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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

WRN on pause

Wellsville Regional News is taking a break...a break that is likely permanent. Thank you.

(News reporting will continue at the dozen NY & PA radio stations).

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Allegany County: “Operation Love Our Teachers”

Allegany County, NY – “Early childhood teachers and daycare providers across Allegany County received a special acknowledgement and warm message of appreciation last week for Valentine’s Day,” said Robin Fuller, Ardent Solutions’ Early Childhood Education and Development Coordinator. “Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to show love and appreciation for those who dedicate their lives to our youngest community members.” 

Early childhood education is a term that refers to the period of time from a child’s birth to when they enter kindergarten. It is an important time in children’s lives because it is when they first learn how to interact with others, including peers, teachers and parents, and also begin to develop interests that will stay with them throughout their lives. “Early childhood teachers and daycare providers provide social, emotional, and educational support to young children that helps them to develop and succeed,” continued Fuller.

 

To recognize their contribution to our communities, Ardent Solutions and the Allegany County Early Childhood Coalition delivered 82 Valentine’s Day gifts and messages of thanks to eighteen local daycares, pre-schools, and head start providers across Allegany County. “Operation Love Our Teachers” celebrated those who nurture and keep young children safe.

 

Ms. Sherri Dunning, Canaseraga CDC Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, expressed her gratitude and surprise by sending a heartfelt message back to the Coalition, “I just wanted to say thank you for the super fun Valentine package I received yesterday (Friday).  What a neat and thoughtful idea!  You most certainly made my day.” 

 

“Operation Love Our Teachers” is part of Ardent Solutions’ efforts to honor essential workers in our communities. If you are interested in joining the Early Childhood Development Community Coalition, please contact Robin Fuller at fullerr@ardentnetwork.org and like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Allegany-County-Early-Childhood-Development-Coalition-105450147952584.

39 New Cases of COVID since Friday in Steuben

BATH – The Steuben County Public Health Department received notification that 39 Steuben County residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Friday’s update. This brings the total to 5,408 confirmed cases, 127 of which are currently active. 

The individuals are residents of the:

·         City of Corning

·         City of Hornell (4)

·         Town of Avoca (2)

·         Town of Bath (4)

·         Town of Corning (3)

·         Town of Hartsville

·         Town of Hornellsville

·         Town of Howard (2)

·         Town of Jasper (2)

·         Town of Lindley

·         Town of Prattsburgh

·         Town of Rathbone

·         Town of Thurston (6)

·         Town of Urbana

·         Town of Wayland

·         Town of West Union

·         Town of Wheeler (2)

·         Town of Woodhull

·         Village of Addison (3)

·         Village of Painted Post

The individuals are isolated and being monitored by the County Health Department.  Public Health staff investigated and identified close contacts of the confirmed cases and exposure risks.  All those known to have direct contact with the individuals have been notified. 

Per CDC and New York State Department of Health guidance, information is collected beginning 48 hours prior to symptom onset or date of test if asymptomatic through the day of the positive test result to identify any potential exposure risks. 

The investigations indicate:

·         15 individuals had contact with previously reported Steuben positives

·         One individual is associated with a correctional facility outside Steuben County

·         Six individuals are associated with the following schools: Alfred State College, Haverling High School, Keuka College, SUNY Geneseo, and Wayland-Cohocton High School

In addition, the individuals reported visiting the following locations that could pose an exposure risk within their investigation timeframes:

·         2/2, 2/4, 2/9 – Community Bank in Canisteo

·         2/4, 2/5 – Corning Museum of Glass

·         2/4 – 2/6, 2/8 – 2/10 – Dollar General in Prattsburgh

·         2/5, 2/8 – Community Bank in Andover

·         2/8, 2/9 – Home Depot in Painted Post

·         2/8 – 2/10 – Community Bank in Wellsville

·         2/11 – Bob Evans in Riverside

·         2/11 – Crystal Lanes in Corning

Today’s age groups for the positives are as follows:

