Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on December 15, 2020
The Batavia City Council has voted to appoint attorney Thomas Burns as a new part-time City Court judge. His term begins on Jan. 1 and runs for six years. Burns says…he’s pretty happy. The Council also approved contracts with Empire Access for $3,500 to connect city facilities with fiber internet and $8,400 annually for a five-year service agreement. Local lawmakers also granted access to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to perform environmental clean-up work at 267 Bank St., a small parcel of the Dwyer Stadium property.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced new yellow zones in portions of the state. During a briefing Monday, Cuomo said Niagara County’s yellow zone will be expanded. He also announced a new yellow zone in Batavia as well as another in the Rome/Utica area. According to Gov. Cuomo, the Finger Lakes region and Central New York currently hold the highest positivity rates in New York. The Finger Lakes region also has the highest percentage of people hospitalized per population. A total of 681 people are hospitalized in the region.
109 new COVID cases have been confirmed in Genesee County. The new infections involve residents from Batavia, Le Roy and ten other communities. 21 of the positive individuals are hospitalized. County health officials also report two more deaths from virus-related complications. Orleans County reports 55 new cases while Wyoming County is reporting 53 new COVID cases.
Robert Boyce announced his retirement as President of the LeRoy Ambulance Service Inc., effective Dec. 31. Boyce joined the Board of Directors in 1994 and has served as President since 2002. LeRoy Ambulance Service is the primary provider of emergency medical services to the Town and Village of LeRoy. It began as a fully volunteer ambulance service in 1970 and under Boyce’s leadership, it successfully implemented career staffing. Today, it provides 24/7 basic and advanced life support services through its highly trained staff of EMTs and Paramedics.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York wants an independent investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This follows an allegation of sexual harassment made by a former aide, Lindsey Boylan, on Sunday. During Monday’s coronavirus briefing, Cuomo addressed the accusation and said the statements are not true.
Livingston County deputies report the arrest of a Genesee County woman on drug related charges after an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies arrested and charged 27-year-old Elizabeth L. McCombs of Batavia with felony Promoting Prison Contraband in the 1st Degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th Degree. It is alleged that on June 1, 2019 McCombs was an inmate in the Livingston County Jail and was found to be in possession of illegal contraband believed to be fentanyl. The suspected fentanyl was sent to a forensic lab for testing. McCombs was arrested after lab results confirmed the drugs were in fact fentanyl. She was released on appearance tickets for the charges as the offenses did not qualify for pre-arraignment detention under the NYS Justice Reform Act.
NY Congressman Anthony Brindisi is calling on Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to resign. Following what he calls a damning inspector general report alleging abuse of power and stonewalling of an investigation, Brindisi joined several Veterans Service Organizations in calling for Secretary Wilkie’s resignation. According to Brindisi… -quote- “Secretary Wilkie has lost the trust of Veterans and the Inspector General’s report outlines negligence and abuse of power by the Washington bureaucrats running the VA.”