Archive for the 'Evening Sun Headlines' Category

The fall season is by far my favorite

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Forget the over publicized pumpkin spice everything, the most important thing regarding fall is that Football is back, go Colts as they take on Brady and the cheating Patriots. But fall also means no more blistering August heat, and of course the best holiday in my opinion, Halloween. But one thing that this great midway season has to offer to the people of upstate and central New York is the amazing colors and scenery, as the leaves change.

Maybe this is a little repetitive; as I am sure many people have been talking and have even written about the changing leaves and amazing scenery. But I wanted to take the time to really talk about how lucky the people in this area truly are to get such an amazing nature display. Many people don’t take the time to slow down their lives to truly appreciate this season.

The thing about fall is how fast the season goes by every year. It seems like one second it’s summer then next thing we know we’re frozen in the dead of winter.

Winter, on the other hand is my least favorite season by far. Growing up in Norwich my whole life and then going to college in the Syracuse area and then Oswego, I know all too well what a terrible time winter is. I apologize to anyone who enjoys winter, but seriously no one enjoys waking up and trying to go work, all to find out you have to shovel and scrape of snow and ice from your frozen car. Not to mention when you get home from work, which means it’s time to shovel the walk.

But back to fall, last year, or possibly the year before even, I took two of my younger brothers on a little nature hike to see the stone quarry. I wanted to share some pictures that I took along the way. This time of the year had me thinking about it again as it is something I would love to do again with them or simply myself. It has been far too long since I took a nice hike to the stone quarry.

Pictures of nature hike at the Stone Quarry.

I also recently have been in contact with Don Windsor who has a club called the Bullthistle Hikers club, which takes individuals on various hikes around the Chenango County area. This group was unknown to me prior to speaking with him, but I find it truly awesome that something like this club exists. He has invited me to go on some hikes with his group. As I have such an erratic schedule, I honestly admit I don’t know if I will be able to. But I will make a note to try to set some time away and make a hike or two with his club. I encourage anyone interested to get in contact with him at, as they go hiking each Sunday morning I believe.

Regardless, the point of this blog is to encourage the people in Chenango County and upstate New York to take a second out of your day to appreciate the changing colors and great scenery many of us take for granted each year. Soon enough, winter will be upon us and we will all be huddled inside attempting to stay warm.

Debate, Royals, church killing

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
Ashley Babbitt

So much has transpired since my last blog post.
• First, I’ll make brief mention of the Democratic Debate that aired on CNN Tuesday night. I speculate that where I stand on the spectrum of politics is far different than many readers, and I’m 100 percent fine with that. The five who took the stage for the debate each laid out where they stood with regard to foreign policy, economics, criminal justice reform, gun control, climate change, and national security.
Thanks to mass media, the statements regarding Clinton’s emails seem to have been a highlight of the debate.
I disagree, but to each their own.
With businessman Donald Trump the current front-runner on the Republican side, the Democrats have former Secretary of State and female presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, self-proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” Bernie Sanders from Vermont, former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former US Senator and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb, former US Senator from Virginia, Secretary of the Navy, and Vietnam veteran.
The debate was entertaining. I encourage anyone planning on voting do some serious research on the candidates, as not everything is as it seems.
• Baseball is in the post-season. The Kansas City Royals play game five tonight to stay in the running for the ALDS.
Johnny Cueto better have the control he needs to get the job done. He’s had some rest, so I’m sure he’ll be fine. I’m counting on switch-hitters Ben Zobrist and Kendrys Morales to get some bodies on bases and after Eric Hosmer’s performance in game four, I’m looking for him to show up ready to play too. The Astros’ Colby Rasmus is a little dangerous, so the pitcher needs to focus on strikes, or walk him if that’s the favorable option.
If the Royals end up losing tonight’s game, it’s not the end of the world. Yes, they’ll be an unhappy editor in the morning, but as a Kansas City fan, loss is nothing new. The Royals have had a season to be proud of.
• This morning, the AP national wire had a story with a slug that read “Church Killing.” I opened it, assuming – for some reason or another – that whatever happened took place far away. Not the case this time.
Six church members were arrested in connection with the beating of two brothers, and will appear in court again Friday. The Word of Life Church is in the Hamlet of Chadwicks in New Hartford, and was said by police to be the scene of the crime where a 19-year-old and 17-year-old were allegedly beaten for hours. The 19-year-old ultimately died as a result of his injuries. Two of the six arrested were the boys’ parents, Bruce and Deborah Leonard. I spoke with a former member of the church this afternoon who shared her experiences with the church, and a full story will appear in tomorrow’s edition of the paper.

