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The Star-Review in 2009

At the end of each year, we bring you a roundup of the events that made headlines during the previous 12 months. Read on and remember with us.

Time well spent in your community

January

For the better part of the last six months in 2008, some members of the public have been calling for change at the top in the Liverpool Central School District. Superintendent Janice H. Matousek announced Jan. 7 that she would be retiring effective, July 31, 2009. Matousek said she decided over the holidays that she wants to spend more time with her aging parents and young daughter living at home; she also has two daughters in college.

Army Reserve Spec. Charles M. Iavarone has been mobilized and activated for deployment overseas to a forward operating base in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Iavarone served as supervisor of the town of Salina from 2006 to 2008. The specialist is a 2001 graduate of Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

Effective Jan. 1, legislation co-sponsored by State Sen. John A. DeFrancisco mandated that the state commissioner of health establish a program for early screening of children for autism spectrum disorders. Autism is a developmental disability whose cause is unknown; it impacts development in areas of social interaction and communication skills. It falls under the umbrella of Pervasive Development Disorders, characterized by "severe and permanent impairment in several areas of development." About one in 150 children is diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control -- that's about 1.5 million Americans.

Cicero's town board voted 4-1 to approve a motion allowing Cicero Supervisor Chet Dudzinski to begin formal talks with Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra about merging the offices. The vote took place at a special meeting Thursday morning at Cicero Town Hall, with Councilor Charlotte Tarwacki as the lone dissenting vote. The towns have been considering the merger for the last few months, but Thursday's vote marks the first formal step in initiating the process.

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