Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on April 16, 2021
Genesee County reports ten new positive cases of COVID-19. Three people from the group have been hospitalized. Orleans County reports 14 new cases with three people hospitalized. In Wyoming County, nine new cases were confirmed with 113 people in mandatory quarantine and 38 people in isolation.
More than 50 percent of New Yorkers 18 years of age and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than one in three in the same age group have been fully vaccinated. Officials report this morning that more than 12.5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in New York State. More than 1.5 million doses have been administered over the past seven days.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York State have dropped to under 4,000 for the first time since December 1st. The number was pegged at 3,963. The statewide positivity rate dropped to 2.76 percent, its lowest since November 21. The statewide 7-day average positivity rate also declined to 3.05 percent, the lowest since November 25.
The Batavia Police Department is seeking public assistance in locating a missing 14-year-old girl. Elizabeth Jones was last seen Wednesday in Batavia. She may now be in the Buffalo or Rochester area and is believed to be with a male. She was last seen wearing a red and black hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants and carrying a blue and black duffle bag. Elizabeth is approximately 5′ 04″, 130 lbs, has piercings on both sides of her nose, and has blonde hair.
Acting on an Indictment Warrant, the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force, with help from the Niagara County Probation Department, arrested 30-year-old Leroy Thornton III of Niagara Falls. The arrest concluded an investigation into the transportation, sale and possession of crack cocaine in and around the town of Batavia. He was charged with felony counts of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. He was arraigned in Genesee County court and released on his own recognizance. The Genesee County DA’s office assisted in the investigation.
A former Webster Central School District coach who was accused – and later acquitted – of raping a student is now suing the district, as well as the Town of Webster and its police department. Kali Watkins, a former girls basketball coach, had been accused of raping a 14-year-old student in a locker room in January 2017. A jury found him not guilty in August 2019. In the lawsuit filed this week, the plaintiff and his attorneys paint Watkins as the target of an investigation driven by personal animosity by those in the Webster Police Department and the school district for which he worked, alleging his coaching style, grudges over personal relationships and racism may all have played roles in what unfolded.