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Today's Top Stories - Monday, December 4th

Jail Time for 2 Steuben Co. Men in Meth Ring:


Two Steuben County men will be serving time in jail for their roles in a Southern Tier methamphetamine ring.  32-year-old Jared Mendez of Bradford has been sentenced to nearly four years, while 48-year-old Terry Champion, also of Bradford, received a 5-year term.  Prosecutors say they were involved in a meth ring that operated in Steuben, Chemung, and Schuyler counties from June 2012 through May 2016. 



Free Parking in Bath Until January 4th:


Bath Police Chief Chad Mullen has announced that he’s been authorized by the Bath Village Board to post 2 Hour Free Parking in the Business District now through January 4th.  Free spaces to park on East William Street, Buell Street, Liberty Street, Steuben Street, and the Westside of West Pulteney Square will be clearly marked as 2 Hour Parking.  All other spaces will be enforced as usual.



NYS Sees Historic Drop in HIV Cases:


Saturday was World AIDS Day and here in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo marked the occasion by announcing a historic nine percent drop in HIV cases across the state between 2015 and 2016.  In a statement, Cuomo said that New York was once the epicenter of the HIV and AIDS crisis, but has since made significant progress in “mitigating the impact of the disease.”



LifeNet Announces Changes to Bills:


At a meeting of the City of Hornell’s Quality of Life Committee last week, management from LifeNet of New York, a life-saving medical transport helicopter service with a base in Hornell, announced an overhaul of how it does business and advocates for its patients.  Namely, LifeNet is looking to clear up mis-perceptions about the costs of its services.  Often the first communication a service recipient received was an invoice for the full amount before insurance coverage was factored in.  It wasn’t uncommon for people to see bills of $50,000 or even $60,000.  But the company says now focuses more on patient advocacy, walking patients through the process of an insurance claim, and they say customers will no longer get bills prior to closed insurance cases.



CCE Director Addresses Steuben CCE at Annual Banquet:


The Steuben County Cornell Cooperative Extension kicked off its centennial celebrations in 2018 by closing out its 99th year with an address by CCE Director Christopher Watkins at is annual banquet Thursday at the Bath Country Club.  Watkins told the Steuben CEE executive board, staff, county legislators, and supporters the state’s extension is unique because it’s composed of independent county associations and that’s its greatest strength and its biggest challenge.  Also during the banquet, Steuben CCE Executive Director Larkin Podsiedlik recognized local staff for their efforts to carry out the extension’s mission.  Among those honored were Jackie Knoll, Charlie Fausold, the Karr Dairy Farm and the Steuben Veterinary Clinic.



NWS Looking for River Ice Observers:


With winter rapidly approaching, the National Weather Service has put out a call for volunteers to report river ice conditions during the months of December through March.  The condition of iced over rivers can only be reliably determined by the human eye, and these volunteers will provide information on type of ice, extent of ice cover, ice movement, and ice break up dates and times.  The information is in turn used by National Weather Service forecasters in the preparation of river forecasts, and also the Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research Laboratory for research.  The NWS has a need for observers on all main rivers, but among those most in need are the Canisteo River and Cohocton/Chemung River above Corning.  If interested, email your contact information to Service Hydrologist Jim Brewster at james.brewster@noaa.gov with Subject: Ice Observer Inquiry.  

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