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Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 16, 2021

Steuben County murder victim identified, suspect arrested

New York State Police have provided a major update on the suspicious death near Bath yesterday. The victim was identified as 38-year-old Roberta Parry, and her 55-year-old boyfriend Ricky Brooks has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in her death. Parry was found deceased on Friday morning in a home on the 7000 block of North Main Street in Kanona, near the Town of Bath, with which she shared with Brooks. A cause of death for Parry was not released by State Police


61 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 61 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including an individual associated with the Pinecrest Home for Adults in Avoca, an individual associated with the Maryville Home for Adults in Avoca, two individuals associated with the Maple Leaf House in Hornell, and individuals associated with the Bath and Hammondsport Central School districts. This brings the county total to 4,552 confirmed cases, 687 of which are currently active.


Bath man arrested for animal cruelty

46-year-old Anthony Carmon of Bath was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after allegedly failing to provide food and water to his dog. He was released on an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date. The dog was transported to the Finger Lakes SPCA where it is receiving treatment and care.


SUNY CCC spring semester set to begin February 1

The Spring semester at SUNY Corning Community College is set to begin February 1st, with a combination of on-campus, hybrid, and online classes. In compliance with guidelines, SUNY CCC will not have break weeks and will conclude, as scheduled, with the final exam week set to run from May 10-15, 2021.

Today's Top Stories - Friday January 15th, 2021

Death Being Investigated at Main Street House in Bath
State Troopers and the Steuben County Sheriffs are outside a house taped off on the 7000 block of North Main Street in Bath. Police presence was first reported through a viewer tip this afternoon and at this time are interviewing an individual linked to a suspicious death in the Town of Bath. Troopers say there is no danger to the immediate area. More details will unfold as the investigation continues.


Bath Fire Dept Fight Chamberlain Road Fire
WETM reports the Bath Fire Department is on scene at a house fire in the Town of Bath on the 5000 block of Chamberlain Road near a wooded area. The blaze has  left the structure with severe damage. Photos of the fire were posted by the Bath Fire Department on Facebook early this afternoon. Kanona, Bath, Avoca, Howard, Savona, Hammondsport, and Wallace Fire Departments all responded to the scene.
Photo Courtesy of: Bath FD & John Walczak.


60 New COVID Cases Reported in Steuben; 739 Total Cases Active
Sixty new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Steuben County. This brings the total to 4,491 confirmed cases, 739 of which are currently active.


State DOH Upholding 10pm Curfew for Tomorrow’s Bills Game
The New York State Department of Health announced it will uphold its 10 p.m. curfew on indoor and outdoor dining as the last several days, Buffalo-area restaurants and bars requested that the DOH put it on pause for the day for the occasion the Buffalo Bills play in their second playoff game of the year. Fans are allowed at the stadium, but bars and restaurants must close at 10 p.m.- a policy the DOH’s spokesman told News10NBC that was “commonsense”.


Bath Man Arrested for Sex Offenses to Child
An alleged sex offense involving a child has led to serious charges for a Bath man. State Police say they arrested 34-year-old Jeffrey Clark. Troopers charged him with felony first-degree criminal sex act involving a child under the age of 13, felony first-degree sexual abuse involving a pre-teen and misdemeanor child endangerment. The alleged crime was reported Wednesday morning and happened in the Town of Bath. Clark was initially detained.


President-Elect Biden Announces COVID Economic Relief Plans
In a televised address yesterday President-Elect Joe Biden revealed his first major legislative goal as he takes office January 20th. Biden’s plans is to focus additional relief for Americans struggling due to the pandemic and says $2,000 checks going out to the American people will be a priority and necessity. He promised relief for localities and states, which were hit hardest by the pandemic and says he will work extend the unemployment benefits Americans are receiving right now. The total cost of this package falls just under $2 trillion. Stimulus checks could be in the mail within three or four weeks.


Orange-Zone Restaurants can Now Operate Under Yellow Guidance
All restaurants currently in orange zones designated by New York state health officials will be able to operate under yellow zone guidance. Governor Cuomo's office made the announcement yesterday afternoon following a judge's ruling on a lawsuit regarding indoor dining at certain restaurants in New York. This would mean restaurants in orange zones can once again reopen for indoor dining - with a limit of four people per table. They will still be required to stop serving on the premises at 10 p.m., going to curbside pickup or delivery after that.


State Lawmakers Backed Legislation to Start High School Sports
Several high school sports deemed high-risk are still on hold. However, a renewed push looks to change that. Yesterday, several state lawmakers joined together, backing legislation to reinstate all high school sports. The lawmakers said “Governor Cuomo focused his State of the State message this week on the need for reopening our local economies and to start getting the lives of New Yorkers as back to normal as possible now.  For New York State’s high school student-athletes and their families, coaches, and entire school communities, that means to let sports seasons get started.”


NYS DOT Warns of Text Message Phishing Scam
The State DOT is warning citizens to be on the lookout for fraudulent text messages. It says scammers are attempting phishing schemes by sending out text messages, asking recipients to update their driver’s license info. The DOT says these messages are fake and should be deleted immediately. It reminds citizens to never share personal information via text messages and to not click links provided in unsolicited messages.


NY AG Letitia James Files Lawsuit Against NYPD
New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and its leadership to end what she says is its pattern of using excessive force and making false arrests against New Yorkers during peaceful protests. In the complaint, Attorney General James outlines the NYPD’s alleged illegal and harmful conduct against New Yorkers during recent racial justice protests and for years prior, which has led to significant injuries and allegedly violated individuals’ basic right to peacefully protest. 


Gillibrand Announces Almost $25 Million Funding for Poison Control
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has announced that just shy of $25 million in federal funding has been secured for the Poison Control Program. Gillibrand originally called for $30.1 million to support the nationwide network of 55 Poison Control Centers (PCCs). As public health and addiction support services operate on thin margins, according to Gillibrand’s office, she says these increased federal funds will be used to provide life-saving health care services in every state.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday January 14th, 2021

Alstom Contract to Bring 250 Jobs to Hornell Plant
WETM reports that Alstom has been awarded a $1.8 billion contract with Metra to replace the aging railcars in Chicago, according to Hornell Mayor John Buckley. Buckley says the new contract will bring approximately 250 jobs to the Hornell facility. The Evening Tribune reports that the base order will be for 200 cars to be made in Hornell, with options for up to 300 additional rail cars.


Steuben COVID Deaths Hit 154; Currently-Active Cases 717
There’s been another COVID death in Steuben County and brings the total number of virus-related deaths in Steuben County to 154.  The individual was a 75-year-old female resident of the Village of Cohocton who died while hospitalized. Public Health Director, Darlene Smith said in a statement that “COVID has taken the lives of far too many Steuben residents, and put even more in the hospitals.” 59 more Steuben County residents tested positive for the virus and brings the total to 4,431 confirmed cases, 717 of which are currently active. Five individuals are associated with the following schools: Bradford Central School, Dansville Central School, Horseheads Central School District, and Horseheads Middle School, Finger Lakes Community College. Another individual is associated with the Steuben County Jail. 


VA Med Centers Vaccinating Veterans 75 and Older
The Bath and Canandaigua VA Medical Centers begin COVID-19 vaccinations for all Veterans enrolled in VA health care under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization for the Moderna vaccine. Under Centers for Disease Control guidance, the vaccine has already been given to front-line health care staff and Veterans in the Community Living Centers, which are at the nursing home level of care, at both the Bath and Canandaigua VA sites. Starting today, Veterans 75 and older begin receiving the vaccine. Medical Center staff is currently reaching out to eligible Veterans to schedule appointments for the vaccine based on overall risk criteria as Veterans are being asked not to call the VA for appointments. Veterans can get updates on information through VA’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage.


Reed Sponsors Censure, Says Impeachment Would Further Divide US
As the House of Representatives voted yesterday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time in the past four years, Congressman Tom Reed said he voted no on impeachment due to the lack of due process and investigations as well as division he thinks would occur as a result of a trial. Reed thinks the censure resolution he co-sponsored two nights ago in the House was the right course of action. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed yesterday the earliest a trial could possibly start is January 19th, a day before the Presidential inauguration.


NYSAC President Marren Says SOS Address Gave No County Support
Governor Cuomo’s three-day State of the State address left county leaders New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) President Jack Marren skeptical. Marren says the common theme that was missing from the 3-part State of the State Address is no mention of budget cuts by the state despite the drastic cuts many counties have made. Marren also says there is a lack of state support as counties have made due in whatever ways they can to deal with the massive and looming state deficit this year at a record $15 Billion. NYSAC released its 2021 Legislative Session platform this week containing a wide range of policy proposals to assist counties to sound fiscal footing as economic recovery from the COVID pandemic continues.


Five Defendents Charged in Brutal 2020 Wellsville Murder
Five of the eight defendants charged with the brutal murder of 23-year-old Nicholas Burdge at an apartment on North Main Street in Wellsville last March were in Allegany County court Wednesday, where they accepted deals and pled guilty to lesser crimes. Initially, most were charged with second-degree murder, but none pled to that count. It was called one of the most brutal crimes ever in that area. The victim was taped to a chair, beaten and stabbed for hours, then dumped in the Genesee River. The victim’s mother told us, most everybody loved Nick.


