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Today's Top Stories - Memorial Day - Monday May 31st, 2021

Safety Reminders for Grilling this Season
As the official start of the summer and grilling season, today’s Memorial Day holiday will involve barbecues and outdoor cookouts. Here’s a list reminding you of steps to stay safe if you’ll be grilling:
-grill away from any siding on a house or deck.
-use long-handed tools when cooking
-use a metal screen over fires to keep sparks from floating around.
-stay by the grill the entire cooking time
-make sure all fires are put out or turned off before leaving them unattended.

 

Hornell Partners for Growth Launch “Discover Hornell” App
Hornell Partners for Growth has launched the “Discover Hornell” App to be downloaded on phones, tablets, and computers. Hornell Partners for Growth coordinated with Visit Widget to develop the app which allows its users to see businesses set up in three categories: dining, shopping, and services. It also shows businesses that have been picked at random and the user can view a new business each time. Businesses can also be sorted alphabetically, by location, or just by simply searching the name or keywords to provide a list of businesses. Business information will be listed including contact information, a description, and even the direct phone number.
Download the app through the following links:
iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/discover-hornell/id1563954758,
Android:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.visitwidget.hornellny.

 

Village of Bath PBA Asking for Donations to Fund K-9 Officer
The Village of Bath Police Benevolent Association says they need the public’s help to add a K-9 officer to the force. Interim Chief of Police Colin Taft says a K-9 officer joining the team would help with detecting drugs, improving officer safety, locating missing people as well as apprehending suspects, and helping community relations. The agency will need roughly $15,000 to start a K-9 program and the PBA seeks the community’s help through donations. You can donate via Venmo at Bath Village – Police Department PBA or by sending a check with “K9” in the note to:
Village of Bath Police Department
Attn: Police K-9
110 Liberty Street
Bath, NY 14810-1526

 

Bath Man Charged with Burglary, Grand Larceny
A Bath man faces multiple felony counts. State Police say they arrested 40-year-old Ronald J. Sauter. He was charged with the felony crimes of second-degree burglary and third-degree grand larceny. He was also charged with criminal mischief for allegedly intentionally damaging property. Troopers said the charges stem from an incident Last October in the Town of Corning.

 

State COVID Positivity Drops to 0.73%
New York State’s 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate dropped over the weekend to 0.73%. That’s the lowest since the pandemic began. 1,142 patients remained hospitalized. The Southern Tier 7-day positive results have dipped to 0.58%.

 

NY Emergency Rent Program Applications Being Accepted Tomorrow
After waiting more than a year for substantial rent relief, struggling New Yorkers can soon apply for funds from the state’s $2.7 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program will begin accepting applications starting tomorrow. The state Office of Temporary Disability and Assistance (OTDA) will open the application portal at 9 a.m.

 

Addison Man Arrested for DWI
After conducting a traffic stop, State Police arrested 29-year-old Dillion R. Philip of Addison. He was charged with first-offense DWI. Curt action is pending.

 

“Bags of Hope” Ceremony Wednesday at Public Safety Building
“Bags of Hope” will be donated during a special ceremony at 1 pm. Wednesday at the Steuben County Public Safety Building. Some 50 bags, collected by Sara Johnson and the First Presbyterian Church of Bath will be presented during the event and distributed by deputies to individuals in need they encounter during their respective shifts. Bags of Hope contain personal hygiene items, snacks, blankets, clothing items, and other essentials to the homeless, indigent, or other people who are victims of traumatic events. 

 

Park Police Rescue Black Lab from Letchworth Gorge
New York State Park Police were able to successfully rescue a dog at Letchworth State Park yesterday. In a Facebook post, they say a 3-year-old black lab fell nearly 200 feet into the gorge at around 5 p.m. The Genesee High Angle Rope Rescue team was able to find the dog and pull him from the gorge. The dog suffered a broken rear leg, but is otherwise healthy.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday May 29, 2021

5 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that five additional Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including one individual associated with Corning-Painted Post Middle School. This brings the county total to 6,892 confirmed cases, 77 of which are currently active.

 

Village of Bath PBA fundraising to add K-9 to the force

The Village of Bath Police Benevolent Association is seeking public assistance to add a K-9 officer to the force. Interim Chief of Police Colin Taft says he believes a K-9 officer help in a multitude of ways, including with detecting drugs, improving officer safety, locating missing people, apprehending suspects, and would also help in community relations. The cost to start a K-9 program within the agency is roughly $15,000, and the PBA is requesting help from the community. Donations can be made through Venmo at Bath Village – Police Department PBA or by sending a check to the Village of Bath Police Department

 

Town of Hornell announces return of 4th of July parade this year

After a one-year hiatus, Hornell Mayor John Buckley and Hornell Partners for Growth Inc. announced 4th of July festivities will return this year, and will return with a bang, literally and figuratively. The celebration will feature an extended parade capped off by the largest fireworks show in the city’s history. The Hornell Partners for Growth even said Santa Claus is slated to make a quick visit to make up for lost time this past year.

 

Bags of Hope to be distributed Wednesday, June 2nd

Some 50 “Bags of Hope”, collected by Sara Johnson and the First Presbyterian Church of Bath, will be donated as part of a special ceremony on Wednesday, June 2nd, at 1 p.m., at the Steuben County Public Safety Building, per Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard. The bags are to be distributed by deputies to individuals in need they encounter during their respective shifts. The Bags of Hope contain personal hygiene items, snacks, blankets, clothing items, and other essentials to the homeless, indigent, or other people who are victims of traumatic events.

 

Hornell to roll out new app, “Discover Hornell”

Hornell is rolling out a free new app called “Discover Hornell” which will feature over 200 businesses, including restaurants, shops, and services. Users of the app will be notified when there is a sale or an event in the city and the app will also feature a tab for job postings in the area.

 

One dead after crash in Elmira

The Elmira Police Department says one individual has died after a single car accident that took place yesterday just after 2:00 p.m. According to the EPD, two Elmira Fire Department personnel approached a 2004 BMW stopped in traffic on Railroad Avenue and noticed the driver appeared to be passed out at the wheel. Upon approaching the vehicle, the driver reportedly woke up suddenly pressed the gas, causing the vehicle to cross East Church Street and continue on Railroad Avenue, across West Gray Street, and enter the Centertown Garage where it hit a wall at a high rate of speed. The driver was later pronounced dead in hospital. The identity of the driver remains unknown at this time.

Today's Top Stories - Friday, May 28th, 2021

Bags of Hope To Be Distributed Wednesday, June 2nd
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard announced today that “Bags of Hope” will be donated during a special ceremony on Wednesday, June 2nd 1 pm at the Steuben County Public Safety Building. Around 50 bags will be collected by the First Presbyterian Church in Bath and Sara Johnson. The bags will be presented during the event and distributed by deputies to individuals in need that they encounter during their shifts. Bags of Hope contain personal hygiene items, snacks, blankets, clothing items, and other essentials to the homeless, indigent, or other people who are victims of traumatic events. Allard remarked of the program: “This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and the Steuben County citizens that we serve.”

 

OFA Announces Easy Rider Van and Volunteer Opportunities
Steuben County Office for the Aging as well as other volunteer recruitment efforts have picked up as the county and businesses resume open status. One notable – and essential – face-to-face OFA service is the new Easy Rider van, with door-to-door routes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning. Riders are transported to select shopping locations, dropped off for an hour at each location, then back home. Masks still are required while on the van regardless of vaccination status, by Executive Order. Volunteers are also needed to assist riders with shopping, and other related needs such as pick-up times at each shopping location. Reservations for the van are required and can be made by calling (607) 664-2298.

 

Missing Whitney Point Teen Found in Steuben County
New York State Police say missing 15-year-old Adrianna Leidecker from Whitney Point was found in Steuben County by troopers out of the Painted Post barracks.  The teenager was missing since Sunday, May 16th and last seen in her hometown. She was returned to her parent. 

 

8 More COVID Cases Reported in Steuben County
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that eight county residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,887 confirmed cases, 91 of which are currently active.

 

Corning Man Arrested for Falsifying DSS Paperwork
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that his Investigators arrested 44-year-old Joseph M. Smith of W. William Street in the City of Corning. It is alleged that Smith offered a false information to the Department of Social Services and received benefits from Steuben County in the amount of $2292.00.00 that he was not eligible to receive. Smith is charged with one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the first degree, a class E felony and one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony. He was processed at the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and released with an appearance ticket.   

 

NY Sees Lowest COVID-Positivity Rates Since August 2020
New York officials say the state has experienced the lowest COVID positivity rates since August 27th of last year. The statewide rate has plunged to 0.65%. Just around 1,200 people remain in the hospital for virus-related issues and the number of people in Intensive Care has dropped to 300. In the latest report, there were only ten COVID-related deaths.

 

NY Bill Would Allow NY Air Ambulance to Carry and Transfuse Blood 
state representatives will join advocate Travis Flanagan and his family to announce the passage of important legislation to allow New York air ambulance services to carry and transfuse blood products while transporting patients to hospitals. The legislation’s swift passage is credited to the tireless advocacy of Travis Flanagan, who lost both legs in a tragic farming accident but could have lost his life if not for the quick actions of first responders and the fact that a Pennsylvania-based medical helicopter was able to treat him. Travis' dedication to use his tragedy to enact positive change was instrumental in propelling this bill forward to help save lives. A joint press conference is set for Saturday morning.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday May 27th, 2021

FEMA Funeral Aid Available for Elderly Family Lost to COVID
Steuben County Office For the Aging is advising county residents of help for people whose elderly family members died (as a result of) the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can provide financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20th , 2020 according to OFA Director Patricia Baroody, who urged those affected to go to: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance for more information. Baroody also warned potential applicants to use the official link for information and not to provide information to anyone calling and claiming they represent FEMA.

 

Canisteo Man Arrested for Probation Violation
A 20-year-old Canisteo man was arrested by deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office. Zackery Dibble allegedly violated a term or condition of his probation, having been previously convicted of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree in August 2020 for which he was sentenced to six years of probation for having sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl. Dibble was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and held to appear in Steuben County Court. 

 

Bath Woman Arrested After Welfare Fraud Investigation
A 39-year-old Bath woman was arrested following a welfare fraud investigation in Steuben County. According to Steuben County Sheriff’’s office, between Oct. 1, 2020, and March 31st of this year, Angela Smith allegedly “offered a false instrument for filing to the Steuben County Department of Social Services and received benefits from the Steuben County Department of Social Services in the amount of $3082.00 that she was not eligible to receive.” She was charged with one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree-both felony charges. Smith was processed at the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and held for CAP arraignment.

