Sunrise Smart Start: Friday, February 19

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up-to-date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.

GOP calls on Schumer to push for DOJ investigation into Cuomo administration

Republican leaders across New York State are calling on Sen. Chuck Schumer to push for a federal investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration’s handling of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.

New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy held a press conference on Thursday morning in Albany, and another is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Rochester, outside of Schumer’s office.

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WATCH: Rochester’s Black Agenda Group discusses collective goals, vaccine equity

Joining News 8 anchor Adam Chodak for a Zoom meeting this week was representatives from the Black Agenda Group.

The Rochester-based organization is designed to make sure Black voices are part of the conversation to improve conditions for the Black community in Rochester.

Housing First Trust Fund aims to increase homeownership, rental assistance in Rochester

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren released part two of her 2021 State of the City Thursday, focusing on the creation of a “Housing First Trust Fund” with goals of increasing homeownership for city residents and providing enhanced renter assistance.

City officials say efforts to fully define the initiatives of the Housing First Trust Fund, and sources of funding, are ongoing.

Rochester optics on landed Mars rover Perseverance

The newest Mars rover from the US, Perseverance, touched down on the red planet. It was one of three Mars rockets launched in 2020; the two others were from China, and the United Arab Emirates.

Ground controllers at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, cheered and exchanged fist bumps and high-fives in triumph — and relief — on receiving confirmation.

Weather forecast: Lake effect squalls mean Winter Storm Watches

Scattered snow lingers into the first half of Friday as highs try to take a run at freezing. There might even be some patchy freezing drizzle around during the morning. Winds will turn northwesterly into the afternoon as colder air starts to ooze in. This will set the stage for lake effect snow to get going. Parameters appear favorable for heavier snow squalls into Friday night and the first part of the day Saturday. The issue is, they’ll be highly localized, meaning amounts will be highly variable. While all of Monroe and Wayne county is technically under a Winter Storm Watch, the concern largely rests along the 104 corridor. Where squalls persist, plowable amounts of fluffy snow will be possible.

Milder air works in from there with the expectation we’ll be above freezing through much of next week.

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