OPD Makes Arrest in Suspicious Fire Case

The Oneonta Police Department has announced the arrest of a man they think is related to one of this weekend’s rash of suspicious fires.

Gable Bugel, 22, has been charged with attempted third-degree arson. Investigators allege he started a fire behind the Community Bank on Main Street on Sunday. The building was not damaged.

On Friday, firefighters responded to a garage on 8th Street that damaged a garage and home there. Then, another fire broke out at Fair Street in a vacant house. Some garbage cans were also set on fire.

Bugel was not charged with any of those fires.

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6,000 Tax Returns Expected

Today is tax day and the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance say they expect about nine million tax returns to arrive by midnight tonight, and about 85 percent of those will be filed electronically on the internet.

The state comptroller’s office says audits have already begun, and about 6,000 tax returns have been flagged for review.

Most of those are for false claims of dependents, fictitious day care expenses, or other methods of claiming deductions that don’t exist.

A number of filers in the region and southern tier are dealing with losses from flooding.

This year New Yorker’s can find out information about their refunds by going online to www-dot-tax-dot-NY-dot.Gov. There they can sign up for an email to notify them when their refund is issued. Most refunds are issued within 30 days.

Unatego BOE Approves School Changes

The Unatego School Board of Education has approved a plan that would change two of its schools.

The plan is part of a $21 million budget. It would have kindergarten-through-second graders attend the Otego school, and third-through-fifth grade would attend the Unadilla school. Plans for the junior-senior high school would stay the same.

Officials had originally called for the closing of the Otego school and the board voted for this alternative plan instead.

The district will lose about a million dollars in state aid this coming year. Board members say this plan will give them another year to make important decisions about cost-cutting measures.

Chenango County Pinwheels for Prevention Program Operates All Month

April is Child Abuse Awareness month and the Child Advocacy Center of Chenango County is bringing concerns of child abuse to the community. Mike Middaugh, director of the Chenango County Child Advocacy Center says they have teamed with the Head Start program to do “pinwheels for prevention,” a part of the Prevent Child Abuse New York project The center has also partnered with the BOCES early child development program to set-up pinwheel gardens for schools.

Other organizations are displaying pinwheel gardens as well.

The public is invited to look at the logos and vote for the one they like best. The winner will be announced at an open house from noon-6 p.m. on April 27 at the Child Advocacy Center, 8 Silver Street, Norwich.

Minimum Wage Increase to be Discussed in Albany

The NYS legislature is back in Albany today to wrap up business in the Assembly and Senate in this session that’s supposed to end June 21.

Minimum wage discussions will be on the list in the Assembly, along with tax cuts and incentives for small business in the Senate.

Lobbyists and promoters of various causes and ideas will be hitting the hallways of the legislators hard during the week to try and get consideration for their agendas on the minds of lawmakers.

The state has already passed a budget for next year, so the major task will be to tie up loose ends and prepare for elections. All of the state’s legislative seats are up for election this year.

Binghamton Mayor Ryan Says He's Not Running for Senate

The speculation that Binghamton mayor Matt Ryan would be running for the state senate seat held by Republican Tom Libous ended yesterday when Ryan said he will not run. Meanwhile, other southern tier democrats are lining up for a possible run against Libous, who is in his 12th term. Johnson City native, 36-year-old Barrett Esworthy, has registered a campaign committee with the state Board of Elections, but as not declared his candidacy. Former Libous foe John Orzel, a retired social studies teacher and former mayor of Whitney Point, said he is also giving serious consideration to another run.

Chenango County Relay for Life Prepares for Upcoming Events

The Chenango County Relay for Life committee will hold its monthly team captain’s meeting this evening in the SUNY Morrisville Norwich campus community room. Along with updates on events and fundraisers, the committee will talk about the May 1 Paint the County Purple event. Relay event co-chair Marie Desarro says the event is an opportunity to get involved in the community, decorating offices and workplaces in purple, flying a purple flag or dressing in purple for the day. The team captain’s meeting is at 5:30 p.m.


High school baseball

Oneonta came out on top over big rival Chenango valley yesterday, winning 7-4 in an away game.

Elsewhere, Unatego dropped Unadilla valley 12-4

Cooperstown stopped Westmoreland 8-1

Richfield springs edged cherry valley Springfield 3-2

Edmeston grounded Gilbertsville mt. Upton 202

Delhi dashed by davenport 9-2

High school softball

Oneonta outdid Chenango valley 10-7

Cooperstown shut down Westmoreland 13-0

Gilbertsville mt. Upton clipped Edmeston 6-5

Cherry valley Springfield nipped Richfield springs 14-13

Unadilla valley undid Unatego 22-7

High school tennis

Oneonta got by Windsor 4-3

Margaretville edged Stamford 4-3

College tennis

Yesterday Jeff Boyd and peter dumas combined for three wins but union college slipped past Hartwick men’s tennis by a final count of 5-4 in Schenectady on Monday. The Hartwick pair is now 4-2 on the year.

Umpires striking out cancer

The local Schohanna board of baseball/softball umpires will be participating in umpire’s striking out cancer, May 7nd through May 12th. The board will be wearing pink cancer bracelets and donating a portion of their game fees to the American cancer society relay for life of Oneonta. Anyone interested in donating can contact mark lamb @ 432-0482 any time after 4:30pm.