WVIN News

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

Canisteo Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute and  Police Chase
Troopers say a domestic violence incident in the Village of Canisteo led to a Saturday afternoon police chase across the county. State Police say 32-year-old Jared Panipinto was involved in a domestic incident where he allegedly struck his wife several times and attempted to hit her with a chair. He left the home and was spotted by Canisteo Police, who attempted to stop him but were led onto a chase. A Canisteo Police vehicle was struck by Panipinto and the chase continued onto I-390 north. Stop sticks were used on I-390 to disable Panipinto’s vehicle. He was taken into custody and charged with felony assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, fleeing an officer, aggravated unlicensed operation, reckless driving, and acting in a manner injuring a child under the age of 17. Police also filed additional traffic violations.

 

Wayland Woman Arrested for Grand Larceny
Troopers report the arrest of a Wayland woman after she allegedly attempted to steal a safe containing a large amount of cash. Sheila McIntosh was arrested Saturday morning around 9:47 after a homeowner allegedly found her wheeling a safe out of a home on a dolly. McIntosh was known to the homeowner, but Troopers did not disclose what their relationship was. McIntosh was taken into custody and charged with grand larceny 2nd-degree. Then she was taken to Centralized Arraignment and released.

 

Horseheads Home Destroyed by Fire
A Horseheads home was heavily damaged early Saturday morning after a structure fire on Scenic Drive. First responders from an array of departments and districts were called to the scene around 2:50am. No injuries were reported, but the photos show the residence was devastated by the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

 

Pediatric COVID Vaccine Clinic Wednesday at Civil Defense Center
Steuben County Public Health Department holds a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for children ages 5-11 at the Civil Defense Training Center in Bath Wednesday from 1:30-5:30pm. Appointments are necessary. Adult clinics are currently being offered at the Training center every Friday from 10:00am-2:00pm. Registration information for all vaccination clinics can be found here.

 

Executive Order Limits Non-Essential Procedures in Hospitals
Governor Kathy Hochul signed an executive order that allows the NY State Dept of Health to limit “non-essential, non-urgent” procedures in hospitals or health care systems with already limited capacity.   

 

Nursing Homes Required to Make COVID Booster Shots Available
Gov. Hochul also announced that NY nursing homes will be required to make booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine available to all residents. The governor’s orders come as officials and health experts around the world monitor the spread of omicron, a new Covid variant. 

 

Donate Blood to Red Cross for Giving Tuesday Tomorrow
This year, people in NY and across the country faced great emergency needs as the ongoing pandemic made worse by the challenges related to severe disasters, blood shortages and global conflict.  On Giving Tuesday and during the holidays, visit redcross.org to make a financial donation or an appointment to give blood or platelets. Tomorrow, Canisteo’s American Legion Post 846 is having a blood drive from noon to 5pm. Individuals can also learn about volunteer opportunities in their area and give back in honor of American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, who initiated the first Red Cross chapter in the Western NY region, in Dansville, and whose 200th birthday will be commemorated on December 25th.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday November 27th, 2021

Public Health Offering Pediatric COVID Vaccine Clinic Wednesday
Steuben County Public Health Department hosts a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinic for kids age 5-11 on Wednesday, December 1st from 1:30 - 5:30PM at the Civil Defense Training Center on State Route 54 in Bath. Participants must pre-register; walk-ins will not be accepted. To register and for more information, visit: http://www.steubencony.org/covid

 

Small Business Today Today in Hammondsport
Following a day after Black Friday, today is Small Business Saturday where local small towns like Hammondsport are encouraging shoppers to check out the deals from small businesses to support the local economy. In Hammondsport, over 20 local businesses will offer discounts for the day. The Chamber of Commerce will raffle off gift certificates to shoppers who use their game card-style map to visit multiple shops throughout the day. Hammondsport Children’s Center will offer drop-in childcare to keep the kids occupied while you shop! For those of you online shoppers, Cyber Monday will kick off the upcoming week on the 29th. 

 

COVID Positivity Rate Up in County and Region
The Southern Tier is currently at a 5.13 percent COVID positivity rate. Steuben county saw 138 new positives from Monday through Wednesday. Governor Hochul highly encouraged people to get vaccinated and/or their booster shots if they have not done so already. County Manager Jack Wheeler applauded the Hochul Administration and their commitment to working with local governments. Wheeler was hopeful the state can work with local government to help the county increase its testing capability, adding that county and local governments need additional state support to set up more testing sites as many care providers are becoming increasingly busy and cannot keep up with testing demand. Wheeler also remarked vaccination clinics that would not fill up in the summertime and early fall have now been completely full for the past month.

 

Bath Brewfest Donates $2,500 to Bath PBD’s K-9 Fund
The Bath Craft, Wine & Brewfest donated $2,500 to the Bath PBA’s Police K9 fund and the PBA happily accepted it, thanking the Craft, Wine & Brewfest for helping them reach their goal. Brewfest thanked the community for the support that made the funding possible and allowed them to make this donation.

 

STOP-DWI Crackdown in Effect All Weekend
Local law enforcement agencies are reminding everyone that the STOP-DWI Impaired Driving High Visibility Engagement Campaign is still in effect this holiday weekend until Sunday to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.  Expect traffic stops and sobriety checkpoints while on the roadways.

Today's Top Stories - Black Friday November 26th, 2021

Small Business Saturday Tomorrow in Hammondsport
Today is Black Friday where we officially enter the Christmas shopping season with plenty of chances to score great deals in stores as well as online. Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday where local small towns like Hammondsport are encouraging shoppers to check out the deals from small businesses to support the local economy. In Hammondsport, over 20 local businesses will offer discounts for the day. The Chamber of Commerce will raffle off gift certificates to shoppers who use their game card-style map to visit multiple shops throughout the day. Hammondsport Children’s Center will offer drop-in childcare to keep the kids occupied while you shop! For those of you online shoppers, Cyber Monday will kick off the upcoming week on the 29th. 

 

COVID Positivity Rate Up in County and Region
Yesterday the Governor’s office reported the Southern Tier is currently at a 5.13 percent COVID positivity rate. Hochul said she’s thankful for the vaccinated and her office says about 700,000 doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered in the last week. Hochul highly encourages people to get vaccinated and/or their booster shots if they have not done so already. Hochul also reminds people to wear a mask in public indoor places. Steuben county saw 138 new positives from Monday through Wednesday.

 

Bath Brewfest Donates $2,500 to Bath PBD’s K-9 Fund
The Bath Craft, Wine & Brewfest donated $2,500 to the Bath PBA’s Police K9 fund and the PBA happily accepted it, thanking the Craft, Wine & Brewfest for helping them reach their goal. Brewfest thanked the community for the support that made the funding possible and allowed them to make this donation.

 

Two Steuben County Women Honored for their Service to Community
Two Steuben County women were honored for their lifelong commitment to the community’s elder and younger residents.  Linda Tetor of Bath and Joan Watkins of Woodhull were both honored during a virtual ceremony in Albany that celebrated Old NYers Day, that recognizes seniors from across the state.  Throughout NY State, over 935,000 individuals aged 55 or older contribute 495 million hours of service to their communities annually. 

 

Fewer Arrested for Marijuana Offenses in NY
Fewer people are being arrested on marijuana offenses in NY State.  According to the state Division of Criminal Justice Services from Apr. - Oct. of this year, just 116 people statewide were arrested for top-level misdemeanor or felony charges related to marijuana possession or sale in NY.  In 2020, after NY lawmakers took steps to decrease marijuana penalties but before they legalized certain amounts of the substance, there were 2,720 misdemeanor or felony marijuana arrests.  And in 2017, there were 28,239 misdemeanor marijuana arrests alone. 

 

Man Who Worked at Dansville CSD Arrested for Child Porn
A teacher from Batavia has been arrested and is facing multiple child pornography charges.  Federal prosecutors say 29-year-old Derek Hagen traded child porn with people online.  Investigators took 2 computers and a cell phone from his apartment and found around 50,000 images and videos of child pornography.  Hagen has held several teaching positions, most recently, in the Dansville Central School District. 

 

STOP-DWI Crackdown in Effect All Weekend
Local law enforcement agencies are reminding everyone that the STOP-DWI Impaired Driving High Visibility Engagement Campaign is still in effect until Sunday in an effort to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.  Expect traffic stops and sobriety checkpoints while on the roadways.

 

Today's Top Stories - Thanksgiving Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Law Enforcement Continues Thanksgiving DWI Crackdown
County Sheriff Jim Allard said Steuben County police agencies will participate in special efforts to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving this Thanksgiving weekend. The Statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign weekend initiative continues through Sunday, November 28th. While on the road, expect traffic stops and sobriety checkpoints

 

Officials Concerned About Steuben’s Pre-Holiday COVID Surge
The Southern Tier region’s recent COVID surge has  resulted in a five percent positivity rate compared to 0.64 percent positivity six months ago. Two days ago Steuben County officials held an extensive meeting regarding rapidly-increasing COVID cases. Cases have spiked due to more people going maskless and gathering indoors and County Manager Jack Wheeler says despite emergency rooms at hospitals across the county being near or at full capacity, he nor Public Health Director Darlene Smith can institute a mask mandate because such a mandate is up to the legislature. Regarding a possible mandate made by the legislature, Wheeler told WETM “it does not look like that’s the direction that the county is going to go in,” Current county COVID data can be found at the Steuben County COVID-19 Dashboard.Experts say vaccination is key to sooner ending the pandemic, but masks are effective at preventing the spread.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest
Last Friday at 1am, Bath Police say they responded to Mechanic Street in the village of Bath after receiving calls from multiple people stating a disorderly subject was yelling and playing loud music. Officers found a parked car running with its windows down and radio playing loudly. Officers went to the door of the house and were met by 26-year-old Bath man Antonio Steffon, who was wielding a sledgehammer and used it to smash the house’s door window. Officers were able to convince him to exit the house without the sledge hammer. Steffon appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, but officers calmed and quieted him down then issued him a warning for noise yet the man refused to give officers his name. Minutes later, police heard more loud noise coming from the residence. Upon police returning, Steffon was standing in the yard wearing a ballistic helmet and a body armor plate carrier with knives. He was confrontational toward officers then Steuben County Sheriff’s deputies joined the Bath PD.  They approached Steffon at gunpoint and with tasers drawn. He was physically restrained, placed into handcuffs and then taken into custody. Steffon was charged with disorderly conduct, refusal to submit to arrest, and criminal mischief. He will answer to the charges at a later date.

