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posticon Zoning Board Postpones Gun Club Decision

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By Dan Veaner, with reporting by Karen Veaner Print
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Lansing ZBALansing Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) (left to right) Attorney Paul D. Sylvestri, Henry (Hurf) Sheldon, Chairman, Judy Drake, Peter Larson, III, Maureen Cowen, Linda Hirvonen

After lengthy deliberations the Lansing Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) postponed a decision on an appeal challenging a building permit issued to the Lansing Rod & Gun Club to move its shooting ranges in order to comply with a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order of consent.  The deliberations Tuesday were a continuation of a public hearing last month.  ZBA Chairman Hurf Sheldon said that any decision the ZBA makes would be separate from Code officer Lynn Day's decision to issue the permit.  But after two hours of deliberation no decision was made.

"We're not going to vote tonight," Sheldon said. "There is a lot of extra information we have to process.  We have to get maps and some things to confirm (the issue of segmentation).  The period for public comment is closed."

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posticon Lansing Crews Battle Winter Storms

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Lansing Snow Plow

Winter storms through New York got so bad that on January 19th Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a Disaster in all 62 counties.  Cuomo has been issuing warnings state-wide throughout the winter updating residents on numerous significant snow storms, during which he prohibited tractor-trailers and buses on the New York State Thruway and most other interstate highways.  Here in Lansing snow plowing crews routinely work well into the night to keep local streets plowed.

"We have ten plow runs," said Lansing Highway Superintendent Charlie 'Cricket' Purcell at a Town Board meeting last week. "Everybody's out at the same time.  It takes about two and a half hours to complete a plow run.  Ideally you'll see a truck go by your house every two hours."

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posticon State Grants $1.5M For Airport Shared Fueling Facility

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that $23.6 million in infrastructure funding has been awarded to support safety enhancements, modernization of facilities, operational improvements and local business development at 31 airports statewide. The funding includes $1.5 million to construct a new shared vehicle and aircraft fuel facility at the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport.
 
"New York's airports represent the front door to our local communities and are critical to facilitating tourism and business development," Cuomo said. "A world class airport is crucial to regional economic growth, and by investing in the modernization of our local airports we are creating vibrant communities where people want to live, work and play."

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posticon Assistance For Victims Of Domestic Violence And Hate Crimes Expanded

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced legislation Monday expanding assistance available for victims of hate crimes and certain other crimes often associated with domestic violence who were not physically injured during the crime is now effective. Signed by Cuomo last summer and effective today, the new law allows these individuals to apply for reimbursement of shelter costs and crime scene cleanup expenses from the New York State Office of Victim Services.

"By providing greater protections for innocent victims of crime, we are ensuring individuals who have endured the pain and suffering of these horrific events receive the support they need to recover," Cuomo said. "New York is proud to be one of the first states to provide compensation to crime victims, and the expansion of this law reaffirms the State's commitment to helping these individuals and their family members whose top priority should be healing, not navigating the financial burden of an act of crime against them."

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posticon Armed Robbery and Bank Robbery Suspects Apprehended

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By Tompkins COunty Sheriff's Office Print
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On February 20, 2019 at 11:07 AM, Investigators from the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office apprehended a suspect in the armed robbery that occurred at the Tops gas station on Triphammer Road on 02/16/19. The identity of the suspect is not being released due to age.  The identity of the second suspect is still being investigated.

Sheriff Derek Osborne stated, "I would like to applaud the hard work performed by our investigators on this case".

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posticon Cuomo Announces Closure Of Additional Prisons

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By - Print
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One week ago Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced plans to close up to three correctional facilities following record reductions in the State's incarcerated population and reported crime. Specifically, under legislation introduced as a budget amendment, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will select the prisons, transition staff and incarcerated individuals, and cease facility operations by no later than September 1, 2019. But Upstate legislators are pushing back against the closings, saying that the loss of jobs would be devastating the region because Five Points Correctional Facility, Auburn Correctional Facility, and Willard Drug Treatment Campus are three of the largest employers in the Finger Lakes region.

