Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on November 17, 2020
A judge rules probation, not jail, in a Batavia drug case. A Rochester man swept up in a drug bust on Liberty Street in March that led to the arrest of himself and four other people, along with the seizure of 56 bags of crack cocaine, avoided further jail time in his sentencing in Genesee County Court. 36-year-old Marquise Lee had been charged with possessing drugs. After his guilty plea over the summer, he was placed on interim probation. His success in that program, along with ongoing employment in his father’s construction business, and his care for his children during their in-home studies during the pandemic helped earn him a probationary sentence. Prosecutors wanted some jail time.
Genesee County is reporting 78 new positive COVID-19 cases in recent days. The new positive cases are from Alabama, Alexander, Batavia, Bergen, Bethany, Byron, Darien, Elba, Le Roy, Oakfield, Pavilion, Pembroke and Stafford. Five of the positive individuals are hospitalized. Meanwhile, Orleans County reports 25 new cases while in Wyoming County, officials have logged 22 new cases since Friday.
Batavia’s Original will remain closed through Thursday, opening again on Friday. The owner says closing the extra days is a matter of extra precaution. Five employees tested positive for coronavirus, with all the cases contracted away from the workplace, and multiple employees were placed on mandatory quarantine. That created an immediate staffing problem. All employees who tested positive are recovering well and the Health Department is conducting contact tracing. Batavia’s Original will reopen on Friday.
More than 1,400 National Grid line, tree and service workers in Western New York have been making steady progress in removing downed wires, trees, tree limbs, broken poles and other hazards and restoring power after a severe windstorm swept across the region on Sunday. Crews will continue to work around the clock on the labor-intensive cleanup and restoration efforts. The storm, with wind gusts of more than 65 mph, impacted 51,000 customers. A spokesman for National Grid said in Genesee County power has now been restored to all customers.
The regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York’s Southern Zone begin at sunrise on Saturday and continues through Sunday, Dec. 13. The Southern Zone regular season is New York’s most popular hunting season, with participation from about 85 percent of New York’s 550,000 licensed hunters. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest and 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.
The Oakfield Betterment Committee is holding its inaugural Christmas Decorating Contest for Oakfield and Alabama residents. Register by Dec. 7 via the committee’s Facebook page. Judging begins Dec. 14 and winners will be announced on Dec. 19. The overall winner will receive $100.
The Community Crisis Fund, which has distributed $6.1 million since it was mobilized in March, is closing out 2020 with a final grant application deadline of Nov. 20. The Crisis Fund was launched by United Way of Greater Rochester and Rochester Area Community Foundation to raise money and rapidly deploy resources to nonprofits adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This helps them continue to provide critical services to our region and/or reopen once they had the necessary personal protective equipment and safety protocols in place. Grants have been awarded to nonprofits in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties.