Plane Headed for E-C Airport Makes Emergency GA Landing:
An Allegiant Airlines flight bound for the Elmira-Corning airport Friday evening arrived much later than usual after it had to make an emergency landing in Georgia. The flight was headed from Orlando, Florida and it made the pitstop for what officials are calling “a precautionary measure.” The replacement plane finally made it to its destination just after midnight Saturday morning.
T-Mobile and Sprint Agree to Merger:
Consumers looking to sign up with, or change their wireless phone company could soon be limited to three carriers if a proposed $26.5 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is approved by the Trump administration’s antitrust regulators. The two companies have attempted merger before in 2014, but the deal fell apart following resistance from the Obama administration. The combined company would be called T-Mobile and would have roughly 127 million customers. Opponents say the reduction in carriers could result in higher prices, while unions have voiced concerns about potential job losses. The companies say they plan to have more employees than they do now, and that the merger will allow them to compete better. The deal will have to be reviewed by the Justice Department and the FCC.
Steuben Co. Public Awareness Meetings on Feral Swine:
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County, along with USDA-APHIS Wildlife Specialist Katie Long, will hold informational meetings this week regarding feral swine and the importance of monitoring and managing this destructive invasive species. The meetings will take place on Thursday, May 3rd from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Tuscarora Town Hall in Addison, and on Friday, May 4th from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Troupsburg Volunteer Fire Hall. The meetings are offered at no cost, but registration is requested at (607) 664-2300. In 2017, the last feral swine were removed from New York State, but monitoring efforts continue.
24% of NYers Prescribed Opioids in the Last Two Years:
Over the last two years, 24 percent of New Yorkers have been prescribed opioids for pain by a doctor, according to Part III of a new Siena College poll. Of those, 51 percent were told by their doctor or other members of the doctor’s staff about the risks associated with opioid use, while 49 percent were not. Of those prescribed opioids over the last two years, 62 percent did not take the entire prescription and among those, 40 percent did not dispose of the remaining pills. Eighteen percent of New Yorkers say they, or a family member or close friend, has pursued treatment for opioid abuse. Eleven percent say it was very easy to access treatment, but 26 percent say it was either not very or not at all easy.
NYS May Ban School Shooting Programs and Marksmanship
The New York State legislature is proposing a piece of legislation that would ban marksmanship and shooting programs in New York state. If made into law, it would ban students from using guns and prohibit firearms from being discharged on school grounds while banning schools from offering shooting programs and marksmanship like: "Proficiency tests of accuracy, precision and speed in using 20 various types of ranged weapons, such as firearms and air guns... Handguns, rifles and shotguns and/or bows or crossbows." Under the law, classes would be allowed about teaching safe hunting practices and firearm use but students would be banned from the discharge and use of guns and firearms on school grounds. The law is currently in committee stage and will need to be approved before moving forward to be voted on.
Bonilla Arraigned in Neurauter Case Yesterday
A new development has emerged in the Neurauter murder case this week as the sister of Llloyd Neurauter, Wendy Bonilla, faced an arraignment yesterday in Steuben County Court. Bonilla, who is from California, was extradited to New York to be arraigned and is accused of attempting to bribe a witness last summer in the case against Neurauter for murder of his ex-wife Michelle. Both Bonilla and Neurauter were charged with attempted bribery of a witness and conspiracy. Bonilla’s next court date is Monday afternoon at 2pm.
Woodhull State 417 Bridge to be Repaired
Bridge work was announced for State Route 417 in the town of Woodhull by the New York State Department of Transportation. Bridge joint repairs for the bridge that lies over Tuscarora Creek are expected to last about one month. Traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic signals and motorists are reminded to be mindful in obeying construction speed limits and watch for workers working on the road.
Meth Bust in Catlin
State police say they discovered a meth-making operation at a home in the Chemung County Town of Catlin. Troopers were following up on a previous complaint at the home on route 414 when they saw a “one pot” methamphetamine lab located in a detached shed at the residence. Police then arrested 20-year-old Jake Mattison of Beaver Dams. He was charged with felony 3rd degree Unlawful Manufacturing of Methamphetamine. Mattison was then arraigned and sent to jail on $5,000 cash bail. After executing a search warrant, troopers said the recovered a pot which contained more than 2 ounces of liquid methamphetamine, laboratory equipment, chemical reagents and solvents.
Savona Village Board Meeting Monday
The Savona village board has scheduled two public hearings for Monday. Both hearing will be at the village hall and start at 6 p.m. The first hearing will allow residents to ask questions about the proposed 2018-19 village budget. The second hearings involve a proposed local law that would allow the village to override the state mandated property tax cap.
“Golden State Killer” Born in Bath:
Now that he’s behind bars, more is being learned about the man accused of terrorizing the state of California in the 70s and 80s, including the fact that he has local ties. In a California newspaper article published in 1973 profiling Joseph DeAngelo, he was described as a “native of Bath, N.Y.” The now 72-year-old DeAngelo was arrested on Tuesday after DNA samples allegedly linked him to a series of murders and rapes. He is currently charged with eight counts of first-degree murder.
Cynthia Nixon Makes Stop in Geneva:
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s democratic challenger, Cynthia Nixon made a stop in Geneva Thursday where she voiced opposition to the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator on Seneca Lake. The proposed facility at the Seneca Army Depot in Romulus would reportedly burn 2,500 tons of trash every day. Opponents say it would be bad for the environment and that it would bring an influx of traffic. In her speech, Nixon also called out the Crestwood LPG storage project on the opposite side of the lake.
Local Fire Departments to Participate in RecruitNY Weekend:
Four Steuben County fire departments will be participating in this weekend’s annual “RecruitNY” campaign. The Cohocton Volunteer Fire Department will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. The Gibson fire department will be open tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m. for those interested in volunteering. And the Pulteney Fire Department will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow. Then, on Sunday, the North Corning Department will hold an event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Meet the Candidates” Night May 10th:
Allegany and Steuben county voters are invited to a congressional “Meet the Candidates” night on Thursday, May 10th at Genesee Valley Central School in Belmont. There are five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Tom Reed for the 23rd congressional district seat in November. The 23rd district covers all of Allegany and Steuben counties. Linda Andrei, Max Della Pia, Ian Golden, Tracy Mitrano, and Eddie Sundquist will all appear on the June 26th primary ballot, and the May 10th meet-and-greet will allow their potential constituents the chance to sit down with the candidates in small groups and ask about their specific plans on a variety of topics, including agriculture, social security, job growth, and more. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to the first 100 guests. You can reserve a seat by calling (585) 466-4246.
Hornell Named One of the Most Affordable Places in New York:
A financial services monitoring organization has named the City of Hornell as one of the most affordable places for homeowners/buyers in New York State. SmartAsset used data from Bankrate, the US Census Bureau 2012 American Community Survey, government websites, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and more, Hornell was ranked fourth overall in affordability, fourth in property tax rate, fourth in homeowners insurance rates, and fourth in mortgage payments. In response, Mayor John Buckley said, “The Maple City continues to lead the way in the region in affordable living. From water and sewer to public safety, Hornell continues to provide effective services to residents.”
Garbage Truck Overturns in Erwin:
A garbage truck on its way to the Hakes C&D Landfill overturned in Erwin early Wednesday morning. The crash happened around 7 a.m. on Erwin Hollow Road. Some of the truck’s load did spill into a nearby creek. Both state police and officials with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were called to the scene. B&W Towing hauled away the truck and cleaned up the trash that spilled into the creek. There is no word at this time as to any injuries, the cause of the accident, or the status of the creek.
3 Arrested for Stealing from Cars:
Three Hornell men have been arrested for allegedly stealing from nearly 20 cars in Hornell. Terrence Tigner, Xander Whiteley, and Sebastian Hughes have each been charged with two counts of grand larceny and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property. Numerous stolen items, including loose change and two rifles, have been recovered, according to police.
Sister of Lloyd Neurauter to be Arraigned Tomorrow:
The California woman accused of conspiring to bribe a witness in the Michelle Neuratuer murder case will be arraigned in Steuben County Court tomorrow. Wendy Bonilla, along with her brother Lloyd Neuratuer, is accused of conspiring and agreeing to attempt to influence a witness in the murder case by offering that witness something in exchange for changing their previous testimony. Both Bonilla and Neuratuer are charged with felony attempted bribery of a witness and conspiracy.
Arnot Mall, Wayfair Projects Approved in Chemung IDA:
The Chemung County Industrial Development Agency has approved two major projects. The Chambers Hospitality project will see a new hotel constructed at the Arnot Mall once the old Bon Ton building has been demolished. Online retailer Wayfair will open a new call center on Daniel Zenker Drive in Big Flats, bringing 450 jobs to the area.
DOT Announces Culvert Work:
The New York State Department of Transportation has announced that work has begun on a $1.3 million culvert maintenance and repair project that stretches across multiple counties. Numerous small culverts are expected to be replaced and some larger culverts on state roads will be repaired in Allegany, Steuben, Yates, Schuyler, and Chemung counties. Officials say the work will help maintain traveler safety, improve drainage, and mitigate potential flooding. Drivers may encounter temporary lane and shoulder closures, longer-term lane closures controlled by temporary traffic signals, and short off-site detours.
