Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on February 18, 2021
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn and the FBI are investigating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of nursing home death data. The governor has struggled with nursing home deaths from the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. Though he rescinded an initial directive to return infected residents from hospitals to nursing homes and explained he followed federal guidance at the time, critics blamed Cuomo for the high number of nursing home deaths in the state. The New York Attorney General accused the state of under-playing the death toll and the governor’s office conceded it withheld the numbers from state lawmakers, who are now considering stripping Cuomo of some pandemic power. We’re told the FBI and federal prosecutors are in the early stages of their investigation.
It looks as though the Genesee County Legislature has found a qualified person to fill the vacant position of county coroner. The county Ways & Means Committee has voted in favor of a resolution appointing longtime paramedic Wade Schwab as coroner, effective Feb. 24 through Dec. 31. The measure will be put on the agenda of next Wednesday’s full legislature meeting. One of the four county coroner jobs became open earlier this year upon the resignation of Jeffery McIntire, who moved to Florida.
Genesee County reports 17 new COVID cases. Those impacted are from Batavia Le Roy and eight other communities. Eleven of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list. Fifteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. One of the new positive individuals is a resident of the Le Roy Village Green Residential Healthcare Facility. Eleven of the new positive individuals are inmates at the Buffalo Federal Detention center.
The Batavia City Planning & Development Committee has approved a site plan for a radiology/intensive care unit addition at United Memorial Medical Center at 127 North Street. The hospital’s request for an area variance is scheduled to be considered by the City Zoning Board of Appeals on Feb. 25. Doug Randall is the city code enforcement officer…and says that he expects the variance to be approved as well since the two-story, 5,100-square-foot addition will be in line with the previous cancer treatment center addition. According to information provided to Randall, the project will feature a new building entrance off of Summit Street Extension, three new parking spaces and landscaping along the entire frontage of the addition. About 75 percent of the proposed addition perimeter will abut the existing hospital structure. Additionally, plans call for an extension of the 90-degree parking area in front of the cancer center, but do not include any new hospital beds.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, in collaboration with Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, will be offering a CDL (Commercial Driver License) Training Program for Genesee County agriculture producers and their employees for Class A and Class B licenses. This training program is designed for producers and farm employees that have some experience with commercial truck operation. An informational meeting will be held on March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Campus, 8250 State Street Road, Batavia. This meeting will explain how the program works and answer any questions you may have. The required training materials and medical forms will also be passed out at this time.
An inmate fight at the Genesee County Jail has led to a felony charge for one. 37-year-old Wayne Potter of Batavia was charged with felony assault. The sheriff’s office says he injured another inmate during a fight.
Independent Living of the Genesee Region welcomes Kara Beth Baker to assist people with disabilities in the Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming County (GOW) Region as a New York Connects Independent Living Outreach Specialist. Baker brings 22 years of experience in counseling and accessibility. In her new role, Baker will connect people with disabilities and their families to needed home and community-based supports and services, as well as facilitate access to public benefits.