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Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 2, 2021

85 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 85 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including one individual who is associated with the Bath VA. This brings the total to 3,493 confirmed cases, 619 of which are currently active.

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Department to celebrate 225th anniversary Monday

The Steuben County Sheriff’s department will open its 225th anniversary year with a special ceremony during the regular county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee meeting this Monday. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the ceremony will be live streamed through the county sheriff’s Facebook page shortly after 9 am and will include awarding commemorative anniversary badges to two people in recognition of their notable service in 2020.

 

Steuben County reflects on achievements in 2020

Despite the challenges the pandemic put forward, there were still many notable achievements that the County made in 2020. For example, the 2021 budget. All signs pointed to a double-digit increase in property taxes, driven by state-mandated programs which form more than 90 percent of the annual tax levy. Any increase higher than the state’s complicated tax cap would lead to penalties imposed by the state. Thanks to the work of county employees, the result was a budget of $194 million with a slight increase in the $51 million tax levy, and a drop in the average tax rate of 14 cents per $1,000 from $8.07 this year down to $7.93 in 2021. Also, renovations to the County Office Building, which were delayed but had begun as early as May. Work included moving administrative offices to the county Annex on East Morris Street, and relocating others to provide efficient and accessible legal services. Future plans include additional court rooms, secure holding areas and waiting rooms, more offices for attorneys and an extensive legal library. And of course, the longing continuously running County Fair in the U.S. After hosting a test-run Food Drive Thru at the county fairgrounds the weekend before, fair organizers held a County Fair drive thru from Aug. 21-22, and the 200-year-old county fair added another year to its historic long run while keeping the pandemic at bay.

 

NYS sees near record low in flu cases

Presumably the precautions taken by citizens to avoid the pandemic, such as masking, sanitizing, and social distancing, has led to a drastic drop in reported flu cases compared to 2019. Data shows 2019 saw a high of more than 5,000 flu cases in one week but 2020 had a high of only 304.

 

Elmira woman arrested for welfare fraud, grand larceny

Mckenna M. Harris was arrested on an active Elmira City Court arrest warrant for Welfare Fraud and Grand Larceny, both in the 4th degree, both Class E felonies. Harris did not report her income in the form of NYS Department of Labor unemployment with the Department of Social Services, and received $1,511.00 in public assistance SNAP benefits that she was not eligible for.

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