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Today's Top Stories - Thursday December 30th, 2021

Names of Victims Released in Yesterday’s Fatal Cohocton Crash
Troopers have released the names of the victims in the fatal, two-vehicle accident last evening in Cohocton.  Both vehicles were traveling northbound when the lead vehicle slowed to make a left turn into a driveway, when the 2nd vehicle struck the lead vehicle from behind.  The driver of the first car was 54-year-old Eric Anable from Wayland was transported to Noyes Hospital for non-life-threatening-injuries.  Two other passengers 46-year-old Michael Hagadone of Cohocton and 38-year-old Gregory Staley of Wayland were transported to Strong for serious injuries. 63-year old Christina Hagadone of Cohocton was pronounced dead at the scene.   Police say 19-year-old Owen Kirsch of Naples was arrested around 6pm and  charged with first-degree Vehicular Manslaughter (a class-C felony), Driving While Intoxicated, and Aggravated DWI. According to the arrest report, this was Kirsch’s first DWI offense. Troopers say the investigation into the crash remains active.


Woman Indicted for Destroying Evidence in Child Sex Abuse Case
An Avoca woman who was indicted by a grand jury on accusations of allegedly destroying and concealing evidence related to a child pornography and rape case could face up to four years in prison.  55-year-old April Simms is charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence and Endangering the Welfare of Child. Simms allegedly hid and destroyed evidence to prevent it from being used in a rape and child pornography investigation that involved another person at her home in the town of Avoca in 2020 and 2021. If convicted of the most serious offense, Simms can face 4 years in prison. She entered a not guilty plea and was released by the Court, based upon the requirements of the Bail Reform laws enacted by the New York State Legislature in 2020. Simms was ordered by the judge to not leave the county and is also not allowed to have contact with the victim as the Judge issued an Order of Protection. According to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, this investigation into further, underlying rape and child pornography allegations still continues as additional arrests and charges are expected in the near future. 


Lindley Man Arrested in Connection to Fraud Investigation in June
State Troopers arrested a 26-year-old Lindley man in connection to a June fraud investigation. Ryan Brown was arrested yesterday by State Police out of Horseheads for Grand Larceny in the third degree. Brown’s arrest stems from a fraud investigation that began June 9th this year in the Town of Cayuta. After he was arrested, he was released on an appearance ticket for the class D felony.


4 More COVID-related Deaths in Steuben County
The Steuben County Public Health Department reported 4 more COVID-related deaths.  Two of the victims were males: a 60-year-old from Bath and a 70-year-old from Howard. The other two victims are females: a 68-year-old from Hornell and a 43-year-old from Woodhull.  This brings the total number of COVID deaths within Steuben County to 273. 


Bath and 3 Steuben Municipalities Opt Into Cannabis Dispensaries
Of the 48 Steuben County municipalities, only a handful have opted-in to both cannabis dispensaries and on-site consumption laws. Pulteney, Rathbone, Hornby and the Village of Bath have opted into both, while the City of Corning and Town of Lindley opted in for dispensaries but out of on-site consumption.  Communities have until Dec. 31st to opt-out of the law and those who do not act will automatically be included in the marijuana business legislation. 


$78 Million in Funding Available in NY for Home & Community Renewal
Governor Kathy Hochul announced $78 million in funding is now available through the Community Development Block Grant CARES Act.  The federal program administered by NY State Homes and Community Renewal is now accepting applications to help eligible communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. 


$150 Million in Development Grants Available to NY Businesses
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced over $26 million has been awarded to support 27 priority projects across NY State through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. This year, $150 million in grant funds from Empire State Development was made available on a continuous and competitive basis to support the immediate needs of applicants. Additionally, projects within each region are eligible for a share of $75 million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits to help attract and grow business in their region.

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