Sheriff Allard Supports New Proposed State Seat Belt Law
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to mandate seat belts to be worn for those sitting in the backseat of a vehicle is getting some local support from Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard. Allard approved the idea and said: "Seat belts save tens of thousands of lives every year, and we also know that people that are in the backseat become projectiles in crash situations. I'm in favor of anything that improves public safety and obviously seat belts improve public safety." Currently, only passengers 16 years of age and younger are required to wear a seat belt while riding in a back seat but Cuomo wants the rule to apply to all back seat passengers, regardless of age.
NWS Issues High Wind Watch Beginning Sunday
A High Wind Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for later this weekend. Steuben, along with 12 other Finger Lakes-area counties, will be under High Wind Watch from 1pm Sunday until 7 AM Monday morning with West winds blowing 20-30 miles per hour with gusts as much as 60 miles per hour possible. Trees and power lines may be blown down. Widespread power outages and difficult travel is expected.
Cuomo Announces Child Care Pilot Program
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a proposal to provide child care for single parents who are on-campus students of community colleges. Yesterday, the Democratic 3-term governor said he will seek the approval from lawmakers for a pilot program providing the service to up to 400 students across the state. The program will also include other services like access to tutoring and help for applying to 4-year colleges. Cuomo has introduced the measure into the 2019 state budget proposal as part of the 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda as an effort to help single parents earn their education while raising young children.
O’Mara Speaks Out Against NY Bill Banning Gun Raffles
New York State Senator Tom O'Mara announced strong opposition to a proposed state law banning gun raffles as a form of fundraising. New York Bill A01413 is sponsored by downstate Senator Jo Anne Simon and co-sponsored by 29 others in State Senate, all of which are downstate representatives who cite gun violence as the reasoning behind the proposal. O’Mara defended the raffles “as popular, successful, and safe fundraisers”. The State Senator also added that these raffles are essential to supporting community nonprofits and services, adding that outlawing them would hurt these local organizations and opportunities like scholarships and other initiatives. O’Mara added : “These raffles are popular and safe. The legislation fails to note that raffle winners cannot claim any firearm as a prize without undergoing a background check.”
Study Finds NY “One of the easiest states” to Pass Driver’s Test
New York New York is one of the easiest states in the nation to pass a drivers test in, at least according to a study conducted by Siegfried and Jensen.The study took into account total costs, a knowledge test, road test requirements, and learner's permit requirements to pass. The driver test for New York state has only 10 total elements, compared to Washington’s 19, the state with the most elements in their tests. It was found drivers from our state needed to score 70 percent on the knowledge test to pass, which was the lowest required score of all of the states. New York is also one of the 29 states that do not require a learner’s permit for drivers to earn their license. The study read in its entirety can be here.
FLXpo Tonight at CCC Commons
Local food and beverage festival FLXpo returns this year tonight at Corning Community College.The festival is presented by Finger Lakes Farm Country and has expanded to 40 local farmers and beverage producers in the area and will include food trucks, cooking demonstrations, chef-run sampling stations, a farmer’s market where guests can buy local wines and foods and more. FLXpo is tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Corning Community College Commons and admission is $10 per person at the door.
The Village of Bath Police Department reports the arrest of a man from Corning, and formerly of Bath, on February 13th on drug charges. 25-year-old Charles Dance is accused of selling a controlled substance in 2018. He has been charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was released on pre-trial release.
DWI Arrest Following Hornby Crash:
A Beaver Dams man has been arrested following a motor vehicle crash on February 19th on County Route 41 in the Town of Hornby. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, 42-year-old Jason Novak operated the vehicle while in an intoxicated condition. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated, blood alcohol content greater than .18 percent, and moving from lane unsafely. He was released on traffic summons.
HEAP Funding Extended:
New Yorkers needing assistance heating their homes can get some extra help this winter through the Home Energy Assistance Program. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that $15 million in extra funding is available through the program, meaning eligible households in danger of running out of heating fuel or having their utilities shut off may apply for a second emergency benefit. In addition, the application period for both regular and emergency HEAP benefits have been extended until April 26th. HEAP applications are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by telephone.
Youth Banquet to Honor Recktenwald, Shick:
Two people who have spent decades putting the youth of their communities first will be honored on March 4th at the annual Steuben County Youth Bureau Awards Dinner. Mark Recktenwald, a guidance counselor for nearly 30 years at Haverling High School in Bath, will receive the bureau’s Champion for Youth Award. Reckentwald also runs the Village of Bath Police Department’s anger management classes for youth and he’s active in the Jack Lisi program. The Youth Service Worker of the Year award will be presented to Amy Shick in recognition of her 15 years of dedication to students and their families at Prattsburgh Central School as the Student Council Advisor. Shick also took on the role of family worker during the past four years, and she serves the community by involving students in local charitable functions such as food banks and more. The banquet will be at the Bath Country Club, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $22 each. Reservations are due by February 25th. To make a reservation call (607) 664-2119.
Horseheads Vet Receives Cornell Uni. Alumni Award:
A Horseheads veterinarian has been awarded a prestigious recognition from Cornell University. Dr. Barbara Mix has received the New York State Hometown Alumni Award, which is given out to those who attend Cornell and then return to their hometowns to make contributions to their communities. Dr. Mix was born and raised in Horseheads. She attended Penn State University for her undergraduate before going on to Cornell. She worked in Canandaigua for a time, but returned home to Horseheads in 2001. According to Cornell, Dr. Mix is only the 5th person to receive the Hometown Alumni award.
Nominees Sought for “Women of Distinction” Award:
Senator Tom O’Mara has announced that he’s accepting nominations for the 22nd Annual “Women of Distinction” program until March 18th. The program honors local women making outstanding contributions to area communities. Each Senator selects one “Woman of Distinction” from their respective legislative districts. The honorees are recognized at a statewide awards ceremony and reception in Albany. Nominations can be submitted online through O’Mara’s Senate website at http://www.omara.nysenate.gov.
Winter Weather Advisory:
A winter weather advisory will go into effect at 10 a.m. this morning and last through 7 a.m. Thursday for Chemung, Cortland, Onondaga, Schuyler, Seneca, Southern Cayuga, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates counties. Mixed precipitation is expected with snow accumulations of up to an inch and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch. Snow is expected to move in late this morning to early afternoon, and will change to freezing rain this evening. It will continue into the overnight before changing to rain. Plan on slippery road conditions that could impact the evening commute.
