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.
Freezing Rain Advisory til 1:00pm
FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS
AFTERNOON...* LOCATIONS... EASTERN FINGER LAKES REGION... CENTRAL SOUTHERN TIER ...LIGHT FREEZING DRIZZLE OR SCATTERED FREEZING RAIN SHOWERS COULD BRING ICE ACCUMULATION OF A LIGHT GLAZE ON EXPOSED SURFACES.
* TIMING...DEVELOPING AFTER SUNRISE THROUGH LATE MONDAY MORNING. IMPACTS...A LIGHT GLAZE COULD DEVELOP ON UNTREATED SURFACES
CREATING SLICK ROADS AND SLIPPERY SIDEWALKS.
Fire in Pine Valley
A sad Christmas for a family in Pine Valley as fire destroyed their home last night. The blaze saw several Elmira area fire departments respond and it happened on Clair Road just of Rt 14 in Pine Valley. There are no reports of injuries, but the home was heavily damaged.
Artist of the Month at the Dormann Library
The Dormann Library in Bath invites the community to a special reception to meet the Artists of the Month this Wednesday evening starting at 6:30pm. The featured artists are Ron Hewitt for woodworking and Joyce House for embroidery. Some of Hewitt’s work on display at the library includes an Amish wagon, a covered wagon and a buck board wagon. House has been doing embroidery for the past twenty years.
Fire Training offered
Specialized training is available to New York State Firefighters starting in January. The course will teach fire how to make split second decisions in a virtual environment, safely extinguish fires, safeguard property, and save lives. They'll go through actual live scenario-based fire training through a hands-on interactive experience. The training will be held at the Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls.
Fund raiser for Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities of Steuben County is having a fund raiser Feb 3rd. It’s called Toasting’s and Tastings and will be held at the Radisson in Corning. The event will include wine from around the world along with local craft beers and plenty of give a ways. Proceeds will benefit local families in need. Tickets are $25.00.
Still time to make college funding contributions
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reminds New Yorkers that contributions to a New York State 529 College Savings Program account are tax deductible. New York’s 529 College Savings Program is an investment tool designed to help parents save for college. Contributions made by Dec. 31 can provide up to $10,000 in state tax deductions on 2016 income tax filings.
Bath Looking for a new BEGWS Director
The village of Bath is now actively searching for a new Director of Municipal Utilities. A complete job description is available at villageofbath.org. Resumes and letters of interest should be sent to the mayor by January 13.
Red Hatters Make Donation
Red Hatters known as the “Radical Reds recently presented the Steuben County Office for the Aging a check for $554. The check, presented by Margy Weaver and Cora Hancock will be used for future ramp construction projects. Since 1998, the volunteer “Ramps Guys” have constructed 414 ramps for low- and moderate income individuals experiencing mobility challenges.
Finger Lakes SPCA Special Gift
The Finger lakes SPCA has received a special gift from a secret Santa. Executive Director Vicki Mosgrove reports that a very significant gift has been made with a very specific instructions…it needs to towards helping the animals find a happy home. So in effort to make that happen the animal shelter will able to allow cats and dogs to be adopted without any fees until January 7th .
Health Related Programs offered
The Steuben County Public Health Department will offer two free health-related programs in 2017 pending public interest in participating. The programs include a National Diabetes Prevention Program which will be held in Bath and Hornell. The Department also hopes to conduct a 10-session “Freedom From Smoking” © program. For more information or to sign up, call Steuben Public Health at (607) 664-2
Another good deed
The Bradford Fire Department has been highlighted by WETM News following their recent give back to the community. The Department does fund raisers throughout the year and it gives them the opportunity to make Christmas a lot happier for needy families. Bradford Fire Chief Rodney Hoad says the Fire Department has been doing this for the past six or seven years.
Homeless Money coming
More than $60 million in federal funding is headed to 38 counties across Upstate NY that promote the goal of ending homelessness. More than $569,000 has been awarded to Steuben County. Recipients include the county, Institute for Human Services and Steuben Churchpeople Against Poverty.
Hornell Drug Bust
We have a report of a drug bust in Hornell. Four people were arrested following a two month investigation. Arrested were 36-year-old Tracy Ames and 50-year-old Christopher Allman both from Hornell. Also arrested were 30-year-old Juawn Robertson and 26-year-old Jessica Battaglia….both from Rochester. All four were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and spent the night in jail. They will appear this morning in Hornell City Court.
Steuben County has a new undersheriff. Jim Allard the incoming sheriff-elect has tapped 51 year old John McNelis to be his undersheriff effective Jan 1st. McNelis who is from Hornell is a retired NYS trooper and a school resource officer at the Canisteo-Greenwood School. He began is law enforcement career as a corrections office for Steuben County back in 1988.
Village of Bath receives $320,000 grant
The Village of Bath has received a Christmas present with the news of a $320,000 Main Street Grant from the Regional Economic Development Council. The money will be used for renovation and improvements to the Liberty Street corridor businesses. It’s a 75-25 grant program with 75% grant money and 25% from the business.
Miracle on the Miracle Mile
There was a four car chain reaction accident on the Miracle Mile in Horseheads last night…miraculously nobody was hurt. According to police the mishap happened at the intersection of Corning Blvd and Chemung Street just after 8:00pm. Traffic was reduced to one lane until the vehicles were cleared. No reports of anybody being charged.
Cohocton Man Arrested
A Cohocton man will spend the holidays locked up. Earlier this week, deputies from the Office Building and Court Security Division report the arrest of 54-year-old David Evans of County Road 6. He was taken into custody of a probation violation warrant. Arraigned in Fremont court, Evans was remanded to the county jail without bail. He’s due back in court January 9th. Evans was on probation for a previous crime
Canisteo Teen Accused of Selling Drugs
A 15-year-old from Canisteo has been arrested for allegedly selling prescription drugs. The teen is charged with 5th degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony. The 15-year-old will answer the charge in family court.
Funding to Fight Homelessness in New York
U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Thursday that $60 million in funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will go to organizations statewide to help find housing for the homeless and to promote programs that encourage self-efficiency. That includes $2.8 million for the Southern Tier. In Steuben County, some $569,000 will go to three organizations.
Chick-fil-A Looking to Expand in Upstate
The Buffalo News is reporting that popular fast-food chain Chick-fil-A is looking to expand in upstate New York and is apparently considering Syracuse among several markets. The Town of Greece in suburban Rochester says a public hearing has been scheduled for January 17th to consider a request. Chick-fil-A has 2,000 locations in 46 states – but only few in New York, in the New York City area.
People leaving New York State
According to recent census figures, NYS continues to hemorrhage more residents than any other state. The continued loss of people could weaken the state’s congressional power.
Former Buffalo Bills Player murdured
A former Buffalo Bills player was found shot and killed in a Detroit, Michigan home.
Police say Robert Eddins 28, and another man were found Tuesday and died of multiple gunshot wounds. Investigators believe the suspect, whom the police are still searching for, could be someone the two men knew.
Elmira Inmate Accused in Virginia Cold Case:
A 35-year-old cold case in the Virginia might finally see a conclusion as authorities in Norfolk say they now have a suspect – an inmate at the Elmira Correctional Facility. On September 5th 1981, 20-year-old Donna K. Walker was found dead inside her apartment in Norfolk, now after reexamining forensic evidence and a three year investigation, police have indicted 66-year-old Daniel Joseph Johnston. Johnston is currently serving time on unrelated charges of second degree murder, sexual abuse, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and assault.
4-Car Accident on Route 352 in Big Flats:
A Corning woman is listed in critical condition at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, P.A. following a multi-car accident on State Route 352 in the Town of Big Flats. According to Chemung County deputies 47-year-old Brenda Mckay, of Corning, was traveling west when she crossed the center line and struck a Jeep being driven by 41-year-old Cristopher Krueger of Elmira. Two other vehicles traveling west were involved in secondary collision. They were being driven by 47-year-old Tammy Selbig and 48-year-old William Winton, both of Elmira. They, and Krueger, were treated and released for minor injuries. Mckay was airlifted from the scene. The investigation into the accident is ongoing.
