State Police will be out in full force for the Christmas holiday. Police will be looking for aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, as well as motorists who are using cell phones for calling or texting, and they will be looking for compliance to seat belt laws and the new “Move Over” laws.
Free Christmas dinners are being offered for those who are struggling, or who have no family visiting this year, at the River Club in Afton Christmas day, with deliveries available within a 10-mile radius, toys have also been collected & will be distributed to children in attendance. No reservations are necessary, dinner will be served from 12:00 Noon to 2:30 PM, deliveries can be arranged by calling 639-3060. In Sidney, a free Christmas day dinner is also being offered at the river street fire station from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli reminds New Yorkers that contributions to a New York State 529 College Savings Program account are tax deductible. The 529 College Savings Program is designed to help parents save for college, ranks among the best in the nation, and Contributions made by December 31 can provide up to $10,000 in state tax deductions on 2014 tax filings. More information is available at osc.state.ny.us/college.
The parent company of the Constitution Pipeline has filed eminent domain proceedings against 55 landowners along the proposed pipeline route from Northeast Pennsylvania through the Southern Tier & into Schoharie County. The Pipeline’s proposed 124-mile route travels through Broome Chenango & Delaware Counties locally, the project recently received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to continue, they look to begin construction as soon as possible.
The state labor department has released the unemployment statistics for November. Locally Chenango county rate dropped to 5.7%, Delaware County’s rate was down to 6.3% and Otsego County dropped to 5.5% in November.
State Police will be out in full force for the Christmas holiday. Police will be looking for aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, as well as motorists who are using cell phones for calling or texting, and they will be looking for compliance to seat belt laws and the new “Move Over” laws.
Sidney Village Officials unveiled their plans to US Senator Chuck Schumer Saturday, to re-invent the Village and get residents out of harms way when future flooding rains hit the region. Sidney Economic Development Director John Redente explains:
(John Redente 12-23-14)
The village is expecting about 22 million dollars for the plans to move resident out of the River Street area, turn that into a Green space, and move those residents into a new development in the Plankenhorn Road area.
Another free meal will be available for those in need at the Sidney Fire Station on Christmas day. Area resident Gene Schmidt is coordinating the event:
(Gene Schmidt 12-23-14)
No prior reservations are required, those who would like to help serve, can call Gene Schmidt at 610-4030.
The American Red Cross announced today that they would have a blood drive at the Bainbridge town hall on Monday December 29th. The blood drive will be held from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, appointments can me made at redcrossblood.org
Governor Cuomo announced that farmers in New York set a sales record in 2013, with $5.68 billion in cash receipts, more than $1 billion more than just 3 years earlier. The first-ever Farm to Table Upstate-Downstate Agriculture Summit, held just a few weeks ago, brought new initiatives to connect the upstate farmers with downstate consumers. A new “Buy New York” initiative was introduced, to increase New York State agricultural purchases among state agencies and other institutions. Agricultural remains the state’s top industry, followed by Tourism.
The state DEC has revised the list of Endangered Species in New York. To revise the list, DEC and cooperating species experts developed an assessment document for 594 species, the draft final list contains 372 species, half of which are considered high priority for conservation action in the near term. More information about the state’s endangered Species is available at dec.ny.gov/animals.
Spending by New York’s largest public authorities jumped $3.5 billion since last reported in 2013, with state and local authorities reporting nearly $60 billion in spending in their latest annual filings, according to a report released by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. Meanwhile, the combined debt of state and local authorities topped a quarter of a trillion dollars. DiNapoli found that state public authorities spent $38 billion in their last reported fiscal year, local authorities spent $21.5 billion. The report can be accessed at osc.state.ny.us.
Governor Cuomo vows to help the Southern Tier, after the region lost out on the possible revenues from the banning hydraulic fracturing, and by the placement of a casino in the Finger Lakes rather than Johnson City or Tioga Downs. Local leaders such as State Senator Tom Libous have pressed Cuomo to reconsider issuing a fourth casino license to the region, only 3 were picked by the state casino gaming commission.
