January 2, 2007

Cyrie Alyss area’s first baby of 2007

First Baby

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Lajuana Lyon holds her new baby daughter, Cyrie, this morning as husband Joel and son Cameron, 2, look on. Cyrie, at 6 pounds 8 ounces, arrived Monday as the first baby born at Cortland Regional Medical Center in 2007. The family lives in Blodgett Mills.   

Living and Leisure Editor

Lajuana Lyon said her baby, Cyrie Alyss, came 11 days early — early enough to be named Cortland’s first baby of the year, to the delight of her mother.
“I know mom was ready. I was very ready for her to come out,” the Blodgett Mills woman said.
Cyrie Alyss Lyon had a due date of Jan. 12, but fate had other ideas.
The babe, the first born this year at Cortland Regional Medical Center, arrived at 10:10 a.m. New Year’s Day, weighing in at _6 pounds, 8 ounces. She is 20 1/2 inches long.
“I think it’s great. It makes her very special,” Lajuana Lyon said of the first-baby status.
This is the second child for Lajuana, a J.C. Penney sales associate, and her husband, Joel Lyon, owner of Joel Lyon Construction. Their first child, Cameron Joel, is 2.
Hospital Aid, a volunteer organization that works with the pediatric department, donated a huge basket full of baby items, an annual rite for the hospital’s first boy and girl born in the new year.
The first baby boy of the year was Mark Anthony Bice III, son of Mark Anthony Bice II and Katie Parker of Cortland. The boy was born at 12:26 a.m. today.
There are 550 babies born annually at the hospital, CRMC staffers said.
“I think it’s awesome. I got my little boy and little girl and now I am done,” Joel Lyon said.
“He was very supportive, very helpful,” mom said of her husband during the delivery.
“He almost lost an arm in the process,” she laughed. “Just from her yanking on it,” Joel Lyon said.
Lajuana Lyon had contractions all day New Year’s Eve and couldn’t sleep. At around 1:30 a.m., her contractions were five minutes apart. She stayed home until about 3:30 a.m. and got to the hospital about 3:45 to 4 a.m. She was in constant labor from 4 a.m. until around 9:30 a.m., when she received a shot in her spine to ease the pain. The mother went from six centimeters to 10 centimeters in dilation.
“I pushed at 10 o’clock and she was out at 10:10 a.m. I didn’t have to push until the end. Four pushes and she was out.”
“They are awesome,” said Cory Murray, of Preble, Joel’s mom. “They are a good family. She’s a great mom.”
“I was there. I got to see it,” she said of the delivery. “It was the most incredible thing in my life.”
The little baby, with long black hair and a little, perfect face and tiny fists, slept quietly nestled against her mom. “The best part for me was when it was over and I got to see my pretty little girl with all this hair,” Lajuana Lyon said. “She’s very content and quiet. She’s barely cried. She’s spoiled actually.”
For the father, he loved holding his new daughter in his arms.
“Oh, it’s ... God, it’s the best thing in the world,” he said.



