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

Alstom Contract to Bring 250 Jobs to Hornell Plant
WETM reports that Alstom has been awarded a $1.8 billion contract with Metra to replace the aging railcars in Chicago, according to Hornell Mayor John Buckley. Buckley says the new contract will bring approximately 250 jobs to the Hornell facility. The Evening Tribune reports that the base order will be for 200 cars to be made in Hornell, with options for up to 300 additional rail cars.


Steuben COVID Deaths Hit 154; Currently-Active Cases 717
There’s been another COVID death in Steuben County and brings the total number of virus-related deaths in Steuben County to 154.  The individual was a 75-year-old female resident of the Village of Cohocton who died while hospitalized. Public Health Director, Darlene Smith said in a statement that “COVID has taken the lives of far too many Steuben residents, and put even more in the hospitals.” 59 more Steuben County residents tested positive for the virus and brings the total to 4,431 confirmed cases, 717 of which are currently active. Five individuals are associated with the following schools: Bradford Central School, Dansville Central School, Horseheads Central School District, and Horseheads Middle School, Finger Lakes Community College. Another individual is associated with the Steuben County Jail. 


VA Med Centers Vaccinating Veterans 75 and Older
The Bath and Canandaigua VA Medical Centers begin COVID-19 vaccinations for all Veterans enrolled in VA health care under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization for the Moderna vaccine. Under Centers for Disease Control guidance, the vaccine has already been given to front-line health care staff and Veterans in the Community Living Centers, which are at the nursing home level of care, at both the Bath and Canandaigua VA sites. Starting today, Veterans 75 and older begin receiving the vaccine. Medical Center staff is currently reaching out to eligible Veterans to schedule appointments for the vaccine based on overall risk criteria as Veterans are being asked not to call the VA for appointments. Veterans can get updates on information through VA’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage.


Reed Sponsors Censure, Says Impeachment Would Further Divide US
As the House of Representatives voted yesterday to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time in the past four years, Congressman Tom Reed said he voted no on impeachment due to the lack of due process and investigations as well as division he thinks would occur as a result of a trial. Reed thinks the censure resolution he co-sponsored two nights ago in the House was the right course of action. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed yesterday the earliest a trial could possibly start is January 19th, a day before the Presidential inauguration.


NYSAC President Marren Says SOS Address Gave No County Support
Governor Cuomo’s three-day State of the State address left county leaders New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) President Jack Marren skeptical. Marren says the common theme that was missing from the 3-part State of the State Address is no mention of budget cuts by the state despite the drastic cuts many counties have made. Marren also says there is a lack of state support as counties have made due in whatever ways they can to deal with the massive and looming state deficit this year at a record $15 Billion. NYSAC released its 2021 Legislative Session platform this week containing a wide range of policy proposals to assist counties to sound fiscal footing as economic recovery from the COVID pandemic continues.


Five Defendents Charged in Brutal 2020 Wellsville Murder
Five of the eight defendants charged with the brutal murder of 23-year-old Nicholas Burdge at an apartment on North Main Street in Wellsville last March were in Allegany County court Wednesday, where they accepted deals and pled guilty to lesser crimes. Initially, most were charged with second-degree murder, but none pled to that count. It was called one of the most brutal crimes ever in that area. The victim was taped to a chair, beaten and stabbed for hours, then dumped in the Genesee River. The victim’s mother told us, most everybody loved Nick.


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