Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on July 29, 2022
The Department of Public Works tell us that sidewalk replacement will take place in August on five streets in Batavia. The project will include both sides of Seneca, Miller and Columbia avenues, as well as Fisher Park. On Chase Park the sidewalk on part of the south side of the street will be replaced. The work will involve sidewalk replacements as needed, curb ramp installation and sidewalk passing zones (where there are 4-foot walks). If the sidewalk replacements go through a driveway, notice will be provided to residents that they will not have driveway access for up to a week. This is so the sidewalks can set up and cure to provide strength for vehicular traffic. If you have questions, please contact the Director of the Department of Public Works, Brett Frank, at 585-345-6345.
Former State Senator George Maziarz has ended his lawsuit against the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation. He filed a voluntary discontinuance earlier this week. In May, Maziarz filed suit as a follow up to a state Comptroller’s Office report indicating that officials misused tickets to sporting events and concerts and provided gold-plated health insurance policies to appointed board members. Maziarz was suing to have funds returned to Off Track Betting’s 17 member municipalities, including Genesee County. Maziarz noted that this discontinuance ending the lawsuit was filed at the request of a law enforcement agency and offered no further comment. The detailed story is available at the website of our news partner, The Batavian. Here is a direct link to the story: https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/maziarz-lawsuit-vs-wrotb-voluntarily-dismissed/612923
The National Weather Service has confirmed it; it was a tornado, and one of the strongest confirmed tornadoes in the GLOW region since 1960. The twister touched down in the town of Java yesterday morning, just 3 minutes after an alert was sent out, near the intersection of Route 78 and Chaffee Road. It was characterized by wind speeds of 115 miles per hour and was over 1500 feet wide. It continued for roughly 10 miles before it tapered off near Gainesville after causing extensive damage. It destroyed a barn and also knocked trees down onto a few houses. Fortunately no injuries were reported to either people or animals.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is encouraging folks to reach out to Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon and Governor Hochul. The Farm Laborer Wage Board will reconvene on September 6 to vote on whether or not they will advance a final report recommending the farm laborer overtime threshold be lowered from 60 hours to 40. The wage board recommended this last January, but still has not released a final report containing recommendations. If they do stick to their earlier recommendation in their final report, it will be Labor Commissioner Reardon’s decision whether or not to accept or reject their recommendations within 45 days. If Reardon advances recommendations to lower the threshold, Governor Hochul would then need to choose whether or not it should be signed into law. Hawley believes if the farm laborer overtime threshold is lowered, it will put financial strain on farmers and encourage all to reach out to Labor Commissioner Reardon and Governor Hochul to urge them not to move forward with this threshold reduction.
The Batavia Muckdogs strengthened their hold on first place in the West Division with a win last night against the Auburn DoubleDays; final score was 6-3. Tonight they host Niagara with the game starting at 7:00.
Former Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Steve Pigeon has found out his punishment for bribing a State Supreme Court judge. Yesterday, Pigeon was sentenced to spend one year in prison after admitting that he helped the judge get jobs for family members and also gave him free tickets to Buffalo Sabres games. In exchange, Pigeon received information about lawsuits that he was connected to. Earlier this week, Pigeon received a four-month sentence for helping arrange an illegal donation to the 2014 re-election campaign of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.
New Yorkers are hoping luck is on their side as they try to win the second-largest prize in the history of the Mega Millions lottery game. Whoever picks all six winning numbers ahead of tonight’s drawing will win at least one-point-one billion dollars. The biggest Mega Millions jackpot was more than one-point five billion dollars back in 2018. Tickets cost $2.00 each and the drawing will be streamed live online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.
The monkeypox virus that’s been spreading rapidly across New York State is now being called an imminent threat to public health. That declaration by the state Department of Health Commissioner Mary Bassett means that local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities, will be able to access additional state reimbursement after other funding sources are maximized. New York State is leading the nation with monkeypox infections, most of which are in New York City; at last count, Monroe County has six confirmed cases. Monkeypox is commonly spread through exposure to an infected person’s lesions or respiratory droplets. Governor Hochul says 110,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine will be arriving in the next few weeks. Roughly 80,000 doses will go to New York City and the remaining doses will be distributed around the state.
Memorial services are going to begin this weekend for the Rochester police officer that lost his life in the line of duty. The wake for Anthony Mazurkiewicz is set for Sunday from 1:00pm until 8:00pm at the Richard H. Keenan Funeral Home on Pittsford-Palmyra Road in Fairport. On Monday, Mazurkiewicz’s funeral is going to be held at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. Mazurkiewicz died after being shot while on a detail on Bauman Street by 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers. His partner was injured but survived.
Updated information: The man accused of attacking New York Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin is going to stay behind bars until more is known about his mental health. The attack happened last Thursday while Zeldin was giving a speech at a VFW post outside of Rochester. Yesterday, 43-year-old David Jakubonis faced a federal judge and his attorney said that he’s a mentally-scarred war veteran with a drinking problem who suffers from severe anxiety and a panic disorder. Jakubonis is due back in court on August 24th. Zeldin wasn’t hurt in the attack.