WVIN News

Today's Top Stories - Saturday August 8, 2020

Corning man arrested for DWI, burglary

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

 

Power restored in Big Flats-Horseheads area

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

 

NYSP to probe possible anti-transgender attack

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

(pictured: Robbery Suspect Robin Robinson)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Three New Steuben Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that three additional Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 312 confirmed cases, 11 of which are currently active.  Individuals are residents of the Town of Dansville, Town of Greenwood and Village of Avoca. Individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.  Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed cases and exposure risks.  All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Other hazardous waste days are:

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

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

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

The August dates also are available for shredding.

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

costs listed by the firm are waived through the county.

More information is available on the county webpage at

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Today's Top Stories - Saturday August 1, 2020

One new case of COVID-19 in Steuben County

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

 

One injured after shooting in Elmira

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

 

Elmira, Hornell school districts submit reopening plans

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

 

Avoca CSD receives extension to submit reopening plan

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

 

Paving to begin August 3

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

Today's Top Stories - Friday July 31st, 2020

Avoca Man Arrested for Alleged Rape, Sex Misconduct
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Tuesday deputies arrested Matthew P. Kapp, age 46, of Avoca following an investigation of alleged rape and sexual conduct against a child reported on July 22nd.  It is alleged that over a ten year period at a residence in the Town of Avoca, Kapp engaged in sexual conduct with a minor female. Kapp was charged with Rape in the First Degree and Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree and was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released on $500 bail.

 

Wentling Arrested on Warrant for Drugs
Village of Bath Police Department with the assistance of the Corning Police Department arrested Brendan R. Wentling on two different Steuben County Superior Court warrants of arrest. The warrants allege that Wentling sold controlled substances consisting of methamphetamine and heroin in the Village of Bath during the fall of 2019. The charges are two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, two counts of Criminal Possession of 
Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, two counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree. Wentling was arraigned in Steuben County Court the same day and released without bail.

 

Reed Sponsors SMART Act
Congressman Tom Reed tells Spectrum News his plan to help local communities devastated by the COVID-19 Pandemic hinges on changing or limiting the way New York State would be eligible to spend any federal aid earmarked for localities. Separate from the current HEALS Act, the SMART Act would provide state, county, and municipal governments with $500 billion in targeted financial aid. Reed, who sponsors the bill, says that doing this “ensures the money actually reaches the folks who need it most, and that funds won’t be used to address non-COVID related problems,”

 

NYS Bill Could Change Hydrofracking Waste Rules for Landfills
Landfill rules applying to fracking waste could be soon changing in New York State. According to Environmental Advocates of New York, in 2018 three landfills in the Southern Tier accepted over 18,000 tons of fracking waste and between 2010-17, New York landfills accepted at least 609,000 tons and 23,000 barrels of fracking waste which came largely from the state of Pennsylvania. “Closing the Hazardous Waste Loophole” is a bill passed by the New York State Legislature and if signed by Governor Cuomo, it will reclassify all waste from hydrofracking as hazardous.

 

Finger Lakes Reopening Schools Safely Task Force Formed
Finger Lakes Reopening Schools Safely Task Force is a new regional task force formed to ensure the safety of Finger Lakes students as they return to school this fall. Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health, explains the purpose of the task force is working together to protect educators, parents and students as the upcoming school year soon begins. Task Force Member Vickie Swinehart said it’s important to keep in mind all school districts are as different as their needs. The task force will identify common challenges and share best practices among its members as reopening plan details are responsibilities left up to the school districts.  

 

NYS Adopts Enforceable Limits on Drinking Water Contaminants
State officials have adopted enforceable limits on three drinking water contaminants under new rules requiring all New York water systems begin testing for them, many for the first time. The state set maximum contaminant limits (MCLs) at 10 parts per trillion each for PFOA (perfluorooctanic acid) and PFOS (perflourooctane sulfonate) and 1 part per billion for 1,4-dioxane. Regulations go into effect as soon as they are published in the next State Register. PFOA and PFOS are among the PFA class of chemicals used in dozens of household and industrial products like Teflon cookware, paints and cosmetics. Water systems serving more than 10,000 people will be required to start testing within 60 days while systems serving between 3,300 and 9,999 have 90 days. Systems serving less than 3,300 people must start testing within six months.

 

Sheriff Says Wayland Citizens Received Mysterious Seeds from China
Sheriff Jim Allard reports that citizens in the Wayland area have received packages containing seeds from an unknown origin. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is aware that people across the country have received unsolicited packages of seed from China in recent days. The Service is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and State departments of agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins. Anyone receiving seeds in the mail like this is advised to contact the Sheriff’s Office or email Edward.Chen@usda.gov

Today's Top Stories - Thursday, July 30th, 2020

DiNapoli Calls for Federal Aid to State and Local Governments
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has joined the call for the federal government to include aid for states in the negotiations for the new stimulus package underway in Washington D.C. DiNapoli said federal help is necessary so states won’t have to pass their fiscal gaps onto local governments. When pressed if shutting down the economy was the right thing to do, DiNapoli said no one was prepared for the fallout and shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. DiNapoli also noted though last month’s sales tax revenue fell 27 percent from a year prior, collections for the month of June did improve in some counties.


Cuomo Urges State and Local Support in Federal GOP Stimulus Bill
Governor Cuomo has put pressure on lawmakers in Congress to come up with a plan covering the financial losses that New York and other states have seen during the pandemic. Cuomo urged Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to not give into the Republican stimulus plan that does not include aid for states. NYSAC president Marren said the need for federal aid to counties and municipalities is urgent. Cuomo said cuts to major programs and higher property taxes and tolls on the Thruway are likely to occur if federal funding does not support state and local governments. 


WGI Voted Best NASCAR Track by USA Today 
State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano thanked voters for giving Watkins Glen International its fourth victory in the past five years for USA Today’s 10 Best online Readers’ Choice competition to decide America’s “Best NASCAR Track.” The online voting contest that lasts almost a month ended earlier this month. Watkins Glen Inernational  events annually generate over $200 million in economic activity across the region and contribute over 2,000 local jobs.


NYS to Give $30 Million for Pandemic
New York State will be release thirty-million dollars to counties according to Governor Cuomo. He said the $30 million support will fund counties to start up flu vaccine accommodations and increasing contact tracing for the upcoming school year. No details were released regarding how much money each county in the state will receive.


NYS Says Students Must Have Vaccines for School
New York State says that students must have all vaccines up-to-date so they can return to school. Even those who are distance-learning must keep up with their shots. Last year, Governor Cuomo signed controversial legislation eliminating the non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements. Officials advise parents consult with their physicians before beginning the school year.


School Districts Expecting Substitute Teacher Shortage
As some school districts consider reopening school this fall, the roadblock of a substitute teacher shortage is also expected as an increased demand for substitute teachers means there will be fewer for small school districts to pull from. Some districts say if a shortage occurs, they will have other school staff members, like librarians, fill those open roles.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday July 29th, 2020

Wheeler Says Steuben Waiting on DC; Warning Possible State Aid Cut
Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler says Steuben County is waiting on Washington to learn more about Steuben’s fiscal future and how the next stimulus can harm or help the county. Wheeler cites the spring economic shutdown that took a major hit on businesses of all sizes in the county, state and nation and has a direct impact on sales taxes- which is a major source of revenue in Steuben County. Wheeler hopes there will be more revisions made to the stimulus bill, as there is currently no aid for the state or local level in terms of more support through funding and noted “the real issue is if state and local governments aren't given any form of relief in revenue that we lost, there will be a significant impact upon services. The state has already said if that stimulus funding does not happen, that we're going to be looking at a 20 percent cut of state aid.”

