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
Governor Cuomo has directed state agencies, including the Department of Transportation, to suspend all non-emergency construction that would result in lane closures or traffic delays over the Labor Day holiday weekend. The actions are part of the State’s ‘Drivers First’ initiative, launched in 2012, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists to ensure that traffic disruptions are as minimal as possible to drivers at highway and bridge projects across the state. The Governor’s directive is in effect until Tuesday, September 2 at 6:00am. Motorists can call 511 or check www.511ny.org for the latest traffic information.
The state Department of Transportation gave an update on the Prospect Mountain construction project. Crews are working around the Chenango Street Bridge. By the end of the bridge construction, there will be more than 50 arches helping create the bridge. Chenango Street near the Chenango Street Bridge will be open at noon on Saturday. The bridge is expected to be completed by early 2015. A big detour in the project right now is the detour around the I-81 north ramp, which is currently closed and is scheduled to re-open by November 1st.
The State Education Department released the state-mandated teacher and principal evaluation results. The release of evaluation data enables New Yorkers to see, for the first time, the results of their schools’ teacher and principal evaluations. The law establishing the teacher evaluation system in New York mandates that each teacher gets a rating between 1 and 100. To view the results of your schools’ teacher and principal evaluations visit data.nysed.gov.
BIRTHRIGHT IN SIDNEY WILL SPONSOR AND HOLD A CHICKEN BBQ TOMORROW FROM 11:00 AM TILL GONE IN THE VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT PARKING LOT ON MAIN STREET IN SIDNEY. HALVES $6. SERVICES OF BIRTHRIGHT OF SIDNEY ARE FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL, SERVING: CHENANGO, DELAWARE AND OTSEGO COUNTIES AND SURROUNDING AREAS
September is National Preparedness Month. The Red Cross will participate in a Community Preparedness Fair on Friday, Sept. 5 from noon to 4 p.m. at SERVPRO, 134 Conklin Ave. in Binghamton. The fair will consist of preparedness tools, car seat checks with the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, a State Police seat belt convincer, and a healthy neighborhood program to help improve quality of life. The Red Cross will also hold a blood drive at the fair from 11 to 4
State Police arrested 40-year-old Edward Bryden of Sidney Center for 2nd degree Menacing. The arrest resulted from a dispute complaint at a residence on Center Street; troopers accuse Bryden of repeatedly engaging in conduct that caused fear to the victim. Bryden was arraigned in the Sidney Town Court and released on his own recognizance. The court issued an order of protection against Bryden.
Governor Cuomo traveled to Binghamton Monday to sign into law a series of bills to help address the growing heroin and opioid epidemic, as well as prescription drug abuse, in New York State:
State Senator Tom Libous also commented:
The legislation includes insurance reforms for individuals suffering from heroin and opioid addiction; Measures to strengthen penalties and give law enforcement additional tools to crack down on heroin distribution; Provisions to ensure the proper and safe use of naloxone and Support for enhanced public awareness campaigns to prevent drug abuse.
3 out of 4 New York high-school students graduated on-time last year, but a large gap in graduation rate continues to exist between white students and black or Hispanic students, according to the state Education Department. Last year, 74.9% of public-school students graduated within 4 years, 86.5% of white students received a diploma, compared to 59.2% of Hispanic students & 59.7% of black students. The gap was significant between wealthy and poorer school districts as well, In “low need,” districts, the graduation rate was 94%, In “high need,” urban districts, the rate was 65.9%.
A Local group known as “Stop The Pipeline” is hosting a meeting tonight in Oneonta, regarding the Constitution Pipeline and Tennessee Pipeline Proposals, which could see more pipelines placed under the southern tier. The meeting will run from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at the Universalist Unitarian Church at 12 Ford Avenue in Oneonta.
Environmental groups are happy state lawmakers rejected a proposal to allow larger off-road vehicles on New York public trails. Sponsors of the bill said raising the weight limit of ATVs from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds would put safer, slower machines on trails and roads and provide more people with access to public land, environmental groups said it would cause more erosion and pollution. The measure was rejected by the state Assembly before the legislative session was adjourned Friday.
