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Waverly traffic stop leads to pair of arrests

WAVERLY — Two people from Owego are facing drug-related charges after a traffic stop early Tuesday morning led police officers to discover meth, heroin, scales and packaging materials for the illegal use of drugs.

According to Waverly police, Dan Perry, 42, was charged with third-degree and fourth-degree counts of possession of a controlled substance — both of which are felonies — and two counts of second-degree criminal use of paraphernalia, seventh-degree possession of controlled substances and second-degree aggravated unlicensed vehicle operation — all of which are misdemeanors.

Mindyn L. Marmillion, 35, was charged with seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia — both misdemeanors.

Police said the pair was arrested following a traffic stop on the vehicle Perry was driving on Pine Street shortly before 3:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Perry was arraigned in village court and remanded to the Tioga County Jail with no set bail to await further legal action.

Marmillion was issued an appearance ticket to answer the charges in village court at a future date.

Johnny Williams/Morning Times  

Andrew Aronstam of the Waverly Recreation Booster Club on Tuesday presented Waverly Mayor Patrick Ayres with a $2,000 donation to benefit the Waverly Glen Park project. The money was raised as a result of the annual booster club golf tournament, which was recently held at Tomasso’s.

Final Bradford County park series event held at Round Top Park

ATHENS — Round Top Park hosted the third and final installment of the Endless Mountains Heritage Region’s Bradford County summer park series on Saturday with more music, food and sunny fun.

EMHR Executive Director Cain Chamberlin said the goal of the series was to promote the parks of Bradford County. The two other events were held earlier this summer at Sunfish Pond and Larnard-Hornbrook Park.

“Round Top is the biggest municipal park in Bradford County,” he said. “And lots of people don’t even know it’s here.”

Round Top Park Commission Chairman Richard Bean echoed Chamberlin’s statements.

“This is the greatest place around to have this kind of event,” he said. “Tons of people who have lived in the Valley their whole lives have never even been here and checked out the amazing views or our trails or pavilions.”

Bean added that the park has 19 miles of ATV trails as well as several walking trails, and several pavilions are available to be rented out for special occasions.

“This park is really an awesome community project,” Chamberlin said. “They’ve put tons of work into this park over the past few years and it really shows.”

Similar to the rest of the park series, Saturday’s event featured live music, a cornhole tournament, local community organizations, a wildlife exhibit — this time provided by the Ross Park Zoomobile — food and 50/50 drawings.

However, special to this event was a model airplane show held courtesy of the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Valley R/C Club, which maintains an airfield at the park.

“We want to keep trying different things to promote the parks in their own ways and show people what they can do here,” Chamberlin said. “Whether it’s using the trails or bringing up a model airplane, it’s just about promoting the park with a free, family-friendly event.”

BeST Transit also lent a hand and some wheels to shuttle visitors to different areas of the park, and vendors and artisans were on hand with their personal creations. Additional support was provided by the Athens Township police and fire departments.

EMHR’s next visit to the Valley will come in October with Corks and Kayaks, a three-day kayaking sojourn on the Susquehanna River, which will run from Sayre to Sugar Run and include visits to Grovedale Winery and Deep Roots Hard Cider. More information can be found online on EMHR’s Facebook page.

Barton Town Board address proposed NYSEG rate increases

BARTON — The Barton Town board discussed the proposed electric and gas rates increase by New York State Electric & Gas, which would increase delivery rates of electric by 23.4 percent and gas by 1.9 percent.

During Monday’s monthly board meeting, Supervisor Leon “Dick” Cary and Town Clerk Joan Richards brought the proposed increases in electric and gas rates by NYSEG to the attention of the public and the board.

NYSEG is proposing a rate increase for electric and gas, which is set to go into effect by April 2020.

Residents could see an increase of $10.20 in their electric bill and $1.03 in their gas bill, according to Richards.

The 2019 NYSEG and RGE Rate Case Filings — June 25, 2019 Tech Conference documents from the Department of Public Service states customers could see an increase of $10.17 on electric, a 13.6 percent increase on the total bill, and an increase of $1.05 on gas, a 0.9 percent increase on the total bill.

The increases proposed by NYSEG are due to revenue requirements primarily in vegetation management and labor/payroll, as well as emergency preparedness and a resiliency plan.

NYSEG is looking to increase its delivery revenues in electric by $156 million and $6,000 in gas to meet these revenue requirements.

Cary mentioned a motion should be put forth to write a letter stating the town’s displeasure with the proposed rate increases.

No action was made during the meeting, however.

The Barton Town Board also accepted an engineering study bid for West Pine Street. The town received two bids, one from Delta Engineering and one from McFarland Engineering, and accepted Delta Engineering’s bid.

The board also approved to have their 2020 budget meeting on Monday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m.

Legislators urge vaccine education, compliance

OWEGO — Tioga County Legislators Tuesday urged residents to educate themselves and stay up-to-date with vaccines in order to help prevent the spread of contagious communicable diseases.

Issuing a proclamation, legislators noted that vaccines provide as safe and proven method to protect children from communicable diseases — such as whooping cough or the flu — at outbreak-prone locations such as childcare facilities, preschool programs and schools.

