Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.

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1 – ‘It’s what I have left of my son, a plastic bag’

Mother gives heartfelt statements to woman involved in fatal Newfield crime — The mother of Camden Rundell, who was found dead on his lawn in Newfield in 2016, gave heartfelt statements during the sentencing of Colleen McColgin on Feb. 26. McColgin was involved in the robbery that turned fatal. She pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy in December.

“…No one is guilty of my son’s murder and yet that’s what his death certificate says, is that it was a homicide, not a heart attack, not a drug overdose,” Kimberly DeCoudres said.

2 – Ithaca man charged with armed robbery of Domino’s delivery driver

Update: Police charge Ithaca man with armed robbery of Domino’s driver — Ithaca police have charged 25-year-old Dennis Noonan, of Ithaca, with felony second-degree robbery after he robbed a pizza delivery driver Monday at gunpoint and barricaded himself in his apartment later the next day, police said.

Police say a search of Noonan’s apartment also indicated a meth lab, but the investigation continues. No charges have been filed related to meth-making materials.

Police set up a command post Tuesday night while a suspect was barricaded in a West Village apartment and refusing to come out. Photo by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice

3 – Tompkins considers asking state to ban single-use plastic bags

Bye to single-use plastic bags? Tompkins committee calls for statewide ban — A committee of Tompkins County Legislature passed a resolution calling for New York to ban plastic shopping bags, as a way to cut down on plastic waste.

Americans use an estimated 100 billion lightweight single-use plastic retails bags, the resolution states, and 95 percent of those end up in the garbage, as litter or they contaminate recycling. The resolution unanimously supported by the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee is heading to full Tompkins County Legislature on Tuesday for discussion and potential approval.

Tompkins County Legislature. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

4 – Cornell Police sergeant recognized for saving drowning teen

Officer of the Month: Cornell Sgt. recognized for saving drowning teen — A Cornell University Police sergeant was awarded the Frank G. Hammer Officer of the Month award Monday afternoon in recognition of his lifesaving effort to help a drowning teenager.

Sgt. Steven Shirley was sitting poolside with his wife on July 18 during the second day of their vacation in Ocean City, Maryland. It was a typical summer scene with a lot kids playing in the hotel pool, Shirley said. But then, he noticed something amiss.

(Left to right) Sgt. Steven Shirley stands with Mimi Melegrito, president of the Kiwanis Club of Ithaca-Cayuga,Cornell Police Chief Kathy Zoner, and District Attorney Matt Van Houten. Photo by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice

5 – How much does $1,500 get you in square footage in Ithaca?

Squeeze in! A look at Ithaca’s pricey square footage — Housing is expensive in Ithaca. Yes, most readers have probably heard that comment by now. But sometimes, it’s hard to visualize how much farther, or much less a dollar goes in Ithaca when compared to its neighbors and peers. Today, let’s look at the numbers.

Real estate listing aggregator ApartmentList decided to compile some data to see how much space a certain monthly rent would get you in a given community.

6 – New brewery opening in Rongovian Embassy space in Trumansburg

Garrett’s Brewing to open in former Rongovian Embassy in Trumansburg — Rongovians rejoice! A new brewery is set to open in Trumansburg this year in the former Rongovian Embassy space on West Main Street.

Garrett’s Brewing announced on its website that it is in the process of becoming a full-fledged brewery. “Once we are done with our build-out, we will be located on Main St in Trumansburg, NY in the site of the former Rongovian Embassy!”

Check back in for more details later in the week.

7 – IHS students demand pioneering education on race, school safety

Ithaca High School students, community demand pioneering education on race, school safety — At a packed Board of Education meeting last week, Ithaca High School students demanded changes in the district to teach students about race and diversity. The effort comes after students spoke out about diversity and casting practices at the school. After the school’s spring play, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” was canceled, national media outlets picked up the story. Soon after came relentless threats and harassment to students and their families.

“Let me just say, I am sick and tired of the lack of conversation and education on race our school has. The things that I’ve been experienced during this movement — the hate the threats on my life — they all come from the lack of race education in every school system. Why can’t we change that? Why can’t we change the way our school talks about race or, in most, cases let’s make it an actual conversation,” student Eamon Nunn-Makepeace, said.

Annabella Mead-VanCort speaks to the Ithaca City School District Board of Directors on Tuesday. Photo by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice

8 – Sheriff supports statewide call for armed officers in schools

Tompkins sheriff supports statewide call for funding armed officers in all schools — The New York State Sheriffs’ Association called upon the state legislature last week to review the 2018 state budget to provide at least one armed school resource officer (SRO) in every grade school and high school in the state.

With a larger police presence, Sheriff Ken Lansing said the goal is to transition schools into “hardened targets,” meaning that they would be less vulnerable to situations involving gun violence and shootings. Hypothetically, the SRO would help advise schools on the protocol to control access to buildings, and assist with installing improved security procedures, conduct lockdown exercises, and provide self-defense training in preparation for an active-shooter situation.

9 – Weekend storm hits Northeast

Weather: Missing the bullseye this week (Whew!) — Probably the big thing on everyone’s mind from last week was the Nor’Easter that blew through the region Thursday night through Friday.

In Ithaca, the effect was surprisingly muted. During some of the most intense periods for snow upstate, the bands of the snow struggled to make it east of I-81. The local maximum actually appears to be an 11″ reading from Ulysses.

Baker Park in the City of Ithaca on March 2. Kelsey O’Connor/Ithaca Voice

10 – Food insecurity in Tompkins. The Ithaca Voice is teaming up with the Ithaca College Park Scholar Program, WRFI News and Hot Potato Press to explore this big topic

Feeding Tompkins: Food insecurity is anything but simple — Fourteen thousand five hundred Tompkins County residents are food insecure, according to FeedingAmerica.org. That means 14% of residents here are unable to get an adequate amount of quality food on a regular basis.

Who’s affected? What resources are available, and where do they fall short? When needs remain unmet, what are the consequences for individuals and our community? What new solutions are on the horizon?

These are the questions posed by the Feeding Tompkins series. The series officially launched last week.

Featured image: Annabella Mead-VanCort speaks to the Ithaca City School District Board of Directors on Tuesday. Photo by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.