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Russ Tarby

Stories by Russ

NSPD and Sherriff’s Office combine to arrest suspect in April 7 robbery at Seneca Federal

A 30-year-old man accused of robbing the Seneca Federal Bank at 201 N. Main St., in North Syracuse, on Monday, April 7, was arrested four days later at the home of an acquaintance. Lucas Lukenheimer, 30, of 2221 Brewerton Road, Mattydale, allegedly entered the bank branch at 2:55 p.m. April 7, and demanded money.

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Painter Maureen Lemko loves local landmarks

They may not be many, but the five oil paintings that comprise Maureen Lemko’s ongoing exhibit are certainly memorable. The artist colorfully depicts a quintet of familiar scenes in her work hanging through April at the Liverpool Public Library lobby. All artists aspire to show us our world through a new pair of eyes, and Maureen succeeds as she brings a fresh perspective to Old First, the village’s iconic burnt umber brick edifice. Other local landmarks Lemko rendered include Liverpool United Methodist’s famous purple door, an old willow basket barn, Liverpool Cemetery and Baldwinsville’s Abbott Farms.

Stormwater, parking top concerns for JGB Properties’ basin block project

When you plan to build on the site of an old Oswego Canal side-cut basin, you know that stormwater drainage will be a concern. When you plan three new buildings with a mix of residential, office and retail spaces on a block already home to a dozen businesses including four restaurants, parking spaces will also be a concern. At the March 24 Liverpool Village Planning Board meeting, JGB Properties shared details of its proposed development on the basin block bordered by First and South Willow streets and Lake Drive.

In spring a young man’s fancy turns to…baseball!

Ready or not, here comes baseball. Syracuse Chiefs groundskeeper John Stewart and his crew worked overtime last week scraping ice out of the dugouts at NBT Bank Stadium, where the local International League entry hopes to open its season at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 3. The top farm club of the Washington Nationals, the Chiefs will face New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, who remain in town for games at 5 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 474-7833; syracusechiefs.com.

Next year, where will village put its piles of snow?

After that withering winter, especially that season-ending two-day blizzard March 12 and 13, most of us would like to forget about snow for the next six months or so. But Bill Asmus can’t afford to forget. He’s already worried about winter 2014-15. The superintendent of the village Department of Public Works since 1996, Bill needs to find a place to dump all the snow his crews plow from our streets and sidewalks.

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JGB Properties plans three new mixed-use buildings on basin block

At the March 24 Liverpool Village Planning Board meeting, JGB Properties prepared to share details of its proposed development on the basin block bordered by First and South Willow streets and Lake Drive. Plans drawn up by Keplinger Freeman Associates, an East Syracuse landscape architectural firm, call for the construction of three buildings, two along lower First Street and one on South Willow.

Liverpool’s proposed 2014-15 budget would hold property tax rate at $12.25 per thousand; public hearing set for April 14

Liverpool Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims has presented a tentative 2014-15 budget of $2,437,648 to the Board of Trustees on March 17. That figure is $120,000 higher than this year’s budget of $2,306,565, but Sims said the tax rate should remain flat at $12.25 per $1,000 of valuation. “That’s the same rate we’ve had for the past two years,” she said.

Eye-catching color enhances new church bulletin

Less than three years after linking parishes, St. Joseph the Worker and Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic churches have also linked their weekly bulletins, and it’s an impressive new eight-page publication. Bathed in a royal purple of Lent, the cover of the March 16 edition includes drawings of the two church buildings on either side of a photographed sculpture of Jesus with his welcoming arms outstretched. Not only does color celebrate the season, it also helps differentiate the individual projects and programs and schedules at each of the two facilities. St. Joe’s events are generally listed in orange while Immaculate Heart is represented by blue.

Dick Powell shines on Cinefest’s silver screen

Every March, the Syracuse Cinephile Society’s annual Cinefest draws hundreds of vintage film fans from around the world to little ol’ Liverpool. The attendees view rare movies, most of them shot during the first half of the 20th century.

Library director to retire

On March 6, Liverpool Public Library Executive Director Jean Armour Polly announced to her staff that she would retire 30 days later, on April 6. Polly, 61, was appointed director in July 2009. Prior to that, from 2002 to ’09, she was assistant director of the library in charge of its systems and technology department. She previously worked at the library from 1976 to 1992, when she left to pursue Internet-related projects and write books.

