Archive for February, 2011

Top seeds win with ease in Section IV tourney

Friday, February 11th, 2011
Patrick Newell

BINGHAMTON – As expected, the top seeds held firm after the first day of the Section IV Wrestling Tournament Friday night at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
A total of 23 local wrestlers still entertain Section IV title hopes after winning two matches to advance to Saturday’s semifinals round at 10 a.m.
Number one seeds advancing were Tristan Rifanburg (112) of Norwich, Danny Gormley (125) of B-G/Afton, Mike Beckwith (145) of Greene; Christian Dietrich (152) of Greene; Keegan Cerwinski (160) of Greene, Vinnie Buttice (171) of B-G/Afton; Kurt Shear (189) of Greene; and Kyle Stanton (215), also of Greene.
Rifanburg, who won a state title as a seventh-grader, pinned both of his opponents including a stick of Mick Sickmon of Dryden in 1:27 to reach the semifinals. Other than Dietrich, every other local top seed picked up pinfall or technical fall victories. Dietrich, just a seventh-grader, defeated teammate Brock Kinney, 6-1.
Below are quarterfinals results by weight class and team scores. Finals are scheduled at 7 p.m. The Evening Sun will have a complete tournament wrapup in the Monday, Feb. 14 sports section.
Team scoring out of 32 teams: B-GA 98.5; Greene, 73.5; Norwich, 63.5; Chenango Valley, 59.5; Windsor, 56; Tioga, 55; Waverly, 51; Lansing, 47; Owego, 36; Oxford, 33.5. Unadilla Valley (17th, 22 points).
Local quarterfinals results by weight class
96: Landon Cummings (Nor,) pinned Billy Liberati (CV), 3:46. Joe Nelson (Oxf) pinned Greg Lee (Lans), 1:50.
103: Austin Crandall (Oxf) dec. Tozhia Possemato (U), 6-4.
112: Tristan Rifanburg (Nor) pinned Mike Sickmon (Dry), 1:27. Craig Luffman (Owe) pinned Jeremiah Winter (Oxf), 3:40.
119: Frank Garcia (Nor) tech fall, 16-0 over Nate Bell (Owe).
125: Danny Gormley (BGA) tech fall 15-0 over Josh Burge (WG).
130: Jesse Griswold (BGA) dec. Jordan Torbitt (WP), 9-6.
135: Tanner Cummings (N) dec. Hayden Bell (Owe), 5-2. Cory Burnett (BGA) dec. James Gleason (Dry), 4-0.
140: Dan Dickman (Gr) pinned Ryan Ackley (One), :47. Cody Davy (BGA) dec. Evan Farnham (SVE), 4-3.
145: Mike Beckwith (Gr) pinned Aaron Charles (Sid), 4:11. Dakota Vandermark (BGA) dec. Mike Chandler (Wav), 2-1.
152: Christian Dietrich (Gr) dec. Brock Kinney (Gr.), 6-1. Daren Terpstra (BGA) pinned Clayton Audette (Oxf), 1;53.
160: Keegan Cerwinski (Gr) pinned Grey Bennis (Edis), :36. Paul Parsons (BGA) dec. Matt Pinckney (ESS), 13-2.
171: Vinnie Buttice (BGA) pinned Andrew Barnhart (WP), :51
189: Kurt Shear (Gr) pinned Eddie Castillo (Wal), :34; Mark Viviano (BGA) tech fall over Brian Ingram (Del), 16-1.
215: Kyle Stanton (Gr) pinned Ben Cairns (Del), 1:07. Kegan Levesque (Nor) pinned Russ Andrus (CV), 2:33.
285: Billy Holden (BGA) pinned Mike Thomas (Del), 4:20. Dillon Hurlburt (Mar) pinned Chris Kehoe (Gr), 4:29.

Editor’s Notebook: 2/11/11

Friday, February 11th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• I was blog-less yesterday because I spent the entire day serving on the decentralization panel at the Chenango County Council of the Arts. In a nutshell, we spent eight-odd hours reviewing grant applications from Chenango, Broome and Otsego counties and divvied up $81,481 in New York State grant monies to non-profit organizations for arts-related projects. It was a grueling session (applicants asked for a lot more than we had to give), but it was time well spent. There’s an amazing amount of ingenuity and creativity out there in each of the three counties. Look for a story in The Evening Sun on who won what in March.

