Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on September 30, 2022
Veterans have recently become the target of a scam to pay outlandish fees for copies of their military discharge papers. A company out of Phoenix, Arizona, named DD214 DIRECT, charges veterans $79 for a copy of their papers or $119 for an e-mail copy with a hard copy to follow. However, they should never have to pay anything. After leaving military service, veterans should file their discharge papers with the Clerk’s Office in the county where they reside. The original papers are always returned to the veteran. A FREE certified copy will be provided to the veteran, or parent, spouse, dependent or child of the veteran at any time. There is never any reason to pay fees for these records. NYS Military Law prohibits disclosure of information on the discharge papers to anyone else without the written authorization of the veteran. These papers are preserved permanently and will always be available when needed.
Public health officials are encouraging eligible residents in our region to get vaccinated with the updated booster shot against COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control recently approved the reformulated boosters to further protect against the disease. Anyone 12 years of age and older are now eligible to receive an updated booster two months after their last COVID-19 dose; either since their last booster shot or since completing their initial two vaccine doses. The CDC suggests that people who had COVID-19 recently may consider waiting three months from the start of their symptoms or a positive test before getting the updated booster shot. People who have questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk to their physician or visit http://www.getyouranswers.org.
Gas prices continue their downward trend. According to Triple A this morning, the nationwide average price for a gallon of gas is $3.80; in New York State, it’s $3.62. In Batavia, we’re paying an average price of $3.81, which is only 56 cents higher than we paid one year ago today.
Two people are facing charges in connection with a shooting that seriously injured a three-year-old boy. Prosecutors say 34-year-old Travis Lewis the third and a 16-year-old were involved in a shootout on North Clinton Avenue in Rochester on Wednesday night. During that exchange of gunfire a bullet hit Marlo Joseph while he was sitting in his car seat. Joseph was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was last listed in critical, but stable, condition. Lewis is behind bars without bail and the teen was sent to the Monroe County Children’s Detention Center.
The criminal case against New Era Cap Company CEO Christopher Koch has now been dropped. Koch was involved in an argument earlier this year with his girlfriend’s ex-husband in the parking lot of Oliver’s Restaurant in Buffalo. At one point, Koch drove his vehicle towards the man but didn’t hit him. His attorney tells WGRZ the judge’s decision yesterday to drop the case against Koch was supported by new evidence that was uncovered. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says it cannot comment on the ruling because the case is now sealed.
A student at Kenmore West High School is in some serious trouble for having BB gun on school property. Officials were notified yesterday that the student had a weapon and it later was found during a search of their locker. The student, whose name wasn’t released, was detained and Town of Tonawanda police were contacted. The school district says students and their families can help keep schools safe by reporting any suspicious activity immediately.
State Attorney General Letitia James has issued a consumer alert involving lithium-ion batteries that are used to power e-bikes, e-scooters, and hoverboards. She’s warning New Yorkers about the potential dangers those batteries pose because they have been known to cause fires that have led to injuries and even deaths. James says people should only purchase these batteries from a trusted manufacturer and store them in a safe place. And when it’s time to dispose of a battery, bring it to a proper recycling location.
The Buffalo Bills will be back in action this weekend as they try and rebound from their first loss of the season. The Bills are going to be on the road to take on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Last week, Buffalo was beaten by their AFC East division rivals the Miami Dolphins by a final score of 21 to 19 and the team has a record of two wins and one loss. Kickoff for Sunday afternoon’s game is set for 1:00.
No one has been lucky enough to win the Mega Millions or Powerball games lately and that means the jackpots have now reached a combined $677,000,000. There will be at least $355,000,000 up for grabs in Mega Millions this evening and the Powerball prize for tomorrow is sitting at $322,000,000. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.