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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday March 31st, 2021

NWS Issues Weather Advisory for Steuben County to 5pm Tomorrow
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Steuben County, running from tonight until tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. Several hours of snowfall rates around a half to 1 inch per hour are likely during the overnight and early morning hours Thursday. Also, the snow will be wet and   heavy, which could lead to scattered power outages and will be very difficult to shovel. Look for 4-7” of snow to accumulate.

 

COVID on the Rise in Steuben With 24 New Cases Reported
COVID is spreading in Steuben County – that’s the word from Public Health Director Darlene Smith. She says even as restrictions are loosening, residents and visitors should remember the importance of COVID prevention protocols. Twenty-four new positive cases were confirmed yesterday. This brings the total to just shy of 6,000 confirmed cases, 180 of which are currently active.

 

Corning Inc. Receives $57 Million in Federal Funding for Vaccine Vials
Valor glass vials made by local Corning Inc are playing a key role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Corning Inc. was awarded federal funding worth $57 million so the manufacturing capacity of glass tubing and vials for the vaccine can be increased. Just last year in 2020, Corning shipped vials to deliver over 100 million vaccine doses. Expansion made possible by the federal funding will increase the production of glass products which include valor glass vials.

 

SCLBC Holds Meeting Wed. April 7th
The Steuben County Land Bank Corporation (SCLBC) holds a meeting Wednesday April 7th from 10:30am to 12:30pm. Its agenda is online at www.steubencony.org. The meeting will be held in the Legislative Chambers located on the 3rd Floor of the Annex Building for Board Members, Legislators and invited staff only, and will also be held via teleconference for remaining staff, members of the public and the media. 

Zoom Meeting Details:

https://steubencountynygov.zoom.us/j/97241740283?pwd=QW8zU281RkQ5VjFXVGZod2g3cXI2Zz09

Meeting ID: 972 4174 0283

Passcode: 55903106

One tap mobile

+16465588656,,97241740283#,,,,*55903106# US (New York)

+13126266799,,97241740283#,,,,*55903106# US (Chicago)


State Landmarks Lit Yesterday to Honor New Veterans’ Legislation
Yesterday, landmarks around the state were being lit in red, green and yellow to honor the new legislation for veterans in the Empire State. Governor Cuomo signed a new rule expanding access to veterans treatment courts across New York allowing qualifying justice-involved veterans in counties lacking a veterans treatment court to have their cases transferred into an existing one in a neighboring county. Yesterday, Cuomo said New York state honored Vietnam War Veterans Day with a virtual forum hosted by the New York State Division of Veteran's Services.

 

Lawmakers Vote to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis in NY
New York state lawmakers have voted to legalize adult-use cannabis and create the country’s second-largest recreational marijuana market, setting the stage for the Empire State to officially join 16 other states that have embraced full legalization. The “Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act” cleared the Assembly and Senate after hours of debate on the bill’s proposed regulatory structure, public safety and health implications. It now awaits final approval from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he looks forward “to signing this legislation into law." Cities, towns and villages would have the ability to opt-out of having adult-use dispensaries and consumption sites in their communities. Don’t look to make a legal purchase for at least 18 months. Locally, senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano voted against the measure.

 

Still No Stimulus Payment? It Should Soon Come Electronically
If you still have not received your third stimulus payment, the Treasury Department says that most payments will be processed and dropped electronically like social security payments by April 7th, according to News10NBC. Some recipients will get the payments via electronic deposit or debit card. The delay was due to the Social Security Administration not sending the information quickly enough to IRS officials so they could then process the payments. Those eligible will be granted $1,400 to individuals making less than $75,000 and $2,800 to those couples who make less than $150,000 under the American Relief Act.

 

Tax Day Delayed to May 17th As NY Still Has Highest US Tax Burden
With Tax Day delayed to May 17 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its 2021 Tax Burden by State report. New York leads the country with the overall number one tax burden and the number one individual income tax burden. The Empire State’s property tax burden ranks sixth in the nation. Alaska has…the lowest tax burden.

 

Thurston Home Destroyed in Fire Monday
Fire destroyed a town of Thurston home on Monday. Thurston and several other departments responded to the blaze on County Road 24. Hours later, the home was declared a total loss. There were no reported injuries. While the cause of the fire has not been finalized, officials don’t believe it was suspicious. 

 

Collegiate Sport Venues Can Reopen Friday at 10% and 20%
Collegiate sports will once again bring fans back into the stands. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that, starting Friday, venues which hold more than 1,500 people indoors and 2,500 outdoors will be able to operate at 10% and 20% capacity, respectively. Everyone attending an event at large-scale venues must show proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination, and local or state health officials must be notified prior to a sporting event taking place.  Small-scale venues which feature intercollegiate, club or intramural sports can host up to two spectators per player – or up to 100 people indoors, or 200 outdoors.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday March 30th, 2021

59 New COVID Cases Since Friday
Steuben County Public Health reports 59 new COVID cases since last Friday. This brings the total to 5,925 confirmed cases, 167 of which are currently active. Of the new positive cases…One individual is an employee of Steuben Center and three individuals are associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post. Health officials also say that five individuals are associated with Addison Central, Alfred State, Corning Community College, Erwin Valley Elementary, and Jasper-Troupsburg Elementary.

 

Check Out Hunger Donates Almost 750,000 Meals to Food Bank
Almost 750 thousand meals were donated by shoppers to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier during their recent Check Out Hunger campaign. The annual campaign had Tops, Wegmans and other local markets participate in Check Out Hunger, which has been held for 27 years. Shoppers donated two, three, five dollars or any other amount at checkout to benefit the food bank. All funds raised stayed local to help residents in the Southern Tier. One of every nine people in our region are considered food insecure.

 

Bills’ Stadium Changing Name to “Highmark Stadium”
The home field for the Buffalo Bills will soon change its name to “Highmark Stadium”. A naming rights agreement was reached by the team and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Signage will be updated in time for the start of the 2021 season.

 

Adults 30 and Under Now Eligible for COVID Vaccine
Getting the COVID-19 vaccination will soon be easier, at least for those of us in New York. Beginning today, everyone age 30 and under will be able to make appointments. Next week, starting Tuesday April 6th, those 16 and under will be eligible to sign up. To see if you’re now eligible, click here.

 

Vill Comes Out as Tenth Cuomo Accuser
The tenth accuser has come forward yesterday with allegations against Governor Cuomo. Sherry Vill, who is now 55 years old, says the incident in question took place on May 28th, 2017 when she claims Cuomo made her uncomfortable by kissing her on the cheek in front of her husband and son during a 2017 tour of flood damage to her home near Lake Ontario.Vill says she will not press charges but is willing to participate in the New York Attorney General's investigation into the allegations of misconduct against the governor.

 

 

Molinaro Not Ruling Out Run for Governor
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is considering a run against Cuomo for the second time. Back in 2018, Republican Molinaro ran against the governor and received 2.2 million votes for the office, coming second to Governor Cuomo. Molinaro made history as scoring the most votes for any Republican candidate for the office since 1998 and says there’s always next time to run. Molinaro says due to the now 10 sexual harassment complaints against Cuomo and the nursing home probes, many New Yorkers want change now. Molinaro warns challengers, Cuomo is the politician that would survive such scandals.

 

 

Painted Post Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute
After investigating a domestic dispute in the town of Erwin, State Troopers arrested 26-year-old Jacob Davis of Painted Post. He was charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He was initially detained on cash bail.

 

Addison Man Arrested Following Domestic Incident
Following a domestic dispute, state police arrested 31-year-old Charles J. Johnson of Addison. He was charged with felony first-degree criminal contempt. The incident occurred early Monday. Court Action is pending.

 

National Average Price for Gas Down 2 Cents This Week
The national average price of gas is down two cents this week, while New York’s didn’t change. The New York average is $2.91/gallon; One year ago, the national average was $2.02 and New York’s was $2.34. Triple-A says growing stock levels have helped to put downward pressure on pump prices.

Today's Top Stories - Monday March 29th, 2021

Avoca Man Charged With Arson
A 48-year-old Avoca man has been charged with arson following a house fire on Lysycyn Road in Avoca. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Donald Kennedy faces charges of arson and allegedly violated an order of protection by visiting the residence and “intentionally damaged a residence by starting it on fire.” Kennedy allegedly also failed to obey a term or condition of his probation. He was charged with Arson in the Second Degree, Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, and Violation of Probation.Kennedy was arraigned and remanded to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of bail in the amount of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond.

 

10th Accuser Comes Forward Against Cuomo
A tenth woman has come forward, accusing  Governor Cuomo of sexual misconduct according to a New York Post article. It is anticipated the woman will hold a press briefing this afternoon with attorney Gloria Allred.The latest woman alleges Cuomo grabbed her face and kissed her without consent outside of her home and has photographic evidence of the incident. She is the latest of accusers that include current and former staffers, journalists, and other women alleging the governor committed sexual misconduct. 

 

Cuomo Admin Allegedly Ignored Test Requests for Nursing Homes
The Cuomo administration largely ignored a Steuben County official’s plea for COVID-19 tests for nursing homes at the pandemic’s height last spring — that’s according to a story in Sunday’s NY Post. County manager Jack Wheeler told The Post he’s furious “because testing of the most vulnerable population should be the absolute priority and a simple request.” Public Health Director Darlene Smith said the county had to beg, borrow, and steal basically and were able to get test kits from other counties. The DOH said Sunday that Wheeler’s account was an attempt at revisionist history. Emails obtained by The Post through the Freedom of Information Law show that Steuben County wasn’t the only jurisdiction to have a request for more stringent testing in nursing homes denied.

 

O’Mara Says It’s Time to Fully-Reopen Schools
Sen. Tom O’Mara says in his weekly column released today, it’s time to allow every local school district throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions to return to full-time, in-person classroom instruction. O’Mara says school administrators, teachers and staff are ready and most importantly, students and their families are ready. He concluded by saying Cuomo should no longer leave administrators, staff, teachers and, especially, students and their parents waiting.

 

3 Steuben County Residents Face Felony Sex Charges
Three Steuben County residents are facing felony sex charges in unrelated cases involving children. State Police arrested 34-year-old Jeffrey D. Clark of Bath. He was charged with first-degree sexual abuse involving contact with a child under age 11…it’s a class D felony. He was initially detained. After investigating an incident last November in the village of Avoca, Troopers arrested 40-year-old Gene C. Simons of Campbell. He was charged with felony sexual abuse involving a child. He was issued an appearance ticket and released. Troopers also arrested an 18-year-old name-protected man from Bath following an incident in the village of Savona. The youth was charged with felony first-degree criminal sex act involving a victim under the age of 13. The incident was reported March 25th.

