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Today's Top Stories - November 9, 2018

Bath Man Arrested and Charged For Workers Compensation Fraud
A 54-year-old Bath man has been arrested by the New York State Inspector General’s Office for allegedly defrauding the Workers’ Compensation system by collecting benefits he was not eligible and entitled to received. Jeffrey Smalt allegedly collected over $15,000 worth of benefits after claiming he was out of work at his job at Bath, Electric, Gas and Water due to an injury he suffered back in July. An investigation found Smalt was working on his family farm during the months he collected benefits from December to May 2017. Smalt was charged with grand larceny, perjury and insurance fraud and will appear in Bath Town Court at a later date.


Corning Protestors Gather for “Nobody is Above the Law”
Protesters on Market Street in Corning participated in the “Nobody is Above the Law” rally yesterday. Over 900 rallies for the cause took place all across the country following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ firing. The group says President Trump crossed a line violating the independence of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia collusion investigation and protesting for the Mueller investigation to be protected and continued.


County Legislature to Discuss “Raise the Age” at Budget Meeting
When the Steuben County Legislature meets on November 15th at 10am to discuss the tentative 2019 budget, there will be two key issues legislators will discuss.  “Raise the Age” which requires different treatment for offenders who are 16 and 17 year-olds which will incur special costs in housing the suspects out of the jail. Other fiscal issues include the state requirement in reducing the caseloads for public defenders and presence of legal counsel provided for indigent clients. The current county budget sits at $191 million with a tax levy of $50 million.


C-PP Middle School PTA Warns of Gift Card Scam
The Corning-Painted Post Middle School PTA  warns locals and parents of a scam going around involving gift cards. According to the school’s PTA Facebook page, a person with an AOL email address has asked members to purchase gift cards worth $100 saying the PTA will reimburse them. The PTA tells the public this is in no way related to their organization and not to purchase these cards because this is a scam. If you or someone you know is asked to buy a gift card on the behalf of the C-PP Middle School or PTA, do not and please contact the local or state police to report it.


DOT Says “I Love NY” Signs Will be Replaced and Removed
State Department of Transportation officials say hundreds of New York interstate highway tourism signs are in the process of being relocated and removed. Despite being told by the Federal Highway Administration the “I Love NY” signs were illegal and did not comply with federal regulations, the state installed over 500 signs in 2014 to promote tourism across the state which cost taxpayers over $8 million. The state faced losing federal highway funding worth $14 million if the signs were not removed by the end of September but an agreement announced shortly before the deadline prevented the funding loss. The Department of Transportation says the agreement allows the remaining signs to be modified to include economic development regions of the state or relocated to tourism locations like welcome centers, service areas and state-owned facilities.


Area Dog Adoptees Pushing for State Legislation Against Puppy Mills
Almost two years have passed since an accident in Avoca where a van that carried 104 pet store-bound puppies overturned on ice causing four puppies to be seriously hurt and two women who have adopted dogs from the accident want legislation passed to combat puppy mills in the state. Bea Ross-Mulford and Connie Terry each adopted dogs from the accident which had health problems upon being taken in due to being raised in puppy mills. Currently, it is estimated that 52 puppy mills are in New York. The “Gianaris” bill in the state calls for regulations similar to California requiring pet store owners to sell only animals from shelters and rescue organizations. Another bill called the “Avella” bill would restrict breeding and improve the care of dogs and their puppies. The bills are currently stuck in committee until state legislators return to Albany in 2019.

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