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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, January 26th

Judge Denies Mistrial Motion in Clayton Trial:


In day 12 of the Thomas Clayton murder trial, the judge denied a motion for a mistrial.  Clayton’s defense called the motion based on the questioning of a witness by District Attorney Weeden Wetmore.  The witness, New York State Police investigator Kenneth Ruland, testified to finding keys under a cab in the garage that matched a door to the Clayton home.  He said that information from Michael Beard led them to finding the key.  Judge Peter Bradstreet denied the mistrial motion, but did warn against mentioning Beard’s confession.  Also on the stand Wednesday, was a former State Farm Insurance employee who testified that both Thomas and Kelley Clayton’s life insurance policies were increased in 2014.  Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m.



Friendly’s Arnot Mall Location Closed:


There’s one less option for those hoping to take in meal in the Arnot Mall’s food court, as the Friendly’s restaurant unexpectedly closed its doors on Sunday.  A statement from Arnot Mall officials read that the decision to close the location was made by Friendly’s corporate office, as they continue implementing planned closures at a number of locations.  It went on to say they are already working on new developments for the location and that they look forward to announcing the plans in the near future.



Bath Wastewater Plant Decision Coming Soon:


Details on how the Bath Wastewater Treatment plant will be upgraded to meet new regulations are expected to be announced soon.  The Utility Commission will meet on February 2nd at the Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems office to discuss two options. The first would cost an estimated $14 million and would update and improve the plant to one million gallons per day.  The second would cost an estimated $15 million and would improve the plant to 1.3 million gallons per day. 



IRS Makes Changes to Tax Refunds:


Tax season is underway, but if you’re eager to file expecting your refund, you’re likely to be disappointed.  The IRS has implemented major changes to the refund procedure.  Namely, they won’t be processed until February 15th.  The move is apparently part of a fraud prevention system that will allow them time to match the information on the tax return to the W2 before a refund is issued.



Steuben Co. Hope to Set Transparency Standard with OpenGov:


Steuben County and OpenGov, the world’s first integrated cloud solution for public sector budgeting, reporting and open data, announced Wednesday they will begin to roll out the OpenGov Smart Government PlatformTM for the county. The new cloud-based software will help Steuben County simplify its budget planning, improve its internal data management, and make important information easily accessible to its citizens and elected officials. The county aims to set a new standard for government transparency and efficiency in the State of New York, and plans to have its OpenGov platform fully up and running in early 2017.



New Finger Lakes Visitor Center to Open in Geneva this Fall:


On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Rochester promoting his state budget proposal, and among the things he discussed was his plan to turn the Geneva visitors’ center into a state-of-the-art Finger Lakes tourism hub.  It would reportedly include kiosks with videos and directions to Finger Lakes attractions and a “Taste NY” gift shop with Finger Lakes wine, beer, cider, and spirits.  There would also be a walk of fame featuring notable people of the region such as George Eastman, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  The Governor said he wants to debut the new center by the fall.



CSS Workforce Moves Location:


Chemung Schuyler Steuben Workforce New York (CSS Workforce) has relocated its Program Oversight and Administrative Office to 8 Denison Parkway East in Corning, where it is sharing space with the Regional Economic Development and Energy Corporation (REDEC) and the Corning Community College Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  In a press release, CSS Workforce said the move is an effort to realize shared-resource cost savings and to provide streamlined service delivery to the community. 



New Hammondsport Hotel Earns Highest Overall Service Score:


The newly opened Best Western Plus in Hammondsport is being recognized for earning the highest overall service score for the fourth quarter.  The hotel boasted a 97.2 percent in overall guest satisfaction, ranking #7 out of over 2,000 Best Westerns.  It was also ranked #2 in the nation in Overall Breakfast scores, and #4 in Overall Cleanliness of Rooms.  Best Western awarded the hotel a certificate at a luncheon on January 11th for their outstanding efforts. 



Heating Company’s Contest Saves Woman’s Life:


A local heating company was trying to give back to the community by running a contest for a free heating system, and it went above and beyond.  Appolo Heating allowed individuals to nominate friends who they thought were in need of a new HVAC system – or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.  At a sight visit of one of the finalists – a widow who asked to remain anonymous – they discovered that she had a cracked heat exchanger, which poses a big danger of carbon monoxide being emitted throughout the home.  As she was in the most need, Appolo Heating installed an entire new system, free of charge, and she now out of harm’s way.  The company urges everyone to perform yearly maintenance on your systems to avoid any deadly situations.  

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