Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Obituary: Dawn I. Snyder, 64, Olean

Dawn I. Snyder: Loving Mother, Grandmother, Companion
Dawn I. Snyder, 64,
 of 1153 East Windfall Road, Olean, passed away Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at home after a courageous battle with cancer. Born on July 11, 1955, in Salamanca, she was a daughter of Victor and Pauline Bliton Snyder. She attended Ten Broeck Academy of Franklinville Central School.
She was a Lead Quality Control Inspector at Stauffer’s Biscuit Company of Cuba for the last 21 years, prior to retirement.  Dawn enjoyed fishing, playing the slots, bingo, crocheting, bird watching, but most of all cherished spending time with her children and grandchildren. 
She is survived by her longtime loving companion, John A. Robinson of Olean; three daughters, Kathleen (Reggie) Brown of Cuba, Vickie (Joseph) Kenyon of Alfred, Jolynn (Wayne) Krygier of Cuba; her grandchildren, Cody, Tyler, Antoine, Joseph II, Josiah, Isiah, Angel, Wayne Jr., and Dustin; the great grandchildren; a brother, Dennis (Lori) Snyder of Franklinville; five sisters, Connie (Charles) Shelley of Franklinville, Kim Newhand of Freedom, Debbie (Jeff) Howard of Cuba, Paula (Robert) Secrist of Rushford, Linda (Donald) Kellogg of Huntersville, Alabama; Several Nieces and Nephews and her beloved dog Cutie. In addition to her parents she was predeceased by a brother Odell “Spike” Snyder. Once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted there will be a Celebration of Life service held at the Mark F. Rinker Funeral Home & Memorial Service, Inc., Cuba on a day and time to be announced. Arrangements are under direction of the Mark F. Rinker Funeral Home & Memorial Service, Inc., Cuba.

Genesee Valley: A Case Study in Resilience: How a Rural School Responded to COVID-19

A Case Study in Resilience: How A Rural School Responded to COVID-19

It’s often been said that times of crisis bring out the best (or worst) in someone. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly put this adage to the test, stretching us to our very limits, testing our capabilities, flexibility, creativity and patience.  For public schools, COVID-19 has tested the mettle of administrators, the fortitude of faculty and staff, and the creativity of communities in facing a challenge unlike any they have encountered before.
Genesee Valley Central School, along with other schools across the state and nation, revamped operations and instruction in the wake of the coronavirus. In a quickly evolving situation, this rural western New York State school of approximately 600 students (PreK-12) crafted a plan to remotely engage students, families, faculty and staff in order to keep the educational process going and to ensure that the essential needs of families were met. 

Revamping Instruction in a Moment’s Notice

For educators who’ve spent their entire careers teaching face-to-face, the challenge of adjusting methodologies and practices to distance learning was daunting. Genesee Valley’s teachers, along with peers across the country, didn’t have weeks or months to get up to speed—they had mere days.  Dr. Brian Schmitt, Superintendent of Genesee Valley, encouraged teachers to focus on the relationships and primary needs of families. “We immediately developed a meal, technology and school supply delivery plan and tested the myriad of ways we communicate with families,” said Schmitt.  “Our main focus is always to support the students, families, staff and community.”Kellie Schmidt, now in her eighteenth year teaching at Genesee Valley, was faced with retooling her second-grade class for virtual instruction—and fast. The solution: Facebook. “Facebook allows me to post lesson plans and worksheets, links to educational sites and videos,” said Schmidt. “It’s the closest thing we have now to a classroom.” Schmidt’s second grade private Facebook group has 52 members and sees an average of 25 posts per day. The group includes videos of Mrs. Schmidt reading students a bedtime story, pictures of proud students holding up their completed work for all to see, and parents sharing resources and words of encouragement with each other. Social Studies teacher Donna Slawson had little trouble adapting to an online learning environment. “My students have been using our online learning platform (Microsoft Teams) all year, so we made the transition to remote learning quite well,” commented Slawson. She’s up early each morning posting assignments by 7:00 a.m. and spends her school days chatting online with students, answering questions and clarifying expectations. “My students enjoy setting their own schedule, working at their own pace, and having the ability to reach me at their convenience,” said Slawson. “These students are learning such great lessons about time management and have such an intrinsic motivation to learn.”  

Technology Limitations and Solutions
Reliable access to technology and the Internet is paramount in online learning. In a region where upwards of twenty percent (20%) of district residents do not have access to high speed Internet, Genesee Valley ensured that all had equal access to learning resources by meeting students’ most basic technological needs. The school loaned out 180 iPads to students who needed access to a device for instruction. In addition, Genesee Valley worked with local libraries, village offices, and other community organizations to provide access to free Wi-Fi for families without internet service. 

