Morning News Brief

Written by on September 10, 2021

The inability to get an accurate count of residents in the Genesee County portion of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation contributed to New York State losing a congressional seat following the 2022 election…that from the county’s planning director.  The Directors said he learned recently that the Census Bureau’s report of population in the Genesee County segment of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation reservation was not correct because the bureau’s enumerator was not allowed to enter the tribal grounds. According to the Census Bureau, the population dropped from 483 in 2010 to 241 in 2020 – a stunning 50 percent decline.

With a large contingent of family and friends present in the court room, 50-year-old Colleen L. Nelson of Alabama was sentenced to a determinate sentence of 3 1/2 years in state prison and 5 years post release supervision during her sentencing this week in Genesee County Court. The maximum sentence Nelson could have received was 7 1/2 years. Nelson stabbed a male co-worker during an attack at a candy production facility on S. Main Street in Elba last year. Nelson came up behind her co-worker and started stabbing him with a large knife. The 59-year-old victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the incident. Nelson pleaded guilty to attempted assault first degree, a class C felony, in July, waiving her right to a defense of mental defect.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has proposed regulations to implement the ban on expanded polystyrene foam containers and loose fill packaging or “packing peanuts” in New York State. The ban would go into effect on January 1, 2022. The ban was originally proposed in 2020 and several counties in New York have already adopted it. These include Albany, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. The DEC has now fully released the regulations to fully enact the ban. The DEC will be holding a virtual public hearing on the proposed regulations on November 15, at 1 p.m. and are accepting comments until Nov. 22, 2021.

Brian Benjamin is officially New York’s lieutenant governor.  Benjamin, a Democrat, was sworn in at Gov. Kathy Hochul’s New York City office Thursday, just more than two weeks after Hochul unveiled the state senator from Harlem as her choice to serve in the post.

Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is gearing up to host its annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester today in the track’s historic clubhouse. The fundraiser includes a $30 clubhouse buffet package deal, a silent auction with a wide variety of items up for bid, sponsorship of races and private donations. The clubhouse opens at 4 p.m. and the first race post time is 5 p.m. The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is the only full-scope, independently-operated organization focused on serving breast and gynecologic cancer survivors in the Central and Western New York regions and each year they benefit from over 100 fundraising events like this.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is joining his colleagues in the Assembly Minority calling on Governor Hochul and Health Commissioner Zucker to reverse the decision to mandate vaccination of healthcare workers. They argue that any public health benefit a mandate would provide would be outweighed by the detriment such a requirement would have on staffing levels within hospitals and health centers. Hawley is also concerned about how the mandate will affect people who either cannot be vaccinated due to their medical circumstances, and those who work remotely like coders and transcriptionists who do not come into contact with patients.

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