Accident takes delayed toll

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — A second teen has died as a result of the automobile accident that occurred on Dahlia Road on October 27. Kelly Lackey, who had been in the Albany Medical Center on a respirator for two weeks following the accident with a broken neck and paralyzed limbs, died on Sunday, November 12. His friend Adam Lasky, who had been driving the Pontiac that skidded off the road and crashed, was killed instantly.

The death was unexpected, as Lackey’s fever had just broken from a bout of pneumonia, and he had been awake and alert, though sedated, in the previous days. Both teens were Livingston Manor High School seniors who had made plans for college, and planned to room together.

State ESOL programs fail to keep pace with immigrant population

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — A new report released by the Center for an Urban Future and the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy has found that, while Sullivan County was home to 2,233 adults with limited English skills in 2005, only 296 residents were enrolled in state-funded English as a second language (ESOL) programs that year. Similar results were found elsewhere in New York State.

The study, titled “Lost in Translation,” shows that even though the state’s foreign-born population has grown by nearly 1.3 million since 1990, adult ESOL programs administered through the State Department of Education added only 15,000 new seats over the same period. It points out that there are long waiting lists for ESOL programs in communities all over the state.

The report concludes that the ballooning number of immigrant workers in New York who speak limited English has become a serious economic and workforce development challenge for the state.

Personnel problems at Cornell Cooperative Extension

LIBERTY, NY — Former Cornell Cooperative finance manager William Domarew of Grahamsville was arrested on November 5, and charged with third-degree grand larceny and first-degree falsifying business records, felonies. Police say that from August 2004 to July 2006, Domarew used Cornell Cooperative credit cards to buy more than $3,000 in gasoline and other goods for his personal use. Domarew is free on bail.

The arrest was followed last week by the placing on leave of Judy Essex of Grahamsville, the executive director. District Attorney Steve Lungen said the leave was a Cornell Cooperative decision independent of the criminal investigation, and Essex has not been charged with any crime.

“We have an investigation going on, and we are looking into all aspects with respect to potential charges,” Lungen said. Lungen said there are also allegations of cash missing from the agency, beyond the charges against Domarew.

Joe Walsh, the agency’s agricultural program leader, has been appointed acting director. He declined to comment on what led the agency to place Essex on leave.

Hinchey to host media ownership forum

HYDE PARK, NY — With the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the midst of a review of media ownership rules, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) will host a panel discussion on the matter, featuring FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps, on Tuesday, November 21, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Henry A. Wallace Visitor and Education Center located at the FDR Library on Route 9.

The panel discussion, which will feature various local community leaders in addition to Hinchey and Copps, will discuss how media consolidation impacts local news coverage with a special focus on the Hudson Valley. After each of the panel speakers gives opening remarks, the floor will be opened to the audience. All public comments made by the audience at the forum will be transcribed and submitted to the FCC as formal public comment on the agency’s review of media ownership.

Hinchey has spearheaded efforts to slow down and, if possible, reverse the trend toward media consolidation and the elimination of competition in the broadcast news industry. Now that he is part of the majority on the Hill, his efforts can be expected to meet with greater success in the upcoming Congress.

The event is free and open to the public.

Schumer receives key Democratic leadership role

WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Charles Schumer, (D-NY), who, as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee(DSCC), was instrumental in the recent Democratic victories in the races for House and Senate, has been rewarded with a new leadership post created especially for him. The post is vice chairman of the Democratic conference. In the job, Schumer will oversee strategy and policy for the party. He will also take other assignments on an ongoing basis from incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who acts as conference chairman.

During the campaign, Schumer was partially responsible for recruiting candidates and for financing campaigns for the Senate as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Port Jervis men charged in cop beating

PORT JERVIS, NY — An off-duty New York City policeman, Adrean King, 33, was beaten by three attackers outside Alice’s Deli on Monday, November 13. Three men have been charged in the beating: Matthew Howell, 25; James Conklin, 24; and Shawn Kurtz, 25. All three have criminal records. It is alleged that the attackers, who are white, used racial epithets during the episode. King is black.

King approached the men when he saw them breaking off pieces of a wooden fence in front of his house. He was taken to Bon Secours Community Hospital following the incident, and is now at home with scrapes, bruises and an injured knee.

The three men were charged with second-degree gang assault, a felony. A fourth suspect is still at large.