Two-fingered typist became our best writer

Marylee Manson Armour knew how to turn a phrase. She was one of Liverpool’s most gifted writers ever. Her crowning achievement was a book about a Fourth Lake mail-boat captain, “Heartwood: The Adirondack Homestead Life of W. Don Burnap.” Marylee died Feb. 20 at age 89, but she had continued journaling up into her 87th year, this time in the form of a blog. Her favorite topics were nature, spirituality and homespun Hoosier humor. Born in Terre Haute, Ind., Marylee had resided in Liverpool since 1947, spending summers at the family camp at Fourth Lake.

Music meant the world to Mike Casale

Born with spina bifida in 1949, Mike Casale spent his entire 64 years wearing various contraptions designed to hold his body upright to offset the effects of the congenital spinal disorder. A naturally affable fella, Mike often commented frankly on his disability. “I’m 64 years old, 4-foot-3, and I use a cane,” he said, but he never complained about it and never let it hold him back. A talented bass guitarist who lived in Liverpool, Mike became of the most recognizable entertainers in Central New York. He made his initial mark on the local music scene from 1970 to 1985 as one-half of the duo Neighborhood Friends alongside six-string guitarist Gary Sprague.

Limp Lizard hosts feral feast on Sunday

The Limp Lizard BBQ specializes in Southern-style delicacies such as pulled pork, barbecued chicken, catfish, ribs and jambalaya. And no, despite the business’s name, the cooks there never grill iguana. This Sunday afternoon, however, one of the Limp Lizard’s regular customers, Joe Romano, will host a wild game dinner at the little bar and restaurant at 201 First St. There’s no lizard meat on his menu, but Romano will prepare plenty of venison, pheasant, duck, wild turkey and fish. Romano, who lives in Liverpool, is a 21st-century Renaissance man. A talented sculptor and carpenter with a shop on North Cypress Street and a home on Hickory Street, Romano’s also a gifted gastronome. For instance, he makes his own maple syrup and his own homemade wine, although I’m sure he’s careful not to mix them.

Local high school students memorize monologues for competition

Two local high-school students will be among 19 contestants in the 26th annual Shakespeare Competition from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 1, at Archbold Theatre at Syracuse Stage. The public-speaking contest conducted by the Syracuse branch of the English-Speaking Union of the United States will commemorating William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.

City crime encroaching on the village

Back in the late 1990s, the North Side of Syracuse became overrun with drug addicts and prostitutes. Burglaries and muggings were common there. Shootings and stabbings increased as crack dealers fought turf wars over street corners. Before long, the blight spread to Eastwood, East Syracuse and Mattydale. How long, Liverpool folks wondered, will it be before it affects us too? The answer was, oh, about 10 or 15 years.

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L’pool native John Lemondes hopes to challenge Maffei in November

When he attended Liverpool High School is the early 1980s, John Lemondes excelled as a varsity wrestler. Now, after serving nearly 27 years in the U.S. Army, Lemondes wants to wrestle the New York 24th District congressional seat away from incumbent Dan Maffei. Lemondes, 48, who lives with his wife and three children on a 400-acre farm in LaFayette, is one of eight candidates currently vying for the Republican nomination to run for the House of Representatives in November.

GOP candidates line up to challenge Maffei

Congressman Dan Maffei, a Democrat, has never won a midterm election. So the line forms on the right as no less than eight local Republicans have announced their willingness to oppose Maffei in November. Last Tuesday, Jan. 28, the eight GOP hopefuls all appeared here at a town of Salina Republican Committee meeting at American Legion Post 188 on South Cypress Street in the village of Liverpool. Organized by Bill Tassone, chairman of the town of Salina GOP and vice-chairman of the county Republican committee, the Jan. 28 meeting drew 140 party members. Because our 24th Congressional District includes all of Onondaga County, Tassone also invited party members from the towns of Clay, Cicero and Van Buren. “We had 140 people,” Tassone said. “I’d been hoping for at least 100, so I was very pleased with the turnout.”

