Hornell Man Arrested for Abusing Child:
A Hornell man was arrested Thursday after the Olean General Hospital alerted authorities of child abuse. 50-year-old Rickie Johnson Sr. was admitted at the hospital for threatening suicide. While there he disclosed that the reason he wished to harm himself was because he inappropriately touched an 11-year-old boy. When interviewed by State Police, Johnson reportedly admitted to the inappropriate contact and provided a written statement. He was charged with sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, and was sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.
More Charges with Rochester Man Who Pretended to be Officer:
More charges have been filed against the Rochester man that allegedly impersonated a federal agent in the Bath area. During a court appearance Wednesday, 62-year-old Dr. Richard Hoyer was additionally charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and one count of unauthorized police lighting in his vehicle. Hoyer was arrested on March 9th after an investigation revealed that he was allegedly posing as a police officer. He was previously charged with first-degree criminal impersonation. Following Wednesday’s court proceeding, Hoyer was released on his own recognizance.
Steuben Co. K9 Officer to Receive Body Armor:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office’s 4-legged officer will soon be getting the same sort of protection as his two-legged coworkers. K9 Devin will be receiving a bullet and stab protective vest, thanks to a charitable donation from Vested Interested in K9s, Inc, a non-profit organization. The vest is sponsored by Jeremiah and JoLee Yeddo of Plattsburgh. Delivery is expected within 8 to 10 weeks. The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $1,050. K9 Devin is a four-year-old German Shepard that joined the Sheriff’s Office in January 2014. He’s named in honor of Army Sergeant Devin Snyder of Cohocton, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in June 2011.
Local Hospitals Could Be Hit by AHCA:
Gov. Cuomo is warning that hospitals in Steuben County could face funding cuts of more than $2.3 million if the American Health Care Act and its amendments are eventually passed. According to an analysis by the New York State Department of Health, Ira Davenport could lose $332,000, St. James $795,000 and $1.2 million at the Guthrie Corning Hospital. Cuomo said the funding reductions could cripple hospitals and their ability to provide critical health care services for local residents and jeopardizing hundreds of jobs.
FLSPCA Acts for Public’s Help with “Feline Emergency”:
The Finger Lakes SPCA in Bath is asking for the community’s help with what it’s calling a “Feline Emergency.” 64 cats were rescued from a home earlier this week, and while area shelters are assisting with the care of the animals, the SPCA is still in need of further items like blankets, towels, dry and wet cat food, cat litter, bleach, and laundry soap.
$274K Raised in “Check Out Hunger” Campaign:
Thursday, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier announced the results of its 23rd annual “Check Out Hunger” campaign and it was good news all around. The fundraiser saw a 1 percent increase from last year and raised over $274,000. Grocery stores throughout the region participated, including Jubilee Foods, Save-a-Lot, Tops Friendly Markets, and Wegmans. Shoppers donated at the register.
Work on I-86 Today:
The New York State Department of Transportation and the Town of Bath will be performing road work on I-86 in the vicinity of Exits 37 to 39 in Bath today in order to remove 12 light poles. Detours are not expected, but traffic speeds will be reduced in 15 minute intervals from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Man Arrested on Rape Charges:
The Village of Bath Police Department has arrested Derick Giardina after an investigation into a reported rape case where Giardina allegedly had sexual contact with a 15-year-old. Giardina faces two counts of rape, three counts of criminal sexual act, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Giardina was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.
Hornell Man Facing Drug Charges:
A Hornell man extradited from New Jersey is behind bars in Steuben County today. 25-year-old Brandon Miles is facing charges of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance, as well as felony violation of probation. He is being held without bail while he awaits arraignment.
Corning, DEC Talk Soil Remediation:
Wednesday night, Corning Inc., and the State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health presented their soil remediation plans and updated Corning residents on clean-up efforts at a meeting in Corning. The DEC says its primary objective is to gain access to residential properties within their “study areas,” test for contamination, provide remediation if necessary, and then issue “no further action” letters when the work is done. They say they hope some “no further action” letters will be issued soon, within in the next two months. The State says the community can help speed up the process through their comment period. For the full presentation and more information visit http://postcreekstudyarea.com.
Healthcare Vote Today, Local Organizations Speak Out Against New Plan:
A vote is expected today in the House of Representatives on the Republican’s proposed replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act. It’s unclear if the American Health Care Act will have enough “yes” votes to pass, but one lawmaker who has said he will vote for it is Representative Tom Reed, despite urging from local organizations for him to vote it down. On Wednesday, Able2 Enhancing Potential, AIM Independent Living Center, Pathways Inc., and the Arcs of Steuben and Schuyler issued a joint statement voicing their concerns over the legislation, specifically its proposed changes to Medicaid, including the recently added Medicaid Local Share Limitation amendment. The amendment would shift costs of Medicaid from counties to the state. Arc of Steuben Executive Director Bernie Burns said bluntly that “the reductions… will destroy services for people with development disabilities.”
Steuben Co. Sheriff’s Office Receives “Comfort Bags” for Kids:
Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Painted Post, Steuben County Deputies now have comfort bags that they can present to children involved in stressful situations. The bags are a result of a donation of 100 stuffed animals from Douglas Toys in New Hampshire and a $100 gift card from Walmart. Members of the Kiwanis Club also purchased crayons and coloring books to fill the bags.
Lawmakers Propose Free Tampons:
Members of the legislative’s women’s caucus have proposed a series of bills that would offer women in poorer communities better access to necessary hygiene products. The bills would offer tampons free of charge in schools, homeless shelters, and local and state correctional facilities. The women’s caucus says access to feminine hygiene products is not only about necessity, but dignity.
Village Election Results:
Village elections were held on Tuesday. The results are as follows: in Bath Mark Bardeen and Melani Coots ran unopposed for the trustee seats. In Hammondsport Emery Cummings Jr. was running unopposed for Mayor; there is no report at this time regarding the trustee seats. In Savona it was Brian Scott for Mayor, Mary Finch and Morris Ben Smith each for a 2 year trustee term, and Christopher Laursen for a one year trustee term. In Wayland, Richard Saxton and Aimee Campbell were named trustees; Michael Parks and Thomas Recktenwald were unopposed for Mayor and village justice, respectively.
Demolition Begins Today on Steuben Co. Project:
Demolition of two buildings on East Morris Street in Bath is expected to get underway today in anticipation of Steuben County’s first capital construction campaign in nearly 10 years. County Manager Jack Wheeler said the construction of an office complex on East Morris, and a storage/records building on Mount Washington, is expected to begin in early May. The cost of the two projects is estimated at $8.7 million. The final project design and costs are slated for review by the county Legislature on Monday.
Accident Dumps Construction Waste in Hodgman’s Creek:
Construction waste was spilled into a stream in Erwin Hollow Tuesday after a tractor-trailer overturned just after 1 p.m. on Erwin Hollow Road. The stream feeds into Hodgman’s Creek. The Department of Environmental Conservation was called in, and officials report that there are no indications of serious environmental risk. One lane of the road was closed for several hours. The driver was not harmed in the accident.
Clayton Murder Case to be Featured on NBC Dateline:
Friday’s episode of NBC’s Dateline will feature the Clayton murder case. Kelley Stage Clayton was murdered in her Town of Caton home on September 29th 2015. Her husband, Thomas Clayton, was found guilty in February of hiring a former employee, Michael Beard, to kill her in exchange for money. Clayton is set to be sentenced on April 24th. Beard was also convicted and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. A third man, Mark Blandford, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and testified at Clayton’s trial in exchange for a plea deal. A preview of the episode is available at http://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/video/preview-the-house-in-the-woods-903024195561.
City of Hornell Looks to Override Tax Cap:
Next Monday the City of Hornell will hold a special meeting to override the 2 percent tax cap. At a public hearing and budget presentation on Saturday, it was revealed that the city plans on a 1.6 percent tax increase. According to Mayor Shawn Hogan, the reason for the override is because a substantial amount of money was added to the city’s total assessed value. It order to stay under the cap, Hogan said, the city would need to cut over $80,000 from the budget. Following the special meeting on Monday there will be a vote on the budget.
Work on I-86 in Bath Friday:
The New York State Department of Transportation has announced that road work will be done on I-86 in the vicinity of Exits 37 to 39 in Bath on Friday. Detours are not expected, but traffic speeds will be reduced in 15 minute intervals from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. as the NYSDOT and the Town of Bath removes 12 light poles.
Wellsville Man Facing Child Porn Charges:
A month long investigation by the New York State Police of Bath has resulted in charges of child pornography against a Wellsville man. 43-year-old Peter Shoughrue allegedly exchanged nude photographs with a subject under the age of 16, with the intent of enticing or luring the victim to engage in sexual contact with him. Additionally, Shoughrue allegedly traveled to Avoca with the intent of engaging in sexual contact with the victim. Shoughrue has been charged with disseminating indecent material to minors, attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, attempted luring a child, attempted criminal sex act, and endangering the welfare of a child. Shoughrue has been sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.
President’s Budget Could Impact Steuben Meals on Wheels Programs:
President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget includes cuts to numerous programs, including one that could be impacted here in Steuben County: Meals on Wheels. The Steuben County Office for the Aging anticipates over $66,000 in federal funding for home-delivered meals. County OFA Director Patricia Baroody said that home-delivered meal programs are critical in helping to keep seniors in their homes and keeping them healthy. Last year, Corning Meals on Wheels served over 53,000 meals and ProAction served 61,000. According to the Associated Press the proposed budget would cut hundreds of millions of dollars for the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as eliminate Community Development Block grants.
Public Meeting with the DEC on Corning Soil Remediation:
The public will soon get details on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s plans for the soil remediation in Corning. A public meeting will be held tomorrow with the DEC and the Department of Health at the Radisson Hotel beginning at 6:30 p.m. The agencies will outline proposed plans for dealing with contaminated soil in the area. Also, from 3 to 5 p.m. agency staff and Corning Incorporated will be available to answer questions concerning the study area. Remediation could begin this summer. Public comments are being accepted until April 10th. For more information about the meeting and the proposals, click http://www.dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/851046pddou1235.pdf
Steuben Sheriff Announces Membership Drive:
Steuben County Sheriff James Allard is encouraging residents to support the New York State Sheriffs’ Institute, which began its annual Honorary Membership Drive in Steuben County this week. The Sheriffs’ Institute was established in 1979 to advance criminal justice education, prevent juvenile delinquency, and support victims of crime and their families. Programs include the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp, Criminal Justice Scholarship Program, and Victim Notification Programs. For information about Sheriffs’ Institute Programs you can visit http://www.sheriffsinstitute.org.
Tech Kiosk Installed at Bath’s Dormann Library:
The newest education tool added to the Dormann Library in Bath is a Krayon Kiosk, recently installed thanks to a community-wide effort that included the Bath Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and Servu Credit Union. The kiosk includes four iPads/tablets that are each equipped with educational applications focused on reading, writing, math, science, music, art, history, puzzles, and problem-solving. It’s meant for children aged 2 to 9 years old.
Applications Still Being Accepted for Arc Scholarship:
The Arc of Steuben is reminding interested students that there’s still time to apply for the Ethel Strickarz Memorial Scholarship. Any student in a public or private high school is eligible. It’s also open to home-schooled students and continuing education students. Students interested in applying must be majoring in a subject connected to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For more information email Bob Recotta at email@example.com.
Board of Ed. Meeting:
The Avoca Central School Board of Education Meeting will be tonight at 7 p.m. in DL Room #137. Among the items on agenda is the approval of the 2017-2018 school calendar.
I-86 Crash, Driver Airlifted to Hospital:
A portion of I-86 eastbound was closed for about an hour Sunday afternoon following a tractor-trailer accident between Exits 38 and 39. The vehicle left the highway and collided with a tree. When Bath Volunteer Firefighters arrived, the driver was conscious and still in the cab. The driver was able to get out with assistance from firefighters and Bath Volunteer Ambulance crews. Erring on the side of safety, a medical helicopter was called in. The truck was carrying insulation. Two of the diesel fuel tanks ruptured, and T&R Towing and Environmental Services were called in to recover the truck and clean up the fuel spill. The driver’s condition is unknown at this time.
Canisteo Man Accused of Child Abuse:
A Canisteo man has been arrested on sexual abuse and child endangerment charges following an investigation into possible child abuse. State troopers allege that on fourteen separate occasions 26-year-old Patrick Runyan intentionally subjected a fifteen-year-old to sexual contact while at a residence in the Village of Canisteo. He has been sent to the Steuben County Jail on $2,000 cash bail.
Canisteo Man Charged with Promoting Contraband:
A Canisteo man is accused of promoting prison contraband. 22-year-old Joseph Carter was arrested by Steuben County deputies after he allegedly introduced contraband into the county jail while he was being booked on unrelated charges. He has been charged with introducing contraband and unlawful possession of marihuana. He was issued appearance tickets.
Alcohol Cited in Accident:
A Bath man has been arrested following investigation into a motor vehicle accident that occurred on March 12th. 43-year-old Robert Ogden has been charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .08%, failure to maintain lane, and unreasonable speed. He was issued appearance tickets.
2 Charged with Endangering Children:
Two Bath residents has been arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and permitting unlicensed operation of a vehicle following a traffic stop Sunday. According the Bath Police Department, a vehicle without lights was stopped around 2 a.m. and it was discovered that the driver was a child less than 16 years old. 35-year-old Cindy Knowles and 39-year-old Michael Knowles were both in the vehicle and allegedly allowed the child to drive as they were both intoxicated. Another child under the age of 16 was also in the vehicle. Appearance tickets were issued.
Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Charges:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of 22-year-old Ryan Obrien of Canisteo and 26-year-old Michael Whritenour of Painted Post following a traffic stop on State Route 21 in Fremont. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Whritenour has been charged with felony driving while ability impaired by drugs, while Obrien was charged with unlawful possession of marihuana and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Both men were sent to the Steuben County Jail.
3rd Straight NYC Half Marathon Win for Huddle:
For the third straight year, Elmira native Molly Huddle ran way with the win Sunday at the New York City Half Marathon. Huddle finished with a time of 1 hour, eight minutes, and 19 seconds. She was followed by her training partner Emily Sisson in second place, just two seconds behind. Huddle and Sisson were nearly a minute ahead of the rest of the field.
Recaptured Prison Escapee Files Suit Against Governor:
One of the two prisoners that broke out of Clinton Correctional in 2015 has now filed a lawsuit against Governor Andrew Cuomo. The suit, filed by Patrick Alexander, also names some troopers and prison workers. It alleges that after Alexander was recaptured, the Governor stopped and taunted him in the cells, and then that he and other prisoners were beaten shortly after. The Governor’s spokesman calls the story ridiculous.
Jackals Raise $14K for Family of Kelley Clayton:
It was a loss for the Jackals against the Brampton Beast on Saturday, but it was a win for the family of Kelley Stage Clayton and domestic violence awareness. It was the Jackal’s domestic violence awareness night and the team raised $14,200 for Kelley’s family through ticket sales and a postgame auction of domestic violence awareness purple and grey jerseys.
Bath Village Board Schedules Public Alarm Hearing
The Bath village board has scheduled a public hearing for Monday to discuss a proposed law dealing with recurring false alarms at homes and businesses. The mayor recently said that repetitive false intrusion and fire alarms were creating a strain for police and emergency services. The hearing will be held at the Municipal Building on March 20th at 5:30 p.m.
Corning Police a student for making threats
A 16 year old Corning-Painted Post High School has been arrested by Corning Police for making threats to staff members. The identity of the student has not been released….he was charged with making terrorists threats which is class D Felony. The student was apparently angry over a suspension he had received and said he was going to go home and get some guns and do harm to staff members. The student could get up to seven years in prison if found guilty of the charge
State Police Patrolling St. Patty’s Weekend
State Police, the State Liquor Authority, State Department of Motor Vehicles, and local law enforcement will be out in force today, St. Patrick’s Day and throughout the weekend. Police will be looking for impaired drivers. The campaign includes a number of sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols, and a detail to crackdown on underage drinking and sales to minors. During the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day weekend enforcement effort, Troopers made 257 arrests for DWI and issued more than 17,000 tickets.
Men Arrested for Possession, DUI
A traffic stop in Bath yesterday Ryan Obrien of Canisteo and Michael Whritenour of Painted Post were stopped on State Route 21 in the Town of Fremont where Whritenour was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and Obrien, a charge for possession of marijuana and heroin. Following their arraignment, both men were sent to the Steuben County Jail and scheduled to appear in court at a later date.
Elmira Fire Claims One Life
A fire in Elmira took the life of one resident as multiple responders took the call for a structure fire that occurred around 9:15pm. The victim was found on the second level of duplex residence and displaced residents have been assisted by theRed Cross. A cause of the fire is being investigated.
Governor Responds to President’s Proposed Budget:
Governor Andrew Cuomo didn’t mince words Thursday when responding to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. He urged Congress to reject it, calling the plan “dangerous, reckless, and contemptuous of American values.” He says the budget would cut funding to transportation projects – such as the rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey – as well as undermine affordable housing, healthcare research, and environmental protection.
Owner of Watkins Glen Rental Company Accused of Defrauding Customers:
The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a Watkins Glen-area vacation rental home business. Henry Dean, and his company FLGH, LLC., is accused of defrauding customers by falsely advertising properties and then refusing to refund customers when they attempted to cancel. The lawsuit is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the operation of the business, as well as restitution of over $102,000 and over $85,000 in civil penalties and costs. Customers who believe they may have been defrauded by or have unresolved disputes with a business are encouraged to call the A.G. Consumer Help Line at (800) 771-7755.
New Member of Steuben Co. Sheriff’s Dept.:
A 2016 graduate of the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy was sworn in Thursday as a member of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department Road Patrol. Deputy Andrew Hawk, of Bath, joined the department at a ceremony at the county Public Safety Building. Hawk was previously employed by the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office, and the Watkins Glen Police Department.
Winter Storms Impact Blood Drives:
The American Red Cross is urging blood and platelet donors to give blood to offset shortfalls caused by the severe winter weather that has affected several states this month. About 150 blood drives have been cancelled so far this month due to winter weather, causing thousands of blood and platelet products to go uncollected.
Beware Carbon Monoxide after Storm:
While shoveling out the driveway after this week’s big storm may certainly be a priority, don’t forget to also check your home for blocked furnace and hot water vents. Due to the heavy snowfall, along with blowing and drifting snow, there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and health officials remind residents that snow drifts around homes should be addressed. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer because it’s colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating. For more information about it, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/indoors/air/carbon_monoxide_need_to_know.htm.
Addison to Host Harlem Wizards:
The Harlem Wizards are returning to the Southern Tier next week. They’ll be appearing at the Addison Events Center at the Addison High School on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for children in advance, or $15 for adults and $12 for children at the door.
Gov. Lifts Tractor Trailer Restrictions:
Late Wednesday afternoon Governor Andrew announced that the restrictions on travel and tractor-trailers on roadways across the state were being lifted. The bans impacted the New York Thruway, 1-81, I-86/Rt. 17, I-87 from Albany to the Canadian border, and I-88.
Update on New St. James Mercy Location:
At this week’s meeting of the Hornellsville town board, there was some news regarding the future site of the new St. James Hospital. Town Supervisor Ken Isaman announced that the old Kmart plaza, which was originally designated to be sold to the hospital, will now be sold instead to private developer Morgan Management out of Rochester. The plan is for the property to be broken up into two parcels, with a Medical Arts Building in the main structure, and the new hospital in the adjacent field and parking lot. Isaman called it “great news,” as when the projected owner was solely St. James Hospital, it was tax exempt. Now, tax revenue can be collected from Morgan Management.
Snow Fall Record Set in Binghamton:
This week’s storm helped the City of Binghamton break a dubious record. The city recorded 31.3 inches of snow over Tuesday and Wednesday, shattering its previous record of 23 inches that was set in February 1961. For the season, Binghamton has seen 127.7 inches – just short of seasonal record set in the winter of ’93-’94.
Food Bank Fights for “Farm to Food Bank” Bill:
Representatives from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier traveled to Albany Wednesday where they met with New York State lawmakers who are fighting for the “Farm to Food Bank” bill. The bill, which has previously been vetoed by Governor Cuomo, would provide tax credits to family farms that donate directly to food banks. The Assemblymen are also working to protect funding for the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program.
Lawmakers Propose Pay Hike for Arc Workers:
While Governor Andrew Cuomo left out a pay hike for direct support professionals in his proposed budget, the state Assembly and Senate have both drafted their own proposals that include $45 million for a pay increase for those who provide services to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It would bump pay to $15 an hour. The Arc of Steuben employs roughly 275 direct support professionals.
Bath Board of Ed. Meets Tonight:
The regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Bath Central School District will be held tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the high school library.
Storm Warning Still in Effect, Use Caution:
Caution is still urged today following the massive winter storm that enveloped the area Tuesday. Steuben County Director of Emergency Management Timothy Marshall urges those who don’t need to go out to stay home. The concern today, he said, is not just continued snow, but also high winds that could make for very poor visibilities and poor driving conditions. Residents are advised to call ahead to make sure destinations are open, be prepared for delays, and to check for updates on travel conditions. Local closings and delays are available here on WVIN and on wvinbath.com with Stormwatch. Drivers can call 511 or visit http://www.511ny.org for information. Please do not call 911.
Police Seek Suspect in Road Rage Incident:
Troopers are seeking a suspect who allegedly displayed a handgun during a road rage incident Sunday night near the intersection of County Road 111 and County Road 84. According to the North Hornell state police the incident occurred around 8 p.m. and the man in question was gone by the time they arrived on the scene. He is described as a white male about 50-years-old. Average build with long grey hair and a beard, wearing a baseball cap, a winter plaid jacket possibly blue in color, and blue jeans. He was operating a silver pickup truck with large mirrors, four doors, and amber marker lights. Anyone with information should call the Wayland State Police barracks at 585-728-5007.
Snow Storm Snapshot – How Others Faired:
Locally, it was a messy, snowy day that shut down schools and many businesses and
organizations. A travel advisory was announced for Steuben, but no ban. How did other areas fair? Broome County took the brunt of the storm with some areas recording 14 inches of snow by 7 a.m., and at 4 p.m., the National Weather Service posted 27 inches of snow in Endwell. Chemung County issued a travel advisory Tuesday afternoon, but the Elmira area only saw about 5 or 6 inches. Police in Chemung, Steuben, and Schuyler counties reported a few minor accidents and cars off the road. In Buffalo, 255 members of the National Guard were called in. In Rochester, following last week’s heavy windstorm, some 3,000 people were still without power.
St. Patrick’s Day DWI Crackdown:
Steuben County Sheriff James Allard has announced that Steuben County police agencies will be participating in a special enforcement crackdown on impaired driving over the Saint Patrick’s holiday weekend. The effort starts on Saint Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17th and runs through March 19th.
Drug, Alcohol Presentation in Bath March 29th:
The Steuben Prevention Coalition will present a drug and alcohol program entitled “High in Plain Sight: Current Drug, Concealment and Alcohol Trends” on March 29th at the Bath Haverling High School Auditorium. It will be from 9 to 11 a.m. for school personnel, area professionals, educators, and prevention providers; from 1 to 3 p.m. for law enforcement, probation officers, first responders, and fire departments; and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for community members and parents. Registration is requested by calling 587-4015.
State of Emergency Declared Statewide:
As of midnight Monday night, a state of emergency took effect across all 62 counties of New York due to the extreme winter storm. Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging residents to “stay informed, avoid unnecessary travel. Also non-essential state employees have been advised to stay home from work today. Motorists can check road conditions by calling 511, or by visiting http://www.511ny.org before traveling.
