Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on April 20, 2022
A former school bus driver is in serious trouble with the law after being accused of sexually abusing a girl. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the investigation into 74-year-old Tomas Rosario began last month after Rochester police received a report from the 13-year-old claiming he touched her inappropriately. Surveillance video from Rosario’s bus revealed disturbing interactions between himself and the girl and when police searched his phone, they found images of child pornography. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the FBI.
Don’t throw out your facemasks just yet, according to Governor Kathy Hochul; masks are still required, at least for the short term, in certain settings in New York State. The governor announced today that despite Monday’s ruling in Florida, New York will still require masks on public transit, which includes buses and bus stations, trains and train stations, subways and subway station as well as airports. Masks will also be required in state-regulated healthcare settings, state-regulated adult care facilities and nursing homes, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and domestic violence shelters.
For the sixth straight month, Genesee County’s unemployment rate was lower than the pre-pandemic rate for the same month, according to the New York State Department of Labor. The rate of 3.7% for March of this year reflects a dip when compared to a 4.5% rate in March 2019. The rate in March 2021 was 5.6% and the rate in March 2020 was 5.7%. The current rate is the lowest it’s been from available state labor department records going back to 1990. By the way, the unemployment rate for all of New York State is 4.7%, which is higher than the March 2019 — pre-pandemic — rate of 4%.
The Western New York region is receiving more than 12-million-dollars to help combat the ongoing opioid crisis in the area. State Attorney General Letitia James said yesterday the funds would come from settlements with the manufacturers and distributors of opioids. Money will go towards treating people who are struggling with addiction and also prevention programs to teach kids about the dangers of opioids and drugs. James says while no amount of money will replace all that’s been lost during the epidemic, these funds will go a long way towards helping recovery efforts. All 62 counties in New York will receive some money from the settlement. Genesee County will be receiving $423,876; Orleans County, $246,260.
County public health directors in the GLOW region today encourage all eligible residents to get their second COVID-19 booster shot. The BA.2 variant is being referred to as ‘stealth Omicron’, and currently represents 80.6% of COVID infections in the state. Those interested in getting a second booster need to wait at least four months since the time they received their first booster dose.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says failure is not an option when it comes to saving the USS The Sullivans. Brown said yesterday cleanup around the vessel is continuing, several days after a hull breach caused the ship to fill with thousands of gallons of water. So far, crews have removed over 4600 gallons of waste and several yards of debris that ended up in the water that surrounds the ship. Divers were supposed to check out the damage to the ship yesterday but that didn’t happen due to the weather conditions.
Governor Hochul has released her first campaign ads as she looks to win a full, four-year term in office this November. The television and digital ads highlight Hochul’s accomplishments since she became governor last year following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo. They include cracking down on illegal guns and investing more money in public schools so additional teachers can be hired. Hochul is being challenged in the June Democratic primary by New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Congressman Tom Suozzi of Long Island.
The Buffalo Bills have announced a partnership as plans to build a brand-new stadium for the NFL franchise move forward. Team officials say they’ll be working closely with Legends, a premium experience company that’ll help with project management and sales involving the roughly one-billion-dollar facility. The stadium will be located across from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. There’s no word yet on when construction is going to start.
Childhood lead poisoning is of course, a concern throughout the year, but cases of lead poisoning increase during the spring and summer months because children spend more time outdoors, on the porch or in the yard. Homes built before 1978 may have chipping and peeling lead paint on the porch or on siding, which could be more deteriorated than other parts of the house due to the effects of weather. Children playing on the porch can unknowingly pick up lead paint chips and dust on their hands and toys and then place hands or toys into their mouths. Lead dust can also be found in the soil outside where children are playing. And also, many home improvements begin in the spring and summer. Renovations to areas of the home containing lead-based paint can put lead dust into the air, both inside and outside of the area being worked on. Lead dust can also collect on windowsills and in window wells. On warm days when the windows are open, lead dust in these areas can blow into the house. For more information on Lead Poisoning Prevention Programs, visit GOHealthNY.org. Or, in Genesee County, call: 585-344-2580 or email Health.GOlead@co.genesee.ny.us