New York Budget on time
They did it again…after many years of not passing a new budget on time and holding up needed programs for New Yorkers…the New York State legislature passed their new budget on time for the third year in a row. The $135 billion spending plan for the Empire State reportedly holds spending increases at less than 2 per cent without increasing taxes and fees. Some of the highlights include nearly $billion more money for schools…a minimum wage increase to $9 in three years along with tax breaks for businesses.
Village of Bath Politics
Monday will be the day we should find out the answer to who’s going to be Bath’s new Mayor. The Village Board will meet Monday evening for their organization meeting and select a Mayor. It could be a member of the board or somebody else. If it is a board member…they then have to choose a replacement. Current Mayor John Stranges has resigned effective Sunday citing health concerns after one year of a two year term.
Trout season starts on Monday
Monday is one of the most anticipated days for fisherman…it’s opening day for trout fishing in New York and fish hatcheries have been busy stocking rivers. All anglers 16 years and older are also reminded that they must have a New York State fishing license, which can be purchased from sporting stores or from town and county clerks.”
Move over law
The move over law in New York is the news. The law requires motorists to move over when traveling on the highways when they come across a pulled over vehicle. The reason the law was established was because of the number of fatalities of police officers and emergency personnel along the highways. Starting next week, State police will be increasing enforcement and bumping up patrols on the road that will be paying even closer attention to whether or not drivers move over.
Steuben County Grand jury
Indictments have been handed down from the Steuben County grand jury and Justin Perry from Bradford is facing several charges in relation to a break in at the Swift’s tree farm in Thurston. Perry has been charged with burglary….criminal mischief….grand larceny…and tampering with physical evidence. The case involves the stealing of thousands of dollars of property including a shotgun and causing property damage exceeding $250
NYS Budget Passes On Time:
For the third straight year, New York has passed its budget on time. The Assembly passed the final bills on the $135 billion spending plan just before midnight Thursday, the deadline is Sunday, the start of the new fiscal year. Major elements of the budget include a $350 tax rebate check for most middle class families and a new minimum wage that will rise to $9 over three years. The budget also raises billions of dollars by extending two taxes that were due to expire – an income tax surcharge on millionaire earners and a business tax on energy costs. Businesses will get additional tax breaks, including one to encourage the hiring of recent veterans.
Arrest at the Steuben County Office Building:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office is reporting the arrest of 35-year-old Stacey Miller of Bath. She was arrested yesterday at the Steuben County Office building after deputies discovered a controlled substance in her purse. She was unable to prove that the controlled substance was hers and she was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th and Possession of a Controlled Substance in a Non-Original Container.
Patterson Bridge Project Begins in April:
Be ready travelers, very soon you’re going to start seeing a lot of activity at the Patterson Bridge. Work on the $19.4 million replacement project in downtown Corning is expected to get underway in April. According to a story in today’s Corning Leader, next month crews will begin building access roads and preparations to remove the bridge will begin. In mid-August, the westbound lanes will close. In mid-September, the eastbound lanes will close, and the bridge will be closed entirely for about eight months. It’s expected to reopen around mid-May 2014. While the new bridge is being built, a detour will be set up and most of the traffic entering the city will be re-routed on Interstate 86 to Exit 46. Since the bridge carries 17,000 vehicles daily between Riverside and downtown Corning, expect increased traffic on the detour route and possible delays.
State Aid Hike Nets C-PP Extra $1M:
With the state budget now officially in the books, the Corning-Painted Post School District has announced that they will be receiving an extra $1 million above what had been projected. The C-PP Superintendent said the extra aid will save the equivalent of 27 teaching/staff positions and he thanked the area’s representatives in Albany for pushing for more aid. The district’s budget deficit now stands around $4.3 million.
NY to Collect Sales Tax from Online Sales:
New York’s highest court has ruled that the state can collect sales tax from out-of-state retailers, rejecting claims by Amazon and Overstock that the tax violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause. The Court of Appeals said that the amendment meets the U.S. Supreme Court test that the sellers have a “substantial nexus” with the taxing state. Taxes apply when the online retailers generate at least $10,000 in annual sales to New Yorkers from in-state websites that earn commission by bringing in potential customers.
Hotline for Info on STAR Changes:
Many assessors’ offices have said that they’ve received an overwhelming amount of questions concerning the changes to the STAR property tax exemption program, and with that, a hotline has been developed to help. Residents with questions now can call the state Tax Department at (518) 457 – 2036.
Deadline for Child Abuse Prevention Nominations this Weekend:
The deadline for nominations for the 2013 Child Abuse Prevention Award is this Sunday, March 31st. Any individual or organization is invited to submit a nomination, which is available by contacting the Steuben County Youth Bureau at 664 – 2119, or online at http://www.steubencony.org. A recipient will be selected by the Steuben County Task Force for the Prevention of Child Abuse and will be recognized at the April meeting of the Steuben County Legislature.
Bath Bus Monitor Accused of Choking Student:
A Bath Central School District bus monitor is now facing charges after allegedly choking a 7-year-old student. The incident occurred on March 19th when 45-year-old Nancy Knapp and the male student were riding on a bus on Cruger Street in the village. According to police, Knapp confronted the student and choked, grabbed and shook him. The child was not seriously injured. Superintendent Joe Rumsey told The Corning Leader that the district has a video of the incident that was taken by the bus’ surveillance camera and that the video was turned over to police. Knapp has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and 2nd degree harassment. She has been placed on unpaid leave.
Craig Park Pool Won’t Open This Summer:
The Craig Park Pool, a popular spot for kids to cool off in Painted Post, won’t be opening this summer. Village Mayor Roz Crozier says that Town of Erwin officials pulled a $32,000 annual contribution for the pool and that now, without it, the village can no longer afford to run it. He added that based on past attendance figures, it would cost the village about $8 each time a kid when swimming and that they couldn’t possibly charge that much in usage fees. Erwin Town Manager Rita Mc-Carthy says that the pool funds will be used to lower Erwin taxes on village residents by 5%; and lower Erwin taxes for town residents by .5%.
Corning Salvation Army Closes:
After 20 years in business at its Pulteney Street location, the Salvation Army thrift store in Corning has closed its doors. Wednesday was its last day of operation, and while the reason for closing hasn’t been revealed, the business does reportedly hope to re-open soon in a new location. Salvation Army Capt. Peggy Jennings said the Salvation Army is working on solidifying a new location and that she hopes they will be able to announce it as soon as Monday. Salvation Army thrift stores, known formally as Family Stores, sell clothing, furniture, and other goods at bargain prices and there are numerous stores in the area, including in Elmira Heights, Bath, Ithaca, and Waverly. Store profits benefit the Salvation Army’s adult rehabilitation centers – the Corning store supports the regional rehab facility in Binghamton.
NYS Lotto Scam Making Rounds:
If you get a call, letter, or e-mail from the New York State Lottery saying you’ve won a prize, you may want to reconsider celebrating, as it’s a scam. The state’s gaming commission is aware of two new scams that residents need to be aware of. One involves a scam artist sending a letter or email stating you’ve won an unclaimed prize. In order to claim it, you’re asked to call a person from the lottery that takes down your personal information and makes you send a processing fee. The processing fee is then kept and you never receive a prize. The other scam comes as a fake check that you’re asked to deposit at your bank. After you do you’re asked to return a portion of the check to the sender as a fee before you receive the full amount. After you send the money, the check will bounce, and you receive no prize. These letters, emails, and checks look legitimate and they even have lottery logos on them, but they are fake and fortunately, you’ll be able to tell quite easily as the New York Lottery never contacts winners first. In order to claim winnings, you must contact the lottery yourself every time. No exceptions.
ARC of Steuben Hosting Music and Art Event:
The ARC of Steuben will be hosting “Celebrating Diversity Through Music and Art” today and tomorrow at its Industrial Park complex in Bath. There will be artists from Unleash Your Groove and The Magic Paintbrush Project, and students from Haverling High School will be volunteering at today’s workshops. The event runs from 9:30 to noon today, and from 12:30 to 2 p.m. tomorrow.
