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Reporter's Notebook

February 19, 2011

Reporter's Notebook: Birthing center welcomes first newborns

Doctors and nurses mingled with guests during a recent open house at the Birthing Center of Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

The event was to show off results of a $4.7 million renovation project, which officials said was to accommodate more births and offer women and their families more privacy and enhanced services.

During a tour in the labor, delivery and recovery room, a lullaby sounded softly throughout the room: A baby had been born.

The music is piped briefly throughout the hospital whenever an infant is delivered at Bassett, a tour guide said.

John Remillard, president and chief executive officer of A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital, who attended the open house, said music also is broadcast throughout the Oneonta hospital whenever a baby is born.

Bassett's Birthing Center welcomed its first newborn soon after opening Monday.

Civita Lape of Ilion, Herkimer County, was the first mother to deliver a baby, Jax Lape, in the new Birthing Center _ at 12:22 a.m. Tuesday. Jax, a boy, was 8 pounds 8 ounces and 19½ inches long, Bassett spokeswoman Karen Huxtable said.

Seven babies, including Jax, had been born at the renovated center by midday Thursday, she said.

The Birthing Center was temporarily on the second floor of the Bassett hospital. Completion of the center also is great news for Bassett's hospital because it returns the beds on the second floor to inpatient use, Huxtable said.

Wilber National Bank, based in Oneonta, recently announced it would begin operations in its new Financial Service Center in Malta.

"This strategic move represents the bank's continued dedication to expansion in the Capital Region," Regional President Robert A. Hayes said in a media release. Wilber National Bank first entered the Capital District in March 2007 with the acquisition of Provantage Funding Corp., a licensed mortgage banker. A year later, Wilber opened a full-service retail branch in Halfmoon to support regional banking activities.

As a result of the bank's success during the past three years, it has outgrown its present facilities and will be relocating a portion of its Capital District operations to the building in Malta, the release said. The new facility will accommodate a staff of up to 40 employees, which Hayes said could be realized sometime this year.

Oct. 25 the Wilber Corp. and Community Bank System Inc. announced an agreement in which the Wilber Corp., parent company of Wilber National Bank, will merge with Community Bank System. The merger is pending approval by Wilber Corp. shareholders, and no announcement has been made about a meeting date or staffing changes resulting from the pending merger.

Mark Tryniski, president and chief executive officer of Community Bank System Inc., said the new Financial Service Center will serve as a platform of growth for both "the Provantage mortgage business and for Wilber's successful trust and wealth management services."

The closing of the merger has been projected for early in the second quarter of this year.

In one 24-hour period, 4,709 victims of domestic violence and their children across the state received life-saving services from local domestic violence organizations, according to the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Domestic violence victim advocates answered 1,489 emergency hot line calls, but 621 requests for services went unmet, largely for lack of funding, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Though the economy doesn't cause domestic violence, factors associated with economic uncertainties can increase the severity and frequency of abuse, the coalition said in a media release, and at the same time, options for survivors to escape may be more limited. More than 80 percent of local domestic violence programs reported an increased demand for their services while nearly the same number reported decreases in funding, the release said.

Each year, NNEDV conducts a 24-hour survey of local domestic violence programs. On Sept. 15, despite the difficulty of raising funds, domestic violence programs nationwide provided services to more than 70,000 adults and children, the release said.

In 2010, 1,746 local domestic violence programs, or 91 percent, submitted their 24-hour counts for Sept. 15. In New York state, 88 percent of programs participated in the survey. The counts are available at

Denise Richardson can be reached at 432-1000 or (800) 721-1000, ext. 213, or at

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