OWEGO (WBNG) – Holiday lights shined brightly Friday night across downtown Owego during the annual Lights on the River event.Local business owners says it’s not just about the lights, it also gives their stores and small town a spotlight.Louise O’Neill, owner of Sincerely Yours cards and gift shop, says this year’s event will be the last time she is participating as a business owner.This comes after O’Neill announced her retirement, ultimately closing her popular store.”Everybody says when they come in here ‘I can’t believe you can’t find a buyer yet. This business is going to be missed.’ And I’m going to miss the people,” said O’Neill.Other businesses and non-profits like Animal Care Sanctuary says it’s a chance to be seen.”A lot of people don’t even know that we exist. Even though we are thirty minutes from here. It’s not so much about raising money for retail. It’s getting them to know what services are available to them… So it’s more about community engagement,” said Ellen Feldman from Animal Care Sanctuary.Participants enjoyed live music, food from local restaurants and live entertainment.”You know the fact that it’s started to snow a little bit adds to the cheer. You have Santa Clause, you have the marching band. It makes you feel like your home for the holidays,” said Feldman.”It’s good for sales tax, it helps the revenue in this town and it just makes people come and see the charm in it all,” said O’Neill. Lights on the river ended with a fireworks show behind the court street bridge. People also enjoyed food from local restaurants and even got to meet Santa Clause himself.
“I’ve been dispatched to United States wildfires occasionally throughout most of my National Weather Service career and so I was approached about going and I feel like I really couldn’t turn down this offer to help,” said Pellerito. “I hope I’m making my country, and my children, and my family proud in being a small part of helping with something much bigger than ourselves,” said Pellerito. Being there first-hand, Mark has seen the hardships the Australian people have faced. “Before I came down here to Australia, the largest fire I’ve personally dealt with was about a quarter million acres. There are many, many of those here. One of them is well over a million acres,” said Pellerito. Along with Australian forecasters, and several others from the US, they get to work right away each day. “We get right to work tailoring a detailed forecast for each fire that we’re assigned. We also have to identify what is the most important, very few things that need to be very clearly communicated for each fire. Wind shifts, extreme fire danger,” said Pellerito. Though he missed the holidays with his family, it makes him feel honored to be able to help. (WBNG) — After another year of intense heat and drought, Australian officials expected quite a fire season this year. Once the blazes started, they called for the help of experienced fire weather forecasters like Mark Pellerito. Even in his extensive experience, Mark has never seen fires as massive as this. “The smoke is everywhere, the news is everywhere. You find out of another firefighter death and you’re just, you feel, you know, at times a little bit paralyzed mentally with this. You’re just like, oh my gosh, this is crazy,” said Pellerito. No doubt, we’d say you have Mark.
Total positive cases: 6 (3 transferred)In mandatory isolation: 4In precautionary quarantine: 5In mandatory quarantine: 13Total tested: 101Negative test results: 77Pending test results: 15 As of Friday, March 27, Delaware County released the following information: For more coronavirus coverage, click here. DELAWARE COUNTY N.Y. (WBNG) — The Delaware County Health Department confirmed six positive cases of the coronavirus on Friday. Check the Delaware County Health Department website for updates.
Some students at Vestal Hills Elementary, like Natalie Purdy who is in the fourth grade, say it’s a lot of fun to learn about the topics she’s covering. Natalie’s mother, Miriam, says parents love seeing them, too. “If I can make them laugh, or make the parents laugh, and maybe break the tension, then I feel like my job is done,” said Willis. Cathy Willis was used to doing the morning announcements at Vestal Hills Elementary before schools shutdown due to the pandemic. Now that everyone’s not in school, she says she wanted to make them feel special. “I think parents and teachers have something in common right now, which is that we’re really being challenged to do things differently,” said Miriam. “So, when we see teachers reaching out in a very different way like this, it’s not just academic, but it’s something that’s giving the kids hope and that things are okay.” (WBNG) — Vestal Hills Elementary speech pathologist, Cathy Willis, misses her students and has been going the extra mile to make sure they feel special. From dressing up as works of art like the Mona Lisa to doing magic tricks with her dog, Willis says her daughter helped her make the pieces to give her students something to look forward to, saying, “I like to jump in 100 percent… I act like a fool [in videos] and I love it!” What started out as a birthday shout out, quickly turned to a video here and there to her students, Willis then decided to put together educational and entertaining videos out there every week. Willis says after 21 years working at the school where both she and her children attended, she just wants to make the kids happy. You can check some of Willis’s videos out on YouTube here.
This move falls in line with current State of New York restrictions limiting in-person graduation ceremonies to 150 people total. “There is no way to make that decision for us, I mean it’s an impossibility,” said Devlen. Devlen says this year, however, due to the coronavirus, the school’s graduation ceremony is split in two, and each child is only allowed three people in attendance. Tammy Devlen is a mother of three, with her middle child Charles expected to graduate from Spencer Van-Etten High School at the end of the week. The Devlen family, however, is a family of five, leaving them to decide which family member won’t be able to attend. Devlen has been working to voice her concerns to local government and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, in hopes of a change. “Please consider being what I would consider fair… just to allow families to be together, families are so important and to be able to spend such a precious moment together is invaluable.” 12 News reached out to the governor’s office about these concerns, but has not heard back. It’s a situation she says isn’t fair, and should be expanded, especially as places like retail stores and others are allowed so many people. SPENCER (WBNG) — A local mother is working to modify current high school graduation ceremony restrictions that have forced her family to choose which family members can attend her son’s big day. The graduation ceremonies for Spencer Van-Etten High School is set for Friday, June 26 and Saturday June 27.
(WBNG) — The American Hockey League has announced the anticipated start of the 2020-21 season has been pushed to December 4, 2020. The revised date was approved by the league’s Board of Governors during its annual meeting today. The AHL’s press release says further details regarding the upcoming season schedule are still to be determined. The official statement said the AHL will work with its member clubs to monitor developments and guidelines across the league’s 31 cities.