WVIN News Archives for 2021-01

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 30, 2021

33 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 33 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including an employee and resident of Elderwood at Hornell, and an individual associated with Addison Middle School. This brings the county total to 5,033 confirmed cases, 320 of which are currently active.

 

One new COVID-19 death in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification of the death of an individual who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 161.  The individual was a male resident of the Town of Corning who died while hospitalized at the age of 75.

 

Steuben County Office For the Aging warns of vaccine scams

Senior citizens and their loved ones should be alert to scammers claiming they have special access to COVID-19 vaccines, Steuben County Office For the Aging Director Patty Baroody said. The public can guard against the fraud by following these guidelines:

  • No one will likely need to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine
  • No one can pay to get early access to the vaccine.
  • No one from Medicare will contact residents regarding the vaccine
  • No one from a distribution site or health care payer will call asking for Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account information in order to sign up for the vaccine.
  • Scammers may call, text, email or go door-to-door claiming they can get someone early access to the vaccine.  Do not provide them personal or financial information.

 

Governor Cuomo announces new rules for wedding receptions

Governor Andrew Cuomo, during his COVID-19 briefing yesterday, rolled out new rules for wedding receptions in New York State. Effective March 15th, venues in the state may host receptions, but with only half capacity or up to 150 persons. Also, all attendees must receive COVID-19 tests prior and the event must be approved by the venue’s local health department.

 

Sisters arrested for welfare fraud

Christy Lott and Cheyenne Cross were arrested after a welfare fraud investigation found Lott had received over $25,000 in daycare subsidiary benefits she was not eligible to receive due to failure to correctly report billable daycare hours. Her sister Cross “falsely compiled daycare time sheets and cashed subsequent checks from the Chemung County DSS on behalf of Christy.” Both were arrested on an active Elmira City Court arrest warrant, Lott for Welfare Fraud 3rd Degree, Grand Larceny 3rd Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing 1st Degree, and Cross for Grand Larceny 3rd Degree.

Today's Top Stories - Friday, January 29th, 2021

Steuben Reports 35 New COVID Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 35 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 5,000 confirmed cases, 338 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with Hammondsport Central School and Horseheads High School.

 

Elmira-Corning Regional Airport Gets Over $1.5 Million in COVID Relief
The Elmira-Corning Regional Airport has received over $1.6 million in supplemental funding from the December COVID relief package passed by Congress. The December bipartisan COVID relief package includes $36 million for specific airports across Upstate New York. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said that as the COVID crisis is extending beyond its estimated timeline, the air travel industry is being impacted “for months on end.”

 

NY Says Wedding Receptions Can Open Limited Capacity in March
Today, New York State announced wedding reception venues will be able to open at limited capacity beginning March 15th. Venues can open at 50% capacity with a limit up to 150 people, as long as the county health department approves and guests get tested for COVID-19 beforehand. Health departments will be responsible for monitoring testing. This model for weddings was based on the pilot program that New York created  to allow some fans to attend the recent playoff games for the Buffalo Bills.

 

Cuomo & Zucker Under Fire After AG Report of Death Undercounts
State Health Commissioner Robert Zucker responded to  a newly-released report from the New York Attorney General alleging that nursing homes across the state underreported COVID-19 deaths by as much as 50%, saying: “the report is clear that there was no undercount of the total death toll from this once-in-a-century pandemic.” In response, several Republican leaders like NY GOP Chair Nick Langworthy and Congressman Tom Reed have called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to resign. Zucker also commented in a statement:  “The word “undercount” implies there are more total fatalities than have been reported; this is factually wrong. In fact, the OAG report itself repudiates the suggestion that there was any “undercount” of the total death number.” State Senator Tom O’Mara said Cuomo and Zucker should be subpoenaed immediately.
Read the full report yourself at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/statement-new-york-state-health-commissioner-dr-howard-zucker-1

 

Land O’ Lakes Donates Mac and Cheese to Food Bank
Land O’Lakes, Inc. has donated almost 40,000 pounds of LAND O LAKES® Macaroni & Cheese to Food Bank of the Southern Tier through the Land O’Lakes First Run Program. Since its inception in 2010, the First Run Program has donated over 6 million pounds of product  and the program continues its commitment to donating truckloads of fresh product year-round, made specifically for food banks to help alleviate hunger across the United States. Natasha Thompson, Food Bank President & CEO, said the Food Bank is so grateful and “This generous donation will provide a warm meal and hope to many during this challenging time.”

 

High School Art & Music Programs Await Green Light
While high school sports are moving forward, music and arts programs are still partly on pause in schools across New York. Instructors are now looking for new guidance from the state with uncertainty on how or when musicians can begin playing differently. Many band and orchestra concerts have been held virtually, along with a majority of music lessons taking place over Zoom, with some exceptions during the school week. With the announcement of high school sports resuming soon, student musicians say they aren't happy to still be sidelined.

 

Corning Man Arrested for Sex Crime
A Steuben County man has been accused of a felony sex crime. It allegedly happened in the City of Elmira. State Police say they took 29-year-old Joqwon Greene of Corning into custody. He was charged with two counts of felony rape involving a victim under the age of 17. The new bail laws came into play and Greene was issued appearance tickets and released. Troopers said the crime was reported last September. 

 

Savona Woman Arrested
State police arrested 24-year-old Sarah Baldwin of Savona. She was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Also arrested…39-year-old Jon Nellis of Mansfield. He faces the same charge as well as false personation. Court action is pending. 

 

Savona Man Arrested for DUI

State police conducted a traffic stop in the Town of Bath. As a result, they arrested 25-year-old Ryan Jacobs of Savona. He was charged with first-degree driving while impaired by drugs and will appear again in Town of Bath court. 

 

Today's Top Stories - Thursday January 28th, 2021

Driver Sent to Hospital After Crash on I-86
Last night at 9:51pm, the Bath Volunteer Fire Department, Bath Volunteer Ambulance, AMR Advanced Life Support and New York State Police were dispatched to a truck accident on I-86 between Bath Exits 38 and 39 with entrapment. On scene, two tractor trailers in the westbound lane were found after one had run into the rear of the other. The cab of the second truck had separated from the truck’s chassis and on its driver’s side along the edge of the highway. One truck was carrying potting soil and the other was loaded with bananas. The driver was in the cab but was not pinned, just unable to get out of the cab until first responders broke out the windshield and the driver was able to walk out on his own. The driver of the first truck was transported by the Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps for neck and back injuries. The cause of the incident is unknown to fire department officials.

 

Avoca Man Arrested for Driving While Impaired
A 41-year-old Avoca man is behind bars for reportedly driving while intoxicated and under the influence of drugs. Steuben County Sheriff's Office reports Kory Partridge was found injured and unresponsive on Liberty Street in Hammondsport and an investigation found he illegally had marijuana and non-prescribed narcotics on his person. January 3rd, Partridge crashed into a shed and garage on State Route 54A and was arrested on Monday for multiple charges including Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Collision.

 

One New COVID Death; 37 More Cases
37 more Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 4,965 confirmed cases, 321 of which are currently active. The health department reports another virus-related death, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 160.  The individual was a male resident of Steuben Center who died while hospitalized at the age of 84. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says “Each death continues to be a tremendous loss for our community.” 

 

Reed Wants Corning Inc Vial Makers Vaccinated Immediately
Corning Incorporated makes the Valor glass vials that contain the COVID vaccine and Congressman Tom Reed wants the workers making the vials to be vaccinated immediately. In a statement, Reed said he fears that if the plant becomes a hot spot for the virus, that the production for these vials will slow down, causing a lag in vaccine availability.

 

All Upstate Orange and Yellow Restrictions Lifted
All Orange and Yellow zone COVID restrictions in upstate New York have been lifted. Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement, citing the drops in COVID positivity rates across Upstate New York. State officials stressed certain statewide restrictions continue. For example, gyms must limit capacity to 33 percent while retailers are limited to 50 percent. No more than 10 people can gather inside a home…the number moves to 50 for non-residential gatherings. 

 

O’Mara Highlights the Need for State Support of Local Roads
NY State Senator Tom O’Mara of Big Flats and who is the newly appointed Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee, this week highlighted the need for a stronger state commitment to local roads and bridges across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and throughout the Upstate New York region. O’Mara made his comments at the opening of a series of legislative hearings on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed State budget.  Over the next several weeks, the Legislature’s fiscal committees will hold 13 virtual hearings examining Cuomo’s proposals in key issue areas. O’Mara has been a leader in the Local Roads Matter campaign.

 

Corning Inc. Shows Growth in 4th Quarter of 2020
Corning Inc. says it achieved a 17% year-over-year core sales growth in the 4th quarter. The company says it also expanded margins in second half and generated $948 million in free cash flow in 2020. Chairman and CEO Wendell Weeks said the Company delivered outstanding fourth-quarter results, as each of the businesses grew sales and profits year over year.

Today's Top Stories - Thursday January 28th, 2021

Driver Sent to Hospital After Crash on I-86
Last night at 9:51pm, the Bath Volunteer Fire Department, Bath Volunteer Ambulance, AMR Advanced Life Support and New York State Police were dispatched to a truck accident on I-86 between Bath Exits 38 and 39 with entrapment. On scene, two tractor trailers in the westbound lane were found after one had run into the rear of the other. The cab of the second truck had separated from the truck’s chassis and on its driver’s side along the edge of the highway. One truck was carrying potting soil and the other was loaded with bananas. The driver was in the cab but was not pinned, just unable to get out of the cab until first responders broke out the windshield and the driver was able to walk out on his own. The driver of the first truck was transported by the Bath Volunteer Ambulance Corps for neck and back injuries. The cause of the incident is unknown to fire department officials.

 

Avoca Man Arrested for Driving While Impaired
A 41-year-old Avoca man is behind bars for reportedly driving while intoxicated and under the influence of drugs. Steuben County Sheriff's Office reports Kory Partridge was found injured and unresponsive on Liberty Street in Hammondsport and an investigation found he illegally had marijuana and non-prescribed narcotics on his person. January 3rd, Partridge crashed into a shed and garage on State Route 54A and was arrested on Monday for multiple charges including Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Collision.

 

One New COVID Death; 37 More Cases
37 more Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 4,965 confirmed cases, 321 of which are currently active. The health department reports another virus-related death, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 160.  The individual was a male resident of Steuben Center who died while hospitalized at the age of 84. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says “Each death continues to be a tremendous loss for our community.” 

 

Reed Wants Corning Inc Vial Makers Vaccinated Immediately
Corning Incorporated makes the Valor glass vials that contain the COVID vaccine and Congressman Tom Reed wants the workers making the vials to be vaccinated immediately. In a statement, Reed said he fears that if the plant becomes a hot spot for the virus, that the production for these vials will slow down, causing a lag in vaccine availability.

 

All Upstate Orange and Yellow Restrictions Lifted
All Orange and Yellow zone COVID restrictions in upstate New York have been lifted. Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement, citing the drops in COVID positivity rates across Upstate New York. State officials stressed certain statewide restrictions continue. For example, gyms must limit capacity to 33 percent while retailers are limited to 50 percent. No more than 10 people can gather inside a home…the number moves to 50 for non-residential gatherings. 

 

O’Mara Highlights the Need for State Support of Local Roads
NY State Senator Tom O’Mara of Big Flats and who is the newly appointed Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee, this week highlighted the need for a stronger state commitment to local roads and bridges across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and throughout the Upstate New York region. O’Mara made his comments at the opening of a series of legislative hearings on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed State budget.  Over the next several weeks, the Legislature’s fiscal committees will hold 13 virtual hearings examining Cuomo’s proposals in key issue areas. O’Mara has been a leader in the Local Roads Matter campaign.

 

Corning Inc. Shows Growth in 4th Quarter of 2020
Corning Inc. says it achieved a 17% year-over-year core sales growth in the 4th quarter. The company says it also expanded margins in second half and generated $948 million in free cash flow in 2020. Chairman and CEO Wendell Weeks said the Company delivered outstanding fourth-quarter results, as each of the businesses grew sales and profits year over year.

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

Steuben Reports 41 COVID Deaths; 304 Currently Active Cases
There have been no new COVID-related deaths in Steuben County during the last two days. However, health officials do report that 41 more County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 4,928 confirmed cases, 304 of which are currently active. Two individuals are associated with Corning, Inc. at the IDM Plant and Diesel Plant. Four individuals are connected with Alfred State College, All Saint’s Academy, Dundee Central School and Hornell City School District.

 

Steuben’s Opioid Committee Educating Community of Opiate Safety
In Steuben County and across the nation, some substance abusers harm their pets to get drugs from unwary veterinarians. During her recent presentation to the county Legislature’s Human Services Health and Education Committee, Steuben Prevention Coalition’s Opioid Committee program assistant Connie Terry drew awareness to this issue. Preventing substance abuse before it begins is the basis of the coalition, which conducts a bi-annual survey to determine attitudes and opinions of Steuben’s school students in eighth, 10th and 12th grades towards alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drug use. The youth survey and a second, community, survey form the basis for government funds and anti-abuse campaigns by the coalition at prevention, including a series of videos featuring Steuben youth. Terry said the group will be reaching out to area pharmacies soon to encourage them to distribute disposal packets, sell medication lock boxes and educate their customers about opioid safety.

 

3 National Guard Soldiers Escorted to Final Rest
The bodies of two of the three fallen soldiers with the U.S. Army National Guard were escorted Tuesday by Troopers deputies from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office to Fort Drum. The men were killed January 20 when the medical evacuation helicopter they were flying in crashed in a field in Mendon during a training exercise for night vision goggle proficiency training.

 

Comptroller DiNapoli Releases NY Report of Schools in Fiscal Stress
Thirty-one school districts statewide were designated in fiscal stress under New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System for the school year ending on June 30, 2020. Western New York was the only region that had no school districts in fiscal stress for the 2019-20 school year. 

 

NYFB Released State Priorities Yesterday
The New York Farm Bureau released its 2021 state legislative priorities yesterday with COVID-19 vaccinations at the top of the list. Farm Bureau President David Fisher says the group has aked the Departments of Health and Agriculture and Markets to develop a plan along with the farming community to establish vaccination locations that target farmworkers. Other priorities on the agenda include the New York State Budget gaps, investment in rural broadband, science-based policy-making at the state level, and farm labor needs. 

 

Cuomo Says NYS Out of COVID Vaccine
Governor Cuomo said New York state is “basically out of” coronavirus vaccine and is urging the federal government to move faster in ordering more doses. President Joe Biden said yesterday the U.S. will purchase 200 million total more Covid-19 vaccine doses with 100 million each of the approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.  By the end of summer there should be enough doses to cover 300 million Americans. Though  New York’s allotment of first doses increased to about 290,000, up from 250,000 last week,  Cuomo says that’s not enough. Cuomo said the federal government distributes the vaccine based on population, but said New York is going through its allotment faster than other states with 1.2 million first doses, which is 93 percent of the state’s supply so far. Both the Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech shots require two doses that are administered weeks apart. Cuomo said knowing New York will get 16-17% more doses for the next three weeks will allow more appointments to be scheduled efficiently on a week-to-week basis.

 

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

Wintry Mix for Evening Commute as Weather Advisory Continues
Today’s winter weather advisory continues to 1am tomorrow morning with spotty showers anticipated in the afternoon and temperatures warming, possibly bringing pockets of sleet and freezing rain this afternoon. Showers will linger then snow will fall in the evening and overnight with much of the area seeing a trace-3″ of snow. Northern Steuben and Schuyler counties will see the most precipitation. Tonight’s low will be in the mid to upper 20s. Tomorrow through Friday we have a chance for lake-effect snow showers.

 

Steuben Sees 2 More Deaths from COVID; 83 More Cases
COVID-19 has claimed two more lives in Steuben County. One victim was a resident of the Village of Canisteo who died at the age of 76 and the other was a resident of the Village of Bath who died at the age of 66. The individuals were both males who died while hospitalized. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 159. Meanwhile, the Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 83 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday. This brings the total to 4,887 confirmed cases, 324 of which are currently active.

 

County Legislators Adopt Police Reform Yesterday
Steuben legislators yesterday adopted the police reform plan, which sets out a broad range of uniform best practices for law enforcement officers. The plan includes policies already in place and, set in motion others to go into effect this year. Developed in coordination with local police departments, municipalities and other stakeholders along with Corning Inc., the finished document drew the praise of state and county leaders. Steuben legislators stressed their support for the efforts already in place in the county.

 

CCC Classes Begin Feb. 1st With More COVID Rules
The spring semester at Corning Community College launches February 1st and there will be no shortage of COVID rules and regs. Masks are a must. The Spring semester includes online, remote, hybrid, and fully on-campus class sections. COVID-19 screening is required for all visitors to campus. The school acknowledges that many students prefer or require distance learning. The student emergency grant program will continue to provide grants for internet hotspots and the college will continue the laptop loaner program. Also, each student will have a room to themselves.

 

NYSUT Applauds Federal Standardized Testing Waiver
New York State United Teachers applauds the announcement that the state Education Department will seek a federal waiver of grades 3-8 and high school testing requirements amid the ongoing challenges students and educators statewide are facing related to the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, the Union said “In a year that has been anything but standardized, it’s the right move to seek this waiver to cancel this spring’s standardized exams.”

 

Congressman Reed Raising Money for Barstool Fund
Congressman Tom Reed is raising money for The Barstool Fund and needs your help by donating! The Barstool Fund was created by founder Dave Portnoy as a fund to support small businesses that have been shut down or severely impacted negatively by COVID. The fund has raised over $29 million through donations from both the general public and celebrities. One hundred percent of donations go towards helping local small businesses across the country. In a statement to his supporters, Reed announced: For the next 24 hours, every dollar we raise online will be donated to The Barstool Fund, to help hard-hit small businesses recover in the New Year! You can donate at:https://t.co/qhz4utx2GS#BarstoolFund or https://t.co/wTrsPiK7mj Businesses can apply for The Barstool Fund by clicking the application link or visiting the fund’s website. 

 

NYS’ Spring & Summer Park Attendance Higher Than Ever
More people than ever before visited New York’s State parks, historic sites, campgrounds, and trails during last year’s global pandemic. According to New York state, 78 million people visited state parks last year, compared to about a million less than a year before. Increased attendance was driven by unprecedented visitation in the spring and fall.  State park beaches, pools, historic sites, and trailheads operated with reduced capacity limits to protect visitor health and promote social distancing. Increased park attendance was also impacted by limits on out-of-state and international visitors, cancelation of large concerts, festivals, and events; and public messages urging people to practice such recreational activities locally.

 

Cuomo Says COVID on Decline But to “Think Ahead”
In his pandemic briefing...Governor Andrew Cuomo...saying projections are showing New York's positivity rate continues to decline. Cuomo ... saying New Yorkers were generally mindful of the pandemic over the holidays, which paid off. He notes residents must still be safe ... but that it's time to start thinking ahead.

 

O’Mara Unveils “Reset NY Restaurant and Hospitality Industry” Bill
Today, State Senator Tom O’Mara and the Senate Republican Conference unveiled a package of legislation to help “Reset New York’s Restaurant and Hospitality Industry.” O’Mara said New York State’s restaurant and hospitality industry is an absolute cornerstone of our regional economies and has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. O’Mara says Governor Cuomo’s ongoing executive orders have hurt the industry and this means it’s time for the state Legislature to “act as a voice of common sense and fairness” and reopen local economies.

The legislative package includes comprehensive legislation to provide relief. It would:

· Exempt small businesses from being penalized with higher unemployment insurance rates due to layoffs resulting from COVID-related, government-mandated closures. The exemption would extend for a period of one year from when they are permitted to return to full capacity;

· Prohibit internet-based food delivery services from charging higher fees than they charged on or before March 1, 2020;

· Provide small businesses additional time to pay monthly sales and payroll taxes, as well as, business and property taxes;

· Offer interest-free loans or lines of credit to small businesses;

· Provide a one-year extension for renewal of liquor licenses; and

· Provide businesses a 90 day grace period to pay any fees or penalties due to state and local agencies.

Also included in the plan announced by the Senate Republican Conference were pieces of legislation that would:

· Direct SLA-inflicted fines into a business relief fund to help small businesses get back on their feet (Senator Mike Martucci);

· Provide for a credit on liquor license renewals for the amount of time bars and restaurants were forced to be shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Senator Joseph Griffo);

· Create a limited state sales tax exemption for the sale of food and drink at restaurants and taverns from state sales and compensating use taxes and granting municipalities the option to grant such limited exemption (Senator Daphne Jordan);

· Provide a tax check-off box that will direct funds into a business relief fund (Senator Mario Mattera); and

· Create an employee retention tax credit, modeled after the Federal Employee Retention Credit, to help employers keep workers on payroll (Senator Peter Oberacker). “We need to help small businesses not only reopen but stay open. Restaurants and hospitality businesses deserve meaningful relief and assistance to restart, rehire and reinvest. This is about rebuilding our local economies and preserving local jobs,” said Senator Pam Helming.

 

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

Southern Tier Winter Advisory Tomorrow-Wednesday Morning
Tomorrow, the Southern Tier Region region should see 2-5 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. A wintry mix  of snow and mixed precipitaion will begin to fall during the morning hours on Tuesday, then pick-up as the day progresses. Commuting in the evening will be difficult after several hours of snow and possible ice. This Winter Weather Advisory expires 1am Wednesday. 

 

 

Steuben Reports 4 New COVID Cases Friday
As of Friday afternoon, Steuben County Health Department reported 4 new Coronavirus cases and the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic at 4,804. There are 391 currently-active cases with 36 people currently hospitalized with COVID complications. Steuben has a total number of 157 COVID-19 deaths.

