Midday News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on January 31, 2022
New data from Governor Hochul’s office shows that the spread of COVID-19 has slowed down statewide in the last few weeks. There were just over 8,700 additional infections reported yesterday, which is a 90% decline from when the number of cases peaked in the Empire State back on January 7th. The governor praised New Yorkers for doing their part to slow the winter surge by wearing masks, getting vaccinated against the virus, and staying home when they’re sick. Currently, the seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate in the Finger Lakes is 10.8%, down from 14.7% last week.
Genesee County deputies say speed was likely a factor in a crash that took the life of a 32-year-old man. They say Jordan Terkel was driving on Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke Saturday when his vehicle went off the road and struck a utility pole. Terkel was the only person in the vehicle, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Anyone who saw the accident can reach the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000.
The work to replace the Route 19 bridge over Oatka Creek north of the village of Warsaw is set to begin late in February. The highway will be closed for about 6 months at that location, with reopening set for Labor Day. Local traffic will have access to Route 19 on both sides of the bridge; most vehicles will be detoured over Saltvale Road. The old-style truss bridge was built in 1937 and was reaching the end of its useful life.
Kelly Ashcraft was a longtime employee of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. She now faces multiple felony charges after allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from the organization. The criminal complaint was filed by the Chamber earlier this month, alleging that she had stolen funds and forged business records. The investigation that followed found that Ashcraft had falsified documents as far back as 2018.
Western New York drivers are going to be handing over a bit more of their money the next time they want to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas is $3.55. That’s up seven cents in the past week and is also six cents higher than this time one month ago. The state average is currently $3.53 a gallon while nationally it’s $3.36. In Batavia, the average price is $3.51 per gallon, up 8 cents over the past week. One year ago, the state average was $2.51.
The Buffalo Sabres have come up short in their efforts to win a second straight game following a loss on the road. Dylan Cozens had the lone goal for Buffalo as they fell to the Colorado Avalanche four-to-one at Ball Arena last night. Buffalo remains in sixth place in the Atlantic Division with 35 points, 32 fewer than the Florida Panthers who are on top of the division. Up next for Buffalo is another road game against the Vegas Golden Knights tomorrow night.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says starting today, inmates will once again be able to receive visitors at the Monroe County Jail. Inmates who have finished up their 14-day quarantine are being allowed one 30-minute visit each week. Each visitor will have to have their temperature checked and must wear a mask inside the jail at all times.
The investigation continues into what started a blaze in Rochester that left a firefighter injured and forced several people from their homes. Crews arrived at the scene on West Main Street yesterday after getting a call saying a mini-mart was on fire. The flames spread to apartments above the store before moving to a space between the ceiling and the roof. The firefighter who was hurt went to Strong Memorial Hospital, but there’s no word on their condition. The American Red Cross is helping the nine people displaced by the fire find a temporary place to stay.
The investigation continues into what sparked a weekend fire in Buffalo that sent two firefighters to the hospital. The blaze happened at a home on Armin Place Saturday and officials say the flames started on the first floor of the residence. The firefighters went to Erie County Medical Center for treatment but were later released. No other injuries were reported.