Syracuse Post Standard, September 23, 2005

Syracuse Post Standard

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Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - September 23, 2005, Syracuse, New York The Post-Standard An-i- j -iL -____________________ O 2005 The Post-Standard Affiliated with FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2005 FINAL EDITION SYRACUSE, N.Y. 50 CENTS rOOD MORNING COOL BREEZE A front moving to the southeast will sweep through Central New York and drop temperatures back to a more normal range. Dry air should allow for some sunshine both today and Saturday. Complete forecast, C-14 HIGH: 69 LOW: 44 Who ore the richest 400 Americans? Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates is No. I on Forbes magazine's annual list again with billion, and Google founders are moving up. List of 100 richest Americans and all New Yorkers on the PAGE D-2 Complete list at the News Tracker STORY, PAGE D-l Central New Yorkers to join D.C. anti-war rally Hundreds of local residents will add their voices against U.S. policy in Iraq at a demonstration Saturday in Washington. STORY, PAGE A-9 Destiny tax-deal deadline with city in question Syracuse officials say Desti- ny has until the end of 2005 to activate a 30-year property tax deal, but it's not in writing. LOCAL PAGE H Largest mercury source cut from Onondaga Lake A million cleanup of a toxic waste site at Onondaga Lake has cut off the largest source of mercury leaking into the lake, Honeywell Internation- al said. LOCAL, PAGE B-l Oswego's acting mayor longtime Gosek ally New acting Oswego Mayor William Dunsmoor told City Hall workers to get their job done, be polite and win back the trust of the Sean Kirst: What about the Roberts' confirmation expected next week The Senate Judiciary Com- mittee Thursday voted 13-5 in favor of John Roberts' nomi- nation as chief justice, with Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., op- posing the Find Schumer's statement on Roberts at Iraq's leading Smite cleric backs draft constitution Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sista ni rejected opposition by two popular Shiite leaders Thursday and endorsed Iraq's draft consti- tution, officials said. STORY, PAGE A-3 Corrections Date of Lyra Date of Onondaga Nation Limeledge water Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Call Deputy Executive Editor Tim Bunn at 470-2240 to dis- cuss a correction on a news story. Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS Fourth-Grade Math Scores Up; 8th-Graders Still Struggling Five elementary schools in region had all students the state test pass. Index By Debra J. Groom Staff writer Nearly 70 percent of the 139 elementary schools in the five- county Central New York area improved their fourth-grade math scores, from 2004 to 2005, according to state figures re- leased Thursday. That includes improvement at all but five of Syracuse's 22 ele- mentary schools. Central New York schools did not fare as well with the eighth- grade math tests. Only 38 per- cent of 68 schools saw their scores increase from 2004 to 2005. These statistics mirror what is Your schools' scores School-by-school test results across Central New York. PAGE A-4 happening statewide, where fourth-grade test scores are up but eighth-grade scores are flat. Five elementary schools hit home runs this year all of their children who took the fourth-grade math test passed: Fabius-Pompey Elementary, Nate Perry and Soule Road in the Liverpool district, Oneida Castle in the Oneida City district and McAllister Elementary in the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill dis- trict. "Our teachers, from kinder- garten all the way through, work with the students to be sure they master the skills at their said Nate Perry Principal Margo Ross. State Education Commission- er Richard Mills said at a news conference in Albany that the percentage of students with seri- ous academic problems has de- clined every year from 1999 through 2005. "The biggest declines have been in the Big Five (Syracuse, Buffalo, New York, Rochester and More children are meeting the standards. And that's good news." Mills said schools across the state are putting a lot more effort into working with children to be sure they know and understand math skills. "Teachers are using the achievement data to help indi- vidual he said. "They are finding the performance NINE, PAGE A-5 David Lassman Staff photographer FOURTH-GRADERS Samuel Marleau (left) and Amanda Sleeth work on writing in Leighanne Herd's class at Nate Perry Elemen- tary School in Liverpool. It and four other CNY schools also saw all fourth-graders passing the state math test: Oneida Castle Ele- mentary, Oneida City; McAllister Elementary, Vernon-Verona- Sherrill; Fabius-Pompey Elementary; and Soule Road, Liverpool. Mike Greenlar Staff photographer CHRIS HAYWARD of Syracuse, a volunteer with Abundant tian, Miss., on Thursday. Abundant Life sent a work detail to Life Christian Center in Cicero, carries a wooden cross from the church