 

Bills Defeated by Chiefs 38-24
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Buffalo Bills 38-24 to go back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year. The Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year 31-20 over San Francisco. KC faces Tampa Bay. Head coach Andy Reid says every facet of the game contributed to the win. KC Quarterback Patrick Mahomes says facing Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady is a great honor.

 

Cuomo Gives Vaccination Program Updates
Governor Andrew Cuomo updated New Yorkers on the state's vaccination program. The total week 6 federal allocation of vaccine delivery to providers was completed Sunday. Delivery of the week 7 allocation from the federal government does not begin until the middle of this week. As of 11am yesterday, New York's health care distribution sites have received 1.3 million first doses and administered 88 percent first dose vaccinations. In the Southern Tier Region, 38,250 first doses were received with 90% administered. 

 

Corning Traffic Stop Ends in DWI Arrest
A traffic stop in the Town of Corning resulted in several counts against a 24-year-old man. State Police arrested Brandon Johnson of Corning. His counts include, DWI, having a BAC above .08%, reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operation. He’ll answer the charges in court at a later date.

 

160 Statewide COVID Deaths Reported Saturday
New York reported 160 COVID deaths statewide on Saturday. Gov. Cuomo said he remains confident that NY can defeat this and rebuild stronger than ever before. Until that day comes, he encourages all New Yorkers to keep fighting the good fight together - wear a mask, social distance and avoid gatherings. The Southern Tier currently reports 243 patients are hospitalized. 125 people in the region are in an intensive care unit.

 

Troopers Arrest Addison Man
State Troopers arrested 30-year-old Devon Hough of Addison. He was charged with criminal contempt for allegedly violating an order of protection. The incident was reported Friday and happened in the Town of Tuscarora.

 

WalletHub Ranks NY 2nd Worst Retirement State
If you are looking to retire, New York probably isn’t the ideal state to do it in according to WalletHub’s “2021’s Best States to Retire,” a study researching the best place to retire. New York State ranked poorly, as the second worst state to retire in due poor affordability and one of the worst WalletHub “taxpayer” rankings. The study compared the 50 states across key indicators such as affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life. It determined that Florida is the best state to retire in 2021 and New Jersey is the worst.

Specific findings for New York State included the following.

  • Ranked 5th worst for adjusted cost of living

  • 29th for annual cost of in-home services

  • 2nd worst WalletHub ‘Taxpayer’ ranking

  • 39th Elderly-friendly labor market

  • 25% for percent of the population aged 65 and older

  • 9th worst for health care facilities per capita

  • 6th worst for COVID-19 positive testing rate in the past seven days

 

 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 23, 2021

29 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 29 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including a resident of the Pinecrest Home for Adults in Avoca and an individual associated with the Addison Middle School. This brings the county total to 4,804 confirmed cases, 391 of which are currently active.

 

Bath man arrested for Criminal Contempt, Possession of a Weapon

On January 20th, deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jason M. York, age 41, of Geneva Street, Bath, following an investigation of a suspicious vehicle reported to the Village of Bath Police Department.  It is alleged that Mr. York, while on State Route 415 in Bath, possessed a deadly weapon and was in the company of a person who he was ordered to stay away from in a duly served Order of Protection. Mr. York was charged with Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony.  Mr. York was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.

 

Steuben County inmate arrested after smuggling drugs into jail

On January 17th, deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Damian L. Koerner, age 28, of May Street, Bath, following an investigation of a report of an inmate in the Steuben County Jail smuggling in controlled substances. It is alleged that Mr. Koerner, a recently booked in inmate at the Steuben County Jail, smuggled several small baggies containing various pills into the facility inside his body, and then expelled them from his body while in quarantine and under watch.  Mr. Koerner, an alleged NYS Parole violator, was charged with Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, a Class D Felony, Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class E Felony and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree.  Mr. Koerner was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and returned to the Steuben County Jail.

 

Bath PD announces parking restrictions; road closures for funeral procession

The Bath Police Department has made preparations for the funeral procession of Daryl Tombs to be held today, Saturday, January 23rd. Mayor Sweet has advised no parking in the following areas, effective until 1 p.m. this afternoon:

  • On East Morris Street from East Steuben Street to Pulteney Square East
  • On East Steuben Street from Gansvoort Street to Campbell Street

East Steuben Street will be closed from East Morris Street to Pulteney Square East from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to accommodate for all of the Fire, Ambulance and Police vehicles. All State Route 415 through traffic will be detoured down East Morris Street. 

 

Police reform, bridge repair top priorities for Steuben County legislators, set to meet Monday

Police reform and funding for a bridge replacement in the Town of Erwin top the agenda for Steuben County legislators when they meet at 10 am Monday in their chambers in the county Annex at 20 W. Morris. In a joint effort started last August, and in concert with Corning, Inc, law enforcement agencies took a hard look at their policies and practices, inviting input from other key agencies and stakeholders, and the public. The formal police reform law is expected to enacted by Steuben lawmakers Monday. The county board also is expected to approve $4.2 million in BridgeNY funding to pay to replace the County Road 115 bridge crossing the Canisteo River in the Town of Erwin. Construction is expected to begin within two years.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 23, 2021

29 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 29 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including a resident of the Pinecrest Home for Adults in Avoca and an individual associated with the Addison Middle School. This brings the county total to 4,804 confirmed cases, 391 of which are currently active.

 

Bath man arrested for Criminal Contempt, Possession of a Weapon

On January 20th, deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jason M. York, age 41, of Geneva Street, Bath, following an investigation of a suspicious vehicle reported to the Village of Bath Police Department.  It is alleged that Mr. York, while on State Route 415 in Bath, possessed a deadly weapon and was in the company of a person who he was ordered to stay away from in a duly served Order of Protection. Mr. York was charged with Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony.  Mr. York was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and released.

 

Steuben County inmate arrested after smuggling drugs into jail

On January 17th, deputies of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office arrested Damian L. Koerner, age 28, of May Street, Bath, following an investigation of a report of an inmate in the Steuben County Jail smuggling in controlled substances. It is alleged that Mr. Koerner, a recently booked in inmate at the Steuben County Jail, smuggled several small baggies containing various pills into the facility inside his body, and then expelled them from his body while in quarantine and under watch.  Mr. Koerner, an alleged NYS Parole violator, was charged with Promoting Prison Contraband in the First Degree, a Class D Felony, Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class E Felony and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree.  Mr. Koerner was arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court and returned to the Steuben County Jail.

 

Bath PD announces parking restrictions; road closures for funeral procession

The Bath Police Department has made preparations for the funeral procession of Daryl Tombs to be held today, Saturday, January 23rd. Mayor Sweet has advised no parking in the following areas, effective until 1 p.m. this afternoon:

  • On East Morris Street from East Steuben Street to Pulteney Square East
  • On East Steuben Street from Gansvoort Street to Campbell Street

East Steuben Street will be closed from East Morris Street to Pulteney Square East from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to accommodate for all of the Fire, Ambulance and Police vehicles. All State Route 415 through traffic will be detoured down East Morris Street. 

 

Police reform, bridge repair top priorities for Steuben County legislators, set to meet Monday

Police reform and funding for a bridge replacement in the Town of Erwin top the agenda for Steuben County legislators when they meet at 10 am Monday in their chambers in the county Annex at 20 W. Morris. In a joint effort started last August, and in concert with Corning, Inc, law enforcement agencies took a hard look at their policies and practices, inviting input from other key agencies and stakeholders, and the public. The formal police reform law is expected to enacted by Steuben lawmakers Monday. The county board also is expected to approve $4.2 million in BridgeNY funding to pay to replace the County Road 115 bridge crossing the Canisteo River in the Town of Erwin. Construction is expected to begin within two years.

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

Law Enforcement Crackdown Announced for Super Bowl Weekend
Police across New York State announce a crackdown on impaired driving Super Bowl Sunday weekend. The STOP-DWI campaign runs February 5th through the 8th statewide. The weekend of the most-watched sporting event is usually a deadly period for impaired driving. Patrols and DWI checkpoints will be increased for the crackdown so local law enforcement reminds the public to have a plan and to never get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Drivers are advised to designate a responsible driver or download the "Have A Plan" to find a safe ride home.

 

Steuben COVID REport: One New Death & 442 Active Cases

Steuben County confirms the death of another resident who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 157.  The individual was a female resident of the Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center who died while hospitalized at the age of 72. Public Health Director Darlene Smith say… “Although we have seen some lowered case counts recently, COVID remains a threat to the community and we must do all we can to slow the spread and impact of this virus in Steuben County.” 35 more county residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 4,775 confirmed cases, 442 of which are currently active.  

 

Bath Man Arrested for Child Porn
The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports the arrest of 34-year-old Jeffrey Clark of Bath.  He was charged by criminal complaint with receiving and distributing child pornography. A search warrant was executed at the man’s home on January 13, during which investigators seized multiple digital devices, including Clark’s cell phone. Clark made an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate and was detained. Clark was also arrested by State Police last week for allegedly sexually abusing a child under the age of 13.

 

Investigation Continues Into Mendon Helicopter Crash

U.S. Army Aviation investigators are beginning their investigation today after a helicopter crash in Mendon Wednesday evening that killed three NY National Guard servicemembers. We learned this morning that one of the victims was from Orange County. Officials may release additional information later today. According to the New York Army National Guard, the medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine training mission Wednesday evening when it crashed.

 

Alfred University Announces Glass Recycling Collaboration
A collaboration was announced today with the State College of Ceramics at Alfred University to build the nation, bolster markets for recycled glass and improve the quality of glass available for recovery across the state of New York. The Center for Glass Innovation will play an active role in helping recycling markets and municipal recycling programs find new ways to produce and recycle glass. As recycling markets continue to experience volatility, recycling operations are struggling to find suitable markets for material, impacting local solid waste recycling efforts. The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is working with municipalities and other stakeholders to plan on how to bolster new markets in the northeast region to address these hurdles. Alfred Universitys’ SUNY statutory unit, the NYSCC, will receive nearly $1.7 million for this initiative through the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) as part of a three-year agreement.

 

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

Law Enforcement Crackdown Announced for Super Bowl Weekend
Police across New York State announce a crackdown on impaired driving Super Bowl Sunday weekend. The STOP-DWI campaign runs February 5th through the 8th statewide. The weekend of the most-watched sporting event is usually a deadly period for impaired driving. Patrols and DWI checkpoints will be increased for the crackdown so local law enforcement reminds the public to have a plan and to never get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Drivers are advised to designate a responsible driver or download the "Have A Plan" to find a safe ride home.

 

Steuben COVID REport: One New Death & 442 Active Cases

Steuben County confirms the death of another resident who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 157.  The individual was a female resident of the Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center who died while hospitalized at the age of 72. Public Health Director Darlene Smith say… “Although we have seen some lowered case counts recently, COVID remains a threat to the community and we must do all we can to slow the spread and impact of this virus in Steuben County.” 35 more county residents have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total to 4,775 confirmed cases, 442 of which are currently active.  

