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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, August 21st

Plea Deal Denied, Reed Campaign Sign Theft Case Moves Forward:


The case of the alleged theft of a GPS tracking device inside a campaign sign for Congressman Tom Reed is moving forward after the defendant denied a plea offer Monday morning.  The deal would have seen Gary McClasin receive an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD).  That means the charges could have been dismissed in six months, so long as McCaslin wrote an apology letter to the Reed Campaign and didn’t break the law within that period of time.  However, the defense denied the motion, saying it could still be seen an admission of guilt.  One of McCaslin’s attorneys said that they couldn’t allow him to accept the deal because they “feel so strongly that once the facts are heard by a jury, he’ll be fully vindicated.”  McCaslin is accused of failing to return a GPS tracking device that was inside a campaign sign for Tom Reed.  McCaslin allegedly took the sign, and when Reed’s campaign manager Nick Weinstein went to retrieve the sign from him, McCaslin reportedly refused to give back the tracker.  The defense says McCaslin didn’t know who the GPS device belonged to and didn’t know what to do. Weinstein says the device was labeled, demonstrating ownership by the Reed Campaign.  He said there was also a phone number to call if the device needed to be returned.  The case returns to Corning Court in September.    



Senators Schumer, Gillibrand Call on FEMA to Approve Funding After Finger Lakes Flooding:


After heavy rains created flooding in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier last week, Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling on FEMA to approve federal assistance requests.  Some areas saw upwards of nine inches of rain over a few hours.  In a news release, Schumer said it’s absolutely crucial the effected communities get the resources they need to recover. 



Governor’s Office Releases Funds for Emergency Dispatching:


The New York State Governor’s office has released $10 million in grants that will support emergency service dispatching across the state.  Steuben County is set to receive $187,541 to help make improvements to 911 response and emergency dispatch operations. 



Violation of Probation Arrest:


A Campbell woman has been arrested for allegedly violating probation.  30-year-old Danielle Smith was arrested in Erwin and was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.



Governor Signs Bill to Further Protect Children from Secondhand Smoke:


Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to further protect children from exposure to secondhand smoke.  The bill prohibits individuals from smoking in facilities that provide child care services, including private homes.  All facilities required to be licensed or registered for child care services must comply with the smoking ban within 90 days, even when children receiving care are not present.  Governor Cuomo said, “The dangers of secondhand smoke are indisputable and we must do everything in our power to protect children from this public health hazard and the life-long misery that comes with it.” 



Hport B.O.E. Meeting:


The Hammondsport Central School Board of Education will hold both its regular meeting and retreat this week.  Both will be tomorrow, with the retreat at noon at the Curtiss Museum.  The regular meeting will then follow at 6 p.m. in the high school library.

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