• Drug Take Back Act: A law that takes effect Jan. 6 requires drug stores and mail-order pharmacies to give consumers the ability to return unused prescription drugs through free drop boxes, pre-paid envelopes and other secure options.For more on these new laws, click here.
• Diaper changing tables in public bathrooms: Beginning Jan. 1, all new bathrooms that are publicly accessible must have diaper changing tables.
• Body scanners in prisons: A new law that takes effect Jan. 30 will allow body scanners to be used on inmates in prisons across New York to detect hidden weapons.
• Disability benefits for volunteer firefighters with cancer: Volunteer firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer will be eligible for state disability coverage beginning Jan. 1.
• Minimum wage increase: In Upstate New York and areas outside of New York City and its suburbs, the minimum wage will increase from $10.40 per hour to $11.10 per hour.
• Newborn testing: Beginning Jan. 30, newborns in New York state who are identified or suspected of having a hearing impairment will be required to be tested for cytomegalovirus, unless a parent objects.
• Prostate screenings at no cost: A law effective Jan. 1 requires health insurers to provide men with access to prostate cancer screening without any co-pays or deductibles.
• Property tax relief credit: Property tax rebate checks for STAR eligible homeowners with incomes of $275,000 or less who live in property tax compliant school districts.
Monday, December 31, 2018
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
“This new law will require state government to establish a bill of rights for purposes of informing survivors of their rights under the law,” Getman said.
According to Getman, the bill of rights will include the victims’ right to:
• Consult with a rape crisis or victim assistance organization;Under the law, Getman explained, all law enforcement agencies must adopt policies to help communicate with survivors and enable a survivor to request information on their sexual offense evidence kit from the police agency or prosecutorial agency with jurisdiction over the crime.
• Appropriate health care services at no cost;
• Receive updates on their sexual offense evidence kit and the status of their case; and
• Be notified before sexual assault evidence kits are destroyed
“Advising victims of their legal rights will help ensure they can navigate complicated medical and criminal justice systems and receive necessary assistance and treatment,” Getman said.
The measure was signed into law Friday (December 21) and is scheduled to take effect in June 2019.
The complete text of the new law can be found here.
The Schuyler County Attorney is the legal advisor to the county legislature and other county officers, including the Sheriff, the District Attorney and the Department of Social Services. The County Attorney prosecutes and defends civil actions and serves as the primary prosecutorial agency for cases presented in Schuyler County Family Court.
Monday, December 24, 2018
Monday, December 17, 2018
The MCLE Program will cover “Implicit Bias and the Criminal Justice System.” Topics include:
• Understanding Implicit Bias
• Implicit Bias: A Law Enforcement Perspective
• Confronting and Addressing Implicit Bias During Litigation
For more information, or to register, click here.
Monday, December 10, 2018
With the recent implementation of Raise the Age, youth that would have potentially entered the adult criminal justice system, mayFor more information, click here.
Friday, December 7, 2018
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Authorities investigating online predator who’s blackmailing students at Penn Yan, possibly Dundee schools
New York State Police are investigating reports of an online predator, and now letters have gone home to parents — warning them about the threat.
Officials with Penn Yan and Dundee Central Schools say they’re investigating reports of an individual blackmailing area students over social media.
Penn Yan Superintendent Howard Dennis says the investigation began a few days ago when students in Penn Yan confided in trusted adults at the school. They then notified law enforcement. Dennis says the predator has victimized more than a handful of students, and he has heard reports there may be as many as 15 young people who have been blackmailed, according to Dennis.
Dundee Superintendent Kelly Houck says she is not aware of any students in Dundee who have been directly involved.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Monday, November 26, 2018
• Shop only on secure Internet connections.For more information on how to protect yourself from Cyber Monday scams, click here.
• Do not be tricked by confusingly similar website and domain names.
• Protect yourself by using credit or debit cards.
• Beware of misleading bargains and added fees.
• Compare warranty terms.
• Know the terms of a layaway plan.
• Check return and refund policies.
• Beware of restricted gift cards.
• Be wary of too-good-to-be-true contests and prize promotions.
• Read the fine print.
Monday, November 19, 2018
The Committee has been working with experts to develop and distribute the survey, which will be emailed to a large, random sample of attorneys who have been admitted to practice law in New York State. Those attorneys selected will be able to complete the survey online. Their responses will be confidential and aggregated with others who respond. The Committee is also working with the State’s various bar associations to raise awareness about the survey and encourage attorneys, if selected, to participate.For more on the survey, click here.