DA’s Advisory Council lifts the curtain on elder abuse

It’s a common crime that often goes undetected, unreported, unprosecuted and unpunished. It’s called elder abuse. “In their later years, people become more vulnerable,” said Jenny Hicks, Abuse in Later Life project coordinator for Vera House, Inc. in Syracuse. “People start losing their eyesight, hearing becomes weaker and sometimes dementia sets in. And by the way, older folks have money.” Elder abuse includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, caregiver neglect and financial exploitation. “And 90 percent of the time it comes at the hands of family members,” Hicks added. “It’s shocking.”

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‘Les Mis’ luminescent!

B’ville Theatre Guild stages a sensational version of the classic musical 

Few musicals engage the mind and excite the senses as does “Les Misérables.” Even more rarely does a community theater group expertly blend the epic story, the grand spectacle and the soaring music to deliver a seamless and sensational show. Director Korrie Taylor, music director Abel Searor and producers Mark and Sandy Baker, however, have done just that with the current Baldwinsville Theatre Guild production of “Les Mis,” running through Feb. 8.

If we ever needed a Hot Stove, now is the time

How do you feel about this deep-freeze? Myself, I’m shivering like a mobster in an Internal Revenue office. It’s so cold that I’m warming up the house by leaving the refrigerator door open. Yeah, it’s so cold the pipes froze solid in the foyer of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Beechwood Avenue in Galeville. In fact, it’s so cold that the snow angel on Second Street is begging to come in and get warm. Over on Hiawatha Path, it’s so cold that Christina Fadden Fitch had to chisel her dog, Nicky, off a fire hydrant. Yeah, it’s so cold that Gena and Phil de Anguera over at the Family Music Center had to cut a piano up for firewood. They only got two chords. And it’s so cold that Balsam Street resident Jason Smorol, the new general manager of the Syracuse Chiefs, scheduled the team’s 54th annual Hot Stove Dinner for this Friday, Jan. 31, at the Holiday Inn Convention Center on Electronics Parkway. Proceeds will go to the Challenger Baseball League of Syracuse.

Village of L’pool officials impress chamber members with progress plans

Tuesday, Jan. 21, was a busy day for village of Liverpool officials. Three of the village’s four trustees along with Deputy Village Clerk Sandra Callahan and Police Chief Don Morris addressed some 60 attendees at the monthly luncheon hosted that day by the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. Then the village board conducted its monthly meeting that evening.

Routine traffic stop raises eyebrows

It was the night after Christmas, and Liverpool Police Officer Jerry Unger saw an automobile driving 44 miles per hours in a 30 mile-per-hour zone along the 800 block of Oswego Street. His partner that night was Marcus Lukins, a new part-time police officer who recently completed his course-work at the Public Safety Training Center at Onondaga Community College. Unger was demonstrating for Lukins the proper way to conduct traffic stops. The officers pulled the car over along Onondaga Lake Parkway. The speeding driver was a young woman who said she’d enjoyed a single beer at a local bowling alley. Unger detected the odor of alcohol on her breath and noted that her speech was somewhat slurred. He ran her through a sobriety test and eventually arrested her for driving while intoxicated.

Dallas indicted: Syracuse man faces murder charges after Second Street stabbings in L’pool

A Syracuse man accused of killing two women Oct. 28 in Liverpool was indicted this month on counts of first- and second-degree murder and second-degree assault. Justin A. Dallas, 26, of 119 Radisson Court, Syracuse is accused of stabbing his estranged wife, Brandy Dallas, 24, and his former girlfriend, Samantha Rainwater, 30, on the morning of Oct. 28, at 915 Second St., in the village of Liverpool.

Dave Detlor packs up his scissors

A boldface black-and-white sign hangs in the front window of Dave Detlor’s barber shop on First Street: “Closed, Retired Due to Illness.” After decades of trimming and layering, clipping and shaving, chatting and listening, Dave has packed up his scissors. His Lakeview Barber Shop at 221 First St. closed a couple weeks before Christmas. Dave, who will celebrate his 88th birthday on Jan. 25, was nudged into retirement by mantle cell lymphoma.

