A1 A1
editor / Pat McDonald/Morning Times  

A two-car accident on Pitney Street at the intersection with Pennsylvania Avenue snarled up traffic on Monday evening. Athens Township and South Waverly Fire Departments responded to the scene. Greater Valley EMS was also on hand, although there appeared to be no injuries. No further information was available as of press time.

Over half dozen NY bills target vaccination concerns

ALBANY — A slate of seven bills are on the table for legislative consideration in New York State pertaining to vaccinations and children’s health.

In particular, a pair of bills sponsored by Sen. Liz Kreuger, D-Manhattan, target the vaccination of minors without parental consent.

According to legislative documents, Senate bill S3899A and its Assembly counterpart A973 aim for the administration of sexually transmitted disease vaccines to those age nine and above.

Additionally, Kreuger has sponsored another bill with Assembly counterpart — S4244B and A6564B — permits “any child who is at least 14 years of age to have administered to himself or herself, regardless of parental consent, certain immunizations required or recommended by law.”

State Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, has introduced three bills.

Legislative documents illustrate that S6717/A8635 requires immunization and exemption rates to be reported to state Department of Health. It also would require the publication of school district compliance with state immunization requirements and requires the protection the confidentiality of individual identifying information.

Hoylman’s legislative proposals also include mandated immunization of all children born after January 1, 2009 with the human papillomavirus (HPV) — Senate Bill S298A.

Additionally, a proposal — S2276 — mandates annual flu vaccines for “any child entering a licensed and registered child daycare home, program, or facility.”

In the Assembly, bill A7838 would require medical vaccine exemptions be approved by the state health department.

“Under current law, a doctor must certify that immunizations would be detrimental to a child’s health,” legislative documents said. “Physicians document the reasons for certification and submit an exemption form to the child’s school.”

“There is no process for any review of a physician’s certification that a child should be exempt from immunizations,” legislative documents continued. “This bill will require that physicians submit a request for a medical exemption to the Department of Health, who would review the request to determine that it provides adequate documentation and medical evidence.”

The legislation is sponsored by Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-Rockland County.

Lastly, Assembly Bill A099 would “allow the governor or the appropriate health official to order the removal and detention of any person afflicted with a communicable disease in the event that there is a state of health emergency declared by the governor in relation to such disease.”

Among the listed justifications for the legislation is the statement that “the removal and detainment of individuals who may be a risk to public health as a result of a communicable disease is necessary so that the danger of the spread of the disease is not a threat to the public.”

The legislation is sponsored by Assemblyman Nick Perry, D-Brooklyn.

NY man charged after being stopped in stolen vehicle

ATHENS — A New Paltz, New York man is facing nearly a dozen charges following a traffic incident that occurred on Wilawana Road Sunday evening.

According to police, an officer from the Athens Township Police Department witnessed an individual driving a white pickup truck without a license plate or rear lights, who failed to stop at a stop sign as he passed another vehicle on the right.

Police explained that a traffic stop ensued, where it was discovered that the driver was 27-year-old Billy John Bates.

Bates stated that he had passed the vehicle because it wasn’t moving, police said.

When asked for his driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, police said Bates replied that “he didn’t have any of that.”

When asked why there was no license plate on the vehicle, Bates stated that he had no idea who owned the truck, and that he “found (it) in the middle of the road and was trying to flee New York because things were really bad there.”

The vehicle identification number was ran, and officers learned that the plates had been voluntarily surrendered.

Bates advised officers that he was homeless and “trying to head somewhere new because there are no jobs in New York.”

Additionally, police said Bates admitted to officers that he “straight up stole” the vehicle because it had a full tank of fuel and the keys were in it, so he was going to go as far as he possibly could and then “ditch” the vehicle.

Police discovered that the owner of the vehicle had taken the truck to a garage for repairs, and it was going to be used as a plow truck on the owner’s property.

The owner of the garage noted that Bates had formerly worked there, and would know that the keys would be kept in the vehicle outside, police said.

Police explained that Bates was taken into custody for the traffic violations as he was an out-of-state resident with no permanent address.

Bates was subsequently charged with one count of receiving stolen property, one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, failure to drive on the right side of the roadway, disregarding traffic lanes, duties at a stop sign, careless driving, driving without a license, no rear lights, improper display plate, and overtaking a vehicle on the right.

Bates was arraigned on $75,000 bail by Magisterial District Judge Jonathan Wilcox, and will answer to the above charges before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hurley on Nov. 12.

editor / Pat McDonald/Morning Times  

The 2019 general election has arrived as voters in Pennsylvania and New York will head to the polls today to decide who will represent them at the local and county level. In Bradford County, polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in both Chemung County and Tioga County in New York. Pictured here, Sayre Borough resident Lisa Horton (left) casts her ballot as Melissa Post, Judge of Elections for Sayre’s Fourth Ward, talks her through the process during the primary election in May.

Unofficial numbers are in for ‘early voting’

Unofficial figures are in from the New York State Board of Elections, and nearly 260,000 residents cast their vote ahead of today’s general election.

BOE data shows that counties with the highest turnout were Nassau with 30,018 voters; Erie, 26,505; and Westchester, 21,004.

The lowest turnout was in Hamilton County, with 131 voters.

Locally, Tioga County finished the nine-day period with 294 voters and Chemung County tallied 564.

Regionally, Broome County had 3,312 early voters; Cortland County, 772; Tompkins County, 1,411; Schuyler County, 350; and Steuben County, 313.

Statewide, BOE’s unofficial data shows Sunday, Oct 27 and Thursday, Oct 31 were the lowest turnout days — with 18,827 and 19,931, respectively.

The day with highest voter turnout was Sunday, Nov. 3, with a statewide daily total of 43,614.

Polls are open today in New York from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.