Winter Storm Bringing Also Bringing Big Price Tag for Steuben Co.:
The winter storm isn’t just bringing the snow today, it’s also expected to bring a hefty price tag for Steuben County. The county’s snow and ice budget for 2017 is roughly $2.8 million, and between the salt and sand, labor, and equipment, the cost is expected to be just under $290,000 for just this storm alone. The good news is so long as there aren’t any many snowstorms in the final seven weeks of the season, the budget should hold until next winter. Plowing began at 3 a.m. this morning and will continue until 9 p.m. tonight. If you must go out today, you are reminded to slow down, and if you don’t have good tires, you’re urged to stay off the road.
Former Restaurant Owners Charged:
The former owners of two Sonora’s Mexican restaurants in Bath and Corning have been indicted on charges that they pocketed nearly $200,000 in sales tax. Christopher and Kimberlee Klee, both of Elmira, are accused of failing to file state sales tax returns and remit more than $175,000 in sales tax from the two restaurants. If convicted, they could spend up to 15 years in prison.
New Proposal for Free Tuition in NYS:
With critics blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $163 million proposal for free tuition in New York State for not addressing room and board costs or student dent, Senate Democrats on Monday announced their own plan. Their new proposal would make tuition free for students from families earning up to $150,000 – as opposed to Cuomo’s $125,000 threshold – and is would also give lower income students more help with room and board, and $10 million in increased aid for students at private colleges. On the other side of the aisle, Assembly Republicans offered a plan earlier this year that would raise eligibility for the state’s tuition assistance program, and offer every recipient another $500 while increasing tax breaks for student debt payments.
Thousands of Flights Canceled in Face of Big Storm
The winter weather isn’t just bad for road travel, but in the skies as well. More than 6,000 U.S. airlines flights were canceled ahead of today’s big storm. Biggest domestic passenger carrier, Southwest Airlines, doesn’t expect any flights today at 14 airports between Washington and Portland, Maine. The major airlines are waiving ticket-change fees that range up to $200, though are restrictions that vary by airline.
Closings and Cancellations
A Complete listing of cancellations at www.wvinbath.com
Winter Storm Warning Tonight Through Wednesday:
The National Weather Service has announced a winter storm warning that takes effect at 8 p.m. tonight and will run through 8 p.m. Wednesday night. The storm is expected to impact much of the state. Locally, the snow will start tonight and pick up into tomorrow, where we could see as much as an inch per hour at times. Certain areas could see as much as 10 to 12 inches by the time the storm has had its say. Higher elevations could see 15 to 18 inches.
Additional Arrest in Drug Bust:
An additional arrest has been made following investigation into drug crimes in Steuben County. 45-year-old Frederick Snyder of Arkport has been charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, and unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail. Five people were previously arrested when State Police executed a search warrant at a home in the hamlet of Burns, near Arkport, Thursday night.
Last Season for the Elmira Jackals:
While the news was generally good for the First Arena on Friday, it wasn’t for the Elmira Jackals. It was announced Friday that the team will play until the end of the year, and then the team will fold. The new owner of the facility is Brian Barrett. Barrett has ties to Simmons Rockwell and he will be putting $3.5 million into the First Arena. The Jackals have nine home games remaining; the last will be April 8th at 7 p.m.
Cuomo Calls for Investigation of RG&E:
In the wake of last week’s windstorm, Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for the Public Service Commission to investigate Rochester Gas and Electric. Speaking on Saturday, Cuomo accused the company of not being prepared and of dragging its heels in restoring power.
NYS to Look at Impact of Plastic Bags:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a task force to address the impact of plastic bags on the environment. In a statement, the Governor called the “costly and negative impact of plastic bags… a statewide issue that demands a statewide solution.” Cuomo previously vetoed a fee proposed by the New York City Council on non-reusable shopping bags, calling it “deeply flawed.”
Special Prattsburgh Board of Ed. Meeting Tonight:
The Prattsburgh Central School Board of Education will hold a special meeting tonight at 6 p.m. for the awarding of capital construction bids. It will be held in the library media center. A budget workshop will immediately follow.
Nominations Sought for Jack Lisi Youth Award:
Nominations for the Jack Lisi Youth Award are being sought. Forms are available online at http://www.lisiyouthaward.org. Just click on “JLYA Application.” Nominations are due by March 20th.
Reed to Hold Town Halls Today
As announced earlier this month , Congressman Tom Reed will hold another series of Saturday town hall meetings today across the district. Reed is scheduled to start today at the Southside Community Center at 8am in Ithaca, followed by an appearance at Ovid Town Hall at 10:30am, then Manchester Town Hall in Clifton Springs at 12:30 and will end the day with an appearance at the Pulteney Fire Company at 3pm. Deputy Whip team and VP of Trump’s transition team, Reed has faced criticism from constituents with reports that his Geneva office was flooded with protesters yesterday. The Ithaca community has been notably critical of the Congressman with many local protests organized there.
NY To Expedite Professional Licenses For Military Spouses
New York state is offering expedited licensing for professionals holding out-of-state professional licenses in certain fields, including medical professions as well as out-of-state professional licenses that have requirements similar to those in New York state. . If you move because your military spouse transferred you will see a 50 percent break on application fees as part of this new legislation signed by the governor and proposed by the state education department.
Corning Bridge To Be Repaired
Corning’s heavily used Bridge Street Bridge is set to be updated in the spring of 2019.The city received 6.6 million in state funds for the project, allowing the city to pay less than 2 percent of the funds it will take to rebuild the bridge. Corning’s bridge was erected in 1947 and 1999 was the last project invested into improving the bridge. The duration of time that the bridge will be closed to complete repairs is currently not known.
Rochester Man Accused of Impersonating Police in Bath:
A Rochester man was arrested Thursday afternoon at a local business on State Route 54 in Bath. The arrest follows an investigation into reports of a suspicious person around the business calling himself a Federal Law Enforcement Officer. 62-year-old Dr. Richard Hoyer has been charged with criminal impersonation. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Hoyer was found to be in possession of handcuffs, pepper spray, a police badge, ballistic body armor, and other police paraphernalia, some of which are illegal to be possessed by a civilian. He was released on his own recognizance. An order of protection was also issued for an employee of the business, ordering Hoyer to stay away from her and the business at all times. More charges are pending.
Bath Woman Leads Police on Chase:
A Bath woman is facing 16 charges following a police chase Wednesday afternoon that ended on Sand Pit Road in the Town of Bath. State police arrested 33-year-old Jamie Brewer. She was charged with felony driving while intoxicated and misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, fleeing police and aggravated unlicensed operation. Troopers also issued Brewer a fist full of traffic tickets to include failure to obey police and speeding in a school zone.
State Police Investigating Stolen ATV:
The New York State Police of Bath are investigating the theft of an all-terrain vehicle from a residence on East Lamoka Avenue in the Village of Savona. The incident is believed to be occurred in the early morning hours on Wednesday. The ATV is a white 2008 Polaris Outlaw, equipped with red and black decals. It had been parked near the roadway, just past the elementary school, and was being offered for sale. Police believe the subject(s) may have loaded the ATV into a pickup truck and then fled. Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police.
NYS Joins Challenge to Travel Ban:
New York State one of several states that are planning to join legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s revised immigration ban. The legislation bars the admission of refugees and some travelers from a group of six Muslim-majority countries. The order is set to take effect on March 16th. It replaces a more sweeping ban that was issued on January 27th that was struck down in court. Hawaii announced plans on Wednesday to challenge the ban. The Attorney Generals of Washington, Minnesota, and Oregon have said they will also challenge the ban.
Fate of First Arena to be Announced Today:
Chemung County officials have announced that the fate of the First Arena will, once and for all, be announced this afternoon. The prospective owner of the facility and the Elmira Jackals was expected to submit documentation to the team’s league on Thursday. County Executive Tom Santulli said previously that the determination by the ECHL would influence the deal to sell the facility. The prospective buyer is unknown, but county leaders say he is local, has hockey connections, and is willing to invest $3.5 million into renovations.
Public Meeting with the DEC on Corning Soil Remediation:
The public will soon get details on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s plans for the soil remediation in Corning. A public meeting will be held on March 22nd with the DEC and the Department of Health at the Radisson Hotel beginning at 6:30 p.m. The agencies will outline proposed plans for dealing with contaminated soil in the area. Also, from 3 to 5 p.m. agency staff and Corning Incorporated will be available to answer questions concerning the study area. Remediation could begin this summer. Public comments are being accepted until April 10th. For more information about the meeting and the proposals, click http://www.dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/851046pddou1235.pdf
Wilkins RV Buys Ballantyne:
Wilkins RV has announced that it will be expanding into two former Ballantyne RV locations, in Victor and Cicero, following its completed purchase of the company. Both of the locations are pending license approval from the state. Opening is planned for as soon as they are obtained. Wilkins RV was founded in Hornell in 1936 as auto detail shop. In 2006, it moved to a 50,000 square-foot dealership in Bath, and expanded its second location in Churchville in 2011.
Steuben Co. DSS Reacts to Proposed ACA Changes:
The proposed reform to the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) made public Tuesday must not be allowed to affect New York’s funding for Medicaid administration…that statement was made Wednesday from Steuben County Department of Social Services Commissioner Kathryn Muller. Steuben DSS currently receives $3 million annually for Medicaid services including long-term care, mental health, public health, and office for the aging. New York State also opted into the expansion of Medicaid, allowing an additional $800,000 to be passed on to the county. Should this funding go away, Muller says it will devastate Steuben and other counties.
Local Lawmakers Call for More Funding for Roads:
The “Local Roads Matter” advocacy campaign returned to the State Capitol Wednesday as a bipartisan group of 137 state legislators, organized by State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano joined county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders from across New York to call for increased state support for local roads, bridges and culverts. Lawmakers are seeking an additional $150 million for roads and $50 million for bridge repair annually in the budget.
Power Outages Following High Winds:
Fierce winds ripped through the area Wednesday night and many are feeling the impact this morning as they wake up without power. NYSEG is reporting thousands across the state without power, including some 300 people right here in Steuben County. Monroe and Erie counties were the hardest hit.
Bath Man Allegedly Assaults Neighbor:
A Bath man has been arrested following an incident with a neighbor. 45-year-old Brian Rinker allegedly assaulted a neighbor who was walking a dog past his residence. Rinker was charged with assault in the third degree and was released with an appearance ticket.
Hornellsvill Woman Accused of Shoplifting:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Hornellsville woman following a shoplifting incident in Hornellsville. 25-year-old Amber Masservey is accused of trying to steal several items from the Dollar General Store on Seneca Road. She was released with an appearance ticket.
Burn Ban Set to Take Effect March 16th:
The Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding residents that as temperatures warm the residential brush burning ban will take effect on March 16th and last through May 14th across all of New York State. Due to the lack of snow cover and with rising temperatures forecasted for the coming weeks, conditions for wildfires could be heightened. The DEC will post a Fire Danger Map rating forecast daily for the 2017 season on its website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/68329.html
NY Lawmakers Respond to GOP Health Plan:
The possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – was unveiled by House Republican’s Tuesday and lawmakers across New York are responding. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that while his office is still examining the bill, his initial thoughts aren’t positive. DiNapoli believes the bill could reduce the number of insured New Yorkers and shift a larger share of the cost of Medicaid to the state. Chairman of the state Assembly Health Committee Richard Gottfried said the changes would “damage Medicaid and health insurance for working people.” Representative Tom Reed said that the bill won’t harm Medicaid recipients. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer both spoke out against the plan, with Gillibrand saying it would “force middle class families and seniors to pay more money for less care.”
Two Arrested at Steuben Co. Office Building:
Two people were arrested Tuesday at the Steuben County Office Building in Bath. 40-year-old Jennifer Gabel allegedly entered the building with her brother 26-year-old Christopher Nelson, and then remained with him in the lobby of the Department of Social Services despite Nelson having an order of protection against Gabel. Gabel was arraigned and released on her own recognizance. Nelson was arrested and turned over to the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office on a bench warrant for allegedly failing to pay a fine.
First Arena Deadline Tomorrow:
We’ll know soon whether or not professional hockey will continue at the First Arena, as the potential buyer of the facility has until Thursday to submit paperwork to the east coast hockey league. Industrial Development Agency member Tom Santulli said they expect a decision from the ECHL by the end of the week. In other action Tuesday morning, the IDA approved a resolution to extend the license agreement for one year to manage the facility and the ice. Santulli says if all goes well, transferring ownership of the arena could go quickly.
Village of Canisteo Looking to Override Tax Cap:
The Canisteo Village Board says it will have to override the tax cap this year. A public hearing has been scheduled on the matter for April 3rd at 6:50 p.m. with a budget presentation to immediately follow. Trustee Tim Harkenrider said that the actual cap the village is working with is .12 percent, not the perceived 2 percent.
Two Honored by Steuben Co. Youth Board:
A recipient of a “What’s Great in New York State” award, and a dedicated Steuben adoption caseworker were honored Monday night at the 2017 Steuben County Youth Board and Bureau Annual Dinner. Cadi Morse, the state award winner, was recognized as the youth board’s annual “Champion for Youth” for her leadership role in the Finger Lakes Parent Network, Inc., and her work as the first teen facilitator in Steuben. The Gary S. Pruyn Youth Service Worker Award recipient, Paul Sands has facilitated more than 100 adoptions since he began work as the county Department of Social Services adoption caseworker 10 years ago. Morse and Sands were selected from nominations received by the county Youth Board in November.
Participants Sought for 2017 Colonial Days Parade:
Applications are open for area schools, civic groups, clubs, teams, and other interested parties to participate in the 2017 Colonial Days Parade in Painted Post. Floats, animal entries, machinery/tractor units and marching groups are all encouraged to apply. Call (607) 346-1931 for more information. The 53rd annual Colonial Days Parade will be held Saturday, June 10th.
Addison Man Charged in Theft:
An Addison Man has been arrested by State Police following investigation into property stolen from a residence in Addison. 36-year-old Ryan Chase has been charged with grand larceny in the 4th degree and was sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail.
Steuben County Officers Commended for Efforts During Trials:
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard is praising the efforts of court security during the two recent, high profile trials. Allard told the county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee that during the murder trials of Michael Beard and Thomas Clayton the county Court Security Division dealt effectively and efficiently with multiple security and control challenges, including parking, seating, court room control, and jury management during extremely sensitive and emotionally charged events. County Sheriff Captain Eric Tyner was also commended Monday for his efforts investigating the September 2015 murder of Kelley Clayton. Sheriff Allard called the investigation one of the largest and most complex homicide investigations in the history of the county and called Tyner’s efforts “herculean.”
Corning Moves Ahead with Bridge St. Bridge Rehab:
On Monday, the Corning City Council voted to move forward with a rehabilitation project for the Bridge Street Bridge. The design phase of the project will now get underway, with the city contributing $10,500 to the nearly million dollar cost. Of the whole estimated $6.6 million project, the city would pay $87,000. Construction likely wouldn’t get underway until spring 2019, when the bridge would be shut down for several months. The bridge was last rehabbed in 1999.
NY Senator Proposes Two New Heroin Bills:
New York Senator Cathy Young is calling for the passage of two bills that would increase penalties for those convicted of selling heroin. One of the bills would expand the penalties for dealers who target children by selling heroin on school grounds or daycare centers to include parks and playgrounds. The second bill make it easier for law enforcement to charge dealers as major drug traffickers by reducing the classification of a major drug ring from four dealers to three, and by reducing the amount of money made by selling drugs per year from $75,000 to $25,000.
Tom Ryan Announces Bid for County Legislator:
At Monday’s night meeting of the Canisteo Village Board, resident Tom Ryan announced his bid for the Steuben County legislature. The District 9 seat – which covers the village and town of Canisteo, Thurston, and Cameron – is currently held by Eric Booth. It will be up for bids at the village election on March 21st. Ryan has held the seat in the past.
FLSPCA Meets Fundraising Goal, Earns Grant Bonus:
Earlier this year, the Finger Lakes SPCA announced that it had the opportunity to receive $25,000 from the Marion E. Cantwell Charitable Trust if they were able to raise a matching $25,000 by March 31st 2017. Monday, the organization announced not only was the matching amount met, but it was exceeded. Officials say that since January, over $31,000 has been raised thanks to the combined efforts of volunteers, staff, and the outpouring of support by the community. A Trustee for the Cantwell Trust confirmed that the FLSPCA will not only receive its promised $25,000, but has also been awarded a $5,000 bonus for meeting and exceeding the challenge. The FLSPCA plans to start the fourth and final phase of its new shelter building project in the upcoming months.
Erwin Couple Arrested for Misuse of Food Stamps:
A warrant sweep conducted by the Steuben County’s Sheriff’s Office resulted in the arrest of a town of Erwin couple for misuse of food stamps. 50-year-old Mercedes Abreu is on felony probation, stemming from a DWI offense, and is facing a probation violation due to the pending charges. She was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $3,000 cash bail. 26-year-old Jose Perez was released on his own recognizance.
Corning Student Headed to Scripps National Spelling Bee:
A student of Corning’s Alternative School for Math and Science is will be headed to
Washington D.C. in May to represent the Southern Tier in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The regional bee took place on Saturday afternoon at Corning-Painted Post High School and featured 57 students from 29 schools throughout the region. Nikhil Lahiri took first place with the word “decamerous.”
Public Hearing on Curtiss Museum Banners:
The Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport wants to place promotional banners on its building. But first it needs a variance granted from Town of Urbana code. The Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on the matter Wednesday. The hearing will be held in the Urbana Town Hall beginning at 7 p.m. March 8th.
Congressman Reed Named One of Most Accessible:
At a time when many Republican lawmakers are limiting and doing away with their town hall meetings, Congressman Tom Reed has been ranked among the top-ten in Congress for being accessible and holding town halls. Reed has held 68 community meetings in the past two years, and is currently ranked third in the House of Representatives. On Saturday, Reed will hold another town hall in Pulteney at the fire hall on Brown Road at 3 p.m.
Free Admission to the Rockwell Museum for CCC Students:
This coming fall Corning Community College students who also happen to be art enthusiasts will be able to enjoy free visits to the Rockwell Museum. The staff and Board of Trustees at the Rockwell donated a base for the ‘Kristin A. Swain Student Fund,’ which will allow CCC students free admission to the museum. The fund honors Swain’s retirement after 40 years of involvement with the Rockwell and her dedication to education. If you’d like to contribute, donate to the Rockwell at https://rockwellmuseum.org/blog/kristin-a-swain-student-fund/.
$5,000 Reward Offered for Vandals Responsible for Jewish Cemetery Destruction:
A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Anti-Defamation League for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the desecration of a Jewish cemetery just north of Rochester. Governor Andrew Cuomo has also called on the State Police to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime. The incident in Rochester is just one of many over the past several months, including dozens of bomb threats to Jewish community centers across the country.
Elmira Man Arrested for Falsely Reporting Blowing Up High School:
An Elmira man was arrested and charged Thursday in relation to a May 2016 incident about blowing up the Elmira High School. 19-year-old David Vanhorn is accused of circulating a false report of blowing up the high school via a social media app on May 1st 2016. He has been charged with falsely reporting an incident.
Trooper Called to Contentious Hartsville Town Meeting:
That the Hartsville Town Meetings are often heated is no secret, but a special meeting this week was even more dramatic than usual as a state trooper was called in. The trouble began while the wife of former town board member Ron Amidon was speaking. Resident Larry Newhart reportedly mumbled something inaudible during her speech, prompting Town Supervisor John Bowles to ask him to leave. Newhart refused. Bowles then left the room and made a phone call. Newhart left a few moments later. A New York State Police Officer later arrived and spoke with Bowles. Newhart, who says he was never called or visited by the state police, told WLEA that he wasn’t being confrontational and that he was civil in tone. Supervisor Bowles claims the exact opposite, saying that Newhart was “very confrontational and very uncivil with his voice.”
Community Meeting at Bath V.A. Today:
There will be a Community Veteran Engagement Forum at the Bath V.A. today at 3 p.m. It will be held in Building 92 on the V.A. Campus. Information will be shared on the latest V.A. happenings, projects, and services.
CCE-Steuben Notes 2016 Successes:
In 2016, the Cornell Cooperative Extension continued to take an important role in efforts to develop Steuben County’s agricultural industry. CCE-Steuben Executive Director Larkin Podsiedlik recently spoke with county legislators and highlighted some of the year’s successes, including the Harvest NY Program and the Finger Lakes Grapes Program, the Local Foods Festival in Corning which attracted more than 300 attendees, the three “Farm City Days” for 650 second-graders, and the 10th Annual Southern Tier Outdoor Show which drew thousands of visitors from across the nation.
Hundreds Attend Arc of Steuben Wellness Fair:
On Wednesday, representatives from many different health and wellness organizations gathered at the Arc of Steuben’s Industrial Park complex for the agency’s seventh annual Wellness Fair. More than 20 organizations offered Arc associates, people who receive services from the agency, and members of the community information on physical, mental, and emotional health. Some organizations also gave hands-on demonstrations. More than 200 people attended this year’s event.
Ford Recalls 36,000 Vehicles:
More than 36,000 Ford vehicles in the U.S. and Canada have been recalled because of a possible airbag malfunction. The airbags in the Ford Edge, model years 2016 and 2017, the Lincoln MKX from 2016 and 2017, and the 2017 Lincoln Continental may fail to inflate completely due to misaligned components. The airbags were made by Japanese supplier Takata, but this is separate issue from the one that caused the previous, massive recall of Takata air bag inflators.
Steuben Co. Crop Symposium March 7th:
The 2017 Steuben County Crop Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 7th at the Civil Defense Center on State Route 54 in Bath. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and lunch will be held from 11:30 to 12:30. Cost is $15 per person. Registration is encouraged. Call 664-2300 to register. More information is available at http://putknowledgetowork.org
Southern Tier Cashes in on New Tioga Downs Casino:
After much trial and tribulation, on December 1st 2016, Tioga Downs finished its transformation from a mere racing venue to a full casino and since then, the Southern Tier has hit something of a jackpot with the facility. Since adding table games the casino has generated a 16 percent boost in attendance and a 20 percent increase in overall revenue, with a large portion of that going back into the Southern Tier’s economy. There was also a boost in the job market, as the casino hired 220 employees, to the work not just the tables and games, but also surveillance, security, food, and more.
NYS STAR Program Debate:
New York State lawmakers are debating the effectiveness of the changes to the STAR benefit program. Opponents would like to see STAR return to being classified as a property tax exemption, instead of an income tax credit. Opponents say the current system caused problems for first-time home buyers and that those affected had to pay their entire tax bill up-front. Assemblyman Phil Palmesano says changing it back would once again make the program efficient for everyone.
Bill Introduced to Repeal NYS SAFE Act:
On Wednesday, lawmakers introduced new legislation that would repeal portions of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s SAFE Act. The bill would remove the prohibition on transferring certain weapons to family members due to death, and would restore the previous definition of the term “assault weapon” for all of New York State, outside of the five New York City boroughs. The SAFE Act was signed into law in 2013 following the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Bath-Haverling Pre-K Registration March 20th-24th:
Children in the Bath Central School District who will turn four years old on, or before, December 1st are eligible for the district’s pre-kindergarten program that starts in September. The Vernon E. Wightman Primary School will register such students for the program March 20th through the 24th in the school’s main office from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Interested parents should pick up an information packet prior to registration. For more information call the VEW Primary School at 776-4123, EXT. 5100.
Watkins Glen State Park Construction Underway:
As part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 initiative to boost New York State parks, Watkins Glen State Park is underway with a makeover. Construction on the main entrance started just over a month ago, and officials say work is on track. Besides making the main entrance easily accessible and even more attractive there will also be changes to the traffic and parking, the trail, the gift shop will be expanded, a welcome center will be added, and more. Construction will continue while the park is open this summer. Work is expected to be complete by the spring of 2018.
Buffalo Has Warmest February on Record:
A city that’s known for its bitter, snowy winter conditions has set a record for the warmest February recorded. The National Weather Service said Wednesday that the monthly average temperature for February at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport was 34.8 degrees. February was also one of the city’s least snowiest, with only 5 inches over the 28 days. Buffalo typically sees a monthly average of 17.3 inches. The weather service says records in Buffalo go back to 1871.
