Archive for the 'Evening Sun Headlines' Category

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.

Staff changes, recent shooting, upcoming stories

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Ashley Babbitt

It’s been a while since I’ve written updates from the newsroom, so here we go.
Long-time Sports Editor Pat Newell has arrived in New Mexico, which is now his home. Jim Testani now sits in at the sports desk and has been doing a great job thus far. I have no idea what actual shoe size Pat wore, but his figurative shoes are pretty big to fill. Jim has been diligently working and I’m sure will make Pat proud.
Cameron Turner is another welcomed addition to our staff. A recent graduate from SUNY Oswego with a degree in journalism, he is eager and an extremely hard worker. He’s shown already that he’s knows his stuff, and doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to getting a story. He’ll be mainly covering the court/crime beat, but anyone with an event they find newsworthy can contact Cameron at cturner@evesun.com. He is also on Twitter with the handle @evesuncameron.
Summer is finally here, and the heat this week has been brutal. I allow myself one complaint per season regarding the weather, so I suppose I’ll use my summer complaint right now. …It’s too hot.
As far as news goes, it’s been a busy week and a half to say the least.
Last Sunday, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. (without an alarm, mind you) and realized there had been a shooting in the City of Norwich. I worked diligently to obtain official comments and reports from authorities from the time I woke up until 10 p.m. that night. I was able to make it to the alleged shooter’s first arraignment that day and get some photos. The man was charged with attempted murder. He bonded out. He was later charged with two additional crimes, and no additional bail was set at that arraignment on Thursday.
I’ve been in contact with authorities in regard to the victim’s condition.
I attended Norwich City Court with Cameron to help show him the hopes last week, and covered a felony hearing following a drug arrest. The judge determined that the case will move to Chenango County Court.
Also, last week, I was filmed for a television show regarding the Ramsaran murder trial that took place in 2014. While I was nervous beyond belief beforehand, it was smooth once the camera was rolling. I was able to provide dates, events, and verbatim testimony from memory. I wore makeup. …That was awkward.
Once I know the air date, I’ll post an update.
There’s so much more going on, but I’ll save the other information for stories to print. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming stories regarding the Danielson murder trial, Rebecca’s Virtual Run, Eric Lindell in the park as part of the Summer Concert Series, updates with regard to the shooting, and much more.

Reporters are a dime a dozen, but sports editors are different

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Shawn Magrath

Reporters are a dime a dozen. Sports editors, on the other hand, are a little harder to come by.

If you haven’t already noticed a familiar name missing from the sports pages lately, let me get you up to speed. Pat Newell ended his nearly 20-year run as Sports Editor on Friday, calling it quits to the newspaper and to Chenango County in favor of a new life in beautiful New Mexico. Olé!

This isn’t the first time the newspaper has bid farewell to Pat. If you’re a regular reader, you might recall that his hiatus in 2014 brought about a season of adjustment for The Evening Sun that left somewhat of a bad taste in the mouths of both subscribers and staffers. Live and learn. Fortunate for The Evening Sun, losing Pat this time around means welcoming a new Pat, so to speak. A younger, sleeker Pat. Pat 2.0 for the millennials. Rookie reporter Jim Testani assumed his new role flying solo as our newest Sports Editor on Monday. Jim was a fantastic addition to the news team when he was first brought on board as the crime reporter seven weeks ago, showing an unyielding sense of eagerness to learn more about all things newsworthy in Chenango County. No doubt he has big shoes to fill as the county’s go-to sports guy, but we’re confident in his ability.

Jim’s new role left us with an open reporter position that was promptly filled by newcomer Cameron Turner. Having started during what was the busiest news week of the summer thus far – from a weekend shooting in Norwich, to the ousting of State Senator Tom Libous, to a fatal motorcycle accident in Otselic – Cameron hit the ground running. Now with a week of reporting under his belt (and I think he even has his chair adjusted to the way he likes it), Cameron will be taking on the crime and court beat.

What a waste of space this blog would be if I didn’t address the controversial $15 an hour proposed wage hike for fast food workers. In fairness, fast food’s a demanding job, what with all the burger flipping, fry scooping, shake pouring, toilet scrubbing and floor mopping – not to mention the complications of operating the drive thru speaker (reserved for the more advanced fast food workers). But instead of ranting my opinion on the issue, let me draw your attention to this: The University of Califonia, Berkley, values preschool teachers between $8.63 and $20.99 per hour. This means the folks who are entrusted with molding the minds of children would actually fair better financially by making sure they put the right number of chicken nuggets in their happy meal. Just something to consider.

Sports Editor’s Playbook, July 16, 2015

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
Patrick Newell

I wrapped up my summer golf series Monday, July 13 playing at Seven Oaks Golf Course in Hamilton. It was a pleasure to play a top-notch course through the invitation of Mark McLaughlin and Rick Ferris. While my overall score was poor, you cannot beat the camaraderie amongst friends who suffered through poor play as well.