 

Former Dansville School Employee Arrested for Child Porn Charges
A 29-year old Batavia man Derek Hagen who had a history of working in schools and in child-care, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with producing, receiving, distributing, and possessing child pornography. Hagen’s charges carry a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 30 years. According to the complaint, in September 2020, Snapchat sent a cyber tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a user that had uploaded images of child pornography to a group chat. This lead was traced and Hagen was identified. July of this year, investigators confiscated two computers and a cell phone from Hagen’s apartment in Mount Morris. Forensic analysis uncovered a pattern of child exploitation activity on them with the defendant actively producing and distributing child pornography in online chats. Hagen and others in these chats traded child pornography and discussed specific children that they had sexually abused or wanted to sexually abuse. To date, approximately 50,000 of images and videos of child pornography were recovered on Hagen’s devices. Hagen worked in several teaching, substitute teaching, and child-care positions in the Western New York region: most recently with the Dansville Central School District. Anyone with information related to this case are asked to contact Homeland Security Investigations at (716) 464-6070 or hsibuffalotips@ice.dhs.gov.

 

Schuyler County Needs Information About the Late Richard Seeley
Schuyler County is working with the mother of a late man’s child to establish a reward for information concerning the death of Richard Seeley: a 43-year old town of Orange man who was found dead inside of his Templar Road home in August 2020. Seeley suffered a puncture wound to his chest and lungs. The reward is being offered by Crystal Butler, who had a child with Seeley. Schuyler Sheriff’s Department encourages anyone with information on this case please contact the tip line at (607) 535 – 8224.


(Pictured: Richard Seeley)

 

AAA Reminds Holiday Weekend Drivers of ThruWay Construction
AAA forecasts that 53.4 million people will fill planes, trains, and automobiles for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday- a 13% jump from last year, and only 5% fewer than the number of travelers in 2019 before the pandemic. Airline travel is expected to be understaffed yet at pre-pandemic levels which unfortunately could mean long lines and delayed flights for some. For those traveling across the state by car, AAA reminds that Thruway construction continues. Though the project is phased so it doesn't impact the entire stretch of the Thruway, construction is taking place at every other rest stop that has access to amenities like restrooms and food and beverage services. Fuel services should be  available at all locations. The Thruway Authority has more information here.

 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday November 24th, 2021

Health Director Smith Speaks on Steuben’s COVID Surge
Steuben County has 425 total active COVID-19 cases and recently seen 90 to 100 new cases daily according to Public Health Director Darlene Smith. She says that number is very concerning and explained the difference in the surge the county is seeing this fall compared to one year ago. The increase in cases is impacting the county’s hospitals with St. James in Hornell at capacity and Hornell diverting ambulances for treatment of non-critical patients. Public Health reported two more COVID-related deaths Tuesday, marking 241 COVID-19 deaths for the county since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

 

Three Retiring County Legislators Honored Monday
Steuben County legislators took time Monday to recognize three of their peers set to retire from legislative office at the end of the year. The combined service of legislators Robin Lattimer, R-Bath (11), Thomas Ryan, R-Canisteo (11) and Gary Roush, R-Erwin (12) was honored for having a wide-ranging impact on all county residents.

 

Steuben Sees 2 More COVID Deaths
Steuben County Public Health Dept reports the death of 2 more residents who had previously tested positive for COVID.  A 74-year-old female from the Town of Erwin and a 70-year-old male from the Town of Campbell.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 241.   

 

Bath Woman Arrested for Grand Larceny and Forgery
A 58-year-old Bath woman has been arrested for allegedly receiving more than $1,600 in social benefits that she was not entitled to. Anita Bowen was arrested by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office 2 days ago for allegedly providing false information “with intent to defraud” to the county Department of Social Services and thus received $1,607 in benefits she was not entitled to. Bowen was charged with fourth-degree Grand Larceny and first-degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing, both felonies. She was released to appear in the Village of Bath Court at a later date.

 

 Law Enforcement Begins Thanksgiving DWI Crackdown
County Sheriff Jim Allard announced today that Steuben County police agencies will participate in special efforts to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving this Thanksgiving weekend-one of the busiest travel seasons of the year. Troopers will also participate in this Statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign. The Thanksgiving weekend initiative begins today and runs through Sunday, November 28th. While on the road, expect traffic stops and sobriety checkpoints.

 

Hochul Announces $3 Million in Tele-Health Funding
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a $3 million grant program to invest in new technologies that will improve access and adoption of tele-health in underserved communities.  This program will support community health providers to purchase audiovisual and remote monitoring devices and work with other community partners to establish physical tele-health spaces in places such as libraries, homeless shelters, pharmacies and other locations.  

 

MODERN WIC Act Would Make Program More Accessible
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the MODERN WIC Act, a bill to make WIC programs more accessible to those who need and use them.  It would allow families to certify and recertify for services remotely, and provide $60 million in funding for WIC offices to upgrade and add technology for these changes.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

St. James in Hornell at Capacity As Non-Critical Patients Diverted
Saint James Mercy Hospital in Hornell is at full capacity. The Hornell Fire Department reports their ambulances will temporarily divert non-critical patients to the nearest accepting facility-which is an upwards of 60 minutes and 60 miles away. The Hornell Fire Department updated the public on Facebook, adding not to hesitate dialing 911 in an emergency. Critical patients will not be affected.

 

COVID Boosters Available Friday 12/3 at Civil Defense Training Center
Steuben County Public Health says they maxed out on COVID booster slots for this Friday's clinic at Civil Defense Training Center and can only accept walk-ins or registrations for first time or second doses.  Anyone seeking a booster shot is encouraged to register now for the next clinic on December 3rd at: www.steubencony.org/covid. Regular clinics will be held every Friday from 10am to 2pm at the Civil Defense Training Center.

 

Reed Says Infrastructure Bill Will Better-Connect District to Broadband
The $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package was signed into law last week and  funding will begin making its way down to local projects, including broadband internet access. State assessments show that counties in our Southern Tier as well as the Catskills region have some of the slowest and spottiest broadband coverage in the state. Local Congressman Tom Reed, who was one of only 13 Republicans in the house to vote for the bill, says he worked with West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin  to make sure grant funding will ensure broadband will be run off of main roads and into less populated rural areas that are not as well-connected- and often referred to as the “last mile.” Reed said West Virginia is similar to the Southern Tier in that they both face similar issues of “getting that last mile of broadband put in the ground and distributed out there for access to people and rural communities in particular...”  The specifics of how funding will be distributed at the local level are still being determined but Congressman Reed expects it will work similar to how existing federal infrastructure funding is distributed.

 

 

O’Mara Applauded Making Nourish NY Program Permanent
State Senator Tom O’Mara applauded the recent enactment of legislation he co-sponsored to make the Nourish New York program permanent after being unanimously approved in the State Senate and Assembly and signed by Governor Hochul 3 days ago. The legislation directs the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to provide financial and technical support for the development of a permanent initiative to provide surplus New York agricultural products to communities in need. The distribution is facilitated through the state’s network of food banks and other emergency food providers.  The new law seeks an expansion of the current program and will also complement related efforts, such as the Farm-to-School program. He said about the Nourish NY Program: “Local food banks and farmers recognized the opportunity to join together to address the twin challenges of food insecurity and struggling farms, and it has made an enormous difference for farmers, food banks, and countless New Yorkers in need.  I have been proud to help sponsor and strongly support making this program a permanent fixture of New York State investment,” said O’Mara.  

 

Hochul Says Feeding NYS Donating 3,200 Thanksgiving Turkeys
Governor Hochul announced 3,200 turkeys will be distributed throughout every region of New York State through food banks thanks to donations and a partnership with Feeding New York State. Hochul thanked the kindness of corporations statewide who worked with Feeding NYS to ensure turkeys will be on the tables of over 3,000 households this Thanksgiving holiday. Companies that made the turkeys possible include: Amazon.com, Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, Golub Family Foundation, UJA-Federation of New York, China General Chamber of Commerce, MetLife, and Geico. Hochul also encourages anyone who has not yet gotten vaccinated or those who are vaxxed but don't have their 3rd booster shot, to do so in time to gather with family for Thanksgiving and the upcoming Christmas holiday. You can learn more about Nourish NY here.

 

Property Owners Will See Decline in Steuben County Taxes
Property owners in Steuben County will see a drop in their county taxes, on average, of $0.15 per $1,000 full assessed value in 2022.  The drop is the result of the county Legislature adopting the 2022 budget of $221 million which includes a tax levy of $51.5 million. 

 

Opening Delayed for County Route 115 Bridge in Erwin
The opening of the $4.2 million CR 115 bridge over the Canisteo River in the Town of Erwin will be held back until May of 2022, with Steuben County legislators citing unanticipated problems such as supply chain issues, and shortages of materials and labor force, forcing the delay.  Motorists will be advised to continue to use the marked detour until the project is completed. 

 

Hochul Announces Over $6 million in Grants to Prevent Gun Violence
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $6.2 million in grants to expand community and hospital-based gun violence intervention programs in communities across the state that have experienced significant increases in shootings and firearm-related murders over the past year. Continuing the State's collaboration with communities facing increased gun violence, the funding will allow nonprofit organizations and hospitals to hire 90 new outreach workers, violence interrupters and social workers who will work to reduce gun violence through mediation, mentoring and community engagement, and addressing the trauma experienced by victims of violence and their families.

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

Man Arrested on 18 Charges; Bath’s Shelter in Place Order Lifted
Bath Police arrested 34-year-old man Kenneth Mikko on multiple weapons, imprisonment, and child endangerment charges after an eight-hour manhunt in the village, resulting in the weekend’s shelter in place order. Mikko is currently on NYS parole and was arrested for allegedly stealing a pickup truck from a business in the Village of Bath and drove it to another location when it ran out of gas. Police say he fled the scene with several items from the truck, including two rifles. As patrols attempted to locate him, they received a report of an incident involving someone matching his description. Mikko allegedly forcibly entered a home on Shannon Street and wouldn’t let the residents leave. Bath Police responded by issuing the shelter in place announcement as Mikko said he would use the rifles against police. Police eventually found and arrested Mikko at a local motel without incident. Mikko faces a total of 18 charges which include Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Unlawful Imprisonment, Burglary, Menacing, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and more. He was remanded to the Steuben County Jail to appear at the Centralized Arraignment Court at a later date. Mikko was later arrested again that day for allegedly damaging a digital signature pad during the intake portion in the Steuben County Jail. The shelter in place order was lifted yesterday morning.

