Local News

Weekend News Brief

The man accused of fatally stabbing his parents and sister at a home in Henrietta last month has been indicted on three counts of murder.  Rajab Banahi, 39, allegedly stabbed his parents, Ali and Mastoora, and sister, Masuda, Jan. 11 inside his parents’ home on Kathy Drive.  Banahi’s parents died at the scene. His sister died Jan. 28 at Strong Memorial Hospital from her injuries.  Friday’s indictment showed Banahi charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated criminal contempt.

Rochester Police are investigating two more incidents involving vehicles crashing into businesses, apparently in order for the suspects to carry out burglaries.  Officers responded to Petit Poutinerie on Elton Street around 5 a.m. Friday for a reported alarm activation. They said it appeared a vehicle drove into the building and items were stolen from inside.  Shortly after that call, officers responded to Heroes Brewing on Atlantic Avenue for a report of a crash. Police said a vehicle drove into the front doors and caused damage, but an employee scared off the would-be burglars.  Friday’s incidents happened three days after similar break-ins at Comedy @ the Carlson and Record Archive. Police said there have been 15 cases like this across Monroe County.

The New York State Thruway Authority Board of Directors voted in December to move forward with a proposed multi-year schedule of toll increases set to begin in 2024.  New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released a report and said toll increases should be the last option for the Thruway Authority. According to DiNapoli, the report identifies concerns with the proposal and urges the Thruway Authority to improve operations and maximize non-toll revenues first.  The Thruway Authority released a statement responding to the Comptroller.  They said they need to increase tolls as hundreds of bridges will need to be replaced in the next decade, they receive no federal funding and that the tolls are 90 percent of the money they receive for maintaining the highway system.

GO Health has announced the date and time for the next free rabies clinic which will be on February 9th from 4 to 6:30pm and will be at the Batavia Town Highway Garage.  Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car maximum.

Semi Pro football may be coming to Batavia.  Harry Rascoe, head coach of the Genesee County Spartans, announced that an eight-team schedule has been finalized for the squad, which will feature around 50 players – some of them former Batavia and Notre Dame high school athletes – from throughout Western New York.  Rascoe said he is working with Batavia High School officials to have the Genesee County team’s home games at Van Detta Stadium. All home games will be on Saturdays at 7 p.m.  Rascoe said he will be coordinating a final tryout for roster spots on Feb. 26 at a practice location in Rochester.  For more information about the team, including how to become a sponsor, go to the team’s Genesee County Spartans Facebook page or contact Rascoe at the email address listed on wbtai.com.

rascoeh@yahoo.com.

The Mammoth sale that now lasts from February through Thanksgiving is opening its doors.  It runs Saturdays and Sundays 11 to 4 with different items featured every weekend at the St Joseph’s School on the corner of Summit and East Main in Batavia.  All proceeds go to benefit the school. 

Afternoon News Brief

Unidentified man bundled up for cold weather – file photo

A wind chill advisory is in effect for most of Western NY including the entire GLOW region until 10:00am tomorrow morning. Winds could drive the feels-like temperature to 20 below zero, creating increased danger to anyone spending extended periods of time outdoors. If you must be out, be sure to cover all exposed skin. Frostbite can occur in 30 minutes or less with wind chills of 15 below zero or colder. Updated forecasts are always available here from 13WHAM meteorologists and on the National Weather Service website at weather.gov.

 

 

National Grid tells us their crews are prepared to respond to any emergencies caused by the cold and is offering customers some tips to stay safe. The utility company suggests that folks keep working flashlights and a supply of batteries in their homes in case of a power outage. People who see downed power lines should assume they are live and report the location of those downed lines to National Grid or local law enforcement immediately. Anyone who experiences an outage can call 1-800-867-5222.

 

 

A teenager has been sentenced to five years jail for his involvement in five armed robberies that targeted casino patrons and food-delivery drivers. Prosecutors say the 17-year-old committed the crimes between March and August last year. Once the teen is no longer behind bars, he will be under post-release supervision for five years. Orders of protection have been issued for the victims he robbed.

 

Governor Hochul acknowledges that “conflicting language” in her proposed budget specifically in reference to bail reform laws has led to confusion for judges. In her 2024 proposal, Hochul discussed the need to restore judicial discretion by removing the least restrictive means standard. In the bail reform movement, judges were instructed to release accused criminals on their own recognizance except under very specific circumstances. This lead to police and judges expressing frustrations as criminals returned to the streets within hours of being arrested, many of them committing new crimes as soon as they were released. In Rochester, police said that they couldn’t stop car thieves from stealing cars multiple times in a row because they would be back out on the streets stealing again as soon as they were caught.

 

 

Monroe County will be hosting open interviews today in hopes of finding more people who want to become Child Protective Services caseworkers. The interviews will be conducted at the Gates Public Library, which is located on Elmgrove Road. In order to qualify, a person does not need to have passed a civil service exam, but they must take that test in the future. However, candidates do need to have a bachelor’s degree, valid driver’s license and reliable access to transportation.

 

 

 

Unidentified nursing home workers, Dunkirk NY – February 2, 2023

Over 200 healthcare workers at nursing home facilities in Dunkirk, Eden and Salamanca are demanding contract negotiations and better pay. Their contract ended on December 31st. The nursing home facilities are owned by Personal Healthcare, a company in Tarrytown New York, and the staff say they have been faced with dire situations. Nurses report working 16 hour shifts and having to use sheets and pillowcases to clean residents because there is no service staff taking care of the laundry. Rural healthcare facilities have been faced with low wages and conditions that they say make it hard to do their jobs well.

 

 

Tage Thompson – January 2023

Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres will be spending some time in the Sunshine State this weekend to play in the NHL All-Star Game. Dahlin has been chosen to replace teammate Tage Thompson after Thompson sustained an upper body injury in Buffalo’s 5-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday night. Dahlin has already scored 14 goals this season and tallied 41 assists. The All-Star Game is tomorrow afternoon at FLA Live Arena, which is the home of the Florida Panthers.

 

 

Unidentified woman donating blood- file photo

The American Red Cross is now offering new incentives in hopes of getting more people to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. The Red Cross says anyone who donates in the next few weeks will get a $10 Amazon.com gift card in their email. They’ll also be entered to win a trip for two to Florida including round-trip airfare, a three-night hotel stay and a $750 gift card for expenses. To schedule an appointment to donate, go to redcrossblood.org. The next two local blood drives will be on Monday, February 6th at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel from 1-6pm and Friday, February 17th at the Batavia VA Medical Center from 10am to 3:00pm.

 

 

 

Please play responsibly.

The Powerball jackpot keeps on growing and has now reached 700-million-dollars ahead of tomorrow night’s drawing. No one was able to correctly pick all six winning numbers for Wednesday’s drawing and that means the jackpot is now the sixth-largest in the history of the popular lottery game. The cost to buy a ticket is just two dollars. And as always, the drawing will be streamed online at powerball.com.

 

 

Doctors who specialize in treating obese patients say popular but expensive weight loss drugs aren’t available to people whose health might benefit the most from significantly reducing their weight. Obesity specialists say Black adults, as well as uninsured or lower-income women, and other groups with high rates of obesity are least likely to get the costly medications known by the brand names Ozempic and Wegovy. The drugs are in short supply at pharmacies nationwide.

 

Morning News Brief

There is a Wind Chill Advisory in effect for most of Western NY from 4am Friday to 10 AM Saturday.  Winds could drive the temperature down to 20 below zero.  This affects Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties in the GLOW region.  This is a potentially dangerous situation to be outdoors. If you must be outside, be sure to cover all exposed skin. Frostbite can occur in 30 minutes or less with apparent temperatures of 15 below zero or colder.

A Buffalo teenager has been sentenced to five years jail for his involvement in five armed robberies that targeted casino patrons and food-delivery drivers. Prosecutors say the 17-year-old committed the crimes between March and August last year. Once the teen is no longer behind bars, he will be under post-release supervision for five years. Orders of protection have been issued for the victims he robbed.

In the rollout of her proposed fiscal year 2024 Executive Budget, Governor Hochul said “conflicting language” in bail reform laws has led to confusion for judges.  In her budget proposal Wednesday, Hochul discussed the need to restore judicial discretion by removing the least restrictive means standard.  In the bail reform movement judges were instructed to release accused criminals on their own recognizance except on very specific circumstances.  This lead to police and judges expressing frustrations as criminals returned to the streets within hours of being arrested, many of whom committed new crimes as soon as they were released.  In Rochester, police said that they couldn’t stop car thieves from stealing cars multiple times in a row because they would be back out on the streets stealing again as soon as they were caught.

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney announced the introduction of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act on National Girls and Women In Sports Day.  According to the press release, this legislation guarantees women and girls a fair playing field in competitive sports by ensuring that school athletics comply with the Title IX recognition of a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth. This commonsense bill ensures that biological females are not forced to compete against men in women’s competitive sports funded through Title IX.  The bill is co sponsored by 15 other Republican Congresspersons.

Over 200 healthcare workers at nursing home facilities in Dunkirk, Eden, Salamanca, and Houghton are demanding contract negotiations and better pay, after their contract ended on Dec. 31.  The nursing home facilities are owned by Personal Healthcare, a company in Tarrytown New York, and the staff say they have been faced with dire situations.  Nurses say they are working 16 hour shifts and having to use sheets and pillowcases to clean residents because there is no staff working the laundry.  Rural healthcare facilities have been faced with low wages and conditions that they say make it hard to do their jobs well.

Volunteers For Animals members are asking folks to take a “paws” next Sunday and attend the Batavia Super Sunday Craft and Gift Market coming soon to Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel.  The event, featuring craft and gift vendors, plus door prizes and free admission, is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12.  All proceeds are to go towards Genesee County Animal Shelter on West Main Street Road in Batavia, and the nonprofit VFA of Genesee County. The first vendor fair was postponed due to COVID — in 2021, and was put on last year.

Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres will be spending some time in the Sunshine State this weekend to play in the NHL All-Star Game. Dahlin has been chosen to replace teammate Tage Thompson in the contest after Thompson was injured in Buffalo’s five-to-one loss to the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday night. Dahlin has already scored 14 goals this season and tallied 41 assists. The All-Star Game is tomorrow at FLA Live Arena which is the home of the Florida Panthers.

The American Red Cross is now offering new incentives in hopes of getting more people to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. The Red Cross says anyone who donates in the next few weeks will get a 10-dollar Amazon.com gift card in their email. They’ll also be entered to win a trip for two to Florida including round-trip airfare, a three-night hotel stay and a 750-dollar gift card for expenses. To schedule an appointment to donate, go to redcrossblood.org.

Afternoon News Brief

Ronald Rowcliffe

58-year-old Ronald Rowcliffe of Batavia has been sentenced to four months in jail for violating terms of his probation. He most recently had been convicted of molesting boy scouts but has a long history of inappropriate behavior with children. Presently, the probation violation involved his having social media accounts, changing his address and being in contact with a girl under the age of 17. Rowcliffe is considered a Level 2, sexually violent offender on the state registry.

 

 

According to the National Weather Service, an arctic cold front will pass through our region this evening. When it does, a 30-minute burst of moderate to heavy snow along with winds gusting at times to 40mph are predicted. This will create near white-out conditions between 8 and 9 pm. Also, a wind chill advisory begins at 4:00am tomorrow morning and will be in effect through 10:00am Saturday.

 

42-year-old Daniel Bakowski of Batavia has been charged with assault, harassment, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal obstruction of breathing and preventing a request for emergency assistance. He is accused of assaulting another person while children were present. Bakowski was turned over to the Genesee County Jail to await arraignment. ALSO:  27-year-old Keilah Hart of Rochester has been charged with introducing prison contraband and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Hart allegedly had the controlled substance at the Genesee County Jail while being processed for a separate warrant. She was released on an appearance ticket.

 

57-year-old Margaret Miles of Batavia is charged with petit larceny, resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration. This followed an incident on West Main Street Road last weekend. Miles will appear in Batavia Town Court on February 23rd.

 

 

The 9th Annual Bikini Rally for the Pink Fund is scheduled for Saturday morning in Oakfield. The fundraiser helps patients undergoing breast cancer treatment to pay household bills. The Pink Fund is a non-profit organization that pays 90 days of medical expenses for those in active breast cancer treatment. Participants will ride six laps in their bathing suits as well as a small lap with a breast cancer survivor; the option is also there to do a lap in honor of someone that lost the battle. They hope to raise $15,000 this year. The Bikini Rally is at the Genesee Sno Packers, located at 102 South Park Street, Oakfield. Registration is from 10 until 11; gates open at 11:00 and the rally starts at noon. The Genesee Sno Riders will have 2023 calendars available for purchase, as well as event shirts, a basket raffle, 50/50 giveaway and food and drinks. (Photo provided by Jane Chaddock)

 

Governor Hochul has laid out a $227,000,000,000 (billion) spending plan for fiscal year 2024, the total of which is $5 billion more than for 2023. Highlights of the budget proposal she revealed yesterday include money to reduce and prevent gun violence, transform mental health care in the state, and build hundreds of thousands of affordable homes. The governor also proposed a review of bail laws and raising the minimum wage based on inflation. She’s calling this budget a thoughtful plan that furthers New Yorkers’ priorities but also ensures fiscal responsibility.

 

 

Ronald Ensminger, Jr.

The woman who drove a vehicle through a police blockade and seriously injured a state Trooper has pleaded guilty. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says 33-year-old Deyanna Davis went through the blockade while a protest was happening on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo back in June 2020. Trooper Ronald Ensminger Junior was hit by the vehicle and needed treatment for a shattered pelvis and broken leg. Davis is facing up to seven years in prison when she’s sentenced in May.

 

 

The Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is issuing a warning to New Yorkers about credit and debit card skimming scams. The agency says thieves place devices on things like ATM’s and gas station pumps to steal a person’s card information. That data is then used to withdraw funds and make illicit purchases. To protect your information from being stolen, inspect card-reading machines closely, and if the buttons on the keypad look or feel different, don’t use them. It is estimated skimming costs consumers and financial institutions over one-billion-dollars a year.

 

Negative Covid-19 test result

A brand-new report from the state shows that the spread of the coronavirus is on the decline in our region. Right now, the 7 day average infection rate is at 6.24%. At this time last week, the infection rate was at 6.39%. In Erie County however, the total number of new cases increased slightly. County Health Departments are asking people to do their part to prevent another spike in cases by washing their hands, wearing a mask indoors and making sure they’re vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

 

Alex Tuch (file photo)

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game losing streak after suffering a blowout loss on home ice. Alex Tuch had the lone goal for the Sabres as his team fell to the Carolina Hurricanes by a final score of 5-1 at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen struggled in net and surrendered four goals. The Sabres have more than a week off before their next game on Saturday, February 11th against the Calgary Flames at home, with face off at 12:30.

 

 

Please play responsibly.

The Powerball jackpot is up to an estimated $700,000,000 (million) after no one matched all six numbers Wednesday night. The lump sum cash payout would be more than $375,000,000 (million). The next drawing is Saturday night at 11:00. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul unveiled her State Budget for 2024 on Wednesday.  The budget adds 5 billion dollars over 2023 at 227 Billion dollars.  The governor presented a theme of addressing public safety, housing and rising costs for New Yorkers. Health care and education also took priority for the governor, hoping to tackle shortages.  Hochul proposed funding to reduce gun violence, address criminal justice shortcomings and stop violent crime. Her administration wants to reduce gun violence through a $337 million plan.  Within fighting crime, the governor also wants to invest in crime analysis centers, interstate gun trafficking and youth programs. That community investment will also address resources for people who have committed a crime.  The proposal kicks off weeks of intense negotiations with state legislative leaders as they try to agree on a finalized budget by the April 1 deadline.

The 227 billion dollar State budget Governor Hochul Unveiled on Wednesday outlines plans to address what Hochul called “inconsistency” in the state’s bail reform laws.  The governor said “conflicting language” in the law has led to confusion and a lack of accountability for judges when making bail determinations.  The budget would restore judicial discretion by removing the least restrictive means standard, which requires judges to release people charged with most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies under the least-restrictive conditions necessary to ensure their return to court.  Livingston County Sheriff Tom Dougherty said the announcement was “music to his ears,” but said he’s cautiously optimistic.  Hochul’s budget also includes $40 million of additional funding to hire hundreds of new prosecutors across the state. The Governor said it will support District Attorneys in developing crime strategy plans and reducing case backlogs that developed from the pandemic.

The State University of New York college system has begun requiring incoming students to pass a “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice” course before they can graduate.  The planned requirement took effect for new first-time students seeking a bachelor’s degree and certain associates degrees this semester. The remaining degrees will see the course become a requirement next year.  Courses must “analyze the role that complex networks of social structures and systems play in the creation and perpetuation of the dynamics of power, privilege, oppression and opportunity” to meet the appropriate DEISJ criteria for approval.  Courses like these have been heavily criticized as divisive and based on marxist ideas that have little real world evidence.

Richmond Memorial Library has a couple of new offerings for people who come into the library that have nothing to do with books.  Free mobile wifi hotspots can be checked out thanks to an Emergency Connectivity Fund Grant.  The hotspots can be checked out for 3 weeks at a time if you have a library card.  Also, free tax help is available this tax season.  Volunteers from the New York Department of Tax and Finance will walk you through your income tax returns, step-by-step, as you complete and e-file your tax return for free for people who make less than 73 thousand dollars.  Sessions will be offered on Thursdays –February 2, February 9, February 16, February 23, March 2, March 9, March 23, March 30, April 6 and April 13.  Those interested must schedule an appointment.

The Buffalo Sabres were blown out by the Carolina Hurricanes in Wednesday night’s matchup 5 to 1.  Alex Tuch scored the lone goal for Buffalo for his 24th in the season.  Ukko Pekka Luukkonen had to contend with 38 shots on goal vs the Hurricane’s 31.  After the All-Star break, the Sabres host the Calgary Flames on Saturday, Feb. 11, before heading across the country on a three-game road trip.

A bitter cold blast of Arctic air will be moving into WNY soon. The air will arrive behind a cold front that is moving southeast through Canada right now.  This will likely be the coldest air in a year for Western NY.  The last time that the air temperature dropped below zero was February 3rd, 2022 when the temperature dipped to -3. The temperature during the day Friday will stay between o and 5 degrees for many areas with wind chill putting it below -20.

Afternoon News Brief

Richard Schiersing

47-year-old Richard Schiersing of Scottsville has been arrested in LeRoy and charged with criminal trespass. Police responded to a call on East Main Road in LeRoy earlier this week and discovered Schiersing hiding under a trailer on the caller’s property. He was released on an appearance ticket and will return to Town of LeRoy Court at a later date.

 

 

 

 

Ronald Rowcliffe

58-year-old Ronald Rowcliffe of Batavia has been sentenced to four months in jail for violating terms of his probation. He had previously been convicted of molesting boy scouts and has a long history of inappropriate behavior with children. Presently, the probation violation involved his having social media accounts, changing his address and being in contact with a girl under the age of 17. Rowcliffe is considered a Level 2, sexually violent offender on the state registry.

 

 

 

Brian MacDonald

Albion Police tell us that 33-year-old Brian MacDonald is missing. He was last in contact with his family on January 20th. MacDonald has brown hair, hazel eyes, is six feet tall and weighs 155 pounds. His family is concerned he may be a danger to himself. Anyone with information should contact Albion Police immediately at 585-589-5627.

 

 

 

Seth Greenauer

20-year-old Seth Greenauer of North Collins, New York now faces felony charges. He allegedly smashed all the windows in a house on McGrath Road in Attica and then dumped garbage all over the property. Wyoming County Sheriffs say Greenauer is charged with criminal mischief and grand larceny for also stealing numerous items from the house. He was arraigned and released to appear at a later date in Town Court.

 

 

 

Governor Kathy Hochul has vetoed the Grieving Families Act bill, which was intended to permit the families of wrongful death victims to recover compensation for their emotional distress instead of limiting to just the monetary value of the individual’s work. The bill had been passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of the state Legislature; however, because it was passed last year, the current Legislature cannot vote to overturn the Governor’s veto. One option lawmakers have is to pass the bill again in attempt to force the Governor’s hand. Hochul said she was concerned that the bill went through too quickly and it hadn’t been evaluated for economic impact.

 

 

Erie County officials say the emergency alert system is going to be used the next time that a weather disaster is moving towards the area. County Executive Mark Poloncarz says it’s now clear that in the future, further proactive steps need to be taken to protect the public. Erie County has been a part of the emergency alert system for years but officials believed they’d done enough to tell residents about the threat the storm posed without activating it. The December blizzard resulted in nearly 50 deaths.

 

 

Cat and dog (file photo)

The Niagara County SPCA is asking for help with caring for the large number of dogs that are currently at the facility. Space is so limited right now that dogs are having to stay in surgery recovery kennels and staff offices. In January alone, the SPCA took in over 70 dogs compared to 43 during the same month in 2022. Folks who are interested in adopting a canine or serving as a foster can contact the shelter at 716-731-4368.

 

 

The 9th Annual Bikini Rally for the Pink Fund is scheduled for Saturday morning in Oakfield. The fundraiser helps patients undergoing breast cancer treatment to pay household bills. The Pink Fund is a non-profit organization that pays 90 days of medical expenses for those in active breast cancer treatment. Participants will ride six laps in their bathing suits as well as a small lap with a breast cancer survivor; the option is also there to do a lap in honor of someone that lost the battle. They hope to raise $15,000 this year. The Bikini Rally is at the Genesee Sno Packers, located at 102 South Park Street, Oakfield. Registration is from 10 until 11; gates open at 11:00 and the rally starts at noon. The Genesee Sno Riders will have 2023 calendars available for purchase, as well as event shirts, a basket raffle, 50/50 giveaway and food and drinks. Photos taken and provided by Jane Chaddock.

 

Please play responsibly.

The 8th largest jackpot in Powerball history is up for grabs tonight. Because no one won on Monday, the top prize for this evening’s drawing will be at least $653,000,000 (million). The last time the jackpot was won was back in November. Tonight’s drawing will be streamed online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Cozens, Dahlin and a very excited young fan celebrate a moment (file photo)

After having a few days off, the Buffalo Sabres will be back on home ice tonight as they try and get back on the winning track. The Sabres are set to host the Carolina Hurricanes at KeyBank Center. Buffalo has not played since Saturday when they lost in a shootout to the Minnesota Wild 3-2. Face-off for tonight’s game is set for 7:30.

 

 

Today marks the start of Black History Month, and Tops Friendly Markets is celebrating the occasion by holding an essay contest. The supermarket chain is asking kids in grades three through eight to write about an African-American hero who inspires them on a daily basis. The winner will receive a 50-dollar Tops gift card and their school will get 100-dollars. The deadline to submit an essay is February 17th and more information can be found at topsmarkets.com/blackhistorymonth.

