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Today's Top Stories - Monday, January 20, 2020

County Shared Services Plan Meeting Being Held in One Week
A presentation on Steuben County’s 2020 Shared Services Plan will follow the regular 10 a.m. meeting session of the county Legislature Jan. 27th.The unanimously-approved, new plan builds on the plan adopted in 2017, and carries on a long tradition of sharing services between the towns, villages and county departments. Notable savings include shared public works construction and maintenance, along with personnel costs. Among the shared county-municipal services are the costs of road repair, bridge construction, property demolition, and equipment and personnel. Steuben also will join 3 neighboring counties in a study looking to improve broadband services. The presentation is expected to begin around 10:30 a.m. on Monday January 27th in the legislative chambers of the Steuben County Office Building.

 

National Diabetes Prevention Program
Informational sessions on the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) offered by the Steuben County Public Health department are set for February. The two-year NDPP program helps participants lose weight, become more physically active, lower stress, and reduce their Type 2 diabetes risk. Participants must be at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes but not previously diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Information on the program will be presented at noon on Tuesday February 4th in the Steuben County Annex Room A on East Morris Street, Bath. Classes are set for noon-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays beginning February 25th. The cost of the program is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and Steuben County employees participating in the county’s Wellness program. Private pay for the program in $150.
To register, or for more information on the program, qualifying blood work or other questions, call (607) 664-2438, email lwagner@steubencountyny.gov, or register online at https://steubencony.org/Files/Documents/publichealth/DPP%20Fillable%20Registration%20Form%202020.pdf

 

HUD Grants Over $1.6 Million in Funding to Southern Tier
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson announced over $1.6 million in funding for Southern Tier programs, such as Livingston Supportive Housing and Continuum of Care awards. Carson said “The grants awarded today help our partners on the ground to reduce homelessness in their communities and help our most valuable neighbors”. The funding for the Southern Tier is part of a package totaling $2.2 billion.

 

Hammondsport Board of Trustees Meet Tuesday
The Village of Hammondsport Board of Trustees will hold a Special Meeting tomorrow at 12:10 p.m. in the Village Office on 18 Water Street in Hammondsport. The meeting is to discuss the Village’s 2020-2021 General Fund and Water Fund Budgets as well as any other business before the Board.

 

Mitrano Announces RIP Medical Debt Forgiveness Program
Doctors in Upstate New York are partnering with a nonprofit to help alleviate the burden of medical debt for local residents. This was announced during a Jamestown press conference with Democratic Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano, who called the program a “unique partnership helping district residents out from serious medical debts”. Doctors from from Ithaca and Jamestown have partnered to work with the nonprofit group RIP medical debt and area doctors so they can donate over $170,000 to the organization. The project is supposed to “eliminate more than $500,000 of medical debt at one percent of the original cost” by forgiving $10,000 in medical debts for every $100 donated to the group. RIP Medical debt reportedly help forgive over a billion dollars’ worth of debt already. Today, Mitrano launches a five city listening tour in Dunkirk and will be in Corning this Thursday from 6 to 8pm at the United Steelworkers Union Hall at the Nassar Civic Center Plaza.

 

Public Invited to Wreaths Across America Cleanup
The public is invited to retrieve and clean up wreaths that were laid during Wreaths Across America Day. Over 5,000 wreaths were placed on the graves of veterans last month. The cleanup event will be held this Friday, January 24th in Bath National Cemetery at the Bath VA Medical Center at 3pm. Parking will be available at the back of the Bath VA museum and no sign-up or registration is required to participate. Cleanup instructions are to be announced at the cemetery monument. Bringing a rake or broom is highly encouraged.

 

State Senator O’Mara to Continue Serving on Multiple Committees
State Senator Tom O’Mara will continue to serve on the Transportation Committee, Environmental Conservation Committee, and several other key Senate committees in 2020, according to a press release. O’Mara is to continue his post as the ranking Senate Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee and serve as the top Republican member on the Banks Committee. O’Mara was renamed the Senate GOP representative on the Legislature’s Administrative Regulations Review Commission (ARCC), which is a legislative oversight committee that monitors the impact of the state’s regulatory process on the economy. O’Mara said of the Environmental Conservation Committee: “I hope the committee will continue to strengthen the important foundations we’ve built over the past several years.”

 

Troopers Investigating Fatal Crash in Erin
The New York State Police report they investigated a one-car, fatal motor vehicle crash that happened Friday evening at 8:30 p.m. on Langdon Hill Road in the Town of Erin. The investigation found the vehicle was operating westbound on Langdon Hill Road when the operator lost control and went off the north side of the roadway, striking several trees.  A 17-year-old female passenger in the vehicle, Alecia I. Sedlak, was pronounced deceased at the scene while another 17-year-old female passenger was air lifted to Upstate Medical Center and one 18-year-old male passenger was air lifted to Robert Packer Hospital for treatment. The accident is still under investigation.

Today's Top Stories - January 18, 2019

Bath man arrested for larceny, other misdemeanors

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that on January 15, 2020, Deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Nicholas J Ritchie, age 23, of Bath, New York. It is alleged that in July and August of 2019 Mr. Ritchie did knowingly steal services from the Steuben County Department of Social Services in the amount of $156.68 by Misuse of Food Stamp Benefit Card without authorization.  Mr. Ritchie was charged with one count of Petit Larceny, and three counts of Misuse of Food Stamps, all class A Misdemeanors. Mr. Ritchie was released on an appearance ticket to appear in the Village of Bath Court at a later date.

 

Crash in Erin shuts down road for hours; requires two medical helicopters

Two medical helicopters responded to the scene of a serious crash last night in the Chemung county town of Erin. The crash, which occurred around 8:45 P.M., involved multiple people. In the wake of the crash, the area near Langdon Hill Road and Staples Road was shut down for hours by first responders. As of 11:15 P.M. last night, fire trucks and police cars were still present on Langdon Hill Road. The crash is still under investigation and it is unknown at this time exactly how many were involved in the crash, or the extent of their injuries

 

Elmira College larceny suspect arrested

Elmira Police have arrested a man who stole several items from a computer lab at Elmira College. 56-year-old Michael Gyles of Elmira was arrested after stealing around $130 of gaming equipment. He was charged with petit larceny and released on an appearance ticket.

 

Multiple Southern Tier counties to receive HUD grants

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson announced over $1.6 million in funding for Southern Tier programs, such as Livingston Supportive Housing, from Continuum of Care awards. Carson said “The grants awarded today help our partners on the ground to reduce homelessness in their communities and help our most valuable neighbors”. The funding for the Southern Tier is part of a package totaling $2.2 billion.

 

Southern Tier/Finger Lakes regions receive grant to aid workforce development

As part of New York State’s historic $175 million Workforce Development Initiative, the Southern Tier will receive $3.4 million worth of grant funding to help aid in workforce development. The funding will be divided up amongst 61 state businesses, community colleges, and community-based organizations within the region.

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

Bath Village Seeking Court Clerk
Bath Town and Village Court is seeking a Court Clerk. The opening is a confidential clerk position from Monday through Friday and occasional Saturdays. Computer, phone, secretarial, bookkeeping and effective communication skills are needed for the job as well as the ability to work independently. Experience with the legal system is a plus. Applicants must pass a drug screen and criminal background check and be willing to attend training and educational courses offered by Office of Court Administration. Full benefits are available and salary will commensurate with experience. Interested applicants can send a resume’ and references by January 31st to:


Bath Town and Village Court
110 Liberty Street
Bath, NY 14810

 

Blood Drive Today at County Office Building
Today there will be a blood drive at the Steuben County Office Building in Bath from 8:45am to 2pm. The need for blood is critical. Make an appointment at redcrossblood.org, downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor app or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. 

 

OK Man Arrested for Burglary and Other Charges
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies arrested Jacob D. Canute from Bartlesville, Oklahoma due to multiple felony arrest and bench warrants filed in Steuben County by both the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police.  Canute was held in the Washington County Jail in Oklahoma awaiting his extradition to New York State.  Deputies responded to Oklahoma and transported Canute back to Steuben County, where he was arraigned in Steuben County Court. Canute allegedly committed Burglary in the Second Degree, Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree and Possession of a Hypodermic Needle, and did not appear for his appointed court date.  Canute was also arrested on several pending charges by the New York State Police then released on his own recognizance at Steuben County Court.

 

State Labor Department Predicts Area Growth
The New York State Department of Labor released a report outlining the economic future of the Southern Tier this week. Each year, the department issues a report naming 12 significant industries in our area and last year’s leading industries were based mainly in manufacturing, health care and education. The report did predict growth in the future overall but some major industries are still expected to remain on the decline. The Labor Department predicts a 6.8% growth in jobs in our area from 2016 to 2026 and the largest growth is projected to be in ambulance services and warehouse and storage industries. From 2013-2018 jobs decreased overall by 1%.

 

Haverling Art Students Share Work with Steuben Center 
Haverling High School students returned to the Steuben Center for Rehabilitation to show their portraits of the facility’s residents for the second year. WETM reported the students created art for the residents and they were excited and appreciative to be visited by the young artists. Some students met with their loved ones but also create special art for other residents. Haverling High School art teacher Courtney Yacuzzo says the event gets better every year.

 

Hammondsport Board of Trustees Meet Tuesday
The Village of Hammondsport Board of Trustees will hold a Special Meeting Tuesday, January 21st at 12:10 p.m. in the Village Office on 18 Water Street in Hammondsport. The meeting is to discuss the Village’s 2020-2021 General Fund and Water Fund Budgets as well as any other business before the Board.

 

Corning Inc. Confirms Lay Off of Employees
Corning Inc. confirmed to WENY TV that it is laying off employees in the Corning area. According to Corning Incorporated’s Sustainability Manager these reductions are “taking effect immediately” but did not disclose how many employees were laid off “for competitive reasons”. All affected employees are reportedly receiving severance packages.

