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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, August 8th

Branchport Man Arrested for Allegedly Stabbing Woman, Killing Dog:


A Branchport man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing a woman and killing her dog.  According to the Yates County Sheriff’s Office, 37-year-old Paul Khouzam was arrested in Branchport on August 5th and was determined to be mentally ill and a danger to himself and others.  He was taken to Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Penn Yan where he was later released.  Then, in the early hours of Monday, he allegedly drove to the victim’s residence and forced entry by breaking a large window.  The victim, identified only as a 67-year-old woman, was found unconscious and bleeding in the basement of her home.  The body of a small mix breed Chihuahua dog was also found in the home.  The dog was taken to Cornell University for a forensic autopsy.  The woman was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester for emergency surgery.  She was last said to be in the intensive care unit in guarded condition.  Khouzam is being held in the Yates County Jail on one million dollar bail on charges of assault in the first, burglary in the first, and aggravated cruelty to an animal.



New B&B, New Boarding House Being Considered in Hport:


The village of Hammondsport Planning Board could decide later this month whether or not to approve a new Bed & Breakfast. Keith and Bonnie Gustin, who own property at 15 Orchard Street in Hammondsport, are seeking a Special Use Permit to operate a Bed and Breakfast in a medium density residential district. The Planning Board could also decide later this month whether or not to approve the operation of a Boarding House at 19 Lake Street. The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on both issues on Wednesday August 22nd at 7 p.m. The hearings will be held at the village office on Water Street. 



Sen. Schumer to call for Increased Giant Hogweed Control Efforts:


Senator Charles Schumer is expected to visit Watkins Glen today where he’ll call on the department of agriculture to increase efforts and federal investments in preventing the spread of giant hogweed across New York.  If touched, giant hogweed can cause painful burns, scarring, and even blindness.  It has already spread across the Southern Tier and workers spend the summer removing it across the state.



Hornell Names One of NYS’ Safest Cities:


Hornell Mayor John Buckley announced Tuesday that the city has been named one of the 50 safest cities in New York.  The recognition comes from Safewise, an organization that accounts for all crimes: from murder to shoplifting.  Buckley commended the Hornell Police Department for the achievement. 



Rescheduled Prattsburgh Historic Walk Aug. 10th:


Postponed due to weather, the Steuben County Historical Society’s historic walk of Prattsburgh will now take place on Friday, August 10th.  Participants should gather at the bandstand at 4 p.m.  Besides the business blocks along State Route 53, walkers will also be looking at historic homes and churches.

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