Former Guthrie Physical Therapist Facing Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit:
A former physical therapist from Painted Post is named in a lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct. The suit was filed by four women who claim Gregory Parfianowitz fondled them during massage therapy, gave them ill-fitting towels to cover themselves, and discussed sexually-charged topics during their sessions. Parfianowitz was charged with four misdemeanor and violations charges, and was then acquitted of the charges by one of the women following a jury trial in November. The acquittal prompted the Steuben County District Attorney’s Office to discontinue prosecution on the remaining counts. The suit also names Dr. Kathleen Hallinan, an internist; Diane Legendre, a physician assistant; Corning Hospital, and Guthrie Medical Group as defendants. Hallinan and Legendre are accused of violating their duties to inform superiors of the allegations, as well as violating patients’ trust.
Two Arrested for Shoplifting:
Two area women have been arrested in two unrelated shoplifting incidents. 19-year-old Angelena Maio, of Corning, was arrested at the Tops Market in the Village of Riverside for petit larceny. Alexis Law, of Bath, was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Walmart in the Town of Erwin. Both women were issued appearance tickets for the Town of Corning and Town of Erwin courts, respectively.
Prattsburgh, Greenwood Among Those to Benefit from Internet Grant:
Prattsburgh and Greenwood are among the local communities that are going to benefit from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New NY Broadband Program Round Two. The Governor has announced the Southern Tier is receiving $38.8 million to help improve internet access to nearly 13,000 homes and businesses. The money will fund 17 projects. Troupsburg, Tuscarora, Woodhull, Rathbone, and Jasper will also benefit here in Steuben County, as well as the Chemung County town of Van Etten, and Orange, Hector, Reading, Montour, and Catherine in Schuyler County.
Village of Bath Budget Meeting:
The Village of Bath will hold a budget meeting on Thursday, March 2nd at 5:15 p.m. to discuss the budget and anything else that comes before the board.
Steuben Co. Hall of Fame Inductees Announced:
On April 22nd one of the first women to graduate from college, a physician honored for “Service Above Self,” and a couple dedicated to the service of veterans will join other local residents in the Steuben County Hall of Fame as the 2017 inductees. Monday, the county Legislature approved the nominations of Hannah Simpson Spencer, of Jasper; Dr. Roy W. Robinson, M.D. of Wayland; and Patrick and Betty Monahan, of Bath. The inductees were selected in January from a field of candidates nominated by local residents and based on their ability to enhance the name of the county and develop the county in ways the committee felt should especially be remembered.
Steuben Co. Sheriff’s Office Hosting Citizen Police Academy:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting the Citizen’s Police Academy at the Public Safety Building on Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m. from March 6th through May 8th. The course is intended to provide residents with an overview of law enforcement operations and methods to foster understanding and partnership with the community. It does not certify participants for any aspect of law enforcement. The class is free, but registration is required. An application is required for background purposes. Call 622-3930 for more information.
Michael Beard Sentenced to Life in Prison:
In Steuben County Court Monday, the Elmira man convicted of killing Kelley Clayton at her home in September 2015 received the maximum sentence for his crime. Michael Beard will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole on the first-degree murder charge, and for the second-degree murder charge he received 25 years. Both will be served concurrently. The third man accused in Kelley’s death also appeared in court Monday. Mark Blandford initially faced charges of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of burglary, and two counts of conspiracy, but they were reduced in exchange for his testimony in Thomas Clayton’s trial. Blandford was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17th. Thomas Clayton, convicted of first-and-second-degree murder, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24th.
BEGWS Names New Director:
After an extensive review and interview process, a new director has been selected for Bath Electric Gas and Water Systems. The Village of Bath Board of Trustees announced Monday that Erin Bonacci has been appointed, effective March 13rd. Bonacci has served the last two years as a consulting engineer for BEGWS. In a statement, Bonacci said that she’s honored to have been selected, and that she looks forwarding to serving.
P.A. Man Arrested for Defrauding Steuben Co. Residents:
A Pennsylvania man, formerly of Painted Post, has been arrested on charges handed up in a 2015 sealed indictment by a Steuben County Grand Jury. 55-year-old Todd Calton was recently located in the Pittsburgh area as a fugitive from justice and has been extradited back to New York. He is charged with first-degree scheme to defraud, two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, and petit larceny. He, an owner of a garage door installation business, allegedly received payment from multiple customers and then failed to perform the service. He has been sent to the Steuben County Jail to await his appearance in court.
P.A. to Study Troubled Colleges:
Pennsylvania’s Williamsport Sun-Gazette caused a bit of a stir with a recent article reporting a number of State System of Higher Education Schools that may be at risk of closing, including Mansfield University. Plans were announced last month to study all 14 of schools in an effort to reduce operating costs. Findings could lead to program consolidation, new marketing, and possibly even the closing of schools. However, while Mansfield University News and Media Relations Manager Terry Day admitted that the school has had enrollment trouble the past few years, he said he’s confident Mansfield will remain open. He said they think they “have a plan in place moving forward to make Mansfield more viable than it already is.” Mansfield University has 2,000 students, is credited with an $11 million economic impact, and is one of the top five employers in Tioga County, P.A.
O’Mara Seeking “Women of Distinction” Nominations:
With March comes Women’s History Month, and State Senator Tom O’Mara is celebrating by once again accepting nominations for the Senate’s annual “Women of Distinction” program. Now in its 20th year, the program honors local women making outstanding contributions to area communities. One woman is selected from each Senator’s respective legislative district. This year’s honorees will be invited to Albany for an awards ceremony in early May. Nominations can be submitted through O’Mara’s Senate website at http://www.omara.nysenate.gov.
Artists Encouraged to Take Live/Work Space Survey:
Local artists are being encouraged to complete a pair of region-wide surveys on affordable live and work spaces. President of Three Rivers Development Corporation, Betsey Hale said that many local groups including 171 Cedar Arts Center and the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes have responded, but they need more from individuals. She said that, statistically, they need 400 completed for the study to be significant. Their goal is 1,000. Currently, she says they have 289. All artists, arts organization administrators, and creative business owners in the Elmira/Corning and Southern Finger Lakes region are encouraged to take the surveys, available at http://www.ElmiraCorningArt-Survey.org Hale added that all creative businesses - including those such as microbreweries, wineries, and restaurants - are encouraged to take the surveys.
Michael Beard to be Sentenced Today for Kelley Clayton Murder:
One of the two men convicted so far in the murder of Kelley Clayton is scheduled to be sentenced today. In November, a jury found Michael Beard guilty of 1st degree murder and two counts of 2nd degree murder. He was hired by Thomas Clayton to kill her. Beard is facing 25 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Special prosecutor Weeden Wetmore is expected to ask for the maximum sentence.
Dakota Miller Trial Delayed Again:
The trial of the man accused of killing a baby in Hornell has been delayed again. According to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker the primary DNA analyst in the Dakota Miller case had to have an emergency medical procedure, and is expected to be unavailable for 6 to 8 weeks. No new date has been set.
Steuben Co. Legislature Meeting Agenda:
On the agenda when the Steuben County Legislature meets today will be the request of reasonable and fair funding by the state, honoring local heroes, and extending the sales tax. The county board is expected to support a bill now in the state Assembly calling on the state to fund in full court-ordered requirements for the independent public defense of income-eligible criminal defendants, and county legislators are also expected to request the state increase the 12.7 percent share of Department of Motor Vehicles fees now allocated to county DMVs. In other action, lawmakers will begin the process of extending the sales tax for another two years, and they will ask Congress to approve a commemorative coin honoring county native and aviation pioneer Glen H. Curtiss.
NYS Considers Cashless Toll Booths:
Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested it’s not a matter of if New York State does away with human-staffed toll booths, but rather when. According to the Star Gazette, Cuomo, along with the State Thruway Authority, have signaled that they plan to move ahead with a cashless form of tolling for the entirety of the 570-mile superhighway system. However, there would be financial challenges. Hundreds of millions of dollars would be required to install cashless tolling across the system, which the Thruway Authority hasn’t currently budgeted for.
NYS to Examine Elder Abuse Problem:
At a legislative hearing Tuesday in Albany, members of the New York State Senate and Assembly are scheduled to discuss the extent and nature elder abuse. The state estimates that for every case of elder abuse reported, there are five that aren’t. Financial abuse costs the state’s senior citizens as much as $1.5 billion a year, according to reports. Lawmakers say they hope the hearing will help come up with better ways to prevent and combat elder abuse.
Elmira College Selects Next President:
Elmira College has selected its next president, and it’s one of the school’s own. Current Provost, Dr. Charles Lindsay has been tapped to take over the role on July 1st. Lindsay was unanimously chosen by faculty leadership. He will replace interim President Dr. Norman Smith, who has served for the past two years.
Talk of Campbell-Savona Joint Sewer Project
A census of family income will be conducted to determine the median income for Campbell-Savona residents to calculate funding to construct a joint sewer line between both the Town of Campbell and Village of Savona. The projec, which carries an anticipated cost of $22,000,000 is in the initial phases and won’t be presented for public vote until this preliminary research is complete.
State Colleges and Businesses Partner to Create Jobs
According to Empire State Development 43 businesses will partner with colleges and universities. Over 600 new jobs in engineering, research and agriculture and more than $15 million statewide has been created from the program so far.Schools involved include state universities at Albany, Cobleskill, and Plattsburgh as well as the University of Rochester and Buffalo University, which leads these institutions with 238 new positions created.
Bath Village Hopes New Vehicles for Fleet
On our Community Focus Program Show yesterday morning, Mayor Von Hagn mentioned the possibility of new police vehicles and snow plow trucks as part of a grant the community received over a year ago.
Von Hagn Talks Local Alarm Law
Bath Mayor Von Hagn shared that the Bath village is considering creating a local law fining businesses and homeowners that have repetitive false alarms. Von Hagn says the possible law is an effort to combat the drain on volunteer and municipal resources used answering to the call of alarms.
Thomas Clayton Found Guilty:
A Steuben County jury Thursday found Thomas Clayton guilty of 1st and 2nd degree murder. Clayton, a former Elmira Jackals player, was accused of hiring a man to kill his wife Kelley in their Town of Caton home in 2015. The trial lasted 30 days. The prosecution had called 65 witnesses to the stand while the defense called only ten. Clayton who had been free on bail was immediately taken into custody. Clayton could be sentenced to life without parole.
Investigation in to Human Remains Could Take Months:
It may be several months before we know any more about the human remains discovered in Bath. The Monroe County Medical Examiners Office is conducting a study to try and identify the remains that were found Sunday afternoon, but according to the State Police the body had been at the location for some time, exposed to the elements. The remains were discovered by a hunter who was scouting the land in the area of Wood Street and Muck Circle, just outside the village.
NYS Paid Family Leave to Take Effect 1/1/18:
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that regulations for the implementation of a paid family leave program has been filed by New York State. The first phase of the program will take effect on January 1st, 2018 and will provide eight weeks of paid leave to employees at 50 percent of their salary for those who seek to take care of a new child, a close relative with a serious health condition, or when a family member is called to active military service. When the program is fully implemented in 2021, employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave at 67 percent of their normal salary. The program will be available to full time employees who have been employed for at least 26 weeks, or part-time employees who have been employed for 175 days by a covered employer. The program will be mandatory for all private employers, and public employers may opt in.
Senator Gillibrand Announces Legislation to Protect Seniors Against Scams:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited the Ernie Davis Family Center in Elmira Thursday, where she announced new legislation that would protect senior citizens from financial scams. The Senior Financial Empowerment Act would give seniors and their caregivers access to critical information regarding financial abuse. “The bill will take all the various scattered resources across all agencies and bring them in one place… …so you know where to go to report a crime or to get information about how to protect yourself and your communities,” said Gillibrand.
Community Meeting at the Bath V.A.:
There will be a Community Veteran Engagement Forum at the Bath VA on Friday, March 3. The meeting will be held at 3:00pm in Building 92 on the VA campus. Information will be shared on the latest VA happenings, projects and services.
Wegmans Donates Over 17,000 Pounds of Food to Food Bank:
Wegmans made a special delivery Thursday. They donated a shipment of 17,724 pounds of food to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, including canned goods, cereal, and other non-perishable food items. The food will be used in the backpack program for kids, and for the mobile food pantry. Since the partnership between Wegmans and the Food Bank began over 700,000 pounds of food has been donated. If you’d like to help too, the Food Bank’s Check Out Hunger campaign is still underway at several area grocery stores, including Wegmans, until the end of the month.
Clayton Found Guilty:
A Steuben County jury this morning found Thomas Clayton guilty of 1st and 2nd degree murder. After deliberating for about five hours Wednesday, the jury of nine men and three women reached its decision today. Clayton, a former Elmira Jackals player, was accused of hiring a man to kill his wife Kelley in their Town of Caton home in 2015. The trial lasted 30 days. The prosecution had called 65 witnesses to the stand while the defense called only ten. Clayton who has been free on bail was immediately taken into custody. Clayton could be sentenced to life without parole.
Congressman Reed Optimistic About Future of Kraft Plant:
Despite the company giving employees a 90-day closing warning, U.S. Representative Tom Reed remains hopeful about the future of the Campbell Kraft plant. The local lawmaker said he’s been working with county leaders and that they’ve “narrowed it down to some potential buyers.” Kraft-Heinz has said that if an agreement isn’t reached by May 26th, the company will offer severance benefits to pursue other opportunities.
Tyrone Highway Superintendent Arrested:
The Town of Tyrone Highway Superintendent has been arrested following a seven-month investigation. 65-year-old Paul Ernhout, of Dundee, is accused of submitting an altered town highway car invoice for work done on his person vehicle. He has been charged with offering a false instrument for filing and official misconduct. He was issued an appearance ticket and was released.
Shawn Hogan Confirms He Won’t Seek Re-Election:
In 2015, Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan announced that it would likely be his last term in office. Now, he has confirmed that he won’t be seeking re-election. In a statement, Hogan said that although he feels he has much more to give the community, he also has to think about his family. He asked for prayers and continued support as he serves the remainder of his term.
Bodies of Snowmobilers Recovered from Conesus Lake:
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the bodies of two snowmobilers have been recovered from Conesus Lake. Jason Fluet and Christopher Copeland disappeared on February 11th when the snowmobile they were riding went through the ice.
Arc of Steuben to Host Wellness Fair:
The seventh annual Arc of Steuben Wellness Fair will be held Wednesday, March 1st from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their Industrial Park complex at One Arc Way, off Route 54 between Hammondsport and Bath. More than 30 providers will have information about all aspects of health and there will be interactive demonstrations, including acupuncture, massage, manicures, and yoga. The event is free and open to the public.
Charge Dropped Against Clayton, Closing Arguments Heard:
Over six hours in Steuben County Court Tuesday, the jury in the Thomas Clayton murder case heard the closing arguments of the defense and prosecution. The defense maintained that Clayton is not a killer and that “there’s no real evidence that [he] had anything to do with his wife’s death.” Special prosecutor Weeden Wetmore asked the jury to “draw reasonable inferences based on the evidence.” In other action Tuesday, one second-degree murder charge in relation to attempted arson was dropped against Clayton. Clayton still faces one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death.
Campbell Kraft Plant to Close in 90 Days Unless Buyer Found:
The Kraft-Heinz plant in Campbell will begin closing in 90 days, unless a new buyer is found. Spokesman Michael Mullen said that if no agreement can be reached before May 26th, they’ll offer severance benefits and other support to help workers pursue new opportunities. The severance packages would continue until the plant closes at the end of July. There are 330-hourly workers at the plant. The company announced in November 2015 that the plant was one of seven that would be shut down in 18 to 24 months.
Alcohol Cited in Corning Accident:
A Corning man is accused of driving drunk following an accident on Hamilton Road in the Town of Corning. 29-year-old Thomas Miller is charged with unlicensed operation, moving from lane unsafely, driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Domestic Incident Leads to Probation Arrest:
Howard man has been arrested following investigation into a domestic incident in the Town of Howard. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office when authorities responded to the residence on Hughes Road, they discovered that 25-year-old Dylon Little had an active violation of probation warrant out of Steuben County Court. He was taken into custody and sent to the county jail without bail.
Bath PD Investigating Abandoned Dog:
The Bath Police Dept. received a complaint of a dog found in a dumpster behind 16 West William Street. Police said she appears to be a lab mix and has a teal and black collar with no tags. Anyone with information regarding the owner of the dog or the person responsible for abandoning her is asked to contact the Police Dept.
Prattsburgh Water District Meeting Tomorrow:
Changes could be coming to the Prattsburgh Water District. The town board has scheduled a public hearing tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the town hall. Under the proposed modification there would be an increase in water rent rates. The town also wants to impose a debt reduction fee for water district infrastructure improvements.
Urbana Considering Solar Energy Moratorium:
The Town of Urbana will hold a special board meeting next Tuesday. The board will consider implementing a moratorium on solar energy installations.
Rust Caused by Salt, De-Icers Leave Drivers with Big Price Tag:
As the forecast for this week calls for increasingly warm temperatures, many drivers will be taking time out to give their vehicle a much needed wash, and according to a new report by the AAA that’s a good way to help avoid expensive, and potentially deadly, rust damage. The report estimates that U.S. drivers pay roughly $3 billion a year to repair rust damage from road salt and de-icers. Frequent washing, especially the undercarriage, can neutralize road salt and chemicals. Drivers are also advised to try and stay off the roads before, during, and right after winter storms, and to heed brakewarning lights, a spongy brake pedal, or the smell of gasoline.
Human Remains Found in Bath:
The New York State Police of Bath are investigating human remains that were discovered just outside the Village of Bath. The remains were found by a hiker on February 19th in the vicinity of Wood Street and Muck Circle. Authorities say they had been exposed to the weather for an extended period of time. Anyone with information is asked to call the State Police at 776-6866, or 911.
Clayton Trial Resumes Today, Closing Arguments Expected:
With both the prosecution and defense rested, closing arguments are expected today when the murder trial of Thomas Clayton resumes in Steuben County Court. The prosecution rested on Wednesday after calling 65 witnesses; the defense rested on Friday after calling 10 witnesses. Clayton is facing a charge of first-degree murder and two-counts of second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death.
Elmira PD Issues Lethal Drug Warning:
Following five opioid-related overdoses this past weekend, the Elmira Police Department has issued a warning to heroin and opiate users that there is a lethal product that may be being distributed in Elmira. They also warn those who might be witness to an opioid-related overdose not to touch the drugs or related paraphernalia, as they could be harmful or even fatal if substances such as fentanyl are absorbed through the skin. Residents are also reminded that they are protected under the state’s Good Samaritan Law, which means they won’t be prosecuted even if there is drug paraphernalia present when law enforcement arrives. All five patients over the weekend were revived through medical intervention.
NYS AG Encourages Residents to Test Internet Speed:
As part of the investigation into Time Warner Cable, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is encouraging residents to test their internet speeds. Time Warner, now Spectrum, has been accused of misleading customers by failing to deliver promised internet speeds. Links to test your internet speed are available on the AG’s website at https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-encourages-new-yorkers-test-internet-speeds-and-submit-results-part.
Manure Spill Prompts Cayuga Lake Water Advisory:
A water advisory has been put in place for Tompkins County residents around Cayuga Lake and Salmon Creek. The DEC is currently working to clean up a manure spill that’s affecting both bodies of water, and residents are warned not to drink or come in direct contact with water in those areas. There was reportedly a structural issue with a manure storage lagoon at Sunnyside Farm and manure seeped into Salmon Creek. Officials say the runoff isn’t threatening Municipal water supplies. Information on how to disinfect contaminated water can be found on the Tompkins County website.
Closing Arguments Expected Tues. in Clayton Murder-for-Hire Trial:
After calling just 10 witnesses, the defense for Thomas Clayton rested its case on Friday in Steuben County Court. With that, after 6 weeks, closing arguments in the Murder-for-Hire trial are expected to come tomorrow. The fate of the case and Clayton will then be in the hands of the jury. There is no court today due to the President’s Day holiday.
Fire Destroys Painted Post Home:
A fire Friday night heavily damaged a home and left it uninhabitable in Painted Post. The call went out around 8 p.m. for a blaze on West Water Street, off of Victory Highway. One person was home at the time, but got out safely with no injuries. Steuben County Fire Investigators were called to the scene. The cause is unknown at this time.
Large Crowds Turn Out for Reed Town Halls:
As has increasingly become the trend across the nation, there were large turn outs this weekend at the Town Hall meetings for Representative Tom Reed. Hundreds of people, from both sides of the spectrum, made their voices heard – so loudly, in fact, that one resident in the Town of Allen said you could hear the chants from the meeting almost a mile away. Concerns were raised over the impending changes to the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. Supporters praised Reed for addressing and interacting with the whole crowd.
NYS Names New Cybersecurity Rules for Banks:
On March 1st, financial institutions across New York State will have to comply with rules set by the state intended to protect bank and insurance customers from hacking. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the new regulations on Thursday. They will require financial institutions to create and maintain cybersecurity programs to prevent illegal access to sensitive personal information. Many banks and insurers voluntarily have such programs in place already, but the new rule makes them mandatory.
Registration Open for Girls on the Run:
Registration has opened for Girls on the Run of the Southern Tier, a program for young ladies looking to get active and have fun at the same time this spring. It’s open to girls in grades 3 through 5, and 6 through 8 across Steuben, Chemung, Yates, Allegany, and Schuyler counties. For more information, visit the Girls on the Run website at https://www.gotrst.org/.
Defense Rests for Clayton
As the evidence portion of the Clayton trial wrapped on Friday, so did the defense’s case. Using forensic DNA evidence, Beard was convicted for the murder of Kelley Clayton. He will be sentenced on February 27th. Closing arguments will be presented on Tuesday morning in Steuben County Court.
Steuben Drug Forum Inspires Facebook Page
Last week’s heavily attended drug forum has led the planning of a private Facebook page as a way to educate and reach people on the issue of addiction in our community. The aim is for the page to be a resource for addicts and their caregivers to refer to when they are in need of information or programs that could help in recovery. County Manager Wheeler, who announced the news of the page, believes this will help serve the public’s need to be informed in order to combat the epidemic of addiction.
Reed Holding Town Halls
Congressman Tom Reed has announced that he will be holding a series of four town hall meetings across the district today. The four town halls will be held in rural Ashville, Cherry Creek, Great Valley and Fillmore in the local 23rd Congressional district. Reed went on Fox & Friends morning show earlier this week to talk about dissenting protesters, implying they may have “an agenda” from “the hard left”. Last night, Reed briefly met with sit-in protesters at his Ithaca office regarding changes in health care. Vice President of Trump’s transition team, Reed says these meetings are an effort to better connect and engage with his constituents.
Search for Campbell Man Continues
State police continue their search for Jeffrey Rumsey. Rumsey was last seen on Monday February 13th near the William T. Smith Boat Launch in the Chemung river in Big Flats. Wanted in three states, Rumsey fled upon being stopped by the state police for a suspended license. Officials are continuing their search for Rumsey.
Six Witnesses Take the Stand for the Defense in Clayton Trial:
In its first full day of presenting its case, Thomas Clayton’s defense called six witnesses to the stand in Steuben County Court Thursday. Among them was an office manager for ServPro, Tammy Black. According to Black, ServPro attempted to pay more than $800 in fines to the South Carolina DMV in August and September 2015 for Michael Beard. Black testified that Beard could not get a New York State license until the fines were taken care of. Black said Clayton was still trying to pay the fines, even after Beard was fired, up to the day of Kelley’s murder on September 28th. Another witness, a social welfare examiner for the Chemung County Department of Social Services, testified to handling Beard’s application for social services benefits after he was fired. When court resumes today, new witnesses are expected to take the stand.
