Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on May 24, 2022
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office reports that deputies were called to Dick’s Sporting Goods for a larceny in progress. They received the call yesterday afternoon and as they arrived saw the suspects driving away. Deputies located the vehicle on River Street, Batavia; following an investigation the suspects were identified as Angela Bennett and Shamya Brown. They allegedly stole $1,726.28 worth of merchandise and were subsequently arrested for grand larceny. Bennett and Brown were issued appearance tickets and are scheduled for June 16th at the Town of Batavia Court.
The City of Batavia will be getting a new fire engine. The City Council has approved a funding offer from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The proposed funding includes a $630,000 loan at 2.5 percent interest for 20 years; an estimated grant of $50,000; and the city’s own contribution of $20,000 to come from fire department reserves. The current engine #12 has been showing excessive corrosion and decay on the engine body, chassis and wiring. In addition, the fire engine has had many repairs in the last few years — repairs that are becoming more costly. City Council members unanimously approved the purchase; the total cost for the fire engine is $700,000. The new engine will be a 2023 National Fire Protection Association compliant rescue-style fire engine with custom cab, seating for six fire personnel, 1,500 gallon per minute fire pump with foam capability, a 750 gallon water tank, the latest safety features, full LED emergency and scene lights and aluminum or stainless steel construction for longevity.
City of Batavia police have charged a Bank Street couple with felony aggravated cruelty to animals for abandoning two dogs in a cage, and killing one of them. 35-year-old Andrew Searight and 24-year-old Jerrtonia Scarbrough were charged last week after an investigation that began a week earlier. Sgt. Daniel Coffey said a neighbor called to report that the dogs had been left alone. Upon their arrival, officers found both dogs inside the apartment in cages. One had to be euthanized. The other is still undergoing treatment, but is expected to live. He said it was not known how long the dogs were left alone or why. Police believe Searight and Scarbrough, who are from Niagara Falls originally, may have been moving. The two are to appear in City Court June 7. The charge is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison.
The New York State Department of Health is recommending that children between the ages of five and 11 years old roll up their sleeves and get a COVID-19 booster shot. The agency says children in that age group should receive their booster five months after completing their initial two-dose Pfizer vaccine series. State Health Commissioner Doctor Mary Bassett believes vaccinations and boosters are the best way for people to protect themselves from serious complications that can arise when they’re infected with COVID-19. There’s no cost for a booster shot and they’re available at locations statewide.
Genesee County announced summer hours will be in effect beginning May 31. County offices will open for business at 8:00 am and close at 4:30 pm. This slight shift to summer hours provides county employees the opportunity to start the workday earlier while maintaining the same number of hours of operation for the public to access services. Current hours of operation are 8:30 am to 5 pm. Summer hours are in effect from Tuesday, May 31st until Friday, September 2nd with regular work hours resuming on Tuesday, September 6th. (Monday, September 5th is Labor Day.) “Summer hours will have no impact on the total number of hours County government is open to the public, as offices will continue to operate 8 and a half hours a day,” said Genesee County Manager Matt Landers. “These hours were in effect for the DMV last summer and feedback received was that the public liked being able to conduct business a little earlier in the day.”
State Attorney General Letitia James has announced the shutdown of a predatory debt collection operation. The AG’s office and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau say the operation, which was made up of several companies including JPL Recovery Solutions LLC, Keystone Recovery Group, and Regency One Capital LLC used illegal tactics to collect millions of dollars from consumers. Customers were threatened with severe consequences if they didn’t pay their debt and in some instances their friends, family members, and employers were contacted. The operation has been ordered to pay a four-million-dollar fine and is permanently banned from the debt collection industry.
A date has officially been set for the swearing-in of the state’s brand-new lieutenant governor. Congressman Antonio Delgado is going to take his oath of office tomorrow. Delgado was chosen by Governor Hochul to take over the job after former lieutenant governor Brian Benjamin resigned earlier this year following his indictment on bribery and fraud-related charges. Delgado currently represents the 19th Congressional District and a special election to fill his seat will happen in August.
Students who want to pursue careers in fields such as information technology and advanced manufacturing now have a new place where they can go to receive training. Yesterday, a grand opening celebration was held at the Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center, located at Monroe County Community College’s downtown campus in Rochester. The 50,000 square foot facility cost over $11,000,000 to build. Officials say the center will provide people with the tools they need so they can be in line for good job opportunities.
Niagara Falls police are trying to track down witnesses to a crash that took the life of a 41-year-old man from Wheatfield. Investigators say Richard Fiori was riding his motorcycle on Niagara Falls Boulevard between 70th and 72nd streets Sunday when the motorcycle collided with a tow truck that was making a U-turn. Fiori died of his injuries while the tow truck driver wasn’t hurt. No charges have been filed and anyone who saw the accident is asked to call 716-286-4563.
A member of the WWE Hall of Fame will be holding a benefit next month to help out everyone affected by the mass shooting at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue. Mick Foley says all proceeds from his June 5th “Love for Buffalo” event at Nietzsche’s will be donated to the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund. Contributions to the fund will be given to families of the 10 people who died and those who were at the store and are suffering from psychological trauma. Tickets for the benefit are already on sale and cost 30 to 75 dollars each.
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of the Prison Redevelopment Commission focused on re-imagining closed prisons for innovative redevelopment opportunities across New York State. The closures identified by Hochul last fall are in addition to the more than 20 that have been closed over the last 15 years. The closures provide an opportunity to transform these facilities in more creative and productive ways, paving the way for opportunities to spur investment, job creation and save taxpayers money.
Four major music artists are going to be taking the stage at the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino this summer. Little Big Town is going to perform on August 5th followed by Sammy Hagar and The Circle on August 6th. Lionel Richie will be at the venue located in Salamanca on August 26th and Lynyrd Skynyrd is going to be appearing on August 27th. Tickets can be purchased in-person at the resort, through Ticketmaster, or by visiting senecaalleganycasino.com.
A Buffalo man has found out his punishment for stabbing a man to death more than two years ago. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says 30-year-old Quinton Turner will be spending the next 21 years behind bars. Turner stabbed 29-year-old Ronald Green multiple times inside of a store on East Ferry Street back in January 2020. Turner and Green had been involved in a dispute over money before Green was killed. Turner left the area after the stabbing but was later captured in North Carolina by the U.S. Marshals Service.