Afternoon News Brief

Written by on December 29, 2022

A man was seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident in Oakfield. The call came in early yesterday afternoon; firefighters responded to the intersection of Lewiston and Knowlesville roads, where they found the back of one of the vehicles, a Ford F-150, smashed up against the side of Simple Pleasures Home Decor & Gifts. A total of four people were injured; the seriously injured man was taken by Mercy EMS ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital. The other three people were taken to Rochester Regional Hospital-United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia.




32-year-old Ledeja Wright of Batavia is charged with torture and injury to an animal, as well as failure to provide sustenance. Her arrest stemmed from an incident late last month when Wright allegedly left a dog in an apartment in which she no longer resided and failed to provide care for the dog. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and is scheduled to appear at a later date. The dog was turned over to the Genesee County Animal Shelter. ALSO: 24-year-old Terrance Falk of Batavia is charged with criminal mischief and assault. He was arrested after a reported domestic incident where it is alleged that he was involved with a physical altercation with a female. Falk had fled the scene prior to arrival of the police. He was located nearby and taken into custody without incident. ALSO: 40-year-old Robert Drennan of Batavia has been charged with criminal mischief after causing damage to a local residence. He was released on an appearance ticket and is scheduled to return to Batavia City Court next week.


Cleanup from the blizzard continues in Buffalo

Officials in Buffalo report this morning that the death toll from the blizzard has risen to at least 37; that number is expected to climb as authorities are going door-to-door to conduct wellness checks during the cleanup effort. The National Weather Service says there’s now a small risk of flooding in Buffalo as rising temperatures begin to melt the massive amount of snow. Rain is also forecast through the weekend.

Of the 37:
– 3 died from an Emergency Medical Services Delay;
– 17 were found outside;
– 4 experienced cardiac events while shoveling or snowblowing;
– 9 were from no heat in home; &
– 4 people were in a vehicle.

{29 were in the City of Buffalo; 7 were in the suburbs; 1 remains unknown}


Governor Hochul

Governor Hochul has signed off on a legislative package that’s aimed at cracking down on pandemic fraud. One bill increases the award amounts given to people who report fraud that is related to a State of Emergency. The second measure increases the penalties for fraud that happens during a declared State of Emergency. The governor says this legislation sends a clear message that New York has no tolerance for fraud, especially during critical times of need.


You may be eligible for reimbursement on food or prescription medications that spoiled due to extended power outages during the blizzard. If your power was out for more than 72 hours, State law provides reimbursement on spoiled food and medications. You must file a claim including proof within 14 days of the outage.

NYSEG: You can start a claim here or call (866) 577-3787.

National Grid: You can start a claim here or call (315) 428-3370.


Genesee County has received 477,000 dollars in Healthy Neighborhoods Program money for use by 2027. The grant money is to be used to visit 1000 homes in the Batavia area and help with increasing the overall health of the residents. For example, Batavia has a 28 percent higher asthma hospital visit rate than the surrounding areas. The program will help residents learn more about Asthma and evaluate triggers and treatments to avoid using the emergency room as often. They will assess homes for lead based paint and also help with setting up carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors as well as giving out small fire extinguishers.



Brown-Poloncarz (file photo)

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is calling out Buffalo officials for how they have responded to a blizzard that resulted in over 30 deaths. Poloncarz said yesterday the city’s response to the disaster was embarrassing and that the county had to step in and help clear a large number of roads. Mayor Byron Brown said he talked to Poloncarz several times during the storm and that the county executive never criticized him to his face. Meanwhile, a travel ban that was issued for Buffalo has been lifted and replaced with a travel advisory.


Mayor Evans

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans has held his end-of-the year news conference where he discussed a variety of issues that are important to city residents. Among the things he talked about yesterday included the number of people who lost their lives to gun violence and partnerships created between Rochester and Monroe County. Evans also revealed that in 2023, the city will begin executing a plan to replace every water main pipe. Money has also been budgeted for the creation of a second police academy.




Over 90 employees at the Athenex manufacturing plant located in Newstead are going to be losing their jobs in March. The biopharmaceutical company tells The Buffalo News the reason that the Main Street facility is closing down is economic but wouldn’t reveal any more information. Just four years ago, Athenex announced plans to expand the manufacturing plant and was able to get tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency after pledging to add hundreds of jobs. As of the end of last year, the company employed nearly 300 people in the region.


Positive COVID test result

Some brand-new data from the state shows that the spread of COVID-19 has increased in our region. Right now, the 7-day average infection rate is sitting at 7.04%. At this time last week, the infection rate was at 6.15%. To prevent a further increase in cases, health departments recommend that New Yorkers get a COVID-19 booster shot and wear a mask while they’re near large groups of people.



Buffalo Sabres (file photo)

The Buffalo Sabres are scheduled to be back on their home ice tonight as they look to extend their current winning streak to five games. The Sabres are set to take on the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center. The Sabres have not played since December 19th because their games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets were postponed due to the blizzard. Face-off for this evening’s contest is 7:00.



“Snow roller”

An Orleans County resident reported seeing a ‘snow roller’ today, something rarely seen and occurring when snow balls itself into donut-shaped spirals. National Geographic notes they’re also sometimes referred to as ‘snow bales’, ‘wind snowballs’ or ‘snow donuts’. They’re the cold weather equivalent of tumbleweeds. Snow rollers form when wind pushes snow across the ground, gathering it into a hollow cylinder.

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