Afternoon News Brief

Written by on May 5, 2022

Felipe Oltramari

Genesee County now has preliminary data from a statewide survey that will assist in searching for grants to help get broadband on roads or other areas that don’t have broadband service right now. Nearly 1,300 Genesee County residents participated in the survey, which ended in mid-March. The county announced Tuesday that the survey was closed. County Planning Department Director Felipe Oltramari noted that service providers consider return on investment in broadband coverage, which is a contributing factor to the lack of coverage on roads where there aren’t many customers. Oltramari added that the County has requests for proposals out to vendors, to help close the gaps in areas that are not being served.


The New York State Gaming Commission, New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and New York Council on Problem Gambling, which together comprise New York’s Responsible Play Partnership (RPP), today came together with executive management at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel to discuss steps being taken to address problem gambling. Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams discussed signs featuring the industry’s first-ever Quick Response (QR) Code to connect problem gamblers with trained problem gambling counselors where they live, in real time. Once scanned, the QR Code automatically links users to the Council on Problem Gambling’s website (, which provides access to a network of Regional Problem Gambling Resource Centers supported by OASAS. The QR Code is available on advertising and promotional materials issued by the Gaming Commission and its licensees. Uses include New York Lottery scratch-off tickets, promotional screens at nearly 15,000 Lottery retail outlets statewide, mobile sports wagering promotional mailings, complementary messaging on all 18+ age verification signage posted at horse racing tracks, and digital signage found on the gaming floor at video lottery gaming facilities and commercial casinos.


Orleans County has passed a milestone in the two-plus years of the pandemic: 10,000 Covid-19 cases. The county had 197 new confirmed cases in the past week (April 27 through May 3) and now has had 10,077 confirmed cases since March 2020, according to the most recently published data from the Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments. The two counties also hit a grim milestone with 300 deaths from Covid. Genesee and Orleans each reported a Covid-related death in the past week. The number of new cases has continued to increase every week since mid-March.


Governor Hochul has signed a new piece of legislation that prevents colleges from withholding transcripts from students because of unpaid debts. The bill also means schools can’t charge individuals who owe debts a higher fee to receive their transcript. The governor says transcripts are a critical tool for students who want to continue following their academic and career goals. She also says preventing people from getting them because of outstanding debts is an unfair and predatory practice.


State Attorney General Letitia James is calling on President Biden to fully cancel federal student loan debt. James and other attorneys general have sent Biden a letter, saying that immediate relief is needed for people struggling to make their payments. While James says she does commend the president’s consideration of forgiving 10-thousand dollars per borrower, she believes more decisive action is needed. Right now, student borrowers owe over $1.7 trillion dollars to the federal government.


Halley’s Comet won’t visit the inner solar system until 2061, but you can still catch the meteor shower it produced, the Eta Aquarids this week. The second and final meteor shower of spring is about to peak, and it will present a unique opportunity to enjoy a well-known comet that is billions of miles away from Earth. Most meteor showers are created when the Earth plows through a field of debris left behind by comets orbiting the sun. Most of the debris is small, generally the size of a small pebble or grain of sand, but when it hits Earth’s atmosphere, it burns up and emits a bright flash of light – in other words, a ‘shooting star’. The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak in the early hours Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7; and according to the American Meteor Society, on a clear morning, you may count between 10 and 30 meteors per hour between 3 and 5am.


The 124th Lilac Festival in Rochester takes place on three consecutive weekends, starting tomorrow, May 6th through 8th, May 12th through 15th, and May 19th through the 22nd from 10:30am until 8:30pm each day. Visitors can expect to see food, exhibits, a kid’s zone and even a new health and wellness experience. More information can be found online at


Nasir Jones (“Nas”)

A Grammy Award winning rapper and hip-hop artist will be coming to Buffalo this Summer. Nas will be taking the stage as part of the Outer Harbor Concert Series on Saturday, July 23rd. Tickets for the performance went on sale this morning for Seneca Gaming club members and the general public can purchase them tomorrow at They’ll range in price from $27.50 to $125.00 each.


33-year-old Jolene Stevens of Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged failure to appear. Stevens was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance. Stevens also charged with trespass at the Red Roof Inn in the Town of Batavia at 9:26 a.m. on April 30. She was released on an appearance ticket. 27-year-old Feyza G. Osmancikli of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Osmancikli is accused of stealing merchandise from a business on Ellicott Street at 6:47 p.m. April 21. She was released on an appearance ticket. 44-year-old Lazeuia D. Washington of Batavia, is charged with trespass and harassment in the second degree. Washington is accused of trespassing at a business on West Main Street, Batavia, and engaging in an altercation at 9:28 p.m. April 24. He was issued an appearance ticket.


35-year-old Joshua Leneir Webster of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with four counts of criminal contempt in the second degree. Webster was arrested on a warrant by Le Roy Police. Webster was arranged in Le Roy Town Court and released under supervision. Webster is also charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, 2nd degree menacing, criminal contempt in the 1st degree and strangulation 2nd. The charges stem from an incident reported at 12:06 p.m. on May 1.


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