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Today's Top Stories - Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Two Arrested for Cannabis Sales at Bath Commercial Establishment
Bath Police and Steuben County Sheriff’s Departments report December 30th, officers of the Bath PD and Sheriff’s deputies arrested two persons in connection with cannabis possession and sales at a commercial establishment on West Morris Street in the Village of Bath, resulting from an investigation and search. Arrested was 34-year old Michael Brown of Hammondsport for allegedly selling cannabis to someone under the age of 21. He was charged with Criminal Sale of Cannabis in the Third Degree then released on an appearance ticket to return to the Village of Bath Court. Also arrested was 34-year-old Brent D. Gallegos of Bath. He allegedly possessed a quantity of suspected cannabis in excess of three ounces. Gallegos was charged with Unlawful Possession of Cannabis then released on an appearance ticket to return to the Village of Bath Court. Chief Taft and Sheriff Allard thank State Troopers for their assistance in this arrest. 


Bath Dollar General on Route 415 Closed for Heat Repairs
The Bath Dollar General on Route 415 is closed until further notice until heating repairs in the store are completed. The other two Bath Dollar General stores on State Route 54 and West Morris Street are still open if you need to shop at the chain retail store. 


Steuben Joins 11-County Call to Rescind Health Care Worker Booster Mandate
Steuben and ten other county governments in the greater Finger Lakes region wrote a letter to Governor Hochul yesterday where they urged her to rescind the New York state’s vaccine booster mandate for health care workers. Staffing shortages across the area are cited as a reason they ask to roll back the mandate. Steuben and the ten other counties said they would be in favor of offering a “test-out option for fully vaccinated healthcare workers who do not receive the recommended booster shot within the prescribed time frame on a temporary basis until the Omicron wave subsides and the hospital capacity crisis abates.”


O’Mara Speaking at Jan. 20th Virtual Public Hearing on Farm Overtime
January 4th was the first of three scheduled public hearings on reducing the overtime threshold for farm laborers. State Senator Tom O’Mara is scheduled to speak at the next virtual meeting on January 20th and says he hopes to delay any further action by the Farm Wage Board to lower the requisite number of hours a farm worker needs to work before receiving overtime. Overtime is currently set at 60 hours and O’Mara says lowering the threshold to 40 hours a week will weaken the state’s agricultural industry and put some farms out of business. He cosponsored legislation that would extend the submission date for the report on the matter to December 31st, 2024.


Sheriff’s Office Arrests 3 for Impaired Driving
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports from January 8th - 11th, deputies arrested three people for  impaired or intoxicated driving. Suspects include 43-year-old Addison man Michael J. Eckstein on State Route 417 in Erwin for alleged DWI, 30-year-old Hornell woman Andraya J. Bartlebaughfor allegedly operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs on Bethesda Drive in Hornell,  and 48-year-old Painted Post man Nilesh T. Patel on South Hamilton Street in Erwin for alleged DWI. All 3 suspects were released on traffic summons to appear in respective town Courts.


Alfred-Almond CSD Starts Remote Learning as Bus Driver Sick Out Continues
As a result of the bus driver strike at the Alfred-Almond School District, the school has gone to remote learning for the day after most of the drivers called out sick.  The district says it's trying to keep bus routes running smoothly despite the shortage as they are now down to three bus drivers after one was fired and four quit. Parents pushed board members for answers and a plan to get kids to school. At a heated board meeting this morning, former bus driver Aaron Kautz asked Superintendent Bliven how kids would get to their in-person learning to which Bliven responded  "We'll let you know," Kautz then called for a vote of no confidence for Bliven to resign. Kautz says he was fired by the school district after posting about the labor disputes to social media. Bliven said though AACSD bus drivers are understaffed, students will continue to have in-person learning. 


NY DOH Releases New Vaccination Guidance for School Extracurricular Activities
New York State Department of Health issued new guidance that would restrict some students, teachers, and school staff from being able to participate in sports, extracurriculars, and other after-school activities, depending on their booster vaccination status. Guidance was issued to school districts and local health departments earlier this week and says those ages 12 and older who are eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot, and not yet boosted, won’t be allowed to participate in extracurricular or after school activities if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. This new guidance only affects extracurricular activities. Those who have been exposed but are fully-vaccinated may continue to attend school activities regardless of booster shots. The same rule applies for teachers and school staff members.


Palmesano Reveals New Bills for New State Legislative Session
As a response to Governor Hochul’s annual State of the State Address, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano introduced some new measures he wants passed in the State Assembly. Palmesano introduced the Inflation Relief and Consumer Assistance Plan that he says will put hard-earned dollars back into your pockets by slashing sales taxes for two years and bring immediate relief at the pump, on grocery bills and home heating costs. He says the Restore Order Anti-Crime initiative would keep violent criminals off the streets, fix faulty bail reform laws and restore judicial discretion back to judges. 

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