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Teacher Evaluations May Have Public Release — and the Rest of Your State and Local News

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Don Perkins

State Considers Releasing Teacher Evaluations

New York State may only make new teacher evaluation reports available to parents.

There is a plan to allow the public to see the evaluations that’s being implemented across the country. New York State’s plan uses information from standardized tests and other information. The effort has been opposed by the teacher’s unions and a number of organizations.

The governor and legislature are considering a balance between the teachers privacy rights and the public’s right to know about teacher and school performance.

The legislature will return to Albany on April 17th when a limited release policy may be considered.

‘Kamikaze Curve’ to Be No More

Those who are headed for the Binghamton region this week may find traffic back-ups in the area where route 17 and 81 meet.

The sharp curve at prospect mountain known as kamikaze curve will have single lanes and stopped traffic as construction crews adjust the lanes there for construction.

The operation will primarily be on the West-bound side near Exit 72.

That whole section of interchanges will be under construction for the next few years and the highway is reconstructed to get rid of the sharp curve, and new bridges over the river are built.

Most of the worst traffic delays will begin after 11 a.m. and last about two hours, according to the NYS Department of Transportation.

Weather Service Issues Fire Watch

The national weather service has issued another fire watch called a red flag warning today. It’s in effect until this evening.

It means that critical fire weather conditions exist. A combination of strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperatures could create explosive wild or grass fire growth. The weather service discourages all outdoor burning today.

SUCO to Hold ‘Instant Admit Day’

SUNY Oneonta’s graduate studies office will hold “instant admit day” next week.

Residents who are considering graduate school are invited to stop by the Netzer administration building at SUCO on April 18th from 10 a.m. To 6 p.m. They can find out more about the college’s graduate education programs and submit an application.

Many of the offerings are for masters level education programs.

To take advantage of instant admit day, prospective students need to bring a completed application, college transcript, recommendation letters and a $50 fee.

There’s more information by calling 436-2523.

Game Over for State Sex Offenders

Registered sex offenders will no longer be able to play online games with children in New York State.

A deal between the gaming sites and the New York State Attorney General’s office will shut down the accounts of registered sex offenders, who are required by law to report their e-mail addresses and any accounts they have on line.

The rules only apply to offenders within New York, however. Reports say that nearly 30 percent of teenagers report playing online games with strangers, which may include anonymous voice and text conversations.

A recent case brought what the AG’s office calls “operation game over” to light. A 19-year-old man was convicted of sexual abuse charges after making friends with a 10-year-old boy after he met the youth playing an online video game.

State Taxpayers Can Claim Piece of $11B Pie

New York taxpayers can find out if they are owed a piece of the $11 billion in unclaimed funds the state is holding.

The comptrollers office will hold various events throughout the state this month to try and get the money back to its rightful owners.

The closest event to our area will be on April 27th at the public library in Utica at 303 Genesee Street from 10 a.m. until noon.

Those that can’t make the event can contact the NYS comptrollers office for unclaimed funds at 1-800-221-9311.

Binghamton Gets New Doppler System

The Binghamton weather radar has been upgraded.

The system has been down at various times over the last week while technicians installed a new Doppler weather radar at the national weather service office near the airport.

Forecasters say the new system will help predict flash floods, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. It can even detect flocks of birds in its new three-dimensional display.

The Doppler can now show forecasters a difference in the type of precipitation that’s falling, whether it’s hail or heavy rain.

It can also determine if a tornado struck the region. Normally that determination is made by a meteorologist who has to go to the scene after someone reports a possible twister.

The new weather radar went online Saturday.

Sports

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Oneonta went 1-2 against host New Paltz in a double header this weekend. The Red Dragons won their game, 4-2, in 11 innings. They lost the second game 11-7.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL

Oneonta beat Potsdam twice on Saturday, 4-2 and 9-8. The Red Dragons are now 6-12 on the season and will host Rensselaer in a double-header on Tuesday.

COLLEGE LACROSSE

Hartwick trumped Elmira 18-13 in an Empire 8 Conference game. Harry Hughes tied for the second highest single-game total on the season among division players.

HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD

Congratulations to local track stars, who beat Shone this past weekend. Oneonta Yellowjacket Aaron Murphy came up just short of Eddie Cotton of GMU/Morris in the long jump. Sidney’s Austin McCarroll and Bainbridge runner Chris Puerile both set meet records. Also coming out on top in their events were Oneonta’s Levi Anderson in the 2,000-meter and Unatego’s Josh Winchester in the high jump.

 

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