December 03 , 2007


Snowfall slips up motorists 

First snowstorm of the season causes dozens of accidents


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Jim Hall of Pat and Mike’s Towing hooks onto a Jeep Grand Cherokee that slid off Route 41A in Homer this morning due to icy roads. The driver suffered only minor injuries. More snow is on the way for tonight.

Staff Reporters

CORTLAND — The first significant snowstorm of the season passed through the county this weekend, causing 39 reported crashes on local roads.
More snow is expected later today through Tuesday.
The Cortland County 911 dispatch center reported 39 weather related accidents from 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. today. Of those, 19 were on Interstate 81 in the county. The rest were in scattered locations.
State Police responded to eight accidents, the most serious occurring on Interstate 81, where a car with five people overturned.
Police said at 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Ahn G. Kim, 63, of Flushing, was traveling through Homer northbound on I-81 when he lost control on the slippery road surface, went off the east side into a ditch and rolled over.
The five people in the car, including Kim, were taken to Cortland Regional Medical where they were treated and released, said hospital spokesman Tom Quinn.
State Police also responded to an accident earlier Sunday afternoon in Virgil, where a vehicle went into a ditch and struck a tree, with no injuries reported.
Police said at 1:05 p.m. on Route 215, K.W. Crowningshield, 35, of Cortland, was northbound when he swerved toward the east shoulder to avoid hitting a vehicle driving southbound that had veered into his lane.
Police said Crowningshield’s vehicle went into a ditch and struck a tree. The vehicle that veered into his lane was operated by Richard Long, 52, of Cortland, who told police he was trying to slow down because of the slippery roadway and went off onto the eastern shoulder where his vehicle came to rest, undamaged.
State Police issued Long a ticket for failing to keep right, a violation.
While drivers had difficulty navigating the streets, roads and highways over the weekend, clearing the streets was no big deal, according to county and city officials.
Don Chambers, superintendent of the Cortland County Highway Department, said the county roads are in “pretty good condition” this morning. Chambers said two crews were out around 1 a.m. Sunday and this morning.
“It’s December and Central New York so we expect it,” said Chambers, noting some years the plows have been out earlier.
“Sunday morning was dress rehearsal for what’s coming tonight,” said city Superintendent of Public Works Christopher Bistocchi. He said there was no problem with clearing the 3 to 4 inches of snow that fell Sunday.
The National Weather Service could not be reached this morning, but according to its Web site a lake effect snow warning will remain in effect from 4 p.m. today to midnight Tuesday for southern Cayuga, Onondaga, Madison and Cortland counties. It predicts by early Tuesday morning snowfall of five to 10 inches.
“Snowfall will taper off heading south in Cortland County with the city of Cortland and points south seeing 2 to 6 inches tonight with total accumulations by late Tuesday evening of 4 to 8 inches possible,” according to the Web site.
The Weather Service also posts that northwesterly winds of 15 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph at times, will develop, bringing in colder air.




Boy, 16, shot during his first time hunting

Staff Reporter

CORTLANDVILLE — A McGraw boy was shot in the leg Sunday afternoon during his first time hunting.
George Chamberlain Jr., 16, of 3630 Route 11, was transported to Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center in Binghamton after his father and five others were hunting on land owned by Gutchess Timberlands Inc, on South Cortland-Virgil Road. The state Department of Environmental Conservation reported the land was leased by the hunters.
Chamberlain’s condition was not immediately available this morning from Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center.
Charles M. Scott, 26, whose address was not available from police, was charged with state Conservation Law violations by the DEC for firing the shot that hit the boy.
“He was shooting at a deer and didn’t see (George) come out from the pine trees,” said George Chamberlain Sr., 36, the teens father “When he shot, (Charles) didn’t see him and (George) walked right into it.”
George Chamberlain Sr. said the group of men called 911 after his son began screaming.
Lt. Chuck Yaekel of the state DEC said more than one shot was fired with a 12-gauge shotgun.
As of Sunday, no further charges were filed by the DEC and the investigation is ongoing.
Chamberlain is the second hunter to be shot in the area recently.