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Today's Top Stories - Friday, August 14th, 2020

State DOT Beginning Bath Paving Project on Routes 54 and 415
A $1.9 million project is soon underway in Steuben County to replace sidewalks and enhance pedestrian safety in the Village of Bath. New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) Officials announced yesterday that existing sidewalks along Route 415 and Route 54 will be replaced and extended in some areas. The state will also install over 2 ½ miles of new sidewalks to improve their walkability. These areas are to be transformed to meet ADA standards.


New York State Schools Submit Reopening Plans
All school districts across New York state have submitted their reopening plans to the state according to the Department of Education in a statement provided yesterday, just before today’s final deadline. Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo said  over 100 districts had failed to provide reopening plans for state review by last week's deadline, including six districts in the Southern Tier. Cuomo's announcement came with pushback from some local districts, who said they had already submitted their plans and received confirmation from New York State.


Campbell Boy Invites Community to Drive-By Birthday Celebration
Steven Spencer from Campbell celebrates his sixth birthday this year and needs the community’s help! Steven’s mother told WETM he has special needs and was upset to find out no one attended his drive by graduation. His family asks the community to come together for a drive-by birthday celebration this Saturday at 2 p.m. The celebration invites cars to drive by his home in Campbell and honk for the celebration. More information on the event can be found on Facebook.


Congressman Reed Comments on USPS Dilemma, Mail-in Voting
Congressman Tom Reed says he is aware and concerned with constituents sharing stories nationally regarding delays in Post Office mail deliveries, operational changes and staff reductions. Reed announced that he wrote a letter this week to the Post Master General. Yesterday, President Trump said he is against additional funding for the Post Office due to concerns of fraud associated with mail-in voting and Reed says he shares the President’s concern about fraud associated with mail-in voting. However, Reed says if Americans choose to vote by mail in this election, that should be accommodated.


Ride for Red in Big Flats Cancelled
The 12th Annual Ride for the Red motorcycle run in Big Flats, scheduled for September 5th , has been canceled due to the pandemic and limitations by the state's maximum crowd size and social distancing requirements. Ride for the Red, which starts at the Big Flats American Legion and raises funds annually for the regional Service to the Armed Forces program of the American Red Cross. Led by the New York State Motorcycle Troopers, Ride for Red has raised more than $80,000 since its inception in 2009.


NY DOL Updates Software Following System Issues & Delayed Claims
Close to $40 billion was paid out to 3.3 million New Yorkers in unemployment insurance through the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is a massive figure unseen in decades. Some users of the State Department of Labor’s unemployment website and phone logs have had issues with the system. The unemployment system’s backlogs caused unemployment benefits for thousands of people to be delayed for months early on in the pandemic. The system wasn’t set up to handle the volume before the state updated its software and officials say the DOL is ready for whatever comes next, including a flood of new unemployment claims down the road.


Thousands of Families to Receive Boost in SNAP Benefits
Over 700,000 low-income families across New York State get a boost in their SNAP benefits this month provided by an emergency assistance protocol. Depending on family size the amount could range from nearly $200 to $700. Advocates say extra assistance could mean the difference between benefits running out in a few weeks or stretching through the whole month.


Schumer Warns Loss of Regional Jobs if USPS is Defunded
US Senator Chuck Schumer was in Rochester yesterday to discuss the number of jobs in the Finger Lakes that would be lost if the postal service continues to fail. Schumer says 2,200 postal jobs in the region would be lost if the Trump Administration cuts postal funding. Schumer has called on more funding to keep post offices running across the country. Schumer says President Trump and new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are to blame for slowing the mail delivery system down but and attempting to eliminate the use of absentee ballots in the upcoming Presidential Election.

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