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NY adds Rhode Island to travel advisory, Delaware and Washington DC come off list
Posted 4 August 2020 at 12:15 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that an additional state meets the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days.

The newly-added state is Rhode Island. Delaware and Washington, D.C. have been removed. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or an area with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

“Our progress in New York is even better than we expected, thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “Our numbers continue to decline steadily, and for the third straight day in a row, there were no reported deaths in New York City. But we must protect that progress, which is why today we are adding another state to our travel advisory. We cannot go back to the hell we experienced just a few months ago – and surging infection rates across the country threaten to bring us back there – so we must all remain vigilant.”

The full, updated travel advisory list, includes 34 states: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The list also includes Puerto Rico.

The governor also said today that of the 70,993 test results reported to New York State yesterday, 746, or 1.05 percent, were positive.

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Fair food vendors return on Friday, Saturday
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 August 2020 at 11:42 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Fair food vendors are shown on July 3 during the first fair food fest at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. Eight vendors will be at the fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday.

KNOWLESVILLE – Fair food fest II will be this Friday and Saturday at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

There will be eight vendors open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the two days. The fairgrounds hosted the first fair food fest on July 3-5.

Three of those vendors will be back, and there will be five others who weren’t at the first event. This time there will be a vendor who makes sugar waffles and one with blooming onions.

With many fairs and festivals cancelled this summer, the vendors have been hurting financially. The Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County wants to support the vendors who have been part of the fair for many years and also give the public a taste of the fair.

Orleans County cancelled the week-long fair, which was scheduled for last week, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions on events with large crowds.

The vendors on Friday and Saturday include: Renko’s Sausage, The Big Cheese, Kitchen Maid Taffy, Orleans County Fair’s French Fries, Sugar Waffles, Blooming Onion, Blue Groove Coffee Cart and Fresh Squeezed Lemonade.

Social distancing and face coverings are required for attendees.

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Kendall can accommodate all students for in-person learning
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 August 2020 at 10:13 am

District adds extra class in kindergarten and first grade to space out students

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Kendall Elementary School is pictured last evening in Kendall. The district’s reopening plan would welcome all students back for in-person learning with precautions in place.

KENDALL – The school district’s reopening plan would allow for in-person learning at all grade levels from Pre-K to Grade 12.

Kendall is fortunate to have the space in classrooms where students can social distance at 6 feet apart, district superintendent Julie Christensen said during a forum last week.

Kendall would add extra classes in kindergarten and first grade which would put the average class size in those grades at 12-13 students. In second through fourth grade, the average class size would be 13 to 16 students.

That is if the families choose in-person learning. Kendall will also give parents and guardians the option of remote learning for students. In 438 surveys, about 5 percent said they will choose the remote option for students.

Students who do remote learning can log on and be a part of some classes through Zoom video conferencing.

The district plans to stagger the end of class periods in the middle and high school levels, so all of the students don’t spill out into the hallways at once.

The district will offer the array of classes, including music, art and physical education.

Kevin Watson, middle school principal, and Carol D’Agostino, the high school principal, both said students and teachers will be working diligently to meet state standards while also having fun at school. The district has new bleachers at the soccer field, with more room. They could be used for homecoming and some other events at school.

“We’re working on ways to get out of classroom so they’re not cooped up,” Watson said during the forum on July 28.

The reopening plan was submitted to the state on Friday and posted to the district’s web site. (Click here to see the document.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will announce by the end of the week whether schools will be allowed to offer in-person classes to start the school year.

Screenshot from Kendall community forum: Kendall will have desks spaced out at least 6 feet apart, with hand sanitizer, signs about proper hygiene and fountains for filling water bottles only.

In Orleans County, Kendall and Lyndonville both said they could offer in-person classes at all grade levels, every school day. Albion and Medina said they could do in-person each day from Pre-K to Grade 6, with a hybrid at grades 7 to 12, with two cohorts alternating in-person and remotely. Holley is looking at two days of in-person learning and three days of remote for all grade levels.

Smaller schools have an advantage because they can space their students out more in a classroom. Bigger schools don’t have the space or staff to meet the social distancing requirements of 6 feet apart in classrooms.

Kendall will require masks be worn on buses, in hallways and when social distancing isn’t possible. Students, once they are seated at their desks, won’t have to wear masks because they are 6 feet apart.

Wearing a mask is a “non-negotiable,” Christensen said in the community forum. If students refuse they will be directed to remote learning.

