What were the biggest stories of the last year? Here are a few of our top picks:
East Syracuse, Liverpool police departments formalize shared-services agreement
An informal agreement between the villages of Liverpool and East Syracuse which returned Don Morris to Liverpool as its part-time chief has was approved by reviewed by officials from both villages at the beginning of January.
Morris had served as Liverpool’s chief from 1999 to 2007 before he becoming chief of the East Syracuse Police Department. On Aug. 31, he was hired here part-time to replace outgoing Chief Bill Becker.
Morris works at the Liverpool Police Department headquartered at 310 Sycamore St. from 3:15 to 7:15 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and from 7 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays Morris works mornings at East Syracuse, and on Tuesday and Wednesday he’s there in the afternoons.
The Liverpool department presently has a chief, one sergeant, three full-time police officers, seven part-time police officers, one civilian employee and several part-time crossing guards.
East Syracuse has a chief, two sergeants, four full-time officers, eight part-timers and one civilian dispatcher-aide. While East Syracuse’s population of 3,178 slightly outnumbers Liverpool’s population of 2,505, but the crime rate in East Syracuse is noticeably higher, Morris said.
LPL Friends group disbands
After months of negotiations, the Liverpool Public Library board of trustees and Friends group were unable to come up with a memorandum of understanding that would formalize the relationship between the two entities.
As a result, the Friends group voted to disband at its Jan. 14 meeting.
The Friends group is a nonprofit organization staffed by volunteers dedicated to supporting the library. Sprague said it has a number of duties, ranging from running the used book sale to funding the Arts Al!ve series to replacing appliances in the library’s staff room.
“It’s really kind of sad, how it ended up. I really didn’t think it would end like this,” said Friends President Pam Sprague. “Our group is full of just amazing people. They’re so dedicated. Our membership is up to around 375 people. They did a lot of work, and that work is worth a lot of money. Communities depend on volunteers to do the work that an employer or organization won’t pay for.”
Molly Project launches
When Kristin Romane Atkinson lost her mother, Molly, to cancer, she realized she had very few pictures by which to remember her. In talking with two friends, Kristin Wicks Johnston and Tara Lesko Polcaro, they realized it was a common problem among women: they tended to position themselves behind the camera. So they decided to do something about it. They founded the Molly Project to coordinate free, on-location photography sessions for women whose lives are being redefined by cancer or terminal disease.
Polcaro, a professional photographer, and other volunteer photographers offer up their services for free to women facing or taking care of someone with cancer so that they and their families can have photographs that “capture the beauty of their bond for generations to come.” Families are provided with not only the portraits, but a digital copy of the images, as well.
“Being moms, being women, we wanted to help women,” Atkinson said. “Our focus is on the woman, whether she’s a caregiver or the one that is actually battling the disease.”
Dudzinski appointed to county legislature
In a surprise move, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney appointed former Cicero Supervisor Chet Dudzinski to replace outgoing Legislator Bill Meyer, just hours before the Cicero Republican Committee unanimously nominated current Supervisor Jim Corl for the position.
The vacancy occurred when Meyer, a Republican, resigns to take a position with the county Veterans’ Administration. The third district covers the town of Cicero and part of the town of Manlius, but Manlius’s Republican committee deferred to Cicero’s for the nomination.
According to the email sent to the candidates, Mahoney chose Dudzinski for the position in order to avoid the elevation of Deputy Supervisor Jessica Zambrano, a registered Democrat, to the position of supervisor.
“I heard from about 50 people, many of them Cicero Republican Committee members,” Mahoney wrote. “While the majority were to endorse a candidate, there was also a concern from a good number of them that an appointment of Jim would elevate a non-Republican to the role of supervisor. That is something many members of the committee indicated they did not want.”
Corl was elected to the seat in November.
NSCSD football coach resigns
North Syracuse Central School District Steve Ellis submitted his resignation as the district’s head varsity football coach. Ellis said his decision to resign as the head varsity football coach was motivated by his continued health issues, resulting from a serious injury he sustained while teaching physical education. Due to Ellis’ current status in his recovery, he felt his resignation at this time is in the best interests of the students involved in the district’s football program.
The district appointed Joe Sindoni as his replacement.
