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NEWS
Village repair project is on schedule
Village repair project is on schedule

PENN YAN--Director of Public Works Brent Bodine says everything is planned and work is progressing on repair of the hole created on Seneca Street almost three years ago when a flash flood led to the historic Owl's Nest building that covered Jacob's Brook being destroyed. Crews are working now to insert a temporary pipe, the first step in the process of installing the permanent structure that is scheduled for completion by Memorial Day. Bodine said the project that began Feb. 8 is "on time and on budget."

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DEC burning ban in effect until May 14
DEC burning ban in effect until May 14

NEW YORK STATE--All residents of the state of New York are reminded burning brush or debris is prohibited from March 16 through May 14 as ordered by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Burning garbage or leaves is prohibited year-round. Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall's debris and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily.

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Bason is 'Top Responder' and 'Fireman of the Year'
Bason is 'Top Responder' and 'Fireman of the Year'

HAMMONDSPORT-The Wayne Fire Department held the "Past Chiefs Banquet for 2016," Saturday, March 18 at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport. Volunteers were honored for their service as firefighters and/or emergency medical personnel. Second Assistant Christopher Bason was named Fireman of the Year. He is pictured with First Assistant Chuck Swarthout and Chief Bryan Starkweather.

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Dundee gets agreement with state
Dundee gets agreement with state

DUNDEE--The Dundee Village board met Thursday, March 16 and unanimously passed a resolution allowing the New York State Police to lease their satellite office at 18 Union St. The arrangement calls for an annual rent of $2,000 beginning March 2017 and ending February 2022. It includes a clause holding the troopers financially responsible for $18,054 in repairs and upgrades to the facility including painting, carpeting and the paving of the parking lot.

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Village can allow taxes to be raised above state cap
Village can allow taxes to be raised above state cap

WATKINS GLEN--The Watkins Glen village board approved a law Monday, March 20 that allows taxes to be raised above the mandated tax cap imposed by the state. Village Clerk Donna Beardsley explained, "The law allows a governing body to over-ride the property tax cap by adoption of a local law with 60 percent board approval." All members voted in favor of the law, which doesn't necessarily mean the tax cap won't be met.

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Cigarette smoking down, e-cigarettes up
Cigarette smoking down, e-cigarettes up

NEW YORK STATE--New York state's high school student smoking rate in 2016 was the lowest on record at 4.3 percent, down from 27.1 percent in 2000 according to a survey recently released by the New York State Department of Health. The survey also found that e-cigarette use by high school students nearly doubled in the last two years from 10.5 percent in 2014 to 20.6 percent in 2016. Due to their sweet flavor and the mistaken belief that they are not harmful to users, e-cigarette use continues to increase.

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School recognizes winter sports achievements
School recognizes winter sports achievements

WATKINS GLEN--The Watkins Glen Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, March 20 with 45 members of the public attending. The meeting began with Superintendent Tom Phillips acknowledging the winter sport teams and their successful seasons.

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Board approves kayak launch
Board approves kayak launch

WATKINS GLEN--With only one item on the agenda, the Watkins Glen planning board opened their monthly meeting Wednesday, March 16 with a public hearing to discuss the approval of a kayak launch and walking trail to be located at the southeast corner of Seneca Lake along State Route 414. Chris Bond, a vice president from Hunt Engineers, was present to answer questions about the project, which is being funded by a $500,000 state grant.

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Burdett stable has international following
Burdett stable has international following

BURDETT--When Erika Eckstrom was five years old and caught the "horse-bug," she used crayons to write out a business plan so impressive, her mother kept it. Her intention was to have a horse farm, go to school and become a veterinarian. But first she took a brief pause for growing up, and advanced degrees in music, anthropology, media and marketing. Working in Washington, D.C. in her early 20s, she suddenly remembered her earlier dreams. "I packed my stilettos and got the idea to move home," she said.

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Usual meeting turns into unusual debate
Usual meeting turns into unusual debate

WATKINS GLEN--The Schuyler County Legislature met for its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, March 13 with four visitors present. The legislature passed a series of operational resolutions without discussion but then debated at length on the correction of the legislature minutes from the Jan. 4 meeting when Dennis Fagan was elected as chairman. In a 4-3-1 vote Monday night, the legislature defeated a motion calling for the correction of the Jan. 4 minutes.

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Legislature wants state to hold expenses
Legislature wants state to hold expenses

PENN YAN--The Yates County legislature received an audience round of applause at the conclusion of their session Monday, March 13 as the theme of much of the discussion centered on keeping the state from mandating expensive programs that stress local government. Chairman Tim Dennis said he seeks to "hold Yates County harmless," in the face of proposed state resolutions that directly affect local programs and services. A resolution passed that aims at keeping more of the money collected by the local department of motor vehicles (DMV) inside the county. Under current law, the Yates County clerk keeps only 12.5 percent of all fees collected.

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Watkins Glen makes the 'Final Four'
Watkins Glen makes the 'Final Four'

TROY--The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team recorded a win Saturday, March 11, to move to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinal game this weekend. The girls won their third consecutive Section IV, Class C title two weeks ago and beat Thousand Islands in the state regional game last weekend on their quest to a Class C state title. The Senecas will now face Mekeel Christian Academy in the semifinal game, Saturday, March 18. If they win, the title game will be played the next day, Sunday, against either Port Jefferson or South Seneca.