 

Reed Optimistic About Reaching Agreement on HEALS Act
Senate Republicans revealed their latest Coronavirus relief package on Monday and Congressman Tom Reed believes three priorities can be added in the bill before it gets a vote. Reed is anticipating that an agreement can be made within the next seven to ten days. The HEALS Act proposes the second round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals plus more aid for families who are caring for adult dependents.

 

Majority of NYS School Board Members Want to Reopen in Fall
A majority of New York school board members say they would like to see students go back to classrooms on either a full-time or part-time basis according to a poll by the New York State School Boards Association. The poll found 71% of board members asked said they felt their district could “not safely open schools in accordance with state guidelines in the absence of additional state or federal funding” while 29% said they believe schools in their district could reopen safely without additional aid. The poll also reports that 42% of board member support having students return to in-classroom instruction in September full-time with 34% supporting part-time in-person instruction. Fifteen percent of school board members said students should not go back at all in the fall.

 

Three States Added to NY Travel Advisory
New York’s travel advisory list had Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota added to it yesterday and brings the total number of states on the advisory list to 34. This means anyone traveling from any of the listed states must quarantine for two weeks when arriving in New York state. Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico were also added.

 

United Way Kicks Off Kids On Track Program for Literacy
The United Way of the Southern Tier (UWST) aims to keep kids on track this summer with reading by supporting a literacy program for children starting kindergarten this fall in Steuben County. The Kids on Track Steuben Summer Literacy Program provides virtual classroom instruction and support to 45 children over the course of five weeks with the goal to help 4-year-olds from socioeconomically challenged backgrounds, who otherwise may not be able to participate in summer education or enrichment opportunities. The Triangle Fund has joined UWST to support the effort and bring $14,983 to the program. The United Way reports that summer 2019 the program had 30 children participating with 60 percent  of kids maintained their overall learning from the previous school year, and 40 percent increased their overall learning.

 

US GOP Leaders Propose Unemployment Bonus Cut
Senate GOP leaders are warning of weeks or even months of delays in getting benefits to those on unemployment. A new Republican proposal would eliminate the $600 weekly benefit boost for those left jobless due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Republicans say the $600 per week bonus expiring this week is too high and encourages people to not work. GOP leaders want the benefit cut by two-thirds, to $200 per week through September, then begin switching to a percentage of no more than 70% of what the person made before the pandemic. However, Democrats like U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says cutting unemployment benefits to $200 per week would result in 3.4 million more layoffs and cause a “slide into a greater degree of recession.”

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday July 28th, 2020

Two County Bridge Replacement Projects Begin August 3rd
Two bridge replacements will begin Monday August 3rd announced by the Steuben County Public Works Department yesterday. Replacements will be made to the Bunker Hill Road bridge over the Tuscarora Creek on the Freeman-Elkland Road between County Route 85 and Morris Road in the Town of Tuscarora. The bridge will be closed beginning Monday August 3rd to all traffic for approximately 14 weeks. There will be an onsite detour. The County Route 77 bridge over Five Mile Creek between Town Line Road and Briglin Road in the Town of Pulteney will also be closed to all traffic also beginning Monday, August 3rd  for approximately 10 weeks. Motorists will be directed to detours using Town Line Road, Gallagher Road, CR 76 and Briglin Road.

 

Corning City Council Extends Closure of Market Street
Last night, the Corning City Council voted to extend closing Market Street to vehicle traffic for an additional month until Labor Day Weekend. The plan was initially unanimously approved by the city council last month allowing outdoor seating for restaurants and other businesses until at least August 1 as a response to New York State COVID-19 regulations that limit indoor dining.

 

Arkport Man Arrested Following Break-In
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies arrested Anthony E. Morris, age 40, of Arkport two days ago following an investigation of a reported break-in occurring at a residence in the Town of Hornellsville.  Mr. Morris allegedly unlawfully entered or remained in a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime and damaged the property of another.  Morris was charged with Burglary in the Second Degree and Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree. Morris was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.

 

Additional Case of COVID Reported in Steuben County
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that an additional Steuben County resident tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 306 confirmed cases, 13 of which are currently active.  The individual is a resident of the Town of Bath. In addition, a previously reported positive individual who was listed as recovered has tested positive still.  This is not considered a new case. The individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.  Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed cases and exposure risks.  All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified.

 

NYSAC Releases Alarming Economic Impact Report
The NY State Association of Counties released a new economic impact report in response to the Senate Republican COVID-19 relief plan announced on yesterday. The NYSAC study shows a $13.5 billion loss in revenue over two fiscal years for counties as well as New York City. The study also found hotel occupancy taxes have fallen almost 80 percent and gaming revenue losses are projected to decline between $57 and $86 million. NYSAC President and Ontario County Board of Supervisors Chair Jack Marren says the State’s Congressional delegation are acting for aid to go directly to counties and localities. Marren also said the unemployment relief payments worth $600 are harming the restaurant and food service industries.

 

NY Residents Reporting Seed Packages Sent from China
Reports across New York state have been made of residents receiving unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China marked as containing jewelry but actually contain plant seeds. People in other states have also received similar packages and the USDA is investigating them. Richard Ball, who is the New York State Commissioner of Agriculture says residents should not handle or plant them and put them in a safe place out of reach of children and animals. Seeds imported into the country are tested by the USDA to prevent the introduction of invasive species, insects and diseases. Those receiving these seeds can also contact the USDA by emailing erich.l.glasgow@usda.gov . A USA Today story about this can be found here.

 

Prattsburgh Man Arrested for Criminal Obstruction
State Police yesterday morning arrested a name-protected 18-year-old male from Prattsburgh. He was charged with assault and criminal obstruction of breathing following an incident in the town. He was issued appearance tickets for court.

 

Today's Top Stories - Monday July 27th, 2020

Heat Advisory Lasts Until 8 Tonight
A Heat Advisory is in effect until 8pm tonight. Heat index values up to 95 are expected.

 

Fire Reported at Corning Inc in Big Flats
The Corning Incorporated facility in Big Flats had to be evacuated Friday afternoon following the breakout of a fire. WENY reported the blaze began around 3 o clock behind the back of the County Route 64 plant. No word is reported yet on the cause of the fire or extent of the damage but no injuries were reported.

 

Gillibrand calls for $50 Billion Childcare Aid in Upcoming Stimulus
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called for $50 billion in childcare aid for the next federal coronavirus stimulus package. The New York junior Senator says daycare facilities throughout the state will be hard-pressed to keep their doors open without this funding. Gillibrand says the continuation of daycares closing down will take a hard dent to the overall economy. Gillibrand also called for the CDC to release clear reopening guidelines ensuring childcare facilities can safely reopen.

