The New York gaming facility location commission will hold their final meeting today, they are expected to announce the 4 winning proposals to operate casinos in 3 upstate regions, one of those is The Souther Tier.
Governor Cuomo announced New York State has received $6.2 million in federal funds that will allow 90 community organizations, hospitals, police departments and district attorneys’ offices to enhance services and protections for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The grants will also support the work of health care professionals who are specially trained in examining sexual assault victims and collecting evidence that can be used by law enforcement, as well as allowing the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault to develop protocols and training that better address sexual assaults on college campuses.
AN OTSEGO COUNTY AGRICULTURE AND FARMLAND PROTECTION PLAN UPDATE PUBLIC FORUM, WILL BE HELD IN THE TOWN OF OTEGO TOWN BUILDING, TONIGHT AT 6:30 PM. THE FORUM IS FOR FARMERS TO SPEAK TO THE OTSEGO COUNTY FARMLAND PROTECTION PLAN COMMITTEE, REGARDING THE 2014 UPDATE, TO CREATE A FRAMEWORK FOR PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND ENHANCING AGRICULTURE IN OTSEGO COUNTY. FOR MORE INFO, CALL 547-8337.
The Student Councils at Unatego Jr/Sr High School will be sponsoring their annual Senior Citizen Day on December 17th. The day will begin at 8:30am, and will include breakfast, games, music, a raffle, and a concert. Reservations are encouraged, at 988-5098.
The Cancer Services Program of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties will offer free health screenings to women 40 and older who are uninsured today. The Bassett Cancer Institute’s mobile screening coach will be open today from 9:00 am-3:00 pm at the Southside Mall parking lot in Oneonta, appointments are requested at 1-888-345-0225.
The New York gaming facility location commission will hold their final meeting today, they are expected to announce the 4 winning proposals to operate casinos in 3 upstate regions, one of those is The Souther Tier.
Officials at the Utica School of commerce announced that the vast majority of classes at the Oneonta Branch and Sidney Site would be suspended for the Spring Semester. All current students and re-entering students will be able to continue their programs at the Utica Campus with transportation provided by the college through Oneonta Bus Lines. The college will continue to maintain the Elm Street Oneonta facilities for student support functions, with the Learning Center -Library relocating there, and computers will be available for student use, 3 days per week. The USC Board of trustees sited a decline in enrollment and recent parking changes in Oneonta for the changes.
Delaware County Fair officials announced their line up for their annual concert for August 22nd 2015. Headliners will be Parmalee with singer-actress Jana Kramer opening. The dates for the 2015 Delaware County Fair are August 17th to the 22nd.
Governor Cuomo announced steps taken in New York State’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” strategy to spur clean energy innovation and investment, improve customer choice and protect the environment. 5 new reforms will enable further growth of the clean energy industry and modernize how utilities operate, The 5 steps taken by the Public Service Commission follow through on the State’s efforts to transform the energy system, details are available at governor.ny.gov
Congressman Chris Gibson announced the federal spending bill approved by the House last week includes $344 million to ensure the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are developing electronic health records to transfer veteran’s medical information. The legislation also includes language to require the VA to create a system to prevent unnecessary mistakes or delays in veterans’ medical care. If goals are not met, a portion of the funding will not be released. The VA reform bill signed into law earlier this year requires the VA to permit veterans to be seen by non-VA healthcare providers if they reside more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility or are unable to secure an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s office announced the availability of text message notification as an enhancement to the New York Sheriffs’ Victim Hotline known as “VINE”. The hotline allows crime victims to learn the custody status of an offender 24-7 by 1-888-VINE-4-NY, the VINEMobile app, the Sheriffs Mobile Patrol App or at VineLink.com.
The Delaware County Broadband Initiative was awarded $2.9 million in matching New York State grant funding by the Southern Tier Economic Development Council following Governor Cuomo’s annual Regional Council Awards Ceremony on Thursday. The DCBI project will extend broadband services to the un-served residents and businesses, with over 210 miles of fiber optic facilities passing 1800 un-served and underserved households, businesses, and institutions in several towns in Delaware County. Additional information willl be posted at mtctelcom.com, delhitel.com, & dce.coop.
