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Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - November 25, 2005, Syracuse, New York The Post-Standard Affiliated with Syrtcuw.com FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25. 2005 FINAL EDITION O 2005 The Post-Standard SYRACUSE, N.Y. 50 CENTS MORE SNOW Lake-effect snow and flurries again will appear in Central New York today as chilly air blows across the region. Saturday won't be as harsh, and there's warmer weather coming in a few days. Complete forecast C-14 HIGH: 33 LOW: 21 All-Central New York football teams selected The final choices have been made for the tops in high school football across the region. Co- players of the year are Colin Simmons of Fayetteville-Manli- us and Dustin Morris of Homer. SPORTS, Post-Standard journalists return safely from Iraq Staff writer Hart Seely and staff photographer Li-Hua Lan are back home in Central New York after reporting from Iraq. Seely updated his blog from home. BtOG EXCERPT, While you slept, some shoppers hit the stores Holiday shoppers will be out in force today, many before the sun rises as they rush to get the best bargains. Stores that planned to open at 5 a.m. include Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Best Buy. The Bon-Ton, J.C. Penney, KB Toys and The Disney Store. IN IUSINESS, THANKSGIVING SHOPPERS ARRIVE EARLY, PAGE 1-7 Check Bob Niedt's blog for holiday shopping news For the next month or so, staff writer Bob Niedt, who re- ports on retailing in Central New York, will post every day on a Web log, or blog, at The Post- Standard's online affiliate, Syra- cuse.com. He'll record tips, ob- servations and news during the busiest shopping period of the year. You can find his blog at retail Activists leaving to help protect Antarctic whales Three local animal-rights ac- tivists are on a mission to protect whales near Antarctica. Syracuse residents Joel Capo- longo and Justin Pellingra, along with Jeff Watkins, of Fayette- ville, are participating in a cam- paign with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. LOCAL, PAGE B-4 Mardi Gras a go in New Orleans New Orleans city officials have announced that the Mardi Gras celebration is on for Febru- ary, though it will be a few days shorter than usual. STORY, PAGE A-10 Online news updates The Post-Standard's reporters update the news of Central New York from morning until night seven days a week. Get the latest news when you want it at: Corrections Call Deputy Executive Editor Tim Sunn at 470-2240 to discuss a correction on a news story. Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS Woman, 91, Dies When Car Slides on Curve Into River Oswego County sheriff's deputy dives in, puds Von Bwen woman out. By Meghan Rubado and Debra J. Groom Staff writers A 91-year-old Van Buren woman died Thursday when her car slid off the south shoulder of county Route 12 in Schroep- pel, Oswego County, and became sub- merged in the Oneida River, state police said. Henrietta M. Otter, of 1092 Lynch Road, was eastbound on Route 12. She was on her way to her daughter's home in Hastings at p.m. Thanksgiving Day when she lost control of her 1996 Buick on a sharp curve in the narrow road. Several neighbors and passers-by tried in vain to save the woman, but the cold weather and water were too much. Otter was removed from the sub- merged vehicle by an unidentified, uni- formed Oswego County sheriffs deputy who jumped in the water, according to witnesses. Otter was taken to A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital in Fulton, where she was pronounced dead, troopers said. DEPUTY, PAGE A-10 RESCUE PERSONNEL search the Oneida River in Schroeppel Thursday after a car slid off county Route 12. Gary Walts Staff photographer Business. Index ...B-7 Lottery..............A-2 E-10 Movies..............D-4 Ossified..........E-l New York......A-14 Obituories........B-4 CNY..................D-l Sean Kirst........B-1 Sports...............C-l Editorials.......A-16 Sudoku.............D-9 Letters...........A-l7 Television.........D-7 Local raws.......B-1 Weather........C-14 THE POST-STANDARD 'SHE WAS FAMOUS FOR A LITTLE WHILE' HANNAH REILLY, 8, of Auburn, reacts as the Build-A-Bear Workshop's "Teddy Bear's Workshop" float passes during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Thursday. The float included a model wearing clothes Reilly designed in a contest that won her a trip to New York City and a Tina Fineberg The Associated Press college scholarship. Reilly's family celebrated with her: (from left, foreground) her grandfather, Mike Jagge; her mother, Bridget (taking and grandmother, Ruthann Jagge (hand Hannah is holding Pawlette Coufur, a stuffed animal whose clothing she designed. little girl, big city: a 'surreal' day By Aiaina Potrikus Staff writer Young designer Hannah Reilly's fashion debut in New York City was anything but ordinary. Her model was an adult woman dressed as a floppy- eared bunny. The catwalk was the long Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Route, and the runway was a float teeming with colorful, animated teddy bears. And she had a great turnout 2.5 mil- lion people lined the street and another estimated 44 million tuned in on their televisions to see the parade. The