P.m. news Friday 12-19
New Yorkers oppose giving the state Legislature its first raise since 1999, and they remained split over whether the state should have moved forward with hydraulic fracturing, according to a Siena College poll. Voters oppose a legislative pay raise, 63 to 28%. Despite voters being evenly split upstate, the state’s tough gun-control law called the SAFE Act was supported, 58 to 33% statewide. Voters were also evenly divided on the Dream Act that would provide tuition assistance to illegal immigrants, with 44% supporting it and 48% opposing it. Governor Cuomo had a 58% to 37% favorability rating, up slightly from October.
Action has been taken against several retailers after an investigation revealed many were selling toy guns that appear to be real. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office sent cease and desist letters to stop the online sales and shipments of toy guns that do not have required distinguishing designs. State law prohibits the sale of imitation guns in realistic colors, unless it has a one-inch wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel. Some toy guns could be mistaken for real weapons by both law enforcement and the general public. Since 1997, at least four people have died when law enforcement mistook toy guns for the real thing.
Governor Cuomo announced that the next phase of New York’s Combat Heroin campaign. Starting today, public service announcements will begin airing in movie theaters across New York State & 10 new “Real Story” videos have been posted to the state’s Combat Heroin website, at combatheroin.ny.gov. The PSAs and new videos show New Yorkers sharing their stories of recovery and addiction, the PSAs will be shown in movie theaters through early January, The Combat Heroin website now has 22 videos of New Yorkers describing heroin or prescription opioid addictions. combatheroin.ny.gov/real-stories.
The state DEC is reminding New Yorkers that as of January 1st, old electronic equipment must be recycled, not thrown in the trash. That includes computers, cell phones, televisions, stereos and other devices that plug in or run on batteries. On DEC’s electronics recycling web page, consumers will find the brand of equipment they wish to recycle, as well as a link to the manufacturer’s recycling program web page and a toll-free number for information about recycling. Go to dec.ny.gov
About three quarters of public high school students in New York graduated on time in June, though graduation rates in the state’s largest cities remain far lower, according to data released by the state Education Department. A total of 76.4% of students who entered 9th grade in 2010 graduated with a diploma before June 2014, up slightly from the 74.9% who graduated within 4 years the previous year.
Governor Cuomo signed legislation opening the door for growing and researching industrial hemp in New York. The bill, introduced by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, creates an agriculture pilot program to study ways to cultivate and manufacture products with the multi-use crop. It passed both houses of the State Legislature in the spring. Colleges and universities, including Cornell, Binghamton University, may take part in New York’s research program.
The Sidney Moose lodge will host a meeting for area children with Santa tomorrow. Santa will appear from 1:00 to 3:00 PM following a lunch from noon to 1;00 PM, lunch is free to children 13 & under. the Sidney moose lodge is located at 20 east Main Street.
P.m. news Friday 12-19
Recent changes to the food stamp program in the new 5-year farm bill, has caused confusion, with regards to an anti-fraud provision. Congressman Chris Gibson said that there was abuse found due to a 2008 change in the federal food stamp program, and the loophole had to be tightened:
Gibson said that those who received the $1 heating assistance check might still be able to get the highest level of food stamps, if they are found to still qualify due to their overall financial situation.
Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver is calling on the state senate to pass the “Dream Act” to bolster state aid for higher education to the children of immigrants:
Silver said that New York is 1 of 17 states that offers tuition assistance to the children of immigrants, the Dream Act would increase the options for those students to receive tuition assistance. The bill is expected to pass in the Democratic Controlled Assembly & the move on to the Senate.
State Police arrested 29-year-old Amber Joy of Morris for Criminal Possession of Marihuana, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana, and Appearance in Public Under the Influence of Narcotics or Drugs. The arrest was made subsequent to a 911 call of a woman screaming outside of a Morris residence, Troopers arrived & determined that Joy appeared to be under the influence of a drug or narcotic, they also observed a plastic bag on the kitchen table that contained 2.3 grams of marihuana. Joy was arraigned at the Town of Morris Court and remanded to the Otsego County Jail in lieu of $1,500 cash bail.
The state Legislature returned to Albany this week, to continue work on the state budget. The state Assembly came back yesterday after a week-long winter break. The state Senate began its session today. The Legislature is scheduled to work through March as they work on passing the budget due April 1. Governor Cuomo has proposed a $137.2 billion budget.
