Village Republican caucus
Village of Bath Republicans held their caucus last night for two seats on the Village Board. Mark Bardeen and Melanie Coots, both current board members where selected for the March election. No other candidates were nominated. Bardeen has served six years for the Village and Coots is just completing a two year term. Both candidates were also endorsed by the Village Democrats at their caucus last week.
Clayton Trial Resumes with More Witness Testimony
The Thomas Clayton murder trial resumed on Monday with six more witness taking the stand. Among them were players at the poker game the night of the murder, a New York State Police Investigator, a close friend of the victim, and a New York State Police K-9 handler. So far forty-five witnesses have testified over the course of the trial, which will resume today at 9:30 a.m. Clayton is facing charges of first-and-second degree murder in connection with his wife’s death. He is currently free on bail.
Steuben Co. Reminds Residents of Upcoming Drug Forum
Steuben County is reminding residents of its upcoming Community Opioid and Substance Abuse Forum. It will be held on February 9th at 6 p.m. in the Haverling High School Auditorium in Bath. It will feature a panel of county officials, physicians, and related agency representatives with information designed to assist addicts and their families.
Car on railroad tracks
A car ended up stuck on railroad tracks last evening at the intersection of RT 352 and Gorton Road in Corning. Apparently the driver of a car passed out and the car ended up on railroad tracks. Steuben County Sheriff’s Department is investigating…the driver was taken to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.
Governor Proposes Writing Roe v. Wade into State Constitution
On Family Planning Advocate’s Day of Action, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he proposing writing Roe v. Wade into the New York State constitution. In case the Roe v. Wade decision is overturned or altered by a new U.S. Supreme Court, the governor said he wants to keep abortion legal in NYS. Said the Governor, “We will not allow the progress of the women’s movement to be stopped, and we must seize this opportunity to bring the state and nation forward and stand up for women’s health.”
Last Day to Sign up for Obamacare
Today is the last day to sign up for the Obamacare health insurance program….known as the Affordable Care Act. The future of the Health Care program is uncertain as the new President and Republicans have said they will replace it with a better one. Despite the political fight that is going on today, the program is expected to continue through this year and maybe next year as well.
Bath Man Arrested for Slashing Tires:
A Bath man has been arrested for allegedly slashing tires. 42-year-old Jamie Johnson is accused of slashing all four tires of a car on Campbell Street in the Village. He was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Visitor Restriction at Local Hospitals:
Late last week several local hospitals placed restrictions on visitors as a precautionary
measure against influenza. Restrictions were put in place on Thursday at Ira Davenport Memorial in Bath, and Arnot Ogden Medical and St. Joseph’s in Elmira that allow only two visitors and one caregiver in a room at any one time, and visitors must be 14 or older, except in maternity units. The restrictions are expected to last at least through today.
Campbell-Savona Super. Responds to Comptroller’s Report:
A recent report from the State Comptroller’s Office listed the Campbell-Savona Central School District as being at a possible risk for financial stress. District Superintendent Kathy Hagenbuch has now responded, saying that it’s actually the opposite. The Superintendent says the rating can be explained by past audits that found the Reserve Fund Balance to be too high. The district has made adjustments. Also, Hagenbuch said the report is due to what she calls a “formula technicality.” She explained that the district moved $1.1 million from a Capital Reserve Fund to start paying for Capital Projects and that the Comptroller sees the transfer as a deficit. Hagenbuch says that the financial status of the district is solid.
$170M to Stay in NYS for Broadband Access:
Money earmarked for New York State broadband access that was in danger of going to other states will now stay in New York. The $170 million was in danger of being relocated after Verizon declined the money. It will be used to support the expansion of broadband access through rural areas of the upstate.
Applications Open for Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program:
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for the Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program. The program provides day-old chicks at no cost to participants who are able to provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen, and an adequate release site in hopes of enhancing pheasant hunting opportunities. Last year, more than 34,000 chicks were distributed to qualified applicants. Those interested in participating should contact their nearest DEC regional wildlife office. Applications must be filed by March 25th.
CLAYTON TRIAL WRAPS UP TESTIMONY
The weeklong testimony for the Clayton trial has come to an end. Thursday brought to the stand the owner of ServPro, an Elmira Jackals announcer, and a business manager from the Finn academy. On Friday, ServPro owner and friend Lang characterized Clayton as a family man and loving husband. A New York State Police Investigator testified regarding photos and debris from the crime scene as well as evidence recovered by the autopsy. The trial continues 9:30am Monday in Steuben County Court.
NYS SCHOOLS LESS FISCALLY STRESSED SAYS REPORT
Fewer schools are fiscally stressed according to the report issued this week by New York State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli. This year's total number of fiscally stressed schools is 59, down from the previous 82. Andover Central Schools and Campbell-Savona were identified as being high risk for fiscal stress. School districts under fiscal stress are more likely to have higher poverty rates and lower rates for graduation.
REED VOTES YES TO HR3
Congressman Tom Reed says he voted for the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. Reed said on his Facebook page: "This legislation makes permanent the #HydeAmendment and blocks taxpayer money from being used to fund abortions." Current Vice Chair of the Trump Transition Team, Reed recently voted for a House Resolution that would dismantle the Affordable Healthcare Act but supports some provisions of the law.
CORNING AWARDED REDEVELOPMENT GRANT
Corning will be getting at least $480,000 of funding for the Blodgett Site redevelopment project. Restore-NY Communities Initiatives Program has awarded municipalities with state grant funding. The state legislature created the program in 2006 with the intent to aid cities to remove or rehabilitate commercial and residential properties that are obsolete and rundown.
More Witness Testimony in Clayton Trial:
On Day Thirteen of the Thomas Clayton murder trial three more witnesses took the stand, including the owner of ServPro and longtime friend of Clayton, Brian Lang. He testified about the GPS systems that are in all ServPro vehicles, including the one Clayton used before and after his wife’s murder. He also said that Clayton talked to him about his extramarital affairs. Lang is expected to return to the stand when court resumes today at 9:30 a.m.
Bath Man Arrested for Failing to Register Address Change:
A Bath man has been arrested on a warrant dated in February of 2007 for failing to register his change of address when he moved to Mexico nearly 10 years ago. 56-year-old Johnathan Hoffman is being held without bail for absconding from NY State Parole pending future parole hearings.
Puppies in I-86 Crash May Have Come From Puppy Mills:
The crash earlier this week on I-86 that involved over 100 puppies has led to a lot of questions: chief among them being where they all came from. Veterinarian Susan Farmer, of the Bath Veterinarian Hospital, who treated the puppies injured in the crash said while there’s no way to know for certain it is possible that they came from puppy mills. The puppies were from the Midwest where the farms are common. While there was no indications of animal cruelty, Farmer said there were some concerns as some of the puppies had upper respiratory infections, eye infections, and some were covered in waste. Farmer urges everyone to ‘think globally and act locally,’ saying that there are puppy mills in our area as well and that when someone purchases a puppy they might be unwittingly supporting the puppy mill area. She says, “Don’t shopt, adopt.”
Dandy Mini Mart Headed into Vacant CCC Business Dev. Center:
Dandy Mini Mart will be constructing a new gas station convenience store in Corning, at the location of the vacant Corning Community College Business Development Center. The current 33,500-squarefoot building will be razed to make way for the business. The time-table for construction is currently unknown.
Corning Receives Restore NY Grant:
Corning is among several local communities that has received a Restore NY grant. Corning, Elmira, Owego, Ithaca, and Southport have all received about $500,000 each for different projects. The City of Corning will use the money for redevelopment of the Northside Blodgett building, while Elmira plans to rehabilitate buildings on Lake Street.
Grants for Local Museums:
New York’s Council on the Arts has awarded several local organizations with state funding. The Southern Tier will receive over $1.5 million, with money going to the Rockwell Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass, among others. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the funds will reinforce New York’s role as a global cultural destination.
Phone Scam Warning:
The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning regarding a new phone scam. According to the BBB, the scammers ask “can you hear me,” hoping to prompt you to say “yes.” The response is recorded and can then be used to sign you up for products or services. They offer the following advice: if you receive an unsolicited robocall from an organization or business, hang up; if you are asked a similar question or are asked to press a button to be placed on the Do Not Call Registry, hang up; and write down the phone number of those callers violating the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with the BBB and the FTC’s Do Not Call List.
Judge Denies Mistrial Motion in Clayton Trial:
In day 12 of the Thomas Clayton murder trial, the judge denied a motion for a mistrial. Clayton’s defense called the motion based on the questioning of a witness by District Attorney Weeden Wetmore. The witness, New York State Police investigator Kenneth Ruland, testified to finding keys under a cab in the garage that matched a door to the Clayton home. He said that information from Michael Beard led them to finding the key. Judge Peter Bradstreet denied the mistrial motion, but did warn against mentioning Beard’s confession. Also on the stand Wednesday, was a former State Farm Insurance employee who testified that both Thomas and Kelley Clayton’s life insurance policies were increased in 2014. Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m.
