Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on March 30, 2022
Unemployment rates in the GLOW region continue to decline compared to a year ago, according to state data just released. The Department of Labor statistics show less unemployment in each of the four counties when comparing February 2021 to February 2022. Each of the counties was below 5 percent most recently — a change from the height of the COVID19 pandemic two years ago. Orleans and Wyoming counties were tied for the GLOW region’s highest unemployment rates as of this past February. Genesee County’s unemployment rate last month was 4.1 percent or about 1,200 people. That compares to 6.2 percent or 1,800 people in February 2021.
The Medina Police Department issued a warning this afternoon to local residents and nearby communities. Scammers are using the department’s phone number and calling residents. People who answer the call are told that they are wanted on a warrant and the only way to clear up the issue is to pay money. Medina police say this is not how they, or any other law enforcement agency handles warrants. If you are contacted, Medina Police advise you obtain as much information as you can without engaging in a lengthy conversation with the caller; once you disconnect, call 911 or Medina Police (585-798-5602) and speak to an officer. People should never give the caller money or information about their financial accounts.
Geomagnetic storms are in the forecast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center…more simply put, forecasters tell us we may be able to see the Northern Lights here in Western NY. The current storm has a rating of 3, which can make auroras visible as far south as the New York/Pennsylvania state line. The lights may be visible starting as early as 8 p.m. this evening through 5 a.m. tomorrow. Historically for us, auroras tend to show off their colors after midnight and into the wee hours of the morning.
Health officials in Western NY say the new surge in COVID-19 cases can be traced to the onset of the latest subvariant of COVID-19, known as BA-dot-2. The variant was first confirmed in Monroe County last week and has led to a 70 percent increase in cases. The CDC says the variant is now the most dominant one in the country. Yesterday, health officials reported 352 new COVID cases, most of which came from home test results. Hospitalizations remain steady right now.
Congressman Chris Jacobs along with NYS Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy held a press conference at a gas station Tuesday morning to call on President Biden to “get out of the way of the American Energy Industry and allow affordable, domestically produced energy to flow to the American People.” Jacobs blamed rising gas and heating costs on the president’s canceling of the Keystone XL pipeline and destructive policies against US Oil production. They also held a voter registration drive at the event.
Officials with the Seneca Nation say they’re releasing casino revenue sharing payments totaling 564-million dollars to New York State. Governor Kathy Hochul says about $418,000,000 dollars from the settlement will go toward the new Buffalo Bills stadium. The move followed hours of deliberations this week. Seneca Nation blames the state for causing restrictions of the accounts used to pay salaries and services. Officials say the state made a move on their bank accounts while Seneca Nation waited for a review of its revenue sharing payments. Nation officials say the move resulted in a freeze of its accounts, but state officials say their move was justified.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined his colleagues from the Senate and Assembly Minorities in calling on Governor Hochul and the legislative Majority to amend the state’s bail reform law, seeking to restore judicial discretion that would empower judges to keep criminals they know to be dangerous off of the streets. Hawley has spoken out against the danger this law poses to communities since it was first passed in 2019, after reports emerged throughout the state of violent acts being perpetrated by offenders released, sometimes repeatedly, due to bail reform.
It’s less than a week until opening day at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. The Bisons will take on the Iowa Cubs at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5th. This marks the first opening game for the Bisons at Sahlen Field in three years due to pandemic-related changes. This year, fans can enjoy improvements made to the ballpark during that time, and can expect several theme nights planned throughout the season.