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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, October 10th

Arkport/Canaseraga Merger Headed to Final Vote:


In Tuesday’s “straw poll” residents of the Arkport and Canaseraga school districts voted yes to merge the two schools into one district.  61 percent of Arkport voters and 56 percent of Canaseraga voters approved the proposal.  The yes vote now moves the proposal to a final vote, known as a statutory referendum, which is tentatively set for November 12th.  If approved again then, the merger will become official on July 1st



Hammondsport Man Injured in Jerusalem Accident:


A Hammondsport man was injured in a two-car accident on Italy Hill Road in the Town of Jerusalem Tuesday morning.  According to the police report, 23-year-old Brett Rotondo fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line, striking an oncoming vehicle being driven by 41-year-old Jason Poquadeck, of Marcellus.  Rotondo’s car then went off the road, crossing a ditch and striking a tree.  Rotondo was taken to Strong Memorial for neck and back pain.  He also suffered a broken leg.  Poquadeck was not injured.  Rotondo was ticketed for unsafe lane change.



Former Twin Tiers Resident Killed in Florida Road Rage Incident:


A man from the Twin Tiers was killed in Florida Friday during a road-rage incident.  According to the arrest report, 24-year-old Caleb Smith wanted to change lanes to make a proper left turn when 22-year-old Jahsie Mahoney blocked him with his car.  Words were exchanged and both drivers stopped.  Police say when they arrived, Smith had been shot.  Mahoney stayed at the scene and was arrested.  According to his obituary, Smith was born in Elmira and was a former resident of Addison and Woodhull.



Steuben Co. Approves Child Advocacy Center:


Tuesday the Steuben County Legislature’s Finance Committee approved a proposal from Social Services Commissioner Kathy Muller to establish both a permanent site for a Child Advocacy Center and a mobile unit.  According to Muller, most counties already have a similar program in place and Steuben is one of only six that doesn’t.  The proposal is for the permanent site to be at Ira Davenport Hospital, where medical staff will be on hand as needed.  $450,000 in funding will be provided by the state for the first year, including $250,000 for a custom, 33-foot Winnebago RV outfitted with interview and observation areas, and $50,000 for fuel and vehicle maintenance.  The state will also provide operational and maintenance funding for the following two years.  According to District Attorney Brooks Baker, the mobile response unit will allow officials to respond to cases of physical or sexual abuse, or domestic violence, and interview children in a safe environment.  More details are expected as the 2019 budget is planned.



Savona Library Becomes “Dr. Sandor and Berthe Benedek Memorial Library”:


The Savona Free Library has a new name.  On October 6th, the library held a celebration announced that is has been renamed the “Dr. Sandor and Berthe Benedek Memorial Library.”  Dr. Sandor Benedek was born in Hungary in 1910.  In 1957, his family settled in Savona and he set up a private medical practice which served not just Savona, but all the surrounding communities.  He was also a school physician for the Savona, Bradford, and Campbell schools from 1957 through 1991.  He served as Steuben County Coroner for over 20 years.  He passed away in 1992.  Berthe was known for gardening, playing the piano, and baking.  She passed away in 2008.



Spotted Lanternfly Awareness and Prevention:


Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Hans Walter-Peterson recently spoken with Finger Lakes Daily News about the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive moth from Asia that was recently found in Penn Yan.  The moth feeds on the sap of more than 70 plant species, including maples, apple trees, grapevine, and hops.  Walter-Peterson said that steps are being taken to prevent the spread of the lanternfly and that details about those measures will be announced soon, but he added that right now, awareness is key.  He said that they’re trying to make sure the public knows what they are and the problems they can cause.  The lanternfly is spread primarily through human activity and everyone is encouraged to inspect outdoor items, including vehicles, stone, rusty metal, outdoor furniture and firewood.  Anyone visiting the Pennsylvania or New Jersey Quarantine areas should thoroughly inspect their vehicle, luggage, and gear before leaving.

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