Southern Tier

5:55am

Tue July 1, 2014
Environment

Court of Appeals rules towns can ban fracking within their borders

Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

In a 5-to-2 ruling, New York’s highest court has upheld the right of local governments to ban hydrofracking within their borders. The decision comes after a nearly three-year court battle over bans passed in the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield. Fracking opponents hope to now spread the bans to towns that were waiting for the court’s final ruling.

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7:51am

Fri June 6, 2014
Environment

Flipping the script on eminent domain

Catherine Holleran, (Right) and daughter Megan at home in New Milford, Pennsylvania.
Matt Martin/WSKG

The federal government is considering an application to build a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Schoharie County in New York. Often, the pipeline companies will use the threat of eminent domain as a way to pressure landowners into signing a lease agreement. But some landowners and activist groups are calling their bluff.

A short hike up the hill from Catherine Holleran’s house in New Milford, Pennsylvania is a small grove of maple trees.

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5:27am

Wed June 4, 2014
Energy

Parties revisit home rule arguments in NY State Court of Appeals

Attorney representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy makes his oral argument before the Court of Appeals. Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg listens in the foreground.
Innovation Trail

The debate over whether a municipality can ban hydraulic fracturing within its borders was brought before the New York State Court of Appeals Tuesday afternoon. The Southern Tier town of Dryden is defending its right to home rule against lawyers representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy.

Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg says she feels confident bringing the case before the court because home rule is protected by the state constitution and New York isn’t alone.

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6:38am

Wed May 7, 2014
Politics

Astorino: Binghamton could be Dallas of New York

Rob Astorino, Republican candidate for New York state governor, campaigned through the Southern Tier Tuesday.
WSKG

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino touted the benefits of hydrofracking during a series of stops in the Southern Tier yesterday. One of the stops was at a Vestal company that does roadwork for oil companies just across the border in Pennsylvania.

Astorino visited the Binghamton-area company Vestal Asphalt and linked upstate New York's declining population with a lack of jobs and high taxes. He pointed to fracking as a way to reverse that trend and transform the Southern Tier.

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6:18am

Mon May 5, 2014
Regional Coverage

National anti-casino activists lend support to Southern Tier residents

Protesters gather to oppose a new casino being proposed in Tyre.
Matt Martin WSKG

A vocal group of residents in Tyre have sued their town board over a proposal to bring a casino to the rural farming community. The group is now getting support from a national anti-casino activist. 

Protestors gathered Thursday in a field next to a proposed casino site in Tyre. The handful of protesters held signs opposing Rochester businessman Thomas Wilmot’s casino application.

Wilmot’s one of three applicants seeking to build a casino in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region.

Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, addressed the crowd.

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6:22am

Thu May 1, 2014
Politics and Government

Prospective casino operators attend mandatory question session

The New York State Gaming Commission's Ed Berns listens to questions from prospective casino operators.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Prospective casino operators got a chance to ask the Cuomo administration questions about the process for choosing licensees for four upstate casinos. But they won’t get answers for several days.

The structure of the event was a bit awkward. Gambling conglomerates and other developers, who have all paid $1 million each for the privilege of being considered for a casino site, attended a mandatory session held by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York State Gaming Commission.

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6:04am

Mon April 21, 2014
Business

Tioga Downs announces expansion in push for casino bid

Matt Martin WSKG

Tioga Downs, the Southern Tier horse racing and gaming club, has announced plans to expand by purchasing the Tioga Country Club. It’s just the latest push to strengthen their bid for a full casino license from the state.

Tioga Downs will only purchase the club if it receives the full casino gaming license from the state. Developers at Tioga Downs are hoping the planned expansion will strengthen their application for a casino license.

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6:44am

Wed April 9, 2014
Energy

Pennsylvania residents voice opinions over proposed pipeline that would go through Southern Tier

The proposed pipeline would run through Pennsylvania and into New York.
Constitution Pipeline

Recently, Pennsylvania residents had the opportunity to voice their concerns or support for the Constitution Pipeline project, which would enter New York through Broome County and connect to an existing upstate pipeline. It was the last public hearing before its final approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

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4:53pm

Mon February 17, 2014
Environment

New York landowners file lawsuit against Cuomo over fracking delay

A fracking rally in Albany at the Capitol.
eranderson428 Flickr

Two weeks ago, the landowners coalition sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo demanding the release of the environmental impact study on hydrofracking, known as the SGEIS . The deadline was Thursday, February 13 and Scott Kurkoski, a lawyer for the coalition, filed the promised lawsuit the following day.

“Is he in favor of this or not? Because the rest of the nation is moving forward in a way that is providing energy independence," Kurkoski said. "Is New York a threat to that process?”

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7:03am

Tue January 28, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Casino competition heats up in the Southern Tier

A proposed casino in Johnson City.
Traditions

The Southern Tier is guaranteed one out of the four casinos to be built in upstate New York.  The licenses are expected sometime this year and the competition for the Southern Tier casino is starting to heat up.

Jeff Gural is the owner of Tioga Downs, where ground was recently broken on an expanded parking lot. Gural’s plan is to offer the full casino experience at his racetrack and electronic gambling site. But first he needs to win one of the new gaming licenses.