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

Congressman Reed Named Part of NY Trump Re-Election Team
Congressman Tom Reed was named one of the six elected New York officials selected as one of the leaders of President Trump’s New York State re-election team. Reed will be working with Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson, fellow Congressmen Peter King and Lee Zeldin, New York City Councilman Joe Borelli and Albany-area Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. The six officials were named 'Honorary State Chairs' to the 'New York Trump Victory' effort yesterday to 'advance the agenda of President Trump and Republicans up and down the ballot,' according to the campaign’s news release. The Empire State’s presidential primary election is April 28th.

 

Public Invited to Wreaths Across America Cleanup
The public is invited to retrieve and clean up wreaths that were laid during Wreaths Across America Day. The cleanup event will be held Friday, January 24th in Bath National Cemetery at the Bath VA Medical Center at 3pm. Over 5,000 wreaths were placed on the graves of veterans last month. Parking will be available at the back of the Bath VA museum and no sign-up or registration is required to participate. Cleanup instructions are to be announced at the cemetery monument. Bringing a rake or broom is highly encouraged.

 

Palmesano and GOP Conference Calls to Repeal Bail Reform Laws
Yesterday, the State Assembly Republican Conference called to repeal the recently-enacted bail reform measures that went into law. Assemblyman Phil Palmesano says the state Democratic leaders are to blame for what he calls “the most pressing matter facing New Yorkers at this time” and said these reforms have turned New York’s criminal justice system “upside down”. During the call for a repeal yesterday, Republican representatives were joined by families impacted by the new bail reform measures as well as law enforcement officials who are critical of the new requirements.

 

Cuomo Sending Assets to Puerto Rico After Earthquakes
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced more assets to Puerto Rico will be deployed to assist with emergency response efforts following a series of initial damage assessments made by Cuomo and his delegation. Eight additional engineers and utility experts from the New York State Power Authority will be deployed to address power outages caused by recent earthquakes and work to stabilize the island’s power system to help with the repeating power outages. Bilingual health professionals from the State and the Greater New York Hospital Association will be deployed to support people on the island suffering from the trauma of the disaster. Dozens of inspectors from State Fire and the Department of State will be deployed to conduct extensive damage assessments of buildings and basic code-compliance inspections of public facilities. Cuomo called on the Trump Administration to release federal funds to Puerto Rico immediately and declare a Major Disaster Declaration for the damage caused by the earthquakes.

 

Van Etten Man Arrested After Horseheads Traffic Stop
A 40-year-old man from Van Etten was arrested on drug charges following a traffic stop in Horseheads. Timothy J. Bird was charged Tuesday with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after a traffic stop on Church Street in Horseheads. He was released after being charged to appear in town court at a later date.

 

Video Shows Alleged Charter Sales Rep Lying About Empire Buyout
A new video has surfaced of  a sales tactic from an alleged Charter employee lying about Charter Communications acquiring Empire Access. The video shows a man who says he is a sales rep trying to get someone to switch to Spectrum then halfway through the interaction, the so-called sales rep lies about Spectrum buying Empire Access. Empire Access says this is not the first time this has happened to residents in the Steuben county area, as they have had numerous calls reporting similar interactions in Bath. Empire Access says they have not been sold to Spectrum and do not plan on selling themselves to the company. A representative from Spectrum’s parent company Charter Communications says: “The content of the video is not accurate and we’re investigating these apparent comments by the sales representative.” Empire Access is asking anyone who has a similar experience with an alleged sales representative to contact them by phone or email.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOOrCz2vEEQ

 

Finger Lakes Researchers Discuss Algal Blooms at Conference
Health of the Finger Lakes was the topic of discussion at the 2020 Finger Lakes Research Conference yesterday. Researchers say people need to be aware of what's in the lakes with algal blooms being among the first topics discussed at the conference. Algal blooms have been appearing in all of the finger lakes and the blooms can not be eliminated but can be controlled and minimized by controlling nutrient flow and availability, which researchers say will make them less frequent and intense. Researchers are fighting for funding for their Finger Lakes research projects that allow them to collect data and projections of the lakes. Researchers are hoping to gain more funding throughout the year to continue studying and improving Finger Lakes ecosystems.

 

Full Circle America Offers Affordable Care for County Seniors
Steuben County’s Full Circle America has allowed nearly 30 senior citizens to remain safely in their homes while receiving services tailored to their needs, according to Steuben Senior Services Funds Inc. (SSSF) Executive Director Linda Tetor .Now helping 13 individuals stay at home, with an average age of 90, the Full Circle America (FCA) is operated by SSSF and the county Office For the Aging and readily adapts to changes in levels of care by combining basic computer “smart” technology with medical and volunteer services. Tetor recently told the county Legislature’s Human Services Health and Education Committee the county’s FCA clients have relied on Full Circle America for some 230 days at a maximum cost of $1,890 before they passed away or required other care arrangements. Individuals receive a six-month free trial followed by payments on a sliding fee scale based on income.

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

Senator O’Mara Launches Petition to Repeal Bail Reform
State Senator Tom O’Mara has launched an online “Repeal Bail Reform” petition to give local residents an opportunity to express their opposition to the newly enacted, controversial state law. Among other provisions, the new law eliminates cash bail and pretrial detention for nearly all misdemeanors and nonviolent felony cases, resulting in the mandatory release of 90% of those arrested, regardless of their criminal history. O’Mara is encouraging Southern Tier and Finger Lakes residents who oppose the law to sign the petition on his Senate website, omara.nysenate.gov (go to the home page, scroll down and click on the “Repeal Bail Reform” icon).

 

Report Finds NY Receives Less Money Back Federally Than Any State
According to a report released yesterday by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, New York paid $26.6 billion more in taxes to the federal government last fiscal year than it saw returned in federal spending. The report found that it was the biggest disparity of any state in the U.S. DiNapoli said for every dollar New York generates in tax receipts, it gets 90 cents back in federal spending-much lower than the national average of $1.21.

 

Public Invited to Wreaths Across America Cleanup
The public is invited to retrieve and clean up wreaths that were laid during Wreaths Across America Day. The cleanup event will be held Tuesday, January 24th in Bath National Cemetery at the Bath VA Medical Center at 3pm. Over 5,000 wreaths were placed on the graves of veterans last month. Parking will be available at the back of the Bath VA museum and no sign-up or registration is required to participate. Cleanup instructions are to be announced at the cemetery monument. Bringing a rake or broom is highly encouraged.

 

Congressman Reed Announces Energy Innovation Tax Credit Bill
In his weekly media conference call yesterday, Congressman Tom Reed announced the Energy Innovation Tax Credit Bill as a Republican alternative to the Green New Deal intended to give small businesses tax relief for their green efforts. The bill was authored and sponsored by Reed and is what he calls "a Republican proposal to recognize that the climate is changing and innovation and the American people are going to lead the way in order to address climate change."

 

Elmira-Corning Airport Offering Flights to Myrtle
Allegiant Airlines announced the Elmira-Corning Regional Airport will offer a new, nonstop outgoing route to Myrtle, South Carolina. The new seasonal route will be offered twice a week. The company is offering one-way fares on the new route for as low as $55 to celebrate the new flight. Flights must be purchased by January 16th for travel by August 29th to enjoy this promotional offer. For more information  on flight services and baggage fees, click here. Flight days and times can be found here.

 

HEAP Filing Opportunity is Today in Corning
A HEAP filing opportunity is scheduled for today at the Steuben County Courthouse in Corning. Those needing assistance with applying for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can attend and applicants will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. HEAP Applications will be accepted there. The event is from 8:30am to noon then 12:30 to 4pm at the Steuben County Courthouse at 10 West First Street in Corning.

 

Hornell PD Reports Meth Use and Arrests on the Rise
At the Hornell Board of Public Safety Meeting, the Hornell Police Department detailed the state of Hornell’s drug interdiction efforts. According to the Hornell Police Department, use of meth has gone up by 34% while heroin use increased by 1%. Based on arrests in 2019, use of cocaine and pills have gone down 18% and 12%, respectively. Hornell Police Department arrested 78 people for meth and 16 for heroin in 2019.

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

Sunday’s Liberty Street Fire Ruled “Accidental”
The Bath Volunteer Fire Department has released a statement regarding the fire Sunday afternoon at Liberty Street. The BVFD said that the Steuben County Fire Investigation Team has determined the fire at 56 Liberty Street in the Village of Bath is of accidental nature. Though the investigation is not yet closed and the Fire Investigation team is still gathering details, they say nothing was found indicating anything suspicious. One man was rescued during the Sunday blaze.

 

Steuben Hall of Fame Nominations Being Accepted
Nominations for the Steuben County Hall of Fame will be accepted until March 31st. Over 450 outstanding people of the county have been nominated since 1976 and 145 people were inducted into the Hall of Fame. All nominees will be reviewed in early May through a special committee proposing the nominees for 2020. A reception for the inductees will follow the approval by the county Legislature in late June. Nominees may be any man, woman or child living or deceased, who has enhanced the name of Steuben County. Nominees should have resided in Steuben but may have been born elsewhere. Past nominees not inducted into the county Hall of Fame may be re-nominated.Applications and the full list of Hall of Fame honorees can be found at https://www.steubencony. org/pages. asp?PID=357; or call (607) 664-2199.

 

Bath VFD Highlights 2019 Work at Annual Meeting
The Bath Volunteer Fire Department highlighted the work done over the course of 2019 in the 2019 report at their annual meeting. Bath VFD responded to 478 total alarms last year and 135 of which were medical and rescue calls. Of those, 71 were involving motor vehicle accidents, 57 for medical assistance and three were for other types of rescues. In 2019, the Department responded to 127 false alarms ranging from broken detectors to alarms set off by minor steam or smoke from cooking. Another 78 calls were reports of hazardous conditions like gas odors, spills and leaks, carbon monoxide alarms and other situations.

 

Senator O’Mara Launches 2020 Community and Legislative Survey
State Senator Tom O’Mara announced the launch of a survey offering community members an opportunity to share their views on various regional and statewide issues. Shortly after Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address last week, the “2020 Community and Legislative Survey” was launched to encourage input from local citizens in the area. O’Mara has offered the survey to his constituents since he was first elected to State Senate and says it gives residents an opportunity to “share their own views and suggestions on private-sector job creation, government reform, state fiscal policies including taxes and spending, mandate relief, education, public safety, transportation, health care, and additional issues including the state’s controversial new 'bail reform' law.”