Room for improvement

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Over the past few weeks all I’ve heard is doom and gloom and how this area is slowly getting worse and worse. I think that if we focus only on the bad, nobody will recognize the good that is happening in our community.

I understand that there is an epidemic here in Chenango County and something needs to be done, but all I’ve been hearing about is what we’re doing wrong and all of the bad things in the county, nobody ever talks about the good. One of the coolest things happening in Norwich is that Norwich is closing in on winning an “America’s Best Communities” competition. Norwich has proposed to this contest that if we win, we will use the prize to fund what is basically a think tank for local entrepreneurs. A “MakerSpace” would be a place to help those with ideas actually be able to make them a reality and get the ball rolling. This could potentially revitalize the community and help bring in a lot of new business and ideas to the area.

We also neglect the fact that there are a ton of things to actually do here in Chenango County. In the next few weeks Norwich’s Pumpkin Fest will be kicking off for another year. This fall festival is always a ton of fun for everybody involved and is a great way to spend the weekend.

Are pumpkins not your thing? In addition to the fall festivities there’s going to be a pub crawl that weekend as well.

We tend to focus a lot on the bad, not the good anymore. I understand that there is a lot of work that we need to do to bring the community back to where we want it, but I think that if we all pitch in and do our part, we can get there in no time. I know that there’s a lot of bad out there, but there is also a lot of good that should be recognized as well.

Say cheese…all of you.

Monday, October 5th, 2015
Matt White

White/Lake Family

The second half of this past weekend was fantastic. While Saturday was a bit gloomy, Sunday proved to be bight and sunny and colorful. The Giants won and the Cowboys lost, so that was good. But what really has me smiling on Monday was that I was able to capture the loving smiles of my great family all in one picture – without craftily wielding my Photoshop chops.
Between my fiancee Rachel and I, we have seven children. While she’ll be quick to point out that she only has one child – the other half dozen share my last name – the point is we’re all collectively a family.
The logistics of which can be daunting at times, especially with one bathroom in house. They range in age between 15 and five, so with all the sports and activities that they’re involved in, it’s a bit of a celestial phenomenon when we’re all in the same place at the same time.
Fortunately, I seized the opportunity to record this rare glimpse of my gaggle in one photo – so we loaded up the Volvo (and Rachel’s Jetta – since we’re a two-car pack when we all travel at once) and headed out to the early Fall countryside of McDonough for a nice fall photograph that we can display on the wall and include with those upcoming family Christmas cards that I find so annoying.
Much to my surprise, the whole thing went well… and aside from a few – lets say candids – everyone complied and were more than cooperative.
There could have been a little more color on the trees, but hey – there was no way I was going to get this bunch together again until Christmas morning – I have to lure them with gifts, you see.
Thankfully, my meager photography skills yielded some passable portraits, and another year goes on the wall. All is well.

Is this a presidential debate or another reality TV show?

Friday, September 18th, 2015
Shawn Magrath

Donald Trump. Need I say more?

There doesn’t seem to be any restraint when it comes to the absurdity of current politics. Watching the first five minutes of the nightly news could tell you that. But with presidential elections just year and two months away (as if that’s practically on top of us), we’re forced to pay attention to the three ring circus that’s become our electoral process. Admittedly, I haven’t been following elections coverage because in my opinion, it’s far too much far too soon. I’ll wait until the bid for the highest office in the land takes a more serious turn before I tune into any debate. And yet for many, watching candidates scramble for support, be they Republican or Democrat, is like watching a train wreck. You know it’s going to be ugly, but you just can’t look away.

When did we start treating presidential debates as if they’re for entertainment purposes only? In August, Fox News landed the largest non-sports viewership in TV history when the network aired the first GOP primary debate. That debate garnered 24 million viewers. This week, CNN got its most watched televised event ever with the second GOP debate, which attracted 23 million.

Maybe it’s just my instinct, but there’s something unsettling about that many viewers. I find it hard to believe people are watching because they’re not sure who to vote for – at least not this early in the game. We’re still five months away from the Iowa Caucus. So if people aren’t watching these debates to make a civil decision, then they must be watching because… well, it’s amusing. Come on, those 23 million people don’t care about Trump’s views of national and international policy. They want to hear his next off color comment about immigrants. Or muslims. Or women. Or puppies. Or anybody and anything not himself. It must be a TV producer’s dream to draw so many viewers without any more effort than pointing a camera at a face and letting the magic just happen. More work goes into putting together an episode of “The Bachelor.”

