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Syracuse Post Standard: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 - Page 1

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   Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - December 20, 2005, Syracuse, New York                             The Post-Standard Affiliated with SyracuM.com TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2005 FINAl EDITION 2005 The Post-Standard SYRACUSE, N.Y. 50 CENTS GOOD MORNING A BIT MORE Snow showers i could bring an inch or two of snow to the Cen1 tral New York area this afternoon and eve- ning. More lake-effect snow is heading this way for Wednes- day. Then more flurries returh. Complete forecast D-8 HIGH: 29 LOW: 19 No survivors found in crash off Miami Beach A seaplane carrying 20 peo- ple crashed just off Miami Beach sight of the city's high- rises Monday, authorities said. All 20 people aboard were killed. Witnesses said the plane ex- ploded in flames as it came down, and the FBI joined the in- vestigation. STORY, PAGE A-9 After tsunami, rebuilding pace falls short of hopes In Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the two countries hardest hit by the Dec. 26 tsunami, fewer than a fifth of the homes that were de- stroyed have been rebuilt. The slow pace of reconstruction has damped initial hopes that the massive aid effort would be fur- ther along by now. STORY, PAGE A-5 NCAA says Syracuse does well on grad rates The NCAA's first Graduation Success Rate shows Syracuse University's basketball team graduated 75 percent of its play- ers that entered school between 1995 and 1998. The national GSR average for all NCAA Di- vision I men's basketball teams is 58 percent. The success rate for all NCAA Division I athletes is 76 percent. SPORTS, PAGED-) It's Brown Tuesday for United Parcel Service United Parcel Service ex- pects to move more than 20 mil- lion packages worldwide today, but many of Ihose parcels will already have traveled 65 miles on conveyor belts while inside the UPS building in Hodgkins, 111., near Chicago. BUSINESS, PAGE C-l Read along with the NIE serial "Sooner or Later" is the story of a former slave family after the Civil War. PAGE B-3 Online news updates The Post-Standard's reporters update'tlie news of Central New York from morning until night seven days a week. Get the latest news when you want it at: Corrections writer Ed for Syracuse Diocese's Christmas Mass at 113 Kristin Road, design review for the Advanced Hawkeye Call Deputy Executive Editor Tim Bunn at 470-2240 to discuss a correction on a news story. Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS Index Business Bridge Classified Comics CNV Puzzles Editorials Kid's Page C-l F-7 F-l :H A-10 Local news.... Loltery........... Movies........... NewVotk...... Obituaries..... Sthools.......... Sports. B-1 ..A-2 E-3 ..A-8 .B-4 ..B-6 ..D-l Sudoku.. Letters A-ll ........E-7 .........E-5 THE POST-STANDARD Erik Cole Robert Esche Olympic Hockey Takes 4 from CNY Craig Conroy Brian Gionta NHL players who sharpened their game in Central New York are first- time Olympians. By Lindsay Kramer Staff writer A quartet of players with Central New York roots will help tote the banner for the latest wave of USA Hockey by repre- senting this country at the 2006 Winter Olympics Feb. 15-26 in Torino, Italy. Included on the 23-player U.S. Olym- pic Team roster announced Monday night is Philadelphia Flyers goalie Robert Esche, from Whitesboro; Carolina Hurri- canes forward Erik Cole, from Oswego; Los Angeles Kings forward Craig Con- roy, from Potsdam; and New Jersey Dev- ils forward Brian Gionta, who is from Rochester but who developed in the Syra- cuse Stars youth hockey program. They are four of the 12 first-time Olympians_on the U.S. roster. "It's going to turn over Cole said of the old-guard U.S. talent. "It's certainly nice to be in there with the. new faces. I'm excited. I'm surprised. It's going to be fun." Cole, 27, represented the United States at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Fed- eration World Championship last spring. He has 25 points in 32 games for the Hur- ricanes. Gionta, 26, also played in the 2005 World Championships. He paces the with 33 points in 32 games. "It's always an honor and a childhood dream of anyone coming up, U.S.-born, to represent your country in the Olym- Gionta said in a conference call Monday night. "I'm looking forward to the challenge. This roster is exceptional." Esche, 27, has been a member of five U.S. National Teams since 1997 and posted a 2.53 goals-against average and .909 save percentage for Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey 2004. He will compete for minutes with two other goal- ies on the U.S. Rick DiPictro of the New York Islanders and John Grahame of Tampa Bay. sure we'll continue to watch them through the (NHL) U.S. Olympic head coach Peter Laviolette said of picking a No. 1 goalie for Torino. "Theseasonsofarhasbeena tryout and will continue to be a tryout. That's all we have right now." The 34-year-old Conroy, who frequent- ly trains at the Cicero Twin Rinks com- plex during the off-season, is getting his first shot at the Olympics a little later in life. He previously represented the United States in the 2004 World Cup. He had 12 goals and 20 assists heading into play Monday night. The Americans are chasing their first gold medal since 1980, when they won at Lake Placid. They took the silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City. La Wheelchair, She Chased Robber By Dclcn Goldberg Staff writer The teen who snatched Lori Kennedy's purse Monday chose the wrong woman to mess with. "He thought he could take advantage of me because I'm Kennedy said from her home Monday night. "But he didn't realize how smart I am." Kennedy, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to gel around, was waiting for a bus shortly before 1 p.m. on the 600 block of South Wilbur Avenue when a 16-year-old boy stole her purse, Syracuse police said. Sgl. Tom Conncllan said Greg Bruns- on, of Syracuse, reached under Kenne- dy's arm and grabbed her handbag. Brunson look off running on West Marccllus Street, police said. Kennedy, 38, wasn't about to let him go that easily. She started to chase him in her motorized wheelchair. "I wasn't really said Kenne- dy, who works as a vocational counselor for the slate. "I wus more angry. 