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Cumo Shocks Unions

In a move that has sent shock waves through the state's unionized workforce, the Cuomo administration sent notices to about 1,000 members of the Public Employees Federation on Monday telling them the state is seeking to reclassify the recipients as non-union workers. The notices went to people in more than three dozen state agencies, including the departments of Environmental Conservation, Labor, Health, Housing and Motor Vehicles, the Office of General Services, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and more. Affected job titles range from attorneys to auditors, program specialists, parole hearing officers and tax law judges.

Police Blotter 12/17

Rebecca C. Souva, age 20, of Lowville, was charged Sunday by state police with filing a false written statement. Bradley Streeter, 23, of Lowville, was also charged by state police Dec. 4 with petit larceny as part of the investigation. Both were given appearance tickets. No other information was provided by state police.

A level 3 sex offender from Binghamton was arrested in Boonville after failing to report his move to Oneida County. 22-year-old Charles Sgroi was arrested after Oneida County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dean Obernesser of the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center said he did not report his change of address. Sgroi was arraigned and taken to the Herkimer County Jail, where he is being held on unrelated charges. The case is being referred to the District Attorney’s office for Grand Jury consideration. Bail was set at $5,000.

Shaun Elliot, of Lowville, and Timothy Stanford, of The Town of Greg, were arrested yesterday by Lewis County Sheriffs for disorderly conduct. The Sheriff’s office received a complaint that two men were engaged in a mutual fight in the Walmart parking lot in Lowville. After speaking with witnesses and viewing security video, both individuals were arrested and issued appearance tickets returnable to The Town of Lowville Court, at a later date.

Garage plans begin in Lowville

The Lewis County Ways and Means Committee began preliminary discussions about building a new county highway garage. The Johnson Newspaper Group reported that the county has set aside Three hundred and Fifty Five thousand dollars; including Two Hundred thousand dollars to be put aside in the 2015 budget. Legislator Philip Hathway believes that it may take five or more years to even acquire enough funds, but said careful planning this early will set the right groundwork for the project. A desired location for the garage is on the 19 acre property behind the county jail on outer Stowe Street due to it being far enough away from residence so it does not disturb neighbors with noise. Legislator Bryan Moser (Moe-sher) explained that with moving forward with the project, the town and village of Lowville need to be involved in the discussion.

Sports Report 12 - 17

In the NHL,
The Rangers commanded The Flames 5 – 2.
Boston lost in the shootout to Nashville 3 – 2.
and Buffalo fell to the Jets 5 – 1.

And tonight, The Bruins visit Minnesota at 8.

In Local Boys Basketball,
In a game heard last night on The Moose, Beaver River beat Lyme
64 – 35 and Lowville lost to Watertown 65 – 38.

The River Valley Mennonite School Royals defeated the Holy Cross Christian Academy Crusaders 28 – 26.

Next in Girls Basketball,
Lowville fell to Watertown 36 – 27 and South Lewis just lost to IHC 38 – 37.

Police Blotter 12/16

44 year old Leonard F. Rogers, of Carthage, was charged by Carthage Village police on Sunday with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and a headlight violation. He is summoned to appear Dec. 29 in Village Court.

42 year old Dawn Andrews, 32 year old Michael Seigler, an 11 year old male juvenile, a 13 year old female juvenile, and a 15 year old female juvenile, all from Forestport were arrested last week by Boonville Police. Andrews and Seigler were charged with three counts each of endangering the welfare of a child. All five individuals were also charged with petit larceny and conspiracy, as well as issued appearance tickets. Andrews and Seigler were scheduled to return to Boonville Village Court on December 10th. The juveniles are scheduled to return to Family Court at a later date.

30 year old Andrew Delong was arrested on the evening of December 11th by Boonville Village Police at his residence. Delong was arrested on an active bench warrant issued by the Rome City Court. He was turned over to Rome police without incident.

Effects of the new Omnibus Spending Bill on the North Country

The president has pledged to sign the $1.1 trillion 2015 Federal omnibus spending bill passed by both houses of congress over the weekend. The bill contains some plusses and minuses for our area. Opponents of Common Core standards for K-12 students will be happy that the fiscal 2015 budget will defund the administration's Race to the Top program. Common Core just is one of many issues in the budget bill that have special significance for New York. Supporters of high-speed passenger rail from Albany to Buffalo will be disappointed that the bill prohibits using federal funds for high-speed rail projects. It does include $73.7 billion for military action in Afghanistan, Iraq and against the Islamic State which could help Fort Drum. The bill has good news for college students in need of financial aid, providing a $100 increase in the maximum Pell grant to $5,830. In addition, students simultaneously completing work on a GED diploma while taking college courses will be eligible for Pell grants. The bill also Gives the Federal Aviation Administration funding to continue 149 contracts with small airport towers, including Griffiss International Airport in Rome. It also the Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Water Act to exert jurisdiction over certain agricultural areas, including farm ponds and irrigation ditches. The New York Farm Bureau has opposed EPA's plan.

Veolia plant asks for financing from county

Last week, we reported that Veolia, an international company that deals with renewable energy and waste, wanted to build a facility in Lewis County. However, the company has now asked for money from the county to pay for their feasibility study. This has left Lewis County Officials scratching their heads. County Manager Elizabeth Swearingin told the Johnson Newspaper Group that she does think it is the cost of doing business, but nothing is permanent with the energy company yet, so it seems foolish to put up money. County Economic Development Director Eric J. Virkler explained that the company does not make its money from operating the facility, but the fees in creating and designing it. The county would therefore become one of the partners investing in the project. They would make about a ten percent return on their investment and would bring new jobs, but the biggest question the county has is if it would want to get into the energy business.

Fire at ReEnergy Lyonsdale

A fire broke out at the ReEnergy Lyonsdale energy facility early Monday morning in an exterior kerosene tank that is used to heat the building. The Johnson Newspaper Group reported that volunteers from Lyons Falls and Port Leyden fire departments came to the scene at 2:55am and were able to put out the fire. The fire stayed within the tank with no kerosene spillage or other structures harmed. An environmental response team removed the remaining kerosene as well as the water and foam used to put out the fire. The normal capacity of the tank is ten thousand gallons of kerosene; however, at the time of the fire, the tank had 2 thousand and two hundred gallons.

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