WRE librarian murdered, girl assaulted on VerPlank Road
Lori Bresnahan was attacked the night of Thursday, March 14, while leaving a gymnastics class at Great Northern Mall with a 10-year-old child. David Renz, 29, of Cicero, forced his way into Bresnahan’s car, bound her and sexually assaulted the child, then drove them to VerPlank Road, where his car was waiting. The child was able to escape and was helped by a passing motorist. Meanwhile, Bresnahan suffered several stab wounds and later died at Upstate University Hospital.
Renz pleaded guilty to murder and rape in July, with the agreement that he will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But under that agreement, he would be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea if federal prosecutors decide the case was death-penalty eligible. With no decision yet, the Nov. 1 sentencing was pushed back to Jan. 10.
Johns leaves LCSD
Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns left the Liverpool Central School District, citing medical reasons. He issued an open letter to district residents, students and staff March 27, stating his intent to work with a medical team at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester to seek a heart transplant.
“If it was of my own choosing I would certainly perform my job for many more years; however, factors have emerged which will not allow me to do so,” Johns wrote. “I am currently working with a medical team at Strong Hospital to explore receiving a new heart.”
Johns was set to retire at the end of the 2012-13 school year. The district replaced him with administrator Mark Potter.
NAMM honors LCSD for music ed
For the fifth time in six years, the NAMM Foundation has named the Liverpool Central School District one of the “Best Communities for Music Education.”
School districts were chosen for this honor because they exemplify community commitment to include music education as part of a quality education for all children. This year, nearly 2,000 schools and school districts participated in the survey, resulting in a record number of designations. In all, only 307 school communities across the country received this honor.
“Our district offers a comprehensive music program that presents students with a wide range of opportunities to receive high quality instruction in classroom music, as well as performing ensembles,” the LCSD said in a Key Communicator release. “Several community groups also help support our efforts to provide music education to all students.”
North Syracuse school budget fails
Voters in the North Syracuse Central School District rejected the proposed $144 million 2013-14 budget, forcing the district to rework the proposal before presenting it again in June.
North Syracuse had requested a 5.33 percent tax increase. Voters rejected the budget by a margin of 1,989 to 1,680, which didn’t reach the required supermajority for approval.
The presented budget would have brought full-day kindergarten to the district. It also called for the elimination of 14.5 positions. The district has cut more than 200 positions in the last five years.
North Syracuse’s budget was the only budget in Onondaga County rejected by voters this year.
“We knew that attaining 60 percent approval would not be easy,” North Syracuse Board of Education President Pat Carbone said. “While we are disappointed at the outcome, we will use what we have learned and take the next steps to provide a budget that the community can support and that ensures our students receive a great education.”
On its second go-around June 19, voters agreed to the revised 2013-2014 school year budget proposal with a 58 percent approval. More than 5,600 votes were cast, with the final tally being 3,329 yes votes and 2,365 no votes on the $143,525,985 proposal. The approved budget proposal includes a tax levy increase at the district’s tax levy limit of 3.45 percent.
North Syracuse launches 911 Pet Fund for animal emergencies
The village of North Syracuse established a 911 Pet Fund, so that, through community fundraisers and donations, such animals can receive the care they need immediately.
The idea for the fund came out of a meeting between Mayor Mark Atkinson, Director of Parks and Recreation Teresa Roth and Margaret DeLeo and Nadine Tischenko from the Greater North Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.
“[The chamber was] hoping to schedule a few special, community events which would raise some money, but they were looking for a good cause for the money to go toward. They were wondering if the village had any suggestions,” Roth said.
At a recent village board meeting, the topic of veterinary care in emergency situations had been discussed. There had been several cases in which a dog had been hit by a car — not an uncommon occurrence in a village that includes Route 11, Taft Road, South Bay Road and several busy intersections — and needed immediate care, but the village couldn’t track down the owner.
“This isn’t something that we have budgeted for,” Roth said.
So the group started thinking: what if the village started a fund that would allow designated village personnel to drop off cats and dogs in need of urgent care at a local animal hospital so that they could receive treatment?
“In life or death emergencies, this fund can provide the resources for vital veterinarian care, increase [the animal’s] chance for survival, with hopes for the animal to recover and find its forever home,” Tischenko said.
Longtime Salina parks and rec director retires
Jim Wemesfelder retired July 26 as Salina’s director of parks and recreation after having spent 43 years in the seat — possibly longer than any other commissioner in the state and perhaps the country.
