Local Lawmakers Looking to Keep Soldiers & Sailors Mental Health Unit Open:
Several area lawmakers have spoken out, urging Finger Lakes Health and the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) to begin working immediately to maintain the Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Penn Yan. Representative Tom Reed, Senator Tom O’Mara, and State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano say they fear the lack of conveniently accessible, affordable, efficient, and cost-effective mental health care will worsen what they believe is already a mental health crisis in Yates County and the surrounding area. On Monday, FL Health announced that no new patients would be admitted to the unit and that it plans to completely shut down the unit. It points to “low census, inadequate reimbursement, and ongoing financial losses,” as well as the loss of a full-time psychiatrist as reasons for the closing. The Yates County Legislature also opposes the unit’s closure, adopting a resolution against it on Monday.
Meter Reader Scam:
Following a natural gas explosion in New York City, NYSEG has been conducting meter reads, now scammers are trying to take advantage. Chemung County Acting Sheriff Bill Schrom is warning residents of a scam where people are pretending to be utility workers in order to gain access to people’s homes. According to Schrom, a resident in the Pine City area encountered a person during the evening on February 11th that requested entry to her home to check on an issue with “lines in her house.” The resident denied entry and the man left in an unmarked vehicle. Schrom says that the checks with NYSEG, Verizon, and Spectrum, revealed no employees were working in that area at the time. Homeowners should look for identifying traits in anyone claiming to be from NYSEG, such as: a marked white vehicle, leak detection equipment, and a gold Avan Grid picture identification badge.
No Primary for 23rd Congressional District?
There might not be a primary for the 23rd Congressional District race in 2020, as Democratic candidate Tracy Mitrano seems set to avoid any primary challenge. According to the Ithaca Journal, officials from the district have expressed early support for Mitrano in her second bid to unseat Republican incumbent Tom Reed. Mitrano announced her intentions to challenge Reed again after he won his fourth term in last year’s general election.
Steuben Study Looks to Interview Senior Citizens:
Steuben Senior Services Fund and Cornell University are looking for senior citizens and their caregivers willing to talk about their thoughts on benefits and the challenges of “aging at home.” The volunteers will be interviewed in person or on the phone and be paid $20 for their time. The information gathered will be used in a study to help obtain funding for more in-depth studies to measure the benefits of people participating in Steuben’s “Full Circle America” program compared to those not enrolled in the program. For more information, contact (607) 664-2298 or (607) 255-0968.
FASNY Tuition Program for Vol. Firefighters:
Volunteer firefighters are being reminded about a tuition reimbursement opportunity through the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY). The Higher Education Learning Plan, or FASNY HELP, is an incentive to help recruit and retain members of volunteer fire departments by providing tuition reimbursement to student volunteers. The program allows students enrolled in community college classes or online courses through Empire State College to receive up to 100 percent tuition reimbursement for up to 80 credit hours while serving as volunteer firefighters and maintaining their grades. For information on the program, and how to apply, visit the FASNY website at https://fasny.com/ or call toll-free at 855-367-6933.
CMoG Joins Netflix Competition Series:
Netflix has an upcoming competition series that will feature some local flavor. It’s called “Blown Away,” and follows 10 glassblowers over 10 episodes, where one will be eliminated each week. Participating in the show is the Corning Museum of Glass. Eric Meek, the manager of the hot glass programs at the museum, served as a guest judge in the finale episode, and six glass artists from the museum also assisted with the final two contestants. CMoG will also be providing the prize package to the winner, who will be invited to be a part of the guest artist program at the museum. “Blown Away” is expected to be available on Netflix worldwide later this year.