WVIN News

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

PA Man Arrested for Grand  Larceny in Bath
A 32-year-old Pennsylvania man was arrested on a felony charge for third-degree larceny in Bath. Travis Fassett of Meshoppen, PA was arrested by Troopers yesterday at around 5:45 p.m. in the Town of Bath. The arrest is connected to an incident in late September but State Police released no further details on the crime. The arrest report states Fassett is currently being held but no bail amount was released.

 

Big Flats Car Fire Obstructs Traffic on County Route 64
A car fire in Big Flats that began around 10:30 this morning has backed up traffic on County Route 64 as crews work to clean it up. The fire occurred in front of the Dandy Mini Mart near the Southern Tier Crossing shopping plaza. The car was completely destroyed by the fire after suffering a mechanical failure and it was towed away at around 11:00 a.m. Only one person was in the car and they were able to safely get out. No injuries or further damages to property, other than the vehicle, were reported. 

 

Sheriff’s Office Responds to CPP Viral Snapchat Shooting Threat
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office responded to the viral Snapchat shooting threat that has targeted schools across the country, including the Corning-Painted Post Area School District. According to the Sheriff’s Office statement, along with the school and the Corning Police Department, they are “collectively monitoring this trend in which individuals are creating fake accounts, and copying templates into the posts which use generically worded threat language.” Threats have happened numerous times in the last week, but investigations revealed no credibility. Both the Corning-Painted Post ASD and the Sheriff’s Office take every threat seriously. Parents or students with concerns have been encouraged to reach out to their school principal or the Superintendent at ask@cppmail.com.

This similar message has been circulating across the country:

“I need a new account to make this, me and my friends have gotten bullied for too long and we can’t take it no more. Oct. 26th, Tuesday at [times vary], we will be shooting up [schools vary]. We plan on shooting 10 administrators and 50-70 kids….”

 

STOP-DWI Crackdown Starts This Friday
The annual statewide STOP-DWI Halloween High Visibility Engagement Campaign begins this Friday, October 29th and continues until Monday, November 1st. Law enforcement officers will participate full-force in special, high-visibility efforts, like sobriety checkpoints, to stop impaired, drunk, buzzed and distracted driving.

 

$18.5 Million ARPA Funds Allocated to CCE and Soil & Conservation
Steuben County is allocating a portion of their $18.5 million American Rescue Plan Act funds to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben and the Soil & Water Conservation District.  Cornell Cooperative Extension was approved to receive $6,700 to purchase a new printer and the Soil & Water Conservation District received $320,000 in unrestricted funds “to ensure the services they provide are able to continue.”

 

Need for Blood in Southern Tier Reaches Highest in Decade
The Red Cross of the Southern Tier reports the current blood supply is the lowest the agency has seen this time of year in more than a decade.  Donors are urged to schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling (800) 733-2767.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Local Trick-or-Treating Starts Friday
Steuben County kicks off Trick-or-Treating this Saturday, October 30th as Arnot Mall holds a Trunk or Treat - 3 - 5PM at the Event Center parking lot. Then, the Central Steuben Chamber of Commerce of Bath hosts Trunk or Treat in Pulteney Park from 6 - 8PM while Trick-or-Treating in the Town of Bath is also 6-8pm. On Halloween Night - Sunday, October 31st, Hammondsport has a costume parade from 5-6pm and a contest to follow at 6:30pm.The same night, Painted Post will have Trick-or Treat from 6 - 8PM.

 

One More COVID Death, 130 New Cases in Steuben
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the death of another resident who died from COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the county to 223. The latest death was a 50-year-old man from the Village of Addison. Steuben also reported 130 new cases since Friday’s update, now bringing the number of active cases to 377- a drop from Friday’s report of 474. As of last night, hospitalizations increased by six since Friday with 40 people hospitalized in the county. Officials report 73% of those in the hospital with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Steuben County can be found by clicking here. 

 

Public Health To Hold Vaccine Clinic at Cohocton Assembly of God
Steuben County Public Health holds a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Cohocton on Wednesday, October 27th at the Cohocton Assembly of God Church on 31 North Dansville Street from 10:00AM – 2:00PM. Participants are strongly encouraged to register for their vaccine ahead of time by clicking here. Walk-ins are accepted but you may experience a wait time depending on the clinic’s capacity. All vaccines are free,. Free transportation to clinics is available through 211. Clinic attendees must wear face masks and expect to wait 15-30 minutes after the shot for observation.

 

Painted Post Man Arrested for Child Porn
A 27-year-old Painted Post man is in prison for being previously convicted of possessing child pornography. Prosecuters say Jordan Sowersby was convicted of possessing child pornography and also had a prior child pornography conviction. January and February of this year, an undercover FBI special agent located Sowersby offering child porn for download on the internet and the FBI was able to determine Sowersby’s location in Painted Post. Authorities report that the investigation revealed he was already a registered sex offender because of a prior state conviction. Police executed a federal search warrant on February 26th, seizing multiple digital devices which later forensics analysis showed “hundreds of images and videos of child pornography”.   Sowersby was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release.

 

Man Arrested for Assault and Strangulation in Painted Post Incident
After a dispute in Painted Post early this morning, a man has been arrested for assault and strangulation. Troopers arrested 30-year-old Antwan Hicks around 3:24 a.m. in Painted Post after the domestic dispute was first reported around 1:20 a.m. The arrest report says Hicks was arrested and charged with second-degree Strangulation and third-degree Assault. A bail amount was not specified in the arrest report. 

 

Spagnoletti Steps Down As DPW Commissioner
Vince Spagnoletti was honored yesterday by the Steuben County Legislature after nearly 30 years of service to the people of Steuben as the county Public Works Commissioner. During Spagnoletti’s watch the county attained the Number 1 ranking in New York State in the average condition of all the bridges, from 38 percent down to 12 percent. During the past three decades, the road system has achieved the status of Excellent, with poor roads reduced from 102 miles down to 21 miles or 15 percent to 3 percent. Officials said hard work, honesty and integrity are the hallmarks of the department he built during his long tenure. Spagnoletti credited his Italian immigrant parents for his work ethics.

 

Drug Take-Back Day Collects Over 700 Pounds of Unneeded Drugs
Last weekend at the latest Drug Take Back Day at the County Public Safety Building, some 783.1 pounds of of unneeded prescription drugs were collected. The event was hosted by the county Sheriff's Office, with the assistance of the Steuben Prevention Coalition Opioid Committee (SPCOC).

 

Early Voting Continues at Steuben County Annex Building
Poll workers are ready for early voting in Steuben County on the second floor of the Steuben County Annex building in Bath. Early Voting House for today and Thursday are from 1oam to 8pm, 10am-6pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 9 am – 2 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Registered voters can vote early before Election Day at the days and times listed above or go to their poll site between 6am and 9pm on Election Day November 2nd to vote. Voters may apply in person for an absentee ballot at the Board of Elections before Election Day. Questions should be addressed to the Board of Elections by calling 607-664-2260

Today's Top Stories - Monday, October 25th, 2021

Resource Event for Flood Victims Thursday 10/28 at Woodhull
Steuben County residents impacted by flash flooding in August and still need assistance are encouraged to attend a resource event on this Thursday (October 28th) at the Woodhull Town Hall from 1-7 p.m. Arbor Housing and Development and Catholic Charities of Steuben/Livingston, Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc., and the United Way of the Southern Tier will have representatives there to answer questions and evaluate eligibility for funding assistance. The event is limited to those impacted by the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Fred in August. For assistance, residents must bring proof of income, as well as estimates for repairs if available. Meeting with representatives will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis and masks will be required inside the Town Hall. 

 

Alfred Woman Arrested for “Catnapping” Two
State Police arrested a 20-year-old Alfred woman after an alleged “catnapping.” According to Troopers in Amity, two cats were stolen on County Route 42 in the town of Alfred last week on Monday, October 18th. State Police say Morgan Rebstock allegedly stole the cats and returned them to her home in Alfred. Rebstock was arrested and the two cats were later returned to their owner. Rebstock was issued an appearance ticket for the town of Alfred court to appear next month.

 

Lindley Man Arrested on Multiple Sex Abuse Charges
A Lindley man was arrested on multiple charges of child sex abuse following an over a year-long criminal investigation. Horseheads Police Department say 44-year-old Jonathan P. Poyneer was arrested at 8:00 a.m. today and had an outstanding Superior Court Warrant issued from Chemung County Court. He is charged with two counts of rape in the second degree, two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, course of sexual contact against a child in the second degree, two counts of criminal sex in the second degree, unlawful surveillance in the second degree, possessing a sexual performance by a child, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Poyneer was sent to the Chemung County Jail.  

 

Cannabis Control Board Votes to Allow Growing Medical Pot At Home

New York State’s Cannabis Control Board voted to allow for people to grow pot in their homes for medical purposes. A person would be able to grow up to six plants at a time with a 12-plant limit for each household. Only those who are certified patients or their caregivers will be allowed to grow the plant. These regulations are now subject to a 60-day period open for public comment.

 

Steuben County’s Early Voting Continues

Early Voting for all registered voters in Steuben County began over the weekend and continues through Sunday, Oct. 31st, at the Steuben County Annex on East Morris Street in Bath. Hours for early voting are: 10 am- 6 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 am – 8 pm Tuesday and Thursday, and 9 am – 2 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Voters may vote early before Election Day at the nine days and times listed or they can go to their poll site between 6am and 9pm on Election Day (Tuesday, November 2nd) to vote. Voters may still apply in person for an absentee ballot at the Board of Elections, 20 E. Morris St, before November 2nd. For more information, call the Board of Elections at 607-664-2260.

 

Village of Bath Leaf Collection Continues
The annual fall leaf collection for Village of Bath residents begins today. All leaves must be raked or bagged and brought out to the curb for collection. Village crews will begin collecting leaves on the East Side of the village then crews will begin collection on the West Side of the village. Please place leaves between the sidewalk and street or edge of street, without covering storm drain grates. ABSOLUTELY NO BRUSH OR TRASH WILL BE ACCEPTED. Anyone with Questions may call the Village Street Department during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. @ 776-6321

Today's Top Stories - Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

Village of Bath Leaf Collection Starts Monday
The annual fall leaf collection for Village of Bath residents begins this Monday, October 25th. All leaves must be raked or bagged and brought out to the curb for collection. Village crews will begin collecting leaves on the East Side of the village then crews will begin collection on the West Side of the village. Please place leaves between the sidewalk and street or edge of street, without covering storm drain grates. ABSOLUTELY NO BRUSH OR TRASH WILL BE ACCEPTED. Anyone with Questions may call the Village Street Department during the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. @ 776-6321

 

Steuben County’s Early Voting Starts Today

Early Voting for all registered voters in Steuben County begins today and runs through Sunday, Oct. 31st, at the Steuben County Annex on East Morris Street in Bath. Hours for early voting are 9 am – 2 pm Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am- 6 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 10 am – 8 pm Tuesday and Thursday. The commissioners said voters can vote early before Election Day at the nine days and times listed or go to their poll site between 6am and 9pm on Election Day November 2nd to vote. Voters may still apply in person for an absentee ballot at the Board of Elections, 20 E. Morris St, before November 2nd. For more information, call the Board of Elections at 607-664-2260.

 

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Today 10am-2pm

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office holds its biannual Prescription Drug Take Back Day event today at the Public Safety Building lobby from 10 am to 2 pm. The national event is DEA-sponsored and an effective way to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription medications by offering residents a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medications. Steuben Prevention Coalition Opioid Committee Program Assistant Connie Terry advises residents to attend the event and also “Invest in a medication lockbox with a combination lock...to keep medications out of the hands of children and to make someone interested in taking your medications for the wrong reasons think twice.

 

County Legislation Tackling ARPA Funds Monday
When the Steuben County Legislature meets at 10 am Monday, votes will follow two public hearings and on the agenda includes accepting funds for unmet needs for older residents' services and approving further allocations of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The first hearing will be held on a proposed local law to waive residency requirements for the position of full-time county Assistant District Attorney and allow individuals to reside in either Steuben or a county contiguous to the county. The second hearing is set for public comment on the county Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Well and Septic Replacement Program to provide resources to eligible local governments to help with infrastructure. The hearing will also provide further information about the progress of an ongoing CDBG project, The Woodlands Community, Inc on County Route 66, with the county as the lead agency. County lawmakers are expected to accept a state Unmet Needs Grant in the amount of $85,000 to comply with

existing and future guidance from the state Office for the Aging regarding the response to the needs of older people.

 

Tommy Hilfiger Visits Corning Store for 10th Anniversary
The 10th anniversary celebration of the Tommy Hilfiger store in Corning was yesterday with the internationally-renowned Elmira native fashion designer making a special appearance. Fans lined up outside the Market Street location for a special meet-and-greet with Hilfiger at the event- which was not just a celebration of the store’s decade of success, but also a “kick-off" for a month-long fundraiser for the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. For just $10, fashion lovers were able to receive a T-shirt that was signed and personalized by Hilfiger himself.  Hilfiger remarked he is proud he was able to live his dream by making his company a "true global lifestyle brand,", suggesting the Hilfiger brand and family already have plans for more involvement here in the Twin Tiers.


