Broome County

Teens charged with arson at Vestal High School

Two teens have been charged with setting a fire that destroyed a storage shed behind the Vestal High School Wednesday night. Besides the shed, the fire also caused damage to a nearby field. Vestal Police have arrested 18-year-old Travis Kipp and 17-year-old Mark EagleElk-Sola, both of Vestal, and charged them with arson in the third-degree. The two were sent to the Broome County Jail without bail. Police say their investigation continues and more charges are possible. They did not say if the teens are students at VHS.

Mayor fires two employees after storm response

Binghamton Mayor Rich David has fired the two people in charge of Public Works and says they will look at overhauling the department’s policies following multiple complaints that the city took too long to clear roads after the Blizzard of 2017. Mayor David says its unacceptable that it took an additional 18 hours to clear the city’s roads after the main part of the storm. David says the blizzard response exposed issues that have been going on in the department for years. In addition to the personnel changes, he says they will look to update their decades-old snow removal policies and see if they need to purchase new equipment.

Binghamton woman accused of murder

A Binghamton woman is facing murder charges, accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death during a domestic dispute yesterday morning. Police say there were two young children inside the home during the incident. 27-year-old Liz Ayala is now charged with murder in the second degree, accused of stabbing her boyfriend, 26-year-old Gerrard Davis, to death just after 8:30am yesterday at their home at 97 Broad Avenue. Davis was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Police say the couple had a history of domestic incidents. The children were turned over to Broome County Child Protective Services. Police say they are still investigating the incident.

Village Election Results

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.

Details released after boy drowns in Conklin

More details have been released concerning how 7-year-old Connor Brown fell into the Susquehanna River near Conklin and drowned on Sunday night. The Broome County Sheriff’s Office says Connor was playing outside his family’s home with his 8-year-old brother when he fell into the water and became trapped under the ice. His mother and brother also fell into the river trying to save him, but they were rescued by neighbors. Connor was pulled out of the water 15-20 minutes later, but it was too late. The 7-year-old was a second grade student in the Susquehanna Valley School District. The district said Connor was a very popular student, and their thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Police searching for bank robbery suspect

Police are searching for the man who robbed a Binghamton bank at knifepoint this morning. City Police Chief Joseph Zikuski says the man went into the Chemung Canal branch on Court Street when it opened at 8am, armed with a knife, and made off with an unknown amount of cash. No one was injured. Anyone with information about the robbery can call Binghamton Police at 607-772-7060.

Part of Tioga Downs gambling taxes staying local

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.

UPDATE: 1 dead in fire at Skylark Motel

One person is dead after a fire destroyed the Skylark Motel in Vestal Tuesday. Crews were called to reports of fire at the motel along the Vestal Parkway after 4am. The victim, who has not been identified, was found inside the building after the fire was extinguished. No other injuries were reported. The nearby Skylark Diner was not affected by the fire, but closed Tuesday to serve as a staging and relief area for the many firefighters and police officers at the scene. Not only did they have to battle the fire, but also heavy snow and wind conditions. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.