The fate of the Trenton Town Supervisor is in the hands of an Oneida County jury. Mark Scheidelman who has held the elected position for over twenty years is accused of sexually abusing a...
Today marks the 100th birthday for the American Cancer Society....
Only 18% of Herkimer County residents have earned a bachelor's degree, according to The Community Foundation....
The issue dates back decades and six days ago the State of New York and Oneida County representatives seemed to move closer to a resolution....
Village of Herkimer residents may have experienced some traffic delays on the way to work this morning. Route 28 between the Herkimer Thruway entrance and 5th Avenue was closed for a flood control a...
Even more thunderstorms are sweeping through Central New York. Almost 700 people were without power in Oneida and Madison Counties last night, others suffered flood damage, and more rain is heading...
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...
The Broadway Theatre League of Utica says it's one of the greatest honors to have something named for you. That's why it's naming it's Youth Ambassador Program in honor of Bernadette Eichler, a...
The New York SAFE Act, which was recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, has been a controversial topic since the day it was signed into law. But now law enforcement officers are up a...
Homicide laws may be changing here in New York, and that's sparking a debate between pro-life and pro-choice. Governor Cuomo's annoucement of a forthcoming 'Reproductive Health Act' in his address a...
The State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Herkimer officials conducted a training exercise to erect a flood wall located under the thruway bridge and then tear it down. DEC officials say it's especially important to perform flood control exercises in areas prone to flooding.
"This flood wall that's underneath the thruway bridge here is very important if the Mohawk River and Barge Canal comes up and overtops the flood capacity of the village, it will hold the flood waters out," says Stephen Litwhiler, NYSDEC Citizen Participation Specialist.
DEC says this exercise is part of an ongoing effort to provide village officials with hands-on training, should an emergency flood develop.
"There was a car completely submerged under water in front of our house, right here in front of our house," says Shirley Lamphere, West Utica resident.
Lamphere lives on Lincoln Avenue in West Utica. She says she's never seen flooding like this.
"We were carrying our kids through the water. It was up to our chests. It was completely flooded in our house, up to our steps and the whole basement is completely flooded out," says Lamphere.
Several streets in West Utica and some streets in North Utica suffered flood damage. Area officials say they were responding to numerous calls to clean debris and close roads.
"You couldn't really pass through here. It was really, really flooded," says Laura Harris, West Utica resident.
Harris says there was nearly 5 feet of water almost touching her front door.
"I was really scared so as I was looking at my front door window, the water was coming up high," says Harris.
Living on the first floor, she wanted to get to higher ground so she stayed with a neighbor until the rain passed.
And now there are signs of another big storm. But Utica Department of Public Works (DPW) says you can prepare.
"Any green waste that you have in the street, get it out of the street, put it on the lawn for now. That interferes with the flow of water into the catch basin especially with heavy rains and that's what picks up the debris and puts it on the catch basins which then in return, floods the area," says Dave Short, Utica DPW commissioner.
And the commissioner says the DPW is preparing also.
"We are monitoring our creeks and ravines again and we're letting everyone just get ready for the inevitable. We know the rain's coming, its just a matter of how hard its gonna come down," says Short.
We've learned that disaster can strike anywhere and anytime. Officials are again urging residents to keep an emergency starter kit, water, and flashlights on-hand.
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 younger boy.
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 mother.
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 different.
"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.
"She retired at the age of 88 and she just touched the lives of literally thousands of young people that the board thought it was so appropriate to name this program, which is for youth, after Bernadette," says John Fehlner, executive director of Broadway Theatre League of Utica.
The goal of the Bernadette Eichler Youth Ambassador Program is to engage area teens and encourage their interests in theatre.
As shocking as it might sound, the SAFE Act technically prohibits police officers from bringing guns on school grounds. Without special permission, even on-duty officers responding to an emergency at a school, could be breaking the law.
"When officers cannot carry firearms into the schools, we're basically disarming our police officers and preventing them from doing their job that I think everyone expects us to do, which is to take care of the safety of the students," says Chief Mark Williams, Utica Police Department.
"We've got a school about 300 yards from our police station, and if we gotta go to the complaint, so what do we do? We disarm ourselves at the station, then go take the complaint, then go back and arm ourselves? It's not the right thing to do at the very least," says Chief Donald Wolanin, Whitestown Police Department.
But according to the NY SAFE Act that prohibits the carrying of guns on school grounds, that's exactly what they're supposed to do.
"I don't think if there was an emergency, that any police officer at least that worked with me, would disarm themselves prior to going to that call," says Chief Wolanin.
"The law is definitely well intended but because it was so hastily put together, they forgot about us," says Chief Williams.
But Chief Williams says there is an exception to the rule - and the Utica Police Department has already taken action.
"Written authorization from that school institution that would allow you to have your officers carry guns in the school. So we rushed to get this done to make sure that we can provide protection to those schools and institutions," says Chief Williams.
But it wasn't easy. Chief Williams says the UPD had to get authorization from 35 providers ranging from city schools, to colleges, even day care facilities. Assemblyman Anthony Brinidisi understands the Chief's concerns. He says he opposed the SAFE Act from the beginning.
"In my opinion, it was rushed through, there wasn't time for thoughtful deliberation and what we're finding now is a lot of amendments have to be made because of the law enforcement issue," says Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, (D) District 119.
He says there were some talks about exempting police officers in the budget negotiations, but at this point..
"It's unclear because the budget is still not printed but it looks like that's not gonna be in there but the April 15th deadline, that a lot of these laws go into effect, will be extended in the budget to work on some of these amendments," says Assemblyman Brindisi.
Another aspect of the law sparking debate among law enforcement: banning all magazines that hold more than seven bullets. But as the Assemblyman said, all we can do is wait to see what happens during the budget negotiations.
Planned Parenthood is in favor of the 'Reproductive Health Act', while Care Net is opposed to it. But it's more than pro-life and pro-choice; they say this is about whether abortion should be treated as a "health matter."
"I fail to see where abortion is health care because the outcome of abortion is to terminate a pregnancy," says Paul Marshall, president of Pregnancy Center of CNY.
Care Net is a pregnancy center that encourages abortion alternatives.
"According to the statistics, there were 102,000 abortions in New York state in 2011, I fail to see how we need more," says Marshall.
The 'Reproductive Health Act' repeals five abortion-related crimes contained in the penal law of the state, and amends the criminal procedure law in relation to abortion. Planned Parenthood supports the move saying it's all about safety.
"The whole point here is to make sure that abortion remains legal so it can be done safely in regulated facilities so that women remain safe," says Margaret Roberts, co-president of Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson.
Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson is taking their own advice. They've just finished a multi-million dollar renovation expanding exam rooms and creating medical suites.
"To be able to provide a beautiful and safe facility for people in the Utica area," says Roberts.
Protestors are commonly seen in front of the Planned Parenthood building taunting patrons as they walk in. These new renovations will include a private entrance to increase patient's privacy.
"Every person deserves to have access to excellent health care and we can do that for them now," says Roberts.
Still, Marshall of Care Net says he does not agree with revising laws relating to abortion.
"It's well known that abortions are performed at Planned Parenthood. Since the inception of our ministry almost 25 years ago, we have helped almost 2,000 women change their mind about abortion and choose life for their unborn babies," says Marshall.
It's important to note that Planned Parenthood also provides annual exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV tests, birth control, among other services.
Take a look at the newly renovated Planned Parenthood in Utica: http://planonit.org/
Take a look at Governor Cuomo's 'Reproductive Health Act': http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/s438-2013