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Local News Archive - 1999 Part I


Local Colleges Among the Nation's Most Wired

Three Mohawk Valley colleges, Colgate University, Hamilton College and SUNY College of Technology were all ranked among the "100 Most Wired Colleges" in a report compiled by Yahoo! Internet Life. Colgate placed 5th, Hamilton ranked 83rd and SUNY Utica-Rome placed 95th. (April 22, 1999)


Alumni Running for Village Offices

Kevin Bluett '74, is a Republican candidate and, Chuck Lester '74 is an Independent Candidate for Village Trustee. Two, 3-year term Trustee positions will be filled in this year's June election. Kevin is an incumbant candidate for the Trustee position. Tom Bechard '72 is also an Independent candidate for a Trustee position. The only other candidate up for the Trustee positions is Republican incumbant, Mark Cushman. The Democrats do not have any candidates on the slate, except for current Trustee, Norma Smith, who will be running against incumbant Mayor, Charles Haggerty, the Republican Candidate. (April 17, 1999)


Alumni Running for School Board

Lawrence Thibault '74, is running unopposed for a five-year seat on the Ilion Central District School Board. Larry is a current member of the Board. He will be joined, in the May 18th election, by Daniel LaLonde '75. There are two seats open in this election and Larry and Dan are the only candidates seeking the seats. (April 17, 1999)


Are You Bloomin Crazy?.....

Village residents, civic groups, merchants, IHS alumni, and religious organizations are invited to participate in the 4th annual 1999 BLOOMIN' CRAZY CONTEST! This is your chance to exhibit your gardening skills, while showing your pride in your grand, old hometown. Many thanks goes out to all of the IHS alumni who participated in past years. (modified April 7, 1999)

uncle sam pic

Get Therapy!



Woodstock 30th Reunion in Central New York - Band Lineup Announced ! ...

is coming to the former Griffiss Airforce Base (Rome, NY) - it's official!. The 30th reunion concert is expected to draw 250,000 concert goers to Central New York for the 3 day concert, July 23-25. Check here for the Band Lineup Announced Today. (April 8, 1999)


UnionTools adding more than 100 jobs....

UnionTools announced plans to begin a $3 million expansion project that will be bringing an additional 110 jobs to Frankfort. The company currently employs 252 people. The new jobs are being created as the manufacturer of lawn and garden tools consolidates its smaller manufacturing plant in Columbus, Ohio, with its Frankfort facility. (March 5, 1998)


Looking for pre-1960 Ilion Eagle Scouts for 'Wall of Fame'....

Did you become an Eagle Scout prior to 1960? If so, please send an email to me and I'll pass along your information for inclusion in the 'Ilion Eagle Scout Wall of Fame Plaques'. Dan Joslin, of Boy Scout Troop 9, is creating a large plaque to include the names of all Ilion's Eagle Scouts. To date, there have been about 135 Eagle Scouts from the village of Ilion. (February 23, 1998)


Woodstock 30th Reunion in Central New York! ...

Woodstock '99 is coming to the former Griffiss Airforce Base (Rome, NY) - it's official!. The 30th reunion concert is expected to draw 250,000 concert goers to Central New York for the 3 day concert, July 23-25. The 1994 - 25th Anniversary Woodstock concert was held in Saugerties, NY. Ticket prices are expected to be about $135 for the three-day event. Promoters estimate that the event will generate $30 million into the local Rome economy. (February 13, 1999)


Pratt Institute of Brooklyn teaming with Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute ...

The two art institutes are teaming up to offer a four-year degree program that will begin in Utica and end with a bachelor of fine arts degree from the prestigoius Pratt Institute. Students will complete their first two years at Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute and finish degree requirements on the Brooklyn campus. (January 28, 1999)


Municipal Building Veterans Wall of Honor....