The district will provide “grab and go” breakfasts and lunches will be served with students eating in the cafeteria, overflow areas and in classrooms to ensure social distancing. Students in remote learning can also have lunch but it has to be picked up at the school.

Kendall also plans to add two day cleaners for sanitation, with those cleaners sanitizing bathrooms, door handles, classrooms when teachers at lunch and other parts of the school buildings.

The district also plans to make Chromebooks or tablets available for all students. Kendall will be prepared for a shift to remote learning if a change in the health statistics prompts the state to close schools. Last school year, Kendall students were forced to do remote learning beginning on March 16 until the end of the school year in late June.

Parents and guardians will need to do a daily health screening before they send their children to school. If kids are sick or have temperatures at 100 degrees or more, they should stay home.

“This is where we really need your help as parents,” Christensen said. “We are asking you to be partners in this.”

The reopening plans aren’t final documents. After the governor’s announcement this week, districts will continue to work on the reopening plan the next month before school is scheduled to start.

“Things are subject to change,” Christensen said.

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Another day, another double rainbow
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2020 at 9:42 pm

KENDALL – Dawn Gardner sent in this photo of a double rainbow that appeared today at about 7 p.m. on West Kendall Road. The double rainbow emerged after the sun came out following a heavy rain.

There was also a double rainbow on Sunday in Orleans County.

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Ortt, Senate Republicans say hearing on nursing homes leaves unanswered questions
Posted 3 August 2020 at 6:18 pm

Press Release, State Sen. Robert Ortt and Senate Republican Conference

ALBANY – NYS Senate Republicans today renewed calls for the Senate to use its subpoena power after empty testimony from DOH Commissioner Howard Zucker left grieving families whose loved ones died in nursing homes without new information about why this tragedy occurred.

NYS Senate Democrats allowed Commissioner Zucker and Gareth Rhodes, representing the Executive Chamber, to testify on their own volition. Both presented a convenient power point presentation that relied solely on findings of a DOH-issued report that blamed the deaths of over 6,500 seniors on coronavirus spread among staff and family visitation instead of a March 25 order that allowed coronavirus positive patients to be sent directly from hospitals into nursing homes.

The presentation echoed the narrative presented by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“Today the Senate Republican Conference came to get real answers for our families, but the Department of Health Commissioner came without any data and simply parroted the official story line of the Cuomo Administration,” said Senate Republican Conference Leader Rob Ortt.

“We again renew our call to use the Senate’s subpoena power, which enables us to obtain records and vital testimony from any person in the DOH and the Cuomo Administration involved in this so we can finally get the answers New Yorkers deserve.”

Commissioner Zucker could not provide any answers as to the real death toll among the nursing home, assisted living, and long term care population, either. New York is the only state that does not count the deaths of residents who died in the hospital after transfer. This data was never factored into the DOH report.

The actual number of deaths could be as high as 10,000 to 11,000 individuals.

Zucker could not answer specific questions on the March 25 order, which he did not bring with him.

“It’s incomprehensible that after Republicans called for an independent investigation, use of subpoena power and more to get answers for the people that the DOH Commissioner would come without knowing basic facts about this crisis,” said Ranking Member of the Investigations Committee Senator Tom O’Mara. “Commissioner Zucker acknowledged that he understood that the data on deaths of a nursing home resident with COVID transferred to a hospital where that resident ultimately died would be a significant topic of interest to the Legislature at today’s hearing, yet he came totally unprepared to address accurate nursing home death statistics despite having two weeks to prepare for his testimony. The lack of answers presented today at the Democrat-controlled hearing highlights the reason we need to use subpoena power to provide New Yorkers with real information about what happened and how to prevent this from happening as we move forward.”

Commissioner Zucker used part of his time allotment to deliver his presentation and questions were limited to members of the Investigations, Aging, and Health Committees.

“The DOH relies on a narrative with incomplete data,” said Ranking Member of the Health Committee Senator Patrick Gallivan. “Today, the DOH Commissioner failed to provide the Legislature with the complete number of deaths among nursing home residents, which includes those who died in the hospital. We must go into the next hearing with the use of the Senate’s subpoena power to finally get answers. Until this happens, we cannot say that New York State is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of our loved ones.”

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Orleans has 1 new Covid-19 case, while Genesee has 5 more
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2020 at 4:46 pm

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments said there is one new confirmed case of Covid-19 in Orleans and five more in Genesee since Friday.

Orleans has now had 277 people test positive for Covid-19. The new case is a person in the 50s from Yates. The individual was not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive, the Health Departments reported this afternoon.

