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FOX 40 WICZ TV - News, Sports, Weather, Contests and More - Binghamton, NY
Last updated: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 17:49:18 GMT

 Town of Binghamton Fire Displaces Local Family Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:31:52 EDT

A local family of five has been displaced from its home due to a fire.

Crews responded to the blaze Wednesday afternoon on a back road off of Park Ave. in Town of Binghamton. 

The home was damaged, but the extent of the damage appeared to be limited. firefighters were working to fight it from spreading outside of the structure.

Smoke was also seen in a wooded area near the home. 

We can report that no one was injured in the blaze. style=A local family of five has been displaced from its home due to a fire. Crews responded to the blaze Wednesday afternoon on a back road off of Park Ave. in Town of Binghamton. The home was damaged, but the extent of the damage appeared to be limited. firefighters were working to fight it from spreading outside of the structure. Smoke was also seen in a wooded area near the home. We can report that no one was injured in the blaze.



 
 Local Organization Helps Victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries Wed, 30 Mar 2016 23:14:22 EDT

1.7 million people are affected by brain injuries every year.

On Wednesday night in Endicott, a local organization hosted an awareness night to provide information and resources. 

"I was quite ignorant about brain injury until my daughter suffered one," said Cindy Solomita, president and CEO of Compassionate Care of Central New York.

"I thought that when she woke up from a coma that she we would be back to her old self and we would laugh about it someday." 

But that wasn't the case. 

In the year 2000, 20-year-old Miranda Stasko was critically injured in a car accident during the summer of her sophomore year of college. 

Along with many broken bones, Miranda suffered a diffuse axonal injury to her brain.  

Her life would never be the same.  

"It's not like the movies," said Solomita.

"You don't wake up from a coma and be your old self. You struggle with a brain injury for the rest of your life."  

Three years after Miranda's accident, Cindy quit her job in telecommunications and founded Compassionate Care of Central New York, an organization that specializes in helping victims of traumatic brain injuries rebuild their lives, live independently, and form friendships. 

That's where Miranda met Jonathan, a victim of a drunk driving car accident that left him similarly impaired.  

"I think the world of her but she understands me," said Jonathan. 

Jonathan has trouble with his memory due to his accident, while Miranda has struggles with her balance.  

Jonathan says they help each other.  

"We trigger off each other," he said.

"She'll help me remember what I ate for dinner and I help her with her balance."  

A bond of friendship formed through trauma. style=1.7 million people are affected by brain injuries every year. On Wednesday night in Endicott, a local organization hosted an awareness night to provide information and resources. "I was quite ignorant about brain injury until my daughter suffered one," said Cindy Solomita, president and CEO of Compassionate Care of Central New York. "I thought that when she woke up from a coma that she we would be back to her old self and we would laugh about it someday." But that wasn't the case. In the year 2000, 20-year-old Miranda Stasko was critically injured in a car accident during the summer of her sophomore year of college. Along with many broken bones, Miranda suffered a diffuse axonal injury to her brain. Her life would never be the same. "It's not like the movies," said Solomita. "You don't wake up from a coma and be your old self. You struggle with a brain injury for the rest of your life." Three years after Miranda's accident, Cindy quit her job in telecommunications and founded Compassionate Care of Central New York, an organization that specializes in helping victims of traumatic brain injuries rebuild their lives, live independently, and form friendships. That's where Miranda met Jonathan, a victim of a drunk driving car accident that left him similarly impaired. "I think the world of her but she understands me," said Jonathan. Jonathan has trouble with his memory due to his accident, while Miranda has struggles with her balance. Jonathan says they help each other. "We trigger off each other," he said. "She'll help me remember what I ate for dinner and I help her with her balance." A bond of friendship formed through trauma.



 
 Two Broome County Firms Awarded $20.5 Million Combined in Sewage Treatment Plant Bids Wed, 30 Mar 2016 23:03:18 EDT

Two local firms have been awarded a combined $20.5 million in contracts as bids awarded for the joint sewage treatment plant rehabilitation. 

Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David announced on Wednesday, bid awards for rehabilitation of the biological aerated filter (BAF) system at the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant (JSTP), the flagship project in the plant’s $200 million restoration.

The winning firms, approved Wednesday by the City of Binghamton’s Board of Contract and Supply, are:

General Construction: PC Construction Co., of South Burlington, VT, awarded $131,833,000 contract.