The Ilion Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree has taken on the project of updating and refurbishing the Combat Veterans Wall of Honor in the Ilion Municipal Building. The Knights will be joined by volunteers from the Marine Corps League and the Ilion American Legion Post 920. Any verteran of a recognized war (World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm) who is not listed on the wall may send a copy of his or her DD 214 (discharge certificate) and proof that his or her home of record was Ilion when he or she was enlisted, drafted or was commissioned an officer in the military. The veterans must have served in a combat zone. Mail information to: Veterans Wall, P.O. Box 270, Ilion 13357. (January 16, 1999)


Judge Rules DiPiazza can NOT move back to Frankfort....

Supreme Court Justice Philip Berke granted Herkimer County District Attorney Michael Daley the opportunity to present oral arguments opposing DiPiazza's release and return to Frankfort, in a hearing held Monday, January 11, 1999. Mr. Daley traveled to the Fort Edward courthouse, in Washington County, on Friday, January 8, 1999 to present his request. The judge granted his request and scheduled the hearing for January 11, 1999. A representative of the state attorney general was also scheduled to be at the January 11th hearing to present arguments against DiPiazza's return.

A bus load of Valley residents accompanied District Attorney Daley to Monday's hearing. Included in the group were Noreen Jones' Aunt Frances 'Chicky' Irons, and Noreen's brothers, George and Brian Jones, and Noreen's mother, Mrs. Flora Jones. The courtroom was packed with people for the hearing, a rarity in hearings of this type.

Fifty-four year old Bennedict DiPiazza appeared in court with his attorney, Charles Wilcox. Mr. Wilcox argued that the Division of Parole had made only limited attempts to find Bennie DiPiazza a home and a place to work. Mary Hill, an assistant state attorney general argued that the Division of Parole had made "....numerous exhaustive efforts..." to find him a home, mentioning California, Vermont, Utica, and three hotels in Syracuse. All of the prior efforts were found unacceptable by the Division of Parole or were not possible because DiPiazza family members refused to allow the defendant to live with them. Judge Burke ruled that Bennie DiPiazza cannot move back to Frankfort or move anywhere near Frankfort. Judge Berke said to DiPiazza, "There is no way you should be returned to Frankfort and no way that will ever happen."

George "PeeWee" Jones was "elated" with the decision and thanked all who signed petitions, wrote letters and made calls on behalf of the family of murder victim Noreen Jones. (updated January 12, 1999)


Angry Protest over Bennie DiPiazza Parole Letter....

A group of protestors, including Herkimer County District Attorney Michael E. Daley, attended the Frankfort Town Board meeting on December 29, 1998, to criticize the actions of Town Supervisor Joseph Kinney. Mr. Kinney sent a letter, dated August 14, 1998, to the State Parole Board, regarding the release and return to Frankfort of convicted killer Benedict (Bennie) X. DiPiazza. In the letter, written on official town stationary, Kinney informed the Parole Board that no official documents, opposing DiPiazza's return to Frankfort, had crossed his desk. A similar letter by Frankfort Mayor Fred Pumilio, dated August 6, 1998, and one by Village Trustees Francis Spatol and William Evans, dated July 15, 1998, were also sent to the Parole Board. Kinney would not reveal who asked him to write the letter. He stated that it took him over a month to compose it and that it did not reflect the Town Board's opinion.

Noreen Jones
DiPiazza murder victim - Noreen Jones
Attended IHS 1961 - 1962

"I've had to live with this for 35 years," said George "Pee Wee" Jones, IHS alumnus and brother of 17 year old Noreen Jones, who was stalked and murdered by DiPiazza, in August of 1964. Mr. Jones presented Kinney a stack of petitions as evidence of the community's opposition to DiPiazza's release. Mrs. Flora Jones, Noreen's 80 year old mother, is sick about the reliving of her family's nightmare, if and when DiPiazza is released.