An Ithaca man accused of “bail-jumping” has been arrested on a Superior Court Warrant. 43-year-old Dante Gilliam was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail. He’s expected to reappear in court today.
Village of Bath Awarded $320K for Liberty St. Renovations:
After repaving the village parking lot and upgrading the park, Bath will now turn its attention to improving the Liberty Street Corridor. The Village has been awarded $320,000 through the Regional Economic Development Council’s Main Street Grant for various projects along the corridor, including façade work on store fronts, improving the streetscape, and $40,000 to restore the former Sherwood Liquor Store on West Steuben Street. All of the projects received 75 percent of the cost through the grant; the business owners will be responsible for the remaining 25 percent.
Bath CVS to Close its Doors Jan. 28th:
After being a part of the Liberty Street landscape for more than 20 years, the CVS store in Bath has announced that it will be closing its doors in January. Village Mayor Bill von Hagn said he was notified earlier this week of the January 28th closing. He said that village officials will begin work immediately with outside companies to find a business to rent or purchase the location. CVS officials reportedly indicated to Von Hagn that they will work to ensure current employees will have the chance to transfer to other area locations. The closing of the Bath store is part of new long-term strategy that will see the closing of 70 stores in early 2017, saving the company an estimated $3 billion from 2017 to 2021.
Schumer Completes Annual 62-County Tour:
With a stop in the Columbia County city of Hudson on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has once again completed his annual tour of all 62 counties in New York State. In 2016, Schumer visited Long Island 47 times, Rochester and the Finger Lakes 26 times, the Hudson Valley 27 times, and western New York 19 times. Despite the added responsibility of his new position as Senate minority leader, Schumer says he won’t give up on the tradition. He plans to start over again in January.
P.A. Owned Unis. Finally Reach Deal with Faculty:
Two months after a brief strike, the negotiations between 14 Pennsylvania state-owned universities and their faculty is finally over. The Pennsylvania State System’s of Board of Governors has approved the new contracts which will run through June 2018. Agreements with coaches and nurses will expire in 2019, and the contract with the police and security officers expires in August 2017. Faculty at the 14 universities – including Mansfield – went on strike for three days in October after negotiations fell through.
$250K to Support Small Businesses:
Since 1993, the Regional Economic Development and Energy Corporation has helped small businesses across the Southern Tier flourish with help from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The S.B.A. has provided funds that the R.E.D.E.C. has in turn “mircoloaned” to small, area businesses. Tuesday, they extended their partnership, with the S.B.A. announcing $250,000 to support the R.E.D.E.C. Over the years, the R.E.D.E.C. has leant over $7 million to businesses and helped create over 2,500 jobs.
53K Cartons of Contraband Cigarettes Seized in 2016:
New York State’s Cigarette Strike Force sized over 53,000 cartons of contraband cigarettes and over 261,000 untaxed cigars in 2016, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who made the announcement Tuesday. The street value of the items is estimated at $5.6 million. Locally, in the Finger Lakes region, 8,694 cartons of cigarettes were confiscated, along with 27,200 cigars. Those found guilty of violating cigarette and tobacco tax laws could face jail time and possible penalties of up to $600 per carton.
Man Accused in Ithaca Walmart Murder Claims He Killed Donald Trump:
The Dryden man accused of killing a UPS diver in the parking lot of an Ithaca Walmart was ordered to undergo mental evaluation Monday after he claimed in court that he shot and killed President-elect Donald Trump. 38-year-old Justin Barkley plead guilty on Monday to the murder of 52-year-old William Schumacher of Candor on December 8th. After the comments about Trump, the judge refused the plea and adjourned the indictment until January 6th. Barkley is facing charges of second-degree murder and menacing a police officer or peace officer. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in prison.
Anonymous Donor Ensures Christmas Dinner for Many:
Many area residents who might otherwise not be able to enjoy a Christmas dinner will now be treated to all the trimmings thanks to the generous actions of one anonymous donor. The Salvation Army of Hornell and Save-A-Lot partner up for a program where customers can buy dinner bags that contain everything needed for dinner, including dessert. The Salvation Army then purchases a turkey for each bag sold. A regular customer recently entered the Save-A-Lot and spent $1,500 on 200 dinners. According to officials, last year they only had 38 dinners purchased, this year they’re now at 228.
Corning Inc. Awards $515K to the United Way:
In a 5 percent increase from last year’s donation, the Corning Inc. Foundation has awarded the United Way of the Southern Tier a $515,000 grant. The funds are in support of the 2016 community campaign which supports dozens of not-for-profit human services agencies in the Southern Tier.
Walmart Closing Early Christmas Eve:
Employees of retail giant Walmart have received an early Christmas present. The chain has announced that will be closing early on Christmas Eve. In recent years, it has closed at 8 p.m., but this Saturday it will close at 6 p.m. to give employees the chance to get home and spend Christmas Eve with their families.
Board of Ed. Meeting:
The Hammondsport Central School District will hold its regular meeting of the School Board tonight at 6 p.m. It will be held in the High School library.
Troopers Seek “Game Camera” Thief:
New York State Police are looking for a man suspected of stealing several “game cameras” from private property on Hallett Road in the Town of Cameron. The cameras were reported missing in mid-October. Anyone with information should call the New York State Police of Bath at 776-2136.
Nojay Complaint Unsealed:
The criminal complaint filed against state Assemblyman Bill Nojay before he took his own life has now been unsealed. The paperwork states that Nojay was accused by the FBI of wire fraud, for diverting $800,000 from an escrow account that he managed for his own personal benefit between September 2009 and April 2013. The money was allegedly hidden in his campaign funds, entities he was investing in, his children, and a car dealer. Some of it was allegedly used to pay property taxes on his residence. Nojay committed suicide the day after the complaint was filed.
Cameras to be Barred from Clayton Trial:
Citing the “sensitive nature” of the case, a judge has ruled that cameras will not be allowed in the courtroom during the trial of Thomas Clayton. Elmira’s Star-Gazette had made a request for audio and visual coverage of the trial, but the judge is concerned about the impact on family and witnesses, and the possible interference of the fair administration of justice and a fair trial. The document also cites the “relatively small courtroom” and the amount of equipment necessary as another factor. A similar request was also denied in the October trial of Michael Beard. Clayton is charged with first- and second-degree murder and is accused of hiring Beard to kill his wife Kelley Clayton in September of 2015. His trial is set to begin on January 9th. Beard was convicted on November 4th and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole when he’s sentenced on January 30th. A third man, Mark Blandford of Elmira, is charged with second-degree murder, burglary, and conspiracy.
Steuben Co. Legislature Wraps Up 2016:
Proving what comes around goes around, the 2016 recipient of the Steuben County Legislature’s annual festive fruitcake giveaway on Monday was county Deputy Manager Mitch Alger. Alger is, of course, the son of former county Manager Mark Alger, who instigated the tradition back in 1991. In other, less festive, action Monday, legislators reappointed the county Board of Elections Commissioners for two-year terms, confirmed the appointment of Nathan Alderman as county Personnel Officer for an unexpired six-year term, and approved a $20 disposal fee for “e-waste” at the county landfill.
Steuben Co. Sheriff Prepares for Retirement, Honored by Legislature:
Steuben County Sheriff David Cole was honored by the county Legislature Monday for his 41 years of service and commitment to the community as he prepares for his upcoming retirement. Cole worked for the state police for 25 years, served as Steuben County Undersheriff for 13 years, and was elected Sheriff four years ago. Cole will officially retire on December 31st, and Sheriff-elect Jim Allard will be sworn into office in January. Of his successor, Cole said Allard “has a lot of great ideas,” and called him “a real smart guy.”
