Sinclair Station called out for Plagiarism

An Editor of the Syracuse newspaper The Post Standard and the website is calling out a local Sinclair station for Plagiarism. 

The Post Standard Editor Steven Billmyer sent an email to WSTM News Director Rae Fulkerson pointing out a story written by WSTM's Digital EP and how much of the story was lifted from the newspaper's story with no attribution. 

From: Steve Billmywer <>
Date: Friday, September 9, 2:47 PM

Dear News Director Rae Fulkerson,
I would like to bring to your attention an article that appears to have large sections plagiarized by your newsroom word for word from our report at (see below) I believe you would want to know about such reporting, I know I would like to know if one of my staff people did this.
Thank you
Steven Billmyer
Editor/managing producer | The Post-Standard

Billmyer included side by side stories for comparison. story

Skaneateles, NY -- Onondaga County authorities have ruled out alcohol as a factor in a gruesome boating accident on Skaneateles Lake in July that cost an 8-year-old girl part of one of her arms and one of her legs.

Kaelynne Driscoll and her father, Christopher, 32, of Homer, were badly injured when they were struck by a boat's propellers on July 6. They were on an inner tube behind that boat when they hit a wake, dumping them into the water.

A 17-foot Bayliner driven by the girl's stepmother, Jamie Wheeler, 33, of Onondaga, circled back to get them, but the boat's propeller struck the two in the water, deputies said.

Two nearby boaters Eric Marcinkowski, 40, and David Goetzmann, 28, helped rescue the little girl and her father, bringing them to shore at the State Boat Launch where they were met by emergency personnel. The victims were then taken to Upstate University Hospital.

Kaelynne underwent several surgeries, including the amputation of part of one arm and part of one leg. She's now undergoing rehabilitation in Boston. Her father also underwent surgery and was released three days after the crash.

Kaelynne Driscoll has begun walking with help on her prosthetic leg for short distances.

Sheriff's deputies have declined to comment about the two-month investigation. But they have been in contact with the DA's office.

Wheeler was tested for alcohol at the scene, First Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Trunfio confirmed today. Alcohol was ruled out as a factor in the crash, Trunfio said.

Authorities have not released the results of the blood-alcohol test, but Trunfio said today it was done within the legal time-frame after the incident. Typically, tests must be done within two hours under state law.

"Field sobriety tests performed at the scene -- and a blood test -- do not show that she was intoxicated at the time of the crash," said Chris Bednarski, head of the DA's DWI unit.

Trunfio confirmed that a Cayuga County sheriff's deputy, who is the stepmother's brother, was also at the scene. But he said the brother, who was not involved in the incident, did not hinder Onondaga County sheriff's deputies from investigating.

The DA's office is now going over the investigative files to determine whether any tickets should be issued. No decision has been made, Trunfio said. If there were, the tickets would be navigational infractions, much like traffic tickets.

WTSM  story:
SKANEATELES, N.Y. -- Authorities have determined alcohol was not a factor in the boating accident on Skaneateles Lake in July that sent an 8-year-old girl to the hospital fighting for her life.

Officials say 33-year-old Jamie Wheeler, of Homer, was operating the 17-foot boat on July 6th when its propeller struck her husband, 32-year-old Christopher Driscoll, and her step-daughter, 8-year-old Kaelynne Driscoll. The two had been riding on an inner tube when they struck a wake and were ejected into the water. Detectives say as Wheeler circled back around the boat's propeller struck each of them, causing severe injuries.

Two nearby boaters, 40-year-old Eric Marcinkowski, of Syracuse, and 28-year-old David Goetzmann, of Skaneateles, were able to quickly pull the two victims out of the water and bring them ashore to emergency personnel who then took them to Upstate University Hospital.

Kaelynne lost an arm and a leg in the accident and underwent several surgeries. Her father was released from the hospital three days after the accident.

Wheeler was tested for alcohol at the scene, according to First Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Trunfio. The results of her blood-alcohol test haven't been released, but Trunfio says it was done within the amount of time required by law.

Trunfio says a Cayuga County Sheriff's Deputy, who is Wheeler's brother, was also at the scene. He was not involved in the incident and did not get in the way of the investigation by the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department, according to Trunfio.

The District Attorney's Office is now reviewing the case to determine whether any tickets should be issued. So far no decision has been made, according to Trunfio, but if they are they would be navigational infractions, which are similar to traffic tickets.

Insiders say that the News Director seemed to ignore the email, although the Digital EP did go back and change the story around a bit, but still no credit to the paper. 

And yet, for some reason, people are losing trust in the media.