 

Tomorrow is Deadline to Register for Repub Primary
The Steuben County Board of Elections reminds all county residents the deadline to register to vote for the June 22 Republican Primary election is Friday, (May 28). Mail-in voter registration forms must be postmarked by midnight, May 28th and received by a board of elections no later than June 2. In Steuben, the deadline affects Republican voters in the towns of Addison, Bath, Campbell, Cohocton, Fremont, Howard, Jasper, Rathbone, Troupsburg, Tuscarora, Wayne and Wheeler. The primaries in those towns will be held from 6 am to 9 pm Tuesday, June 22nd.

 

Bill Passes to Allow Forest & Park Rangers to Carry EpiPens
The New York state legislature has passed a bipartisan bill that will allow forest rangers, park rangers and environmental conservation police to carry and use EpiPens to be better-prepared for allergy reactions, which more often happen in the summer months. Next, the bill will be forwarded to the Governor to sign.

 

NY’s COVID Positivity Rate Drops to 0.70%
The New York Statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 0.70%, the lowest since August 30th. The state has also had 51 straight days of decline. The hospitalization rate is now less than 1,300 with only 297 patients in the ICU. The latest report shows 17 COVID-related deaths.

 

NY Comptroller DiNapoli Talks Last Year's Common Retirement Fund 
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s estimated overall investment return was 33.55 percent for the state fiscal year that ended March 31. It reflects the financial markets’ dramatic rebound from lows reached during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday May 26th, 2021

Homeless Man Arrested Twice in 2 Days by Bath PD
According to Bath Police, homeless man Joshua Galloway was arrested twice in two days for various offenses. Two days ago around 11:45pm, Galloway was arrested for allegedly stealing from the West Washington Street Family Dollar. Galloway was found to be in possession of a used hypodermic needle during the arrest. He was charged with petit larceny and possession of a hypodermic instrument. He was processed and released to appear in the Bath Village Court at a later date. Yesterday at 2pm he was arrested for being uncooperative with officers and throwing his property on the sidewalk and road after police were flagged down by a civilian alerting them that Galloway was passed out on W. Washington Street. Officers charged him with littering and disorderly conduct. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due back in court at a later date.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Drugs After Domestic Incident
A Bath resident was arrested after police were called to a domestic dispute on W. Morris St. A week ago, police officers were called to W. Morris Street in Bath after an officer was flagged down by a civilian who heard a domestic dispute. Police say Jordan Parkhurst was the suspect of the domestic dispute and would not cooperate with officers. He was arrested for obstructing the investigation and found to be in possession of suspected fentanyl and a used hypodermic needle. He was charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration 2nd, possession of a controlled substance 7th, and possession of a hypodermic instrument.Parkhurst was processed by the courts and released on appearance tickets and is due back in Bath Village Court at a later date.

 

AG James Pushes Congress to Pass Fraud and Scam Reduction Act
As part of an effort to protect senior citizens in New York against fraud, State Attorney General Letitia James has co-led a coalition of 47 Attorney Generals urging congress to pass the Fraud and Scam Reduction Act. The bill promises to assist stakeholders in training employees to recognize the warning signs of elder fraud and to prevent irreversible damage to elderly victims. James says the pandemic “sadly opened up senior citizens to a new array of fraudulent schemes to steal their money, their identities, and, very often, the freedoms they enjoy,”  To read the full letter sent to congress, click here.

 

Cuomo Announced Scholarship Incentives to Vaccinate Kids
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced a new incentive to get more teens vaccinated where the state will raffle off 50 full tuition, room and board scholarships to any public college or university in New York State for 12- to 17-year-olds who get vaccinated in the next six weeks. From tomorrow through July 2nd, those who are age 12-17 and get a first Pfizer dose can enter 10 4-year scholarships that will be awarded via a random drawing every Wednesday and be eligible for every weekly drawing. The Governor says this is why the sooner you get the vaccine, the greater your chances. The Pfizer vaccine has been cleared to be given to those 12-17 years old but Moderna says it will require emergency use authorization for teens.

 

New York State Boaters Hitting Waters in Greater Numbers
Boaters in New York are going to be hitting the water in larger numbers than ever this Memorial Day weekend. In fact, 52% of boaters surveyed anticipate their boating activity to increase compared to last year, according to a new national survey. Meanwhile, 24% plan to vacation on/by boat (versus other forms of travel) because of the pandemic…and 35% plan to use their boat primarily for cruising waters near their home. 

 

Woman Arrested After Nearly Crashing Bath PD Vehicle
A woman faces felony and other counts after nearly crashing into a Village of Bath police vehicle. Police said a patrol vehicle was on Liberty Street when it was almost struck by another vehicle attempting to back out of a parking spot at a high rate of speed. After an investigation, police arrested Stacie L. Heikkila. She was found to have two prior DWI’s in the past two years and was operating the vehicle on a revoked license with no interlock device. Heikkila is currently on probation for Driving while Intoxicated in Onondaga County. She was subsequently charged with backing unsafely, felony first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed operation, Operating without an ignition interlock restriction, felony Driving while Intoxicated and felony Operating a motor vehicle with BAC of more than .08. 

 

Woodhull Woman Charged for Falsifying Records
State Police report the arrest of a Woodhull woman. Troopers say 22-year-old Rebecca Duell was charged with felony first-degree falsifying business records. The charge stems from a fraud complaint filed in the city of Corning last August. Court action is pending. 

 

$3.5 Billion Available for NY Renters and Business Hurt by Pandemic
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced $3.5 billion in assistance for renters and small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rental assistance program makes emergency rental assistance available for struggling New Yorkers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the program will be accepted starting June 1 for eligible New Yorkers who are behind on their rent and have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19. The program is expected to serve between up to 200,000 households.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

County Legislator Steven Maio Among 4 Charged on 54 Counts
Four men-one of which is a county legislator- have been indicted by a Steuben County Grand Jury on 54 counts following the investigation into a sex trafficking ring in the county. Earlier in 2021, Legislator Steven Maio and three other men faced the charges which ended up being dismissed earlier this year on a technicality by a State Supreme Court Justice. Now the four men are charged with Enterprise Corruption for their alleged knowledge of or involvement with a criminal prostitution enterprise between December of 2015 - December 2020. Legislator Maio was also arrested last August for patronizing a prostitute. Larry Comfort Senior was also charged. Comfort is known for his involvement in the 1980 fatal shooting of a State Trooper in Corning. In 1985, his conviction for that murder was overturned but he served a prison sentence for criminal sale of cocaine up until 2013 when he was paroled. 

 

Man Arrested for Drug Charges After Report of Stolen Bike
One man faces drug charges after he allegedly stole a bike in the Village of Bath 4 days ago on May 21st. Bath Police say they responded to a stolen bike complaint near West Washington Street then later located a man riding the bike who was “attempting to avoid officers.” Police identified the man as Shelby Buchanan, who was found to have a warrant out of Monroe County after being questioned. According to police, methamphetamine was located in Buchanan’s bike gloves and also found a large black dagger, a scale, multiple items for drug packaging, and other drug paraphernalia. Buchanan was arrested and processed for felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, felony criminal possession of a weapon, and misdemeanor criminal use of drug paraphernalia. He was released and is due in the Village of Bath Court at a later date. Officers returned the stolen bike to its owner, who was a 13-year-old boy.

 

21 More Steuben County Residents COVID-Positive
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 21 more county residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday's update. This brings the total to 6,867 confirmed cases, 97 of which are currently active.

 

Siena Poll Says More Voters Want Cuomo to Resign
Voters now say Governor Andrew Cuomo should not resign by a 49-41% margin, compared to a 51-37% majority who said he should not resign last month…that’s according to a just released Siena poll. Cuomo’s favorability rating has also ticked up slightly. 

 

Bath Man Arrested for Burglary
Steuben County deputies arrested 28-year-old Kyle J. Stone of Buell Street in Bath.  It is alleged that Stone entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling on East Washington Street Extension and stole property.  He was charged with Burglary in the Second Degree, a class D Felony, and Petit Larceny. Stone was arraigned in the Bath Town Court and released.

 

Average Price of US Gas Jumps 8 Cents in 2 Weeks
The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline jumped 8 cents over the past two weeks. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said that the increase is attributed to supply disruption from the 10-day shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline following a cyberattack, and a rise in prices for corn, a key ingredient in corn-based ethanol that must be blended by refiners into gasoline. The price at the pump is $1.05 higher than it was a year ago.

 

Alfred Station Man Arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance
Steuben County deputies arrested 37-year-old Adam C. Koester of route 244 in Alfred Station.  It is alleged that Koester, while an inmate in the Steuben County Jail, possessed a quantity of suspected methamphetamine.  He was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree and Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, a class D Felony.  

 

Governor Cuomo Directs Flags in NY Be Flown at Half-Staff
Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed flags on State government buildings to be flown at half-staff and state landmarks to be lit red, white and blue on Sunday, May 30 to honor the essential workers who lost their lives due to COVID-19. Flags will remain at half-staff until noon and landmarks will remain lit on Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day in honor of the service members who lost their lives fighting to defend our country.

 

O’Mara Participates in Virtual “Unmask Our Kids” Rally
State Senator Tom O’Mara and other members of the Senate Republican Conference joined parents and child care providers from the Southern Tier and throughout New York State to hold a virtual “Unmask Our Kids” rally in opposition to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new mandate requiring children as young as two years old to wear a face covering at day care centers and summer camps. The new Cuomo executive order was handed down last week and has drawn strong criticism and opposition from providers and parents locally and statewide. Opponents note that throughout the pandemic, young children at child care facilities were not required to wear masks. O’Mara said, “Why now?”

 

COVID Vaccination Clinic at Addison School Gym 6/3
The Steuben County Public Health Department is holding a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Addison Middle / High School gym on Thursday, June 3 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.  Both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered at this clinic.  Registration is preferred but walk-ins will also be accepted. Pfizer is available for anyone age 12 and older.  A parent or guardian must accompany children under the age of 18 and complete a consent form.  Johnson & Johnson is available for anyone age 18 and older. Proof of date of birth is needed for anyone seeking vaccination.  If the recipient is too young to have a driver's permit or license, a birth certificate or passport are options of proof of age.

Today's Top Stories - Monday, May 24th, 2021

Steuben County Reopens Offices to Walk-In Appointments
Effective today, Steuben County has reopened all public offices to walk-in appointments.As directed by state and federal guidance, those who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 do not need to wear face coverings but those who are not vaccinated must wear face masks in all public areas in the office buildings, like hallways and office suites. The only exception is the State Court Offices which requires face coverings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Steuben County also says the DMV can open for walk-ins, which has been open by appointment only for more than a year. DMV appointments will be honored through June 14th and you must have all the required documents before arriving. Forms available at dmv.ny.gov and will also be available at the Main County Office Building entrance in Bath as well as the DMV offices in  Corning and Hornell. You can click here for more information.

 

7-Week Campbell Creek Closure in Howard Starts Today
The County Route 14 bridge (Campbell Creek Road) crossing Campbell Creek in the Town of Howard will be closed to all through traffic beginning today for approximately seven weeks. The bridge is located between the north end of CR 669 and Dublin Road. The closure will allow the current pipe to be removed and completely replaced with a new concrete box structure. There will be an onsite detour.

 

4 From Bath Injured in Saturday Morning Jerusalem Crash
WETM reports four people from Bath were injured in a motor vehicle accident in the Town of Jerusalem Saturday morning. Yates County Deputies were dispatched for a motor vehicle rollover with 4 people trapped inside. There were two vehicles involved. The first vehicle, with trapped occupants, was found overturned in a ditch. The second vehicle was found to be engulfed in flames. April Ordway, 40, and Michael Hixon of Bath were trapped in the first vehicle and flown to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. The two other trapped occupants from Bath, Princess Anthony, 37, and Keziah Anthony, 7, were taken by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital. The occupants of the second vehicle were transported to Soldiers and Sailors Hospital for further treatment. The crash remains under investigation.

 

Southern Tier COVID Positivity Rate Reported at 0.64%
Today, Governor Cuomo traveled to Jones Beach on Long Island to hold a conference updating the public on the state’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. Statewide, a 1.09% positivity rate was reported yesterday as well as the lowest COVID hospitalizations since early November. The regional average positivity rates for the Southern Tier was reported to be 0.64% and 2.34% for the neighboring Finger Lakes region. Cuomo said over 10 million or about 64% of New Yorkers have now received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Cuomo remarked about the situation: “.... so we have to make sure this complicated message is heard: We’re managing COVID, we’re doing well, the positivity rate is not misunderstood to say it’s over.”

 

Steuben County Legislators Met Today
A local law to bring two related Steuben County departments under one director, while a second law to allow young teens to hunt while under adult supervision also was on county legislators’ agenda when they met in regular session this morning. The plan to bring the county Office of Emergency Services (OES) and 9-1-1 together with the leadership of one director is expected to be endorsed by the county Legislature. The county OES is headed by county Director Tim Marshall, who was recently named acting 911 Director with the assistance of Deputy Director Tina Goodwin. If adopted by county lawmakers, youth in Steuben County, aged 12 and 13, will be able to hunt deer under the guidance of a licensed hunter 18 and older. The local law will allow the county to participate in a New York State pilot program.

 

Cuomo Announces “A Shot In The Park” to Promote Vaccination
Today, Governor Cuomo announced the new initiative to promote COVID-19 vaccinations called “A Shot in the Park” where between May 24th and 31st, anyone who gets vaccinated with either the first dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson, is eligible to receive a free two-day pass to any New York State Park which will be valid through September 30 and can be picked up at any state park. You can get your pass by showing confirmation of your eligible vaccine, such as your vaccination card, at any of the 181 parks across the state. Parking, beach and pool privileges are covered by the passes.

 

Over 1 Million Excelsior Passes Issued Since March
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that more than 1 million Excelsior Passes have been issued since New York State launched the first-in-the-nation voluntary platform in March. Excelsior Pass, which is now being utilized by venues, universities, stadiums and businesses statewide. Cuomo said it is a free, fast, and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results that's helping to get New Yorkers back to the things they love and miss — safely. As of May 19, the State lifted capacity restrictions and adopted CDC guidance on masks and social distancing for fully vaccinated individuals.

 

Addison Man Arrested for Drugs
During a traffic stop, State Police arrested 58-year-old Steven Faulkner of Addison. He was charged with driving while impaired by drugs. He was issued an appearance ticket for court and released.

 

Campbell Man Arrested Charged With Criminal Contempt
State Troopers arrested 44-year-old Loren Hill of Campbell. He was charged with criminal contempt for allegedly disobeying a court order as well as criminal possession of a controlled substance. He’ll respond in court at a later date.

 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday May 22, 2021

13 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 13 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the county total to 6,846 confirmed cases, 123 of which are currently active. One individual is associated with Corning, Inc, and four individuals are associated with the following schools: Calvin U. Smith Elementary, Prattsburgh Central School, and the Corning-Painted Post School District.

 

Steuben County Offices open to walk-ins effective May 24th

In conjunction with New York State's rollback of most restrictions on businesses and organizations and the reopening of State Courts, Steuben County will reopen all offices to walk-ins, beginning Monday, May 24th. In accordance with CDC and NYSDOH guidance, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings, unless their visit is to State Court offices, which still require face coverings for all. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings in all public areas of County office buildings, such as hallways and office suites.

 

Steuben County lawmakers to consider two new laws during Monday’s session

Steuben County legislators will meet in regular session on Monday, May 24th at 10 a.m. Items on the agenda include the expected approval of a law to bring the county Office of Emergency Services (OES) and 9-1-1 together with the leadership  of one director, and consideration of a law that would allow Steuben County youth, aged 12 and 13, to be able to hunt deer under  the guidance of a licensed hunter 18 and older, which would allow the county to participate in a New York State pilot program. The Legislature is also expected to accept funding for several county programs, including more than $5.3 million from a variety of state sources for highway work through the county Public Works department, additional state revenues including roughly $50,000 from state Homeland Security for “cyber security” training for the county IT department, and the Sheriff’s department will receive $3,000 in STOP-DWI funds.

 

Fallen heroes recognized at annual Law Enforcement Memorial

The annual Law Enforcement Memorial took place last night after a yearlong pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the Steuben County Public Safety Building. The ceremony included the traditional laying of four wreaths representing law enforcement agencies and the toll of the bell for the 32 officers who have died in the line of duty. Sheriff Jim Allard, state Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, Marjorie Byrnes, and community representative Joe Sempolinski all addressed those in attendance.

 

CR-14 bridge to be closed beginning Monday

The County Route 14 bridge, Campbell Creek Road, crossing Campbell Creek in the Town of Howard will be closed to all through traffic on or about May 24th for approximately seven weeks, per Steuben County Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti. The bridge is located between the north end of CR 669 and Dublin Road. The closure will allow the current pipe to be removed and completely replaced with a new concrete box structure. There will be an onsite detour.

 

Hammondsport CSD announces Board of Education meetings

The Hammondsport Central School District has announced A Board of Education special meeting will be held on Thursday, June 3rd followed by a regular meeting on Wednesday, June 16th. Both meetings are set to begin at 6 p.m. on their respective days at www.hammondsportcsd.org.

Today's Top Stories - Friday May 21st, 2021

DEC Issues Air Quality Health Advisory in Steuben County
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Air Quality Health Advisory for Steuben and 15 other counties in the Finger Lakes area continues until 11pm tonight. The advisory is due to air quality levels in outdoor air which are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for ozone. Consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects especially for those who are very young and have respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. For more information, please visit the State DEC website at, https://on.Ny.Gov/nyaqi, or call the air quality hotline at 800-535-1345.

 

Law Enforcement Memorial Service 6pm Tonight
The Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service is 6 p.m. tonight at the Steuben County Public Safety Building Law Enforcement Memorial Park. The ceremony follows the county’s weeklong celebration last week of “Steuben County Police Officers Week” and is open to the public. It will be attended by state and local officials, law enforcement personnel and veterans. First instituted by county Sheriff David Cole in 2015, the ceremony recognizes the sacrifices made by all law enforcement officers in Steuben and six neighboring counties.

 

Click It or Ticket Crackdown Starts Monday
The annual “Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket” campaign launches Monday. This education and enforcement mobilization runs from May 24 to June 6 to promote seat belt use as the spring travel season ramps up. New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will also use marked and unmarked vehicles, checkpoints, and roving details to ticket unbelted drivers during the campaign.

 

Elmira Woman Arrested After Police Pursuit in Horseheads
After a heavy police presence along County Route 64 near in Horseheads yesterday, Chemung County Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested Danielle Bowen of Elmira who is charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Bowen was the passenger of the car. The search for the driver of the car continues.

 

$250 Million Available to Upgrade Upstate NY Airports
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced $250 million of funding being made available to help improve and modernize airports in upstate New York. Modeled after the 2016 upstate airport economic and revitalization competition, The Elmira’-Corning Regional Airport and the Ithaca Tompkins International Airports are both eligible for the competition. The funding is intended to improve security screening, expands upon terminals, provides opportunities to move passengers in a safer way with improved distancing during and after the COVID pandemic and more. Applications are due by September 15th.

 

Mayor Warren’s Husband Among Seven Drug Arrests
The husband of City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is one of seven people arrested and charged as part of a lengthy wiretap investigation into what prosecutors call a "significant" mid-level drug operation. 45-year-old Timothy Granison was arrested as part of the seven-month-long narcotics investigation. All this comes as the mayor is seeking reelection in November - while facing charges in connection with a campaign finance fraud case.

 

Hammondsport Woman Arrested for Forgery
Steuben County investigators arrested 58-year-old Tracy L. Squires of Main Street in Hammondsport. A press release says from 12/18/2019 to 03/31/2021, Squires allegedly offered a false instrument for filling to the Steuben County Department of Social Services. It is also alleged that she forged and submitted a Department of Social Services form on two separate occasions and received benefits from Social Services in the amount of $1,728.00 that she was not eligible to receive. Squires is charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony, Forgery in the Second Degree, a class D Felony, and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony. Ms. Squires was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.

 

“Vax & Scratch” Offers Free Lottery Tickets to Those Getting Vaccine
Andrew Cuomo has announced a new incentive to get more people protected against COVID-19. It’s called “Vax & Scratch.” Next week, Monday through Friday, people have the opportunity to go get vaccinated and take home a free lottery ticket. This is happening at 10 mass vaccination sites across the state. The top prize is $5 million, while lower prizes go down to $20. According to Gov. Cuomo, the chances of winning something are 1 in 9. 

 

NY’s COVID Positivity Rate Drops to 0.85 Percent
New York’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 0.85 percent, the lowest since September 11.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday May 20th, 2021

Reed Joins Vote to Form 1/6 Insurrection Investigation Commission
Congressman Tom Reed is among almost three dozen Republicans, including  fellow Congressmen Katko and Jacobs who also represent the Finger Lakes region, who voted to make an independent commission for the investigation of the violent January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The bill to create this commission has passed the House of Representatives 252-175. The model for this investigative body is the commission that was formed following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Congressman Katko commented: “The January 6 attack was a complete preventable failure of intelligence, information sharing, decision-making, and preparedness...” 

 

Heavy Police Presence Reported on County Rte 64 Near Horseheads
Late this morning there was a heavy police presence reported along County Route 64 near Horseheads. WENY reports several patrol cars from the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office were parked along the side of the road, near the ALDI as officers appeared to be searching the embankment off I-86. We will update you on any developments in this story.

 

Bath VA Hiring Nurses
VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System seeks to hire Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Nursing Assistants at the Bath VA. Employment at the VA provides a benefits package that includes health care insurance, retirement benefits, sick leave, vacation and continuing education opportunities. Nurses interested in applying can email their resume to Jacob Cawley at Jacob.Cawley@va.gov or call 585-633-8646 for more information.

 

Rochester Mayor’s Husband Faces Charges After Raid
New York State Police confirmed that they are investigating the husband of Rochester's Mayor - after a raid on the Mayor's home. Reports say Mayor Lovely Warren was not home when Troopers searched the home and were seen removing evidence. State Police Troop E Commander Barry Chase did not specify what charges the Mayor's husband is facing. Meanwhile, Warren is facing her own legal battles. She is currently in the middle of a campaign finance fraud case. She has pleaded not guilty and has vowed to fight the charges at trial.

 

As Mask Mandates Lifted, Cuomo Says to “Stay Vigilant”
State mask mandates were lifted for vaccinated residents yesterday but a reminder that businesses may still turn you away if you do not have a mask on even if you are fully vaccinated against the virus. Governor Cuomo says the hospitalization rates are the lowest they have been since the fall and over 10 million New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Though restrictions are beginning to loosen, Cuomo said "we need to stay vigilant, continue to follow the safety guidelines in place, and help every single eligible New Yorker get vaccinated, so that we can finally reach that light at the end of the tunnel."

 

New York Voters Passed Over 99% of School District Budgets
New York voters approved 99.2% of school district budgets on Tuesday, May 18, according to preliminary results compiled by the New York State School Boards Association. A decade after the state's property tax cap went into effect, 654 districts proposed budgets with tax levies that were within their caps and required only a simple majority to pass. Of those districts, 99.7% saw their budgets pass.

 

Savona Woman Arrested After Incident in Bath
State Police arrested 23-year-old Rikkel Loucks of Savona. She was charged with endangering the welfare of a child stemming from a March 25th incident in the Town of Bath. Court action is pending. 

 

17 More Steuben County Residents Test COVID-Positive
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 17 more County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,823 confirmed cases, 132 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with Corning Inc. Ten individuals are associated with Bath-Haverling School District, Campbell-Savona School District, Canisteo-Greenwood School District, Corning-Painted Post School District, Hornell City School District, and Wayland-Cohocton School District.

 

NYS Bill May Bar Elected Officials from Writing Books While in Office
NYS Assemblyman Kevin Byrne was joined by his Assembly and Senate colleagues on Wednesday for a press conference regarding his bill which would prohibit statewide elected officers and certain appointed officers from writing and selling a book during their term in public office. This legislative proposal comes after concerns were raised about Gov. Cuomo profiting from his book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, about his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York state. The governor’s tax returns were released to the public this week, revealing he received more than $5 million from the sale of his book. It hit shelves in October 2020. Production was halted in March 2021. 

 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday May 19th, 2021

Wegmans No Longer Requiring Masks for Customers
Wegmans joins fellow retail chains Target and Walmart to not require masks for customers from now on as new rules took effect in New York State following the CDC guidance indicating those who are fully-vaccinated can forgo masks in most cases. The company is currently developing final policies for employees to follow. The decision on whether masks are required is now up to local stores and business. Some this morning immediately ditched the mask mandate, but not all have. You might to pay extra close attention when entering a business to see the specific instructions for that locale. 

 

Savona Man Arrested for Sex Abuse of Minors
A 38-year-old Savona man faces felony charges of sex abuse and criminal sex acts after being indicted on sex charges related to abuse of several minors over a period of time. The Steuben County Sheriff’s office reports that Makitra had sexual contact with two children under the age of 11 and another under the age of 16. Following his arraignment, he was released to appear in local court at a later date.

 

Broome County Teenager Missing
New York State Police are asking for help locating a missing Broome county teenager, who may have run away. Troopers say 15-year-old Adrianna Leidecker was last seen at a home on Hyde Street in Whitney Point. It's believed she left the home around 1 A.M. on Sunday, May 16th. Adrianna is described as a five feet, eight inch tall white female, with blonde hair and blue eyes and weighs 149 pounds.  Adrianna has run away several times in the past, and had previously been located in Dryden, in neighboring Tompkins County, or Pennsylvania.  Anyone with information is asked to contact NYSP at 607-775-1241.

 

Bath & Other Schools Pass Budget, Reporting Low Voter Turnout
Voters approved area school budgets and propositions across the region yesterday. Bath School Superintendent said the voter turnout may have been the lowest in school history.

 

NYS Releases Updated COVID Guidelines for Camps  & Childcare
Today, New York State has released updated COVID-19 guidance for childcare, day camp and overnight camp programs. Now, programs and facilities must collect COVID-19 vaccination status and documentation for all staff and children, as well as implement mandatory daily health screening for staff and visitors which includes daily temperature checks. State and local health departments must also be notified “immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test results” by a staff member or child. Each site must also implement “property-specific” capacity limits for children and campus “that ensures appropriate social distancing”. Unvaccinated staff or staff not fully-vaccinated must maintain at least a six-foot distance from other unvaccinated staff. All those over the age of two, as well as staff not fully vaccinated, must wear face masks except when eating, drinking, showering, swimming or sleeping and resting. Full guidance can be found by clicking here.

 

Trump Organization Under Criminal Investigation by State AG
One of the investigations into former President Trump's company has taken a turn. For the better part of a year the New York Attorney General's office has been investigating whether former President Trump and the Trump Organization improperly inflated the value of his assets to secure loans and tax benefits. The office has informed the company that investigation is now looking at more than civil violations. A spokesman said "We are now actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity." No comment from the company. Any charges would still be prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney's office, which took possession of Trump's tax returns after a long legal fight.

 

Painted Post Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charges
A Painted Post man has pleaded guilty to a child porn charge after offering images to an undercover investigator online. 27-year-old Jordan Sowersby pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography depicting prepubescent minors, after having sustained a prior child pornography conviction. The charge carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, a lifetime period of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for August 24th.

 

NY’s COVID Positivity Rate Drops to 1.07%
The New York statewide 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 1.07 percent, the lowest since September 27. The 7-day average positivity rate has declined for 43 straight days. Governor Cuomo says today marks a major reopening of New York State, a milestone reached thanks to the strength and grit of New Yorkers.

 

10 More County Residents Test COVID-Positive
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 10 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,806 confirmed cases, 121 of which are currently active.

 

10 Million+ New Yorkers Receive At Least One Dose of COVID Vaccine
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced more than 10 million New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 118,879 doses have been administered across the state's vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and 806,782 doses have been administered statewide over the past seven days.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday May 18, 2021

First dose Pfizer vaccination clinic to be held in Hornell

The Steuben County Public Health Department is holding a first-dose COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination clinic for anyone age 12 and older.  The clinic will be held on Monday, May 24th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Hornell High School cafeteria.  To attend the clinic, participants must pre-register for an appointment time using the link found on Public Health's COVID-19 page. Those under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

 

Allard announces Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard announced yesterday the Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service is set for 6 p.m. Friday, May 21st at the Steuben County Public Safety Building Law Enforcement Memorial Park. The ceremony follows the county’s weeklong celebration last week of “Steuben County Police Officers Week” and is open to the public. It will be attended by state and local officials, law enforcement personnel and veterans. First instituted by county Sheriff David Cole in 2015, the ceremony recognizes the sacrifices made by all law enforcement officers in Steuben and six neighboring counties. For all attending, COVID protocols and social distancing will be implemented.

 

Andrew Giuliani to run for NY Governor

Andrew Giuliani, son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for Governor of New York. Speaking on the opportunity to run against the incumbent Cuomo in an interview with the New York Post, Giuliani said “Giuliani vs. Cuomo. Holy smokes. It’s Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier,”. In a video posted to Twitter, Giuliani said “We’re looking forward to saving our state. We’re going to work our butts off and I’ll tell you what, we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.”. Giuliani has never run for public office. He served as an aid in the Trump Administration and has recently served as a political commentator for the conservative network, Newsmax.

 

Empire Access reports internet outage

Empire Access reported an internet outage earlier this morning. It is not known how widespread the outage is at this point, although it is believed Corning and Elmira are among the affected areas.

 

26 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County, one new death

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 26 residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday, including four individuals associated with the following schools: Campbell-Savona Jr/Sr High School, Hornell High School, Hornell Intermediate School, and Wayland-Cohocton Middle School. This brings the total to 6,796 confirmed cases, 124 of which are currently active. The Steuben County also reported the death of a 59-year-old Canisteo woman who had previously tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 184.

Today's Top Stories - Monday May 17th, 2021

Bath Woman Arrested for Stolen Property for 2nd Time in 2 Days
A Bath woman was arrested for a second time in two days in connection to reports of stolen property. According to Bath Police, Ashley Short was charged with felony grand larceny in the fourth degree for allegedly stealing a purse with credit and debit cards out of a vehicle on West Morris Street. Police say that Short was arrested the night before on a separate incident for felony criminal possession of stolen property, misdemeanor criminal possession of stolen property, and criminal possession of a controlled substance. She was processed and released on appearance tickets to appear in the Village of Bath court at a later date.

 

Cuomo Says NY Will Adopt New CDC Masking Guidance
Governor Cuomo announces today that effective Wednesday, New York State will be adopting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new masking guidance for fully-vaccinated individuals. The CDC released the new guidance late last week and Friday, Cuomo said the state would review the data before adopting the new guidance.

 

Statewide Brush Burning Ban Now Lifted
New York’s statewide ban on outdoor residential brush burning has now been lifted. In 2020, DEC Forest Rangers extinguished 192 wildfires that burned a total of more than 1,122 acres.

