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View Sample Pages : Syracuse Post Standard, January 28, 2005

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Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - January 28, 2005, Syracuse, New York PAGE B 6 THE POST-STANDARD Friday. January 28.2005 CRIME AND SAFETY 'Voodoo' landlord accused of burglary SUE WRITER The landlord at an apartment 700 block ol North Town- send Street in Syracuse has a problem with boundaries One of his tenants reported that he regularly lets himself into her ipatTent without warning, without permission. When she's complained, he's repeatedly told her it s his build- ing, he can come and go as he pleases. When he comes and goes from her apartment, he television, makes calls from her phone, eats her food, uses her appliances and doesn't clean up after himself. She threatened to report him to police. His creepy response as to put a Aoodoo hex" on her and later set a "voodoo shrine" up outside her complete with hair from her hairbrush. That was enough for her to make that three-digit call to 911 When police arrived, he was just startme to let himself into her apartment, carrying a can of com he planned to heat up on her e u-. ,t r'-nropfj with burslarv she oegan looking for a new nJace to iive Stealing this, that, next thing Burglars aren't particular about the items they steal. That particularly true in recent .n One burglar broke into Max- ine's Salon at 381 W Onondaga St. and took a perfume, a paper shredder and some hairspray. Another mole v, orth of deodorant and razors from the Price Chopper on Erie Boule- ard East Thieves on Colvm Street made off with a gym bag full of DVDs and took the family's birth certificates for good mea- sure. And from a basement storage area in the 1300 block of Park Street, a sucky-fingered skulker stole a rug cleaner, six bottles of iaundn detergent, holiday deco- rations, an oscillating noor lan and a few dozen Atari games, Nleo! offers food for thought It would have been a seafood feast for the woman who got nabbed earlier this week stealing worth of lobster and crab legs from the Price Chopper on Ene Boulevard East Instead, she ended up at the Onondaga County Justice Center jail, where the cuisine that eve- ning w as a little more pedestrian. The menu behind bars that evening was chicken hot dogs w ith sauerkraut, beans, an oat- meal cookie and punch. No can- dlelight or linen napkins, but on the bright side, no bill. Teenage dad tosses tantrum He smokes pot, skips high school and steals his mom's car all on a regular basis. The Harvard Place mother reached her limit and called cops because her 16-year-old son got mad she wanted custody of his 10-month-oldbaby. To prove both his maturity and ability to parent, he kicked in the door and ran off before city police got there. A Nottingham Road man is probably cursing his small blad- der. He'd gotten up at 6 a.m. earlier this week to head to work Because of the freezing temperatures, he started up his car while brushing off the snow. Unfortunately, nature called, and nature was insistent that morning. He ran inside "for two minutes." he told police. When he returned, the warm- ed-up, brushed-off 1998 Chevy Blazer was gone. Sue Weibezahl covers crime and safety for The Post-Standard in or send e-mail to com Dennis Melt Staff photographer IN MARCH, locomotives and rail cars will begin being outfitted with reflective materials to make them more visible to motor vehicles at highway grade crossings, like this one on State Street near Auburn Correctional Facility. Rule Reflects Safety Push Regulations require reflectors on rail cars, locomotives By John Stith Staff writer The morning of June 15, 2002, a Jeep driven by a Cleveland man slammed into CSX freight train crossing Route 49 in Central Square. Ten years earlier, a Cort- land man drove his vehicle into a New York, Susquehanna Western locomo- tive crossing McLean Road in Cortiand- ville. In each case, the drivers didn't see the train Nationwide each year, there are an av- erage of 2.900 accidents involving trains and motor vehicles, and more than 700 of those accidents are like the Central Square and Cortlandville crashes, occur- ring when a motorist doesn't see a train and drives into it. Starting March 4, railroads across the nation must start equipping locomotives and rail cars with reflective material so that motorists can see them more easily Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Steve Kulm said the new re- quirement known officially as the Final Rule on Reflectonzauon of Rail Freight Rolling Stock could reduce the number of crashes annually by 