A notice for Easter travellers passing the Southern Tier this weekend: The New York State Department of Transportation has closed the Kanona Rest Area on Interstate 86 in the Town of Bath. The Rest Area was closed yesterday afternoon at 2pm due to electrical issues and will remain closed until further notice.
Steuben County Law Enforcement Memorial Park saw a boost in funding as members of the Steuben County Veterans Memorial Inc. recently helped with their donation of $3,000 to the Memorial Park. The donation will cover the purchase and installation of the “thin blue line” water feature that honors all law enforcement officers that have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend their communities. Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard expressed his gratitude for the generosity of Steuben County Veterans Memorial Inc. “It is an honor to work with them and we are extremely grateful that they have chosen to show their appreciation in this way.” said Allard.
Distracted driving tops driver’s list of growing dangers on the road, according to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The annual review shows that 88 percent of drivers believe distracted driving is on the rise, topping other risky behaviors like aggressive driving, drivers using drugs and drunk driving. Drivers in the AAA survey believe the problem of distracted driving has increased over the past three years, with nearly 50 percent reporting that they regularly see drivers emailing or texting while driving.
A judge has sentenced a Bath man to a prison term. On Thursday, 37-year-old Carlos Armenta was sentenced to spend 1.5-3 years in state prison as a second felony offender. He had been convicted of attempted promotion of prison contraband.
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has released a new report documenting the record number of data breach notices filed with his office last year. In 2017, companies and other entities reported nearly 1,600 data breaches, exposing the personal records of 9.2 million New Yorkers – quadruple the number of New Yorkers impacted in 2016. Schneiderman announced that he would introduce legislation to require Facebook and other social media sites to notify his office and New York consumers when they learn that users’ personal data was obtained and misused in violation of the law or the platform’s terms of service.
Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Kevin Costello shared with county legislators that the agency will continue to foster economic development and promotion of tourism. Costello says his agency will have a voice influenced by authentic storytelling, support and development of destination services that connects visitors to the many attractions in the county with a perspective rooted in local history. The story of Great Western Winery and Hammondsport’s role as the “cradle of aviation” are a few of the important historical highlights Costello wants to share with visiting tourists. SCCVB shared its goals with the Steuben County Legislature which include:
-Updating digital promotion with the development of a new website connecting tourists with recreation such as hunting, agritourism, hiking, water trails and events,
-Developing thematic group and leisure tour offerings, itineraries, and packages by working with Steuben’s tourism partners,
-Collaborating with neighboring counties for promotion of common attractions to bring more tourism to the area, and
-Offering alternative transportation options for visitors to the county.
West Union Man Arrested for Sexual Abuse:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a West Union man on multiple charges, including sexual abuse. 41-year-old Scott Vanhoven is a registered level 2 sex offender and he is accused of subjecting a 14-year-old boy to sexual contact by forcible compulsion. Vanhoven also allegedly created and used a Facebook account which he did not report to the sex offender registry. He is also facing failure to register or verify and failure to notify DCJS of change of internet access or internet identifiers, among other charges. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.
Corning Man Accused of Strangling Girlfriend:
A Corning man is facing a charge of strangulation after he allegedly strangled his
girlfriend during an argument. 27-year-old Joseph Robinson has also been charged with aggravated criminal contempt. The woman did not seek medical help at the scene. Robinson was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.
NYS Senate Passes Lyme Disease Legislation:
Legislation co-sponsored by Tom O’Mara that would strengthen New York’s response to the rise of Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases (TBDs) has been unanimously approved by the state Senate. The bill would require the state to conduct an impact study considering how infectious diseases and blood-borne pathogens, including Lyme and TBDs, may have correlations with mental illness in infected individuals, and it would enable better treatment of the mental health consequences associated with these infections. The legislation now moves to the Assembly.
A.G. Pushes “SHIELD ACT”:
Following a report that four times as many New Yorkers had their personal information stolen in 2017 as 2016, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is again pushing for passage of the SHIELD Act. He says it would help make New York a “model for data security” by creating a legal responsibility to put in place “reasonable” safeguards for protecting sensitive data. Currently, Schneiderman says there is no law requiring companies to protect data. Many of the 9.2 million New Yorkers who had their data comprised were connected to the Equifax hack, but the A.G. says other breaches are on the rise as well.
Work Underway on Corning’s Brisco Bridge:
Work has begun on Corning’s Brisco Bridge to replace and strengthen all of the bearings, placing new tops to all of the piers, replacing pedestals at the abutments, and concrete surface repairs. Drivers should expect daily lane closures on the bridge from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the next two weeks. Currently, the northbound lane closest to the sidewalk is closed. Next week the southbound lane closest to the sidewalk will be closed. It’s expected on April 9th, a long-term stationary lane shift will be erected on the southbound side in the lane closest to the sidewalk. The project is set to be completed in July.
Trout Season Starts April 1st:
The State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Thursday that this year’s trout fishing season in New York opens Sunday. The DEC will stock 2.26 million catchable-size trout in 315 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,845 miles of streams across the state, including Bennett Creek, Canaseraga Creek, the Canisteo and Cohocton rivers, Cold Brook, Meads Creek and Post Creek in Steuben County. Anglers can visit the DEC’s website for a list of stocked waters and the 2018 Coldwater Fishing Forecast for recommended trout and salmon fishing locations at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30465.html.
Jasper Couple Charged in Meth Bust:
A Jasper couple is facing methamphetamine related and stolen property charges following an investigation by State Troopers. According to state police they responded to a residence on St. Rt. #417 in the Town of Jasper to execute an arrest warrant and they found both occupants – 40-year-old Daniel Gillespie and 35-year-old Michelle Croft – in possession of methamphetamine. A search warrant was issued and additionally, reagents, solvents, catalysts, and lab equipment all used in the manufacture of methamphetamine were seized. Also, a large quantity of stolen property was recovered, including but not limited to an all-terrain vehicle, a vehicle tow-dolly, a dirt bike, construction equipment, and building materials. Gillespie was sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail. Croft was released on her own recognizance.
Village of Bath Budget Hearing:
Residents in the village of Bath will have the chance to sound off on the proposed 2018-2019 village budget. A public hearing on the spending plan will be held Monday at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Building. Earlier this month, trustee’s adopted a tentative budget which calls for an increase in taxes of 1.9%.
Gallant Withdraws from Congressional Race:
The Democratic field of challengers hoping to face off against Tom Reed for the 23rd Congressional District seat has gotten a bit smaller. Candidate Rick Gallant withdrew his name from the primary at a petition-signing event Wednesday evening, citing a lack of campaign funds and an inability to project an impression on voters. The longtime Corning-Painted Post teacher and basketball coach thanked his supporters and wished the other candidates well in the race. Five candidates remain; Gallant said he would support whoever wins the primary election.
Deadline Nears for Steuben Broadband Survey:
Steuben County officials are urging residents to take a few minutes to answer questions online or on paper for the Broadband Aggregation & Adoption Survey. The deadline to respond is April 16th. Officials say participation in this joint effort between Steuben and Yates counties will help Steuben access state funds needed to provide services across the county and improve provider competition. Also, the results of the survey will help the rural areas of the county gain access to funding that’s been made available in the Federal budget to improve broadband in unserved and underserved areas. The survey is available online at http://www.steubencony.org/broadband, and on paper at local libraries and town halls.
Southern Tier Pediatrics Acquired by Guthrie:
Effective April 1st, Southern Tier Pediatrics will become part of Guthrie, the company announced Wednesday. Currently, Southern Tier Pediatrics employs 60 people. They will all become Guthrie employees, and both offices in Corning and Horseheads will remain open. Officials don’t expect much to change in the transition, though in the future the number of staff might increase as the organization grows, and Guthrie is reportedly interested in expanding with a large multi-specialty site in the old Chase Pitkins building.
Pinwheels and Promises Set for April 4th:
For the sixth-straight year, Steuben County will celebrate children and take a stand to prevent their abuse and neglect. “Pinwheels and Promises Campaign …to prevent child abuse,” is sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Steuben, and is slated for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 4th in Pulteney Park in Bath. The event features pinwheels – a symbol of carefree children – and encourages everyone to help prevent child abuse in the county. County Legislature Chairman Joseph Hauryski is expected to proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in the county, and the event will also include information from participating agencies.
Man Wanted in Hornell Drug Raid Arrested:
A man wanted in connection with a drug raid in Hornell has now been arrested and is facing several charges. 64-year-old Hamid Afzali of Flushing is charged with criminal possession and criminal sale of a controlled substance, and criminal sale of a controlled substance on or near school grounds. They are all felony charges. Afzali has been sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Street Closure in Bath for Gas Man Replacement:
Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems (BEGWS) will be replacing a gas main on Pine Street, between West William Street and West Morris Street in Bath beginning Monday, April 2nd. For safety reasons, the street will be closed. Local access and access for emergency vehicles will be maintained during construction, which is expected to last throughout the month of April. The intersections of West William/Pine, West Steuben/Pine, and West Morris/Pine will be closed periodically as BEGWS cuts the pavement and replaces the gas main across these intersections.
Steuben Co. Traffic Safety Board Meeting Friday:
The Steuben County Traffic Safety Board meets Friday. Two new issues will be reviewed. The Board has received a request from Bully Hill Vineyards for posted speed limit signs on Greyton H. Taylor Memorial Drive. Another request is from a Town of Campbell resident requesting a speed reduction from 40 mph to 30 mph on Clawson Drive.
Corning Postpones Hospice Home Decision Following Resident Pushback:
The Corning Planning Board had decided to postpone a vote on a proposed hospice home on Brown Road following pushback from residents. A petition to stop the home from coming to the area with 55 signatures was handed to the board. The Comfort Care Home, known as Bampa’s House, would be built on a 2.75 acre property in the Village of South Corning. Would be neighbors say they support the concept, but not the location, and they have concerns about the volume of traffic that will be brought to the residential neighborhood.
NYS A.G. Announces Lawsuit Over Census Question:
Following the announcement Monday by the U.S. Commerce Department that the upcoming 2020 census will ask respondents whether they are citizens, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday that he will be leading a multistate lawsuit against it. Supporters of the question say it will help enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which aims to prevent voting rights violations, but in a statement Schneiderman said it violates both the 14th Amendment and the Enumeration Clause of the United States Constitution. He said it will create an “environment of fear and distrust in immigrant communities that would make impossible both an accurate Census and the fair distribution of federal tax dollars.” The census is required by the Constitution and is also used to determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. California has also already filed a lawsuit against the question, and New Jersey and Massachusetts both also expressed interest in leading or participating in lawsuits.