But Wemesfelder’s career in parks and rec dates back even farther than his hire in Salina in 1970. It started when he was a senior in high school monitoring an adult basketball program in a Rochester suburb and continued with a three-year stint as playground director for the town of Clay. Wemesfelder was also a classroom teacher, tennis and soccer coach for the Liverpool Central School District for 33 years.
“Every youngster in town of Salina who wanted to learn how to swim was given that opportunity regardless of financial background. Any child who wanted to learn was offered that opportunity in the town of Salina,” he said. “Last year, we taught 687 kids. So you take 600 kids times 40 years, I’m no mathematician, but that’s thousands of kids that might otherwise be a headline in the paper.”
Under Wemesfelder’s leadership, the parks program has grown to include eight parks, four pools, a fleet of trucks and mowers (the parks department does all of its own maintenance) and programs from Tiny Tot swimming to several active senior citizen groups.
“In many respects, not much has changed over the past 40 years in recreation,” Wemesfelder said. “Those butterflies in a 5-year-old’s tummy jumping into the deep end of a pool are the same butterflies that were around 40 years ago. That same kid who gets his or her first hit in little league or soccer goal wears the same beaming smile of days of old. A senior citizen wears that same look of anticipation on a bus trip to view fall colors. As far as parks and rec goes, I can’t see that anything has changed. It’s just gotten bigger and served more people.”
Dyce leaves NSCSD
Amid rumors and controversy, and while a petition circulated calling for her dismissal, Dr. Kim Dyce Faucette resigned from her position as superintendent of the North Syracuse Central School District.
Annette Speach, assistant superintendent for educator effectiveness and human resources, was appointed interim superintendent. She was appointed as Dyce’s permanent replacement in December.
Dyce came to North Syracuse in August of 2011. Her tenure has seen significant controversy, including two failed budgets, a race-based casting issue in the Cicero-North Syracuse musical “The Wiz,” the firing of softball coach Kerry Bennett and the suspension of a student over comments he made on Twitter about the budget.
Several members of the community have called for Dyce’s removal, particularly after the board confirmed last month that it would be reviewing her contract. A petition was created on Change.org asking the board not to renew her employment agreement.
“Dr. Dyce has proven to be an incompetent leader,” petition creator James Smith wrote. “The NSCSD and community cannot afford a contract extension with her. Our district is being ruined. We need leadership that is vested in our children and our community.”
Dyce took a position with a school district in Tulsa, Ok., shortly after leaving North Syracuse.
The fourth annual Canine Carnival was held at Longbranch Park in Liverpool. The largest animal rescue event in New York state, the event featured more than 100 rescues and vendors from all over the Northeast, with nearly 15,000 people attending, many with their dogs. The event featured horse-drawn carriage rides, raffles, a Red Cross blood drive, dog grooming and washing, demonstrations from Air-1 and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, the Syracuse Crunch, Chiefs, Silver Knights and OZ Roller Girls, an Adoptable Dog Parade and much more. All proceeds benefit the Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by CNYCentral meteorologist Wayne Mahar in memory of his mother to aid local animal rescue organizations. To date, PMAWF has donated nearly $40,000 to animal rescue and welfare organizations in Central New York.
Liverpool installs clock in Washington Park
A two-sided “Howard Street” clock was erected on a brick foundation at Washington Park Point at the intersection of Oswego and First streets, facing Heid’s Corner. Manufactured by the Verdin Clock Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Victorian-style clock was installed by a Fisher Construction crew.
“The idea for the Liverpool Clock Campaign started several years ago when a town clock was erected near the house my wife, Kay, and I own in Jupiter, Fla.,” said Jack Fisher, the president of John E. Fisher Construction Company on Wetzel Road in Clay. “When we came home for the summer to Syracuse, I noticed a similar clock in the village of East Syracuse and decided to try to get support around a beautiful monument like this for the village of Liverpool.”
Over the past year and a half, the Liverpool Clock Campaign raised $32,000 to pay for the project.
Donations were accepted from three dozen area businesses, such as Charles Heating & Air Conditioning, Heid’s of Liverpool, Nichols Supermarket and Young & Franklin. The major donors are recognized on bronze plaques at the base of the clock.
About 160 individuals and organizations also contributed $50 each, and those donations will be acknowledged with engraved bricks placed at the base of the clock tower. The sale of the memorial bricks will continue, Fisher said. They can be purchased by contacting the village clerk’s office.