The commission in charge of regulating ethics and lobbying in New York government has created a tip line and website for people to report alleged violations by state officials and lobbyists. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics launched the website at jcope.ny.gov. People can also call 1-800-87-ETHICS to report violations, including improper gifts, conflicts of interest, abuse of power and sexual harassment. Staffers from the investigation division of the commission will operate the tip line during business hours. The commission will also will also distribute posters promoting the tip line and website to state facilities
Several state senators will begin holding public hearings around the state regarding the growing problem of heroin addiction. State senator John Bonacic will participate in the task force:
Dates for the public meetings will be announced shortly, and data will be compiled quickly, in order to get a report to lawmakers by June 1st.
Sidney dollars for scholars organizers will hold an event today at the Sidney Library to help students apply online for their awards. Program president Tracy Young explains:
(Tracy Young 4-14-14)
The event will run from 6:00 to 8:00 PM tonight at the Sidney Library, the deadline to apply is April 23rd.
New state legislation is being drafted to require state agencies to comply with the section of the open records law that calls for posting information online. Part of New York’s Freedom of Information Law requires each state agency to maintain indexes of all records maintained by the agency and to post them on the Internet. A study of 86 state agencies found 79 were not in compliance, state Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski chairs the state Assembly’s Administrative Regulations Review Commission, he announced that they are working to introduce legislation to ensure agencies comply.
Recently members of Sidney Federal Credit Union were contacted through texts and phone calls stating that their Debit or Credit cards had been deactivated. They were then asked to call or text back with their card numbers to have their cards reactivated. This is a phishing scam, please do not respond to these calls or texts. The local authorities have been notified and are investigating. If you have any concerns or have given any personal information please contact SFCU toll-free at 1-877-642-SFCU.
Governor Cuomo called for the Commission on Youth, Public Safety, and Justice to give information on the state’s youth criminal records by the end of the year. Cuomo hopes to raise the age in which a teen can be tried as an adult, currently New York is 1 of only 2 states that can charge a 16 year old as an adult.
The State Education Department announced a statewide framework to better teach English Language Learners in the school system. “The Blueprint for English Language Learners Success” consists of eight guiding principles for administrators, policy makers, and practitioners to prepare ELLs for success beginning in pre-kindergarten. The purpose is to start from an early age and lay the foundation for college and career readiness. Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of ELLs enrolled in public schools in New York State.
CIRQUE DREAMS ROCKS is a non-stop musical acrobatic stage spectacle that will be performed at the Forum in Binghamton tonight & tomorrow night, Tickets are on sale now at The Arena Box Office and Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or order on-line at ticketmaster.com. Visit BroadwayInBinghamton.com for more information.
This week’s announcement regarding the new Amphenol plant in Sidney getting a direct tap from the proposed Constitution Pipeline still waits for federal approval for the project. Constitution Pipeline Spokesman Chris Stockton explains:
(Chris Stockton 3-21-14)
Stockton said that if the project is approved, construction would begin next January, along the I-88 corridor from northern Pennsylvania into the capital region.
State Senator Jim Seward will be at Sidney Central School this morning at 10:00 AM. Senator Seward will take part in New York Agricultural Literacy Week & will read to first graders at Sidney Elementary from the book, “Who Grew My Soup?” by Tom Darbyshire. The agricultural themed book stresses the importance of local farmers and their role in providing nutritious food. The event is coordinated by New York Agriculture in the Classroom, State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the State Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New York Farm Bureau.
The Chenango county sheriffs department arrested 22-year-old Tyler Barnes of Norwich on charges of 4th degree Criminal Mischief & 2nd degree Harassment . Barnes is accused of striking someone in the faces during a dispute and breaking some of the victim’s property, Barnes was arraigned in the Town of Norwich Court and was remanded to the Chenango County Jail on $100 cash bail. Barnes is to reappear in the Town of Norwich Court at a later date.
Veterans in New York seeking health insurance have been wrongly placed in the state’s Medicaid program, rather than federal programs. State comptroller Tom DiNapoli said the mistakes occurred because of poor coordination between the state Health Department and local social-services departments. The audit found from January 2013 through October 2013, Medicaid paid more than $105 million for services provided to veterans, many of the veterans were also entitled to benefits through the VA. New York has about 913,000 veterans. To view the report, visit osc.state.ny.us.