Some teachers navigated the path from in-person to virtual instruction quite adeptly, while others faced a steep learning curve. Enter Lindsay Simpson, Genesee Valley’s Technology Integration Specialist. Simpson supports faculty and students in all grade levels by coordinating online platforms, hosting training sessions, troubleshooting problems, brainstorming solutions, and creating resources to coach students and teachers in online etiquette and expectations.
“There was a huge learning curve for many teachers to learn the online platforms,” said Simpson. She and designated technology liaisons at Genesee Valley held an all-day training session for teachers on the Friday before the shutdown, and by the following Monday, many had already begun setting up and implementing their virtual learning environments. “Not only did our staff immediately start working hard to learn—they haven't stopped yet! Their creativity is amazing and the way they are working to try and create meaningful and fun activities for the home makes me proud to be at Genesee Valley through this crazy world-wide event. To say I have been impressed with their response would be a significant understatement. I am in awe of them!”
Combating Food Scarcity During a Time of Crisis
In many communities, public schools function not only as a provider of education, but also a critical resource for basic needs, including medical, dental, mental health, food and nutrition. In a high needs district such as Genesee Valley, food scarcity is a real and daily concern, with fifty-three percent of students qualifying for the free or reduced lunch program through the NYS Department of Education. (Under the Community Eligibility Provision, 69% of Genesee Valley students qualify for free meals.)
The cafeteria staff, led by food service manager Kelli Zenoski, sprang into action immediately, devising a plan for providing daily meals for every student qualifying for free and reduced lunch. “With help from teacher's aides and bus drivers, we are sending out approximately 800 meals a day to Genesee Valley families.”
“The response from our students and parents has been beyond amazing,” said Zenoski. “The smiles and even tears when meals are dropped off makes our efforts so worthwhile. We are humbled by the response so far. It is so rewarding to know that we have helped out our school and community.” 

Maintaining Community While in Isolation
The mandated school closure, coupled with constant reminders about social distancing coming from all sides, is challenging for students and families.  Students who are used to the social interaction inherent in a typical school day are coming to grips with a surprisingly reality: they miss school. “Many of our older students actually miss school,” commented Simpson. “They miss their classmates, they miss their clubs, they miss athletics and… (gasp!) they even miss their teachers!”

To continue the tight knit sense of community found at a small school like Genesee Valley, faculty have created structures and routines to keep students connected. Slawson hosts two virtual lunchtime gatherings each day for middle and high school students. “We use the time to talk about what we watched on Netflix over the weekend, silly videos, even what everyone is eating – anything to help us feel connected to each other now that we aren’t in school.” 

Kellie Schmidt and her co-teacher Melissa Shafer reach out to their students personally to keep the lines of communication open. “Mrs. Shafer and I call each of our students,” said Schmidt. “From there, the students take over—they start calling us! Their parents text us, call, and post to our Facebook page continuously. They never hesitate to contact us for advice and to provide suggestions and ideas of their own that they would like to share.” 

Facing Uncertainty with Resolve
While students and teachers have adapted their instruction and have settled in to a new routine for the school day, questions still linger. “On top of trying to understand what is happening in the world,” said Simpson, “students have been asking really practical questions like ‘will we have a senior prom?’ ‘Will we be able to cross the stage for graduation?’ ‘If there are no Regents Exams, will that affect my ability to graduate?’ ‘Will I have to re-take classes or double-up on classes or tests to catch up?’” 

At Genesee Valley, the character word for the month of March is “resilience” and it’s exactly that trait that permeates the very fabric of the district.  “I’m so proud of our faculty, staff and community” said Superintendent Schmitt.  “Everyone continues to demonstrate patience, flexibility and a desire to do what is best for students.  It gives me great hope for our future!”
“What has amazed me most about this experience,” said Slawson, “is how everyone in the Genesee Valley community came together.  I see students supporting each other–responding to questions, motivating each other. I see other teachers lifting each other up and learning from each other, and our support staff feeding and delivering items to students each and every day. The presence of our community members online, participating in conversations, and sharing ideas has been inspiring.  If nothing else, this crisis has shown what can be done when a whole community works towards one goal–I hope that it continues long after things have returned to normal.”
Jeff Babbitt
Marketing, Brand & Communications Coordinator
Genesee Valley Central School

UPDATE: Steuben Confirms 36 Cases of COVID-19

BATH – The Steuben County Public Health Department reports it received notification that six additional Steuben County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 36 confirmed cases.  The individuals are residents of:
·         City of Hornell (2)
·         Town of Hornellsville
·         Town of Urbana (2)
·         Village of Bath
Two of the individuals are currently hospitalized, bringing the total number of Steuben County case hospitalizations to 11.  Since the last release, a previously reported individual has been hospitalized.
Cases have been reported from both Hornell Gardens and the Fred & Harriett Taylor Health Center.  The facilities are aware and are taking precautions to limit spread and exposure risks.
The other individuals are currently being isolated and monitored by the County Health Department.   Public Health staff investigated and is identifying close contacts of the confirmed cases and any exposure risks.  All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified. 
The investigations indicate the individuals followed Public Health protocols, limiting known public exposure risks.
All residents should continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill. 

