P.M. NEWS FRIDAY 5-15-15

After 11 weeks of testimony, & more than 50 hours of deliberations, the jury in the 3rd Cal Harris murder trial has been dismissed & a mistrial has been declared. The jury reported that they were deadlocked on a decision regarding Harris’s guilt for the murder of his estranged wife Michele in 2001. Judge Bartlett and the attorneys for both sides will reconvene & they will have to decide if a new trial will be ordered. Harris was convicted twice before in Tioga county court, both of those convictions were overturned on appeal.
19-year-old Joseph Mueller of Delhi has died from injuries sustained in the Wednesday night crash & explosion of a propane tank at the Delhi American Legion. Mueller died Thursday night at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse after suffering severe burns, after he drove a minivan into the propane tank, at about 8:25 p.m. Wednesday. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
The General Clinton Canoe Regatta is still looking for volunteers for next weekend’s event for the gate and many other duties.

(John Harmon 5-15-15)

Those wanting to volunteer can call Lori McGraw at Snips & Snails in Bainbridge at 967-4393.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation finalized the 2,000 page Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Hydraulic Fracturing this week. The document was 7 years in the making, with thousands of public comments delivered to the DEC on the controversial issue. The documents discuss possible environmental effects, Governor Cuomo banned Fracking earlier this year, fracking was permitted in New York State from 1979 to 2008.
The 31st annual Senior Council Barbecue and Pie Auction will take place on Tuesday, June 2nd, at the Delhi American Legion at 4:30 PM; the event will raise funds for programs and services for the elderly in Delaware County, and Tickets can be purchased from Senior Council members, or at the Office for the Aging, by Wednesday, May 27th.

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A.M. NEWS FRIDAY 5-15-15

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office & State Police arrested 27 year old Michael Pierce of Norwich following an investigation into the manufacturing and sale of methamphetamine in Chenango County. Pierce was located in the Lowes Parking Lot in the Town of Norwich; he possessed several items used to manufacture methamphetamine using the “one pot” method. Materials were also located in Pharsalia and Preston. Pierce was charged with Unlawful Manufacturing of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Disposal of Methamphetamine Laboratory Material, and Criminal Possession of Precursors of Methamphetamine. He was arraigned in the Town of Norwich Court and remanded to the Chenango County Correctional Facility on $50,000 cash bail. Additional charges are pending.

(Mike Sellitti 5-15-15)

Sellitti said that plans are also in the works for a stream clean up day later this summer to clean out debris from the Carr’s creek watershed.
The Sidney American legion will show their appreciations for veterans on Armed Forces day tomorrow, with chicken barbecue dinner. Legions Spokesman Larry Halbert explains:

(Larry Halbert 5-15-15)

More information is available at 237-4762.
The Cancer Services Program of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties will offer free health screenings to women 40 and older who are uninsured or underinsured. The Bassett Cancer Institute’s mobile screening coach will be available today from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at Cooperstown Dreams Park on State route 28 during the Otsego County Relay For Life event, appointments are requested at 1-888-345-0225.
There will be a “Meet the Candidates” event on Sunday from 2:00-3:00 pm at the Sidney Memorial Public Library in the Smart Community Room for Sidney School district residents running for the Board of Education. The Sidney Teachers’ association and the Sidney Area Youth Advocate program are co-sponsoring this event; more information is available at 563-2952 or 563-2456.

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Governor Cuomo announced that New York State has extended the ban on residential brush burning until May 21 due to continued dry conditions across the state. the burn ban also prohibits outdoor fires, such as campfires and recreational fires, and open fires used for cooking. This year, 110 fires have already burned nearly 3,600 acres.

