Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on January 5, 2021
Since the last update, Genesee County now reports 166 new COVID cases and two more deaths. The new infections involve residents from 11 communities, including Batavia and Le Roy. 11 of the positive individuals are hospitalized. The deaths involved two residents at the LeRoy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Orleans County reported 101 new COVID cases, along with another death.
Wyoming County deputies have released new information on a head-on vehicle crash December 20th in the Town of Covington. After investigating, deputies say they arrested 56-year-old Joanne Harper of Pavilion. Following standardized field sobriety testing, Harper was placed under arrest for driving while ability impaired by drugs. Harper was ultimately charged with Failure to Keep Right and DWAI Drugs. Harper was released with appearance tickets and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Covington Court at a later date.
A former postal worker has been accused of delaying or destroying mail. The U.S. Attorney’s Office leveled charges against 27-year-old Brandon Wilson of Buffalo. In court, he pleaded guilty. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Prosecutors said Wilson was found near the Peace Bridge with 701 mailings, and an employee uniform and employee identification badge. The mailings included three (3) official absentee ballots mailed from the Board of Elections to voters. Wilson admitted that he was a postal carrier who kept custody of the mailings after failing to complete his delivery route. Sentencing is scheduled for May 6.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the latest prioritization for New Yorkers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning today, eligibility is being expanded to include all outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers who provide direct in-person patient care, as well as all public health care workers who provide direct in-person care, including those who conduct COVID-19 tests and handle lab specimens. Beginning this week, eligibility will also be expanded to include home care workers, hospice workers, and nursing home and other congregate setting workers who have yet to receive a vaccine through the federal nursing home vaccination program.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley is calling on his colleagues in the Legislature to reject Assembly Bill 416, which would give the Governor or his surrogates the authority to detain individuals determined to be a threat to public health. Hawley says he opposes this legislation and says he believes it is unconstitutional and in violation of the right to due process. Hawley said…“Protecting the health of our neighbors is a noble goal to be certain, but this bill forfeits our constitutional liberty in a way we can never allow. Hawley added that “This is yet another piece of legislation from a downstate member of the Majority that blatantly disregards the constitution and causes people to distrust their government. People being detained on a whim just isn’t something that should ever happen in our country.”