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CAYUGA COUNTY
Multiple injuries reported after crash in Cayuga County town of Fleming

At least three people were hurt in an accident at the traffic circle on Route 38 in Fleming Thursday night.

The accident was reported just before 9 p.m. and multiple ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

Route 38 was temporarily closed to traffic at the Auburn city line and on White Bridge Road in Owasco.

Two ambulances were later reported to be taking two people to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse.

Additional details were not available.


Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen 

Rescue personnel respond to the scene of a two car accident with multiple people at the traffic circle in Fleming Thursday night.


Lee-wire
AP
COLLEGE BRIBERY
Feds: Charity funneled millions in college bribery scam

The mastermind of a wide-ranging college admissions scandal set up a charity that wove a deep web of deception and fraud to mask bribes and payoffs, funneling millions of dollars through the tax-exempt organization under the nose of U.S. officials, according to prosecutors and tax documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

William "Rick" Singer registered Key Worldwide Foundation as a charity in 2013, gaining accredited 501(c)3 status with the federal government. Its tax filings reported revenue that doubled each year, from $451,600 in its first year to $3.7 million in 2016.

Singer, painted by prosecutors as the ringleader of the biggest school admissions scandal ever prosecuted by federal authorities, is accused of funneling money from wealthy parents through his foundation, then using it to bribe coaches and others to get their children into elite universities.

Prosecutors said he also accepted so-called donations from clients to help their kids get a coveted enrollment spot through cheating. The scheme allowed the parents to claim tax deductions for themselves.

By funneling millions of dollars with such apparent ease, nonprofit experts are renewing their criticism of the Internal Revenue Service's limited ability to police wrongdoing.

"There is not an enormous amount of resources at the IRS and in other parts of the government to provide oversight in real time. What we're seeing now is it took years for the government to break down this situation," said Larry Lieberman, former chief operating officer at Charity Navigator, a nonprofit watchdog.

Singer pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges in federal court Tuesday in Boston. Coaches and dozens of parents are among the 50 people charged in the scheme, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and high-achieving figures in such fields as law, finance and fashion.

The Internal Revenue Service has been investigating the criminal case jointly with the FBI, said Amy Hosney, special agent with the IRS' criminal investigation division, who called it a "very troubling scenario."

"With the alleged payments from the parents through the foundation as 'donations' and coming out on the other side as bribes, we're certainly looking at the transactions," Hosney said.

Much of the $2.7 million that Singer is accused of funneling as grant donations appears to be part of an elaborate charity scheme to mask his reported bribes to university coaches, according to an AP analysis of the foundation's 990 tax records.

Singer used the money to pay off his co-conspirators, prosecutors say, including administrators of college entrance exams who rigged the ACT and SAT testing process and university coaches who put students who didn't play sports on team recruitment lists to improve their chances of getting admitted to schools such as Yale, Stanford and Georgetown.

The charity claimed to give the most grants to the University of Southern California — nine in all that totaled $550,000.

USC officials wouldn't comment on whether it ever received such donations, but the grant descriptions and amounts allude to the bribes that prosecutors noted, including $175,000 to "USC Water Polo" and $100,000 to "USC Soccer Programs."

Coaches in those programs have been indicted on criminal charges.

In 2013 with Singer as Key Worldwide's president and CEO, the charity gave out two grants: $10,000 to "Georgetown Tennis" and $100,000 to an organization called "Fullerton Futobol Academy Inc." with an address belonging to California State University, Fullerton.

Chi-Chung Keung, spokesman for Cal State Fullerton, said the university discovered through state records that the organization listed by Singer is actually tied to USC women's soccer coach Ali Khosroshahin, who was indicted in the sweeping criminal case this week.

Khosroshahin previously coached at Cal State Fullerton, which does have an affiliation with a different program that bears a similar name to the one Singer listed.

Cal State Fullerton, Georgetown, Yale and New York universities said they never received the donations that the foundation claimed to have dispersed to them.

Aside from grants, Singer also found other ways to pay a coach. Former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst was named a consultant and paid $1.3 million by the foundation.

Georgetown said it had already fired Ernst for violating admissions rules before he was indicted.

Some of the foundation's other listed donations were fake, while Singer used some of them personally.

DePaul University confirmed it received three grants from Key Worldwide that Singer made as a parent, which the Chicago school solicited. His son graduated from the university in 2017. The grants were designated for study abroad programs, though Singer listed them in tax records as for the "religious studies department."


Lee-wire
AP
NEW YORK STATE
NYC inaugurates $25 billion mini-city

NEW YORK — A towering sculpture called Vessel — made up of 2,500 twisting steps the public can climb — is scheduled to open today as the visual centerpiece of Hudson Yards, a $25 billion urban complex on Manhattan's West Side that is the city's most ambitious development since the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.

When fully complete, the 28-acre site will include 16 towers of homes and offices, a hotel, a school, the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, a performing arts center and a shopping mall that also opens today.

