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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday April 20th, 2021

2 More COVID Deaths in Steuben County
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification of the death of two individuals who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 171.  One individual was a 64-year-old female resident of the City of Hornell and the other was an 88-year-old female resident of the Town of Bath.  Both individuals died while hospitalized.

 

Campbell Man Arrested on Multiple Charges
Bath Police arrested 30-year-old Nicholas J. Crouch of Campbell for felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, possession of a hypodermic instrument, false personation, Menacing 2nd, and Petit Larceny. This arrest stems from an investigation on W. Steuben St. where Crouch allegedly stole property from a person and then threatened the victim with a knife. Crouch was located by Bath Police in front of the Dormann Library in the Village. He allegedly provided Officers a false name and was also found to be in possession of a large quantity of suboxone, fentanyl, and packaging material consistent with selling narcotics. 

 

DOL Warns Public of Texting Scam
The New York State Department of Labor warns the public of a scam where a text is sent in an effort to get people to submit their personal information on a fake website, downloading illegal content, or calling fake numbers.The Department of Labor announced via Twitter if they do send out texts, they will come through the numbers 468311 or 22751. The DOL says remember representatives will never reach out to someone via social media.

 

Governors of States with Legal Pot Call for Safe Banking Act
New York has joined other states in the U.S. legalizing recreational marijuana-but the hurdle of banking stands in the way of legitimizing cannabis. Currently, banks and credit unions are not allowed to provide all of their services to businesses involved in the sale of marijuana. A new federal bill called the Safe Banking Act would allow any state with legalized marijuana to use the national banking system. Governor Cuomo joined with other fellow governors in a letter saying:
“These barriers disincentive financial institutions from providing banking services to state-licensed and regulated cannabis businesses...” 

 

O’Mara Wants Multiple Subpoenas Sent to NYS Health Dept. Officials
State Senator Tom O’Mara has advanced a motion to send multiple subpoenas to current and former officials at the New York State Department of Health for testimony and records related to the Cuomo administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an O’Mara statement, “Senate Republicans have been demanding a top-to-bottom investigation of the Cuomo administration for months on end, with subpoena power, and every single one of the efforts have been ignored or blocked by the Senate Democrat supermajority.”

 

Bath Man Arrested for Menacing and Drugs
Bath Police arrested 29-year-old Jonathon Tymel of W. William St. He was charged with Menacing 2nd, a class A misdemeanor and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th, also a class A misdemeanor. The arrest stems from an incident where Tymel allegedly put a knife to the victim’s face, making the victim fearful. Police said while taking him into custody he was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine. 

 

Corning Man Arrested for Drugs After Victory Highway Report
Steuben County deputies arrested 51-year-old Virgil J. Louk of Tannery Creek Road in Corning as a result of an investigation into a suspicious person in a vehicle on Victory Highway in Erwin, New York.   It is alleged he operated a motor vehicle while in an impaired condition due to drugs.  He is also accused of hiding methamphetamine and fentanyl and exposed the arresting deputy to these suspected narcotics during transport, causing a physical reaction to the deputy.  The deputy required medical treatment. Louk was charged with numerous felony counts. He was arraigned and released.  The Deputy recovered fully.

Today's Top Stories - Monday April 19th, 2021

Wayland Compin USA Plant Will Create Up to 31 Jobs
Empire State Development announced that a Compin USA manufacturing plant will be located in Wayland that will create up to 31 jobs. Compin USA is a leasing manufacturing space vacated by Gunlocke to build seats for transportation industry projects, which include high-speed Amtrak trainsets being manufactured by Alstom in nearby Hornell. The project is estimated to cost a total of $270,000 and $80,000 worth of the project will be supported by the ESD. This announcement comes recently after Gunlocke announced a local workforce reduction in its upholstery.
For more information about the Compin USA company, visit: http://www.compinfainsa.com/?lang=en

 

Bath Sex Offender Arrested for Forcible Touching
A 29-year-old registered sex offender from Bath was charged with forcible touching. The Bath Police Department says Evin Swarthout’s arrest stems from an incident last week on April 13th. According to the New York sex offender registry, Swarthout is currently on parole and was sentenced to two years in state prison and five years postrelease supervision for raping a 16-year-old girl back in 2015. He was processed and transported to the Steuben County Jail for arraignment and is currently being held on a violation of parole warrant.

 

County Route 5 Bridge Closure Begins Next Week
The County Route 5 bridge (Clendenning Road) over the north branch of Clendenning Creek in the Town of Tuscarora will be closed to all through traffic on or about April 26th next week for about 7 weeks.  The bridge is located between the north end of Thompson Road and Sullivan Road. According to Steuben County Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti, the closure will allow the current pipe to be removed and completely replaced with a new concrete box structure. There will be a posted detour using Thompson Road.

 

20 New COVID Cases Reported by Steuben County Health
The Steuben County Health department says it is currently managing 175 active COVID-19 cases, with 20 new cases reported Friday afternoon. Since March 2020, the county has confirmed nearly 6,300 total cases. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says six more people have been hospitalized. She added to have 30% of one day's cases in the hospital is a big deal. A Bath clinic remains open to walk ins or pre-registration at www.steubencony.org/covid every Monday - Friday from 10 am - 2 pm at the Civil Defense Training Center, 7220 State Route 54, Bath.

 

DEC Announces Spring Turkey Season Starts May 1st
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that spring turkey season opens May 1, in all parts of Upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. In addition, DEC's annual youth turkey hunting weekend will take place April 24 & 25. The youth turkey hunt for junior hunters aged 12 to 15 is open in all parts of Upstate New York and Suffolk County. Last year, turkey hunters took approximately 21,500 birds in New York during the spring season, an increase of about 25 percent from 2019. Much of the increase was likely due to a rise in hunter participation as more people looked for outdoor activities close to home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Allegedly Selling Meth
A 33-year-old Bath man faces felony drug charges after the Bath Police Department reported he was arrested on a sealed indictment for selling crystal meth in the village. Brentin Austin is charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and 2 counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance. He is being held in Steuben County Jail pending arraignment.

 

Cohocton Domestic Dispute Leads to Atlanta Woman’s Arrest
A violent domestic dispute in Cohocton led to a felony count for an Atlanta woman. State Police arrested 23-year-old Katie Moses. She was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment. Moses was initially detained on cash bail.

 

Bath Man Arrested for DUI
State Police arrested 40-year-old Stephen Hoose of Bath during a traffic stop in the Town. He was charged with first-degree operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. He’ll answer the charge in court at a later date.

 

2 Hornell-Area Women Arrested for Prohibited Sale of Alcohol
State Troopers arrested two people for prohibited sale of alcohol. Issued court appearance tickets were 39-year-old Slade Summer of Hornell and 40-year-old Tanya Cline of Canisteo.

 

226,000 People COVID-Vaccinated in the Southern Tier Region
More than 13 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in New York State. In the Southern Tier Region, almost 191,000 people have received the complete vaccine series. 226,000 people in the region have had at least one dose.

 

NY Has 2nd Highest Pandemic Unemployment Rate in US
With the U.S. gaining 916,000 jobs in February and the national unemployment rate at 6% compared to the nearly historic high of 14.7% at the peak during the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub released updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most. It didn’t paint a rosy picture for New York. With an 8.5% unemployment rate in March, New York has the second highest unemployment rate in the U.S. and the third worst recovery in the country.

 

DiNapoli Says NY Tax Collection $513 Million Lower Than in 2019-2020
Tax collections for New York’s Fiscal Year 2020-21 totaled $82.4 billion?—?$3 billion higher than forecast by the state Division of the Budget. However, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said total tax collections were $513.3 million lower than the previous year. He says New York faces a long road to recovery, and the state’s economy still faces serious challenges, both in the short-term and long-term. DiNaploi noted that better-than-anticipated tax collections, federal resources and new revenues in the recently adopted budget allow for important investments in critical programs and services, but state policymakers must ensure that spending commitments are in line with recurring revenue sources.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday April 17, 2021

20 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 20 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including an employee of the Steuben Center. This brings the county total to 6,285 confirmed cases, 175 of which are currently active.

 

GoFundMe established for victims of Canisteo crash

A GoFundMe (https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-buchinger-family-mason-family?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unknown&utm_campaign=comms_gfm+help-buchinger-family-mason-family) page has been set up to help two families who were injured in a head-on collision in Canisteo on Wednesday, April 14th. State Police say a 64-year-old man from Hammondsport who was driving a pickup truck turned left onto CR-27, where he struck head-on the car of a 21-year-old mother from Canisteo driving westbound on CR-119, who had 3 children in the car, ranging from 2 months to 10 years of age. State Police also said charges are pending against the driver of the pickup truck.

 

Cameron woman arrested for animal abuse

Yesterday, deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department arrested 24-year-old Gracie L. Schoffner, of Beck Drive in Cameron. It is alleged that Ms. Schoffner failed to provide adequate housing and care for two dogs and a cat at her residence.  Ms. Schoffner was charged with Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance/Torturing/Injuring an Animal.  Ms. Schoffner was released on an Appearance Ticket directing her to Cameron Town Court at a later date.  The animals were signed over to the Finger Lakes SPCA.

 

Cuomo Impeachment Commission to meet Wednesday

Per New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine, officials will meet on Wednesday, April 21st to begin the investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo’s alleged misconduct: sexual harassment and inappropriate touching in the workplace, inaccurate reporting of nursing home deaths, taking shortcuts to complete the Mario Cuomo Bridge, and executive staff “volunteering” to write the Governor’s book. Lavine said the committee has received over 100 tips, and relevant leads are being explored by legal experts.

 

 

Steuben County man arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident

Deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department arrested Timothy F. Decker, age 35, of SR 417 in Woodhull. It is alleged in March 2021, Mr. Decker operated a motor vehicle on CR 102 in Woodhull, New York, colliding into a utility pole in a one car collision and left the scene without reporting it.  It is also alleged Mr. Decker caused in excess of $9,000 in property damage. Mr. Decker was charged with Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Collision and Failure to Keep Right.  Mr. Decker was released on an Appearance Ticket directing him to Woodhull Town Court at a later date. 