to help clean up after devastation caused by Hur- the shed of Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church in Pass Chris- ricane Katrina. Church bell offers community a ring of hope By Greg Munno Staff writer Pass Christian, Miss. When the bell rang out at Goodwill Missionary Baptist Church, it heralded the rejuve- nation of this battered church, of this town and of a group of work-weary volunteers from Central New York. Katrina flooded the church, knocking it partially off its foundation and filling it with muck. Yet it fared better than much of Pass Christian, which essentially became part of an angry Gulf of Mexico for hours during the hurricane. The bell was a piece of the original church, which is ex- actly 100 years old. The volun- teer workers from Abundant Life Christian Center in Cicero dragged it from the mud after finishing their grueling work in the hot Mississippi sun. Harry Toussaint, Goodwill's pastor, rang the bell and KATRINA, PAGE A-4 In Mississippi Post-Standard staff writer Greg Munno (left) and staff photographer Mike Greenlar are with volunteers from Abundant Life Christian Center in Cicero who are helping people in Mississippi. For updates on the trip: To read previous reports on the trip and Katrina: INSIDE: Developments, notes from the Texas snarled as Rita veers By Mike Graczyk The Associated Press Houston Hurricane Rita closed in on the Texas Gulf Coast and the heart of the U.S. oil-refining industry with howling 145-mph winds Thursday, but a sharper-than- expected" turn to the east set it on a course that could spare Houston and nearby Galveston a direct hit. The storm's march toward land sent hundreds of thou- sands of people fleeing the na- tion's fourth-largest city in a frustratingly slow, bumper-to- bumper exodus. "This is the worst planning I've ever said Judie An- derson, who covered just 45 miles in 12 hours after setting out from her home in the Houston suburb of LaPorte. "They say we've learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina. Well, you couldn't prove it by me." In all, nearly 2 million peo- ple along the Texas and Loui- siana coasts were urged to get out of the way of Rita, a 400-mile-wide storm that weakened Thursday from a top-of-the-scale Category 5 hurricane to a Category 4 as it swirled across the Gulf of Mexico. The storm's course change could send it away from Hous- ton and Galveston and instead draw the hurricane toward Port FLEEING, PAGE A-6 North Syracuse family harassed after TV show Business...... Bridge.......... Clossified..... Comics......... CNY.............. Crossword.. Editorials.... Letters........ Local news. 0-1 HO F-l l-l A-10 A-ll 1-1 Lottery.......... Movies.......... New York..... Obituaries... Sean Kirst... Sports........... Stocks........... Sudoku......... Television.... A-2 E-3 A-8 B-4 B-l C-l D-3 E-7 E-5 THE POST-STANDARD By William LaRue Staff writer A North Syracuse couple got an unlisted telephone number and moved their two children out of their house because of harass- ment over the family's appear- ance on ABC's "Wife the mother of the husband said Thursday. She said Jeremy Felix and his wife, Vicki, began receiving calls Tuesday night from several people threatening to harm the family because he acknowledged on the reality show that he's used the N-word at home. When several cars drove by and beeped horns in front of the house, Wilma Felix said, the family contacted the show's pro- ducers, who arranged for private security to be posted outside at night. She said her son and daughter- in-law now deeply regret their decision to appear on the show, which has sparked remarks on Syracuse.com forums accusing the family of being racists and suggesting that their two chil- dren, ages 9 and 5, should be taken away. The couple are now looking into the possibility of moving out of the area, said Wilma Felix, who added that the couple now realize that some things they said on the show were "stu- pid." "It's a nightmare. There's been nothing positive about she said. "I have never known my daughter-in-law to be afraid of anything, but she won't go to the store. I will not go to a store. Anything I've needed at the store the last couple of days, I've sent my husband because his face was not on that TV." Wilma Felix appeared briefly on the episode with Neicey Wig- gins, the North Carolina woman COUPU, PAGE A-12 Onfine At ABC's "Wife Swap" Web site you can read: Vicki Felix's rules for the Wiggins house Neicey Wiggins' rules for the Felix house Wiggins' manual for Felix (Felix's manual for Wiggins is not online) The network's post-swap interviews with the two women. Get the links at the News Tracker blog at IDIOT AWARDS Kramer's grants CNY, PAGE E-1 COMPATIBLE COMPANIONS A dog to suit your personalty THE DAILY DOSE. PAGEE-S INSIDE WATKINS GLEN Danica poster SPORTS, PAGE C-9 Complete coverage SPORTS. PAGES C-1. 74 MARTHA MADE OVER Too tame or just right? CNY. PAGE E-1 'AFFAIR'IS OVER TMI Green news shew canceled CNY. PAGE E-2 ;

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