It’s become a familiar sight to those who regularly travel Onondaga Lake Parkway: a tractor-trailer wedged under the 10’9” CSX railroad bridge over Route 370 between Route 81 and the village of Liverpool. On Tuesday, March 4, a 13’9” truck driven by An B. Zhang, 40, of San Jose, struck the underside of the bridge, despite numerous signs alerting drivers to the low clearance, as well as a one-of-a-kind detection system installed in 2011 that sent out alarms alerting him to turn around. Zhang, who speaks Mandarin, said he didn’t understand the signs due to the language barrier. This isn’t the first accident since the system was installed. Another tractor-trailer hit the bridge in December of 2013. The driver, 33 year-old Waleed Sleit of Chicago, said he didn’t see the numerous signs regarding the bridge’s height.
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.
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.
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.
They’re supposed to be made of tougher stuff than the rest of us. They’re the ones that rush headlong into burning buildings, face down masked villains, bring the dying back to life. But emergency responders, be they firefighters, police officers or emergency medical service personnel, aren’t immune to the stresses wrought by their jobs. When the trauma is too much for them to bear, who helps the helpers?
What were the biggest stories of the last year in the north suburbs? Here are a few of our top picks:
On Nov. 25, the Cicero Town Board unanimously passed a modification to Local Law 152-4c, which deals with brining dangerous instruments into a town park. Although this issue did result in lively debate by some of the residents present, I strongly support the board’s decision. Much of the concern by some of the residents was the wording and definition of “dangerous instruments capable of causing physical harm.” I would like to explain the purpose of this amendment and how the police department intends on enforcing this local law. I believe that there are some misconceptions on its intent and perceived abuse.
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. So what good is an order of protection? Is it worth any more than the paper it’s printed on?
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.
UPDATE: The North Syracuse Junior High School was briefly placed on lockdown Thursday afternoon while state police searched for a suspect in a nearby armed robbery.
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.
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.
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 Thursday morning after receiving a “verbal threat.”
Patrick Oneill was already facing multiple counts of animal cruelty when he allegedly left his Labrador retriever, Ali, in his car for more than four hours on Sept. 2 while he enjoyed the New York State Fair with his girlfriend. Ali, left in the 100-degree car with no water and one window barely cracked, died despite the efforts of state troopers and bystanders who tried to save her. Animal advocates are saying she didn’t have to die.
A large group of politicians, citizens and businessmen and –women have launched an initiative to encourage the state to keep a 1.4-mile stretch of Interstate 81 as it is instead of turning it into an arterial boulevard. Savei81.org revealed itself at a press conference on Thursday, Aug. 1, in downtown Syracuse, where supporters spoke out against the New York State Department of Transportation’s proposal to turn I-81’s viaduct stretch, the elevated portion of the highway that runs through the central business district, into an arterial boulevard through the city with stoplights and cross streets, something the group said would irreparably damage the city’s economy by creating a backlog of traffic. The group also issued a press release after the conference outlining its goals.