Addison Woman Arrested for Larceny
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports yesterday deputies arrested 26-year-old Tianna K. Decker of Addison following an investigation into a reported theft in Bath. It is alleged that Decker stole credit card information and made unauthorized purchases with that information. She was charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, and Petit Larceny. Decker was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and remanded to the Steuben County Jail in lieu of fifty dollars bail. 


Bath Man Arrested for Violating Order of Protection
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Saturday, deputies arrested 29-year-old Christian J. Tobias of Bath following an investigation into a reported violation of a stay away order of protection. Tobias allegedly violated a duly served stay away order of protection while in Bath. Tobias allegedly also has a previous conviction for a designated family offense within the previous five years. He was charged with Aggravated Family Offense then arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and held in the Steuben County Jail pending a bail hearing in Steuben County Court.

 

Erratic Driver Arrested for DWI on I-86
Troopers say they arrested an erratic driver on I-86 in Steuben County Friday night around 10pm for driving while intoxicated. State police responded after they received a complaint of an erratic operator on I-86. Troopers patrolled the area and found the vehicle and conducted a vehicle traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle, Conor Kilcoyne, was found to be intoxicated. Kilcoyne was arrested for driving while intoxicated and other traffic infractions.

 

County Legislature Tackled 2022 Budget and Packed Agenda Today
A public hearing on the proposed 2022 Steuben County budget began 11:30 this morning in the Steuben County Annex.  Steuben’s proposed spending plan of $221 million carries a slight increase in next year’s tax levy of $51.5 million. The Steuben County Legislature also meets today with a packed agenda to include improving emergency communications and extending the date for completion of County Route 115 bridge in the Town of Erwin. 

 

HEAP Application Period Open Now Through Winter
The New York Public Service Commission says this year, electric and natural gas bills are expected to be higher than last year, with natural gas projected to increase by an average of about 21% statewide. Propane’s price increased about 30% since last winter according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Propane Pricing Dashboard. New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program or HEAP helps low-income people with the cost of heating their homes. Qualified applicants may receive one regular HEAP benefit per season and could be eligible for an emergency HEAP benefit if they are in impending danger of running out of fuel or having their utility service shut off. Emergency HEAP benefit applications for the current season will open on January 3, 2022. The application period for this season opened last month and continues through the winter season until HEAP program funding runs out. HEAP can help those who heat their homes with electricity, natural gas, oil, coal, propane, wood or wood pellets, kerosene and corn. Click here to see if you may be eligible.

  

Hochul Announces $6 Million in Funding for Animal Shelter Upgrades
Governor Kathy Hochul announced over $6 million is available to support critical upgrades at NY's animal shelters.  This is the 4th round of funding for NY State's Companion Animal Capital Fund, which helps eligible organizations to make major improvements to their facilities and enhance animal care and health.  

 

Hochul Signs off to Make Nourish NY Program Permanent
Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation enshrining the Nourish NY program permanently in state law. The initiative reroutes NY's surplus agricultural products to the populations who need them most through the state's food banks. The signing of this legislation comes just before Thanksgiving, reaffirming NY's commitment to providing support to those facing food insecurity across the state.   

 

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

Village of Bath Waiving Parking Ticket Late Fees
The Village of Bath is waiving late fees for some parking tickets as the holiday season begins. The Village says it is waiving all late fees for parking tickets that are over five years old so long as they’re paid in person at the Bath Police Department before January 1st, 2022. The Village of Bath can also look up your lost ticket by using your license plate number.

 

30-year-old Bath Man Arrested in Canandaigua for 2020 Incident
A 30-year-old Bath man  was arrested in the city of Canandaigua on several charges after an investigation into a disturbance last November. Derek Meyer was charged with criminal contempt, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass after the incident on Bristol Street in November 2020- according to a news release. Meyer had contact with a person who was a protected party in a court order and after that contact with the person illegally, he damaged property while inside the individual’s property. Meyer was arraigned and released.

 

St. James Reports Worst COVID Surge Since Pandemic’s Beginning
In a press release today, St. James Hospital officials addressed what they say is a concerning number of COVID cases within the health system and  states it is seeing the highest number of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020. CEO Bryan O’Donovan called the spike the worst surge they have seen since the start of the pandemic. This comes as Steuben County Public Health Department reported 142 new COVID cases and 2 new deaths 2 days ago. Also as of Wednesday, 542 community members were reported as actively battling the virus. 49 were breakthrough cases with 29 residents hospitalized. Health officials say statistics show 66% of those in the hospital are not vaccinated. Residents in Steuben County are urged to take precautions as the holiday season ramps up.

 

County Legislature Meets Monday At 10am With Packed Agenda
Improved emergency communications and extending the date for the completion of a county bridge in the Town of Erwin tops a packed agenda for the Steuben County Legislature when it meets in regular session at 10 am Monday in the Steuben county Annex in Bath. Legislators are likely to accept over $766,000 from the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications to facilitate public safety communications. Funds will support and enhance statewide interoperable communications for first responders. Citing unforeseen complications, it is expected approval will be given to delay the opening of the County Route 115 bridge over the Canisteo River in the Town of Erwin until May 2022.

Other agenda items include:

· Transferring 8.86 acres in the Town of Urbana on State Route 54 to the New York State Department

of Environmental Conservation to add the property to the state's Cold Brook Management Program.

· Authorizing a Contingent Fund transfer of $200,000 for medical costs at the county Jail.

· Authorizing a Contingent Fund transfer of up to $36,047 for additional Finger Lakes SPCA costs due

to recent multiple animal rescues.

Appropriating $200,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Steuben County

Agricultural Society.

Appropriating $150,000 in ARPA funds to the Steuben County Conference & Visitors’ Bureau.

 

Corning Man Arrested on Outstanding Bench Warrant
32-year-old Corning Man William Leo Melock was arrested yesterday by Chemung County Sheriff deputies on an outstanding bench warrant. The warrant for Melock was issued by the Big Flats Town Court back on September 30th of this year. Melock was wanted for May 2021 petit larceny and trespass charges at Target on County Route 64. He was issued an appearance ticket and will appear in Big Flats Town Court at a later date.

 

NYS DOL Reports Private Sector Job Growth for Month of October
According to preliminary figures released by the New York State Department of Labor, the number of private sector jobs in New York State increased last month by 41,300, or 0.5%, to 7,588,600. Similarly, the number of private sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 0.5% in October 2021. The number of private sector jobs in New York State is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York businesses conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

 

New State Proposal Could Eliminate Minimum Sentencing Laws
A new state proposal in Albany is calling on the New York State prison system with some state lawmakers wanting to eliminate the minimum sentencing laws entirely. Opponents of minimum sentencing say judges should have the discretion to decide the sentence based on individual circumstances.  Supporters say this policy shift could threaten public safety. 

 

NYSP Warn of New Phone Scam Where Callers Impersonate Troopers
The NY State Police warn against a phone scam where callers are claiming to be state troopers.  Scammers falsely claim to be a member of the NY State Police and that charges are pending against the person.  Then they request money or bank information. The State Police will never solicit for money, or ask for personal information over the phone. 

 

NY Starts Digital Awareness Campaign for Heating & Utility Assistance
Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new digital campaign intended to raise awareness of the various state programs available to assist those who need help paying heating and utility expenses.  With prices expected to spike this season, the campaign will include tips on how to deal with higher-than-average home heating costs.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday, November 19th, 2021

Steuben Reported 155 New Cases of COVID Yesterday
Steuben County yesterday reported 155 new COVID cases just since Wednesday, with 65% of those residents testing positive being unvaccinated. COVID cases continue to surge as we soon are set to begin this holiday season.  Friday’s report says Steuben County’s total number of active cases is now 539-the highest since the beginning of 2021. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says she hopes residents take this surge “seriously and can do their part in helping to make the community safer”, calling this spike “a very perilous time now.” Smith attributes the recent decrease in people’s natural immunity to the spread as it takes about six months for the average immune system to become vulnerable again after vaccination and Smith highly encourages residents to get booster shots.  Steuben County plans to provide more appointments for booster shots on December 3rd. To sign up for a vaccination or booster shot, visit Steuben County’s website here.

 

Elderly Chemung County Man Missing
Officials continue their search for missing elderly man John Kaysa in Chemung County. Chemung County Sheriff’s Office says Kaysa was last seen at his home on Tuesday, November 16th at about 10:30 a.m. and reported missing on Thursday. Kaysa is 78 years old and is possibly driving a gray-colored 2014 Honda CRV with a license plate number of AEL8426. Anyone with information on Kaysa’s whereabouts is asked to contact law enforcement.

 

Village of Bath Waiving Parking Ticket Late Fees
The Village of Bath is waiving late fees for some parking tickets as the holiday season begins. The Village says it is waiving all late fees for parking tickets that are over five years old so long as they’re paid in person at the Bath Police Department before January 1st, 2022. The Village of Bath can also look up your lost ticket by using your license plate number.

 

30-year-old Bath Man Arrested in Canandaigua for 2020 Incident
A 30-year-old Bath man  was arrested in the city of Canandaigua on several charges after an investigation into a disturbance last November. Derek Meyer was charged with criminal contempt, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass after the incident on Bristol Street in November 2020- according to a news release. Meyer had contact with a person who was a protected party in a court order and after that contact with the person illegally, he damaged property while inside the individual’s residence. Meyer was arraigned and released.

 

County Legislature Meets Monday At 10am With Packed Agenda
Over $776,000 in Homeland Security funding going to improved emergency interopable communications in the county and delaying the County Rte. 115 bridge in the Town of Erwin both top a packed agenda for the Steuben County Legislature when it meets in regular session at 10 am Monday in the Steuben county Annex in Bath.
Other agenda items include:
·Appropriating $200,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Steuben County Agricultural Society.
·Appropriating $150,000 in ARPA funds to the Steuben County Conference & Visitors’ Bureau.
· Transferring 8.86 acres in the Town of Urbana on State Route 54 to the New York State DEC to add the property to the state's Cold Brook Management Program.
· Authorizing a Contingent Fund transfer of $200,000 for medical costs at the county Jail.
· Authorizing a Contingent Fund transfer of up to $36,047 for additional Finger Lakes SPCA costs due to recent multiple animal rescues.

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

Bath Man Arrested on Drug Charges in Savona
Bath man Ryan Whittrock was arrested by Steuben County Sheriff Deputies on drug charges after a foot chase in Savona earlier today. Deputies responded to a report of a person screaming on Main Street in the Village of Savona. They found Wittrock, who was upset over the overdose of an acquaintance and had been previously indicted by a Steuben County Grand Jury and had two active Indictment Warrants. Whitlock allegedly attempted to resist his arrest by running but deputies were able to detain Wittrock and take him into custody. The Sheriff’s Office says Wittrock allegedly both sold and possessed suspected controlled substances based on an investigation. He was charged with felony Criminal Sales of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, felony Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and Obstructing Governmental Administration in the Second Degree. Wittrock was held in the Steuben County Jail pending a bail hearing in Steuben County Court.