About half the complex is complete, with the rest scheduled to be done by 2025. The opening of the $200 million Vessel and the landscape around it will likely bring a wave of tourists to a rebuilt corner of the city that was previously characterized by a huge rail yard, parking lots and weedy sidewalks once known as a cruising ground for prostitutes.

The 3,200-ton structure was assembled from steel-and-concrete pieces manufactured in Monfalcone, Italy. Accommodating 600 visitors at a time, it's 150 feet tall and rises from a narrow point at its base to a width of 150 feet at its peak.

"We needed to have a centerpiece, we needed to have an attraction, a destination — something where you would say, 'I'll meet you at,'" says Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards, which partnered with the Oxford Properties Group to develop the site. "And we thought monumental art is the way to go."

The concept was to make something "participatory," he said of the sculpture, created by British designer Thomas Heatherwick. "The idea was that everybody would just come in and climb it, be able to propose marriage up here, or run up and down, do whatever they want."

Admission is free, but people can get timed tickets in advance to avoid a line to enter.

The developers, including Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, have billed their project as the most expensive private development in U.S. history.

High-power tenants planning to move into Hudson Yards office space include CNN, WarnerMedia, Wells Fargo and the BlackRock money manager. The luxury goods maker Coach is already operating there. About 60 percent of nearly 300 luxury apartments on the market have been sold, with hundreds more coming up.

The observation deck is set to open later this year on the 100th story of one of the city's tallest buildings. The wedge-shaped deck will be 100 feet above the one on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, with a bird's eye view of the New York skyline and the Atlantic Ocean.

The arts center, a 200,000-square foot building called The Shed, is scheduled to open April 5. It includes an outer shell that can deploy over an adjacent public plaza on huge wheels to expand the size of the performance space.

Also opening Friday is a seven-story mall called the Shops at Hudson Yards, with more than 100 stores offering brands from Cartier, Stuart Weitzman and Manhattan's first Neiman Marcus to chains like H&M and Zara. There will also be a slew of dining choices including a Shake Shack, Neiman Marcus's signature Zodiac restaurant and celebrity chefs' restaurants.

Hudson Yards is part of a stretch of construction along the Hudson River from Columbus Circle to the World Trade Center that is gradually nudging New York's power-and-money epicenter west from midtown Manhattan.


Obits
Albert L. Weatherstone

WEEDSPORT — Albert L. Weatherstone, 97, formerly of Weedsport, passed away Monday, March 11, 2019, at The Commons on St. Anthony.

Born in Weedsport on Nov. 21, 1921, Albert was the son of the late William and Dorothy Snyder Weatherstone. Mr. Weatherstone proudly served his country with the U.S. Army Troop D, 25th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized), and 4th Armored Division during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his heroic service. After returning from deployment, he proudly bought a home on Rude Street for $1,300 where he resided for 68 years.

Al enjoyed reading books, bowling, woodworking, and being outdoors. He was a devoted family man who volunteered as a Boy Scout leader and Little League coach. His greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren and family. He retired from the New York State Thruway.

Albert is survived by his loving wife of 73 years, Elinor Schaff Weatherstone; his children, Warren (Diane) Weatherstone, Sharon Weatherstone, John (Karen) Weatherstone, Susan (Kevin) Ryan, and Joseph (Cathy) Weatherstone; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren (with two new babies expected soon); and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Albert was predeceased by his siblings, Thelma, Ellen, William, Arold, and Robert and all of their spouses.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, in St. Joseph’s Church in Weedsport. Visitation will be held prior from 10 to 11 a.m. in the church.

Albert’s family is thankful for the love and care that was provided by the staff at The Commons on St. Anthony, especially by the second and fourth floor caregivers. The family is also grateful to the devoted friend who visited Al, bringing joy to his days.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mr. Weatherstone’s name may be made to the Weedsport Fire Department, 8892 South St., Weedsport, NY 13166 or Alzheimer’s Association of CNY, 441 West Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204.

Arrangements are with White Chapel Funeral Home, 2719 Erie Drive, Weedsport.


Obits
Patricia M. Deacy Thierry

THROOP — Patricia M. Deacy Thierry, 83, of Throop, died Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at The Commons on St. Anthony, following an extended illness.

Pat was a life resident of the Auburn area, the daughter of the late Charles and Ethel Richards Deacy.

She is survived by her children: her daughter and son-in-law, Joann M. Thierry and Ken Zappala, of Tucker, Ga., and her son, Michael Thierry, of Moravia. She is also survived by her sister, Mary Lou Savino, of Rochester; her sister-in-law, Jennie Lovis, of Pippsburg, Maine; and several nieces and nephews.

Pat was predeceased by her husband, Louis H. Thierry, in November of 2014.

Friends are invited to call from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, at the Plis Funeral Home, 220 State St., Auburn. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Spring burial will be in Pine Hill Cemetery, Throop.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Throop Volunteer Fire Department.

To leave a message of condolence, go to www.plisfuneralhome.com.