Friendly’s Arnot Mall Location Closed:
There’s one less option for those hoping to take in meal in the Arnot Mall’s food court, as the Friendly’s restaurant unexpectedly closed its doors on Sunday. A statement from Arnot Mall officials read that the decision to close the location was made by Friendly’s corporate office, as they continue implementing planned closures at a number of locations. It went on to say they are already working on new developments for the location and that they look forward to announcing the plans in the near future.
Bath Wastewater Plant Decision Coming Soon:
Details on how the Bath Wastewater Treatment plant will be upgraded to meet new regulations are expected to be announced soon. The Utility Commission will meet on February 2nd at the Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems office to discuss two options. The first would cost an estimated $14 million and would update and improve the plant to one million gallons per day. The second would cost an estimated $15 million and would improve the plant to 1.3 million gallons per day.
IRS Makes Changes to Tax Refunds:
Tax season is underway, but if you’re eager to file expecting your refund, you’re likely to be disappointed. The IRS has implemented major changes to the refund procedure. Namely, they won’t be processed until February 15th. The move is apparently part of a fraud prevention system that will allow them time to match the information on the tax return to the W2 before a refund is issued.
Steuben Co. Hope to Set Transparency Standard with OpenGov:
Steuben County and OpenGov, the world’s first integrated cloud solution for public sector budgeting, reporting and open data, announced Wednesday they will begin to roll out the OpenGov Smart Government PlatformTM for the county. The new cloud-based software will help Steuben County simplify its budget planning, improve its internal data management, and make important information easily accessible to its citizens and elected officials. The county aims to set a new standard for government transparency and efficiency in the State of New York, and plans to have its OpenGov platform fully up and running in early 2017.
New Finger Lakes Visitor Center to Open in Geneva this Fall:
On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Rochester promoting his state budget proposal, and among the things he discussed was his plan to turn the Geneva visitors’ center into a state-of-the-art Finger Lakes tourism hub. It would reportedly include kiosks with videos and directions to Finger Lakes attractions and a “Taste NY” gift shop with Finger Lakes wine, beer, cider, and spirits. There would also be a walk of fame featuring notable people of the region such as George Eastman, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Governor said he wants to debut the new center by the fall.
CSS Workforce Moves Location:
Chemung Schuyler Steuben Workforce New York (CSS Workforce) has relocated its Program Oversight and Administrative Office to 8 Denison Parkway East in Corning, where it is sharing space with the Regional Economic Development and Energy Corporation (REDEC) and the Corning Community College Small Business Development Center (SBDC). In a press release, CSS Workforce said the move is an effort to realize shared-resource cost savings and to provide streamlined service delivery to the community.
New Hammondsport Hotel Earns Highest Overall Service Score:
The newly opened Best Western Plus in Hammondsport is being recognized for earning the highest overall service score for the fourth quarter. The hotel boasted a 97.2 percent in overall guest satisfaction, ranking #7 out of over 2,000 Best Westerns. It was also ranked #2 in the nation in Overall Breakfast scores, and #4 in Overall Cleanliness of Rooms. Best Western awarded the hotel a certificate at a luncheon on January 11th for their outstanding efforts.
Heating Company’s Contest Saves Woman’s Life:
A local heating company was trying to give back to the community by running a contest for a free heating system, and it went above and beyond. Appolo Heating allowed individuals to nominate friends who they thought were in need of a new HVAC system – or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. At a sight visit of one of the finalists – a widow who asked to remain anonymous – they discovered that she had a cracked heat exchanger, which poses a big danger of carbon monoxide being emitted throughout the home. As she was in the most need, Appolo Heating installed an entire new system, free of charge, and she now out of harm’s way. The company urges everyone to perform yearly maintenance on your systems to avoid any deadly situations.
Steuben Co. Sheriff Testifies in Clayton Trial:
Four more witnesses took the stand Tuesday at the Steuben County Courthouse in the Thomas Clayton murder trial. Among them was Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard, who was undersheriff at the time of Kelley Clayton’s murder. Allard testified to statements made by the responding deputy at the scene of the crime. He said the deputy told him the scene looked like a domestic incident gone wrong, and that it looked like Thomas Clayton was covering something up. Several investigators with the New York State Police also testified on Tuesday, including one who stated that the tires on the red truck Clayton allegedly provided to Michael Beard did not match the ones found at the crime scene. Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m.
Child Porn Charges for Big Flats Man:
New York State Police in Horseheads executed a search warrant Tuesday morning for a Town of Big Flats man on allegations of child pornography. 67-year-old Ralph Beaton is facing felony charges of promoting a sexual performance by a child, and possession of a sexual performance by a child. He was sent to the Chemung County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. Additional charges may be filed after additional examination of recovered evidence.
Puppies Recovering after I-86 Accident:
Puppies on their way to a pet store were rescued and treated by the Steuben County SPCA Tuesday after the vehicle they were in lost control on I-86 near Avoca. State Police in Bath say the driver, Emily Woodrum of Missouri, was allegedly driving at an unsafe speed when she lost control and went into the ditch. Of the 100 puppies, 5 suffered minor injuries.
Steuben Conflict Defender’s Duties Increased:
Steuben County legislators approved Monday a plan to cover as much as 80 percent of the felony cases handled by assignments, thereby reducing county costs. The Legislature approved increasing the part-time conflict defender position to full time, reducing the need to hire outside attorneys in the event of a conflict of interest for the Public Defender’s office. The salary increase, from the current $37,500 to $75,000, is expected to be paid largely through a state grant.
Corning Inc. Releases 2016 Financial Report:
Corning Inc. had a strong fourth quarter and a good 2016, according to the latest financial reports released by the company. The fourth quarter was their best out of the year, with each quarter building upon the previous. Over the year, the company saw a six percent growth in sales, 24 percent earnings growth, and 47 percent earnings per share growth. Vice President of Corporate Communications Dan Collins said that 2017 looks to be a strong year as well, with an expectation of improved net income, improved sales, and improved earnings per share throughout the year.
Free Tuition Debate Begins in Albany:
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious proposal for free tuition for eligible students in New York State faced its first hearing in Albany Tuesday and the debate went on for more than six hours. State legislators discussed who would be eligible, how much it would cost taxpayers, and if a tuition-free policy is the best way to make college more affordable. The proposal would make New York the first state to make tuition free at both community colleges and four-year schools. Tennessee and Oregon have tuition-free two-year community college programs, and Rhode Island is currently considering a similar program to New York’s. Some of the challenges to the proposal include the fact that part-time students are excluded, that the free-tuition wouldn’t include room and broad, or fees or books, and that it’s still unclear how much exactly it would cost the state.
Goodrich Donates Work on Steuben’s Fire Investigation Bus:
The Steuben County Legislature recently accepted, with thanks, work on the county Fire Investigation Bus volunteered by Kris Goodrich, owner of Goodrich Auto Works in Bath. The donation included labor for lettering, preparing and painting the bus. The work was valued at $9,900.
We didn’t get as much as forecast but old man winter is wreaking havoc this morning as several inches of snow has closed area schools. The winter storm warning has been downgraded to an advisory, but roads are slippery as roads crews are out clearing streets and roads.
Clayton Trial Kicks Off Third Week
On Monday, the murder trial of Thomas Clayton kicked off its third week with more witness testimony, including a senior investigator and blood spatter expert with the New York State Police who spent the better part of the day on the stand. The investigator discussed more than 130 photos that were taken at the crime scene and testified to the various examples of blood spatter evidence, and what each one represents. He also testified to collecting the murder weapon off State Route 225 about five days after Kelley Clayton’s death. Court will resume today at 9:30a.m. Clayton is facing charges of first-degree and second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death.
Corning CEO Meets with President Trump
President Donald Trump sat down at a meeting with 10 business leaders on Monday, and among them was Corning Incorporated CEO Wendell Weeks. The meeting was focused around the President’s promises to wipe out 75 percent of government regulations that hinder businesses, fast-track plans to open factories, and cut taxes. Corning Inc. spokesman Joe Dunning said that “Wendell was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with President Trump” and said that the meeting was described as “very positive.” Dunning also said Corning plans to expand U.S Manufacturing significantly in the coming years as they invest in their growing optical Communications division.