A new Siena College poll shows that 50% of state residents support a 2-year moratorium on the new “Common Core” education standards, 38% said the standards should be implemented as quickly as possible. 63% of Upstate residents backed the moratorium, 36% believe the standards are too demanding, 23% thought the standards are about right, 24% said they weren’t demanding enough.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office completed an audit of the Village of Oxford Justice Court operations and found financial irregularities. The audit found that Oxford justices didn’t insure that collected moneys were accounted for properly. Village Mayor Terry Stark said discrepancies may have occurred, because justices perform all aspects of their duties without oversight by the village board, and the justice involved with the case couldn’t participate in the audit, due to his ill health and subsequent death last November. The village agreed with the recommendations, but pointed out a corrective action plan would be problematic due to the justice’s death.
A new poll shows a majority of New Yorkers support giving municipalities authority to raise the minimum wage locally. The Siena College poll showed 85% support among Democrats, 48% among Republicans and 74% among independents for local authority to raise the wage. Last year, the governor and state Legislature raised the statewide minimum to $8 starting this year, it will increase at the end this year to $8.75 an hour and to $9.00 an hour at the end of 2015.
A group from the Circle Drive Alliance Church in Sidney, will be holding fundraisers so that 13 of them can go to Peru, to assist with Children who are stuck living at a garbage dump. Mission Director Megan Owens explains:
(Megan Owens 1-15-14)
Owens said that the trip would be for 10 days at the end of July into early August, the next fundraiser would be a Pie Auction on January 24th at the Circle Drive Alliance Church at 6:30 PM; more information is available at 437-5799.
New York’s new restrictions on ammunition sales took effect today, requiring all sellers to register with state police and buyers to appear in person to get bullets. It’s part of the New York Safe Act law passed a year ago by Governor Cuomo & the legislature. The law requires transactions to take place in person & it even includes Internet sales, which will require the face-to-face involvement of a New York-licensed seller. The law will also require retailers to record sales and do background checks on buyers as required now for gun sales once a state database is operating.
State police arrested 33-year-old Lamar Jones of Laurens for 3rd degree assault. The arrest resulted from a dispute at the Valley View Trailer Park on County Road 11 in Laurens, where Jones is accused of punching & injuring an unidentified victim. Jones was arraigned in the Town of Laurens Court and remanded to the Otsego County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail. An order of protection was issued by the court
Thousands took to the State Capitol Tuesday to call on Governor Cuomo to increase school aid. They want Cuomo to increase school aid by $1.9 billion, which they say will not only address equality issues for smaller schools but also support Pre-K classes.
The Chenango County Sheriff’s Department arrested a 14 Year old Oxford Youth for 1st degree Sexual Abuse & 1st degree Criminal Sexual Act 1st Degree. The unidentified youth was charged for allegedly subjecting a child under the age of 11 to sexual contact. The youth was issued a juvenile appearance ticket and released to reappear at Chenango County Probation Department.
New Yorkers have contributed more than $51 million for worthy causes through check-offs on their personal income tax forms, but these funds often sit unused, according to a report issued today by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. More than $14 million has accumulated in 6 check-off funds, with nearly 90% of that for health-related causes including breast cancer, prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. DiNapoli’s report found that spending from the 6 dedicated funds with accumulated balances has declined in the last 5 years; a copy of the report is available at visit osc.state.ny.us.
Consumer confidence fell in every region of the state during the last three months of 2013 according to Siena College. New York City consumers expressed the most optimism heading into 2014, while the Binghamton region showed the most pessimism. Every region of the state showed a decline over the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 2012, while each portion of the state outside of Long Island dipped from the 3rd quarter to the 4th quarter of last year.
The Cancer Services Program of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties will offer free health screenings to women 40 and older who are uninsured. The Bassett Cancer Institute’s mobile screening coach will be available Wednesday, February 19th from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Walton Family Planning, 130 North Street, Walton. Appointments can be made at 1-888-345-0225 for your appointment.
Hundreds of business leaders and CEOs from around the globe met yesterday for the official launch of START-UP New York, governor Cuomo’s plan to jump-start the state’s economy, especially in the struggling upstate regions, and around the upstate colleges. Governor Cuomo commented at yesterday’s summit:
Governor Cuomo said that Businesses that are looking to startup or expand, and most importantly create jobs, should Visit www.startup-ny.com to learn more about the program.
