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Today's Top Stories - Friday, December 17th, 2021

Wreaths Across America Tomorrow at Bath VA
Wreaths Across America day is tomorrow at national cemeteries across the country including our own local Bath VA. This year’s theme is "Live Up to Their Legacy" with the mission to remember the Fallen and honor those who serve. The public is welcome to attend and participate in the wreath placing tomorrow at noon.  COVID-related guidelines  like masking and social distancing will be strictly followed as required by the National Cemetery Administration, regardless of vaccination status. For guidelines, wreath delivery videos, and updates on the event, you can go to www.facebook.com/WAABathNYNationalCemetery.


Hammondsport CSD Votes “Yes” on Capital Reserve Solutions
Voting ended last night on Hammondsport Central School District’s capital reserve resolutions. Proposition #1, that would authorize creating and funding the 2021 building capital reserve fund passed with 106 “yes” votes and 17 voting “no”. Proposition #2 which involved information as well audiovisual technology equipment and supplies purchases and expenditures, passed with 112 votes of “yes” and 11 “no” votes. Proposition #3 was passed with 107 “yes” votes and 14 no. Prop 3 will give authorization to create and fund capital reserve.


State Ban on Styrofoam Begins in January
As we are set to ring in the new year, our state is set to implement a sweeping ban on foamed polystyrene products or more commonly known as styrofoam. The sale and use of packing-peanuts, takeout containers, coffee cups, and the sale of all products using foamed polystyrene will end along with polystyrene manufacturing. The only exception to the styrofoam ban is that it will not not pertain to foamed polystyrene (used for raw meat or fish) or regular polystyrene which is a material that CD and DVD cases are made commonly made from. Though styrofoam comes at a low upfront cost to retailers and shoppers, it comes at a high price for the environment because it is not biodegradable, it’s made of petroleum and is difficult to recycle. Foamed polystyrene products have been estimated to take up about 30 percent of U.S. landfill space.


NYSAC’s Lavigne Talks NY Mask Mandate Enforcement by Counties
As many counties in the Southern Tier region like our own Steuben County say they will be unable to enforce Governor Hochul’s new mask mandate, Mark Lavigne with the New York State Association of Counties says it will be businesses and individuals that will enforce the mandate, much like the “Clean Air Act” that banned smoking in public places in New York. Lavigne explains county leaders are  battling the increase in COVID cases statewide by encouraging COVID vaccination and improving testing infrastructure. Lavigne noted that contact tracing will become even more difficult for already-understaffed county health departments.



NY Awarding $145 Million for Affordable Housing
Governor Kathy Hochul announced more than $145 million has been awarded to create or preserve 1,178 affordable homes in 21 separate developments across NY State.  The funding will further pandemic recovery efforts, fight homelessness, help close the digital divide for lower income households, and expand access to safe and sustainable affordable housing opportunities that advance the state’s clean energy goals.  $4.6 million has been awarded to the Bryant School in the city of Hornell.  The project is the adaptive reuse and expansion of the former Bryant Elementary School into 39 affordable apartments. The redevelopment complements the state’s ongoing efforts to revitalize Hornell’s downtown district. 


Comptroller Says Medicaid Enrollment has Risen
According to a new report by NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, a record # of NYers relied on Medicaid for health care in 2021, with monthly enrollment exceeding 7 million for the 1st time.  While enrollment has grown by about 5% per year over the last 15 years, increasing from about 1 in 7 NYers in 1998 to 1 in 3 in 2021, state budget projections rely on expectations for significant enrollment declines that may not ever materialize. 


Corning Inc. Facing Sex Discrimination Lawsuit
Corning Incorporated is facing a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for alleged sex discrimination at the company’s Sullivan Park and Big Flats locations.  The lawsuit alleges the company failed to promote female machine operators at the 2 facilities. 


AG Dismisses Elmira Photographer's Lawsuit
According to NY Attorney General Letitia James a NY judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Elmira wedding photographer who refused to photograph same-sex marriages.  The wedding photographer was claiming that NY's anti-discrimination laws violated her right to refuse to photograph same-sex marriages and that the NY's public accommodation laws violate her First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

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