Resource Event for Flood Victims Thursday 10/28 at Woodhull
Steuben County residents impacted by flash flooding in August and still need assistance are encouraged to attend a resource event on Thursday, October 28th, at the Woodhull Town Hall from 1-7 p.m. Arbor Housing and Development and Catholic Charities of Steuben/Livingston, Pro Action of Steuben and Yates, Inc., and the United Way of the Southern Tier will have representatives there to answer questions and evaluate eligibility for funding assistance. The event is limited to those impacted by the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Fred in August. For assistance, residents must bring proof of income, as well as estimates for repairs if available. Meeting with representatives will be based on a first-come, first-serve basis and masks will be required inside the Town Hall.

Today's Top Stories - Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Bath PD Offering Bike Registrations Beginning Tuesday 10/26
Village of Bath Police will register bicycles again for the first time in about five years on Tuesday, October 26th, and Tuesday, November 2nd from 3-6 p.m. at the police station in Bath where a dispatcher will be there to assist with the registration.  Participants must bring their bikes with them so they can ensure the accuracy of the information in order to place the registration. These records will assist police in the event that a bike is stolen and they need to return the bike to a resident. The Bath Police Department has seen a major increase in the theft of bicycles in the past year to support drug habits and if a bike is registered, it will assist police if it is stolen. Two more bike registration events are planned for the Spring.

 

Republican State Senators Vote “NO” on Green Amendment
State legislators who represent the Finger Lakes split along party lines this year in voting on a bill (S528) or the “Green Amendment” to amend the state Constitution to include a personal right to clean air and water. The region’s three Democratic legislators voted ‘yes,’ and the measure passed both in the Senate and the Assembly. All eight of the Finger Lakes Region’s Republican State Senators, including Tom O’Mara and Pam Helming, unanimously rejected the measure. Republicans also opposed legislation that would prohibit the sale or use of pavement products made from toxic coal tar, which have high levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The green amendment, which passed the Legislature in both the 2019 and 2021 sessions, will go before voters this Election Day on Tuesday, November 2nd.

 

NYS DOL Bars Most Employers from Testing Employees for Pot
The New York State Department of Labor released new guidance this week that bars most employers from testing their employees for marijuana-months after the state legalized the use of recreational marijuana for anyone 21 and older. Exceptions to the new rules include: jobs through the federal government and workers like CDL drivers, who are federally required to be tested for marijuana. No protections apply for workers younger than 21 or those not legally considered employees, like contractors. The Labor Department’s new guidance does say an employer can take action against a worker if the employee is impaired by marijuana while working, even if the employer has not adopted an explicit policy prohibiting use if the impairment decreases or lessens an employee’s work performance or causes safety hazards.

 

COVID Vaccines Offered at Civil Defense Training Center

Steuben County Public Health Department says it will offer more COVID-19 vaccines every Friday at the Civil Defense Training Center on Route 54 in Bath from 10:00 a.m .- 2:00 p.m. Though the FDA granted emergency use authorization to the booster shots for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, Steuben County Health Department says it must wait for guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health before offering the boosters, but Public Health expects to be able to offer every available vaccine in the coming weeks. Participants can register for their vaccine appointment by clicking here, calling Steuben County Public Health at 607-664-2438 or walk in during clinic hours. All vaccines are completely free. Free transportation to clinics is also available through 211.

 

Corning Man Arrested for Selling Narcotics in Bath
Corning man Brandon J. Bradford has been indicted by a Steuben County Grand Jury for the selling and possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. Bradford allegedly sold narcotics in the Village of Bath while on New York State Parole for burglary. He was arraigned in Steuben County Court and was released without bail, despite being on parole.

 

Elmira PD Searching for Courtney Cade
Elmira Police continue their search for Courtney Cade after he allegedly fled his trial in Chemung County Court yesterday at around 3:30pm. A Chemung County jury found Cade guilty in connection to a June 2020 armed home invasion with his brother on Brand Street in Elmira where residents were injured by Cade. Cade was last seen wearing a dark sweater & khaki pants. He is wanted for Robbery, Burglary and Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Cade testified that his actions were justified because he was attempting to stop his brother, Eugene Cade, from committing the crimes. Courtney Cade faces a potential maximum sentence of 25 years for burglary and robbery charges while he could face up to 15 years on the criminal possession of firearm charges.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday, October 21st, 2021

COVID Vaccines Offered at Civil Defense Training Center Friday
Steuben County Public Health Department says it will offer more COVID-19 vaccines every Friday at the Civil Defense Training Center on Route 54 in Bath from 10:00 a.m .- 2:00 p.m. Though the FDA granted emergency use authorization to the booster shots for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines, Steuben County Health Department says it must wait for guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health before offering them so these Moderna and Johnson and Johnson boosters will not be offered on this Friday, October 22nd but Public Health expects to be able to offer every available vaccine in the coming weeks. Participants can register for their vaccine appointment by clicking here, calling Steuben County Public Health at 607-664-2438 or walk in during clinic hours. All vaccines are completely free. Free transportation to clinics is also available through 211.

 

Addison Arrested for Misuse of Food Stamps & Other Charges
An Addison woman was arrested for receiving over $1,300 in two separate occasions from the Department of Social Services she was not eligible to receive by using another person’s benefit card twice in May of this year. The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested 36-year-old Rachael English, yesterday. English received $244.94 she was not entitled to. She was charged with Misuse of Food Stamps and Petit Larceny. English was also arrested that day for a second, separate investigation for allegedly providing false information to DSS from October 2018 to April 2019 and receiving $1,108 she was not entitled to. For the second investigation, she was charged with First-Degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing and Fourth-Degree Grand Larceny, both Class-E felonies. English was released to appear in the Village of Bath Court at a later date for both offenses.

 

Steuben County Reports Another COVID Death
Steuben County Public Health Department reports the death of another who previously tested positive for COVID, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 222. The latest COVID victim was an 86-year-old male resident from the Town of Troupsburg. Public Health Director Darlene Smith remarked: “As we head into more of an indoor season, it’s especially important to do all we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this continuously spreading virus.”

 

Up to $2 Million in SBA Funding Now Available to Private Non-Profits
Funding is now available to help private non-profit organizations like food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges recover from damages caused by Tropical Storm Fred. These organizations will be eligible to apply for up to $2 million in loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. “This Small Business Administration funding will provide essential support to help those most affected by the storm to restore their businesses and nonprofits and rebuild stronger,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. The Woodhull, Addison and Jasper-Troupsburg areas of Steuben County were hit hard during flash flooding on August 18th into August 19th. One person was killed and the Jasper-Troupsburg High School was seriously damaged, forcing the school to relocate operations to a different building. So, this funding could be crucial for this area. The deadline for nonprofits to submit applications is December 7th.

 

Steuben County Man Wins Bills Tickets for #VaxAndWin Sweepstakes
Steuben County resident Bradley Sick has been announced as the winner of tickets to see the Buffalo Bills through New York State’s #VaxAndWin football sweepstakes. The program is incentivized and designed to encourage unvaccinated New Yorkers to get the COVID vaccine with prizes that include game tickets, “special in-game experiences”, stadium tours, signed gear, FaceTime calls with alumni players and more. All three New York teams– the Bills, Giants and Jets – are participating. The state announces winners each week. There is one drawing left after this week. All New Yorkers who received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose between September 9th – October 25th are eligible for the sweepstakes. More information about entering can be found by clicking here. 

 

Hornell Hosts Coffee With the Chief and Sheriff This Friday

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, City of Hornell Police Department and Village of North Hornell Police Department will host a joint “Coffee with the Chief/Sheriff” event on this Friday October 22nd from 8 to 9am at JC’s Cafe in Hornell. The program is open to all community members who may want to know more about crime prevention or further understand their own police forces. It also offers a casual atmosphere to discuss any areas of concern or improvements that would aid the agency in providing the highest quality of service.

 

Steuben County’s Early Voting Starts This Saturday

Early Voting for all registered voters in Steuben County begins this Saturday, October 23rd and runs through Sunday, Oct. 31st, at the Steuben County Annex on East Morris Street in Bath. Hours for early voting are 9 am – 2 pm Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am- 6 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 10 am – 8 pm Tuesday and Thursday. The commissioners said voters can vote early before Election Day at the nine days and times listed or go to their poll site between 6am and 9pm on Election Day November 2nd to vote. Voters may still apply in person for an absentee ballot at the Board of Elections, 20 E. Morris St, before November 2nd. For more information, call the Board of Elections at 607-664-2260.

 

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day This Saturday 10am-2pm

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office holds its biannual Prescription Drug Take Back Day event this Saturday, October 23rd at the Public Safety Building lobby from 10 am to 2 pm. The national event is DEA-sponsored and an effective way to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription medications by offering residents a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medications. Steuben Prevention Coalition Opioid Committee Program Assistant Connie Terry advises residents to attend the event and also “Invest in a medication lockbox with a combination lock...to keep medications out of the hands of children and to make someone interested in taking your medications for the wrong reasons think twice.

 

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday October 20th, 2021

Hornell Hosts Coffee With the Chief and Sheriff This Friday
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, City of Hornell Police Department and Village of North Hornell Police Department will host a joint “Coffee with the Chief/Sheriff” event on this Friday October 22nd from 8 to 9am at JC’s Cafe in Hornell. The program is open to all community members who may want to know more about crime prevention or further understand their own police forces in a casual atmosphere to discuss any areas of concern or improvements that would aid the agency in providing the highest quality of service.

 

Truck Destroyed in Horseheads Hotel Parking Lot
A pickup truck was destroyed after an early morning fire in a Horseheads hotel parking lot. Horseheads Fire Department crews responded and put out the fire. No injuries and no damages to the nearby buildings were reported. Community members reported hearing loud explosions in the area from the tires being exposed to the rapid heat of the fire. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.  

 

Steuben County Teenager Arrested for Sex Offenses
An unamed 17-year-old Steuben County teenager was arrested following a New York State Police sex offense investigation. State Police in Wayland received a report of the incident on October 15th. The minor was arrested yesterday morning for sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child. The sexual misconduct charge alleges the suspect “engage(d) in sexual intercourse with another person without such person’s consent.” Troopers did not report the age of the alleged victim.

 

O’Mara Opposes NY's Gas Tax and Community Investment Climate Act
As gas prices continue a sharp climb across the state, State Senator Tom O'Mara  joined other members of the Senate Republican Conference yesterday to call for the suspension of the state's gas tax while opposing the "Climate and Community Investment Act"- downstate Democrat-backed legislation that could potentially raise the gas tax by 55 cents and increase home heating costs by 25 percent. AAA reports New York's latest average gas price is $3.46 per gallon, compared to an average of $2.25 per gallon one year ago.

 

Steuben County’s Early Voting Starts This Saturday
Early Voting for all registered voters in Steuben County begins this Saturday, October 23rd and runs through Sunday, Oct. 31st, at the Steuben County Annex on East Morris Street in Bath. Hours for early voting are 9 am – 2 pm Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am- 6 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 10 am – 8 pm Tuesday and Thursday. The commissioners said voters can vote early before Election Day at the nine days and times listed or go to their poll site between 6am and 9pm on Election Day November 2nd to vote. Voters may still apply in person for an absentee ballot at the Board of Elections, 20 E. Morris St, before November 2nd. For more information, call the Board of Elections at 607-664-2260.

 

8 Arrested After Probation Violation Warrant Sweep
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports from October 1st to the 16th, deputies arrested 8 people  due to active warrants for violating terms or conditions of their probation. Jordan M. Smith, Jaden L. Dunkley, Mathew W. Parker, Kaleb E. Heidrick, Trehana L. Hoad, Steven R. McQuaid, Carl R. Nichols, Jr. and Michael J. VanValkenburg were all arrested and remanded to the Steuben County Jail.

 

2 More COVID Deaths Reported in Steuben
On Monday, Steuben County Public Health Department reported the deaths of two who previously tested positive for COVID and brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in Steuben County to 221. Latest of the deaths include an 86-year-old female from the Town of Hornby and a 56-year-old male resident from the Town of Greenwood. Public Health Director, Darlene Smith urges everyone to adhere to COVID prevention strategies, including getting vaccinated as soon as possible.

 

Steuben County Residents Urged to Participate in Broadband Survey
With many households in Steuben County lacking access to reliable broadband services, county officials urge all county residents to participate in the two-part New York State Broadband assessment survey which provides people to test the speed of their internet connections at home or in the office, then participate in a short survey. Those wishing to report on their cell phone are invited to participate in the survey, only. The importance and need of reliable broadband services has never been greater- a fact that has been proven after the COVID-19 pandemic and the rescue efforts during the flood in August. The survey is located at https://www.empirestatebroadband.com/

 

Compeer Hosts Oktoberfest Drive-Thru Saturday
Steuben County Compeer has an Oktoberfest Meal Drive-Thru on Saturday at Pulteney Park from 11am til it's gone. Meals are $12 and include a choice of: Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions or Bratwurst with Sauerkraut.  Sides include: German Potato Salad, Coleslaw,  and Apple or Cherry Strudel. Proceeds benefit the Steuben Compeer program. Tickets Available at (607) 346-2255 or by going to Steuben County Mental Health or State Farm Insurance.

