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Today's Top Stories - Friday May 17, 2019

County Legislature Discusses Costs of Early Voting
The Steuben County Legislature’s Administration Committee sat down to discuss early voting this week. County Board of Elections Commissioner Vicky Olin told the committee expanding early voting to more locations would be extremely difficult without spending over $100,000 on new electronic equipment that the county will need for recordkeeping. Olin noted that the state promises reimbursement for the counties footing the bill for these early voting costs on a per-site basis. It’s estimated that locations like Corning and Hornell cost about an extra $15,000 each from New York State with about 85 voting districts in Steuben County. Legislator Robin Lattimer noted that: “We really need to consolidate election districts,” New York state controls the limit on how many residents can be in a district and officials like Lattimer believe there may be room for some consolidation to conserve state funding.


Village of Cohocton Water Unsafe for Infants Due to Nitrates
A notice to those in the Village of Cohocton to not give water to infants under 6 months old or use it to make infant formula. According to the NYSDOH Hornell District Office, it was discovered on May 15th that a water sample collected at the beginning of the month showed nitrate levels above the nitrate standard, which is a serious health concern for children under 6 months old. Those who use the Cohocton Village water are directed to not give water to infants as it can cause deadly symptoms like shortness of breath and baby blue syndrome. It is advised to prepare juice, formula and other beverages with bottled water for children under six months and to not use tap water until further notice. Boiling the water will not lower the nitrates but children and adults older than six months old can drink the tap water. Repeat sampling is being done to confirm the previous sample result.


NYS Senate Approves O’Mara-Sponsored Bike Education Bill
The New York State Senate has approved legislation long supported and co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara to enhance bicycle safety in New York. The measure would require the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to incorporate a “bicycle and pedestrian safety” component into the pre-licensing driver’s manual and exam motorists are required to review and pass before obtaining a driver’s license.  O’Mara first pledged support for the measure at the “Awareness Ride in Memory of Matt Miller” in May 2014. The 43-year-old was an Elmira Free Academy graduate…he was struck head-on and killed by a left-turning motorist while riding his bike in the town of Southport in late April 2014. The motorist was ticketed for failure to yield.


Woodstock is Reset to Take Place
Those in charge of the 50th anniversary Woodstock festival in Watkins Glen have rejoiced in victory this week as plans to make the event possible seem to be back in action. A judge ruled Wednesday that the financial company that pulled out of the event didn't have the right to cancel it. Organizers told New York City radio station Q 104.3 yesterday that new investors are ready to sign on to be a part of the festival. Organizers also said tickets for the three-day event scheduled in August at Watkins Glen will soon go on sale.


Law Enforcement Memorial Service This Evening in Bath
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will conduct a Law Enforcement Memorial Service today at 6:00 p.m. to honor all law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty in Allegany, Chemung, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates Counties at the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Building. All fallen officers from Steuben County and adjacent counties will be honored, with active Law Enforcement executives, patrol officers, correction officers and retirees in attendance.The public is invited and encouraged to support the officers and family members who have given their all in service to their communities.


NY Republicans Criticize Farm Bill for Impact on Farm Families, Crops
Republicans in Albany, including local representatives Phil Palmesano and Tom O’Mara, are pushing back on a bill that would overhaul operations of family farms and place costly and unreasonable mandates into the $5 billion state farming industry. Two months ago, Palmesano and O’Mara called on hearings for this bill to take place and since, the State Senate has only held three of these hearings while the State Assembly has yet to hold any hearings on the bill. Opponents say the legislation would raise costs on family farms dramatically and force farms to resort to automation or lower-labor crops, jeopardizing crop diversity in the state. Palmesano said:“To move forward with this bill with no formal feedback from the farmers it affects is blatant neglect...”

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