Morning News Brief

Written by on February 4, 2021

Last week it was Samsung. Now, it’s Plug Power. According to a story in The Buffalo News, the Albany-based Plug Power has disclosed plans to erect five “green hydrogen” plants in the United States, including a $264 million facility at the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Town of Alabama. The plant, which would produce green hydrogen for freight and materials handling equipment, is expected to be in operation by 2024, according to the published report. Previously, it was reported on The Batavian that Samsung is considering the placement of a $17 billion semiconductor plan at STAMP, a venture of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

Congressman Tom Reed, along with every member of New York’s Republican Congressional Delegation, joined together and sent a letter to Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson requesting the Department of Justice immediately issue subpoenas for Governor Cuomo, the Secretary to the Governor, the New York State Commissioner of Health, and their staff on all documentation and communications related to their nursing home policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group also requested an update on the Civil Rights Division’s inquiry into New York State’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes. In a statement for the press, Reed said “Thousands of New York families who lost a parent or grandparent due to New York’s disastrous nursing home policies deserve nothing less than full transparency and accountability.”

Whether you call it “refunding” or “refinancing,” Genesee County stands to save a pile of money by consolidating a couple loans and reworking the payment plan. Speaking at the Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee meeting, County Treasurer Scott German said the municipality may have the opportunity to save more than $20,000 in interest costs over the next 13 years. He said…“It’s called refunding, but for us, regular folks, it’s refinancing.” The two debts in question, both Public Improvement Serial Bonds, are from 2009 and 2014, totaling $2 million and $4.7 million.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is reiterating his demands for legislative hearings into the Cuomo Administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in nursing homes following a press conference held by legislative colleagues regarding a bombshell report from the Attorney General’s Office. It revealed the department was undercounting COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 percent. Additionally, Hawley is demanding a termination of the governor’s emergency powers, and also requesting that his colleagues in the Majority compel administration officials to attend legislative hearings on the matter by issuing subpoenas against them.

44-year-old Charles J. Rodriguez Sr. of West Main Street in Batavia has been arrested and charged with first-degree arson. His arrest stemmed from an incident Nov. 26 on Osterhout Avenue in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that Rodriguez lit a bottle of flammable liquid and threw it at the front window of a residence on that street, breaking the window. The bottle did not go into the residence but it did cause a fire. An uninvolved person was inside the residence at the time and Rodriguez allegedly knew the person was in there. There was minor damage to the home…no one was injured. He was arraigned virtually in Batavia City Court and is due there on Feb. 25.

Sheriff’s deputies report the arrest of 25-year-old Phllip Mitchell Gambino of School Street in Batavia. He was charged with second-degree menacing. It is alleged he menaced another person with a knife during a verbal altercation outside Walmart. Gambino was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to be in Batavia Town Court on Feb. 11.

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