 

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Steuben County Residents Urged to Participate in Broadband Survey
With many households in Steuben County lacking access to reliable broadband services, county officials urge all county residents to participate in the two-part New York State Broadband assessment survey which provides people to test the speed of their internet connections at home or in the office, then participate in a short survey. Those wishing to report on their cell phone are invited to participate in the survey, only. The importance and need of reliable broadband services has never been greater- a fact that has been proven after the COVID-19 pandemic and the rescue efforts during the flood in August. The survey is located at https://www.empirestatebroadband.com/

 

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day This Saturday 10am-2pm
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office holds its biannual Prescription Drug Take Back Day event this Saturday, October 23rd at the Public Safety Building lobby from 10 am to 2 pm. The national event is DEA-sponsored and an effective way to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription medications by offering residents a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medications. Steuben Prevention Coalition Opioid Committee Program Assistant Connie Terry advises residents to attend the event and also “Invest in a medication lockbox with a combination lock...to keep medications out of the hands of children and to make someone interested in taking your medications for the wrong reasons think twice.

 

Two More COVID Deaths Reported in Steuben County
Two more people have died from COVID-19 complications in Steuben County, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the county to 221. The two deaths include an 86-year-old female resident of the Town of Hornby and a 56-year-old male resident of the Town of Greenwood. Public Health Director, Darlene Smith said: “We urge everyone to adhere to COVID prevention strategies, including to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”     

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office Arrests FL Woman for Welfare Fraud
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a 40-year-old Tampa, Florida woman following an investigation into hundreds of dollars stolen in public benefits over the course of two years. Crystal Cage allegedly offered false instruments to the Steuben County Department of Social Services on two occasions between 2018 and 2020. As a result, she received $715 in benefits that she was not entitled. Cage was charged with felony offering a false instrument for filing and welfare fraud. These charges will be answered at a later date.

 

Next Ira Davenport COVID Vaccine Clinic is Tuesday, 11/16
Arnot Health announced COVID-19 vaccine clinics happening locally throughout this and next month. Both first doses and the third doses of Pfizer and Moderna for severely immunocompromised people and booster shots of Pfizer for those eligible, will be available. The next clinic at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital is Tuesday, November 16 from Noon - 3 pm. An appointment can be made by clicking here or calling 1-800-952-2662. Walk-ins are also welcome up until 30 minutes before the end of the clinic.

 

Millions in Airport Funding Announced for Southern Tier Region
Yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced New York is distributing $20.7 million in funding to airports across the state, including a total $3.1 million for airports in the Southern Tier administered through the New York State Department of Transportation through the Aviation Capital Investment Program. Funding is meant to be used to  “enhance safety, facilitate innovation, leverage existing resources, advance business development, and promote sustainability and resilience at these facilities”.  $100,000 of funding will go to the Corning-Painted Post Airport in Steuben County toward the acquisition of service equipment to maintain operations during inclement weather events. The state says investments such as these will help make local communities more “economically competitive” with neighboring states. 

 

Senators Want FEMA to Rethink Individual Assistance for Steuben 
Days after FEMA denied granting individual assistance to Steuben County for the response to the impact Tropical Storm Fred had on the area, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reconsider in a letter to the FEMA Director. Both senators explained in the letter that while the disaster declaration granted to affected counties like Steuben unlocked Public Assistance that will be used mainly for emergency work like debris removal and infrastructure repair, the Individual Assistance Steuben is requesting would provide direct aid to families and individuals. The Southern Tier region faced damage to hundreds of homes, businesses, roads, bridges, and even a derailed train as local creeks like the Tuscarora Creek reached historic levels at over 14 feet.

 

Riley Named Red Cross of the Southern Tier’s Executive Director
A new Executive Director of the Southern Tier Chapter of the American Red Cross has been named. Zachariah Riley has been selected as Executive Director after working for the Volunteer Services Staff of the Red Cross since 2015 and serving as Executive Director of the Chapter on an interim basis since June. Riley said being selected was “an honor”. As Executive Director of the Southern Tier Chapter, he will oversee Red Cross services in Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties in New York, and Susquehanna County in northern Pennsylvania.

 

2 of 4 Men in Torture-Murder Case Transferred to Chemung County Jail
Two of the four men arrested in connection with an alleged torture murder case in the Southern Tier were separately transferred earlier this month to Chemung County Jail after being held in Ontario County Jail for a Geneva home invasion back in April. 18-year old Malik Weems of Pittsburgh and 25-year old Eddie Marte, of New York City, are also both accused of working with 25-year-old Elmira man Thomas Bovaird and an unnamed 17-year-old to abduct and torture a New York City man, who was shot, beaten, burned before being driven to Pennsylvania and left to die in a remote wooded area. Weems and Marte are charged with murder, kidnapping, and assault in Chemung County.

 

Today's Top Stories - Monday, October 18th, 2021

Large Fire Reported at Ben Weitsman Of Hornell Scrap Yard
From early this morning: video footage from PEISH News and reports of a large fire at the Ben Weitsman Of Hornell scrap metal yard in Hornell. Heavy smoke was coming out of the scrap metal field as the Hornell Fire Department was on scene. This is a developing story and the cause of the fire is currently unknown. More information will be reported as it becomes available.

 

Rapid COVID Testing This Week at Hornell Community Arts Center
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across our Southern Tier region, City of Hornell Mayor John Buckley announced today that Hornell will be partnering with Steuben County Public Health to offer rapid COVID-19 testing this week at the Hornell Community Arts Center.  The most recent county data says Steuben County had 517 people actively battling COVID. The rapid testing will be held at the Hornell Community Arts Center this week. Testing will be available to the public tomorrow, Tuesday, October 19th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and on Thursday, October 21st from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Hornell Community Arts Center on 58 Broadway Mall. No appointment is necessary.  Residents are asked to wear a mask at all times and remain on-site for approximately ten minutes. Test kits will be provided by Steuben County Public Health, with testing to be administered by the Hornell Fire Department. The City of Hornell successfully partnered with Steuben County Public Health earlier this year to offer a vaccine clinic at the same location. For more information, call (607) 324-2100.

 

NY Shortens Camping Season in State Parks
New York State is taking an unusual step and shortening the camping season in 2022, leaving many recreational campers confused. Letchworth State Park will have a camping season 28 days shorter than 2021. Though New York has spent millions on New York State Park updates and upgrades in the last few years, the state has gone ahead and shortened the 2022 camping season at several parks around the state. According to News10NBC, state parks officials said it all comes down to demand with state parks periodically adjusting camping season schedules to respond to visitor demand and ensure a quality experience. State Park officials say they are also  focusing resources on the core season from one week before Memorial Day through Columbus Day when demand is highest. Officials contend that they are expanding offerings and options at campgrounds next year to compensate for the lost camping time.

 

Salvation Army Now Accepting Applications for Holiday Gifts
The Salvation Army is now accepting applications for Steuben County families in need of gifts for this holiday season. To sign up, parents or legal guardians in the county can schedule an appointment to apply in-person by calling 607-962-4681 x100. Appointments are available next week from Tuesday, October 26th-Thursday the 28th at the Corning Salvation Army location on East Denison Parkway. Participants must bring a photo ID, proof of address, proof of all household income, an ID for children ages 0-13, two toy selections, and clothing and shoe sizes for the children. Attendees must adhere to COVID-19 guidelines and wear a mask while attending.

 

Steuben County Health Dept Reports 2 More COVID Deaths
Steuben County Public Health Department reported the death of two individuals who previously tested positive for COVID, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 219. The two victims were a 58-year-old City of Corning man and an 81-year-old City of Corning woman. Public Health Director, Darlene Smith said: “Let’s protect our family and friends by continuing to follow all COVID precautions during this time of high spread.” All residents must continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill.

 

Former Horseheads GM Suing Red Lobster for Harassment
A former Horseheads Red Lobster General Manager, Miquelle Fountain has filed a $5 million lawsuit against Red Lobster Hospitality LLC and Joseph Yoffee, claiming that she experienced sexist and racist discrimination, aggression, hostility and harassment. The lawsuit says she repeatedly reported these incidents to Red Lobster who she claims failed to take any action.  Also according to the lawsuit, Fountain worked for Red Lobster for a total of 13 years by starting as a server and working her way up to General Manager at the Red Lobster in Elmira.  She is also suing for wrongful termination, claiming that Red Lobster failed to conduct a legitimate investigation into complaints against her before she was terminated.  The lawsuit includes 11 counts of violation of state and federal laws 

 

Daylight Savings Ends on Sunday, November 7th
Soon, we will all gain an hour of sleep as Daylight Saving Time will come to an end in less than a month. On Sunday, November 7th, clocks will be turned back. The supposed purpose of daylight saving time allows people to capitalize on the spring sunlight – as days are getting longer. In recent years, people have associated the extra daylight in the morning hours with students heading out the door to school. Clocks will spring forward again on Sunday, March 13th, 2022.

 

NY Files Appeal Re: Upholding COVID Vaccine Religious Exemptions
New York State filed an appeal regarding the ruling made by a federal judge that allows religious exemptions to be upheld. Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Attorney General Letitia James filed the appeal. According to the data they provided, the mandate led to a rise in healthcare workers getting vaccinated and only 3% of the workforce left. 75.1% of adults 18 and up in New York are now fully-vaccinated.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Southern Tier Redistricting Hearing Set for Monday, October 25th
Southern Tier residents can participate in the second round of redistricting hearings on Monday, October 25th at 4pm. Southern Tier residents are encouraged to discuss the proposed new districts for the 2022 elections.  Every decade, states are required to renew district lines reflecting population and demographic changes reported in the most recent Census. New Yorkers voted to establish an Independent Redistricting Committee in 2014 to determine those new districts but this will be the first year the IRC will be drawing the districts, and it is seeking public input. New York State Senator Tom O’Mara said: “There is a second opportunity for the public to provide input for balanced government and I encourage concerned citizens and community leaders to participate,” Those interested in participating in the October 25th IRC hearing must sign up by 4:00 p.m. on Saturday October 23rd.
For more information, including how to sign up, click here.

 

Eric Smith Granted Parole
Eric Smith has been granted parole. November 17th is the open date for Smith’s parole after the 11th consecutive time he requested it. Smith, who was 13 years old when he killed four year old boy Derrick Robie from Savona in 1993, is serving a nine-years-to-life sentence for Derrick's murder at Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County. He was last denied parole in January 2020. Robie’s family says Smith could be released from prison as early as mid-November. Smith is now 41 years old and after he was convicted in 1994, he served time in a juvenile detention facility before transferring into the New York State prison system. 

 

SSI Benefits Increasing by 6% in January
This week, the Social Security Administration announced a 6% increase in their benefits beginning in January. The increase in benefits is a response to recent inflation as an adjustment to account for the higher cost of living, which has risen over the past year due to inflation raising the price of gas, groceries, and other goods necessary for day-to-day life. About 8 million Social Security Insurance beneficiaries will also see increased payments starting December 31st, 2021.   Steuben County’s AmeriCorps Senior Coordinator Christine Towner believes the county’s Department of Aging will fuel the impact of the increase and said they’re “...very happy to see that seniors are receiving an increase,” and “Hopefully it gives them a chance to put a little extra money into their budgets.”  Towner  recommends that people give her office a call at 607-664-2298 and make an appointment with the benefits enrollment team.
For more information on how the cost of living is calculated, visit the Social Security Administration’s website here

 

Despite Vaccine, Steuben & Southern Tier COVID Cases Surge
Vaccination rates continue to remain low in most of the Twin Tiers. As of yesterday, 46 percent of Steuben County’s population is fully-vaccinated as the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 virus is increasing significantly with 35 hospitalizations reported currently in the county. Arnot Health told WENY its ICU and COVID-19 unit have been "increasingly taxed" over the last several weeks as cases continue to rise and that the vast majority of patients needing to be hospitalized due to COVID are unvaccinated, particularly those patients who have needed ICU care. Health officials remind residents of the importance of getting vaccinated for COVID and Arnot points out other regions like New York City have "correspondingly low infection and hospitalization rates compared to ours", despite having a much higher population density due to their much higher vaccination rate. 

 

Painted Post Man Arrested for Child Porn
A 31-year-old Painted Post man was been arrested on obscenity and child pornography charges, according to State Police. Ian Peraldo was arrested in Corning around 6am the morning of October 13th by New York State Police for one count of promoting an obscene sexual performance of a child under 17 (a Class-D felony) and one count of possessing a sexual performance of a child (a Class-E felony). Peraldo is currently being held, but Troopers have not released any other details. The incident is pending investigation. 

 

Ammunition Sales in NY Never Tracked For SAFE Act
In 2013, the SAFE Act was passed in New York state with plans to create a way to track ammunition sales but now, eight years later- that has not happened. Though a state Assembly hearing was held, New York State Police, the Office of Information Technology Services and the Division of Criminal Justice Services did not attend. It was stated that subpoenas may be used in the future. Police commissioners say the rise in gun violence was directly related to bail reform that was passed in 2019 but data disproves this and they were forced to go back on what was originally said. Rebecca Fischer with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence said. “It was off topic, inappropriate and frankly, false. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a dramatic uptick in shootings and we need to do more to reduce those shootings.”

 

USPS Now Hiring in Time for Holiday Season
The United States Postal Service or USPS is now hiring for several positions this season as deliveries pick up for their busiest time of the year. The USPS said: “Right now, we are looking for committed and motivated individuals to join us in our mission of service to your local community and the nation through the holidays and beyond”. Candidates must be at least 18 and pass a drug screen and background check. Weekends and holidays are required. Applications can be found and filled out online for your location.

