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.
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.
Vestal Police made five arrests at a home on Main Street last week after reports of prostitution and drug use. After police were called numerous times to 821 Main Street, they said they had reports of ongoing drug use and prostitution at the residence. That ended Thursday at 2pm, when police executed a search warrant at the residence of 23-year-old David Decker. He now faces a few charges, including a felony count of promoting prostitution at the location. 31-year-old Stacy Smith and 50-year-old Kimberly Notobartolo also lived at the residence and are now facing charges for prostitution. Two others were arrested on controlled substance and loitering charges. All five were sent to the Broome County Jail after arraignment.
The Jewish Community Center in Vestal was evacuated yesterday around 10:45am after a bomb threat. Vestal Police say the threat was called directly to the JCC. The building was searched, and it was determined that the threat was a hoax. Police say dozens of JCC’s across the country received a similar call yesterday. The building was back open at 1pm. Vestal Police are providing the local information to the FBI to assist in their national investigation.
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and AARP are teaming up to offer free document shredding services in Vestal on Saturday. According to the Assemblywoman’s office, a document shredding truck will be parked near TGI Fridays in the Vestal Town Square Mall from 10am until 2pm on Saturday, or until the truck is filled. Those who utilize the free service can bring up to three bags of documents for shredding.
A Vestal home is a total loss after an early morning fire this morning. The home at 139 Gardner Road in the Town of Vestal erupted just after 1:30am. Residents were home at the time of the fire, however, managed to escape safely. The Vestal Fire Department, Town of Binghamton Fire Department, and Vestal Police Department were all on scene. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
There was a large police presence along the Susquehanna River in both Vestal and Endicott yesterday. According to authorities, Vestal Police were attempting to arrest an individual who was wanted on an arrest warrant when the individual jumped into the river. New York State Police, Broome County Sheriff’s Deputies, Vestal Police, and Endicott Police lined the river for the next 20 minutes as the suspect swam from side to side attempting to flee. A Vestal Police officer eventually jumped into the river to apprehend the suspect. No additional information has been released at this time.
Unused structures across the Southern Tier continue to come down as local leaders continue their fight on blighted properties. In Binghamton, the former city Department of Public Works building was torn down yesterday. The building, which was built in the 1920’s has sat vacant off of the Brandywine highway for a decade.
In Vestal, the former Ken Wilson Chevrolet Showroom is set to be torn down. The unique-looking building at the intersection of Route 434 and Shippers Road in Vestal was sold to a developer last year. Plans are now being drafted to turn the property into a shopping complex. That endeavor would be expected to take up to a year, including demolition and construction.