Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Seneca County town wins over $200,000 against business for unpaid loans

Seneca Daily News:
A Geneva business and two Yates County businessmen have been found liable to the Town of Romulus for over $200,000.00 in unpaid community development funds.

On Tuesday (August 12), Acting Supreme Court Justice Dennis Bender granted a motion by the Romulus town attorney, Steven Getman, and directed summary judgment against Top Quality Hay Processers, Jeffrey Warren and Charles Long, for failure to repay a 2008 loan.

According to the town’s complaint, the loan was intended for Top Quality Hay Processors to create jobs at the former Seneca Army Depot, located in the Town of Romulus. As principals in the business, Warren and Long agreed to personally guarantee the loan, the court papers said.

However, the complaint alleged, the loan was not repaid and in 2012, the building housing Top Quality Hay Processors was condemned by Seneca County Code Enforcement.

Shortly thereafter, town supervisor David Kaiser and the town board directed Getman to commence a lawsuit to recover the money.

The money was from the state government through the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program (“CDBG”), the complaint said...

At Tuesday’s court appearance, Bender found for the town and directed the three defendants to repay the $200.000.00, together with costs, interest and attorneys’ fees.

The town has estimated the total amount due the town at approximately $217,000.00 plus additional interest...

The defendants have approximately thirty days to appeal. After that, if the judgment is not repaid, the town will begin collection effort...Those efforts may include seizing property, garnishing wages and other measures...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New York passes new laws to crack down on domestic violence, lewdness against children

New York state lawmakers enacted a series of bills Wednesday (July 23) that strengthen existing laws and add new measures to protect people from electronic harassment, stalking, and public lewdness.

Under the new laws, Second-degree Aggravated Harassment will make it a crime to use harassing communications that "threaten to cause physical harm to a victim or the victim's property where a defendant knows or should know that the communication will cause the victim to fear such harm."

The harassment legislation is in response to a recent court decision, striking down a previous version of the law on First Amendment grounds.

The anti-stalking measure prohibits the tracking of a person with an electronic device where "likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety or property" of another person or their families.

Finally, the state enacted a new statute, creating the crime of Public Lewdness in the First Degree, a class A misdemeanor. It applies to persons aged 19 or older who intentionally expose themselves to children under the age of 16. It is punishable by up to one year in county jail.

Previously, Public Lewdness was only a class B misdemeanor, and provided no additional penalties when the act was committed against a child.

It is hoped that these new laws, focusing on threats and endangerment of others, will strengthen protections for vulnerable members of the population, while ensuring important rights to free and open expression.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New York's Top Court strikes down cyberbullying law on free speech grounds

Legal Insurrection reports that "[t]he New York Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that a local law intended to protect children from cyberbullying violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment because it was too broad."

Monday, June 30, 2014

New York's high court says towns and villages can ban fracking

In a long-awaited decision, the New York State Court of Appeals has upheld the right of towns and villages in the State to ban natural gas drilling, sometimes referred to as "fracking."

Environmental groups are hailing the decision. Others warn that the bans may hurt job growth.

The complete decision is here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court bans warrantless cell phone searches

The Washington Times:
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot go snooping through people’s cell phones without a warrant, in a unanimous decision that amounts to a major statement in favor of privacy rights.

Police agencies had argued that searching through the data on cell phones was no different than asking someone to turn out his pockets, but the justices rejected that, saying a cell phone is more fundamental.

The ruling amounts to a 21st century update to legal understanding of privacy rights....

Justices even said police cannot check a cellphone’s call log, saying even those contain more information that just phone numbers, and so perusing them is a violation of privacy that can only be justified with a warrant.

The complete decision can be found here.

Privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have called the court’s decision a “big win.”

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kinney Drugs raises money for Ovid recovery fund

From the Ithaca Journal:
A fund-raising effort by Kinney Drugs has resulted in a $2,500 contribution to Ovid Federated Church’s recovery fund, which was established to help victims of the March fire that destroyed four buildings and left eight families homeless in Ovid.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Notice of public hearing: Wilmot Casino Project

Pursuant to the Upstate New York Gaming Act in the Fall of 2013 (“2013 Gaming Act”) of the State of New York, the Town Board of the Town of Ovid, New York, will hold a public hearing the Ovid Fire House, 2136 Brown St, Ovid, NY 14521 at 7:00 p.m. on the 11th day of June, 2014 or as soon thereafter as this matter may be heard, concerning the following:
Proposed Wilmot Casino and Resort, reported to be a $350 million project, featuring a destination resort casino, hotel, spa, as well as dining and entertainment with 1,200 construction jobs and 1,800 permanent jobs with a $50 million annual payroll, which is proposed to be located in the Town of Tyre, County of Seneca, State of New York (New York State Region 5).
More on the Upstate New York Gaming Act may be found here.