Southern Tier Outdoor Show Announces DogDogs for 2018:
The 2018 Southern Tier Outdoor Show isn’t until October, but already officials have announced a brand new event that will feature at this year’s show. For the first time ever, the high flying action of DockDogs will come to the Steuben County Fairgrounds for both spectators and competitors to enjoy. DockDogs is the independent governing and sanctioning body for dock jumping and dock diving canine performance sports, and it will include the Big Air Wave competition, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve. The competitions will be open to any and everyone. Your dog must be 6 months or older, but dogs of any breed, size, or shape are welcome. Handlers above the age of 7 are welcome, and there will be a Youth Handler class for those between the ages of 7 and 14. Pre-registration will be available until one week prior to the event at http://www.dockdogs.com, or you can register on-site at the beginning of the day. The 2018 Southern Tier Outdoor Show will be held at the Steuben County Fairgrounds on October 13th and 14th.
14 Acres Burned in Corning Brush Fire:
A brush fire in Corning Monday burned 14 acres of land and caused minor damage to a home on Theresa Drive. The fire broke out around 1:30 p.m. when fire officials say a broken insulator on an electrical line caused the line to fall into a field west of the Corning Guthrie Hospital. With the dry conditions, the power line was able to ignite the ground and spread quickly. A dozen fire departments were dispatched and fought the blaze for several hours. No injuries have been reported.
Fugitive from Justice Arrest:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Saturday, deputies arrested 25-year-old Jessica Bennett of Pennsylvania as a fugitive from justice. It’s alleged that Bennett was wanted by the P.A. State Police for forgery and receiving stolen property. She was arraigned in Town of Bath Court and was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Warrant Arrest at Steuben Co. Jail:
A Rochester woman was arrested at the Steuben County Jail on Sunday on an active warrant out of Rochester. According to authorities, 35-year-old Fatinma Dubois allegedly attempted to the enter the jail for visitation and was found to have an active warrant out of the City of Rochester for assault and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. She was arrested and turned over to Rochester Police to answer the charges.
Multiple Traffic, Drug Charges for Erwin Man:
An Erwin man was arrested on Sunday on multiple charges including inadequate stop lamps, aggravated unlicensed operation and criminal possession of a controlled substance. 33-year-old Sheldon Peet allegedly operated a motor vehicle on County Route 115 in the Town of Lindley while his license or privilege to operate a vehicle was suspended, for failing to pay fines out of the Town of Woodhull Court. It’s also alleged that authorities found methamphetamine in his vehicle. Peet was released with appearance tickets.
$9.7M Awarded to Southern Tier for Projects:
New York State has announced $9.7 million is headed to the Southern Tier for various projects. Among those receiving funds is Hornell, where $1 million will be used to demolish the former Marion Rohr Building and turn it into a multi-family apartment building. Corning will receive more than $900,000 to convert the former College Center of the Finger Lakes into apartments and office space.
Veterans Town Hall March 29th:
There will be a Veterans Town Hall at the Bath V.A. on Thursday, March 29th. The event will be held at 2 p.m. in Building 92 on the V.A. campus. This event is an opportunity for veterans, their families, and the community to learn more about V.A. programs and services.
Applications Open for 2018-19 NYS Excelsior Program:
New York State’s free-tuition program, known as the Excelsior Scholarship, is now accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. Students who will attend a SUNY or CUNY school, and whose parents make less than $110,000 per year are eligible. Other requirements, including class credit minimums, do apply. To learn more visit http://www.hesc.ny.gov/excelsior.
Bath Robbery Suspect Arrested:
The Ithaca man wanted in connection with a robbery in Bath has been arrested. Devante Johnson was taken into custody by Ithaca police and charged with burglary, robbery, and gang assault, all felonies. According to Bath Police, Johnson and two other men entered a village residence on February 22nd and assaulted and robbed two people. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail following arraignment. 26-year-old Clifton McBean, also of Ithaca, was also arrested in the same case on similar charges.
Drug Charges for Wayland Man Following Traffic Stop:
A Wayland man is facing drug charges following a traffic stop in Livingston County. 30-year-old Mackenzie Smith is facing 7th degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument after heroin and a hypodermic needle were allegedly found in his vehicle.
“March for Our Lives” Protest in Corning:
Local supporters of the “March for Our Lives” gun-control protest took to the streets of Corning Saturday, joining thousands of others who did the same across the nation. Hundreds of people, many holding signs, marched down Market Street and listened to speakers that included local students and faculty. Some took the stand to express their personal stories of gun violence, and some called on Congressman Tom Reed to take action.
Tyrtle Beach Kickoff April 2nd:
The kickoff party for the 27th annual Tyrtle Beach fundraiser for area youth programs is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 2nd at the Charles E. Westcott American Legion in Bath. A popular springtime tradition in Steuben County, the fundraiser has raised a total of more than $660,000 for youth programs in central Steuben, including $38,000 raised last year by county Sheriff Jim Allard. Kickoff festivities Monday evening include the announcement of the individual taking the plunge May 3rd from the chilly banks of “Tyrtle Beach” into the even colder Lake Salubria. Tickets for the kickoff are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. For more information and ticket sales locations, call the county Youth Bureau at (607) 664-2119.
CDC Warns of Second Wave of Flu Season:
While the flu season is winding down, it’s not going quietly. The Centers for Disease Control is warning of a second wave, Flu Virus B, which is happening now. According to the CDC, B-viruses are being reported more frequently now than the A-strain, which had been more dominant. Experts say it’s possible for those who have already had the flu this season to fall ill again with a different strain and a CDC spokesperson said the B-strain viruses tend to be more severe for younger children. Here in New York, flu cases have declined for the fourth straight week, according to the Department of Health. Reports of new cases are down 19 percent from last week and hospitalizations are down 29 percent.
New Restaurant Opening at Arnot Mall:
Hungry shoppers at the Arnot Mall will soon have a greater dining selection, as “Hometown Teams BBQ” has announced they’re opening inside the mall. The restaurant is described as family-style with a local sports theme. According to their Facebook announcement, “Hometown Teams BBQ” will open in May.
SSWCD Promises Improvements
County officials expressed praise for the Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District for generating $30 per dollar of county contributions. Jeff Parker, who is District Manager of Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District, says $5 million was collected in outside funding for the fiscal year of 2017. Funds were made possible that year thanks to grants from agencies like the state’s Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program which contributed $2,756,310 and over $1 million from the USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Parker said more improvement has been promised by the district, as they just approved an Army Corps of Engineers plan for an ice jam storage field for future dangerous ice jams like the hamlet of Campbell experienced in January.
Hornell Announces Zero Tolerance Policy on School Threats
Hornell and its school district issued a statement Thursday regarding school threats. Officials said students and parents should be aware that comments, even made in jest, will be investigated thoroughly and treated seriously. If you have concerns or have heard of threats made, you should call 911 right away. The statement was released after recent comments were made that could be construed as threats.
Rochester Woman Arrested for Drugs, Tampering with Evidence
A Rochester woman is facing charges of 3rd degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, two counts of Tampering with Evidence, two counts of Falsifying Business Records, and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana following a traffic stop in Avoca. State Troopers pulled over Nancy Lopez, age 34, on I-390 for speeding and after interviewing Lopez, discovered marijuana and cocaine in her possession. Police say about possessing the substances. Lopez was taken to Arnot Ogden Memorial Hospital under precaution because Troopers believed there was possibility Lopez swallowed narcotics to avoid charges. Upon her hospital release, Lopez was arraigned and sent to Steuben County Jail on $50,000 bail.
O’Mara Sponsors Laree’s Law
State Senator Tom O’Mara has co-sponsored an approved New York State Senate bill to allow drug dealers to be charged with homicide. “Laree’s law” would have drug dealers charged with homicide if a person dies of overdose of a substance sold by that dealer, carrying a penalty of 15 to 25 years in prison for the charge. The bill heads to state assembly as supporters intend to target major and mid-level drug suppliers.
Canisteo Woman Arrested for DWI
Steuben County Deputies announced the arrest of a Canisteo woman for Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated and failure to keep right. Katherine E. Kinne, age 27, was investigated after deputies were dispatched to a one car property damage motor vehicle collision on Woodworth Road in the Town of Hartsville. Police found Kinne to have collided with a fixed object and been intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .18 percent or greater. Kinne was released on traffic summons and is scheduled to return to the Town of Hartsville Court at a later date.
Hauryski Endorses “Internet Fairness Conformity Act”
Steuben County Legislature Chairman Joe Hauryski of Campbell has endorsed a state proposal which may increase local revenues and support initiatives to “buy local”. The “Internet Fairness Conformity Act” is a call for the state to collect sales tax from third-party sellers on large Internet marketplaces, regardless of the seller’s geographical location. Hauryski says the proposal will not effect the 8 percent Steuben tax rate and says the measure “will level the playing field” for local and small retailers and “adjust inequality in the tax system” as well as “bring sizable revenues into our county.” A total of $160 million in sales taxes could be collected by New York counties in the first year according New York State Association of Counties and could stabilize property taxes.
Watches Announces Run for Steuben Co. Judge:
Judge Chauncey Watches has announced his Republican candidacy for Steuben County Judge in the 2018 election. The seat is up for election this year due to the impending retirement of Judge Peter Bradstreet. Watches has served as a judge in Bath for the last 14 years and has helped resolve thousands of cases. Additionally, he has run his own private legal practice for 30 years and previously served as Assistant District Attorney and as Assigned Counsel through the Public Defender’s Office. Watches ran for the Steuben County Surrogate Court Judge seat last year, but was defeated by Patrick McAllister.
Waverly Woman Accused of Stealing $8,000 from Employer:
A Waverly woman has been accused of stealing nearly $8,000 in cash while she was employed at Sears at the Arnot Mall. 30-year-old Alisha Talmage allegedly stole the money between November 2017 and March 2018. She is facing a felony grand larceny charge. She has been released on an appearance ticket.