Among the more general questions, the survey will query participants on whether and how gender affects courtroom interactions, the courthouse environment (sexual harassment) and fee-generating appointments and assignments. The survey also contains questions regarding the availability and impact of courthouse children’s centers ̶where litigants and other court users can safely leave their children while they attend to court matters ̶baby-changing tables in public restrooms and lactation facilities.
Survey participants will be instructed to select the responses that best reflect their opinions based upon their own recent experiences or direct knowledge while handling matters in the New York State courts. At the end of each section, respondents will be given the opportunity to offer comments and suggestions.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Monday, November 12, 2018
The tentative budget is available online.
For more information, click here.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
• Cayuga County
• Chemung County
• Ontario County
• Seneca County
• Schuyler County
• Steuben County
• Tompkins County
• Wayne County
• Yates County
Results usually start coming in shortly after the polls close at 9:00 pm and they are updated as new totals are calculated.
These sites are often a good way to keep track of local election results (village, town, county) that otherwise might not be available in the media until the next day.
Friday, November 2, 2018
Harriett E. Vickio Treasurer,
County of Schuyler
105 Ninth St, Unit 17
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Steven J. Getman, Schuyler County Attorney
105 Ninth Street, Unit 5
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Monday, October 29, 2018
Many law enforcement and public safety agencies are issuing reminders nationwide to follow simple safety tips to ensure a safe Halloween, including:
* Warn children about the dangers of
* Avoid Trick or Treating on very busy streets.
* Always have your children use a sidewalk when there is one.
* To increase visibility, have your children carry a flashlight or glow sticks.
* Apply reflect tape or stickers to costumes.
* Make sure the costume fits your child properly before they venture out, making sure they can see out of their mask.
* Always chaperone in groups.
The National Law Journal reminds us that holiday celebrations in the workplace can create legal issues for employers and that Halloween is no exception:
With Halloween just around the corner, labor and employment attorneys are warning employers that the annual holiday could get scary — in a legal way — if costumes, or a work party, get out of hand.
Specifically, costumes that carry a political or social message, or are simply too raunchy for the workplace, could lead to a liability nightmare down the road.
[A]nother potential liability with Halloween: personal injury suits.
Above all, simple common sense can do a lot to prevent tragedies--and resulting lawsuits--from happening. Halloween is an enjoyable holiday for the entire family. Stay safe, stay smart and have fun.
Monday, October 22, 2018
Help fight the opioid crisis on October 27: bring unused prescription drugs to a drop-off location on National Drug Takeback Day.
According to Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman, “the initiative is aimed at helping citizens take one of the simplest steps to prevent addiction: safely disposing of unused drugs at drop-off sites around the nation.”
“Statistics indicate that new heroin users start out by misusing prescription drugs,” Getman noted, “and a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet.”
Schuyler County residents can drop off their expired, unused, or unwanted medications between 10 AM and 2 PM at the Odessa and Tyrone Fire Stations. The Odessa Fire Station is located at 300 East Main Street in Odessa. The Tyrone Fire Station can be found at 3600 State Route 226 in Tyrone. Those drop-in stations are being sponsored by Schuyler County Sheriff William Yessman and the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs (SCCUDD).
Community members can also dispose of unwanted, expired, and unused prescription drugs year-round by using the 24/7 confidential drop boxes available at the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office in Watkins Glen or in the foyer at the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls.
Residents of other New York counties can visit clearyourcabinet.com to find out where they can safely dispose of medications this Saturday, Getman said. Disposal of unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medication at these locations is "no questions asked" and free of charge.
In addition to advancing efforts for the disposal of unused opioids, Schuyler County’s strategy to attack the national opioid epidemic includes its ongoing lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributers of prescription opiates for damages to the County. In May of this year, Getman filed a nearly 250-page Summons and Complaint for damages to the County arising out of the fraudulent and negligent marketing and distribution of opiates in the County. That case was transferred to Suffolk County Courts shortly thereafter, to join other cases brought by various New York state counties. In June, a New York State Supreme Court Judge refused to dismiss lawsuits against several large opioid manufacturers in one of the earliest decisions to come out of the cases brought by local governments over the prescription painkillers.
Recent reports indicate that opioids now kill more than 50,000 Americans a year, 10,000 more than AIDS did at the peak of that epidemic.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is organized by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. Various national organizations have joined the DEA and local agencies in organizing the event, including the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the American Association of Poison Control Centers; the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; D.A.R.E. America; the Federation of State Medical Boards; the U. S. Health Resources and Services Administration; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Family Partnership; the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the National District Attorneys Association; the National Sheriffs’ Association; and The Partnership at Drugfree.org.
