Midday News Brief

Written by on January 28, 2022

The fate of a statewide mask mandate aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 is expected to be discussed in court today. On Monday, a State Supreme court judge in Nassau County said Governor Hochul and State Health Commissioner Doctor Mary Bassett didn’t have the authority to issue such a mandate without approval from the State Legislature. But on Tuesday, an Appellate Division judge granted a request from the State Attorney General’s office to keep the mandate in place for now. There’s no word how long it may take for a ruling to be issued following today’s hearing. Locally, Genesee County manager Matt Landers has said that County employees and visitors to County buildings will continue to be required to wear masks. He noted that the policy had been in effect since before the Governor’s mandate was put in place and will still be in effect irrespective of the court’s position. Landers said that any change to their mask requirement is contingent upon the level of community spread of Covid-19 in Genesee County.

A former Oakfield man, already in state prison serving a sentence for a series of crimes committed in Genesee County, has been sentenced to a state prison term for burglarizing a business in Shelby. 29-year-old Judd Farwell stole copper from the building on Maple Ridge Road in February 2020 and was sentenced in Orleans County court yesterday for third degree burglary and grand larceny.

Batavia City Councilman at-large Jeremy Karas has confirmed his decision to resign from the city council. He had just started his first full 4-year term the first of this month. Karas had missed the first three meetings of council this year noting that his work commitments have increased significantly over the last couple of months and that was the reason for his absence; he is employed as service manager at Temp-Press. Since Karas has resigned, city council will appoint a republican to serve until November when a new candidate would run to fill the un-expired term. City republican chair Richard Richmond says they will be looking for someone to replace him and they are inviting people to be interviewed for the job.

45 years ago today the weather was calm and visibility fine…until it wasn’t anymore. Today was the day in our history when what became known as the Blizzard of ’77 moved through, with strong winds and blowing snow, the combination of which dropped visibility to near zero. The main part of the storm lasted for nearly a day. The wind chill dropped to as low as minus 68 degrees and drifts of snow piled as high as two-story houses. In some instances, roads could not be reopened for many days and thousands of people were marooned where ever they were when the storm hit. It was a storm that gave the region its reputation for having major snowfalls; however, just as noteworthy is considering the event another example of how Western New Yorkers came together to help each other amidst a major crisis.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen says he’s going to skip the upcoming NFL Pro Bowl. Allen was voted as a first alternate to the team and would’ve likely replaced Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson who is recovering from injury. Allen told an ESPN reporter that he won’t play in the league’s All-Star game on February 6th because he wants to allow his body to rest and recover. Buffalo’s season ended last Sunday night in a 42 to 36 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

At least 525-million-dollars will be up for grabs over the next two days as the Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots continue to grow. Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is 421-million-dollars, while 104-million bucks will go to whoever wins Powerball tomorrow night. Tickets for each game cost two-dollars apiece. Both the Powerball and Mega Millions drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

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