was issued tickets for Town of Franklin Court September 12.
About 1,200 homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the June floods received checks yesterday to help them repair and rebuild. Gov Cuomo appeared at Herkimer County Community College to give an update on the flood recovery and state funds to assist with that effort. The checks represent $13.6 million in state funds awarded to those affected by the flooding in the Mohawk Valley, Central New York and Niagara County. Additional checks will be issued as more applications are processed.
US Senator Charles Schumer is trying to make a connection that would bring up to 600 jobs to Delaware County. The jobs would be created at a call center to be built in Hancock. Schumer says he’s pushing for funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. For more information, go to scumer.senate.gov.
A new report on New York’s economy calls the last 10 years a “lost decade” for typical workers, with median wages dropping almost 7 percent for men and about 1 percent for women. The Fiscal Policy Institute said the recovery from the Great Recession shows more underemployment despite the state restoring overall jobs lost in the downturn. The institute said most growth has come in lower-paying businesses like retail and restaurants, while a decline in middle-wage jobs continues, partly from government cuts. The report was based mainly on federal and state labor data.
Celebrating the end of the summer? Make sure you’re not drinking and driving, or you may end up with a Labor Day ticket. State and local law enforcement agencies have been out in force since Aug. 16 with sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to deter drunk driving. Law enforcement agencies will also crack down on drivers whose ability is impaired by drugs, both illegal and prescription. Nationally, someone is killed every 51 minutes on average in a drunk-driving crash. The majority of these crashes involve drunk drivers who have nearly twice the legal BAC of .08 or higher.
Governor Cuomo announced 16 winners, across the state, of a statewide competition to form public-private partneships to prepare high school students for high skill jobs in technology, manufacturing and healthcare. Students can earn an associate degree at no cost. Partnerships include Broome Community College, Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton and United Health Services. For more information, go to governor.ny.gov.
Governor Cuomo announced that most DOT construction projects in New York state wil be suspended over the Labor Day weekend. The Governor’s “Drivers First” inititatve prioritizes the convenience of motorists and ensures that disruptions are as minimal as possible to motorists. For real time travel information, call 511 or go to 511ny.org
Eight Catskill fire towers will be lighted by lanterns placed in the observation cabs, at 9pm Saturday night in a quiet tribute to the historic sites. The lights will burn for about a half hour at 8 towers including Mount Utsayantha in Stamford and Hunter Mountian in Hunter. The towers, erected in the 1900′s in response to a series of devastating forest fires, were used to sight fires into the late 70′s before many fell into disrepair and were closed or removed. The fire towers that remain have been maintained by volunteers. For more information on the Fire Tower Lights, you can contact the Catskill Center at (845)586-2611.
The Rock in the Park Toys for Tots fundraiser held August 10th at General Clinton Park was a big success, according to event co-organizer Jason Hall.
The event featured 3 live bands including former drummer for Lynyrd Skynryd, Artimus Pyle, who also donated one of a kind posters to auction off for the cause. Chenango County Toys for Tots organizer, Denis Rifanburg said this will help a lot of local children this year. Hall and his wife Erica are Bainbridge residents who formed the event to give back to their local community.
A new hiking trail along the Pepacton Reservoir officially opens today just outside the village of Andes, thanks to a partnership between New York City watershed watchdogs, hiking enthusiasts and local officials. The Shavertown trail is 5.2 miles long, with the trailhead located near the kayak and canoe storage area off of County Route 1, six miles south of Andes.
The last of the 2013 Concerts on the Green will take place tonight in Bainbridge at 6:30 with the Old Time Band. St. Peter’s Episcopal church will have a pie sale beginning at 6pm. Bring your chairs or blanket to the village green and enjoy the show. In case of inclement weather, the music and pies will be at the Town Hall Theatre.
The annual Bainbridge Days will be held tomorrow with a variety of fun activities and sales from 10am – 2pm. Main Street will be lined with vendors and many village business will have specials and sales thoughout the day. There will be a classic car show in the village parking lot, and there will be a bounce house and dunk tank. There will also be music by a local band on the Village Green at 6pm Saturday evening.
New York’s top court will hear arguments in two cases that challenge whether towns, cities and villages can ban natural-gas drilling within their borders. The state Court of Appeals agreed to take on cases against the towns of Dryden, Tompkins County, and Middlefield, Otsego County, despite unanimous rulings upholding those towns’ drilling ban by a mid-level appeals court. Both Dryden and Middlefield had passed zoning laws that officially prohibited gas drilling and hydraulic fracturintg. Attorney Scott Kurkoski argued that the state’s Environmental Conservation Law gives all regulatory authority to the state when it comes to oil-and-gas mining.
