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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, January 9th

Cohocton Man Facing Drug Charges:


A Cohocton man is facing drug charges following an investigation by state police and the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team.  During a traffic stop in the Town of Cohocton, troopers say they seized approximately 5.3 ounces of suspected crystal methamphetamine, approximately 25 grams of marijuana, $684 in U.S. currency, and drug paraphernalia.  30-year-old Kenneth Turner Jr. was subsequently charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.



Charges Against Corning Dog Warden Dismissed:


A Corning City judge has dismissed all misdemeanor charges, including the Hate Crime, against Christie Speciale.  Speciale is the owner of Tanner’s P.A.W.S. in Corning and is a city dog warden.  She was charged in September after she confronted an Amish man in the city’s Gaffer District who was selling puppies.  She claimed the puppies were from a puppy mill and were subjected to inhumane treatment.  Speciale does still face a disorderly conduct violation.  Her attorney says Speciale will take the violation to trial.  Speciale has also filed a civil rights suit against Corning City Police, the City, Steuben County, and county District Attorney Brooks Baker.



Drug Arrests:


The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of three people on drug charges in two separate incidents.  On January 1st, 21-year-old Callie Webster and 45-year-old Patricia Scutt of Campbell were arrested.  It’s alleged that Webster was operating a vehicle in Corning with a suspended license and was in possession of a controlled substance.  It’s alleged that Scutt was also in possession of a controlled substance and had an outstanding warrant issued by Yates County for failure to appear in court.  Webster was issued an appearance ticket.  Scutt was issued an appearance ticket and was turned over to the Yates County Sheriff’s Office.  On January 5th, deputies arrested 21-year-old Tyler Leasure of Bath for alleged possession of crack cocaine, marihuana, and Gabapentin.  Leasure was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marihuana.  He was issued an appearance ticket.



Convicted Former State Senate Leader Starts Prison Term:


The four-year, three-month prison term for convicted former New York State Senate Leader Dean Skelos got underway on Tuesday.  The 70-year-old reported to the federal prison at Otisville, NY.  His son, Adam, reported to the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, to begin his four-year sentence.  Both were convicted in July on charges of extortion, wire fraud, and bribery. 



Steuben Launches Safe Harbour Campaign:


Steuben County has launched a new campaign to increase awareness of human trafficking and exploitation.  The “Safe Harbour” campaign comes in recognition of January as National Trafficking Awareness Month, under the county Department of Social Services with oversight by Coordinator Lisa Baker.  Baker said one of the first steps in addressing the problem is to make sure that county residents are aware that trafficking does happen here, and educating the community on what to look for and what resources are available.  Human trafficking occurs when anyone is forced to perform sex acts or provide labor to earn money, food, a place to stay, or other things of value, including drugs.  Local experts warn Steuben’s homeless or mistreated youth are especially vulnerable.



Full Circle a Success in Steuben:


An innovative program started by Steuben County aging services agencies, designed to help seniors remain in their homes, has had solid success since it was launched in 2016.  County Office for the Aging Director Patty Baroody recently told the county Legislature’s Human Services Health and Education Committee that the ground-breaking Full Circle America (FCA) now serves nine seniors in eight households.  A total of 18 seniors have been served during the past three years, she said.  The FCA combines basic computer technology with medical and volunteer services to help seniors stay at home with lower costs and greater relief for their loved ones.

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