Dogs Spotted in Addison Seized, Woman Charged:
In an update to the story reported Tuesday about five dogs that were spotted loose in the Town of Addison, the animals have now been seized and an Addison woman has been arrested. According to State Police, Susan Clark was issued an appearance ticket for allegedly failing to provide proper shelter for dogs left outdoors. Besides the five dogs previously reported, an additional 5 adult dogs and 6 puppies were seized as well. Tanner’s P.A.W.S. is caring for some of the animals, while the Finger Lakes SPCA has taken in others. The investigation is ongoing.
Bath Woman Indicted on Drug Charges:
The Village of Bath Police Department reports the arrest of a 34-year-old woman on sealed indictment warrants for criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance. It’s alleged that Dahna Turner sold cocaine in the Village in 2018. She is currently on felony probation. She was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Rochester Man Arrested in Bath:
A Rochester man has been arrested in the Village of Bath. 24-year-old Malik Lott was arrested on February 13th on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence. He was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail on $25,000 cash bail.
Gov. Cuomo Proposes Bill Requiring Backseat Passengers to Wear Seatbelts:
Passengers in the backseat of vehicles might soon be required to buckle up, if a new law proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo is approved. This is Cuomo’s second push at expanding the driving safety law, which New York was the first state to adopt back in 1984. Since then, some say that the state has fallen behind others across the nation that have already instituted backseat seatbelt laws. The bill will be voted on by lawmakers on April 1st.
Police Seek Info About Abused Dogs in Addison:
Anyone with information regarding several abused dogs found in Addison is being asked to contact the Painted Post state police or the Town of Addison dog control officers. The five animals, all of which appear to be in bad shape, were recently spotted on the side of Mose Road near the Equine Inn. One of the dogs seems to have injuries that may need medical attention. An individual was able to take photos of the dogs, but wasn’t able to catch any of them. According to WETM 18 News, multiple tips have been made to police as to the possible owner of the dogs, and it appears the situation may have been ongoing for a long time.
Gov. Cuomo Proposes Closure of 3 Prisons to Close Budget Gap:
To eliminate a multi-billion shortfall in the state budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed, among other measures, closing three state prisons. The proposal would see three of the state’s 54 correctional facilities closed by no later than September 1st. Which facilities those might be is unknown. Cuomo said they would be chosen after a review by state corrections officials. Cuomo promised that the closures won’t result in staff layoffs. The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association immediately came out against the plan, saying it will make prisons more dangerous, disrupt the lives of employees, and devastate local economies. The proposal must be approved by both the Assembly and the Senate. Other cost-cutting proposals on the table include several changes to the Medicaid program, and allowing towns to use additional sales tax revenue from an elimination of the tax advantage out-of-state online retailers can have by not collecting New York sales tax.
Senator O’Mara Denounces Governor’s Plan to Shift Cost of AIM Funding:
In a press release Monday, State Senator Tom O’Mara denounced a move by Governor Andrew Cuomo to restore a proposed cut to state funding for area town and villages by imposing what O’Mara called “yet another unfunded state mandate on counties.” In his proposed budget released last month, Cuomo called for the elimination of AIM funding, or Aid and Incentives to Municipalities, for most of the town and villages across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. After pressure, the governor reversed his decision by amending his budget plan to restore the funding by shifting the cost responsibility from the state to counties. O’Mara says the shift is the latest example of a state government that’s “out of touch and out of control.” It’s estimated that the AIM cut will affect 1,326 of New York’s 1,465 towns and villages.
NYS Joins Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Emergency Declaration:
New York State will join in a lawsuit with California and 14 other states in challenging President Donald Trump’s recent national emergency declaration. President Trump made the declaration on Friday, looking to shift billions of dollars for construction of a border wall after Congress wouldn’t approve the amount he wanted. The money for the proposed wall would be diverted from funding for military construction and other programs. New York Attorney General Letitia James said Monday that Trump is threatening public safety with the move.
WGI Donates Land for Solar Energy Center:
With help from NextEra Energy Resources, Watkins Glen International will soon be the home of the largest solar field at any racetrack in the nation. WGI President Michael Printup announced Friday that the track is donating land for a 50-megawatt solar energy center, which will be owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra. It will be located adjacent to racetrack.
Winter Weather Advisory in Effect:
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory that will remain in effect until 2 p.m. today. Periods of light snow and snow showers are expected into the early afternoon. Plan for slippery road conditions to impact today’s morning commute.
Corning Man Accused of Throwing Rocks at Dogs:
An animal cruelty investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Corning man. 55-year-old Thomas Savino allegedly called Corning Police, claiming he was bitten by a dog. Two days later, police say they received a report that Savino was allegedly attacking a different dog that was fenced in its owner’s backyard. Savino allegedly rushed the dog and aggressively threw a dangerous object – possibly a rock – at the animal. Police say Savino may also be involved in a prior incident that occurred in January where he allegedly attacked a different dog. That complaint is still being investigated. Savino has been charged with one count of attempted aggravated cruelty to animals. He was released on his own recognizance.
Chemung Canal to Consolidate Painted Post, Corning Branches:
According to a report by the Corning Leader, Chemung Canal Trust Company will be closing its Painted Post branch and consolidating it with the Corning branch, located on Market Street in the city. Officials say that the move is based on increased use of electronic and digital banking services. The Painted Post branch will close on March 29th. All employees will be relocated.
Bridge Work, Roundabout Installation Underway in Steuben Co.:
Preliminary work has begun on two bridges and a roundabout in Steuben County. The bridges on State Route 415, one over the Cohocton River in Bath and one over Salmon Creek in Avoca, will be replaced. The project will also see a roundabout constructed at the intersection of S.R.s 415 and 53, near the Bath bridge. The bridge work in Bath is expected to completed in the summer of 2020, while the new roundabout is set to open this summer. In Avoca, the bridge will be closed from April 15th through August 15th for construction. Vehicle and pedestrian detours will be posted in advance.
Rochester Wants Amazon to Reconsider NY:
New York City might be out as a potential location for an Amazon headquarters, but some are hoping the retail giant will reconsider the Upstate as a possible site. In a press conference, Rochester mayor Lovely Warran said that they have not only the talent and people, but the ability to meet the company’s needs. Amazon was previously offered $3 billion in incentives in return for making a $2.5 billion investment and bringing 25,000 jobs, but last week the company decided to pull out on the deal, saying, “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose [their] presence and will not work with [them] to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward.”
