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Stories for December 2011

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Friday, December 30

The end of outrage

In sports, like life, people mess up, so why act surprised?

Lazy thing for a writer to do at the end of the year – list all the big events that happened, offer some pithy commentary, then proceed to 2012, hands washed of the dirt of 2011. More instructive, though, would be to take what happened and gleam some sort of lesson from it, and that’s what we’ll do here.

New theatre company to hold auditions in Mattydale

There's a new theatre company in town.

CNS pulls away from Liverpool in hoops tourney final

Warriors get first win of the season over St. Joe's Villa

First, the Liverpool boys basketball had to deal with losing 6-4 senior center John LaRue to injury, which depleted the Warriors’ inside game. Then the Warriors started 0-4, and amid the slump head coach Jerry Wilcox was ousted, with Matt Jacobs taking over after a long stint as the JV coach.

Battista wins at Spencerport wrestling meet

CNS's Mastro takes third at 285 pounds

Though the Cicero-North Syracuse wrestling team faced high-level competition at this week’s Teike-Bernabi Tournament at Spencerport, it wasn’t completely overwhelmed.

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Three choppers cover CNY as Air-1's future hangs in the air

With county funds cut, Sheriff Walsh looks elsewhere to keep Air-1 flying

A public battle over Air One’s helicopter service has drawn many parallels between the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office air service and other local entities, sometimes unfairly, said Sheriff Kevin Walsh.

Thursday, December 29

Liverpool girls go 1-1 at Hyde Tournament

Warriors edge Maine-Endwell, fall to Binghamton

As the exclamation point to a tough opening half of the season, the Liverpool girls basketball team ventured to Johnson City, near Binghamton, for a pair of games in the Pete Hyde Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

Wednesday, December 28

CNS boys earn victory at Jensen Relays

Northstars grab second indoor title of season

On the winter's coldest day, Cicero-North Syracuse's boys indoor track and field team kept itself warm - and happy - by earning the top spot at Wednesday's Oscar Jensen Holiday Relays at Onondaga Community College's SRC Field House. The Northstars, with 82 points, claimed its second title of the month, as Fayetteville-Manlius took second with 60 points. Liverpool was fourth, earning 43 points.

Red Cross holds blood drives this holiday weekend

Blood drives will be held during the New Year’s Holiday weekend to boost local blood supplies.

Pay $10 to Arbor Day Foundation, get 10 trees

Residents of New York can receive 10 flowering trees by joining the Arbor Day Foundation any time during January.

Manlius man charged with possessing child porn

A Manlius man has been charged with possession of child porn.

Liverpool mom starts advocacy business for special needs kids, families

Doctors told Alexis Smith there was nothing wrong with her son Jacob, but maternal instinct told her otherwise. “I started going to all these doctors, and they all told me, ‘There’s nothing wrong. He’s just developing slower,’” the Liverpool mom said. “But I knew in my heart that something wasn’t right. So I started researching what it was like to raise a kid with special needs.”

Village center plan coming together

Currently in the center of our village we have three large uninhabited buildings. The village board will take positive action to assist in the redevelopment of these properties. Over the years the village administration has done a good job of providing a walkable community throughout the village. New sidewalks have been developed and sidewalks have been repaired. There are sidewalks that reach throughout to the east, west, south and north parts of our village. There are eight beautiful parks that are reachable with our sidewalks. While traveling through our parks all of these sidewalks lead you to our village center. I believe that for our village to thrive as a community, the village center must be developed.

You’re a jerk if you go to First Night

For the second year in a row, they’re hosting a booze-less New Year’s Eve bash at Onondaga Lake Park here in Liverpool – the AmeriCU Credit Union and Burdick Family of Dealerships at Driver’s Village First Night. Not only is drinking prohibited, so are dogs. Now I don’t mind leaving Rover home, but how can you properly toast auld lang syne without a decent dram or two? Hoisting a latte just doesn’t cut it. But that’s what they’ll be doin’ come Saturday night down on the lakeshore. And they won’t be singing “Auld Lang Syne” either.

