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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, February 15th

Week Six of the Clayton Trial Begins:


Week six of the Thomas Clayton murder trial got underway Tuesday in Steuben County Court.  Six witnesses took the stand.  Leah Egnor, a New York State Police forensic scientist, testified about examining the murder weapon, and various articles of clothing and swabs from the murder scene.  She said she found traces of blood on a black t-shirt and jeans that were recovered from a swampy area in Elmira Heights, and that there was no sign of blood on the clothes Clayton was wearing on September 28th and 29th.  A second DNA specialist/forensic scientist for the New York State Police testified to finding Michael Beard’s DNA profile on a swab of blood, belonging to Kelley, that was taken from a bedroom door, as well as finding his DNA profile on the recovered black t-shirt.  Also taking the stand was Richard Flood, an insurance adjuster with Erie Insurance, who testified to helping Clayton with a claim in November 2015 for a body fluid cleanup at the home.  That claim, according to Flood, did not include anything about a lockbox or cash or other items being stolen.  Steuben County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Swan, who was first on the scene of the murder, later testified that Clayton told him that there was a robbery.  The jury is expected to watch Deputy Swan’s body cam footage when he returns to the stand today.



Visitor Restrictions Implemented at Guthrie Hospitals:


All Guthrie hospitals in both New York and Pennsylvania have now implemented visitor restrictions.  Officials say it’s because of an increase in flu cases.  Children under the age of 12, and anyone with a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or nasal congestion in the past 24 hours will be blocked from the hospital.  Masks and hand sanitizers will be available for other visitors. 



Search On for Man Who Escaped Police:


A helicopter, an air boat, a scuba team, and a K-9 unit were all out in the area of the Senator William Smith Boat Launch off of Route 352 in Big Flats Monday night into Tuesday as the New York State Police search for a man who fled from them.   According to authorities, they identified a suspicious vehicle in the area of the boat launch just after 9 p.m. and their investigation revealed that the passenger had a warrant.  When they went to question him, he reportedly ran into the wooded area.  Canines then tacked him to the edge of the water.  The driver of the vehicle did not flee and is currently under investigation, according to police.  The search for the suspect is still ongoing.  Police say they do not believe there’s any danger to the community.



CMoG President Named to U.S. Advisory Committee:


The federal advisory committee that helps protect the cultural heritage of foreign countries is getting some local help.  The president of the Corning Museum of Glass, Karol Wight, was appointed and confirmed to the state Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee by former President Barack Obama before he left office last month.  The committee is made of up 11 experts on museums, archaeology, anthropology, and the international sale of cultural property to help ensure that antiquities aren’t illegally excavated overseas and taken from their country of origin.  They are appointed by the president for three-year terms.



Leslie Danks Burke Won’t Run for Congress:


On Monday, Leslie Danks Burke confirmed that while she was proud to earn 45 percent of the vote for the 23rd congressional district in 2016, she won’t be running again.  In a statement she said that she’s “removing [herself] early from the field of potential Congressional candidates to clear the way for others who may wish to step in.”



Check Out Hunger Campaign Kicks Off:


Local residents can once again help fight community hunger while doing their grocery shopping as the annual Check Out Hunger fundraiser has kicked off at area stores.  While at the register, shoppers at Jubilee Foods, Save-A-Lot, Tops Friendly Markets, and Wegmans can choose to donate $2, $3, or $5.



Board of Ed. Meeting:


The Hammondsport Central School Board of Education will hold its regular meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in the High School library.

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