Today's Top Stories - Wednesday January 13th, 2021

Steuben Public Health Reports 104 More COVID Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 104 more Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 4,372 confirmed cases, 774 of which are currently active. 16 of the new cases involve Bath residents. Eight individuals are associated with the Steuben County Jail.


New UK Strain of COVID Reaches Upstate NY
The new, more contagious variant strain of COVID-19, first found in the UK,  has made its way to Upstate New York with the first case found in Saratoga Springs and the number of cases reaching a dozen. This strain of COVID has not been found to be any more or less dangerous than the original strain and the recently-released vaccine has shown effectiveness in fighting off the new strain. Currently, people ages 65 and up are eligible to get the vaccine. Officials stress that relying solely on the vaccine alone will not get us through the pandemic and the public must remain diligent and cooperate to continue best preventative practices like social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing to stop the spread. 


Food Bank of Southern Tier Buys $1 Million in Food for Local Families
The Food Bank of the Southern Tier announces it purchased over $1 million worth of food to give to families in need. The million-dollar food donation was secured through the Nourish NY program following the Food Bank seeing a 26% increase in food requests in the year of 2020 with many pantries being run by volunteers. The Food Bank has supported local farmers in providing locally-sourced, fresh foods as thousands of New Yorkers struggle to put food on the table.More information about the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, can be found here.


CDC Expands Vaccination Guidelines Despite Lack of Vaccine
The CDC now recommends all states expand the access to COVID-19 vaccines to everyone 65 and older. Governor Cuomo says though the state will now accept the guidelines, the lack of vaccine won’t help speed up the vaccinations for even more people. New guidelines also cover vaccine access for adults of any age with an underlying health conditions putting them at risk for complications or more severe illness.



Cuomo Announces Internet Plan for Low-Income Families in SOSA
Governor Cuomo announced his proposal to enact a first-in-the-nation requirement for affordable internet for all low-income families as part of the 2021 State of the State agenda. Under the Governor's proposal, all internet providers would be required to offer affordable service at $15 per month to low-income households. The governor says "now more than ever, high-speed internet has become essential in every household.” He added, “you can't go to school, work from home, or visit your doctor by telehealth without it."


Reed Introduces Censure Resolution with 5 Republicans
Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed is one of six House Republicans who introduced a censure resolution accusing President Trump of violating his oath of office by attempting to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 election and by sparking a riot at the Capitol with his continued lies about the election. In a statement, Reed said "This is an important step to hold the president accountable."


NY Troopers Beef Up Security in Albany for Possible Protests
New York State Police say they have increased security at the State Capitol amid reports of possible protests across the nation leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. State troopers said they have been in touch with local and federal law enforcement. They said there is currently no active or credible threat involving the Capitol in downtown Albany. The increased security comes after an internal FBI bulletin warned nationwide protests may start later in the week and go until Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Officials said some of the protesters are members of extremist groups.


Former WENY News Director John Herrick Dies at 83
A former news director for WENY-TV, and a well-known community leader has passed away. John Herrick served his country in the Marine Corps He also served two terms on the Elmira City Council for the 5th District. John Herrick was 83.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday January 12th, 2021

Praise for Steuben Law Enforcement Reform in Cuomo's State of State
Governor Cuomo praised efforts made in the last year by Steuben County community officials for safety and police reform in yesterday’s State of the State Address. Cuomo signed an executive order mandating police reform plans for each county in the state following Black Lives Matter protests in the summer. The governor acknowledged Steuben and Ulster County citizens and officials are using listening sessions and surveys to increase participation. Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard said representatives from over 60 groups participated in creating the police reform, including members of the LGBTQ, Hispanic, African-American communities as well as religious leaders in our area. The Sheriff’s Department is also adding an online version of their citizen academy where they assign a deputy resident to be a conduit between the sheriff’s office and the localities within the county and their people. Monthly information gatherings will be hosted every month throughout the county for the community to share feedback for local law enforcement.The County Legislature votes on the plan at it’s January 25th meeting.


Steuben Sees 4 More Die from COVID; 197 New Cases
Steuben County health leaders say four more county residents have died from COVID-19. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 153.  All of the individuals passed at area hospitals. Meanwhile, the Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 197 Steuben County more residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since Saturday.  This brings the total to 4,268 confirmed cases, 688 of which are currently active. The Southern Tier region’s current positive percentage rate for the virus is 4.6%


Wayne Man Arrested for Property Damage
A 27-year-old Wayne man was arrested two days ago for allegedly damaging multiple pieces of public property. Steuben County Sheriff’s Office said Benjamin Webb intentionally damaged several road signs, a camping trailer, and a digital sign in the Sylvan Beach area of Wayne, causing more than $1,500 in damage, according to the Steuben County Sheriff's office.Webb was charged with Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court, and was released.


Corning Man Arrested After Attack on Corrections Officer
A 21-year-old Corning man was arrested and put in custody after an attack at the Steuben County Jail on an corrections officer. Horton allegedly struck an officer  in the face as he exited his cell, causing physical injury. The officer received treatment at a medical facility and was released. Horton was charged with second-degree assault, a Class D felony, arraigned and will answer the charges at a later date.


Reed Says Trump Should Face Justice But "No" to Impeachment
Republican Congressman Tom Reed published an op-ed in The New York Times Monday, calling on Congress to set aside impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in favor of other options. In the article, Reed says President Trump “must face justice” for the riot at the Capitol on January 6, but says “the manner in which President Trump and others are held accountable is a difficult question that demands more scrutiny.” The House article of impeachment introduced Monday accused the president of “Incitement of Insurrection.” In his op-ed, Reed says, “while the president’s words were unwise, intemperate and wrong, they may not qualify as incitement.” 


Bills’ Saturday Home Playoff Game Set for Attendance of 6,700 Fans
Following successful implementation of the pilot plan to open Bills Stadium to fans last week, Buffalo Bills fans can now attend the team's second home playoff game this Saturday, January 16th. Approximately 6,700 fans will be allowed to attend the game only after first obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result and adhering to all public health precautions. Contact tracing will also be conducted after the game and tailgating remains prohibited. This plan was developed cooperatively between the Bills, the New York State Department of Health and BioReference Laboratories.


More NY Residents Now Eligible for Vaccine in 1B Phase
Governor Cuomo says additional groups of people will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine including "public-facing grocery store workers," in-person college instructors and people living and working in homeless shelters. The initial groups of Phase 1b now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine included 75 and older, first responders, Corrections Officers, teachers and other school staff, childcare workers and public transit workers. The governor said vaccine administrations can begin at hundreds of sites and due to limited federal distribution of vaccine supply, all New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient when scheduling appointments as it could take up to 14 weeks to determine eligibility and schedule appointments with providers. 


Today's Top Stories - Monday January 11th, 2021

NY Comptroller Audit of Prattsburgh School District Raises Concerns
A State Comptroller audit of the Prattsburgh School District raised some concerns. According to an audit summary - The board and district officials’ actions to manage financial conditions were not transparent and more taxes were levied than necessary to fund operations. The board also appropriated fund balance totaling $1.13 million for fiscal years 2016-17 through 2018-19 but none of the money was used or needed to fund operations. In addition, the board did not develop written multiyear financial and capital plans. School Superintendent Kory Bay said he appreciated the comments and noted the district will continue to improve.


Bath VFD Responded to Over 450 Calls in 2020
The Bath fire department responded to 466 calls for service in 2020. 67 were fire and 145 were rescue or medical calls.


While National Average Rises, Southern Tier Sees Low Gas Prices
The national average for a gallon of gas rose six cents in the last week. Average price for a gallon of gas hit $2.39 after sitting at $2.32 the week prior. Meanwhile, our very own Southern Tier region joined Finger Lakes and Central New York in seeing a trend of some of the lowest prices in the state. 


More COVID UK Strain Cases Found in NY
Governor Cuomo reports more confirmed COVID-19 UK strain infections in New York state with the first two being traced back to a Saratoga Springs, New York jewelry store. Cuomo says the 3rd case is in Nassau county and not related to the other two. Cuomo thinks there are more UK strain cases than what federal officials estimated. Scientists say this new UK strain is 50-to-70% more contagious than the original, though it is not believed to be more harmful.


Phase 2 of COVID Vaccine Reservations Begin Today
COVID-19 vaccination reservations for the 2nd wave of eligible people begins today and Governor Cuomo says the vaccine supply may not be able to keep up. The 1b phase gives first responders, teachers, public safety and transit workers, and the elderly access to the vaccine as people in phase 1a, which are mainly frontline healthcare workers, will continue to be vaccinated.

