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Today's Top Stories - Thursday December 26th, 2019

Wayland Woman Found to Be on Fentanyl for June Crash
According to officials, a Wayland woman was under the influence of fentanyl during a June crash that hospitalized her passenger. Sadie Wagner was charged with felony vehicular assault and driving while ability impaired by drugs as a refusal. Deputies say Wagner pulled out in front of a tractor trailer while exiting I-390 in Dansville, causing a crash that sent a 36-year-old man to the hospital with fractures to his back, leg, rib and sternum. Wagner was released on her own recognizance.


Congressman Reed Votes for Elimination of SALT Tax
Congressmen Tom Reed and John Katko have voted in favor to eliminate the cap on state and local property tax deductions. The Republican duo were among the 5 GOP Members breaking with the party on the 218-206 vote approving the measure. The approved bill would phase out the SALT deduction cap of $10,000 over the next three years but the bill is not expected to be voted on in the Republican-led Senate. The elimination of the cap would be offset by a hike in the top marginal tax rate from 37% to 39.6% Governor Cuomo said the SALT cap was to blame for an over $2.3 billion hit to the state budget.


Red Cross Holds Blood Drive Friday
The Bath Ambulance Corps will hold a blood drive tomorrow from noon to 5pm. Make an appointment now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.


FLCC Return to Finish Program Beginning for Former Students
FLCC Students who left the Community College before graduating and with unpaid bills to the school can now return and receive up to $1,200 in charges canceled upon graduation. The program is called Return to Finish and was created to help students who may have been unable to register for courses due to a previous debt. Students accepted into the program will have their old bills deferred until they graduate. Upon graduating, FLCC will forgive past-due bills up to the $1,200 so long as the student has not had their debts turned over to debt collectors. Return to Finish has a deadline of January 8th, 2020 to enroll.


New NY Law Requires Insurance Coverage of IVF in 2020
A new law taking effect on January 1st of the new year will make access to receive in vitro fertilization and fertility preservation services easier. New York state will mandate coverage of prescription drugs intended for IVF services under large group health insurance policies. New York will also begin requiring coverage of three cycles of IVF and prevent insurers from imposing lifetime limitations or age restrictions. Health insurance policies providing comprehensive care in the state also must be able to cover fertility preservation services under this measure.


Cuomo Orders Phase Out of Chlorpyrifos
Monday, Governor Cuomo ordered that state regulators must phase out the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, a chemical used to protect apple orchards. The governor demanded the chemical be phased out by July 2021 and called for an immediate halt on aerial spraying of the pesticide by December 2020. Chlorpyrifos was used widely for agriculture in the Finger Lakes region, including Steuben County. At extremely low doses, chlorpyrifos can trigger neurological damage in children and in 2001 it was banned nationally for indoor home use.


Senator Schumer Completes 21st Tour of All NY Counties
US Senator Chuck Schumer this week completed his 21st consecutive tour of all 62 New York State counties. Over the course of the year, Schumer made 153 county visits to Upstate New York and Long Island, visiting the Southern Tier region 13 times. Schumer is the first New York State public official to visit every single county in New York every year he has been in office. Schumer talked about the pride he takes in New York State, saying:“my proudest and most principal titles have been, and will always remain, New York’s Senator and ‘New Yorker.’ At the close of twenty-one years, my beliefs are as clear as ever: ‘Senators who stay in Washington and never return home are simply not doing their job.’….I’m always mixing, mingling and learning more about New York directly from my constituents.”

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