The hope is for the bookmobile to roll out and make its debut at the Strawberry Festival this June. The Family Reading Partnership of O.A. is also always looking for new or gently used book donations. “Books cost a lot of money and not all families can afford the quality books that we would love to have in the hands of children and families so that’s what we work hard, to raise money and to give away free books to everyone in our community,” said Barton. “‘I was very excited because I’m a literacy person at heart, and anything we can do to promote literacy is great,” said the district’s Director of Curriculum Laurie McKeveny. All to bring the community together, one book at a time. If you would like to help support the Bright Red Bookmobile, you can send a donation to PO Box 525 Owego, NY 13827. Once an old school bus soon to be retired, it’s now turning the page. “Reading is the super power of the whole world. If we can get young children to love reading and reading early, and families reading, there isn’t anything that they can’t do,” said Barton. “They have painted it and rejuvenated it and brought it back to life,” said McKeveny. “We’re working hard to create a culture of literacy in our community by providing free books and promoting early literacy in our community,” said Family Reading Partnership of O.A. President Kristin Barton. “That truly makes it a community collaborative project and I think it’s important for the high school students to give back and to know they are helping younger students to be successful through this whole effort as well,” said McKeveny. Students are the spine of the project, working to build bookshelves inside, decorate it, as well as put in carpets, tables, and chairs. The bookmobile was made possible through the Owego Apalachin Central School District and the Family Reading Partnership of O.A. OWEGO (WBNG) — It’s not your typical school bus that will be hitting the streets of Owego and Apalachin, it’s the Bright Red Bookmobile. The bookmobile will drive around the area giving everyone the access to a quick read, no matter how young. “Literacy is the foundation for all learning and it really gives children a head start,” said McKeveny.
BROOME COUNTY (WBNG) — The Broome County Health Department says recent cold weather is to blame for a spike in water main breaks across the county. Phelps said this can happen for a couple of reasons. Or, “If it’s a certain area where there’s not much water being used, there’s no water flowing through, it’s sitting stagnant, it’s going to freeze inside the pipe as well it can actually crack that way.” One, “We recently had a cold snap, we’re down in the single digits, those types of temperature without much snow cover to actually insulate the ground, we do get the ground as it freezes expands obviously, so as it expands sometimes it contacts pipes, puts pressure on pipes that already have a considerable amount of pressure from the water pressure inside.” When it comes to the break, “it can be anything from a small crack sometimes they split right in half, those are the one where the street’s flooded.” In the last week, there have been four water main breaks in Broome County: two in Endicott, one in Vestal and one in Johnson City just this past Tuesday. Environmental Health Director for the Broome County Health Department Joshua Phelps explained water main breaks Thursday. Referring to a ‘water main,’ he said, “A water main is going to be one that has a large amount of water as opposed to a smaller distribution line going to a home, so a water main might feed one street, several streets just depending on the size.” So Phelps said ultimately, “In our field if we see something like that in the same time frame, widespread across the county, the causal factor is usually something like weather, something big enough to impact the whole area where you’re having those same issues.” If you’re notified of a boil water advisory because of a water main break, Phelps advises to follow directions until it’s lifted.
The Souper Bowl of Caring is a national movement where youth-led groups with organizations, businesses, and even National Football league (NFL) teams battle hunger in their communities. Children from the church’s Teen’s Walking In God’s Spirit (TWIGS) program served more than 20 varieties of soup to around 100 church-goers and community members,. “A lot of what we do is to unite all the members of the church and the community here, so it’s very important us to do something that we can on this day,” said Ken Anderson from the church’s missions team. ENDWELL (WBNG) – The Endwell United Methodist Church got into the spirit of the Super Bowl and giving back on Sunday, as the church took part in the Souper Bowl of Caring event. Attendees were encouraged to enjoy soup and donate to the TWIGS program’s 30-Hour Famine taking place on Feb. 28-29.
“My staff, honestly they are scared,” said Cerretani. Neither eatery has had any thoughts of closing their doors, working through the struggle to create a place to go for the community. “We already wear protective gloves and masks and clothing and we are making a a set up so everyone is distant,” said Lovelass. Both eating establishments have had to deal with changes to their regular work staff. “All my employees are laid off,” said Las Chicas Taqueia’s owner Kim Cerretani. “We have seen our business get back to, not nearly what we normally do but, to get us into a point that it is close,” said Lovelass. “At the end of the day your work force has got to feel comftorable,” said Lovelass. “That’s not who we are to say hey It’s not going to work for us,” said Lovelass. “As a team we are working to make everyone feel comfortable to come back to work and Ike and I both have outdoor seating spaces,” said Cerretani. “We have two other folks who chose to stay on working,” said Lovelass. Both continue to have the same message going forward no matter how they are dishing out business. OWEGO (WBNG) – Both the Owego Kitchen and Las Chicas Taqueria have had to adjust to new conditions over the past month. “Support local, go in to buy a gift card to use later,” said Lovelass. “You don’t want to shut the doors, you don’t want to go away and not be a presence, so we are working on a plan,” said Cerretani. “Just listen to your customers and your staff that is what we really have to be doing right now,” said Cerretani. Both owners agree making their staff feel comfortable is just as important as their customers. With the chance of restaurants reopening in the coming weeks, both Lovelass and Cerretani have put plans in place for when the day comes they have customers eating at their restaurants, again. “It’s myself, my wife and my son who is one of our lead line cooks,” said Owego Kitchen’s owner Ike Lovelass. With take out orders becoming the new normal, the restaurants have become used to their new way of doing business. “It’s my husband and I running the take out Monday through Thursday,” said Cerretani. “Like” Jacob Seus on Facebook and “Follow” him on Twitter. “Having to reduce the menu and the hours has been hard but we are getting through,” said Cerretani.
This Saturday is “Shelter Slam”, which is hosted by an organization of the same name. The Shelter Slam is a charitable event with proceeds going to various animal shelters. “The decision was made to try to keep it as small as possible,” Delola said. “I mean, more shelters means more tables and more people.” VESTAL (WBNG) — Our furry friends and those who take care of them are expected to get a leg up this weekend. This year, the event will in a drive-thru format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will take place at Olum’s parking lot in Vestal from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Organizer and founder John Delola says it’s all about making a difference. Individuals will be able to drop off pet food and supplies.
“New York has one of the lowest positivity rates in the nation, but cases are rising across the nation. When we put our infection rate in context, we’re doing well – and we’re doing well because we’re aggressive when we see hot spots. Our micro-cluster approach for the fall targets outbreaks sooner, and with a targeted focus. We all hope the winter will be the season of the vaccine, but administering the vaccine will be the largest operational challenge we’ve faced since this began, and we need the federal government to step up. In the meantime, we all need to work to maintain our progress by continuing to wear our masks, wash our hands, remain socially distant and above all, stay New York Tough.” WAVERLY (WBNG) — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the village of Waverly in Tioga County will receive a COVID-19 rapid-testing site. In a new release, Governor Cuomo said: To set up an appointment, click here. The site is open and free to the public. The testing site will be located at the Village Town Hall on Ithaca Street. On Wednesday, it will be open from noon to 6 p.m. On Thursday and Friday, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.