DiPiazza's lawyers have attached the Kinney letter to their motion for release, as evidence that he can be returned to Frankfort. DiPiazza's attorney, Charles Wilcox of Troy, filed motion papers and included more than 20 reasons why restrictions on his client's return are unwarranted. Wilcox's motion states that a job is waiting for DiPiazza, at Montana's Sports Bar located on Frankfort's North Litchfield Street. Wilcox also argues that DiPiazza has a place to live, with DiPiazza's own father on Pleasant Avenue in Frankfort.

After many unsuccessful attempts, DiPiazza was paroled in February 1996. The inability to find him an appropriate home is keeping DiPiazza incarcerated, according to Parole Division Assistant Director, Tom Grant. DiPiazza is being held at the Groveland Correctional Facility, a medium security prison, 45 miles south of Rochester, NY.

Herkimer County District Attorney Michael Daley said that he and the Jones family were not notified, in advance, of DiPiazza's 1996 Parole hearing. In June of 1996, a public outcry forced the Parole Board to re-investigate his release. The Board ruled that he was not allowed to return to Frankfort to live, when he's released.

Assistant District Attorney John Speer, a cousin of Noreen Jones, told Kinney he fears for his own and his family's safety. District Attorney Michael Daley will speak to the Parole Board, January 8, 1999, and said "Under no circumstances does the man deserve to be released from prison."

Seventeen friends and relatives of DiPiazza's, attended the January 5, 1999 Frankfort Town Board meeting, to speak in support of Bennie DiPiazza's return to Frankfort. Richard Talerico, DiPiazza's cousin, spoke for the family, saying District Attorney Daley "... has created a hysteria...." The Town Board agreed to fax a letter to the Senior Parole Officer, before the January 8th hearing, stating that the board is neutral on the topic of DiPiazza's return to Frankfort.

Both District Attorney Daley and Noreen's brother, George Jones, hope those who have been silent will now be heard. This can be accomplished through signing a petition, making a phone call or sending mail, to let the Parole Board know your thoughts and feelings regarding the release of Benedict X. DiPiazza.

(Updated January 6, 1999 - compiled from Observer Dispatch Articles - Dec. 10, 30, 31 - 1998, The Evening Telegram Jan. 6 1999)


Contact Names and Phone numbers you can use to express your opinion
Terrence Barton, regional director State Division of Parole
James Carswell, senior parole officer at Great Meadows Correctional Facility 518-639-3699
Elliot Spitzer, Attorney General 1-800-771-7755
Michael Daley, Herkimer County District Attorney 315-867-1155
Comments can be sent to Gov. Pataki at email address - gov.pataki@chamber.state.ny.us


Herkimer Alumni Web Site....

herkimer high alumni web site

A must visit.... the Herkimer High School - Alumni site, created by Michael Fullerton HHS, Class of '82. Let your Magician spouse know that he/she can join the fun now. (January 8, 1999)


Retirement Party Hosted for Deputy Fire Chief.....

IHS 1973 Graduate, John Day '73, was honored with a retirement party, hosted by the Ilion Fire Department Local 1885. The Party was open to all to come and wish John good luck in his new career as Funeral Director with Applegate & Day Funeral home. The party was Saturday, January 9, 1999, at 2 pm, at the Ilion K of C, on West Street. (January 20, 1999)


More Jobs will be coming to downtown Utica....

The telemarketing firm, APAC Teleservices, expects to employ 600 to 700 people by March, at its facility in the former Boston Store Building. The jobs pay between $7 and $7.25 per hour, with benefits and bonuses. At full capacity, the company will provide an annual payroll of $10 million for the area. The firm has hired 300 people and expects to hire 170 people, in January. APAC is based in Deerfield, Illinois and has 90 call centers in 20 states. About 25,000 people are employed by the 25-year-old company. APAC clients include consumer product companies, money-transfer companies, utilites and credit card issuers. (updated January 1, 1999)


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2001 News

2000 News Part II

2000 News Part I

1999 News Part III

1999 News Part II

1999 News Part I

1998 News

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