Donation’s to Venison Food Bank Up:
Good news for those who rely on the Food Bank of the Southern Tier and the venison donation program. According to officials, this year’s program is up from last year by about 40 pounds to 6,690 total pounds of donated venison. The venison is distributed via the Food Bank’s partnerships with various food pantries throughout the Southern Tier. There’s still time for hunters to donate – and it’s important to note that both the receiving and processing of the venison is free – just contact the Food Bank at (607) 769-6061.
Price of First Class Stamps Going Up Again:
All good things must come to an end, they say, and that includes the lowered price on First Class postage stamps. A spokesperson for the New York Postal Service confirmed to Finger Lakes Daily News that the cost of a first class stamp will be returning to 49 cents, after being lowered to 47 cents last year. Expect the price to take effect on January 22nd.
2016 Snowfall Ready to Surpass 2015 Total:
The official start of the Winter season isn’t until tomorrow, and yet the 2016 snowfall for the Finger Lakes region has already surpassed where it was at the same time last year, and could in fact exceed last year’s total snowfall. The seasonal average, to this point, is 19.7 inches; already in 2016 the Finger Lakes has seen 40 inches. The total for 2015 was 63.7 inches.
Steuben Co. Legislature Meeting Today:
Appointments, landfill fees and the traditional “passing of the fruitcake” top the Steuben County Legislature’s agenda when it meets this morning. County lawmakers are expected to renew the appointments of the Elections Commissioners. Legislators also are expected to confirm the appointment of Nathan Alderman as county Personnel Officer for an unexpired six-year term ending Dec. 31, 2021. Legislators also will weigh in on measures designed to cover costs associated with disposing of cathode ray tube televisions and computer monitors (CRT’s), along with other “e-waste” at the county landfill.
First Arena Still Open, Seeking New Owner:
Despite rumors to the contrary, Elmira’s First Arena did not close this past weekend. The Chemung County Industrial Development Agency met on Friday and confirmed that they still have control of the arena as it goes through sale negotiations. Executive Tom Santulli says there is a party that is extremely interested and he hopes to tell the community within 30 to 60 days that it’s under new ownership.
Thousands of Wreaths Laid at Bath National Cemetery:
Braving the cold, hundreds of volunteers turned out to Bath National Cemetery on Saturday to lay over 2,000 wreaths on gravestones of service men and women as a part of Wreaths Across America. The volunteers came from near and far, with Hornell Commander Terry Mehlenbacher mentioning one volunteer who came all the way from Buffalo to participate.
Schumer Calls for Recall of Exploding E-Cigarettes:
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the federal government to consider recalling e-cigarette batteries and devices after reports of them exploding and catching fire. At a press conference on Saturday, Schumer cited a story by the Associated Press that said the FDA identified 66 explosions in 2015 and early 2016, and 92 explosions between 2009 and September 2015. Schumer called the devices “ticking time bombs.”
NY Schools Can Switch to Computer Tests This Year:
When it comes time for state testing this spring, schools across the state can ditch the old pencil-and-paper exams if they so choose. The state Education Department is giving elementary and intermediate schools the choice to switch the state mandated English and math exams to computers. During a pilot program last year, roughly 800 schools participated with some 60,000 students taking one “field” exam on a computer. The state reported no major technological issues. The English exams will be given in late March, with the math exams in early May.
Cornerstone Homes CEO Sentenced In Fraud Trial Yesterday
Former Owner and CEO of Cornerstone Homes David Fleet was sentenced to three years probation and 100 hours of community service on charges of mail fraud yesterday. In addition he will pay roughly $88,000 in restitution to the people that he victimized following shady business tactics conducted while purchasing, renovating, and reselling the renting of formerly distressed homes. Cornerstone borrowed about $25 million dollars from various banks in the process, and upon failing to make it's operating income in 2010 the banks (as well as the private investors) were unable to be paid their debt service. Fleet however continued to solicit private investment without divulging his companies' true worth, in addition to making false statements and representations.
Local Man Indicted On Attempted Murder Charge
A man from the Elmira area was indicted yesterday on a charge of attempted murder. Matthew C. Smith was charged after he tried to shoot Anthony Hundley in the head with a loaded pistol back in mid-November. Smith has subsequently been charged with attempted murder, attempted robbery and two counts of criminal weapons possession. Smith was in the midst of committing a robbery against Hundley when he intended to use the aforementioned firearm.
Corning Watering Hole Preparing To Open It's Doors
The Office Pool and Libations Tavern on Market Street in Corning is wrapping up completion of renovations and upgrades thanks to the heart of a local couple spearheading the initiative. Arne and Nyanka Feyling plan to open the business come early January and are hoping to offer a friendly atmosphere, drinks, a pool table as well as other popular games. Games won't cost anything to play, and are complemented by a full bar with various amenities. The Office will be open six days a week and will be open 11 AM-11PM Monday through Thursday, and 11 AM-1AM on Friday and Saturdays. The bar ultimately expects to hold a capacity of 65 patrons, and should employ about 5 people.
Corning State Police Search For Robbery Suspect
State Police in South Corning are asking for the public's health in identifying a larceny suspect. Earlier this week authorities in Painted Post say a man entered a Byrne Dairy in the early morning hours of November 30th, then proceeded to steal 10 packs of cigarettes. He later fled the scene in a grey sedan. Anyone with information regarding the incident as well as the potential offender are asked to call Trooper Mattina at 607-962-6865.
Police out in Force
Beginning this morning and continuing through January 2nd…you’ll likely see more police vehicles on area roadways. It’s part of the special enforcement campaign aimed at drunk and impaired drivers. Troopers, deputies and municipal police will be out in force. Research shows that high-visibility enforcement campaigns can reduce drunken driving fatalities by as much as 20%. Last year, across the country in December, there were 840 alcohol-related traffic deaths. Area police say…consider this your one and only warning.
Identity of Victim in Elmira Murder Released
Thursday afternoon, the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference where the identity of the victim of a suspicious death in the Town of Elmira was announced. 33-year-old Robyn Roper of the Bronx was found on Draht Hill Road Wednesday night, dead from apparent gunshot wound(s). The investigation is being treated as a homicide. Anyone with information is asked to call the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office at 737-2933.
Bath police are still looking for tips regarding a home invasion this week on West Morris Street. One or more people stole more than a thousand dollars’ worth of gifts from a home. A reward has been offered. The getaway vehicle was parked behind the old Bath Packing building on West Morris Street, and at least 2 subjects entered the residence. Any information should be forwarded to the Bath Police.
Obamacare Sign-Up Deadline Extended
For those who didn’t get a chance to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act by its Thursday, December 15th deadline, there will now be more time. The New York State of Health has announced the deadline to enroll or renew coverage for a plan effective January 1st has been extended through Saturday, December 17th. If you have questions or need help enrolling, you can log onto http://www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov or call 1-855-355-5777. According to the NY State of Health more than 55,000 people have enrolled in coverage or renewed their plans over the past three days.
Public Transportation Coming to Yates County:
Starting January 3rd, public transportation will be available in Yates County. The Yates County Legislature authorized a contract with Yates Transit Service earlier this week. A website is expected to launch shortly after Christmas that will detail the schedules and fares. There will no cost to the county or local property taxpayers. The ARC of Yates will provide the service.
Hornell Receives Grant for Water Pollution Control Plant:
At the Hornell Board of Public Works meeting Thursday morning, it was announced that the city has been awarded at $562,800 grant as part of the 2016 Regional Economic Development Council Consolidated Funding. The money will be used to purchase a new bar screen at the pollution control plant. The bar screens are intended to catch larger objects as they pass through the treatment process. The current screen has been in service since 1970.
Steuben County Legislature meeting Monday
When the Steuben County Legislature meets Monday, lawmakers will be asked to add a fee for people who want to dispose of TV’s, computer monitors and similar items at county disposal facilities. Disposal is free right now, but if the measure is approved, it will cost $20 per item…effective January 1st.
Navy Recruited Accused in Murder-in-Hire Plot in Court:
The U.S. Navy recruiter accused in a murder-for-hire plot was in Avoca Town Court Wednesday where more details about the case were revealed. According to court documents, 30-year-old Brandon McPherson agreed to pay another person to commit murder and police say he provided the place of employment, work schedule, and a photograph of the intended victim. McPherson is facing charges of conspiracy. He was arrested on December 9th. He was on active duty with the U.S. Navy and worked in the recruiting office out of the Arnot Mall. McPherson is currently out on bail.
Bath P.D. Search for Grinch Who Burgalized Home:
The Village of Bath Police Department is hunting for a Grinch and his accomplice(s) after they burglarized a residence on West Morris Street. The incident happened on Tuesday between 3 and 5:45 a.m. The suspects stole a large quantity of Christmas presents valued at more than a thousand dollars. A cash reward is being offered (from the paycheck of Sgt. Taft) for information leading to an arrest. The getaway vehicle was parked behind the old Bath Packing building on West Morris Street, and at least 2 subjects entered the residence. Any information should be forwarded to the Bath Police at (607) 776-2175.
Elmira Police Investigating Suspicious Death:
Overnight, the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office posted a tweet on its Twitter account saying that they are investigating a suspicious death in the Town of Elmira. Details are limited, but around 8 p.m. Wednesday, law enforcement and emergency crews responded to a car accident involving a pedestrian on Draht Hill Rd in the Town.
Chemung Co. Man Arrested on Warrant out of Bath:
A Chemung County man was arrested on Monday on a warrant issued out of the Village of Bath Court. Brendan Bassler of Elmira is accused of using a deceased persons New York benefit card and receiving over $190 in benefits that he was not entitled to. He was charged with welfare fraud and misuse of food stamps. He was released on his own recognizance.
Prattsburgh CSD Warns Motorists to be on Look-out for Late Buses:
The Prattsburgh Central School District is urging drivers be on the look-out for late running buses. In September, the school district initiated a late bus run for after sports and other after school activities. This means that Prattsburgh buses are at the school and are traveling on area roads between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. Motorists should be aware that they could come upon a school bus at that time of the evening and should be mindful of buses with flashing lights.
Wineglass Marathon Donates $60K to Local Groups:
The Wineglass Marathon is about more than just running. It’s also about heart. That’s why the annual event has donated nearly $60,000 in 2016 to over 40 local non-profit organizations. Included in the list was the Red Cross, the Corning and Bath Rotaries, Corning Christian Academy, Girls on the Run, and a variety of local scholastic sports teams. Also, all three high schools along the route (Bath-Haverling, Campbell-Savona, and Corning-Painted Post) receive scholarships for one male and one female student. In 2017, those scholarships will increase to $1,000 for each student-athlete winner. To learn more about the Wineglass Marathon, the organizations involved, or ways you can get involved, visit http://WineglassMarathon.com.
Campbell Kraft Plan to Remain Open For Now:
Just over a year ago, Kraft-Heinz announced that its plant in Campbell would be closing, but thanks to a deal with state lawmakers it was delayed. Now, a spokesman for the company has announced that the facility will continue to remain open through the first six months of 2017. In a statement they said they will continue to work with prospective buyers, along with state and local officials, on the sale of the facility. They added that once a decision is made, the employees will be the first to know. The Campbell plant currently has around 380 employees.
$1M Gifted to CCC:
On Tuesday, Corning Community College received a historic donation. $1 million, the largest donation from an individual in the college’s history, was given in support of the Walter R. Smith Visiting Scholar Series by the Smith Estate. Smith worked at the college for nearly 50 years before retiring in 2008. The Visiting Scholar Series was established in 2004 and brings various authors, speakers, and influential figures to the campus to discuss their work, experiences, and points of view.
Steuben Co. Fire Departments Seek Help Paying for New Pagers:
While a recent $660,000 grant for new high frequency mobile radio systems was a boon for several area fire departments, it also came with one drawback. The departments need new pagers that are compatible with the system, and terms of the grant state that none of the funding can used to pay for them. The Hornellsville Town Board has received an official letter of request from the North Hornell Fire Department asking for $2,000 each for the Arkport, North and South Hornell Departments to help pay for the new pagers. No decision has been made yet. The matter will be further reviewed by the board.
President Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act:
On Tuesday President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. The bill will provide $6.3 billion for a variety of health initiatives, including mental health treatment, cancer research, and the fight against Opioid abuse. It will also help the Food and Drug Administration speed up drug approval and pushes for better use of technology in medicine.
NYS Board of Regents Requests More Funding:
The New York State Education Commissioner says that the formula used by the state to award funding hurts schools in high-poverty areas, and to that end is asking the state the change it. Also, the State Board of Regents is requesting an extra two-billion in funding and asking lawmakers to consolidate the state’s seven Pre-K programs for dual-language programs for students learning English. Any changes would have to be in next year’s budget.
ARC of Steuben Job Fair Thurs.:
The ARC of Steuben will host a job fair from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at its Hornell Field Office on Seneca Street. Anyone interested can learn more about the agency, open positions, and benefits offered by the ARC of Steuben. Refreshments will also be provided. For more information, visit the ARC of Steuben’s website at http://www.arcofsteuben.org.
National “Wreaths Across America” Day at Bath National Cemetery:
Wreaths Across America will be held at noon on December 17th at Bath National Cemetery at the Bath VA Medical Center. Wreaths Across America is carried out through coordinated wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and over 1,100 locations in all 50 US states, including the Bath National Cemetery. More than 1,600 wreaths have been sponsored for this year’s event in Bath. Placing of the wreaths will begin at 10 a.m., the ceremony begins at noon sharp. Parking will be at the back of the Bath VA museum building. Refreshments will be provided by the Corning-Baron Steuben National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
Holiday Post Deadlines Approaching:
If you’ve been meaning to get out those special holiday packages and cards, be sure to get them to your local post office soon as key holiday mailing deadlines are fast approaching. Tomorrow, December 15th, is the deadline for Priority Mail Express International and Standard Post. The 20th is the deadline for First Class cards and letters, and the 21st is the cutoff for Priority Mail. The 23rd is the deadline for Priority Mail Express.
Red Cross Promotes Blood Donor App:
In the midst of the busy holiday season, the American Red Cross is reminding you that wherever you are you can schedule an appointment to give blood right on your phone with their Blood Donor app. And aside from scheduling, the app includes other features such as being able to provide feedback on your donor experience and even tracking where your blood goes. Find out more at http://www.redcrossblood.org/bloodapp
Tanker Roll-Over on I-86:
Just before three a.m. Monday, the Bath Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched on a report of a tractor trailer tanker rolled over in the median east of Bath exit 39 on I-86. The driver of the truck got out on his own and signed off medical treatment with the Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps. The truck had been hauling lubricants, but was empty at the time.
Bath Man Charged in ARC Bomb Threat:
The investigation into a bomb threat made against the Steuben ARC building has led to an arrest. 52-year-old Brian Akins of Bath has been charged with falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, for allegedly threatening to blow up the building to another person. He was issued appearance tickets and will return to Bath Town Court at a later date.
Gunshot Leads to Arrest:
An Addison man has been arrested following investigation by Steuben County Deputies into an explosion or gunshot from a residence on Niles Cross Road in Addison. Deputies reportedly spoke with 24-year-old Brett Cervoni while investigating and discovered that he had a bench warrant out of the City of Hornell for failing to appear on charges of criminal contempt. He was arrested and turned over to Hornell police.
One Year Fire Contract Reached Between Canisteo Town, Village:
A resolution was at last created and agreed upon Monday night for a one year fire and ambulance services contract between the village and town of Canisteo. The village had originally been seeking a three year contract, but the town disagreed. The town was able to barter the price down from $105,000 to $95,000 for the year.
