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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday April 21st, 2020

The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office continues investigating a Friday afternoon fire that claimed the life of an elderly man. Sheriff Jim Allard said the body of 84-year-old Stephen A. Ohradzanski was found inside his home at 7279 County Road 69 in the Town of Howard. The Howard, Avoca, Bath, Canisteo, Kanona and Wallace Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the report. Members of the Steuben County Fire Investigation Team responded with the Sheriff’s Office and Steuben County Emergency Management Office to investigate the fire. The investigation of the Howard blaze continues. 


The Steuben County Public Health Department reports an additional resident tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the current total to 196 confirmed cases. The individual is a resident of the Village of Canisteo and currently being isolated and monitored by the County Health Department. Public Health Director Darlene Smith says that reporting only one new case yesterday is a step in the right direction.  


Hornell Area Transit confirms that one of its riders tested positive for COVID-19. The rider showed no symptoms at the time and rode the transit last Thursday. The company says it has been alternating buses and deep cleaning them at the end of each shift as well as cleaning high-touch areas in between riders per the CDC guidelines. They encourage any rider to stay home and only use the bus when absolutely necessary. Steuben County Public Health interviewed this person and reported their movements of the last 48 hours to the public.


The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, composed of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans, has released its Reopening and Recovery “Back to Work” Checklist, a multi-prong, data driven proposal focused on reopening America safely and reigniting the economy. The 50-member bipartisan Caucus, led by Co-Chair Tom Reed of Corning, found consensus on the bipartisan set of recommendations. 


Yesterday, New York State Assembly Republicans released a comprehensive, regionally-based plan to re-open our upstate economy. The initiative is called the "New York Regional Restart" and would task a bipartisan panel of economic development and public health experts to develop a safe plan to phase out the economic restrictions imposed under emergencies like the COVID-19 crisis. Currently, 1.2 million New Yorkers and counting have filed unemployment claims and the state budget deficit is estimated to be between $10 and $15 billion as a result of the economic standstill caused by the pandemic. 


The State University of New York System is distributing over 8,800 laptops and Chromebooks to its students in need who are currently completing coursework for the spring semester online amidst the COVID-19 shutdown of public schools and college campuses. A survey of all 64 SUNY campuses across the state was conducted to gauge student technology needs back in March when SUNY officials were planning to shift their classes via distance learning. SUNY says it willl continue assessing the technological needs of students throughout the coronavirus crisis. 

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