Morning News Brief

Written by on September 2, 2021

Federal prosecutors have announced that 36-year-old Danielle Tooley of Batavia was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud and theft of government funds. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, between July and December 4, 2020, Tooley and others knowingly used the personal identifying information of other individuals unlawfully to apply for and collect unemployment benefits connected to federal COVID-19 relief programs. In total, the scheme resulted in a loss of at least $99,141.39 to the United States.  Tooley was released on conditions.

The New York state Legislature voted Wednesday to extend an eviction moratorium for tenants who fell behind on their rent because of hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. New York’s previous eviction moratorium expired Tuesday. In an Aug. 12 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court nixed part of the moratorium that allowed tenants to pause eviction proceedings simply by filing a form declaring they’d had a pandemic-related hardship. The bill would let landlords challenge hardship declarations. Hochul said the legislation will stand up to legal scrutiny. But the leader of the Rent Stabilization Association, the largest organization of landlords in New York, vowed Wednesday to sue to block the moratorium in federal court.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is standing firmly opposed to legislation that would extend the moratorium on evictions in the state. Hawley has expressed frustration that this moratorium has been extended multiple times, even as the state government sits on the vast majority of $2.6 billion in federal funding meant to address the issue, having distributed only 10 percent of those funds to tenants and landlords in need. According to Hawley, “If we do not do something to help our small landlords in this crucial moment, they may well go extinct within the housing market if forced to sell their property to large conglomerates to escape crushing debts which they cannot collect rent to pay.”

After investigating a complaint on Bethany Center Road, deputies arrested 18-year-old Hannah Roberts of Fulton. She was charged with trespass and will appear in Bethany Town Court on September 14th.

Representatives of Samsung have visited the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in recent days…that from Sen. Charles Schumer, renewing optimism that the international semiconductor manufacturer may join Plug Power, the Latham-based leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems, in placing a production plant at the 1,250-acre site in the Town of Alabama. Announcing what he called a “two-pronged approach” at a press conference at the STAMP site off Route 77, Schumer said that he has been communicating on a regular basis with the president of Samsung, based in South Korea, and the head of the company’s United States operations — promoting STAMP as the ideal location for the semiconductor facility it is looking to build.

The National Weather Service issued two historic flash flood emergencies for New York and New Jersey Wednesday night as heavy rains from remnants of Ida slammed the area; they were the first two the agency’s New York operation have ever issued. A flash flood emergency is issued in exceedingly rare situations when extremely heavy rain creates a severe threat to human life, and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is currently happening or will happen soon.

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