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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, October 3rd

2 Rochester Men Arrested in Hornell Kidnapping:


Two men from Rochester have been charged in connection with a kidnapping in Hornell.  According to State Police, troopers from Wayland, North Hornell, and Bath responded to a report of a robbery at Seneca Manor Apartments in Hornellsville on Monday.  The 31-year-old victim reported that he was tied up with bedsheets and threatened with deadly physical force.  19-year-old Deangelo Phillips was arrested and charged with kidnapping and criminal possession of a controlled substance.  35-year-old Detric Marshall was arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Police say both men had been operating as drug dealers in the Hornell area for several months.  Phillips was sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.  Marshal was sent to the jail in lieu of no bail.



FEMA to Test Wireless Emergency Alerts Today:


The Steuben County Office of Emergency Services wants residents across the area to be aware that they will receive a test emergency alert message on their phones today at 2:18 p.m.  The message is a nationwide test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system to ensure it will be possible to alert people quickly during a major national emergency affecting public safety.  Wireless phone users can expect: a loud tone and vibration, a message pop up with “THIS IS A TEST” and “No Action is needed,” and those watching TV or listening to the radio may also see or hear a test message around the same time.  Residents are reminded this is only a test and not a real emergency.  Please do not call 911 with questions. 



Corning Dog Warden Facing Hate Crime Charge:


A City of Corning dog warden is now facing a hate crime charge following an incident at the Harvest Festival on September 23rd.  Christie Speciale was originally charged in September with disorderly conduct and simple harassment, but Tuesday the charges were increased to stalking and aggravated harassment.  She also still faces the original disorderly conduct violation.  According to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker Speciale targeted the Amish for dog abuse at the festival specifically by their religion.  He said the charges are from videos and things written on Facebook by Speciale as well as from police interviews of several witnesses at the festival.  Speciale’s attorney said she is innocent of all charges and that Speciale was “expressing her opinion about animal abuse which is perfectly legal” and that “Speciale has no tolerance for animal abuse and that has nothing to do with anyone’s race or religion.”  Speciale and her attorney claim the people were selling puppies during the festival that were sick and flea-ridden, and also under eight weeks old which is prohibited by law.  Speciale was released on her own recognizance. 



Police Investigating Cat Shot with BB Gun:


Painted Post Village Police are asking the public for help in their investigation into a report of a cat being shot with a BB gun.  According to police, the incident happened the evening of September 26th on Brainard Place.  Anyone with information is asked to call 962-4604.



Disaster Declaration Approved for Flood Damaged Areas of Southern Tier:


Parts of the Southern Tier impacted by severe storms and flooding in August have now officially been declared a “major disaster” area by President Trump and federal assistance has been directed to help.  Federal funding is available to State, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations in Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Seneca, and Tioga Counties on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged during severe storms and flooding from August 13th through August 15th



NYS to Allow Pets on Public Transport During Emergency Evacs:


Pet owners forced to evacuate during disasters and other emergencies will no longer be forced to choose between their personal safety and their companion animal in New York State.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation that will allow people to take pets on any kind of public transportation when evacuating during an emergency.  Previously, some public transport allowed pets during emergencies while others, such as the Port Authority, did not.

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