Electrical: Matco Electrical Corp., of Vestal, NY, awarded $15,720,316 contract.

HVAC: J&K Heating & Plumbing, of Binghamton, NY, awarded $4,739,000 contract.

Plumbing: John W. Danforth Co., of Victor, NY, awarded $1,738,000 contract.

“While this process elicited much discussion and controversy, I strongly believed a competitive bidding process was the fairest way to ensure millions of dollars stayed in our community with local workers and local businesses, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen,” said Mayor David. 

“While we knew the general contractor would likely be a national firm due to the size, scope and specialized technical nature of the project, two companies in Broome County landed more than $20 million in construction contracts, validating my decision to open the process to all workers — union and non-union — to bid on this job. It’s a win for taxpayers and the local business community.”

In Nov. 2015, Mayor David vetoed legislation that would have advanced a project labor agreement, or PLA, for the JSTP rehabilitation. A PLA is a negotiated agreement between governments and unions that fix terms of large-scale construction jobs instead of through the competitive bidding process. style=Two local firms have been awarded a combined $20.5 million in contracts as bids awarded for the joint sewage treatment plant rehabilitation. Binghamton Mayor Richard C. David announced on Wednesday, bid awards for rehabilitation of the biological aerated filter (BAF) system at the Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage Treatment Plant (JSTP), the flagship project in the plant’s $200 million restoration. The winning firms, approved Wednesday by the City of Binghamton’s Board of Contract and Supply, are: General Construction: PC Construction Co., of South Burlington, VT, awarded $131,833,000 contract. Electrical: Matco Electrical Corp., of Vestal, NY, awarded $15,720,316 contract. HVAC: J&K Heating & Plumbing, of Binghamton, NY, awarded $4,739,000 contract. Plumbing: John W. Danforth Co., of Victor, NY, awarded $1,738,000 contract. “While this process elicited much discussion and controversy, I strongly believed a competitive bidding process was the fairest way to ensure millions of dollars stayed in our community with local workers and local businesses, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen,” said Mayor David. “While we knew the general contractor would likely be a national firm due to the size, scope and specialized technical nature of the project, two companies in Broome County landed more than $20 million in construction contracts, validating my decision to open the process to all workers — union and non-union — to bid on this job. It’s a win for taxpayers and the local business community.” In Nov. 2015, Mayor David vetoed legislation that would have advanced a project labor agreement, or PLA, for the JSTP rehabilitation. A PLA is a negotiated agreement between governments and unions that fix terms of large-scale construction jobs instead of through the competitive bidding process.



 
 PA Police: Man Set up Booby Trap with Long Gun Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:31:22 EDT

Pennsylvania State Police have arrested a Bradford County man, saying he set up a booby trap with a long gun and metal wire inside his mobile home.

Police say 27-year-old James Taylor of Monroeton set up the trap to discharge toward the driver side of the vehicle if either of the passenger or driver side doors had been opened. 

The two alleged victims were 54-year-old Timothy Johnson and 82-year-old Kenneth Johnson, both of Monroeton. Taylor is charged with Attempted Aggravated Assault and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. Police say he also possessed a firearm illegally. He is in the Bradford County Jail on $20,000 bail. style=Pennsylvania State Police have arrested a Bradford County man, saying he set up a booby trap with a long gun and metal wire inside his mobile home. Police say 27-year-old James Taylor of Monroeton set up the trap to discharge toward the driver side of the vehicle if either of the passenger or driver side doors had been opened. The two alleged victims were 54-year-old Timothy Johnson and 82-year-old Kenneth Johnson, both of Monroeton. Taylor is charged with Attempted Aggravated Assault and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. Police say he also possessed a firearm illegally. He is in the Bradford County Jail on $20,000 bail.



 
 Grant Program Helps Improve Services of Local Organizations Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:33:09 EDT

On Wednesday, United Way of Broome County representatives discussed the impact of the $200,000 in grants it has provided to local organizations.

This money funded projects, from energy efficiency to facility improvement projects, for 11 local United Way partner agencies.  These include ACCORD, Family Planning of SCNY, and the Johnson City Senior Citizens Center.

The idea of the program is to help ensure these agencies are able to offer their best services to the public.

The Broome County YMCA received $17,000 to put a curtain divider in its Binghamton gym.