The business contributions came to $20,000 dollars and the smaller donations added another $7,000. The village board of trustees also kicked in $5,000 from a federal “multi-modal” grant administered through New York state.
Three LCSD buildings locked down
All three buildings on the Liverpool High School campus — Liverpool High School, the Liverpool High School Annex, and Morgan Road Elementary (currently housed at Wetzel Road Elementary) were placed on lockdown for less than an hour after receiving a “verbal threat.”
The threat, according to Onondaga County Sheriff’s Detective Jon Seeber, came after the district learned that a Pennsylvania man wanted in connection with a fatal shooting had connections to Liverpool students. David Edick, 27, of Pittsburgh, was charged by Allegheny County police with criminal homicide and burglary for allegedly breaking into the apartment of his ex-wife and shooting Ryan Beal, her live-in boyfriend, Aug. 31. Police were unable to find Edick and originally thought he might have come to the Syracuse area, where he has family, including some with children in the LCSD.
The district was alerted to the situation Thursday, Sept. 12, and notified parents and community members through a Key Communicator message at 9:19 a.m. that Liverpool High School, the annex and MRE, all located on Wetzel Road, were on lockdown, meaning that the schools’ doors were locked from the outside and no one was allowed into or out of the buildings. A Key Communicator message was sent out notifying the community that the lockdown was lifted at 9:48 a.m.; Seeber said the sheriff’s office had been informed by the U.S. Marshals’ Office that Edick had been apprehended in Pennsylvania.
Ride for Missing Children makes its way through Liverpool, North Syracuse
Sometimes, all it takes to be a hero is to strap on a helmet and hop on a bike.
Some 175 riders took part in the Syracuse Ride for Missing Children Sept. 27, a 100-mile ride made by bicycle riders or “Friends of Missing Children” that raises funds to support prevention education programs and to remember all missing children. The event, sponsored by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children/New York (NCMEC/NY), featured stops at several area schools, including Nate Perry Elementary and Soule Road Elementary in Liverpool, where students greeted them with cheers and handmade signs. During the stops, the Ride for the Missing team provided students and staff with information about how to stay safe both on the streets and online from predators; in the week leading up to the ride, education specialists offered training about internet safety.
The ride began at 8 a.m. at the Central New York Sports Center on Jones Road in Baldwinsville. After visiting schools in the Syracuse, East Syracuse-Minoa, North Syracuse, Central Square and Liverpool districts, the bikers returned to the sports center around 5:30 p.m.
Among the riders were Liverpool Central School District Board of Education member David Watson, whose daughter, Jenni-Lyn, was murdered in 2009, as well as former NPE principal Margo Ross, who has participated in the ride several times in the past.
More than 2,000 children are reported missing in the United States each day, some in our own community. For most families, this is only a brief scare as the child turns up in a few minutes or hours. But for some, the nightmare of a missing child becomes a grim reality. NCMEC’s mission is to help recover missing children, protect all children from sexual exploitation, and assist in the prevention of these crimes.
NSCSD voters approve referendum
Voters in the North Syracuse Central School District overwhelmingly approved a $2 million referendum to make repairs to the Michael J. Bragman Athletic Complex at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, as well as security upgrades at the same building.
A total of 1,650 votes were cast, with 1,331 votes in favor of the referendum and 319 against. The project, which will have no local tax impact, will cost a total of $2,020,000. The local share of $302,000 will come out of the district’s C-NS Athletic Complex Reserve Fund, which was approved by district voters on Oct. 14, 1998, according to Assistant Superintendent for Management Donald Keegan. The reserve was funded by an exclusive vending contract with Coca-Cola and can only be used for the purpose of replacing or repairing the turf field.
With interest, the fund has grown over the last 15 years to $304,000. That fund, along with anticipated state aid totaling $1,718,000, will cover the costs of the project. The project includes necessary repairs to the athletic complex next to the high school, including replacing the deteriorating turf, resurfacing the track and replacing the drainage work under the field.
The project will also include security upgrades at C-NS High School that will allow doors to be locked from the inside with any school-issued key, but only be unlocked by those with authorized access to the space. The upgrades will better ensure the safety of the school’s staff.
According to the district’s projected calendar, construction should begin next spring and be completed by December of 2014.