GOP State Legislators Criticize Cuomo for Slow Vaccine Rollout
GOP leaders in Albany have criticized the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. After members from the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences were briefed by Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker last Tuesday, only five legislators were given the opportunity to ask questions regarding the state’s delayed vaccine rollout. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt wrote a letter to the Administration in which he said many questions remain unanswered and some answers contained mixed messages and conflicting information. Minority Leader Will Barclay called on Dr. Zucker for an explanation as to why New York state lags behind other states’ ability to administer vaccines to their residents.


Hornell Man Arrested for DWI Charges During Traffic Stop
During a traffic stop, Canisteo-based Troopers arrested Edward C. Dougherty, 62, of Hornell. He was charged with felony DWI, felony first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and misdemeanor DWI. He'll appear in court at a later date.


Troopers Arrest Hornell Man on DUI Charges After Traffic Stop
State police arrested 22-year-old Zachary Long of Hornell during a traffic stop in the Town of Wheeler. Troopers charged him with first-degree driving while impaired by drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation. Court action is pending. 


Cohocton Man Arrested After Fremont Incident
A Cohocton man faces multiple felony counts following an incident in the town of Fremont. State police say they arrested 28-year-old Damian Koerner and charged him with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana for allegedly holding over 16 ounces of it. He was additionally charged with two misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was initially detained.


Cuomo Says TeleHealth Reform is Part of 2021 State of State Address
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced legislation to expand and improve access to telehealth for all as part of the 2021 State of the State. He said the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the inequities in the healthcare system and showed that telehealth is a critical tool to expand access and lower costs for low-income communities, especially for behavioral health support. During the crisis, the Governor took executive action to expand access to remote care. 


Alfred U. Receives Equipment Donation from Eaton Corporation
Alfred University and its Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology announce the receipt of a donation of equipment from Eaton Corporation, which will be used to develop new ceramic materials and manufacturing processes. It will be located at the IncubatorWorks facility in Alfred, which host’s Alfred University’s Center for Prototype Manufacturing, a pilot production facility focused on the development of multi-layer ceramic products and process development.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 9, 2021

83 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department has received notification that 83 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including two individuals associated with the Bath VA, and individuals associated with the Prattsburgh Central School District and the Canisteo-Greenwood Elementary School. This brings the county total to 4,071 confirmed cases, 719 of which are currently active.


Mayor Sweet shares his thoughts on DC rally

Many of us were shocked at the events that unfolded earlier this week in our nation’s capital. While many watched from the comfort of their homes, one of the hundreds of people who were present in Washington D.C. was Bath Mayor Mike Sweet. “I went down there because I thought it was gonna be the last opportunity to set eyes on the 45th President, I left 15 or 20 minutes before he finished speaking, but it was hard to hear him from where I was, I was on the perimeter. I didn’t want to get involved in the crowd.” In regards to the President’s speech, the Mayor said “I thought President Trump was ill-prepared unlike I’ve actually heard him in any rally before, I thought he rambled on…”. The Mayor said if given the opportunity to attend the rally again, he was unsure he would.  “Would I do it again? I don’t know, under these circumstances, I probably would not, and had I known what the President was gonna say, honestly, I probably wouldn’t have wasted my time.”


Reed against second impeachment, invocation of 25th Amendment

Congressman Tom Reed said he would not be in favor of a second impeachment or the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office after the Capitol Building was breached on Wednesday. “We have 13 days until President Biden will be inaugurated as the next President of the United States. To me, that’s the more appropriate approach to take and to engage.”


Steuben County still waiting for COVID-19 vaccine

Earlier this week, 46 counties in New York State were scheduled to receive shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine and to open points of distribution to vaccinate individuals. Chemung County received 400 Moderna vaccines Tuesday and opened a point of distribution Friday. Per the public health director of Steuben County, Darlene Smith, the Steuben County has not received the vaccine, despite being pre-booked over a week ago. As of right now, there is no word when the vaccine will reach Steuben County.


Elementary School in Hornell to close at end of school year

The Bryant Elementary School in Hornell will be closing its doors at the end of this school year. Park Grove Realty has been announced as a potential buyer of the building, their hope is to use the building for workforce housing. The closure of the building is a certainty at this point; however, voters will decide on the sale of the building to Park Grove Realty at a later date.

Today's Top Stories - Friday January 8th, 2021

Breesport Pair Arrested for Meth in Horseheads
A Breesport pair face drug charges after the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office arrested them around 12:30 this morning.  Deputies say 45-year-old Michael Deragon and 24-year-old Britany Struble had 38 grams of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $3,800 and nearly $2,000 in cash recovered by K-9 Egon when they were stopped on Breesport-North Chemung Road in Horseheads. Both Deragon and Struble were arraigned and released.


Steuben COVID Count: 1 New Death and 107 New Cases
Another COVID-19 death was reported in Steuben County and brings the county death total to 149. The latest victim died of the illness at his Bath home at age 65. Meanwhile the county reports 107 new cases of coronavirus, and the county now has 722 active cases.42 people are hospitalized with the virus. The county said in an update that the public must do "everything we can to slow this seemingly unending spread, including to limit travel and quarantine upon return, keep social circles small, and stay home and get tested when ill rather than going to work."


High-Risk Winter Sports Still on Hold
High-risk winter sports are still on hold for high schools across New York state - at a time when their seasons would normally be well underway. Schools are still waiting for the green light from state officials after the potential start date for the winter season passed earlier this week. The state has yet to announce a follow-up date.


Gillibrand Thinks Trump and Reed Responsible for Yesterday in DC
While New York's US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand considers President Trump directly responsible for the insurrection yesterday at the US Capitol, the junior senator said Trump had help from politicians like Congressman Tom Reed. Gillibrand also joins a bipartisan list of lawmakers calling for President Trump to be removed from office. Gillibrand wants social media companies to be investigated for the role their platforms played in spreading dangerous misinformation about the Presidential election.


NY Lotto Says Mega Millions Jackpot Drawing Hits $510 Million
The New York Lottery says tonight’s Mega Millions drawing will be $510 million, making it the eighth largest Mega Millions jackpot in history. According to the lottery, the drawing has an estimated jackpot cash value of $377.6 million.


Coercion Case Leads to Arrest of 2 Dundee Men
A coercion case recently led to the arrest of two men from Dundee. State Troopers said they arrested 30-year-old Robert I. Druker and 53-year-old Robert J. Druker, both of Dundee. Each was charged with felony bribing a witness. Robert J. was also charged with felony criminal mischief. Robert I. was detained on cash bail while the other Druker was sent home to show up in court at a later date.


O’Mara Receives Key Senate Committee Assignments in 2021
State Senator Tom O’Mara has received several key committee assignments at the start of the 2021 legislative session that he says will give him a prominent place at the table in this year’s deliberations over the future direction of state fiscal policies O’Mara was recently named as the top Republican member on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the Senate committee most responsible for overseeing the adoption of the state’s annual budget and setting the course for New York’s short- and long-term fiscal practices and responsibilities.  O’Mara has also been reappointed as the Ranking Member on the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee

Today's Top Stories - Thursday January 7th, 2021

One New COVID Death & 92 New Cases in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification of the death of an individual who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 148.  The individual was a female resident of the Town of Campbell who died at the age of 92. Meanwhile, county health officials are reporting 88 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total to 3,881 confirmed cases, 669 of which are currently active.


Dansville Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that on January 1st, deputies arrested Stephen A Simonowicz, age 66, of Dansville following a report of a physical altercation in a domestic incident at his Rectenwald Road residence. Simonowicz allegedly violated a duly served order of protection and harassed and restrained a protected person who was a member of his family or household and allegedly attempted to prevent the deputies from investigating this incident. Simonowicz was charged with Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree, Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, Obstructing Governmental Administration andCriminal Contempt in the Second Degree and arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court then released.


CCC Holds Free COVID Test Tomorrow
Corning Community College holds free COVID-19 testing tomorrow from 9am to 1pm at its Health Education Center on Denison Parkway East. Results take only 15 minutes using the non-invasive nasal swab. Pre-registration is required. Testing is free and open to Steuben County residents. Participants must pre-register in order to be tested at https://tinyurl.com/cccrapid

Schumer Says Yesterday’s Capitol Storming “A Day of Infamy”
New York Senator Chuck Schumer says yesterday’s storming of the US Capitol by Trump supporters protesting the outcome of the Presidential Election will be a long-standing black mark and “day of infamy” on American history. Schumer is blaming those of Trump’s followers directly at his feet. The New York senator also wants the president removed from office via the 35th Amendment ASAP.


Reed Speaks Out Following Yesterday in DC
Members of New York's congressional delegation spoke out Wednesday night after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, causing chaos and forcing lawmakers to shelter in place. Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election when the joint session was abruptly halted after pro-Trump rioters breached the building. After the capitol was secured, Congressman Tom Reed walked over to the Democrat side of the isle and gave these remarks (Reed2). The unrest led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to send 1,000 members of the New York National Guard for up to two weeks to assist with the transition of power, which the governor said was at the request of the U.S. National Guard.


Cuomo Won’t Attend Saturday Bills Playoff Game
Governor Cuomo says he’s skipping the Buffalo Bills’ playoff game this weekend.  This announcement comes after uproar from an online Change.org petition that would ban Cuomo from the game that gained 40,000-signatures. The governor said he will be working on the State of State speech and giving his ticket for the night to a nurse in Erie County.

