WVIN News Archives for 2020-07

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Today's Top Stories - Saturday July 25, 2020

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Steuben County

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Suspect in serious condition after Officer involved shooting in Tioga County

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

 

Crews working on water main break in Hornell

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

 

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

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

 

Gas leak in Corning after construction crews strike a line

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sheldon Silver Sentenced to Six and a Half Years Prison

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Today's Top Stories - Saturday July 18, 2020

NY averaging less than 1% positive coronavirus tests

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

 

Dryden man arrested after domestic dispute in Ithaca

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

 

NYS sees rise in domestic violence cases amidst pandemic

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

 

NYS Recruit Firefighter Training program produces 21 new graduates

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

 

Pop-up drive-in theater in Ithaca opens

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

               

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

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

Today's Top Stories - Saturday July 11, 2020

Two new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Steuben County

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

 

Two injured after logging truck accident in Addison

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

 

Family of fallen Addison teenager receive letter from President Trump

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

 

 

NYS lifts ban on nursing home visitors

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

 

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

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

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

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that on July 9th, deputies arrested Dante L. Sellers of Corning, due to an active arrest warrant resulting from an investigation from March 9th in the Town of Campbell regarding reported Arson, Criminal Mischief and Cemetery Desecration. Sellers was charged with Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree as a hate crime, Arson in the Fifth Degree, Filing a False Written Statement and Cemetery Desecration. Sellers was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.

 

Today, Steuben County Public Works Environmental Project Coordinator Richard Bills reminds the public that the proper disposal of cell phone batteries at landfills is essential for personal and property safety. When lithium batteries are improperly disposed of, they end up at the landfill where they can get damaged and punctured and under high heat and dry waste creates a fire. Typically, cell phone vendors and other electronics retailers provide drop-off stations for discarded batteries. The landfill also operates an electronics recycling program for the safe disposal of batteries. The county has posted signs reminding people of the hazards of cell phone batteries at the landfill and its transfer stations in Erwin, Hornell and Wayland.

 

Yesterday, the Arnot Mall confirmed its reopening for today, which happened at 11am. Wednesday, Governor Cuomo gave malls across New York State the go-ahead to reopen so long as they installed proper HVAC filtration systems. Yesterday, Arnot Mall Marketing Director Shelly Rich confirmed the mall was able to acquire mandated MERV-rated air filters with the state-approved rating level. The Arnot Mall will be open Mondays through Saturdays 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. - 6p.m.

 

Steuben County Clerk Judy Hunter reports effective Monday, July 13th, the Bath, Corning and Hornell DMVs will schedule 15-minute appointments as a way to serve more of the public. For those already scheduled appointments, your appointment time and date will not be impacted. As with all county facilities, individuals entering DMV offices will be required to have a temperature screening, wear a face covering, and maintain social distancing while in the facility. Individuals are also encouraged to bring their own pen to their appointment. Appointments for additional, available slots may be made online on the county website: http://steubencony.org.

 

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard reports on July 5th, deputies arrested 58-year-old Craig Burlew of Avoca, following an investigation of a reported trespass occurring at a residence. Burlew allegedly possessed a quantity of suspected methamphetamine, an assault-type rifle, and high capacity weapon loading devices.He was charged with two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree.Burlew was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.

 

Steuben Historical Society announces after consulting with the Steuben County Public Health Director, the county Historical Society will cancel its historic walking tour of Savona that was scheduled for Friday, August 7th.  The event will be rescheduled for next year.

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

Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems will resume replacing the gas main and services on Warden Street, from Hudson Street to Geneva Street. For safety reasons, Warden Street will be closed. Local access for emergency vehicles will be maintained during construction. The intersections of Hudson/Warden, Shannon/Warden, and Geneva/Warden will be closed periodically as the utility cuts the pavement and replaces the gas main at or across these intersections. Work is scheduled to begin the week of July 13th and last through August.

 

Steuben County Public Works announces a week-long road closure to all through traffic from July 20th-24th in the Town of Bath has been. County Route 14, Bakers Gulch Road, between Nipher Road and State Route 415 in the Town of Bath will be closed for a B & H Rail Corporation upgrade to railroad signals and rehabilitation of the grade crossing surface. B & H Rail will post the off-site detour route using Nipher Road, Redmond Gully Road and State Route 415.

 

A press conference was held yesterday at the BOCES Campus Center in Horseheads regarding schools reopening in the fall and led by local Southern Tier lawmakers including Congressman Tom Reed, State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano. Education officials asked Governor Cuomo to approve school re-openings in the fall and provide guidance and plans to do so safely but Cuomo said yesterday that would be “reckless and negligent” to decide today what schools can do in the fall due to data charting the spread of COVID-19 is rapidly changing. State Senator O’Mara believes the Governor needs to keep in mind the different needs and circumstances of school districts and communities across the state and provide more flexibility when considering reopening. O’Mara said: “One size doesn't fit all…” Cuomo said districts will have to submit individual plans to the state by July 31st and a final decision will come Aug. 7th.

 

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that an additional Steuben County resident tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 291 confirmed cases, 13 of which are currently active.  The individual is a resident of the City of Corning. The individual has been staying in another county in New York for over a week and is isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department there.  Steuben Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed case and exposure risks.  All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified.

 

In addition to the Steuben County case, an individual from another county in NY has tested positive and is being isolated and monitored in Steuben County.  This individual is not counted in Steuben County’s case reporting. The investigation of this individual indicates they visited the Lakeview Mini Mart and Liquor Store in Bath on Monday.

 

Tuesday night, Bath Volunteer Fire Department presented Doug Bigelow was presented with an award and certificate for his 50 years of service to the Department! Over the years, Doug has been on several truck committees to help specify new apparatus, and helped the Department’s maintenance crews. Bigelow is a past Assistant Chief, Bath Village Auxiliary Police and Fire Police. The Bath Volunteer Fire Department says they are very grateful for the many contributions Doug Bigelow has made!

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that July 5th, deputies arrested 30-year-old Andrew J. Smith of North Carolina following an investigation of a reported domestic incident occurring on Trout Lane in the Town of Wayne.  Mr. Smith allegedly possessed a pistol without a permit. Smith was charged with Criminal Possession of a Firearm, a class E Felony and arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.

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

The Steuben County Office of Emergency Services (OES) urges county residents to follow heat safety tips with temperatures expected to reach the mid to upper 90s in our region today and tomorrow. There will be a combination of high heat and humidity while heat indexes will reach the mid- to upper 90s during this period according to the County Office of Emergency Services, which is urging the public to “Please use caution over the next few days and take precautions to protect yourself.” Residents are urged to stay out of the sun, use public places with air conditioning to stay cool, wear light clothing and drink plenty of water while avoiding caffeine and alcohol. People are also reminded to check often on elderly, sick or frail family and neighbors.

 

The Music in the Park Series in Bath this summer has been canceled as announced by President  of Central Steuben Chamber of Commerce, Bill Collmer. The Chamber sponsors the annual music events, which was called off based on crowd restrictions for outdoor events currently in place. The reason for the cancellation announcement is due to the concert series not being able to be coordinated or work out well under the social distancing rules in place.

 

State Police report that after recovering a pick-up truck that was reportedly stolen from a local business, they also discovered the location of an elderly Monroe County woman that had been reported missing hours earlier. A State Trooper was sent to follow up on a lead received and found the woman and truck. The woman was sent to the hospital for an evaluation and Troopers are now continuing their investigation.