 

Bath Man Arrested for Child Porn
The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports the arrest of 34-year-old Jeffrey Clark of Bath.  He was charged by criminal complaint with receiving and distributing child pornography. A search warrant was executed at the man’s home on January 13, during which investigators seized multiple digital devices, including Clark’s cell phone. Clark made an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate and was detained. Clark was also arrested by State Police last week for allegedly sexually abusing a child under the age of 13.

 

Investigation Continues Into Mendon Helicopter Crash

U.S. Army Aviation investigators are beginning their investigation today after a helicopter crash in Mendon Wednesday evening that killed three NY National Guard servicemembers. We learned this morning that one of the victims was from Orange County. Officials may release additional information later today. According to the New York Army National Guard, the medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine training mission Wednesday evening when it crashed.

 

Alfred University Announces Glass Recycling Collaboration
A collaboration was announced today with the State College of Ceramics at Alfred University to build the nation, bolster markets for recycled glass and improve the quality of glass available for recovery across the state of New York. The Center for Glass Innovation will play an active role in helping recycling markets and municipal recycling programs find new ways to produce and recycle glass. As recycling markets continue to experience volatility, recycling operations are struggling to find suitable markets for material, impacting local solid waste recycling efforts. The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is working with municipalities and other stakeholders to plan on how to bolster new markets in the northeast region to address these hurdles. Alfred Universitys’ SUNY statutory unit, the NYSCC, will receive nearly $1.7 million for this initiative through the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) as part of a three-year agreement.

 

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

Steuben Health Dept. Reports 79 New COVID Cases; 440 Active Cases
Yesterday, Steuben County’s Health Department reported that the county has 79 new positive cases, bringing the total number of currently active cases to 440. 42 County residents are hospitalized while the total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic’s beginning is up to 4,740. 156 county residents have died from the virus.

 

3 National Guard Members Die in Mendon Helicopter Crash
The investigation continues this morning after three New York National Guard members were killed while on a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter as part of a routine training mission when it crashed south of Rochester last evening. The medical evacuation helicopter went down in a rural section of Mendon. Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said there were several 9-1-1 calls before and after the fiery crash. Congressman Chris Jacob said he was deeply saddened by the news. Governor Cuomo said he was devastated and directed flags on all State buildings be lowered to half-staff today to honor these New Yorkers who dedicated their service and life to nation and state.

 

Three Steuben Residents Arrested for Drug Charges in Traffic Stop
Three people have been arrested after a traffic stop in Canisteo resulted in the discovery of multiple controlled substances. Yesterday, officers of the Canisteo Village Police Department initiated a traffic stop on East Main Street in the village. According to the department, officers recovered over 30 grams of Methamphetamine, Crack Cocaine, LSD and more. Arrested were 47-year-old James B. Hilligus of Larue Road in Bath, 36-year-old Adam C. Koester of State Route 244 in Alfred Station and April L. Wheeler of Larue Road in Bath.

 

Cuomo Reacts Positively to Biden Inauguration
Joe Biden swearing in as the 46th President of the United States yesterday received a positive reaction from Governor Cuomo. Cuomo remarked he is very excited for the changes ahead and that Biden has been a “great friend to New York” and was the go-to person for Cuomo regarding state issues under the Obama administration.

 

McDonalds’ Promotion Today Offers 25 Cent Burgers
Today, you can buy a McDonald’s cheeseburger for only 25 cents as part of the fast-food chain’s ongoing “Throwback Thursday” deal if you order from the McDonald’s app and spend at least $1. McDonalds offers another promotion next week on Thursday January 28th where you get a small shake for a quarter (with the same restrictions applied).

 

Uninsured New Yorkers Can Apply to NY State of Health by 3/31
Governor Cuomo announced the extension of the window for New York’s uninsured to get insurance through the state health portal. The new deadline is March 31, 2021 for New Yorkers to apply for coverage through NY State of Health, New York’s Official Health Plan Marketplace, or directly through insurers. Those enrolling by  February 15th will get Coverage that starts March 1st while coverage starts April 1st for those enrolled by March 15th. Those enrolling at the latest possible date by March 31st will begin their coverage May 1st. Individuals eligible for other NY State of Health programs including Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus may enroll year-round. New Yorkers can apply for coverage through NY State of Health online at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, by phone at 1-855-355-5777, and by connecting with a free enrollment assistant.

 

NYS Launches Investigation into Rising Drug Prices During Pandemic
New York State initiated an investigation into the rise of prescription drug prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Cuomo announced that the Department of Financial Services’ newly-formed Office of Pharmacy Benefits sent a demand pursuant to New York Insurance Law Section 111 requiring a statement from the manufacturer explaining the facts and circumstances surrounding the spikes to begin investigating significant price spikes for six drugs that were connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuomo said it’s “shameful” that pharmaceutical companies are profiting from those in need and significantly raising the prices on life-saving prescription drugs during the. These drugs are: Ascor (ascorbic acid) 25,000 mg/50 mL bulk vial , Budesonide 0.5 mg/2 mL inhalation (60 mL), Dexonto (dexamethasone) 5 mL vial of a 0.4% solution, Mytesi (crofelemer) 125 mg delayed release tablet, 60s, Duramorph (morphine sulfate) 1 mg/1 ml (10 mL 10s)  and Chloroquine phosphate 250 mg tablets.

 

O’Mara's Amendment Would Limit Cuomo’s COVID Emergency Powers
Senator Tom O’Mara Wednesday advanced a legislative amendment on the floor of the New York State Senate to bring an end to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s unlimited, unilateral COVID-19 emergency executive powers. O’Mara said, “Emergency executive powers were necessary at the outset of the COVID-19 response. Ten months down this hard road, however, he said it’s long past time to end state government by Cuomo executive order. 

 

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

Steuben County Legislature Ups Term Limit to 5 Terms
Until recently, Steuben County Legislature’s policy on term limits allowed politicians to serve up to four, four-year terms. After passing a resolution, the Steuben County legislature has voted to increase their number of term limits to five effective this year. Now, a legislator can serve two full-decades before another representative is mandated. “That’s not term limits, that’s a career,” said 12th District Republican Gary Roush, who voted against the resolution to The Evening Tribune...“It was never intended to work as a profession. Because politicians have to continue to run year after year, they’re focused more on getting reelected than serving the people to do the right thing from a government standpoint.”

 

Bath Central School Holds Meeting Monday 1/25
The Bath Central School District Board of Education will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday January 25th. The purpose of the meeting is financial planning related to future capital projects. The meeting will be livestreamed. For information: bathcsd.org.

 

Steuben Sees 109 New COVID Cases & 2 Deaths
Two more COVID-related deaths have been reported in Steuben County. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 156. Both individuals were males who died while hospitalized.  One was a resident of the City of Corning who died at age 92, and the other was a resident of the Town of Campbell who died at the age of 52. Steuben County also reported 109 new COVID cases since Friday.

 

County Hall of Fame Nominations Accepted Through March
Steuben County Hall of Fame nominations are now being accepted until March 31st. 2020 Inductees continued in the hall's 44-year tradition honoring exceptional people from all walks of life. Inductees included: youth advocate and country/rock musician Duane Eddy, Steuben ARC founder Arthur Hansen and Donald Merring, the first Steuben County Emergency Services/ Fire Coordination director. Since 1976, more than 500 people have been nominated with 148 individuals inducted into Steuben Hall of Fame. All nominees will be reviewed in early May by a special committee which will propose nominees for 2020 and approved by the county Legislature late June.

** Steuben County Hall of Fame guidelines

· Nominees may be any man, woman or child living or deceased, who has enhanced the name of Steuben

County. They should have resided in Steuben but may have been born elsewhere.

· Past nominees not inducted into the county Hall of Fame may be re-nominated.

· For applications and the full list of Hall of Fame honorees, go

to https://www.steubencony.org/pages.asp?PID=357; or call (607) 664-2199.

 

IRS Has Tax Credit for Who Didn’t Get CARES Act Check
The IRS has an online resource for those who did not receive the COVID Impact payments going to Americans that make less than $75,000. Those who didn’t receive the CARES Act spring payment, are eligible for a tax credit. Tax returns won’t be accepted by the IRS until February 12th due to the pandemic and stimulus payments still being sent. The IRS site has a tracking tool for the second stimulus payments that were sent earlier this month and stopped going out as of January 15th. More about the IRS.

 

NYSAC Director Reviews Cuomo Budget Numbers
Less than 24 hours after Governor Cuomo delivered the State Executive Budget, the New York State Association of Counties has reviewed the numbers in the several budget bills unveiled last night. Deputy Director Mark LaVigne is considering the worst case scenario budget where aid to localities will be cut 20 percent. Cuts could be anywhere between 5 and 20 percent and Lavigne says in the event of a 20 percent cut to local aid, counties would take a $500 million cut that would impact reimbursement for funds already allocated for state services. LaVigne says the budget’s $160 million cut to counties is better than the $675 million they anticipated. Cuts would impact schools, social services and local governments and result in higher income tax rates.

 

Senator O’Mara Warning Budget Could Lead to Overspending
State Senator Tom O’Mara warns that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state budget charts a course for New York that could leave a future generation of state and local taxpayers holding the bill for a questionable agenda of overspending. O’Mara cautioned that the Cuomo budget proposal released at the Capitol sets the stage for a final budget that could significantly increase short- and long-term state government spending. O’Mara said that he would keep working with his legislative colleagues across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions to keep attention focused on unfunded state mandates, job-killing state regulations, out-of-control debt, and a state tax burden that hurts family budgets and keeps New York’s business climate one of the worst in the nation.

 

Congressman Reed Joins Lawmakers Calling on Cohen Apology
Congressmen Chris Jacobs, Tom Reed and several of their colleagues are calling upon Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) to apologize for his comments denigrating members of the National Guard. In a statement, Jacobs said “Representative Cohen’s reckless comments attacking members of the National Guard are disrespectful and divisive. These men and women proudly serve our nation and have been working non-stop for the past week to ensure our safety and that of the incoming administration.”   

 

NY Senate Majority Announced Small Business Legislation
New legislation is being advanced in New York State to further support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York State Senate Majority announced yesterday that they plan to advance major legislation to help support small businesses in the state. The action will build upon legislation passed in July 2020. According to the Senate Majority, the new legislative package will include protecting small businesses from eviction and foreclosure, protecting restaurants from third-party delivery fees and establishing a partial-unemployment system.

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

Health Director Smith Says NY’s Hub Plan Delays Vaccinations
Though both Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are available, Steuben County Public Health Director Darlene Smith says the Steuben Health Department has received very little of the vaccine and the limited supply is not meeting the urgent demand. Smith placed an order Christmas Eve for 4,000 doses but has only received 200 doses so far. All 200 doses of the vaccine were administered in just under 3 hours in a Saturday closed-clinic targeting the 3 main priority groups in the 1B designations: those working in schools, law enforcement and fire departments. The pre-registration forms online were filled out for all 200 people within seven minutes. Steuben’s Health Department Director also finds at fault the state’s chosen vaccine planning process using regional hubs instead of consulting with county health departments. Smith also says this process adds an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy which has created confusion, delays and a more complicated process. 
Hear the full interview at: https://wvinbath.com/assets/podcaster/215/2021_01_19_215_99368_4795.mp3?