 

NYSAC President Says Marijuana Legalization Has County Costs
According to New York State Association of Counties President and Victor Town Supervisor Jack Marren, the state’s move to recreational marijuana legalization for adults comes with new costs and responsibilities for county governments, who will be left footing the bill. The state bill provides counties with only 1% of the sales collected for retail sales with the intent to protect health and safety. Marren says there may be a positive in terms of agricultural job growth thanks to legalization. Originally, the Governor’s budget language provided 4% of sales tax going to counties and local governments. In comparison, most counties collect 3%  for alcohol sales to provide public health education and roadside safety.

 

Grassroots Festival Cancelled for 2nd Year
The 3-day-long Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance has been cancelled for the second year in a row. The annual event is held every July in Trumansburg but last year the festival that draws thousands of people to Tompkins County annually, was canceled due to the pandemic. Last Friday festival organizers announced the festival has been canceled once again. 2020 was supposed to be the 30th anniversary of the festival. Next year’s festival is scheduled for July 21st through the 24th. This year’s festival tickets will be honored at that time.

 

State to Fast-Track Marijauna Legalization Bill
New York lawmakers say they've reached a deal with governor Andrew Cuomo to fast-track the legalization of marijuana. The bill is scheduled to be taken up next week in the State Assembly and Senate. The bill would expunge criminal records for anyone with a previous marijuana conviction, it would also allow users to grow their own plants at home, and allows people to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and 24 ounces of cannabis concentrate. Cuomo says tax collections from the adult-use cannabis program are projected to reach $350-million dollars a year. Municipalities can opt out of sales. 

 

Schumer Wants to Regulate Ghost Guns
Senator Chuck Schumer of NY...taking aim at ghost guns...firearm kits sold as loose parts...thereby requiring no registration, or background checks. The Senate Majority Leader saying...ghost guns are readily available...make it all too easy to circumvent the law....and are an issue the President can easily solve.

 

Corning Inc Receives Over $50 Million from BARD Authority
Corning Incorporated announced it will receive $57 million in additional funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Under the agreement, Corning will further increase domestic manufacturing capacity of pharmaceutical glass tubing and vials to support the accelerated mass vaccination effort critical to ending the pandemic. Corning has accelerated its advanced glass vial production capacity to support pharmaceutical manufacturers that are delivering hundreds of millions of doses of potentially life-saving vaccines to Americans. This award is in addition to the $204 million contract announced in June 2020, for a total of $261 million invested in Corning’s pharmaceutical vial and tubing manufacturing capacity. Corning says it has met every milestone to date under the original contract.

 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday March 27, 2021

19 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 19 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19, including three individuals associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post, and one individual associated with Corning, Inc. at IDM. This brings the total to 5,866 confirmed cases, 140 of which are currently active.

 

NY Senate minority leader files complaint against Governor Cuomo

New York State Senate minority leader Rob Ortt has formally filed a complaint with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, and requested an investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo, specifically, to look into a report by the Times Union that the Governor unlawfully used his power by directing the state Department of Health to provide his family, and influential people with ties to his administration special access to scare COVID-19 tests last year. The impeachment inquiry is already focusing on the sexual assault allegations made against him, whether he withheld information on COVID-19, and whether he ordered any related investigations to be suppressed.

 

Power outages may exceed 24 hours as NYSEG, RG&E respond to strong winds

NYSEG and Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) are currently responding as powerful winds continue to impact much of their service area. At one point, approximately 36,000 NYSEG and 3,700 RG&E customers were without power, including customers in Steuben and surrounding counties. Due to the continuation of high winds in some areas, coupled with softened soil as a result of the recent weather, some outages may exceed 24 hours.

 

Argentieri to run for Mayor of Hornell

4th Ward alderman on the Hornell Common Council, Hornell native, and Hornell High School graduate Rich Argentieri has announced his bid for mayor of the City of Hornell. He will be running against incumbent first term Republican John Buckley. Argentieri said yesterday when his campaign was announced that nonpartisanship, effective municipal management and taxes will be the main focuses of his campaign. He also said Hornell taxpayers have been subjected to three consecutive years of tax increases, along with a property tax revaluation, without the payoff of increased services. “"The city services have been lessened and many neighborhoods are more run-down than ever,".

 

Missing Steuben County man located

The New York State police announced yesterday that 20-year-old missing Steuben County man Josh Tietje was located and is in good health after being reported missing from his residence on Friday morning.

 

Deadline for police reform plans approaches, failure to meet deadline could result in loss of funding

Thursday, April 1st is the deadline for local governments to submit their police reform plans to the state to either be enacted into law or made a resolution. Failure to do so could result in those municipalities losing state funding. This was made a requirement after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order requiring local governments to adopt police reform policies in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of police officers. Every local government in Steuben County has enacted their plans.

Today's Top Stories - Friday March 26, 2021

State Police ask for help in locating missing Steuben County man

The New York State police are asking for assistance from the public in locating missing 20-year-old Steuben County man Josh Tietje. It is believed Mr. Tietje left his residence earlier this morning for unknown reasons. Mr. Tietje is described as an autistic male, and was last seen wearing a red and black plaid fleece jacket, a T-shirt, tan colored pants, dark blue crocs, and may have been carrying a backpack as well. Anyone who may have info about Mr. Tietje’s whereabouts is urged to contact 911 or the New York State Police, Painted Post Barracks

 

19 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 19 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19, including two individuals are associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post, and one individual associated with Corning, Inc. at the Erwin Plant.

 

NYS extends “takeout alcohol” executive order

The executive order allowing restaurants to deliver and serve takeout alcohol has been extended to Tuesday, April 6th after it was set to expire this weekend. A recent survey done by the New York Restaurant Association found 86 percent of state residents want this executive order to become permanent.

 

Corning, Inc. announces expansion of contract to create glass vials for COVID-19 vaccine

Corning, Inc. has announced it will receive an additional $57 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, in addition to the $204 million contract announced last June, meaning a total of $261 million has been invested into Corning’s pharmaceutical vial and tubing manufacturing capacity. Under the agreement, Corning will up its manufacturing capacity of glass tubing and vials, including Corning Valor Glass vials, to help deliver doses of COVID-19 vaccines. So far, Corning says they have met “every milestone to date” under the original contract.

 

NYS updates nursing home visitation guidelines

Yesterday, New York State revised nursing home visitation guidance in accordance with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ recently-released guidelines. This replaces the previous guidance released on February 23rd requiring facilities be COVID-free for 14 days. The guidance, effective immediately, will permit visitation at all times and for all residents with limited exceptions for unvaccinated residents in areas of high community spread and lower resident vaccination rates, residents with confirmed COVID-19 infection, or those in isolation or quarantine. Facilities are mandated to continue following strong infection control practices.

 

Indoor entertainment facilities allowed to open at 25% capacity

Effective today, indoor entertainment facilities will be allowed to open and operate at 25% capacity. Some required protocols include mask wearing and social distancing, a required health screening for customers and a temperature check prior to entry, and frequent cleaning of high touch areas. The same protocols will be in place for outdoor amusement parks, which are set to open at 33% capacity beginning Friday, April 9th.  

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday March 24, 2021

Alstom receives contract to build rail cars for Chicago based Metra

Alstom has received an initial order to supply 200 push-pull commuter rail cars from the commuter rail system, Metra, who serves the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs. This initial order is estimated to be worth around $770 million. This follows the Metra Board of Directors’ approval in January 2021 to award Alstom a vehicle procurement contract for up to 500 rail cars. The cars will be built at Alstom’s rolling stock Centre of Excellence. The Alstom Hornell site will lead the project, and other Alstom sites, such as Rochester will support the project.

 

Wayfair to close Big Flats call center

Employees at the Wayfair call center near the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport in Big Flats will be working virtually after the company has decided to shut down the building, per a company spokesperson. As recently as 2018, the company announced that at least 450 people would be hired for the call center with the possibility to expand to in excess of 500. At the time of the location’s opening, the President of the Southern Tier Economic Growth projected the call center could generate as much as $20 million for the local economy. How many employees will be affected by this decision is unknown at the moment.

 

Hornell Area Humane Society, Finger Lakes SPCA team up with Steuben County to reduce number of feral cats

The Hornell Area Humane Society (HAHS) and Finger Lakes SPCA (FLSPCA) are working in conjunction with Steuben County to spay and neuter feral cats as part of their Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate & Return (TNVR) programs, and the Steuben County government has agreed to partner with the Hornell Area Humane Society to subsidize and expand the county-wide project, according to a press release from HAHS. The first Spay/Neuter Blitz was held in 2020, which resulted in nearly 70 feral cats being vaccinated and were sterilized. the goal is to “significantly” raise that number this year. Multiple clinics will be held this April.

 

15 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department has reported 15 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,811 confirmed cases, 117 of which are currently active. One individual is associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post, and one individual is associated with Walmart in Painted Post

 

Governor Cuomo gives update on COVID, State budget, and more during Wednesday briefing

In his Wednesday briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo covered an array of topics. He announced that New York State has surpassed 8 million vaccine doses administered statewide. He also said that he’s “obsessed” with getting the state budget done by April 1st, but because of public health concerns and virtual negotiations, he said he would expect it to be a few days late. The governor said some of the top priorities for the budget include, legalization of cannabis, public safety and police reform, rent relief, and nursing home reform. The governor also said he would not comment on the ongoing investigations into his sexual assault allegations, or the allegations made recently against Congressman Tom Reed.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday March 23, 2021

42 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County since Friday

42 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since last Friday, including an individual associated with Steuben Centers, an individual associated with the Pinecrest Home for Adults in Avoca, an individual associated with the Corning Inc., Diesel Plant, two individuals associated with Haverling High School, four individuals associated with the Painted Post Walmart, and four individuals associated with Siemens Energy in Painted Post. This brings the total to 5,796 confirmed cases, 111 of which are currently active.

 

SUNY Chancellor announces 72 new faculty hires across 21 schools

State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras announced today the hiring of 72 faculty across 21 SUNY campuses, as part of the Promoting, Recruiting Opportunity, Diversion, Inclusion and Growth program, designed to increase the representation of historically underrepresented faculty in the SUNY system.

 

Steuben County officially designated as Purple Heart Community

Monday, Steuben County legislators unanimously approved designating the county as a Purple Heart Community. Legislators also accepted slightly more than $370,000 from the New York State Division of Criminal  Justice Services under the state Criminal Justice Discovery Reform Grant for April 2020 through  March 2021.

 

Reed apologizes for allegations; Senator doesn’t believe he should resign

Last week, Congressman Tom Reed was accused of sexual misconduct by former lobbyist Nicolette Davis in a Washington Post article after an incident at a Minneapolis Bar in 2017. Reed apologized to Davis in a statement Sunday saying he was battling alcoholism and “Simply put, my behavior caused her pain, showed her disrespect, and was unprofessional.” Reed also announced he will not run for Governor or re-election in 2022. State Senator Tom O’Mara said that he was surprised to hear of the accusation and disappointed to see all of Reed’s hard work come to an end but says he does not think Reed should resign, as he did not call for Governor Cuomo to resign as a result of the allegation made against him.

 

New Pedestrian and Traffic Signals Coming at 415 Intersection in Village of Bath

In the next few months, intermittent lane and shoulder closures should be expected at the intersection of Route 415 and Liberty Street in the village of Bath due to the installation of new traffic and pedestrian signals at the intersection. The project at the intersection is the result of a $2 million award announced this previous August to replace existing sidewalks while making the village of Bath more walkable. Construction is weather-dependent and subject to change.

Today's Top Stories - Monday March 22nd, 2021

Bath Intersection Getting Sidewalk, Pedestrian and Traffic Signals  
In the next few months intermittent lane and shoulder closures are expected at the intersection of Route 415 and Liberty Street in the village of Bath accommodating installation of new traffic and pedestrian signals at the intersection. The project at the intersection complements a $2 million award announced this previous August to replace existing sidewalks while making the village of Bath more walkable. Construction is weather-dependent and subject to change.

 

Steuben Health Dept. Holds Moderna First-Dose Clinic Wednesday
Steuben County Public Health Department holds a first-dose COVID-19 Moderna vaccination clinic this Wednesday, March 24 open to eligible residents 18 and up at the Corning-Painted Post High School gym. You must pre-register for this clinic by clicking here. Proof of eligibility is required. All attendees must wear a face mask and expect to wait 15-30 minutes following the vaccination for observation.
List of eligible groups found by clicking here

 

Campbell Home Deemed Total Loss from Saturday Morning Fire
A Campbell home was completely destroyed in an early Saturday morning fire that  5 fire companies responded to at around 1am on King Hill Road. Campbell Fire Chief Glenn Vogel said to WETM no one was injured but the home is a total loss.The fire’s cause is under investigation.

 

Reed Says He Won’t Seek Re-Election After Sex Misconduct Allegation
A sexual misconduct allegation has forced a NY congressman into retirement. Tom Reed, whose district spans the southern tier and a portion of western New York, issued a statement last night saying he would not seek a seventh term nor would he run for governor, as he had earlier suggested he might. He said he will retire from public service on January 2, 2023. His abrupt change of heart came after he first denied the allegation that he groped a woman in a bar in 2017. Last night Reed apologized to the woman, his family and supporters. While accepting full responsibility for his actions, Reed said at the time of the incident he was battling alcoholism. He entered treatment in 2017.

 

Prevent Child Abuse Steuben's  Family Fling March 29th-April 2nd
The annual Family Fling, sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Steuben, will have a new direction this year in response to the COVID pandemic. Traditionally a one-night event in one elementary school in Steuben County, the 2021 event will include online week-long festivities and themed nights for families across the county from Mar. 29-Apr. 2. Participants are invited to check the organization’s Facebook page.

 

Steuben Reports 8 New COVID Cases Friday; 108 Active Cases
Steuben County currently has 108 active cases of COVID-19. Since last March, the county has had more than 5,700 cases. Eight new cases were confirmed on Friday.

 

Wayland Man Arrested for Felony Assault
A violent incident in the Town of Wayland and another, hours later, in the Village of Dansville led multiple charges being filed against a 34-year-old man. State Police arrested Roy Johnson, charging him in the Wayland incident with felony assault, felony weapon’s possession, felony criminal mischief, two counts of menacing and resisting arrest. In the Dansville incident, he was charged with two felony counts of felony assault.

 

Pharmacies Can COVID-Vaccinate New Yorkers with Comorbities
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new guidance has been rolled out allowing pharmacies to vaccinate New Yorkers with comorbidities. Pharmacies were previously able to vaccinate New Yorkers over the age of 60 and teachers. The governor said "New Yorkers with comorbidities are among our state's most at-risk residents, and access to the COVID-19 vaccine protects this vulnerable population." He added "As New York receives more doses and more people receive the vaccine, we're able to expand the population pharmacies can serve, and this is a commonsense step forward that will help make it easier to protect New Yorkers."

 

Today's Top Stories- Saturday, March 20th

8 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County


The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 8 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including an individual associated with the Steuben Center in Bath. This brings the county total to 5,754 confirmed cases, 108 of which are currently active.

Steuben County to become Purple Heart Community
Steuben County is set to become a Purple Heart Community when the county Legislature meets at 10 am, Monday, March 22nd in the county Annex. The measure notes the high esteem county residents have for all the men and women in the armed forces who selflessly serve their country and the community, which includes giving their lives while serving in the armed forces and earning the Purple Heart Medal as a result of being wounded. Legislators also are expected to accept slightly more than $370,000 from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services under the state Criminal Justice Discovery Reform Grant for April 2020 through March 2021.

 

 

Bath man arrested for possessing and promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child


Deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mark R. Riley, age 52, of Turnpike Road in Bath on March 17th, following a joint investigation with the FBI regarding possession of reported child pornography. It is alleged that Mr. Riley possessed an obscene recording of sexual conduct by a child less than sixteen and promoted such recording.  Mr. Riley was charged with Possessing an Obscene Sexual Performance of a Child, a Class E Felony, and Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance of a Child, a Class D Felony.   Mr. Riley was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.  

 

 

Rep. Tom Reed accused of sexual assault


Congressman Tom Reed has been accused of sexual assault, according to a story in The Washington Post. Nicolette Davis told The Post that in 2017 when she was 25, she was in an Irish pub in Minneapolis with the Congressman, where he attempted to unhook her bra. She also claimed his hand then moved to her thigh and continued to move up her leg. Davis had to ask for assistance to remove the Congressman from the table and out of the restaurant. Davis admitted she is a lifelong Democrat and donated $750 to the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign in 2016, but said the allegations are not politically motivated. Reed, via a statement through his office, said “This account of my actions is not accurate.”

 

 

Steuben County inmate arrested for misuse of food stamps


Investigators of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ashley N. Short, age 32, currently incarcerated in the Steuben County Jail on March 17th. It is alleged that in May of 2020, Ms. Short purchased food related items with her benefit card issued by the Steuben County Department of Social Services in exchange for non-food related items. As a result, Ms. Short obtained benefits which she was not entitled nor authorized to receive in the amount of $122.67. Ms. Short is charged with two counts of Misuse of Food Stamps, a class A misdemeanor in violation of New York State Social Service Law. Ms. Short was issued an appearance ticket to appear in the Village of Bath Court at a later date.

 

 

NYS restaurants receive the green light to operate at 75% capacity

 

After Governor Andrew Cuomo announced earlier this month that indoor dining capacity could increase to 75% for restaurants in New York State and 50% for restaurants in New York City, yesterday, Friday March 19th was the first day for restaurants to operate under this new guidance.

 

 

Atlanta woman arrested by Steuben County Sheriff’s Office for bail jumping


Deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jennifer M. Schwan, age 36, of Naples Road, Atlanta, New York, on March 17th, following a report of a wanted person due to a Superior Court Warrant. It is alleged that Ms. Schwan did not appear in court for a felony charge which she had been previously released for.  Ms. Schwan was charged with Bail Jumping in the Second Degree, a Class E Felony. Ms. Schwan was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and remanded to the Steuben County Jail.  
 

Today's Top Stories - Friday March 19th, 2021

Steuben Dairy Festival Is June 5th
Steuben County Dairy Festival committee announces the return of the dairy festival this year on Saturday June 5th. Parade theme this year is Dairyland “Mask”-arade. Photo Contest Theme is the same as planned in 2020: Steuben County Waterways and can include ponds, lakes, rivers, streams and waterfalls in the county.

 

Congressman Reed Accused of Sex Misconduct
A second lieutenant in the U.S. Army is accusing Congressman Tom Reed of sexual misconduct. Nicolette Davis was 25 when the alleged encounter occurred in 2017 at an Irish pub in Minneapolis as reported by the Washington Post reported today. Davis says the 45-year-old congressman put his hand on her back and unhooked her bra and then moved his hand to her thigh. She texted a co-worker, "A drunk congressman is rubbing my back. HELP HELP." and also asked the man sitting to her right for help, who then pulled Reed out of the restaurant, she said. Reed declined an interview request from the Post and his office said in a statement: “This account of my actions is not accurate.” CNYCentral asked for further comment and Reed said, "I stand by my record."

 

Steuben to Be Purple Heart Community as Legislature Meets Monday
Steuben County is poised to become a Purple Heart Community when the county Legislature meets at 10 am, Monday in the county Annex. Legislators also are expected to accept slightly more than$ 370,000 from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services under the state Criminal Justice Discovery Reform Grant for April 2020 through March 2021 by state-mandated reform paid for by the state, with no county cost. Other agenda items include: Authorizing the county Planning Department to submit an application to the state Homes and Community Renewal for a Community Development Block Grant, as well as Commissioner of Finance to Accept Delivery System Reform Incentive Program funds adopting the Steuben County Health Emergency Plan.

The meeting is open to the public via teleconference that can be accessed at

https://steubencountynygov.zoom.us/j/96491146976pwd=dHJsb2hraDM2NlNSZ1lyWGFkbjJYQT09

Meeting ID: 964 9114 6976 / Passcode:  Steuben1

or by phone at:  +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
using Meeting ID: 964 9114 6976 / Passcode: 
57262279

 

Family Fling 3/29-4/2 Hosted By Prevent Child Abuse Steuben
Prevent Child Abuse Steuben sponsors the annual Family Fling, which will have a new direction this year in response to the COVID pandemic. Traditionally a one-night event in one elementary school in Steuben County but the 2021 event will include online week-long festivities and themed nights for families across the county from March 29th -April 2nd. Activities include a story night, nature night, music night, Pokemon Outing Challenge, family game night. 500 swag bags are also included as well as with giveaways, information and activities tying into the various themes. Bags are available at participating libraries, youth and family resource centers. For more information, call (607) 664-2119 or go to https://www.facebook.com/Prevent-Child-Abuse-Steuben-402939566765576 beginning March 29th. 

 

10 More COVID Cases Reported in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department says10 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,746 confirmed cases, 117 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with Corning-Painted Post High School, BOCES Coopers Campus, and Dana Lyon Middle School.

 

Bath Municipal Utility Commission Holds Budget Meeting Monday
The Bath Municipal Utility Commission will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. Monday via GoToMeeting. The Commission will discuss the proposed budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

 

Bath Man Charged With Rape
A Bath man has been charged with two counts of rape involving a child under the age of 15. Troopers also charged Howard Gilbert with two counts of criminal sex act. The alleged crimes occurred in late 2019 into early 2020 in the Village and Town of Bath and the Village of Savona. He remains in the Steuben County Jail.

 

Poll Finds Majority of New Yorkers Don’t Want Cuomo To Resign
Despite growing calls for Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down over allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, a new Quinnipiac poll out Thursday, finds a majority of New York voters still don't want him to resign. But former Cuomo staffer Ana Liss is not one of them -- she's one of at least 6 women who have accused the governor of misconduct. Speaking to WHAM TV, Liss called Cuomo "an absolute monster" and accused him of engaging in a "disinformation campaign".

 

Bath Man Arrested on Drug Charges
After investigating a disturbance at Mountain View apartment complex, Bath police arrested Jordan E. Parkhurst. He was alleged to be in possession of heroin, marijuana and needles. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Parkhurst will appear in village court at a later date.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Endangering Welfare of Child
State Police arrested 35-year-old Matthew Aiken of Bath. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. That count was leveled after Troopers investigated a domestic dispute. Court action is pending.

 

“Employees in Workforce Protections Package” in State Senate
The New York State Senate Republican Women’s Caucus has announced the “Employees in the Workforce Protections Package,” a comprehensive package of proposals to address sexual harassment in the workplace and specifically state government offices. More than just legislation, these proposals lay the foundation toward a state government of justice and propriety, and their adoption would demonstrate that New York State government has no tolerance for harassment in the workplace.

 

3/29 Sports Teams Can Play Anywhere in State
There is encouraging news for young athletes in New York. Starting March 29th, sports teams can play anywhere in the state. Right now, athletes can only travel to contiguous counties and regions.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday March 18th, 2021

Wegmans Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility
Wegmans pharmacies in our region are beginning to expand COVID vaccine eligibility. All Wegmans stores in New York state will offer vaccinations to those living or working here. People 60 or older, teachers, school staff, childcare workers, customer-facing Wegmans employees and anyone 18 or older with qualifying comorbidities is eligible. Visit the company’s website to schedule an appointment.

 

Steuben Reports 11 More COVID Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 11 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,736 confirmed cases, 110 of which are currently active.

 

Bath PD Shutting Down Its Facebook Page
The Bath police department has announced it is shutting down its facebook page. In the future, all notices and press releases will be posted on the village website.

 

Majority Leader Says Recreational Marijuana Legalization “Imminent”
A deal for legalizing recreational marijuana in the New York State Assembly is “imminent”, at least according to Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. Currently, the state budget faces an approximate $15 billion budget deficit, which could motivate a successful passage of a legalization bill. The current plan under recreational legalization would create about $100 million worth of the proceeds to be spent on social programs and hopefully deter drug crime and arrests.

 

Restaurants Outside NYC Can Operate at 75%
After operating at 50% capacity for some time, restaurants outside of New York City can finally increase their indoor capacity to 75% tomorrow. New York City restaurants must continue operating at 35% capacity for now while strict COVID-19 guidelines remain in place.
Governor Cuomo announced the okay to re-open at 75 percent earlier this month. Beginning in April, select businesses in New York state will no longer have to follow the governor's 11 p.m. curfew. However, restaurants are not included in this group. Casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, gyms and fitness centers will be released from the curfew. Starting Monday, indoor fitness classes can resume statewide at 33% capacity. Health screenings and contact information are required for participants. Local health departments must inspect fitness centers and gyms within two weeks of reopening.

 

Bath Man Arrested on Drug Charges
Bath police report the arrest of 39-year-old William J. Trenchard of W. Morris Street. He was charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. The arrest stems from an investigation last July. After being charged with a parole violation, police allege he was found to be in possession of a large quantity of meth, packaging materials and scales. He is currently detained in the Steuben County Jail.

 

Mental Health Reform Efforts Underway in Albany
There is a new effort in Albany targeting the need for resources for mental health treatment. Three legislative packages are being proposed - one of which would expand who can diagnose patients and connect them to further treatment. If the Assembly bill is passed, those permissions would expand to include licensed mental health counselors. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, there are growing waitlists for referrals for inpatient and outpatient care.

 

O’Mara Announces SWCD Awards to Yates and Schuyler Counties
State Senator Tom O’Mara says that Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) in Schuyler and Yates counties have been awarded a combined total of approximately $920,000 to work with local farms to undertake agricultural water quality conservation projects. A total of $15 million in state aid is being distributed to 26 Districts statewide through the latest round of funding under New York’s Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program. Nearly 150 projects on 147 farms will benefit from the new funding.

 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday March 17th, 2021

Hammondsport Mayor Race : Jensen Wins Over Cummings 106-100
Hammondsport Mayor Emory Cummings has officially lost his bid for re-election.  The Village Clerk's Office says the vote was close: Jean Jensen received 106 votes and Mayor Cummings 100.  John Hock and Stella Pulver were elected to the Board as Village Trustees.Cummings was on the Hammondsport Village Board for 27 years with 26 years with him as Mayor.  The new Mayor officially takes over April 1st. 

 

Corning Vaccine Site Opens Friday
10 new state-run mass vaccination sites, including one in Corning, are now booking appointments. The opening day for the sites is this Friday March 19th at the main campus of Corning Community College in its Gymnasium and Wellness Education Center. The address is 1 Academic Drive, Corning. This site is open 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. daily. The state says every site will be able to vaccinate over a thousand New Yorkers daily, dependent on the vaccine supply from the US government. New Yorkers who are eligible may schedule appointments by using NYS' “Am I Eligible?” website or by calling the state's COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-697-4829. Eligible group lists can be found here.

 

11 More Steuben Cases of COVID Reported
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 11 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,725 confirmed cases, 102 of which are currently active. One individual is associated with the Bath VA. The individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.

 

Marijuana Legalization in NYS Could Come Soon
Recreational marijuana legalization in New York state may be near. Legislation agreements are extremely close to getting passed through the assembly according to State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, a proponent of legalization who says legalizing marijuana will majorly impact the criminal justice system and economically benefit communities. However, New York State Sheriff Association says it’s opposed to legalization because they say it will make roads less safe and teens will be encouraged to use marijuana. A recent Siena College poll found that nearly 60% of New York voters who responded supported legalizing recreational marijuana.

 

Firm Appointed by State Assembly to Lead Cuomo Investigation
Law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP was hired by New York State Assembly to lead the investigation into Governor Cuomo over sexual harassment allegations. This development was announced today by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine. Heastie said : “Hiring Davis Polk will give the Committee the experience, independence and resources needed to handle this important investigation in a thorough and expeditious manner.” Thursday, the Democrat-controlled Assembly they will conduct an impeachment investigation into sexual harassment allegations and inappropriate behavior by Cuomo, who is also a fellow Democrat. State Senator Tom O’Mara says Cuomo “has lost his ability to govern”. O’Mara approves of an impeachment of Cuomo, saying papers should have been drafted weeks ago. The State AG began investigations into sexual harassment and touching claims by several female aides. Cuomo continues to deny touching women inappropriately and has maintained he will not resign from office. President Biden said in an ABC News interview yesterday Cuomo should resign if the State AG Letitia James’ investigation confirms the claims made against him.
Commentary by State Senator Tom O'Mara Regarding the Cuomo Scandals.....

 

 

Over 4 Million New Yorkers Vaccinated With First COVID Dose
NYS officials announced more than 4.5 million New Yorkers have received at least one COVID vaccine dose. More than 134,000 doses have been administered across New York's distribution network in the last 24 hours, and more than 1 million doses have been administered over the past seven days. 

 

NY Farm Bureau Donates 8 Million Pounds of Food to Banks 
New York Farm Bureau members continued to make generous food donations during a challenging year for so many families in need. This past weekend, American Farm Bureau Federation recognized New York Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) program for its efforts to donate more than eight million pounds of food to the regional food banks across the state last year. That was the second highest donation total in the country for 2020, behind Florida.

 

Reed Introduces Rural Hospital Support Act Legislation
Congressman Tom Reed and others have announced the introduction of the bipartisan Rural Hospital Support Act, legislation to extend and modernize federal programs that rural hospitals rely on to properly serve their communities. This includes renewing the Medicare-dependent Hospital and Low Volume Adjustment programs, as well as updating Medicare reimbursement formulas for Sole Community Hospitals. According to Reed, "In far too many rural communities across New York, there is increasingly limited access to essential medical treatments and hospital services." He added that the bipartisan legislation includes a number of common-sense provisions to expand healthcare access and bolster the rural health safety net.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday March 16th, 2021

Bath CSD Awarded a Grant Through T-Mobile Hot Project
Bath CSD was awarded a T-Mobile Project grant which included a limited number of Franklin T9 Mobile Hotspots with 100GB/year of free data service for a period of 5 years to support the delivery of and access to education services provided by the school district during the school year.  As result of this award, Bath CSD will be accepting applications for Internet hotspots from households within the district that are struggling to provide or do not currently have access to the Internet.  Students received applications to take home last week.  More information can be found on the Haverling School website as well.  https://www.bathcsd.org/district.cfm?subpage=78067

 

Steuben Announces 2 COVID Vaccination Clinics for This Week
Steuben County Public Health Department holds two first-dose COVID-19 vaccination clinics this week for eligible residents age 18 and older. The first clinic is this Thursday, March 18th at the Haverling High School gym in Bath and the other clinic will be held on Friday, March 19th at the Canisteo-Greenwood Elementary School gym in Canisteo. To attend either clinic, participants must pre-register for an appointment time using the links found on Public Health’s COVID-19 page. Complete list of eligible individuals can be found on the New York State Department of Health’s website. Proof of eligibility is required at every clinic. Eligible essential workers must bring proof of employment at an eligible agency with them to the clinic, those who are eligible by age must bring an ID with date of birth, and those eligible by health condition must bring either a note from their healthcare provider or utilize the attestation form found on Public Health’s page.

 

33 New Cases of  COVID Reported in Steuben Since Friday
Steuben Health reports 33 new cases of COVID-19 in the county since the last update on Friday. This brings the total to 5,714 confirmed cases, 99 of which are currently active. The 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. Public Health Director Darlene Smith said they are seeing a couple clusters related to work and worship in the area.

 

County Hall of Fame Nominations Accepted to March 31st
Nominations for the 2021 Steuben County Hall of Fame still are being accepted until March 31, according to county Historian Emily Simms. Since 1976, more than 500 people have been nominated with 148 individuals inducted into Steuben Hall of Fame. Fourth-grade students also will be invited to nominate local heroes by the March 31st deadline. All nominees will be reviewed in early May by a special committee which will propose nominees for 2020. Approval by the county Legislature is expected in late June.

