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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, May 2nd

Red Flag Warning Until 9 P.M. Tonight:


The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning in effect from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. tonight for portions of the Southern Tier and Southern Finger Lakes, including Steuben County, and all of Northeast Pennsylvania.  A Red Flag Warning means conditions will be primed for extreme fire behavior, including gusty winds, low relative humidities, and warm temperatures.  If a fire sparks, it is likely to spread.  Residents are urged to heed all state and local burn bans. 



14-year-old Charged in Series of Children’s Center Incidents:


A 14-year-old boy has been charged with criminal mischief in a series of incidents at Snell Farm’s Children’s Center in Bath.  According to State Police, troopers were called to the center three times in the past week.  On the first incident, the boy discharged a fire extinguisher, causing the smoke detector to go off and he broke a window.  For this he was charged with criminal mischief and issued a family court appearance ticket.  On April 30th, troopers were called again for the same child throwing chairs.  Staff were able to calm him and said police involvement wasn’t necessary.  Then later that same day, troopers were called back to the center for the same boy who broke two windows by throwing rocks at them.  He was again charged with criminal mischief and was released with another family court appearance ticket.



Legislation to Toughen Heroin/Opioid Dealing Punishments Passes NYS Senate:


The New York State Senate passed Tuesday legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara that would toughen the penalties for heroin and opioid dealers.  If made law, the bill would, among other things, take into account that heroin does not weigh as much as other drugs which currently means more doses are needed to trigger current criminal charges, and it would criminalize the sale of a controlled substance on or within 1,000 feet of a drug or alcohol treatment center.



Smoking Age Could Increase to 21 in NYS:


The push is once again on to change the smoking age in New York State from 18 to 21.  The Tobacco 21 bill, which failed in the state Legislature last year, would make it so no one under the age of 21 would be able to purchase any kind of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.  The Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center says roughly 96 percent of smokers began smoking before age 21 and the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition says they’re seeing a trend of people using e-cigarettes at a younger age.  Currently, nineteen areas in New York have implemented the law, including Tompkins and Cortland Counties.  The bill is currently in the state Senate.   



Corning Ice Rink Upgrades to Cost More than Expected:


The upgrades planned for the Nasser Civic Center Ice Rink in Corning are going to cost more than originally planned.  The apparently low bid for the work, by Nelson & Streeter Construction Company of Pine City, is over $1.1 million.  The City Council bonded $900,000 in the city budget.  City Manager Mark Ryckman said that despite the higher than expected bids, the work will move forward as the system at the rink that freezes the floor is no longer being produced and needs to be replaced.  The City Council holds its monthly meeting on Monday, and it may place an emergency resolution to take the needed money from the city’s fund balance.



Re-Creation to Perform at the Bath V.A.:


Re-Creation’s “HAPPY!” show will appear at the Bath V.A. on May 9th at 2 p.m. in the Building 92 Auditorium.  The group represents Re-Creation USA, Inc., which provides a national program of live entertainment for America’s hospitalized Veterans in VA Medical Centers and State Veterans Homes.  “HAPPY!” features the best in American music and some of the nation’s finest young entertainers.

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