Manufacturing activity in New York State contracted for the first time in nearly 2 years. The New York Feds Empire state general business conditions index fell to –3.58 in December, falling to negative territory for the first time since January 2013. The new orders index tumbled –1.97 to 9.14 in November, the pace of growth in employment fell slightly with the index of the number of employees falling t 8.33 from 8.51. The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is 1 of the earliest monthly guideposts to U.S. factory conditions.
There has been a dramatic decline in the number of deaths in New York caused by AIDS. The state Health department recorded the number of AIDS related deaths were down by ¾’s from 1997 to 2012, when the number had dropped to 749. The decline is attributed to greater awareness on how the disease is spread and also powerful drug treatments for those diagnosed with the illness.
New York State has been selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to participate in a federal pilot program for the procurement of locally grown produce to State schools. The Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables was included in the 2014 federal Farm Bill to get local fruits & vegetables into schools. . New York is one of 8 states selected to participate in the initiative.
Residents in the Afton School district voted to purchase property at 43 Caswell Street for $45,000, by a vote of 139 to 23. The district will purchase the property and a building for parking and for storage.
State Police at Oneonta arrested 32-year-old Andrew Ross of Oneonta for Driving While Intoxicated with a BAC of .15%, almost twice the legal limit. The arrest resulted from a traffic stop on Glen Drive in the Town of Oneonta; Ross was issued tickets returnable in the Town of Oneonta Court on December 16th ,
The American Red Cross asks eligible donors to give a blood donation in Delhi today. Donors with all types are needed, especially those with O negative, A negative and B negative. Blood donations will be accepted today in Delhi from 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM at the Delhi United Ministry, 1 Church Street. Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS-to make an appointment or for more information.
I-88 was shut down for several hours Friday night following 2 accidents attributed to black ice, near Harpursville, 1 of the accidents killed 2 Massachusetts residents. The fatal crash occurred at about 5:10 PM, the driver was 28 year old Tatyana Wingham of Massachusetts, state Police said that she was attempting to pass a tractor trailer operated by 34 year old Robert Jordan of Quinton, New Jersey, when Wingham lost control, hit the guide rail and veered directly into the path of the tractor trailer. Wingham was taken to Wilson Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her passenger was 32 year old Rory Wingham of Massachusetts, he was pronounced dead at the scene. State police reported that the roads were covered with ice, a rollover occurred less than 1 mile away from the Wingham fatalities.
Governor Cuomo announced the launch of Community Solar NY, under the NY-Sun initiative to make implementing solar easier and more affordable for communities across the state. Solarize campaigns bring together community outreach and education, competitive installer selection, and a limited-time offer to bring more customers to solar and provide significant cost savings. Applications and additional information are available on the NYSERDA web site at www.ny-sun.ny.gov/community-solar.
The Guilford town planning board will hold a special meeting tonight at the town hall. The meeting will get underway at 7:00 PM at the town hall at 223 Marble Lane.
The American Red Cross asks eligible donors to give Blood this holiday season. On average, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 blood products every day for patients across the country. Eligible donors with all types are needed, especially those with O negative, A negative and B negative. Blood donations today include in Oneonta from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at AO Fox Memorial Hospital Levine Center, also in Gilbertsville from 1:00 to 6:00 PM at the Christ Church State Highway 51 & in Franklin today from 1:30 to 6:30 PM at the Franklin Central School. Appointments are requested at redcrossblood.org, or 1-800-RED CROSS.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $500 million broadband expansion program will be discussed in the 2015 State of the State address in January. The expansion would create a “NY Broadband Fund” that would offer grants to any broadband company that offers to match public funding to expand and improve existing infrastructure. Officials reported that the guidelines for the beginning of the expansion will be released shortly after the State of the State address next month & projects should be underway by mid-summer.
