Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on November 18, 2020
Nine people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Genesee County, the highest number locally since the start of the pandemic. County health officials say 20 new positive cases have been confirmed. Those newly infected reside in Alexander, Batavia, Darien, Elba, Le Roy, Oakfield and Pembroke. The ages range from teens to the 80’s. In Orleans County, ten new cases have been reported and in Wyoming County, 14 new cases were confirmed.
37-year-old Joseph Allan Dean of Stringham Drive in Batavia faces numerous charges after he was arrested by the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force and members of the Batavia Police Department. He is charged with two felony counts of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. His arrest concluded an investigation into the transportation, sale and possession of cocaine in and around the City of Batavia. At the time of his arrest, Dean was allegedly found in possession of cocaine and other controlled substances. Police then leveled several other counts against him. Dean was arraigned in Genesee County Court and Batavia City Court and then released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on Dec. 7. The Genesee County District Attorney’s assisted in the investigation.
Genesee County has launched its official Facebook page and Twitter account. The digital social media tools will be used to regularly communicate with the citizens of the County. As COVID-19 continues to impact the community, the County plans to utilize the pages to communicate important health and safety measures along with general news about the county.
The Genesee County Health Department has received a positive COVID-19 test from an individual who was at The Harvester tavern in Batavia last week Nov. 8th through the 14th. Contact tracing is in progress; however unidentified individuals may have unknowingly been in contact with the positive case. Health officials advise all individuals who were at The Harvester anytime last week to monitor their symptoms for 14 days. If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, contact your primary care provider to seek testing immediately and self-isolate until you receive your test results.
The New York State Office for the Aging on Tuesday celebrated Older New Yorkers’ Day virtually, recognizing 87 volunteers from across the state who demonstrate their extraordinary value every day to their family, friends, and community. The celebration traditionally takes place each year in May in Albany; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year it was premiered as a virtual event.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation strongly encourages hunters to visit deer and bear check stations during the upcoming opening weekend of the regular big game season. Participation is voluntary and helps DEC gather valuable data to assess the status of the big game population in the area. The check station located at the DEC Headquarters on East Avon-Lima Road (State Route 20) in Avon, Livingston County, will operate Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hunters are encouraged to bring their deer to either check station where DEC staff will determine age and collect biological and harvest information. With black bear season opening the same day as deer season, wildlife staff will also check harvested bear to collect biological information and pull a premolar tooth to determine the bear’s age.
NY Congressman Anthony Brindisi, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has helped pass the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act. The Brindisi-backed legislation makes all Veterans with service-connected disabilities eligible for a free, lifetime entry to United States national parks and other federal lands. The congressman said in a statement that “Recreation and time outdoors are important parts of our mental and physical health, and that is especially true for our Veterans and servicemembers with service-connected injuries.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the launch of a new online training platform which will enable unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers weathering the COVID-19 pandemic to learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers at no cost. The new tool will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others. The new course offerings are provided through a partnership between the New York State Department of Labor and Coursera, the world’s leading online learning platform. The partnership will save New York millions of dollars over the next couple of years while providing free job skills training to New Yorkers. Residents can request a free account on the New York State Department of Labor website.
The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has announced the availability of a new Ellicott Trail Brochure Map. The Chamber says it has received several requests for a printed map of the new trail, so the office worked with Town of Batavia officials to make it available. The 10-foot wide crushed stone multiuse recreational trail officially opened in July and has been created on 4.9 miles of old railroad beds, city streets, sidewalks, bike lanes and bridges. The trail was a joint project involving the City of Batavia, the Town of Batavia and the New York State Department of Transportation and connects recreational, historical and residential areas and crosses the Tonawanda Creek.