Teen Drug Use Down:
A new survey from the National Institute of Drug Abuse has found that fewer teenagers are using and abusing drugs. That includes a decline in alcohol, cigarettes, opioid painkillers, and marijuana, except among high schoolers where pot use remains steady. The data was gathered from more than 45,000 students in 372 public and private schools.
Mall Store Seized for Unpaid Taxes Reopens:
“Primitive This and That,” a store at the Arnot Mall, reopened Monday after being seized and shut down last week for allegedly not paying sales tax. According to the state Department of State records, the store owed at least $19,000 in taxes. The owners say the issues stemmed from a small clerical error made from an outside accounting firm, and they have since fired that company and have hired a local firm with a quality reputation. In a statement they said they want the public to know they never knowingly would try to evade payment of any sort of taxes.
Yankee Candle Recalling 31,000 Candles:
Yankee Candle has announced the recall of about 31,000 of its candles. Specifically the luminous collection fragrance candles which come in square glass jars. The jars can reportedly crack while lit, posing a laceration hazard. The company says it has received 16 complaints of the jars cracking, but no injuries have been reported. The candles were sold exclusively at Yankee Candle stores and on yankeecandle.com between September and November.
The Saga of the Steuben Co. Legislature’s Fruitcake:
The fate of a piece of local, little known, history will be decided on December 19th. That morning, Steuben County Public Health Director Darlene Smith will select a recipient of the Steuben County Legislature’s fruitcake. The humble holiday cake has had a storied life among Steuben County’s elected and civil officials. It was first purchased in 1991 by then-county Administrator Mark Alger, who then passed it on at the office Christmas party. It has since passed hands 19 times – the same cake, in the original wrapping, reportedly encased in layers of cling wrap and aluminum foil and stored in the recipient’s freezer. As for who will receive it next, Smith says she’s “all set” for next week.
Winter Weather Advisory In Effect Until Noon:
A winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service for the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier remains in effect until noon today. While the heaviest snow occurred overnight, it will continue today, ending as a mix of rain and snow. As you travel today, expect snow covered and slippery roads, as well as limited visibility. Take caution while driving.
Campbell Man Accused of Stealing Thousands from Employer:
A Campbell man has been arrested following an investigation by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office into an employee theft at Monroe Muffler in Riverside in July and August. Former assistant manager, 32-year-old Steven Button is accused of failing to deposit several sums of money to the bank and stealing nearly $3,000. He has been charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records. He has been sent to the Steuben County Jail on $2,000 cash bail.
Steuben Co. Legislature to Vote on CRT Dump Charge:
The Steuben County Public Works Committee recently approved a resolution that will see the cost of turning in unwanted televisions and other electronic waste at the county Landfill increase to $20 each. The Steuben County Legislature will now vote on the proposal on December 19th. The fee would take effect on January 1st. Currently, it’s free to drop off electronic waste – including televisions and computer monitors – at the landfill, which Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti said cost the county roughly $34,000 in 2016.
CDC Says “Heroin Deaths Outnumber Gun Homicides in 2015”:
A well-known problem locally is receiving some big, national attention. The Centers for Disease Control has released new data that reveals more deaths by heroin in 2015 than by gun violence. According to the CDC, there were nearly 13,000 heroin-related deaths last year, just slightly surpassing the number of gun homicides. Eight years ago, gun murders outnumbered heroin deaths by more than five to one.
More Changes to NYS Medical Pot Program:
Even more changes have been announced for the New York State medical marijuana program. The Department of Health says that dispensaries will now be authorized to sell cannabis or cannabis products to other dispensaries, and the cap on the number of products the dispensaries may manufacture and sell is being lifted. This news follows the previous announcements that nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be able to certify patients and that chronic pain will soon be added to the list of qualifying conditions.
Over 37,000 Cards Collected in Holiday Drive:
The annual collection drive for holiday cards started by area student Sophie Kartzman has come to end with a grand total of 37,712 cards. The cards will now head to soldiers and veterans across the country, and globe, including military bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, the Arabian Sea, Antarctica, and Virginia, and veterans’ groups in Bath, Canandaigua, and Big Flats. This is the last year that Sophie will be heading the program, but it is expected to continue with someone new spearheading it.
Cargill Inc. Grants $10K to Odessa-Montour:
A classroom wish list put together by a teacher at Odessa-Montour High School will soon be filled, but not by the big guy in red. Cargill Inc., the local salt-producer based in Watkins Glen, has donated over $10,000 to teacher Laurel Strobel to help fulfill her list of classroom resources and technology, including new microscopes, DNA Gel Electrophoresis equipment, and Wisconsin FAST plant equipment. The facility manager at Cargill’s Watkins Glen location, Keith Klug, said that Cargill is more than happy to give back to the community.
Steuben Co. HoF Nominations Sought:
Nominations for the Steuben County Hall of Fame are now being accepted until December 31st. Nominees may be living or deceased, man, woman, or child; may have been born elsewhere as long as they have enhanced the name of Steuben County. The committee will review nominees in January, with selections approved by the county Legislature in April. Inductees will be honored with an annual banquet, and memorialized in the county Hall of Fame photo gallery, located in southern hallway of the second floor in the County Office Building.
Steuben Youth in Gov. Met Friday:
Sixteen Steuben County high school students tackled county issues Friday at the county’s biannual Youth in Government Simulated Legislative Session in the county Legislature’s chambers. The twice-yearly high school program has been offered to high school juniors and seniors by the county for the past three decades and offers the students an opportunity to learn more about Steuben’s operations. The students then draw up resolutions and meet in a simulated legislative session to complete the course. In the past, the county Legislature and department heads have acted on students’ resolutions.
Hunters Take More Deer in 2016:
The Department of Environmental Conservation says that hunters have taken about 5 percent more deer in the Southern Zone regular season so far this year than in the same period 2015. All deer hunting in the Northern Zone and the regular season in the Southern Zone ends on Sunday. The late bow and muzzleloader season will be open in the Southern Zone Monday through December 20th.
Local CCC Student Prepares Big Run in Fight Against Cancer
A local student of Corning Community College is preparing for a big run to help in the big fight against cancer. Shana D'Angelo is soon set to become a medic for the U.S. Navy helping children in third world nations who don't have access to proper healthcare. But in the meantime she's taking part in next year's Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adult's 4k for Cancer. The run will take place from June until the beginning of August, and spans 4,500 miles from San Francisco all the way to New York City. D'Angelo was personally motivated to take part in the run after losing her grandparents and aunt to the disease, with every dollar raised going towards supporting those battling cancer as well as their families. She'll run about 12 miles each day relay style along with her team, stopping at hospitals along the way to deliver care packages to young adults fighting cancer as well as their families. D'Angelo has stated that they'll be donating about $1 million dollars to the organization.
Convicted Felon Arrested After Domestic Dispute
An Avoca area man was arrested earlier this week after an investigation into a domestic dispute. Allen M Lafler was brought in for one count of criminal possession of a firearm, which was in violation of his prior felony conviction. Under the terms of his prior arrest, Lafler was not allowed to possess a weapon under any circumstances. He was issued an appearance ticket for an Avoca court, with orders to appear at a later time and date.
NYS Police Make Arrest in Murder for Hire Plot
New York State Police arrested a man in the Town of Bath this week for being allegedly connected to a murder for hire plot. Brandon McPherson of Horseheads will now be facing a felony Conspiracy charge after police allege he was plotting with another person to commit a murder. Authorities have yet to release more details in the matters surrounding the arrest, but for the meantime McPherson was arraigned in a Town of Avoca court and taken to Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail. McPherson, an active service member in the Navy who was assigned to the Arnot Mall's recruiting office, is due back in court on December 14th.
Tompkins County Man Admits To UPS Driver Murder
A man from the Tompkins County area admitted this week to shooting and running over a UPS driver in an Ithaca area Walmart parking lot. Justin Barkley has been charged with murder in the 2nd degree for allegedly shooting William Schumacher early Thursday morning at about 12:52 AM. Barkley also admitted to intentionally running over Schumacher after killing him, as well as firing a shot with a long gun at police trying to take him into custody. At the time the man was able to flee to his Dryden home and barricade himself inside, only eventually coming out after a successful negotiation via robot. Barkley is currently being held in Tompkins County Jail, without bail.