State Police from Sidney arrested 21 year old Dillon Kemmerer of Port Crane for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana and other vehicle and traffic law violations following a vehicle and traffic law stop when a Trooper observed he was driving a vehicle with a suspended registration while on State Route 41 in Afton. An investigation determined Kemmerer had several suspensions on his driver license and was driving without valid insurance. Also, after smelling marihuana, the Trooper found he unlawfully possessed a small amount inside the vehicle. Kemmerer was arraigned in town of Afton Court and sent to the Chenango County Jail on $5,000 bail
A controversial plant could fuel a new agriculture and manufacturing boom in New York according to supporters of a law that would ease restrictions on growing industrial hemp. A bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo would permit hemp to be grown as part of an agriculture pilot program starting next year. It passed unanimously in the Assembly and Senate. It is now awaiting Governor Cuomo’s signature. Lupardo said the goal is to establish capacity & interest in producing hemp products on New York land, with New York labor, to generate money and taxes that stay in the state.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said the FDA released a final rule that sets standards for the use of prescription drugs and other biological products by mothers that are pregnant or breastfeeding. The new content and formatting label requirements, will provide a more consistent way, to include relevant information about the risks and benefits of prescription drugs, and biological products used during pregnancy and breastfeeding
New York Farm Bureau has come out with its annual “Circle of Friends,” naming 125 State Legislators to their annual list of lawmakers who’s voting record closely echoes the Farm Bureau’s agenda. The “Circle of Friends” locally included State Senators John Bonacic, Jim Seward & Tom Libous, and Assembly Members Cliff Crouch, Bill Magee, Donna Lupardo & Pete Lopez.
A proposal to create a single-payer, government-financed health care system for all New Yorkers was the subject of a public hearing at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. Richard Gottfried, chair of the Assembly Health Committee, has been pushing the proposal for more than 20 years. Under his “New York Health Act” bill, the state would get rid of private health insurance and replace it with a publicly funded system. The proposal is opposed by the insurance industry and business groups. Proponents of the single-payer approach said it would lower cost and improve access to care.
State Police at Oneonta arrested 28-year-old Justin Cody of Oneonta for torturing, injuring and failure to feed animals after a Trooper responded to a report of animal cruelty at a residence at the Lantern Hill Trailer Park on State Route 23 in Oneonta. An investigation determined two kittens had died while under the care of Cody who then put the remains under his trailer. He was issued a ticket for town of Oneonta Court December 9th
The chairman of the state Thruway Authority resigned, saying he will return to focus on his business interests. Howard Milstein, the billionaire New York City developer, is leaving the board. The 570-mile highway faces financial problems and is building a $3.9 billion new Tappan Zee Bridge between Westchester and Rockland counties. Milstein’s departure won’t impact the agency’s operations, and they are in the process of finding a replacement to fill the unpaid post. An analysis by a consultant to the Thruway Authority estimates the highway system’s revenue will be $67 million short of its needs in 2015 under the current toll rates.
The Otsego County Board of Representatives passed an annual budget plan at their most recent meeting this week. The budget spends 103 million dollars in the next fiscal year, and lowers the tax levy by 2% from last year’s budget.
Constitution Pipeline Company announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an order approving construction of its proposed pipeline to increase natural gas supply to New York and New England markets, subject to certain conditions that will ensure the protection of natural resources. The 124-mile Pipeline will travel from Pennsylvania, through Broome, Chenango, Delaware and into Schoharie County, construction will begin as early as the first-quarter next year. Studies indicate that the environmental impacts would be to less than significant levels with the implementation of proposed mitigation measures by the company and FERC.
Governor Cuomo announced that the state would convene a summit of agricultural, food, and distribution leaders to brainstorm ways to sell more upstate produce in New York City this Thursday in Manhattan. Currently, locally grown produce has remained as only a small percentage of the overall food sales in the state, in spite of Agriculture being the state’s largest industry. Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy will chair tomorrow’s summit.
Oneonta Police have arrested 29-year-old Adam Egal of Oneonta on burglary & petty larceny charges. Egal is accused if breaking into a dorm at Hartwick College over the Thanksgiving break, staying there illegally for 3 days & stealing alcoholic beverages & cash.
Governor Cuomo announced the first round of businesses certified as New York State Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses. The 21 newly certified businesses cover a range of goods and services including construction services, financial services and a variety of commodities. The designation makes each business eligible to participate in contracting opportunities with the State. More information & applications are available by calling (844) 579-7570 or emailing email@example.com.
The Southern Tier Independence Center is offering help to those looking to enroll in the next round for the Affordable Care Act. Center spokesman Chad Eldred said that there are many misconceptions about what the law means:
(Chad Eldred 12-3-14)
Those who would like more information about the Center can call 724-2111 or log on at stic-cil.org. The deadline to file in this round is Febraury 15th.