 

Traffic Restored After Last Night’s Crash on I-86
Last night, it was reported emergency crews responded to a one-car collision on I-86 in Chemung County. According to WETM, the accident happened before 9pm in the Westbound lane between the exits for Elmira and Horseheads. Fire crews, police and emergency responders arrived at the scene of the crash, where one car was majorly damaged and towed. Traffic flow was restored shortly after and there were no reports of any injuries so far.

 

Wegmans Recalls Breaded Chicken Breasts
Wegmans announced it is recalling 20-ounce packages of their brand of breaded chicken breasts due to safety concerns of the possibility of undercooked chicken. The product being recalled has a “Best By” date that reads October 23, 2020 and has a UPC code of: 7789025193. The item can be returned to any Wegman’s store for a full refund. Wegman’s customers with more questions can call 1-855-934-3663.

 

NY Adoptees to Receive Original Birth Certificates Starting Tomorrow
The new state law allowing adoptees to receive a certified copy of their original or pre-adoption birth certificate when they turn 18 begins tomorrow. This new law intends to ensure all adoptees of New York will have the right to information about their birth and biological parents. Adoptees are encouraged to request their birth certificate by applying online starting tomorrow for the soonest issuance of the birth certificate. Paper applications will be accepted in person and by mail and all certificates will be issued via regular postal mail. For more information: https://www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/obtaining_birth_certificate.htm.

 

Cuomo Sets April Date for 27th District Special Election
Governor Cuomo has set a date of April 28th for special election to fill the seat vacated by former Congressman Chris Collins. The date falls on the same day as the New York’s presidential primary and critics say it will give Democrats an unfair advantage, as Republicans may not turn out to the election as heavily. Cuomo and other Democrats defend the date as the most efficient way to keep costs associated with the 27th District’s special election down.

Today's Top Stories - Monday, January 13, 2020

Bath Fire Department investigating Liberty Street fire

Yesterday, at about 1:40 PM, the Bath Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 56 Liberty Street for a reported structure fire. They reported on scene with smoke showing from a 3-story building, with the upper 2 floors being apartments and businesses being on the first. Bath Village Police officers were first on the scene to evacuate all tenants in the building. A male occupant was rescued from the 3rd floor of the building and taken to street level with burns and smoke inhalation. The fire crews inside were able to locate the fire and halt its progression. It was called under control at 2:29 PM and all units were clear by 5:36 PM. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

Chemung County Sheriff’s Office looking for larceny suspect

The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office say they are looking for a man who was caught on camera stealing a generator from a residential job site. The incident took place on Friday afternoon on Main Street in Big Flats. The surveillance video showed the suspect wearing a ring. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Criminal Investigations division at 607-737-2933.

 

5th annual Robotics Competition held at CPPHS

The 5th annual New York Excelsior Corning FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament was held yesterday at Corning Painted-Post High School. The competition requires robots built by teams comprised of 7-12th graders, to gather and place LEGO-like blocks against a timer, partly from its own programming and being controlled by team members. Teams as close as Elmira, and as far as Buffalo, got to display their talents at the event. In total, 25 teams were in attendance this year to battle for the chance to advance to the regional championships in Utica.

 

 

Two upstate NY businessmen killed in PA helicopter crash

Authorities say two upstate New York businessmen were killed as a result of a helicopter crash in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania last Thursday night. Nobody on the ground was injured by the crash. Piloting the helicopter was high-profile developer Mark Croce of Buffalo, and his passenger was a former trustee in the Western New York suburb the two men resided in. The men were en route to Washington, D.C., from Buffalo when the crash occurred. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the matter.

 

NY ban on flavored vaping products blocked by Judge

A judge has barred New York State from enforcing an executive order that would have banned flavored vaping products. Acting state Supreme Court Justice Catherine Cholakis handed down the decision, saying the state Public Health and Health Planning Council overstepped their authority by issuing a ban on e-cigarettes and e-liquids flavored with anything besides tobacco or menthol. A spokesperson for Cuomo called the decision “unfortunate, but pointed out that the judge said in her ruling she understands the seriousness of the vaping issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported as of December 17th, more than 2,500 across the US have reported vaping related respiratory issues and 54 are known to have died.
 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 11, 2020

Hornell woman dies after heroin overdose

Hornell police say a 33-year-old woman has died from an apparent heroin overdose. The woman’s body was found inside her Ransom Street apartment. Police executed a search warrant at a home on Adsit Street. Investigators said a quantity of heroin was seized as was evidence of the sale to the victim. No criminal charges have been filed at this time.

 

Corning man arrested after making terroristic threats

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that on January 5, 2020, deputies arrested Matthew W. Parker, age 30, of East Denison Parkway in Corning. Deputies responded to a report of a person threatening to burn, shoot and bomb a retail establishment on Silverback Lane in Erwin. It is alleged Mr. Parker attempted to coerce a civilian population by threatening to cause murder.  Mr. Parker was charged with Making a Terroristic Threat, a Class D Felony. Mr. Parker was held in the Steuben County Jail to appear in the Centralized Arraignment Court, where he was arraigned and released to appear in the Town of Erwin Court.

 

O’Mara, other republicans, work to repeal controversial bail reform law

State Senator Tom O’Mara from Big Flats and the Senate Republican conference Thursday called for repealing New York’s newly enacted bail reform law as criticisms continue to mount from regional and statewide district attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and many elected officials that the new law is dangerous and unworkable. The Senate GOP proposed a repeal amendment, which O’Mara co-sponsored, during yesterday’s Senate session.  The amendment was defeated along party lines.  O’Mara noted that the controversial bail reform law was enacted last year without the support of a single Republican in the Senate or Assembly.

 

Local Congressman pass legislation to identify cartels as terrorists

NY Southern Tier Congressman Anthony Brindisi and PA Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick introduced the bipartisan Identifying Drug Cartels as Terrorists Act. This bipartisan legislation would list seven Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), as defined by section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In a statement, Brindisi said-quote- “Illegal drugs are terrorizing our communities and it is time we called these drug cartels what they are: terrorists,”

 

Cuomo announces plan to address issues facing veterans and law enforcement

Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday announced the 35th proposal of his 2020 State of the State Agenda - addressing veteran and law enforcement suicides and homelessness. Under the proposal, the Governor will direct funding within the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program to be used to close the gap in veterans housing across the state. The Governor will also direct the State Office of Mental Health to partner with veterans and law enforcement organizations to coordinate on suicide prevention initiatives including new efforts to reduce the stigma of mental illness. Additionally, the Governor is announcing a new partnership between SUNY and the nonprofit Modern States to further extend the Freshman Year for Free program to veterans and active duty military families.

 

State Assemblyman appears in court for DWI charges

A state Assemblyman appeared in Victor town court where he pleaded not guilty to a DWI charge. Police said his blood alcohol level was .16%. Brian Kolb was arrested New Year’s Eve after he ditched his state-owned SUV. It happened at the beginning of his driveway. Kolb later resigned his post as minority leader. During his arraignment, the judge suspended Kolb’s Driver’s license. The court also ordered a substance abuse evaluation. He is due back in court January 23.

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

County Receives $3K Grant from United Way to Fight Lead Poisoning
Steuben County is receiving an award from United Way worth $3,000 designated to help children in danger of lead poisoning. The United Way of Southern Tier Lead Grant will increase training to providers, staff, parents and the community while providing materials such as lead-free paint and supplies to reduce lead exposure. Steuben and Chemung counties are receiving the grant from the United Way because there is a proven need to prevent lead poisoning in the area. The grant is expected to be accepted by the county Legislature at its January 27th meeting at 10am.

 

Palmesano Reacts to Cuomo’s State of the State Address
Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address Wednesday received negative reactions from local Assemblyman Phil Palmesano. The Assemblyman of the 58th district is most concerned about public safety being influenced by bail reform laws. * Palmesano also expressed concerned about the lack of tax talk and budget solutions in the governor’s speech. * New York State faces a $6.1 billion budget shortfall as the new legislative session starts.

 

Congressman Reed Reiterates He is Contemplating Governor’s Race
On Wednesday, Congressman Tom Reed reiterated that he is contemplating a gubernatorial run in 2022. The Congressman says numerous people across the state have encouraged his potential run. Reed also gave feedback on Cuomo’s State of the State Address and blamed Democrats and what he calls the “hard left” for downstate policies enacted under Cuomo’s leadership. Incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo has already confirmed he will run for a fourth term as governor.

 

NYS Senate Republican Conference Calls to Repeal Bail Reform
Yesterday, the New York State Senate Republican Conference called for a repeal of the state’s newly-enacted bail reform law. During the Senate session yesterday, a proposal to repeal the amendment was struck down. The proposal was co-sponsored by local State Senator Tom O’Mara who said: “These so-called ‘reforms’ are nothing more than unlocking the cell blocks and sending potentially dangerous criminals back into our communities and neighborhoods, day after day, with no safeguards. Democrats keep shrugging off the warnings and that’s irresponsible, to say the least.”Governor Cuomo recently remarked reforms to the law are necessary, calling it a “work in progress”.

 

State Dept of Health Directed to Monitor Flu Numbers
The New York State Department of Health has been directed by the Governor to take additional steps so healthcare facilities are prepared for the rest of the flu season. The Department was directed to begin enhanced monitoring of hospitals through the Health Emergency Response Data System to ensure hospitals have the resources necessary to handle the recent spike in hospitalizations. Hospitals will be required to report flu-related information to the State Department of Health on a weekly basis. Last week, it was reported that the number of New Yorkers hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza was up 34 percent from the previous week.

 

Empire Center Announces “DeregulateNY” Contest
Yesterday, the Empire Center announced that they were kicking off ‘DeregulateNY’, an online contest that invites users to identify the most needlessly expensive and restrictive rules imposed on people offering goods and services in New York. Interested New Yorkers can submit entries online and compete to win a cash prize and a trip to Albany. DeregulateNY encourages new perspectives of  regulatory obstacles to commerce and free enterprise, letting businesses tell their stories while helping New Yorkers decide whether these rules and regulations are working as intended.Entries may be submitted through Friday, February 14, 2020. Contest winners will be decided by a panel of judges and announced Thursday, February 20, 2020.

