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Michael T. Baldwin Reports

Michael T.

Our local news ‘institution’, Mr. Baldwin brings us the headlines of the day: Lyme Disease Season, Open Sidewalk Seating in NY, Pennsylvannia Counties Get Huge First Responder Funding, and The Honorable Kevin M. Carter.

Lyme disease season is upon us once again! While you can get bit by a tick year-round, there is typically a surge in the spring and summer months. In 2019, New York State had 2,847 confirmed cases of Lyme. It is likely that these numbers were even higher, as many cases remain undiagnosed.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks. There is a wide range of early signs and symptoms, which include: fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and/or a bull’s-eye rash. Serious health complications can occur if Lyme is left untreated, such as: arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, irregular heart beat and/or heart palpitations, or inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

Prevent Tick Bites:

 Avoid grassy, brushy, or wooded areas with high leaf and grass litter

 Walk in the center of trails

 Treat boots, camping gear, and clothing with products containing 0.5% permethrin

 Use an insect repellent containing DEET that is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

 Wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing

 Carefully check your body for ticks and immediately shower after coming indoors

 Examine pets and outdoor gear for ticks

If you find a tick on you, remove it as soon as possible! Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull upward with even, steady pressure. Do not twist or jerk; this can cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. After removal, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Lastly, dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet, putting it in alcohol, or placing it in a sealed bag wrapped tightly in tape. Never crush a tick with your fingers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that will allow restaurants to utilize municipal spaces like sidewalks and streets for outdoor dining. First granted under an executive order by the Governor, this law allows restaurants to continue using these public spaces for another year as they recover from the economic devastation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants were especially impacted by the pandemic, with many continuing to struggle as New York recovers. 

Fire and emergency response organizations in Cameron, McKean and Potter counties have been awarded more than $445,000 in grants from the state, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) announced today.

“Our fire and EMS companies across the state, and especially in rural areas like ours, are struggling financially and these grants go a long way toward helping to meet their needs,” Causer said. “We owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who work so hard to protect our communities, and I am pleased we can continue to support them with this valuable funding.”

The funding comes from an ongoing grant program created by the Legislature and administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC). All funding comes from the proceeds from slot machine gaming, and not General Fund tax revenue.

Since its inception, the program has provided approximately $7.4 million in funding to fire and ambulance companies in the three-county area. Projects eligible for funding include construction or renovation of a fire or ambulance company facility, purchase or repair of equipment, training, or reduction of existing debt. This year, the funding may also be used to offset revenue loss due to limited fundraising opportunities resulting from COVID-19 restrictions.

Genesee received nearly $9,000 for EMS operations and $11K for fire. Shinglehouse received $9k for EMS and $12K for fire operations. 

Judge Marks

Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks has announced the appointment of Hon. Kevin M. Carter as Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District. In his new position, Judge Carter will oversee the management and day-to-day operations of the trial courts in the Eighth Judicial District, which comprises Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The appointment was made with the approval of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and after consultation with Hon. Gerald J. Whalen, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Judge Carter succeeds Hon. Paula L. Feroleto, who is returning full-time to the trial bench.

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