The county also has 27 new individuals on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. One resident from Orleans is currently hospitalized due to Covid-19.

Genesee’s 5 new cases bring the total to 261 who have tested positive in Genesee. The new cases include residents of Batavia, Elba and Pembroke. One is in the 20s, one in the 40s, another in the 50s, one in the 60s and the other resident is in the 70s.

The individuals were not on mandatory quarantine prior to testing positive.

Genesee also has 33 new individuals on precautionary quarantine due to travel from restricted states. One Genesee resident is hospitalized.

Genesee is also reporting five more recoveries from Covid-19, bringing that total in the community to 196.

Click here to view to see an online map of confirmed cases in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Currently there are 12 active cases in the three counties.

• State update: Gov. Andrew Cuomo today reported there are 536 people hospitalized with Covid-19, the lowest since March 17.

The intubations is down to 62, the lowest since mid-March. There were three confirmed deaths from Covid-19 in the  state, including none in New York City for the second straight day.

Of the 51,839 test results reported to New York State on Sunday, 545 or 1.05 percent, were positive.

More from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Department:

• Discrepancy with state data: We only report the numbers that are directly received to our departments. NYS data has been off due to some results being linked to people with one of our county’s addresses but actually don’t live in either county. These results are transferred to the appropriate county of residence, but are not reflected in the state’s daily updates.

• Facilities: There are currently no new positive cases of residents in any of the non-county regulated facilities in Genesee or Orleans counties.  If we have any changes we will re-post the graph with updates which will include all previous confirmed cases and number of deaths.

• Travel Advisory: New York is requiring travelers from the following 34 states with high coronavirus rates to self-quarantine for 14 days: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The list also includes Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Those violating could be subject to a judicial order and mandatory quarantine and potential fines. These states may change at any time.

• Be alert for scam artists: The Genesee and Orleans County Health Department staff will always identify themselves, their position, and the reason for their visit or phone call. All staff have county provided identification badges that have their pictures.

In the event you are approached by someone stating they are from the health department without a clear reason for their visit or phone call, do not let them in your home, do not give them any information and call 911.

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Medina will allow partial payments on overdue water bills during Covid-19
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2020 at 3:54 pm

MEDINA – The Medina Village Board is giving water users  a break in the village policy of insisting on full payment of late water bills.

The village sends out the bills quarterly. It allows 21 days after a bill is due before notifying the water customer the water will be shut off.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the village didn’t send out a shut-off notice. But now about a dozen users are facing two quarterly bills, with some of them in the $900 to $1,000 range.

One landlord, Matt Mundion, asked the village to allow partial payments to make the bills more manageable for water customers.

Village Trustee Tim Elliott said he supports the partial payments because the village is likely to get some revenue rather than being more likely to get nothing from those water customers. If the bill isn’t paid and the water is turned off, the landlord is usually stuck with the full bill.

Accepting a partial payment can create an “accounting nightmare” for the village clerk’s office, which typically has only accepted full payments in the past, and has only let the payments lag for a quarter, said Debbie Padoleski, village clerk-treasurer.

The village has only allowed partial payments in the case of a big water leak resulting in a very large bill.

The Village Board, which met Saturday after last Monday’s meeting was cancelled due to the big rainstorm, agreed that water customers with two late quarterly bills must pay at least the full amount of one of those quarters to keep the water from being shut off. The second quarter bill needs to be paid before the next bill comes out in three months.

In other action at Saturday’s meeting:

• The board accepted a bid for $27,961 from Delacey Ford in Elma for a new Ford F150 truck for the Water Department.

• Voted to have Auctions International sell old playground equipment and bikes. This doesn’t include the Snail at Pine Street Park. The Snail is staying, Mayor Mike Sidari said.

• Agreed to allow the Medina cross country team to use Boxwood Cemetery for two home meets on Oct. 13 and Oct. 20, if the season is allowed in the fall. The Village Board made one stipulation that any paint with directional arrows needs to be on grass and not the roads in the cemetery.

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3 recently plead guilty in County Court
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2020 at 12:28 pm

Courthouse begins to reopen with grand jury, some in-person appearances

ALBION – Orleans County Court is gradually reopening although it isn’t fully reopen to the public.

The court is doing some in-person arraignments and some defendants have taken plea offers. Some court proceedings continue through Skype.

Last week the first grand jury was seated since mid-March, when the court systems were largely shut down in the state. The grand jury usually meets in the Public Safety Building but was moved to the main courtroom in the County Courthouse to allow for more social distancing.