 

Statewide Burning Ban Begins Today
The annual statewide ban prohibiting residential brush burning in New York begins today and will run through May 14th. With spring approaching, DEC is reminding residents that conditions for wildfires are heightened in springtime when most wildfires occur. DEC will post a Fire Danger Map rating for the 2021 fire season on DEC's website once there is a moderate risk anywhere in the state. Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York. In 2020, DEC Forest Rangers extinguished 192 wildfires that burned a total of more than 1,122 acres. Violators of the State's open burning regulation are subject to criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. 

 

Siena Poll Finds New Yorkers Approve of Cuomo Despite Sex Scandals
According to a new Siena College Research Institute poll, voters say 50-35 percent that Governor Andrew Cuomo should not immediately resign. By 48-34 percent, they say he can continue to effectively do his job as governor. One-third of voters say that Cuomo has committed sexual harassment, one-quarter say he has not, and a plurality are unsure. Voters approve of Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, 60-33 percent, virtually unchanged from last month.

 

NYS Bear Hunters Took Over 1,700 Black Bears in 2020
New York State bear hunters took 1,723 black bears during the 2020 hunting seasons. Hunters took an estimated 1,152 bears in the Southern Zone, comparable to the record set in 2019, and 11 percent greater than the recent five-year average. While take in the regular season was lower than last year, hunters had record success during the early and bow seasons.

 

Tips for Flood Safety to Kick Off Flood Safety Awareness Week
With the National Weather Service’s Flood Safety Awareness Week is under way this week (March 14th-20th), Steuben County Office of Emergency Services Director Tim Marshall reminds the public floods are the Number One natural hazard in the county. The springtime season brings heavy rains and unexpected spring thaws which create a threat of flooding and flash floods in our area. Marshall reminds citizens of guidelines to protect their families which includes:

• Monitoring NOAA Weather Radio, the Ready Steuben app, local radio and television news for flood and flash flood statements.

• Developing and practice a “Family Escape Plan” and decide where to meet in case you are separated.

• Learning the safest route from your home or business to safer, higher ground.

• Making sure your vehicle has enough fuel.

• Using caution while driving on escape routes, watching for hazards such as washed-out roads, earth slides, downed trees, or power lines.

• Never cross flooded roadways. Flood waters are extremely fast flowing, forceful and unpredictable. Even large cars can become buoyant in a few inches of surging flood water.

• Never try to walk, swim or drive through swift water – stop, turn around and go another way.

For more information on Flood Safety Awareness Week go to: https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

 

Today's Top Stories - Monday March 15th, 2021

10 More County COVID Cases Confirmed
Another 10 positive COVID cases have been confirmed in Steuben County. This brings the total to 5,681 confirmed cases, 106 of which are currently active. The 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. 

 

Steuben County Hall of Fame Nominations Being Accepted to 3/31
Nominations for the 2021 Steuben County Hall of Fame still are being accepted until March 31st. Fourth-grade students also will be invited to nominate local heroes by the March 31st deadline. All nominees will be reviewed in early May by a special committee which will propose nominees for 2020. Approval by the county Legislature is expected in late June. Past inductees include people from all walks of life, including former U.S. Congressman Amo Houghton, aviation pioneer Glenn H. Curtiss and active paramedic Winnie Romeril, a national American Red Cross honoree. Country/rock music icon Duane Eddy, Steuben ARC founder Arthur Hansen and Donald Merring, the first Steuben County Emergency Services/ Fire Coordination director were recognized in 2020 and will be honored at a reception later this year. Last year's reception was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

** Steuben County Hall of Fame guidelines

· Nominees may be any man, woman or child living or deceased, who has enhanced the name of

Steuben County. They should have resided in Steuben but may have been born elsewhere.

· Past nominees not inducted into the county Hall of Fame may be re-nominated.

· For applications and the full list of Hall of Fame honorees, go

to https://www.steubencony.org/pages.asp?PID=357 ; or call (607) 664-2199.

 

Statewide Burn Ban Begins Tomorrow
The DEC reminds the public of the annual statewide ban prohibiting residential brush burning begins tomorrow and continues through May 14. Conditions for wildfires are heightened in springtime when most wildfires occur and open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. For more information about fire safety and prevention, go to DEC’s FIREWISE New York website.  The DEC will post a Fire Danger Map rating for the 2021 fire season on ’DECs website <https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/68329.html> once there is a moderate risk anywhere in the state. Violators of the State’s open burning regulation are subject to criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC’s website

 

Cuomo Faces Pressure to Resign After 7th Accuser Comes Forward
Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing new calls to resign after a 7th woman accused him of misconduct. The Washington Post reports Larry Schwartz, a longtime Cuomo aide in charge of the state's COVID vaccine rollout allegedly pressured county officials across the state, asking them about their loyalty to Cuomo. Schwartz tells the Post he discussed the allegations against Cuomo with county officials, asking if they could wait for the findings of that investigation before drawing any conclusions. But the Post reports at least one official has filed notice of an ethics complaint, fearing their county's vaccine supply might suffer if Schwartz didn't like their answer.

 

Kangaroo Escapee from Stokoe Farms Found Sunday
This weekend, a baby kangaroo from Scottsville’s Stokoe Farms in Scottsville was able to escaped. Saturday around 4pm, Yates County Sheriff’s Office sent out a Nixle alert to subscribers that the two foot tall kangaroo escaped in the area of Williams Hill and Coates Road. 40 to 50 volunteers from around the county coordinated to help law enforcement search for Kaia the Kangaroo. Sunday morning volunteers located the female “joey” in an abandoned vineyard several hundred feet east of County House Woods Road in the town of Jerusalem. Yates County Sheriff’s Office says Kaia was scared, cold and hungry, but appeared uninjured.

 

ThruWay Authority Has Dispute Line for Incorrect Charges
New York State Thruway has been cashless since the fall. E-ZPass owners’ credit or debit card have likely been getting charged since the cashless transition. Those without EZPasses have been receiving a bill in the mail periodically. If you get a toll in the mail that isn’t yours, officials say to simply call and dispute it. Incorrect bills can also be disputed through mail and the number to report an error is a 518-471-5300. E-ZPass billing issues can also be disputed the same way. Dispute forms are also available on the Thruway Authority website. 

 

STOP-DWI Crackdown Ends Sunday
The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts in NY start tomorrow and will end on Sunday. St. Patrick’s Day Weekend is a notoriously deadly period for impaired driving due to the number of celebrations and drivers on the road. New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force in this across-the-board in efforts to reduce the number of alcohol related injuries and deaths.

 

Campbell Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute
After investigating a domestic dispute, State Police arrested 21-year-old Clay A. Wheat-French of Campbell. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He was initially detained. 

 

Tioga, PA Woman Arrested After Erwin Break-in
Troopers say they investigated a break-in Saturday night in the Town of Erwin. Arrested as a result, 47-year-old Cathleen Surine of Tioga, PA. She was charged with felony burglary and petit larceny. She was initially held in lieu of cash bail.

Today's Top Stories - Friday March 12th, 2021

Sheriff’s Office Investigating NYSEG Pole Struck in Woodhull
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a crash that occurred shortly after midnight on Wednesday. A NYSEG utility pole was hit by a gray Chevy Avalanche on County Route 102. The driver left the crash that happened north of Merring Rd. in the town of Woodhull. Power was out in the area for several hours. The owner of the vehicle has not yet been identified but anyone with information is asked to call 607-622-3911.

 

Shirley’s Hardware on Rt. 54 Hosting Sunday Boy Scout BBQ 
Those who want to enjoy one of the first Chicken Barbeques of the season in the area can support the Chicken Dinner at Shirley’s Hardware on Route 54 in Bath this weekend. $9 per BBQ on Sunday from 11am until food is gone. All proceeds benefit Boy Scouts of America. One order includes a chicken half, cole slaw, potato salad and a roll. Pre-Orders can be taken at (607) 661-8670.

 

Steuben Reported 14 New COVID Cases Yesterday
New COVID cases continue to be confirmed in Steuben County, although the number are declining. On Thursday, 14 new cases were reported. This brings the total to 5,671 confirmed cases, 124 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with Haverling High School and VEW Primary School. 

 

Hammondsport CSD Board Meeting Wed 3/17
The Hammondsport Central School District holds their regular Board of Education Meeting Wednesday March 17th, 2021 at 6pm. For more information go online to www.hammondsportcsd.org

 

Steuben Prevention Coalition Hosts Zoom Forum Thursday 3/18
Steuben County’s first virtual Zoom forum set for Thursday March 19th from 7 to 8pm will be hosted by the Steuben Prevention Coalition Opioid Committee. With more traditional support systems and rehabilitation services hampered by the pandemic, substance abuse rates have skyrocketed since the pandemic’s beginning. Addiction claimed the lives of nine county residents last year, with at least 141 overdoses reported. The forum will feature comments from local authorities, followed by a question and answer session. Anonymity will be assured at the Zoom meeting sign-in at: https://zoom.us/j/94656419115?pwd=L1lxUkdLam9vRC9oMXczdUtMODNZZz09

Meeting ID: 946 5641 9115 Passcode: 408871

One tap mobile +16465588656,,94656419115#,,,,*408871# US (New York)

Dial by your location +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

 

State Republicans Introduce Bill to Loosen Pandemic Bar Rules
Republicans in the New York State Senate are introducing a measure that would remove the governor’s mandate prohibiting bars and restaurants from serving alcohol without food, calling the rule “arbitrary” because there was no scientific data presented to back it up. State Senator Tom O’Mara says fellow Republicans would also like to remove the curfew placed on establishments.

 

Cuomo Impeachment Investigation Authorized 
Governor Cuomo continues to refuse to leave office after a 6th woman accused him of groping her. The latest alleged victim is a current staffer. However, some lawmakers may be considering a Plan B, of sorts. State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says an impeachment investigation will begin following mounting allegations against Cuomo. In a statement last night, Heastie said he’s authorized the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation. The committee will be able to subpoena documents, examine evidence and interview witnesses. More than 120 lawmakers now say the governor should resign. 

 

Prevent Child Abuse Steuben Seeks Recognition Award Receipient
Prevent Child Abuse Steuben is looking for nominations of an individual, program, or organization that has significantly contributed to the prevention of child abuse in the county for its annual Child Abuse Prevention Recognition Award. Nominations are welcome from schools, government agencies, community organizations, private practitioners, churches, and other concerned individuals or groups.
Submissions should include what the nominee has done to prevent child abuse in Steuben; what distinguishes efforts from other prevention efforts and specifically why the nominee deserves special recognition.
The deadline for nominations is April 1st.

 

State DOL Reports Jobs in Steuben County Dropped January 2021
According to preliminary figures released by the New York State Department of Labor, the number of private sector jobs in the State increased over the month by 29,400 to 7.3 million in January. However, jobs dropped by 2,700 in Steuben County compared to January 2020. In addition, New York State's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 8.7% to 8.8% in January 2021.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday March 11th, 2021

Bath PD Seeks Non-Profits for Community Service Workers
Bath Police Department are seeking not-for-profit businesses that would take on Saturday and Sunday court-assigned community service workers in the Village of Bath. Agencies must be willing to supervise and verify hours to the Village of Bath Court.

