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Elmira Telegram

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  1. Area police agencies will increase patrols to combat drunk, impaired, and reckless driving throughout this Memorial Day weekend. According to the New York State Police, the special enforcement period starts on Friday, May 26, 2023, and runs through Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year and police will be out in force to remove impaired and reckless drivers from area highways. Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols by State Police and local law enforcement agencies during this holiday weekend. Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown to more easily identify motorists who are violating the law. CITE vehicles allow the Trooper to better observe driving violations. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) at the University at Albany, 237 people were killed and 4,394 were injured in drunk driving related crashes in 2022. Another 237 people were killed in drug-related crashes. This initiative is partially funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their “Have a Plan” mobile app (http://www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp) is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and a way to even report a suspected impaired driver. On Memorial Day weekend in 2022, Troopers arrested 213 people for driving while impaired, issued 13,688 total tickets, and investigated 808 crashes, which resulted in four fatalities.
  2. On Wednesday afternoon at approximately 3:15 p.m., New York State Police arrested 31 year old Travis S. Fedock of Elmira after a pursuit in Tioga County. According to New York State Police, a state trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop after observing vehicle and traffic violations while in the village of Wavery. Fedock allegedly failed to comply and continued traveling out of the village on State Route 34. Fedock exited the roadway, went airborne and struck a front porch roof of a residence on State Route 34. The vehicle rolled off the roof and ended up on its roof on the front lawn. Fedock took off on foot and was taken into taken into custody by the Trooper. No injuries were reported. Fedock was transported to SP Owego where he was processed and then transported to the Tioga County Jail for Centralized Arraignment and Processing. He was charged with: Reckless Endangerment in the first degree, class “D” felony Fleeing an Officer in a Motor vehicle, misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the fourth degree, misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the seventh degree, misdemeanor
  3. On Wednesday afternoon, a Chemung County Sheriff's deputy on patrol in the Town of Southport noted a large amount of smoke coming from the area of South Main Street near the Southern Tier Logistics building. At the same time, fire companies were being dispatched to the same location for a structure fire and burn victim. The deputy responded immediately to offer assistance to the burn victim as well as responding fire departments. When emergency crews arrived, they found 55 year old Thomas Byrnes in the parking lot with burns described as covering a majority of his body. An employee was with Mr. Byrnes waiting for help to arrive. According to the sheriff's department, Byrnes ran TJ's Ultimate Auto Repair in a separate building from the Logistics property. When emergency crews arrived, Mr. Byrnes was conscious and alert, and was airlifted to a medical burn unit in Syracuse by Guthrie Air. However Mr. Byrnes later died as a result of his injuries. The fire remains under investigation and the sheriff's office is working in conjunction with the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and the Chemung County Fire Coordinator's office to try and determine the cause of the fire. Multiple agencies responded to the fire, including Southport Fire Department, Elmira Fire Department, Webb Mills Fire Department, Elmira Heights Fire Department. In addition to the Chemung County Sheriff's Department, Elmira Police, New York State Police, Erway Ambulance and Guthrie Air Helicopter were on scene.
  4. As spring moves into full bloom, you may encounter young or newborn wild animals. While a baby animal might appear abandoned, it is much more likely that a parent is in the area or the individual is an independent juvenile. Please do not touch a wild baby animal – call your regional DEC office or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator if you are concerned for its well-being. Many wildlife parents leave their young in a safe place, where they instinctively remain quiet and still to avoid detection by predators. The parents return periodically (sometimes only a few times within 24 hours) to feed the young. Fawns, cottontail rabbits, and fledgling birds are the most common species that are mistakenly “rescued” by people thinking that the animals have been abandoned. Unfortunately, this leads to the death of many young animals, as wildlife is difficult to raise in captivity. It is also illegal to rehabilitate or keep wildlife in captivity without a license. Photo courtesy of P. Mercier If you come across a young, wild animal on its own, the best thing to do is leave it where it is and observe from a distance. The parents may not approach their young if they sense you in the vicinity. Additionally, DEC reminds the public that young wildlife are not pets. Keeping wildlife in captivity is illegal and harmful to the animal. Wild animals are not well-suited to life in captivity and may carry diseases that can be harmful to humans. Anyone who observes wildlife that appears to be sick or behaving abnormally should contact their DEC regional wildlife office or a wildlife rehabilitator. You can find a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators as well as more information on young wildlife on the DEC website.