Caton Man Facing More Charges After Christmas Eve Raid
A Caton man faces additional charges stemming from a Christmas Eve raid on his home. Steuben Deputies say a large amount of marijuana was found in 45-year-old Dana McCarrick’s home, along with what they’re calling a pair of deadly weapons. McCarrick is being held in Steuben County Jail and now faces a felony weapons charge as well as a felony marijuana charge.


State AG Warns of “Grandparent Scam”
New York Attorney General Letitia James has issued an alert to New Yorkers, warning them about the “Grandparent Scam,” a common phone scam that targets senior citizens with calls from fraudsters posing as a grandchild of the victim and asking for money. The scam typically works like this: A senior receives an unexpected call from someone who claims to be their grandchild. The caller then falsely claims that there is an emergency and asks the grandparent to immediately send money. The caller will often explicitly tell the grandparent not to call the grandchild’s parents because the parents will be mad or will worry too much. The scammers often call in the middle of the night or early in the morning to take advantage of the fact that the victim may not be alert enough to ask more questions.


NYS Legislators Call for End to Solitary Confinement
State legislators are calling for an end to the use of solitary confinement in New York. Wednesday was the first day of the State legislative session. Some lawmakers took time to call for a vote on the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act, or HALT. Under the proposal, solitary confinement would be eliminated for vulnerable prisoners, and limited to 15 days for remaining inmates. The proposal has support in the State Assembly and Senate.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday January 6th, 2021

Steuben COVID Deaths Hit 147; 83 More Cases
COVID has claimed another life in Steuben County. The individual was a male resident of the Village of Addison who died while hospitalized at the age of 65. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 147. Health officials also report another 83 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 3,793 confirmed cases, 618 of which are currently active.


FCS of Finger Lakes Launch Toddler Mental Health Program
Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes will launch a new infant and toddler mental health program, in collaboration with Child and Family Resources. Miranda Pipher, who heads the program, says assessing the mental health of those too young to speak relies on communication cues like crying. Pipher also observed infants, including her own, can struggle to pick up on such non-verbal cues when people are wearing masks. The infant and toddler mental health program is funded in part by a state grant.


Habitat For Humanity Starting New Bath Housing Development
Habitat for Humanity will soon start a new housing development in Bath. Mayor Mike Sweet made the announcement this morning. Sweet says it shows what we can do versus what we have done in the past.


Bath Sex Offender Arrested for Child Porn
A registered sex offender from Steuben County has been arrested on child porn charges. 34-year-old Charles Augrom, III of Bath is charged with receipt and distribution of child porn. Federal prosecutors say Augrom was arrested following an investigation that began in July 2020. A search of his cell phone allegedly turned up about 250 child porn videos and images. Augrom reportedly has two prior child porn-related convictions and is listed as a Level III sex offender. He made an initial appearance in court Tuesday and is in custody ahead of a detention hearing next week. If convicted, he could face five to 20 years in prison.


Cuomo Calls for Marijuana Legalization for Third Time in 3 Years
Governor Cuomo called for the legalization of marijuana this week and his proposal is expected to be announced by the end of today in his third attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in the past 3 years. Under the plan there would be an office known as the Office of Cannabis Management, which would oversee recreational and medical uses. Legislators may be more interested in moving forward with this proposal as the state faces serious budget deficits.


Cuomo Says General Public Will Have Vaccine by Mid-Summer
Despite saying earlier that mid-January was the projected start of vaccinating the general population, now health officials in New York say that early to mid-summer is far more realistic.  Governor Cuomo says the main source of the slowdown is at the hospital level.  Cuomo says only about half of state-run hospitals are acting fast enough to distribute their allotments of the COVID-19 vaccine. If they don’t use it by the end of the week, that could mean a fine of up to 100 thousand dollars from the state and that hospital system not being able to get vaccines in the future.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday January 5th, 2021

Allegany-Steuben Arc Merge Officially Complete
Allegany Arc and The Arc of Steuben have officially merged to become The Arc Allegany-Steuben as part of a multi-step process. Both agencies are affiliated chapters of The Arc of the United States and The Arc New York providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc of Allegany-Steuben will provide services to approximately 1,000 people with disabilities, through support of over 800 associates, and with a budget of $34 million.


Hornell DMV Opens After Possible COVID Exposure
The Hornell DMV opens back up today after closing due to a possible COVID-19 exposure. The county office in Hornell had to close for the remainder of yesterday but resumed normal business hours today.


Steuben Health Dept Reports 586 Active COVID Cases; 7 Deaths
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 217 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday-bringing the total to 3,710 confirmed cases, 586 of which are currently active. Among the new infections three individuals are associated with the Addison Central School District, Center Street Elementary and three others visited the VFW in Bath, American Legion in Bath, American Legion in Canisteo and American Legion in Campbell. The lives of seven more people in Steuben County were claimed by the virus and brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 146.  All of the individuals passed at area hospitals. 


Structure Fire in Hammondsport Last Night
A structure fire broke out in Hammondsport last night with Initial scanner reports coming in around 4:00 this morning. WENY says sheds caught on fire next to a trailer on West Waneta Lake Road with multiple municipalities  called to the scene. The fire was controlled quickly with  minor damage to the side of a home. The cause is under investigation.


Reed Won't Object to State Electors at Election Certification
Congressman Tom Reed released a statement this morning in which he said he will not object to any state’s electors on Wednesday during the certification of the Presidential election.In his statement, Reed said, “We can rebuild trust in our elections by transparently addressing the last-minute, confusing way some states conducted voting in 2020. The Constitution, however, makes clear Congress cannot overrule states and their designated electors. I must be true to the oath I took to uphold the Constitution and will not object to any state’s electors tomorrow.”


Cuomo Announces COVID Vaccine Prioritization for NY
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the latest prioritization for New Yorkers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning today, eligibility is being expanded to include all outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers who provide direct in-person patient care, as well as all public health care workers who provide direct in-person care, including those who conduct COVID-19 tests and handle lab specimens. Beginning this week, eligibility will also be expanded to include home care workers, hospice workers, and nursing home and other congregate setting workers who have yet to receive a vaccine through the federal nursing home vaccination program.

Today's Top Stories - Monday January 4th, 2020

205 COVID Patients Hospitalized in Southern Tier
In the Southern Tier Region, there are currently 205 COVID patients hospitalized. The Region has 43% of hospital beds available. 125 patients are in an Intensive Care Unit. On Sunday, another 138 deaths were reported statewide.


Engine Causes Plane Diversion to Elmira-Corning Regional Airport
According to WENY News,  engine problems caused a plane operated by United Airlines and en route to Syracuse from Washington, D.C. to be diverted to Elmira Corning Regional Airport. The plane landed without incident with 3 crew members and 46 passengers aboard, who are being bussed to their Syracuse destination.


Cuomo Says Finger Lakes Must Be Serious About COVID
During this morning’s media briefing, Governor Cuomo said residents of the Finger Lakes need to be serious about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the region. When asked why he hasn’t placed more restrictions to decrease the rate of infection Cuomo said about 75 percent of the spread is related to social activities and expressed the concern to avoid hospital overcrowding in the region, which could lead to full shut down. The Finger Lakes region still has the highest percentage of hospitalizations of all regions in the state .08%,  and with a positive test rate of 10.22% and a majority of the new cases are in Monroe County.


Bath Man Charged with Petit Larceny
After investigating a larceny from a building in Erwin, state police arrested 41-year-old Patrick Davis of Bath. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and petit larceny. Court action is pending.


Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act Signed
Governor Cuomo has signed the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act in an effort to make it easier for New Yorkers to pay their traffic fines in the new year. The law takes effect March 31st and allows fines to be paid on a payment plan without being subject to a license suspension while allowing judges to either reduce or waive fees and surcharges.


Bills Beat Miami 56-26; Play Saturday 1pm on WABH
The Buffalo Bills concluded the regular season Sunday with a dominating 56-26 win over the Miami Dolphins. For the first time in franchise history, the Bills had a complete clean sweep in the AFC East. Next up for the Bills, a home field playoff game against the Colts. It happens Saturday at 1 p.m. The coach of the Colts is former buffalo quarterback Frank Reich.


Troopers Warn of Car Test Drive Scam
New York State Police are warning people of a scam involving test driving of vehicles. There have been multiple instances of people answering online ads to buy privately owned used vehicles in Western New York, according to police. Two or more people will go on a test drive with the vehicle for sale. At some point during the test drive, the suspect(s) ask the vehicle owner to step out, stating they hear a weird noise or think something is wrong with the vehicle. Once the owner steps out of the car, the suspect will drive off with the vehicle. This scam has occurred in Livingston, Wayne, Monroe and other counties in the area. State Police urge citizens to be vigilant and careful with transactions like this and suggest selling used vehicles in front of security cameras or have additional persons with you when attempting a private sale of a motor vehicle.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 2, 2021

85 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 85 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including one individual who is associated with the Bath VA. This brings the total to 3,493 confirmed cases, 619 of which are currently active.


