It was close, but the Taxpayers First Party swept all three trustee positions up for election in Owego yesterday, meaning that the party now has all six seats on the village board and the mayor position. Ken Henson beat out incumbent Phoebe Morris 212-192 in the First Ward, while Second Ward Trustee Rob Manville won re-election over Mike Baratta 218-182. Nick Ruiz was unopposed and elected as the new Third Ward trustee.
The Village of Waverly has a new Mayor, as former Deputy Mayor Patrick Ayres was running unopposed for the position yesterday. Rick Gorman was elected as the new village justice, beating out John Sobol 221-167. Three spots were open on the village board. Charlie Havens and incumbent Jerry Sinsabaugh were the top two vote-getters. Eric Reznicek edged out incumbent Chris Brewster by two votes for the last seat.
The Village of Nichols had three positions up for re-election, with two incumbents running unopposed on the ballot. Mayor Lesley Pelotte was re-elected along with Trustee Michael Woods. Trustee Jefferson Hunt was re-elected via write-in after he was not listed on the ballot.
In Broome County, Whitney Point re-elected Mayor Ryan Reynolds and elected two trustees – Danielle Hoeppner and Michael Hakes. All three were running unopposed.
Tioga Downs will hold a job fair today, the first of two scheduled for this week. Director of Human Resources Karen Shelp says they have many positions available. Today’s job fair will be held at Virgil’s from 3-7pm. A similar event will be held Saturday from 9am-2pm. The first hour of each job fair is open for veterans only. Applicants must be 18 years or older and should apply online before the event on the Tioga Downs website. The 11th season of harness racing begins May 6 at Tioga Downs.
Village elections will be held in Owego, Waverly and Nichols today. Owego voters will elect three trustees to the village board. Residents can vote at the Central Fire Station on North Avenue. In Waverly, voters will elect a new mayor, a new village justice, and three trustees today. Residents can vote at the Waverly Village Hall. Nichols will elect the positions of mayor and two trustees. Voting will be held at the former Nichols Elementary School. Polls will be open from noon to 9pm in all three villages. We will have the full results on tomorrow’s WEBO Morning Show.
The latest numbers are in from Tioga Downs, and more money has been generated for the Town of Nichols, Tioga County, and Broome County. Tioga Downs generated a total of $1.95 million in gaming tax revenue during February, and 20 percent of that tax goes to local municipalities. Nichols, Tioga County, and Broome County receive 5 percent each, which means they each received close to $100,000 for February. They have received nearly $275,000 each for the three months that the casino has been in operation with table games. The other 80 percent of the tax revenue goes to New York State.
The Tioga County Allies in Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition and Trinity Casa have rescheduled their Nichols panel discussion on the heroin crisis for Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 7-8:30pm at the Presbyterian Church on Main Street. The event had to be canceled this week due to hazardous weather conditions. The format will remain the same for the “Nichols Community Talks about Substance Abuse” night, with members from law enforcement joining with organizations and people affected by the heroin and opioid crisis sharing their experiences and answering questions from audience members. Visit the Tioga ASAP Facebook page for more information.
Today is the grand opening of the new casino portion of Tioga Downs. The doors open this afternoon to the 23 new table games including blackjack, roulette, and craps, 461 brand new slot machines, and the 12-table Poker Room. Many of the slot machines also include USB stations so guests can charge their phones while they are playing. Another 300-plus slots will be installed by the end of January. Besides the continuing Winterfest activities, the casino’s opening weekend will include t-shirts for the first 1,500 guests and live music. Britta Erickson is the Vice President of Marketing. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this day,” she told WEBO minutes before the ribbon cutting. “Not just for us, but really for the entire community who has been so supportive. To finally be right here at the finish line feels amazing.”
The gambling floor will be open daily from 9am to 3am. Photos of the new casino area are available on the WEBO Facebook Page and video of the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Tioga Downs has finalized the financing for its $134 million expansion into a full-blown casino and resort. Once the expansion is complete, Tioga Downs will offer 33,000 square feet of casino space with 942 slot machines and 44 table games, a 161-room hotel, three restaurants, three bars, a banquet center, a spa, and an 18-hole golf course off-site. Tioga Downs expects the project to be fully completed by October of next year.
Fire damaged the kitchen of Wit’s End in Nichols yesterday. A structure fire was reported at the bar/restaurant around 1pm. Nichols firefighters were dispatched to the scene and requested mutual aid from Tioga Center. Scanner reports say the fire was contained to the kitchen area of the business at 35 North Main Street in Nichols and out within an hour. No injuries were reported.