The Broome County Sheriff’s Office arrested 35-year-old Brett Hines of Windsor Sunday following the report of a domestic dispute. Hines is accused of breaking televisions, walls & striking a female as she held an infant, then fleeing the scene. State police found Hines in Harpursville and he was taken into custody. Hines was charged with harassment, criminal mischief & 4 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, he was arraigned in the Town of Windsor Court and taken to the Broome County Jail on $400 bail pending future court action.
The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office completed an investigation into the theft of dirt bikes from a Town of Sherburne business. 3 people have been arrested following the investigation, charged were 26-year-old Michael Hicks of Norwich for Petty Larceny, hicks is currently in the Chenango County Correctional Facility without bail. Additional charges involving the pursuit are pending. Deputies charged 23-year-old David Wehrenberg of Richfield Springs for 4th degree Grand Larceny, he was also found to have an active arrest warrant for Insurance Fraud from Otsego County, he was processed and turned over to the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies also arrested 20-year-old Brent Manwarren of Norwich for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property; he will appear in the Town of Norwich Court at a later date. The stolen items were returned to the victim, more charges are likely in this case, the City of Norwich Police Department assisted with the investigation.
The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office arrested 26-year-old Thomas Ackermann of Otselic, following an investigation into several larcenies from motor vehicles in Norwich and North Norwich. Detectives executed a search warrant on Ackermann’s vehicle and residence where they recovered several stolen items. Ackermann was charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, he was arraigned in the City of Norwich Court and remanded to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office on $5,000 cash bail. The Norwich City Police Department assisted with the investigation.
State tax collections through the first 8 months of the state’s fiscal year totaled $41.8 billion, $242.2 million higher than projected in the latest Financial Plan update, according to the November cash report released by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The state has also collected nearly $4.1 billion of the $5.5 billion expected from financial settlements since the budget was enacted, which is approximately $3.8 billion more than anticipated. All Funds receipts increased 5.6% or $4.9 billion, through November 30th primarily because of settlements and assessment revenues. The General Fund closing balance totaled $6.6 billion, which was more than $1 billion higher than updated projections and $2 billion higher than a year earlier.
The River Club of Afton will hold their 3rd annual Free Christmas day Buffet for those in need. River Club Spokesman Kyle Kelly explains:
(Kyle Kelly 12-22-14)
The Buffet will be held on Thursday, Christmas day form 12:00 noon to 2:30 PM, deliveries may also be available; more information is available at 639-3060
Governor Cuomo & state leaders announced the awards for the Regional Economic Development Councils today in Albany. Cuomo talked about how the successes of the councils activities over the last 4 years have helped lead New York’s resurgence:
Locally, the Southern Tier Regional Council, which includes Chenango, Delaware & Broome Counties, came in 3rd by receiving $80.8 Million dollars for their plans for economic development.
Delaware County Sheriff’s Office investigated a fatal 1-car motor vehicle accident on State Highway 10 in the Town of Hamden. 48 Year old Kelvin McKnight of Walton and a passenger, 23 year old James Spain of Walton were traveling north on State Highway 10 in the Town of Hamden near the intersection of County Highway 26 when the vehicle veered to the left and drove off the highway where the vehicle then struck a tree. McKnight was transported to O’Connor Hospital in Delhi where he later died from the injuries sustained in the accident. Spain was transported to Delaware Valley Hospital in Walton for evaluation and treatment. The accident remains under investigation.
Johnson City police arrested 25-year-old Caleb Wearne of Afton after a fight with his ex-girlfriend on December 6th, while they were driving along Harry L Drive in Johnson City. Wearne is accused of making threats, punching the woman and pulling her hair & striking her with the rear-view mirror. Wearne was charged with 2nd degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned in Union Town Court and sent to the Broome County jail.
