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Today's Top Stories - Saturday August 8, 2020

Corning man arrested for DWI, burglary

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that on August 7th, deputies arrested Joshua A. Bredderman, age 36, of Townsend Avenue in the Town of Corning following an investigation of a reported suspicious vehicle and entry to a residence in the Town of Caton. It is alleged that Mr. Bredderman entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling to steal property of another.  It is further alleged that Mr. Bredderman operated a motor vehicle on Thurber Road in the Town of Caton while his ability was impaired due to drug use.  Mr. Bredderman was charged with Burglary in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, Driving While Intoxicated and Petit Larceny.  Mr. Bredderman was held in the Steuben County Jail for arraignment in the Centralized Arraignment Court.

 

Power restored in Big Flats-Horseheads area

According to NYSEG, power has been restored in the Big Flats-Horseheads area after a large outage yesterday. The outages were reported along County Route 64 and near the Arnot Mall. Nearly 2,000 people lost power as a result of the outage.

 

NYSP to probe possible anti-transgender attack

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to aid in the investigation of a violent assault on a 30-year-old black transgender man in Rochester. 30 year-old Samson Tequir, a local Black Lives Matter organizer, sustained a broken eye socket and multiple facial fractures in the attack last Friday, which he said may have been partially live streamed on social media. Tequir was ambushed around noon as he and his partner walked home from a corner store. Tequir said the assailants made anti-gay remarks. Police released surveillance video showing two suspects, but no arrests have been made.

 

Steuben County’s free Hazardous Waste disposal days set to begin today

Beginning today, residents of Steuben County can safely dispose of hazardous materials such as pool chemicals during the county Public Works Department’s free Household Hazardous Waste Days, one of which begins today from 8 a.m. to noon at the Erwin transfer station, the other will be be from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, August 29th, at the county Landfill in Bath. The hazardous waste days will help residents safely dispose of pool and other toxic chemicals such as paint, antifreeze, and gasoline free of charge with the assistance of trained professionals. The August dates are also available for shredding. Registration is required.

 

Food grown by Steuben County Jail inmates given to Corning Food Pantry

Locally-grown produce is making its way around Steuben County, thanks to inmates, law enforcement officers, and the Corning Food Pantry. As part of the jail garden program, staff at the Steuben County Jail delivered produce grown by inmates to the Corning Food Pantry. The program teaches inmates the skills needed to establish a garden area, plant, tend, and harvest vegetables. Sheriff Jim Allard says this gives inmates the knowledge of food sustainability when they leave the jail. Half the produce grown by the inmates is delivered to the food pantry, helping those in the community who are hard pressed for food, while the other half is kept for supplemental use to benefit inmates' daily meals.

Today's Top Stories - Friday August 7th, 2020

Second Robbery Suspect Arrested While Robinson Still at Large
Danielle Wright has been reported the second person arrested in connection to a July 25th home invasion on West Morris in the Village of Bath. Wright was charged with first degree robbery and first degree assault while being arrested on a warrant from Bath for failure to appear on criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a hypodermic instrument charges. Vincent Martilotti was arrested earlier this week on the same robbery and assault charges. He was remanded without bail and also faces felony charges for the sale of controlled substances. Robin Robinson is the third suspect in the home invasion who is still at-large. He is homeless and known to be in the Corning-Elmira area frequently Any information as to Robinson’s whereabouts should be forwarded to Investigator Taft at the Bath Police Department, 607-776-2175.

(pictured: Robbery Suspect Robin Robinson)

 

County Reaches Settlement with Transgender Inmate
A settlement between Steuben county and Jena Faith, a transgender woman that claimed she was discriminated against while an inmate at the county jail, was reached. The New York Civil Liberties Union announced the $60,000 settlement agreement following Faith’s lawsuit claiming while she was in the man’s facility at the Bath jail, she was subjected to sexual harassment, abuse and denial of her prescribed medication. Along with the monetary settlement, the county has also agreed to presumptively house people consistent with their gender identity, while ensuring access to clothing, toiletry items, grooming standards and medical care consistent with a person’s gender identity.

 

Southern Tier Food Bank Still Collecting Tour De Keuka Funds
The Food Bank of the Southern Tier held its annual charity bike ride, Tour de Keuka,  virtually for the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, those in the community were challenged to set a goal to ride, run, or walk any distance, to raise funds for neighbors in need and this year, Food Bank Community Engagement Manager Katherine Strawser says there were about 75 participants. Strawser says the support of the community has helped raise funds for over 120,000 meals. The Food Bank says one in eight people in the Southern Tier struggles with hunger. Funds are being collected for Tour de Keuka through August 14 and you can click here to donate.