03-31-20 Updated Statistics & Recovery Message - Allegany County Press Release

Press Release
March 31, 2020
Allegany County Updated Statistics and Recovery
The Allegany County Department of Health would like you to know that the 107 people released from isolation or quarantine includes some of our positive cases and other sick individuals who have recovered and are well. “People are recovering from COVID-19. They would not be released by our office without guidance from the New York State Department of Health confirming that they are well and not contagious any longer,” said Tyler Shaw, Deputy Public Health Director. “Once released, they are free to go out, but they should still be practicing social distancing and staying at home as much as possible, like everyone else,” he said.
Allegany County’s statistics as of 3:30 p.m. on March 31, 2020, are as follows:
Confirmed Cases: 10
COVID-19 Related Deaths: 1
Total Quarantined/Isolated to Date: 160
Released from Quarantine/Isolation: 107
Currently Quarantined/Isolated: 53
For additional COVID-19 questions and information:
Call: 585-268-9700 (Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Weekends: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
Call: 585-268-9250 (Health Department)
Facebook: Allegany County, NY, Government & Allegany County Department of Health
COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline: 844-863-9314
Allegany County Crisis Hotline: 888-448-3367

Allegany County newest K9 member - named after slain Trooper Nicholas F. Clark

Today, the newest member of the New York State Police K9, Nicki, was introduced. Nicki was named after Trooper Nicholas F. Clark who was killed in the line of duty on July 2, 2018.  Nicki will be serving the public in the Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties.  Nicki is Trooper Dean Nolte’s third narcotic canine partner. 

A New York State Trooper was shot and killed July 2, 2018 by a Steuben County school principal. Dead is Trooper Nicholas F. Clark, 29, from Canisteo. Trooper Clark responded to a suicidal man on Welch Road in the Town of Erwin. The man was distraught following a domestic dispute. Upon arrival, Trooper Clark was shot and fatally injured by Steven Kiley, 43. The shooter barricaded himself in him home and eventually shot and killed himself. State Police said Kiley was the principal at Bradford Central School in Steuben County. Trooper Clark had been assigned to the Bath barracks. The slain trooper graduated from Canisteo-Greenwood school, from Alfred University in 2011 and the State Police Academy in 2015. He is survived by his mother, an Alfred University accounting professor, his father and a brother.

Allegany County Board of Elections Public Announcement

Please follow us here at this site or on our webpage at:
Facebook: Allegany County Board of Elections (be sure its NY not Maryland)

As always if you have any questions or concerns regarding your voter registrations status or questions about an upcoming election please feel free to call our office at 585-268-9295 or 9294. You can also email us at: or

Obituary: Samantha Teagan Hennessy, 21, Wellsville

Samantha Teagan Hennessy, 21, of Wellsville, NY, died Thursday, March 26, 2020.She was born September 15, 1998 in Wellsville the daughter of Thomas J. and Kendra (Roberts) Hennessy. Sammy was a 2016 graduate of Wellsville Central School and attended Alfred State College. She was formerly employed at the Texas Hot, Sidelines in Bolivar, the Wellsville Country Club, and Jones Memorial Hospital. She was a substitute teacher at Wellsville and Scio Central Schools, and at the time of her death she was the bar manager at the Field House in Wellsville. She talked fondly of all her “regulars” at her many jobs.
Sammy Tea enjoyed painting, “muddin’” and loved her many friends. Her favorite thing to do was to make everyone around her laugh; whether, it was through a made-up song, a silly voice or a goofy outburst. She radiated light and happiness to anyone she met. Samantha genuinely cared about people and their stories. She was a hard worker and had a servant’s heart. Although she worked many jobs, her primary focus was on kids. Sam babysat many area children and truly cared for each and every one of them.
Surviving in addition to her parents are two sisters, Sarah and Shea Hennessy, maternal grandfather, Kenneth E. (Judy) Roberts Jr., maternal grandmother, Joyce (David) Knox, and several beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was predeceased by her paternal grandparents, John J. and Mary Lou Hennessy, an uncle, Tyler Roberts, and an infant cousin, Ronan Smullin.
She leaves behind many friends who loved and cared for her.
A private service for immediate family will take place at the discretion of the family, a public memorial service is being planned for a later date. To leave online condolences, please visit

Bradford Regional/Olean General COVID-19 update

Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital today released the following updates and reminders regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic:

Temporary tents were placed outside the emergency departments at Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital today. Once operational next week, the tents will be used to quick triage patients in an effort to unburden the hospitals’ emergency departments. The tents will not be used as COVID testing sites. “In anticipation of high patient surge, we are proactively erecting the tents outside the emergency departments to improve efficiency and better care for our patients,” Jeff Zewe, RN, president, chief executive officer, Upper Allegheny Health System, BRMC, OGH, said.