 

 

Morning News Brief

A third person has died from the stabbing at the home in Henrietta on January 11th.  43 year old Masuda Banahi was the third victim when Rajab Banahi allegedly broke into the home and stabbed his parents to death with their kitchen knives.  Masuda was in critical condition since the stabbing and succumbed to her injuries on Tuesday.  Rajab Banahi is charged with two counts first-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder.  He’s being held in Monroe County Jail without bail.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has vetoed the Grieving Families Act bill, just before the deadline.  The bill, which would permit the families of wrongful death victims to recover compensation for their emotional anguish instead of just the monetary value of the person’s work, was passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of the state Legislature.  The Reform Lawsuit Alliance of New York Executive Director Thomas Stebbins released a statement Friday encouraging the governor’s veto, saying families, governments and the health care system are already strained and can’t afford another cost hike.  Hochul said she was concerned that the bill went through too quickly and it hadn’t been evaluated for economic impact.

The Batavia Muckdogs have released their schedule for the 2023 season.  The 2023 Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League schedule has been released with the Muckdogs on the road in Elmira on June 2nd and opening day at Dwyer Stadium the following night, Saturday, June 3rd, with postgame fireworks.  For the 2023 season, home game times will start at 6:35 PM, except for Sunday home games starting at 4:05 PM.  The Muckdogs came just 1 game short of winning the PGCBL Championship and will look to defend its West Division Title in 2023. Batavia will also host interleague play this year, including games against the NYCBL and others.

As the song goes, I can’t drive 55.  Well a bill introduced in the State Senate would see the speed limit in certain areas raised to 70.  The bill states: “the majority of States across our Country have State speed limits that exceed 65 MPH. New York has failed to keep up with the rest of the County by not adopting a more efficient speed limit. This bill would correct this inefficacy by allowing for a 70 MPH speed limit where appropriate.”  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , 22 states have maximum speed limits of 70 mph and 11 states have maximum speed limits of 75 mph on some portion of their roadway systems.  Studies by the IIHS also found that increasing the speed limits lead to an increase in traffic fatalities.  

In a Tuesday evening tweet, Damar Hamlin announced a new “#3forHeart CPR challenge,” in a collaboration with the American Heart Association that helps bring awareness to the importance of CPR training.  The challenge consists of three steps: Learn CPR. Give by Donating to the American Heart Association to fund CPR education and training, and other lifesaving programs and scientific research. And share the challenge with three friends by tagging them with the #3forHeart hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.  The Bills player collapsed on the field during a game against the Bengals and was resuscitated by CPR administered for nearly 10 minutes on the field.

Afternoon News Brief

Jason Clark

According to the District Attorney’s Office, a former Batavia parochial educator and administrator has been charged with two counts of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree. He was put on leave at the time of the investigation and has since been fired. Jason Clark had been at St. Paul Lutheran as a teacher since 2002 and became principal in 2019. He was arraigned in County Court yesterday. Clark pleaded not guilty to the charges of engaging in two or more acts of sexual conduct spanning three years with a child less than 11 years old. The alleged abuse happened in the school. One count allegedly occurred on or about and after Labor Day 2014 to mid-June 2015 in the City of Batavia over a period of time and less than three months in duration, the DA’s Office said. The second count allegedly occurred on or about and after Labor Day 2015 to mid-June 2016 in the City of Batavia over a period of time not less than three months in duration. He was released on his own recognizance and is to appear at 10:30 a.m. on March 27. Anyone who may know of any other possible victims is asked to contact police at 345-6350.

 

 

Roger Bartz

A Wyoming County man has pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual conduct against a child. The Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office announced yesterday that 73-year-old Roger Bartz of Sheldon admitted to committing two or more acts of sexual conduct involving a child who was six years old when the abuse began. According to the district attorney’s office, as part of the plea agreement, Bartz will be sentenced on April 20 to a 10-year sentence followed by 10 years of post-release supervision and if he is released he will be subject to the sex offender registration act. Had he not accepted the plea deal, Bartz could have faced 25 years in prison.

 

 

Nasir Nathan

27-year-old Nasir Nathan of Walnut Street Batavia has been arrested and charged with 1st degree gang assault. It is alleged that he participated in the assault in October 2019 on Highland Park in Batavia. Nathan was arraigned in Batavia City Court and held on bail; he is scheduled to return to court on 2/14/23 at 1:00pm.

 

 

 

 

Robert Griffin

44-year-old Robert Griffin of State Street Batavia is charged with Criminal Contempt, Aggravated Family Offense (more than one offense within five years) and violating a stay-away order of protection. Earlier this month Griffin was arrested following an investigation into a domestic incident. Griffin was turned over to the Genesee County Jail to await Centralized Arraignment Part Court.

 

 

 

Jessica Saeli

33-year-old Jessica Saeli of Morse Place Batavia is charged with Criminal Contempt, Assault, and Unlawful Imprisonment. The charges stem from a domestic incident on September 16th where Saeli was arrested, arraigned and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice until her return. Saeli was turned over on the bench warrant to the Genesee County Jail to await Centralized Arraignment Part Court.

 

 

 

Bradley Jordan

30-year-old Bradley Jordan of Liberty Street, Batavia is charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Criminal Mischief, and Aggravated Family Offense, following an investigation into a domestic incident. Jordan was arraigned in Centralized Arraignment Part Court and held without bail until his next appearance.

 

 

 

 

OTHER BATAVIA POLICE BLOTTER ENTRIES: 31-year-old Joseph Jeffords of Chestnut Street Batavia is charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Last week, he was arrested and it’s alleged that Jeffords borrowed a friend’s vehicle to go to Rochester late last month and did not return it. Jeffords was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to be in Batavia City Court on February 7th. ALSO:  45-year-old Anthony Vanelli of Federal Drive Batavia has been charged after not appearing in court on a Petit Larceny arrest. Vanelli was originally arrested and given an appearance ticket for Petit Larceny on 5/2/22 after allegedly stealing a Kit Kat candy bar and a can of Nitro Pepsi from a local business. Vanelli was arraigned on the warrant and remanded to the Genesee County Jail on $1 bail pending his next court appearance on 2/1/23.  ALSO:  64-year-old Robert Shuttleworth of Gaslight Lane, Batavia has been arrested and charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle with a suspended registration, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2nd, Operate a Motor Vehicle Without Insurance, and Operation of a Motor Vehicle by an Unlicensed Driver. Shuttleworth is to reappear in Batavia City Court on 2/14/23 at 2:00pm.  ALSO:  58-year-old Michael Ostrander of East Main Street Batavia is charged with Criminal Contempt in the Second degree. Last July, Ostrander was arrested after a domestic incident investigation and released on an appearance ticket. However, he failed to appear and a bench warrant was issued by Batavia City Court. Ostrander was released under supervision and returned to court yesterday.

 

The extra money that people received in SNAP benefits is coming to an end. At the beginning of the pandemic, recipients were receiving emergency allotments of $95 or more in monthly benefits. Congress temporarily increased these benefits because of Covid-19, but after February’s payment, that emergency allotment will stop. The amount was based on the number of people in the family so some families could see a dramatic drop in how much they receive each month.

 

 

SUNY Empire State College

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is teaming up with SUNY Empire State College to provide college credits to eligible DMV employees. In order to qualify, new or current workers must have finished all three components of the DMV’s New Employee Training Program in addition to a customer service component. Anyone who has done so can get six credits from SUNY Empire State. Those credits can then be used towards any undergraduate program at the school.

 

Wheel lock

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is doing its part to try and prevent residents from having their vehicles stolen. The agency is handing out wheel locks at its substations around the area. In recent months, hundreds of cars have been stolen and many of them have been Hyundai’s and Kia’s. There’s no cost to get a wheel lock and information on how to contact the substation closest to your home can be found by going to monroecounty.gov.

 

 

The latest data from the New York State Flu Tracker shows that, in our region, Monroe County continues to report the highest number of flu cases. They had 69 new infections during the week ending January 21st. Erie County had the second highest, with 58 new cases; Seneca County came in third with 18; Ontario County had 15. Niagara County reported 12 new cases of flu and Genesee County had 8. Since flu season started in October, 305,354 New Yorkers have tested positive for the illness.

 

 

Dawson Knox

Three more members of the Buffalo Bills have been selected to take part in the upcoming NFL Pro Bowl. It was announced yesterday that Dion Dawkins, Rodger Saffold, and Dawson Knox have been added to the AFC’s roster. They will be joining teammates Matt Milano, Stefon Diggs, Josh Allen, Jordan Poyer, and Mitch Morse. The Pro Bowl game is taking place this Sunday at Allegiant Stadium which is the home of the Las Vegas Raiders. Knox is the first Bills tight end to be named to the Pro Bowl since Paul Costa in 1966. Eight members of the Bills are now headed to the Pro Bowl, the most since 1992 according to Buffalo Bills PR.

 

 

NFL teams will have more money to spend ahead of next season. That’s because the salary cap is increasing to a new record of $224,800,000 (million). That’s a more than $16,000,000 (million) bump from this season.

 

 

Luke Bryan in concert (file photo)

Country music superstar Luke Bryan is going on tour later this year, and his second stop is going to be right here in Western New York. Bryan is set to perform at the Darien Lake Amphitheater on Friday, June 16th. Byran is known for several big hits including “Play It Again,” “Drunk on You,” and “Drink a Beer.” Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday morning at 10:00 through LiveNation.

 

 

Mine, all mine…

The Powerball jackpot is sky high with no grand prize winner in Monday night’s drawing. That pushes the top prize for tomorrow up to at least $653,000,000 (million), with a cash value optional payout of just over $350,000,000 (million). Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

The former principal of St Paul Lutheran Church and School has been arrested and indicted on counts of sexual conduct against a child in the second degree in Batavia.  Jason Clark was indicted on the 29th of December for 1 count of 2 or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 11 years old on or around labor day of 2014 and continuing till mid June of 2015, and 1 count of the same crime between labor day and June of the 2015-2016 school year.  Clark was arraigned and released on his own recognizance Monday.  He pleaded not guilty and will be back in court on March 27th.  

A Wyoming County man has pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual conduct against a child, the Wyoming County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.  The district attorney’s office said 73-year-old Roger Bartz of Sheldon admitted to committing two or more acts of sexual conduct between November 10, 2021, and October 23, 2022, which involved a child who was six years old when the abuse began.  According to the district attorney’s office, as part of the plea agreement, Bartz will be sentenced on April 20 to a 10-year determinate sentence followed by 10 years of post-release supervision and if he is released he will be subject to the sex offender registration act.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the city of Buffalo in regard to the lack of fluoride in the city’s water.  The lawsuit, filed by Buffalo residents, named not only the city of Buffalo, but the Mayor and the city’s water board chairman, as having deprived “Buffalo’s Residents of therapeutic fluoridated drinking water.”  The lawsuit additionally calls for the fluoridation of the water to immediately resume and for all the previously named defendants to be held responsible for damages to “plaintiffs, their families, and hundreds of thousands of other Buffalonians.”

Rochester teens continue stealing and joyriding Hyundais and Kias.  Around 6 p.m. on Sunday, officers responded to the area of S. Union St. and Chapman Alley for the report of several people stealing a Hyundai Elantra.  When police arrived, they found a group of suspects driving that vehicle, as they attempted to steal another Hyundai nearby.  Shortly after, officers say the suspect driving the stolen Elantra crashed into several parked vehicles, including an unoccupied police car, before fleeing the scene on foot.  During the pursuit, police detained four suspects, all between the ages of 13 and 15, allegedly involved in the incident.

The extra money that people receiving SNAP benefits were getting is coming to an end.  At the beginning of the pandemic, recipients were receiving emergency allotments of $95 or more in monthly benefits. Congress temporarily increased these benefits because of Covid-19, but after February’s payment, that emergency allotment will stop.  The amount was based on the number of people in the family so some families will see a dramatic drop in how much they receive each month.

Buffalo has 3 more players in the Pro Bowl.  Bills tight end Dawson Knox, tackle Dion Dawkins and guard Rodger Saffold have been named to the 2023 Pro Bowl.  Knox will be appearing in his first career Pro Bowl, replacing Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce who is unable to participate due to the Chiefs making it to the Super Bowl. Knox is the first Bills tight end to be named to the Pro Bowl since Paul Costa in 1966.  Eight members of the Bills are now headed to the Pro Bowl, the most since 1992 according to Buffalo Bills PR.

Afternoon News Brief

32-year-old Marquis Saddler of Rochester and 28-year-old Kara Sass of Batavia have been arrested. This followed a traffic stop late last week on West Main Street; the pair was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia. Both were issued an appearance ticket and the vehicle was towed from the scene. Saddler and Sass are scheduled to appear in City Court on February 9th.  ALSO:  30-year-old Evan Vanskiver of Brockport has been arrested in Batavia. He is alleged to have been in possession of a controlled substance. During a traffic stop, a K9 (Rayzor) was called in and alerted police to the presence of narcotics. Vanskiver faces charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was issued an appearance ticket and will return to Batavia City Court on February 26th.

 

 

Jeffrey Johnson

35-year-old Jeffrey Johnson of Oakfield has been indicted on 10 charges, including one where he overdosed and then threatened nurses at Wyoming County Community Hospital. He has a long history of drug and domestic-violence related arrests. Other current charges against Johnson include injecting fentanyl into a woman who had an order of protection against him. In court during arraignment, he entered a not guilty plea and the case was adjourned until March.

 

 

 

37-year-old Brian Daggar of Elba has been charged with petit larceny after allegedly stealing merchandise from a department store at 4140 Veteran’s Memorial Drive. He was released on an appearance ticket and will appear in the Town of Batavia Court on February 28th.

 

 

State Police have released the names of the two people who lost their lives due a crash in Chautauqua County. Troopers say 30-year-old Matthew Berry was driving the wrong way on Interstate 86 in Ellicott Saturday night when his vehicle collided head-on with a pickup truck. The pickup truck was then hit from behind by another vehicle. Berry died at the scene and the driver of the pickup truck, 57-year-old Todd Town, passed away at a nearby hospital. The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

 

According to Triple A today, the national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.51. The state average is $3.57. In Batavia, we’re paying $3.44 per gallon, up 5 cents from a week ago and 13 cents from a month ago today. By the way, one year ago today, our local price was $3.51 for a gallon of regular gas.

 

Returnable bottles

Advocates in the state are trying to build momentum for a bill that would once again expand New York’s bottle deposit law. The proposal would broaden the existing law, first enacted in 1983, by allowing more types of beverage containers to be covered, such as wine and liquor. The measure would also increase the amount of the deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents. (Photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News)

 

 

Irondequoit Police car – file photo

Irondequoit police are looking into the distribution of what they’re calling concerning materials in one of their community’s neighborhoods. Officials say flyers with anti-Semitic messaging were spotted in the driveways of several homes in the Laurelton section of the town over the weekend. The flyers reportedly had a comment on them about how Jewish people are negatively affecting society. Anyone with information on this case is asked to dial 911 right away.

 

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and the New York State Department of Health is stressing the importance of screening appointments and getting the HPV vaccine. The acting health commissioner says screenings are the first line of defense against the disease and that early detection is key. Smoking has been shown to increase a person’s chances of getting cervical cancer and other risk factors include giving birth three or more times and using birth control pills for five years or more. To find out how to get a free or low-cost screening, visit health.ny.gov.

 

 

Registered pharmacist logo

CVS and Walmart are both cutting pharmacy hours and closing some locations earlier due to staffing shortages. Both companies have announced that starting in March, they will scale back hours at their pharmacies as the industry battles a shortage of pharmacists and other key positions. CVS is adjusting hours at about two-thirds of its retail pharmacies. And in the coming weeks, Walmart is planning to reduce pharmacy hours by closing at 7:00pm instead of 9 at most of its stores.

 

 

Super Bowl 57 logo

The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are set to meet in this year’s Super Bowl. Kansas City punched its ticket with a dramatic home win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. Earlier Sunday, Philly took down the San Francisco 49ers at home to secure the NFC crown. Super Bowl 57 is set for February 12th in Glendale, Arizona. If you want a ticket for the big game get ready to shell out some big money. Top priced tickets are going for over 33 thousand dollars. Even the cheap seats are extremely pricey with the cheapest seat available being 4500 dollars.

 

 

Please play responsibly.

Another Powerball drawing has come and gone without a winner and the jackpot has now surpassed the $600,000,000 (million) threshold. The top prize for tonight’s drawing is going to be at least $613,000,000 (million). There hasn’t been a Powerball jackpot winner in several weeks. The drawing will be streamed live at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

The Albion lift bridge on Rt 98 has been completely disassembled.  The last trusses were supposed to be removed 2 weeks ago but the move was delayed till the end of last week.  The bridge closed to traffic on Nov. 14 and isn’t expected to reopen for 18 months. Crane-Hogan Structural Systems in Spencerport is general contractor for the project.  In rebuilding the Albion bridge, Crane-Hogan will replace bridge decks and portions of the truss system with high-strength, galvanized steel; modernize mechanical and electrical components within the bridge’s lifting system; rehabilitate the bridge tower; install new bridge rails; and repaint the bridge in the current shade of green.

In September 2019 plans were unveiled by Buffalo-based OnCore Golf Technology Inc., for a sports and entertainment complex on Kelly Island along the Buffalo River near RiverWorks.  This massive glass and screens structure would include a sportsbar, seating areas and a driving range held above the ground with a view of the river.  But one of the partners in the project, Doug Swift, says the renderings of the facility and the location are changing.  The 3 tiered driving range will just be 2 tiers.  There won’t be a hotel anymore, there will still be banquet, event and meeting spaces.  The new location for the 30 million dollar complex, projected to add 400-500 jobs to Buffalo, has not yet been disclosed.

For the first time since suffering cardiac arrest on January 2nd. Bills safety Damar Hamlin spoke to the public, via a video posted to both his personal and the official Buffalo Bills social media accounts.  Ending it with a message that read, “this is just the beginning of the impact that I want to have on the world. And with God’s guidance I will continue to do wonderful and great things. I couldn’t do this without any of the support and love. And I can’t wait to continue to take you all on this journey with me.”

It’s six more weeks of winter according to the prognostications of Buffalo Bert.  The local critter that lives at Hawk Creek saw his shadow on Saturday, forecasting more snow and cold to come.  At the same time there was a fundraiser for the Hawk Creek area and wildlife preservation at the Flying Bison Brewing Company with live music and raffles.  This was the first time there was a full groundhogs day celebration in 3 years.  The one with Puxatony Phil will take place on the 2nd of February.

The Buffalo Sabres dropped a 3-2 contest to the Minnesota Wild that ended in a shootout.  Minnesota’s Frederick Gaudreau scored the game winning goal after both teams remained tied at two following the overtime period.  Buffalo’s goals were scored by Jack Quinn and Zemgus Girgensons.  The Sabres end their four-game road trip winning three of four games and will return home to face the Hurricanes on Wednesday night.  Buffalo sits just one point back of the final wild card spot, behind Pittsburgh.

Well the Bills won’t be in it but the Super Bowl is set with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs meeting for the big game.  Kansas City punched its ticket with a dramatic home win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.  Earlier Sunday, Philly took down the San Francisco 49ers at home to secure the NFC crown.  The Chiefs are making their third appearance in the big game since 2020, while the Eagles look to notch their second title in six seasons.  Super Bowl 57 is set for February 12th in Glendale, Arizona.  If you want a ticket for the big game get ready to shell out some big money.  Top priced tickets are going for over 33 thousand dollars.  Even the cheap seats are extremely pricey with the cheapest seat available being 4500 dollars.

Weekend News Brief

The teens accused of carjacking a school secretary at Rochester School 54 are also the same kids who stole the car with 2 small children inside last week according to the Rochester Police Department.  At least one of the 16 year olds who threatened the school employee with a knife and demanded her car in the school parking lot was charged with grand larceny, unlawful imprisonment, and endangering the welfare of a child for the January 12 car theft.  Two suspects are being held at the Monroe County Children’s Detention Center. The other three teens were released and referred to family court.

In an awards ceremony Friday — the first one at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in a couple of years because of the pandemic — Deputy Kenneth A. Quackenbush, III, was named Officer of the Year by Sheriff William Sheron.  Several people were awarded for Meritorious Service: Corrections Officer James Smart, Emergency Service Dispatcher John Spencer the Second, Deputy Sheriff Nicholas Chamoun, Investigator Pete Welker, Community and Victim Services Counselor Rosanne DeMare.  Corrections Officer Matthew Luce was commended for his work maintaining the inmate property room.  Emergency Services Dispatcher Shelby Turner was commended for her work during winter storm Elliott.  Deputy Sheriff Jeremiah Gechell was commended for a traffic stop on May 7th which resulted in a large amount of illicit drugs being discovered and taken off the streets.  

GO ART! Is hosting a celebration of the life of James Owen on Sunday at 1pm and renaming the Owen Library as the James R Owen library.  When Mr. Owen donated the funds to make the library a reality, he did not want his first name associated with it.  He made GO ART!’s director promise that his first name would not be associated with it while he was alive.  The beautiful white baby grand piano in the Owen Library, donated by Mr. Owen, will be played with any and all welcome to sing along. Jim would sit for hours in the Library sharing stories, talking about his father and music, and doing his best to entertain.  Food will be provided, and the bar will be open.

The Genesee Amateur Hockey Association will host a USA Try Hockey For Free clinic as part of USA Hockey Week Across America at The David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Evans Street on Saturday, Feb, 25.  11:40 a.m. to 12:50 p.m., local youth, ages 4 to 9, are welcome at the rink to experience getting on the ice, learning how to “skate”, getting up after falling, basic skills with a hockey stick and shooting pucks into a hockey net.  All the participants need is a helmet and winter gloves.  Skates are available at the rink if needed and will be provided FREE by the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena Management Team.

Holland Land Office Museum has a few events coming up in the month of February.  On the 9th the Museum will be having its next Trivia Night at 7pm.  The topic is the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s through 70s.  The next event is a Guest speaker on February 16th at 7pm.  Patrick Ryan from the Buffalo History Museum will be presenting about Abolitionist William Wells Brown.  On February 23rd at 9am Java With Joe will bring Sharon Burkel of the Historic Batavia Cemetery Association to present on Watson Bullock, an African-American man who moved to Batavia in the 1880s and went on to make significant impacts on many local organizations during his life.

Afternoon News Brief

Rachelle Laney

37-year-old Rachelle Laney of Oakfield has been sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison, with shock camp and two years of post-release supervision. Shock camp provides strict, military-style discipline, with expectations of unquestioning obedience and structures days with drill and work. The program was designed to foster self-direction and individual responsibility. In 2020, Laney was found with a variety of drugs and paraphernalia during a traffic stop. It was also found she did not have a valid license because it had been revoked for a driving while impaired conviction the year before.

