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Local Newscast - February 18, 2021 - Leyla Doss

LEYLA DOSS, HOST: From Columbia Radio News, in New York, I’m Leyla Doss

DOSS: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo surprised the state press corps today by not holding his daily briefing. His administration is under pressure after the FBI launched an inquiry into his handling of data on nursing home deaths. The governor admitted on Monday that his office had withheld data on deaths related to Covid-19. Meanwhile, members of his own party have accused him of making a threatening phone call to an Assemblyman. Mayor Bill DBlasio told MSNBC he wasn’t surprised to hear the charge.

BILL De BLASIO: That’s classic Andrew Cuomo. A lot of people in New York state have received those phone calls.

DOSS: Two vaccination sites will open in New York City tomorrow. The Empire Outlets on Staten Island and Martin Van Buren School in Queens will provide shots to residents of their respective boroughs. Mayor DBlasio says he expects to receive more supplies starting tomorrow.

De BLASIO: We, again, are hoping that by tomorrow our supply will go back to where it was normally. That’s still way less than we need. I want to emphasize: Normal is not enough. Status quo is not enough

DOSS: New York State began its third phase of vaccinations on Monday, opening up eligibility to those with chronic health conditions. Still, appointments are hard to come by. Slots for vaccinations are booked as far out as May. Some state residents are responding by driving to other cities in the hope of getting their first dose of the vaccine.

DOSS: The MTA has approved an increase in tolls at bridges and tunnels. The agency will delay a similar hike for subway, bus and rail fares until the summer. New York E-ZPass users will have to pay $6.55, instead of $6.52 per trip. Meanwhile, non-pass drivers will pay $10.17 instead of $9.50.

DOSS: The toll hikes come after the MTA announced that subways, starting Monday, will be closed for cleaning between two and four am, instead of between one and 5am, currently.

DOSS: If you haven't had a chance to look out of the window - It’s snowing in the tri-state area today. A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 7pm tomorrow night. New Yorkers can expect between two and four inches of snow today, with highs in the upper twenties. The temperature in Central Park right now? 27 degrees.

DOSS: For Columbia Radio News, I’m Leyla Doss.

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