Music with meaning resonates in every heart

Protest songs have enlivened the musical landscape since at least the 18th century when an anonymous British “lady” published a pioneering feminist tune called “The Rights of Women” sung to the tune of “God Save the King.” Songs promoting social justice, racial equality and peace continue to raise the consciousness of listeners and to inspire activism.

Forty years of feeding the hungry

The worldwide oil crisis lingered. Lee Alexander was still mayor of Syracuse, John Mulroy was still Onondaga County executive, and Richard Nixon was still president of the United States. The year was 1974, and Bob and Linda Jackson embarked on a mission of community service which they continue to this day. The kindly couple, who live on Ridgecrest Drive in North Syracuse, have been volunteering for 40 years now for North Area Meals on Wheels (NAMOW).

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Route 57 pub closes; location to reopen with new name

After nearly nine years of feeding and watering thousands of satisfied customers, Meghan MacMurphy’s Pub and Restaurant closed for good last week. The popular nightspot is located at 7990 Oswego Road (Route 57), in Clay. MacMurphy’s owner John Sansone announced the decision online on Dec. 26. A recorded message on the pub’s telephone answering machine confirms the restaurant’s closing but says plans are being made “to reopen under a different business name.” Customers with outstanding bookings or reservations are urged to leave their numbers on MacMurphy’s voicemail at 546-2500.

New citizens’ committee to take a look at Liverpool Village Cemetery

At its Dec. 16 meeting, the Village of Liverpool Board of Trustees informally approved a plan presented by Zoning Board Chairman Mike Romano to form a new committee to study the 168-year-old Liverpool Cemetery. The new citizens’ advisory committee will be chaired by Mike Romano and will include Jim Farrell, Jim Keib, Roberta Kompare and Peter Osborne. Ex officio members include Liverpool Mayor Gary White, Superintendent of Public Works Bill Asmus, Village Historian Dorianne Elitharp Gutierrez and Ken Palmer, commander of American Legion Post 188.

Chiefs cover the bases; Time turns 90

Jason Smorol, the new Syracuse Chiefs general manager who lives in Liverpool, really seems to have the old International League ballclub swinging for the fences. Just in time for the Christmas shopping rush, he forged a deal with Destiny USA to set up a Holiday Kiosk located in the New Canyon area by Cantina Laredo and The Melting Pot to sell season tickets and souvenirs.

First St. resurgence planned

For most of this year, village government has heard plenty from two property owners, Val Lamont and John Gormel, who each own parcels in the basin block bounded by Lower First Street, Lake Drive and South Willow Street. At the village board’s monthly meeting on Dec. 16, however, trustees heard from another basin block property owner, JGB Properties, which owns approximately three acres there, on which are located the former municipal parking lot and several other First Street parcels.

‘Hello Dolly’ took Satchmo by surprise

It was February 1964 and the great trumpeter and song stylist Louis Armstrong was in Puerto Rico preparing for a show. Armstrong received a long-distance phone call from his manager in New York City, Joe Glaser, who instructed the artist to add the band’s new hit song to their nightly repertoire. “Any you guys remember this damn tune?” Louis asked his musicians. Fifty years ago, on Dec. 3, 1963, Armstrong and his All-Stars had recorded a song at the request of a theatrical producer who wanted a single to hype a new musical scheduled to open in early 1964. A musical version of a play “The Matchmaker” called “Hello Dolly” was an immediate Broadway hit.

Kandied Kernels popping on Old Liverpool Road

When I was a kid in the 1950s and ’60s, we used to buy caramel-covered popcorn at the Karmelkorn Shoppe in downtown Syracuse. In 1986, Dairy Queen bought the franchise which had been founded in 1929 in Casper, Wyoming, by Bill O’Sullivan. A Karmelkorn Shoppe later opened at the Carousel Center mall. Now that the mall has morphed into Destiny USA, Karmelkorn’s no longer there. But the Kandied Kernel is.