 

 

 

Example of phony parking ticket (provided by law enforcement)

The Better Business Bureau is advising people to watch out for a new twist on an old scam. Scammers are using technology to create fake parking tickets that look surprisingly official. It could be a phony if people receive a parking ticket but are confident they parked legally. Here’s how it works: You park in a legal parking zone or pay to park on the street or in a garage. While you are away from your car, scammers use high-tech, hand-held printers to make a fake ticket and leave it on your car’s windshield. This phony citation usually asks you to pay online or via PayPal. One recent case used a QR code to direct victims to a fake payment website. If you follow the instructions, you’ll end up paying a fine you don’t owe. One version of the scam sends victims an email and if you click on the link in the message, you’ll download malware onto your computer. Here’s how you can prevent getting scammed:

1) Know before you park — Before visiting a new place, research available parking and local parking requirements. Tourists with out-of-state plates are often the preferred target for parking scams because they need to familiarize themselves with local parking laws.
2) Examine the citation carefully — Scammers can imitate logos and city office names, but an imitation website is usually where the scam comes to light. Do an internet search for the city’s official parking ticket websites and compare what you find to what’s on the ticket. Keep in mind that government sites should end in a .gov or .ca (in Canada) designation, and if there is a payment page, it should always have a secure connection.
3) Double-check the name checks should be made out to. If the ticket allows for payment by check, take a closer look at the address the check should be sent and how it should be addressed. Checks should generally be made to a specific government organization, not a string of initials or personal names.
4) Pay traffic citations by credit card when possible. It will be easier to contest fraudulent charges if you discover you’ve been scammed down the road.

 

A’Mias Love

A Rochester mother has been arrested for allegedly murdering her one-year-old son and seriously hurting her young daughter. Police responded to a call at the Wilson Commencement Apartment Complex on Joseph Avenue on January 19th and found A’Mias Love injured and had him rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital where he died four days later. The boy’s two-year-old sister was also found injured but is expected to survive. Their mother, 26-year-old Bryasia Love, is now facing multiple charges.

 

 

 

School 54 – file photo

A teacher from School 54 in Rochester was carjacked by 5 kids at about 4:30 yesterday when she was leaving the school and getting into her car. The 49-year-old woman, who said she was just leaving work, was approached by a group of male teens while seated in her car. What was described as a machete was displayed by one of the suspects who then demanded her vehicle. The victim exited her car and complied. Part of the suspect group left in the vehicle they had arrived in and the others left in the victim’s vehicle. Police found the stolen car and initiated a chase that went from Otis St and ended on Mt Read when the underage driver slid in the snow and put the car in a ditch. Police say the five occupants, all juveniles, ran from the stolen vehicle but officers were able to take three boys and two girls into custody.

 

 

Protesting nurses – Rochester General Hospital – January 26 2023

Nurses at Rochester General Hospital are protesting unsafe working conditions because of staffing shortages. Members of the newly formed Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals protested outside the hospital yesterday. They’re looking to sign a deal with the hospital on a new labor contract. Nurses said in some units, the patient-to-nurse ratio is triple the safe standard. They claim, in some cases, one nurse is caring for up to 20 patients. Rochester Regional Health said Rochester General Hospital is seeing, on average, a 20 percent vacancy in registered nurses across all units — similar to other hospitals across the state. On Tuesday Governor Hochul said she would stay committed to keeping the roughly 34 thousand nurses and hospital workers who were fired because of the now voided vaccine mandate out of work.

 

 

After the Blizzard of ’77 – car attempts to drive down a street in Buffalo suburb

The Buffalo History Museum is currently collecting items from the deadly blizzard that rocked the Western New York region in December. Museum officials say they’re looking for people to share things like videos and photos of the weather disaster. Those items will then be preserved in the museum and will be a part of future projects, exhibits and programs. Anyone wishing to make a donation can fill out a form that’s been posted online at https://buffalohistory.org.

 

 

Tage Thompson

The red-hot Buffalo Sabres continue to roll after picking up their fifth victory in a row. Tage Thompson, Victor Olofsson, and Owen Power had a goal each as the Sabres defeated the Winnipeg Jets on the road last night by a final score of 3-2. Eric Comrie was solid in net for Buffalo and was able to stop 19 of 21 shots. They’ll take on the Minnesota Wild, tomorrow night at 9:00 for the final game of their road trip.

 

 

 

The Powerball jackpot continues to grow and that means there’s an even bigger prize up for grabs tomorrow night. The jackpot has risen to $572,000,000 (million) after no one correctly picked the winning numbers for Wednesday’s drawing. The odds of hitting the jackpot are one in more than 292,000,000 (million). The next drawing will be streamed live online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

 

 

‘Tis once again the season…

Tax season has officially started and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is reminding people they can file the returns at no cost. The agency says people whose 2022 income is $73,000 or less can file their state and federal returns using the Free File software on the tax department’s website. It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of folks take advantage of this service each year. The tax department also says the easiest and quickest way to get your return is by direct deposit.

Morning News Brief

A Teacher from School 54 in Rochester was carjacked by 5 kids at about 4:30 when she was leaving the school and getting into her car.  The 49-year-old woman, who said she was just leaving work from School #54, when she was approached by a group of male teens while seated in her car.  What was described as a machete, was displayed by one of the suspects who then demanded her vehicle.  In fear of injury, the victim exited her car and complied. Part of the suspect group left in the vehicle they had arrived in and the others left in the victim’s vehicle.  Police found the stolen car and initiated a chase that went from Otis St and ended on Mt Read when the underage driver slid in the snow and put the car in a ditch.  Police say the five occupants, all juveniles, ran from the stolen vehicle but officers were able to take three boys and two girls into custody.

A Canadian woman has pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington to mailing a threatening letter containing the poison ricin to then-President Donald Trump at the White House.  The letter from Pascale Ferrier was intercepted at a mail sorting facility in September 2020 before it could reach the White House. The Quebec woman also pleaded guilty to sending similar threatening letters to Texas law enforcement officials.  Ferrier was arrested at the Peace Bridge in September 2020. Authorities say she was carrying a gun, a knife and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.  She’s expected to be sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison under the terms of a plea deal with prosecutors.

A Rochester mother has been arrested for allegedly murdering her one-year-old son and seriously hurting her young daughter. Police responded to a call at the Wilson Commencement Apartment Complex on Joseph Avenue on January 19th and found A’Mias Love injured and had him rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital where he later died. The boy’s two-year-old sister was also found injured but is expected to survive. Their mother, 26-year-old Bryasia Love, is now facing multiple charges.

Rochester Nurses at Rochester General Hospital are protesting unsafe working conditions because of staffing shortages.  Members of the newly formed Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals protested outside the hospital Thursday.  They’re looking to strike a deal with the hospital on a new labor contract.  Nurses said in some units, the patient-to-nurse ratio is triple the safe standard. They claim, in some cases, one nurse is caring for up to 20 patients.  Rochester Regional Health said Rochester General Hospital is seeing, on average, a 20 percent vacancy in registered nurses across all units — similar to other hospitals across the state.  On Tuesday Governor Hochul said she would stay committed to keeping the roughly 34 thousand nurses and hospital workers who were fired because of the now voided vaccine mandate out of work.  

The Buffalo History Museum is currently collecting items from the deadly blizzard that rocked the Western New York region in December. Museum officials say they’re looking for people to share things like videos and photos and testimonials of the weather disaster. Those items will then be preserved in the museum and will be a part of future projects, exhibits and programs. Anyone wishing to make a donation can fill out a form that’s been posted online.

Tax season has officially started and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is reminding residents they can file their returns at no cost. The agency says people whose 2022 income is 73-thousand dollars or less can file their state and federal returns using the Free File software on the tax department’s website. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of folks take advantage of this service each year. The tax department also says the easiest and quickest way to get your return is by direct deposit.

The Boat Show has sailed back into Rochester and will be anchored there till Sunday.  The latest models of jet skis, inboards and outboards, pontoon boats and more are at the Riverside Convention Center.  It’s the first time the boats have returned since COVID, and organizers say there’s a good reason to buy right at the show.  On-site financing is also available.

Nearly half of the states across the country are rooting for the Bengals to make it to the Super Bowl.  Twitter fan support hashtag data compiled by BetOnline shows that people in 23 states want Cincinnati to advance to this year’s NFL final.  The AFC is seeing the most support nationwide, with another 19 states pulling for Kansas City.  Only six states are rooting for Philadelphia, and two for San Francisco.

The Buffalo Sabres added one more to their win streak with a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.  Tage Thompson, Victor Olofsson and Owen Power scored for the Sabres.  Buffalo leaves the Canada Life Centre with a 3-2 win and a five-game win streak. They’ll take on Minnesota, Saturday at 9 p.m. for the final game of their road trip.

Afternoon News Brief

Attica Correctional Facility – file photo

Many people on staff at Attica Correctional Facility were injured during a fight. A violent inmate fought with officers attempting to frisk him for contraband outside the facility’s visitor’s room. The 43-year-old inmate had been visiting with a female on January 4th when he was observed to have his hands inside her pants. The inmate was ordered to leave the room to be frisked. He initially complied with requests but then allegedly became aggressive, ultimately requiring the assistance from many officers and a sergeant. Eventually they were able to gain control of the inmate. Throughout the melee 10 officers and the sergeant were injured and treated by the facility medical staff. The inmate was placed in a Special Housing Unit pending disciplinary charges. He is serving a 22 to 26 year sentence after being convicted in Monroe County in 2007 for attempted murder, assault and burglary.

 

Nicholas Turnquist

36-year-old Nicholas Turnquist, who last lived in West Falls, is serving a 13-year federal prison term for transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes. He has now had his last of many cases resolved in Genesee County Court, and was sentenced to a four-year term in prison. He will serve that sentence concurrent with his present prison term. Turnquist faced rape charges in 3 counties, along with federal charges, that led to an investigation into allegations of sexual activities with a minor. Genesee County sheriff’s deputies initially arrested him in October 2020 on charges of first-degree rape for a 2014 incident when he and the child were at Darien Lake Theme Park. Turnquist also was later charged in Erie County, where he later was convicted and sentenced to four years in state prison. Turnquist avoided a possible life in prison term in Wyoming County when all the charges were dismissed during his trial in 2021. The judge cited conflicting details during the testimony of the victim, including the timeline as to when the sexual assaults happened. Turnquist had in federal court admitted previously that he began a sexual relationship with the girl when she was 14.

 

 

Richard Castillo, Jr.

An Oakfield man facing 48 charges in two counties for repeatedly raping a child has pleaded guilty to one charge in Wyoming County Court. 39-year-old Richard Castillo, Jr. had been charged with first and third degree rape of a child under 15. He pleaded guilty to second-degree rape. Sentencing is set for April 27th. Castillo still faces additional, similar charges in Genesee County.

 

 

 

 

Letterhead, Town of Batavia

Daniel Felix, Sr. of Rochester is suing the Town of Batavia. He’s alleging that a sign on Batavia-Stafford Townline Road was pointing in the wrong direction, causing him to misread a curve in the roadway, resulting in a motorcycle accident in which he sustained significant injuries. The crash occurred in the Town of Stafford on August 9th, 2021. The Town of Batavia denies any negligence, culpable conduct or liability. Felix initially included Genesee County and The Towns of Stafford and Elba in the suit, but the action against them was discontinued.

 

45-year-old Stephen Thompson of Attica is charged with criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance. He is accused of selling methamphetamine to an undercover Wyoming County Task Force officer in Attica. Thompson’s trial date is set for April 10th. He has served two state prison terms in the past for dealing drugs in Wyoming County: First, in 2012 and then again in 2013.

 

 

Orleans County Courthouse

24-year-old Brennen Callara of Medina has been sentenced to 3-1/2 years in state prison for attempted robbery and petit larceny. He admitted that he threatened a cashier at Crosby’s in Medina last July by displaying a knife and demanding money. Callara also admitted to stealing a chain saw sharpener from Tractor Supply in Medina. The sentencing also satisfies other charges he faced in Shelby and Ridgeway. ALSO, in Orleans County Court: 27-year-old Brandon Belski of Holley has pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, a class D felony. He admitted in court that last April, he pointed a shotgun at someone in a car and discharged the gun, hitting tires on the vehicle. Belski faces up to 9 months in county jail when he is sentenced in March.

 

There remains a winter weather advisory for Wyoming County until 11am tomorrow. The National Weather Service is predicting 5 to 10 inches of snow and 40 mile per hour winds with the most accumulations across the western ridges of the county. Snow covered roads in combination with periods of poor visibility will create dangerous driving conditions.

 

 

Senator Charles Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on Democrats and Republicans to work together to prevent a possible debt ceiling crisis. Schumer said yesterday if the government does default, it would have a devastating impact on Upstate New York. Schumer says a default would risk benefits for over one-point-eight million upstate residents who are on Social Security. Medicare payments could also be interrupted, which would threaten the ability of people to receive and/or pay for healthcare.

 

Positive COVID-19 test result – file photo

The latest data from the state shows that the spread of the coronavirus has increased slightly in our region. Right now, the 7-day average infection rate is 6.39%. At this time last week the infection rate was at 6.35%. The infection rate in Erie County is holding steady; this week, at 11.87%. One week ago, it was 11.73%. Doctors are urging people who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 or received an updated booster shot yet to get one as soon as possible. An appointment can be set up online by visiting vaccines.gov.

 

Unidentified children show the Band Aid where they received Omicron booster shot – file photo

The Omicron booster shot also protects against mild illness from other COVID subvariants. CDC officials said the Pfizer and Moderna boosters reduce the risk from the XBB subvariants by half. However, that would vary by age, with seniors having only a 42% reduced risk.

 

 

 

Josh Allen – file photo

Sean McDermott – file photo

The NFL has named Josh Allen and Sean McDermott as finalists for MVP of the year and Coach of the Year. Allen is going up against the Quarterbacks of the Bengals, Eagles, Chiefs and Minnesota Wide receiver Justin Jefferson. McDermott is going up against the coaches of the Giants, Jaguars, 49ers and Eagles. This is the 3rd time McDermott has been a finalist and the 2nd time for Allen. The winners will be announced at the 12th annual NFL Honors ceremony on February 9.

 

The Buffalo Sabres will continue their road trip tonight as they look to pick up their fifth win in a row. The Sabres are set to take on the Winnipeg Jets at the Canada Life Centre. Buffalo is coming off of a 5-3 win over the Saint Louis Blues Tuesday night and have earned 53 points this season. Face-off for tonight’s contest is set 8:00.

 

 

File photo – Galbani Italian Heritage Festival

Organizers of the Galbani Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo have announced the dates for this year’s event. It will take place July 14th through 16th on Hertel Avenue in the city. The free festival is one of the most popular summer events in the region and is usually attended by thousands of people. More information about the event will be released at a later date.

Morning News Brief

There is a winter weather advisory for Wyoming County till 11am on Friday.  The National Weather Service is predicting 5 to 10 inches of snow and 40 mile per hour winds mostly in the western portions of the county.  Blowing snow could reduce visibility and produce drifts in parts of the roadway.  Be careful on hills and turns as road conditions may change suddenly.

Governor Kathy Hochul says she will not be allowing any unvaccinated healthcare workers to return to their jobs even after the New York Supreme Court said the COVID 19 Vaccine mandate was unconstitutional.  The state has been experiencing a healthcare staffing shortage ever since the mandate was put in place by Governor Cuomo and then extended by Hochul.  It is estimated that New York lost nearly 34,000 health care workers due to the vaccination requirement.  Waits at some hospitals for Ambulances to even offload their patients can reach 5-6 hours at times.  Hochul responded when asked if she would let unvaccinated workers return to the job that she didn’t want people who could spread COVID working in healthcare.  Pfizer and Moderna stated several months ago that their vaccines do not stop transmission and that they were never tested for stopping transmission.  Although initially labeled as misinformation it has since been confirmed by the CDC and NIH.  When the policies for mandates were unveiled it was explained they were based on the vaccines stopping transmission of the COVID virus.

A US Magistrate has stopped the lawsuit against David Bellavia by his ex-wife Deanna King after saying that her lawyer, Nate McMurray, failed to make a case for her arrest in January of 2021 being without probable cause.  She was suing him and the Sheriffs Department of Orleans County and several other county entities on the grounds that Bellavia had conspired to have her arrested for disparaging social media posts.  Bellavia, a former Batavia resident, was bestowed the Medal of Honor by President Donald Trump in 2019.  King is a Batavia resident and a broadcast personality in Rochester.  Bellavia says that the lawsuit was just to get the divorce proceedings unsealed so that King could use the statements that were under seal to defame him.  

The City Center Concourse Mall Market is taking applications for vendors.  Through the Fall every Saturday morning there were vendors in the Mall concourse hawking their wares.  They took a break for the beginning of the year but the Saturday shopping opportunities are returning.  The market will now be open 10am through 1:30pm.  It will be closed on March 25th and April 15th for the Everpresent Church vendor fundraiser and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Home Show respectively.  The fee to be a vendor is 20 dollars but your first weekend is free.  Call Tammy at 585 813 8054 for information.

Josh Allen and Sean McDermott have been named as finalists for MVP of the year and Coach of the Year by the NFL.  Each award has 5 finalists.  Allen is going up against the Quarterbacks of the Bengals, Eagles, and Chiefs and Minnesota Wide receiver Justin Jefferson.  McDermott is going up against the coaches of the Giants, Jaguars, 49ers and Eagles.  This is the 3rd time McDermott has been a finalist and the 2nd time for Allen.  The winners will be announced at the 12th annual NFL Honors ceremony on February 9.

The Buffalo Sabres will continue their road trip tonight as they look to pick up their fifth win in a row. The Sabres are set to take on the Winnipeg Jets at the Canada Life Centre. Buffalo is coming off of a five-to-three win over the Saint Louis Blues Tuesday night and have earned 53 points this season. Face-off for tonight’s contest is set for eight p-m.

Afternoon News Brief

Jasmyne Rubel

Christopher Scinta

The motorcyclist who was involved in the death of his teenage passenger at the roundabout on Oak Street in Batavia has now been indicted for felony manslaughter. 27-year-old Christopher Scinta of Buffalo is accused of killing 17-ywear-old Jasmyne Rubel by driving recklessly and causing her to fall off the Kawasaki they were both riding. The 9-count indictment also includes charges of reckless driving, criminal mischief, obstructing governmental administration, obstructing emergency medical personnel, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident. On November 4th Scinta allegedly drove his motorcycle over the curb of the roundabout at high speed causing Rubel to be thrown off. He then fought the EMTs and tried to prevent them from helping her before mounting his bike and riding away. After being caught by police he attempted to escape and then damaged the window in the police station in another attempt. Rubel and Scinta were a couple; however, the exact status of their relationship was unknown. She did have a Facebook page with the name Jasmyne Scinta.

 

What started as a winter weather advisory for Genesee and Orleans Counties is now a Winter Storm Warning until 10pm this evening, that also includes Monroe and Northern Erie Counties. Heavy snow is now expected, with light snow through midday. This afternoon, snowfall rates over 1 inch per hour between 1 and 5 pm are predicted. The heaviest snow will occur from the Buffalo North towns along and north of the Thruway toward Rochester. Snow will change to light rain this evening. Winds could gust as high as 35 miles per hour tonight. Widespread accumulating snow will create dangerous travel conditions. A winter weather advisory remains in effect for Wyoming County until 10pm this evening.

 

Indictments: David Leroy of Corfu has been indicted for criminal possession of a weapon, a Class D felony. Leroy is accused of knowingly possessing a switchblade knife in the Town of Pembroke. ALSO: Shannon Marvin of Bergen is indicted on a count of grand larceny, a Class E felony. She is accused of stealing a Discover card belonging to another person.

 

Amherst Police car – file photo

Amherst police are still trying to track down the suspect in a shooting that left one person injured. The 27-year-old victim was hit by gunfire yesterday near the Red Roof Plus Inn, which is located across from the University at Buffalo’s Amherst campus. He was brought to Erie County Medical Center and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Police believe there is no threat to the public.

 

Mark Trykowski

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says that a Kenmore man has pleaded guilty to committing a disturbing crime. Prosecutors say 43-year-old Mark Trykowski forcibly engaged in sexual conduct with a woman this past July at a location in Buffalo. Trykowski was linked to the assault using DNA and other evidence. He is facing up to 25 years behind bars when he’s sentenced in March. Trykowski is currently being held without bail.

 

 

Lieutenant Greg Bello – file photo

Police in Rochester are saying crime has hit a milestone. Over 200 cars have been stolen in the city in just the first 25 days of the year with 147 of them in the last 2 weeks. Rochester Police Lieutenant Greg Bello says most of the arrests in the car thefts are minors who are being arrested multiple times and then released. He also says that most of the cars stolen are Hyundais or Kias. He says the City is working with town and village police departments who are also experiencing a rise in car thefts to figure out what they can do to stop main suspects from stealing more cars in the future.

 

 

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

The Buffalo Sabres have extended their winning streak to four games after picking up another victory on the road. Dylan Cozens, Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson Alex Tuch, and Owen Power scored a goal each as the Sabres beat the Saint Louis Blues five-to-three at the Enterprise Center last night. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was solid in net for Buffalo and stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow night when they visit the Winnipeg Jets. Face-off is at 8:00.

 

There has not been a Powerball jackpot winner in months, but lottery players are definitely hoping luck is going to be on their side tonight. The top prize up for grabs this evening is $526,000,000 (million) after no one correctly picked all of the winning numbers for Monday’s drawing. The drawing will be streamed live online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Wednesday for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties, starting at 7 a.m. and lasting until 10 p.m.  The National Weather Service anticipates mixed precipitation, changing to mainly light rain by Wednesday evening.   Total snow accumulation could be 2 to 4 inches.  Wind gusts of 30 mph expected.  Travelers are advised of potentially slippery road conditions.

A local pastor is suing the State Attorney General over a civil rights violation.  Reverend Paul Doyle, pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Batavia that hosted the ReAwaken America Tour in August, alleges that Letitia James violated his and his church’s civil rights by attempting to intimidate the church into canceling the event.  Doyle is joined in the lawsuit by the event organizer, Clay Clark.  2 weeks before the event James sent a letter to the church warning them of the state having to take action against them if there were any racism or violations of New York’s Civil Rights laws or if any violence occurred.  The letter details penalties and concerns the AG had over the event and linked it to violence such as the Tops Shooting in May and the Charlottesville Rally in 2017.  A spokesperson for James’ office said that the letter was simply to remind them of New York State’s Laws.  No violence or civil rights violations were forthcoming at the event or after.  Antifa, a group linked to dozens of deaths, hundreds of injuries among civilians and police and billions of dollars in property damages in 2020, also had a rally in Batavia at the same time as the ReAwaken America event, it is unknown if they received a letter as well. 

