Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on September 8, 2022
A 29-year-old man from Batavia has pleaded guilty in Rochester to possession and production of child pornography. Derek Hagen worked in several Western New York teaching, substitute teaching, and child-care positions, including the Brockport Childhood Development Center, and schools in Batavia, Pembroke and Dansville. While working in schools and childcare he made sexually explicit images of children entrusted to his care from 6 months to 5 years of age. He did this while changing diapers and helping in the restroom. He then shared videos and pictures online and was also found in possession of over 50,000 pictures and videos he received from others. There has been no information released indicating that Hagen exploited children in Batavia. But charges in Genesee and Livingston Counties are anticipated as a result of the investigation. Hagen faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison with a possible sentence of up to 30 years. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
Wyoming County Emergency Services tell us that the investigation continues today into a fire that destroyed a house on Maxon Road in Bennington. The fire was reported just after 5:30 yesterday afternoon in the basement of the home owned by Robert and Darcie Kozlowski. Firefighters worked for over five hours to control the blaze but the house was ultimately considered a total loss. No injuries were reported. The Red Cross is assisting the three adults who were living in the home.
An Oakfield man who admitted stabbing his father to death is in the schedule to be sentenced to 20 to 25 years in state prison tomorrow in Genesee County Court. 38-year-old Nicholas Maher pleaded guilty May 20 to first-degree manslaughter in a plea arrangement. (worked out by District Attorney Kevin Finnell and Public Defender Jerry Ader) Following the prison sentence, Maher will have five years of post-release supervision. Maher admitted that he stabbed his father to death at the home they shared at 32 Drake Street. 69-year-old Martin Maher was found dead after relatives called Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies to do a welfare check Oct. 17. His son was found and arrested hours later in Erie County and charged with second-degree murder. Finnell said Maher has mental health issues but that he was deemed competent to continue with court proceedings. Maher is set to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Genesee County Court with Judge Michael Mohun of Wyoming County presiding.
According to the latest data from the state, the spread of COVID-19 has increased slightly in our region. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is sitting at 7.3%. At this time last week, that infection rate was at 6.9%. To help prevent another spike in cases, New Yorkers are encouraged to get the new COVID-19 vaccine boosters that are now being made available. To find out where to get immunized, call 1-800-232-0233 or visit vaccines.gov.
The Greece Central School District has fired a cafeteria worker after she was accused of pointing a loaded gun towards someone in a school parking lot. Officials say that the incident involving Olga Martinez happened after she was involved in an apparent road rage incident yesterday on Mount Read Boulevard. Both vehicles ended up on the property of Odyssey Academy, which is when Martinez allegedly displayed the weapon. The school was briefly placed on lockdown and Martinez was taken into custody. She was arraigned yesterday and has pleaded not guilty to several charges.
A new poll shows that a majority of Empire State residents support President Biden’s plan to cancel student debt. According to Siena College, 56% agree with Mister Biden’s decision to have the federal government eliminate up to $20,000 worth of federal student loans for millions of people compared to 33% who don’t. While 29% of people think that the president’s plan goes too far, 21% believe it doesn’t go far enough, and 39% say the plan is the right approach. Also, 57% believe canceling some student debt will provide a lot of Americans with financial relief that will help both them and the economy.
The Buffalo Bills will be taking the first step tonight on a journey that they hope ends with the first Super Bowl title in the history of the franchise. The reigning AFC East champions are set to battle the defending Super Bowl champions the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The Bills will once again be led by star players including quarterback Josh Allen, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and new addition Von Miller who was with the Rams last season. Wide receiver Marquez Stevenson is on injured reserve after a foot injury during training camp. Kickoff for this evening’s contest is set for 8:20.
One of the biggest names in country music is bringing his latest tour to Buffalo next year. Blake Shelton is set to take the stage at KeyBank Center on Saturday, March 25th. Shelton, who is known for several hits including “All About Tonight,” “Came Here to Forget,” and “She Wouldn’t Be Gone,” will be joined by special guests Jackson Dean and Carly Pearce. Tickets for the show go on sale a week from tomorrow, Friday, September 16th at noon and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.