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Syracuse Post Standard Newspaper Archive: December 15, 2005 - Page 1

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   Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - December 15, 2005, Syracuse, New York                             The Post-Standard Affiliated with SyrKusi.com THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2005 FINAL EDITION O 2005 Ihe Post-Standard SYRACUSE. N.Y. 50 CENTS GOOD MORNING WATCH OUT Clouds will in- crease across Central New York today, but dry air below will prevent snow from falling during the day. It will be a different story to- night as a storm approaches. Complete forecast D-8 HIGH: 28 LOW: 25 Police: Oswego County teens drank before crash The two teenagers in last week's crash in Schroeppel that killed one of them drank liquor and beer at the driver's house in Phoenix before the crash, state police said Wednesday. UKAU PAGE 1-5 House votes to renew Patriot Act; Senate next The House voted 251 to 174 Wednesday to renew ihe USA Patriot Act, setting up a con- frontation over the revised anti- terrorism measure. STORY, PAGE A-14 Report: Flu in '03- '04 killed children quickly One-third of the 153 Ameri- can children killed by the flu during the 2003-04 season were dead within three days of getting sick, and many of the youngsters were perfectly healthy before they were stricken, government researchers reported. STORY, FACE A-13 Computer helps doctors identify smallpox, more Doctors at St. Joseph's Hos- pital Health Center and Univer- sity hospitals arc using a com- puter database that can help them identify smallpox and about 500 other conditions. STORY, PAGE C-l New York Gty poised for major subway, bus strike New York City could be hit Friday with its first subway and bus strike in more than 25 years. NEW YORK, PAGE A-J7 Google, Microsoft, Sun team up on Internet lab Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems backing an Internet research laboratory at the University of California aimed at helping entrepreneurs introduce more groundbreaking ideas lo a mass audience. BUSINESS, PAGE C-l Reservoir wall collapse critically injures children A reservoir retaining wall near Lestervillc, Mo. collapsed Wednesday, releasing a flood that swept way at least two homes and critically injured three children. STORY, PAGE 2 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 Bunn at 470-2240 to discuss a correction on a news story. Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS Index Business...........C-l Bridge...........F-7 Gasified..........F-l CNY.............. Puzzles....... Dick Case... Editorials..... Letters......... .E-l A-1S A-19 Local news.......B-l Lottery_____A-2 Movies. Weekend Hew York......A-16 Obituaries. Sports........ Slocks........ Sudoku...... Television.. ..B-4 D-l .C-3 ..E-7 ...E-5 THE POST-STANDARD DA: 2 Secretaries Quit After Admitting Cocaine Use at Bar By Jim O'Hara Staff writer Two members of trie Ononda- g'a County District Attorney's Office's secretarial staff lost their jobs this week after being spotted using cocaine in the rest- room at a downtown Syracuse restaurant after an office inves- tigators party last week, the dis- trict attorney said Wednesday. District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick said the women whom he would not name re- signed Monday after being con- fronted with the allegations and confessing. No criminal charges were filed or are anticipated, he said. "Sadly, drug abuse is a fact of life. We deal with it every Fitzpatrick said. "These two women lost their jobs. They showed poor judgment." Both women were escorted from the prosecutor's office Monday after being allowed to retrieve their personal belong- ings, he said. According to Fitzpatrick, a group of his office employees had gone to P.J. Dorsey's restau- rant and bar in downtown after a party elsewhere Dec. 8. A bar employee reported to one of the prosecution office em- ployees present in Dorsey's bar that she had seen the two women using cocaine in the ladies room, he said. Dorsey's manager, Curt But- ler, said he was told that a Dor- sey's employee working Dec. 8 either saw or overheard what ap- peared to be drug use in the rest- room, and the employee reported it to the person in the prosecu- tion group that she knew. He said Dorsey's left it up to the prosecutors to handle the inci- dent. Fitzpatrick said the prosecu- tion employee sent a text mes- sage about the reported incident to First Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Trunfio, but it was very late at night and Trun- fio did not get that message Fri- day. Fitzpatrick said he wanted to address the issue with both women together Friday, but one of them called in sick because of a family emergency. He put off WOMEN, PAGE A-9 BITTER COLD INVITES SNOWSTORM STEAM RISES over the Syracuse skyline about Wednesday morning. The city reached a record low of 8 degrees below zero at a.