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Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day by volunteering in the community

Here in Central New York, April brings days of spring rain, sprinkled with a few glimpses of the summer sun. The changing weather reminds us that Earth is a beautiful place, and we need to be doing everything we can to keep it that way. This year, Earth Day is April 22, and Arbor Day is April 25. While these commemorations bring us together to revitalize our community after a long, bitter winter, they are also important reminders of the conditions and vulnerability of the world around us. There is a critical need for ongoing education, action, and change when it comes to our environment. This year’s Earth Day theme is “Green Cities.” By improving conditions in our cities, we can improve conditions for future generations around the world.

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B’ville resident announces plans to run for sheriff

On March 1, the Onondaga County Republican Party chose DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway as its designated candidate for county sheriff in the November elections. Subsequently, Conway’s Republican opponent, John Balloni, chief deputy to Sheriff Kevin Walsh, decided not to challenge him in a primary. But it looks like there may still be a primary after all. Baldwinsville resident and Republican John “Jack” Garafalo announced last week that he, too, will seek to run for sheriff. Garafalo, a retired Pennsylvania state drug agent

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Dream Factory of Syracuse gives Liverpool youth a trip to Philadelphia and Lancaster

Sarah Hamlin was surprised with a trip to Pennsylvania on Friday, April 11, by The Dream Factory of Syracuse. The 18-year-old, who is living with cerebral palsy, arrived at Flamingo Bowling Friday evening with her parents and was shocked to find dozens of family members, Dream Factory representatives and others eagerly awaiting her arrival. “I thought I was coming for a BLT,” she said.

Village trustees vote to spend $588,000 on Balsam St., Third St. and Hiawatha Trail

After approving a State Environmental Quality Review of the upcoming drainage projects at their April 14 meeting, the Liverpool Village Board of Trustees unanimously awarded a $587,747 bid to Joseph J. Lane Construction Inc., for work to be done on Balsam and Third streets and Hiawatha Trail. Trustee Jim Rosier, the board’s liaison to the Department of Public Works, urged Mayor Gary White to make sure that Lane Construction coordinates its effort with DPW Superintendent Bill Asmus.

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Human Library events bring people together at local libraries

Twenty curious people turned out Tuesday evening, April 15, at Liverpool Public Library to check out the “Human Library,” a scheduled 20-minute one-on-one with a person who has a certain expertise to share or a compelling story to tell. A Human Library is a living, breathing library where humans are the “books” and the stories are their lives.

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The ‘first-line’ defense: The story behind the local fire departments and those who serve

From the cliché cat in a tree, to cardiac arrest, car accidents and structure fires, the Liverpool Fire Department is there. “Someone calls 911 and they rely on us to be there and help them,” said Liverpool Fire Department Lieutenant Dave Ingram. “When it's someone's worst day of their life, we are there for them. We put ourselves out there for our community and people who we don't even know." Like hundreds of men and women across central New York, the volunteers of the local fire departments are there to answer the call of their community, to fulfill the promise that when tragedy or catastrophe or chaos strikes, there will be someone there to offer that necessary helping hand.

Liverpool track sweeps to Tully Invitational titles

Vanmarter, Akinpelu among multiple winners for Warriors

Sweeping all of the top spots in distance events, the Liverpool boys and girls track and field teams both managed first-place finishes at Monday afternoon's Tully Spring Break Invitational.

C-NS baseball blanks Liverpool, 7-0

Theetge strikes out 12, gets late run support

For a while in his second start of the season, Cicero-North Syracuse baseball pitcher Steven Theetge was facing the same situation with which he had little control over - namely, giving his team a superb performance on the mound, but not getting rewarded for it.

Sure sign of spring: robins’ eggs in Christmas wreath

When former Liverpool Mayor Jon Zappola and his family returned from a recent sojourn in the Sunshine State, he went to remove the Christmas wreath from the house, and discovered a mother robin had laid five eggs in a nest she’d fashioned in the wreath. No wonder the Zappolas’ holiday wreath will remain up for a while on their First Street home! A former baseball coach and art teacher, Zappola now serves as chairman of the Liverpool Village Housing Authority, which oversees the House at 807 that has provided affordable housing for elders since 1999. The House at 807 on Oswego Street currently has two vacancies. If you’re interested in an apartment there, visit house-at-807.org,‎ or call 457-1334.

Compassion and awareness are the first steps in understanding autism

Last month, I read an article in The New York Times entitled “Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney,” by Ron Suskind (nytimes.com/2014/03/09/magazine/reaching-my-autistic-son-through-disney.html?_r=0). As the title suggests, the article chronicles Suskind’s experience with his son, Owen, a lover of Disney movies who was diagnosed with autism. At the time of his diagnosis, Owen, 3 years old, was non-verbal. But through memorizing the dialogue and inflections from the various Disney characters in the movies he loved, over the course of a number of years, he created his own language that he used for communicating and connecting with others. As a parent of a child with special needs, I found his story to be moving and very inspirational. The article is an excerpt from Suskind’s book that was released this month called “Life, Animated.” The timing seemed particularly apt since April is Autism Awareness Month in New York.

C-NS softball outshines Liverpool again

Scott hurts Warriors with home run, five RBIs

For more than three decades, Kerry Bennett had the best possible view as he built a softball dynasty at Cicero-North Syracuse that piled up Section III and state championships. But when the Northstars met main rival Liverpool Monday afternoon at the Gillette Road complex, Bennett, the subject of a controversial dismissal from his job in August of 2012, was on the opposing side, assisting Warriors coach Nick Spataro.

Complaint filed against Zambrano

According to a Cicero resident, Supervisor Jessica Zambrano has committed misconduct as a result of her relationship with the town engineer.

Liverpool baseball roars to three straight wins

Better weather leads to Warriors' hot start

Determined to climb back to the top of the Section III Class AA ranks, the Liverpool baseball team found immediate success once games finally got underway.

C-NS baseball falls to Oswego, Syracuse East

Northstars take pair of one-run defeats after 3-0 start

With a big early-season showdown against defending state Class AA champion Baldwinsville looming on Tuesday, the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team dealt with a pair of one-run defeats, which slowed things up after a 3-0 start.

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C-NS, Liverpool softball string together wins

Warriors start 3-0; Northstars prevail at Binghamton tourney

The Cicero-North Syracuse softball team could not quickly put its 2-1 defeat to Baldwinsville on April 3 behind them due to the bad weather that kept them off the field for nearly a week.

C-NS boys lax takes first loss to Corcoran

Northstars rebound to top Oswego; Liverpool still winless

A 4-0 start that included high-quality wins over Fayetteville-Manlius and Liverpool may have lured the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team into thinking that it was firmly established among the top Section III Class A sides.

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.

Trustees approve $5.2 million budget for North Syracuse

At its April 10 meeting, the North Syracuse Village Board of Trustees approved a $5.2 million budget for 2014-15. At a brief public hearing before the meeting, Village Clerk-Treasurer Dianne Kufel said that although the budget calls for a zero percent tax increase, village property owners who live within the town of Cicero will see a nominal increase of approximately $2 more than last year, while village taxpayers in the town of Clay will see a nominal decrease of less than $2.

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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.

Liverpool, C-NS split track showdowns

Boys Warriors win big; girls Northstars prevail, too

Normally, the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse track and field teams would wait until later in the spring before having their big showdowns. But in 2014, traditions got cast aside, and the Northstars and Warriors found themselves opening their respective seasons in each other’s company, and both sides would take away something.

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