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Syracuse Post Standard Newspaper Archive: December 23, 2005 - Page 1

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   Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - December 23, 2005, Syracuse, New York                             The Post-Standard Affiliated with Syracuse FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23. 2005 FINAL EDITION O 2005 The Post-Standard SYRACUSE, N.Y. SO CENTS CHANGING There will be some snow show- ers early today, I bul that will be followed by rain as temperatures rise across Central New York. It will be mostly cloudy with more rain Saturday as another storm approaches. Complete forecast, D-10 HIGH: 42 LOW: 33 Congress extends Patriot Act five weeks Congress on Thursday ap- proved a one-month extension of the Patriot Act and sent it to President Bush in a pre-Christ- mas scramble to prevent many of its anti-terrorism provisions from expiring Dec. 31. STORY, PAG! A-4 Strike off in NYC; buses, subways running The mass transit strike that paralyzed New York ended Thursday after union leaders sent their members back to work without a new contract, conclud- ing a three-day ordeal that stranded commuters in the freez- ing cold and subjected the union to the scorn of millions of New Yorkers. NEW YORK, PACE A-8 Report: Bin Laden operative was after Bush Before he was captured last spring, Osama bin Ladcn's top operational commander was solely focused on killing Presi- dent Bush and Pakistani Presi- dent Gen. Pervcz Musharraf, the New York Daily News is report- ing. ST08Y, PAGEA-12 U.S. likely to cut troop numbers in Iraq The United States soon will trim its military force in Iraq to slightly below 1 troops, the level it has considered its core force this year, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and oilier U.S. officials hinted Thurs- day. STORY, PAGEA-12 Son of Indianapolis Colts coach found dead in Fla. James Dungy, the 1 8-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, was found dead Thursday, apparently of a suicide, leaving the team and Tony Dungy' s numerous friends around the NFL in mourning. SPORTS, PAGE D-l 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 Elbridge town House No DJ at Bridge Street 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 CNY Puzzles Editorials letters Local news C-l F-6 F-l E-I A-10 A-ll B-1 Lottery A-2 Movies E-4 New York A-8 Obituaries B-4 Sports 0-1 Slotks Sudoku Television Weather C-3 E-7 E-S D-10 THE POST-STANDARD How Mayor's Notes Flagged Donors on List of Projects Former employee soys work promised to contributors. Gly officials deny allegation. By Frederic Pierce and John O'Brien Staff writers A former city of Syracuse en- gineer says her boss pressured her last year to steer contracts to consultants as a reward for their campaign contributions to Mayor Matt Driscoll. Sara Guntrum, the engi- neering department's former head of design and construction, recently asked local and federal officials to investigate the han- dling of five city bridge con- tracts that she said were being pushed toward specific firms be- cause of politics. Guntrum said that in March 2004, Deputy City Engineer Marty Davis showed her a list of the projects. Handwritten next to each project was the name of an engineering firm. Davis told her the mayor had written each, firm's name and that Driscoll wanted her to steer the contracts that way, Guntrum said. According to Guntrum, Davis called the process "political en- gineering." "He said, 'Sara, if you want to stay employed here, this is what you do. This is how you keep your Guntrum said. 'You've been a civil engineer most of your life; it's time you learned how to do political engi- neering.' Former city Budget Director Ann Rooney confirmed that Driscoll wrote the names of the engineering firms. She was at a meeting with him and Davis in 2003 when she saw Driscoll make the notations, she said. Rooney, whom Driscoll forced to resign in May 2004, CITY HALL PACE A-6 INSIDE See the document with the mayor's notes about five bridge contracts, according to a former city Suspects blame each other for home raid Stories also differ on why each thought the house in Granby contained money and drugs. By Douglass Dowty Staff writer Two men who burst into a Granby home and tied up five people Tuesday night looked for drugs and cash, accord- ing to papers filed in court when the men were arraigned Wednesday. In the court papers released Thurs- day, two suspects told police widely di- vergent stories in which each blamed the other for talking them into burglar- izing 22 Joimey Cake Road. According to police and court papers, the suspects found no illegal drugs at the home. Donald F. Brown, 27, of West Onon- daga Street, Syracuse, and Kyle Hunter, 18, of Laurie Lane, Clay, were charged with first-degree burglary, second-de- gree kidnapping, first-degree criminal firearm