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

Eric Smith Granted Open Date for Parole
Eric Smith has been granted an open date for parole. November 17th is the open date for Smith after the 11th time up for parole. Smith, who was 13 years old when he killed four year old boy Derrick Robie from Savona in 1993, is serving a nine-years-to-life sentence for Derrick's murder at Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County. He was last denied parole in January 2020. Robie’s family says Smith could be released from prison as early as mid-November. Smith is now 41 years old and after he was convicted in 1994, he served time in a juvenile detention facility before transferring into the New York State prison system. 

 

Danks-Burke Running for State Senate for Third Time in 2022
Attorney Leslie Danks Burke announced yesterday she will run for New York State Senate again for the third time as a Democrat. She previously challenged Republican State Senator Tom O'Mara, in 2016 and again in 2020. Danks-Burke anticipates changes to the state's senate district lines that may alter the makeup of the senate districts representing the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes in the next legislature. At this time, it’s unknown who her Republican opponent could be, depending on the outcome of state redistricting. Senator Tom O'Mara currently represents Senate District 58. 

 

Canisteo PD Holding Free Community Mingle Today
Canisteo Police, fire, and ambulance workers will hold a free Community Mingle today at the Wimodaughsian Library from 5–6:30 pm as an opportunity for parents and children to get to know their local first responders and have the ability to teach young children that first responders are there to help in stressful situations. There will be free hotdogs, snacks, and drinks available as well, courtesy of Canisteo Police.

 

Three City of Corning Streets Closed for Construction
The City of Corning announced a series of closures to streets to accommodate construction work. Chestnut Street from West Sixth Street to the end as well as West Fourth Street from State Street to Washington Street will be closed and no parking will be allowed on Monday, October 18th, Friday, October 22nd, and Saturday, October 23rd. Steuben Street from Watauga Ave. to Upper Delevan Ave. will be closed with a posted detour route and no parking will be allowed from Wednesday, October 20th through Friday, November 5th. Work is dependent on weather and subject to change at any time.

 

NY Dept. of Labor Holding Regional Job Fair for Southern Tier
New York State Department of Labor holds a Regional Virtual Career Fair for the Southern Tier region on October 20th and October 21st with October 20th being a preview day that starts at 9:00 am. Participants will have the opportunity to enter the platform and visit the different booths to familiarize themselves with the system ahead of the live event. The actual fair will be Thursday, October 21st from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. where participants can chat one-on-one with recruiters from across the Southern Tier. Registration for the event is required. For more information, click here.

 

State Approves Millions for Water Projects in Canisteo & Addison
Governor Hochul announced yesterday that the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation approved over $44 million for drinking water and wastewater projects across New York State- including two local communities in Steuben County. The Village of Canisteo is set to receive funding for drinking water projects that includes a $3,000,000 WIIA grant and $1,776,800 in short-term, market-rate financing for storage and distribution system upgrades. The Village of Addison in Steuben County will receive Clean Water Project Funding that includes $2,914,513 in long-term, interest-free financing for wastewater system improvements.   Governor Hochul said, “By ensuring our local partners have the resources they need to invest in critical water projects, we can bolster the public health in our state, and lay the foundation for growth and economic development.”

 

Corning Man Arrested for Stealing Car in Allegany County
Troopers say they arrested a Corning man in Amity for allegedly stealing a car in Allegany County. Peter McCarthy was arrested after the car was located in Elmira then he was transported to State Police in Amity for processing and issued an appearance ticket returnable to the village of Belmont court at a later date.

 

NY Will Not Require COVID Vaccination for Licenses and Other ID
Misinformation about New York’s response to COVID-19 is circulating online as a photoshopped image using a Rochester-area television station’s call letters appeared recently alleging that New York State would require the COVID-19 vaccine for license application or renewal. The image says this rule will take effect January 1st, 2022 requiring anyone who applies for a license, or plans to renew one will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. New York State told the public no such vaccine requirement would be mandated to obtain basic documentation like a license or any other form of identification. Governor Hochul responded in a tweet, saying: “We cannot let disinformation sow division.” 

 

Today's Top Stories - Thursday October 14th, 2021

Canisteo PD Holding Free Community Mingle Tomorrow
Canisteo Police, fire, and ambulance workers will hold a free Community Mingle at the Wimodaughsian Library on Friday, Oct, 15th from 5–6:30 pm as an opportunity for parents and children to get to know their local first responders and have the ability to teach young children that first responders are there to help in stressful situations. There will be free hotdogs, snacks, and drinks available as well, courtesy of Canisteo Police.

 

Dormann Library Wins $1000 for Senior Living Lending Library
The Dormann Library is pleased to announce that they have won a $1000.00 2021 Outreach Mini-Grant for the creation of a Lending Library for Senior Living and Long Term Care Facilities, a special collection of large print books intended for use exclusively by local assisted living facilities. The project is supported by outreach funds awarded by the Southern Tier Library System’s Coordinated Outreach Services Advisory Council. The STLS COSAC provides grants to enable members to strengthen services to targeted outreach populations. Outreach Mini-Grants are designed to fund pilot projects for the implementation or expansion of local library services to outreach populations and to support libraries in working with populations that may not currently be using library services. The Dormann Library thanks STLS.

 

Sunday October 24th, 607 Area Code Must Be Dialed By 1 + 10 Digits
Beginning October 24th, people living in 82 area codes nationwide- including our local “607” area code- will be required to use the 10-digit number system in order to make a local phone call. For landline calls, the number 1 will also be required on top of the 10-digit number. Currently, when someone makes a long distance call on a landline, they would typically dial the number 1, then the area code, then the phone number.  This requirement will apply to all calls, local and long distance, in the affected areas on Sunday, October 24th. Wireless calls do not require the number 1 before the 10-digit number. The FCC says the change is due to a new number "988" to reach the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. During this change, your number and the price of a call will not change. For more information check out:https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/ten-digit-dialing

 

Hornell CSD Awarded $3 Million Literacy Grant from Dept. of Education
The Hornell City School District announced it was recently awarded a $3 million literacy grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The funds will be distributed over the next five years and focused on programs and services for students in the Intermediate School. This is the second federal literacy grant received by the district since 2018. Beyond continuing book giveaways within the district, this latest grant will provide the district with the opportunity to expand Intermediate School library hours to better serve students and families, as well as present a wide-array of school-wide literacy events.

 

FEMA Denies Individual Assistance for Steuben County
FEMA has apparently denied Individual Assistance for Steuben County residents impacted by Tropical Storm Fred according to Governor Hochul’s office. Hochul issued a recent statement that said she was waiting for FEMA’s decision concerning individual assistance for those in Steuben County affected by the flooding from Tropical Storm Fred. In her statement she promised: “ We will immediately appeal FEMA’s decision on Individual Assistance for Steuben County residents impacted by Tropical Storm Fred. The people of Steuben County have suffered enough, and it is our duty to work together to secure the federal funding they deserve.” Last week, President Biden approved New York’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for eight counties that included Steuben.

 

$7.4 Million in Fed Funding Available to County Emergency Agencies
Governor Hochul announced $7.4 million in federal funding yesterday that is available to county emergency management agencies to support preparedness for any type of disaster. Hochul called the funding "... critically important to communities in New York State as we continue to recover from the storm-related damages we have experienced over recent months." Awardees can access funding through an annual federal emergency management performance grant but they must develop projects that strengthen their own readiness to address all potential hazards. Projects must focus on addressing any efforts identified by FEMA as needing national improvement. Agencies can use obtained funding to support any efforts for improvement, including:

  • Management and administration activities;

  • Planning;

  • Staffing for emergency management agencies;

  • Equipment;

  • Training and exercises;

  • Construction and renovation of emergency operations centers; and

  • Maintenance and sustainment of GIS and interoperable communications systems

NY Delivering $26.7 Million to Southern Tier for Opioid Epidemic
New York’s Attorney General Letitia James continued her statewide ‘HealNY’ tour of the state with a stop in Ithaca and announced that she will deliver up to $26.7 million to the Southern Tier to combat the opioid epidemic. In her address, Attorney General James said 2020 was the  deadliest year on record for drug overdoses. New York state is handing out opioid legal settlement money to help fight the deadly drug crisis. Tompkins County alone is set to receive as much as $1.75 million to address the opioid crisis. 

 

Southern Tier COVID Infection Rates Surge Despite Vaccine 
Local health officials, many in Steuben County, have reported high levels of COVID-19 infection, with a recent surge of cases in local hospitals. Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler called it “[It’s] a frustrating point for me personally,” and explained: “We’ve reached a point where vaccines are so accessible, that anyone who has wanted a vaccine can get it.” Wheeler says the state recently released new funding to increase “local messaging” regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The Southern Tier is a region prone to infection due to low vaccination rates, high poverty rates and a mainly elderly population. Local leaders and health officials continue to ask those who haven’t yet to get the COVID-19 vaccine to do so.

 

Those With Substance Abuse Issues More Likely to Contract COVID
Those with substance use disorders are more likely to contract COVID-19 compared to vaccinated individuals who don’t use substances according to a new study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that looked at 580,000 health records for vaccinated people. Data found that breakthrough cases among substance users were low, but still higher than those who didn’t use any substances. However, a variable in the study shows that many substance abusers have underlying health conditions as well as come from a lower socioeconomic background-factors also responsible for the increased risk of breakthrough infections.  Substance users that did contract the virus also had a higher chance of greater illness, hospitalization, and death.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday October 13th, 2021

FEMA Denies Individual Assistance for Steuben County
Late yesterday in a statement she issued, Governor Hochul said she was waiting for FEMA’s decision concerning individual assistance for those in Steuben County affected by the flooding from Tropical Storm Fred. According to Governor Hochul’s office, FEMA has apparently denied Individual Assistance for Steuben County residents impacted by Tropical Storm Fred. In her statement she promised: “ We will immediately appeal FEMA’s decision on Individual Assistance for Steuben County residents impacted by Tropical Storm Fred. The people of Steuben County have suffered enough, and it is our duty to work together to secure the federal funding they deserve.” Last week, President Biden approved New York’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for eight counties that included Steuben.

 

Steuben County Health Dept. Reports 3 More COVID Deaths
The Steuben County Public Health Department reports the death of three people who previously tested positive for COVID and brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the county to 217. These three deaths include a 51 year old Village of Painted Post woman, an 89-year-old Town of Hornellsville man, and a 65 year old Town of Addison man. Public Health Director, Darlene Smith said "COVID is continuing to ravage Steuben County; please take every precaution during this time of high spread to protect yourself and your loved ones." All residents should continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill.

 

Local Trick-or-Treating Times Announced
Trick or treating times were announced this year by several local communities. Bath will officially hold trick or treating this year from 6-8 pm October 30th in conjunction with the Chamber’s trunk or treat. Campbell-Savona Elementary School will have their Trunk or Treat Friday October 29th from 6 to 8PM. Arnot Mall has Trunk or Treat Saturday October 30th from 3 to 5pm at the Event Center Parking Lot. Sunday October 31st, Painted Post holds trick-or-treating from 6 to 8pm. The City of Hornell typically holds trick or treat between 6-8 p.m. on October 31st and Mayor John Buckley says the city council will officially vote on the time in an upcoming meeting.

 

Potter’s Hands Foundation's Hands of Hope Gala in Hammondsport
The non-profit the Potter's Hands Foundation will hold its annual “Hands of Hope” gala on November 6th this year at the Pleasant Valley Wine Company in Hammondsport. The mission of the Potter’s Hands Foundation is to serve young girls in the Southern Tier and beyond who are survivors of sex trafficking. You can attend the “Hands of Hope” gala either in-person or virtually. The in-person event features dinner, wine tasting and music. Tickets are $75 each for the live event, and $50 for the virtual option. Semi-formal attire is requested. Click here for more ticket information. More information about The Potter's Hands Foundation can be found at: https://www.thepottershandsfoundation.org/

 

Board of Elections Reminds Voters Absentee Ballots Are Available
The State Board of Elections reminds voters that absentee ballots are available to any voter who will not be in their county to vote at their polling place or are unable to get to their polling place due to a temporary or permanent illness, disability, or COVID-19 concerns. Election day is Tuesday, November 2nd and voting is from 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. An application for an absentee ballot by mail must be received no later than Monday, October 18th. Midnight on Monday October 18th is the deadline for absentee applications by email, fax, and the online portal. Those who want to apply for an absentee ballot in person can do so at the Board of Elections up until the day before election day on Monday, November 1st at 5 p.m. 

 

Blood Drives Happening Locally During Emergency Blood Shortage
The American Red Cross urges people to give blood as they are in an emergency blood shortage. Blood and platelets are urgently needed! Today, Bath United Centenary Methodist Church holds a blood drive until 5:30pm. Next week on Wednesday, October 20th the Bath VA holds a blood drive in building 92 from 11:30am-4:30pm. Friday October 22nd, Avoca Central School has one from 10am to 3pm and Dormann Library has one Thursday October 28th from 11:30am to 4:30pm. To donate blood go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS

 

SNAP Households to Receive Maximum Benefits This Month
All New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits for this month according to the Governor’s Office. All households enrolled in SNAP are set to receive a supplemental allotment later in the month. Emergency assistance funding will be given to households that do not normally receive the maximum allowable benefit per month. Households already near, or at the maximum benefit level will receive a supplemental payment of at least $95. Locally, SNAP households will begin seeing benefits this week through October 21st.

