125th anniversary

Murder trial gets underway

By JOANN SMITH

Staff Writer

NORWICH – The trial of April Dell’olio got underway Tuesday afternoon with the final selection of jurors in the morning session. April, 15, is accused of killing her boyfriend David Eccleston last Oct. 20. She is charged with second degree murder and first degree manslaughter.

District Attorney James Downey and April’s attorney, Joseph McBride, presented their opening statements to the seven women and five men sitting on the jury.

Downey contends April, “Did intend to cause the death of David Eccleston. Those acts were coldly calculated and planned ahead of time. This was no spur-of-the-moment murder. She thought it out ahead of time. After she killed him, she coldly destroyed and tried to hide the evidence. She asked others to give her an alibi to avoid the consequences of what she did.”

Downey said April tried to hide the evidence by taking the knife used to kill David to school, where she tried to wash the blood off. The knife was then wrapped in paper towels and placed in a locker. April then began asking people she met if they had seen David, Downey told the jurors.

“April is here because she loved David,” McBride told the jurors. “Their relationship goes back to when she was 12. He sought her out. He was the baseball star. Who dominated this relationship; who could go out with anybody? They loved each other, hated each other and spent time together. She loved David, but he had relationships with other girls. They would fight and break up. Then he would ask her forgiveness and said ‘I will love you no matter what.’”

McBride said April would retaliate by cheating on David. “Their emotions were running wild.”

In a reference to approximately 300 love letters between the two, McBride said that David “called himself ‘The Bastard’ and in another letter said “sometimes I like being a ____ to people.” McBride said it was this side of David that “pushed her over the edge.”

“David threatened to kill April if she went with someone else. He said, ‘You will never escape from me,’” McBride stated. He told the jurors April had tried to kill herself.

“The Wednesday before the incident, April found out he made a pass at an 11-year-old girl. He made up an infidelity to torment April. The Friday/Saturday night before, she went to look for him. She found David in the bedroom of another girl. She hit him. He choked her. April’s sister jumped on David’s back and said, ‘If you ever hurt my sister again, I’ll kill you.’ Things had gotten out of hand. Her family told her not to see David anymore. She went to see a boy on Sunday. David saw them and he told her, ‘You’re a whore, you’re a slut. I want nothing to do with you. I’ll have (another girl) suck my … from now on.”

The trial got underway in the morning with McBride asking that all the prospective jurors be excused because three members of David’s family wore buttons with David’s photo on them. Downey objected, saying it would not influence jurors. He said, “The defense is lucky – they have a live client. You can understand why they want David in the courtroom.”

Judge Kevin Dowd said he would not excuse the panel, but, “It’s painful enough to go through this one time. It’s in everybody’s best interest to try the case only one time. You know what will happen in Albany if they wear the buttons. There will be no displays of emotion, no interruptions. Do not wear any buttons, no banners. They will be confiscated.”

During later questioning of the prospective jurors, April’s second attorney, Steven Dunshee, asked if they had noticed anything unusual in the courtroom that morning. No one said they did.

Publication angers Norwich

“Underground” document advocates anarchy, violence

By KAREN BERGAMO

STAFF WRITER

NORWICH – An underground student publication has led to the suspension of one Norwich High School student and angered a majority of the student body, according to high school officials.

Three documents containing anti-authority remarks, discouraging of participation in school activities, including the school newspaper “The Tornado Watch,” and condoning anarchy were circulated in the Norwich High School Jan. 9 and 10.

The first document was discovered Thursday morning, according to high school principal James Walters. It author was caught and received five days of suspension, he said. School officials said they are contemplating further action. Walters estimated 100 copies of the flyer were distributed.

A second document never made it to the student body when the individual responsible for making copies was discovered at the copy machine.

A third flyer appeared Friday as a point/counterpoint to the first two documents, according to Walters. Catherine Pace, a senior and editor of “The Tornado Watch,” said her first reaction was shock. “I was quite shocked that someone I had grown up with and knew quite well had turned to expressing themselves that way.”

“We think it’s a small group of students involved,” Walters said. He estimated 10-15 students participated. “This is the first such incident we’ve had.”

An emergency faculty meeting was called Thursday afternoon to alert the staff of the problem, Walters said. Teachers were told to notify the school’s main office should they come across any more documents. The Norwich Police were also notified of the situation.

“A majority of the student body is extremely angry,” Walters said. The author of the first document was apprehended through information from students upset with the publication, he said.

Walters said he didn’t expect to see any more such publications, although a notebook found with the author promised more future documents.

