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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, August 22nd

President Trump Signs Memorandum Forgiving Student Debt for Disabled Vets:

At the AMVETS national convention in Louisville Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that he’s signed anew directive that will wipe the federal student loan debt owed by thousands of military veterans who are completely and permanently disabled.  He added that there won’t be any federal income tax on the forgiven debt, and he called on states to waive their taxes on the loans as well.  According to Trump, it’s expected that an average of $30,000 in debt owed by more than 25,000 eligible veterans will be forgiven.  



Gov. Cuomo Signs Legislation Increasing Protections for Crime Victims:

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday allowing victims of domestic violence to seek damages against individuals who fail to obey or enforce an order of protection, expanding the eligibility for victim compensation to victims of unlawful surveillance crimes who did not suffer a physical injury, and expanding the definition of “child victim” to include children who witness a crime to ensure those children are eligible for victim compensation and assistance.  Said Cuomo, “By expanding the eligibility for victim compensation, we are ensuring even more crime victims are reimbursed for expenses incurred while fighting their abusers and have the assistance needed to support their recovery.”



Court Rules in Favor of Allowing Zoning Change in Arkport Case:

WLEA reports that the 7th Judicial District Court in Livingston County has ruled in favor of Margaret Horan over the zoning of her property in the Village of Arkport.  The property was zoned as agricultural, and Horan wanted it rezoned as commercial, but the village strongly opposed.  With this ruling, Horan is now free to sell the land to a developer which she intended to do months ago.  At a previous board meeting, village residents turned out to voice their opinions about the idea of putting a Dollar General at the location, with the majority against it.  According to the board, this ruling is not an automatic green light for a Dollar General, or any other business, to be built.  Perspective businesses would still have to go front of the Planning Board and DEC, and issues such as the property being on a flood plain, environmental impact, and traffic would still need to be addressed.  For now, the board must decide whether or not to appeal the court’s decision.  The Village has 30 days from August 6th to file their appeal.



Steuben Public Health Encourages Vaccinations:

With National Immunization Awareness Month in August and schools opening soon, Steuben County Public Health officials are reminding parents and guardians of the importance of keeping their children’s vaccinations up to date, especially with new state regulations in place.  Babies under the age of 2 should be vaccinated to protect them from 14 serious diseases, and school-age children are required, by law, to continue with recommended vaccination schedule for the best protection against preventable diseases, according to Steuben Public Health.  New this school year, non-medical (i.e. religious) exemptions are no longer accepted by schools.  All children attending schools, daycares, or riding school buses must be properly vaccinated in order to participate.  Steuben Public Health participates in the Vaccines for Children and the Vaccines for Adults program and has vaccines available for those who are uninsured or have insurance that does not cover vaccines.  Call (607) 664-2438 to schedule an appointment.



Corning Salvation Army School Supply Distribution Today:

Families needing some help getting ready to get back to school can stop by the Corning Salvation Army today for their annual backpack distribution event.  Besides backpacks, other school supplies will also be available to Steuben County children in grades kindergarten through 12.  The event will be at the Salvation Army on Denison Parkway from 3 to 6 p.m.  Parents and legal guardians must bring identification, proof of address, and social security card, benefit card, or birth certificate for each child.  

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