Steuben County Legislators Deliberating Paper Bag Fee
It looks like Steuben County legislators aren’t leaning to impose the 5-cent fee on paper bags that is part of the state ban on disposable plastic bags passed this year that will go into effect in March of 2020. The legislation gave counties and cities the right to opt out of the paper bag fee County Manager Jack Wheeler told the County Legislature’s Finance Committee this week. If imposed, the fee’s revenue would be distributed between the state and county, with 2 cents of each bag going to the county. The county would be obligated to use the share they get to buy reusable bags. Wheeler added that the county’s two cities, Hornell and Corning, do have the option of imposing the fee as municipalities if Steuben county does not choose to impose a fee.
Fallen Law Enforcement Honored at Memorial Service
Yesterday, active law enforcement executives, patrol officers, correction officers and retirees gathered at the Public Safety Building to honor law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty for a memorial service concluding National Police Week. The annual ceremony recognized fallen officers who fell while serving law enforcement in Steuben and neighboring counties including Allegany, Chemung, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler and Yates Counties. Trooper Nicholas Clark, who died while responding to a suicidal man July of last year, was honored and local politicians like State Senator Tom O’Mara, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and New York State Police George Delnagro were speakers at the event.
Fed Court Says NY Religious Agency Must Serve Same-Sex Couples
A federal court says New York officials weren’t infringing on a Christian adoption agency’s religious freedom by requiring it to serve same-sex couples. The Associated Press reports that a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albany in December sought to stop the state Office of Children and Family Services from shutting down New Hope Family Services in Syracuse because of its “discriminatory” policy regarding child placements. In dismissing the lawsuit Thursday, the court said it found no anti-religious bias in the state’s nondiscrimination policies.
County Legislature Meets Monday to Discuss Child Advocacy Center
The Steuben County Legislature will meet on Monday to discuss a plan to improve protection of abused and neglected children in the county through a Child Advocacy Center to be established in a vacant building on the Ira Davenport Hospital campus in Bath. The building will provide a central location for investigations by related agencies into reports of child abuse and neglect. The center aims to give children a safe space to talk about reported problems and will include offices for victims advocates and a team made up from Steuben’s social, law enforcement, medical and mental health services. The Center is planned to be funded by a 3-year grant from New York State and includes a mobile unit to provide services in more remote areas of the county.
Comptroller Announces Return on State Common Retirement Fund
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli just announced the State Common Retirement Fund earned an estimated 5.23 percent return on investments in the state fiscal year that ended on March 31st. The Fund closed the year with an estimated value of $210.2 billion.
NYS Office of Parks and Rec Seeking Summer Lifeguards
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will hire over 1,000 new and returning lifeguards for the its swimming beaches and pools during the summer season. Those who are interested in working as a lifeguard can check out the hiring requirements, qualifying dates and applications when they click here.
County Legislature Discusses Costs of Early Voting
The Steuben County Legislature’s Administration Committee sat down to discuss early voting this week. County Board of Elections Commissioner Vicky Olin told the committee expanding early voting to more locations would be extremely difficult without spending over $100,000 on new electronic equipment that the county will need for recordkeeping. Olin noted that the state promises reimbursement for the counties footing the bill for these early voting costs on a per-site basis. It’s estimated that locations like Corning and Hornell cost about an extra $15,000 each from New York State with about 85 voting districts in Steuben County. Legislator Robin Lattimer noted that: “We really need to consolidate election districts,” New York state controls the limit on how many residents can be in a district and officials like Lattimer believe there may be room for some consolidation to conserve state funding.
Village of Cohocton Water Unsafe for Infants Due to Nitrates
A notice to those in the Village of Cohocton to not give water to infants under 6 months old or use it to make infant formula. According to the NYSDOH Hornell District Office, it was discovered on May 15th that a water sample collected at the beginning of the month showed nitrate levels above the nitrate standard, which is a serious health concern for children under 6 months old. Those who use the Cohocton Village water are directed to not give water to infants as it can cause deadly symptoms like shortness of breath and baby blue syndrome. It is advised to prepare juice, formula and other beverages with bottled water for children under six months and to not use tap water until further notice. Boiling the water will not lower the nitrates but children and adults older than six months old can drink the tap water. Repeat sampling is being done to confirm the previous sample result.
NYS Senate Approves O’Mara-Sponsored Bike Education Bill
The New York State Senate has approved legislation long supported and co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara to enhance bicycle safety in New York. The measure would require the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to incorporate a “bicycle and pedestrian safety” component into the pre-licensing driver’s manual and exam motorists are required to review and pass before obtaining a driver’s license. O’Mara first pledged support for the measure at the “Awareness Ride in Memory of Matt Miller” in May 2014. The 43-year-old was an Elmira Free Academy graduate…he was struck head-on and killed by a left-turning motorist while riding his bike in the town of Southport in late April 2014. The motorist was ticketed for failure to yield.
Woodstock is Reset to Take Place
Those in charge of the 50th anniversary Woodstock festival in Watkins Glen have rejoiced in victory this week as plans to make the event possible seem to be back in action. A judge ruled Wednesday that the financial company that pulled out of the event didn't have the right to cancel it. Organizers told New York City radio station Q 104.3 yesterday that new investors are ready to sign on to be a part of the festival. Organizers also said tickets for the three-day event scheduled in August at Watkins Glen will soon go on sale.
Law Enforcement Memorial Service This Evening in Bath
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a Law Enforcement Memorial Service today at 6:00 p.m. to honor all law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty in Allegany, Chemung, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates Counties at the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Building. All fallen officers from Steuben County and adjacent counties will be honored, with active Law Enforcement executives, patrol officers, correction officers and retirees in attendance.The public is invited and encouraged to support the officers and family members who have given their all in service to their communities.