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. The previous record of zero was set In 1989. The weather service has issued a winter storm watch for tonight Nick tisi Stall photographer through Friday afternoon. Forecasters expect a storm to move from the Southeast coast into Cayuga, Onondaga, Madison and Oneida counties. The storm has the potential to drop about 6 to 10 Inches of snow and sleet by Fri- day Page D-8 Historic day dawns in Iraq Iraqis vote today for National Assembly. Coalition building seen as key. Knight Ridder Baghdad, Iraq In the months of political negotiations hat are bound to follow today's vote for a permanent National Assembly, Iraqis will face a fun- damental question: Will the na- tion stay together or tear apart in i civil war? Iraqi and U.S. officials say the nnswer which will define the Jush administration's legacy in lies in Iraqi politicians' ability to set aside fierce rivalries and old injustices and build coa- itions after what's sure to be a. Yactious vote along ethnic and sectarian lines. Up to 15 million Iraqis were o choose 275 members of the new parliament from among candidates running on 996 representing Shiite, ELECTION, PAGE A-7 Hasan The Associated Press IRAQI WOMEN prepare to cast their ballots Wednesday in Iraq's parliamentary elections at a polling spot in Tehran, Iran. Iraqi emigrants went to polling stations around the world to elect a 275-member Iraqi National Assembly. Iraqi citizens prepared to vote Bush calls election "watershed moment" Baghdad native, of Syracuse, "very happy" to vote U.S. soldiers place road blocks Stories, Page A-6 For up-to-date news on the election, see Join the discussion at National Grid cutting power to for fix Lyncourt customers will be without electricity for about six hours Friday night. By Meghan Rubado Staff writer About National Grid customers in the Lyncourt area received notice this week that they will be without electric power overnight Friday while the company upgrades a failing power line, according to the power company. The line in that area needs to be replaced because it can no longer support the power de- mands, said Alberto Bianchctti, a National Grid spokesman. Na- tional Grid realized the line problem during the summer and plans repairs based on staffing, availability of equipment and the seriousness of the problem, he said. Despite the cold weather, the company scheduled the six-hour outage to avoid power going out unexpectedly in the future, Bian- chetti said. Need to know more? Call National Grid at 1-800-642-4272 The forecasted low tempera- ture Friday night is about 21 de- grees, according to the National Weather Service in Binghamton. National Grid has no plans lo delay the outage, Bianchctti said. "There's no good time for an Bianchetti said. "But if we can do it in a planned way, it's much easier to muster the equipment and resources and staff than if it were to fail unex- pectedly in the middle of the night." Power will be out between 11 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday. National Grid planned the out- age for the evening to avoid leaving people without power during the day, Bianchelti said. Lyncourt resident Mary Sop- chak, 58, said she worries about the inconvenience for her 84-year-old mother. The two live at 601 S. Berwick Road. UTILITY, PAGE A-9 Former NiMo executive picked to be new chamber president !NY native worked for utility for 30 years. She's iroup's first female chief. By Rick Moriarty taff writer The Greater Syracuse Cham- ber of Commerce's new presi- ent will bring more than 30 of business experience to lejob. D a r 1 e n e Kerr, 54, for- mer president and chief oper- ating officer of Niagara Mo- hawk Power Corp., will take the lead- ership role at the chamber in mid-January, the chamber's board of directors announced Kerr Wednesday. Ken will be the chamber's first female president. She suc- ceeds David Cordeau, who left the position Aug. 12 to join the development team of Destiny USA. He was president of the chamber for 12 years. A Syracuse native and a for- mer chairwoman of the chamber, Kerr retired from Niagara Mo- hawk in March 2003 after 30 years with the utility and its suc- cessor company, National Grid. Chamber Chairman Lynn Smith said Kerr was chosen from among 70 applicants from around the country. "She clearly has a wealth of experience and a proven track re- cord of leadership in business, the community and at the cham- he said. Tim Ahern, a former chairman of the chamber and a member of its search committee, said Ken- was an "accomplished" and "proven" business leader. Kerr served as the chamber's board chair from 1999 to 2000. She started with Niagara Mo- hawk in 1973 as a junior meth- ods analyst and held many exec- utive positions over the years, including president and chief op- erating officer. In that position, she was accountable for electric KERR, PAGE A-70 HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS 5 places to shop for abode. INSIDE 10 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR FIRST DATE lus, the latest ooks on CNY, PAGE E-1, E-4 Beers to buy for TEACHING CPR AT HOWIE It can even be done at a party. THE DAILY PAGE E-8 FORMER J-D PLAYER HITS GROOVE AT SU SPORTS, PAGE D-1   

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