Wegmans Comes Out Against Proposed Plastic Bag Ban:
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed ban on one-time use plastic bags in New York State is facing criticism from major grocery retailer Wegmans. The chain made a statement saying that the ban would increase the use of paper bags, which are heavier and take up more space. They added that paper bags also take roughly 90 percent more resources and energy to make and recycle than plastic bags. Wegmans said it’s recycling rate for plastic bags was close to 50 percent in 2017, and they promised to continue to remind customers to recycle them.
Motorcyclists Reminded to Renew Registrations:
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is reminding motorcycle owners to renew their registrations before they expire on Monday, April 30th. Motorcycles, unlike most other vehicles, are only registered for one year, and they all expire on April 30th. Initial registration must be done at a DMV office. Renewals can be completed online, by mail, or at a DMV office.
Bath Man Wanted on Manslaughter Charge Arrested:
The Bath man wanted by police in relation to an overdose death in the village has been arrested. 37-year-old Matthew Taft was taken into custody Tuesday on a sealed indictment charging him with manslaughter in the 2nd, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 3rd, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the 3rd, falsifying business records in the 1st, and felony tampering with evidence. It’s alleged that Taft sold a mixture of fentanyl and heroin to Joshua Rowe on August 26th 2017 in the Village of Bath. Rowe then used the drug, resulting in his overdose. It’s alleged that Taft knowingly failed to take any actions or precautions to aid Rowe, recklessly causing his death. Taft is accused of then providing police with a false statement in addition to concealing certain physical evidence. Taft has been sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail. He could face up to 15 years on the manslaughter charge if convicted.
Corning Inc. Releases Q1 Earnings:
Tuesday Corning Incorporated released its first quarter earnings. There was an increase in sales of 5 percent, despite a 7 percent decrease in sales of Gorilla Glass compared to the same time last year. Vice President of Corporate Communications, Dan Collins said the dip wasn’t unexpected, saying they had a strong year with Gorilla Glass last year, and in the first quarter “there is not as many new product introductions.” He said he expects to see Gorilla Glass and all of Corning Inc.’s other products increasing significantly over the rest of the year.
Steuben Co. Plans Landfill Expansion:
Steuben County is looking to move forward with construction of an additional cell in the county landfill. Officials are still determining which direction to construct the cell, known as Cell 4, in relation to the current facility. Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti said they’re working with property owners now, and that they hope to have a decision by the end of May. The new cell will cost roughly $6 million to build and is expected to last through until about 2023. The current cell, Cell 3, is predicted to fill up sometime next year.
Road Work in Urbana This Week, I-86 Work Begins Monday:
Weather permitting, a shoulder reconstruction project is set to begin on Thursday, April 26th on State Route 54, the New York State Department of Transportation has announced. The work will be along State Route 54 near County Route 87 in the Town of Urbana. Traffic will be maintained with a one-lane, two-way traffic pattern controlled by signals. Elsewhere, on Monday, road crews are set to begin work on a portion of I-86. Crews will be working on drainage improvements from Exit 46 to the Chemung County line during the overnight hours, 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. In early May, paving on the same stretch will resume, also during overnight hours. Motorists are reminded to drive carefully in construction zones, and that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone.
Steuben Co. Tourism Organization Getting New Look:
The Steuben County Conference & Visitors Bureau will be launching a new website which is being designed and built from scratch in the organization’s continued efforts to promote Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes as an exceptional destination for travelers from around the world. The new website is being designed by award-winning web-development company, Simpleview, and it’s set to be launched in August.
Brush Fire in Rathbone Damages Building:
Numerous fire departments were called to Merring Road in Rathbone Monday for a brush fire that engulfed a nearby building. It took over an hour for the blaze to be brought under control. The cause is under investigation.
Offering False Instrument Arrests:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of three people in two separate cases of alleged false instrument reports to the county Department of Social Services. 25-year-old Ashley Jordan of Hornell allegedly offered a written instrument to Social
Services knowing it contained false information. She was charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a class E felony, and was issued an appearance ticket. 21-year-old Robert Freeman of Atlanta and 22-year-old Chelsea Damboise of Avoca both allegedly filed Job Search forms with Social Services knowing they contained false information. Both were charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a class E felony, and were issued appearance tickets.
Steuben Deputies to Provide Mutual Aid for WGI Events:
Steuben County deputies will provide mutual aid services for Schuyler County during the Watkins Glen racing season, under a contract approved Monday by the Steuben Legislature. The agreement allows Steuben deputies to respond to regularly recurring emergency situations throughout the auto racing season due to the crowds, traffic volume, and other incidents at race events at Watkins Glen International. Special detail deputies from Steuben will volunteer for mutual aid police under the command of the Schuyler County Sheriff. Schuyler will pay for all costs connected to the mutual aid, provide insurance, and pay $30 a day for the Steuben vehicles. The one-year agreement can be renewed annually for five years by the county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee.
Tops Looking to Close Some Stores:
Tops Markets is looking to close some of its stores. The grocery chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, and in a document filed this week, its asking a bankruptcy court for permission to close an unspecified number of stores. In a motion, Tops officials wrote, “A few stores have consistently underperformed. Historically, these underperforming stores, among other things, are subject to above-market rent, are in regions oversaturated with supermarkets, or are too large.” Tops has stores in three states and employs roughly 14,000 people. It is unknown which stores could be closed.
Gov. Cuomo Proposes Plastic Bag Ban Bill:
Single-use plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past in New York State. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a bill that would ban them beginning January 1st, 2019. Trash bags, garment bags, and bags used to wrap certain foods – like meat and fruit – would be exempt. Several places in New York already have similar legislation, or are considering it. The state says New York residents use 23 billion plastic bags a year, and the Governor said, “The blight of plastic bags takes a devastating toll on our streets, our water, and our natural resources, and we need to take action to protect our environment.” A study last month found that a mass of plastic in the Pacific Ocean known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” filled with bottles, bags, and other trash, is three times the size of France.
Democratic Challenger to Tom Reed Receives National Endorsement:
One of the Democratic challengers looking to unseat Tom Reed in the race for the 23rd congressional seat has received an endorsement from a national organization. Ian Golden of Ithaca has been endorsed by the Justice Democrats, a federal political action committee with the goal to get everyday, working people in Congress. In a statement, Director Alexandra Rojas said that they believe Democrats with a real message have the best shot of winning, and that Golden’s “…message of addressing income inequality, providing healthcare for all, and a strong public education system are clearly resonating across this upstate district.” In response, Golden said that he’s honored to earn the endorsement, and that it underscores his promise to prioritize people over profit and influence.
Campbell-Savona Announces Give-Back Snow Day:
The Campbell-Savona school district has announced a Snow Day Give-Back for Friday, May 25th. School will not be in session as originally scheduled that day as the district has not used all their emergency closing days for this year.
Montour Falls Man Arrested for Threatening to “Shoot Up” Corning Bar:
Corning Police arrested a Montour Falls man on Saturday night after he allegedly threatened to “shoot up” Rock Bottom BBQ, a Bar and Grill, on Baker Street Extension in the city. 44-year-old Michael Jenkins allegedly called the bar repeatedly, looking to speak to an employee, then, according to police, he threatened to “shoot up the place” and he arrived at the bar shortly after. Police say they found a .45 caliber pistol when they arrested Jenkins outside the bar. Jenkins is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, stalking, making a terroristic threat, and driving while intoxicated. Further charges are possible in relation to an incident at a Schuyler County residence prior to the Corning incident. Jenkins is currently being held at the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.
Drug Charges in Hornellsville Traffic Stop:
During a traffic stop on Seneca Road in the town of Hornellsville, state police arrested Cassidy M. Unterborn, 30, of Rochester. She was charged with felony 3rd degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, felony criminal possession of a weapon, felony possession of a defaced weapon, unlawful possession of pot and failure to stop at a stop sign. Arraigned in court, she was committed to the Steuben County Jail. Bail was set at $100,000.
Parole Absconder Arrested in Corning, Facing Drug Charges:
Despite being lead on a foot-chase, Corning Police were able to arrest a wanted parole absconder last week in Corning. According to police, officers spotted 20-year-old Luke Gallagher on April 18th as he was walking in the area of Dension Parkway and Walnut Street. He was ordered to stop, but he allegedly ran across multiple lanes of traffic and then through a business in the Gaffer District. Police finally apprehended him on Market Street. He was allegedly found to be in possession of crack cocaine and powder cocaine, and police say Gallagher also discarded a quantity of cocaine during the chase, but officers were able to recover the drugs. Gallagher has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, and resisting arrest.
Eric Smith Denied Parole Again:
For the 9th time, parole has been denied for the Savona man serving time for the 1993 murder of Derrick Robie. Eric Smith was 13 at the time of the crime. He’s serving a nine years to life sentence. In its decision, the Parole Board cited the seriousness of Smith’s crime, but acknowledged his “impressive institutional record” in prison. However, they determined release at this time would undermine respect for the law. There was one dissenting opinion, with a parole commissioner saying Smith is now a mature adult and that after 24 years in prison, additional incarceration serves no purpose. Smith is eligible for parole every two years. He’ll go before the board again in January 2020.
Three Kittens Rescued After Being Tossed from Car in Bath:
A trio of kittens are getting a second chance after they were tossed from a moving car and rescued from a roadside in Bath. A passerby found the kittens and was able to provide a description of the car and driver to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department. The kittens were transported to Pawz and Purrz Animal Rescue where shelter officials say all three were in very bad health. One kitten is set to have surgery to remove to an eye later this week. They said they don’t think the kittens were injured when they were thrown from the car, but that they had been neglected previously.
Bath Police Searching for Matthew Taft of Gang Mills
Bath police need help in locating local wanted man Matthew Taft of Gang Mills. Taft is 37 years old and wanted for charges of manslaughter, criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance and falsifying business records. All charges stem from the August 2017 overdose death of a man in the Village of Bath on Buell Street. Anyone with information of Matthew Taft’s whereabouts is urged to contact 9-1-1.
Students Demonstrate at Reed's Office During Walkout
Demonstrating at the front of Congressman Tom Reed’s West Market Street office in Corning yesterday were two dozen students from both Alfred-Almond and Arkport Central Schools who participated in the Friday walkout protesting in favor of stricter gun control laws. The peaceful protest was registered with the National Walkout Association and the 24 students who participated disagree with Reed’s gun control stance of bargaining with the major Washington interest group the NRA, which lobbies on behalf of gun rights under the second amendment. In a press release, the students expressed their thoughts on the issue of gun control and violence: “We say enough is enough. It is time to reform the nation’s laws about gun control so that mass shootings stop happening. We are disappointed by our government’s inaction on this issue, and are calling for action. We need a future where schools and all of the nation feel safe in collection.” Congressman Reed said the following about the students that gathered:“It is a very important part of our democracy to have people engaged. It is only fair that everyone gets a voice in our government.”
Legislature Discussing Deputy Sheriff Salaries on Monday
The Steuben County Legislature meets Monday morning and one item lawmakers will address is wage options for deputies. Legislators are saying that it has become increasingly difficult to recruit and retain Deputy Sheriffs. One resolution to be voted on Monday is amending the Deputies Association Collective Bargaining agreement. One change would allow for higher starting salary for new deputies who are experienced law enforcement officers from outside agencies. The Personnel Officer, County Manager, Sheriff and the Administration Committee of the Legislature have recommended the changes in the current contract.
Wegmans Allowing Refunds Following Traditional Medicinals Recall
Locals are warned about a product recall for two types of Traditional Medicinals teas due to possible salmonella contamination. Customers that purchased EveryDay Detox Lemon Tea (lot number of 19461 and UPC code 03291700197) or Organic Throat Coat Lemon Echinacea Caffeine Free Tea (lot number 19482 and UPC code 03291700159) who bought the tea from Wegmans can return both brands to the store to be refunded. Customers with additional questions about the product or the retail can contact Traditional Medicinals directly by phone at (800) 543-4372.
Local Officials Encourage Organ Donation at DMV Press Conference
Leaders of Steuben met at the Corning DMV yesterday to encourage local residents to register to become organ and tissue donors. Chairman of the Steuben County Legislature Joseph Hauryski, County Clerk Judy Hunter, County Manager Jack Wheeler and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano organized and appeared at the press conference to promote and recognize April as National Donate Life Month. The local officials explained the enrollment process to become a donor has been recently incentivized by an initiative granting new donors “lifesaver” cards they can share by posting to encourage friends and families to sign up so they too can “donate life”. “While April is National Organ Donation month, people should consider registering as donors every month of the year,” said Hauryski, (R-Campbell). “The value of organ donors’ generosity is immeasurable.” Steuben County’s 43% donation rate leads over New York’s 30% rate of donation but is below the national average of 54% The County leaders also shared that the process to register has been updated to be easier and more accessible for citizens to donate through the online portal: donatelife.ny.gov/register.
Reed Endorsed by New York State Conservatice Party
This week, Congressman Tom Reed was given the New York State Conservative endorsement for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives. “Over the course of his career in Congress, Tom Reed has been an advocate for conservative principles,” Chairman of the New York State Conservative Party Michael Long says. “We supported Tom in his four previous races for Congress and are proud to endorse him again.” Reed has also won endorsements from New York State’s Independence Party and from Republican Committee Chairmen for all 11 counties within the local 23rd Congressional District.
NY State Private Sector Job Rate Up from Last Month
New York State’s private sector job count rose to 8.1 million last month…that’s a new, all-time high, according to preliminary figures released by the State Department of Labor. The number of people holding jobs in Steuben County dropped .5% in March compared to a year ago. Job losses were also report in the Elmira metro area as well as Allegany County. Schuyler County remained steady.
Sister of Corning Murder Suspect Extradited to New York:
The California woman accused of trying to bribe a witness in the murder case of Michelle Neurauter has now been extradited from California. According to inmate records, Wendy Bonilla was booked at the Steuben County Jail without bail on Thursday morning. Wendy’s brother, Lloyd Neuratuer and his daughter, Karrie, are accused of killing Michelle last August and staging it to look like a suicide. Lloyd is currently being held in the Livingston County Jail. Karrie is in the Steuben County Jail.
Bath Couple Facing Felony Drug Charges:
A Bath couple is facing felony drug charges. State Police arrested 30-year-old Colin Decker and 29-year-old Whittany Hale. Both were charged with 3rd degree unlawfully manufacturing meth. The charges stem from an incident a week ago in the Town of Bath. Decker and Hale are also facing charges for an alleged crime in Erwin. State police leveled additional charges against them for criminal possession of a controlled substance and possessing a hypodermic instrument.
Drug Charge for Corning Man:
A Corning man will face court action for allegedly committing a drug crime in the Village of Bath. State Police said they arrested 29-year-old Cody Shoemaker. He was charged with criminal possession of Meth manufacturing materials. The crime allegedly occurred in the village March 23rd. Shoemaker was released on an appearance ticket for court.
Prattsburgh CS Approves 2018-19 Budget:
At it’s meeting on April 18th, the Prattsburgh Central School District Board of Education approved the proposed 2018-2019 school budget. The budget includes an increase in expenditures of 1.95 percent, but the tax levy will remain unchanged from last year. Decreases in the budget come from lower pension payments to the state, a renegotiation of the health insurance program, and personnel retirement. Areas of increase include funds for wage increases and for additional debt service on the recent capital project. The expected change in the tax rate is a decrease from $13.95 to approximately $13.78. The board will present the budget to the public on May 1st at 6:30 p.m. in room 3012. Voting will take place on May 15th from noon to 8 p.m. in the main building cafetorium.
Chopped Romaine Lettuce Recall:
The Centers for Disease Control has issued a recall on store-bought chopped romaine lettuce. At least 53 people in 16 states have been sickened after eating the lettuce, and 31 of those have been hospitalized. The CDC has tracked the lettuce to a growing region near Yuma, Arizona, but a common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has not been identified. Officials advise consumers to avoid any romaine lettuce products, including salad mixes, that containe chopped romaine lettuce.
Paroled Felons to be Allowed to Vote:
During a speech to the National Action Network’s (NAN) annual conference in Manhattan, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will soon sign an executive order granting paroled felons the right to vote in New York State. Currently, those convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison are unable to vote until completing their sentence and parole. Those on probation do not lose their voting right. Those doing time for a misdemeanor can vote absentee.
Steuben Sheriff Adds Deputies, Promotes Others:
Two new full-time deputies and two seasonal deputies were sworn in at the Steuben County Public Safety Building earlier this month in front of family, friends, and co-workers with Sheriff Jim Allard officiating. Returning Deputy Brandon Martin, a five-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, and a four-year veteran of the Village of Canisteo Police Department was sworn in along with Deputy Josh Day, a four-year veteran of the City of Hornell Police Department. Also sworn in were two members of the navigation, or boat, patrol as seasonal deputies: Deputy P.J. Dyring, currently a Lieutenant at the City of Corning Police Department, and Deputy Nicholas Muhleisen, who is currently completing training at the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy. Both of them will begin work during the boating season this summer. Promoted at the ceremony were Sergeant Brandon Scott and Corporal Josh VanSkiver as first line supervisors. Sergeant Scott is a seven-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Corporal VanSkiver is a two-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, a three-year veteran of the City of Corning Police Department, and an 11-year veteran of the City of Elmira Police Department.
Main Street in Hornell Work to begin Monday:
Asphalt resurfacing work on Main Street in the City of Hornell will begin on Monday, April 23rd, the New York Department of Transportation has announced. While the work is being done, traffic will be maintained by lane closures in one lane. Motorists should expect delays. The work is set to be done by July 13th.
