A portion of Clinton Street in Ithaca was closed for two hours Saturday while the Ithaca Police Department investigated a suspicious device that had been brought to their headquarters. Police say a resident found what they believed to be a pipe bomb and decided to bring it to the police station. When it arrived around 4:30pm, police set up a safety perimeter and closed the portion of the street out front while they waited for the Endicott Police Department Bomb Squad to arrive. Once they did, they determined that the device did not contain explosive material. The all clear was given at 6:30pm and the street was reopened.
The Johnson City Police Department issued a public health alert Saturday after three people fatally overdosed on heroin in a 10-hour span. Police believe a “bad batch” of heroin was circulated around the area late last week and want to warn any potential heroin users of the increased overdose risk. They are continuing to investigate. Free Narcan kits are available at the Tioga County Health Department, which is located in the county’s Health and Human Services Building on Route 38 in Owego. They are also available without a prescription for a small fee at all local pharmacies.
New York state has set aside $5 million to expand pre-kindergarten programs in some school districts.Governor Andrew Cuomo said the money is intended for pre-kindergarten programs for three or four-year-old students at high-need school districts who do not have a state funded pre-k class. Cuomo announced the initiative in January which was included in his budget proposal and later approved by lawmakers. Funding for districts will be renewed each year, provided the programs meet all requirements. The state Education Department will administer the grant and expects to announce awards sometime this fall. Some national studies show children who participate in early childhood education programs have higher test scores from their toddler years to age 21, including higher achievements in both reading and math. Studies also show these children are more likely to attend a four-year college and eventually get a full-time job.
A male employee was run over and killed by a piece of heavy equipment at Ben Weitsman & Son on Main Street in Owego just before 2:30pm Friday. The victim has not been identified, but business owner Adam Weitsman released a statement saying the worker was killed while loading a piece of heavy machinery. He says he feels horrible about the accident, and that the man was pleasant and will be missed by other employees. The Owego Police Department was the first on the scene, but has turned the investigation over to the New York State Police and OSHA. No further details have been released pending the investigation and notification of family.
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by the Tioga Elementary School today to urge fellow Senators to reject the Trump Administration’s proposal to cut SNAP benefits and funding to critical nutrition and nutrition education programs for low-income families. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, has funded programs like the “Eat Smart New York” program. 12 percent of all Tioga County residents rely on SNAP for their meals, but the presidential administration would cut SNAP funding by $193 billion over 10 years. Senator Gillibrand was at Tioga because the school has used federal funding to plan a “Tiger Farm” on district land that will grow food that they will use as part of school lunches next year. We have posted the full video of Senator Gillibrand’s talk today on the WEBO Facebook Page. Besides the SNAP issue, she also shared her thoughts on the Republican Senators health care plan yesterday.
It’s a busy weekend for graduating seniors and their families in the Southern Tier.
Three of Tioga County’s public high school’s will hold their graduation ceremonies on Friday night, all scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Waverly will graduate its seniors in a ceremony at the high school athletic field, Newark Valley will hold graduation in the high school auditorium and Spencer-Van Etten in the high school gymnasium. Candor has scheduled graduation for 730pm Friday.
Tioga’s largest high school, Owego Free Academy, will hold its graduation at 10am Saturday at Christy J. Valvo Stadium on the OFA campus. The ceremony will be broadcast live on Your Hometown WEBO. Tioga Central will also hold graduation on Saturday.
Other ceremonies throughout the Southern Tier include Maine-Endwell at 7 p.m. Friday at the BU Events Center, Vestal at 1 p.m. Saturday, also at Events Center, and Union-Endicott at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Arena in downtown Binghamton.