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1 – The artist behind local head-turning sculptures

Trumansburg artist creates head-turning sculptures, local landmarks — From the landmark dragonfly atop The Jewelbox to the rooster in front of the Gateway Commons to the lizard mosaics downtown, artist James “Jay” Seaman’s head-turning art is a familiar and stunning sight throughout Ithaca.

Ithaca Voice Reporter Jennifer Wholey caught up with Seaman to learn about his work and ask the inevitable question, “Does he always work on such a monumental scale?”

2 – Man sentenced for murder of Ithaca College student

Nagee Green sentenced to 20 years for murder of Ithaca College student – Nagee Green was sentenced to 20 years in prison the murder of Anthony Nazaire, a 19-year-old Ithaca College student, and the stabbing of another student.

The Tompkins County courtroom was packed and emotional Monday afternoon. Many of Nazaire’s family members were present, and his sister and father gave powerful statements to the court.

“Not only is me and my family hurting, but people who that don’t even share the same blood as Anthony is hurting as well,” Nazaire’s sister said.

3 – Check your fire extinguisher. Millions of Kidde brand recalled

Millions of Kidde fire extinguishers recalled. Do you have one?Last week, Kidde recalled about 40 million fire extinguishers made between 1973 and 2017 because many have failed to work when needed. They may become clogged or fail to activate.

At least one death has been reported due to the faulty extinguishers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Check the article for details on the models recalled and how to check if your extinguisher was recalled.

4 – Ithaca High School alum pitches to ‘sharks’ of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’

Ithaca High School alum to pitch company to investors on ‘Shark Tank’ — The creator of The Cut Buddy, which was invented in Ithaca, pitched to the investors on the ABC show “Shark Tank” this weekend.

Joshua Esnard, who went to Ithaca High School, invented The Cut Buddy when he was 13.  The simple plastic template is used with hair clippers or other tools to help shape beards and hair between barbershop visits. He now runs the company with two childhood friends he met at Ithaca High School, Pima Mbwana and Alex Kresovich.

The show aired Sunday on ABC. If you missed it, check out the episode on ABC Go.

SHARK TANK – Joshua Esnard, inventor of The Cut Buddy, introduces his product on Shark Tank. (ABC/Michael Desmond)

5 – Election 2017: Results, stories and turnout

There were a number of local elections in Tompkins County this year, for town board positions, Ithaca Common Council and Tompkins County Legislature.

The votes are (mostly) in. The results will be certified this week. Almost all the races have been called, except for Lansing Town Board.

The race for Lansing town councilperson is too close to call until absentee ballots are fully counted. There are four people vying for two seats — Robert A. Cree, Doug Dake, Walaa Maharem-Horan and Joseph Wetmore.

Check here for the full result breakdown. We also stopped by the parties for the democrats and for the republicans on election night.

Turnout was around 36 percent for all of Tompkins County. Though it was just a local election year, it was an especially meaningful election for at least one Ithaca resident who is a new citizen of the U.S. Read her story here.

6 – Whooping cough identified in three schools in Tompkins

Whooping cough identified in 2 schools in Ithaca, 1 in Newfield— Two cases of whooping cough have been identified in children at Cayuga Heights Elementary School and Lehman Alternative Community School. One case has also been identified at Newfield High School.

The Ithaca City School District notified parents Tuesday that whooping cough, also called pertussis, has been identified in the district and said their children might have been exposed.

7 – Not guilty: Roy Clements Jr. accused of murder in Newfield walks free

NOT GUILTY: Jury unanimously finds Roy Clements Jr. not guilty of alleged Newfield murder, robbery — After nearly a year of jail time and court proceedings, Roy Clements Jr. walked out of the Tompkins County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon as a free man.

Just after noon, Clements Jr. was found not guilty of felony second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and fourth-degree conspiracy. He was accused of killing 30-year-old Camden Rundell on Dec. 2 and taken into custody shortly afterward.

The trial lasted nearly three weeks and jurors spent more than a day indicating to the court that they were preliminarily deadlocked on the charges and were questioning the definition of intent. They were not permitted to consider lesser charges, such as manslaughter.

8 – Cayuga Ridge announces plans to renovate West Hill facility

Healthcare facility plans renovation, 49 new jobs — In filings with the Town of Ithaca and the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA), West Hill’s Cayuga Ridge has announced plans to renovate its West Hill facility and add dozens of jobs.

The Cayuga Ridge healthcare facility, located at 1229 Trumansburg Road (Route 96) in Ithaca town, is a 160-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, serving both clients needing short-term physical, occupational or speech rehabilitationas well as long-term skilled care for clients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. This includes nutritional services, medical services, and programs designed to keep residents engaged and maintain a good quality of life.

9 – Harmonicas help local residents breathe a little easier

Harmonica program in Tompkins helps with lung health — A local program is helping some residents breathe a little easier by pairing respiratory health education with harmonica playing.

The Tompkins County Health Department has been piloting the program, which was developed by the COPD Foundation. The program is geared toward people with asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, more commonly called COPD. Two six-week programs that ran this fall were a hit with participants who while learning the harmonica, also learned about respiratory diseases and breathing exercises and made friends along the way.

Samantha Hillson, public information officer for the Tompkins County Health Department, conducts the participants of the Harmonicas for Health program Nov. 9. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

10 – Honoring local veterans on Veterans Day

A proud Veterans Day for an Ithaca local: an honor for Filipino-Americans 75 years in the making — In World War II, 260,000 Filipinos fought alongside the U.S. military in the Pacific Theater.

Seventy five years later, Ithacan Mimi Melegrito received a Congressional Gold Medal for her father, Greg Melegrito, who survived the Bataan Death March and passed away 15 years ago.

“He was so alive to me that day,” Melegrito said. “Having a father who is a veteran, Veterans Day always had meaning for me and my family. This Veterans Day is even more meaningful.”

Related: ICYMI: Photos from Ithaca Veterans Day ceremony, inaugural 5K

Featured image: Veterans attend the annual Tompkins County Veterans Day Ceremony in DeWitt Park. 


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.