Major Drug Investigation Announcement Today in Bath:
Members of the Bath Village Police Department, Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Steuben County District Attorney’s Office, and the New York State Police will host a press conference at 10 a.m. today in Bath at the Village Hall. A significant announcement is expected regarding on-going drug investigations in the village and surrounding areas.
8 Diocese of Rochester Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse:
Accusations of sexual abuse of children are being levelled against eight priests of the Diocese of Rochester. The claims come from a press release by Road to Recovery, a non-profit organization that advocates for survivors of sexual abuse. Three of the priests have been accused before: in 1996, Eugene Emo was arrested and subsequently dismissed from the clerical state in the church due to “behavior with young boys” and was sent to a different parish. David Simon has been assigned “to a life of prayer and penance,” with no additional public ministry possible. And Francis Vogt has died, according to the Diocese. The other five men are being named for the first time: Stuart Hogan, Charles McCarthy, Gary Shaw, Richard Orland, and Thomas Valenti. They are all being accused by multiple victims. One of them, Thomas Valenti, is listed on the website of Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick’s Parish in Owego as currently working there as a parochial administrator. In response, the Diocese released a statement saying that the allegation against Valenti was investigated, reviewed, and determined to be unsubstantiated. The Diocese of Rochester covers 12 counties, including: Cayuga, Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates.
CO Commended for Life-Saving Actions:
A Steuben County corrections officer is being commended for his swift action in late April that potentially saved the life of an inmate. According to county Sheriff Jim Allard and Jail Superintendent Major Matthew Whitmore, officer Robert Labar was supervising the collection of lunch time meal trays on April 30th when he noticed an inmate choking. Allard told the county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee that Labar immediately responded to the emergency, performed the Heimlich maneuver, and called a Code Blue as part of the jail’s policy. Allard said it’s very likely he saved the inmate’s life, and that Labar’s calm and decisive action under incredible circumstances reflect his professionalism and commitment to duty as well as reflect the principles of the county Sheriff’s Department.
Congressman Reed Opposes Proposed Ithaca Drug Injection Site:
In his weekly media call, Congressman Tom Reed had some strong words for the proposed heroin injection site in Ithaca. Mayor Svante Myrick has asked the Governor to allow a pilot drug injection location where users would be under supervision. Myrick calls it a humane answer to the increasing number of overdoses in the city, and the Tompkins County Legislature and the City of Ithaca are both expected to urge the state Legislature to immediately pass a bill allowing cities to create the sites. But Reed said such sites will “bring an influx of violence, crime, and homelessness into our backyards as dangerous drug dealers follow heroin users into our communities.” He said he will “not help these radicals in their effort,” and said he hopes Governor Andrew Cuomo will not go along with the proposal. Reed isn’t alone in his objections. Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker applauded Reed for his stance, and said that there’s no such thing as a “safe” injection site. He said resources should be spent on prevention, education, and treatment instead.
Superfund Site in Corning No Longer a Significant Threat:
A Superfund Site in Corning is being reclassified after the New York State DEC found that is no longer a significant public health threat. According to the DEC, remedial measures were taken at the 37 East Pulteney Street location in 2010 and 2012, including excavation of contaminated soil, and the installation of a soil vapor extraction system and now the site is being changed from a “Class 2” to a “Class 4.” The use and development of the site will be limited to restricted-residential, commercial or industrial use, and the use of groundwater at the site will be prohibited without prior approval.
Color Walk to Prevent Child Abuse Set for June 16th:
The third annual “Steuben County Color Walk to Prevent Child Abuse” is set for June 16th. Registration for the family-friendly color walk will be that morning at 9 a.m. in Pulteney Park, with the event to follow at 10:15. The cost of registration is $3 per participant. Children under 5 are free. Along the mile-long course, volunteers will toss non-toxic colored paint powder at the walkers. Participants are recommended to wear light-colored clothes for the most colorful effect, and eye and nose protection are also recommended.