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Local News Archive - 2000 Part I
Morgan Corp. bringing 400 jobs
Morgan Corporation, the largest truck van body manufacturer in North America, will open a major manufactuing plant at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, creating up to 400 new jobs. Governor Pataki made the announcement, March 23, during a visit to the business park. The compnay currently employs about 2000 people. The company is hiring welders, painters and assemblers for full-time positions. Company President, Robert Ostendorf, said that company officials were impressed by the caliber of the Mohawk Valley work force and the quality of its work ethic. The company will be eligible for investment and wage tax credits and utility discounts because the site selected is a state-designated economic development zone. (March 26, 2000)
Nursing Home to Buy Hospital
The Mohawk Valley Nursing Home is seeking $13 million in bonds, through the Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency, to purchase the former Mohawk Valley General Hospital in Ilion. The facility will be renovated into a professional office building for physicians and health-related services and nursing home programs. The St. Luke's-Memorial Hospital's Mohawk Valley Division urgent care facility and dental clinic would remain at the site. (March 26, 2000)
Ilion Days Meetings
The Ilion Days Committee will meet March 27, at 7 pm, in the board room of the Municipal Building. Ilion Days events kick off July 27 and end with a fireworks display. Willie and Company will make their second appearance on July 24, 7pm in the high school auditorium. Doo Dah Parade co-chairpersons are Janet Darling and Victor McKusick (894-2070). New members are welcome to attend the meetings. (March 26, 2000)
DiPiazza Incarcerated Until Oct. 2001
Teacher Recruitment Day - April 1, 2000
A Teacher Recruitment Day will be hosted on Saturday, April 1 at SUNY Institute of Technology. The event is sponsored 29 Area School Districts and BOCES. Candidates may interview for current or future teaching vacancies. Teachers and May graduates are welcome! (March 21, 2000)
Village Election - Republican Candidates
Republican candidates for the June Village election will be Glen Kasarda, Charles 'Chuck' Lester '74and John Wright. Kasarda will be running to finish the two-year term he took over when Republican Trustee Mark Cushman was appointed village administrator. Wright is an incumbent for one of the two, four year trustee positions. In May of 1999, Republican incumbant Trustee, Mark Cushman, successfully challenged the petitions of Independent candidates Chuck Lester '74 and Tom Bechard '72. The challenge claimed the petitions contained incorrect addresses, duplicated signatures, non-village resident signatures and signatures of non-registered voters. The Herkimer County Board of Elections upheld Mr. Cushman's challenge and the two were subsequently defeated as write-in candidates. The Democratic Party did not have any candidates for the 1999 Village Election Trustee positions but could present three candidates this year. Party designation petitions must be turned in by March 27. (March 20, 2000)
Village Election News...
Several offices are open for the village of Ilion election June 6. There are two four-year trustee positions open, one two-year trustee position, and one four year justice position. The due date to file independent nominating petitions is March 21. Party designation petitions must be turned in by March 27. The current four-year trustees are Norma Smith and John Wright. Republican Glen Kasarda, who is completing the trustee term of Mark Cushman, plans to run in June for the two-year term. The current village justice is Don Pearson. (March 13, 2000)
Senator Seward bill to protect Remington Arms ...
State Sen. James Seward, at a press conference held at The Remington Arms - Ilion, on March 9, 2000, unveiled a proposed bill designed to preventing the Remington Arms company and its 1,000 Ilion employees from facing lawsuits for the criminal misuse of Remington guns. According to Seward, Remington Arms is not currently involved in any lawsuit, but the bill serves as "proactive legislation." "Let's blame the criminal, not the workers at this Remington plant," Seward told the crowd. The bill, if approved, would still allow lawsuits or charges against dealers or manufacturers who transfer guns to people knowing it will be used criminally. State Senator Ray Meier, whose district includes areas of Oneida, Lewis, St. Lawrence and Herkimer counties, was also critical of strict gun control measures being considered by fellow lawmakers in urban parts of the state. Seward expects the bill will be introduced in Albany next week. (March 10, 2000)
School Building Projects in Jeopardy...