Savona Farm Offers Agriculture Training for Vets.:
Several local veterans recently headed to a farm in Savona that hosted a free agriculture training workshop for those who fought for our country. The vets were able to learn more about building, installing, and repairing fencing for livestock at Walter Palmer’s Farm. The program was put together by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County in partnership with the Cornell Small Farms Program and the Farmer Veteran Coalition of New York. For more information on future events through the Cornell Cooperative Extension visit http://www.putknowledgetowork.org.
Rockwell Museum Moves Bison for Building Upgrades:
It was a bit of sight in Corning Wednesday, when one of the Rockwell Museum’s most famous fixtures was removed and took a ride down Dension Parkway. Artemis the Bison was taken down so that the museum can undergo some upgrades in commemoration of its 125th anniversary. Museum officials said no one should panic. Artemis was removed to protect him from the work and while he’s down, he’ll even get some pampering of his own. The artist will be looking him over and making any repairs if needed. The museum renovation is expected to take six to eight weeks, and will focus mainly on the building’s windows, some of which haven’t been changed or upgraded in over 100 years.
Steuben Co. Sheriff’s SPIRIT Program Graduates 3 More:
Three forever homes for three dogs will become reality at the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, April 23rd at 1 p.m. Rowan, Phoenix, and Sequoia will graduate from the SPIRIT program at the county jail and be adopted into their forever homes. The three dogs were rescued as puppies from abandonment by the Hornell Humane Society and were turned over to the Sheriff’s Office for training. They received six weeks of in-house obedience training from designated and trained inmate handlers in the jail. All three dogs have been adopted and are waiting for graduation to join their new families. Sheriff Allard said, “What a phenomenal program, not only for the dogs, but for the inmates and the corrections officers. All staff have done an excellent job of working with the program and there is no doubt that it has had a positive impact on the inmate handlers.”
Bon-Ton Stores to Close by Aug. 31st:
It’s official. The over 200 Bon-Ton stores will be closing. The sale of all 260 stores to two liquidation firms has been approved by a bankruptcy court and corporate officials have confirmed that all remaining stores will be shut down by August 31st. Going out of business sales are to begin immediately. Locally, a Bon-Ton store can be found in the Arnot Mall. Mall officials told WETM that proceedings have not bee fully released, and that they will continue to monitor the situation.
DWI, Leandra’s Law Arrest:
A Wayland man is facing multiple charges, including Leandra’s Law, after he allegedly drove under the influence with a child in his vehicle. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, 29-year-old Chad Huffner was impaired by drugs while driving on Main Street in Campbell. He allegedly had a six-month-old as a passenger in the rear seat. He has been charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, Leandra’s law, driving while ability impaired by drugs, and endangering the welfare of a child. Huffner was arraigned and released on his own recognizance. The child was not injured during the incident and was turned over to family members at the scene.
Violation of Probation Arrest:
27-year-old Derek Clark has been arrested on a violation of probation warrant. It’s alleged that Clark violated a term or condition of his probation on a previous conviction of assault. Clark was arraigned and send to the Steuben County Jail without bail.
Gov. Cuomo’s Favorability Drops in New Poll:
A new Siena College poll released Tuesday brings both good and bad news for Governor Andrew Cuomo. While he’s still leading the race for Governor, his favorability rating has dropped to 44 percent, which ties for his lowest point ever as Governor. The poll shows Cuomo leading Cynthia Nixon – his closest Democratic challenger – by 31 points, though she has gained ground since the last poll. In March’s poll, Cuomo led 66 to 19. Now that Nixon has declared her candidacy, his lead is 58 to 27. The poll also shows Cuomo still leading over Republican challengers, Senator John DeFrancisco and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
If Not Chosen by GOP, DeFrancisco will Drop Out of Governor’s Race:
Next month, the Republican party will be choosing its endorsed candidate for the New York Governor’s race. A preliminary poll by the Conservative party shows a favoring of Marc Molinaro, and in response, John DeFrancisco says he will drop out of the race if not chosen. He said he won’t run in a primary election so a unified Republican front could be formed.
Drug Collection Box Installed at Corning P.D.:
If you miss the next Prescription Drug Take Back Event (which is set for April 28th at the Steuben County Public Safety Building in Bath) there’s now another way to dispose of your unwanted medications. The City of Corning Police Department has a new drug collection kit installed in its lobby. Individuals can drop off unwanted, unused, or expired medication, including controlled substances. The lobby is open 24/7. Proper disposal of medications helps keep local landfills and water supplies from being contaminated.
Bon-Ton Heading to Liquidation:
After filing for bankruptcy in February, it seems time is running out Bon Ton. Reuters is quoting sources that say Bon Ton stores will go out of business after the only bidders at a court-supervised auction were liquidators. Money raised from the auction will go to Bon-Ton’s creditors to repay what it owes. Once a winning bidder is selected and the deal is approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the liquidator can begin selling the inventory, store leases, fixtures, and intellectual property. Bon-Ton has nearly 200 stores, including one in the Arnot Mall.
H-Port Board of Ed. Meeting:
The Hammondsport Board of Education will hold its regular meeting tonight at 6 p.m. in the High School library.
Penn Yan Veteran Honored at Tuesday’s Yankee Game:
One of the traditions of the New York Yankee’s 7th inning stretch is a tribute to a military veteran and their family and on Tuesday, it was an area native being honored for his service. U.S. Army Corporal Dylan Duncan of Penn Yan, along with his family, was welcomed on field behind home plate and was introduced to the crowd. Cpl. Duncan was recognized for his service during Operation Enduring Freedom and receiving the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Hornell Man Facing Drug Charges:
A Hornell man is facing multiple charges after he was arrested for allegedly selling drugs in Canisteo. 29-year-old Joshua Smith is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operator, and license plate violation. He was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail.
Vestal Burglary Suspect Found, Arrested in Corning:
A man wanted in connection with multiple burglaries in the Vestal area has been arrested in the Town of Corning. 61-year-old Donald Fike is also wanted in the state of Arizona as a parole violator, and in Oklahoma for Theft of Property. He is currently being held at the Steuben County jail on a charge of criminal possession of stolen property in the third and fourth degrees. Additional charges are expected to be filed by the Vestal Police, Broome County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police.
DWI, Driving Wrong Way Arrest:
A Corning woman is facing charges after she allegedly drove drunk and westbound in the eastbound lane on I-86. Steuben County Sheriff’s deputies arrested 46-year-old Michelle Reese and charged her with DWI, reckless driving, failure to obey a police officer, and driving the wrong way on a one way. She was released on a traffic summons and an appearance ticket.
DWI Charge in One Vehicle Crash:
Steuben County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested 48-year-old Laigth Ollman on a charge of driving while intoxicated following a one vehicle crash in Corning. Deputies responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Fairway Road and Ollman allegedly drove the vehicle off the roadway, causing it to become stuck in a field with a missing front tire. Ollman was charged with DWI and moving from lane unsafely. He was released on traffic summons.
Mother of Kevin Ward Speaks Out on Stewart Settlement:
While the details of their wrongful death settlement remain undisclosed, the mother of Kevin Ward Jr. spoke to media about how the family felt “forced” to make the deal with NASCAR star, Tony Stewart. The family told USA Today that Stewart wanted to settle, and the lawyers representing the Wards “threatened to quit the case” unless they accepted the deal. Pamela Ward said they tried to find new representation, but determined they couldn’t afford it. According to USA Today, Pamela Ward told the judge she wanted a trial when they appeared in court in Utica last week.
CCE Awarded Grant:
Congressman Tom Reed has announced a $50,000 Appalachian Regional Commission Grant has been awarded to The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County. Executive Director of the Steuben County Branch said that the money will be used to develop an agritourism plan and an agritourism trail for 5 counties, Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga, and Yates.
Stalking Arrest in Corning:
A Corning man was arrested on Friday after he allegedly stalked a woman and her children. According to Corning police, officers were called to an incident at a local business on a report of an intoxicated man trying to punch a woman. The man fled the scene before they arrived. Another woman then came forward and told police that a man had followed her and her children, threatening to hit them. Police identified 39-year-old Michael Givens and he was arrested at his home. He has been charged with two counts of stalking, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $3,000 cash bail.
Felony Charge in Corning Domestic Incident:
A 20-year-old Elmira man was arrested Sunday in relation to a domestic incident in the Town of Corning. According to police, the victim said Ali Muhammad Jr. burned her face with a cigarette during an argument. Muhammad was taken into custody and charged with second-degree assault, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail.
Police Investigating One-Vehicle Crash Outside Corning:
New York State Police are investigating a one-vehicle crash that occurred this weekend outside Corning. On Sunday morning, the overturned Jeep Liberty was found abandoned with no one inside it on Whinn Road. No further details are available at this time.
Steuben Co. Considering Plan to Pay Deputies Based on Experience:
The Steuben County Legislature Administration Committee has given initial approval to a plan that would see law enforcement officers coming into the Sheriff’s Office get paid according to the experience they bring to the job. Sheriff Jim Allard said the plan helps attract the best deputies, and “lateral transfers” are good both for the Sheriff’s Office and county taxpayers. He said that they save the county in training costs. The plan is now set to be voted on by the full Legislature on April 23rd. It would also require an approved memorandum of understanding with the deputies’ union.
Weekend Color Run Raises Funds for Area School:
Students, faculty, and members of the public hit the pavement on Saturday to raise funds for the Addison Valley Early Childhood School with a color run. Held at Tuscarora Elementary school, the run was an untied 5k with over 100 participants. Over a thousand dollars was raised, which will all go to the Valley Early Childhood School. The school offers a full pre-school program free to all residents.
Steuben Weather Advisory Begins This Afternoon at 2PM
Steuben county will be facing a Winter Weather Advisory today from 2 pm until 2 pm tomorrow as ice making travel hazardous on the roads is likely to form. By this afternoon, the temperature is anticipated to drop to low 40’s as the cold front enters the Southern Tier. The potential for rain will also increase, giving a good chance for the Finger Lakes region to be dumped with a mix of sleet and freezing rain. Tonight the chance for rain increases and we may be met with another freezing rain and sleet mix as temperatures drop to near freezing and 10-20 MPH winds are anticipated for Sunday. Areas prone to flooding are at risk and residents are highly advised to avoid travel if possible between from the hours of 2pm today until 2pm tomorrow.
Hornell Police Officer Facing Official Misconduct Charges
State Police report the arrest of Hornell Police Officer Jason Day for allegedly mishandling evidence while acting in his official capacity as a police officer in a case a few years ago. Day faces charges of official misconduct and offering a false instrument for filing following a month-long investigation requested by Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker. Day is alleged to have failed to follow departmental policy and procedure while handling handguns, which Day voluntarily surrendered. Day also is alleged to have provided a false written statement with the knowledge it would be part of the New York State Police records. He was given an Appearance Ticket to return to the city of Hornell Court April 24 at 10AM.
Steuben County Sheriff's Office Offering Boater's Safety Course Today
The Steuben County Sheriff's Office is holding a boater safety course today from 9:00am to 5:00pm. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, anyone born after May 1, 1996 wishing to operate any recreational boating vessel must complete an approved safety course and anyone age 14 and over who wants to operate personal watercraft must also complete the approved safety course. The minimum age to take the class is 10 years old and class limit is 30 students. Proof of age is required for all students. Please call 622-3911 to register.
NYSP Crack Down on Distracted Driving
New York State Police and local law enforcement are participating in a statewide crackdown on distracted driving as part of April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The enforcement effort, called Operation Hang Up, will include increased patrols and checkpoints targeting drivers using electronic devices while behind the wheel. Preliminary data indicates a more than 1,100 percent increase in tickets for texting while driving in New York State since 2011. The campaign continues through Monday.
Bath Harrisburg Hollow Bridge to be Reconstructed
Work is underway on a $1.6 million project to replace the bridge carrying Route 415 over Harrisburg Hollow in the town of Bath. Originally built in 1936, the bridge will be replaced with a more resilient, modern structure. Traffic will be maintained on-site with a temporary bridge that will carry both lanes of Route 415 during construction.Avoca
Woman Arrested on Assault and Weapon Possession Charges
An Avoca woman was arrested following a domestic dispute. State police said they charged 35-year-old Angela Mattoon with assault with intent to cause injury and criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use. She was detained for court action.
Reed Appearing at Three Town Halls Today
Congressman Tom Reed announced three town halls that will take place today in our congressional district. The meetings will be held at the following towns:
Town of Gerry from 9:00-10:00am at the Gerry Rodeo Conference Center
(4351 Rt. 60 Gerry, NY 14740)
Town of Otto from 11:30am-12:30pm at the Otto Volunteer Fire Department
(9099 Jark Rd Cattaraugus, NY 14719)
And the Town of Ischua from 2:00-3:00pm at the Ischua Bingo Hall
(5634 NY-16 Hinsdale, NY 14743)
The Congressman says the meetings will be held for voters and residents to share their concerns and thoughts on tax reform and the local economy.
Lloyd Neurauter, Sister Accused of Attempting to Bribe Witness:
Lloyd Neurauter, the man accused of killing his ex-wife in Corning in 2017, is facing new charges, along with his sister, Wendy Bonilla. An indictment handed up by a Steuben County Grand Jury alleges that Neuratuer and his sister conspired and agreed to influence the testimony of a witness in the pending murder case against Neuratuer. The prospective witness refused. Neurauter and Bonilla are charged with attempted bribery of a witness, a class E felony, and conspiracy in the fifth degree – a class A misdemeanor. Neuratuer appeared in court Monday where he entered a plea of not guilty to the new charges. He was sent without bail to the Livingston County Jail, where he is being held pending his murder trial. Bonilla was arrested at her home in California on Tuesday. She waived extradition to New York. She will be held without bail and will answer her charges as soon as she can be returned to New York.
Burglary in Progress Arrest:
A Canisteo man was arrested on April 4th when police responded to a report of a burglary in progress. According to State Police, officers were called to a residence in the Town of Avoca and they located 28-year-old Dylan Hall inside the residence. Their investigation alleges that Hall forcibly entered the residence without the owner’s permission and destroyed property inside. Hall was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of bail.
P.A. Man Arrested in Jasper, Troupsburg Burglaries:
A Pennsylvania man has been arrested following investigation into numerous burglaries in the towns of Jasper and Troupsburg in 2017. 28-year-old Zachery Barber has been charged with burglary in the 2nd degree – a class C felony. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.
Work Underway on Harrisburg Hollow Creek Bridge in Bath:
Work has begun on the bridge that carries State Route 415 over Harrisburg Hollow Creek in Bath. The NYS Department of Transportation says that the work will replace the existing bridge, and some of the approach pavement will be restored. Motorists may encounter lane closures as well as flaggers. On site detours are expected to be in place in June while the bridge is under construction. The project is set to be complete by the end of November.
2 Hornell Police Officers Recognized for Saving Life:
Two Hornell Police Officers were recognized Thursday for recently saving a man’s life. According to Police Captain Mike Sexsmith, on March 23rd, Officer’s McHenry and Linehan responded to the East Main Street Bridge on a report of a distraught 20-year-old man who was standing on the railing and threatening to jump. The officers walled off the area and were able to successfully talk the man back onto the sidewalk. He was then taken to the hospital for evaluation. McHenry and Linehan will be receiving an official letter of commendation from the Board of Public Safety for their actions.
Local Lawmakers Hold Press Conference Against Ending Minimum Wage Tip
Local lawmakers joined with representatives of the restaurant industry and area restaurant owners Thursday in Corning for a press conference where they called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to rethink his proposed elimination of the minimum wage tip credit. Currently, the hourly minimum wage is $10.40, but for tipped workers the state set minimum “cash wage” is $7.50. That is combined with a $2.90 credit or allowance for tips that the employee receives from customers. Combined it ensures the employees a minimum wage of $10.40 per hour. If tips, combined with the cash wage, don’t reach the minimum hourly wage, the employers much make up the difference. In January, the Governor announced hearings to “evaluate the possibility of ending minimum wage tip credits in New York State.” Business owners say the move would be bad for restaurants and employees, and that the customer will end up paying more. The hearings are set through late June, with the next being held in Syracuse on April 30th at 10 a.m. at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Anyone interested in attending and/or speaking can find more information at the Department of Labor’s website at http://www.labor.ny.gov.
NYS Extends Tax Call Center Hours:
With tax crunch time upon us, New York State is extending its Income Tax Call Center hours. The center is normally open from 8:30 to 4:30, but on Monday, April 16th and Tuesday, April 17th it will be open until 8:30 p.m. You can reach the Income Tax Call Center at (518) 457-5181.
18-year-old Arrested for Attempted Break-in, Threatening Employees:
Corning police arrested an 18-year-old Tuesday after he allegedly attempted to break into a business and threatened employees with a weapon. Police say Kyle Horton was told on Monday to stay away from the business on West Market Street, but he returned on Tuesday armed with a knife with the alleged intent to attack the employees. He’s been charged with attempted burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, and menacing. He has been sent to the Steuben County Jail.
Bath Man Accused of Violating Parole, Lying to D.S.S.:
33-year-old Michael Parkinson of Bath has been arrested by Steuben County Sheriff’s deputies on charges of offering a false instrument and violation of parole. It’s alleged that Parkinson offered a written instrument to the Steuben County Department of Social Services knowing it contained false information. As Parkinson is on parole, the felony charge of offering a false instrument alleges that he violated a condition of his parole. He was subsequently arrested on a parole warrant. He is currently being held without bail in the Steuben County Jail.
Cohocton Woman Found Unresponsive, Charged with Endangering Child:
A Cohocton woman is facing a charge of endangering the welfare of a child after she was found unresponsive by State Police. According to troopers, they responded to a residence in Cohocton in an attempt to locate a subject wanted on a warrant and found 48-year-old Tracy Taber unresponsive and a 7-year-old child. Their investigation alleges that Taber’s condition was a direct result of her own conduct, and as a result, she was unable to provide proper supervision of the child. She was arraigned and released on her own recognizance.
Tony Stewart, Ward Family Reach Confidential Settlement:
The terms of the settlement reached in the wrongful death suit between the family of Kevin Ward Jr. and Tony Stewart will remain confidential. A hearing was set for today to have the settlement discussed “on the record,” but both parties filed a motion asking the court to vacate it, saying it would have resulted in “inconvenience and significant costs.” The settlement will be handled through Surrogate’s Court. Ward was killed at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in 2014 when he was struck by Stewart’s car.
Scores Attend Emergency Drill at Bath-Haverling:
Scores of volunteers participated Tuesday in the Steuben County Public Health Department’s emergency preparedness drill at the Haverling High School gymnasium in Bath. Volunteers from medical and emergency response agencies treated volunteer “patients” during the two-hour drill, which tested the county’s ability to effectively handle a mass crisis in terms of staffing, volunteers, location, and public awareness efforts. The pretend crisis Tuesday focused on response to a potential outbreak of Hepatitis A, as directed by the New York State Department of Health. Anyone interested in joining the ServSTEUBEN MRC volunteer system can register at https://apps.health.ny.gov/pub/servny/ or can call Public Health at (607) 664-2438.
Steuben OFA’s Ramp Guys Receive State Award:
A highly successful program that gives elderly residents in Steuben County more freedom to travel outside their homes has been selected by the Association on Aging in NY to receive the 2018 Volunteer Innovation Award. The “Ramp Program” will be awarded at a ceremony on May 22nd, and “lead” ramp guy Glenn Davis will also receive recognition for his individual efforts. Launched in 1998, the “Ramp Guys” have constructed more than 470 handicap-accessible ramps for low-and-moderate-income individuals having trouble coming and going from their homes.
Bradford Woman Arrested for Stealing from Elderly Victim:
An investigation by the New York State Police of Bath and the Steuben County Adult Protective Home Care Unit has resulted in charges against 32-year-old Rachel Cantineri of Bradford. Authorities received a complaint regarding suspicious activity on the bank account of an elderly subject and the subsequent investigation found that Cantineri, without authority or consent, allegedly made unauthorized purchases from December 2017 to March 2018 using the victim’s credit card. Cantineri was charged with forgery and was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.
A Bath woman has been arrested for shoplifting. 39-year-old Jeanne Sumey allegedly stole items from a retail establishment on State Route 415 in the Town of Bath. Steuben County Sheriff’s Deputies recovered the stolen items and Sumey was charged with petit larceny. She was issued an appearance ticket.
Cameron Woman Accused of Neglecting Dog:
A Cameron woman is facing a charge of overdriving following investigation by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office into a complaint of possible animal abuse. 37-year-old Megan Welch allegedly failed to supply sustenance, water, and food to a dog. She was issued an appearance ticket.
Former P-P Police Chief Not Backing Down from Fight with Village:
Former Painted Post Village Police Chief Dennis Mullen is vowing to continue his fight against alleged “abuse of power” in village government that led to his firing in 2017. Mullen filed a federal lawsuit against the village for an alleged violation of civil rights following his termination for, according to the village, not settling a matter regarding his salary and pension. Steuben County Court ruled that Mullen wasn’t formally charged by his employer nor granted a hearing prior to his termination and it was ordered in March that he be reinstated with benefits and back pay. As of yet, the village has not reinstated him, and it is unknown if he will decide to come back or not given the opportunity. Mullen said he is “seeking to clear [his] name.” Village Mayor Ralph Foster said the village cannot comment due to the ongoing nature of the situation. The federal lawsuit alleging violation of the fourteenth amendment is pending.
Police Investigating Threat at Spencer-Van Etten High:
The Tioga County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a school shooting threat at Spencer-Van Etten High School. On Tuesday, writing was discovered on a classroom desk that implied there would be a shooting at the school later this month. The District said it will release more information when it becomes available. There is no evidence that any students or staff are in immediate danger.
New Medicare Cards in Route to Participants:
Medicare participants will be seeing new cards in the mail soon that the Federal Government says will help thwart scams aimed at seniors enrolled in the program. The new cards have an 11 digit identification number instead of Social Security numbers. Congress mandated the change by April 2019.
Public Health Drill at Haverling Today:
Residents are reminded that the Bath-Haverling Central School District has been selected to participate in a New York State required mass-vaccination emergency drill today, in collaboration with the Steuben County Public Health Department and regional law enforcement. The drill will be held in the high school gymnasium. The simulation requires the presence of law enforcement on campus during the day and at the entrances to the campus. This is only a drill and there is no emergency.
Addison Woman Charged in Weekend Accident:
An Addison woman is accused of driving while intoxicated and fleeing the scene in an accident that occurred on Saturday. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, 43-year-old Robin Smith was drunk with a blood alcohol content over .18 when she left the road, hit a street sign and a utility pole on Front Street in the Village of Addison. She then allegedly ran on foot and was arrested a short time later. She has been charged with aggravated DWI, leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to stay in lane. She was issued an appearance ticket.
United Officially Back at E-C Regional Airport:
United Airlines has officially returned to the Elmira-Corning Regional airport, with the first flight touching down on Monday. United will now offer two daily departures to its hub at Newark Liberty International. From there, travelers will be able to connect to 150 destinations in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. United previously pulled out of the E-C airport in 2016, but according to officials the airline has new leadership and a new focus on smaller communities.
Tax Deadline April 17th, Extensions Available:
We’re now a week away from the tax filing deadline of April 17th. That is also the deadline for requesting an extension if you won’t be able to turn in your return on time. According to the state Department of Taxation and Finance, taxpayers can request an automatic extension of time until 11:59 p.m. on April 17th. Full payment of the properly estimated tax balance is due when requesting an extension. Personal income tax returns filed on an extension are due no later than October 15th. For more information visit http://tax.ny.gov/pit/file/ext.htm.
Steuben Proclaims National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week:
Noting the tireless service of Steuben County dispatchers, county Legislature Chairman Joe Hauryski has proclaimed April 8th through the 13th as “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” in the county. These dedicated professionals ensure the safety of residents by dispatching police, fire, and ambulance services every day at all times of the day from the county’s 911 center, and they also provide medical pre-arrival instruction to those in crisis, Hauryski said. He called upon all residents to recognize the vital contributions these public servants make on a daily basis, and to take the time to say “thank you” for their efforts.
Job Fair at CCC Thursday:
Corning Community College will host a regional job fair this Thursday, April 12th from noon to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium. Representatives from over 70 employers are expected to attend. Participants are encouraged to research and prepare before the event.
Domestic Incident Leads to Meth Lab Bust:
Investigation into a reported domestic incident led to the bust of an alleged meth lab on Friday in Corning. According to police, Corning officers were dispatched on Thursday, April 5th to a domestic incident on Bridge Street Extension. During the incident, 30-year-old William Griffin allegedly assaulted a 23-year-old woman with a hockey stick, and also allegedly punched, kicked, and bit her before fleeing the scene. The next day, on Friday, April 6th, Griffin was stopped by police officers while driving on Bridge Street. During the arrest, officers say they became suspicious that Griffin and his passenger, 25-year-old Jacob Woodworth were attempting to conceal something. Further investigation led to the discovery of an alleged active “one pot” type of meth lab, along with items used to make meth, and a quantity of meth. Griffin and Woodworth were charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Additionally, Griffin was charged with assault in the second and third degrees, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Woodhull Woman Accused of Stealing from Elderly Person:
An investigation by the New York State Police in Bath, the Steuben County Adult Protective Home Care Unit, and the Bath Police Department has resulted in charges against 20-year-old Haley Heigel of Woodhull. On February 26th, the state police and Steuben County Adult Protective received a complaint about suspicious activity on the bank account of an elderly subject. Following an investigation, it was determined that Heigel, without authority or permission, allegedly cashed four separate checks that were forged from January 10th through January 31st. Heigel also allegedly made unauthorized purchases from February 8th through February 13th on the debit card of the same victim. Heigel was charged with four counts of forgery and identity theft. She was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.
Bath Compost Site Opens This Weekend:
The Bath compost site will open to residents this Saturday, April 14th. Through April 28th, it will be open Saturdays only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting May 1st through June 2nd, it will add Tuesday and Thursday hours from 4 to 8 p.m. Then June 9th through November 3rd, it will return to Saturdays only. Brush, leaves, grass clippings, and garden materials will be accepted. No containers, plastic bags, buckets, boxes, etc. may be left. Construction and or demolition materials are not accepted. Tickets can be purchased at the Village Clerk’s office and at Bath Plumbing and Hardware. No tickets will be sold at the compost site.
Recruit NY Weekend April 28th and 29th:
An opportunity for New Yorkers to give back to their communities and protect their neighbors is coming up April 28th and 29th when the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) holds its annual recruit drive. Local volunteer fire departments will provide informational materials explaining the registration process and membership benefits to prospective firefighters and EMTs. Interested participants can call their local fire department to see if they’re participating. You can also call your local emergency management office at (607) 664-2910, or visit http://www.recruitny.org for more information.
Top-Prize Take Five Ticket Sold in Bath:
On Saturday, the New York Lottery announced that multiple top-prize winning tickets were sold for the April 6th TAKE-5 drawing. The tickets were sold in Brooklyn, Queens Village, Roosevelt, and Bath. The Bath ticket, worth $19,116.50 was sold at the Pilot Travel Center on State Route 53.
Planning Board Meeting to Discuss Corning -Guthrie Medical Offices
Corning-Guthrie hospital has proposed to construct medical offices on Guthrie Drive. On Tuesday, the public can weigh in. The Town of Corning Planning Board has scheduled a public hearing for April 10th at 4:30 p.m. at the town hall. The final conditional use permit will be reviewed.
Office for the Aging to Hold Medicare Seminars
The first in a series of free seminars on Medicare is slated for this month. It’s sponsored by the Steuben County Office for the Aging. The public seminars will provide information on basic Medicare, Medicare-related health insurance, prescription plans and low income subsidies. The information is tailored for people becoming Medicare eligible, or those with general questions about their current coverage and options. The programs will be held April 18th at 10 a.m. on the 3rd floor of the county office building and April 19th at 1:30 at the Hornell Senior Center, 20 Broadway Mall. A third will be conducted April 24th at 10 at the Corning Senior Center. So make a reservation, call the Steuben County Office for the Aging.
Canisteo Man Arrested for Burglarly
State police this week arrested 28-year-old Dylan Hall of Canisteo. He was charged with a felony crime after he allegedly burglarized an Avoca home. He was detained on bail.
Woodhull Woman Arrested on Multiple Charges After Forging Checks
State police report the arrest of a 20-year old Woodhull woman after an investigation into a complaint regarding suspicious activity on the bank account of an elderly subject. Haley Heigel was charged with four counts of forgery in the 2nd degree, a class “E” Felony for cashing four seperate forged checks at a local bank in Steuben County between January 10 and January 31, 2018. Unauthorized purchases were also made between February 8th through February 13th by Heigel on a debit card owned by the same subject. Heigel was arraigned for the forgery counts at the Town of Bath Court, remanded to Steuben County Jail on bail and rescheduled to appear in Town of Bath Court at a later date.
Finger Lakes Forest Officials Prescribing Fires Soon
This week Finger Lakes National Forest Officials announced they will be using prescribed fires to prevent forest wildfires. Local fire departments plan to treat from 200 to 600 acres in the forest to remove heavy amounts of brush and grass. The prescribed fires will begin soon in a couple of weeks and should not continue for more than six weeks. The anticipated affect to local residents is minimal with smoke possibly being seen and smelled. If burns can’t be completed, the forest service will postpone the fires for the fall.
Allard Warns of "Apple Pay" Phone Scam
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard is warning residents about a new phone scam that has been reported. The scam is a phone call from the area codes 225 and 515 and what is supposed to be “Apple Pay”. If you get a call claiming to be from “Apple Pay” with these area codes, don’t answer the phone or respond with any personal or financial information to this request and please do report it to the FBI or local Steuben County Sheriff’s Office.
Addison House Fire Turns into Meth Lab Investigation:
The investigation into a house fire in Addison Tuesday night has turned into a meth lab investigation. According to the New York State Police investigators were called to the house on Reservoir Hill Road after items used in the making of meth were discovered and a search warrant executed on the home lead to the seizure of meth lab equipment. It is not known at this time if the meth lab caused the fire. Troopers say no one was home at the time. The investigation is ongoing.
Public Hearing on McDonald’s Construction:
The re-construction of the McDonald’s restaurant in Bath is the subject of a public hearing next week. An amended site plan application has been filed with the village planning board. The hearing on the plan will be held in the municipal building on April 12th at 5:30 p.m.
Village of Bath Borrows $23.6M for Wastewater Facility:
The village board in Bath has approved borrowing $23.6 million. The bond resolution will fund upgrades to the village’s wastewater treatment facility. The move to borrow the money was approved earlier the week by village trustees. The resolution will take effect May 2nd, unless a petition is filed with the village clerk seeking a public vote on the plan.
Gov. Cuomo Announces New Initiative to Combat Substance Abuse Among Student
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Thursday a new initiative to provide teachers and coaches with resources they can use to help prevent and address substance use disorder among young people. Starting next week, the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Education Department, and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services will notify schools statewide of the availability of flash drives loaded with materials in English and Spanish for coaches, teachers, school nurses, and other educators to use in personal conversations with students and in community forums. The initiative aligns with the start of spring sports season, when school athletic directors, coaches, and trainers have the opportunity to discuss the dangers of prescription opioids with student athletes and their parents or guardians.
Rogue Chinchilla Wreaks Havoc at Almond Municipal Building:
It may sound like a late April Fool’s joke, but the chinchilla running loose in the Almond municipal building is anything but funny to officials. The animal – which is a large rodent native to parts of Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile – has made several mysterious appearances, even being spotted by Fire Chief Andy Hulbert. It has apparently evaded traps for several weeks, and the town and village have now contracted to rewire and protect its electrical wiring from rodents. A $2,500 quote for work has been put on hold until further consultation between the village and town, as it’s uncertain which is responsible for the cost given the shared office space. It’s believed the chinchilla was a pet that was turned loose during a private event.
“Perceived Threat” Prompts Jasper-Troupsburg School Lockdown:
Both the Jasper-Troupsburg elementary and Jr./Sr. high schools briefly went into lockdown Wednesday following a perceived school threat. Superintendent Michael Mead said the district was made aware of “concerning social media postings.” The responsible party was located by police and following an investigation, authorities determined no actual threats had been made. The lockdown was lifted around 9 a.m.
Silgan Plastics Receives Bomb Threat:
A bomb threat was made against Silgan Plastics in Penn Yan Wednesday afternoon. Following an evacuation and search by multiple police departments and state canine units nothing was found, and employees were allowed to return. Police say they are investigating the threat to determine who made it. That person or person(s) would face a felony charge.
Horseheads Eaton Cor. Plant Announces Layoffs:
The Eaton Corporation location in Horseheads has announced layoffs. By the end of this month, twenty-nine manufacturing production positions will be eliminated, according to a company spokesperson. The facility, which currently employs more than 200 people, makes electrical components for industrial customers. In a statement, the company said it was a difficult decision, and the New York State Department of Labor is working with them to help the affected employees.
100-Home Development Proposed for Painted-Post:
A 175-acre, $1.2 million residential development has been proposed for Beartown Road in Painted Post. Development group Cross Creek intends to move forward this fall on construction of 100 single-family homes. It would be done in three phases: 11 to 12 homes in phase one, 30 homes in phase two, and then the remaining number in phase three. Mains and other water infrastructure have already been installed. Road paving would be done simultaneously with house construction. Plans are said to be currently under development and will be presented to the Erwin Planning Board when completed.
Corning Man Arrested for Violating Order of Protection:
A Corning man has been arrested on a charge of criminal contempt. 21-year-old Dominique Randall allegedly violated an order of protection by appearing at the protected party’s place of employment. He was arraigned and sent to the Steuben County Jail on $500 cash bail.
Apple Pay Scam:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a new phone scam that has been reported to their office. Targets have reported receiving telephone calls from “Apple Pay” which says that suspicious activity has been noticed on the account. The call instructs you to click on three options on the internet or to call back on a provided number. A call to the originating number results in a recording which confirms that fraudulent apple pay calls are being received from that number and to report it to the FBI. Calls from (225) 765-3500, (859) 971-5400, or (515) 440-9000 are fraudulent and not to be responded to.
Pinwheels and Promises Campaign Underway:
The 2018 Pinwheels and Promises campaign got underway Wednesday with a kickoff in Bath. Now in its sixth year locally, the program is sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Steuben, and it is the start-up to a month-long effort to keep children in Steuben safe. Residents in the county are encouraged to post Pinwheels and Promises signs in their yards, and to display pinwheels in a prominent place. County Legislature Chairman Joe Hauryski also proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Medicare Seminars Set for April:
The first in a series of free seminars on Medicare is slated for April 18th, 19th, and 24th at various locations in Steuben County. The public seminars will provide information on basic Medicare, Medicare-related health insurance, prescription plans and low income subsidies. The programs will be held: 10 to 11:30 a.m. April 18th at the Steuben County Office Building in Bath; 1:30 to 3 p.m. April 19th at the Hornell Senior Center; and 10 to 11:30 a.m. April 24th at the Corning Senior Center. Future seminars are planned for May through June, with times and dates to be released closer to the events.
Bath-Haverling 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:
The Bath (Haverling) Central School District Board of Education has unanimously approved the Class of 2018 for the “Haverling Athletic Hall of Fame.” Two candidates were selected out of the applicants: Michael Rossi, Class of 2009 - Soccer, Baseball; and Nick Rossi, Class of 2011 – Soccer, Basketball, and Lacrosse. The inductees and families will be invited to the annual Haverling Alumni Banquet on June 15th for a formal recognition ceremony. Following the presentation at the banquet, plaques will be displayed permanently in the main hallway outside the entrance to the Haverling Athletic Complex. For reservations to the banquet, visit the Haverling Alumni Association Facebook page for more information.