  5. On Monday evening at approximately 7:20pm the Elmira Police Department became aware of an incident that took place at Chapel Park in the Town of Southport in which an individual had displayed a handgun. The Elmira Police Department obtained the vehicle information that the subject with the handgun had fled in. A short time later, the vehicle and suspect were located in the area of Linden Place and Lake Street. Officer’s attempted to conduct a traffic stop with the vehicle on Stephens Place near McKinley Place. At that point the driver immediately fled on foot. While being pursued by uniformed officer’s, the suspect pulled a handgun from his waistband and threw it. He then continued to run and was ultimately taken into custody in the 900 block of Grand Central Ave. The subject was identified as 31-year old Elmira resident Quayshaun Hubbard. Police say Hubbard is currently on NYS Parole for a conviction on a previous charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Hubbard has been charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd Degree (Class C Felony) and is being held pending arraignment in Elmira City Court.
  6. On Sunday evening, Elmira police department reports that officers were dispatched to three separate reports of gunfire in the city in less than thirty minutes. At 7:55 pm, police were called to the area of the 300 block of West Church Street for a man reported to have fired a shotgun outside. Several people were interviewed about the alleged shooting, but no evidence of one was found. Then, at 8:10 pm police were called to the Pine Street area for a report of twelve shots being fired. However police note there was only one caller for this incident, and when they arrived there was no evidence of any gunfire found. At 8:20 pm officers responded to the area of West Hudson and Harmon streets on the Southside for a report of a single gunshot and two individuals seen fleeing the area. When police arrived they interviewed the two people and again, no evidence of a shooting was found. These three incidents are still being investigated as police attempt to identify anyone connected with them. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Elmira Police Department at 607-737-5626 or 607-271-HALT.
  7. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has enabled another long-sought scientific breakthrough, this time for solar system scientists studying the origins of Earth’s abundant water. Using Webb’s NIRSpec (Near-Infrared Spectrograph) instrument, astronomers have confirmed gas – specifically water vapor – around a comet in the main asteroid belt for the first time, indicating that water ice from the primordial solar system can be preserved in that region. However, the successful detection of water comes with a new puzzle: unlike other comets, Comet 238P/Read had no detectable carbon dioxide. More here.
  8. On Friday afternoon at approximately 2:45 PM Elmira Police Department Officers were dispatched to 267 W Chemung Place for a report of a stabbing. When police arrived they located two victims on the front porch of the residence with multiple wounds. Officers developed information that the suspect was still in the residence. Once police were inside they learned that the suspect had retreated to a rear bedroom and was still armed with a knife. Officers were able to successfully negotiate with the suspect who was taken into custody without incident. The victims in this case were both transported to area hospitals and are expected to recover. As a result of this investigation 44 year old Michael G Burchard of Elmira was charged with Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a class B Felony. As of Friday evening Burchard was awaiting arraignment in Elmira City Court. Anyone with further information regarding this incident is asked to please contact the Elmira Police Department at (607)737-5626, or the tip line at (607)271-HALT.