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Cicero boy spends gift card on seniors at NAMOW

If you give an average 10-year-old a $100 gift card to Target and tell him he can spend it on anything he wants, odds are he’ll fill his cart with toys and video games. But not Hunter Gasque. The Lakeshore Road Elementary fourth-grader was one of 10 kids to win the Cicero Police Department’s Shop with a Cop contest this December, according to his mother, Lisa, who is the driver coordinator at North Area Meals on Wheels. In addition, her father, Hunter’s grandfather, is a volunteer driver for NAMOW.

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Ending the epidemic Part IV: LGBTQ victims face special challenges

Nationwide, while the rate of violence in the LGBTQ community mirrors that of straight relationships, less than 25 percent of all victims report their abuse. There are a number of reasons for that disparity, but largely, it’s a lack of resources — lack of support from family and friends, fear of further isolation and a lack of specific LGBTQ services. If a victim has not admitted his or her sexuality, utilizing existing services (such as a shelter, attending support groups or calling a crisis line) can mean lying or hiding the gender of the batterer to be perceived as a heterosexual. Or it can mean coming out, which is a major life decision. They may find that shelters are gender-specific, which makes it difficult for transgender or transsexual victims to find help.

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A new heart for Carol

It looks like Carol Kankoski might just be home for New Year’s after all. When we last spoke to Kankoski, she had been waiting at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Strong Memorial Hospital for a new heart (“Give the gift of life,” Eagle Star-Review, Dec. 14). On Dec. 15, she got it. “My doctor thinks I’ll be going home around the first of the year,” Kankoski said. “I’ll celebrate Christmas day and maybe New Year’s here, but it will be worth it.”

Opinion: What is most likely to influence your kids to start smoking?

We would like to believe that our kids are not so impressionable that they will be influenced by smoking ads, but research shows that the ads matter.

Tuesday, December 27

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Syracuse: ‘Fight like a girl’ in 2012

Baldwin, Bregou families unveil CMB Fund vehicle

With a small gathering of family and friends, the Baldwin and Bregou families unveiled a Jeep Laredo donned with the “Fight Like a Girl” logo to spread awareness for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY, Inc.

Saturday, December 24

Basketball Warriors struggle in Jacobs' debut

Liverpool falls to Oswego, is still winless

At Liverpool High School Friday night the scene was packed with reporters, news stations, fans, alumni, and even a play-by-play radio crew as the sudden departure of boys basketball head coach Jerry Wilcox drew a curious crowd. Despite just learning of the firing of Wilcox the day before, the Warriors knew it had to put it aside and, under new head coach Matt Jacobs, go out and play basketball as its had a huge test in visiting Oswego.

Friday, December 23

Salander on the big screen

'Dragon Tattoo' film maintains book's character

Long ago, the drumbeat started. It was faint at first, but over weeks and months it gradually built, and by December it turned loud and unavoidable.

CNS girls finish 2-2 at Nike Tournament of Champions

Northstars earn respect with fourth-place finish

If ever there was a time where a 2-2 record was an unqualified success, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team managed it while attending last week’s Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz. Both in victory and defeat, the Northstars enhanced the entire reputation of Central New York high school hoops, as Breanna Stewart and her teammates put up four supreme efforts against some of the nation’s best programs.

CNS hockey blanks Liverpool, 6-0

Warriors rebound with OT win at Watertown IHC

Securing its command of a local rivalry, the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team smothered Liverpool Wednesday night, claiming a 6-0 shutout over the Warriors at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena in Lysander.

Thursday, December 22

Jerry Wilcox ousted as Liverpool boys basketball coach

Warriors off to 0-3 start; assistant takes over

After starting the season 0-3, Liverpool boys basketball head coach Jerry Wilcox has been fired. The news broke of the firing through current members of the varsity team and through some of the fans just before the Warriors were set to play Oswego on Friday night.

