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Syracuse Post Standard Newspaper Archive: November 30, 2005 - Page 1

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   Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - November 30, 2005, Syracuse, New York                             The Post-Standard Affiliated with SyracuM.com VIUBI o 2005 The Post-standard WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2005 FINAL EDITION SYRACUSE, N.Y. 50 CENTS GOOD MORNING A LITTLE RAIN Some spotty rain is forecast for this morning, but Central New Yorkers should ,'i'.'W expect a mostly breezy and cool day with more clouds than sunshine and a high temperature that ap- proaches 50 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy. Complete forecast D-8 HIGH: 49 LOW: 32 7O degrees sets o record Tuesday saw a record high of 70 degrees for the date in Central New York, and the whole month of November was Warmer than usual. Then came the wind and rain, and now the chill LOCAL, PAGE 1-1 Lunch boxes with lead recalled across New York Tens of thousands of chil- dren's lunch boxes are the sub- ject of a voluntary recall in New York because of trace amounts of lead found in the items. WW YORK, PAGE A-10 Center sets SU women's record with 41 points Syracuse University center Vaida Sipaviciute broke the SU women's single-game scoring record. She scored 41 points against Colgate. SPORTS, PAGE 0-1 Judge wants examiner to look into Bennett trustee A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge ordered the appointment of an examiner to investigate whether the trustee overseeing the Bennett Funding Group bankruptcy used the company's money for personal reasons. BUSINESS, PAGE C-l Peace activists kidnapped in Iraq; police fear more Al-Jazeera broadcast video Tuesday of four Western peace activists held hostage by a previ- ously unknown group. STORY, PAGE A-6 Denver boy shot shielding brother gets honors A 9-year-old boy who was shot in the back while shielding his little brother during an at- tempted break-in got a trophy from police and his school prin- cipal to honor his courage. STORY, PAGE A-11 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 Letter to editor on story by Rebecca Art auction at O'Brien Gere, 5000 Brittonfield Parkway, in Medicare presentation Dates of Plowshares Call Deputy Executive Editor Tim Bunn at 470-2240 to discuss a correction on a news story. Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS Index Albany Notes ..A-ID lottery..............A-2 Business...........C-l Movies...............E-6 Classified.........G-2 New York......A-IO Obituaries........B-4 CNY...................E-l Sean Kirst........B-l Crossword.. Sports...............D-l Editorials.......A-12 Sudoku..............E-9 Entertainment. E-5 Technology......F-l Letters...........A-13 Television..........E-7 Local news.......1-1 Weather...........D-8 THE POST-STANDARD Excellus Rates Jump in CNY, Hit Small Businesses Hard Fees will increase an average of 8.5 percent. Many businesses are worried. By James T. Mulder Staff writer Excellus BlueCross Blue- Shield will increase health insur- ance rates by an average of 8.5 percent on Jan. 1 for its members in Central New York. The rate hike will be higher for people enrolled in commu- nity-rated health plans sold to employers with fewer than 50 employees and to individuals. They will see an average in- crease of 11.7 percent, slightly less than this year's increase of 13.7 percent. About Excellus mem- bers are in community-rated plans, which charge the same amount regardless of a group's or individual's health status or claims experience. Health insur- ers must notify the state by Fri- day of any community-rated plan increases scheduled for Jan. 1. About 85 percent of Excellus members are in larger group plans, where the price of cover- age reflects the claims experi- ence of the group. Excellus said the 8.5 percent average is for all its members in both community-rated'and expe- rienced-rated groups. MVP Healthcare, another area health insurer, plans to increase rates on its community-rated health plan by an average of 11 percent Jan. 1. This year's in- crease was 16.3 percent. MVP has about members in Central New York, about of them in community-rated plans. Excellus, the area's largest health insurer, controls 70 per- cent of the local market. It said the 8.5 percent increase reflects lower-than-expected costs in 2005. Hewitt Associates, a na- tional consulting group, predicts health benefit costs will increase 9.9 percent nationwide in 2006. Mercer Health Benefits LLC is forecasting a 6.7 percent in- crease. The rate increases reflect ris- ing health-care costs as people use more health-care services, according to Elizabeth Martin, an Excellus spokeswoman. "New treatments and technolo- gies lead to a longer and better quality of life, but they are all coming with higher she FOR, PAGE A-5 Rote history Excellus will increase the rates on its community-rated health plans Jan. 1 by an average of 11.7 percent, slightly lower than this year's increase. 