 

 

Four Hornell-Area Community Bank Branches to Close in Spring
A few Community Bank branches will be closing for good. According to an announcement by the company, four branches in the Hornell area will shut down this spring. No other bank branches will be impacted by the move and Community Bank employees working at closing locations will be transferred to other stations. Last year, Community Bank completed a $98.3 million merger with Steuben Trust Corporation. 

 

Tops Launches Storewide “Check Out Hunger” Campaign Saturday
Tops Friendly Markets launches the annual Check Out Hunger Campaign to benefit food banks across New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Nine food banks,  including the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, are participating and this year’s campaign kicks off with a $25,000 donation by an anonymous couple from Williamsville. Tops has matched this donation. Beginning this Sunday, January 24th to Saturday, February 13th, you can donate at your local Tops by making a donation of $2, $3 or $5 through the cashier to help provide food to your local food bank. Since Checkout Hunger started in 2006, Tops has raised over $4.5 million for local food banks.

 

AMBER Alert Issued for 2 Abducted Greece Children
The New York State Police Special Victims Unit has activated an AMBER Alert on behalf of the Town of Greece Police Department. Two children living in a foster home were taken under circumstances that lead police to believe they are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm and/or death. The two children are age 5 and under and are of African-American ethnicity. Shekeria Cash is a 3 year old, 40 pound 3 foot tall girl with braids last seen wearing panda pajamas. Her 5-year-old brother Dimitri Cash Junior is 4 feet tall and 50 pounds, last seen wearing fire truck or dinosaur pajamas. If you have any information about these children’s whereabouts, please contact GREECE PD at 585-428-6666.


 

Corning Meals on Wheels Awarded $5,000 from Siemens Energy
A nonprofit organization in Steuben County have received thousands of dollars in donations from Siemen’s Energy, formerly Dresser-Rand. It was part of the company’s Positive Energy campaign. Agencies produced a one-minute video and communities supported the movement by ‘liking’ the videos. Corning Meals on Wheel on Monday was awarded $5,000. Here’s a clip from the video. A total of 122 charities were ultimately selected to receive donations ranging from $500 to $10,000 based on a combination of public "likes" and scores earned from a panel of judges.

 

State Gas Prices Rise 7 Cents from Last Week
Gas prices are sneaking up…today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.39, up seven cents from last week. The New York State average is $2.47 – up eight cents from last week. Crude prices have been fluctuating and remain over $50 per barrel. Prices rose over market optimism that coronavirus vaccines will help crude demand recover this year. 

 

Bath Minor Charged with Assault
A 13-year-old girl from Bath has found herself in trouble with the law. The early teen is charged with assault and child endangerment. Administrative action is pending. 

 

NYSP Arrest Corning Man for Weapon Possession
State Troopers arrested 24-year-old Donald Burdick-Mattison of Corning. He is a convicted felon and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. He’ll appear in Town of Hornby court.

 

Guthrie Announces All Vaccines Distrubuted
Guthrie has distributed all of their COVID-19 vaccines in New York and nearly all in Pennsylvania. In a press conference with Governor Cuomo, hospital officials said that 54.9% of hospital workers were vaccinated at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center as of Jan. 17. Corning Hospital reported that 75.2% of hospital workers were vaccinated as of Jan. 17. As of today, Guthrie has vaccinated roughly 6,000 people.

 

Today's Top Stories - Martin Luther King Day - Monday January 18th, 2021

Troopers Investigating Friday Murder in Kanona
State Police say they are continuing to investigate the murder of a woman Friday in Kanona. 38-year-old Roberta Parry was killed and later Troopers arrested her boyfriend, 55-year-old Ricky Louis Brooks. He was charged with second-degree murder, arraigned and remanded to the Steuben County Jail without bail. Investigators expect to have autopsy results later this week. The motive, if known, has not yet been publicly discussed.

 

COVID Reports 61 New COVID Cases; 687 Active Cases
At the last report, Steuben County logged 61 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total to 4,552 confirmed cases, 687 of which are currently active. The new cases are varied, involving adult homes, schools and businesses. Public health Director Darlene Smith said “While we are grateful to have seen three days of lower case counts, the spread of virus in our community is still at a serious level.” She added…“Please continue to be mindful of the choices you make, especially in
social situations, to help reduce new infections.”

 

Watkins Glen Man Dies in Saturday Morning Crash
A Watkins Glen man is dead after a crash in the Town of Veteran. Troopers report 26-year-old Thomas Rockwell drove North on Middle Road at around 4:30 Saturday morning, when his pickup went off the road and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the crash remains under investigation.

 

Tompkins County Reports Case of UK COVID Variant
Tompkins County Health Department reports the UK variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Tompkins county. No further details were released about the infected individual other than the person was immediately quarantined after returning from travel. No close contacts have been found in Tompkins county. Health officials say the UK variant is 50-to-70% more contagious than the original.

According to a new Siena College poll released today, only about a third of New Yorkers think race relations are ‘good’ in the state. Today, 31 percent said race relations are good but a decade ago in  2011, 55 percent of New Yorkers thought race relations were positive.

 

Comptroller's December State Cash Report "Better than Expected"
According to the monthly State Cash Report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, state tax receipts through the first nine months of the state fiscal year were $2.5 billion lower than last year, yet were $1.8 billion higher than anticipated by the state Division of the Budget (DOB). Tax receipts in the month of December totaled $8.4 billion. This is $422.5 million above last year, and exceeding the DOB’s latest projections of about $1.4 billion above DOB’s latest projections. DiNapoli said: “December’s tax receipts were better than expected, but the revenue challenge is still with us,” and is optimistic about President-elect Biden’s proposed stimulus plan, which allots new aid to help states and localities fill gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Bills Fans Help Raise Money for "Blessings in a Backpack"
The Buffalo Bills have done it again defeating the Baltimore Ravens 17-3 Saturday to advance to their first AFC Championship game in 27 years. Spectrum News says after Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was forced out of Saturday night’s game due to injury, a Bills fan shared online he donated $25 to Jackson’s favorite charity. The charity called “Blessings in a Backpack” works to feed elementary school children who are in need on weekends. Jackson’s alma mater, the University of Louisville said their “Blessings in a Backpack” chapter received over 12,000 donations from Bills fans totaling over $75,000. If you would like to donate, click here. Tune into WABH 1380 AM and 100.3 FM as the 15-3 Bills play the 15-2 Chiefs Sunday night at 6:30pm 

 

Legislation Would Reshape NY Parole Process
A coalition of more than 25 New York lawmakers and 250 of the state’s criminal and social justice reform groups announced they are pressing two pieces of legislation this year that would reshape the parole process in New York. The campaign will work to pass Elder Parole, a bill that would require the parole board to hold hearings for incarcerated people over the age of 55 who have been behind bars more than 15 years, and the Fair and Timely Parole Act, which would shift the focus of commissioners during a parole hearing away from the original crime that someone committed to land behind bars. The campaign is also calling for the governor to fill the three vacant spots on the parole board.

 

NYCOM Calls on State to Release COVID Rescue Funds
After President-Elect Biden announced a $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan, the New York Conference of Mayors said it’s necessary for the state to release millions of dollars in withheld funds. The organization said the New York’s current policy is hindering the ability for localities to provide essential services and maintain budgets without tax increases. NYCOM  is calling for the withheld funding to be released and for the full amounts to be included in the next budget, which has $350 billion listed for state and local aid. Already, New York has received about $10 billion in federal stimulus funding which NYCOM says the state can afford to release this money. Governor Cuomo said Friday the state needs $15 billion from the plan.

 

All Noyes Mental Health Appointments Going TeleHealth
Due to increased cases of COVID in the community, beginning today, all scheduled counseling appointments at Noyes Mental Health and Wellness will be conducted via telehealth.  Individual providers will contact clients with details.  Walk-in crisis visits are still available at the Dansville office. 

 

Proposal Could Require Tech Companies Disclose Device Privacy Info
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a proposal to require companies to prominently disclose information about devices that can record and retain and transmit recordings, such as smartphones, smart speakers and smart TVs. The Governor will propose legislation requiring the disclosure so that New Yorkers can make informed decisions when they choose to buy an internet-connected device that is capable of recording, and so that written warnings about recording are not hidden or written in small print. Over 80 percent of Americans own a smartphone or other digital assistant device, the vast majority of which are equipped with internal microphones or other audio recording capabilities. 54 percent of smart speaker owners express worry about how much of their personal audio information is collected and 66 percent reject better personalization of smart speaker recommendations if it means more of their personal data is collected. 

 

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 16, 2021

Steuben County murder victim identified, suspect arrested

New York State Police have provided a major update on the suspicious death near Bath yesterday. The victim was identified as 38-year-old Roberta Parry, and her 55-year-old boyfriend Ricky Brooks has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in her death. Parry was found deceased on Friday morning in a home on the 7000 block of North Main Street in Kanona, near the Town of Bath, with which she shared with Brooks. A cause of death for Parry was not released by State Police

 

61 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 61 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including an individual associated with the Pinecrest Home for Adults in Avoca, an individual associated with the Maryville Home for Adults in Avoca, two individuals associated with the Maple Leaf House in Hornell, and individuals associated with the Bath and Hammondsport Central School districts. This brings the county total to 4,552 confirmed cases, 687 of which are currently active.

 

Bath man arrested for animal cruelty

46-year-old Anthony Carmon of Bath was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after allegedly failing to provide food and water to his dog. He was released on an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date. The dog was transported to the Finger Lakes SPCA where it is receiving treatment and care.

 

SUNY CCC spring semester set to begin February 1

The Spring semester at SUNY Corning Community College is set to begin February 1st, with a combination of on-campus, hybrid, and online classes. In compliance with guidelines, SUNY CCC will not have break weeks and will conclude, as scheduled, with the final exam week set to run from May 10-15, 2021.

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

Death Being Investigated at Main Street House in Bath
State Troopers and the Steuben County Sheriffs are outside a house taped off on the 7000 block of North Main Street in Bath. Police presence was first reported through a viewer tip this afternoon and at this time are interviewing an individual linked to a suspicious death in the Town of Bath. Troopers say there is no danger to the immediate area. More details will unfold as the investigation continues.

 

Bath Fire Dept Fight Chamberlain Road Fire
WETM reports the Bath Fire Department is on scene at a house fire in the Town of Bath on the 5000 block of Chamberlain Road near a wooded area. The blaze has  left the structure with severe damage. Photos of the fire were posted by the Bath Fire Department on Facebook early this afternoon. Kanona, Bath, Avoca, Howard, Savona, Hammondsport, and Wallace Fire Departments all responded to the scene.
Photo Courtesy of: Bath FD & John Walczak.

 

60 New COVID Cases Reported in Steuben; 739 Total Cases Active
Sixty new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Steuben County. This brings the total to 4,491 confirmed cases, 739 of which are currently active.