The publication included an anarchy symbol consisting of a globe with a capital “A” across it and “Imagine” underneath.

The symbol is not new to Norwich, having turned up in a number of acts of vandalism during Halloween, according to Norwich City Police Chief Richard L. Whiting.

Those incidents are still under investigation, he said.

The anarchy symbol has also been seen on notebooks in the Norwich Middle School but isn’t seen as a cause of concern, according to Muddle School principal Michael McCullough. “I don’t sense a need to be heavily vigilant.”

“If and when it does appear, the students are trying to emulate the older students,” McCullough said. “They don’t have a clear indication of what it (the symbol) means.”

One backlash from the incident is a tightening on student privileges, Walters said. Students had been allowed access to a copy machine in the library but will now have to go through a teacher to make copies, at least temporarily.

Grand jury indicts Rice for murder

By DANIEL BARTLETT

Staff Writer

NORWICH – A 41-year-old Oxford man accused of killing his 87-year-old stepfather in May was indicted by a Chenango County grand jury Tuesday.

Norman Rice, 76 E. State St., was indicted on three felony charges of second-degree murder and first and second-degree manslaughter.

Rice was also arraigned Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Oxford man remains in the county correctional facility in lieu of bail of $50,000 cash or $100,000 property bond.

Rice is accused of killing Louis Pardon, also of 76 E. State St., Oxford. In an unsigned statement to state police, Rice said he go angry, charged Pardon and knocked him down to the floor. Rice then took an ice pick ad stabbed Pardon about the neck, face, chest and arms.

Pardon was found by Oxford Police Office Christopher Harvey after a call by Pardon’s neighbor, Jerry Norris. Norris told police he had not seen Pardon for several days.

Harvey said he went to Pardon’s house and rang the doorbell several times and then checked the mailbox, which was full of mail. Harvey said he went to the rear of the house, opened the back door, and found Pardon on the kitchen floor, face down.

At the felony hearing in Village of Oxford Court, Rice’s longtime friend Frenda Papelino, testified Rice had told her he had killed Pardon.



State police have release no motive for the murder other than the two men hadn’t gotten along for several years.

School suspends student for bringing loaded gun to school

By KAREN BERGAMO

Staff Writer

NORWICH – A sixth grader at Stanford J. Gibson Elementary School who brought a loaded handgun to school last week has been placed on long-term suspension, school officials said.

The 12-year-old male, who had originally been placed on five day suspension for bringing a .22 caliber semiautomatic handgun loaded with six bullets to school last week, was given long-term suspension by Superintendent Dr. Robert L. Cleveland. The handgun was seen by other students on the bus, at school, and after school, according to officials.

During the suspension, Cleveland said the boy would receive homeschooling. The boy’s parents have agreed to have the boy undergo psychiatric evaluation and concealing from the Chenango County Mental Health Clinic, Cleveland said during a press conference Thursday.

“The suspension will extend to such time when the district is assured there is not risk to the school community,” said Cleveland.

Cleveland said while the district continues to believe the gun was not brought to school to cause harm to anyone, information gathered by the Norwich City Police Department indicates that, “There were several threats made to other students about telling anyone that he possessed the handgun.”

The child and his parents will be petitioned to Family Court, according to Norwich Police Chief Richard Whiting. The boy will be charge will criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and will be tried as a juvenile, according to Whiting. He said the court was notified of the threats made to the other students but no additional charges are pending. The student’s re-entry into school will be dependent on the action by the Family Court, Cleveland said.

The gun, belonging to one of the boy’s parents, was turned in to the police by the parent last week. The parent had no knowledge the gun had been taken from the house and will not be charged, Whiting said.

A letter informing parents of the latest developments was sent home Thursday.

“The Norwich City School District continues to treat this incident as extremely serious. The safety and welfare of all our students remains our primary concern,”

Lawsuit claims Greene girl injured by lab frog

By Joann Smith

GREENE – A chemically preserved frog is being blamed for injuries suffered by a Greene Central School student in April 1988.

Papers filed at the Chenango County Clerk’s Office state Donna Cazsador, who was 14 years old and a student at the Greene Central school at the time, suffered second-degree burns on her face and skin irritations to her hands. The papers further charge there may be “permanent scarring” to her face. The documents state the teen was in a biology class and working with the deceased frog when “liquid spurted from the frog” and struck her face and hands.

A lawsuit was begun shortly after the incident, but several motions to dismiss the case were made between then and now. The girl’s mother, Linda Cazsador of Greene, is seeking $225,000 on behalf of her daughter.