  9. South Carolina Senator Tim Scott has announced he will announce his candidacy for president on Monday.
  10. Former KISS guitarist Ace Freely will be coming to town in October:
  11. Chemung County Executive Chris Moss will be signing both Local Laws No. 3 and No. 4:
  12. The Libertarian candidate has announced she has withdrawn from the race ( resized as best I could 😞
  13. Read the rest of the article here.
  14. Albany, N.Y., May 17—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and the New York State Senate last night at the capital paid tribute to Nancy Kirby, a longstanding advocate and leader for small businesses and entrepreneurship throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, as a 2023 New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction.” Kirby, a native of Elmira, has been an established regional business owner, mentor to numerous small businesses still operating throughout the region, and is the former Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of IncubatorWorks in Painted Post, a leading Southern Tier economic development agency focusing on small business entrepreneurship. She is currently the Town Supervisor in Caton, Steuben County, and also continues as an “Entrepreneur in Residence” at IncubatorWorks. “Nancy Kirby stands tall in the arena of economic development and small business ownership throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions," Senator O'Mara said. "As a longtime small business owner herself and an early mentor to numerous small businesses still thriving throughout the region, Nancy’s deep belief in and lifelong commitment to entrepreneurship has made enduring contributions to the growth, strength, and vitality of local communities and local economies. I am proud to take this opportunity to pay tribute to her achievements, leadership, and unwavering vision, all of which represent the best of what the New York State Senate seeks to honor through our annual ‘Women of Distinction’ recognition. Her lifelong devotion has made an enormous difference. Nancy has been a lifeline and a foundation of support for countless success stories across this region. I am truly pleased this year, on behalf of the 58th Senate District, to be able to extend this well-deserved and well-earned tribute of appreciation and respect.” During her nine-year tenure as the Executive Director and CFO of IncubatorWorks, before her retirement last June, Kirby guided the emergence of this Southern Tier economic development agency into a regional leader in the growth of small business entrepreneurship. Under her direction, influence, and decades of experience as a financial professional, founder of her own accounting firm, and early mentor to small businesses still operating throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, IncubatorWorks developed an impressive array of resources to partner with local industry, academia, and other economic development agencies offering training and support for regional entrepreneurs, with a focus on serving diverse and underserved communities. Kirby credits her own experience as a Contract CFO for clients of the local firm she founded and operated for 26 years, as well as her commitment to volunteerism and mentoring, for the qualities of collaboration, leadership, teamwork, and vision that define her lifelong work and her career at IncubatorWorks. Reflecting on her years at IncubatorWorks, Kirby has said, “Working to support entrepreneurship, in the area I grew up in and had my own business for 26 years, has been a dream come true. Building on my experience as a Contract CFO for so many years in my CPA firm, along with my decades of volunteer experience and mentoring, has been very rewarding.” Kirby represented O’Mara’s 58th Senate District as part of the Senate’s 25th Annual “Women of Distinction” celebration and joined nearly 60 other honorees representing state senatorial districts throughout New York. The 58th District covers all of Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, and Yates counties, and a part of Allegany County (the towns of Alfred, Almond, Amity, Andover, Birdsall, Burns, Grove, Independence, Scio, Ward, Wellsville, and Willing). The Senate's annual recognition program, which began in March to coincide with Women's History Month, allows senators statewide to select one honoree from their respective legislative districts to be celebrated for their significant accomplishments, service, and contributions to the quality of life within and beyond their communities.
  15. This morning at around 09:00am the Elmira Police Department executed a search warrant at a residence on the South Side of Elmira. Police say the search warrant was based on an investigation initiated by the NYS Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. A CyberTip sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provided information that an Elmira resident had uploaded child sexual abuse material to the internet. As a result of this investigation, police arrested 31 year old Nicholas Hopkins of Elmira. Hopkins was charged with one count of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child, a Class D Felony, and held for Elmira City Court arraignment.
  16. Sows in gestation crates at a breeding facility in Waverly, Va. Humane Society of the U.S./Wikimedia Commons, CC BY by David Favre, Michigan State University Should California be able to require higher welfare standards for farm animals raised in other states if products from those animals are to be sold in California? On May 11, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld California’s position by a 5-4 vote in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross. While the ruling was fractured and reflected complex legal questions, it is a major victory for those working to improve farm animal welfare. A number of states will undoubtedly take advantage of the power that the Supreme Court has recognized. As a specialist in animal law, I expect that this will result in a patchwork of laws that are likely to make national meat producers very uncomfortable. Ultimately, it could push Congress to set federal standards. More indoor space for sows Pork producers sued California over a law that the state’s voters adopted in 2018 via ballot initiative with over 63% approval. It set new conditions for raising hogs, veal calves and egg-laying chickens whose meat or eggs are sold in California. The state produces virtually no pork, but represents about 15% of the U.S. pork market. At most commercial hog farms, pregnant sows are kept in pens called gestation crates that measure about 2 feet by 7 feet – enough room for the animals to sit, stand and lie down, but not enough to turn around. California’s law requires that each sow must have at least 24 square feet of floor space – nearly double the amount that most now get. It does not require farmers to raise free-range pigs; just provide more square footage for hogs in buildings. Pork producers in Iowa, which produces about one-third of all hogs raised in the U.S., react to the Supreme