Midday News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on January 4, 2022
A larger winter storm has definitely been overdue for us, and it now seems likely. A winter storm watch is issued for Genesee, Wyoming and Erie counties, in effect from 7pm Wednesday to 7pm Thursday. Heavy lake effect snow is possible, according to 13 WHAM forecasters. Total accumulations of 9 inches or more are possible in the more persistent lake snows. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph resulting in considerable blowing and drifting snow. Travel could be very difficult to impossible as areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.
Starting today, Governor Hochul is asking hospitals statewide to change the way they report COVID-19 cases. The governor wants hospitals to clearly identify which patients are being treated for the illness and patients who later tested positive for COVID-19 after going to the hospital for another reason. The governor says she wants this data in order to show New Yorkers how bad the health crisis is. Hochul says hospital capacity has improved a bit in recent weeks and fewer facilities are having to limit elective surgeries. // As part of her State of the State address tomorrow, Governor Hochul will propose term limits and a ban on outside income for elected officials, with an exception for academic positions. Rochester police have released the name of their city’s first homicide victim of 2022. They say 14-year-old Julius Greer Junior was walking to get food on Sunday night when he was shot on North Street. Greer was a ninth-grader in the Rochester City School District and attended the Leadership Academy for Young Men. Police are trying to determine a motive for the shooting and figure out if Greer was the intended target of the gunfire.
A new report says Albany County District Attorney David Soares is expected to drop the groping complaint against ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo is accused of inappropriately touching a female aide at the Executive Mansion in Albany back in December 2020, a claim that he has denied. The Times Union reported this new development and says Cuomo is scheduled to be in Albany City Court on Friday to face a misdemeanor charge, but there’s no word if that appearance will still happen or if the investigation into the groping allegation is going to continue. The Albany County DA’s office hasn’t commented on this report.
A judge is planning to issue a decision soon that will determine the fate of the Great Northern grain elevator in Buffalo. The company that owns the building wants to tear it down after it suffered damage during a severe windstorm last month. But local preservation groups have fought to spare the building from demolition. A judge heard from both sides yesterday but there’s no word on when a ruling will be handed down. The grain elevator was built in 1897 and is the last of its kind in North America.
The Buffalo Bills will be finishing up their regular season at home this weekend, but kickoff for their final game has been pushed back. The Bills were supposed to host the New York Jets at one p-m Sunday, but the contest is now set to start at 4:25pm. If the Bills come out on top, they’ll win the AFC East for the second straight year. But if they lose and the New England Patriots win, New England will finish in first place. The Patriots are taking on the Miami Dolphins Sunday, also at 4:25pm.
The City of Batavia will be picking up Christmas trees throughout the month of January, weather and operations permitting. They will only pick up real trees. Residents are asked to place trees in the parkway near the curb, keeping them clear of the roadway and sidewalks. All decorations, lights, stands and bags should be cleared of the trees. Also, when high winds are forecast, residents are asked to delay putting their trees out until winds subside.
Batavia City Schools now have COVID at-home Rapid-Antigen Test kits available to parents. The district was provided with over 2000 kits yesterday, one for each student, according to Superintendent Jason Smith. It is the parents’ choice whether to take advantage of test kit distribution. However, Mr. Smith noted that a child should be tested if they are exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or is out sick with any of the related symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, body ache, loss of taste and/or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea). Parents who would like to pick up a kit or have questions should phone the Batavia City Schools district office: 585-343-2480 (extension 1004).