The most recent documents to be filed indicate summons have been issued to the school district and the company which supplied the school with the frog, Ward’s Natural Science Establishment Inc., Rochester.

The Greene Central School District is charging the source of the frog as selling an item that was “defective and inherently dangerous.” The school further contends that the frog was sold with an “implied warrant of merchantability.”

The documents also state that the school did “not provide adequate covering to students.”

Frogs are often used in biology classes and according to one area teacher who requested anonymity, “I’ve never seen that type of reaction.”

According to the poison control center of General Hospital, Binghamton, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-based chemicals, often used to preserve frogs, may produce “a rash, drying, redness or hives.”

Both the school and the business have until March 12 to respond to the summons.

Total of six arrested in Norwich drug raid

By Joann Smith

NORWICH – Norwich City Police picked up a total of six Norwich people Tuesday on drug-related charges.

Those arrested were: Scott D. Oakes, 19, of 28 Fair St.; Gina M. Cruikshank, 29, of 13 Bordentown Circle; Harvey Pollock, 30, of 13 Bordentown Circle; Richard Hutchings, 20, of RD 1; Brian A. Smith, 18, of 14 King St.; and Albert Russell, 33, of 35 Mitchell St.

All were released following their arraignments in Norwich City Court, except Hutchings, who was held on $1,000 bail. Hutchings went before Judge Howard Sullivan who said Hutchings was wanted for violating probation stemming from charges of petit larceny and public lewdness.

According to Police Chief Richard Whiting, those who were arrested are all suspected of being involved in the street-level sale of marijuana to young adults and high school students.

Russell was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of drug paraphernalia. Smith was additionally charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

During the multiple raids, police officers confiscated a gravity knife, a sawed-off shotgun, a number of marijuana plants in various stages of growth, scales, cigarette wrappers and other drug paraphernalia.

One of the items included a price list putting the value of marijuana at $1,400 per half pound.

The raids began shortly before 7 a.m. and continued throughout the day. More than 10 officers were involved in the raids which were the culmination of a two-month investigation by the department.

Officials said other charges and arrests are pending.

Those who were charged Tuesday and appeared in court will be in court on June 11 after they have had time to seek attorneys.

P&G donates to K-9 program

NORWICH – Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceuticals announced that a $500 donation has been made to support the City of Norwich Police Department’s K-9 program.

Irwin B. Simon, general manager, Pharmacuticals – North America, presented the check to Officer Lee Borman, a K-9 handler. Also present were Assistant Police Chief Robert Mason and 10-month-old German Shepard “Maxine.”

“Max” was donated to the police department by the Chenango County SPCA. She was tested for ability to perform police dog work, and accepted into a training program offered by the Vestal Police Department.

The Norwich Police K-9 Unit will be performing such tasks as: enhancement of the downtown foot patrol, highway drug interdiction, locating narcotics in schools, assisting officers in investigating crimes and locating evidence such as weapons or drugs, locating missing or lost persons, crime prevention and crowd control. The unit will also be providing county-wide educational and informational demonstrations on the unit’s capabilities.

“Max’s skills are being offered county-wide to other municipalities who have law enforcement agencies. Those who have questions or who would like to meet “Max” should contact Borman at 334-2424.

“Proctor and Gamble Pharmaceuticals is pleased to support this important addition to the City of Norwich Police Department. We believe Max will be an invaluable asset to our community,” said Simon.

Proctor and Gamble had sales of $27 billion during fiscal year 199-=91. P&G makes and markets a wide range of products for customers and industry, including prescription health care and over-the-counter products. Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals is responsible for the company’s growing prescription drug business.

Oxford looks at $10M project

By Jeffrey Genung

OXFORD – Voters in the Oxford Academy and Central School District will have a little over a month to decide on three capital project proposals, totaling nearly $10 million. The district’s Board of Education Tuesday night finalized the schedule for a public referendum on the proposals, which is set to take place on March 24.

The first proposition under voter consideration involves the removal of asbestos from the district’s middle school, and the replacement of wiring and lighting in the same building. The cost of this proposition is $495,385: 100 percent of this cost will be covered by an Environmental Protection Agency grant, state aid and energy rebates.

The second proposition, totaling the bulk of the project at $9,947,305, involves renovations and additions to the middle and primary school buildings. Under the proposal, the middle school will see 10 additional classrooms and a relocated bus garage. The primary school will see six new classrooms and an enlargement of the cafeteria and physical education spaces.