Bill Proposed that Would Take Student Loan Payments Directly for Paychecks:
A Republican backed bill has been proposed that would see monthly student loan payments taken directly from borrowers’ paychecks. Currently, borrowers are matched with companies that administer federal student loan programs and there are a variety of ways to repay the debt. Under the new proposal, there would be just two repayment options: one where monthly bills are capped at 10 percent of their discretionary income and another that spreads their payments out over a decade. Employers would be responsible for taking the funds from their employees’ paychecks and sending them to the government. The proposal has already drawn criticism from consumer advocates, who called it “mandatory wage garnishment.” Director of federal relations at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Barmak Nassirian, also pointed out that some borrowers might have an issue with an employer knowing the details of their debt. Currently, the average debt at graduation is around $30,000, up from $10,000 in the early 90s. Some 40 million people would be effected by the proposed changes.
Governor Cuomo Signs Child Victims Act
Governor Cuomo signed off on the Child Victims Act this week as he promised to do within the first 100 days of the new legislative session. The law aims to hold child abusers criminally and civilly accountable while providing abuse survivors more opportunities for justice. The Child Victims Act amends New York's laws to extend the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes to be prosecuted regardless of when the crime occurred. This reforms the old law where criminal sex offenses cannot be prosecuted after five years and civil lawsuits filed within the three years following the victim's 18th birthday.
Senator O’Mara Urges Citizens to “Join The Fight”
State Senator Tom O’Mara has launched an online “Join The Fight” petition giving area residents the chance to express their opposition to legislation proposing to triple the minimum wage for state prison inmates. The senator calls it’s an unbelievable proposal. O’Mara is encouraging Southern Tier and Finger Lakes residents who oppose the legislation to sign his online petition, which can be found on his Senate website
Steuben Receives $180K in 9-11 Surcharge Grant
Steuben County has received $180,000 in grant money for 9-1-1 cellular surcharges, part of $60 million worth of grants given to counties across the state. Every cellular device in New York state is charged $1.25 a month and this year, changes have been made to include prepaid phone surcharges. New York State keeps some of the $200 million worth of total revenue for upgrades, maintenance and repairs to cell service. Steuben County plans to use some of the funding to support software maintenance for computer-aided software and phone systems but County Manager Jack Wheeler says some of the funds will be set aside for possible capital projects or emergencies.
Official State Election Law Changes Announced
Changes to New York State’s election law signed last month by the Governor were announced officially yesterday. Effective immediately, all Primary Elections (except for president) will be held on the fourth Tuesday in June before each general election and will be held on June 25th this year in New York State. Next month on March 25, Boards of Elections in counties across the state will transfer registration and party enrollments for voters wherever they move within the state instead of re-registering. Effective during the 2019 General Election on November 5th, registered voters can vote up to ten days in advance of any election at designated early polling locations. By the beginning of 2020, 16-year-olds can pre-register to vote so they are eligible to participate in elections as soon as they turn 18 years old. Designated petition signing for those interested in appearing as candidates on the ballot begins later this month on February 26th.
Howard & Canisteo Libraries Awarded Grants
Employees of Citizens & Northern of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania raised over $65,000 supporting 23 public libraries through Giving Back, Giving Together, its community program. Howard Public Library in Howard received a grant worth $2,713.46 while Canisteo’s Wimdoaughian Free Library received $1,562.12. The company’s employees voted in 2018 to take on the cause of libraries and literacy for the Giving Back, Giving Together Group project and next year employees will be supporting veterans of the military.
Cuomo Wants 3 State Prisons Closed by September
Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday he aims to close three state prisons by Labor Day due to a drop in the state’s prison population and crime rate. Cuomo says the Department of Correction and Community Supervision should recommend which of the 54 state correctional facilities should close and how to transfer staff and inmates to other facilities. State lawmakers and correctional guards have criticized the plan out of concern for the economic impact on our communities and compromising prison safety. Since Cuomo took office in 2011, New York has closed 24 correctional facilities.
Rep. Reed Calls President’s Decision to Declare Emergency “Bad Precedent”:
After Mitch McConnell announced that President Donald Trump will sign the new government funding bill and will then declare a National Emergency to fund a proposed border wall, Congressman Tom Reed released a statement calling the President’s decision a “bad precedent.” The bill “is a fair compromise between Republicans and Democrats on the issue,” said Reed, and while he says “the President has the authority to declare a ‘national emergency,” he believes it “sets a bad precedent and lets Congress off the hook from doing their job.” He added that he “encourages the President to use other means to move around unused money to build off of the ‘down payment’ on border security Congress is delivering” with the funding bill.
Payless to Close all Stores:
Previously reported, but now apparently confirmed, Reuters says that discount shoe store Payless will indeed be closing all its U.S. stores when the company files for bankruptcy at the end of this month. Among those will be the two locations in the Twin Tiers: one at the Arnot Mall and one in Consumer Square in Big Flats. Payless has declined comment on the report from Reuters.
No NY Headquarters for Amazon:
Amazon announced Thursday that will be backing out of its plans to open a new headquarters in New York City. The retail giant previously said in December that it would build a campus in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens for 25,000 employees, but it now blames local politicians who “opposed [their] presence and will not work with [them].” Almost immediately after the deal with announced in December it drew much criticism from lawmakers, progressive activists, and union leaders alike, who contended that the company did not deserve nearly $3 billion in government incentives. Amazon says it doesn’t plan on searching for a replacement location “at this time,” and will instead spread the jobs that were set for the NYC headquarters to other offices around the U.S. and Canada.
NYS Free Fishing Weekend:
There will be free fishing across New York this weekend. The Department of Environmental Conservation says anyone can fish this Saturday and Sunday without needing to buy a license. Other free fishing days scheduled for 2019 are at the end of June, September 28th, and on Veterans Day.
Fortune Names Wegmans 3rd Best Company to Work For:
Wegmans has once again been named one of the best companies to work for, according to the annual ranking from Fortune. Fortune has been ranking the 100 best companies to work for since 1997 and Wegmans has been on it every year. It was ranked third this year, with Hilton coming in 1st and Salesforce in 2nd. Workday, and Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants rounded out the top five.
