Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.
1 – Cornell student charged with hate crime
Cornell student John Greenwood charged with hate crime — The Cornell University student previously accused of attacking another student during an altercation in Collegetown was charged with a hate crime Monday and an additional charge was added against him stating that he damaged a woman’s phone because she caught him on camera using a racial slur.
John Greenwood, 19, was charged with third-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, a class A misdemeanor. He’s also being charged with misdemeanors for second-degree aggravated harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief.
2 – Donate warm clothes for ‘Share the Warmth’ campaign
25th annual Share the Warmth campaign kicks off in Tompkins County – The 25th annual Share the Warmth campaign has kicked off with 20 collection sites around Ithaca and Tompkins County.
Local residents are encouraged to donate clean, new or gently used winter clothing.
3 – Mayor selects Acting Chief Pete Tyler for next police chief
Mayor recommends Acting Chief Pete Tyler as new chief of police — Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick has selected Pete Tyler, acting chief of police, to be the city’s new police chief.
An interview committee has been working for the past several months to identify finalists for the position. Myrick said in a public announcement Tuesday that he interviewed two finalists. Myrick will send the appointment to Common Council for consideration at the December council meeting.
Tyler has worked in law enforcement for 27 years and served as acting chief since the retirement of former police chief John Barber. He has served as deputy chief at the Ithaca Police Department since 2009. He is an Ithaca High School graduate and has lived in Ithaca for many years.
4 – Experts on Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion programs answer community questions
Community discussion: LEAD creates ‘another tool’ for police officers — As Ithaca is in the process of developing a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, on Monday experts gave an informal presentation and had a conversation with community members about how the program has worked in other cities.
LEAD is a diversion program rooted in harm reduction that is meant to keep low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system and connect them with services, whether that’s drug treatment, mental health care, housing or other needs.
One speaker said LEAD is “another tool” for police officers when responding to situations.
5 – Freeville man guilty of attempted rape
Update: Judge finds Freeville man guilty of attempted rape — A Freeville man was found guilty Wednesday afternoon of trying to rape a young teenager in her bedroom in February.
Ray Dennis was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and felony first-degree attempted rape. Judge Scott Miller, who oversaw a bench trial for nearly two days as evidence was presented, determined the verdict.
The teen, who testified during the trial, said Dennis physically attacked her and removed her clothing as she fought him off. Dennis didn’t deny her testimony, but said on the witness stand that his intent was voyeuristic.
6 – Cornell gets $15 million to upgrade facility, boosting regional jobs
Cornell awarded $15 million to upgrade high-tech research facility, boosting regional business — A $15 million grant from New York will help upgrade a high-tech facility at Cornell University, and in turn boost manufacturing businesses and bring more high-paying technology jobs to the region.
The grant was celebrated Wednesday at Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, or CHESS. With the award from Empire State Development, Cornell will be able to improve the facility and boost research. The project, CHESS-U, will help retain 150 existing jobs and is expected to create about 100 new high-paying, highly specialized science and technology jobs in the region.
7 – Safe injection facility no longer planned for 310 W. State St.
Safe injection facility no longer planned for historic property — A historic building along Ithaca’s State Street Corridor is no longer being considered for a harm reduction operation that included plans for a safe (supervised) heroin injection facility.
According to the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency (IURA), The Reach Project, Inc. was forced to withdraw their plans for 310 West State Street because the current owner of the building, New York City businessman Fei Qi, sold the building to another buyer. No transfer of the deed has been filed with the county at this time, but a filing with the city indicates the sale is expected to close on December 1st.
8 – Should Ithaca close Ezra’s tunnel?
Should the city close off Ezra’s Tunnel to protect people or is that ‘dumbing down’ Ithaca’s natural areas? — In the City of Ithaca, off the beaten path, there is a tunnel that has been around for nearly 200 years — Ezra’s Tunnel. It opens to the top of an area above Ithaca Falls where people swim, tan, and enjoy overlooking the city while surrounded by the sound of the falls. The tunnel was created for industrial use in 1832 as a waterway tunnel that “fed into a raceway which provided power for much of Ithaca.”
It’s also illegal to be in the area and two people have died in the past six years swimming there. City officials are considering teaming up with Cornell to block the tunnel.
9 – Q&A with Trumansburg musicians Richie and Rosie
Q&A: Trumansburg musicians Richie and Rosie release sophomore album ‘Nowhere In Time’ —Banjo player Richie Stearns and fiddle player Rosie Newton may be decades apart in age but their love for folk and old time music transcends time. Richie and Rosie, an Ithaca-area folk duo released their sophomore album, Nowhere In Time Nov. 10. The album includes a mix of both traditional and original folk tunes, accented by nothing more than the fiddle, banjo, tenor guitar and two harmonizing voices.
In this Q&A, Ithaca Voice Contributor Olivia Riggio spoke to Newton about the duo’s musical backgrounds and influences behind their new album.
10 – Police seeking info after attempted robbery in Ithaca
Ithaca police: Man tries to rob woman at knifepoint; police seek more information — On Friday, police responded to an attempted robbery at about 6:20 p.m. in the area of Terrace Place and Linn Street.
A woman told police that a man wearing all dark clothing began following her. When she turned around, she noticed the man had a knife in his hand, she said. Then he demanded all her money. The woman said she ran into the road because a car was coming and she wanted to get them to stop.
The suspect was not able to take any property from the woman. Police are searching for the suspect. The man was described as a heavy set black man, about six feet tall in his 20s or 30s. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact police.
Featured image: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited Ithaca to present the $15 million grant for CHESS upgrades at Cornell University. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice