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Today's Top Stories - Tuesday November 24th, 2020

Six More COVID Deaths in Steuben County
The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification of the death of six individuals who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.  This brings the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Steuben County to 96. Three of the individuals were residents of Absolut Care Three Rivers; One individual was in the care of Corning Center for rehab and died while hospitalized at age 49.  Another individual was a male resident of the Village of Painted Post who died while hospitalized at the age of 66…and the sixth victim was a male resident of the Town of Troupsburg who died while hospitalized at the age of 81.

 

Steuben Reports 81 New COVID Cases Since Saturday
81 new COVID cases impacting Steuben County residents have been confirmed since Saturday.  This brings the total to 1,650 confirmed cases, 232 of which are currently active. The 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.

 

Steuben Adopts New $194 Million County Budget
The newly adopted 2021 Steuben County budget of $194 million includes a slight increase in the $51 million tax levy, with property owners looking at a drop in the average tax rate of 14 cents per $1,000 from $8.07 this year down to $7.93 in 2021. The budget was adopted Monday during a special session of the county Legislature. Steuben’s tax levy is the amount property owners pay for county operations, with each town’s levy determined by a complex equalization rate set by the state. Steuben’s 2021 budget also comes in under the state cap, avoiding penalties set by the state.

 

Cuomo and Sheriffs Comment on Not Enforcing 10 Person Limit
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo continued his sharp criticism of sheriffs across New York state who say they will not patrol to enforce executive orders limiting gatherings statewide, saying that picking and choosing what laws to enforce makes someone a dictator and not an effective member of law enforcement. Cuomo’s executive order calls for private home gatherings to be limited to 10 or less people and though he is aware that many New Yorkers find “intrusive”, he says officials not enforcing the law fully “...sets a dangerous precedent,” and the law is not not up to them to decide. The New York State Association of Sheriffs released a statement regarding the Executive Order:
“We do not know if the governor’s limit on home gatherings to ten individuals is the right number or not….We do know, however, that the governor has attempted to foist upon local law enforcement an impossible task. How are officers to know, without violating citizens’ right to privacy and other Constitutional rights, how many people are in the home? How are they to determine if the family gathering is to be deemed “essential” or “nonessential”?
Cuomo drew  more criticism for his policy when he appeared on a radio show –sharing his elderly mother and daughters would come to Albany for Thanksgiving. A spokesperson for Cuomo later said that the governor changed those plans.

 


 

Thanksgiving Weekend STOP-DWI Patrol Begins Tomorrow
Police across New York state will be participating in the STOP-DWI Thanksgiving weekend crackdown. The statewide effort and enforcement begins tomorrow on Wednesday November 25th and ends this Sunday, November 29th.With many people on the road  for Thanksgiving holiday travel, crashes are more likely to happen, so local officials will be on patrol in full force. New York State Police urge the public to “help to make a difference by having a sober plan!" and download the mobile app "Have a Plan" to find a safe ride home.

 

Troopers Warn Citizens of Porch Pirates
The New York State Police warn the public not to leave holiday packages on the porch due to porch pirates stealing packages from residents’ doorsteps-something that may happen more often this season thanks to the pandemic. Troopers suggest installing a recording device like a video doorbell which can  be a good deterrent to thieves not wanting to be caught on camera. Troopers also report an uptick in car break in and encourage making sure to always lock your vehicle and take important items out of your car-even if it’s parked in your driveway.

 

E-Learn Act Aims to Bridge Digital Divide in NY
New York lawmakers and education advocates announced the E-Learn Act, which would provide free, high quality broadband to every student in school in New York State during the coronavirus pandemic. The bill hopes to address the digital divide that was already a problem for low-income and minority students as well as district throughout the state. All students ages 5-21 in public, private or charter schools as well as those who are homeschooled are eligible for the E-Learn program.

 

NY 7th District Courts Institute Changes After Regional COVID Spike
Changes have been instituted within New York’s 7th Judicial District courts as a result of a recent regional spike in COVID cases. Now, no more than ten people or half of a room’s occupancy, can be in a courtroom. No new prospective trial or grand jurors will receive a summons for jury duty and the number of non-judicial staff working in person will be reduced. Exceptions will be made in cases of in-person appearances, in-treatment court and judicial diversion cases, along with any cases in which a self-represented plaintiff or defendant is involved. The 7th Judicial District includes courthouses in Steuben, Wayne, and Yates Counties.

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