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AARP Driver Safety recognizes Canton Woods

Local organization receives award for offering driving refresher courses in 2013 From more than 18,000 organizations nationwide, AARP Driver Safety recently recognized Canton Woods Senior Center with the inaugural “Top 100 Host” Award for its outstanding support in 2013. Canton Woods Senior Center has supported AARP Driver Safety for many years by collaborating with local volunteers to host its classroom-based driving refresher course, designed to help drivers age 50 and older stay safe and confident behind the wheel.

Shepard: Support OCRRA's 'Trash-for-Ash' efforts

When I was a kid, I practically lived at the Van Buren pool in the summer, and I remember often hearing visitors at the park protesting a proposed landfill nearby. Residents surrounding the semi-rural location were alarmed at the potential for plummeting property values and a diminished quality of life. Although the site has not been turned into a landfill, the 500-acre property is still owned by the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA), which holds the necessary permits to convert the site to an ash landfill, so the potential for its development continues. The proposed Trash-for-Ash agreement OCRRA is negotiating with Cortland County is critically important to preventing a landfill from coming to Van Buren.

Barclay: Stronger penalties for child abusers needed

According to the most recent statistics I could find, in 2012, more than 600,000 children in the United States and Puerto Rico were victims of child abuse and more than 1,500 children died as a result of abuse or neglect. Even more tragic, these are only reported cases of abuse and neglect. It is estimated that the actual number of abuse cases is three times greater. No matter how many cases of child abuse and neglect there are, any child abuse is too much and we must do more as a community and a nation to prevent it.

DeFrancisco: Preventing child abuse

April is proclaimed Child Abuse Prevention Month in the State of New York — a time to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of child abuse and how we, as a society, can help make a difference.

B’ville school district BOE adopts 2014-15 budget

The Baldwinsville Central School District Board of Education unanimously adopted the proposed 2014-15 school district budget at its April 7 meeting. The adopted budget totals $96,887,219, an increase of 1.99 percent over this year’s budget. If approved by residents, the new budget will entail a tax rate increase of 2.87 percent.

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Baker student healthcare team takes on teen anxiety

Baldwinsville comes in first place in competition

“How often do you feel anxious?” “How often do you think other students are anxious?” These were the first two questions in a survey created, distributed and ultimately analyzed by the Baker High School team that won first place in last week’s third annual Healthcare Olympiad, a competition sponsored by the Central New York Area Health Education Center (CNYAHEC). The team was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

Full-day kindergarten in the 2014-15 budget

Baldwinsville BOE to vote on implementation in April

Half-day kindergarten may be coming to an end for families living in the Baldwinsville Central School District. Superintendent Jeanne Dangle announced last week that costs associated with full-day kindergarten have been implemented into the 2014-15 budget.

OCM BOCES to host Common Core academies for educators

Central New York educators can take advantage of courses designed to help them implement the Common Core curriculum at OCM BOCES next week. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 27 and 28, educators in the Syracuse area can attend Discovery Education’s Common Core Academies at BOCES’ Central New York Regional Information Center, 6075 East Molloy Road, Syracuse. The courses will be lead by Common Core state standards expert Dr. Karen Beerer and hosted by Discovery Education, a publisher and content provider that offers textbooks and multimedia content that support Common Core implementation.

OCC child care faces cuts

Community college students may soon have a harder time finding child care while they go to school. In his 2014-15 executive budget proposal, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed cutting $653,000 from the state’s operating grant to the State University of New York’s child care centers. The cut would come in addition to a reduction in the federal Child Care Block Grant, which subsidizes care for children of needy student-parents. While the New York State Senate restored Cuomo’s cut in their budget proposal, advocates say the cuts faced by SUNY centers in the last several years are still devastating and need to be restored. And it’s community colleges that will likely see the most damaging consequences.

Get rid of the GEA now

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York is looking at a $2 million budget surplus. Cuomo has talked a lot about the surplus and his plans for it. Unfortunately for him, it’s not his money to spend.

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‘Healthcare Olympiad’ held at SUNY Upstate Medical Center a major success

The Central New York Area Health Education Center (CNYAHEC) held its third annual Healthcare Olympiad competition at SUNY Upstate Medical University March 15 to promote interest among high school students in pursuing healthcare careers.

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WCNY-FM offers special radio service for blind and visually impaired

For more than three decades, WCNY-FM has been serving the blind and visually-impaired residents of Central New York with a special radio service called READ-OUT.

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Local artist blooms in Baldwinsville

When you walk into Baldwinsville’s Canal Walk Cafe, you’re surrounded by the talents of local artists in a variety of media: culinary, crafting and paintings just to name a few. What you may not know is that one of those artists responsible for the eclectic and eye-catching decor is also involved in dishing up your palate’s preference. Meet your server, Jackie Colello, a gifted painter whose passion involves another kind of palette: color.

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St. Mary’s: A league of their own

St. Mary’s Academy girls’ basketball team wins season for the first time ever

St. Mary’s Academy girls’ basketball team went 13-1 this season, winning its league as well as two outside tournaments — neither of which had ever been done before. It was also the first year in a long time the parochial school had enough girls to form a team of their own. Before, they had to play with the boys.

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As testing regulations increase, more and more parents choose to homeschool their children

As controversies over Common Core and mandated standardized tests become more and more prevalent, many parents are choosing a new option in educating their children: homeschooling. Once the sole province of the very religious, homeschooling is becoming more popular every day, with a growth rate of 7 to 15 percent per year. Nationwide, about 2 million children learn at home instead of in a brick-and-mortar school, up from about 1 million in 2003. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 88 percent of U.S. homeschool parents express concern about the school environment, citing drugs, negative peer pressure and general safety.