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Reporter's Notebook

February 4, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: Returning vet plans to trek across country

Army Spc. Michael Dow, originally from Oneonta, is visiting his hometown on leave after a tour in Afghanistan last year.

His leave started Jan. 28 and ends Feb. 28. He has followed a path into military service trod by relatives, including his brother, Richard E. Dow Jr., who spent 13 years in the Marine Corps, which included two tours in Iraq.

On Monday, Dow and his mother, Lynette Howard, plan to fly to Washington state, where Richard works for the U.S. Border patrol, for a weeklong visit. Dow said he plans to visit his father, Richard E. "Skip" Dow Sr., in Florida for a long weekend next month.

Between 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday, any friends who haven't seen Dow will have a chance to say hello at a party at the Oneonta Veterans Club, 279 Chestnut St.

Howard, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and a retired teacher, set up the reception with support from the auxiliary and affiliated veterans organizations.

"The whole Vets Club is behind me to welcome Michael home," she said.

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SUNY Oneonta students and staff have convenient, high-tech access for late-night snacks and lunch on the run, a media release from the college said. A newly installed Shop24 robotic convenience store dispenses a variety of snacks, beverages, medicine, paper products and frozen meals, as well as freshly made sandwiches, salads and sushi, the release from the State University College at Oneonta said.

The machine, located in a glass enclosure attached to Mills Hall, is more than 9 feet tall and offers up to 200 items ranging in weight from less than 1 ounce to 8 pounds.

A grand opening is planned for 2 p.m. Feb. 10, at Mills Hall. SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski will cut a ribbon, and Jason Santoro, regional vice president for Shop24 Global LLC, will attend.

Shop24 accepts several methods of payment, including cash, Dragon Dollars and students' retail dining dollars, the release said. Students have already suggested naming the robot, and a contest will be held in April.

The project is a partnership between SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta Auxiliary Services, Sodexo Dining Services and Columbus, Ohio-based Shop24. The automated convenience stores serve customers at more than 250 locations in 15 countries, the release said.

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