According to Oxford Superintendent Anthony Mica, 93 percent of the $9 million price tag on this proposition will be covered by state building aid, energy rebates, and financial assistance from BOCES. Micha said there is a “draft agreement” between Oxford and BOCES in which the latter will lease the new classroom spaces to house a program for special education students. Micha said the agreement between Oxford and BOCES will be finalized if the proposition is voted through.

The third proposistion on the ballot March 24 will involve the conversion of the primary school’s heating system from electric to natural gas, at a cost of $357,000. Again, 100 percent of this cost is to be covered by state aid, energy rebates, and energy savings over the next five years.

Proposition two is the only one that will affect Oxford taxpayers directly, costing approximately $1,203,967 spread out over the next 20 years. The tax rate increases over the life of the project will vary because of fluctuating property values, Micha said, but the increase in the first five years is expected to be 20 cents per $1,000 of current true property value.

Oxford resident Hans Niederer spoke at last night’s meeting, saying, “This is a really poor time for you (the school board) to be doing this … there are fewer and fewer homeowners out there who can afford to pay school taxes.”

“There’s lots of reasons why this is a good time,” Micha said this morning. “”First of all, the bidding environment is particularly good now, and second, the problems we have (with the buildings) are getting worse.” Micha said the bulk of the project involved necessary repairs to the district’s ailing buildings, which he termed as “protecting our original investment.”

The inclusion of the BOCES program in the Oxford school, a subject of debate in the past, also arose at the meeting. Niederer said he felt it would be spelled out that a “Yes” vote on proposition two would be a “Yes” vote for the BOCES inclusion, a fact of which he said many residents were probably unaware.

The board of education, along with a public information committee composed of Oxford faculty and district residents, will present a series of public information meetings describing the project, including the BOCES program, in further detail.

Toilet explosion and bomb threat disrupt school

By JoAnn Smith

NORWICH – Officials at the City of Norwich Schools were kept busy by two separate incidents at the Norwich High School Tuesday morning.

At 8:45 a.m., the City of Norwich Police Department was called by the school with a report that a toilet in a boys’ bathroom in the east hallway had exploded. According to Sgt. Robert Raphael, there were no witnesses and the actual cause of the explosion has not been confirmed.

“The toilet was destroyed. We had custodians clean it up and the police and fire inspectors came to the school,” said James Walters, high school principal.

Walters said it is believed the explosion was caused by a homemade “explosive. Details are real sketchy now.”

Walters said school officials met this morning to discuss the information they have and expect to pass names along to the police. “The police will handle the investigation,” he said.

About two hours later, the police were again summoned to the high school for a bomb threat. Officers of the department, investigators, and the K-9 unit responded to the call. Upon their arrival, they found that students had already been evacuated to the middle school building, which is located next to the high school.

Walters said students left the building “under the pretense of a fire drill. They stood outside for 10 or 15 minutes while we made arrangements with Mike McCollough (middle school principal) to have the students go to the gym there.”

Once again, fire inspectors and police entered the building and “determined it to be a hoax,” Walters said. “The students returned to the high school about 12:05 p.m. We completed the day on a shortened schedule. The police are investigating it, and the call may be traced,” Walters said.

Friday, February 12, 1993

Drug testing; eradication discussed

By JOANN SMITH, Staff Writers

 NORWICH- Chenango County Sheriff Thomas Loughren has declared a war on drugs in this rural upstate county.

 The topic of drugs was but one segment of a recent 40-hour in-service training for a sheriff's deputies and other local law enforcement officers held in mid-Januray

 The officers received information about the various drugs they could encounter and conducted onsite testing of cocaine in simulated situations. They also learned about specialized surveillance equipment.

 The instructor for the course was an undercover officer from another county whose name cannot be used due to the nature of his duties.

 Each student was given an onsite test kit and taught how to use it. The color of the finished result indicates whether or not cocaine was the substance introduced into the otherwise sealed container. A few shakes later and the result was visible to the officer.

 Cocaine is on of the drugs listed as a stimulant. Other stimulants include Amphetamines, Phenmetrazine, Methylphenidate.

 LSD, mescaline, peyote and phencylindine are all listed as hallucinogenics.

 Opium, morphine, codeine, heroin and other drugs are narcotics.

 Marijuana and hashish are listed as the cannabis family.

 According to the spokesman for the sheriff's department, grants totaling more than 40,000 have been proved and the money is on it's way to help the department fight drugs.

