Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on April 21, 2021
Batavia-based troopers continue to investigate an Orleans County cold case. On October 29, 1983, a body was found by a hunter off the shoulder of State Route 63 in the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, in the town of Shelby. The victim was found in a severely decomposed state and was believed to have been there for several months. In 1984, the Center of Human Identification was used by state police to make a facial reconstruction from the remains. In October of 2013, the still unidentified body was exhumed and DNA testing was performed. Through a multi-step investigation, the body was identified as Shari L. Ball. The 20-year-old was reported missing by her family in June 1983 to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. She had told her family that she was going to New York State with an unknown friend to pursue a modeling career. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Batavia.
Genesee County reports 21 new positive cases of COVID-19. Twenty-seven of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list. Seven of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. Orleans County reports nine new cases and Wyoming County reports four more COVID cases.
The Batavia Rotary Club has donated an AED defibrillator to the local center of The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army regularly serves community residents at its center on East Main Street. After two recent incidents when patrons at the center were stricken with health issues, the Salvation Army leadership realized the need to have a defibrillator on the premises in order to assist visitors in a timely manner. The City Fire Department provided training to Salvation Army staff members.
With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its 20th Take Back Day on Saturday. DEA’s October 2020 Take Back Day brought in a record-high amount of expired, unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
On the 51st anniversary of the first Earth Day, the latest poll from the Siena College Research Institute says that 64 percent of New Yorkers are very concerned about water pollution, 61 percent with air pollution, 60 percent with deforestation, and 56 percent are very concerned about climate change. The research institute adds that large majorities support redesigning cities to be more pedestrian friendly, promote the widespread use of electric cars, have New York produce 100 percent of its electricity with zero-emissions by 2040 and the U.S. rejoining the Paris Climate Accords.