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Bath Announces Trick-or-Treating Time
Trick or treating times were not officially established in many communities last year during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid gatherings. Health officials now say it’s safe to go outdoors to trick or treat this year, especially if you’re vaccinated against COVID. Bath will officially hold trick or treating this year from 6-8 p.m. October 30th in conjunction with the Chamber’s trunk or treat. The City of Hornell typically holds trick or treat between 6-8 p.m. on October 31st and Mayor John Buckley says the city council will officially vote on the time in an upcoming meeting.

 

South Corning Man Arrested for Endangering Welfare of Child
Troopers arrested a South Corning man on charges including assault and endangering the welfare of a child. 29-year-old Jose James was arrested October 7th after an early morning investigation the day prior in the village of South Corning. He was arrested on one charge of assault in the third degree and endangering the welfare of a child, as well as two counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree. One of the criminal mischief charges alleges James disabled equipment that would prevent someone from making an emergency call. James was held by police and the investigation is pending.

 

Bath Woman Arrested After Assault Investigation
New York State Police report the arrest of Bath woman Alesha Hunt after an assault investigation in Steuben County. Troopers say Hunt was arrested on October 6th for felony assault in the second degree, felony criminal mischief in the third degree, menacing with a weapon, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use it after police responded in the Town of Bath. Hunt’s criminal mischief charge alleges that she damaged property worth more than $250. Troopers in Bath say the investigation is ongoing.

 

Bath Man Arrested in Connection With Dansville Burglary
A second Steuben County man faces charges of damaging more than $1,000 worth of property after a burglary investigation. Troopers report that Andrew Crosson of Bath was arrested Sunday in connection to an August 25th burglary investigation in the Town of Dansville. Avoca man Adam Hosmer was previously arrested in connection to the Dansville burglary and two other investigations. Crosson faces a charge of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree. Police released him on an appearance ticket.

 

HEAP Enrollment Now Open
Enrollment for New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is now open. The HEAP program helps those of low-income pay the cost of heating their homes. Those who are eligible may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year or may qualify for emergency benefits if they are in danger of running out of fuel or having their utility service shut off. Eligibility and benefit amounts are based on factors that include income, household size, the primary heating source and the presence of a household member who is under age 6, or 60 or older or permanently disabled. More information on how to apply to HEAP can be found here. 

 

Arnot Health Offering Several COVID Vaccine Clinics
Arnot Health announced several upcoming COVID-19 vaccine clinics for this and next month. Clinics will offer first doses, third doses of Pfizer or Moderna for severely immunocompromised people and booster shots of Pfizer for those eligible.  Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital holds a clinic today from noon to 5pm. Other clinics will be held at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital:
- Tuesday, October 19th from Noon to  3pm
-  Tuesday, November 16th from Noon to 3 pm
Register for an appointment in advance by clicking here or by calling 1-800-952-2662. Walk-ins are welcome up until 30 minutes before the end of the clinic.

 

Schumer Talks Expanded Broadband Access in Allegany County
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Allegany County yesterday, touting the bipartisan infrastructure bill and its provisions that would expand broadband access in underserved rural and urban communities. 23% of Allegany County’s population do not have access to broadband internet while 10% of Steuben County’s population is without broadband access which equals about 39,283 households. Senator Schumer said the infrastructure bill sets aside $65 billion to expand broadband access and that  “Access to reliable, fast internet service is crucial to success in today’s modern economy” which he says is why the federal investment must expand high-speed internet in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

 

Judge Rules NY Allow Health Workers Religious Vaccine Exemptions
A federal judge ruled today New York must continue to allow health care workers to seek religious exemptions from a statewide vaccine mandate as a lawsuit challenging the requirement proceeds. Utica Judge David Hurd issued a temporary restraining order a month ago after 17 doctors, nurses and other health professionals claimed in a lawsuit that their rights would be violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed the exemptions. Hurd’s preliminary injunction means the state will continue to be barred from enforcing any requirement that employers deny religious exemptions. Governor Hochul’s administration began requiring workers at hospitals and nursing homes to be vaccinated on Sept. 27th and more recently expanded the requirement to include workers at assisted living homes, hospice care, treatment centers and home health aides.

Today's Top Stories - Monday October 11th, 2021

FEMA Disaster Assistance Available to NY’s Flood-Damaged Counties
FEMA announced that federal disaster assistance is available to New York state to supplement state and local recovery efforts to areas affected by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred August 18th and 19th, which caused major flooding. Eligible state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations have federal funding available on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the floods in Allegany, Cayuga, Cortland, Lewis, Oneida, Steuben, Tioga and Yates counties. Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide. The Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected areas has been named Lai Sun Yee. Additional designations may be made at a later date. Congressman Tom Reed said:
“Early on, it became evident that federal aid would be needed and that’s why the declaration is such welcomed news.” Reed also thanked everyone involved and reminded residents his “..office doors are open as a resource for those in need of assistance.”

 

Significant Algal Blooms Reported in Keuka and Other Lakes
Canandaigua, Seneca, Keuka, and Cayuga Lakes reported significant algal blooms this week despite the harmful blooms being unexpected this late in the season. Timing of the blooms on these lakes is surprising due to recent temperature changes, but not unheard of. Residents are reminded that bloom areas need to be avoided as they have the potential to be harmful to the health of both humans and pets.

 

Finance Committee Completing Steuben’s 2022 Budget Tomorrow

Steuben County Legislature’s Finance Committee will start to refine the county’s 2022 budget at a special budget workshop set for 11 a.m. tomorrow in the legislative chambers in the Steuben County Annex, 20 E. Morris St., Bath. The committee plans to review initial budget recommendations by county Manager and Budget Officer Jack Wheeler as he and the Finance Committee will figure out how to provide local services, such as repairing roads, maintaining public safety, and continuing specialized programs while setting aside 93 percent of the tax levy to pay for the state’s mandated services. Steuben’s current budget is $194 million with a nearly flat tax levy of $51 million. Largely due to an unprecedented number of retirements and cuts by department heads in 2020, the average tax rate dropped 14 cents per $1,000 to $7.93. If needed, the county Legislature’s Finance Committee will meet again at 9 a.m. Wednesday (October 13th) to continue work on the preliminary budget.

 

Park & Memorial Will Honor Hornell’s Late Sgt. Swift
Hornell Mayor John Buckley announced Friday afternoon the City of Hornell will honor Hornell Police Sergeant Daniel J. Swift with a new park and memorial next to the Community Bank on Seneca Road. Sergeant Swift, who is the father of a close childhood friend of Mayor Buckley’s, was killed at the age of 25  in the line of duty on October 24th, 1973 after being intentionally struck by a 15-year-old driver who took his father’s car while Swift was attempting to arrest three occupants. Mayor Buckley received a $10 million DNI Grant from New York State to build this park. Buckley remarked: “It's nearly 50 years later, but we're going to pay tribute to him and memorialize him and his legacy... his memories, and his service to our community right here in this brand-new park.”  The Park and memorial are anticipated to be finished by October 24th, which is the 50th anniversary of Swift’s death. 

 

Hilfiger Getting British Fashion Council Award
Next month on November 29th, Elmira native Tommy Hilfiger will be awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Fashion Awards 2021 in London for his contributions to the fashion industry by the British Fashion Council. Forbes says Hilfiger, who grew up in Elmira, will be officially recognized and awarded for his contributions to fashion and his commitment to inclusivity. This past spring, he and his siblings announced they will partner with Elmira College to offer the "Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Business School."

 

Gee Sentenced to 6 Months Prison and 5 Years Probation
David Gee was sentenced Friday to six months in County Jail followed by a term of 5 years of probation supervision for the January 2019 fatal snowmobile accident that killed his wife. The first six months of Gee’s prison term will be served while he is still in jail. Gee was originally charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, and felony Driving While Intoxicated. He pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter on August 11th of this year. In May 2019, he entered a plea of not guilty for first-degree manslaughter. In January of 2019, Gee drove a snowmobile with his wife BillieJo as a passenger when he failed to yield at State Rt. 417 in Tuscarora. Both were not wearing helmets and were ejected when a van driving down the road hit the snowmobile. BillieJo Gee was taken to Guthrie Corning Hospital and pronounced dead at the hospital. David Gee was airlifted by LifeNet to Robert Packer Hospital.

 

Board of Elections Opening for Extended Hours

Steuben County Board of Elections will offer extended hours during the two weeks prior to the November 2nd General Election. The Board of Elections office at 20 E. Morris St. in Bath will be open for extended hours on the following days and times:

Tuesday, Oct. 19 – 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 21 – 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 23 – 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 26 – 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 28 – 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 30 – 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Extended hours at the Board of Elections are intended to assist voters who may need to apply for an absentee ballot.

 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday, October 9th, 2021

4 More COVID Deaths in Steuben County
Yesterday, Steuben County Public Health Department reported four deaths of those who previously tested positive for COVID.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 214. One victim was a 75-year-old Town of Bath woman, another was a 72-year-old Town of Tuscarora man, another victim was an 88-year-old City of Hornell man, and the other was an 88-year-old Town of Corning woman. "COVID has tragically taken too many lives of Steuben residents," said Public Health Director, Darlene Smith. Smith urges residents to “Please take every precaution to help make our goal our reality sooner."

 

Gee Sentenced to 6 Months Prison and 5 Years Probation
David Gee was sentenced to six months in County Jail followed by a term of 5 years of probation supervision yesterday for the January 2019 fatal snowmobile accident that killed his wife. The first six months of Gee’s prison term will be served while he is still in jail. Gee was originally charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, and felony Driving While Intoxicated. He pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter on August 11 of this year. In May 2019, he entered a plea of not guilty for first-degree manslaughter. In January of 2019, Gee drove a snowmobile with his wife BillieJo as a passenger when he failed to yield at State Rt. 417 in Tuscarora. Both were not wearing helmets and were ejected when a van driving down the road hit the snowmobile. BillieJo Gee was taken to Guthrie Corning Hospital and pronounced dead at the hospital. David Gee was airlifted by LifeNet to Robert Packer Hospital.

 

Corning Man With Bench Warrant Arrested After Hiding in Home
A Corning man was arrested yesterday morning on a bench warrant after police surrounded the home that he was hiding in. Corning Police Department reports 58-year-old Thomas J. Savino was spotted by officers standing in front of his home on Decatur Street around 10:45 a.m. Upon Savino seeing the officers, he "retreated" into his home and slammed the door. Savino had an outstanding bench warrant for a previous arrest with prior charges including criminal possession of a weapon, menacing, and resisting arrest. After Savino hid inside of his home, members of the Corning Police Department tried to negotiate with him to come out. Eventually the Steuben County Sheriff's Office, and New York State Police joined on scene to surround the home. After about an hour, Savino was taken into custody without incident. Savino was arraigned in Steuben County Court, and sent to the Steuben County Jail without bail.

 

Board of Elections Opening for Extended Hours
Steuben County Board of Elections will offer extended hours during the two weeks prior to the November 2nd General Election. The Board of Elections office at 20 E. Morris St. in Bath will be open for extended hours on the following days and times:

Tuesday, Oct. 19 – 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 21 – 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 23 – 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 26 – 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 28 – 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 30 – 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Extended hours at the Board of Elections are intended to assist voters who may need to apply for an absentee ballot.

 

Finance Committee Completing Steuben’s 2022 Budget on Tuesday
Steuben County Legislature’s Finance Committee will start to refine the county’s 2022 budget at a special budget workshop set for 11 a.m. on Tuesday (October 12th) in the legislative chambers in the Steuben County Annex, 20 E. Morris St., Bath. The committee plans to review initial budget recommendations by county Manager and Budget Officer Jack Wheeler as he and the Finance Committee will figure out how to provide local services, such as repairing roads, maintaining public safety, and continuing specialized programs while setting aside 93 percent of the tax levy to pay for the state’s mandated services. Steuben’s current budget is $194 million with a nearly flat tax levy of $51 million. Largely due to an unprecedented number of retirements and cuts by department heads in 2020, the average tax rate dropped 14 cents per $1,000 to $7.93. If needed, the county Legislature’s Finance Committee will meet again at 9 a.m. Wednesday (October 13th) to continue work on the preliminary budget.

Today's Top Stories - Friday, Octeober 8th, 2021

Board of Elections Opening for Extended Hours
Steuben County Board of Elections will offer extended hours during the two weeks prior to the November 2nd General Election. The Board of Elections office at 20 E. Morris St. in Bath will be open for extended hours on the following days and times:

Tuesday, Oct. 19 – 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 21 – 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 23 – 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 26 – 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 28 – 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 30 – 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Extended hours at the Board of Elections are intended to assist voters who may need to apply for an absentee ballot.

 

Finance Committee Completing Steuben’s 2022 Budget on Tuesday
Steuben County Legislature’s Finance Committee will start to refine the county’s 2022 budget at a special budget workshop set for 11 a.m. on Tuesday (October 12th) in the legislative chambers in the Steuben County Annex, 20 E. Morris St., Bath. The committee plans to review initial budget recommendations by county Manager and Budget Officer Jack Wheeler as he and the Finance Committee will figure out how to provide local services, such as repairing roads, maintaining public safety, and continuing specialized programs while setting aside 93 percent of the tax levy to pay for the state’s mandated services. Steuben’s current budget is $194 million with a nearly flat tax levy of $51 million. Largely due to an unprecedented number of retirements and cuts by department heads in 2020, the average tax rate dropped 14 cents per $1,000 to $7.93. If needed, the county Legislature’s Finance Committee will meet again at 9 a.m. Wednesday (October 13th) to continue work on the preliminary budget.