 

NYS Senate and Assembly Repeal COVID Hospital Liability Protections
Both the New York State Senate and Assembly voted late-Thursday to partly repeal legislation previously shielding hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities from lawsuits during the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, the state budget had added a law added to it that gave these institutions liability protection while treating those with the virus. The intent of the proposal narrows legal immunity provisions but an amendment was offered in the Senate floor to create a panel with subpoena power to investigate the over 6,000 nursing home deaths since the pandemic began. Governor Cuomo will have 10 days to veto or sign the legislation once it reaches his office.

 

O’Mara Appointed on Committee Leading NYS Nursing Home Hearings
State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) has been appointed as the top Republican member on the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations as the committee prepares to lead upcoming joint Senate-Assembly hearings on the COVID-19 nursing home crisis. Hearings on the nursing home deaths are scheduled to begin in a few weeks. O’Mara has worked with local officials in Steuben County where nursing home “hot spots” in Hornell and elsewhere have been alarming.

 

DiNapoli Reports Sales Tax Revenue Dropped in Second Quarter
Sales tax revenue for local governments in New York state dropped 27.1 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, according to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Sales tax collections from April through June totaled $3.3 billion, which was $1.2 billion less than last year. All regions saw their second quarter collections drop. Across the Southern Tier, sales tax collections dropped 20%. Every region outside of New York City, however, saw an improvement in June.

 

Pool Chemical Disposal Begins at DPW Steuben Transfer Stations
Beginning August 8th, Steuben County Residents can safely dispose of hazardous materials such as pool chemicals during the county Public Works Department’s free Household Hazardous Waste Days, set for August 8th at the Erwin transfer station, August 29th at the county Landfill in Bath, October 10th at the Hornell transfer station, and October 24th at the Wayland transfer station, all from 8 a.m.-noon. Registration is required. If disposed of improperly, pool chemicals, such as Chlorine tablets and Muriatic acid can create serious hazards to personal health and property. Mixed pool chemicals can badly burn and injure people as well as cause fires.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday July 25, 2020

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Steuben County

The Steuben County Health Department has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19. The individuals are residents of the Towns of Campbell and Hornellsville. One of the patients in question visited the Hornell Gardens nursing home between July 20th and July 24th. At least 12 residents of Hornell Gardens died from COVID-19, though no known deaths have been reported since April. Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed cases and exposure risks. All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified. These two latest cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Steuben County to 305, 11 of which are currently active

 

Bill to limit liability protections for nursing homes and hospitals treating COVID-19 patients set to hit Cuomo’s desk

The New York State Senate and Assembly voted late Thursday to repeal legislation added to the state budget in April that previously granted health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes liability protections while treating COVID-19 patients. Senator Jim Tedisco proposed an amendment to the bill to form a state panel with subpoena power to investigate the many nursing home deaths since the pandemic’s onset. Governor Cuomo will have 10 days to sign or veto the bill once it reaches his desk.

 

Steuben County’s free Hazardous Waste Disposal days to begin August 8th

Beginning August 8th, Steuben County Residents can safely dispose of hazardous materials such as pool chemicals during the county Public Works Department’s free Household Hazardous Waste Days, set for August 8th at the Erwin transfer station, August 29th at the county Landfill in Bath, October 10th at the Hornell transfer station, and October 24th at the Wayland transfer station, all from 8 a.m.-noon. Registration is required. If disposed of improperly, pool chemicals, such as Chlorine tablets and Muriatic acid can create serious hazards to personal health and property. Mixed pool chemicals can badly burn and injure people as well as cause fires

 

Suspect in serious condition after Officer involved shooting in Tioga County

Yesterday afternoon, Tioga County Sheriff’s Deputies and an officer from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation responded to a report of a domestic dispute at a residence in the town of Newark Valley. A male at the residence allegedly fired at least one shot before officers arrived. The suspect failed to comply with orders from the responding officers to drop a shotgun. The suspect was shot after approaching the officers while aiming the shotgun in their direction. He was transported to the UHS Wilson Medical Center where he is currently in serious condition.

 

Crews working on water main break in Hornell

Crews in Hornell yesterday responded to a broken water main on North Church Street, according to the city’s facebook page. Earlier this week the city reported a different water main break on Fourth Street after they replaced the city’s water system.

 

Small fire breaks out at Corning Inc. facility in Big Flats

A small fire broke out in an equipment area at the Corning Innovation Support in Big Flats Friday afternoon. All employees were evacuated safely while the fire was controlled and eventually extinguished. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The Innovation Support Center is one of the facilities where Corning’s Valor Glass is manufactured

 

Gas leak in Corning after construction crews strike a line

Crews worked to repair a gas leak yesterday in the City of Corning after constructions crews accidently struck a gas line. Five homes near the 100 block of South Place had to have their gas turned off as a result of the leak.

Today's Top Stories - Friday July 24th, 2020

Two New COVID Cases Reported in Steuben County
Steuben County Public Health Department reports two additional cases of COVID-19 in Steuben County, bringing the total case count to 303. Health officials report the latest cases are from Corning and Greenwood. Current hospitalizations are still at 0 and a death toll stands at 42 people in the county with 252 cases in total recovered.

 

Senator O’Mara and GOP Call for Nursing Home Investigation
State Senator Tom O’Mara and members of the Senate Republican Conference continued efforts yesterday calling for an independent investigation of the COVID-19 nursing home crisis in New York State. O’Mara said that the Senate GOP proposed a legislative amendment to advance legislation O’Mara currently co-sponsors (S8756) to establish an independent, bipartisan, temporary state commission that would be able to issue subpoenas to compel testimony and fully investigate and issue a report on the COVID-19 nursing home crisis that has led to the deaths of at least 6,300 seniors across the state. The amendment was unanimously rejected by the Senate’s Democratic party majority.

 

CMOG Launches Corelle 50th Anniversary Exhibit
The Corning Museum of Glass launches a new exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of Corelle called Dish It! Corelle at 50 and honors the world-famous dinnerware line first introduced in 1970 by Corning Glass Works. The exhibit will be available to view until spring of next year and showcases the wide array of products through two feature walls that display both distinctive shapes and another filled with patterns that include this year’s 2020 anniversary pattern featuring festive turquoise, yellow, and pink birthday sprinkles. Learn more here.

 

NYS Liquor Authority Releases New Alcohol Establishment Guidelines
At most bars and restaurants, chips or even chicken wings won't cut it when it comes to being considered a substantial "food" at an establishment serving alcohol in New York State. Governor Cuomo’s recent executive order mandating that for people to be served alcohol at bars, they must also order a “substantial” food in an effort he says is to deter loitering and social distancing violations while people drink. The NYS Liquor Authority released new guidelines for establishments who serve alcohol, which differ based on the type of licenses the establishment has, regarding what types of food they need to provide in order to continue serving alcoholic beverages. New Yorkers wanting to go to the bar this weekend are reminded that they must wear a mask and order substantial food like a sandwich, salad or soup but the Western New York staple Buffalo Wings won’t cut it. To learn more specifics about state guidelines, click here. 

 

Corning Inc Introduces New Victus Gorilla Glass
Corning Incorporated has introduced its latest breakthrough in glass technology, Corning® Gorilla® Glass Victus™. Built on more than a decade-long legacy of delivering tough glasses for smartphones, laptops, tablets, and wearables, Gorilla Glass Victus provides consumers a with significantly better drop and scratch performance compared to competitive aluminosilicate glasses from other manufacturers – that’s according to a company news release.

 

NYS Passes Automatic Voter Registration Bill
New York lawmakers have passed automatic voter registration, which introduces a streamlined and more accessible voter registration process. New Yorkers would be automatically registered whenever they interact with a “qualified” government agency, like the DMV or Department of Health. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk. If he signs the measure, it would take effect January 1, 2023.

 

Cuomo Creates Task Force Cracking Down on Social Distancing
Yesterday Governor Cuomo announced the creation of a multi-agency task force to crack down on social distancing violations across the state at restaurants and bars. State Police and State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley will lead the task force, and real time data will be employed to enhance enforcement efforts. Investigators from the state Departments of Health, Financial Services, Motor Vehicles, Taxation and Finance, Agriculture and Markets as well as New York State Insurance Fund will be rapidly deployed to respond to social distancing violations as they occur. Cuomo also launched a new ad campaign targeting young people as the weekly average COVID-19 rate among 21 to 30-year-olds has increased from 9.9 percent to 13.2.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday July 23rd, 2020

Steuben County Pizza Huts Closing Permanently
Several Pizza Hut locations in Steuben County will now be permanently closed according to WIVB in Buffalo. Pizza Hut dine-in restaurants in Bath, Corning and Hornell, which were temporary closed because of COVID-19 restrictions will not reopen. The Elmira Pizza Hut will also not reopen with a total of 17 Pizza Huts across the Southern Tier and Western New York effected. Pizza Hut said new franchisees will be coming into the New York region in hopes to serve customers in the Southern Tier again.

 

10 Active COVID-19 Cases Reported in Steuben County
There are now ten active COVID-19 cases in Steuben County. The latest person to be infected is from the village of Bath. This brings the total to 301 confirmed cases. The person is isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department. Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed case and exposure risks. All those known to have direct contact with the individual have been notified.

 

SCASAS Reports Rise in Substance Abuse During Pandemic
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a rise in substance use has been reported in the Southern Tier exacerbated by unemployment issues and difficulty finding housing- both issues worsened by the pandemic. Steuben County Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has continued treatment programs using Zoom and telephonic communication. But Senior Counselor Julie Haar says that's not the same or as beneficial as group meetings and says getting people into treatment to help them understand their substance use is ideal for recovery.

 

OFA Reminds Seniors of Heat Wave Safety
With high humidity and temperatures expected to range as high as 90 degrees this weekend, the Steuben County Office For the Aging urges older residents and their caregivers to prepare for extreme heat while still observing COVID-19 rules. Knowing the signs of heat-related illnesses is the first step in avoiding problems. If anyone experiences headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, cramps, high body temperature, or a fast pulse they should seek medical help immediately and move to a cooler place.While drinking two to four glasses of cool fluids every hour and avoiding alcoholic drinks, too much caffeine and sugar is standard advice during hot days, public water fountains are currently turned off due to COVID-19. Baroody reminded seniors: “Be sure to take water with you whenever you go outside.”

 

Trump Payroll Tax Cuts Opposed by Reed Before Being Cancelled
Tom Reed joined his fellow Congressman John Katko during a telephone town hall to seniors that he opposes President Trump’s plan for Medicare and Social Security payroll tax cuts in the next Covid-19 relief bill. Reed also opposes the President’s tax cut proposal, saying it would make the Social Security funding problem even worse and suggests one way to help could be lifting income limits on working seniors. The White House announced today that it is dropping the plan.

 

Comptroller Says DEC Must Improve Invasive Species Control Efforts
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported today that The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) needs to improve efforts to control invasive species which have established footholds across New York state and threaten native species, agriculture and tourism, according to the Comptroller’s audit released today. Invasive species were found to severely impact fishing, causing about $500 million in economic losses annually. Between April 2017 and September 2019, the state DEC spent nearly $1.8 million controlling and stopping the spread of hydrilla and planned to spend even more. DiNapoli recommended that the DEC: Develop processes to: regularly communicate duties and responsibilities to registered boat owners and stewards and coordinate with other oversight entities to improve preventive efforts at public boat launches throughout the state. DiNapoli also recommended the DEC develop and implement policies, procedures, or guidance on: issuing permits and monitoring compliance relating to invasive species and periodic complete testing of trap samples for potentially invasive species.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

County Manager Wheeler Reports Hundreds of COVID-19 Violations
County Manager Jack Wheeler reports hundreds of COVID-19 violation complaints have been made since April in Steuben County and the majority of the complaints submitted are about people not wearing masks and as large gatherings either at businesses or at people’s homes. Wheeler also said there are several tips that people who have been traveling have not been following the travel order and guidelines and said “Every one of those complaints gets forwarded to both our Public Health Director and our Sheriff since we have a limited public health operation in Steuben County.” With only a handful of nurses working for the county, they have been busy with contract tracing which requires for most complaints, the sheriff’s deputy is sent to visit  where the complaint was made.

 

Congressman Reed Pushes for Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act
Congressman Tom Reed is working to pass his new energy tax credit bill called the Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act of 2019. The bill allows new tax credits for investment in emerging energy technology as well as providing similar credits for production of electricity from such technology. The bill is currently before the House Ways and Means Committee.

 

Savona Village Board Meeting Tonight
The Village Board in Savona will hold a special meeting this evening at 6 p.m. Trustees will discuss the proposed water budget. The meeting will be held in at the Village Hall.

 

Reed Declines Mitrano’s Challenge to Five Debates
Congressman Tom Reed has been challenged by his Democratic opponent Tracy Mitrano to five live televised debates for each of the major media markets across the 23rd district leading up to this November’s election. Mitrano called on the incumbent to debate her in Binghamton, Elmira-Corning, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester on dates when Congressman Reed was in the district and not in Washington. Reed’s campaign responded with a statement that said Mitrano’s suggestion that “the congressional race warrants more debates than even the race for President shows that Tracy is a grand-stander looking only for public attention to pacify her own ego.” The statement continued to describe Reed as “focused on results” and accused Mitrano of being a “radical liberal” not to be trusted.

 

Family Dollar, Dollar Tree Reverse Mask Requirement
Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are reversing their mask requirement, now saying they will no longer require them. Instead, the retailers will “request” that customers wear them. Nearly two weeks ago, the retailers’ policies stated shoppers, vendors and employees must wear face masks, but now they say they will require masks only if they are mandated by state or local rules. The stores’ parent company hasn’t said why the change was made.

 

Canisteo Village Board Meet in One Week
The Village of Canisteo Planning Board is having a meeting July 29th at 7p.m. The Board will discuss a proposed business at 36 W. Main Street in Canisteo.

 

Troopers Issue over 9,000 Tickets for STOP-DWI
The New York State Police announced that Troopers issued a total of 9,214 tickets statewide during the 4th of July STOP-DWI enforcement campaign. During the 36-hour campaign State Police utilized sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols, and ticketed distracted drivers who used handheld electronic devices. Troopers arrested 180 people for DWI and investigated 456 crashes, including 99 personal injury crashes and one fatality. Across this zone, Troopers issued 317 speeding tickets, arrested 15 people for DWI and charged 3 people with failure to abide by the move-over law.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Immunization Clinic Held Next Week in Bath
The Steuben County Public Health Department is holds an immunization clinic in Bath next week to ensure children are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. The clinic is open to those who are uninsured or whose insurance does not cover needed vaccines and will be held at the Civil Defense Building on Tuesday, July 28th from 1 to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 607-664-2438. Patients must to wait in their vehicles in the parking lot until they are told to enter the building and masks are required. Adults needing vaccines are asked to come alone. Each child must come with one adult only.