CONFIRMED CASES – The Cattaraugus County Department of Healthy confirmed six positive COVID-19 cases. The McKean County Department of Health reported its first positive case over the weekend. The lack of testing kits throughout the U.S. continues to be an issue and therefore, the lack of confirmed cases probably isn’t a true measure of COVID-19 activity in our communities. Therefore, it is important for our patients and residents to practice social distancing, staying home unless necessary, practicing good hand hygiene, etc., to prevent the spread of this virus, according to William Mills, MD, vice president, quality and medical affairs, UAHS.

SUPPLY NEEDSWe have an adequate supply of ventilators for both hospitals for our current volumes.  Like all hospitals nationwide, we are challenged relative to acquisition of PPE and are competing with hospitals worldwide.   That said, we have an adequate supply of PPE for our current volume.  We don’t however have a stockpile.  We are asking staff to conserve PPE.  If we burn through supplies, even before we see a surge, we risk being in real trouble should we start seeing a stream of new COVID-19 patients.  We believe that in the coming days and weeks, inventories of PPE will become more available given the governor’s plan to centrally control and distribute PPE. We are awaiting a new supply of PPE including 1,000 locally made face shields, Jeff Zewe, RN, president, chief executive officer, UAHS, said.

SURGE PLAN – Reacting to New York state Gov. Cuomo’s call to expand hospital bed capacity statewide, our facilities staff has done an amazing job. New York state hospitals were asked to increase bed capacity in preparation for a patient surge by 50 percent. While no formal request was submitted by Pennsylvania, we decided to be proactive and plan for additional surge at BRMC as well. Again, we are aware of the governor’s statements about cooperation between providers across the state.  Yes, he suggested patients and/or staff could potentially move to and from hospitals across the state as the surge moves. However, at this point, we have received no directives nor have we received any information suggesting that patients will be coming to Olean from downstate.  At this point, we continue to plan for surge to address local needs, according to Zewe.

TELEMED APPOINTMENTS – The  hospitals’ primary care practices at Foothills Medical Group, Omega Family Medicine and Bradford Regional Medical Services are offering phone and telemedicine appointments to patients who prefer to stay home during the pandemic. Patients interested in an alternative appointment should contact their primary care provider. Please note that not all appointments can be done via phone/telemedicine. Please contact your provider for more information.  Offering this alternate way to see your provider is our response to support social distancing, Zewe said.

ON  A POSITIVE NOTE – Our community has shown our hospitals a lot of love and kindness through this pandemic. Groups are making homemade face masks and donating PPE, people have had food delivered from area restaurants to our front line staff and local companies are producing face shields on 3-D printers.

COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND – The Olean General Hopsital Foundation has established the COVID-19 Response Fund which will be used to directly suppor t the front line staff as the hospital faces this pandemic. They are also accepting donations of PPE for hospital use. For more information, call the foundation at 716/375-7445.
STAY AT HOME - The New York and Pennsylvania governors have issued business and school closings in an effort to keep people at home. It really is an important step to help slow the spread of the illness. Medical staff are working tirelessly to prepare and care for patients. Taking preventative measures are vital to help healthcare facilities manage patient care during this pandemic. We know these restrictions can be emotionally and financially frustrating but it's important to do your part to keep you, your family, your friends, and your neighbors safe and healthy.

TESTING - For testing information, please call your healthcare provider. DO NOT CALL THE HOSPITAL OR COME TO THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT OR PHYSICIAN OFFICE PRACTICES. Communications have been sent to healthcare providers regarding testing guidelines. Healthcare providers will need to determine whether or not the individual needs to be tested. If the healthcare provider approves someone for testing, the provider (not the individual) will contact the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. Finally, the individual will be notified by the DOH if he or she should be tested and/or quarantined at home.

VISITATION POLICY -  OGH and BRMC have suspended all visitation at the hospitals and The Pavilion.

SCREENING UPON ENTRANCE – We continue to screen all individuals that enter our facilities. We started screening employees on March 23.

IF YOU ARE SICK - Avoid contact with others; stay home when you are sick. If you have a fever (100.4 degrees F/38 degrees C  or higher), cough, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms. They will instruct you on how to proceed. If your symptoms are severe, such as difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, pain/pressure in the chest, please call the emergency room in advance. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.

CORONAVIRUS PLANNING – Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital have established an organization-wide coronavirus steering committee and command center operation to address this pandemic. The group has been coordinating emergency preparedness, response efforts, as well as daily communication with state and county agencies. Those efforts continue around the clock in the health system.