Boys hoops Northstars fall to Henninger

Late comeback against AA champs falls just short

Charging down the stretch, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team made it difficult for Henninger on Thursday night, but could not quite complete the rally. Instead, the Black Knights held on to beat the Northstars, 59-54, in a clash of the last two Section III Class AA champions. This put a halt to CNS's three-game win streak.

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Onondaga County Legislature says goodbye to 102 years of service

On Dec. 20, the Onondaga County Legislature held its final session of the year. While it is typical at the end of a term to bid farewell to a few legislators, this year’s final session marked the departure of nine of the 19 sitting legislators with 102 years of service between them.

CNS wrestling beats VVS, Central Square

Both inside and outside the CNY Counties League, the Cicero-North Syracuse wrestling team earned a fair amount of success before hitting the holiday break.

Ring in the New Year at Onondaga Lake Park

Thousands of people are expected for the second annual Americu Credit Union's First Night CNY at Lights on the Lake on Saturday, Dec. 31 at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool.

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Santa borrows books from Brewerton library

Did you know Santa has a library card? He stopped in to the Brewerton Library last week to borrow a few items, presumably in preparation for a long commute. We'll have to see if he is naughty or nice about returning them on time.

Wednesday, December 21

Warriors beat Northstars, take Arcaro Invitational

Liverpool grabs second indoor meet at SRC Arena

A week earlier, the Liverpool boys indoor track and field team had watched Cicero-North Syracuse sweep both ends of the Jack Morse Relays, the first-ever high school sports event at Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena. But when the same two sides returned Wednesday night for the John Arcaro Memorial Invitational, it was the Warriors' turn to take the top spot on the boys side, edging the Northstars 53 points to 47, while the CNS girls were second to Jamesville-DeWitt and Liverpool got third place.

Liverpool swimmers handle CNS, 101-80

Burdo leads Warriors; Werksman wins twice for Northstars

Not only did the Liverpool boys swim team earn its first win of the season, it did so at the expense of local rival Cicero-North Syracuse. The Warriors’ 101-80 conquest of the Northstars Tuesday night at the LHS pool included two relay titles for the hosts.

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Other driver in crash that killed Taylor Fleming charged with DWI

While Taylor Fleming’s family and friends plan a balloon release at Cicero-North Syracuse High School for Thursday afternoon, charges are being filed against the other driver in the crash that claimed the 17-year-old’s life. The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department reported Wednesday morning that Timothy Williams, 45, of Phoenix, has been charged with driving while intoxicated in connection with the Dec. 8 accident at the intersection of Totman Road and Northern Boulevard.

UPDATE: Near-miss at bus stop in Clay leaves little girls shaken

Several students were left shaken after a young girl was nearly struck by a vehicle near a school bus stop Tuesday morning, according to an e-mail sent out by Liverpool Superintendent Dr. Richard Johns. According to the e-mail, a Morgan Road Elementary student was crossing Huntingcreek Lane in the Cherrington East subdivision off Morgan Road with three other girls to board her bus. Johns said the driver of the Jeep didn’t break the law by passing the bus, but was turning in front of the bus at the intersection of Old Meadow Road and Huntingcreek.

Tuesday, December 20

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Ending the epidemic Part III: Colleges seek to create respectful environment

The numbers will shock you. Liz Claiborne Inc., a corporate leader in dating violence awareness, commissioned a poll in September of 2011 among college students to research the issue. The results were staggering. According to Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Love Is Not Abuse 2011 College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll, some 43 percent of college women have experienced violent or abusive dating behaviors. Nearly a quarter — 22 percent — reported actual physical abuse, sexual abuse or threats of physical violence. However, 38 percent of college students said they wouldn’t know how to get help on campus if they found themselves in an abusive relationship. “The findings of this survey prove that colleges and universities need to provide a more comprehensive response and additional creative educational programs to address dating violence and abuse,” said Jane Randel, senior vice president of corporate communications for Liz Claiborne Inc. But here in Central New York, colleges actually have a pretty comprehensive list of services that they provide to students, and they make sure that students in unhealthy relationships are aware of what’s out there. In addition, each of the three major schools in Onondaga County has preventative education programs in place to help students understand how to maintain a healthy relationship.