Bath Republican Caucus Jan. 30th
The Village of Bath will hold its Republican caucus at 7 p.m. Monday, January 30th at the Village Hall. Two five-year trustee seats will be nominated for the March ballot. All Republican voters in the village are encouraged to attend. The Democrats will caucus Wednesday night Jan 25th at 7:00pm also in the Village Hall
NYS Adds Day, Plans for Gondola:
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced several changes that are coming to the Great New York State Fair, including that it will last a whole extra day, bringing its total to 13. Cuomo also announced plans for a gondola that will carry attendees roughly 3,700 feet from Gate 10 to the Orange Lot entrance at the amphitheater. It will cost $15 million, and the state is looking at federal funding to pay for it. If approved, the project will be completed in June 2018. There was also talk of a new Aerial Sky Ride for the Midway that will debut on the Fair’s opening day, August 23rd, and a new $35 million, 800,000 square-foot hybrid building and Expo Center that will be available year-round for local and statewide events.
Right-to-Die Bill Introduced to NYS Legislature
Legislation that would give people with terminal illnesses the right to request life-ending drugs from a physician has once again been proposed to the state Legislature. The bill was introduced Monday in Albany and it would require two physicians to certify that the patient’s illness is terminal.
CCE to Hold Farmers’ Market Training Webinars
On February 1st, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County will host a Women, Infants, and Children Vegetables and Fruit Check Program and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program webinar-viewing session. The FMNP webinar will be held from noon to 1 p.m., and the WIC VF webinar will be from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. for farmers interested in participating in market season. Admission is free. Registration is due by January 30th. For more information contact CCE at (607) 664-2300.
Winter Weather Storm Warning:
The National Weather Service in Binghamtom has issued a winter storm warning for snow and sleet for much of central New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania, including: Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Tompkins, and Tioga counties, among others, as well as the cities of Penn Yan, Corning, Hornell, Watkins Glen, and Elmira. Heavy wet snow, sleet, and strong winds are expected with the potential for 4 to 9 inches of accumulation, with the heaviest amounts in the higher terrain. Rain will move into the area early today and it will turn to mix of rain, snow, and sleet throughout the day. Light freezing rain may be possible. Roads are expected to be treacherous and travel very dangerous. The strong winds could lead to power outages. The warning is in effect from 1 p.m. today to 1 p.m. tomorrow.
Fire in Bath Sat. Morning:
The Bath Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched just ahead of 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning on a report of a fire at the State Farm Insurance Company building at 16 West Pulteney Square in the Village. The quick response by Bath crews knocked the flames down and they were able to keep fire and water damage minimal to a small area in one room, with only smoke damage throughout the rest. No one was in the building at the time. Multiple departments responded, including the Bath VA, Hammondsport and Pulteney. Savona served standby at the Bath station, and Kanona served standby in Savona.
Pedestrian Struck by Car in Bath:
A pedestrian was struck by a car in Bath Saturday afternoon. Bath Police say the 76-year-old man was crossing West Morris Street at the West Washington Street intersection when he was struck. He was taken to Ira Davenport Memorial with minor injuries. Heavy traffic and sun glare are being cited as possible causes of the accident. The investigation is ongoing.
Steuben Co. Legislature to Approve Bridge Design Costs:
Funding for the design of a bridge replacement project in the Town of Hornellsville is expected to be approved by the Steuben County Legislature when it meets in regular session today at 10 a.m. The $350,000 design costs to replace the County Road 66 bridge over the Canisteo River will be paid for through federal and state funding. The work is expected to take place in mid-to-late 2018 or early 2019, according to county Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti. Also on the legislature’s agenda today is reclassifying a part-time Conflict Defender to full-time, among other business.
Campbell Water District Extension Meeting:
There will be an informational meeting in the Town of Campbell tonight regarding the town’s Water District One extension. The meeting will focus on sample results taken last year and will provide an updated engineers report from Hunt Engineers. Residents living in the water district are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held at the Town Hall at 6 p.m.
DRIVERS MUST MOVE OVER A LANE FOR EMERGENCIES
New York state drivers must move over a lane when firefighters, police cars, ambulance staff and other service providers tend to roadside emergency. The law has recently been expanded for volunteer firefighters and ambulance staff using green or blue lights while pulled over. Governor Cuomo supports the law with intent to keep responders much safer.
DAY 9 OF MICHAEL CLAYTON TRIAL
A full day of testimony began Friday for the Clayton murder trial as the jury heard the story of a ServPro coworker. The witness had worked with both Beard and Clayton at the Horseheads ServPro. In her testimony, she claimed Clayton talked to her about cleaning the murder scene himself and showed a cellphone photo of a bloodstain. Surveillance footage was played showing the suspicious vehicle into the ServPro parking lot 45 minutes after Kelley Clayton was murdered. Testimony in the case will resume at 9:30am Monday in Steuben County court.
TOWN OF CORNING PLANS FOR SUMMER ROAD WORK
Corning town roads are up for improvements beginning in June and expected to be complete in August. Approved by the town board in January, the plan will provide general repairs to High Street Extension, Dibble Road and White Oaks Drive. Highway Superintendent Dylan Dewart said these summer projects won't have detours and won't cost more than $200,000.
STATE AWARD FOR INVASIVE SPECIES
Governor Cuomo's administration announced Thursday that New York state is making $2 million available to local governments and non-profits to combat the spread of invasive species in our ecosystems. The intent of these grants is to support project which seek to detect, monitor and stop the spread of nonnative plants and animals. Officials say preference will be given to projects that focus on early detection of non-native species.
7 Witnesses Took the Stand Thursday in Clayton Trial:
The courtroom of the Thomas Clayton murder trial was a busy place Thursday as seven witnesses took the stand, including a man who played poker with Clayton the night of his wife’s murder. Greg Miller testified that Clayton was one of the last people to leave the game that night and that Clayton borrowed his wife Linda’s phone during the game. Linda Miller took the stand, as well, confirming that Clayton did borrow her phone and that she later discovered the calls had been deleted. The Miller’s daughter then testified, saying she retrieved the call data online and found that Clayton had called Michael Beard the night of the murder. Court will resume today at 9:30 a.m.
Addison Man Accused of Raping Child:
An Addison man has been arrested for allegedly raping a child under the age of 11. Wednesday afternoon, state police charged 22-year-old Deven Miller with 1st degree rape. Troopers said the alleged assault happened last week in the town of Campbell. Miller was detained by authorities.
Drug Charges for Avoca Man:
The Village of Bath police have arrested a 24-year-old Avoca man on multiple drug charges. Damian Koerner is charged with violation of parole, criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, and unlawful possession of marijuana. He has been sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Domestic Disturbance Leads to Arrest of Savona Man:
A Savona man has been arrested following an investigation into a reported domestic dispute that occurred on January 12th. 53-year-old Carl Brown has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon. He allegedly pointed a firearm at another person, making them fear injury or death. He also allegedly was in possession of a stolen firearm. He was arraigned and was released on his own recognizance.
Police Investigate Threat Found at Horseheads Middle School:
Police are investigating a written threat that was found Thursday at Horseheads Middle School. The threat was found in one of the bathrooms sometime during the school day. Police say it’s not a credible threat, but their investigation is ongoing. School officials released a statement late Thursday night saying that law enforcement will be on hand to ensure the safety and security of students as they arrive this morning and throughout the day.
3 Arrested in Warrant Check:
Three people have been arrested following a day of warrant checks by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office. 33-year-old Antonio Grant of Bath was arrested on a family court warrant. 75-year-old Larry Schenk of Naples was arrested on a warrant from the Town of Bath for issuing a bad check. 41-year-old Neil Davis of Cameron was arrested on a bench warrant out of the Town of Woodhull.
Steuben Co. to Hold Drug Forum Feb. 9th:
In response to the epidemic of drug abuse addictions, Steuben County is going to host its first Community Opioid and Substance Abuse Forum on February 9th at 6 p.m. in the Haverling High School Auditorium in Bath. The forum will feature a panel of county officials, physicians, and related agency representatives with information designed to assist addicts and their families locate the help they’re looking for. Also included will be an information table on existing services, open at 5:30 p.m., with information sharing, personal stories, and a panel discussion set for 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Price of Forever Stamps Increases Sunday:
If you’ve been meaning to purchase more Forever Stamps, you may want to make a trip to the post office today, as on Sunday the price will be increasing. Currently the price is 47 cents, this weekend they’ll go up to 49 cents. Postcards, international mail, and heavier packages will not be affected.
Blandford Returns to Stand in Clayton Trial:
As expected, Mark Blandford returned to the stand Wednesday in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton. During cross-examination, he testified that he served as a lookout for Michael Beard. Three other witnesses also took the stand Wednesday, including a former employee who said Clayton bragged about the money he had; a former work associate who testified to riding out to the Clayton home on September 23rd with Beard in a truck that Clayton had left for Beard; and a NYSP investigator who spoke about evidence he gathered and a video he recorded of the crime scene. Court is expected to resume at 9:30 a.m. today. Clayton is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two-counts of second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death. Beard was found guilty of first-and-second degree murder in November.
