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NEWS
Fraud detection saves county $1M
Fraud detection saves county $1M

MONTOUR FALLS--Schuyler County District Attorney Joseph Fazzary reported a savings of more than $1 million to the county as a result of welfare fraud investigations in 2014. The announcement came during a press conference at the Human Services Facility in Montour Falls Thursday, Feb. 26, which focused on the impact the addition of an investigator position for the Department of Social Services (DSS) has had on the county since being filled in February of 2014. In 10 months of service, Fazzary said there have been 330 investigations which have resulted in 23 arrests and 79 cases being closed with benefit reductions.

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Professor addresses lake salinity, algae
Professor addresses lake salinity, algae

MONTOUR FALLS--Hobart and William Smith professor Dr. John Halfman spoke to an audience of nearly 100 people Saturday, Feb. 28 in Montour Falls regarding the water quality of Seneca Lake. His presentation was part of the free Seneca Lake Academy courses held Saturdayand elicited several questions from audience members who were concerned with the lake's water quality. The main issues addressed had to deal with the salinity of Seneca Lake, along with concerns about blue-green algae in the lake. Halfman spoke about several factors in and around Seneca Lake that may have led to higher salt levels in the water.

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Dundee students present "Little Shop of Horrors"
Dundee students present "Little Shop of Horrors"

DUNDEE-Senior Anna Gilbert (left), junior Justin Allen (right) and a cast of Dundee students will be presenting "Little Shop of Horrors" with three productions this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 5, 6 and 7. The musical is set in Skid Row and centers on Audrey and Seymour who work at Mushnik's Skid Row Florists. Seymour finds a plant that has a taste for blood that also makes all of Seymour's wishes come true so long as he keeps feeding it humans. All show times begin at 7:30 p.m. and will take place at the Dundee school auditorium. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

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Water tank work will begin this summer
Water tank work will begin this summer

DUNDEE--Following a meeting with engineers from Barton and Loguidice Tuesday, Feb. 24, the Dundee village board said work to replace a 500,000 gallon water tank is expected to begin this summer. The firm's engineer Mike Parker said work is expected to begin on the project by "late June or early July," with an expected completion date by the end of October of this year. The new tank will be located above Hillcrest Drive in the village. Parker said this work will include the demolition of the existing 80-year-old tank, with a total project cost of just less than $900,000, $600,000 of which is covered by grant funds, while the village will take out a loan for the remaining $285,000. Mayor Fred Cratsley Jr. said the grant money includes the cost of the tank, the purchase of the tank site, access to site, the water line to the site and the connection work.

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Village electric rates may see an increase
Village electric rates may see an increase

WATKINS GLEN--The village board of Watkins Glen agreed to seek an electric rate study during their meeting Monday night, March 2, which may lead to higher electric rates once completed. Mayor Mark Swinnerton said the rates have not been updated for some time, adding that once the study is completed later this year, village residents could see as much as a 5 to 10 percent increase in their electric rates. Swinnerton said the village had met with representatives of the New York Power Authority, who determined Watkins Glen is in need of an electric rate study "as soon as possible."

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Cuomo: Yates residents will see $1.6M tax relief
Cuomo: Yates residents will see $1.6M tax relief

YATES COUNTY--According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, some 2,086 Yates County residents will benefit from a property tax relief program, which will result in an average annual credit of $770 and a total savings of $1.6 million when fully phased in. Cuomo announced the first piece of his "2015 Opportunity Agenda" back in January, which is "a $1.66 billion [statewide] property tax credit program that gives relief to homeowners and renters who need it most," according to the governor's press release. Taxpayers with incomes below $250,000 would qualify for this credit, and the credit is valued at up to 50 percent of the amount by which property taxes exceed the 6 percent burden threshold. The specific amount of the credit within that 50 percent is determined on a progressive income scale (refer to chart), so that New Yorkers with the highest tax burdens and lowest income levels will receive the greatest amount of relief.

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Yates farmers will receive flood relief
Yates farmers will receive flood relief

YATES COUNTY--A little more than three months away from the one year anniversary of 2014 flood, Yates County farmers will finally see relief funding for their damaged fields. Congressman Tom Reed's (R-Corning) office announced Wednesday, Feb. 25, Yates County farmers would be receiving nearly $284,000 in disaster relief to help repair the damage to fields sustained during the May 2014 flooding. The aid money will be administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the emergency conservation program.

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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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SPORTS
The Watkins Glen vs. Moravia post-game: What happened?
The Watkins Glen vs. Moravia post-game: What happened?