Steuben County Sheriff’s Department to celebrate 225th anniversary Monday

The Steuben County Sheriff’s department will open its 225th anniversary year with a special ceremony during the regular county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee meeting this Monday. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the ceremony will be live streamed through the county sheriff’s Facebook page shortly after 9 am and will include awarding commemorative anniversary badges to two people in recognition of their notable service in 2020.


Steuben County reflects on achievements in 2020

Despite the challenges the pandemic put forward, there were still many notable achievements that the County made in 2020. For example, the 2021 budget. All signs pointed to a double-digit increase in property taxes, driven by state-mandated programs which form more than 90 percent of the annual tax levy. Any increase higher than the state’s complicated tax cap would lead to penalties imposed by the state. Thanks to the work of county employees, the result was a budget of $194 million with a slight increase in the $51 million tax levy, and a drop in the average tax rate of 14 cents per $1,000 from $8.07 this year down to $7.93 in 2021. Also, renovations to the County Office Building, which were delayed but had begun as early as May. Work included moving administrative offices to the county Annex on East Morris Street, and relocating others to provide efficient and accessible legal services. Future plans include additional court rooms, secure holding areas and waiting rooms, more offices for attorneys and an extensive legal library. And of course, the longing continuously running County Fair in the U.S. After hosting a test-run Food Drive Thru at the county fairgrounds the weekend before, fair organizers held a County Fair drive thru from Aug. 21-22, and the 200-year-old county fair added another year to its historic long run while keeping the pandemic at bay.


NYS sees near record low in flu cases

Presumably the precautions taken by citizens to avoid the pandemic, such as masking, sanitizing, and social distancing, has led to a drastic drop in reported flu cases compared to 2019. Data shows 2019 saw a high of more than 5,000 flu cases in one week but 2020 had a high of only 304.


Elmira woman arrested for welfare fraud, grand larceny

Mckenna M. Harris was arrested on an active Elmira City Court arrest warrant for Welfare Fraud and Grand Larceny, both in the 4th degree, both Class E felonies. Harris did not report her income in the form of NYS Department of Labor unemployment with the Department of Social Services, and received $1,511.00 in public assistance SNAP benefits that she was not eligible for.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday December 31st, 2020 - New Year's Eve

Steuben Sees One More COVID Death & 53 New Cases
COVID has claimed the life of another Steuben County resident. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 139. The individual was a male resident of the Village of Arkport who died while hospitalized at the age of 81. Meanwhile, 53 new virus cases were reported in Steuben Wednesday. Since March there have been over 3,400 confirmed cases. Today, there are 605 active cases.


Steuben County Concludes 2020 With Major Achievements
Though it posed a challenge, much of Steuben County’s notable achievements in 2020 are a result of the pandemic. Despite new state requirements, pandemic guidelines and more, turn-out during early and General Election Day voting turnout surpassed previous years. Steuben officials formed a proposed budget with state and federal assistance uncertain, county employees stepped up to take an early retirement incentive, to avoid an increase in the state tax cap that would result in state penalties for a budget $194 million with a slight increase in the $51 million tax levy. County Office Building renovations were delayed for the plan for large portions of the main building to become a cohesive court system in accordance with state mandates. Plans include additional court rooms, secure holding areas and waiting rooms, more offices for attorneys and an extensive legal library. Steuben also was proud to have held a pandemic-friendly County Fair drive thru in August as the 200-year-old county fair added another year to its historic long run.


Bills & NY Reach Agreement for Fan Attendance at Playoff Game
When the Bills hit the field for their first playoff game, fans will watch in the stands. Governor Cuomo announced yesterday the state and the team reached an agreement on a pilot program allowing for some fans to be present at the game. The state and the Bills had been working together recently in an attempt to broker an agreement. Under the pilot program, about 6,700 season ticketholders will be allowed in the stadium. Masks and distancing are required. Tests will be conducted before fans enter the stadium, and contact tracing work will take place as they leave.


A Chance of Freezing Rain Tomorrow
There is a chance for icy precipitation tomorrow as a system moves by the region. Freezing rain is anticipated late-Friday afternoon into the evening. The Southern Tier and Southern Finger Lakes regions have the greatest chance of freezing rain with the heaviest precipitation will end between midnight and 3 a.m. on Saturday. Showers continue into the weekend, and Sunday some light snow is possible.


NYS Suspends Prison Visitation Temporarily
New York State has temporarily suspended visitation at all state prisons due to rising COVID-19 cases among the incarcerated population, staff and the surrounding communities. The suspension continues until further notice. According to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website, non-contact legal visits will still be allowed to continue under previously announced protocols.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday December 30th, 2020

93 New COVID Cases & 2 Deaths in Steuben
COVID-19 continues to cause deaths and illnesses in Steuben County. The Health Department has announced the deaths of two Town of Bath residents while 93 county residents tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 3,355 confirmed cases, 601 of which are currently active.


County Releases Numbers for New Five Year Road Plan
The Steuben County Public Works new Five Year Road Plan expects to continue with road maintenance and repair projects in 2021 despite expected cuts in state funding for highway repairs. Plans next year include 26 miles of reconstruction and paving projects at a cost of $3.6 million, totaling slightly above the state’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) anticipated 2021 allotment of $3.5 million. CHIPS funding is expected to be cut by 20 percent next year by Governor Cuomo, due to the state budget being strained by the impact of COVID-19.


5 Arrested for Meth Possession After Canisteo Traffic Stop
Five people were arrested after a 1am traffic stop today in Canisteo. The Canisteo Police Department reports police allegedly found 18.3 grams of meth along with packaging material, scales, and other drug paraphernalia. Cale Paul, John Corcoran, Jason Barker, Brooke Hayden, and Alyssa Laverde were all charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 5th degree, Criminal Possession of Drug Paraphernalia for having Scales, and Criminal Possession of Drug Paraphernalia for possessing Packaging Material. The five suspects went to the Steuben County Jail and await Centralized Arraignment.


New York’s Extended Unemployment Begins Next Week
New Yorkers will begin to receive extended federal unemployment benefits during the first week of 2021. Officials say that unemployed New Yorkers will begin to receive their extended and expanded federal unemployment benefit next week. According to the Governor’s Office, these benefits will be made available through extended unemployment programs enacted by the U.S. government.


Cuomo Changes Quarantine Guidelines
Governor Cuomo announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York which are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period.


$600 Stimulus Checks Arriving as Soon as This Week
The $600 checks already passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump yesterday will begin being deposited as soon as today. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says checks may have arrived as soon as last night for some. Direct deposits will continue over the next week while paper checks will begin to be delivered today. Tthe IRS will begin providing updates on individual checks later this week. Americans making less than $75,000 per year will get $600 while couples earning  less than $150,000 will receive $1,200 while each dependent will also be eligible for $600. Yesterday, Senate Republicans killed the bill that promised immediate $2,000 payments.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday December 29th, 2020

Two Bath Men Arrested for Narcotics Charges
Two Bath men- 42-year-old Roy Hyer and 26-year-old Semachiah McDuffie were arrested in Bath following a narcotics bust. Steuben County Sheriff’s Office says the two were pulled over on Liberty Street in Bath on December 23rd and that the two men had illegal narcotics believed to be packaged for sale along with a hypodermic needle. Hyer was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree then arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and held without bail due to a warrant that was issued and previous felony convictions while McDuffie was arraigned and released after being charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree and Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument.  


4 New COVID Deaths; 164 New & 589 Cases
Four more Steuben County residents have died from COVID-19 as another 164 new cases of the virus have been confirmed, bringing the total to 3,262 confirmed cases, 589 of which are currently active. The deaths involved three residents of the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center, ages 81, 88, and 90.  One individual was a community member from the Village of Wayland who died while hospitalized at the age of 42.


Steuben Landfill Sorting Changes Start Friday 1/1
Changes for customers at the Steuben County landfill and transfer stations begin Friday, January 1st  and include plastics, now be sorted by type, and glass can now be mixed together regardless of color. The thick and sturdy No. 2 plastics should be separated from thin and transparent No. 1 plastics at the recycling stalls at the landfill and transfer stations. Steuben residents who rely on commercial trash haulers should check with their haulers about sorting requirements.

For more information, go to





NY Wineries Can Now Sell 8.4 & 12 oz. Cans
New York wineries will now be able sell wine in 8.4 and 12-ounce cans after restrictions were lifted by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau today. Senator Chuck Schumer says this will lead to further economic growth and allow local wine producers to prosper from the growing craft brew trend. The canned wine industry has seen staggering growth in less than a decade expanding from $2 million in 2012 to nearly $200 Million this year.


Caton Man Arrested for Threatening Sheriff Deputies
Steuben County deputies arrested 45-year-old Dana McCarrick of Caton. The arrest followed a warrant service by the Steuben County Critical Incident Response Team at the man’s home.  It is alleged that McCarrick repeatedly threatened to kill or maim members of the Sheriff’s Office by use of firearms, explosions and – quote - “gutting with a knife”.  McCarrick was charged with Making a Terroristic Threat, a Class D Felony and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, also a Class D Felony.  He was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released. Further charges are expected as the investigation is on-going.