• So we get to work this morning and discover that The Evening Sun’s e-mail servers were down, and had been since around 5 p.m. the night before. And the world came to a screeching halt. It’s funny how quickly we’ve become dependent on that form of communication. Thank God we still had Facebook!

• Glad to see that the Spirit House in Georgetown won’t fall into ruin. I’ve always been fascinated by the story of that landmark – and always been dying (not literally, thankfully) to get inside. We’ve tried a couple times to gain access for the “Ghost Hunters” special we do around Halloween, but with no luck. I guess when Brian Golden suggested it to the new owners, they were not amused. Seems they prefer to think of the historic home’s otherworldly inhabitants as angels rather than chain-rattling ghosts. Glad they weren’t around to hear Melissa deCordova’s suggestion that we change the name of the series to “Angel Hunters.” Don’t think that would go over too well.

• Got your tickets to the Fur Ball tomorrow night? No? Well, too bad! It’s all sold out. Guess it really is the social event of the season. Glad to hear it – certainly a worthy cause in support of the SPCA. Can’t wait to go!

Editor’s Notebook: 2/8/11

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Jeff Genung

• By not blogging yesterday, did I miss my opportunity to jump on the “Christina Aguilera Hates America and Puppies” bandwagon? I think not. Although her performance was a bit of a trainwreck and did manage to bungle the words to a song just about every middle schooler knows by heart, I wouldn’t agree with media pundits that her Super Bowl performance Sunday (yes, I actually watched it!) signals the coming of the Apocalypse. I’m pretty sure that whatever shame she feels for screwing up the National Anthem in front of the known universe is punishment enough.

• The Black Eyed Peas, however, should be killed.

• I’ve been walking to work this week. And back for forth to lunch, too. Finding myself temporarily car-less (due to my unending generosity, not some vagaries of mechanics) for a few days, I’ve been hoofing it from Fair Street to Lackawanna Ave. OK, so it’s not the Bataan Death March, but in this weather it can be a little dicey. I’ve always been able to walk to work, of course. But do I? Umm no. Who knows, perhaps I’m turning a green leaf. Or perhaps blue, from hypothermia.

• Can’t get enough Perch Derby? I put all of Frank Speziale’s photos from Saturday’s event on our Facebook page today. All I can say is these people must really like fish.

• Check out tomorrow’s Evening Sun to find out why I let Melissa Stagnaro go skiing for a whole day last week. It’s a pretty amazing story – you can check out more photos on Facebook after it runs, too. And I won’t let her censor the ones in which she faceplants in a snowbank.

Brrrrr…it’s chilly out there

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Brian Golden

I must be getting old, because I swear the cold never bothered me like this in my “younger” days. This winter, however, I’ve walked the city streets with my hands shoved as deep into my jacket pockets as possible, teeth chattering and eyes tearing-up from the frigid temperatures.

Which is strange because, as a child, one of my favorite activities involved sledding down the various slopes of Chenango County and – as it seemed then – the small mountain known as Dead Man’s Hill, just inside the city limits. And while I remain uncertain as to the origin of that name, in my youth I was convinced that no less than two dozen grown adults – not to mention countless numbers of children – had perished on its steep and twisting trail.

That’s not to say I couldn’t be talked into enjoying some sort of winter activity once in awhile, if I happened to own a full compliment of winter survival gear that is. I’m talking boots, gloves, snow-pants, goggles, parka, scarf, hat, earmuffs and, most definitely, thermal underwear. Unfortunately, I’ve already made a solemn vow never to downhill ski again, although I’m fairly certain I could come to enjoy the cross-country variety, not to mention snow-shoeing, ice-fishing and, of course, dog-sledding.

And before it’s said, I’m not one of those who constantly complains of our area’s winter weather. You know the ones, they’re also the people that complain when it’s too hot in the summer, something I’ve never understood.

