Special investigation: How a British con man lured slumlords to Syracuse (Good Morning CNY for Dec. 17)

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Photo of the Day

SEASON OF GIVING IN SYRACUSE: Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s edition of the Christmas Bureau’s annual distribution day looked different. But the spirit behind the giveaway remained the same: Every child deserves to have a present to open on Christmas morning and enough food to keep their bellies full. Gift cards and hearty food baskets were given out to 2,100 families in need on Wednesday at the old Post-Standard building on Clinton Square. Before the giveaway, the families received electronic Target gift cards via email to buy toys, courtesy of a $100,000 donation from the Hayner Hoyt Corporation. The Christmas Bureau is run by the Salvation Army with help from partner organizations and an army of volunteers. The yearly Hope for the Holidays/Old Newsboys campaign, organized by The Post-Standard and its community partners, raises money for the annual giveaway. Read more and see more photos. (Lauren Long photo)

What’s trending

Special investigation: How a British con man lured slumlords from around the globe to Syracuse: More than a decade ago, an Englishman started a real estate scheme that promised European investors they could make easy money by buying cheap property in Syracuse. That Englishman, Simon Slee, brokered deals to put nearly 100 city homes into the hands of more than 60 overseas owners during the peak of the U.S. housing market crash. For most investors, the deal was a flop. The real loser, though, was Syracuse, as the effects of Slee’s outsourcing of the city’s housing stock have reverberated through city blocks for a decade.

After 32 years, another arrest coming in Lockerbie bombing: Federal prosecutors are expected to charge a new suspect in the airline bombing 32 years ago over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 35 Syracuse University students coming home from abroad. The new charges will come within a week of the Dec. 21 anniversary of the bombing.

Judge to counties: Work fast to resolve Tenney-Brindisi disputes: A judge on Wednesday gave election officials a date to resolve disputes in the undecided House race between Rep. Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney. It was the first time State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte set a goal for ending the review of challenged ballots in the 22nd Congressional District – a process that has dragged on for more than a month after the election.

Holiday season off on the right foot: Ten years ago, the first Christmas season shoe drive organized by downtown shoe repair shop owner Ralph Rotella collected 65 pairs to donate to the Syracuse Rescue Mission. It’s grown a bit over the last decade. How much? On Wednesday morning, Rotella delivered more than 23,000 pairs to the Rescue Mission.

Coronavirus Update

Onondaga County’s deadliest day: Onondaga County executive Ryan McMahon on Wednesday announced that 18 people had died from Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours, a grim reminder that the hopes fueled by the arrival of a vaccine this week are far from being fulfilled. It was the worst one-day count of deaths by far since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in March. “This is crushing news,” McMahon said.

More details on NY state’s virus rollout plan: Members of the general public with underlying health conditions that make them especially vulnerable to Covid-19 could start getting vaccinated against the illness in late January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. Those individuals will be a part of the second phase of New York’s vaccine distribution plan.

CNY business: “The outdoors saved us”: Like many businesses in Upstate New York, the Inns of Aurora – in a tiny village on the northwestern shore of Cayuga Lake – was blindsided by the pandemic. In June, though, when most other businesses were hurting, things took an unexpected upward turn. Rooms began filling up and reservations picked up through the summer and into the fall. Demand was so great that the room prices were increased. What happened that made business start booming?

Families say CNY nursing home sent 2 patients home before learning test results: A Syracuse nursing home recently sent two patients home before Covid 19 test results showed they were infected, their families say. It wasn’t until the men were home for a few days and spending time with relatives and friends that they learned they had tested positive.

MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:

Sports

Syracuse basketball vs. Northeastern

Syracuse Orange forward Quincy Guerrier pulls down a rebound in heavy traffic against Northeastern at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday. (Scott Schild photo)Scott Schild | [email protected]

It wasn’t pretty, but a win’s a win: One game after hitting a school-record 16 3-pointers in a 38-point win over Boston College, Syracuse was just 2-for-18 from beyond the arc on Wednesday. Despite the offensive struggles, the Orange was able to grind out a 62-56 win over Northeastern at the Carrier Dome.

How did SU do on Early National Signing Day? Like most seasons, Syracuse football’s Early National Signing Day will force you to pick a side, and this year you’ll have less information than usual. Is it a good class or a bad class? Here’s what the experts are saying.

In Brief

Ex-Syracuse University student charged with rape posts $200K bail

Cuomo signs bill banning sale of Confederate, Nazi flags at State Fair

Busted: 155 arrests added to the Syracuse.com police blotter

Unemployment in CNY: Tell us your story

14 things to do in CNY: Virtual music, theater to put you in the holiday spirit

Syracuse police identify teen suspect in fatal stabbing of woman

Rome fire chief describes futile attempt to rescue family of 4 from fatal fire

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