Local News

Giraffe watch continues in Harpursville

Giraffe Watch continues at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville today. April the Giraffe is expected to give birth soon to a calf. A live video feed from the animal’s inside enclosure continues today, and has been liked by more than 30 million people around the world. Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch says there is no good way to know when she will be ready to give birth, and he continues to provide daily updates. A gofundme page has been set up to support the family of giraffes, which includes April, Oliver, and the soon-to-be born calf. The video stream and a link to the gofundme page are available on the park’s Facebook page.

Former hockey player convicted of murder

A former Elmira Jackals hockey player was found guilty of murder in Steuben County Court this morning. Thomas Clayton was found guilty of conspiring with another man to have his wife killed in 2015. Prosecutors say Clayton hired Michael Beard to kill his wife, Kelley, at the couple’s home. Beard was convicted of murder charges in the fall. Clayton will receive his sentence later this year.

Improvement project underway at NYSEG Stadium

With opening day two months away, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies invited local officials to come tour the progress of their $2.5 million improvement project at NYSEG Stadium yesterday. Improvements include a new picnic deck that overlooks the field, an expanded kids zone, and a glass-enclosed batting cage for players. Fans will be able to watch players take swings in the cage or warm up on the bullpen mound before games. The bulk of the funding for the project comes from the state. Single game tickets are now on sale for the 2017 season, which begins April 6. The home opener is scheduled for April 13.

Giraffe soon to give birth in Harpursville

Photo credit: TWC News

Thousands of people from around the world are paying attention to a pregnant giraffe in Harpursville. April the giraffe is expected to give birth at any moment at Animal Adventure Park. A live video feed from the animal’s inside enclosure was shut down on Youtube this morning, but the park says they will start another live feed on their Facebook page once birth is “imminent.” The live video had more than 50,000 watchers at one time last night. This is the first calf for the park’s two giraffes, April and Oliver.

Tioga Downs expands gaming floor

Tioga Downs has announced an expansion to their gaming floor. The casino now boasts 944 video slot machines, including all new games with touch screen capabilities. The video slots join the 32 table games that opened in December, including blackjack, craps, and roulette. Tioga Downs also has a live Poker Room separate from their casino floor. Construction continues on the 161-room hotel on the property, which is expected to open later this year with a spa, an event center, and a restaurant. The new golf course club house will open at the former Nichols Country Club in 2018.

JC Police arrest two for home invasions

The Johnson City Police Department arrested two people yesterday for different home invasion robberies. 17-year-old Dushane Murphy of Binghamton was arrested after a two-month investigation. He is accused of forcing entry into a residence, pepper spraying the occupant, and stealing money. He is now charged with burglary in the first degree. Also yesterday, 25-year-old Katelynd Clark of Vestal was taken into custody, accused of stealing clothing and $10,000 worth of collectible coins from a residence in the village. She is now charged with grand larceny. Johnson City Police say further charges are pending in both cases.

Akshar at OES for “Ag in the Classroom”

State Senator Fred Akshar stopped by Owego Elementary yesterday to participate in a presentation to fourth grade students from the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Akshar read the students a story, and then they got to try oranges three different ways: whole, canned, and squeezed into juice. The presentation was part of the “Ag in the Classroom” initiative, a collaboration between the CCE, BOCES, local school districts, and Senator Akshar.

“I have to give thanks to (OACSD) Superintendent Corey Green for his willingness to partner with us and the Cornell Cooperative Extension for making this a reality,” he told WEBO. “I’m already thinking forward about how we can expand the program, get into more schools, and ensure that we are creating a pathway for kids to be successful.”

Owego-Apalachin is one of five local districts taking part in the program, and Superintendent Corey Green is also looking forward to the future.

“We’re thrilled to be part of this program,” he told WEBO. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to learn more about agriculture. Teaming up with Senator Akshar has been wonderful, and we are looking forward to watching (the program) grow.”

More photos from the event are on the WEBO Facebook page.

TCSD voters approve capital project

Tioga Central School District residents approved a capital project yesterday by a vote of 180-93. The $7.55 million capital project includes infrastructure improvements and moving the district offices inside the high school. The existing district office building will be turned into pre-kindergarten classrooms. Almost 92 percent of the total cost will be covered by the state, while the district will pay the rest up front with capital reserve and fund balance money. Superintendent Scot Taylor says they hope to submit their plans to the state this spring and send the project out to bid in the fall.