Sunrise Smart Start: Tuesday, September 28

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.


Rochester man charged with murder for fatal stabbing on West Main Street

One person is dead and another is facing murder charges after a stabbing in Rochester Monday evening.

It happened on West Main Street in the city around 6 p.m. According to police, officers arriving on scene found a 36-year-old man outside with at least one stab wound to his upper body.

He was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where he later died. The victim has not yet been identified

Officials say investigators quickly identified 61-year-old Eddie Welch of Rochester as a suspect. They say they learned that Welch and the victim were at least mutual acquaintances and had got in an argument in which Welch stabbed the victim.

Welch was charged with second degree murder and remanded to the Monroe County Jail. He’s scheduled to be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Rochester City Court.


Local hospitals work to avoid massive layoffs as vaccine mandate goes into effect

As of midnight, all healthcare workers in the State Of New York needed to have one dose of the coronavirus vaccine to keep their jobs. Hospitals are reporting some promising numbers to avoid staff shortages. 

At the heart of the mandate taking effect, the two biggest concerns were if it will worsen the staff shortages hospitals and other clinics face? Plus, the arguments over personal choice. Since the Governor ruled the mandate stands, Local hospitals made one final push to avoid massive layoffs.  

Combining 2% of their employees exempt from the mandate due to Religious and medical reasons, URMC (University of Rochester Medical Center) reports 97.5% of their clinical staff are eligible to stay employed. While Rochester Regional sits at 99% workers with at least one vaccine dose. 

Across all the Finger Lakes Region, the average vaccination rate for hospital workers sits at 87%. While URMC Could see fewer than 300 employees resign, hospital administrators say they have plans to fill vacancies.  


‘This is a first for me’: Former URMC employee now out of job after deciding not to get COVID-19 vaccine

As of Monday, James Harold is no longer employed after deciding he didn’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Since 2019, Harold said he worked as an Analyst Programmer at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He helped manage the companies two factor authentication system, account security, and programming, among other things.

But as of Monday, he’s out of a job.

“I’ve never been fired from a job. I’ve never been reprimanded at a job. My performance has always been solid everywhere I’ve been. This is this is a first for me,” Harold said. 

The vaccine mandate goes into effect for hospital staff members across New York on Monday. Although Harold works in the Information Security Department, he was still required by URMC to get the vaccine. But he chose not to.

“I personally want to wait until the like more long-term studies were done. This vaccine didn’t exist two years ago. So I think that I’d certainly like to see some longer term studies,” Harold explained. 

While the CDC has said the vaccine is safe and effective for Americans, Harold said he doesn’t think it should be mandated. The 27-year-old said he didn’t feel comfortable getting the shot.

“I worked from home and I’ve been working from home since March of 2020. So it didn’t seem at all relevant to my job position whether I was vaccinated or not, and it seemed like an invasion of my privacy,” Harold said. 


Gov. Hochul: National Guard to help with potential hospital staffing shortages

The deadline for hospital and nursing home workers in New York state to be vaccinated against COVID-19 arrived Monday with the prospect of severe staff shortages fueled by workers getting suspended or fired for refusing to be inoculated.

With thousands of workers still thought to be holding out, hospital administrators prepared contingency plans that included cutting back on noncritical services and limiting admissions at nursing homes.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said this weekend she was prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members and retirees, or vaccinated workers from outside the state, to fill any gaps. The governor reiterated that sentiment during Monday morning’s press conference, adding that she would sign an executive order to authorize the National Guard resources should they be nedded.

The governor has held firm on the mandate in the face of pleas to delay it and multiple lawsuits challenging its constitutionality.

All health care workers in New York state at hospitals and nursing homes are required to be vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Monday. Employees who refuse the shots face suspensions and termination.

The rules apply not just to people like doctors and nurses, but also to others who work in health care institutions, like food service workers, administrators and cleaners.

The mandate comes as hospitals are already reeling from staff shortages fueled in part by workers retiring and employees seeking other jobs after 18 months of the pandemic.

Health care workers can apply for a religious exemption, at least for now. A federal judge on Oct. 12 will consider a legal challenge arguing that such exemptions are constitutionally required.


