Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.

For news updates throughout the day, be sure to follow The Voice on Facebook and/or Twitter.

1 – Party with Officer Colin for his 10th birthday bash

Ithaca’s Officer Colin is turning 10, everyone is invited to the holiday-themed party — Ithaca’s youngest policeman Officer Colin Hayward Toland is turning 10 years old this month and all his supporters and friends are welcome to attend the massive birthday bash in Stewart Park.

But it’s no ordinary party.

There’s going to be an Easter egg hunt, Christmas tree, Valentine’s Day decor, Halloween ghouls, and two Thanksgiving turkeys in honor of all of Colin’s favorite holidays.

Officer Colin at his swearing in ceremony.
Jolene Almendarez/ Ithaca Voice

2 – Tompkins County honors fallen on Memorial Day

‘Freedom is like oxygen. It is something we take for granted,’ Tompkins County Memorial Day speaker says — Community members took time this Memorial Day to honor and remember the men and women who have died serving in the United States military.

In a prayer at the beginning of the Tompkins County ceremony in DeWitt Park, Christine Kerfoot said “We are grateful for the sacrifice so many throughout our history have made. For the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and for their families who have had to carry on without them. This is a sacrifice that is easy to forget. For those who have it, freedom is like oxygen. It is something we take for granted. Many will not understand just how precious either is until they are at risk of having it taken away….”

Aidan Setlock/Ithaca Voice

3 – Lansing to sell land to affordable housing

Lansing to sell land to affordable housing developer — If you offer it, they will come.

After putting out a request for proposals (RFP) for the Lansing Town Center lands at the intersection of Triphammer Road and Peruville Road, the town has received strong interest from several developers, and the first purchase agreements are underway.

Cornerstone Group, an affordable housing developer based out of Rochester, has entered into a purchase agreement for 13 acres of Parcel “C”, located towards the middle of the 156-acre property.

4 – Legislator Anna Kelles seeks another term

Legislator Anna Kelles will seek re-election — Kelles represents Fall Creek and Cornell Heights. She has worked on resolutions like the “Public Safety for All” resolution, which made Tompkins County a sanctuary county. She also pushed for the tobacco purchase age to be raised to 21 in Tompkins County.

“As we move forward in these politically and economically uncertain times I will be focusing efforts to maintain safety nets for vulnerable populations, support alternatives to incarceration to reduce our jail population, encourage mixed-use and inclusive mixed-income development to address our housing crisis, and foster innovative endeavors for alternative energy generation,” Kelles said in a news release. “As opportunities and issues arise, I ask you all to help educate and empower me to serve and represent our community. I am devoted to my work and service to Tompkins County.”

Anna Kelles, who chairs the Health and Human Services Committee, which brought the T21 legislation forward. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

5 – Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office seizes 118 marijuana plants

Newfield woman arrested after deputies seize 118 marijuana plants, sheriff’s office says — A Newfield woman is facing a felony marijuana possession charge after the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office allegedly seized 118 marijuana plants from her residence.

In total, the sheriff’s office reportedly seized 118 marijuana plants ranging in size and age, 8 ounces of dried marijuana and equipment including halogen lights, inverters and humidifiers. The sheriff’s office said the following day Riberty was charged with third-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a felony.

6 – Brain blast! IHS ‘Brain Team’ scores in national competition

Ithaca High School ‘Brain Team’ ranks at national competition — Over Memorial Day Weekend, the Ithaca High School “brain team” won five consecutive times and took Ithaca from the 6-4 “losers bracket” to the Top 8 quarterfinals in the afternoon matches, a feat accomplished only by a handful of teams in HSNCT history.

Ithaca ultimately tied for 5th out of hundreds of teams.

7 – Ithaca man killed in motorcycle crash

Ithaca man killed in Seneca County motorcycle crash — A 32-year-old Ithaca man was killed early Thursday morning in a motorcycle crash in Covert.

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the fatal crash at 1:50 a.m. Thursday on Route 96 and Schier Road in Covert. Kevin P. Lockwood, 32, of Ithaca, was pronounced dead at the scene.

8 – Danby, Caroline are growing fast

Danby, Caroline among fastest growing towns in NYS — If you live in Danby or Caroline, you might have noticed a few new neighbors moving in. According to 2016 U.S. Census estimates, the two towns rank among the fastest growing in New York State.

In fact, all Tompkins County towns have grown since 2010, although a couple, such as Enfield and Groton, are estimated to have lost population from July 2015 to July 2016 (worth noting, the town of Enfield permitted six new houses in 2015 and 2016, so it’s not exactly in high demand).

9 – Congressman Tom Reed talks climate change, health care in Trumansburg

Climate, healthcare fuels discussion at Tom Reed town hall in Trumansburg — In a packed town hall in Trumansburg on Saturday, Congressman Tom Reed was asked to answer questions about climate change, health care and other issues.

“Just so everyone knows where I stand on climate change – I believe it is a priority that needs to be addressed and we’re working on that,” Reed said to the crowd. “Though I respect the president’s decision, one of the things I hope we can agree is that we can do better.”

10 – City celebrates with Ithaca Festival

Photo Gallery: Ithaca Festival celebrates 40 years of community — Nothing says summer is here like the weekend-long celebration of Ithaca Festival. There was music, food, dancing, performances, vendors, community bonding and mostly good weather.

Check out our gallery of the Ithaca Festival Parade.

P.S. The Ithaca Voice is hosting a party and you’re invited!

We are celebrating our third birthday with a party for our readers Friday at Lot 10. There will be food, including a pig roast, cake, music and drinks. At our annual party, we invite readers and supporters out to eat, drink, mingle and be merry to kick off another year of independent local media.

Like our content, the food, fixings and admission to our beach-themed party will be free.

Learn more about the celebration here, and let us know you’re coming on Facebook.

Don’t forget that you can still vote for our next in-depth series until the party by clicking here and if you’d like to make a donation to The Voice to fund the series, click here.  It’s also not too late to tell us what you think of us in our readership survey here. 

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Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.