Week in Review: Top 10 Cortland stories | July 10 – 17

These are the top local stories of the past week.

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1 – More than $20K raised for Homer girl injured in boating accident

Benefit planned for Homer girl injured in boating accident — A benefit has been planned to raise money for the medical bills and future accommodations of an 8-year-old Homer girl who was severely injured in a boating accident last week on Skaneatles Lake. A GoFundMe page for Kaelynne Driscoll has raised more than $20,000.

Kaelynne Driscoll. Photo courtesy of Kaelynne's Army.

Kaelynne Driscoll. Photo courtesy of Kaelynne's Army.

2 – Local farmer faces charges in teen's accidental death

Homer farm owner charged in boy's death — The owner of a local farm has been charged with more than a dozen labor violations following a year-long investigation into the death of a 14-year-old who was killed in a farming accident, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday. Luke Park, owner of the Park Family Farm in Homer, has been charged in connection with the death of 14-year-old Alex Smith, who died in July of 2015 while working on Park's farm.


Cortland Voice file photo

3 – Sexual abuse allegations made against Cortland man

Cortland man charged with 70 counts of sexual abuse — An 82-year-old Cortland man has been charged with more than 70 counts of sexual abuse following a 7-month investigation into allegations that a young girl was sexually abused by a family acquaintance. Arthur C. Ward, of Elm Street, was arrested Tuesday on 58 felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse for allegedly having sexual contact with a person under the age of 11.

Arthur Ward

Arthur Ward

4 – Upstate NY democrat steps up to challenge Seward

Seward faces democratic challenger in 2016 election  — Jermaine Bagnall-Graham has officially filed petition signatures to appear on the Democratic ticket for the 51st State Senate District. Bagnall-Graham is an Army veteran who lives in Sherburne, N.Y. He works as a clinical systems analyst for Bassett Healthcare Network in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Jermaine Bagnall-Graham

Jermaine Bagnall-Graham

5 – Guilty: Former Crown Center nursing aide admits to credit card theft

Cortland nurse aide pleads guilty to credit card theft — A former certified nurse aide at Crown Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation has entered a guilty plea in connection with the theft of a nursing home resident’s credit card. The New York State Attorney General’s Office announced Hope Pearson’s guilty plea Thursday to one felony count of criminal possession of stolen property.

Hope Pearson

Hope Pearson

6 – Owners of local comic book store start GoFundMe page to save shop

Heroes and Villains launches fundraiser to save store — The owners of a local comic book shop have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to keep a contract with a major comic book distributor. Diamond Comics Distributors, a company that transports comic books from publishers to retailers, has given the owners of Heroes and Villains a deadline of July 18 to come up with $6,000, according to co-owner Stephen Vincent, Jr. If the store fails to come up with the money, their account with Diamond Comics will be closed.

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7 – Driver sought in hit and run

Cortland police seek hit and run suspect — Police are looking for the owner of a vehicle that struck a pedestrian who was crossing the Tompkins and Main Street intersection last Saturday morning.

The Cortland Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying the registration and operator of the vehicle shown in this photo.

The Cortland Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying the registration and operator of the vehicle shown in this photo.

8 – Groton nuisance law holds up in court

Groton v. landlord: nuisance law stands, justice dismisses landlord's counterclaim — New York State Supreme Court Justice Phillip Rumsey ruled last week that the village of Groton's "nuisance law" is constitutional, allowing the village to continue its legal action against a local landlord. Last year, a legal conflict erupted between the Village of Groton and Norfe J. Pirro, a landlord who personally owns or manages four properties in Groton.

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9 – Cortland firefighters put out flames across the street from fire station

Cortland firefighters extinguish blaze at Court Street apartments — A fire in an apartment building across the street from the Cortland Fire Station was quickly extinguished Saturday afternoon. At 4:12 p.m., three people entered the fire station's headquarters at 21 Court Street to report a small fire in an alley near the apartment building at 22 Court Street.


10 – Man charged after brandishing knife in Groton

Police: Man charged with threatening person with a knife in Groton — A man is facing charges after police say he threaten a person with a knife during a dispute in Groton. Justin R. Hutchings, 28, is charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree menacing, and endangering the welfare of a child.