Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.
1 – Ithaca, Lansing and Dryden students score high on SATs
3 Tompkins school districts rank among top SAT scores in state — Three Tompkins County school districts rank among the top school districts in the state with the highest SAT scores in 2016.
The Ithaca City School District lead the pack locally, coming in at third overall in the state with an average score of 1172. Students scored an average of 589 in reading and 583 in math.
2 – After 37 years in public service, county administrator to retire
Tompkins County Administrator Joe Mareane retiring after 37-year career in public service – County Administrator Joe Mareane has served as county administrator since 2008 and worked in several other public service positions before that.
“My time in Tompkins County has been the highlight of a rewarding career in local government,” Mareane said in a news release. “For the past nine years, I’ve had the chance to work with an extraordinary team of department heads, staff, and legislators who share a belief in the positive role of government to improve lives and communities, and the commitment to do so in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Mareane announced he will retire Feb. 1, 2018.
3 – Cornell drops Nike contract
Cornell drops contract with Nike over concerns about violations to workers rights – After concerns about workers’ rights, Cornell announced it will drop its contract with Nike, following suit of several other universities across the country.
“These violations include extensive wage theft, above 90-degree conditions within the factory, spraying of toxic solvents, mass firings of pregnant women, and physical and verbal abuse of workers.”
4 – Ithaca food pantry closes doors temporarily
Food pantry at Tompkins Community Action in Ithaca closes temporarily — While construction begins for Amici House, Tompkins Community Action has closed its food pantry on Spencer Road. It will remain closed for about a year.
The closing will impact at least 60 households pantry weekly and more than 500 people that used the pantry per month, according to figures from Lee Dillon, executive director of Tompkins Community Action and the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.
As part of this story, we’ve compiled a list and schedule of what other food banks are open in Tompkins County.
5 – Election 2017: 2 in local government drop out
District 5 Legislator Jim Dennis suspends re-election campaign – Tompkins County Legislator Jim Dennis has suspended his campaign for re-election.
“It has been a privilege to serve District 5, every day working on ways to improve the lives of Tompkins County residents while keeping property tax increases to a minimum,” said Dennis. He pointed out that his focus over the years has been to build the tax base, produce good paying jobs, and develop a strong financial base for Tompkins County.
Alderperson Josephine Martell plans to resign from Fifth Ward — Alderperson Josephine Martell is moving to another ward in Ithaca later this summer, which will leave her seat on Common Council open for election this November. Martell represents Ithaca’s Fifth Ward, which includes Fall Creek.
Martell’s term would have expired Dec. 31, 2019.
6 – Gov. Cuomo stops at Cornell University to sign hemp bill
Gov. Cuomo sees lucrative future in hemp; signs bill at Cornell to accelerate industry in New York — Gov. Andrew Cuomo sees a lucrative future for New York in industrial hemp growth and manufacturing. Cornell, which has been leading research on industrial hemp in New York, was the perfect backdrop for Cuomo to sign a bill designed to make New York a national leader in growing and manufacturing industrial hemp.
“I really believe this is going to be not just an agricultural boom if we do it right, but it will also be a manufacturing boom,” Cuomo said.
7 – GameStop at Ithaca mall to close
GameStop closing up shop at Ithaca mall — GameStop is consolidating its stores in Ithaca.The GameStop at the Shops at Ithaca Mall will close July 23 and merge with its shop on Elmira Road in Ithaca.
After poor holiday sales in 2016, GameStop announced it will close 2 to 3 percent of its “global store footprint.” With 7,500 stores in 14 countries, that translates to somewhere between 150 to 200 stores. The Texas-based company blamed the decrease in reduced video games sales and “aggressive console promotions” by other retailers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
8 – Crime roundup: Updates from major ongoing cases
Crime roundup: Updates in Mobil shooting, Vitamin Shoppe robbery, bank robbery — The Ithaca Police Department provided an update on several major ongoing investigation in the City of Ithaca, including the double shooting at Mobil, armed robberies at the Vitamin Shoppe and a bank and reports of shots fired.
9 – Study finds no need to expand Tompkins County Jail
No expansion of Tompkins County Jail needed, report finds — A months-long study of the Tompkins County Jail population has found there is no need to build a bigger facility or expand the current jail.
Since Fall 2016, Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research has been studying the Tompkins County Jail population. CGR has looked at alternatives to incarceration and other criminal justice programs, policies and practices to see how they impact the current and projected jail population.
The report is long (200-plus pages), but contains recommendations for local programs, the jail and criminal justice system to keep the jail population in a decline.
10 – Tompkins County hit by flash flooding
Flash flood warning continues, dozens of vehicles submerged at Ithaca mall — Flash flooding impacted areas across Tompkins County last week, including at the Shops at Ithaca Mall where at least a dozen cars were submerged.