The League of Women Voters of the Oneonta Area has set up debates tonight for a number of Otsego county races. The Debates will begin at 7:00 PM & will run until 9:30 this evening, at the Otsego Grille in Morris Hall at the State University of Oneonta. The debates may be viewed on Time Warner Cable public access channels or at lwvoneonta.org.
A state loan program to assist first responders is changing under legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The legislation was sponsored by area State Senator Jim Seward; it increases the amounts of allowable loans under the emergency services loan fund. The program is financed by repayments to the fund, budget authority and a 911 surcharge on wireless telephone calls. Fire and EMS officials who are interested in the program may contact the Office of Fire Prevention and Control at 518-474-6746 or online at http://www.dhses.ny.gov.
Town of Guilford residents are invited to participate in a special planning workshop l on Saturday October 26th at 9:30 AM. The event will be held at the Guilford town hall on marble road, more information is available at 895-9966 or 895-6827.
Natural gas production from the Marcellus Shale region is growing faster than expected, according to a new federal report issued Tuesday. The Energy Information Administration report found production has now reached 12 billion cubic feet a day, which is the energy equivalent of about 2 million barrels of oil a day, and more than 6 times the 2009 production rate. The majority of the Marcellus gas is coming from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the Marcellus shale is also under Ohio & New York, but Ohio has concentrated on oil production, and New York has a moratorium on shale gas drilling while comments were collected & health studies are continuing.
A new poll finds New Yorkers divided over whether the state is on the right track. A Siena College poll of registered voters found respondents evenly divided, 44 to 44% on whether the state is headed on the right or wrong direction. People who live in upstate New York tended to be more pessimistic, with 57% claiming that the state is headed in the wrong direction. 51 percent of New York City and downstate voters felt the state was headed on the right track.
Nearly 92% of teachers were rated highly effective or effective in the first year of a new evaluation system according to the state Education Department. The results are for 126,829 teachers outside New York City. The results come after the state released new student assessment scores as part of the Common Core program last summer, that showed just 31% of New York students in elementary and middle schools were proficient in math and reading.
Una-lam in Sidney is celebrating their 50th anniversary of their Sidney plant today, and they hosted an open house for the public to see their plant in action. Una-Lam President Craig Van Cott told WCDO News about locating the plant in Sidney and what projects they are currently working on:
(Craig Van Cott 10-22-13)
Una-Lam currently employs 40 people at their Sidney facility.
State police located stolen property from a Pennsylvania burglary in Binghamton; troopers arrested 21-year-old Dana Miller of Binghamton for criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession weapon and unlawful possession of marihuana, for allegedly possessing an illegal dagger and small amount of marihuana. Troopers also arrested 24-year-old Jeremy Rogers of Binghamton and 55-year-old Ricky Spencer of Binghamton for 1st degree Burglary. The investigation also determined that Rogers and Spencer had allegedly burglarized a residence in Windsor earlier this month. All three suspects were arraigned at the Binghamton town court and remanded to the Broome County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.
A new poll shows a majority of New York voters support an amendment to the state constitution that would expand casino gambling. The Siena College poll finds 56 percent of respondents would vote yes when read the measure that will be on the Nov. 5 ballot, compared to 40 percent who would vote no. The amendment would allow non-Indian-owned, Las Vegas-style casinos in New York.
Congressman Richard Hanna urged the National weather Service to work to utilize funds to keep stream gages on in New York State, particularly in the Southern Tier. The US Geological Survey has identified 14 gauges that are in jeopardy of shutting down operations on November 1st. In a letter sent to the NOAA, Hanna joined with New York’s senators and Members of Congress to request that the gages continue to operate.
Scammers and con artists are taking advantage of caller ID spoofing technology to pose as local sheriff’s offices. They are calling residents and demanding they pay nonexistent fines. Victims have reported that scammers’ trickery doesn’t end with faking a phone number. scammers will use the names of specific local police officers, some con artists had personal information about the victims. Police remind residents to never wire any money, police will not ask for payment over the phone, especially by money order or prepaid debit card. If you should get a call of this nature, notify law enforcement as soon as possible.