Fire in Addison:
Multiple fire departments were called to a home in Addison Tuesday evening. Reports of a structure fire on Reservoir Hill Road went out around 7:30 p.m. and the Addison, Gang Mills, and Tuscarora departments all battled the blaze for roughly an hour. Further details are limited at this time. An investigation is underway.
Blunt Force Trauma Killed 8-Year-Old in Elmira:
Police have released the cause of death following investigation into the death of an eight-year-old girl in Elmira. They say the girl died from blunt force trauma caused by another person. Her death has been ruled a homicide.
Bath Assessor’s Office Changing Hours 4/9 – 4/13:
The Town of Bath Assessor’s Office hours will be changed for the week of April 9th through April 13th. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday they will be open 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday open 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and they will be closed on Thursday.
2017 Hunting Season Sees Fewer Deer Taken:
The Department of Environmental Conservation says fewer deer were taken by New York hunters in 2017. More than 200,000 deer were harvested during the most recent season, including 107,000 antlered bucks, but the DEC says that’s approximately five percent fewer than the previous year. Statewide, it’s a 10 percent decline in the antlerless harvest and on par with the 2016 buck harvest.
Steuben 4-H Members Excel at Regional Presentations:
On March 24th eight Steuben County 4-Hers joined others from the nine county Finger Lakes Region at Midlakes Intermediate School for District Public Presentations. The day ended with an awards ceremony. The top 20 presenters received special recognition, including four from Steuben County: Victoria Kelly, Sarah Lawson, Darren Piniewski, and Bethany Patton. Each judge also chose a presenter that stood out or that they wanted to recognize. Those chosen from Steuben were Peter Kelly and Darren Piniewski.
Boater Safety Course to be Held by Steuben County Sheriff’s Office:
A boater safety course will be held by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, April 14th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The class is limited to 30 students. The minimum age is 10-years-old and proof of age is required for all students. The Sheriff’s Office says any person born on or after May 1st, 1996 wishing to operate any recreational vessel must have successfully completed an approved safety course. Any person wanting to use a personal watercraft, 14 years or older, must complete an approved boater safety course. Call (607) 622-3911 to register.
Rexville Man Arrested for Falsely Reporting Missing Teens:
State Police have arrested 53-year-old Gregory Anthony of Rexville in conjunction with falsely reporting incidents which did not occur. Specifically, police say their investigation into Anthony's claim of several missing teens from the Richburg area was determined to be baseless. Anthony was charged with falsely reporting an incident and was issued an appearance ticket.
Cameron Man Arrested at Steuben Co. Jail:
A Cameron man was arrested at the Steuben County Jail following an alleged altercation. According to the Sheriff's Office, 32-year-old Christopher Ferreira initiated a physical confrontation with another inmate and an altercation ensued. He was arraigned on a charged of attempted assault and will answer the charge in Town of Bath Court at a later date.
Cohocton Man Accused of Damaging Ambulance Property:
A Cohocton man has been arrested for allegedly damaging property belonging to the Cohocton Amublance Service. 51-year-old Rick Towner is accused of intentionally damaging the property and he has been charged with criminal mischief in the fourth. He has been released on his own recognizance.
Misuse of Food Stamps Arrest:
A Corning man has been arrested for misuse of food stamps. The Steuben County Sheriff's Office allegest that 31-year-old Charles Wheeler gave the PIN to his issued NYS Benefit Card to another person while he was incarcerated at the county jail. He allegedly gave that person permission to use his card, which the person did on multiple occasions. Wheeler wa sissued an appearance ticket.
Probation Violation Arrest:
The Steuben County Sheriff's Office reports the arrest of 23-year-old Jon Calcote of Painted Post due to an active violation of probation warrant. It's alleged that Calcote violated the terms and conditions of his probation, after having been previously convicted of attempted sexual abuse in the first degree. Calcote was held at the county jail until his appearance in county court.
Steuben Co. Jail Considering In-Jail Treatment for Substance Abusers:
Steuben County could receive funds to expand addiction services at the jail under the recently-adopted state budget, according to county Office of Community Services Director Hank Chapman. Chapman told the county Legislature's Public Safety and Corrections Committee the funds would pay for a full-time substance abuse counselor and part-time nurse at the county jail, with a case manager assiting inmates in making a successful transition after their release. According to Sheriff Jim Allard, some 80 percent of the 200-plus inmates typically in the county jail are addicts.
Stewart, Ward Family Reach Wrongful Death Settlement:
Weeks before a trial was set to begin, the family of Kevin Ward Jr. has reportedly reached a settlement with Tony Steward in their wrongful death lawsuit. Ward was killed in 2014 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park when he stepped out on the track and was struck by Stewart. A hearing where both sides will put the terms of the pending settlement on record has been set for April 12th.
2018 Tyrtle Beach Jumper Announced:
At Monday night's Kick Off Party for the 2018 Tyrtle Beach Fundraising season, this year's jumper was announced as Campbell-Savona High School Principal, Kelley Meade. Meade will take the plunge into the chilly waters of Lake Salubria in Bath on May 3rd for the benefit of youth organizations in Steuben County. Phone line sare now open at 776-3326 to make your pledge.
EPA Names Corning Inc. Energy Star Partner:
Among the 163 new Energy Partners named by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy on Monday was Corning's own Corning Incorporated. Corning Inc. was recognized for its Global Energy Management program and it receiving the Energy Star Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence recognition for the addition of new strategic dimensions to its corporate energy program. Energy Star is a federal symbol for energy efficiency awarded to companies who have energy saving solutions and help reduce emissions.
Molinaro Officially Running for NYS Governor:
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro officially launched his campaign for New York State Governor Monday. The 42-year-old initially said he wouldn't seek the GOP nomination, but changed his mind after state Senator John DeFrancisco said he would seek the party's nomination. Molinaro was elected county executive in 2011. He has previously served in the Dutchess County Legislature and the state Assembly. That now brings the total number of challengers looking to unseat incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo to five, including two seeking to oust him in a Democratic primary.
Campbell Man Charged in Bath Car Chase:
Three people were injured and one was arrested in a car chase that occurred in Bath Friday night. According to the Bath Police Department, officers observed a white pick-up truck driving erratically along village streets around 9 p.m. and when they attempted a traffic stop, a pursuit began. The vehicle left the village at a high rate of speed and struck another vehicle near Lake Salubria. Both vehicles were heavily damaged. The suspect was identified as 21-year-old Harley Lyon of Campbell and he was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released. The occupants of the other vehicle – 19-year-old Daniel Wurzer of Bath and 19-year-old Blake Thomas of Alexandria, V.A. – were treated and released from Corning Hospital. Lyon was charged with reckless endangerment and unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. Further charges are pending. He was sent to the Steuben County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.
NYS Budget Passed:
Just in time to meet the new fiscal year on Sunday, members of the New York State Senate and Assembly passed on Saturday a new $168.3 billion state budget. It includes $1 billion in new education spending, investments in water quality, and money to fight Lyme disease. There’s a new surcharges on taxi, Uber, and Lyft rides in Manhattan and a new state sexual harassment policy. It also contains one notable new tax: a fee on opioid manufactures and distributors that will raise money to combat addiction.
NYS Passes Law to Remove Guns from Domestic Abusers:
On Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the passage of legislation to remove guns from domestic abusers. The legislation closes a loophole in state law in order to ensure domestic abusers are required to surrender all firearms, not just handguns. It also ensures that individuals wanted for a felony or other serious offenses are not able to obtain or renew a firearm license. Previously, despite being subject to an arrest warrant, an individual could still legally obtain a firearm license while being sought by police. In a press release, the Governor said that domestic violence is an issue closely tied to gun violence and gun violence deaths, with nine of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in the United States - including Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs – being committed by individuals with existing records of committing violence against women, threatening violence against women, or harassing or disparaging women.
Keuka Lake Polar Bear Plunge Raises Funds for Good Cause:
More than a dozen people took frigid dips this weekend in support of a good cause. The annual polar plunge in Hammondsport took place on Saturday to raise money for three-year-old Kira Christensen of Penn Yan. Christensen was diagnosed with cancer. The proceeds were originally to be split with the Wayne Volunteer Fire Department, but they decided to donate it all to Christensen.
Walmart Reportedly Considering Acquisition of Humana:
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that retail-giant Walmart is considering acquiring insurer Humana. Talks are early, according to the paper, and the companies are said to be discussing a number of options, including acquisition. Humana is a major provider of Medicare Advantage coverage for people age 65 and over. Humana and Walmart already have a deal to provide prescription drug coverage. Analysts believe if a combination takes place, patients would likely be steered toward Walmart stores for help managing chronic conditions and other services. Humana has not responded to the Associated Press’ requests for comment, and Walmart said it would not comment on “rumors and speculation.”