Additionally, legislators said vaccines are an important part of a healthy pregnancy, and a mother can pass some protection on to her baby, so long as she is up-to-date on vaccinations before becoming pregnant and should again received vaccines for the flu and whooping cough during pregnancy.

Noting that even healthy adults can become seriously ill and pass diseases on to others, legislators reiterated that all adults should be vaccinated to protect their health, and have their vaccination needs assessed by their primary care provider.

As a result of unanimous legislative approval, the county legislature proclaimed the month of August 2019 as Immunization Awareness Month in recognition of “one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century.”

Trump delays tariffs on some Chinese goods until December

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to pressure from businesses and growing fears that a trade war is threatening the U.S. economy, the Trump administration is delaying most of the import taxes it planned to impose on Chinese goods and is dropping others altogether.

The announcement Tuesday from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative was greeted with relief on Wall Street and by retailers who have grown fearful that the new tariffs would wreck holiday sales.

The administration says it still plans to proceed with 10% tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports — extending its import taxes to just about everything China ships to the United States in a dispute over Beijing’s strong-arm trade policies.

But under pressure from retailers and other businesses, President Donald Trump’s trade office said it would delay until Dec. 15 the tariffs on nearly 60% of the imports that had been set to absorb the new taxes starting Sept. 1. Among the products that will benefit from the 3½-month reprieve are such popular consumer goods as cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing.

The administration is also removing other items from the tariff list entirely, based on what it called “health, safety, national security and other factors.”

Separately, China’s Ministry of Commerce reported that top Chinese negotiators had spoken by phone with their U.S. counterparts, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and planned to talk again in two weeks.

The news sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring more than 400 points in mid-afternoon trading. Shares of Apple, Mattel and shoe brand Steve Madden, which stand to benefit from the delayed tariffs, led the rally.

Speaking to reporters in New Jersey, Trump confirmed that he had decided to delay the tariffs, which could force retailers to raise prices, to avoid the economic pain that could result during the holiday period.

“We’re doing (it) just for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs could have an impact,” the president said.

Trump has repeatedly argued that his tariffs are hurting China, not American consumers. But by delaying higher tariffs on consumer goods, Trump is tacitly acknowledging that his import taxes stand to squeeze American households, too. Tariffs are taxes paid by U.S. importers, not by China, and are often passed along to U.S. businesses and consumers through higher prices.

Jay Foreman, CEO of the toy company Basic Fun, said he’s pleased that the 10% tariffs have been delayed for products like his until December. His company, based in Boca Raton, Florida, had already set prices for the holiday season and would have had to absorb the impact of the tariffs. Foreman said he is considering layoffs this fall to offset his higher costs and noted that despite Trump’s reprieve, tariffs remain a severe threat.

“We were relieved,” he said. “But does that stop the volatility and instability? No.”

Together, the news of negotiations and tariff delays provided at least a respite after weeks of heightened U.S.-China trade tensions. The relief might prove only temporary, though, if the tariffs eventually take full effect and Beijing retaliates against U.S. exports.

The Trump administration is fighting the Chinese regime over allegations that Beijing steals trade secrets, forces foreign companies to hand over technology and unfairly subsidizes its own firms. Those tactics are part of Beijing’s drive to become a world leader in such advanced technologies as artificial intelligence and electric cars.

But 12 rounds of talks have failed produce any resolution. Frustrated with the lack of progress, Trump raised the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25% in May and said Aug. 1 that he’d impose 10% taxes on an additional $300 billion on Sept. 1.

On Sunday, economists at Goldman Sachs downgraded their economic forecasts, citing the impending tariffs on consumer goods. And economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch have raised their odds of a recession in the next year to roughly 33%, up from about 20%.

“We are worried,” Michelle Meyer, head of economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote Friday. “We now have a number of early indicators starting to signal heightened risk of recession.”

Goldman said the tariffs on China have increased uncertainty for businesses, which will likely cause them to pull back on hiring and investing in new equipment or software. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods have also weighed down stock prices lower, which could depress spending by wealthier Americans, Goldman found.

“It’s pretty clear that the problem with (Trump’s) tariff tactics is it’s bad for the economy,” said David Dollar, a China specialist at the Brookings Institution and a former official at the World Bank and U.S. Treasury. “You try to use the weapon but then you get blowback on your own people.”

Despite the exchanges between the U.S. and Chinese negotiators, the prospects for negotiations remain dim. A substantive deal would require China to scale back its aspirations to become a tech superpower. And relations between the countries have been strained by mistrust.

The best possible outcome, Dollar said, likely would be a “mini-deal” in which China agrees to buy more American products and narrow the gaping U.S. trade deficit with China. In exchange, perhaps the United States would lift some sanctions on the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, which the U.S. sees as a national security risk.

So far, Trump’s tariffs have failed to get President Xi Jinping to yield to the U.S. demands.

“I don’t think we’re any closer to a deal,” said Scott Kennedy, who analyzes China’s economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “I don’t think there will be any deal during the Trump administration.”

The decision to delay the tariffs “shows that the two economies are interdependent and that interdependence benefits many Americans” by providing affordable goods, Kennedy said. “It’s not so easy to penalize China or disengage.”