Hallowrun for Hunger raises money for Food Bank of CNY
The first-ever Hallowrun for Hunger, organized by Cicero-North Syracuse High School sophomores Liz Westfall and Megan Cuculich, took place Sunday, Oct. 20, at the McKinley Shelter at Oneida Shores Park in Brewerton. The 5K course featured student zombies from Cicero-North Syracuse High School, who will chase runners as they make their way along the course. The event will raise money for the Food Bank of Central New York, the main food supplier to 268 emergency food programs in 11 counties in the state.
Westfall and Cuculich, both rising sophomores at C-NS, have always been concerned with the real hunger they see in the community every day.
Liz and Megan’s efforts began in seventh grade, and every Halloween, their food drives have grown. So far, the girls have collected more than 1,500 pounds of food for the Food Bank of CNY. Last year alone, the collected more than 1,000 pounds.
The inaugural run collected more than $6,000 for the Food Bank and drew more than 200 adult runners.
Two women murdered in village of Liverpool
Brandy Dallas had an order of protection against her estranged husband, but it appears it didn’t do her any good.
In July, Justin Dallas was arrested after allegedly holding her against her will. He was charged with unlawful imprisonment, second-degree menacing, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child. A judge issued a temporary order of protection, ordering Dallas to stay away from Brandy Dallas.
But he didn’t heed the order.
According to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, Dallas’s estranged husband, Justin Dallas, 26, went to the home where she was staying at 915 Second St. in the village of Liverpool, owned by Samantha Rainwater, 30, on Monday, Oct. 28. Deputies say he then argued with his wife and stabbed both Brandy Dallas and Rainwater multiple times. A third woman in the home, who has not been identified, received superficial wounds, as well as minor injuries when Dallas pushed her down the stairs. Dallas was apprehended by Liverpool Village Police and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies. He has been charged with murder in the first degree, two counts of murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
Elections return familiar faces to office
In a heated race, former allies Jessica Zambrano and Judy Boyke battled to the last for the supervisor’s seat in the town of Cicero.
In the end, the seat went to Republican Zambrano, who received 2,685 votes to Democrat Boyke’s 2,547.
On the town board, the Republican candidates dominated. Mark Venesky and Michael Becallo were the top vote-getters with 3,064 and 2,648 votes, respectively. Democrats Lynn Jennings, an incumbent, and Don Snyder received 2,304 and 2,276 each.
The administrative positions of town clerk (Tracy Cosilmon), tax receiver (Sharon Edick) and highway superintendent (Chris Woznica) were all unopposed. Cosilmon received 4,424 votes, Edick 4,660 and Woznica 4,184.
Meanwhile, former Supervisor Jim Corl, a Republican, running unopposed for the third district seat, gained 3,529 votes.
There were no surprises in the Clay Town Board race, as Republican incumbents Naomi Bray and William Weaver, along with returning board member James Rowley, easily held onto their seats against Democratic challengers Nicholas Macaulay and James Southard.
There hasn’t been a Democrat on the Clay Town Board in at least 20 years.
Bray received the most votes with 4,080, followed by Weaver with 4,056 and Rowley, a former town supervisor, with 3,835. Southard garnered 2,461 votes, while Macaulay received 2,348.
Supervisor Damian Ulatowski received 5,179 votes, while tax receiver JoDee Kelly received 5,463 and Town Clerk Jill Hageman-Clark garnered 5,202. All three are Republican incumbents, and none had opponents.
Meanwhile, in the Onondaga County Legislature, both the second and 14th district seats featured uncontested races. John Dougherty (second district) received 2,450 votes, while Casey Jordan (14th) received 2,406.
In a repeat of the 2011 election, Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra, a Republican, defeated Democratic challenger Patrick Foster by a margin of 3,754 to 1,725 votes.
There was no turnover on the rest of the town board. In the First Ward, Colleen Gunnip, also a Republican incumbent, ran unopposed, garnering 1,278 votes. Incumbent Second Ward Councilor V. James Magnarelli, a Democrat who also ran uncontested, received 1,081 votes. In the Third Ward, voters also saw the 2011 election repeated as former Third Ward Councilor Mike Giarrusso, a Democrat, again took on Republican incumbent Jerry Ciciarelli. Ciciarelli took the seat with 592 votes to Giarrusso’s 544. Finally, in the Fourth Ward, Democratic challenger Ted Santaguida fell to Republican incumbent Mike DelVecchio, who received 892 votes to Santaguida’s 491.