Wellsville Man’s Facebook Contract Fake:
The long fought multibillion-dollar lawsuit filed by a Wellsville man claiming half-ownership of Facebook may soon be over. A federal judge recommended yesterday that the case be dismissed, siding with the internet company and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, on the grounds that the contract the case was based on was faked. 39-year-old Paul Ceglia sued in 2010 claiming that he and Zuckerberg signed a software development contract in 2003 that included a provision entitling Ceglia to half ownership of Facebook in exchange for $1,000 in startup money. The judge found that while the two did sign a contract, any references to Facebook had been added later. He pointed to a copy of the original contract discovered on a hard drive as the lawsuit was being argued. The report and recommendations will now to go a district judge, who will consider any objections before either adopting or modifying the decision. Meanwhile, Ceglia has been indicted with mail and wire fraud after an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service alleged he doctored, fabricated, and destroyed evidence to support the claims in his lawsuit. If convicted, he could face up to 40 years in prison.
NY Senate Passes Tougher Carjacking Bill:
The New York Senate has approved a bill that would increase criminal penalties for carjacking a vehicle when there is a child inside. The bill, numbered “S1905” would make it a felony to carjack a vehicle with a child under the age of 16 inside and would be punishable by as much as 8 and a 1/3rd to 25 years in prison. Said Senate Majority Coalition Co-leader Dean Skelos, “Thefts of this nature not only traumatize children, but place them at great risk of being physically harmed, either at the hands of the carjacker, by a stranger if the car is abandoned, or during a police chase.” The bill has been sent to the Assembly for its consideration.
STAR Program Rebate Update:
In an update to the STAR Rebate story that aired yesterday, there has been some clarification on the changes. Currently, seniors have to file for the STAR exemption every year. Other property owners will also have to re-apply as reported, but not until next year. Property owners will not have to register with the local assessor’s office; the tax department will contact the property owner.
2013 “Tyrtle Beach” Campaign to Kick Off with Party:
April is right around the corner, and in Central Steuben County, April is Tyrtle Beach Season. “Tyrtle Beach,” for those you who might be new to the area, is a month-long, grassroots fundraising campaign that supports a wide variety of youth programs in the region, created by, non-other, than v98.3’s very own Dave Taylor Smith. In 2012, the effort raised a record $38,000, which was distributed to 74 clubs and organizations, including scout troops, church youth groups, community youth sports leagues, educational programs, and more. This year, to kick-off the campaign organizers have scheduled a “Tyrtle Beach Kick-Off Party” for Monday, April 8th, and the public is invited to come and join the festivities at the Bath Country Club from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The highlight of the evening will be the announcement of this year’s “Tyrtle Beach Jumper,” who will have to brave the chilly waters of Lake Salubria on April 26th. Local band “Side of Pallet” will perform and there will be plenty of food, giveaways, and support for Steuben County Youth. Tickets are $10 each, and are available at the Bath Country Club, the Steuben County Youth Bureau, Chemung Canal Trust in Bath, and at the public libraries in Avoca, Bath, and Hammondsport. The event is sponsored by the Superintendents of the six school districts in the Tyrtle Beach funding area.
DEC Issues Coyote, Bear Tips:
Yesterday, the State Department of Environmental Conservation issued guidance on how to prevent conflicts with coyotes and bears. Both species have well-established populations in New York – including in Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben counties. This time of year, coyotes are at their most aggressive, and while attacks on people are rare, owners of small pets should be cautious. They recommend that you don’t allow pets to run free or to be outside unattended; do not feed pets outside; make garbage inaccessible; and eliminate availability of bird seed as coyotes are attracted to the birds and rodents that come to the feeders. When it comes to bears, most problems occur when the animal is seeking food. The DEC says: never feed bears, it is, in fact, illegal; stop feeding birds as soon as the snow melts; dispose of garbage as frequently as possible and store in a secure place prior to disposal; clean garbage cans frequently; and feed pets indoors and store pet food indoors.
Traffic Stop in Bath Leads to Multiple Charges:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office is reporting the arrest of 26-year-old Andrew Fisher of Hornell following a traffic stop in Bath. It’s reported that a deputy stopped Fisher on Route 53 and during the investigation the deputy suspected Fisher of providing a false name. The deputy called for backup and once a NY State patrol unit arrived Fisher fled on foot through several backyards. He was captured near the scene and charged with Failing to Signal, Parking on Pavement, Unlicensed Operation, False Personation, and Obstructing Governmental Administration in the 2nd degree. He was also found to be wanted for an outstanding NY State Patrol Warrant. He has been remanded to the county jail on $1,000 cash bail. Also, 19-year-old Marry Kate Kennedy of Howard, who was a passenger in Fisher’s car was charged with Obstructing Governmental Adminstration in the 2nd degree, Criminal Using of Drug Paraphernalia in the 2nd degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th degree, and Criminal Possession of Marihuana in the 5th degree after a quantity of narcotics was discovered inside the vehicle. She was also remanded to the county jail on $1,000 cash bail.
Lawsuit Filed Against Guthrie Health & Corning Hospital:
Fourteen of the people who were potentially exposed to diseases such as H.I.V. and Hepatitis B and C have now filed a lawsuit against Guthrie Health and Corning Hospital. The lawsuit claims that Corning Hospital, Guthrie Health care System and/or Guthrie Health, and Guthrie Medical Group P.C. were negligent in the training and supervision of the nurse who may have reused syringes. The 14 plaintiffs are among the 236 Corning Hospital patients who were potentially exposed at the hospital from October 15th through January 29th. Hospital officials say the risk of infection was very low, but that testing will take up to a year, so it isn’t known whether anyone contracted a disease via the reused syringes. The nurse, who remains unnamed, was fired after hospital officials learned she broke infection-control protocol.
PP Water Sales Halted:
Ruling that Painted Post officials improperly conducted the project review, a Rochester based judge has ordered the halt of Painted Post’s bulk water sale operation. Judge Kenneth Fisher voided both the water sale agreement and the lease deal for the property upon which the water loading station was built. He also issued an injunction blocking any more water withdrawals until the village complies with the state’s Environmental Quality Review Act. That means, in order to restart the operation, the village will have to do the review process over and negotiate a new water sale contract and lease deal. Though, of course, the village and the other respondents still first have the right to appeal the judge’s ruling to a higher court. It is unknown at this time if they intend to do so.
Hornell May Drop Tattoo Ban:
Hornell might soon be reversing their ban on tattoo and piercing parlors. City officials say that because of court ruling, it is likely the old ban will have to be dropped. It was discussed last night at Hornell’s Planning and Development Committee meeting and according to Mayor Shawn Hogan it will be voted on at a Common Council meeting in April. However, there still also needs to be a public hearing.
Residents Must Re-Register for STAR Tax Rebate:
Due to reports of widespread abuse and fraud, New Yorkers receiving the STAR property tax rebate will have to re-register for the local school tax breaks. Last month, Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe reported his detectives found $679,000 of fraud or incorrect filing in just five towns. He said the tax break was illegally applied to second homes and some landlords were taking the credit for their homes and for rental properties and rooming houses. Officials say abuses and faulty filings cost the state $13 million in the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Homeowners can apply or re-apply for the STAR exemption on the website of the state Taxation and Finance Department. http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/index.htm
NY Budget Cuts Cancer Programs:
The new New York State budget is drawing the ire of the Cancer Society as the state is looking to cut funding for cancer screenings for the uninsured, while increasing aid to the Buffalo Bills and Hollywood. Cancer Society spokesman Blair Horner said yesterday that the budget will cut 5% from programs that provide free screenings for breast, colon, and cervical cancer and also cuts 5% from the program to reduce youth smoking. The reductions amount to about $3.5 million in the $135 billion in the budget. The budget also includes an expanded $420 million tax credit for film and TV productions, including the latest Spider-Man movie, and $130 million on stadium renovations to help keep the NFL’s Bills in Buffalo.
Schuyler Co. Facility Fire:
An accidental fire that broke out in the wee hours of Saturday morning did major damage and left a lot of debris at the Schuyler County Shared Services Facility. The facility housed trucks, maintenance equipment, and offices and while officials say it’s too early to put a dollar value on the damage, they did say that they are at least down one truck. One firefighter was reportedly injured while battling the flames, suffering a broken shoulder. He is said to be home recovering. No other injuries were reported.
Man Charged for Crashing Car into Home:
The driver who crashed his car into a Horseheads home last Tuesday has now been charged with driving while intoxicated. Police say 33-year-old Phillip Hayes of Pine City drove his car into a home on East Mill Street and the vehicle then caught fire. Fortunately, firefighters were able to put the fire out before it spread to the house. Hayes was officially charged with DWI and reckless driving, among other charges. He was released on $5,000 bail.