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

Three Arrested in STOP-DWI Crackdown
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested three people in their annual Holiday STOP-DWI Crackdown. Lindley woman Melissa Campbell was arrested in Erwin for DWI, Driving with greater than .08% Blood Alcohol content, Fail to Keep Right and Failure to Use Designated Lane. Tioga, Pennsylvania man Michael Belz was arrested in Erwin and charged with DWI, Driving with greater than .08% Blood Alcohol Content, Moving from Lane Unsafely and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana. Howard Stewart of Arkport was arrested in Hornellsville for Driving While Intoxicated and Driving with .08% Blood Alcohol Content. All three people were released on traffic summons to appear in local town courts at later dates.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Forcible Touching
Steuben County Sheriff’s reports the arrest of a Bath man for allegedly touching an intimate part of a person under the age of 17. Hunter J. Lee of Steuben Street was charged with Forcible Touching and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, both Class A Misdemeanors. Lee was held in the Steuben County Jail to appear in the Centralized Arraignment Court, where he was arraigned and released to appear in the Town of Avoca Court.

 

Leslie Danks-Burke Announces State Senate Candidacy
Attorney Leslie Danks Burke announced her candidacy for State Senator Tuesday. Danks-Burke announced on her Facebook page that she will run against Senator Tom O’Mara. The Democrat ran against O’Mara in 2016 and lost the vote by only 10 percentage points. The 58th Assembly District includes Yates, Schuyler, Steuben, and Chemung counties, along with a portion of Tompkins County, which includes the city of Ithaca.

 

Bath VA Brings in Labrador George for Narcotics Detection
The VA Finger Lakes Healthcare Police System has recently implemented a canine program for narcotics to ensure safety for patients and visitors to the Canandaigua and Bath campuses. Both campuses each have a Labrador retriever dog who is narcotics detection certified and receives ongoing monthly training and annual certification. The Bath VA has employed 18-month old Labrador George, who has already had three finds since he has joined the VA.

 

Prattsburgh Woman Arrested for DWI
Police report the arrest of a 21-year-old Prattsburgh resident for driving while intoxicated. Vanessa Stephan, age 21, was charged with driving while intoxicated after a traffic stop for a failure to keep right. Police say the traffic stop occurred on South Main Street of Prattsburgh. Vanessa Stephan was determined to be intoxicated then transported to the Ontario County Jail.

 

Woman Arrested on Traffic Charges After Horseheads Incident
After an incident in Horseheads, a 25-year-old Lockwood woman was charged this week with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and uninspected motor vehicle after a traffic stop. Dominique Schneider was also arrested for an outstanding bench warrant for failure to appear in Chemung County’s Family Court on Child Abuse/Neglect charges.

 

Transgender Teen Suing NYS for Birth Certificate
A transgender teen from New York is suing the state for being unable to change the sex listed on his New York birth certificate is suing the state. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in a federal court in Albany and argues that transgender minors should have the ability to change their birth certificates. Minors with documents in issued in New York City and other states currently do have the ability to get their birth certificates changed. The 14-year-old high school student was born in Ithaca and listed as “female” on the birth certificate. The lawsuit was brought by Lambda Legal and says the student was stigmatized by the birth certificate that inaccurately portrays his identity.

 

Cuomo Proposes Three-Prong Plan to Lower Prescription Med Costs
Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a three-part plan in an effort to lower prescription drug costs for all New Yorkers as part of the 2020 State of the State. The plan would put a $100 per month cap on insulin for insured patients. The plan would also empower the State Department of Financial Services to investigate dramatic spikes in prices of prescription drugs while the State Department would require manufacturers to show a reasonable justification for these price increases and call rebates to impacted consumers if the price is deemed unjustified. The plan also proposes to see the US import more drugs from Canada through a Prescription Importation Commission.

 

Barclay Named New Assembly GOP Minority Leader
Longtime Assembly member from Central New York Will Barclay was unanimously elected the State Assembly Minority Leader by his Republican colleagues Tuesday. Barclay will replace former GOP Minority Leader Brian Kolb after Kolb was arrested on a charge of drunk driving. The new Assembly Minority Leader said he was “very happy” to fill the position.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 8, 2020

Sonsire announces bid for County Court Judge

Damian Sonsire, a local attorney who served as a prosecutor with the Chemung County District Attorney’s Office for nearly seventeen years and currently works as an Assistant Chemung County Attorney, will formally announce his candidacy for Chemung County Court Judge at 5:15 pm today in the Federal Building’s Courtroom located at 200 E. Church Street in Elmira.
 

Horseheads PD looking for suspect in hit and run case

The Horseheads Police Department say they are looking for a suspect involved in a hit and run incident Tuesday night in Hanover Square. The incident occurred around 6 o’clock, and the vehicle was heading towards Old Ithaca Road. The vehicle in question is a newer styled dark pick-up truck with silver trim, and the suspect was described as a white male in his late 40’s to early 50’s, between 5’8 and 5’10, bald, and has a “larger build”. At this time, there is no word on the condition of the person hit.

 

Corning man charged with multiple sex crimes

Court action is pending for a Corning man accused of committing a sex crime. State Police have reported the arrest of 34-year-old Dale D. Button. His charges include third-degree sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching. Troopers said the alleged incident happened Sunday in the Town of Erwin.

 

Wegmans to remove single use grocery bags ahead of statewide ban

Wegmans has announced it will remove single-use plastic grocery bags from all its New York State stores on Monday, January 27. The removal of plastic bags comes ahead of a state ban that takes effect on March 1.

 

 

Scholarship competition to be held in Corning

The Miss Finger Lakes/Miss Upstate New York Scholarship Competition and the Outstanding Teen Scholarship Competition will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at the United Steelworkers Local 1000 Union Hall, located at 100 Civic Center Plaza, Corning. This is a local preliminary for the Miss New York Scholarship Organization and Miss America Scholarship Organization. Featured guest and emcee will be Miss New York Lauren Molella. Admission tickets cost $20 per person or $10 for students, available at the door.

 

Cuomo announces plan to improve Erie Canal

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $300 million plan to revamp the Erie Canal ahead of his State of the State address later this week. The initial phase of the redesign would cost around $165 million, $100 million of that focusing on economic development projects, including building pedestrian bridges across the canal, implementing a whitewater rafting course, and building a series of new homes along the old canal in Canastota, while the other $65 million would be put towards flood mitigation projects. The New York Power Authority is expected to vote on the funding later this month at its board meeting.

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

Rochester woman charged with possession of a controlled substance

The Village of Bath police department with the assistance of the State Police Major Crimes Unit, arrested 27-year old Diane S. Jackson of Rochester. She was charged with criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. Both counts are class B felonies. The arrest stems from a Superior Court Sealed Indictment warrant from May 2018. She allegedly sold crack cocaine in a local hotel. Jackson was arraigned in Steuben County court and released without bail.

 

Former NYS Assemblyman dies at 84

A former Deputy Secretary of State and New York State Assemblyman from Belfast, who represented Allegany County in Albany, died in Florida over the weekend. 84-year-old John W. Hasper passed away Saturday at the Bayfront Hospital in Punta Gorda. He served as a firefighter, county supervisor, state assemblyman and deputy secretary of state. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Truesdell Funeral Home in Belfast and have not yet been finalized.

 

Steuben County Agriculture, Industry, and Planning Committee to meet

The Steuben County Agriculture, Industry and Planning Committee will meet Wednesday morning. On the agenda… Approval to Purchase Equipment for a Transit WiFi System off State Bid, and a plan to green light an InterMunicipal Agreement with the Town of Addison Relative to Code Enforcement. The Committee will also consider a resolution to support increasing the State appropriation for Cornell Cooperative Extension associations to $8 million.

 

Savona man arrested after violating order of protection

State Police arrested 33-year-old Brandon Bailey of Savona after he allegedly violated an order of protection. He was charged with criminal contempt for allegedly disobeying a court order. He’ll answer the charge in court at a later date.

 

Local law enforcement continues crackdown on impaired drivers

The holiday’s may have passed, but law enforcement is continuing their crackdown on impaired drivers. 42-year-old Kevin DeCamp of Corning was arrested after a traffic stop on Spencer Hill road by State police. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and having a blood alcohol content above .08%. He’ll eventually answer the charges in Town of Corning court.

 

Cuomo proposes change to allow sale of alcohol in theaters

If Gov. Cuomo gets his way, movie theaters in New York State could get the green light to sell alcohol. Under the Governor's proposal, adults holding tickets to movies rated PG-13 or higher could purchase alcoholic beverages, provided only one drink could be sold to a customer at a time. This proposal would be beneficial in multiple ways, providing theater operators with additional revenues, assisting in the economic development of downtowns, and providing New York craft producers with additional retail outlets. 

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

Rochester Woman Arrested on Drug Charges
Bath Police report the arrest of a Rochester woman in connection with the alleged sale of crack cocaine out of a local hotel. Diane Jackson, age 27, was wanted on a Superior Court Sealed Indictment Arrest Warrant from May 2018. Jackson is charged with one count each of 3rd-degree criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance. She was arraigned and released without bail. The name of the hotel was not released.


Mike Sweet Formally Announces His Run for Bath Mayor
Entrepreneur and community activist Mike Sweet has formally announced his candidacy for Village of Bath Mayor.  Sweet has been active in local politics as a Village Trustee in the past 7 years and member of the Central Steuben Chamber of Commerce as well as owner of Bath liquor store Vines and Barrels. A businessman, Sweet wants his community’s businesses to thrive by tackling issues like assessments, taxes, loitering and poverty. Sweet said of his aspirations for mayor: “I have my own ideas and I want Bath to be the modern-day success story of how once a Village with a bad reputation made an incredible comeback.” 


HEAP Filing Workshop Tomorrow in Hornell
Tomorrow is a HEAP filing opportunity in Hornell to get help in person with a HEAP expert. The workshop will be held tomorrow at the Office for the Aging on Broadway Mall in Hornell from 8:30am to noon. You can also file a HEAP application online at www.mybenefits.ny.gov.