 

Health Department Reports 4 Additional COVID-19 Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification four additional Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Saturday and reports a total confirmed case count of 300, 11 of which are currently active. The individuals are residents of the Town of Greenwood, Town of Hornby, Town of Hornellsville. The individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department. All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified.

 

Congressman Reed Calls for Direct Funding to Parents of Students
As the second round of stimulus funds are discussed, Republicans are proposing a 1 trillion dollar package, while Democrats want three trillion dollars. Congressman Tom Reed believes an agreement can be made before Congress goes on August recess. Reed says he wants the package to include assistance to parents preparing for an uncertain future of reopening schools in September. Congressman Reed also called for direct federal aid to communities in New York that have lost tax revenue as a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis.

 

Sheldon Silver Sentenced to Six and a Half Years Prison

Former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was sentenced to six and a half years in prison yesterday after earlier this year a federal appeals court upheld his corruption conviction. Back in 2018, the 76-year-old was sentenced to seven years in prison after a second conviction for trading favors so he collected almost $4 million in fees to help real estate developers and a cancer researcher. Silver remained outside of jail as he awaited his appeal. The second court of appeals dropped charges related to Silver’s collection of legal fees to refer mesothelioma cases to a new law firm. Other charges were dropped due to a statute of limitations expiration and a faulty instruction by the trial judge to the jury.

 

10 New States Join NYS Quarantine List
Today, ten new states have been added to New York’s quarantine list now including: Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Virginia, and Washington. Minnesota was removed and brings a total of 31 listed. Travelers must submit to a 14-day quarantine upon entering New York state.

 

State Liquor Authority Reports Suspension
The State Liquor Authority reports the suspension of liquor licenses for four bars and restaurants – three of these are in Queens and one in Suffolk County. Since the onset of COVID-19, SLA has reports 410 charges against establishments for violating the Executive Orders and suspended 27 licenses for violations.

Today's Top Stories - Monday: July 20th, 2020

Two Men Escape Keuka Boat Fire Safely
Saturday afternoon, two men were able to escape a boat fire on Keuka Lake in the waters off East Bluff Drive in Jerusalem. Deputies found the almost 20-foot boat fully engulfed in flames just after noon and it was later deemed a total loss. The boat owner said he attempted to restart the boat after it stalled when it ignited by a possible fuel leak. Both men on board were able to swim to shore safely wearing life jackets.

 

Addison Marine Laid to Rest Saturday
This weekend, a U.S. Marine and Addison native was laid to rest. Corporal Joseph Paul Calkins was buried Saturday at Addison Rural Cemetery with full military honors. Calkins’ family told WETM News he took his own life while stationed on Camp Lejeune in North Carolina a few weeks earlier on July 7th. Calkins leaves behind a wife and 5-month-old son and is a 2017 graduate of Addison Central School. His family asks donations in his name be made to Active Duty and Veteran Suicide Awareness nonprofit group “22 Until None.”

 

Reed Urges Federal Action to Shore Up Social Security
The COVID-19 economic crisis has affected virtually everyone in the country and Congressman Tom Reed says without action to shore up Social Security, senior citizens in New York and elsewhere will be in financial trouble. Reed suggests one change that may help would be lifting income limits on seniors that are working. Reed also maintains that he opposes the payroll tax cut proposed by the Trump Administration because he says that would only worsen the Social Security funding problem.

 

Steuben Elections Board Starts NYS Cybersecurity Training Tomorrow
Steuben County Board of Elections says it will join other county election boards in a statewide election cybersecurity training exercise beginning tomorrow and continuing to this Thursday, July 23rd and Friday, July 24th. The virtual exercise will help elections officials identify ways to plan, prepare, identify and respond in the event of a “cyber incident” and is being coordinated with the federal Department of Homeland Security. Exercises will be based on a combination of real-world scenarios as well as potential risks including social media manipulation, disruption of voter registration information, malware infections, and the exploitation of state and county board of election networks. Commissioners said the exercises will make them better prepared for the 2020 Presidential Election on November 3rd.

 

Cuomo Says He Will Not Quarantine After GA Visit
Governor Cuomo said at his daily press conference this morning he will travel to Georgia today to meet with state officials about COVID-19. Georgia was recently hit hard by the virus and as a result on NY’s mandatory self-quarantine list. This morning, Cuomo was asked by the press if he would self-quarantine upon returning back to the Empire State. Governor Cuomo also noted the state does not have an enforcement mechanism to ensure quarantining by drivers traveling into New York from states on his quarantine list.

 

Charges Filed for Bath Burglary Committed Last Year
Criminal charges have now been filed from a reported burglary in the Town of Bath nearly a year ago. State Police said they arrested 39-year-old Darcie Smith and 58-year-old Barney Baker…they’re both from Bath. Troopers charged each with petit larceny. They were issued appearance tickets for court and released.

 

NYS Reports Lowest COVID Cases and Hospitalizations in Months
Statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at their lowest in four months. Friday, Governor Cuomo announced New York state was down to 743 hospitalizations, which is the fewest since the beginning of the pandemic on March 17th.  Positive COVID-19 tests remain at just over 1 percent as the rest of the nation set a new record this weekend with over 77,000 cases. Yesterday, there were 11 COVID fatalities recorded statewide

Today's Top Stories - Saturday July 18, 2020

NY averaging less than 1% positive coronavirus tests

Friday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo released the latest coronavirus numbers for New York State. The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are the lowest they’ve been since March 18th, with 765 people in the hospital with coronavirus-related issues. However, this past Thursday, there were 10 COVID-19 deaths reported. New York State still leads the nation in testing. 78,239 tests were conducted on Thursday, with 776 of those tests being positive, which is a less than 1% infection rate.

 

Dryden man arrested after domestic dispute in Ithaca

A Dryden man is facing felony charges, after a stabbing occurred amid a domestic dispute. New York State Police at Ithaca arrested Michael DeAugustine, age 24, this past Wednesday. Troopers and deputies from the Tompkins County Sheriff's Department responded to a 911 complaint of a dispute on Third Street in Dryden, where DeAugustine allegedly stabbed a 27-year-old male in the arm. The victim was transported to Guthrie Cortland. DeAugustine, meanwhile, was arrested and arraigned virtually. He was remanded to the Tompkins County Jail on $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond. He now faces several charges including two felonies -- Assault in the second degree, Strangulation in the second degree, and he has been charged with the misdemeanor of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the fourth degree.

 

NYS sees rise in domestic violence cases amidst pandemic

Recently, according to the New York State website, there has been an uptick in domestic violence cases throughout New York State. Governor Cuomo announced that domestic violence cases are up 30% state wide. Local services in the Southern Tier say they've seen an increase in the number of people reaching out since the start of the pandemic. From March to June, Schuyler Director for First Step Victim Services, Ashley Kerrick, says they've opened 59 new and ongoing cases, helped 25 people on a one-time basis and taken 159 hotline calls since the start of the pandemic.