 

Steuben County Sheriff Deputies report 65 animals were seized from a home in Steuben County after an investigation into the report of maltreated and neglected animals. A search warrant was executed at Gordon Burdick’s Wolf Run Road home in Campbell and found there were 23 rabbits, 15 ducks, 13 guinea hens, 8 dogs and 2 roosters, hens and cats living in deplorable conditions. Burdick is also accused of attempting to stop law enforcement from taking the animals and was charged with obstructing governmental administration and a half-dozen counts of animal cruelty.

 

Hammondsport Central School holds a meeting for its Board of Education Reorganizational and Regular meeting tonight at 6pm held via Zoom instead of in the school’s Cafeteria.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed, State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano announced today they have joined regional education leaders like Superintendent Joe Rumsey and County Manager Jack Wheeler to call on New York State to give area schools the go-ahead to begin implementing plans to reopen in September.The local Republican lawmakers say that despite the significant time, effort and professional input that has gone into the Regional School Reopening Task Forces, over the past week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reiterated that he alone will have the final say.  In a joint statement, the legislators said:
“….Nothing can replace our children being in school. It’s central to quality education, our ongoing economic recovery and the strength of our social fabric. Governor Cuomo needs to release the guidelines so that school administrators can get to work implementing a safe reopening for September. The governor can’t leave school districts, students, teachers and parents waiting until the final minute for guidance.”

 

 

A timeline was released by the state yesterday regarding steps to be taken for the possible reopening of schools in the fall. According to Governor Cuomo, the state continues to discuss the issue with involved stakeholders. Cuomo also said New York will make decisions on whether or not schools will be allowed to hold in-person instruction during the first week of August. Cuomo also reacted to a tweet by President Trump made yesterday morning where he declared he would consider withholding federal funding from states that didn’t open schools back up in the fall. Cuomo’s response to that was: “Schools reopening are state decision, period. That’s a state decision and that’s how we’re going to proceed. It’s not up to the president of the United States.”

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

Yesterday, the Steuben County Department of Social Services announced regular and 2019-2020 Home Energy Assistance or HEAP program benefits have been extended for county residents until August 31st. The new deadline extends current HEAP benefits ending June 30th. New York State will also provide a Cooling Assistance Compenent (CAC) for regular HEAP benefits equal to $21 and living in government-subsidized housing with heat included in the cost if the household has a member with a condition worsened by heat. Mail-in applications must be postmarked, and online applications received before August 31st. 


Congressman Tom Reed took to Twitter to criticize Governor Cuomo regarding the state's nursing home crisis. The New York State Department of Health released a 33 page report yesterday concluding the state policy issued a 3/25 mandatory admission of COVID-positive patients by state-regulated nursing homes was not "a significant factor" for thousands of nursing home deaths across the state. Congressman Tom Reed tweeted the report's findings are "another blatant attempt by Governor Cuomo to sidestep an ounce of accountability."


County Office of Emergency Services met yesterday with the County Legislature's Public Safety and Corrections Committee and said the recent 91-day county Emergency Operation Center's Response to the COVID-19 pandemic was the longest time the center has operated since the blizzard of 1993, which lasted about a week. Director Tim Marshall remarked the efforts by those involved in the operation have positioned Steuben County to respond effectively in the event a second wave of the pandemic hits the area but said they will need more supplies to come in if that does happen.


The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for a large part of the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Western New York as hot temperatures are forecasted through Friday. Heat index values in the mid 90s for today and tomorrow afternoon, then the possibility of nearing 100 Thursday and Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. To avoid heat exhaustion, drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children, the elderly and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.


State Police have charged the driver of a tractor trailer car hauler with numerous charges after he struck the rear of a Trooper car Sunday evening on I-86 in Almond. The Troop car had emergency lights activated and was on the shoulder of the roadway providing traffic control for the disabled camper. The 2019 Western Star tractor trailer traveling east bound failed to observe the Troop car and struck the rear side of the car with the rear passenger side of the trailer. The tractor trailer came to rest in the median of I-86. The Trooper was in the vehicle when the collision occurred and was transported to Jones Memorial Hospital for non-life- threatening injuries. The operator of the tractor trailer was issued multiple traffic tickets including failure to move over for emergency vehicles. NYSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit assisted and put the tractor trailer out of service.


