Weekend News Brief

Written by on May 7, 2022

After a self imposed 2 week period of mourning the Western New York Air Ambulance service of Mercy Flight is resuming their operations.  Mercy Flight President, Margaret Ferrentino, states, “We continue to grieve and to mourn the terrible loss we experienced April 26th. A piece of Mercy Flight’s collective heart has been forever changed, but we know that our patients still need us.”  The Canandaigua based air team has been operating out of Buffalo for the past 2 weeks to cover for the western NY team.  Maintenance inspectors have gone over the two helicopters of Western NY Mercy Flight and indicated they are fully functional and ready to resume duties.

Governor Hochul announced the signing of legislation to provide addiction and mental health service training to First Responders.  She said Friday that “The pandemic has only made things harder for New Yorkers, and it is critical that our first responders and emergency services personnel have the proper training, tools and resources to help keep our streets and subways safe.”  According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, drug overdoses and suicides have overtaken traffic accidents as the two leading causes of death among Americans ages 25 to 44.  The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also states that suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in New York. In 2020, for every 100,000 New Yorkers, approximately eight people lost their life to suicide; it is the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 34 years old; and for individuals between the ages of 35 and 54, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death.  Also, in 2020, Congress enacted the National Suicide Prevention Hotline Improvement Act, which established 9-8-8 as the universal dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which will go into effect in July this year. 

According to the Associated Press A New York Court has halted the use of DNA from close family members being used to investigate crimes.  This tool has lead to solving cold cases and putting murderers and other criminals behind bars and also exonerating some who were wrongly accused.  The technique involves testing the DNA against that which is already on file to see if it is a close match to any who might be family members.  The Court said that the state had never actually approved the use of DNA and would have to before they reinstate the ability.  A panel of judges on a mid-level appeals court made the ruling Thursday, citing concerns about government separation of powers. The state agency that authorized the technique is reviewing the decision to determine its next steps.

The Lilac festival started Friday and will go for this weekend and the next 2.  Mark Quinn, Monroe County’s head horticulturalist, says the lilacs are right on time, even if they are just beginning to bloom. And according to his 2022 Lilac Bloom report, we could see the lilacs reach their peak bloom ahead of a beautiful weekend.  The question was asked by 13WHAM, how do you pronounce the sweet smelling flowering bush’s name?  In an online poll 76 percent of respondents said li-loc, and 24 percent said li-lac.  However you pronounce them, these weekends are the time to head to Rochester’s highland park and smell them.

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