February 02 , 2008


Bringing Patriots pride to the heart of New York

New England fan excited over Sunday’s football showdown


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
New England Patriots football fan Dave “Teet” Teeter proudly displays his leather Patriots jacket and other New England Patriots memorabilia in the basement of his Virgil home Tuesday. The Patriots face off against the New York Giants in this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Staff Reporter

VIRGIL — Dave “Teet” Teeter started supporting the New England Patriots about 20 years ago for no other reason than they were the underdogs.
“I didn’t like the Giants, and I didn’t like Dallas,” said Teeter, 47. “I wanted the underdogs.”
Teeter’s dedication has paid off.
The team is playing for its fourth Super Bowl title this decade Sunday against the New York Giants.
Teeter said he couldn’t be happier, and his friends and family are happy for him.
Since Teeter, a former Onondaga Central High School football player, decided to make the Patriots his team, he has regularly watched _their games, followed news about the team and collected Patriots memorabilia.
Every day he uses a big Patriots coffee cup and wears a Patriots watch his mom gave him, while most days after work as a welder at Pall Trinity Micro Corp. he slips into comfortable Patriots pajama bottoms his wife, Tina, 48, made for him.
She also made him a Patriots _blanket.
“I work at Wal-Mart, and we have these special fabrics,” Tina Teeter said. “He had been yelling at me _to make him a blanket because I _had been making everyone else _blankets.”
Teeter used to watch the games with his buddies all the time, but now he takes it easy and watches them at home with his wife or grandchildren, 6-year-old Elijah and 5-year-old Gabe, whom he is in the process of making Patriots fans.
“He gave them a football helmet, a stuffed flag and what else…a couple sports cards or whatever,” said Dave Teeter Jr., Dave Teeter’s son.
Dave Teeter has a tougher time getting his 5-year-old granddaughter, Alycia Sweeny, in Connecticut to root for his team, he said, being that her parents are New York Jets fans.
“We have so much fun, I always pick on him,” Dave Teeter said of his son-in-law, 23-year-old Mike Sweeny. “He got my granddaughter saying the Patriots stink and the Giants are going to win.”
On Thursday evening his son-in-law joked over the phone about their football rivalry.
Teeter likes to reminisce about the fun times he used to share with his buddies watching football.
He used to have a blast with Tony Barbis, a 43-year-old Homer resident and fellow Patriots fan who seriously rivals him in his Patriots devotion.
The pair and a handful of other friends went to a Patriots game in Buffalo in the mid-1990s. That was an amazing experience, both men said.
“It was my idea,” Barbis said. “I had gone to a game before that, and the second year I came up again and brought him with me, and it was awesome. I pulled a hamstring (while playing football) before the game.”
Not all of Teeter’s friends are Patriots’ fans like Barbis. His co-worker Brian Palmer is a big Dallas Cowboys fan, and the two bet on a six-pack each week their teams will win.
Obviously Teeter has made out well this season, but he still can’t dodge flack at work.
“I get harassed at work,” Teeter said. They say, ‘Your team cheated.’ They say ‘Read the paper, the Giants are going to win.’ I say ‘It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.’”
Teeter said he predicts the Patriots will defeat the Giants 32-24 on Sunday. That is especially guaranteed if Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can frequently get the ball to wide receiver Randy Moss, he said.
He plans to watch the game at his home, drinking beer and ordering pizza and chicken wings. His wife won’t be there; she has to work, but he’ll still enjoy himself, he said.
“They’ve come a long way,” he said of the Patriots.
Teeter said if the Patriots win Sunday he might start turning his attention to a new underdog.
“The Colts are another underdog team,” he said. “It’s time for them to win.”




Medical evidence in Manos trial shows abuse

Staff Reporter

A doctor testified Friday that she found brain swelling, hemorrhaging and extensive bruising on the body of a 2-year-old girl whose aunt is on trial for sexually abusing and drowning the child.
Jurors viewed a series of autopsy photos taken of Grace Manos as Onondaga County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Jumbelic explained her findings Friday in Tompkins County Court.
Marie Manos, 34, is charged with drowning her niece May 15 while baby-sitting the child at her apartment at 758 Ringwood Road, Dryden.
Of particular interest to both the prosecution and defense in the autopsy photos was the presence of pin-point hemorrhages called petechiae on the girl’s face.
Jumbelic explained that petechiae form when blood is allowed to flow into an area, but is unable to flow out, and is usually found in cases of asphyxiation accompanied by physical force.
In the photos admitted into evidence Friday, petechiae could be seen in several areas on Grace Manos’ face and head, including underneath her eyes and near her left temple.
Jumbelic said she found other injuries during her autopsy, which included severe brain swelling and extensive bruising on the girl’s face, forehead, neck and shoulders.
Grace’s eyes, Jumbelic said, also exhibited signs of swelling and hemorrhaging.
“Is it then your finding, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that Gracie was shaken?” Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson asked Jumbelic during the doctor’s initial testimony.
“Yes,” Jumbelic said.
Seated at the defense table, wearing her brown camel’s hair coat, Marie Manos closed her eyes and shook her head.
She is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of second-degree aggravated sexual abuse, felonies, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. If convicted, she faces 15 years to life in prison.
The bruises to Grace’s face could be seen clearly in the photographs, and Jumbelic testified that her examination revealed many of them had penetrated through the child’s skin.
Marie Manos was visibly upset by the photographs, which included a close-up shot of bruising to Grace’s right ear, which Jumbelic said was almost certainly caused by someone pinching or grabbing the ear.
Jumbelic said she also found numerous injuries to the child’s private areas, and testified that she concluded, based on her two-day examination of Grace’s body, that the girl’s death was a homicide accompanied by sexual abuse. She said Grace died as a result of blunt-force trauma to her head and asphyxiation caused by drowning.
Marie Manos’ attorney, Ithaca defense lawyer William Sellers IV, asked if there was any other possible explanation for the presence of petechiae and facial bruising on Grace’s body.
Jumbelic said she was certain of her conclusions.



Drug bust suspect sentenced to prison

Cases pending in local courts for most others who were arrested in November drug sweep

Staff Reporter

The first of 18 people arrested during a drug bust in November was sentenced to 1 1/2 years prison Thursday in Cortland County Court.
Joseph P. Spooner, 21, of 64 Madison St., Apt. 3, Cortland, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. In addition to jail time, Spooner was sentenced to two years post release supervision.
He is also required to pay $320 restitution and court fees, and had his license suspended.
Spooner was one of 18 people arrested by the Cortland County Drug Task Force, which is made up of representatives from the county’s District Attorney’s Office, the Cortland Police Department, the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department, State Police and the SUNY Cortland University Police Department.
The 18 individuals, most of whom are Cortland residents, were booked on felony and misdemeanor possession and sale charges. Two of the 18 people, Katty L. McCall and Amber L. Herzog, were granted adjournments in contemplation of dismissal, or ACD, and will have their charges dismissed and file sealed in one year.
McCall, of 39 Port Watson St., Apt. 9, Cortland, was issued the ACD on Jan. 11. Her charge of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, will be dismissed on Jan. 9, 2009.
Herzog, of 39 Port Watson St., Apt. C, Cortland, was issued the ACD on Dec. 21. Her charge of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, is scheduled to be dismissed on Dec. 19, 2008, according to city court records.
Cortland County District Attorney David Hartnett said an ACD is issued by a judge with or sometimes without recommendation of the District Attorney’s Office.
He added that the charge of unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation, is the only charge that a judge can issue an ACD without the consent of the District Attorney’s Office.
The other 15 people arrested in November having pending charges in City Court, County Court and Cortlandville Town Court.
The drug raids were the culmination of a two-month investigation.




City delays vote on  loan for housing project

Staff Reporter

CORTLAND — Mayor Tom Gallagher has decided to delay the vote on a $150,000 loan for Conifer Realty until the Common Council’s Feb. 19 meeting after issued were raised by aldermen and residents.
Conifer Realty has proposed a 56-unit, low- to moderate-income apartment complex on Pendleton Street. The project would cost a total of $10 million. It would be on a vacant 6.9-acre lot at 111-115 Pendleton St. near the east end of Huntington Street.
“One of the reasons is due to the concerns of residents in the area of the project,” Gallagher said about tabling the agenda item. “We need to get more information in order to make the right decision on the $150,000 loan.”
City residents have raised concerns about what type of tenants would be moving into the complex, and whether city services and schools could handle the influx of families and the amount of traffic.
Questions also have been raised over the amount of taxes the company would pay. Under a proposed payment-in-lieu-of taxes agreement on the $10 million project, the developer would pay $21,000 per year for 15 years in city, county and school taxes.
The Cortland County Industrial Development Agency plans to vote on the PILOT agreement after a Feb. 11 public hearing.
Gallagher said during the next two weeks, city department heads would evaluate whether any extraordinary demands will be placed on the departments as a result of the proposed project. The administration at the Cortland School District has also been asked whether it can handle more children at nearby Randall School.
Additionally, City Assessor David Briggs has been asked to clarify his assessment of the property and the IDA has been asked for comments relating to the PILOT.
“People are concerned they (Conifer) would not be paying enough in taxes,” Gallagher said.