Local News for Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

Three Named to Prosecutorial Watchdog

After two years of delays, Governor Hochul has named 3 of 4 potential nominees to the state’s Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct. The commission has been inactive since former Governor Cuomo resigned. He signed legislation creating the commission shortly before he left office. According to the Times Union, the commission is designed to hold prosecutors accountable in cases where innocent people are sent to prison based on flawed evidence or corruption. Hochul’s three appointments include attorneys Andrea Glenn Loigman, Daniel Alonso, and Phillip C. Hamilton. A fourth pick has yet to be named. 

Third Ward Alderperson Stepping Down

Ithaca Alderperson Jeffrey Barken will step down from Common Council in June. The Ithaca Voice reports that Barken, a third ward Democrat who has served since 2022, says he plans to “pursue other interests out of state.” Currently, vacant Common Council seats are filled via appointment but Council is considering a special election process instead. Barken stepped down less than a year before the 2023 elections, when all Common Council seats and the mayor’s office will be up for election. 

Stewart Park Gets State Aid

Ithaca’s Stewart Park will receive $500,000 in state aid to assist the park with renovation and enhancement projects. Funded by the New York State Economic Development Fund, the aid will be used to construct extra storage space in the large picnic pavilion, a new bathroom building, a new splash pad, and to buy camp equipment and art supplies for park camp programs. According to the Ithaca Voice, the aid was announced by Friends of Stewart Park and Wharton Studio Museum, two non-profits that have worked for years to restore Stewart Park. The two groups also thanked Assemblymember Anna Kelles for her advocacy and assistance for gaining the states support. 

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