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News stories tagged with "oneida-county"

Tornado. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado#mediaviewer/File:Seymour_Texas_Tornado.jpg">NOAA</a>
Tornado. Photo: NOAA

Officials: Tornado struck central New York

VERONA, N.Y. (AP) The National Weather Service says a tornado packing winds up to 100 mph touched down in central New York.

The storm hit the Oneida County Town of Verona about 10 p.m. Tuesday. The weather service says it left a nine-mile path of damage into the neighboring Town of Westmoreland, knocking down road signs and tearing the roof from a gas station.  Go to full article
Cooking heroin. Experts say the drug is cheap and easy to find in the North Country. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heroin.JPG">Psychonaught</a>, public domain
Cooking heroin. Experts say the drug is cheap and easy to find in the North Country. Photo: Psychonaught, public domain

Drug courts offer rehab alternative as heroin abuse surges

As the use of heroin surges, many people arrested for drug-related crimes are ending up in drug court. It's one of the so-called 'problem solving courts' that have emerged in recent years. And they rely on the discrimination and skill of a judge.  Go to full article
Erin Hamlin celebrates with her brother, mother, and father in the Remsen high school gym Thursday night. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Erin Hamlin celebrates with her brother, mother, and father in the Remsen high school gym Thursday night. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Olympian Erin Hamlin comes home to a town shining like bronze

America's first athlete to win a medal in singles luge was treated to a homecoming fit for a hero last night. Erin Hamlin's thrilling runs on the luge track in Sochi earned her the bronze.

After interviews, celebrity appearances, and photo shoots in New York City this week, Hamlin touched down at the Syracuse airport. A police escort and fire trucks guided her past miles of cheering crowds to the tiny town of Remsen in the foothills of the southern Adirondacks.  Go to full article
Boonville's airfield isn't much more than a field, but it does have gas.  Pilot Bob Keller gases up.
Boonville's airfield isn't much more than a field, but it does have gas. Pilot Bob Keller gases up.

Heard Up North: Pumping gas for flight

Whether it's from a float plane, a little two-seater, or even one of those little commercial jets, the aerial view of the North Country is unforgettable. You can see the whole topography of the Adirondack range, topped by the high peaks. There are vast skeins of wetlands, rivers, lakes and ponds, and villages stitched together with ribbons of roadways.

The network of airstrips across northern New York is less obvious, but there are just enough to host a community of private planes and their pilots. The airfield in Boonville is typical of the smallest private airfields. It's really just that: a flat, well-mowed grassy field. But it does have its own gas pump. Here's today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article
The Tug Hill Plateau is actually a "cuesta" in geological terms, rising gently from Lake Ontario in the west then diving steeply into the Black River valley in the East. This shot looks east.
The Tug Hill Plateau is actually a "cuesta" in geological terms, rising gently from Lake Ontario in the west then diving steeply into the Black River valley in the East. This shot looks east.

Fighting for its life, Tug Hill agency takes to the air

Yesterday, we heard about a not-for-profit called LightHawk, which offers environmental groups private flights to help them give an aerial perspective to their "green" issues.

Today we focus on one group using that service to fight for its survival - the Tug Hill Commission. The Commission isn't exactly an environmental group. It's a state agency, and it's facing elimination in Governor Andrew Cuomo's effort to streamline government.

But the communities of the Tug Hill Plateau see the Commission as indispensable to balancing the economy and the environment in a "working forest". And more than that, they see the Commission as a potential model for other state agencies.

David Sommerstein was invited for a flight recently and has this story.  Go to full article
The Tug Hill Plateau by satellite [credit: Tug Hill Commission]
The Tug Hill Plateau by satellite [credit: Tug Hill Commission]

Final push on to save Tug Hill Commission

Leaders across Lewis, Jefferson, and Oneida counties are making a full court press to save the Tug Hill Commission. The 38 year-old agency provides planning, development, and natural resource management assistance to the isolated towns and villages of the Tug Hill Plateau.

The State Senate has included $1.1 million for the Commission in its spending plan. That's a 10% budget cut, on par with what other agencies are dealing with. But the Assembly is so far following Governor Cuomo's recommendation to dissolve the Commission. That's left Tug Hill leaders fighting for the agency's survival. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

College class comes to Boonville

In Boonville, in northern Oneida County, it's not easy to get a college education. The closest community colleges are miles away. And in the snowy Tug Hill winter, it's often hard to get anywhere.

So it's not surprising that college graduation rates are low in the community. That drew the attention of Mother Linda Logan, rector of Trinity Episcopal church. She and a parishioner, retired professor and researcher Maureen Casamayou, have worked to bring Boonville its first college class.

Casamayou will teach a three-credit course in American government. It'll be credentialed by Mohawk Valley Community College. The class begins on January 18th.

David Sommerstein spoke with Mother Linda Logan about why she and Casamayou started the class.

For more information and to register, call the college at 315-792-5354.  Go to full article

County revolt brewing over late state budget

New York's state Senate and Assembly are expected back at the State Capitol this evening for a special session called by Governor Paterson.

But it's unclear whether the Senate will actually vote on anything. In a conference call yesterday, Senate leader John Sampson wouldn't say whether all 32 members of his Democratic majority will be there. He refused to address reports that at least one Democrat is away on vacation.

The Senate couldn't pass the final revenue bill needed to complete the budget during the regular session in June, because one Democrat withheld his vote in order to force action on other legislation.

Sampson says he and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have been meeting with Gov. Paterson on a number of issues, and they'll vote when those issues are settled. He said they've focused on a Medicaid contingency fund, and a measure to give SUNY and CUNY campuses more autonomy. But he wouldn't give any details.

The late state budget and financial crisis are taking a toll on local governments and contracted service providers. These groups say the neediest New Yorkers are affected most by New York's budget shortfall.

They were in Albany yesterday pleading for restoration of member items and state reimbursement. And a revolt is brewing among county leaders. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article
Mike Hennessey (D-Sherill)
Mike Hennessey (D-Sherill)

Oneida Democrat seeks to unseat Griffo

A three-term Oneida County legislator wants to unseat Republican State Senator Joe Griffo. Democrat Mike Hennessey lives in the city of Sherill, which has been embroiled in land claim and cigarette tax issues with the Oneida Indian Nation. So it's no surprise Hennessey wants New York to collect taxes on tobacco sold at native-owned stores as a way to close the state deficit. He also wants to eliminate unfunded state mandates, reform state ethics codes, and create jobs. Hennessey is a financial advisor and former small business owner. He told David Sommerstein a visit to a local soup kitchen for veterans compelled him to run for State Senate.  Go to full article

47th Senate: The "forgotten race"

You could call the race in the 47th State Senate district the "forgotten" campaign, especially here in the North Country. It's played second fiddle to more high-profile races, including the one its current officeholder, Ray Meier, is running for Congress against Democrat Michael Arcuri. All three candidates live in Utica, almost four hours from the district's northern-most point in Massena. David Sommerstein profiles the race.  Go to full article

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