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NEWS
Frozen February: Second coldest on record
Frozen February: Second coldest on record

YATES,SCHUYLER COUNTIES-If you love the ice and cold winter weather, you probably love this February. Within the first 19 days of February, the Finger Lakes region is currently experiencing the second coldest weather on record during this time frame. According to Climatologist Samantha Borisoff with the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC, based in Ithaca), from Feb. 1 through 19, temperatures are running "about 12 to 15 degrees colder than normal." She added this applies to both Yates and Schuyler Counties.

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County sales tax revenue outpaces region
County sales tax revenue outpaces region

YATES, SCHUYLER COUNTIES--Yates County collected $10,925,943 in local sales tax in 2014, a 3 percent growth compared to 2013. This comes as local sales tax collections statewide in 2014 suffered the slowest annual growth since the end of the 2008-09 recession, according to a report issued by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The increase in county sales tax collections, excluding all cities, was 1.3 percent in 2014 compared to 2013 -- significantly lower than the 3.8 percent growth experienced in 2013 compared to 2012. For Schuyler County, sales tax revenue increased 5.1 percent in the same period of time. Schuyler collected $10,106,417 in local sales tax in 2014. The Yates and Schuyler increases buck the regional trend.

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Reed seeks input on foreign threats
Reed seeks input on foreign threats

PENN YAN--A visit by Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) Friday, Feb. 20, was dominated by discussion about how to address the foreign threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is an Islamic rebel group that controls territory in Iraq and Syria. Reed held a town hall meeting attended by some 16 residents to get their thoughts on the issue. While many in the audience agreed some sort of action needs to be taken, opinions ranged from negotiation to a full military operation from audience members.

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Tyrone audit reveals fiscal problems
Tyrone audit reveals fiscal problems

TYRONE--A recently released state audit has highlighted the fiscal issues of the town of Tyrone, claiming "the town board did not properly oversee the town's fiscal operations." According to an audit released Friday, Feb. 20 by the New York State Office of the Comptroller, the Tyrone town board did not adequately maintain the town's financial situation, while it also "has not provided sufficient oversight to town departments collecting and disbursing cash by performing an annual audit." The audit reviewed the board's financial management from Jan. 1, 2010, to Sept. 26, 2014.

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Judge hears gas storage debate
Judge hears gas storage debate

HORSEHEADS--With legal arguments concluded, the wait begins for the next step regarding a possible hearing on Crestwood's proposed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage project in the town of Reading. This follows the conclusion of the two-day Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issues conference held in Horseheads Thursday and Friday, Feb. 12 and 13, which was attended by more than 150 people. The purpose of the conference was to determine party status for the nine groups who filed a petition and whether there are any issues that should be examined at a possible future hearing. DEC spokesperson Thomas Mailey said the DEC has no estimated time frame to come to a decision.

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Wood sworn in; football will merge
Wood sworn in; football will merge

ODESSA--Christopher Wood was sworn in as superintendent for the Odessa-Montour Central School District at the district's monthly school board meeting Thursday, Feb. 12. Wood is currently the principal of the O-M junior senior high school where he has served since 2012. He will start as superintendent April 1. "I look forward to meeting with district leadership as we work together to create a comprehensive entry plan," Wood said. "Our first priority is the education of our students and delivering innovative programs and services that will enhance our students' academic achievement."

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County delays emergency plan update
County delays emergency plan update

SCHUYLER COUNTY--In a packed legislative chambers Tuesday, Feb. 10, the Schuyler County Legislature agreed to table a resolution approving an update to the county's emergency plan. The motion was approved unanimously after being put forth by Chairman Dennis Fagan, which came after a public hearing session where many spoke about necessary revisions to the plan. The legislature plans to consider comments from the public and revisit the issue at its April meeting.

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Penn Yan looks at 4.2 percent hike
Penn Yan looks at 4.2 percent hike

PENN YAN--Superintendent Howard Dennis and Assistant Superintendent of Business Cathy Milliman gave the Penn Yan school board an update on the current 2015-16 budget situation, saying the proposed tax levy increase currently stands at 4.24 percent. This is down from 6.41 percent reported by Milliman last month. Milliman said this is not a final budget, adding it is still subject to changes following more funding details from the state, along with any possible modifications made by the school board.

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Dundee field house vote is March 3
Dundee field house vote is March 3

DUNDEE--Village residents will have the opportunity to vote on the Dundee Central School District's proposed field house next month. The upcoming vote will take place Tuesday, March 3 in the school's public meeting room, with polls open from noon to 8 p.m. School Business Official Melissa Lawson gave a brief overview of the project to a small crowd at a public hearing held by the school board Thursday, Feb. 12. She said the project is for an approximately 2,016 square foot field facility to be located at the district's athletic fields.