$33M Awarded to Southern Tier for Bridge Work:
Round One of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s BRIDGE NY initiative will see over $33 million coming to the Southern Tier to rehabilitate and replace bridges. In Steuben County, over $1.6 million is going to the City of Corning for Bridge Street, and the City of Hornell is receiving over $1.2 million for Seneca Street and over $1.8 million for East Main Street. The county Public Works Department will get over $4.2 million for County Road 22 over the Canisteo River. The Village of Arkport was denied a $210,000 grant to repair the Meadowbrook Road bridge. Instead the village will work with county services to replace it this summer.
C-PP Capitol Projects on Time:
At Wednesday’s night meeting of the Corning-Painted Post School Board, Superintendent Mike Ginalski said that the $623 million capital project underway in the district is within budget and on time. He said both Severn and Erwin Valley Elementary Schools are in the middle of construction, and Carter and Grey Elementary School are about to start construction. He added that the stadium should be ready to go in time for spring sports.
Gov. Cuomo Proposes Beer/Wine Sales in Movie Theaters:
During his time in office, Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken many steps to boost New York’s wine and beer industry, and during his budget briefing Tuesday night, the Governor took another one. He announced that he will be seeking legislation that would allow the sale of beer and wine in all New York movie theaters. Currently, only film houses with installed kitchens are allowed to serve soft liquor. According to CNY Central, alcohol would only be allowed for movies rated PG-13 or higher, only one drink could be sold to a customer at a time, and it likely won’t be available at the regular concession stand amongst the popcorn and candy. “Let’s not go too far,” Cuomo said.
Community Foundation Awards $385K to Area Organizations:
Wednesday afternoon the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes presented over 50 grants to 51 organizations in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, and Schuyler counties. Nearly $385,000 was awarded with the goal of enhancing different areas including health, education, youth, the arts, and more.
Gov. Cuomo Meets with President-Elect:
Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke with President-Elect Donald Trump in a private meeting at Trump Tower in New York City Wednesday. After the meeting, the Governor spoke with reporters and commented on the Affordable Care Act and improving New York’s airports. He added that he wanted “to make sure [Trump] has the context of New York,” when it comes to policy-setting and doing a budget.
Education Advocates to Rally in Corning:
A rally is planned for today in Corning outside of Congressman Tom Reed’s office on Market Street. Advocates of public education - including educators, parents, students, and SRPs - will be out in support of public schools. Organizers said they will be fighting against high stakes testing, corporate privatization, and the loss of federal funding. They also plan to protest President-Elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Besty DeVos as Secretary of Education. The rally is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
FLSPCA Enters Homestretch of Shelter Project:
The Finger Lakes SPCA is getting ready to head into the fourth and final phase of its new shelter project, but it needs some help from the community. The FLSPCA recently received a $25,000 award from the Marion E. Cantwell Trust, and they have the opportunity to receive another, but they need to match the donation by March 31st. To learn more about the shelter, or to donate, visit http://www.fingerlakesspca.org.
Steuben Co. Diabetes Program Start Moved:
In order to encourage public participation, the start date of the Steuben County Public Health Department’s National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) has been pushed back by a week. Classes will now start January 24th at the Hornell YMCA from 6 to 7 p.m., and January 25th at the Dormann Library in Bath from noon to 1 p.m. The program offers healthy weight-loss solutions for people who are pre-diabetic or at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. For more information or to sign up call (607) 664-2438.
Mark Blandford Takes the Stand in Clayton Trial:
The third man to be charged in the death of Kelley Clayton took the stand yesterday to testify in the murder trial of Kelley’s husband, Thomas. Mark Blandford has been offered a deal in exchange for his testimony. He’ll be allowed to plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter. He currently faces two counts of second-degree murder, one count of burglary, and one count of conspiracy. On the stand, Blandford said Michael Beard, the Elmira man who was previously convicted in the case in November, picked him up at his home in Elmira and that they drove to the area of the Clayton residence. He said Beard stopped, got out of the truck, removed an object from the truck bed and left. He reportedly returned 15 minutes later, sweating and out of breath. Blandford said he helped Beard wipe down the truck when they returned to Elmira. Under cross-examination Blandford said that he has never met or communicated with Thomas Clayton. Blandford is expected to return to the stand when court resumes today.
Governor Announces 2017-2018 State Budget:
The much-anticipated 2017-2018 New York State budget was revealed Tuesday night by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The $152 billion proposal would see $25 billion invested in education, with high-need districts seeing $150 million. $100 million would go to the State’s after-school program. The budget also calls for the expansion of ride-sharing, investing in clean water, and free-tuition to two-year and four-year state colleges for families making under $125,000. Middle-class families would also see a tax cut, saving an average of $250. The plan to pay for these initiatives is a three-year extension of the so-called “Millionaire’s Tax,” for high-earners.
Steuben Co. to Vote on Park Smoking Ban:
On Monday, the Steuben County legislature will vote on whether or not to ban smoking in certain sections of four county parks. If passed, smoking would be prohibited on playgrounds, picnic pavilions, and toilet buildings at Kanakadea Park, Birdseye Hollow Park, Harley Mayo Park at Boyd’s Corners, and Hornby Park. The ban would also include e-cigarettes, according to county Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti. Those in violation would be asked to stop, and if they refuse, the Sheriff’s Office would be called and the person(s) would be asked to leave.
Town of Corning to be reassessed:
The Town of Corning will be reassessed this year. According to Town Supervisor Kim Feehan, it’s been five years since the town conducted a reassessment. Officials will check property conditions, and collect data, update the town’s property file data as needed, and build assessment models based on sales over the past few years, among other tasks. They say it’s too early to say what effects the reassessment will have on property values. The project is expected to take 18-months and should be finished by July 2018.
Walmart to Add 100,000 Jobs in 2017:
A year after saying it would close hundreds of stores and lay off more than 16,000 workers, Walmart is taking a large step in the other direction. The company has announced that will expand, renovate, or relocate 59 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, and add 10,000 jobs in the United States in 2017. Some of the jobs will come from expanding or improving e-commerce services.
Bath Woman Charged with Animal Cruelty:
A Bath woman has been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. Bath Police report that 59-year-old Linda Trescott was arrested after one of her dogs was found deceased and a lack of adequate food, water, and medical treatment was determined to be the cause. Another dog was severely emaciated. Trescott was arraigned and released to re-appear at a later date.
Hearing on Bath Fire Contracts:
The Town Board in Bath will hold a public hearing next month on several proposed fire contracts. The hearing will examine contracts between the Town of Bath and Kanona fire, village of Savona and the village of Bath. The Kanona contract is for about $45,000, the Savona deal is $52,000 and the village of Bath contract is for a little more than $212,000. The hearing will be held Feb. 13, 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building.
State Police Seek Safe Owner:
State police are attempting to reunite a safe with its owner. Troopers said they found the damaged black sentry safe along the shoulder of State Route 415 in Avoca. If you’re missing a safe, call troopers at 776-2183.
Clayton Trial Resumes Today:
After a day’s delay due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, testimony will resume this morning in Steuben County court in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton. Clayton’s accused of causing the death of his wife, Kelley. One co-defendant has already been convicted while a third awaits trial.
Hornell’s Shawmut Park Housing Complex Details Revealed:
At Monday’s meeting of the Hornell Common Council, Mayor Shawn Hogan revealed the details of the Shawmut Park housing complex. He said it will feature ten buildings with six units each. Each apartment will have its own separate entrance and its own garage. The project is being done by Riedman Construction of Rochester. Construction is tentatively planned to begin this spring.
Village of Bath Democratic Caucus Jan. 25th:
The Village of Bath Democratic Caucus will be held Wednesday, January 25th at 7 p.m. in the village board room. Two village trustee positions, each with a 5 year term, are open. All registered democrats living in the village are eligible to vote at the caucus. Anyone interested in being a candidate should contact Bath Town Democratic Chairman Gary Ostrander at (607) 776-7556 prior to the caucus.
Board of Education Meeting:
The Avoca Central School Board of Education will meet tonight at 7 p.m. in DL Room #137. On the agenda will be the vote on an overnight wrestling trip to SUNY Brockport in February.
3 Arrested in Gun Theft:
Three men have been arrested by State Police in connection with a firearm robbery in the Village of Riverside. Ryan Obrien of Canisteo was arrested Thursday and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. On Friday, 19-year-old Timothy Howe of Hornell and 18-year-old Zaria Clark of Alfred Station were arrested and each charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property.
Pet Emu Killed in South Corning By Police:
Residents in South Corning might have thought they were seeing things when an emu turned up in the neighborhood, but it was no mirage. State Police have confirmed that the animal, said to be a pet, was running around in yards near Caton Road Saturday morning and they were unfortunately forced to kill it when it began running through traffic. Officers said they had to shoot the animal because they could not contain it and the large talons it has on its legs could be dangerous. The owner did give permission for officers to shoot the bird.