Elmira Denies Counter Offer to Help First Arena:
A second offer by Chemung County to the City of Elmira to assist with the First Arena was denied Thursday by the city. In January, Chemung County requested that the City of Elmira assist financially with the First Arena. The total price tag would have been $1.4 million over a five-year period, costing the city roughly $320,000 a year. The city declined, citing its financial condition. On Wednesday, the county proposed a counter offer: splitting the cost of the ice plant repair equally at $750,000 each. The city again cited its financial condition and said it is unable to assist. County official Tom Santulli said he thinks the decision will ultimately lead to the arena’s closing.
Bomb Suspect Wanted to Start in Syracuse:
A plot to set off multiple explosive devices along the East Coast has been thwarted. Mark Barnett, a Florida man, is accused of trying to get a confidential informant to place 10 explosives in Target stores along the east coast, starting in the Syracuse area and working down to Florida. The informant surrendered the explosives to police on February 13th and they were detonated safely. The motive, according to the complaint, was to make Target’s stock value plunge so Barnett could “cheaply acquire shares before an eventual rebound.” It is unknown at this time what charges Barnett is facing.
Two Arrested in Hornellsville Drug Investigation:
A three-month investigation into the sale of heroin in the Town of Hornellsville has resulted in the arrest of two Hornell residents. 25-year-old Jessica Davis and 33-year-old Adam Moore have both been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class B felony. They were arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail.
Steuben Homeless Youth Survey:
A yearlong study by the Steuben County Youth Bureau into problems related to local runaway/homeless youth shows the importance of communication between youth-related agencies. County Youth Bureau Coordinator Bill Caudill said a summary of the study indicated the biggest problem facing groups trying to help homeless children is the differences in defining what “homeless” means. Caudill said conflicting definitions by the state and federal governments has led to inconsistent reporting, and complicates efforts to help children. Speaking to the county Legislature’s Human Services, Health and Education Committee, Caudill added that “the lack of dedicated Runaway/Homeless Youth funding, inadequate transportation, and poor family support are also obstacles.” The full report is expected to be complete within the next few months.
Supply Packs Given to Bath Teachers:
There was an unexpected surprise for teachers at the Vernon E. Wightman Primary School in Bath this week. Ten instructors were given supply packs filled with glue, pencils, pens, markers, and other goodies courtesy of Round Room LLC, the nation’s largest Verizon Authorized Wireless Retailer. Since 2015, the Teachers Rock Supply Giveaway campaign has donated more than 8,000 supply packs to teachers across the country.
Prosecution Rests in Clayton Trial:
On Wednesday, the prosecution rested its case against Thomas Clayton. 65 witnesses have been called, and hundreds of materials have been introduced into evidence. The final witness for the prosecution was Steuben County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Swan, resuming testimony from Tuesday. The jury watched a recording of a 50 minute body cam video as he responded to the Clayton home. In the video, Clayton tells Deputy Swan that he was playing poker, came home, the kids said there was a robber, then he saw his wife’s body. Several times throughout the video, Deputy Swan said he thought it was a domestic incident gone wrong and that Clayton was trying to cover it up. Swan testified that his suspicion of Clayton was just a theory, not a conclusion. The defense began presenting its case on Wednesday, calling two witnesses of its own before court was adjourned. Court will resume today at 9:30. According to Judge Peter Bradstreet, it’s likely the defense will rest by the end of next week.
Wayland Man Facing Child Porn Charges:
A Wayland man has been charged with felony counts of possessing and promoting child pornography. On Tuesday, state police and FBI agents from the Corning office arrested 57-year-old Peter Nowak. He was arraigned in the Town of Wayland court and committed to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 bail. State Police are still actively investigating the case and ask that anyone with information concerning possible victims contact the SP Wayland Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Bill Proposed that Would Move Election Day to Weekend:
A bill has been proposed that would move the traditional Tuesday Election Day to the weekend. Its sponsors, including Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, believe it would make future elections more convenient. Currently, polls are only open one day for 12 hours, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The new legislation would move it to the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Friday in November. The bill is similar to an unsuccessful piece of legislation that was proposed by Congresswoman Slaughter in 2008.
Congressman Reed Named to Health Subcommittee:
Congressman Tom Reed announced Wednesday that he has been named to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. Reed noted that this Subcommittee will be heavily involved in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Reed said that he will also remain a member of the Subcommittee on Human Resources and the Subcommittee on Trade.
Ready Steuben App Should be Ready by Summer:
Steuben County residents will be able to keep tabs on flooding, heavy precipitation, and other emergencies from their cell phones and tablets when the county launches it’s free app this summer. Director of the Steuben County Emergency Management Office, Timothy Marshall said “Ready Steuben,” as the app is known, will also offer information on how to establish an emergency plan, and the ability to start your emergency supply kit, among dozens of other options. He said the goal is to have the app up and running by May or June. The cost is expected to be about $10,000, which will be funded by a state grant.
Deadline for 2017 Steuben Co. Youth Bureau Awards Dinner Reservations 2/28:
The deadline for reservations for the Steuben County Youth Bureau Annual Awards Dinner is February 28th. The dinner is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 6th at the Bath Country Club. It will honor individuals who have made a difference in the lives of Steuben youth. The cost for each meal is $22. For more information or to make reservations, call (607) 664-2119.
Peace and Justice Group Discussion:
The Bath Peace and Justice Group will host a panel discussion on new, grassroots, peace and social justice initiatives in the area on March 1st at 7 p.m. at the Saint Thomas Episcopal Church. After the panel, there will be a discussion.
Board of Ed. Meeting:
The regular meeting of the Board of Education of the Bath Central School District will be held tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Dana Lyon Middle School Library.
Week Six of the Clayton Trial Begins:
Week six of the Thomas Clayton murder trial got underway Tuesday in Steuben County Court. Six witnesses took the stand. Leah Egnor, a New York State Police forensic scientist, testified about examining the murder weapon, and various articles of clothing and swabs from the murder scene. She said she found traces of blood on a black t-shirt and jeans that were recovered from a swampy area in Elmira Heights, and that there was no sign of blood on the clothes Clayton was wearing on September 28th and 29th. A second DNA specialist/forensic scientist for the New York State Police testified to finding Michael Beard’s DNA profile on a swab of blood, belonging to Kelley, that was taken from a bedroom door, as well as finding his DNA profile on the recovered black t-shirt. Also taking the stand was Richard Flood, an insurance adjuster with Erie Insurance, who testified to helping Clayton with a claim in November 2015 for a body fluid cleanup at the home. That claim, according to Flood, did not include anything about a lockbox or cash or other items being stolen. Steuben County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Swan, who was first on the scene of the murder, later testified that Clayton told him that there was a robbery. The jury is expected to watch Deputy Swan’s body cam footage when he returns to the stand today.
Visitor Restrictions Implemented at Guthrie Hospitals:
All Guthrie hospitals in both New York and Pennsylvania have now implemented visitor restrictions. Officials say it’s because of an increase in flu cases. Children under the age of 12, and anyone with a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or nasal congestion in the past 24 hours will be blocked from the hospital. Masks and hand sanitizers will be available for other visitors.
Search On for Man Who Escaped Police:
A helicopter, an air boat, a scuba team, and a K-9 unit were all out in the area of the Senator William Smith Boat Launch off of Route 352 in Big Flats Monday night into Tuesday as the New York State Police search for a man who fled from them. According to authorities, they identified a suspicious vehicle in the area of the boat launch just after 9 p.m. and their investigation revealed that the passenger had a warrant. When they went to question him, he reportedly ran into the wooded area. Canines then tacked him to the edge of the water. The driver of the vehicle did not flee and is currently under investigation, according to police. The search for the suspect is still ongoing. Police say they do not believe there’s any danger to the community.
CMoG President Named to U.S. Advisory Committee:
The federal advisory committee that helps protect the cultural heritage of foreign countries is getting some local help. The president of the Corning Museum of Glass, Karol Wight, was appointed and confirmed to the state Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee by former President Barack Obama before he left office last month. The committee is made of up 11 experts on museums, archaeology, anthropology, and the international sale of cultural property to help ensure that antiquities aren’t illegally excavated overseas and taken from their country of origin. They are appointed by the president for three-year terms.
Leslie Danks Burke Won’t Run for Congress:
On Monday, Leslie Danks Burke confirmed that while she was proud to earn 45 percent of the vote for the 23rd congressional district in 2016, she won’t be running again. In a statement she said that she’s “removing [herself] early from the field of potential Congressional candidates to clear the way for others who may wish to step in.”
Check Out Hunger Campaign Kicks Off:
Local residents can once again help fight community hunger while doing their grocery shopping as the annual Check Out Hunger fundraiser has kicked off at area stores. While at the register, shoppers at Jubilee Foods, Save-A-Lot, Tops Friendly Markets, and Wegmans can choose to donate $2, $3, or $5.
Board of Ed. Meeting:
The Hammondsport Central School Board of Education will hold its regular meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in the High School library.
SAVONA DRUG BUST
New York State Troopers arrested Corey M. Prettyman of Elmira for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, 3rd degree after stopping for a traffic law violation in Savona. Prettyman was arraigned before Village of Savona Justice Michael Horton, and remanded to the Steuben Co. Jail in lieu of $50,000.00 cash bail/$100,000.00 property bond. He will appear in court at a later date.
BATH ELECTRIC HOLDS MEETING REGARDING TREATMENT PLANT
The Utility Commission of Bath Electric Gas and Water Systems meets Thursday at 4:30 PM regarding the aging water treatment facility in Bath. Two options are being discussed, according to story in The Leader this morning. One option will cost $14 million dollars a second will be $15 million. The project aims to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment loads coming from all wastewater plants that enter the Chesapeake Bay. The facility currently serves approximately 2,500 residents.
CAMPBELL FIRE DISTRICT VOTES ON TRUCK
The Campbell Fire District Commissioners have set a public vote on purchasing a tanker truck for tonight, costing an estimated $233,000. Residents are welcome to vote at the Campbell Fire Department on Church Street from 6-9 p.m tonight.
HEARING SCHEDULED FOR SOUTH CORNING CELL TOWER
South Corning is holding a hearing for the construction of a cell tower in the village. Upstate Tower would wants to locate its cell site at 314 Park Avenue. The Zoning Board of Appeals of South Corning has set the hearing for Wednesday at 4:30 p.m .
NEW YORK STATE TEENS NOW ELIGIBLE FOR ORGAN DONORSHIP
In time for National Organ Donor Day, New York teens as young as sixteen can now become eye, organ and tissue donors. New York is currently last in the nation for organ donors above the age of eighteen with a rate of 26 percent. Citizens under eighteen can become organ donors when applying for their first driver ID. Currently, 47 other states in the nation share the age requirement.
Drifting Snow, Icy Roads This Morning:
Old Man Winter stopped by the northeast again Sunday night, so as you prepare to begin your week give yourself some extra time. A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect in until 7 a.m. this morning for Steuben, Yates, Seneca, Schuyler, and Chemung Counties. The storm is expected to finish up with a bit more accumulation, before diminishing to flurries. However, the strong winds will continue to drift snow about. Visibility may be low and roadways may be slick.
Bath Man Charged for Trying to Sell Drugs:
A Bath man has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell prescription drugs. 61-year-old John Dixon was charged with attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance and was sent to the Steuben County Jail.
Construction Underway on Kwik Fill Station in Bath:
The upgrades have begun on the Kwik Fill gas station on West Morris Street in Bath. The completely revamped store is expected to open sometime this summer. Village Mayor Bill von Hagn said the upgrades will offer a positive community reinvestment, and he said he’s pleased by the commitment shown to the residents and the businesses.
Police Investigating Stabbing in Alfred, Menacing at College:
Police are investigating the stabbing of an Alfred State student in the village of Alfred, as well as an incident of menacing on the Alfred State campus that both occurred Sunday morning. While there have been no arrests, Police Chief Paul Griffith said the public doesn’t need to be concerned about its safety. He said it was an isolated incident, and that there is no threat to campus safety. The stabbing victim’s identity wasn’t released, but he was treated at St. James Mercy in Hornell and was released.
Listeria Concerns Prompt Sargento Recall:
Some cheese products produced by Sargento have been recalled due to possible Listeria contamination. Included in the recall are Sargento Ultra Thin Longhorn Colby and Chef Blends Shredded Nacho and Taco Cheese, among other items packaged on the same line. To learn more visit https://info.sargento.com/?gclid=CKPztdf8itICFcUdgQod3B4H5w.
Bear Take Slightly Down in NYS in 2016:
The number of black bears taken during the 2016 hunting seasons was down slightly from last year, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Officials report that hunters took a total of 1,025 black bears in the Southern Zone, about 10 percent less than in 2015. However, that is slightly more than the five-year average. The heaviest dressedweight bear of 2016 came in at 555 pounds, and was taken Franklin County.
CLAYTON TRIAL EXAMINES SOFTWARE
Witness cross examination grew tense on Friday for the ongoing Clayton case. Tensions arose when the defense doubted the law enforcement consultant who collected data from Clayton’s cell phone. After giving his testimony of said evidence, the defense implied the consultant’s professional credentials, education and history were questionable. The trial continues at 9:30 Tuesday morning in Steuben County Court.
REED HOSTS HEALTHCARE FORUM
Congressman Tom Reed hosted a health care forum at Arnot Ogden Medical Center on Friday. Reed and local professionals of the healthcare field spoke with the intent to inform the public about possible changes that follow the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act, including the renegotiation of the healthcare cost equation and the lowering of deductibles. Reed also urged bipartisan cooperation to reconstruct America’s health care.
HORNELL RANKED STATE’S THIRD MOST AFFORDABLE CITY
Smart Asset named Hornell New York State’s third most affordable city this year. The financial management website calculates its annual city affordability list based on the yearly averages of homeowner insurance rates, property taxes, mortgage payments and median income. Last year Hornell ranked first and in 2015 placed fourth.
STATE GRADUATION RATE INCREASE
Public school graduation in New York state is 79.4 percent this year, a 1.3 increase from last year. According to the State Education Department the graduation rate has slowly yet steadily risen twelve percent in the last decade.
Clayton Trial Abruptly Adjourned Thursday:
While the Thomas Clayton murder trial resumed as expected Thursday, it was only a matter of hours before it was abruptly adjourned for the day. Sy Ray, the owner of ZetX, a company that maps cell phone data resumed the stand and showed the jury his software’s analysis of the activity of both Clayton’s and Michael Beard’s cell phones. Then, just before noon, Judge Peter Bradstreet adjourned court due to a “matter of law” that needs to be addressed. Court is expected to resume today at 9:30 a.m.
Steuben Co. Holds First Opioid/Drug Forum:
Roughly 100 people turned out Thursday night for Steuben County’s first Community Opioid and Substance Abuse Forum in Bath. Attendees learned about the issues facing the community and were able to ask questions about how they can help loved ones who may be suffering with addiction. Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard said he was pleased with the turnout. Organizers of the event say they would like to hold more discussions like the one last night in the future in different parts of the county.
Gov. Cuomo Helps Stranded Driver:
When most people have the misfortune of getting stuck on the roadside, they expect a company like AAA to come to the rescue. But one driver caught in Thursday’s severe snow storm had none other than the Governor of New York State come to help. Photos show Andrew Cuomo hooking chains to the vehicle’s tires before assisting the driver in freeing the vehicle and getting back on the road.
Photo Credit: WETM
IRS Warns Against Tax Scams:
It’s tax season, and that means it’s also tax scam season. The IRS has issued a warning to be alert for tax preparers that promise inflated returns. Officials say if a preparer promises an extremely large refund based on credits or benefits you’ve never claimed in the past, you should use caution. Scammers may also file a false return in their client’s name, and the client doesn’t know that a refund was paid. For more information and tips, visit the IRS website at http://irs.gov/.
GoFundMe for Family of Naples 6th Grader Killed by Flu:
Tributes are being made for a Naples 6th grader that has died from the flu. Madeline Barton had been hospitalized in recent days, according to a GoFundMe page set up by a family friend. She passed away on Wednesday. Services will be held on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Trinity Federated Church, with a gathering at 2 p.m. in lieu of calling hours. The GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/medical-fund-for-madelyn-barton.
Photo Credit: Finger Lakes Daily News
NYS Budget Hearings Delayed Due to Weather:
Thursday’s severe weather delayed the latest hearings on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state budget. Lawmakers were expected to debate on housing; they will instead convene today. On Monday a hearing on environmental conservation spending is scheduled.
Man Dies in Ithaca Hospital ER:
The New York State Health Department is investigating the death of a man waiting in the emergency room at Cayuga Medical Center. According to hospital officials the man was brought to the hospital by ambulance after he was found sleeping on the floor of a convenience store. He was reportedly alert and communicating when he arrived, but was found dead in the waiting room two hours later. Cayuga Medical Center president John Rudd said the man’s death followed “a series of breakdowns” in procedure. He added that the hospital is fully cooperating with the investigation. Officials say the travel nurse’s contract was terminated.
Cell Phone Data Examined in Clayton Trial:
There were some delays in the Thomas Clayton murder trial Wednesday. A juror failed to show up, and so had to be replaced by an alternate. Things got back underway around 1:15 p.m. with the prosecution calling its latest witness to the stand. It was Sy Ray, the owner of ZetX, a company that maps cell phone data. Ray showed the jury his analysis of the activity of both Clayton’s and Michael Beard’s cell phones, including location services and other activities that occurred while the phones were on. His testimony was consistent with previous testimony regarding the activities of both men in the days surrounding Kelley’s murder. Ray is expected to continuing testifying when court resumes today.
Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to Prattsburgh Water District:
Changes could be coming to the Prattsburgh Water District. The town board has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at the town hall. Under the proposed modification there would be an increase in water rent rates. The town also wants to impose a debt reduction fee for water district infrastructure improvements.
2016 STAR Rebates Delayed:
While many people are awaiting their tax returns for 2017, some are actually still waiting for a part of the 2016 rebates. There have been delays in the issuing of the 2016 STAR rebate checks. A change in the program was supposed to see the rebates delivered to new homeowners with their tax break instead of the normal rebate. The State Department says that changes in credit eligibility are making it difficult to get those checks out. In response, some lawmakers are now working on a bill that would hit the tax department with a penalty if it fails to issue next year’s credits by the September deadline.
Corning Police Look to Replace Handguns:
The Corning Police Department is currently in the process of selecting replacement weapons for the department’s officers. Wednesday, patrolmen tested and evaluated Glock pistols at the Painted Post Rod and Gun Club. Officials say that the department’s current handguns are between 10 and 12 years old, and that there have been some failures and breaks. Patrolmen are expected to test Smith & Wesson handguns later this month before making a final decision. The cost is expected to be around $2,500. The current handguns will be traded in to help reduce the overall price.
Holiday Card Campaign Founder Named Distinguished Finalist:
The Horseheads Middle School student that founded the successful holiday card drive for veterans is now getting some recognition herself. Sophie Kartzman has been named a Distinguished Finalist. Over 31,000 students across the country were nominated for the 2017 Prudential Spirit Community Awards, but only 234 were selected to be honored, including Sophie. A representative will present Sophie with a bronze medallion for her efforts, which has seen over 40,000 holiday cards delivered to soldiers and veterans over the last three years.
Bath Firefighters Honored:
The Bath Volunteer Fire Department recently held their annual Awards ceremony, honoring its members for their hard work. Glen Miller was named Firefighter of the Year, while Firefly of the Year went to Donna Keen. Harry Keen was named Junior Firefighter of the Year, and Blake Johnson was named Most Improved Junior Firefighter.
Week 5 of the Clayton Trial Gets Underway with 911 Call:
Week five of the Thomas Clayton murder trial got underway Tuesday in Steuben County Court. Three witnesses took the stand, including the continued testimony of Deborah Jasinski, who works for the New York State Police computer crime lab as a civilian. She testified about the 911 call made in the early hours of September 29th, after Kelley’s death, and about messages that were deleted from Clayton’s phone. The records show that Clayton did not delete any calls with Beard, but he did delete a message from Luke Tetreault the morning of September 26th. The message was about not returning a borrowed four wheeler until the following Monday to swap trucks then, rather than the next day. The 911 call was played in court, and the Steuben County dispatcher who took the call testified. In the call, Clayton repeatedly said he wife was dead and could be heard asking his children if they saw “a robber.” Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m.
Hornell Woman Accused of Defrauding Social Services:
A Hornell woman is facing charges of grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. 30-year-old Jennifer Danielsen is accused of failing to report income to the Steuben County Department of Social Services, resulting in her receiving $2,300 in benefits that she was not entitled to. She was issued an appearance ticket and was released.
Elmira Will Not Contribute to First Arena Deal:
In a statement released Tuesday night, the City of Elmira has announced that it will not be contributing to replace the ice plant at the First Arena. Splitting the cost of the $1.5 million plant with Chemung County was a condition set by the potential buyer. Elmira City Manager Michael Collins said they would have to raise property taxes 3 percent for the next three years to afford the $1.45 million price tag. In response, the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency’s Tom Santulli had strong words, saying that he thinks “their decision will end up closing this facility.” Collins said he is hopeful a deal can still be worked out. As for the Elmira Jackals, a representative took it stride, saying that it’s business as usual for the team and that they have not learned of any immediate changes.
Rally Outside Rep. Reed’s Office to Save ACA:
Members of the Citizens for a Better Southern Tier rallied outside of Representative Tom Reed’s office in Corning Tuesday night in support of the Affordable Care Act. They voiced their concerns about President’s Trump’s promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and they shared stories about how the legislation has positively affected their lives.
Local Cheerleading Team Qualifies for National Competition:
A locally based cheerleading team has earned the right to compete on one of the nation’s biggest stages. The All Star cheer team, based in Arkport, has not only won a full paid trip the U.S. Finals, but they won a wild card bid to the Summit at Disney World in May. Around 12,000 teams compete for a Summit spot, but less than 2,000 actually earn one. The team, made up of 16 girls ranging from six to 15-years-old, earned their spot last month while competing in Buffalo.
Deadline for Firefighter Tuition Assistance Draws Near:
The deadline for volunteer firefighters to receive tuition reimbursement through the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York is fast drawing near. The deadline to apply for the spring semester is Friday, February 17th. It is available to student volunteers.
Bath Utility Commission Meetings:
There will be two special meetings surrounding the Village of Bath Utility Commission this month. The first will be on February 22nd at 9 a.m. at the Utility Conference Room for a workshop on gas rates. The second will be a special joint meeting between the Utility and the Village Board to conduct interviews for the director of utility position. That meeting will be held at the Utilities in the large conference room on February 23rd at 5:30 p.m.
Corning 2nd Ward Seat Finally Filled:
It took over three months, but residents of Corning’s 2nd Ward finally have their representative. During a vote of the City Council Monday night, Republican candidate Michele Beckman won the seat five votes to three. Beckman had tied with Democratic candidate Kate Paterson during the November election. Beckman will now hold the seat until a special election in November. Beckman says she plans to begin campaigning for that election this summer. Paterson also confirmed that she plans to run in the special election, despite the results of Monday’s Council vote.
Potential First Arena Buyer Wants Upgrades Before Purchase:
There is reportedly an interested buyer waiting in the wings to take over ownership of Elmira’s First Arena, but even so the fate of the facility is up in the air. The unidentified buyer is seeking upgrades to the facility’s ice plant that must be financed and completed before they will assume ownership of the arena. Elmira City Manager Michael Collins said that the city was approached by Chemung County to help with the cost, to the tune of $1.5 million. That would be on top of the $1 million that the city currently still owes on the Community Development Block Grant that was issued when the arena first opened. At this point, Collin’s said they’re limited on where the funds can come from. He said they don’t want to the burden to fall on taxpayers, but neither do they want the sale to fall through. Officials say an announcement on the arena’s future could come as early as today.