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May vote will include two board positions
May vote will include two board positions

DUNDEE--Board members John Frederick and Matthew Camacho will not be returning to their respective positions on the school board. This comes due to them moving out of the district. Frederick and Camacho made their announcements at the regular school board meeting Thursday, Feb. 12. Frederick said Thursday was his final board meeting, adding he will be moving to Oregon, while Camacho, who will be finishing out his term, will be moving to South Carolina.

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Penn Yan, Jerusalem approve sewer plan
Penn Yan, Jerusalem approve sewer plan

PENN YAN--A nearly 20 year dispute came to an end Friday afternoon when the Penn Yan village board approved the modification of a sewage disposal agreement between the village and town of Jerusalem. Both municipalities have now agreed to new terms lowering Jerusalem's share of the Penn Yan sewage treatment plant's annual cost, while also settling litigation issues between the two parties. "It's quite a relief really," Penn Yan Mayor Leigh MacKerchar said. "I think we can finally move ahead now and get rid of all the litigation and hopefully the hard feelings."

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School board votes for football merger
School board votes for football merger

WATKINS GLEN--The Watkins Glen Central School District board of education agreed to merge football programs with the Odessa-Montour school district for the 2015 fall season, Monday, Feb. 9. Superintendent Tom Phillips said if approved by Odessa, the steering committee will start creating the combined team name and uniform right away. The Odessa-Montour school board is scheduled to vote on the merger at their next meeting, Thursday, Feb. 12. Phillips explained the committee, made up of representatives from both schools, will solicit team name and mascot suggestions from both student bodies.

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Grand Prix Festival will remain in September
Grand Prix Festival will remain in September

WATKINS GLEN--The re-paving project at Watkins Glen International Racetrack (WGI) will not change the date for the 2015 Grand Prix Festival in the village. The day-long celebration of the history of racing in Watkins Glen will be on its traditional Friday after Labor Day, Sept. 11, 2015. "We will miss hosting Sportscar Vintage Racing Association's (SVRA) race cars downtown at the Grand Prix Festival," Carole Pierce, Watkins Glen Promotions director of events, said. "But the committee is working hard to develop a long list of new activities for our Stone Bridge Driver event participants as well as for the thousands of people who spend the day with us honoring Watkins Glen's racing history."

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Legislature signs agreement for marine development
Legislature signs agreement for marine development

YATES COUNTY--The Yates County Legislature approved entering a licensing agreement with Keuka Outlet Development LLC for remediation work during their regular meeting held Monday, Feb. 9. The work was approved to be conducted at the former Penn Yan Marine site located along the Keuka Lake Outlet in the village of Penn Yan. The agreement allows Keuka Outlet Development LLC to access the site in order to perform remediation work. This work includes the removal of asbestos containing materials from the existing boathouse as well as the demolition of the structure.

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Plow drivers navigate hazards for safe roads
Plow drivers navigate hazards for safe roads

YATES COUNTY--With the winter weather in full swing bringing snowy streets to the area, Yates County highway employees are tasked with the job of keeping the streets clear for travelers. While they can be seen out plowing and salting the roads, there are many hazards a snow plow operator must take into account while driving. "When you are out on the road, traffic is the first thing," Lance Yonge said. "Traffic always makes it tough. [...] You have always got to be watching front, behind, sideways, everything. There is a lot of stuff going on in a snow plow so traffic is the main thing."

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Seven run for four Watkins Glen spots
Seven run for four Watkins Glen spots

WATKINS GLEN--The upcoming Watkins Glen village election to be held March 18 will be contested, as seven candidates run for four available positions. The available seats are held by Mayor Mark Swinnerton, Trustees Scott Gibson and Kevin Smith, and Village Justice Nicholas Dugo. Gibson will be running for mayor against Samuel Schimizzi, while the two available trustee seats will be contested by Swinnerton, Gary Schmidt and Kevin Thornton. Connie Fern Miller and Keith A. Caslin will compete for the village justice position.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Chamber presents annual awards
PHOTO GALLERY: Chamber presents annual awards

KEUKA PARK--The Yates County Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual awards program at Esperanza Mansion, Saturday, Feb. 7. Steve Griffin was given the Norman Snow Memorial Spirit Award; Ginny Turner received the Emily Seager Memorial Pride Award; Kris Pearson was recognized with the Robert Maxwell Memorial Director of the Year Award and Jody Tyler received the Distinguished Service Award for 10 years of service.