Steuben Co. to Vote on Water Tank Replacement:
Next week the Steuben County legislature will vote on the replacement of two aging water tanks at the county Public Safety Building. The current tanks were built in 1995 and some failures have recently been noticed, according to county Manager Jack Wheeler. The two replacement tanks will cost $27,107. The Public Safety and Corrections committee has already approved the purchase, the full legislature will vote at 10 a.m. on January 23rd.
SCIDA Notes 2016 Successes:
Economic development in Steuben County took big strides in 2016, according to county Industrial Development Agency Executive Director James Johnson. Johnson recently told county legislators that it “was a very good year,” and that they not only saw a lot of successes, but “laid the groundwork for more.” In his annual report, Johnson noted achievements in 2016 in health care, tourism, world-class transportation, and system integration, including: Phase 1 of the $35 million center for healthy living and health-based education in the City of Corning, the opening of the $6 million Best Western Plus in the Town of Urbana, and the announcement of plans to partner with the Hornell IDA to develop a North American rail manufacturing hub in the City of Hornell.
Steuben Co. Launches Online Farm Guide:
If you’re looking for farmers markets, distilleries, wineries or are simply trying to find out where you can buy honey or plants in Steuben County, you now have an easy-to-use online guide. The Steuben County Farm Guide, available at http://steubencounty.scnygis.opendata.arcgis.com, provides the locations of meat and dairy, maple and honey, greenhouses and plants, fiber, trees, produce, breweries and distilleries and hops, and wine and cider. The map is interactive and allows users to simply click to locate a businesses’ address and times of operation.
Tax Filings Began Jan. 23rd, Deadline Pushed Back to April 18th:
Good news for all the procrastinators out there. The tax filing deadline for 2017 will be a little later this year, on April 18th. It’s because the traditional April 15th deadline falls on a Saturday and the following Monday will be Emancipation Day in Washington D.C. So the federal and state deadline will instead be on Tuesday, the 18th. Filing season officially opens on January 23rd, and state tax officials remind residents that electronic filers typically receive their refunds twice as fast as paper filers.
Local Museums Offer Free Admittance for MLK Day:
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day the Rockwell Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass are offering free admittance today. Both museums will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission will be free for all ages. Also, the 171 Cedar Arts Center’s “Houghton Gallery” will be free today as well, staring at 9 a.m.
Chemung County Sherriff’s Office is looking for two suspects after the men robbed the Tag’s office in Big Flats. Money was stolen early Friday morning and the two drove off in a white four door car. The incident may be related to burglaries to Sugar & Spice restaurant in Horseheads and the Elmira Burger King that happened during the same time period. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to please call the Chemung Criminal Investigation Unit at 737-2933.
THOMAS CLAYTON TRIAL HEARS WITNESS TESTIMONY
The fifth day of court for the Thomas Clayton murder trial began on Friday, where witness testimony was heard from five people. Witnesses that took the stand include Clayton’s neighbor, the paramedic who responded, and Kelley’s brother in law, among others. Court will resume on Tuesday at 9:30am instead of Monday due to the holiday.
REED SPEAKS ON OBAMACARE CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION
According to Tom Reed, the budget resolution passed on Friday with the help of both congressional chambers will dismantle the Affordable Healthcare Act. The Republican congressman said he will preserve Obamacare’s coverage for pre-existing conditions and expanded coverage for children up to age 26. Reed, an adamant critic of the law in the past, plans to keep certain provisions of the law until new replacement policies are created and that this latest resolution is a step closer to achieving these new solutions.
PAINTED POST TRUSTEE SEAT OPENS
The Village Trustee seat in Painted Post will be up for election in March. Currently held by Brian Francis, the term for the seat lasts for one year. Francis, who was appointed to the office in May, says he plans to run for re-election to the seat. Thus far, Francis has not been contested but interested contenders are encouraged to attend the Republican Caucus at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the village clerk’s office in Painted Post.
Clayton Trial Underway, First Statements Made:
It was a bit of a late start Thursday, after court was abruptly adjourned, but the trial of Thomas Clayton did eventually get underway just ahead of 2 p.m. with opening statements. Special prosecutor Weeden Wetmore spoke for more than 90 minutes, describing the night of Kelley Clayton’s murder, and Thomas Clayton’s actions leading up to that night. Wetmore also said that the third man charged in the case – Mark Blandford – will be taking the stand, and if he gives truthful testimony, he can plead guilty to second-degree murder. Clayton’s defense attorney spoke for roughly 40 minutes, maintaining that it was it was Michael Beard alone that killed Kelley, and that Clayton never wanted his wife dead. The first witness is expected to take the stand today at 9:30. Why proceedings were delayed Thursday was not released.
Multiple Charges for Corning Man Following Crash:
A Corning man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly drove drunk and got into an accident. Corning Police say they arrested 51-year-old Abel Townsend on January 10th after they found him behind the wheel of a car at Ferris Street and Riverside Drive that had allegedly hit another car, a building, and a city light pole, and then attempted to flee the scene. Townsend was charged with DWI, refusal to submit to a breath screening test, failure to keep right, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $2,000 cash bail.
Steuben Co. Sheriff’s Office to Conduct Yearlong Study:
A yearlong internal analysis is set to take place within the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, according to county Sheriff Jim Allard. Allard told the county Legislature’s Public Safety Committee this week the study will look at the strengths of his office as well as highlight ways to improve it. The study will be conducted by county Undersheriff John McNelis. The final report will be presented to the committee, with recommendations, at the end of the year.
Empire Access Launches in Corning:
Prattsburgh based telecommunications company Empire Access continues to grow. The company has announced that it has now launched fiber optic Internet, TV, and phone services in the City of Corning. The new fiber service utilizes Corning Inc. fiber optic products, and is being offered to both residential and business customers.
Dormann Library, CCE Receive Funds from RACE Foundation:
On Thursday night, the Dormann Library in Bath and the Cornell Cooperative Extension were awarded a grant during a special ceremony hosted by Watkins Glen International. WGI’s Racing and Community Enrichment Foundation (RACE) is awarding $15,000 to 10 nonprofit organizations. Each organization that was selected provides some sort of youth support, ranging from academic to health improvement.
United Health Care Workers Voice Obamacare Repeal Concerns:
United Health Care Workers and concerned citizens gathered in Corning to voice their objections to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The United Health Care Workers say that over 10,000 people in Steuben County alone could lose their health care if Obamacare – as it’s known – is repealed. Members of the “Citizen Action of New York Organization’ encourage members of the public to contact Congressman Tom Reed to express their concerns and plead the importance of fixing the current health care system rather than repealing it.
Area ARCs Rally for Higher Pay for Direct Support Professionals:
As Governor Andrew Cuomo prepares to unveil the 2017-2018 state budget, some 100 people gathered at the Arnot Mall to tell the Governor to “be fair to direct care.” Representatives from the ARCs of Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben, among others, rallied at the mall Thursday in support of increased pay for DSPs – or Direct Support Professionals, the men and women who work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They were joined by local legislators Senator Tom O’Mara, and Assemblymen Chris Friend and Phil Palmesano, who also voiced their support. The Governor is expected to release the preliminary budget in the next two weeks. The state budget deadline is April 1st.
Ford Adds 816,000 Vehicles to Airbag Recall:
Ford’s airbag recall woes continue, as the company is adding more than 816,000 vehicles in North America to the list of those with the defective Takata airbags. The latest callback includes the Mustang from 2005 to 2009, and 2012, the Ford Fusion, Lincoln Zephyr, and Lincoln MKZ from 2006 to 2009, and 2012. All have front passenger air bag inflators made by Takata that can explode with too much force and throw metal shrapnel.
CVS Cutting Price on Life-Saving Epinephrine Pen:
One of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains has announced that it’s cutting the price of a new generic version of the EpiPen. CVS will offer a two-pack of Adrenaclick that retails for $110, but the company says that most customers will qualify for a manufacturer’s coupon that will knock the price down to $10.99. The move is in direct opposition of the company Mylan which manufactures the name-brand EpiPen. They controversially raised their price last year to more $600 for a two-pack, and their generic version is priced around $300. Both Adrenaclick and EpiPen give an emergency injection of epinephrine to treat life-threatening allergic reactions.
Jury Seated, Clayton Trial Ready to Begin:
Jury selection was completed Wednesday in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton and proceedings are now ready to get underway. Twelve jurors and three alternates were seated, including nine men and three women, two male and one female alternates. Opening statements are expected at 9:30 a.m. today. Clayton pleaded not guilty in December 2015 to one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Kelley.
