Sunrise Smart Start: August 26, 2021

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up-to-date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Thursday, August 26, 2021.

Rochester police investigating after 4 people shot in 3 separate incidents

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It was a busy night for Rochester police as three separate shootings sent four people to area hospitals.

Officials say officers responded to Lexington Avenue around 9 p.m. where they found an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old, both city residents, who had both been shot in the lower body. Police say the shooting appeared to have happened inside a house.

They were both transported to Strong Memorial Hospital, police say, and severity of their injuries is unknown

Rochester police also responded to the area of Morrill and Remington Streets for the report of shots fired around 2 a.m.

Upon arrival, police found a man in his 30s with a gunshot wound to his lower body. Officials say he was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Lastly, authorities say a 57-year-old man arrived at an area hospital around 3 a.m. with a gunshot wound to his lower body. Investigators later determined the shooting occurred on Dewey Avenue. The man’s injuries are considered non-life threatening, according to police.

Investigations into all three shootings are ongoing and no suspects are in custody. Police ask anyone with information regarding either of the shootings to call 911.

School officials on Gov. Hochul pushing for teachers, staff to be vaccinated or tested weekly

With less than two weeks until the school year, Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing for teachers and staff at schools to be vaccinated or tested weekly. 

While the newly-sworn in governor says she can’t mandate vaccines herself, she is working with school boards and superintendents to figure out a plan.

Locally, the Rochester City School District is the only public school district requiring employees to be vaccinated or tested weekly this fall. If these requirements are put into place, many school districts would have to make some last minute changes. 

“We’ve been talking with the county about how do we do the testing weekly, we’ve been building protocols for that. We don’t have a plan in place, but we are anticipating that could happen. We’re preparing plans for that,” said Dr. Shawn Van Scoy, the Superintendent with the Gananda Central School District. 

Gov. Hochul adds 12,000 deaths to state’s previously publicized COVID tally

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul promised more government transparency on her first day in office and by day’s end her administration had quietly delivered it by acknowledging nearly 12,000 more deaths in the state from COVID-19 than had been publicized by her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo.

New York now reports nearly 55,400 people have died of COVID-19 in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the CDC, up from about 43,400 that Gov. Cuomo had reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.

“We’re now releasing more data than had been released before publicly, so people know the nursing home deaths and the hospital deaths are consistent with what’s being displayed by the CDC,” Hochul said Wednesday on MSNBC. “There’s a lot of things that weren’t happening and I’m going to make them happen. Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration.”

The Associated Press first reported in July on the large discrepancy between the fatality numbers publicized by the Cuomo administration and numbers the state was reporting to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Booster shots: Eligible Monroe County residents can begin receiving third vaccine dose

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced that beginning Wednesday, residents who are eligible will be able to get their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can do so at any county clinic.

Leaders say the booster shot is currently only available to those who are immunocompromised.

“As we changed our vaccination efforts over the last several months — to go from full large-scale vaccination sites down to real neighborhood-based vaccination clinics — we still did continue to have our regular sites that are available everyday; a the Fleet Center, and then we moved to the MCC downtown campus,” Bello said. “Again, we are prepared for if we then did have to scale up and offer addictional vaccines.”

Bello made the announcement during a Coronavirus Town Hall on News 8 WROC Tuesday. You can see the full town hall special here.

New lawsuit filed against Hilton principal accused of sex abuse

A new lawsuit has been filed against a Hilton elementary school principal accused of sex abuse.

It’s the latest in a series of lawsuits claiming Kirk Ashton of Northwood Elementary sexually abused more than 30 students.

The lawsuit claims Ashton sexually abused this student from fall 2019 through spring 2020 while the student was in second through fourth grades.

The lawsuit claims the student would be summoned to Ashton’s office, instructed to sit on the principals lap and read while Ashton would put his hand inside the back of the student’s pants and underpants, while Ashton caressed the student’s buttocks.

The student the transferred to another school.

The lawsuit is also against the superintendent of the district.

Ashton remains in custody and is due back in court Friday.

J&J says its COVID-19 booster shot generates nine-fold increase in antibodies

Johnson & Johnson announced Wednesday that using its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot increased antibodies nine-fold higher than the initial shot alone.

That’s according to clinical trial studies in people previously vaccinated with the single-shot vaccine, the company said in a press release.

According to J&J, the booster dose of the vaccine “generated a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies” 28 days after the primary single-dose shot in participants between the ages of 18 and 55 and in those 65 years and older.

“We have established that a single shot of our COVID-19 vaccine generates strong and robust immune responses that are durable and persistent through eight months,” said Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development, Johnson & Johnson. “With these new data, we also see that a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine further increases antibody responses among study participants who had previously received our vaccine.”

Weather forecast: Heat Advisories in effect through Thursday with isolated storms

Temperatures begin in the 70s with increasing clouds ahead of a very weak frontal boundary to push through the region late morning and early afternoon giving better chances for rain.

This front will do very little to stop temperatures in the afternoon from nearing 90 degrees, and pair that with the humidity and heat index values will be around the low to mid 90s.

With all the heat and humidity in the air, expect isolated downpours and storms to be possible given the soupy environment, but it’s likely many of us stay dry for most of the day given how weak this front is.

Expect another warm evening Thursday, but dew points should lower by the evening providing some relief from the humidity through Friday. Behind the front we’ll find increasing sunshine and a mostly dry day with highs in the upper 70s and low 80s. We’ll be watching for how far south this frontal boundary settles as it stalls out across the NY/PA border.

It’s possible the boundary gives the Southern Tier and our southern most counties a few showers during the day, while those lakeside should stay dry making for a nice end to the week. This front will then push northward as a warm front heading into the weekend, which will bring temperatures back into the 80s, and better widespread chances for rain and storms.

We still can’t quite iron out the details on when the showers will come but both days will feature a decent chance, especially in the afternoon hours of peak heating. 

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