11.7% 12-1 4- rft '01 '02 '03 '04 Source: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield The Post-Standard PLAYERS ON the Eastwood Bears football team goof around before practice Tuesday after finding out Monday that the team is back in the Pop Warner Super Bowl Cham- pionships. In front are Adrien Murray (22) and Keyron Gloria Staff photographer Rhodes In the second row are (from left) Brian Doyle, Johnny Chambers and Jack Himes. In the back are (from left) Daquan Coleman (15) and Teondre Johnson The team is trying to raise for their trip. Amazing comeback for Eastwood Bears By Chris Wagner Staff writer In less than two days, the Eastwood Bears Pop Warner football team experi- enced crushing disappointment, contro- versy, outrage and elation. And now, as a reward for their success, they're facing the daunting task of raising immediately. The'Bears need the money to finance a trip to Orlando, Fla., to play in next week's Pop Warner Super Bowl Championships. "This has been a crazy 24 Jeff Smith, president of the Bears' football as- sociation, said Tuesday. "We just found out Monday that we'd be in the Super Bowl, and now we've got to raise all this money right away." The Bears received a boost on Tues- day when the National Football League and Destiny USA each promised But that still leaves a deficit to pay for the travel of 23 players and 10 coaches and chaperones. QUEST RESUMES, PAGE A4 High-pitched sound makes teens flee By Sarah Lyall The New York Times Barry, Wales Although he did not know it at the time, the idea came to Howard Stapleton when he was 12 and visiting a factory with his father, a manu- facturing executive in London. Opening the door to a room where workers were using high- frequency welding equipment, he found he could not bear to go inside. "The he complained. "What the grownups asked. Now 39, Stapleton has taken the lesson he learned that day that children can hear sounds at higher frequencies than adults can to fashion a novel device that he hopes will provide a so- lution to the eternal problem of obstreperous teenagers who hang around outside stores and cause trouble. The device, called the Mos- quito small and annoy- Stapleton emits a high-frequency pulsing sound that, he says, can be heard by most people younger than 20 and almost no one older than 30. The sound is designed to so irritate young people that after several minutes, they cannot stand it and go away. So far, the Mosquito has been road-tested in only one place, at the entrance to the Spar conven- ience store in this town in South Wales. Like birds perched on tel- ephone wires, surly teenagers used to plant themselves on the railings just outside the door, smoking, drinking, shouting rude words at customers and making regular disruptive forays inside. "On the low end of the scale, it would be intimidating for cus- said Robert Gough, who, with his parents, owns the store. "On the high end, they'd THE NOISE, PAGE A-4 Jonathan Player The New York Times HOWARD STAPLETON. inven- tor of the Mosquito, holds a speaker at a store in Barry, Wales, where boisterous teen- agers once gathered. ANiPOD THAT FITS IN YOUR EAR? Tin day is not that far off. TECHNOLOGY, PAGEM x FOOD MAGAZINES FOR THE FOODIE A hoNoy prtsMt CNY, PAGE E-1 INSIDE AFTER PHISH 5 questions for Trey Amstosio.! CNY, PAGE E-5 WINTERIZE ON THE CHEAP THE DAILY DOSE, PAGE E-10 'MARCH OF THE PENGUINS' Tlwim tho hit twrnod-DVD. CNY, PAGE E-S Visit to Shea causes concern Schools chief cites high-level state official's visit. State: No decision made yet. By Greg Munno Staff writer Interim Syracuse School Su- perintendent Robert DiFlorio said Tuesday that he's worried New York state will force the district to close Shea Middle School before changes at the school have a chance to take hold. DiFlorio said a high-level state education official visited the school earlier this month, and that has him concerned. "They don't normally do that, and it makes me DiF- lorio said. "I have a lot of con- cern that they may do this (close the My optimism is not at a very high level." Jonathan Burman, a spokes- man with the state Education Department, said DiFlorio is reading too much into the visit. "We often go into troubled schools, not just to check on them, but to offer advice and technical Burman said. Nonetheless, Burman said the school is in a precarious posi- tion. "Shea is on several lists that you don't want to be on, includ- ing the state accountability and registration review lists and the federal accountability he said. The state has closed 30 schools in the past five years. The key list is the registration review list. If the state yanks Shea's registration, it will have to close within two years. "The longer you are on those lists, the better chance there is that the school will be closed Burman said. The state first flagged Shea as a troubled school in 2000. The state ordered the school on the city's West Side to improve its low scores on eighth-grade Eng- lish and math exams or the school would be shut down. Burman stressed that no deci- sion has been made on Shea, but he said there would be some sort of announcement about the school this winter. Shea Principal Margaret Mo- ronc-Wilson said the state nor- mally makes announcements about school closings in January. I SHEA PRINCIPAL, PAGE A-4 y   

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