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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday July 1st, 2020

Tops Friendly Markets announced they will soon phase out plastic shopping bags for their customers. The chain says its New York stores will no longer offer plastic bags by Monday, July 6th. The ban went into effect in March, but was quickly rescinded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reusable bags will be offered by Tops for 99 cents or customers can purchase brown paper bags for five cents each.


Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard said several Steuben County police agencies will take part in a special enforcement effort cracking down on impaired driving beginning Friday and ending Monday, July 6th. Allard said the Sheriff’s Department will have extra patrols and coordinate with local law enforcement partners. Allard says law enforcement’s goal is to get through the holiday weekend with no fatalities on the roadway.


As of yesterday at 8pm, there were 285 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Steuben County. A total of 3 were currently hospitalized and 61 were held in quarantine and being monitored. The total deaths number 42 and a total of 233 have recovered.


The Finger Lakes Land Trust announced an award total of $58,584 in grant funds to six organizations serving inner-city Rochester youth and the group picked the grantees based on their ability to make a significant impact on their communities. Among the grants awarded to six organizations was Girl Scouts of Western New York. In 2015, an anonymous donor gave the Land Trust 200 acres of land in northern Steuben County with the property to be sold subject to a legal agreement permanently limiting future land use to protect the conservation values of the property. The donor requested a portion of the proceeds generated from the sale of the property benefit inner-city Rochester youth by fostering their relationship with nature.


Yesterday, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association held its second COVID-19 task force and it seems the likelihood of fall high school sports remains uncertain. Task force members discussed the reopening plan for New York and the impact it will have on the future of interscholastic athletics. Schools are currently still prohibited from any indoor activities as well as in-person instruction with the exception of special ed and any organized sports or recreational activities hosted or operated by schools. Executive Director Dr. Robert Zayas says there are numerous priorities the governor and State Department of Education must address. Zayas reminds that time is getting tight to have regulations to be ready to play in September.There are six different possibilities in returning to school which include a full return to school, a hybrid education model, a full virtual learning model, and regional differences model. Scenarios discussed include a full return to athletic participation, potential seasonal adjustments, and/or all three sports seasons being condensed.


The Rockwell Museum’s mascot, Artemus, is getting ready for the big day of reopening by putting his face mask on. He received a mask of his own Tuesday morning as a way to help remind visitors they need one to enter the Rockwell museum. Artemus has also worn hats, scarves, and other decorations during different seasons and holidays. The museum staff thought putting a mask on their mascot would be a fun way to remind their visitors of the state-mandated rules. The Rockwell reopened this morning and if you do not have a face mask they will provide you with one.

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