Jury deliberations continued again today in the 3rd Cal Harris Murder trial in Schoharie County Court. The jury was back deliberating after a brief break at lunchtime, Harris is seeking to be exonerated for the murder of his wife, and after 2 Tioga county juries convicted him of the crime, even though Michelle Harris body was never found since her suspected murder in September 2001. Jury deliberations are into their 10th day, after 11 weeks of testimony.
19-year-old Joseph Mueller of Delhi suffered severe burns last night, hen his vehicle went into a propane tank outside the Delhi American Legion hall. The tank exploded, and firefighters from several area companies responded Mueller was taken to the burn unit at Upstate Medical Hospital in Syracuse. The crash happened at about 8:30 last night, about 30 people successfully evacuated the Legion hall, the Hall & a pavilion had minor damage, 3 store units were destroyed.
State Police at Oneonta arrested 43-year-old James Henderson of Franklin for Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation, Unlawful Imprisonment, Criminal Mischief and Harassment. Troopers responded to a Delaware County 911 report of a dispute at a residence on Rod & Gun Club Road in the Town of Franklin. An investigation determined that during a physical dispute with his girlfriend he grabbed her by the neck, kept her from using the telephone to call police and would not let her leave. Henderson was arraigned in the Town of Davenport Court and remanded to the Delaware County Jail on $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 property bond pending a court date for the Town of Franklin is on May 28th.
Dean Skelos resigned as State Senator Majority leader & State senator John Flanagan of Long Island was elected as the new Senate Majority leader, over Syracuse area State Senator John DeFrancisco, by the senate republican caucus. Area state Senator John Bonacic described how the causes went:

(Bonacic 5-14-15)

Skelos & his son face a number of charges of corruption following a federal investigation that also brought down former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver earlier this year. Both Skelos & Silver refused to resign from their seats in the respective houses.
Otsego County has received a federal grant through the New York State Homes & Community Renewal to replace dilapidated owner-occupied mobile homes with new, energy-efficient manufactured homes. General eligibility is based on gross household income at or below 80% of the area median, ownership in the name of the applicant of the property where the existing mobile home is located, and poor condition of the home. Mobile homes on rented lots or in parks are not eligible. Interested families are asked to call Otsego Rural Housing Assistance at 286-7244.
Chenango County Fire officials reported a Barn fire at around 1:00 PM this afternoon. The barn was located at 2065 state route 12 in the town of Greene; firefighters from Coventry and Brisben have also been called in. WCDO will have more details as they become available.
In 1984, New York State became the 1st State to pass legislation requiring drivers and front-seat passengers to use seat belts. State officials reported that thousands of lives a year have been saved by seat belts, including 467 in 2012 and 446 in 2013. Tomorrow, representatives from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee will be hosting an event regarding the latest “Click it or Ticket – Border to Border” enforcement mobilization, to enforce seat belt laws in the Southern Tier of New York & the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. The event will be held at 11:00 AM at Broome Gateway Rest Area on Interstate 81 in Kirkwood.
The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce will host a business after hours event tonight at ISD in Oneonta. The Business After Hours event will run from 5:30 to 7:00 pm it will feature demonstrations by RoboKronos & their robot, ISD is located at 98 Chestnut Street, Oneonta, more information is available at 432-7090.

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A Schoharie county jury deliberated for only 2 1/2 hours this morning in the 10th day of deliberation in the Cal Harris Murder trial. The jury was sent home at about noon today, they are scheduled for a full day of deliberations tomorrow, unless a verdict is reached quickly. The testimony portion of the trial lasted over 11 weeks.
Governor Cuomo announced that New York National Guard personnel and emergency officials from the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services are traveling to Pennsylvania to assist ongoing response efforts after the fatal Amtrak accident last night in Philadelphia. 6 people were killed and dozens injured when a New York City Bound Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia.
The dispute between the Binghamton Mets Ownership & a Florida based group that claims to have had a deal to buy the team, has moved on to mediation in front of US Magistrate Judge David Peebles. B-Mets Owner Michael Urda claims that Main Street baseball wanted to move the franchise out of Binghamton, Urda said that any sale of the team stipulates that the Mets stay in Binghamton and play at NYSEG Stadium. Urda claims that a new group has come forward & expressed a desire to buy the team & keep it in Binghamton.
New York State Lottery has identified Jessica McLean of Oneonta as the $1 Million dollar winner of the “Cash Deluxe” scratch-off game. McLean won the top prize for the game on a ticket purchased by her boyfriend last month at Hannaford’s in Oneonta.
The school year has concluded for the State University system, & Graduation exercises are underway throughout the 62-school system. SUNY Officials said that ten of thousand of graduates will move onto to careers or additional schooling, more than three million people have graduated from SUNY since its inception. The commencement festivities have already started and will continue through the early part of June. SUNY Binghamton will hold their commencement exercises this Sunday, SUNY Oneonta will hold their commencement this Friday, SUNY Delhi will have theirs on Saturday.
The Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich announces the opening of another exhibit this weekend. On Saturday, May 16th, the “Muscle Cars, Motorcycles & Memories” Exhibit will open, featuring a 1965 Shelby Mustang and a 1970 GTO; the exhibit will run through April 2016. More information is available at 334-2886 or classiccarmuseum.org.
State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli released a report showing that the Start Up New Yrok Campaign has had minimal return on the investment, especially after Television ads ran repeatedly in New Yrok last year. Area Assemblyman Cliff crouch comments:

