Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on May 18, 2022
A Rochester man wanted in two counties now faces numerous charges after an incident on Oak Street, Batavia. Police responded to a domestic dispute and burglary-in-progress call mid-morning yesterday. The victim reported that 33-year-old Gerald Brinson of Rochester had entered her residence, attacked her and was on the run from law enforcement in Monroe County. Officers arrived at the scene and determined the victim had escaped the residence with her 1-year-old son; however, Brinson was still inside and refused to come out. While inside the residence, Brinson called 9-1-1 to make a fake report about gunfire on Ellicott Avenue. He eventually exited the home and was taken into custody. Further investigation allegedly determined he was wanted on two Monroe County warrants and one Erie County warrant. Brinson now has multiple charges filed against him. (second-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree menacing, third degree falsely reporting an incident, second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.) He was committed to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail and is to appear June 14 in City Court. According to state records, Brinson had previously served a seven-year sentence at Livingston Correctional Facility after being convicted in 2009 of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Monroe County.
A corrections officer who works at the Attica Correctional Facility has been suspended without pay after being accused of mocking the victims of the Tops supermarket shooting. The State Department of Corrections says Gregory Foster the Second posted something on his personal Facebook page that made reference to the aftermath of the tragedy. The department says Foster’s comments are despicable and will not be tolerated. The department also said its seeking to fire Foster and that he may end up facing prosecution.
All Genesee County communities voted to approve next year’s school budget. In Batavia, 409 people voted yesterday and the $54.8 million budget was approved (301-108). The 1% tax levy was also passed. Chezeray Rolle, John Marucci and Korinne Anderson won their school board races. Le Roy’s General budget and library budget passed. Peter Loftus, Jason Karcher and Rachael Greene won their school board bids. Other final tallies include… Byron-Bergen Central School’s budget passed with a vote of 244 to 98. Elba Central’s budget passed by a vote of 100 to 17. Pembroke Central’s budget passed 272 to 98, while a school bus proposition passed 276 to 93. Corfu Public Library election results gave Jessica Doctor the most votes of 336 and John Conti two write-in votes, each for a three-year trustee seat; Matt Steinberg received 334 votes for a two-year trustee seat. Oakfield-Alabama Central’s $23.5 million budget passed 187 to 35.
A Batavia man is in jail this morning, awaiting his next appearance in court. 34-year-old Benito Gay attempted to rob the Subway store on East Main Street early last night. By the time police arrived at the scene, Gay had fled. However, he was taken into custody fairly quickly; police found him at a nearby apartment complex. Gay did not display any weapons during the robbery attempt and is charged with robbery as well as another unspecified charge. He was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail and is scheduled to return to court tomorrow afternoon. Gay has other prior arrests in Batavia; most recently in March when he was accused of stealing three beers from the Kwik Fill at Jackson and Ellicott.
National Grid is encouraging all of their customers to be vigilant and protect their personal information. Reports of billing and payment scams are on the increase; customers report that emails and telephone calls claiming to be from National Grid demand immediate payment for past due balances on their utility bills. In some cases, the customer is promised savings on their next bill. Though these scams are not new, the imposters have taken additional steps to convince customers they work for National Grid. Customers contacted in the latest scam say that the caller provides a name, office location from where they are calling, and an identification number. In many cases, the scammers use a practice called spoofing, where the caller ID and return number look as though they belong to National Grid. Scammers threaten to terminate the customer’s service immediately unless payment is made, either by providing bank or credit card information, or by purchasing a prepaid debit card. Probably the best thing to do is to hang up the phone and call back on a phone number that you know is a direct line to National Grid. Here is a link to National Grid’s website for assistance and strategies to avoid getting ripped off: https://www.nationalgridus.com/Our-Company/Scam-Alert
Buckeye Partners will be performing maintenance on their pipeline on Creek Road in Batavia beginning next Monday, May 23. The road will be closed from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be reopened every evening to regular traffic. The work is being performed on Creek Road just north of Dorman Road and will last approximately two weeks.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on a deadly helicopter crash in Elba. The Mercy Flight aircraft was on a training mission last month when it went down, killing 60-year-old James Sauer and 60-year-old Stewart Dietrick who were both onboard. The NTSB report didn’t reveal the cause of the accident but said fractures were found in the helicopter’s steering system consistent with overload. One witness reported hearing a loud bang from the helicopter before the crash while another said they heard a noise coming from the engine. A final report on the crash likely won’t be made public for several months.
Governor Hochul is applauding FDA authorization of the first COVID-19 booster shot for kids ages 5 to 11. She called it welcome news for parents and guardians all over the state waiting patiently to give kids the extra layer of protection against serious illness from the virus. The governor says New York will be ready to offer boosters to this newly eligible population, and she noted the shots are free, safe, widely available and continue to be our best defense against the coronavirus. She’s urging parents and guardians to set an example for children on the heels of this good news and get boosted themselves along with their kids so everyone is better protected for summer.
Tops and the National Compassion Fund are working together to help people who were impacted by Saturday’s shooting receive financial assistance. They’ve announced the creation of the “Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund” and say all donations will go to relatives of the deceased and individuals who were directly affected by the violence. Donations can be made online by visiting a GoFundMe page set up for the fund. Information on where to send a check or how to transfer money electronically can be found on the National Compassion Fund website: https://nationalcompassion.org/
President Biden is vowing to keep pushing Congress to pass new gun regulations following the mass shooting in Buffalo over the weekend. Mister Biden and First Lady Doctor Jill Biden made a visit to Buffalo yesterday to meet with the families of the 10 people killed during Saturday’s shooting at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue. Police say 18-year-old Payton Gendron allegedly opened fire at the supermarket Saturday in what officials are calling a racially motivated hate crime. Gendron is charged with murder and is currently behind bars without bail.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will be unveiling her own plan today to try and put an end to the nationwide shortage of baby formula. The New York lawmaker says the Emergency Infant Formula Act would increase domestic production of formula to deal with the current crisis and prevent future shortages. On Monday, Gillibrand called on President Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act in an effort to get more formula on store shelves nationwide. The cause of the current shortage is due to several reasons such as inflation, supply chain issues and safety concerns.