 

This Week’s Bench Trial for Crash that Fatally Killed Masti Continues
Yesterday and Monday, family and community members gathered outside of the Steuben County Courthouse in Bath as a call for justice in the death of Donnie Masti who was struck and killed in a May 2019 pedestrian accident. Tonya Smith was arrested and appeared in the Steuben County Supreme Court for a bench trial to answer to her charges that began Monday at 9:15 a.m. State Police in Bath say they responded to a fatal vehicle versus pedestrian accident on State Route 415 in the town of Bath and that Masti was attempting to cross State Route 415 when he was allegedly struck near Roosevelt Ave by Smith, who was driving with a blood alcohol content in excess of .18% at the time of the crash. This trial was delayed, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 Smith was indicted for manslaughter in the second degree, aggravated vehicular manslaughter, and reckless endangerment in October 2019. Smith posted $25,000 bail in the Bath Town Court and was released. This trial is pending and WVIN will keep you updated on this story as it develops.

 

2 More COVID Deaths in Steuben County & 142 More Cases Reported
The Steuben County Public Health Dept received notification of the deaths of 2 more county residents who previously tested positive for COVID.  A 74-year-old Town of Lindley woman and an 85-year-old woman from Town of Hornby are the latest deaths as the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the county is now 239. Steuben Public Health also reports another 142 positive cases of COVID.

 

Dept of Corrections Says Release of Eric Smith Delayed
The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision reports the release of Eric Smith has been delayed because Smith does not yet have an approved address upon his release. Smith has been in prison since he was 13 after his conviction for the 1993 murder of four-year-old Derrick Robie for almost 28 years and was recently granted parole. Smith was scheduled to be released yesterday, but due to an issue with his release plan and residency he was held in prison and not yet released. According to transcripts, Smith expressed in previous hearings that he would like to start a job in electrical installation or carpentry fabrication and relocate to Savona once he’s out of prison, but some members of the Savona community are still haunted by the memory of Robie’s murder. Last night, a community group held a march and vigil to remember the late 4-year-old Derrick Robie. New York State Department of Corrections will make the final approval on when Smith is released  and once he’s out of prison will likely monitor Smith for the rest of his life.

 

12-year-old Arrested After Corning Painted Post Middle School Fight
State Police say a 12-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday after a fight outside the Corning-Painted Post Middle School. WETM reports the arrest was around 1:00pm and stemmed from a fight reported on October 21st at 5:00pm. The boy is charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

 

Schumer & Gillibrand Urge FEMA to Reverse Steuben Aid Denial
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released a letter urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reverse their decision to deny Individual Assistance to Steuben County flood victims.  The disaster declaration unlocked potentially millions of dollars in federal aid to help local governments with recovery and clean up.  However, Individual Assistance was denied for Steuben County, which would provide direct aid to families and individuals. 

 

NYS Health Dept. Updates Nursing Home Visiting Guidance
The NY State Dept of Health issued new visitation guidance for nursing homes so that it more closely aligns with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ recommendations.  The guidance is intended to ensure that nursing homes are not unnecessarily restricting visitations, meaning there will be no limitations on the frequency and length of visits or the number of visitors.  Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will still be barred from coming into nursing home facilities until they’re finished with their quarantine period. 

 

NY State of Health Enrollment Now Open for 2022
NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan marketplace, has announced its enrollment for 2022 Qualified Health Plans is now open.  The coverage for these plans begins on Jan. 1st.  The marketplace provides low-cost health insurance options, with a choice of Qualified Health Plans in every county.  The marketplace also offers expanded tax credits through the American Rescue Plan Act. 


Hochul Announces $25 Million in Grants for Farmworker Conditions
Governor Hochul announced a new $25 million package in grants and loans to improve housing conditions for farmworkers and to protect the health and safety of this critical workforce.  The Farmworker Safety Housing Grant Program will fund the rehabilitation and replacement of existing substandard farmworker housing.

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

Eric Smith Will Not Yet Be Released from Prison
Due to his sentencing terms, Eric Smith will not be released from prison. The now 41-year-old was scheduled to be released from prison after serving a 27 year term for the 1993 killing of 4-year-old Derrick Robie when Smith was only 13 years old. Smith was granted parole last month but due to not having an approved residence – Smith could not be released. Even if released, his sentencing terms mean he will be monitored by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for the rest of his life. Smith must present a plan for life after prison, which includes potential employment and a residence. Tonight, local Facebook group called “Justice for the Robie’s” holds a peaceful candlelight walk in Savona starting at 4:45pm at the intersection of Rt. 415 and East Lamoka Avenue. The march will end at Robie’s memorial near the Little League baseball fields in Savona. 

 

Bath Man Arrested for Welfare Fraud
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports investigators arrested 53-year-old Lawrence W. Brown of Bath. From July 2020 to October 2020, Mr. Brown allegedly knowingly and with intent to defraud the Steuben County Department of Social Services, provided false information and received $1,164.50 in benefits he was not entitled to. Brown was charged with one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree. Brown was released on an Appearance Ticket to reappear in the Village of Bath Court.

 

Hochul Willing to Work on Changing Bail Reform Laws
Binghamton station WBNG reports Governor Hochul announced that she's willing to work with the state legislature on potential changes to the state's bail reform laws implemented just before the pandemic in January of 2020. These bail reform laws eliminated cash bail for most non-violent offenders in an initiative to wipe out injustices in the criminal justice system-policies many blame them for a rise in crime. Hochul did not say if she is in favor of changing the controversial laws, but she did say she's open to talking with legislators.

 

Elmira Man Arrested in Car Chase After Fleeing Trial Last Month
After being captured in Pennsylvania, Elmira man Courtney Cade, who fled his trial last month in Chemung County Court, is back in police custody. Cade fled the courthouse while a jury was deliberating his case where he was alleged to have broken into a house last year in Elmira, pulled a gun, and threatened people inside. He was found guilty. Cade was taken into custody following a high-speed chase beginning in Elmira and ended in Athens Township, Pennsylvania with his 18-year-old daughter driving the car. Police say she stopped the car and let Cade out then he ran into a wooded area. A drone with an infrared camera helped locate Cade. Both Cade and his daughter were sent to the Bradford County Jail. Cade faces 25 years behind bars in New York when sentenced for the 2020 burglary and robbery convictions.

 

DMV Reminds Snowmobilers to Register Snowmobiles
The?New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)? reminds New Yorkers to register their snowmobiles. Snowmobile registrations must be renewed annually. DMV allows snowmobilers to renew registrations online on the?DMV website, by mail or in person at a?DMV office. Learn more about registering a snowmobile in New York State on the?DMV’s website at?https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/register-snowmobile. Additionally, members of the New York State Snowmobile Association receive a $55 discount on snowmobile registrations. More information can be viewed here: https://nysnowmobiler.com/membership/.

 

Ethics Officials Rescind Cuomo’s Book About Pandemic
State ethics officials have moved to rescind the approval of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s book about the pandemic.  The Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted 12-1 Tuesday in favor of revoking its prior approval. Cuomo now has to reapply for approval of the $5.1 million book deal.  A spokesman for Cuomo called the move part of a “political game,” and said the group acted outside the scope of its authority. 

 

After Fraud Claims, Some Want DMV to Stop Online Permit Tests
The NYS Inspector General’s office is currently looking into claims of people who are fraudulently obtaining learner permits. Local officials are asking for the NY State DMV to immediately suspend their online permit testing.  The DMV virtual permit testing program launched months ago to make it more convenient for NYers to take their tests at home. 

 

American Lung Cancer Rates and Ranks New York State
The American Lung Association’s 4th annual “State of Lung Cancer” report highlights how the toll of lung cancer varies by state and examines key indicators throughout the U.S.  The report found that NY State ranked 26th in the nation for lung cancer incidence; 3 in the nation for survival and 4 in the nation for early diagnosis. 

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

County Manager Wheeler Calls 2022 Budget “Fair”
County Manager Jack Wheeler spoke this morning on WVIN’s Community Focus about the recently-passed 2022 budget presented last Friday and to be adopted in coming weeks. Wheeler calls the budget “fair” and due to an increase in economic activity, and thus, sales tax collection statewide, the less in property taxes residents will pay this year.

 

Hear the full interview at:
https://wvinbath.com/assets/podcaster/215/2021_11_16_215_114225_4795.mp3

 

Le Roy Man Arrested for Smuggling Cocaine into County Jail
A 31-year-old man from Le Roy was arrested for attempting to smuggle cocaine into the Steuben County Jail.  Alexander Gravesandy was charged with Felony Introducing Dangerous Contraband 1st and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.  He was arraigned and returned to the custody of the jail where he’s being held due to an alleged parole violation.

 

Canisteo PD Arrests Dansville Man for Drug Possession
Canisteo Police arrested 22-year-old Dansville man Ricky Halbert on a warrant for possessing meth earlier this year. Halbert was arrested on Main Street in Canisteo Sunday and according to the arrest report, he had an arrest warrant for drug possession and drug paraphernalia stemming from an incident in May of this year when police say he was in possession of eight grams of methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia. He was charged with third-degree Criminal Use of a Controlled Substance and second-degree Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia then transported to the Steuben County Jail awaiting Centralized Arraignment Procedures.

 

Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law Begins January 2022
As the new year is soon set to begin, 1,334 businesses and organizations that serve food in New York will legally need to handle their food waste in a certain way as part of The Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law aiming to help the hungry and overflowing landfills. On January 1st, any entity creating an average of 2 tons of food waste per week must handle their food waste in a specific way.  Under this new law, food service entities must donate the edible food and compost the remaining scraps if the entity is within 25 miles of an organics recycler. Some will be excluded from the new requirement like Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Adult Care Facilities, Farms, and K-12 Schools.  It is ultimately up to the business whether to comply with this new law. United States Department of Agriculture says the biggest category of waste that makes up a landfill is food waste with an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the overall food supply becoming waste. In 2010, alone, that waste added up to 133 billion pounds and $161 billion in food.