 

Sheriff’s Office Holds K9 Demonstration
Yesterday, the Steuben County Sheriffs office conducted a demonstration to present two K-9s donated to the program. Devin and Twiggy were donated by the Sergeant Devin Snyder Foundation, which was founded by the mother of Devin Snyder, a veteran who lost her life in Afghanistan who had a deep love for dogs. The presentation highlighted the Snyder Foundation donating K-9s Twiggy and Devin as well as the Kloeber family, who donated K-9 Knapp in memory of former Deputy Pete Knapp, and Steuben county legislatures. The Sheriff’s Office said they wanted to teach the community members facts about dog training they may have not known before such the dogs’ background and what dialect they understand.  The Sheriffs Office also said they are grateful to those who donated the dogs and hope to make both families proud with the work the K9s do.

 

Cuomo Says Schools Can Re-Open Next Month
During a conference call with reporters today, Governor Cuomo said schools across New York will be allowed to reopen next month as long as their plans were given the okay by the State Department of Health. Cuomo also said when it comes to reopening schools safely, if any state can do it, it’s New York. The Governor asked all school districts complete the tasks of submitting plans for testing, contact tracing and distance learning prior to reopening. Cuomo added schools do not have to bring students into their buildings but today’s decision authorizes them to do so if they are able.

 

Mitrano and Danks-Burke Call for Federal Environmental Support
Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano and State Senate candidate Leslie Danks Burke joined yesterday in a call for awareness surrounding environmental concerns about local landfills outside the Hakes Construction landfill. Danks Burke, who is running for State Senate, and Mitrano who is running for Congress, said current political figures are putting their political interests above issues of public health, clean water, and local land quality as well as the need for federal funding to clean up sites.

 

NY AG Files Suit to Dissolve NRA
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association. Attorney General James charges the organization with illegal conduct, citing their diversion of millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership. The suit also says the group was awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees to buy their silence and continue their  loyalty.The suit specifically charges the NRA as a whole, as well as Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre and three other NRA officials for failing to manage the NRA’s funds and failing to follow state and federal laws, contributing to the loss of over $64 million in just three years for the NRA. A copy of the complaint can be found here. Yesterday, the NRA also filed a suit in a federal court of New York and alleges Attorney General Letitia James “made the political prosecution of the NRA a central campaign theme” when she ran for the office two years ago, and since has not treated the association with fairness.

 

Today's Top Stories - Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Dundee Police Seek Suspect Who Stole SPCA Money
State Police in Dundee are seeking a man that allegedly stole an SPCA donation jar from Glenora Wine Cellars in Dundee yesterday morning. The man is described as a black male with a grey beard, approximately 6 feet tall, slightly balding and heavyset and was wearing a green shirt with tan khaki shorts when he came into the Route 14 winery at around 11:30. Troopers were told the man walked around the store and ordered wine at the front desk before grabbing a shirt and concealing the donation jar with $50 in it. He left the winery after his credit card was declined multiple times to use an ATM located just outside the shop. Then the man got into his car and left. The Miles Wine Cellar said they had a similar incident, and the man left in a grey Honda Sedan. Anyone that might have information about the individual or vehicle is asked to call Dundee State Police at 607-243-5133.

 

Work Continues in Howard/Hornell on I-86
Work began this week along I-86 in the towns of Hornell and Howard. New York State Department of Transportation advises drivers to expect daytime lane closures in that area as crews resurface over 10 1/2 miles of pavement between Exits 34 and 35. Paving activities are expected to take place between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. through the end of August. Motorists are advised to prepare for delays and seek alternate routes if possible.

 

Congressman Reed Anticipates Stimulus Deal by Deadline
Congressman Tom Reed anticipates negotiations between Democrats and Republicans “may bleed through the weekend” and there will be more activity for the country’s second pandemic stimulus bill as its deadline approaches. When it comes to updates on direct funding to state and local governments, Congressman Reed says he and colleagues are fine-tuning the details and addressing the issues for these deals. Recent developments in the stimulus include the White House reportedly increasing its unemployment insurance payments offer and Democrats reducing their request for Postal Service funding.

 

Olympia Sports Larceny Reported at Arnot Mall
New York State Police report a larceny that took place yesterday after being dispatched to Olympia Sports in the Arnot Mall. The manager of the store told police that they saw a man, later identified as 35-year-old Brandon McArthur of Elmira, conceal clothing in his pants and backpack then leave the store. McArthur was located riding his bicycle behind the Econo-Lodge and was arrested for petit larceny. McArthur was allegedly found to have concealed $ 497 worth of merchandise and was also ticketed for possession of burglary tools. He is scheduled to return to the Town of Big Flats court at a later date.