NYS Senate Approves Ridesharing Expansion:
The New York State Senate has approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara that would allow ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber to expand into the upstate. O’Mara, who is vice chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, said that it makes no sense for upstate residents to be left out when New York City is already benefitting economically and environmentally from ridesharing services. Under the proposal new revenue generated by the expansion would go towards infrastructure improvements for roads and bridges. The legislation does include protections such as requiring criminal and driving history background checks, passenger notifications of driver information and trip charges, and non-discrimination and zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policies.
Guthrie Releases “House Call” App:
If you’re feeling under the weather and can’t make it to the doctor in person, there’s now an app for that. Guthrie Health has released “Guthrie Now,” an app that allows patients to get professional advice from the comfort of their computer, tablet, or smartphone. Health care professionals will, reportedly, be able to diagnose illnesses such as colds, headaches, rashes, sprains and strains based on patient symptoms, as well as visuals they can see via the app. If your illness requires further examination, an in person visit will be recommended. Users will be able to pay directly through the app, with most insurance accepted. You don’t have to be a Guthrie patient to use the app. It’s available for download in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
“Hunk of Beef” Pet Food Recall:
Evanger’s, a pet food company, has issued a recall of certain dog food products. Specific lots of “Hunk of Beef” may be contaminated with pentobarbital, a dangerous sedative. According to reports, five dogs became sick after consuming the food, and one has died. The food was sold in 12-ounce cans has lot numbers: 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, 1816E13HB. The second half of the barcode reads 20109. The expiration date is June 2020. The food may be returned to a vendor for a refund.
Corning-Painted Post District Seeking Focus Group Members:
The Corning-Painted Post School District is seeking interested residents to take part in community focus groups that will help the school board make decisions. Several group sessions will be held in February. Each will last roughly 90 minutes. To be eligible, you must be a resident of the district who does not have any children currently enrolled. The groups will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. If interested contact (607) 936-3704 EXT 1001 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
High-Speed Police Chase in Hornell:
A Wellsville man is accused of leading police on a high-speed chase Friday night. Officials say it all started around 8:30 p.m. when they attempted to pull over 47-year-old Kelly Baker on West Main Street in the City of Hornell. Instead of pulling over, authorities say Baker lead police on a chase through Almond, Alfred Station, Andover, and Wellsville where he was finally taken into custody. During the chase, Baker struck a Hornell police car and an Allegany County Sheriff’s vehicle. No injuries were reported. Baker is facing numerous charges and is currently being held in the Allegany County Jail.
Corning Council to Vote on Ward 2 Today:
When it voted in January, the Corning City Council could not break the tie between the 2nd Ward nominees Michele Beckman and Kate Paterson. Today, it’ll try again. The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. to vote again to fill the vacant seat. To win, a candidate must receive the votes of five city councilmen.
Steuben Co. Sheriff’s Office Fields 109 Animal Cruelty Investigations:
The first year of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department’s animal cruelty unit fielded 109 reports of cruelty or neglect, according to county Sheriff Jim Allard. Allard recently reported that the investigations took place in 35 towns and villages, with 90 percent them of conducted by Animal Cruelty Officer Todd Terwilliger. Three of the investigations resulted in the owners voluntarily signing their animals over to the Finger Lakes SPCA, and two other complaints remain open. Allard said the majority of the investigations were resolved by issuing written or verbal warnings with education and compliance statements followed up with a physical compliance check.
Prescription Drop-Off Point in Bath:
The Bath Village Police Department is reminding residents that if they have unused, unwanted prescription medications, they can now be dropped off in the lobby of the Village Hall. Accepted medications include: patches, ointments, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and medications for pets. Just visit the Village Hall and put them in the available Med Box.
Sales Tax Collections Sees Sluggish Growth in NY:
According to a new report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, 2016 was another year of sluggish growth for sales tax collection in New York State. In the report, six counties, including Yates, saw sales tax collections grow by more than 4 percent in 2016. Eight counties, including Chemung, saw collections of more than 2 percent. Steuben County saw a growth of .9 percent. Central New York was the only region to suffer a decline in collection.
LOCAL LAWYERS ANNOUNCE JUDICIAL CANDIDACY
Patrick McAllister, attorney and former Steuben County Legislator has announced his candidacy for Steuben County Surrogate Court Judge. McAllister, a Wayland-based lawyer for over thirty years, is also an Assistant District Attorney. Assistant District Attorney Philip J Roche is seeking the Republican nomination for Steuben County and Family Court Judge. Roche is a Painted Post resident who has also practiced legally for over thirty years which includes his service as the Steuben County Public Defender’s Office.
POLICE SERIOUS ABOUT SUPERBOWL
If you’re planning on attending a Super Bowl party this weekend in New York…take note. State and local police will be out in force looking for impaired and reckless drivers. The special campaign begins today and runs through early Monday. Police say they’ll have extra patrols on the road along with checkpoints.
LOCAL PHONE SCAM POSES AS RAMS WRESTLING
According to a post by Haverling Athletic Director Randy Abrams there’s a scam going on regarding the Haverling Wrestling Team. Folks are receiving a phone call asking for donations for the Haverling Wrestling team for a trip to the New York State Championship. This is a scam since the team is not even close to the State Tournament at this point
DATA EXAMINED IN CLAYTON TRIAL
On Friday cell phone data was presented as evidence as the Clayton trial continues. DA Schlather said Beard deleted many texting records with Clayton from his phone. Investigator Regan from the New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit testified regarding the phone data and noted Beard’s phone was turned off during the time of the murder. Phone calls between Clayton and Beard were frequent from September 24th until the September 29th, the few days leading up to the murder. Testimony will continue Tuesday morning at 9:30.
Phone Records Again the Topic of the Day in Clayton Trial:
The phone records of Michael Beard were once again the topic of the day in the Thomas Clayton murder trial Thursday. A NYSP Computer Crimes Investigator testified to observing Beard’s phone days after Kelley’s death. She said there was a lot of deleted data from Beard’s phone and that on the date of Kelley’s death, September 28th 2015, there was a lot of ‘manual’ on/off actions. The investigator also went over Beard’s text conversations with Clayton and others. This included a message from Beard to Clayton on September 24th about ‘cops watching boxes,’ and a message to Beard from his wife telling him about bills and that they needed money. The defense highlighted several text messages between the Claytons where they were affectionate. The Computer Crimes Investigator is expected to resume testimony today at 9:30 a.m.
Teen Arrested in Tag’s Burglary:
A teenager has been arrested in connection with several burglaries throughout Chemung County, including the one that occurred at Tag’s on January 13th. 17-year-old Jeremiah Phipps is facing charges of third-degree burglary, a Class D felony. He was sent to the Chemung County Jail in lieu of $30,000 cash bail.
Elmira Correctional Facility Still in Lockdown:
Into Thursday night the Elmira Correctional Facility remained in lockdown following an incident on Wednesday. Staff reportedly conducted searches of select areas of the prison, according to a spokesman. Additional details were not released.
DEC Reviewing Former Corning Hospital Site:
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is reviewing the Remedial Investigation Report that was submitted by The Guthrie Clinic and Corning Hospital for the Former Corning Hospital and Related Parcels site located at 176 East Denison Pkwy. and 201 East First Street in Corning. Based on the test results and the potential public health and environmental exposure, evaluation of remedial alternatives is recommended. Guthrie and Corning must now develop a plan to make the site safe.
Steuben Co. Drug Abuse Forum 2/9:
In response to what has reached epidemic proportions, Steuben County will hold its first Community Opioid & Substance Abuse Forum at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Haverling High School Auditorium in Bath. The forum will feature a panel of county officials, physicians and related agency representatives with information designed to assist addicts and their families locate the help they’re looking for.
Town of Corning Water Meeting Cancelled:
The public meeting about the Town of Corning’s water district consolidation has been cancelled. It was originally scheduled for February 9th. No new date has been set at this time.
Move Over Phil - Rochester Rocky Predicts Early Spring:
If you weren’t happy with Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of six more weeks of winter on Thursday, perhaps Rochester Rocky can help. Rochester Rocky is the Finger Lakes region’s own weather predicting groundhog and his findings are different than Phil’s. His interpreters say Rocky saw no shadow, and even started foraging for food after making his prediction. So he, at least, is calling for an early spring.
Alleged Affairs Discussed in Clayton Murder Trial:
On Wednesday two women took the stand in the Thomas Clayton murder trial, testifying about alleged affairs they had with Clayton. One of the women also testified to negative comments she heard Clayton make about his wife, including that he wanted to leave Kelley, but couldn’t, and that he wished “someone would come take his wife.” A family member also testified on Wednesday, saying that Clayton told them at Christmas in 2014 that it would be their last Christmas with him around as a family. Clayton pleaded not guilty in December 2015 to one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in connection with Kelley’s death.
Corning Man Arrested for Child Porn:
A Corning man has been arrested and charged with receipt of child pornography. 53-year-old Kevin Theil faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. According to authorities, the FBI had a meeting with the Ithaca Police Department and a cooperating witness in November, where the witness stated she had come to know a man from Corning who had a sexual interest in children. She provided a cell phone number that was traced back to Theil. She also alleged that Theil had showed her images of child pornography on his iPad, and that he told her he had previously sexually abused his niece. In December, search warrants were executed at Theil’s residences in Corning and Hammondsport and child pornography was recovered. Theil made an appearance before a U.S. Magistrate and was released.
Bath Man Charged in Violent Domestic Dispute:
A domestic dispute Tuesday night in Bath turned violent, involved a gun and ended with an arrest. State police investigators said 56-year-old Robert Eggleston of Buck Settlement Road allegedly pointed a rifle at the victim; obstructed her breathing; prevented her from contacting 911; and damaged property within the residence. He now faces a bevy of charges. He was remanded to the Steuben County Jail with bail set at $5,000 cash.
Elmira Correctional Facility on Lock Down:
As of 5 a.m. this morning, the Elmira Correctional Facility was still on lockdown following an incident Wednesday. In a statement, New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokesman Thomas Mailey said, that the incident occurred between two inmates and that the facility is in lockdown while the staff investigates.
Bill Proposed to Raise Smoking Age Statewide:
A bill has been introduced that would raise the age at which a person can purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 in the State of New York. Earlier this week, the bill’s sponsors joined with the American Lung Association at a news conference near the Capitol to call for the legislation’s passage. Eight counties in the state – including Albany and Orange – have already passed local laws that makes the smoking age 21. According to the American Lung Association’s annual “State of Tobacco Control” report 29 percent of high school students, including those under 18, use at least one tobacco product.
Bath Board of Ed. Meeting Today:
The Bath-Haverling Board of Education will be holding a special Board Meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the District Office. They’ll be discussing the budget, contract negotiations, and personnel, among any other business that may come before the board.
Phone Records Discussed on Day 16 of Clayton Murder Trial:
Day 16 of the Thomas Clayton Murder trail included the testimony of Avram Polinski, a Verizon Wireless ‘custodian of records’ who spoke about phone calls and text messages made to and from Clayton’s phone in the days preceding his wife’s death on September 28th 2015. According to Polinski, Clayton called Michael Beard two times on September 26th, and Beard called Clayton once that same day. Then on September 28th Beard called Clayton. The records do not show content of text messages, just the times they were sent. Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m. For the next three weeks, court will only be in session Tuesday through Friday as court will be closed for the next three Mondays.
Former C-PP Teacher Pleads Guilty to Endangering Child:
The Corning-Painted Post Middle School teacher that was arrested in April 2016 on charges of rape has now pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child. 44-year-old Kelly Conway was accused of having sex with someone under the age of 17-years-old. The incidents did not occur at the middle school. Conway will be sentenced at a later date. Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker said she is facing a “minimum three year probation term with conditions that would keep her away from schools.” Also according to Baker, Conway has forfeited her teaching license.
Bath Woman Arrested in Domestic Incident:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Town of Bath woman following an investigation into a disturbance. 26-year-old Delana Elliot has been charged with criminal mischief for allegedly damaging property within a residence on Roosevelt Avenue during a domestic dispute. She was issued an appearance ticket. Further charges are pending.
Public Hearing in Bath on 2 Proposed Projects:
The village of Bath planning board will conduct a public hearing and meeting on two pending projects. The first is an application and project review for the McDonald’s restaurant at 398 West Morris Street, Plaza 15. The second case involves a special use permit for Family Service Society at 104 East Steuben Street. The hearings will be held in the Municipal Building on February 9th at 5:30 p.m.
Steuben Co. Sheriff Warns Against “Can You Hear Me?” Scam:
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard is joining the Better Business Bureau in warning residents against a phone scam where a robo-caller asks “Can you hear me ok?” According to reports, if the person answering the call responds “Yes,” the answer is recorded and may be used to commit identify theft, to authorize charges on credit cards, and other web-based financial dealings. Allard says if you’re wary of receiving calls from unknown numbers to screen your calls. The Steuben Sheriff’s Department has received no local reports of this scam, according to Allard, but he said it’s everyone’s responsibility to help keep Steuben informed and safe.
Steuben Co. to Participate in Statewide Superbowl STOP-DWI Crackdown:
Steuben County Sheriff James Allard announced Tuesday that county police agencies will be joining in a statewide crackdown on impaired driving over Superbowl weekend. The crackdown starts February 3rd and will end on February 5th.
NYS Senate Approves Companion Animal, Farm to Food Bank Legislation:
The New York State Senate has again approved legislation proposed by Senator Tom O’Mara that increases punishment for those who harm a companion animal. Known as “Kirby & Quigley’s Law” it would make it a felony to harm a companion animal during a crime. It would be punishable by two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The bill has been approved for the past five years, but the state assembly has yet to act on it. The state Senate has also again approved the Farm to Food Bank bill that would provide a tax credit of up to $5,000 to farmers who donate fresh produce to food banks and other emergency providers. This is the third time the Senate has approved the legislation. It was vetoed for the second time by Governor Andrew Cuomo late last year.
American Airlines to End E-C Airport Service 2/15:
American Airlines will soon discontinue its service at the Elmira-Corning Regional airport. As announced last year, service will end on February 15th. Officials cite outdated aircraft and trouble putting flight crews together as two of the reasons why they made the decision. Airport officials say that they are still in talks with American Airlines, and that they hope one day service might be restored.
Village Republican caucus
Village of Bath Republicans held their caucus last night for two seats on the Village Board. Mark Bardeen and Melanie Coots, both current board members where selected for the March election. No other candidates were nominated. Bardeen has served six years for the Village and Coots is just completing a two year term. Both candidates were also endorsed by the Village Democrats at their caucus last week.
Clayton Trial Resumes with More Witness Testimony
The Thomas Clayton murder trial resumed on Monday with six more witness taking the stand. Among them were players at the poker game the night of the murder, a New York State Police Investigator, a close friend of the victim, and a New York State Police K-9 handler. So far forty-five witnesses have testified over the course of the trial, which will resume today at 9:30 a.m. Clayton is facing charges of first-and-second degree murder in connection with his wife’s death. He is currently free on bail.
Steuben Co. Reminds Residents of Upcoming Drug Forum
Steuben County is reminding residents of its upcoming Community Opioid and Substance Abuse Forum. It will be held on February 9th at 6 p.m. in the Haverling High School Auditorium in Bath. It will feature a panel of county officials, physicians, and related agency representatives with information designed to assist addicts and their families.
Car on railroad tracks
A car ended up stuck on railroad tracks last evening at the intersection of RT 352 and Gorton Road in Corning. Apparently the driver of a car passed out and the car ended up on railroad tracks. Steuben County Sheriff’s Department is investigating…the driver was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.
Governor Proposes Writing Roe v. Wade into State Constitution
On Family Planning Advocate’s Day of Action, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he proposing writing Roe v. Wade into the New York State constitution. In case the Roe v. Wade decision is overturned or altered by a new U.S. Supreme Court, the governor said he wants to keep abortion legal in NYS. Said the Governor, “We will not allow the progress of the women’s movement to be stopped, and we must seize this opportunity to bring the state and nation forward and stand up for women’s health.”
Last Day to Sign up for Obamacare
Today is the last day to sign up for the Obamacare health insurance program….known as the Affordable Care Act. The future of the Health Care program is uncertain as the new President and Republicans have said they will replace it with a better one. Despite the political fight that is going on today, the program is expected to continue through this year and maybe next year as well.
Bath Man Arrested for Slashing Tires:
A Bath man has been arrested for allegedly slashing tires. 42-year-old Jamie Johnson is accused of slashing all four tires of a car on Campbell Street in the Village. He was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Visitor Restriction at Local Hospitals:
Late last week several local hospitals placed restrictions on visitors as a precautionary
measure against influenza. Restrictions were put in place on Thursday at Ira Davenport Memorial in Bath, and Arnot Ogden Medical and St. Joseph’s in Elmira that allow only two visitors and one caregiver in a room at any one time, and visitors must be 14 or older, except in maternity units. The restrictions are expected to last at least through today.
Campbell-Savona Super. Responds to Comptroller’s Report:
A recent report from the State Comptroller’s Office listed the Campbell-Savona Central School District as being at a possible risk for financial stress. District Superintendent Kathy Hagenbuch has now responded, saying that it’s actually the opposite. The Superintendent says the rating can be explained by past audits that found the Reserve Fund Balance to be too high. The district has made adjustments. Also, Hagenbuch said the report is due to what she calls a “formula technicality.” She explained that the district moved $1.1 million from a Capital Reserve Fund to start paying for Capital Projects and that the Comptroller sees the transfer as a deficit. Hagenbuch says that the financial status of the district is solid.
$170M to Stay in NYS for Broadband Access:
Money earmarked for New York State broadband access that was in danger of going to other states will now stay in New York. The $170 million was in danger of being relocated after Verizon declined the money. It will be used to support the expansion of broadband access through rural areas of the upstate.
Applications Open for Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program:
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for the Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program. The program provides day-old chicks at no cost to participants who are able to provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen, and an adequate release site in hopes of enhancing pheasant hunting opportunities. Last year, more than 34,000 chicks were distributed to qualified applicants. Those interested in participating should contact their nearest DEC regional wildlife office. Applications must be filed by March 25th.
CLAYTON TRIAL WRAPS UP TESTIMONY
The weeklong testimony for the Clayton trial has come to an end. Thursday brought to the stand the owner of ServPro, an Elmira Jackals announcer, and a business manager from the Finn academy. On Friday, ServPro owner and friend Lang characterized Clayton as a family man and loving husband. A New York State Police Investigator testified regarding photos and debris from the crime scene as well as evidence recovered by the autopsy. The trial continues 9:30am Monday in Steuben County Court.
NYS SCHOOLS LESS FISCALLY STRESSED SAYS REPORT
Fewer schools are fiscally stressed according to the report issued this week by New York State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli. This year's total number of fiscally stressed schools is 59, down from the previous 82. Andover Central Schools and Campbell-Savona were identified as being high risk for fiscal stress. School districts under fiscal stress are more likely to have higher poverty rates and lower rates for graduation.
REED VOTES YES TO HR3
Congressman Tom Reed says he voted for the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. Reed said on his Facebook page: "This legislation makes permanent the #HydeAmendment and blocks taxpayer money from being used to fund abortions." Current Vice Chair of the Trump Transition Team, Reed recently voted for a House Resolution that would dismantle the Affordable Healthcare Act but supports some provisions of the law.
CORNING AWARDED REDEVELOPMENT GRANT
Corning will be getting at least $480,000 of funding for the Blodgett Site redevelopment project. Restore-NY Communities Initiatives Program has awarded municipalities with state grant funding. The state legislature created the program in 2006 with the intent to aid cities to remove or rehabilitate commercial and residential properties that are obsolete and rundown.
More Witness Testimony in Clayton Trial:
On Day Thirteen of the Thomas Clayton murder trial three more witnesses took the stand, including the owner of ServPro and longtime friend of Clayton, Brian Lang. He testified about the GPS systems that are in all ServPro vehicles, including the one Clayton used before and after his wife’s murder. He also said that Clayton talked to him about his extramarital affairs. Lang is expected to return to the stand when court resumes today at 9:30 a.m.
Bath Man Arrested for Failing to Register Address Change:
A Bath man has been arrested on a warrant dated in February of 2007 for failing to register his change of address when he moved to Mexico nearly 10 years ago. 56-year-old Johnathan Hoffman is being held without bail for absconding from NY State Parole pending future parole hearings.
Puppies in I-86 Crash May Have Come From Puppy Mills:
The crash earlier this week on I-86 that involved over 100 puppies has led to a lot of questions: chief among them being where they all came from. Veterinarian Susan Farmer, of the Bath Veterinarian Hospital, who treated the puppies injured in the crash said while there’s no way to know for certain it is possible that they came from puppy mills. The puppies were from the Midwest where the farms are common. While there was no indications of animal cruelty, Farmer said there were some concerns as some of the puppies had upper respiratory infections, eye infections, and some were covered in waste. Farmer urges everyone to ‘think globally and act locally,’ saying that there are puppy mills in our area as well and that when someone purchases a puppy they might be unwittingly supporting the puppy mill area. She says, “Don’t shopt, adopt.”
Dandy Mini Mart Headed into Vacant CCC Business Dev. Center:
Dandy Mini Mart will be constructing a new gas station convenience store in Corning, at the location of the vacant Corning Community College Business Development Center. The current 33,500-squarefoot building will be razed to make way for the business. The time-table for construction is currently unknown.
Corning Receives Restore NY Grant:
Corning is among several local communities that has received a Restore NY grant. Corning, Elmira, Owego, Ithaca, and Southport have all received about $500,000 each for different projects. The City of Corning will use the money for redevelopment of the Northside Blodgett building, while Elmira plans to rehabilitate buildings on Lake Street.
Grants for Local Museums:
New York’s Council on the Arts has awarded several local organizations with state funding. The Southern Tier will receive over $1.5 million, with money going to the Rockwell Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass, among others. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the funds will reinforce New York’s role as a global cultural destination.
Phone Scam Warning:
The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning regarding a new phone scam. According to the BBB, the scammers ask “can you hear me,” hoping to prompt you to say “yes.” The response is recorded and can then be used to sign you up for products or services. They offer the following advice: if you receive an unsolicited robocall from an organization or business, hang up; if you are asked a similar question or are asked to press a button to be placed on the Do Not Call Registry, hang up; and write down the phone number of those callers violating the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with the BBB and the FTC’s Do Not Call List.
Judge Denies Mistrial Motion in Clayton Trial:
In day 12 of the Thomas Clayton murder trial, the judge denied a motion for a mistrial. Clayton’s defense called the motion based on the questioning of a witness by District Attorney Weeden Wetmore. The witness, New York State Police investigator Kenneth Ruland, testified to finding keys under a cab in the garage that matched a door to the Clayton home. He said that information from Michael Beard led them to finding the key. Judge Peter Bradstreet denied the mistrial motion, but did warn against mentioning Beard’s confession. Also on the stand Wednesday, was a former State Farm Insurance employee who testified that both Thomas and Kelley Clayton’s life insurance policies were increased in 2014. Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m.
Friendly’s Arnot Mall Location Closed:
There’s one less option for those hoping to take in meal in the Arnot Mall’s food court, as the Friendly’s restaurant unexpectedly closed its doors on Sunday. A statement from Arnot Mall officials read that the decision to close the location was made by Friendly’s corporate office, as they continue implementing planned closures at a number of locations. It went on to say they are already working on new developments for the location and that they look forward to announcing the plans in the near future.
Bath Wastewater Plant Decision Coming Soon:
Details on how the Bath Wastewater Treatment plant will be upgraded to meet new regulations are expected to be announced soon. The Utility Commission will meet on February 2nd at the Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems office to discuss two options. The first would cost an estimated $14 million and would update and improve the plant to one million gallons per day. The second would cost an estimated $15 million and would improve the plant to 1.3 million gallons per day.