 

Beaver Dams man indicted for attempted murder in Elmira

Brandon Macewan of Beaver Dams has been indicted for attempted murder after an alleged March 29th incident in Elmira where he stabbed a man with a sword because he was “attempting to cause (the man’s) death.” In addition, Macewan was also indicted for assault in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.

Today's Top Stories - Friday April 16th, 2021

GlassFest Returns to Corning May 24th-30th
The Corning Gaffer District's annual weekend-long event of GlassFest is themed "GlassFest Fusion" this year and will be hosted May 24th - 30th. Events like "Picnic in the Park" will now allow visitors at certain times to bring take-out at local restaurants to the park, in a socially distanced atmosphere. Additional details of times and dates will soon be posted on the Gaffer District's website in the coming weeks at: gafferdistrict.com 

 

Public Health Dept Reports 21 More Cases; Reminds Public of Clinic
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 21 more county residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,265 confirmed cases, 180 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with the Bath VA. A Bath clinic remains open to walk ins or pre-registration at www.steubencony.org/covid every Monday - Friday from 10 am - 2 pm at the Civil Defense Training Center, 7220 State Route 54, Bath.

 

Third Booster Shots Will Be Coming Soon for COVID Vaccine
Moderna and Pfizer CEO's say possible third booster shots will be coming soon for those being vaccinate for COVID. Moderna could come up with doses available by this fall. According to Pfizer's CEO, a booster shot or a third dose will likely be necessary within 6 to 12 months after becoming fully-vaccinated. Vaccines were shown to provide protection for at least 6 months by current research but experts are saying the mRNA vaccines are likely to protect against COVID-19 for a minimum of 9 months. More research is needed on how long the vaccine offers protection but both vaccines are proven to be over 90% effective. Currently, booster shots are still in their trial phases before they become available to the greater public in coming months.

 

Campbell Woman Arrested on Drug Charges
Another drug bust in Steuben County. Sheriff Jim Allard says his deputies arrested 25-year-old Serena A. Russell of Campbell. Russell was wanted on a Superior Court Warrant for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree.  She also allegedly possessed a quantity of a controlled substance when being booked into the Steuben County Jail.  Russell was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a Class A Felony and Introducing Prison Contraband in the Second Degree.  She was remanded to the Steuben County Jail.  

 

Bath Police Make Meth Bust on Steuben Street
Bath Police executed a no-knock search warrant during the early morning hours Thursday at 100 W. Steuben St.  The warrant was the conclusion of a methamphetamine sales investigation at the residence.  In a press release, police said a large quantity of crystal methamphetamine was seized along with scales and packaging materials.  37-year-old Amber M. Gerow was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony.  36-year-old Steven R. Jeffers of 100 W. Steuben Street was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th degree, a class A misdemeanor.  William Newton, age 33, of the Holland American Motel on State Route 415, Bath, was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th degree, a class A misdemeanor.  Both Jeffers and Newton were issued appearance tickets and released to re-appear in Bath Village Court at a later date. Police say    more charges are likely after a grand jury presentation at a future date.  Assisting the Bath Police execute the warrant was a Steuben County Sheriff’s Office Investigator and a Steuben County District Attorney’s office Investigator.

 

Cuomo Signs Bill Providing Affordable Internet to Poor Families
Governor Cuomo just signed a bill today that establishes the first program in the US to provide affordable internet to low-income families.  The law requires internet providers in New York State to offer $15 a month high-speed internet to qualifying families. Eligible households will include those receiving free or reduced-price lunch, supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits, Medicaid benefits, senior citizen or disability rent increase exemptions or affordability benefits from a utility. The new law also mandates providers report annually to the Public Service Commission. On average, a basic high-speed internet plan costs over $50 a month and 43% of those earning less than $30,000 in the US do not have internet at home. 

 

Half of NY Adults Received At Least one dose of COVID Vaccine
More than 50 percent of New Yorkers 18 years of age and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than one in three in the same age group have been fully vaccinated. Officials report this morning that more than 12.5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in New York State. More than 1.5 million doses have been administered over the past seven days. In the Southern Tier, close to 183,000 people have been completely vaccinated.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday April 15th, 2021

14 More COVID Cases in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 14 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,244 confirmed cases, 176 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with Snell Farm Children's Center…one is associated with Addison Middle School.

 

Financial Assistance Package Approved for Hornell Alstom Expansion
Yesterday, the City of Hornell Industrial Development Agency approved a financial assistance package for Alstom that will aid in the expansion of the city’s largest employer with a new 135,000 square foot factory at 3 Shawmut Park Drive. According to the Hornell Evening Tribune, this project is expected to create 258 new jobs at this new facility while generating over $40 million in new payroll in Hornell. Most of the jobs will be created in the first one to two years of operation with most of the highly-skilled workforce consisting of certified welders. Hornell Mayor John Buckley remarked: “It really sets the table for future growth.” After securing a January bid to supply the Chicago metropolitan-area commuter rail system Metra, Alstom formally received the initial $769 million order for the first 200 railcars.

 

This Year’s Tax Deadline Extended to May 17th
If you have yet to file your taxes, there is still time with this year’s extension as the normal April 15th deadline passes today. Monday, May 17th is this year’s official tax deadline as approved by the state and federal government to give taxpayers an additional month to process their tax information while giving the IRS time to process and implement the changes and updates made in the American Rescue Plan federal relief bill.

 

Bath Man Accused of Sexual Abuse
A Bath man has been accused of sexually assaulting a child. State Police say they arrested 30-year-old Ronald T. Brewer following an incident in the village on March 26th. He was charged with felony first-degree sexual abuse involving a child under the age of 13. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child. A court appearance is pending.

 

Cuomo Extends Hours for Bars and Restaurants
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says hours for New York's curfew rule for bars and restaurants amid COVID-19 are being extended. Starting Monday, establishments will be able to remain open until midnight. For months, these establishments could be open no later than 11 p.m. Catered events will also gain an hour of operation, and will be able to run until 1 a.m.

 

 

O’Mara Wants Cuomo to Get Legislative Approval of Executive Orders
State Senator Tom O’Mara has introduced legislation that would require Governor Andrew Cuomo to seek the approval of the State Legislature before extending or modifying any of his existing COVID-19 executive orders. O’Mara said that the legislation represents an ongoing effort to restore legislative checks and balances in state government.  It would require the governor to provide a five-day notice to the Legislature for any modification or extension of an existing executive order and provide legislators the opportunity to vote on whether the governor can move forward.

 

Finger Lakes Beer Festival at WGI Happening October 29th-30th
Watkins Glen International has announced that Chemung Canal Trust Co. is the title sponsor of its annual Finger Lakes Beer Festival to be held October 29-30. In its eighth year, the Finger Lakes Beer Festival will feature tastings from more than 40 New York State breweries, distilleries and cideries. Ticketholders from the rescheduled 2020 event can apply their credit to this event or another 2021 event at The Glen or any NASCAR-owned track. Tickets for the Festival are available online at TheGlen.com.

 

Hammondsport Named One of the Best Public High Schools in NY
With New York ranking 12th among the states with the best school systems and some schools in the state holding online-only learning due to COVID-19, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2021’s Best Public High Schools in New York State. WalletHub compared over 1,200 institutions across 26 key metrics. Hammondsport made the top 500 list, coming in at the 448th position.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday April 14th, 2021

Bath Man Wins $10K from Tops Monopoly Game
Bath man Alan O. is the winner of $10,000 in Food and Fuel stimulus prize as part of its Tops Monopoly Rip it and Win It Game. Alan is the 6th winner of the contest and he says he’s had a recent lucky streak where he won a lottery game and at a casino days before this big Monopoly win which is the 12th season Tops has had its Monopoly® Rip It & Win It Game promotion that began Sunday, March 7th. Players still have a chance to win one of 50 Grand Prizes of $10,000 in food and fuel, as well as other prizes through Saturday, May 29th.

 

Moderna Vaccine Clinic Today-Friday at Civil Defense Building
A reminder that every day through Friday, there will be a Steuben County Moderna Vaccine Clinic each day from 10AM - 2PM at the Steuben County Civil Defense Building on Route 54.  Click here to register.

 

Wheeler Warns Public of Vaccine Scams
Local officials remind people to be on the lookout for fraud when making an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine with Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler, reminding the public you will never be asked to pay for your COVID-19 vaccine because the county will never bill insurance for administration fees and “In Steuben County, there would be no instance at any county public health run vaccination clinic where anyone would be required to pay anything.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says scammers could ask for your credit card or billing information through email or text message asking you to take a survey after your vaccination, offering people a chance to win a prize. Any website that asks for your credit card or billing information is probably a scam. If you think you've encountered a COVID-19 vaccine scam, you can report it to the Department of Health and Human Services, complaints about a possible COVID-19 vaccine scam can be made here. People can also call in and report health care fraud, 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).

 

Highmark Stadium to Run Full Capacity for NFL Season
Orchard Park will very likely be getting noisy again this fall. The Buffalo Bills will welcome fans back to Highmark Stadium at full capacity for the 2021 NFL season - as long as fans are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The news came in an announcement by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. He said he is in favor of using the New York State Excelsior Pass as proof of vaccination for all fans and staff who are entering the stadium. Poloncarz made a similar statement about fans coming to watch the Buffalo Sabres play at KeyBank Center.

 

19 More Cases of COVID Reported in Steuben
19 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Steuben County. This brings the total to 6,230 confirmed cases, 170 of which are currently active. The individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.  Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed cases and exposure risks.  All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified.

 

Drug Take Back Day 4/24 at County Public Safety Building 
The Steuben County Sheriff and the Steuben Prevention Coalition Opioid Committee will co-host a “Drug Prescription Take Back” collection from 10 am – 2 pm April 24 at the county Public Safety Building, 7007 Rumsey St. Ext. in Bath. The importance of the day has never been greater. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on opioid addictions. The U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period, the CDC said.