Steuben Co. Legislature Meeting Agenda:
When the Steuben County Legislature meets in regular session Monday, an effort to assist local governments in managing infrastructure projects, and a contract with the Hornell Humane Society are expected to top the agenda. County legislative committee members supported this month contracting with the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency for a part-time, experienced project manager to deal with the paperwork and complex regulations needed to apply for and receive grants for water, sewer, and other large infrastructure projects. The project manager would assist the governments, under the direction of the Steuben County IDA, providing an efficient and comprehensive plan for those participating. County legislators will also be asked to approve a proposed contract with the Hornell Humane Society for $7,500. This will be the first contract the county has had with the Hornell shelter, which works closely with the county Sheriff’s SPIRIT Program. SPIRIT pairs shelter dogs with inmates, who volunteer to train the dogs and prepare them for adoption.
City of Hornell, School District Release Joint School Threat Statement:
The City of Hornell and the Hornell City School District released a joint statement Thursday in regards to school threats. It said, in part that they recently heard comments and statements that could be construed as threats, and said that in each case, law enforcement was contacted immediately and each threat was thoroughly investigated. They remind students and parents that all comments will be investigated thoroughly and treated seriously, and urge anyone with concerns or that may have heard threats to contact law enforcement immediately. The school district said it will continue to follow established protocol and maintain ongoing collaboration with the City and the Hornell Police Department as needed.
Wayfair Opening Call Center in Big Flats:
Some 450 jobs will be coming to Chemung County as major online retailer Wayfair has announced a new call center will be opening on Daniel Zenker Drive in Big Flats. Wayfair, which is based in Boston, employs 7,700 people globally, and also operates centers in Massachusetts, Maine, Utah, Texas, Germany, and Ireland. It reported $4.7 billion in revenue in 2017, posting a 12-month loss of $245 million. The call center is expected to open this summer.
WGI Job Fair Today/Tomorrow:
As part of its preparations for the 2018 racing season, Watkins Glen International is holding a pair of job fairs today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., both days. Seasonal positions are available, including retail staff, security, ushers, gate staff, cleaners, and more. Attendees will have to fill out an application and supply two forms of identification.
Steuben Co. Notes National Volunteer Day is set for April 3rd:
Steuben County officials are urging residents and organizations to celebrate National Service Recognition Day, which is set for April 3rd. According to Steuben RSVP Coordinator Christine Towner, more than 400 participants serve in 71 civic, neighborhood, and faith-based locations in the county, through RSVP, Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and AmeriCorps programs. The Steuben County RSVP volunteers alone save their parent agencies more than $1.5 million annually, she said.
“Check Out Hunger” Raise Over $278,000 for Food Bank:
This year’s “Check Out Hunger” campaign has been tallied, and shoppers throughout the Southern Tier donated $278,132 to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, which is expected to provide over 834,000 meals. The total was announced Thursday at a celebration with participating stores: Jubilee Foods, Save-A-Lot, Tops Friendly Markets, and Wegmans. Seven cashiers were also honored with the “Golden Cash Register” award for outstanding work during the event.
Dansville Woman Facing Drug Charges:
A Dansville woman has been arrested on a charge of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine as well as tampering with evidence. It’s alleged that when 35-year-old Hollie Taft’s boyfriend, Thomas Jacobs Jr. was arrested on March 17th, Taft attempted to conceal physical evidence at a different location. Jacobs was also charged with unlawful manufacturing methamphetamine. Taft was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail due to previous felony convictions.
Bath Man Charged with Rape:
An investigation by the State Police of Bath and the Steuben County Child Protective Services has resulted in charges against a Bath man. 23-year-old Cody Marvin is accused of rape in the 3rd and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly engaging in sexual contact with a child less than seventeen. He was issued an appearance ticket.
Area Paper Laying Off 100 Employees:
The publisher that produces area newspapers including the Elmira Star-Gazette, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, and the Ithaca Journal has announced that it will be closing down its $50 million printing facility in Johnson City this summer and will now be printing in Rochester. As a result some 100 workers will be laid off during a 14-day period starting June 16th.
Two Local Women Recognized for Youth Services:
Two women were recently recognized for their service to youth by the Steuben County Youth Board at its annual banquet. Nominations were received from schools, youth-related agencies, and the community. Amber Bailey Stevens, of Hammondsport, received the board’s “Gary Pruyn Youth Service Worker Award” while the board’s “Champion for Youth Award” went to Christine Harrington, of Addison. A former Hammondsport Central Middle School teacher, Stevens is now the Fred and Harriett Taylor Memorial Literacy Coordinator and developed the library’s weekly “Little Bookworms” program for infants through preschool children. A Healthy Families Steuben Program supervisor for 10 years, and the president of the Addison Youth Center board, Harrington is active in agency fundraisers, and organized a local lobby to call their local legislators when center funding was in danger of being reduced. Also, as an Addison Food Pantry board member, she helped open two “Kids Farmers Market” and developed the area’s first 1-mile “bunny hop” fundraiser to promote health and wellness.
NYS Sheriffs’ Institute Honorary Membership Drive This Week:
The New York State Sheriffs’ Institute began its annual Honorary Membership drive in Steuben County this week and Sheriff Jim Allard encourages residents to give their support. The Sheriffs’ Institute was established in 1979 to advance criminal justice education, prevent juvenile delinquency, and support victims of crime and their families. Their programs include the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp, Criminal Justice Scholarship Program, and Crime Victim Notification Programs.
Kidde Recalling 452,000 Smoke Detectors:
Kidde is recalling 452,000 of its “Dual Sensor” Smoke Alarms due to a risk that the alarms won’t actually alert consumers to a fire in their home. The issue is because of a yellow cap that the company says was left on during the manufacturing process that can cover one of the two sensors and compromise the device’s ability to detect smoke. The alarms were sold from September 2016 through January 2018 at Walmart, Home Depot, and other home and hardware stores as well as Amazon.com and other websites. Consumers are advised to remove the alarm and inspect it for the yellow cap, but are told not to attempt to remove it themselves. Instead, immediately contact Kidde to receive instructions and request a free replacement smoke alarm. If no yellow cap is present, consumers can re-install the alarm and no further action is necessary.
Results of Local Village Elections
Local Village elections happened yesterday and Bath Mayor Von Hagn will serve another 2 year term. Von Hagn won in a landslide 31 votes over 13 votes going to the Democratic contender. A re-election also happened in Arkport for Mayor Charlie Flanders and Village Trustee Jon Hedges while Ryan Beers won over Patty Amidon for a Village Trustee position. North Hornell saw another term for Republican Mayor John Falci as well as Village Trustees Frank Libordi and Joe Ingalls. In Canisteo elected Michael Delaney and Grant Seaman as Village Trustees.
Reed Supports Death Penalty for Opiate Dealers in HELP Act
Congressman Tom Reed said he supports the death penalty for opioid and fentanyl dealers yesterday in his weekly media conference call. Reed supports the Help Ensure Lives are Protected Act (or HELP Act) which proposes the death penalty to dealers who are prosecuted for a connection to an overdose death. The bill is pending in congress and Reed says that he thinks the death penalty will “make headway against those major traffickers to send the message that their behavior and their actions and their criminal activity is just unacceptable…” He also noted that pharmaceutical companies manufacturing these opiates such as fentanyl “need to be held accountable also”.
Steuben Leaders Concerned About RTA Tax Cap
Yesterday, Steuben County leaders shared their concern that New York State will force its counties to be abide by the state tax cap formula to receive the “Raise the Age” reimbursement that has been proposed in the 2018 state budget. The budget provision, which would begin in the fall, would give $100 million back to law enforcement and raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years of age so long as counties comply with the proposed state tax cap. County Legislature Chairman Hauryski of Campbell says Steuben expects to comply with the tax cap to be reimbursed but has called on state lawmakers to remove the RTA tax cap stipulation for counties to receive reimbursement due to the possibility of local economic deficit. The proposal to remove the RTA tax cap has also been given support in State Assembly and Senate.
Hammondsport Central School Board Holding Meeting Tonight
Hammondsport Central School will hold its Regular Board of Education Meeting tonight. It will be held at 6pm in the Hammondsport High School Library. It is open to the public and anyone who is a part of the school district is welcome to attend.
Johnson Arrested for February Assault and Robbery
Bath Village Police announced the arrest of an Ithaca man connected to a robbery in Bath that occured last month. Devante A. Johnson, age 25, was arrested for Robbery in the 2nd degree, Burglary in the 1st degree, and Gang Assault in the 3rd degree. Johnson was arraigned in Bath Village Court by Judge Watches and remanded to Steuben County Jail with bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond and will reappear in Bath Village Court this afternoon at 3:15pm. The arrest was accomplished by a warrant that occured in Ithaca and in coordination with the New York State Police Violent Felony Warrant Squad, US Marshall’s Office, and Ithaca Police Department.
NYS Senate Passes Revenge Porn Legislation
The New York State Senate has passed legislation that protects individuals from the unauthorized sharing of intimate images, also known as revenge porn. The bill increases criminal penalties for this new form of cyberbullying to prevent potential victims from professional, emotional, or personal damage from the dissemination of explicit photos or other images. The bill will be sent to the Assembly.
Hornell Common Council Adopts New City Resolutions
In last night’s meeting, Hornell Common Council approved two major resolutions regarding the city’s Chamberlain term and policy for residency requirement. Changes made to the elections of Mayor and Chamberlains were made so neither of the separate offices will be elected to a new position in the same year and according to Mayor Buckley, this will make the transition into city hall smoother for the elected officials. The term for Chamberlain was also lengthened from 2 to 4 years. Residency requirement was updated so that any employee newly hired by the City of Hornell will have to be a city resident within 6 months of hiring with the few exceptions for part time or seasonal employees. Several budget adjustments were approved during the meeting and City Chamberlain, City Clerk and Mayor were given permission to draw checks for payments of bills.
Local Villages Elections Happening in Steuben County
Today is an important day in local politics as several Village elections are taking place. Elections in the Village of Bath is for Mayor only where Mayor Von Hagn is running unopposed. North Hornell is holding a mayoral race and an election for two trustee positions. In Canisteo, Two village board seats are up for vote while three candidates - Independent Michael Delaney, and Republicans Grant Seaman and Don Lewis. If you are a voter in one of these townships who wants to participate but do not know where to go to vote, please refer to the County Board of Elections website to look up your polling place at: https://www.steubencony.org/Elect-Polling-Places/Poll_lookup.aspx.
