Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on March 4, 2021
A Batavia resident with years of volunteer service locally and overseas, including the Peace Corps, is reportedly missing in Ecuador. Travis Sackett, a 2003 graduate of Batavia High School, has reportedly been missing since Feb. 21 after going on a hike. Recently, he has been a volunteer at a farm in Ecuador. The U.S. Embassy in Ecuador has reportedly been notified that Sackett hasn’t been heard from since he left for the hike. Local search efforts began on Feb. 25. A GoFundMe page says Sackett’s parents are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the safe return of their son. The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State.
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo says…he’s not resigning. Governor Cuomo apologized during a press conference for his actions and promises to be better. At least three women have accused Governor Cuomo of inappropriate behavior and unwanted sexual advances towards them. This comes as his policy keeping COVID-19 patients in nursing homes in the early days of pandemic and undercounting coronavirus deaths is under federal investigation.
State Senator Rob Ortt and more than 60 state Senators and members of the Assembly Wednesday joined the call from county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders from throughout New York for increased state support for local roads, bridges and culverts. It’s been an annual movement since 2013. The Senator says “Maintaining our roads and bridges is essential not only for the safety and well-being of our communities, but it’s a critical component to help spur job creation and economic revitalization.”
Genesee County received 21 new positive cases of COVID-19. Thirteen of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list. Three of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. Seven new cases are reported in Orleans County with one hospitalization.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested 33-year-old Michael Flatley of Buffalo following a traffic stop on Alleghany Road in the Town of Alabama. He was charged with felony DWI and felony first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. He was arraigned in court and released. He’ll return to court May 5th.
U.S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY has announced the introduction of the Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act, which will create a new program for all essential workers and personnel who have been injured or impacted by COVID-19. Modelled after the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), the new fund would provide compensation to any individuals, or their families, who were deemed essential workers that were required to leave their home to perform services, and became ill or died as a result of COVID-19. The legislation would also create a website to facilitate access to the fund and simplify the application process to maximize compensation for essential workers and their families.