For more information about Schuyler County’s participation in National Drug Take Back Day, click here.
Monday, October 15, 2018
New web platform helps users research meanings of words used in Constitution, Supreme Court opinions
Corpus linguistics involves the use of naturally occurring language in large collections of texts—called corpora—to help determine the meanings of words and phrases, according to a press release about the platform.The platform is available here. For more on the program, click here.
The unveiling of the Law and Corpus Linguistics Technology Platform, which is free to use, ties in with Constitution Day, the anniversary of the document’s ratification.
The Corpus of Founding Era American English, which allows users to examine how words from the Constitution were used from 1750 to 1799, is searchable on the platform; as is the Corpus of Early Modern English, which has more than 40,000 texts from 1485 to 1800; and the Corpus of the U.S. Supreme Court, which has more than 32,000 court documents. BYU Dean D. Gordon Smith said in the release that this is “the first corpora featuring all United States Supreme Court rulings (up to the most recent term).”
Georgetown University law professor Lawrence Solum said the new corpora will be helpful to those who want to research the meaning of the Constitution. “The method of corpus linguistics … provides an important tool for the recovery of the original public meaning of the constitutional text.”
Monday, October 8, 2018
“Raise the Age” law takes effect: Schuyler County looks at consortium to address new state mandates for housing juvenile and adolescent criminal defendants.
Under “Raise the Age,” effective October 1, rather than be tried in criminal court, sixteen-year-olds charged with most crimes will have their cases heard in Family Court. In addition, they can no longer be held in local jails. The law will expand to seventeen-year-olds on October 1, 2019.
According to Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman, who acts as the Family Court prosecutor, youth who are charged with misdemeanors (other than traffic offenses) and most felonies will have their cases heard in Family Court, except in “extraordinary circumstances.” Cases involving sex offenses, defendants who display a weapon while committing a crime or cause a significant physical injury can still be tried in criminal court, Getman said.
“The teenagers who have their cases heard in Family Court, will have their sentences capped at 18 months in a juvenile detention facility,” Getman noted. “They also will no longer be held in jails, regardless of the seriousness of the charges against them.”
According to Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn, although the state certifies and regulates detention facilities, the state does not develop or administer the facilities, leaving that to the counties.
“This group of counties is working with a consultant to determine how to best meet the detention mandate by pooling our resources and needs,” O’Hearn explained. “It is our hope that this plan will allow Schuyler County to once again lessen the burden of state government through intermunicipal cooperation.”
O’Hearn added that the consortium should operate at no cost to the county because the state has promised reimbursement for all costs related to probation, youth detention and alternatives to detention, and allocated $100 million for “Raise the Age” in the 2018-19 budget.
Other counties who have joined—or are looking to join—the consortium are Allegany, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Cattaraugus, Wayne, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins and Yates. The counties have already contracted with John Treahy, of Treahy and Associates Consultation Services, an organization experienced in juvenile justice and child welfare issues, job coaching and staff training.
District Attorney Joe Fazzary (whose office will continue to prosecute adult offenders), Social Services Commissioner JoAnn Fratarcangelo, Sheriff William Yessman and Probation Director Chris Rosno.
The “Raise the Age” law is intended as a shift from punishing to rehabilitating teens charged with crimes. While in custody, the suspects will be eligible for a variety of case services and programs to divert them from offending again and give them access to treatment for addiction or other problems.
The “Raise the Age NY Campaign” believes the law will be more effective in preventing re-offenses. They cite a U.S. Center for Disease Control study that found youth who are tried in the adult criminal justice system are 34 percent more likely to commit future crimes than those who remain in the youth justice system.
The legislature’s October 9 meeting will be held at the Schuyler County Courthouse, 105 Ninth Street, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, beginning at 6:30 pm.
Monday, October 1, 2018
Friday, September 28, 2018
Informational table topics will include Medicare Plans, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Volunteering and Community Programs and Services.
Presentations will be given on the following topics:
• Power of Attorney in Detail Workshop;The event runs from 9:00 am to Noon at the 323 Owego Street, Conference Room 120, Montour Falls, New York.
• Elder Law Survival Guide, Elder Abuse;
• Top Five Things You Need to Know about Medicare Open Enrollment;
• The Probate Process.
Free breakfast snacks with coffee will be provided.
RSVP is required. To register to attend or for more information, please call the Schuyler County Office for the Aging at 607.535.7108.
