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Volunteers make holiday efforts possible

This time of year, there are a number of foot soldiers out there working to make someone’s holiday special. Whether it’s adopting a family to make sure they have presents under the tree or working at a local community dinner to ensure that people have a warm holiday meal in good company, many volunteer their time to give back to their community.

State offers scholarships, assistance with higher ed

Fall is the time of year when many graduating high school seniors start to look toward the future. According to the New York State Education Department, in 2010, 82 percent of high school graduates in New York entered postsecondary education which includes either two- or four-year institutions.

It’s time to get excited about Onondaga Lake

On Nov. 3, Honeywell announced that they have completed the court ordered dredging and removal of 2.2 million cubic yards of contaminated material on the western shore of Onondaga Lake, a year ahead of schedule.

Thanking our veterans

This column is dedicated to our veterans. I am pleased to host the CNY Veterans Parade and Expo held at the New York State Fairgrounds. Each year, this event gets bigger and better and this year was no exception. Fair officials estimated that more than 8,000 spectators and participants came through the gates to salute and honor the extraordinary service that our Central New York men and women in uniform have contributed to defending America’s freedoms.

LIBRARY FOCUS: Give thanks for BPL programs

Give thanks this week brings us a brief break for reflection before the holiday madness reaches full speed. In the meantime we have resources to help you cope, help you profit or help you get out of the way of the prevailing insanity.

On the campaign trail: Mahoney endorses Katko

Republican Congressional candidate John Katko has received the backing of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.

On the campaign trail: DeJoseph will have a ballot line

Judge Brian DeJoseph has earned the Conservative Party nomination in his bid for reelection to the New York State Supreme Court. DeJoseph’s name will appear on Row C this year along with other highly qualified Conservative candidates. This position will appear on ballots in Onondaga, Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and Herkimer counties.

On the campaign trail: Maffei agrees to debates

During the 2012 season, Rep. Dan Maffei participated in just two debate. He's upping that number this time around. The Democratic incumbent running for the 24th Congressional District has announced a series of debates and joint appearances with Republican challenger John Katko. Four debates will be televised by local stations, and two will be broadcast on public radio.

On the campaign trail: First responders endorse Maffei

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) announced last week that he had earned the endorsement of local public safety officials in his campaign to keep his seat in the 24th Congressional District. Several first responders joined Maffei at a press conference to announce their support for the incumbent, who is running against former federal prosecutor John Katko of Camillus.

On the campaign trail: Katko responds to allegations: ‘I was the victim of a crime’

Republican Congressional candidate John Katko is fighting back against accusations of wrongdoing relating to a gun crime that took place in April of 2000. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Katko purchased a personal firearm to protect the safety of his family in late 1999. On April 3, 2000, Katko and his wife attended an event at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on the city’s west side. He left the gun, loaded, out of view in his car. While Katko was inside the church, someone broke into his car and stole a duffel bag, which contained the gun.

Chapter 18: The Adventures of Frankie

Over time

“This rain sucks, is it ever gonna stop? This rain sucks, is it ever going to stop?” Frankie’s head hung low under the hood of his raincoat. “Yeah, but didn’t your grandfather say this was the best time to fish?” Scrawny Ronnie let out a snicker. Frankie didn’t offer a response. “What’s with you?” Ronnie didn’t really expect him to answer; he already knew his best friend wasn’t pleased with all the rain they’d been getting.

Chapter 17: The Adventures of Frankie

The gift

Paulette bounced up behind Frankie digging fingers into both sides of his ribs. He nearly cleared the jewelry counter at the discount department store. Good thing nobody was waiting on him, she’d a freaked them out too.

Chapter 16: The Adventures of Frankie

Charge

“Dad,” Frankie whispered out of the corner of his mouth. “Dad,” a little more insistent. “DAD,” he nearly shouted as he tugged at his father’s shirt. “Yeah, yeah, what?” Dad turned his attention from the wall of fishing lures lined in neat rows. “Those people are buying some of my worms!” His voice was down to a whisper again, but still very excited.

There is truth to what 'they' say

So they say that after you adopt, you're sure to become pregnant. Well, there's truth to that particular adage, though I didn't think it spoke to me. I was wrong ...

On the campaign trail: Maffei releases first TV ad

Congressman Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) has released his first television campaign ad, sparking sharp criticism from the opposition. Maffei’s ad, a 30-second spot entitled “Hard Work,” features the congressman visiting with small businessmen and –women, chatting with senior citizens and posing with his family. The ad asserts that Maffei, too, is sick of Congressional gridlock and perks and is working hard to get rid of them.