Congressmen Chris Gibson is calling on Governor Cuomo to sign into law the Lyme disease bill that passed the State Legislature this year. The Patients’ Rights/Doctor Protection Bill provides that physicians who treat Lyme and other tick-borne diseases according to medical standards should not be subjected to investigations of their medical licenses by the Office of Professional Medical Conduct. Cuomo has not indicated if he will sign the bill.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli said the $5 billion dollars in extra money New York is reaping from the bank settlements should not be viewed as a surplus, and should not be spent as though there will be more money coming in the future. DiNapoli said it should not be used for recurring expenses, like tax cuts or increased school aid. According to projections, the state still has a structural deficit of nearly $2 billion dollars for the upcoming budget year. Cuomo and legislative leaders have said they want the $5 billion dollars to be kept separate from the budget and placed in an infrastructure fund.
The State Department of Taxation and Finance launched the continuing education component of New York’s regulations to protect consumers who hire tax preparers. The training program builds on the first phase of the regulations – tax preparer registration, which began in 2010. Each year, about 70% of tax returns are completed and filed by paid tax preparers. The training program will ensure that those who prepare taxes for others are adequately trained. For more information go to tax.ny.gov
39-year-old Ganesh Ramsaran was sentenced to 25 years to life in jail this morning, for the murder of his wife Jennifer in 2012. Ramsaran received the maximum penalty for 2nd degree murder in Chenango County court today, he was found guilty of the murder of his wife in September. Ramsaran faces court action later in the week for allegedly bribing a Chenango county corrections officer in helping him plan an escape from the jail in exchange for $100,000 cash.
Operation Merry Christmas is underway and will be coming to a close later this week at 19 locations. Program coordinator Ginny Ireland explains how the program works:
(Ginny Ireland 12-1-14)
Ireland said that the deadline to get a present is December 5th; the giveaway will be on December 12th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Sidney Civic Center for those who signed up, more information is available at 563-8119 or 967-8119.
State police at Oneonta arrested 7 people for allegedly stealing from the Oneonta Wal-Mart. The theft occurred at about 9:00 AM Friday. 26-year-old Donovan Howard; 28 year old Kawanda Mathis; 32 year old Misheena Watson; 17 year old Shanya Nevith; 27 year old Joshua Hervey and 18 year old Takell Henry of Utica and 19 year old Quinnasia Berry of Herkimer were charged with 3rd degree grand larceny. All 7 were sent to the Otsego County jail pending future court action. .
Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 34 year old Amy Fultz of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for 3rd degree Criminal Mischief, following a domestic dispute in which it is alleged that Fultz caused over $1,000 damage to a vehicle.
2 Otsego County residents were arrested on Friday after investigators from the sheriff’s office found nearly 13 pounds of marijuana in a Town of Morris home in October. 55-year-old Michael DeLuca of Pittsfield and 62-year-old Sallie Lewis Jacoby of Morris were charged with 1st degree criminal possession of marijuana. Investigators found Deluca and a bedroom full of freshly cut marijuana in Jacoby’s home on Pegg Road. Deluca and Jacoby will appear in Morris Town Court December 15th.
The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is offering a one-day online-only deal on three-year park passes. The special price will be available today only for Cyber Monday. The 3-year Empire Passport will be discounted to $130, a $35 savings off the usual price. An Empire Passport gives unlimited vehicle access to all state parks, nature centers, recreation areas, boat launches and preserves. Information is available at nysparks.com
Teacher retirements in New York have risen 10% since 2010, while staff members have fallen 5.5% over the same time period. The rise in retirements is an ongoing trend as staff reaches retirement age, faces new testing standards and cashes out pensions. State Teachers Retirement System records show the number of teachers in retirement jumped from 141,716 to 155,931 between the 2009 and 2014 school years. At the same time, the number of active members in the system fell from 285,774 to 270,039. New York State United Teachers, the state’s teachers union, attributed new testing standards and tougher teacher evaluations to the reason why teachers are leaving the workforce.