Forty years later, from rotary phones to Facebook

Forty years ago we had no Twitter. No cell phones. No iPods. No email. Now that we have those things, and more, you might think it would be easier to stay in touch with all those folks you knew back in the day. But no, things have only grown more complicated. Joe Pirro, an alumnus of Liverpool High School Class of ’74, found out the hard way. He and a determined committee of 10 are planning a 40th reunion for this coming June. “In the early 1970s, computers were the size of tractor trailers,” Joe remembers. “The computers ran off punch cards. Flash forward to today when six out of 10 people own a smartphone.” Here are more of Joe’s thoughts on creating a catalyst for reconnecting:

Liverpool mayor applauds Morris’ quick work on murder case

Violent crimes rarely occur on schedule. They happen when they happen, and police need to be ready to respond at any time. That’s the way it was on a sunny Monday morning, Oct. 28, when two women were stabbed to death at 915 Second St. in the village of Liverpool. With one of his full-time officers returning from a training session that morning, Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris answered the call himself. Liverpool Mayor Gary White, a former deputy chief of the Syracuse Police Department, noted that “a double homicide here is highly unusual.” It’s also unusual for the chief of police to be the one personally pursuing the suspect, the mayor added.

Doug Brode’s new novel depicts Oswald as a ‘Patsy!’

Can you see Lee Harvey Oswald as a Frank Sinatra fan? If so, you’d probably enjoy Doug Brode’s new novel, “Patsy!” The 346-page book paints a decidedly different portrait of the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. While Warren Commission investigators found the 24-year-old Oswald a sullen, self-involved ne’er-do-well who listened to classical music rather than to saloon singers, Brode’s Oswald revels in the fantasy world of the silver screen. He’s fascinated by the macho man image adopted by Sinatra. He’s thrilled when – as a serviceman deployed overseas – he happens to meet John Wayne. All the while, this starry-eyed “Patsy” is being “run” by a shady CIA operative named George who manages Oswald’s intelligence career through the Marines, to his “defection” to Russia and all the way through to Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.

Apathy will be America’s undoing

Three of four voters neglected to cast ballots in Onondaga County on Election Day 2013. Voter apathy makes a mockery of the democratic system, as one-fourth of us determine who will lead all of us. We already know that one percent hold the majority of wealth and influence in this country, many people say, so why bother to vote.

Van Buren taxes remain flat

Budget calls for $45,000 less in spending

The Van Buren Town Council unanimously approved a 2014 budget of $4.75 million at its monthly meeting on Nov. 6, at the Town Hall on Van Buren Road. Taxes will remain flat for property-owners within the village of Baldwinsville, while residents living outside of the village will see a slight decrease in their tax levies, according to Town Comptroller Greg Maxwell.

New Syracuse Chiefs GM lives here in the village

After the Syracuse Chiefs baseball club suffered significant financial losses last year, the board of directors replaced longtime General Manager John Simone in mid-October. The ballclub’s new GM, Jason Smorol, lives in Liverpool. Smorol, 44, and his family reside on Balsam Street here in the village. From 2002 to 2004, Smorol served as general manager of the Auburn Doubledays. Under his leadership the Single-A team’s attendance rose at Falcon Park while it won three division titles in the New York-Penn League. Syracuse is that much closer to The Show. It’s a Triple-A team playing in the International League, one level below the major leagues. Smorol recently managed accounts for Hilti Inc., a construction supply manufacturer, but he previously worked for minor-league ballclubs in Watertown, Batavia and Staten Island.

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Heid’s owner succumbs to cancer

One of Liverpool’s most popular restaurants went dark temporarily the night of Oct. 30 as Heid’s shut down so that its staff could pay respects to owner John Parker. Parker, who has owned the hot dog hotspot since 1995, lost his battle with cancer Oct. 26.

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Sheriff’s deputies, L’pool police chief pull suspect from Onondaga Lake after Second Street stabbings

Two women were stabbed to death at 915 Second St. in the village of Liverpool on Monday morning, Oct. 28. Sheriff Kevin Walsh identified the victims as Brandy Dallas, 24, and Samantha Rainwater, 30. The women and a handful of children had lived in the small, red Cape Cod-style home for less than a year. Dallas’s estranged husband, 26-year-old Justin A. Dallas of 119 Radisson Court, Syracuse, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Two L’pool Police team up to nab 24-year-old man for stealing from vehicles

Two Liverpool police officers put their heads together to gather enough evidence to charge a 24-year-old man with stealing from unlocked automobiles in the village.

Break a leg in the afterlife, fellas!