 

Details and Future of Gyms Reopening Still Uncertain
Though gyms reopening was promised to New Yorkers in regions entering phase 4 of economic reopening, the gyms remain closed and likely will be for some time.  Governor Cuomo said that the results of other states reopening gyms to be “highly problematic”. Governor Andrew Cuomo cites and compares outbreaks in other states rather than by numbers and metrics per each region in our state as to why gyms need to remain closed. Gym owners across New York are suing the state for not allowing their facilities to reopen safely to their members.

 

Cuomo Signs Law for Frozen Alcoholic Confections
new law signed by Governor Cuomo early this week allows farmers and liquor producers to infuse frozen treats with up to 5% alcohol by volume-equivalent to one serving of alcoholic beverage.  Frozen alcoholic treats like wine, beer, and cider ice cream, sorbet, gelato, soft serve, and frozen yogurt, have been allowed  in New York state for awhile, according to the New York Daily News, but the new legislation creates opportunity for local beer and wine industries. Cuomo says it will boost the burgeoning industry and small businesses “while helping to put them on a path of sustained growth that empowers both producers and consumers...”

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

Three New Steuben Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that three additional Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 312 confirmed cases, 11 of which are currently active.  Individuals are residents of the Town of Dansville, Town of Greenwood and Village of Avoca. Individuals are isolated and being 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. 

 

Corning Man Sentenced for Child Porn
Yesterday, a Corning man was sentenced to almost 13 years in prison for possessing child pornography and violating his supervised release. Corning man Robert Wood was convicted in 2011 of possessing child pornography and sentenced to two years in prison and 15 years of supervised release. Probation made an unannounced visit to Wood’s home and found over 2,300 images and 20 videos of child porn in an unauthorized smartphone in his possession. Some of the material depicted the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers. Wood’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

 

Cuomo Urged to Exempt NY to PA Workers from Quarantine
A group of Southern Tier and Western New York lawmakers urge Governor Cuomo to provide an exemption for workers who live in Pennsylvania but work in New York from potentially being mandated to quarantine under the governor’s COVID-19 travel advisory that now covers over 30 states. Cuomo’s travel advisory applies to any person traveling to New York from states with a significant community spread of COVID-19 and requires them to quarantine for 14 days. The seven-state lawmakers including State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, have sent a letter to the Governor warning that the inclusion of neighboring state workers in the required travel advisory quarantine would be devastating to local economies across the Southern Tier. Overall, approximately 9,500 Pennsylvania residents work within the Southern Tier region and over 6,300 residents of the Southern Tier work in Pennsylvania. Read the letter at: GovernorCuomoLetter-TravelAdvisory

 

Calls for Info on Methanol Hand Sanitizers Rising Locally
The Upstate New York Poison Center has received 49 calls regarding the recently recalled dangerous hand sanitizers since mid-July, doubling their calls for information about hand sanitizers and for ingestions or exposures. The Food and Drug Administration has been adding to the list of hand sanitizers recalled because they are contaminated with methanol, or wood alcohol, which is a toxic substance that isn’t approved for use in hand sanitizers. Exposure to methanol can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, and permanent damage to the nervous system. Upstate New York Poison Center officials recommend everyone check the list from the FDA.

 

GOP Leaders Want to Subpoena Zucker
At the next joint legislative hearing into COVID-19 nursing home deaths scheduled for Monday August 10th, Republican leaders want State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to testify under subpoena. Zucker gave less than two hours of testimony at the first hearing on Monday and left without taking questions from State Senators and Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay says Zucker’s action is unacceptable.

 

NYS Applies Hazardous Waste Laws to Oil and Gas By-Products
Governor Cuomo signed a bill Monday making New York the first state in the nation to apply hazardous waste laws to potentially toxic oil and gas byproducts. New York landfills and unrelated transfer stations have imported more than four thousand barrels of liquid shale drilling wastes from Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2019. The waste has been linked to environmental pollution and numerous health problems.

