Afternoon News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on January 11, 2023
62-year-old Makeen Ithna-Asheri of Batavia has been sentenced to 2 and a half to 7 years in prison, for failing to help his wife who overdosed on drugs in front of their children. Ithna-Asheri had been on lifetime parole for murder and in this case, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter on an Alford basis, meaning that he did not admit a criminal act but acknowledged that there was enough evidence to find him guilty. His wife, 38-year-old Anda Ithna-Asheri died late December 2021 at the couple’s apartment on Bank Street, during which time her husband failed to help her or call for assistance. He also prevented the children from calling by taking their phone away. The couple both overdosed that night; however, Ithna-Asheri recovered before police arrived and by then, his wife had been dead for some time.
A parolee with repeated arrests and who served a prison term for domestic violence has now been indicted on charges that he strangled a woman. 26-year-old Stephen Pike of Pavilion has been charged with strangulation, assault and criminal mischief in an indictment filed by a Genesee County grand jury in County Court. He is accused of choking the victim to unconsciousness while in Batavia on August 6th. Pike also allegedly broke a window in the residence prior to assaulting the woman. He had been released from prison late in June after serving a two-year term for domestic violence.
Governor Hochul has used her State of the State speech to address some of the important issues that New Yorkers are dealing with on a daily basis. She discussed a variety of topics yesterday including increasing public safety and dealing with the state’s housing crisis and revealed how her administration is going to work to make life better for Empire State residents. The governor also unveiled a plan she believes will strengthen the state’s mental health care system. She also pledged that the state won’t raise income taxes this year.
Nurses at the Buffalo VA Medical Center claim that management had no plan in place to ensure patient care was not affected during the recent blizzard. Some of those nurses held a news conference yesterday, saying that many of them had to work extended hours to make sure everyone could be treated. They also said there were no arrangements made to get nurses safely to and from the hospital and that employees also were not offered a place to stay until the storm passed. In a statement, the hospital didn’t directly address these complaints but did say it was proud of the nurses’ individual and collective contributions and sacrifices.
Opening statements will be heard today in the trial of a Rochester man arrested following violent protests at the United States Capitol. Prosecutors say that Dominic Pezzola was one of several people seen smashing a window at the Capitol building with a police shield back on January 6th, 2021. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. Thousands of protesters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s win over ex-President Donald Trump.
Members of the Rochester City School District’s Board of Education have unanimously voted to have police officers stationed outside of some schools. This move comes following an incident where students were nearly struck by gunfire at the Franklin Educational Campus last week. The school board president says that police will not be inside of schools. The cost of this increased security is expected to be about $370,000.
The Buffalo Bills have a home playoff game this weekend, and the Better Business Bureau has issued a warning to fans about ticket scams. The agency says scammers will be hard at work to try and take advantage of people who want to attend the game at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, but there are things you can do to avoid getting ripped off. They include being weary of pop-up ads that offer discounted rates for tickets since they’re often a scam; also, take a few minutes and do some research on the vendor you’re looking to purchase tickets from. Sunday’s game between the Bills and Miami Dolphins is set for 1:00.
The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game losing streak following a tough defeat on home ice. Alex Tuch scored twice and Rasmus Dahlin also had a goal but the Sabres still fell to the Seattle Kraken 4-3 at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie faced 22 shots in the contest but was only able to stop 18 of them. The next game for the Sabres is tomorrow night at home against the Winnipeg Jets; the puck drops at 7:00.
There is a newly discovered bright green comet on its way to pass Earth. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime show and even visible to the naked eye. The comet, named C/2022 E3 (ZTF), was discovered last March and is passing through our solar system. The icy celestial object has gotten brighter and brighter as it nears the sun, building up excitement from astronomers and skywatchers alike. Comets are “cosmic snowballs” of dust, rock and ice. They heat up as they near the sun, taking on a glow and spewing a tail of dust and gas that can stretch millions of miles. NASA says the bright green comet has a short, broad tail of dust and a long, faint ion tail. You can’t see it without a telescope yet, but a few astronomers have nabbed stunning photos as it continues its voyage. It will soar past the sun tomorrow, January 12th, and make its closest approach to Earth around Feb. 2. NASA says those of us in the Northern Hemisphere will find the comet in the morning sky as it heads northwest this month. It’ll be visible in the Southern Hemisphere as well in February.
Another Mega Millions drawing has come and gone without a jackpot winner and that means the game’s top prize has grown once again. The jackpot that’s going to be up for grabs Friday will be more than $1,300,000,000 (billion). There has not been a Mega Millions jackpot winner since October. Meanwhile, the jackpot for Powerball tonight is $360,000,000. Please play responsibly.