 

O’Mara and Palmesano Hold CCIA Listening Session
State Senator O’Mara, Assemblyman Palmesano and other legislators held a listening session yesterday with stakeholders across various industries to discuss the potential impacts of the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) that could increase the cost of gas by as much as 55 cents per gallon and increase home heating costs by more than 25 percent. Discussions revolved around the potential impacts on small businesses, farms and various sectors of the energy industry. The session provided an opportunity for lawmakers to listen to testimony directly from stakeholders from across those industries.  O’Mara said, “New Yorkers already pay one of America’s highest gas taxes and home heating costs are expected to skyrocket this winter” and also says that these taxes would leave lower- and middle-income families as well as workers, motorists, truckers, manufacturers and seniors among the hardest hit.     

 

Eric Smith Expected to be Released Tomorrow
Eric Smith, who served 27 years behind bars for the 1993 murder of four-year-old Derrick Robie of Savona,  is expected to be released from prison tomorrow. In previous parole hearings, Smith indicated he wanted to return to Savona to live when released but as of this weekend, Smith did not have a Department of Corrections approved residence. Smith was 13-years old when he lured Robie into a wooded area in Savona, fatally strangled him, crushed his head with a rock, and sodomized him. On his 11th attempth, Smith was granted parole last month while serving the sentence for second-degree murder.

 

Troopers Remind Public to Be Careful of Porch Pirates
As the holiday season begins, State Police warn residents to keep an eye out for “Porch Pirates” or people stealing packages out of mailboxes and off of porches. Troopers advise to be home when your package is delivered and if you can't be home, schedule the package to be dropped off at a trusted neighbor’s home.  

 

Nursing Homes Mandated 3.5 Hours Direct Care Per Resident in 2022
Nursing homes must face the challenge of meeting new state mandates as the new year approaches. By the end of this year, a state law will mandate that each nursing home resident has to receive 3.5 hours of direct care.  This could mean some nursing homes may have to hire more staff at a time when workers are extremely hard to find. 


NYSFB President "Grateful" for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
NYS Farm Bureau President David Fisher has issued a statement on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  He said the group is grateful President Biden signed the Act.  Fisher noted that the state’s farmers depend on safe roads, bridges, and waterways to move farm equipment and get goods to market.  We could no longer ignore the country’s ailing infrastructure that is crucial to our economy and food supply chain.

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

Two in Cameron Arrested for Manslaughter of 2-Month-Old Child
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports Friday, deputies arrested 31-year-old Joshua L. Lewis and 29-year-old Sammantha M. Bonham of Painted Post following an investigation into the death of a child and narcotics sales in Cameron. Lewis and Bonham were indicted by a Steuben County Grand Jury and were arrested pursuant to the Indictment Warrants issued. They both allegedly recklessly caused the death of a two month old child. It is also alleged that Bonham unlawfully sold controlled substances. Lewis was charged with Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Bonham was charged with Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony, Criminal Sales of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a Class B Felony, Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Both were held in the Steuben County Jail pending a bail hearing in Steuben County Court. 

 

City of Hornell Public Works Truck Found After Reported Stolen
After being reported stolen on Friday, a public works truck owned by the City of Hornell was found hours later. Police searched for the Ford F-250 after it was stolen from a pothole filling job in the city on North Main Street at around 6:30 a.m. No damage was done to the vehicle, but it appeared that someone slept in it. Police used a drone to attempt to locate the vehicle, which was found by city employees abandoned in an alleyway. Police say the vehicle was locked and both sets of keys were in hand when it went missing.

 

Bench Trial Begins As Smith Answers to the Charges for Fatal Crash
The trial of a Painted Post woman who allegedly struck and killed Bath man Donnie Masti in May 2019 begins today. WETM reports Tonya Smith was set to appear in Steuben County Supreme Court this morning to answer the manslaughter and reckless endangerment charges against her through a bench trial. Smith allegedly struck and killed Donald Masti in Bath while driving with a BAC of over 0.18%. The trial was delayed, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

86-year-old Woman Dead After Keuka Park Crash
Yates County Sheriff's deputies responded to reports of a car crash into Keuka Park Saturday afternoon around 3:15 at East Bluff Drive in Keuka Park. Deputies arrived on scene to an overturned SUV in the water and several area witnesses helping and freeing driver of the car 86-year-old Barbara Miller. She was unconscious, and immediately received life-saving measures. Miller was taken to Soldier's and Sailor's Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later. Sheriff's Office investigators say Miller likely experienced a medical event after starting her car.

 

Steuben County’s 2022 Budget Carries Slight Increase in Tax Levy
Steuben’s proposed 2022 County budget of $221 million carries a slight increase in next year’s tax levy of $51.5 million.  If adopted by the county Legislature on Nov. 22nd, next year’s proposed tax levy will go up 0.97%, bringing with it a decrease in the average tax rate of nearly 2%, or $7.78 per $1,000 full assessed value.  The proposed 2022 tax rate is down $0.15 per $1,000 compared to the current rate. 

 

$25 Million in Federal Funding Announced for Low-Income Legal Help
Governor Kathy Hochul announced $25 million in federal funding will be used to provide free legal assistance to low-income renters facing eviction in areas of the state outside of NY City where access to free legal aid is not available to meet the needs of these renters.  The legal assistance is aimed at helping both tenants and landlords resolve rent-related disputes while maintaining housing stability.

 

Di Napoli Says Federal Infrastructure Will Strengthen Cybersecurity
NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released an audit that found the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services cannot assure the critical cybersecurity support they are providing to state agencies, local governments, and public authorities. The recent passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act underscores how critical strengthening cybersecurity is across NY. The legislation will provide much needed funding for local governments to modernize and protect their networks against future cyberattacks. In NY, cyberattacks have impacted public entities large and small, including reported attacks at state agencies and 911 systems.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday, November 13th, 2021

O’Mara & Palmesano Holding Roundtable About CCIA Monday
Local officials State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano will join legislative colleagues to host a roundtable discussion with industry stakeholders Corning Area Chamber of Commerce, Corning Natural Gas, Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA), Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY), National Fuel, New York Propane Gas Association (NYPGA), and the Business Council of New York State regarding the Climate and Community Investment Act (or CCIA), a proposal that could increase the cost of gasoline by as much as 55 cents per gallon and raise home heating costs by more than 25 percent. The media is invited to the event on Monday from 10am to 12:30pm at the Radisson Hotel in Corning. 

 

2022 County Budget Carries Slight Increase in Tax Levy
Steuben’s proposed 2022 County budget of $221 million presented yesterday carries a slight increase in next year’s tax levy of $51.5 million. If adopted by the county Legislature November 22nd, next year’s proposed tax levy, up 0.97 percent compared to the 2021 levy, brings with it a decrease in the average tax rate of nearly 2 percent, or $7.78 per $1,000 full assessed value. The proposed 2022 tax rate is down $0.15 per $1,000 compared to the current rate. Actual tax rates depend on each municipality’s valuation which is determined by a complicated state formula. Steuben’s total proposed budget of $221 million holds a sharp $27.3 million increase compared to $194 million in the current spending plan. According to County Manager and Budget Officer Jack Wheeler, the increase reflects an approximate $13 million price tag for the construction of a new cell at the county Landfill on Turnpike Road, paid at no cost to taxpayers through an enterprise fund, and offset by a 9 percent increase in other revenues.

 

Painted Post Woman Indicted on Manslaughter for Fatal Crash

Earlier this week, a Steuben County grand jury indicted 46 year-old Tonya Smith of Painted Post, on Felony charges of Manslaughter 2nd, Aggravated Vehicular Manslaughter, and Reckless Endangerment 1st.  Charges stem from a fatal crash on May 3rd, 2019 on SR 415 in the Town of Bath that claimed the life of 66-year-old Donald Masti, who was attempting to cross the road.  Smith allegedly had a blood alcohol content greater than 0.18%. Smith is set to be sentenced at the county court on Monday, November 15th where the family and friends of Donald Masti are gathering with signs to support “Justice for Donnie”. 

 

Bath Volunteer Fire Department Warns Public of Text Scam

The Bath Volunteer Fire Dept warns residents of a text scam impersonating the department.  The message claims to come from the department selling limited edition t-shirts with a link.  Anyone who receives this message or other messages from an unknown person should delete it and not click any links. 

 

Bath Man Arrested for Sexual Assault of Minor

A 21-year-old Bath man has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a teen under the age of 17. Troopers say they arrested Trenton Storms yesterday around 10 a.m. and that the incident was first reported in Bath on November 3rd. Storms is charged with third-degree Rape and second-degree Custodial Interference for allegedly having sex with someone less than 17. He was arraigned and is being held in the Steuben County Jail. The incident is pending investigation with evidence.

 

Eric Smith To Be Released on Parole But Has No Approved Residence

Eric Smith, nationally known for killing 4-year-old Derrick Robie in 1993 when he was fourteen years old, is set to be released on November 17th after spending 27 years in prison for the murder. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says Smith does not yet have an “approved residence”.

 

Haverling Finals Games This Weekend on WVIN & WABH
Haverling Rams are seeing a rare championship season this year with the Cheerleaders, Girls Soccer, Boys’ Soccer and the football team all making championships this season! It’s a championship weekend and WVIN and WABH will both be simulcasting today’s finals action as the Haverling Boys’ Soccer team face off at 11:30am and later the Rams’ Football team plays at 7pm. 

 

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

Bath Volunteer Fire Department Warns Public of Text Scam
The Bath Volunteer Fire Dept warns residents of a text scam impersonating the department.  The message claims to come from the department selling limited edition t-shirts with a link.  Anyone who receives this message or other messages from an unknown person should delete it and not click any links. 

 

Bath Man Arrested for Sexual Assault of Minor
A 21-year-old Bath man has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a teen under the age of 17. Troopers say they arrested Trenton Storms yesterday around 10 a.m. and that the incident was first reported in Bath on November 3rd. Storms is charged with third-degree Rape and second-degree Custodial Interference for allegedly having sex with someone less than 17. He was arraigned and is being held in the Steuben County Jail. The incident is pending investigation with evidence.

 

Eric Smith To Be Released on Parole But Has No Approved Residence
Eric Smith, nationally known for killing 4-year-old Derrick Robie in 1993 when he was fourteen years old, is set to be released on November 17th after spending 27 years in prison for the murder. The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says Smith does not yet have an “approved residence”.

 

Lindley Man Arrested for Sale and Possession of Narcotics
Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports yesterday, deputies arrested 55-year-old Raymond E. Smith of Lindley following an investigation of reported narcotics sales. Smith allegedly possessed at least one half ounce or more of a narcotic, and subsequently sold narcotics on at least one occasion. He was indicted by a Steuben County Grand Jury for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree and Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree. Smith was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and remanded to the Steuben County Jail pending a bail hearing in Steuben County Court.

