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Josh Durso

Josh leads the content team at FingerLakes1.com and reports on an array of issues impacting residents in Upstate New York and beyond. Have a question? Send it to josh@fingerlakes1.com.

New booster available, masking requirements lifted in many settings as New York shifts COVID-19 regulations

Possible COVID-19 exposure at Auburn gas station
Masking is optional in many settings where it was previously required across New York, according to Governor Kathy Hochul. Governor Hochul made that announcement on Wednesday, along with an update on vaccines. The bivalent COVID-19 ... more
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Seneca Orchards will shut down as fall arrives: Owner says it was a ‘difficult decision’

Seneca Orchards will shut down as fall arrives: Owner says it was a ‘difficult decision’
A popular apple orchard in Seneca Castle is shutting down. Seneca Orchards said over the weekend that they made the difficult decision to permanently close. "Many thanks to our customers for all of your patronage, ... more
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SUNDAY CONVERSATION: How can small cities like Auburn, Canandaigua, or Geneva find long-term growth through planning? (podcast)

SUNDAY CONVERSATION: How can small cities like Auburn, Canandaigua, or Geneva find long-term growth through planning? (podcast)
Bill Fulton's new book "Place and Prosperity: How cities help us to connect and innovate" is a collection of essays and columns the planner-turned-mayor-turned-author wrote over several years. The Auburn native lives in Houston, Texas ... more
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‘PLACE AND PROSPERITY’: Auburn native’s new book provides playbook for downtown, community growth

'PLACE AND PROSPERITY': Auburn native's new book provides playbook for downtown, community growth
Bill Fulton's new book 'Place and Prosperity: How cities help us to connect and innovate' is out now. The Auburn native, who was mayor of Ventura, California and planning director for the city of San ... more
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Fayette gets $1M to expand sewer service by 11+ miles on Seneca Lake side

Fayette gets $1M to expand sewer service by 11+ miles on Seneca Lake side
There were 12 winners of federal grant money totaling $5.8 million for economic and community development projects across New York's 28 county Northern Border Region. A total of 55 applications were submitted and reviewed. However, ... more
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Statewide childcare campaign begins: Families of four earning up to $83,250 now eligible for assistance

Childcare industry will receive $1.1 billion dollars in funding to help parents return to work
Governor Kathy Hochul and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have launched a statewide multimedia campaign to ensure families across the state have access to child care assistance. Administered by the state Office of Children and Family Services, ... more
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Planning your visit to the New York State Fair: 10 things to see or do this weekend

Planning your visit to the New York State Fair: 10 things to see or do this weekend
The New York State Fair is underway. If you're looking for some fun things to do this weekend, there are regular daily events, as well as a number of must see attractions. Attendance was down ... more
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Olympia Sports stores shutting down: Company announces all locations will close

Olympia Sports stores shutting down: Company announces all locations will close
Count Olympia Sports among the retail fatalities of the last decade. The sports store, which operated more than 70 locations in its prime will close in the coming weeks. None of its locations will survive ... more
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$34.7M New York State Fair improvements announced on opening day

State officials say State Fair Director Troy Waffner’s departure was voluntary
The New York State Fair has begun. Governor Kathy Hochul kicked off the event announcing $34.7 million in projects to improve agricultural facilities at the Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Hochul cut the ribbon at a ceremony ... more
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$20M coming for addiction services providers impacted by COVID-19 in New York

NY Senate Joint-Task Force finding ways to help rural areas battling opioid addiction
Up to $20 million is available to support addiction services providers in New York State that have been impacted by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal funding will assist providers with fiscal ... more
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Auburn, North-Rose Wolcott, and Sodus school districts will share over $1M for student homelessness programs

Elmira College enforces vaccine mandate and other strict guidelines for the return of students
The New York State Education Department has awarded $7.1 million to districts in federal grant funding to help programs supporting homeless students. There were 27 school districts, five boards of Cooperative Educational Services, three district-led ... more
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One dead after motorcycle crash in Webster

Police: Motorcyclist killed in Webster crash, investigation remains active
Police say a man has died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash that happened late-Friday. The Webster Police Department were called to Webster Road at Millcreek Run around 8 p.m. for a motorcycle accident ... more
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Auburn motorcyclist killed in fatal crash

Auto Draft
Cayuga County Sheriff Brian Schenck has provided an update on the crash that first responders were called to around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, August 19. According to a news release, deputies responded to a serious ... more
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New York businesses eligible for millions in funding thanks to Small Business Credit Initiative: Who will it help most?

How to select the tax filing software for small business?
Here comes the money. Small businesses across New York will be eligible for funding allocated by the U.S. Treasury Department's State Small Business Credit Initiative. It's aimed at helping small businesses recovering from the lingering, ... more
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Prison City Pub & Brewery announces upcoming exit of head brewer Ben Maeso

Prison City Pub & Brewery announces upcoming exit of head brewer Ben Maeso
Prison City Pub & Brewery is destined to have a new head brewer. On Friday, owners Dawn and Marc Schulz, posted a message to Facebook, sharing that Ben Maeso, would be leaving Prison City this ... more
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Fire at Birkett Mills in Penn Yan

Fire at Birkett Mills in Penn Yan
A building fire was reported at Birkett Mills in Penn Yan on Thursday. While the fire itself was contained to piping in the roaster room of the Seneca Street structure, it still prompted a significant ... more
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License or passport? REAL ID change happening in 2023, but here’s why not everyone will need to upgrade

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Beginning May 3, 2023 if you're flying identification has to meet new federal standards. For most New Yorkers that means upgrading to Enhanced, or REAL ID. The state has very clear language on what's happening ... more
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Lawmaker takes aim at ‘Under the Hood’ requirement for CDL license: Proposal would remove requirement for school bus drivers

Teen crashes school bus in Seneca County, then skips court appearance
Lawmakers in Congress have introduced legislation that could have a positive impact on the bus driver shortage. Congressman Joe Morelle, who represents the Rochester area, introduced a piece of legislation that he says would help ... more
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State re-launches #VaxToSchool program to boost COVID-19 vaccine rates among kids

State re-launches #VaxToSchool program to boost COVID-19 vaccine rates among kids
Governor Kathy Hochul annoucned the re-launch of New Yorks' #VaxToSchool program. The multi-faceted statewide campaign aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates among school-aged children. "As we prepare for the beginning of the school year and ... more
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