1 felt vi- olated." Kennedy followed Brunson for at least two blocks, until he slipped between two houses on Nelson Street. Kennedy then returned to Wilbur Avenue and went to ARC of Onondaga, her former employer, to call police. About p.m., Syracuse police Offi- cer Edward Geehrer spoiled a leen thai resembled the boy Kennedy had de- scribed. He was walking on the 100 block of Hartson Street. Geehrer tried to stop Brunson, but he look off running. When Geehrer finally caughl up to the teen, Conncllan said, the officer found much of Kennedy's proper- ly on him. "He also already had purchased some stuff with her Connellan said. Police said Brunson bought a new cell phone and jacket with'cash he stole from Kennedy. Brunson later told police he robbed Kennedy because he needed money 10 buy food. Officers brought Kennedy to Hartson Street, where she identified Brunson. "Her description was right on the Connellan said. POLICE SAY, PAGE A-12 Mike Greenlar Staff photographer LORI KENNEDY, of Baldwinsville, laughs as she tells of how sbe was robbed Mon- day while she waited for a bus on Wilbur Avenue. Kennedy and her husband, Mi- chael, (background) have cerebral palsy. Lori Kennedy chased the robber and was able to give police a description. "I think he saw me as she said of the robber. Meet the Air Force crew that knows Santa's secrets By Robert A. Baker Staff writer. Kids, there's been some talk on the playground. We've all heard it. But those who say there is no Santa are wrong. In a military building in Rome, surrounded, with razor wire, some very serious looking men with M-4 automatic weap- ons believe in Santa. This is the headquarters of the Northeast Air Defense Sector, where men and women use radar to watch everything 'that flies over and near our country. Ev- erything. Including Sanla. we're here, but our most important mission is Christmas said Lt. Col. Kacey Blaney. That's right, on Christmas Eve the Air Force watches Santa on his Christmas Eve flight. It's Folow Santa's trip Go to www.noradsanta.org to follow Santa's flight beginning Christmas Eve. their mission. Tech. Sgt. Ron Belluscio has seen Santa on radar. "We start picking him up 100 miles north of he said. The new radar system is so good, Blaney said, they can make out the individual reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh. Santa starts around 5 or 6 p.m. Christmas Eve Belluscio said, with a run down the Eastern sea- board. He doesn't stop here first, Belluscio said. He heads down to South America, (hen Central America and Cuba before hitting the United States. Santa works IATTIE CONTROL PAGE A-12 N S I D E VOICES Exchange student Mori Nikkanen, of Finland, feels homesick, lucky, excited and baffled while in Marcellus. INSIDE OUR SCHOOLS, PAGE B-6 FITNESS BURNOUT When kids overdo it, and injuries strike. CNY, PAGE E-1 FAMILY TIER BACKLASH Not enough choice, some families say. CNY, PAGE E-4 HOLIDAY VS. CHRISTMAS A friendly debate by two readers. THE DAILY DOSE, PAGE E-8 Walgreens gets the green light to build Construction of disputed Eastwood project will begin this spring. By Greg Munno Staff writer The Syracuse Planning Com- mission Monday unexpectedly passed a controversial plan lo build a Walgreens at ihc en- trance to Ihc city's Eastwood neighborhood. The project needs no addilion- al approvals and construction will begin in the spring, develop- er Guy W. Hail Jr. said. "We hope and pray il works out for Ihe best for said commission Chairman Dr. Ruben P. Cowan. "I think il wus Ihc bcsl decision under ihc cir- cumslances." Less than a month ago, the planning commission unani- mously rejected plans for Ihe Walgreens. Immediately after the vole. Hart threatened to scuttle Ihe project and others his firm HDL Property Group of East Syracuse had planned for the city. Bui ihe ncxl morning, Cily DRIVEWAY, PAGE A-5 Court papers: Stabbing followed fight at school By Jim O'Hara Staff wriler A stabbing lasl week at Onon- daga Central High School occurred the first day the two girls involved were back at school following a suspension for a fight ihe previous week, according lo papers filed in Fam- ily Court. The lawyer for the 12-year-old accused in the butcher-knife stabbing said in court Monday thai the. incidcnl followed "weeks and weeks and weeks" of launting by ihe 15-year-old victim. The 12-year-old was released from Hillbrook Detention Facili- ty to the custody of her parents at a Family Court appearance Monday afternoon. Although Onondaga County Sheriffs Office' officials last week said there was no previous history of trouble between the girls, the 15-year-old victim said in a written statement Jn the court papers that she and the younger girl had fought Dec. 9 and been suspended as a result. The older girl said she was suspended for three school days, returning to school lasl Wednes- day. She said Ihe younger girl was suspended for four days, rc- LAWYER, PAGE A-12   

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