Sunrise Smart Start: Friday, April 2

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Here are the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Friday, April 2, 2021.

How the Governor’s mobile sports betting proposal could work

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says his proposal to allow mobile sports betting in New York could generate $500 million in revenues once the program is matured. Currently sports wagering in New York is only allowed in-person at the state’s four commercial casinos.

Under the Governor’s plan, anyone of age could bet on sports from their phone throughout the state. Officials on both sides of the aisle say it will allow New York to compete with other states that have already made it legal.

Hopes rise for a job boom this year

With hopes rising for a powerful rebound in hiring this year, Friday’s jobs report for March will provide crucial insight into whether those rosy expectations may prove true.

The most optimistic economists are predicting that the government will report that as many as 1 million jobs were added in March — a blistering gain that would help recover a decent chunk of the 9.5 million jobs that remain lost to the pandemic. Still, the increase might not be quite that large: Overall, economists surveyed by data provider FactSet have forecast an increase of 615,000.

White House taps local business, faith leaders to promote COVID-19 vaccinations

The Biden administration announced Thursday 100 million Americans have now had at least one dose of the COVID-19 shot.

This comes as the White House launched its latest strategy to combat vaccine hesitancy across the country.

“The vaccine is safe, and it will save lives,” Vice President Kamala Harris told members of the newly-formed COVID-19 Community Corps during a virtual meeting.

Lilac Festival dates, events, details, COVID-19 safety measures, and more

It’s actually happening: The Lilac Festival is right around the corner and festival organizers joined local leaders for a press conference Thursday to provide details on this year’s event, and specifics on some COVID-19 safety protocols.

The festival will take place over three consecutive weekends in May:

  • May 7 – 9
  • May 14 – 16
  • May 21 – 23

City of Rochester offices closed for Good Friday

The offices of the City of Rochester will be closed for Good Friday.

This includes Rochester City Hall, Neighborhood Service Centers, R-Centers and other administrative offices. Recycling collection will continue as scheduled.

City officials said this will not impact any COVID-19 testing or vaccination sites in the city.

Missing person alert issued for infant from Rochester

The Rochester Police Department has issued a missing person alert for 4-month-old Davinci Harrell Thursday evening.

Police say Harrell is believed to be with his mother, Cassandra Harrell, 36. She is described as being 5 foot and 5 inches tall and around 145 pounds.

Allegany County man facing felony sex abuse charges for crimes dating back to the ’80s

Officials say a 75-year-old man is facing numerous counts of felony sex abuse charges for crimes he committed between 1987 and 1998 — and additional charges are expected.

An investigation began on October 25, 2020 when sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence in the Town of Avon after a woman called and claimed she was sexually abused in the late ’90s by an individual she knew.

First body-worn cameras deployed to NYS Police

New York State Police has deployed its first body-worn cameras as the agency’s new program begins its statewide rollout. The requirement for Troopers to wear body-worn cameras is the result of legislation that was signed into law last June.

The body-worn cameras will be worn by uniform members at the rank of Trooper while they are on patrol. The first cameras will be deployed in Troop G in the Capital Region and cameras will be expanded to NYSP members statewide on a gradual, rolling basis. The full deployment for Troop G should be completed by late April or early May.

Police: California office attack that killed 4 wasn’t random

A gunman who killed four people, including a 9-year-old boy, in a rampage at a Southern California office building knew all the victims and his motive may have involved personal or business relationships, police said.

“This was not a random act of violence,” Lt. Jennifer Amat said Thursday of the attack at a building that housed small businesses in Orange, southeast of Los Angeles.

Pfizer says its vaccine effective up to 6 months later

Pfizer says its vaccine continues to be effective against COVID-19 up to six months later.

Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, announced updated results Thursday from their ongoing late-stage study of more than 44,000 volunteers.

New York had 4th highest death rate during COVID-19

As New York was hit early-on by the COVID-19 pandemic, its death rate is one of the highest in the nation.

This was determined by the personal finance website WalletHub’s Safest States During COVID-19 report released on April 1, 2021. The report compared the 50 states and District of Columbia across five key metrics, with a data set including the rates of COVID-19 transmission, positive testing, hospitalizations, death rates and percent of the eligible population now vaccinated.

Two WNY airports to receive federal economic relief dollars

Two Western New York airports are slated to receive federal economic relief money as part of a larger deal delivering a combined $3.6 million to five upstate New York airports.

United States Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Thursday they struck a deal to send millions in funding to five New York airports “drained by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

US jobless claims rise to 719K as virus still forces layoffs

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose by 61,000 last week to 719,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more businesses reopen, vaccines are increasingly administered and federal aid spreads through the economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of claims increased from 658,000 the week before. Though the pace of applications has dropped sharply since early this year, they remain high by historical standards: Before the pandemic flattened the economy a year ago, jobless claims typically ran below 220,000 a week.

Biden calls out Amazon in infrastructure plan announcement

The Democratic president’s infrastructure projects would be financed by higher corporate taxes — a trade-off that could lead to fierce resistance from the business community and thwart attempts to work with Republican lawmakers. Biden hopes to pass an infrastructure plan by summer, which could mean relying solely on the slim Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate.

The higher corporate taxes would aim to raise the necessary piles of money over 15 years and then reduce the deficit going forward. In doing so, Biden would undo the 2017 tax overhaul by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans and lift the corporate tax rate to 28% from the 21% rate.

“Ninety-one Fortune 500 Companies, including Amazon, pay not a single solitary penny in income tax,” Biden said.

Suspension of medical, student debt to New York State continued through April

New York State debt collection was suspended for the 13th time on the first day of April.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that the state again halted the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York, specifically referred to the Office of the Attorney General. This suspension will now remain in effect through April 30, 2021.

Sabra recalls hummus over salmonella concerns

Sabra Dipping Company has announced a voluntary recall of its classic hummus over potential salmonella contamination, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The New York-based company is recalling more than 2,100 cases of the 10 ounces Classic Hummus produced last month with a best before date of April 26.

Weather forecast: Still the feel of winter today, milder this weekend

It was not exactly what one would call a fun start to the month of April yesterday. Rochester officially recorded one inch of snowfall for the day. There have only been a handful of April 1st’s that have had one inch of snow or more falling during the day. Truly “foolish”.


Watch for a few slick spots this morning due to the drop in temperature overnight in conjunction with the leftover flakes falling primarily over the Finger Lakes.

Winds will be brisk out of the north through Friday morning with wind chills in the teens and 20s. Friday features more chill, but the atmosphere will “calm down” a bit as low pressure pulls away into eastern Canada. Highs on Friday will definitely warrant the winter coat and gloves all day long despite increasing sunshine during the day. Temperatures will then warm nicely into the weekend with increasing sunshine into Sunday, and highs climbing into the mid 50s. We may even see the 60s by next Wednesday.

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