Note: Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center will not share personal information about patients tested, treated or admitted for COVID-19 in order to protect their privacy as required by federal law.

Obituary: Robert G. “Bob” Yager, 72, Wellsville

Robert G. “Bob” Yager, 72, of Wellsville, NY, died Sunday, March 29, 2020 in Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, NY. Born January 20, 1948, of Darien Center, he was the son of Stephan and Virginia Baumgartner Yager. A graduate of Alden High School, he earned a degree in automotive repair from Alfred State College, Wellsville campus.
On August 30, 1969, in Buffalo, he married the former Julia Ann Krzyanowski, who survives. After graduating from Alfred State, he worked for Wellsville Auto Parts and then worked for D&J Body Shop for over 20 years.  He taught at Alfred State College for nine years.  During that time, he opened Robert Yager Repair Service in Wellsville for over 30 years until his death.
Bob was a former member of the Wellsville Lion Club and enjoyed participating in the Wellsville Minstrel Show. He was a member of the Bolivar Horseshoe Club and loved hosting pig roasts for his family and supporting the state troopers. In retirement, Bob’s world revolved around spending time with his grandson, working in his shop building and repairing, gardening, and woodworking.
Surviving besides his wife of over 50 years, Julia, are: two daughters Denise E. Yager (Larry) Knoll of Darien Center and Karena (Shivell) Yager of Cornelius, NC; a grandson, Caleb; former son-in-law, David Shivell; several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by three siblings Ronald Yager, Raymond Yager, and Geraldine Yager Ferrar.
Honoring his wishes, there will be no service.  Burial and a gathering to celebrate Bob’s life will be determined at a later date. Cremation will be at Olney-Foust Crematory. 
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Medical Transport Service (MTS), P.O. Box 586, Wellsville, NY. Arrangements are under the direction of Mulholland-Crowell Funeral Home, Wellsville, NY.  Online condolences may be expressed at

Steuben Confirms Two Additional Positive Cases of COVID-19

BATH – The Steuben County Public Health Department reports it received notification that two additional Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 30 confirmed cases. 
One individual is a resident of the Town of Canisteo; however the individual has been residing in Florida.  The individual was tested in Florida and will remain in Florida, so no known public exposure risks occurred in Steuben County.
The other individual is a resident of the City of Hornell and started self-quarantine at home before symptoms began.  Public Health staff investigated, identified and notified close contacts of the case. No known public expose risks occurred.  The individual is currently hospitalized, bringing the total number of Steuben County case hospitalizations to eight.
All residents should continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill. 
For the latest Steuben County updates, visit Steuben County’s website at or social media pages: and

Wellsville - Jones Memorial Hospital begins new precautions for COVID-19

WELLSVILLE, NY (March 31, 2020) – Beginning Tuesday, March 31 at 7 p.m., all Jones Memorial Hospital staff will be wearing a facemask as universal masking is implemented at the hospital and the Jones Memorial Medical Practices. This is in conjunction with new UR Medicine and Rochester Regional guidelines
The move to universal masking comes as the number of cases of COVID-19 in the region is showing a slow but steady rise since the first case was reported on March 12. “Universal masking is a preventative strategy we can take to keep our healthcare workers safe and to slow down the increase in positive cases,” said Dr. Kevin McCormick, Medical Director at Jones Memorial. “Because the virus spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets, by masking our entire workforce we are reducing the risk of exposure among our staff, patients, and our family and friends in the community.”
Patients who are COVID-19 positive or show symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to wear a mask. Find the latest updates on our website:

NY State Police Blotter

3/30/20 10:26pm- After investigating a domestic dispute in the Village of Almond, State Police arrested Christy L. Graham, 42, of Belmont. She was charged with second-degree criminal contempt for allegedly violating a court order. Court action is pending.

New York delays plastic bag ban until May 15th

From the Department of Environmental Conservation:
As of 3/1/20, the new plastic bag legislation took effect. However, pursuant to an Order signed in NYS Supreme Court, Albany County on 3/16/20, DEC agreed to take no enforcement action until 5/15/20.
This does not affect the local laws in New York City, Suffolk County and Tompkins County requiring that the 5-cent paper carryout bag reduction fee must be charged on paper carryout bags.

Andover DPW looking for missing safety equipment

Photo from Facebook

From Matthew Zengerle, Supervisor, Andover DPW:

The reflective delineators have been removed on the curve of Rochambue Avenue and Dyke road in the village of Andover. These were placed on the  curve for public safety. If anyone has seen these could you please return to the Andover DPW?