WATKINS GLEN-On Wednesday, March 4 the Watkins Glen Senecas defeated the Blue Devils from Moravia 51-46 in the boys Class C Section IV semifinal playoff game. The winner of the basketball game is clear. The actions after the game are not so clear. On Wednesday, after Watkins Glen won the game the students did rush the court to celebrate the victory. That's when the problems started. The complete details of exactly what happened and who did what to whom may never be fully known.

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Senecas advance to sectional finals
Senecas advance to sectional finals

WATKINS GLEN-Senecas' boys varsity basketball team beat Moravia, Wednesday, March 4. The final score was 51-46 in the sectional semifinal game.
Watkins, seeded number one, will face Newfield, seeded second, in the Class C Sectional championship, Saturday, March 7. Watkins Glen beat Newfield earlier this season 49-35. Joe Palumbo led the Senecas with 15 points. Matt Estes added 14. Luke Flahive and Colin Gates both recorded eight. Keith Rekczis added four and Justin Duane two.

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Lady Scots top Letchworth, 48-45
Lady Scots top Letchworth, 48-45

HONEOYE FALLS-The Dundee girls varsity basketball team won against Letchworth, Wednesday, March 4, to advance to the Section V Class C2 championship. The final score against Letchworth was 48-45. Brooke Howell led with 14 points. Megan Howell followed with 13 and Demi Battin added 11. The Lady Scots will face Caledonia-Mumford in the finals, Saturday, March 7. Dundee is the number one seed in Class C2, while Cal-Mum is number two.

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Watkins beats Lansing in semifinals
Watkins beats Lansing in semifinals

WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team advances to the Section IV Class C championship by topping Lansing, 51-46, Wednesday, March 4. Amanda Pike led with 15 points, with two three-point shots and four rebounds. Madison Myers scored 10 points, also with two three-point shots. Madison Gates followed with nine points and nine rebounds. Amanda Cherock had eight points. Allison Teed recorded five points, five rebounds, and four assists. Mariah Gonzalez added four points and two rebounds. The Senecas will play in the sectional finals, Saturday, March 7.

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Scots fall to Caledonia in semifinal
Scots fall to Caledonia in semifinal

RUSHVILLE-The Scots boys varsity basketball team lost to Caledonia-Mumford, Monday, March 2, in the Section V Class C2 semifinals. The final score was 63-42. Jarrett Butler scored 13 points, while Tyler Kelly added 11. Andrew Clark recorded nine. Dundee was seeded fourth against Cal-Mum, the top seed in Class C2. Caledonia will play Geneseo in the Sectional finals, Saturday, March 7. Dundee ends the season with a 17-4 record.

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Dundee, Watkins Glen see quarterfinal wins
Dundee, Watkins Glen see quarterfinal wins

Lady Scots top Canisteo, 61-45
DUNDEE-The Dundee girls varsity basketball team topped Canisteo-Greenwood, 61-45, Saturday, Feb. 28. With the win, the Lady Scots advance to the Section V Class C2 semifinals against Letchworth, Tuesday, March 3. Demi Battin led with 24 points, while Megan Howell scored 12. Brooke Howell added eight points. Casie Farrell contributed six, while Tayler Morrison and Paige Easling each had four. Cara Booth scored three points.
Senecas beat Greene 70-30
WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen boys varsity basketball team topped Greene in the Section IV Class C quarterfinals, Saturday, Feb. 28. The final score was 70-30. Luke Flahive led with 24 points. Colin Gates recorded 20. With the win, the Senecas' record advances to 16-1. Watkins will next play in the Sectional semifinals, Wednesday, March 4, against No. 4 Moravia. As the number one seed, Watkins will again host the game.

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Sectional basketball results: Watkins Glen, Dundee and Penn Yan
Sectional basketball results: Watkins Glen, Dundee and Penn Yan

Watkins girls top Notre Dame
WATKINS GLEN-The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team defeated Notre Dame, 45-25, in the Class C Sectional quarterfinals, Friday, Feb. 27. With the win, Watkins' record is 15-4 and the team advances to the Sectional semifinals, Tuesday, March 3, in a home game against Lansing.
Scots beat Kendall, 55-43
DUNDEE-Dundee's boys varsity basketball team, seeded No. 4, topped No. 5 seed Kendall in the Section V Class C2 quarterfinals, Friday, Feb. 27. The final score was 55-43. The Scots' record is 17-3 with the win. Dundee will face Caledonia-Mumford in the semifinals, Monday, March 2.
Penn Yan falls to Pal-Mac
PALMYRA--The Penn Yan boys varsity basketball team lost to Palmyra-Macedon in the Class B1 sectional quarterfinal game, Friday, Feb. 27. The final score was 73-61. The Mustangs end with an 11-9 record.

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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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Dundee varsity sports schedule
Dundee varsity sports schedule

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

Girls basketball
March 4 ... @ Sectionals, 8 p.m.

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