No, it seems I’ve simply outgrown my childhood immunity to the cold, at least that’s the only solution I can come up with. The days of snowball fights, snowman construction and yes, even sledding, are obviously behind me. Nowadays, when the weather is at its coldest, I’m much more content at home, reading a good book or watching a favorite movie. Neither activity is, I’ll admit, nearly as exciting as racing down old Dead Man’s Hill at a breakneck pace, but it sure is a whole lot warmer.

Sports Editor’s Playbook, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Patrick Newell

• Norwich will play Johnson City at home Wednesday night in contest that could clinch the Tornado boys’ hoopsters third straight STAC Central Division title. Here is a portion of our preview article that will appear in the Wednesday edition of The Evening Sun:
When Norwich won its second Section IV title of the decade two seasons ago, even that team did not have the type of record this deep into the season as the current crop of Tornado ballers. In fact, most people may have figured – after, back-to-back outstanding seasons in which the Tornado won a combined 38 games – that this season the longtime successful program would take a step backward.
Not so.
There are teams in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference that have comparable overall records to the Tornado, but no club has a better overall record. “These guys have put in a lot of time and effort,” said Norwich 25th-year coach Mark Abbott. “If people haven’t had the opportunity to see these guys play, they are missing out on something. These guys epitomize the word team from the number one guy to number 13. It would be great to play in front of a great crowd.”
Abbott’s hope for a big crowd refers to Norwich’s pivotal STAC Central Division showdown with second-place Johnson City. Norwich came back from a slow start against JC in the initial meeting to edge the Wildcats, 66-63. The win is the one-game lead Norwich presently holds over Johnson City, and Norwich can clinch the division outright with a victory. A loss, a each team will head back to the floor later in the week for a one-game playoff to determine the division champion.
“A win Wednesday night, and it would be three straight division titles,” Abbott said. “If you look back at the last 20 years, we’ve won 13 division titles. That doesn’t leave a lot for the other schools in our division to share. We kind of like it that way. From a team-goal perspective, wanting to win a division title every season is a nice time to be selfish.”

• The past several years, G-MU’s varsity boys’ basketball coach, Bill Hartman, has had the opportunity to observe the coaching of his compatriot, G-MU varsity girls coach, Jim Johnson.
Hartman has several years under his belt at G-MU and is working toward his first 100 wins with the Raiders. Meanwhile, Johnson, who started at Gilbertsville before the merger with Mt. Upton, just passed 400 wins. “It’s an amazing total,” Hartman said. “He’s so darn old, he would have to get it sooner or later. All joking aside, he has done a wonderful job with those kids this year. It was the first time I had a chance to see them play this year. I was impressed with their understanding of the game and their balance.”
Hartman added that Johnson has a wealth of knowledge he can impart on his kids, but he has a knack of keeping the game simple for his players. “Clearly Jim knows a lot, but he doesn’t make it too complicated,” Hartman said. “He’s a gracious man, his kids work hard, and they have fun. He brings a nice balance to that side of the athletics program, and we are all happy for him.”

Follow Patrick Newell on Twitter @evesunpat

Editor’s Notebook: 2/3/11

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Jeff Genung

• Funny how a two-hour meeting can derail your entire day … at least this one was productive! We’ve been talking about some pretty cool changes coming up for evesun.com – especially for those of you who subscribe. Stay tuned.

• Poor Melissa Stagnaro had a tough assignment today — she spent the entire day skiing at Greek Peak. Actually there’s a good reason for it, and you’ll see what should be a compelling story in an upcoming edition.

• Speaking of compelling stories, Part V of our seven-part “Boon or Bust?” series on natural gas drilling appears in today’s edition, examining the economic impact the industry has had on our neighbors to the south. At least from the financial standpoint, it seems there’s a lot to be gained there, as long as it’s handled correctly. Read it and judge for yourself. Two more parts of this investigative series coming up.

• Taking some much-needed post-Progress time off tomorrow. As it was pretty much every Friday last summer, tomorrow’s edition will be largely ruled by committee, with each of my minions performing one of my many functions. This is my subtle way, in lieu of a front-page above the fold banner, of telling you I’m not responsible for anything you might see tomorrow.