 

11 More COVID Cases Reported in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 11 more Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,657 confirmed cases, 114 of which are currently active.

 

Prevent Child Abuse Steuben Seeking Award Nominees
Prevent Child Abuse Steuben seeks nominations of an individual, program or organization that significantly contributed to the prevention of child abuse in the county for its annual Child Abuse Prevention Recognition Award. Nominations are welcome from schools, government agencies, community organizations, private practitioners, churches, and other concerned individuals or groups.  The deadline for nominations is Apr. 1. The awardee will be recognized by the county Legislature in late April, as a part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. For nomination forms or more information visit the county webpage at www.steubencony.org/youth, contact Bill Caudill, Youth Bureau Director at (607) 664-2119, or ask any task force member.

 

DEC Begins Burn Ban Tuesday March 16th
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a statewide ban prohibiting residential brush burning beginning Monday March 16th and running through May 14th. DEC reminds residents that conditions for wildfires are heightened in springtime when most wildfires occur. Open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. Since the burn ban was established in 2009, the eight-year annual average number of spring fires decreased by 42.6 percent, from 2,649 in 2009, to 1,521 in 2018.

 

NY Announces Domestic Travelers No Longer Required to Quarantine
New York state announced domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine after entering New York from another U.S. State or Territory starting April 1st. The NYS Department of Health will not require but will still highly recommend quarantine after domestic travel as an added precaution. Mandatory quarantine remains in effect for international travelers. All travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form and should continue strict adherence to all safety guidelines to stop the spread – wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.

 

COVID Relief Bill Promises $1400 Checks, Bigger Child Credit
In addition to $1,400 stimulus checks, the latest federal $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill includes a boost to a child tax credit which has historically been $2,000 per child but is now $3,600 per child. The COVID relief bill allows for payments to begin going out to families as opposed to waiting until next year’s tax return to receive the money. Individual filers who make less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000 annually will receive this benefit. The IRS has said nothing about how or when they will administer the money but some say that the payments could begin this summer. More details are expected in the next couple weeks.

 

Top NY Democrats Demand in Letter Cuomo Resign
Almost 60 Democratic lawmakers are demanding the resignation of Governor Cuomo in a letter released today following an allegation that he groped an aide at the Executive Mansion last year. Top State Assembly Democrat Carl Heastie says he will meet with members in conference today on “potential paths forward” after numerous allegations. The New York Assembly has the power to impeach the Governor, who has faced 6 different allegations of sexual harassment. Cuomo denies any misconduct and has said he won't resign.

 

State COVID Positivity Rate at 3.16%
New York State still have nearly 4,800 people hospitalized for COVID…with another 999 patients in an intensive Care Unit. As of Wednesday, the statewide positivity rate was 3.16%. 58 COVID-19 deaths were reported in NY on Wednesday. The Southern Tier reports 89 COVID patients in area hospitals.

 

Audit Finds Health Care Providers Not Using Fines for Patient Safety
Scolding words from a state leader…The NY State Department of Health (DOH) has failed to hold accountable certain health care providers including hospitals, nursing homes and individual nurses, for patient safety violations and use its power under the law to impose stronger fines. Additionally, DOH does not ensure amounts collected are directed to increase patient safety, as required…that’s all according to an audit just released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. In a statement, the Comptroller said… “Lisa’s Law was created to make health care in New York safer and give patients the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. Too often, however, it gives negligent health care providers a slap on the wrist by not issuing financial penalties that can act as a deterrent against future incidents and help fund improvements in patient safety. DOH needs to do better.”

 

Your Health Partners Gets $50 Million Addiction Services Award
Officials have announced the award of up to $50.7 million to providers throughout New York State to expand access to addiction services. The majority of this funding will go towards regional networks designed to support a continuum of care that includes prevention, treatment and recovery. $2.1 million is earmarked for Your Health Partners Collaborative which serves Steuben and four other counties.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday March 10th, 2021

STOP-DWI St. Patrick’s Crackdown Starts Next Week
Local law enforcement agencies across the state are conducting a crackdown on impaired driving beginning Tuesday March 16th and continuing until the 21st -well after the Saint Patrick's Day holiday on Wednesday the 17th. State Troopers, County Sheriff Departments and local municipal law enforcement agencies will increase patrols and efforts across New York as well as set up STOP-DWI checkpoints. Police encourage people to download the "Have A Plan" app to find a safe ride home.

 

Hornell CSD Bringing Back Full In-Person Learning
The Hornell City School District plans to bring back full in-person learning for all elementary students in less than a week. The School District announced North Hornell Elementary students will return Tuesday March 16th, and Bryant Elementary and the intermediate schools the following week on Monday March 22nd. No date has been set yet for high school students, but the district says they are planning their return. District Superintendent Jeremy Palotti said 80 percent of total faculty and staff have been fully or partially vaccinated.    

 

6 New COVID Cases in Steuben
Six new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Steuben County. This brings the total to over 5,600 cases since the pandemic’s beginning. 109 cases are currently active.

 

Cuomo Announces COVID Vaccine Expansion to New Yorkers Age 60+
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new expansion of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in New York. Beginning today, all New Yorkers 60 years of age and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine, while public facing essential workers from governmental and nonprofit entities will be eligible beginning March 17. This expansion also includes public-facing essential building services workers. 

 

Troopers Arrest Campbell Man for Controlled Substance Possession
State Police arrested 43-year-old Loren Hill of Campbell. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Court action is pending. 

 

Savona Woman Arrested on Grand Larceny Charges
State Police report the arrest of 26-year-old Heather Dewert of Savona. She was charged with felony grand larceny involving a firearm. The crime occurred February 27th in the village. She was initially detained. 

 

Savona Man Arrested During Traffic Stop
During a traffic stop, Troopers arrested 27-year-old Tyler Vanderhoff of Savona. He was charged with aggravated DWI and first-offense DWI. He’ll appear in court at a later date.

 

 Farmers Excluded from COVID Vaccine Eligibility
NYS Farm Bureau President is annoyed with the Governor for excluding farmworkers from the COVID vaccine eligibility list. In a statement, David Fisher said "It is frustrating that Governor Cuomo visited a location synonymous with New York agriculture, the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, to announce the expansion of the state's COVID vaccine eligibility list, yet he still refuses to protect farmworkers by including them in the ongoing rollout of phase 1b. The CDC recommends that food and agricultural workers be eligible for their own safety and that of our food system. (Fisher said) It is time do what is right and prioritize the essential workers who help ensure New Yorkers have food on their tables."

 

GOP Chair Langworthy Demands Answers from Lt. Gov. Hochul 
New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy has called on Lieutenant Kathy Governor Hochul to answer questions about what she knows about the multiple scandals unfolding within the Cuomo administration. Langworthy demanded more information from New York’s second-in-command today at a news conference in front of the State Office Building in Buffalo. Cuomo has faced backlash for the recent scandals of a nursing home coverup, a structural safety coverup on the Mario M. Cuomo bridge and allegations of sexual harassment from six different women.Cuomo continued to deny any wrongdoing amid ongoing claims of inappropriate behavior during a conference call yesterday and maintains that he has no plans of resignation.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, March 9, 2021

COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be held at CPPHS on Wednesday

The Steuben County Public Health Department is holding a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for eligible essential workers, including teachers and school employees, public-facing employees of restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores, and those in law enforcement, EMS, and fire services, on Wednesday, March 10th at the Corning-Painted Post High School gym in Corning. To attend, participants must pre-register for an appointment time using the link found on Public Health’s COVID-19 page. Eligible essential workers must bring proof of employment  at an eligible agency with them to the clinic. 

 

Identity of man killed in Corning blaze revealed

The victim of a West Hazel Street fire on Saturday in Corning has been identified as 71-year-old Dennis Hoover. Multiple witnesses have said an explosion was heard near the home around 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated.

 

Promotion of Governor Cuomo’s book being halted by publisher

The New York Times has reported that Crown Publishing Group, the publisher of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic’ are halting promotional efforts for the book and have no plans to reprint or reissue the book. The report says sales of the book have dipped drastically since the state’s nursing home scandal and sexual harassment allegations against the Governor made their way to the forefront of the news cycle.

 

Corning Center hosts visitors for the first time in nearly a year

The Corning Center Nursing Home welcomed in visitors for the first time in almost a year. Four residents were able to see their loved ones in person today, and another 36 are scheduled to come in this week. Some were permitted to meet at the residents bedside if deemed appropriate by the State Department of Health, while other met their loved ones in the dining room.

 

 

34 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County, one death
The Steuben County Public Health Department has reported the death of an individual who had previously tested positive for COVID-19. bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 167, the second this month and the 27th of the year. The individual was a 73-year-old female resident of the City of Corning who died while hospitalized. The County Health Department has also reported 34 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday's update, including two individuals associated with Corning, Inc. at Headquarters and the ZV Building, and two individuals associated with Upstate Farms Cheese in Campbell. This brings the total to 5,640 confirmed cases, 115 of which are currently active.

Today's Top Stories - Monday March 8th, 2021

CCC To Be State-Run Vaccination Site
Corning Community College will be the location of a state-run COVID-19 mass vaccination site, helping vaccinate Southern Tier residents. Statewide, 10 new sites remain in development but are anticipated to launch and open in the coming weeks. Hours and appointment scheduling information, as well as other final details, are to be released in the coming days. Once appointments are opened, eligible New Yorkers will be able to schedule appointments by utilizing New York’s ‘Am I Eligible‘ website or by calling the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).

 

Steuben County Holds Senior Vaccination Clinic Today and Tomorrow
The Steuben County Public Health Department is holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics for seniors aged 65 and older today and tomorrow at the Haverling High School gym in Bath. There are about 500 total doses.  To attend, participants must pre-register for an appointment time using the link found on Public Health's COVID-19 page. Those who have internet access can register themselves, and those who have technological concerns can call the Steuben County Office for the Aging to get registered. Those attending the clinic will need to bring a photo ID with their date of birth to the clinic.  All clinic attendees must wear appropriate face coverings and will be expected to wait 15-30 minutes after vaccination for observation.

 

Steuben Reports 19 New COVID Cases
According to the latest update, Steuben County has 19 new COVID cases. There are 115 active cases with ten people hospitalized. There have been 166 deaths attributed to the virus countywide. The 7-day average positivity is 3%.

