Morning News Briefing

Written by on August 26, 2021

The Genesee County Legislature has voted to approve a new sales tax allocation agreement with the City of Batavia – a move that clears the way for the annual distribution of $10 million in sales tax revenue to Genesee County towns and villages. The resolution passed by a unanimous vote. In other action, the legislature voted in favor of contracting with a Williamsville consulting firm for assistance in how to spend money received from the American Rescue Plan Act. The contract is for up to $10,000 for the two years of the contract, which includes the option of three, one-year renewals.

A source tells an Albany TV station that state Sen. Brian Benjamin will be the new Lieutenant Governor of New York. Someone familiar with the administration’s internal discussions spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Hochul had yet to announce her decision publicly. She is expected to do so this week. If he accepts the job, the 44-year-old Benjamin would become the state’s second Black lieutenant governor. The Democrat, whose district includes most of central Harlem, has focused his legislative career on criminal justice reform and affordable housing.

Delivering another blow to what’s left of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legacy, New York’s new governor acknowledged on her first day in office that the state has had nearly 12,000 more deaths from COVID-19 than Cuomo told the public. In its first daily update on the outbreak Tuesday evening, Hochul’s office reported that nearly 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from about 43,400 that Cuomo reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.

Lisa Casey, confidential secretary for the City of Batavia since January 2015, has been hired as clerk of the legislature for Genesee County. She calls the move a career advancement. A Batavia resident, Casey was an executive administrator for Conifer Realty in Rochester for seven years. Her first day with the county is Sept. 7th.

A knife fight led to the arrest of 2 men in the town on Albion.  53-year-old Angel Gonzalez-Rodriguez and 43-year-old Jeffrey VanEpps allegedly got into a fight over a cell phone, Rodriguez slashed VanEpps on the forehead and VanEpps stabbed Rodriguez in the leg.  Both have been arrested and charged with Assault, Criminal Possession of a weapon, and menacing.

The National Weather Service is continuing a heat advisory for today. Heat index values could reach 100 this afternoon. Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.

From Buffalo’s Channel 4… President Joe Biden appointed Williamsville native and SUNY Geneseo graduate Elizabeth “Liz” Allen as “Assistant Secretary of State for Global Public Affairs” at the United States Department of State Wednesday. Allen, a Williamsville South graduate, previously worked in the Obama-Biden White House for eight years in communications.

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