"Our region is home to thousands of correction officers and prison support staff," said NYS Senator Pam Helming (who represents lansing). "They work hard each and every day to keep these facilities secure. It is because of their sacrifice and expertise that the correctional facilities in our region are among the most efficient in the state. The officers and staff who work in these facilities are our friends and neighbors. They are coaches, community volunteers, and property taxpayers. They give back to our area and make our region stronger. That is why I am working with NYSCOPBA, Council 82, and local leaders to send a loud and clear message to Albany: We cannot balance the state budget on the backs of the corrections staff and the communities where they live, work, and raise their families. The Governor's proposed prison closures coupled with the downstate-led Senate's push to eliminate the use of Special Housing Units (SHUs) for disciplinary purposes and attempts to increase the wages of the incarcerated is all about taking care of the criminals. There are already serious safety concerns in New York's prisons, including double bunking, that could be exacerbated with prison closures. It is long past time to refocus our efforts on helping crime victims and standing with those who keep our communities safe."

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posticon Legislature Opposes Trump National Emergency

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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The Tompkins County Legislature passed a resolution condemning President Trump's declaration of a natural emergency and urging passage of a joint resolution to revoke it. The vote came along party lines, 9-3, with Republicans Mike Sigler, Glenn Morey, and Dave McKenna voting no. (Legislators Leslyn McBean-Clairborne and Amanda Champion were excused.) The resolution, advanced by Legislator Deborah Dawson, through a multitude of factual and technical points, contests the President's declaration of a "state of emergency" pursuant to section 201 of the National Emergencies Act, for the stated purpose of addressing a "border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests."

The resolution, in part, maintains that the President's televised statement demonstrates that "he declared a national emergency in order to build his wall quickly, using funds that Congress would not appropriate for the purpose of immediate wall construction," and that "at the very least, the President's willingness to use this power to declare a national emergency in order to bypass Congress's Constitutional power to appropriate funds poses a grave threat to the separation of powers created by the United States Constitution."

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posticon County Legislature Highlights

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By Marcia E. Lynch Print
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Kate Shanks-Booth Named Director of Youth Services
The Tompkins County Legislature, by unanimous vote, confirmed County Administrator Jason Molino's appointment of Kate Shanks-Booth as the County's Director of Youth Services. (Legislators Leslyn McBean-Clairborne and Amanda Champion were excused.) Ms. Shanks-Booth brings to the position more than 15 years of experience in not-for-profit leadership, more than a decade of that working with youth. For the past two-and-a-half years, Shanks-Booth has led the Women's Opportunity Center as Executive Director, leading the community non-profit with offices in both Ithaca and Syracuse. She previously served for six years as Assistant Director of the Cayuga Heights School Age Program; and before that as the Director of Research and Planning for Community Action Partnership, and as Director of Childcare Services for the St. Joseph School District, both in St. Joseph, Missouri.

The new Director of Youth Services holds a Master's of Business Administration degree and an Advanced Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the State University of New York Empire State College, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, Missouri.

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posticon Legislation Eases Ballot Access For Candidates

News | Friday, February 22, 2019 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed two pieces of legislation Wednesday to increase ballot access for candidates running for public office following the recent change in New York's primary election date. The first bill (A.2570/S.2862) temporarily reduces the number of signatures required on designating petitions by 25 percent for candidates running for public offices to be filed in 2019. The second bill (A.2693/S.2699) reduces the petition signature requirement for ward, town, city, or county party committees to 3 percent of enrolled voters of the party.

"New York has made significant progress in modernizing our voting laws and ensuring fairness in our electoral system with the passage of key legislation this year," Cuomo said. "These changes further our progress by easing the burden for potential candidates who may not have had the chance to adjust to earlier petition dates this election, helping to ensure that candidates who want to run for office have the chance to do so."

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