Maybe Jake Tapper should have handed out a rose to each candidate moving onto the next round.

To be fair, it’s great that people are paying attention. I’d like think at least one or two important nuggets of information have made it through all the the drivel and chaos. But I can’t help but wonder how this whole ordeal is making us look on the world stage. How can we be taken seriously as a nation when we don’t even take ourselves seriously.

End rant and insert transition into a new topic here…

While not a new issue, Roots and Wings in Norwich finally came forward with what I think was a clear message this week: They don’t want your garbage. From old mattresses and worn furniture, to broken electronics, toys and household appliances, there’s not much Roots and Wings hasn’t seen piled in a heap at its door step. Unfortunately, this stuff causes more harm than help since the organization has to pay tipping fees when staffers haul it to the landfill. And where does all this junk come from? Folks who, under the guise of supposedly giving back to the community, unload it unsolicited during non-business hours when nobody’s there to turn them away. This is by no means a slight to people who donate items with good intentions, but I say boo to those who have no limits to the adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” If you have a garage full of worthless junk, don’t push it off on someone else because it’s a cheap way of getting rid of it. Pay the tipping fees yourself.

Tis The Season (almost)

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Its that time of year again where school starts and summer ends for most of the world. For me I prefer to live in a fantasy world where summer doesn’t end until mid-October so I can keep wearing shorts.

Most people would say that Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer and I guess I can agree with them. Schools are back in session, high school sports begin again, and the leaves begin to change. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall and everything that comes along with it; but why are we all in such a rush for it to start? I already saw an add that all pumpkin everything will be back at Dunkin’ at the end of the month. I think that everybody would agree with me that we could all use a few more weeks of sun and warm weather, let’s not rush right into fall and winter.

If you go to any store they’ve all already put out their “fall” decorations and Halloween stuff. Its still August (for a few more days) people, can’t you wait until we’re in the actual month? Before we know it Christmas decorations and sales will be creeping up and I’m just not ready for it. Let’s keep Halloween in the month of October and the rest of the fall stuff stored away until the leaves actually turn.

That being said, I do enjoy everything that comes with the fall season, football, playoff baseball, and corn mazes… I really like corn mazes. So I am excited for the fall season to start, but let’s not rush it okay? I want to enjoy the time I have left with the sun before it becomes that weird bright thing in the sky that we sometimes see from the months of December to April when the snow finally stops.

I like my summer months, I look better with a tan and I don’t have to bundle up like I’m exploring the frozen ice planet of Hoth when I go outside. Everybody is generally in a better mood during summer and there’s always so much to do. I know that winter is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” with the holidays, which I always enjoy. But, people are always in such a rush for the next thing to happen.

I think that we all need to slow down a bit, and come to the conclusion that warm weather is just better than the frozen tundra that everybody seems to be in such a hurry for. To end my rant I’ll leave you with this question, after the fall season that everybody is so fond of, are you really ready to shovel snow off your car every morning before you go to work?

Not a gun control problem

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Deciding what to write for my blog posts has been the hardest part so far. But when an incident happens that catches my attention, like the shooting of the two innocent journalists did the other day, I felt it would be appropriate to write my next blog post on that and my take on the bigger picture surrounding these shootings.

For those of you that don’t know, yesterday morning 41-year-old, Vester Flanagan shot and killed two broadcast journalists as they were doing a live TV interview.

Flanagan, who was a former employee of the TV station and called himself a “powder keg” of anger over what he saw as racial discrimination at work and elsewhere in the United States. Flanagan even resorted to Twitter to voice his anger.

Flanagan, later shot himself as police pursued him on a Virginia highway hours after the shooting. Flanagan, who was African-American, died later at a hospital, police said in a report.

The two TV journalists that were killed were Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27.

The original video that was posted allegedly by the shooter himself has since been removed but the video shot by the cameraman is still available. Viewer discretion is advised.

I feel this tragedy substantially adds to the debate about gun control in the country, and adds one more tragic case of people being killed by a man with a gun.

At this point you probably are thinking that I am in support of gun control, which would be extremely false.