A motorcyclist who was involved in the death of their teenage passenger at the roundabout on Oak Street in Batavia has been indicted for Manslaughter and other crimes.  Christopher Scinta is accused of killing Jasmyne Rubel by driving recklessly into the roundabout causing her to fall off the Kawasaki they were both riding and die.  He is also accused of reckless driving, criminal mischief, obstructing governmental administration, obstructing emergency medical personnel, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.  On November 4th Scinta allegedly drove his motorcycle over the curb of the roundabout at high speed causing Rubel to be thrown off.  He then fought the EMTs and tried to prevent them from helping her before mounting his bike and riding away.  After being caught by police he attempted to escape and then damaged the window in the police station in another attempt.

It’s not even February yet and the police in Rochester are saying crime has hit a milestone.  Over 200 cars have been stolen in the city in just the first 25 days of the year.  147 in the last 2 weeks.  Rochester Police Lieutenant Greg Bello says most of the arrests in the car thefts are minors who are being arrested multiple times and then released.  He also says that most of the cars stolen are Hyundais or Kias.  He says the City is working with town and village police departments who are also experiencing a rise in car thefts to figure out what they can do to stop main suspects from stealing more cars in the future.  

The Batavia Save-A-Lot recently conducted a holiday food drive in support of local Catholic Charities’ clients needing emergency assistance.  Catholic Charities is planning a parish pop-up event at one of the local churches in the near future to distribute the 72 bags of groceries generously donated by Save-A-Lot to help those in need in Genesee County.

The Batavia Police Department has closed out the Movember / Don’t Shave December campaigns for 2022. The department was able to raise $1,560 for Genesee Cancer Assistance. Department members would like to thank the community for their support and donations.  The Movember Worldwide Campaign started in 2003 in Australia and has since grown. Movember was created to bring awareness to Men’s Health, specifically, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.

The Buffalo Sabres continue their 4 game road trip with another win, this time against the Blues 5 to 3.  This is their 4th win in a row.  Tage Thompson, Jeff Skinner, Alex Tuch, Owen Power and Dylan Cozens all scored 1 goal each for Buffalo.  At the net, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 26 saves.  Buffalo plays against the Winnipeg Jets for the second time in just 2 weeks on Thursday at 8pm.  The Jets beat the Sabres 4 to 2 on January 12th.   

Fans of Dave Matthews Band now have a date they can circle on their 2023 calendars. The group has announced it’s returning to the Darien Lake Amphitheater on Wednesday, June 14th. The tour will coincide with the band’s new album titled “Walk Around the Moon” which will be its latest studio album release. Tickets for this show go on sale February 17th.

Afternoon News Brief

Marco Coles

A parolee from Rochester has been arrested and jailed, following a complaint to police of a burglary in progress. Troopers responded to a home on Telephone Road, Pavilion and a short time later, arrested 35-year-old Marco Coles of Rochester. Coles had stolen a car earlier but abandoned it before breaking into the house. Coles was charged with second-degree burglary, felony criminal mischief for damage done while breaking into the home, third degree possession of stolen property and also burglary with intent to steal. He was arraigned and committed to Genesee County Jail without bail. Coles was released from state prison May 2 after serving a five-year term for an attempted robbery conviction in Monroe County in 2017. His parole expired in August but he is on post-release supervision until February 11, 2027, according to state Department of Corrections. Coles also served a four-year term for a 2012 robbery conviction in Monroe.

 

A woman in Corfu will serve a year of federal probation after she took money from people for a fraudulent charity in Africa. Back in 2015, 57-year-old Julie Keller started soliciting money for what she thought was an orphanage in Africa. She continued to collect money through 2020. She received about $183,000 (thousand), which she deposited in several different banks. Investigation revealed that she knew she was supporting a fake charity but kept fundraising anyway. Each of the banks she worked with shut down her accounts for fraudulent or suspicious activity. It’s unclear at this time whether or not she kept any of the money or just sent it to the scammers; however, either way, she was ordered to repay all of the money she took.

 

Superintendent Smith

The Batavia City School District’s Board of Education has unanimously approved an amendment to extend Superintendent Jason Smith’s contract through June 2027. In exchange for his long-term commitment to the district, the Board granted Smith non-salary benefits, including a $3000 annual stipend should he choose not to enroll in the District’s insurance plan, a $2000 annual increase of his retirement contribution as well as compensation for unused vacation and sick days, which would only be received following his retirement from the District. The amendment to Superintendent Smith’s contract will take effect July 1, 2023. An option for both Smith and the Board of Education to extend the contract on an annual basis beyond 2027 is also in place.

 

 

Lisa Shuler

Seth Larson

An Irondequoit man is facing prison time after being convicted of brutally murdering his girlfriend. It took a jury only a few hours yesterday to find 41-year-old Seth Larson guilty of killing 37-year-old Lisa Shuler. Her remains were discovered in 2021 at the residence she shared in Irondequoit with Larson and also at Durand Lake. Larson will be sentenced in March.

 

 

 

Unidentified sick child – file photo

The latest New York State Flu Tracker data shows Monroe County still has the highest number of flu cases in our region, with 132 confirmed cases of the illness during the week that ended January 14th. Erie County has the second highest with 81; and Ontario County, the third-highest number of infections with 35. The overall number of New Yorkers who have contracted the flu since the season started is 300,907.

 

Governor Hochul

Newly sworn in Governor Hochul has the highest approval rating she has ever had according to a Siena College poll. Her approval rating average is 56 percent, which is up from 49 last month. Her stance on taxes and making more jobs are the most popular. People polled also think she will make the state safer and work to fix the mental health system. Increasing tuition at SUNY schools was not popular. Democrats were far more likely to approve of her actions and promises but Republicans also approved of the majority of her plans.

 

According to Triple A, the average national cost for a gallon of regular fuel is $3.45. The state average is at $3.53 a gallon. In Batavia, we’re paying an average per gallon price of $3.40, up a penny from yesterday and a nickel from a week ago.

 

 

 

Governor Hochul says three Western New York communities are going to be sharing $19,000,000 (million) in funding. The governor said yesterday some of the $10,000,000 (million) Dunkirk is receiving will be used to create a Strategic Investment Plan. The goal of that plan is to look into economic development, transportation, housing and community projects that’ll improve the community’s downtown area. Lancaster and Wellsville will be evenly splitting the remaining $9,000,000 (million).

Owen Power

The Buffalo Sabres have extending their winning streak to three games after picking up a victory in the Lone Star State. Owen Power scored the deciding goal in overtime as the Sabres defeated the Dallas Stars 3-2 at the American Airlines Center last night. Victor Olofsson and Rasmus Dahlin also had a goal each while goalie Craig Anderson stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for the Sabres is a road game tonight against the Saint Louis Blues.

 

 

The moment of Josh Allen’s elbow injury – 11/8/22

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen says he’s not planning to have surgery on his injured elbow during the off-season. Allen made the announcement yesterday during his end-of-the season news conference, saying he believes resting his arm will be enough for it to fully recover. Allen was hurt during a game with the New York Jets during the regular season but never missed a start.

 

 

Plans to build a brand-new stadium for the Buffalo Bills have taken another important step forward. Yesterday, the directors of the Erie County Stadium Corporation signed off on a deal that would allow an over one-billion-dollar facility to be built near Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park which is where the team currently plays its home games. The state will provide $600,000,000 (million) for the project; the Bills will pay $550,000,000 (million), and the cost for the county will be $250,000,000 (million). The hope is the stadium can be open for the 2026 season.

 

Brooks & Dunn, file photo from 2022

Popular country music duo Brooks and Dunn are bringing their “Reboot 2023 Tour” to Buffalo this year. They’ll be performing at the KeyBank Center on Saturday, May 13th in the KeyBank Center. Brooks and Dunn will be joined at the show by former American Idol winner Scotty McCreery. Tickets for the concert go on sale this Friday at 10:00am at the box office or through Ticketmaster.

Morning News Brief

Newly Sworn in Governor Hochul has the highest approval rating she has ever had according to a Siena College poll.  Her approval rating average is 56 percent which is up from 49 last month.  Her stance on taxes and making more jobs are the most popular.  People polled also think she will make the state safer and work to fix the mental health system.  Increasing Tuition at SUNY schools was not popular.  Democrats were far more likely to approve of her actions and promises but Republicans also approved of the majority of her plans.

A woman in Corfu will serve a year of federal probation after she took money from people for a fraudulent charity in Africa.  57 year old Julie Keller started soliciting money for an orphanage in Africa in 2015 and continued through 2020.  She got about 183 thousand dollars in donations and deposited it in several different banks.  The case against her found that she knew she was supporting a fake charity but kept fundraising anyway.  Each of the banks she worked with shut down her accounts for fraudulent or suspicious activity.  It isn’t clear if she kept any of the money or just sent it to scammers.  She was ordered to repay 163 thousand of the money she took.

Batavia High School has a new head coach for the Varsity Football Program, Alex Veltz.  Veltz is a Batavia High School graduate and a member of the 2003 and 2004 Varsity Football teams. In 2018, he returned to BCSD as a social studies teacher at Batavia High School.  He joined the Batavia Football program coaching staff in 2012 and 2013 as a defensive coordinator for the JV team, then returned in 2019 as the JV offensive coordinator and moved to the Varsity program in 2021 as the offensive coordinator.  Superintendent Jason Smith says that “Veltz is a Blue Devil through and through!”

The office for the Aging is hosting the Western New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for an event on how to use healthy habits to improve the body and mind.  The event is today from 2 to 3 pm and will cover 4 areas of lifestyle habits associated with healthy aging: cognitive activity, exercise, diet and nutrition, and social engagement.  Participants will learn, based on current research, the steps they can take now to improve or maintain overall health in each area and use hands-on tools to help incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging.

Batavia drivers are paying just a little bit more money when it comes time to fill up their vehicles these days. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is three-40. That’s up five cents in the past week and is eleven cents higher than a month ago. The state average is at three-53 a gallon and nationally it is three-45.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester has announced the funeral arrangements for Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark. He passed away over the weekend at the age of 85 and had been in declining health for some time. A public visitation will be this Sunday from three p-m until seven p-m at Sacred Heart Cathedral and that’ll be followed by another public visitation Monday from ten a-m until 11-30 a-m and Clark’s funeral at noon. Clark was the leader of the diocese from 1979 until 2012.

The Buffalo Sabres put a third game in a row in the win column with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.  Rookie Owen Power, Rasmus Dahlin, and Victor Olofsson scored for Buffalo.  Craig Anderson Stopped 29 shots in the net.  Sabres will continue to try to work their way up in the East as their four game road trip continues tonight against the St. Louis Blues.  Puck drop at the Enterprise Center is at 8pm. 

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen says he’s not planning to have surgery on his injured elbow during the offseason. Allen made the announcement yesterday during his end-of-the season news conference, saying he believes resting his arm will be enough for it to fully recover. Allen was hurt during a game with the New York Jets during the regular season but never missed a start. The Bills were eliminated from the playoffs by the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Afternoon News Brief

Ronald Washburn

62-year-old Ronald Washburn of Stafford has been indicted on charges of sexually abusing two children, in separate cases 10 years apart. Both children were less than 11 years of age. Washburn was their babysitter; the investigation has been ongoing since 2018.

 

 

 

 

37-year-old Donald Dylag, Jr. of Corfu has been indicted on one count of assault in the second degree, a Class D violent felony. Dylag is accused of intent to cause serious physical injury to a person in Pembroke on August 9th.

 

 

54-year-old Ronald Charles Inzinna of LeRoy is charged with criminal contempt. He is accused of violating a stay-away order of protection in the Town of Le Roy. Inzinna was issued an appearance ticket.

 

 

 

General Motors has announced it plans to invest $68,000,000 (million) in its plant in Rochester. The automaker says the move will help position them in the forefront of the rapidly-growing electric vehicle market. Officials with G-M say the Rochester plant is uniquely positioned to help enable the company to transition to electric vehicles. Over the next two years, they say they could add another 100 employees to the 750 who already work at the plant.

 

Josh Allen with other Bills players – January 22, 2023

For the second consecutive season, the Buffalo Bills exited the postseason with a loss in the AFC Divisional round. The Cincinnati Bengals dominated Buffalo at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park yesterday, 27-to-10. The Bills were unable to score the entire second half. Josh Allen completed 25 of his 42 pass attempts for 265 yards and ran for a touchdown, but also threw one interception. Cincinnati heads to Kansas City next Sunday to face the Chiefs for a spot in Super Bowl 57 in Arizona next month. It’s also a rematch of last year’s AFC title game, which the Bengals won. Meanwhile, the match-ups are set for the NFC and AFC Championship Games. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Cowboys to advance to their third NFC title game in the last four seasons. The Niners will face the top-seeded Eagles in Philadelphia with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. The Bengals and Chiefs will square off in the AFC Championship Game for the second straight season after Cincinnati beat Buffalo in the Divisional round.

 

Damar Hamlin at Bills game – 1/22/23

Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin returned to Highmark Stadium for the first time yesterday since his medical emergency at a game earlier this month. Hamlin was seen entering the team locker room on his own before kickoff, followed by his mom, his dad and his younger brother. The Bills took to Twitter to welcome Hamlin home after he suffered cardiac arrest during a game earlier this month. While his family said he has a long road ahead, doctors have called Hamlin’s recovery “fairly remarkable.”

 

 

 

Peyton Krebs

The Sabres won their Saturday night game against the Anaheim Ducks 6 to 3. Victor Olofsson and Peyton Krebs scored twice each and Dylan Cozens and Jeff Skinner scored once each for the Sabres. This makes 2 in a row for Buffalo who now have a record of 23-19 and 3. They play again tonight in Dallas against the Stars, with face-off at 8:30.

 

 

Costs are up at the Postal Service this week. Yesterday, the cost of a first class forever stamp went up from 60-cents to 63-cents. Other price hikes include the cost of sending a domestic postcard from 44 cents to 48 cents and an international postcard went from $1.40 to $1.45.

 

 

 

Regal Cinema, Transit Road, Williamsville

Regal Cinemas is closing two locations in Western New York. The news comes after the nation’s second-largest theater chain announced last week that they would be shutting down nearly 40 locations across the country. The Buffalo area locations affected are the Regal on Transit Road in Williamsville and the location on Elmwood Avenue in North Buffalo. Regal had closed a dozen other theaters prior to filing for bankruptcy. Business Insider reports the company just can’t seem to rebound from the pandemic.

Morning News Brief

The Governor was in Buffalo to recognize heroes of the Christmas weekend blizzard and members of the Genesee Snopackers were among the dozens of people in attendance.  Nathan Fix and Tony Johnston received the Governor’s Medal of Public Service.  Fix and Johnston, along with Deputy Kevin McCarthy, who rode with them in the Snopackers groomer and received a certificate of recognition, spent 17 hours in Oakfield and Alabama, making their way through heavy wind and snow on snow-covered roads, rescuing people from stranded vehicles.

A Batavia man has been indicted on charges of sexually abusing a child.  Ronald Washburn is indicted on a count of sexual abuse in the first degree, a Class D violent felony, and one count of sexual conduct against a child, a Class D felony. Washburn is accused of sexual contact with a child less than 11 years old in the City of Batavia at least two or more times between February 2018 and April 2018.

Batavia Downs has announced 2 new events coming to the casino in February and March.  The 4th Annual Brew Fest will be February 18th from 5 to 8pm.  It is presented by the Young Lion and Genesee Brewery.  Tickets are 40 dollars for 3 hours of beer sampling from Western New York Breweries.  The second event taking place on March 3rd is a concert with KISS tribute band KISS This.  Tickets are 15 dollars and come with 10 dollars in free play on the day of the show.  Tickets for these 2 events will be available at www.BataviaConcerts.com beginning on Friday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m.

Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark, the former head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, died early Sunday at age 85 according to the diocese.  Clark was Bishop of Rochester from 1979 to 2012.  He retired at 75 years old.  In 2019 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  In a letter sent to priests, deacons, and the religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Rochester, Bishop Salvatore Matano said Clark died in his room at the Sisters of Saint Joseph Motherhouse following “a period of declining health.”

The Buffalo Sabres won their game against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night 6 to 3.  Victor Olofsson and Peyton Krebs scored twice each and Dylan Cozens and Jeff Skinner scored once each for the Sabres.  This makes 2 in a row for the Sabres who have a record of 23 and 19 and 3.  Their next matchup is tonight in Dallas against the Stars at 8:30.

The Cincinnati Bengals are punching their ticket to the AFC Championship Game.  They notched a road win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, 27-10.  Cincinnati heads to Kansas City next Sunday to face the Chiefs for a spot in Super Bowl 57 in Arizona next month.  It’s also a rematch of last year’s AFC title game, won by the Bengals.  Buffalo’s season came to an end as safety Damar Hamlin attended the game following his on-field cardiac arrest earlier this month.

Weekend News Brief

The woman who’s dog, Oddey, a french bulldog, ate cocaine, has once again failed to appear for her court date.  30 year old Cassandra Elmore actually did show up, but then left the building before her case was called on Friday afternoon.  A warrant will be issued for her arrest at 2 p.m. on Monday if she doesn’t appear in court before then.  Legally, Elmore still owns Oddey, and the animal shelter must care for it without putting it up for adoption unless she signs over custody of the dog to the county or the case is resolved in a manner that permits her to again take possession of the dog.  Since her initial arrest, Elmore has also been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstruction of governmental administration, aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd.  Elmore has failed to appear several times and the judge has been lenient on all previous occasions.

3 people, 48 year old Timothy Tucker, 23 year old Chastity Banks, and 19 year old Loany Gato Aronategui were arraigned in Buffalo City Court Friday for criminal possession of a controlled substance after they were caught with 14 kilos of cocaine inside a garage in a rental home.  The home was on the 100 block of Pine Street in Buffalo.  The 3 are suspected of being part of a trafficking ring stretching from coast to coast.  They are from California and Nevada.

Remarkable as Damar Hamlin’s recovery has been, the Buffalo Bills safety still faces a lengthy rehabilitation some three weeks after going into cardiac arrest and needing to be resuscitated on the field during a game in Cincinnati, his marketing representative told The Associated Press on Thursday night.  Hamlin is still on oxygen, and a heart monitor.  Hamlin has not yet made a public appearance except for a photograph linebacker Matt Milano posted on his Instagram account of his teammate at the Bills facility on Saturday. And he’s not yet spoken publicly except for posting messages on his social media accounts.

The Holland Land Office is having their next Java with Joe on Thursday the 26th at 9am.  Richard Beatty will be presenting, “The Darwin Martin House-Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo 1905 Masterpiece.” Admission is free, and coffee and donuts will be served.  Richard Beatty, a senior docent at the site, will give a presentation on Wright’s incredible design, his client Darwin D. Martin, and the long history of the complex.  Abandoned and neglected during the Depression, taken for back taxes in 1946, and then partially demolished in 1960, the complex of buildings and landscape has been completely restored.  Part of Mr Beatty’s presentation will include a history of the organization that took shape in the 1980s in response to the ongoing decline of the masterpiece, focusing on the key role that volunteers play in presenting the site to visitors from all over the world.

40 Buffalo Plows have been named by the public with fairly predictable results.  In November the Erie County Department of Public Works announced a new contest to name a county snowplow.  A spokesperson for the department announced 3,116 plow truck names were submitted by the public for the contest. That number was then narrowed down to 104 finalists in an “under 18” category and 111 finalists in an “over 18” category. The names that were chosen as finalists were then posted for public voting. Voters were asked to choose their top five names in each category.  The top name in the under 18 category was Stefon Diggsyouout.  And in the over 18 category it was Plowey McPlowface, a reference to the publicly chosen name for the UK Research vessel which was officially named RRS Sir David Attenborough and had the name Boaty McBoatface applied to one of its Underwater vehicles instead.  Crews will be affixing the new names to the plows over the coming days and participants who submitted the winning names will be contacted to have a photo taken with “their” snowplow if they choose to.

Afternoon News Brief

Jim Owen

The man known as the mayor of Redfield Parkway, passed away yesterday. Jim Owen was well known in the community and WBTA has devoted the next Genesee Life program with Lucine Kauffman as a tribute to Jim Owen. The program airs this Sunday morning at 8:30 and can be streamed anytime on the Genesee Life page here, on our website.

 

 

 

File photo of unidentified man shoveling snow

Wyoming County is under a winter weather advisory until 1:00am tomorrow morning with the national weather service predicting 4 to 7 additional inches of snow accumulation. Periods of snow will result in snow covered roads and occasional limited visibility.

 

 

Provided photo of ambulance in need of replacement

The fundraiser for a new ambulance in LeRoy continues. To date, they have raised a little over $28,000 and they continue to accept donations. The anticipated cost of the new ambulance is roughly $182,000, which is likely to increase as costs continue to rise. They are also exploring grant and financing options. To find out how you can donate, call 768-8612.

 

 

Rachel Tabelski (file photo)

City Manager Rachel Tabelski tells us that the City of Batavia is considering a raise in the tax cap. She noted the rising prices of diesel, health care, and wages as reasons for asking the City to override the state regulated tax cap this year. Batavia City Council members voted to override the state’s 2 percent property tax cap just two years ago, passing a 7.5 percent property tax increase as part of the City’s 2020-21 budget. Tabelski will provide a budget presentation and Council is expected to review and discuss her recommendations during its conference session next week. The session is set for 7:00pm, Monday January 23rd, in the Council Board Room at City Hall.

 

Raymond Girard

34-year-old Raymond Girard of Rochester has been charged with numerous felony thefts in Livingston County. He is also a felon caught in possession of ammunition, that’s the most recent charge and stems from alleged death threats Girard made to Monroe County executive Adam Bello. The thefts included credit cards, several vehicles, money, tools and a drum set. Girard remains in Monroe County Jail with bail set at $5000.

 

 

 

Buffalo Mayor Brown and Mark Poloncarz

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the number of people who lost their lives during the recent blizzard has increased by three. That means the death toll due to last month’s weather disaster is now sitting at 47. There were 46 deaths in Erie County and one in Niagara County. Poloncarz said yesterday a medical examiner is trying to determine if three more deaths are connected to the storm.

 

Aftermath of house fire at 140 Harbor Street, Wilson NY

An investigation is still underway into what started a fire in Niagara County that left a father and his young child injured. The blaze happened late Wednesday night at a home on Harbor Street in the Village of Wilson. When the first crews arrived, the residence was engulfed in flames and a five-year-old boy ended up being taken to Oshei Children’s Hospital, and then transferred to Strong and remains in critical condition. His 35-year-old father is at Erie County Medical Center and early this morning was listed in serious condition in the burn unit. No one else at the house was hurt.

