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Today's Top Stories - Saturday May 18, 2019

Steuben County Legislators Deliberating Paper Bag Fee
It looks like Steuben County legislators aren’t leaning to impose the 5-cent fee on paper bags that is part of the state ban on disposable plastic bags passed this year that will go into effect in March of 2020. The legislation gave counties and cities the right to opt out of the paper bag fee  County Manager Jack Wheeler told the County Legislature’s Finance Committee this week. If imposed, the fee’s revenue would be distributed between the state and county, with 2 cents of each bag going to the county. The county would be obligated to use the share they get to buy reusable bags. Wheeler added that the county’s two cities, Hornell and Corning, do have the option of imposing the fee as municipalities if Steuben county does not choose to impose a fee.


Fallen Law Enforcement Honored at Memorial Service
Yesterday, active law enforcement executives, patrol officers, correction officers and retirees gathered at the Public Safety Building to honor law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty for a memorial service concluding National Police Week. The annual ceremony recognized fallen officers who fell while serving law enforcement in Steuben and neighboring counties including Allegany, Chemung, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler and Yates Counties. Trooper Nicholas Clark, who died while responding to a suicidal man July of last year, was honored and local politicians like State Senator Tom O’Mara, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and New York State Police George Delnagro were speakers at the event.


Fed Court Says NY Religious Agency Must Serve Same-Sex Couples
A federal court says New York officials weren’t infringing on a Christian adoption agency’s religious freedom by requiring it to serve same-sex couples. The Associated Press reports that a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albany in December sought to stop the state Office of Children and Family Services from shutting down New Hope Family Services in Syracuse because of its “discriminatory” policy regarding child placements. In dismissing the lawsuit Thursday, the court said it found no anti-religious bias in the state’s nondiscrimination policies.


County Legislature Meets Monday to Discuss Child Advocacy Center
The Steuben County Legislature will meet on Monday to discuss a plan to improve protection of abused and neglected children in the county through a Child Advocacy Center to be established in a vacant building on the Ira Davenport Hospital campus in Bath. The building will provide a central location for investigations by related agencies into reports of child abuse and neglect. The center aims to give children a safe space to talk about reported problems and will include offices for victims advocates and a team made up from Steuben’s social, law enforcement, medical and mental health services. The Center is planned to be funded by a 3-year grant from New York State and includes a mobile unit to provide services in more remote areas of the county.


Comptroller Announces Return on State Common Retirement Fund
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli just announced the State Common Retirement Fund earned an estimated 5.23 percent return on investments in the state fiscal year that ended on March 31st. The Fund closed the year with an estimated value of $210.2 billion.


NYS Office of Parks and Rec Seeking Summer Lifeguards
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will hire over 1,000 new and returning lifeguards for the its swimming beaches and pools during the summer season. Those who are interested in working as a lifeguard can check out the hiring requirements, qualifying dates and applications when they click here.  

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