On Friday July 3rd, New York State Police canvassed local businesses in Steuben County and uncovered two separate incidents where alcohol was sold to a minor person. Of the 10 businesses that were canvassed, the Rite Aid located at 100 Cohocton Street in Corning and the 7-11 on 40 Dennison Parkway in the City Corning were found to not be in compliance with NYS law that pertain to the sale of acoholic beverages to persons under the age of 21. The clerks who sold the alcohol at both businesses will be arrested for providing alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

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

Local lawmakers Tom O’Mara and Phil Palmesano are urging the public to vote for Watkins Glen International as America’s “Best NASCAR Track.” In a joint statement, the legislators reminded everyone that it is the final day of voting for the USA Today’s 10 Best.Watkins Glen International is in the running for the title for the 5th year in a row. WGI has won it three years in a row, from 2016 to 2018.

 

New York State has established a means for residents to report violators of the new travel advisory issued. The restriction states that anyone traveling outside of New York to a state with a higher infection rate needs to quarantine for 14-days upon return. The state announced a form will be available on the state website for residents to report others for violating.

 

An Avoca man faces multiple felony counts following an incident in the Town of Thurston on the 4th of July. Troopers arrested 39-year-old Cory D. O’Donoghue. He was charged with assault with the intent to cause physical injury with a weapon and criminal possession of a weapon, both a class D felony counts. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

 

Beginning today, people entering New York State court buildings will face some new procedures. The state Office of Court Administration says officers will conduct temperature checks on all visitors. If your temperature is 100 degree or higher, you’ll be denied entry. Those who make it through the temperature checkpoint will then asked several health questions, to include travel in COVID-19 hotspots both in the States and abroad.

 

State Police arrested 30-year-old Charles Johnson of Addison. He was charged with felony first-degree criminal contempt involving physical contact. He was additionally charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and criminal mischief. The charges stem from a domestic dispute in the Town of Erwin.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday July 4, 2020

Cuomo reports over 900 new COVID-19 cases in NY for the first time in 3 weeks

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday New York State has reported 918 new cases and 9 COVID-19 deaths. That figure of new cases is the first time more than 900 new infections have been reported since June 12th, where 916 people statewide tested positive. The percentage of people who have tested positive each day in the state has hovered around 1% to 2% over the past week, despite the fact that the recent protests over the death of George Floyd may have caused a spike. Overall, over 24,800 have lost their lives to COVID in New York’s hospitals and nursing homes since March, when the first deaths were reported.

 

Girl suffers minor injuries after being stuck by a car in West Elmira

A girl has suffered minor injuries after being struck by a car in West Elmira Friday afternoon. The incident near the intersection of Wall Street and West Church Street. According to police on the scene, the child was taken to the hospital with her parents.

 

Ithaca FD issues warning to thrill-seekers at city’s gorges

This time of year can be risky for trail lovers and thrill-seekers, especially when it comes to jumping into Ithaca’s gorges. According to the Ithaca Fire Department, last month alone, firefighters responded to six different rope rescues, four of which happened at one of the 30-foot dams along Six Mile Creek. Injuries to those rescued included leg, ankle, back and serious head injuries. If you do decide to take the risk and jump, not only are you endangering yourself, it also puts a strain on the Ithaca Fire Department’s resources, especially under the circumstances of COVID-19. The Ithaca Fire Department encourages everyone to have fun, just while making smart decisions. Tips include, swim only at parks where there is a lifeguard on duty and only in places where it’s permitted, travel with someone, make sure you know what path you’re on, have a cellphone, and tell family and/or friends where you’re headed in case something happens.

