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Today's Top Stories - Wednesday August 8th, 2020

Three New Steuben Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that three additional Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 and brings the total to 312 confirmed cases, 11 of which are currently active.  Individuals are residents of the Town of Dansville, Town of Greenwood and Village of Avoca. Individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.  Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed cases and exposure risks.  All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified. 


Corning Man Sentenced for Child Porn
Yesterday, a Corning man was sentenced to almost 13 years in prison for possessing child pornography and violating his supervised release. Corning man Robert Wood was convicted in 2011 of possessing child pornography and sentenced to two years in prison and 15 years of supervised release. Probation made an unannounced visit to Wood’s home and found over 2,300 images and 20 videos of child porn in an unauthorized smartphone in his possession. Some of the material depicted the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers. Wood’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.


Cuomo Urged to Exempt NY to PA Workers from Quarantine
A group of Southern Tier and Western New York lawmakers urge Governor Cuomo to provide an exemption for workers who live in Pennsylvania but work in New York from potentially being mandated to quarantine under the governor’s COVID-19 travel advisory that now covers over 30 states. Cuomo’s travel advisory applies to any person traveling to New York from states with a significant community spread of COVID-19 and requires them to quarantine for 14 days. The seven-state lawmakers including State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, have sent a letter to the Governor warning that the inclusion of neighboring state workers in the required travel advisory quarantine would be devastating to local economies across the Southern Tier. Overall, approximately 9,500 Pennsylvania residents work within the Southern Tier region and over 6,300 residents of the Southern Tier work in Pennsylvania. Read the letter at: GovernorCuomoLetter-TravelAdvisory


Calls for Info on Methanol Hand Sanitizers Rising Locally
The Upstate New York Poison Center has received 49 calls regarding the recently recalled dangerous hand sanitizers since mid-July, doubling their calls for information about hand sanitizers and for ingestions or exposures. The Food and Drug Administration has been adding to the list of hand sanitizers recalled because they are contaminated with methanol, or wood alcohol, which is a toxic substance that isn’t approved for use in hand sanitizers. Exposure to methanol can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, and permanent damage to the nervous system. Upstate New York Poison Center officials recommend everyone check the list from the FDA.


GOP Leaders Want to Subpoena Zucker
At the next joint legislative hearing into COVID-19 nursing home deaths scheduled for Monday August 10th, Republican leaders want State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to testify under subpoena. Zucker gave less than two hours of testimony at the first hearing on Monday and left without taking questions from State Senators and Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay says Zucker’s action is unacceptable.


NYS Applies Hazardous Waste Laws to Oil and Gas By-Products
Governor Cuomo signed a bill Monday making New York the first state in the nation to apply hazardous waste laws to potentially toxic oil and gas byproducts. New York landfills and unrelated transfer stations have imported more than four thousand barrels of liquid shale drilling wastes from Pennsylvania from 2011 to 2019. The waste has been linked to environmental pollution and numerous health problems.


Gyms Still Left Waiting to Re-Open in Phase 4
Since the Finger Lakes and other regions entered ‘Phase 4’ gyms and casinos have been awaiting reopening without any guidance. When the Finger Lakes region was only in ‘Phase 1’, state guidance indicated that gyms would reopen as part of the fourth phase. Even Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy, who was appointed by the Governor as leader of Finger Lakes reopening effort is uncertain and said: “I’ve actually asked if it’s not gonna be allowed to open for some time, to let us know so we can tell people…” Though Duffy has not received any guidance, answers, or any specifics from the states, he added he is hoping to get some sense in the near future.

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