 

Steuben County & US COVID Death Toll On The Rise
The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 reached 700,000 last week with the last 100,000 deaths occurring despite the availability of COVID vaccines- which can overwhelmingly prevent deaths, hospitalizations and serious illness. Locally there is an uptick in deaths, particularly in Steuben County. County Health Director Darlene Smith said September of last year, there were 17 in the hospital but last month-this previous September-there were 31 in the hospital county-wide.

 

80 Unvaccinated Arnot Health Workers Have Been Laid Off
80 Arnot Health workers who have not been vaccinated have been laid off, according to My Twin Tiers that reports Arnot Health said 97% of their employees have at least one dose. 84% of employees were fully vaccinated as of last Friday and currently, 85 employees are still unvaccinated due to an approved exemption. Employees that have been approved to remain exempt are tested twice-weekly. The ICU unit is at 100% capacity right now based on the total 20 beds and reached full capacity on Wednesday with their 8th COVID case. The ICU at Arnot Health has made up 75% of the patients throughout the pandemic. Arnot Health officials continue to encourage the community to get vaccinated, complete their vaccine series, or get their booster shots, as well as practice good hand hygiene and social distancing, and wearing masks to help prevent further spread of COVID in the community. 

 

Hearings Set for 3 Suspects in Chemung Torture-Murder Case
Hearings are set today for the suspects in the Chemung County Torture-Murder case. Attornies for Thomas Bovaird, Eddie Marte, and Malik Weems will each appear in Chemung County Court for hearings but none of the suspects are scheduled to appear in front of the judge today.  Officials continue to investigate the brutal murder of Juan Jose Gotay and this week they verified he knew his killers though Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore has not shared a motive, why the man was in Elmira, how he knew the suspects, or if any one suspect was the ringleader. Two of the three suspects in custody are also involved in similar cases in Ontario County and another in Elmira that was committed to secure a ransom.

 

Bill Would Allow Teens 14 & Up Vaccination Without Parental Consent
A group of New York state senators have introduced a bill that would allow most teens to get vaccines without parental consent, if it is signed into law. The bill proposes allowing teens who are at least 14 years old to get vaccinated by health care practitioners without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Immunizations that fall into this category would have to be required or recommended by law and minors who choose to get vaccinated in this case would have to provide informed consent. The bill is currently in committee and cites that in 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed the anti-vaccination movement as one of the top ten threats to global health.

 

NY’s Cannabis Control Board Holds First Meeting This Week
This week, New York held the first meeting of its new, five-member panel Cannabis Control Board, that will help roll out the state’s $4 billion recreational marijuana industry by next year. The board is responsible for developing an equitable framework for the state’s cannabis industry and making ethical considerations about implementing the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) which aims to create a new industry that is diverse and inclusive and conscious of the harms caused by the war on drugs and cannabis prohibition. The board expanded the eligibility for providers of medical marijuana making it so anyone that has a license to prescribe controlled substances can also administer pot, including midwives, dentists and pediatricians. Medical pot dispensaries can also sell whole-leaf pot, which cuts down on production time for cannabis growers.The cannabis control board will reinvest 40% of the sales tax on the pot sales into communities.  Towns and villages that want to opt out of allowing recreational marijuana to be sold must do so before the end of the year. That means forgoing around 4% in sales tax revenue. The state will get 9% from marijuana sales.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Bath Fire Department Fiths Structure Fire
Yesterday afternoon just after 4 PM, the Bath Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire on Turnpike Road. Contractors working nearby reported the fire and its heavy black smoke coming from a mobile home. Assistant Chief Mike Fiordo arrived on the scene first and said before the arrival, workers from Hargrave Construction risked their lives trying to save the family's animals and Fiordo thanked them for grabbing and saving as many as they did. Upon arrival, interior and exterior crews made fast progress on extinguishing the fire that spread through the trailer. The Red Cross was called for the family. Though no people were home when the fire broke out, some pets were sadly lost. The cause of the fire has not been determined yet.

 

Registration Deadline Tomorrow To Vote November 2nd
New York State and the Steuben County Boards of Elections remind all state residents the deadline to vote in the General Election is tomorrow on Friday, October 8th. The General Election is Tuesday, November 2nd and to vote, you must be registered by tomorrow’s deadline. You can register in 3 ways: in-person at your local county board of elections and most state agency offices by close tomorrow, by mail with the voter registration form postmarked by midnight tomorrow or online if you have a Department of Motors Vehicles-issued identification by midnight  tomorrow.  The mail-in voter registration forms must be received  by a board of elections no later than Oct. 13 to be valid for the upcoming general election.  Those unsure whether they are registered, wish to verify their current address, or  find out where to vote may look-up this information at the State Board of Elections’ website: www.elections.ny.gov

 

Mayor Buckley Gains Re-Election Support from Senator Tom O’Mara
Hornell Mayor John Buckley has gained new support from a fellow local politician: New York State Senator Tom O’Mara. O’Mara is endorsing him for another run at the city’s highest office and said:“He’s doing an outstanding job, he has Hornell moving forward, it’s the second-fastest-growing upstate city which is remarkable.” O’Mara says Mayor Buckley has done a great job leading the city by helping to rebuild Hornell’s economy and hopes to be able to work with him for another term. O’Mara said The City of Hornell was able to garner 10 million dollars for the downtown revitalization initiative under Mayor Buckley’s leadership.

 

Hornell Fire Dept. Appoints Quinlan As Latest Hire
Yesterday, the City of Hornell Fire Department welcomed a new firefighter to its ranks as they appointed Shaymis Quinlan as the department’s latest hire during a special Hornell Board of Public Safety morning meeting. Hornell Mayor John Buckley said Quinlan’s experience serving the public, enthusiasm and dedication “will benefit the department and residents for years to come.” Buckley also said in a statement that his administration continues to focus on improving the quality of life for city residents and is committed to supporting public safety and first responders.

 

1.8% of Southern Tier COVID Cases Are Breakthrough Infections
Data on breakthrough COVID cases, as well as the estimated effectiveness of COVID vaccines, is now available on the New York State Department of Health (DOH) website. According to the site’s data, the majority of cases across New York — over 99-percent — come from the unvaccinated with 0.8 percent of COVID cases are made up of individuals who are either partially or fully vaccinated. Experts say studies have consistently shown the chance of ending up being very sick or in the hospital is 20 times less if you are vaccinated. According to Steuben County Public Health Director Darlene Smith, 1.8-percent of cases in the Southern Tier region are classified as breakthrough infections which may be a result of the Delta variant and the COVID vaccine’s efficacy waning over time.

 

New Venue Called “The L” Opens in Horseheads
A new event venue called “The L” has been open for about a month on Breesport Road in Horseheads. The L aims to be a community-centered space that is so much more than a concert venue and The L Owner Adam Bunce says “the vision for the L is that the community can use it for so many purposes… Weddings, banquets, dance recitals, concerts-you name it.” Its first opening concert at the venue was successful and another one will be coming up on October 13th. More upcoming concerts are scheduled at the L in the upcoming months. Information can be found at https://www.the-l.live/.

 

Arnot Says 97 Percent of Employees are Now Vaccinated
Arnot Health says approximately 80 percent of unvaccinated employees who did not meet the New York COVID-19 vaccine mandate have been laid off and about 97 percent of their employees have received at least one dose of the vaccine and, as of last Friday, 84 percent of their staff are “fully vaccinated.” As employees receive their second Pfizer or Moderna shots, that number of fully-vaccinated employees will increase. The about 85 Arnot Health employees  who remain unvaccinated after receiving an approved exemption or accommodation are being tested twice a week for COVID-19 to remain in compliance with Governor Hochul’s healthcare worker vaccine mandate.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday October 6th, 2021

County Health Director Reports Low Demand for COVID Booster 
The demand is low thus far for the COVID-19 booster shot in the Southern Tier. Steuben County Public Health Director Darlene Smith says the county has had a vaccine clinic every Friday and has only had 30 people come out for it. Smith said “At this point in time, I’m not going to schedule any booster-specific vaccination clinics until I see more interest.” The CDC and FDA recommend anyone who’s immunocompromised or age 65 and older and fully vaccinated with the Pfizer shot get the third shot, but only a small portion of residents in the Southern Tier have done so. Smith also said her fellow Public Health Directors across the state are reporting that the response rate is slow.

 

Bath PD Arrests Man for Forcible Touching and Drug Possession
Village of Bath Police Department arrested a Bath man yesterday for alleged forcible touching and criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. According to Bath Police, William Newton was arrested around 7 a.m. and transported to the Steuben County Jail. Newton has a history of previous arrests that include drug and stalking charges in both Steuben and Chemung County. No additional details were released by Police yet regarding Newton’s alleged victim or where the alleged incident took place in the village.

 

Hornell Aldi Closed to November 3rd
The Aldi Food Market in Hornell remains closed until Wednesday November 3rd for a significant remodel that will feature open ceilings, natural lighting, environmentally friendly building materials and additional storage that Aldi said will result in stocking more fresh produce, meats and dairy products. The store closed last week on September 28th.  The temporary closing will not result in any job losses and employees will have the opportunity to work at other nearby stores. A Grand Opening of the store is scheduled for Thursday, November 4th. 

 

NY Health Dept Website Shares Breakthrough COVID Case Data
New York State Department of Health is now sharing data on a website relating to breakthrough COVID cases to aid in showing the effectiveness of vaccines. The site gives an overview, findings, rates of cases with hospitalizations, and methodological notes-all data up to October 3rd. So far, New York State has seen 95,146 laboratory-confirmed breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among fully-vaccinated people and shows that .8% of fully vaccinated people ages 12 and up have been infected. Numbers are expected to be updated regularly.

 

Caretakers for Most Vulnerable Now Must Get COVID-Vaccinated
New York State’s healthcare worker COVID vaccine mandate will require those who care for the most vulnerable people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Yesterday, Governor Hochul said inpatient hospital staff for the Office of Mental Health and Office for People with Developmental Disabilities will have until November 1st to be vaccinated. Workers will need at least one dose of the COVID vaccine by that date.  Those who do not get vaccinated will need to submit to weekly COVID testing. Healthcare workers in hospitals and nursing homes do not have a ‘test out’ option under the current vaccine mandate and has resulted in a number of legal challenges.

 

SUNY Alfred Getting Over $1 Million in Federal WORC Grants
Over $1.4 million in federal funding is headed to the Southern Tier to help train workers in high-demand manufacturing skills. Funding will go to the SUNY Alfred State College of Technology to support nearly 200 new jobs over a three-year period in Schuyler, Steuben, Chemung, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties. Alfred State College will partner with industry leaders and two workforce developers, CSS Workforce NY and CA Workforce Development to create employment opportunities. Funding was authorized through the Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act, also known as WORC grants, that help recipients develop a skilled workforce while providing equitable access to marginalized communities. WORC grants also aim to address the impacts of economic transition on communities previously reliant on energy-related employment. Allegany county, in particular, is designated high-risk for joblessness and poverty. 

 

Wegmans Holding Virtual Job Fairs Tomorrow

Wegmans will hold virtual job fairs to fill positions at its Hornell, Corning and Elmira locations in the Southern Tier tomorrow Thursday, October 7 from 9:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m. Some positions include: cashier, lot Attendant, E-Commerce Store Shopper, overnight Associate, custodian, dishwasher, product Stocker and many more. More information about the virtual job fairs, and how to apply, can be found at the links below:

Elmira: Click here

Corning: Click here

Hornell: Click here

 

Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Steuben Accepting 4-Wheel-Drive Utility Vehicle
Steuben County will accept the long-term loan for a four-wheel-drive utility vehicle to be used as a mobile command unit in the event of future flooding events in the county through the federal government’s 1033 Surplus Program. County Sheriff Jim Allard told the legislature’s Public Safety Committee that after August’s flash flooding, he was contacted by 1033 program administrators, who said a vehicle was available to the county at no cost. Public Safety Director Tim Marshall has approved the plan where funds provided by Homeland Security are expected to pay for fuel, maintenance and insurance.  Allard says the vehicle will be equipped with a satellite phone to maintain communications between emergency response units in the event of another flooding incident since rescue efforts in traditional emergency vehicles were “even more challenging” due to the widespread damage. County officials say the August flooding, which cost tens of millions of dollars and claimed the life of one person, caused the Tuscarora Creek to reach a record level of 14 feet.

 

Steuben Reports 3 More COVID Deaths
Steuben County Public Health Department reports the death of 3 people who had previously tested positive for COVID which brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in the county to 210. One individual was a 66-year-old female Town of Wheeler resident, an 89-year-old female resident of the Town of Addison, and a 62-year-old male resident of the Town of Canisteo. Public Health Director, Darlene Smith urged residents to take every precaution they can to limit the spread of COVID and said: “COVID is continuing to spread at a very fast pace in Steuben County, and it is causing severe illness in some.”

 

Wegmans Holding Virtual Job Fairs on Thursday
Wegmans will hold virtual job fairs to fill positions at its Hornell, Corning and Elmira locations in the Southern Tier. Virtual fairs are set for this week on Thursday, October 7 from 9:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m. Some positions include: cashier, lot Attendant, E-Commerce Store Shopper, overnight Associate, custodian, dishwasher, product Stocker and many more. More information about the virtual job fairs, and how to apply, can be found at the links below:
Elmira: Click here
Corning: Click here
Hornell: Click here

 

Bath Man Arrested for Kidnapping and Obstruction of Breathing
A 43-year old Bath man was arrested by New York State Police after a kidnapping investigation early Sunday morning. According to New York State Police, Christopher Presler was arrested around 4 a.m. after Troopers responded about an hour prior in the Town of Wayland. He was arrested for kidnapping, criminal contempt involving a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon with previous conviction, menacing with a weapon, reckless endangerment, criminal obstruction of breathing, and criminal mischief. State Police say Presler was being held and the investigation is still pending.