NY Republicans Criticize Farm Bill for Impact on Farm Families, Crops
Republicans in Albany, including local representatives Phil Palmesano and Tom O’Mara, are pushing back on a bill that would overhaul operations of family farms and place costly and unreasonable mandates into the $5 billion state farming industry. Two months ago, Palmesano and O’Mara called on hearings for this bill to take place and since, the State Senate has only held three of these hearings while the State Assembly has yet to hold any hearings on the bill. Opponents say the legislation would raise costs on family farms dramatically and force farms to resort to automation or lower-labor crops, jeopardizing crop diversity in the state. Palmesano said:“To move forward with this bill with no formal feedback from the farmers it affects is blatant neglect...”
County Leaders Support FCC Warning to NY About Cell Phone Fees
Steuben County leaders are voicing their strong approval of the Federal Communications Commission's stern warning regarding New York's misuse of cell phone fees intended by law to pay for 911 center operations. New York puts more than 90 percent of the landline and cell phone fees - roughly $171 million – into the state's general fund, and passes out the remaining money as grants to counties to upgrade essential equipment…that’s according to a recent report by the FCC. The loss of phone fees has been an issue in Steuben and other counties for years.
Steuben County to Participate in 20th “Roadside Cleanup Weeks”
For the 20th straight year all cities, villages and towns in Steuben County have been invited to participate in the county Landfill’s "Roadside Cleanup Weeks." The annual roadside cleanup allows municipalities to bring as much as 20 tons of garbage and 10 tons of tires to the landfill on Turnpike Road free of charge. Cleanup weeks are scheduled for two weeks during the year and are held for roadside cleanup -- not for house-to-house pickup. Liquid wastes and hazardous wastes will not be accepted. Garbage and tires must be delivered to the landfill in municipal trucks and weighed in at the landfill entrance. The event has been approved by the county Legislature.
Bath Village PD Reports Theft and Attempted Thefts from Vehicles
The Bath Village Police Department reports that last night, there were a number of vehicles throughout the village of Bath that someone went through to look for items to steal. The Police Department reports there has been only one vehicle owner reporting anything missing so far. A few others reported their cars had been entered and someone went through them. Anyone with personal items missing from their vehicle is urged to report it to the Bath Police Department and reminded to keep your vehicles locked at all times.
Caton Man Arrested for Endangerment and Weapon Charges
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that yesterday the Office’s deputies arrested Caton man Jimmy C. Rouse, age 77 after responding to a 911 report of a male subject with a loaded firearm on Hendy Hollow Road in the Town of Caton. It is alleged that Rouse endangered two men with a loaded firearm and was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree and Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree. Rouse was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and remanded to Steuben County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail and will appear in Caton Town Court at a later date.
County Jail Announces New App and Grants
This week, the Steuben County Jail says they will develop an app to allow people to schedule visits with jail inmates and allow transfers to accounts that allow inmates to make purchases from the jail commissary. Sheriff Allard presented the plan Tuesday to the Finance Committee of the County Legislature and the app is expected to initially cost $20,000 with an additional $6,000 yearly to be paid for with the jail’s commissary fund, which is separate from regular county funding.This week, the Finance Committee also accepted a $21,765 from Firehouse Subs on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office to help pay for automated defibrillators and similar equipment. A $15,000 grant from the Bethesda Foundation in Hornell was also accepted to be used to purchase emergency medical equipment for EMT’s.
Congressman Reed Announces Art Competition Winners
Congressman Tom Reed announced the Winner of the 2019 Congressional High School Art Competition as Ashlyn Schuman, a senior at Allegany-Limestone High School for her oil painting titled “Sunflower.” Ashlyn will have her artwork on display in the US Capitol for one year in the Cannon Tunnel and her parents will travel to Washington, DC for a June 24th reception with all of the winners of the Congressional Art Competition from across the country. The contest’s five other finalists’ artwork will be on display in Reed’s Washington office for one year.
Runner-up Senior Jessica Ritchie from Cattaraugus-Little Valley High School was recognized for her work called “Lake Sonoma”. Finalists include sophomore Naomi Cator-Szymanski from Dryden High School entitled “Ashleigh”, Tristan Shell, a Mynderse Academy sophomore for her piece entitled “Self-portrait of an Artist”, Pine Valley High School Senior David Shull for his work “Supplies” and Horseheads Hish School senior Joanne Kim for her piece entitled “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk”.
Fatal Fire in Riverside, Corning Man Arrested:
A Corning man has been arrested following a deadly fire in Riverside Tuesday morning. The blaze started around 8:20 a.m. on Townsend Avenue. Several victims were taken to area hospitals. One unidentified woman died in the fire. Arrested was 21-year-old Justin Gause on charges of manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine.
Steuben Supports FCC Warning:
Steuben County leaders are voicing their strong approval of the Federal Communications Commission’s stern warning regarding New York’s misuse of cell phone fees intended by law to pay for 911 center operations. New York puts more than 90 percent of the landline and cell phone fees – roughly $171 million – into the state’s general fund, and passes out the remaining money as grants to counties to upgrade essential equipment, according to a recent report by the FCC. According to FCC Commissioner Mike Rielly, diverting the fees to pay for other state costs endanger public safety and prevents 911 centers from providing reliable services to the public. The loss of phone fees has been an issue in Steuben for years. President of the New York State National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Chapter and the director of Steuben County 911, Dave Hopkins has lobbied in Albany and Washington D.C. for years to receive the funds. Steuben leaders urge county residents to contact their state representatives in support of the FCC report and to restore all phone surcharges to 911 centers.
