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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday December 11, 2019

Hunter to Refer Immigrants to Binghamton DMV for Green Light Law
Steuben County Clerk Judith Hunter told legislators yesterday she would refer anyone who is an undocumented immigrant applying for a driver’s license to the state DMV office in Binghamton. The Green Light Law technically goes into effect Saturday though DMV offices across the state will not be open until the following Monday December 16th.  Hunter spoke to the Legislature’s Administration Committee when she said she is not comfortable issuing licenses under the Green Light law. Licenses are issued under the authority of the county clerk. County Clerk Hunter mentioned that her office received very little training about how to handle this new change, noting: “We are simply not able to help those people because we haven’t been given the proper tools and training.”

 

Two New Public Defender Staff Members Approved
The Steuben County Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee approved a contract that brings in two new staff members to streamline getting clients in the Public Defender’s office. The contract is through Americorp’s Rural Health Network Program and would bring in workers qualified to help with public defense assistance, costing the county $14,000 per year. Public Defender Shawn Sauro told legislators that getting defendants into treatment and referring them to needed services as soon as possible can reduce criminal recidivism. Sauro also said based on the state requirement mandating that attorneys be present through the Centralized Arraignment Program as part of the new bail reform, he plans to add one attorney per year through 2023.

 

Wreaths Arrive at VA for Weekend’s WAA Ceremony
Monday, a truck full of wreaths arrived at the Bath VA for the Wreaths Across America Day event set to kick off this Saturday morning in the Bath National Cemetery. There are 5,000 wreaths that will be placed on Veterans graves for this year. Wreaths were delivered by local independent truck driver, Kent Tryon, who arrived at the Bath VA at noon on Monday where many volunteers were waiting for him so they could unload and transfer the wreaths to other vehicles. More volunteers are needed to place wreaths on the graves of our local soldiers for the Saturday ceremony. Anyone interested in volunteering should arrive at the Bath National Cemetery this Saturday at 11:30am.

 

Bath Man Arrested Following Incident at Horseheads BOCES Campus
Chemung County deputies arrested 18-year-old Hunter M. Vanzile of Bath. He was charged with Disorderly Conduct, following a disturbance at BOCES in the Town of Horseheads. VANZILE was issued an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Horseheads Court at a later date.

 

Movies Could Serve Alcohol Under Proposed State Bill
New legislation that would allow movie theaters to sell alcohol could gain some new momentum. The bill would allow all movie theaters in New York State to sell alcohol but alcohol sales would not be allowed during the showing of PG or G-rated films. The bill has passed in the Senate but has been stuck in the State Assembly. Currently, some movie theaters in New York can and do sell alcohol, but are able to do so because they are classified as a restaurant. Legislators will consider the measure when they return to Albany in January.

 

Opioid Overdose Deaths in NYS Have Fallen Since 2009
For the first time since 2009, opioid overdose deaths have fallen in New York State. From 2017 to 2018, the number of fatal opioid overdoses have dropped. Since 2016, New York has added 500 new treatment beds and over 1,800 treatment program slots. In 2018, almost 32,000 people made at least one visit to a recovery center in New York State. Lon Fricano, Director of Operations for TLC Medical Services says the opiate epidemic is still a problem, explaining: “The numbers fluctuate from year to year in terms of people who die, but that does not tell us how many people who are using drugs, or actively addicted and that number hasn’t changed and may be actively going up…”

 

Red Cross Holding Two December Blood Drives in Bath
During the holiday season, the Red Cross is urging everyone to set aside an hour to give blood and be the lifeline patients need. Bath will be holding two blood drives for the month of December: the first will be Wednesday December 18th at the Bath VFW from 11:30am to 5:30pm. The Bath Ambulance Corps will hold a blood drive Friday December 27th from noon to 5pm. In thanks for helping meet the urgent need, those who come to give blood or platelets now through Dec. 18th will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. Make an appointment now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

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