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WACK News Update

In The News

Friday, March 24th, 2017


A 61-year-old Montour man, who works at Geneva General Hospital was indicted by a grand jury in Schuyler County after officials say he perjured himself during jury service in a rape case.

Gary Kline, was is employed by Finger Lakes Health as a nurse at Geneva General Hospital, was charged with two counts of second-degree perjury and one count of second-degree criminal contempt.  The perjury charges against Kline  carry a maximum penalty of 2 to 7 years in prison. The contempt charge carries a maximum penalty of up-to one year in jail.

The charges stem from Kline’s jury service, in a case involving two men, Jeff Forney and Aaron Bowen, who were tried for allegedly raping a physically helpless 18-year-old woman then dumping the victim’s unconscious body on the side of the road in Horseheads, NY.  That trial lasted 4 weeks, beginning in January and resulted in a hung jury, and will be re-tried in May.

The Schuyler County District Attorney’s Office says that Kline lied about having no previous criminal convictions, and also failed to disclose that the District Attorney’s Office had prosecuted his wife, Katharine Bartholomew, for giving a special needs student a combination stun gun and plastic knuckles. At the time, she was employed as a biology teacher at the Watkins Glen Central School District. Bartholomew was ultimately acquitted of all the charges in January 2016, only to resign last year.

The District Attorney’s Office says that Kline failed to reveal this relationship to the court, the prosecutor, and the defense attorneys during jury selection.

The indictment alleges that Kline did not reveal to the court when asked that he had been convicted of a crime — when in 2006 he was convicted in Federal Court of damaging federal property. In that instance, he pleaded guilty to splashing his own blood on the Federal Courthouse, and then further smearing his blood on the building with his hand, in protest of the trial of several of his friends for committing a similar act in Tompkins County.

Kline is also accused of deliberately disobeying Judge Morris’ orders during the deliberation phase of the Forney-Bowen trial.

Kline appeared in Schuyler County Court on March 15th for arraignment and was adjourned until his next court appearance set for April 3rd.


Avon, N.Y. — A home burned to the ground and several dogs were killed in a massive structure fire on North Avon Road in Avon.

More than 12 fire companies and over 80 firefighters responded to the incident Thursday night

Firefighters say that getting water to the rural scene was the main reason why the extra resources were needed.
No one was hurt in the fire as the owners were out of town, but several dogs were lost in the fire.
The fire is currently under investigation.


Fire destroyed a trailer loaded with straw that was being pulled by a dump truck on Pre-Emption Road in the town of Benton Wednesday afternoon.

The driver, 67 year old Reginald Schweitezer, of Chaumont, New York, noticed smoke coming from the trailer and pulled over. He and a passenger attempted to put out the fire with snow, but were unable to contain it. The trailer was unhooked from the dump truck and the straw was dumped as it had caught fire also. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and removed the straw from the road.

Investigators determined the trailer had a tire failure, causing sparks, which ignited the straw. The trailer was badly damaged, the box of the dump truck received smoke damage and a portion of the road was damaged from the heat of the fire. No injuries were reported.


An Emergencey room death that occurred at the Cayuga Medical Center in January has resulted in a lawsuit being filed against three nurses, a doctor, as well as the entire hospital.

On January 19th Lloyd Phelps, a 52-year-old Ithaca man was incorrectly prioritized while visiting the emergency room. He arrived around 6 pm and would be found dead in the waiting room shortly before 8:30 pm.

The lawsuit alleges negligence on behalf of the hospital.

The suit alleges that one of the nurses working in the Emergency room that night is accused of falsifying medical records.


A 24-year-old Waterloo woman is recovering and facing a charge after deputies say she overdosed on State Rt. 318 while driving a vehicle.

Deputies charged Morgan L. Garrett, 24, of Waterloo with driving while ability impaired by drugs after she was found to be operating a motor vehicle while an overdose was taking place.

Authorities were called to the scene after receiving a report of a female overdosing on Rt. 318 in Junius. Upon arrival, deputies say Garrett was in stable condition.

She will answer the charges in Junius Town Court.


The Canandaigua Police Department is closing out the criminal investigations into the deaths of two men whose bodies were discovered on the same day and only a mile or so apart. 45 year old Daniel Mendez’s body was found in the water near City Pier in the late morning hours of August 18th. Early that afternoon 47 year old Donald Daily’s body was found in some high grass and bushes behind the downtown Pizza Hut. After months of investigation Police Chief Steve Hedworth told Finger Lakes News Radio they found nothing suspicious in either death.

Mendez’s cause of death was drowning and Daily’s was medically related.


A Manhattan judge has ordered New York State to release 52-year old Laurie Kellogg, who has been serving a 25 years-to-life sentence for the murder of her husband in Seneca County in 1991.

Kellogg’s case made national headlines and was made into a TV-movie. Kellogg was convicted of killing her husband, Bruce Kellogg, in their Romulus cottage. She drove four teenagers from Pennsylvania to the cottage in June 1991. There one of the teens, Denver McDowell shot Bruce Kellogg in the head while he slept on the couch.


The town of Geneva has scheduled two public forums to discuss changes to its zoning code.

Both sessions will be held Saturday. The first will be from 9 to 11 a.m. in the West Lake Road firehouse on Route 14. The second runs from 1 to 3 p.m. in the North Side firehouse on Carter Road.

Planners from Ithaca-based George R. Frantz and Associates will discuss proposed new land-use regulations and accept questions from residents. Frantz, the town’s consultant, said the content at both forums will be identical.


Upstate New York lost another 23,434 people from 2015 to 2016, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Downstate saw an increase of 21,540 people, which has resulted in an increase of 426,835 since 2010 for that region. For Upstate New York, the decline has been real since 2010. According to the latest figures from the Census Bureau the region that makes up Upstate New York has lost 59,648 since 2010.

It spurred the state’s first overall decline in population, according to the bureau, who notes that the decline in Upstate was too much to even be outweighed by the gains of Downstate New York.

There were only a small handful of counties in the state that saw an increase, and two of those were located in the Finger Lakes. Both Tompkins and Ontario counties saw an increase in population. Monroe and Erie counties also saw increases in western parts of the state.

Ontario County was only one of two in the state to experience ‘positive domestic migration’, which means they attracted more residents from the rest of the nation; including other counties in New York than they lost.

Tompkins County saw one of the largest increases since the 2010 reporting with a 3.23 percent increase in population. Ontario County saw an increase in overall population of 1.60 percent.

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