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Top Stories, November 21, 2023

Troopers Report An Accidental Shooting In Big Flats

FROM NYSP:   On November 19, 2023 at about 12:49 p.m., deputies were dispatched to state land located at 2734 St. Rt. 352, Town of Big Flats, to investigate a shooting that occurred at that location. Upon arrival, Deputy Reece Miller immediately began tending to the victim by applying a tourniquet to his left arm. The investigation revealed CHRISTOPHER DEAN, age 29, from Wellsburg placed a loaded Winchester Model 94, lever action 30-30 w/scope, against the front driver’s side fender of the victim’s truck. The victim, JAMES RICE, age 41, from Pine City was standing approximately 5-8 feet from the rifle and adjacent to the open front driver’s side door.

DEAN walked to the passenger side of the truck, then shortly thereafter heard a loud “bang” and then heard Rice yell that he had been shot. DEAN ran over to the driver’s side and RICE said he was shot in his left arm. The gunshot was determined to be in the left forearm, just below the elbow of RICE. Prior to the Deputies arrival, RICE directed DEAN to tie trailer wiring around his arm as a tourniquet. It’s believed the rifle fell over onto the scope causing the rifle to fire at a rising trajectory into RICE’s arm, who DEAN described as “hunching over” when DEAN leaned the rifle on the truck. The Winchester Model 94 does not have a traditional safety feature. Once it is cocked the bullet loads into the chamber and the hammer goes back. The hammer needs to be ridden forward while squeezing the trigger, to which DEAN did not recall doing prior to placing the rifle against the truck.

Due to the nature of the injury, Guthrie Life Flight was summoned to the scene and airlifted RICE to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA for immediate treatment. He has since been life-flighted from Sayre to Philadelphia for further treatment. The Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division was assisted at the scene by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Erway Ambulance and Big Flats Fire Department. West Elmira Fire Department assisted with creating a landing zone for the helicopter behind their department where RICE was transported to by Erway Ambulance.  Potential charges are pending through DEC and/or the Sheriff’s Office once the completed case is reviewed further.


The Question Of The Maps, Is in Court Once Again

The New York State Democrats, have a lawsuit in court, to undo the maps which were drawn on the orders of Steuben County Judge Pat McAllister and upheld by the State Court of Appeals.  Steuben County Democrat Chair Shawn Hogan explains that the Democrats argument is that there is a question of, were the maps intended for one particular election, or where they for the complete 10 year census period?  "We are really involved in this in Steuben County, because Judge McAllister ruled that the maps, the orginal maps, were gerrymandered," Hogan said.  


Steuben Co Statement On Comprehensive Plan 

The final draft of the Steuben County Comprehensive Plan will be presented to the county Legislature for review in late December.  The plan looks to establish the groundwork for the future development of key elements in Steuben and  was finetuned recently by the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, which met to review broad-ranging elements covering five core community values and nine policy areas.

Steering Committee member and county Deputy Manager Christopher Brewer said the final draft reflects the 18-month long efforts of the Rochester-based consultant MRB Group, the steering committee, eight public input sessions held throughout the county, virtual meetings, direct contact with municipal officials, discussions with 28 related agencies and public input on the county website.

The result of those efforts will provide a framework for developments during the next 10-15 years and allow agencies involved in that development to access outside funding, Brewer said.

Once initially approved by county legislators, and following an environmental review (SEQR), the county will hold a public hearing prior to final adoption by the county Legislature.

Key elements include:

Ø  Support for farmers and other agriculturally related businesses and environmental sustainability.

Ø  Encourage affordable and accessible broadband service to all county residents and businesses. Increase diversity and by encouraging more providers to move into .

Ø  Producing a more functional transportation system with service to the workforce and underserved communities.

Ø  Develop a solid plan for affordable and quality housing to meet the needs of workers and seniors Coordinate discussions between industries and educational institutions to identify needed training programs.

Ø  Provide support to municipal and town/village highway officials and civic leaders on available community development resources, needs identification and grant application strategies. 

Ø  Work with local schools to increase support for training in trade and manufacturing industries and  

Ø  Work with neighboring counties, regions, and the State to identify workforce assets, target populations and potential jobs and training placements.

FCC File

On January 4, 2024 Tower Broadcasting, LLC, licensee of call signs: WABH, 1380.0, Bath, New York; W293CE, 106.5, Bath, New York; W262CX, 100.3, Bath, New York; and WVIN-FM, 98.3, Bath, New York, filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to transfer control of its broadcast licenses to the Estate of Gordon Ichikawa.  Members of the public wishing to view this application or obtain information about how to file comments and petitions on the application can visit:  https://publicfiles.fcc.gov and search in the public files of the stations.

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