Don Perkins
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Oneonta Decides Fate of Local Schools Today

It’s school budget day throughout New York State. This is the first year schools are limited to a 2 percent increase in taxes. The districts must get a 60 percent super majority vote to surpass the new state limit.

The Oneonta School District has two proposals on the ballot today: One is a 1.81 percent hike in taxes; the other is a 5 percent increase to keep the Center Street School open. Voting will be held at the Foothills Performing Arts Center from noon until 9 p.m.

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Norwich Schools in Good Shape Despite State Aid Cuts

Voters throughout New York head to the polls today to vote on school budgets, board members and propositions. Being the first year of the 2 percent cap on property taxes, many districts have to cut teachers and programs for lack of enough state aid. Norwich City Schools Deputy Superintendent Richard G. Wightman says that through steps taken over the past two years, the Norwich school district is in good shape.

Norwich and Afton school districts are the only two school districts that did not cut teaching positions this year. Voting will be from noon to 9 p.m. at St. Bart’s parish center for Norwich residents, with other polling places in Preston and Plymouth for those who live there

State Voters Want Minimum Wage Hike

A Siena research poll says nearly 8 out of 10 New York voters think the state’s minimum wage should be raised by 17 percent.

The survey found 78 percent of voters, including 78 percent of democrats and 58 percent of republicans support the idea of giving workers at least $8.50 an hour.

The minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour.

While the New York State assembly has a bill in consideration to raise the minimum wage and link future increases to the rate of inflation, lawmakers say the legislation will not be considered in the senate this year over fears of killing off efforts to create jobs through small business.

Espada Found Guilty

Former New York State senator and democratic senate majority leader Pedro Espada has been found guilty of four counts of embezzlement.

The Bronx resident was accused of taking money from a program designed to help low-income healthcare patients.

The federal judge in the case declared a mistrial on four other counts of misappropriating funds against Espada and his son when the jury told the judge they were deadlocked.

Espada was one of two democratic senators that switched party allegiance to the republicans and briefly brought them back to the majority in the senate for a few days during 2009 when the democrats were in charge of that house. He was given the title of majority leader in a mostly ceremonial role to come back to the democratic conference.

Delhi Student Seriously Injured After Roof Collapse

One student from SUNY Delhi was seriously injured over the weekend after a porch roof collapsed.

Village of Delhi officials have since condemned the house on Page Avenue. Officials think students climbed onto the roof during a party at the house. Errol Samuels, 20, was taken to the hospital; he was scheduled to graduate this week.

Officials warn that porches, especially roofs, are not designed to hold large numbers of people.

The house was occupied by students.