Auburn third-grader beat out entrants from across the country and Canada in a contest for designers ages 5 to 18 sponsored by Build-A- Bear Workshop. The grand prize was a college scholarship and a trip to New York City. "She was famous for a little said her mom, Bridget. "The whole day was surreal for her." The 8-year-old's design was modeled by the compa- ny's mascot, Pawlette Coufur, who waved and danced as the float made its way down Broadway. The oversized bunny wore a rhinestone- studded jean jacket that read "Be Furbulous" over a T- shirt emblazoned "Be Fun." A denim skirt with a layer of pink ruffles completed the en- semble, which was accesso- rized with pink bows attached to Pawlette's floppy ears. Hannah, sitting with her mother and grandmother, had prime seating at the VIP grandstand on Central Park West. She also got a behind- the-scenes look at the float in the parade's staging area, even meeting pop singing duo Aly and AJ before they performed. "I thought it was she said. After the morning parade, instead of sitting down to a turkey dinner, Hannah check- ed out the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and went to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. She visited with company executives at Build-A-Bear and brought home a very special keepsake a new stuffed kitten wear- ing an "I Love New York City" T-shirt. "I love my trip, but. I miss my friends and she said. Medicare drug plan counseling a 'nightmare' Deportment of Aging finds program too complex, drops assistance to seniors. By James T. Mulder Staff writer The new Medicare prescrip- tion drug benefit is so complicat- ed Onondaga County has aban- doned plans to provide one-on- one assistance to seniors who need help choosing a plan. "We really did think we were going to be able to do that, but it just turned out to be such a nightmare, we decided to forget said Carmella Mulroy-De- genhart, elderly services coordi- nator for the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth. Medicare beneficiaries in the Syracuse area who want to sign up for the new benefit have more than 45 plans from which to choose. The amount beneficia- ries must pay, the drugs that are covered and even the pharmacies where they can fill their pre- scriptions vary from plan to plan. Medicare has a search tool on its Internet Web site (www.me- dicare.gov) designed to help people find and compare drug plans. It's difficult and time- consuming to use, according to Mulroy-Degenhart. It takes about an hour to guide one per- son through the process, she said. Mulroy-Degenhart said she and her assistant are fielding more than 50 calls a day from people inquiring about the new benefit. "We couldn't spend an hour finding a plan for every one of she said. Her of- fice also has 15 volunteers who are part of the Health Insurance Information, Counseling As- sistance Program who help Medicare beneficiaries with in- DOZENS, PAGE A-10 Join the debate in the business forum at General: Pullout would create instability Reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq should wait .until after election, commander says. By Liz Sly Chicago Tribune Ramadi, Iraq Gen. George Casey, the commander of multi- national forces in Iraq, has no doubt what would happen if U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Iraq. "The security situation would degenerate he said Thursday during a whistle-stop tour of Iraq. "You'd see (Abu Musab al-Zarqawi) consolidate his position on the ground, you'd sec a terrorist safe haven develop in Anbar, you'd see him foment- ing sectarian strife, and it would be hugely unstable." So with opinion polls showing that more Americans back home are turning against the war and pressure mounting in Congress for a swift with- drawal, Casey devoted Thanksgiving Day to visiting Cawy with the troops, flying around the country in his Black Hawk helicopter on a morale-boosting mission aimed at convincing soldiers in the field that the war is working. Along the way, scudding low over the desert to avoid ground- fire, he talked about his convic- tion that 'America's strategy for Iraq is on the right track. He also spoke about the uncertainties that lie ahead as the U.S. mili- tary enters what could be the final stage of the Iraq war next year the transition of authori- A suicide attacker steered a car packed with explosives to- ward U.S. soldiers on Thursday, killing at least 31 Join the debate in the Iraq forum at ty to Iraqi security forces and the drawdown of U.S. troops under the supervision of Iraq's first permanent, democratically elect- ed government. The first stop was Forward Operating Base Kalsu in the so- called Triangle of Death south of Baghdad. As soldiers gathered around him in their festively de- corated mess hall, Casey cited the notoriously dangerous area as an example of the progress that is being made toward stabi- lizing Iraq. "When you got here we were COMMANDO, PAMA-tl INSIDE SYRACUSE vs. LOUISVILLE FootboJ gome preview, PAGE 01 CUT YOUR OWN TREE 44 Christmas tree farms m CNY CNY, PAGES D-1, D-2 TOP TOYS Not everything batteries CNY, PAGE D-5 TURKEY, DAY 2 4 tasty recipes for leftovers Daily DOM, PAGED-10 KRAMER GOES SHOPPING CNY, PAGE D-1
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