 In 1991 seven drug-related cases were investigated with miniscule amounts of drugs found. Since Jan. 1, 1992 when Loughren took office as sheriff, hundreds of cases have been investigated. According to figures from the sheriff's office, during June, July, August and September of last year, they seized 196 pounds of marijuana worth nearly $754,424 on the street. Cocaine worth more than $5,000 was also seized in that time period, and that's from only one police department in the county.

 An additional amount of marijuana was seized in October, November and December along with some methane. The spokesman also stated cash and a vehicle were taken as a result of the drug investigations.

 The officers in the department have had hundreds of hours of training. Loughren said.

 "We've involved every police department in the county," said Loughren. His department deals with the local state police, FBI the Federal Dug Enforcement Agency and police departments in Madison County, Syracuse and Binghamton.

 "The results of tall this will become more visible this yea." said the sheriff. "I feel real good about what's been happening. It's my goal to get drugs out the schools."

 Since taking office, Loughren has formed a drug task force team, which meets weekly

 Many of the officers who have been involved in the drug eradication program have logged in hundreds of hours of their own time without any request for compensation., the spokesman stated "There's a lot of dedication to the program." he said.

  He expects the program to rid the county of drugs to become more complete and wider in scope to carry out their mission.

 Funds from the grants will be used to purchase supportive equipment the spokesman said.

 Loughren has a had a drug tip hot line installed since taking office for those who wish to contact him, call 336-8130.

Friday, July 3, 1992

Chenango shows its pride

By KAREN BERGAMO and JOANN SMITH, Staff Writers

Rotary Family Dun Days, July 3 & 4

Bullthistle Balloonfest, July 3 & 4

Columbus Flag Celebration, July 4

Vietnam Veterans Lobster Bake, July 4

 CHENANGO COUNTY – Anyone who says they can't find anything to do this weekend in Chenango County obviously isnt looking very hard.

 The Town of Columbus celebrates its 200th anniversary as the oldest named Columbus in the United States with lots of flaf waving, including the 300 pound, 45 by 85 1/2 feet Mt. Rushmore flag.

 A chicken barbecue and flea market will begin the Columbus celebration at 11 a.m. Golden Artists Inc. will house a photographic display of all the Colmbus-named communities in the United States.

 A parade, with marchers from the American Legion, Rotary, 4-H Club and Boy and Girl Scouts, will step off at 2 p.m. from Columbus Hill, state Route 80, Included in the parade will be the Gettysburg. Peace Flag procession, which consists of nine flags that will lead the parade.

 Congressmean Sherwood Bochlert and Assemblyman Clarence "Rapp" Rappleyca will be among the many speakers at the flag ceremony. The flag ceremony will end at approximately 5 p.m. but the celebration isn't over as people can head to the Columbus Hotel to dance the night away to the music of "Plain Label Band."

 Norwich also has its share to add to the weekends festivities.

 The Norwich Rotary will host its July 4 Family Fun Days and Bullthistle Balloonfest today and Saturday. Events begin today at 4 p.m. at the Chenango Conty fairgrounds with the opening of the children's games, bungee jumping, a flea market and plenty of concessions to satisfy a hungry appetite.

 The Civil War encampment and a balloon liftoff take place at 6 p.m. with tethered balloon rides starting at 7 p.m. All balloon launches bungee jumping are subject to weather conditions.

 Saturday holds a full slate of events aat the Fun Days beginning with a 6 a.m. balloon liftoff from the fairgrounds and the Civil war encampment. Gates open at 8 a.m. to the flea market and concessions.

 For the Adventuresome, bungee jumping will be offered at 10 a.m. as will children's rides for the little ones. DJ Matt Dowling will provide toe-tapping sounds for festival goers.

 Shouts of "Bingo!" will be heard starting at 10:30 a.m. in the Exhibition Hall, folowed at 11 a.m. with children's games in front of the grandstand.

 For those working up an appetite, a Brooks Barbecue will be served at noon. Jazz band, Musical Wallpaper will take the stage at 1 p.m.

 The evening hours offer a balloon liftoff at 6 p.m. and performance by "Surf Dogs" at the grandstand at 7 p.m. Fun Days will end with a tang with a giant fireworks display at dusk.

 Also happening Saturday is the order of Vietnam Veterans' annual Lobster Bake from noon to 5 p.m. at the Norwich Elks Club pavilion.