 

Chemung County Torture-Murder Case Investigation Continues
A torture-murder case in Chemung county continues as District Attorney Weeden Wetmore revealed yesterday that there was a relationship between the victim, New York City man Juan Jose Gotay, and the four men arrested thus far in connection with his death. Gotay was murdered in Elmira likely two months before his body was found in Potter County, Pennsylvania in early April. Two of the four suspects in Gotay’s murder are currently held in Ontario County Jail for their alleged role in a torture and kidnapping incident that occured in Geneva on April 27th.


Homeless, Disabled & Elderly Will Be Able To Use SNAP for Hot Meals
Yesterday, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill allowing homeless, elderly and disabled SNAP recipients to use their benefits for prepared or hot food from participating restaurants called the $25 million Restaurant Resiliency Program, which is supposed to help the restaurant industry as it still struggles due to the pandemic. The Restaurant Meals Program needs USDA approval before it can be utilized, but it will allow SNAP recipients to use their benefits on hot and prepared foods from participating delis and restaurants. Hochul remarked: “This pandemic continues to impact the wallets and homes of a vast number of New Yorkers, and we’re taking any and all actions to help them support themselves and their loved ones.” This program will give the most help to the homeless, disabled, and elderly populations.

 

Community and Elmira Savings Banks Announce Merge in 2022
Community Bank, N.A. and Elmira Savings Bank announced they will merge in the first quarter of 2022, pending customary regulatory and shareholder approval. This merger will expand Community Bank’s footprint by adding branches across the Central New York and Southern Tier regions. Thomas M. Carr, who is Elmira Savings Bank’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said combining these two organizations will “offer customers a larger branch network and an increased level of service, including robust digital and mobile banking offerings. Community Bank will bring expanded product offerings to Elmira Savings Bank customers, including No Closing Cost Mortgages, Carefree Checking, free online and mobile banking and a full suite of investment and financial services. Community Bank, N.A. is a full-service financial institution that was named 7th in the Nation by Forbes, ranking for its financial performance.

 

CCE Director McKinley Invited to Appalachian Leadership Insititute
Steuben County Cornell Cooperative Executive Director Tess McKinley has been invited to participate in the nine-month 2021-2022 Appalachian Leadership Institute (ALI), sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission which is an intensive series of skill-building seminars features regional experts, peer-to-peer learning, and case study analysis. McKinley will bring information back to benefit Steuben County and all of the 13 New York counties in the Appalachian Region from the program and she will work directly with public policy, community development, education, investment, and other professionals who live and/or work in the region. Her role will involve: identifying and implementing best practices and strategies to inspire positive change in the community, building a network of leaders across the region and integrating community assets into long-last economic development strategies. McKinley said she’s “proud to be one of 40 fellows selected.” The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. More information about the Appalachian Leadership Institute is available at http://bit.ly/arc-leadership.

Today's Top Stories - Monday October 4th, 2021

Eric Smith Set For Board of Parole Interview Today
Eric Smith, who is nationally-known for killing a 4-year-old in 1993, is scheduled to have an interview with the Board of Parole today. In 1993, then 13-year-old Smith lured 4-year-old Derrick Robie into the woods in Savona, strangled him, crushed his head with a rock, and sexually abused him, according to the Steuben Courier. Smith was unanimously found guilty of second-degree murder by a jury. Thomas Mailey of the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision told WETM News that Smith is scheduled for an interview with the Parole Board this week and will be Smith’s 11th parole hearing. The Board has up to two weeks to render a decision. Smith was denied parole for the tenth time in January of last year.

 

NY-DOT Announces 54A $1.5 Million Construction Project
The New York State Department of Transportation announced a $1.5 million construction project that will begin along the west side of Keuka Lake consisting of nine sites along State Route 54A to repair and replace culverts, retaining walls and some slopes along the road to “harden the infrastructure and allow New Yorkers to continue enjoying Keuka Lake.” Today begins construction of the first site which is just north of the Idlehurst Road intersection. The concrete wall and single slope concrete barrier will be replaced, so drivers should expect road closures. The other eight sites will start in the spring and finish in the fall of 2022. State Senator Tom O’Mara said these ongoing state investments in infrastructure strengthen local economies and environments while helping to ease the burden on local property taxpayers. 

 

Bills Beat Houston 40-0
The Bills played the Houston Texans yesterday and it played out in Buffalo’s favor with a massive 40 to 0 victory, moving them 3-1 for this season. Buffalo’s defense was outstanding and Buffalo put together a five-takeaway game, four of those coming on interceptions, including the final Davis Mills pick by Tyler Matakevich to end the game. The next game will be next Sunday when the Bills face off against the Kansas City Chiefs at 8:30pm. Tune into WVIN 98.3 FM to hear all the action!

 

Accuweather Predicting Above Average Precipitation for Winter
Accuweather released their seasonal forecast, predicting the area may be getting slammed with above average snowfall for the 2021-22 winter season and temperatures to be below normal with 25-50% more snow this year between Minnesota and Maine. But, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center  is calling for higher chances of precipitation, but they call for above average temperatures with more freezing rain and drizzle than snow. One factor in the prediction of higher-than-normal precipitation is the 70-80% chance of a La Nina this winter.

 

Schumer Wants Action Taken Against “Ghost Guns”
New York Senator Chuck Schumer called on the Department of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (ATF) and the federal government to crack down on so-called “ghost guns” at a press conference in New York City yesterday.  Schumer said the number of the untraceable weapons that have been recovered so far this year is set to outpace numbers from 2020 with, this year’s number of recoveries  surpassing the total number of recovered “ghost guns” in 2018 and New York City seeing a nearly a 700% increase in recoveries.   Schumer says a new rule would help curb the rise in “ghost guns” by making it so that different kinds of frames and receivers for “ghost guns” will be considered firearms, and subject to other gun regulations, like background checks and needing serial numbers. People who sell untraceable weapons would also need to register as gun dealers.  

 

Wineglass Marathon Wrapped Up Yesterday
The 40th Annual Guthrie Wineglass Marathon took place yesterday as almost 6,000 runners from the community and beyond gathered to race 26.2 miles from Bath to Corning. Three thousand ran the half marathon, while 2,800 were slated for the full race at 8:15 A.M. The half marathon started in Campbell at 7:45 A.M. The Wineglass Marathon resumed this year after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the races last year.  Donnie Coward finished in first for the men with a time of just under 2 hours and 20 minutes while Melissa Hardesty finished in first for the women’s division with a time under 2 hours and 43 minutes. For a full list of times, visit the Wineglass marathon race result page. 

 

Today's Top Stories - Friday, October 1st, 2021

Allard Reports Increase in Fentanyl Availability and Lethality
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports an alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. The DEA recently said international and domestic criminal drug networks are mass-producing deadly fake pills and falsely marketing them as legitimate prescription pills County Sheriff Jim Allard said. The pills are easy to purchase, widely available, and often contain deadly doses of fentanyl.  Allard said the only safe medications are those prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist.Over 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized in 2021 -- more than the last two years combined. DEA-seized counterfeit pills with fentanyl jumped nearly 430 percent since 2019, with a sharp increase in counterfeit pills containing at least a lethal two milligrams of fentanyl.

 

Cohocton Fall Foliage Fest This Weekend
Cohocton's annual Fall Foliage Festival begins tomorrow Saturday October 2nd at 10am and continues to Sunday October 3rd at 5pm. Fall Foliage Fest began in 1966 as a community and family event in which the residents of Cohocton and neighboring communities gather to celebrate the colorful hills of fall. Many arts, crafts, flea markets, antique and food vendors are located on the Town and Village greens on 15 South Main Street in Cohocton. Saturday at noon is a parade, live music at the gazebo and free horse drawn wagon rides all weekend long!  Sunday is a Tractor Pull, Antique Tractor Show, annual Fall Classic Antique & Vintage Snowmobile Show and Fall Classic Car Show in the Wayland-Cohocton Elementary School parking lot on Park Avenue.

 

2021 Wineglass Marathon Begins Today
Today kicks off the 2021 Wineglass Marathon event continuing to Sunday, October 3rd. Registration is now closed for the full and half marathons that draw over 6,500 runners from 48 states and 8 countries along with the 5k race. Drivers are urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid travel on critical intersections from 7:45am to 2pm on Sunday.

 

WVIN’s Dave Taylor Smith & Others Inducted in County Hall of Fame
Two sets of Steuben County Hall of Fame nominees were officially recognized as new members of the county Hall of Fame earlier this week. Honored after the regular session of the county Legislature on Monday were 2020 and 2021 nominees. 2020 inductees included: legendary Corning native guitarist Duane Eddy, The ARC of Steuben founder Arther Hansen, and Canisteo man Donald Merring who served for decades as a first responder.  2021 Inductees include: Former U.S. Republican Congressman Randy Kuhl of Hammondsport, who was elected in 2004 and served two terms and Drs. Joseph Seeley Dolson and Amelia Smith Dolson who were advocates for health care in Steuben, with Joseph establishing a home for disabled Civil War veterans in Bath and also serving as U. S. Postmaster in Bath and as county Coroner and purchased Evening Tribune in Hornell in 1888. Also inducted wa WVIN’s own Dave Taylor Smith for 30 years at WVIN radio and helping start the 25-plus year Tyrtle Beach fundraiser that raised more than $760,000 for youth activities since 1992. Since 1976, more than 500 people have been nominated with 148 individuals inducted into Steuben County's Hall of Fame.

 

Bath VA Encourages Veterans to Get Flu Shot
Bath VA Medical Center encourages veterans to get their flu shot to help protect from various strains of influenza and protect them from getting severely ill if they catch it. The Bath VA has added more days for its walk-in flu clinics which will be in Building 92 on the main floor from 7:30am – 3:00pm tomorrow on Friday, October 1st. Clinics will also take place the same time Monday, October 4th, Wednesday, October 6th, Friday, October 8th,  Tuesday, October 12th and Thursday, October 14th. There will also be Saturday walk-in clinics in the same location from 8:00 to noon on October 16th and October 23rd.

 

Addison Man Arrested for Rape and Burglarly
A 20-year-old Addison man was arrested by New York State Police after a burglary and rape investigation in Woodhull. The incident was reported to New York State Police in Painted Post Wednesday around 8:30 a.m. and Blake Calaman was arrested less than 12 hours later that evening. Calaman faces a felony first-degree rape charge in addition to felony burglary and misdemeanor assault charges. He is currently being held by police as the investigation continues.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday September 30th, 2021

Bath VA Encourages Veterans to Get Flu Shot
Bath VA Medical Center encourages veterans to get their flu shot to help protect from various strains of influenza and protect them from getting severely ill if they catch it. The Bath VA has added more days for its walk-in flu clinics which will be in Building 92 on the main floor from 7:30am – 3:00pm tomorrow on Friday, October 1st. Clinics will also take place the same time Monday, October 4th, Wednesday, October 6th, Friday, October 8th,  Tuesday, October 12th and Thursday, October 14th. There will also be Saturday walk-in clinics in the same location from 8:00 to noon on October 16th and October 23rd.

 

Addison Man Arrested for Rape and Burglarly
A 20-year-old Addison man was arrested by New York State Police after a burglary and rape investigation in Woodhull. The incident was reported to New York State Police in Painted Post yesterday around 8:30 a.m. and Blake Calaman was arrested less than 12 hours later that evening. Calaman faces a felony first-degree rape charge in addition to felony burglary and misdemeanor assault charges. He is currently being held by police as the investigation continues.

 

Steuben Sees 3 More COVID Deaths & 125 New Cases
Three more Steuben County residents have died of COVID-19 with the total number of deaths related to COVID in the county to 207. Latest victims are an 80-year-old Arkport man, a 52-year-old Hornell man and a 79-year-old Bath man. Public Health Director Darlene Smith urged everyone to take all COVID precautions, including getting vaccinated. Steuben also reported 125 new COVID cases since Monday’s update. 31 of these cases are breakthrough cases. Active cases in the county total 462. Experts say the COVID-19 vaccine will not guarantee you will never get COVID-19, but it will greatly reduce your chances of being hospitalized or dying of the virus.

 

2021 Wineglass Marathon Begins Tomorrow
Tomorrow kicks off the 2021 Wineglass Marathon event continuing to Sunday, October 3rd. Registration is now closed for the full and half marathons which draw over 6,500 runners from 48 states and 8 countries along with the 5k race. The public, especially drivers,  is strongly encouraged to use caution and plan ahead for race-day traffic on local roads. The Guthrie Wineglass Marathon is Sunday with 2,000 registrants beginning 8:15am in Bath and the Wegmans Wineglass Half Marathon starts at 7:45am in Campbell for 2,500 runners. Drivers are urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid travel on critical intersections from 7:45am to 2pm on Sunday.

