Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on March 3, 2022
The City of Batavia has a new Director of Public Works; Brett Frank has been awarded the position. He was selected following an extensive search for candidates and starts Monday, March 28. Frank is a life-long resident of Genesee County and has served in local government for the last seven years, including as the Deputy Director of Real Property for Genesee County and is presently the Director of Economic Development for the Batavia Development Corporation. Frank said he is looking forward to getting started and is excited to serve his community.
The total number of Covid cases in Genesee and Orleans counties fell to 74 in the past week, from Feb. 23 to March 1, with 29 new cases in Orleans and 45 in Genesee. That continues the sharp downward trajectory from about two months ago when there were over 2700 (2,703) cases of Covid between the two counties. The 74 in the past week is down from the 112 new cases in the previous week and 216 during Feb. 9-15.
Officials at the University at Buffalo have announced a change to the school’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Starting on Saturday, masks are going to be optional in most settings, however they’ll still be mandatory on buses and shuttles as well as clinical health care settings on campus. Anyone who wishes to wear a mask while in class or at an office is still allowed to do so and the campus community is asked to respect the choices of others. The school is continuing its weekly COVID-19 testing program for faculty, students, and staff who aren’t fully vaccinated against the virus.
A “Stitch-In” for the children of Ukraine will take place next Saturday, March 12th, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Le Roy. The event runs from 10 until noon at the church at 1 E. Main St. The goal is to raise money for UNICEF’s Protect Children in Ukraine fund. For a minimum donation of $10, with the entire proceeds going to UNICEF, participants receive a cross-stitch kit to start working on during the event.
Governor Hochul is once again renewing her push to make alcohol-to-go sales permanent across the Empire State. The governor says the takeout program has provided a much-needed financial boost to bars and restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic. The governor also says she doesn’t believe it’ll be necessary to require people to buy food when purchasing to-go drinks. The governor’s proposal has been criticized by liquor store owners who believe the program will cut into their profits if it remains in place.
The Tulley Building in Bergen was built in 1886. Since then, it has been home to many different businesses as well as apartments. Presently, the buildings brick is in need of repair, and the mayor, Anna Marie Barclay, is working with the Western New York Landmark Society, to complete the application for a Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization Grant in the amount of $50,000. That would pay for 90 percent of the project. Barclay has been active with the Tulley Building Restoration Committee since it formed in 2007. One of the goals of the committee was to develop a renovation plan that would ensure that the historic integrity of the building would be maintained. Since that time, structural restoration has been completed, including installation of a new roof. The detailed story is available from our news partner: https://www.thebatavian.com/
There’s been a big change in leadership at Buffalo Public Schools after superintendent Doctor Kriner Cash stepped down from his position. The school board accepted Cash’s resignation last night and named Doctor Tonja Williams as acting superintendent. In a statement, Cash said it was his privilege to serve the district and urged people to take advantage of the programs the school system has to offer. The school board also announced last night that an independent investigation will be conducted into the recent violence that happened at McKinley High School.
New York’s two senators want more federal funding for a cybersecurity program that helps protect governments from attacks. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand say sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine have increased the risk of retaliatory cyberattacks. They sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee leadership pushing for an increase in funding for the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. The program is used by all states and thousands of local governments to get up-to-date cyber threat warnings and protections.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority says a JetBlue pilot who was removed from the cockpit of a plane was under the influence of alcohol. According to the agency, a TSA officer noticed that 52-year-old James Clifton may have been impaired before boarding the aircraft, which was going from Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale, Florida yesterday. Clifton’s blood alcohol content was found to be four-times the limit of what’s allowed for pilots, .17, and he now may face federal charges. JetBlue says Clifton has been removed from his duties and that an investigation into the incident is underway. Passengers on the affected flight each rec’d a $200 voucher.
The six-game losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres is over following one of the team’s best offensive outputs of the entire season. The Sabres beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 at Scotiabank Arena last night. Buffalo goalie Craig Anderson was excellent in net, stopping all but one of the 30 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for Buffalo five games at home, the first of which is against the Minnesota Wild tomorrow night.
New York Attorney General Letitia James today provided guidance to consumers who may have been impacted by the August 2021 T-Mobile massive data breach, following reports that the stolen information was put for sale on the dark web: “I have an urgent message for T-Mobile customers and other consumers: Be aware of any misuse of your personal information and follow the guidance provided below to protect yourself from identity theft,” said Attorney General James. “Information stolen in a massive data breach has fallen into the wrong hands and is circulating on the dark web. The guidance offered by my office can help prevent identity theft. I advise all New Yorkers to maintain their financial safety by following the guidance my office has laid out. No consumer should have to deal with the devastating realities of identity theft.” The breach impacted over 53 million individuals, including more than 4 million New Yorkers. Among other categories of impacted information, millions had their names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license information compromised. Recently, a large subset of the information compromised in the breach was discovered for sale on the dark web — a hidden portion of the Internet where cyber criminals buy, sell, and track personal information. Many individuals received alerts through various identity theft protection services informing them that their information was found online in connection with the breach, confirming that impacted individuals are at heightened risk for identity theft.
Attorney General James urges anyone who believes they were impacted by the T-Mobile breach, or even if not but wish to take preventative to protect themselves, to do the following:
• Monitor your credit. Credit monitoring services track your credit report and alert you whenever a change is made, such as a new account or a large purchase. Most services will notify you within 24 hours of any change to your credit report.
• Consider placing a free credit freeze on your credit report. Identity thieves will not be able to open a new credit account in your name while the freeze is in place. You can place a credit freeze by contacting each of the three major credit bureaus:
Equifax | https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze 1 (888) 766-0008
Experian | https://www.experian.com/freeze/center.html 1 (888) 397-3742
TransUnion | https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze 1 (800) 680-7289
• Place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert tells lenders and creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing credit. You can place a fraud alert by contacting any one of the three major credit bureaus.
• Additional Resources. If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, go to identitytheft.gov for assistance on how to report it and recover from it — or contact our office for help by completing and submitting a complaint with the Bureau of Internet and Technology or by calling (800) 771-7755.