Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on April 26, 2022
A Mercy Flight medical helicopter on a training mission crashed shortly after one this afternoon. The chopper went down near 7269 Norton Road, off of Route 262 in Elba. State Police confirm there were two deaths and the investigation into the crash continues. (Photo courtesy of our news partner, www.thebatavian.com)
The Batavia City School District will propose to voters a $54.8 million budget for 2022-23 at a public hearing May 5. It’s a proposal that includes a $19.7 million tax levy, raising the levy 1%. The district reduced the proposed levy increase from 5.5% to 1% as they put the proposed budget together. The public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, May 5 in the administrative conference room.
Today, the battle over the future of New York’s Congressional Districts will move to the state’s highest court. The Court of Appeals is going to hear arguments on the issue after a lower court ruled last week the districts created by Democrats in the Legislature violated the state’s constitutional ban on partisan redistricting. Republicans claim that the districts aren’t fair to their party since most of them strongly favor Democrats. But Democrats disagree, saying they were drawn up using the proper guidelines.
Governor Hochul says the Western New York region is going to receive hundreds of millions of dollars to help complete much-needed projects. During a visit to Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo yesterday, the governor said funds from the state budget will be used to make investments at several places such as the Buffalo Zoo and Albright-Knox Art Gallery and to help create a Hispanic Heritage Center in Buffalo. Money will also go towards improving the area’s infrastructure and to build a brand new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.
Recently released results from a Siena College Poll suggests 2 things: The first, that New Yorkers don’t want the state to spend tax dollars on the Buffalo Bills Stadium, and second, that they are liking Governor Hochul less and less. Researchers found the funding for the stadium is opposed by at least 55% of every demographic group, and upstate New Yorkers approve less than voters downstate. Hochul is down 10 points in approval since just last month and 19 points from the beginning of the year. 45 percent of respondents say they would vote for someone else if Hochul was on the ballot. Only 29 percent say she has fulfilled promises to make people trust the Albany government.
Western New York Congressman Joe Morelle has announced that he’s tested positive for the coronavirus. In a statement, the 25th District Democrat said he thought he was only experiencing seasonal allergies, but instead he was dealing with symptoms of COVID-19. Morelle also said he’s fully vaccinated and that his illness appears to be mild. He will continue to isolate until it’s safe to resume his official duties.
Even though the number of COVID-19 cases are rising in the area, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Doctor Michael Mendoza says there’s no cause for alarm. Mendoza says that’s because most of the latest infections have been mild and people were able to recover quickly. He also pointed out the number of people who are in the hospital with COVID-19 is much lower than it was just a few months ago. But Mendoza is still urging anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the virus to get screened for it immediately.
Another candidate has officially entered the race to become the next governor of New York State. Syracuse native Howie Hawkins, a national leader of the Green Party, has launched his fourth bid for that office. He’ll be joined on the campaign trail by his 2010 running mate Gloria Mattera. Hawkins says his message to voters will be focused on inclusive democracy and public policy that addresses climate change and economic insecurity. The 69-year-old Hawkins has run for public office multiple times but has never been elected.
A judge is holding former President Trump in contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas for business documents. It’s part of an investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances that’s being conducted by State Attorney General Letitia James. Trump has called the investigation politically motivated and his lawyers recently argued he doesn’t have documents relevant to the investigation. But until he complies with the AG’s office, Trump will be fined 10-thousand dollars per day. James says that this ruling clearly demonstrates no one is above the law.
Six Flags is still looking to hire workers ahead of the start of the 2022 season at Darien Lake. The company is holding a national hiring week event through May 1st in hopes of boosting the number of employees at the popular Western New York amusement park. There are several positions that need to be filled including ride operators, food service, games and lifeguards. For more information and to put in an application, visit sixflags.com/jobs.