Rape Charges for Bath Man:
A Bath man was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail after being charged with rape. 19-year-old Leon Wolfanger allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sexual contact with a female under the age of 15. He has also been charged with criminal sexual act, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Runaway Teen found with Campbell Man in Traffic Stop:
A traffic stop in the Town of Avoca has resulted in multiple charges for a Campbell man and the location of a runaway teen. 19-year-old Dillon Cook was stopped on State Route 415 driving a car reported stolen from the Town of Caitlin. He was accompanied by a 15-year-old male who had been reported missing as a runaway. Cook was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, endangering the welfare of a child, and unlawful possession of marijuana. The 15-year-old was charged with criminal possession of stolen property.
Texas Fugitive Found in Corning:
A fugitive wanted in Texas was discovered Tuesday afternoon, hiding at home on Ontario Street in Corning. Police were called to the residence on a reported altercation between two males and a pregnant female. During their search of the home, they discovered 28-year-old Forrest Nelson in a bedroom closet. He was taken into custody and found to be wanted on a parole violation warrant in Dallas County, Texas, where he had served time and was released for felony aggravated armed robbery with a deadly weapon. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail. The incident at the residence is still under investigation.
Governor’s Helicopter Forced to Make Emergency Landing:
As he was flying back to New York City after his State of the State Address in Syracuse, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing Wednesday. The chopper reportedly filled with fumes that smelled like smoke as they were flying. They diverted to Steward Airport in Newburgh. The Governor was accompanied by two aides and a security detail. No one was injured. The incident is under investigation.
Cuomo Talks Ride-Sharing, Free College, Hemp Farming in latest State of the State:
In his latest, State of the State address, held in Syracuse, Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke on issues impacting the upstate, including ride-sharing, child care tax credits, free-college tuition, and the expansion of hemp farming. The Governor said he hopes to expand ride-sharing services across the state this legislative session, and proposed lifting the cap on hemp farms. Currently only ten are allowed across the state. He added that he’ll host the first ever industrial hemp summit in the Southern Tier.
A.G. Proposes Bill to Keep Birth Control Free Despite Obamacare Repeal:
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman proposed Wednesday a bill that would keep birth control free in New York, even if the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) is repealed. The “Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act” would codify the ACA’s mandate for cost-free contraception into state law, and it would expand upon the federal requirements to provide cost-free coverage for all birth control methods, including vasectomies and emergency contraception like Plan B. It would also allow access to a year’s worth of contraception at a time, and prohibit insurance companies from reviews that can limit or delay contraceptive coverage.
Walgreens and FedEx Team Up for Packages:
Starting this spring, customers of Walgreens will be able to do more than just shop for grocery and health items. The chain is teaming up with FedEx to become a drop-off and pick-up point for packages. It’s unknown at this time how many Walgreens locations will participate in the initial launch, but the company says it should be available at nearly 8,000 stores by the fall of 2018.
Six Jurors Seated in Clayton Trial:
Of some 300 possible jurors, six were selected Tuesday to serve during the murder trial of Thomas Clayton. Four male and two female jurors have been chosen, with six more still to be selected. How many alternates will be chosen is unknown. Jury selection continues today at 9:30 a.m. with 90 more potential candidates expected at the Steuben County Courthouse.
Cameron Mills Woman Charged with Welfare Fraud:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Cameron Mills woman on charges of grand larceny, welfare fraud, and offering a false instrument for filing. It’s alleged that 36-year-old Megan Welch failed to report income she had received to the county Department of Social Services. She reportedly received over $2,700 in benefits that she was not entitled to. She was issued an appearance ticket.
Renovation Grant Awarded to Hornellsville for Courthouse:
At the town board meeting Tuesday night, Hornellsville Town Justice Rich Scavo announced that they have received a $30,000 grant for security and renovations at the Arkport village courthouse. The town currently rents the courthouse from the village. The town will work with the village DPW head on the improvements.
Salmonella Fears Prompt Recall of Twinkies:
A popular brand of snack-cake is being recalled over fears of Salmonella contamination. Hostess has issued a voluntary recall of its Holiday White Peppermint Hostess Twinkies. No illnesses have reported at this time.
Harriet Tubman’s Auburn Home Officially Designated National Park:
On Tuesday legislation was signed that officially designates the Auburn home of Harriet Tubman as a National Historical Park. Tubman is best known as a conductor on the underground railroad, but she also advocated for poor former slaves, fought for womens’ rights, and established a home to care for the elderly – all from her Cayuga County property. A celebration will be hosted in Auburn in the spring by the National Park Service.
Senator O’Mara Launches 2017 Community Survey:
Senator Tom O’Mara is looking for local input in his 2017 Community and Legislative Survey. He’s inviting everyone to share their views, concerns, and suggestions on issues facing the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and New York State. You can take the survey at http://www.omara.nysenate.gov. O’Mara’s 58th Senate District includes all of Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, and Yates counties, and part of Tompkins County.
Board of Ed. Meeting:
The Avoca Central School Board of Education will hold a special meeting tonight at 6 p.m. It will be in DL Room #137.
No Jurors Selected in Day 1 of Clayton Trial:
The murder trial of Thomas Clayton got off to a bit of a slow start Monday. Some 220 jurors were called to the Steuben County Courthouse, but no one was actually selected. Instead, they met privately with Judge Peter Bradstreet to discuss why they may not be able to serve – the case is expected to take several weeks, and has already received widespread media attention. Jury selection will continue today, with another group of potential jurors appearing at 9 a.m. Attorneys hope to have 105 prospective jurors to begin questioning by 1 p.m. Clayton pleaded not guilty in December 2015 to one-count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the death of his wife Kelley Clayton. Thomas is accused of hiring Michael Beard, of Elmira to kill his wife and burn down the home they shared in the Town of Caton. Beard was found guilty in November of first-and-second degree murder. A third man, Mark Blandford of Elmira, has also been charged. He is currently awaiting trial.
Heroin Bust in Corning:
A heroin bust in Corning has resulted in the arrest of a Connecticut woman. 39-year-old Zena Mendoza was arrested after a search of a home on Kingsbury Avenue and she has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Authorities reportedly seized a large amount of heroin, packaging materials, drug distribution documentation, and nearly $5,000 in cash. Mendoza was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $25,000 bail. Further arrests are expected.
Governor Kicks Off “State of the State” Addresses:
As expected, Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Buffalo Monday to kick off his “State of the State” address campaign. The Governor will be doing several regional addresses this year, as opposed to the traditional single speech, in various locations across the state. Monday, he spoke of reform for the criminal justice system, eliminating the wage gap, combating hate crimes throughout the state, and the possibility of expanding after-school education for children in high-need areas. Among those areas, Elmira was mentioned as a possibility for expansion. Cuomo also said he’s making the expansion of ride-sharing services a top priority. He’s putting forth a proposal for a uniform statewide regulatory framework that will be overseen by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Governor will give his next address in Syracuse on Wednesday.
Help for Heroin Addicts in Hornell:
On Sunday, the Hornell Police Department made multiple arrests as a part of two separate heroin busts, but authorities are offering more than just legal action. Chief Theodore Murray has said that if there’s anyone addicted to drugs who’s buying, whether it’s heroin or any other drug, they can go to the police station for help without facing legal consequences. With a commitment from the Loyola organization, authorities will help get people immediately to a treatment facility.
SNAP Recipients to be able to Purchase Groceries Online:
Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) will soon have an easier time purchasing their groceries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a two-year pilot program that will allow participants to purchase groceries online through select retailers. It’s set to begin this summer and will include Amazon, FreshDirect, Hart’s Local Grocers (based in Rochester), and Dash’s Market (based in Buffalo). Benefits can only be used to buy eligible items – not including delivery charges.
Corning Inc. Wins Emmy:
Corning Incorporated’s track record of innovation and invention has led to a prestigious honor being awarded to them. They took home an Emmy in the Pioneering Invention and Deployment of Fiber Optic Cable at the 68th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy awards in Las Vegas. The award honors breakthrough innovations that materially affected television engineering. Corning Inc. was recognized for inventing low-loss optical fiber.
Expect Gas Prices to Continue to Climb:
If you were hoping for some relief at the pump next time you fill up, predictions aren’t looking good. According to AAA the state-wide average is $2.54 a gallon, up 35 to 40 cents a gallon from a year ago depending on location. The price has jumped, and is expected to continue to do so, due to a shrinking international supply of crude oil as OPEC countries have agreed to a significant cut in production.
