Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on March 8, 2021
More than $31.5 million is being awarded to strengthen New York’s agricultural industry through the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants program. These projects will protect a total of 15,600 acres on 22 New York dairy farms and eight non-dairy farms. The Western New York Land Conservancy will receive $453,000 to protect Schmieder Farm, located in the Town of Alexander. The Genesee Valley Conservancy is earmarked to receive a little more than $10.3 million. One of the projects involved Heindale Farm, located in the Town of East Bethany.
Court action is pending after a Holley woman who face multiple felony counts following a fraud complaint in Albion from nearly two years ago. State Troopers arrested 31-year-old Margaret Yarbrough, charging her with felony counts of welfare fraud and first-degree filing a false instrument. She was initially detained.
In the midst of a pandemic, when attendance was limited, Pembroke’s annual “Shooting For A Cure!” fundraiser has raised at least $39,200. Organizer Mike Wilson said that amount breaks last year’s record-breaking total of $33,000. Donations are still trickling in and Wilson is hoping the event goes over $40,000.
State Police say they filed multiple felony counts against an Elba man. Troopers arrested 33-year-old Kevin Moscicki. He was charged with felony aggravated driving while intoxicated and a separate count of felony DWI. He’ll appear in court at a later date.
An unattended propane heater triggered a weekend fire that destroyed a garage, a car and tools. Flames were reported at 344 W. Main Street in Batavia. Destroyed along with the building was a 2014 Toyota Camry and several tools. Two nearby structures received minor damage from radiant heat. There were no injuries.
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is now calling for the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo — a sign of escalating pressure from members of his own party to step aside amid allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct. Cuomo said Sunday he has no plans to step down. Stewart-Cousins’s decision to join a growing number of state Democratic lawmakers pushing for Cuomo to step down upped the pressure on the three-term governor, who appears to be losing his grip on the state capitol he has ruled for a decade.
New York is increasing restaurant capacity to 75 percent for areas outside of New York City. The change will take effect on March 19, pending the Legislature’s review. Restaurants outside of New York City are currently capped at 50 percent capacity. The increase in capacity comes as some neighboring states have loosened capacity restrictions in restaurants and New York has seen a continued decrease in COVID-19 positivity and hospitalizations.
A vehicle crash in the Town of Bergen resulted in charges for the driver. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 55-year-old Reginald Sampson of Ellicott Street in Batavia. He allegedly drove off the highway and struck a sign on Route 33. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, having a blood alcohol content above .08%, aggravated unlicensed operation and moving from a lane unsafely. He’ll appear in Bergen Town Court March 17th.
Former Eastman Kodak Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Colby Chandler has died. He led the company from 1983 to 1990. While CEO, Kodak expanded its consumer product lines, acquired Sterling Drug and ranked number 18 on FORTUNE’s list of America’s largest corporations. Chandler was 95.
The Batavia City Council is primed to select Rachel Tabelski as the new permanent City Manager for Batavia when it meets tonight. Tabelski has been serving as Interim City Manager since August of 2019. If approved by Council, Tabelski’s annual salary will become $110,000 plus benefits.