Local Lawmakers Looking to Keep Soldiers & Sailors Mental Health Unit Open:
Several area lawmakers have spoken out, urging Finger Lakes Health and the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) to begin working immediately to maintain the Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Penn Yan. Representative Tom Reed, Senator Tom O’Mara, and State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano say they fear the lack of conveniently accessible, affordable, efficient, and cost-effective mental health care will worsen what they believe is already a mental health crisis in Yates County and the surrounding area. On Monday, FL Health announced that no new patients would be admitted to the unit and that it plans to completely shut down the unit. It points to “low census, inadequate reimbursement, and ongoing financial losses,” as well as the loss of a full-time psychiatrist as reasons for the closing. The Yates County Legislature also opposes the unit’s closure, adopting a resolution against it on Monday.
Meter Reader Scam:
Following a natural gas explosion in New York City, NYSEG has been conducting meter reads, now scammers are trying to take advantage. Chemung County Acting Sheriff Bill Schrom is warning residents of a scam where people are pretending to be utility workers in order to gain access to people’s homes. According to Schrom, a resident in the Pine City area encountered a person during the evening on February 11th that requested entry to her home to check on an issue with “lines in her house.” The resident denied entry and the man left in an unmarked vehicle. Schrom says that the checks with NYSEG, Verizon, and Spectrum, revealed no employees were working in that area at the time. Homeowners should look for identifying traits in anyone claiming to be from NYSEG, such as: a marked white vehicle, leak detection equipment, and a gold Avan Grid picture identification badge.
No Primary for 23rd Congressional District?
There might not be a primary for the 23rd Congressional District race in 2020, as Democratic candidate Tracy Mitrano seems set to avoid any primary challenge. According to the Ithaca Journal, officials from the district have expressed early support for Mitrano in her second bid to unseat Republican incumbent Tom Reed. Mitrano announced her intentions to challenge Reed again after he won his fourth term in last year’s general election.
Steuben Study Looks to Interview Senior Citizens:
Steuben Senior Services Fund and Cornell University are looking for senior citizens and their caregivers willing to talk about their thoughts on benefits and the challenges of “aging at home.” The volunteers will be interviewed in person or on the phone and be paid $20 for their time. The information gathered will be used in a study to help obtain funding for more in-depth studies to measure the benefits of people participating in Steuben’s “Full Circle America” program compared to those not enrolled in the program. For more information, contact (607) 664-2298 or (607) 255-0968.
FASNY Tuition Program for Vol. Firefighters:
Volunteer firefighters are being reminded about a tuition reimbursement opportunity through the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY). The Higher Education Learning Plan, or FASNY HELP, is an incentive to help recruit and retain members of volunteer fire departments by providing tuition reimbursement to student volunteers. The program allows students enrolled in community college classes or online courses through Empire State College to receive up to 100 percent tuition reimbursement for up to 80 credit hours while serving as volunteer firefighters and maintaining their grades. For information on the program, and how to apply, visit the FASNY website at https://fasny.com/ or call toll-free at 855-367-6933.
CMoG Joins Netflix Competition Series:
Netflix has an upcoming competition series that will feature some local flavor. It’s called “Blown Away,” and follows 10 glassblowers over 10 episodes, where one will be eliminated each week. Participating in the show is the Corning Museum of Glass. Eric Meek, the manager of the hot glass programs at the museum, served as a guest judge in the finale episode, and six glass artists from the museum also assisted with the final two contestants. CMoG will also be providing the prize package to the winner, who will be invited to be a part of the guest artist program at the museum. “Blown Away” is expected to be available on Netflix worldwide later this year.
All Saints Academy, Corning Christian Academy and Little Lambs, Corning-Painted Post, Elmira City, Elmira Heights, Finn Academy, GST BOCES Bush campus, Horseheads, STEM Academy, and Twin Tiers Christian Academy are all on 2 hour delays this morning due to the lingering effects of Tuesday’s winter storm.
Arrests Made in Hospital Bomb Threats:
Two men have been arrested following investigation into false bomb and mass shooting threats made to hundreds of locations in both the United States and Britain. Locally, Ira Davenport Hospital in Bath and Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira both received threats in December. Tompkins County Regional Airport in Ithaca was also targeted. 20-year-old Timothy Dalton Vaughn of North Carolina was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents. The second suspect, 19-year-old George Duke-Cohan of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, is currently serving a prison sentence in Britain for previously making a false threat against an airliner. Both men are said to be members of Apophis Squad, a worldwide collective of computer hackers intent on causing chaos.
Bath Woman Charged for Offering False Information to DSS:
A Bath woman has been arrested for allegedly offering false information to the Steuben County Department of Social Services. 27-year-old Charlene Kowalski is charged with offering a false instrument for filing and she has been issued an appearance ticket for Village court.
Assemblyman Palmesano Named Deputy Minority Whip:
New York Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has tapped Assemblyman Phil Palmesano to be Deputy Minority Whip of the Assembly Republican Conference. Palmesano has also been selected to serve on the Insurance, and Ways and Means Committees. Palmesano says he looks forward to working with the Conference to continue the focus on advocating for the right priorities and polices for the people of New York. Palmesano will continue to serve on the Assembly Corporations and Corrections committees, and as the ranking member of the Assembly Energy Committee.
Cuomo, Schumer Hit Lowest Approval Ratings Ever:
According to a new poll released Monday by Siena College, Senator Charles Schumer and Governor Andrew Cuomo have hit their lowest approval ratings since taking office. Cuomo’s favorability has fallen to 43 percent, down from 51 percent last month. Schumer’s has fallen 6 percent since January, down to 47 percent.
The Hammondsport Board of Education meeting scheduled for tonight has had a time
change. It will now begin at 4:30 p.m. instead of six. Tomorrow night, the Haverling Board of Education will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the district office. The board will be going into executive session to discuss possible litigation.
Genesee Beer “Official Beer” of WGI:
In its first commercial sponsorship in over ten years, Genesee Beer is back as the “Official Beer” of Watkins Glen International. The deal includes all 2019 events at the Glen, a category exclusive logo and promotional rights such a co-branded Genesee Beer/Watkins Glen pace car, a free Genesee Summer Concert series, fan experiences, and more. Speaking on the partnership, WGI President Michael Printup said they couldn’t be happier to welcome Genesee back as the official beer of the Glen.