 

There’s still a couple of months left of cold weather, and the Firefighters Association of the State of New York is providing tips to make sure folks heat their homes safely. The agency recommends keeping anything that can burn at least three feet away from a heating source, never using your oven to heat your home and having your chimney inspected by a qualified professional. Also, test smoke alarms at least once a month and turn portable heaters off before leaving a room. Studies show heating equipment is the third leading cause of home fire deaths.

 

The Buffalo Bills will be back in action this Sunday as they look to keep their season alive against the defending AFC champions. The Bills are hosting the Cincinnati Bengals at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. These two teams played in the regular season, but that game ended up being canceled after Damar Hamlin of the Bills collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is scheduled for 3:00.

 

 

Dylan Cozens

The Buffalo Sabres have snapped their two-game losing streak after picking up a much-needed win on home ice. Dylan Cozens scored in overtime as the Sabres beat the New York Islanders 3-2 at KeyBank Center last night. Alex Tuch and Victor Olofsson also had a goal each for the Sabres and goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 24 of 26 shots. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow against the Anaheim Ducks; the puck drops at 12:30.

 

 

 

File photo of unidentified woman donating blood

The American Red Cross is offering blood donors the chance to watch Super Bowl 57 in-person next month. Anyone who donates blood until January 31st will be entered to win roundtrip airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to see the game, which is happening on Sunday, February 12th at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Winners also get a 500-dollar gift card for expenses. An appointment to donate can be set up by visiting redcrossblood.org. Locally, the next few blood drives will be held at Northgate Free Methodist Church on Saturday, January 28th from 8am until 2:00pm and Thursday, February 2nd from 1:00pm until 6:00pm. And also on Thursday, February 2nd, at the New York State School for the Blind, from 10am until 3:00pm. Additional information is available by following this link:

https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?order=DATE&range=10&zipSponsor=14020

 

Wireless carrier T-Mobile announced that an unidentified malicious intruder breached its network late in November, and stole data on 37 million customers; including addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth. Based on information gathered through their own internal investigation, the theft did not include passwords, personal identification numbers, bank account or credit card information, Social Security numbers or other government IDs. The company has been hacked multiple times in recent years. Executives at T-Mobile said it’s not expected this latest breach will have material impact on its operations but does raise questions about management’s cyber governance and could alienate customers in addition to invite scrutiny by the Federal Communications Commission and other regulators.

 

The Powerball jackpot just keeps growing and lottery players are going to be lining up to buy their tickets so they can have a shot at winning a big prize. Because no one won on Wednesday, the jackpot for tomorrow night’s drawing will be at least $473,000,000 (million). The drawing will be streamed live online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Wyoming County is under a winter weather advisory till Saturday morning with the national weather service expecting 3-6 inches of snow coming down.  Periods of snow will result in snow covered roads and limited visibilities. Slow down and use caution while driving. 

Jim Owen, known as the mayor of Redfield Parkway, passed away on Thursday.  Owen was known as a positive figure in the community with an infectious positivity.  In a 2015 interview over WBTA Owen talked about the history of Redfield.  Parkway and the origin of the street in 1912.  WBTA will devote our entire Genesee Life program with Lucine Kauffman as a  tribute to Jim Owen. The program airs this Sunday morning at 8:30 and can be streamed right now on the Genesee Life page of our website, WBTAi.com

A report of a man with a handgun walking on St. Paul Street prompted a lockout at Robert Clemente School No. 8 Thursday morning, according to police.  A driver called 911 and reported a man walking with a gun outside the school at 10:10 a.m. but was unable to find the man.  Police said the school was on lockout until officers completed checking the area.  The Rochester City School District said it went into a brief lockout due to “suspicious activity in the neighborhood.”

The City of Batavia is weighing raising the tax cap again.  City Manager Rachel Tabelski cited the rising prices of diesel, health care, and wages as a reason for asking the City to override the state regulated tax cap this year.  Batavia City Council members voted to override the state’s 2 percent property tax cap just two years ago, passing a 7.5 percent property tax increase as part of the City’s 2020-21 budget.  Tabelski is to provide a budget presentation and Council is expected to review and discuss her recommendations during its conference session next week. The session is set for 7 p.m. Monday in the Council Board Room at City Hall.

Governor Hochul has joined with the federal Consumer Product Safety Board in the idea of taking away gas stoves.  New York State expects its entire climate plan to cost around $270 billion to implement, and there are also major goals to include reducing carbon emissions by 2030 and part of that is the discussion around natural gas and gas burning kitchen appliances.  Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing for a plan that would end the sale of fossil fuel-powered heating equipment starting in 2030 while putting an end to installing gas-burning appliances for new homes in 2025.  This phase-out is now receiving pushback from the Erie County Legislature. The legislature unanimously passed a resolution Thursday that opposes the governor’s ban.

Gov. Hochul announced Thursday that 478,000 residential customers and 56,000 small businesses across the state will receive $672 million in assistance to pay off past-due utility bills.  The debt-forgiveness program will not only provide financial relief to customers, but it will also help avoid termination of service for many New Yorkers.  The one-time credits will provide relief to these customers for the period through May 1, 2022.  In an initiative separate from the Thursday announcement, Hochul also announced $200 million in relief for electric bills as a discount to over 800,000 New Yorkers making under $75,000 who weren’t eligible for the State’s current utility discount program.

The Buffalo Sabres broke their 2 game losing streak with an overtime goal 12 seconds in against the New York Islanders Thursday night 3 to 2.  Dylan Cozens scored the game winning goal after Islanders Goalie Ilya Sorokin made 42 saves during the game.  The Islanders only shot 24 times against Ukko Pekka Luukkonen.  Victor Olofsson and Alex Tuch scored for Buffalo.  The Sabres will take on the Anaheim Ducks at the Keybank Center in a matinee game on Saturday at 12:30pm.  

Afternoon News Brief

D’Mario Caesar

A Buffalo man is facing up to 15 years in prison for his role in a deadly hit-and-run that happened more than five years ago. Yesterday, a jury found 36-year-old D’Mario Caesar guilty of striking a pedestrian who was crossing the street near Bailey Avenue in Buffalo back in July 2017. The victim, who was later identified as 31-year-old Brandyn Mallory, passed away due to his injuries at Erie County Medical Center. Caesar will be sentenced in March and is behind bars without bail.

 

 

 

Brenda Wells

Gates police are still trying to track down the driver who was involved in a deadly hit-and-run in their community. They say 55-year-old Brenda Wells of Hilton was struck Sunday night on Elmgrove Road near a YMCA, in Gates. She was rushed to a nearby hospital but passed away due to her injuries on Tuesday. Police have found the vehicle that hit her and the investigation continues. (Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 585-247-2262.)

 

Solar panels – file photo

A nearly 21 acre solar farm has been proposed to the Town of Batavia to be located at 7755 Oak Orchard Drive (Route 98). The property is owned by Call Farms and the portion required for the project would be leased. The parcel is presently being used as farmland, with some forested areas. The company developing the project is New Leaf Energy and is seeking a special use permit to install the 5-megawatt solar system. A public hearing about the proposal is scheduled for March 7th at Town Hall.

 

140 Harbor Street, Wilson NY (photo from Zillow website)

A 5-year-old boy was critically injured with burns in a residential house fire in Wilson. Niagara County Sheriff’s tell us a 35-year-old man was also injured in the fire at 140 Harbor Street. A 41-year-old woman was uninjured and accompanied her son to Oishei Children’s Hospital. Three dogs were rescued by deputies from the fire and given to neighbors for safekeeping at the owner’s request. There is no property damage estimate available at this time and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

 

67-year-old Amish farmer Samuel Girod of Fillmore has been arrested and charged with felony predatory sexual assault of a child, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. He had been undergoing treatment at an Amish and Plain-sect sexual rehabilitation center after his arrest for molesting a child but now faces more serious charges. An investigation revealed Girod had subjected a child of 13 with sexual contact for many years. Girod was committed to Allegany County Jail but was released after posting $20,000 bail. The case has lingered there while Girod sought treatment at the Pennsylvania center. Troopers arrested him on the new charges when he showed up for a court date earlier this month. He was arraigned on the new charges but no additional bail was set and Girod was released. Girod’s arrest comes at a time when sex abuse among Plain-sect communities has become more openly discussed. Various investigations over the course of years has revealed sex abuse, incest in particular, is seldom reported and that men are rarely prosecuted. Many are allowed to attend treatment centers such as Whispering Hope, located in Newville, Pennsylvania, in return for lighter sentences. Whispering Hope opened in 2001 and is private, with no actual doctors or trained therapists.

 

Attorney General Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James has wrapped up her latest visit to the region where she discussed the importance of people in the area having access to mental health care. James and other leaders gathered at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library yesterday to hear from both health care workers and individuals who have lost family members who suffered from mental health issues. James said that the state’s entire mental health system is being examined and that the necessary changes will be made. If you or anyone else is having mental health issues, help is available by calling 716-834-3131.

 

 

Firefighters battling a blaze (file photo)

The state’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control is beginning new outreach efforts to protect firefighters and their families from the threat of cancer. One goal of this initiative is to raise awareness among members of the fire service about how they can develop protocols for cancer prevention. Data shows firefighters are at a higher risk of getting cancer due to the toxins they are exposed to at the scene of emergencies. If their gear is not decontaminated properly, they might expose family members to harmful chemicals.

 

 

 

Rush-Henrietta Senior High School (file photo)

Officials at Rush-Henrietta High School say several students have been suspended following a recent fight on campus. The incident happened this past Friday and was started by a student in the district who attends an alternative school and wasn’t supposed to be in the building. There are now Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies posted at the school when students arrive and leave. And the district is looking into whether any policy changes need to be made to prevent something like this from happening again.

 

Negative Covid test result

According to the latest report from the state, the spread COVID-19 is on the decline in our region. Currently, the seven-day average infection rate is sitting at 6.35%. At this time last week, the average infection rate was at 6.74%. While fewer people are testing positive for the illness, anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against the virus is urged to get their shot to help prevent another spike in cases.

 

 

Just putting my two cents in…

Gas prices keep climbing. According to Triple A today, the national average price for regular is $3.38 a gallon. That’s a penny higher than yesterday and 9 cents higher than a week ago. The state average is at $3.47. In Batavia, we’re paying $3.37; up 2 cents from yesterday but down two cents from a month ago.

 

 

Damar Hamlin visits a Bills practice – January 14, 2023

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott says Damar Hamlin has been visiting the team’s facility in Orchard Park on an almost daily basis. Hamlin is still recovering after going into cardiac arrest during a game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals earlier this month. McDermott says Hamlin has been focused on trying to get back into a routine so he can continue his road towards being himself again. There’s no word if Hamlin will be at the Bills’ home playoff game against the Bengals on Sunday.

 

 

Ryan Miller

The Buffalo Sabres are going to retire the number of goaltender Ryan Miller ahead of the team’s game against the New York Islanders tonight. A sold-out crowd is expected and fans who are going to the contest at KeyBank Center are urged to be in their seats before the ceremony starts at 6:00pm. Miller was a member of the Sabres for over a decade and is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played by a goaltender as well as wins and saves. Face-off for the game between the Sabres and Islanders is set for 7:30.

 

Morning News Brief

There is a winter weather advisory in effect for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties till 3 this afternoon.  Freezing rain can cause ice accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch on the roads and other surfaces.  Plan for the roads to be slippery mostly in the morning.  Slow down especially on turns and give extra room for stopping between vehicles.  

The 12th Annual Shooting for a Cure event at the Pembroke High School is set for February 3rd at 7pm.  The girls basketball team has raised over 227,000 dollars in support of Roswell Park in their past 11 games.  Admission is free for the Pembroke, Oakfield Alabama game and the money will be raised by selling raffle tickets, concessions sales and apparel.  You can also make donations through their website by following the link at WBTAi.com.  http://give.roswellpark.org/goto/shooting-for-a-cure-12

In addition to the apparel sale, Can Jam Redemption Center in Corfu has partnered with Shooting For A Cure! From today, up through February 3rd, you can donate your bottle and can return slips in support of cancer research at Roswell Park. When you bring in your returns, just let them know that you’d like to donate your slip to our Shooting For A Cure! Mission.  All of the proceeds will benefit cancer research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

The 19th Annual Agriculture Dinner at the Alexander Fire Hall will take place on March 25th at 6pm.  The dinner will be made by Culinary Arts students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center using ingredients from 10 local farms.  This annual event is a celebration of Genesee County’s #1 Industry.  The dinner is open to the public but there are only 400 tickets.  The tickets cost 30 dollars each or a table of 10 for 275.  To get the registration information go to www.geneseeny.com

The state’s Office of Fire Prevention and Control is beginning new outreach efforts to protect firefighters and their families from the threat of cancer. One goal of this initiative is to raise awareness among members of the fire service about how they can develop protocols for cancer prevention. Data shows firefighters are at a higher risk of getting cancer due to the toxins they are exposed to at the scene of emergencies. If their gear is not decontaminated properly, they might expose family members to harmful chemicals.

Staff of the Western New York Independent Living Family of Agencies are among the presenters at the virtual LiveOn NY’s 33rd Annual Conference on Aging and Sponsor Expo, “Building the Future Together”  On the opening Day, Wednesday January 25, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM, Independent Living of the Genesee Region  Director Rae Frank will lead the first of 14 workshops: “Workshop 1: Impacting the Community and Adapting to the Times”, featuring presenters from ILGR in Batavia, Mental Health Peer Connection and the Independent Living Center, both in Buffalo.  People interested in attending can follow the link on WBTAi.com: https://www.tfaforms.com/5016662  The cost to participate in this three-day virtual event is $90 for LiveOn NY members, $140 for non-members.

The Monthly Batavia Sports Card and Collectible Show is back at Quality Inn starting on January 22nd.  The show runs from 10 am to 3pm and is free to attend.  About 60 vendors with sports cards, autographs, supplies, hobby boxes and other collectibles will be there with their wares.  If you have questions you can call 585 694 0111.  

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott says Damar Hamlin has been visiting the team’s facility in Orchard Park on an almost daily basis. Hamlin is still recovering after going into cardiac arrest during a game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals earlier this month. McDermott says Hamlin has been focused on trying to get back into a routine so he can continue his road towards being himself again. There’s no word if Hamlin will be at the Bills’ home playoff game against the Bengals on Sunday.

The Buffalo Sabres are going to retire the number of goaltender Ryan Miller ahead of the team’s game against the New York Islanders tonight. A sold-out crowd is expected and fans who are going to the contest at KeyBank Center are urged to be in their seats before the ceremony starts at six p-m. Miller was a member of the Sabres for over a decade and is the franchise’s all-time leader in games played by a goaltender as well as wins and saves. Face-off for the game between the Sabres and Islanders is set for seven-30 p-m.

Afternoon News Brief

John Sumlin III

43-year-old John Sumlin III of Batavia, in jail for allegedly breaking into a woman’s residence and holding a knife against her neck, has now been indicted for calling the woman while in jail. Earlier charges include first-degree burglary, felony criminal mischief, assault and menacing. And now, felony criminal contempt of court has been added to the list for violating an order of protection. Sumlin remains in jail.

 

 

Lisa Bors

Lisa Bors has been hired as ARC GLOW’s new public relations director. She has twenty years’ experience in the field. Bors reflected that Arc GLOW is a family-driven organization, empowering people with disabilities of all ages to be valued members of the community. She added she looks forward to increasing community awareness and private support of the organization.

 

 

 

Wyoming County officials say the closure of the NYS Thruway during major winter storms puts drivers at a higher risk of crashing. They’re asking New York State officials to review the decision to close the Thruway during the November lake-effect snowstorm. This is largely because of steep and rolling hills and turns that are characteristic of county roads there and create scary travel and hazardous conditions. During the storm on November 18th, more than 20 tractor-trailer incidents were documented. County officials say it will take more collaboration from Albany and local authorities to find a solution because it is not one size fits all for each storm.

 

 

Hector LaSalle

Governor Hochul’s nominee to be the next Chief Judge of the State Court of Appeals will have a hearing in Albany today. Hector LaSalle will be appearing in front of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing. LaSalle’s nomination has drawn criticism from lawmakers, advocates, and labor leaders who have concerns about his judicial record. The governor says regardless of how today’s hearing goes; LaSalle’s nomination needs to be voted on by the full Senate.

 

 

TSA agent – file photo

A new report from the Transportation Security Administration shows the number of guns detected at Upstate New York airport security checkpoints increased last year. During routine screenings, TSA officers spotted 23 weapons in 2022, a total that includes three at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. In 2021, there were 19 handguns caught at upstate airports. As a reminder, passengers who bring firearms to a security checkpoint may face criminal charges as well as civil penalties from the TSA.

 

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

Tickets for a potential neutral-site AFC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta are on sale, available today and tomorrow for all season ticket holders for both teams who previously opted in to purchase AFC Championship Game tickets. The contest is set for Sunday, January 29th and would involve the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. All other fans will have to participate in a pre-sale that begins at 10:00am Friday. However, both teams would need to win their respective playoff games this weekend for that to happen. There will be a six-ticket limit for all purchases and should the game not take place in Atlanta, all of those tickets would be refunded.

 

Peyton Krebs (file photo)

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game losing streak after suffering a tough defeat on the road in the Windy City. Tage Thompson, Peyton Krebs, and Victor Olofsson had goal each but the Sabres still fell to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime at the United Center last night. Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson gave up four goals on the 26 shots that he faced in the contest. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow night at home against the New York Islanders with face-off at 7:30.

 

 

Chicago on stage (2022)

A rock group that’s sold millions of albums and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is bringing its new tour to the area later this year. Chicago will take the stage at Kodak Center in Rochester on Wednesday, June 21st. The band is known for several huge hits including “You’re the Inspiration,” “25 or 6 to 4,” “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” “Color My World,” and “Make Me Smile.” Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday at 10:00am at the box office or through Ticketmaster.

 

 

Hey, I think I’m related to them…

Tonight’s Powerball jackpot is up to an estimated $439,000,000 (million). The lump-sum payout is more than $237 million, before taxes. The drawing is at 11:00 tonight. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

The Better Business Bureau of Upstate NY is warning people of a new scam involving parking tickets.  This scam has been used in multiple cities across the US and involves a scammer using a machine that prints fake parking tickets and then placing them on the windshields of people, usually near events or hotels.  The ticket looks real and usually has a number to call and pay or a website or QR code.  Sending the money not only gives the scammers your money, it also gives them your financial information.  These scammers might target out of towners to get people who will be fooled into thinking they are parked illegally.  Some tips to avoid getting caught in this scam are: know the parking laws where you are, do an internet search for the city or towns parking ticket payment locations, see if the payment information is the same as the city, and only pay tickets by credit card if possible so you can get the charges reversed later if its a scam.

The New York State Department of Health released its county opioid quarterly report, which showed a 14% increase in 2021 opioid overdose deaths compared to 2020.  Important findings that compare the 2021 to 2020 data include the following: there were 4,766 deaths in 2021, a 12.6% increase in outpatient Emergency Department visits due to opioid overdoses, with 10,430 visits in 2021,  and a 30.2% increase in outpatient Emergency Department visits due to opioid overdoses outside of heroin, including illicitly produced opioids like fentanyl, there were 5,137 visits in 2021.  Naloxone kits are available and the GCASA encourages businesses and community organizations to install a emergency Narcan station.

On Jan. 10, the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors voted to send a resolution that called for New York State officials to review the decision to close the Thruway during the November lake-effect snowstorm.  Rebecca Ryan, who serves as the Chairman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors, said, “Our geography is rolling hills and turns. When I say rolling I mean steep hills going down.”  Ryan says county roads were scary to travel during the last two snow storms.  That is why the county wrote up a resolution for state officials, outlining why the closure of the thruway put more people at risk in Wyoming County.  During the storm on Nov. 18, more than 20 tractor-trailer incidents were documented, and EMS Director Brian Meyers says it will take more collaboration from Albany and local authorities to find a solution because it is not one size fits all for each storm.

This month is Radon Action Month, an annual time to check your home for Radon gas.   Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has no smell, taste or color. When radon forms from the breakdown of uranium found in soil, it can enter a home through cracks in the walls, basement floors, foundations and other openings.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and claims the lives of approximately 21,000 Americans each year.  Testing your home with a short-term radon test kit is a quick and easy way to determine if there are high levels of radon present in your home. The test kits are easy to use and contain basic instructions on how to receive the most accurate results when testing your home for radon.  For more details or to seek a radon test kit, call the Genesee County Health Department at (585) 344-2580 ext. 5555.

John Roth has been named Chief Operating Officer of Pegula Sports & Entertainment and the Buffalo Sabres.  According to the Sabres, Roth worked at Fidelity Investments for the past 24 years as an investor and served as portfolio manager of the Fidelity New Millennium and Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock Fund and as co-manager of Fidelity Advisor New Insights Fund.  The Sabres said he will assume day-to-day leadership of the PSE offices and the business side of the Sabres.

The NFL has released ticket details for the potential AFC Championship Game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs that would be played at a neutral site.  If the Bills and Chiefs both win their divisional playoff games this weekend, they would meet Jan. 29 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.  Season ticket holders for both teams who previously opted in to purchase AFC Championship Game tickets will be contacted and have exclusive pre-sale access beginning Wednesday at 10 a.m.  All other fans will have to participate in a pre-sale that begins at 10 a.m. Friday.

Afternoon News Brief

Louis Coleman

50-year-old Louis Coleman of Batavia has been sentenced to two years in state prison and 3 years of post-release supervision. He pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Coleman sold methamphetamine to an undercover Wyoming County Drug Task Force agent. He has an extensive criminal history that includes drug and burglary-related arrests and still has a felony drug case pending in Livingston County. This is Coleman’s fourth state prison term.

 

 

 

Paul Mioducki

44-year-old Paul Mioducki of Bennington has been sentenced to two, 2 to 6 year terms in jail and five years’ probation. He had been given a break the first time he was caught and arrested for stealing more than $16,000 from his parents. However, during this period of probation during which he was to pay his parents back, Mioducki was caught stealing $41,000 more from his parents through the use of a debit card and forged checks. During his probation, he had also been ordered to report using drugs and to attend substance abuse treatment. Mioducki did neither; and was subsequently sentenced.

 

 

 

Nicholas Keiffer

A State Police investigation into a fatal motorcycle accident, following a high-speed pursuit by a sheriff’s deputy in Batavia and Stafford, has cleared the deputy of any fault in the incident. This, from a report obtained by our news partner, The Batavian. On July 6th, 26-year-old Nicholas Keiffer of West Center Street, Medina, lost control of his 2001 Kawasaki Ninja on Route 63 as he entered a curve in the roadway just north of Fargo Road after fleeing an attempted traffic stop by Deputy Zachary Hoy. Keiffer’s speed reached 150 miles per hour; once Deputy Hoy lost sight of Keiffer, he turned off his emergency lights and reduced his speed. He later found Keiffer, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Here is a direct link to the full story:

https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/deputy-cleared-in-fatal-motorcycle-crash-in-stafford-after-chase-in-july/626325

 

 

Lyell Avenue Rochester Burger King

Rochester police have released the name of the man who was shot and killed at Burger King over the weekend. On Saturday night, 19-year-old Sideic Robinson was leaving his job at the fast food restaurant on Lyell Avenue when he was hit by gunfire and later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Police are still trying to determine a motive for the crime. They’re asking anyone with information to come forward immediately.

