Morning News Brief

Written by on January 6, 2021

Ninety-one…that’s the number of new COVID cases reported in Genesee County. Since last March, there have been more than 2,700 confirmed cases. The new infections involve people from 13 different communities. Two more county residents have also died from virus-related complications. Health department officials say one person resided at Genesee Senior Living and the other resided at the Leroy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Both were over 65 years old. Orleans County on Tuesday reported 25 new cases while Wyoming County officials reported 28 new cases.

Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed says he won’t challenge the presidential election results today. The Corning Republican issued a statement Tuesday and said– quote – “The Constitution makes clear; Congress cannot overrule states and their designated electors.” Reed said he must be true to the oath he took to uphold the Constitution and will not object to any state’s electors. His district runs from Chautauqua County east to Ithaca,

The numbers keep growing…The Buffalo Bills and some of their fans will be back in the stadium for their first home playoff game in years and Governor Cuomo wants to come to.  And a lot of fans don’t want him there.  There is an online petition on that has more than 28,000 signatures demanding that Cuomo be banned from attending.

Genesee County is calling upon one its own to provide experience and support while it conducts a search to fill the vacant youth bureau executive director position. The legislature’s Human Services Committee has voted in favor of creating a deputy youth bureau executive director, a temporary title that County Manager Matt Landers said will be given to Chelsea Elliott, who has worked for the county for the past seven years. Landers said the resolution passed by Human Services (and subject to a vote of the full legislature) calls for the full-time deputy position to run for up to six months. The change at the top of the county’s youth bureau comes as the City of Batavia, which has shared the county executive director for its youth programming, explores the possibility of contracting with an outside agency to provide city youth services.

Public workshops have been scheduled for the Genesee 2050 Comprehensive Plan and Recreation Plan. The Comprehensive Plan update will help Genesee County craft a new vision for its future and strategies to realize that vision. The new recreation plan will help the county better respond to residents’ wants and needs for recreation facilities and better connect existing assets with residents. Officials say public engagement is a crucial element of the process to ensure residents are aware of the planning process and that everyone has ample opportunity to weigh in. The workshops have been scheduled for 1 p.m., Tuesday, January 19 and 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 20. The workshops will be held virtually on the Zoom platform. The content of each is identical, so participants need not plan on attending both, although they are welcome to do so.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is announcing that the bipartisan FY 2021 appropriations package includes $5 million in funding for the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy, or RISE grant program. The program was authorized under the 2018 Farm Bill in a provision based off Gillibrand’s Rural Jobs and Investment Act of 2018. The senator says the RISE grant program will provide essential federal dollars to help rebuild diminished rural economies.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will purchase an additional $1.5 billion worth of food for nationwide distribution through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. In total, USDA has distributed more than 32 million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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