 

State DOH Upholding 10pm Curfew for Tomorrow’s Bills Game
The New York State Department of Health announced it will uphold its 10 p.m. curfew on indoor and outdoor dining as the last several days, Buffalo-area restaurants and bars requested that the DOH put it on pause for the day for the occasion the Buffalo Bills play in their second playoff game of the year. Fans are allowed at the stadium, but bars and restaurants must close at 10 p.m.- a policy the DOH’s spokesman told News10NBC that was “commonsense”.

 

Bath Man Arrested for Sex Offenses to Child
An alleged sex offense involving a child has led to serious charges for a Bath man. State Police say they arrested 34-year-old Jeffrey Clark. Troopers charged him with felony first-degree criminal sex act involving a child under the age of 13, felony first-degree sexual abuse involving a pre-teen and misdemeanor child endangerment. The alleged crime was reported Wednesday morning and happened in the Town of Bath. Clark was initially detained.

 

President-Elect Biden Announces COVID Economic Relief Plans
In a televised address yesterday President-Elect Joe Biden revealed his first major legislative goal as he takes office January 20th. Biden’s plans is to focus additional relief for Americans struggling due to the pandemic and says $2,000 checks going out to the American people will be a priority and necessity. He promised relief for localities and states, which were hit hardest by the pandemic and says he will work extend the unemployment benefits Americans are receiving right now. The total cost of this package falls just under $2 trillion. Stimulus checks could be in the mail within three or four weeks.

 

Orange-Zone Restaurants can Now Operate Under Yellow Guidance
All restaurants currently in orange zones designated by New York state health officials will be able to operate under yellow zone guidance. Governor Cuomo's office made the announcement yesterday afternoon following a judge's ruling on a lawsuit regarding indoor dining at certain restaurants in New York. This would mean restaurants in orange zones can once again reopen for indoor dining - with a limit of four people per table. They will still be required to stop serving on the premises at 10 p.m., going to curbside pickup or delivery after that.

 

State Lawmakers Backed Legislation to Start High School Sports
Several high school sports deemed high-risk are still on hold. However, a renewed push looks to change that. Yesterday, several state lawmakers joined together, backing legislation to reinstate all high school sports. The lawmakers said “Governor Cuomo focused his State of the State message this week on the need for reopening our local economies and to start getting the lives of New Yorkers as back to normal as possible now.  For New York State’s high school student-athletes and their families, coaches, and entire school communities, that means to let sports seasons get started.”

 

NYS DOT Warns of Text Message Phishing Scam
The State DOT is warning citizens to be on the lookout for fraudulent text messages. It says scammers are attempting phishing schemes by sending out text messages, asking recipients to update their driver’s license info. The DOT says these messages are fake and should be deleted immediately. It reminds citizens to never share personal information via text messages and to not click links provided in unsolicited messages.

 

NY AG Letitia James Files Lawsuit Against NYPD
New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and its leadership to end what she says is its pattern of using excessive force and making false arrests against New Yorkers during peaceful protests. In the complaint, Attorney General James outlines the NYPD’s alleged illegal and harmful conduct against New Yorkers during recent racial justice protests and for years prior, which has led to significant injuries and allegedly violated individuals’ basic right to peacefully protest. 

 

Gillibrand Announces Almost $25 Million Funding for Poison Control
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has announced that just shy of $25 million in federal funding has been secured for the Poison Control Program. Gillibrand originally called for $30.1 million to support the nationwide network of 55 Poison Control Centers (PCCs). As public health and addiction support services operate on thin margins, according to Gillibrand’s office, she says these increased federal funds will be used to provide life-saving health care services in every state.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Steuben Public Health Reports 104 More COVID Cases
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 104 more Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 4,372 confirmed cases, 774 of which are currently active. 16 of the new cases involve Bath residents. Eight individuals are associated with the Steuben County Jail.

 

New UK Strain of COVID Reaches Upstate NY
The new, more contagious variant strain of COVID-19, first found in the UK,  has made its way to Upstate New York with the first case found in Saratoga Springs and the number of cases reaching a dozen. This strain of COVID has not been found to be any more or less dangerous than the original strain and the recently-released vaccine has shown effectiveness in fighting off the new strain. Currently, people ages 65 and up are eligible to get the vaccine. Officials stress that relying solely on the vaccine alone will not get us through the pandemic and the public must remain diligent and cooperate to continue best preventative practices like social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing to stop the spread. 

 

Food Bank of Southern Tier Buys $1 Million in Food for Local Families
The Food Bank of the Southern Tier announces it purchased over $1 million worth of food to give to families in need. The million-dollar food donation was secured through the Nourish NY program following the Food Bank seeing a 26% increase in food requests in the year of 2020 with many pantries being run by volunteers. The Food Bank has supported local farmers in providing locally-sourced, fresh foods as thousands of New Yorkers struggle to put food on the table.More information about the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, can be found here.

 

CDC Expands Vaccination Guidelines Despite Lack of Vaccine
The CDC now recommends all states expand the access to COVID-19 vaccines to everyone 65 and older. Governor Cuomo says though the state will now accept the guidelines, the lack of vaccine won’t help speed up the vaccinations for even more people. New guidelines also cover vaccine access for adults of any age with an underlying health conditions putting them at risk for complications or more severe illness.

 

 

Cuomo Announces Internet Plan for Low-Income Families in SOSA
Governor Cuomo announced his proposal to enact a first-in-the-nation requirement for affordable internet for all low-income families as part of the 2021 State of the State agenda. Under the Governor's proposal, all internet providers would be required to offer affordable service at $15 per month to low-income households. The governor says "now more than ever, high-speed internet has become essential in every household.” He added, “you can't go to school, work from home, or visit your doctor by telehealth without it."

 

Reed Introduces Censure Resolution with 5 Republicans
Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed is one of six House Republicans who introduced a censure resolution accusing President Trump of violating his oath of office by attempting to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 election and by sparking a riot at the Capitol with his continued lies about the election. In a statement, Reed said "This is an important step to hold the president accountable."

 

NY Troopers Beef Up Security in Albany for Possible Protests
New York State Police say they have increased security at the State Capitol amid reports of possible protests across the nation leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. State troopers said they have been in touch with local and federal law enforcement. They said there is currently no active or credible threat involving the Capitol in downtown Albany. The increased security comes after an internal FBI bulletin warned nationwide protests may start later in the week and go until Biden’s inauguration on January 20. Officials said some of the protesters are members of extremist groups.

 

Former WENY News Director John Herrick Dies at 83
A former news director for WENY-TV, and a well-known community leader has passed away. John Herrick served his country in the Marine Corps He also served two terms on the Elmira City Council for the 5th District. John Herrick was 83.

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

Praise for Steuben Law Enforcement Reform in Cuomo's State of State
Governor Cuomo praised efforts made in the last year by Steuben County community officials for safety and police reform in yesterday’s State of the State Address. Cuomo signed an executive order mandating police reform plans for each county in the state following Black Lives Matter protests in the summer. The governor acknowledged Steuben and Ulster County citizens and officials are using listening sessions and surveys to increase participation. Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard said representatives from over 60 groups participated in creating the police reform, including members of the LGBTQ, Hispanic, African-American communities as well as religious leaders in our area. The Sheriff’s Department is also adding an online version of their citizen academy where they assign a deputy resident to be a conduit between the sheriff’s office and the localities within the county and their people. Monthly information gatherings will be hosted every month throughout the county for the community to share feedback for local law enforcement.The County Legislature votes on the plan at it’s January 25th meeting.

 

Steuben Sees 4 More Die from COVID; 197 New Cases
Steuben County health leaders say four more county residents have died from COVID-19. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 153.  All of the individuals passed at area hospitals. Meanwhile, the Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 197 Steuben County more residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since Saturday.  This brings the total to 4,268 confirmed cases, 688 of which are currently active. The Southern Tier region’s current positive percentage rate for the virus is 4.6%

 

Wayne Man Arrested for Property Damage
A 27-year-old Wayne man was arrested two days ago for allegedly damaging multiple pieces of public property. Steuben County Sheriff’s Office said Benjamin Webb intentionally damaged several road signs, a camping trailer, and a digital sign in the Sylvan Beach area of Wayne, causing more than $1,500 in damage, according to the Steuben County Sheriff's office.Webb was charged with Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court, and was released.

 

Corning Man Arrested After Attack on Corrections Officer
A 21-year-old Corning man was arrested and put in custody after an attack at the Steuben County Jail on an corrections officer. Horton allegedly struck an officer  in the face as he exited his cell, causing physical injury. The officer received treatment at a medical facility and was released. Horton was charged with second-degree assault, a Class D felony, arraigned and will answer the charges at a later date.

 

Reed Says Trump Should Face Justice But "No" to Impeachment
Republican Congressman Tom Reed published an op-ed in The New York Times Monday, calling on Congress to set aside impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in favor of other options. In the article, Reed says President Trump “must face justice” for the riot at the Capitol on January 6, but says “the manner in which President Trump and others are held accountable is a difficult question that demands more scrutiny.” The House article of impeachment introduced Monday accused the president of “Incitement of Insurrection.” In his op-ed, Reed says, “while the president’s words were unwise, intemperate and wrong, they may not qualify as incitement.” 

 

Bills’ Saturday Home Playoff Game Set for Attendance of 6,700 Fans
Following successful implementation of the pilot plan to open Bills Stadium to fans last week, Buffalo Bills fans can now attend the team's second home playoff game this Saturday, January 16th. Approximately 6,700 fans will be allowed to attend the game only after first obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result and adhering to all public health precautions. Contact tracing will also be conducted after the game and tailgating remains prohibited. This plan was developed cooperatively between the Bills, the New York State Department of Health and BioReference Laboratories.

 

More NY Residents Now Eligible for Vaccine in 1B Phase
Governor Cuomo says additional groups of people will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine including "public-facing grocery store workers," in-person college instructors and people living and working in homeless shelters. The initial groups of Phase 1b now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine included 75 and older, first responders, Corrections Officers, teachers and other school staff, childcare workers and public transit workers. The governor said vaccine administrations can begin at hundreds of sites and due to limited federal distribution of vaccine supply, all New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient when scheduling appointments as it could take up to 14 weeks to determine eligibility and schedule appointments with providers. 

 

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

NY Comptroller Audit of Prattsburgh School District Raises Concerns
A State Comptroller audit of the Prattsburgh School District raised some concerns. According to an audit summary - The board and district officials’ actions to manage financial conditions were not transparent and more taxes were levied than necessary to fund operations. The board also appropriated fund balance totaling $1.13 million for fiscal years 2016-17 through 2018-19 but none of the money was used or needed to fund operations. In addition, the board did not develop written multiyear financial and capital plans. School Superintendent Kory Bay said he appreciated the comments and noted the district will continue to improve.

 

Bath VFD Responded to Over 450 Calls in 2020
The Bath fire department responded to 466 calls for service in 2020. 67 were fire and 145 were rescue or medical calls.

