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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday January 6th, 2021

Steuben COVID Deaths Hit 147; 83 More Cases
COVID has claimed another life in Steuben County. The individual was a male resident of the Village of Addison who died while hospitalized at the age of 65. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 147. Health officials also report another 83 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 3,793 confirmed cases, 618 of which are currently active.


FCS of Finger Lakes Launch Toddler Mental Health Program
Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes will launch a new infant and toddler mental health program, in collaboration with Child and Family Resources. Miranda Pipher, who heads the program, says assessing the mental health of those too young to speak relies on communication cues like crying. Pipher also observed infants, including her own, can struggle to pick up on such non-verbal cues when people are wearing masks. The infant and toddler mental health program is funded in part by a state grant.


Habitat For Humanity Starting New Bath Housing Development
Habitat for Humanity will soon start a new housing development in Bath. Mayor Mike Sweet made the announcement this morning. Sweet says it shows what we can do versus what we have done in the past.


Bath Sex Offender Arrested for Child Porn
A registered sex offender from Steuben County has been arrested on child porn charges. 34-year-old Charles Augrom, III of Bath is charged with receipt and distribution of child porn. Federal prosecutors say Augrom was arrested following an investigation that began in July 2020. A search of his cell phone allegedly turned up about 250 child porn videos and images. Augrom reportedly has two prior child porn-related convictions and is listed as a Level III sex offender. He made an initial appearance in court Tuesday and is in custody ahead of a detention hearing next week. If convicted, he could face five to 20 years in prison.


Cuomo Calls for Marijuana Legalization for Third Time in 3 Years
Governor Cuomo called for the legalization of marijuana this week and his proposal is expected to be announced by the end of today in his third attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in the past 3 years. Under the plan there would be an office known as the Office of Cannabis Management, which would oversee recreational and medical uses. Legislators may be more interested in moving forward with this proposal as the state faces serious budget deficits.


Cuomo Says General Public Will Have Vaccine by Mid-Summer
Despite saying earlier that mid-January was the projected start of vaccinating the general population, now health officials in New York say that early to mid-summer is far more realistic.  Governor Cuomo says the main source of the slowdown is at the hospital level.  Cuomo says only about half of state-run hospitals are acting fast enough to distribute their allotments of the COVID-19 vaccine. If they don’t use it by the end of the week, that could mean a fine of up to 100 thousand dollars from the state and that hospital system not being able to get vaccines in the future.

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