Morning News Brief

Written by on March 2, 2021

Additional doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine have been coming into Genesee County this week — a welcome sign of better days ahead, according to the Genesee/Orleans public health director. Paul Pettit said after the allocation had been flat for four weeks, the county Department of Health has received 885 doses of the vaccine – 300 of the Moderna and 585 of the Pfizer. Pettit also mentioned that several “community partners” have received vaccine, with United Memorial Medical Center getting 200 doses and Tops Market in Batavia, Tops Market in Le Roy and Oakfield Family Pharmacy receiving 100 doses each. He reported that Genesee Community College will be the site of two local vaccination clinics this week – from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday for first dose only and from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday for second dose only. This is not the mass vaccination clinic at GCC that leaders in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties have been vigorously asking for, but Pettit said good news may be around the corner. More details on that are expected today.

Another woman has come forward to accuse Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual impropriety – prompting calls for the Governor to resign. Unlike his prior two accusers, Anna Ruch told the New York Times she did not work for Gov. Cuomo but instead met him at a 2019 wedding. Cuomo has long positioned himself as the champion of women in the workforce, but Ruch is the third to come forward with a similar story. Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James has received a referral letter to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo. Her office released a statement saying it’s not a responsibility taken lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously.

Genesee County reports 30 new positive cases of COVID-19. Thirteen communities are impacted, including Batavia and LeRoy. Forty-three of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list. Nine of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. Orleans County received 8 new positive cases of COVID-19. Wyoming County reports 20 new cases.

The Genesee County Emergency Management Services has received a $3,800 fire prevention grant from FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers. FM Global representatives presented the award to the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management in Batavia.  The award will be used to assist with fire investigations to help fire investigators more efficiently investigate and determine the cause of a fire. Because fire continues to be the leading cause of property damage worldwide, during the past 40 years FM Global has contributed millions of dollars in fire prevention grants to fire service organizations around the globe. Locally, the company has awarded grants to a number of New York-based organizations.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors will consider accepting an initial application for incentives for Plug Power’s proposed $232.7 million green energy technology facility at the STAMP facility at its March 4 board meeting. The facility would produce green hydrogen through an electrolysis process of water utilizing clean hydropower. The production facility would produce approximately 45 metric tons of liquid hydrogen on a daily basis and sold to customers to replace fossil fuels in the transportation sector. Construction is anticipated to begin this summer. Plug Power would initially create approximately 68 new jobs at an average starting salary of approximately $70,000 plus benefits.

Gas prices continue an upward trend. The New York State average is $2.78 – up 8 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.60. Batavia prices are up, around 9 cents from a week ago, now at $2.72 a gallon.

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