Cuomo Signs Order Following ParCare Vaccine Fraud
During the most recent COVID-19 response update Governor Andrew Cuomo announces he will sign an executive order -- targeting possible fraud amid the inoculation efforts. ParCare Community Health Network is under investigation for allegedly fraudulently obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine. 


NYS Health Dept Works With Bills for Playoff Plan
Governor Cuomo says the State Department of Health continues to work with the Buffalo Bills on a pilot plan to allow fans into Bills Stadium this January for the playoffs. If approved, the pilot plan would allow for a limited number of fans after testing each person for COVID-19. Cuomo says it could serve as a model for reopening other types of businesses.


NY's Population Sees Heaviest Decline in Population of All 50 States
New York's population continues to decline more than any state in the nation in new figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Empire State's population fell by 126,355 people between July 2019 and July 2020, to 19.3 million, a drop of 0.65%, according to the preliminary figures. That's the most of any state by total and by percentage. Population decline continues to be a problem for New York, and it could play out in 2022 during federal reapportionment. At this rate, New York could lose as many as two U.S. House seats; it will certainly lose one, dropping it from 27 to 26 seats and impacting its clout in Washington.


Today's Top Stories - Monday December 28th, 2020

Steuben’s COVID Count: 58 New & 588 Currently Active
The latest COVID update from the Steuben County Public Health Department shows that 58 more residents have tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 3,098 confirmed cases, 588 of which are currently active.


Bills Play Tonight at 8:15 on WABH
After their win against the Denver Broncos, the 11-3 Buffalo Bills are back on the field the final time during the regular season, as they visit the 6-8 New England Patriots tonight on Monday Night Football.Buffalo blew the Patriots out of the AFC East title race, and last week the Dolphins took the Patriots out of the postseason in general for the first time since 2008. The Bills have made it the Playoffs this year for the first time in over 20 years since 1998.


NYS AG James Warns New Yorkers of Vaccine Scams
New York Attorney General Letitia James warns New Yorkers about potential scams offering early access to a COVID-19 vaccine, which will not become widely available to the general public in New York for several more months. The Office of Attorney General (OAG) reminds  New Yorkers anyone who calls, e-mails, or texts individuals offering access to a COVID-19 vaccine or using online platforms with similar schemes is most likely a scammer who should be reported to law enforcement.


Hornell Police Respond to Call of Suicidal Hornell Man
Sunday, Hornell Police responded to a suicidal man with a gun on Taylor Street around 5:45 p.m. for a report of a despondent person with a gun to his head. Officers made contact with the man and after 15 minutes convinced him to put the gun down. The man was transported to St. James Hospital for a mental health evaluation. Those needing help are encouraged to call the local 2-1-1 Helpline.


Bath Town Board Handling 3 Public Hearings in January
The new year will begin with several public hearings for the Bath Town Board. The three hearings will deal with proposed fire contracts. The first involves the Town of Bath and the Kanona fire department for a contract amount of $38,059. The next involves the town and village and the Village of Savona for a fire contract priced at $56,238. The third is a $242,529 contract with the Bath Volunteer Fire Department. Those hearings will be held in the Municipal Building on January 5th at 4 p.m.


Clemens Center to Receive Part of $15 Billion in Federal Aid
Two performing arts venues and an independent movie theatre in the Southern Tier will receive portions of $15 billion in federal relief to keep them alive during the pandemic as part of the “Save Our Stages Act”, providing funding for independent live venue operators, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions like live performing arts organizations and museums that have been impacted by the pandemic. According to Schumer, the relief package will create a new Small Business Administration grant program, where independent performing arts venues can receive six months of financial help if they have experienced at least 25% lost revenue due to COVID-19. The Clemens Center in Elmira as well as the State Theater and Cinemapolis in Ithaca will receive portions of the aid.


Senate Democrats Call Special Session on Eviction Moratorium
The Senate Democratic Majority have called a special session in an attempt to pass what they are describing as “the strongest eviction moratorium in the nation.” The session on the “COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act” is scheduled for later today. The legislation will put a stay of at least 60 days on all pending eviction proceedings, or any that are commenced within 30 days of the legislation’s effective days. The stay will give tenants the opportunity to submit a “hardship declaration” demonstrating they are unable to pay their rent in full or move due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.


Troopers Arrest Woman on Controlled Substance Charges
State Police from the Painted Post barracks arrested 30-year-old Devin Goodrich of Corning. She was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance following an incident early Sunday in the Town of Lindley. She was issued an appearance ticket for court and released.

Dansville Man Arrested for Possession of Stolen Property
Following a month-long investigation stemming from a complaint in the Village of Wayland, State Police arrested 25-year-old Stephen Zeh of Dansville. He was charged with criminal possession of stolen property. Court action is pending.


Today's Top Stories - Saturday December 26, 2020

Santa tours Village of Bath Christmas Eve

Rain, snow, and not even a global pandemic could stop Santa from visiting the young children of Bath on Christmas Eve this year. Every year, the Bath Fire Department has carried out the tradition of helping Santa make his way around Bath to visit homes of children whose parents have pre-registered, but this was nearly impossible due to the pandemic this year, and the trip was nearly cancelled as a result. Instead of stopping at houses, St. Nick teamed up with the Bath Fire Department and traversed his way through nearly the whole 24 miles of streets that make up Bath before dropping off toys to all the kids of central Steuben County.


58 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 58 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 3,098 confirmed cases, 588 of which are currently active. Five of the individuals are from the City of Hornell as well as five from the Town of Campbell, three are residents of the City of Bath, three are residents of the Village of Bath, two are residents of the Village of Canisteo, two from the Village of Hammondsport, and one from the Town of Prattsburgh. One individual is an employee of the Prattsburgh Central School.


Steuben County Sheriff’s Office K9 Knapp to receive body armor donation

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office K9, Knapp, will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.  K9 Knapp’s vest will be embroidered with the sentiment “Born to Love-Trained to Serve-Loyal Always”.  Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.


Corning, Inc. receives $15 million to create parts for COVID-19 testing

Corning, Inc. was recently awarded $15 million from the US Department of Defense, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services to make robotic pipette tips, help automate liquid handling which are used for numerous tests, including COVID-19 tests. Corning has been active in the fight against COVID-19 for some time now, earlier this year, Corning expanded its manufacturing capacity of Corning Valor Glass vials, which are used to store the Pfizer vaccine.

Today's Top Stories - Christmas Eve Thursday December 24th, 2020

Flood Watch in Effect to Tomorrow Morning
A Flood watch is in effect through Christmas morning tomorrow. Heavy rain may fall on a deep primed snowpack leading to increasing melt. Flows in streams and rivers may increase quickly and reach critical levels. Warm temperatures will lead to significant snow melt. A combination of snow melt and 1 to 3 inches of rainfall could cause urban and flash flooding. A Winter Weather Advisory is also in effect from 11 pm until noon tomorrow. Periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will result in slippery roads and limited visibilities.


Steuben County Health Department Reports 84 New COVID Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 84 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 3,040 confirmed cases, 589 of which are currently active. Nine are from Bath.


NYSP Respond to Ice Fisher in Water of Loon Lake
New York State Police responded to a call for an ice fisherman in the water on Loon Lake in Wayland off Route 21 south of I-390. One trooper at the lake already saw a man holding his stepfather, 49-year-old Marc Rounsville who had just fallen through the ice. As the man was having trouble pulling Rounsville out, Trooper Matthew McKinney drove over to the Laf-A-Lot restaurant to get a life vest, ladder, and rope. More state police arrived and tied a rope around Trooper McKinney as he ventured out onto the ice with the ladder to pull Rounsville to safety- who was taken to nearby Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville for treatment for exposure.


Plans Underway to Allow Bills’ Fans to Home Playoff Game
Governor Cuomo announces plans are currently under development to allow fans to attend the Buffalo Bills' first home playoff game in more than two decades under strict COVID-19 protocols. The proposal is being developed cooperatively between the Bills and New York State and would require fans in attendance to receive a negative COVID-19 test result before being allowed into the stadium. Contact tracing will also be conducted after the game. If implemented, this plan could serve as a model for reopening entertainment venues across New York state.


Bath VA Residents and Staff Get Moderna’s COVID Vaccine
Tuesday, residents and staff of the Bath VA Medical Center began receiving the first dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.  Bath is among the 113 VA Medical Centers across the country to receive the first limited supply of the vaccine. These sites were chosen based on need according to the CDC's prioritization and capacity to store the vaccine. The VA says as soon vaccines become available for more groups, their care teams will contact eligible veterans to schedule vaccinations. For up-to-date information, Veterans should visit the VA's COVID-19 vaccine webpage. 