 

Corning Inc Named a 2021 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year
Corning Incorporated announced it has been named a 2021 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence recipient by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for continued commitment to energy efficiency. Partner of the Year is the EPA’s most prestigious award, with the Sustained Excellence designation reserved for companies achieving Partner of the Year status several years in a row and making continued improvements to their energy management programs. This is Corning’s eighth consecutive year earning Partner of the Year recognition and its sixth consecutive year achieving Sustained Excellence.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday April 13th, 2021

Moderna Vaccine Clinic Today-Friday at Civil Defense Building
Today through Friday, there will be a Steuben County Moderna Vaccine Clinic each day from 10AM - 2PM at the Steuben County Civil Defense Building on Route 54.  Click here to register.

 

53 More Residents Test Positive for COVID
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 53 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday's update. This brings the total to 6,211 confirmed cases, 185 of which are currently active.

 

Health Officials Pause Use Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine
Vaccine distributors across the nation, including the state of New York, are following the recommendation issued from federal health officials today to pause the use of Johnson and Johnson’s COVID vaccine. State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a a statement today:
“New York State will follow the CDC and FDA recommendation and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide immediately today while these health and safety agencies evaluate next steps. All appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines today at New York State mass vaccination sites will be honored with the Pfizer vaccine.”

 

County Sheriff’s Office Celebrating 225th Anniversary 4/23
State, federal and local officials will recognize the 225th anniversary of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office 11am Friday, April 23rd at the county Public Safety Building, 7007 Rumsey Street Extension Bath, in the Conference Room or in the Memorial Park, weather permitting. County Sheriff Jim Allard said he also will issue commendations at the ceremony to note actions by his department that carry on the 225 year-long tradition of service to the community.

 

Schumer Wants “Quick Release” of $5 Billion for Mental Health
Senator Chuck Schumer says he’s working toward securing a ‘quick release’ of $5 Billion included in the recently-passed American Rescue Plan. The release of federal funding will support New Yorkers and the mental health providers they rely upon. “This is a critical moment where we must acknowledge the lasting mental effects of the pandemic and work to combat them before the crisis deepens.” The Senate Majority Leader said, also adding “ The feds must stand up their programs ASAP and begin the hard, but important, work of getting these funds out to support our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

 

Cuomo Outlines Initial Parameters for Graduation Ceremonies
New York is looking ahead to graduation season - and the capacity limits that will be in place this spring. During a conference call, Governor Cuomo outlined some of the parameters that will be in place for this year's ceremonies. Full guidance will be released on May 1, and ceremonies will be dependent on size and location. Masking, contact tracing and other safety measures will be enforced. Organizers of large-scale events must contact health officials ahead of time. New York's overall COVID positivity rate stands at 3.75%.

 

FEMA Offering Funeral Assistance Grants
FEMA has begun processing applications for funeral assistance, helping ease some of the financial stress created by the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. To be eligible for funeral assistance, the death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Petit Larceny
The Village of Bath Police Department reports the arrest of 33-year-old William L. Newton of State Route 415 in Bath. The arrest comes after investigation into a stolen bicycle and trespass complaint. Newton was arrested for petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Newton was transported to Steuben County Jail for centralized arraignment. 

 

Bath Pair Face Petit Larceny Charges
Two Bath residents face criminal charges after state police investigated a building larceny complaint in the town of Urbana. Troopers arrested 34-year-old Tasha Pruden and 33-year-old William Newton. Each was charged with petit larceny. Court appearances are pending.

 

Today's Top Stories - Monday April 12th, 2021

Troopers Say Death Occurred at Bath’s County Landfill
State Police are continuing to investigate a deadly accident at the Steuben County Landfill. Troopers said they responded to Turnpike Road in the town of Bath for the report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle.  Preliminary investigation revealed that an operator was backing a truck when the victim, James C. Miller of Hammondsport, was fatally struck as he secured the tailgate of a rollback dumpster. So far, no charges have been filed.  The investigation is ongoing.

 

18 More COVID-19 Cases Reported in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department says that, in its most recent report, 18 more county residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,158 confirmed cases, 202 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with Hornell High School, BOCES Wildwood campus and Alfred State College. Another is associated with Corning, Inc.’s Erwin plant.

 

Addison Man Arrested on Drug Charges in Van Etten
A 33-year-old Addison man was arrested in Van Etten following an increasing number of “complaints of drug activity in the Van Etten area” received by the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office. Quinn Stocum was stopped by deputies for vehicle and traffic law violations when deputies learned that Stocum had a suspended driver’s license and the vehicle he was operating was not registered or inspected. Stocum was also found to be in possession of crystal methamphetamine and was wanted by the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office for failing to appear in court. He was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th Degree, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the 3 rd Degree, Unregistered Motor Vehicle and Uninspected Motor Vehicle. He was released from the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office on appearance tickets to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office on the outstanding warrant.

 

Bath Couple Arrested on Drug Charges
Bath Village Police arrested 33-year-old Thomas C. Duane and 32-year-old Heather Duane of 12 W. Washington Street on drug charges. The arrests stem from a narcotics investigation into the alleged sale of crystal methamphetamine from the residence. Police say a large sum of methamphetamine, suspected fentanyl, and cash was seized. Both were charged with drug possession. Mr. Duane will likely face more charges. Mrs. Duane was also charged with felony weapons possession.

 

USDA Warns of Turkey Products With Possible Salmonella
The USDA issued a public health alert for over 200,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products from Plainville Brands LLC in Pennsylvania due to concerns about possible Salmonella Hadar illness. Products have an establishment number of: EST. P-244 inside the USDA mark of inspection. If you have any affected products, you should return them to the original purchase location for a refund or dispose of the product immediately. Some of the affected products are Wegman’s meat products and include:

  • 1-lb. packages of Nature’s Promise Free from 94% LEAN | 6% FAT Ground Turkey with Use by/freeze/sell by date of 1/1/21, 1/3/21,1/4/21, 1/8/21 and 1/10/21 on the front of the package.

  • 1-lb. packages of Wegmans 94% LEAN | 6% FAT Ground Turkey with Use by/freeze/sell by date of 1/3/21, 1/4/21, 1/8/21 and 1/10/21 on the front of the package.

  • 3-lb. packages of Wegmans 94% LEAN | 6% FAT Ground Turkey with Use by/freeze/sell by date of 1/3/21, 1/4/21, 1/8/21 and 1/10/21 on the front of the package.

  • 1-lb. packages of Plainville Farms Ground White Turkey 93% | 7% Fat with Use by/freeze/sell by date of 1/10/21 on the front of the package.

 

Gillibrand Calls on FDA to Investigate Preservative TBHQ
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called on the FDA to investigate potential harm of consuming the preservative TBHQ, short for “tert-butylhydroquinone”- a preservative used to extend shelf lives of popular foods like Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats and Cheez-Its, along with nearly 1,250 other products. According to a new study from the Environmental Working Group, TBHQ may harm the body’s immune system. Gillibrand wrote a letter to  director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Susan Mayne, where she urges the FDA to consider “new science” when determining the safety and potential health effects of food additives while requesting a complete and thorough review of the safety of TBHQ and other food chemicals that may harm the immune system. Click for the full text of the letter.

 

NY Has 2nd Highest Unemployment Rate in US
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the national unemployment rate for March was around 6% compared to New York State, which was still at around 8.8% as of February. New York comes second to Hawaii, which is the state struggling the most with unemployment with a rate of 9.2%. Both states may be struggling from their tourism sectors being slowed due to the pandemic and its restrictions.

 

Steuben County Could See NHA Designation
A study is under way to designate Steuben County and more than a dozen counties in the Finger Lakes as a national heritage area. The designation would require federal legislation under local guidance and regulations. Unlike National Historic Parks, where preservation of artifacts is key, National Heritage Areas (NHA) reflect historic, cultural, and natural resources which form cohesive, nationally important landscapes. The designation would boost Steuben’s economic development and tourism industry, according to legislator Robin Lattimer of Bath.

 

Painted Post Man Arrested After Domestic Incident
After investigating a domestic dispute, state police arrested 34-year-old Grant Merchant of Painted Post. He was charged with felony first degree criminal contempt, child endangerment, resisting arrest, unlawful imprisonment, obstructing governmental administration and second-degree reckless endangerment. He was initially detained.

Troopers say they arrested 43-Michael Parrish of Lindley. He was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.  Court action is pending.

 

COVID Hospitalizations in State Drop to Lowest Since December
COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped in New York State to 4,083, the lowest since December 2. 76 people in the Southern Tier region are currently hospitalized. New positive cases have been rising in the region. Positive cases have increased .69% to .73% as of Saturday. Western New York and the Finger lakes region cases have also been slowly climbing. Steuben County has reported a total of 6,153 positive cases, 17 are new as of the weekend.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday April 10, 2021

18 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 18 new Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including one individual associated with Corning, Inc. at the Erwin Plant, and one individual associated with Corning Hospital. This brings the county total to 6,158 confirmed cases, 202 of which are currently active.

 

State police, county coroner spotted at Steuben County landfill

Yesterday afternoon, New York State Police conducted an investigation at the Steuben County landfill in Bath. A county coroner was on the scene as well. Officials were at the landfill for several hours before departing shortly before 5 p.m. Details surrounding the investigation are still unknown at this time.

 

NYSDOH releases new guidance for schools

The New York State department of health has released new guidance for schools in regards to in person instruction. Namely, the new guidelines recommend physical distancing requirements dependent on grade level, with a minimum of 3 feet for elementary school students, and potentially 6 feet for middle and high school students depending on infection rates and cohort sizes. The new guidance also requires that masks be worn at all times except during meals.

 

Elmira native being investigated in Gaetz sex trafficking investigation

Elmira native and Orlando area surgeon Jason Pirozzolo has been linked to the ongoing sex trafficking investigation involving Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz. According to CBS News, Dr. Pirozollo allegedly took a trip to the Bahamas in late 2018 or early 2019 and allegedly covered some accommodations, travel expenses, and female escorts. Rep. Gaetz has denied claims that he paid women to travel to the Bahamas for sex.

 

J&J vaccine allocations to decrease by 88% this coming week, Governor says

Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday that New York State is expecting to see an 88% decrease in delivered shots of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for this coming week, April 12th. Just last week, the New York Times reported an error at a distribution plant resulted in millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being thrown out. Numbers are not only down in New York, the CDC estimates only 700,000 doses will be administered next week, compared to 7.5 million doses administered last week.