We lost two prominent players in the local entertainment scene recently. Liverpool musician, teacher and concert coordinator George Miller, who lived in Liverpool his entire life, died Oct. 6. He was 76 years old. And comedian Big Mike Goss died Oct. 3. He was 60 years old.

Here’s what our neighbors like about Liverpool

Ever wonder what the rest of Central New York thinks of Liverpool? The Syracuse New Times’ “Best of Syracuse” edition gives us a pretty good idea. Published on Oct. 2, the list of favorite places and performers includes a baker’s dozen “best” with roots in Liverpool.

Francesca’s adds wrinkle to local restaurant plans

While all of Liverpool awaits the long-promised opening of the Barking Gull at 116 S. Willow St., on the basin block down at the corner of Lake Drive, the still-dark Gull has already drawn competition. The Gormel family — paterfamilias John, wife Linda and sons Adam and Josh, who already own The Retreat and The Cobblestone — plan to specialize in wood-fired gourmet pizza pies at the Barking Gull. Last week, however, a successful Italian eatery – Francesca’s Cucina, 545 N. Salina St.in Syracuse’s Little Italy neighborhood – announced that it was taking over the spot recently vacated by Juanita’s Mexican Kitchen at 207 Oswego St. (it still looks like Old Liverpool Road to me). Anyhow, that same location previously housed a Ponderosa Steakhouse and Wisteria Chinese buffet. Now Francesca’s Pizza & Italian Kitchen plans to open there by Dec. 1. It’ll be operated by Gary Angeloro and family.

Liverpool historian’s office compiling ‘Atlas of Historic Liverpool Structures’

If your house could talk, what secrets would it tell? Liverpool Village Historian Dorianne Elitharp Gutierrez and retired architect Jennifer Gruenberg want to know. The two women are compiling an “Atlas of Historic Liverpool Structures.”

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Preposterous probe

 Up-and-coming actress Kitty Doupe shines as a bewitching West Indian maid

Anything can happen in “Any Number Can Die.” Owls hoot, thunder howls, lights flicker and lives are lost due to gunshots, poison, hanging and stabbing. But don’t let that constant violence spoil your evening at the theater. It’s all in good fun, as the stage play soundly satirizes every murder mystery you’ve ever read or seen. The campy comedy by Vermont’s prolific and playful playwright, Fred Carmichael, is being staged through Oct. 13 by the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild.

After 119 years, historical society disbands

After 119 years, the Liverpool Historical Society has given up the ghost. Established in 1894 by local teacher Anna O’Neill, the LHS disbanded in September. The society had its roots in the Chautauqua movement, an adult-education crusade spawned at Lake Chautauqua in the Southwestern corner of the Empire State. The movement, spurred by its most popular speaker William Jennings Bryant, became immensely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the early 1890s, O’Neill had apparently attended lectures at Chautauqua and spread its gospel to Liverpool where she created historical society to encourage self-education among women. Members were required to present short programs on topics regarding local history.

Many questions remain unanswered about basin block development

At its Sept. 23 meeting, the Liverpool Planning Board continued its discussion of proposed development at the Limp Lizard Bar & Grill, 201 First St. Liverpool Properties LLC, a firm created by prominent Liverpool businessman Val Lamont, who owns the Limp Lizard and White Water Pub properties, applied for permission earlier this year to add a deck at Limp Lizard.

Speaking up for those who do not speak

On Labor Day, Patrick J. Oneill from Massena left his 2-year-old black Labrador locked inside a vehicle parked at the State Fair. Temperatures hovered at a hundred degrees. More than four hours passed. Concerned fairgoers and a State Trooper made a valiant effort to save the animal, a female named Ali, but their first aid came too late. Oneill, 66, was charged with animal cruelty and failure to provide sustenance, a misdemeanor under the Agriculture & Markets laws. Turns out he was already accused of mistreating 22 horses he owned in Massena.

Planning board steps up; Ostuni, et al, make two recommendations regarding the basin block’s future

The Liverpool Planning Board wants the village to consider retaining ownership of at least one of two village-owned pieces of property on the basin block. Bounded by lower First Street, South Willow Street and Lake Drive, the block is the site of ongoing development.

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