 

NYS Recruit Firefighter Training program produces 21 new graduates

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services has announced the graduation of 21 new firefighters from the state’s Recruit Firefighter Training program at the Office of Fire Prevention and Control’s Academy of Fire Science in Montour Falls. The graduates hail from 14 different fire departments and represent the Academy’s 79th Recruit Firefighter Training class. The class completed the-11-week program which included in excess of 500 hours of training in both classroom and practical settings, with portions of their training being done remotely due to the ongoing pandemic. All recruits will become full-time firefighters in their respective fire departments when they return home.

 

Pop-up drive-in theater in Ithaca opens

Ithaca native Kevin Sullivan opened a pop-up drive-in theater on the City project site at 101 Pier road. Friday night they sold out tickets to Jurassic Park and tonight, they will be showing Minions. Depending on the demand, there could be shows playing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night for the next three months. Speaking of the importance of safety when it comes to the drive-in and the precautions he and his colleagues are taking to ensure a safe environment, Sullivan said “Everywhere masks are required all of our staff are wearing masks, we are spacing out cars more than 6 feet apart with often times 10 to 20 feet apart so there is space to drive , drive in theaters have a natural ability for being good for social distancing.”.

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

An electrical fire that originated in the basement of a Campbell home is believed to be the cause of a fatal Wednesday night house fire. Shortly after 4pm on Wednesday, five different fire companies responded to the home of 79-year-old Howard Marshall, who initially left the house and told a neighbor there was a fire before going back inside to find his cat. State Police say Marshall was overcome by smoke and he was later found by firefighters. First responders’ attempts to revive him at the scene failed and he was pronounced dead.

 

In his weekly media conference call yesterday, Congressman Tom Reed said that childcare is of utmost priority in going forward in negotiating the upcoming stimulus bill. Reed says the top 3 issues he will focus on as the stimulus is discussed in Congress are childcare, reforming unemployment insurance and state and local aid. Reed shared that he is working with stakeholders across the district to come up with a solution for our region to continue to function as our district is in need of federal support to do so.

 

Corning's Gaffer District announced it is pursuing approval to have Market street closed off to vehicles for over a month longer than anticipated. Initially, Market Street anticipated to keep traffic closed only until the beginning of August but now the Gaffer District is looking for Corning City Council to approve the extension of the closure until September 7th. Gaffer District Board member, Chris Sharkey, told WENY that after a business and community survey, there were enough citizens and merchants in favor of the extension for the Gaffer District to decide to move forward to extend the closure. Sharkey said generally, restaurants tended to be in favor of the extension, but retailers had more mixed responses.

 

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced an emergency rental assistance program that will help keep New York families with low-income in their homes. The new program is intended for individuals and families displaying the greatest financial need and will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the pandemic. Eligible households will get the benefit of a one-time rental subsidy to be paid directly to landlords and housing providers. Tenants do not have to repay this assistance. The application period will be open for two weeks for state residents to apply any time.

 

During a press call yesterday, Democratic Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano discussed some of the contemporary veterans’ issues. Mitrano called out her opponent, incumbent Republican Congressman Tom Reed, for advocating for dental, vision, and more support for veterans in the past but not following through to ensure necessary benefits and support for veterans. The Penn Yan Democrat said the solution requires that politics must be taken out of the Veterans Administration. Mitrano also addressed the recent accusation by American, British and Canadian government officials that Russia attempted to hack into the three countries’ COVID-19 vaccine research. She says the 2016 election hacking by Russia has been so politicized that since, Russia, along with other countries, has never stopped attempting to interfere with US policy and security. Mitrano, who has cyber security experience, says that for those reasons, the country "needs to have people in Congress to have some idea of what cyber security is all about, in order to get this country back into a posture of good national security," Mitrano also said Congressman Reed does not stand up to President Trump and therefore is not standing up for our national security.

 

Governor Cuomo announced all restaurants and bars in New York state must follow new requirements that they can only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food and that all service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by six feet or separated by physical barriers. Under current law, only establishments that serve food are permitted to serve alcohol. Cuomo also announced the ‘Three Strikes and You’re Closed’ initiative where any establishment that receives three violations will be closed for business and egregious violations may result in immediate loss of liquor license or closure before their third strike. In addition, establishments facing disciplinary charges by the State Liquor Authority will have their names and locations posted publicly and updated on a weekly basis. Concerned citizens wanting to report violations to the State Liquor Authority at www.sla.ny.gov.

 

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association voted to delay starting the fall sports season and cancel all Fall Sports regionally as well as state championships. In the event the pandemic interrupts or impacts the fall sports seasons, the group will implement a condensed seasonal plan. If no sports are allowed in the fall 2020 season then sports like high school football, cross country, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, unified bowling and girls swimming will be played from March 1st through May 8th of next year with tennis taking place April 5th through June 12th along with all spring sports. If no school sports are allowed in the fall, then sports including basketball, bowling, gymnastics, wrestling, skiing, boys swimming and ice hockey are to begin January 4th and continue through March 13th. The state group says all 2021 dates are tentative.

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office report deputies arrested Jonathan D. Sick, 32 of the Town of Dansville yesterday following an investigation into an incident that occurred in the Town of Hornellsville last week on July 10th. It is alleged that Sick and another person were operating and in possession of a vehicle reported stolen vehicle from Livingston County when they were found trespassing on private property. It is also alleged property located in the vehicle had been reported stolen from Alleghany County. Sick was charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree. Sick was previously charged with Trespass on July 10th.  Sick also allegedly possessed a quantity of methamphetamine in the Steuben County Jail and also charged with Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree.  Mr. Sick was arraigned at the Steuben County Centralized Arraignment Court where he was held on a separate warrant issued for possession of stolen property in the State of Pennsylvania. Additional charges are anticipated with other involved parties.

               

Guthrie announced over a dozen regional high school seniors have been given the opportunity to continue their studies with the healthcare company’s help. Each year, the health system awards students pursuing academics in the health care field with scholarships as well as students who are children of adults who are employed by Guthrie. According to a release, students will receive $650 annually for four years to use for their undergraduate studies. Locally, Gavin Ruddy of Hammondsport High School has earned a Guthrie scholarship as he continues his education at Ithaca College. Horseheads High School graduate Amy Kim, who is the daughter of Big Flats LPN Jungwon Kim, is also a scholarship recipient who will continue her academic career at Binghamton University.

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

Steuben County Public Health Department announced an additional county resident has tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 296 confirmed cases, 10 of which are currently active. The individual is a resident of the village of Avoca and is being monitored and isolated by the county health department.

 

The $600 unemployment bonus many have received is soon coming to an end. The payments end at the end of this month on July 31st. Some lawmakers are working to extend the bonus as the average unemployment check is not enough to keep a family above the poverty line. Several bills have been proposed and one solution presents ensuring that unemployment benefits do not exceed what the individual made while working.

 

The Village of Bath Board of Trustees announce their meeting on Monday, July 20th at 5:30 p.m.  via video conference. You can join by phone at 877-309-2073 (toll-free) or 646-749-3129. The access code is 228-606-421 or by computer, tablet or smartphone with the link: global.gotomeeting.com/join/228606421. To install the GoToMeeting app for the video conference: global.gotomeeting.com/install/228606421.