Travel Advisory – Road Work on I-86 in Almond:
The New York State Department of Transportation has announced that bridge joint replacement work begins today on Interstate 86 eastbound at exit 33 in the town of Almond. Work will consist of removing and replacing existing bridge joints. For the duration of this work, one lane of traffic will be maintained. Work is anticipated to last approximately five days, weather permitting. Motorists may encounter flaggers, lane closures and could experience travel delays.
Steuben County Offers Roadside Clean-up Weeks:
For the 20th straight year all cities, villages, and towns in Steuben County are being invited to participate in the county Landfill’s “Roadside Cleanup Weeks.” The annual roadside cleanup allows municipalities to bring as much as 20 tons of garbage and 10 tons of tires to the landfill on Turnpike Road free of charge. Cleanup weeks are scheduled for two weeks during the year and are held for roadside cleanup – not for house-to-house pickup. Liquid wastes and hazardous wastes will not be accepted. Garbage and tires must be delivered to the landfill in municipal trucks and weighed in at the landfill entrance. Also, separate the tires, appliances, and scrap metal; remove the tire rims; and metal containers greater than 2.5 gallons must have the ends cut off and be crushed.
Haverling B.O.E. Meeting Thursday:
The Haverling Board of Education will hold an Audit Committee meeting tomorrow, Thursday, May 16th at 5:30 p.m. in the District Office.
Woodstock 50 Lawsuit Update:
In an update to the ongoing saga of the Woodstock 50 event, there’s been no resolution yet in the recently filed lawsuit. Arguments and testimony began Monday in New York City with investors and organizers trading barbs and accusing the other of broken promises as they vie for control of the festival. Investor Dentsu has said the event is canceled due to health and safety concerns, citing organizers “misrepresentations, incompetence, and contractual breaches” in court documents. Organizers say it’s still happening and accuse Dentsu, and its investment arm Amplifi Live, of trying to sabotage the event and of stealing funds. There’s less than 100 days until the supposed date of the festival, which was set for the weekend of August 16th at Watkins Glen International. The hearing is set to continue today.
New Lab Hours for St. James Hospital:
Effective now, Saint James Hospital in Hornell has new hours for walk-in lab services. At the Hospital lab draw location, on Canisteo Street, the hours are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. At the Medical Office Building lab draw location, on Seneca Road, the hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
Boating Deaths Dropped in 2018 in New York:
The 2018 Recreational Boating Report by the state Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Department has been released and it shows that boating related deaths dropped in the state to 19, down from 22 in 2017. That said, the total number of injuries and accidents did increase, from 181 reported accidents and 72 injuries in 2017, to 203 accidents and 108 injuries in 2018.
AAA/Medical Society Push for Passage of Back Seat Belt Law:
At a news conference Monday at the state Capitol, AAA and the Medical Society of the State of New York pushed for passage of a proposed law that would require all passengers to wear seat belts when riding in the back seat. Currently, all front-seat passengers and passengers younger than 16 in the back seat must wear seat belts. A vote on the bill could be held this week in the Senate.
63rd Annual Steuben Co. Dairy Festival Set for June 1st:
The 63rd annual Steuben County Dairy Festival has been set for Saturday, June 1st at the Steuben County Fairgrounds in Bath. Events include a car show, corn hole tournament, a chicken BBQ, a dunking booth, and more. There will also be flea, craft, and food vendors, and the parade will begin, rain or shine, 10:30 a.m. The parade theme this year is Dairyland Mysteries. Join us, WVIN, on the day for an on-location pre-show broadcast at 8:30 a.m. in front of Lake Country Jewelry on Liberty Street.
Hammondsport B.O.E. Meeting Tomorrow:
The Hammondsport Board of Education will hold a special meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, May 15th. It will be at 5 p.m. in the high school library.
Belfast Teacher Accused of Having “Intimate Relationship” with Student:
A Belfast Central School teacher has been charged after he allegedly had an “intimate relationship” with a 15-year-old student. 25-year-old Christopher Enlow of Hornell has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. According to State Police, they found text messages on Enlow’s phone implying the relationship. Belfast Superintendent Wendy Butler says Enlow has resigned. Anyone with further information on Enlow is asked to contact State Police at (585) 344-6200.
Elmira Man Accused of Stabbing 2 in Corning:
An Elmira man has been arrested after he alleged stabbed two people during an altercation on Bridge Street in Corning. According to Corning Police, just before 1:15 a.m. Friday, officers witnessed a disturbance outside a business on Bridge Street. As they approached, they were told someone had been stabbed. They were directed by witnesses to a vehicle that was trying to flee. The vehicle was pulled over, while other officers tended to two stabbing victims. Arrested was 26-year-old Amado Rincon Jr. He was charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. A 37-year-old man from Corning was “severely stabbed,” according to police, and was taken to Robert Packer Hospital. The other victim, a 28-year-old Beaver Dams man was treated for a minor stab wound at the scene.
Belmont Woman Found Guilty of Selling Drugs in Hornell:
A woman from Belmont has been found guilty of selling drugs in Hornell. 38-year-old Kristen Hand was found guilty of criminal possession and criminal sale of a controlled substance, both felonies. Hand and two co-defendants sold cocaine from a home on Genesee Street in April of last year. The Steuben County District Attorney’s Office says both of those co-defendants have already pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Hand faces up to nine years in prison.
“Police Officer Week” in Steuben Co.:
In recognition of the essential role law enforcement members and agencies in Steuben County play in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of county residents, county Legislature Chairman Joe Hauryski and county Sheriff Jim Allard have proclaimed this week, May 12th through the 18th, as “Police Officer Week in Steuben County.” Hauryski said it is important all citizens understand the task, duties, and responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Department, town and village police departments, and New York State Police, and recognize their professional duty to serve the people of the county by protecting life and property against violence or disorder.