"We can organize and manage things better.  We can actually offer more opportunities because we can split the gym in half in a safe situation.  We can now offer two particular programs at once, rather than just having one gym, and using the whole gym for one program," said Ronald Smith, Broome County YMCA Executive Director.

Projects funded by these grants can range from 12 to 60 months.
   
The United Way of Broome County says these grants are made possible by requests and gifts through a planned giving program. 
 style=On Wednesday, United Way of Broome County representatives discussed the impact of the $200,000 in grants it has provided to local organizations. This money funded projects, from energy efficiency to facility improvement projects, for 11 local United Way partner agencies. These include ACCORD, Family Planning of SCNY, and the Johnson City Senior Citizens Center. The idea of the program is to help ensure these agencies are able to offer their best services to the public. The Broome County YMCA received $17,000 to put a curtain divider in its Binghamton gym. "We can organize and manage things better. We can actually offer more opportunities because we can split the gym in half in a safe situation. We can now offer two particular programs at once, rather than just having one gym, and using the whole gym for one program," said Ronald Smith, Broome County YMCA Executive Director. Projects funded by these grants can range from 12 to 60 months. The United Way of Broome County says these grants are made possible by requests and gifts through a planned giving program.



 
 Mayor Announces new funding for Home Ownership Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:30:54 EDT

Looking to buy a fixer-upper in the City of Binghamton? It might be worth looking into thanks a new program announced today.

The new initiative announced by the Mayor on Wednesday expands funding for two programs. $100,000 for the "First Time Home Buyer Program", and $200,000 for the "Home Rehabilitation Program" These funds are designed to help fill and fix up dilapidated housing. Homeowners applying to the First Time Buyer program may qualify for grants of up to $10,000 for a down payment or up to $5,000 for closing costs. The Home Rehabilitation Program provides up to $25,000 in deferred home renovation loans.

 "The sense of pride in being able to do that yourself, and knowing that the City of Binghamton is behind you, supporting you with all the right programs and funds to be able to do so. What we ended up with was a house that was the eyesore of the street, and now is one of the focal points, and the neighbors certainly appreciate that." said Tim Parke, a first time Home Owner and recipient of the program.

To qualify, applicants must meet income guidelines based on the size of their household. You can call the City of Binghamton's planning department for more information at (607) 772-7240   
 style=Looking to buy a fixer-upper in the City of Binghamton? It might be worth looking into thanks a new program announced today. The new initiative announced by the Mayor on Wednesday expands funding for two programs. $100,000 for the "First Time Home Buyer Program", and $200,000 for the "Home Rehabilitation Program" These funds are designed to help fill and fix up dilapidated housing. Homeowners applying to the First Time Buyer program may qualify for grants of up to $10,000 for a down payment or up to $5,000 for closing costs. The Home Rehabilitation Program provides up to $25,000 in deferred home renovation loans. "The sense of pride in being able to do that yourself, and knowing that the City of Binghamton is behind you, supporting you with all the right programs and funds to be able to do so. What we ended up with was a house that was the eyesore of the street, and now is one of the focal points, and the neighbors certainly appreciate that." said Tim Parke, a first time Home Owner and recipient of the program. To qualify, applicants must meet income guidelines based on the size of their household. You can call the City of Binghamton's planning department for more information at (607) 772-7240



 
 Montrose Teachers' Strike Continues Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:32:20 EDT

MONTROSE, PA - With the Montrose Are School District Teachers Strike in it's second day, teachers from the small borough continued their, strike while also giving back to their community, by cleaning up local parks and donating to homeless shelters.  
"we feel we have no other option than to come out here and show our solidarity and unity" said Teri Evans, the President of the Montrose Education Association.

The dispute is over salary and health insurance contributions that the teachers and the school district can't seem to agree on. The Union says it has offered to pay a fixed dollar amount toward insurance while the district wants teachers to pay a fixed percentage of costs. 

"They keep removing some money from the table. We thought that health care savings would be used to improve conditions for the teachers, but whats been happening though, is that more of that money is being taken away from their offers." said Jim Maria, the PSEA Representative for the Montrose Education Association and the chief negotiator for the teachers.

This has been the first strike that teachers from the Montrose Area School District have had in the past 46 years.But  the superintendent says, the district is willing to negotiate.

