Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on August 18, 2022
A Grand Jury in Genesee County has handed up indictments against two men charging them with murder and arson. 18-year-old Raul Cruz of Warsaw and 23-year-old Prince N.K. Wilson of Albion are both charged with murder and arson for the killings of two dairy farm workers at an Alexander Road farm. Upon arrival to the scene last March, emergency responders found a bunkhouse on fire and the bodies of two men were inside. The indictment comes after months of wrangling between attorneys, who had been attempting to work out a deal and bring a resolution to the case. Cruz and Wilson remain in Genesee County Jail pending arraignment in Genesee County Court.
The City of Batavia Water Department along with Zoladz Construction will be repairing an emergency water main break on Harvester Ave. The water will be shut down on Harvester Ave from Colorado Ave to Ellicott Street. The length of time the water will be off is unknown. As is always the case, when the water is restored, it may be discolored. Please refrain from doing any laundry until the water runs clear.
Approximately 2500 National Grid customers in Batavia lost power during a lightning storm. This happened yesterday afternoon a little before 2pm. Power was restored for all by 4pm.
Fair season is in full swing and the New York State Department of Labor is doing its part to make sure the rides people go on are safe. The agency says rides at traveling carnivals or fairs are inspected each time they’re set up and that a ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the department. Officials also say there are things people can do to stay safe on a ride such as securing loose clothing or long hair, keeping their hands and feet inside the ride while its moving and not leaving a ride until it comes to a full stop. To report an unsafe ride, call the labor department at 1-888-469-7365.
The suspect arrested in connection with the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institute is speaking about the attack. In a video interview from the Chautauqua County Jail, 24-year-old Hadi Matar told the New York Post he was surprised Rushdie survived last Friday’s assault. But he wouldn’t say why he attacked the 75-year old, who suffered a damaged liver and severe injuries to his arm and eye. Matar said he only read a couple pages of Rushdie’s controversial novel, “The Satanic Verses” and added he doesn’t think Rushdie is a very good person. Matar is facing several charges and is expected to be back in court tomorrow.
There’s some new information in the ongoing legal case involving the man who is accused of killing 10 people and injuring three others during a mass shooting at a Tops store in Buffalo. The Buffalo News reports that the attorneys for Payton Gendron may potentially challenge the process used to pick the federal grand jury that indicted him on multiple charges. Gendron’s lawyers are asking for access to court data showing the pool of people the grand jury members were chosen from to make sure the proper protocols were followed. They also say they’re hoping to resolve this case without a trial.
State Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia says there are seats available for his annual Patriot’s Trip to Washington, DC. The annual trip is for veterans and their families to visit historical sites and memorials in the nation’s capital. This year’s trip is scheduled for September 15th through the 18th. Contact Hawley’s office for full details.
Kenmore police are issuing a warning to residents whose vehicles might be at risk of being stolen. The department says thieves across the region are targeting Hyundai and Kia vehicles from the 2015 to 2021 model years as part of a social media challenge that involves using a USB cord to take the vehicles without having to use a key. It is recommended that people with these vehicles park them in a driveway and place another vehicle behind them to block them in. Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call 9-1-1 immediately.
A former Erie County Sheriff’s Office jail deputy has been arraigned following his arrest at a Garth Brooks concert last month. The District Attorney’s office says 46-year-old John Gugino refused to leave the show at Highmark Stadium after being thrown out for violating the facility’s rules involving profanity. He also struggled with deputies while being escorted out of the stadium and made threatening comments toward a member of the sheriff’s office. Gugino is facing a maximum sentence of 90 days behind bars if convicted of the highest charge and he’s due back in court October 6th.
Governor Hochul has announced the relaunch of the statewide Vax To School campaign ahead of the upcoming school year. As part of this initiative, vaccination clinics will be opening up around the area so school-aged children can get immunized. The governor says that by breaking down the barriers to vaccine access, the health and safety of the state’s most vulnerable community members will continue to be protected and schools will be able to stay open. For more information, visit ny.gov/vaxtoschool.