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Herkimer conference promotes healing after horror

By ANGELICA A. MORRISON

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - A large crowd converged on the Herkimer County Community College campus all for the purpose of healing, during The Valley Heals: Helping Each Other forum, Tuesday night.

The event, spearheaded by the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, took place in response to a shooting spree that happened on March 13 in the valley.

The event featured an expert in crime victims assistance. There were also breakout sessions available for participants to learn more about the various ways individuals can help their community heal.

"It's not one person, one family, it's lots of people affected," said Brenda Episcopo, executive director of the United Way. "Our community changed. And they experience feelings, of loss of power, loss of control, loss of safety."

The shooter, 64-year-old Kurt Myers, fatally shot four people and wounded two others. The shootings took place in both Herkimer and Mohawk.

An HCCC professor said he was on the campus when the entire community went on lock-down.

"It been a really tragic kind of scarring affect on all of us," said Matt Powers HCCC Professor and United Way Volunteer. "But, Gaffey's reopened and people are going back to normalcy. It's been a really, really nice change, to get back to that."

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