Cattaraugus County Emergency Services makes public request

From Cattaraugus County:
We are in desperate need of an electrostatic sprayer. (Not a garden or paint sprayer, must be electrostatic.) We use it for spraying non-toxic disinfectant in our first response vehicles (ambulances, etc.). After spraying 70+ vehicles, both of ours have stopped working, there was a manufacturer's defect in the models we had and the lead time on warranty replacements is loooonnnngggg. We are on lists to get new ones but there is no hope of shipment in less than 8 weeks and we need one ASAP. This item is critical in keeping our first responders safe.
If you know anyone that has one that we could use or buy, please have them contact us by calling (716) 938-9119, ask for Mike. Thank you!

Downstate NY: Judicial Commission says Sullivan County Judge should be removed from office

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has determined that Michael F. McGuire, a Judge of the County and Surrogate’s Courts, an Acting Judge of the Family Court and an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, Sullivan County, should be removed from office for engaging in numerous acts of misconduct. The Commission found he:


The Totality of the Misconduct
In determining to remove Judge McGuire from office, the Commission concluded that “given the seriousness and breadth of [the judge’s] misconduct as well as his lack of candor, we believe that [Judge McGuire] should be removed from the bench.” The Commission found the judge’s “repeated abuse” of the summary contempt power and his representation of clients while a full-time judge, met “the standard of ‘truly egregious’ conduct for which his removal is warranted.”
Judge McGuire has served as a Judge of the County and Surrogate’s Courts and an Acting Judge of the Family Court, Sullivan County since 2011. His current term expires on December 31, 2020.
Statement by Commission Administrator
Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian made the following statement. “The breadth of Judge McGuire’s misconduct is stunning. He wrongfully ordered people to jail and handcuffed Family Court litigants; often berated and yelled at court staff and litigants; presided in matters despite having a disqualifying conflict; impermissibly practiced law and used court staff to assist him; and otherwise misused court staff. He compounded it all with untruthful testimony during the Commission’s proceedings. Such egregious misconduct warrants removal from judicial office.”
The Commission Proceedings
Judge McGuire was served with a Formal Written Complaint dated August 27, 2018, containing thirteen charges, and filed an answer dated October 11, 2018. The Commission designated Mark S. Arisohn, Esq. as referee to hear and report proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. A hearing was held on May 6-9, 13-17, and 20-22, 2019 in New York City. The referee filed a report dated November 5, 2019.
Counsel to the Commission submitted a brief with respect to the referee’s report and the issue of sanction. The Commission recommended that the referee’s findings and conclusions be confirmed. The judge relied on briefs submitted to the referee. Counsel to the Commission argued that the judge be removed from office.
The judge’s counsel argued that the sanction of censure was appropriate. On January 23, 2020, the Commission heard oral argument.
The Commission Determination
The Commission filed a determination dated March 18, 2020, in which nine members concurred: Paul B. Harding, Esq. (the Vice Chair), Jodie Corngold, Judge John A. Falk, Taa Grays, Esq., Judge Leslie G. Leach, Judge Angela M. Mazzarelli, Judge Robert J. Miller, Marvin Ray Raskin, Esq., and Akosua Garcia Yeboah. One member, Joseph W. Belluck, Esq. (the Commission Chair) was not present. There is currently one vacancy on the 11-member Commission.
Court of Appeals Review
The Commission transmitted its determination on March 18, 2020, to the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, pursuant to Judiciary Law Section 44, subdivision 7. The Court notified the Commission on March 25, 2020, that Judge McGuire had received it. Consequently, the matter is now public. A judge may either accept the Commission’s determination or, within 30 days from receipt, make a written request to the Chief Judge for a review of the determination by the Court of Appeals.
Pursuant to Judiciary Law Section 44, subdivision 7, if Judge McGuire does not request review by the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals will remove him in accordance with the determination.
If a Commission determination is reviewed by the Court of Appeals, the Court may accept the determined sanction, impose a different sanction including admonition, censure or removal, or impose no sanction.
Background Information on Judge McGuire
First took office (Family Court): 2011
Current term expires: December 31, 2020
Year Admitted to NYS Bar: 2002
Salary: $210,161

Partial Obituary: Samantha T. Hennessy, 21, Wellsville

WELLSVILLE - Samantha T. Hennessy, 21, of 2376 River Road, died Thursday (March 26, 2020). Arrangements are under the direction of the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. A complete obituary will be published once arrangements are finalized.

Death of National Guardsman From COVID-19

A New Jersey Army National Guardsman passed away on Saturday. The individual had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been hospitalized since March 21.
"Today is a sad day for the Department of Defense as we have lost our first American service member – active, reserve or Guard – to Coronavirus," said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. "This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community. The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19."
Starting in January the Department of Defense has adopted dramatic mitigation measures to protect service members, civilian employees, contractors and their families from Coronavirus. These include mandating social distancing, termination of certain work and training activities and providing testing and care for our community members.

