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Today's Top Stories - Friday December 18th, 2020

Charges Made in Last Week's Fake Bomb at Bath Mental Health 
Mark “Charlie” Burke, 59, was arrested in connection to the fake bomb that was left outside the Steuben County Mental Health Building in Bath on Dec. 4th. Last week an employee of the mental health center in Bath arrived at work and discovered a wire running from a nearby building going into a canister outside of the mental health center, the area was evacuated and a bomb squad was called in, finding the device was not real. The investigation into the incident continued and it is alleged that 59 year old Charlie Burke left the fake explosive. Burke, who is a 59-year-old homeless man from the Bath area was charged with leaving a false bomb and taken to County Centralized Arraignment Court. According to Bath Police Chief Chad Mullen, Burke has continued to leave suspicious and threatening letters and objects at various locations throughout the Village of Bath.

Canisteo's County Route 119 Bridge Completed
This week, the County Route 119 over the Canisteo River in the Town of Cameron reopened to reconnect the villages of Canisteo and Addison along the Canisteo River Valley. The $4 million, 190 foot long bridge took 9 months to complete and was funded through Marschiselli funding and paid through 80 percent federal,15 percent state and 5 percent local funds. Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation was coordinated for construction to safely ensure the safe passage of freight through the project site. The State Department of Transportation, C & S Engineers and Twin Tiers Constructors worked with retired County Bridge Engineer Steve Catherman to complete this project.

Steuben COVID Count: 57 New Cases & 5 Deaths
57 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Steuben County. This brings the total 508 currently active cases. Seven of the cases were from Bath. The new cases involved students at Avoca Central, Canisteo-Greenwood and Hornell schools and employees at Addison Central and Corning-Painted Post. Five more deaths have been attributed to virus-related complications. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 125. All individuals were residents of the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center. 

USPS Reminds Residents to Keep Walkways Clear of Snow
The U.S. Postal Service reminds residents to clear snow and ice from walkways, driveways, porches and areas around your mailbox. Unshoveled mailboxes and sidewalks can be dangerous for carriers because underneath the snow could be ice or hazardous objects especially while carrying packages. For more information about keeping walkways safe for carriers and residents, click here. 

Annual Holiday DWI Crackdown Begins 
State and local law enforcement agencies throughout New York will be stepping up patrols to crack down on impaired driving during the holiday travel season through January 1. This crackdown is part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" initiative designed to reduce alcohol and drug-related traffic crashes. Cuomo says "New York has zero tolerance for impaired driving. " During the 2019 enforcement campaign, law enforcement throughout the state arrested 5,677 people for impaired driving.

AAA Forecasts Dramatic Decline in Holiday Travel
AAA (Triple-A) is forecasting a decline in year-end holiday travel for the first time in 11 years. It is predicted that 84 million Americans are predicted to do some type of traveling over the holidays- a decrease of about 35 million people from a year ago while air travel is expected to fall nearly 60 percent from last. 

NYS DOL Reports November Sees Private Sector Job Growth Increase 
In November, the number of private sector jobs in New York State increased over the month by 36,300 according to preliminary figures just released by the New York State Department of Labor. This represents the seventh straight month of job gains for the Empire State. New York State's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 9.2% in October to 8.4% in November.

NYS Minimum Wage Set to Increase New Year’s Eve
The New York State Department of Labor has announced the state’s $15 minimum wage phase-in will continue, with the next stage taking effect December 31. The minimum wage in Steuben will increase to $12.50 an hour. 

Stimulus Bill Would Provide Checks and Unemployment Extension
Congressional lawmakers say they are nearing an agreement on a 900-billion-dollar stimulus bill that would help those affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would call for an extension of unemployment benefits, and would send a 600-dollar check to most Americans. On the Senate floor Thursday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says lawmakers are laser-focused on coming up with a consensus. Current benefits that were established in the previous COVID-19 stimulus bill will expire the day after Christmas.


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