IRS Makes Changes to Tax Refunds:
Tax season is underway, but if you’re eager to file expecting your refund, you’re likely to be disappointed. The IRS has implemented major changes to the refund procedure. Namely, they won’t be processed until February 15th. The move is apparently part of a fraud prevention system that will allow them time to match the information on the tax return to the W2 before a refund is issued.
Steuben Co. Hope to Set Transparency Standard with OpenGov:
Steuben County and OpenGov, the world’s first integrated cloud solution for public sector budgeting, reporting and open data, announced Wednesday they will begin to roll out the OpenGov Smart Government PlatformTM for the county. The new cloud-based software will help Steuben County simplify its budget planning, improve its internal data management, and make important information easily accessible to its citizens and elected officials. The county aims to set a new standard for government transparency and efficiency in the State of New York, and plans to have its OpenGov platform fully up and running in early 2017.
New Finger Lakes Visitor Center to Open in Geneva this Fall:
On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Rochester promoting his state budget proposal, and among the things he discussed was his plan to turn the Geneva visitors’ center into a state-of-the-art Finger Lakes tourism hub. It would reportedly include kiosks with videos and directions to Finger Lakes attractions and a “Taste NY” gift shop with Finger Lakes wine, beer, cider, and spirits. There would also be a walk of fame featuring notable people of the region such as George Eastman, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Governor said he wants to debut the new center by the fall.
CSS Workforce Moves Location:
Chemung Schuyler Steuben Workforce New York (CSS Workforce) has relocated its Program Oversight and Administrative Office to 8 Denison Parkway East in Corning, where it is sharing space with the Regional Economic Development and Energy Corporation (REDEC) and the Corning Community College Small Business Development Center (SBDC). In a press release, CSS Workforce said the move is an effort to realize shared-resource cost savings and to provide streamlined service delivery to the community.
New Hammondsport Hotel Earns Highest Overall Service Score:
The newly opened Best Western Plus in Hammondsport is being recognized for earning the highest overall service score for the fourth quarter. The hotel boasted a 97.2 percent in overall guest satisfaction, ranking #7 out of over 2,000 Best Westerns. It was also ranked #2 in the nation in Overall Breakfast scores, and #4 in Overall Cleanliness of Rooms. Best Western awarded the hotel a certificate at a luncheon on January 11th for their outstanding efforts.
Heating Company’s Contest Saves Woman’s Life:
A local heating company was trying to give back to the community by running a contest for a free heating system, and it went above and beyond. Appolo Heating allowed individuals to nominate friends who they thought were in need of a new HVAC system – or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. At a sight visit of one of the finalists – a widow who asked to remain anonymous – they discovered that she had a cracked heat exchanger, which poses a big danger of carbon monoxide being emitted throughout the home. As she was in the most need, Appolo Heating installed an entire new system, free of charge, and she now out of harm’s way. The company urges everyone to perform yearly maintenance on your systems to avoid any deadly situations.
Steuben Co. Sheriff Testifies in Clayton Trial:
Four more witnesses took the stand Tuesday at the Steuben County Courthouse in the Thomas Clayton murder trial. Among them was Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard, who was undersheriff at the time of Kelley Clayton’s murder. Allard testified to statements made by the responding deputy at the scene of the crime. He said the deputy told him the scene looked like a domestic incident gone wrong, and that it looked like Thomas Clayton was covering something up. Several investigators with the New York State Police also testified on Tuesday, including one who stated that the tires on the red truck Clayton allegedly provided to Michael Beard did not match the ones found at the crime scene. Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m.
Child Porn Charges for Big Flats Man:
New York State Police in Horseheads executed a search warrant Tuesday morning for a Town of Big Flats man on allegations of child pornography. 67-year-old Ralph Beaton is facing felony charges of promoting a sexual performance by a child, and possession of a sexual performance by a child. He was sent to the Chemung County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. Additional charges may be filed after additional examination of recovered evidence.
Puppies Recovering after I-86 Accident:
Puppies on their way to a pet store were rescued and treated by the Steuben County SPCA Tuesday after the vehicle they were in lost control on I-86 near Avoca. State Police in Bath say the driver, Emily Woodrum of Missouri, was allegedly driving at an unsafe speed when she lost control and went into the ditch. Of the 100 puppies, 5 suffered minor injuries.
Steuben Conflict Defender’s Duties Increased:
Steuben County legislators approved Monday a plan to cover as much as 80 percent of the felony cases handled by assignments, thereby reducing county costs. The Legislature approved increasing the part-time conflict defender position to full time, reducing the need to hire outside attorneys in the event of a conflict of interest for the Public Defender’s office. The salary increase, from the current $37,500 to $75,000, is expected to be paid largely through a state grant.
Corning Inc. Releases 2016 Financial Report:
Corning Inc. had a strong fourth quarter and a good 2016, according to the latest financial reports released by the company. The fourth quarter was their best out of the year, with each quarter building upon the previous. Over the year, the company saw a six percent growth in sales, 24 percent earnings growth, and 47 percent earnings per share growth. Vice President of Corporate Communications Dan Collins said that 2017 looks to be a strong year as well, with an expectation of improved net income, improved sales, and improved earnings per share throughout the year.
Free Tuition Debate Begins in Albany:
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious proposal for free tuition for eligible students in New York State faced its first hearing in Albany Tuesday and the debate went on for more than six hours. State legislators discussed who would be eligible, how much it would cost taxpayers, and if a tuition-free policy is the best way to make college more affordable. The proposal would make New York the first state to make tuition free at both community colleges and four-year schools. Tennessee and Oregon have tuition-free two-year community college programs, and Rhode Island is currently considering a similar program to New York’s. Some of the challenges to the proposal include the fact that part-time students are excluded, that the free-tuition wouldn’t include room and broad, or fees or books, and that it’s still unclear how much exactly it would cost the state.
Goodrich Donates Work on Steuben’s Fire Investigation Bus:
The Steuben County Legislature recently accepted, with thanks, work on the county Fire Investigation Bus volunteered by Kris Goodrich, owner of Goodrich Auto Works in Bath. The donation included labor for lettering, preparing and painting the bus. The work was valued at $9,900.
We didn’t get as much as forecast but old man winter is wreaking havoc this morning as several inches of snow has closed area schools. The winter storm warning has been downgraded to an advisory, but roads are slippery as roads crews are out clearing streets and roads.
Clayton Trial Kicks Off Third Week
On Monday, the murder trial of Thomas Clayton kicked off its third week with more witness testimony, including a senior investigator and blood spatter expert with the New York State Police who spent the better part of the day on the stand. The investigator discussed more than 130 photos that were taken at the crime scene and testified to the various examples of blood spatter evidence, and what each one represents. He also testified to collecting the murder weapon off State Route 225 about five days after Kelley Clayton’s death. Court will resume today at 9:30a.m. Clayton is facing charges of first-degree and second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death.
Corning CEO Meets with President Trump
President Donald Trump sat down at a meeting with 10 business leaders on Monday, and among them was Corning Incorporated CEO Wendell Weeks. The meeting was focused around the President’s promises to wipe out 75 percent of government regulations that hinder businesses, fast-track plans to open factories, and cut taxes. Corning Inc. spokesman Joe Dunning said that “Wendell was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with President Trump” and said that the meeting was described as “very positive.” Dunning also said Corning plans to expand U.S Manufacturing significantly in the coming years as they invest in their growing optical Communications division.
Bath Republican Caucus Jan. 30th
The Village of Bath will hold its Republican caucus at 7 p.m. Monday, January 30th at the Village Hall. Two five-year trustee seats will be nominated for the March ballot. All Republican voters in the village are encouraged to attend. The Democrats will caucus Wednesday night Jan 25th at 7:00pm also in the Village Hall
NYS Adds Day, Plans for Gondola:
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced several changes that are coming to the Great New York State Fair, including that it will last a whole extra day, bringing its total to 13. Cuomo also announced plans for a gondola that will carry attendees roughly 3,700 feet from Gate 10 to the Orange Lot entrance at the amphitheater. It will cost $15 million, and the state is looking at federal funding to pay for it. If approved, the project will be completed in June 2018. There was also talk of a new Aerial Sky Ride for the Midway that will debut on the Fair’s opening day, August 23rd, and a new $35 million, 800,000 square-foot hybrid building and Expo Center that will be available year-round for local and statewide events.
Right-to-Die Bill Introduced to NYS Legislature
Legislation that would give people with terminal illnesses the right to request life-ending drugs from a physician has once again been proposed to the state Legislature. The bill was introduced Monday in Albany and it would require two physicians to certify that the patient’s illness is terminal.
CCE to Hold Farmers’ Market Training Webinars
On February 1st, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County will host a Women, Infants, and Children Vegetables and Fruit Check Program and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program webinar-viewing session. The FMNP webinar will be held from noon to 1 p.m., and the WIC VF webinar will be from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. for farmers interested in participating in market season. Admission is free. Registration is due by January 30th. For more information contact CCE at (607) 664-2300.
Winter Weather Storm Warning:
The National Weather Service in Binghamtom has issued a winter storm warning for snow and sleet for much of central New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania, including: Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Tompkins, and Tioga counties, among others, as well as the cities of Penn Yan, Corning, Hornell, Watkins Glen, and Elmira. Heavy wet snow, sleet, and strong winds are expected with the potential for 4 to 9 inches of accumulation, with the heaviest amounts in the higher terrain. Rain will move into the area early today and it will turn to mix of rain, snow, and sleet throughout the day. Light freezing rain may be possible. Roads are expected to be treacherous and travel very dangerous. The strong winds could lead to power outages. The warning is in effect from 1 p.m. today to 1 p.m. tomorrow.
Fire in Bath Sat. Morning:
The Bath Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched just ahead of 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning on a report of a fire at the State Farm Insurance Company building at 16 West Pulteney Square in the Village. The quick response by Bath crews knocked the flames down and they were able to keep fire and water damage minimal to a small area in one room, with only smoke damage throughout the rest. No one was in the building at the time. Multiple departments responded, including the Bath VA, Hammondsport and Pulteney. Savona served standby at the Bath station, and Kanona served standby in Savona.
Pedestrian Struck by Car in Bath:
A pedestrian was struck by a car in Bath Saturday afternoon. Bath Police say the 76-year-old man was crossing West Morris Street at the West Washington Street intersection when he was struck. He was taken to Ira Davenport Memorial with minor injuries. Heavy traffic and sun glare are being cited as possible causes of the accident. The investigation is ongoing.
Steuben Co. Legislature to Approve Bridge Design Costs:
Funding for the design of a bridge replacement project in the Town of Hornellsville is expected to be approved by the Steuben County Legislature when it meets in regular session today at 10 a.m. The $350,000 design costs to replace the County Road 66 bridge over the Canisteo River will be paid for through federal and state funding. The work is expected to take place in mid-to-late 2018 or early 2019, according to county Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti. Also on the legislature’s agenda today is reclassifying a part-time Conflict Defender to full-time, among other business.
Campbell Water District Extension Meeting:
There will be an informational meeting in the Town of Campbell tonight regarding the town’s Water District One extension. The meeting will focus on sample results taken last year and will provide an updated engineers report from Hunt Engineers. Residents living in the water district are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held at the Town Hall at 6 p.m.
DRIVERS MUST MOVE OVER A LANE FOR EMERGENCIES
New York state drivers must move over a lane when firefighters, police cars, ambulance staff and other service providers tend to roadside emergency. The law has recently been expanded for volunteer firefighters and ambulance staff using green or blue lights while pulled over. Governor Cuomo supports the law with intent to keep responders much safer.
DAY 9 OF MICHAEL CLAYTON TRIAL
A full day of testimony began Friday for the Clayton murder trial as the jury heard the story of a ServPro coworker. The witness had worked with both Beard and Clayton at the Horseheads ServPro. In her testimony, she claimed Clayton talked to her about cleaning the murder scene himself and showed a cellphone photo of a bloodstain. Surveillance footage was played showing the suspicious vehicle into the ServPro parking lot 45 minutes after Kelley Clayton was murdered. Testimony in the case will resume at 9:30am Monday in Steuben County court.
TOWN OF CORNING PLANS FOR SUMMER ROAD WORK
Corning town roads are up for improvements beginning in June and expected to be complete in August. Approved by the town board in January, the plan will provide general repairs to High Street Extension, Dibble Road and White Oaks Drive. Highway Superintendent Dylan Dewart said these summer projects won't have detours and won't cost more than $200,000.
STATE AWARD FOR INVASIVE SPECIES
Governor Cuomo's administration announced Thursday that New York state is making $2 million available to local governments and non-profits to combat the spread of invasive species in our ecosystems. The intent of these grants is to support project which seek to detect, monitor and stop the spread of nonnative plants and animals. Officials say preference will be given to projects that focus on early detection of non-native species.
7 Witnesses Took the Stand Thursday in Clayton Trial:
The courtroom of the Thomas Clayton murder trial was a busy place Thursday as seven witnesses took the stand, including a man who played poker with Clayton the night of his wife’s murder. Greg Miller testified that Clayton was one of the last people to leave the game that night and that Clayton borrowed his wife Linda’s phone during the game. Linda Miller took the stand, as well, confirming that Clayton did borrow her phone and that she later discovered the calls had been deleted. The Miller’s daughter then testified, saying she retrieved the call data online and found that Clayton had called Michael Beard the night of the murder. Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m.
Addison Man Accused of Raping Child:
An Addison man has been arrested for allegedly raping a child under the age of 11. Wednesday afternoon, state police charged 22-year-old Deven Miller with 1st degree rape. Troopers said the alleged assault happened last week in the town of Campbell. Miller was detained by authorities.
Drug Charges for Avoca Man:
The Village of Bath police have arrested a 24-year-old Avoca man on multiple drug charges. Damian Koerner is charged with violation of parole, criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, and unlawful possession of marijuana. He has been sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Domestic Disturbance Leads to Arrest of Savona Man:
A Savona man has been arrested following an investigation into a reported domestic dispute that occurred on January 12th. 53-year-old Carl Brown has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon. He allegedly pointed a firearm at another person, making them fear injury or death. He also allegedly was in possession of a stolen firearm. He was arraigned and was released on his own recognizance.
Police Investigate Threat Found at Horseheads Middle School:
Police are investigating a written threat that was found Thursday at Horseheads Middle School. The threat was found in one of the bathrooms sometime during the school day. Police say it’s not a credible threat, but their investigation is ongoing. School officials released a statement late Thursday night saying that law enforcement will be on hand to ensure the safety and security of students as they arrive this morning and throughout the day.
3 Arrested in Warrant Check:
Three people have been arrested following a day of warrant checks by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office. 33-year-old Antonio Grant of Bath was arrested on a family court warrant. 75-year-old Larry Schenk of Naples was arrested on a warrant from the Town of Bath for issuing a bad check. 41-year-old Neil Davis of Cameron was arrested on a bench warrant out of the Town of Woodhull.
Steuben Co. to Hold Drug Forum Feb. 9th:
In response to the epidemic of drug abuse addictions, Steuben County is going to host its first Community Opioid and Substance Abuse Forum on February 9th at 6 p.m. in the Haverling High School Auditorium in Bath. The forum will feature a panel of county officials, physicians, and related agency representatives with information designed to assist addicts and their families locate the help they’re looking for. Also included will be an information table on existing services, open at 5:30 p.m., with information sharing, personal stories, and a panel discussion set for 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Price of Forever Stamps Increases Sunday:
If you’ve been meaning to purchase more Forever Stamps, you may want to make a trip to the post office today, as on Sunday the price will be increasing. Currently the price is 47 cents, this weekend they’ll go up to 49 cents. Postcards, international mail, and heavier packages will not be affected.
Blandford Returns to Stand in Clayton Trial:
As expected, Mark Blandford returned to the stand Wednesday in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton. During cross-examination, he testified that he served as a lookout for Michael Beard. Three other witnesses also took the stand Wednesday, including a former employee who said Clayton bragged about the money he had; a former work associate who testified to riding out to the Clayton home on September 23rd with Beard in a truck that Clayton had left for Beard; and a NYSP investigator who spoke about evidence he gathered and a video he recorded of the crime scene. Court is expected to resume at 9:30 a.m. today. Clayton is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two-counts of second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death. Beard was found guilty of first-and-second degree murder in November.
$33M Awarded to Southern Tier for Bridge Work:
Round One of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s BRIDGE NY initiative will see over $33 million coming to the Southern Tier to rehabilitate and replace bridges. In Steuben County, over $1.6 million is going to the City of Corning for Bridge Street, and the City of Hornell is receiving over $1.2 million for Seneca Street and over $1.8 million for East Main Street. The county Public Works Department will get over $4.2 million for County Road 22 over the Canisteo River. The Village of Arkport was denied a $210,000 grant to repair the Meadowbrook Road bridge. Instead the village will work with county services to replace it this summer.
C-PP Capitol Projects on Time:
At Wednesday’s night meeting of the Corning-Painted Post School Board, Superintendent Mike Ginalski said that the $623 million capital project underway in the district is within budget and on time. He said both Severn and Erwin Valley Elementary Schools are in the middle of construction, and Carter and Grey Elementary School are about to start construction. He added that the stadium should be ready to go in time for spring sports.
Gov. Cuomo Proposes Beer/Wine Sales in Movie Theaters:
During his time in office, Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken many steps to boost New York’s wine and beer industry, and during his budget briefing Tuesday night, the Governor took another one. He announced that he will be seeking legislation that would allow the sale of beer and wine in all New York movie theaters. Currently, only film houses with installed kitchens are allowed to serve soft liquor. According to CNY Central, alcohol would only be allowed for movies rated PG-13 or higher, only one drink could be sold to a customer at a time, and it likely won’t be available at the regular concession stand amongst the popcorn and candy. “Let’s not go too far,” Cuomo said.
Community Foundation Awards $385K to Area Organizations:
Wednesday afternoon the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes presented over 50 grants to 51 organizations in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, and Schuyler counties. Nearly $385,000 was awarded with the goal of enhancing different areas including health, education, youth, the arts, and more.
Gov. Cuomo Meets with President-Elect:
Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke with President-Elect Donald Trump in a private meeting at Trump Tower in New York City Wednesday. After the meeting, the Governor spoke with reporters and commented on the Affordable Care Act and improving New York’s airports. He added that he wanted “to make sure [Trump] has the context of New York,” when it comes to policy-setting and doing a budget.
Education Advocates to Rally in Corning:
A rally is planned for today in Corning outside of Congressman Tom Reed’s office on Market Street. Advocates of public education - including educators, parents, students, and SRPs - will be out in support of public schools. Organizers said they will be fighting against high stakes testing, corporate privatization, and the loss of federal funding. They also plan to protest President-Elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Besty DeVos as Secretary of Education. The rally is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
FLSPCA Enters Homestretch of Shelter Project:
The Finger Lakes SPCA is getting ready to head into the fourth and final phase of its new shelter project, but it needs some help from the community. The FLSPCA recently received a $25,000 award from the Marion E. Cantwell Trust, and they have the opportunity to receive another, but they need to match the donation by March 31st. To learn more about the shelter, or to donate, visit http://www.fingerlakesspca.org.
Steuben Co. Diabetes Program Start Moved:
In order to encourage public participation, the start date of the Steuben County Public Health Department’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) has been pushed back by a week. Classes will now start January 24th at the Hornell YMCA from 6 to 7 p.m., and January 25th at the Dormann Library in Bath from noon to 1 p.m. The program offers healthy weight-loss solutions for people who are pre-diabetic or at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. For more information or to sign up call (607) 664-2438.
Mark Blandford Takes the Stand in Clayton Trial:
The third man to be charged in the death of Kelley Clayton took the stand yesterday to testify in the murder trial of Kelley’s husband, Thomas. Mark Blandford has been offered a deal in exchange for his testimony. He’ll be allowed to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter. He currently faces two counts of second-degree murder, one count of burglary, and one count of conspiracy. On the stand, Blandford said Michael Beard, the Elmira man who was previously convicted in the case in November, picked him up at his home in Elmira and that they drove to the area of the Clayton residence. He said Beard stopped, got out of the truck, removed an object from the truck bed and left. He reportedly returned 15 minutes later, sweating and out of breath. Blandford said he helped Beard wipe down the truck when they returned to Elmira. Under cross-examination Blandford said that he has never met or communicated with Thomas Clayton. Blandford is expected to return to the stand when court resumes today.
Governor Announces 2017-2018 State Budget:
The much-anticipated 2017-2018 New York State budget was revealed Tuesday night by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The $152 billion proposal would see $25 billion invested in education, with high-need districts seeing $150 million. $100 million would go to the State’s after-school program. The budget also calls for the expansion of ride-sharing, investing in clean water, and free-tuition to two-year and four-year state colleges for families making under $125,000. Middle-class families would also see a tax cut, saving an average of $250. The plan to pay for these initiatives is a three-year extension of the so-called “Millionaire’s Tax,” for high-earners.
Steuben Co. to Vote on Park Smoking Ban:
On Monday, the Steuben County legislature will vote on whether or not to ban smoking in certain sections of four county parks. If passed, smoking would be prohibited on playgrounds, picnic pavilions, and toilet buildings at Kanakadea Park, Birdseye Hollow Park, Harley Mayo Park at Boyd’s Corners, and Hornby Park. The ban would also include e-cigarettes, according to county Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti. Those in violation would be asked to stop, and if they refuse, the Sheriff’s Office would be called and the person(s) would be asked to leave.
Town of Corning to be reassessed:
The Town of Corning will be reassessed this year. According to Town Supervisor Kim Feehan, it’s been five years since the town conducted a reassessment. Officials will check property conditions, and collect data, update the town’s property file data as needed, and build assessment models based on sales over the past few years, among other tasks. They say it’s too early to say what effects the reassessment will have on property values. The project is expected to take 18-months and should be finished by July 2018.
Walmart to Add 100,000 Jobs in 2017:
A year after saying it would close hundreds of stores and lay off more than 16,000 workers, Walmart is taking a large step in the other direction. The company has announced that will expand, renovate, or relocate 59 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, and add 10,000 jobs in the United States in 2017. Some of the jobs will come from expanding or improving e-commerce services.
Bath Woman Charged with Animal Cruelty:
A Bath woman has been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. Bath Police report that 59-year-old Linda Trescott was arrested after one of her dogs was found deceased and a lack of adequate food, water, and medical treatment was determined to be the cause. Another dog was severely emaciated. Trescott was arraigned and released to re-appear at a later date.
Hearing on Bath Fire Contracts:
The Town Board in Bath will hold a public hearing next month on several proposed fire contracts. The hearing will examine contracts between the Town of Bath and Kanona fire, village of Savona and the village of Bath. The Kanona contract is for about $45,000, the Savona deal is $52,000 and the village of Bath contract is for a little more than $212,000. The hearing will be held Feb. 13, 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building.
State Police Seek Safe Owner:
State police are attempting to reunite a safe with its owner. Troopers said they found the damaged black sentry safe along the shoulder of State Route 415 in Avoca. If you’re missing a safe, call troopers at 776-2183.
Clayton Trial Resumes Today:
After a day’s delay due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, testimony will resume this morning in Steuben County court in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton. Clayton’s accused of causing the death of his wife, Kelley. One co-defendant has already been convicted while a third awaits trial.
Hornell’s Shawmut Park Housing Complex Details Revealed:
At Monday’s meeting of the Hornell Common Council, Mayor Shawn Hogan revealed the details of the Shawmut Park housing complex. He said it will feature ten buildings with six units each. Each apartment will have its own separate entrance and its own garage. The project is being done by Riedman Construction of Rochester. Construction is tentatively planned to begin this spring.
Village of Bath Democratic Caucus Jan. 25th:
The Village of Bath Democratic Caucus will be held Wednesday, January 25th at 7 p.m. in the village board room. Two village trustee positions, each with a 5 year term, are open. All registered democrats living in the village are eligible to vote at the caucus. Anyone interested in being a candidate should contact Bath Town Democratic Chairman Gary Ostrander at (607) 776-7556 prior to the caucus.