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Mattydale church opens clothing closet for those in need

When Alicia Wood and other members of the Calvary United Methodist Church in Mattydale sat down and looked at the demographics of the community, they were surprised to see how many young families lived in the area. “I thought it was an elderly community, but it’s not.,” Wood said. “There are a lot of ground-level families just starting out.” Wood said many of those families are fighting to make ends meet. “We feel like in Mattydale, we have a lot of working families that are still struggling,” she said. “Sometimes clothes or winter boots or winter coats are the last thing you can afford.” That’s how Wood came up with the idea of Easter Morning, the clothing closet located in the basement of the church at the corner of Molloy and Mitchell roads in Mattydale. The organization offers clothes for infants, kids, teens, women and men, all free of charge, to anyone in the community.

Emphasis on state testing encourages cheating at a higher level

Cheating… it is something that happens in the back row of an algebra class when a struggling student slips a peek at the math-whiz’s exam. Such instances are not the entirety of public school cheating, however. With more and more states pushing for higher accountability in their classrooms (and a better return on the tax dollars spent on education), cheating is becoming more common. This new type of cheating, however, is not the isolated “wandering eyes” in the rear of the classroom. Cheating today can be on an institutional level. With regularity, media exposés are coming forth with sordid stories of teachers changing exam answers or principals distributing test booklets to teachers days before the exam or schools “losing” the answer sheets of students who do poorly. It seems the closer they look, the more they find. From Los Angeles to Atlanta and Baltimore to Waterbury, broad-scale cheating scandals have rocked American public schools and further eroded public confidence that what they are seeing in their school’s test performance data may not be credible.

Clams, cod and calamari on Christmas Eve

I’ve always envied my Italian friends because they enjoy feasts of seafood every Christmas Eve. Why seafood? Two reasons: Italy is a boot-shaped peninsula kicking deep into the Mediterranean Sea which is loaded with all manner of delectable water-bound wildlife. Secondly, Italy’s a devout Roman Catholic country, and Dec. 24, known as vigilia di magro, is a Catholic day of fasting on which no meat is eaten.

CNS girls advance to Nike Tournament semis

Northstars surprise Bolingbrook, rout Dr. Phillips

No doubt, the central presence of Breanna Stewart was the primary reason why the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team earned a spot in the most elite portion of the Nike Tournament of Champions in Arizona. Yet if the Northstars were to make any headway against the nation’s top programs, it would need something special from players other than Stewart – and that’s what it got.

Girls Warriors finish second at Central Square tourney

Liverpool boys fall to West Genesee, 69-58

In the follow-up to its run-in with Cicero-North Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, the Liverpool girls basketball team recovered enough to earn second place in the Traci Zimmer Memorial Tournament at Central Square.

Sunday, December 18

SPCA seeks town funds for cruelty investigations

A new contract offered to local towns could decide the SPCA’s involvement in local animal cruelty investigations.

Saturday, December 17

Boys hoops Northstars tear past CBA

Brantley nets 24 as CNS win streak hits three

Just a week after seeing a 25-point lead disappear in its season opener against Fairport, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team found itself with another large advantage during Friday night's home opener against Christian Brothers Academy. This time, though, the Northstars weren't surrendering anything. Vaughndell Brantley's career-best 24 points set the pace as CNS smashed the Brothers 83-49 to win its third consecutive game.

Friday, December 16

The other side of high school sports

Just when I thought I was on a good roll, finding only good things to write about in my education column, I came across parents wearing these sweatshirts at a high school indoor track meet.

CNS girls basketball heads for Arizona tournament

Northstars to face four national powers in four days

With the preliminaries behind them, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team will soon embark on a long trip to Arizona for its most concentrated, intense action of the season.

