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Today's Top Stories - Thursday December 17th, 2020

Environmental Coordinator Bills Explains Steuben Recycling Changes
Today on WVIN’s Morning Show, Steuben County Environmental Coordinator Rich Bills discussed upcoming changes in the county recycling regulations that begin in the new year January 2021. Clear and colored glasses can now be mixed with one another but plastics must now be separated between Type 1-which is used to make water bottles, and Type 2-which is a harder plastic used to manufacture laundry detergent bottles. Plastics will be separated to make processing and recycling of the material easier. 


Winter Storms Strikes the Southern Tier
After the first snowstorm of the winter season in our region, New York State Police helped assist a stranded motorist near Corning that was off the road last night. Troopers say the car was stranded due to the winter weather conditions and remind everyone to stay safe on the winter roads and drive slower than usual. Though the storm is over for now, keep in mind that some roads still may not be fully plowed and allow yourself extra time to get out the door. It was reported a total of over 33 inches of snow fell at the National Weather Service office in Binghamton as Broome County is under a state of emergency. Caton in Steuben County reported 18 inches this morning at 6:25pm as the storm was winding down. A State of Emergency was declared by the Governor for 18 counties in the Southern Tier and Capital Region.


Steuben Reports 45 New COVID Cases; Total of 456 Currently Active
Steuben health officials are reporting 45 news cases of COVID-19. This brings the total to 2,609 confirmed cases, 456 of which are currently active. Five of the new cases are in Bath, 7 in Hornell and 6 in Corning. Health care facilities and schools accounted for most of the new cases. An employee at the Steuben County Jail also tested positive. There have also been three more deaths. The Southern Tier region’s latest COVID infection rate is reported at 2.3% 


Comptroller Reports November Decline in Local Sales Tax Collections
Local government sales tax collections declined by 7.1 percent in November compared to the same month last year, according to NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. November’s sales tax collections totaled $1.3 billion for local governments statewide, $102 million less than in November 2019. The decline is steeper than October’s 5.2 percent decline, but not as significant as the double-digit declines in the earlier months of the pandemic. 


Cuomo Outlines NY's COVID Vaccination Plan
At his briefing yesterday, Governor Cuomo outlined the next steps for the COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to more people in New York over the next 6-8 weeks. Phase two will focus on essential workers and priority members of the general public. Cuomo announced that regional vaccination hubs will work with local government leaders and community organizations to help implement distribution and administration. Each regional vaccination hub will be tasked with developing a plan for distribution in phase two. All plans will be due by early January, at which point the State Department of Health will evaluate and issue approval.

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