Earlier this week we received a news tip about nonagenarian Howard Adams. Adams, a retired Norwich realtor, is quite the table tennis player, and continues to rack up awards for his play. A multiple gold medalist in the Empire State Senior Games, Adams added a National Senior Games title in his age bracket earlier this week in Minneapolis. News reporter Jim Testani followed up on the story lead, and we’ll have a story in the Friday, July 17 edition.

Perhaps you caught the wording of my photo caption earlier this week in which the participants in the GET Basketball Clinic were depicted. The description of the photo noted that the camp was led by Norwich varsity basketball coach, Brian Collier, and Norwich teacher Sara Locke. Collier was recently appointed the new head varsity basketball coach stepping in for his dad, Tom Collier. Tom Collier coached the Tornado for four years winning three Section IV titles and two STAC titles. “This is the right time,” Tom Collier said earlier this week. “The program needs a young coach with a lot of energy, but I’ll still be a part of Norwich basketball as long as I am living in the area.”

Speaking again of Jim Testani, he will be stepping in to the sports editor role at The Evening Sun beginning next Friday, July 24. I will – again – be moving back to New Mexico to live with my wife, Aida. I was fortunate to have another year at the newspaper, and I wish Jim the best as he moves the sports section forward.

Better pay attention at Walden Oaks C.C.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
Patrick Newell

Note: Below is an excerpt of Friday’s golf review of Walden Oaks Country Club in Cortland. Check out the full story in the Friday, July 3 edition:

CORTLAND – Long before I knew there was such a thing as attention deficit, there was a pervasive need within me for something new, something different, and something exciting. It was that line of thinking that led to conceiving a weekly summer golf column.
Self-analysis revealed “homer” tendencies when it came to my longtime recreational passion, so off I went in pursuit of new golf challenges.
Earlier this week I found that elusive diamond in the rough – pun certainly intended – when I toured the 18-hole layout at Walden Oaks Country Club in Cortland. Unlike every course I have reviewed the past two years, Monday, June 29 was the absolute first time I had laid eyes on the course.
Yes, Walden Oaks proved the perfect example of why I write these golf treatises.
While I had heard of Walden Oaks, I can’t claim the suggestion of playing the course. My oft-partner, Rick “O’Shea” Ferris, had a few rounds under his belt at Walden Oaks, and he invited his good friend, Sam “STN” Scafidi to round out our threesome. Sam, too, had four or five previous rounds on the course. Sam would soon be dubbed “Sammy Cold Cuts” for the feathery fade he used to find the fairway during the morning’s spritzing rainfall.
Indeed, the forecaddying those two provided during the round proved invaluable in shot selection and placement. It also helped that Rick remembered to bring his GPS. Somehow I managed to get through my first 30 years of golf by eyeballing the 150- and 100-yard markers, and estimating yardage to the hole from there.
That GPS? Well, it almost feels like cheating.
Unlike most of the golf courses in Cortland County, Walden Oaks is a mere babe in the woods. It opened for business in 1993, and current head professional – and operations manager – Marcus Bernardo came on board one year later.
“Basically, the developer (of the course) was paired with the home builders, and the golf course was built around the housing development,” Bernardo said.

Like a Snow Day in May. (yeah, that’s a thing)

Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Matt White

My mobile phone is perpetually inundated with notifications, voice-mails, emails, twitter alerts and on and on… So much so that it sometimes takes a day or two to filter through them all and bring myself up to date on everything that’s happening around me.
To my surprise, this week I received an automated message from the Norwich City School Superintendent kindly reminding us to go vote on the budget, before dropping the bomb.
Apparently, last winter wasn’t harsh enough. Somehow NCSD—and some others around the county—ended the snow season with one of those prized snow days to spare. Whomever the powers-that-be decided that students would get an extra day off, extending their Memorial Day Weekend into Tuesday, you know… that day we all have to be back on the books.
That being said, I’m Jealous.
In my entire career as a student in the NCSD system, never did we receive an extra day off.
In fact I recall that Dr. Bob Cleavland would have us in school when even the “walkers” would need to hitch a ride with a plow truck to make it in sans tardy. Uphill, both ways.
Okay, so maybe I’m not “jealous,” but the notion of a fair-weather freebie does have me reflecting a bit on priorities, and I’m having trouble tacking down how we can afford to give students a day off when the list of mandates and nonsensical common core standards continue to increase.
So, while I’m at work on Tuesday, I’ll be sure to wish my kids in daycare a happy and productive “snow day” as I push through my “freebie,” cause all that scratch is going to the sitter.

follow me on twitter: @evesunmatt