PA: Galeton man charged with strangulation, released on $50K unsecured bail - corrected

Coudersport-based State Police report the arrest of Devan James Campbell, 32, of Galeton. He was charged with felony strangulation, misdemeanor simple assault and the summary offense of harassment with physical contact. Arraigned in District Court at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Campbell was released on $50,000 unsecured bail. The judge set a preliminary hearing for April 20th.

Allegany County COVID-19 Local Government Recovery

For Release: Immediately
Contact: Jeffrey Luckey, Emergency Management & Fire Director
Phone: 585-268-5290
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Recovery has asked us to conduct outreach to you regarding the start of applicant briefings for the COVID-19 Response under the Major Disaster Declaration FEMA-4480-DR issued for the State of New York by President Trump on 20 MAR 2020.
On April 2, 2020, FEMA Recovery will begin holding applicant briefings for Region 5 WNY via WebEx. The Applicants Briefs provide eligible applicants with the information needed to: (a) participate in the disaster as Public Assistance applicants; and (b) submit for reimbursement for FEMA-eligible expenditures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 virus. To register for one of the applicant briefings, please click on the registration link next to your preferred date and time. Once you register for the applicant briefing, you will receive a confirmation with the teleconference login as well as the WebEx login. You will also receive a confirmation email with this information. The duration of the WebEx should be approximately 1 hour.
April 2, 2020
9:00 AM EST
April 2, 2020
1:00 PM EST
April 2, 2020
6:00 PM EST
 We are asking that you help us notify all potential eligible applicants within your county of the scheduled Applicants Briefs so they can attend and learn what is needed to get reimbursement for FEMA-eligible COVID-19 expenses. Potential eligible applicants include the following:
(1)    Local governments,  County, Town, Village, Fire/EMS and special districts;
Due to the number of potential applicants in this event, we strongly encourage you to disseminate this information by the widest means possible.  Please do not hesitate to contact DHSES Recovery should you have any questions.

Steuben: Legislative meetings through April 19 open to public through teleconference

BATH – Due to restrictions on the public entering the Steuben County Office Building during the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public and the media are encouraged to listen to the proceedings of the following Steuben legislative committees:
  • • 9 a.m. Wednesday (Apr. 1) Human Services, Health and Education.
  • • 9:30 a.m. Wednesday (Apr. 1) Agriculture, Industry and Planning.
Access to those meeting is available only to the media and public through the call-in number at 1 (408) 418-9388. Callers will be required to follow the prompts and use the access code 713 684 354. Please note – a special Administration Committee meeting set for 10 a.m. Wednesday will be called in executive session and closed to the media and public. The Steuben County Land Bank Corporation meeting slated for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday has been cancelled. The following committees are slated for
  • • 9 a.m. Monday (Apr. 6) Public Safety and Corrections Committee
  • • 10 a.m. Monday (Apr. 6) Public Works Committee
Access to those meeting is available to the media and public through the call-in number at 1 (408) 418-9388. Callers will be required to follow the prompts and use the access code 715 191 599.

Monday, March 30, 2020

ACCORD'S Business Center is here to help


DEC Announces 2019-20 Deer Harvest Estimates

Hunters in New York harvested an estimated 224,190 deer during the 2019-20 hunting seasons, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.
"Regulated hunting benefits all New Yorkers by reducing the negative impacts of deer on forests, communities, and crop producers, while also providing more than 10 million pounds of high quality, local protein to families and food pantries around the state every year," said Commissioner Seggos.
The 2019 estimated deer take includes 103,787 antlerless deer and 120,403 antlered bucks. Statewide, this represents a nine percent decrease in antlerless harvest and a six percent increase in buck harvest from the last season. Regionally, hunters took 30,236 deer in the Northern Zone and 193,954 deer in the Southern Zone.
Across the state, hunters continued to voluntarily pass up young bucks. The portion of yearlings (1.5 years old) in the adult buck harvest dropped to 37 percent, the lowest level ever, and for the first time, the harvest of 2.5-year-old bucks (41 percent) exceeded that of yearling bucks, demonstrating that New York hunters are adhering to the DEC campaign, Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow.
In addition, the 2019 season proved favorable for bowhunters, as take during the bowhunting season increased 18 percent from 2018. Deer take during the regular and muzzleloader seasons both dropped about six percent.
DEC's 2019 Deer Harvest Summary report (PDF, 7 MB) provides tables, charts, and maps detailing the deer harvest around the state that can be found on DEC's website. Past harvest summaries are also available on DEC's website.
2019 Deer Harvest Summary & Comparison
 2019 Total2018 TotalChange (2018 to 2019)Previous 5-Year Average (2014-2018)
Total Take224,190227,787-1.6%217,184
Adult Male120,403113,3856.2%107,274
Adult Female82,17680,5842.0%78,410
Deer Management Permits Issued624,612618,1861.0%624,525
Deer Management Permit Take81,13489,639-9.5%84,575
Deer Management Assistance Program Take8,2579,004-8.3%10,115
Youth Hunt1,1481,02512.0%1,105
Harvest Reporting Rate52.3%51.4% 46.3%
% Older Bucks (≥2.5 years) in Harvest62.6%58.8% 53.5%
* Values for Muzzleloader and Bow Season Take include deer taken on Bow/Muzz tags and DMPs.