 

 

Daiquan Gray

A man who was already behind bars at the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden is in more legal trouble after being accused of damaging a deputy’s body camera. Deputies were dealing with an altercation at the facility when the body camera fell to the ground. That is when 28-year-old Daiquan Gray kicked the device and he’s been charged with criminal mischief. Gray was arrested for robbery last year and will remain at the facility pending his arraignment.

 

 

 

Ah-chooo!

Flu season is in full swing, and some new data shows one Finger Lakes region county is being hit harder by the virus than others. According to the updated New York State Flu Tracker, 333 Monroe County residents contracted the illness between December 31st and January 7th. Ontario County had the second highest number of new cases in that same time period with 77. Since flu season started in October, 293,541 people in the Empire State have tested positive for the virus.

 

 

Alex Tuch celebrates hat trick with Rasmus Dahlin during Calgary Flames games – 10/20/22

The Buffalo Sabres have come up short in their bid to win a second straight game after being beaten at home. Alex Tuch scored the lone goal for Buffalo as his team was defeated by the Florida Panthers 4-1 at KeyBank Center yesterday. Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen faced 33 shots in the game and stopped 30 of them. Buffalo’s next game is tonight when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks; the puck drops at 8:30.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills will host the Cincinnati Bengals at Highmark Stadium Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs and the ticket prices are rather high. As of Monday afternoon on the VIPTIX website, a single ticket in the upper deck of Highmark Stadium would cost you around $245 dollars. Prices were about the same on Stubhub and Ticketmaster. The best time to buy tickets is historically in the middle of the week.

 

Please play responsibly (file photo)

As has been the case for the last several weeks, no one has won the Powerball jackpot, meaning there is going to be even more money up for grabs in the next drawing. The top prize for the popular lottery game last night was $416,000,000, but it’s now grown to $439,000. There has not been a Powerball winner since November. The next drawing is set for tomorrow night. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

A nun in Buffalo thwarted 2 thieves at the Response to Love Center.  Sister Mary Johnice says Saturday morning around 7:30 was the time the incident occurred.  She came outside after hearing a noise to find two men climbing a ladder to attempt to steal the center’s gutters and downspout, most likely hoping to make a quick buck selling them to a scrapyard.  She kicked the ladder and caused it to fall down with the men on it, they ran away leaving the ladder behind.  She says too bad for them they were trying to steal aluminum which would have given them next to nothing anyway.  The center posted security video and pictures of the two men online and gave the information to the police.  

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney along with all New York Republicans in congress introduced the Stop Enabling Repeat Violence and Endangering Our Communities Act on Monday.  The SERVE Act will hold repeat offenders accountable and stop what they call the “revolving door that keeps criminals on our streets.”  They plan this act to combat the cashless bail that has been law in New York and several other states.  It would authorize 10 million dollars  in anti-recidivism grant funding in states where the dangerousness of the criminal is considered in determining bail.  

Crossroads House is holding their Red Carpet Gala on January 28th to fundraise for the hospice center.  The Gala will be held at Batavia Downs.  A dinner and auction will be provided to attendees.  Auction items include spa packages, romantic getaways, a recliner, and diamond earrings, just to name a few, Director of Development Vicki Johnson said.  Tickets for the gala dinner are available for $75 each and include dinner, entertainment, three types of auctions, a 5X7 photo for each couple or group, and $15 Free Play. Doors open at 5 p.m.  A VIP sponsorship is $1,000 for a table of eight, and also includes an hour of open bar at 4 p.m., special seating and company advertising throughout the evening.  The event ticket deadline is Friday.  Anyone, attending or not, can purchase a star to line the red carpet walk with the name of a person who has been a bright light in their life.  Stars are 25 dollars each and can be bought at Crossroads house or online at crossroadshouse.com.  

Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union’s drive thru is closed after a water pipe burst in the ceiling of the back offices, flooding the area and causing damage to the drive thru section of the Credit Union.  The leak happened during the winter storm over Christmas weekend.  The drive thru was shut down.  The Lobby is still available to customers.  The ATM is back in service but the construction work will be ongoing until at least april.  

The Buffalo Sabres couldn’t overcome the Florida Panthers in their Monday matinee game.  The Panthers beat the Sabres on their home ice 4 to 1.  Alex Tuch scored the lone goal for Buffalo.  This is the 4th straight loss for the Sabres on their home ice.  The Sabres will have a chance to bounce back Tuesday night as they travel to Chicago for an 8:30 p.m. matchup with the Blackhawks.

The Buffalo Bills will host the Cincinnati Bengals at Highmark Stadium Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs and the ticket prices are rather high.  As of Monday afternoon on the VIPTIX website, a single ticket in the upper deck of Highmark Stadium would cost you around $245 dollars.  Prices were about the same on Stubhub and Ticketmaster.  The best time to buy tickets is historically in the middle of the week. 

Afternoon News Brief

Onondaga County Courthouse – Syracuse

The New York State Department of Health will be reviewing options following a state Supreme Court decision that struck down a statewide mandate requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It was decided that Governor Hochul and the state department overstepped their authority by mandating a vaccine that’s not included in state public health law. The judge instead sided with the group, Medical Professionals for Informed Consent, a group of medical workers impacted by the vaccination mandate. The mandate protects people most at-risk for serious symptoms and the people who care for them. The State Health Department reportedly strongly disagrees with the court’s decision.

 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

One day after what would’ve been his 94th birthday, the nation is observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Expect to find federal and county offices closed. Banks will also be closed and there will be no regular mail delivery.

 

 

 

Jordan Difilippo

29-year-old Jordan Difilippo of Pembroke is charged with sex offender failing to report a change of address or status after allegedly failing to disclose an email address to the Probation Department last week. Difilippo was transported to the Genesee County Jail for processing and released on an appearance ticket; he’ll return to Batavia City Court on February 9th.

 

 

 

City firefighters issued a press release this morning, in which they provided their total number of calls for 2022: They responded to 2669 alarms, of which 1940 were for emergency medical services. There were 59 fires and 51 motor vehicle accidents. There were also 308 fire or carbon monoxide alarm activations. Here is an entire summary of the calls:

Total alarms for 2022:

Fires, 59
Overpressure Rupture, Explosion, Overheating, 15
Emergency Medical Services, 1,940
Motor Vehicle Accidents, 51
Pedestrian Struck, 14
Extrication (vehicle, machinery, building), 2
Elevator Rescue, 4
Ice/Swift Water Rescue. 2
Hazardous Conditions, 80
Service Calls, 111
Good Intent Calls, 126
Fire / Carbon Monoxide Alarm Activations, 308
Severe Weather, 2
Special Incident Type, 11
Mutual Given, 23
Mutual Received, 15
Fire Prevention

 

54-year-old Paul Crawford of Batavia is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and operating a vehicle with a suspended registration on Old Meadow Lane in Batavia last Thursday. He was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled in Batavia Town Court on January 25. ALSO: 45-year-old John Gronowski of Cheektowaga was arrested for criminal trespass last Thursday afternoon, for allegedly remaining on the property at Batavia Downs, after previously being told he was no longer allowed to be there. Gronowski was issued an appearance ticket and released.

 

 

 

 

Burger King, Lyell Avenue – file photo

Rochester police are continuing their investigation into the city’s first homicide since the start of 2023. On Saturday night, a 19-year-old employee of a Burger King restaurant on Lyell Avenue was hit by multiple gunshots as he was leaving work for the evening. The victim, whose name has not been released yet, was pronounced dead after being rushed to a nearby hospital. While the motive remains unknown, police say they believe the victim was the intended target of this attack.

 

 

 

Kensington Avenue, Buffalo – file photo from January 5, 2023

Buffalo police say they’ve made an arrest in connection with a deadly shooting that happened earlier this month. According to police, 28-year-old Jerry Simpson is the person who opened fire on Kensington Avenue January 5th. One man, 36-year-old Jermaine Underwood, was struck by gunfire and died at the scene. A second victim was also shot but is already out of the hospital. Simpson is facing multiple charges including murder and assault.

 

Allen and Wilkins (Dolphins) briefly mix it up – 1/16/23

The Buffalo Bills are one step closer to reaching the Super Bowl after advancing out of the first round of the NFL playoffs. Josh Allen threw for over 350 yards and tossed three touchdowns as the Bills hung on to beat the Miami Dolphins 34 to 31 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park yesterday. Running back James Cook also had a rushing score for the Bills. Up next for Buffalo is a home contest against the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday at 3:00.

 

“Gold” drips from a gas pump

Gas prices continue to be unsure which direction to move. According to Triple A today, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas across the state is $3.44. The national average is $3.31. And in Batavia, we’re paying $3.33 a gallon; that’s up 2 cents from a week ago but down 9 cents from a month ago.

 

 

Jeff Skinner – file photo

The Buffalo Sabres are back on home ice today as they look to make it back-to-back victories. The Sabres are hosting the Florida Panthers at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The Sabres are coming off of a 5-3 road win over the Nashville Predators on Saturday; Jeff Skinner, Dylan Cozens, Victor Olofsson, Kyle Okposo and Jack Quinn all scored for Buffalo. The Sabres are in fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 44 points.

 

 

Stephen King – file photo

The over $1,300,000,000 (billion) Mega Millions jackpot was won by someone in Maine (making that individual more wealthy than Maine’s famous resident, Stephen King!), but there is still one pretty large lottery prize that’s going to be up for grabs tonight. The Powerball has risen to $416,000,000 (million) after no one picked all the winning numbers for Saturday night’s drawing. The odds of getting all six numbers right is an astronomical one in more than 292,000,000 (million). To see the drawing live, visit powerball.com.

Morning News Brief

A Rochester teen Burger King employee is dead after a shooting on Lyell Ave Saturday around 7:40pm.  The investigation found that the employee was shot inside the restaurant while he was leaving work for the evening.  While the motive remains unknown, police say they believe the victim was the intended target of this attack.  This marks the first homicide in the City of Rochester in 2023.

Want an omelet?  It’ll cost you.  The price of eggs is nearly double what it used to be just a couple months ago and many people are asking why?  Jeffery Ball, the owner of Catch A Torri Farms, says it is due to the Bird Flu outbreak that the Centers for Disease Control reports have resulted in the deaths of nearly 50 million birds including chickens.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of a dozen eggs has jumped from $1.82 last year to now $3.60.  At Walmart in Batavia a dozen store brand eggs runs 5.70 while at Tops they are 5.59.

A company wants to build a 100 acre distribution center just off i 90 in Pembroke.  Horizon Acres Associations of Spring Valley is the lead applicant. Geis Companies, of Ohio, is the developer. Metzger Civil Engineering presented the application for a Site Plan Review to the Genesee County Planning Board.  They want to build across from the Flying J off exit 48.  The hope is that this 6 warehouse facility will employ over 400 people and bring big businesses that are looking for hubs with easy access to the I-90 corridor.  The cost of the project is 142 million dollars.

Buffalo City Hall is getting a new look for a new playoff year.  Mayor Byron Brown, unveiled newly designed Bills banners in Niagara Square Saturday afternoon.  This year’s banners pay tribute to Damar Hamlin, Bills Mafia and your AFC East champion Buffalo Bills.  It’s a new twist to a recent tradition at one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.  A lot of people take advantage of this selfie station to take pictures And show their support for the Buffalo Bills on their favorite social media pages.

The Buffalo Bills will move on to the next game in the playoffs after beating the Dolphins 34 to 31 in a close fought game at Highmark Stadium.  The Bills started off with 2 touchdowns but the Dolphins were able to claw their way back to the lead in the second half.  Several fumbles and interceptions later and the Bills were back on top at the end.  With the win the Bills will be hosting the AFC Divisional game next week. 

The Buffalo Sabres broke their losing streak on Saturday night by beating the Nashville Predators 5 to 3.  Jeff Skinner, Dylan Cozens, Victor Olofsson, Kyle Okposo and Jack Quinn all scored for Buffalo.  They’ll be back at the KeyBank Center this afternoon for a showdown with the Florida Panthers. Puck drop is at 1:00 p.m.

Weekend News Brief

Genesee County Sheriffs are looking for a few unsung heroes to take on the much needed job of being a dispatcher for the county.  There are 3 full time openings for  Emergency Services Dispatchers.  In order to be considered for this position, applicants must take the civil service exam, which is only given approximately every two years.  This exam is available till January 25th and has been opened up to allow people from Genesee, Erie, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties to apply.  Hourly salary is 22.55-28.81.  The top 3 scores in the exam are selected and new hires get 16 weeks paid training before starting. 

Its most downhill ski or snowboard enthusiasts worst nightmare, falling from the chairlift.  And that’s exactly what happened to a 7 year old boy at Bristol Mountain on Thursday at around 7 pm.  He fell about 30 feet and suffered back pain and injuries to his face.  Bristol Mountain Ski Patrol was there within minutes and he was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital with non life threatening injuries.  

The man accused of murdering his parents and attempting to kill a third person in their home in Henrietta on Wednesday has a long history of violence.  39 year old Rajab Banahi has been convicted for choking a person till they couldn’t breathe in 2012, convicted of 3rd degree assault for kicking, punching and headbutting people at U of R and Strong Memorial Hospital in 2015, and 3rd degree assault for attempting to break into his parents home in 2021.  His father took out an order of protection against him.  He had just been released from a year in jail for assaulting an employee at Strong when he allegedly committed the murders.  

Thanks to generous people coming out on December 3rd to bring items for the Stuff the Cruiser event, more than 450 local children were provided with gifts this past Christmas.  An online post made by the department gave nods of credit for the “great work by the representatives of the Genesee County Probation Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Genesee County Department of Social Services for their help in coordinating this event.”

These kids have artistic talent and want to show it off.  Batavia City Schools art exhibit at GO ART! will be kicking off January 25th from 5 to 7 pm.  The display will be up till February 24th and show off the art of 22 students grade 9 through 12.  There are many styles and mediums to appreciate.  Go Art! Opens at 11 on Wednesday-Friday and 9 on Saturdays.

Afternoon News Brief

Joshua Sumeriski

19-year-old Joshua Sumeriski of Caledonia initially avoided a state prison term for stealing cars in three counties but has now been sentenced to prison for violating probation. Last summer, he stole vehicles in Cattaraugus, Livingston and Genesee Counties, including one in Batavia. The cars were all recovered and Sumeriski has been sentenced to serve 18 months to four years in prison.

 

 

 

43-year-old Christopher Brown of Alexander has been convicted of distribution of child pornography and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Brown concealed a camera in a bathroom for the purpose of recording a video of a naked minor victim. He then utilized a peer-to-peer network on the Internet to download and distribute a file containing a video depicting a pre-pubescent female. Investigators also found a DVD with recordings of the minor victim and 550 images and 100 videos of child pornography. They also found five firearms, which Brown was legally prohibited to have. He was sentenced to serve 150 months in prison.

 

 

File photo of man shoveling snow

There is a winter weather advisory for Orleans county in effect until 4:00am early tomorrow. The National Weather Service is predicting up to 5 inches of snow to fall and for the roads to be slick. There may be brief periods of whiteout conditions, as well.

 

 

Rochester police are still on the lookout for the suspect who stole a vehicle that had two children inside of it. The mother of the three-year-old and six-year-old left her kids unattended in the running vehicle when she went into a store in the area of Lake and Phelps Avenues yesterday. The vehicle was then taken before later being found on Dempsey Place. Fortunately, the children weren’t hurt.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills are going to be taking the field for the first round of the NFL playoffs this weekend against a very familiar opponent. The Bills are hosting their AFC East rivals the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. These teams played each other twice during the regular season with the Bills and Dolphins each winning one game. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for 1:00.

 

Victor Oloffson (file photo)

The losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres has now hit three games after the team once again came up short on home ice. Victor Olofsson and Tyson Jost each scored but the Sabres still fell to the Winnipeg Jets four-to-two at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for Buffalo is a road game against the Nashville Predators tomorrow night.

 

 

 

Please play responsibly.

The second largest jackpot in Mega Millions history is up for grabs tonight and lottery players will be lining up to buy their tickets in hopes of claiming the huge prize. The jackpot has risen to $1,500,000,000 (one and a half billion) after no one won Tuesday. And, the top prize for tomorrow’s Powerball game is now $404,000,000. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Wegmans will be hosting a virtual hiring event next week as the popular supermarket chain looks to fill hundreds of entry-level positions at its stores. The event is happening on Wednesday, January 18th, from 10:00am until 6:00pm and both part-time and full-time jobs are available. Among the positions that need to be filled are supervisors, shift leaders, and managers in multiple departments. Anyone interested in signing up for the event can do so online at jobs.wegmans.com.

Morning News Brief

There is a winter weather advisory for Orleans county going from 4am this morning till 4 am Saturday.  The National Weather Service is predicting up to 5 inches of snow to fall and for driving to be slippery.  There may be brief whiteout conditions so remember to slow down and use caution while driving.

Visitors from New York City had their car stolen and it was used in other crimes throughout the day according to Fairport police.  The Chiavettas came to visit their relatives in their 2004 Beige Acura.  They were staying with them overnight when the car was stolen, including a credit card and several personal belongings.  According to Fairport Police chief Matthew Barnes the license plate was reported in other car thefts and several other crimes throughout the day.  The family posted on social media and sleuths posted pictures of their car being used to transport people who were breaking into other cars around Monroe County.  Barnes said police have been seeing an uptick in car thefts the last few weeks.  The Chiavettas said they didn’t lock the car overnight, thinking it would be safer in Fairport than in New York City.

2 small children were kidnapped then reunited with their family.  Rochester City Police responded to the area of Lake Avenue and Phelps Avenue for the report of a vehicle stolen with two young children inside around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.  Upon arrival, officers confirmed the mother of two children, ages 6 and 3, left her vehicle running as she entered the corner store close to where the vehicle was parked.  During that time, the suspect allegedly entered the vehicle and drove off with both children inside.  Officers immediately began an extensive search of the area.  About 20 minutes later, police located the vehicle on Dempsey Place.  Both children were inside of the vehicle uninjured.  The children have been reunited with their family.  The suspect had fled prior to police arrival. There are currently no suspects in custody.

Governor Hochul was there to announce the opening of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Thursday.  The games go through January 22nd and include alpine skiing, curling, biathlon, cross country skiing, figure skating, freestyle and freeski, hockey, speedskating, ski jumping, snowboard and nordic combined.  New York State spent 550 million dollars to renovate the area and complexes over the past several years to get ready for the games.  This is the second largest global winter sports event behind the Olympics.  Tickets for attending live at Whiteface and the sports complexes in Lake Placid are 15 dollars per event.  The games can be watched on ESPN, Fubo, or the International University Sports Federation’s FISU.tv.

According to New York State, mobile sports betting is more popular than predicted. It’s been legal in New York for about a year. Efforts to bring sports betting to New York state began a decade ago. Now, a major milestone for the mobile sports betting industry here in New York state. Revenue has passed the one-billion-dollar mark.  In 2022, New Yorkers placed more than 16 billion dollars in bets through online or mobile sportsbooks. After paying out the winning bets, the state says it earned one point four billion dollars in revenue.  According to officials, the 700-million dollars in state tax revenue generated by mobile sports betting is the highest in the nation.

The Buffalo Bills and Delaware North have added some new items to the Highmark Stadium menus for their game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.   Topping their culinary announcement is the Hurdle Burger to celebrate Josh Allen’s now signature move of jumping over opposing players.  It is a triple stack turkey burger with peppadew pico and beer cheese fondue.  The turkey is because Allen closed a press conference by saying it was TBT, turkey burger time.  Another player named dish is the Can You Digg It? Chicken sausage patty topped with SHOUT sauce, shredded carrots and blue cheese and a boneless wing on a brioche bun.  There are several other options for Bills fans to enjoy in addition to the normal menu.

The Buffalo Sabres were overflown by the Jets in a 4-2 defeat Thursday night making Buffalo 20 and 18 and 2 for the season.  Victor Olofsson and Tyson Jost scored for Buffalo, and Luukkonen – recalled from Rochester earlier in the day – made 23 saves. The Sabres have lost three in a row and four of six.  Saturday they will be in Nashville to play the Predators at 8pm. 

Afternoon News Brief

Melvin Huntley

A Batavia man has been sentenced to at least 35 years in prison. 40-year-old Melvin Huntley has been convicted on the 16 charges he faced, the most serious of which were three counts of predatory sexual assault against a child. If Huntley ever gets out of prison, he will have at least 20 years of post-release supervision. He was found guilty last month following a seven-day trial.

 

 

Jamie Dutton

30-year-old Jamie Dutton of Batavia has been indicted on petit larceny charges. He is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart last August. Dutton has an extensive criminal history. Twice in 2021, he was found not guilty in separate trials for attempted murder and assault. A month after the second trial, Dutton was indicted by a Genesee County grand jury on domestic violence charges and misdemeanor drug possession.

 

 

Shane VanName

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted Shane VanName, accusing him of the crime of the felony charge of rape after he allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion and without their consent, last month in the town of LeRoy. For the same incident, VanName is also accused of sexual abuse in the first degree after allegedly subjecting another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion.

 

 

 

Jaynalyn Smith

Dennis Houghton

The Niagara County Sheriff tells us that two people have been charged with assault after a 2-year-old boy went into cardiac arrest after ingesting fentanyl. This follows a 9-1-1 call last April reporting an unresponsive 2-year old male. The child was transported to Eastern Niagara Hospital and a criminal investigation was initiated, into the home, parents, and circumstances surrounding the child’s ingestion of fentanyl. The child continues to receive treatment and is recovering. 20-year-old Jaynalyn Smith has been charged with first and second-degree assault and remains in Niagara County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. 23-year-old Dustin Houghton is charged with second-degree assault and was released on $5000 bail.

 

51-year-old Vicki Showler of Alabama, is charged with petit larceny. She is accused of shoplifting at the Dollar General store on North Main Street, Oakfield last week. Showler was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released.

 

 

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 51st Annual Awards Ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, March 11 at Batavia Downs Gaming. This event honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism. Tickets are $50.00 per person or a table of 8 for $360.00.
The evening begins at 5:00 with Hors Oeuvres, Entrée Tables & a Cash Bar; no formal sit-down dinner will be served. The Award Program starts at 7:00pm during which dessert and coffee will be served. This year’s honorees are:

Business of the Year: Max Pies Furniture Company, Inc.