NY Lawmakers to Talk Single-Payer Healthcare
New York lawmakers say a public hearing is planned to discuss legislation that would establish a universal, single-payer health care plan in New York State. State Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy is supporting a bill to make the state healthcare system a single-payer style one. The Assemblywoman says the program’s goal is to provide more affordable access to preventative care but the new system would require a massive tax overhaul to be made possible. Opponents of the bill do not support the bill because they say it will majorly hike up the state taxes and the quality of healthcare may decline. According to a Rand Corporation Study released last year, it is estimated the state would need another $139 billion in tax revenue to finance the new system in 2022. No date has yet been released to the public for the future hearing.
STOP-DWI Awards Banquet Honors Officers
Local law enforcement officers were recognized at yesterday’s STOP-DWI awards banquet at the Steuben County Civil Defense Building. State Senator Tom O’Mara presented top agency awards to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police of the Painted Post Barracks. Local Assemblyman Phil Palmesano presented Steuben County Sheriff’s Office with the STOP-DWI Foundation Award for top enforcement agency and honored individual enforcement awards to County Sheriff Corporal Joshua VanSkiver, Deputy Matthew Butler, Corning City PAtrolman Zachary Alger and Village of Bath Officer Christopher Daloia. County STOP-DWI Coordinator and Sheriff Jim Allard hosted the event and reminds the public that “Impaired Driving remains one of the most fatal criminal occurrences in Steuben County.” and “Every arrest is a lifesaver.”
Belmont Woman Found Guilty on Drug Charges
A Belmont woman has been charged guilty of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree stemming from an arrest in an incident that occured in April of 2018. Wrapping up a trial that lasted 3 days, it was determined by testimony that 38-year-old Kristen E. Hand provided financial backing for the drug dealing enterprise and actually took money from a Hornell Police Department Agent to complete the sale in this case. District Attorney Brooks Baker says his Office will advocate for a State Prison sentence for Hand once the trial’s sentencing portion is completed in the near future.
State Audit Finds Inadequate Management in Addison
A state audit has raised some concerns for the Addison town supervisor’s office. According to a summary report, the audit said the Supervisor did not adequately fulfill his fiscal responsibilities because he failed to provide oversight of the bookkeeper, who performs all financial duties, including online banking, on her personal computer. The bookkeeper collects, records and deposits receipts and makes online transfers without oversight, including inappropriately making transfers directly from the bank accounts of the independently elected town clerk and justice. Supervisor Jack Thompson said he was thankful for the review and changes are being made.
Governor’s Office Announces $9Million to Farms for Water
The governor’s office has announced nearly $9 million will be awarded to implement water quality protection projects on 24 farms across the state. The funded projects will allow livestock farms to better manage and store nutrients such as manure to protect groundwater and nearby waterways. About $1.1 million has been awarded to three farms in Steuben County.
Unified Transportation System to Launch Next Year
The Steuben County Mobility Management program expects to begin developing a unified transportation system next year, by working together with the private, public, and non-profit systems within the county. The four year coordinated transportation plan addresses the need for system improvements to include new routes, transit wi-fi, expanded hours of operation, fare structures, marketing, fare box collection systems, technology, and management.
NYSP Honor Trooper Clark’s Family with “Highest Award”:
The New York State Police have honored fallen Trooper Nicholas Clark and his family with their highest award. The Brummer Award was established in 1968. It represents valor, heroism, and outstanding performance. It was presented to the Clark family by the acting NYSP Superintendent Keith Corlett. Trooper Clark was killed last July in the Town of Erwin while responding to a call.
Spending Up, Tax Levy Increase in Proposed Prattsburgh School Budget:
When voters in the Prattsburgh School District head to the polls on May 21st they’ll be deciding on a proposed budget of $10.1 million. It includes a spending increase of $227,000 and a tax levy increase of 2 percent. District officials say the tax levy is projected to be $75,000 below the district’s cap. Also on the ballot will be a proposition to re-establish the district’s capital reserve fund.
Woodstock 50 Organizers Sue Investor:
From accusations to a lawsuit – organizers of the Woodstock 50 event are suing a former investor, Dentsu Aegis, in state Supreme Court. USA Today reports that developers are demanding that Dentsu return nearly $17.8 million in “misappropriated” funds, and are seeking a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order against Dentsu and its Amplifi Live division. They’re also demanding that “Dentsu cooperate with W50 in connection with W50’s continued planning of the festival, including providing reasonable consents and approvals.” A hearing is set for Monday. Dentsu has said it just “recovered” cash that it provided for the event.
Steuben Looking at Unified Transportation System:
The Steuben County Mobility Management program expects to begin developing a unified transportation system next year. According to Belinda Hoad, Associate Director at Institute for Human Services, Inc., the four-year coordinated transportation plan addresses the need for system improvements to include new routes, transit wi-fi, expanded hours of operation, fare structures, marketing, fare box collection systems, technology, and management. The plan includes improved community awareness of the services available in Steuben and the region, she said.
Today Proclaimed as RSVP Day in Steuben Co.:
In a tribute to the dedication and conscientious work completed by the Steuben County Retired and Seniors Program volunteers, county Legislature Chairman Joe Hauryski has proclaimed today (May 10th) as the “46th Annual RSVP Recognition Day” in the county. Hauryski said RSVP provides major cost savings to agencies and municipalities, and remains an important resource in the county. “These 400 RSVP volunteers contribute more than 59,300 hours of service to the well-being of their communities,” Hauryski said.