 

Gyms Still Left Waiting to Re-Open in Phase 4
Since the Finger Lakes and other regions entered ‘Phase 4’ gyms and casinos have been awaiting reopening without any guidance. When the Finger Lakes region was only in ‘Phase 1’, state guidance indicated that gyms would reopen as part of the fourth phase. Even Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy, who was appointed by the Governor as leader of Finger Lakes reopening effort is uncertain and said: “I’ve actually asked if it’s not gonna be allowed to open for some time, to let us know so we can tell people…” Though Duffy has not received any guidance, answers, or any specifics from the states, he added he is hoping to get some sense in the near future.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Two Suspects Reported At Large Following Burglary and Assault
The Village of Bath Police Department reports the arrest of homeless man Vincent T. Martilotti for Robbery and Assault both in the 1st degree after a July 24th home invasion robbery and assault on W. Morris St. in the Village of Bath. The arrest comes after an investigation into 3 armed subjects entering a home and assaulting the resident and taking his property. Martilotti was taken to Centralized arraignment where he was remanded without bail as he was also on felony probation for the sales of controlled substances. More charges are expected after grand jury presentation. Two suspects are currently at large and identified as 39-year-old homeless woman Danielle M. Wright and Robin Robinson of the Elmira-Corning area. Any information as to their whereabouts should be forwarded to Investigator Taft at the Bath Police Department at 776-2175.

 

Two More Steuben County Residents Test Positive for COVID-10
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification two additional Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Saturday and brings the total to 309 confirmed cases, eight of which are currently active. The individuals are residents of the Village of Bath. The individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department; one individual is hospitalized.

 

First Free County Hazardous Waste Day is Saturday
The first of four county free Household Hazardous Waste Days is set for 8 am – noon Saturday, Aug. 8th at the Erwin transfer station. Hazardous waste days will help residents safely dispose of pool and other toxic chemicals, such as paint, antifreeze and gasoline at no charge, with trained professionals’ assistance.

Other hazardous waste days are:

• 8 am – noon Aug. 29 at the county Landfill in Bath;

• 8 am – noon Oct. 10 at the Hornell transfer station and

• 8 am – noon Oct. 24 at the Wayland transfer station.

The August dates also are available for shredding.

Registration is required at https://www.hazmanusa.com/. The website also provides a list of materials accepted, although the

costs listed by the firm are waived through the county.

More information is available on the county webpage at

https://www.steubencony.org/Files/Documents/publicworks/2020earthday.pdf

 

Local Law Enforcement Reviewing Police Reform Directive Today
The first phase of a comprehensive review of policing in Steuben takes place outside Corning City Hall today. County Sheriff James Allard told the county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee his department, the county District Attorney, the cities of Corning and Hornell, Village of Bath and all local police departments in Steuben County will conduct a joint review of current police deployments, procedures, policies and practices in Steuben in line with Governor Cuomo’s June 12th police reform directive. Steuben’s review also includes input from the county Public Defender, churches, business leaders, nonprofit and civic leaders and the general public through public forums. The final plan will need ratification by the county Legislature by April 1st, 2021.

 

RI Added to NYS Travel Advisory List
Rhode Island is the newest state qualifying for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days. Delaware and Washington, D.C. have been removed from the list. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate over 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

 

NYS Legislature Begins COVID-19 Nursing Home Hearings
New York’s top health official Dr. Howard Zucker spoke yesterday the first of two hearings by the state legislature looking into the over 6,500 deaths in the state’s nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Cuomo and the NYS Health Department are being criticized for his March 25th Executive Order returning infected patients to nursing homes and long-term care facilities.  New York state’s deaths linked to long-term care facilities are at 20 percent while the nationwide average case fatality rate in long-term care facilities is 16%. New Hampshire has the highest rate at 82% while Montana is the state with the lowest percentage of nursing home-linked COVID-19 deaths at 13% Over 62,000 nursing home-linked COVID-19 deaths have occurred nationwide.

Today's Top Stories - Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Paving Begins on I-86
Paving work on I-86 in Steuben County begins with the DOT reminding the public of daytime lane closures in the towns of Hornell and Howard. Crews will resurface 10.6 miles of pavement between Exits 34 and 35. Paving activities are expected to take place between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. through the end of August and motorists are advised to prepare for delays and seek alternate routes if possible. The on and off ramps at Exit 34 will also be paved as part of this project, with staggered closures for both the eastbound and westbound ramps beginning in mid-August. A detour will be in place guiding motorists to use the next ramp. Construction activities depend on weather and are subject to change based on conditions.

 

Bridge Replacement in Pulteney Starts
Two bridge replacement projects will begin today on the County Route 77 bridge over Five Mile Creek between Town Line Road and Briglin Road in the Town of Pulteney which should take about ten weeks. Work on Bunker Hill Road bridge over the Tuscarora Creek on the Freeman-Elkland Road between County Route 85 and Morris Road also begins in the Town of Tuscarora with a 14 week or so closure.

 

WGI Will Not Host Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen
Watkins Glen International announced the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen event will not be taking place this year and will be moved to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Fans who have purchased tickets to the event will be credited with a refund of the full amount plus an added 20 percent to be honored to a future event at WGI or NASCAR-owned track.

