Working for the newspaper, I occasionally get to see projects come to fruition that were just left field ideas when I started as rookie reporter four years ago. The Loomis Barn project is one of them. Truth be told, I hardly thought the Chenango County Historical Society would pull off construction of a barn outback the museum in Norwich when they first pitched the idea in 2011 – but I was wrong. On Saturday, dozens of folks turned out for the grand opening of CCHS’s latest exhibition, marking a new milestone for the organization. Thumbs up to CCHS employees, supporters and volunteers for their relentless efforts in making the Loomis Barn project (now the Bob Marshman Agriculture Education Center) a reality.

– SM

Thumbs up to the outcome of the William Danielson murder case. He will be sentenced to 20 years minimum in prison with a maximum of life. Prior to opening statements, which were supposed to begin Wednesday morning in Chenango County Court, Danielson chose to accept a plea deal, instead of proceeding with the trial. Despite all the good things I could say about this case, of how the investigation was handled, and all the work that all departments involved have put into this case, over the last two years, as well as the communities ongoing support. The real thing that deserves a thumbs up, is the fact that now because there was no trial, the family of Lucinda Knoll does not have to relive their loved ones murder one more time, in front of an open court. Lucinda's young child, who would have possibly been called to the witness stand to testify against Danielson, who is his father, now does not have to testify over his mother’s death. This is an amazing act that was avoided by Danielson accepting the plea deal. Thumbs up to the outcome and to the family of Lucinda Knoll finally getting some closure, and hopefully being able to move forward with their lives now that this matter has been resolved.


Thumbs up to Norwich football. Last weekend the Purple Tornado traveled to hostile territory and took on Oneonta. If you grew up in Norwich you know the history between the two schools and how long this rivalry really has exsisited. Last Friday Norwich went there and won, earning their first victory of the season. Getting that first win and getting the monkey off your back is always nice, but this makes it just a little sweeter. Most people who have ever played for Norwich, myself included, can tell you that the most memorable games are the ones against Oneonta. These are games that no matter how far into your life you play football or any sport, you will remember. So congrats to Norwich Football for getting that win and swatting the Yellow Jackets.


Thumbs down to those in control of the City of Norwich government for not only allowing the city to be deemed susceptible to fiscal stress, but for attempting to keep it under the radar. A thumbs up to the reader, David Francis, who brought the letter to my attention so that Staff Writer Shawn Magrath could dig deeper and get a story out. Norwich has – according to reports – three consecutive years of deficit spending. City officials have planned additional deficit spending in the 2015 budget in the amount of $352,000. Even the mayor said in a statement, “The city cannot afford to continue deficit spending since we will have almost no fund balance at the end of 2015.” Truth. The city is in the red. There’s a hiring freeze. An overtime freeze. A spending freeze. Clearly, I see the City government in shambles. How is this going to be fixed? Can it be fixed?


This week my thumbs down go to the cyclical hysteria that takes place on social media EVERYDAY. I tend to shy away from calling out individual offenders, but inevitably this mini op-ed will more than likely make its way to whom I'm referring. Given the nature of our job, news writers routinely utilize social media platforms to both gather information and leads and likewise broadcast pertinent – albeit scrutinized – information. What used to be amusing is now irritating—Facebook users without a clue will post: “a police car just raced down Main Street with it's lights on, anyone know what's up?”—and from there a veritable circus or witch-hunt precipitates. An estimated 93 percent of the time, 100 percent of the thread is inaccurate garbage. My advice? Download one of those free scanner applications and figure it out yourself as opposed to getting caught up in a 2015 version of the “telephone” game. Side note – In this week’s Rotary Youth Exchange article I suggested that Polo was being eradicated by Rotarians. I got my paycheck today, so I'd like to buy the vowel “i” and change my answer to “What is Polio.” Thanks for the call, Ann.


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