Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on April 26, 2021
The Batavia City Council wants to beef up its emergency services staffing. City Manager Rachael Tabelski is proposing the restoration of a police officer and two firefighters to the 2021-22 budget and the funding of overtime for the Neighborhood Enforcement Team and community policing special details. This proposal could be forwarded to a Special Business Meeting afterward. The Conference Meeting is scheduled for 7 o’clock at the City Hall Council Board Room.
New York’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 1.79 percent, the lowest since November 3. Every region’s 7-day average positivity rate is below 4 percent for the first time since November 8.
New York will resume using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration lifted the recommended pause. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker shared the update through statements over the weekend. The governor says that the state’s independent task force reviewed the data and reaffirmed the federal government’s decision to resume using the vaccine. The J&J shot was paused for 11 days as scientific advisors to the CDC looked into cases of rare blood clots.
Recruit NY happened across the state over the weekend. It’s an event designed to help volunteer fire departments attract new members. After a one-year COVID hiatus, it returned this year as some departments look to bounce back from recruitment stalls due to the pandemic. While a shortage still exists in firefighter volunteers across the state, some are calling it a comeback.
Owners of Quicklee’s Convenience Stores have their eyes on the former site of the Bob Evans Restaurant at 204 Oak Street in Batavia for a convenience store with a retail fuel station. The City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee reviewed the sketch plan submitted by the director of land development projects for Quicklee’s, which has about two dozen stores/retail fuel locations. Two of its new stores opened last summer in Brighton and along I-86 in Allegany County. Committee Chair Duane Preston says the site plan looks favorable. According to a letter to the City Code Enforcement Officer, the proposed project involves converting the existing building into two sections: 2,700-plus square feet for the convenience store and the remaining 1,000-plus square feet for a “quick service restaurant partner with a drive-thru window.”
It’s National Infant Immunization Week. This is an annual observance highlighting the importance of protecting children 2 years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases. It is also a week to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting health communities. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some infants and children have missed or delayed routinely recommended vaccinations.
New data released by the New York State Education Department revealed a major spike in sexual violence at the University of Rochester. The state’s “Enough is Enough” legislation requires colleges to submit data on documented incidents of sexual violence annually. Recently published data shows a 129 percent increase in reported sexual violence at the U. of R. A spokesperson for the university attributed the increase, in part, to additional staff helping students understand reporting options. The university reported the sixth most incidents out of over 200 colleges in New York.
Firefighters located a man who drowned while attempting to rescue a dog Friday night. The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a man and dog in the water in Murray. Multiple fire departments responded with water rescue equipment. A fire search boat later located and recovered the body of 30-year-old Ryan Perkins of Holley.