The collapse of a Washington State bridge, which tossed three people and their cars into a fast moving river, is bringing attention to our nation's aging infrastructure.Here in New York State, 37 of...
Many taxpayers across New
York State are voting on their respective school district's budget and board of
The biggest budget being
voted on in our area is that of the Utica City School District. Utica's Superintendent
Bruce Karam says it's been a unique process for the 2013- 2014 outlook.
On top of the regular
issues faced by the district, like state aid funding, Mr. Karam tells me they
had other factors that affected the upcoming budget.
And that would be the
federal spending cuts known as sequestration as well as a charter school
forming in the school district.
"Whatever is passed
should be the benefit of the children," said May Wallins of Utica.
Like Wallins, taxpayers
are voting yes or no for the school district's budget proposal today. The UCSD
is looking to have a $138 million budget passed that includes 81 positions cut,
49 of them being teachers.
"It was a way for us- the only
way to balance the budget and by law we need a balanced budget," said Superintendent
The good news this year
the school district has cut down on spending compared to last year. But, a
growing problem, Mr. Karam says is money coming into the district.
"We have three things
going on. Three major things," explained Karam.
And that is the continuing
problem of the lack of state aid funding.
Second, with federal
spending cuts- the district is losing about $700,000 in federal dollars. And
third, the newly formed charter school will be taking away revenue, basically a
"When the student goes
to the charter schools the state aid money that would come to us for the
students will go with the students to the charter schools," said Mr. Karam. And
as a result the school district is losing about $1.8 million in state dollars.
"I think the charter
school will be a real challenge for the school district. I think it won't go
away," said Utica resident, Christine Reister.
And the competition may
continue to be a problem. Mr. Karam says another charter school is expected to
put in an application for the following school year.
As taxpayers of the Herkimer
School District vote on the school's budget, they'll also decide whether or not
an area library will change its funding structure.
Basloe Library is asking
residents to approve them to become a library district, meaning the taxpayers
will vote on the library's budget and its board of trustees.
In return, it will provide
more funding for the library.
"We're looking to get
$270,000 out of this vote. That will restore our funding to where it was five
years ago. This is what it's about- to restore our funding," said Library Director,
The library is currently
funded by the Village of Herkimer. Over the years, officials say the village
had to cut contributions to the library. By becoming a library district,
funding will be coming from the taxpayers within in the school district.
It's day two of the Mark Scheidelman trial. He's the Trenton
Town Supervisor accused of sexually abusing a ten-year-old boy.
The ten-year-old victim took the stand today as did his
13-year-old brother who claims he saw Scheidelman inappropriately touching the
The incident reportedly happened last year on veteran's day
weekend at the victim's uncle's house where Scheidelman also lived.
It was an unplanned weekend at their uncle's house. The
victim and his brothers wanted to spend time with their cousin. Although the
kids didn't have a change of clothes the mom let them go anyway.
The ten-year-old victim checked in with his mom. "He
let me know that they were there and that everyone was safe," said the victim's
That was Saturday night. It was the car ride home on Monday
when the victim's mother became concerned.
She says the child was upset, but didn't want to talk about
it. The next day the boy spoke up and what came out of his mouth made his mom
go to the police.
The ten-year-old boy took the stand today- he told the jury Scheidelman
went under his clothing and touched his bare genitals.
He says he was sleeping next to Scheidelman. Defense
attorney, George Aney questioned the child asking why he told police and the
grand jury in his initial statement that mark touched him over his clothing.
The ten year old boy said he was embarrassed.
Investigator Todd Grant of the New York State Police
assigned to the Child Advocacy Center also took the stand.
He told the jury that in different crimes police can get all
the information at once, but with children and sex abuse crimes it can be
"A lot of time with children they are so shy and embarrassed
about what happened to them that they give a little bit of information to
start," said Grant.
A recorded conversation between investigator grant and Scheidelman
was also played for the jury Wednesday afternoon.
The prosecution rested and tomorrow the jury is expected to
hear from Scheidelman as he is expected to take the stand Thursday morning.