Heroin Surge Cited for Rise in Local Police Calls During 2011

The Chenango County Sheriff’s annual report for 2011 shows some numbers are rising. Calls for police services rose by 30,000 over the last fiscal year; 9,000 of those calls were for fire and EMS.

More than 33,000 were for law enforcement assistance alone. Sheriff Ernest Cutting, Jr. attributes the rise in crime to the economic downturn and the desire to live in rural areas. Cutting adds that with population shift, drug numbers in the county are also up thanks to a surge in heroin and more designer drugs.

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State Troopers Issue 3,000 Tickets During ‘Operation Hang Up’

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office says state troopers have handed out more than 3,000 tickets to people using handheld devices. The tickets were handed out during what the governor called “Operation Hang Up”, a special enforcement effort held between April 23rd and 29th.

The campaign to get people to stop talking and texting on hand-held cell phones was partially funded by the National Highway Safety Administration.

The last Operation Hang Up week was held in November, and troopers wrote about 800.

Schumer, Gellibrand Want to Keep Rural Post Offices Open

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gellibrand want the postal service to stop closing rural post offices.

They have joined 43 other senators to ask the postal service to extend a moratorium on closing the offices. The original delay expires on May 15th.

The postal service has plans to close mail processing centers and shut down about 3,700 rural offices.

The senate passed a bill in April putting the brakes on facility and processing center closures for a year.

NYS Racing Association Fires Executives at Aqueduct, Saratoga and Belmont

Board officials of the New York State Racing Association have fired two of its top officers. CEO Charles Hayward and senior vice president Patrick Kehoe were given their walking papers on Friday.

The two executives ran the Aqueduct, Saratoga, and Belmont horse racing tracks.

The board determined the two had failed to perform those duties to their satisfaction; this after a release of a report from the State Wagering and Board that claimed the two men either knew or should have known the racing association was overcharging bettors on certain commissions on wagers.

The two top officers of the racing association made a combined $900,000 last year.

DCMO BOCES is Unhappy with Audit Findings

A recent audit of DCMO BOCES has public school officials calling the report incomplete and inaccurate.

State Comptroller Thomas Dinapoli’s report that examined non-instructional services offered by the regional boces triggered the outrage. Dinapoli’s report contends that BOCES’ costs for non-instructional services are generally higher than costs districts would pay if they performed the same services themselves. Most school officials say the report shows a lack of understanding of the cost-saving benefits to school districts.

Monserate Found Guilty of Fraud

Former New York State Senator Hiram Monserate has been found guilty of fraud. The democrat from Queens was accused of using taxpayer money to pay for part of his 2006 campaign. He entered a guilty plea on Friday.

Prosecutors say Monseratte deposited about $100,000 of community program money into his campaign fund.

The former New York City police officer is the first senator to have ever been expelled from the legislature. He was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend in 2008.

Wednesday Marks Oneonta BOE Debate

The League of Women Voters in Oneonta is sponsoring a candidates’ debate later this week. The event will include those who are hoping to fill two seats up for a vote on the Oneonta School Board of Education.

The debate will be held on Wednesday at the large instruction room in the science wing of the Oneonta high school from 7-9 p.m.

The event will also be available online at the League of Women Voters’ website on Thursday.

The candidates will take questions from the audience and by league moderator Gerry Haan.

State DEC Accepting Bids to Cut Firewood

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting bids from homeowners to cut firewood on state forest land in Chenango and Madison Counties. Sales will only be offered through a sealed bid auction and not by lottery.

Unlike past years there is no need to sign up in advance to participate in the bid process. All firewood for sale is standing live trees located off-road and will require a chainsaw, tractor and cart or a 4-wheel-drive truck for hauling. All trees to be cut will be marked by DEC foresters. In Chenango County, bid applications are available in the towns of Afton, Columbus, Coventry, German, Georgetown, Guilford, McDonough, New Berlin, North Norwich, Otselic and Oxford.

Sports

High School Softball

In a tournament in Milford, Milford took top honors over Sharon Springs in the Championship game 21-6. In the consolation game it was Hunter Tannersville over Laurens 13-12.

Elsewhere, Roxbury topped Stamford 17-2

High School Baseball

Sidney stumped Harpursville 5-4

Milford ran by Hunter Tannersville 12-1

High School Track

At the Don Howard Invitational meet Saturday in Cooperstown, the Cooperstown boys and Oneonta Girls won team firsts over Milford, Bainbridge Guilford/Afton, Cobleskill/Richmondville, Unatego, Schenevus/Worcester, Gilbertsville Mt. Upton/Morris, Laurens, Richfield Springs and Edmeston

High School Lacrosse

Oneonta upset Dryden 14-9

College Baseball

The 2012 Oneonta State baseball season came to a close Saturday with an 8-5 loss to Brockport in the second elimination game of the SUNYAC tournament hosted by SUNY Cortland. Oneonta finishes the season with an overall record of 18-21.

College Track and Field

The Oneonta State teams used the home site advantage this weekend with a pair of third place team finishes at the 2012 SUNYAC track & field championships. The men scored 139 points while the women collected 119.5 points en route to its final team standing. The SUNY Cortland men and women took the overall team titles, unseating the defending conference champion SUNY Geneseo Blue Knights. In all, Oneonta won nine SUNYAC titles – eight individual and one relay – while collecting 20 medals during the two-day event.