Today's Top Stories - Friday April 9, 2021

NYS records lowest number of COVD-19 hospitalizations since December 4th

Per the most recent update from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, New York has reached the lowest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide since December 4th. 4,351 people are currently hospitalized, 899 of those are intensive care. 56 people passed away yesterday as a result of COVID-19.

 

Man arrested for alleged sale of fentanyl in Village of Bath

The Village of Bath Police Department reports the arrest of 41-year-old Christopher Aldrich, a homeless man, for two counts each of Criminal Sale and possession of a Controlled Substance, all class B felonies.  The charges stem from the alleged sale of fentanyl on Belfast St. in the Village of Bath in 2020.

 

SUNY schools roll out vaccination plans, hoping to return students to campus this fall

SUNY schools statewide have received in excess of 18,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, and are pushing for more. The goal, according to SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, it to have students return to in-person learning this fall. The Chancellor is mulling a policy that would require all students to be vaccinated to return to campus if not enough are vaccinated voluntarily. He said that decision will be made later this summer.

 

Bath man arrested for Falsely Reporting an Incident

Bath Police reports the arrest of 28-year-old Devin Smith of Bath for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree. Smith was processed and issued an appearance ticket for Bath Village Court on April 14th.  The arrest was the result of an investigation in which Smith allegedly reported to 911 that a Bath Police Officer was driving intoxicated.  A thorough investigation found the report to be a complete fabrication.

 

Van Etten proclaims week of April 11th as “Telecommunicators Week”

Chairman of the Steuben County Legislature Scott Van Etten, on behalf of the members of the Steuben County Legislature, has proclaimed the week of April 11th through April 17th as National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week in Steuben County to pay homage to those whose diligence and professionalism keeps our county and its inhabitants safe.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday April 8th, 2021

Steuben reports 24 New COVID Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 24 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,111 confirmed cases, 194 of which are currently active.

 

Steuben County Could Be Designated National Heritage Area
A study to designate Steuben County and more than a dozen counties in the Finger Lakes as a national heritage area is underway. The designation of National Heritage Areas (NHA) reflect historic, cultural, and natural resources which form cohesive, nationally important landscapes, according to NHA presenter Chuck Lawson, who spoke with the county Legislature Agriculture, Industry and Planning Committee yesterday. This designation could boost Steuben’s economic development and tourism industry, and allows the county to draw any available state funds to match federal money. The study and any recommendations from the U.S. Secretary of the Interior will be reported to Congress, for review and an official designation. A resolution supporting the study is expected to be voted on by the Legislature at 10 am, Wednesday, May 26th.

A link for public comments until June 1st is available on the county website at https://www.steubencony.org/ and will posted on the county Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/1.SteubenCountyNY

For more information, go to https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectId=91275 A link for public comment also is located in the left hand column on the document.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Fentanyl Sales
A 41-year-old Bath man is behind bars following his arrest on warrants related to the sale of fentanyl. Bath P.D. says Christopher Aldrich was picked up on two warrants for the criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. According to Bath Police, charges stem from the alleged sale of fentanyl that happened last year on Belfast Street in the Village.

 

Palmesano Says State Budget Will Further Stifle Economic Growth
Local Assemblyman Phil Palmesano joined fellow Republicans in criticism of the New York state budget passed earlier this week. Palmesano accuses Governor Cuomo and Democrats of recklessly passing a fiscally irresponsible budget, saying:
“This budget, with their misplaced priorities, will just further stifle private sector investment, job creation and economic growth for our small businesses, farmers, manufacturers and the hardworking men and women of our state.”

 

11th Accuser Comes Forward; Says Cuomo Groped Her at Mansion
The 11th of Governor Cuomo’s accusers spoke out this week about an alleged groping incident. The woman chose to be unnamed and told the Times Union that while she was a staffer, Cuomo groped underneath her blouse at the governor’s mansion after he asked for help with some phone issues. The woman said the incident wasn't the first time she felt uncomfortable around Cuomo, adding he gave her tight hugs and kisses on the cheek since she first joined the team in 2017. Cuomo continues to deny any of the allegations of inappropriate behavior but did say some of his comments "have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." The Attorney General’s office continues its investigation into the governor. Despite Democrats and Republicans alike at the state and national level calling for Cuomo to step down from office, he says has no plans to resign.

 

Young Hunters in NY Can Use Firearm to Hunt With Adult Supervision
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced a new opportunity for young hunters. The new state budget includes legislation that now allows residents ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter. The legislation requires each county to “opt-in” to the program by adopting a local law. Until now, New York was the only state that didn’t allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm.

 

Reed is Stepping Down from Problem Solvers Caucus
Congressman Tom Reed will no longer serve as the co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. WETM reports that according to a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick of Bucks County, Pennsylvania has been elected to replace Reed as co-chair of the bipartisan caucus. Reed announced in March that he will not seek re-election in 2022 after a former lobbyist accused him of sexual misconduct.

 

Andrew Guiliani Announces Bid for 2020 NY Gubernatorial Run
Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announced plans to run for governor of New York in 2022. Giuliani told the Washington Examiner he plans to run and says he believes he can win the race. Giuliani previously worked as part of Donald Trump's presidential administration. Current Governor Andrew Cuomo has faced backlash for his administration's handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, as well as at least ten women accusing the him of sexual misconduct.

 

Canisteo Man Arrested for Rape and Kidnapping
Canisteo Police arrested 41-year-old Kevin Tibbets of Green Street. He was charged with kidnapping, two counts of first-degree rape, strangulation, aggravated criminal contempt, three counts of criminal obstruction of breathing and criminal mischief. Tibbits was initially jailed.

 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday April 7th, 2021

Vaccine Clinics Start Tomorrow at Civil Defense Training Center 
The Steuben County Health Department will open a daily COVID vaccination clinic at the Civil Defense Training Center in Bath. Clinics for the first dose of the Moderna vaccine begin tomorrow and will be open every weekday from Monday through Friday. Those 18 and older can pre-register through the Health Department’s website. Walk-ins are welcome, but those who walk in may have to wait, depending on how many appointments are scheduled. 

 

County’s Latest COVID Death 94-Year-Old Female at Steuben Center
Steuben County reports another COVID-related death. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 169.  The individual was a 94-year-old female resident of Steuben Center who died while hospitalized. Public Health Director Darlene Smith said "Unfortunately, COVID is spreading right now and the vaccine rates are low.  Higher vaccination rates can protect our must vulnerable and lessen the chance of serious illness and death.”

 

14 More Steuben Residents Test Positive for COVID
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 14 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,087 confirmed cases, 179 of which are currently active.

 

Agreement Reached for 2022 NY State Budget Worth $212 Billion
Majority leaders in both chambers and Governor Cuomo have come to an agreement on the state budget which will see $212 billion in spending for the 2022 fiscal year. The budget includes $29.5 billion in school aid and $1 billion for small business recovery. Now those making more than $ 1 million will see a tax rate increase of about 1% while two new tax brackets will be created for those earning over $5 million and $25 million annually. Non-monetary items include legalized mobile sports betting, affordable broadband internet and nursing home reform. Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt is concerned about the “Excluded Workers Fund” and said the budget will only contribute to people further leaving the state.

 

Addison Man Convicted of Sexually Assaulting a Child 
A Steuben County man was convicted of sexually assaulting a child in Bradford County two years ago in 2019. The Bradford County DA’s Office says  26-year-old Nicholas Loucks of Addison was convicted by a jury and found guilty of sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault (lack of consent), aggravated indecent assault (minor less than 16-years-old), endangering the welfare of a child, and corruption of minors. He was found guilty on each count. The victim, who was 14 years old at the time, says Loucks, who was the victim’s then-boyfriend, sexually assaulted her May 2019 at the Candlewood Suites Hotel in Athens. Loucks’ sentencing is set for May 6th. 

 

WalletHub Ranks NY 18th in Fewest COVID Restrictions
With around 19% of the U.S. population vaccinated and states opening up more as a result, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released updated rankings for the States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions. New York ranks 18th in the country in the category of being required to wear a face mask in public. The Empire State also ranks 27th in reopening non-essential businesses and 29th in reopening bars and restaurants.

 

State Lawmakers Urging Cuomo Again to Reopen Schools
State lawmakers have renewed their call for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow all schools to return to full-time, in-person classroom instruction. The move has also been supported by area school superintendents.  The lawmakers said that the only thing still standing in the way of the return to in-person learning for all students is a Cuomo executive order. In a joint statement, the area legislators said, “It is time for students to go back to school. The Cuomo administration should immediately issue revised guidance to allow all schools to return to full-time, in-person classroom instruction.”

 

SUNY Says Program Will Vaccinate Students in May in One Dose
State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras has announced a program specifically designed to begin vaccinating SUNY residential students prior the end of the spring semester. SUNY has secured its first reserved shipment of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate SUNY residential students prior to their departure for summer break. Because the J&J vaccine requires just one dose, tens of thousands of on-campus students scheduled to finish the semester in early May can get their one shot without having to wait weeks for a second dose before going home.

 

Congressman Reed Lays Low Following March 21st Apology
Congressman Tom Reed continues to lay low. The Corning Republican had often appeared on cable TV shows and his staff routinely sent out press releases. Reed also had stopped, at least for now, his regular town hall sessions with his constituents. Reed hasn’t posted anything on facebook since March 22 when he announced his public meetings would be rescheduled. On March 21, the congressman issued a press releases saying he wouldn’t be running for any public office in the future and apologized after being accused of sexual harassment involving a female lobbyist. Reed said he entered treatment in 2017, saying he was powerless over alcohol.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday April 6th, 2021

49 More Steuben Residents Test Positive for COVID
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 49 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday's update. This brings the total to 6,073 confirmed cases, 207 of which are currently active. Six individuals are associated with the following schools: Avoca Central, Calvin U Smith Elementary, Hope Christian Academy, Tuscarora Elementary, VEW Primary. The individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.  Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed cases and exposure risks.  All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified.

