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Today's Top Stories - Martin Luther King Day - Monday January 18th, 2021

Troopers Investigating Friday Murder in Kanona
State Police say they are continuing to investigate the murder of a woman Friday in Kanona. 38-year-old Roberta Parry was killed and later Troopers arrested her boyfriend, 55-year-old Ricky Louis Brooks. He was charged with second-degree murder, arraigned and remanded to the Steuben County Jail without bail. Investigators expect to have autopsy results later this week. The motive, if known, has not yet been publicly discussed.


COVID Reports 61 New COVID Cases; 687 Active Cases
At the last report, Steuben County logged 61 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total to 4,552 confirmed cases, 687 of which are currently active. The new cases are varied, involving adult homes, schools and businesses. Public health Director Darlene Smith said “While we are grateful to have seen three days of lower case counts, the spread of virus in our community is still at a serious level.” She added…“Please continue to be mindful of the choices you make, especially in
social situations, to help reduce new infections.”


Watkins Glen Man Dies in Saturday Morning Crash
A Watkins Glen man is dead after a crash in the Town of Veteran. Troopers report 26-year-old Thomas Rockwell drove North on Middle Road at around 4:30 Saturday morning, when his pickup went off the road and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the crash remains under investigation.


Tompkins County Reports Case of UK COVID Variant
Tompkins County Health Department reports the UK variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Tompkins county. No further details were released about the infected individual other than the person was immediately quarantined after returning from travel. No close contacts have been found in Tompkins county. Health officials say the UK variant is 50-to-70% more contagious than the original.

According to a new Siena College poll released today, only about a third of New Yorkers think race relations are ‘good’ in the state. Today, 31 percent said race relations are good but a decade ago in  2011, 55 percent of New Yorkers thought race relations were positive.


Comptroller's December State Cash Report "Better than Expected"
According to the monthly State Cash Report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, state tax receipts through the first nine months of the state fiscal year were $2.5 billion lower than last year, yet were $1.8 billion higher than anticipated by the state Division of the Budget (DOB). Tax receipts in the month of December totaled $8.4 billion. This is $422.5 million above last year, and exceeding the DOB’s latest projections of about $1.4 billion above DOB’s latest projections. DiNapoli said: “December’s tax receipts were better than expected, but the revenue challenge is still with us,” and is optimistic about President-elect Biden’s proposed stimulus plan, which allots new aid to help states and localities fill gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bills Fans Help Raise Money for "Blessings in a Backpack"
The Buffalo Bills have done it again defeating the Baltimore Ravens 17-3 Saturday to advance to their first AFC Championship game in 27 years. Spectrum News says after Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was forced out of Saturday night’s game due to injury, a Bills fan shared online he donated $25 to Jackson’s favorite charity. The charity called “Blessings in a Backpack” works to feed elementary school children who are in need on weekends. Jackson’s alma mater, the University of Louisville said their “Blessings in a Backpack” chapter received over 12,000 donations from Bills fans totaling over $75,000. If you would like to donate, click here. Tune into WABH 1380 AM and 100.3 FM as the 15-3 Bills play the 15-2 Chiefs Sunday night at 6:30pm 


Legislation Would Reshape NY Parole Process
A coalition of more than 25 New York lawmakers and 250 of the state’s criminal and social justice reform groups announced they are pressing two pieces of legislation this year that would reshape the parole process in New York. The campaign will work to pass Elder Parole, a bill that would require the parole board to hold hearings for incarcerated people over the age of 55 who have been behind bars more than 15 years, and the Fair and Timely Parole Act, which would shift the focus of commissioners during a parole hearing away from the original crime that someone committed to land behind bars. The campaign is also calling for the governor to fill the three vacant spots on the parole board.


NYCOM Calls on State to Release COVID Rescue Funds
After President-Elect Biden announced a $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan, the New York Conference of Mayors said it’s necessary for the state to release millions of dollars in withheld funds. The organization said the New York’s current policy is hindering the ability for localities to provide essential services and maintain budgets without tax increases. NYCOM  is calling for the withheld funding to be released and for the full amounts to be included in the next budget, which has $350 billion listed for state and local aid. Already, New York has received about $10 billion in federal stimulus funding which NYCOM says the state can afford to release this money. Governor Cuomo said Friday the state needs $15 billion from the plan.


All Noyes Mental Health Appointments Going TeleHealth
Due to increased cases of COVID in the community, beginning today, all scheduled counseling appointments at Noyes Mental Health and Wellness will be conducted via telehealth.  Individual providers will contact clients with details.  Walk-in crisis visits are still available at the Dansville office. 


Proposal Could Require Tech Companies Disclose Device Privacy Info
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a proposal to require companies to prominently disclose information about devices that can record and retain and transmit recordings, such as smartphones, smart speakers and smart TVs. The Governor will propose legislation requiring the disclosure so that New Yorkers can make informed decisions when they choose to buy an internet-connected device that is capable of recording, and so that written warnings about recording are not hidden or written in small print. Over 80 percent of Americans own a smartphone or other digital assistant device, the vast majority of which are equipped with internal microphones or other audio recording capabilities. 54 percent of smart speaker owners express worry about how much of their personal audio information is collected and 66 percent reject better personalization of smart speaker recommendations if it means more of their personal data is collected. 


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