Starting Friday, State Police will conduct a Safety Without Borders operation in partnership with bordering U.S. and Canadian law enforcement agencies. The initiative is a highly visible traffic safety enforcement initiative that emphasizes the shared goal of safe roadways regardless of jurisdictions. Law enforcement will be concentrating on impaired driving, aggressive driving, distracted driving, Move-Over Law and improper seat belt use. In 2013, the New York State Police investigated 242 fatal crashes and 12,539 personal injury accidents. Participating agencies issued nearly 3,000 tickets during the campaigns in April and June of this year, there were no fatalities reported during those initiatives.
State Police are investigating a bank robbery at the Peoples Security Bank in Conklin, police are looking for a white male subject, thin build, approximately 5 foot 10 inches tall, He was last seen wearing a brown or reddish knit hat with a single stripe at the bottom along with a tan and red plaid scarf wrapped around his face, wearing black framed glasses. The suspect was last seen in a Maroon Ford Taurus with a gold New York State license plate, the last 2 digits possibly being 66.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli stated that the cuts over the last decade to the DEC have significantly hindered the state’s ability to properly regulate polluters and enforce the environmental laws. DEC staff workloads have increased and that could increase should Hydraulic Fracturing is allowed in the state following a lengthy moratorium. A recent report found that the DEC has reduced inspections by 35%, water pollution inspections by 74%, and smokestack testing by 44%. DiNapoli recommends using the projected 5 billion dollar windfall to increase staffing at the DEC in next year’s budget.
Governor Cuomo today announced that regulatory guidance has been issued to help ensure that transgender New Yorkers have equal access to commercial health insurance coverage. The Department of Financial Services sent industry guidance to all New York insurers stating that they may not deny medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria, a condition when a person’s gender at birth is contrary to the one with which they identify. An insurer retains the right to review gender dysphoria treatment for medical necessity purposes, as it may do with any benefit covered under a health insurance policy.
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
The Sidney Chamber of Commerce has scheduled their annual Christmas parade fro this Friday night, Chamber Director Kerri Green comments:
(Kerri Green 12-2-14)
Parade participants are reminded to line up in the parking lot before the parade at 5:30. The parade begins at 6:30
Governor Cuomo received a status report outlining progress by State agencies to protect New Yorkers from the potential risks with the transport of crude oil. 66 actions have been implemented to strengthen standards, regulations and procedures to make the transport of crude oil by rail and water in New York safer, and to improve spill preparedness and response. The rule changes followed explosions of crude oil on trains in North Dakota that were scheduled to be shipped across the State.
State Police arrested 21-year-old Alexander Church of Delhi for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana. The arrest resulted from a traffic stop for failing to keep right while driving on State Route 28 in Franklin, Church is accused of driving while impaired & also unlawfully possessed approximately three grams of marihuana, he was issued tickets returnable to the Town of Franklin Court on December 11th.
New York State has identified 278 licensed gun owners who could lose their weapons because they are considered mentally unstable. At least eight of them are Central New Yorkers, half of whom have had their guns and permits taken away by authorities. Psychiatrists and other health professionals reported these individuals to the state because they appeared to be at risk of harming themselves or others. Under a provision of the SAFE Act, mental health providers have reported over 38,000 at-risk patients, 737 of them from Central New York
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced the release of several municipal audits, including for the Village of Bainbridge. The audit found that the board did not request adequate reports from the clerk-treasurer and was unable to make informed financial decisions. In addition, the clerk-treasurer’s records understated the total fund balance of the general, water and sewer funds by a combined $233,000. The report & the village’s response to the audit are available at osc.state.ny.us.
Governor Cuomo today announced that the State University of New York has adopted a uniform sexual assault prevention and response policy for SUNY campuses. The policy is being disseminated today to each campus’ official’s implementation. The policy follows the resolution passed by the SUNY Board of Trustees in October, The Governor also today launched a new website that provides information regarding sexual assault prevention and response for students, parents, administrators and law enforcement at campuscrime.ny.gov.