Monday, September 24, 2018
These three days will consist of multiple tracks being available for prosecutors, investigators, law enforcement, forensic interviewers, social workers, and other multi-disciplinary team members.
The conference is being co-sponsored by the Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, the New Jersey Children's Alliance, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, and Montclair State University.
For more information, click here.
Monday, September 17, 2018
The resolution, drafted by County Attorney Steven Getman, urges civil and educational authorities of states, counties, cities and towns to make plans for the proper observance of the day and “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.” It was passed by the legislature at its September 10 meeting.
In remembrance of the signing of the Constitution and in recognition of the Americans who strive to uphold the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, the Congress, by joint resolution of February 29, 1952 (36 U.S.C. 106), designated September 17 as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day."
The complete text of the resolution appears below.
Monday, September 10, 2018
Monday, September 3, 2018
The Schuyler County Office for the Aging will host "Powerful Tools for Caregivers," a six-week educational powerful tools training provided by Lifespan, for family and friends who are caring for older adults suffering with long-term conditions. This program focuses on the needs of the caregiver. The classes will be held at the Schuyler County Human Services Complex, Conference Room 115, 323 Owego Street, Montour Falls, from 3:00pm-4:30pm on:
• Tuesday, September 25thThe class provides you, the caregiver, with the skills and confidence you need to better care for yourself while caring for others. Caregivers will develop a wealth of self-care tools to reduce personal stress, change negative self-talk, and communicate their needs to family members and healthcare providers. Caregivers will also develop skills to communicate more effectively in challenging situations, recognize the messages in their emotions, deal with difficult feelings, and make tough caregiving decisions.
• Tuesday, October 2nd
• Tuesday, October 9th
• Tuesday, October 16th
• Tuesday, October 23rd
• Tuesday, October 30th
Participants also receive a FREE copy of The Caregiver Helpbook, developed specifically for the class.
Registration is required. Please call Office for the Aging, 607-535-7108, for additional information or to reserve your spot in the classes.
Monday, August 27, 2018
Tips for Schuyler and Seneca County residents impacted by flood damage to avoid scams when hiring contractors
Monday, August 20, 2018
- · Public health education
- · Emergency preparedness
- · Childhood Early Intervention Programs
- · Residential sanitary inspections
- · Flu clinics
- · Rabies clinics
Monday, August 13, 2018
Ovid Town Board passes resolution supporting Seneca County development of a nine-element watershed plan for Seneca And Cayuga Lakes
The resolution, authored by Town Attorney Steven Getman, calls on Seneca County Government to work with representatives of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, the Finger Lakes Institute, the Cayuga Lake Association, the Cayuga Watershed Improvement Cooperative and other stakeholders in preparing an application for funding a Nine-Element Plan, and ultimately in preparing and implementing the plan.
“Consistent countywide efforts to protect the watersheds of the lakes are preferable to town-by-town measures which may be inconsistent and ineffective due to the geography of the county and the watersheds,” Getman explained.
“Experience over the past decade has shown that effective watershed management includes active participation from stakeholders, analysis and quantification of the specific causes and sources of water quality problems, identification of measurable water quality goals, and implementation of specific actions needed to solve those problems.”
The resolution passed unanimously among the board members present. Voting for the measure were Supervisor Walt Prouty and board members Eric Holmberg and Joe Borst. Board members Mark Beardsley and Carrie Wheeler-Carmenatty were absent.
Following the vote, the board asked Town Clerk Michele Vangalio to forward a copy to the Seneca County Board of Supervisors.
A Nine-Element Watershed Management Plan is a clean water plan that details a community’s water quality concerns and a strategy to address these concerns. The plans are developed by people who live and work within the watershed with support from local and state agencies. The elements are intended to ensure that the contributing causes and sources of nonpoint source pollution are identified, that key stakeholders are involved in the planning process, and that restoration and protection strategies are identified that will address the water quality concerns.
The plans are consistent with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Conservation framework for developing watershed plans, and funding is available from the Department of State for 75% of the plan’s cost.
The Seneca County Board of Supervisors previously considered a motion considering a nine-element plan for Seneca and Keuka Lakes. The Ovid resolution asks that Cayuga be included in any such efforts as well.
In July, reports surfaced that Cayuga Lake is being monitored for Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB's), a visually identifiable bacterium which is blue or green in color and slightly resembles wet paint. People are advised to steer clear of the toxic bacteria, which is especially harmful to elderly people, those with weaker immune systems, dogs, and other pets.
The Town of Ovid, located in the geographic center of Seneca County, is bordered on the west by Seneca Lake and on the east side by Cayuga Lake.