Stone still pressing suit against NBT; Fed judge dismisses 7 claims

by Heidi Rauch

Staff Writer

NORWICH- An order dismissing seven of the 10 claims against the Nation Bank and Trust (NBT) by its former president and chief executive officer, Donald E. Stone, was entered July 22 by Judge Neal P. McCurn of the United States District Court of New York, Syracuse. The dismissal of the seven claims follows the dismissal of Stone's lawsuit in broom County State Court and a finding by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that NBT never discriminated against Stone.

Both NBT's lawyer, Robert J. Pearl, Esq. and Stone's lawyer, Richard A. Roth, Esq. said they were pleased with McCurn's decision, albeit for very different reason. " The court has thrown out seven-tenths of the case already and we (NBT) have not even answered the complaint yet" said Roth. "We only filed a motion to dismiss under the assumption that what Mr. Stone is saying is completely true.

"Even under the assumption that everything he is saying is true the court dismissed seven of the teem causes, including allege breaches of his severance package and employment contract, various frauds, misrepresentations and the intentional infliction of emotional distress, " Roth continued.

Pearl said, "We are pleased with Judge McCurn's denial of the motion. His dismissal was only that the seven causes should be handled at the state level. This is now an action brought before the federal court to solve the age discrimination and retaliation violations of both federal and state laws."

Peal said that the age discrimination and retaliation (when an employer "retaliates" against an employee for taking legal action by cutting off benefits, etc owed to that employee) violations were the most important part of Stone's case and he noted that they were not dismissed.

"What's frustrating is that there is no basis for this lawsuit," Roth said. "He (Stone) got a very lucrative package when he left. His dismissal had nothing to do with age. He got a hefty settlement and he signed releases that relieved NBT form any and all liability to him for clans arising through the date of the releases."

Roth went on to say the Stone announced his retirement on September 11, 1990 and the began negotiation a severance agreement with NBT." "This means be, and and everyone els. knew what was goon on," Roth said.

Pearl said that when Stone was replaced in 1990, his replacement was a your man. "At the time, Mr,. Stone was not aware of the age bias that excluded him from an extension of his position." said Pearl. "He did not realize that he was being replaced by a younger man until he was already in the middle of the severance talks and had signed some agreement."

"We claim that those release are invalid because they made no reference to age discrimination bias and also because NBT failed to live up to its obligation in its severance agreements with Mr. stone. They cut off his benefits when he filed suit.," Pearl said.

Because the court has not heard from the defendant and has not had the opportunity to review the evidence supporting the plaintiff's (Stone's ) case, the court "cannot rationally conclude that this suit is frivolous," said Judge McCurn.

Pearl said, "The bottom line is that Mr. stone will have a chance to prove the discrimination perpetrated by NBT."

Court proceedings for the next stage of litigation are scheduled to take place in the fall.

On-the-Job training offers help to employers, workers

By HEIDI RAUCH, Staff Writer

 "On-the-Job Training not only enables the employee to maximize their growth potential but also capitalizes on the employer's greatest asset – people."

Debbie Stillman

Norwich Aero Products Inc.

 NORWICH – The On-the-Job Training program is a service of the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce. The program is a service of the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce. The program is designed to help employers defray some of the costs they face when they hire and train new employees.

 Ann Gilmore, program coordinator said the chamber does not really make any money from this service. Monies are provided by the State Department of Labor and the Private Industry Council of Chenango, dELAWARE AND oTSEGO cOUNTIES .

  Interested companies can be reimbursed for up to 50 percent of a new employee's wages while they provide on-the-job training. This gives the company assurance that the new employees are being trained on their equipment and to their standards, said Gilmore.

 Employers that are interested can call Gilmore and tell her they have an opening. Employers must be willing to provide a 35-hour work week, pay a guaranteed wage, grant the trainee the same benefits that it offers its other employees and retain the trainee once he/she has completed the training program.

 Then Gilmore or the company calls the Department of Labor and they call up a list of those potential employees that are eligible. The Labor Department sends the candidates to be interviewed.

 The company does the interviewing and the employee selection and then Gilmore is called in to write the contract. Contracts can last from four to 44 weeks. The company pays the employees wages and OJT reimburses them.

 "OJT outlines the training schedule and does all of the paperwork," Gilmore said. "The company must keep the training and payroll records."

 "Norwich Aero Products, Inc. has been extremely fortunate to be able to host the On-the-Job training program offered through the Chamber of Commerce. As a small business, this type of program provides a cost effective means of recruiting and training qualified applicants," said Debbie Stillman, Human Resources Coordinator for Norwich Aero Products. "On-the-Job Training not only enables the employee to maximize their growth

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