(Cliff Crouch 5-13-15)

The start Up New York campaign promises new businesses that move to New york to operate here tax free for ten years, if they meet certain requirements.

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A joint investigation by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer and The Village of Sidney Police Department resulted in the arrest of 19-year-old Matthew Stafford of Sidney Center, who is accused of having an unlawful sexual relationship with an underage victim since the end of 2014. Deputies charged Stafford with 13 counts of sexual misconduct and 11 counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Stafford was issued appearance tickets returnable to the Town of Sidney Court at a later date. Sidney Police Department charged Stafford with 2 more counts of sexual misconduct and 1 count of endangering the welfare of a child for his actions within the Village of Sidney.
Judge Barkett has ordered the Schoharie county jury to keep deliberating to a verdict, in the 3rd Cal Harris murder trial. The jury is into the 10th day of deliberations, they are being asked to decide if Cal Harris murdered his estranged wife Michelle in 2001 in Tioga County, where 2 juries decided that he did commit the crime, those convictions were overturned on appeal.

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Governor Cuomo announced today that he is taking some personal time to support his Girlfriend Sandra Lee, as she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Lee is in the early stages of the disease, and faces surgery shortly, Cuomo stated that she had kept her illness private since March & she has decided to speak openly about her illness in order to remind women of the lifesaving power of early detection.
After another pronouncement by the Schoharie County jury of a deadlock in the Cal Harris Murder trial, the jury was once again instructed to keep deliberating. Harris’s 3rd trial, and the first in Schoharie County, is the longest one to date, with the jury deliberating over 40 hours over 9 days. Harris is accused of killing his estranged wife Michelle in September 2001.
Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a former Walton area parolee On Monday on a County Court Warrant for failure to appear & failure to pay court ordered restitution. Deputies & State Parole Officers arrested 28-year-old Eric Black of Binghamton at the Parole Office in Binghamton following his scheduled appearance with his assigned Parole Officer. Black was convicted of 3rd degree Burglary; he was released from prison in March 2014, subject to Parole supervision. Black was remanded to the Delaware County Correctional Facility without bail pending County Court action today.
New York collected $149.1 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2014-15, an increase of $11.4 billion, or 8.3% from the prior year, largely because of one-time financial settlements and a boost in federal aid, according to a report by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The state collected more than $71 billion in taxes, Business tax collections of $8.5 billion. The state received $48.6 billion in federal grants, which were used primarily for Medicaid, homeland security, public welfare and education.
The Sidney Center Improvement Group is hosting their annual Spring Street Team Cleanup Day this weekend on May 16th. The Group is looking for volunteers to help with cleaning the streets of trash and light debris in and around the Hamlet; they will provide free t-shirts, a full lunch, prizes and all cleanup supplies. A large dumpster will be on site for residents to dispose of trash.
The New York Lottery announced today that an Oneonta woman won the top prize of 1 Million dollars, on a “Cash Deluxe” scratch-off purchased by her boyfriend last month. The woman was not identified in the announcement; a check presentation is scheduled for Wednesday morning at Hannaford’s in Oneonta, where the ticket was purchased.