"It will be up to the bargaining unit to come back to the table, we have expressed as a district that we're willing to talk." claimed Montrose Superintendent Carol Boyce

Boyce says the average teacher's family insurance costs $18,000 per year. She says a teacher pays $800 of that cost with the district assuming the rest  over $17,000. Both sides have said they are willing to negotiate but, as of now, no talks are scheduled.

Alex Howard for Fox40 HD News style=MONTROSE, PA - With the Montrose Are School District Teachers Strike in it's second day, teachers from the small borough continued their, strike while also giving back to their community, by cleaning up local parks and donating to homeless shelters. "we feel we have no other option than to come out here and show our solidarity and unity" said Teri Evans, the President of the Montrose Education Association. The dispute is over salary and health insurance contributions that the teachers and the school district can't seem to agree on. The Union says it has offered to pay a fixed dollar amount toward insurance while the district wants teachers to pay a fixed percentage of costs. "They keep removing some money from the table. We thought that health care savings would be used to improve conditions for the teachers, but whats been happening though, is that more of that money is being taken away from their offers." said Jim Maria, the PSEA Representative for the Montrose Education Association and the chief negotiator for the teachers. This has been the first strike that teachers from the Montrose Area School District have had in the past 46 years.But the superintendent says, the district is willing to negotiate. "It will be up to the bargaining unit to come back to the table, we have expressed as a district that we're willing to talk." claimed Montrose Superintendent Carol Boyce Boyce says the average teacher's family insurance costs $18,000 per year. She says a teacher pays $800 of that cost with the district assuming the rest over $17,000. Both sides have said they are willing to negotiate but, as of now, no talks are scheduled. Alex Howard for Fox40 HD News



 
 City of Binghamton To Make Announcement on "Mixed-Use Development Project" Wed, 30 Mar 2016 19:13:33 EDT

The Office of Binghamton Mayor Rich David has issued a release that it will announce details of what is is describing as "a major mixed-use economic development project." 

This announcement will be made Thursday at 26 Eldredge St. on Binghamton’s North Side. style=The Office of Binghamton Mayor Rich David has issued a release that it will announce details of what is is describing as "a major mixed-use economic development project." This announcement will be made Thursday at 26 Eldredge St. on Binghamton’s North Side.



 
 Tenth Grade Students Explore Future Careers Wed, 30 Mar 2016 20:33:25 EDT

On Wednesday, hundreds of tenth grade students from across the Southern Tier got a firsthand look at future careers.

More than 30 professionals in business fields ranging from forensics to accounting were at Binghamton University for its Career Expo 2016.  

Around 1,700 Broome and Tioga County students chose two of those careers to explore in-depth.  Organizers said it's all about giving these students a stepping stone towards their future endeavors.

"It's a good time for them to start thinking about what careers they're interested in because over the next couple years in high school they might be able to take courses that relate to that career, which will then help them prepare for college as well," said Patty Gonz, Program Development Specialist for Broome-Tioga BOCES.

Broome-Tioga BOCES, the Broome-Tioga Counselors Association, and BU began hosting the Career Expo event in 1993.
 style=On Wednesday, hundreds of tenth grade students from across the Southern Tier got a firsthand look at future careers. More than 30 professionals in business fields ranging from forensics to accounting were at Binghamton University for its Career Expo 2016. Around 1,700 Broome and Tioga County students chose two of those careers to explore in-depth. Organizers said it's all about giving these students a stepping stone towards their future endeavors. "It's a good time for them to start thinking about what careers they're interested in because over the next couple years in high school they might be able to take courses that relate to that career, which will then help them prepare for college as well," said Patty Gonz, Program Development Specialist for Broome-Tioga BOCES. Broome-Tioga BOCES, the Broome-Tioga Counselors Association, and BU began hosting the Career Expo event in 1993.



 
 Another "Eddie Block" Guilty Plea Wed, 30 Mar 2016 23:02:59 EDT

We can report yet another guilty plea involving the drug trafficking group known as "The Eddie Block Gang."  24-year-old Anthony E. Boyd, who is attached to the group, admitted guilt Wednesday.

He faces several years in a federal prison. style=We can report yet another guilty plea involving the drug trafficking group known as "The Eddie Block Gang." 24-year-old Anthony E. Boyd, who is attached to the group, admitted guilt Wednesday. He faces several years in a federal prison.