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Today's Top Stories - Monday October 28, 2019

DOT Announces Wednesday Closure on Exit 38 of I-86
The New York State Department of Transportation announced the Interstate 86 eastbound off ramp at Exit 38 in Bath will be closed to traffic Wednesday for Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems to make repairs to the high mast light towers. Work is anticipated to last one day with weather permitting. Traffic will be led by variable message boards that will direct motorists to use exit 37 and follow State Route 415 South. Drivers may experience minor travel delays.


North Hornell FD Investigating Sunday Morning Church Fire
The North Hornell volunteer fire department is investigating the circumstances regarding an fire at the Station Church in Hornell that happened early Sunday morning. The North Hornell Fire Department says they were dispatched to the fire around 7:45am and able to control the small blaze in under 5 minutes. A parishioner was hit by a wall of smoke as he was opening the church. Fortunately, no one was hurt and minor smoke and water damage was reported. The fire allegedly was started after the church was vandalized but the cause of the fire is currently being investigated.


Early Voting in New York Continues This Week
New York’s first-ever early voting period began this weekend on Saturday and will continue until November 3rd so voters can cast their ballot at select polling locations. New York is not the first state to have early voting as an option- 12 other states had the option before New York did this year. Advocates of early voting are anticipating this expanded access will increase turnout. Early voting is from 10am to 6pm today at the Steuben County Annex in Bath.


DEC Considers Revising Endangered and Threatened Lists
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed removing 19 species from the state’s endangered and threatened lists. Species that have showed significant population growth like the bald eagle and peregrine falcon, are eligible to no longer be listed under the “threatened” status. Currently, 390 breeding pairs of bald eagles are now in New York, compared to the endangered status they faced in 1973. The DEC also proposes adding 18 species to the threatened or endangered list including the common nighthawk, eastern hellbender salamander and several species of freshwater mussels.


NY Rear-Facing Car Seat Law Takes Effect Friday
 A law passed to make car seats safer in New York will go into effect on this Friday, November 1st. This law requires that children under two years old must be buckled into a rear-facing car seat. Officials say this increases the safety of child passengers in cars by protecting the child’s head, neck and spine from injuries. New York follows the lead of California and New Jersey where similar laws are already in effect.


Cuomo Signs Election Transparency Reform into Law
This previous Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law measures designed to strengthen the transparency of elections. The Governor approved bills mandating local election boards to publish more information on campaign contribution limits and special elections. Cuomo says that the democratic process “only works when voters and candidates alike have the right information...” Cuomo says by signing this bill into law, transparency will be further increased and will ensure all New Yorkers have an opportunity to make their voices heard during special elections. One measure approved requires local election boards to tabulate and publish contribution limits for all town, city and village offices on the ballot on their websites by April 15th of an election year.


Lawsuits Filed Against Cuomo for Medicaid Cuts
This year, two lawsuits were filed against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration arguing state health officials have bypassed the public and legislature by moving to cut hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars for people who are elderly and disabled. On October 11th, the state reversed what advocates call a $150 million cut to Medicaid. A lawsuit launched on Thursday by nursing homes now claims the Cuomo administration is jeopardizing $352 million worth in funding to help fill a $1.7 billion shortfall as New York reports experiencing the close of 12 nursing homes in the past five years.


FASNY Reminds People to Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
The Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) reminds New Yorkers to check the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and to test the devices to make sure they're working. Those with alarms that contain sealed-in batteries must check that their alarms are still operational. According to the US Fire Administrationa quarter of all smoke alarm fires are caused by dead batteries. Test alarms at least once a month using the test button. Alarms with removable batteries must be checked every six months and batteries changed yearly. Vaccuum or blow out any dust that has accumulated in the unit. For more information on smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and other information on fire safety and prevention, visit www.fasny.com and www.nfpa.org

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