P.A. Fugitive Arrested in Cameron:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office is reporting the arrest of 41-year-old Greg Morgan of Cameron as a Fugitive from Justice. An arrest warrant was reportedly issued for Morgan out of Tioga County, Pennsylvania on the charge of Criminal Trespass for allegedly illegally entering a cabin owned by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in Pennsylvania. Morgan was taken into custody in Cameron and arraigned in Bath Town Court. He was remanded to the county jail to await extradition.
Bowling Party Raises 28K:
Bowlers of all ages were out in force yesterday at Crystal City Lanes in Corning to have fun and to raise money for a good cause. Fifty teams collected donations and spent the afternoon knocking down pins for the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, an organization that serves Twin Tiers children who are in need of a positive adult role model. This year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake took in over $28,000.
C-G School District Offering Extended After School Help:
The Canisteo-Greenwood School District has announced that thanks to a new grant, there will now be extensive help after-school. The after school study program begins tomorrow and will be available every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday until the end of the school year. School officials say that bus rides home will be provided for all those who ride a bus to school.
FAA to Close Ithaca Tower:
The Federal Aviation Administration has released the final list of 149 air traffic control facilities that will be closed at small airports in an effort to trim hundreds of millions of dollars from its budget. Included are towers in Ithaca and Rome. The Ithaca Regional and Griffiss International towers are expected to be closed starting April 7th, according to the agency. All affected airports will remain open. Pilots will coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers, which they are trained to do.
Bath Church, Big Flats Soaring Center to get Historic Status:
Among the 27 places across New York State recently recommended to be added to the state’s Register of Historic Places was the soaring center in Big Flats and a Baptist Church in Bath. The Warren Eaton Motorless Flight Facility, headquarters of the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation, has hosted national soaring competitions since the 1930s and trained military glider pilots for World War II. The First Baptist Society of Bath was built in 1887 and 1888 and was designed by prominent Binghamton architect Truman I Lacey. It was constructed by Lacey and local builders for the village’s Baptist congregation, which had formed in 1842. The soaring center and church will be approved by the state’s historic preservation officer and added to the Register. Once listed, they will also be reviewed for addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
NYS to Open Some DMV’s on Saturday:
Tired of long waits at your local D.M.V.? Well, there could soon be a solution on the horizon. The state has announced that it’s going to test drive a proposal to keep some DMV offices open in the evenings and on Saturdays. Also, New Yorkers will be able to use their smart phone to reserve a place in line before they even get to the office. And, if you’d like to skip the line all together, the new D.M.V program will also include self-serve kiosks for transactions without waiting in line. No word has been given yet on which county DMV offices will be selected for this trial run.
DEC Preparing for Trout Season:
Inland trout season is just 10 days away on April 1st and as part of the annual pre-season preparation, the DEC was out this week sampling rainbow trout in the Finger Lakes tributaries. Brad Hammers, an aquatic biologist with the DEC’s Region 8 office told The Corning Leader that they measure the length of each fish they catch, check their sex and condition, weight them, and take a scale so they can tell the age of the fish before releasing them back into the water. His crew reportedly netted 130 rainbows on Catherine Creek (Seneca Lake) and 66 on Naples Creek (Canandaigua Lake), including some whoppers in the 12 pound rage. The haul wasn’t as impressive on Cold Creek, but now that a troublesome beaver dam has been removed, the DEC expects more fish to make their way up into the creek by Opening Day.
Travel Advisory – Canisteo to Change Traffic Signal:
As part of a study to consider removing the traffic signal at the intersection of State Route 36 and Maple Avenue in the Village of Canisteo, the light will be set to flashing beginning Monday. The signal will remain in this mode for a minimum of 90 days in order to measure the effects of the change. If the study concludes the signal is no longer needed, it will be removed.
Prattsburgh Man Charged in Fatal Accident:
A Prattsburgh man has now been charged with two felonies in connection with a fatal car accident that occurred in August. 23-year-old Troy Daggett was charged on Wednesday with 2nd degree vehicular manslaughter and manslaughter. Daggett was driving the vehicle that crashed early August 9th in Pulteney. 24-year-old Mathew Stewart of Branchport was killed. Daggett was injured. Authorities have said high speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors in the accident.
Arkport Teen Arrested for Burglary:
An Arkport teen has been accused of burglarizing a Hornell residence. Hornell police say 16-year-old Justyn Smith has been charged with 1st degree burglary, 4th degree grand larceny, and a misdemeanor count of possession of burglar’s tools. Allegedly a “large” amount of cash and some property were taken in the burglary, with some of the property recovered by investigators. The burglary is 1st degree because Smith reportedly entered the residence with a weapon.
Greek Peak Sold to Elmira Businessmen:
A popular local ski resort will soon be in the hands of some local owners. Yesterday afternoon, a federal judge approved the sale of the Greek Peak Ski Resort to two Elmira area businessmen. John Meier and Marc Stemerman bought Greek Peak at a Federal Bankruptcy Court auction for $7.5 million. The sale includes the $30 million Hope Lake Lodge Hotel, Condominium and Water Park and the year-round Adventure Center with its mountain coaster, zip line, and other attractions. However, the new owners say that ski center improvements will be the first focus. During its peak season, Greek Peak hires about one thousand employees, making it one of Courtland County’s largest employers.
Canisteo-Greenwood Superintendent Resigns:
Canisteo-Greenwood Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Matteson has announced his resignation, as he is soon scheduled to be appointed to lead the Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services (TST BOCES). The C-G Board of Education is expected to accept his resignation and it will become effective on May 31st. It’s also expected that at the next meeting of the board, the chief executive officer of the Greater Southern Tier BOCES will be asked to begin the search for Matteson’s replacement. In his new position, Matteson will be responsible for the services of nine school districts educating roughly 14,000 students.
Keuka Healthcare Radio Auction Tomorrow:
It’s that time of year again, time to open your heart and your wallet in support of the annual Keuka Healthcare Radio Auction. This year, the funds raised will support the Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital and the Fred and Harriett Taylor Health Center. This year’s auction is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, right here on v98.3. The auction will be held on the airwaves with supporters calling in bids and counter bids. If you’re interested in bidding, go to our website, http://www.wvinbath.com, for the phone numbers to call and for a link to the items up for auction.
New Corning Hospital Half-Way Done:
The new Guthrie Corning Hospital is halfway done. The progress was made official yesterday, when Guthrie representatives held what’s known as a “topping out” ceremony at the construction site just off Interstate 86 in East Corning. A crane lowered the last steel beam into place and construction workers secured it, marking the completion of the support structure for the two-story, 232,000-square-foot, $146 million new hospital. Also a part of the ceremony was a symbolic white beam signed by Guthrie employees and the community, and the unfurling of an American flag. Construction is expected to wrap around May 2014, and “moving day” – when the current hospital on Denison Parkway will relocate to the new hospital – is set for July 14th 2014.
2011 Rathbone Election Investigation Over:
The investigation into the 2011 Rathbone elections is over, and Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore has announced that he will not be prosecuting Rathbone Town Supervisor Dan Farrand, or Town Council candidates Lanny Newell and Duane Miles, or Highway Superintendent candidate Steven Kirk. In a statement, the attorney wrote, “After investigating this matter, I concluded that there was simply not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that candidates Dan Farrand, Lanny Newell, Steve Kirk, and Duane Miles committed any crimes or offenses under New York State law.” Wetmore was handling the Steuben County case after both former Steuben County District Attorney John Tunney and current D.A. Brooks Baker recused themselves. The investigation was called after the 2011 elections received a high number of absentee ballots. In the Chemung County D.A.’s report, it says the number of absentee ballots cast was more than the number of applications for absentees filed. This is explained by some of the voters already being on the permanent absentee ballot list and not submitting a second application.
Syracuse Basketball Under Investigation:
As they prepare for their first basketball tournament game, Syracuse University sports is under investigation by the NCAA. The Syracuse Post Standard is reporting that four sources have informed the paper that the investigation deals with Fab Melo’s academic eligibility and a 2007 alleged sexual assault case involving three players. The Standard says that NCAA investigators have been interviewing sources in Syracuse for at least the past academic year and CBS Sports is reporting that the university has received a letter of preliminary inquiry from the NCAA. The Orange are set to play Montana tonight in San Jose California.
NY Counties Ranked by Health:
A new health study was released yesterday that ranked each state by the number of counties they have, with number one being the healthiest. Out of the 62 counties in New York State: Tioga ranked 15, Schuyler 29, Steuben 44, and Chemung was ranked as one of the unhealthiest, with a score of 60. The study was led by researchers at the Robert Wood Foundation and University of Wisconsin and while it did state that premature death rates are the lowest that they have been in 20 years, it also found that people living in the unhealthiest counties are still dying early, at more than twice the rate of those in the healthiest. Teen births were also found to be twice as common in unhealthy counties.
Hammondsport Seeking Input on Park:
The Hammondsport Village trustees have called a community meeting to take place on Saturday in order to discuss the future of the Grape Street Park. The meeting set for 10 a.m. at the park, which was closed this winter by the Village Board after years of complaints from neighbors about vandalism, vulgar language, and misbehavior by the kids that hang out there. Some residents are pushing for the park to be reopened and the trustees would like to hear ideas on how to keep the park safe and clean, and to stop the vandalism before they make a decision on whether or not to reopen the park. All ages are welcome at the meeting. (A rain date has been set for 2 p.m. on Sunday.)
Village Election Results:
Village elections took place yesterday in the Southern Tier and here in Steuben County, in North Hornell, William Coleman and Peter Diraimondo defeated three other candidates for seats on the Village Board. In Savona, Democratic Mayor Gregg Harrian defeated Republican opponent Christopher McCann by eleven votes. Charity Beebe and Cheryl Youngs defeated three opponents in the race for two available Savona Village Board seats. Over in Canisteo, Mayor Bill Tucker, Thomas Mayor, and Jack Beers were all re-elected. In Arkport, Michael Brewer was re-elected as trustee, and Ezra Geist was elected to the village board. And in Bath, Mark Bardeen and Bill Von Hagn, running unopposed, were re-elected as trustees.
Car Crashes into Home in Horseheads:
A car crashed into a Horseheads home and burst into flame last night on East Mill Street. Firefighters were reportedly able to put the fire out before it spread to the house, but the home was damaged from the crash. Chief Art Sullivan told local media that they, “had one injury out of it and they were taken to the hospital.” The chief declined to say if the person injured was the driver of the car. He also couldn’t say why the car ran into the house. Police are said to be investigating and charges could follow.
Bath Residents Arrested Following Traffic Stop:
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office is reporting the arrests of three individuals, two of which are from Bath, on multiple drug charges. According to a release, a deputy stopped a vehicle on I-390 in the Town of Avon on March 17th for an equipment violation. During the investigation 90 bags of crack cocaine, and marijuana were found and seized. The three occupants were identified as 37-year-old Scott Saltsman, 21-year-old Sally Goodman, both of Bath, and 20-year-old Tremaris Seymour of Rochester. Saltsman was charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 5th degree. Seymour was charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 3rd degree and unlawful possession of marijuana. Both were remanded to the Livingston County Jail. Goodman was charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree and unlawful possession of marijuana. She was issued appearance tickets.
Illegal Aliens Arrested after Elmira Traffic Stop:
State Police are reporting the arrests of five alleged illegal aliens from El Salvador after a traffic stop on Interstate 86 at the Elmira exit. According to police, there were eight occupants in the Ford Expedition when troopers pulled it over for speeding on Sunday. Two of those were wanted on warrants from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and three others had allegedly been smuggled in the country. The three remaining occupants were all legal residents and were released without being charged. The five suspected illegal aliens were turned over to ICE agents.
Bath-Haverling Makes Changes to District Calendar:
The Bath-Haverling Central School District has issued a press release announcing that due to the mild winter, the district will be making some changes to its calendar. As the district has only used one of its allotted emergency days this year, schools will now be closed on: Thursday, March 28th (extending Spring Break) and on Friday, May 24th (extending Memorial Day weekend). If schools need to use an emergency closing day prior to May 24th, school will be in session that day. In addition, the District would like to inform residents that the superintendent’s conference day on Monday, April 29th has been cancelled. School will be in session that day.
I-86 Ramp Closed Following Accident:
The Exit 44 ramp on I-86 near Painted Post is closed this morning due to a jacknifed semi-trailer. According to NY511.org, the ramp is expected to be closed until around 9 a.m.
Fatal Crash in Fremont:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that a fatal crash occurred yesterday in the Town of Fremont. Deputies say the accident occurred when a vehicle being driven by 79-year-old Raymond Thompson of Illinois was passing another vehicle on I-86 eastbound. When Thompson attempted to re-enter the driving lane, the rear portion of his vehicle made contact with the driver’s front portion of the vehicle being driven by 52-year-old Deborah Smith of Arkport. Thompson’s vehicle jacknifed, overturned, and slide off onto the shoulder of the roadway. Smith also lost control of her vehicle and slide into the median. Thompson was transported to Saint James Hospital for treatment for a head injury and broken ribs. Smith was uninjured. Pronounced deceased at the scene was 69-year-old Sharon Thompson, a passenger in Thompson’s vehicle. The cause of the collision is being cited at this time as operator error and slippery road conditions.
12 Arrested at LPG Protest:
A protest and rally held yesterday outside the Inergy property on Seneca Lake ended in the arrests of twelve people. According to Schuyler County Sheriff Bill Yessman, the demonstrators linked arms to block the entrance gate to Inergy’s property off State Route 14 and blocked a truck that was trying to leave. Deputies reportedly gave several warnings before eventually arresting twelve protesters. All twelve were charged with trespassing and were issued court appearance tickets. The protesters were there to speak against Inergy’s plans to build a facility to store and distribute LPG, or propane andane, using the caverns beneath its U.S. Salt plant.
Woman Linked to Webster Ambush Pleads Not Guilty:
The woman accused of helping to arm the former neighbor who ambushed firefighters at his burning home on Christmas Eve pled not guilty yesterday at her arraignment. 24-year-old Dawn Nguyen pled not guilty to a three-count grand jury indictment charging her with lying on a form while buying a rifle and shotgun, transferring the guns to known felon William Spengler Jr., and possessing guns while being a marijuana user. Nguyen, who is free on bail, is due back in federal court in May for a motions hearing. She is also facing a state charge of falsifying a business record.
Village Elections Today:
Today is Election Day for area villages and polls will be open from noon until nine. In Steuben County, in Bath two trustee positions are open with Mark Bardeen and Bill Von Hagn running unopposed. The position of Mayor remains undecided. The Village Board handles the selection process, but no announcements have been made at this time. Over in Savona the mayoral seat is up for grabs with incumbent Gregge Harrian and current trustee Chris McCann running. Also, five candidates are running for two open 2 year trustee positions. Last, but not least, in Hornell five candidates are running for two board seats in North Hornell.
Schuyler Hospital Project to Affecting Parking:
If you have any appointments coming up at Schuyler Hospital next month, be aware that in mid-April the hospital will begin a $6.45 million capital project and a hospital spokesperson has announced the entrance and parking will be affected. The main entrance will close, and pedestrian traffic will be redirected to the emergency department entrance. Visitors can park in the rehabilitation/physical therapy lot off of Belle Cornell Drive, enter the facility through the rehabilitation entrance, and take the stairs or elevator to the main floor. Parking in the main lot will be designated for emergency patients, outpatients, and physicians only.
Board of Ed. Meetings:
Board of Education meetings will be tonight and tomorrow in the following locations: Bradford’s tonight at 6 p.m. in the Cafeteria, Hammondsport’s tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the high school library, and Bath’s tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the District Office.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYS Legislative leaders met Sunday in preparation of what they hope will be a Monday announcement of the third straight on time budget. Some major points include weather to raise the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to as much as $9 per hour, weather to adopt business tax cuts, and the proposal to extend a temporary income tax increase for the second time. Cuomo and legislative leaders hope to pass the third straight on time budget, something that hasn’t occurred since the early 1980’s The Leaders are shooting for a March 21 budget adoption which would be the earliest since the 1970’s. The 2013-14 Budget is due by April 1.