 

2 COVID Vaccine Clinics in Hornell & Bath
The Steuben County Public Health Department is now offering two COVID-19 vaccines at the weekday clinics in Hornell and Bath.  Participants will have their choice of receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Moderna vaccine.  Both vaccines are available for anyone age 18 and older. Anyone who lives, works, or attends school in New York can attend either clinic to be vaccinated.  The Bath clinic remains open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and is located at the Civil Defense Training Center, 7220 State Route 54 in Bath.  The Hornell clinic will be open on Tuesdays only from 10 am to 2 pm and is located at the Hornell Community Arts Center, 58 Broadway in Hornell. To attend either clinic, participants can pre-register for an appointment time using the link found on Public Health's COVID-19 page. Walk-ins are also accepted at both clinics, but they may have a short wait if appointment slots are already filled.

 

$250-$300 COVID Relief Payments to Parents Start in July
Payments from the last round of COVID relief will start to be sent to parents with children 17-and-younger starting in July as part of the federal American Rescue Plan passed in March. Individuals with children 17 or younger will get payments of $250 to $300 per month for those who make less than $75,000 if filing taxes as an individual, or $150,000 as a married couple. The payments are an advance on the child tax credit and with today being the deadline to pay and file your income taxes, officials say now is the time to get your taxes filed!

 

Addison Man Arrested After Erwin Traffic Stop
A traffic stop led to multiple charges for an Addison man. State Troopers say they arrested 31-year-old Jarin Veasaw in the Town of Erwin. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, aggravated unlicensed operation and driving while impaired by drugs.  He was released on an appearance ticket for court. 

 

Guthrie Corning Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy Now Open
The Guthrie Corning Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy is now open, providing new services and making it easier than ever for patients to fill prescriptions. The new pharmacy can fill prescriptions quickly and conveniently, carries over-the-counter medications for colds, coughs, and other minor illnesses, and is centrally located near the Guthrie East Corning Medical Office Building, Guthrie Corning Cancer Center and Wound Care Center at Corning Hospital. The pharmacy is located on the first floor of the hospital, in the former cardiology clinic location near the administrative suite and is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Most insurances are accepted. A ribbon cutting is planned for 11 a.m.

 

Monthly Statewide Local Sales Taxes Up $464 Million from Last Year
Local government sales tax collections in New York in April grew by 45.7 percent over the same month in 2020. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says collections totaled $1.5 billion, up $464 million from April of last year. Much of this spike in monthly statewide local sales taxes over last year reflects the extremely weak collections experienced by every region of the state in April 2020, when many businesses were closed.

 

Half of All New Yorkers Now Fully-Vaccinated Against COVID
50 percent of all New Yorkers have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series. All New York State mass vaccination sites are now open to eligible New Yorkers for walk-in vaccination on a first come first serve basis. The walk-in appointments are reserved for first doses only with second doses to be scheduled automatically after administration of the initial shot.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday May 15, 2021

14 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 14 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including two individuals associated with Haverling High School and Hornell High School. This brings the county total to 6,770 confirmed cases, 160 of which are currently active.

 

J&J, Moderna vaccine clinics to be held in Bath, Hornell

The Steuben County Public Health Department is now offering two COVID-19 vaccines at the weekday clinics in Hornell and Bath. Participants will have their choice of receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Moderna vaccine.  Both vaccines are available for anyone age 18 and older. The Bath clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Civil Defense Training Center, 7220 State Route 54 in Bath. The Hornell clinic will be open on Tuesdays only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. located at the Hornell Community Arts Center, 58 Broadway in Hornell.

 

Hornell voters to decide on sale of Bryant Elementary School

Voters in the Hornell City School District will be voting on the proposed sale of Bryant Elementary School when they take to the ballots this Tuesday, May 18th. The building will close as a school at the close of the 2020-’21 academic year after the Board of Educators voted to close the building in Spring 2020. In May 2020, Rochester-based realty company Park Grove Realty approached the Hornell City School District as a potential buyer, with an offer of $500,000. Their proposed plan would preserve the Bryant building’s exterior, a majority of the surrounding green spaces, the school’s playground which would remain open to the neighboring community, and a small building extension. The project would deliver 39 workforce housing units, including two studios, 22 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom units, a community room and fitness center. With rents being in the ballpark of $625 and $850 a month.

 

Governor Cuomo mulls mask mandate

Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to decide whether he will lift New York State’s mask mandate in the wake of new CDC guidelines that lift restrictions on those who are fully vaccinated. The Governor said Thursday, the mandate is still in effect, as his office reviews the new federal guidelines and consults with health officials in nearby states.

 

Elmira murder suspect arrested after lengthy chase through NY, PA

Elmira man Lawrence Williams was arrested in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, yesterday after leading police on two-hour long chase that crossed the New York and Pennsylvania border several times. Williams is the prime suspect the fatal April 14th shooting death of Christopher White. Mr. Williams’ was found operating a black Chevrolet Malibu in Elmira yesterday, and when police attempted to pull the vehicle over, he then led them on a two-hour long chase that crossed the border numerous times before coming to an end in North Branch Township, Pennsylvania. Mr. Williams was taken to the Bradford County Jail where he is awaiting extradition to New York State. Pennsylvania State Police say one trooper was injured during the chase, their condition is unknown at this time.

Today's Top Stories - Friday, May 15th, 2021

Campbell to Receive $2.7 Million in Water Infrastructure Grant Funding
The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation Board of Directors has approved $94 million in grants, interest-free loans, and low-cost loans to support drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across New York State. Among the recipients, the Town of Campbell is set to receive $1.8 million in short-term interest-free financing and $2.7 million in grant funding for the development of a new backup water source and extension of the existing public water system to include 122 parcels currently served by impaired residential wells, and for the development of a new public water supply well.

 

3 Arrested in Bath After No-Knock Warrant
Three people are facing charges after a no knock search warrant took place on West Steuben Street in Bath Tuesday. Village of Bath Police Department officers entered the home and arrested Amber Gerow, Steven Jeffers and Nicholas Crouch. Gerow and Jeffers are residents of the home on West Steuben Street while Crouch is homeless. Police said in a press release they found "a truck load of stolen property from at least 3 burglaries including TVs, stereos, laptops, other electronics and even several Steuben County Sheriff's Office uniforms with patches as well as crystal meth, scales, packaging materials, suboxone, cash and two homemade zip guns. Gerow and Jeffers were taken to the Steuben County Centralized Arraignment Court then released. Crouch was released and expected to appear in court at a later date.

 

Wegmans Offering COVID Vaccine to Those 12 & Up in 1 Week
Wegmans announced all its New York  pharmacy locations are now offering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to anyone 12 and older beginning Friday, May 15th. Walk-in appointments will be available. You can also schedule an appointment by clicking here. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are also available for anyone 18 and older.

 

183rd Steuben Victim Dies from COVID
COVID-19 has claimed another life in Steuben County. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 183.  The individual was a male resident of the Town of Bath who died at the age of 60.

 

Cuomo Says NY Would Review CDC’s Reduced Mask Requirements
Governor Cuomo said New York state would review the information behind the CDC’s decision to announce reduced mask requirements in most public places. The CDC guidance said in most circumstances, vaccinated people would be able to go mask-free whether they were indoors or outdoors. Cuomo remarked: “In New York, we have always relied on the facts and the science to guide us throughout the worst of this pandemic and in our successful reopening. We have received the newly revised guidance from the CDC regarding mask wearing and social distancing for those with vaccinations and are reviewing them...”

 

SSA Announces Top Baby Names in US
The Social Security Administration today announced the most popular baby names in New York for 2020.  Liam and Olivia topped the list.

 

Statewide COVID-Positivity Rate Drops to 1.08%
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 1.08 percent, the lowest since October 10. He said hospitalizations were down and there were 30 fewer patients in intensive care. Twenty-two new deaths were reported. In the Southern Tier, 62 people were hospitalized with virus-related complications. 

Today's Top Stories - Thursday May 13th, 2021

$8.9 Million in Public Road Projects Planned for Steuben
In a WVIN Community Focus Interview this morning, Commissioner of Steuben County Public Works Vince Spagnoletti shared more details on how the $8.9 million of state funding will be utilized for public roads. In the past, Spagnoletti said the state gave $4-6 million for road repair annually but the over $8 million allocated this year will allow the DPW to repair 60 miles of road and 90 miles of CHIP seal in the county.


Spagnoletti listed some of the projects which include:
 

-11/2 miles of County Route 10 in the Bath area will be blacktopped ($160,000)
-16 miles of County Route 113 (from Bath to Hammondsport via County Route 87 up through Urbana and Wayne) will be leveled with blacktop and CHIP-sealed.
-4 miles of County Route 94 in the Town of Wayne will be rebuilt and blacktopped ($585,000)
-County Route 78 in Pulteney will be blacktopped
-County Route 18 in Bradford will be blacktopped
-County Route 6 in Avoca will be completely rebuilt (approx. $1,200,000)
-7 miles of County Route 7 from Prattsburgh to Wheeler will be blacktopped ($700,000)


Hear the full interview with Spagnoletti at: https://wvinbath.com/assets/podcaster/215/2021_05_13_215_103538_4795.mp3

 

COVID Clinic Monday 5/17 at Jasper-Troupsburg High School Gym
The Steuben County Public Health Department has a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Jasper-Troupsburg Junior/Senior High School gym on Monday, May 17 where both Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be offered. Those 12 and older can get the Pfizer vaccine while anyone 18 and up may get a Johnson and Johnson vaccine. A parent or guardian must accompany a minor as well as sign a consent form at the clinic. Proof of your date of birth is needed for a vaccine. Clinic attendees must wear face masks and will be expected to wait 15-30 minutes after vaccination for observation.

 

Wheeler Explains Steuben Attorney Recruitment Problem
Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler spoke to WETM news about the problem the county has had for years regarding recruitment and retention of attorneys. Within Steuben County, positions through the Public Defender’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, Social Services, and County Attorney all face difficulties being filled. Wheeler says in particular, being an attorney is a rare skill to come by while it is highly competitive to bring them into the area, adding“...municipal governments can’t pay as much as others or that some individuals could make in private practice, so, it’s a serious recruitment issue,” Wheeler also said Steuben is not alone as “other counties and counterparts across the state and everyone is sort of in the same boat and we are competing for the same resources.” With a state new lawsuit settlement expanding the number of public defenders offered by counties, Wheeler said that problem is about to get worse. County District Attorney Brooks Baker said in a statement: “we are going to have to be creative going forward….bringing in Attorney’s who might otherwise retire, utilizing part-time positions and enhanced recruiting of new graduates are all avenues we are pursuing.”

 

Buffalo Bills  Will Play 4 Prime Time NFL Games
After their run to the AFC Championship Game last season, the Buffalo Bills were rewarded with four prime time games according to the 2021 NFL schedule released last night. The Bills will play Sunday Night Football once, Monday Night Football twice, play against the Saints in New Orleans on Thanksgiving night and play one primetime game at home when the Bills host the Patriots on Monday, December 6th.

