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Today's Top Stories - Saturday February 22nd, 2019

Penn Yan man sentenced in child pornography case

Federal prosecutors report that 26-year-old Jeffrey Maciejewski of Penn Yan, who was convicted of possession of child pornography involving prepubescent minors, was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison and five years supervised release. The defendant will also be required to register as a sex offender, and was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to the victims who were depicted in the images that he possessed. He was a substitute teacher for the Penn Yan Central School District.


NY to begin campaign to educate public about upcoming plastic bag ban

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a statewide education and outreach campaign to ensure that New Yorkers are aware of the March 1 ban on single-use plastic bags.  The Bring Your Own Bag NY campaign, spearheaded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, includes TV and radio advertisements, social media, Google Ads, and events hosted by Feeding New York State food banks across the state. As part of this effort, DEC is distributing more than 270,000 reusable bags with a focus on low- and moderate-income communities. DEC will continue to focus its outreach and education efforts to ensure a smooth transition for consumers and affected retailers, with enforcement to follow in the months ahead.


Almond trucker facing charges for accident

An Almond trucker could face more charges following a serious injury crash this week. Wyoming County Deputies responded this week to State Route 19A in the Town of Castile for the report of a tractor trailer and passenger car motor vehicle crash. 48-year-old Rodney J. Wilcox was operating a 2011 Peterbilt tractor-trailer while traveling south on State Route 19A. According to a press release he failed to maintain his lane of travel, entering the north bound lane and struck a car.  Three occupants in the car were temporarily entrapped inside the vehicle.  Wilcox was uninjured in the accident, and he was issued a traffic summons for failure to keep right. The crash remains under investigation, and further charges are pending.


Environmental groups working towards legal action over expansion of landfill

Sierra Club, People for a Healthy Environment, Inc. (“PHE”) and Concerned Citizens of Allegany County, Inc. filed an amended verified petition in Steuben County Supreme Court in Bath to update their legal challenge to the expansion of Hakes C&D Landfill in the Town of Campbell in Steuben County. The filing updated the lawsuit filed by the environmental groups and three individuals against the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) and the Town of Campbell on April 9, 2019. The case had been on hold pending the issuance of the required permits by DEC, which occurred in December. The lawsuit alleges that DEC and the Town of Campbell violated the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act.


Cases of the flu down in New York State

According to the Department of Health, incidences of influenza are decreasing. This as three new deaths were reported this week. The State Health Commissioner said on Thursday that confirmed flu cases have gone down 17%, and hospitalizations due to the flu have gone down 23% this week. The flu was classified as “widespread” in December, and this is the first time since that the number of cases has declined.


NY considering new hate crime legislation

Lawmakers in Albany are considering new legislation that would designate crimes specifically targeting police and correction officers, parole and other law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel as hate crimes. The Community Heroes Protection Act, is currently in committee in both the Senate and Assembly and has bipartisan support in the Legislature. 

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