Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on January 3, 2023
The death toll following a house fire in Buffalo has sadly risen to five after two more children passed away due to their injuries. Three girls who were seven, eight and 10 years old died at the scene on Dartmouth Avenue Saturday. Two other children, a two-year-old girl and four-year-old boy, died at Oishei Children’s Hospital. Their grandmother is recovering from severe burns, but a seven-month-old baby has been released after receiving treatment. Just what caused the blaze remains under investigation.
Buffalo Bills players are asking for prayers after their teammate Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during last night’s game. Quarterback Josh Allen tweeted “please pray for our brother,” while tight end Dawson Knox tweeted he’s “constantly praying.” They’re just two of many from around the league who have posted well wishes for Hamlin, who’s currently sedated and in critical condition at a hospital in Cincinnati.
52-year-old Vicki Manns of Alexander has been charged with menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, assault and harassment. Deputies report she threw an ashtray at a victim, causing injury and also threatened the person with a gun. She is scheduled to return to Town Court next Tuesday. ALSO: 54-year-old Ronald Inzinna of LeRoy is charged with harassment and criminal mischief after subjecting another person to physical contact and preventing them from calling for help. He’s scheduled to appear in Town Court at a later date.
The unemployment rate in Orleans County for November was an even 3%, which is the second lowest rate in the county in the 32 years of data collection. The only month it was lower was in October when the rate was 2.5 percent. Genesee County’s unemployment rate has held steady at 2.5%, where it’s been since August after dropping from 3.0% last July. Statewide the unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in November, compared to 4.9 percent the previous November and 8.5 percent in November 2020. The 3.8 percent was up from the 3.6 percent in October. It was at 3.9 percent in September. The highest unemployment rate in the state was in Bronx County, at 6.1%.
Gas prices may begin to nudge back up soon. Last June, State lawmakers included a six-month suspension of about 16 cents per gallon in gas taxes to help individuals out a little bit at the pump; however, that’s not expected to be extended. Retailers are now required to include both state and local sales taxes in the pump price, while distributors must charge the taxes on any sale of previously untaxed motor fuel (according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance’s website). Professionals at AAA say residents should prepare for those price increases any way they can. Suggestions from the Auto club include mapping your route, combining your errands and maintaining good tire pressure, especially this time of year. While the national average for gas prices is down to $3.23, statewide, our average currently sits at $3.42. In Batavia as of this morning, we’re paying $3.31 per gallon, down 28 cents from a month ago.
The Buffalo Sabres will be finishing up their current road trip with a contest in Washington, DC tonight. The Sabres are set to battle Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at the Capital One Arena. They’re coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night. Face-off for the game tonight is set for 7:00.
For only the fourth time in the history of Mega Millions, a jackpot of more than $700,000,000 is going to be up for grabs this evening. The prize for whoever selects the winning numbers ahead of tonight’s drawing will be at least $785,000,000. There have been over 20 drawings since the jackpot was last claimed on October 14th. The drawing will be streamed at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.