 

Hornell Fire Dept to Receive $175K in FEMA Funds
Three regional fire departments, including Hornell Fire Department, will get federal FEMA funding to help offset costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Hornell is set to receive almost $175,000 from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant while Dundee and Auburn will also get thousands of dollars in funding. In total, $3.3 million in AFG funds were distributed to fire departments statewide. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand say the funding will help response capabilities and protect public safety.

 

Cuomo to Make Reopening Call for Schools This Week
Governor Andrew Cuomo says his very anticipated decision on whether or not to reopen schools this fall will come by the end of this week. Cuomo stressed that the decision to send kids back to schools will ultimately fall into the hands of parents. School districts statewide submitted their reopening plans to New York State last week and most have taken a hybrid approach combining in-school and online instruction.

 

GOP and Democrats Continue Stimulus Negotiations
Trump Administration officials and the US Senate continue negotiations for the federal COVID-19 stimulus and relief package. Senator Chuck Schumer said talks have progressed though there is no deal yet. Schumer also says Democrats in the Senate can only give so much with limited funding during a time of great economic need for many. The GOP and Democrats are attempting to reach a deal over aid to state and local governments as well as enhanced unemployment benefits that expired last week.

 

Federal Aid to Steuben County is Dependent on Census Participation
Millions of dollars in federal aid are potentially on the line, according to Steuben County officials, as the 2020 Census picks up. Information gathered through the Census makes sure the county is represented in Congress, and receives adequate funds for road and bridges, schools, health care, services for seniors and business planning. Volunteer census workers are now being recruited and trained, in keeping with CDC pandemic guidance, to reach residents who still need to provide the essential information needed to keep vital services at peak levels during the next 10 years. Information will be collected anonymously under the highest federal security levels and the public is also reminded that census workers may be sentenced to federal prison for 5 years and/or fined as much as $250,000 if they reveal the personal information of anyone taking the census.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday August 1, 2020

One new case of COVID-19 in Steuben County

The Steuben County Health Department has received notification that yet another Steuben County resident has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of active confirmed cases in the county to 307, of which 7 are currently active. The individual is a resident of the Town of Hornellsville. Public Health staff have investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed case and exposure risks. Those known to have had direct contact with the individual have been notified.

 

One injured after shooting in Elmira

The Elmira Police Department says one person sustained non-life-threatening injuries after a shooting at an A & A Mart off Lake Street in Elmira around 3:15 p.m. Friday afternoon. Around 5:15 p.m., police surrounded a home near the intersection of Walnut and West Third Street in Elmira where a vehicle believed to be connected to the shooting was found. Police confirmed they were searching the home for the suspect; however, the suspect was not in the home and police are still searching for him. Police did not identify the suspect or give a description. The incident is still under investigation.

 

Elmira, Hornell school districts submit reopening plans

Both the Elmira and Hornell School Districts have submitted their reopening plans to New York State for approval. According to the office of Governor Cuomo, the state will grant approval to districts statewide the week of August 3-7. Schools have submitted plans for 3 situations: bringing all students back for in-person learning, a hybrid method involving both in-person and remote learning, and 100% remote learning. The Hornell City School District says they will adopt a hybrid model, with students dividing into two groups keeping households together. The district says by reducing the number of students in attendance on campus, the district can offer “safe transport to school, safe transitions within the building and safety in the classroom as fewer students will allow for social distancing. Students will also be required to wear masks and/or work behind barriers when social distancing is more difficult”.

 

Avoca CSD receives extension to submit reopening plan

The Avoca Central School District has received an extension from the state for submitting its reopening plan for this upcoming academic year. School districts were required to submit their reopening plans by Friday, July 31, but some have received an extension. Approximately 245 families responded to the district’s survey regarding what type of plan they should implement. 51% of respondents said they would be comfortable sending their child back to school in the fall if confirmed cases of COVID-19 remained low. Many respondents also expressed their concern about mask-wearing and social distancing. The district’s plan is set to be submitted to the state and posted on their website by Friday, August 7.

 

Paving to begin August 3

Motorists should expect daytime lane closures along Interstate 86 in the towns of Hornell and Howard in Steuben County beginning Monday, August 3, as 10.6 miles of pavement between Exits 34 and 35 will be resurfaced. Construction activities are expected to take place between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. lasting through the end of August. Motorists are advised to prepare for delays and seek alternate routes if possible. The on and off ramps at Exit 34 will also be resurfaced as part of the project, with staggered closures for both the eastbound and westbound ramps set to begin in mid-August. A detour will be in place guiding motorists to use the next ramp.

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