 

3 New Yorkers arrested after being discovered with an arsenal of weapons during traffic stop

Three New Yorkers were arrested after state police say they found an arsenal of weapons during a traffic stop on the Berkshire Spur of Interstate 90 in Schodack. On Wednesday at about 11:15 a.m., police say they pulled over the vehicle of Dana L. Higginbotham, aged 33, of West Coxsackie, for multiple vehicle and traffic violations. During a search of the vehicle, police say they found a Henry Repeating 45-70 rifle, a Dan Wesson .357 mag revolver, and a billy club. Police reportedly determined the rifle was stolen, and discovered Higginbotham was wanted in Coeymans. Higginbotham, along with passengers Sierra N. Wase, 27, of Leeds and Marshall R. Tucker, 38, of Saugerties were all charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen firearms. Higginbotham was turned over to Coeymans police regarding the active warrants, and Tucker was jailed due to prior convictions.

 

Governor says State Park swimming pools will be open for July 4th

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday outdoor swimming pools run by New York’s Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation department will open this 4th of July weekend. Visitors must follow social distancing protocols, and park police will patrol the grounds to manage crowds and ensure social distancing measures are being followed. Because capacity at pools will be limited, they’ll fill quickly, so be sure to make alternate plans.

 

Background checks to buy guns hit record high in June

Background checks to buy guns are at a record high for the month of June hitting 3.9 million checks across the nation according to data released by the F.B.I. on Wednesday. Local gun shops have experienced this phenomenon as well, According to Bullseye Shooter’s Supply’s owner, Brian Jones, he said “With all these riots going on and even before the riots started COVID-19, I think people were scared. There’s going to be home invasions and stuff. So, it drove them to feel that they had to be able to protect themselves.”. According to Jones, his shop has done 500 background checks since the beginning of 2020.

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

Yesterday Governor Cuomo announced grants to be made available to county emergency management agencies to help cover costs associated with local prevention and efforts moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. These are 1:1 matching grants which each county must provide $1 for every dollar received. Steuben County is set to receive $21,641. New York state says available funding allocations were derived from a population-based formula.


Changes to New York’s bail reform law are now in effect. This new rollback means several crimes will be once again subject to bail, including 2nd-degree burglary, vehicular manslaughter, and breathing obstruction.The discovery period has also been extended to 20 days if the defendant is imprisoned, and 35 days if not.Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature agreed to the changes as part of budget negotiations in March, due to complaints from law enforcement.Minority advocate groups say this rollback will affect people of color disproportionately.


State Police and local law enforcement agencies will increase patrols for their annual crack down on drunk and drugged driving and other traffic infractions during the 4th of July holiday, beginning today and running through Sunday. State Troopers and local law enforcement will conduct sobriety checkpoints and target reckless and aggressive driving statewide in an effort to keep New York highways safe during one of the busiest summer holidays for travel. Last year, the State Police issued nearly 13,410 vehicle and traffic tickets during the 4th of July weekend. Troopers arrested 249 people for DWI and investigated 187 crashes, which resulted in two fatalities.


The American Red Cross is asking the public to be a superhero for patients by donating blood now to help address an urgent need for donors as COVID-19 continues to cause unprecedented blood collection challenges across the country. As a special thank-you, those who come to give blood in July will automatically be entered for a chance to win an authentic WONDER WOMAN 1984 movie prop replica package identical to those used in the film. Plus, those who give July 1-8 will receive an exclusive WONDER WOMAN 1984 T-shirt, while supplies last. A blood drive is set for the Steuben County Fairgrounds on July 16th from 1-6 p.m.

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

There are currently 12 active COVID-19 cases in Steuben County after two additional county residents tested positive yesterday, bring the total number of cases in Steuben to 287. The latest individuals are residents of the Town of Bath. They are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.

 

Today is the two-year anniversary of the on-duty death of Trooper Nicholas Clark. The 29-year old Steuben County native from Canisteo was killed on July 2nd, 2018, while responding to a report of a suicidal male in the town of Erwin. The suicidal subject left the rear of his home and fired the shot that killed Trooper Clark before he killed himself. Trooper Clark was working out of the Bath State Police Barracks at the time of his death.