Woodfords honing skills for breakout outdoor season

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Patrick Newell

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt of an article on Oxford seniors Katie and Emily Woodford. The complete article will appear in the Thursday, Feb. 3 edition of The Evening Sun.

For two months out of the year, the past two years, Oxford’s twin sisters, Katie and Emily Woodford have rewritten the recordbook in the Midstate Athletic Conference. Katie and Emily teamed as part of the 400-meter relay to win a Division II state championship in 2009. The past two years, Katie has won state championships in the 400-meter dash, while Emily was a few feet away from winning a state title in the 200-meter dash last year, only to suffer an untimely fall near the finish line.
The Woofords, now seniors, have come into the past two spring seasons with a flash, and left with a large bang. The other 10 months of the year, they were largely unseen on the local sports season. That is, until the duo – who will likely be a welcomed addition to some collegiate team’s track and field squad next year – decided to compete for B-G/Afton on its winter indoor track and field team.
Knowing B-G/Afton coach Robb Munro quite well, Oxford’s track darlings have continued to excel, continued to break records, and should be well prepared to exceed any an all outdoor accomplishments the previous two seasons. “Let’s be honest, those two didn’t walk in here (to our team) as nobodys,” Munro said. “They were already well trained in terms of their speed. We’re talking about a girl, in Katie, who ran a 11.8 in the 100-meter dash (a Section IV record). Her speed was already outstanding. My ultimate thing is to get her to the point, when she leaves me, that she can go to Oxford and have a spring season that blows everyone’s mind.”
Munro’s training methods are not unconventional, but they are unfamiliar to the Woodfords. The Bears’ mentor is doing his best to take the Woodfords out of their comfort zone. The Woodfords have specialized in the sprint distances at Oxford – the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dashes. Over the past two months, the Woodfords have ran 600-meter races, 800-meter races, and even ran legs on 3,200-meter relays. Running those distances were foreign to the Woodfords, but Munro has the luxury of a deep indoor roster, so he can tinker with the Woodfords’ training.
“I have been able to use those types of races as workouts for the Woodfords,” Munro said. “For those girls, doing a workout is still fast enough to be competitive.”

Editor’s Notebook: 2/2/11

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Jeff Genung

• Finally some good news from that rascally rodent in Punxsutawney … spring is coming early! If you believe it, it will come true.

• I have seen the future, and it is digital. Been checking out the brainchild of media mogul Rupert Murdoch on my iPad today. It’s an app called “The Daily,” and it purports to be the platform’s first dedicated “newspaper.” It’s more magazine-y in looks, but at first glance it’s pretty slick. Is this where we’re headed? I’ll expand on that in my column on Friday. You know, the one printed in ink on paper?

• Speaking of the Internet, once again we were the first to give you details on that bar-fight death in Smithville Flats over the weekend. Today’s update on evesun.com reveals the autopsy report ruled the cause of death a homicide. No charges have been filed yet, but I suspect it won’t be long. Stay tuned.

• I wish you could have heard the geek-gasms being experienced by Brian and Tyler in the newsroom this morning as they discussed the prospect of playing video games on the big screen at the Colonia Theater. At least I have the good sense to play with my vintage Star Trek action figures only in the privacy of my own home.

Rest peacefully, Aunt Loretta

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Melissa Stagnaro

When I was younger, I was unfazed by late night phone calls. More often then not, they were a sign of the much-too-active social life of my drunk-dialing friends. Now, however, it isn’t often the phone rings after 9. When it does, it is rarely good news.

Which is why, when the phone rang shortly after 9 last night, my nerves were set instantly on edge. It was one of my mom’s sisters, my Aunt Maureen, calling with the latest update on my Aunt Loretta.

We had already been alerted to the fact that Aunt Loretta was in the hospital. She has never been far from our minds these last two months, as she dealt with first a bad infection and then a cancer scare. Last week, she was suffering from what she thought was a stomach bug. But after a few days, her condition continued to worsen rather than improve, precipitating this latest hospital stay.