Last month, three people pleaded guilty in county court and accepted plea offers.

Those cases include:

Ronald R. Cook Jr., 36, of Cobleskill, pleaded guilty on July 29 to one count of third-degree rape. He admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old girl who he met through the 4-H program.

Cook could face up to 6 months in the county jail and 10 years on probation when he is sentenced on Oct. 14.

Deon Jackson, 20, of Medina pleaded guilty on July 2 to second-degree burglary after a home invasion in Medina. He allegedly entered a Medina residence without permission on July 3, 2019 with a BB pistol, and took $1,700 in cash.

As part of the plea, he faces a maximum of five years in state prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 19.

Kelly Morrison, 45, of Medina pleaded guilty on July 8 to third-degree attempted arson for allegedly setting her house on fire on May 11, 2019 on Gwinn Street.

Morrison faces up to five years in probation and must pay any “reasonable restitution.” She will be sentenced on Sept. 9.

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Cuomo signs bill allowing ice cream and frozen desserts to be made with liquor
Posted 3 August 2020 at 11:53 am

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S7013/A8732) authorizing the manufacture and sale of ice cream and other frozen desserts made with liquor in New York State.

The legislation will help New York’s dairy farmers, liquor and craft beverage producers, dairy processors and manufacturers, food retailers and restaurants meet the increasing consumer demand for these new and innovative products.

“The craft beverage industry has experienced explosive growth in New York and with that comes a responsibility to advance regulations that help ensure long-term viability, protect consumers and provide farmers with opportunities to increase their business,” Governor Cuomo said. “This legislation will further grow a burgeoning industry and boost small businesses while helping to put them on a path of sustained growth that empowers both producers and consumers.”

The measure would limit the percentage of alcohol in ice cream to not more than 5 percent of alcohol by volume, and would require the same product labeling and warning statements similar to confectionary that contain wine, beer or cider.

Recognizing the value that craft manufacturers have for not just their own businesses, but for the State’s entire economy, Governor Cuomo has worked to create new licenses, modernize laws, relax regulations, cut taxes, eliminate fees and launch innovative promotional campaigns to make it easier to start and grow new craft manufacturing businesses. Since the Governor’s first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit, the number of farm-based licenses has increased by over 190 percent, from 282 in October 2012 to 823 today.

New York now ranks in the top five in the U.S. for its number of craft beverage producers in every category. The state ranks first in U.S. for the number of hard cider producers, second in craft breweries and distilleries, and fourth in the country for the total number of wineries.

Senator Rachel May said, “New Yorkers are already able to responsibly enjoy beer, wine, and cider infused ice creams. Thanks to this bill, vendors will now be able to offer their customers another delicious treat. This legislation will help New York’s dairy industry and our liquor and craft beverage industries at the same time. I am very grateful to the Governor for signing this into law, and I look forward to sharing some maple bourbon ice cream with him at next year’s State Fair!”

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Medina looks to accommodate public art, perhaps with an Arts Commission to review proposals
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2020 at 10:32 am

‘I think it’s time for the village to come into the 21st Century with modern art. I think there is a place for it and a place not for it.’ – Mayor Mike Sidari

Photo by Tom Rivers: The new mural of the Canalligator has been popular on social media. The large painting is on the back of a building in an alley off Proctor Place, a block from Main Street. The Form Foundation says there is some lore in Medina that there was once an alligator in the Erie Canal. This alligator is also a Buffalo Bills fan.

MEDINA – Village of Medina officials want to accommodate public art, perhaps by identifying a section in the village where murals would be allowed and may form an Arts Commission to weigh in on the proposals.

The Village Planning Board has been asked to issue a certificate of appropriateness for three murals in the historic district. One of them is already done. The board will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday to discuss the murals. (A fourth mural is proposed outside the historic district.)

The “Canalligator” debuted last month on a cinder block building, and on the back of boarded-up windows in an alley off Proctor Place.

The Form Foundation, a group in Medina pushing public art, spearheaded the project. It wants to do three more murals and would like to get started soon on those projects.

“I think it’s time for the village to come into the 21st Century with modern art,” said Medina Mayor Mike Sidari. “I think there is a place for it and a place not for it.”

Sidari and the Village Board discussed the murals on Saturday. The Canalligator mural should have come before the Planning Board before it was painted, board members said.

“They put up one and rejected the authority of the Planning Board to have any say over it,” said Todd Bensley, a village trustee.

