Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on February 2, 2021
Genesee County reports 46 new COVID cases since Friday. Twenty people are hospitalized but officials say 50 others have recovered. The latest infections involve residents more 13 communities. Meanwhile, health officials in Orleans County report 36 new positive cases and three more deaths involving community residents. Two of the individuals were under the age of 65 and one of the individuals was over the age of 65. In addition, officials report the COVID-related death of a resident of Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. The resident was under age 65. Twenty-five new cases have been confirmed since Friday in Wyoming County. Ninety-two remain in isolation.
When you stop at a gas station, you’ll likely realize prices are up. The New York State average is $2.51 – up 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.66. Batavia pump prices are up a penny. Pump prices are increasing while gas demand is dropping, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Although gas demand dropped, and total refinery utilization decreased, pump prices have increased moderately, signaling that expensive crude oil prices are driving the price.
In an effort to compel an independent investigation into reported bombshell allegations unveiled by the Attorney General’s nursing home report last week, NY Finger lakes Senator Tom O’Mara, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, has advanced a motion calling on the Committee to issue a subpoena to the New York State Department of Health for the nursing home data and related communications. Instead of considering the motion before the committee, Senator James Skoufis, Chair of the Committee on Investigations, dismissed it on a questionable procedural argument, even going as far to mute Senator O’Mara’s microphone during the meeting.
Children who reside in the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District and who will be 4 years old by Dec. 1 are eligible to be registered for a Universal prekindergarten (UPK) program for the 2021-2012 school year. The children attend five days per week, each day, for 180 days, and there is no direct out-of-pocket cost. Transportation is provided for students who are 4 years old. Students that start the program at 3 years old must be transported by the family until they turn 4. Registration paperwork needs to be returned by mail or in person to the elementary school office by March 5. Space is limited so please return the paperwork as soon as possible in order to avoid being placed on a wait list.
The distribution of free food for local residents may not be grabbing the headlines the way it did at the start of the pandemic but the programs haven’t stopped and the need has not subsided. Ryan Macdonald is pastor at City Church, which conducts free food distributions on Wednesday mornings at St. Anthony’s on Liberty Street. They’re currently feeding 500 families a week. While the Salvation Army is not distributing as much food as it did when the pandemic first started, its three-day-week distribution on East Main Street is still exceeding the pre-pandemic demand for food.
NY State Supreme Court Justice Scott DelConte on Monday decided to delay the results of the 22nd Congressional District race for about another week. Syracuse.com reported DelConte, overseeing the last undecided Congressional race in the country, made the decision to prolong the race even more after a last-minute challenge from Democract Anthony Brindisi, who is fighting to keep the House seat from Republican Claudia Tenney. At last count, Tenney led Brindisi by 122 votes of more than 316,000 cast for the two candidates. She appeared to pick up a handful more Monday morning during a court-ordered examination of several ballots that hadn’t yet been reviewed.