Thursday, December 15

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St. Joe’s parishioner lights up the night for the holidays

Drive down Cedarpost Road next to the Wegmans on West Taft Road at night this month, and you will notice a house at the corner of Harvest Lane. In fact, it would be pretty difficult not to notice it. The house and the lawn are blanketed in Christmas decorations and lights — lots and lots and lots of lights. “[We’ve got] somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000,” estimates St. Joseph the Worker parishioner John Bianco, the house's owner and architect of “lights on the corner.”

North Syracuse creating Baseball Hall of Fame

The rich history of baseball in the North Syracuse Central School District will be celebrated in more formal fashion beginning on May 18, 2012 when the NSCS Baseball Wall of Fame is dedicated in weekend festivities at the Gillette Road varsity diamond.

CNS sweeps to historic titles at Morse relays

Northstars prevail as Liverpool girls take third place

Just by itself, the Cicero-North Syracuse indoor track and field team’s sweep of the top spots in Wednesday’s season-opening Jack Morse Relays was not a headline maker. What did make it special was the fact that the Northstars prevailed in the first high school events ever contested at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena, which opened earlier this month.

Wednesday, December 14

Police warn of potential traffic backup for pastor's funeral services

Camillus Police are warning motorists of potential traffic backups or delays associated with funeral services for Rev. Gregg LeStrange.

Telephone scam hits Onondaga County

A telephone scam has surfaced in Onondaga County.

Tuesday, December 13

On top, but the best?

SU basketball took different path to no. 1 ranking

So it came to pass that, 12 days before Yuletide, an early gift appeared under the tree of Syracuse University basketball fans that did not involve birds, gold, maids, dancers, lords, pipers or drummers.

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Mattydale shop offers gifts from 11 area artisans

A shop selling the wares of 11 area artisans is now open at 2103 Brewerton Road in Mattydale. The small retail space is just down from the Hollywood Theater at the corner of Brookfield Road and Brewerton Road. ”In today's economy I want [customers] to know that they can still buy unique quality hand-crafted products in the good old USA for $20 and under,” said Janice Naumann, owner of Jan's Beads and Artisans Gallery. “I hope they get a wonderful experience, a friendly experience. I hope they enjoy the ambiance. I try to keep it kind of homey and not cluttered.”

North Syracuse to go ahead with new village center plan

The North Syracuse Village Board met Dec. 8 and unanimously passed a motion to fund a village center plan to be created by Clough Harbour and Associates, a national engineering firm with an office in Syracuse. Funding for the plan will not exceed $30,000. Board Trustee Paul Linnertz asked what the cost effectiveness was for the plan that he thought might just be about aesthetics for the village. Clough Harbour's Mary Burgoon assured the board that the study would be more comprehensive. “A plan like this is much broader than appearances,” she said. “We hope to create a design vocabulary for the village center. We'll also create a land use plan.”

Rising above the unimaginable ugliness

Talk about ugly. It doesn’t get much uglier than a grown man taking sexual advantage of young boys. But it gets worse. It’s so deep a betrayal – not only of a coach’s role but of basic human decency – that nobody knows how to handle it. So everybody freaks out.

Register to become an organ donor

This weekend, a bright light went out in this community. Taylor Fleming’s star won’t shine on us anymore. But because of her family’s selfless decision to donate her organs, a part of her will live on in 60 people. In New York and nationwide, there remains a huge disparity between the number of registered organ donors and the number of patients awaiting an organ transplant. Nationwide, 112,000 a year await an organ transplant; in New York State, the number is close to 10,000. Every 13 hours, someone dies waiting for an organ transplant statewide.

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Salina woman awaiting heart transplant encourages people to think about organ donation

Carol Kankoski won’t be home for Christmas. She won’t be home for New Year’s or Presidents Day. If she’s lucky, she’ll be home for St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s not likely. Kankoski, of Mattydale, will be spending those holidays in the same place she’s spent the last eight weeks: the cardiac care unit of Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, where she is awaiting a heart transplant. Kankoski was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy—literally translated as a deterioration in the function of the actual heart muscle—in 1999. Her heart function began to decline in 2009 to the point where her regular cardiologist, Dr. Daniel Fuleihan of the New York Heart Center in Syracuse, decided to send her to Strong for regular checkups. Her last checkup was this past October. Kankoski has been at Strong ever since.

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Ending the epidemic: High schools try to change the culture

Every Friday morning, about 40 students at Liverpool High School give up their academic advisement period—a kind of study hall—to bandy about ideas concerning hot topics like bullying, homophobia and dating violence. The students are part of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, a Vera House initiative that started at Liverpool and Manlius-Pebble Hill this year. It will soon also be coming to Cicero-North Syracuse High School, Nottingham High School and Henninger High School.

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'I'll love you to the moon and back': Loved ones remember Taylor Fleming

Anyone you ask will tell you Taylor Fleming could light up a room just by walking into it. But her light won’t shine anymore. Taylor, 17, died Sunday night when her family decided to remove her from life support so that her organs could be donated. Taylor was critically injured in a car accident Dec. 8 when her 2003 Dodge Neon was struck broadside by a 2000 Lincoln Continental driven by 45-year-old Timothy Williams of Phoenix. The Cicero-North Syracuse High School senior leaves behind her father Daniel, mother Michelle, four sisters, Kaliegh, Jordan, Schuyler and Reilley, and countless others who were touched by her during her all-too-brief life.

Monday, December 12

Choking law used sparsely in first year

A new law put on the books to help levy stiffer penalties toward people who choke their victim has been used sparingly in Onondaga County.

EDITORIAL: Help save the Drug Quiz

The Drug Quiz Show is struggling for funds and the community can help. Saving the program is a personal appeal from at least three of our staff members who participated through two different schools in the early 2000s.

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Drug Quiz Show in running for $25K Pepsi grant

Drug Quiz Show, formerly sponsored by Eckerd and Rite-Aid, is seeking a new sponsor to save the program. The show, brought to the students in middle-schools across the state, is a buzzer-style competition among students. The questions range from the technical aspects of hallucinogens, depressants and alcohol to social topics including decision-making, conflict-resolution and self-esteem.

Sunday, December 11

CNS basketball sides sweep Dome games

Northstars show support for Taylor Fleming

With purpose and with heavy hearts, both of Cicero-North Syracuse's basketball teams swept to victories in Sunday's Holiday Tip-Off Classic in the Carrier Dome. The defending state Class AA champion girls Northstars opened its title defense with a 61-19 romp over rival Liverpool, this right after the CNS boys held off West Genesee 61-52 for its first win of the season.

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C-NS High School to open this afternoon in support of student's family, friends

The North Syracuse Central School District has announced that it will open the high school from 4 to 6 p.m. this afternoon, Sunday, Dec. 11, in support of the family of Taylor Fleming. The Cicero-North Syracuse High School student sustained serious injuries in an automobile accident Thursday, Dec. 8, when her car collided with another vehicle on Northern Boulevard.

Saturday, December 10

NSCSD to conduct random searches at high school

On Nov. 28, a message was discovered in one of bathrooms at Cicero-North Syracuse High School threatening violence against the property and staff of the school on Dec. 16. The district is investigating who is responsible for the threat. As a result, beginning the week of Dec. 12 through Dec. 16, the North Syracuse Central School District will perform random searches of students at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. According to Board of Education Policy 5311.7 regarding student searches, seizures and interrogations, random searches may be authorized with reasonable suspicion.

Friday, December 9

Carousel Center named top mall by Travel & Leisure

Carousel Center has been named one of the top malls in the nation by Travel & Leisure Magazine.

Onondaga Lake Parkway commercial vehicle ban now in effect

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald announced Friday, Dec. 9, that commercial vehicles are banned from the Onondaga Lake Parkway – Route 370 – between I-81 and the village of Liverpool. The commercial vehicle exclusion took effect late Friday morning when the last of the signs announcing the ban was installed. The ban is aimed at preventing over-height vehicles from crashing into the low CSX railroad bridge over the Parkway.