14-year-old charged with rape, accused of sexual assault at Gates Chili High School

A 14-year-old boy faces charges as an adult after an alleged sexual assault inside Gates Chili High School.

According to Gates police, the assault happened inside the school around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 17. Police say the suspect and the 15-year-old victim are both students, though the suspect is no longer allowed on school grounds.

Police say they worked with school district officials for a week on the investigation. The suspect was ultimately charged, as an adult, with Rape in the first degree and Criminal Sex Act in the first degree.

The suspect was arraigned Monday and released to his parents. The victim has been granted an order of protection.

The district released a statement Monday, saying:

The district was recently made aware of a serious allegation against a high school student. The incident in question is alleged to have happened at the high school. The safety and well-being of students is the district’s top priority, and after learning about the allegation, the district immediately began working with the Gates Police Department. In addition, the district is conducting its own investigation, but due to federal privacy laws, this is all the information that we can provide.


Mendoza: Vaccine benefits ‘starting to resonate’ with unvaccinated healthcare workers

Dr. Michael Mendoza, the Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, says many previously-unconvinced healthcare workers have made the decision to get vaccinated.

“There are people who are saying ‘you know, being in healthcare really means a lot to me. And I want to take care of myself and keep my patients and family safe.’ And I think that’s the message that’s starting to resonate,” Mendoza said.

Monday marked the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

“There has been reluctance, I think, for some people, who bristle at the thought that somebody is telling them to get the shot,” Mendoza continued, “But I think when you really look at the facts, we all want to take care of our patients, we want to do the right thing for our community. And we get the shot not because somebody told us to, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

Mendoza said critical services would be ‘untouched’ by employees who chose not to comply with the state vaccine mandate losing their jobs.

“I do know without any uncertainty,” Mendoza said, “the critical services will be completely intact. The emergency rooms, the urgent cares, the hospital settings, ICU, hospital floors. All of those settings will find a way to continue business as usual.”


Bills offense dedicates win to OC Brian Daboll after his grandmother passed away this week

“This one was for Brian Daboll. Brian Daboll is our offensive coordinator, he puts a lot of love and faith in us and we went out there and did this thing for him.”

That’s what Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins said as he was leaving the podium for his postgame press conference after a 43-21 win over the Washington Football Team.

At the time, no one knew what the significance of that was because the next players were coming to the table to talk. Wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley sat down next and took questions from reporters. Then Josh Allen came and he shared why this game was dedicated to their offensive coordinator.

“Daboll lost his grandma this last week and she was the woman that raised him so he had a pretty tough week and to go out there and play the way we did and execute the way we did, you know I know him and his family are hurting right now,” Allen said.

Daboll’s grandmother, Ruth, and his grandfather, Chris, raised him in West Seneca. And while Allen helped Daboll grieve, he remembers how Daboll was there for him last year after his grandma, Patricia passed away.

“It’s just crazy how the roles are reversed. Last year I got to come in the locker room and had a heartfelt hug with him and this year he falls in my arms so he’s a guy that I love dearly and to go out there and play the way we did for him, the guys understood that and we wanted to go and execute and play well for him.”

Allen and the Bills offense looked the way most people expected them to this season in that huge win over Washington. Allen threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns while having no interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown too and overall it was a total effort by the offense with the line providing great protection allowing no sacks to a very talented Washington front four.

So it’s fitting the offense showed up in a big way to honor their play caller.


Weather forecast: Temperatures hold as the autumn cold front moves overhead

Tuesday temperatures will remain in the lower 60s into the afternoon, a significant drop from the middle and upper 70s from Monda.

This will set us up for a cooler and quiet stretch of weather for the remainder of the workweek. Most days will feature a mix of clouds and sunshine with daily highs in the 60s and overnight lows in the 40s.

Our coolest day looks like Thursday (high near 60) and coolest morning Friday (lows near 45). This will bode well for our local foliage display as the cooler nights will have a big impact on the color change from here.

Models agree that our weekend looks seasonable with highs in the 60s continuing, but disagree on whether scattered rain showers will be a part of that forecast. For now, we’ll blend the two solutions keeping rain chances no higher than 30% both Saturday and Sunday. We’ll adjust accordingly as guidance starts to gel.

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