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Public Hearings to be Held for local Post Offices

Three local post offices will be the subjects of public hearings later this month to determine their fates. The U.S. Postal Service will hold hearings in Constableville, Westernville and Ava.

Surveys were circulated in each site in early June at each post office—The survey requested a preference for one of four options available regarding the future status of the office and a letter listing the date, time and location of a community meeting. Surveys should be returned before the meeting for the related post office. Meetings are scheduled for July 17 in the Constableville Post Office lobby; July 24 in the lobby of the Western ille Post Office; and on July 30 in the Ava Post Office lobby. Each session begins at 5 p.m.  “Decisions will be implemented over the next several months.

Medical Marijuana

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the medical marijuana bill into law for New York yesterday, making it the 23rd state to legalize the drug to treat patients. In the final days of session last month, Cuomo and legislative leaders negotiated a narrower version of a medical marijuana program for New York than advocates many advocates had lobbied for. The bill passed with overwhelming support in the New York State Senate and Assembly. The program will begin in 18 months and does not allow the drug to be smoked. The state will certify up to five companies to grow and distribute the drug. The governor has the power to halt the program if either the state's health commissioner or superintendent of New York State Police recommends it.

Assemblyman Butler looks at mandate relief

We spoke with Assemblyamn Marc Butler, who comments on mandate relief.

Assemblyamn Butler will have more on mandate relief tomorrow.

River Guide killed in Bus Crash

A teenage river guide was killed Saturday in Lake Luzerne when a bus with 34 people aboard overturned en route to a river tubing excursion in New York's Adirondack Mountains.  According to New York State Police, the 15 year old was thrown from the bus and died at the scene around 12:30 PM.   They didn't identify or provide further details about the victim. Another person was hospitalized with an ankle injury.  Police said  the modified school bus may have had mechanical problems. A recording at the office of the bus owner, Tubby Tubes Rafting Company  said all of the company's activities are shut down Sunday "due to unforeseen circumstances."  An investigation is continuing.

Lowville Man charged with Lewdness

A 64 year old Lowville man was charged with public lewdness on Saturday evening. Lowville Village police report that that Andrew Karelus was arrested after being seen allegedly performing a lewd act in his car which was parked on North State Street in the Village. He was issued an appearance ticket to appear in Village court at a later date.

Insurance Increase

Insurance firms participating in New York’s health insurance exchange are seeking double-digit hikes for patient medical premiums in 2015. The average hike sought by insurers for individual plans is 12 percent—but a number of firms serving large numbers of patients want to boost individual premiums by nearly 20 percent. Leading the charge is Excellus Blue Cross-Blue Shield, which is seeking a 19.7% rate hike for it’s more than 24,000 customers.   The even larger MVP Health Plan, with nearly 33,000 customers, is seeking a 19 percent boost. While some of the smaller plans put requested smaller rate increases or, in a number of cases, decreases, the largest insurer on the New York Exchange, Health Republic Insurance of New York —requested a 15.2 percent increase for individual plans.     In some letters sent to customers, insurers cited requirements in The Affordable Care Act as contributing to the proposed rate increases. Officials of the The State Department of Financial services, which regulate the insurance industry, noted that the agency has final say over what the rate hikes and they plan to scrutinize these rate requests very closely in order to protect New Yorkers and ensure they are not subject to any unjustified rate increases.”   A final decision is expected to be made by the end of August.

Fatal Bike-Car Accident

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department is investigating a fatal accident on Stokes Westernville Road in the Town of Lee. They say a bicyclist was hit by a vehicle at 10:51 Saturday night.

The name and age of the bicyclist are not yet being released pending notification of the extended family. The driver, 33 year old Laurie Ceravolo of Ava was operating a 2001 GMC in a westerly direction on Stokes-Westernville Rd. when her vehicle struck a bicyclist who was traveling in an easterly direction, according to deputies.   The bicyclist was ejected and sustained serious injuries as a result of the accident. He was transported by helicopter to SUNY Upstate Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by the NY State Police, Lee Center Fire Department, Taberg Fire Department and the Lake Delta Fire Department.

 

FT. DRUM Petition

There were plenty of things to do in Jefferson and Lewis Counties this past weekend. The most important for many, however, was signing a petition in support of Fort Drum. ". The Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization is hoping to collect thousands of signatures before August 25. That's when they have to formerly respond to a report recently released by the Army. That report examined what would happen to the area if 16,000 soldier and civilian positions were cut under a worst-case scenario. "The report projected a significant impact but it doesn’t go on to define that," said Carl McLaughlin, Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization Executive Director. He went on the say that "Without those 16,000 positions, 6,500 area jobs would be lost, This is a chance for people to sign on the dotted line and say we support Fort Drum and the 16,000 soldiers out there," Residents will have the opportunity to sign the petition all summer long at many events throughout the region.

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