 

20 More COVID Cases Reported in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 20 more county residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,740 confirmed cases, 170 of which are currently active.

 

Empire Access Joins Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
Prattsburgh-based Empire Access says it will participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program.  This temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband Internet service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The $3.2B program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband Internet service for eligible households. 

 

Reed Releases Statement After Republicans Oust Cheney
House Republicans voted yesterday to push Representative Liz Cheney out of her leadership role within the party. The vote is a major identity decision for republicans on Capitol Hill pushing Cheney out of her leadership position after she defiantly called out Donald Trump's false claims about the 2020 elections. NY Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed said in a statement that he would defer to the Houses “collective wisdom.” He added that while he will always be a proud Republican, he also sees the reality of the challenges that face the nation and the world. The congressman, facing his own challenges, said – quote – “The world is on fire.”

 

Beaches and Pools Still To Be Socially Distanced for Memorial Day
Governor Andrew Cuomo says that beaches and pools will operate with six-foot social distancing in anticipation of Memorial Day. New York State's goal is to reopen them to 100 percent capacity by July 4. According to Cuomo…"All the COVID-19 numbers are trending in the right direction, and as more New Yorkers get vaccinated, it's important not to lose any of the significant progress we've gained.”

 

WGI Reduces Capacity for Ferrari Challenge Weekend
Watkins Glen International has announced that it has reached its reduced capacity for the upcoming Ferrari Challenge North America weekend May 21-23. The reduced capacity for the 2021 spring event weekend is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and continues in accordance with New York state guidelines. 

 

Anderson Appointed SUNY Alfred’s Officer-in-Charge
As Alfred State continues to search for a permanent president to replace the recently retired Dr. Skip Sullivan, the college is happy to announce that Dr. John Anderson has been appointed officer-in-charge by the SUNY Chancellor. The appointment is effective as of Monday, May 10. Sullivan had served as the 12th president of Alfred State College since January 2014. In October 2020, he announced to campus that he will retire at the end of the academic year, giving the campus time to start transitioning for new leadership.  President Sullivan guided the campus through the worst of the COVID pandemic, which has made for a difficult time for everyone, but in particular students.  Anderson, who has agreed to come out of retirement for this special assignment, is no stranger to Alfred State, having served as the college president from 2008 to 2013.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday May 12, 2021

15 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County, two deemed positive

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 15 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and two have been deemed positive. This brings the total to 6,720 confirmed cases and 12 deemed positive, 155 of which are currently active. One individual is associated with an area hospital and another is associated with home health care, and one individual is associated with Corning, Inc. at Erwin.

 

NTSB releases new details in helicopter crash that killed Guthrie doctor

A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board said the helicopter piloted by Dr. Sanjay Kansara of Guthrie encountered a band of snow shortly before crashing in a remote area of northeastern Pennsylvania last month, although it is unknown if the snow caused or contributed to the crash. The helicopter was cruising at an altitude of about 3,000 feet en route Bradford County Airport in Towanda when it entered a “right, descending spiral” above Forkston Township in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. The report of the accident is preliminary and could change before the official final report, which could take a year or two.

 

Early morning house fire in Beaver Dams; Red Cross assisting family

The Red Cross is assisting one adult and two children after a house fire on Moreland Road in Beaver Dams early this morning. The cause of the blaze is unknown at this time.

 

Corning, Inc. opens new manufacturing plant in Wuhan

Corning Incorporated has opened a new Gen 10.5 liquid crystal display (LCD) glass substrate manufacturing plant in Wuhan in the Hubei Province, in China. The facility is co-located with a BOE Technology Group facility. The new facility will allow Corning to deliver Gen 10.5 glass substrates right to BOE for production of large display panels.

 

Cuomo: 50% of 18+ NYS residents fully vaccinated

Governor Andrew Cuomo made a number of announcements this morning from Sahlen Field in Buffalo, where the Toronto Blue Jays are slated to open their season, regarding the state’s progress on COVID-19. The state’s 1.10% positivity rate is the lowest since October 17th.  The 1,928 statewide hospitalizations is the lowest since November 14th. Governor Cuomo also said 50% of New Yorkers age 18 and up have been fully vaccinated. The Governor also announced beaches and pools in New York can open following social distancing guidelines for Memorial Day.

 

Astorino lauches bid for NYS Governor

Republican Rob Astorino, former radio industry professional and former Westchester County Executive said yesterday he will run for Governor of New York in 2022 in his second bid to usurp incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo. Among the main focuses of his campaign, addressing the job loss in New York State due to the COVID-19 pandemic, government corruption and the high taxes and cost of living in the State. Astorino was the Republican nominee to 2014, before losing to the sitting Governor Cuomo by a margin of 54% to 40%.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Bath Man Arrested for Welfare Fraud
A 44-year-old Bath man was arrested after a welfare fraud investigation. Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports Allan Sullivan allegedly “sold and or traded his benefit card issued by the Steuben County Department of Social Services for unauthorized items on more than one occasion” between Sept. 13, 2020, and March 15, 2021. As a result, Sullivan obtained benefits which he was not entitled nor authorized to receive in the amount of $134.26. He was charged with Criminal Use of a Public Benefit Card in the Second Degree and Petit Larceny. Sullivan is scheduled to appear in the Village of Bath Court at a later date.

 

Steuben Reports 38 More Cases of COVID
The Steuben County Public Health Department says that 38 more Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday's update. This brings the total to 6,705 confirmed cases, 150 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with area hospitals…Eight people are associated with Canisteo-Greenwood Elementary, Corning-Painted Post Middle School, Erwin Valley Elementary, Hornell High School, Hugh Gregg Elementary, Wayland-Cohocton Middle and High Schools. 

 

Schumer Calls for $3.4 Million in EDA Funding for Hornell Alstom
US Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for $3.4 million in funding through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the expansion of Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Hornell and to make improvements to the Shawmut Industrial Park in Hornell in a letter to United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Schumer speculates 250 new jobs could be created at the Hornell site after their recent $1.8 billion contract to supply rail cars to Metra in Chicago. Schumer said the project “is poised to be a win for Alstom, a win for Upstate New York, and a win for American industry, so Secretary Raimando I say all aboard!” John Buckley, Mayor of the City of Hornell, said “Thanks as always to Senator Schumer for continually fighting for the City of Hornell.”

 

Fines in NY Could Increase for Obstructed License Plates
A bill that recently passed the New York State Assembly could raise the fines from $200 to $300 for intentionally obstructing or defacing license plates. The legislation’s intention is to keep motorists from making license plates illegible or difficult to read to avoid tolls or law enforcement as the New York State Thruway transitions to cashless tolling for its tolled bridges, roads and tunnels. Legislators also say the law could help catch those who perpetrate hit-and-runs and other traffic offenses.

 

County DPW Doing 152 Miles of Road Work Projects
An increase in state funding this year allows the Steuben County Public Works Department to repair 152 miles worth of projects according to County Public Works Commissioner Vince Spagnoletti. The additional state funds include appropriations withheld last year due to state budgetary concerns brought on by the unforeseen onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year the department has set aside $9.1 million, with $600, 000 in reserve in the event asphalt prices continue to rise. State funds include CHIPS, Extreme Winter Recovery and Pave NY monies. The county’s share of road work costs amount to $800,000.

 

Broadway Returns in September
The curtain goes up on Broadway this September after a pandemic year without theater. Before the pandemic nearly 250-thousand people took in a Broadway show every week. When theaters reopen this September, they'll be at 100-percent capacity. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it will be up to theaters to decide whether to require proof of vaccination. There were 31 productions on Broadway when theaters closed last March. It wasn't immediately clear how many will return in September.

 

SUNY & CUNY Boards Require Student COVID Vaccinations
NY officials have announced that SUNY and CUNY boards will require vaccination for all in-person students combing back in the fall. The governor said “The key to supercharging the vaccination rate: Eliminating excuses, increase access, and communicate the facts.”

 

Letchworth State Park’s Glen Iris Inn Suffers Minor Fire
There appears to be no extensive damage at Letchworth State Park’s popular Glen Iris Inn. Shortly before 6 a.m., the Pike Fire Department was called out for an alarm activation. 911 was quickly told there was a smell of smoke on the second floor and the building was being activated. That elevated the situation to a second alarm assignment, which brought in at least six departments from Wyoming and Allegany Counties. No word yet on the cause. Departments began leaving the scene by 7 a.m. The Glen Iris re-opened for the season on May 1st.

Today's Top Stories - Monday May 10th, 2021

Nurses Needed at the Bath VA
Help is needed urgently as RN’s, LPN’s and Nursing Assistants are in demand at the Bath VA Medical Center. The VA says it provides a generous benefits package, that includes: a competitive salary, health care insurance, retirement benefits, vacation time, sick leave, and continuing education opportunities. Job openings are also available at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center.

 

Local Lawmakers Call for Full Reopening of DMV
Several local lawmakers recently sent a letter to Governor Cuomo, calling on him to allow local Department of Motor Vehicle offices to fully reopen. DMV offices do not currently allow walk-ins and you must sign up ahead of time for an appointment. New York State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano reported that local residents are waiting an average of three to four weeks for appointments.  In the letter, O’Mara and Palmesano, along with Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, Assemblyman Chris Friend and Assemblyman Joe Giglio wrote that transactions at local DMV offices are “an important source of revenue for county governments and their full-time operation is critical to the ability of local governments to recover from the COVID-19 shutdown”.  

 

Hornell Woman Charged After Welfare Fraud Investigation
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office report a 64-year-old Hornell woman was charged after a welfare fraud investigation. Maxine Huddle allegedly purchased and used another person’s benefit card issued by the Steuben County Department of Social Services, allowing her to obtain benefits she was not entitled nor authorized to receive. She is charged with one count of criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree and will appear in the Village of Bath Court at a later date while charges at a later date are anticipated for the person that sold the benefit card to Huddle.

 

AAA Reports Gas in NY Reaches $3/Gallon
According to AAA, New York’s average gas price has reached $3/gallon-jumping five cents since last week. The current average for New York is three cents above the national average of $2.97 which was seven cents lower a week ago. Elmira reports an average of $2.94 which jumped five cents since last week and $1.01 higher than last year. This jump in gas prices is due to a cyber attack that led to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, along with the usual rise due to spring demand. The impact will depend on how long the pipeline remains shutdown, with a long shutdown resulting in moresupply concern issues.