·         0 – 9 years: 2

·         10 – 19 years: 3

·         20 – 29 years: 5

·         30 – 39 years: 6

·         40 – 49 years: 4

·         50 – 59 years: 8

·         60 – 69 years: 6

·         70 – 79 years: 3

·         80 – 89 years: 1

·         90 – 99 years: 1

“New York State has included individuals who have certain underlying health conditions or comorbidities to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting this week,” said Public Health Director, Darlene Smith. “Due to the weather, vaccine shipments for this group have been delayed to Steuben County.  When shipments do arrive, it is expected that this group will get their vaccines through some local healthcare providers and hospitals who have requested vaccine through the state.”  

All residents should continue to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills or repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell and contact their healthcare provider for instructions if feeling ill.  

For the latest Steuben County updates, visit Steuben County’s website at www.steubencony.org or social media pages: www.facebook.com/SCNYPublicHealth and www.instagram.com/SteubenPublicHealth.

Bath Police Chief abruptly resigns

A major announcement from the Bath Police department…Village police chief Chad Mullen says he has submitted his resignation, effective immediately.  Mullen plans to leave by the end of the month, although no formal reason has been given. According to News 18, Mullen says he plans to remain in law enforcement going forward, but will no longer work with the Village of Bath Police. Prior to taking the job in Bath, Mullen spent more than a decade with the Hornell police department. Neither Mullen nor the Bath Mayor were available for comment.

Curt Crandall, Chairman of the Allegany County Board of Legislators, will not Seek Re-election in 2022 -CORRECTED

The decision not to seek re-election as a Legislator for the Allegany County Board of Legislators for the term beginning January 1, 2022, does not come without a great deal of thought and mixed emotions. With this year’s early election process, the decision to seek another term comes early in the year, designating petitions need to be filled out and ready for distribution by the end of February, and that is why I chose to make the announcement at this time.

I have been honored to serve as an elected official for more than 30 years beginning as a Councilman for the Town of Caneadea, and serving the past 20 years as an Allegany County Legislator, with the last 16 years as Chairman of the Board. I have been blessed to serve with many County Legislators over the years who were willing and able to create and take advantage of opportunities and at the same time were not afraid to take on and overcome obstacles.

It appears that the majority of the current Allegany County Board of Legislators will be seeking re-election for 2022. This creates a situation where the time is right for me to exit the position as a County Legislator knowing that a very capable Board can continue doing what is right for Allegany County. We also have in place an extremely capable Administrative Team overseeing the day-to-day operations. I am grateful for the dedicated Department Heads and employees that have been part of our Allegany County workforce since I began as a Legislator in 2000, and what we have accomplished together.

Together as a team, we were able to turn the finances around for Allegany County, address our facility needs, reduce the average property tax rate for the last 10 years, expand our development efforts, and so much more. For now, I have the rest of this year to serve the people that have elected me and put their trust in me, and I pledge to do my best to fulfill my obligation as County Legislator and Chairman of the Allegany County Board of Legislators.

This was a press release and an editorial comment was removed upon request. The only this posted was the press release.

Statement from NYS Dem. Chairman On Siena Poll Numbers

For Immediate Release: February 16, 2021

NY STATE DEM. CHAIRMANS STATEMENT ON SIENA POLL NUMBERS

61% of voters approve of his response

LONG ISLAND, NY: New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay S. Jacobs has released the following statement: "Despite the best efforts of the far fringe, Governor Cuomo's popularity remains unchanged; 11 months into global pandemic, 61% of voters approve of his response."

"Despite the best efforts of the far fringe, Governor Cuomo's numbers remain unchanged from last month – with a 56% approval rating statewide, including 78% among Democrats, 76% among liberals, 78% among African Americans and 65% among Latino voters.  11 months into this pandemic, the perception of Governor Cuomo's handling of COVID-19 is even stronger with 61% of New Yorkers approving of his handling of New York's response, including 83% of Democrats and majorities in every region of the State.  Apparently, voters understand better than some of those looking to score political points that the Governor has done a great job staying focused on saving lives and ending this pandemic.  Those seeking to politicize the process should take heed."