2nd Annual Truck & Jeep Convoy to Support First Responders Set for July:
The second annual Truck and Jeep Convoy to support first responders has been set for July 20th at Country Pub 2 in Painted Post. It’ll be $10 per driver and $5 per passenger with prizes that are yet to be announced. There will be a different route this year, but all jeeps, cars, and trucks are still welcome to participate. There will also be live music and a chicken BBQ. All proceeds from the event will go to first responders and the Nick Clark Scholarship Fund.
Bath Man Arrested in Connection with Incident at Hornell Track Event:
A Bath man is facing charges of public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child following an incident at a track meet in Hornell. 20-year-old Cody George is accused of exposing himself in a lewd manner during a women’s pole-vaulting event at the annual Hornell Invitational track meet on May 3rd. According to the Hornell Police Department, witnesses said George was performing highly inappropriate actions. A video of the incident was posted to social media, but it was removed over the weekend. George turned himself into police on Tuesday. He was issued an appearance ticket and was released.
Tax Break for Businesses That Hire Recovering Addicts:
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that a tax break was included in this year’s New York State budget for businesses that hire recovering addicts. Starting in 2020, the tax breaks will be for “certified employers,” with the state offering $2,000 for each eligible employee hired. The employee will have to work a minimum of 500 hours before the tax break takes effect. Said Cuomo, “As the opioid epidemic continues to impact families and communities across the state, we remain committed to ensuring individuals who are in recovery have the support they need to lead healthy lives.”
Finalized Bus Camera Bill Heading to Vote:
The details have been ironed out and a bill that would authorize cameras on school buses to catch drivers passing them illegally is now heading to a vote. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the bill will allow school districts to mount cameras on the stop arms of buses, which extend when buses stop to pick up or drop off students. Drivers caught passing a stopped bus would face a fine of $250, with the school district and municipalities splitting the money. The bill, which already has broad support, is expected to be voted on in the coming weeks.
New Director for VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System:
A new director has been announced for the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System. Bruce Tucker will oversee the delivery of healthcare to more than 33,000 veterans and an operating budget of over $220 million. Tucker has previously held “progressive leadership positions” at the Bath and Canadaigua VA Medical Centers.
New Playground to be Built in Hammondsport:
This Saturday, May 11th, a new, natural playground will be built at the Hammondsport Children’s Center thanks to a partnership between local donors and allies. More than 30 volunteers, sponsors, and friends and family from across the area will work to build the play area, which will feature a mini-trike track, secret fort, two slides, and an accessible infant deck with shade canopy. Additionally, there will be a new balance beam, shade structures, and raised vegetable garden planters. Materials were donated and collected from many area businesses. The “Build Day” begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication.
Identity of Victim in Fatal Bath Accident Released:
The identity of the victim in the fatal accident in Bath on May 3rd has been released. 56-year-old Donald Masti, of Bath, was killed after being struck by 45-year-old Tonia Smith, of Painted Post, as he was attempting to cross State Route 415. Smith has been arrested for vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.
Bath Home Struck by Vehicle:
A home in the Village of Bath was struck by a car Monday night. The accident happened around 7:20 p.m. on West Morris Street. According to the Bath Fire Department, no one was home at the time and the driver of the vehicle did not appear to be injured. Two pillars in front of the home were destroyed.
Car, Haverling School Bus Collide:
A car collided with a Haverling School bus Monday morning. The accident happened on Maple Heights in front of the VEW school after the bus had dropped off the children. There were no children on the bus at the time of the accident. According to the Village of Bath Police Department, the vehicle was driven by 34-year-old Jolynn Haight. She crossed the roadway into opposing traffic and struck the school bus, being driven by 62-year-old Stephen Williams, head-on. Extensive damage was done to the front-ends of both vehicles. Then, another vehicle, being driven by 27-year-old Brendan Reeve struck the rear of Haight’s vehicle, causing minor damage. Haight and a minor passenger in her vehicle were both taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for treatment of injuries. Williams and an aide who was on the bus, 31-year-old Stephanie Jones, were transported to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries. WENY reports that Haight told police sleep deprivation caused her to cross into the other lane. She is expected to be issued traffic citations at a later date.
Canisteo Man Accused of Stealing Pickup:
A Canisteo man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a pickup truck in Hornell. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, 23-year-old Gary Mullen III allegedly entered a residence on Seneca Road North in Hornell with the intent of stealing a 2004 GMC pickup truck. He was later located in Rochester in possession of the truck. He has been charged with burglary and grand larceny. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. Mullen is additionally facing charges from the City of Hornell Police Department.
Wayland Man Charged in Domestic Incident:
A Wayland man has been arrested following an alleged domestic incident in the Village of Wayland. The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that deputies responded to a residence on Cass Street on May 5th and arrested 25-year-old Justin Brown. Brown is accused of damaging the property of another and of acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental, or moral welfare of a child. He was charged with criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child.
Woodstock 50 Needs to Raise $30M by Friday:
The beleaguered Woodstock 50 festival could still happen, but only if founders can raise $30 million by this Friday. After Dentsu and Superfly pulled out of the event, many thought the festival would surely be canceled, but co-founder Michael Lang has doubled-down on the event and is working to keep it alive. CID Entertainment is now reportedly going to produce the festival, but according to Billboard, the standard producer fee for most festivals is 10 percent – or about $3 million in the case of Woodstock 50 – and it’s unclear how much CID will get paid, or if Lang will be able to raise the $30 million by Friday’s deadline.
Haverling Budget Meeting Today:
A budget hearing will be held by the Haverling Central School District tonight at 7 p.m. in the Haverling Auditorium.
Annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Letter Carriers Food Drive this Saturday:
Residents are being encouraged by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier to help “Stamp Out Hunger” this weekend with the annual National Association of Letter Carriers national food drive. The Stamp Out Hunger drive is the country’s largest single-day food drive. Last year, the Food Bank received more than 7,600 pounds of food, equaling more than 6,300 meals. Participants should leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods next to the mailbox by 9 a.m., Saturday, May 11th. Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail. Suggested items include: canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, dry pastas, boxed macaroni and cheese, and canned soups.