CNS wrestling topples F-M, West Genesee

Northstars top Wildcats with pins in last five matches

With a pair of impressive meet wins, the Cicero-North Syracuse wrestling team quickly moved to the top of the CNY Counties League National division.

Thursday, December 8

Onondaga County Parks announces special entrance for commercial vehicles to Lights on the Lake

As of Friday, Dec. 9, commercial vehicles will no longer be allowed on Onondaga Lake Parkway due to a ban enacted by the NYS Department of Transportation. Since the main entrance to Onondaga Lake Park's popular Lights on the Lake event is on the Parkway, Onondaga County has created an alternate entrance via Willow Street in the Village of Liverpool for commercial vehicles visiting the show

CNS hockey runs over Ontario Bay

Hamilton records third straight hat trick in 11-1 win

A wild and uneven start for the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team continued in Wednesday night's game against Ontario Bay at the Twin Rinks, where it silenced the Storm in an 11-1 romp.

Wednesday, December 7

Drug Quiz Show Director: Your votes are needed

The Drug Quiz Show is an interactive drug prevention program for middle school students with a 26-year history of providing essential information and life skills to Central New York youth.

The Tebow question

Football, religion at heart of debate surrounding Broncos star

Okay, it sounds straightforward enough. The Denver Broncos were once 1-4, boring and irrelevant. Then it turned things around, winning six of seven to give itself a shot at the AFC West title in the closing stretch.

Tuesday, December 6

Talk to your kids about dating violence

In this community, you’d think dating violence would be an all-too-familiar topic of conversation. Last fall, Jenni-Lyn Watson was murdered by her ex-boyfriend because she refused to stay in an unhealthy relationship. She did everything she was supposed to do – she severed ties with him, she kept her family informed and involved in the situation, her parents intervened on her behalf. In an attempt to be mature and finally end the relationship with Steven Pieper with one final meeting, Jenni-Lyn lost her life. But incidents of dating violence are still seen as isolated. Sadly, they’re not. According to studies by Liz Claiborne Inc., a corporate leader in intimate partner violence prevention, one in three teens will experience some form of abusive behavior in a relationship. Meanwhile, 48 percent of college students report the same thing, as do one in four adults.

If you teach a man to fish….

Everything I know about fishing I learned from my dad. This may be a tad of an exaggeration, since I do love to watch the pros pull in five-pounders on television. So maybe 99 percent of what I know about fishing I learned from my dad and 1 percent from Babe Winkelman. As I taught my granddaughters how to fish, it was clear that everything had to start from zero. All the little tricks I picked up over the years were completely unknown to them. During these times, I came to realize how much I picked up examining my father’s every move while trolling the Mississippi. From birth until the time he passed away, my dad was the guy who unveiled all the secrets I now know of catching fish. How to knot a hook, casting into reed beds, determining water depth and bed terrain (long before sonar made it simple), choosing bait, setting a hook, avoiding line snags, adjusting retrieval speed to match feeding habits – it all came from my dad.

Santa rides into Johnson Park without Curry

For decades every December when Santa Claus rolled into Johnson Park atop a shiny red Liverpool Fire Department truck, it was Vietnam veteran Garrey Curry who made sure old St. Nick was properly portrayed. Curry has been helping Santa here ever since 1972. For the past few years, however, Garrey has been fighting the effects of various maladies, and for the first time this year – when American Legion Post 188 celebrates the season at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, in the center of the village – he’ll forgo the fire truck ride and the annual appearance at the park.

Sheriffs will no longer maintain substation in Clay

As of Thursday, Dec. 1, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department will no longer staff the former Clay Police Department building on Route 31. The town opted not to renew a contract for enhanced services with the sheriff’s department as part of its 2012 budget. According to Clay Supervisor Damian Ulatowski, there just isn’t room in the town’s $12,166,584 budget for the nearly $1.5 million annual expense. However, the sheriff’s department had the option to continue to lease the building for $1 a year. Due to budget cuts, however, Sheriff Kevin Walsh said he didn’t have the staff to support the continued use of the building.

