Midday News Brief

Written by on January 13, 2022

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch

City of Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch is collaborating with the community to reform and reinvent the department, as mandated by an executive order in 2020 from former Governor, Andrew Cuomo. In addition to more foot and bicycle patrols, Chief Heubusch is proposing enhanced training through a partnership with Genesee County Mental Health, enhanced crisis intervention training, and the department maintaining a de-escalation trainer.

Governor Hochul announced today plans to prioritize additional rental relief funding for states that have exhausted their initial federal allocation. Under the Governor’s direction, the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance had requested $996 million in funds from the Treasury, which would potentially assist tens of thousands of tenant applicants. However, late last month, the Treasury indicated New York would receive only $27 million from the initial reallocation.

Both Genesee and Orleans Counties are reporting major increases in the past week in the number of Covid cases, with nearly 3000 between the counties. The increase is being attributed, in part, to a combination of factors, including the post-holiday surge, delay in case investigations, and recent changes in the investigation protocol.

Nearly 5% of the KN95 face masks distributed by the state over the last month are potentially defective, and may not provide quality protection against Covid-19. Some of the bad ones went to Monroe County. However, counties in the GLOW region have reported no issues. At this time, the state Health Department did not respond as of yesterday about the number of masks sent to each county, along with what officials should look for to detect defective face coverings, or if the masks should continue to be distributed.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has announced the recipients of the 50th Annual Chamber of Commerce awards. This year’s honorees are: Business of the Year: Valle Jewelers, Agricultural Business of the Year: Alleghany Farm Services, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year: Batavia Muckdogs Baseball, and Geneseean of the Year: Jay Lazarony. The awards will be given out at the 2021 awards ceremony to be held at Batavia Downs on March 12th. Tickets to the ceremony are 50 dollars per person or 360 for a table of 8.

Genesee Community College will hold a symposium on climate change and sustainability in Western New York. The focus for the panel discussion is to inform community members of global issues and encourage action to improve local economy and environment. The symposium will be held on Thursday, April 21 in The Richard C. Call Arena.

The American Red Cross reports the current blood supply is at its lowers level in over 10 years. They are urging blood donors to schedule and appointment to help ensure blood is available to support patients’ ongoing needs, including emergency situations like car crashes and household accidents. The next local donor opportunity will be Tuesday, January 18 from 2 – 7 at the First United Methodist Church, Lewiston Road.


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