Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on June 7, 2022
The Batavia Police Department is looking for help in identifying a person of interest in a larceny at Tops Supermarket which occurred on 06/02/2022 at approximately 10:05 AM. Anyone with information on the identity of the person in the photo is asked to contact Officer Christopher Lindsay at 585-345-6350 or the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370. Please do not post tips on Facebook or Twitter as the posts are not continuously monitored.
The price of gas for regular unleaded went up an average of 6 cents a gallon since yesterday to $4.94, an all-time high in New York state. AAA reports this morning that Monday’s price of $4.88 was down 5 cents from a week ago, while the national price jumped 25 cents in the week. The state price was down due to the state suspending its 4-percent share of the sales tax on gas. That knocked about 16 cents off the price. But the cost has continued to go up. The price of crude oil is about $120 a barrel. While regular unleaded is at an all-time high, diesel is at $6.30 a gallon. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.83 per gallon, up 8 cents from yesterday but is the same as it was a week ago. Several counties have average prices over $5 a gallon; most are downstate (Franklin, Clinton, Hamilton, Queens, Kings (Brooklyn), Richmond (Staten Island), New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Duchess.) Westchester County, with the Hudson River on one side and Connecticut on the other, has the highest average price at $5.148 a gallon for regular unleaded.
New York has started mailing out homeowner tax rebate checks several months earlier than originally planned. The homeowner tax rebate credit is a one-year program providing direct property tax relief to nearly three million eligible homeowners in 2022. New York is set to spend $2.2 billion in one-time property tax rebates, but was expected to arrive this fall. As stated on the Department of Taxation and Finance website, New Yorkers that are eligible don’t need to do anything—you’ll automatically be sent a check for the amount of your credit. If you don’t get your check by early July, expect it before your school tax bill is due. Their contact center can’t provide a specific timeframe. https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/homeowner-tax-rebate-credit.htm#definition-of-income
There are now even tougher gun laws on the books in New York State after Governor Hochul signed off on several pieces of legislation. Among the bills she approved yesterday was a measure raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle to 21-years-old. There are also new restrictions on civilian purchases of bullet proof body armor and new semiautomatic handguns are required to have microstamping technology. Social media companies must also have a way for users to report hateful conduct they see online.
There is an ongoing police investigation in Orleans County involving an altercation at the Holley Middle School last week. This is surrounding a student who identifies as transgender. The incident happened during school on June 2nd when a 7th grader, who goes by the name River, was wearing a rainbow pride flag at school. Another student reportedly pulled the flag, which River was wearing as a cape and had been fastened around his neck. In response, River pulled the other student’s backpack. The other student had then yanked on the flag, again, but this time harder, pulling River down. This led to a physical fight between the two students. The school district had contacted the students’ parents and both students were disciplined according to school protocol (both were suspended) and police report. River’s mom, Robayn Perrin, however, says her child had been subject to bullying for months. Police say this is an ongoing investigation.
A student at Gananda Middle School has been arrested after Wayne County deputies say he falsely reported an incident. Last Friday, the eighth-grader claimed there was someone inside the school with a gun but it turned out that wasn’t true. This incident happened just days after a Gananda High School student was charged with making a terroristic threat. In that case, the student posted a photo online that showed him posing with what appeared to be an assault weapon.
Family members who were affected by the shooting at a Jefferson Avenue Tops store will be spending some time on Capitol Hill this week. They’ll be speaking with lawmakers during Congressional hearings that are scheduled for today and tomorrow. Back on May 14th, Peyton Gendron allegedly opened fire at the supermarket, killing 10 people and injuring three others in what is being called a racially-motivated hate crime. He was indicted last week on over two-dozen charges and is behind bars without bail.
A state appeals court has denied an appeal by a decorated Marine veteran who is serving a state prison sentence for assaulting a police officer during a concert at Darien Lake. 27-year-old Mississippi resident Robert Maharrey is serving a three years and six months sentence for the 2018 assault at a Jason Aldean concert. Maharrey appealed a jury verdict, claiming that the injuries a Genesee County sheriff’s deputy suffered were not serious enough to warrant a felony assault conviction. However, the appeal was denied as it was determined the police officer sustained a serious physical injury. Maharrey attended the concert with his sister and got involved in a brawl where he punched a woman in the face, fought with security guards, spit in a deputy’s face and then head-butted another deputy, causing those serious injuries. Maharrey claimed he did not remember the incidents. At his sentencing, he spoke of his family’s 214- year history of serving the country and of his own service, which included numerous commendations and awards. Maharrey had no criminal history at the time; however, the judge said he had to have consequences for his actions.
A Rochester man who is accused of being involved in violent protests at the U.S. Capitol is in some more legal trouble. Prosecutors have charged Dominic Pezzola with seditious conspiracy after they say he knowingly tried to use force to prevent the lawful transition of presidential power. (Seditious means: disposed to arouse or take part in) Pezzola allegedly used a stolen police shield to smash a window at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 and smoked a cigar inside the building. Pezzola is scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday.
A Chili man faces several felony charges after he led police on a high-speed chase that started on Clinton Street Road in Stafford with a juvenile in his car. Genesee County Sheriffs tell us that 19-year-old Logan Biedrzycki refused to stop for a deputy and fled at a high rate of speed before finally being stopped on Route 33. He was charged with three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, unlawful fleeing a police officer, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless driving, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and numerous traffic violations. He was arraigned in Town Court and released to appear July 12.
The company that owns Walden Galleria has avoided defaulting on its over 230-million-dollar loan after signing a three-year extension with its lenders. In a statement, Pyramid Management Group said this extension would allow the company to continue reinvesting in the shopping center. There have been several new stores added to the mall recently and plans are in the works for a Five Below and Irish department store to open soon. The mall and its businesses currently employ about 4000 people.
A comedian who is a star both on the stage and silver screen will be making an appearance in Buffalo later this year. Kevin Hart is bringing his “Reality Check Tour” to KeyBank Center on Friday, October 28th. During his career, the 42-year-old Hart has been nominated for both an Emmy and Grammy award. Tickets for the show are scheduled to go on sale to the general public at 10am Friday and they can be purchased at kevinhartnation.com.