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Two Liverpool churches to stage Christmas opera

Two area churches have joined forces to put on a classic Christmas story as an Advent gift to the community. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” tells the story of three kings, a widowed mother, and her crippled son, who gives his only possession, his crutch, to the Christ child and is healed on the first Christmas. The one-hour opera, penned by Gian Carlo Menotti, was first produced for NBC Television Theater on Christmas Eve 1951. Now it’s being brought to the Liverpool community by St. Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church and Liverpool First United Methodist Church.

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Ending the epidemic: Dec. 8 is ‘It’s Time to Talk Day’

Stephanie Piston has seen some awful things in her lifetime, but a recent incident in particular makes the North Syracuse mom’s blood run cold. “Not too long ago, I was at the gas station,” Piston said. “This young girl was walking by, carrying a bag, and this guy was walking with her and berating her. They were young – teens. And he just kept getting right up in her face, and she’s trying to get away from him, and he’s yelling at her. I’m at the pump, and I yell across the station, ‘Hey, leave her alone. She doesn’t want you to talk to her. I see what you’re doing.’ I’m watching, and he’s getting in her face. A cop pulls into the gas station, and I grabbed the police officer. The kids had walked across the street, and it looks like it’s going to come to blows. I told the cop, ‘He’s going to hurt her. He’s verbally abusing her and getting in her personal space and won’t leave her alone.’ And this other woman says, ‘I’ve been watching, too.’ And there were men coming in and out of the station, and not one of them pulled this kid aside and said, ‘Hey, let’s go for a walk.’ Not one man intervened to help this girl, but two women did. By that time, the kid had grabbed the girl and spilled the bag, and food was all over the place, and she was scared. The cop got him away from and took her home. “At one point, I was that girl, and no one knew enough to help me,” Piston said.

Monday, December 5

Liverpool girls basketball beaten by J-D

Warriors fall in defense-dominated season opener

It's a high-profile opening stretch for the Liverpool girls basketball team, culminating in Sunday's appearance in the Carrier Dome against defending state Class AA champion Cicero-North Syracuse in the Tip-Off Classic.

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Congressional race in the 25th promises to be a challenge, again

District lines for New York’s 25th Congressional District will have changed by election day next year, but candidates have already declared their intent to join the race to be the district’s next representative.

CNS wrestlers claim fourth at Andersen Tournament

Battista, Osborne reach finals; B'ville takes team honors

No one would say that the Cicero-North Syracuse wrestling team eases into a new season. The Northstars saw its first competition Saturday when it hosted the annual Andersen Tournament, a gathering of 20 teams from inside and outside the Section III ranks.

Hockey Warriors hold off Central Square

Liverpool prevails, 5-3, for second win of season

As it moved toward the first tough stretch of its schedule, the Liverpool ice hockey team carried a 2-1 record, nearly matching its entire win total (three) from a season ago.

Saturday, December 3

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A fighting chance: State's ban on mixed martial arts taken to federal court

The ban against Mixed Martial Arts in New York is being challenged in federal court by Zuffa, the parent owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC. The suit, filed in mid-November, names the state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, claiming the ban on the sport is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment. The suit requests an injunction be placed on the state of New York, preventing the state from enforcing the ban.

CNS hockey has wild 1-1 start

Northstars rip Cortland-Homer, fall to B'ville

No longer is the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team an easy mark for more-established opponents in local Division I play – but opening-week results indicate that much work remains, especially on the defensive end.

Thursday, December 1

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Senator DeFranciso kicks off annual ‘Cell Phones for Soldiers’ drive

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse), an Air Force Veteran, is once again calling on Central New Yorkers to support the troops this holiday season by donating their used cell phones to Cell Phones for Soldiers.