Morning News Brief

Written by on April 1, 2021

Batavia Police have cleared a man who stopped by a house on Maple Street before it erupted into flames. Police have been assisting the Batavia City Fire Department in the investigation of the fire at 37 Maple St. that occurred Tuesday morning. The investigation has currently shown that an individual who had stopped at the home to pick up refrigerators did not have anything to do with the fire’s origin. The fire is still under investigation this morning.

Genesee County reports 17 new cases of COVID-19. Five of the current positive individuals are hospitalized and three new cases involve inmates at the Genesee County Jail. A dozen new COVID cases have been confirmed in Orleans County with three of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. Meanwhile, health officials in Wyoming County reported six new virus cases.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Institute will begin its annual Honorary Membership drive in Genesee County within the next 10 days according to Sheriff William Sheron, Jr. The Institute was established in 1979.  The flagship program of the Sheriffs’ Institute is the Sheriffs’ Summer Camp for economically challenged children.  The Camp, in its 45th year of operation, is located on Keuka Lake and 840 children from across New York State attend each summer.  The Sheriffs’ Institute pays the entire cost of the camp stay and transportation.  Most children attending would not otherwise have an opportunity for vacation travel or a summer camp experience.

Every year, the New York State Budget is due on April 1, but this year, lawmakers missed the mark. Some members of the state Assembly told an Albany TV station that the budget is expected to be passed by the end of this week, or early next week at the latest. However, if weeks go by without a complete budget, there could be implications.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley joined other members of the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences in calling on Gov. Cuomo to release $1.3 billion in CARES Act housing assistance funding to aid tenants and landlords. If the money were to go unused by the end of September, it is possible the federal government could take the funds back, leaving tenants and landlords without much-needed assistance. Tenants have struggled to pay rent due to the pandemic, causing many small landlords to face difficulty in paying their mortgages.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation legalizing adult-use cannabis. The move came less than twenty-four hours after the legislature approved the bill. The bill also expands New York State’s existing medical marijuana and hemp programs. Cities, towns, and villages may opt-out of allowing adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption licenses by passing a local law by December 31. They cannot opt-out of adult-use legalization. Some of the tax money generated by the law will go to education and drug treatment. The legislation includes additional funding for drug recognition experts and law enforcement to ensure safe roadways. The use of cannabis by drivers will remain prohibited and will carry the same penalties as it does currently.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation today urged hikers to postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails can pose a danger to hikers due to thick ice and deep, rotten snow. Despite recent warm weather, high elevation trails are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. Hikers are advised to take extreme caution on low elevation trails. Hikers will encounter variable conditions such as thick mud, flooded areas, and deep slushy snow.

Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. announces the appointment of Deputy Sheriff Kyle J. Tower.  Deputy Tower recently completed the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office field training program and is assigned to the road patrol division. Tower brings over eight years of public safety experience to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.  Deputy Tower currently resides in Darien.

An online fundraiser has been established to help a Batavia family of six after a fire this week destroyed the home they were renting at 37 Maple Street. Several pets perished and the family lost all their belongs. A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $5,700.

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