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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, December 21st

Firefighter Accused of Drug-Dealing to Retire, on Paid Leave Until Then:


The City of Corning has come to an agreement with the union of the fire department lieutenant charged with selling heroin.  Thomas Margeson was arrested in September and was originally suspended without pay.  The city announced Wednesday it was seeking his termination and that it had reached an agreement with IAFF Local 932 on a settlement.  Margeson is being charged with a disciplinary infraction and will now be on paid leave until he retires on January 31st.  According to City Manager Mark Ryckman Margeson will also be demoted to the lowest ranking title and his base salary will drop from nearly $70,000 to just over $46,000.  Following his retirement, he will forfeit all benefits such as cash outs for accrued time and health insurance.  His pension will be determined by the state.  Margeson also still faces criminal charges where he could face a maximum penalty of nine years in jail.  As for his fate with the Horseheads Volunteer Fire Department, where he was unpaid and was suspended at the time of his arrest, the village board said it will make a decision when the outcome of the criminal charges are finalized.



Children Saved from Smoke Filled Home by Neighbor, Mother Charged:


The New York State Police of Bath are saying that a tragedy was avoided Tuesday afternoon in Savona thanks to the quick action of a neighbor.  According to troopers, the Savona Fire Department was dispatched to Main Street around 4 p.m. on a report of a home filled with smoke.  A neighbor went into the home and rescued two children, aged 2 and 6, from inside.  The mother of the children, 34-year-old Khristie Dearmitt, arrived home after firefighters were on-scene.  Dearmitt was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and was given an appearance ticket.



Violation of Probation and Parole Warrant Arrests:


The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrests of three people on alleged violation of probation and parole warrants.  44-year-old Jason Doughty of Corning is alleged to have violated the terms and conditions of his probation, based upon a driving while intoxicated conviction.  He was released on his own recognizance.  20-year-old Brittany Farnham of Corning was previously convicted of criminal mischief and allegedly violated the terms and conditions of her probation.  She was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.  34-year-old Benjamin Crout of Bath allegedly violated the terms and conditions of his parole and was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.



NYS Considering Earlier Start to School Year:


There could be a change coming to schools across New York State.  The Albany Times Union reports that the state is looking to possibly change the start of the school year to before September 1st.  Currently, under state law no school can start before that, but education officials are said to be looking to change that in the upcoming legislative session.  Officials are also reportedly looking at a proposal for school years to be counted in hours, rather than days.



NY Lawmaker Looking to Protect Net Neutrality in the State:


Following the Federal Communications Commission controversial decision last week to repeal net neutrality, a New York lawmaker has announced legislation to continue protections here in New York State.  Assemblyman Patricia Fahy (D-109th) has proposed a bill that would establish a process for internet service providers (ISPs) to certify that they will follow net neutrality principles.  It would require that state agencies, public authorities, and governments only contract with ISPs that follow net neutrality principles, which Fahy says will use the state’s buying power to encourage ISPs to abide by neutrality rules.  Quote Fahy, “…if your business treats New Yorkers unfairly, New York will not do business with you.”



Town of Bath Assessors Office Closing Early:


An announcement from the Town of Bath Assessors Office: it will be closing at 2 p.m. today.  It may also close at 2 p.m. tomorrow, December 22nd, and next Friday, December 29th.  Also, a reminder that all Town of Bath offices will be closed on Christmas Day and December 26th.  They will reopen normal business hours on December 27th.   



Last Week to Donate to Salvation Army Red Kettles:


With Christmas just days away, time is winding down to drop a donation in the Salvation Army’s famous red kettles.  The annual drive donates the collections to fund assistance programs for impoverished local residents.  The Steuben County Salvation Army offers programs including The Kids Care After School Program, Christmas toys, and emergency shelter, medicine, transportation, food, and rental assistance.  The kettles will be out through Saturday.  

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