Owego’s Police Chief has announced her retirement. Karen Vinti will retire as Owego Police Chief in June after five years in charge of the department. She announced her decision in a letter addressed to Mayor Steve May and members of the village board that she will retire on June 19 after this year’s Strawberry Festival. Vinti has worked for the OPD for 27 years and has 31 years of total law enforcement experience. She was appointed chief after the Flood of 2011. She tells WEBO that she will do everything she can to make the transition to a new chief as seamless as possible. The village board has been discussing making the police chief position part-time, but did not make a final decision at their meeting on Monday. The full letter is posted below.
OPD Retirement Letter
After taking the weekend off to celebrate Easter, both NASCAR series will return to action this weekend with races at Bristol Motor Speedway that will be heard live on WEBO. The Xfinity Series will race tomorrow, with Performance Racing Network coverage starting at 12:30pm. The Monster Energy Cup will take to the high banks of “The Last Great Coliseum” Sunday for the Food City 500. Brothers Kyle and Kurt Busch have each won five races in Thunder Valley, the most among active drivers. PRN coverage will start at 1pm Sunday on WEBO.
Senator Fred Akshar will host three more town hall meetings this weekend, including an event Sunday in Owego. Akshar is inviting constituents in the 52nd Senate District to join him and discuss issues around our region and state. He will be at the Owego Kitchen on Lake Street in Owego at 3pm Sunday. Two “Face Time with Fred” meetings will be held tomorrow, at 10am at the Guilford Town Office and at 1pm at the Fenton Town Hall. More information is available on the senator’s website at akshar.nysenate.gov.
The Southern Tier will receive $8.4 million in state funding for projects that support bicycle and pedestrian enhancements. That includes $3.1 million to the City of Elmira to rehabilitate the Lake Street Bridge, $525,000 to the Town of Vestal to install new ADA-compliant crosswalks, and $400,000 to Broome County for sidewalk improvements. The local awards are part of $112 million being provided across the state from the Federal Highway Administration. They will provide up to 80 percent of the cost of each project.
Local officials unveiled the brand-new VA clinic in Binghamton yesterday. The 25,000 square-foot facility will provide access to primary care, diagnostic services, physical therapy, group therapy, and other services to the 14,000 veterans in the Southern Tier. The new Greater Binghamton Healthcare Center will open on Monday at 203 Court Street.
An internationally-acclaimed theatre organist will perform at the Forum Theatre in Binghamton tomorrow. Scottish-born David Gray will perform at 7:30pm presented by the Binghamton Theater Organ Society. Gray will pair with local trumpeter Frank Gabriel Campos for tomorrow’s concert. Tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for members and veterans, and $5 for students. They will be available at the Forum two hours before the show.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially signed legislation yesterday that will invest over $200 million to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic across the state.
“This is a matter of life and death,” he said after signing the legislation. “You have parents that are struggling, and providers that are struggling. What we did in this budget is that we basically doubled the state’s commitment in terms of resources.”
The funds were provided in this year’s state budget. They will be used to support prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward chemical dependency, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities in New York. It will also provide $6 million for Naloxone kits and training. The recommendations were made by the state’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, which is co-chaired by Senator Fred Akshar.
Broome County officials have released a report that discusses their response to the Blizzard of 2017. The report lists several strengths of the response to the relentless snow of March 14 and 15, and also mentions some lessons learned during the storm. Strengths from the county’s response include seamless operation of the Emergency Operations Center and an open dialogue with the National Weather Service that provided county leaders with continuous snowfall updates. Lessons learned include the need for more 4-wheel drive vehicles to get around in a snowstorm, and to help organizations put together a better plan to make sure essential employees can make it to their workplaces during a snow emergency. The full report is available on the county website.
While construction continues on their new pharmacy school, Binghamton University announced plans yesterday for a $15 million research and development facility to be built next to the school in Johnson City. The state-of-the-art facility will allow students to get hands-on research experience with faculty members in pharmacy, nursing, and biomedical engineering classes. There is no timetable on when the new facility will be completed, but the pharmacy school is on track to open for the Fall 2018 semester. BU’s new Health Sciences Complex is located on Corliss Avenue near Wilson Hospital in JC.