The fifth annual Small Business Saturday is tomorrow, it’s designed to support and promote small businesses nationwide, falling each year during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Steve Craig of Commerce Chenango comments:
(Steve Craig 11-28-14)
Consumers spent $5.7 billion on Small Business Saturday last year; more information is available at smallbusinesssaturday.com.
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will pass through the region today. The train will make a stop in Oneonta at the Gas Avenue crossing at 1:00 PM. entertainment will be provided by Tracey Brown and the Holiday Train band.
Oxford Village Mayor Terry Stark will be in Lafayette Park for the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, Sunday, at 5:00 PM, followed by caroling, refreshments, and a visit by Santa Claus.
State Police at Oneonta arrested 34 year old Matthew Chamberlain of Sherburne for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana. The arrest followed a traffic stop for failing to signal when turning on to State Route 23 in Oneonta, a search of the vehicle found that he unlawfully possessed approximately 13 grams of marihuana. Chamberlain was issued tickets returnable to the Town of Oneonta Court on December 16th.
THE ONEONTA ELKS IS HOSTING A ROAST TURKEY DINNER open to the community tonight at 6:00 PM. The dinner is a fundraiser for the Elks Lodge Charities Community Program.
The village of Bainbridge will hold a community meeting, regarding the revision of the village’s long-term plan. A community meeting will be held tonight at 6:30, at the Bainbridge Town hall. More information is available at 267-8541 or 435-5334.
State Police are investigating an armed robbery Saturday night outside the Citizens Bank on River Road in the town of Chenango. 3 victims employed at the Red & White grocery store & Guiseppe’s pizza, were robbed at knifepoint when they attempted to make a night bank drop off. The suspect was described as a male who is 6 ft – 6 ft 2 inches tall and 200 lbs to 225 pounds, wearing all black clothing and a black mask. The assailant stole an undisclosed amount of cash & fled on foot, anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police at 775-1241.
The Toys for Tots train will be coming to Bainbridge on Saturday, December 6th at 12:00 NOON! The train will be stopping at the Walnut Street crossing, participants are asked to bring a toy to donate to the Toys for Tots campaign. The Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring this event.
State Senator Tom Libous of Binghamton will remain the #2 Republican in the Senate leadership despite lingering cancer issues & legal problems. Libous told WCDO News that the state is moving in the right direction and he enjoys being a part of it:
Libous still faces a charge of lying to the FBI in a case involving his son receiving a job at a politically connected law firm, he also continues to undergo cancer treatments, which he tries to schedule around his hectic schedule.
State Police arrested 29-year-old Benjamin Ryan of Oxford for Felony DWI, & Criminal Possession of a Weapon. The arrest resulted from a vehicle stop for failing to stop at a stop sign on State Route 7 in Unadilla, the investigation determined that Ryan was driving while intoxicated, a check of his criminal history showed that he had a prior conviction for DWI and a prior felony conviction. During an inventory of the vehicle, Ryan was accused of unlawfully possessing a bolt-action rifle. Ryan was arraigned at the Town of Unadilla Court and remanded to the Otsego County Jail without bail.
After New York voters approved 4 upstate casinos last November, 4 Atlantic City casinos have closed and new casinos opened or were approved in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. State regulators may award only 3 licenses instead of the 4 authorized in the 2013 referendum. The state board reviewing casino pitches is expected to make its decisions later this month, with 16 proposals vying for licenses to be split among the Capital Region, the Finger Lakes/Southern Tier region and the Catskills.
Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos supports giving New York lawmakers their first pay hike in 14 years, which may lead to the Legislature coming back to Albany before January to approve it. Senate Republicans met behind closed doors at the state Capitol, where they re-elected Skelos to another two-year term as their leader. Governor Cuomo hasn’t discussed a pay increase for lawmakers, he would have to call a special session of the Legislature before January for the pay increase to be voted on.
A proposal to build a taxiway at the Oneonta municipal airport will be addressed by the Oneonta Common Council during a meeting tonight. Federal and state grants have been approved for construction of a partial parallel taxiway. The council also will consider a lease agreement with the Oneonta Little League for use of the Swart Wilcox “Richard Murphy” Field; funding steps for the Wilber Park bridge replacement project; business contracts and adopting a local law setting certain tax abatements for local housing. The meeting will be in Common Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 7:00 PM.