As a journalist I am a big believer in upholding the constitution of our country to a T, and that all of our rights should never be infringed upon for any reason.

I feel the problem, and what seems to be an outbreak of gun related incidents isn’t the fact that gun control needs to be tightened down but more so an issue in mental health and a society that drives these troubled people to do extreme things.

And not to get too politically charged, and I am in no way advocating for Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. I do however, admire how outspoken he is as a politician and feel that his take on this situation and others like it is the correct one.

So as I personally sit here as a journalist just starting out on my career path, and it truly makes me wonder.

I feel for all who were hurt by this tragic event and all the other events both recent and in the past. But I think to attack guns instead of attacking the issues behind the violence is very naive. The fact that a troubled man can go commit this act of violence or a disturbed teenager can get his hands on weapons and intend to harm others is disturbing in itself.

America has always been a country which likes to put band-aids on its problems, and not face its true issues. Guns are simply not the problem, they were purposefully put in our original constitution to ensure our safety, and they should stay there to continue to do so. The problem is the people, it has been said a million times, but guns do not kill people any more than a telephone or a pen does. The people in the world with mental problems need to be looked at and helped, the American law-abiding citizen should not suffer for a few peoples actions.

“Pumpkin” flavor: It’s like Fall in a cup.

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Matt White

Evidently, everyone loves fall. Everyone. So much so that it’s become a cliche of sorts, what with autumn-colored everything and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING dominating coffee shops, breweries and even fast food chains – there’s no longer room at the table for any of the other seasons now that pumpkins are in season.
Nowadays, it seems that it can’t be fall – or autumn, whichever you prefer – without pumpkins. I don’t get it.
Buy why the pumpkin? I mean – isn’t it really just a big ugly squash that no one knew what to do with at one point?
When I was a kid, we used the bulbous wrinkly orbs for two things only: carving and smashing. Of course, there was pumpkin pie… but we all know pumpkin pie is dead last in the lineup of “actual” pies. Apple, blueberry, banana-upside-down—you know, FRUIT pies; that’s where it’s at.
The Pumpkin pie: It’s a vegetable pie, really. A mashed–up vegetable flesh scraped from the head of a jack-o-lantern. Practically a chicken pot-pie.
I have questions.
1) How did pumpkin “flavor” become so dang popular?
2) Is there some secret marketing collaborative hell bent on selling useless produce?
3) Lastly, why not let acorn, zucchini or butternut have a shot at fame?
It can’t possibly be because pumpkin won the garden beauty contest of 1533. Let’s face it, they’re all pretty ugly.
Try imagining the scene of the first human that attempted to eat a pumpkin. That person was either very curious and daring, or very hungry—you can’t just crack open a pumpkin and start munching away.No, the road to savoring this beast is a labor of love… and spices. And pounds of sugar.
Plain cooked pumpkin tastes as close to mud as I’d like admit. It is a bland, slimy and somehow chalky mush that you HAVE to add at least a half dozen other ingredients to in order to be made palatable.
And then, after a few eggs of a chicken are tossed into the mix, it has to be cooked down to reduce for hours. Who thought of this?
Only then do we get a product that UGG-Schlepping teens and droves of force-caffeinated soccer moms refer to as “Pumpkin Flavor” anything.
But, the harsh reality is that we should just call it a “Fall Flavored” cappuccino and be done with it.
I hate the taste of actual pumpkin, but I do love me an occasional molten-lava-hot paper cup of pumpkin “flavored” liquid.
It’s like fall in a cup. Mmm, delicious.

I’m not a golfer but…

Friday, August 7th, 2015

 The only golf that I’ve ever played is of the mini variety. I’ve never really played an 18 hole course or really ever just hit a ball. The last time I went to a driving range I couldn’t drive the car to get there. The previous sports editor was a golfer, he used to write about golf almost every week. I am not; my biggest accomplishment in golf was when I figured out that if I hit the ball hard enough the magic brooms would dump water on people at the Fantasia mini-golf course that I played at while I was in Orlando on spring break this year.

What I am though is a fisherman. I love to fish and will go out as often as I can. For about as long as I can remember my father has taken me on the water and taught me everything that he knows about fishing. I learned everything from how to bait a hook to what lures to use when I wasn’t having any luck with a bobber and worm. I grew up fishing in Chenango County and can remember walking the streams in Amblerville with my father and grandfather and having very little luck, but having a lot of fun. 