 

Democratic candidate for Congress Tracy Mitrano, has announced her grassroots campaign raised $266,654 in the second quarter of 2020 which is the campaign’s strongest showing yet in the 2020 election cycle. Mitrano is challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Tom Reed in the local 23rd congressional district. Mitrano’s campaign also reported a list of endorsements from the Democratic committees of all eleven counties in the district and both of New York’s Senators as well as many others. The Penn Yan Democratic candidate said: “with the support of all of the wonderful people within this district, we’re going to win this race!”

 

After weeks of discussion among Sheriffs about recent confrontations between police and the public, the New York State Sheriff’s presented a number of legislative proposals aimed at protecting law-enforcement personnel and the public they serve. Two of the ten legislative proposals include increasing the felony level for those who resist arrest and those who fail to retreat or halt when ordered by a police officer. Six proposals address related crimes against officers including assault, aggravated harassment, criminal doxxing and stalking of officers. Sheriff’s also encouraged the legislature to pass a $500,000 disability and death benefit and designate May 15th of each year as Police Memorial Day as a state holiday to honor the more than 1,500 officers who have died in the line of duty to New York State. Sheriff’s Departments in the Southern Tier region have endorsed these measures.

 

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says coming soon is the discussion of ‘one last’ economic relief package. McConnell says he expects debate to begin next week, and another stimulus boost may mean more money for struggling Americans as the COVID-19 economic crisis continues. The CARES Act, which was the first round of stimulus funding, provided $1,200 per adult and $500 per child for anyone making less than $75,000. The HEREOS Act was passed by the House in May would have spent another $3 trillion to grant more funds and stimulus payments to Americans. McConnell said next round of stimulus payments could happen in three weeks and suggested that the next round of funds would likely target people who make less than $40,000 a year. Currently, it is unclear or how much individual Americans would receive but local and state governments are in need of more funds-especially New York state, which is facing a multi-billion dollar shortfall amid the pandemic.

 

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced the special health insurance enrollment period will be extended for an additional 30 days. New Yorkers now have until August 15th to apply for coverage through NY State of Health, which is New York State's health insurance marketplace, or directly through insurers. Those who lost coverage via an employer must apply within 60 days of losing coverage and those who have lost income may be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus or subsidized Qualified Health Plans. Those who enroll by August 15th will have a choice of a coverage start date of August 1st or September 1st of this year. Those eligible for other programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus - can enroll year-round. All New York insurers have currently waived the cost sharing for COVID-19 testing.

 

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

Ground is breaking in Kanona as construction begins for a Love’s Travel Stop and Wendy’s restaurant just outside of Bath. The construction contractor WH Bass and Jessica Arnold, the Marketing Manager of Golden Eagle Foods Inc., which owns the Wendy’s franchise, both confirmed the project to WVIN. WH Bass has begun construction and the projected opening date is five months from now on December 8th of this year. The Wendy’s restaurant will be within the Love’s Travel Stop and Arnold says both will operate 24 hours to serve the needs of truckers, travelers, and locals anytime.

 

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that an additional Steuben County resident tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 295 confirmed cases, nine of which are currently active. The individual is a resident of the Town of Cohocton and has been isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.

 

After investigating a domestic dispute in Avoca, state police arrested 32-year Tyson Stiles. He was charged with assault and using a vehicle without an ignition interlock device. Court action is pending.

 

The staff of the Dormann Library announces that beginning Monday, July 20th, the library will offer modified hours and services. Dormann Library will be open by appointment only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. On Tuesday and Thursday, Dormann will be open from noon to 7:00pm. All library returns must be placed in the book drop prior to entering the library in observance of  quarantine procedures. Unfortunately, donations will not be accepted until further notice. Dormann Library encourages patrons to look into renewing items over the phone, but do not bring them to the library.  Due to social distancing guidelines, admittance will be limited, and for this reason, parents are encouraged to leave small children at home. Staff members will wear masks and anyone entering the library will be required to wear a mask. Appointments can be made by calling the Dormann Library at 607-776-4613. These new procedures are explained in more detail on our website (dormannlibrary@stls.org) or on our Facebook page.

 

State Police Campaign Operation Hardhat begins where Troopers trade in their typical uniforms for jeans and an orange vest to work in construction zones and blend in with workers on state highways looking for drivers who break the rules, like those who fail to obey the “move over” law. State Police aren’t disclosing where or when their patrols will be active.

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports today, deputies arrested 22-year-old Tucker A. Parmelee of Erwin following an investigation resulting from a report of domestic violence involving injury to a child at a residence in the Town of Erwin.  Mr. Parmelee allegedly intentionally injured an 18 month-old-child, restrained another person, subjected another family member to harassment and endangered the welfare of the child. Parmelee was charged with Assault in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony, Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, Unlawful Imprisonment and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The victim was transported by ambulance to a medical facility for treatment and later released.  Parmelee was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.       

 

State lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have scheduled hearings on August 3rd and the 10th to review executive orders issued by Governor Cuomo during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuomo has been under fire for the handling of the state nursing home crisis. The New York State Health department’s investigation claimed New York’s policies on readmitting COVID-19 patients into nursing homes did not lead to a spike in deaths. Last week, the State Health Department said that nursing home staff contributed to spreading the virus among residents. Over 6,000 COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes have been reported statewide.

 

After being delayed for months, the vote by the state Department of Health is set for the end of July to finalize drinking water standards. Maureen Cunningham, with Environmental Advocates New York, says the New York soon faces a drinking water crisis and says the solution begins by setting new drinking water standards for toxic chemicals often found in water. Environmental Advocates New York is also urging action by the state and Governor to identify sources of contamination, develop cleanup plan and reset the state drinking water standards. A recent Seneca Lake Guardian article cited groundwater drawn from three sites at the former Seneca Army Depot as being contaminated with the potent carcinogens PFOA and PFOS at levels of up to 1300 times the federal health advisory limit.

 

Today after weeks of discussion among Sheriffs about recent confrontations between police and the public, the New York State Sheriff’s presented a number of legislative proposals aimed at protecting law-enforcement personnel and the public they serve. Two of the ten legislative proposals include increasing the felony level for those who resist arrest and those who fail to retreat or halt when ordered by a police officer. Six proposals address related crimes against officers including assault, aggravated harassment, criminal doxxing and stalking of officers. Sheriff’s also encouraged the legislature to pass a $500,000 disability and death benefit and designate May 15th of each year as Police Memorial Day as a state holiday to honor the more than 1,500 officers who have died in the line of duty to New York State.

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

Yesterday, the Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that an additional Steuben County resident tested positive for COVID-19 since Saturday and brings the total to 294 confirmed cases, eight of which are currently active. The individual is a resident of the Town of Rathbone and is being isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.

 

Four more states have been added to the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The newly-added states are Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin. Delaware has been removed from the list. Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced a travel enforcement operation begins today at airports across the state to help ensure travelers are following the state’s quarantine restrictions and to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

 

Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that the reopening of schools in September will likely mirror the state’s economic reopening and that determination will be made during the first week of August. The governor also said the state will use a formula to determine whether schools in different regions of the state can open in two months and also addressed the possibility of a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases regionally after schools reopen. School districts will resubmit their reopening guidelines to the state by the end of the month and the state is also due to release education guidelines that meet State Department of Health requirements.  

