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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, September 21, 2017

NYS Site Allows Homeowners See Mailing Status of STAR Checks
A new state website has been launched by the STAR program to put homeowners at ease as they await money to help pay for school taxes due by the end of this month for most of the state. The website informs homeowners whether or not the State of New York has mailed their STAR checks out. More than 130,000 STAR checks will be mailed by the state Department of Taxation and Finance statewide and a department spokesperson said over 57,000 checks have been mailed out.

Bath Traffic Stop Results in Two Drug Arrests
Two men from Oneonta are facing felony drug charges after they were stopped on the Interstate in the Town of Bath. Troopers said 20-year-old Coty Ward and 45-year-old Michael Ward were both charged with 5th degree drug possession with intent to sell. Michael Ward was also charged with driving while impaired by drugs, obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, criminal possession of marijuana and traffic counts. Both men were held on cash bail.

Marshall Says for Disasters, Preparation is Key
Steuben County Office of Emergency Services Director Tim Marshall says that the wake of Irma reminds citizens about the importance of preparedness for such disasters. According to Marshall, our area’s primary disaster concern is flash flooding which poses a challenge in area evacuations. Marshall stresses the importance of planning evacuation routes, assembling survival kits, having an adequate food and water supply, First Aid supplies on hand and access to the “Ready Steuben” and “Code Red” apps to provide immediate information.

Addison and Arkport to Receive NYS Water Project Funding
New York state announced a $69 million funding investment for local water and sewer projects. The support will go towards projects in a dozen cities and towns. The Village of Addison is set to receive $5.9 million to upgrade its wastewater system while the Village of Arkport gets $3 million in funding for the replacement of both raw water mains and finished water distribution mains, rehabilitation of its spring collection system, intrusion alarms and back-up power at the treatment facility. The funding is provided by a state program that gives aid to local governments that cannot otherwise afford to finish water projects on their own in the form of grants and zero to low-interest loans.

DWI Arrest on I-86
A traffic stop on I-86 yesterday ended with the arrest of a Pennsylvania woman. State Police said 37-year-old Darrin Steadman of Knoxville was charged with DWI, speeding and other traffic infractions. She was released to a third party.

Cuomo Proposes New Security Regulations for Credit Reporting Agencies
After the recent Equifax security breach, Governor Cuomo’s administration says it is pursuing action to guarantee that in the future, credit agencies have better cybersecurity in place. The governor says credit reporting companies are not required to have the same cybersecurity protections as banks and insurance companies while handling sensitive customer data such as Social Security numbers and credit history. Cuomo attributes that to lack of regulation and has directed the Department of Financial Services to require credit reporting agencies to register with with the state starting in February. Since August, credit reporting agencies were given stricter cybersecurity requirements for banks and other lending institutions.

Schneiderman Leads Coalition Calling for Investigating Opiate Manufacturers
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced a bipartisan coalition to investigate major manufacturers and distributors of opioid drugs by serving subpoenas to four major pharmaceutical companies, a supplemental investigative subpoena to one pharmaceutical company and demanding documents from several companies, including three that manage about 90 percent of the nation’s opioid distribution. Across the country, 41 other attorney generals have signed on to support the effort which aims to reveal if these big pharma companies have unlawfully distributed prescriptions and what incentive structures are used in sales. The Attorney General wants to combat the opiate epidemic systematically, noting “Prescription opioids are the on ramp to addiction for millions of Americans."

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