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Today's Top Stories - Friday July 31st, 2020

Avoca Man Arrested for Alleged Rape, Sex Misconduct
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Tuesday deputies arrested Matthew P. Kapp, age 46, of Avoca following an investigation of alleged rape and sexual conduct against a child reported on July 22nd.  It is alleged that over a ten year period at a residence in the Town of Avoca, Kapp engaged in sexual conduct with a minor female. Kapp was charged with Rape in the First Degree and Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree and was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released on $500 bail.


Wentling Arrested on Warrant for Drugs
Village of Bath Police Department with the assistance of the Corning Police Department arrested Brendan R. Wentling on two different Steuben County Superior Court warrants of arrest. The warrants allege that Wentling sold controlled substances consisting of methamphetamine and heroin in the Village of Bath during the fall of 2019. The charges are two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, two counts of Criminal Possession of 
Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree. Wentling was arraigned in Steuben County Court the same day and released without bail.


Reed Sponsors SMART Act
Congressman Tom Reed tells Spectrum News his plan to help local communities devastated by the COVID-19 Pandemic hinges on changing or limiting the way New York State would be eligible to spend any federal aid earmarked for localities. Separate from the current HEALS Act, the SMART Act would provide state, county, and municipal governments with $500 billion in targeted financial aid. Reed, who sponsors the bill, says that doing this “ensures the money actually reaches the folks who need it most, and that funds won’t be used to address non-COVID related problems,”


NYS Bill Could Change Hydrofracking Waste Rules for Landfills
Landfill rules applying to fracking waste could be soon changing in New York State. According to Environmental Advocates of New York, in 2018 three landfills in the Southern Tier accepted over 18,000 tons of fracking waste and between 2010-17, New York landfills accepted at least 609,000 tons and 23,000 barrels of fracking waste which came largely from the state of Pennsylvania. “Closing the Hazardous Waste Loophole” is a bill passed by the New York State Legislature and if signed by Governor Cuomo, it will reclassify all waste from hydrofracking as hazardous.


Finger Lakes Reopening Schools Safely Task Force Formed
Finger Lakes Reopening Schools Safely Task Force is a new regional task force formed to ensure the safety of Finger Lakes students as they return to school this fall. Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health, explains the purpose of the task force is working together to protect educators, parents and students as the upcoming school year soon begins. Task Force Member Vickie Swinehart said it’s important to keep in mind all school districts are as different as their needs. The task force will identify common challenges and share best practices among its members as reopening plan details are responsibilities left up to the school districts.  


NYS Adopts Enforceable Limits on Drinking Water Contaminants
State officials have adopted enforceable limits on three drinking water contaminants under new rules requiring all New York water systems begin testing for them, many for the first time. The state set maximum contaminant limits (MCLs) at 10 parts per trillion each for PFOA (perfluorooctanic acid) and PFOS (perflourooctane sulfonate) and 1 part per billion for 1,4-dioxane. Regulations go into effect as soon as they are published in the next State Register. PFOA and PFOS are among the PFA class of chemicals used in dozens of household and industrial products like Teflon cookware, paints and cosmetics. Water systems serving more than 10,000 people will be required to start testing within 60 days while systems serving between 3,300 and 9,999 have 90 days. Systems serving less than 3,300 people must start testing within six months.


Sheriff Says Wayland Citizens Received Mysterious Seeds from China
Sheriff Jim Allard reports that citizens in the Wayland area have received packages containing seeds from an unknown origin. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is aware that people across the country have received unsolicited packages of seed from China in recent days. The Service is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and State departments of agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins. Anyone receiving seeds in the mail like this is advised to contact the Sheriff’s Office or email Edward.Chen@usda.gov

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