Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.
1 – Harmful algae continues to be a problem in Cayuga Lake
UPDATE: DEC reports accumulation of toxic algae in Cayuga Lake, multiple lake access points closed — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed the presence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on the southern end of Cayuga Lake; several blooms have been reported on the shoreline since mid-July, forcing temporary closures among lake access ways.
According to the New York State Department of Health, HABs – primarily blue-green in color – are a toxic microscopic organism which forms dense blooms on the water surface and often resembles a paint-like quality.
2 – Big real estate buys in Ithaca in July
Big real estate buys make big splash – While the conversation about Ithaca’s expensive housing is endless, it’s not everyday someone drops a cool million dollars on Ithaca real estate. It’s even rarer when someone pays a million while also buying multiple other properties within a month.
But, a California-based buyer did just that during the month of July.
3 – Legislature candidate may be off Independence line after objection to petition
Legislature candidate Keith Hannon may be off ballot on Independence line after objection to petition –An Ithaca resident in Keith Hannon’s fifth district filed an objection to his petition after finding a “material alteration without an explanation” on a page. The alteration is a mark by the number “20,” which indicates the number of people who signed. At a hearing, the Board of Elections agreed with the objection and the page was stricken, meaning 20 signatures were lost and Hannon no longer had enough to stay on the ballot.
In an update Thursday, Hannon said he has appealed the decision and is collecting signatures to run as an independent candidate. Designating petitions for independent candidates are due to the Tompkins County Board of Elections by Aug. 22.
4 – Study finds immigrant dairy workers in New York face harsh working conditions
‘Milked’ workers speak out about experiences on New York dairy farms — As the dairy industry in Upstate New York has boomed, a recent study has found that basic labor rights have been lost along the way for many immigrant workers.
At a forum this week in Ithaca, four dairy workers spoke out about their mistreatment working on farms in the state.
5 – Search underway for a new Ithaca police chief
Who will be Ithaca’s next police chief? Search underway – Since the retirement of former Ithaca Police Chief John Barber, the city has been working to find some to fill the post.
Barber officially retired in March after nearly 30 years in law enforcement. When Barber stepped down, Deputy Chief Pete Tyler took the reigns as Acting Chief. Though Tyler took the civil service exam for police chief, he did not score high enough to be considered.
“I’m disappointed that I didn’t achieve a passing grade on the test, but I’m not ashamed of that,” Tyler said. “What I would tell people is that it doesn’t change my outlook or how long on I plan on staying or contributing.”
6 – City warns Lou ‘the hot dog guy’ not to feed scraps to Riley the Outdoor Store dog
Is the city of Ithaca picking on Lou the hot dog guy? — Lou Cassaniti, aka Lou the hot dog guy, has been on the Commons selling hot dogs for about 24 years. And now, the city of Ithaca is threatening to move his cart elsewhere if he continues calling Riley the Outdoor Store dog to his stand for scraps.
In a letter sent to Lou the hot dog guy, the city says Lou calls an unleashed Riley out of the store and feeds her, allegedly in violation of the city code. The city code, however, does not state that people cannot feed or pet dogs on the Commons.
7 – Massive fire in Dryden apartments displaces 8 families
Update: Discarded cigarettes caused fire at Dryden apartment complex; 31 people displaced — Firefighters from Dryden and several other departments fought a massive fire at a multi-family apartment building at Poets Landing on Keats Way in the Village of Dryden.
All occupants were safely evacuated and no one was injured.
The cause? Discarded cigarettes, the Dryden Fire Department said.
8 – 2 women in one night report man touched them while sleeping through windows
Ithaca police looking for ‘prowler’ who touched women through bedroom windows — Ithaca police are searching for a man who reportedly touched two women early Thursday morning through their bedroom windows while they were sleeping. The culprit has not been found.
The suspect is described as a clean-shaven white man in his mid-30s. Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to contact the Ithaca Police Department.
9 – Man accused of murdering woman in Collegetown pleads not guilty
Man accused of murder, arson in Collegetown pleads not guilty — A Dryden man accused of murder and arson was arraigned in Tompkins County Court early Friday morning, entering a not-guilty plea.
Michael B. Davis, 45, is charged with crimes related to the death of Ithaca woman Josie Berrios, 28, who was found dead at a construction site in Collegetown on June 13. Friday’s arraignment was his first appearance in Tompkins County Court since the accusations.
10 – Incoming Cornell student dies in Ithaca Falls
Swimmer recovered from Ithaca Falls was incoming architecture student at Cornell — After a five-hour search Saturday, rescue crews recovered the body of a swimmer who did not resurface. The swimmer was an incoming freshman to Cornell, the university confirmed.
Winston Perez Ventura planned to study architecture. Back in December, the story of his acceptance to the Ivy League school went viral.
Winston was in Ithaca with fellow incoming students taking part in the on-campus pre-Freshman Summer Program, Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life said in an email to the campus community late Saturday.
“As a high school student, Winston participated in The Fellowship Initiative, an enrichment program for young men of color. He was an exceptional person who would have contributed greatly to our university community,” Lombardi said.
Featured image: Judge John Rowley welcomes 18 new U.S. citizens to Tompkins County on Wednesday during a Naturalization Ceremony. Alyvia Covert/Ithaca Voice