Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on February 26, 2021
Leading alternative energy technology provider Plug Power will invest $290 million in the construction of a state-of-the-art green hydrogen fuel production facility and electric substation at the Western New York Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park located in the Town of Alabama. The Plug Power project is the first build at the STAMP site and will require that the company fund the construction of a 450-megawatt electric substation to support its expansion as well as future growth opportunities at the business park. Plug Power has additionally committed to creating 68 jobs at the new production facility, which will produce 45 tons of green hydrogen daily. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
The City of Batavia Police Department, in partnership with the City of Batavia School District (BCSD), has announced the addition of Officer Miah Stevens as the newest School Resource Officer (SRO). Officer Stevens is replacing retiring Officer Jason Davis who has held the post for the last two years and has served the City for 20+ years as a police officer. Officer Stevens is a 2013 graduate of Pembroke High School, she went on to attend Genesee Community College and SUNY Brockport majoring in Criminal Justice. Stevens has previously worked for the YMCA – Batavia as a children’s swim instructor and lifeguard, City of Batavia – Bureau of Maintenance as a summer laborer and the City of Batavia School District as a teacher’s aide.
It’s the Winter Fun Night Hike from 7:00 to 9:00 pm tonight at the Genesee County Park & Forest. Park guides will lead people on a night hike for ages 18 and over. Meet at Pavilion A on Raymond Rd. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required, call 585-344-1122. Masks must be worn whenever unable to maintain 6 feet of social distance.
Genesee County reports 21 new positive COVID cases, bring the total number of confirmed cases to more than 4,200. The new infections involve residents of 13 communities, including Batavia and LeRoy. 14 of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. Meanwhile, Orleans County reports just five new cases but also another death, which involved a resident at Orchard Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. Wyoming County health officials also report five new cases.
Officials with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) don’t see things the way a group of activists in the area do when it comes how detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility are being treated in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. Activists say the conditions have led to two detainees going on a hunger strike. Representatives of Justice for Migrant Families of WNY, which is based in Buffalo, claimed during a press conference that during the recent outbreak, COVID-positive patients have been kept in solitary confinement, that conditions in the facility are unsafe and represent a health threat to the Genesee County community, particularly since, in their view, detainees are being held purely for violations of immigration laws. ICE officials dispute these allegations. According to a source, there is no such thing as “solitary confinement” at the facility.
Today is the day hundreds have been waiting for: the chance to visit their loved ones at nursing homes in New York. New state restrictions are to take effect on this morning. The goal is to expand visits – but the reality is different. In order for nursing homes to allow visitation, they must go 14 days without a positive case. This is leading to frustration on the part of families. The advocacy group Essential Care Visitors says around 30 percent of nursing homes across the state will quality for visitations. On Tuesday, state lawmakers will vote on a caregiver bill. It would lessen restrictions and would give families more opportunities to finally be together.