 

Reed Defends His Vote for Infrastructure Bill
Local Republican Congressman Tom Reed voted in last week's congress to pass a massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and is defending his vote for this bill. The senate passed the bill a few months ago and the House finally moved forward to put the bill on President Biden’s desk with a 228 to 206 vote. Reed was one of only 13 Republicans that voted in favor of the bill. The infrastructure bill will deliver $500-billion dollars in new federal investments over the next five years, touching everything from ports, bridges, roads and broadband. Congressman Reed said this bill is critical for his district and for America, remarking the rail provisions will benefit the local area.  “We got almost $100-billion dollars when you look at the rail provisions and we make the locomotives and the passenger rail cars here in the district and I’ll just tell you that will help folks have a job for years to come,” said Congressman Reed. Reed also remarked: "To me this was a vote that I believed in. It was the right vote." 

 

Hochul Signed Legislation for Veterans Yesterday
Yesterday on Veterans Day, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package to protect and support veterans and their families. The package included 12 pieces of legislation that were signed into law on November 11th. 

 

NYPSC Accepting Comments On National Grid Proposal
Hundreds of people have sent messages to the NY Public Service Commission regarding a proposal from National Grid that includes delivery rate increases over three years from 2022-2024, and expansion of natural gas lines.  A public comment period on National Grid’s proposal drew angry comments from people asking the Public Service Commission to deny the increase, many of whom said they are already having a hard time paying utility bills.  They will be making a final decision in the next couple of months, once they’ve had time to review all public comments. 

 

AG James Releases Transcripts from Cuomo Investigation
NY Attorney General Letitia James released transcripts on former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's investigation, providing insight into her office's investigation, including some of the evidence gathered.  Her office determined Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and created a toxic work environment as Governor. Following the release of the report's, he resigned in August.  In Oct., he was charged with misdemeanor forcible touching in Albany County and is due in court next week. 


NY Traffic Fatalities Increased 13% Since Last Year
A new report by QuoteWizard has found that traffic fatalities in NY have increased 13% since 2020.  In the 1st half of 2020, there were 351 traffic fatalities in NY with the 1st half on 2021 showing 398 fatalities.  Traffic fatalities were also up 19% from 2019.

Today's Top Stories - Veterans Day Thursday, November 11th, 2021

American Legion Post 173 Holds Veterans Day Ceremony
Veteran Virginia Carter and Chaplain Gene Mattoon of Disabled Veterans Chapter #7 joined other veterans to speak this morning about the importance of observing Veterans Day at American Legion Charles Westcott Post #173 in Bath for their annual Veterans Day ceremony to honor military service. 

                       
(Chaplain of Disabled American Veterans Chapter #7 Gene Mattoon speaks)


(Fellow Veteran Virginia Carter also spoke this morning.)




 

Steuben Reports 4 More COVID Deaths

The Steuben County Public Health Dept announced the deaths of 4 individuals who had previously tested positive for COVID.  A 59-year-old female from the Town of Pulteney, 79-year-old male from the Town of Caton, a 72-year-old male from the Village of Addison and a 71-year-old male from the Town of Bath.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths within Steuben County to 237. 

 

Tomorrow Morning Wheeler Presents Tentative 2022 County Budget
Steuben County Manager and Budget Officer Jack Wheeler presents the tentative 2022 budget to legislators during a special session tomorrow morning at 10 in the Steuben County Annex. His presentation will be followed by a workshop, during which board members may suggest additional cuts or expenditures. The retirement of 42 county employees due to county incentives and belt-tightening by departments kept spending under tight control in 2021 following the COVID pandemic. The current 2021 Steuben County budget is set at $194 million, which includes a $51 million tax levy, and

an average tax rate of $7.93 per $1,000.

 

Key points in the tentative 2022 budget include:

• A decline in employee retirement costs, established by the state Comptroller.

• Allocations from the state CHIPS funding allowed for equipment.

• Allocating ARPA funds for the county IT computer replacement program.

• An increase in the county’s self-funded health insurance program.

• Increased costs for medical care for jail inmates, driven by state mandates.

• Additional Public Works hires to fill vacancies left by early retirements in 2021.

 

The 10 am special meeting tomorrow is open to the public and may be attended via teleconference through

Zoom meetings at:

https://steubencountynygov.zoom.us/j/85427925658?pwd=L1IrVnVrN29EdW43d3ZWa1lQNG5FUT09

Meeting ID: 854 2792 5658 / Passcode: Steuben1 or by phone at: +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Use Meeting ID: 854 2792 5658 / Passcode: 56172459

 

Number of Inactive Medical Workers Since Vaccine Mandate Released
Gov. Kathy Hochul released the number of medical workers still inactive due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate in NY.  As of Nov. 10th more than 33,000 healthcare workers are considered "inactive." That includes nearly 13,000 who were terminated, about 3,700 who resigned or retired because they were unvaccinated and nearly 12,000 employees who were put on leave because they are not vaccinated.  About 5,000 of those inactive workers have agreed to get vaccinated. 

 

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

Veteran’s Day Ceremony 11AM Tomorrow at American Legion Post 173
The American Legion Post 173 in Bath reminds the Public there will be a Veterans Day Ceremony tomorrow November 11th at 11:00am sharp at the Charles E Wescott Post 173 at 14 West William Street. For any questions please call Vice Commander of the Post Mike Kulikowski at (585) 737-6336.

 

Bath Police Discover Meth And Arrest 2 After Traffic Stop
Bath Police arrested two people after a traffic stop last evening where methamphetamine and suboxone were discovered. Bath Police Officers stopped a car for vehicle and traffic offenses then recovered a quantity of methamphetamine, suboxone, scales, and a large quantity of cash. Jamie Lippincott of Hornell, was the driver and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 5th, a class D Felony, and other traffic offenses while passenger Ashley Seratt of Bath, was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance. Lippincott was transported to the Steuben County Jail where he will be arraigned on November 10th. Seratt was released on an appearance ticket.

 

Painted Post Woman Indicted on Manslaughter for Fatal Crash
A Steuben County grand jury indicted 46 year-old Tonya Smith of Painted Post, on Felony charges of Manslaughter 2nd, Aggravated Vehicular Manslaughter, and Reckless Endangerment 1st.  Charges stem from a fatal crash on May 3rd, 2019 on SR 415 in the Town of Bath that claimed the life of 66-year-old Donald Masti, who was attempting to cross the road.  Smith allegedly had a blood alcohol content greater than 0.18%. 

 

Rangers Find Stolen Trailer at Pigtail Hollow State Forest
On Friday, November 5th, Forest Rangers received a complaint of an abandoned pop-up trailer left along with garbage in Pigtail Hollow State Forest.  Rangers determined the owner took the trailer to a local dealership for servicing and when she went to pick it up, found out it was stolen.  The investigation was turned over to Bath Police. 

 

Dormann Library Offering Multiple Workshops for Adults
The Dormann Library offers multiple workshops for adults this month. The library has partnered with the SNAP-Ed Program (through Cornell Cooperative Extension) to offer Tips on Cooking for Less on Monday, November 15th from 11am to noon as SNAP-Ed Nutritionists cover useful tricks on cooking for fewer people and with less money! Adults and teens 15 and over can stop by Dormann Library on Wednesday, November 17th to pick up a Grab & Go Craft Kit to make a clay mushroom ring dish. They are one per person while supplies last.

 

Pfizer COVID Pediatric Clinic Today ‘Til 5:30pm
The Steuben County Public Health Dept is holding a pediatric Pfizer COVID vaccine clinic for children ages 5 - 11 only Today, Nov. 10th from 1:30 - 5:30pm at the Civil Defense Training Center in Bath.  Registration is required at www.steubencony.org/covid  No walk ins will be accepted. A parent or guardian must accompany children and sign a consent form.  Bring proof of age for children and wear masks. Those who are currently quarantined as a contact or positive cannot attend this event.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

Pediatric Vaccine Clinic Tomorrow at Civil Defense Training Center
A Pediatric COVID Vaccine Clinic will be offered tomorrow by The Steuben County Public Health Department at the Civil Defense Training Center located on State Route 54 in Bath from 1:30 - 5:30 PM.  Pfizer COVID vaccines will be offered exclusively for those ages 5 - 11. Participants must pre-register at: www.steubencony.org/covid<http://www.steubencony.org/covid>.  No walk ins will be accepted at tomorrow's clinic.  

 

Bath VFD Awards Causer “Firefly of the Year” 2020
The Bath Volunteer Fire Dept Auxiliary, awarded Karen Causer the Firefly of the Year recognition for 2020. Karen stepped in to fill an executive board position during a very chaotic time and still continues her positive role in many other organizations including the Bath Village Board and the Red Knights NY Chapter 42 Motorcycle Club. Causer has been an asset to the Bath Fire Dept for many years.

 

O’Mara Honoring Penn Yann WWII Vet in Hall of Fame Thursday
In honor of this year’s Veterans Day observances, State Senator Tom O’Mara today said that he will induct Richard T. “Dick” Gillespie of Penn Yan, a World War II veteran, into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame later this week to represent O’Mara’s 58th Senate District and be among approximately 60 veterans from throughout the state inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. The 2021 Veterans Hall of Fame inductees will be honored through a virtual event this Thursday, November 11, beginning at Noon, coinciding with Veterans Day.  The public can view the Veterans Day virtual tribute on O’Mara’s Senate website, www.omara.nysenate.gov

 

2 More Steuben Residents Die from COVID
The Steuben County Public Health Department reports 2 deaths of individuals who previously tested positive for COVID.  A 67-year-old male from the City of Corning and a 73-year-old female from the Town of Avoca.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths within Steuben County to 233. 

 

Legislation Will Create State Firearm Violence Research Institute
Governor Hochul signed legislation to fight the ongoing gun violence crisis through the creation of a state Firearm Violence Research Institute which will work towards identifying solutions to gun violence and provide a deeper understanding of this problem to the public and policymakers. This will include advising the governor and governmental agencies, and working with the State Legislature on matters relating to firearm violence across the state.   

 

Hochul Announces $450 Million State Tourism Package
Coinciding with the reopening of international borders, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive $450 million "Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs" inclusive recovery package to support NY State's hardest-hit tourism sector workers, revitalize the state's tourism industry, and support businesses started just prior to or during the pandemic. 