Closings and Delays Due to Storm:
The impending winter storm has prompted some closings and delays for today: Addison, All Saints Academy, Avoca, Bradford, Campbell-Savona, Corning Christian Academy and Little Lambs, Corning Community College, Corning-Painted Post, Dundee, Elmira City, Elmira Heights, Finn Academy, GST BOCES Bush, Coopers Plains and Wildwood, Hammondsport, Haverling, Hornell, Horseheads, Jasper Troupsburg, Mansfield University, Odessa-Montour, Prattsburgh, the STEM Academy, Twin Tiers Christian Academy, and Watkins Glen are all closed. Also the Arc of Steuben no public transportation for Jasper, Troupsburg, and Addison; Baby Bank Painted Post, Corning Community Food Pantry, Corning Meals on Wheels, Corning Senior Center, Dormann Library, Keuka Family Practice, Painted Post Food Pantry, the Pro Action Senior Nutrition program, Steuben County Historical Society, and the Southeast Steuben County Library are all closed. The Steuben County Legislature has cancelled its 9 a.m. Administration and 10 a.m. Finance committees for today. The meetings will instead be held tomorrow, Wednesday the 13th at the same time. And the Steuben County WIC program at the St. Lutheran Church in Cohocton is canceled.
Missing Elmira Teen Found Safe:
The missing 15-year-old girl from Elmira has been found safe. The West Elmira Police Department found Maya Tyler at a residence on Elmira’s Southside. Police thank everyone who contributed in the efforts to find her.
Hornell Man Facing Drug Charges:
A report of a suspicious man in South Corning has resulted in the arrest of a Hornell man on drug charges. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, 24-year-old Steven Carpenter was found in possession of meth, fentanyl, clonazepam, alproazolam, pot, digital scales, and $500 cash. He has been charged with obstruction of governmental administration, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, criminal possession of marijuana, and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 bail.
Howard Men Charged with Animal Cruelty:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of three men from Howard following an animal cruelty investigation. 58-year-old Donald Rush, 65-year-old Gary Rush, and 69-year-old Garner Rush are all charged with overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals, failure to provide proper sustenance and failure to provide appropriate shelter for dogs left outdoors. The Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Feenaughty Hill Road on an anonymous tip of several dogs left on the property without shelter. Deputies investigated and seized 32 adult dogs, six puppies, and one kitten. All three men willing signed ownership of the animals over to the Finger Lakes SPCA, Hornell Humane Society, and the Town of Howard Dog Control Officer.
Criminal Contempt Arrest:
A Corning man has been arrested on a charge of criminal contempt for allegedly violating an order of protection. 32-year-old Erik Miller was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.
A 73-year-old man from Woodhull has been arrested following an incident that took place in Troupsburg. Patrick Dunn has been charged with stalking. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Criminal Possession, Driving While Impaired Arrest:
A Campbell man has been arrested following a traffic stop in the Town of Corning. 21-year-old Dillon Cook allegedly drove while impaired by drugs and was also allegedly in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine. Cook was released to appear in Corning Town Court.
Elmira to Attempt World Record for St. Patrick’s Day:
Elmira Downtown Development is looking to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this year by setting a world record. The city will be attempting to set the Guinness World Record for the largest shamrock made out of people, a record previously set by 815 college students in Dublin, Ireland. Elmira’s attempt – where they’re hoping to have over 1,000 people - will take place on the soccer fields at Eldridge Park at 10 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.
Hport B.O.E. Meeting Wed.:
The Hammondsport Central School Board of Education will hold its regular meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13th at 6 p.m. in the High School library.
15-year-old Girl from Elmira Missing:
Police are searching for a 15-year-old girl missing from West Elmira. Maya Tyler was dropped off by her mother at the Burger King on the corner of East Washington and Lake Street in Elmira on Friday. She was last seen wearing a gray-blue hoodie with the words “AUU Basketball” in white letters and jeans. She was also carrying a Nike backpack. Anyone with information should contact the West Elmira Police Department at (607) 734-2031.
Steuben Lists County and Local Offices Up for Election in 2019:
The Steuben County Board of Elections recently announced the list of county and town offices open for election in 2019, as of February 1st. The list is subject to clerks’ verification and other lawful changes, including resignations, retirement, death, and local laws. Under the new state election reforms, anyone seeking elected office on a designated party line has from February 26th until April 4th to collect the required number of signatures to appear on the ballot. If necessary, a primary will be held June 25th to determine who represents a party in the November General Election. Under the state’s Election Reform for Early Voting, eligible voters may cast their ballot at a location in Bath up to 10 days before the General Election. The full list of 2019 open county and local offices is available at https://www.steubencony.org/boe.
Rep. Reed Hopeful 2nd Shutdown Can Be Avoided:
The next deadline to avoid a second partial government shutdown is looming this Friday, February 15th, and speaking to Finger Lakes Daily, Congressman Tom Reed said he’s hopeful it can be averted. He said that Congress needs to work together, but admits that both sides still seem to be entrenched.
Payless Entering 2nd Bankruptcy, Local Stores Could be Affected:
Bloomberg reports that Payless, the national shoe retailer, is preparing to go back to bankruptcy court. This could mean massive reductions, if not complete liquidation of the company. According to Bloomberg the company is looking for a loan to pay for bankruptcy proceedings and is planning to close most, if not all, of its 2,700 stores. Locally, there are two Payless locations: one in the Arnot Mall and the other in Consumer Square in Big Flats.
No New Patients as Soldiers and Sailors Mental Health Unit:
Starting today, no new patients will be admitted to the Mental Health Unit at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Penn Yan. According to Finger Lakes Health no new patients will be accepted because a full-time psychiatrist left and another psychiatrist works on a contractual basis. Prospective mental health inpatients will now instead be evaluated at the emergency room and taken to other regional facilities, like Clifton Springs, if approved. The Yates County Legislature is expected to meet today and to vote against the closure of the unit.
NYS Purchases Island Where Battle was Fought:
New York State has purchased an island where a battle of the War of 1812 was fought. Horse Island is located off the village of Sackets Harbor, 60 miles north of Syracuse, off Lake Ontario’s eastern shore. It will now become part of Sacket’s Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site in Jefferson County. It will be paid for mostly through a federal grant.
