Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.
1 – Anti-Semitic posters found at Cornell, in Collegetown
‘Cornell reviles their message of hatred,’ university says after anti-Semitic posters placed around campus, Ithaca — Anti-Semitic posters were found on Stewart Avenue and on Cornell’s campus early Monday. They were anonymously put up overnight, officials say. The posters read: “Just Say No to Jewish Lies!” and mention a “Solar Cross Society” next to a swastika and say “Join the White Gang.”
University and Ithaca officials strongly denounced whoever put the posters up.
“Anti-Semitism is a deplorable ideology that has lately received a national platform. It is not welcome in Ithaca, as this cowardly poster surely knew when they decided to hang this anonymously,” Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said in a statement.
2 – Trial for man killed in Newfield continues
Newfield homicide trial: Prosecution says man was murdered, defense says defendant falsely accused – After jury selection the week prior, the trial of Roy Clements, Jr. began Monday with opening statements.
Camden Rundell, a 30-year-old Newfield man, died on Dec. 2 — neither the prosecution nor defense attorneys dispute that. But whether he was murdered and whether the right person is being accused of the crime was disputed during opening statements.
- Newfield murder trial: 911 audio details emotional call for help, witness takes stand
- Newfield homicide: Man takes robbery plea in exchange for possible testimony during murder trial
- Related: Newfield homicide: Witness who purchased items for robbery takes stand
The prosecution rested its case Friday. The trial resumed Monday morning with witnesses called by the defense.
3 – Tompkins women share stories as part of #MeToo movement
#MeToo: Tompkins women raise awareness about sexual assault, join national social media movement — Within a day, the phrase #Metoo went viral on social media bringing the often taboo subject of sexual assault to the forefront of a national conversation about the topic.
Locally, people have been responding with their own stories about sexual abuse or supporting those who have experienced it. The Ithaca Voice shared the stories of four women who shared their stories.
4 – What is coming to the Ithaca city skyline?
See what’s coming to Downtown Ithaca’s skyline — Harold’s Square might just be getting underway, but several other projects are set to redefine Ithaca’s downtown core over the next year or so. Since googling “Ithaca skyline” generally brings up Cornell photos, a more prominent downtown would be an asset if only to teach Google’s algorithms that Cornell is not all of Ithaca.
Here is a look at some of the projects underway, including the Hilton Canopy Hotel, City Centre and Tompkins Financial Corporation Headquarters.
5 – Tompkins Office of Human Rights director claims she is being retaliated against
Tompkins Office of Human Rights director placed on unpaid leave, says she’s being retaliated against – Karen Baer, director of the Office of Human Rights in Tompkins County, is on unpaid leave from her job after the Tompkins County Legislature launched several claims against her following her accusations that the county discriminated and retaliated against women and people of color.
The county has said Baer has not fulfilled her duties as director of the OHR and that in doing so, the organization could not adequately function. She is also accused of creating a “dysfunctional environment” after she allegedly refused to comply with an investigation into her claims. However, Baer denies the allegations against her and released a statement in response.
6 – Tompkins Family Treatment Court to receive $2 million in response to local opioid epidemic
$2 million grant will expand Tompkins family treatment court services, prompted by opioid epidemic’s impact on families — The Tompkins County Family Treatment Court will see a financial boost for the next five years thanks to a grant awarded to the Sixth Judicial District, which comprises the local court.
The $2,105,489 grant was awarded in September by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and began going into effect this month. The local family court works with child neglect cases where parental substance abuse is a factor.
According to a news release, the money “will expand the capacity of the County’s Family Treatment Court in response to the opioid epidemic’s impact on local families and the growing number of parents opting to participate in the Court’s intensively supervised treatment programs.”
7 – Ithaca likely safe from too much job automation
MIT: Ithaca among cities least prone to job automation — In a recent study, MIT researchers noted Ithaca was among the top 10 cities in the U.S. least likely to experience major job losses due to automation.
For all the political talk about jobs, the economy and making America great again, one topic that tends to be perilously overlooked is the automation of jobs. Replacing McDonald’s cashiers with screens might be the frequent choice of TV pundits, but many skilled occupations are at risk of automation as technology improves and artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated – factory workers, secretaries, truck drivers, even positions with advanced degrees such as pharmacists. A 2013 University of Oxford study estimated that 47% of existing could be automated out of human hands over the next 20 years.
8 – Ithaca Commons shooter sentenced to 12 years
Ithaca Commons shooter sentenced to 12 years in prison — An Ithaca man who confessed to shooting another man five times while bars closed down for the night in the Ithaca Commons was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday afternoon.
Yakez Cornett, 22, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in April. He was initially indicted on three counts in May — second-degree criminal possession of a weapon; first-degree assault and second-degree attempted murder — both A felonies.
“He shot the unarmed victim, who by all accounts was backing away or retreating from verbal confrontation…there was no risk to the defendant at that time,” District Attorney Matt Van Houten said in court Friday. “He (Cornett) was extremely lucky that the victim wasn’t hit in the neck or in the head, that the victim is not paralyzed or dead.”
9 – Reader-submitted photos of fall are a reminder of how beautiful Ithaca and Tompkins are
Gallery: Fall photos of Ithaca and Tompkins by our readers —We asked and you delivered. Our inbox was flooded this week with beautiful fall photos of the surrounding scenery.
Readers sent photos of waterfalls, colorful stretches of roads and trails, pets and animals and landscapes in Tompkins County filled with yellow, orange and red. Browse the full gallery of photos.
10 – A magical celebration bewitched Ithaca for the third annual Wizarding Weekend
Gallery: Wizarding Weekend enchants thousands in Ithaca for the third celebration — Thousands of people from all over came out for the performances, vendors, activities and spectacle this weekend for the third annual Wizarding Weekend.
The magical was real for attendees this weekend in Downtown Ithaca. There were magical wares, like wands, robes and feathered quills for sale. Character favorites from the Harry Potter series wandered the streets, plus a fair number of villains.
Featured image: An owl is introduced to visitors at the third annual Ithaca’s Wizarding Weekend. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice