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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday April 29th, 2020

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) has been extended through June 30th or until the remaining funds have run out. Households that qualify  are now eligible for the third round of Emergency HEAP Benefits. Contact our local HEAP office at (607) 664-2500) today to determine if you qualify and are eligible for an Emergency HEAP benefit.

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that two additional County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total number of confirmed cases to 227.  The new infections involve residents of Erwin and the town of Urbana. One or more of the individuals are linked with previously reported cases. One of the two new positives is from a nursing home in the Bath area. The individuals are currently being isolated and monitored by the County Health Department.

Democratic Candidate for Congress Tracy Mitrano and her campaign report today that the New York State Board of Elections officially announced Mitrano is unchallenged for the 23rd District's Democratic ballot. Contender for the Democratic primary Scott Noren fell short in the amount of petition signatures necessary to qualify for the race in the 23rd Congressional District. Mitrano will face off against incumbent Congressman Tom Reed in the November general election. 

As a result of the efforts of a joint investigation by Steuben County Sheriff's Office and the Bath Police Department, three people were arrested during a traffic stop on Seneca Road in the Town of Hornellsville. Three were taken into custod: 31-year-old Kenneth Turner from Bath as well as 51-year-old Tommie Bostic and 57-year-old Dianna Prouty both of Hornell. During the stop and two searches in Bath, the sheriff said they recovered $37,000 in crystal meth, $500 in marijuana and $6,000 in cash. All three were charged with felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. Turner and Prouty were arraigned and released. Bostic, who is on parole, was additionally charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation. He was arraigned and remanded to the Steuben County Jail.

Corning Inc. reports a first quarter loss of $96 million this year. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations with Corning shares dropping to 26% since the beginning of the year. In a statement, Corning said given the economic uncertainty and disruption caused by COVID-19, the company is withdrawing its full-year 2020 guidance. CEO Wendell Weeks said Corning is built to survive difficult circumstances and said the company is being impacted by the escalating global economic and health consequences of the pandemic.

The Steuben County Legislature meets Monday for regular session via teleconference and will disscuss accepting federal and public safety grants, efforts to improve the local economy and moving forward on Steuben County Public Works projects as part of a packed agenda. The county board accepted over $158,000 in state COVID-19 funds to pay for various COVID-related expenses. Other grants Steuben legislators accepted included a $500,000 federal Community Development Block Grant which pays for well and septic, water and sewer, and mobile home needs for qualifying property owners. 

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday April 28th, 2020

Four new COVID-19 cases were reported yesterday in Steuben County, bringing the case count to a total of 225 confirmed. Individuals reside in Erwin, Lindley, Urbana and Village of Hammondsport. Nine people are currently hospitalized from COVID-19. The County Public Health Department also reports two more nursing home patients who have died previously testing positive from the virus. Patient were a 71 year old male and 74 year old male both dying at the same Bath area nursing home. Darlene Smith says the deaths are "a reminder to stay vigilant in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

 

Yesterday it was announced by the Steuben County Dairy Festival Committee that the 64th annual Dairy Festival scheduled for June 6th has been cancelled. The year's theme is Dairyland Freedom celebrating the 75th year anniversary of the end of World War II, 76th Anniversary of D-Day and 70th Anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War.  The Grange sponsors the event and along with the Dairy Festival Committee takes the health and safety of everyone seriously. Promotional Giveaways will take place so stay tuned to WVIN to hear more details coming soon. Prattsburgh Summer Festival has also been cancelled. 

 

Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler's office announced that Steuben County offices will remain closed to public walk-ins through May 15th to coincide with the Governor's Executive Order related to facility restrictions. The public is advised to contact the office using the phone numbers posted on the main page of the county website and social media pages to schedule appointments for services with various county departments. 

 

Though the COVID-19 pandemic flatlines in New York state, the need for blood is still urgent. Blood drives will be held Tuesday May 5th at the Kanona Fire Hall, Friday May 15th at the Bath First Presbyterian Church, Thursday May 21st at the Hammondsport Fire Department, Wednesday June 17th at the Bath VFW and Thursday June 18th at the Bath VA, Building 92. For times, additional details and to make your appointment go online at redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. 

 

At his daily coronavirus press briefing in Syracuse this morning, Governor Cuomo remarked that his stay-at-home orders will likely be extended beyond May 15th in many parts of the state but restrictions may be eased in regions that have sufficient capacity of hospital beds and meet other criteria. Cuomo also tweeted his team has studied reopening plans and data around the world and spoken with global health experts to guide him on reopening the state on a regional basis. 

 

Citing COVID-19 concerns and in a rare move, New York state has cancelled its Democratic Presidential Primary set for June 23rd after Democratic members of the New York State Board of Elections voted at a meeting yesterday to call off the primary. Lawyers for Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign sent a letter to the state Board of Elections Sunday asking Sanders remain on the primary ballot for the sake of preserving party unity. On April 8th, Sanders suspended his campaign for president but announced his intention to remain on future primary ballots to accumulate delegates and never terminated his candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission. 

Today's Top Stories - Monday April 27th, 2020

The Steuben County Public Health Department reported yesterday afternoon that two more county residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 221 confirmed cases. The individuals are residents of the towns of Prattsburgh and Wheeler. One of the individuals is hospitalized, bringing the total number of current hospitalizations to 10. The individuals are currently being isolated and monitored by the County Health Department. Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed cases and exposure risks. All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified.

 

Watkins Glen International is asking for help from race fans to determine the best NASCAR race the track has ever produced. NASCAR’s track’s website is pitting two different races against each other every day. The contest encourages fans to remember and celebrate some of the most iconic moments and finishes in NASCAR history at the world-famous road race course. You can vote daily at theglen.com or follow the link on their social media pages.

 

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced this morning that there will be no state tournament for high school sports this spring. Even with the  cancelling of state tournaments, there has been no cancelation of spring sports regular-season games. The state says that it can only happen if students return to the classroom.

A house and garage in Bath have been destroyed in a fire that broke out about 9 o’clock Saturday morning at a home on East Union Road. The blaze resulted eight local fire departments responding to the scene, and its black smoke was reported to be seen from several miles away. The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire, but are a total loss and fortunately, no injuries were reported.

 

Governor Cuomo announced at his daily coronavirus press briefing this morning that New York state has recorded the lowest statewide COVID-19 death toll of the month and lowest daily death toll since March 30th. Cuomo remarked the death toll of 337 people "still tragically high, but on the decline."Cuomo also said his stay-at-home order will likely be extended beyond May 15 in many parts of the state yet added restrictions could be eased in some parts if they have sufficient hospital capacity and meet other criteria. Cuomo also said today the number of statewide random antibody tests has expanded to 7,500 to paint a better picture of the extent of the COVID-19 transmission in New York.

New York officials are canceling several June elections to reduce density at the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic following an Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo. The order canceled special elections for four vacancies in the state legislature which includes a Syracuse-area Senate seat and three Assembly posts in Long Island, Queens, and Rochester. The New York State Board of Elections is set meet today to consider canceling the Democratic presidential primary, after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders called off campaigning for the race, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden on the presidential ticket.

