Afternoon News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on December 21, 2020
Starting today, both staff members and residents at nursing homes statewide will begin getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The shots will be given out by a pharmacy that’s been designated for each facility. Each person who chooses to get vaccinated will receive two doses over a three week period. It will likely be a few months before the vaccine is made available to all of the general public.
A new stimulus bill has been agreed upon by the federal government and will mean 13 billion dollars to NY State government for education, vaccination efforts, and rent relief. There are 600 dollar a person direct payments coming either by mail or through direct deposit. There are also grants for child care, money for unemployment compensation, money for funeral assistance being directed through FEMA, and 20 billion dollars for paycheck protection payments for small businesses, restaurants and venues that have been shut down. About half of the money for New York state is earmarked for New York City and the rest will go more broadly across New York State.
The Buffalo Bills have made the playoffs and are the AFC East Champions for the first time in 25 years. Also after the 48 to 19 win over the Denver Broncos Governor Cuomo announced that he is going to look into letting fans back into the Bills stadium for playoff games. The Bills are now 11 and 3 and will be playing the New England Patriots on Monday the 28th starting at 8:15. The Patriots are out of Playoff contention with only 6 wins and 8 losses.
The great conjunction is upon us! Tonight you can look up in the sky to the southwest just after sunset low in the sky to see Jupiter and Saturn cross in the night sky to form a single brighter point. This is the closest they have been together as far as our sight lines are concerned in 800 years. The last time this happened was march 4th, 1226. If you miss it tonight you can see them close together for the next 2 nights.
Gas prices bumped up from last week across the country but not as much locally. The national average rose 6 cents to 2.22. Here in Batavia it went up 1 penny to 2.23. The New York average is 2.30 which was a 4 cent rise. Last year the NY average was 2.69. Gas demand has been increasing and as the Vaccine for COVID gets distributed the prices are expected to continue to rise.
Governor Cuomo announced today that after Santa was vaccinated by Dr Anthony Fauci he is now given a voucher to be able to travel into New York State without having to self quarantine but the jolly old elf will have to wear a mask as he delivers gifts.