Cuomo’s Handling of Pandemic Still Gets Strong Approval, Particularly for Communicating and Providing Accurate Info

Could an Amazon delivery facility be coming to the Steuben County Town of Bath?

There is some heightened excitement in the Town of Bath that Amazon might like to locate in Steuben County. This is what we know from multiple sources – The company is considering an Amazon Delivery Facility to potentially be located at the Old Mercury Aircraft building…just behind Simmons Rockwell on Route 54. The Town of Bath Planning Board is scheduled to hold a virtual public hearing on March 2nd at 7 p.m. There was no early mention on the number of potential jobs. Sources have also confirmed that Jessica Schumer, daughter of U.S. Majority Leader Senator Charles Schumer, and economic development manager for Amazon has been in contact with the Town of Bath Planning Board. Additional information to follow.

Alfred State College to host virtual commencement May 8

As COVID-19 continues to present challenges to holding in-person events, particularly with large gatherings of people, Alfred State College is announcing that it will honor graduates this year through hosting a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 8.

“Commencement is a major achievement in the lives of our students, and we are so very proud of each of them for reaching this milestone,” said Alfred State College President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “I commend each graduate on all of their hard work and the dedication they have shown to their studies, particularly through such a challenging time. While we would prefer to host a traditional in-person commencement ceremony, we feel that the best course of action given the present circumstances is to recognize graduates in a virtual environment, which will also allow us to safely and responsibly celebrate with friends and family. We thank everyone for their cooperation and understanding and we look forward to highlighting the success of our Alfred State graduates!”

While a traditional ceremony will not be taking place, Alfred State is still planning additional activities to provide ways to celebrate and commemorate this significant occasion. One such event is the new “Grad Walk” opportunity, in which students will dress in their cap and gown, walk the stage, and gain the traditional graduation photos before the big day. This event will be livestreamed because the college will not be able to host family members in person. Multiple Grad Walks will be scheduled during evening hours in April.

As with the 2020 virtual commencement, Alfred State will be proud to include photos of grads during this year’s ceremony. The college will use professional photos taken from the Grad Walk, in which students are photographed in full regalia with President Sullivan on stage.

Students are also allowed to submit photos to commencement@alfredstate.edu by April 1. Everyone who sends a photo or participates in the Grad Walk is eligible for a drawing of a car that has been detailed by the Automotive Trades Department, courtesy of the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc.

Further details will continue to be added to https://www.alfredstate.edu/commencement as the commencement date nears, including the link to join the festivities.

NY State Police Blotter

 2/15/21 5:14pm- After investigating a domestic incident in the Town of Friendship, State Police arrested James M. Gayton, 29, of Olean. He was charged with felony first-degree criminal contempt, felony family offense and aggravated unlicensed operation. He was initially detained.

Allegany County Office for the Aging cancels Meals on Wheels for Tuesday

 Use your Blizzard Boxes!

Obituary: Betty L. Yeaples Hites, 73, Angelica

ANGELICA - Betty L. Yeaples Hites, 73, passed away on Sunday, February 14, 2021, at the Olean General Hospital, following a brief illness.

Betty was born on July 27, 1947 in Port Allegany and was a daughter of Donald W. and Bernice Blackmon Yeaples.  Betty was a 1965 graduate of Oswayo Valley High School in Shinglehouse PA.  She is Survived by her husband of 22 years, Lawney Hites.

Betty worked in the accounting office at North Penn Gas in Port Allegany, PA.  She was an avid crafter, making quilts, knitting, and crocheting.  Betty was happiest with her family and many friends.  She loved butterflies and feeding the birds.  Betty also loved metal detecting, baking, and her flower gardens. She truly adored her grandkids and especially her great grandkids.  She was much loved by all of us and will be greatly missed.

