ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced enhanced security measures for the Civic Center Garage in Downtown Rochester following a weekend attack.

The victim and his wife ultimately got in the concern citizen’s car, fled the scene, and called 911. The husband was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injrueis.

Police later located and arrested the suspect, 24-year-old Tyrone Oliver, who is charged with second degree assault. According to Monroe County officials, Oliver has a “violent past.”

“This is unacceptable and damaging to both the family and the community,” Bello said in a Tuesday statement. “I have ordered immediate 24/7 security at the garage.

Bello added the county is implementing a multi-faceted security improvement plan for the garage.

“Everyone who parks at the Civic Center Garage for work or while attending events at the Blue Cross Arena should feel safe and secure.

The county security plan includes:

  • 24-7 security
  • Enhanced LED lighting in all levels of at the garage
  • Increased and improved video cameras throughout the garage
  • Improvements to doors, entrances and physical structures

According to the City of Rochester’s website, clearing sidewalks of snow is a city-resident partnership.

Current guidelines say removing snow from sidewalks is the responsibility of the owner whose property is adjacent with that walkway, but If the snow rises above four inches, city services will plow the area. CIty officials say it’s ultimately it is up to owner to clear off any extra snow or ice.

For some near the north end of St. Paul Street in Rochester, sidewalks were still not cleared as of Monday night, forcing some people to walk in the road to avoid pushing through the deep now to get around.

“A lot of people had to call places like Lyft or miss work,” said Jaquan Nesmith, who lives off St. Paul Street. “The whole nine yards, or be hours late because of their vehicles being snowed in and the lack of plowing. It’s annoying and frustrating.”

All sidewalks that are at least five feet in width are plowed by the city, according to Rochester’s guidelines. However, “sidewalk snow plowing policies must sometimes be altered to meet the needs of the situation,” according to the city’s snow removal fact sheet.

“We ask that you clear the snow on sidewalks in front of properties,” Rochester Environmental Service Commissioner Richard Perrin said.

City officials say snow plowing is included in every resident’s property tax bill. The total fee is based on the home’s front footage.

Residents who wish to inquire about the city’s snow removal service can call 585-428-5990.

Rochester recorded 81 homicides in 2021, making it the city’s deadliest year in history. Of the 81 homicides, Chief Smith said 41 cases have been closed for a 50.6% clearance rate.

“This violence is not something we’re going to be able to arrest ourselves out of,” Chief Smith said.

The police chief said violent crime is still up from the 2020 spike, but he said property crime is down, including burglaries in larcenies.

The police chief said Rochester police collected 994 firearms in 2021, including 162 handguns and 284 long guns. He said those recovery efforts include 2021 gun buyback programs, adding that 45 were “ghost guns.”

On drug investigations, the police chief said 147 narcotic-based search warrants were executed, resulting in 20 kilograms of cocaine, 5 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, 223 pounds of marijuana, and $1.2 million in case being seized.

The police chief said the issue of gun violence cannot be solved by police alone.

“Rochester needs a comprehensive violent outreach initiative that involves outreach, street workers, social programs and intervention,” Smith said. “The answer cannot be found solely in the Rochester Police Department. There must be collaboration, trust, and support.”

The police chief said 2022 is going to be “challenging” for RPD due tot he current staffing situation, with officers being subjected to extra amount of workload and stress.

“It’s something we take very seriously,” Smith said. “So much so that we made the Officer Wellness and Resiliency Unit.”

“We have the means to immediately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as embrace this once-in-a-generation opportunity for the future with a historic level of funding that is both socially responsible and fiscally prudent,” Gov. Hochul said.

The governor said the executive budget calls for $216.3 billion in spending, aided by better than expected tax revenues and federal funding from coronavirus relief packages. The total spending proposal represents a 1.6% increase from the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make purpose-driven investments in our state that will pay dividends in the future,” Gov. Hochul said.

Some of the highlights of the proposed budget, according to the governor, include:

  • $10 billion to rebuild health care workforce, build “health care system of the future”
  • $31 billion to strengthen teacher workforce and invest in schools
  • Tax relief for small businesses and the middle clase
  • Five-year $32.8 billion Department of Transportation Capital Plan to leverage federal funding in support of infrastructure projects throughout the state
  • $900 million in child care stabilization grants to cover operational costs for 15,000 child care providers statewide
  • $1 billion to fund small businesses and tax credit for COVID-related expenses
  • $1.5 billion invested in SUNY and CUNY over next five years, expands TAP eligibility
  • $4 billion for Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act
  • $500 million for offshore wind projects
  • Launches five-year, $25 billion “comprehensive housing plan”
  • $224 to fund law enforcement and community-based gun violence initiatives

“We know that federal funds will run out,” Gov. Hochul said. “We are doing this with a fiscally-responsible approach, and we are not creating programs we can’t pay for.”

The budget proposal also calls for the authorization of up to three additional casino licenses in New York. Mujica said there would be a request for applications for where those casinos might potentially be proposed for.

County officials report COVID-19 deaths weekly on Mondays. The 30 deaths reported Tuesday happened between December 15 and January 12. To date, 1,644 Monroe County residents have died from COVID-19.

County officials say 1,237 new cases were discovered Tuesday (447 lab-confirmed, 790 at-home), 2,024 on Saturday, and 1,301 on Sunday.

The county is now averaging 1,724 new cases per day over the past week. Monroe County now has a seven-day rolling average positivity rate of 17.5%.

Officials say 741 people in the Finger Lakes region are hospitalized with the virus, including 125 in an ICU, up 7 and down 4, respectively, since Friday’s update. There has been an increase of 229 regional COVID hospitalizations in the Finger Lakes since December 31

While case rates are decreasing, hospitalizations and ICU patients are not.

“As cases peaked beginning of last week, hospitalizations tend to be about a week or so behind when cases peak,” said Dr. Angela Branche with the University of Rochester Medical Center. “So you’d expect hospitalizations to peak this week or next week and hopefully start to go down as well.”

Hopsital numbers are not letting up – that’s true of hospitals across the region. Dr. Emil Lesho with Rochester Regional Health says their ICU patients and hospitalizations have ticked up as of late.

Looking past Omicron toward the future – and any future variants of concern – timing will play a big role.

“If it comes relatively soon, most of us should have a substantial degree of protection to it,” Lesho explained. “But if it comes a year later, our immunity could wane.

The Town of Perinton reached a new agreement on maintaining garbage and odors at the High Acres Landfill.

“As a matter of fact, the landfill has been operating nearly 50 years in the town,” said Ciaran Hanna, town supervisor,” town supervisor Ciaran Hanna said.

A draft-plan was proposed back in the Spring, comprised of eight detailed bullet-points.

But the new agreement passed in December is different than any other, he says.

“This is far more comprehensive than anything we’ve ever had before,” Hanna said.

The new agreement spells out ramifications and repercussions for Waste Management, when it comes to handling problems that arise with residents. 

And in partnership with the DEC, they’ll also have to respond to a 24/7 hotline, where residents can report odors as they occur.

He says the new agreement has been a long-time coming, and feels as though this is a turning point for the town.

“We worked really, really hard on this, in the past it really didn’t have a whole lot to it,” said Hanna. “I think it truly benefits the community, we’ve worked hard to bring these benefits.”

Temperatures on Wednesday will make their way above 30 degrees but unfortunately for Rochester, that may be the last time forecasts get over the freezing line for the next few days.

Thursday: An overnight cold front will bring a few snow showers into the area with temperatures sitting below 15 degrees in the morning hours. By the night, Rochester will be hovering around zero.