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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, May 31st

Investigation into Meth Precursor Purchases Leads to 15 Arrests:


15 people have been arrested following a five-month investigation by the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation into the unlawful purchase of precursors used in the making of methamphetamine.  The investigation centered on the purchase of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in Claritin, Sudafed, and other similar products.  The purchase of these products is strictly regulated and limited to no more than 3.6 grams per day, and no more than 9 grams in 30 days.  The individuals arrested allegedly purchased and attempted to purchase these products from several regional pharmacies, and then use them to either produce methamphetamine or “traded” them to known methamphetamine “cooks.”  Arrests include: 35-year-old Michelle Croft and 37-year-old Melissa Sherman, both of Lindley; 40-year-old Daniel Gillespie of Jasper; 51-year-old John Landsborough, 33-year-old William Landsborough, 50-year-old Joyce Lafave, 37-year-old William Trenchard, 42-year-old Chastity Stark, and 34-year-old Jessica Austin, all of Bath; 29-year-old Cody Shoemaker and 31-year-old Jeremy Comfort, both of Corning; 25-year-old Megan Preston and 48-year-old Kristina Jolley, both of Painted Post; 26-year-old Patrick Rafferty of Addison; and 20-year-old Kerstyn Buck of Tioga, P.A.  All were charged with falsifying business records in the 1st, a class “E” felony, except Shoemaker.  He was charged with criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials in the 2nd.  



Police Seeking “Tire Slasher”:


Corning Police are investigating reports of numerous tire slashings throughout the city.  Police say an unknown male is believed to have gone on the spree, slashing tires on nearly 20 vehicles on both the North and South sides of Corning Monday night through early Tuesday morning.  The police department said they are currently following up on several potential leads.



Violation of Probation Arrest:


The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office has arrested an Atlanta, New York man for allegedly violating his probation.  29-year-old John Vancuren was arrested on a warrant out of Steuben County Court and he was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.



Voter Registration Deadline for June Primaries Tomorrow:


If you’re hoping to vote in the upcoming Federal Primary Election, set for June 26th, but aren’t currently registered, your time to do so is running out.  The deadline for voter registrations for the primary election is tomorrow, June 1st.  If mailing in your registration, it must be postmarked by June 1st, and received by a Board of Elections no later than June 6th.  For information about registering to vote, visit http://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingRegister.html



Funding Available to Help Farmers Protect Land from Development:


Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced another $38 million in state funding is now available for farmers to help them protect their land from development.  Individual grants of up to $2 million are available through the Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program for eligible municipalities, counties, soil and water conservation districts, and land trusts to help offset the costs of conservation easement projects.  Since Cuomo took office over 80 farmland protection projects have been funded through the program.



Area Students Eliminated from Scripps Spelling Bee Competition:


Despite spelling all their words correctly, all three of the area students competing in this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee were eliminated Wednesday in the third round.  Only 41 students out of 519 hopefuls advanced on to the final round.  The finalists were chosen not only by correctly spelling their words during the oral rounds, but by how well they did on written tests taken Tuesday.  The finals get underway today with Part 1 at 10 a.m.  Part 2 will be later this evening at 8:30 p.m. 



Work on I-86 in Horseheads, Big Flats:


The New York State Department of Transportation has announced pavement resurfacing work beginning next week on the I-86 mainline and interchanges in the Towns of Big Flats and Horseheads.  Work will start on Bridge Street (Exit 49) in Big Flats and then proceed to the I-86 mainline.  The project stretches seven miles from the Chemung/Steuben county line to Exit 52 in Horseheads.  Resurfacing will take place on I-86, including all ramps, Chambers Road from the Mall entrance to County Route 64, and Bridge Street from Daniel Zenker Drive to Maple Street.  Motorists should expect lane closures and ramp/exit closures. 



National “Economic Developer of the Year” Awarded to Steuben Co. IDA:


Steuben County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director James Johnson has been named “Economic Developer of the Year” by the New York State Economic Development Council.  Johnson has been the Steuben IDA head for 7 years, and he was selected by the Council for, quote, “seeing the big picture and immersing himself in all facets of economic development, from policy and community infrastructure to marketing and site development.” 



DSS Honors Foster Care Families:


Some 21 families representing 48 foster care homes were recently honored at the Steuben County Department of Social Services’ Foster Care Banquet at the VFW in Bath.  The event’s tropical theme celebrated “Ohana,” the Hawaiian word for family.  The event also included presentations of certificates by county Legislature Chairman Joe Hauryski and County Legislature Human Services Health and Education Chairwoman Carol Ferratella.

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