Sunrise Smart Start: Monday, December 6

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Monday, December 6, 2021.


UR Medicine’s 3-week pause on elective, semi-elective surgeries begins Monday

UR Medicine announced plans Thursday to pause certain elective and semi-elective surgeries for 3 weeks, as COVID-19 cases spike across the region.

The pause begins on Monday and applies to all elective and semi-elective surgeries requiring inpatient hospital stays. Outpatient procedures will not be affected. UR Medicine defines elective and semi-elective surgeries as “those that can be delayed three months or longer without undue risk of harm to the patient, based on a review by teams of surgeons and other medical professionals.”

Patients who are impacted by the pause will be contacted.

According to a statement from UR Medicine, the pause will help the health care system maintain capacity in light of rising COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Monroe County declared a state of emergency Tuesday due to a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.


These new U.S. travel restrictions begin Monday

Beginning Monday, travelers heading to the U.S. will be required to show evidence of a negative test for the virus within one day of boarding their flight instead of three days prior.

President Biden will also extend the federal rule requiring passengers on planes, trains and buses to wear face masks through March 18. It was previously scheduled to expire in mid-January.

The Biden administration’s moves come after the White House announced a ban on travel to the U.S. by foreign nationals who have been to South Africa or seven other African countries within the previous 14 days.

That travel ban does not apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Here’s a list of what travelers should know ahead of changes Monday.


Firefighters delayed by exploding ammunition in Rochester house fire

Rochester firefighters battled a large house fire overnight on Burbank Street in the city.

Officials say the flames were coming from the second floor of the home and firefighters were delayed from heading into the house because bullets were exploding inside of it.

Authorities say once the fire was knocked down, a large amount of ammunition was discovered inside the vacant home.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.


Rochester man dead after shooting near Watkin Terrace, city’s 79th homicide of 2021

A 36-year-old male resident, who was given life-saving measures following a shooting near Watkin Terrace on Saturday, succumbed to his injuries Sunday, police said.

Officials say Tarrell McKnight was located by investigators on the midblock of Watkin Terrace around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

On-scene officers immediately began life-saving measures upon their arrival. The victim was rushed to URMC following the incident. Authorities announced he succumbed to his injuries early Sunday morning,

Rochester Police do not have any suspect in custody at this time. Anyone with more information is asked to call 911.

This was Rochester’s 79th homicide of 2021, the deadliest year in the city’s history.


Driver charged with manslaughter in pedestrian crash involving Penfield student in Rochester

The man who fatally struck a 16-year-old student at Penfield High School near Chestnut Street on October 31, was charged with vehicular manslaughter Sunday, police said.

According to authorities, 39-year-old Keevin Lewis said he did not see Matthew Bittner crossing the road due to heavy rainfall, and swerved in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid him.

The driver was ultimately charged with third degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and DWAI (marijuana). Lewis appeared in Rochester City Court on those charges on December 3.

On Sunday, the 39-year-old was additionally charged with a Class D Felony of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree.

Rochester Police say he was released on his own recognizance with a future court date to be determined.


Monroe County Sheriff’s Office searching for missing Henrietta teen

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing teen from Henrietta.

Authorities say 14-year-old Marissa “Kasper” Lippa was last seen Sunday at an address on Rush West Road in the Town of Rush.

Police say Lippa is 5’1, 100 lbs. with blue eyes, black hair, and wears glasses. She was last seen wearing black sweatpants, a black hooded sweat shirt and multi-colored sandals, carrying a multi-colored Vans backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.


Bills return starters at practice in preparing to host Pats

The Buffalo Bills opened their week on a healthy note with starting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and starting right guard Spencer Brown cleared from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Coach Sean McDermott also announced starting guard Jon Feliciano practiced after missing the past four games on injured reserve with a calf injury.

Buffalo returned to practice following a 31-6 win at New Orleans on Thursday, and in preparation to host the AFC East-leading New England Patriots on Monday night.

Lotulelei, Buffalo’s top run-stuffing lineman, missed three games and Brown the past two. Their return could help offset Buffalo losing cornerback Tre’Davious White to a season-ending left knee injury.


Weather forecast: Strong winds drive our roller coaster ride over the next 24 hours

Buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy next 24 hours across WNY. High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories are in effect as a powerful storm system to our west marches eastward.

Southeast winds this evening will gradually ramp up into the night, turning due south while gusting to 50+ mph into the overnight hours. While the entire region will likely experience wind gusts of at least 50 mph, there are select locations we’re targeting with the highest gusts.

Parts of the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario shoreline could see gusts to 55 mph. Higher elevations in parts of Ontario county could even gust to 60 mph. The Lake Erie shoreline south of Buffalo could do 60, even 65 mph. Winds of this caliber will be enough for isolated power outages and downed trees. For our region, this appears to be a relatively manageable wind event. Still, a few outages are likely to occur.

The strongest winds will likely develop in two waves. The first overnight with southerly flow ahead of the cold front will be followed by a second into Monday afternoon and evening behind the front as winds turn westerly. We have the cold front coming through Rochester just before noon. Temperatures will spike into the middle 50s until that front passes, then falling rapidly into the 30s from there.

This is set to be the most challenging home game for the Bills (and fans) this season with regard to weather. Temperatures will drop into the 20s into Monday night with wind chills in the teens. Those headed to the game will need to brace for this cold with continued wind gusts in the Buffalo area approaching 50 mph. While there will likely be a few lake flakes around, we don’t think snow will present any major issue to an already challenging game where wind will play a significant role. The drive home back to Rochester should also be relatively dry with only a few flakes. Just cold and windy.

The westerly flow likely precludes any sort of significant snowy impacts for the Rochester area, pushing snow bands east of Lake Ontario. A few of these snow should could clip parts of Wayne county, but the rest of us are just cold for the next few days of the week. We’re watching another system Wednesday that continues to trend weaker, capable of producing a swath of light snow. Doesn’t look like a big deal. We’ll warm up again toward the end of the week.

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