Deadline to Purchase Flag for Glassfest’s Field of Flags Extended:
The deadline to purchase a flag for this year’s Glassfest Field of Flags has been extended to May 14th. During Glassfest, which is set for May 24th through the 26th in Corning, as many as 270 flags will be displayed in Riverfront Centennial Park. The public can sponsor a flag for a veteran or purchase one for themselves for $35. After the Rock the Park concert on Sunday, the flag can then be picked up or donated. Donated flags will be given to veteran’s organizations or to civic groups to distribute among veterans. Flags can be purchased online at https://www.gafferdistrict.com/fieldofflags, by phone at (607) 937-6292, or in person at 114 Pine Street Suite 201.
Painted Post Woman Charged in Fatal Bath Accident:
A Painted Post woman has been charged in the fatal car-pedestrian accident in the Town of Bath on Route 415 Friday afternoon. The Hornell Evening Tribune reports that 45-year-old Tonia Smith has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. The identity of the victim has not been released. Smith is being held in the Steuben County Jail on $25,000 bail.
Canisteo Man Charged in Hornell Burglary:
A Canisteo man has been charged in connection with a burglary in Hornell. 23-year-old Gary Mullen allegedly entered a house on South Division Street and stole property valued over $1,000, including a firearm. He was arrested in Rochester and was taken back to Hornell to face burglary and grand larceny charges.
3 Arrested on Drug Charges in Hornell:
Three people have been arrested on drug charges following an investigation by Hornell Police into the selling of street narcotics. During the search of a residence on Bostwick Place, police say they seized a quantity of heroin and methamphetamine for street sale along with packaging material, scales, and needles. Arrested were: 36-year-old Leo Preston for criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal nuisance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a hypodermic instrument; 34-year-old Patrick Adams for criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia; and 41-year-old Jacob Eyabroat for criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Arkport Business Struck by Vehicle:
Firefighters were dispatched to Main Street in Arkport on Friday after a truck hit, and became lodged in, the store front of Schultheis Sporting Goods. The driver of the vehicle was reportedly making a left-hand turn onto Main Street and failed to make the 90-degree corner. No injuries were reported. Whether or not the driver has been charged has not been announced. The store was able to open for the weekend.
Corning Flushing Hydrants:
The City of Corning will be flushing hydrants beginning today through Friday, May 10th. Flushing will take place between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Customers may notice low water pressure and see discolored water. Discolored water will not affect your health, but could damage clothes. Flushings will take place at the following locations on the following days: today – Pine St. West to City line; May 7th – Pine St. East to City line; May 8th – Houghton Plot to Bridge St.; May 9th – Bridge St. to Reynolds Ave., including W. William and Hillvue Ave.; May 10th – Reynolds Ave. to City line, including areas above the railroad tracks.
Students Look at Ways to Improve Steuben:
Fourteen Steuben County high school students took their seats last week in the county Legislature’s chambers for the county’s biannual Youth in Government Simulated Legislative Session. The students met on Wednesday to propose and vote on resolutions they drew up after spending a semester meeting with legislators and department heads to learn more about Steuben’s operations. Some of the students’ resolutions were: bringing a youth center to central Steuben County; furthering tourism through an environmentally friendly bike share program; imposing a sales tax on vaping products sold in Steuben County; and increasing rental tax to assist in providing maintenance for county roads; among others. The twice-yearly high school program has been offered to high school juniors and seniors by the county for more than 30 years.
Pedestrian Killed Following Collision in Bath
New York State Police report a fatality following a car collision in the Town of Bath yesterday afternoon. According to police, as a pedestrian was crossing State Route 415 a driver going Westbound hit the person. The victim was pronounced dead after being taken to Ira Davenport Hospital. The driver of the vehicle was also hospitalized and Troopers say alcohol may be a contributing factor in the accident. The driver is being interviewed by State Police and more information will be released once authorities complete the investigation.
O’Mara & Palmesano Feature Finger Lakes Goods at “Sip and Sample”
State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano will join wineries, cheese producers, and restaurateurs and other culinary manufacturers across state Monday as they co-host the New York Wine Industry Association’s “Sip and Sample” tasting event. The sixth annual “Sip and Sample” will also be sponsored by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Senator Jen Metzger, who are both chairs of the State Senate and Assembly Agriculture Committee. The event will occur at the Well of the Legislative Office Building from 4 to 7pm.
Addison Man Who Threatened MN Congresswoman Released
The Steuben County man arrested for threatening to kill a Minnesota Congresswoman was released from federal custody yesterday. Patrick Carlieno Junior of Addison will be placed under home detention with electronic monitoring and must undergo a mental health assessment and treatment. The 55 year old man allegedly placed a call to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, threatening to shoot her. In the call, Carlineo was said to have shared his name and contact information.
Campbell Man Arrested Following Domestic Incident
A domestic dispute ended with a felony arrest. State police said they took 30-year-old Richard Holley of Campbell into custody. He was charged with felony 1st degree criminal contempt. He was initially detained on cash bail.
Bath Man Arrested for Violation of Order of Protection
A man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection in the Town of Bath. Troopers arrested 37-year-old Christopher Zemeic of Wayne. He was charged with criminal trespass and criminal contempt for allegedly disobeying a court order.