Former Painted Post Police Chief Yost Passes Away
Former Painted Post Police Chief Don Yost has passed away over the weekend at Arnot Ogden Medical Center. Yost lived to be 75 years old and spent 36 years in the department, serving as chief for 30 years from 1976 to 2006 when he retired. A funeral service is set Wednesday 1-3pm and 6-8pm at Haughey Funeral Home on East First Street in Corning. 


State Attorney General Calls for Review of Bail Reform Laws
New York Attorney General Letitia James has called for the new bail reform changes to be reviewed. James did not specify which parts of the new reforms she felt needed to be challenged but did say “I’m not going to negotiate in public,” and added that additional state resources will be needed to meet the demands of the new law. James also commented: “Safety should be the first priority.”


Car Accidents Involving Cell Phones Increase in NY
A rise in accidents involving cell phones has been reported in the past decade. According to New York state data, accidents involving cell phone use has increased 86% in the last ten years. In 2009, there were 650 accidents involving cell phones compared to 1,212 accidents in 2018.


Hammondsport Central School Holding Workshop Tonight
Hammondsport Central School reminds the public that they will be holding a Board of Education Workshop this evening. The meeting begins 6pm tonight at the High School Library. 


State Lawmakers Return to Albany for Legislative Session
New York lawmakers are set to return to Albany this week for the start of the new legislative session. Also happening this week in Albany is Governor Cuomo’s annual State of the State Address on Wednesday. Cuomo’s State of the State Agenda will include initiatives such as restricting vaping advertisements and a ban on single-use Styrofoam take-out containers. Medicaid spending on a $6 billion budget gap is another hot issue as well as potential legalization of pot, bail reform changes, and carbon emissions caps to fight climate change. The state legislative session ends on June 2nd this year. 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 4, 2020

Van Etten named new chairman of Steuben County Legislature

Steuben County Legislator Scott Van Etten was named Chairman of the county Legislature Thursday by unanimous consent. Van Etten has also been chairman of the Finance Committee for the past four years and also chairs the Steuben County Land Bank Corporation. A graduate of Corning Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Syracuse University, Van Etten was elected to the Town of Caton Board while still enrolled at CCC and later went on to become it’s youngest town supervisor. He retired after nearly 13 years working at Corning Inc in 2015 as a worldwide sales manager.

 

Truck crashes through fence at Elmira-Corning airport

A pickup truck crashed through the Elmira-Corning airport fence along Chambers Road on Friday afternoon. The driver was taken to a nearby hospital. Local fire department officials say the driver may have suffered a medical incident causing him to veer into the fence. No flights were delayed at the airport as a result.

 

Three arrested after New Year’s brawl in Horseheads

Three people were arrested after a New Year’s brawl outside the Beefeaters Tavern in the parking lot around 2:00 a.m. It is unknown where the trio were coming from prior to the incident. 22 year old Jaydon Smith of Elmira was charged with 1 count of Disorderly Conduct and 1 count of Criminal Impersonation, and 24 year old Ray-Shawn Brooks of Vacaville, CA and 22 year old Wissdum Smith of Elmira were both charged with 1 count of Disorderly Conduct. All 3 were released with appearance tickets to appear in Horseheads Village Court at a later date.

 

Bradford County man arrested for sexual abuse of a child

An unnamed 25 year old man from Bradford county was arrested in Milan, PA after admitting to producing and sharing explicit images of a child online and abusing said child in Bradford County. The suspect was identified by detectives in Washington D.C. and the suspect was later apprehended on December 30th in Milan by members of the FBI’s Philadelphia field office for his crimes related to the Production of Child Pornography and Child Sexual Abuse. The child was taken by local child protection personnel.

 

NYS ups security measures after killing of Iran’s top general

In the wake of the U.S. killing Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, security has been stepped up at many of New York’s airports, utilities, transit systems, and various other high-profile locations as a means to defend against any potential retaliation from Iran. State and city leaders said there were no direct, credible threats made, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said the airstrike could bring about “new and very profound challenges”. Governor Cuomo sent National Guard personnel to city airports, city subways, buses, and commuter rails have also ramped up security measures. City police have also sharpened their watch over some prominent locations. Iran vowed “harsh retaliation” for General Soleimani’s death.

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

Van Etten Named County Legislature Chairman
The New Chairman of the Steuben County Legislature has been named. Scott Van Etten of Caton was named Chairman, replacing his longtime colleague from Campbell Joseph Hauryski who retired on Tuesday. Van Etten will leave his current committee positions behind and noted the last several years that unexpected changes imposed by state officials have been key influences in shaping the top issues in our county. Legislator Robin Lattimer from Bath was named the Vice Chair of the Legislature, who is primarily responsible for running meetings in the absence of the Chairman.

 

Several Blood Drives Scheduled for This Month
Two blood drives will be held in Bath for the month of January. The first one is at Davenport and Taylor on Tuesday January 7th from 9am to 1pm. Friday, January 17th a blood drive will be held at the Steuben County Office Building from 8:45am to 2pm. Blood drives for January are also scheduled at Savona Fire Hall on January 21st and Hammondsport Fire Hall on Jan 30th. Make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS

 

Steuben Land Bank Corporation Reschedules 1/8 Meeting
The Steuben County Land Bank Corporation announces its meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 8th has been cancelled.  This meeting has been tentatively rescheduled to Wednesday, February 5th at 10:30 a.m. in the Legislative Committee Room of the County Office Building.

 

Complications from Restraining Order Affects Farm Labor Law
A new farm labor law that went into effect Wednesday is being complicated by a temporary restraining order. The restraining order comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by a coalition of dairy and vegetable farmers. The new law gives farmers rights to overtime and collective bargaining units but opponents say the conditions of the law are ambiguous, lack clarity and parts of the law conflict with the National Labor Relations Act. A hearing for the legislation is scheduled later this month on January 24th.

 

Beer Tax Could Increase in NY
A new law has been proposed in the State Assembly that could increase the beer tax. A Manhattan Assemblyman proposed the bill as the bill’s sponsor and the legislation would increase the tax for beer from 14 cents per gallon to 30 cents per gallon. It is estimated that $50 million would be generated by the tax raise and the revenue would be distributed within the CUNY and SUNY school systems. However, beer distributors in the state may see a negative impact on their business as a result of the tax increase.

 

Labor Dept. Ending Sub Min Wage for "Miscellaneous" Industries
Governor Cuomo announced a Department of Labor order that ends sub minimum wage for the “miscellaneous” industries across the state. Over 70,000 tipped employees will be impacted and the Governor says this order will end confusion and outright wage theft that evidence shows robs them of tipped income they rightfully earned. Nail salon workers, hairdressers, aestheticians, valet parking attendants, doormen, tour guides, tow truck drivers and more will be affected by the measure. The tip wage for these industries will be eliminated to bring workers up to the current minimum wage and the tip wage elimination will be phased out over a one year period to help employers adjust.

 

Cuomo Kills Bill Bringing State-Owned Study of Broadband
Governor Cuomo quietly killed a piece of legislation last month that would study state-owned broadband as a solution that could address poor internet service in rural areas. Both the State Assembly and Senate had passed the measure but the Governor vetoed it due to the need for significant investment from the state to conduct the study, saying: “In order to deliver the study called for in the bill, funding must be allocated,” Cuomo said at the time.” The bill’s supporters believe corporate providers are not fulfilling their obligations to expand their service to rural areas. So far, the Governor has not mentioned improving Upstate New York’s infrastructure as a proposal for the 2020 State of the State Agenda.

 

NYS Legislature Approves Pay Raise for Governor
The New York State Legislature has approved a pay raise for Governor Cuomo. This salary increase will make the NY Democrat the highest paid Governor in the nation. Beginning January 1st, 2021, Cuomo’s salary will increase to $250,000 a year. Cuomo’s current annual salary is $179,000. Lieutenant Governor Hochul will also receive a pay bump to $220,000 a year. Both salaries haven’t changed since 1999.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

Bath Village Police Report Suspicious People Looking in Vehicles
The Village of Bath Police Department reports an incident of suspicious people walking around houses and vehicles with flashlights and lights on their heads. The Department responded to the area of Robie and Allen Street early yesterday morning and attempted to stop and identify two subjects dressed in dark clothing in the area of Haverling High School, but the pair fled on foot toward Allen Street. The Village of Bath Police remind residents to lock their vehicles and store any valuable items out of sight inside your vehicle. Anyone with information or footage capturing the suspects should contact the Bath Village Police.

 

Congressman Reed Sends Letter Demanding Answers from SUNY
Congressman Tom Reed has released a sent letter to SUNY System Chancellor Kristina Johnson and President of SUNY Binghamton after a visit by economist Art Laffer to Binghamton University where he was heckled off the stage and escorted by security, preventing him from giving his speech. Press reports say the protesters did not approve of the campus Young Americans Foundation and the College Republicans, both were the groups that hosted Laffer’s talk. In Reed’s letter, he demands answers about the free speech policies of SUNY.

 

Assembly Minority Leader Arrested for DWI
New York State Minority Leader Brian Kolb was arrested and taken into custody on New Year’s Eve for Driving While Intoxicated. The Republican Assemblyman of the 131st district was arrested by Ontario County Sheriff’s Office after deputies responded to the report of a property damage crash in Victor. Kolb was taken into custody then charged with unsafe turning and a DWI with a BAC over .08% No one was injured in the crash and Kolb appears in Victor Town Court at a later date. The arrest came two weeks after a public safety statement given by Kolb advising constituents not to drink and drive.

 

Campaign Finance Plan by Commission Passed
The December deadline has passed for state politicians to block a politically-appointed commission’s plan to publicly finance campaigns in New York State. Both Democrats and Republicans were critical of the plan, but are expected to refine the details next year and will have time to make changes. The plan would have New Yorkers giving donations of $250 or less have their donations matched with public funds 6 to 1 for statewide offices like governor so a $100 donation would be worth $700.  Local donations would be matched 12 to 1 for the first $50. Voting rights groups see the plan as a leap forward but say legislators should lower the limits on political contributions and ensure the system has independent oversight.