 

Sheriff & Opioid Coalition Warn of Counterfeit Pills Via Social Media
Following a recent NBC News report, the Steuben Prevention Coalition Opioid Committee and Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard warn parents and residents in Steuben about the uptick in sales on social media of sales of counterfeit pills containing the deadly fentanyl.The county Sheriff’s Department partners with federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigations because the federal penalties are more severe. Fake pills that look identical to the prescription pharmaceuticals, such as the opioid Hydrocodone, the stimulant Adderall, and the sedative Xanax, now contain fentanyl and are readily available online and through social media outlets.

 

Wegman’s Now Offering COVID Vaccine to Those 18 and Older
Wegmans stores in New York state opened up scheduling appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations to those 18 years old and up beginning today as New York State has changed eligibility to anyone 16 and older. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered by Wegmans at each location noted at the time of scheduling appointments. Those 18 years old and older looking to schedule an appointment are advised to go to the Wegmans website or call 1-800-207-6099. Appointments available April 8th-14th.

 

Legislature Declares “Public Health Week in Steuben County”
Yesterday, Chairman Scott Van Etten and the rest of the Steuben County Legislature proclaimed this week as Public Health Week in Steuben County. The Legislature declared April 5th-11th as Public Health Week in the county as “recognition of the importance of public health,” and encouraged residents of Steuben County to “join us in applauding our dedicated public health employees and community partners in their efforts to Building Bridges to Better Health.”

 

O’Mara Criticizes Excluded Workers Fund in NY Budget
State Senator Tom O’Mara has denounced talks underway between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Albany’s legislative Democrats to include a first-in-the-nation, billion-dollar-plus fund in this year’s state budget to provide retroactive unemployment benefits to undocumented immigrants and former prison inmates who were excluded from federal aid since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports of the budget talks in recent days have pegged the size of the new fund, being called the “Excluded Workers Fund,” as high as $2.1 billion and some recipients would be in line to receive one-time payments of up to $28,000. O’Mara says it would be part of a new state budget being negotiated by Cuomo and legislative leaders that could raise taxes by nearly $5 billion and put in motion billions upon billions of dollars in new spending for the foreseeable future. O’Mara, the Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee, said, “This Democrat budget could be the most radical tax-and-spend proposal to ever come out of Albany. 

 

NY Restaurants Eligible for Direct Pandemic Relief
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that New York restaurants are now eligible for their own direct federal pandemic relief. This was all part of the American Rescue Plan that recently went into effect. Schumer announced that more help is on the way for the Southern Tier economy, but that local restaurants need to apply through the Small Business Administration.

Today's Top Stories - Monday April 5th, 2021

Amazon Posts 2 Jobs at Potential Bath Facility
Amazon posted two positions on its website’s job board for roles as an IT Support Associate II and an IT Support Engineer I at a potential distribution center in the Town of Bath. According to the job description, the position includes “comprehensive healthcare benefits starting on Day 1, matching 401(k) program, and up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave.” Bath’s town planning board meeting minutes from February say Amazon submitted a site plan for the former Mercury Aircraft location on Industrial Park Rd. The facility has the potential to hire 200-250 people if the site does become a reality. Bath Village Mayor Mike Sweet says the possibility of an Amazon site coming to Bath is “outstanding for the local community.”

 

County COVID Vaccination Clinic Wednesday at CPP High School Gym
The Steuben County Public Health Department is holding a first-dose COVID-19 Moderna vaccination clinic for eligible New York residents age 18 and older Wednesday at the Corning-Painted Post High School gym.  To attend the clinic, participants must pre-register for an appointment time using the link found on Public Health's COVID-19 page. All clinic attendees must wear appropriate face coverings and will be expected to wait 15-30 minutes after vaccination for observation.  Residents currently under isolation or quarantine at the time of the clinic due to a positive COVID-19 test result or as a contact to a positive are not eligible to attend the clinic.

 

DEC Says Steuben County Under Drought Watch
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, Steuben county is now under a Drought Watch. There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch, but residents are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water. The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, groundwater levels, and stream flow in nine designated regions throughout New York. Each of these indicators is assigned a weighted value based on its significance to various uses in a region.

 

Wellsville Balloon Rally Cancelled
Another regional summertime event has been grounded. The Great Wellsville Balloon Rally Committee has waived off this summer’s launches. The Committee said the cancellation was partially due to the fact that the Department of Health has no clear rules about mass gatherings for this summer. The Rally was also called off last year due to the pandemic. 

 

NY Ranks 13th State Economy Most Exposed to COVID by WalletHub
With vaccination efforts allowing states to reopen more and more but the unemployment rate still high at 6.2%, WalletHub today released updated rankings for the State Economies Hit the Most by Coronavirus. New York ranked 13th of state economies most exposed to COVID. It ranked 19th in WalletHub’s “States whose unemployment claims are recovering the quickest” score.

 

Still No NY 2021 State Fiscal Budget After Thursday Deadline
New York begins the new week without benefit of a state budget. The spending plan was due last Thursday and negotiations reportedly are ongoing. Thursday is a key day for many. Without a budget adopted today, 39,000 state employees who work in health care and correctional facilities and other state institutions might not get their paychecks on time. 

 

NYS Lifts 11pm Curfew for Casinos and Movie Theatres
Starting today, New York State will lift the 11 p.m. curfew for casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls, and gym and fitness centers. However, bars and restaurants will still be saddled with the 11 p.m. curfew. 

 

Comptroller Says Addison 1 of 4 Villages Susceptible to Fiscal Stress
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System has identified eight villages and three cities in New York that were in some level of fiscal stress in 2020, based on scores that largely reflect the time period before the COVID-19 pandemic. DiNapoli evaluated all non-calendar year local governments and designated three cities and three villages in “significant fiscal stress,” one village in “moderate fiscal stress” and four villages as “susceptible to fiscal stress.” Officials reported that the village of Addison was considered to be susceptible to fiscal stress.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday April 3, 2021

26 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 26 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19, including one individual associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post, two individuals associated with Corning, Inc. at the Diesel Plant and Sullivan Park, and two individuals who are residents of the Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center. This brings the county total to 6,024 confirmed cases, 196 of which are currently active.

 

State Police warn people of credit card skimming devices at gas stations

The New York State Police are warning people to be wary of credit card skimming devices at gas stations after one was found at the Byrne Dairy at 1964 Grand Central Avenue in Horseheads. These devices obtain an individual’s credit card information and forward the info to the suspect who then uses the info to make fraudulent purchases. Customers who have purchased gas at this Byrne Dairy recently should check their credit card account to ensure no fraudulent purchases have been made. Customers should exercise caution when paying for gas at the pump using a credit card by ensuring that the pump’s integrity tape is intact or by paying inside.

 

COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be held April 7th in Corning

The Steuben County Public Health Department is holding a first-dose COVID-19 Moderna vaccination clinic for eligible New York residents age 18 and older.  The clinic will be held on Wednesday, April 7 at the Corning-Painted Post High School gym.  To attend the clinic, participants must pre-register for an appointment time using the link found on Public Health's COVID-19 page. https://steubencony.org/pages.asp?PID=13959

 

Chairman of Steuben County Republican Party mulling Congressional run

Joe Sempolinski, the Chairman of the Steuben County Republican Party, is considering running to replace Tom Reed in the 23rd Congressional District. He said “I’m not at a point yet where I would declare a candidacy. Still, making sure that there will be enough viability to and begin looking to see what happens a little bit with the district, but it’s been going very, very well.” Sempolinski has served as the county’s Republican party chair since 2016.

 

EPD looking for missing teen, may be in Steuben County

Elmira Police are looking for a missing 14-year-old girl last seen on March 2nd, 2021. Jariah Reeves was last seen wearing a black puffy jacket, a black and gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans. She is described as biracial, 5 foot 7 inches tall and about 120 lbs. Police say she may have traveled to Steuben County or be in the Elmira area. If you have any information about Jariah’s whereabouts, contact Elmira Police at 607-737-5626 or message them on Facebook.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday April 3, 2021

26 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 26 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19, including one individual associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post, two individuals associated with Corning, Inc. at the Diesel Plant and Sullivan Park, and two individuals who are residents of the Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center. This brings the county total to 6,024 confirmed cases, 196 of which are currently active.

 

State Police warn people of credit card skimming devices at gas stations

The New York State Police are warning people to be wary of credit card skimming devices at gas stations after one was found at the Byrne Dairy at 1964 Grand Central Avenue in Horseheads. These devices obtain an individual’s credit card information and forward the info to the suspect who then uses the info to make fraudulent purchases. Customers who have purchased gas at this Byrne Dairy recently should check their credit card account to ensure no fraudulent purchases have been made. Customers should exercise caution when paying for gas at the pump using a credit card by ensuring that the pump’s integrity tape is intact or by paying inside.

 

COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be held April 7th in Corning

The Steuben County Public Health Department is holding a first-dose COVID-19 Moderna vaccination clinic for eligible New York residents age 18 and older.  The clinic will be held on Wednesday, April 7 at the Corning-Painted Post High School gym.  To attend the clinic, participants must pre-register for an appointment time using the link found on Public Health's COVID-19 page. https://steubencony.org/pages.asp?PID=13959

 

Chairman of Steuben County Republican Party mulling Congressional run

Joe Sempolinski, the Chairman of the Steuben County Republican Party, is considering running to replace Tom Reed in the 23rd Congressional District. He said “I’m not at a point yet where I would declare a candidacy. Still, making sure that there will be enough viability to and begin looking to see what happens a little bit with the district, but it’s been going very, very well.” Sempolinski has served as the county’s Republican party chair since 2016.

 

EPD looking for missing teen, may be in Steuben County

Elmira Police are looking for a missing 14-year-old girl last seen on March 2nd, 2021. Jariah Reeves was last seen wearing a black puffy jacket, a black and gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans. She is described as biracial, 5 foot 7 inches tall and about 120 lbs. Police say she may have traveled to Steuben County or be in the Elmira area. If you have any information about Jariah’s whereabouts, contact Elmira Police at 607-737-5626 or message them on Facebook.

