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Today's Top Stories - Thursday July 23rd, 2020

Steuben County Pizza Huts Closing Permanently
Several Pizza Hut locations in Steuben County will now be permanently closed according to WIVB in Buffalo. Pizza Hut dine-in restaurants in Bath, Corning and Hornell, which were temporary closed because of COVID-19 restrictions will not reopen. The Elmira Pizza Hut will also not reopen with a total of 17 Pizza Huts across the Southern Tier and Western New York effected. Pizza Hut said new franchisees will be coming into the New York region in hopes to serve customers in the Southern Tier again.


10 Active COVID-19 Cases Reported in Steuben County
There are now ten active COVID-19 cases in Steuben County. The latest person to be infected is from the village of Bath. This brings the total to 301 confirmed cases. The person is isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department. Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed case and exposure risks. All those known to have direct contact with the individual have been notified.


SCASAS Reports Rise in Substance Abuse During Pandemic
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a rise in substance use has been reported in the Southern Tier exacerbated by unemployment issues and difficulty finding housing- both issues worsened by the pandemic. Steuben County Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has continued treatment programs using Zoom and telephonic communication. But Senior Counselor Julie Haar says that's not the same or as beneficial as group meetings and says getting people into treatment to help them understand their substance use is ideal for recovery.


OFA Reminds Seniors of Heat Wave Safety
With high humidity and temperatures expected to range as high as 90 degrees this weekend, the Steuben County Office For the Aging urges older residents and their caregivers to prepare for extreme heat while still observing COVID-19 rules. Knowing the signs of heat-related illnesses is the first step in avoiding problems. If anyone experiences headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, cramps, high body temperature, or a fast pulse they should seek medical help immediately and move to a cooler place.While drinking two to four glasses of cool fluids every hour and avoiding alcoholic drinks, too much caffeine and sugar is standard advice during hot days, public water fountains are currently turned off due to COVID-19. Baroody reminded seniors: “Be sure to take water with you whenever you go outside.”


Trump Payroll Tax Cuts Opposed by Reed Before Being Cancelled
Tom Reed joined his fellow Congressman John Katko during a telephone town hall to seniors that he opposes President Trump’s plan for Medicare and Social Security payroll tax cuts in the next Covid-19 relief bill. Reed also opposes the President’s tax cut proposal, saying it would make the Social Security funding problem even worse and suggests one way to help could be lifting income limits on working seniors. The White House announced today that it is dropping the plan.


Comptroller Says DEC Must Improve Invasive Species Control Efforts
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported today that The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) needs to improve efforts to control invasive species which have established footholds across New York state and threaten native species, agriculture and tourism, according to the Comptroller’s audit released today. Invasive species were found to severely impact fishing, causing about $500 million in economic losses annually. Between April 2017 and September 2019, the state DEC spent nearly $1.8 million controlling and stopping the spread of hydrilla and planned to spend even more. DiNapoli recommended that the DEC: Develop processes to: regularly communicate duties and responsibilities to registered boat owners and stewards and coordinate with other oversight entities to improve preventive efforts at public boat launches throughout the state. DiNapoli also recommended the DEC develop and implement policies, procedures, or guidance on: issuing permits and monitoring compliance relating to invasive species and periodic complete testing of trap samples for potentially invasive species.

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