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Sarah Hall

Stories by Sarah

Becallo to challenge Giordano in primary

The Onondaga County Republican Committee may have picked Vince Giordano to run against Assemblyman Al Stirpe for the 127th district seat, but Cicero Town Councilor Mike Becallo isn’t backing down. Becallo announced last week that he will continue his campaign for the seat, challenging Giordano in a primary this fall.

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Williams Beach to reopen

Cicero’s only town-run beach will reopen for swimming this summer.

Schools reach out to support SRE after teacher’s passing

By all accounts, Kristen Russell was an excellent teacher. Russell, a math teacher, was known for going above and beyond for her students and providing support wherever it was needed, academically and emotionally. Now, sadly, that pillar is gone.

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Building blocks of learning

L’pool students use Legos to learn about simple machines

Students in Carolyn Spach’s first grade classroom spend a lot of their science time playing with Legos.

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Women and guns

More resources available to women looking for firearms training

Heather Matthews is one of many women enrolled in an upcoming pistol safety class at the Syracuse Pistol Club in Clay, which provides the training necessary to get a pistol permit in New York state. She’s also part of a growing number of women nationwide that own and use guns.

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NSCSD seeks input from community

District sends survey to residents

The North Syracuse Central School District is looking for help from the community to improve the way it serves its students.

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Warm fuzzies

DJ’s Gift of Warmth collecting blankets for the homeless

For the sixth year in a row, Damon “DJ” Villnave is collecting blankets for the Rescue Mission.

St. Mark’s youth spend a night living like the homeless

‘Box Out’ aims to teach empathy for less fortunate

On a cold, rainy night last month, dozens of teens huddled in boxes outside of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Baldwinsville, trying to stay warm and dry. These teens, members of youth groups from five area Lutheran churches, were taking part in an effort to learn more about what it’s like to be homeless in hopes of raising awareness of conditions faced by those living on the streets. The event, called a “Box Out,” invited kids to spend the night in cardboard boxes of their own construction to experience a night much like that the chronically homeless would experience.

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SAS finds new home

Stand Against Suicide, an Elbridge-based nonprofit, has leased a space at 2 S. Main St., Jordan, located at the village’s four corners.

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Remembering 2015

A look back at the year that was

It was a big year in the north suburbs, one that included headlines in the fields of politics, education and sports. Read on for the top 10 stories in the towns of Cicero, Clay and Salina in 2015, as well as some of our most notable photos.

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LBE launches backpack program for students in need

School community provides food donations for hungry families

In the two and a half years since she became the school nurse at Long Branch Elementary School in Liverpool, Bianca Marcoccia noticed that more and more kids seemed to be coming to her hungry.

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Salina, revitalized

Prima Terra’s Hampton Inn project to receive URI money

A hotel project in Salina will benefit from an influx of state redevelopment money, according to Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra.

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NORAD’s Santa Tracker celebrates 60 years

Every family has its own holiday traditions—watching the same movies, getting out the same decorations, making the same recipes. For many families, one of those traditions is tracking Santa Claus’s progress on Christmas Eve using the Santa Tracker, which is provided by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

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Loafers for Logen

L’pool family continues efforts to raise money for autism service dog with shoe collection

Got shoes lying around you don’t need anymore? This holiday season, you can donate them — and help families both local and half a world away.

Holidays with a side of history

Every year, hundreds of people line Main Street in North Syracuse to watch the village’s annual holiday parade as it makes its way to the North Syracuse Community Center, where the village lights its tree, kids can visit Santa and other activities go on inside. This year, there’s an added activity: the rededication of the village’s Millennium Capsule, which takes place every five years.

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Clay budget includes 3.4 percent tax increase

Residents in the town of Clay will pay about 3.4 percent more in taxes in 2016, according to the budget passed Nov. 16 by the town board.

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Minimal tax increase in Salina budget

Taxpayers in the town of Salina will pay less than a dollar a month more in town taxes next year.

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Voter turnout dismal

Experts blame lack of contested races in Onondaga County, voter apathy

Only about 25 percent of voters cast their ballots during the local elections, according to Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny.

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The women of World War II

Seven decades since war’s end, stories of women vets often untold

Seventy years ago this past summer, World War II came to an end. Some 16.1 million Americans served in the war between Dec. 1, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946. Often forgotten among that number are 350,000 women, all volunteers who signed up to join the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Nurse Corps after 1942.