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State Senator Republicans have elected Senator John Flanagan as the State Senate Majority Leader. Flanagan replaces Dean Skelos, who is facing federal corruption charges & was forced to step aside.
Governor Cuomo issued an update on this weekend’s transformer fire at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in Westchester, as the DEC, State Police & US Coast Guard continuing working at the scene. The DEC and Coast Guard, continue to clean up oil spills, as they evaluate the environmental damage, the DEC anticipates having an estimate of the amount oil recovered from the Hudson River by the end of the week. Some oil burned during the transformer fire or dispersed before containment was in place in the river.
Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies investigated a two-car accident Saturday on County Highway 21 in the Town of Walton. 48-year-old Kathryn Smith of Franklin was northbound on County Highway 21 when she was side-swiped by a vehicle being driven by 51 year old William Davis of Franklin. Deputies charged Davis with Failure to Keep Right, DWI, & Refusal to Take a Breath Test. Davis was arraigned in the Town of Hamden Court and was remanded to the Delaware County Jail on $500 cash bail pending an appearance in the Walton Town Court on May 27th.
Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested and charged a Sidney Center man with being a Fugitive from Justice from the State of New Jersey on Monday. Deputies arrested 33 year old Dennis Lafferty Jr., on a Warrant and Bail Forfeiture issued by a New Jersey Superior Court in March 2014. Lafferty was originally charged in New Jersey with Theft, Lafferty, was already incarcerated in the Delaware County Jail on an unrelated charge, he is scheduled to be arraigned in the Town of Delhi Court This morning as a Fugitive from Justice.
The Town of Unadilla will have rolling road closures beginning today at 7:00 AM, crews will be putting down oil & stone on Sheep Pen Road, Kilkenny Road & Rod & Gun Club Road.
The Chenango county Health Department will hold the next free rabies clinic in Bainbridge today. The clinic will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 at the Bainbridge village garage at 1 River Street, for dogs, cats & domesticated ferrets. More information is available at 337-1673 or co.Chenango.ny.us.

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P.M. NEWS MONDAY 5-11-15

State Police are currently looking for 2 teenaged sisters from Binghamton, who have been missing since April 27th, they were last seen at Susquehanna Valley School waiting to get on the school bus that afternoon. Ky-Lea Fortner is a 15 year old, white female, 5’ 6” tall and thin build, with medium red hair, blue eyes and a lip piercing, she was wearing a white shirt, army pants and gray boots. Shaeleen Fortner is a 13-year-old white female, who is about 5’ 2” and thin build, with short dark brown hair and brown eyes, she was last seen wearing a black tank top, black leggings and converse sneakers. Any one with information should contact the State Police at 775-1241.
A Schoharie County Jury has now deliberated for more than 30 hours over 8 days, with no decision on the fate of Cal Harris. Harris is accused of killing his estranged wife Michelle in Tioga County in 2001, he has been convicted twice before, and both convictions were overturned on appeal. The trial was moved to Schoharie county, testimony lasted over 11 weeks.
State DEC Officials are reminding area residents that the Burn Ban remains in effect through May 16th. The dry conditions along with the recent heat have led to a series of brush & grass fires across the Catskills. The regulations regarding open burning are available at DEC.NY.Gov.
State Senate majority Leader Dean Skelos of Long Island is expected to step down as leader of the state senate today, following his arrest on federal corruption charges, along with his son Adam. Skelos is expected to hold on to his seat in the state senate, just like former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver did earlier this year, after he was brought up on federal corruption charges. State Senator John DeFrancisco of Syracuse claims to have enough support to take over; as Senate majority leader should Skelos step down.
The General Clinton Canoe regatta will start off with the 2nd annual “Regatta’s Got Talent” competition Friday night in General Clinton Park. Regatta Chairman John Harmon explains:

(John Harmon 5-11-15)

“Regatta’s Got Talent” will kick off at 6:30 PM through about 9:30 PM.
Delaware County Sheriff Deputies arrested 52-year-old Nicholas Haven of Walton for Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated and Failure to Keep Right and various equipment infractions following traffic stop Friday. Haven will appear in the Town of Delhi Court at a later date to answer to the charges.
State Department of Health is reminding New Yorkers to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves against rabies exposure from stray and wild animals, like bats, which may find their way into people’s homes. If a bat is found inside the home, do not try to remove it by opening doors or windows; they should attempt to catch it safely using Doha’s guidelines. Once caught, individuals should contact their local health department so that the bat can be tested for rabies at the Rabies Laboratory in Albany. The Department has complied a listing of statewide free rabies clinics at health.ny.gov.

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