Tractor-Trailer Accident Early Thursday on I-86:
No injuries were reported in a tractor-trailer accident that occurred on I-86 early Thursday morning. According to the Campbell Fire Department, the tractor-trailer swerved to avoid another car in the media, west of the rest area.
Addison, Arkport Both Pass Capital Projects:
In both the Addison and Arkport School Districts Thursday, voters approved multi-million dollar capital projects. In Addison, the $23 million project received 411 ‘yes’ votes to just 125 ‘no’ votes. The majority of the work will be done at Tuscarora Elementary School. Over in Arkport two projects got the okay: a $6.5 million project to make upgrades to the K-12 building and facilities that passed 222 to 62, and a $1.65 million project that will go toward renovating the school’s kitchen and cafeteria that passed 204 to 77.
Corning Man Facing Multiple Weapons Charges:
A Corning man is facing multiple felony weapon charges after six illegal weapons were found at his residence. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Christopher Black also had a small amount of marijuana on his person when he was arrested. He has been charged with six counts of criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $1,500 cash bail.
Drug Complaint Leads to Arrest of Bath Woman:
A Bath woman has been arrested following an investigation by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office into a drug complaint that was made to the county 911 center. Deputies reportedly received information on November 26th that a vehicle was driving around the Bradford and Bath area conducting illegal drug activity. When the vehicle was located, they initiated a traffic stop and allegedly found 25-yearold Sara Mehlenbacher to be operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs. She was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by drugs, and inadequate exhaust. She was additionally charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle as she allegedly failed to return the vehicle she was driving to its owner. She was issued appearance tickets on all the charges. She will appear in Canisteo Village Court at a later date.
Bradford Man Arrested in Domestic Dispute:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office is reporting the arrest of a Bradford man following an investigation into a domestic dispute on November 27th. 25-year-old Steven Buchanan has been charged with assault and criminal mischief for allegedly getting into a physical altercation with another person and injuring that person. He also allegedly prevented the victim from calling 911. He has been sent to the Steuben County Jail on $2,000 cash bail.
$60.4M in Economic Development Funds Awarded to Southern Tier:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the Southern Tier will receive $60.4 million in Regional Economic Development Funding from the state. The funds are part of $700 million that were announced Thursday. Steuben County is set to receive nearly $5.5 million, while Chemung and Schuyler counties will each receive more than $2.6 million. Some projects expected to benefit from the funds are water infrastructure improvements in Hornell, Erwin, and Addison. Also, the Corning Museum of Glass will receive about $276,000 to build a mobile glass blowing studio.
2 Positions Filled at BEGWS:
After Guy Hallgren was fired as Director at Bath Electric Gas and Water Systems, two Commission members stepped down from their positions. Wednesday night, the Bath Village Board filled those two vacant seats. Mark Alger, retired Steuben County Manager, and Robert Plaskov, a retired attorney, will fill the positions left open by Harold Rodbourn and Mike Austin.
Two Area Fire Depts. Named in State Audits:
Two area fire departments have been named in audits released Thursday by the New York State Comptroller’s Office for lax accounting policies. According to the documents, lack of financial oversight from the Bradford Volunteer Fire Company’s board of directors led to the misappropriation of nearly $8,500 in funds by the department’s treasurer. The treasurer, Sherry Hamilton of Bradford, was arrested in July on a charge of grand larceny. Meanwhile, a review of the Painted Post Volunteer Fire Department found that the department lacked written policies and procedures related to cash receipts and disbursements, procurement and claims processing, and that they had not adopted a code of ethics as is required by law. Both departments must file corrective action plans with the Comptroller’s Office within 90 days.
Farmers Recognized in Steuben Co. Ceremony:
After a very difficult year in the upstate, some local farmers were honored at an appreciation dinner Thursday night in Steuben County. Awards recognizing farmers for their hard work, production, community partnership, and volunteer efforts were handed out by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County. Amy Irvine was awarded “Outstanding Volunteer – Under 10 Years,” while Joan Tichenor was awarded “Outstanding Volunteer – Over 10 Years.” Joe Laquatra was awarded “Campus Connection,” Paul and Kathie White were awarded “Outstanding Producer,” and Campbell Building Supply was awarded “Spirit of Partnership.”
Temporary Nativity Scene Replacement to be Unveiled Dec. 16th:
At an event next week, a temporary replacement for the Nativity Scene in Elmira’s Wisner Park will be unveiled. The previous scene was destroyed early Tuesday in a fire authorities say was deliberately set 24-year-old Daniel Peterson-Green. He has been charged with felony criminal mischief. The event will be held at Wisner Park at 5:30 p.m. on December 16th and will include carols, cookies, and a collection drive for the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities’ Second Place East homeless shelter.
More Details Released in Bath Bomb Threat:
Details regarding a possible bomb threat made against a business in Bath have been released. State Troopers and K-9 units investigated the Arc of Steuben building and property Tuesday night in response to the threat, which was made around 7 p.m. by phone to the Justice Center in Albany, according to Arc of Steuben Executive Director Bernie Burns. Authorities found nothing during their search. The business was closed and vacant at the time.
Indictments Handed Up in Steuben Co. Court:
Several indictments were handed up in Steuben County Court Tuesday. 22-year-old Joshua Jackson of Bath was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny, and petit larceny. 45-year-old Aaron Silva of Bath was charged with sexual abuse and forcible touching. 28-year-old William Newton of Georgia was charged with rape, sexual abuse, and unlawful imprisonment. 39-year-old Phillip Drake of Painted Post was charged with criminal contempt, criminal trespass, and endangering the welfare of a child. All the defendants will appear in Steuben County Court to answer the charges at later dates.
Vote on Arkport Capital Project Today:
The fate of two multi-million capital projects for the Arkport Central School District will be decided by voters today. The first, $6.53 million project would include upgrades to certain infrastructure and new athletic facilities, as well as improvements inside classrooms and throughout the school. The second project, which would only proceed if the first project is passed, would spend $1.65 million to reconfigure the school’s cafeteria and kitchen. The first project would not result in a local tax increase. Polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. in the Arkport gymnasium.
Hornell CSD Finds Lead in Water:
At Wednesday night’s Board of Education meeting for the Hornell School District, Superintendent Doug Wyant announced that three of the five schools tested for lead in their water. The Bryant school had 8 unacceptable outlets and the Junior/Senior High School had 11 outlets that were found to be slightly contaminated. The Columbian school tested clean. The school board is still waiting for results for the Intermediate School and North Hornell School. According to Wyant, the contaminated outlets have been posted and are not in use for consumption.
27 Bags of Heroin Found During Traffic Stop:
A traffic stop on 390 on Sunday turned into a drug arrest. According to the Livingston County Sheriff’s office, a deputy pulled over a vehicle in the Avon area that was being driven by 27-year-old Tom Getman Jr. of Dansville. 39-year-old Brandon Salmon of Canisteo was a passenger in the vehicle. The deputy reportedly discovered 27 bags of heroin in the car, and a jar containing marijuana. Both men were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, and Getman was additionally charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Both men posted bail and were released.
Governor Continues to Fight “Zombie” Properties:
Governor Andrew Cuomo is continuing to fight the issue of so called “zombie” properties
across the state. He has announced a new Consumer Bill of Rights under the Department of Financial Services as part of an effort to help New Yorkers in the event of foreclosure, and there’s a new regulation for banks and mortgage lenders. They’ll be required to report and maintain any vacant or abandoned properties.