 

Cuomo Announced Restaurants Can Run 50% Capacity
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced restaurants outside of New York City, that have been operating at 50 percent capacity, can now move to 75 percent capacity beginning Friday, March 19th, pending legislative review. Cuomo says data shows restaurants can operate safely and in accordance with strict health protocols at 75 percent capacity. New York City restaurants will remain running at a maximum of 35 percent capacity.

 

Investigation Continues for Corning Fire on Saturday
A deadly fire in the City of Corning remains under investigation. Flames broke out Saturday afternoon at a home at 11 West Hazel Street. When crews arrived, the home was heavily engulfed in fire. One firefighter sustained a minor injury. Authorities have not yet publicly identified the victim.

 

Cuomo Says He Won’t Resign As Two More Women Make Allegations
Despite two more women coming forward with accusations of harassment... Governor Andrew Cuomo says...he will not resign. Governor Cuomo says he is content to let the state Attorney General's investigation continue and be completed.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday March 6, 2021

19 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 19 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19, including an individual associated with Haverling High School. This brings the total to 5,606 confirmed cases, 115 of which are currently active.

 

Large structure fire in Bath

Multiple fire departments, including Bath, Avoca, Hammondsport, Kanona, and Savona were dispatched to a large house fire yesterday at 6838 County Route 15 in the Town of Bath. Nobody was home at the time of the blaze, but three dogs were rescued from the house and one was resuscitated.  

 

COVID-19 vaccine clinic to be held at Haverling HS next week

The Steuben County Public Health Department will be holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in the Haverling High School gymnasium for county residents 65-years-old or older, on both Monday, March 8th and Tuesday, March 9th

 

March 6th declared “Black Balloon Day” in Steuben County

March 6th has been proclaimed as “Black Balloon Day” in Steuben County, a day in which individuals and organizations across the country display black balloons to pay homage to those lost to overdoses and families and friends that have been left behind by this epidemic.

 

Bath Rotary Club announces scholarships available for local seniors

The Bath Rotary club has announced several scholarship opportunities available for graduating seniors of Avoca, Bath-Haverling, Campbell-Savona, Hammondsport, and Prattsburgh. There is the Frank E. Nicklaus Memorial Scholarships of $1,500, the Ted Markham Memorial Scholarships of $1,000, the Vern Woolston Memorial Scholarship of $1,000, three Bath Rotary Club Scholarships of $500, and two Interact Scholarships of $500. Completed applications must be submitted by April 1st

Today's Top Stories - Friday March 5th, 2021

Love’s Travel Stop Open in Kanona
Love's Travel Stops opened yesterday in Kanona to serve customers in the Bath area. Located off Interstate 86,  the Travel Stop brings 45 jobs and 56 truck parking spaces to Steuben County- the third location opened in the state by the chain, which has opened 500 locations in 41 states. The Kanona location is open 24 hours and is over 12,000 square feet, has a Wendy's restaurant, Nine RV parking spaces, Seven diesel bays, showers, laundry, truck care and more. In honor of the grand opening, Love's pledged to donate $2,000 to Haverling High School.

 

Sheriff Allard Reports Arrest of Deputy
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that a deputy of the Sheriff’s Office was arrested by State Police following a complaint of inappropriate conduct allegedly committed off-duty by that deputy.  Deputy Joseph Winters was charged with the crime of Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree, a class A Misdemeanor. With the criminal investigation now complete, the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will conduct an administrative investigation into the allegations concerning Deputy Winters’ conduct.  Deputy Winters is currently on administrative leave pending the conclusion of this investigation. 

(pictured: Deputy Joseph Winters)

 

Steuben Health Dept Reports 14 More COVID Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 14 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,587 confirmed cases, 112 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with the following schools: Canisteo-Greenwood High School and Wayland-Cohocton Middle School. The individuals did not report visiting any locations that could pose an exposure risk within their investigation timeframes.

 

O’Mara Joins Coalition Urging Lyme Disease Funding in NY Budget
Senator Tom O’Mara this week joined other members of the Senate Republican Conference and a coalition of researchers and advocates to put a spotlight on the need to invest in research, education and prevention initiatives in the state budget dedicated to combating the spread of Lyme and tick-borne diseases throughout New York State. The alliance is calling on Cuomo and other state leaders to commit at least $1.5 million in the final 2021-22 budget for desperately-needed Lyme-related initiatives. Cuomo has proposed committing no funding in the 2021-2022 state budget for this issue. O'Mara said, "Now is no time to ignore funding for critical public health responses.”

 

Cuomo’s Top Aides Pressured Dept of Health to Withhold Numbers
Governor Cuomo faces more criticism over nursing home deaths in New York State. The Department of Health released a report last July which did not include the deaths in hospitals, resulting in an undercount of deaths. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported this decision to withhold numbers was because Cuomo's top aides pressured the health department to not report the full death count. Residents who became ill at the nursing home then later died at the hospital and were not counted. Though the initial report from July said there were roughly 6,200 nursing home deaths statewide, it was discovered months later that there were actually almost 10,000 at that time.

 

Cuomo’s Approval Numbers Down From A Year Ago
As Governor Cuomo faces allegations of both sexual harassment and undercounting nursing home deaths during the pandemic, a majority of New York voters say, by a margin of 55 - 40 percent, that Cuomo should still not yet resign as governor. This is according to a Quinnipiac University poll of New York state registered voters. Voters also say by a large margin (59 - 36 percent) said they would not like to see Andrew Cuomo run for reelection in 2022. The numbers mark a nearly 30-point drop in Cuomo's job approval rating compared to about a year ago.

 

Bennett Details Cuomo Accusations in NBC Interview
Charlotte Bennett, one of the three women who accused Governor Cuomo of inappropriate behavior, spoke with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell in an interview. Bennett, who was the governor’s executive assistant and a health policy advisor, said during a one-on-one meeting on June 5th of last year, Cuomo asked multiple questions that led her to the conclusion that he was trying to sleep with her and felt she had to get out of the room they were in “as soon as possible”. During this encounter, Cuomo also  allegedly asked Bennett if she had trouble in her romantic relationships because she had been sexually assaulted in the past.

 

Traffic Stop Results in 2 Corning Residents Arrested for Drug Charges
Two Corning residents face drug charges following a traffic stop. Steuben County deputies arrested 40-year-old Keith F. Wilson and 52-year-old Amy S. Wilson following a traffic stop on SR 225 in the Town of Corning.  It is alleged that the pair possessed a quantity of suspected methamphetamine, and that Mr. Wilson operated a vehicle while his license was suspended on multiple dates.  Ms. Wilson was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B Felony, and Mr. Wilson was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B Felony, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the First and Second Degree, Fail to Keep Right and Insufficient Tail Lamps.  Ms. Wilson was arraigned and released.  Mr. Wilson was arraigned and held.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday March 4th, 2021

Hakes Landfill in Campbell Proposes Over 50 Percent Expansion
Hakes C&D Disposal Inc. landfill is proposing to expand by over 50 percent-this comes 7 months after a Steuben County judge dismissed allegations that the Campbell landfill contains high radioactivity levels. The dump is seeking state and local permits to expand from 43.3 acres  to 122.2 acres -six miles Northwest of Corning. The project requires a permanent closure of a 3,600-foot section of Manning Ridge Road, which the expansion would cut across. According to Casella Waste Systems Vice President Larry Shilling, the project would extend the life of the landfill by eight to 10 years. Casella Waste Systems owns and operates Hakes landfill.The Hakes proposal was outlined by the DEC in a Mar. 2 letter to officials at several town, county and state agencies. Hakes is one five upstate New York landfills that accepted wastes from natural gas drilling sites in Pennsylvania for years, resulting in the New York State Legislature passing a 2020 law requiring all gas drilling wastes to be regulated as hazardous material.

 

Steuben County Public Health Reports Another COVID Death
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification of the death of an individual who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 166.  The individual was a 50-year-old male resident of the Town of Campbell who died while hospitalized.

 

Reed’s Governor Run Decision Coming “Sooner-Rather-Than-Later”
Congressman Tom Reed says he’s getting closer to a decision to run for governor of New York. An outspoken critic of Governor Cuomo, Reed told the Finger Lakes Times “We are looking at a sooner-rather-than-later timeline,” 

 

Gillibrand Calls on Full Investigation of Cuomo
US Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand said in a series of statements that the accusations of offensive behavior by Governor Cuomo are “serious and deeply concerning” and that the three women “who have come forward have shown tremendous courage.” She called on a full investigation of the Governor and said claims against Cuomo are “completely unacceptable”. But like fellow New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, Gillibrand has thus far refrained from suggesting Cuomo resign. 

 

Steuben County K9 Knapp Gets Vest from Vested Interest in K9s Inc.
Thanks to the non-profit org Vested Interest in K9s Inc., Steuben County K9 Knapp received a bullet proof and protective vest. Vested Interest in K9s  donated the vest as part of their mission is to make vests and assist K9's in law enforcement nationwide. Over 4,000 vests were made for K9s in every state, valued at $6.9 million. K9 Knapp’s vest was embroidered with a special message that reads: "Born to Love-Trained to Serve-Loyal Always." 

 

O’Mara Helps Kick Off Annual “Local Roads” Campaign
The “Local Roads Are Essential” campaign has been launched again. More than 60 state Senators and members of the Assembly joined the call from county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders from throughout New York for increased state support for local roads, bridges and culverts. Senator Tom O’Mara is one of the movement leaders.For years, the coalition has urged for a greater state investment in local roads and bridges across New York. Local governments are responsible for maintaining about 87 percent of all roads in New York State and half of the state’s 18,000 bridges.

 

Cuomo Said He Will “Fully Cooperate” in Investigation 
In his first public briefing since Feb. 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would "fully cooperate" with an independent review by New York's attorney general into allegations of sexual harassment. He also says he has no intention of resigning. Cuomo faces numerous allegations of sexual harassment. Three women, including two former staffers, accused the governor of unwanted sexual advances. 

 

 

Gillibrand Announces Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act
U.S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY has announced the introduction of the Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act, which will create a new program for all essential workers and personnel who have been injured or impacted by COVID-19. Modelled after the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), the new fund would provide compensation to any individuals, or their families, who were deemed essential workers that were required to leave their home to perform services, and became ill or died as a result of COVID-19. The legislation would also create a website to facilitate access to the fund and simplify the application process to maximize compensation for essential workers and their families. 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday March 3rd, 2021

Palmesano & GOP  Join for “Local Roads are Essential” Campaign
This morning, members of the State Republican Assembly and Senate united with state, county and local highway superintendents at their “Local Roads are Essential” news conference at the state capitol building. Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said Governor Cuomo’s should stop talking about signature projects like Penn Station and infrastructure funding to areas and agencies outside of the greater New York City region. Assemblyman Palmesano also said Cuomo and the Democratic majority must do more than restore cuts. The annual news conference kicks off the “Local Roads Are Essential” advocacy campaign beginning this week.