 

County officials said he COVID-19 clusters at three nursing homes in Steuben County appear to have become more stable at a Friday press briefing. Steuben officials also pledged to continue to act promptly in the event of any new reports at area nursing homes and monitor the homes daily. The clusters involved 46 staff and residents at Hornell Gardens in Hornell. Other clusters were reported by Elderwood in Hornell and the Fred & Harriett Taylor Nursing Home in Bath. The clustered outbreaks have taken a toll – out of the 33 deaths reported by Steuben Public Health Friday, 24 are nursing-home related.

 

New York State is working on adding more protective measures for domestic violence victims amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence announced a new, completely confidential 24/7 chat room and a text line to provide outreach options for those who can't speak on a phone call. Professionals can be reached via the hotline at 800-942-6906 and suggested to victims they should add this number to phone contacts under a fake name that won't prompt suspicion.

Today's Top Stories - Friday April 24th, 2020

Two more Steuben County residents have died after testing positive for COVID-19 and brings the number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 33. One victim was a 90-year-old man who died at a nursing home in the Bath area and the other an 88-year-old male who died at the same nursing home. Public Health Director Darlene Smith said …the number of new cases is starting to decrease, but officials aren’t seeing the same decrease in the number of deaths. 

One more additional Steuben County resident has tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 215 confirmed cases. The individual is a resident of the City of Hornell. On April 16th and 17th, that resident visited the Groveland Correctional Facility in Livingston County and Wednesday morning, the person stopped at the Hammondsport Grocery Store. The individual is currently being isolated and monitored by the County Health Department.

When the Steuben County Legislature meets Monday at 10 a.m., one item lawmakers will discuss is authorizing the Director of Emergency Management to enter into a contract with LaBella Associates of Elmira for electrical engineering services at the County 911 Center. The proposed cost is $5,700.

Congressman Tom Reed and Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey pushed back last night in a statement against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments regarding allowing states and local governments to fall into bankruptcy amidst pandemic and the financial chaos it’s causing. The duo said they strongly disagree strongly disagree with the idea that the federal government can sit by and let local governments, and the thousands of essential front-line workers, including law enforcement, firefighters, and health care workers, go bankrupt. Both Congressmen added If state and local economies fail then the national economy will fail, as well. Governor Cuomo also pushed back at McConnell's suggestion for states to declare bankruptcy from the fiscal fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, calling it "one of the dumbest ideas of all time." President Trump also offered programs to support state and local governments in a new coronavirus relief package -- but Majority Leader McConnell continues to maintain his opposition.

Empire Access has partnered with Prattsburgh Central School District to provide free outdoor Wi-Fi hotsports to allow students with limited internet access at home to continue their education through online learning while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The School District outdoor wifi hotspots are now active and can be accessed from the front parking lot of the school. Families and students can contact the school's technology department at (607) 522-3795 ext. 9 for more information regarding this free service.  

Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in Hammondsport will donate 10% of the proceeds of four Helm Series wines to Pro Action’s Hope Center Keuka Food Pantry. Proceeds will be retroactive starting March 1st, 2020 and continuing indefinitely. Pro Action of Steuben and Yates Inc. is the federally and state-designated Community Action Agency for Steuben and Yates Counties and the largest and longest-standing organization dedicated to addressing the causes and conditions of poverty in these communities.

 

During a call open to all yesterday Democratic Congressional Candidate Tracy Mitrano talked about her concerns with the results thus far from the stimulus bills and the ways in which she sees they have failed New York’s 23rd district. Mitrano opened up talking about the different areas of concern where the CARES Act failed to reach those most in need, in particular, small businesses, farmers, and working and middle class families.She also remarked about special interests: “Half a trillion dollars has already been lost to large corporations that use subsidiaries as their loophole in order to get this money.” She added, “Meanwhile Tom Reed and other politicians, realizing that corporations got most of the pie, want to ask taxpayers for another half trillion dollars to fix their lack of oversight.”

Today's Top Stories - Thursday April 23rd, 2020

 

The Salvation Army in Bath has announced they will close their doors for good but employees that were terminated from their positions in a letter without a reason given for the store's close are now stepping up. Former employees have begun an online petition and already, about 900 people have signed it in support. WETM News reached out to the Bath Salvation Army for comment and responded this afternoon in a statement saying "the current financial crisis....has made supporting programs (their rehabilitation programs for people in need) through the sales of the store impossible" as the reason for closing the Bath thrift store. 

 

As of yesterday, Steuben County Health Department was reported to have completed 1,548 tests for the novel coronavirus. As of yesterday, 31 total deaths were reported and six hospitalized currently from the virus. Patients being monitored or quarantined total 317. Total confirmed cases re-ached 214 while 104 individuals were reported to have recovered from COVID-19. Of the latest four deaths, three of the victims died in two separate nursing homes in the Hornell area. The fourth person was from a nursing home in the Bath area who died while hospitalized outside the county. The victims ranged in age from 80 to 102. 

After investigating a domestic dispute, state police arrested 28-year-old Gabriel Bingham of Wayland. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

 

All New York State Presidential Primary elections have been postponed until June 23rd, according to the Steuben County Board of Elections. Early voting has also been moved to June 13th – 21st, board officials said. The Steuben Board of Elections office remains closed to walk-ins until further notice. Those requiring the Steuben board’s services may call for an appointment. 

 

A new website developed by a team at Cornell University has been launched to provide easy-to-use interactive visuals to depict the COVID-19 patterns slowing down in New York both statewide and by county. The site: iaoutreach.meltwater.com is updated daily with data from all 62 counties in New York state and its team says soon hopital bed and fatality data will be added. 

 

During his daily coronavirus briefing this morning, Governor Cuomo maintained that statewide testing needed to be ramped up. In the past two days in 19 counties and at 40 locations across the state, 3,000 people were randomly sampled for a database and yielded a rate of 13.9% people testing positive for coronavirus antibodies, which means at some point, these people had coronavirus then recovered from it. Cuomo also said today that protecting those working and living in nursing homes is paramount and he would direct nursing homes to immediately report to the Department of Health actions they have taken to comply with directives by the Department of Health and CDC.

 

The Great New York State Fair is still happening in 2020 despite uncertainty about how long the COVID-19 pandemic will keep social distancing regulations in place. Preparations are underway for the 2020 State Fair and various contingencies are bing planned as officials say fair organizers shall follow all relevant local and state guidance and will adjust as necessary to follow guidelines. The fair brings about a million people per year to the Central New York region and was extended from August 21st to September 7th in the New York State Executive Budget this year.

 

Despite additional cases of COVID-19 reported daily, protesters in Albany today have called on Governor Cuomo to reopen New York State.  Protesters say the stay-at-home order is a violation of their rights and did not seem to be concerned about being infected. New York State Police and City of Albany Police say no one was ticketed despite protesters ignoring the face covering and social distancing mandates. At yesterday's coronavirus morning breifing, Governor Cuomo said the initial research to come up with a plan to re-open New York State regionally is underway. 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday April 22nd, 2020

In consultation with Steuben County Public Health, the Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center in Bath conducted comprehensive COVID-19 testing of staff and residents at their facility.  Test results indicate a combined sixteen additional residents and staff from Steuben County have tested positive for COVID-19 in addition to those already reported. This brings the total case count for Steuben County to 214. Public Health Director Darlene Smith said …the higher case count in nursing homes and decreased prevalence in the general community is consistent with what they have been experiencing for several days. 

 

Two people were injured in a Bath crash yesterday that included a State Trooper. The crash happened around 5:30 p.m. when the trooper was traveling southbound and a motorist in front of the marked troop car moved to the right turn lane at County Route 15 - (Knight Settlement Road), and then abruptly made a U-turn, causing the collision. The Trooper was treated at Guthrie Corning Hospital for minor injuries and released. The operator of the second vehicle was transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA for non-life-threatening injuries. The investigation is continuing.

 

The COVID-19 crisis has left the state and country in economic standstill and as a result, the enacted state budget leaves even greater financial uncertainty for school districts, health care providers and localgovernments this year according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The Comptroller's Office estimates the amount of overall tax receipts delayed from April to July coulb be as great as $9 to $10 billion. DiNapoli said the crisis will take a multi-year hit to state finances and also noted though short-term borrowing may be appropriate to offset delayed revenues, he urges caution in any longer-term borrowing for operating costs.

 

Steuben County Sheriff's Offices says they need the public's assistance finding and checking the welfare of a 28-year-old Bath resident. Deputies say Dustin E Cole is about 5'7" tall and is known to frequent the Corning area but lives in the Town of Bath. Anyone with information about Cole and his whereabouts is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at (607) 622-3930.

 

Congressman Tom Reed was joined by five Republican state lawmakers that included local State Senator Tom O'Mara yesterday to discuss the gradual reopening of upstate New York. The six GOP lawmakers pushed back against the idea that a staggered, nuanced approach to reopening the economy isn’t feasible. Reed also says Congress needs to stop the partisan games and pass the relief American businesses across the country need.

 

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo says elective outpatient treatments can resume in counties and hospitals without significant risk of COVID-19 surge in the near term. Hospitals will be able to resume performing elective outpatient treatments on April 28 if the hospital capacity is over 25 percent for the county and if there have been fewer than 10 new hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in the county over the past 10 days. 

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday April 21st, 2020

The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office continues investigating a Friday afternoon fire that claimed the life of an elderly man. Sheriff Jim Allard said the body of 84-year-old Stephen A. Ohradzanski was found inside his home at 7279 County Road 69 in the Town of Howard. The Howard, Avoca, Bath, Canisteo, Kanona and Wallace Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the report. Members of the Steuben County Fire Investigation Team responded with the Sheriff’s Office and Steuben County Emergency Management Office to investigate the fire. The investigation of the Howard blaze continues. 

 

The Steuben County Public Health Department reports an additional resident tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the current total to 196 confirmed cases. The individual is a resident of the Village of Canisteo and currently being isolated and monitored by the County Health Department. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says that reporting only one new case yesterday is a step in the right direction.  

 

Hornell Area Transit confirms that one of its riders tested positive for COVID-19. The rider showed no symptoms at the time and rode the transit last Thursday. The company says it has been alternating buses and deep cleaning them at the end of each shift as well as cleaning high-touch areas in between riders per the CDC guidelines. They encourage any rider to stay home and only use the bus when absolutely necessary. Steuben County Public Health interviewed this person and reported their movements of the last 48 hours to the public.

 

The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, composed of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans, has released its Reopening and Recovery “Back to Work” Checklist, a multi-prong, data driven proposal focused on reopening America safely and reigniting the economy. The 50-member bipartisan Caucus, led by Co-Chair Tom Reed of Corning, found consensus on the bipartisan set of recommendations. 

 

Yesterday, New York State Assembly Republicans released a comprehensive, regionally-based plan to re-open our upstate economy. The initiative is called the "New York Regional Restart" and would task a bipartisan panel of economic development and public health experts to develop a safe plan to phase out the economic restrictions imposed under emergencies like the COVID-19 crisis. Currently, 1.2 million New Yorkers and counting have filed unemployment claims and the state budget deficit is estimated to be between $10 and $15 billion as a result of the economic standstill caused by the pandemic. 

 

The State University of New York System is distributing over 8,800 laptops and Chromebooks to its students in need who are currently completing coursework for the spring semester online amidst the COVID-19 shutdown of public schools and college campuses. A survey of all 64 SUNY campuses across the state was conducted to gauge student technology needs back in March when SUNY officials were planning to shift their classes via distance learning. SUNY says it willl continue assessing the technological needs of students throughout the coronavirus crisis. 

Today's Top Stories - Monday April 20th, 2020

Yesterday afternoon, the Steuben County Public Health Department reported the deaths of four more people who previously tested positive for COVID-19.  Friday, two additional deaths from the virus were also reported. These latest cases bring the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 27. Of the latest four, one victim was a 77-year-old woman from the Village of Wayland who died while hospitalized outside the county.  Another was a 79-year-old woman from a nursing home in the Hornell area who died while hospitalized. Another was an 81- year-old man from the City of Corning who died while hospitalized, and the fourth individual was a 68-year-old male from a nursing home in the Hornell area who died while hospitalized outside the county.  Public Health Director Darlene Smith said “The loss of four more individuals is heartbreaking.” 

The Steuben County Public Health Department reports that four additional Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Five additional cases were also reported Friday evening.  These latest cases bring the total to 195 confirmed cases. Of the latested four, two of those infected for from the city of Hornell and one each from the Villages of Hammondsport and Wayland. One or more of the individuals are linked with previously reported cases.  Included is an additional case related to the mass testing conducted at Elderwood at Hornell as well as a case from Hornell Gardens. The individuals are currently being isolated and monitored by the Steuben County Health Department.

Friday afternoon it was announced services provided by the Steuben County Public Health Department employees during the COVID-19 pandemic are in line for funding through the New York State Department of Health's COVID-19 Response Grant. The state grant worth over $158,000 will pay for various COVID-19-related expenses. County Public Health Director Darlene Smith says about 90 percent of the grant will cover overtime for county Public Health nurses, medical supplies and mileage and 10 percent of the grant will be used for additional administrative costs. 

State Department of Labor has announced they have launched an application to allow New Yorkers to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance without needing to file for traditional unemployment assistance first. Those who file now do not have to call the Department of Labor and instead can complete the online application at: unemployment.labor.ny.gov. 

Governer Cuomo announced plans to re-open New York State during this morning's daily press briefing as he said he believed "the worst is over" with the pandemic as the curve continues to flatten. Part of the plan involves talking with governors of neighboring states to prepare a regional approach to re-opening the economy. Cuomo also said the reopening objective will be to ease isolation, increase economic activity, re-evaluate the definition of "essential worker", having more testing and precautions and not increase the infection rate. Five states have joined New York to create a reopening plan and a date for when the plans will be available has not yet been announced. 

Today the State Department of Health begins to conduct a statewide antibody testing survey. The survey will sample 3,000 people for a population of 19.5 million people. Large-scale antibody testing will help determine the percentage of the population that is now immune to the virus, allowing more individuals to safely return to work. Governor Cuomo said this will be the first true snapshot of exactly how many people were infected by COVID-19 and will help the state to reopen and rebuild.

New York Farm Bureau issues a statement over the weekend saying it appreciates USDA’s plan to provide emergency economic aid to NYS farmers in light of the serious market disruptions and collapsed commodity prices related to the COVID-19 pandemic. $16 billion will now be directed to farm families along with $3 billion to purchase meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables. Farm Bureau President David Fisher also said he applauds the initiative to get more food from the farm to food banks to help New Yorkers in need. He said no farmer wants to see food go to waste but is sometimes left with no other choice considering the major challenges confronting the food distribution chain.

After investigating a burglary in the Town of Erwin, State Police arrested 23-year-old Veronda L. Butts of South Corning and 38-year-old Mary L. Beam of Hornell. Each was charged with felony second-degree residential burglary. Each was detained in lieu of cash bail.

A traffic stop in Allegany County early Sunday resulted in the arrest of a Hornell man. Troopers said they pulled over 25-year-old Dallas Snyder on County Road 15A in Grove. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and having a BAC above .08%. He’ll appear in court at a later date.

Today's Top Stories - Monday April 20th, 2020

Yesterday afternoon, the Steuben County Public Health Department reported the deaths of four more people who previously tested positive for COVID-19.  Friday, two additional deaths from the virus were also reported. These latest cases bring the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 27. Of the latest four, one victim was a 77-year-old woman from the Village of Wayland who died while hospitalized outside the county.  Another was a 79-year-old woman from a nursing home in the Hornell area who died while hospitalized. Another was an 81- year-old man from the City of Corning who died while hospitalized, and the fourth individual was a 68-year-old male from a nursing home in the Hornell area who died while hospitalized outside the county.  Public Health Director Darlene Smith said “The loss of four more individuals is heartbreaking.” 

The Steuben County Public Health Department reports that four additional Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Five additional cases were also reported Friday evening.  These latest cases bring the total to 195 confirmed cases. Of the latested four, two of those infected for from the city of Hornell and one each from the Villages of Hammondsport and Wayland. One or more of the individuals are linked with previously reported cases.  Included is an additional case related to the mass testing conducted at Elderwood at Hornell as well as a case from Hornell Gardens. The individuals are currently being isolated and monitored by the Steuben County Health Department.

Friday afternoon it was announced services provided by the Steuben County Public Health Department employees during the COVID-19 pandemic are in line for funding through the New York State Department of Health's COVID-19 Response Grant. The state grant worth over $158,000 will pay for various COVID-19-related expenses. County Public Health Director Darlene Smith says about 90 percent of the grant will cover overtime for county Public Health nurses, medical supplies and mileage and 10 percent of the grant will be used for additional administrative costs. 

State Department of Labor has announced they have launched an application to allow New Yorkers to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance without needing to file for traditional unemployment assistance first. Those who file now do not have to call the Department of Labor and instead can complete the online application at: unemployment.labor.ny.gov. 

Governer Cuomo announced plans to re-open New York State during this morning's daily press briefing as he said he believed "the worst is over" with the pandemic as the curve continues to flatten. Part of the plan involves talking with governors of neighboring states to prepare a regional approach to re-opening the economy. Cuomo also said the reopening objective will be to ease isolation, increase economic activity, re-evaluate the definition of "essential worker", having more testing and precautions and not increase the infection rate. Five states have joined New York to create a reopening plan and a date for when the plans will be available has not yet been announced. 

Today the State Department of Health begins to conduct a statewide antibody testing survey. The survey will sample 3,000 people for a population of 19.5 million people. Large-scale antibody testing will help determine the percentage of the population that is now immune to the virus, allowing more individuals to safely return to work. Governor Cuomo said this will be the first true snapshot of exactly how many people were infected by COVID-19 and will help the state to reopen and rebuild.

New York Farm Bureau issues a statement over the weekend saying it appreciates USDA’s plan to provide emergency economic aid to NYS farmers in light of the serious market disruptions and collapsed commodity prices related to the COVID-19 pandemic. $16 billion will now be directed to farm families along with $3 billion to purchase meat, dairy products, fruit and vegetables. Farm Bureau President David Fisher also said he applauds the initiative to get more food from the farm to food banks to help New Yorkers in need. He said no farmer wants to see food go to waste but is sometimes left with no other choice considering the major challenges confronting the food distribution chain.

After investigating a burglary in the Town of Erwin, State Police arrested 23-year-old Veronda L. Butts of South Corning and 38-year-old Mary L. Beam of Hornell. Each was charged with felony second-degree residential burglary. Each was detained in lieu of cash bail.

A traffic stop in Allegany County early Sunday resulted in the arrest of a Hornell man. Troopers said they pulled over 25-year-old Dallas Snyder on County Road 15A in Grove. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and having a BAC above .08%. He’ll appear in court at a later date.

Today's Top Stories - Friday April 17th, 2020

Five new cases of COVID-19 were declared in Steuben County by its Health Department yesterday afternoon and the county's latest case count is 176. Individuals testing positive for the virus are residents of the Cities of Corning and Hornell as well as the Town of Hornellsville and two from the Village of North Hornell. Two of the people are currently hospitalized. Total hospitalizations numbered 14 as of yesterday. In the county, 78 people were reported to have recovered from the virus.

 

Additional COVID-19 cases have been reported at Elderwood Nursing Home in Hornell. Hornell Gardens was the second worst-hit nursing home in the Hornell region following Elderwood. Hornell Gardens announced it will move patients and staff who test negative for the virus to a Waterloo facility.  

 

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Steuben County until 6am tomorrow. Snow total of 3 to 6 inches is expected. Anticipate slippery road conditions. Snow may be mixed with rain in the valleys and hazardous conditions may impact this evening's commute. 

 

During this morning's coronavirus briefing, Governor Cuomo issued a new executive order directing all public and private labs in New York State to coordinate with the Department of Health to ensure all diagnostic testing is prioritized for public health as well as initiating a reboot to the economy. He also mentioned that the case curve is flattening and remarked: "People's actions flattened the curve." Effective today all New Yorkers who are out in public will be mandated to cover their mouths and noses. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Wednesday requiring face coverings for everyone in public who can’t maintain social distancing. 

 

Residents who want or need to send payments to Steuben County departments may do so by mail, using the secure drop box at the main entrance of the County Office Building or securely online by credit card, debit card or eCheck….so says county Finance Commissioner Tammy Hurd-Harvey. Online payments are now available for delinquent tax payments, retiree health insurance payments, probation payments and mental health, alcohol and substance abuse payments.

 

A second Alfred State College on-campus employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has not been on campus since April 3. As is Alfred State protocol, anyone who was recently in close contact has been notified. The employee who tested positive is currently resting at home and feeling well. On Monday, 39-year-old maintenance worker Monroe M.K. Bates II of Hornell died at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He tested positive for COVID-19 on April 6th.

 

NYSEG has donated $50,000 – the equivalent of 150,000 meals – to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier to support the Food Bank’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 situation. The donation is part of a $2 million commitment by NYSEG’s parent company to support national and local programs that are assisting those impacted by COVID-19. Food Bank of the Southern Tier and its network of agencies are currently seeing a more than fifty percent increase in need throughout the Southern Tier, including many newcomers.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday April 16th, 2020

 

The Steuben County Public Health Department has received notification of the deaths of two people who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 18. One individual was a 71-year-old male who died in a nursing home in the Hornell area and the other was a 91-year-old female who died in a Bath-area nursing home.  11 more Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 171 confirmed cases. Five are from the town of Urbana, while new single cases have been reported in the towns of Bath, Dansville, Erwin, Hornellsville and the villages of Canisteo and North Hornell. Additional cases have also been reported from Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center in Bath. 

A 39-year-old Alfred State College employee from Hornell has died from the coronavirus. Monroe Bates was a member of the facilities crew. College President Dr. Skip Sullivan said Bates was recently promoted to Maintenance Assistant in the Facilities' trades group. Bates tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester April 6th and immediately placed on a ventilator but later improved when he was taken off of the ventilator allowing him to rest more comfortably. While attempting physical therapy at the hospital this past weekend, his condition declined.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's stepping up his measures to keep residents from spreading COVID-19. He signed an executive order yesterday requiring face coverings for everyone when people go out in public that takes effect tomorrow and will apply to people who cannot keep six feet away from others in public settings, such as inside a grocery store.

During this morning's press briefing, Governor Cuomo announced NY PAUSE will continue through May 15th. Cuomo also made a few clarifications on yesterday's face mask Executive Order, adding that riders on public transit must wear masks as well as in private transportation carriers or when in for-hire vehicles. All operators of transportation services must now wear a mask at all times. Cuomo also said this morning that the hospitalization rate in the state is decreasing with 1,000 less people in the hospital statewide yesterday than the day before. 

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection announces an alert to consumers about personal data privacy settings for many online conferencing apps.  Video conferencing applications developed originally for companies to use on their internal systems connecting only with specific external parties as needed, do not always contain enough default privacy protections for broad use. A few of their precautions include: making the meeting private, requiring a password, turning off screen-sharing when you don’t need it and checking your app’s privacy settings.

WHEC TV News reports an antibody test that was developed in Rochester's OCD's Ortho Global Center of Excellence for R&D has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The OCD said the tests are expected to be ready in a few weeks and will allow researchers to look for antibodies that indicate if a person was exposed to the coronavirus and recovered from it. Tests will run on machines that are already in over a thousand labs across the country. 

Local Southern Tier area libraries that include Avoca, Cohocton, Prattsburgh and Corning Libraries announced they have free seeds available to the public. The libraries offer free seeds to the communities this year and encourage those interested in receiving seeds to message the local library Facebook pages to ask about what kind of seeds are available and how to get your free seeds. 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday April 15th, 2020

 04/15/20

 Steuben County Public Health Department reports the deaths of two more people previously testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 16. One individual was a 73-year-old man from the Town of Fremont and the other was a 59-year-old woman from the Town of Hornellsville.  Both died while hospitalized outside the county. Meanwhile, the county Health Department also reports that four additional Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 160 confirmed cases. Two people are from the town of Bath, one is from Hartsville and the other is from the village of North Hornell.

County Manager Jack Wheeler has signed an Executive Order to close all county-operated parks until further notice.  Parks include Kanakadea Park in Hornell, Birdseye Hollow Park in Bradford, Harley Mayo Park at Boyd's Corners in Cameron, and Hornby Park in Hornby. In addition, Steuben County offices will remain closed to public walk-ins through April 29th. Buildings this effects include the 3 East Pulteney Sq. Main Office Complex (Main County Office Building, County Clerk’s Office, Annex Building, and the Balcom House); Veterans’ Service Office; Bath Mental Health Building; and Hornell and Corning DMV, Office for the Aging, Probation, and Mental Health Offices. Other County buildings, including the landfill and transfer stations, remain open. Residents can also contact the 2-1-1 Helpline for additional information. 

A new state Executive Order takes effect at 8 p.m. tonight across New York. The order requires all employees of businesses or entities deemed essential to wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, the employee face coverings. According to the order, the provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement.

The COVID-19 restrictions have altered the lives of everyone in the community and that especially includes those involved as first responders and in Emergency Services. John Conrad is the PIO for The Bath Volunteer Fire Department and says with people less active and about and about, their call volume has dropped. However, Conrad reports operational procedures have been changed for when fire department is needed. Conrad said they have also had to cancel or postpone some fund-raising events.

Wegmans has announced operational changes that include placing purchase limits on categories that are in high demand to allow it to meet the needs of as many customers as possible. Wegmans is also requiring employees to go through a wellness check before the start of each shift.

Congressman Tom Reed says though employers are concerned about the eligibility of their small businesses  for the CARES Act , his office says the new stimulus package has the power to help employers who are acting in "good faith efforts" to maintain the business and its employees. (AUDIO) Reed believes the authority exists in the law to provide funding to all businesses, even the ones closed from following protocol of COVID-19 crisis. 

The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), Corning Enterprises, and Steuben County have collaboratively invested in a $500,000 Emergency Relief Loan Program (ERLP) to assist small businesses in Steuben County that have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Thirty-month loans of up to $20,000 will be offered for short-term, working capital needs emerging through October 31.  Steuben County IDA Executive Director Jamie Johnson says “Small businesses are experiencing immediate and extreme negative consequences due to the reduction in public access, foot traffic, and limits on public gatherings and on-site work.” The program will be available to cover operational expenses, help prevent staff reductions, and offset losses due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Federal Aviation Administration announces it will award $411 million in airport aid to 76 airports in New York to help respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The grant funding comes from part of the Trump Administration’s newly created CARES Act Airport Grant Program. Locally, the Hornell Municipal Airport is slated to receive $20,000 while Elmira-Corning Regional will receive $2.4 million. The funds are available for airport capital expenditures, airport operating expenses including payroll and utilities, and airport debt payments.

Felony charges were leveled Tuesday morning against a Campbell man during a traffic stop on County Road 125. State Police arrested 35-year-old Benjamin F. Baldwin. He was charged with DWI and having a BAC above .08%. He was previously convicted of DWI within the last ten years. Thirty minutes before that, also on CR 125, Troopers stopped 21-year-old Miranda B. Neally, also of Campbell. She was charged with driving while impaired by drugs and endangering the welfare of a child. Both will appear separately in court at a later date.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday April 14th, 2020

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports deputies arrested 21-year-old Shaun M. Haynes of Hornell following a response to investigate a report of a person who received a stab wound. The investigation led to a residence on Airport Road in Hornellsville where Haynes allegedly legally entered in the early morning hours, stabbed a person then fled. Haynes was located at his residence later that morning and arrested with Burglary in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree and Tampering with Physical Evidence and allegedly violating a term of his parole. He was arraigned then remanded to County Jail. 

Congressman Tom Reed has released a statement regarding the passing of Monroe County's Conservative Party Chairman Tim Cook. Reed remarked that Cook was "a great man." The Congressman also said: "His commitment and loyaglty were unmatched in this day and age. I am forever grateful for his friendship...My heart goes out to Maria and the Cook family."

Democratic Candidate for Congress Tracy Mitrano announced last week her campaign will be offering a weekly Tuesdays Talk with Tracy for the next several Tuesdays. Mitrano kicked off her talks last week with with local business owners and today will be joined by grade school teachers and professors to discuss the the impact of COVID-19. For information on how to please visit Tracy Mitrano's event page at 5pm today. 

The Steuben County COVID-19 death toll continues to rise as the latest count reaches 14. All three of the newest patients are from the Hornell area and include an 83 year old woman in a nursing home, 82 year old female in another nursing home and a 39 year old male from the City who died while hospitalized outside the county. Two more confirmed cases have been reported since yesterday, bringing our total to 156 confirmed cases in Steuben County.

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler reports some people are recovering well. Wheeler also says county hospitals have been managing the crisis well.  County and state officials continue to encourage people to keep their distance and follow the health guidelines. 

A Niagara Falls man wanted in Steuben County was taken into custody following a Central New York crime spree. Police arrested 26-year-old Steven Carpenter for allegedly giving Troopers a false name and date of birth. It was determined later that he was wanted on a parole warrant from Steuben County. He was then turned over to the Chenango County Jail and held on no bail for the parole warrant. 

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced yesterday afternoon legislation to provide economic releif for small farmers. The Relief for America's Small Farmers Act would provide releif to small farmers who have suffered massive financial losses due to reduced demand and supply chain disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, farm bankruptices are at an eight-year high and net farm income has dropped by half in the past seven years. New York Dairy Farmers have been hit especially hard in the area by the COVID-19 crisis.

Tom O'Mara is leading the State Republican Conference to send a letter to Governor Cuomo to immeditaly move forward with a scheduled salary increase for corrections officers and other state employees New York has designated "essential" to the COVID-19 crisis. The governor recently froze a scheduled two-percent salary increase for a large segment of the state workforce. O'Mara and his colleagues believe these frontline workers should be exempt from the governor's freeze. 

Today's Top Stories - Monday April 13th, 2020

Steuben County High Wind Advisory Issued Until 11pm
A High Wind Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service until 11pm this evening for Steuben County. Forecasters say South winds will blow 25-35 miles per hour with gusts reaching as high as 60 mph. High winds could knock down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are also possible. Strongest winds are anticipated late this afternoon and will slowly subside into the evening.


COVID-19 Deaths Total 11
Steuben County has announced the COVID-19 death toll has reached 11. The latest victim is an 82-year-old male from a Hornell area nursing home who died while hospitalized. Public Health Director Darlene Smith said that we are in unprecendented times and now more than ever it is important to stop the spread of the virus by venturing outside of your home one at-a-time only if necessary. Smith reminded the public "Otherwise, stay home to save lives."


County COVID-19 Cases Total 154
Steuben County Public Health Department reports seven additional county residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 154. Two of these cases are from Village of Bath, two are from the Town of Urbana and one each from the towns of Bath and Erwin and the Village of Hammondsport. One or more of these people are linked with previously-reported cases. All individuals
are currently being isolated and monitored by the County Health Department.


Finance and Administration Committees Meet Via Webex Tomorrow
The Steuben County Legislature's Administration and Finance committees will meet 9am to noon tomorrow with a "Webex" Teleconference open to the public. Legislators will identify themselves when speaking on any issue. Questions will be answered at the conclusion of each meeting. Public call-in information is also located on the Steuben County website at https://www.steubencony.org

 

Way-Co BOE Virtual Meeting Tonight
The Wayland-Cohocton Board of Education Meeting scheduled for 6pm tonight will be held virtually. The meeting will be recorded and posted to the district's website on Tuesday.


Dansville Man Arrested for Cohocton Incident
A Dansville man was arrested for felony charges that stem from a February 17th incident in the Town of Cohocton. State Police report the arrest of Joshua L. Sick. Troopers charged Sick with criminal possession of stolen firearms, criminal possession of a defaced weapon and criminal sale of a firearm.

 

Gateway to Finger Lakes 5K Postponed
Bath Kiwanis' Gateway to the Finger Lakes 5K Run/Walk and Kids 1K Fun Run has been postponed due to concerns of the Coronavirus. The event in Bath was set for May 9th and organizers say they anticipate to reschedule the event or offer a virtual race.


NYSAC Asks Congress for More Local Funding for COVID Crisis
The New York State Association of Counties sent a letter last week to the New York Congressional Delegation calling for congress to quickly pass a fourth pandemic stimulus bill to provide additional funding for the counties and state of New York.  NYSAC President Jack Marren says it is vital that counties receive adequate funding. Marren says while counties are grateful for the support received from the New York delegation, the crisis has put significant strain on local governments throughout the state.

Today's Top Stories - Friday, April 10th 2020

The Steuben County Health Department reported yesterday it received notification that three additional Steuben County residents tested postive for COVID-19 and brings the county's current total number of cases to 95. The latest individuals are from Town of Bath, Town of Corning and Town of Prattsburgh. All individuals are being monitored and isolated by the County Health Department. 

The teenager that was involved the State Route 415 fatal crash last month that killed 18-year-old Christopher O'Dell has been charged. According to the Sheriff's Office, the driver that was seventeen years old at the time of the crash and was charged with Driving While Ability Impaired due to drugs. The investigation of the March 4th Avoca accident is still ongoing. 

Steuben County Public Health reports they received notification of the death of an individual who previously tested postive for COVID-19. The patient was a 59-year-old female who died at a Hornell area nursing home. County Public Health Director Darlene Smith remarked: "Now nearly a month into this fight with seven tragic deaths, it is overwhelmingly clear that the community is being ravaged by this deadly virus."

As the death toll from COVID-19 rises, there is growing emphasis from the county, state and local law enforcement on limiting public gatherings and encouraging social distancing. Sheriff Jim Allard says his agency wants to enhance public education. Yesterday, County officials held a press briefing and mentioned that many new cases are in nursing homes and the county has obtained 100 new test strips to focus on these communities.

Congressman Tom Reed announced a $200,000 grant provided by the Appalachian Regional Commission for the Prattsburgh Business District Wastewater Project. Reed's Communication Office reports the grant will support the creation of 15 new jobs, allow for the sustainability of 11 existing businesses, as well as the retention of 63 existing jobs. The grant will also facilitate the re-occupancy of vacant commercial space. 

Steuben County Deputies are looking to serve a warrant on a 40-year-old Pennsylvania man. Michael K. Mattison is wanted for a probation violation that stems from a felony DWI conviction. Mattison's last known address was South Main Street in Tioga. 

New York State's unemployment insurance application was offline until this morning. Originally, the appplication was to be shut down from 5 to 7pm as part of the launch of a tech partnership with the Department of Labor, Google Cloud, Deloitte and Verizon. This partnership hs the mission of handling the increased volume of applications, save them for later and allow users with smartphones and tablets and shorten the unemployment claim application. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted school operations and local businesses but some local governments must continue to provide essential services. Such is the case for the Town of Urbana according to its Town Supervisor Edward Stull. Champlain Beach Park and the Depot Park are remaining closed to gatherings. Stull says people can still walk and fish in these parks for now. 

Today's Top Stories - Thursday April 9th, 2020

County Confirms 92 COVID-19 Cases
Steuben County Public Health Department reports five additional cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing Steuben's total number to 92 confirmed cases. Those infected include two City of Hornell residents and one each from the towns of Prattsburgh and Woodhull and one from the Village of Hammondsport. One of the patients is hospitalized, bringing the County's current number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations to 14. 

 

Six Dead by COVID-19 In Steuben County
Deaths in the county by COVID-19 have increased to a current total of six after an 84-year-old man died at a Bath nursing home. Steuben County says it will more strongly enforce the state's Stay At Home Order. Those found in first-time violation of the provisions will be issued a letter of warning and any violations thereafter will be considered a misdemeanor penalized by a $2,000, up to a year in jail or both.

 

County Enforces PAUSE Act with Fines and Warnings
Steuben County has announced it will enforce social distancing violations by issuing warnings and fines for those who do not follow the social distancing practices under the state's current PAUSE Act. Law Enforcment agencies across the county as well as the Sheriff and District Attorney will enforce the main provisions of the manCounty date. Those found in first-time violation of the provisions will be issued a letter of warning and any violations thereafter will be considered a misdemeanor penalized by a $2,000, up to a year in jail or both.

 

Cuomo Establishes Task Force to Enforce PAUSE Order
Governor Cuomo has established a new task force to help local authorities enforce his PAUSE Order for New York State. People can file complaints about the operation of non-essential businesses or gatherings by calling 1-833-789-0470 or filling an online form. Submitting a report will results in local authorities and investigators handling these tips. Non compliance will be handled with charges and fines ranging from $250 to $10,000. 

 

Governor Orders Flags Fly Half-Staff for Virus Victims
Governor Cuomo yesterday ordered flags across the state be flown at half-staff to honor the lives in the state lost to the COVID-19 virus. Flags are to be remained lowered until the PAUSE Order in New York is lifted. 

 

Corelle To Lay Off "Large Number" of People
Yesterday WENY news confirmed that the Steuben County Industrial Development Association confirmed Corelle is to lay off a "large number of people" after the Empire Sate Development organization made the decision to not allow Corelle to operate as an essential business in Steuben County. IDA's Executive Director James Johnson said those affected by the company's layoff should contact the NYS Department of Labor. 

 

Governor Allowing Absentee Ballots for NYS June Primary
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that absentee ballots will be allowed for the upcoming June primary in New York State. Yesterday, Cuomo issued an executive order allowing all New Yorkers to vote by absentee ballot in the New York state primary election on June 23rd. Cuomo said it was "totally nonsensical" that voters in other states have gone to the polls during a pandemic. 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Steuben County Confirms Fifth COVID-19 Death
Steuben County has seen its fifth death from COVID-19. The latest death was someone identified as a 67-year-old male who died at a Bath area nursing home. Public Health Director Darlene Smith reminds the public everyone should stay home and monitor themselves for symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath and report any of these symptoms to their healthcare provider.

 

County COVID-19 Case Count Rises to 87
Eight additional Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the current total to 87 cases. New cases include four from the City of Hornell, two from the Town of Dansville and one each from the Town of Greenwood and Village of Canisteo. One or more cases is linked with previously reported individuals. Two of the patients are hospitalized and the total number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 cases is at now 13.

 

Bath Compost Site Opens Saturday
The Village and Town of Bath compost site will be opening this weekend on Saturday April 11th and be open through April 25th. The site will be open Saturdays 9am to 3pm. Hours and days will expand in May. Accepted materials include brush, leaves, grass clippings and garden materials. Officials say no containers, plastic bags, buckets, boxes and the like can be left at the site. Construction and demolition materials are not accepted. There is a fee and tickets can be purchased at the Village Clerk's Office located in the Municipal Building on Liberty Street weekdays from 9am to 4pm. Tickets are also available at Bath Plumbing and Hardware on Liberty Street. Tickets will not be sold at the Compost Site.

 

NYS Regents Reports Exam Requirement Changes
The New York State Education Department has changed Regents exam requirements to earn high school diplomas. Students currently enrolled in classes that end with a Regents exam will be exempt from the test and be given credit for the course if they were passing the class by the end of the school year. If a student does not pass the class and enrolls in summer school, they will be exempt from the exam if they earn a passing grade on the August examinatoin. Student transcripts will not reflect an exam score for any examination for which the student is exempted. 

 

Alfred State College Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
An employee of Alfred State College was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester after testing positive for COVID-19. Accoding to the College's President Dr. Skip Sullivan, anyone in recent close contact with the person has been notified. Sanitation and cleaning have been performed in the employee's work area. 

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday April 7th, 2020

COVID-19 Deaths in County Total 4
Yesterday the Steuben County Health Department received notification of death of an individual previously diagnosed with COVID-19. The current total number of COVID-19 deaths in the county is 4. Six additional residents have tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total number of cases in Steuben County to 79.

 

Mayor Von Hagn Closes Munipal Skate Park
Bath Village Mayor Bill Von Hagn has ordered the closure of the Village Municipal Skate Park until further notice in the interest of public safety. In a statement this previous weekend, County Manager Jack Wheeler expressed his concern and frustration about people disobeying the social distancing guidelines especially by gathering in large groups.

 

Cuomo Directs Schools and Businesses Close Additional Two Weeks
Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed schools and nonessential businesses to remain closed an additional two weeks until April 29th. New York State will re-evaluate after this additional two-week period. Cuomo also announced New York will increase fines for violating social distance protocols from $500 to $1,000. 

 

COVID-19 First Responders Fund Announced
A First Responders Fund to assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders was announced by the Governor yesterday. The Fund is meant to assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders with expenses and costs that include childcare. The State Department of Health is currently accepting donations for the fund and Blackstone is making an anchor $10 million donation to the fund. 

 

Champlin Beach Park Closed
Champlin Beach Park at the South End of Keuka Lake has been closed until further notice by the Town of Urbana and Village of Hammondsport. The purpose of this closure is to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Officials said the park will be open to jogging, walking, walking dogs and fishing. However, no gatherings of any kind will be permitted and the closure will be enforced. Violating social distancing protocol by congregating will cause you a $1,000 fine.

 

June Regents Exams Canceled
New York State High School Regents Exams scheduled for June have been canceled amid the coronavirus shutdown as announced by the New York State Board of Regents Chancellor yesterday. Regents exams are graduation requirements for New York State high school students. Officials are expected to give a formal announcement today that explains how schools should operate without June exams. 

 

County Sheriff's Office Announces 12 Probation Violation Warrant Arrests
The Steuben County Sheriff's Department announced last month it made a dozen arrests as a result of probation violation warrants. Three people from Bath were charged as well as three from Corning. Two people from Prattsburgh were also arrested as well as one each from Woodhull, Rochester, Addison and Beaver Dams. 

 

Two Men Arrested for Corning Burglary
Felony counts are slated for two men charged with crimes stemming from a break-in in the Town of Corning. State Police arrested 28-year-old Wayne Fish of Campbell who was charged with felony criminal possession of stolen property. Also arrested by Troopers was 31-year-old Thomas Ferry of Lowman who was charged with felony burglary. Both men will appear in court at a later date. 

Today's Top Stories - Monday April 6th, 2020

County Health Confirms 73 Cases of COVID-19
The Steuben County Department of Health reports nine more county residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total number of cases in the county to 73 confirmed cases. The nine additional cases involve four people from Urbana, two from the City of Hornell and one each from Freemont, Hornellsville and North Hornell. Officials say one or more of the cases reported today is linked with a previously-reported patient. The county has completed 465 tests, monitored and quarantined 241 people, 11 cases are currently hospitalized and total deaths number one. So far, a dozen Steuben County residents have recovered. 

 

Wheeler Says People Aren't Practicing Social Distancing
Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler says he is growing increasingly frustrated with residents in his county not following protocol to prevent spread of COVID-19. Over the weekend, Wheeler said he is seeing far too many people that don't know, follow or care about social distancing. County Manager Wheeler also said he constantly has been receiving reports of large group gatherings in public. 

 

USPS May Shut Down By June Without Funding
Lawmakers warned last week that the US Postal Service could completely shut down in the next few months if they do not get adequate support. USPS workers are essential and have been doing their job amidst the COVID-19 shutdown. The USPS relies on fees instead of taxes and may shut down as early as June and would cause dire consequences for the health of people around the country as the Postal Service has delivered over a billion prescription drug shipments last year. 

 

COVID-19 Crisis Dents Local Dairy Industry
The COVID-19 crisis has caused setbacks in a local industry that is the heart of our county's economy: dairy farming. Though low prices and high demand has sold a lot of milk in supermarkets, the health crisis has shifted the dairy supply chain as farmers are seeing less dairy being used in the country, causing the farmers an oversupply of product as restaurants, food service business and schools have shut down but farmers cannot stop their production. 

 

Mayor Buckley Reminds Public to Practice Social Distancing
Hornell Mayor John Buckley released a press statement over the weekend advising the Hornell area public to stay at home and only travel if necessary. The mayor also stressed that necessary shopping trips must involve one person at a time and to practice distancing at least six feet away from others for essential interactions outside the home. Steuben County Health Director Darlene Smith reminds the public of the same crucial advice as the county announces over 70 confirmed cases of the virus.

 

Cuomo Cancels Spring Break: Requires Schools Provide Virtual Instruction
The COVID-19 shutdown is keeping schools across New York State closed and despite that, Governor Cuomo has canceled Spring Break and requiring schools to continue to provide virtual instruction to students. This move will allow schools to reveive necessary state aid and to qualify for the 180-day waiver for instructional days. Bath-Haverling Schools will continue to receive deliveries of food over spring beak but will not be delivering on Good Friday. Instead, there will be a delivery for both Thursday and Friday meals on Thursday according to Superintendent Joe Rumsey.

Today's Top Stories - Friday April 3rd, 2020

The first COVID-19 related death in Steuben County was reported yesterday by the County Department of Health. The late patient was an 89-year-old female from Bath who pased away while in hospitalization. Steuben Public Health Director Darlene Smith reminds county residents that it is crucial to stay home during this pandemic to prevent spreading this potentially fatal virus. 

State lawmakers have approved the 2020-2021 New York State budget that includes over 40 new policy initiatives. The budget modifies the Criminal Justice Reform Law with the addition of several offenses to now be bail-eligible such as sex trafficking offenses, money laundering in support of terrorism, child porn offenses, repeat offending criminials and those commiting crimes resulting in death. The budget also includes establishing paid sick leave for working New Yorkers and authorizes law enforcement to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident while also establishing a domestic violence misdemeanor to ensure abusers lose acccess to firearms immediately upon conviction. A permanent hydrofracking ban in the Empire State was also included. State Senator Tom O'Mara voted against the budget, accusing the budget of being the product of downstate Democratic control. 

The New York State Department of Labor reports over 369,000 initial Unemployment Insurance claims were filed for the week ending on March 28th with an increase in claims by 2,674%. Industries in New York with the most percentage increase in initial claims include Accomodation and Food Services, Arts, Entertainment and Recreation, Healthcare and Social Assistance and Education. 

The VA System pharmacy telephone representatives report a significant rise in call volume during the COVID-19 pandemic which includes our local Bath VA. Callers will have their call answered and their needs will be communicated to the local outpatient pharmacy department. It may take more than a few more minutes for your call to be answered during the morning when call volume is high. The VA Pharmacy staff says you can either stay on the line or retry in the afternoon during lower call volume times. 

In a press release, Democratic candidate Tracy Mitrano emphasized the importance of making sure working class Americans are not left footing the bill of the COVID-19 stimulus relief package in the future. The Democratic candidate from Penn Yan asked "How are we managing the crisis at hand and working towards making sure Americans are not left holding the bag when it is over is most definitely an appropriate conversation to have now." Mitrano said it is important to hold institutions borrowing funds that fail to comply with requirements of the new stimulus bill accountable and also suggested it is time to bring back a reasonable 1% progressive tax policy.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday April 1st, 2020

The new total cases of COVID-19 in Steuben County has now risen to 36. The latest 6 cases are two people from Hornell, two from Urbana and one each from Hornellsville and the Village of Bath. Two of those people were hospitalized. The total number of county case hospitalizations is currently 11. Cases were reported from both Hornell Cardens and the Fred & Harriet Taylor Health Center. 

According to a report by the New York State Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Steuben County dropped to 5.5% in February with a slight increase in jobs. The March report will be likely to show very different numbers as unemployment claims have risen as a result of work closings due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Yesterday, the newest member of the New York State Police, named after Trooper Nicholas F. Clark, was introduced. K9 Nicki was named after the late officer who was killed in the line of duty in July 2018 when he was fatally shot while responding to a report of a suicidal man. Nicki will serve the public in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties. 

The plastic bag ban in New York state set to begin last month has been delayed. A pursuant to an order signed in New York State Supreme Court, the Department of Environmental Conservation agreed to push back enforcement of the bag ban to May 15th.

Trout and salmon fishing season in New York state opens today. The DEC has stocked 1.68 million brown trout, over 424,000 rainbow trout and almost 157,000 brook trout for the spring. Those enjoying the beginning of this fishing season are advised by the DEC to continue to follow the CDC and State Department of Health guidelines to prevent spreading COVID-19.

The US Treasury Department will be distributing stimulus checks to Americans using the infrastructure set up by the IRS. Congressman Tom Reed explained receiving the check requires extra paperwork for those who haven't filed a tax return yet this year. The Congressman also said the checks were intended to flow "as soon as possible" and says there should be confirmation by next week of checks being sent out and delivered to Americans. The stimulus checks will provide $1,200 to individuals with an additional $500 given per each dependent. 

Steuben County Sheriff's Office Deputies announced the arrest of a 51-year-old Savona man for burglary yesterday. Charles Wead was arrested after deputies responded to a report of a person unlawfully entering and stealing property at a vehicle repair shop on State Route 54 in Bath. Wead allegedly entered the building unlawfully with intent to steal cans and bottles collected to help fund the Finger Lakes SPCA. He was charged with Third Degree Burglary and Petit larceny. Wead is awaiting arraignment in Centralized Arraignment Court.

The New York State Police announced a new Trooper entrance examination will be held this fall. Exams will be offered October 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th at several locations around the state. Online applications are now being accepted. To apply, candidates can visit joinstatepoliceny.gov, text JoinNYSP to (518) 240-3959 or call 1-866-NYSP-EXAM.

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