 

Tele-Companies Must Block RoboCalls & Implement Authentication
Hochul signed a package of legislation into law that will build on federal action to combat robocalls by requiring telecommunication companies to block robocalls from certain numbers to prevent unwanted calls across additional providers. It would also require voice service providers to implement call authentication to validate that a call is actually coming from the number it displays.    

 

NYS Gaming Commission Approves 9 Mobile Sports Bet Operators
The NYS Gaming Commission confirmed NY State approved a total of 9 mobile sports betting operators yesterday which includes FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM.  NY estimates mobile sports betting will bring in $500 million each year with $5 million going to youth sports, $6 million going to combat gambling addiction and the left-over revenue would go to education. 

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

Bills Defeated 9-6 Yesterday by Jags
For the second week in a row, the Bills lost against a team with a less impressive track record this season as they were defeated in Jacksonville 9-6 by the Jaguars yesterday afternoon. The offensive line struggled and Josh Allen threw two interceptions, was benched four times, and lost a fumble. The Bills play next on Sunday the 14th against and at the New York Jets. Kickoff starts at 1pm and WVIN will be broadcasting the action-including pregame coverage beginning at 11am. 

 

City of Hornell Lifted Water Boil Advisory Saturday
City of Hornell Water announced Saturday the boil water advisory placed November 3rd for all city customers was lifted. Turbidity levels or NTUs were restored within acceptable New York State Department of Health guidelines and two consecutive days of water sampling has been completed. All samples tested negative for coliform.

 

Hochul Gives COVID-19 Data Update
Yesterday in a conference, Governor Hochul updated the public with COVID-19 news. In Sunday’s data, Steuben county reported 10,909 total positive cases and 52 new ones. The Southern Tier’s COVID-positivity rate reports a climbing trend from 3.06% Thursday to 3.31% on Friday and 3.42% on Saturday. Hochul encouraged parents and guardians to please get their children vaccinated soon so everyone can all enjoy the holidays safely this year.

 

Horseheads Man Indicted for First-Degree Assault of Woman
A Horseheads man was indicted by the Chemung County Grand Jury for assaulting a woman last month. Gerald Breedlove allegedly repeatedly punched a woman numerous times on October 26th with rings on his fingers, breaking her nose and causing several lacerations on her face and scalp that required stitches. She also suffered multiple bruises around her eyes, “resulting protracted disfigurement and/or protracted impairment” of her health. Breedlove was indicted on one count of first-degree assault. He was previously indicted in March of this year for allegedly starting a fire on Reynolds Street in Horseheads that killed a dog.

Reed Hosting Medicare Open Enrollment Press Conference Tomorrow
Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., Congressman Tom Reed announced he and his office will host a press conference at the Chemung County Department of Aging and Long Term Care to highlight the Medicare open enrollment period and the services that the Department provides.

 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday, November 6th, 2021

Steuben Reports 142 New COVID Cases & 2 Deaths
Steuben County Health Department reported two additional COVID-related deaths yesterday,  bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 231. Latest casualties were a 66-year-old man from the City of Hornell and a 60-year-old resident from the City of Corning. The county also reported 142 newly confirmed cases yesterday with 438 active cases, with 24 of those individuals hospitalized. 

 

Urbana Man Arrested for Endangering Welfare of a Child
An Urbana man was arrested yesterday morning for endangering a child and preventing an emergency call after a dispute. 35-year-old Aaron Rawleigh was arrested around 5:45 a.m after New York State Police responded to a dispute almost an hour earlier. Rawleigh was charged with Acting in a Manner Injurious to a Child Under 17 and fourth-degree Criminal Mischief for Preventing an Emergency Call, both class-A misdemeanors. The investigation of this incident is pending.

 

Daylight Savings Time Ends Tomorrow
Tomorrow, Sunday, November 7th, Daylight Savings Time is set to end at 2am. This means some clocks may need to be reset back an hour that time early tomorrow morning. Daylight Saving Time (DST) in most of the United States starts on the 2nd Sunday in March and ends on the 1st Sunday in November. We also call DST “fall back” or “winter time”.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty After Allegedly Throwing Puppy
A Bath man was charged and arrested for animal cruelty after an investigation into an incident involving an abused dog. Christopher Quick allegedly threw a beagle puppy against the pavement, striking the animal in the head, causing the puppy to suffer significant injuries to its head and eye. The beagle was treated by a local veterinarian. Quick was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals which will be answered at a later date. WETM reports that Quick was arrested several years ago for allegedly beating his father. 

 

Shine A Green Light for Veterans
Steuben County residents are encouraged to honor military veterans by participating in Operation Green Light.  Residents are asked to display a green light in a window of their business or residence now through this Thursday, November 11th.  NY has seen its veteran population decrease 44% in the last 20 years. 


DEC Announces Bear & Deer Season Dates
The NY DEC announced the dates for the regular firearms season for deer and bear in the Southern Zone.  The regular firearms season will begin on Sat., Nov. 20th and run until Dec. 12th.  Following the regular deer and bear seasons, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons run from Dec. 13th through Dec. 21st, and again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, the latter of which is an extension from past years.

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

Bath Man Arrested for Animal Cruelty After Allegedly Throwing Puppy
A Bath man was charged and arrested for animal cruelty after an investigation into an incident involving an abused dog. Christopher Quick allegedly threw a beagle puppy against the pavement, striking the animal in the head, causing the puppy to suffer significant injuries to its head and eye. The beagle was treated by a local veterinarian. Quick was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals which will be answered at a later date. WETM reports that Quick was arrested several years ago for allegedly beating his father. 

 

Canisteo Mayor Responds as 30 Homes Spend A Week Without Water
A neighborhood in Hornellsville is going on a week with 30 homes reporting no water service and may wait longer. Homes affected are near Belle Haven Road in Hornellsville since last Thursday as those residents get their water from the Village of Canisteo. Canisteo Mayor Monica Recktenwald says the village is doing everything in their power to fix the problem and that the village worked continuously with numerous State and County agencies to assist with the issue.  She says there was a water main break due to recent flooding and heavy rains in August which caused erosion. There's no exact timeline on when water service will be restored for residents in the Belle Haven neighborhood.

 

Steuben County Health Dept. Approves “Test to Stay” for Schools
This week, the Steuben County Health Department announced it approved the strategy known as 'Test to Stay' by the New York State Department of Health for county schools which is a policy allowing asymptomatic students and non-vaccinated staff who are quarantined after a positive exposure to continue to attend school, as long as they test negative each day for seven days following exposure. School districts participating in the 'Test to Stay' (TTS) program will be provided Rapid NAAT or antigen tests by the county health department. Asymptomatic students and non-vaccinated staff are eligible, and will be tested each morning at school for seven days. Symptomatic quarantined students and staff will not be allowed at school. 

 

DEC Announces Bear & Deer Season Dates
The NY DEC announced the dates for the regular firearms season for deer and bear in the Southern Zone.  The regular firearms season will begin on Sat., Nov. 20th and run until Dec. 12th.  Following the regular deer and bear seasons, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons run from Dec. 13th through Dec. 21st, and again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, the latter of which is an extension from past years. 

 

COVID Vaccines Every Friday at Civil Defense Training Center in Bath
There's a weekly Covid Vaccine Clinic every Friday. at the Civil Defense Training Center at 7220 SR 54 in Bath from 10am until 2pm. Walk-ins welcome or you can register at: SteubenCoNY.org/Covid. 

 

Shine A Green Light for Veterans
Steuben County residents are encouraged to honor military veterans by participating in Operation Green Light.  Residents are asked to display a green light in a window of their business or residents now through Nov. 11th.  NY has seen its veteran population decrease 44% in the last 20 years. 

 

NY Office of Mental Health Secures $4 Million 
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the NY State Office of Mental Health has secured $4 million in workforce recruitment and retention funds that will help strengthen the state's mental health system by increasing access to peer services that support individuals and families in a wide array of treatment and service options.  The Federal funding was secured through time-limited expansions of the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant and the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage share of funds for Medicaid programs. 

 

Multi-Year Climate Change Study Launched in NY
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the launch of a multi-year study, to explore how climate change affects NY State Communities, Ecosystems and the Economy.  This collaborative climate research effort led by the NY State Energy Research and Development Authority and conducted in partnership with academic institutions, science organizations, community leaders and industry representatives, among others, to better understand and document the current impact of climate change across the state, what future impacts may be, and how the state can better prepare for them.  Taking action to adapt to future climate conditions supports the implementation of the State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. 

 

$1.5 Million Available to Eligible Farm-to-School Programs
NY State announced that $1.5 million is available to eligible school districts who wish to participate in Farm-to-School programs.  These programs help students from kindergarten through grade 12 schools "connect with local farmers, increase the use of locally grown food on school menus, and improve student health" while helping local farmers.  School districts have until December 30th to apply for funds in this round. 

 

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

Steuben Residents Invited to Shine a Green Light for Veterans
Steuben County residents are invited to honor military veterans from now through Veterans’ Day- Thursday, November 11th- by participating in Operation Green Light and displaying a green light in a window of their place of business or residence to provide specific recognition and appreciation of veterans’ service and to demonstrate honor and support the designation of Steuben as a Green Light for Military Service County. Under the designation, county officials pledged to work toward removing barriers to veterans’ employment by participating in quarterly job fairs at Fort Drum and removing residency requirements for civil service tests for active duty military personnel interested in relocating to the county. The county says it will also support the “Expiration Term of Service Peer Mentorship Program” to connect mentors to new veteran residents.

 

2 New COVID Deaths & 102 New Cases in Steuben
Steuben County Public Health Department reports the deaths of 2 individuals who had previously tested positive for COVID.  A 70 year old male from the Town of Erwin and a 76 year old male from the City of Corning.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths within Steuben County to 229. 102 new cases were also reported since Monday.

 

Hornellsville Residents Still Without Water After A Week
After about a week, some residents in Hornellsville say they are still without water service in their homes. It began 7 days ago: last Thursday when no running water came from the opened faucets of those who are connected to the Village of Canisteo water line. WENY reports some residents must walk about 600 feet from their home to a tanker the village of Canisteo has set up in the neighborhood to access water. Some are unable to take a bath in their home, do laundry and wash dishes and must wash and brush their teeth with bottled water or use rainwater to flush the toilet. The Village of Canisteo has not yet responded to WENY’s inquiry regarding this water issue.