Allard Calls for Corning/Elmira Border to Contain Drugs
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard is calling for a financial border around the Corning area and throughout the Steuben County area as a means to control the drug epidemic as soon as possible. Allard recently told the city council “Whatever happens in Elmira will be here in five years. We need to establish a border around this area or it’s coming here.” Allard also says the fight against opioids will be given an edge when the Steuben County Legislature will hire two new deputies in mid-April to assist in drug traffic interdictions. Two other positions will be added later as part of a plan with the Police Chiefs of Bath, Hornell and Corning. Allard and District Attorney Brooks Baker recently announced the Comprehensive Opioid Prevention Effort, or “COPE” that seeks to resolve substance abuse in the county through the four-tier approach focusing on law enforcement, prevention, treatment and education. Sheriff Allard believes following this strategy is key to making the urgent call for isolating Steuben County possible.
Dansville Man Killed in Snowmobiling Accident
A Dansville man was killed over the weekend when the snowmobile he was operating was struck by a car. Police said 54-year-old Robert Henry died after he attempted to cross State Route 19A in Wyoming County and was struck causing fatal injuries. 56-year-old Thomas Brice of Nunda was not charged.
CASH Program Available for Taxpayers Earning Less than $54K
With Tax Day less than a month away, Steuben County residents, including retired seniors and their families, earning less than $54,000 in 2017, can receive free income tax assistance and electronic filing through the Southern Tier CASH Program. For more information, appointments and a checklist of necessary documents, call 2-1-1. A photo ID is required.
Canaseraga Man Charged With DWI
A traffic stop on I-86 resulted in the arrest of a Canaseraga man. State police charged 38-year-old Joshua Capwell with driving while intoxicated. He was also charged with refusing to submit to a breath test, speeding and other infractions.
Dansville Man Arrested on Meth Charges
State Troopers of the Wayland Barracks arrested a Dansville man for meth-related charges on State Route 36 in Dansville during an investigation for a domestic incident. Police pulled over Thomas J. Jacobs Jr, age 39, whose driving privileges were suspended, and say they found equipment, chemicals and other materials to make methamphetamine. Jacobs was charged with Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine in the 3rd degree as well as other Vehicle and Traffic Law violations. Jacobs was arraigned in Town of Dansville Court and remanded to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
State Burn Ban Begins
A reminder that the New York state burn ban is in effect for the brush fire season. The ban lasts until mid May as a safety measure to prevent grass and wood fires. Campfires are still allowed so long as they are contained by a ring or pit. The Department of Environmental Conservation warns that those who violate the state’s Open Burning Regulation are subject to both criminal and civil action, which can result in fines.
Beware of Scams Targeting Taxpayers
This tax season, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is warning New York taxpayers to be careful of a few reported scams. The office says they have received complaints about scammers impersonating IRS agents. Schneiderman stresses to never give personal information such as bank account information and social security and credit card numbers to anyone who calls you unsolicited and reminds citizens: "No legitimate government agency will call you unsolicited on something like this." Anyone suspecting a tax scam is urged to report it by calling the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-771-7755 or completing a consumer complaint form.
Police Still Looking for Robbery Suspect Johnson
Bath Police are still seeking help from the public to locate a suspect of a robbery in the village of Bath that happened last month. DeVante Johnson, a 25 year old man from Ithaca is wanted among two other people for robbery, burglary and gang assault charges after the assault and robbery of two other individuals. Police say Johnson may still be in the Bath area and anyone with information is urged to come forward and report it to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office or Bath Village Police Department.
County Public Health Seeking Emergency Drill Volunteers
Volunteers are needed for an upcoming emergency preparedness drill held by Steuben County Public Health. The drill will be held April 10th from 1-3pm at the Haverling High School Gym. The drill simulates a scenario of mass exposure to a virus requiring the administration of a vaccine to prevent illness. Volunteers are also needed at the same location to staff the event from 10:30am to 3:30pm. Steuben County Public Health officials say volunteers of all ages and abilities are highly encouraged to help with the project. Interested volunteers are asked to please provide their name, email address and cell phone number to the Public Health Department through calling (607) 664-2438 or emailing email@example.com.
Haverling Graduate to Receive SUNY Chancellor’s Award
A former Steuben County Youth in Government intern has received the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence. Dylan Marshall, a 2016 Haverling High School graduate, will receive the Chancellor’s award at an April 10 ceremony honoring recipients at the Albany Capital Center. Active in on-campus government at Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) in Canandaigua, Marshall also was featured in the New York State Association of Counties magazine for his involvement in Steuben County Youth in Government.
Bath Street Department Collecting Storm Debris
Bath Village residents are reminded that the Village Street Department is still picking up brush and limbs brought down by the recent storm. All limbs and brush must be placed to the edge of the street but residents must not pile any material on the roadway. This collection is intended for storm damage only and continues until next week. The Village compost area will also be open for residents to drop off brush and limb debris free of charge. Anyone with more questions about this is asked to contact the Village Street Department at 776-6321 from 7am through 3:30pm.
New York Flu Cases Continue to Decline
For the third consecutive week, the number of laboratory confirmed influenza cases has decreased across New York. The number of weekly hospitalizations decreased for the fifth consecutive week since influenza was declared prevalent in December, with 694 New Yorkers hospitalized for lab confirmed influenza.
Dansville Man Arrested on Probation Violation
A Dansville man was arrested by Steuben County deputies due to an active Probation warrant in the county. James Bennett was arrested in Eden, New York after violating the terms and conditions of his probation. Bennett violated his probation after receiving a conviction of reckless endangerment in the first degree. Following his arrest, Mr. Bennett was remanded to the Steuben County Jail with a later date to reappear in Steuben County Court.
O'Mara Co-Sponspors NYS "Contraband Screening Plan"
The New York State Senate is moving forward on legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) to require the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to establish an aggressive, multi-faceted “Contraband Screening Plan” in New York’s correctional facilities. O’Mara also noted that the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc. (NYSCOPBA) recently renewed the call for stepped-up efforts to cut down on drugs, weapons, and other dangerous contraband being smuggled into New York’s correctional facilities. The Association points to 2017 as potentially “the most violent year inside state prisons since 2007” with inmate-on-staff assaults, inmate-on-inmate assaults, and the smuggling of dangerous contraband into prisons on the rise.
Reed Responds to Student Demonstrations
Congressman Tom Reed expressed appreciation towards students who marched out of class to bring attention to school massacres and demand stricter gun control. In this week’s weekly conference call Reed said: “It inspires me to obviously reaffirm my position that doing nothing in regards to the issue of gun violence, in regards to the issue mental illness, derangement in America as well as protecting our schools….it’s something we should be doing.” Reed feels gun violence and school safety should be tackled by addressing those who are exhibiting mental illness or derangement as well as making sure function of background check is “flowing appropriately” while making sure legal rights are guaranteed, stressing “but at the same time due process rights are being protected.”
Law Enforcement Steps Up Patrols to Prevent St. Pat's Weekend DWIs
A reminder that state and local police will be on patrol to prevent drunk driving as part of the “STOP-DWI Crackdown Weekend” campaign. Targeting the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend the crackdown begins today and continues until this Monday March 19th. All drivers are reminded that if they will be drinking this weekend to organize a plan to get home safely by walking, calling a cab or carpooling. If you will not be sober and none of these can be arranged, please plan ahead to avoid getting drunk and behind the wheel by planning to spend the night. Research proves that these highly visible crackdowns can further reduce the incidence of DWI
Bath Police Searching for Burglary, Gang Assault Suspect:
Bath Police are searching for an Ithaca man believed to have taken part in a burglary and gang assault on February 22nd in the Village. 25-year-old Devante Johnson is believed to be in the Bath area. Earlier this week, police arrested 26-year-old Clifton McBean in relation to the same incident and he was jailed on no bail. Police say three men unlawfully entered a home and assaulted and robbed two others.
Dundee Man Crashes Truck into Home:
There were no injuries Thursday in an accident where a truck crashed into a house on the Dundee-Himroad Road. 24-year-old Sean Hanes of Dundee reportedly lost control of his pickup truck around 6 a.m. and rolled the vehicle onto its side. It came to rest in the house. There were six people inside at the time. Authorities say Hanes was traveling too fast on icy roadways and he was issued several traffic tickets.
Tractor-Trailer Carrying Livestock Crashes on I-86:
Around midnight this morning, a tractor-trailer transporting cows overturned on Interstate-86 in Chemung County near the Elmira Exit. According to officials, around 38 animals were in the truck, 7 escaped and were wandering along the highway. Some cows were killed in the accident, though an exact number isn’t known at this time. There is no word on the cause of the crash or if any people were injured.
Corning Woman Charged with Welfare Fraud:
A Corning woman has been arrested on charges of welfare fraud and filing a false instrument. 45-year-old Amy Hargrave allegedly submitted an application to receive benefits and did not list all required income. As a result, she received benefits in the amount of $908 that she was eligible for. She was released on an appearance ticket.
Cuomo Calls for Investigation of Schools that Punished Students During
Following reports that some schools prevented students from taking part in Wednesday’s nationwide student walkout to protest gun violence, Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked state education officials to investigate. In a letter, Cuomo called the actions – which included reports of schools disciplining students and faculty for participating in the event – “an egregious safety violation” and unlawful.
Active Shooter Trainings Scheduled:
On Monday, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office presented the ALERRT Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event (CRASE) training to over 120 members of the Corning area clergy and lay-leader community. The training discussed security, planning, and actions involved in responding to a critical incident event at a house of worship. More trainings are scheduled for: March 27th at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Bath, April 10th at the Wallace Wesleyan Church in Avoca, May 8th at the St. James Episcopal Church in Hammondsport, and May 22nd at the Victory Highway Wesleyan Church in Painted Post. All trainings are free and begin at 6 p.m. You can register by calling (607) 622-3930 or by contacting the pastor of each site directly.
Prevent Child Abuse Steuben Nominations Sought:
Prevent Child Abuse Steuben, formerly known as the Steuben County Task Force for the Prevention of Child Abuse, is looking for nominations of an individual, program, or organization that has significantly contributed to the prevention of child abuse in Steuben. Nominations are welcome from schools, government agencies, community organizations, private practitioners, churches, and other concerned individuals or groups. Submissions should include what the nominee has done, what distinguishes efforts from other prevention efforts, and specifically why the nominee deserves special recognition. The deadline for nominations is April 1st. For nomination forms or more information contact county Youth Bureau coordinator Bill Caudill at (607) 664-2119.