 

A trade agreement was updated between the United States, Mexico, and Canada and went into effect yesterday. The agreement was signed last December and was made to help local dairy farmers. Congressman Tom Reed says the new agreement will modernize the previous NAFTA deal by also including digital trade. Reed says our local wineries, vineyards and beverage industry will also get a boost thanks to the implementation of non-discrimination and transparency commitments regarding the sale and distribution of wine and spirits.

 

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard said several Steuben County police agencies will take part in a special enforcement effort cracking down on impaired driving beginning Friday and ending Monday, July 6th. Allard said the Sheriff’s Department will have extra patrols and coordinate with local law enforcement partners. Allard says law enforcement’s goal is to get through the holiday weekend with no fatalities on the roadway.

 

Discounts on the sale of all tobacco products, such as coupons and multi-pack price promotions, are now prohibited in New York State. The law was passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget. This new law limits the tobacco industry’s ability to circumvent New York State’s high taxes on tobacco products. The average age that teens first start smoking in New York State is 13 years old and 90% of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18. A number of tobacco control measures passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget, including a new law that stops the shipping and/or delivery of e-cigarettes and vape products to private residences began yesterday.

Today's Top Stories - Wednesday July 1st, 2020

Tops Friendly Markets announced they will soon phase out plastic shopping bags for their customers. The chain says its New York stores will no longer offer plastic bags by Monday, July 6th. The ban went into effect in March, but was quickly rescinded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reusable bags will be offered by Tops for 99 cents or customers can purchase brown paper bags for five cents each.

 

Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard said several Steuben County police agencies will take part in a special enforcement effort cracking down on impaired driving beginning Friday and ending Monday, July 6th. Allard said the Sheriff’s Department will have extra patrols and coordinate with local law enforcement partners. Allard says law enforcement’s goal is to get through the holiday weekend with no fatalities on the roadway.

 

As of yesterday at 8pm, there were 285 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Steuben County. A total of 3 were currently hospitalized and 61 were held in quarantine and being monitored. The total deaths number 42 and a total of 233 have recovered.

 

The Finger Lakes Land Trust announced an award total of $58,584 in grant funds to six organizations serving inner-city Rochester youth and the group picked the grantees based on their ability to make a significant impact on their communities. Among the grants awarded to six organizations was Girl Scouts of Western New York. In 2015, an anonymous donor gave the Land Trust 200 acres of land in northern Steuben County with the property to be sold subject to a legal agreement permanently limiting future land use to protect the conservation values of the property. The donor requested a portion of the proceeds generated from the sale of the property benefit inner-city Rochester youth by fostering their relationship with nature.

 

Yesterday, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association held its second COVID-19 task force and it seems the likelihood of fall high school sports remains uncertain. Task force members discussed the reopening plan for New York and the impact it will have on the future of interscholastic athletics. Schools are currently still prohibited from any indoor activities as well as in-person instruction with the exception of special ed and any organized sports or recreational activities hosted or operated by schools. Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas says there are numerous priorities the governor and State Department of Education must address. Zayas reminds that time is getting tight to have regulations to be ready to play in September.There are six different possibilities in returning to school which include a full return to school, a hybrid education model, a full virtual learning model, and regional differences model. Scenarios discussed include a full return to athletic participation, potential seasonal adjustments, and/or all three sports seasons being condensed.

 

The Rockwell Museum’s mascot, Artemus, is getting ready for the big day of reopening by putting his face mask on. He received a mask of his own Tuesday morning as a way to help remind visitors they need one to enter the Rockwell museum. Artemus has also worn hats, scarves, and other decorations during different seasons and holidays. The museum staff thought putting a mask on their mascot would be a fun way to remind their visitors of the state-mandated rules. The Rockwell reopened this morning and if you do not have a face mask they will provide you with one.

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