Agricultural Business of the Year: Fenton’s Produce LLC
Innovative Business of the Year: Empire Hemp Co. LLC
Special Service Recognition of the Year: Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts
Council (GOART!)
Geneseean of the Year: Norm Argulski

Call Kelly J. Bermingham, at 343-7440, ext. 1026 to make your reservations

 

The Supreme Court is allowing New York to continue enforcing new gun control measures during an ongoing legal challenge. That means New York’s ban on guns in sensitive areas like schools, parks, and Times Square will remain in place for now. The state is also allowed to require gun license applicants to show good moral character. The Supreme Court denied a request from a group of gun owners to immediately pause the state’s regulations. But, two conservative justices say the case still has merit even though they didn’t intervene.

 

 

Unidentified child receives COVID vaccine (file photo)

The latest data from the state shows that slightly fewer residents in our area have been contracting COVID-19 as of late. Right now, the seven day average infection rate is at 6.74%. At this time one week ago, the average infection rate was 6.77%. Experts from county health departments say the latest variant of the virus is spreading very rapidly and they’re urging everyone to take precautions to protect themselves from getting sick.

 

 

Damar Hamlin (2021 file photo)

Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills has been released from the hospital and will continue recovering from his recent cardiac arrest at home. Hamlin was rushed to a Cincinnati hospital in critical condition January 2nd after he collapsed during a game between the Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin arrived back in this area earlier this week and after he underwent tests, doctors decided he could be discharged. Bills head coach Sean McDermott says it’ll be up to Hamlin to decide if he wants to visit his teammates.

 

 

Micah Hyde (file photo)

Jamison Crowder

Buffalo Bills announced the team has activated the practice window for safety Micah Hyde and wide receiver Jamison Crowder. According to Bills head coach Sean McDermott, Hyde and Crowder will both practice Wednesday. They will not play this week but there is a chance they could return in the future if the Bills win Sunday. The Bills are set to return to Highmark Stadium Sunday at 1:00 to take on the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.

 

KeyBank Center (file photo)

The Buffalo Sabres are hoping they’ll be able to finish their current homestand with a win tonight and snap a two-game losing streak in the process. The Sabres are hosting the Winnipeg Jets at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is coming off of a disappointing 4-3 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7:00.

 

Morning News Brief

The New York Gun law that allows the state to ban guns from churches, playgrounds and Times Square was brought in front of the Supreme Court while an appeals court reviewed it.  The Supreme Court, while the issue is being looked at by the appeals court, has decided to allow it to be enforced.  Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas issued a statement saying that the Supreme Court would respect the Federal Appeals Court’s work rather than weighing in on the case.  The case may go before the Supreme Court for a decision as both Justices said it “presents novel and serious questions.”  The law was put into place as a response to the Supreme Court striking down part of New York’s concealed carry application process.  It has been declared unconstitutional by several judges in New York and then appealed.

The City of Rochester may be rethinking their 2020 decision to remove school resource officers from the city schools after the shooting at Franklin Educational Campus on Monday.  Former Police Chief and Mayor Bob Duffy, now head of the chamber of commerce, said that in 1999 a shooting was prevented by having armed officers in place when people were planning to come into the school and open fire.  Officers were removed from the schools in 2020 over anti police sentiment.  Teachers who spoke anonymously said that they would feel much safer if they had School Resource Officers back in the buildings.  

The Genesee county Health Department is looking for information about a dog that bit a person on the corner of St Marks and North Streets in Le Roy Tuesday at 4:30pm.  The dog was described as a brown, pit bull/boxer mix. The owner was walking their dog on a leash and the victim was walking towards the owner. As the victim was walking past the dog, the dog jumped up and bit the victim on their left, upper arm. After the incident, the owner proceeded towards Church Street.  The Health Department wants to ascertain whether the dog has rabies or not.  If you have any information please call 585 344 2580 extension 5555.

A concert that was postponed in November will be held in the next 2 weeks.  The Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will hold its Fall Concert on January 22nd at 4 pm.  It will be at the Oakfield Alabama High School.  The Ensemble is led by conductor Philip Briatico.  The program contains songs from musicals, movies and classical pieces.  Tickets are 10 dollars for an adult, 8 for seniors and 5 for students.  Children 5 and under get in free.

The Buffalo Bills announced safety Damar Hamlin has been discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute.  On Monday, Hamlin was released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and returned to Buffalo. Kaleida Health later released a statement that confirmed Hamlin was transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute.  In the statement released Wednesday, the Bills said Hamlin went through a comprehensive medical evaluation as well as a series of cardiac, neurological and vascular testing. He will continue his rehabilitation at home and with the Bills.

Buffalo Bills announced the team has activated the practice window for safety Micah Hyde and wide receiver Jamison Crowder.  According to Bills head coach Sean McDermott, Hyde and Crowder will both practice Wednesday.  They will not play this week but there is a chance they could return in the future if the Bills win Sunday.  The Bills are set to return to Highmark Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m. to take on the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.

Afternoon News Brief

Makeen Ithna-Asheri

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.

 

 

Stephen Pike

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, during the State of the State – 1/10/23

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.

 

 

Buffalo VA Medical Center (file photo)

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.

 

Dominic Pezzola

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.

 

 

From 12/28/20: #85 Lee Smith celebrates with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs – following a first half touchdown against the New England Patriots

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.

 

Alex Tuch celebrates with Rasmus Dahlin (file photo)

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.

 

 

Green Comet, from January 2023-named-C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

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.

 

Please play responsibly.

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.

 

Morning News Brief

According to an anonymous teacher at Franklin Educational Campus in Rochester, gang violence is a major problem behind a lot of the issues inside the school and administration has been aware of that for years.  They also said that the lockout procedures were only in place for 7 minutes 6 days ago when a gunman fired at a student outside the school and they were not followed for those 7 minutes.  The teacher also stated that the school never called 911, an RTS bus driver outside the school called in the shooting.  Parents were not notified until after dismissal according to a report.  Crews were seen installing security cameras Tuesday.  No one has been arrested in connection to the shooting.

Edwards Vacuum, a company that develops and manufactures vacuum pumps for the semiconductor industry, is asking the Genesee County Economic Development Center to approve incentives for their 212 million dollar first phase project at the STAMP site in Alabama.  Edwards Vacuum’s “factory of the future” is being constructed to serve the semiconductor industry and advanced manufacturing sectors and would create approximately 343 new high-paying jobs. The new facility is projected to generate more than $13.4 million in future revenues to the Town of Alabama, Genesee County, Oakfield-Alabama School District and the Alabama Fire Department over 20 years.  They want tax exemptions on sales, and property taxes.  The project is estimated to generate $644 million in payroll and projected future municipal revenues, a $39 benefit to the local economy for every $1 of public investment.  GCEDC is meeting to discuss it on January 12th.

Governor Kathy Hochul Tuesday announced several major proposals that she says will provide an economic boost to farmers and strengthen New York’s food supply chain as part of the 2023 State of the State.  She proposed using state purchasing power to buy more NY farm produced food, making the investment tax credit refundable, increasing food manufacturing in the Empire State and creating a farm workforce pipeline to shore up the workforce shortages.  The Governor has also proposed a number of additional programs in the 2023 State of the State address to impact agriculture, including enhancing New York’s community garden programming and a $10 million grant program to support the establishment of farm markets, supermarkets, food cooperatives, and other similar retail food stores, along with supporting infrastructure in underserved communities and regions of the State.

During the State of the State address on Tuesday Governor Hochul announced she plans to raise the minimum wage annually and peg it to inflation.  She said that the minimum wage earners are the ones hardest hit by inflation and cost of living increases it brings.  She said the state minimum wage would increase every time inflation increases.  She says that this will allow employers to plan ahead and spur more spending in local economies.

High demand for Buffalo Playoff tickets means scammers are coming out of the woodwork.  Matt Krueger, Communications director with Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York says that these people will go to any extent if it means they can make a quick buck off you or a loved one.  Tickets for Sunday’s game, even in the nosebleed sections, are already reaching hundreds of dollars.  Krueger says that ads for discounted tickets are almost always a scam.  He says that if you are buying your tickets second hand look for reviews, contact information, and be wary.  Buying from trusted vendors and people you know is always a safer bet.

The Buffalo Sabres dropped their second game in a row Tuesday night 4 to 3 against the Seattle Kraken.  This is the Kraken’s 6th consecutive win.  Alex Tuch scored twice for the Sabres, Rasmus Dahlin had a goal and an assist and Jeff Skinner tallied two assists. Sabres goalie Eric Comrie stopped 18 shots in his first start since sustaining a lower-body injury on Nov. 16.  The Sabres will host again on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets.  Game starts at 7pm.

Afternoon News Brief

The surviving dog that had been abandoned by Searight and Scarbrough – photo provided by law enforcement

37-year-old Robert Williams of LeRoy has been sentenced to six months in Genesee County Jail and five years probation. He was found guilty in November of two counts of cruelty to animals for putting bleach in the eyes of two dogs. The dogs were treated and have since recovered. In a separate case, 35-year-old Andrew Searight and 24-year-old Jerrtonia Scarbrough, each pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after admitting to abandoning two dogs in their Bank Street apartment after they moved to Niagara County. They were placed on probation for one year. One of the dogs died and the other has since recovered.

 

The City Council has approved a new three-year contract with the Police Benevolent Association Union. The agreement includes a 3% salary increase for the first year 2.5% salary increases for the second and third year. A one-time payment of $1500 will be made to union members using American Rescue Plan Act funds. Also, health care premiums will increase from between 15 and 30%. The detailed story is available on the website of our news partner, The Batavian. Here is a direct link to the story:

https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/efficiency-equality-emergency-response-on-deck-for-city-police-requests-during-mondays

 

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced the lineup for their sixth Rockin’ the Downs concert series, which will take place outside on the racetrack, with eight Friday dates, starting in June and extending into August. The shows will kick off with Almost Queen and Get the Led Out returns this summer, too. Until February 8th, tickets purchased online for the General Admission section will only be $10. And concertgoers will still receive $10 in Free Play on show day with this ticket. Concerts are held Rain or Shine. Additional information may be found at:

www.BataviaDownsGaming.com

 

 

Jeremiah Thomas

36-year-old Jeremiah Thomas of Albion has been sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation for reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. He drove his car into another vehicle at McDonald’s in Medina after a dispute. No one was injured in the other car, which included a young child. Thomas is on the Sex Offender Registry for a 2005 conviction for felony sex abuse of a 7-year-old boy in Oregon. He was also convicted on similar charges for abusing a 17-year-old girl in 2014, also in Oregon.

 

 

Patrick Casanova

A parolee faces up to four years in state prison after pleading guilty to assaulting a woman, the mother of his brother’s child. 29-year-old Patrick Casanova punched the woman in the face, breaking bones around her eye. This sparked a confrontation with the assault that involved his three brothers. His parole followed time served for weapons possession. Medina Police report that he had been angry at the woman for filing harassment charges against him a week earlier.

 

 

 

Multiple Rochester City School District employees have been suspended after video of a recent shots fired incident was made public. The footage showed students rushing into the entrance of a building at the Franklin Educational Campus last week to avoid being hit by gunfire. Thankfully, none of the students ended up getting hurt. All of the affected workers are on paid administrative leave as an investigation into how the security video ended up being shared moves forward.

 

 

Governor Hochul (file photo)

Governor Hochul will be outlining her priorities for the year ahead during her State of the State address today. Among the issues the governor is expected to discuss include making housing more affordable and additional ways to improve the safety of New Yorkers. Hochul will be speaking at 1:00 in the Assembly Chamber at the State Capitol in Albany. The address will be streamed online at governor.ny.gov.

 

 

Damar Hamlin

Just days after suffering cardiac arrest during a game, Damar Hamlin is out of a Cincinnati hospital and has returned to Buffalo to continue his recovery. Hamlin collapsed last Monday night after taking a hit during a contest between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. He was originally in critical condition, but his doctors said it was safe enough to fly him back to this area and he’s currently stable. But they also say it’s too early to tell if he’ll be able to resume his football career.

 

 

Craig Anderson

The two game winning streak of the Buffalo Sabres has been snapped after the team suffers a tough loss at home. No Sabres were able to score in last night’s 4-0 shutout defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. Buffalo goaltender Craig Anderson struggled in net and was only able to stop 34 of the 38 shots he faced in the contest. The next game for the Sabres is tonight when they host the Seattle Kraken; the puck drops at 7:00.

 

Please play responsibly.

Someone could be just few hours away from boosting their bank account by winning the third-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history. The top prize for tonight’s drawing is going to be at least $1,100,000,000 (billion). There have been over 20 drawings since someone last won the Mega Millions jackpot on October 14th. The largest prize in the game’s history was more than $1,500,000,000 (billion) in 2018. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

CompassCare has launched its own private investigation into the break in and firebombing against one of its locations Eggert Rd in Buffalo that happened in June of last year.  They are partnering with the Thomas More Society, a law firm “dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, religious liberty, and election integrity.”  CompassCare said it had cooperated with local law enforcement and federal investigators but CEO Jim Harden says that the FBI has not been “operating in good faith.”  There have been 78 attacks on pro life centers in the last 6 months and not a single perpetrator has been arrested.  Yet when a pro abortion center was vandalized there was an arrest within days.  Jane’s Revenge, a pro abortion group that said it was angry over the overturn of Roe vs Wade, claimed responsibility for the attack and many others.  “It is a sad day when private citizens are left to do the work of law enforcement,” Harden added.

Three staff members are on leave after a security video on the shooting at the Rochester City School Franklin Educational Campus surfaced on the internet.  The district confirmed it’s investigating how the video was released.  The video appeared to show a gunman trying to shoot a student at an entrance to the school. Two other students could be seen in the video.  A district spokesperson said because the video shows students’ faces and they can easily be identified, it violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and said staff members were not authorized to share it.  The 3 staff are security officers.

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin is back in his home city.  Doctors caring for Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said Hamlin returned to his home city and is starting the next phase of his recovery at Buffalo General Medical Center.  Physicians said it’s still too early to know if Hamlin will be able to play football again.  They reiterated an update given last week that it appears Hamlin is “neurologically intact.

The American Red Cross is looking for more blood donors for National Blood Donor Month.  Anyone who donates blood or platelets through the Red Cross for the rest of the month will be entered to win two tickets to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona. Aside from tickets to the game, the winners will receive access to day-of, in-stadium pre-game activities, tickets to the official Super Bowl Experience, round-trip airfare to Phoenix, three-night hotel accommodations (February 10-13, 2023), plus a $500 gift card for expenses.  The Red Cross says donations are just as crucial now as ever, with the threat of severe winter weather and rise in seasonal illness cases.

The Buffalo Bills first Playoff game has been announced and it is against the Miami Dolphins.  They will be playing at home in Highmark Stadium on Sunday.  Kickoff is at 1:05pm.  The Bills are number 2 seed and the Dolphins are number 7.  In the regular season the Bills were 1 and 1 against dolphins losing to them in September and winning against them in their rematch.

Lawmakers in Albany are relooking at the policy that was announced last year to make all new construction in the Empire State fully electric in the next 15 years.  The Winter storm that came across Christmas weekend is responsible for making lawmakers rethink their ideas.  Democrat lawmakers are saying that the plan is fantastic at reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change.  Republicans are saying it is a fantasy.  At the center of the debate is the fact that energy cannot be stored as electricity for long periods of time.  Even the ambitious plan Governor Hochul unveiled in December to create a network of batteries across New York would only power half of the residences in New York City for an hour or so.  Several large areas of Buffalo were without power for 3-5 days.  Republicans point out that natural gas, gasoline and propane are some of the only workable solutions in shutdowns like over Christmas.

The Sabres were shut out Monday night in their match up against the Philadelphia Flyers 4 to nothing.  Craig Anderson made 34 saves for Buffalo in the uneven match where the Sabres only shot on the Flyers goal 28 times.  Sabres goalie Eric Comrie was activated from injured reserve on Monday. Comrie has been out of action since he sustained a lower-body injury Nov. 16 against Ottawa. Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was loaned to AHL Rochester to make room on the roster.  Sabres are hosting again tonight against the Seattle Kraken.  Puck drop is 7pm.

The Batavia Police Department and the Batavia Fire Department faced off in a battle of wills and skills on Sunday at the David M. McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena for a charity match.  They played to benefit the David M. McCarthy Foundation.  During the game there were quick turnarounds, a fight which caused the Batavia PD to deploy their secret weapon, a Police SUV which drove out on the ice in support of their team, the fire truck wouldn’t fit in the building. In the end the Police were victorious with a 5 to 2 win over the Firefighters.

Afternoon News Brief

George Brown

A former Attica Correctional Facility inmate who was eligible for parole next year has been sentenced to two more terms for setting fires in his cell and attacking officers. 37-year-old George Brown was sentenced in Wyoming County Court to 3 to 6 years for third-degree arson and another term of 4 years for second-degree assault of a corrections officer. He could have faced up to 25 years in prison; however, he accepted a plea deal. Brown was in a special housing unit at Attica in January because of previous behavior problems when the most recent incidents occurred.

 

 

40-year-old Joe Andrew Cortez, a homeless man living in Batavia, is charged with rape. It is alleged he had forcible intercourse with a victim under the age of 17. Cortez is being held in Genesee County Jail and is scheduled to appear in Batavia Town Court on January 24th.  ALSO:  Genesee County Sheriff’s responded late last week to a possible larceny in progress at Ulta Beauty on Veterans Memorial Drive. Upon arrival, they observed three individuals walking to their vehicle with bags full of stolen items according to deputies. 24-year-old Mone Wiggins and 24-year-old Yathil Karis K. Lay-Rivera were each charged with grand larceny 4th degree, a class E felony and conspiracy 5th degree, a class A misdemeanor. Wiggins was additionally charged with criminal impersonation, a class A misdemeanor. Also charged in the incident, 18-year-old Aniyah Kendrick, with conspiracy 5th degree. All three subjects will appear in the Town of Batavia Court on January 24 at 3:00.  ALSO:  42-year-old Tommy Mobley III of LeRoy has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, after allegedly attempting to purchase a firearm at 411 West Main Street while he was prohibited by law to do so. Mobley was transported to Genesee County Jail for processing and was released on an appearance ticket. He is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on February 28th.

 

Antwan Odom

The trial of 22-year-old Antwan Odom of Batavia has been delayed. His attorney was Frank Housh, who was recently suspended for misconduct. Odom was arraigned on four counts of burglary charges and is currently awaiting trial at the Wyoming County Jail. Although his trial was scheduled to start next week, a new date will probably be set to provide time to find a new attorney for Odom.

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Turnquist

37-year-old Nicholas Turnquist, most recently of West Falls, has just accepted a deal, in which he pleaded guilty to a 2014 rape at the Darien Lake Amusement Park. By doing so, he will now be allowed to serve his sentences concurrently, since he was already serving 13 years in federal prison for sex crimes. Over a decade ago, Turnquist reportedly was engaged in sexual activity with a minor that continued over the course of two years; the rapes started when the victim was 14. Turnquist will be on parole for 15 years after serving his prison term.

 

 

State Attorney General Letitia James has announced a plan to hold a hearing on mental health access in Western New York. It’s happening Wednesday, January 18th at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library located at Lafayette Square in Buffalo. James says it is imperative that mental health services are available to all communities. People who wish to speak at the hearing must sign up to do so online by 5:00pm Wednesday, January 11th.

 

 

Seth Larson

The trial of an Irondequoit man who is accused of brutally murdering his girlfriend is expected to begin today. Prosecutors say Seth Larson killed 37-year-old Lisa Shuler back in May 2021. Shuler’s body was discovered outside of the residence she shared with Larson on Culver Road in Irondequoit. Larson was taken into custody after a search that lasted several weeks and involved the United States Marshals Service. He’s facing a lengthy prison sentence if convicted.

 

 

 

Positive COVID test result

The New York State Department of Health is now sounding the alarm about the spread of the newest variant of the coronavirus. That’s because the variant now comprises more than half of the COVID cases in the Empire State. It’s recommended people take steps to protect themselves from getting sick such as washing their hands, keeping surfaces clean, and making sure they’re vaccinated against the illness. As of the last report, the seven-day average COVID-19 infection rate in our area was 7.21%. Full vaccination among New Yorkers is up slightly from 11% in early December, but still far from the level health officials say could help tip the scales in curbing infections and severe illnesses.

 

 

According to Triple A today, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in New York State is $3.45, which is up 6 cents from a week ago; nationally, it is $3.28. In Batavia, we’re paying on average $3.31 per gallon; the same as it was a week ago but down 20 cents from a month ago today.

 

 

Nyheim Hines – after 96 yard run – 1/8/23

The Buffalo Bills have finished up their regular season with a win and are now focused on the playoffs. Nyheim Hines returned two kickoffs for touchdowns as the Bills beat the New England Patriots 35 to 23 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park yesterday. Quarterback Josh Allen also tossed three touchdown passes in the victory. Up next for the Bills is a home postseason contest against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at 1:00.

 

 

Jim Carrey as “Lloyd Christmas” from the movie, Dumb and Dumber

Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot stands at an estimated $1,100,000,000. That makes it the third largest in the game’s history. The cash option on that works out to just shy of $569,000,000. The odds of winning the megamillions lottery is roughly 1 in 302,000,000. (So, you’re telling me there’s a chance!) Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is posting to Twitter and Instagram and held a facetime call with his team before their game on Sunday.  He posted that  “The love is felt, & extremely real. No matter race or religion everybody coming together in prayer!”  The Bills also released the following in their update. “Per the physicians at UC Medical Center, Damar is making continued progress in his recovery yet remains in critical condition.”  Hamlin also announced right after the Bills game that he is selling Did We Win? T-shirts and tweeted that all proceeds are going to support first responders and the UC Trauma Center where he is being treated.  The T-Shirts are 33 dollars.

37 year old Nicolas Turnquist is already sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for sex crimes and just pleaded guilty to a rape in 2014 at the Darien Lake Amusement Park.  He accepted a plea deal that allows him to serve his sentences at the same time if he copped to the charge.  A decade ago, Turnquist, who most recently lived in West Falls, reportedly engaged in sexual activity with a minor in multiple jurisdictions, including Genesee County, Wyoming County, Erie County, Pennsylvania and Canada.  The course of rapes involving a single victim started in 2012, when the victim was 14, according to prosecutors, and continue for at least two more years.  He will be on parole for 15 years following his federal prison term.

