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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

Yesterday, the Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that an additional Steuben County resident tested positive for COVID-19 since Saturday and brings the total to 294 confirmed cases, eight of which are currently active. The individual is a resident of the Town of Rathbone and is being isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.


Four more states have been added to the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. The newly-added states are Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin. Delaware has been removed from the list. Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced a travel enforcement operation begins today at airports across the state to help ensure travelers are following the state’s quarantine restrictions and to help contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.


Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that the reopening of schools in September will likely mirror the state’s economic reopening and that determination will be made during the first week of August. The governor also said the state will use a formula to determine whether schools in different regions of the state can open in two months and also addressed the possibility of a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases regionally after schools reopen. School districts will resubmit their reopening guidelines to the state by the end of the month and the state is also due to release education guidelines that meet State Department of Health requirements.  


Tops Totes for Change, launched 10 months ago is a campaign that encourages shoppers to buy a reusable bag with a special charity design for $1.99. Of those proceeds, $1 is then donated back to four organizations that support the local community. Tops Totes for Change has raised over $114,607 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), United Way, Feeding America, and Children's Miracle Network since January. Within those organizations, the funds benefit local chapters of children's hospitals and area food banks. Tops has seen a rise in sales of the Tops Totes for Change bags since reinstating the use of plastic bags and enforcing the bag ban on July 1st.


U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer announced in Ontario County yesterday that schools will need federal support if they are to reopen in the fall. Schumer announced his federal funding plan the same day Governor Andrew Cuomo announced guidelines for reopening. Schumer says schools can be both reopened and better-funded and said “We can open our schools in time and open them safely, but only if the federal government steps up to the plate and provides the necessary dollars to make sure safety of the children, teachers, and surrounding community is paramount.” The Coronavirus Childcare and Education Relief Act calls for $175 billion to be distributed to K-12 schools across the country. Local districts would be given the opportunity to determine how best to utilize the funds.


New York State Police need help finding missing Tioga County man Douglas Martin of Nichols. The 30 year old man was last seen in Nichols driving a green 2005 Subaru Forester with the New York license plate: JHN-8251. Douglas Martin is an approximately 5 foot 11 inch tall, 140 pound white male, with brown hair, a brown beard and blue eyes.  If you have any information on Douglas Martin's whereabouts please call New York State Police at (607) 687-3961. 


A new, $2 million recreation center is opening at Letchworth State Park in the Finger Lakes region as announced yesterday by the Governor who called the state park “one of New York's crown jewels”. The announcement confirmed the construction, which began April of last year, has been completed. The project on the park’s Lower Falls Recreation Area involved removal of an unused swimming pool, and restoration of a historic bathhouse used for whitewater rafting concessions. The newly-renovated area provides table games, badminton and pickle ball courts, bocce and shuffleboard, as well as a fitness loop.


According to a recent Marist poll, Governor Cuomo has an approval rate of 60% of voters statewide rating the governor’s overall performance as “excellent” or “good,” which has been his highest rating since 2012-a year after he was sworn in as Governor. The approval rating for Cuomo among Upstate voters stands at 55% Meanwhile, 72% of statewide voters approve of how Cuomo has handled the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 69%  of us Upstate. You can view the poll for yourself here.

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