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Helping Hope

Dog sparks conversation about abuse penalties

The Central New York community is rallying behind a dog found shivering and starving off of Route 48 in Baldwinsville.

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Reward: $2,000

Reward offered for information regarding shooting of local pet

The Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse (AAGS) is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting a pet cat in Liverpool.

State increases penalties for repeat drunk driving

Michael Iannettoni had been charged with driving while intoxicated five times when he killed Vincent Russo. Iannettoni had four previous convictions for DWI and was awaiting sentencing on a fifth when he struck Russo’s car on Buckley Road in Liverpool on Jan. 9, 2011. Russo, 82, of Liverpool, was on his way to Mass. Iannettoni was drunk. Russo died three days later. Iannettoni was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide, first- and second-degree vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, crossing a double solid line and failure to keep right. He was sentenced to eight and a third to 25 years in prison. But for Russo’s family, it wasn’t enough; they believed he never should have been on the road that night in the first place, given his dangerous history. With the help of State Sen. John DeFrancisco, the Russo family pushed forward a law that would increase penalties for those with repeat drunk driving offenses.

Justice center to offer help to inmates with pets

Inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center can now be assured that any pets they leave behind while incarcerated will be taken care of.

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Family offers reward for information leading to whereabouts of missing Clay man

Since May 23, no one has seen or heard from Edward Weslowski. Now, in hopes of bringing the Clay man home, his family is offering a reward for information leading to his whereabouts.

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B’ville resident announces plans to run for sheriff

On March 1, the Onondaga County Republican Party chose DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway as its designated candidate for county sheriff in the November elections. Subsequently, Conway’s Republican opponent, John Balloni, chief deputy to Sheriff Kevin Walsh, decided not to challenge him in a primary. But it looks like there may still be a primary after all. Baldwinsville resident and Republican John “Jack” Garafalo announced last week that he, too, will seek to run for sheriff. Garafalo, a retired Pennsylvania state drug agent

Skaneateles CSD faces lawsuit over alleged sexual assault incident

Skaneateles Central School District has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court earlier this month over an alleged sexual assault incident that occurred last year at the high school.

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Group calls for harsher penalties for those who hurt animals

Patrick Oneill was already facing multiple counts of animal cruelty when he allegedly left his Labrador retriever, Ali, in his car for more than four hours on Sept. 2 while he enjoyed the New York State Fair with his girlfriend. Ali, left in the 100-degree car with no water and one window barely cracked, died despite the efforts of state troopers and bystanders who tried to save her. Animal advocates are saying she didn’t have to die.

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Elbridge man arrested for vehicular manslaughter from April accident

Michael Stern, 24, of Elbridge, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter by New York State Police yesterday for his role in a fatal car accident in Skaneateles on April 24.

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Saving 81: Local officials, business leaders launch campaign to keep elevated highway

A large group of politicians, citizens and businessmen and –women have launched an initiative to encourage the state to keep a 1.4-mile stretch of Interstate 81 as it is instead of turning it into an arterial boulevard. Savei81.org revealed itself at a press conference on Thursday, Aug. 1, in downtown Syracuse, where supporters spoke out against the New York State Department of Transportation’s proposal to turn I-81’s viaduct stretch, the elevated portion of the highway that runs through the central business district, into an arterial boulevard through the city with stoplights and cross streets, something the group said would irreparably damage the city’s economy by creating a backlog of traffic. The group also issued a press release after the conference outlining its goals.

Skaneateles woman facing felony theft charges

A Skaneateles resident is under police investigation for allegedly stealing from a number of local people.

Annual golf tourney to memorialize Jenni-Lyn Watson

Jenni-Lyn Watson lived to dance. In her memory, her family is holding a golf tournament to help others who share the same passion. Jenni-Lyn Watson, a 2008 Liverpool High School graduate, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Steven Pieper, in November of 2010 while she was home on break from Mercyhurst College, where she was studying dance. Pieper is currently serving a 23-year-to-life sentence in prison. The golf tournament, to be held Saturday, July 20, at Radisson Greens in Baldwinsville, raises money for the Jenni-Lyn Watson Memorial Fund.

Skaneateles deals with vandalism, criminal mischief

Public officials have been dealing with a number of separate incidents of vandalism in Skaneateles in recent weeks.

Former Skaneateles car dealer Pat Bombard in custody

Being held without bail for failing to pay restitution

Former Skaneateles car dealer Pat Bombard was taken into custody by Onondaga County Sheriffs on Feb. 22 for violation of probation. Bombard failed to pay over $120,000 restitution to a Skaneateles resident whom he has swindled.

Former Skaneateles football player investigated for rap song

A former Skaneateles High School football player was under investigation this week for releasing a rap song with threatening lyrics.

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