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Governor outlines new tax exemption
Governor outlines new tax exemption

ALBANY--Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo outlined new tax exemptions proposed in the 2015-16 executive budget that will further aid the growth of the wine, beer, cider and spirits industries. These proposals include tax exemptions at tastings offered by the beer, cider and spirits industries, which are similar to exemptions already enjoyed by the wine industry, as well as the further expansion of tax exemptions for wineries at tasting events.

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SPORTS
Dundee dominates in sectional opener
Dundee dominates in sectional opener

DUNDEE-The Dundee boys varsity basketball team defeated Red Jacket in the opening game of the Section V, Class C2 tournament, Tuesday, Feb. 24. The final score was 61-28. Dundee entered the game seeded fourth while Red Jacket was 13th. Jarrett Butler scored 14 points for the Scots. Bobby Strait had 12, while Andrew Clark and Cole Hartman both added 10. Dundee moves to 16-3 and will play fifth seeded Kendall, Friday, Feb. 27. The home game begins at 7 p.m.

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Odessa girls fall in sectionals, 54-52
Odessa girls fall in sectionals, 54-52

ODESSA-The Odessa-Montour girls varsity basketball team lost to Schenevus, 54-52, in the first round of Sectionals, Tuesday, Feb. 24. Gillian Clark led with 17 points, while Olivia Grover had 14 points and seven rebounds. Sage Garrison added 10 points. Hailie Searles had six points, followed by Addi Rhodes with five. "Our youth showed in the first half. No one has played in a sectional game before on this team," said Coach Greg Gavich. "We really struggled in the first half and dug ourselves a hole (down 22-12 at halftime). They were up 15 midway through the third before we made our run," said Gavich. "But we never could get over the hump and take the lead." Odessa finished the season with an 8-11 record.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Watkins Glen boys capture IAC title
PHOTO GALLERY: Watkins Glen boys capture IAC title

DRYDEN-The Watkins Glen boys varsity basketball team won the Interscholastic Athletic Conference (IAC) Large School championship game against Whitney Point, 59-50, Thursday, Feb. 19. The game was held at Tompkins Cortland Community College. The Senecas trailed at halftime, 36-26, but gained momentum in the next quarter. By the end of the third, Watkins only trailed Whitney by one point, 44-43. The Senecas pulled away in the closing minutes, and ended with a nine point victory. Keith Rekczis led with 19 points, while Matt Estes had 12. Colin Gates added 11 points. Joe Palumbo scored nine, followed by Luke Flahive with eight. With the win, Watkins' record is 15-1.

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Dundee tops Romulus, 70-25
Dundee tops Romulus, 70-25

DUNDEE-The Dundee boys varsity basketball team defeated Romulus, 70-25, Tuesday, Feb. 17. Jarrett Butler had 12 points. Geordan Conyers added 10. The Scots' record advances to 15-3 with the win. The official sectional brackets will be announced, Friday, Feb. 20.

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Penn Yan wins against Wayne
Penn Yan wins against Wayne

PENN YAN-The Mustangs' boys varsity basketball team beat Wayne in a home game, Tuesday, Feb. 17. The final score was 64-51. Ben Covert scored 21 points for Penn Yan. With the win, the Mustangs' record is 11-8. Official sectional matches will be announced, Friday, Feb. 20.

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Lady Mustangs lose, 46-42
Lady Mustangs lose, 46-42

PENN YAN-The Penn Yan girls varsity basketball team lost to Newark, Friday, Feb. 13. The final score was 46-42. With the loss, the Lady Mustangs' record is 1-16. Penn Yan returns to action Monday, Feb. 16, with a home game against Midlakes.

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Lady Scots advance to 17-1 record
Lady Scots advance to 17-1 record

DUNDEE-The Dundee girls varsity basketball team topped Marcus Whitman, 68-30, Thursday, Feb. 12. Megan Howell led with 18 points, six steals, four rebounds, and four assists. Brooke Howell scored 17 points, 17 rebounds, two steals, and one block. Demi Battin and Elayna Eldridge both added eight points. Tayler Morrison had three, while Olivia Taylor, Paige Easling, and Madison Neu all scored two points. With the win, the Lady Scots' record is 17-1.

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Kelly sets school record in Dundee victory
Kelly sets school record in Dundee victory

DUNDEE-The Dundee boys varsity basketball team topped Red Jacket, 70-60, Wednesday, Feb. 11. The Scots had a total of nine three-pointers in the game. Of those, Tyler Kelly made eight, setting a new school record for total three-pointers scored in a game. Overall, Kelly had 30 points to lead Dundee. Jarrett Butler added 11 points, while Cole Hartman had 10.
With the win, Dundee's record is now 13-3.

