Late Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on December 31, 2021
Today was the deadline and now that all municipalities have weighed in, 15 of 20 in Genesee County have ‘opted out’ of allowing cannabis retail dispensaries and on-site consumption places. Batavia, Darien, Pavilion, Pembroke and Corfu have opted-in. The municipalities that opted out now will be able to opt back in at a later date and there will also be options for public referendums to put the questions up for community vote.
The ban on single-use Styrofoam food and drink containers, as well as packing peanuts begins tomorrow. Expanded polystyrene foam, usually referred to as Styrofoam, has long been regarded to be a major contributor to pollution. A similarly environmentally focused ban on plastic bags went into effect last March.
Genesee County dispatchers were called last night around 8pm, to respond to a mobile home fire at Hidden Valley Estates in Bergen. A neighbor had kicked in the front door to help get the sole occupant, an older woman, out of the residence. The neighbor had thought the occupant was on the other side of the door; however, he could not get her out. The resident was ultimately rescued and not breathing; first-aid techniques were required to get her breathing again. She was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital but may be transported to Syracuse for the necessary treatment for smoke inhalation.
The number of new Covid cases in both Erie and Monroe Counties has hit another record high. Of the new cases, 142 from Monroe came from at-home tests. And in Erie County, due to the rise in number of cases, nearly all patient visitation is being suspended at Erie County Medical Center. Exceptions include if visits are deemed medically necessary, or if the individual is a family member of the patient’s legal representative. There is no word at this time as to how long this change will remain in place.
The investigation continues into what sparked a fire in Buffalo that caused $3,000,000 in damage. Crews were called to battle the blaze at the Buffalo Grand Hotel on Church Street yesterday after a police officer reported seeing smoke coming from the building. The flames were found in a ballroom and firefighters had to run their hoses through the main lobby to get water on the fire. Dozens of hotel guests were briefly evacuated and no injuries were reported at the scene. There’s no word when the hotel will reopen.
Rochester police are still trying to track down the person responsible for a stabbing that sent a woman to the hospital. They say the 32-year-old victim was found injured yesterday in the area of East Main Street and University Avenue. Officials believe the woman was attacked near the World of Inquiry School. She’s expected to make a full recovery and anyone with information on the case is asked to dial 911.
Starting today, thousands of workers in Upstate New York are going to get paid just a little bit more each hour. That’s because a minimum wage increase will raise their hourly rate from $12.50 an hour to $13.20 an hour. The increase is part of a plan approved in 2016 to phase-in a minimum wage of $15.00 an hour for all workers. That means the labor department has to bump up minimum wage each year until it reaches that benchmark.
It would be a very happy New Year to whoever ends up winning one of the two massive lottery jackpots up for grabs the next two nights. The jackpot for this evening’s Mega Millions drawing is now at $221,000,000 while there’s $500,000,000 bucks up for grabs in tomorrow night’s Powerball drawing, bringing the combined total to 721-million-dollars. The price of a ticket for each game is just $2.00. Both the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.
The Buffalo Bills are back on top of the AFC East and they’ll be looking to make it three straight wins in front of their home crowd this weekend. The Bills are taking on the Atlanta Falcons at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Buffalo is coming off of a big victory over the New England Patriots last weekend which put them back in first place. The Bills could clinch a playoff spot depending on the result of their game and other contests around the NFL. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is scheduled for 1:00.
Happy new year! Stay safe.