One Day, Two Heroin Busts in Hornell:
Sunday was a busy day for Hornell Police. They made not one, but two heroin busts. Three people were arrested around 2 a.m. after a search warrant was executed at a home on Grand Street and heroin pre-packaged for sale was found. 41-year-old Jason Reisinger, of Hornell, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child, and unlawful possession of marijuana. 26-year-old Brittany Hunt, of Hornell, and 32-year-old Joshua Owens, of Dansville, were each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child. Then, in an unrelated case, officers discovered 40 envelopes of heroin pre-packaged for sale during a traffic stop on Hornell Street around 2:30 p.m. 21-year-old Dana Masterson, of Hornell, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and violation of parole. All four suspects were sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
New Twist in Prattsburgh Sex Slavery Case:
There’s a new twist in the 2013 case involving a Prattsburgh man accused of sex slavery. 23-year-old Brandon Todd was accused of kidnapping a local woman and holding her hostage for sex. He ultimately pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors and was sentenced to a year in prison. Now, Todd is back in prison and he will serve an additional 9 months for what is his second parole violation. He will also receive another year of probation when he’s released.
Consesus Man Pleads Guilty to Poaching:
A Conesus man has plead guilty in the Town of Livonia Court to illegally poaching multiple deer over several months. 33-year-old Matthew Feil was charged with six counts of violating New York State’s Environmental Conservation Law since October 2nd 2016. During that time, Feil illegally killed three bucks, illegally possessed deer tags from other hunters, improperly co-signed deer tags, improperly tagged deer, failed to tag deer, and illegally used a Big Game season buck tag on a bow-killed deer. As a result, Feil was required to pay $5,540 in poaching fines and surcharges. The DEC reminds the public that if they witness an environmental crime or believe a violation occurred, to call the DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-332-3267.
Gov. to Announce Proposal for Ride-Sharing in the Upstate, Voting Changes:
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to announce today a proposal that would make ride-sharing available statewide. Currently, companies like Lyft and Uber are only available in New York City. The announcement is expected to come during the first of the Governor’s regional State of the State addresses. In other news, the Governor is also pitching a modernization of the voting system in New York. The “Democracy Project,” as it’s called, aims to allow early voting, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration. Cuomo says each will “make voting easier for New Yorkers.” The Governor is expected in Buffalo today, and he’ll be in Syracuse Wednesday.
What You Need to Know About Christmas Tree Pickups:
With the holidays well and truly behind us now, many people are stripping their beloved Christmas trees of garland and baubles, and are looking to dispose of them. Many local areas offer pickup of trees, but the rules and dates vary. In Addison: residents are asked to place the tree on the curb for public works to pick up before the end of January. After that, residents can dispose of their trees at the village compost site dump. In the Village of Bath: residents are also asked to place their trees on the curb for pickup. The village says they will pick up trees for the next 4 to 6 weeks. The trees will be chipped into mulch that will be available to residents for free at the village compost facility in the spring. In the City of Corning: place the tree between the curb and sidewalk, public works will pick up trees Monday through Thursday until January 22nd. In the Village of Painted-Post: place the tree on the curb. Public works will pick them up for the next couple of weeks. For residents without service or who miss the deadline in their community, the Steuben County Landfill will accept trees in Bath and at all transfer stations.
Pistol Owners Required to Recertify:
A provision of the NY SAFE Act, established in 2013, requires that all state pistol permit holders recertify their permit every five years. As we approach 2018, that first five-year requirement is looming. Currently, only those who were issued their permit before January 15th 2013 need recertify before January 31st 2018. Anyone who was issued a permit after January 15th 2013 will be required to recertify before their five year anniversary. There are two ways to recertify, online and through the mail. The online process can be done at https://troopers.ny.gov/Firearms/ Through the mail, applications are available in person at the Steuben County Clerk’s Office and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office. If you have any questions about the process, you can contact the Sheriff’s Office or the Clerk’s Office.
Large Increase in Obamacare Sign-ups in NYS:
Despite the President-elect’s promises to scrap it, New Yorkers have been signing up for Obamacare at a furious pace. According to the Department of Health, by the third week of December, 3.4 million people have enrolled, an increase of 22 percent over the same period last year. And officials confirm that all 62 counties saw an uptick in enrollment. The last day to sign up is January 31st.
Clayton Trial Jury Selection to Begin Monday:
On Monday, jury selection is set to begin in the murder trial of Thomas Clayton. Thomas is accused of hiring Michael Beard of Elmira to kill his wife Kelley at their home. Beard was convicted in November on charges of first and second degree murder. Clayton’s defense team maintains that he is falsely accused and that Beard is solely to blame.
Tioga Explosion Investigation Closed:
The investigation into the mysterious explosion in Tioga County on New Year’s Eve has been closed, according to authorities. New York State Police say they identified and interviewed those responsible and they determined that the substance used is legal to possess, and that the individuals were allowed on the land were the explosion occurred. The investigation is now closed, with no charges filed.
Elmira Man Sentenced to 1-3 Years in Fatal Accident:
The Elmira man charged in the accident that killed 15-year-old Hannah Jerzak of Elmira has now been sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison. Authorities say, Justin Jayne was intentionally driving recklessly under the influence of marijuana last August when he failed to negotiate a curve on Dutch Hill Road in Southport and hit a utility pole. His passenger, Jerzak, was killed.
Snow Bars Trucks from I-90:
Lake effect snow storms has led the Thruway Authority to temporarily ban trucks on Interstate 90 in western New York. Commercial traffic is banned in both directions. Westbound trucks are being diverted outside of Rochester at Exit 46, and eastbound vehicles at the Pennsylvania border are being directed to I-86. The storms began on Wednesday and according to the National Weather Service have dropped up to 32 inches of snow in western and Central New York. It’s expected some 5 feet of snow could drop in the Tug Hill area east of Lake Ontario by Sunday.
A.L. Blades Donates Food, Funds to Turning Point Pantry:
Turning Point food pantry recently got a boost from a local business to help them provide to the area’s most vulnerable residents. A.L. Blades donated 214 pounds of food, and $700 to help the pantry purchase additional food items. Site Coordinator of Turning Point Hornell, William Herrick said A.L. Blades has “brought hope to many families in this community through their selfless giving,” and he thanked them for their generosity.
Life-Saving Equipment Donations for the Corning Fire Dept.:
On Thursday, the Corning Fire Department received a donation of two pieces of equipment that will help them save even more lives. Corning Center donated two suction units that will be used in the department’s ambulances to assist with breathing and to help clear the airways of critical patients. Chief Brad Davies said that they’re previous units were around 20-years-old and in need of replacement.
Corning Inc. Unveils New Gorilla Glass “Connect Car” at CES:
At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Corning Inc. unveiled the latest applications of its Gorilla Glass. They featured the “Connect Car,” which has a lightweight Gorilla Glass hybrid windshield with augmented reality capabilities, a Gorilla Glass dashboard with floating center console, and a Gorilla Glass hybrid sunroof and backlines. The CES event is the largest consumer technology trade show in the world.
Village of Bath Considers Law to Override Tax Cap:
The Bath Village Board will hold a public hearing later this month on the year’s first proposed local law. That law would give the village government the authority to override the state’s 2% property tax cap. The hearing will be held Tuesday January 17, 5:30pm, at the Municipal Building.
Gov. Proposes Increase in Child Care Tax Credit:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed an increase to the child care tax credit for middle-class families. The plan would raise the average benefit from $169 to $376 for households making between $60,000 and $150,000. If approved, it would cost New York State $42 million and would help an estimated 200,000 families.
Steuben Co. Offering Weight Loss, Stop Smoking Programs:
The Steuben County Health Department will soon be offering two health-related programs: a year-long weight loss “National Diabetes Prevention Program” for people who are pre-diabetic or who are at risk of Type 2 diabetes, and a 10-session “Freedom from Smoking” program to help smokers quit. The programs will only be held if there is enough public interest. For more information or to sign up, call (607) 664-2438.
Rochester Man Killed in I-390 Accident:
A Rochester man was killed Wednesday after the vehicle he was riding in crashed on I-390. According to police, David Edkin fell asleep at the wheel while he was driving Northbound between Exit 1 near Avoca and Exit 2 near Cohocton. He struck the guide rail and the vehicle rolled several times. His passenger, 29-year-old Brandon Walker was transported to Strong Memorial where he died from his injuries. Three other passengers were also treated for non-life threatening injuries. A criminal investigation is ongoing.
No Injuries in Woodhull Fire:
No injuries have been reported in a fire that broke out Wednesday morning at a home in the Town of Woodhull. Fire crews were called to County Route 82 around 11:30 a.m. and they were able to contain the blaze to the bathroom and kitchen area of the residence. Two dogs were saved. An overheated chimney pipe is being cited as the cause.
Gov. Cuomo Announces Potential Impact of Obamacare Repeal:
With President-Elect Donald Trump and his team continuing to assert that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (known commonly as Obamacare) will be one of their top priorities when they take office, Governor Andrew Cuomo has released a statement detailing the effect the move could have on New York State. According to the Governor, over 2.7 million residents could lose coverage, counties would lose over $595 million dollars in direct spending, and that the state budget could lose an estimated $3.7 billion dollars. In a breakdown by county, the Governor says in Steuben County, over 10,000 people would be ask risk of losing health coverage, and the county could lose over $1.5 million in annual funding. Cuomo called it “simply too high to justify.”