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Odessa defeats Edison, 58-41
Odessa defeats Edison, 58-41

ODESSA-The Odessa-Montour boys varsity basketball team topped Thomas A. Edison, Wednesday, Feb. 11. The final score was 58-41. The team will return to action, Friday, Feb. 13 at Southern Cayuga. Game time is 7:30.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Watkins Glen boys beat Newfield, 49-35
PHOTO GALLERY: Watkins Glen boys beat Newfield, 49-35

WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen boys varsity basketball team beat Newfield, 49-35, in a home game, Tuesday, Feb. 10. Keith Rekczis led with 12 points, while Joe Palumbo added 10. Luke Flahive and Matt Estes both scored eight. Colin Gates had six points and Justin Duane five. With the win, Watkins' record is now 13-1.

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Watkins swimmers earn third, Odessa fourth
Watkins swimmers earn third, Odessa fourth

WAVERLY-The Watkins Glen boys varsity swim team took third in the Interscholastic Athletic Conference Championship, Saturday, Feb. 7, while Odessa-Montour finished fourth. Lansing finished first overall. Matt Doppel won first in the 100 free (49.32) and first in the 100 backstroke (55.70). The Watkins 200 yard medley relay team (Doppel, Lucas Wickham, Liam Fitch, and Aidan DeBolt) finished second (1:46.69). The 400 free relay team (DeBolt, Fitch, Wickham, and Doppel) took third with 3:37.97. DeBolt took second in the 50 free (23.92) and third in the 200 free (1:57.30). Wickham placed second in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.27) and sixth in the 50 free (25.09). Fitch finished fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:02.36) and eighth in the 200 IM (2:25.52). Will Fitzsimmons placed sixth in the 100 backstroke (1:07.73) and 10th in the 100 free (1:00.68).

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Watkins boys beat Edison, 59-29
Watkins boys beat Edison, 59-29

WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen boys varsity basketball team defeated Thomas A. Edison, Friday, Feb. 6. The final score was, 59-29. Scoring for Watkins was: Matt Estes with 14 points, Colin Gates had 13, Justin Kelly contributed 10, Keith Rekczis added eight, Justin Duane six and Luke Flahive five. With the win, Watkins' record is now 12-1. The Senecas face off against Newfield next on senior night, Tuesday, Feb. 10.

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Lady Mustangs lose to Geneva
Lady Mustangs lose to Geneva

PENN YAN-The Penn Yan girls varsity basketball team lost to Geneva, Friday, Feb. 6. The final score was 56-28. With the loss, the Lady Mustangs' record is 1-14. Penn Yan faces Midlakes next in a home game, Monday, Feb. 9.

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Dundee varsity sports schedule
Dundee varsity sports schedule

DUNDEE--Listed is Dundee's winter sports schedule:

Boys basketball
Feb. 24 ... Sectionals, 7 p.m.

Girls basketball
Feb. 28 ... Sectionals, 2 p.m.

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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:

Boys basketball

Feb. 28 ... Sectionals, 7 p.m.

Girls basketball

Feb. 27 ... Sectionals, 7 p.m.

Bowling

March 7-8 ... @ States, TBA.

Indoor track
Feb. 28 ... @ State qualifier, 9 a.m.
March 7 ... @ State championships, 9 a.m.

Wrestling

Feb. 27-28 ... @ States, TBA.

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Odessa-Montour varsity sports schedule
Odessa-Montour varsity sports schedule

ODESSA--Listed is Odessa-Montour's winter sports schedule for the coming week:

Boys basketball

Feb. 25 ... @ Sectionals, 6 p.m.

Girls basketball

Feb. 24 ... Sectionals, 6 p.m.

Wrestling

Feb. 27-28 ... @ States, TBA.

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Penn Yan varsity sports schedule
Penn Yan varsity sports schedule

PENN YAN--Listed is Penn Yan's winter sports schedule for the coming week:

Boys basketball
Feb. 27 ... @ Sectionals, 7 p.m.

Girls basketball
Feb. 25 ... @ Sectionals, 7 p.m.

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Hammondsport sports schedule
Hammondsport sports schedule

HAMMONDSPORT --Listed is Hammondsport's winter sports schedule for the coming week:

Girls basketball
Feb. 24 ... @ Sectionals, 7 p.m.

Boys basketball

Feb. 25 ... @ Sectionals, 7 p.m.

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