We all expected that, after a few days of care, she’d be back home with her family. But Aunt Maureen’s call alerted us to the fact that Aunt Loretta’s condition was more dire than we had realized. According to her middle son, my cousin Tom, her doctor said she had only a 50/50 chance of making it through the night.

We went to bed feeling helpless. Only to be woken by the phone shortly after midnight. As soon as I saw the name on the caller ID, I knew. I was already crying when I answered.

“Oh, Missy. She’s gone,” my Aunt Maureen said, and the anguish and loss in her voice broke my heart that much more.

Making my way downstairs in the dark, vision blurred by tears, I kept her on the phone. I wanted my mom to hear it from her, rather than me. Not because of an unwillingness on my part to be the bearer of such news, but because I knew they’d both find some small comfort in their sisterly bond.

There was another call, not long after, from my Uncle Joe. One of a flurry of phone calls I knew were being made from Farrell to Farrell up and down the East Coast and across the country. It is times like these when I can truly appreciate having such a large, close-knit extended family, supporting and loving one another.

I swear I could feel every one of them hurting last night, as I struggled to get back to sleep. My dreams were a blurry slide show of memories punctuated by shock and grief.

I woke up long before my alarm, and lay there in the dark, numb and struggling to comprehend the fact that Aunt Loretta was really gone.

I still can’t wrap my head around it. Like all of my mom’s siblings, she has been a fixture of my life. I can’t remember a family gathering she wasn’t a part of, and I can’t imagine what one will be like without her.

I still have that stilted slide show playing through my mind; a maelstrom of memories of her family, the Kuddar’s, visiting our house when I was a kid and countless weddings, parties and other get togethers.

Her sons – my cousins Bob, Tom and Scott – were some of the closest in age to me, and we saw them often in my youth. My father and her husband, Uncle Bob, shared the same birth date, and the two were close up until Bob’s death about 10 years ago.

The Kuddar’s have already been through so much since Uncle Bob’s death, including the sudden and tragic death of Tommy’s wife Michelle a few years ago. My heart goes out to them now, as it does to all the Farrell’s who are grieving the loss of this great lady.

Thank you to those who have offered their condolences to our family. Your thoughtfulness and kindness is very much appreciated. I will pass along your thoughts and prayers with my own.

Sister, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend – Aunt Loretta was a wonderful woman. She will be so greatly missed. Her death has created a void in our family which can never be filled.

I love you, Aunt Loretta. May you rest in peace.

Follow me on Twitter … @evesunmelissa

Record cyclone swirls over Australia

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Tyler Murphy

There’s a Category Five Cyclone named Yasi with winds of 186 miles per hour battering the coast of Australia raising tides to 30 feet above their normal levels.

Sounds terrifying but try to imagine what these numbers really mean. The Oxford pool’s deep end I recall was about 12 feet, so the ocean compared to what it was Tuesday along Australia’s coast will be three Oxford pools deeper by the end of the today. I’m about six feet tall so standing on the Queensland beach under normal conditions I could look up and imagine four copies of myself standing on each other shoulders and we still wouldn’t see above the storm’s projected water line.

I’ve never gotten my car up to 186 miles per hour before. I can imagine through traveling at 75 or 80 mph down the interstate and holding my hand out the window. So imagine between triple and double that effect, all over, everywhere, blowing across the whole landscape. Standing in it would be like riding on the roof of a car going 186 miles per hour down the highway.

With a 400 mile long weather front the size of the storm could cover the entire Midwest of the United States. Driving from the Village of Sherburne to the Village of Greene is a 33 mile trip so a 400 mile storm front would be like driving that distance more than 12 times. Even traveling at a constant speed of 60 mph it would take you six hours and forty minutes to drive the distance.

Australian leaders are telling their population to expect and prepare for the worse storm in several generations. The Australian government is telling residents in the path of Yasi they will be on their own for at least the next 24 hours. The day before the government was telling residents to evacuate the coastal areas immediately, even if it meant leaving without any possessions.

Good luck Australia.