Governor Cuomo reminds teen drivers and their parents about the dangers of distracted driving as part of National Teen Driver Awareness Week. According to a recent study, 75% of serious crashes involving teens were caused by teen driver error, the most common were driving too fast for road conditions, being distracted, and failing to detect a hazard which accounted for nearly half of all serious crashes. safe driving tips and information for teens and their parents are available at dmv.ny.gov.
Today through Saturday is Winter Weather Awareness Week in New York. The yearly campaign aims to make people aware of the hazards winter weather can pose. It also strives to educate people on how to stay safe during the winter months. more information is available at noaa.gov.
16-year-old Children’s Home Residential Treatment Facility resident was arrested by Chenango County Sheriff’s Office for 3rd degree Menacing. The youth was arrested following an altercation at the Children’s Home Residential Treatment Facility in the Town of Greene; he is accused of shoving, striking and attempting to choke a 13 -year-old youth. The Defendant was arraigned in the Town of Coventry Court & was released back to Treatment Facility staff and ordered to appear in the Town of Greene Court at a later date.
THE 15TH ANNUAL FALL PUMPKIN FESTIVAL WILL BE HELD IN NORWICH, ON Friday AND Saturday STARTING ON FRIDAY WITH MUSIC BY FRITZ’S POLKA BAND. A HARVEST DINNER AT ST. BARTS PARISH CENTER FROM 4:30 TO 7:00 PM with A GIANT PUMPKIN CONTEST WEIGH-IN, AND KARAOKE CONTEST AT 6:30 AT EAST AND WEST PARKS IN NORWICH. More information is available at NORWICHPUMPKINFESTIVAL.COM.
The Upstate New York economy remains sluggish according to a Sienna poll. Consumer’s overall sentiment was up nearly three points across the state to 76.2, below national averages. Upstate, the figure was lower at 71.1. Nearly 60 percent of consumers expressed serious concerns about gas prices, and 66 percent had similar concerns about the price of groceries.
Allowing 4 casinos in upstate New York would generate $430 million in annual revenue for the state, according to an estimate from the state budget office. The estimate marks the first time the Cuomo administration has put a dollar amount on the impact of the Upstate New York Gaming and Economic Development Act, which would allow for buy cialis online four casinos to be sited in the Catskills, Southern Tier and the Capital Region. The casinos, however, are contingent on whether voters approve a change to the state constitution in November.
The Sidney Central School Alumni Association will hold their 11th Annual Alumni Sports Hall of Fame “Induction Weekend” this weekend. Induction Weekend begins with individuals and Legacy teams being honored at half time of the Sidney versus Seton Catholic football game tonight at Sidney Alumni Field. The Class of 2013 and Legacy Award recipients will be honored during the annual Induction Dinner and Ceremony Saturday at the Sidney American Legion at 5:00 pm. More information is available at 643-2913.
Otsego County deputies arrested 43-year-old Steven Belton of Oneonta Tuesday night, deputies confiscated heroin, marijuana, $14,000 in cash and three electronic digital scales. Belton is charged with 3rd & 7th degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, criminal possession of marijuana, and criminally using drug paraphernalia. Belton was arraigned in Oneonta Town Court and taken to the Otsego County Jail without bail.
The state DOT announced that crews will be performing bridge maintenance on Interstate 81 southbound over the Chenango River, between exit 5 (Front Street/Broome Community College) and exit 4 (Hillcrest/Binghamton), beginning at 10 AM this morning. Motorists will encounter a left lane closure between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The left lane will be open to traffic at 1 p.m. and the right lane will be closed between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. This work is anticipated to be completed by 3 p.m. this afternoon.
A Siena College poll shows that a majority of Downstate voters support the return of Hydrofracking to upstate New York, but Upstages remain opposed to it by a small margin. The poll said that downstaters approved of Hydrofracking by a 42 to 36% margin, while those in the upstate counties oppose it by a 45-39% margin. An overall poll puts the totals at 42% favored Hydrofracking while 36% opposed it. The poll was virtually unchanged from results in an October Sienna Poll.
The Bainbridge-Guilford Central School will hold a Board of Education Meeting tonight in the District Conference Room to discuss regular district business. The meeting will begin at 6:00 PM with committee meetings. The business portion of the meeting will start at 7:30 PM.