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Today's Top Stories - Monday January 11th, 2021

NY Comptroller Audit of Prattsburgh School District Raises Concerns
A State Comptroller audit of the Prattsburgh School District raised some concerns. According to an audit summary - The board and district officials’ actions to manage financial conditions were not transparent and more taxes were levied than necessary to fund operations. The board also appropriated fund balance totaling $1.13 million for fiscal years 2016-17 through 2018-19 but none of the money was used or needed to fund operations. In addition, the board did not develop written multiyear financial and capital plans. School Superintendent Kory Bay said he appreciated the comments and noted the district will continue to improve.


Bath VFD Responded to Over 450 Calls in 2020
The Bath fire department responded to 466 calls for service in 2020. 67 were fire and 145 were rescue or medical calls.


While National Average Rises, Southern Tier Sees Low Gas Prices
The national average for a gallon of gas rose six cents in the last week. Average price for a gallon of gas hit $2.39 after sitting at $2.32 the week prior. Meanwhile, our very own Southern Tier region joined Finger Lakes and Central New York in seeing a trend of some of the lowest prices in the state. 


More COVID UK Strain Cases Found in NY
Governor Cuomo reports more confirmed COVID-19 UK strain infections in New York state with the first two being traced back to a Saratoga Springs, New York jewelry store. Cuomo says the 3rd case is in Nassau county and not related to the other two. Cuomo thinks there are more UK strain cases than what federal officials estimated. Scientists say this new UK strain is 50-to-70% more contagious than the original, though it is not believed to be more harmful.


Phase 2 of COVID Vaccine Reservations Begin Today
COVID-19 vaccination reservations for the 2nd wave of eligible people begins today and Governor Cuomo says the vaccine supply may not be able to keep up. The 1b phase gives first responders, teachers, public safety and transit workers, and the elderly access to the vaccine as people in phase 1a, which are mainly frontline healthcare workers, will continue to be vaccinated.

GOP State Legislators Criticize Cuomo for Slow Vaccine Rollout
GOP leaders in Albany have criticized the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. After members from the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences were briefed by Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker last Tuesday, only five legislators were given the opportunity to ask questions regarding the state’s delayed vaccine rollout. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt wrote a letter to the Administration in which he said many questions remain unanswered and some answers contained mixed messages and conflicting information. Minority Leader Will Barclay called on Dr. Zucker for an explanation as to why New York state lags behind other states’ ability to administer vaccines to their residents.


Hornell Man Arrested for DWI Charges During Traffic Stop
During a traffic stop, Canisteo-based Troopers arrested Edward C. Dougherty, 62, of Hornell. He was charged with felony DWI, felony first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and misdemeanor DWI. He'll appear in court at a later date.


Troopers Arrest Hornell Man on DUI Charges After Traffic Stop
State police arrested 22-year-old Zachary Long of Hornell during a traffic stop in the Town of Wheeler. Troopers charged him with first-degree driving while impaired by drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation. Court action is pending. 


Cohocton Man Arrested After Fremont Incident
A Cohocton man faces multiple felony counts following an incident in the town of Fremont. State police say they arrested 28-year-old Damian Koerner and charged him with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana for allegedly holding over 16 ounces of it. He was additionally charged with two misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was initially detained.


Cuomo Says TeleHealth Reform is Part of 2021 State of State Address
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced legislation to expand and improve access to telehealth for all as part of the 2021 State of the State. He said the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the inequities in the healthcare system and showed that telehealth is a critical tool to expand access and lower costs for low-income communities, especially for behavioral health support. During the crisis, the Governor took executive action to expand access to remote care. 


Alfred U. Receives Equipment Donation from Eaton Corporation
Alfred University and its Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology announce the receipt of a donation of equipment from Eaton Corporation, which will be used to develop new ceramic materials and manufacturing processes. It will be located at the IncubatorWorks facility in Alfred, which host’s Alfred University’s Center for Prototype Manufacturing, a pilot production facility focused on the development of multi-layer ceramic products and process development.

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