Tourism Agency President Steps Down:
The president of the local tourism agency for Steuben County, Corning and the Southern Lakes, has announced that he will be stepping down in order to take a new job offer. The last day for Jake Buganski will be Friday, December 9th. He will be taking the position of Executive Director of the Division of Travel and Tourism for the State of New Jersey. In a statement, Buganski said that while he might be leaving, he looks forward “to returning regularly as a visitor.”
Bath Woman Accused of Getting High While Driving, Causing Accident:
A Bath woman is facing several charges following an accident in Corning on Monday. 25-year-old Cicianca Failing was allegedly getting high on canned air while driving near the intersection of Wardell Street and Reynolds Avenue. She nearly struck another vehicle and then hit a tree. She is charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated unlicensed operation, and failure to stay in lane. She was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.
Bath Man Charged with Falsifying Business Records:
A Bath man has been arrested for falsifying business records. 52-year-old Luis Santiago was arrested following an investigation by authorities into his dealings with the Steuben County Department of Social Services. He has been charged with falsifying business records and two counts of petit larceny. His parole status was also petitioned for revocation.
Endicott Firefighter Accused of Starting Blaze:
An Endicott firefighter is facing an arson charge after he allegedly set his own home ablaze. 41-year-old Jason Stokes of Vestal was arraigned Monday in Broome County Court. He’s accused of starting a fire at his home at 410 East Main Street in Endicott on August 10th while his wife and two children were inside. The Broome County District Attorney says that responding firefighters discovered multiple containers of fuel inside the home.
One Charged in Elmira Nativity Fire:
A 24-year-old transient man has been charged with setting the fire at the Elmira Nativity scene early Tuesday morning. Police say Daniel Peterson-Green told them he accidentally started the fire with a cigarette, but they say their investigation shows Peterson-Green intentionally lit a cash register receipt and then let it catch on a bail of straw. Peterson-Green then allegedly fled the scene. He has been charged with second-degree criminal mischief and was sent to the Chemung County Jail on $750 cash bail. The Nativity scene was damaged beyond repair and has since been removed. With Christmas just weeks away, the city is reportedly working with area churches for a temporary solution.
Join the Bath V.A. for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day:
Today is the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack by nearly 400 Japanese warplanes on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Five battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. About 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 more were wounded. The attack prompted the United States to enter World War II. In remembrance today of those who lost their lives, join the Bath V.A. for an open house at the V.A. Museum Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Painted Post Master Plan Meeting Tonight:
A public meeting will be held tonight regarding the new Village of Painted Post master plan. The meeting will go over the results of the preliminary master plan survey with public input on the formation of the new comprehensive plan. The meeting will be held at the Painted Post Fire Station on Steuben Street at 6 p.m.
Riverside Comprehensive Plan Tuesday:
The Village of Riverside will hold a public meeting on December 13th to discuss its comprehensive plan and the results of the recent village-wide survey. It will be held at the Riverside Hall on Stanton Street at 6:30 p.m.
Winter Driving Tips from the Red Cross:
As Winter creeps closer and snow increasingly features in the forecast, the Red Cross has issued some tips to help make driving easier and safer throughout the season. Besides limiting speed and staying aware of the surroundings, drivers should also stock a winter kit in their vehicle, including a blanket, food, and a change of winter clothes. You can also download the American Red Cross first aid app on your phone, which contains a list of ways to prepare for weather and environmental emergencies.
Honeoye Falls Assis. Track Coach Arrested:
An Assistant Track Coach at Honeoye Falls Lima High School has been arrested on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. 32-year-old Jeffrey Utegg is accused of requesting nude photographs from a 16-year-old student via Instagram Messenger. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Bath Woman Falsely Applies for Emergency Housing:
A Bath woman has been arrested for allegedly falsely applying for emergency housing. 42-year-old Michelle Boarder is facing a charge of offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree, a class E felony. She allegedly presented to the Steuben County Department of Social Services as homeless, but when her claim was investigated it was determined that she had filed false paperwork. Boarder was also arrested on a violation of parole warrant. She was sent to the Steuben County jail without bail.
Sex Offender Arrested for Failing to Register:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Town of Lindley man. Sayquan Dejean is accused of failing to change address and failing to register as a sex offender. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Students IDed in Dryden Accident:
The two young girls who were struck by a truck on Sheldon Road in Dryden Sunday evening have been identified. 11-year-old Kaylee Wacht of Freeville was killed, and 14-year-old Kristin Shevalier of Freeville was flown to Upstate University Medical Center where she now listed in stable condition. State Police are investigating the accident. Charges are not anticipated.
Voters to Decide on Addison Capital Project Thurs.:
Voters in Addison will head to the polls Thursday. They’ll decide the fate of a nearly $30 million capital improvement plan for the school. The work will provide several areas of improvements. School officials say, if approved, the project won’t raise local taxes.
Corning Approves Pool Feasibility Study, Rink Work:
In a vote Monday night, the Corning City Council passed a resolution to move forward with a feasibility study on the Denison Park and Northside Pools. The pools are currently in need of extensive repairs. The feasibility study will look at more cost efficient ways for residents to enjoy the water during the summer months, such as turning them in splash parks. In other action, the Council also voted to pay $23,000 for work that was completed at the Nasser Civic Center rink in 2015. The council is now hoping to hear positive news regarding a $500,000 state grant needed to make other improvements at the Center.
Canisteo to Sell Old Fire Engine, Property:
An old fire engine and hot tar application machine from Canisteo will soon be hitting Ebay and Craigslist. At its meeting Monday night, the village board decided that the retired 1984 Mack fire engine will be put up for sale, along with the hot tar machine. The board believes the proceeds will be better than selling it for scrap metal. In other action, the board has agreed to sell the property adjacent to the village hall on Green Street to a couple looking to build a house on it. The property will be appraised by a realtor.
NYS Relaxing Some Pot Restrictions:
Following the recent news that nurse practitioners and physician assistants will soon be able to certify patients for medical marijuana, New York State has announced that some restrictions in the medical marijuana law that may be relaxed. Officials are considering authorizing home deliveries and will add chronic pain to the list of 10 qualifying conditions.
Medicare Open Enrollment Deadline Tomorrow:
Have you been meaning to enroll in Medicare for next year? Make sure you do before tomorrow’s deadline. Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug coverage closes on December 7th. You can switch from original Medicare to a private Medicare Advantage Plan, join a prescription drug plan, drop your coverage, or swap Medicare Advantage plans during open enrollment.
Avoca Students Give Back to Food Bank:
In November, the Avoca Central junior and senior national honor societies helped ensure that residents in our area won’t go hungry by preparing more than 3.5 tons of food for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. They also packed over 1,100 backpacks or food packages that go home with students each Friday. This is the fifth year the students have helped out at the food bank.
Fugitives Arrested in Drug Raid Expected in Steuben Co. Court Today:
Two fugitives arrested in late September as part of a drug raid on Sunset Drive in Corning will be in Steuben County Court today. 22-year-old Delon Brown is wanted on a murder charge in the City of Philadephia. He is also facing charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of stolen property, and criminal possession of a firearm. 23-year-old Tavis Smith-Hogan will also appear, facing charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of stolen property, and criminal possession of a firearm. He is charged as a fugitive from justice in connection with a kidnapping case in the state of Tennessee.
Young Girl Killed in Dryden Accident:
One young girl was injured and another was killed Sunday after being hit by a car in the Tompkins County Town of Dryden. New York State Police said the two girls were walking along Sheldon Road when they were hit around 5 p.m. No further details are available at this time.
Steuben Co. Public Works Sets New Tip Fees:
The Steuben County Legislature has approved some changes to tip fees for certain services at the county landfill that will take effect in the new year. Effective January 1st: processed construction debris will go up $5 to $15 per ton. Disposal only auto fluff will go up to $12 per ton while auto fluff picked up and disposed by the county will go up to $23 per ton. The recycling of truck/tractor tires greater than 20-inches will go up $13 to $300 per ton. On July 1st, municipal sewage treatment plant sludge will go up to $36 per ton. Meanwhile, some charges will go down include municipal construction demolition debris and municipal friable asbestos. Officials said the changes in tip fees will cover costs at the landfill, and encourage the safe and cost-effective disposal of abandoned properties.