Public Hearings for Proposed Urbana Laws:
The town board in Urbana will hold a series of public hearings later this month on several proposed local laws. The laws include disallowing property tax exemptions on solar or wind energy projects and farm waste energy systems; another will deal with roaming farm animals and the third proposed legislation is called the excavation law. The hearings will be held January 17, at 6:30p.m. at the town hall on Pleasant Valley Road.
NYS to Allow Some Food, Drink Inside Funeral Homes:
On January 17th, New York State will join the rest of the country in allowing certain foods and drinks inside funeral homes. Labeled “incidental,” it will include foods like crackers, cookies, and finger sandwiches, and drinks such as coffee, soda, and water. The move leaves Pennsylvania as the only state that still has the food and drink ban.
Corning Salvation Army Red Kettle $4K Short of 2016 Goal:
Many Salvation Army organizations have had trouble this season meeting their Red Kettle goals, and the Corning location is no exception. Corning came up $4,000 short of its $63,000 for 2016. A five-day late start on the campaign is partially to blame.
Donation to Food Bank Ensures 44K Meals for Hungry Residents:
Thanks to the efforts of local Corning Incorporated employees and donations by the Corning Foundation and Tioga Downs Casino, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier will be able to provide over 44,000 meals to hungry residents. Corning Inc. employees donated more than $11,600 through a fund drive that started on November 1st. The donations from the Corning Foundations and Tioga Downs brought the total to nearly $15,000.
Red Cross Appeals to Blood Donors:
With the holidays and bad winter weather combining to lead to a major nationwide shortage of blood, the American Red Cross has issued an emergency appeal to donors to get out and roll up their sleeves wherever possible. To find a blood drive in your area, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.
Corning Council Fails to Appoint 2nd Ward Rep.:
The Corning City Council failed to appoint a new councilman for the 2nd Ward Tuesday, leaving residents unrepresented. Both candidates – Democrat Kate Paterson and Republican Michele Beckman – both received 273 votes in the general election, and council members voted twice to try and decide between them, but neither received the minimum 5 council votes for the position. Corning Mayor Richard Negri said they’ll be reaching out to the city attorney and Governor Andrew Cuomo for advice before taking further action.
Explosion Site Found in Tioga Co.:
Continuing investigation into the reports of an explosion in Tioga County on New Year’s Eve has led to the discovery of what police are calling a “blast site” near Diamond Valley Road in the Town of Tioga. The site has been processed by the New York State Police and FBI Bomb Disposal Units with evidence collected for analysis. Authorities say an unknown type of explosive substance was detonated, leaving a hole in the ground, but otherwise no damage. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call the New York State Police.
Free College Proposed for Eligible NYS Students:
One of the leading platforms of former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is seeing new life in New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a new plan that would provide free tuition to residents making up to $125,000 a year at all SUNY and CUNY two and four-year colleges. The initiative would be phased in over three years beginning in the fall of 2017 for New Yorkers making up to $100,000. In 2018 it will increase to $110,000, and then $125,000 in 2019. All this given it’s approved by legislators.
Work Resumes on Corning Hotel Project:
After a nearly two-year delay, work has finally resumed on the Hilton Garden Inn project in Corning with workers currently clearing the site. The project was delayed in April of 2015 after manufacturing waste was found in the soil underneath the former Days Inn. $1 million in state funding was awarded to the project in August to help get it back on track. It expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete the new hotel.
H-port to Host Citizen Preparedness Program:
A Citizen Preparedness Training Program will be held in Hammondsport on January 28th. Hosted by the New York State Citizen Preparedness Corps it will be from noon to 2 p.m. at the Fred and Harriett Taylor Memorial Library on William Street. It will include information on how to prepare for a disaster, developing a family emergency plan, and stocking up on emergency supplies.
Rape Charges for Bath Man:
A 19-year-old from Bath is facing charges of rape and endangering the welfare of a child. Malcolm Fitzgerald allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old female. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Allard Sworn in as Steuben Co. Sheriff:
2017 kicked off in Steuben County with the swearing in of a new Sheriff. Jim Allard officially took up the mantle Sunday, and he says he is “looking forward to moving forward with the agency and continuing to modernize and professionalize all units of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.” Allard previously served the last four years as undersheriff. He ran unopposed in the November general election.
Possible Explosion, Earthquake in Southern Tier?
2016 may have gone out with literal bang for some residents of the Southern Tier, as people from Owego to Broome County have been reporting an “explosion” and “shaking” around 5 p.m. on Saturday. The Tioga county Sheriff’s Department said they have no comment or information, and the Broome County Sheriff’s Office said that while they saw several posts on social media reporting “a yellow cloud of smoke” they did not receive any calls about it. The National Weather Service in Binghamton confirmed “nothing naturally occurring out of the ordinary,” and NYSEG said that no natural gas leaks or power outages were reported.
Veto for Indigent Defense Bill Shift:
A bill that would shift the cost of defending the poor in court from the county level to the state level has been vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill had a great deal of support from county leaders and legal-aid experts, but the Governor says it could cost the state roughly $800 million a year, with most of that going to non-criminal issues.
Reminder, Move Over Law Expanded:
Just a reminder for drivers as they hit the road in the early days of 2017, the “Move Over” law has expanded. Motorists are now required to move over for volunteer firefighters and other emergency workers whose vehicles have flashing blue or green lights. Previously, the law only applied to emergency responders with flashing red lights.
Attorney General Calls for Changes to NYS Voting Laws:
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to reform and bring the state’s voting laws up to date. At the top of the list of changes Schneiderman would like to see is allowing same-day registration and voting, and implementing an automatic registration system of eligible voters whenever they sign up for government documents. The A.G. has also pointed to the difficulty voters have in changing party affiliation and thinks the state should require the same polling hours in all counties.
Full Circle America Looking for Members:
Steuben County’s ground-breaking program tailored to help senior citizens remain in their homes is looking for interested parties. Since Full Circle America was introduced in the fall of 2015, the county has fielded a significant number of inquiries from seniors, family members, and friends, and has a waiting list in place, according to Steuben Senior Services Fund Executive Director Linda Tetor. Program costs begin at $29.99 a month for basic care, with increased cost based on the level of care required. For more information, call (607) 664-2298 or go to http://www.steubenseniorservicesfund.org.
DWI Arrest gets Nasty
New York State Police made a DWI arrest over the weekend of Jesse Hall from Savona. He was discovered behind the wheel of a vehicle with the engine running and passed out on County Route 12 in Thurston. Hall became threatening to police and ended up being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, third degree unlicensed operation, unregistered vehicle, unlawful possession of marijuana, and making terrorists threats. After making threats to police and others he was taken to the county jail in lieu of $20,000 bail and will appear in Thurston town court January 3rd.
Law Enforcement Memorial
As Steuben County celebrates more than 200 years of county law enforcement this year, memorial efforts remain under way to honor police and peace officers within the seven-county region who have died in the line of duty. The county Sheriff’s Department is accepting donations for a permanent memorial in the proposed Law Enforcement Memorial Park. Donors will be able to purchase memorial pavers that will surround a raised pedestal formed in the shape of Allegany, Chemung, Livingston, Ontario, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties. The pedestal will support a life-size statue of a law officer answering the call to duty. The targeted date of completion is May of 2018, at the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service.
Shots in Elmira
Elmira Police report gunshots on Elmira’s Eastside. Their investigation isn’t revealing anything because neighbors are being uncooperative. Officers found shell casings and two vehicles with bullets holes. They are continuing to investigate, and encourage witnesses to call the Elmira Police Department. No blood found at the scene.
Corning Second Ward race
In Corning the City Council has an important vote coming up. The second ward alderman race in November ended in a tie at 273 votes for Kate Paterson and Michele Beekman. Whoever is selected the term will be one year with a special election in November. Both candidates say they are running no matter what happens tomorrow night.
Hornell Couple arrested
Hornell Police have made a drug arrest over the weekend. Husband and wife Demetria and Shannon Brockway were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance as police found 9 packets of heroin pre-packaged for sale. They were also arrested for three counts of endangering the welfare of a child as there were 3 children in the house at the time of the arrest.
Another Drug Arrest
A Lindley man has been arrested for selling drugs. 31 year old Mathew McNiel has been charged with criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. McNeil has been the subject of a lengthy investigation and was taken to the Steuben County Jail.
Standoff in Wellsville
The Wellsville Police were facing a standoff early Sunday morning at in a Wellsville home in nearby Allegany County. A male with a firearm in the backyard of a residence ignored police commands to drop the gun. The standoff lasted about four hours. State Police negotiation teams were able to end the incident peacefully. The identity of the gunman has not been released.