Court ruling upholding the California law. The National Pork Producers Council argued that this requirement imposed heavy compliance costs on farmers across the U.S., since large hog farms may house thousands of sows, and that it restricted interstate commerce. The Constitution’s commerce clause delegates authority to regulate interstate commerce to the federal government. In a series of cases over the past 50 years, the Supreme Court has made clear that it will strike down any state law that seeks to control commerce in another state or give preference to in-state commerce. States control farm animal welfare Congress has remained mute on standards for handling farm animals, which are not covered under the 1966 Animal Welfare Act. Consequently, each state regulates this issue within its borders. For example, in recent years, nine states have outlawed housing egg-laying chickens in “battery cages” that have been the industry standard for decades. These wire enclosures are so small that the birds cannot spread their wings. Chickens in battery cages on an Iowa poultry farm. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall And nine states in addition to California have adopted laws requiring pork producers to phase out gestation crates. Massachusetts’ law, like California’s, would also apply to retail sales of pork raised elsewhere, but its enforcement has been on hold pending the Supreme Court’s ruling in the California case. California’s market power The California law says that if producers want to sell pork in California, they must raise pigs under conditions that comply with the state’s regulations. Farmers do not have to meet these standards unless they want to sell in California. The same requirement is applied to producers located in California and those based elsewhere, so the law does not directly discriminate between states in a way that would constitute a clear commerce clause violation. Producers of eggs and veal that sell in California are on track to implement new space requirements for their animals under the law. But instead of working out how to comply, the pork industry sought to have the courts set the California law aside. However, as the Supreme Court noted, major producers, including Hormel and Tyson, have said they will be able to comply with the California standard. Niman Ranch, a network of family farmers and ranchers who raise livestock humanely and sustainably, filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court supporting California. A fractured verdict In rejecting the pork industry’s position, justices in the majority disagreed as to why the California law should be upheld. Some held that pork producers had not proved that the law would substantially interfere with interstate commerce. Others argued that regardless of the degree of interference, it was inappropriate to ask courts to balance compliance costs for the industry against California voters’ moral concerns about animal welfare. “While the Constitution addresses many weighty issues,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority, “the type of pork chops California merchants may sell is not on that list.” Justices Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett largely supported Gorsuch’s opinion. Similarly, dissenting justices differed as to why the California law posed a constitutional problem. Justices John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Ketanji Brown Jackson asserted that the substantial interference requirement had been met, and they would have remanded the case back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Only Justice Brett Kavanaugh held that the California law should be held void because the positive animal welfare outcomes were not substantial enough to overcome the increased cost it imposed on pork producers. Beyond pork Farmers and animal welfare advocates understand that with this win, states with the most progressive animal welfare policies – primarily West Coast and Northeast states – will be able to effectively set national standards for the well-being of many agricultural animals, including chickens, dairy cows and cattle. Conceivably, California might also be able to require basic conditions for human labor, such as minimum wage standards, associated with products sold in California. I expect that within five years, Congress will enact national legislation on farm animal welfare issues that will preempt differing state laws. It is impossible to predict now whether a new national law would improve animal welfare or adopt existing poor welfare practices – but California’s win represents a major victory for advocates who have sought for years to improve conditions for farm animals across the U.S. This is an update of an article originally published October 4, 2022. David Favre is Professor of Law, Michigan State University This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
  17. Elmira’s premier historic family amusement park, Eldridge Park will open for the season on Friday, May 26th beginning at 5:00pm with the annual Riderless Memorial Ride to honor the volunteers who have passed. The attractions will be open weekends through Labor Day. Hours of operation include Friday 5:00-9:00, Saturday 12:00-9:00 and Sunday 12:00-8:00, weekday Holidays 12:00-8:00, and later in June will add Thursdays 5:00-9:00. “We are excited to bring some new events to the park this year as well as build new partnerships. On Saturday 5/27/23 we are partnering with Chemung Valley Railway Historical Society and CAFUSA to bring Train Day to the park. This event will celebrate the impact that the railroad industry has had in Elmira.” said Executive Director Beth Clark in a press release. The concert series kicks off with Elmira’s own legendary Sgro Brothers Band on Sunday 5/28/23 from 5:00-7:00. For 70 years the Sgro Brothers have traveled the world entertaining the masses with their harmonicas, including performances on the Ed Sullivan Show, The Grand Ole Opry, and even at the White House for President George W. Bush. Attractions will also be open on Monday 5/29/23 from 12:00-8:00. Family Fun Thursdays return on June 29th with Superhero Training Academy. Car shows start on Thursday June 24th. The Fireworks event in partnership with 7 Mountains Media as “Party in the Park” will be moving back to July on Saturday July 1st. In addition to themed days such as Train Day, you can also look forward to a Fantasy Day on Saturday July 22nd as Circus Siren Mermaids will be swimming back to the midway! The park is also partnering with Music Depot again to bring Rock the Park music festival to the stage on Saturday August 26th, an all-day music festival from 12:00 to 9:00. There are venue spaces available for party rentals including The Dance Hall, The Lakeside Building, Corporate Pavilion, and Creekside Pavilion. For more information, visit the park's website at www.eldridgepark.org or call 607-732-8440.
  18. Four people are running for a seat on the Elmira City School Board this year. From the district website:
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