Ford Recalling Fusions, Lincoln MKZs:
1.4 million Ford vehicles are being recalled because the steering wheel can become loose or even come off while driving due to a bolt that could come loose. There have been two accidents and one injury as a result of the issue. The recall applies to every model of the Ford Fusion and every model of the Lincoln MKZ from model years 2014 through 2018. Additionally, Ford has recalled another 6,000 Fusion and Focus models due to a risk of fire from a fracture in the clutch pressure plate.
Canisteo Woman Killed in Vehicle Accident:
A Canisteo woman was killed Tuesday in a single-vehicle accident at the intersection of Fall Creek Road and Bearlick Hollow Road in the Town of Hartsville. Emergency responders were called to the scene on reports of a woman trapped underneath the driver’s side of a vehicle. The woman was taken to Saint James Mercy hospital, but lifesaving measures were unsuccessful. The driver was identified as 75-year-old Bonnie Kraft. Investigation by State Police determined that Kraft erroneously put the vehicle into reverse gear instead of park, exited the idling vehicle, and was subsequently knocked to the ground and pinned by the rolling vehicle. The investigation is ongoing and no foul play is currently suspected.
Wayland Man Allegedly Pulled Shotgun During Dispute:
A Wayland man has been arrested for allegedly pointing a shotgun at another person during a dispute. According to State Police, 31-year-old Scott Wiley was also determined to be a felon, meaning he was not able to possess the shotgun. Their investigation also found that the shotgun was reported stolen. Wiley was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of stolen property, and menacing. He was sent to the Steuben County jail on $25,000 cash bail.
Horseheads Man Accused of Selling Stolen Property:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Horseheads man for criminal possession of stolen property. 19-year-old Mason Shephard is accused of possessing and selling stolen property to a retail establishment in Erwin. Shepard was released on an appearance ticket.
California Man Goes Missing in Steuben Co., Found Following Search:
State Police from Painted Post and Bath, as well as a State Police K-9 team were dispatched Wednesday after a California man went missing. According to police, the 22-year-old man was a passenger in a vehicle that had pulled into the Campbell Rest Area on I-86 around 3:30 a.m. For unknown reasons, the man ran into the woods upon exiting the vehicle, and failed to return. Roughly an hour into the search, the man was located and subsequently taken to Corning Hospital for evaluation.
Corning Man Charged with Threatening Police Officers with Knife:
A Corning man has been arrested for menacing police officers. 49-year-old James Holiday allegedly threatened the officers with a kitchen knife. He was charged with menacing a police officer, criminal possession of a weapon, and obstructing governmental administration. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.
Democratic Challenges to Reed Debate in Elmira:
For the first time, voters in Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, and Tioga counties got to see and hear from all the Democratic challengers of Republican Tom Reed in one place Wednesday night. The six candidates held a debate at the headquarters of the Economic Opportunity Program in Elmira and topics covered ranged from library funding to unions, climate change, healthcare, and - on a day when thousands of students across the nation walked out of class in protest of gun violence, including hundreds locally – gun control. The Democratic Primary is set for June 26th. All the candidates have said they will support the winner in November’s general election.
Toys “R” Us Closing all U.S. Stores:
After 70 years of business, Toys “R” Us has announced that it will be closing or selling all of its U.S. stores. Employees were notified on Wednesday before the announcement was made. Toys “R” Us has nearly 800 stores across the country.
Residential Brush Burning Prohibited Through May 14th in NYS:
With spring approaching, bringing with it heightened conditions for wildfires, the Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding residents that residential brush burning is prohibited across New York State March 16th through May 14th. Much of the state is currently blanketed in snow, but warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise. The DEC will post a Fire Danger Map rating forecast daily for the 2018 fire season on its website and on the NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App, which is available on the DEC’s website. Violators of the open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense.
Drug Charges in I-390 Pullover:
A pullover on I-390 has resulted in felony drug charges for three people. According to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, the vehicle was pulled over for vehicle and traffic violations and over a pound of marijuana and 4 grams of cocaine were found in the vehicle. 35-year-old Jason Quick of Canisteo is accused of criminal possession of marijuana in the 3rd. 26-year-old Marcus Ruckdeschel of Nunda and 19-year-old Dylan Lew of Portageville were also charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the 3rd, and Lew was additionally charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 4th for the alleged cocaine possession.
Hornell Man Killed in Florida Accident:
A Hornell man has been killed in an accident Monday in Florida. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident occurred in Holly Hill, just outside of Daytona and 54-year-old Dave Rumchuck was killed.
Steuben to Increase Interdiction Efforts:
Steuben County’s efforts to stem the tide of opioid addiction locally could get a boost by mid-April, with county legislative committees agreeing to hire two new deputies, thereby allowing two veteran deputies to be trained in drug traffic interdictions. The county Legislature’s Administration Committee agreed to allocate four vacant positions for the county Sheriff’s department, with the stipulation two of the positions be filled immediately. County officials will also apply for a grant to fund the remaining two positions which would allow for more drug investigators later in the year. The committee’s action Tuesday followed approval by the county Legislature’s Public Safety Committee last week.
$1400 Raised for Food Bank in “Check Out Hunger” Shopping Spree:
The annual “Check Out Hunger Shopping Spree” was held Tuesday and more than $1,400 was raised for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. The annual event is put on by WETM-TV, Jubilee Foods, and the food bank. This year Ray Kellar of Horseheads won the chance to race the clock. He shopped for two minutes and racked up $1,402.80. Jubilee Foods will now donate a dollar amount equal to the amount of food gathered.
National School Walkout Event:
Students across the region may march out of school this morning in support of victims and protesting against the latest school massacre in Florida last month. Some area school districts have embraced the notion, including Bath, Corning-Painted Post, Watkins Glen, and Penn Yan. The Horseheads School District is encouraging students to take part in campus alternatives. Students will march out of classrooms at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes to honor the lives of the 17 victims killed.
Update on Injured Route 36 Man:
There has been an update in the case of the man found injured on Route 36 in South Hornell over the weekend. Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard says that it appears Matthew Cole was injured somewhere else, prior to being found in median of the road. He said the investigation indicates that Cole was accidentally injured, then driven to an area near his home, and that he suffered a cardiac problem while walking and collapsed. Cole is in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Former Tyrone Highway Super. Pleads Guilty to Disorderly Conduct:
The former Town of Tyrone Highway Superintendent accused of submitting an altered town highway car invoice for work done on his personal car has now pled guilty to disorderly conduct. 66-year-old Paul Ernhout of Dundee was originally charged with felony official misconduct and offering a false instrument for filing. As part of his deal, he will pay restitution of more than $300 and he will not be able to run for political office for a year.
Canisteo Turns Down Additional Police Proposal:
The Canisteo Town Board has voted against a proposal that would have added additional police officers and made the Canisteo Police Department essentially full time. Town Supervisor Steve Weed said the decision was because of a lack of preparation in the proposal and that what was presented was not as punctual as the board would have liked. However, he added that the issue can be revisited in the future.
Steuben Announces 2018 Bridge Schedule:
Starting at the end of March, work is expected to get underway on seven bridges in Steuben County. County Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti and Senior Engineer Steve Catherman said the department expects to start the bridge repair season by replacing the Boucher Road bridge in the Town of Jasper, using an off-site detour; and a superstructure replacement of the Daniels Road bridge in the Town of Bath using an Acrow detour bridge. Other projects later in the year include: County Road 129 bridge in the Town of Woodhull, Wilson Hollow Road Bridge in the Town of Hornby, Dry Run Bridge in the Town of Campbell, Kurtz Hollow Road Bridge in the Town of Dansville, and Lyons Hollow Road Bridge in the Town of Prattsburgh.
NYS Senate Approves O’Mara’s Sexual Harassment Bill:
Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara to combat sexual harassment in the workplace was approved Monday by the New York State Senate. The bill would enact a series of major reforms, including: establishing a statutory definition of sexual harassment, prohibiting the anonymity of the accused in court-approved settlements and banning mandatory sexual harassment arbitration clauses, prohibiting confidential agreements unless the victim requests confidentiality, expanding protections to independent contractors, creating uniform polices for all branches of state and local government, and protecting taxpayers from paying for public-sector harassment settlements. The bill now moves on to the State Assembly.
Volunteers Needed for Public Health Drill:
Volunteers are needed to play “patients” for the Steuben County Public Health Department’s next emergency preparedness drill on April 10th from 1 to 3 p.m. at Haverling High School. Volunteers are also needed to help staff the event at the same location from 10:30 to 3:30 p.m. The drill is based on a scenario which simulates mass exposure to a virus that requires a vaccine to prevent an illness. It’s important to note that is a drill – no real virus has been identified and no real vaccine will be administered. If interested in volunteering as staff, contact (607) 664-2438. Details on how “patients” can pre-register will be released the week of the event.
Upcoming Honor Flight Looking for Veterans:
The Twin Tiers Honor Flight is planning its next flight to Washington D.C. on May 12th and they’re looking for up to 80 veterans to join them. They’re looking for veterans of World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars to visit the Capitol and see their respective war memorials. Terminally ill veterans from other wars will also receive priority. The trip is free, but veterans must apply. To learn more, visit http://www.twintiershonorflight.org.
Man Found Injured on Route 36:
The Hornell Police Department has confirmed that a man was found lying in the median on Route 36 on Saturday morning. Chief Ted Murray said that after calling the Hornell Fire Department for an ambulance, police turned the case over to the Sheriff’s Office as it’s their jurisdiction. The Sheriff’s Department has not yet released a statement, but a post on Facebook claims the man as Matthew Cole. Strong Memorial Hospital also confirmed that they have a Matthew Cole as a patient, and said, as of Sunday evening, that he was in guarded condition.
Winter Storm Cleanup in Bath:
The Bath Village Street Department will be picking up brush and limbs taken down by the snowstorm. All limbs and brush to be picked up should be placed to the edge of the street. Residents are told not to pile any of the materials onto the roadway. This pickup is free of charge and intended to clean up storm damage only and no other materials will be accepted. Pickup begins this week and continues no later than March 26th. If you have any additional questions about this pickup please call 776-6321 between the hours of 7am and 3:30pm.
