Afternoon News Brief

Written by on April 28, 2022

The National Transportation Safety Board has released more information on that deadly helicopter crash in Elba. The agency says a preliminary report on the accident will be completed in a few days but the final report on the tragedy won’t be available for months. The Mercy Flight aircraft was on a training mission Tuesday when it went down. Witnesses who were in the area at the time reported hearing a loud boom before the helicopter fell to the ground. Debris from the chopper was spread across an area about 2,000 feet long. The main portion of the wreckage is intact although demolished. The tail rotor and assembly were located about 300 feet from the main wreckage, but it’s not known at what point they broke off. The wreckage will be transported to a facility in Clayton, Delaware where it will be laid out to recreate the helicopter to assist with determining what caused the crash. The two people onboard, 60-year-old James Sauer and 60-year-old Stewart Dietrick, died at the scene.


Police across New York State will be doing their part today to make sure kids get on and off their school buses safely. Officers are going to keep an eye out for dangerous drivers as part of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee’s “Operation Safe Stop” campaign. Anyone who is caught passing a school bus that is stopped and has its red lights flashing is going to be ticketed. The financial penalty for breaking the law ranges from a minimum of $250 for a first violation to a maximum of $1000 for three violations in a three-year period.



Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge controlled burn

The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge has scheduled grassland burns for the next few days, at different locations around the refuge. Residents and visitors may see or smell smoke periodically during this time. Expert fire teams are burning for habitat management to allow for future vegetation, control of non-native plants, and to restore wildlife habitat. During controlled burning, some refuge roads and trails may be closed to the public. Visitors are encouraged to check with the refuge ahead of time for possible closures: If you have any questions please contact the Refuge office at 585-948-5445



In a move that backed the lower court’s ruling, New York’s highest court struck down Democrat-drawn congressional and state senate districts yesterday, a decision that could see the state’s primary pushed back until August. In a 4-3 ruling, the Court of Appeals determined that the maps were “drawn with impermissible partisan purpose.” The court also said it will likely be necessary to move the congressional and state Senate primary elections from June to August. That means the state could still potentially hold primaries for assembly seats, governor, lieutenant governor and other statewide races in June. The lawsuit prompting the decision, filed by a group of Republican voters, argued that the district boundaries crafted by the Democratic-controlled Legislature and signed off on by Governor Hochul were unconstitutionally gerrymandered in favor of Democrats and proper procedures were not followed.


Melissa Demmin

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office has announced the arrest of a teacher’s aide at Niagara Academy. The department says 33-year-old Melissa Demmin had unwanted sexual contact with two male students at the school in Cambria. Police began looking into the allegations after a sheriff’s deputy assigned as a school resource officer received a report from the school. Orleans Niagara BOCES, which operates the school, is cooperating with the investigation.


The NFL Draft gets underway tonight, and fans of the Buffalo Bills are going to have to wait a while to find out who their team selects. That’s because the Bills have the 25th overall pick in the first round. Buffalo has won the AFC East the past two years but both times their season has come to an end in the playoffs at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs. The draft is taking place in Las Vegas and is scheduled to start at 8:00pm.



The Buffalo Sabres will be taking the ice tonight to play in their final road contest of the season. The Sabres are set to battle the Boston Bruins at TD Garden as they look to extend their current winning streak to five. Buffalo hasn’t had a game since last Saturday when they beat the New York Islanders 5-3. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7:00.


Wahoo Wave is a 60-foot-tall thrill slide. It will be one of the tallest water rides in Hurricane Harbor. That’s the promise from 6 Flags, Darien Lake as a new ride gets installed just in time for the new season. First, riders will barrel down an enclosed tunnel slide, and then go through a hairpin turn, followed by a corkscrew, and then without warning, will plunge down a 30 foot drop. The thrill wave is scheduled to open when the park opens on Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 28.


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