100. "Manv of this of accident occur at a passive crossing, which means there are no flashing lights or barrier Kulm said. "These are generally darker areas, and there may not be any street lighting or other indications to illuminate the train that is already occupying the crossing Grade crossing warning devices In Central New York, CSX Transpor- tation is the biggest freight hauler, oper- ating about 60 freight trains, some travel- ing as fast as 79 mph, daily on its main east-west line. About six trains daily ei at a lop speed of 47 niph north and south on its Montreal line Trains on the CSX Baldvvinsville Branch travel about 30 mph The Finger Lakes Railroad runs two trains daily on its line between Geneva and Solvay. "It's a common-sense kind of Finger Lakes Railway President Michael Smith said. "I think anything that im- proves the visibility of a rail car or loco- motive at a grade crossing is probably something we ought to try." Smith said though the idea is good, government standards complicate the task. "We generally put down horizontal he said "They want vertical stnpes... You go from what everyone is doing about reflectonzation to some- thing entirely different, and I'm not sure that makes a lot of sense.'" FRA spokesman Warren Flatau said about 20 percent of the locomotives and rail cars in the United States are already equipped with retlective materials, al- though some equipment must be changed to comply with the new rule. Railroads that fail to comply with the rule will be subject to penalties and fines. Kulm said there are about loco- motives in the country and million rail cars. Railroads have five years to equip locomotives and 10 years to retrofit rail cars with reflective materials. Rail- roads will be required to retrofit a set number of each jear for the next 1C years. New locomotives and rail cars will have the reflective materials, he said. Equipping locomotives and rail cars with reflective material will cost an esti- mated million over the next 10 years, Kulm said. The cost to Finger Lakes Railway would be about per rail car and. per locomotive, Smith said. The railroad owns about 20 cars and 10 loco- motives. "Even the cost of this, at least from our perspective, in terms of what we would have to do, is Smith said. The rule requiring reflective material is the most recent effort by the FRA to in- crease the visibility of trains at highway- rail grade crossings. Previously, the FRA required locomotives to have headlamps and auxiliary lights to help motorists bet- ter judge the distance and speed of ap- prodcmng udais. Since 1994, the number of vehicle- train crashes at highway-rail grade cross- ings has decreased by 41 percent, and the number of fatalities has decreased by 47 percent, according to the FRA. Here is a look at rail-highway grade crossings in Central New York. Crossbucks Special Total devices (road signs) Bells Gates Mental exam deadline Lawyer: Defendant (barged wirithmang at officer is not ByJimO'Hara Staff writer A Syracuse woman who offi- cials say was shot by a police of- ficer as she lunged at him with a knife may lose her right to mount a psychiatric defense if she continues to refuse to coop- erate witn ner iawyei in ing that defense, Onondaga Count) Judge Anthonv Aloi warned Thursday. Aloi said Karen Jefferson ap- pears to be making a conscious decision not to cooperate with a psychologist hired by defense lawyer Paul Carey If she doesn't start cooperating, Aloi threat- ened to prevent Carey from pres- enting a psychiatric defense on Jefferson's behalf. Jefferson. 33, of 155 Ballan- tyne Road, is facing three counts of attempted first-degree assault, accused of threatening two citi- zens and police Officer Edward Falkowski with a butcher knife outside an apartment complex on Ballantyne Road Sept. 19, Falkowski shot Jefferson once in the chest when she lunged at him with the knife, officials said Thursday was the second time in as manv weeks Aloi and Carey verbally sparred over the case. Last week, Carey questioned the sufficiency of tests done by two psychiatrists at a state men- tal health facility who de- termined Jefferson was compe- tent to stand tnal. Aloi balked at ordering new tests unless local mental health officials made the request. They did so, and Aloi noted in court Thursday that two local psychiatrists had now also con- cluded Jefferson was competent to stand tnal. He then pressed Carey for some action on the part of the defense in preparing a psychiatric defense. But Carey said Dr. Thomas Lazzaro had been hindered in completing his testing of Jeffer- son because she was refusing to perform some tests one in- volving moving