Family Planning of South Central New York is offering free, confidential, rapid HIV testing and counseling this week at the following locations and times: 5 Cortland Street, Norwich tomorrow-Friday noon to 4 PM, 37 Dietz Street, Oneonta: tomorrow-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 PM, 37 Pleasant Street, Sidney: Thursday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 130 North Street, Walton: tomorrow 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The rapid HIV test gives results in 20 minutes. Patients will receive counseling on how to identify and reduce their risk of HIV infection. For more information call 607-723-8306
Another “Reunite Bainbridge” Meeting will be held on Monday Evening at The Bainbridge Town Hall. Bainbridge Chamber President John Payne comments:
(John Payne 11-19-14)
The meeting will begin Monday night at 7:00 PM; Bainbridge residents are encouraged to attend.
Assemblyman Cliff Crouch reminds young farmers of the State’s Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program is now accepting applications, to help encourage recent college graduates to pursue careers in farming. The program provides loan forgiveness awards to individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved State college & agree to operate a farm in New York State on a full-time basis for 5 years. The program provides 10 awards of up to $10,000 in education loan forgiveness annually for up to 5 years, applications are available at hesc.ny.gov. The deadline is December 15th.
State comptroller Tom DiNapoli approved a $644,000 contract with the New York State Technology Enterprise Corporation, a nonprofit technology consulting company, to help implement the state’s new medical marijuana program. The contract, for “Project Management and Quality Control Services for Medical Marijuana Project,” runs through December 31, 2015. Governor Cuomo signed a law allowing medicinal use of marijuana earlier this year, and will implement the state’s program over an 18-month time period.
The Sidney Elks Club is hosting a Farmer Mixer/Info Night tonight. The event will begin at 6:00 pm at the Sidney Elks Club on River Street in Sidney, for those who are interested in taking their farm operation to the next level and need help in doing so.
State Police will conduct graduation exercises for its 2014 Canine Handler Basic School at the New York State Police Academy in Albany tomorrow at 1:00 PM. The 14 graduates include members from the New York State Police, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Saugerties Police Department. Trooper Robert Turnbull & Canine Diff will be assigned to Troop C in Sidney.
Commerce Chenango announces that their Annual Business After Hours Holiday Spectacular will be held on December 2nd from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, at NBT Bank at 52 South Broad Street in Norwich. Registration is required by November 25th at 12:00 noon, at 334-1402.
The results are in from yesterday’s elections. In statewide races, Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Attorney General’s Eric Schneiderman & State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli win re-election by healthy margins, and all 3 state propositions pass. In the 19th Congressional District Incumbent Chris Gibson is re-elected, in the 52nd State Senate district, Incumbent Tom Libous is the winner, in 121st Assembly District, incumbent Bill Magee wins again, & Broome County Sheriff David Harder is re-elected.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
In local races, for the Sidney Town Board, Republican Jody Proffitt defeats Loddie Marsh by a small margin, in Oneonta, Patricia Kent wins re-election to the town board by a large margin, in Franklin, Republicans Donald Smith and Lisa Huyck win 2seats on the town council
The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ganesh Ramsaran for 2nd degree Bribery; he is accused of offering a Chenango County Corrections Officer of $100,000 to aid in his escape from the Correctional Facility. Ramsaran was arraigned in the Town of Norwich Court and remanded back to the Chenango County Correctional Facility on $1,000,000 Dollars Cash Bail or $2,500,000 Property Bond, he’ll return to the Town of Norwich Court at a later date. The investigation is continuing with additional charges possible.
The State DEC amended its Chronic Wasting Disease regulation, to prohibit people from importing into New York certain parts of white-tailed deer, elk or moose taken in the state of Ohio. In late October, the Ohio Department of Agriculture confirmed a case of Chronic Wasting Disease in a white-tailed deer, 1 has also been confirmed in Pennsylvania. Hunters who plan to hunt white-tailed deer, elk or moose in Ohio or Pennsylvania must remove the brain, eyes, spinal cord, tonsils, intestinal tract, spleen and lymph nodes before returning to New York with a deer, more information is available at dec.ny.gov.
NYSEG will inspect natural gas transmission rights of way in the Oneonta region this week. The inspections will be done by helicopter, enabling company officials to spot & correct vegetation & encroachment issues that could hinder repair crews. The helicopter inspections will occur today & tomorrow.