 

Hochul Announces $45 Million in State Funding
Yesterday Governor Hochul announced $45 million in state grant funding has been awarded to counties across the state for improving the operability of emergency communications. Locally, Schuyler, Steuben, and Chemung counties combined received state funding exceeding $1.7 million through the State Interoperable Communications Grant which is administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Funding will make it possible for local governments to expand their ability to communicate, exchange valuable data, and streamline information to enhance collaboration and assist first responders. Steuben received $766,339 in funds. Hochul says these grants will “ensure our firefighters, police officers, EMTs and paramedics, and anyone who responds to a disaster will have the tools and training they need to communicate more effectively and efficiently.” The Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant is formula-based and funded by cellular surcharge revenue. 

 

Canisteo First Responder Merring Makes County Hall of Fame
Canisteo man Donald Merring was inducted into the Steuben County Legislature’s Hall of Fame Monday after decades of service as a first responder and the former Steuben County Director of Emergency Services. Merring, who was a nominee of the Class of 2020, graduated from Canisteo High School in 1953, going on to join the Naval Academy, and eventually graduated from Alfred State. Merring is still active in the Canisteo Fire Department where he has been a member since 1960- serving as Chief from 1970-1977, leading the department through the 1972 flooding from Hurricane Agnes that killed 19 people in Steuben County. He was appointed as the Director of Emergency Services in 1985 and stayed in that role for a decade. After retiring, he worked as a Dispatcher for the Sheriff’s Office and the Bath Police Department.

 

Red Cross Urges Donations During Emergency Blood Shortage
Monday, the American Red Cross said it is facing an “emergency blood and platelet shortage” as inventory numbers reached the lowest post-summer level since 2015. Donors of all blood types, especially Type O, and platelet donors are needed and urged to make an appointment to give so the blood needs of patients are met this fall for life-saving medical procedures, like transfusions. First Presbyterian Church in Bath holds a blood drive next week on Friday October 8th from 9am to 2pm. Find where to donate by clicking here.

 

Syracuse Man Arrested for Involvement in January 6th Capitol Riot
A Syracuse man has been arrested for involvement in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Cell phone records and surveillance footage made the arrest of 59-year-old Richard Bryan Watrous possible. Watrous is being charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building. Watrous entered the building at 2:48 p.m. He admitted to federal agents in a June interview to driving to the Capitol because President Donald Trump said to do so, and that he left about 5 minutes after he entered the same way he came in. He said he then left and returned with a woman before leaving again to go back to his hotel room. Watrous is the fifth person in the Central New York area to be arrested for being involved with the riot.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday September 29th, 2021

Late Trooper Clark Inducted Into Section V Wrestling Hall of Fame
Fallen New York State Trooper Nicholas Clark is set to be inducted into the Section V Wrestling Hall of Fame in Rochester next month taking place Tuesday, October 12th at the Red Fedele’s Brook House in Rochester. Clark was well-known for his athletic talent that helped him succeed in multiple sports. Trooper Clark was a two-time state wrestling champion at Canisteo-Greenwood school and also played college football at Alfred University and was a two-time All-American for the Saxons. In 2012, Clark even went on to try out for the Buffalo Bills. In September 2015, Clark graduated from the NYSP 203rd session of the Basic School, becoming a trooper. The 29-year-old died while on duty on July 2nd, 2018.

 

NASCAR XFinity Returns to WGI Next August
Today, the NASCAR Cup Series sanctioning body announced the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule. The NASCAR Xfinity Series returns to Watkins Glen International alongside the NASCAR Cup Series August 20th, 2022. For the second consecutive year, the ARCA Menards Series will return and race on Friday, August 19th. All race start times will be announced at a later date.

 

Hochul Appearing at Hammondsport’s Snug Harbor Next Month
Governor Kathy Hochul is scheduled to make an appearance at a local fall reception in Hammondsport. Hochul will appear at Snug Harbor Friday, October 29th from 5:30PM - 7:00PM for a “Wine Country Reception” featuring local wines, hors d'oeuvres, and grazing stations. An invitation and donation contribution form are required to attend this fundraiser. Hochul, a Buffalo native and graduate from Syracuse University, has many ties to upstate New York.

 

Dormann Library Announces Upcoming October Events
The Dormann Library announces it will kick off the month of October with a Story Crafter Time Tuesday October 5th from 3 to 4pm for those from Kindergarten to fourth grade to hear a story about a shy ghost, read a pun-filled book about some skeletons, and make some easy crafts with a treat or two! No sign-ups required. The following day Wednesday October 6th, the Dormann hosts a TED Talk Time for adults starting at 6:00pm to listen to two talks on the topic of fear. Friday, October 8th there will be a 7:00pm showing of the movie Coco (PG /1 Hour 45 Minutes) with free popcorn!

 

Hochul Appoints Bassett as New State Health Commissioner
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced she has appointed Dr. Mary Bassett, MD, MPH, as the new Commissioner of Health for the State almost a week after Dr. Zucker announced his resignation from the role following widespread calls to resign over his involvement in the Cuomo Administration’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes. Dr. Bassett served as the commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene from 2014 through 2018 and currently serves as director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. Hochul said that Bassett is “both a highly regarded public health expert and an exemplary public servant, and I look forward to working with her to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy." 

 

Man Arrested for Poisoning & Dumping Dog in Chemung River
Chemung County Sheriff’s Office announced a Big Flats man was arrested for allegedly poisoning a dog that was found in the Chemung River. Ivan Connel was eventually identified as a suspect following the discovery of a dead dog located at the Golden Glow section of Chemung River on May 28th. The dog was wrapped in chicken wire and contained by cinder blocks and the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation. After an interview, the Sheriff’s Office learned Connel used morphine to euthanize the dog, which belonged to Connel’s residence, and then allegedly put the dog in the river to “assist with the decomposition process”, and it was later found by a local fisherman. Connel was arrested for Poisoning or Attempting to Poison an Animal, a Class A Misdemeanor. He was released on an appearance ticket to return to the Town of Big Flats Court at a later date. The Chemung County District Attorney’s Office and New York State Police also helped with the investigation.

 

O’Mara Awards Natasha Thompson “Woman of Distinction”
Yesterday, State Senator Tom O’Mara presented President and CEO of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Natasha Thompson, with the 2021 “Woman of Distinction” award. She was nominated by  O’Mara during the State Senator’s 23rd Annual “Women of Distinction” ceremony and  joins 60 other women from across the state who were honored for their accomplishments, acts of service and overall contributions to their communities.  Thompson has been with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier for a decade now, since 2011, and in 2018, was named President and CEO in 2008. Thompson said “ I am grateful to Senator O’Mara for the recognition, as well as for his consistent support of our work over the years.”

 

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Coming to Horseheads
Ollie's Bargain Outlet in Horseheads is set to officially hold a grand opening event on October 27th at the former Big K-Mart building in Grand Central Plaza, located at 1020 Center Road in Horseheads.  According to the Facebook event page, customers will be able to save up to 70% off "fancy stores' prices" on brand name food, housewares, flooring, clothing and more.  Ollie's sources its products from global closeouts, overstocks, package changes, and irregulars. Ollie’s buys the inventory goods back from banks after liquidation and pass the savings onto customers.  Everything purchased at Ollie's is covered by the company's 30-day "No Hard Time" guarantee, allowing full returns if the customer is not satisfied with the purchase for a full refund (with sales receipt).

 

Hochul Announces Health Care Staff Vaccination Rate On The Rise
Yesterday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that health care staff vaccination rates are continuing to trend on the rise across the state. The governor's office says 92% of hospital staff are compliant as of Monday evening, which is a 15% increase in just under one week. Since August 24th, adult care facilities went from 77% vaccine participation rate to 89%. Over the past month, nursing home vaccination rates saw a significant jump from 71% to 92%. Under the vaccine mandate, all healthcare workers had to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 27th.  Arnot Health is continuing to evaluate staffing levels and address any impact the mandate had on the hospital. According to a statement, 95-percent of their staff is vaccinated and the remaining staff met the criteria for an accommodation.

 

Today Dunkin Donuts is Giving Away Free Coffee
Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away free coffees to their DD Perks customers today to celebrate National Coffee Day! Customers who are DD Perks members can get a free medium iced or hot coffee with a purchase. If you aren’t a DD Perks member yet, you can still sign up.

 

Today's Top Stories- Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

Steuben Legislature Allocates Rescue Plan, AIM & IDA Funding
Portions of the over $18.5 million received through the American Rescue Plan will be allocated by Steuben County to AIM Independent Living Center and the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency. The Legislature approved AIM Independent Living to receive $30,000 for their peer to peer recovery program to provide assistance to those struggling with opioid addiction. Also approved was $100,000 for the Steuben County IDA to support transportation access improvements and promote public safety at the intersection of State Route 54 and Industrial Park Road in the Town of Bath.

 

County Legislature Recognizs Flood Rescue Efforts
The Steuben County Legislature officially recognized efforts of all those involved in rescue efforts during the flood that devastated southwestern Steuben County on August 18th on Monday through a proclamation issued by the Legislature. Areas of Western Steuben County experienced severe flooding, which resulted in the closure of several roads, damage to multiple businesses, residences and one school, and the evacuation of numerous individuals from their homes. Legislature Chairman Scott Van Etten remarked our county has “many selfless, dedicated volunteer Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement personnel who offered their assistance during that extremely difficult time,” He also remarked residents of Steuben County always come together to help their friends, neighbors and loved ones during difficult times.

 

Wegmans Offering Free COVID Booster Shot
Wegmans will be offering the COVID booster vaccine for anyone qualifying for the shot. Appointments to get the vaccine at your local Wegmans can be made online. Shots are free.Those scheduled for the booster must bring their vaccine card or proof of vaccine to the appointment. Proof of eligibility is not required but people must attest that they’re eligible. Eligibility requirements include having the Pfizer vaccine with the last dose being at least 6 months prior to the date of the booster shot, being 65 or older, a resident in a long term care setting, those aged 50 to 64 with qualifying underlying medical conditions, those who are 18 to 49 with qualifying underlying health conditions based on their own benefits and risks, or being ages 18 to 64 at a higher risk of exposure due to an occupational or institutional setting.

 

NYSP Report 4th Person Arrested in Chemung Torture-Murder
New York State Police say a fourth person was arrested in connection to the brutal torture and murder of Juan Jose Gotay in January. A 17-year-old male, whose name was not released, was arrested in Georgia in connection to the case and charged with three counts of assault with intent to cause serious injury with a weapon, one count of assault with intent to cause disfigurement or dismemberment, one count of intentional murder and one count of kidnapping that resulted in the victim’s death. Three others were previously charged in connection to Gotay’s murder: 25-year-old Eddie Marte from New York City, 18-year-old Malik Weems of Pittsburgh and 21-year-old Thomas Bovaird of Horseheads. WENY News reports the men allegedly abducted Gotay, bound him with an electric cord after mutilating and dismembering him and left him to die in a “remote area in Pennsylvania in late January earlier this year.

 

“Coffee With the Chiefs” Event October 22nd in Hornell
Law enforcement agencies in Steuben County will host a joint “Coffee with the Chiefs and Sheriff” event on Friday, October 22nd from 8 to 9am at JC’s Cafe on 327 Canisteo Street in Hornell. Community members can sit down with County Sheriff Jim Allard, City of Hornell Police Chief T.J. Murray, and Village of North Hornell and Canisteo Village Police Chief Kyle Amidon to learn more about crime prevention and further understand their local police forces. Chief Amidon said the program “... is a casual atmosphere to discuss any areas of concern or improvements that would aid the agency in providing the highest quality of service to our people.” 

 

Steuben’s COVID Death Toll Hits 204
The Steuben County Public Health Department reports the county’s 204th COVID-19 death, who was a 65-year-old woman from the Town of Bath. Public Health Director Darlene Smith said:  “The COVID spread remains very high in Steuben.  All prevention strategies must be utilized to slow this trend.”  Friday afternoon, the county reported 451 active cases of COVID-19 with 34 patients hospitalized. 

 

Corning Man Arrested Following Welfare Fraud Investigation
A Corning man was arrested by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office following a welfare fraud investigation. Steuben County Sheriff’s Office says 60-year-old Robert Birch allegedly offered a false instrument for filing to the Steuben County Department of Social Services and received benefits from the Steuben County Department of Social Services in the amount of $4,495.00 that he was not eligible to receive from Oct. 1st, 2019, to March 31st of this year. He is charged with one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E Felony, and one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D Felony. Birch was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.

 

2 From Addison Arrested for Sex Abuse
Two people from Addison were charged with sex offenses and child endangerment following an investigation in the town of Tuscarora. 44-year-old Kenneth Buchanan of Addison has been arrested for first degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child, and 41-year-old Carrie Wilkinson was arrested for first degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Both were taken to centralized arraignment at the Steuben County Jail.

 

DOL Announces NY’s Minimum Wage Will Be $13.20 Upstate
New York State continues to gradually implement its $15 minimum wages  as the minimum wage phase-in will take effect on December 31st of this year and the minimum wage will be increased to $13.20 per hour for upstate New York, which is based on economic factors. Long Island and Westchester region will see an increase to $15 hourly, matching New York City’s minimum wage. NY’s Division of the Budget’s Minimum Wage Report found that the low-wage sector was the most impacted by the pandemic with 57.2% of the private sector losses being in retail trade, health care and social assistance, leisure and hospitality. Future increases in the remainder of New York State will be based on an indexed schedule set by the Director of the Division of the Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor following an annual review of the impact.

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