Odessa-Montour to Offer Pre-Kindergartener Program:
Following in the footsteps of Bath-Haverling, the Odessa-Montour Central School District has announced that it will be offering a new curriculum-based pre-kindergartener program for three year olds beginning in early January. It will be a full-day program, Monday through Friday at BC Cate Elementary School. However, parents will be responsible for transportation. It will not be provided by the district.
Hilton Project in Corning to Resume this Month:
The long delayed Hilton hotel project in Corning is expected to resume sometime this month. The project has been on hold since March 2015 after manufacturing waste was found in the soil under the former Days Inn. One million dollars in state funding was awarded to the project in August to help it get back on track. Work is expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete.
Housing Project for Homeless Vets in Finger Lakes Region:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a $2.62 million supportive housing project in the Finger Lakes region that will provide permanent and transitional housing for homeless veterans and individuals suffering from substance abuse. Spaces will be available in Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates counties for residents to access the services to help achieve stability in their lives and be active participants in their community.
Schumer Vows to Fight Hospital Repayment Move:
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is vowing to fight a move that would see rural hospitals across the upstate paying back millions of dollars in federal funding. Schumer says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently decided to change a calculation used to determine certain funding for sole community and Medicare-dependent hospitals. It is retroactively seeking repayment of federal funds based on this new calculation. The move could cost 16 hospitals between $15 and $20 million.
Bath Welcome Sign Restored:
Two years after the project began, work has finished on the restoration of the 100 year old historic “Welcome to Bath” sign at the old Phillips lighting property on Route 54. Bath Revitalization raised funds through the “Gateway to the Finger Lakes” 5K to finance the project, and had volunteer help through several local businesses, including Goodrich’s Auto Center, T&R Towing, Haines Equipment, Machuga Contractors, and Pelham Electric.
Corning Community College went into lockdown yesterday following a report a suspicious person with a suspicious looking object on campus. Corning Police along with New York State Police responded quickly and after a building by building sweep, it was determined that it was an art project wrapped in blanket and look like it could be a gun. With the recent Ohio State terrorist attack… authorities were taking no chances
Spirit of Christmas
Hundreds poured into downtown Bath last night to celebrate the Spirit of Christmas. The event which is put on by the Central Steuben Chamber of Commerce featured lots of free chili, hot chocolate, wagon rides and plenty of kids in line to see Santa Claus who was set up in the gazebo in Pulteney Park. Santa arrived around 5:00pm and assisted the Mayor of Bath in lighting the community Christmas tree.
Election results certified
The Steuben County Board of Elections announced today all General Elections results are now official and certified. In addition to a near-record turnout at the polls, the elections board received some 3,000 absentee ballots and more than 600 affidavit ballots. The official election results are posted on the county board of elections website.
Wineglass marathon Gives back
Wineglass Marathon officials announced yesterday that over 40 organizations received donations from this year’s marathon which drew a record number of 7,000 runners. Since the donation policy began in 2011 more than $340,000 has been given back to the community. This year more the 2,300 volunteers help make the marathon a success.
New York State police report there have been several instances of "movie money" being passed at local businesses over the last two weeks. This novelty money is clearly marked on the front and back with the words "FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY," but does look like real US currency. These movie props can be purchased online as a novelty item. The public and local business owners should be aware this novelty money exists. Additionally, persons that pass off this novelty money as real money will be prosecuted for Possession of a Forged Instrument 1st degree, a C felony. If convicted this could result in a lengthy prison sentence.
2 Arrested in Gun Thefts:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of two Campbell residents for the theft of firearms in the Campbell/Savona area. 24-year-old Todd Buck has been charged with grand larceny for allegedly stealing a long gun from a residence on County Route 125 in Campbell and then selling it to a business in Chemung County. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $2,000 cash bail. 28-year-old Joseph Kish III has been charged with burglary, and 2 counts of grand larceny for allegedly stealing two long guns from a residence on West Lamoka Avenue in Savona and then selling them to a business in Chemung County. He was sent to the county jail on $5,000 cash bail. The Sheriff’s Office reports that there have been two other similar incidents that they’re investigating and over the past week they’ve recovered nine stolen guns. They’re asking any member of the public in the Campbell/Savona area that are missing long guns to contact the Sheriff’s Office to file a report and to see if any of the recovered weapons are theirs.
Drug Charges for Bath Man:
A Bath man has been arrested on charges of possession and sale of a controlled substance. 39-year-old Robert Wood was arrested at his residence on a superior court warrant and he was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Prattsburgh Post Office Reopened:
After being closed over safety concerns, the Prattsburgh Post Office has finally reopened to customers. A notice was mailed to residents this week that said the office reopened on November 23rd with its regular hours. The Pulteney Post Office, which had extended its hours during the difficulty, has also returned to its regular hours.
Spirit of Christmas in Bath Tonight, Parking/Traffic Restrictions:
The annual Spirit of Christmas event returns to Bath tonight and while there will be plenty of fun to be had, it’s important to remember there will also be some parking and traffic restrictions as well. At 3 p.m. today, vacant parking spaces on Liberty Street and portions of Pulteney Park will be posted to prohibit further parking. At 3:30, Liberty Street from William to Steuben, and Steuben Street between Howell and Gansvoort, will be closed to traffic. Vehicles must be removed from Liberty Street, Steuben Street, and along East and West Pulteney Square by no later than 4 p.m. or they’ll be subject to tow. Detours will be posted for those traveling through the village. During the event, the permit parking area of the village parking lot will be open to the public without charge.
Canisteo Village Court Issues Message Regarding Jury Duty Today:
The Canisteo Village Court has issued a statement for those with Jury Duty today. The court says that due to technical issues with the phone system, they were unable to leave messages with instructions to appear. So if you were summoned for jury duty and were directed to appear today, you must appear.
Tioga Downs Casino Opening Today:
Three years after its quest for a gaming license began; Tioga Downs is ready to open the doors of its new casino to the public. Today at 3 p.m., following an opening presentation and ribbon-cutting ceremony, the new gaming floor will be available to eager players. It includes 33 table games, such as Blackjack, Craps, and Roulette, as well as other casino games like Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, 3-Card and 4-Card Poker, and the Big 6 Wheel. All of the video lottery terminals have been replaced with new slot machines.
Special Session Considered for Lawmaker Pay Raise:
A spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that the governor and top lawmakers are discussing a special session on legislative pay raises before the end of the year. A state commission recently turned down the proposal, but lawmakers have until the end of the year to vote to give the commission more time to reconsider. The spokesman said that while lawmakers are looking for a raise, Cuomo wants them to consider government ethics reforms and funding for a new hate crimes task force.
Steuben to Hold Drug Forum in Feb.:
Steuben County’s efforts to stem the tide of opioid and other substance addictions through public information will lead to a public forum that’s been slated for February. County officials, physicians and related agency representatives recently met to plan a dedicated and cohesive campaign aimed at helping addicts and their loved ones deal with substance abuse. Plans include a forthcoming “facts sheet” listing the agencies providing help for addicts and their families.
Mass Gathering of Santas Coming to Corning:
Santa is coming to town a couple weeks early to celebrate with craft brews, live music, and more with Corning’s 1st Annual SantaCon. Organized by Brick House Brewery in Corning, the focus is on spontaneity and creativity, while having a good time and spreading cheer and goodwill. You can show up for free, in a just hat, but participants are encouraged to wear a full Santa, Elf, or other Santa-related costume. The event will start at the Iron Flamingo Brewery on Saturday, December 10th at 6 p.m. and from there participants can walk to the other participating locations – Lando’s, Cap’n Morgan’s and Brick House Brewery – to enjoy the festivities that each has planned. Please check out each participating business’ website and Facebook pages for more details.