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Yates County wants youth funding
Yates County wants youth funding

PENN YAN--The Yates County legislature met Monday, March 13 and passed a resolution urging New York state to fund probation departments and other affected county agencies the full costs associated with raising the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. The language of the resolution reflected fears that this change could pose an on-going financial burden. The resolution that "the state legislature enact legislation that fully, permanently and unambiguously obligates the state to pay for 100 percent of all new costs incurred..." was passed by a unanimous vote.

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Gov. Cuomo declares State of Emergency
Gov. Cuomo declares State of Emergency

NEW YORK STATE--Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency across all 62 counties in New York, Monday, ahead of the winter storm that brought heavy snowfall and wind. "To ensure our local governments have the resources and support they need to prepare and respond quickly to the winter storm, I am declaring a statewide state of emergency," Cuomo said. "With heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions expected from upstate to downstate, we are taking every precaution to keep New Yorkers safe. I urge residents to stay informed, avoid unnecessary travel, and where possible, leave work early as heavy snowfall is expected to begin."

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School presents budget with cuts
School presents budget with cuts

DUNDEE--The Board of Education of Dundee Central School approved the 2017-2018 proposed school budget in the amount $18,065,017 at its March 9 meeting. The budget will be submitted to the voters of the district at the annual district vote and election May 16. Dundee Central School District Business Manager Melissa Lawson called budgeting a "balancing act" and presented data that demonstrated the new budget figure is 2.19 percent lower than last year. She pointed out that declining student enrollment and no increase in state aid or local taxes resulted in the need to cut administrative, instructional and support positions.

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Architect, farmer design portable shelters
Architect, farmer design portable shelters

WATKINS GLEN--Shannon Ratcliff and her partner Walter Adam call life on their organic farm "a different world." That would be an understatement for this former Manhattan couple who met in the city and fashioned the dream of owning a farm. Ratcliff, an architect, and Adam, a businessman, bought their 130-acre farm in 2011 during the dead of winter while it was still covered with snow. Ratcliff, smiling, says, "It wasn't a good idea." When the snow melted, the "pasture land" was nothing but brambles and rubble. The land had lain fallow for over 20 years. The barn had blown over with all the equipment in it. Coyotes roamed through the unfenced acreage. "People thought we were hilarious," says Ratcliff, "stupid, crazy, driving in here in our red Volvo pulling a little trailer with baby sheep."

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Penn Yan Academy presents 'Big Fish'
Penn Yan Academy presents 'Big Fish'

PENN YAN--The Penn Yan Academy Drama Club will present "Big Fish" Thursday through Saturday, March 9, 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m. in the school auditorium. "Big Fish" is a musical with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. It is based on Daniel Wallace's acclaimed 1998 novel, "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions" and on a film by John August based on the book. The musical premiered in Chicago in April 2013.

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County wants state to pay for youth jail costs
County wants state to pay for youth jail costs

PENN YAN--The Yates County Public Safety Committee considered a resolution Tuesday, March 7 urging the state to fund probation departments and other agencies the full cost associated with raising the legal age of criminal responsibility in New York from 16 to 18. The action is in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order number 150 in 2015 mandating that counties "develop a plan to move the 16 and 17 year olds from adult prisons to a facility with the necessary program supports and staff." Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike said New York is one of only two states in the union that prosecutes all youth as adults when they turn 16. North Carolina is the other one.

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Additional News:
     
SPORTS
Watkins wins state championship at buzzer
Watkins wins state championship at buzzer

TROY-The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship game, Sunday, March 19 at Hudson Valley Community College. The Watkins girls claim the New York state title with a 22-2 season record and a victory over Port Jefferson 65-63, Sunday. Hannah Morse sunk the game winning shot for Watkins Glen as the buzzer ended the game, helping the team capture their first state title in school history. The big story in the game was the 28 point fourth quarter, which allowed the Senecas to overcome the 16 point deficit they faced at the end of the third quarter. The Schuyler County girls trailed every quarter except the fourth.

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Watkins will play for the state title
Watkins will play for the state title

TROY--The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team beat Mekeel Christian Academy 60-49 in the state semifinal Class C bracket Saturday, March 18 at Hudson Valley Community College. The Senecas took an early lead and finished on top, 18-12, at the end of the first quarter. At halftime, the Watkins lead had narrowed to five points, 29-24. The Senecas' defense kept Mekeel's top shooters under their average point totals in the first half.