Guthrie’s NY Facilities Receive COVID Vaccines by Moderna
Guthrie's New York State facilities in Corning and Cortland officially received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday according to WENY. Guthrie said yesterday its facility would be holding a "trial run" through a process where they will do a few trials for 20 to 30 people to make sure the vaccine process goes as planned, since this is a new vaccine.


Bath Woman Arrested for Petit Larceny in Painted Post
Troopers based in Painted Post say they arrested 29-year-old Anna Egresi of Bath. She was charged with petit larceny following an alleged shoplifting incident in Erwin. She will reappear in court at a later date.


Arkport Man Arrested on Drug Charges
Troopers arrested 22-year-old Alexander Houghtaling of Arkport. He was charged with drug possession. He’ll answer the possession charge in Dansville court.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday December 23rd, 2020

Steuben Reports 69 New COVID Cases & 1 New Death
The County Health Department reports 69 more Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since Saturday. 576 cases are currently active out of a total of 2,956 confirmed cases since the pandemic began. The death of an individual who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 was also reported and brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 132. The individual was a 96 year old female resident of Absolut Care Three Rivers.


Flood Watch In Effect Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
A flood watch is in effect for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Heavy rain will move into the area Thursday and continue through Thursday night. The rain will fall on a deep snowpack leading to snow melt as the temperatures will be above freezing. This snow melt, combined with 1 to 3 inches of rainfall could cause urban and flash flooding. Flows in rivers may increase quickly and rise above flood stage.


Senator O’Mara Appointed as Top GOP Member on Finance Committee
State Senator Tom O’Mara has been appointed by Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt as the top Republican member on the Senate Finance Committee. Ortt also reappointed O’Mara as the Ranking Member on the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, a position O’Mara first received in late July. O’Mara welcomed the new assignment to the Finance Committee and said he looks forward to having a direct voice on the legislative committee most responsible for overseeing the adoption of the state’s annual budget and setting the course for New York’s short- and long-term fiscal practices and responsibilities.


Despite COVID, Steuben Legislature’s Fruitcake Giveaway Continues
The annual Steuben County Legislature’s annual Great Fruitcake Giveaway tradition kicked off as the board was set to go into executive session Monday as a masked county Public Defender Shawn Sauro signaled a point of order, rising from his chair carefully set six feet from others and holding a small fruitcake-sized package. Despite the COVID pandemic, the tradition that began in 1991 continues to this year. The giveaway served as a way to pay forward the fruitcake then-county manager Alger bought from then-Legislature Chairman Lynn Morse to benefit the Kiwanis. Alger started the practice and gave it away to then-county Clerk of the Legislature Christine Kane, who gave it away the following Christmas. Over the years, ransoms and bribes and outright theft have occurred resulting in its official ‘Property of Steuben County’ sticker. Sauro was the recipient last year and discovered the fruitcake was gone from his freezer then received an email from county BG Superintendent Eric Rose who returned the cake back to Sauro who gave it back to Eric Rose on Monday.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday December 22nd, 2020

New VA Court to Help Veterans Accused of Crimes Needing Treatment
Veterans accused of crimes and in need of drug and mental health treatment will be assisted by The Steuben County Veterans Drug Treatment Court, which is expected to open in 2021. A more specific date for the opening has not yet been set. The program will allow veterans going through the court system who struggle with addiction or mental illness to be served in a specialized court rather than the traditional court system. The program will promote accountability to make appointments and promote recovery through mentorship and peer-to-peer relationships as a community according to Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard. Allard says the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the creation and opening of the Veterans Drug Treatment Court.


155 New COVID Cases and 3 New Deaths in Steuben
With 155 new COVID cases in Steuben County since Saturday, it’s the highest three-day total of COVID cases in the county since the pandemic began. This brings the total to 2,887 confirmed cases, 530 of which are currently active. Twelve of the new cases are from Bath. Schools are seeing increasing numbers with seven students and nine staffers infected are from a dozen schools. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says…“We simply cannot sustain this type of increase in our county.  Please reconsider your holiday plans, personal choices, destinations and who you gather with. “ Three individuals who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 have died, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 131. Two individuals were residents of the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center; one male age 63 and one female age 88, and one community member from the City of Hornell, male age 71, who died while hospitalized. County health officials said all residents should continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill.


Cuomo Wants Testing to See if COVID Variant is in NY
Governor Cuomo says there will be testing conducted to detect a contagious variant of the coronavirus to see if it came here from the United Kingdom. The variant test is slightly more complex than the current COVID testing being done. Cuomo reports that thus far, there is no evidence at this time of the variant being in New York State.


4H Youth Bring Holiday Cheer to Residents with Meals on Wheels
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben’s 4-H Program recently partnered with Meals on Wheels for a special service project where Steuben County 4-H youth designed, created and decorated festive cards containing well-wishes for community members. The over 200 greeting cards are distributed with the holiday meals going to those in need as a small act of kindness for the 2020 holiday season.


COVID Relief Checks to Drop Next Week
The relief bill passed by Congress Sunday means some stimulus checks will hit mailboxes by next week. The federal government says that starting next week, most Americans will receive a stimulus check of $600 as part of the $900 billion pandemic relief package passed Sunday and the vote finalized yesterday. Families with children will also receive a check for $600 per dependent. Payments will be sent to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year. The payments will begin via direct deposit next week.


Hornell Man Arrested Twice in Less Than a Week
A Hornell man was arrested again for the second time in less than a week. 19-year-old Jametris Jordan was arrested Friday for allegedly attacking and hurting another inmate in the Steuben County Jail. He was charged with assault in the second degree then arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and returned to the custody of the sheriff. Jordan was initially arrested last Wednesday. A release reports he and another person were hospitalized after a car accident in a vehicle that was reportedly stolen. When Hornell Police Department responded to a home invasion robbery on Rockwell Street in Hornell last week, Jordan and the other suspect were found armed with handguns and reportedly assaulted the victims as well as stole money and the car. Jordan faces a list of felony charges in connection to the two incidents.


Horseheads Woman Arrested After Incident at CCC Residence
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports December 17th  deputies arrested 26-year-old Rebecka Worrell of Horseheads following an investigation into damaged property at Academic Drive in Corning. Worrell allegedly attempted to enter a locked residence facility and damaged a nearby light pole. Worell was charged with Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree then released on an appearance ticket for a later date in Corning Town Court.

Today's Top Stories - Monday December 21st, 2020

3 Arrested for DWI Last Week
Steuben County’s Office reports from December 15th-19th, deputies arrested 3 people for DWI charges. Roman D. Sutton of Lindley was charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Driving with Greater than .08% Blood Alcohol Content and Moving from Lane Unsafely. Mark Smith of Hornell was arrested on charges for Driving While Intoxicated, Driving with Greater than .08% Blood Alcohol Content and Fail to Use Designated Lane. Andrew J. Passmore of Hornell was charged with Driving While Ability Impaired due to Drugs, and Fail to Stop at a Stop Sign. All 3 men were released on traffic summons to appear in Town Courts at later dates.


Corning Legislator Arrested with 4 Others in Alleged Sex Traffic Ring
Steuben County Legislator Steven Maio is among 5 men indicted in connection with an alleged sex trafficking ring. According to the Hornell Evening Tribune, Corning Democrat Steven Maio was arrested along with Larry Comfort Senior and Larry Comfort Junior, both of Elmira Heights, Jonathan Hamilton of Elmira, and Michael Stratton of Corning. The five men face a total of 34 felony counts. Back in August, Maio was arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute. Despite calls for him to resign from his position, Maio has not yet stepped down.


House and Senate Prevent Shutdown, Prepare to Vote on Relief
Late last night, the House and the Senate agreed on a $1 Trillion Covid-19 relief package while passing a one-day stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown at midnight. A temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefits and $600 direct stimulus payments to most Americans is established in the bill, as well as a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers, and renters that face eviction. Before the deal was reached, Senate Minority Leader Schumer said that peoples’ lives depend on the deal and if his Republican colleagues joined in negotiations in the last 6 months, they would not be in the position of negotiating against the government funding deadline.The House and Senate are expected to vote on the legislation once it goes through the House Rules Committee.



Status of Playoff Game at Home Still Uncertain
The Buffalo Bills secured the AFC East division title Saturday night and fans are wondering if they'll see a playoff game at home and in person. In a briefing yesterday, Cuomo says it is in consideration and will ultimately depend on regional COVID-19 numbers in Western New York. For longtime fans, a home playoff game is a dream they haven't seen in more than two decades and one they're still holding out for. Cuomo says a reopening plan for Bills Stadium is under review by the state department of health.


Haverling High School Adopts Remote Learning for All Students
Haverling High School today moved to remote learning for all students and staff due to a potential positive COVID case in the high school only. This case will require more feedback from the Steuben County Public Health Department and will require more time for the contact-tracing process to be completed if necessary. Once again, this is for the high school only. 


Cuomo Signs Order in Effort to Support Struggling Restaurants
Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order that he says will provide support for restaurants being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The order will push back the sales tax deadline for restaurants in orange zones, which have been required to suspend indoor dining. That deadline will now be extended until March.