Today's Top Stories - Good Friday, April 2nd, 2021

BEGWS Announces Street Closings for Next Week
Next week, Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems will be replacing the gas main and services on South Fowler Street, from East William Street to the end. During work, the street will be closed. Local access and access for emergency vehicles will be maintained during construction. The intersection of East William Street and South Fowler Street will be closed at times. Work is scheduled to begin the week of April 5 and will continue through the month of May. Any questions can be directed to (607) 776-2173, Option 2.

 

23 New COVID Cases Reported in Steuben Yesterday
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 23 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,998 confirmed cases, 197 of which are currently active.

 

Missing Teen May Be in Steuben County
Elmira Police need the community’s help to find a missing 14-year-old girl last seen a month ago on March 2nd. Jariah Reeves was last seen wearing a black puffy jacket, a black and gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans. She is described as biracial, 5 foot 7 inches tall and about 120 lbs. Police say she may have traveled to Steuben County or be in the Elmira area. If you have any information about Jariah’s whereabouts, contact Elmira Police at 607-737-5626 or message them on Facebook.  

 

Entertainment Venues Begin Reopening at 33 Percent
Today performing arts and entertainment venues around New York begin reopening at 33 percent capacity. Venues may host up to 100 people indoors or up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of completed vaccination or recent negative test result prior to entry, capacity is allowed to increase up to 150 people indoors or up to 500 people outdoors.Social distancing, face coverings, health screening and other health protocols will still be required by all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance, available online here.

 

Bath-Based Trooper Saves Toddler from Choking
A Bath-based Trooper is being credited with saving the life of a two-year-old child from Avoca. Trooper Robert Webster was called to a home in the village of Avoca for a child possibly seizing. After learning the child had been eating, then stopped breathing, Trooper Webster performed the Heimlich maneuver. After two attempts, the child began to cry. The child was taken to the hospital by EMS, conscious and alert. The Trooper is being lauded for his efforts on Facebook. 

 

O’Mara and GOP Condemn Cuomo Police Reform
State Senator Tom O’Mara and members of the Senate Republican Conference Thursday condemned what they call “extreme pro-criminal, anti-police reform policies and actions being driven by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Albany’s legislative Democrat majorities that they are convinced are putting police officers and all New Yorkers at risk”. O’Mara and his colleagues continue to charge that New York State government under one-party control is to blame for policies like the failed bail and discovery reforms and questionable parole actions. The senators highlighted the appointment of Richard Rivera, a paroled cop-killer, to sit on one of Cuomo’s “police reform” boards in Ithaca. Sen. Another senator said every day, under the current downstate Democrat Leadership in Albany, families across this state are waking up to what appears to be a New York nightmare.

 

NYS’ New Fiscal Year Begins Without Budget
As New York enters its second day of the new state fiscal year, it does so without benefit of a new budget. The spending plan was due Thursday, but the day came and went with little action. A budget spokesperson said negotiations are continuing. GOP leaders say they have been shut out from the negotiations. Several sticking points remain and talks will most likely continue into next week.

 

Law Bans Solitary Confinement in NYS
Legislation has been signed into law in Albany, reforming the practice of solitary confinement in New York State correctional facilities. This legislation limits the amount of time an incarcerated person can spend in segregated confinement to 15 days, clearly defines and reduces the number of disciplinary infractions eligible for segregated confinement, and exempts certain vulnerable populations, including the young, elderly, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and individuals with a serious mental illness.

 

NYSSI Honorary Members' Drive Begins Soon
The New York State Sheriffs’ Institute will begin its annual Honorary Membership drive in Steuben County within the next 10 days according to Sheriff Jim Allard. The Institute was established in 1979.  The flagship program of the Sheriffs’ Institute is the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp for economically challenged children.  The Camp, in its 45th year of operation, is located on Keuka Lake and 840 children from across New York State attend each summer.  The Sheriffs’ Institute pays the entire cost of the camp stay and transportation.  Most children attending would not otherwise have an opportunity for vacation travel or a summer camp experience.

 

Today's Top Stories - Thursday April 1st, 2021

 Steuben Sees Spike in COVID Cases, Days Away from Easter
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 26 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,975 confirmed cases, 192 of which are currently active. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says Easter and Spring Break are days away, but with cases on the rise you are strongly recommended to continue to follow prevention protocols.

 

Legislature Declares April 2021 Alcohol Awareness Month
The Steuben County Legislature proclaimed the month of April 2021 as Alcohol Awareness Month in Steuben County. The Legislature calls upon all citizens, parents, governmental agencies, public and private institutions, businesses, hospitals, schools and colleges in Steuben County to support efforts that will provide early education about alcoholism and addiction, and increase support for individuals and families coping with alcoholism.

VA Now Offers COVID Vaccines to All Veterans,  Spouses & Caregivers
The VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System announces it now offers COVID-19 vaccines for all veterans, their spouses and caregivers.  The “SAVE LIVES” Act, signed into law by President Biden, expands the VA’s legal authority to administer COVID-19 vaccines to all veterans, regardless of their VA health care enrollment status, as well as veterans’ spouses, caregivers and some beneficiaries. Veterans of all ages can now receive either the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccine. They can get vaccinated at one of the clinics held at Bath, Canandaigua, Calkins Road VA, and the VA clinics in Elmira and Wellsville. To schedule an appointment, contact the Bath VA by calling 607-664-4626 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

NY State Police Begin Deploying Body Cameras
New York State Police announced today they begin deploying their first body-worn cameras as the agency begins its statewide rollout. Part of last year’s state police reform efforts signed in June required State Police to wear body cams. Cameras must be worn by uniformed troopers while they are on patrol. Capital Region Troop G received the first body cams today. Local Troops C and E, are expected to receive cameras throughout the summer and fall. Cameras start automatically recording whenever a patrol vehicle’s emergency lights are on, and anytime a trooper unholsters their gun or taser.

 

WGI Kicking Off Opening Next Weekend: April 10th-11th
Watkins Glen International announces its 2021 season officially kicks off during Opening Weekend, April 10-11. The event marks the first weekend that the track opens its gates and provides fans with a unique opportunity to experience the iconic 3.45-mile circuit firsthand, with proceeds benefiting the facility’s Racing and Community Enrichment Foundation. On Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11, for just $30 per vehicle, guests can experience the twists and turns of The Glen’s road course for three paced laps from the driver’s seat of their very own vehicle. Fans are encouraged to print and complete the necessary waivers upon arrival at the facility. Tickets and on-track waivers are available for pre-purchase online at TheGlen.com.

 

NYS Fiscal Year Begins Today
Today marks the start of a new fiscal year for New York State. But the state’s spending plan remains unclear, partially because both the Senate and Assembly adjourned late Wednesday night without passing a budget. Before heading home, one bill did get passed in the Senate – a budget bill focusing on the state’s debt services. These services are projected to increase by nearly $1 billion in the new fiscal year. That bill is now waiting to be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

 

O’Mara & Repubs Pushing to Exclude UE Benefits as Taxable Income
State Senator Tom O’Mara and other members of the Senate Republican Conference Wednesday tried to advance a legislative amendment to exclude unemployment benefits from taxable income. The legislators said that the move would keep New York State consistent with an action already taken by the federal government to exclude the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits from 2020 taxable income. It was defeated by the Senate Democrat majority along a party-line vote.  Every member of the majority conference voted against the proposal. 

 

Empire Access of Prattsburgh Expands to Binghamton Area
Empire Access of Prattsburgh is expanding their Fiber Optic Internet service to the Binghamton area and will launch services in late April. Empire will offer Fiber Optic Internet, Phone, and Security services in parts of Binghamton, Johnson City, Owego, Endwell, Endicott, and Vestal. This new Fiber Optic service will be available to both residential and business customers. Each customer will have their own dedicated, non-blocking connection and is not affected by congestion and weather. 

 

County Sheriff’s Office Announces Corning Inc. Body Cam Donation
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office announced “with extreme gratitude and appreciation of support” they received a donation of body cameras from Corning Incorporated this month. The Sheriff’s Office says the donation will save Steuben County taxpayers about $120,000 over two years, as well as garner further savings to those municipalities that have partnered with them. The Sheriff’s Office said it is “amazing to have such generous public sector partners willing to invest in the community.”

 

Paul Feinman, First Openly-Gay Man in NY’s Highest Court, Dies
Paul Feinman, the first openly gay man to serve on New York's highest court, has died. Feinman, an associate judge nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had stepped down earlier this month, citing health problems at the time. Feinman had served on the Court of Appeals since his Senate confirmation in June 2017. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School in 1985, he began his career as a staff lawyer at the Legal Aid Society.

 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday March 31st, 2021

NWS Issues Weather Advisory for Steuben County to 5pm Tomorrow
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Steuben County, running from tonight until tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. Several hours of snowfall rates around a half to 1 inch per hour are likely during the overnight and early morning hours Thursday. Also, the snow will be wet and   heavy, which could lead to scattered power outages and will be very difficult to shovel. Look for 4-7” of snow to accumulate.

 

COVID on the Rise in Steuben With 24 New Cases Reported
COVID is spreading in Steuben County – that’s the word from Public Health Director Darlene Smith. She says even as restrictions are loosening, residents and visitors should remember the importance of COVID prevention protocols. Twenty-four new positive cases were confirmed yesterday. This brings the total to just shy of 6,000 confirmed cases, 180 of which are currently active.

 

Corning Inc. Receives $57 Million in Federal Funding for Vaccine Vials
Valor glass vials made by local Corning Inc are playing a key role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Corning Inc. was awarded federal funding worth $57 million so the manufacturing capacity of glass tubing and vials for the vaccine can be increased. Just last year in 2020, Corning shipped vials to deliver over 100 million vaccine doses. Expansion made possible by the federal funding will increase the production of glass products which include valor glass vials.

 

SCLBC Holds Meeting Wed. April 7th
The Steuben County Land Bank Corporation (SCLBC) holds a meeting Wednesday April 7th from 10:30am to 12:30pm. Its agenda is online at www.steubencony.org. The meeting will be held in the Legislative Chambers located on the 3rd Floor of the Annex Building for Board Members, Legislators and invited staff only, and will also be held via teleconference for remaining staff, members of the public and the media. 

