Afternoon News Brief

Written by on December 21, 2022

Judge Dawn Keppler

An Orleans County judge has resigned while the New York State Commission investigates posts she made on social media. The commission says Shelby Town Court Judge Dawn Keppler stepped down over posts she made on Facebook, which are alleged to have been prejudicial and inflammatory. The commission says when Keppler resigned earlier this month, she agreed to never seek a judicial office again. Keppler has been a justice of the Shelby Town Court since 1999.


Governor Hochul is approving expanded childcare access for New Yorkers. The new law will remove requirements for parents to work in order to access subsidized programs. Advocates called it a major help for parents who go to school or who are caregivers to other family members. The initiative will be expanded in the coming years with money approved in the state budget.



A winter Storm Watch has been issued for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties starting Friday morning at 7am and it will remain in place through Monday morning, the 26th. A rapid switch from rain to snow with sharply falling temperatures into the teens and single digits will result in a flash freeze on Friday. From Friday afternoon through most of the weekend, very strong winds, heavy lake effect snow and significant blowing and drifting snow will be possible. Winds could gust as high as 65 mph Friday into Friday night. Travel for the holiday weekend, including Friday, could be very difficult to impossible at times. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility with whiteouts and localized blizzard conditions possible. The most persistent and worst conditions will be where lake effect snow is most widespread, which is still uncertain at this time. Winds this strong could cause tree damage and power outages. Cold wind chills as low as 10 to 20 below zero this weekend could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. So, it seems best to be settled in someplace safe and warm by Friday morning.



Flooding on Lake Ontario (file photo)

A Lakeshore Flood Watch will soon be in effect for three Western New York counties. The watch affects Erie, Niagara, and Chautauqua counties beginning 7 a.m. Friday through 7 p.m. Saturday. Computer forecasts suggest an explosive storm development into the Great Lakes later this week and into the upcoming holiday weekend. This storm will have a significant impact on road and air travel from the Plains, across the Great Lakes, the Ohio Valley, and into the Northeast.


Nearly 140,000 Chevrolet Bolt cars are being recalled in the U.S. and Canada. General Motors says the 2017 to 2023 model years Chevy Bolt hatchbacks have a seat belt issue that can cause a fire. GM says in rare cases, the fire can be started by exhaust that comes into contact with carpet fibers.



The Rochester City Council has passed a series of measures designed to reform the city’s Police Accountability Board. The measures the city council passed at a sometimes contentious meeting last night include training for the board and its staff. The measures would also invest money from the board’s budget that has not been spent to be invested in addressing homelessness, mental health and public safety.



With a need for children’s pain-relief medicine in such high demand, area pharmacies are now limiting drug purchases. The restrictions resulted from high demand for children’s pain-relief products. CVS has restricted both in-person and online shopping to two products per check out. Walgreens has no in-person limitations but will only allow up to six over-the-counter fever reducers for every online transaction.



Mayor Byron Brown

The city of Buffalo is suing various members of the gun industry. Mayor Byron Brown announced what he described as a “first of its kind” lawsuit. The filing names manufacturers, distributors, and local gun shops for what the city says is “their conduct in fueling the gun violence crisis in the City of Buffalo.” The city says it’s looking to hold the gun industry accountable for how it markets and distributes firearms. Buffalo is seeking damages as part of the lawsuit. It comes after a mass shooting earlier this year at a supermarket that left ten Black people dead.

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