Gov. Cuomo visited three upstate counties today to provide local officials and residents an update on the state’s efforts to help them recover from severe flooding earlier this summer. Cuomo made stops in Herkimer and Madison counties. The governor provided details on the state’s flood recovery program. A dozen upstate counties suffered damage from severe flooding June 28 through July 4. Herkimer and Madison counties were among the hardest hit areas.
New York voters could decide next year whether the state should borrow $5 billion to cover some of its infrastructure needs. A bill introduced this month would ask voters to allow the state to issue $5 billion in bonds to pay for repairs to aging municipal sewer and drinking water systems to boosting the number of community gardens to initiatives that improve air quality. The proposal calls for the funds to be split up three ways: $2 billion for improving the state’s clean water resources, $2 billion for sewage infrastructure repair and $1 billion for programs improving air quality or preventing urban pollution.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act. Doctors must now check a patient’s narcotic prescription history before issuing or refilling a prescription. The measure was passed by the state Legislature in 2012. Under the law, a real-time database was set up to track every narcotic prescription filled in the state. Schneiderman said the growing problem of prescription drug abuse was aided by a patient’s ability to go “doctor-shopping” and get several prescriptions filled at a time. The law, he said, will end the ability to do that in the state.
With medical expenses among the nation’s highest, New York has begun cutting Medicaid costs by replacing pay-as-you go services with managed care for prescription drugs. The goal is pushing treatment into lower-cost primary care and prevention. The state will also extend that approach to other medical services. Nearly half the $53.5 billion Medicaid budget for 5.3 million low-income New Yorkers goes for fewer than 700,000 chronically ill, elderly patients. The Kaiser Foundation says the state’s annual health care spending averaged $8,341 per person in 2009, fifth highest among states. For more information go to health.ny.gov.
A Rochester man has admitted stealing more than $100,000 in valuables while working as a U.S. Postal Service mail handler. 34 year old Jeremy Lieberman worked in the Rochester Logistics and Distribution Center, where he stole $128,000 in diamonds, coins, gold, jewelry and other items between January and May. He pleaded guilty to theft while working as a postal employee. Lieberman faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is set for Dec. 4.
Binghamton University’s Research Foundation has received a $1.1 million grant, from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, to support the New York State Trade Adjustment Assistance Center. The centers support a range of technical, planning and business recovery projects to help companies and the communities that depend on them adapt to international competition and diversify their economies. Funds will help companies make improvements in manufacturing, engineering, marketing, quality control, information technology and market development.
The apple picking season is getting underway and the public won’t be disappointed. There’s plenty of big red apples growing in orchards. During the 2012 season, an early spring caused the apple trees to bloom a month early. Many farmers had significant crop losses when a cold snap came a few weeks later. But this year, farmers say they’ve had perfect weather conditions and the harvest is right on schedule. Paula Red and Ginger Gold apples are among the earliest blooms which are ready are for picking now. Other varieties will be ready in September and October.
The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown will soon resume its regular hours of operation. Beginning Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, the Museum will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hall of Fame is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, visit baseballhall.org.
Binghamton Police responded to the Alaska Mart at 254 Chenango St. Tuesday night for an armed robbery. The suspect escaped with an undisclosed amount of money. Police described the man as black, between 25 and 30 years old , 5’8″ with a medium build and and wearing a black scarf. Anyone with information is asked to call Binghamton detectives at 772-7080.
A group of slow-moving gusty storms blew through the Twin Tiers Wednesday evening. Thousands of residents were without power during the peak of the storms. Trees fell on vehicles, leaving local residents stranded and closing many local roads. The heavy rains also caused some urban flash flooding, mostly near underpasses.
Two people were injured after a can recycling machine exploded inside the entrance of the Wegmans store in Ithaca. The victims, who were not identified, sustained only minor injuries to their upper bodies and hands. The Ithaca Police Department launched a criminal investigation into the incident. There is still no known cause.
Otsego County has a new emergency notification system in place.The county partnered with Hyper Reach to deliver mass notifications to residents and visitors to the county. It sends thousands of calls or messages simultaneously. It’s automatically linked to all landline telephones.If you want to get messages delivered to your cell phone, you have to go to the county’s web site at OtsegoCounty.com and sign up.
A repaving project on State Highway 12 from Oxford to Norwich will begin today. Contractors will pave nine miles of State Highway 12 from Millbrook Road (south of Oxford) to Norwich. The work will be done from 6 am to 6 pm through September 13th. There will be alternating lane closures so expect delays. Travelers are encouraged to use County Road 32 as an alternate route.