 

SUNY and CUNY Students Need Vaccinations to Return to School
Governor Cuomo announced this morning during a COVID-19 briefing in Albany that all SUNY and CUNY boards will require vaccinations for all in-person students beginning in the fall while encouraging all private colleges and universities to require the vaccine as well. Cuomo also remarked: "Let's make a global statement - you cannot go back to school in person in September unless you have a vaccine.” and said the new rule will be “a major motivation for people to get the vaccine...”

 

Bath Woman Cited After Benton Horse and Buggy Crash
A Bath woman was cited following a horse-and-buggy crash in Benton during the early morning hours on Thursday. According to FingerLakes1.com, Melissa Carney was traveling east on State Rt. 54 in the town of Benton when she struck a horse-and-buggy traveling in the same direction. The horse died from injuries suffered in the crash while the 20-year-old carriage driver from Penn Yan was treated at the scene. The Yates County Sheriff’s Office say the sun’s glare and following too closely contributed to this accident.

 

30 More COVID Cases in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department reported on Friday that 30 more county residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,667 confirmed cases, 165 of which are currently active. Five individuals are associated with Hornell High School, Hornell Intermediate School, North Hornell Elementary, Prattsburgh Central and Wayland-Cohocton Elementary.

 

NY’s Statewide COVID Positivity Rate Drops to 1.45%
New York’s statewide 7-day average COVID positivity rate has dropped to 1.45%. That’s the lowest since October 28th and represents 34 straight days of decline. Hospitalizations have also dropped to just above, 2000 and that’s the lowest since November 15th. In the Southern Tier region, 64 people are in the hospital with virus-related issues. 

 

Body Found Saturday at Ithaca Falls Identified
Authorities have identified the body of a person found dead Saturday at Ithaca Falls. Phillip Zukowski was a Cornell University student. The sophomore transferred to the college last Fall. Ithaca police said the investigation is ongoing but at this time, police the death doesn’t appear to be criminal.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday May 8, 2021

30 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 30 additional Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,667 confirmed cases, 165 of which are currently active. Five individuals are associated with the following schools: Hornell High School, Hornell Intermediate School, North Hornell Elementary, Prattsburgh Central and Wayland-Cohocton Elementary.

 

Steuben County Historical Society recognizes county’s 225th anniversary

The Steuben County Historical Society is recognizing this year marks the 225th anniversary of the establishment of Steuben County. The county was created in 1796, with six original towns: Bath, Addison, Dansville, Canisteo, Corning, and Painted Post.

 

Accident on I-86 near Horseheads Walmart

The I-86 eastbound on ramp near the Walmart in Horseheads was closed yesterday afternoon after a two-vehicle accident. The accident occurred around 5:30 p.m. One car could be seen flipped over and the other had significant damage to the driver side. It is unknown at this time if there were any injuries.

 

New York State unemployment system to be audited by Comptroller

The New York State comptroller’s office is auditing the state’s unemployment system. Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s office said the audit began based on their assessment of “risk which includes complaints, large increases in payments, new programs and criteria, and changes to the IT.” NYS Republican Senator Ed Rath released a statement yesterday saying in part “From the very start of the pandemic the unemployment system in our State has been an absolute mess and the lack of transparency has been very concerning. Between residents being unable to receive the benefits they are due, to long wait times to overpayments and blatant fraud, there has been non-stop issues.”

 

Bath PD announces largest crack cocaine arrest in department’s history

The Bath Police Department has announced the largest crack cocaine arrest in the history of the department after $16,000 worth of crack cocaine was found on the 200 block of Campbell Street. 61-year-old Lawrence Rodgers was arrested during a traffic stop on two sealed Superior Court warrants for two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, all in the fifth degree. The arrest stemmed from the sale of crystal meth in the village in 2019. A search warrant was executed at Mr. Rodgers’ apartment where the crack cocaine was discovered. Mr. Rodgers was transported to the Steuben County Jail for arraignment.

 

Bath woman ticketed for horse and buggy crash in Yates County

A Bath woman has been ticketed after getting into an accident with a horse and buggy in Yates County Thursday morning that resulted in the death of one horse. Melissa Carney was driving eastbound on SR 54 in the Town of Benton when she struck a horse and buggy traveling in the same direction. According to the Yates County Sheriff, glare from the sun and following too closely were contributing factors to the accident. The 20-year-old Penn Yan man in the buggy was thrown from the buggy on impact and was treated for leg and neck stiffness. The horse was declared dead on the scene. Carney was ticketed for Failing to Use Due Care while Approaching a Horse. She will answer to that charge in the Town of Benton Court at a later date.

Today's Top Stories - Friday May 7, 2021

Bath PD announces largest crack cocaine arrest in department’s history

The Bath Police Department has announced the largest crack cocaine arrest in the history of the department after $16,000 worth of crack cocaine was found on the 200 block of Campbell Street. 61-year-old Lawrence Rodgers was arrested during a traffic stop on two sealed Superior Court warrants for two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, all in the fifth degree. The arrest stemmed from the sale of crystal meth in the village in 2019. A search warrant was executed at Mr. Rodgers’ apartment where the crack cocaine was discovered. Mr. Rodgers was transported to the Steuben County Jail for arraignment.

 

Bath woman ticketed for horse and buggy crash in Yates County

A Bath woman has been ticketed after getting into an accident with a horse and buggy in Yates County yesterday morning that resulted in the death of one horse. Melissa Carney was driving eastbound on SR 54 in the Town of Benton when she struck a horse and buggy traveling in the same direction. According to the Yates County Sheriff, glare from the sun and following too closely were contributing factors to the accident. The 20-year-old Penn Yan man in the buggy was thrown from the buggy on impact and was treated for leg and neck stiffness. The horse was declared dead on the scene. Carney was ticketed for Failing to Use Due Care while Approaching a Horse. She will answer to that charge in the Town of Benton Court at a later date.

 

New York State Police warn of new scam

The New York State Police are warning the public of a new scam in which people are showing up to people’s homes posing as lawyers or law enforcement officers and claiming a loved one is in jail and needs bail money. If targeted by this scam, you can submit a consumer frauds and protection bureau online complaint form

 

11 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 11 more county residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,637 confirmed cases, 160 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with Hugh Gregg Elementary and Wayland-Cohocton Elementary.

 

First-dose Pfizer vaccination clinic to be held next Monday at Hornell HS

The Steuben County Public Health Department will be holding a first-dose Pfizer vaccination clinic for anyone age 16 and older, beginning on Monday at 5:00 PM in the Hornell High School cafeteria. To attend the clinic, participants must pre-register for an appointment time using the link found on Public Health's COVID-19 page. Those age 16 and 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All clinic attendees must wear appropriate face coverings and will be expected to wait 15-30 minutes after vaccination for observation.  Attendees should wear short sleeves or appropriate clothing for vaccination.  For safe clinic flow and traffic patterns, registered participants should come to the clinic at their appointment time.  The clinic location and parking cannot accommodate participants showing up early.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday May 6, 2021

Budgets, tax increase proposals released for local schools

A handful of school districts in Steuben County have released their proposed budgets and tax increases for the year. Districts in Steuben County, such as Arkport, Bradford, Campbell-Savona, Hammondsport, and Wayland-Cohocton have proposed a tax rate increase ranging between .18-1.99 percent in Steuben County. Proposed budgets range from $10.1 million to $118.1 million.

 

31 COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 31 more county residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,626 confirmed cases, 160 of which are currently active. 10 individuals are associated with Alfred State College, Avoca Central, Dana Lyon Middle School, Haverling High School, Hornell High School, VEW Primary, and Wayland-Cohocton Elementary.

 

Wegmans to do away with self-serve food bars

Wegmans spokesperson Laura Camera says the store chain does not plan on returning their self-serve hot and cold food bars, which were shut down at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York State Department of Health released guidelines allowing buffets to come back, however, self-serve bars were not included. People can still get the same food that was at the self-serve bar, however, it will just be packaged.

 

NYS single day COVID-19 positivity rate lowest since October 2020

Governor Cuomo announced today that New York State’s single day COVID-19 positivity rate has dipped to 1.27%, the lowest figure since October 22nd 2020. The seven-day average for the Southern Tier is below 1%, the lowest of any region in the state. The seven-day average for the Finger Lakes region is at 2.7%

 

O’Mara pushing to exclude benefits from taxable income

State Senator Tom O’Mara is calling for the approval of legislation he co-sponsors to exclude unemployment benefits from state taxable income. O’Mara said this would keep New York State in line with action already taken by the federal government to exclude the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits from 2020 taxable income.  In the last COVID stimulus package, the federal government waived federal tax for households earning up to $150,000. Although states were given the same option to exclude unemployment benefits from taxable income, New York has yet to accept and is one of only 11 states to not take advantage of this tax break as the May 17th filing date nears.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday May 5th, 2021

Steuben Legislature Proclaims May 6-12th “National Nurses Week”
Yesterday, the Steuben County Legislature declared the week of May 6 – 12th, as National Nurses’ Week in Steuben County. National Nurses’ Week begins tomorrow and legislators urge all residents of Steuben County to help celebrate and recognize our nurses as an expression of our gratitude for all they do to keep our community healthy and safe.

 

Wegmans May Not Bring Back Self-Serve Food Bars
After Wegman’s shut down their self-serve hot and cold food bars due to the pandemic, customers may not be able help themselves to self-serve food again. Though the New York State Department of Health announced new guidelines following a drop in cases and rise in vaccinations, self-serve bars were not included but buffets were-under the condition they are staffed to serve customers. According to the Star Gazette, Wegmans does not plan on bringing self-serve bars back in the traditional, packaged way. For customers who must have a fresher option, they can order curbside pick-up or delivery through the Wegmans app.

 

NY Offers Free Public Health Training Course
A free citizen public health training program opens today offered by New York State in an effort to better-prepare residents for future public health emergencies. The online course consists of four-parts and made possible by the New York State Department of Health and Cornell University. According to the governor's office, "participants will learn about COVID-19, public health emergency preparedness and response, and other public health issues” and says the course will provide insight into information and resources for citizens to benefit their communities to be better prepared for the next pandemic. Information on how to sign up can be found here.

 

Steuben Health Dept. Reports 5 More COVID Deaths
Upon review of recent death certificate data, the Steuben County Public Health Department is reporting the deaths of five individuals who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 and had COVID listed as a cause of death on their death certificates.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 182.  The victims include an 81-year-old woman who lived at Absolut Care Three Rivers; and 89-year-old city of Hornell woman; an 86-year-old man from Bath; a 75-year-old male resident of the Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center and an 87-year-old female resident of the Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center.

