In just the first three-and-a-half weeks of the school year, the Oneida County Sheriff's Office has issued nearly 150 tickets for illegally passing school buses.

A camera system on the buses records vehicles that illegally pass buses when the stop arm is extended - when students are either in the process of entering or exiting the yellow buses.

"The total through Friday of last week is 147," Sheriff Rob Maciol said, noted that the cameras are only installed on seven school districts within the county - only about half -and does not include the county's biggest district, the city of Utica. "We're eligible to put cameras on every bus within the district except for the city of Utica."

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol (WIBX)
Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol (WIBX)

The districts that have cameras are Rome, Sauquoit, New York Mills, Whitesboro, New Hartford, Waterville, Westmoreland, he said - which averages about two violations per day.

The ticket is considered a civil penalty, Maciol explained, and totals $250.

"Obviously the way the system is setup, you are innocent until proven guilty. So you can plead not guilty and they will also have an opportunity to go to court - but we will provide them with video that shows the vehicle illegally passing the school bus," Maciol said.

The Sheriff said the cost of the cameras and technology that record the violations was free, but said half of the money for each violation is shared with the company that provided the cameras - as a way to pay for the service.

Maciol also underscored that a member of the sheriff's office reviews each and every alleged violation, saying tickets are issued for 'legitimate' passes, saying a large number of incidents occur on narrow neighborhood streets, creating an even more dangerous situation for the students.

The Top 25 Most Baffling UFO Sightings Reported in New York This Year

When residents of the Empire State spot something unexplainable in the skies, they report it to the National UFO Reporting Center. There's been about 80 new sightings so far in 2023 that raised a few hackles.

NUFORC does investigate what people saw to determine if they actually witnessed alien activity or something else. Oftentime, these reports turn out to be false flags. For example; someone from NYC reported seeing a strange, square-like object in the sky on July 22. They provided a photo to NUFORC, who then ruled the person saw an "advertising banner behind a private aircraft."

However, there have been several creepy reports that couldn't be brushed off with a logical explanation. And some of these reports had photo or video evidence attached.

Scroll through New York's top 25 weirdest sightings of 2023.

Which Dog Represents Your Central NY Hometown?

Every city and town in Central New York has a dog breed that perfectly matches its personality. What is your hometown's true dog identity?
Central NY is unique -- in that every city seemingly has its own unique personality and vibe. I recently moved to the area from Connecticut and have made a point to visit as many places as possible.
What strikes me most is that every city and town feels very different from one another. They're not defined by their local attractions, but their overall character.
And that got me thinking: Could I find a dog breed that could perfectly represent each and every city? The answer is an obvious yes.
So buckle up and stretch out your scrolling finger to enjoy the dog slideshow.

Gallery Credit: Megan

The Many Intense Faces and Expressions of FDU (Iona) Head Coach Tobin Anderson

Anderson who was an assistant coach at Le Moyne, and head coach at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY shocked the basketball world with 2 wins in this year's NCAA Tournament as the FDU head coach. Anderson is emotional and a man of many expressions while barking out inspiration and instructions to his FDU Knights. Anderson accepted the head coaching job at Iona on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.

Gallery Credit: Bill Keeler

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