Midday News Brief

Written by on February 10, 2022

Yesterday afternoon just a little before 4:00, the Batavia Police Department responded to an address on Wallace Street for the report of a male who had been shot. After arriving on location officers were not able to locate a victim. Officers conducted interviews with residents in the area and were able to determine that a juvenile placed the call. That juvenile has since been identified and located. It has been determined that the call was a false report and there was no threat to public safety at the time of the call.

The investigation continues into a violent incident at McKinley High School in Buffalo that sent two people to the hospital. Police say a 14-year-old student was stabbed multiple times yesterday and an unarmed security officer was shot. Mayor Byron Brown said last night the student was in stable condition following surgery while the security officer with a gunshot wound to the leg had already been treated and released. The police report indicates there was a dispute that happened near the parking lot and one person pulled out a weapon and opened fire. At this time, no arrests have been made in connection with the case.

Starting today, New Yorkers will no longer be required to have a mask on inside of most places. Governor Hochul said yesterday that a statewide mask mandate issued in December to slow the spread of COVID-19 is being allowed to expire. However, facial coverings are still required in locations such as state-regulated health care settings, state-regulated adult care facilities and nursing homes, homeless shelters and mass transit stations. Masks must also continue to be worn by students and teachers in schools. Governor Hochul says a decision on lifting the school masking policy likely won’t be made until after the upcoming February break.

Rochester and Buffalo are reacting similarly to the lifting of the mask mandate. Both cities are removing their regulations that say masks must be worn in town and county buildings. Stores such as Wegmans say they are dropping their masking rules as well.

As you might expect, there has been a great deal of reaction to Hochul’s press conference from yesterday. Assemblyman Steve Hawley noted that the end of the statewide mask mandate is a welcome development. However, he believes that the time for state-level mandates of any kind has come to an end and control of pandemic management should return to local governments and school districts. He further noted that for rural communities, mask mandates for healthy children in schools have done more harm than good and educators and school district administrators should have the ability to make the best decision possible for the well-being of their students. Congressman Chris Jacobs similarly believes the time is now for to end the statewide mask mandate in schools.

New York State has provided Genesee County with free COVID-19 test kits and KN95 masks to distribute to residents. As of yesterday, a limited number of test kits and masks were still available at town and village municipal buildings, while supplies last. Residents will be required to show proof of residency and should contact their local municipality for hours of operation and availability.
· Town of Alabama
· Town of Alexander
· Town of Batavia
· Town of Bergen
· Town of Bethany
· Town of Byron
· Town & Village of Elba
· Town & Village of LeRoy
· Town & Village of Oakfield
· Town of Pavilion
· Town of Pembroke
· Town of Stafford
· Village of Alexander
· Village of Bergen
· Village of Corfu
· Genesee County Clerk’s Office (15 Main St, Batavia)
· Genesee County Fire Training Center (7690 State Street Road, Batavia)

This Saturday, February 12 from 10:00 am to Noon, the City of Batavia Fire Department (on Evans Street, Batavia) will host a drive-thru COVID-19 test kit distribution. Residents are asked to follow the directions posted at the front of the fire station upon arrival. And the town of Batavia will distribute free COVID test kits on Monday, the 14th. The distribution will be from 5-7 p.m. at the Batavia Town Hall drive-up window. Those attending must be Genesee County residents and must provide proof of residency.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he’s encouraged by the status of negotiations involving a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. Goodell said during a press conference at the site of Super Bowl 56 yesterday that the bottom line is a new facility must be built for the Bills in Western New York. Team ownership has proposed building a new stadium in Orchard Park across from Highmark Stadium. Goodell praised everyone involved in the talks for their work in getting a deal done. The Bills’ current lease expires in 2023.

Yesterday was National Pizza Day and assemblyman Steve Hawley took the opportunity to take a ‘slice’ out of crime. He showed his appreciation for the work local police departments within his district have done to protect their communities by sending pizzas from local shops to numerous departments, including City of Batavia Police, LeRoy Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s and NYS Police, Troop A – Batavia Barracks. Hawley also sent pizzas to the following departments yesterday:
· Albion Police Department
· Holley Police Department
· Medina Police Department
· Orleans County Sheriff’s Department
· NYS Police Troop A-Albion Barracks
· Brockport Police Department
· Village of Corfu Police Department


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