 

Sheldon Silver Released from Federal Prison
Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been released from a federal prison on furlough, while he awaits potential placement to home confinement. That's according to The Associated Press. Silver was serving his more than six-year sentence at a federal prison in Otisville, New York, in a corruption case. The 77-year-old began serving his sentence in August after years of fending off going behind bars. He has a projected release date from federal custody in 2026.

 

12 More Residents Test Positive for COVID
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 12 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,595 confirmed cases, 141 of which are currently active.

 

Wayland Woman Arrested in Nunda Traffic Stop
Livingston County deputies have leveled felony and other counts against a Steuben woman. During a traffic stop in Nunda, deputies arrested 20-year-old Amya R. Kinney from Wayland. According to a press release she was allegedly in possession of approximately four point one (4.1) grams of suspected methamphetamine as well as a quantity of concentrated cannabis. Kinney was arrested and charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree related to the meth. She was arraigned and released. 

 

PA Lifting Pandemic Business Restrictions Memorial Day
Pennsylvania will lift COVID-19 restrictions on businesses on Memorial Day. The Wolf administration also said the state’s order on wearing masks in public will end when the state hits the target of 70% of residents 18 and older are vaccinated. Right now, just over 50% of eligible Pennsylvanians have been at least partially vaccinated. The Wolf administration said the state’s lifting of restrictions doesn’t prohibit municipalities or school districts from continuing with their own more aggressive measures if they desire to do so.

 

NY Vaccination Rate Increases, Infection Rate Drops
The New York vaccination rate is increasing as COVID-19 infections are decreasing. However, Governor Cuomo says it is not a time for New Yorkers to let their guards down. On Tuesday in New York, nearly 2,200 new COVID cases were confirmed with 264 more people admitted to hospitals statewide. The governor says…while the light at the end of the tunnel has never been brighter, this war isn’t over.

 

Corning Inc. Gives $25K to American Red Cross of Western NY
The American Red Cross of Western New York is proud to announce the organization is the recent recipient of a $25,000 gift from the Corning Incorporated Foundation. This generous gift continues the Foundation’s longtime support of the Red Cross mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies within Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties. It comes as part of the organization’s Sound the Alarm/Homes Made Safer campaign which seeks to educate more than 100,000 nationwide on home fire safety prevention efforts.

 

Allegany Health Dept. Reports Small Rise in COVID Cases
The Allegany County Department of health says it is seeing a small increase of COVID positive cases. Officials report 50 new positive COVID cases between Friday and Tuesday. They are also seeing an increase in positive cases in a younger population including cases severe enough to be hospitalized. As COVID-19 moves into the second year, officials say we all must remain diligent and continue to wear a mask, social distance, wash hands often, and get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Drive-Up Rabies Clinic Set for June at Cameron Town Barn
Steuben County Public Health announces a Drive-Up Rabies Clinic at the Cameron Town Barn Monday June 21st from 6 to 8pm. Participants must wear masks and follow social distance guidelines. Owners will wait in their vehicle and be given a clipboard to fill out their pet’s information. Cats must be confined and dogs must be leashed. The vet will have the owner and animal step outside the vehicle to get vaccinated. Please bring your own pen, $5 donation per each animal and proof of prior vaccination if applicable to receive a 3 year vaccine.

 

Steuben Prevention Coalition Offers Overdose and Naloxone Training
Steuben Prevention Coalition’s Opioid Committee holds a virtual training for Opioid Overdose Recognition & Naloxone Use on Wednesday May 12th from 7 to 8pm. This free training is being conducted by the Erie County Department of Health. To register, visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/erie-county-doh-opiod-overdose-recognition-naloxone-use-tickets-150194350345 

 

Reed Breaks Media Silence to Talk Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Following a media silence after his sex scandal and announcement he would not seek re-election, Congressman Tom Reed has issued a press release…and it’s an important one for area eateries. Rep. Reed provided constituents with new information regarding the opening of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund through the Small Business Administration.  He urges eligible businesses to apply to this program, which aims to help restaurants and other impacted businesses keep their doors open throughout the pandemic. Reed said while he didn’t support the plan, “this program is critical to the small businesses across the district.” The program provides funds equal to the revenue restaurants lost throughout the pandemic up to $10 million, but no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds will not need to be paid back by the businesses if the funds are used in the correct manner by March 11th, 2023.

 

Steuben Sees 177th COVID Death
COVID-19 has claimed another life in Steuben County. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 177.  The individual was a female resident of Steuben Center who died at the age of 90.

 

32 More Steuben Residents Test Positive for COVID
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 32 more residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday's update. This brings the total to 6,583 confirmed cases, 146 of which are currently active.

 

Turkey Season in NY Kicks Off, Continuing to May 31st
Turkey hunting season in New York has officially kicked off! The season started Saturday and runs continues to May 31st. The state DEC reminds people they have to be registered and have their turkey hunting permits which allows each hunter to harvest “two bearded turkeys, yet, only one per day." Hours are restricted from shortly before sunrise until noon because afternoon hours are when the birds are most active, and hunting then could disrupt their mating. It is estimated about 90,000 hunters already have their permits.

 

Steuben Observes International Firefighters' Day
Residents across Steuben County are urged to light their homes and social media in “red” today in recognition of International Firefighters’ Day. Office of Emergency Services Director Tim Marshall say he invites communities, businesses and fire departments to join in celebrating and highlighting the great work firefighters do every day, and to thank them for all that they do to keep us safe. The role of all firefighters, both volunteer and paid, has never been more important. International Firefighters’ Day was established in 1999. Marshall also noted the international recognition falls within National Arson Awareness Week – also an important time to reflect on the selfless dedication of firefighters.

 

Hornell Man Arrested for DWI
State Troopers arrested 22-year-old Jacob Dunn of Hornell. He was stopped in Wayland and charged with aggravated DWI. Court action is pending. 

 

State Passes Emergency Eviction Moratorium
The New York State Senate and Assembly passed legislation Monday night that extends the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction Moratorium. The bill protects tenants and small business owners from being evicted under certain circumstances. The extension will now go until August 31. The bill is headed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

 

Wayland Teen Arrested After Domestic Dispute
A Wayland teen…arrested…following a domestic dispute. The 15-year-old boy, charged with assault with intent to cause physical injury.

 

Wayland Man Arrested for Property Damage
A Wayland man gets facetime with a judge for allegedly recklessly causing property damage during a disturbance. Troopers leveled the charges against 20-year-old Sebastian Harvey.

 

7 Million New Yorkers Now Fully-Vaccinated
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that more than 7 million New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated. 91,035 doses have been administered across the state's vast distribution network in the last 48 hours, and more than 1.1 million doses have been administered over the past seven days.

Today's Top Stories - Monday, May 3rd, 2021

Cuomo Announces “Major Reopening” of NY May 19th
Today, Governor Cuomo announced a major reopening of New York as the state’s COVID numbers are at their lowest rates since October and a vaccine is now available. In about two weeks, New York, along with Connecticut and New Jersey, will end capacity restrictions in the tri-state area Wednesday May 19th. Despite lifted restrictions, the state will still abide by CDC guidelines on six feet of physical distancing, which could still restrict the capacity for some businesses. The new distance-based maximum capacity will apply across commercial settings, including retail, food services, gyms and fitness centers, amusement and family entertainment, hair salons, barber shops and other personal care services, among other settings. It will also apply in houses of worship.

 


 

Steuben to Celebrate International Firefighters’ Day in Red Tomorrow
Residents across Steuben County are urged to light their homes and social media in “red” tomorrow in recognition of annual International Firefighters’ Day. Steuben County Office of Emergency Services Director Tim Marshall invited communities, businesses, fire departments, and media to “join us in celebrating and highlighting the great work firefighters do every day, and to thank them for all that they do to keep us safe,”  and also noted the role of all firefighters, both volunteer and paid, has never been more important in Steuben county. International Firefighters’ Day was established in 1999 and also falls within National Arson Awareness Week – an important time to reflect on the selfless dedication of firefighters. Check out the social media campaign: #Shine4Firefighters

 

16 More COVID Cases Reported in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 16 more residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 6,551 confirmed cases, 176 of which are currently active. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says none of the latest cases received even one dose of a vaccine and that is often, but not always, the status of the new positives she has seen over the last couple months. 

 

Legislator Kelly Fitzpatrick Takes the Tyrtle Beach Plunge!

Steuben County Legislator Kelly Fitzpatrick jumped into lake Salubria Friday evening. WVIN was there, first responders and some witnesses. The jump was intentional, the cause valid. The Bath-area county representative was the 2021 jumper for the Tyrtle Beach campaign, an annual grass roots fundraising campaign that is organized by Steuben Youth Services Fund, Inc. to support youth programs in the Central Steuben County. Fitzpatrick admits…she’s not a fan of the water (tryle1). The event, launched in 1992, has raised more than $742,000. Make your donation online by the end of the month at www.tyrtlebeach.com
 

 

Canisteo-Greenwood High School Goes Remote for This Week
Changes this week for high school students at Canisteo-Greenwood. The district decided to go remote for the HIGH SCHOOL ONLY this week. All high school students will be required to follow their bell schedule remotely through Thursday. There will be NO ATHLETICS this week. In addition, there will be no in-person BOCES this week.

 

Michigan Woman Arrested in Corning
A Michigan woman is facing a series of charge after he was pulled over in the Town of Corning. State Troopers arrested 25-year-old Quanetta Waters. She was charged with three felony counts of possession ammo clips, two felonies of possessing loaded firearms, criminal possession of a controlled substance and aggravated unlicensed operation. Court action is pending. 

 

SeaBreeze Reopens May 22nd
Seabreeze Amusement Park plans to reopen later this month. Making the announcement on Facebook, the park plans to open May 22. Masks are required at all times while in the park, and guests must purchase tickets in advance.

 

Schumer Holds Afternoon Press Event Today in Dundee
Seeking to put a cork on problems facing New York’s wine industry, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer will reveal that decisions by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop collecting data on grape production vineyards in New York puts the Rochester-Finger Lakes region, the state’s grape and wine industries, and local economy, at risk. He’ll hold a press event this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Dundee. Schumer will say that the Rochester-Finger Lakes is currently a major producer of wine in the U.S., but these decisions by the feds to halt data collection could derail what keeps New York’s industry competitive with California, Washington State, and the world. 

 

Statewide COVID Rate Drops to New Low Since October
New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate has dropped to 1.49%, the lowest since October 28th. The governor says the numbers are trending in the right direction. The Southern Tier Region reports 64 COVID-related hospitalizations. Sixty-six people in the region are in intensive care.

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