Wendell Weeks chairman and CEO of Corning Inc. received a total compensation valued at approximately 12.65 million in 2012 according to the company’s proxy statement. Weeks began his career at Corning in 1983. Corning Inc. which employs 29,000 people worldwide posted record sales of 8 billion in 2012 despite a lagging global economy.
St. Baldrick’s Day
More than 500 people filled the Radisson Hotel in Corning yesterday for the 4th annual St. Baldrick’s Day Event which raises money for Children and young people with cancer. More than 75 people had their heads shaved, and officials expect this year’s event raised about 23,000 to help fight cancer. Members of the CFA Bulldogs, Corning Hawks, Bald Buddies, Corning Baby Gaffers and the Corning Hurricanes all had their heads shaved during the St. Baldrick’s Day event.
Winter Weather Advisory
Winter weather advisory is in effect for most of the area from 2 p.m. today until 8 a.m. Tuesday. Snow will begin this afternoon; heavy bursts could make the evening commute difficult. Snow and ice overnight will also make travel difficult. Snowfall will range from 2-6 inches and a tenth of an inch of ice is possible.
The Steuben County sheriff’s office reports the arrest of Dana Hansen of Pultney on March 9th, Mr. Hansen was taken into custody on two outstanding warrants issued out of the Village of Penn Yann. Mr. Hansen tried eluding detection by hiding in an attached work shed at the house Deputies were checking. Mr. Hansen surrendered without incident and was transported to the Penn Yann Police Dept. Mr. Hansen was wanted for Bail Jumping in the 3rd degree and also had a bench warrant for failure to reappear on an aggravated unlicensed operation and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Unwelcome Customer at Penn Yan Gas Station
A Penn Yan gas station is cleaning up after a deer crashed through their store window, tipping over several displays and leaving blood on the floors. Penn Yan police arrived to the Lake Street Kwik Fill to find the deer inside causing damage. Employees say a car had struck the deer causing it to run toward the store and jump through the front window. Officers subdued the deer with a taser and then set it free outside. The deer had injured itself trying to escape but appeared to be okay. No one was injured.
Addison Man Killed in Fatal Corning Accident:
A 58-year-old Addison man was killed yesterday when his truck crashed on State Route 414 just north of the City of Corning. New York State Police report that Michael Duell was hauling soybean oil when his vehicle drifted onto the west shoulder of the roadway and overturned into a ditch. Duell was pinned inside the truck after it crashed and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The truck, which was owned by InstantHeat Wood Pellets of Addison, was hauling 2,500 gallons of refined soybean oil. It wasn’t immediately clear how much spilled as a result of the crash.
Driver in Tyrone Accident Charged:
The driver of the truck that crashed into a creek in Tyrone last week has now officially been charged. Identified as 29-year-old Michael Kee of Humbolt, Tennessee, he was driving west on County Route 23 and did not stop at the intersection, crashing into the creek instead. Kee was hauling approximately 21.5 tons of salt at the time and the Department of Environmental Conservation also estimates the vehicle had between 150 and 300 gallons of fuel in its tank. According to the State Police, Kee has been charged with driving on a five-ton road, not stopping at the stop sign, and for being in the wrong lane.
Bath Utility Chief Terminated:
Bath Electric Gas and Water Systems will soon have a new executive director, as the utility commission and the Village of Bath have decided to terminate provisional leader, Matthew Hunter. Bath Village attorney, Patrick McAllister told The Corning Leader that it was decided that BEGWS needed to go in another direction and that Hunter wasn’t fired. “He was a provisional employee,” McAllister said. “So the utility commission and the Village Board terminated that relationship. It’s not a disciplinary action.” A replacement hasn’t been announced and the utility is said to be going through an interview process.
Peebles to Buy Hornell Store Location:
Peebles has announced that they are buying the store building on the Broadway Mall in Hornell. Russ Lundy, the Executive Vice President of Store Operations for Stage Stores, which is Peebles parent company, said, “Typically, we don’t buy a store location, however the people of Hornell have been very loyal to the store since it opened. Mayor Shawn Hogan and his staff have been instrumental in making this deal a reality.” The Hornell location will be remodeled this year, with completion scheduled for late fall. Store officials expect to add an elevator and new cosmetics.
VEW Teaching Assistant Receives Educator Award:
The Haverling Central School District has announced that Vernon E. Wightman Primary School teaching assistant Jill Smith has been honored with the 2012 Doris Bovee Outstanding Woman Educator Award. Given by the Beta Chi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International, Smith received the award as a woman changing her career to the field of education. Delta Kappa Gamma International is an invitational organization whose membership is composed of key women educators.
4 Killed, 2 Wounded Near Utica:
SWAT teams were called into an upstate village yesterday evening to surround an abandoned building where a 64-year-old man suspected of killing four people and wounding two others had holed himself up. Police say that Kurt Myers’ shooting rampage started with a fire in his apartment building in the village of Mohawk yesterday morning. He then allegedly drove to a barbershop around the corner and used a shotgun to kill two customers – identified as 68-year-old Harry Montgomery and 57-year-old Michael Rancier. Two other people, including the shop’s owner were listed in critical condition at a Utica hospital. Myers then drove to a car shop in nearby Herkimer and killed Thomas Stefka, an employee, and Michael Renshaw, a customer who was a 20-year veteran of the state Department of Corrections. Early this morning, officers entered the building Myers was hiding in and a shoot out occurred in the basement. Myers reportedly shot and killed a police dog, before being killed himself.
C-PP Announces Possible Cuts:
Last night the Corning-Painted Post School Board went over some of the options to close a multi-million dollar budget gap for the next school year. The numbers were said to still be preliminary, but district leaders said they’re facing a possible $6.6 million gap. Among the possibilities mentioned that would help close the gap was everything from getting rid of elementary arts and music, all the way up to ending all athletics and activities. Officials said 116 people would have to lose their jobs to make up their entire gap of $6.6 million with cuts alone. Also discussed was asking the taxpayers to agree to a 5.5% tax levy increase. Both the board and the teacher’s union president said all these problems are due to the lack of enough State money going to the district.
Hanna to Seek Reelection to Steuben Legislature:
Steuben County legislator Michael Hanna has announced that he will be running for reelection this fall. The 69-year-old Republican from Hammondsport is currently serving his first term as a representative for District Number 5, which includes the Village of Hammondsport and the towns of Prattsburgh, Pulteney, and Urbana. Hanna currently chairs the legislature’s Public Works Committee, and is a member of the Finance Committee. He also serves on the board of the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau.
S. Tier Food Pantry Receives Walmart Grant:
The Food Bank of the Southern Tier announced yesterday that they’ve won a $35,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation. The food bank says they plan to use the grant money to expand their mobile food pantry program. The Bank of the Southern Tier provides food to 165 pantries, soup kitchens, and charities across the Southern Tier.
Spring Burn Ban Starts Saturday:
It’s that time of year again, the state’s annual early spring ban on brush burning will go into effect this Saturday. Burning brush is banned in all municipalities in New York from March 16th to May 14th under new laws enacted in 2009. That time frame is when the risk of wildfires is at its highest, due to a combination of factors, such as a lack of green vegetation, lots of dry grass and leaves, warmer temperatures, and windy days. According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation open burning is by far the most common cause of wildfires in New York, and roughly half of all wildfires reported annually happen during the early spring.
Grand Jury Charges Man Accused of Setting Fire:
A grand jury has indicted a Hornell man for starting a fire that destroyed a house with four apartments. Steuben County officials say that 30-year-old Sean French intentionally damaged his apartment building, located on Hakes Avenue in Hornell, after setting fire to a couch in his unit on December 30th. He has been charged with arson, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment. No motive has been released.
Power Outages in Steuben County:
A windy overnight from Tuesday into Wednesday is being blamed for a power outage that occurred in the Cohocton and Wayland areas. NYSEG reported that just over a thousand customers were without power as of yesterday morning. No word has been given yet on when power could be restored.
NY Unemployment Up:
Unemployment numbers were out yesterday from the New York State Department of Labor and they reveal that unemployment rates are higher this year than last year in most of the state, including the Southern Tier. In Steuben County, unemployment was at 11.9% in January of this year, last year it was 10.9%. Chemung and Schuyler counties both saw increases as well: up to 10.5% from 8.8% in Chemung, and up 1% from 10% to 11% in Schuyler. Nationally, however, things are getting a bit better. Unemployment nationwide in January 2012 was 8.8%. This year it’s down to 8.5%.
