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      Court temporarily blocks deer population control plan

      Opponents of a controversial plan to control the deer population in a small Tompkins County village say they've won a major victory.

      The New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, have issued a preliminary injunction against the a plan by the village of Cayuga Heights to sterilize 20 deer and kill dozens more.

      Cayuga Heights only covers about two square miles outside of Ithaca, but is home to up to 200 deer. Over the past few years, the village has been trying to come up with a way to control the population. The court ruling means the village cannot go forward with its latest plan, pending an appeal by 12 Ithaca-area residents who filed a lawsuit.

      In December, the village held a public hearing on a plan to allow a trained marksman to shoot the deer. Opponents of that plan say they have safety concerns. Supporters say there are just too many deer, and the animals are damaging people's property. Village board members are supposed to vote on that proposal January 9th.