 

New York State Tax Reforms Take Effect This Year
The beginning of 2020 brought a lot of new changes when it comes to tax break reforms. Effective yesterday, businesses in the state can receive a tax credit for providing child care facilities to employees. Tax credits will be allowed for employers hiring certain people in recovery from substance use disorders. Also receiving tax breaks in the professional world will be New York television studios that hire television writers who are women and minorities.

 

Undetectable Guns to Soon Be Criminalized in NYS
New York is soon criminalizing weapons that are not detectable by X-Ray machine or metal detector. The law takes effect on Monday, January 27th and prohibits the manufacture, sale, transport and possession of undetectable firearms, rifles and shotguns as well as the parts and components to these guns. Another new state law sets statewide standards for gun buyback programs. Municipalities and groups across the state already host programs aimed at allowing citizens to get rid of unwanted or illegal guns. However, supporters of the new law say the programs aren’t available everywhere and lack consistent standards.

 

New York Teens Can Now Pre-Register to Vote
This year, it will be easier for New York teens to prepare to vote once they reach the age to do so. Effective yesterday, New York is allowing those 16 years or older to preregister to vote before they reach age eighteen. Once someone turns 18, the State Elections Board automatically registers them to legally vote.

 

Adoptees Will Soon Be Granted Birth Certificates Without Court
This month, adoptees in New York will be able to obtain a certified birth certificate. Effective Wednesday January 15th, the new law allows adult adoptees, their descendants or legal representative to obtain a certified copy of their original birth certificate. Currently, adoptees must go before a judge to request access for their birth certificate and that access isn’t always granted. The National Conference of State Legislatures says half of the states in the US still require a court order. Critics of the new law say they are concerned about the privacy rights of birth parents.

Today's Tops Stories January 1st 2020

Jan Blood Drives in Steuben County

Two blood drives will be held in Bath for the month of January. The first one is at Davenport and Taylor on Tuesday January 7th from 9am to 1pm. Friday, January 17th a blood drive will be held at the Steuben County Office Building from 8:45am to 2pm Also blood drives at Savona Fire Hall on January 21s and Hammondsport Fire Hall on Jan 30th .  A good way start the New Year is by giving blood…the need is always there.

Bail Reform Official today

Criminal Justice reforms take effect in New York State today. One of the measures is the highly controversial bail reform act, which eliminates pre-trial bail for most criminal offenses. Beginning today, most defendants will simply be issued an appearance ticket for court despite the wave of criticism by law enforcement of the reform.

Cuomo Proposing legislation to fight robo calls

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the 2020 State of the State Agenda's 17th proposal is a plan to fight "incessant" robocalls or nuisance phone calls. The legislative package would require telecommunication companies to deploy technology that would allow customers to block suspected robocalls and require companies to update their blocking technology. This proposal also mandate providers adopt technology that would warn consumers about potential robocalls and scams, including for out-of-state numbers. Financial penalties would be increased against companies not complying with New York State's "Do Not Call" law.

 BOCES Building in Bath no longer a public health Concern

The New York State DEC announced yesterday that the Bath Steuben-Allegany BOCES site is no longer a threat to public health. The property was formally classified as a Superfund site in 1992 when drinking water wells were sampled and 1,1,1,-TCA was detected. According to the DEC, from 1973 into the 1990's, the film wash chemical 1,1,1-trichloroethane was used and allegedly stored in the south side of the facility inside a storage room. DEC officials have not identified any significant sources of contamination on-site from the most recent groundwater sampling. 

 

New York State Populations continues decline


New York's population is on the decline according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest update of population estimates. According to the annual data, New York's population grew by .4% or about 16 times less than the overall population growth of the US for the same time period. The Census Bureau Data also shows that over 180,000 more residents moved out of New York State than moved in from other states in the past 12 months.
 

Local legislatures make Farm Bureau’s Circle of Friends List

 

New York Farm Bureau has released its annual “Circle of Friends,” naming 77 New York State Legislators to the distinguished list. The award is an indication of the individual lawmaker’s support of New York agriculture and Farm Bureau. The “Circle of Friends” honor is based upon each legislator’s voting record on issues of agricultural importance as well as other evidence of legislative support, including sponsorship of bills that New York Farm Bureau has either supported or opposed during the most recent legislative session. Among those making the list from the state senate, Tom O’Mara…and from the state Assembly Phil Palmesano.

 New York’s  Minimum wages is going up today

The minimum wage increases today in New York State. For most areas outside of New York City and including Steuben County, the hourly minimum wage advances to $11.80. Critics have said businesses might be forced to cut hours and jobs because of the hike. New York’s minimum wage, which has been steadily increasing in much of the state in recent years, has also been blamed for contributing to a budgetary shortfall to the tune of $6 billion.

Today's Top Stories - New Year's Eve Tuesday December 31st, 2019

 Bath Man Arrested for Burglary and Grand Larceny

A Bath man was charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny stemming from a reported burglary on an unoccupied residence on East William Street in Bath. According to Village Police, several long guns and jewelry were taken from the residence. Addison Police helped locate Isaac Smith on Cooper Avenue in Addison then he was taken into custody. State Troopers helped recover the long guns in Rathbone. Smith was held for approximately 12 hours at the Steuben County Centralized Arraignment Court and released without bail.

 

Gordmans in Hornell Hiring Soon
Peebles department stores will be converted into Gordmans stores and several of the store locations in the Twin Tiers will be hiring. Tuesday, January 7th from 11am to 8pm, Gordmans is hosting a job fair at several locations including in Hornell and Penn Yan. New York State will open 13 new store locations in total. Interested candidates can apply online at gordmans.com/careers and then visit the job fair. Walk-ins are welcome.

 

Vivian from Louie’s Gun Shop Talks Carry Laws with WETM
Though New York State is one of the two states in the nation prohibiting openly carrying guns, with the exception of long guns, not everyone in the Central Steuben area agrees with the law. Vivian Woodworth is a Manager at Louie’s Gun Shop and yesterday spoke with WETM about the issue. The Gifford’s Center says that studies show there is evidence open carrying firearms “endangers public safety” but Vivian says she feels safer when she can see someone carrying a gun. Vivian is not the only one locally who feels that way and she mentioned: “I have a pastor that comes into our gun shop and he has assigned two people to sit on different sides of the churches in regards to safety and that was after one of the other big shootings that we had in California,” Currently, the only gun licenses you can get in New York are for concealed carry.

 

Congressman Reed Contemplating 2022 Run for Governor
According to the Buffalo News, Congressman Tom Reed could be contemplating a gubernatorial run. The publication reports in an interview at his Washington DC office earlier this fall, the Congressman of the 23rd district did not rule out a possibility that he may run for governor against Cuomo in 2022. Upon searching Tom Reed’s website, the Congressman attacked the Governor 38 times in the last two years in press releases and newsletters compared to only three mentions of Cuomo in the years before that.

 

Two Steuben County Residents Arrested on Bench Warrants
Two people from Steuben County were both arrested on bench warrants over the weekend. Mary Beam of Hornell was arrested Sunday on a bench warrant. Arron Thompson of Corning was arrested on Saturday for a bench warrant.

 

Inmate Death Reported at Elmira State Correctional Facility
An inmate at the State Correctional Facility in Elmira died earlier this month. The Associated Press reports that 40-year-old Darrell Fuller was pronounced dead at the prison on December 9th. He was serving a life sentence for a conviction of killing a Nassau County police officer and motorist he attempted to carjack in Long Island back in 2014. Fuller’s death is not yet being considered suspicious but investigators are still awaiting the results of an autopsy.

 

Farm Group Coalition Challenging Farm Labor Law in Suit

A coalition of farm groups is soon bringing a lawsuit challenging a farm labor rights law signed by Governor Cuomo this year. According to the Auburn Citizen, the coalition includes the New York State Vegetable Growers Association and Northeast Dairy Producers Association. The coalition aims to stall the legislation that is supposed to take effect tomorrow which gives farmers overtime and protects their right to unionize. The point of contention is the ambiguities of the legislation and those advocating for farmers say these uncertain issues must be resolved before the law is implemented.

 

Legislature Chairman Hauryski Retires Today
After serving a record nine years as Steuben County Legislature Chairman, Joe Hauryski of Campbell retires today. Hauryski was first elected in 2007 to chair the Legislature’s Public Works Committee before filling the vacancy in 2010 left by Chairman Patrick Donnelly. Some of the changes Hauryski led during his leadership was a new charter and organizational restructuring, Medicaid reform and the construction of the county Annex. Hauryski spent 32 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was well-known as a strong advocate for agriculture, economic development and communication. A new chairman will be elected this Thursday when the county Legislature meets.

Today's Top Stories - Monday December 30th, 2019

Chairman Hauryski Steps Down Tomorrow
After serving a record nine years as Steuben County Legislature Chairman, Joe Hauryski of Campbell will step down tomorrow. Hauryski was first elected in 2007 to chair the Legislature’s Public Works Committee before filling the vacancy in 2010 left by Chairman Patrick Donnelly. Some of the changes Hauryski led during his leadership was a new charter and organizational restructuring, Medicaid reform and the construction of the county Annex. Hauryski spent 32 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was well-known as a strong advocate for agriculture, economic development and communication. A new chairman will be elected on Thursday January 2nd when the county Legislature meets.

 

Bath Woman Arrested for Forgery
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports an arrest of a Bath resident for attempting to cash a forged check. Valerie Rhodes of Bath is accused of taking a check belonging to someone else, then completing it and signing it without the owner’s knowledge or permission. It is also alleged Rhodes, as a result, violated a term or condition of her parole and was arraigned on a parole violation. Rhodes was charged with Forgery, Criminal Possession and Petit Larceny.  Rhodes is scheduled to appear in Bath Town Court at a later date to answer the local charges.

 

C-PP Marching Band Plays at Camping World Bowl
A local high school marching band got to be part of the NCAA’s Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Florida this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the Corning-Painted Post marching band performed as part of the half-time show ensemble along with 700 other student musicians from across the nation. Roughly 47,000 attended at Camping World Stadium. The football game’s final score was 33-9 with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish beating the Iowa State Cyclones.