Voters also returned Alicia MacCollum to the tax receiver’s seat; in an uncontested race, she received 5,223 votes.
In the town justice race, Aaron Arnold succumbed to longtime Salina Town Justice Andrew Piraino, a Republican, 3,203 to 2,248. Piraino has served as the town justice for 19 years. Arnold is the upstate director of the Center for Court Innovation.
In the county legislature, meanwhile, longtime Fifth District Legislator Kathy Rapp, a Republican, eked out a victory over Democratic challenger Gary Brisson, 2,192 to 1,929. In the Fourth District, incumbent Republican Judy Tassone beat out Democrat Carol Files Sinesi by a vote of 2,473 to 1,678.
Mom of three killed in Route 57 accident
Meagen Patterson, 34, was killed in a car accident Sunday, Nov. 25, when a car in the northbound lane of Route 57 crossed into the southbound lane between Bayberry Plaza and Wetzel Road, sideswiped an SUV and hit Patterson’s car head-on. Patterson, who was in the front seat of her car, was thrown into the windshield. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. Patterson’s family members were all in the car with her; husband Lance Patterson, 35, daughters Olivia Patterson, 10, Sophia Patterson, 2, and son Justin Root, 14, were all seriously injured. Olivia suffered a severed spinal cord and remains hospitalized.
The driver of the other car, Muhammad Baqir, 42, of Grosvenor Road, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, driving while under the influence of drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Sheriff’s deputies say he used heroin before the accident. He is being held at the Onondaga County Justice Center without bail.
Family and friends of the Pattersons responded immediately by banding together and raising money for the family, Michelle Crews, a childhood friend of Meagen Patterson’s, launched an online effort that raised thousands of dollars within a few hours. To donate, visit youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/please-help-the-patterson-family-after-the-recent-tragedy/110565.
LCSD votes to go ahead with redistricting
At its Dec. 2 meeting, the Liverpool Central School District Board of Education voted to go ahead with redistricting. However, it won’t happen as soon as originally planned.
“The board talked at length about the implementation date of September of 2014,” BOE President Patricia DeBona-Rosier said. “That date is fast approaching. Because we want to make sure this is done thoroughly and done well and we want to have sufficient time to make everyone informed, the board has come to a consensus. That consensus is that we will hold off on implementing this until the fall of 2015.”
The board will not determine how the new district lines are drawn; that will be up to consultant Ellen Kuno and Liverpool’s redistricting committee made up of some 60 LCSD parents, teachers and administrators. Since last spring, the committee has been gathering data and crafting a recommendation for new geographic boundaries, as well as program and student placements, in time for the start of the 2014-15 school year. At least three parents and one teacher represent each elementary and middle school on the committee. The group, led by Kuno, former assistant superintendent for elementary education, created a series of different scenarios to determine how district lines could be redrawn.
At Monday’s meeting, the board indicated it would generally follow the committee’s recommendation for Scenario 12, which redrew the district lines so that most of Liverpool’s students would attend their home school (the school to which they live the closest). The only exception would be if they require special services like English as a second language (ESL) classes or special education services not provided at their home school. Specifics of the scenario can be found at liverpool.k12.ny.us/webpages/lredistricting/files/redistrictingupdate111813.pdf.
LHS a Grammy Signature Schools finalist
Liverpool High School was named a semifinalist in the foundation’s Signature Schools competition, which recognizes public high schools across the U.S. making “an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year.” Created in 1998, the Signature Schools program draws from more than 20,000 schools nationwide. Those are culled down to 123 semifinalists, of which LHS is one. According to a release from the foundation, those semifinalists are then narrowed down to a smaller number of finalists, who will receive a custom award and a monetary grant ranging from $1,000 to $15,0000 to benefit its music program. The top programs are designated Gold recipients. The best of the Gold recipients is designated the National Grammy Signature School. The remaining schools are designated Grammy Signature Schools.
“You look at the Grammys and you see the level of the people and they’re all people you idolize as a high school student, and to be involved in something associated with the Grammys is awesome,” said senior Noelle Killius, president of FAME, LHS’s elite choral group. “It’s a high honor. It’s amazing to think we’re at that level.”
The district will find out in February if it is a finalist.
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Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.