Burtis holds onto Third District seat

Less than 120 votes separated Tim Burtis from Ed Szczesniak on Election Night as they battled for Onondaga County’s Third Legislative District. Burtis held the lead with 2,248 votes, or 51 percent. Szczesniak had 49 percent of the vote at 2,129. Szczesniak said Tuesday night he wasn’t sure yet if he would challenge the results or ask that the absentee ballots be counted, but he ultimately conceded the race shortly after midnight.

Salina board returns to office

Mark Nicotra will return to office in Salina, having received 4,189 votes. He’ll be joined by fellow incumbents First Ward Councilor Colleen Gunnip (1,207 votes), Second Ward Councilor Jim Magnarelli (992 votes), Third Ward Councilor Jerry Ciciarelli (891 votes) and Fourth Ward Councilor Michael DelVecchio (986 votes). Town Justice Paul Carey was also reelected, gaining 4,106 votes.

Unopposed Clay officials coast through elections

Facing no opposition once again, town of Clay Supervisor Damian Ulatowski and board members Joseph Bick, David Hess and Eugene Young held onto their offices on Election Night.

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Farmers from a foreign land

Migrant workers fill labor gap on area farms

Marin Saenz is one of 52 migrant laborers on Reeves Farm who works through the H2A visa program, which gives temporary work visas to foreign laborers to perform seasonal farm work. Brian Reeves said the farm has been participating in the program for about nine years.

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A dog for Logen

Liverpool family raising money for autism therapy dog

Logen Hustedt wants a dog. It might not sound like such a noteworthy thing, a little boy wanting a dog. But Logen isn’t an ordinary little boy, and he’s not looking for an ordinary dog.

Baldwinsville Word of Life Church: We're not affiliated with New Hartford church

In the wake of the tragedy, Rev. Randy Czyz said his church, Word of Life Assembly of God, located at 12 E. Oneida St., Baldwinsville, has received threats from people who assume it is associated with the Word of Life Church in New Hartford, where a teen was beaten to death last week. “We’ve been getting harassing threats and some pretty foul language. People are very upset, and I understand why they’re upset,” Czyz said. “I’m upset, too, but I’m trying to clear the air.” He said he and the other staffers at the church have received threats of bodily harm. He wanted to make sure people were aware that the Baldwinsville house of worship is in no way associated with the New Hartford church.

Salina: Landfill to again impact budget

Residents in the town of Salina will pay less than $17 more a year in property taxes, according to Supervisor Mark Nicotra’s preliminary 2016 budget.

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The sleep factor: Local district investigates later start times

Some 86 percent of the nation’s high schools start before 8:30 a.m. That means that during the winter months, the majority of U.S. high schoolers head to school while it’s still dark outside. They’re getting up in the predawn hours to get ready, and most are doing it after getting much less than the recommended eight to nine hours of sleep.

40 years of food

LCSD food services director retires

For more than two decades, Carrie Bonacci fed Liverpool’s children. Now she’s leaving that job to someone else.

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Liverpool bus struck by driver who was texting, impaired by drugs

A Liverpool Central School District bus carrying students to the high school was rear-ended Friday morning by a driver impaired by prescription drugs and texting, according to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department. Bus No. 310 was headed to Liverpool High School at approximately 7:14 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9, when it stopped at a traffic light in front of Seneca Mall at the intersection of Pine Hollow Road and Route 57. The bus, driven by Cheryl Milazzo, 51, was then rear-ended by Christopher Cappuccilli, 28, of Camillus.

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Cicero: Court tosses petition to oust Zambrano

A petition to remove Jessica Zambrano as supervisor of the town of Cicero has been dismissed.

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NSCSD voters approve capital project referendum

Voters in the North Syracuse Central School District have approved a captial project referendum by an overwhelming majority. A total of 436 residents went to the polls Thursday, Sept. 24, to vote on Proposition No. 1, approving it by a margin or 375 to 61, and Proposition No. 2, which passed by a margin of 371 to 63.

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NOPL seeks 1.56 percent increase

Voters served by the Northern Onondaga Public Library system (NOPL) will be asked to approve a nominal tax increase for the library next week.

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In memory of Chase

5K memorializes Cicero baby

Jaclyn Gangloff just wants people to know her son existed. “No one got to meet him. No one got to hold him,” Gangloff said. “That was one of our biggest concerns. We didn’t get to talk about him at all. We were afraid no one would remember him.”

Voters approve NSCSD referendum

Voters in the North Syracuse Central School District have approved a captial project referendum by an overwhelming majority. A total of 436 residents went to the polls Thursday, Sept. 24, to vote on Proposition No. 1, approving it by a margin or 375 to 61, and Proposition No. 2, which passed by a margin of 371 to 63.

