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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, July 24th

Identities of Couple Injured in Boat Explosion Released:


The identities of the Batavia couple injured on Saturday in a boat explosion at the Hammondsport Boat Show have been announced.  Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard confirmed that 63-year-old William Kistner was treated at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital for lacerations on his head, while his wife, 64-year-old Carol Kistner was airlifted to the burn unit at Strong Memorial Hospital for severe burns on her legs.  Carol is listed in guarded condition.  The Chief of the Hammondsport Fire Department has said excessive fumes were the most likely culprit for the explosion.  A dive team is expected to inspect pieces of the boat today. 



Corning Man Charged with DWI in Hornby Crash:


Investigation into a one-car crash in Hornby has led to charges against a Corning man.  The accident occurred on July 21st on State Route 414, and according to police, 34-year-old Robert Fitzgerald was allegedly in an intoxicated condition prior to the crash.  It’s further alleged that Fitzgerald was previously convicted on driving while intoxicated within the previous ten years and possessed a driver’s permit only.  He was charged with felony driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated, blood alcohol content greater than .18 percent, and operating out of class.  He was released on traffic summons.



Hornell Woman Arrested in Animal Cruelty Investigation:


A Hornell woman has been charged following an animal cruelty investigation by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.  Authorities say that the Sheriff’s Department received a tip reporting two dogs abandoned in a residence on State Route 36 in the Town of Canisteo and when deputies investigated, they found the animals malnourished and in need of immediate medical attention.  Both dogs were seized and turned over to the Dog Control Officer and immediately taken to Canisteo Veterinarian Hospital.  One dog had to be euthanized.  The other was able to be adopted out after medical treatment.  It’s alleged that 44-year-old Angela Dixon was responsible for the two animals and she was charged with overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals, failure to provide proper sustenance.  The Sheriff’s Department reminds the public that incidents of animal cruelty that need investigation can be reported to 911. 



Steuben Co. Approves Purchase of Three Buildings:


In a tight vote Monday, the Steuben County Legislature approved the purchase of three buildings that it’s currently leasing.  The buildings are in Bath, Corning, and Hornell.  The county uses them to provide mental healthcare services.  The company that owns the buildings offered the county a deal where the county would pay roughly the same as their lease – but after 10 years, the county would take ownership.  According to county Manager Jack Wheeler, the county currently pays roughly $354,000 a year in rent.  The deal would mean a savings of approximately $65,000 a year.  Of concern was the fact that once the county takes ownership, the buildings will come off the tax roll, and some legislators believed the county could negotiate a better deal.  A vote to delay the decision was narrowly defeated.



GNC to Close 100s of Stores:


Vitamin and supplement retailer, GNC will soon be closing nearly 900 stores across the country.  The decision was announced Monday during a second-quarter earnings call.  The locations to be closed will be those inside malls, with the move cutting the total number of mall stores by half.  GNC has about 4,100 locations in the U.S., with 10 in the Twin Tiers.  Nine of those are located inside Rite Aid stores.  The Arnot Mall has a standalone store.  It’s status and whether or not it will be affected by this decision is unknown at this time.   



Corning, Ithaca Wegmans to Eliminate Plastic Bags Starting Monday:


Wegmans has announced a pilot program that will eliminate plastic grocery bags at its Corning and Ithaca locations beginning Monday, ahead of the statewide ban that is set to go into effect in 2020.  Paper bags will still be available for customers at these locations, but there will be a 5 cent charge for each bag.  The money from paper bags will be given to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. 

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