Local Law Enforcement Opposes Recreational Marijuana
Albany may be gearing up for the push to legalize pot but local law enforcement met yesterday for a press conference in Elmira, urging the public to take precautions when it comes to public safety. Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard expressed concerns about going forward with recreational cannabis legalization for the possible public safety risks: "Take time to talk to the experts, get the real data about what's happening in other places and not just push this forward as part of the budget," he said, referencing Colorado as an example of a state to study the effects of marijuana prohibition. Police anticipate impaired drivers will be challenging to catch, since marijuana cannot be easily detected as alcohol. Another cost of cannabis legalization will be training Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) Officers for Chemung and Steuben Counties to assess possible drug use on the scene.
NYS Department of Health Awards CCC Students & OFA for “GripM8”
The collaboration between Corning Community College students and staff, and the Steuben County Office for the Aging has been awarded a first-place tie by the state Department of Health for an innovation giving seniors greater independence. The“GripM8” was developed by CCC students through the use of a 3-D printer, after meeting with county OFA Director Patty Baroody. A universal grip, the GripM8 will help seniors use utensils, toothbrushes, lipstick and other items more easily.
Two Arrested Following No-Knock Warrant in Bath
Two men are in custody after Bath police used a no-knock search warrant to raid an apartment at 6 Chestnut Street in the village. Police said they found about $3,000 worth of crack cocaine and cash. Now, two men are facing several drug charges. Police said they arrested 63-year-old Walter Wilhelm of Chestnut Street and 29-year-old William Seymour of Rochester. Both men face a variety of drug-related counts. They were both jailed. Wilhelm’s bail was set at $10,000 cash while bond for Seymour was set at $25,000.
Savona Man Arrested for Alleged Burglary
A Savona man was taken into custody by state police regarding a felony crime. Troopers said they arrested 36-year-old Christopher Zemeic. He was charged with 2nd degree burglary, a class C felony. He allegedly illegally entered a Bradford home.
County Board of Elections Announces Open Offices for 2019
Steuben County Board of Elections announced the list of county and town offices open for this year’s 2019 elections. Under New York state election reforms, those interested in seeking elected office on a designated party line can collect the required number of signatures from February 26th to April 4th to appear on the ballot. If more than one candidate from the same party files petitions for the same office in the same district, a primary will be held for that office on June 25th. For the first time, New York state will be offering Early Voting where eligible voters can cast their ballot at a location in Bath up to 10 days before the general election. Bath Municipal Offices Open for Election this year include Town Supervisor, Town Justice and two Councilmen positions. The full list of open county and local offices for this year can be found online at www.steubencony.org.boe
Three Injured in Elmira Correctional Incident:
An incident at the Elmira Correctional Facility resulted in three correctional officers needing to be treated at Arnot Ogden. The incident occurred on January 30th when an inmate prematurely left a classroom and was confronted by an officer. The inmate allegedly spit on and punched the officer, who in turn used OC Spray on the inmate. A second officer assisted in securing the inmate. A second inmate then allegedly became unruly inside the classroom and elbowed an officer several times before he could be restrained. A third inmate allegedly struck another officer in the face, and a fourth allegedly charged an officer outside of the class before being sprayed with OC Spray. Two of the officers were treated for bruises and abrasions. The third was treated for exposure to blood.
Errigo Pleads Not Guilty:
In federal court Wednesday, former Assemblyman Joe Errigo pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and bribery. Errigo was indicted Monday and is accused of taking more than $10,000 to introduce a bill that would allow the state to veto local zoning changes. The bill did not pass. Errigo, as well as a lobbyist who was also indicted Monday, faces a 20-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Audit of Bath Town Assessor’s Finds Some Issues:
A recent audit by the state Comptroller’s office of the Town of Bath found some concerns in regards to property tax exemptions, but town officials say they don’t believe it costs taxpayers any money. The audit highlights cases where exemptions such as those for agricultural properties, seniors, and veterans were not properly handled or documented. Town Assessor Courtney Divens has accepted the audit as accurate and said she will certify to the Comptroller’s Office that they will do things correctly in the future. In her response to the audit, she noted that the issues were in place before her tenure began. While the audit said the issues affected approximately $850,000 in tax exemptions, Town Supervisor Ron Smith stressed that he believes the total number of exemptions granted to properties that actually weren’t eligible for them to be zero.
CIRT to Tour Corning-Painted Post Today:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Department Critical Incident Response (CIRT) team will visit the Corning-Painted Post School District today for a tour. CIRT will be familiarizing themselves with the facilities in the case of an emergency. Superintendent Mike Ginalski said they welcome the visit, noting how important it is to monitor practices, check protocols, and maintain positive relationships to ensure they’ve done everything possible in the case of a tragic event.
Steuben Co. Public Health to Hold Public Narcan Training:
Steuben County Public Health is trying to help reduce the number of overdose fatalities in New York State by hosting a public Narcan training course. Narcan has become the standard on-site treatment to prevent death. The training will teach how to recognize an overdose, how to administer Narcan, and tips on performing CPR. If you’re interested in signing up for the course, contact Steuben County Public Health.
Ice Jams to Blame for Early C-S Dismissal:
The Campbell-Savona Central School District had to dismiss early Tuesday due to ice jams that were causing the Cohocton River to rapidly rise. The district released early at the recommendation of Steuben County Emergency Services and other officials. As of 5:45 p.m. officials said they didn’t anticipate any more trouble.
Erwin Opens New David “Deak” Johnson Courtroom:
A ceremony was held in the Town of Erwin Tuesday morning, celebrating the opening of its new courtroom as the Honorable David A. “Deak” Johnson Courtroom. The former town judge served from 1981 to 2005, performing more 500 marriages, and often being woken in the middle of the night for arraignments and other court business. Johnson said he’s humbled and really appreciates the special recognition.
911 Center Adds Time-Saving Program:
The Steuben County Public Safety and Corrections Committee approved Monday the addition of a time-saving program to the county 911 Center. The Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) will send information from automated alarms, such as ADT and Doyle, directly to the 911 computer system for immediate dispatch, according to county 911 Deputy Director Tina Goodwin. In the past, Steuben’s 911 dispatchers have fielded calls from alarm monitoring stations and automated alarms installed across the county including, medical, fire, and police emergencies from personal devices, schools, and businesses. The dispatchers then contact emergency responders to report the alarm has been triggered. This new system will reduce significantly the number of calls the center handles annually, Goodwin said.
