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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, August 14th

Work Zone Crackdown:


The New York State Police and the Department of Transportation have announced “Operation Hardhat,” a joint effort to crackdown on work zone violations and highlight the importance of safe driving through active construction and maintenance work zones on state highways.  Members of State Police Troop E will patrol several active work zones throughout the Rochester and Hornell regions this week to ticket motorists who disobey flagging personnel, speed through work zones, or violate the Move Over Law.  Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone, and in accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver license. 



Welfare Fraud Arrest:


The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports a welfare fraud arrest.  58-year-old Earl Pratt of Hornell is accused of knowingly and with the intent to defraud, presenting a false document to the Steuben County Department of Social Services.  Pratt was charged with offering a false instrument for filing and was released on an appearance ticket.



Red Jacket Swim Area in Penn Yan Closed Due to Algae Bloom:


A Blue-Green Algae Advisory has been issued by the Department of Health for Red Jacket Park in Penn Yan.  As such, the swim area is closed and will remain so until the DOH issues a safe to re-open order.  Both people and animals should avoid contact with algae blooms, scums, and colored water.  The Red Jacket Park playground, pavilion, and picnic areas are still open to the public.  Additionally, the Indian Pines Park has been reopened for all activities, including swimming. 



E-C Airport Adds New Destination:


The Elmira-Corning Regional Airport will soon begin offering flights to a new destination – the Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) in southwest Florida.  The new, seasonal, route will be offered via Allegiant and will run twice weekly.  It opens on November 13th.  In celebration, Allegiant is offering one-way fares as low as $69.  Flight days, times, and the lowest fares can be found at http://www.allegiant.com.      



Travel Advisory – Road Work on S.R. 417 in Woodhull:


Work gets underway today on a bridge painting project on the bridge carrying State Route 417 over Tuscarora Creek in the Town of Woodhull.  While the work is taking place, traffic will be maintained by flaggers in one lane.  The project is expected to take approximately 4 weeks.



Elmira College Adding Medicinal Plant Chemistry Program: 


Elmira College will soon become one of just three institutions in the United States to offer an academic program in medicinal plant chemistry.  The new program will be available to students this fall as one of four new concentrations being offered within the college’s chemistry degree.  Medicinal plant chemistry is for students interested in analyzing plants for medicinal and food applications, such as essential oils, craft breweries and wineries, and medicinal cannabis.  More information can be found on the college’s website at https://www.elmira.edu/academics/programs/Majors_Minors/Chemistry/index.html.    

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