New York state briefs

Staff reports

Color this suburb green

BRIGHTON — More than 200 town residents proved they knew this inconvenient truth: It's time to start making a difference or face the consequences of ignoring environmental issues like global warming. The group gathered at Town Hall for the Color Brighton Green  Party Jan. 7.

"It was encouraging getting so many people together in a room to do something on the issue," said Karen Berger, the chair of the Green Brighton Task Force.

Green Brighton acts as Brighton’s leading agency for environmental change after the town council unanimously approved an adoption of the Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement last May. The agreement states that participating cities will "strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities."Brighton is one of 500 cities around the country to have signed on.

Initiatives include Curb Your Car Week in May, when Brighton residents will be encouraged to carpool or use public transportation to get to work instead of driving themselves in their own car.

Perhaps most encouraging, Berger said, was the fact that more than 70 people signed up for the "10 percent challenge," a pledge to encourage households and businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10 percent. Those that made the pledge can help out by doing small things like changing incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient florescent ones or turning off the lights when leaving a room, Berger said.

Elmira police make arrest in stabbing

ELMIRA – Elmira police have made an arrest in connection with a stabbing on the city's east side earlier this month.

Demetrius Molina, 22, of Oak Street, Elmira, was charged Saturday with second-degree assault.

He is accused of stabbing Kendall Williams, 19, during a dispute that followed a car accident Jan. 3 near the Holiday Inn on East Water Street. After the accident, a group of people began fighting, and Molina allegedly stabbed Williams.

Police say at least one shot was fired during the altercation, and a gun was recovered near the scene.

Later, two men believed to be involved in the incident were apprehended after a standoff at a Heritage Park apartment. The incident triggered a lockdown at several nearby schools.

Herkimer school district ‘definitely' going over budget for fuel costs

HERKIMER - As gas prices continue to set records across the nation, the costs are felt not just by individuals, but by school districts as well.

The Herkimer Central School District uses 24,000 gallons of gas a year in its buses. The district does get a discount on diesel fuel to fill up the buses, but nonetheless, business manager Chuck Mower says the district is struggling to stay within the budget.

The price of diesel fuel is around $3.45 a gallon. The district pays $2.90 a gallon. Mower said $2.40 a gallon was budgeted for the 2007-08 school year.

Mower says the district puts the budget together a good six months in advance from the actual start of the school year and he never expected to have this problem.

“When we put in the money at $2.40 a gallon we thought there was plenty of a safety net there for us,” Mower said. “We never thought it would be like this.”

Mower says he doesn't even know where to start for the transportation area in next years budget.

“We'll definitely budget more than $2.90 a gallon, and hopefully be able to leave enough of a safety net so we won't go over,” he said. “This is such a hard area to budget for now.”

This professor is a puzzle whiz

HENRIETTA — Zack Butler’s passion has led him across the world. Croatia. Romania. Finland. Most recently, he was one of a four-person U.S. team at the World Puzzle Championship in Brazil.

Butler, an assistant professor of computer sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology, came in third place there. In previous years, he has won second place.

His interest started as a kid when he’d watch his mom fill in crosswords.

Because Butler has an analytical brain, it’s fun for him to work on games like Slither Link — a puzzle where a line must be drawn toward the end of the loop, but not before each number has that many lines along the sides — and various crosswords.

“These puzzles are very much a personal pursuit,” Butler said.

Team U.S.A. as a whole has won first place nine times in the last 16 years. Butler has been on the team 10 of those years.

Arkport, Hornellsville to look into joint renovation options

ARKPORT – Officials from the Village of Arkport and Town of Hornellsville Monday discussed possible renovations that could benefit both entities.

Hornellsville town Supervisor Ken Isaman and Arkport Mayor A.J. Patti will be looking into how much it would cost to create some sort of shared services facility. The idea came about after discussion of possible renovations at the village hall.

A proposed project currently includes expansion to the village hall and adding extra parking next to Arkport Village Park. Including the fire deprtment and department of public works was also discussed.

Patti said he would like to consolidate the village hall and make more room for the judges, as well as add more privacy for officials.

“The way things are now there is no privacy at all,” he said. “The library would give the two judges much more room.”

Isaman said when the village purchased the building from the town in 1992, the agreement stated the court would be located in the village hall. The agreement also stated the village clerk's office would be located in the town hall, which never came to fruition. Trustee Jerry Clark said the contract may have been broken when the clerk's office didn't move to the town hall.

Pastime Bar coming down Wednesday

WELLSVILLE - If you want one last change to take a photo of a Wellsville landmark by a perfect sun coming up, South Main Street is the place to be Wednesday morning.

At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, the Pastime Bar will be demolished, making room for the rest of the sales lot for Basil Chevrolet on Main Street. Pastime has been closed for several months..

Pastime'a sign has been donated to the Lions Club and is expected to be auctioned off. The building has been gutted and some reportedly wanted pieces of the roof on Monday.

Boonville to host Adirondack Cup snowmobile races

BOONVILLE - The Adirondack Cup snowmobile racing event will take place Jan. 25 through Jan. 27 at the Boonville Fairgrounds.

The opening ceremonies are Jan. 25, with racing on Jan. 26 and 27. Tickets for Jan. 26 are $10, with a weekend pass available for $20. Tickets for Sunday only are $15.

Car guy gets his due

CHILI — Tyler Mars has come a long way since doodling cars in class at Gates Chili High School. Now a senior transportation design student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Mars recently received more than $2,000 in scholarship money as well as an invitation to display his work at the upcoming North American International Auto Show.

 The theme for the competition was “Smaller Safer Better” and required students to design and present a transportation concept that could realistically be driven in the year 2017.

Mars’ “E-Gear” vehicle design received second and third place from a jury that included auto designers at Chrysler and Ford.

“There are a few things that really made him ‘pop,’” said Steve Lash, manager of concept design for Michelin. “He was absolutely focused on the project. He didn’t go off on a tangent. He used technology ... his renderings were excellent, and in the words of some of the judges, ‘He nailed it.’”

The two-week auto show opened Jan. 13 in Detroit.

Students had to design a wheel system first, then a car or vehicle that went along with it. The contest called for creating a wheel that gives the appearance of being bigger without actually increasing the diameter of the wheel. Mars said the look resembles the big rims that are very popular right now.