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Today's Top Stories - Friday, July 17th, 2020

An electrical fire that originated in the basement of a Campbell home is believed to be the cause of a fatal Wednesday night house fire. Shortly after 4pm on Wednesday, five different fire companies responded to the home of 79-year-old Howard Marshall, who initially left the house and told a neighbor there was a fire before going back inside to find his cat. State Police say Marshall was overcome by smoke and he was later found by firefighters. First responders’ attempts to revive him at the scene failed and he was pronounced dead.

 

In his weekly media conference call yesterday, Congressman Tom Reed said that childcare is of utmost priority in going forward in negotiating the upcoming stimulus bill. Reed says the top 3 issues he will focus on as the stimulus is discussed in Congress are childcare, reforming unemployment insurance and state and local aid. Reed shared that he is working with stakeholders across the district to come up with a solution for our region to continue to function as our district is in need of federal support to do so.

 

Corning's Gaffer District announced it is pursuing approval to have Market street closed off to vehicles for over a month longer than anticipated. Initially, Market Street anticipated to keep traffic closed only until the beginning of August but now the Gaffer District is looking for Corning City Council to approve the extension of the closure until September 7th. Gaffer District Board member, Chris Sharkey, told WENY that after a business and community survey, there were enough citizens and merchants in favor of the extension for the Gaffer District to decide to move forward to extend the closure. Sharkey said generally, restaurants tended to be in favor of the extension, but retailers had more mixed responses.

 

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced an emergency rental assistance program that will help keep New York families with low-income in their homes. The new program is intended for individuals and families displaying the greatest financial need and will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the pandemic. Eligible households will get the benefit of a one-time rental subsidy to be paid directly to landlords and housing providers. Tenants do not have to repay this assistance. The application period will be open for two weeks for state residents to apply any time.

 

During a press call yesterday, Democratic Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano discussed some of the contemporary veterans’ issues. Mitrano called out her opponent, incumbent Republican Congressman Tom Reed, for advocating for dental, vision, and more support for veterans in the past but not following through to ensure necessary benefits and support for veterans. The Penn Yan Democrat said the solution requires that politics must be taken out of the Veterans Administration. Mitrano also addressed the recent accusation by American, British and Canadian government officials that Russia attempted to hack into the three countries’ COVID-19 vaccine research. She says the 2016 election hacking by Russia has been so politicized that since, Russia, along with other countries, has never stopped attempting to interfere with US policy and security. Mitrano, who has cyber security experience, says that for those reasons, the country "needs to have people in Congress to have some idea of what cyber security is all about, in order to get this country back into a posture of good national security," Mitrano also said Congressman Reed does not stand up to President Trump and therefore is not standing up for our national security.

 

Governor Cuomo announced all restaurants and bars in New York state must follow new requirements that they can only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food and that all service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers. Under current law, only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcohol. Cuomo also announced the ‘Three Strikes and You’re Closed’ initiative where any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business and egregious violations may result in immediate loss of liquor license or closure before their third strike. In addition, establishments facing disciplinary charges by the State Liquor Authority will have their names and locations posted publicly and updated on a weekly basis. Concerned citizens wanting to report violations to the State Liquor Authority at www.sla.ny.gov.

 

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association voted to delay starting the fall sports season and cancel all Fall Sports regionally as well as state championships. In the event the pandemic interrupts or impacts the fall sports seasons, the group will implement a condensed seasonal plan. If no sports are allowed in the fall 2020 season then sports like high school football, cross country, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, unified bowling and girls swimming will be played from March 1st through May 8th of next year with tennis taking place April 5th through June 12th along with all spring sports. If no school sports are allowed in the fall, then sports including basketball, bowling, gymnastics, wrestling, skiing, boys swimming and ice hockey are to begin January 4th and continue through March 13th. The state group says all 2021 dates are tentative.

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office report deputies arrested Jonathan D. Sick, 32 of the Town of Dansville yesterday following an investigation into an incident that occurred in the Town of Hornellsville last week on July 10th. It is alleged that Sick and another person were operating and in possession of a vehicle reported stolen vehicle from Livingston County when they were found trespassing on private property. It is also alleged property located in the vehicle had been reported stolen from Alleghany County. Sick was charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree. Sick was previously charged with Trespass on July 10th.  Sick also allegedly possessed a quantity of methamphetamine in the Steuben County Jail and also charged with Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree.  Mr. Sick was arraigned at the Steuben County Centralized Arraignment Court where he was held on a separate warrant issued for possession of stolen property in the State of Pennsylvania. Additional charges are anticipated with other involved parties.

               

Guthrie announced over a dozen regional high school seniors have been given the opportunity to continue their studies with the healthcare company’s help. Each year, the health system awards students pursuing academics in the health care field with scholarships as well as students who are children of adults who are employed by Guthrie. According to a release, students will receive $650 annually for four years to use for their undergraduate studies. Locally, Gavin Ruddy of Hammondsport High School has earned a Guthrie scholarship as he continues his education at Ithaca College. Horseheads High School graduate Amy Kim, who is the daughter of Big Flats LPN Jungwon Kim, is also a scholarship recipient who will continue her academic career at Binghamton University.

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