 

While National Average Rises, Southern Tier Sees Low Gas Prices
The national average for a gallon of gas rose six cents in the last week. Average price for a gallon of gas hit $2.39 after sitting at $2.32 the week prior. Meanwhile, our very own Southern Tier region joined Finger Lakes and Central New York in seeing a trend of some of the lowest prices in the state. 

 

More COVID UK Strain Cases Found in NY
Governor Cuomo reports more confirmed COVID-19 UK strain infections in New York state with the first two being traced back to a Saratoga Springs, New York jewelry store. Cuomo says the 3rd case is in Nassau county and not related to the other two. Cuomo thinks there are more UK strain cases than what federal officials estimated. Scientists say this new UK strain is 50-to-70% more contagious than the original, though it is not believed to be more harmful.

 

Phase 2 of COVID Vaccine Reservations Begin Today
COVID-19 vaccination reservations for the 2nd wave of eligible people begins today and Governor Cuomo says the vaccine supply may not be able to keep up. The 1b phase gives first responders, teachers, public safety and transit workers, and the elderly access to the vaccine as people in phase 1a, which are mainly frontline healthcare workers, will continue to be vaccinated.

GOP State Legislators Criticize Cuomo for Slow Vaccine Rollout
GOP leaders in Albany have criticized the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. After members from the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences were briefed by Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker last Tuesday, only five legislators were given the opportunity to ask questions regarding the state’s delayed vaccine rollout. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt wrote a letter to the Administration in which he said many questions remain unanswered and some answers contained mixed messages and conflicting information. Minority Leader Will Barclay called on Dr. Zucker for an explanation as to why New York state lags behind other states’ ability to administer vaccines to their residents.

 

Hornell Man Arrested for DWI Charges During Traffic Stop
During a traffic stop, Canisteo-based Troopers arrested Edward C. Dougherty, 62, of Hornell. He was charged with felony DWI, felony first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and misdemeanor DWI. He'll appear in court at a later date.

 

Troopers Arrest Hornell Man on DUI Charges After Traffic Stop
State police arrested 22-year-old Zachary Long of Hornell during a traffic stop in the Town of Wheeler. Troopers charged him with first-degree driving while impaired by drugs and aggravated unlicensed operation. Court action is pending. 

 

Cohocton Man Arrested After Fremont Incident
A Cohocton man faces multiple felony counts following an incident in the town of Fremont. State police say they arrested 28-year-old Damian Koerner and charged him with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana for allegedly holding over 16 ounces of it. He was additionally charged with two misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was initially detained.

 

Cuomo Says TeleHealth Reform is Part of 2021 State of State Address
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced legislation to expand and improve access to telehealth for all as part of the 2021 State of the State. He said the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the inequities in the healthcare system and showed that telehealth is a critical tool to expand access and lower costs for low-income communities, especially for behavioral health support. During the crisis, the Governor took executive action to expand access to remote care. 

 

Alfred U. Receives Equipment Donation from Eaton Corporation
Alfred University and its Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology announce the receipt of a donation of equipment from Eaton Corporation, which will be used to develop new ceramic materials and manufacturing processes. It will be located at the IncubatorWorks facility in Alfred, which host’s Alfred University’s Center for Prototype Manufacturing, a pilot production facility focused on the development of multi-layer ceramic products and process development.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 9, 2021

83 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department has received notification that 83 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including two individuals associated with the Bath VA, and individuals associated with the Prattsburgh Central School District and the Canisteo-Greenwood Elementary School. This brings the county total to 4,071 confirmed cases, 719 of which are currently active.

 

Mayor Sweet shares his thoughts on DC rally

Many of us were shocked at the events that unfolded earlier this week in our nation’s capital. While many watched from the comfort of their homes, one of the hundreds of people who were present in Washington D.C. was Bath Mayor Mike Sweet. “I went down there because I thought it was gonna be the last opportunity to set eyes on the 45th President, I left 15 or 20 minutes before he finished speaking, but it was hard to hear him from where I was, I was on the perimeter. I didn’t want to get involved in the crowd.” In regards to the President’s speech, the Mayor said “I thought President Trump was ill-prepared unlike I’ve actually heard him in any rally before, I thought he rambled on…”. The Mayor said if given the opportunity to attend the rally again, he was unsure he would.  “Would I do it again? I don’t know, under these circumstances, I probably would not, and had I known what the President was gonna say, honestly, I probably wouldn’t have wasted my time.”

 

Reed against second impeachment, invocation of 25th Amendment

Congressman Tom Reed said he would not be in favor of a second impeachment or the invocation of the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office after the Capitol Building was breached on Wednesday. “We have 13 days until President Biden will be inaugurated as the next President of the United States. To me, that’s the more appropriate approach to take and to engage.”

 

Steuben County still waiting for COVID-19 vaccine

Earlier this week, 46 counties in New York State were scheduled to receive shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine and to open points of distribution to vaccinate individuals. Chemung County received 400 Moderna vaccines Tuesday and opened a point of distribution Friday. Per the public health director of Steuben County, Darlene Smith, the Steuben County has not received the vaccine, despite being pre-booked over a week ago. As of right now, there is no word when the vaccine will reach Steuben County.

 

Elementary School in Hornell to close at end of school year

The Bryant Elementary School in Hornell will be closing its doors at the end of this school year. Park Grove Realty has been announced as a potential buyer of the building, their hope is to use the building for workforce housing. The closure of the building is a certainty at this point; however, voters will decide on the sale of the building to Park Grove Realty at a later date.

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

Breesport Pair Arrested for Meth in Horseheads
A Breesport pair face drug charges after the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office arrested them around 12:30 this morning.  Deputies say 45-year-old Michael Deragon and 24-year-old Britany Struble had 38 grams of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $3,800 and nearly $2,000 in cash recovered by K-9 Egon when they were stopped on Breesport-North Chemung Road in Horseheads. Both Deragon and Struble were arraigned and released.

 

Steuben COVID Count: 1 New Death and 107 New Cases
Another COVID-19 death was reported in Steuben County and brings the county death total to 149. The latest victim died of the illness at his Bath home at age 65. Meanwhile the county reports 107 new cases of coronavirus, and the county now has 722 active cases.42 people are hospitalized with the virus. The county said in an update that the public must do "everything we can to slow this seemingly unending spread, including to limit travel and quarantine upon return, keep social circles small, and stay home and get tested when ill rather than going to work."

 

High-Risk Winter Sports Still on Hold
High-risk winter sports are still on hold for high schools across New York state - at a time when their seasons would normally be well underway. Schools are still waiting for the green light from state officials after the potential start date for the winter season passed earlier this week. The state has yet to announce a follow-up date.

 

Gillibrand Thinks Trump and Reed Responsible for Yesterday in DC
While New York's US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand considers President Trump directly responsible for the insurrection yesterday at the US Capitol, the junior senator said Trump had help from politicians like Congressman Tom Reed. Gillibrand also joins a bipartisan list of lawmakers calling for President Trump to be removed from office. Gillibrand wants social media companies to be investigated for the role their platforms played in spreading dangerous misinformation about the Presidential election.

 

NY Lotto Says Mega Millions Jackpot Drawing Hits $510 Million
The New York Lottery says tonight’s Mega Millions drawing will be $510 million, making it the eighth largest Mega Millions jackpot in history. According to the lottery, the drawing has an estimated jackpot cash value of $377.6 million.

 

Coercion Case Leads to Arrest of 2 Dundee Men
A coercion case recently led to the arrest of two men from Dundee. State Troopers said they arrested 30-year-old Robert I. Druker and 53-year-old Robert J. Druker, both of Dundee. Each was charged with felony bribing a witness. Robert J. was also charged with felony criminal mischief. Robert I. was detained on cash bail while the other Druker was sent home to show up in court at a later date.

 

O’Mara Receives Key Senate Committee Assignments in 2021
State Senator Tom O’Mara has received several key committee assignments at the start of the 2021 legislative session that he says will give him a prominent place at the table in this year’s deliberations over the future direction of state fiscal policies O’Mara was recently named as the top Republican member on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the Senate committee most responsible for overseeing the adoption of the state’s annual budget and setting the course for New York’s short- and long-term fiscal practices and responsibilities.  O’Mara has also been reappointed as the Ranking Member on the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee

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

One New COVID Death & 92 New Cases in Steuben
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification of the death of an individual who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 148.  The individual was a female resident of the Town of Campbell who died at the age of 92. Meanwhile, county health officials are reporting 88 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total to 3,881 confirmed cases, 669 of which are currently active.

 

Dansville Man Arrested After Domestic Dispute
Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that on January 1st, deputies arrested Stephen A Simonowicz, age 66, of Dansville following a report of a physical altercation in a domestic incident at his Rectenwald Road residence. Simonowicz allegedly violated a duly served order of protection and harassed and restrained a protected person who was a member of his family or household and allegedly attempted to prevent the deputies from investigating this incident. Simonowicz was charged with Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree, Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, Obstructing Governmental Administration andCriminal Contempt in the Second Degree and arraigned in the Centralized Arraignment Court then released.

 

CCC Holds Free COVID Test Tomorrow
Corning Community College holds free COVID-19 testing tomorrow from 9am to 1pm at its Health Education Center on Denison Parkway East. Results take only 15 minutes using the non-invasive nasal swab. Pre-registration is required. Testing is free and open to Steuben County residents. Participants must pre-register in order to be tested at https://tinyurl.com/cccrapid

Schumer Says Yesterday’s Capitol Storming “A Day of Infamy”
New York Senator Chuck Schumer says yesterday’s storming of the US Capitol by Trump supporters protesting the outcome of the Presidential Election will be a long-standing black mark and “day of infamy” on American history. Schumer is blaming those of Trump’s followers directly at his feet. The New York senator also wants the president removed from office via the 35th Amendment ASAP.

 

Reed Speaks Out Following Yesterday in DC
Members of New York's congressional delegation spoke out Wednesday night after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, causing chaos and forcing lawmakers to shelter in place. Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election when the joint session was abruptly halted after pro-Trump rioters breached the building. After the capitol was secured, Congressman Tom Reed walked over to the Democrat side of the isle and gave these remarks (Reed2). The unrest led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to send 1,000 members of the New York National Guard for up to two weeks to assist with the transition of power, which the governor said was at the request of the U.S. National Guard.

 

Cuomo Won’t Attend Saturday Bills Playoff Game
Governor Cuomo says he’s skipping the Buffalo Bills’ playoff game this weekend.  This announcement comes after uproar from an online Change.org petition that would ban Cuomo from the game that gained 40,000-signatures. The governor said he will be working on the State of State speech and giving his ticket for the night to a nurse in Erie County.


Caton Man Facing More Charges After Christmas Eve Raid
A Caton man faces additional charges stemming from a Christmas Eve raid on his home. Steuben Deputies say a large amount of marijuana was found in 45-year-old Dana McCarrick’s home, along with what they’re calling a pair of deadly weapons. McCarrick is being held in Steuben County Jail and now faces a felony weapons charge as well as a felony marijuana charge.