use and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Bail for each was set at cash or bond. Brown and Hunter told police they entered the Granby home, threatened the people inside with a sawed-off shot- gun and a machete and searched for drugs, according to court papers. POLIO, PAGE A-6 INSIDE: A look at the damage em- balming fluid can Manilas woman is drawn to Israel, heritage By Pam Greene Staff writer While Shira Blank does not consider tierself a particularly religious Jew, the 22-year-old Manlius woman plans to move to Israel next week. Blank will make al- iyah immigrate to Israel Tuesday along with about 250 other North American Jews. She will make the journey with Ne- fesh B'Nefesh, an or- ganization that helps Jews organize their Blank trips to Israel. "1 am making aliyah because I have this opportunity to fill this age-old dream of the Jewish Blank said Thursday. "While I respect the United States, I feel spiritually and culturally, Israel is where I belong." MANUUS FAMILY, PAGE A-9 FILLING ONE NEED AFTER ANOTHER Mike photographer FRED GERATY (bottom left) and Claire Grosso (In yellow of The Hayner Hoyt Corp., help fill boxes with the makings of Christmas dinners Thursday at the annual Christmas Bureau distribution at the Oncenter Convention Center. Nearly families received food and toys from the bureau this year, with the help of more than 800 volunteers. Story, Page B-4 Pyramid wins case against rival COR Court rules Wotertown didn't consider full impact of plaza across from mall. By Rick Moriarly Staff writer In a victory for The Pyramid Cos. over a competing Syracuse- based developer, an appeals court Thursday threw out Water- town's approval of a shopping plaza that has already been par- tially built and has had two stores open for business since the fall. The Appellate Division of stale Supreme Court, in a unani- mous decision by its five judges, said the town's planning board failed to properly consider the environmental impacts of Townc Center of Walertown. The shopping center is being developed by COR Route 3 Co., an off-shoot of COR Development Co. The court nullified the board's approval and overturned a deci- sion by Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood in April dis- missing a lawsuit brought against the board and COR by Pyramid Co. of Watertown and Salmon Run Shopping Center LtC. Pyramid and Salmon Run Shopping Center are offshoots of Robert Congel's company, The Pyramid Cos., based in Syra- cuse. They own the Salmon Run Mall 300 feet from COR's new shopping center at Interstate 81 and Arsenal Street (Route 3) in Watertown. They sued in Febru- ary, alleging the state Environ- mental Quality Review Act was not followed before the planning board gave COR's project site plan approval. IMPACT, PAGE A-6 Parents arrested; Clay police play Santa By Pedro Ramirez III Staff writer Clay police arrested a cou- ple last week, then collected presents for the pair's five young children. The parents face charges re- lated to two stolen credit cards. But when officers found the cards were used to buy Christmas presents and other items for the children, they de- cided to make the holiday as pleasant as possible for the youngsters. "What mom and dad did was said Lt. Fred Corey. "We just couldn't take the presents from the kids. So we wanted to replace some of what they bought." The children three girls and two boys range in age from 4 months to 9 years old. Their parents, Garlton Frank, 35, and Jennifer Liv- ingston, 30, of Cloister Court in Clay, face several felony and misdemeanor charges of grand larceny, forgery, con- spiracy, petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, Clay detectives said. Frank is accused of stealing a credit card from a customer at a local Taco Bell and one from a fellow employee at Kelly Cole's restaurant in Clay. Police say Livingston posed as the owner of the cards to buy about worth of clothes, household goods, presents and gift cards. Livingston was released Thursday. Frank was being held in the Onondaga County Justice Center. Meanwhile, Clay police used money from the Police Benevolent Association fund. And with the help of Wal- Mart, Iminanuel Lutheran Church in Clay and Cub Scout Pack 116, they gathered sever- al bags of toys, clothes, a food basket and cash for the chil- dren. The five are staying with Livingston's mother, Laura Livingston. When she arrived Thursday at the Clay police offices on Route 31, she was overcome by the generosity. "It's nice of them she said as she began to cry. "I'm surprised." Pedro Ramirez can be reached at 470-2292 or pramirezBsyracuse.com ALISTAIR COOKE'S BONES STOLEN INSIDE BIG MOVIE WEEKEND Three open today. Three more open Christmas Day. CNV, PAGES E-1, E-3 LOUSY GIFT ALERT How should you act? What should you say? THE DAILY DOSE, PAGE E-8 SING ALONG WITH KRAMER CNY, PAGE E-1   

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