WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Noelle E.C. Evans

Noelle E. C. Evans is a general assignment reporter/producer for WXXI News with a background in documentary filmmaking and education.

Noelle worked in Quito, Ecuador, for a Venezuelan media organization during a critical time in the country’s history. She has a nuanced understanding of the need for freedom of the press, and is conversational in Spanish.

Noelle is a BBC Grace Wyndham Goldie scholar and has worked with BBC Radio Wales and the BBC World Service. She received her M.A. in International Journalism from Cardiff University in Wales – one of the top ten ranking journalism schools in the UK. Noelle was awarded the university’s USA Excellence Scholarship in 2016.

She began as an intern at WXXI in 2014.

 

The Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center is resuming postponed procedures and turning more to telemedicine amid the pandemic. Treatments are still ongoing.

According to URMC, some cancer surgeries were postponed during a ban on elective surgeries. That ban was lifted on April 29.

As for Roslyn Goldman, 82, she’s been receiving treatment for lymphoma throughout the pandemic. So far, she said, she feels good. 

 

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia on Monday. 

The lawsuit calls for ICE to protect all detainees who are considered at risk of complications related to COVID-19 as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.


The director of Cornell University’s prison education program is leading a campaign to provide more face masks to inmates across New York state.


Rob Scott with Cornell said 225 inmates in the Finger Lakes region were enrolled in the school's prison education program for the spring semester. 

In a matter of three weeks, 49 detainees at an immigration detention center in Batavia tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

One of those detainees, Cristian Diaz Arvelo, said he first heard he had COVID-19 when a guard at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility told him he was moving to another unit within the center.

“Not even the doctors come, just they, one of the officers came: ‘Oh you gonna be moved to a unit,’” Arvelo says. “I asked them why. ‘Oh, you tested positive.’ That’s all they say.” 

Many people with disabilities have been left behind during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester. 

Some senators have some ideas on how to change that. 

Gregg Beratan, the center's director of development, said that an institutional bias in funding for home- and community-based services has forced more people with disabilities into nursing facilities because certain services are only available to them there. 

For the second week in a row, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia has more than tripled in a week. 

Forty-five detainees have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday. That’s more than any other detention facility in the country. 

One of those who tested positive for the coronavirus is a man in his 30s from the Dominican Republic. His attorney, Siana McLean, said he also has asthma and high blood pressure. 

Victor Cortez has worked on dairy farms in New York state for almost 15 years. He currently works on a farm in Wyoming County.

Right now, with the coronavirus, he says everyone’s worried.

“We’re isolated from the population, and we continue working. We haven’t stopped and we keep working,” Cortez says in Spanish. “Our worry is, if we get infected, what would happen to us? What plan is there for us?”

A state agency representing farmers in New York is hopeful a new federal aid package will provide much-needed relief for farmers hit by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program includes $16 billion dollars for direct support to farmers, and $3.5 billion for a farm-to-food bank program.  

Steve Ammerman with the New York Farm Bureau says that this will include produce, dairy, and meat.

The U.S. census, that constitutionally mandated once-a-decade count of every resident, is still being conducted this year -- though it’s not going according to plan.

Jim Malatras with the New York State Complete Count Commission said the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected what was already a difficult year for the 2020 census. 

He said he doesn’t believe that the federal government had done enough before the pandemic to ensure an accurate count, particularly in states with large immigrant populations and communities of color, like New York. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Thursday evening that four detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia have tested positive for COVID-19.

Those identified include a 62-year-old detainee from Pakistan, a 29-year-old from Somalia, a 37-year-old from Honduras and a 31-year-old fromHonduras. No information regarding gender was provided.

ICE officials said that “those who have come in contact with these individuals have been cohorted (grouped together) and are being monitored for symptoms.”

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