Peak Fitness on State Route 7 in Bainbridge is open for business today, one day after a shooting took place in the parking lot out front that resulted in 1 death & 1 injury. Peak Fitness Manager Aric McKown comments:
(Aric McKown 10-28-14)
State Police reported that 26 year old Derek Prindle of Afton died, his father 60 year old Derek Prindle of Afton was taken to Wilson Hospital in Johnson City for a gunshot wound, 56 year old John Guzy of Bainbridge has been charged with 2nd degree Murder & is being held without bail pending future court action, the investigation is continuing.
NBT Bancorp reported 3rd quarter net income of $10.9 million, down from $19.3 million for the same period last year. NBT’s core net income for the third quarter, however, was $19.8 million, up more than 2% from 1 year ago. As of September 30th, NBT Bancorp Inc. had total assets of $7.9 billion, 155 banking locations in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Maine.
A panel created by Governor Cuomo laid out a plan to guide the spending of a $2 billion bond for increasing technology in schools, but voters will have to approve the borrowing next Tuesday. If approved, school districts would submit specific plans on how they would spend their share of the bond, on equipment like whiteboards, laptops and tablets; installing high-speed or wireless Internet; or installing “high-tech security features” in schools.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced a new program titled “Grandkids Against The Grandparent Scam.” The con involves grandparents receiving a phone call from someone purporting to be their grandchild, who is in trouble with the law and in need of money in a hurry, the unsuspecting grandparents wire money to a specific address under false pretenses. More information is available at oag.state.ny.us.
State Police will conduct a special traffic enforcement effort during the Halloween weekend. The effort will begin on Thursday and continue through Sunday, Drivers can expect sobriety checkpoints, additional patrols, underage drinking and sales to minor’s enforcement. Last year, there were more than 1,300 accidents, 6 people were killed, 324 were charged with DWI and more than 21,000 tickets for speeding, distracted driving & other traffic violations were issued.
State tax collections of $34.2 billion through the first half of the fiscal year were nearly $610 million higher than projected and the state collected nearly $3.5 billion from financial settlements through September, according to the state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. A copy of the mid-year report can be accessed at osc.state.ny.us.
New York State of Health has released an instructional video for New Yorkers currently enrolled in the state plan, detailing how they can stay enrolled or update their coverage for 2015. The video can be found at info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/RenewalVideo
Democratic incumbents in state races all have leads of at least 20 points over their Republican opponents heading into the closing days of the 2014 campaign, according to a new Siena College Poll. Governor Cuomo leads Rob Astorino 54-33% with Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins up to 9%. Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman increased his lead over John Cahill 55-35% & State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has a 58-31% over Bob Antonacci.
The 2nd round of New York State rebate checks have been delivered in recent days. The checks will provide rebates to homeowners on school property taxes if their local district stayed under the state tax cap, which limited the growth in taxes to less than 2% this year. In 2012, The State tax department sent about 1 million checks each worth $350 for people with a child under 17, who met the income eligibility.
The Chenango Arts Council will host the “Wee Witches and Wizards of Norwich” on Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public and will include a “Gothic Stories and Spoken Word Open Mic Contest” from 2:00 to 4:30, A costume contest will follow at 4:30 for ages 3-18, followed by the YMCA Parade at 7:00 pm. More information is available at 336-ARTS or at chenangoarts.org
The National Pastime’s marquee event will come home to Cooperstown as the World Series Gala returns to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Saturday. The Grandstand Theater will host the family-friendly event featuring ballpark food and soft drinks, trivia, raffles, prizes and screening of Fox’s live broadcast of Game 4 of the World Series between the San Francisco Giants & the Kansas City Royals in san Francisco Doors will open at 7:30 p.m., Tickets are available at 547-0397 today from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Tri-County Tea Party Patriots will hold a Public Meeting tonight at 7:00 PM at the Bainbridge Town Hall Theater. Several guest speakers are scheduled, refreshments will be served.