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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday December 22nd, 2020

New VA Court to Help Veterans Accused of Crimes Needing Treatment
Veterans accused of crimes and in need of drug and mental health treatment will be assisted by The Steuben County Veterans Drug Treatment Court, which is expected to open in 2021. A more specific date for the opening has not yet been set. The program will allow veterans going through the court system who struggle with addiction or mental illness to be served in a specialized court rather than the traditional court system. The program will promote accountability to make appointments and promote recovery through mentorship and peer-to-peer relationships as a community according to Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard. Allard says the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the creation and opening of the Veterans Drug Treatment Court.


155 New COVID Cases and 3 New Deaths in Steuben
With 155 new COVID cases in Steuben County since Saturday, it’s the highest three-day total of COVID cases in the county since the pandemic began. This brings the total to 2,887 confirmed cases, 530 of which are currently active. Twelve of the new cases are from Bath. Schools are seeing increasing numbers with seven students and nine staffers infected are from a dozen schools. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says…“We simply cannot sustain this type of increase in our county.  Please reconsider your holiday plans, personal choices, destinations and who you gather with. “ Three individuals who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 have died, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 131. Two individuals were residents of the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center; one male age 63 and one female age 88, and one community member from the City of Hornell, male age 71, who died while hospitalized. County health officials said all residents should continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill.


Cuomo Wants Testing to See if COVID Variant is in NY
Governor Cuomo says there will be testing conducted to detect a contagious variant of the coronavirus to see if it came here from the United Kingdom. The variant test is slightly more complex than the current COVID testing being done. Cuomo reports that thus far, there is no evidence at this time of the variant being in New York State.


4H Youth Bring Holiday Cheer to Residents with Meals on Wheels
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben’s 4-H Program recently partnered with Meals on Wheels for a special service project where Steuben County 4-H youth designed, created and decorated festive cards containing well-wishes for community members. The over 200 greeting cards are distributed with the holiday meals going to those in need as a small act of kindness for the 2020 holiday season.


COVID Relief Checks to Drop Next Week
The relief bill passed by Congress Sunday means some stimulus checks will hit mailboxes by next week. The federal government says that starting next week, most Americans will receive a stimulus check of $600 as part of the $900 billion pandemic relief package passed Sunday and the vote finalized yesterday. Families with children will also receive a check for $600 per dependent. Payments will be sent to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year. The payments will begin via direct deposit next week.


Hornell Man Arrested Twice in Less Than a Week
A Hornell man was arrested again for the second time in less than a week. 19-year-old Jametris Jordan was arrested Friday for allegedly attacking and hurting another inmate in the Steuben County Jail. He was charged with assault in the second degree then arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and returned to the custody of the sheriff. Jordan was initially arrested last Wednesday. A release reports he and another person were hospitalized after a car accident in a vehicle that was reportedly stolen. When Hornell Police Department responded to a home invasion robbery on Rockwell Street in Hornell last week, Jordan and the other suspect were found armed with handguns and reportedly assaulted the victims as well as stole money and the car. Jordan faces a list of felony charges in connection to the two incidents.


Horseheads Woman Arrested After Incident at CCC Residence
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports December 17th  deputies arrested 26-year-old Rebecka Worrell of Horseheads following an investigation into damaged property at Academic Drive in Corning. Worrell allegedly attempted to enter a locked residence facility and damaged a nearby light pole. Worell was charged with Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree then released on an appearance ticket for a later date in Corning Town Court.

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