Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on February 24, 2021
Just 15 new COVID cases have been confirmed in Genesee County. Twelve people remain hospitalized. Orleans County reports five new cases and Wyoming County reports 13 new cases.
A Batavia man is going to serve at least a year in prison for a violation of probation but his fate on rape charges remains pending. While held in the Genesee County Jail, 30-year-old Justin T. Gladney appeared virtually in County Court on his violation of probation conviction. His appearance on his rape charges was continued until March 23, when all parties are expected to appear in person.
The legislative leaders and public health directors of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties sent a letter to New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo urgently requesting the designation of a regional mass vaccination clinic at the Genesee Community College (GCC) campus to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to the rural counties. The letter reads that “Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties have consistently been left out of the COVID-19 response with delays in testing supplies and now with very limited vaccine allocations. All three counties are medically underserved and having a regional clinic with less than a half hour commute would benefit these communities.”
New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher will hold a virtual press conference today to unveil the organization’s national public policy agenda. This will be held in conjunction with meetings this week between more than two dozen NYFB members and the state’s congressional delegation. Farmers will be discussing major federal issues with lawmakers, including the Biden administration’s new immigration proposal, additional COVID relief, and the future of trade policy in this country.
Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York’s health care distribution sites have administered 91 percent of first doses of COVID-19 vaccinations so far delivered. The week 10 allocation from the federal government was delayed due to winter storms impacting much of the country, and week 10 deliveries continue to arrive today. The week 11 allocation will begin arriving mid-week. Due to limited supply, New Yorkers are encouraged to remain patient and are advised not to show up at vaccination sites without an appointment.
From the cold case files…State Police in Warsaw continue to investigate the 41-year-old missing person case of James Dean Knox. On December 21, 1979, the grandmother of James Dean Knox reported him missing. She reported she last saw him at her home in South Warsaw on December 9, 1979. Further investigation by the New York State Police revealed Knox had been seen by friends, associates and local business people in the village of Warsaw on December 10 and 11, before his sudden disappearance. At the time of his disappearance, Knox was residing at 35 Wyoming Street in Warsaw and on medical leave from Leroy Machine Co., in Leroy. Knox was known to frequent a local pizzeria in the village of Warsaw. Knox is described as a white male, 5’11” tall, 150 pounds, dark blonde hair, blue eyes and wore eyeglasses. Knox was 24 years old at the time of his disappearance. Troopers say…they won’t stop looking.
The U.S. Department of Education has said that states must administer standardized tests this year, but the tests can be shortened and will not be used to evaluate schools. New York officials have expressed disappointment by the decision. Local educators, many of whom spoke out in favor of canceling testing this year, are now waiting to hear from the state about how assessments will proceed — and how much time and money it will cost them. New York was among several states that had requested federal permission from the Biden administration to cancel standardized testing for the 2020-21 school year. The move had strong public support and was backed by key education groups like New York State United Teachers and The Council of School Superintendents. Now New York must fulfill the federal requirement to test students in grades 3-8 in ELA and math. Those assessments are currently scheduled to begin in April.