 

State AG Warns of “Grandparent Scam”
New York Attorney General Letitia James has issued an alert to New Yorkers, warning them about the “Grandparent Scam,” a common phone scam that targets senior citizens with calls from fraudsters posing as a grandchild of the victim and asking for money. The scam typically works like this: A senior receives an unexpected call from someone who claims to be their grandchild. The caller then falsely claims that there is an emergency and asks the grandparent to immediately send money. The caller will often explicitly tell the grandparent not to call the grandchild’s parents because the parents will be mad or will worry too much. The scammers often call in the middle of the night or early in the morning to take advantage of the fact that the victim may not be alert enough to ask more questions.

 

NYS Legislators Call for End to Solitary Confinement
State legislators are calling for an end to the use of solitary confinement in New York. Wednesday was the first day of the State legislative session. Some lawmakers took time to call for a vote on the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act, or HALT. Under the proposal, solitary confinement would be eliminated for vulnerable prisoners, and limited to 15 days for remaining inmates. The proposal has support in the State Assembly and Senate.

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

Steuben COVID Deaths Hit 147; 83 More Cases
COVID has claimed another life in Steuben County. The individual was a male resident of the Village of Addison who died while hospitalized at the age of 65. This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 147. Health officials also report another 83 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total to 3,793 confirmed cases, 618 of which are currently active.

 

FCS of Finger Lakes Launch Toddler Mental Health Program
Family Counseling Service of the Finger Lakes will launch a new infant and toddler mental health program, in collaboration with Child and Family Resources. Miranda Pipher, who heads the program, says assessing the mental health of those too young to speak relies on communication cues like crying. Pipher also observed infants, including her own, can struggle to pick up on such non-verbal cues when people are wearing masks. The infant and toddler mental health program is funded in part by a state grant.

 

Habitat For Humanity Starting New Bath Housing Development
Habitat for Humanity will soon start a new housing development in Bath. Mayor Mike Sweet made the announcement this morning. Sweet says it shows what we can do versus what we have done in the past.

 

Bath Sex Offender Arrested for Child Porn
A registered sex offender from Steuben County has been arrested on child porn charges. 34-year-old Charles Augrom, III of Bath is charged with receipt and distribution of child porn. Federal prosecutors say Augrom was arrested following an investigation that began in July 2020. A search of his cell phone allegedly turned up about 250 child porn videos and images. Augrom reportedly has two prior child porn-related convictions and is listed as a Level III sex offender. He made an initial appearance in court Tuesday and is in custody ahead of a detention hearing next week. If convicted, he could face five to 20 years in prison.

 

Cuomo Calls for Marijuana Legalization for Third Time in 3 Years
Governor Cuomo called for the legalization of marijuana this week and his proposal is expected to be announced by the end of today in his third attempt to legalize recreational marijuana in the past 3 years. Under the plan there would be an office known as the Office of Cannabis Management, which would oversee recreational and medical uses. Legislators may be more interested in moving forward with this proposal as the state faces serious budget deficits.

 

Cuomo Says General Public Will Have Vaccine by Mid-Summer
Despite saying earlier that mid-January was the projected start of vaccinating the general population, now health officials in New York say that early to mid-summer is far more realistic.  Governor Cuomo says the main source of the slowdown is at the hospital level.  Cuomo says only about half of state-run hospitals are acting fast enough to distribute their allotments of the COVID-19 vaccine. If they don’t use it by the end of the week, that could mean a fine of up to 100 thousand dollars from the state and that hospital system not being able to get vaccines in the future.

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

Allegany-Steuben Arc Merge Officially Complete
Allegany Arc and The Arc of Steuben have officially merged to become The Arc Allegany-Steuben as part of a multi-step process. Both agencies are affiliated chapters of The Arc of the United States and The Arc New York providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc of Allegany-Steuben will provide services to approximately 1,000 people with disabilities, through support of over 800 associates, and with a budget of $34 million.

 

Hornell DMV Opens After Possible COVID Exposure
The Hornell DMV opens back up today after closing due to a possible COVID-19 exposure. The county office in Hornell had to close for the remainder of yesterday but resumed normal business hours today.

 

Steuben Health Dept Reports 586 Active COVID Cases; 7 Deaths
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 217 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday-bringing the total to 3,710 confirmed cases, 586 of which are currently active. Among the new infections three individuals are associated with the Addison Central School District, Center Street Elementary and three others visited the VFW in Bath, American Legion in Bath, American Legion in Canisteo and American Legion in Campbell. The lives of seven more people in Steuben County were claimed by the virus and brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 146.  All of the individuals passed at area hospitals. 

 

Structure Fire in Hammondsport Last Night
A structure fire broke out in Hammondsport last night with Initial scanner reports coming in around 4:00 this morning. WENY says sheds caught on fire next to a trailer on West Waneta Lake Road with multiple municipalities  called to the scene. The fire was controlled quickly with  minor damage to the side of a home. The cause is under investigation.

 

Reed Won't Object to State Electors at Election Certification
Congressman Tom Reed released a statement this morning in which he said he will not object to any state’s electors on Wednesday during the certification of the Presidential election.In his statement, Reed said, “We can rebuild trust in our elections by transparently addressing the last-minute, confusing way some states conducted voting in 2020. The Constitution, however, makes clear Congress cannot overrule states and their designated electors. I must be true to the oath I took to uphold the Constitution and will not object to any state’s electors tomorrow.”

 

Cuomo Announces COVID Vaccine Prioritization for NY
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the latest prioritization for New Yorkers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning today, eligibility is being expanded to include all outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers who provide direct in-person patient care, as well as all public health care workers who provide direct in-person care, including those who conduct COVID-19 tests and handle lab specimens. Beginning this week, eligibility will also be expanded to include home care workers, hospice workers, and nursing home and other congregate setting workers who have yet to receive a vaccine through the federal nursing home vaccination program.

Today's Top Stories - Monday January 4th, 2020

205 COVID Patients Hospitalized in Southern Tier
In the Southern Tier Region, there are currently 205 COVID patients hospitalized. The Region has 43% of hospital beds available. 125 patients are in an Intensive Care Unit. On Sunday, another 138 deaths were reported statewide.

 

Engine Causes Plane Diversion to Elmira-Corning Regional Airport
According to WENY News,  engine problems caused a plane operated by United Airlines and en route to Syracuse from Washington, D.C. to be diverted to Elmira Corning Regional Airport. The plane landed without incident with 3 crew members and 46 passengers aboard, who are being bussed to their Syracuse destination.

 

Cuomo Says Finger Lakes Must Be Serious About COVID
During this morning’s media briefing, Governor Cuomo said residents of the Finger Lakes need to be serious about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the region. When asked why he hasn’t placed more restrictions to decrease the rate of infection Cuomo said about 75 percent of the spread is related to social activities and expressed the concern to avoid hospital overcrowding in the region, which could lead to full shut down. The Finger Lakes region still has the highest percentage of hospitalizations of all regions in the state .08%,  and with a positive test rate of 10.22% and a majority of the new cases are in Monroe County.

 

Bath Man Charged with Petit Larceny
After investigating a larceny from a building in Erwin, state police arrested 41-year-old Patrick Davis of Bath. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and petit larceny. Court action is pending.

 

Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act Signed
Governor Cuomo has signed the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act in an effort to make it easier for New Yorkers to pay their traffic fines in the new year. The law takes effect March 31st and allows fines to be paid on a payment plan without being subject to a license suspension while allowing judges to either reduce or waive fees and surcharges.

 

Bills Beat Miami 56-26; Play Saturday 1pm on WABH
The Buffalo Bills concluded the regular season Sunday with a dominating 56-26 win over the Miami Dolphins. For the first time in franchise history, the Bills had a complete clean sweep in the AFC East. Next up for the Bills, a home field playoff game against the Colts. It happens Saturday at 1 p.m. The coach of the Colts is former buffalo quarterback Frank Reich.

 

Troopers Warn of Car Test Drive Scam
New York State Police are warning people of a scam involving test driving of vehicles. There have been multiple instances of people answering online ads to buy privately owned used vehicles in Western New York, according to police. Two or more people will go on a test drive with the vehicle for sale. At some point during the test drive, the suspect(s) ask the vehicle owner to step out, stating they hear a weird noise or think something is wrong with the vehicle. Once the owner steps out of the car, the suspect will drive off with the vehicle. This scam has occurred in Livingston, Wayne, Monroe and other counties in the area. State Police urge citizens to be vigilant and careful with transactions like this and suggest selling used vehicles in front of security cameras or have additional persons with you when attempting a private sale of a motor vehicle.

Today's Top Stories - Saturday January 2, 2021

85 new COVID-19 cases in Steuben County

The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 85 Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including one individual who is associated with the Bath VA. This brings the total to 3,493 confirmed cases, 619 of which are currently active.

 

Steuben County Sheriff’s Department to celebrate 225th anniversary Monday

The Steuben County Sheriff’s department will open its 225th anniversary year with a special ceremony during the regular county Legislature’s Public Safety and Corrections Committee meeting this Monday. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the ceremony will be live streamed through the county sheriff’s Facebook page shortly after 9 am and will include awarding commemorative anniversary badges to two people in recognition of their notable service in 2020.

 

Steuben County reflects on achievements in 2020

Despite the challenges the pandemic put forward, there were still many notable achievements that the County made in 2020. For example, the 2021 budget. All signs pointed to a double-digit increase in property taxes, driven by state-mandated programs which form more than 90 percent of the annual tax levy. Any increase higher than the state’s complicated tax cap would lead to penalties imposed by the state. Thanks to the work of county employees, the result was a budget of $194 million with a slight increase in the $51 million tax levy, and a drop in the average tax rate of 14 cents per $1,000 from $8.07 this year down to $7.93 in 2021. Also, renovations to the County Office Building, which were delayed but had begun as early as May. Work included moving administrative offices to the county Annex on East Morris Street, and relocating others to provide efficient and accessible legal services. Future plans include additional court rooms, secure holding areas and waiting rooms, more offices for attorneys and an extensive legal library. And of course, the longing continuously running County Fair in the U.S. After hosting a test-run Food Drive Thru at the county fairgrounds the weekend before, fair organizers held a County Fair drive thru from Aug. 21-22, and the 200-year-old county fair added another year to its historic long run while keeping the pandemic at bay.

 

NYS sees near record low in flu cases

Presumably the precautions taken by citizens to avoid the pandemic, such as masking, sanitizing, and social distancing, has led to a drastic drop in reported flu cases compared to 2019. Data shows 2019 saw a high of more than 5,000 flu cases in one week but 2020 had a high of only 304.

 

Elmira woman arrested for welfare fraud, grand larceny

Mckenna M. Harris was arrested on an active Elmira City Court arrest warrant for Welfare Fraud and Grand Larceny, both in the 4th degree, both Class E felonies. Harris did not report her income in the form of NYS Department of Labor unemployment with the Department of Social Services, and received $1,511.00 in public assistance SNAP benefits that she was not eligible for.

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