Along with her loving husband, Betty is survived by; a daughter, Paula Thompson of Shinglehouse, PA; 2 sons, Richard (Nickole) Thompson of Angelica and Brian Goyak of Ashburn, VA; 7 grandchildren; 6 great grandchildren; a sister, Fran (Dan) Wilcox; a brother, David (Anita) Yeaples; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc., 646 East State Street, Olean.  Online condolences may be made at www.LetroMcIntoshSpinkFuneralHome.com.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to the SPCA of Allegany County, 5440 NY-19 Belmont, New York 14813.

Obituary: Rodney L. “Rod" Knight, 92, Canisteo

CANISTEO: Rodney L. “Rod" Knight, 92, of Eighth St. passed away Sunday, February 14, 2021 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester following a brief illness.

Born September 7, 1928 in Canisteo to the late Ernest J. and Louella (Evingham) Knight, Sr. On March 11, 1950 in Cortland, N.Y. he married the former Mary E. Finney who predeceased him in 2009.

Rod was a life-long resident of the Canisteo Valley who left school early and enlisted in the U.S. Army serving our country proudly from 1946-47 and later earned his GED. A carpenter by trade he worked as construction superintendent for the former Hollands Lumber Co. in Hornell for several years.

He was a member for 56 years and past president of the Carpenter’s Union Local #66 out of Olean. Locally he was a member of the Canisteo Fire Dept. and Company for better than 60 years where he held the office of fire chief from 1972-77. He was a member of Morning Star Lodge #65 F&AM, the Canisteo American Legion and a life member of the Hornell VFW.

Rod was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing with family and friends. He also enjoyed gardening and watching sporting events on TV and rooting for the Buffalo Bills. His greatest passion was spending time with his family which meant a great deal to him.

Rod is survived by two daughters Patty Knight of Seabrook, TX. Diane (Randall) VanAllen of Canisteo, one son Richard “Dick” (Connie) Knight of Canisteo, 5 grandchildren: Dawn (Brian) DuBois, Julian (Gary) Smith, Katrina (Brett) Hurd, Katelyn Knight and Karina Kelly, 8 great grandchildren: Tyler, Diana and Brandon Smith, Jazmyn and Jozlyn Dubois, Allie and Noah Hurd and Grayson Knight.

He is also survived by two sisters, Carol Ritter of Hornell and Marjorie Henry of Canisteo, sisters-in-law Pearl Knight of Canisteo, Mabel Knight of Andover, Marjorie Knight of Corning and Roberta Knight of Avoca, his close friend Mable Beers and her family who were a big part of his life in the later years.

Rod was predeceased by his brothers Archie Knight, Ernest J. Knight, Jr., Jack Knight, John Knight and Gary Knight and two sisters, Doris June Knight and Linda Bacon.

The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. Thursday at the H.P. Smith & Son, Inc. Funeral Home in Canisteo, where funeral and committal services with military honors, will follow calling hours at 4:00 pm. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery in Canisteo.

Memorial contributions in Rod’s name may be made to the Canisteo Fire Dept. Building Fund, 14 South Main St. Canisteo, N.Y. 14823.

O’MARA: ENOUGH DOUBLESPEAK, THERE’S PLENTY TO INVESTIGATE

Albany, N.Y.—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) has rejected Governor Andrew Cuomo’s claim that “there’s nothing to investigate” surrounding the COVID-19 tragedy in New York State’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Cuomo made the claim at the Capitol Monday afternoon during a virtual news conference with reporters.

O’Mara, the Ranking Member of the Senate Investigations Committee, said, “I strongly reject Governor Cuomo’s latest attempt to steer clear of any investigation of his administration.   In fact, this crisis and the ongoing attempt by the governor and his allies to have the final word demands a full investigation by the federal Department of Justice and the state Attorney General.  Enough of their endless doublespeak.  It is time for independent, trained investigators to be allowed to do their jobs and report the unfiltered truth.”

