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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday May 6th, 2020

As the nation celebrates National Senior Corps Week, Steuben County RSVP also honors local residents who have dedicated their lives to serving others. Larry and Cathy Storm, and Robert Wheeler, all of Bath, are being recognized by the New York State Office For the Aging for their volunteer efforts ranging from couple Cathy and Larry Storms mentoring families with children at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and working with youth, to Robert Wheeler's career with the VA and volunteerism dedicated to veterans.


Eleanor's Legacy, a political foundation supporting pro-choice Democratic women, announced that Leslie Danks Burke's campaign for State Senate in the 58th district is among the first group that the organization has endorsed for the 2020 election cycle. In response, Danks-Burke said in a statement: "Here in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, as everywhere, empowering women to support and plan for families makes our economy and society stronger."


Governor Andrew Cuomo is sounding off about an interview President Trump recently gave to the New York Post. In the interview, the President said he didn't want to give bailouts to states fighting the COVID-19 pandemic - especially states run by Democrats, calling them poorly run and cash-strapped. But Cuomo says the President is dividing the nation into red states and blue states, in a time when the nation needs to unite. Governors representing both parties have asked for more funding at the federal level, and say the money is needed to help first responders and teachers during the pandemic.


Tops Supermarkets announced yesterday it will limit certain quantities of meat purchases due to high demand. Purchases are being limited to two packages of fresh meat, including ground beef, and on fresh pork per customer and will also place limits on two packages of fresh chicken. Wegmans announced Monday they will enact similar restrictions this week. 


State Senator Tom O’Mara and his Senate GOP colleagues announced this week they will be present a “Reopen and Reset” strategy for the upstate regions they represent. As Governor Cuomo continues to focus on calibrated, short-term plans for the reopening of local economies along regional boundaries, O’Mara and his colleagues say they want to also begin setting rebuilding priorities for post-coronavirus government in New York State throughout the coming year and into the foreseeable future. O’Mara said he and other state Senate Republicans are discussing and developing strategies for upstate’s post-coronavirus communities and economies including the steady rebuilding of increasing numbers of economic sectors, regulatory and tax reform, and mandate relief, as well as many others.


Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and his Assembly Republican colleagues are calling for federal assistance to reimburse local governments for needed Personal Protective Equipment purchased for volunteer emergency medical service (EMS) workers and volunteer firefighters as well as cover lost wages for emergency volunteers forced to quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19. The GOP lawmakers announced they are sponsoring a bill that would create the New York State Volunteer Fire Protection Emergency Reimbursement Account, a state fund that would reimburse volunteer fire companies, districts, departments, and EMS for COVID-19 expenses. Palmesano and his colleagues sent a letter last week to President Trump, Senator Schumer and the New York state congressional delegation urging federal action.


A federal judge declared yesterday the New York Democratic presidential primary must take place on June 23rd because canceling it would be unconstitutional. Democratic members of New York State’s Board of Elections voted to cancel the primary due to coronavirus despite New York still planning to hold its congressional and state-level primaries on June 23rd. Judge Analisa Torres heard arguments earlier this week as lawyers representing presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang argued that it was unjust to cancel the primary.Judge Torres also ruled there is enough time before the primary occurs to determine how to hold the election safely in the midst of the pandemic. 


Steuben County community members are sponsoring a live online benefit poetry reading tonight at 7 p.m. The Bath Peace Justice Group, the PeaceWeavers, and Foothills Publishing will be hosting the poetry reading event on Zoom. Several poets recently published by Foothills Publishing will participate and there will also be time for an online open mic for poetry and music. Donations and half of all book sales from the time of the event through May 15th will go directly to the 22nd Annual Helen Rubar Memorial Peace Scholarship given to local graduating high school seniors working for peace and justice in their community and beyond. To participate, email Mike Czarnecki at poetguy@foothillspublishing.com.

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