Local Pediatrician Stresses Importance of Vaccines
Guthrie Pediatric Physician Dr. Kenneth Sobel is reminding the public of the importance of vaccinations following the recent measles outbreak in New York state. In a WETM interview, the pediatrician says that vaccines are the best prevention from deadly diseases like measles and are safe, adding “these things generally do well for people and they protect us and our population." Over 700 measles cases in 22 states across the country were reported for this year- the highest number reported since 1994. The disease was declared eliminated back in 2000.
State Representatives Honor Corning Cadet at West Point
State Sen. Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano honored current West Point cadets from New York State, including Corning Native Lili Ruland at the 67th annual West Point Day. The Legislature’s annual ceremony recognizes the US Military Academy in Orange County, the oldest, continuously operating military post in the country. In a joint statement Palmesano and O’Mara said: “We were equally proud this year to have the opportunity to recognize Cadet Lili Ruland of Corning and appreciate this chance to express our gratitude for her deep commitment to serving the United States of America.”
Operation “Safe Stop” Underway to Promote School Bus Safety:
Thursday morning kicked off Operation “Safe Stop” across the state to promote school bus safety. Law enforcement will be using both marked and unmarked patrol cars to follow school buses in heavy traffic areas and they’ll be looking for drivers who pass stopped school buses – which is a violation of state law – as well as those drivers who speed in school zones. On Wednesday, the state Senate passed legislation that increases the penalties for those who pass school buses with their stop signs out.
Applications Open for Cooling Assistance:
State officials have announced that $6 million is available to help New Yorkers suffering from serious health issues that are aggravated by extreme heat purchase an air conditioner. Individuals can now apply in person for cooling assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program at their county department of social services. Last summer, $5.5 million was allocated and a total of nearly 8,000 households received cooling assistance. Cooling assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. County departments of social services will accept applications through August 30, or until funding runs out.
Organizers Says Woodstock 50 Computers Hacked:
It’s a new day, and there’s a new twist in the ongoing saga of the Woodstock 50 event. Festival organizer Michael Lang is now saying that he believes the event’s computers have been hacked. He revealed the reported hacking to the Poughkeepsie Journal and while he didn’t give any details about what information could have been compromised, he said he believes it to have been perpetrated by a media outlet. He said that information came out this week that “could only come from one of us” and that a hack by the media was “the only reason [he] could think of.”
Hornell Woman Chosen as “Woman of Distinction”:
A Hornell woman has been chosen as Senator Tom O’Mara’s 2019 State Senate Woman of Distinction. Pauline Holbrook will represent the 58th District at the Senate’s 21st Annual Women of Distinction awards ceremony on May 7th in Albany. She will be joined by more than 60 other honorees representing districts throughout New York. Holbrook served as a substitute teacher in the Hornell City School District and has been involved with numerous organizations, including St. James Mercy Hospital, the Steuben ARC Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels, and the Hornell American Legion Post 440, among others. She and her sister were also featured Irish Dancers promoting United States government war bonds.
Wechsler Receives State Award for Outstanding Achievements in Public Health:
A Steuben County Public Health veteran has received New York State’s Hermann M. Briggs Memorial medal and Certificate for outstanding achievements in public health. Gail Wechsler has been honored by the state for her dedication to the health and well-being of the public, which includes a 28-year career in county Public Health Nursing as well as nursing experience in the STD/HIV and MOM’s program, and as an OB/GYN nurse in hospital settings. Wechsler is also a strong advocate for immunizations for children and adults. She’s set to retire in January.
Haverling Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2019:
The Haverling Central School District Board has approved the Class of 2019 for the Haverling Athletic Hall of Fame. Of the applicants, five candidates were chosen: Trevor Lang, Class of 2012, for soccer, alpine ski, and lacrosse; Lakeshia McCloud, Class of 2008, for Track and Field; Braedyn Ordway, Class of 2006, for soccer, basketball, Track and Field; Josh Ordway, Class of 1996, for basketball; and Mark Robinson, Class of 2003, for football. All the inductees and families will be invited to the annual Haverling Alumni Banquet on June 21st for a formal recognition ceremony. For reservations, please visit the Haverling Alumni Association Facebook page for more information. Following the presentation at the banquet, plaques will be displayed permanently in the main hallway outside the entrance to the Haverling Athletic Complex.
Canisteo Man Facing Drug Charges:
A drug investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Canisteo man. According to the Canisteo Village Police Department, officers received multiple complaints of drug activity taking place at home on North Street over the past few weeks. When officers conducted a search, they arrested 30-year-old Michael DuBois on criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of marijuana. Police say they also confiscated drug paraphernalia items and packaging material. DuBois was sent to the Steuben County Jail.
Wayland Woman Allegedly Lied to Steuben DSS:
A Wayland woman has been arrested for allegedly lying to the Steuben County Department of Social Services. 59-year-old Kim Raup allegedly provided false information to Social Services in March of 2015, and allegedly offered a written instrument to Social Services in July 2016 knowing it contained false information. As a result, Raup received benefits that she was not eligible for. She has been charged with offering a false instrument for filing, falsifying business records, and grand larceny.
Production Company Drops Out of Woodstock 50 Event:
Woes continue for the embattled Woodstock 50 event. Production company Superfly has now dropped out of the festival, just days after financier Dentsu Aegis Network bowed out. Superfly, based out of New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco, was one of two production companies running the festival at the Glen. Rolling Stone broke the story, with a source saying that the loss of Superfly is “catastrophic” to the event. “Any festivalgoer knows now that Superfly doesn’t have faith in it,” said the source. “I don’t know how you recover from that. It’s impossible.” Additionally, Billboard reports that the artists scheduled to play at the event are not obligated to perform. Representatives from two major talent agencies said that Dentsu’s decision to pull out voids the artists’ contracts and releases them from playing.
