Friday News Brief

Written by on April 12, 2024

Members of the New York State Assembly are going to be back at the Capitol today to vote on another budget extender. The Senate has already approved this measure that pushes the new deadline to reach a state budget to at least April 15th. Once the extender is in effect, state workers will be able to get their next paychecks on time. The budget was due April 1st, but negotiations are hung up on issues such as housing, school funding, and public safety.


More than $140 million is headed to New York State water infrastructure projects to benefit public health and the environment. Governor Hochul announced approval of funds, which authorize municipal access to low-cost financing along with grants to get shovels in the ground for critical water and sewer projects. These include treatment processes to remove emerging contaminants from drinking water.  The money will go towards water projects in Ontario, Nassau, Jefferson, Dutchess, Wayne, Wyoming, Suffolk, Oswego and Onondaga Counties.


25-year-old Malik Williams of Cheektowaga has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Between August 2022 and July 2023, Williams and co-defendant Kingsley Brown purchased 570 stolen bank cards from various online marketplaces. They then used a card-making device to load stolen banking card information onto bank cards with magnetic strips, which allowed purchases to be made using the victims’ funds from victims’ bank accounts. As part of a plea agreement, Williams agreed that he was responsible for up to $550,000 of total loss and could also face up to up to 30 years in prison.


The Genesee County Highway Department tells us that a bridge replacement project on Fargo Road in Bethany will begin next Thursday, April 18th. This will mean the bridge on Fargo Road over Black Creek near Route 63 and Little Canada Extension will be closed with a designated detour in place. Construction is expected to continue until the end of August. In addition, they’ve also scheduled work to start Monday, April 15th in Elba. The Oak Orchard Road Bridge over the Oak Orchard Creek will be closed for a superstructure replacement and a detour will be available. Construction is expected to continue through approximately June 1st.


State Police have revealed the results of their latest crackdown on distracted driving. During the “Operation Hang Up” campaign, over 21,000 tickets were given out between April 1st and April 8th and over 4,000 of them were for distracted driving. Last year, more than 23,000 tickets were issued, a total that included 4,200 distracted driving citations. Penalties for distracted driving include fines and a possible license suspension for repeat violators.


Christopher Walters

A Buffalo man has now been sentenced after pleading guilty to trying to murder his girlfriend. Prosecutors say 36-year-old Christopher Walters shot the victim during an argument on Martha Avenue back in 2021. The woman suffered severe injuries such as a punctured lung and broken ribs. Walters was later caught in Florida and will be spending the next 25 years to life in prison.




Taxes are due this coming Monday, and the Internal Revenue Service has released some tips for last minute filers. The agency recommends that folks file their returns electronically since it is the safest and easiest way to submit them. Also, make sure that your return is signed and dated and that it is going to the correct address. Anyone who wants to file for an extension also has until April 15th to do so; for additional information, head to



O.J. Simpson

Former teammates are taking time to reflect on the life of ex-Buffalo Bills star OJ Simpson. Simpson’s family said yesterday the NFL Hall of Fame running back died at the age of 76 after a battle with cancer. Former Bills teammate Booker Edgerson recalls OJ as one of the greatest running backs the team ever had and as a decades-long good friend. However, he never asked OJ about his legal issues. In 1995, Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. He did later end up serving prison time after being involved in a robbery.


The Buffalo Sabres have finished up the home portion of their schedule with a win in front of their fans. Alex Tuch, Dylan Cozens, Zach Benson and Jack Quinn each had a goal for the Sabres as they beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo’s goaltender Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced in the contest. They pack their bags with summer wear for their next game tomorrow against the Florida Panthers.


The Rochester Amerks are on the hunt for a seventh straight win tonight. They’re hosting the Belleville Senators; face-off is at 7:05.





A new study suggests that teenagers who spend too much on computers and video games may turn psychotic. A new paper published in JAMA Psychiatry says researchers studied over 12-hundred participants who spent a lot of time online as teenagers and found they were up to seven-percent more likely than their peers to have a psychotic experience, such as delusions or hallucinations, before age 23. The authors noted, however, that the link between video games and psychosis could be explained by other factors, including social exclusion and lower socioeconomic status.


There’s no evidence that COVID vaccines cause fatal heart attacks or other heart issues in young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. When the mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna were distributed starting in 2020, anti-vax groups were quick to blame them for fatal heart issues in young athletes. A report out Thursday looked at 1,300 deaths of vaccinated people ages 16 to 30 in Oregon who died of a heart condition or unknown causes in 2021 and 2022. Three of them died within 100 days of getting the vaccine. Of those, two were attributed to underlying health conditions and the cause of the third was found to be undetermined.



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