In the weeks following a January 28 report from state Attorney General Letitia James that revealed significant under-reporting by the Cuomo administration on COVID-19-related nursing home deaths, O’Mara and his Senate GOP colleagues have been calling for independent investigations of the governor and top administration officials to compel testimony and obtain all records related to the ongoing crisis.

Canisteo Police launch: "Coffee with the Chief" program

Press Release

The Canisteo Village Police Department is excited to announce our new “Coffee with the Chief” program starting February 2021.  This program is open to all community members who may want to know more about crime prevention or further understand our own police force. This program will offer individual interaction between the Chief of Police and members of the community to uphold a strong relationship between the department and the community we serve. This is a casual atmosphere to discuss any areas of concern or improvements that would aid the department in providing the highest quality of service to our people.  Dates and locations for “Coffee with the Chief” will be posted on www.villageofcanisteo.com and the Village of Canisteo’s Facebook pages. You may also contact the Village Clerk’s Office at 607-698-4553 Monday-Friday 9AM-4PM or by emailing canisteo_pd@yahoo.com.

We look forward to connecting with you!

DATE: THURSDAY FEBRUARY 18th, 2021
TIME: 8:00AM-9:00AM
LOCATION: CANISTEO UNI-MART

Graves announces he won't seek re-election to Allegany County Legislature

To the voters of District IV, Wellsville and Andover:

It has been an honor and a privilege to represent you as a Legislator in Allegany County government. To say that I have enjoyed serving on the Board of Legislators would be an understatement. I could not have had the opportunity to do so were it not for you. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

My agenda while in Belmont was to focus on things that I felt were holding us back. The cost of government, duplicating services provided by others and the 8.5% sales tax are chief among those concerns.  As I have repeatedly advised my peers – there is only one way to reduce taxes – and that is to reduce spending. For the most part every department head that I spoke with about this agreed with me and worked within their agencies to be as cost effective as possible. I’m confident they will continue to do so.

This being my eleventh year in office and, as I have done with my tenure as Andover Town Supervisor and as the Andover Village Mayor, I have decided to enforce my own “term limit” and will now step aside to give someone else a chance to serve you.  Please know that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the Allegany County Legislature in the November general election.

Please also know that I do not intend to “just fade away”.  My intention is to stay engaged and active in my community and to speak out when and if I deem it is appropriate to do so.

I wish my successor and all those who serve us all the best that life can bring.  Their success means we all succeed.

Thank you and may God Bless Allegany County.

Karl E. Graves

District IV Legislator

Wellsville/Andover

Monday, February 15, 2021

Obituary: Eileen J. Hockenberry, 73, of Scio, NY, formerly of Youngstown

Eileen J. Hockenberry, 73, of Scio, NY, formerly of Youngstown, died Sunday, February 14, 2021 in Wellsville Manor Care Center.

Born December 24, 1947, in Niagara Falls, she was the daughter of Adrian and Lillian Crispell Young.  On April 2, 1977, in Lewiston, she married Donald L. Hockenberry, who survives.  A graduate of LaSalle High School, she was employed as a cook by Niagara Cerebral Palsy in Lockport.

Surviving besides her husband, Donald, are:  two brothers, Arthur (Peggy) Young of Ransomville and James (Debbie) Young of Resaca, GA;  a step-son, Donald Hockenberry of Altoona, PA;  several nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by a step-daughter, Tammy Joe Hockenberry;  and two brothers, Edward Young and Craig Young.

Services will be private.  Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.  Arrangements are under the direction of Olney-Foust Funeral Homes & Cremation, Crowell Chapel, 296 North Main Street, Wellsville, NY.  Online condolences may be expressed at www.wellsvillefuneralhome.com.