Shinagawa Not Running in 2014:
Nate Shinagawa, Tom Reed’s challenger in the 2012 House race, has announced that he will not be running for congress in 2014. He said, “…while I’ve been pushed by the national Democratic Party and local leaders to run, I have decided this district, and my family, need my attention at home.” That said, when asked if he would consider running in the future, Shinagawa added, “I’ve ruled out 2014. But I can definitely see myself running for Congress or something else in the future.” Since losing the election to Reed, Shinagawa has returned to his job as the administrative director at Robert Packed Hospital.
Steuben Co. Launches “Text to 911”:
Steuben County officials have announced that Verizon wireless customers in the county can now send a short message service, or SMS, text message to 911 for emergency help. Primarily intended for those who are unable to make a voice call, either because they are incapable of speech or because the situation dictates silence, the service will be available to any Verizon customer who has access to a Steuben County cell tower. Officials say that those seeking help should only send a text to 911 when making a voice call is not an option; texting is not always instantaneous and it may take slightly longer to dispatch emergency services in such a situation. Also, officials add that location information and details of the emergency should be provided in the initial message as the 911 center will only get an approximate location of the phone and will not be able to speak with the person sending the text. Abbreviations should also not be used.
Teen Falls in Gorge:
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office reports that over the weekend a teen fell over the edge of the falls at an area known as Fall Brook on Route 63 in the Town of Geneseo. 18-year-old Robert Benjamin of Warwick reportedly fell over the edge while viewing the falls with friends. A rope recovery was conducted by the Geneseo Fire Department and Benjamin was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Livingston County Sheriff John York has released a statement reminding the public that, although Fall Brooks is an overlook of a waterfall in the area that is a known attraction, it is on private property.
Stolen Lawn Mower Leads to DWI Arrest:
A report of a stolen lawn mower led New York State Police to arrest a Bath man last week for DWI. On March 6th, Bath State Police were reportedly told by 911 dispatchers to be on the lookout for a stolen Craftsman lawn mower. A short time later, officers found the lawn mower being driven on Liberty Street in the Village of Bath. Arrested was 28-year-old George Barkley of Bath for Driving While Intoxicated and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation.
Schuyler & Yates Counties Considering Merger:
The Schuyler and Yates county legislatures voted yesterday to apply for state funds to be used for a study on sharing services and possibly even merging. Schuyler County administrator Timothy O’Hearn told local media that it would be unprecedented because counties in New York have never merged. However, he added that would not be the primary focus of the study. It would look at sharing services such as public works or consolidating administrative positions. If there was enough to share or consolidate, then they would look at merging the counties. The application for $90,000 in state funds will be submitted this week. The local share would be $10,000.
Hornell Budget Passes:
Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan and the Common Council have approved the 2013-2014 Hornell City Budget. There will be a 1.4% increase and even though that’s well below the tax cap, the common council also voted to override the 2% property tax cap. Said Mayor Hogan, “We’re doing that basically for protection. We’re not exceeding the cap, we’re actually well below. If it’s reviewed by the comptroller and they find that we did a mathematical error, then we’re subject to starting a reserve account.”
C-G Board of Ed. Changes Voting Location:
At last night’s monthly meeting of the Canisteo-Greenwood Board of Education, a resolution was passed to eliminate voting at the Canisteo school building. Instead, it will now be held at Somers Hall and the Greenwood Fire Hall. The move was prompted by concern for the safety of the children in light of recent incidents such as Sandy Hook. Two other resolutions were also before the board, but neither was passed. The first was a move to designate the entire C-G school district as one voting district. If passed, this would have required all Greenwood voters to travel to Canisteo to cast their votes. Also voted down was a resolution to abolish the system of personal registration for C-G school district voters. The motivation behind both of those resolutions was said to be an effort to resolve issues that prevented 12 voters from being able to vote as they were not on the Steuben County Registry.
Hammondsport to Reconsider Park Closure:
After years of complaints of vandalism and other problems, the Hammondsport Village Board closed the public park on Grape Street several months ago. But now, with some residents wanting the park to be reopened as spring approaches, at tonight’s meeting of the village board they will talk about their options for the park. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. at the Hammondsport Village Hall and, according to Mayor Emery Cummings, everything will be on the table, including moving the park to an entirely new location. The park includes playground equipment, a basketball court, and a skateboarding park.
Savona to Host “Meet the Candidate” Night:
The Village of Savona will be hosting a debate style Meet the Candidate Night later this week. Included will be the candidates for the positions of mayor and trustee. It will be held at the CSCS Elementary Choral Room on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Bath Board of Ed. to Meet Tonight:
The Bath-Haverling Board of Education will hold a budget workshop meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the District Office.
Dresser-Rand Workers Ratify Contract:
The proposed contract that averted a work stoppage at the local Dresser-Rand plant in Painted Post was officially approved on Friday. The new contract covers about 350 workers in Local 313 of the IUE-CWA. The ratification comes about a week after negotiators for the union and the company reached a tentative agreement just hours before the old contract was set to expire. The new contract will cover a three year period.
NYSEG Imposes New Surcharge:
A new surcharge that will affect all New York State Electric and Gas electricity customers went into effect at the start of the month and the cost will depend on electricity usage. The “Reliability Supports Services Surcharge,” as it’s called, will, according to the company, “allow them to recover the cost incurred to keep the Cayuga Generating Facility in the Town of Lansing operating to ensure reliable electricity service in the region.” According to NYSEG, the Cayuga Operating Company LLC, which owns the power plant, filed a notice last year stating its intention to mothball the facility, effective January 16th, 2013. NYSEG reportedly analyzed the proposal and determined it would have adverse reliability impacts on its customers. Late last year, NYSEG and Cayuga reached a one-year agreement, under which NYSEG will procure reliability support services from the Cayuga facility.
Southern Tier Airports Make FAA List of Cuts:
Federal authorities have released a list of New York airports where control towers may be closed or lose overnight operations because of automatic federal budget cuts. The facilities that could close are Binghamton Tower in Johnson City, Francis S. Gabreski in Westhampton Beach, Niagara Falls International, Ithaca Tompkins Regional, Dutchess County in Wappingers Falls, and Griffiss International in Rome. Among the 72 towers that could lose midnight shifts are Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. The Federal Aviation Administration has said they’ll be taking comments from airport executives and others and will issue a final list on March 18th. Air traffic controller and TSA worker furloughs are expected to begin around April 7th. Elmira-Corning Regional is not expected to be effected.
Group Looking to Renovate Local Vet’s Home:
The organization that recently remodeled the home of a wounded Chemung County solider is now looking to do the same for an injured Steuben County vet, and it’s participating in a national competition to help fund the project. Renovating-Hope, a group based out of West Chester, Pennsylvania, is participating in the Home Depot Foundation’s Aprons in Action contest, an online competition that features community organizations from across the country. The winner of the monthly competition receives $25,000 and will be eligible to win $250,000. Runners-up receive $5,000. Last year, Renovating-Hope remodeled the home of Erin resident Sgt. Robert Costley. Now, they’re looking to help wounded U.S. Army Sgt. Brent Nadjadi, a Bath native. In 2010, Nadjadi’s vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. He suffered fractures in both legs and feet, a crushed vertebrae, a broken spine, and a broken jaw. The competition is under way and runs through March 31st. For more information and to vote, visit http://www.homedepotfoundation.org or find the Home Depot Foundation page on Facebook.
Kickball Tournament to Benefit Concern for Youth:
Anyone who enjoys playing a game of kickball and assisting local youth can do both on April 20th, when the Hornell Area Concern for Youth will be hosting the Super Kickball Extravaganza. The tournament is open to all ages and games will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on three fields at Veterans Memorial Park in Hornell. Teams can have between six and 10 members. There is a minimum registration fee of $20 to participate. In addition to the kickball games, there will also be games of chance, food and beverage vendors, a free concert, and numerous other activities. To register or for more information contact the Concern for Youth.
Gag Order Issued in Trappler Case:
A gag order has been issued in the murder case of the Addison woman facing trail on charges that she arranged the killing of her ex-boyfriend. Issued yesterday, the order prohibits the prosecution and the defense from publicly talking about details of the case until a jury is seated at trail. Both sides have agreed “in the interest of justice.” 40-year-old Alice Trappler is scheduled to go on trial next month in connection with the killing of 30-year-old Daniel Bennett. Trappler is charged with murder for allegedly ordering Bennett’s death.