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2:29pm

Wed December 18, 2013
Energy

Plan for Binghamton to Syracuse pipeline cut in half

The original proposed Upstate natural gas line, but the northern portion has been scrapped.
Millennium Pipeline Company, LLC.

A proposal to build a new natural gas pipeline from Binghamton to Syracuse has been scaled back due to a lack of interest from natural gas providers.

Millennium Pipeline Company wanted to construct the line from the Southern Tier to the town of Onondaga, just south of Syracuse, along Interstate 81, connecting three existing east-west lines. But now they’re considering just going from Binghamton to Cortland and connecting two lines.

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9:20am

Mon December 2, 2013
Politics and Government

Southern Tier poised to provide exciting 2014 congressional race

Money is the lifeblood of any political campaign, especially in competitive races. And the race between Tom Reed and Martha Robertson is shaping up to be just that.

Steve Greenberg, a political pollster at Siena College, says it’s only recently that New York has seen truly competitive congressional races.

“We saw it five years ago, we saw it three years ago, we saw it last year and it seems almost certain that we are going to see it again next year,” Greenberg said.  

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8:13am

Mon July 15, 2013
Business

Endicott Interconnect files for bankruptcy, layoffs may follow

Southern Tier-based Endicott Interconnect Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. The Broome County high-tech manufacturer, which employs approximately 600 people, plans to continue operations as it reorganizes.    

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5:47am

Tue April 30, 2013
Energy

Elmira faces ups and downs of gas business

Schlumberger's gasfield services facility in Horseheads, just outside of Elmira.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

The City of Elmira is just seven miles from the Pennsylvania border. And for four years, the natural gas boom in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier crossed over the border and boosted Elmira’s economy. But that boom has slowed down.

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10:41am

Fri March 8, 2013
Politics and Government

Some Southern Tier air traffic towers facing closure

The regional airports in Ithaca and Binghamton would both lose their air traffic controllers if federal budget cuts known as sequestration take full effect. The first round of closures begins April 7.

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1:22am

Thu March 7, 2013
Politics and Government

Assembly passes ban on fracking for two more years; Senate unlikely to do same

The New York State Assembly has approved, by a 95 to 40 vote, a two-year moratorium on hydrofracking in New York. While it’s unlikely to be passed in the Senate, the action reflects state lawmakers' growing worries about potential health impacts from the natural gas drilling process. 

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4:55am

Tue February 26, 2013
Energy

Broome County opens Office of Energy Development

The Broome County Legislature recently approved a new Office of Energy Development, but the purpose of the office is not clear.

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11:54am

Wed January 30, 2013
Regional Coverage

State agencies try to explain gun laws to critical citizens

Two weeks after passing new gun control measures, New York officials are holding public forums around the state to discuss what's in the law.

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11:51am

Tue January 8, 2013
Politics and Government

Local officials challenge latest fracking deadline

A group called Elected Officials to Protect New York is pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to extend a 30-day public comment period that ends Friday. The comment period is for revised hydrofracking regulations released by the Department of Environmental Conservation in November.

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4:29pm

Thu November 8, 2012
Politics

Anti-fracking candidates didn't fare well

Anti-fracking sentiment in the Southern Tier was felt at the polls when candidates opposed to drilling were beaten up and down the ballot Tuesday.

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10:45am

Tue October 16, 2012
Education

Southern Tier school readiness program a success, so far

The research on this is pretty clear: between the ages one and five, the human brain develops faster than at any other time. In Chemung County, a project called the School Readiness Project sends nurses to the hospital whenever a baby is born.

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11:36am

Mon October 8, 2012

4:49pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Regional Coverage

Sikorsky Aircraft to close Big Flats plant

The Connecticut-based helicopter maker Sikorsky announced on Monday that it will close its Southern Tier plant at the end of the year.

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7:00am

Thu September 13, 2012
Politics and Government

Poll shows increased support for fracking

The natural gas industry sees hopeful signs in a new poll that finds more New Yorkers now support hydrofracking. A Quinnipiac University survey also finds upstate New Yorkers, some who live where the gas drilling process would occur, back fracking in greater numbers.

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8:47am

Thu August 23, 2012
Regional Coverage

Groups for and against fracking wait for governor's decision

Groups for and against hydrofracking are gearing up for an announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental officials  on whether the natural gas drilling process will be permitted in New York on a limited basis. But, the organizations, who are running ads, may have to wait a little longer.

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9:29am

Wed July 11, 2012
Politics and Government

Governor Cuomo offers some support for limited fracking

Governor Andrew Cuomo offered some support to a plan to permit hydrofracking in New York in communities that welcome the gas drilling process.

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9:20am

Fri June 15, 2012
Regional Coverage

Pro, anti fracking advocates clash in Albany

Supporters and opponents of a plan to allow limited hydrofracking in New York’s Southern Tier region confronted each other at the state Capitol .

For months, the Cuomo administration has been signaling that it might permit the gas drilling process known as hydrofracking in a few areas in the Marcellus Shale region where the majority of people in communities want the gas drilling process to begin.

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