 

14 New COVID Cases Reported in Steuben County
Another 14 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Steuben County. This brings the total to 5,559 confirmed cases, 96 of which are currently active. One individual is associated with Haverling High School. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says travel and gatherings remain contributing factors to the new cases over the last couple weeks. 

 

Bath Town Board Meets Monday March 8th
The Bath Town Board will meet on Monday at 7 p.m., but it won’t be in-person, it will be by way of a conference call. Information on how to join the call is posted on the town’s website…just click the announcements tab.

 

Finger Lakes Task Force Releases Reopening Report
K-12 schools across the Finger Lakes region were able to remain open and secure for students during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to collaborating to create new local guidelines, according to a report released today. The interim report, issued by Finger Lakes Reopening Schools Safely Task Force, summarizes the task force’s work since its July 2020 inception. As one of the many efforts to reopen schools, the group sent a letter to Governor Cuomo asking for more clarity on the metric indicators required for schools to open more fully for in-person learning, along with a copy of its interim report. The task force’s accomplishments include keeping in-school COVID transmissions minimal, communicating with families, providing local recommendations based on state guidelines, creating a resource hub, aligning public sectors to find solutions to pandemic challenges and collaborating on childcare-related issues. 

 

Cuomo Still Silent A Week After Sexual Harassment Allegations Break
Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn't made any public appearances in a week while  members of his own party call for his resignation over sexual harassment claims.  It was only about a dozen activists marching outside Governor Cuomo's 3rd Avenue office building - shouting resign immediately. But the fact that they were there at all spoke volumes about 3rd term governor's ongoing fall from grace.

 

Langworthy Tells Cuomo to “Come Out of Hiding”
New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said this afternoon in Syracuse, he is going to call on Governor Cuomo to “come out of hiding” in a news conference so he can answer questions about the numerous scandals he is facing. He also demands Democrats to do a complete repeal of the governor’s emergency power. State legislators reached an agreement yesterday that could give counties and municipalities the right to issue executive orders without seeking approval by the state. The Governor would retain the Authority to extend some existing measures under the requirement he notify legislative leaders and accept public comment for or against his actions.

 

Excelsior Passes Tested; To Be Issued Soon
The Excelsior Pass was tested in the first phase of the pilot program at a Brooklyn Nets game last week and tested a second time last night at the New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. The Excelsior Pass uses technology to show proof of a person's COVID-19 vaccination or recent negative test. New Yorkers have the options of printing out their pass or keeping it in their "wallet app" on their phone. Passes have a unique code- each of which confirms a person's COVID-19 health status. Issuing Excelsior Passes is a move the state has made to more safely open theaters, stadiums and other businesses across New York State.

 

Bath Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute
After investigating a domestic dispute, state police arrested 33-year-old James D. Pettingell of Bath. He was charged with second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly disobeying a court order and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was initially held on cash bail.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday March 2nd, 2021

Bath Man Arrested After Noise Complaint
A 28-year-old Bath man was arrested and charged after a noise complaint late last evening in the Village of Bath. Police responded to village reports of a man on the corner of West William Street and Howell Street “yelling and screaming, making unreasonable noise.” The man was later identified as Jamie Gould, who was also  a suspect in a domestic violence incident at a nearby residence. Gould was arrested for unlawful imprisonment and possession of a hypodermic instrument while also cited for unreasonable noise. He was processed and transported to the Steuben County Jail for centralized arraignment set for today. 

 

Painted Post Man Arrested After Sex Offender Investigation
Investigators from the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office say they took a 27-year-old Painted Post resident into custody following a sex offender investigation. Jordan Sowersby was arrested after a search warrant was executed in the town of Erwin at his residence. County Sheriff Allard says that investigators from Steuben County were assisted by the FBI and New York State Police. Sowersby was located and taken into custody for failing to change his address and allegedly falsifying a written instrument in an effort to conceal his failure to register. He was arraigned after being charged with offering a false instrument for filing and failure to change address, both as felonies and will answer to the charges at a later date.

 

Steuben Health Dept. Can Now Vaccinate Seniors
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification from New York State that local health departments are now eligible to vaccinate those age 65 and older.  Vaccine for this age group is expected to be received by Steuben Public Health from New York State this week. Public Health Director Darlene Smith said they have been advocating for the vulnerable populations and are thrilled with this opportunity to reach the senior population through the clinics. Steuben Public Health will post information to their website and social media sites when clinics are scheduled.

 

Steuben Reports 16 More Cases of COVID
The Steuben County Public Health Department reports that 16 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday's update. This brings the total to 5,545 confirmed cases, 90 of which are currently active. One individual is associated with the Dana Lyon Middle School. 

 

Barclay Blasts Dems Canceling Session Last Night
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay lambased Assembly Democrats’ decision to cancel last night’s legislative session. The session was called off after a week in which the Assembly was in session for less than three hours over three days. Barclay called last week “embarrassing” in a statement, but said yesterday was a new low, saying “Democrats were elected to a job and they’re running from it.” According to Assemblyman Brian Manktelow, the session was called off after the GOP leaders attached an amendment to every bill calling to remove Governor Cuomo’s powers.

 

AG James Receives Letter to Investigate Cuomo Allegations
A third woman has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Governor Cuomo. The New York Times reports 33-year-old Anna Ruch (Rook) claims the governor asked to kiss her at a wedding in 2019, "moments" after they met. According to the report, the governor allegedly, "he asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear." Yesterday, State Attorney General Letitia James received a referral letter to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo.  The letter allows the Attorney General to appoint a special counsel to lead the investigation with subpoena power. James writes in the letter:


“This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously. As the letter states, at the close of the review, the findings will be disclosed in a public report.”

Today's Top Stories - Monday March 1st, 2021

Sheriff’s Office Offers Scholarship for Local Criminal Justice Students
Steuben County Sheriff's Office is launching a scholarship for criminal justice students interested in becoming police officers in the Steuben County region. Students qualify for the scholarship if they are from a marginalized population who have successfully completed their first semester in criminal justice at SUNY Corning Community College or SUNY Alfred State or students enrolled in the police academy programs at CCC or Alfred. Selection of the scholarship recipient will be based on financial need and a written essay. The initial scholarship is worth $1,000 to a single student but the Foundation’s goal is to raise enough funds to fully reimburse at least one police academy student per year at both Corning and Alfred colleges. Those interested in applying for this scholarship can contact Sheriff Allard at jallard@steubencountyny.gov

 

NWS Issues Wind Advisory Ending 7AM Tomorrow
The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a wind advisory for Steuben and a dozen other counties in New York and PA that began 1 PM today and will end tomorrow morning at 7am. Northwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are expected. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. Winds will increase this afternoon and will be strongest this evening through tonight. Use extra caution when driving and secure outdoor objects.

 

SNAP Benefits Increase to June
People receiving the federally-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will see a 15 percent increase in their monthly food benefits through June. Benefits went into effect beginning January of this year. According to Department of Social Services Commissioner Kathryn Muller,  New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) removed the administrative burden from the local departments and the increase will be delivered directly via the recipients’ existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account. Payments can be used to purchase food at authorized retail food stores. Any unused SNAP benefits will be automatically carried over to the following month. For more information on the emergency supplemental SNAP benefits, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19. New Yorkers can check their eligibility for SNAP and apply online by visiting mybenefits.ny.gov.

 

State Police Arrest Steuben County Woman for Manslaughter
State Police have charged a Steuben County woman with manslaughter and more. On Sunday at approximately 1:46 a.m., Troopers responded to a 911 call of a deceased male in the roadway near number 3 County Route 85 in the town of Tuscarora, close to the Pennsylvania border. The victim, 31-year-old Nicholas Tracy of Addison was driving with his girlfriend, 29-year-old Brittany Carlson of Tuscarora when for an unknown reason, Tracy exited the vehicle and began to walk.  At that time, Carlson entered the driver’s seat of the vehicle and allegedly drove at Tracy striking him. He was pronounced dead at the scene and Carlson has been charged with Vehicular Manslaughter 2nd Degree, Manslaughter 2nd Degree, Reckless Driving, Driving While Intoxicated, and Unsafe Start. The Steuben County District Attorney is currently working with State Police Investigators and the investigation is continuing.  

 

Steuben Reports 20 More COVID  Cases
Steuben County Public Health Department says that 20 more county residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,529 confirmed cases 118 of which are currently active.

 

Today Marks One Year Since First Reported NY COVID Case
Today marks a year since New York State reported its first case of COVID-19. After traveling abroad in Iran, a woman tested positive for the virus at a time where there were only 65 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States. The World Health Organization declared the virus a pandemic ten days later on March 11th. Since the first case, New York State has recorded 1,643,867 cases and 47,615 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over 28 million Americans have tested positive for the virus nationally and the death toll stands at 513,094. The US currently holds the record for most COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the entire world. In New York State, nearly 1.6 million people, or roughly 8% of the population, are fully vaccinated. 

 

Arrest Made After Elmira Speedway Shooting
An arrest has been made following a deadly weekend shooting at the Speedway gas station on Maple Avenue in Elmira. Killed was 44-year-old Shamal Gladden of Elmira. Following an investigation, police arrested 34-year-old Khalid Abdul- Wahhad of Binghamton. He was charged with second-degree murder. Police said the shooting was the result of a verbal altercation involving two groups at the gas station. The victim attempted to intercede when he was shot multiple times. The Chemung County DA and Sheriff’s Office as well as the Binghamton Police Department assisted.

 

Painted Post Man Arrested for Child Porn
The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports the arrest of 25-year-old Jordan Sowersby of Painted Post. He was charged by criminal complaint with receipt and possession of child pornography. The charges carry a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years, and a $250,000 fine. According to the complaint, an undercover FBI Agent located Sowerby offering child pornography for download on the internet. The agent downloaded child pornography directly from Sowersby, which enabled the FBI to determine his location in Painted Post. On February 26, the FBI, accompanied by members of the Steuben County Sheriff and the New York State Police, executed a federal search warrant at the man’s residence. A preliminary review of multiple digital devices that were seized found hundreds of child pornography images and videos. Sowersby remains in federal custody.

 

Cuomo Issues Apology After Harassment Allegations
Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an apology after a second former aide came forward with accusations of sexual harassment. In a statement, Gov. Cuomo said he "never intended to offend" or "harm." He conceded he has "teased people about their personal lives" and said he now understands his interactions "may have been insensitive or too personal." Cuomo's statement, the fourth of the day issued from his office, said "I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that." It follows 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett's accusation in the New York Times that Cuomo asked repeatedly about her sex life and made her feel like he wanted to sleep with her. New York attorney general Letita James announced she plans to bring in an independent third-party to investigate these allegations against the governor.

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