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Watkins girls move to semifinals
Watkins girls move to semifinals

DRYDEN-The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team defeated Thousand Islands, Saturday, March 11 to advance to the semifinal game in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament. The Senecas took an early lead, 12-10 at the end of the first quarter before expanding it to 28-19 at halftime. Watkins outscored Thousand Islands by six points in the third and nine in the fourth to secure the victory, 56-32, at Tompkins Cortland Community College. Amanda Pike led with 30 points and five rebounds in the game. Mariah Gonzalez recorded 13 points with seven rebounds and two assists. Taylor Kelly had six points, while Hannah Morse scored five points and added seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 3/8/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 3/8/17

FINGER LAKES--Please click the 'Read More...' link to see the weekly sports results for Watkins Glen. These results appeared in the March 8 newspapers.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Watkins secures championship in final minute
PHOTO GALLERY: Watkins secures championship in final minute

DRYDEN-The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team won their third consecutive Section IV Class C championship, Saturday, March 4 at Tompkins Cortland Community College. The top-seeded Watkins Glen girls faced number two ranked Bainbridge-Guilford and won 37-35. Taylor Kelly shot the game winning basket with 17 seconds on the scoreboard.

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 3/1/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 3/1/17

FINGER LAKES--Please click the 'Read More...' link to see the weekly sports results for Watkins Glen, Dundee, Penn Yan, Odessa-Montour and Hammondsport . These results appeared in the March 1 newspapers.

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Sports Photo Galleries
Sports Photo Galleries

FINGER LAKES--The following sports photo galleries have been recently uploaded. Click 'Read more...' for the links.

Watkins Glen girls basketball 2-24-17
Odessa-Montour girls basketball 2-24-17
Dundee boys basketball 2-24-17
Penn Yan girls basketball 2-22-17
Dundee boys basketball 2-21-17
Penn Yan boys basketball 2-21-17

Odessa-Montour girls basketball 2-17-17
Watkins / Odessa swim prelims 2-15-17
Dundee boys basketball 2-15-17

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 2/22/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 2/22/17

FINGER LAKES--Please click the 'Read More...' link to see the weekly sports results for Watkins Glen, Odessa-Montour, Penn Yan, Dundee and Hammondsport. These results appeared in the Feb. 22 newspapers.

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 2/15/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 2/15/17

FINGER LAKES--Please click the 'Read More...' link to see the weekly sports results for Odessa-Montour, Penn Yan, Dundee and Watkins Glen. These results appeared in the Feb. 15 newspapers.

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 2/8/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 2/8/17

FINGER LAKES--Please click the 'Read More...' link to see the weekly sports results for Odessa-Montour, Penn Yan, Dundee and Watkins Glen. These results appeared in the Feb. 8 newspapers.

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 2/1/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 2/1/17

FINGER LAKES--Please click the 'Read More...' link to see the weekly sports results for Odessa-Montour, Penn Yan, Hammondsport, Dundee and Watkins Glen. These results appeared in the Feb. 1 newspapers.

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 1/25/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 1/25/17

FINGER LAKES--Please click the 'Read More...' link to see the weekly sports results for Odessa-Montour, Penn Yan, Hammondsport, Dundee and Watkins Glen. These results appeared in the Jan. 25 newspapers.

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 1/18/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 1/18/17

FINGER LAKES--Please click the 'Read More...' link to see the weekly sports results for Odessa-Montour, Penn Yan, Hammondsport, Dundee and Watkins Glen. These results appeared in the Jan. 18 newspapers.

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SPORTS RECAP: Week of 1/11/17
SPORTS RECAP: Week of 1/11/17

ODESSA-The Odessa-Montour varsity wrestling team placed third in their own O-M Duals, Saturday, Jan. 7. Of the six schools that competed, Odessa was 3-2. The Indians beat Thomas A. Edison, 57-24; Whitney Point, 46-36; and Groton, 48-36. Odessa lost to Dryden, 42-38, and Tioga, 43-39. Andrew Hartford (120), Jeremiah Lynch (160), Cameron Pickering (170), Alex Repass (220), and Dylan Houseknecht (285) were all named 'Most Outstanding Wrestler' in their weight classes. The Odessa-Montour varsity wrestling team defeated Watkins Glen, 33-27, to claim the Schuyler County belt Wednesday, Jan. 4.

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SPORTS RECAP: Holiday contests from area schools
SPORTS RECAP: Holiday contests from area schools

BATH--The Penn Yan girls varsity basketball team lost to Bath-Haverling in the championship round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, Wednesday, Dec. 28. The final score was 47-36. The Lady Mustangs beat Owego Free Academy, 60-54, in the first round of the tournament, Tuesday, Dec. 27.

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Watkins Glen varsity sports schedule
Watkins Glen varsity sports schedule

WATKINS GLEN--Listed is Watkins' winter sports schedule for the coming week:

Girls Basketball
Feb. 24 ... Sectionals, 7 p.m.

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Dundee defeats Bradford
Dundee defeats Bradford

BRADFORD--The Dundee boys varsity basketball team defeated Bradford 46-39, Friday, Dec. 16. Wylie Hall recorded 18 points for the Scots. Bobby Strait had 13. Dundee's record moves to 4-2 on the season.

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Indians basketball falls, 59-43
Indians basketball falls, 59-43

ODESSA-The Odessa-Montour boys varsity basketball team lost to Tioga, Friday, Dec. 16. The final score was 59-43. Curtis Harris led with 24 points. Zach Elliott earned nine, while Nick Sgrecci had five. Brandon Ray scored three and Noah Austin earned two. With the loss, the Indians' record is 2-3.

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