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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, January 18th

Fire in Tuscarora:


Multiple fire departments, including the Tuscarora Volunteer Fire Department and Addison Fire Department, were called to a blaze at a residence along Route 417 around 10 p.m. Wednesday night.  The fire was brought under control by 10:45 p.m. according to officials.  Two people were sent to the hospital; their condition is unknown.  Several pets are said to be missing as well.  Much of Route 417 had to be shut down due to ice forming from the water usage.  First responders believe a heater may be the cause of the fire, but it is still under investigation. 



Corning Man Indicted for Mobile Meth Lab:


A Steuben County grand jury has handed up an indictment for a Corning man that

allegedly operated a mobile methamphetamine lab out of his car.  Joshua Scott is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful manufacture of meth.  Scott was pulled over by State Police in June and was allegedly operating the lab and had more than two ounces of the drug in his possession.



Equipment Expected to Help Reduce Substance Abuse in Steuben:


Apparatus designed to help the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department reduce narcotics and alcohol abuse in the county is expected to be paid for through private and state funding.  County Sheriff Jim Allard said a donation for $23,500 from Corning Inc.’s Corning Foundation will purchase a $13,000 “TruNarc” reader, which will allow officers to safely field test narcotics within packaging.  Allard said in some instances the unwrapped potency of narcotics imperils the welfare of officers conducting an investigation.  The TruNarc reader provides an accurate reading of a substance without opening the wrapping.  The remainder of the Corning Foundation donation will pay for a $10,500 license plate reader, which Allard said will help deputies in their highway interdiction efforts.  Additionally, $22,500 in state STOP DWI Funding is expected to pay for overtime for DWI enforcement and a $12,000 drunk-driving simulator.



Retrial for Sheldon Silver:


The Supreme Court has cleared the way for a re-trial of ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. According to the Associated Press, the high court declined Tuesday to get involved in the case. That allows for a re-trial tentatively set for April to proceed. Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he was convicted of public corruption charges in late 2015.



NY Assembly Passes Propane Delivery Bill:


The New York State Assembly passed Wednesday a bill that would allow propane customers with leased tanks to get refills from other companies during times of urgent need.  The legislation comes after reports from customers of Ferrellgas that said they had a difficult time getting refills during dangerously cold temperatures.  The bill still has to pass the Senate and then be approved by the Governor.



Science Panel Advises Lower Drunk Driving Threshold:


On Wednesday a panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a 489-page, U.S. government-commissioned, report that recommends significantly lowering the drunk driving threshold to .05.  Currently, across the U.S. the threshold is .08, though Utah passed a law last year that will lower its threshold to .05 in December.  The report also recommends that taxes on alcohol be significantly increased, and that the hours and days that alcohol can be sold in stores, bars, and restaurants be reduced to make alcohol less conveniently available.  There is also a proposal for cracking down on sales to people under 21 and those who are already intoxicated, and putting limits on alcohol marketing while funding anti-alcohol campaigns similar to those against smoking.  The proposals are expected to face fierce opposition.  The Distilled Spirits Council has already released a statement saying that the recommendation for lowering the BAC threshold would “do nothing to deter” repeat offenders, and that the “tax increases and advertising bans” would have “little or no impact on traffic safety.”  

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