Gas Range to Blame for Elmira Leak:
The gas leak that shut down several blocks in Elmira and complicated a double-shooting investigation on Tuesday, is now said to have been caused by a gas range that was left on, according to a NYSEG spokesman. It is still unclear what the relationship is between the gas leak and the two victims who were shot and wounded in the same location. Police haven’t released any information on possible suspects in the shooting or the identities of the victims.
Bath Village Board Passes Resolutions to Initiate BEGWS Rate Increases:
Earlier this week there was a special meeting of the Bath Village Board of Trustees and the Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems Board of Directors at which, the board adopted four resolutions to initiate utility rate increases. They approved Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems to submit a case request to PSC for a Gas and Electric Rate increase, approved the initiation of a public referendum to create a Water Unit Tax for Debt and Capital Payments and a Water Rate Increase Study, and they approved to Amend Bond Resolution of Electrical Upgrade Project from $7.1 million to $7.4 million.
Galleria to Open in Former Ames Building:
The long empty Ames building in Painted Post will soon be vacant no longer. The Victory Highway Galleria of Shops will open at 10 a.m. March 16th. The 60,000-squarefoot Galleria will feature a variety of business under one roof, including: Pookie’s Little Britches, The County Ribbon Café, Nana’s Treasures, Storm Images, Mandi Marie’s Mender Treasures, and a number of vendors.
Local Speller Headed to 4th National Spelling Bee:
The regional spelling bee ended last night with a repeat champion. Sriram Hathwar of the Alternative School for Math and Science in Corning won for the 2nd time in three years, earning himself his fourth trip to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Students from more than 20 school districts in the region competed in the spelling bee and Hathwar beat out his brother for the title. His winning word was mobiliary which is a word used to refer to household furniture.
Watson Creek Road in Lindley, from Route 15 to ¼ mile west, will be closed from Tuesday to Friday, March 15th for structural steel construction.
Billie Joe Ribble Charged:
After several months on the run, 35-year-old Bille Joe Ribble of Bath was officially charged yesterday. Besides being wanted on burglary and grand larceny charges, she was charged with kidnapping following her escape attempt over the weekend where she took a woman and her child hostage. The federal charges announced yesterday carry a minimum of 20 years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison.
Inmates Charged with Fraud:
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Social Services Welfare Fraud Unit is reporting the arrest of two inmates at the Steuben County Jail. 35-year-old Beth Smith and 53-year-old Charles Vann, both formerly of Hornell, were both incarcerated on unrelated charges. Smith was additionally charged with one count of felony welfare fraud in the 4th degree and Vann was additionally charged with one count felony welfare fraud in the 3rd degree and one count of felony grand larceny in the 3rd degree. It’s alleged that Smith received an over payment of over $1,000 and Vann received an over payment over $4,000 from the Department of Social Services. They were remanded back to the county jail without bail.
Semi Crashes into Lamoka Lake Tributary:
Environmental crews remained busy yesterday, working to contain a spill of salt and diesel fuel that occurred on Tuesday when a tractor-trailer crashed into a Lamoka Lake tributary in the Town of Tyrone. According to reports, the semi came down County Route 23 and didn’t stop where the road comes to a “t” in Tyrone. Instead, the driver flipped his semi over a guard rail and into the freezing cold water, spilling a load of salt and the fuel that powered his truck. The driver is said to be okay, but charges are pending because tractor trailers aren’t allowed on County Route 23. Crews laid down special paper to soak up the fuel and placed floating booms in the water; the salt was stored in bags, which crews hope are still mostly intact. Firefighters say they expect the process of getting the semi out of the water will take several days.
Fracking Debate Continues:
New York’s Assembly voted yesterday to suspend any action on allowing gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing until 2015. This vote follows a bill introduced in the Senate, which would put off the decision by Governor Andrew Cuomo for up to two years. Each house is attempting to provide time for the Cuomo administration to consider state, federal, university, and private sector studies; chief among which is the health review in Pennsylvania that will compare data about residents near gas drilling wells before and after the process was allowed.
Town of Bath Releases Public Notice:
The Town of Bath has released a public notice that announces that due to increased costs associated with maintaining Town of Bath roads during the winter months, the town may need to reduce plowing and sanding to some extent. They assure that they will do their utmost to keep roads open for school buses, residents going to and from work, shopping, and social functions. However, it will be up to residents and drivers to use their discretion concerning necessary travel during bad weather. They remind drivers that if you live or work in a rural area, slow down; maintain your vehicle; make sure you have good winter tires; and drive defensively. Also, residents are reminded that when plowing driveways, it is illegal to plow snow into town roads.
Webster Firefighters Go Home:
Two firefighters that were shot and injured on Christmas Eve in Webster were released from the hospital yesterday. Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino had been in the hospital since the Christmas Eve attack. Hofstetter was shot in the pelvis, Scardino in the left shoulder, lung, and right knee. The pair spoke at a news conference yesterday afternoon, saying that they couldn’t have made it through without the support of thousands across the country.
$25M for High-Speed Internet:
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York State will be investing another $25 million to provide high-speed Internet access to rural and urban areas that lack capacity. This will bring the total committed over the past couple years through the Connect NY Broadband Grant Program to $56 million. They money will go to 18 broadband projects that will build about 6,000 square miles of new infrastructure serving 153,000 homes, 8,000 businesses, and 400 community institutions. Each project will also include private sector investment.
Details Emerge in Ribble Arrest:
Details surrounding the arrest of the Bath woman who was formerly a Twin Tiers Most Wanted suspect have now been released. It was previously announced that 35-year-old Billie Joe Ribble was arrested in Pennsylvania last Friday after months of searching. Authorities have now revealed that after her arrest in Mansfield, Ribble escaped again. She reportedly complained of stomach pain due to being pregnant and was taken to a hospital in Wellsboro. There she allegedly assaulted the corrections officer guarding her and escaped after leaping from a third story window, landing on a second story roof, and using a catwalk to reach the ground. She then reportedly entered a home, took a 19-year-old woman and 6-month-old baby hostage at knifepoint and demanded the woman drive her to New York. During the drive, authorities say Ribble used the hostage’s cell phone to arrange to be picked up. She then released the hostage and police were able to trace the call leading them to a home on Decatur Street in Corning where Ribble was found and once again arrested. She was arraigned yesterday as a Fugitive from Justice. The investigation is continuing and further charges and arrests are pending.
Elmira Streets Shut Down after Shooting, Gas Leak:
Elmira homes were evacuated and several city blocks were shut down yesterday after a double shooting and a gas leak occurred. The incident reportedly occurred shortly before noon at a house near the intersection of West Second and Walnut Streets. Authorities initially responded to just the gas leak, but when they arrived they found two gunshot victims. It is believed the leak may have been caused when a gas line was hit by gunfire. A number of homes in the area were evacuated and multiple NYSEG crews responded. The gas lines were shut off and no fire or explosion was reported. A heavily-armed special police unit was on scene for several hours and several streets remained closed until late afternoon. The shooting victims – both men – were being treated an area hospital as of last night. Both are expected to survive.
3 Men Arrested for Hornell Burglary:
After an investigation into the burglary of the Hornell Pizza King, three men from Hornell are now in police custody. Authorities say Garrett Barker, Jason Macool, and Shawn Drake have all been charged with burglary, grand larceny, and possession of burglary tools. Barker and Macool were also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.
NYers Invited to Check for Unclaimed Money:
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has announced that the state is looking to return $12 billion in unclaimed money to its rightful owners. Events will be held across the state this month so that New Yorkers can find out if some of the money is theirs. Residents can also check for unclaimed funds online at: http://www.osc.state.ny.us. The unclaimed funds are from inactive accounts at banks, insurance companies, utilities, and other businesses that are required by state law to surrender the unclaimed money to the state. If the money isn’t claimed, it’s used by the state’s general fund.
Bath of Board of Ed. Meeting Cancelled:
The Bath-Haverling Board of Education Budget Workshop that was scheduled for tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. in the District Office has been cancelled.
Serious Accident in Canisteo:
State Police have reported that there was a serious personal injury accident in Canisteo yesterday morning. Injured was 56-year-old Etta Teribury of Jasper, who is said to be in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital. Details about the accident are not available at this time.
