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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, February 9th

Cell Phone Data Examined in Clayton Trial:


There were some delays in the Thomas Clayton murder trial Wednesday.  A juror failed to show up, and so had to be replaced by an alternate.  Things got back underway around 1:15 p.m. with the prosecution calling its latest witness to the stand.  It was Sy Ray, the owner of ZetX, a company that maps cell phone data.  Ray showed the jury his analysis of the activity of both Clayton’s and Michael Beard’s cell phones, including location services and other activities that occurred while the phones were on.  His testimony was consistent with previous testimony regarding the activities of both men in the days surrounding Kelley’s murder.  Ray is expected to continuing testifying when court resumes today.



Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to Prattsburgh Water District:


Changes could be coming to the Prattsburgh Water District. The town board has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at the town hall. Under the proposed modification there would be an increase in water rent rates. The town also wants to impose a debt reduction fee for water district infrastructure improvements.



2016 STAR Rebates Delayed:


While many people are awaiting their tax returns for 2017, some are actually still waiting for a part of the 2016 rebates.  There have been delays in the issuing of the 2016 STAR rebate checks.  A change in the program was supposed to see the rebates delivered to new homeowners with their tax break instead of the normal rebate.  The State Department says that changes in credit eligibility are making it difficult to get those checks out.  In response, some lawmakers are now working on a bill that would hit the tax department with a penalty if it fails to issue next year’s credits by the September deadline.



Corning Police Look to Replace Handguns:


The Corning Police Department is currently in the process of selecting replacement weapons for the department’s officers.  Wednesday, patrolmen tested and evaluated Glock pistols at the Painted Post Rod and Gun Club.  Officials say that the department’s current handguns are between 10 and 12 years old, and that there have been some failures and breaks.  Patrolmen are expected to test Smith & Wesson handguns later this month before making a final decision.  The cost is expected to be around $2,500.  The current handguns will be traded in to help reduce the overall price.



Holiday Card Campaign Founder Named Distinguished Finalist:


The Horseheads Middle School student that founded the successful holiday card drive for veterans is now getting some recognition herself.  Sophie Kartzman has been named a Distinguished Finalist.  Over 31,000 students across the country were nominated for the 2017 Prudential Spirit Community Awards, but only 234 were selected to be honored, including Sophie.  A representative will present Sophie with a bronze medallion for her efforts, which has seen over 40,000 holiday cards delivered to soldiers and veterans over the last three years.



Bath Firefighters Honored:


The Bath Volunteer Fire Department recently held their annual Awards ceremony, honoring its members for their hard work.  Glen Miller was named Firefighter of the Year, while Firefly of the Year went to Donna Keen.  Harry Keen was named Junior Firefighter of the Year, and Blake Johnson was named Most Improved Junior Firefighter.

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