GOP Chairs Endorse Molinaro for NYS Gov.:
While he hasn’t yet made a public campaign announcement, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is already picking up steam as a candidate for New York’s Governor’s race. Friday, Molinaro’s campaign announced the endorsements of several local Republican chairs, including Yates, Seneca, and Schuyler counties. On Thursday, the Ontario County Republican Committee announced their endorsement of Molinaro following the drop-out of Brian Kolb.
Hammondsport, Corning, Elmira to Feature on PBS:
Local communities will be getting a spotlight on PBS this weekend, as Emmy Award-winning series “Travels with Darley” will feature Hammondsport, Corning, Elmira, and Watkins Glen. Filming took place last September and the episode is set to air this Sunday, on March 18th. There will also be a second episode featuring Finger Lakes National Forest in April.
Public Invited to 2018 Scripps Regional Spelling Bee:
The community is invited to attend the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee this Saturday, March 17th at 10 a.m. at Corning-Painted Post Middle School. The event, which is sponsored by Corning Rotary, is free and open to the public. The Bee includes students from schools in Allegany, Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, and Tompkins counties, as well as Bradford and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania. The champion of the regional bee will move on to represent our region in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. in May.
Hammondsport B.O.E. Meeting Wed.:
The Hammondsport Central School Board of Education will hold a budget workshop this week on Wednesday, March 14th. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the high school library.
Bath Village Street Department Holding Brush and Limb Pickup
The Bath Village Street Department will be picking up brush and limbs taken down by the snowstorm. All limbs and brush to be picked up should be placed to the edge of the street. Residents are told not to pile any of the materials onto the roadway. This pickup is free of charge and intended to clean up storm damage only and no other materials will be accepted. Pickup begins this coming week of March 12th and continues no later than March 26th. If you have any additional questions about this pickup please call 776-6321 between the hours of 7am and 3:30pm.
Corning Man Arrested Following Report of Domestic Incident
A Corning man was arrested this week for alleged criminal obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a child. Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest as the result of an investigation stemming from information given to a Steuben County School Resource Officer regarding an alleged domestic violence incident occurring on Bailey Creek Road in Corning. Terry R. Wilson, age 24 was arrested after allegedly intentionally applying pressure to the throat of someone under the age of 17 with the intent to impede normal breathing or blood circulation of the minor. Following his arrest, Wilson was arraigned in Corning Town Court, remanded to Steuben County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail and scheduled to appear in Corning Town Court on April 5th.
NYSP Highway Interdiction Yields Canisteo Drug Arrests
New York State Police report their Highway Interdiction efforts have resulted multiple arrests for drug-related offenses in the Canisteo area. Following a traffic stop in the Town of Canisteo, Bath and Hornell Troopers arrested Marilyn G. Maddaford of Almond after she was found to be in possession of Suboxone that was packaged for sale as well an unspecified quantity of marijuana. Maddaford was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana and for other Vehicle and Traffic Law violations, arraigned in Canisteo Town Court and released on her own recognizance before she is scheduled to re-appear in court March 22nd. Another Canisteo traffic stop resulted in the arrest of 19-year-old Travis Carlton of Canisteo for Criminal Possession of Marihuana in the 5th degree due to allegedly possessing about 1.6 ounces of marijuana. The 17 year old driver of the vehicle was given the same charge of Criminal Possession in addition to Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and other Vehicle and Traffic law violations. Both were issued appearance tickets to Village of Canisteo Court at a later date.
Two Men Arrested After Jasper Meth Bust
New York State Police report the arrest of two men for Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine in the 3rd degree after Troopers from Bath and the North Hornell barracks interrupted two men actively manufacturing methamphetamine. Troopers responded to the residence of Mark J. Walton in Jasper, observing Walton and James Ball of Mansfield, Pennsylvania actively engaged in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Both were charged and arraigned initially in the town of Hornellsville Court then remanded to Steuben County Jail with Walton’s bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property bond and Ball’s bail set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 property bond. Execution of a search warrant at the Walton residence yielded a large quantity of methamphetamine as well as various equipment used to manufacture meth. Walton and Ball were charged additionally with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 2nd degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th degree and arraigned in town of Bath Court before being remanded to Steuben County Jail in lieu of additional bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 property bond.
Steuben County Sheriffs Make DWI Arrests
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports arrests for DWI this week. Deputies arrested Elizabeth Sable, age 55, of Pulteney for aggravated driving while intoxicated, endangering the welfare of a child, no child safety seat for a backseat passenger under age four years, failure to stop at a stop sign and failure to signal a turn. Sable is alleged to have operated a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition with a three year old passenger in the vehicle while in the Village of Hammondsport. She was released on traffic summons and issued an appearance ticket to appear in Urbana Town Court on April 9th. Deputies also report the arrest of David Troth of Prattsburgh for driving while intoxicated. It is alleged Troth operated a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition on State Route 21 in Wayland and failed to maintain his lane of travel while the vehicle did not display adequate tail lamps. Troth was released on traffic summons and is scheduled to appear again in Wayland Town Court.
Allard Announces DWI Crackdown for St. Patrick's Day Weekend
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard announced that County police agencies will participate in an effort to crackdown on impaired driving during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The statewide STOP-DWI crackdown is set from March 16th and will end March 18th. New York State Police, County Sheriffs, and municipal law enforcement agencies will collaborate throughout the state and be patrolling in full force in a coordinated effort to further reduce the injuries and deaths that result from impaired driving. Citizens going out for Saint Patrick’s Day are reminded to prepare by having a sober plan and designate a responsible and sober driver.
Lockport Man Arrested for Racist Graffiti at Alfred State:
A Lockport man has been arrested and is facing felony charges after he allegedly posted racist graffiti at Alfred State College. 20-year-old Colin Kroening is accused of making the images, including a swastika and “KKK,” while visiting the campus. According to the college, Kroening is not a student and he has now been banned from the school in the future, on top of his criminal charges which include felony aggravated harassment in the first and criminal mischief in the 4th as a hate crime. He was sent to the Allegany County Jail in lieu of $500 cash bail.
Cuomo Calling for Review Following Winter Storm Power Outages:
The New York State Department of Public Service has been directed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to conduct a full review into the power failures after Winter Storm Riley. The storm knocked out power to more than 280,000 New Yorkers and days after thousands still remained without power. Cuomo called the power failures “…dangerous and completely unacceptable…” and he said they will hold the utilities accountable by directing the Department of Public Service to conduct a full review into the outages and ongoing utility power infrastructure issues.
“Spring Forward” Your Clocks, Check Your Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms This Weekend:
Daylight Saving Time officially gets underway at 2 a.m. Sunday morning so before you head to bed Saturday night you’re going to want to set your clocks ahead one hour. But while making sure you’re on time is important; don’t forget it’s also a good time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If alarms have removable batteries, the batteries should be replaced. Alarms with sealed-in batteries should be tested, and alarms more than 10 years old should be replaced.
WGI Hosting Ferrari Challenge North America:
Watkins Glen International announced Thursday that the Ferrari Challenge North America will be returning to the track in 2018. This will be the first time since 2014 they’ve hit the track. The race weekend is set for July 27th through the 29th. Tickets and camping are available by visiting http://www.theglen.com.
Corning Senior Center Celebrating 36th Anniversary:
The Corning Senior Center will celebrate its 36th Anniversary Wednesday with a birthday party. There will be food, including cake and ice cream, and Tanglewood Nature Center will present their Birds of Prey. If you’re interested in attending the lunch, you must register by noon today at 962-8000.
Guilty Plea in Corning Murder Case:
20-year-old Kerrie Neuratuer appeared in Steuben County Court Wednesday where she entered a guilty plea to Murder in the second degree – admitting that she intentionally aided her father, Lloyd Neurauter, in the murder of her mother and Lloyd’s ex-wife, Michelle Neurauter. Under oath, Kerrie said her father confronted her in mid-August with an ultimatum: if she did not agree to help him kill her mother, he would kill himself. Kerrie said her father wanted to be free from child support and alimony and wanted custody of his youngest child. While she said she wasn’t involved in the actual killing of her mother, Kerrie detailed the plan where she drove Lloyd to and from the Dwight Avenue home, disconnected several devices to hide his presence, distracted a younger sibling, helped him stage the scene, and lied to police as directed by him. The plea carries a sentence promise of not more than 15 years to life in New York State Prison, and as part of the agreement, Kerrie agreed to give truthful testimony against Lloyd at trial. After the plea, Kerrie was sent to the Steuben County Jail pending sentencing. Lloyd Neurauter’s trial is set to begin on September 24th.
Curtis Burrows Found Dead in Jail Cell:
The man charged with killing a Big Flats man and attempting to kidnap a woman in Corning was found dead in his jail cell Tuesday evening, according to Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss. The Criminal Investigation Division is investigating. It is believed to be a suicide. Burrows was accused of meeting a woman in Corning and attempting to kidnap her. She escaped, but he stole her car and after crashing along the Chemung-Steuben County line, he traveled on foot and broke into a home in Big Flats. There he shot homeowner Timothy Webster before fleeing in Webster’s truck. He crashed near Mansfield and was later arrested in the hospital. He was facing a first-degree murder charge and 12 other counts.
Fire in Campbell:
Multiple fire departments were called to a home on Stoney Ridge Road in Campbell Wednesday just after 5 p.m. Details are limited at this time, but the fire reportedly caused major structural damage to the second floor. It is unknown if anyone was injured.
O’Mara, Palmesano Join Call for More Investment in NY Roads:
State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano were joined Wednesday by a bipartisan group of 142 state legislators and a statewide coalition of county and town highway superintendents and other leaders to call for increased state support for local roads, bridges, and culverts. They’re asking for an increase in state base aid for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) by $85 million to a total of $523 million, and they’re seeking the restoration of a $65 million “Extreme Winter Recovery” allocation.
DEC Releases 2017 Hunting-Related Shooting Incident Numbers:
The Department of Environmental Conservation announced Wednesday that the 2017 hunting seasons in New York saw the second-lowest number of hunting-related shooting incidents. Of the 19 incidents last year, 14 were two-party firearm incidents, five were self-inflicted, and one resulted in a fatality. New York’s lowest incident rate was in 2016, with just 13 incidents. The DEC encourages hunters to remember that many incidents could have been prevented if primary hunter safety rules had been followed: treat every firearm as if it’s loaded, control the muzzle and keep it pointed in a safe direction, identify your target and what lies beyond, keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire, and wear hunter orange.
