Sunrise Smart Start: September 20, 2021

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Monday, September 20, 2021.

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine works in kids ages 5 to 11

Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon — a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But with kids now back in school and the extra-contagious delta variant causing a huge jump in pediatric infections, many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children.

For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose — a third of the amount that’s in each shot given now. Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults, Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president, told The Associated Press.

The kid dosage also proved safe, with similar or fewer temporary side effects — such as sore arms, fever or achiness — that teens experience, he said.

Neighbor reports fire, helps 6 escape danger overnight in Rochester

Rochester Fire Department officials say six people were able to escape from a house fire on the city’ west side overnight.

Authorities say firefighters responded to 307 North Glide Street around 2:15 a.m. Monday for the report of a house fire with people still inside. They say a neighbor happened to be up and noticed flames on the exterior of the house.

Official say after calling 911, the neighbor ran over to the house to alert the residents, where four adults and two children were able to escape before RFD crews arrived, which was within five minutes of the 911 call, firefighters say.

Authorities say it took firefighters about 15 minutes to bring the fire under control at the two-story, single family residence.

Officials say fire damage was confined to a second floor exterior wall while the rest of the home suffered smoke and water damage.

Red Cross will assist those impacted. One elderly resident was evaluated at the scene but didn’t require hospital treatment and no firefighter injuries were reported.

Quadruple shooting pushes community leaders to demand change, protection in Rochester

The most recent mass shooting in Rochester which left two people dead and another two injured has those who call Driving Park Avenue home demand justice and anti-crime resources.

As Rochester Police investigate what led to the deadly shooting on the 300 Block of Driving Park Avenue Sunday, Stop The Violence For Rochester activists and church leaders argue that change in the current crime spike will only come from the root of the problem — support in good jobs and education.

When joining relatives of one of the crime’s victims the morning after, local activists highlighted that neighborhoods are deprived of opportunities, which in return push people to turn to crime to get by. 

“Where are the mentorship programs, where are the peacemaker fellowships, the job readiness programs that were promised to us,” Mike Johnson with Save Rochester said. “Where is the violence interruption programs, where’s all the data that they said they would be collecting?”  

Upon arrival at the scene of the shooting, police officials said they encountered a “chaotic” scene with 75-100 people attempting to leave.

Driving Park Avenue residents who live near the location of the incident believe more often than not, senseless disputes people have online or through gang activity lead to shooting like these.

“If could be your brother or sister, friends, cousins or anybody could be out here getting shot all because of this,” Genesis Richardson of Rochester said. “Just think before you act.”  

Reverend Myra Brown has spent much of her religious career serving Rochester and has seen troubled teens and young adults not get the help they need coming to churches that can’t offer more.

“I think the young people know they need more than talk,” Brown said. They need options and those options mean we have to decide whether we’re going to invest in keeping young people alive in this community.” 

1 year after Pennsylvania Ave. mass shooting, families gather to pray, reflect

It has been exactly one year since the worst mass shooting in Rochester’s history. Family of the victims and community members gathered at the same area Sunday to pray and reflect.

Police said two people were killed and 14 others injured after a party on Pennsylvania Avenue turned violent. Jaquayla Young and Jarvis Alexander, both 19 years old, were killed.

For Candice Howard, life is still difficult without her sister-in-law Young. Howard says Young was funny, caring and now, is greatly missed.

“It’s been so hard to deal with — holidays going by and not watching her come down the stairs,” Howard said. “It’s been really rough. Nothing will take this pain away. I just feel like she’s stuck at school. At college, and we’re just waiting for her to come home. We just want to be near her, and someone just took her.”

Those who came together to remember the two teenagers that lost their lives joined a prayer circle that was held just yards away from the shooting’s location.

Despite a $10,000 reward still being offered for information that could lead to an arrest, Rochester Police have yet to make an arrest in this shooting.

Gabby Petito timeline: Remains found in Wyoming fit description of missing 22-year-old

Authorities say a body discovered Sunday in Wyoming is believed to be Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. The FBI said the body was found by law enforcement agents who had spent the past two days searching campgrounds.

An FBI agent said the cause of death not yet been determined. Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, left in July on a cross-country trek in a converted van to visit national parks in the U.S. West.

Police said Laundrie was alone when he drove the van back to his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, on Sept. 1. Laundrie has been identified as a person of interest in the case.

He was last seen Tuesday and investigators have been searching for him.

Bills dominate Dolphins ‘left-handed’

Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes, Zach Moss ran for two scores and the Buffalo Bills knocked out Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa early with a rib injury on the way to a 35-0 win.

Devin Singletary rushed for 82 yards and another touchdown for the Bills.

Buffalo has won six consecutive games in the series, doing so by an average of 20 points per game.

This marks only the second time the Bills have won six in a row against the Dolphins.

It was Miami’s second-worst shutout loss at home.

Tagovailoa lasted only two series.

Gov. Hochul announces state actions to address school bus driver shortage

Gov. Kathy Hochul Sunday announced a multi-agency plan to address the school bus driver shortage affecting schools across the state.

The plan includes short-term steps to remove barriers and recruit traditional and non-traditional Commercial Driver’s License holders, expand CDL testing opportunities, and enhance processes all designed to get more drivers into school buses.  

Additionally, New York State is launching outreach to more than 550,000 CDL license holders in New York State.

“Our schools and public health officials have moved mountains to ensure our children receive an in-person education this year, and we are leaving no stone unturned to make sure schools have adequate bus service to bring students to school and back,” Hochul said.

She directed state agencies to utilize a multi-organizational recruitment effort to persuade CDL drivers to become school bus drivers. Interested drivers will be surveyed and their information then shared with local school districts that are seeking drivers.

Weather forecast: A mild Monday as summer takes its last breath

If you’re not ready to let go of summer just yet, the weather both Monday and Tuesday has you covered before Fall arrives later in the week.

After a jacket worthy start on Monday with lows in the upper 40s and low 50s, temperatures will take a bump into the low 80s with more sunshine to kick start the work week. We’ll find an increase in cloud cover by Tuesday afternoon with a southerly breeze, and highs right around 80°.

A developing storm system over the mid-west will form a deep, closed area of low pressure that will trek across the Great Lakes by the middle of the week. The latest timing of this front has chances for a few showers arriving as early as late Tuesday night starting from west to east that evolve into more widespread showers Wednesday.

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