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1 – Coffee with a splash of cat

Ithaca Alley Cat Cafe opening downtown Friday morning — Local cat lovers started their Friday morning with some meow-y good news as the Alley Cat Cafe opened its doors for the first time in Downtown Ithaca.

Three kittens and two cats in the Cat Room are up for adoption and, in the mean time, customers can play with the cats who hide in tunnels, climb on cat mounts, and are just generally lovable.

The Alley Cat Cafe is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every weekday, closed on Wednesdays, and open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. The cat room is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

A cat and kitten play at the Alley Cat Cafe Cat Room on Friday. Photo by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice

2 – Dorothy Cotton, one of the most important unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, dies

Civil rights leader, Ithaca resident Dorothy Cotton dies — Dorothy Cotton, a community member and pioneer of civil rights, died at Kendal at Ithaca this weekend. She was 88.

Cotton was considered one of the most important unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.

She worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was education director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and led the Citizen Education Program, meant to help black citizens register to vote. The program helped people understand their civil rights, organize in their communities, envision the change they desired and helped “transform often poorly educated and disenfranchised people from ‘victims’ to full ‘citizens,’” her biography on the Dorothy Cotton Institute states.

Cotton’s lifework was based on the “philosophy and practices of nonviolence, reconciliation and restoration, and grassroots leadership development,” according to the DCI website.

A private service for Cotton is happening Wednesday at the Africana Center at Cornell. A large public memorial for Cotton is happening in August.

3 – Violent Dryden home invasion case

Two men indicted on multiple charges after armed home invasion in Dryden — Two men reportedly involved in a violent Dryden home invasion in April were indicted on several felony charges related to the burglary in Tompkins County Court on Thursday.

Kevin P. Chambliss, 32, and Henry J. Moreno, 28, have been in custody since April 25, after police say the two broke into a residence in Dryden on April 20.

Both men are facing several felonies for the crimes.

4 – Emmy’s Organics planning for sweet expansion

Emmy’s Organics plans new warehouse, new jobs —A local cookie making company has found success in its sweet endeavors. To meet its growing market demands, Emmy’s Organics is planning a bigger warehouse and cookie-making facility in the City of Ithaca.

Initially starting out at the Ithaca Farmers Market, Ian Gaffney and Samantha Abrams appear to have found a sweet spot. Today, Emmy’s Organics can be found at Starbucks, Wegmans, CVS Pharmacies – over 20,000 stores across the country, in half a dozen flavors, including dark cacao, raspberry, vanilla bean and peanut butter. The company now employs nineteen staff.

That’s set to expand with Emmy’s Organics plan to build a new 10,000 square-foot warehouse, food processing facility and headquarters for itself in the city of Ithaca. The location is to move from its current location at 629 West Buffalo Street, to what is currently an undeveloped parcel at the southern tip of the Cherry Street Industrial Park. The $1.4 million project would result in another five jobs as the company moves in and fills out the new space.

Owners Ian Gaffney and Samantha Abrams at their Buffalo Street facility in 2015. Photo by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice

5 – Rodent infestation among many issues at closed Enfield food pantry

Updated: Enfield food pantry closes temporarily to fix health concerns —  The Enfield Food Pantry has temporarily closed after not passing a recent inspection by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier.

Enfield’s food pantry has been continuously operating for nearly 40 years and is a member of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. Typically, volunteers distribute food on Mondays and Sundays. It was closed June 5 over health concerns until improvements can be made.

The biggest health concern is a rodent infestation, Natasha Thompson, president and CEO of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier said Wednesday. In order to reopen, the pantry needs to establish a pest control program to prevent future infestations, including overall upgrades to the building such as “painting, sealing and cleaning the storage space, mowing tall grass and laying gravel around the perimeter of the building, etc.” Shelving units and racks to store food off the floor are also needed.

To locate a pantry in Tompkins County, visit www.foodbankst.org/foodpantriestompkins. The GoFundMe page is available here.

6 – New senior cottages proposed in Lansing could help people age in place

Senior cottage community planned in Lansing – Concept plans first revealed to the village of Lansing planning board on Monday night show what may be the the newest addition to Tompkins County’s senior housing offerings – a community of cottages for those who want to age in place.

The multi-phase, multi-year project, proposed by local developer and landlord Beer Properties in conjunction with Hunt Engineers, Architects and Surveyors, would be built on about 40 acres of vacant land east of the village hall off of Craft Road and Millcroft Lane.

7 — Catching up with Tompkins County’s new administrator Jason Molino

Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino has been on the job for nearly six months. The Ithaca Voice caught up with Molino to discuss his past experience, what stepping into the role of county administrator has been like and what he sees as priorities and top issues for Tompkins County.

Molino comes to the county after working at city manager for the City of Batavia for 12 years. He was also in the Coast Guard Reserve for seven years. Since taking the job in Tompkins County, Molino has moved to Trumansburg with his wife and children.

As county administrator, Molino serves as the county’s chief executive officer and is appointed by Tompkins County Legislature. Molino is the sixth person to serve in the position since it was created in 1973.

Featured image: Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino. Photo by Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice

Running to Places: A permanent home means more time for theater

Running to Places theater company plans to put down roots at Ithaca Mall — After being nomadic for more than a decade, the youth theater company Running to Places is planning to put down roots with a permanent location — the Shops at Ithaca Mall.

Running to Places or R2P is made up of students in grades 6 through 12 who represent all areas of areas Tompkins County, and beyond. There are typically up to 150 students per season, and more working behind the scenes. It was founded in 2007 by Joey Steinhagen.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.