Board of Education Meeting:
The Avoca Central School Board of Education will meet tonight at 7 p.m. in DL Room #137. On the agenda will be the vote on an overnight wrestling trip to SUNY Brockport in February.
3 Arrested in Gun Theft:
Three men have been arrested by State Police in connection with a firearm robbery in the Village of Riverside. Ryan Obrien of Canisteo was arrested Thursday and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. On Friday, 19-year-old Timothy Howe of Hornell and 18-year-old Zaria Clark of Alfred Station were arrested and each charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property.
Pet Emu Killed in South Corning By Police:
Residents in South Corning might have thought they were seeing things when an emu turned up in the neighborhood, but it was no mirage. State Police have confirmed that the animal, said to be a pet, was running around in yards near Caton Road Saturday morning and they were unfortunately forced to kill it when it began running through traffic. Officers said they had to shoot the animal because they could not contain it and the large talons it has on its legs could be dangerous. The owner did give permission for officers to shoot the bird.
Steuben Co. to Vote on Water Tank Replacement:
Next week the Steuben County legislature will vote on the replacement of two aging water tanks at the county Public Safety Building. The current tanks were built in 1995 and some failures have recently been noticed, according to county Manager Jack Wheeler. The two replacement tanks will cost $27,107. The Public Safety and Corrections committee has already approved the purchase, the full legislature will vote at 10 a.m. on January 23rd.
SCIDA Notes 2016 Successes:
Economic development in Steuben County took big strides in 2016, according to county Industrial Development Agency Executive Director James Johnson. Johnson recently told county legislators that it “was a very good year,” and that they not only saw a lot of successes, but “laid the groundwork for more.” In his annual report, Johnson noted achievements in 2016 in health care, tourism, world-class transportation, and system integration, including: Phase 1 of the $35 million center for healthy living and health-based education in the City of Corning, the opening of the $6 million Best Western Plus in the Town of Urbana, and the announcement of plans to partner with the Hornell IDA to develop a North American rail manufacturing hub in the City of Hornell.
Steuben Co. Launches Online Farm Guide:
If you’re looking for farmers markets, distilleries, wineries or are simply trying to find out where you can buy honey or plants in Steuben County, you now have an easy-to-use online guide. The Steuben County Farm Guide, available at http://steubencounty.scnygis.opendata.arcgis.com, provides the locations of meat and dairy, maple and honey, greenhouses and plants, fiber, trees, produce, breweries and distilleries and hops, and wine and cider. The map is interactive and allows users to simply click to locate a businesses’ address and times of operation.
Tax Filings Began Jan. 23rd, Deadline Pushed Back to April 18th:
Good news for all the procrastinators out there. The tax filing deadline for 2017 will be a little later this year, on April 18th. It’s because the traditional April 15th deadline falls on a Saturday and the following Monday will be Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. So the federal and state deadline will instead be on Tuesday, the 18th. Filing season officially opens on January 23rd, and state tax officials remind residents that electronic filers typically receive their refunds twice as fast as paper filers.
Local Museums Offer Free Admittance for MLK Day:
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day the Rockwell Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass are offering free admittance today. Both museums will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission will be free for all ages. Also, the 171 Cedar Arts Center’s “Houghton Gallery” will be free today as well, staring at 9 a.m.
Chemung County Sherriff’s Office is looking for two suspects after the men robbed the Tag’s office in Big Flats. Money was stolen early Friday morning and the two drove off in a white four door car. The incident may be related to burglaries to Sugar & Spice restaurant in Horseheads and the Elmira Burger King that happened during the same time period. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to please call the Chemung Criminal Investigation Unit at 737-2933.
THOMAS CLAYTON TRIAL HEARS WITNESS TESTIMONY
The fifth day of court for the Thomas Clayton murder trial began on Friday, where witness testimony was heard from five people. Witnesses that took the stand include Clayton’s neighbor, the paramedic who responded, and Kelley’s brother in law, among others. Court will resume on Tuesday at 9:30am instead of Monday due to the holiday.
REED SPEAKS ON OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION
According to Tom Reed, the budget resolution passed on Friday with the help of both congressional chambers will dismantle the Affordable Healthcare Act. The Republican congressman said he will preserve Obamacare’s coverage for pre-existing conditions and expanded coverage for children up to age 26. Reed, an adamant critic of the law in the past, plans to keep certain provisions of the law until new replacement policies are created and that this latest resolution is a step closer to achieving these new solutions.
PAINTED POST TRUSTEE SEAT OPENS
The Village Trustee seat in Painted Post will be up for election in March. Currently held by Brian Francis, the term for the seat lasts for one year. Francis, who was appointed to the office in May, says he plans to run for re-election to the seat. Thus far, Francis has not been contested but interested contenders are encouraged to attend the Republican Caucus at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the village clerk’s office in Painted Post.
Clayton Trial Underway, First Statements Made:
It was a bit of a late start Thursday, after court was abruptly adjourned, but the trial of Thomas Clayton did eventually get underway just ahead of 2 p.m. with opening statements. Special prosecutor Weeden Wetmore spoke for more than 90 minutes, describing the night of Kelley Clayton’s murder, and Thomas Clayton’s actions leading up to that night. Wetmore also said that the third man charged in the case – Mark Blandford – will be taking the stand, and if he gives truthful testimony, he can plead guilty to second-degree murder. Clayton’s defense attorney spoke for roughly 40 minutes, maintaining that it was it was Michael Beard alone that killed Kelley, and that Clayton never wanted his wife dead. The first witness is expected to take the stand today at 9:30. Why proceedings were delayed Thursday was not released.
Multiple Charges for Corning Man Following Crash:
A Corning man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly drove drunk and got into an accident. Corning Police say they arrested 51-year-old Abel Townsend on January 10th after they found him behind the wheel of a car at Ferris Street and Riverside Drive that had allegedly hit another car, a building, and a city light pole, and then attempted to flee the scene. Townsend was charged with DWI, refusal to submit to a breath screening test, failure to keep right, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $2,000 cash bail.
Steuben Co. Sheriff’s Office to Conduct Yearlong Study:
A yearlong internal analysis is set to take place within the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, according to county Sheriff Jim Allard. Allard told the county Legislature’s Public Safety Committee this week the study will look at the strengths of his office as well as highlight ways to improve it. The study will be conducted by county Undersheriff John McNelis. The final report will be presented to the committee, with recommendations, at the end of the year.
Empire Access Launches in Corning:
Prattsburgh based telecommunications company Empire Access continues to grow. The company has announced that it has now launched fiber optic Internet, TV, and phone services in the City of Corning. The new fiber service utilizes Corning Inc. fiber optic products, and is being offered to both residential and business customers.
Dormann Library, CCE Receive Funds from RACE Foundation:
On Thursday night, the Dormann Library in Bath and the Cornell Cooperative Extension were awarded a grant during a special ceremony hosted by Watkins Glen International. WGI’s Racing and Community Enrichment Foundation (RACE) is awarding $15,000 to 10 nonprofit organizations. Each organization that was selected provides some sort of youth support, ranging from academic to health improvement.
United Health Care Workers Voice Obamacare Repeal Concerns:
United Health Care Workers and concerned citizens gathered in Corning to voice their objections to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The United Health Care Workers say that over 10,000 people in Steuben County alone could lose their health care if Obamacare – as it’s known – is repealed. Members of the “Citizen Action of New York Organization’ encourage members of the public to contact Congressman Tom Reed to express their concerns and plead the importance of fixing the current health care system rather than repealing it.
Area ARCs Rally for Higher Pay for Direct Support Professionals:
As Governor Andrew Cuomo prepares to unveil the 2017-2018 state budget, some 100 people gathered at the Arnot Mall to tell the Governor to “be fair to direct care.” Representatives from the ARCs of Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben, among others, rallied at the mall Thursday in support of increased pay for DSPs – or Direct Support Professionals, the men and women who work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They were joined by local legislators Senator Tom O’Mara, and Assemblymen Chris Friend and Phil Palmesano, who also voiced their support. The Governor is expected to release the preliminary budget in the next two weeks. The state budget deadline is April 1st.
Ford Adds 816,000 Vehicles to Airbag Recall:
Ford’s airbag recall woes continue, as the company is adding more than 816,000 vehicles in North America to the list of those with the defective Takata airbags. The latest callback includes the Mustang from 2005 to 2009, and 2012, the Ford Fusion, Lincoln Zephyr, and Lincoln MKZ from 2006 to 2009, and 2012. All have front passenger air bag inflators made by Takata that can explode with too much force and throw metal shrapnel.
CVS Cutting Price on Life-Saving Epinephrine Pen:
One of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains has announced that it’s cutting the price of a new generic version of the EpiPen. CVS will offer a two-pack of Adrenaclick that retails for $110, but the company says that most customers will qualify for a manufacturer’s coupon that will knock the price down to $10.99. The move is in direct opposition of the company Mylan which manufactures the name-brand EpiPen. They controversially raised their price last year to more $600 for a two-pack, and their generic version is priced around $300. Both Adrenaclick and EpiPen give an emergency injection of epinephrine to treat life-threatening allergic reactions.
Jury Seated, Clayton Trial Ready to Begin:
Jury selection was completed Wednesday in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton and proceedings are now ready to get underway. Twelve jurors and three alternates were seated, including nine men and three women, two male and one female alternates. Opening statements are expected at 9:30 a.m. today. Clayton pleaded not guilty in December 2015 to one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Kelley.
Rape Charges for Bath Man:
A Bath man was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail after being charged with rape. 19-year-old Leon Wolfanger allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sexual contact with a female under the age of 15. He has also been charged with criminal sexual act, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Runaway Teen found with Campbell Man in Traffic Stop:
A traffic stop in the Town of Avoca has resulted in multiple charges for a Campbell man and the location of a runaway teen. 19-year-old Dillon Cook was stopped on State Route 415 driving a car reported stolen from the Town of Caitlin. He was accompanied by a 15-year-old male who had been reported missing as a runaway. Cook was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, endangering the welfare of a child, and unlawful possession of marijuana. The 15-year-old was charged with criminal possession of stolen property.
Texas Fugitive Found in Corning:
A fugitive wanted in Texas was discovered Tuesday afternoon, hiding at home on Ontario Street in Corning. Police were called to the residence on a reported altercation between two males and a pregnant female. During their search of the home, they discovered 28-year-old Forrest Nelson in a bedroom closet. He was taken into custody and found to be wanted on a parole violation warrant in Dallas County, Texas, where he had served time and was released for felony aggravated armed robbery with a deadly weapon. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail. The incident at the residence is still under investigation.
Governor’s Helicopter Forced to Make Emergency Landing:
As he was flying back to New York City after his State of the State Address in Syracuse, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing Wednesday. The chopper reportedly filled with fumes that smelled like smoke as they were flying. They diverted to Steward Airport in Newburgh. The Governor was accompanied by two aides and a security detail. No one was injured. The incident is under investigation.
Cuomo Talks Ride-Sharing, Free College, Hemp Farming in latest State of the State:
In his latest, State of the State address, held in Syracuse, Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke on issues impacting the upstate, including ride-sharing, child care tax credits, free-college tuition, and the expansion of hemp farming. The Governor said he hopes to expand ride-sharing services across the state this legislative session, and proposed lifting the cap on hemp farms. Currently only ten are allowed across the state. He added that he’ll host the first ever industrial hemp summit in the Southern Tier.
A.G. Proposes Bill to Keep Birth Control Free Despite Obamacare Repeal:
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman proposed Wednesday a bill that would keep birth control free in New York, even if the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) is repealed. The “Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act” would codify the ACA’s mandate for cost-free contraception into state law, and it would expand upon the federal requirements to provide cost-free coverage for all birth control methods, including vasectomies and emergency contraception like Plan B. It would also allow access to a year’s worth of contraception at a time, and prohibit insurance companies from reviews that can limit or delay contraceptive coverage.
Walgreens and FedEx Team Up for Packages:
Starting this spring, customers of Walgreens will be able to do more than just shop for grocery and health items. The chain is teaming up with FedEx to become a drop-off and pick-up point for packages. It’s unknown at this time how many Walgreens locations will participate in the initial launch, but the company says it should be available at nearly 8,000 stores by the fall of 2018.
Six Jurors Seated in Clayton Trial:
Of some 300 possible jurors, six were selected Tuesday to serve during the murder trial of Thomas Clayton. Four male and two female jurors have been chosen, with six more still to be selected. How many alternates will be chosen is unknown. Jury selection continues today at 9:30 a.m. with 90 more potential candidates expected at the Steuben County Courthouse.
Cameron Mills Woman Charged with Welfare Fraud:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Cameron Mills woman on charges of grand larceny, welfare fraud, and offering a false instrument for filing. It’s alleged that 36-year-old Megan Welch failed to report income she had received to the county Department of Social Services. She reportedly received over $2,700 in benefits that she was not entitled to. She was issued an appearance ticket.
Renovation Grant Awarded to Hornellsville for Courthouse:
At the town board meeting Tuesday night, Hornellsville Town Justice Rich Scavo announced that they have received a $30,000 grant for security and renovations at the Arkport village courthouse. The town currently rents the courthouse from the village. The town will work with the village DPW head on the improvements.
Salmonella Fears Prompt Recall of Twinkies:
A popular brand of snack-cake is being recalled over fears of Salmonella contamination. Hostess has issued a voluntary recall of its Holiday White Peppermint Hostess Twinkies. No illnesses have reported at this time.
Harriet Tubman’s Auburn Home Officially Designated National Park:
On Tuesday legislation was signed that officially designates the Auburn home of Harriet Tubman as a National Historical Park. Tubman is best known as a conductor on the underground railroad, but she also advocated for poor former slaves, fought for womens’ rights, and established a home to care for the elderly – all from her Cayuga County property. A celebration will be hosted in Auburn in the spring by the National Park Service.
Senator O’Mara Launches 2017 Community Survey:
Senator Tom O’Mara is looking for local input in his 2017 Community and Legislative Survey. He’s inviting everyone to share their views, concerns, and suggestions on issues facing the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and New York State. You can take the survey at http://www.omara.nysenate.gov. O’Mara’s 58th Senate District includes all of Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, and Yates counties, and part of Tompkins County.
Board of Ed. Meeting:
The Avoca Central School Board of Education will hold a special meeting tonight at 6 p.m. It will be in DL Room #137.
No Jurors Selected in Day 1 of Clayton Trial:
The murder trial of Thomas Clayton got off to a bit of a slow start Monday. Some 220 jurors were called to the Steuben County Courthouse, but no one was actually selected. Instead, they met privately with Judge Peter Bradstreet to discuss why they may not be able to serve – the case is expected to take several weeks, and has already received widespread media attention. Jury selection will continue today, with another group of potential jurors appearing at 9 a.m. Attorneys hope to have 105 prospective jurors to begin questioning by 1 p.m. Clayton pleaded not guilty in December 2015 to one-count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the death of his wife Kelley Clayton. Thomas is accused of hiring Michael Beard, of Elmira to kill his wife and burn down the home they shared in the Town of Caton. Beard was found guilty in November of first-and-second degree murder. A third man, Mark Blandford of Elmira, has also been charged. He is currently awaiting trial.
Heroin Bust in Corning:
A heroin bust in Corning has resulted in the arrest of a Connecticut woman. 39-year-old Zena Mendoza was arrested after a search of a home on Kingsbury Avenue and she has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Authorities reportedly seized a large amount of heroin, packaging materials, drug distribution documentation, and nearly $5,000 in cash. Mendoza was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $25,000 bail. Further arrests are expected.
Governor Kicks Off “State of the State” Addresses:
As expected, Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Buffalo Monday to kick off his “State of the State” address campaign. The Governor will be doing several regional addresses this year, as opposed to the traditional single speech, in various locations across the state. Monday, he spoke of reform for the criminal justice system, eliminating the wage gap, combating hate crimes throughout the state, and the possibility of expanding after-school education for children in high-need areas. Among those areas, Elmira was mentioned as a possibility for expansion. Cuomo also said he’s making the expansion of ride-sharing services a top priority. He’s putting forth a proposal for a uniform statewide regulatory framework that will be overseen by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Governor will give his next address in Syracuse on Wednesday.
Help for Heroin Addicts in Hornell:
On Sunday, the Hornell Police Department made multiple arrests as a part of two separate heroin busts, but authorities are offering more than just legal action. Chief Theodore Murray has said that if there’s anyone addicted to drugs who’s buying, whether it’s heroin or any other drug, they can go to the police station for help without facing legal consequences. With a commitment from the Loyola organization, authorities will help get people immediately to a treatment facility.
SNAP Recipients to be able to Purchase Groceries Online:
Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) will soon have an easier time purchasing their groceries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a two-year pilot program that will allow participants to purchase groceries online through select retailers. It’s set to begin this summer and will include Amazon, FreshDirect, Hart’s Local Grocers (based in Rochester), and Dash’s Market (based in Buffalo). Benefits can only be used to buy eligible items – not including delivery charges.
Corning Inc. Wins Emmy:
Corning Incorporated’s track record of innovation and invention has led to a prestigious honor being awarded to them. They took home an Emmy in the Pioneering Invention and Deployment of Fiber Optic Cable at the 68th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy awards in Las Vegas. The award honors breakthrough innovations that materially affected television engineering. Corning Inc. was recognized for inventing low-loss optical fiber.
Expect Gas Prices to Continue to Climb:
If you were hoping for some relief at the pump next time you fill up, predictions aren’t looking good. According to AAA the state-wide average is $2.54 a gallon, up 35 to 40 cents a gallon from a year ago depending on location. The price has jumped, and is expected to continue to do so, due to a shrinking international supply of crude oil as OPEC countries have agreed to a significant cut in production.
One Day, Two Heroin Busts in Hornell:
Sunday was a busy day for Hornell Police. They made not one, but two heroin busts. Three people were arrested around 2 a.m. after a search warrant was executed at a home on Grand Street and heroin pre-packaged for sale was found. 41-year-old Jason Reisinger, of Hornell, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child, and unlawful possession of marijuana. 26-year-old Brittany Hunt, of Hornell, and 32-year-old Joshua Owens, of Dansville, were each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child. Then, in an unrelated case, officers discovered 40 envelopes of heroin pre-packaged for sale during a traffic stop on Hornell Street around 2:30 p.m. 21-year-old Dana Masterson, of Hornell, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and violation of parole. All four suspects were sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
New Twist in Prattsburgh Sex Slavery Case:
There’s a new twist in the 2013 case involving a Prattsburgh man accused of sex slavery. 23-year-old Brandon Todd was accused of kidnapping a local woman and holding her hostage for sex. He ultimately pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors and was sentenced to a year in prison. Now, Todd is back in prison and he will serve an additional 9 months for what is his second parole violation. He will also receive another year of probation when he’s released.
Consesus Man Pleads Guilty to Poaching:
A Conesus man has plead guilty in the Town of Livonia Court to illegally poaching multiple deer over several months. 33-year-old Matthew Feil was charged with six counts of violating New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law since October 2nd 2016. During that time, Feil illegally killed three bucks, illegally possessed deer tags from other hunters, improperly co-signed deer tags, improperly tagged deer, failed to tag deer, and illegally used a Big Game season buck tag on a bow-killed deer. As a result, Feil was required to pay $5,540 in poaching fines and surcharges. The DEC reminds the public that if they witness an environmental crime or believe a violation occurred, to call the DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-332-3267.
Gov. to Announce Proposal for Ride-Sharing in the Upstate, Voting Changes:
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce today a proposal that would make ride-sharing available statewide. Currently, companies like Lyft and Uber are only available in New York City. The announcement is expected to come during the first of the Governor’s regional State of the State addresses. In other news, the Governor is also pitching a modernization of the voting system in New York. The “Democracy Project,” as it’s called, aims to allow early voting, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration. Cuomo says each will “make voting easier for New Yorkers.” The Governor is expected in Buffalo today, and he’ll be in Syracuse Wednesday.
What You Need to Know About Christmas Tree Pickups:
With the holidays well and truly behind us now, many people are stripping their beloved Christmas trees of garland and baubles, and are looking to dispose of them. Many local areas offer pickup of trees, but the rules and dates vary. In Addison: residents are asked to place the tree on the curb for public works to pick up before the end of January. After that, residents can dispose of their trees at the village compost site dump. In the Village of Bath: residents are also asked to place their trees on the curb for pickup. The village says they will pick up trees for the next 4 to 6 weeks. The trees will be chipped into mulch that will be available to residents for free at the village compost facility in the spring. In the City of Corning: place the tree between the curb and sidewalk, public works will pick up trees Monday through Thursday until January 22nd. In the Village of Painted-Post: place the tree on the curb. Public works will pick them up for the next couple of weeks. For residents without service or who miss the deadline in their community, the Steuben County Landfill will accept trees in Bath and at all transfer stations.
Pistol Owners Required to Recertify:
A provision of the NY SAFE Act, established in 2013, requires that all state pistol permit holders recertify their permit every five years. As we approach 2018, that first five-year requirement is looming. Currently, only those who were issued their permit before January 15th 2013 need recertify before January 31st 2018. Anyone who was issued a permit after January 15th 2013 will be required to recertify before their five year anniversary. There are two ways to recertify, online and through the mail. The online process can be done at https://troopers.ny.gov/Firearms/ Through the mail, applications are available in person at the Steuben County Clerk’s Office and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office. If you have any questions about the process, you can contact the Sheriff’s Office or the Clerk’s Office.
Large Increase in Obamacare Sign-ups in NYS:
Despite the President-elect’s promises to scrap it, New Yorkers have been signing up for Obamacare at a furious pace. According to the Department of Health, by the third week of December, 3.4 million people have enrolled, an increase of 22 percent over the same period last year. And officials confirm that all 62 counties saw an uptick in enrollment. The last day to sign up is January 31st.
Clayton Trial Jury Selection to Begin Monday:
On Monday, jury selection is set to begin in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton. Thomas is accused of hiring Michael Beard of Elmira to kill his wife Kelley at their home. Beard was convicted in November on charges of first and second degree murder. Clayton’s defense team maintains that he is falsely accused and that Beard is solely to blame.
Tioga Explosion Investigation Closed:
The investigation into the mysterious explosion in Tioga County on New Year’s Eve has been closed, according to authorities. New York State Police say they identified and interviewed those responsible and they determined that the substance used is legal to possess, and that the individuals were allowed on the land were the explosion occurred. The investigation is now closed, with no charges filed.
Elmira Man Sentenced to 1-3 Years in Fatal Accident:
The Elmira man charged in the accident that killed 15-year-old Hannah Jerzak of Elmira has now been sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison. Authorities say, Justin Jayne was intentionally driving recklessly under the influence of marijuana last August when he failed to negotiate a curve on Dutch Hill Road in Southport and hit a utility pole. His passenger, Jerzak, was killed.
Snow Bars Trucks from I-90:
Lake effect snow storms has led the Thruway Authority to temporarily ban trucks on Interstate 90 in western New York. Commercial traffic is banned in both directions. Westbound trucks are being diverted outside of Rochester at Exit 46, and eastbound vehicles at the Pennsylvania border are being directed to I-86. The storms began on Wednesday and according to the National Weather Service have dropped up to 32 inches of snow in western and Central New York. It’s expected some 5 feet of snow could drop in the Tug Hill area east of Lake Ontario by Sunday.
A.L. Blades Donates Food, Funds to Turning Point Pantry:
Turning Point food pantry recently got a boost from a local business to help them provide to the area’s most vulnerable residents. A.L. Blades donated 214 pounds of food, and $700 to help the pantry purchase additional food items. Site Coordinator of Turning Point Hornell, William Herrick said A.L. Blades has “brought hope to many families in this community through their selfless giving,” and he thanked them for their generosity.