blocks around and another looking at ink-blot pictures and telling what she Source: Federal Railroad Administration things in elementary school. Lazzaro had thought he could make an evaluation without re- viewing her record of treatment, since age 20, at Hutchings Psy- chiatric Center, but now needs to review those files, Carey said. Aloi set Feb. 17 as the dead- line for Carey to get the psychi- atric evaluation completed and a report filed with the prosecution so Chief Assistant District Attor- ney Joseph O'Donnell can de- cide whether the prosecution wishes to have Jefferson exam- ined by an expert of its own. As he left court, Carey said he thought Jefferson's reluctance to cooperate was evidence of her psychiatric problems. Potential juror told to forget it after memorable exchange JIMQ'HARA COURTSWRlTtR Onondaga County Assist- ant District At- torney Amy Russo was try- ing to differen- tiate between "description" and "recognition" this week as she selected a jury to hear a robbery case in County Court. The issue was important since there were witnesses who would testify they recognized the de- fendant as the armed robber re- gardless of descriptions given to police. Noting she had been sitting before the panel for an hour, Russo turned to one of the pro- spective jurors and asked if he would recognize her if she left the courtroom and came back in an hour. "Oh yes. You? blush from Russo and peals of laughter throughout the court- room. Judge Bill Walsh imme- diately instructed court reporter Pat Reagan. "You may put an emphasis on that answer." The laughter subsiding, Russo tempted fate and jumped right out on the ice with her next question, asking the same gen- tleman if he'd have an easier time recognizing her than de- scribing her physical character- istics. A sense of gallantry must have settled in as the would-be juror tackled that one with a simple, "Yes.'' Deiense lawyer BOIWIM cewy got the last laugh: She bumped the man from the jury along with any other man in the panel who had smirked at the exchange. Service recols tole coloofljios Some of them were unfamiliar to the general public. But col- leagues turned out last week to cally replied, prompting a deep from the community who died in the past year. Those remembered in the me- morial observance were Thomas M. Barnell, William H. Bogart, Lee Carroll, Ronald J. Crowley, Samuel M. Fetters, Eugene P. Hubbard, Earl L Got Joseph Ro- tondo, Harold Bartlett Smith, Joseph Spector, Marc G. Ter- ziev, Portia t. Wells and David A. Yaffee. Also remembered was Angela Struglia Cooney, whose death had been overlooked in last year's ceremony. There were several light mo- ments as well. Presiding over the ceremony, 5th District Administrative juuge Jim Tormey took a mo- ment to introduce the numerous judges at the gathering, zipping right through the names until he came to Syracuse City Judge Jim Cecita. He paused momentarily, al- most as if he were drawing a blank on Cecile's name, prompt- ing laughter in the courtroom. cme of nw Tormey quickly aooeo. f- Tormey then introduced the Rev. John Finnegan for a prayer. But noting the priest's previous weekend church sermon had run 33% minutes, Tormey warned he wouldn't have that much time in court. Finnegan responded by telling the audience he had married Tor- mey and his wife, Sue, and that Tormey's parents confessed to liking their new daughter-in-law better than their own son. "I could understand he said, to laughter. Fair stories next book project Local lawyer and "Solvay Manna Mvttte is at it again. With her "Solvay Stories D" having had a local-best-seller holiday sales run at Borders Books, LaManna Rivette already is putting together a book of people's memories of the New York State Fair. "Everyone has a story to tell that has taken place at the New events, people, traditions, friend- ships, romances, buildings, com- petitions, weather conditions, foods, activities, performances, wild ndes, races, ceremonies, entertainment, a favorite state fair tradition or she said. "State Fan- Stones: The Days and People of the New York State Fair" should be available for sale at this year's fair, so there is a March 15 deadline for anyone wishing to share a story to be considered for inclusion in the self-published anthology. LaManna Rivette would pre- fer to have stories e-mailed to her at but she will accept entries mailed to Oh, How Up- state, 200 Old Liverpool Road, Liverpool, N.Y. 13088. A portion of sales proceeds will be contributed to support the State Fair Special Needs Ser- vices and Youth Day at the Fair. Jim O'Hara covers courts for The Post- Standard. To reach him, caH 470-2260 ;