Prattsburgh Crosby’s Grand Reopening:
Crosby’s is celebrating the grand reopening of its convenience store in Prattsburgh this week, with grand reopening festivities scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Friday at the newly renovated store at 41 S. Main St. The Prattsburgh location is one of several Crosby’s stores across Western New York that have been completely remodeled during the past few months. As part of the festivities, Crosby’s will present a donation of $500 to Jeff Black, superintendent of the Prattsburgh Central School District and the first 100 customers to arrive following the ribbon-cutting will receive a free $5 gift card. Other local and state elected officials are also expected to attend as part of the ribbon-cutting event.
2nd Annual Taste FLXpo at CCC Feb. 22nd:
Instead of driving from town to town, county to county, to experience the wide range of agricultural products and delicious locally-sourced foods available across the Finger Lakes, this month you’ll be able to find over 30 different regional producers in one spot. Friday, February 22nd, from 5 to 8 p.m. will mark the 2nd Annual Taste FLXpo at Corning Community College. The event is a local food and beverage festival open to the public and includes a food truck, cooking and pairing demonstrations, tasting samples of locally-grown foods, Finger Lakes wine and craft beverage tastings, and a farmer’s market. Admission is $5 per person if purchased by February 16th. Otherwise it’s $10 per person. To learn more, or to get tickets, visit TasteFLXpo.com
McCaslin, District Attorney Reach Deal in Alleged Sign Theft:
Gary McCaslin, the Steuben County man accused of stealing campaign signs of Congressman Tom Reed, and the county District Attorney have reached a deal. McCaslin was charged with petit larceny in June for the alleged theft. McCaslin’s attorney now confirms that they have accepted an offer of an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal on that charge. That means the charge will be dismissed so long as the defendant does not engage in additional criminal conduct. Reed’s campaign manager and the victim in the criminal case, Nicholas Weinstein released a statement on behalf of the Congressman saying that they’re pleased with the result and are glad it’s resolved.
Former Assemblyman Indicted on Federal Charges:
A federal grand jury indicted Monday former Assemblyman Joe Errigo on charges of conspiracy and bribery. Errigo is accused of taking more than $10,000 in exchange for introducing a bill that would allow the state to veto local zoning changes. A lobbyist was also indicted Monday. They both face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty. Errigo formerly represented residents of northern Steuben County.
$2.3B Budget Revenue Drop in NYS:
New York State is facing a $2.3 billion drop in budget revenues, says the Governor’s Office. Much of the blame is being laid at the feet of President Donald Trump and the tax plan he signed in 2017. The Cuomo Administration attributes much of the loss on the cap on the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) which allows individuals in high-tax states to deduct local tax payments on their federal tax plan. In 2018, the maximum SALT deduction was $10,000. Cuomo also pointed to volatility in the market, IRS changes, and a poor fourth quarter as reasons for the decline.
Bath Community Clothes Closet Considering Move:
After 8 months of service to families in need of help clothing their children, the Bath Community Clothes Closet is now considering an expansion of, not just their space, but possibly their services as well. The closet is currently for children sizes 0 to 14 and runs out of the Centenary United Methodist Church. Rev. Eleanor Collinsworth says they have more than enough clothing and that they’re looking to serve even more people. Along with that, they’re considering a move to a bigger space that would also allow them to possibly serve adults as well as children in the future. In order to make that move, they are asking for the public’s help. If you would like to donate or volunteer, you can call the church at (607) 776-3434. The community closet is open the first Wednesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m., the second Thursday and third Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the fourth Monday from 4 to 7 p.m.
Reservation Deadline for Youth Banquet Feb. 25th:
The deadline for reservations for the Steuben County Youth Bureau Annual Awards Dinner is February 25th. The dinner will be held March 4th from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the Bath Country Club. The Youth Service Worker of the Year award will be presented to Amy Shick for her dedication as a family worker at Prattsburgh Central School. Mark Recktenwald, a dedicated guidance counselor and coach at Haverling High School, will receive the board’s “Champion for Youth” award. The cost of the event is $22. Reservations can be made by calling (607) 664-2119.
Corning Apartment Fire Displaces Tenants:
An apartment fire in Corning Sunday morning has displaced several tenants. According to the Corning Fire Department, the fire started after 3 a.m. No injuries were reported. The American Red Cross is working with the residents to provide temporary shelter. The fire is under investigation.
Gov. Cuomo Urges Governments to be Ready for Possible Ice Jam Flooding:
With temperatures now surging following last week’s deep-freeze, Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging local governments to be prepared for possible ice jam flooding. Warmer temperatures can loosen jams on streams and rivers, forcing waterways to clog and creating serious flooding. The DEC has said local authorities can take whatever measure they see fit to break up the ice and can start without their approval.
Tioga Downs to be “Official Casino” of WGI:
Watkins Glen International is teaming up with Tioga Downs to make it the “Official Casino” of the track. On Friday, the two businesses announced a multi-year deal that they say will not only benefit the Southern Tier, but also expand the region’s tourism. As part of the partnership, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, held in June, will now be known as the “Tioga Downs 240.”
$7.3 Million in Home Renewal Grants for Steuben Co.:
$7.3 million will be coming to Steuben County to assist households through the New York State Homes and Community Renewal annual HOME Local Program. The funding is awarded to nonprofit organizations and municipalities to support 215 households in rehabilitating and improving existing homes, increasing their access to affordable homes, and provide down payment assistance to help families achieve the dream of homeownership.
Two Bath Warrants Yields Arrests of Three Rochester Men
Two search warrants led to the arrests of Rochester men in the town of Bath this week following several complaints of suspected drug trafficking at two residences. Two arrests were made for the first warrant issued at an apartment on Route 54: 35-year-old William Q.C. Randall for possessing a quantity of suspected crack cocaine packaged for sale and 57-year-old John E. Banks for allegedly having knowledge of the criminal activity and allowing it in the residence. Randall was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Banks for Criminal Nuisance in the first degree. The second warrant was issued at an East Steuben Street residence and resulted in the arrest of Jemarr T. Smith for False Personation after Smith provided a false identity to a Bath Village Police officer. All three men were arraigned at Bath Town Court and remanded to Steuben County Jail.
