Hello! These are the top local stories of the past week.
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1 – 20 years to life for Michael Hammond
Hammond sentenced in murder of Cortland teen – Michael S. Hammond II, of Virgil, was sentenced in Cortland County Court Thursday to 20 years to life in state prison in connection with the murder of a 16-year-old Cortland teen last May. The 24-year-old previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Amie Leland, who was a 16-year-old student at Cortland High School.
2 – House badly damaged in fire
Crews battle house fire in homer – Firefighters from four different departments were called to a structure fire at a home in the town of Homer Wednesday. All of the people inside the home were able to make it out safely, according to Homer Fire Chief Robert Johnson.
3 – National recognition for SUNY Cortland teacher
SUNY Cortland child care teacher wins national award – Heather Tuttle was recently awarded the Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Award — one of only 50 teachers from across the nation to earn the honor. “I’m a kid with the kids,” said Tuttle, who has taught for four years in SUNY Cortland’s Child Care Center. “One day, if we’re doing a lesson on snowflakes and all of a sudden they want to talk about dinosaurs, we’ll talk about dinosaurs instead. I have to be flexible.”
4 – Authorities make several meth-related arrests
A Cortland County man has been accused of manufacturing methamphetamine at a two-family residence in the town of Taylor, the Cortland County Sheriff's Office said Thursday. Christopher C. Baker, 26, was found to be in possession of several items used to manufacture methamphetamine both inside and outside the residence, authorities said.
Two Cortland County residents have also been accused of making meth following a traffic stop last week, the sheriff's office announced Wednesday. Nathan J. Hammond, 21, of McGraw, was driving the vehicle on Route 281 when the pair was pulled over. His passenger was identified as Samuel J. Swan, Jr., 40, of Cortland.
Two people were arrested Saturday after police found a meth lab in their Clinton Avenue apartment, according to the City of Cortland Police Department. Robert W. Youngblood, 50, and Alice A. Youngblood, 50, were charged with one count of third-degree manufacturing of methamphetamine, a class D felony.
5 – Police make arrest in stabbing at TC3
Man charged after TC3 stabbing – A man has been charged following a stabbing that happened at Tompkins Cortland Community College Feb. 4. Naquan Pierce is charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon after police say he was involved in a stabbing that happened around 2:30 p.m. in front of the cafeteria.
6 – Man struck by vehicle in Groton dies from injuries
Groton man dies from injuries after being struck by vehicle – A Groton man who was struck by a vehicle last week while walking on Peru Road has died from his injuries, according to his obituary. Robert J. Pless, 39, was walking southbound in the middle of the northbound lane in the area of 692 Peru Road last Wednesday when he was struck by a vehicle being driven by Paul E. Miller, 31, of Freeville. Police have said Miller was unable to avoid hitting Pless and authorities do not plan to pursue criminal charges against him.