Fishing in Chenango County for me has been a lot of trial and error. Some days spots that are usually gold mines end up being complete busts for the day. Recently I’ve been fishing a lot at Chenango Lake. The past few years the joke has always been if you want to practice your casting, that’s where you want to fish. But this summer has been different. Almost every week I’ll ride on up to the lake with my father and fish from shore with just a bobber and worms and catch tons of fish. There hasn’t been much of anything in the trophy fish category, but the little guys still put up a fight nonetheless.

For me fishing isn’t really about the competition of who can catch the biggest fish or who can catch the most fish. I just find it to be relaxing and fun. I’m not saying that I don’t go out and try to land the biggest fish that I can, I’m just saying that I fish for the fun of it, just like my predecessor golfed for the fun of it.

All in all there are literally hundreds of hidden spots around the county to fish. I haven’t yet gotten the chance to get out and explore them all yet, but I’m hoping that one day I will. It’s worth noting that I’m not the greatest fisherman in the world either; you can ask anyone I’ve ever fished with about the rat’s nest of a tangle that almost always ends up happening to my line. I am by no means an expert, but I’m more than capable to handle myself on the water.

  I feel obligated that I should take this opportunity to talk about my new position here at the Evening Sun. It has been two weeks since I’ve gotten settled into my new position as the sports editor and I think that I’m starting to get the hang of it. I’m starting to get my name out there to all the different coaches and people that make athletics happen in Chenango County. Like I said in my introductory article last week, I’ve got some big shoes to fill with Pat gone, I wear a size 12 but no we’re just getting off topic. What I’m trying to say is that through these blogs and through my articles I hope to bring you all the coverage and accuracy that was seen in the previous 20 years (I’m only 22 so I was two when Pat started). 

As this is my first blog I wasn’t really sure what to write or how to write it. I just figured that I’d write about something that I’m passionate about. So goodluck to all the other fisherman out there, and let me know where the best spot in the county is and maybe I’ll see you there.


Be sure to follow me on Twitter @evesunjim

Couldn’t be any happier with where I am at the moment

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

My name is Cameron Turner and I want to take this time to introduce myself a little.

I was born and raised in the Norwich community. I was actually home schooled, by my wonderful mother, until I was getting ready to enter 7th grade. At this time, I was enrolled in the Norwich Middle School where I met many new people, some of which have become lifelong friends. Throughout middle and high school I was fairly involved in community and school related events while participating in sports: Football, Wrestling and Track and Field, year round. Along with my family, these sports and my coaches, I believe truly helped shape me into who I am today. And I would like to thank you.

After high school I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do with my life, but I new pursuing a higher education would be for the better, no matter what I decided on. I was accepted and attended Le Moyne College as an undeclared major. Le Moyne was a great place and I don’t regret going there for a second. But after completing my second year of college I decided I needed a change. I transferred to SUNY Oswego, I heard they had a great journalism and communications department, and I couldn’t have been more happy with that choice. I immediately changed my major to Journalism at Oswego (I realized at this point in college that I could write, but that my math and science skills were garbage). While at Oswego I met some of the best people I could ask for in life, professors and students alike. At Oswego I ended up getting involved with the student paper, which my only regret in doing so, was not getting more involved sooner. I recently graduated college from SUNY Oswego this past May with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor/learning agreement in political science/overseas relations and thought.

That brings me to where I am now in my life. As college was nearing an end, I was also beginning my new life of a working adult. Job applications, working hard to make connections, along with the pressure of finals seemed at times to be overwhelming. Once college was over, and while I was waiting to hear back about a job offer, I decided to go back to work for the Norwich DPW as a summer help employee, which is where I had worked during the summer months of college. However, after applying to many newspapers all across New York State and even some out of state papers, I finally received a call back. I am now the new reporter covering the crime and court beat for the Evening Sun in my hometown of Norwich, I also cover various other topics as well. As I was more than willing to move out of Norwich to start my career in journalism, I am thrilled to not have to make that change and move away from so many of my family and friends.

In my few short weeks since being hired here at the Evening Sun, I couldn’t be more impressed with the staff that I get to work with on a daily basis. I honestly was a little worried about getting used to and fitting in with the staff right away just due to it being so new to me. But the transition has felt almost seamless. I hope I have impressed everyone I work with as much as they truly have impressed me thus far.

So like I said before, I could not be happier with where my life has taken me, and where I currently am on this journey. I am really looking forward to what will come next.