Afternoon News Brief

Written by on December 11, 2020

Governor Cuomo today announced a slew of new regulations and changes to existing ones.  The top changes are to hospitals which now have to increase their capacity by 25 percent and also stay under 85 percent capacity by reducing elective surgeries.  If a hospital in a region goes over 85 percent capacity it will trigger the area it is in to go into red zone status.  Hospitals must also stockpile 90 days worth of ppe.  The second change of note is that gyms, salons and barbershops can reopen at maximum 25 percent capacity even in orange zones.  Salons and gym owners have been saying it since the beginning and now the science and more importantly, the government is backing it up, less than .06 percent of coronavirus spread can be attributed to gyms and less than .14 percent to salons.  Governor Cuomo says that 74 percent of spread is coming from household gatherings.

New York is receiving 346 thousand doses of Moderna’s covid vaccine on top of the 170 thousand doses of Pfizer vaccine already set to arrive over the weekend.  Cuomo still says that he believes the distribution plan is disadvantaging brown and black communities, Native Americans and poor neighborhoods.  The governor emphasized that the state will not let the current federal administration leave out the communities that need the vaccine the most, calling it “illegal” and “unconstitutional.”

On Saturday a home in Albion exploded and set three other residences on fire.  56 year old Gary Tarr has been arrested for starting the fire.  He admitted to officers that he was buying explosive compounds from local stores and combining them with out of state fireworks to make his own fireworks.  He lit them to test the new fireworks while in his garage and that’s when the fire started.  Tarr was charged with five counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, three counts of fourth-degree arson; three counts of third-degree criminal mischief; and reckless endangerment of property.  Tarr suffered injuries on his face, torso, arms and legs. He also suffered hearing loss from the force of the explosion. He was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital.  Police are also asking anyone who bought or were given fireworks from Tarr to call the police and the bomb squad will come dispose of them.  They are asking for them not to be brought in as the fireworks are extremely volatile and dangerous.

Do you know what to do if someone near you overdoses on an opioid?  The Western NY Rural Area Health Education Center working with Spectrum Health and Human Services is presenting a free opioid reversal training session on January 15th starting at 2pm.  Those who take the training will learn how to: Recognize the signs of an opioid overdose; Respond appropriately and effectively, Correctly administer the spray form of Narcan; Apply the Good Samaritan Overdose Law to overdose responders, and have a free reversal kit mailed to them.  To learn more follow the link to the WNY Rural Health education center website on

21 Year Old Michael Conrad has plead guilty to manslaughter charges stemming from a vehicle collision in April on Pleasant Valley rd. in Wethersfield.  The Wyoming County district attorney’s office says investigators found that Conrad was driving at over 97 miles per hour and had cannabis and ecstasy in his blood stream prior to the crash that took the life of 20 year old Cori Lynn Shearing who was riding in the car with Conrad.   He was charged with and plead guilty to: Manslaughter in the second degree, Vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, Assault in the second degree, and Driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs.  Conrad faces 5 to 15 years in prison for the manslaughter charge.

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