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Today's Top Stories - Thursday January 23rd, 2020

Bath Village Democratic Caucus is Tonight
A Democratic Caucus will be held 7pm tonight in the Village Board Room of the Municipal Building in Bath. The positions are open for Village Mayor, Village Justice and there are two openings for Village Trustee. All registered Democrats living in the Village of Bath are eligible to vote at tonight’s caucus. These positions are on the ballot for the Village Election set for Wednesday March 18th, 2020. Anyone interested in becoming a candidate can contact Bath Town Democratic Chairman Gary Ostrander at gmobuzz@verizon.net or call him at (607) 776-7556.


Sweet Calls on Legislators to Develop P.I.L.O.T. for 115 Liberty Street
Bath Mayoral candidate Michael Sweet has calling on the Steuben County Legislators to develop a P.I.L.O.T. (payment in lieu of taxes) for 115 Liberty Street that the County has announced they will be purchasing from Yunis Enterprises. Sweet explained because Bath is the County Seat, Village of Bath taxpayers sacrifice more than any other municipality in Steuben County. Sweet cites in the past three years, the county purchased several properties within the Bath Village, which have been removed from the tax roll and. Sweet says that alone has costed Village taxpayers over $13,000 annually and requires an increase in Village taxes or cutting current, important services. As Mayor, Sweet promises he will represent the interest of hard-working taxpayers of Bath.


Congressional Candidate Mitrano Speaking in Corning Tonight
Democratic Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano continues her five-city listening tour tonight. Mitrano will be in Corning at the United Steelworkers Union Hall at the Nassar Civic Center Plaza from 6 to 8pm. Mitrano launched the listening tour in Dunkirk  earlier this week where she spoke about the nonprofit group RIP Medical Debt which has the mission of “eliminating more than $500,000 of medical debt at one percent of the original cost” by forgiving $10,000 in medical debts for every $100 donated to the group.


Cornell Cooperative of Steuben Requesting NY Double Co-Op Funding
Steuben County lawmakers are expected to support Steuben County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension and its sister extensions when the co-ops meet with state officials this Sunday through Tuesday, January 26th-28th to request the group’s first boost in funding in 20 years. According to Steuben’s CCE Executive Director Theresa McKinley, directors will ask the state to double the funding for all co-ops across the state from $4 million to $8 million. Increased support is needed for the county coops to assist farmers and other agribusinesses with the sustained effort required to remain competitive on the national level, says McKinley. The Steuben County Legislature meets next on Monday January 27th at 10am.


Eric Smith Denied Parole for Tenth Time
Savona man Eric Smith, who is serving a life sentence for the 1993 murder of Derrick Robie, will stay in prison, following his latest parole hearing. WENY News confirmed that the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision denied to release 39-year-old Eric Smith for a killing four-year-old Derrick Robie of Savona when Smith was 13 years old. Smith is serving a sentence in prison of nine years to life and earlier this month he was eligible for parole. However, the parole board voted for the tenth time to deny the release of Smith and set a future parole hearing for October 2021. Smith is serving his time at medium security prison Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County.


DA Baker Speaks About 911 Call to Chemung Dispatcher
Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker has spoken out after Chemung County 911 released an audio yesterday of a heated 911 call between Baker and a dispatcher. The call happened Saturday after Baker and his family called to help rescue a dog wandering on I-86 in Chemung County. Baker called after he picked up the dog and was seeking to be connected to Animal Control. Baker says he was told by the dispatcher to pull over on the freeway to wait for Animal Control to pick up the dog but Baker felt it was unsafe to do so with his young children as passengers during Saturday’s snowstorm. Baker called the interaction a “tense phone call” and upon the audio being released he admitted “unfortunately my temper may have gotten the better of me” but also told WETM News that dispatchers were “petty and small” for posting the phone call on Facebook. The 911 center released the audio after Baker’s wife posted about the incident on Facebook. The dog was safely reunited with its owners after they came to Baker’s house.


Congressman Reed Still Disagrees with Impeachment
Yesterday, Congressman Tom Reed said he believes impeachment should be a last resort when addressing a public official and that voting is the means to resolve political disagreement and corruption. Reed said: ”…regardless of how you feel about impeachment. Remember, November is right around the corner. That's where the American people speak best and that's where they speak with their wisdom and that's when they cast their vote." Reed maintains he thinks there is no “smoking gun evidence” to warrant overturning the 2016 presidential election and thinks impeachment has been politically weaponized and will do more long-term damage to the nation. Reed said of constituents who are in favor of impeachment: “I understand where you're coming from. I understand your position. Obviously I disagree with it."


Public Invited to Friday Wreaths Across America Cleanup
The public is invited to retrieve and clean up wreaths that were laid during Wreaths Across America Day. Over 5,000 wreaths were placed on the graves of veterans last month. The cleanup event will be held tomorrow in Bath National Cemetery at the Bath VA Medical Center at 3pm. Parking will be available at the back of the Bath VA museum and no sign-up or registration is required to participate. Cleanup instructions are to be announced at the cemetery monument. Bringing a rake or broom is highly encouraged.

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