Seven complete training for Swain Ski Patrol

 

For Immediate Release

All Candidates Pass Ski and Toboggan Test at Swain Ski Patrol

Successful class adds seven new Alpine Patrollers to Roster

[Swain, NY] Valentine’s Day saw a sweet success for the 2021 class of candidates at Swain Ski Patrol. The sled handling and ski skills course, S & T, for Ski and Tobaggan, concluded Sunday with 100% of the candidates passing the rigorous test. Emma Duprey, Kelly Hanks, Sara Lee Goins, Diione Fox-Murch, Andre Osores, Jason Hill, and Mattox Olsen now are fully qualified Alpine Patrollers in the National Ski Patrol system.

The class has been meeting every Saturday and Sunday since the beginning of 2021.  A combination of excellent ski conditions and highly motivated candidates has resulted in the courses being completed much sooner than most years.

National Ski Patrol was formed in the 1930s to provide safety and first aid for the recreational ski industry. The training for patrollers consists of a first aid course taught in the fall and the Ski and Toboggan course taught during the winter season. Swain Ski Patrol is an all-volunteer organization.  Candidates must be at least fifteen years old to begin training and sixteen to patrol with full responsibilities. Some patrollers now are using snowboards. Patrollers usually cover one shift every week. The ski area management gives each member of ski patrol a season pass, as well as extra benefits of a buddy pass, so that a friend may ski or ride with them for free, or they may choose a family season pass.


The Swain Ski Patrol is now seeking new members to begin training for the 2021-2022 candidate training year. An Open House is planned at Swain for Saturday March 20 at 10 AM. A limited number of potential candidates will be given free all-day lift tickets for this event.  Participation in the open house is by no means an obligation to join Ski Patrol. It is a chance for skiers and snow boarders to have a look close up as to what the men and women in the red coats do.

Participants are asked to pre-register by emailing membership@swainskipatrol.org or calling membership coordinator Steve Walker at 607-382-3195.



Alfred State College Farm earns award from Dairy Farmers of America

In recognition of outstanding achievement in the consistent production of high-quality milk, the Alfred State College Farm recently received a Special Gold Certificate Award from the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA).

According to the Dairy Farmers of America’s website, www.dfamilk.com, the DFA’s Gold Standard Dairy Program lays out a comprehensive set of standards to guide its farmers and “is one of the first on-farm evaluation programs of its kind, focused on employing best practices in the areas of animal care and wellness, environmental stewardship, employee training, and milk safety and quality.”

Farm Manager Virginia Chamberlain noted that the college’s organic herd has received either a bronze-, silver-, or gold-level milk quality award almost every year since the college started shipping milk in 2013. The award, she said, is a reflection of a team effort, crediting both the farm staff and, of course, the cows themselves.

“To us, the award means that we – and our cows – are doing a good job to produce a superior quality product,” she said. “We work hard to keep our milk quality standards high, so we hope that we keep receiving these awards.”

Each month, the Alfred State College Farm currently ships 115,000 pounds of milk that comes from 50 organic herd cows. The product is sold as fluid milk under the label of the farm’s co-op Organic Valley. 

Alfred State’s 800-acre college farm serves as a field laboratory to provide practical instruction in production agriculture and to produce feed for the college’s livestock. It is home to registered dairy and beef herds, horses, swine, poultry, sheep, and meat goats used for instruction in animal care and management.

The farm is also used for classes on soils, botany, feeds, nutrition, robotics, livestock, and field and forage crops. Students have the opportunity to work on the farm as interns. Other facilities there focus on high-tunnel vegetable production, row crop production, and agroforestry practices.

Livingston County Sheriff's Blotter

 



Hornell: St. James Hospital Launches Program to Recognize Inpatients for Military Service

February 15, 2021 - Today St. James Hospital launched a program to recognize inpatients who are actively serving or who have served in the U.S. military.