St. James Hospital Lifts Adult Visitor Restrictions:
Due to decreasing influenza activity, St. James Hospital has lifted its adult visitor restrictions. However, visitors under the age of 14 will continue to be restricted. Adult visitors and family members with flu symptoms are asked to avoid visiting inpatients at the hospital.
Cooper Plains Cemetery Caretaker Removed:
The caretaker of the Cooper Plains Cemetery has been removed after a petition calling for the caretaker’s resignation was submitted to the Town of Erwin. Community members have expressed many concerns about the caretaker and the management of the cemetery. In December of 2018, several people had difficulty accessing the graves of their loved ones after the caretaker blocked off the entrances with ropes and chains, which is against federal law.
OFA Ready to Celebrate Spring:
The Steuben County Office for the Aging Advisory Council’s 28th annual “Celebration of Spring” will be May 18th from 5 to 8 p.m. at Haverling High School in Bath. The “Life is a Cabaret” event is co-sponsored by the Haverling Student Council and will feature student vocal performances, dancing, food, and prizes. Tickets are $10 for one and $15 for two. Tickets will only be available at the door, which will open at 5 p.m. For available transportation and more information, call the county Office for the Aging at (607) 644-2298.
New Festival Celebrating Outdoors Set for Steuben County Fairgrounds in July:
Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau is partnering with Finger Lakes Trail Conference and the Friends of the Chemung River to host the first annual Finger Lakes Trail Days Festival on July 26th and 27th at the Steuben County Fairgrounds in Bath. The festival will begin on the evening of Friday, July 26th with a concert featuring Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band, Steep Canyon Rangers at 5 p.m. Gates will open on Friday at 5 p.m. and tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children 16 and under. On Saturday, July 27th, the day will be filled without door recreation activities, including a guided hike, a zip line, kayak lessons, and more. There will also be local food, drinks, and a musical lineup including 2015 winner of The Voice, Sawyer Fredericks. Gates open at 11 a.m. and a day pass is $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information about the upcoming event, visit http://www.fingerlakestraildays.com.
Steuben Co. Law Enforcement Memorial Service:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a Law Enforcement Memorial Service on Friday, May 17th at 6 p.m. to honor all law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty in Allegany, Chemung, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates Counties. The service will be held at the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Building with the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presenting the colors; the names of the fallen officers read; guest speakers, and bagpipes. The public is invited and encouraged to support the officers and family members who have given their all in service to their communities.
Petition Violation Against Legislator Weaver Upheld:
A petition objection filed against Steuben County Legislator Randy Weaver has been upheld, meaning Weaver won’t be able to run for re-election as a Democrat in the November General Election. Instead, he may run on an Independent, third-party line if his petition drive is successful. The challenge was made by long-time Hornell Republican Mike Palmesano for errors on Weaver’s petition. This is not the first time Weaver’s petitions have been successfully challenged. In 2010, while running for a seat in the state Assembly, and in 2014, Weaver was excluded from the ballot after a petition challenge.
Corning Inc. Posts Strop First Quarter:
Corning Inc. is enjoying a strong start to the year, posting positive first quarter numbers this week. Year-over-year core sales saw a 13 percent increase from 2018 to 2019 in Quarter 1, jumping from 2.51 billion to 2.85 billion. Core-Earnings-Per-Share rose 29 percent, growing to 40 cents-per-share from 31 cents. Vice President of Corporate Communication for Corning Inc., Dan Collins says all 5 of the company’s businesses (Optical Technologies, Display Technologies, Environmental Technologies, Life Sciences, and Specialty Materials) saw year-over-year growth.
Local Salon Working to Protect Environment:
A local hair salon has found a way to help protect the environment. Last year, Magic Hair
Styling on State Route 415 in Bath began allowing residents to drop off used or unwanted nail polish at their location, which they then properly disposed of. Nail polish is considered hazardous waste by the EPA and shouldn’t be discarded in regular household garbage. Courtney Smith, of Magic Hair Styling, says that even mostly used bottles pose a threat to our water and soil. In 2018, the salon collected over 250 bottles. This year, the salon says it has already passed that mark and they are still collecting until June 13th, when they’ll take them to be disposed of. Also, they remind the community that they offer drop off at any time in the year.
ProAction Awarded $4 Million:
ProAction of Steuben and Yates County is getting a big boost. The agency has been awarded a grant worth more than $4.3 million for its Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families by supporting early learning, health, and family well-being. The funding was secured by Congressman Tom Reed, along with Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
NYS Moves Closer to Cat Declaw Ban:
New York State is moving closer to banning the declawing of cats. The state Assembly’s agriculture committee advanced the ban Tuesday. Now the bill must pass a second committee before going to a vote in the full Assembly. Supporters of the ban, which include animal welfare advocates and many veterinarians, say declawing a cat is inhuman since it involves the amputation of a cat’s toes to the first knuckle. The state’s largest veterinary association has opposed the bill, saying the procedure is a last resort for some cats who won’t stop scratching humans or furniture.
Corning Advances in Main Streets Contest:
Corning’s Gaffer District is one step closer to taking the crown in the annual Independent We Stand’s America’s Main Streets contest. Corning is one of 25 locations that received enough votes to advance to the next round in the competition. Voters now have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 26th to cast their ballots, which can be made 25 times per IP address every 24 hours. The grand prize winner will be chosen from the ten who get the most votes and will be announced on Monday, June 3rd. The winner receives a $25,000 check, a $1,000 certificate for STIHL equipment, a $500 Do it Best Corp. shopping spree, a $500 PPG Paints shopping spree, a $500 Nationwide Marketing Group shopping spree, a free one-day Downtown Assessment from Flip this Town, a special plaque, and recognition on Independent We Stand social media channels and public relations outreach. Vote at https://www.mainstreetcontest.com/nominees.