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posticon Lansing Schools Providing Services While Classrooms Are Closed

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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School is closed, but some school employees are still working to provide essential services, especially preparing and delivering food and materials to students at their homes. Pettograsso told the Board of Education at an online school board meeting Monday that the plan is to keep students home until April 13th, but noted that date, along with many other things, might change depending on the progress of COVID-19 and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's directives to school districts.

"Two areas that we really need to give a ton of gratitude towards is our food service and our transportation department cause they are here for the long haul because we are going to be feeding and transporting food and materials to students as long as we need to," Pettograsso said. "We are considered a government agency so we are exempt for many of them. So that's why we're able to have employees still come in to make sure that we have some of our essential operations occurring."

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posticon Coronavirus Update This Week

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Coronavirus in Tompkins County

As of Tuesday the Tompkins County Health Department reported 32 confirmed COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) cases.  462 test results were pending, and of the 1,009 tested, 515 came have come back back negative according to a Wednesday update by the Tompkins County Health Department.  354 people in the County were being monitored in quarantine, and 526 had been released from quarantine.  State-wide there were 37,258 confirmed cases, There have been no deaths from COVID-19 in Tompkins County.

For the foreseeable future the Lansing Star is checking the Tompkins County Health Department website regularly and updating county coronavirus statistics at the top of our front page within an hour of updates being posted.
In Lansing the Town Web Site was updated last weekend with a large graphic on the home page.  Click on the graphic and you are taken to a page with links to resources.  The Town Board meeting was broadcast live on Facebook.  The Town Board voted to install cameras in the courtroom last week in order to live stream and record public meetings not just for the Town Board, but for other boards such as the Planning and Zoning boards.  The Lansing schools closed March 14th.  Lansing School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso said Monday that the school campus will reopen April 13th unless Governor Cuomo mandates an earlier date.  Like all public officials, Pettograsso has stressed that the situation is fluid and anything can change on a day to day basis.  Monday's School Board meeting was online only, using Zoom web conferencing.

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posticon Coronavirus Speeds Up School Construction

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Raymond C. Buckley Elementary School

Since the Lansing schools closed March 14th everyone including school administrators, teachers, students, and parents have struggled to meet many challenges the closing has presented.  It hasn't been exactly bad news, but not what one might characterize as good news either.  But School Business Administrator Kate Heath told the Board of Education that there has been one piece of great news coming out of the crisis -- construction 2020 Community, Safety, and Health & Wellness Capital Project that would have been delayed until the close of school in May is being done now, putting at least some of the work ahead of schedule.

"The thing that is kind of a bonus in the midst of all this is that we're able to move forward with construction and get some things done that we weren't planning on being able to do till the summer," Heath said. "It'll be the one small thing that came out of this that was good."

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posticon Ithaca Food Worker Tests Positive for COVID-19

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By Samantha Hillson Print
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The Tompkins County Health Department received notification of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a food worker. The individual worked two shifts at Mango Mango Dessert, a restaurant located at 159 Dryden Rd., Ithaca, NY.

The food worker was at Mango Mango Dessert on the following dates:

Saturday, March 14 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday, March 15 from 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM

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posticon TCAT to Further Reduce Service

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By Patty Poist Print
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TCAT will be reducing service for the second time this month starting Mon., March 30, while still maintaining as many travel options as possible for those who need to go out for essentials.

Ridership is now at about 10 percent of what it was before the recent statewide escalation of the coronavirus crisis, which has more and more people staying home and social distancing.

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posticon Cornell Postpones Commencement

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By -Staff Print
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Last Friday Cornell President Martha E. Pollack sent a message to the graduating class of 2020 to say that Cornell is postponing its graduation ceremony to a date to be determined. Pollack said it is not possible to set a date now, and that commencement will be rescheduled depending on the progression of the current health crisis.

"This year, while degrees will be granted on time, we will not be able to have the ceremony on Memorial Day weekend," she wrote. "But we will celebrate: we will have a commencement – and it will be a joyous one!"

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posticon What NY Businesses May Stay Open

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By NYS Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced last Friday that he was signing the 'New York State on PAUSE' executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22. Guidance on essential services under the executive order is as follows:

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.

(Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health).

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posticon ICSD Moving to Home Delivery Only for School Meals

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By Ithaca City School District Print
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In order to help support travel and social distancing restrictions the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) announced they would move to only home delivery for school meals starting Tuesday (March 23). Meal pickup locations will not be operational.

ICSD staff will be at the sites on Monday to provide food and assist those who have not received notice of this change; the sites will not be staffed after Monday.

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posticon $24M Will Fund Electric Bus Purchases

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By NYSERDA Print
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The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that more than $24 million is now available to replace diesel-powered transit buses with new all-electric transit buses, which will help improve air quality, reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and promote investment in cleaner fuel technologies, among other benefits.   Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) is among the eligible beneficiaries.

As part of the state's $127.7 million allocation of the federal Volkswagen Settlement, NYSERDA will administer approximately $18.4 million to fund the new electric transit buses through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) will manage $6 million for associated charging infrastructure.

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posticon 40,000 NYS Health Professionals Volunteer for Surge Healthcare Force

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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40,000 healthcare workers, including retirees and students, have signed up so far to volunteer to work as part of the state's surge healthcare force during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with more expected to sign up in the coming weeks. Additionally, more than 6,000 mental health professionals have signed up to provide free online mental health services.

Governor Cuomo also announced New York City will pilot closing streets to vehicles and opening them to pedestrians as part of the city's plan to address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols. As part of the plan, the Governor is also enacting a voluntary playground social density protocol that prohibits close contact sports such as basketball.

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posticon Mitrano Secures Democratic Ballot for Congress NY 23rd District

News | Friday, March 27, 2020 | By Mitrano Campaign Print
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Penn Yan - Announcements were made on Thursday, March 19, 2020 that Tracy Mitrano (D-Penn Yan) secured the Democratic line on the ballot as NY 23 District’s Democratic Congressional candidate.

Petitions were filed in Albany, NY on Friday around 3:30 with more than enough signatures to appear on the ballot as NY-23's Democratic Congressional candidate, as well as to appear on both the Working Families Party and SAM Party lines.

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