He said he favors public art, and would like there to be a moratorium on the projects until the village establishes a process that includes modern art.

“All I’m asking for is dialogue,” Bensley said.

The Form Foundation put a petition on Change.org that was up to 1,060 supporters this morning, urging the Planning Board to keep the Canalligator and embrace the other murals. The petition states the village code enforcement officer and Planning Board is arbitrary in enforcing rules and “out-of-touch legislation.”

The foundation said the village was aware of the mural while it was happening, but didn’t respond until the mural was completed.

Village Trustee Marguerite Sherman said the Form Foundation seems to be trying to “steam roll” the projects past the Planning Board.

“I feel like someone is looking for a fight instead of working together,” she said at Saturday meeting.

Sidari said Planning Board Chairman Chris Busch has suggested Medina create a Public Arts Commission that would review murals. Medina has allowed the large outdoor paintings in recent years as long as they had a historical theme.

The Commission would review the proposals as well as the materials being used and the locations.

Trustee Sherman said she didn’t want to see another layer of government added. She said the Planning Board should stay empowered in reviewing the projects.

The Village Board, however, agreed to pursue a moratorium on public art that would likely last for 60 days. The board set a public hearing for 7:05 p.m. on Aug. 24 at the Shelby Town Hall. The moratorium will decide whether Medina should add a Public Arts Commission to review the projects. The moratorium would also give the village time to review its existing regulations for public art and see if those rules need to be updated. Village Trustee Tim Elliott cast the lone dissenting vote against a moratorium.

That moratorium won’t be in effect for Tuesday so the Planning Board can decide whether the two new mural proposals in the historic district can go forward without delay and whether the Canalligator can stay.

Sherman said the Planning Board has been put in a difficult position because the normal process of submitting an application ahead of time wasn’t followed.

Now there is urgency to approve the new murals as well because the artists have been scheduled to do the work.

“I would like to see the Planning Board have more time,” Sherman said. “I don’t think they should be pressured to make a decision because people are down their throats right now. We just want things to be done in an orderly way with the proper process.”


Governor extends look back window for Child Victims Act
Posted 3 August 2020 at 10:10 am

Claims can now be filed until August 14, 2021

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S7082/A9036) extending the look back window for victims to file claims under the Child Victims Act, regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

Since going into effect last year, the Child Victims Act has provided an avenue for justice for thousands of survivors. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, on May 8, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order extending the window until January 14, 2021. The legislation signed today extends the special filing period by a full year and claims can now be filed under the Child Victims Act until August 14, 2021.

“The Child Victims Act brought a long-needed pathway to justice for people who were abused, and helps right wrongs that went unacknowledged and unpunished for far too long and we cannot let this pandemic limit the ability for survivors to have their day in court,” Governor Cuomo said. “As New York continues to reopen and recover from a public health crisis, extending the look back window is the right thing to do and will help ensure that abusers and those who enabled them are held accountable.”

Last year, Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act to ensure survivors of childhood sexual abuse have a path to justice, including the ability to file a case which had already been time-barred or expired for a one-year period. That window to file an expired or time-barred case was set to close August 14, 2020, but had been extended until January by Executive Order on May 8.

The Child Victims Act:

  • Increases the amount of time during which perpetrators of these crimes may be held criminally accountable;
  • Allows victims of these crimes to commence a civil lawsuit at any time before they reach 55 years of age;
  • Provides survivors seeking to file actions against public and private institutions for previously time-barred claims a new opportunity for their day in court by opening a one-year window, now extended to two years, for them to commence their civil action;
  • Eliminates the need to file a notice of claim for sexual offenses committed against a minor;
  • Requires judicial training with respect to crimes involving the sexual abuse of minors;
  • Authorizes the Office of Court Administration to promulgate rules and regulations for the timely adjudication of revived actions.

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Holley’s reopening plan would have students back for in-person classes 2 days a week

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Holley Elementary School will have up to half of the students in classes on Monday and Tuesday, and then the other half on Thursday and Friday, according to the school district’s reopening plan. Wednesday will be remote learning for all students in the district.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2020 at 8:23 am

Most students would do remote learning the other 3 days

HOLLEY – The school district’s reopening plan would have students in school for in-person learning for two days a week, while the other three days would be remote learning at home. That includes all grade levels.

Splitting the student body in half for in-person classes will allow Holley to maintain social distancing in classes with desks spaced at least 6 feet apart, which is required by the state for in-person learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wednesday would be a designated day for remote learning for all students. That would allow Holley to do a “deep cleaning” of school buildings.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would announce by Aug. 7 if the state will allow in-person classes to start the school year. He said if regions stay under a 5 percent positive rate for Covid-19 tests, he expects they will get approval to open schools.