Snowmobilers, skiers are being sidelined by lack of snowfall

Staff Reporter

CNY Power Sports owner Dave Law has 150 snowmobiles, fueled and ready for sale. But because of scant snowfall Law has been unable to move much of his merchandise.
The lack of snow is creating a trickle down effect, he said. Some of his customers are in the business of plowing and pushing snow and because they have had no overtime “they are not buying toys.”
Law said business was down by 50 percent. He said he started the season with 200 snowmobiles and only 50 have been sold so far.
“It has impacted our business immensely,” Law said.
Law and other winter sporting enthusiasts have kept a watchful eye to the sky. But so far, snow has been sparse.
The average snowfall for Cortland County in December is 24.1 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Only 4.2 inches fell last month.
George Duane, president of the Twin Bridges Snowmobile Club, based in McGraw, said the trail groomers are ready and able to flatten trails, but the lack of snow has their sport at a standstill.
“We are just waiting on snow,” Duane said.
He said he has never experienced a winter quite like this one.
“Back in the 80s we had some winters that were not real good,” Duane said. “But it was not like this. This is real warm.”
The unusually warm weather is going to hurt the club’s funding, which comes from the number of snowmobiles registered, he said. He said it costs $45 to register a snowmobile and an additional $20 to join a club. Duane said business is down by 50 percent.
Duane said funding numbers have not yet come in.
“Everybody is holding out to see if it will snow,” Duane said. “For $70, people can find better things to do than snowmobile.”
Law has had to discount his prices so he could get merchandise moving.
“Everything is below cost,” he said.
Law said suppliers such as Yamaha and Honda are asking him, “What will it take to get customers to buy?” He said he answers, “Just bring snow.”
“Everybody (business owners) is watching their front doors hoping somebody would come in,” he said.
Law said what the area needs is about a foot of snow and six days of weather below 30 degrees and then “we could go ride.”
Although Law called the lack of snow “discouraging,” he is optimistic.
“I think when it comes we are going to get a batch,” Law said.
Sue Marsh, president of the Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club in Whitney Point, said the trails opened on Dec. 19, so it is still early in the season. Marsh added, “Most people don’t start riding till the first of the year.”
Yet Marsh is nervous, but expectant.
“We are really nervous, but hopefully it (snow) will get here eventually,” Marsh said.
“I think all of the county has been affected by the lack of snow,” said Charlotte Saracene, a partner at Nordic Sports on Main Street in Cortland.
She said the winter of 1982 was just as mild.
“I remember Christmas with no snow,” Saracene said.
She said she was unsure by how much her business was affected by the warm weather.



Revelers ring in new year

Staff Reporter

The roar of the crowd grew louder in the minutes before 2007, nearly drowning out the countdown of Mayor Tom Gallagher as the ball of lights began its descent down the front of the Cortland Standard building.
“I was practically screaming,” Gallagher said afterward, laughing.
The city police had begun closing down the streets to traffic just after 11 p.m., with groups of young people spilling off the sidewalks and into the street as they met up with groups of friends and then split off again.
Justin Rhodes, 16, and Jordynn Hogan, 11, both of Cortland, had recently arrived and stood just 20 feet from the bottom of the ball’s track. Like many others, they had come to First Night for several years in a row and would have come this year even if the rain had not stopped just minutes before.
“It’s just something fun to do on New Year’s,” Justin said. “We’ll probably just bug right out of here after the ball.”
The street between the buildings began to fill in more and more with the predominantly younger crowd, while many families huddled next to the buildings.
After making a short trip from Blodgett Mills, Justin and Lori Baker said they had arrived downtown around 9 p.m. They came early to get a good parking spot, Lori Baker said.
More than two hours later they stood in front of Bernard’s Fine Clothiers, sipping hot chocolate with Julia Baker, 3, Wesley Baker, 6, and Wyatt Malchak, 11.
Wesley Baker said he came for the fireworks and the ball dropping, while Julia Baker said she came just for the ball. Wyatt Malchak said it was his first time at the event.
As other groups burst out in the chorus of the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout,” the children started running in circles around Justin and Lori Baker, the latter trying in vain to get Wesley Baker to put his hat on.
Just before the ball was about to drop, Britney Smith and Stone Knight, both 13, stood in what had formerly been the center of Main Street, now a sea of people hemmed in by buildings. It was their third year at the event.
Both Smith and Knight live in Cincinnatus and had arrived in downtown Cortland at about 9 p.m. Smith said they had been “walking around and eating” and burning up the phone lines.
“We were calling people to hang out,” Smith said.
The display was prettier when the ball of lights had been suspended from the Squires Building, which was lost to fire in April, Smith said.
“It had the year that went down (the side of the clock tower),” Smith said, referring to a lighted display of the numbers of the new year. “Now it doesn’t.”
The change of venue did not seem to bother Thomas Grant and his son, Sam Grant, 9, as they stood with their necks craned upward as the ball began its descent. They had arrived just a half an hour before, but nevertheless had a fine view of the eastern face of the Cortland Standard building as the ball cast a soft light on the façade.
“He’s been looking forward to this all day,” Thomas Grant said.
The roar increased as the ball neared the bottom. The air filled with shouts, screams, whistles, catcalls, and of course, noisemakers of every variety.
The ball of lights went dark and a banner reading “2007” was unfurled, while a barrage of booming fireworks lit up the sky to the southeast of the intersection of Main and Port Watson streets.