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Today's Top Stories March 14th 2017

State of Emergency Declared Statewide:

As of midnight Monday night, a state of emergency took effect across all 62 counties of New York due to the extreme winter storm.  Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging residents to “stay informed, avoid unnecessary travel. Also non-essential state employees have been advised to stay home from work today.  Motorists can check road conditions by calling 511, or by visiting http://www.511ny.org before traveling.


 Winter Storm Bringing Also Bringing Big Price Tag for Steuben Co.:

The winter storm isn’t just bringing the snow today, it’s also expected to bring a hefty price tag for Steuben County.  The county’s snow and ice budget for 2017 is roughly $2.8 million, and between the salt and sand, labor, and equipment, the cost is expected to be just under $290,000 for just this storm alone.  The good news is so long as there aren’t any many snowstorms in the final seven weeks of the season, the budget should hold until next winter.  Plowing began at 3 a.m. this morning and will continue until 9 p.m. tonight.  If you must go out today, you are reminded to slow down, and if you don’t have good tires, you’re urged to stay off the road.


 Former Restaurant Owners Charged:


The former owners of two Sonora’s Mexican restaurants in Bath and Corning have been indicted on charges that they pocketed nearly $200,000 in sales tax.  Christopher and Kimberlee Klee, both of Elmira, are accused of failing to file state sales tax returns and remit more than $175,000 in sales tax from the two restaurants.  If convicted, they could spend up to 15 years in prison.


New Proposal for Free Tuition in NYS:


With critics blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $163 million proposal for free tuition in New York State for not addressing room and board costs or student dent, Senate Democrats on Monday announced their own plan.  Their new proposal would make tuition free for students from families earning up to $150,000 – as opposed to Cuomo’s $125,000 threshold – and is would also give lower income students more help with room and board, and $10 million in increased aid for students at private colleges.  On the other side of the aisle, Assembly Republicans offered a plan earlier this year that would raise eligibility for the state’s tuition assistance program, and offer every recipient another $500 while increasing tax breaks for student debt payments.


 Thousands of Flights Canceled in Face of Big Storm


The winter weather isn’t just bad for road travel, but in the skies as well.  More than 6,000 U.S. airlines flights were canceled ahead of today’s big storm.  Biggest domestic passenger carrier, Southwest Airlines, doesn’t expect any flights today at 14 airports between Washington and Portland, Maine.  The major airlines are waiving ticket-change fees that range up to $200, though are restrictions that vary by airline.  


Closings and Cancellations


A Complete listing of cancellations at www.wvinbath.com

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