Cicero: Residents oppose exceeding tax cap

As budget season approaches, the Cicero Town Board is entertaining a local law that would allow the board to exceed the state-mandated cap on the property tax increase. What began in 2012 as a 2 percent cap has shrunk to 0.73 percent.

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Victory for Vets event raises more than $18K

A recent benefit raised more than $18,000 for Clear Path for Veterans, allowing the program to provide service dogs to two vets.

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Easing their pain

Fundraiser to benefit trauma unit at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital

It’s something no parent wants to think about: your child has been injured and needs to stay in the hospital. Whether it’s just for a few days or a matter of months, in Syracuse, odds are your little one will end up at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital’s 11E Trauma/Surgery/Burns Unit, the only pediatric trauma center in Upstate New York. While he or she is certainly in good hands, that doesn’t necessarily make the stay any less terrifying for the child.

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On the campaign trail: Salina campaign finance filings unremarkable

All Salina Town Board candidates are running unopposed this year, making for some pretty unremarkable campaign finance filings.

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On the campaign trail: Sharon to run for 128th Assembly Seat

John Sharon is hoping the fourth time’s the charm. Sharon, an attorney from DeWitt, has announced that he will once again be seeking the 128th Assembly seat this November. The seat was vacated in June when Assemblyman Sam Robert was appointed as commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

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Heading back to school

What’s new in your district?

Next week, kids across Central New York will be boarding the bus and heading back to school. In Liverpool and North Syracuse, they’ll find some new teachers, new administrators and new friends, as well as new classroom materials and more. What else is new in your child’s school? Read on to find out.

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In Katrina’s wake

Ten years after storm, OSC is still rebuilding lives

Out of that determination, Operation Southern Comfort (OSC) was born. The group became a mission of St. Joseph the Worker Church in Liverpool, which affords it nonprofit status and the ability to get tax-deductible contributions and administrative support. Since that first trip, OSC has made more than 40 trips to the Gulf Coast. All trips are funded by traveler contributions; each volunteer is asked to pay $280 for their own expenses, room and board. Local contributions pay for construction materials. Volunteers have worked on personal homes, churches, community facilities and public parks. OSC participants have also planted trees in the area in an effort to lessen the impact of any future storms.

LBE Playground Community Build postponed

Long Branch Elementary has had to postpone its Community Playground Build. The volunteer event, originally scheduled for Friday, Aug. 28, and Saturday, Aug. 29, has been postponed because the site contractor is in the hospital.

On the campaign trail: Clay campaign accounts show little activity

The Clay Republican Committee’s most recent campaign finance report doesn’t show much in the way of activity, but it’s no surprise, since the Republicans haven’t had a slate of opponents for the town board since 2007.

A walk for justice

Inaugural event raises funds for low-cost legal services

Too often, people who can’t afford a lawyer don’t get their needs met in the legal system. Fortunately, there are resources out there that can help. In Syracuse, people below a certain income threshold who need an attorney for any reason, be it for a civil or a criminal matter, can turn to either the Frank H. Hiscock Legal Aid Society or the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County.

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LBE seeks volunteers to help build playground

Long Branch Elementary will soon have a new playground, and it’s going to be a true community effort. Volunteers will build the new playground structure Friday, Aug. 28, and Saturday, Aug. 29. The school’s PTCO is looking for community members to help with the effort.

Cicero candidates disclose campaign finances

With election season gearing up, candidates for office in the town of Cicero have disclosed their financials to the state.

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Second annual Victory for Vets event to benefit Clear Path for Veterans

Last summer, Heather Graham and Rick Carlesco thought they’d host a simple barbecue to thank their clients and maybe raise a little money for a local charity along the way. Instead, they ended up establishing a nonprofit that will ultimately help Central New York’s veterans for years to come.

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LHS Senior of the Week: David Sill

This week’s Liverpool High School Senior of the Week is an accomplished Special Olympian, having competed in the games for the last 12 years.

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Board president could win $10,000 for NAMOW

North Area Meals on Wheels Board of Trustees President Bob Graves is in the running to win $10,000 for the organization.

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It's Macker time

Basketball tournament is this weekend at C-NS

This weekend, athletes nationwide will descend upon Cicero-North Syracuse High School for the sixth annual Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. The tournament, which moved to the high school this year from Drivers Village, will take place from Friday, Aug. 7, to Sunday, Aug. 9.

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