Life-Saving Equipment Donations for the Corning Fire Dept.:
On Thursday, the Corning Fire Department received a donation of two pieces of equipment that will help them save even more lives. Corning Center donated two suction units that will be used in the department’s ambulances to assist with breathing and to help clear the airways of critical patients. Chief Brad Davies said that they’re previous units were around 20-years-old and in need of replacement.
Corning Inc. Unveils New Gorilla Glass “Connect Car” at CES:
At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Corning Inc. unveiled the latest applications of its Gorilla Glass. They featured the “Connect Car,” which has a lightweight Gorilla Glass hybrid windshield with augmented reality capabilities, a Gorilla Glass dashboard with floating center console, and a Gorilla Glass hybrid sunroof and backlines. The CES event is the largest consumer technology trade show in the world.
Village of Bath Considers Law to Override Tax Cap:
The Bath Village Board will hold a public hearing later this month on the year’s first proposed local law. That law would give the village government the authority to override the state’s 2% property tax cap. The hearing will be held Tuesday January 17, 5:30pm, at the Municipal Building.
Gov. Proposes Increase in Child Care Tax Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed an increase to the child care tax credit for middle-class families. The plan would raise the average benefit from $169 to $376 for households making between $60,000 and $150,000. If approved, it would cost New York State $42 million and would help an estimated 200,000 families.
Steuben Co. Offering Weight Loss, Stop Smoking Programs:
The Steuben County Health Department will soon be offering two health-related programs: a year-long weight loss “National Diabetes Prevention Program” for people who are pre-diabetic or who are at risk of Type 2 diabetes, and a 10-session “Freedom from Smoking” program to help smokers quit. The programs will only be held if there is enough public interest. For more information or to sign up, call (607) 664-2438.
Rochester Man Killed in I-390 Accident:
A Rochester man was killed Wednesday after the vehicle he was riding in crashed on I-390. According to police, David Edkin fell asleep at the wheel while he was driving Northbound between Exit 1 near Avoca and Exit 2 near Cohocton. He struck the guide rail and the vehicle rolled several times. His passenger, 29-year-old Brandon Walker was transported to Strong Memorial where he died from his injuries. Three other passengers were also treated for non-life threatening injuries. A criminal investigation is ongoing.
No Injuries in Woodhull Fire:
No injuries have been reported in a fire that broke out Wednesday morning at a home in the Town of Woodhull. Fire crews were called to County Route 82 around 11:30 a.m. and they were able to contain the blaze to the bathroom and kitchen area of the residence. Two dogs were saved. An overheated chimney pipe is being cited as the cause.
Gov. Cuomo Announces Potential Impact of Obamacare Repeal:
With President-Elect Donald Trump and his team continuing to assert that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (known commonly as Obamacare) will be one of their top priorities when they take office, Governor Andrew Cuomo has released a statement detailing the effect the move could have on New York State. According to the Governor, over 2.7 million residents could lose coverage, counties would lose over $595 million dollars in direct spending, and that the state budget could lose an estimated $3.7 billion dollars. In a breakdown by county, the Governor says in Steuben County, over 10,000 people would be ask risk of losing health coverage, and the county could lose over $1.5 million in annual funding. Cuomo called it “simply too high to justify.”
Public Hearings for Proposed Urbana Laws:
The town board in Urbana will hold a series of public hearings later this month on several proposed local laws. The laws include disallowing property tax exemptions on solar or wind energy projects and farm waste energy systems; another will deal with roaming farm animals and the third proposed legislation is called the excavation law. The hearings will be held January 17, at 6:30p.m. at the town hall on Pleasant Valley Road.
NYS to Allow Some Food, Drink Inside Funeral Homes:
On January 17th, New York State will join the rest of the country in allowing certain foods and drinks inside funeral homes. Labeled “incidental,” it will include foods like crackers, cookies, and finger sandwiches, and drinks such as coffee, soda, and water. The move leaves Pennsylvania as the only state that still has the food and drink ban.
Corning Salvation Army Red Kettle $4K Short of 2016 Goal:
Many Salvation Army organizations have had trouble this season meeting their Red Kettle goals, and the Corning location is no exception. Corning came up $4,000 short of its $63,000 for 2016. A five-day late start on the campaign is partially to blame.
Donation to Food Bank Ensures 44K Meals for Hungry Residents:
Thanks to the efforts of local Corning Incorporated employees and donations by the Corning Foundation and Tioga Downs Casino, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier will be able to provide over 44,000 meals to hungry residents. Corning Inc. employees donated more than $11,600 through a fund drive that started on November 1st. The donations from the Corning Foundations and Tioga Downs brought the total to nearly $15,000.
Red Cross Appeals to Blood Donors:
With the holidays and bad winter weather combining to lead to a major nationwide shortage of blood, the American Red Cross has issued an emergency appeal to donors to get out and roll up their sleeves wherever possible. To find a blood drive in your area, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Corning Council Fails to Appoint 2nd Ward Rep.:
The Corning City Council failed to appoint a new councilman for the 2nd Ward Tuesday, leaving residents unrepresented. Both candidates – Democrat Kate Paterson and Republican Michele Beckman – both received 273 votes in the general election, and council members voted twice to try and decide between them, but neither received the minimum 5 council votes for the position. Corning Mayor Richard Negri said they’ll be reaching out to the city attorney and Governor Andrew Cuomo for advice before taking further action.
Explosion Site Found in Tioga Co.:
Continuing investigation into the reports of an explosion in Tioga County on New Year’s Eve has led to the discovery of what police are calling a “blast site” near Diamond Valley Road in the Town of Tioga. The site has been processed by the New York State Police and FBI Bomb Disposal Units with evidence collected for analysis. Authorities say an unknown type of explosive substance was detonated, leaving a hole in the ground, but otherwise no damage. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call the New York State Police.
Free College Proposed for Eligible NYS Students:
One of the leading platforms of former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is seeing new life in New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a new plan that would provide free tuition to residents making up to $125,000 a year at all SUNY and CUNY two and four-year colleges. The initiative would be phased in over three years beginning in the fall of 2017 for New Yorkers making up to $100,000. In 2018 it will increase to $110,000, and then $125,000 in 2019. All this given it’s approved by legislators.
Work Resumes on Corning Hotel Project:
After a nearly two-year delay, work has finally resumed on the Hilton Garden Inn project in Corning with workers currently clearing the site. The project was delayed in April of 2015 after manufacturing waste was found in the soil underneath the former Days Inn. $1 million in state funding was awarded to the project in August to help get it back on track. It expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete the new hotel.
H-port to Host Citizen Preparedness Program:
A Citizen Preparedness Training Program will be held in Hammondsport on January 28th. Hosted by the New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps it will be from noon to 2 p.m. at the Fred and Harriett Taylor Memorial Library on William Street. It will include information on how to prepare for a disaster, developing a family emergency plan, and stocking up on emergency supplies.
Rape Charges for Bath Man:
A 19-year-old from Bath is facing charges of rape and endangering the welfare of a child. Malcolm Fitzgerald allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old female. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Allard Sworn in as Steuben Co. Sheriff:
2017 kicked off in Steuben County with the swearing in of a new Sheriff. Jim Allard officially took up the mantle Sunday, and he says he is “looking forward to moving forward with the agency and continuing to modernize and professionalize all units of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.” Allard previously served the last four years as undersheriff. He ran unopposed in the November general election.
Possible Explosion, Earthquake in Southern Tier?
2016 may have gone out with literal bang for some residents of the Southern Tier, as people from Owego to Broome County have been reporting an “explosion” and “shaking” around 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Tioga county Sheriff’s Department said they have no comment or information, and the Broome County Sheriff’s Office said that while they saw several posts on social media reporting “a yellow cloud of smoke” they did not receive any calls about it. The National Weather Service in Binghamton confirmed “nothing naturally occurring out of the ordinary,” and NYSEG said that no natural gas leaks or power outages were reported.
Veto for Indigent Defense Bill Shift:
A bill that would shift the cost of defending the poor in court from the county level to the state level has been vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill had a great deal of support from county leaders and legal-aid experts, but the Governor says it could cost the state roughly $800 million a year, with most of that going to non-criminal issues.
Reminder, Move Over Law Expanded:
Just a reminder for drivers as they hit the road in the early days of 2017, the “Move Over” law has expanded. Motorists are now required to move over for volunteer firefighters and other emergency workers whose vehicles have flashing blue or green lights. Previously, the law only applied to emergency responders with flashing red lights.
Attorney General Calls for Changes to NYS Voting Laws:
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to reform and bring the state’s voting laws up to date. At the top of the list of changes Schneiderman would like to see is allowing same-day registration and voting, and implementing an automatic registration system of eligible voters whenever they sign up for government documents. The A.G. has also pointed to the difficulty voters have in changing party affiliation and thinks the state should require the same polling hours in all counties.
Full Circle America Looking for Members:
Steuben County’s ground-breaking program tailored to help senior citizens remain in their homes is looking for interested parties. Since Full Circle America was introduced in the fall of 2015, the county has fielded a significant number of inquiries from seniors, family members, and friends, and has a waiting list in place, according to Steuben Senior Services Fund Executive Director Linda Tetor. Program costs begin at $29.99 a month for basic care, with increased cost based on the level of care required. For more information, call (607) 664-2298 or go to http://www.steubenseniorservicesfund.org.
DWI Arrest gets Nasty
New York State Police made a DWI arrest over the weekend of Jesse Hall from Savona. He was discovered behind the wheel of a vehicle with the engine running and passed out on County Route 12 in Thurston. Hall became threatening to police and ended up being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, third degree unlicensed operation, unregistered vehicle, unlawful possession of marijuana, and making terrorists threats. After making threats to police and others he was taken to the county jail in lieu of $20,000 bail and will appear in Thurston town court January 3rd.
Law Enforcement Memorial
As Steuben County celebrates more than 200 years of county law enforcement this year, memorial efforts remain under way to honor police and peace officers within the seven-county region who have died in the line of duty. The county Sheriff’s Department is accepting donations for a permanent memorial in the proposed Law Enforcement Memorial Park. Donors will be able to purchase memorial pavers that will surround a raised pedestal formed in the shape of Allegany, Chemung, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties. The pedestal will support a life-size statue of a law officer answering the call to duty. The targeted date of completion is May of 2018, at the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service.
Shots in Elmira
Elmira Police report gunshots on Elmira’s Eastside. Their investigation isn’t revealing anything because neighbors are being uncooperative. Officers found shell casings and two vehicles with bullets holes. They are continuing to investigate, and encourage witnesses to call the Elmira Police Department. No blood found at the scene.
Corning Second Ward race
In Corning the City Council has an important vote coming up. The second ward alderman race in November ended in a tie at 273 votes for Kate Paterson and Michele Beekman. Whoever is selected the term will be one year with a special election in November. Both candidates say they are running no matter what happens tomorrow night.
Hornell Couple arrested
Hornell Police have made a drug arrest over the weekend. Husband and wife Demetria and Shannon Brockway were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance as police found 9 packets of heroin pre-packaged for sale. They were also arrested for three counts of endangering the welfare of a child as there were 3 children in the house at the time of the arrest.
Another Drug Arrest
A Lindley man has been arrested for selling drugs. 31 year old Mathew McNiel has been charged with criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. McNeil has been the subject of a lengthy investigation and was taken to the Steuben County Jail.
Standoff in Wellsville
The Wellsville Police were facing a standoff early Sunday morning at in a Wellsville home in nearby Allegany County. A male with a firearm in the backyard of a residence ignored police commands to drop the gun. The standoff lasted about four hours. State Police negotiation teams were able to end the incident peacefully. The identity of the gunman has not been released.
Sheriff David Cole steps down
There was a special tribute to outgoing Steuben County Sheriff David Cole on his final day on the job. As he left the sheriff department Friday afternoon as area law enforcement officers lined the sidewalk and saluted as the Sheriff left his office for the final time. Cole’s law enforcement career includes 13 years as undersheriff and then sheriff for Steuben County. He has also served with the New York State Police along with Police Department’s in Wayland and Addison. He leaves law enforcement career spans 41 years.
Pa State Trooper Shot
There has been a fatal shooting of Pennsylvania State Trooper Friday night. The trooper has been identified as Landon Weaver who had been a Pa state trooper for about a year. The shooting occurred early evening last night in the small town of Hesston 120 east of Pittsburgh. Authorities have a suspect and are searching for a 32 year Jason Robison.
Minimum increase wage starts
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the launch of a new public awareness campaign reminding New Yorkers that the first increase to the minimum wage will go into effect. Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo signed landmark legislation making New York the first state in the nation to enact a $15 minimum wage. The ads will run be featured on television stations across the state. The campaign marks the first benchmark of the phase-in schedule for the minimum wage increase, which will ultimately reach $15 an hour and impact more than 2 million workers in all industries across the state.
Painted Post man arrested
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Department reports the arrest of a Painted Post man for Criminal Trespass in the Second degree and petit larceny. 46 year old Scott Woodhouse was reported in a Victory Highway residence without permission and was taken into custody. He was remanded to the County jail on $2,000 cash bail.
The Flu in New York
The New York State Health Commissioner has declared influenza prevalent in New York State. With this declaration, health care workers who are not vaccinated against influenza must now wear surgical or procedure masks in areas where patients are typically present. Flu season typically peaks in February.
County Prescription Program
An eight-year partnership between Steuben County and the ProAct prescription discount program has saved county residents a total of more than $4 million. Since the program took effect in October 2008, residents have collectively saved an average of 60 percent on more than 101,000 prescriptions. The ProAct card is available to all residents, regardless of age or income, with little or no prescription coverage.
New Laws for New York
Not only is minimum wage going up in New York, but several new laws go into effect in the new year including: Tinted windows on vehicles need to be able to let in 70% of the light to pass inspection. Starting Jan 17th funeral homes will be able serve snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. And people fighting drug addiction will no longer need approval from insurance companies
Minor Injuries in Bath Accident:
Minor injuries were reported in a single car accident that occurred Thursday morning in the Town of Bath. The Bath Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to Mail Route Road on a report of a vehicle over the bank. The driver, identified only as a woman, was still inside. Rescuers helped her get out and a sander was requested for the icy road.
“Lengthy” Drug Investigation Leads to Arrest of Lindley Man:
A “lengthy ongoing investigation” into drug sales throughout the area has led to the arrest of a Lindley man, according to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office. 31-year-old Mathew McNeil was taken in on an indictment warrant for charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He is currently being held at the Steuben County Jail without bail. Authorities say McNeil was at the center of the investigation into the sale of illicit drugs in the Lindley area.
Steuben Co. Notes 2016 Accomplishments:
As the end of 2016 approaches, Steuben County legislators and officials are making note of a number of initiatives that were launched over the year to help build a solid future for all county residents. Among those noted were: the Economic Development Plan, in which the government expects to take an even more active role in economic development by partnering with local development agencies, businesses, communities, and schools; an Expanded Drug Overdose Investigation, established to investigate drug overdose related deaths as potential crimes; and Senior Services, which saw the launch of Full Circle America, a program to help seniors remain in their homes at dramatically reduced costs.
ProAct Prescription Program Saves Steuben Residents $4M:
In 2008, the ProAct prescription discount program was launched in Steuben County and to date county residents have saved more than $4 million. Since the program took effect eight years ago, residents have collectively saved an average of 60 percent on more than 101,000 prescriptions, according to ProAct Discount Card Manager Nicole Bednar. The ProAct card is available to all residents, regardless of age or income, though it cannot be used with another insurance program to reduce the cost of co-pays or deductibles. ProAct cards are available at participating pharmacies in Steuben and do not require applications or enrollment fees. For more information call (877) 776-2285 or visit http://www.NYRxDiscountCard.com.
$1M Grant Awarded to Big Flats Manufacturer:
New York’s “Clean Technology” Business Competition has been awarded a grand prize $1 million grant to local technology and manufacturing firm Micatu Inc. of Big Flats. The competition is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” and it’s expected that over the next four years it will award approximately $20 million to clean technology companies in the Southern Tier. Micatu officials say the criteria was for companies to look at technologies that could reduce C02, help make renewable energies more efficient, help the grid, or have a positive impact on the environment.
Flu Declared “Prevalent” in NYS, Resident Urged to get Vaccinated:
If you still haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, health officials are urging New Yorkers to do so before the season hits its peak in February. The state Health Department has declared influenza as prevalent throughout New York, meaning any healthcare worker not vaccinated must wear a surgical mask when assisting patients. The declaration came on Wednesday, with news that the flu has spread through 39 of the state’s 62 counties and all of the boroughs of New York City. Ontario and Monroe counties were found to have elevated rates of confirmed cases.
VAC Credit Union Closing Early Today:
The VAC Credit Union in Bath has released a notice to all their customers that they will be closing early today, December 30th. They are closing at noon due to year-end business purposes.
Steuben Co. Inmate Charged with Having Drugs in Cell:
An inmate at the Steuben County Jail is facing more charges after drugs were found in his cell. Officers reportedly found marijuana in the cell of 27-year-old Cameron Charles, of Rochester, during a search. He was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of contraband in prison.
Bath Teen Charged with Rape:
An 18-year-old from Bath is facing charges of rape and endangering the welfare of a child. State Police say Dakota Bulkley engaged in sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 15. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Hammondsport Considering Law to Override Tax Cap:
The new year could quickly bring a new law in the village of Hammondsport. The village board has scheduled a public hearing on the first proposed local law of 2017. That hearing is planned for January 10th, 6pm, at the village hall. The law, if approved, will give the village board the authority to override the mandatory state property tax cap. The preliminary proposed 2017/2018 budget was recently adopted and is available for review at the village office. It calls for spending slightly more than $688,000 and carries a tax rate of $8.23 per thousand of assessed property value. A hearing on the budget will also be held January 10th.
Smart Steuben Releases 2017-18 Goals:
Smart Steuben – a group made up of the Steuben County Health Department, Corning Hospital, St. James Mercy Hospital, and Arnot Health – has released a Community Health Assessment, with its goals for the next two years. The report includes reducing obesity in children and adults, reducing hypertension and heart disease, and increasing early childhood health in Steuben County. The full report can be viewed at http://www.steubencony.org/Files/Documents/publichealth/steuben_county_cha-csp-chip_final.pdf.
No Uber for Elmira Yet:
While ride-sharing services like Uber aren’t currently allowed in upstate New York, many would like to see them come to the area, including the City of Elmira. Unfortunately for supporters, however, a resolution in support of Uber was pulled from the City Council agenda this week because council members want more information. Mayor Dan Mandell said he has questions regarding how Uber screens its drivers, insurance, and other requirements.
Santa Visits Prattsburgh Free Library:
It wasn’t just the homes of good little boys and girls that Santa visited on Christmas Eve. He also made a very special visit to the Prattsburgh Free Library. When workers returned to the library Tuesday morning after the holiday weekend, they discovered Christmas gifts lying under their tree and a check of webcams recently installed on the library computers revealed Santa, caught in the act. The gifts included various art supplies, and some new books. The library said they plan to use the supplies for their pre-and-grade school programs.
Fire in Corning:
Multiple fire companies were called to West Second Street in Corning Tuesday to battle a blaze at a residence. The fire started around 8:40 a.m., and firefighters battled it on two floors until 10 a.m. when it was finally put out. It caused heavy damage to the home, but there were no injuries reported. The fire is believed to have started near the rear of the first floor; the cause is under investigation.
Wayland Man Arrested in Burglary:
A Wayland man has been arrested and charged in a burglary that occurred in the Village of Wayland. 23-year-old Cory Gilbert is accused of entering a residence on Lincoln Street and stealing property that did not belong to him. He has been charged with burglary and petit larceny, and he was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.
Avoca Woman Allegedly Offered False Information:
The New York State Police of Bath have arrested 24-year-old Samantha Schneider of
Avoca on a charge of offering a false instrument to file. Schneider allegedly provided a deposition in a criminal investigation that she knew was false. She was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Bath Town Court.
Horseheads Woman Accused of Buying Food Stamps:
A Horseheads woman is facing charges of criminal use of a benefit card, and misuse of food stamps following an investigation by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office. 30-year-old Zestina O’Brian allegedly bought food stamps at a discounted price in exchange for cash on several occasions between August and September. She was issued an appearance ticket.
$1M to Build and Repair Homes in the Southern Tier:
$8 million has been awarded to New York State to construct, rehabilitate, and improve owner-occupied homes, of that $1 million is expected to come to the Southern Tier. The Arbor Housing and Development organization will receive the funds for the home improvement of about 60 units in Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, and Allegany counties.
Data Collector for Steuben Co.:
Steuben County has hired a data collector for the county Real Property Tax Office. Mike Ryan, of Bath, will be assisting town assessors throughout the county by collecting additional information about properties, such as measuring square footage, style of home, garage and shed measurements, and how many rooms there are at a given residence. It’s expected that Ryan will begin making trips and visits around the county in late January.
3 Teenagers Charged in Destiny Mall Disturbance:
Reports of violence at malls have been sweeping the country following the holiday weekend, and among them was an incident a bit closer to home. Three Syracuse teenagers have been charged following a disturbance at the Destiny Mall USA on Monday night. According to police, they were called to a fight between two girls, and while they were breaking up that one, another fight occurred. A 15-year-old was charged with disorderly conduct and second-degree harassment, and the case was turned over to family court. A 16-year-old was charged with disorderly conduct and was taken to the Onondaga County Justice Center. A “juvenile” was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, and was released to her parents.
2 Charged in Gun Theft:
Two Addison men are facing charges in relation to a burglary on Thursday. 29-year-old Daniel Copp is accused of entering an Addison home and stealing two shotguns and has been charged with burglary and grand larceny. 22-year-old Kristopher Blanchard is charged with criminal possession of stolen property for allegedly possessing the stolen shotguns before selling them. Copp was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail. Blanchard was released on his own recognizance.
NYS Minimum Wage Goes Up Saturday:
Many workers throughout the state will receive a late Christmas present this week, as the New York State minimum wage is set to go up on Saturday. On the last day of the year the minimum wage will go up 70 cents from the current $9 to $9.70 an hour. It will go up 70 cents each year until 2020, when it will hit $12.50.
Gov. Cuomo Plans “Regional” State of the State Addresses:
Instead of the traditional “State of the State” message, Governor Andrew Cuomo has a new plan for this year’s address. The Governor will instead give a series of regional addresses delivered across the state, as Cuomo wants to focus on regional accomplishments, goals, and challenges. The addresses are set for the week of January 9th, with six stops expected, but no specific times or locations have been announced.
Former Employees File Suit Against Wegmans:
Grocery chain Wegmans is facing a lawsuit that has been filed by two former employees, claiming the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting act. The suit accuses Wegmans of failing to give proper notification to job applicants and employees who became the subjects of consumer background reports, and that the company’s online authorization for a background check fails to make clear that they would obtain consumer reports. In a statement, Wegmans responded that they are confident in their screening process, and that both it and the background check disclosure fully complies with federal law.
Steuben Co. Public Health Looking for Volunteers:
Steuben County residents looking for a unique New Year’s resolution need look no further than the county Public Health Department’s ServSTEUBEN Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Steuben’s corps is composed of both medical and nonmedical volunteers willing to respond in the event of a disaster. Free online training for nonmedical volunteers is offered, but not required, and all volunteers receive basic “Just In Time Training” for their assignments when they arrive on site. For more information, call (607) 664-2438 or go to http://tinyurl.com/ServSTEUBEN-MRC.
Gas Prices Surge to Highest Level in 2016:
With just days left in 2016, the price of gas in New York State has surged to the highest it’s been all year. According to AAA, the average price statewide is $2.47 a gallon, up four cents from last week and 23 cents higher than last year. In the Finger Lakes region the average is $2.41 a gallon, 4 cents higher than last week. Unfortunately, this trend is predicted to continue with expectations of tighter availability following the announcement of an OPEC deal to cut oil production starting in January.