Former Navy Recruiter Sentenced to Jail for Conspiring to Kill Wife:
The former United Sates Navy recruiter that pled guilty to conspiring to kill his wife was sentenced Tuesday. 30-year-old Brandon McPherson, of Horseheads, was sentenced in Steuben County Court to five to fifteen years in a New York State Correction Facility. McPherson pled guilty to Conspiracy in the second in January. At the time of the crime, McPherson was a recruiter for the U.S. Navy and he enlisted the help of a potential recruit to commit the murder. That person revealed the plot to the New York State Police and after an investigation McPherson was arrested.
Steuben’s Stand Up for Recovery Draws Crowd:
Steuben County’s first “Stand Up for Recovery” rally took place Tuesday in the Steuben County Office Building, drawing dozens of supporters and agencies experienced with the challenges of addiction and recovery. The event tackled the negative public perception of addiction by focusing on recovery and calling for more services to assist addicts and their loved ones. Steuben County officials voiced their support for the agencies, with county Legislature Chairman Joseph Hauryski officially proclaiming the day Steuben County Stand Up for Recovery Day.
Arnot Mall Redevelopment Application Approved:
The Arnot Mall is one step closer to its redevelopment dream, as the Big Flats Town Planning Board has approved the application for the project. Work is expected to get underway in the coming weeks on the first stage of the project: a new 4-story Holiday Inn Express. The mall wants to demolish the old Bon-Ton space to make room for the hotel. The hope is that it will attract upwards of 40,000 people annually.
Arrest Made in Utica College Threats:
A student has been arrested for making the threats that forced Utica College to go on lockdown on Monday. 23-year-old Fahrudin Omerovic was arrested at his home and police say no weapons were found. Omervoic allegedly used a phone app to alter his voice and called in threats Monday to the college and Tuesday to Utica Police. He has been charged with four counts of making a terroristic threat.
NYS Senate Unveils Plan to Help NY Agriculture:
State Senator Tom O’Mara and his colleagues within the Senate Majority Conference have unveiled a new plan they say will help the state’s agriculture industry. The “Growing Strong” Plan, proposes a series of investments, educational strategies, and tax and regulatory reforms to strengthen the industry. One of the plan’s key proposals is the restoration of approximately $13 million in funding cuts currently being negotiated in the 2018-2019 state budget.
St. James Mercy, UR Medicine Finalize Agreement:
St. James Mercy Hospital and UR Medicine have announced that they have finalized an affiliation agreement. The deal will help St. James continue to expand services and improve patient care, and to complete construction on the new Medical Village on schedule. St. James is the sixth hospital to join UR Medicine’s network, the others include Strong Memorial and Highland in Rochester, Jones Memorial in Wellsville, Noyes Memorial in Dansville, and F. Thompson in Canandaigua.
Defense Against School Shooters Training at C-G High School:
Canisteo Police Chief Kyle Amidon has announced a training session on how to handle a school shooter situation will be held at the Canisteo-Greenwood High School. It will be on March 20th at 6:30 p.m. and it will be open to anyone who wishes to attend.
Two Steuben Co. Plows Damaged in Fire:
A fire Friday on Route 415 in Cohocton damaged two Steuben County plow trucks. The fire was reported at the county highway garage around 7:30 p.m. Friday, according to county public works Commissioner Vincent Spagnoletti. One plow was totaled in the fire, the other remains in the building and the extent of its damage is unknown at this time. Spagnoletti said that the garage doors will need to be replaced and that “…the insurance will cover [the trucks], it’s a matter of how much.” He speculated that an electrical problem in one of the trucks could have caused the fire, but the investigation is ongoing.
CCC Student that Passed in Suspected OD Identified:
The Corning Community College student that passed away last week from a suspected overdose while on campus has been identified. According to a campus memo obtained by WENY News, the student was Marshall Fladd, a sophomore STEM major. State Police were called to the campus on March 1st on a report of two unconscious people. Naloxone was administered to a 21-year-old woman, and she regained consciousness, according to authorities. Naloxone was also given to 26-year-old Fladd, and CPR was performed, but he was pronounced deceased at a local hospital. The woman has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home. CCC is offering counseling services to students, faculty, and staff.
“Credible Threat” Puts Utica College on Lockdown:
Utica College was put into lockdown Monday afternoon after police received a “real, credible
threat” from someone claiming to have a gun on campus. The college, which is located roughly 52 miles east of Syracuse, issued a “shelter in place” order just before noon. The lockdown was lifted just after 5 p.m. Police told media that no shots were fired.
“Stand Up for Recovery” Event Today:
Steuben County officials are holding the county’s first “Stand Up For Recovery” event at 10 a.m. today. The two-hour event looks to erase the long-held negative perception of addiction and will take place on the County Office Building’s third-floor atrium. Organizers plan a “meet and greet” opportunity for the public to speak with those recovering from substance abuse addiction, a panel presentation and information from area agencies offering support for addicts and their loved ones. The event is a collaboration of Addiction Awareness of Steuben County, Friends of Recovery-Steuben, and Steuben County.
Changes to “Move Over Law” Called for Following I-90 Crash:
Tow truck drivers are calling for changes to the “Move Over Law” following a crash on I-90 that sent two NYS troopers to the hospital with serious injuries, and hurt a tow truck driver. They’re seeking harsher punishments for drivers who violate the law, which requires drivers to use due care by slowing down and moving over when approaching emergency vehicles or hazard vehicles including police, fire trucks, ambulances, construction, maintenance, and tow trucks. It applies to both sides of the roadway, not just the shoulder on the right. Violators can face up to 3 points on their license and a fine of up to $275, among other charges.
$30M Coming to Region in Final Round of Broadband Program Awards:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that $30.8 million will be heading to the Southern Tier as part of the final round of funding through the New NY Broadband program. The funding will be invested in public-private broadband and is expected to provide 18,000 homes and locations in the region with access to high-speed Internet.
Steuben Co. Debates New Deputies:
There was a heated debate Monday as the Steuben County Public Safety and Corrections Committee and other public officials discussed the possibility of hiring new deputy sheriffs as part of the new plan unveiled last week to fight opioid addiction and trafficking. County Sheriff Jim Allard and District Attorney Brooks Baker have asked for four new deputies – allowing them to train four more senior deputies for dedicated drug interdiction – and are in favor of hiring them as soon as possible. However, a federal grant will become available this summer that could fund two of the positions for three years, and it is the recommendation of the committee to reallocate all four positions, but only hire two of them while waiting for the grant application process. The issue will be discussed again on March 13th when the Legislature’s Administration Committee meets.
Steuben County Storm Report:
Steuben County officials say utility are working diligently to restore power to the roughly 1,200 customers still without power this morning while Red Cross shelters in Canisteo and Prattsburgh closed at 6 p.m. Sunday. The power failures and shelter openings were in response to a powerful winter storm that arrived in the region Friday, dropping as much as 18 inches of snow in Steuben and making safe travel difficult and dangerous. A Travel Advisory was issued Friday morning and remained in effect until Saturday evening. Some 10,000 homes and businesses originally reported a loss of power, with about two dozen individuals requiring shelter. Crews and volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the following days to clear roads, remove downed trees, restore power, and provide other services. Steuben County Chairman Joe Hauryski thanked all of those who responded to the emergency.
2 Charged for Failing to Provide Adequate Shelter to Dog:
Lack of adequate shelter for a dog led to the arrest of two Tuscarora residents. 27-year-old Amanda Wilbur and 28-year-old Troy Rupar were arrested on February 28th after the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office received a report that their dog was not being properly taken care of. Deputies said when they responded to the residence, they found a puppy left outside without proper shelter. Both Wilbur and Rupar were issued appearance tickets. The Sheriff’s Office reminds the public that during the winter months, all dogs outside must be provided with water, wind resistant, properly insulated enclosed shelter. Failure to do so can result in criminal action.
Reed Talks Guns, Jobs at Town Halls:
The extreme weather didn’t stop Congressman Tom Reed from holding three town hall meetings over the weekend. Reed made stops in Baldwin, Addison, and Almond where he fielded questions about the state of mental health in this country in the wake of the deadly Florida high school shooting in February. Reed said, “That’s a conversation we need to have, to go after those individuals exhibiting violence and are so mentally deranged that they are just a sociopath that we need to learn from to mitigate them from being in a position again.” Reed also said that he’s opposed to banning assault-style weapons. There was also talk at the meetings of jobs and the economy. Reed said he will take his constituents concerns back to Washington D.C.
Palmesano Fighting for Library Funding:
At a rally at the State Capitol last week, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano meet with officials representing local libraries and library systems to help fight to restore the governor’s proposed budget cuts to library aid. Palmesano is also calling for an increase in funding so that the total library aid is in compliance with the state statute. Palmesano said that library usage is up across the state and for many people in rural areas their local library is where they can go to get online and get connected to career opportunities. He called it “…an investment in life-long learning, an investment in literacy, an investment in workforce development.”
Parts of Steuben Powerless After Storm
Steuben County is still recovering from the foot and a half of snow that was dumped during the National Weather Advisory that ended early this morning. NYSEG is working to restore power to an estimated 5,400 customers remaining without power in the county, with many outages expected to last into the weekend in some areas. Those who are using backup generators or heating devices please use caution to ensure proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Red Cross Shelters Open for Those Displaced by Storm
Red Cross-organized shelters have been established for those who have lost power during the storm and need warmth or shelter. Shelters are set up at the following stations:
· Canisteo-Greenwood High School - 84 Greenwood St., Canisteo
· Prattsburgh Fire Hall – 17 Allis St., Prattsburgh
· Alfred University McLane Center Gymnasium 99 n Main St. Alfred
· Livingston County has opened a shelter at the Springwater Fire Station
A warming Center has been established at the Hornell Community Arts Center 54 Broadway in the City of Hornell
Those who are in need of a shelter but unable to make their way on their own should call 2-1-1 for assistance.
Changes for Loyola Recovery Foundation Location and Contacts
The Bath VA Medical Center would like to share a Public Service Announcement:The Loyola Recovery Foundation is no longer located on the grounds of the Bath VA Medical Center. Anyone who must contact Loyola Recovery Foundation should call 585-203-1005. All veterans interested in the VA’s services should call the Bath Veteran’s Administration at 607-664-4000.
