Morning News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on April 20, 2022
Although the Justice Department says they will appeal the ruling of a Florida Judge to lift the mask mandate on air travel and other mass transit, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced Tuesday that they are lifting their mask requirements on bus and rail as well as at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport. They say they will keep encouraging people to wear masks and ask that all patrons be respectful of those who choose to continue. This decision by the NFTA to lift the mask requirement comes a day after a federal judge in Florida voided the national mask mandate covering airplanes and other public transportation. According to the Associated Press, the judge ruled the mandate exceeded the authority of U.S. health officials and said the CDC improperly failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking.
The wintery weather that fell across Upstate NY over Sunday, Monday and Tuesday left over 200,000 people without power according to the State Emergency Operations Center in Albany. Heavy wet snow dropped on the areas east of rochester. Between Syracuse and Utica some areas were laden with almost a foot of snow. The most heavily hit were the Southern Tier, Capital Region and North Country. Some counties declared travel bans due to downed trees and power lines. Most of Western New York was spared the heavy stuff with flurries and some steady snow and rain with little accumulation.
A Rochester Bus driver has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl on the bus van he drove in March. 74 year old Tomas Rosario was driving the girl home alone when he struck up a conversation that security cameras showed was inappropriate and sexual in nature. He allegedly gave her his number and told her if she wanted to skip school she should call him and then touched her several times while telling her not to tell anyone. Police searched his phone and found child pornography. He was fired from driving bus and arrested. He is being held and, if convicted could face up to 20 years in prison.
All 62 counties in New York will receive some money from the settlement New York received from Opioid companies in the wake of a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors. All told 1.5 billion dollars will go out to the state to aid in addiction prevention and treatment for opioids. Western New York will receive 75 million dollars in settlement money.
The Buffalo Bills are partnering with the Legends company to work on the new stadium project. Legends will lead planning, project management, sales and partnerships for the new stadium in Orchard Park. They previously worked on the Rams and Charger’s SoFi stadium, The Raiders Allegiant Stadium, and several smaller venues.