Notable Numbers

  • 14.4 and 0.6 --- number of deer taken per square mile in the units with the highest (WMU 8R) and lowest (WMU 5F) harvest density.
  • 62.6 percent --- portion of the adult buck harvest that was 2.5 years or older, the greatest in New York history and up from 40 percent a decade ago, and 30 percent in the 1990s.
  • 65 percent --- portion of eligible junior hunters that participated in the 2019 Youth Deer Hunt.
  • 15,574 --- number of hunter-harvested deer checked by DEC staff in 2019 to determine hunter reporting rate and collect biological data (e.g., age, sex, antler data).
  • 2,658 --- deer tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in 2019-20; none tested positive. DEC has tested more than 54,000 deer for CWD since 2002.
Deer harvest data are gathered from two main sources: harvest reports required of all successful hunters and DEC's examination of more than 15,000 harvested deer at check stations and meat processors across the state. Harvest estimates are made by cross-referencing these two data sources and calculating the total harvest from the reporting rate for each zone and tag type. A full report of the 2019-20 deer harvest, as well as past deer and bear harvest summaries, is available at DEC's deer and bear harvests webpage.

No CWD Detections in New York in 2019

DEC tested 2,658 harvested deer across the state and found no evidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the herd. DEC partners with cooperating meat processors and taxidermists in obtaining samples for testing each year.
"Preventing the introduction of CWD into New York is a high priority for DEC to ensure the health of our deer herd and to protect the recreational and viewing opportunities deer provide," Commissioner Seggos said.
CWD is a highly contagious disease that affects deer, elk, moose, and caribou. CWD poses a significant threat to New York's wild white-tailed deer herd. It is always fatal and there are no vaccines or treatments available. CWD is believed to be caused by a prion, which is an infectious protein, that can infect animals through animal-to-animal contact or contaminated environments. CWD has been found in 26 states.
To expand protections for New York deer and moose, DEC adopted regulations in 2019 to prohibit importation of carcasses of deer, elk, moose, and caribou taken anywhere outside of New York. Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) have increased enforcement efforts in recent years, seizing and destroying hunter-killed deer brought in illegally.
For wildlife diseases like CWD, prevention is the most effective management policy. Hunters are important partners in disease prevention and should adopt several practices to prevent the introduction of infectious prions:
  1. Debone or process your deer, elk, moose, or caribou before returning to New York. This practice removes "high risk" parts (brain, spinal cord) that could potentially spread CWD. If you bring a whole, intact carcass from anywhere outside of New York, you will be ticketed and your entire animal (including trophy heads) will be confiscated and destroyed. Deboned meat, cleaned skull cap, antlers with no flesh adhering, raw or processed cape or hide, cleaned teeth or lower jaw, and finished taxidermy products are permitted.
  2. Consider alternatives to natural deer urine or lure products. Prions are shed in a deer's bodily fluids before the deer appears sick. Commercially available urine products are not tested for prions. Prions bind to soil and plants and remain infectious to deer. There is no method of disinfection.
  3. Dispose of carcass waste, even from New York deer, into a proper waste stream either by putting butcher scraps in with your household trash or otherwise assuring it goes to a licensed landfill. A landowner may dispose of their own deer on their property, but it is illegal in all cases for businesses (butchers and taxidermists) to dispose of waste generated from their business in any way other than a landfill or rendering facility.
  4. Do not feed wild deer or moose. Animals concentrated together can spread disease quickly.
If there is another CWD outbreak in New York, DEC and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets will implement their Interagency CWD Response Plan (PDF). The plan will guide actions if the disease is detected in either captive cervids-any species of the deer family-or wild white-tailed deer or moose. There are no documented cases of CWD infecting humans, but DEC urges caution when handling or processing CWD-susceptible animals. For more of what DEC is doing and what you should know about CWD, visit DEC's website.

Buy Sporting Licenses Online

DEC is encouraging hunters, trappers, and anglers to purchase sporting licenses online to help further limit the community spread of COVID-19. Sporting licenses may be purchased online at any time, and anglers may use their privileges immediately by simply carrying their transaction number (DEC-LS#) with them while afield. Anglers, hunters, and trappers may also use the HuntFishNY mobile app to display an electronic copy of their license. The HuntFishNY app is available for download through the Apple App or Google Play stores. Back tags and carcass tags must still be mailed, and customers should allow 10-14 days for receipt of their tags. Please visit our website for more information about sporting licenses.