Hartwick College hosted U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for a press conference earlier this afternoon. Gillibrand discussed her proposal to increase access to rural broadband by creating a new grant component to the current Broadband Loan Program, for private sector providers and state and local government,s to acquire funding and resources to deliver high-speed Internet to businesses and families to 1.1 million rural New Yorkers who do not have broadband internet access.
The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office arrested 31 year old Kyle Angle of Sherburne Following an investigation of a Domestic Dispute. Angle was charged with for Criminal Obstruction of Breathing and Blood Circulation, Three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Criminal Possession of a weapon. Angle was found to be choking a female victim while three young children were nearby. Angle was also found to be in Possession of a hand gun without holding a pistol permit. Angle was arraigned in Town of Sherburne Court and will re-appear at later court date.
Oneonta police arrested 23 year old Gable Bugel of Oneonta on a charge of third-degree arson. Bugel is accused of setting fire to a car that was parked in a lot off Roundhouse Road on May 13. The vehicle was destroyed. Last year, Bugel was charged with attempted arson in connection with an incident behind Community Bank on Main Street. In a separate case, 28 year old Therese Sandborn of Oneonta was charged with second-degree attempted arson for allegedly attempting to set her apartment on Luther Street on fire. Sandborn was arraigned in city court and set to Otsego County jail.
State and local government pension rates will drop slightly beginning in April, according to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Public employers at the state and local level will pay an average of 20.1 percent of their payroll into the pension fund during the 2014-15 fiscal year, a drop of 0.8 points from the current year. The drop in rates came as a surprise, as local governments had been bracing for another increase as contribution rates continued to recover from the economic recession. But DiNapoli’s office is changing the way it separates and values its equities and non-equities based on a recommendation from an actuary, allowing for the slight decrease.
Congressman Richard Hanna announced that Tri-Cities Airport in Binghamton was selected to receive $137,000 in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation to make upgrades. The grant will refurbish the runway to maintain structural integrity of the pavement and to minimize foreign object debris. This grant will provide funding for the design phase of the project. Hanna is a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
Thirty schools will be eligible for up to $500,000 in state grants through a new community-schools program launched by Gov. Cuomo. The governor outlined the plan in his State of the State address in January as a way to help struggling communities with additional services. Schools have until Sept. 18 to apply for the money. The $500,000 would be paid out over three years. The state Education Department has the application and program details. Go to NYSED.GOV.
Otsego County has a new emergency notification system in place. The county partnered with Hyper Reach to deliver mass notifications to residents and visitors to the county. It sends thousands of calls or messages simultaneously. It’s automatically linked to all landline telephones.If you want to get messages delivered to your cell phone, you have to go to the county’s web site at OtsegoCounty.com and sign up.
A total of 11,121 housing sales closed in New York in July, a 16.4 percent jump from the same month the previous year. From January through July, 56,522 sales have been reported across the state, a 9.2 percent increase from the same period in 2012, according t the New York State Association of Realtors. The report noted the highest number of July closed sales since 2007 and the highest number of July pending sales since 2005.
A repaving project on State Highway 12 from Oxford to Norwich will begin tomorrow. Contractors will pave nine miles of State Highway 12 from Millbrook Road (south of Oxford) to Norwich. The work will be done from 6 am to 6 pm through September 13th. There will be alternating lane closures so expect delays. Travelers are encouraged to use County Road 32 as an alternate route.
A fugitive on the run from Chemung County was arrested Tuesday evening at the Riverview Court trailer park in the town of Chenango. The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office had been on the lookout for 33 year old Robert Rouille since the morning of Aug. 15th, when he and another man threatened and assaulted a man and woman in their town of Southport home. Rouille faces charges of robbery in the first and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third. He is being sent to Chemung County for further processing.
The husband of a Pennsylvania woman found dead back in July is now charged with involuntary manslaughter. Scott Kunkle, 29, of Monroe Twp., is charged with aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife, 28-year-old Patricia Kunkle, in July after Pennsylvania State Police responded to a domestic dispute at the couple’s home. An autopsy at Lourdes Hospital ruled Patricia’s death a homicide and the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and internal injuries. Toxicology reports showed the presence of bath salts in Patricia’s system. Kunkle was originally arrested for simple assault and reckless endangerment before those charges were withdrawn Monday morning by the Bradford County District Attorney. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bail.
A two vehicle accident near the town line of Nanticoke and Glen Aubrey has left two dead. 34 year old Brett Berg, of Johnson City was driving his car south on Route 26 when it crossed into the opposite lane while going around a curve and hit an SUV. Berg and Michael Smith, 49, of Homer, were pronounced dead at the scene. Passenger Gail Renninger-Smith, 50, of Homer, was taken to Wilson Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries.