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100-plus cats found in Liverpool home —

Purr Fect World president faces more neglect charges

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Bob Ellis/staff photographer
A Central New York SPCA van is parked in front of 503, left, and 505 Third St. in Liverpool Thursday afternoon as officials remove more than 100 cats from the first house. Lisa Alderman, who recently was charged in the cat neglect case on Wheeler Avenue in Cortland, owns the homes.

By ANTHONY SYLOR
Staff Reporter
LIVERPOOL — Purr Fect World President Lisa Alderman was arrested Thursday for keeping dozens of cats in filthy conditions in one of her two Liverpool homes. She was arraigned Monday on similar charges in Cortland City Court.
The Central New York SPCA raided homes at 503 and 505 Third St., Liverpool, where they found “at least a hundred” cats in “disgusting” conditions, Investigator Paul Morgan of the CNY SPCA said Thursday.
This morning, Liverpool Village Police Chief Don Morris said the final count of the cats taken from 503 Third St. was about 130. He said he believes there were about 75 cats in the adjacent property but none were taken from that home.
Morgan said that of cats taken, he believed 40 to 50 of them were sick. Alderman, 45, owns both properties in the Syracuse suburb; however, Morgan said the house at 505 Third St. was “spotless” and contained no violations.
As a result of the raid, which began at 10:30 a.m. and lasted throughout the day, Alderman was arrested for improper confinement of animals, an unclassified misdemeanor.
The arrest makes the second in four days for Alderman, who was arraigned Monday in Cortland City Court on 49 counts of failure to provide proper food and water for an impounded animal, an unclassified misdemeanor.

Cats
Morris said this morning that he does not believe Alderman was living at either address, but only the SPCA has information about where she was living. Morgan could not be reached by phone this morning.
When Alderman was arraigned Monday in front of Judge Thomas Meldrim in Cortland City Court, she listed 503 Third St. as her address.
The Cortland charges came from a similar raid on Sept. 1 by Cortland city officials when 279 cats were found between the home at 7 Wheeler Ave. and the clinic behind it. Police said the Wheeler Avenue address, which was home to Eugenia Cute, was supposed to be a spay and neuter clinic and is owned by Purr Fect World, a nonprofit organization.
Cute, 54, of Sweeney Road, Homer, was arrested on the same charges as Alderman in the Cortland case.
Morgan said he does not believe Alderman was running a business out of the Liverpool home but that she may have been holding cats there for the Cortland clinic.
“She doesn’t have a permit to operate a business in the village,” he said.
The SPCA exercised a warrant to search the homes Thursday after numerous complaints of foul smells, Morgan said, adding that officials found feces throughout the home at 503 Third St., including on walls. Morris said those complaints dated back to January.
The SPCA also plans to charge Alderman with failure to provide medical care for animals, an unclassified misdemeanor, but as of Thursday he had not done so, Morgan said.
The cats were being taken to the Central New York SPCA at 5878 E. Molloy Road, Syracuse.
“We’re in the same predicament as they are down in Cortland County,” Morris said.
Alderman is scheduled to appear for arraignment Oct. 31 in Liverpool Village Court. For the Cortland charges, Alderman and Cute are scheduled to appear Wednesday in City Court.
The Cortland County SPCA is housing the remaining cats that were seized from Wheeler Avenue, which total approximately 250 after 19 were euthanized because they were deemed “dangerous” and several others have died from medical reason. The SPCA has the remaining cats at the former Cortlandville Fire Station on Route 281.

 

 

Lawyers debate evidence in Northwoods case


By ANTHONY SYLOR
Staff Reporter

Five defendants accused of neglecting a comatose patient at a Cortland nursing home appeared Thursday in County Court, asking to see autopsy reports conducted after the patient’s death.
According to court papers filed by defense attorney Edward Menkin and Assistant Attorney General Robert Tortora in January, a 59-year-old man died on March 20, 2005, just 11 days after the alleged neglect by five Northwoods Rehabilitation and Extended Care Facility employees ended.
The papers state the man died of natural causes, unrelated to the alleged neglect.
However, attorneys for the defendants made arguments in front of Cortland County Judge Julie Campbell to have the autopsy findings turned over to them, stating they have a right to know what was found in order to mount a defense.
Tortora argued that the document is irrelevant, saying he is trying neither a homicide nor an assault case where those findings might be used as evidence.
Judy Abreu-Boswell, 24, of the Bronx, Renee Fulmer, 31, of East Freetown, Mary Kenyon, 40, Therea M. Loy, 50, and Steve Nadeau, 39, all of Cortland, were each indicted on numerous counts of falsifying business records, a felony, and willfully violating health laws, a misdemeanor, for allegedly neglecting to provide the patient with necessary care.
The indictments claim that from late January 2005 through early March 2005, the four allegedly failed do such things as rotate the patient every few hours to prevent bedsores, apply necessary creams, conduct oral care treatments and conduct range of motion exercises.
Additionally, it is alleged that defendants filed Medicare paperwork stating they had properly conducted their duties when they had not.
According to court documents, the violations were allegedly found after the patient’s mother allowed the Attorney General’s Office to videotape her son over the course of two months after the office had received numerous complaints from residents and family members.
The five lawyers representing the former employees, J. Scott Porter, Kenneth M. Moynihan, Thomas Miller, Kevin McCormick and Menkin, also argued that the surveillance tape should be thrown out as evidence, saying the taping violated their clients’ right to privacy.
They argued that permission from the patient’s mother did not give the Attorney General’s Office the right to tape their clients, and that their clients have a right not to be watched by the government while at work in a private care facility.

 

 

Magic helps spread anti-bullying message in Dryden


By SASHA AUSTRIE
Staff Reporter

DRYDEN — A chorus of “Wow! How did he do that?” emanated from the Dryden Middle/High School auditorium Thursday.
James Warren, a magician from Ithaca, held court at the auditorium and, more importantly, held the attention of approximately 150 seventh-graders while performing his Magic with a Message program, which discourages bullying.
“I was very impressed,” said Rebecca Tice, a foreign language teacher and co-facilitator of the school’s character education program. “The kids were truly amazed.”
She said Warren “wove the magic and the message incredibly well.”
Warren, who moved to Ithaca from Hollywood, Calif., about six months ago, said _he wanted to use his magic to do more than entertain.
For 12 years Warren has walked into schools across the country, leaving anti-bullying/tolerance, anti-smoking and peer pressure messages in his wake.
“It’s good for kids to hear (the anti-bullying message),” said Larry Hinkle, assistant principal of Dryden Middle School. “It is unfortunate that (bullying) happens”
At Dryden Middle /High School, Warren was delivering his message of anti-bullying to sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
“I thought it was interesting,” said Evan Canfield, 12.
Canfield was one of the volunteers for Warren’s demonstration on how a bully can make a person feel small. Canfield was instructed to not move and the audience was asked to look at a dot on a black-and-white spinning wheel, which was placed in front of the seventh-grader’s face for almost 20 seconds. When the wheel was moved, Canfield’s head appeared to shrink.
“When bullies try to make themselves look big by making someone else look small, that is an illusion, folks,” Warren said. He also used the wheel to make seventh-grader Felicia Caraballo’s head appear to swell, as she was portraying a bully with a big head.
Warren used such props as a newspaper page and a mirror to help convey his message to the children.
Warren held up a mirror in a small bag and pushed a knitting needle through, it saying, “If someone calls you a name, let it go right through you.”
Warren told the audience that bullies don’t “attack” if they are by themselves.
“They don’t get enough out of it that way,” Warren said.
“We could be easily influenced by other people, he said. “Nobody influences us more than our friends.”
Warren shared a personal bullying experience with the students to let them know there was hope.
“I was bullied a lot myself in schools,” Warren said. “This is a personal mission in the anti-bullying message.”

 

 

Homer budget proposed


By CHRISTINE LAUBENSTEIN
Staff Reporter

HOMER — Under the town’s $1.5 million proposed budget for 2007,  residents would see a slight increase in their tax bills next year, with a 2-cent increase in the tax rate.
The Town Board approved the proposed budget at its meeting Wednesday. The budget would raise the  total tax rate from $1.87 per $1,000 of assessed value to $1.89 per $1,000.
Under the budget, a person owning a $100,000 house would pay $1,890 in property taxes in 2007, an increase of $2 over this year’s bill.
Assessed property values are projected to increase by more than $2 million from 2006 to 2007, to $259 million.
The town would spend about $30,000 more in 2007 than in 2006 and receive about $120,000 more in revenue. About $20,000 less in surplus money would be used to cover costs.
The town would need to raise $4,000 more in taxes in 2007 than in 2006.
Under the proposed budget, board members’ salaries would not go up, nor would the highway supervisor’s or town clerk’s.
The proposed budget does not factor in costs of renovating the Town Hall. The board will adjust the numbers once it receives all of those figures in a couple of weeks. The board will also likely adjust certain figures based on information it has gathered from a survey of regional towns.
The board sent out the survey to have a better idea of what other towns are doing, Town Supervisor Fred Forbes said. It should have the survey responses organized within the next week, he said.
The board will vote on an actual budget at its Nov. 8 board meeting.
The fire district is $77,000 of the 2006 total budget, a $1,000 increase. The fire district tax rate would remain at one half cent per $1,000 of assessed property value.