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Today's Top Stories - Friday February 22, 2019

Sheriff Allard Supports New Proposed State Seat Belt Law
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to mandate seat belts to be worn for those sitting in the backseat of a vehicle is getting some local support from Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard. Allard approved the idea and said: "Seat belts save tens of thousands of lives every year, and we also know that people that are in the backseat become projectiles in crash situations. I'm in favor of anything that improves public safety and obviously seat belts improve public safety." Currently, only passengers 16 years of age and younger are required to wear a seat belt while riding in a back seat but Cuomo wants the rule to apply to all back seat passengers, regardless of age.


NWS Issues High Wind Watch Beginning Sunday
A High Wind Watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for later this weekend. Steuben, along with 12 other Finger Lakes-area counties, will be under High Wind Watch from 1pm Sunday until 7 AM Monday morning with West winds blowing 20-30 miles per hour with gusts as much as 60 miles per hour possible. Trees and power lines may be blown down. Widespread power outages and difficult travel is expected.


Cuomo Announces Child Care Pilot Program 
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a proposal to provide child care for single parents who are on-campus students of community colleges. Yesterday, the Democratic 3-term governor said he will seek the approval from lawmakers for a pilot program providing the service to up to 400 students across the state. The program will also include other services like access to tutoring and help for applying to 4-year colleges. Cuomo has introduced the measure into the 2019 state budget proposal as part of the 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda as an effort to help single parents earn their education while raising young children.

O’Mara Speaks Out Against NY Bill Banning Gun Raffles
New York State Senator Tom O'Mara announced strong opposition to a proposed state law banning gun raffles as a form of fundraising. New York Bill A01413 is sponsored by downstate Senator Jo Anne Simon and co-sponsored by 29 others in State Senate, all of which are downstate representatives who cite gun violence as the reasoning behind the proposal. O’Mara defended the raffles “as popular, successful, and safe fundraisers”. The State Senator also added that these raffles are essential to supporting community nonprofits and services, adding that outlawing them would hurt these local organizations and opportunities like scholarships and other initiatives. O’Mara added : “These raffles are popular and safe. The legislation fails to note that raffle winners cannot claim any firearm as a prize without undergoing a background check.”


Study Finds NY “One of the easiest states” to Pass Driver’s Test
New York New York is one of the easiest states in the nation to pass a drivers test in, at least according to a study conducted by Siegfried and Jensen.The study took into account total costs, a knowledge test, road test requirements, and learner's permit requirements to pass. The driver test for New York state has only 10 total elements, compared to Washington’s 19, the state with the most elements in their tests.  It was found drivers from our state needed to score 70 percent on the knowledge test to pass, which was the lowest required score of all of the states. New York is also one of the 29 states that do not require a learner’s permit for drivers to earn their license. The study read in its entirety can be here.


FLXpo Tonight at CCC Commons
Local food and beverage festival FLXpo returns this year tonight at Corning Community College.The festival is presented by Finger Lakes Farm Country and has expanded to 40 local farmers and beverage producers in the area and will include food trucks, cooking demonstrations, chef-run sampling stations, a farmer’s market where guests can buy local wines and foods and more. FLXpo is tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Corning Community College Commons and admission is $10 per person at the door.

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