 

Sheriff’s Office Announces 2 Separate Animal Cruelty Cases
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested 51-year-old Troupsburg man Joseph P. Duell following an investigation of reported malnourished animals not properly being cared for. Duell allegedly failed to properly feed/water, maintain and provide proper shelter to multiple animals on the property. Due to the condition of the property and animals, 44 animals were removed including dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits and a goat. Mr. Duell was charged with Injuring and Failing to Provide Sustenance to Animals and Failing to provide Appropriate Shelter for Dogs Left Outdoors. He was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Troupsburg Court at a later date. The Sheriff’s Office also reports the arrest of 26-year-old  Brett A. Wilson of Woodhull following an investigation of reported deceased animals that were left at an address on College Ave. in the Town of Corning. Wilson allegedly abandoned and failed to properly feed two cats and a reptile inside the residence, contributing to the animals deaths. He was charged with Abandonment of a Disabled Animal and Neglect of an Impounded Animals Then released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of Corning Court at a later date. All animals were removed from the property and taken to the SPCA for proper

Disposal.

 

Palmesano Calls 2020 Census Underreporting “Concerning”
The Urban Institute reports that New York State’s population was undercounted by 1.1-percent in the 2020 Census and according to the Census Bureau, if the state had counted just 89 more people, it would have kept all 27 of its seats in the House of Representatives. Currently, it’s uncertain which seat will be lost but there are two separate maps currently out that show two possible outcomes. New York Assemblyman Philip Palmesano called it “...very, very concerning to hear that we had an underreporting of [the] population that could have and probably did cost us a Congressional district,”  Palmesano says he’s also concerned about the Department of Corrections and the reporting of the prison population to the Census Bureau. Though it is estimated that roughly 225,000 New Yorkers weren’t counted in the 2020 Census, New York will still lose a Congressional Seat.

 

Hochul Signs Off on Substance Use Disorder Fund
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation establishing the Substance Use Disorder Education and Recovery Fund and authorizing gifts, on personal income tax returns, for substance use disorder education and recovery.  Money in this fund is to be used for providing grants to organizations dedicated to providing education, prevention, treatment or recovery to those suffering from substance use disorders. 

 

Cannabis Board Approves Cannabinoid Hemp Program Regulations
The NY State Cannabis Control Board has approved regulations for the Cannabinoid Hemp Program, which would regulate products containing CBD.  The regulations took effect immediately, and created standards for manufacturing, laboratory testing, packaging and labeling. 

 

Acela Trains Leave Hornell Alstom for AmTrak
The Acela, the nation’s 1st line of high-speed trains, departed the Hornell Alstom Wednesday morning bound for delivery to Amtrak.  Wednesday’s departure marked a milestone, the 1st time a completed Acela left the Hornell shop.  A pair of test trains were previously shipped out of the Hornell facility, with the 1st hitting the tracks on Feb. 17, 2020. 
  

 

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

Voter Turnout at “Steady Pace” in Steuben and Southern Tier
Officials across the Southern Tier region say voter participation is at a “steady pace”. This election, Steuben County saw 429 early voters- a number, like Chemung and Schuyler Counties, that is lower than early voter turnout last year. A total of 3,159 absentee ballots were issued in the Southern Tier.  Steuben County issued 1,244 absentees with received as of November 1st.

 

Hornell and Corning Re-Elected Mayors Yesterday
Incumbent Mayors for the City of Corning and the City of Hornell were re-elected last night with Hornell City Mayor John Buckley winning 65% of the vote (998 votes) against Democratic challenger Richard Argentieri who earned 35% of the vote (543 votes). Corning City Mayor Bill Boland won re-election 75% of the vote (1,049 votes) against Elizabeth Whitehouse who had 25% percent (348 votes).

 

City of Hornell Issues Water Boil Advisory
The City of Hornell has implemented a boil advisory until further notice. Hornell issued the advisory due to a mechanical failure at the water filtration plant. Only boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and preparing food until further notice.

 

NY Approves Right to Clean Air and Water as Constitutional Right
New York voters approved a ballot measure adding the right to a clean environment to the state constitution as part of one of five statewide propositions on the ballot yesterday as the state joins a handful of others that recognize a clean environment as a civil liberty and constitutional right. According to supporters, the measure that guarantees a constitutional right to clean air and water will require the government to consider environmental effects early on in policy-making and give greater weight to people who sue when the government fails to do so. But critics say that this constitutional right will simply fuel costly lawsuits.

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

County Legislature Proclaims November “Adoption Awareness Month”
The Steuben County Legislature yesterday proclaimed November as “Adoption Awareness Month” in Steuben just as it is across the United States. The Legislature wrote: “We recognize the adoptive and foster families who have opened their hearts and homes to children in need; and...many of the children still awaiting adoption have physical, mental or emotional needs, and require special nurturing that comes from loving homes” and “we celebrate the benefits of our abundance, and give thanks for the blessings of families coming together, it is our hope that all children awaiting adoption will find a safe and permanent family.”

 

Pepsi Debuts Bills Superfan YouTube Video &  “716” Giveaway
Pepsi released a superfan video on YouTube: content as part of its “Made for Bills Watching” platform to celebrate some of Buffalo’s most avid football fans. Pepsi will also pick another fan in celebration of the 716 Buffalo area code, giving away 7,160 free “Good Luck Pepsi” Zero Sugars. Consumers can text “BILLS” to 81234 for a free “Good Luck Pepsi” Zero Sugar, up to 7,160 available. The 20oz bottle will be redeemed via rebate up to $2.50.  Tax and bottle deposit not included in rebate. Msg & Data Rates apply. Text STOP to 81234 to cancel. Purchase and redemption required by 11/27/21. Offer subject to Terms and Conditions available at goodluckpepsi.tryadrink.com/terms. Void where prohibited.

 

NWS: November Will Start Drier, But Temps and Precip Will Increase
The month October ended with a lot of rain in our region but the National Weather Service says the month of November will shape up to start with cooler temperatures and a drier pattern initially, but the long-term outlook for the month of November includes above average temperatures and precipitation. The first chance of snowfall comes this week between tomorrow and Wednesday, as temperatures drop low enough for the first time to see a little frozen precipitation. Forecasters say it will largely be determined by elevation with higher terrain seeing a chance for some snow showers, while most elevations will see rain showers.

 

Vaccine Mandate Upheld by Federal Appeal Panel
NY's vaccine mandate for health care workers was upheld by a federal appeal panel.  The ruling on Fri. by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by an upstate judge who had temporarily blocked vaccination requirements on the grounds that the mandate did not accommodate religious exemptions. 

 

 

Governor Hochul Signs Animal Welfare Legislation
Governor Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package relating to animal welfare, prohibiting insurers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium for certain policies based solely on the breed of dog owned. Another legislation requires veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty. 

 

Penalties Increased for Illegally-Modified Mufflers & Exhausts
Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that increases penalties against motorists and repair shops that illegally modify mufflers and exhaust systems to make them excessively noisy.  Maximum fines for installing illegal equipment will be raised to $1,000-an $850 increase. Inspection stations will also be required to inspect motorcycles to ensure mufflers and exhausts have not been illegally modified.

 

State DMV Urges Travelers to Upgrade to Real ID by 2023
The State Dept. of Motor Vehicles urges New Yorkers to upgrade to a Real ID before the federal deadline if they want to fly domestically and it's also needed to enter some federal buildings. The deadline is May 3rd, 2023.  The DMV said nearly 5 million NYers have already upgraded to a Real ID. 

 

Wallethub Ranks NY 2nd Worst State to Retire In
NY ranked 2nd worst state to retire in. A study conducted by WalletHub compared key indicators such as affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life.  It determined Florida is the best state to retire in  and New Jersey is the worst.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday, October 30th, 2021

Flood Warning Issued for Steuben
This morning, the National Weather Service extended the flood warning for Steuben County and several other counties until 6:45 this morning. Emergency management and automated gauges reported continued impacts from earlier heavy rain in the warned area as flooding is ongoing. Some additional rain is expected, but between 1 and 2 inches of rain fell earlier last night. Some locations that will or have already experienced flooding include: Corning, Penn Yan, Bath, Campbell, Benton, Urbana, Caton, Potter, Painted Post, Addison, Woodhull, Hornby, Tyrone, Middlesex, Howard, Jasper, Thurston, Pulteney, South Corning and Italy. Minor flooding occurred along the Cohocton River between Bath and its confluence with the Chemung River. Water may also be high for the Mud Creek to where it drains into the Cohocton River in Savona. Low lying roads along these streams may be flooded.

 

Local Trick-or-Treating Begins Tonight

Trick-or-Treating kicks off locally today as Arnot Mall holds a Trunk or Treat - 3 - 5PM at the Event Center parking lot. Then, the Central Steuben Chamber of Commerce of Bath hosts Trunk or Treat in Pulteney Park from 6 - 8PM while Trick-or-Treating in the Town of Bath is also 6-8pm. On Halloween Night, Hammondsport has a costume parade from 5-6pm and a contest to follow at 6:30pm.The same night, Painted Post will have Trick-or Treat from 6 - 8PM

 

Hochul Talks FEMA Funding at Yesterday’s Corning Inc. Visit
Yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul visited Corning Inc.’s Innovation Support Center to celebrate Manufacturing Month, which is this month. She also recognized Corning Inc. and its role in packing and manufacturing over three billion vials and doses for the COVID-19 vaccine made of Valor Glass manufactured in Big Flats. Hochul also called on Steuben County residents to help the State make FEMA reverse its denial of individual aid to flood victims after its October 13th decision denying individual aid to Steuben County residents who suffered damage from Tropical Storm Fred in mid-August. Hochul said the State is appealing and needs the victims’ help, remarking: “So what I’m calling on everyone to do, if you have damage, please document it. It’ll help us make our case.”

 

Online Form Can Help Repeal FEMA’s Assistance Denial for Steuben
State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano joined other local Southern Tier-area lawmakers yesterday in alerting Steuben County residents impacted by flooding from Tropical Storm Fred in August that the state has established a new online form that residents can fill out and submit to assist New York’s efforts to appeal a recent decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denying Individual Assistance to flooding victims. Lawmakers said that they are “very disappointed with the decision made by FEMA in regards to Individual Assistance for our area residents that were devastatingly impacted by Tropical Storm Fred. ” Governor Kathy Hochul is appealing the FEMA decision.

The self-report form can be accessed here. 

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office Shares Halloween Safety Tips
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office shares a few tips to prepare our communities for a Safe Halloween weekend. All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant. Adults should accompany young children and traveling with groups is recommended. Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down and have flashlight with fresh batteries or glowsticks. Teach children never to enter a house or a car and only go to homes with a porch light on. Agree on a specific time children should return home. And, a good meal prior to trick-or-treating is recommended to discourage youngsters from eating Halloween Treats on the road.

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