Fire in Howard, Second in 10 Days:
For the second time in ten days, a fire broke out at a home yesterday morning in the Town of Howard. Rob Patrick, chief of the Howard Volunteer Fire Department, said that his department was called to McCheseny Road just after 10 a.m. and that upon arrival they found the house to be a total loss. Steuben County Emergency Services investigators are said to be still investigating the cause. The homeowners were not home at the time of the blaze and no injuries were reported. Back on February 22nd, the Howard Volunteer Fire Department was called out to a structure fire on County Route 27. That residence was also deemed a total loss. The cause of that fire has yet to be determined.
C-PP Considering Frank Pierce Offer:
The Corning-Painted Post Board of Education is said to be considering an offer of $580,000 for one of the five properties it has for sale. The offer comes from locally based CareFirst for the Frank Pierce property in the Town of Campbell. Use of the building was discontinued by the district at the end of the 2012 school year, but the district has maintained it and paid utility bills. If the sale is approved by the board, it will then have to receive the okay from voters. It would be on the May 21st ballot.
NY Senate Passes Child Protection School Bus Bill:
The New York State Senate has passed a bill that would help keep dangerous criminals off school buses. Passed yesterday, the legislation prohibits people convicted of crimes involving children, sexually-based offenses, and drug offenses from being a school bus monitor. Said state officials: “under current law, individuals convicted of certain offenses are permanently or temporarily disqualified from being a school bus driver. However, school bus monitors who routinely ride school buses along with children to protect their safety are not subject to the same restrictions as the drivers. This legislation would subject monitors to the same restrictions and disciplinary standards as the drivers.” The legislation would also prevent individuals convicted of “Leandra’s Law” from driving a school bus. The bill is now on its way to the State Assembly for its consideration.
Informational Meeting About Hydrofracking in Canisteo:
Canisteo will host a fracking informational meeting on March 14th at 6:30 p.m. at the Canisteo Greenwood High School Auditorium. Two notable speakers will be present: a professor of Geo Sciences from Penn State, and professor of Engineering from Cornell University. Each speaker will talk for 45 minutes, followed by a question/answer period.
Steuben Co. Seeking Child Abuse Prevention Nominations:
The Steuben County Task Force for the Prevention of Child Abuse has announced that it is accepting nominations for the 2013 Child Abuse Prevention Award, which will be presented in April as part of activities to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month. Nominations for the annual recognition are being sought from human service agencies, as well as from community individuals and organizations. The deadline for submitting nominations is March 31st and forms are available by calling the Steuben County Youth Bureau or by visiting them online at http://www.steubencony.org/Files/Documents/prevention_award_nomin_2013.pdf. A recipient will be selected by the Task Force and recognized at the April meeting of the Steuben County Legislature.
Walmart Thieves Were Selling Drugs:
Two Rochester women arrested for stealing from the Gang Mills Walmart have now been hit with drug charges. New York State Police report that 25-year-old Alisha Paulk and 26-year-old Sierra Speed were arrested on March 1st for trying to steal from Walmart. During their investigation, authorities found out that Paulk had previously stolen from Walmart and that both women had cocaine packaged for sale, plus marijuana, and other drug related items. Both women were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Paulk was also charged with petit larceny and criminally using drug paraphernalia; and Speed was additionally charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation, no seatbelt, and open alcoholic container in a vehicle. Both are currently being held at the Steuben County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.
Savona Man Facing Multiple Charges Following Break-in:
Bath-based State Police arrested a Savona resident late last week on multiple charges after he allegedly broke into an acquaintance’s apartment and stole a vehicle. Police say 34-year-old Jacob Eygabroat, of Savona violated a court order of protection by breaking into the apartment. He allegedly then sole the estranged acquaintance’s car keys and drove away in the vehicle. Eygabroat was charged with four felonies: 2nd degree burglary, operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .08 with a prior conviction, and driving while intoxicated with a previous conviction in ten years. He was also charged with 4th degree criminal mischief, 2nd degree criminal contempt, unlawful possession of marijuana, a motor vehicle license violation, and 3rd degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He is being held at the county jail on $5,000 cash bail.
Wanted Bath Woman Arrested in P.A.:
A Bath woman wanted for burglary and grand larceny has been arrested in Pennsylvania. The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office reports that 35-year-old Billie Joe Ribble allegedly stole $12,000 worth of property (including weapons) from a residence in the Town of Howard in October and she has eluded law enforcement since her warrant was issued 4 months ago by hiding out in Corning, Schenectady, Albany, and multiple locations in Pennsylvania. She was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police in a Walmart parking lot in Mansfield. The Sheriff’s Department has indicated that Ribble may be a suspect in other incidents.
Sen. Gillibrand Visits Alstom:
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited the Alstom facility in Hornell on Friday. The Senator was there to tour the facility and to announce new legislation – her “Made in America Manufacturing Act.” The legislation would reportedly allow American manufacturers to submit their plans for future developments to the U.S. Commerce and Labor Departments, and, if approved, they would be awarded a $20 million low-interest loan for development and personnel training. During her presentation, the Senator also spoke of the possibility of Hornell Alstom workers, working on a high speed rail for New York State.
Bath Board Ed. Meeting this Week:
The Board of Education of the Bath Central School District will hold a Budget Workshop on Thursday, March 7th at 7 p.m. in the District Office.
Corning/Big Flats Robbery Suspect Arrested:
The man accused of robbing a Corning tanning salon and a Big Flats clothing store was arrested last night after allegedly robbing a CVS Pharmacy in Owego. According to a press release from the Corning Police Department, authorities responded to the CVS on Park Street around 7:40 p.m., just as 62-year-old John Malowsky of Attica was exiting the store. He reportedly menaced police with a knife and fled the area. He was contained nearby and taken into custody after a struggle. Malowsky was positively identified as the person responsible for the Dark Tan and Maurice’s robberies and is expected to be arraigned in Tioga County. He will face additional charges in Chemung and Steuben Counties. Police are still investigating whether or not Malowsky is responsible for other unsolved robberies.
53-year-old Patrick McCaslin of Elmira has been arrested by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office following an investigation into a report of trespassing in the Town of Woodhall. McCaslin was charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree and was issued an appearance ticket. Further charges are pending.
Work Stoppage Avoided at Dresser-Rand:
Thanks to a last minute agreement, Dresser-Rand will avoid a work stoppage. A contract between the company and its 325 union employees was scheduled to expire at midnight last night, but a new tentative contract agreement was reached in time to avoid the deadline. If the agreement is approved by the membership, the new contract would last for three years.
Corning Inc. Acquires Bargoa:
Corning Inc. has announced that it has acquired Bargoa S.A., a leading provider of connectivity solutions for the Brazilian telecommunications sector. According to the company, Bargoa provides a wide range of connectivity solutions in the rapidly growing Brazilian telecommunications marketplace. Its main activities location is in Rio de Janeiro. Terms of the sale have not been disclosed.
Steuben Co. League of Women Voters Sponsors Election Program:
If you’ve ever been interested in running for office in Steuben County, you’ll want to visit San Carlos Mexican Restaurant in Bath on March 6th, as the League of Women Voters of Steuben County is hosting a program entitled “How to Run for Local Office in Steuben County.” The free lunch-time event will begin at noon and is an opportunity for interested parties to learn the ins and outs of running for town, county, and village office. Information will be provided by Steuben County Board of Election Commissioners. Reservations are requested. You can save your seat by calling 569 – 2114.
PA Yankee Theater Bringing “CLUE: The Musical” to Penn Yan:
If you’d like to take in a show this weekend, head to Penn Yan as the Pennsylvania Yankee Theater company of Penn Yan will present “CLUE: The Musical” tomorrow at the Penn Yan Moose Lodge on East Elm Street. Proceeds will benefit the Keuka Comfort Care Home of Penn Yan. The festivities will start at 6:15 p.m. with light appetizers and the show will follow. “CLUE: The Musical” is based, you guessed it, on the popular Parker Brothers board game – Clue – where players, or in this case, dinner theater-goers, try to figure out “who done it.” Tickets are $50 per person and include dinner. Tickets are available at the Keuka Comfort Care Home, Pinckney Hardware, Longs’ Cards and Books, and the Moose Lodge.