Governor Pataki's budget proposal has thrown a monkey wrench into many local school district's building plans. The budget proposal contains a plan that redirects project bond interest earnings, from reinvestment by school districts directly, to contractors working on the projects. The net effect is that a large amount of revenue, which districts had planned to earn and help offset the project costs, has been eliminated. Under current state education law, schools are issued serial bonds and do not have to pay contractors until the close of the project. School districts have been able to reinvest interest earnings, on the bonds, and this helped offset project costs. The budget proposal requires that contractors be paid during the course of the project by using the interest from the serial bonds. The negative effect of this proposal is widespread among smaller upstate school districts. The Ilion Central School District would lose $180,000 a year on their $32 million project. An estimated $2.7 million would need to be raised to close the gap created by not being able to reinvest the bond interest. Superindentent Gary Tutty said, "If the governor's proposal goes through, I don't see how we can have the project." The Herkimer School District is also negatively impacted by the prososal. Local school officials are planning to talk to state Sen. James Seward to raise support for their situations. (February 28, 2000)
Annunciation Church Is Site for Television Show...
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany filmed the final episode of an upcoming three-part television series, titled "Disciples, Together in Faith" at Annunciation Church in Ilion. Each half-hour episode will be shown at 8 p.m. April 10, 11 and 12 on NBC affiliates in Utica (WKTV), Albany and Binghamton. The first episode was filmed where Hubbard was baptized, at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Troy. The second episode was shot at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. (February 28, 2000)
Herkimer Native Big Winner...
Herkimer High alumnus, Dan DeMars '76, won $250,000 on the ABC television show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?". The show was broadcast on Sunday, February 20. Dan stopped on a question about the current geological period of the Earth - a quanternary. The contestant had narrowed the answer down to two of the four choices. However, he played it safe and took the $250,000 home. In a letter to the editor of The Evening Telegram, Dan credited his success to the education he received at Herkimer High School and HCCC, as well as his other college alma mater. Dan DeMars is a biopharmaceutical research consultant in Norwich, Vt. His father, Robert DeMars is a resident of Ilion. (February 28, 2000)
Terrance J. Sweeney's Ilion Postcards
Terry Sweeney, IHS '64, has been collecting postcards featuring Ilion since 1982. He has accumulated over three hundred postcards and numerous other paper items dealing with Ilion and its history. Terry's collection is now featured on the Ilion branch of the Herkimer-Montgomery Counties GenWeb website. Enjoy Part I of Terry's
Observer Dispatch Obituary Archives...
The Utica Observer-Dispatch began archiving obituaries on February 4, 2000. You can search for an obituary by last name, first name, city or a text phrase. Visit the Obituaries on the Utica Observer-Dispatch web site to search for obituaries. (February 27, 2000)
The first meeting to explore ways of exhibiting the village of Ilion's past history was held February 17, 2000. A committee, composed of a dozen people, was formed to work on a project that may eventually result in an Ilion-based museum. Former Ilion High School teacher, Vito Tisci, was elected the group's first chairman at the meeting. The group is also looking to get input from others on ideas for attractions and locales. Among ideas shared were a reconstructed blacksmith shop and boats or buses to shuttle visitors around the village. The group will meet again on April 6 at 7 p.m., and will likely choose a name, some direction and a mission statement. Members have not yet decided on a site, or sites, for a possible center. The final outcome from their efforts isn't expected for about two years. Email your ideas to Mr. Tisci. (February 18, 2000)
Census - Be Counted
How many people live in our area has a huge impact on things such as voting districts, state and federal aid, and the decisions businesses make. The last census, in 1990, counted Herkimer County's population at a declining 65,797. The village of Ilion, which saw its population drop at that time, is hoping everyone responds to this census. Remember, if you reside somewhere else on a temporary basis, but maintain your residency in Ilion, please call the Village Clerks Office to be included in the census count! (February 18, 2000)
Junior Chapter of Ilion Little Theater Club
The Junior Chapter of The Ilion Little Theater Club presented their first one-act play, "I Remember You", by Alvin Boretz, February 17, 2000 at 8 pm. The performance was free and open to the general public. Dan Hoage, active member of the Little Theater Club, directed the group. Youngsters from Ilion, Mohawk, and Little Falls starred in and staged the performance. (February 18, 2000)
Kenneth Dack Honored...
Kenneth Dack IHS '55 was honored by Applegate & Day Funeral Home for his 50 years as an employee. Don Applegate, Jay Applegate and John Day presented Ken Dack with a commemorative plaque for his years of service with the family business. Mr. Dack began at the age of 13 working for Clayton "C.L." Applegate and worked for Clayton's two sons, Pliny and Mal. (February 5, 2000)
Mohawk Valley General Hospital Reunion...
