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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday June 9th, 2020

Three more residents have tested positive for COVID-19 in Steuben County. Two new patients are from Urbana and the third is from Campbell. Now, the total number of confirmed cases in Steuben has reached 273.  Health officials say that two of the individuals are residents of a nursing home in the Bath area. The individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department. Public Health Director Darlene Smith urged residents to help us make the transition into the third phase of reopening the state economy possible by continuing to follow precautions to stop the further spread of COVID-19: wear a mask in public when you cannot maintain a distance of at least six feet apart and wash hands regularly.”


Members of the Steuben County Sheriff's Office united to say Goodbye to their fellow team member, K9 Devin, who passed away yesterday. K9 Devin was a gift made possible by the Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Foundation in December 2013 and named after Sgt. Devin Snyder, who was killed in 2011 while she was serving in Afghanistan. K9 Devin retired last year due to health issues. 


Corning Inc. is to receive $204 million in federal funding to expand manufacturing of its Corning Valor Glass packaging to increase production and contribute to the fight against COVID-19. Funding is provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a group that is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The new agreement states Corning will “substantially expand” its domestic manufacturing capacity of Corning Valor Glass vials to “support the vaccination and treatment of billions of patients”. Corning Inc. will also provide priority access to a vaccine by BARDA, as well as drug development partners. The investment reportedly will allow Corning to accelerate production of Valor Glass tubing and vial manufacturing in three facilities in Big Flats; Durham, North Carolina; and Vineland, New Jersey.


New York State has issued new guidance on restaurants, as our county and region anticipate reopening in ‘Phase 3’ this coming week. It is expected the Southern Tier region will reach the metrics to begin the third phase by week’s end. So far no official word was given by the Governor’s office. Guidelines published by state officials include limiting indoor capacity to no more than 50 percent capacity of customers, employees must wear face coverings at all time, outdoor and indoor seating set up 6 feet away from one another, patrons wearing face coverings except when seated, designate areas for pickup, exit and entry separately, and clearly signal six feet spacing for customers. Personal care businesses will also be opening in the third phase that include certain types of salons previously not eligible to reopen in the second phase.


There is talk that Governor Cuomo may make an announcement this week on the status of overnight summer camps after he previously expressed concern about the ‘unknowns’ connected to COVID-19 and MIS-C associated with the virus which has killed approximately 200 kids. Cuomo gave the green light for day camps to resume June 29th across New York state but said the final decision on overnight camps should come in the next week.


Protests in response to the death of George Floyd have spawned new legislative measures in Albany as an attempt to combat police brutality. The package includes a ban on chokeholds and a new requirement for New York State Troopers to wear body cameras. Both bills made it through the New York State Assembly. Another piece of legislation protects bystanders who record law enforcement engaging in police brutality. The newest legislation ensures that those recording the police are not targeted or charged for recording incidents involving police. Most of the reforms are expected to pass both chambers of the legislature in Albany.


A fully accessible absentee ballot application and absentee ballot program will allow voters in Steuben County with accessibility needs to vote by absentee ballot independently as early as the June 23rd primaries. The application, located www.elections.ny.gov, can be accessed from the homepage, the “Absentee Voting” page and the “Meeting Voter Access Needs” page.  The program allows New Yorkers with disabilities to vote in the privacy of their own homes with technologies enabling them to cast their ballots in secret, without the help of a family member or other person. Voters are required to apply for the fully accessible ballot program as soon as possible, but no later than June 16 for the June 23rd Primary. For more information, go to https://www.elections.ny.gov/ or www.Steubencony.org/boe


Congressman Tom Reed of Corning called Governor Cuomo to give New York’s local governments access to the funds Congress had appropriated for them in the CARES Act passed on March 27th. New York’s local governments have yet to receive critical aid from the package for essential line items like expanded COVID testing, childcare support, community development, and education funding. The letter stated funds are there to distribute by responsibility of the state and was signed by more than 70 elected officials, including Steuben County Legislative Chair Scott Van Etten, state senator Tom O’Mara, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and Hornell Mayor John Buckley.


State Police report the arrest of 28-year-old Troyal Gascon of Cohocton. He was charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child for allegedly providing alcohol. The incident occurred in the Village of Cohocton and was reported to Troopers on Saturday.

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