Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on December 7, 2020
More changes begin this week in the Batavia City School District. Officials say beginning today, schools have transitioned to online learning due to an increase in coronavirus cases. This past week, positive coronavirus cases increased to 39 across the district. As a result, over 100 students and staff had to quarantine. Students will be 100% online through winter break. The Superintendent says the schools will reassess the decision before the return on January 4. The district will still provide daily breakfast and lunch for pickup at Jackson Primary and John Kennedy.
The investigation continues after fire ripped through three homes in Albion. The Saturday fire was a three-alarm blaze. A male living in one of the homes was found at the scene with non-life-threatening injuries from the explosion and fire. He was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital. Damage to two of the homes is considered “extensive.” The Red Cross was called to assist up to a dozen displaced residents. The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Albion Police Department with assistance from the Orleans County Fire Investigation Unit, New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Felony charges have now been leveled against a man who crashed into a vehicle September 12th on Bliss Road in Oakfield. 32-year-old Jason Klinkbeil of Alabama will appear in Oakfield Town Court February 1st. He faces 11 counts to include felony first-degree vehicular assault and felony driving while intoxicated. Deputies allege Klinkbeil was driving while impaired by drugs, crashed into a second vehicle and caused serious injuries to a passenger in the other vehicle.
With New York continuing to face a teacher shortage, four leading education groups have highlighted the pressing need to build up the teacher preparation pipeline to prepare the next generation of educators to join the workforce in the coming years. Specifically, the organizations noted the need for high-quality student teacher placements in local school districts statewide, even with the coronavirus pandemic forcing many schools to continue with remote education or limited in-person instruction. At issue is an emerging lack of opportunities for student teachers to be paired up with veteran educators in some areas this fall and how that trend would affect springtime student teacher placements. The Interim Commissioner of the State Education Department and Board of Regents also have sounded the alarm on the serious shortage of student teacher placements.
The Buffalo Bills return to the national spotlight on Monday Night Football. The 8-3 Bills will play the 5-6 San Francisco 49ers tonight. Because of COVID, the game will be played at State Farm Stadium – the home of the Arizona Cardinals. Game time is 8:15.
New stats from Albany show that the COVID-19 positivity rates in Western New York are inching down, but are on the rise in the Finger Lakes region. In fact, at eight-and-a-half percent, it’s the highest in the state. Genesee, Wyoming, and Orleans counties are all part of the Finger Lakes region.
A report from researchers at the University of Washington has COVID-19 as the leading cause of death in the U-S as hospitals across the country get ready for a post-Thanksgiving surge. In New York the positivity rate has climbed over 5% — but Governor Cuomo has shifted his messaging, now saying he’s less concerned about that, and more focused on how full the hospitals become– so far New York still has ample ICU space, but like the rest of the country, healthcare workers are bracing for difficult weeks ahead.