The car is decked out with present boxes, elves, ornaments and lights, giving riders a unique riding experience this winter. (WBNG) — Most people order Uber rides just to get from point A to point B, but this holiday season, one Uber driver is spreading a little holiday cheer with your ride. “This year I re-did it. The only thing that’s the same are the lights. All the other decorations I changed this year,” Southee said. Southee said the decorations haven’t stayed the same each year, updating and upgrading. “Right around Thanksgiving that feeling starts to come, that anticipation: Christmas, New Year’s,” Southee said. “I just love this time of the year.” Helping to leave a lasting impression of kindness this holiday season. “Riders when they experience it, they remember this car, they remember this experience and they take it with them,” Southee said. John B. Southee, Jr. has been driving Uber in the Southern Tier since July 2017, and for the last three years, he’s taken his holiday excitement to the next level by decorating his car with Christmas gear. Southee told 12 News the car costs less than $100 to decorate, but he’s more focused on spreading happiness. “I’ve had riders get in my car and tell me they hate Christmas, but then by the time the ride is over, they swear up and down they are now in the Christmas spirit,” Southee said with a laugh. Uber’s corporate office has been in touch with Southee in regards to his ride, expressing their love and thanks for his ability to spread joy and connect with riders. “That’s very touching that something as simple as putting a little effort into this, into an Uber ride can give people that sort of reaction,” Southee said. “It just keeps inspiring me to keep doing this.” “They Snapchat it when they get in the car,” Southee said. “The riders just love it. The comments go on and on.” Scrolling through his past comments and ratings on his rides, the comments echo a similar sentiment: riders love and appreciate the Christmas-themed Uber car and its driver.
The sheriff’s office says 43-year-old Amy L. Grant of New Berlin was charged with grand larceny in the 2nd degree, scheme to defraud in the 1st degree, and falsifying business records in the 1st degree. All are felonies. They say Grant stole over $155,000 from her place of employment. The name of the business she worked for was not released. Grant is scheduled to appear in court at a later date. The time of the scheduling was not released. TOWN OF COLUMBUS (WBNG) — The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office says one person has been arrested into an embezzlement investigation in the town of Columbus.
For more coronavirus coverage, click here. Davis believes the classification of essential and non-essential businesses has created a divide in the community, and that for some families, a job is essential no matter what it is. “I’m not anymore essential than you or any other person that is trying to feed their family,” Davis said. “If people can’t feed their families, then their job is essential.” Some protestors could be seen not wearing masks and not following social distancing recommendations set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “I want to go back to work. My freedoms were taken away,” Wunderlich said. “It’s been hard because we’ve been sitting here for five weeks trying to get unemployment, and the state is just in gridlock.” Wunderlich also expressed concern for areas like hers. The protest was organized by Christopher Davis, who has been a resident of Broome County his entire life, and hoped the protest would inspire people to voice their opinions. Wearing masks in public when you cannot maintain social distance is a mandate from Governor Andrew Cuomo. Barbara Wunderlich is from Elmira and participated in the protest today as she is looking to return to her job in science and technology in Corning. Davis says it’s up to people to decide what’s best for their own health. “The humans that live in New York should be able to make their own wise decisions,” Davis said. “My hope and my aim is that these people would raise their voice and make sure that they’re not being silenced.” BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – Dozens of people gathered outside of Binghamton City Hall, protesting the mandates and rules put in place throughout the county and state during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I want the legislators to know that Binghamton has a voice. These people have a voice, and if they’re not going to listen, then we’re going to be out here every week,” Davis said. “Upstate is different. We’re not [New York] city. We are a region. We’ll stay in recession for years after this blows away,” she said. The organizer hoping local leaders listen and make changes.
“When the jobs do open, if you’re having a hard time when jobs do open, you have that person to call on and say, ‘Hey, remember me?'” said Lorenzetti. Despite being difficult, seniors are being encouraged to keep applying, especially within thriving fields. For those interested in other industries, Lorenzetti suggests looking for jobs that could be used as a stepping stone. “I concentrated in medical devices and the medical device industry is booming because respirators and ventilators and all those things are medical devices,” said Tacopina. If things aren’t working out, seniors can fill this time with volunteering or taking online classes. So while the job market may not be ideal right now, many seniors are staying positive. “I was struggling. I was looking on LinkedIn and Glassdoor trying to find jobs. A lot of them would post a job and two days later take it down because they were on a hiring freeze,” said Tacopina. “They may have to cast a wider net and really think about looking and researching what fields are growing,” said Binghamton University Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development director Denise Lorenzetti. “Some of the industries are actually thriving. You look at things like healthcare, technology, remote jobs from home, biotechnology, supply chain management.” The Fleishman Center is still offering its services, but virtually. Binghamton University student Nicole Tacopina is a senior graduating with a biomedical engineering degree who has been actively looking for jobs. But with the coronavirus being a major disruption to the economy, the job search could be tough. This time could also be used to build a network. VESTAL (WBNG) — Many college seniors are getting ready to enter the workforce. For more information, click here. “Especially your first job in general, it’s about building skills. There are jobs, there are internships out there, they just may have to be a little more creative,” said Lorenzetti. “The whole experience has been a roller coaster I would say but it’s been good and I’m hopeful that I’ll find something,” said Tacopina. “Showing people this was a hard time, but I was resilient, I was adaptable by doing these other things,” said Lorenzetti.
COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place. OWEGO (WBNG) — Beginning Friday, a fair food drive-thru feast is coming to the Tioga County Fairgrounds. Organizers say the fair drive is on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The drive-thru will be held at the fairgrounds on Main Street in Owego. Food at the drive-thru includes: sausage, fried dough, nachos, cotton candy, turkey legs and more.
—– DOB: Dec. 25, 1935Height: 5 feetWeight: 150 poundsEyes: BrownHair: Gray She was last seen wearing a light-blue sweatshirt, light-blue denim jeans, polka-dot socks and tan slip-on sneakers. She could be wearing glasses. Anyone with information about Jeuck’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Broome County Sheriff’s Office at 607-778-1911 or 607-778-2053 for detectives. You may also reach out to deputies on the department’s social media pages. The sheriff’s office noted Jeuck does not have oxygen with her. Jeuck’s description: The woman, Joyce S. Jeuck, left a relative’s house in Chenango Bridge Sunday around 5:45 p.m. toward the town of Kirkwood. She was last seen on the Vestal Parkway around 8:45 p.m. in a tan 2010 Toyota RAV-4. Her license plate is number is 616542 and has the handicapped symbol on it. (WBNG) — The Broome County Sheriff’s office needs the public’s help in finding an 84-year-old missing woman who suffers from dementia and is oxygen dependent. (WBNG) — The sheriff’s office says Jeuck has been found safe and healthy.
The America East will not allow spectators at competition through January 1. It will be reevaluated as the season gets underway. VESTAL (WBNG) — With basketball season approaching, Binghamton Athletics will offer fans the opportunity to purchase cardboard cutouts to be placed in the Events Center crowd during the season. Cutouts can be purchased at this link for $75. Binghamton’s home opener for conference play is December 19. If an order is made after that date, cutouts will be in place for the following game. Binghamton games will be broadcast on ESPN+ or ESPN 3. Cutouts will be placed in sections (101, 102, 103) that will be visible on TV.