Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2007
Penn Yan retailers to relocate for new department store
PENN YAN, N.Y. - Lake Street Plaza patrons will soon see some drastic changes as construction begins on the new Peebles Department store.
The project, as reviewed by the Penn Yan Village Planning board earlier this month, calls for the demolition of 10,500 square feet of retail space currently occupied by Dollar General, Red Diamond Deli, Family Hair Care, Radio Shack and Finger Lakes Furniture and Bedding.Most of those retailers will be relocating to other spaces in the plaza, but specific plans were not available yet.
In it’s place, a 19,360 square foot building will be constructed to house a Peebles Department Store and one other retailer.
The project, slated to begin in early 2008, also includes relocating the plaza entrance from Lake Street 90 feet to the southwest, closer to the Community Bank.
The project must still be reviewed by New York State Department of Transportation officials and the Yates County Planning Board.
Peebles Department Store, owned by Stage Stores, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, reported that its total sales for November increased 7.8 percent to $130.7 million from $121.2 million in the same period last year.
The company opened 12 new stores in November, bringing the 2007 total openings to 47.
Friendship board fires police chief
FRIENDSHIP, N.Y. – The Friendship Town Board unanimously terminated its former officer-in-charge and another officer Wednesday night, effective immediately.
Let go following an executive session to discuss police personnel were Chief Dennis Brennan, who led the department from early November until he was suspended without pay during an emergency meeting of the town board Dec. 7. The board also terminated Officer James Ward.
On Dec. 7, two men driving a car with plates registered to the town of Friendship went through at least one red light with lights and sirens in Niagara County to return to a military base where Brennan was conducting training. Brennan was at the base at the time.
Afterwards, Brennan, who did not speak on his own behalf during the meeting, shook hands with the people who had come to support him at the meeting. He did not elaborate on how he would respond to the board’s decision.
Ernest LaPlante, chief of Buffalo Special Police, a division of the Buffalo Police Department, attended the meeting but did not speak. Earlier Wednesday, he said he felt the incident was blown out of proportion by Niagara County.
“That’s a slap on the hand. That’s not something to fire someone over,” LaPlante said. “I have a lot of respect for Dennis Brennan. He would make that department outstanding compared to other departments.
Penn Yan Academy tardiness policy is working, officials say
PENN YAN, N.Y. – Penn Yan Academy’s new practice to combat the disruption caused by tardy students interrupting first period classes is having a measurable impact.
Becky Perrault, assistant principal at the academy reported on the results at the Dec. 19 board of education meeting.
Earlier in the school year the academy’s policy on tardiness changed to require late students to be held in the cafeteria during the first period of classes rather than arrive late, disrupting the instruction time for the entire class. The tardy student is then responsible for contacting the teacher and making up the work he or she missed.
“Tardiness to the first period has decreased overall at Penn Yan Academy and continues to decrease,” she told the board. Specifically, daily tardiness has dcreased from an average of six to three students, with some days starting without any tardy students.
During the first five weeks of the school year, before the policy went into effect, there were 136 instances of tardiness by 58 students. The total Academy student body is 650. At the end of the second five weeks of instruction, the numbers dropped to 66 occurrences from 33 students, she reported.
Perrault said the results were seen across all grade levels.
“Students and parents responded,” she said, explaining that reports and comments indicate that students have chosen to be on time rather than be held in the cafeteria during the first period.
Mohawk Valley Community College, teacher program team up for zoo
UTICA, N.Y. – Mohawk Valley Community College, in correlation with the SUNY Oneonta pre-service teacher program, offered to design lessons and activities for Utica Zoo’s teacher resource boxes. Students enrolled in an elementary science methods course spent several weeks developing curricula and creating materials to enhance zoo education boxes. Professor Carolyn Crist, a former zoo educator, facilitated the project that included two sessions on zoo grounds and several hours of independent work.
The Utica Zoo Education Department teacher resource boxes are available for local educators in the following topics: dinosaurs, rainforests, endangered species, birds of prey, reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians, oceans, tigers and North American tracks. Resource boxes include bio-artifacts, such as skulls, skins, and shells, lesson plans, activity cards, books and magazines. The boxes can be rented for a period of one week for a cost of $10. Interested educators can call 738-0472 and ask to speak to Mary or Meg.