Congressman Reed Reports He’s Received COVID-19 Vaccine
Congressman Tom Reed is one of the latest public officials to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. In a statement on Twitter, Reed said the vaccine is safe, effective, and painless. Working together, the congressman said we will continue to bring an end to COVID-19.


NWS Reports Possible Heavy Rain Later This Week
The National Weather Service in Binghamton’s Daily Hazardous Outlook reports an increase in a short warm up and the potential for heavy rain Thursday over portions of Central NY and northeast PA. Because many aspects of this storm system are still uncertain, residents are advised to monitor the forecast for updates through the week.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday December 19, 2020

66 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department has received notification that 66 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including a resident of the County Valley Home in Bath, four employees of Alstom, an employee of URMC Primary Care in Hornell, an employee at Community Services in Bath, two employees of Family Life in Bath, and an employee of the Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District. Another individual was at the Elks Club in Hornell on days identified by other positives as well as additional dates: If you have visited the Elks Club in Hornell in the last two weeks, monitor for symptoms and consider getting tested. This brings the county total to 2,732 confirmed cases, of which 479 are currently active.


3 new COVID-19 deaths in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department has received notification of the death of three individuals who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 128. All individuals were residents of the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center; one male age 84, one female age 86, and another male age 75, who died while hospitalized.


Greenwood man arrested after domestic incident

Deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Joshua J. Groves, age 34, of County Route 60, Greenwood, New York on December 15th, following an investigation into a reported domestic incident at a residence on County Route 60. It is alleged that Mr. Groves struck two family members and damaged property in the residence. Mr. Groves was charged with Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree and two counts of Harassment in the Second Degree. He was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.


Bath man arrested on drug charges

The Village of Bath Police Department has reported the arrest of Roy D. Hyer, age 43, of 31 W. William St. in the Village of Bath on a Steuben County sealed indictment warrant for the Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, both class D felonies. Upon searching Mr. Hyer, he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and subsequently charged the Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th degree, a misdemeanor. Mr. Hyer was processed and taken to the Steuben County Jail to be arraigned at a later date by a County Court Judge. More charges are expected in the future.


Bath PD looking for three individuals on felony drug warrants

The Village of Bath Police Department is looking for the following people on felony drug warrants:

  • Jennifer M. Schwan, age 36, for failure to appear in county court on charges of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Sale of a Criminal Substance in the Fifth Degree, class D felonies. Her last known address is Reservoir Hill Rd. in Hammondsport.
  • Rose M. Everts, age 30, currently believed to be in the county somewhere, is wanted on a bench warrant out of Steuben County for Criminal Possession and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, class D felonies.
  • John E. Corcoran, age 50, currently in the Hornell area, is wanted in Steuben County Court on a bench warrant for 2 counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, class B felonies.

Contact Bath PD at 607-776-2175 with any tips.

Today's Top Stories - Friday December 18th, 2020

Charges Made in Last Week's Fake Bomb at Bath Mental Health 
Mark “Charlie” Burke, 59, was arrested in connection to the fake bomb that was left outside the Steuben County Mental Health Building in Bath on Dec. 4th. Last week an employee of the mental health center in Bath arrived at work and discovered a wire running from a nearby building going into a canister outside of the mental health center, the area was evacuated and a bomb squad was called in, finding the device was not real. The investigation into the incident continued and it is alleged that 59 year old Charlie Burke left the fake explosive. Burke, who is a 59-year-old homeless man from the Bath area was charged with leaving a false bomb and taken to County Centralized Arraignment Court. According to Bath Police Chief Chad Mullen, Burke has continued to leave suspicious and threatening letters and objects at various locations throughout the Village of Bath.

Canisteo's County Route 119 Bridge Completed
This week, the County Route 119 over the Canisteo River in the Town of Cameron reopened to reconnect the villages of Canisteo and Addison along the Canisteo River Valley. The $4 million, 190 foot long bridge took 9 months to complete and was funded through Marschiselli funding and paid through 80 percent federal,15 percent state and 5 percent local funds. Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation was coordinated for construction to safely ensure the safe passage of freight through the project site. The State Department of Transportation, C & S Engineers and Twin Tiers Constructors worked with retired County Bridge Engineer Steve Catherman to complete this project.

Steuben COVID Count: 57 New Cases & 5 Deaths
57 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Steuben County. This brings the total 508 currently active cases. Seven of the cases were from Bath. The new cases involved students at Avoca Central, Canisteo-Greenwood and Hornell schools and employees at Addison Central and Corning-Painted Post. Five more deaths have been attributed to virus-related complications. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 125. All individuals were residents of the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center. 

USPS Reminds Residents to Keep Walkways Clear of Snow
The U.S. Postal Service reminds residents to clear snow and ice from walkways, driveways, porches and areas around your mailbox. Unshoveled mailboxes and sidewalks can be dangerous for carriers because underneath the snow could be ice or hazardous objects especially while carrying packages. For more information about keeping walkways safe for carriers and residents, click here. 

Annual Holiday DWI Crackdown Begins 
State and local law enforcement agencies throughout New York will be stepping up patrols to crack down on impaired driving during the holiday travel season through January 1. This crackdown is part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" initiative designed to reduce alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. Cuomo says "New York has zero tolerance for impaired driving. " During the 2019 enforcement campaign, law enforcement throughout the state arrested 5,677 people for impaired driving.

AAA Forecasts Dramatic Decline in Holiday Travel
AAA (Triple-A) is forecasting a decline in year-end holiday travel for the first time in 11 years. It is predicted that 84 million Americans are predicted to do some type of traveling over the holidays- a decrease of about 35 million people from a year ago while air travel is expected to fall nearly 60 percent from last. 

NYS DOL Reports November Sees Private Sector Job Growth Increase 
In November, the number of private sector jobs in New York State increased over the month by 36,300 according to preliminary figures just released by the New York State Department of Labor. This represents the seventh straight month of job gains for the Empire State. New York State's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 9.2% in October to 8.4% in November.

NYS Minimum Wage Set to Increase New Year’s Eve
The New York State Department of Labor has announced the state’s $15 minimum wage phase-in will continue, with the next stage taking effect December 31. The minimum wage in Steuben will increase to $12.50 an hour. 

Stimulus Bill Would Provide Checks and Unemployment Extension
Congressional lawmakers say they are nearing an agreement on a 900-billion-dollar stimulus bill that would help those affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would call for an extension of unemployment benefits, and would send a 600-dollar check to most Americans. On the Senate floor Thursday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says lawmakers are laser-focused on coming up with a consensus. Current benefits that were established in the previous COVID-19 stimulus bill will expire the day after Christmas.


Today's Top Stories - Thursday December 17th, 2020

Environmental Coordinator Bills Explains Steuben Recycling Changes
Today on WVIN’s Morning Show, Steuben County Environmental Coordinator Rich Bills discussed upcoming changes in the county recycling regulations that begin in the new year January 2021. Clear and colored glasses can now be mixed with one another but plastics must now be separated between Type 1-which is used to make water bottles, and Type 2-which is a harder plastic used to manufacture laundry detergent bottles. Plastics will be separated to make processing and recycling of the material easier. 


Winter Storms Strikes the Southern Tier
After the first snowstorm of the winter season in our region, New York State Police helped assist a stranded motorist near Corning that was off the road last night. Troopers say the car was stranded due to the winter weather conditions and remind everyone to stay safe on the winter roads and drive slower than usual. Though the storm is over for now, keep in mind that some roads still may not be fully plowed and allow yourself extra time to get out the door. It was reported a total of over 33 inches of snow fell at the National Weather Service office in Binghamton as Broome County is under a state of emergency. Caton in Steuben County reported 18 inches this morning at 6:25pm as the storm was winding down. A State of Emergency was declared by the Governor for 18 counties in the Southern Tier and Capital Region.


Steuben Reports 45 New COVID Cases; Total of 456 Currently Active
Steuben health officials are reporting 45 news cases of COVID-19. This brings the total to 2,609 confirmed cases, 456 of which are currently active. Five of the new cases are in Bath, 7 in Hornell and 6 in Corning. Health care facilities and schools accounted for most of the new cases. An employee at the Steuben County Jail also tested positive. There have also been three more deaths. The Southern Tier region’s latest COVID infection rate is reported at 2.3% 


Comptroller Reports November Decline in Local Sales Tax Collections
Local government sales tax collections declined by 7.1 percent in November compared to the same month last year, according to NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. November’s sales tax collections totaled $1.3 billion for local governments statewide, $102 million less than in November 2019. The decline is steeper than October’s 5.2 percent decline, but not as significant as the double-digit declines in the earlier months of the pandemic. 


Cuomo Outlines NY's COVID Vaccination Plan
At his briefing yesterday, Governor Cuomo outlined the next steps for the COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to more people in New York over the next 6-8 weeks. Phase two will focus on essential workers and priority members of the general public. Cuomo announced that regional vaccination hubs will work with local government leaders and community organizations to help implement distribution and administration. Each regional vaccination hub will be tasked with developing a plan for distribution in phase two. All plans will be due by early January, at which point the State Department of Health will evaluate and issue approval.

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