Zoom Meeting Details:

https://steubencountynygov.zoom.us/j/97241740283?pwd=QW8zU281RkQ5VjFXVGZod2g3cXI2Zz09

Meeting ID: 972 4174 0283

Passcode: 55903106

One tap mobile

+16465588656,,97241740283#,,,,*55903106# US (New York)

+13126266799,,97241740283#,,,,*55903106# US (Chicago)


State Landmarks Lit Yesterday to Honor New Veterans’ Legislation
Yesterday, landmarks around the state were being lit in red, green and yellow to honor the new legislation for veterans in the Empire State. Governor Cuomo signed a new rule expanding access to veterans treatment courts across New York allowing qualifying justice-involved veterans in counties lacking a veterans treatment court to have their cases transferred into an existing one in a neighboring county. Yesterday, Cuomo said New York state honored Vietnam War Veterans Day with a virtual forum hosted by the New York State Division of Veteran's Services.

 

Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis in NY
New York state lawmakers have voted to legalize adult-use cannabis and create the country’s second-largest recreational marijuana market, setting the stage for the Empire State to officially join 16 other states that have embraced full legalization. The “Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act” cleared the Assembly and Senate after hours of debate on the bill’s proposed regulatory structure, public safety and health implications. It now awaits final approval from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he looks forward “to signing this legislation into law." Cities, towns and villages would have the ability to opt-out of having adult-use dispensaries and consumption sites in their communities. Don’t look to make a legal purchase for at least 18 months. Locally, senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano voted against the measure.

 

Still No Stimulus Payment? It Should Soon Come Electronically
If you still have not received your third stimulus payment, the Treasury Department says that most payments will be processed and dropped electronically like social security payments by April 7th, according to News10NBC. Some recipients will get the payments via electronic deposit or debit card. The delay was due to the Social Security Administration not sending the information quickly enough to IRS officials so they could then process the payments. Those eligible will be granted $1,400 to individuals making less than $75,000 and $2,800 to those couples who make less than $150,000 under the American Relief Act.

 

Tax Day Delayed to May 17th As NY Still Has Highest US Tax Burden
With Tax Day delayed to May 17 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its 2021 Tax Burden by State report. New York leads the country with the overall number one tax burden and the number one individual income tax burden. The Empire State’s property tax burden ranks sixth in the nation. Alaska has…the lowest tax burden.

 

Thurston Home Destroyed in Fire Monday
Fire destroyed a town of Thurston home on Monday. Thurston and several other departments responded to the blaze on County Road 24. Hours later, the home was declared a total loss. There were no reported injuries. While the cause of the fire has not been finalized, officials don’t believe it was suspicious. 

 

Collegiate Sport Venues Can Reopen Friday at 10% and 20%
Collegiate sports will once again bring fans back into the stands. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that, starting Friday, venues which hold more than 1,500 people indoors and 2,500 outdoors will be able to operate at 10% and 20% capacity, respectively. Everyone attending an event at large-scale venues must show proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination, and local or state health officials must be notified prior to a sporting event taking place.  Small-scale venues which feature intercollegiate, club or intramural sports can host up to two spectators per player – or up to 100 people indoors, or 200 outdoors.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday March 30th, 2021

59 New COVID Cases Since Friday
Steuben County Public Health reports 59 new COVID cases since last Friday. This brings the total to 5,925 confirmed cases, 167 of which are currently active. Of the new positive cases…One individual is an employee of Steuben Center and three individuals are associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post. Health officials also say that five individuals are associated with Addison Central, Alfred State, Corning Community College, Erwin Valley Elementary, and Jasper-Troupsburg Elementary.

 

Check Out Hunger Donates Almost 750,000 Meals to Food Bank
Almost 750 thousand meals were donated by shoppers to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier during their recent Check Out Hunger campaign. The annual campaign had Tops, Wegmans and other local markets participate in Check Out Hunger, which has been held for 27 years. Shoppers donated two, three, five dollars or any other amount at checkout to benefit the food bank. All funds raised stayed local to help residents in the Southern Tier. One of every nine people in our region are considered food insecure.

 

Bills’ Stadium Changing Name to “Highmark Stadium”
The home field for the Buffalo Bills will soon change its name to “Highmark Stadium”. A naming rights agreement was reached by the team and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Signage will be updated in time for the start of the 2021 season.

 

Adults 30 and Under Now Eligible for COVID Vaccine
Getting the COVID-19 vaccination will soon be easier, at least for those of us in New York. Beginning today, everyone age 30 and under will be able to make appointments. Next week, starting Tuesday April 6th, those 16 and under will be eligible to sign up. To see if you’re now eligible, click here.

 

Vill Comes Out as Tenth Cuomo Accuser
The tenth accuser has come forward yesterday with allegations against Governor Cuomo. Sherry Vill, who is now 55 years old, says the incident in question took place on May 28th, 2017 when she claims Cuomo made her uncomfortable by kissing her on the cheek in front of her husband and son during a 2017 tour of flood damage to her home near Lake Ontario.Vill says she will not press charges but is willing to participate in the New York Attorney General's investigation into the allegations of misconduct against the governor.

 

 

Molinaro Not Ruling Out Run for Governor
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is considering a run against Cuomo for the second time. Back in 2018, Republican Molinaro ran against the governor and received 2.2 million votes for the office, coming second to Governor Cuomo. Molinaro made history as scoring the most votes for any Republican candidate for the office since 1998 and says there’s always next time to run. Molinaro says due to the now 10 sexual harassment complaints against Cuomo and the nursing home probes, many New Yorkers want change now. Molinaro warns challengers, Cuomo is the politician that would survive such scandals.

 

 

Painted Post Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute
After investigating a domestic dispute in the town of Erwin, State Troopers arrested 26-year-old Jacob Davis of Painted Post. He was charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He was initially detained on cash bail.

 

Addison Man Arrested Following Domestic Incident
Following a domestic dispute, state police arrested 31-year-old Charles J. Johnson of Addison. He was charged with felony first-degree criminal contempt. The incident occurred early Monday. Court Action is pending.

 

National Average Price for Gas Down 2 Cents This Week
The national average price of gas is down two cents this week, while New York’s didn’t change. The New York average is $2.91/gallon; One year ago, the national average was $2.02 and New York’s was $2.34. Triple-A says growing stock levels have helped to put downward pressure on pump prices.

Today's Top Stories - Monday March 29th, 2021

Avoca Man Charged With Arson
A 48-year-old Avoca man has been charged with arson following a house fire on Lysycyn Road in Avoca. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Donald Kennedy faces charges of arson and allegedly violated an order of protection by visiting the residence and “intentionally damaged a residence by starting it on fire.” Kennedy allegedly also failed to obey a term or condition of his probation. He was charged with Arson in the Second Degree, Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, and Violation of Probation.Kennedy was arraigned and remanded to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of bail in the amount of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

 

10th Accuser Comes Forward Against Cuomo
A tenth woman has come forward, accusing  Governor Cuomo of sexual misconduct according to a New York Post article. It is anticipated the woman will hold a press briefing this afternoon with attorney Gloria Allred.The latest woman alleges Cuomo grabbed her face and kissed her without consent outside of her home and has photographic evidence of the incident. She is the latest of accusers that include current and former staffers, journalists, and other women alleging the governor committed sexual misconduct. 

 

Cuomo Admin Allegedly Ignored Test Requests for Nursing Homes
The Cuomo administration largely ignored a Steuben County official’s plea for COVID-19 tests for nursing homes at the pandemic’s height last spring — that’s according to a story in Sunday’s NY Post. County manager Jack Wheeler told The Post he’s furious “because testing of the most vulnerable population should be the absolute priority and a simple request.” Public Health Director Darlene Smith said the county had to beg, borrow, and steal basically and were able to get test kits from other counties. The DOH said Sunday that Wheeler’s account was an attempt at revisionist history. Emails obtained by The Post through the Freedom of Information Law show that Steuben County wasn’t the only jurisdiction to have a request for more stringent testing in nursing homes denied.

 

O’Mara Says It’s Time to Fully-Reopen Schools
Sen. Tom O’Mara says in his weekly column released today, it’s time to allow every local school district throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions to return to full-time, in-person classroom instruction. O’Mara says school administrators, teachers and staff are ready and most importantly, students and their families are ready. He concluded by saying Cuomo should no longer leave administrators, staff, teachers and, especially, students and their parents waiting.

 

3 Steuben County Residents Face Felony Sex Charges
Three Steuben County residents are facing felony sex charges in unrelated cases involving children. State Police arrested 34-year-old Jeffrey D. Clark of Bath. He was charged with first-degree sexual abuse involving contact with a child under age 11…it’s a class D felony. He was initially detained. After investigating an incident last November in the village of Avoca, Troopers arrested 40-year-old Gene C. Simons of Campbell. He was charged with felony sexual abuse involving a child. He was issued an appearance ticket and released. Troopers also arrested an 18-year-old name-protected man from Bath following an incident in the village of Savona. The youth was charged with felony first-degree criminal sex act involving a victim under the age of 13. The incident was reported March 25th.

 

NYSAC President Says Marijuana Legalization Has County Costs
According to New York State Association of Counties President and Victor Town Supervisor Jack Marren, the state’s move to recreational marijuana legalization for adults comes with new costs and responsibilities for county governments, who will be left footing the bill. The state bill provides counties with only 1% of the sales collected for retail sales with the intent to protect health and safety. Marren says there may be a positive in terms of agricultural job growth thanks to legalization. Originally, the Governor’s budget language provided 4% of sales tax going to counties and local governments. In comparison, most counties collect 3%  for alcohol sales to provide public health education and roadside safety.

 

Grassroots Festival Cancelled for 2nd Year
The 3-day-long Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance has been cancelled for the second year in a row. The annual event is held every July in Trumansburg but last year the festival that draws thousands of people to Tompkins County annually, was canceled due to the pandemic. Last Friday festival organizers announced the festival has been canceled once again. 2020 was supposed to be the 30th anniversary of the festival. Next year’s festival is scheduled for July 21st through the 24th. This year’s festival tickets will be honored at that time.