DEC Reports Record Low of Incidents for 2018 Hunting Season
The 2018 hunting season in New York tallied the lowest number of recorded hunting-related shooting incidents and tied with the 2016 mark as one of the safest years yet with 13 total incidents recorded according to the head of the Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC documented five tree stand incidents and zero fatalities in 2018, down from 12 tree stand incidents the previous year.
Cuomo Directs NYSDTF to Accommodate Furloughed Federal Workers
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has been directed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow furloughed federal workers’ late payment penalties be waived and suspend collection of their tax returns for 90 days after the April 15th income tax deadline. Cuomo has also signed off on a bill that authorizes local governments to extend local property tax deadlines for federal employees affected by the government shutdown. In a statement, the governor remarked: “We will always stand with the hardworking women and men of this state and continue to do everything in our power to fight back against Washington's attack on our people."
Board of Elections Follows Election Reform with Funding Uncertainties
Steuben County Board of Election officials are preparing to make voting law changes to meet the conditions of election reform legislation that was passed in New York State Senate this week. Governor Cuomo signed the bill to law this week after state lawmakers voted last month in favor of this legislation mandating counties to offer in-person voting beginning 10 days before an election but, like many other counties across the state, Steuben County faces a challenge when it comes to adequately funding the effort. Though Governor Cuomo has said he will pledge funding to support the early voting provision, he did not include any specified amount in the 2018 budget and says revenues to do so will be available once New York State collects its sales tax from out-of-state retailers.
Wreaths Across America Cleanup Event is Today
Wreaths Across America is holding a wreath cleanup this morning at 9am to clean up the over 4,800 wreaths placed on the graves of late veterans buried at the Bath VA National Cemetery for December’s wreath-laying ceremony. No sign-up or registration is necessary to participate. Parking will be at the back of the Bath VA Museum building where instructions will be announced for proper cleanup procedure. It is highly recommended to bring a broom or rake to handle carrying wreaths to the disposal trucks. For more information about our local VA’s annual Wreaths Across America program, please follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WAA.BathNationalCemetery
Wayland Woman Arrested for Order of Protection Violation
State police report the arrest of 31-year-old Charlene Ward of Wayland. She was charged with criminal contempt for allegedly violating an order of protection. The alleged incident occurred in December. Court action is pending.
Office of the Aging Seeks Older New Yorkers' Day Nominations
Steuben County Office of the Aging says residents have until Feb. 22nd to nominate seniors to be recognized for 'Older New Yorkers' Day.' The event recognizes two senior citizen volunteers in the community with a spring banquet scheduled in Albany. The two seniors will be chosen from the submitted nominees. Qualifications for nominees include:
• Be a current resident of Steuben County, although they don't have to have lived their whole lives here
• Be 60 years of age or older
• Have served as a volunteer with one or more agencies serving their community, and whose service has enriched the lives of others.
• Nominees may be either individuals or couples who serve together, and do not need to be affiliated with programs sponsored by the Steuben OFA.
Applications are available at the county Office For The Aging, 3 Pulteney Square, Bath or online at https://www.steubencony. org/pages.asp?PID=12907 or on the “Older New Yorkers’ Day” link on https://www. steubencony.org/OFA Nominations also may be made by phone at 664-2298, mailed to Steuben County OFA, 3 E. Pulteney Square, Bath, NY 14810, emailed to OFAinfo@SteubenCountyNY.gov or RSVP@SteubenCountyNY. gov.
Governor Cuomo Lifts Cold Weather Travel Ban
Early this morning Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the tractor trailer and commercial bus travel ban has been lifted for most of the previously-announced roads. The travel ban imposed for the freezing weather included full roadway closures for most of New York’s Interstate roads and ended after a full evaluation by State Police concluding conditions on these roads were safe. Other state roads like I-81 continue to remain shut down as part of the ban until further notice.
Man Arrested and Charged for Tuscarora Snowmobile Accident
After the death of his wife in a snowmobiling accident last week, David Gee Junior, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated, and felony driving while intoxicated. Gee’s wife Billiejo was a passenger that was killed in a crash on State Route 417 in the Town of Tuscarora. State police say David Gee failed to give the right-of-way to the car and neither of the two were wearing helmets as they hit a van while attempting to cross the road. Gee was arraigned in the Town of Bath and sent to jail without bail. State troopers say the investigation into this crash is continuing.
Sandpit Road Traffic Stop Ends With Two Arrests
Two Steuben County residents are facing felony drug charges following a traffic stop on Sand Pit Road in the town of Bath. 41-year-old Nancy Lin of Corning and 60-year-old Mark Norton of Bath were both charged with criminal possession of narcotics, a class C felony. Lin was also charged with drinking alcohol in a vehicle on the highway and other traffic infractions.
Senator O’Mara Reminds Public of Flood Funding Deadline
Local State Senator of the 51st District Tom O'Mara reminds Southern Tier homeowners seeking state aid for August’s severe floods need to file their applications by this Monday, February 4th. Homeowners can be assisted by receiving funding to cover damages not fully covered by insurance or other forms of aid. The state announced in November that $13 million would be available for restoration and recovery efforts and a maximum of $50,000 of grants are available to homeowners in Chemung, Schuyler, Broome, Seneca, Tioga, Delaware and Chenango Counties. New York State Homes and Community Renewal administered the grants that can be applied to reimbursing repairs and restorations for utility systems and housing. For more information, please visit www.arbordevelopment.org and www.sheenhousing.org
MHANY Urges Legislators to Consider Recreational Marijuana Risks
As this year’s state legislative session warms up in Albany, the vote for recreational marijuana legalization is on the minds of many New Yorkers but The Mental Health Association of New York State says state officials should proceed with caution while they consider proposals to legalize cannabis. MHANY said in a statement this week that legislative leaders must be mindful that marijuana carries risk for dependence, addiction and negative impact on the neurological development of minors. The organization also suggested warning labels similar to tobacco products, expanded efforts to educate the public about the substance and the prohibition of recreational marijuana for those who are under age 25.
Police Announce Superbowl DWI Crackdown Begins Today
Local troopers and municipal police agencies begin this weekend’s statewide STOP-DWI Super Bowl Crackdown today. The campaign will continue until this Monday February 4th as police work to combat impaired driving with higher presence and sobriety checkpoints. Residents are also reminded of the county’s Social Host Law, which will see those who host private parties for underage drinkers held responsible. And for those working in retail where alcohol is served, police say to look out for those noticeably impaired as there could be some civil liability.