Welcome to the quickest way to learn the week’s most important local news.
1 – Officer Colin comes home to hero’s welcome
Community’s love for Lt. Colin clear along police procession route — Lt. Colin Hayward Toland, Ithaca’s youngest police officer at just 10 years old, came home to a hero’s welcome last week.
Lt. Colin had been fighting against brain cancer on-and-off since he was two years old. His family announced on March 18, the morning after his passing, “Lieutenant Colin returned to the cosmos in the loving embrace of his family. His passing was more peaceful and gentle than we could have imagined. On his last day, he went outside and felt the sun on his face and the wind in his hair.”
Colin became the youngest police officer at the Ithaca Police Department on Sept. 12, 2016. Former Ithaca Police Chief John Barber met Colin at the second-annual Ithaca Police Community Barbecue that July. At the event, Colin said it was his dream to be a police officer when he grew up. Ithaca Police and City of Ithaca officials helped make that dream come true.
On Tuesday, the community’s love for Colin was evident as police officers and first responders from throughout the area led Colin in from Syracuse Hancock International Airport. As the procession turned off of Route 81, people came out holding flags and waving the motorcade on. The procession traveled under American flags strung between ladder trucks.
Colin was buried Saturday during a private service at Greensprings Natural Cemetery Preserve.
2 – Justice for transgender woman Josie Berrios’ family
Dryden man receives maximum sentence for Collegetown murder — Michael Davis, 47, was arrested following the death of Ithaca woman Josie Berrios, 28, who was found dead at a Collegetown construction site on June 13.
According to people who knew the pair, they were in a romantic relationship and were living together when they got into a dispute at an unfinished office building at 209/215 Dryden Road. Davis later admitted to starting a fire at the building, causing Berrios to die of smoke inhalation.
He attributed the murder to ‘relationship dysfunctions’ between himself and Berrios led to the deterioration of his mental health.
In February, Davis pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and waived his rights to appeal, and on Friday he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
3 – Records indicate that Walmart employee tipped off police about possible weapons arsenal
Tip from Walmart employee led to discovery of arsenal in former Cornell student’s apartment — What started as a tip from a concerned Walmart employee turned into a federal investigation that quickly revealed what police called an “alarming discovery” of weapons and other items in a former Cornell University student’s apartment.
Documents filed in court reveal more about the investigation that led up to the arrest of 20-year-old Maximilien R. Reynolds who is facing charges for two counts of possession of an unregistered destructive device/silencer, false statement in acquisition of a firearm and false statement in required firearm record.
4 – New restaurant on the Commons
Restaurant featuring home-cooked style meals to open on Ithaca Commons — A new restaurant promising family style meals, hearty breakfasts, fresh soups and baked goods is coming to the Ithaca Commons.
The Downtown Ithaca Alliance announced Thursday that The Commons Kitchen will open April 1 at 124 E. State St. The restaurant will take over the former Due Amici space, nestled between Petrune and Julie A. Stone Salon.
5 – Teen indicted on sex abuse charges
Ulysses teen charged with sexually abusing child — Elijah R. Gumaer, 16, was indicted March 15 in Tompkins County Court on charges of first-degree sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to court records, Gumaer admitted to police that he had taken off his clothing as well as the clothing of a child and touched the child inappropriately, something that allegedly has happened at least five times since January.
6 – TCAT bus goes up in smoke
TCAT bus catches fire; no one injured — At about 4:45 p.m. Friday, the Trumansburg Fire Department and Ithaca Fire Department responded to the 1600 block of Route 96 for a report of a TCAT bus that was filling with smoke. When emergency crews arrived, they found the bus on fire but all occupants were out and accounted for.
7 – Public discussion planned for Cornell’s East Hill Village
Community invited to participate in design meetings for Cornell’s East Hill Village — It’s been a while since Cornell’s massive East Hill Village project has been on anyone’s radar, but it looks like concept plans are moving forward.
Readers may recall that East Hill Village is Cornell’s plan to reconfigure and expand East Hill Plaza into an entire community of homes, shops and offices. The 35-acre shopping center and surrounding properties would be redeveloped into a walkable neighborhood, with an eye towards Cornell faculty, staff and graduate/professional students.
On the evening of April 9, there will be an update on what Cornell and its partners have been doing over the past year with regards to the project, and a public discussion to refine its goals and objectives.
8 – Hundreds gather on Ithaca Commons for ‘March for Our Lives’ rally
‘March for Our Lives’ brings Ithaca students, community together to rally for gun control — Hundreds of people joined that national movement to ‘March for Our Lives’ as a response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last month that left 17 people dead.
At the Ithaca rally, people could be heard chanting for blocks as they streamed into the Commons and made their voices heard.
“It is is a travesty that access to assault weapons and other weapons of mass destruction is so easy,” Tompkins County Legislator Leslyn McBean-Clairborne said. “For those of you here who like their guns, let me be clear – we are not stepping on people’s second amendment rights. Instead, we are standing for the protection of human life – we are standing on this day, at this time, to say ‘enough is enough’.”
9 – Get ready to see the green
Dockless bike-sharing program set to launch in Ithaca — A fleet of lime green bicycles will soon be available for local residents to rent as part of a new bike-share system.
Bike Walk Tompkins and the City of Ithaca are partnering with LimeBike to bring 200 bicycles to the city for a new dockless bike-share program launching in April. Unlike some bikes-sharing systems in other cities, these bikes will not be fastened to clunky bike stations. They can be parked anywhere and will lock automatically until unlocked by someone who wants to rent one. The cost will be $1 per ride. For students with a valid .edu email address, it’s 50 cents per ride.
10 – Still no results in close Village of Dryden mayoral race
Village Election Results: Close call in Dryden— Several hundred voters turned out for local elections in some county villages last week.
The races in Dryden is an example that every vote counts. Democratic candidate Michael Murphy is currently leading the mayoral race by nine votes, but absentee ballots still need to be counted. Votes for trustees are close, too. The Tompkins County Board of Elections said 24 absentee ballots were issued for the Village of Dryden, and 20 have been received so far. The certified results will be released Tuesday.