Archives for May 2017

Libous’ Conviction Vacated

A deceased New York State senator’s corruption conviction has been vacated.

52nd District senator Tom Libous was found guilty in November of 2015 and was sentenced to house arrest and a $50,000 fine.

Libous died in May 2016 from prostate cancer and according to the law a case must be vacated if the defendant dies before the appeals process is completed.

His attorney says the $50,000 fine will be returned to the Libous family.

Free Tuition Applications Open June 7

New York college students can apply for the Excelsior Scholarship free tuition plan beginning June 7.

The plan announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo covers tuition at state universities for full-time, in-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less.

Students must pay out of pocket for room, board and other expenses.

Recipients also must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit and repay the money as a loan if they take a job elsewhere unless the student can demonstrate a hardship situation.

Two Districts Qualify For Empire State After-School Program

The Oneonta City School District and the Laurens Central School District are named as being eligible to share in $35 million in funding for establishing quality after-school programs.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding during the 2017 State of the State and says this investment will support increased enrollment in after-school programs by 36 percent.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services, which will administer the grant, expects to announce awards this fall.

Hancock Underage House Party Arrest

Police arrest a 34 year old woman for organizing an underage drinking party in Colchester.

According to a news release Cherie Ebert of East Branch made available alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs at a party held on May 21 for consumption by at least 15 minors.

A sixteen year old was taken into custody for unlawful possession of marijuana.

Ebert was held on $500 bail.

Roxbury Man Arrested For Shots Fired

An argument in Roxbury on Saturday ends up with shots being fired and a man arrested.

Police say Kenneth Hinkley of Roxbury fired several shots into the air during the argument with a group of people on Butternut Lane.

According to investigators Hinkley had fired those rounds from an unlawfully possessed assault rifle.

Hinkley was remanded to the Delaware County Jail in lieu of $2,000 cash bail or $4,000 bond with his next court date scheduled for June 7.

Speller From Chenango County At National Bee

A 12 year old from Chenango County is working her way to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

According to a local TV station Melodie Loya of Bainbridge took part in a written vocabulary test Tuesday morning.

She is ranked 9th by the Scripps website.

Nearly 300 spellers will be competing for the 50 final spots in the bee that will be televised on ESPN3.

Two Face Trash Dumping Charges

Charges of illegal trash dumping were filed against a part of Hartwick residents.

Police say Devan Hazen and Tara Baker illegally disposed five truckloads of garbage at a New Lisbon home where a garbage service had just completed a job.

According to investigators Hazen and Baker were advertising the site on social media.

Hazen and Baker are due in New Lisbon court on Wednesday and if they’re found guilty each could be in jail for up to three months and/or pay up to a $22,500 fine.

Drug Court Takes Unique Approach To Rehab

A drug court judge in Otsego County is using a novel approach to beat the drug epidemic – running.

Judge Brian Burns tells a local TV station he and Nathan Getman, principal court attorney in Otsego County created the Phoenix Running Club last year.

Those in the drug court are offered the chance to join the club and while it’s not a perfect fit for everyone, the club has had a lot of success with one recovering addict doing so well he came back to lead the club

New Regs For Excelsior Scholarship

There’s been a change to the requriements for students who are eligible receive free SUNY tuition under the Excelsior Scholarship.

An original requirement was that students had to stay in New York to work after graduation but now they will be able to apply for a waiver to try to keep the scholarship if they move to another state for work.

Authorities say the waiver can be applied for in cases of extreme hardship as a result of a disability, labor market conditions, or other such circumstances.

OLT Has New Leader

Otsego Land Trust has named a new executive director.

Patricia Szarpa succeeds John Winter who stepped down in December 2016.

Szarpa served as executive director for the Western New York Land Conservancy from 2006-2012.

She is no stranger to Otsego County having worked as Director of the Cooperstown Chamber and a Multi-Media Consultant.

Szarpa and her husband have been involved with the Land Trust as volunteers for years.