Each patient who is admitted to St. James Hospital is asked if he or she has served in the military, and if they want to be acknowledged during their stay.  For those who consent, staff insert a card outside of the patient’s room and place an American flag in the room.  This alerts staff of the patient’s military service and the opportunity to acknowledge it.  The patient is encouraged to take the flag home. 

“We are honored to formally show appreciation to patients who have served our country,” said Bryan O’Donovan, president and CEO and U.S. Army veteran.  “This is one small way that we can thank them for their service, and as safety restrictions allow, our leadership team will also visit military and non-military patients in their rooms.” 

“We feel that these patients deserve to be recognized for their service,” said Melissa Rackmil, chief nursing officer, “and after several months of planning we’re happy to get it started.”

“We hope that this gesture genuinely demonstrates our appreciation for patients who have served in the military,” said Jason Bisker, inpatient nurse manager.

Wellsville Police Blotter

Date: Saturday February 13, 2021 

Wellsville Police arrested Joshua L. Cole, age 34 of Wellsville, charging him with Assault 3rd.  The charge stems from an incident that took place on South Franklin Street in the Village.  Cole was processed, issued an appearance ticket and released.  Cole is due to appear in Wellsville Village Court on March 30th at 4:30 p.m.

Senator O'Mara's weekly column: “Governor and allies caught circling the wagons”

Albany at the moment may best be described by a few lines from All The President’s Men, “It leads everywhere. Get out your notebook. There’s more.”

In fact, there was a lot more at the State Capitol last Thursday night when reporters from the New York Post dropped a bombshell scoop detailing a secret virtual meeting of top legislative Democrats and members of Governor Cuomo’s inner circle.

The Post obtained an audio recording of the Democrats-only meeting and the story quotes one of the governor’s top aides, Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, admitting that the administration intentionally withheld a true accounting of the COVID-19 death toll in New York’s nursing homes for months on end in an effort to steer clear of federal prosecutors.

“We were in a position,” DeRosa said, “where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice…was going to be used against us.”

Among other numerous, incriminating statements, DeRosa tells key Democratic lawmakers, including those who chair the committees directly responsible for overseeing nursing homes, that “I do understand the position (legislative Democrats) were put in…It was not our intention to put you in that political position with the Republicans.”

In other words, the Cuomo administration finally apologized, but not for the horrific loss of life. Not for the pain of the families who lost loved ones. Not for deliberately misleading the public at large.

Only for putting Democratic allies in a “political position” with me and my Senate and Assembly GOP colleagues who have been fighting to uncover the truth.

Remarkable – and very possibly criminal.

This secret meeting was nothing more than a desperate attempt by Governor Cuomo’s inner circle to circle the wagons with legislative allies, get everybody on the same page, make sure that they all stick to the same script. And many did stick to it coming out of the meeting. Top Senate Democrats even went as far as to release a statement calling the meeting “productive” while charging that Republicans were being “shamefully” political. Sadly, they never mentioned that the Cuomo administration admitted what many of us have been seeking to expose for months now – a massive and unconscionable cover-up of New York’s COVID-19 nursing home and long-term care facility scandal.

The very next day, they were exposed by the Post’s reporting. Now they are all complicit.

It demands an immediate, full investigation at every level – criminal and otherwise – because the longer this drip, drip, drip of scandal goes on, the more it erodes New Yorkers’ trust of government. In the end, that’s one of the great dangers here.

So our ongoing pursuit of the truth remains twofold:

1.)    Justice for the families and loved ones of the more than 15,000 elderly New Yorkers we’ve lost to this pandemic – including steps to try to ensure that it will not ever again happen to other families.

 

2.)    Accountability for those responsible.

Since the January 28th report from state Attorney General Letitia James that revealed significant under-reporting by the Cuomo administration, we have been pushing for subpoenas to compel testimony and obtain all records related to the crisis. These efforts intensify now and include New York’s GOP Congressional delegation calling for a federal investigation.

