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Today's Top Stories - Thursday May 14th, 2020

Steuben County legislators voiced their strong disapproval yesterday of the mixed signals they receive from New York State regarding the COVID-19 Phase 1 Reopening now set for tomorrow. “We are deeply concerned about the reopening phases, the lack of communication from the state and the lack of logic in some of their decisions,” said County Legislature Chairman Scott R. VanEtten. VanEtten said the county Legislature is frustrated by state government and public health restrictions based on an urban one-size fits all basis, and called for Cuomo to meet with state and local leadersand  representatives from rural counties.

Cornell Cooperative Extension invites dairy producers across the state to join a free, upcoming webinar focused on dairy processing. This virtual learning opportunity will be offered on Thursday, May 21st and will be held from 7pm – 8pm. Dairy farmers who are interested in diversifying or vertically integrating their farm business are invited to attend for an overview of business considerations and regulatory requirements. The webinar will give an introduction of what factors to keep in mind when considering dairy processing for a farm’s operation. For more information about the dairy processing webinar, contact Alycia Drwencke, Dairy Management Specialist, at 517-416-0386 or amd453@cornell.edu. Registration is required ahead of time by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/y8zxaozz.

Local winery Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery has partnered up with Pro Action's Hope Center Keuka food pantry to help give back to those in need. The winery had been planning to partner with a local food bank for awhile before it began the partnership on March 1st as a way to give back during the tough economic times of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Funds are being donated every month and will be continuing indefinitely along with the new partnership.Dr. Frank said: “We felt that we really wanted to make sure our donations were going directly to the people that are in our surrounding area.

The Steuben County Public Health Department received reports of two additional Steuben County residents from Prattsburgh and Bath testing positive for COVID-19.  The current total of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county is 248. The individuals are currently being isolated and monitored by the County Health Department and all close contacts of the cases have been noticed.

Governor Cuomo yesterday proposed the "Americans First Law", with the intent to protect workers who have been laid off during the pandemic. The New York Congressional Delegation will formally present the legislation which states a corporation cannot be eligible for government funding if it does not rehire the same number of employees it had before the pandemic. Cuomo says corporations could be incentivized by profits to lay off workers and "use the pandemic as an excuse to lay off workers." Cuomo also said "You want to provide subsidies to companies, I understand that. Make sure the subsidies are tied to worker protections."

Healthcare centers in the Southern Tier will be receiving federal money to help respond to, and contain the spread of, Coronavirus. Yesterday, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced nearly $16.8 million in aid for over a dozen healthcare facilities across Upstate New York as part of the CARES Act. The Southern Tier Community Health Center in Houghton will receive over $250,000. The federal funding comes from the Department of Health and Human Services. Senator Schumer  said : “Testing is essential to our COVID-19 response and to the successful reopening of the Upstate economy without triggering a second wave of infections...” while Senator Gillibrand says: “To contain the spread of this disease and safely reopen schools and businesses, we must make COVID-19 testing widely available for all Americans...” 

A 20 year old woman from Corning has been charged with two counts felony possession and two counts of felony criminal sale of a controlled substance.  Tessa Walker was in the Steuben County Jail on another drug charge at the time of her arrest. Walker's arrest was made as a result of a joint investigation between the Corning and Bath Police Departments, Steuben County Sheriff’s Office and investigators from the County District Attorney’s Office.

Tomorrow is the Law Enforcement Memorial at the Steuben County Public Safety Building. The event honoring fallen law enforcement officers in our region will be video livestreamed to observe social distancing guidelines. The annual event will begin at noon will be available at www.facebook.com/SteubenCSO  

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