A state constable in Bradford County has been found not guilty of several charges stemming from an alleged road rage incident in Sayre last year. Terrance Blacknell was facing several charges in Bradford County Court, including intimidation, reckless endangerment, and making terroristic threats, accused of brandishing his gun at another driver last August. A jury found him not guilty following a one-day trial Tuesday. Pennsylvania elects constables for each county to help the court system by serving warrants and other papers, transporting prisoners, and providing courtroom security.
A Spencer man is facing grand larceny charges after taking five long guns from another property. The Tioga County Sheriff’s Office took 21-year-old Brandon Schmeltz in custody on Saturday. In addition to the theft, he is also accused of failing to return a vehicle. He was arraigned in Town of Owego Court and remanded to the Tioga County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail or $40,000 property bond.
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.
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.
The Tioga Arts Council is now accepting submissions for the fifth-annual artfully SQUARED collaborative art exhibition. Artists are urged to use any medium that makes a 7-inch square to create an original piece of artwork and donate it to the arts council. The artwork will be sold for $20 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Tioga Arts Council. Submissions are due March 31 and the exhibition will be open from April 6 for members and the next day for the public. Executive Director Christina DiStefano was a guest on today’s Morning Show. You can hear the full interview below.
State Senator Fred Akshar has released the results of his Community Voice Survey. More than 9,600 residents of the 52nd Senate District responded to the survey via mail or his website. 57 percent of respondents are against the governor’s proposal to grant free college tuition to students of families who earn less than $125,000 per year. An overwhelming majority were in support of workers’ compensation reform, banning outside income and creating term limits for state legislators, and not using public funds to provide assistance to undocumented immigrants. They were more split on the issues of doubling the Child Care tax credit for middle class families or a tax credit for employers to hire workers collecting unemployment. Full survey results are available online at Akshar.NYSenate.Gov. Senator Akshar says he will use the survey results and his own research among constituents to guide his actions in Albany.
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.
The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office now believes that the teen who they thought died in a fire on March 1 at his Mount Upton home was actually murdered and the fire was set to cover the crime. They have now charged the boy’s parents with murder and arson. 35-year-old Ernest Franklin and 33-year-old Heather Franklin were taken into custody after an autopsy determined that 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin was already dead before the fire started. No other information, including a possible motive, has been released. The sheriff’s office says their investigation continues and more charges are possible. The Franklins will be arraigned this morning.
Snow removal efforts continue along roads and streets in the Southern Tier today, including in the Village of Owego. Snow removal began in the business district, then to narrow roads and one-way streets, and will finally move through the rest of the village. Department of Public Works Superintendent Jeff Soules was a special guest on today’s WEBO Morning Show. In a wide-ranging interview, he thanked the state DOT for sending workers from Buffalo to help clear the snow. It was loaded on dump trucks and taken to Marvin Park so it doesn’t create flooding issues in the village when it melts. In the interview, we also discussed the start of a pipe replacement project on Lake Street that will close the street to vehicle traffic from May until September. That project is slated to begin May 8. The full interview is available below.