 

Tops Totes for Change, launched 10 months ago is a campaign that encourages shoppers to buy a reusable bag with a special charity design for $1.99. Of those proceeds, $1 is then donated back to four organizations that support the local community. Tops Totes for Change has raised over $114,607 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), United Way, Feeding America, and Children's Miracle Network since January. Within those organizations, the funds benefit local chapters of children's hospitals and area food banks. Tops has seen a rise in sales of the Tops Totes for Change bags since reinstating the use of plastic bags and enforcing the bag ban on July 1st.

 

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer announced in Ontario County yesterday that schools will need federal support if they are to reopen in the fall. Schumer announced his federal funding plan the same day Governor Andrew Cuomo announced guidelines for reopening. Schumer says schools can be both reopened and better-funded and said “We can open our schools in time and open them safely, but only if the federal government steps up to the plate and provides the necessary dollars to make sure safety of the children, teachers, and surrounding community is paramount.” The Coronavirus Childcare and Education Relief Act calls for $175 billion to be distributed to K-12 schools across the country. Local districts would be given the opportunity to determine how best to utilize the funds.

 

New York State Police need help finding missing Tioga County man Douglas Martin of Nichols. The 30 year old man was last seen in Nichols driving a green 2005 Subaru Forester with the New York license plate: JHN-8251. Douglas Martin is an approximately 5 foot 11 inch tall, 140 pound white male, with brown hair, a brown beard and blue eyes.  If you have any information on Douglas Martin's whereabouts please call New York State Police at (607) 687-3961. 

 

A new, $2 million recreation center is opening at Letchworth State Park in the Finger Lakes region as announced yesterday by the Governor who called the state park “one of New York's crown jewels”. The announcement confirmed the construction, which began April of last year, has been completed. The project on the park’s Lower Falls Recreation Area involved removal of an unused swimming pool, and restoration of a historic bathhouse used for whitewater rafting concessions. The newly-renovated area provides table games, badminton and pickle ball courts, bocce and shuffleboard, as well as a fitness loop.

 

According to a recent Marist poll, Governor Cuomo has an approval rate of 60% of voters statewide rating the governor’s overall performance as “excellent” or “good,” which has been his highest rating since 2012-a year after he was sworn in as Governor. The approval rating for Cuomo among Upstate voters stands at 55% Meanwhile, 72% of statewide voters approve of how Cuomo has handled the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 69%  of us Upstate. You can view the poll for yourself here.

Today's Top Stories - Monday, July 13th, 2020

The Bath VA Medical Center announced this morning that due to COVID-19, they have temporarily reduced face to face appointments and expanded virtual care appointments. Veterans can receive care at home- either over the phone or via video using VA Video Connect on their computers, smartphones, or tablets. Additional information has been posted on the Bath VA Medical Center Facebook page.

 

Today, New York Governor Cuomo issued an emergency health order mandating out-of-state travelers coming from states listed under the travel advisory must provide local authorities with contact information upon entering New York to help enforce quarantine orders. Currently, 19 states are under the travel advisory due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Any traveler coming into New York from those states must quarantine for 14 days. Cuomo also said travelers from those designated states must fill out a form with contact information. Those forms will be given out on airplanes and every airport in New York State is subject to the order. Those who do not turn in a form could be subjected to a $2,000 fine.


The Bath, Corning and Hornell DMV Offices are now scheduling 15-minute appointments as a way to serve more of the public. For those who have already scheduled appointments, your appointment time and date will not be impacted. As with all county facilities, individuals entering DMV offices will be required to have a temperature screening, wear a face covering, and maintain social distancing while in the facility. Individuals are also encouraged to bring their own pen to their appointment.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected many local governments’ revenues and its impact will likely be severe for many municipalities’ finances, that’s according to a new report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. As sales tax revenues fall by double-digits and state aid is reduced or delayed, DiNapoli called on the federal government to provide aid to local governments before drastic service cuts occur.

 

The Steuben County Office for the Aging announced that Senior “Farmers’ Market” coupons will be distributed to eligible seniors 60 and older. The $20 booklet of coupons may be used for the purchase of locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and cut herbs atparticipating farmers’ markets throughout the area. Recipients must be age 60 or older with maximum gross monthly income of $1,968 for a one-person household,$2,658 for a two-person household, or $3,349 for a three-person household. Income levels increase by $691 per additional household member. Booklets must be picked up in person only by each eligible recipient or by a documented power of attorney. Using social distancing protocols the county Office for the Aging will distribute coupons at the following dates and locations:
10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday July 21 at the Bath-Haverling Bus Garage
10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday July 22 at the Corning Senior Center
10 a.m. to noon on Thursday July 23 at the GST BOCES Wildwood Education Center in Hornell.

In keeping with COVID-19 protocols recipients must remain in their vehicles, wear a mask and bring a pen.For more information log onto www.steubencony.org/ofa.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday July 11, 2020

Two new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department has confirmed two additional Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the totals to 293 confirmed cases, with 11 of those being active currently. Both individuals are residents of the City of Corning and are in isolation being monitored by the County Health Department. All those known to have had close contact with the individuals have been notified.

 

Two injured after logging truck accident in Addison

New York State police say two people were injured after a logging truck crashed into a car and rolled over on State Route 417 in Addison. The incident occurred Friday afternoon around 1 p.m. State Police say a car was pulling out of a parking lot when it cut off the logging truck. Unable to brake in time, the truck swerved in an attempt to avoid the car and struck a second car, causing the truck to roll over. A passenger in the car that was hit and the driver of the logging truck both sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

 

Family of fallen Addison teenager receive letter from President Trump

The family of fallen Addison teenager Blake Driskell recently received a special letter from President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. Blake succumbed to injuries sustained after a hiking accident in Tuscarora on June 1st. Blake was designated to be an organ donor and has continued to help people after his untimely passing. Many in the Twin Tiers region have honored Blake’s legacy by supporting the #BlakeStrong movement and by raising nearly $46,000 for the Driskell family via GoFundMe.

 

 

NYS lifts ban on nursing home visitors

Effective July 15th, certain nursing homes in New York State will allow visitors, with restrictions, as the state eases the ban aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable nursing home residents. Only nursing homes and long-term care facilities that have not had any new cases amongst residents and staffers within the last 28 days would qualify for limited visits.  According to Health department spokeswoman Jill Montag, about 150 of the more than 600 nursing homes in the state could qualify to open up to visitors. Residents can have visits from up to two individuals at a time, and visitors must undergo temperature checks, wear face masks and keep at least 6 feet away from residents during the visit. At least one of the visitors must be 18 years of age as well. No more than 10% of residents can have visitors at any one time.

 

Tompkins Co. Health Dept. issues warning on harmful blue-green algae in Cayuga Lake

The Tompkins County Health Department has issued a warning of harmful blue-green algae in Cayuga Lake. The health department says it has received multiple reports of suspicious blue green algae blooms. The department says these blooms can be found in any calm body of water, and can produce toxins that are harmful to people. Should you spot a blue-green algae bloom, you should avoid the water, especially if the water appears to be discolored or has an unpleasant odor to it. Should you come in contact with a bloom, rinse yourself thoroughly, and seek medical attention if you start to show symptoms such vomiting, nausea, or an allergic reaction.

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