Farley Nominated as Republican Pick for US Senate
Chele Farley was nominated as the unanimous choice of New York Republicans as the candidate for United States Senate. The New York City Finance Chair accepted the nomination for U.S. Senate at a meeting of state leaders in Saratoga Springs on Friday. Farley says she will challenge Kirsten Gillibrand and pledges to reverse New York’s balance of payment deficit with Washington. Farley said “Since Kirsten Gillibrand took office New Yorkers have sent over $300 billion more to Washington than we got back. I will stand up and stop Washington from discriminating against New York taxpayers.”
Reed Wants Consensus Before Committing to Gun Violence Bill
Multiple proposals for gun control have been presented in Congress and Senate after the Parkland, Florida school shooting but Congressman Tom Reed says he has not committed to supporting any specific bills at this time. Reed visited Geneva this week and said he is working with the Problem Solvers Caucus on a bipartisan consensus and says he would prefer that the National Rifle Association be involved with the effort if possible and said that the NRA was not opposed to enacting legislation that would establish background checks for guns. Reed expressed sentiment about coming to a solution, saying: “There’s not a human being in America that wants to see these horrific tragedies occur and those Americans include members of the NRA.”
PBS Show to Spotlight Local Finger Lakes Attractions
Our Finger Lakes Region will be put on the map through National Television thanks to a PBS Travels Show. Travels with Darley will feature the Southern Finger Lakes Region in its first episode.The episode will specifically focus on Elmira, Corning, Watkins Glen, and Hammondsport. Darley and her crew learned about the history of Mark Twain, experienced glider rides, waterfalls and of course wine while in Wine Country. The show is set to air Sunday, March 18th at 11:30am on PBS local affiliate WSKG. Another episode taking a look at the Finger Lakes National Forest will run on WSKG on Sunday, April 8th at 11:30am.
Travel Advisory Issued
BATH -- Steuben County has issued a Travel Advisory, effective immediately, recommending NO unnecessary travel in Steuben. Officials also advise residents NOT to call 9-1-1 unless a road is completely block by a tree or if the wires are arcing.
“This is NOT a travel ban, but just an advisory to motorists to use caution while traveling today,” county Sheriff Jim Allard said, Friday morning. “If you must go out for work or an appointment, please use caution and call ahead to make sure the business or meeting place is open.”
County road crews have been operating since 3 a.m. and are having difficulties due to downed trees and powerlines. Most roadways are snow-covered and dangerous.
County Emergency Manager Tim Marshall said areas across Steuben received heavy snow this morning and more snowfall is expected this afternoon. In addition, gusty winds are predicted to begin this afternoon, causing significant blowing and drifting of snow with near whiteout conditions, he said.
“If you must travel during the storm we urge motorists to use caution, slow down and leave plenty of room between vehicles,” Marshall said.
Marshall also recommended travelers: • Call ahead to make sure destinations are open. • Be prepared for delays • In the event your vehicle is stranded, make sure there is an emergency kit in the vehicle, including high energy food like granola or protein bars, water, blanket, extra winter clothing, a shovel and rock salt.
Another Winter Storm
Old man winter has given us another punch as heavy snows and winds are causing problems this morning. Slippery roads, power outages and strong winds have forced the closing of most schools, caused many cancellations. NYSEG reports over 7,000 customers have lost power. Tree limps are reportedly falling due to the heavy snow. Forecasters say the winter storm warning will remain in effect until 1:00am Sat morning. Expect difficult travel this morning as work crews continue to get streets and roads cleared. A travel advisory has been issued by Steuben County advising no unnecessary travel
Corning Community College Student Dies of Suspected Overdose:
Corning Community College released a statement Thursday about a medical emergency that claimed the life of a student. Painted Post State Police are investigating and the college says it is cooperating. Troopers say that they were called to the campus on a report of two unconscious people. Naloxone was administered to a 21-year-old woman, and authorities say she regained consciousness. Naloxone was also give to a 26-year-old man, and CPR was performed, but he was pronounced deceased at a local hospital.
Felony Charges for 14 in "Operation Spring Break":
At a press conference in Hornell Wednesday authorities announced the arrest of 14 people in what they've dubbed "Operation Spring Break." The accused allegedly sold different types of drugs, including heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and prescription pills. Each faces criminal possession and criminal sale of a controlled substance charges. One of the accused - Joshua Withrow - is also charged with criminal negligent homicide for allegedly selling drugs that killed someone in an overdose several months ago. Authorities said that while "Operation Spring Break" was extremely successful, there was one suspect that was not arrested: 63-year-old Hamid Afzali. They are calling him a person of interest and ask that anyone with information about his whereabouts contact the Hornell Police Department.
More Trouble at Elmira Correctional Facility:
Trouble continues at the Elmira Correctional Facility with more fights between inmates and the seizure of more makeshift weapons by officers in recent weeks. The first incident occurred on February 7th when two inmates started fighting inside the gym at the prison. One inmate suffered cuts to his face. A second fight happened on February 12th when two inmates allegedly attacked another inmate. Two ice pick-style weapons and a piece of broken glass were found after inmates dropped them to the floor. All three inmates were taken to the infirmary for treatment. Officials say more fights broke out over the next two weeks, with several of the incidents needing to be broken up with OC spray. Seven makeshift weapons were turned over by inmates or were found as a result of searches of the prison. Inmates involved in the incidents were placed in special housing units and are facing internal disciplinary charges.
Annual "Check Out Hunger" Campaign Ends Sunday:
The annual "Check Out Hunger" fundraising event for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier ends this Sunday. That will be your last chance to help out by making a donation while checking out at your local Wegmans. Last year, over $250,000 was donated. This year, officials have set a goal of $290,000.
Winter Storm Warning in Effect:
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning going into effect at 9 p.m. this evening and lasting through 1 a.m. Saturday for Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, Seneca, Southern Cayuga, Tompkins and Yates counties. Heavy snow is predicted, with total accumulations between 6 and 12 inches, though higher elevations could see localized amounts of up to 15 inches. Travel is expected to be difficult, including during Friday’s morning commute. Snow could fall heavy at times after midnight tonight and into the day on Friday, with rates potentially exceeding 1 inch per hour.
Larceny, False Filing Charges for Addison Woman:
An Addison woman has been arrested for allegedly offering a false instrument for filing to the Steuben County Department of Social Services Child Care Aware program. 32-year-old Alicia Griffey is also accused of receiving over $2,000 in child care paid from the county DSS that she was not entitled to. She was charged with offering a false instrument for filing and grand larceny. She was issued appearance tickets.
Alcohol, Drugs Cited in Hornell Accident:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of 22-year-old Lucas Andrews of Hornell following an accident in Hornell. Andrews was allegedly behind the wheel of a vehicle on Seneca Road North that collided with a fixed object after his vehicle left the roadway. According to authorities, their investigation found that Andrews was both intoxicated and impaired by drugs while driving at the time. He was charged with DWAI-Drugs and DWI, and moving from lane unsafely. He was hospitalized for injuries suffered in the accident and was issued a traffic summons.
Drug Enforcement Announcement at Hornell P.D. Today:
Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, Hornell City Police Chief Theodore Murray, and members of the New York State Police, Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and Steuben County Department of Social Services will be holding a press conference at the Hornell Police Station today at 11 a.m. Members will discuss the status of a significant on-going drug enforcement investigation effort in the City of Hornell and also plan to announce a major initiative aimed at drug trafficking in the city.
Steuben Co. Sheriff Advocates for Increase in State Funding to Increase SROs:
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard is among the local authorities backing calls for an increase in state funds for school resource officers (SROs), social workers, and guidance counselors. Currently, Steuben has nine armed SROs in seven school districts, and two deputies assigned to the two BOCES campuses in Hornell and Painted Post. All Steuben SROs have at least twenty years of policing experience, and have attended and completed the ALERRT active shooter training course. Allard said funding more SRO positions is a better option than firearm training for schoolteachers. “Without the adequate mindset, training, or physical conditioning, the armed teacher is likely to become a target of opportunity for a determined attacker to arm themselves from the very firearm carried by the teacher,” Allard said. He also called upon his experiences with the civilian police academy where sometimes during a use of force situation “…some students utilized deadly physical force without justification, some did not use force when justified, and some simply froze.” He pointed out that this “…occurred in a controlled training environment, not in a real situation, in which the body is reacting to an adrenaline onset and attempting to function during a traumatic moment of immense crisis.”
Former Corning Hospital Site Cleanup to Begin in March:
The New York State DEC has released a cleanup action plan to address contamination at the site of the former Corning Hospital on Denison Parkway. According to the plan, chemicals like mercury, lead, and cadmium were found in the soil. The DEC says work will begin in March. The Guthrie Clinic, Corning-Hospital, and Corning Properties Incorporated will perform the cleanup.
Bullying Bill Passes NYS Senate Again:
A bill that would require schools to notify parents when their child is the victim of bullying has passed the New York State Senate. Jacobe’s Law, as it is known, passed unanimously, for the second year in a row, but still needs to pass the Assembly before it can become law. The bill is named for 13-year-old Jacobe Taras, who committed suicide in April 2015. His parents say they had no idea he was being bullied and that his school never contacted them about it. The law would require administrators to reach out to both the parents of the victim and those of the bully. Currently, schools are only required to report to the State Education Department.
Gun Control Bills Blocked in NYS Senate:
New York Senate Democrats tried to force a vote Wednesday on four gun control bills, including a ban on bump stocks and the creation of more effective background checks. They attempted to include them as amendments to a different, unrelated bill that was being discussed on the floor, but Senate Republicans voted to block the amendment from being added, saying it was not the time. The Senate GOP did release a statement saying they plan on introducing a comprehensive school safety plan that will look at more money for security cameras and armed resource officers in schools. The voting was party-line split, with all Democrats and IDC members voting for and all Republicans voting against.
Retailers Pull Assault-Style Weapons, Raise Buying Age Restriction:
While the government continues to debate, U.S. retailers have begun making changes to their gun policies. Walmart announced Wednesday that it will no longer sell guns and ammunition to anyone under the age of 21 and will remove any items resembling assault-style rifles from its website. Walmart stopped selling assault rifles in 2015. Dick’s Sporting Goods also announced changes Wednesday, saying it will also no longer sell assault-style rifles, and they will ban the sale of high capacity magazines or firearms to anyone under the age of 21. Dick’s said it has never and never will sell bump stocks.