Former employees of the Mohawk Valley General Hospital have organized a reunion party. The gala will be held January 29, 2000 at the Mohawk American Legion. More than 213 guests from the former hospital staff will be attending the party, which begins at 6 pm. (January 27, 2000)
School District Musical Presentations...
If you are looking for an entertaining evening out, be sure to review the upcoming musical events in the school district. (January 24, 2000)
Alumni Helping 1977 Classmate...
Patty Rex Charles '77 is awaiting a heart and lung transplant in Pittsburgh. 1977 class members used funds leftover from their last reunion and sent a donation to Patty, to help with some of her expenses. The class sent her their best wishes ... "Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Patty and the rest of your family while you go through this very difficult time. We hope that she has a speedy recovery." Patty responded:
Thank you so very much for the donation from the Class of '77. It was very nice. Everyone has really been terrific. It's been a long time since high school and things were so much easier then. But I am happy. I have 3 great kids and I would be lost without them.
I am doing good. Just waiting for my heart and lung. May have to wait 6 to 8 months for one. As long as I am healthy when everything is done. Thank you and everyone.
Pat (Rex) Charles
She also sent her address and phone number if anyone would like to send her a card or give her a call.
Village Board Appoints Administrator ....
Former village trustee, Mark Cushman, was appointed unanimously by the village board on January 15. About 30 applicants were seeking the position. The position is full-time and has a $45,000 salary. Mr. Cushman graduated from Rochester Institue of Technology with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1984. He first joined the village board in 1997 and has been elected trustee twice. He was self-employed. (January 15, 2000)
The Ilion High School Class of 1942 made a $100 donation to the Ilion Free Public Library. The donation was presented by Helen Griffith, representing the Class of 1942 Reunion Committee. Other class of 1942 members responsible for the post-reunion donation included Joseph Bates, Betty Kenyon, Bernard Murray, Raymond Pettengill and Eleanor Snow. Ilion's Librarian, Christine Lozoski, said that some of the first books for the library were purchased by Ilion alumni. (January 7, 2000)
Applegate finishes term...
Don Applegate, IHS '62, left the office of Herkimer County coroner after 15 years of service. Mr. Applegate will be assisting the new coroner, John Day, IHS '73, in the transition of the coroner's responsibilities. Mr. Applegate will be devoting more time to his funeral service career. The Applegate-Day Funeral business was founded by Mr. Applegate's great-grandfather, in 1919. Jay Applegate, IHS '90, is the fourth generation of funeral diretors in the Applegate family. (January 7, 2000)
The Observer Dispatch is On-Line!...
Want to learn more about the area? Recently launched is the web site of Utica's primary newspaper, The Observer Dispatch - check it out for more on the Mohawk Valley! (January 5, 2000)
Mayor Appoints Trustee ....
Mayor Charles Haggerty appointed Glen Kasarda to fill the trusteeship which was vacated by former trustee Mark Cushman. Mr. Kasarda was a village trustee during the early 1980s. He was also a member of the Ilion Police Department for 11 years and served as chairman of the local Republican commmittee. Mr. Kasarda will hold the position until the upcoming village election in June. (December 31, 1999)
US Postal Electric Cars to be built in Rome ....
Electric postal cars will be built by Baker Electromotive. Ford Motor Company and the U.S. Postal Service signed the agreement. This will be the only manufacturing site in the country. The contract calls for 6,000 cars to be built. There will be 500 to start with 5,500 cars built later. The electric cars will replace United States Postal vehicles in cities where pollution is a serious problem. As many as 300 jobs may be created locally as a result of the contract. The 40,000 square feet former cruise missile building, at the Griffiss Technology Park, will be the home base for the contract. The company could begin building the electric postal cars in the first quarter of next year. (modified December 23, 1999)
Noreen Jones Killer Back In Jail....
Bennie DiPiazza, who murdered former classmate Noreen Jones in 1964, was arrested for allegedly stealing merchandise worth about $250, from Filene's department store, in the Albany Crossgates Mall, on December 14, 1999. DiPiazza was released from prison August 30, 1999. He is being held in the Albany County Jail. DiPiazza will face a preliminary hearing within the next 15 days and could have a final hearing, before a law judge, within 90 days. DiPiazza could be returned to prison for at least two years. The conditions for his release provided a strict outline for his behavior. At the time of the shoplifting incident, DiPiazza was being monitored by an electronic device that he must wear as a condition of his parole. He lives in Albany and listed his occupation as taxi driver. (modified December 23, 1999)
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