 

State to Fast-Track Marijauna Legalization Bill
New York lawmakers say they've reached a deal with governor Andrew Cuomo to fast-track the legalization of marijuana. The bill is scheduled to be taken up next week in the State Assembly and Senate. The bill would expunge criminal records for anyone with a previous marijuana conviction, it would also allow users to grow their own plants at home, and allows people to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 ounces of cannabis concentrate. Cuomo says tax collections from the adult-use cannabis program are projected to reach $350-million dollars a year. Municipalities can opt out of sales. 

 

Schumer Wants to Regulate Ghost Guns
Senator Chuck Schumer of NY...taking aim at ghost guns...firearm kits sold as loose parts...thereby requiring no registration, or background checks. The Senate Majority Leader saying...ghost guns are readily available...make it all too easy to circumvent the law....and are an issue the President can easily solve.

 

Corning Inc Receives Over $50 Million from BARD Authority
Corning Incorporated announced it will receive $57 million in additional funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Under the agreement, Corning will further increase domestic manufacturing capacity of pharmaceutical glass tubing and vials to support the accelerated mass vaccination effort critical to ending the pandemic. Corning has accelerated its advanced glass vial production capacity to support pharmaceutical manufacturers that are delivering hundreds of millions of doses of potentially life-saving vaccines to Americans. This award is in addition to the $204 million contract announced in June 2020, for a total of $261 million invested in Corning’s pharmaceutical vial and tubing manufacturing capacity. Corning says it has met every milestone to date under the original contract.

 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday March 27, 2021

19 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 19 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19, including three individuals associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post, and one individual associated with Corning, Inc. at IDM. This brings the total to 5,866 confirmed cases, 140 of which are currently active.

 

NY Senate minority leader files complaint against Governor Cuomo

New York State Senate minority leader Rob Ortt has formally filed a complaint with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, and requested an investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo, specifically, to look into a report by the Times Union that the Governor unlawfully used his power by directing the state Department of Health to provide his family, and influential people with ties to his administration special access to scare COVID-19 tests last year. The impeachment inquiry is already focusing on the sexual assault allegations made against him, whether he withheld information on COVID-19, and whether he ordered any related investigations to be suppressed.

 

Power outages may exceed 24 hours as NYSEG, RG&E respond to strong winds

NYSEG and Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) are currently responding as powerful winds continue to impact much of their service area. At one point, approximately 36,000 NYSEG and 3,700 RG&E customers were without power, including customers in Steuben and surrounding counties. Due to the continuation of high winds in some areas, coupled with softened soil as a result of the recent weather, some outages may exceed 24 hours.

 

Argentieri to run for Mayor of Hornell

4th Ward alderman on the Hornell Common Council, Hornell native, and Hornell High School graduate Rich Argentieri has announced his bid for mayor of the City of Hornell. He will be running against incumbent first term Republican John Buckley. Argentieri said yesterday when his campaign was announced that nonpartisanship, effective municipal management and taxes will be the main focuses of his campaign. He also said Hornell taxpayers have been subjected to three consecutive years of tax increases, along with a property tax revaluation, without the payoff of increased services. “"The city services have been lessened and many neighborhoods are more run-down than ever,".

 

Missing Steuben County man located

The New York State police announced yesterday that 20-year-old missing Steuben County man Josh Tietje was located and is in good health after being reported missing from his residence on Friday morning.

 

Deadline for police reform plans approaches, failure to meet deadline could result in loss of funding

Thursday, April 1st is the deadline for local governments to submit their police reform plans to the state to either be enacted into law or made a resolution. Failure to do so could result in those municipalities losing state funding. This was made a requirement after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order requiring local governments to adopt police reform policies in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of police officers. Every local government in Steuben County has enacted their plans.

Today's Top Stories - Friday March 26, 2021

State Police ask for help in locating missing Steuben County man

The New York State police are asking for assistance from the public in locating missing 20-year-old Steuben County man Josh Tietje. It is believed Mr. Tietje left his residence earlier this morning for unknown reasons. Mr. Tietje is described as an autistic male, and was last seen wearing a red and black plaid fleece jacket, a T-shirt, tan colored pants, dark blue crocs, and may have been carrying a backpack as well. Anyone who may have info about Mr. Tietje’s whereabouts is urged to contact 911 or the New York State Police, Painted Post Barracks

 

19 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 19 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19, including two individuals are associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post, and one individual associated with Corning, Inc. at the Erwin Plant.

 

NYS extends “takeout alcohol” executive order

The executive order allowing restaurants to deliver and serve takeout alcohol has been extended to Tuesday, April 6th after it was set to expire this weekend. A recent survey done by the New York Restaurant Association found 86 percent of state residents want this executive order to become permanent.

 

Corning, Inc. announces expansion of contract to create glass vials for COVID-19 vaccine

Corning, Inc. has announced it will receive an additional $57 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, in addition to the $204 million contract announced last June, meaning a total of $261 million has been invested into Corning’s pharmaceutical vial and tubing manufacturing capacity. Under the agreement, Corning will up its manufacturing capacity of glass tubing and vials, including Corning Valor Glass vials, to help deliver doses of COVID-19 vaccines. So far, Corning says they have met “every milestone to date” under the original contract.

 

NYS updates nursing home visitation guidelines

Yesterday, New York State revised nursing home visitation guidance in accordance with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ recently-released guidelines. This replaces the previous guidance released on February 23rd requiring facilities be COVID-free for 14 days. The guidance, effective immediately, will permit visitation at all times and for all residents with limited exceptions for unvaccinated residents in areas of high community spread and lower resident vaccination rates, residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, or those in isolation or quarantine. Facilities are mandated to continue following strong infection control practices.

 

Indoor entertainment facilities allowed to open at 25% capacity

Effective today, indoor entertainment facilities will be allowed to open and operate at 25% capacity. Some required protocols include mask wearing and social distancing, a required health screening for customers and a temperature check prior to entry, and frequent cleaning of high touch areas. The same protocols will be in place for outdoor amusement parks, which are set to open at 33% capacity beginning Friday, April 9th.  

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday March 24, 2021

Alstom receives contract to build rail cars for Chicago based Metra

Alstom has received an initial order to supply 200 push-pull commuter rail cars from the commuter rail system, Metra, who serves the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. This initial order is estimated to be worth around $770 million. This follows the Metra Board of Directors’ approval in January 2021 to award Alstom a vehicle procurement contract for up to 500 rail cars. The cars will be built at Alstom’s rolling stock Centre of Excellence. The Alstom Hornell site will lead the project, and other Alstom sites, such as Rochester will support the project.

 

Wayfair to close Big Flats call center

Employees at the Wayfair call center near the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport in Big Flats will be working virtually after the company has decided to shut down the building, per a company spokesperson. As recently as 2018, the company announced that at least 450 people would be hired for the call center with the possibility to expand to in excess of 500. At the time of the location’s opening, the President of the Southern Tier Economic Growth projected the call center could generate as much as $20 million for the local economy. How many employees will be affected by this decision is unknown at the moment.

 

Hornell Area Humane Society, Finger Lakes SPCA team up with Steuben County to reduce number of feral cats

The Hornell Area Humane Society (HAHS) and Finger Lakes SPCA (FLSPCA) are working in conjunction with Steuben County to spay and neuter feral cats as part of their Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate & Return (TNVR) programs, and the Steuben County government has agreed to partner with the Hornell Area Humane Society to subsidize and expand the county-wide project, according to a press release from HAHS. The first Spay/Neuter Blitz was held in 2020, which resulted in nearly 70 feral cats being vaccinated and were sterilized. the goal is to “significantly” raise that number this year. Multiple clinics will be held this April.

 

15 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department has reported 15 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,811 confirmed cases, 117 of which are currently active. One individual is associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post, and one individual is associated with Walmart in Painted Post

 

Governor Cuomo gives update on COVID, State budget, and more during Wednesday briefing

In his Wednesday briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo covered an array of topics. He announced that New York State has surpassed 8 million vaccine doses administered statewide. He also said that he’s “obsessed” with getting the state budget done by April 1st, but because of public health concerns and virtual negotiations, he said he would expect it to be a few days late. The governor said some of the top priorities for the budget include, legalization of cannabis, public safety and police reform, rent relief, and nursing home reform. The governor also said he would not comment on the ongoing investigations into his sexual assault allegations, or the allegations made recently against Congressman Tom Reed.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday March 23, 2021

42 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County since Friday

42 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since last Friday, including an individual associated with Steuben Centers, an individual associated with the Pinecrest Home for Adults in Avoca, an individual associated with the Corning Inc., Diesel Plant, two individuals associated with Haverling High School, four individuals associated with the Painted Post Walmart, and four individuals associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post. This brings the total to 5,796 confirmed cases, 111 of which are currently active.

 

SUNY Chancellor announces 72 new faculty hires across 21 schools

State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced today the hiring of 72 faculty across 21 SUNY campuses, as part of the Promoting, Recruiting Opportunity, Diversion, Inclusion and Growth program, designed to increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty in the SUNY system.

 

Steuben County officially designated as Purple Heart Community

Monday, Steuben County legislators unanimously approved designating the county as a Purple Heart Community. Legislators also accepted slightly more than $370,000 from the New York State Division of Criminal  Justice Services under the state Criminal Justice Discovery Reform Grant for April 2020 through  March 2021.

 

Reed apologizes for allegations; Senator doesn’t believe he should resign

Last week, Congressman Tom Reed was accused of sexual misconduct by former lobbyist Nicolette Davis in a Washington Post article after an incident at a Minneapolis Bar in 2017. Reed apologized to Davis in a statement Sunday saying he was battling alcoholism and “Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect, and was unprofessional.” Reed also announced he will not run for Governor or re-election in 2022. State Senator Tom O’Mara said that he was surprised to hear of the accusation and disappointed to see all of Reed’s hard work come to an end but says he does not think Reed should resign, as he did not call for Governor Cuomo to resign as a result of the allegation made against him.

 

New Pedestrian and Traffic Signals Coming at 415 Intersection in Village of Bath

In the next few months, intermittent lane and shoulder closures should be expected at the intersection of Route 415 and Liberty Street in the village of Bath due to the installation of new traffic and pedestrian signals at the intersection. The project at the intersection is the result of a $2 million award announced this previous August to replace existing sidewalks while making the village of Bath more walkable. Construction is weather-dependent and subject to change.

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