The positive rate has been about 1 percent in the Finger Lakes Region and state-wide.

Holley’s plan (click here) has options for in-person classes, a hybrid model with in-person and remote learning, and plan for remote learning only. Holley like other districts was forced to go remote learning for all students on March 16, which continued the rest of the school year.

“The question I’ve been asked the most these past few weeks is, ‘What will school look like for Holley when you open in September?’” Brian Bartalo, district superintendent, said in a letter to the community on Friday. “In truth, our reopening plan covers a lot of requirements and possibilities, but the answer as to exactly what will be in place when we open is still unknown.”

The next step for Holley will be the announcement from the governor this week about how much districts can do with in-person learning.

“Following that announcement, we will work on specific details that we will share with families and parents for exactly how we plan to open,” Bartalo said. “Therefore, although our plan is submitted, there are still a lot of questions to answer and work to do to be prepared for students and staff starting school in September.”

Holley proposed hybrid plan includes:

• Cohort A: Monday & Tuesday – In-person instruction; Wednesday – all students remote learning & staff meet/connect/plan/professional development; Thursday & Friday – remote learning.

• Cohort B: Monday & Tuesday – remote learning; Wednesday – all students remote learning & staff meet/connect/plan/professional development; Thursday & Friday – in-person instruction.

Holley’s plan would also have special education students in self-contained classrooms for in-person learning four days week, instead of two days. Wednesday would be the only remote learning day for students in special education.

“Our philosophy for reopening our school district has been to consider a safe, phase-in approach,” Bartalo said. “We believe this is smart and will allow for flexibility and the ability to respond to whatever condition is allowed or required, especially given the COVID-19 situation, which is unpredictable.”

Holley will survey parents after the governor’s announcement. If in-person learning is allowed, Holley wants to know if parents will be sending their children to school and if they will be riding the bus.

“With so many new rules that we will need to enforce and mandates (daily health screening, hygiene routines, wearing masks, staying distant in building spaces and on buses, etc.) that we will need to learn and adhere to, we expect to have to spend considerable time to start the year going through all it with students and staff,” Bartalo said. “We also know that all these mandates will change how staff members have worked with students, both in-person and remotely. However, we will have high expectations for student attendance, learning and achievement, no matter how we reopen.”

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Brilliant double rainbow appears after rain
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2020 at 8:48 pm

MEDINA – Alyssa Thomas of Medina sent in these photos of a bright rainbow that appeared at about 6:40 p.m.

Thomas took the photo of the rainbow over the Erie Canal in Medina. She was standing near the Napa Auto Parts store.

These siblings, Roen and Margot Thomas, are pictured with the rainbow behind them.

Donna Smith took this photo of the rainbow in Waterport. She ventured outside after a power outage in the community. Otherwise she would have missed it because she would have been inside making dinner.

Mindy Warne took this photo from the Oak Orchard on the Lake shoreline of a double rainbow ending at Point Breeze.

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Motorcyclist taken by Mercy Flight with serious injuries after accident in Murray
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2020 at 6:48 pm

MURRAY – A motorcyclist suffered serious injuries this afternoon after an accident on Kendall Road.

Mercy Flight took the motorcyclist to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

The accident happened at about 5:30 p.m. at the curve between Ridge Road and the Murray/Kendall town line.

There wasn’t another vehicle involved in the accident.

The State Police is the lead agency investigating the accident. No other information is available.

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NY sees new low in hospitalizations from Covid-19
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 August 2020 at 5:14 pm

6 million Covid tests have been completed in state

The state reached a new low in hospitalizations from Covid-19 on Saturday. The 556 hospitalizations are the fewest since March 17.

There were also three confirmed deaths from Covid-19 on Saturday in the state. The state’s three-day daily average was 4, the lowest number since mid-March.

The state also reached a milestone on Saturday with the total Covid tests in the state surpassing 6 million.

“We’ve now conducted over 6 million tests, and the numbers are just about where we want them to be, which is all very good news and says that our plan is working,” Governor Cuomo said today. “However, context is important, and there are storm clouds on the horizon in the form of new cases throughout the country and a lack of compliance here in the state, and I urge New Yorkers to stay New York Smart and local governments to properly enforce state guidance.”

Saturday was also the five-month anniversary of the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the state. The state has had 416,298 confirmed cases in the past five months.

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