Weekend News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on January 29, 2022
The mask mandate for New York State was set to expire on Tuesday the 1st of February. Governor Hochul has elected to extend it to February 10th. Hochul says that they will reassess the mandate every two weeks. The mandate applies to schools and businesses. On Monday last week a State Supreme Court judge ruled the mandate unconstitutional but an appeal put it back in place.
After a bridge collapsed in Pittsburg Friday morning there were questions about the state of bridges in Western NY, especially since many of them appear to be somewhat worse for wear. About 10 percent of bridges surveyed in Erie County were found to be in poor condition. But the New York State Highway Authority says that the bridges, even the ones in poor condition, are still safe. All highway bridges are inspected every 2 years.
Grow NY Farms has put out a press release condemning the Farm Laborers Wage Board voting to lower the Overtime Threshold to 40 hours a week instead of 60. They say that over 70 percent of testimonies from farmers and laborers demanded the OT stay at 60 and all data, research and commentary from experienced farmers and agriculture experts point to this being a bad decision for both farmers and their workers who will now not be able to earn as much. The Grow group says workers are already leaving New York for states without the OT cap and that farming in NY is collapsing.
Governor Hochul has stated that she wants a deal on the new Bills stadium by the end of March. Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive, says he is unsure if a new stadium deal could be reached on such a short timeline. In response to Poloncarz’s comments, a spokesperson for Gov. Hochul’s office says, “negotiations are ongoing.”
The Buffalo Sabres are playing 3 games this weekend and early in the week but they have no goalie as Michael Houser has been put on COVID protocol and Aaron Dell is serving a 3 game suspension for an interference call against the Senators. Dustin Tokarski and Craig Anderson have practiced as goaltenders but it is unknown if they are ready to play. Anderson had an injury that took him off the ice in November and Tokarski had COVID and hasn’t played since the beginning of December.