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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, January 3rd

Rape Charges for Bath Man:


A 19-year-old from Bath is facing charges of rape and endangering the welfare of a child.  Malcolm Fitzgerald allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old female.  He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.



Allard Sworn in as Steuben Co. Sheriff:


2017 kicked off in Steuben County with the swearing in of a new Sheriff.  Jim Allard officially took up the mantle Sunday, and he says he is “looking forward to moving forward with the agency and continuing to modernize and professionalize all units of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.”  Allard previously served the last four years as undersheriff.  He ran unopposed in the November general election.



Possible Explosion, Earthquake in Southern Tier?


2016 may have gone out with literal bang for some residents of the Southern Tier, as people from Owego to Broome County have been reporting an “explosion” and “shaking” around 5 p.m. on Saturday.  The Tioga county Sheriff’s Department said they have no comment or information, and the Broome County Sheriff’s Office said that while they saw several posts on social media reporting “a yellow cloud of smoke” they did not receive any calls about it.  The National Weather Service in Binghamton confirmed “nothing naturally occurring out of the ordinary,” and NYSEG said that no natural gas leaks or power outages were reported.



Veto for Indigent Defense Bill Shift:


A bill that would shift the cost of defending the poor in court from the county level to the state level has been vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The bill had a great deal of support from county leaders and legal-aid experts, but the Governor says it could cost the state roughly $800 million a year, with most of that going to non-criminal issues.



Reminder, Move Over Law Expanded:


Just a reminder for drivers as they hit the road in the early days of 2017, the “Move Over” law has expanded.  Motorists are now required to move over for volunteer firefighters and other emergency workers whose vehicles have flashing blue or green lights.  Previously, the law only applied to emergency responders with flashing red lights.



Attorney General Calls for Changes to NYS Voting Laws:


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to reform and bring the state’s voting laws up to date.  At the top of the list of changes Schneiderman would like to see is allowing same-day registration and voting, and implementing an automatic registration system of eligible voters whenever they sign up for government documents.  The A.G. has also pointed to the difficulty voters have in changing party affiliation and thinks the state should require the same polling hours in all counties. 



Full Circle America Looking for Members:


Steuben County’s ground-breaking program tailored to help senior citizens remain in their homes is looking for interested parties.  Since Full Circle America was introduced in the fall of 2015, the county has fielded a significant number of inquiries from seniors, family members, and friends, and has a waiting list in place, according to Steuben Senior Services Fund Executive Director Linda Tetor.  Program costs begin at $29.99 a month for basic care, with increased cost based on the level of care required.  For more information, call (607) 664-2298 or go to http://www.steubenseniorservicesfund.org.  

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