 

Painted Post Man Arrested for DWI
A Painted Post man faces several charges after he allegedly drove drunk and crashed his car on Interstate 86 after going in the wrong direction. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Daniel Hamilton crashed his car into an object off-road after driving on I-86 in the Town of Corning. He was treated at the scene for injuries and released on traffic summons. Hamilton faces charges of reckless driving and Aggravated DWI for an alleged BAC over .18 percent. Hamilton is due back in Corning Town Court at a later date.

 

Cuomo Cracking Down on Flavored Vaping in 2020 State of State
Governor Cuomo has declared cracking down on flavored vaping as his fifteenth proposal for the 2020 agenda. Cuomo’s plan is for the State Department of Health to regulate the sale of chemicals used in vaping-related products and ban the sale of vaping product carrier oils deemed to be a public health risk as well as restrict vaping ads targeted to youth. This legislation would also prohibit the online, phone and mail order sale of e-cigarettes, making only registered retailers authorized to purchase e-cigarettes using those methods.

 

Employers Can’t Ask About Past Salary in One Week 
Beginning on January 6th, employers will no be able to ask about salary history thanks to new legislation passed in an effort to close New York’s gender wage gap. The new law prevents private and public employers from getting such information from other means including asking past employers or using other coordinated efforts to discover how much a person made at a past job. This ban is part of the 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda passed by Cuomo. A Department of Labor press release says the measure “builds on the progress New York has made to improve reproductive, economic and social justice for all New York women…”

 

Cuomo Proposing Healthcare Competition Website for 2020
The fourteenth proposal from Governor Cuomo for the 2020 State of the State Agenda will be the creation of a consumer-friendly website called NYHealthcareCompare, a resource where New York residents can compare the cost and quality of healthcare procedures at hospitals across the state. The site will also provide educational resources designed to help consumers be aware of their rights which includes financial assistance options. The governor said of the platform: “This new website will give New Yorkers the facts they need to make informed decisions about the cost and quality of healthcare procedures – helping increase competition in the marketplace and driving down prices.”

 

Minimum Wage in NY to Increase Tomorrow
New York’s minimum wage is set to increase again tomorrow. Gov. Cuomo’s budget director says several studies show New York’s gradual increase in the minimum wage hasn’t directly caused a loss in jobs. The minimum wage increased to $15 in New York City for all business with over 10 employees last year. The $15 wage will expand to small businesses in the city with 10 or fewer employees starting Dec. 31. Meanwhile, the rest of the state will see an increase from $11.10 to $11.80 per hour starting tomorrow.

 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday December 28, 2019

Cuomo Vetoes electric scooters and bikes bill

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a bill to allow electric scooters and bikes statewide. Cuomo’s veto message said the bill overwhelmingly passed by lawmakers this year didn’t include enough safety measures, such as a helmet requirement. The Governor said failure to include these basic measures renders this legislation fatally flawed. According to the Associated Press, lawmakers may try to pass a bill with more safety measures next year. Cuomo said electric bikes and scooters must be regulated to protect public safety and said he looks forward to working with lawmakers on the issue in 2020.

 

Alfred U appoints new chief of Public Safety

Alfred University announces the appointment of Wellsville native Jessica Middaugh as chief of Public Safety, effective Jan. 6. As chief, she will oversee a staff of three full-time officers and eight part-time officers, as well as 12 student public safety officers and one office staff. Middaugh’s career in law enforcement began in 2012, as an officer and dispatcher with the Wellsville Village Police Department.

 

Cuomo to reexamine high speed rail as part of State of the State agenda

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the 13th proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda - convening outside experts to reexamine and rethink strategies to bring high-speed rail to New York. The Governor will task a panel of engineers to reexamine past high-speed rail plans, question and rethink every assumption and method, and recommend a new plan for how to build faster, greener, more reliable high-speed rail in New York.

 

NYS set for minimum wage increase

New York’s minimum wage is set to increase again on New Year’s Eve. Gov. Cuomo’s budget director says several studies show New York’s gradual increase in the minimum wage hasn’t directly caused a loss in jobs. The minimum wage increased to $15 in New York City for all business with over 10 employees last year. The $15 wage will expand to small businesses in the city with 10 or fewer employees starting Dec. 31. Meanwhile, the rest of the state will see an increase from $11.10 to $11.80 per hour beginning next Tuesday.

 

Bath woman arrested for forgery

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that on December 18, 2019, deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Valerie L. Rhodes, age 48, of Bonny Hill Road, Bath, New York.  Deputies were dispatched to a report of a person forging a check and cashing it.  As a result of the investigation, it is alleged that Ms. Rhodes took a check belonging to another person, completed and signed it as that person and cashed it without that person’s permission. It is further alleged that Ms. Rhodes violated a term or condition of her New York State Parole and was arraigned due to a parole violation warrant and remanded to the Steuben County Jail. Ms. Rhodes was charged with Forgery in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Petit Larceny.  Ms. Rhodes is scheduled to appear in Bath Town Court at a later date to answer the local charges.

 

Steuben County Legislative Chairman to resign after 9 year term

Steuben County Legislative Chairman Joe Hauryski (R-Campbell), will be stepping down effective December 31st after serving a record 9 years in the position. Hauryski spent 30 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture after graduating from The Ohio State University. First elected in 2007, Hauryski chaired the county Legislature’s Public Works Committee before filling the vacancy left by then chairman Patrick Donnelly. He was a strong advocate for agriculture, economic development, communication, and he was able to help guide the county through many fundamental changes.

Today's Top Stories - Friday December 27, 2019

NYSDOL releases unemployment report from November

The New York State Department of Labor this week released preliminary local area unemployment rates for November. From November 2018 to November 2019, the State’s private sector employment count increased by 109,900. The unemployment rate in Steuben County stood at 4.1%. During the past 12 months, state officials say Steuben has lost about 100 jobs. The latest report shows 38,700 people are employed in the county. In addition, the State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.0% in November 2019.

 

Campbell man arrested after Christmas Morning traffic stop

A Campbell man was arrested Christmas morning during a traffic stop on County Road 17 in Campbell. State Police said they arrested 54-year-old Alan Paul. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and Having a BAC above .08%. He will answer the charges in court at a later date.

 

Guthrie receives $9,000 from Dandy to help support those with Breast Cancer

Guthrie recently accepted a check from Dandy for more than $9,000, which will support local women being treated for breast cancer. The donation was raised in October from the annual “Dandy Pink Cups for the Cure” campaign and will be given to The Guthrie Breast Care Fund. The Fund is used to help breast cancer patients receiving treatment at Guthrie with the cost of medication, post-surgical supplies, diagnostic testing, and other items not covered by insurance. Funding can also be used to help with transportation costs to and from appointments.

 

Elmira man charged with 3rd degree grand larceny

An Elmira man has been charged with felony third-degree grand larceny. That count leveled against 33-year-old Brandon Cervoni. State Police said the charges stems from an incident October 28th in Big Flats. Cervoni was released on his own recognizance.

 

Christmas Eve plane crash being investigated

A plane crash at the Cortland County Airport on Christmas Eve remains under investigation. The unidentified pilot sustained minor injuries and was taken to the hospital. Authorities said the plane was totaled. Deputies said the small plane had been practicing take-offs and landings when the plane struck a snowbank.

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Department cracks down on holiday DWI’s

Over the past 2 weeks, Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports that 6 arrests were made as part of a DWI holiday crackdown. On December 15th, deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department arrested Ms. Terrie R. Crowe, age 39 of Hornell. On December 18thm deputies arrested Joshua M. Hopkins, age 28 of Bradford. On December 19th, deputies arrested Dennis W. Buckley, 66, of Painted Post. Also, on that date, Ryan D. Caslin, age 25, of Addison was arrested. On December 20th, deputies arrested Mr. Kem J. Wilson, age 57 of Cameron, and on December 23rd, deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department arrested Daniel A. Hamilton, age 40, of Painted Post. All were charged with DWI at the least along with a slew of additional charges and all were released on a traffic summons to appear in their respective town courts at a later date.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday December 26th, 2019

Wayland Woman Found to Be on Fentanyl for June Crash
According to officials, a Wayland woman was under the influence of fentanyl during a June crash that hospitalized her passenger. Sadie Wagner was charged with felony vehicular assault and driving while ability impaired by drugs as a refusal. Deputies say Wagner pulled out in front of a tractor trailer while exiting I-390 in Dansville, causing a crash that sent a 36-year-old man to the hospital with fractures to his back, leg, rib and sternum. Wagner was released on her own recognizance.

 

Congressman Reed Votes for Elimination of SALT Tax
Congressmen Tom Reed and John Katko have voted in favor to eliminate the cap on state and local property tax deductions. The Republican duo were among the 5 GOP Members breaking with the party on the 218-206 vote approving the measure. The approved bill would phase out the SALT deduction cap of $10,000 over the next three years but the bill is not expected to be voted on in the Republican-led Senate. The elimination of the cap would be offset by a hike in the top marginal tax rate from 37% to 39.6% Governor Cuomo said the SALT cap was to blame for an over $2.3 billion hit to the state budget.

 

Red Cross Holds Blood Drive Friday
The Bath Ambulance Corps will hold a blood drive tomorrow from noon to 5pm. Make an appointment now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

 

FLCC Return to Finish Program Beginning for Former Students
FLCC Students who left the Community College before graduating and with unpaid bills to the school can now return and receive up to $1,200 in charges canceled upon graduation. The program is called Return to Finish and was created to help students who may have been unable to register for courses due to a previous debt. Students accepted into the program will have their old bills deferred until they graduate. Upon graduating, FLCC will forgive past-due bills up to the $1,200 so long as the student has not had their debts turned over to debt collectors. Return to Finish has a deadline of January 8th, 2020 to enroll.

 

New NY Law Requires Insurance Coverage of IVF in 2020
A new law taking effect on January 1st of the new year will make access to receive in vitro fertilization and fertility preservation services easier. New York state will mandate coverage of prescription drugs intended for IVF services under large group health insurance policies. New York will also begin requiring coverage of three cycles of IVF and prevent insurers from imposing lifetime limitations or age restrictions. Health insurance policies providing comprehensive care in the state also must be able to cover fertility preservation services under this measure.

