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WACK News Update

 In The News

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015


Two drivers escaped serious injury Monday morning in a head-on crash on Route 444 in East Bloomfield. Ontario County Sheriff’s Deputies say 43 year-old Denise Chilson-Kline of Victor was headed south on Route 444 when she lost control of her vehicle in drifting snow, crossed the center line and collided head-on with a northbound vehicle driven by 46 year-old Michael Malone of Dansville.

Deputies say both drivers were wearing seat belts and the impact caused the air bags in both vehicles to be deployed. As a result, Chilson-Kline sustained neck and shoulder injuries and was taken to Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua. Malone sustained facial and hand abrasions and was treated at the scene and released. Chilson-Kline was cited for failing to keep right.

ALBANY NY — A Dentist who worked for the State at 26 correctional facilities throughout New York, including multiple prisons through the Finger Lakes region, was sentenced last week after an investigation by the New York State Attorney Generals office. Dr. Timothy O’Keefe plead guilty in Albany County Court to Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the Second Degree, after invoicing false dental care for inmates at the correctional facilities where he treated patients. He was investigated for a scheme called “upcoding”: charging for complicated dental surgeries when he only preformed simple oral procedures. O’Keefe will serve six months in jail, pay over $14,000 in restitution, and participate in any program and will have to submit for monitoring by the New York State.

CANANDAIGUA — By agreeing to repay approximately $140,000 in restitution, a former Hobart and William Smith College employee who stole from the college avoided a lengthier prison term. However, Debra Jerome, 52, will still spend some time in the Ontario County Jail. County District Attorney R. Michael Tantillo said Jerome, of Gorham, plead guilty Wednesday in county court to second-degree grand larceny, and received a sentence of a year in jail.

After an internal audit by the College discovered missing money and equipment, Geneva police arrested Jerome in June 2014, following their own three-month investigation into the theft . Jerome was the purchasing agent for Colleges’ information technology department. She allegedly stole from the Colleges from 2008 through early last year.

The district attorney’s office offered a plea deal of three to nine years in prison if Jerome could not pay back HWS. The ruling judge said he would not sentence her to prison if she could repay the $138,000 by the time she plead guilty.

AUBURN NY —  The sudden, violent explosion caused by a gas leak on Genesee Street in downtown Auburn on Friday afternoon kept NYSEG utility crews busy throughout the weekend investigating the problem and making repairs. The source of the leak was part of a gas line beneath the surface of Genesee Street near the bridge.

The explosion occurred about four o’clock Friday afternoon, with enough force to launch a number of manhole covers into the air. No one was injured although a vehicle was damaged in the blast. Two stores in the vicinity detected gas fumes in their basements and both buildings were immediately evacuated.

Utility crews over the weekend were able to vent the natural gas and then complete most of the repairs on Monday.

NYSEG will backfill the area and clean up the work site on Wednesday.

ALBANY, NY —  Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday released the NY Parks 2020 Plan, a seven-point plans to moderize state parks. The plan will restore facilities, create a better experience for visitors, update signs, and create better access for tourists statewide. Cuomo’s plan will use about 900 million dollars in public and private funding, with 110 million added to the plan recently in the 2015 to 2016 Executive Budget. State parks saw roughly 64 million visitors in 2014, which Cuomo’s office says is part of an overall eight percent increase in recent years.

LYONS — The Town Board of Lyons made the decision Wednesday to establish a townwide fire district to provide fire protection after the village of Lyons dissolves at year’s end. The district will begin with the appointment of five commissioners and later elected commissioners will run the fire department post-dissolution.

Creating a fire district was the course recommended in the village’s (dissolution) plan. The other choice was a fire protection district, a self-run entity that the town would contract with each year.

Town Supervisor Brian Manktelow said the current fire department favored the creation of a fire district, as did members of the Town Board. Though they do not yet know how much setting up the new district will cost. The commissioners will set a budget after they are appointed by the town.

Manktelow said the town will now seek advice from attorneys on setting up the district. He hopes to have it ready to go by Dec. 31, when the village government will cease to exist.

NEW YORK — On Friday of last week, the New York state Gaming Commission’s Gaming Facilities Location Board voted to seek proposals for a fourth casino license, this one promised for the Southern Tier. The board is asking for proposals from developers in the Southern Tier counties of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins.

In December, the location board voted to recommend casino licenses for a development in Sullivan County, one in the city of Schenectady and the Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre, Seneca County. After developers from the Southern Tier expressed its outrage at Lago’s selection, Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked the Gaming Commission to seek proposals for a fourth casino license, this one in the Southern Tier region.

The location board’s motion must be approved by the Gaming Commission before it can move forward. Also on Friday, the location board adopted its original report and findings on the 16 developers who submitted the initial proposals. The Gaming Commission continues to do background checks on the three proposals recommended for casino licenses. Construction on each of the three cannot begin until licenses are formally awarded.

Congressman Tom Reed announced Wednesday that Yates County farmers will receive nearly 284-thousand dollars in Disaster Relief administered by the United States Department of Agriculture through the Emergency Conservation Program.

Immediately after the widespread destructive flooding in Yates County last May, Congressman Reed reached out to the USDA to declare Yates County a disaster area and to assist in the administration of emergency funding for local farmers. Reed and his staff have worked with both the State and Bath NY USDA offices and the Yates Soil Water Conservation District office to ensure the program was properly funded and that the value of the farmland is being estimated correctly based on the type of crop.

Tom Eskildsen of the Soil & Water Conservation District said the funding from this program will reimburse the farms for losses and to also allow them to finish restoring their cropland to productive states.

SYRACUSE, NY —  The promotional effort that brought record crowds to the Great New York State Fair in 2014 will be used again this year, with additional promotional incentives meant to encourage even greater fair attendance.

The new Dollar Day on promotion on Labor Day in 2014 drew a record crowd of 122,870 people as patrons took advantage of $1 admission tickets and the $1 rides on the fair’s new Midway rides. The Wade Show Midway company used was the first new rides vendor the fair has used in nearly 70 years.

Fair organizers say Dollar Day will be back, and again, on Labor Day — gross sales set a single day record, last year, of $223,360 compared $96,384 on Labor Day, the previous year — a significant 132% increase.

For 2015, the Fair and its Midway partner will roll out two new promotions aimed at adding even more value to the Fair. Three Dollar Thursdays: where Fair admission will be just $3. The Fair will also have a new Wade Shows Wednesday promotion — ten rides for $10 using a special wristband.

This year’s Great New York State Fair runs from August 27th. to September 7th. — advance tickets go on sale beginning in July.

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