Jury Finds Senator Tom Libous Guilty

A jury in federal court in White Plains has found State Sen. Tom Libous guilty on one count of lying to the FBI. Prosecutors claimed Libous lied to the FBI when agents interviewed him in the summer of 2010. They questioned him about an accusation that he used his political influence to get his son a job — and secure his salary — at a law firm in Westchester County. The key witness for the prosecution was a lawyer for the firm Servino, Santangelo and Randazzo. Anthony Mangone claimed the deal was worked out over a dinner in 2005. He claimed Senator Libous promised to steer business to the firm in exchange for hiring his son, Matthew. The jury deliberated for about six hours yesterday, and at 3:45, they reached a decision. Libous faces up to five years in prison as a result of the conviction. He will be sentenced in White Plains on Oct. 30th. Libous will lose his seat in the Senate because of the felony conviction. He was currently serving in his 14th term, and was the second highest ranking republican state senator in New York.

NY Wage Board Approves Minimum Wage Increase for Fast Food Workers

A minimum wage increase to $15 an hour for fast food workers has been approved by the New York Wage Board. At a meeting in New York City yesterday, the state wage board recommended the increase. The $15 per hour minimum would only apply to fast food chains that have more than 30 locations throughout New York state. Fast food restaurants in New York City need to comply with the change by 2018 — the rest of the state by 2021. The state will increase the wage by about a dollar every year until 2021:

($9.75 on Dec. 31, 2015
$10.75 on Dec. 31, 2016
$11.75 on Dec. 31, 2017
$12.75 on Dec. 31, 2018
$13.75 on Dec. 31, 2019
$14.50 on Dec. 31, 2020
$15 on July 1, 2021)

Penn State Police Make Bath Salts Arrest

An arrest was made after $100,000 worth of bath salts was seized in Bradford County. Jack Tyler Maloney-Williams of Towanda is facing several drug-related charges. Pennsylvania State Police received word he was to receive a package with a large quantity of bath salts on Monday at a location on Sayre Road in Towanda. Authorities seized the package and inside was 1,000 grams of bath salts. Maloney-Williams admitted to ordering the package from Shanghai, China in order to sell it. Troopers say the street value of the package was about $100,000. Maloney-Williams was on parole at the time of his arrest. He was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor, and was arrested and taken to the Bradford County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Woman Arrested on Animal Cruelty Charges

Yesterday, deputies announced the arrest of Gaetana Stamos. She was charged with 22 counts of failure to provide proper sustenance and cruelty to animals. She was arrested after 22 dogs were found in horrific conditions in the basement of a Town of Union home. The Broome County Sheriff’s office responded to 310 Beckwith Ave. on July 8th. She was arraigned at the Town of Union Court and remanded on $3,000.00 cash bail. The Humane Society worked with local veterinarians to obtain medical treatment for the dogs, as well as physical examinations. Local groomers also assisted with bringing the dogs back to good health. The Humane Society will continue to care for the dogs until they are ready to be adopted into a new home.

Closing Arguments Complete in Tom Libous Trial

Closing arguments have ended in the trial of State Senator Tom Libous. Starting today, the jury will deliberate on whether it believes Libous knowingly made false statements to the FBI. Both the prosecution and the defense took the entire day Tuesday to lay out their final arguments. The prosecution went first, and for more than an hour it connected the dots between the 15 witnesses it called. The defense pointed to the lack of evidence against Libous in its closing statement. Jury deliberations will begin at 9:30 this morning.

Highland Park Pool Remains Closed

The Highland Park pool remained closed yesterday after officials found glass in the kiddie pool. Even though there was no glass in the large pool, it had to be closed too because of the park’s water filtration system. The Broome County Health Department said it received an anonymous complaint on Sunday witnessing lifeguards taking glass out of the kiddie pool at Highland Park. The department said one person suffered cuts from the glass before the pools were closed. Now, the park is required to go through a lengthy cleanup process before the pools can be reopened to the public. Once it is completed, the county health department will send an inspector, and the pools will be reopened. They expect the pools to reopen within the next few days.

Lockheed Confirms Purchase of Sikorsky

Lockheed Martin made it official yesterday…announcing it has acquired Sikorsky Aircraft, a world leader in military and commercial rotary-wing aircraft, for $9 billion. Lockheed Martin employs approximately 2,600 people at its Owego facility. The plant currently works closely with Sikorsky on helicopter contracts including the VH-92 – Marine One Presidential Helicopter – the Combat Rescue Helicopter and MH-60 installing electronics and mission control systems. Lockheed’s corporate offices in Bethesda said the deal would not mean more jobs for the Owego facility. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016.

UHS Confirms Patient Care Services Resumed at Picciano Building

UHS Wilson Hospital confirmed yesterday that patient care services have resumed at the Picciano building. They were forced to relocate late last week after the collapse of the hospital parking ramp on Baldwin Street. Patients may enter the Picciano Building from the southern Arch Street entrance. Free valet parking will be provided, as there will be no access on Baldwin Street. Baldwin Street remains closed to traffic until further notice. However, there is limited access for ambulances and other medical vehicles. Debris removal continued at the site of the parking ramp collapse yesterday. Officials said all hospital operations have returned to normal.

Prosecution Rests in Tom Libous Trial

State Sen. Tom Libous has decided not to testify in his trial, which is underway in federal court in White Plains. The prosecution rested its case yesterday afternoon. After a short recess, the defense announced it would only call one witness: District Court Judge Thomas McAvoy. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 10:30 this morning. Sen. Libous is accused of lying to the FBI about his son Matthew’s employment at a Westchester law firm in 2010. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.