 

Cuomo Orders Phase Out of Chlorpyrifos
Monday, Governor Cuomo ordered that state regulators must phase out the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, a chemical used to protect apple orchards. The governor demanded the chemical be phased out by July 2021 and called for an immediate halt on aerial spraying of the pesticide by December 2020. Chlorpyrifos was used widely for agriculture in the Finger Lakes region, including Steuben County. At extremely low doses, chlorpyrifos can trigger neurological damage in children and in 2001 it was banned nationally for indoor home use.

 

Senator Schumer Completes 21st Tour of All NY Counties
US Senator Chuck Schumer this week completed his 21st consecutive tour of all 62 New York State counties. Over the course of the year, Schumer made 153 county visits to Upstate New York and Long Island, visiting the Southern Tier region 13 times. Schumer is the first New York State public official to visit every single county in New York every year he has been in office. Schumer talked about the pride he takes in New York State, saying:“my proudest and most principal titles have been, and will always remain, New York’s Senator and ‘New Yorker.’ At the close of twenty-one years, my beliefs are as clear as ever: ‘Senators who stay in Washington and never return home are simply not doing their job.’….I’m always mixing, mingling and learning more about New York directly from my constituents.”

Today's Top Stories - Christmas Wednesday December 25th, 2019

Red Cross Holds Blood Drive Friday
The Bath Ambulance Corps will hold a blood drive Friday December 27th from noon to 5pm. Make an appointment now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

 

Free Lunch at Bath’s O’Malley Hall Today
Today, St. Mary’s in Bath will be holding a Christmas Day Lunch. The lunch begins at noon at O’Malley Hall. The lunch is free and this year’s meal will consist of baked ziti, fresh-baked rolls, butter, salad and treats!

 

NY Law Requires Insurance Coverage of IVF in 2020
A new law taking effect on January 1st of the new year will make access to receive in vitro fertilization and fertility preservation services easier. New York state will mandate coverage of prescription drugs intended for IVG services under large group health insurance policies. New York will also begin requiring coverage of three cycles of IVF and prevent insurers from imposing lifetime limitations or age restrictions. Health insurance policies providing comprehensive care in the state also must be able to cover fertility preservation services under this measure.

 

Cuomo Orders Phase Out of Chlorpyrifos
Monday, Governor Cuomo ordered that state regulators must phase out the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, a chemical used to protect apple orchards. The governor demanded the chemical be phased out by July 2021 and called for an immediate halt on aerial spraying of the pesticide by December 2020. Chlorpyrifos was used widely for agriculture in the Finger Lakes region, including Steuben County. At extremely low doses, chlorpyrifos can trigger neurological damage in children and in 2001 it was banned nationally for indoor home use.

 

Hornell Man Arrested
Police report the arrest of a Hornell man for drug and larceny charges on Monday. It was reported that 23-year-old Jared Baumgarten of East Elm Street in Hornell was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and petit larceny.

 

Brooklynn Woman Arrested in Bath for DUI
A Brooklyn, NY woman faces charges after she was stopped on I-86 in Bath. State Police arrested 35-year-old Rhea Bazile. She was charged with driving while impaired by drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana.

 

Gillibrand Announces Postpartum and Maternity Support Funding
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced that the bipartisan FY 2020 appropriations package includes $22 million in funding to address the maternal mortality and postpartum depression crises in New York and across the country. Specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was awarded $12 million to support state-run Maternal Mortality Review Committees. These committees are comprised of local public health experts who study maternal deaths to better understand their causes, identify solutions to prevent further deaths, and improve the quality of maternity care.

 

Cuomo’s 12th Proposal:Make “New York Buy American” Act Permanent
Governor Cuomo Monday unveiled the 12th proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda - making the "New York Buy American" Act permanent. The Act requires all structural steel and structural iron used in all state road and bridge construction projects with contracts worth more than $1 million to be made in America. The current law is set to expire April 2020, and making this law permanent will continue to require State agencies to use high-quality American-made structural iron and steel, creating union jobs and helping ensure our infrastructure projects last long into the future.

 

Cuomo Signs “Safe Way Home Act” for Sexual Assault Survivors
Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law the "Safe Way Home Act". The legislation provides survivors of sexual assault no-cost transportation from medical facilities where they received initial care in the wake of an assault to their home or a shelter.  Cuomo said "This measure will provide some peace of mind and security at a time when victims are most vulnerable by helping ensure they get home or to a shelter safely."  This legislation will go into effect after 90 days.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday December 24, 2019

Cuomo unveils legislation cracking down on sex offenders online

Governor Cuomo Sunday unveiled the 11th proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda - legislation to prevent convicted sex offenders from using social media accounts, dating apps and video game chat functions to exploit children. The proposal builds on New York's nation-leading e-STOP law, which passed in 2008 and requires sex offenders to register certain online activities with the state. To address this problem, Governor Cuomo says he is proposing legislation to require all sex offenders to affirmatively disclose their screen name for each social media account or dating/gaming app they are on to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, as opposed to just giving the email address they use for those accounts. DCJS will send this list to any provider that the offender discloses, and the provider will be required to review this data, develop policies on how to use it, and release this policy publicly to their users.

 

Owego man arrested after robbing gas station

The Broome County Sherriff’s office say they have arrested a man involved in a robbery of a gas station in the town of Union. 32-year-old Charles Haupt of Owego was arrested Saturday morning and charged with 1st degree robbery, a class B felony after stealing cigarettes and cash from the gas station. Sherriff’s deputies say the robbery occurred around 2:30 P.M. Friday at the Speedway gas station at 1015 Union Center-Maine Highway in the town of Union. Mr. Haupt was dropped off at the Broome County Sheriff’s Office Correctional Facility, where he will remain awaiting further action in Broome County Court

 

Corning woman arrested for DWI

A Corning woman was arrested during a traffic stop on State Route 223 in Horseheads. State Police charged 29-year-old Mercedes Abreu with driving while intoxicated. She’ll appear in court at a later date.

 

Hammondsport man charged with numerous traffic infractions

A Hammondsport man faces a number of charges after he was pulled over on State Route 54. State Troopers arrested 55-year-old Lawrence Day. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, having a BAC above .08% and two other traffic infractions. Court action is pending.

 

New York to invest over $10 million in fight against hate crimes

New York will be investing more than $10 million dollars in security enhancements at non-public schools and cultural centers, including religious based institutions in an attempt to fight against hate crimes. Hate crime statistics have shown a spike in anti-Semitism and hate crimes against Jewish people, both across the United States and in New York. The grant will provide $50,000 for security training and ungraded technology for qualifying facilities, totaling 207 projects.

 

Two from Springwater facing multiple felony charges

Felony charges have been filed against two people from Springwater following an incident last week in the Town of Wayland. State Police arrested 38-year-old Robert Loveland. He was charged with first-degree menacing, making a false sworn statement and tampering with physical evidence, all felony counts. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use. State police also arrested 35-year-old Kristen Canute. She was charged with felony making a false sworn statement and child endangerment.

Today's Top Stories - Monday December 23, 2019

Suspect Identified In Stabbing of Ithaca Policeman

Michael DeCastro, 57, of Ithaca was identified as the deceased suspect in the stabbing of an Ithaca Police officer, Ithaca Police Chief Dennis Nayor announced in a press release. The random attack occurred Saturday morning at 6:30 A.M. in the lobby of the Ithaca Police Department and was carried out with a “large butcher-type knife” with a 9-inch blade. DeCastro was shot and killed by police, and the injured officer sustained minor injuries

 

Vestal Police Investigating Robbery at Local Restaurant

The Vestal Police are investigating a robbery that was reported to have occurred Friday night at around 10 P.M. at the CoreLife Eatery located in the University Plaza at 4700 Vestal Parkway East. The Broome County Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a restaurant employee reporting that an unknown suspect entered the restaurant approximately 45 minutes after closing, brandished what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money from employees. The suspect was described as small in stature; approximately 5’ to 5’2” and weighing about 100 pounds. The suspect wore a white mask that had red lips and a defined chin. The mouth portion appeared open with teeth. The suspect was also described as wearing light blue jeans, grey hoodie and white sneakers. He left the store and fled in an unknown direction. No one was injured during the incident.

 

PA Jobless Rate Up to 4.3% in the month of November

Pennsylvania's jobless rate rose slightly in November, even as the number of nonfarm jobs hit a new record high. The state Labor and Industry Department said Friday the rate last month was 4.3%, up one-tenth of a percentage point from October. The national rate dropped slightly in November, to 3.5%. Pennsylvania has nearly 6.1 million jobs and is seeing the largest increase in leisure and hospitality employment. 

 

Corning Watching Salt Stock as Winter Arrives

Early snow may have caught some off guard, but not City Department of Public Works crews in Corning  say have already spread more than 600 tons of road salt on city streets to fight snow storms. “We are early in the season, so we will need to be careful how much overtime and road salt we use,” said City Manager Mark Ryckman. “This could be a long winter.” The city tries to limit the amount of salt spread on streets each year to reduce cost, according to Ryckman. “We still have an adequate amount for this season,” Ryckman said. “However, we will be regularly monitoring usage in case we need a budget transfer.” The 600 tons of road salt used so far amounts to about $34,000 in cost to the city. The average annual use for the past several years has been 1,865 tons per year, Ryckman said.

 

His Tabernacle hosts Christmas Mass

Community members in Horseheads gathered for a special Christmas Mass at His Tabernacle Church on Sunday. The first mass took place at 9 a.m. and the second was hosted at 11 o'clock. Dozens of visitors and congregation members sang songs, heard from a childrens' choir, and experienced a live nativity petting zoo. They also enjoyed a theater production of an original play showcasing the true meaning of Christmas. There will also be a Christmas Eve mass on Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. There, families can enjoy cookie decorating, as well as a candle lit service. The His Tabernacle campuses located in Horseheads, Ithaca and Mansfield.

 

O’Malley Hall in Bath Hosting Christmas Day Lunch

There will be a free Christmas Day lunch held at St. Mary’s O’Malley Hall in Bath at noon on Christmas Day. There will be plenty of to eat, including Baked ziti, freshly baked rolls with butter, salad, and many other treats

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