State Issues Air Quality Advisory for Today
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the state health department have issued an air quality health advisory that includes Otsego, Chenango, and Delaware Counties.
The advisory is in effect today through 11 p.m. tonight for increased levels of ozone or fine particulate matter in the air.
The combination of summer heat and vehicle exhaust can build up during very hot weather. People who have breathing difficulties or who are involved in vigorous activities should limit their exposure to the outdoors according to the state agencies.
Teacher Evaluations Move Closer to Public Release
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has introduced a bill that would limit information to the public about a teacher’s evaluation.
The governor’s proposal would allow school teacher’s ratings to be viewed by the public without the actual name of the teacher attached to that rating.
The plan would allow the parents of their child’s teacher some limited access to the evaluation information. The bill has the support of the two major teachers unions.
While the assembly expects to pass the governor’s measure before Thursday’s last day of session, the senate leadership has indicated it needs to study the idea, so it may not come up for a vote by the time lawmakers head home.
New Bill Could Grant Leniency to Schools Affected by Hurricane Irene
School districts that had to remain closed this fall after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee will not be penalized for lost days.
A bill passed by the senate and assembly this week will waive the normal requirement that schools remain in session for 180 days to receive state aid.
The districts currently have five days of instructional time they can lose and still receive state aid, but the legislation sponsored by Oneonta state senator James Seward, and Binghamton assemblywoman Donna Lupardo will give schools up to 10 days missed if they were damaged by last fall’s storms.
The bill will be sent to the governor.
Otsego County Sheriff’s Department Gains Accreditation From Albany
The Otsego County sheriff’s department has received an important recognition: Sheriff Richard Devlin has announced his department’s law enforcement division has been granted accreditation from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services in Albany.
The sheriff’s office has been working toward accreditation for a few years, and an inspection team verified Otsego County’s sheriff’s office passed 133 accreditation standards in April.
Devlin says the accreditation process was a major undertaking, having to meet high standards, professionalism, along with excellence and competence in law enforcement.
Only 20 percent of New York’s 542 law enforcement agencies in the state have reached this accomplishment.
The sheriff’s department is now working for the same recognition in its corrections and e-911 centers.
Norwich Man Gets 9 Charges in Arrest
The Chenango County sheriff’s office arrested a Norwich man Sunday on multiple charges.
Ryan R. Healy, 34, led a sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase on County Highway 10a in Preston at around 3:18 a.m. Sunday at a speed of 107 mph.
Healy turned onto a secondary road to avoid police where he fled his vehicle on foot and was apprehended a short time later in a section of woods.
Healy was charged with DWI, reckless driving, speeding, failure to comply, speed not reasonable and prudent, operating without insurance, refusal to take a breath test, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of marijuana.
He was arraigned in Town of Preston court, remanded to the Chenango County correctional facility on bail and will appear in court a later date.
How to Survive Hot Weather
With two days of hot weather upon us, health officials are warning of the dangers of exposure to extreme temperatures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that about 400 Americans die each year due to extreme heat—more than all other weather events, including tornados, floods and hurricanes.
Some ways to stay healthy in hot weather are to find a cool place to rest, drink plenty of water, avoid being outside, don’t leave pets or children in a closed car, check up on senior citizens and children and don’t drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks.
Thursday night, cooler air will move into the area with temperatures in the upper 70s Friday through Sunday.