Equally important, the AG report targeted Governor Cuomo’s now fateful March 25, 2020 order forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients – more than 9,000 by the time his order was rescinded, according to recent reporting by the Associated Press. Furthermore, the order prevented homes from testing for COVID as a condition of admittance. The very next day, on March 26th, the American Medical Directors Association, Society for Long Term Care Medicine objected to Cuomo’s order declaring that it was “over-reaching, not consistent with science, unenforceable, and beyond all, not in the least consistent with patient safety principles.”

The devastating impact of the March 25th Cuomo executive order must be fully exposed and examined – and that will require full records of what transpired within the administration in those earliest months and afterwards.

The New York Post story exposing the collaboration between the Cuomo inner circle and top legislative Democrats makes it clear that full investigations must be started immediately.

We should not be finding out the truth of this tragedy through leaks of secret Democrat-only meetings. 


All of this needs to be aired, fully and forthrightly, in public.

 

In the meantime, hats off to all of the reporters keeping their notebooks out.

NY State Police Blotter

During a traffic stop in the Town of Hinsdale, State Police arrested 20-year-old Zachary C. Outman of Wellsville. He was charged with DWI. Court action is pending.

Brandon Harrison Becoming Assistant AU Saxons Softball Coach

ALFRED, NY – Brandon Harrison, a 2016 MBA graduate of Alfred University, joins the Saxon softball coaching staff as an assistant coach.

This will be the fourth position that Harrison has held here at Alfred University with his most recent stay being the Sports Information Director (now the Athletic Communications Department). He was hired in that position in the fall of 2017 before being hired to be the Assistant Professor of Sport Management and Internship Coordinator at Alfred State College. Harrison will continue as a professor on the other side of the valley while helping Head Coach Luke Wesneski and the softball team here at AU.

“It’s great to have Brandon back in the purple and gold,” Coach Wesneski said. “He was originally going to help us out last year, but with a new teaching position, he was unable to. He comes from a baseball background, so the transition should be very smooth and easy for him and he’s already very familiar with many of the players. He will work mainly with infield, outfield and game day preparation and management.”

Harrison played varsity baseball for local Canisteo-Greenwood High School for all four years and modified for the two years prior. He also played varsity soccer and swam varsity as well. Harrison is also active in the local areas through his role for the Alfred-Almond Community Sports Association co-overseeing youth sports in Almond. As an athlete, himself, he still manages to find time to play in adult leagues as much as possible.

“I’ve had the great fortune of working with the majority of these student-athletes in the past and have heard how the newcomers have accepted the challenge of living up to the AU softball standard,” Coach Harrison said. “It’s with great honor I accept that same challenge with such a distinguished program at my beloved alma mater. I look forward to being immersed in the incredible culture that Coach Wesneski and the team have established in recent years. I thank Coach and the AU administration for this opportunity. This group is focused and ready for an excellent season. I can’t wait to get started.”

Not only a graduate of the Alfred University Master’s program, Harrison earned his Bachelor’s in Sports Management from St. John Fisher College in 2013.

Courtesy: WLEA radio

Winter Storm WARNING now in effect

 

Winter Storm Warning

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
843 PM EST Sun Feb 14 2021

Niagara-Orleans-Monroe-Wayne-Northern Cayuga-Oswego-Jefferson-
Lewis-Northern Erie-Genesee-Wyoming-Livingston-Ontario-Chautauqua-
Cattaraugus-Allegany-Southern Erie
843 PM EST Sun Feb 14 2021

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM MONDAY TO
1 PM EST TUESDAY...

* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 12
  inches.

* WHERE...All of western and north central New York.

* WHEN...From 7 PM Monday to 1 PM EST Tuesday.

* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Areas of
  blowing snow along the south shores of Lake Ontario and Lake
  Erie. The hazardous conditions will impact the Tuesday morning
  commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Widespread accumulating snow will create dangerous travel
conditions.

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