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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, January 19th

Blandford Returns to Stand in Clayton Trial:


As expected, Mark Blandford returned to the stand Wednesday in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton.  During cross-examination, he testified that he served as a lookout for Michael Beard.  Three other witnesses also took the stand Wednesday, including a former employee who said Clayton bragged about the money he had; a former work associate who testified to riding out to the Clayton home on September 23rd with Beard in a truck that Clayton had left for Beard; and a NYSP investigator who spoke about evidence he gathered and a video he recorded of the crime scene.  Court is expected to resume at 9:30 a.m. today.  Clayton is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two-counts of second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death.  Beard was found guilty of first-and-second degree murder in November.



$33M Awarded to Southern Tier for Bridge Work:


Round One of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s BRIDGE NY initiative will see over $33 million coming to the Southern Tier to rehabilitate and replace bridges.  In Steuben County, over $1.6 million is going to the City of Corning for Bridge Street, and the City of Hornell is receiving over $1.2 million for Seneca Street and over $1.8 million for East Main Street.   The county Public Works Department will get over $4.2 million for County Road 22 over the Canisteo River.  The Village of Arkport was denied a $210,000 grant to repair the Meadowbrook Road bridge.  Instead the village will work with county services to replace it this summer.



C-PP Capitol Projects on Time:


At Wednesday’s night meeting of the Corning-Painted Post School Board, Superintendent Mike Ginalski said that the $623 million capital project underway in the district is within budget and on time.  He said both Severn and Erwin Valley Elementary Schools are in the middle of construction, and Carter and Grey Elementary School are about to start construction.  He added that the stadium should be ready to go in time for spring sports.



Gov. Cuomo Proposes Beer/Wine Sales in Movie Theaters:


During his time in office, Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken many steps to boost New York’s wine and beer industry, and during his budget briefing Tuesday night, the Governor took another one.  He announced that he will be seeking legislation that would allow the sale of beer and wine in all New York movie theaters.  Currently, only film houses with installed kitchens are allowed to serve soft liquor.  According to CNY Central, alcohol would only be allowed for movies rated PG-13 or higher, only one drink could be sold to a customer at a time, and it likely won’t be available at the regular concession stand amongst the popcorn and candy.  “Let’s not go too far,” Cuomo said.



Community Foundation Awards $385K to Area Organizations:


Wednesday afternoon the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes presented over 50 grants to 51 organizations in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, and Schuyler counties.  Nearly $385,000 was awarded with the goal of enhancing different areas including health, education, youth, the arts, and more. 



Gov. Cuomo Meets with President-Elect:


Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke with President-Elect Donald Trump in a private meeting at Trump Tower in New York City Wednesday.  After the meeting, the Governor spoke with reporters and commented on the Affordable Care Act and improving New York’s airports.  He added that he wanted “to make sure [Trump] has the context of New York,” when it comes to policy-setting and doing a budget.



Education Advocates to Rally in Corning:


A rally is planned for today in Corning outside of Congressman Tom Reed’s office on Market Street.  Advocates of public education - including educators, parents, students, and SRPs - will be out in support of public schools.  Organizers said they will be fighting against high stakes testing, corporate privatization, and the loss of federal funding.  They also plan to protest President-Elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Besty DeVos as Secretary of Education.  The rally is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.



FLSPCA Enters Homestretch of Shelter Project:


The Finger Lakes SPCA is getting ready to head into the fourth and final phase of its new shelter project, but it needs some help from the community.  The FLSPCA recently received a $25,000 award from the Marion E. Cantwell Trust, and they have the opportunity to receive another, but they need to match the donation by March 31st.  To learn more about the shelter, or to donate, visit http://www.fingerlakesspca.org.    



Steuben Co. Diabetes Program Start Moved:


In order to encourage public participation, the start date of the Steuben County Public Health Department’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) has been pushed back by a week.  Classes will now start January 24th at the Hornell YMCA from 6 to 7 p.m., and January 25th at the Dormann Library in Bath from noon to 1 p.m.  The program offers healthy weight-loss solutions for people who are pre-diabetic or at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.  For more information or to sign up call (607) 664-2438.

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