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Local News

March 18, 2013

Area police: Holiday yields few arrests

ONEONTA — Green beer, corned beef and camaraderie were St. Patrick’s Day highlights, some revelers downtown said Sunday.

College students and local residents, many wearing green attire, strolled to bars downtown, gathering in clusters of undergraduates and townies. Green hats in assorted styles, plus some costumes, added to a festive atmosphere.

Oneonta city police said they had issued two or three tickets for underage drinking by 8:30 p.m. and had checked out about five house parties Sunday, but no major incidents had developed.

“We’re pretty happy about that,’’ Lt. Douglas Brenner said. “It was as expected.’’

The department had eight officers on patrol, about double the usual staffing, starting at noon Sunday, when bars legally were allowed to open.

Dana Oriti and Alexa Schieferstein, 22, students from the State University College at Oneonta, wore bright green T-shirts that said “Drink Triple, See Double, Act Single.’’

“We just came out because it’s St. Patrick’s Day,’’ Oriti said, while standing outside The Sip & Sail Tavern on Water Street at about 5:30 p.m. The bar’s green-colored beer was likely the result of added food coloring because it tasted like regular beer, she said.

“Usually we don’t come out on Sundays,’’ Schieferstein said. “It’s pretty empty actually.’’

Police checked about five house parties, Brenner said, but no arrests were made. Some neighbors had reported the gatherings, where participants were asked to take activities inside, he said.

“There were some house parties, but nothing that really got out of control,’’ Brenner said.

Ambulances responded to two reports of excessive drinking, Brenner said, and one person was taken to A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital for treatment.

While on patrol Saturday, Oneonta police made two arrests for drunken driving, Brenner said, as the department participated in STOP-DWI enforcement.

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