The new president of the Chamber of Commerce is a world traveler and experienced at working with large numbers of people.  Brian Cousins most recently worked for Six Flags Darien Lake as director of Accommodations.  He also loved to travel with his wife, going to over 40 countries.  Initially thinking he would work the mic for a radio station after testing the waters at Genesee Community College and then pursuing Communications at Fredonia State College, Cousins eventually followed the trail that led to a steady job. And then to a successful career at Darien Lake, where he comfortably remained for 25 years.  Cousins filled the vacancy left by former President Erik Fix, who is now Batavia’s Assistant City Manager.  He says he believes in systems and will address issues and operational elements systematically while keeping an open door to service the community and any visitors whether from out of town or out of country.

Batavia Downs hasn’t hosted a winter race meet for decades.  Starting today that changes as they will be holding a 15 day session.  Races start at 3pm and run Mondays through Thursdays all the way up to February 27th.  All the local drivers and trainers will be back in action along with out of town talent.  The wagering menu remains the same and will feature five Doubles, 13 Exactas, 13 Trifectas, 12 Superfectas, two Pick-3s, two Pick-4, one Pick-5 and one Jackpot Super Hi-5 Pentafecta.

The Buffalo Sabres won against the Minnesota Wild Saturday night in Overtime 6-5.  Victor Olofsson, Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, and Dylan Cozens scored for the Sabres with Dahlin and Olofsson scoring twice.  Olofsson put the puck in with less than 1 minute left to win the game.  The Sabres are back in action at the KeyBank Center, Monday night against Philadelphia. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. est.

The Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots 35 to 23 Sunday afternoon at Highmark stadium.  It started with a bang when Nyheim Hines ran the kickoff back for a 96 yard touchdown.  A feat he repeated in the 2nd half of the game.  It’s been three years and three months since the last kickoff return made a touchdown for Buffalo.  This victory sets the Bills to have the #2 seed in the AFC playoffs.  #1 goes to the Kansas City Chiefs.  

Weekend News Brief

The Buffalo Bills have announced that their radio announcer, John Murphy, has suffered a stroke.  The Bills released a statement form Murphy’s family: John Murphy suffered a stroke last weekend. He is recovering at home with his family and making progress every day.  John and the Murphy family are grateful for the excellent care by the staff and doctors at Buffalo General Medical Center. We appreciate everyone’s support.  Murphy does play by play for WGR and has done so since 2004.  He was also the color analyst on the games from 1984-89 and 1994-2003.  Chris Brown will be taking over his duties while he is on the mend. 

Two Weeks after the Blizzard that hit Buffalo and Western NY the death toll continues to climb.  The new number is 44 in Western NY alone.  Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the County Medical Examiner’s office has confirmed two more deaths related to the blizzard that struck the region last month.  According to Poloncarz, they were a woman who was found in a tent in Buffalo and a three-year-old girl who died as the result of injuries after drowning at a hotel pool. The girl and her family had gone to the hotel after losing power.

A Canadian man has pleaded guilty to smuggling illegal aliens into the States illegally.  In May 2019, the defendant, 46-year-old Edwin Ramirez-Cordones launched a boat into the Niagara River with two individuals on board that known to the defendant were not U.S. citizens.  The defendant was to be paid nearly $9,000 for bringing the two individuals into the United States.  He stopped at a dock in Lewiston and let them out and then returned to Ontario.   They were both caught as well.  His sentencing is set for May 19th.  

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the promotion of Denise Donnell – the first woman to command the New York Air National Guard – to the two-star rank of major general. Major General Donnell was the first woman to command one of the New York Air National Guard’s five flying wings and is one of only five women to attain the rank of major general in the New York National Guard. During a ceremony Friday afternoon at the Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia, Major General Donnell’s two-star general’s rank was pinned on by her father, Dr. Robert Donnell, and brother, Air National Guard Technical Sgt. John Donnell. Governor Hochul appointed Major General Donnell as commander of the 5,800 Airmen of the nation’s largest Air Guard contingent in April 2022. 

Batavia doesn’t wake up till ten, says Adam Garner, a vendor who ran a table at the Saturday City Center Mall Market for Garner Farms of Le Roy.  The vendors and stakeholders gathered in the City Center to talk about what worked and what didn’t in the market.  The hours, 8:30-11, the cost, 40 dollars to run a table, and the amount of time the market runs were all what they considered “misses.”  The group talked about resuming on February 4th with a Valentines Day focus but moving the hours to 10:30-1:30. 

Afternoon News Brief

The United States Postal Service is hiring. A job fair will be held at the Batavia Post Office on Thursday, January 12th from 10am until 2pm; they have an immediate need to fill the following positions:
· City Carrier Assistants (CCAs) – $19.33 per hour
· Rural Carrier Associate – $19.94 per hour
· Mail Handler Assistant – $17.32 per hour
· Postal Support Employee to assist with processing mail – $20.05 per hour

Please note that one or more of the above positions may only be available at other postal facilities.  Another job fair will be held at the Williamsville Career Center, 4175 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY 14221 next Wednesday, 1/11 from 10:00am – 2:00pm.

 

 

Senator Borello

Senator George Borello has been sworn in as the representative of the 57th State Senate District; he is now representing Genesee County. The boundaries of the newly drawn district include Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee, Wyoming and the western half of Allegany County. The district is one of the largest in the state, spanning approximately 4,500 square miles. Senator Borrello also noted that he would continue serving as the Ranking Member on the Agriculture Committee, a role he first assumed in July 2020. He will also continue serving as the Ranking Member on the Banks Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee. Additionally, he was appointed as a new member of the following committees: Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business; Elections; Housing, and Insurance.

 

 

Damar Hamlin

The road to recovery continues for Damar Hamlin following his collapse during the Cincinnati Bengals game. Doctors said yesterday that Hamlin has made substantial improvement; breathing tubes have been removed and he is now speaking. Many Bills players and their head coach spoke openly yesterday for the first time since Monday. He is able to communicate with them and even asked who won Monday night’s contest. Hamlin fell to the turf and was in cardiac arrest after suffering a hit and remains in critical condition. The Bills are hosting the New England Patriots at Highmark with kickoff scheduled for 1:00 Sunday.

 

File photo

Provisions meant to strengthen protections against abuse in the foreclosure process are set to take effect now that Governor Kathy Hochul has provided approval of a law addressing a top court ruling that lawmakers have argued weakened safeguards for consumers. The measure, initially approved by state lawmakers last year, was backed after a state Court of Appeals ruling that made it easier for lenders and mortgage providers to halt the statute of limitations period during the foreclosure process. The new law bars any party in a mortgage foreclosure process from unilaterally stopping and restarting the statute of limitations to bring back what would otherwise be a time-barred application. Lawmakers who backed the measure argue it’s meant to restore fairness to the application of the statute of limitations in the mortgage foreclosure process. The hope is the law will give homeowners a more level playing field in foreclosure proceedings.

 

 

Franklin Upper School

Rochester police are still looking for the person who opened fire on a 16-year-old student while he was running towards his school. According to investigators, the teen was involved in an incident on Hudson Avenue yesterday and the suspect later tried to shoot him near the Franklin Educational Campus on Norton Street. No one was struck by any of the gunfire and no one was injured. Classes continued as normal. Police are planning to be on campus during student dismissal and arrival.

 

 

File photo of an e-cigarette user

The New York State Department of Health is calling on residents who use e-cigarettes or other vaping products to make a resolution to kick that habit this year. Doctors say those products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can have a negative impact on a person’s health. Data shows e-cigarette use is high among multiple groups of adults, including individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 years old. Anyone struggling with addiction can get help by dialing 1-866-697-8487.

 

 

USS The Sullivans (file photo)

The blizzard two weeks ago has damaged the netting that was wrapped around the USS The Sullivans, which resulted in it taking on about 30 inches of water in a couple of sections of the ship. The connecting stairway that runs from The Sullivans to the Little Rock was blown into the Buffalo River but was retrieved. The President of the Naval Park says they’re meeting with their insurance investigator tomorrow to discuss the damages. Unfortunately, the storm only made the issues the USS The Sullivans was already dealing with even worse.

 

Tage Thompson

Tage Thompson a forward for the Sabres has been selected for the NHL All Star Game for the first time in his career. Thompson has scored 55 points and 30 goals so far in 36 games this season. Thompson’s 30 goals are the second-most in the league, second only to the Oilers center, Connor McDavid, with 33. The All Star Game will be on February 4th at the FLA Live Arena, the home of the Florida Panthers. The Sabres will be hosting the Minnesota Wild at 7pm on Saturday evening.

 

 

 

Canalside – Buffalo Waterfront (file photo)

After having to shut down a couple of weeks ago due to the massive blizzard that hit the area, the Ice at Canalside is set to reopen today. There will be a “Buffalo Strong” fundraiser from 6 until 10 this evening, and one dollar of every ticket sold will benefit the American Heart Association. People will also have the chance to enter raffles for prizes including a football signed by Stefon Diggs and a signed Dion Dawkins helmet. For more information, go to buffalowaterfront.com.

 

 

Please play responsibly.

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots continue to soar and have now grown to a combined total of more than $1.2 billion. The top prize up for grabs for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing will be at least $940,000,000. And should someone be lucky enough to win Powerball tomorrow night, they would get a minimum of $325,000,000. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Police in Rochester are investigating after shots were fired at the Franklin Educational Campus Thursday morning.  According to police an altercation on Hudson Avenue between a 16-year-old student and the gunman spilled out in front of the school on Norton Street around 8:30 a.m.  The student ran toward school while the suspect allegedly got out of a car and fired a gun on school grounds toward the teen, sending him and other students running for safety.  The suspect fled after the student ran inside the school. The student was not hit by gunfire. No one was injured.  The school was placed on lockout as a precaution. All exterior doors were secured and monitored. Classes continued as normal.  Police will be on campus during dismissal and arrival the rest of the week.

Doctors caring for Bills player Damar Hamlin are saying he is making remarkable improvement.  They said that he is communicating with them via pen and paper and has fully neurological function.  They say the cardiac arrest damaged his lungs which is why he isn’t talking.  The first thing he communicated when he woke up?  “Did we win?”  

The Blizzard over Christmas Weekend hit the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park hard.  The Life Netting that goes around the ships was damaged.  The Sullivans took on about 30 inches of water.  The Connecting stairway that runs from the Sullivans to the Little Rock was blown into the water but was retrieved.  While many faced different damages during the blizzard, the President of the Naval Park says they’ll meet with their insurance investigator this coming Saturday to discuss the estimated damage cost. The ships may need to be moved to dry dock as the storm only made the issues the Sullivans was already dealing with worse.

The Bills and Bengals won’t be finishing their Week 17 game.  The NFL announced Thursday that the game has officially been canceled and ruled a no-contest.  The decision brings forward a number of different playoff scenarios as both teams were battling for the top seed in the AFC.  Should the Bills and Chiefs both win this weekend and later meet in the AFC Championship game, the game will be played at a neutral site.  The same scenario will occur if both those teams lose in Week 18 and the Bengals win.  Then if either of those three teams meet in the AFC Championship game, the game will be played at a neutral site. 

Millions of dollars flowed into Damar Hamlin’s charity in his hometown in Pennsylvania after his heart attack on Monday.  The large amounts of money brought scammers like moths to a flame.  The Better Business Bureaus of Upstate New York and Western Pennsylvania are warning fans to look out for fake or fraudulent crowdfunding campaigns.  They are issuing tips to make sure you don’t give money to a fraudulent cause.  They warn that not all crowdfunding sites are the same and some don’t vet their causes.  Give.org has information on how to choose who to give to. 

Tage Thompson, forward for the Buffalo Sabres has been selected for the NHL All Star Game for the first time in his career.  Thompson has scored 55 points and 30 goals so far in 36 games played during the 2022-2023 season. Thompson’s 30 goals are the second-most in the league, only after Oilers center, Connor McDavid, with 33.  The All Star Game will be on February 4th at the FLA Live Arena.  The Sabres will be hosting the Minnesota Wild at 7pm on Saturday evening.

Afternoon News Brief

The City of Batavia (has announced that recently passed Federal legislation includes) will receive $2.5 million in federal funding for the new police headquarters and community complex to be constructed on Bank Street and Alva Place. The City estimates that the cost to build a new police department could reach up to $15 million. The 19,000 square foot facility will be constructed on city owned property and provide connectivity and enhance the area between City Centre and the emerging Medical Campus. Once completed, there would be 115 public parking spots available in nearby lots, in addition to free public parking on surrounding streets to serve the needs of existing businesses on Washington, Alva and State Streets.

 

 

File photo from the ground-breaking ceremony, May 2022.

Genesee County is considering the addition of up to $80,000 in costs to the $70 million jail project. The Ways and Means Committee supported the resolution for a change order to pay for additional insulation installation and protective flashing around the base of all pod areas for the new jail, which is being built near County Building #2 on West Main Street Road. County Manager Matt Landers is authorizing the additional work; the total amount of the final change order will be determined based on documented time and receipts for materials.

 

 

This Sunday, January 8th, at 6:30PM the City of Batavia Police Department and Fire Department are squaring off for the first annual hockey match-up. The two agencies have battled it out on the softball diamond in years past. The game will take place at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena. Patrons will be welcomed by some high-energy music to set the tone for the evening. The teams will take the ice for warm ups around 5:50 PM. Around 6:30 PM, the show starts. The National Anthem will be played by Miles Meyer on electric guitar. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:35. The ice rink secured a one-day liquor license and will be stocked with your favorite food / beverages. The night will include 50/50 drawings. Staff is still trying to work out the logistics of the fan favorite “chuck a puck”. The Batavia Rampart Mite Teams will keep fans entertained by playing during intermissions. All proceeds will benefit the David McCarthy Memorial foundation.

 

 

Jeremiah Thomas

36-year-old Jeremiah Thomas of Albion has been sentenced to six months in the Orleans County Jail, to be followed with five years of probation. He pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and reckless endangerment in a road rage incident. Thomas admitted in court to using his pickup to drive into the front of a car at McDonalds in Medina. The incident caused more than $8000 damage and put the other driver and a young child at risk of significant injury. Since that time, Thomas has been participating in an anger management program from which he said he was making progress. At sentencing, the judge also issued an order of protection for the other driver.

 

File photo of unidentified teenager receiving Covid booster

A new report shows that the spread of COVID-19 has decreased slightly in our region. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is sitting at 6.77%. At this time one week ago, that infection rate was at 7.04%. Anyone who wants to get immunized against COVID-19 or receive a booster shot can schedule an appointment online at vaccines.gov.

 

Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management

A teenager has been sentenced to spend the next six months in jail for her role in a stabbing that happened at a school in Buffalo. The Erie County District Attorney’s office says that the 16-year-old attacked a 17-year-old female student with a knife at the Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management this past September. The victim suffered several wounds but did survive. Once she’s out of jail, the 16-year-old will have to spend five years on probation.

 

 

Scene of fatal fire, Dartmouth Avenue, Buffalo

New information has been released involving a fire in Buffalo this past weekend that left five children dead. The victims have now been identified as two-year-old Nehemiah Robinson, four-year-old Denise Keith, seven-year-old Jalissa Liggans, eight-year-old Joelle Liggans, and 10-year-old Aniyah Green. All of the children passed away due to the injuries they suffered during last Saturday’s blaze at a house on Dartmouth Avenue. Their grandmother, Lisa Liggans, is recovering from burns. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

 

Attorney General James

The state Attorney General’s Office and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are teaming up to take legal action against an auto lender. The agencies have filed a lawsuit against Credit Acceptance Corporation, which is one of the largest sub-prime auto lenders in the country. Officials claim that CAC deceived low-income New Yorkers into high-interest car loans without considering whether people would be able to repay their loans in full. The goal of this lawsuit is to end CAC’s practices and also collect restitution for affected consumers.

 

 

Damar Hamlin

The Buffalo Bills have shared a new update on the medical condition of defensive player Damar Hamlin. The team says Hamlin remains in the intensive care unit in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital but also says doctors have noted some improvement. The 24-year-old Hamlin collapsed on the field after suffering a hit in a contest with the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night, and the game was postponed. The team held a walkthrough yesterday ahead of Sunday’s game with the New England Patriots, but no players or coaches met with the media.

Morning News Brief

A Buffalo Attorney who worked in Batavia and Genesee County has been suspended from practicing law for 3 years.  From 2015 to 2017 Frank Housh had numerous complaints.  He was accused of taking money from clients and not delivering services promised, sending settlement money to the wrong people, saying he had filed claims and lawsuits but failing to do so, and not following up with clients or cases.  Housh represented Antwan Odom, of Batavia, in 2019 after Odom, then 18, was charged with attempted assault, and criminal possession of a weapon, following a dispute with a former teammate.  Odom was acquitted.  After an investigation into the complaints against him Housh was found to have knowingfully deceived his clients and had no remorse.  

Officials from Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel formally closed the books on a record-breaking 2022.  Credits played topped $1 Billion for the first time ever.  Net win totaled just over $76 Million Dollars.  That was up 14.5 percent or $9.63 Million over 2021’s numbers.   Surcharge & Earnings to be distributed to member municipalities are projected to total $9.2 Million, with earnings projected to be $8.6 Million, a record amount since the Corporation’s inception in 1974.  This is an increase of 48 percent over the 2021 Surcharge & Earnings distributions to member municipalities of $5.8 Million.  Batavia Downs Gaming contributed $37.25 Million to State Education via the New York State Lottery.  This number was also a record, beating 2021’s number of $32.55 Million by $4.7 Million.  

Did you enjoy the fall Wine Walk?  Well get ready for Fe-Brew-ary on February 25th.  A close replica to the BID’s popular fall wine walk, Febrewary features tastings — 21 stops are planned this year — at various downtown merchants, many of which will have specials, drawings, and giveaways.  It had been going for a few seasons until COVID shut it down in 2021.  Out of town attractions include 810 Meadworks of Medina, Windy Brew from Sheldon and OSB Ciderworks from Buffalo.  General admission tickets are $30 and include a collectible snifter glass, snacks along the way, raffles and giveaways and tastings. VIP tickets are $40 and include all of the regular features plus an extra hour, from 4 to 8 p.m., an exclusive tasting and a food station.  Designated drivers will be able to partake of the specials, raffles, snacks and non-alcoholic tastings for $10.  Hurry, there are only 600 tickets being sold at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, Yngodess, and on Event Brite.

While cataloging the artwork housed inside of the Hartley Dodge Memorial, Mallory Montillaro uncovered a masterpiece that had been lost to the art world since the 1930s.  After a year of research, the piece was authenticated as an official work by Auguste Rodin.  Join the Richmond Memorial Library on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. for an intriguing virtual program about it. Watch from home on Zoom or screen the virtual program in person at the library.  Mallory will share the story of how a simple art cataloging project evolved into a search for a mysterious piece’s provenance and became one of the biggest art finds in recent history.  To watch from home on Zoom, visit batavialibrary.org/calendar. You must be registered to receive the Zoom link. To watch in person at the library, visit the circulation desk or call 585-343-9550.

The NFL is still weighing their options regarding the resumption of the Bills-Bengals game, league officials stated during a Wednesday conference call.  Monday night’s game between the Bills and Bengals was officially postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and was taken by ambulance to UC Medical Center in Cincinnati.  NFL executive Jeff Miller said there has been no decision on whether to resume the Bills-Bengals game at a later date. A decision will be made in the coming days. The outcome of the game has major playoff implications because the Bills (12-3) entered Monday night as the AFC’s No. 1 seed.  The Bills-Patriots game set for Sunday and the rest of the Week 18 games remain on schedule as of Wednesday.

New York bet on sports significantly more in 2022.  Research by Sportsbook Review analyzed state reports of the amount of handle and gross gaming revenue monthly. With the data, Sportsbook Review concluded the states that have spent the most in total along with breaking down the totals of 2021 and 2022.  The study puts New Jersey at the top of the list having wagered the most amount of money since 2018 with over $31 billion. In 2022, New Jerseyans wagered more than $8 billion in 2022, the second-highest total in the country. Following New Jersey comes Nevada with $27 billion wagered and over $7.5 billion in 2022. Our beloved empire state ranks fifth with $15 billion but sees its handle grow from $176 million in 2021 to a nation-leading $14 billion in 2022, an 8,000% increase.

Afternoon News Brief

William Snyder

The Perry Police Department tells us they’ve arrested a Middlebury resident on multiple felony charges. 54-year-old William Snyder violated an order of protection and held a 65-year-old woman at a home in Perry for over two days. Snyder is a registered sex offender and allegedly assaulted and injured the victim. He is charged with rape, kidnapping and criminal contempt. Snyder is being held in Wyoming County Jail without bail and is due back in court next Tuesday.

 

 

 

The Batavia Police Department has recently been investigating numerous larcenies from vehicles in the city. These thefts have been occurring mainly in the overnight hours, and from unlocked motor vehicles. Patrols remain vigilant in the overnight hours, and police are asking for assistance from the public to reduce these incidents. They remind us to always lock car doors. Leave exterior lighting on if possible. Remove valuables from the vehicle. Anytime you notice anything suspicious around your property, contact the police department immediately at 585-345-6350.

 

 

Lawmakers returned to the State Capitol today as the brand-new legislative session kicked off. Among the issues the Senate and Assembly could address in the coming months are changes to the state’s current bail reform laws and additional measures to reduce gun violence. Governor Hochul might also request that lawmakers pass certain legislation when she gives her State of the State address next week. This legislative session is scheduled to run until June 8th.

 

 

Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has been re-appointed as deputy minority leader of the New York State Assembly. Hawley has served in a leadership role with the Assembly Republican Conference for many years following his first election in 2006. He promises to continue the fight for lower taxes on the middle class as well as a new moratorium of no state tax on gasoline and home fuel. Hawley will also serve as a member of the Agriculture Committee, Insurance Committee, Rules Committee, Veteran Affairs Committee, and Ways and Means Committee.

 

Stephen Zeh

Livingston County deputies have arrested the suspect who they say is responsible for many recent catalytic converter thefts. According to investigators, 27-year-old Stephen Zeh took the devices at a business on McWhorter Road in North Dansville. Zeh allegedly cut the catalytic converters off of vehicles that were in a parking lot before he stole them. After making his first court appearance, Zeh was released on his own recognizance.

 

 

 

Mayor Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says he’s hoping that a person will be hired soon to oversee the city’s vehicle fleet. The mayor said yesterday the recent deadly snowstorm pushed the city’s equipment to the maximum and that the individual who is selected to serve as fleet director would be able to provide much needed oversight to make sure things are ready in case of another disaster. The person would report only to the mayor and deputy mayor. A budget request to create this position has been submitted to the Common Council.

 

 

The New York State Police issued 32,934 tickets and arrested 453 people for impaired driving during the National DWI Crackdown, which started on Wednesday, December 14 and continued through New Year’s Day. Troopers also investigated 4,417 accidents, which resulted in 528 people being injured and eight fatalities. During the campaign, State Police utilized sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols, and ticketed distracted drivers who used handheld electronic devices. Troopers also used both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify motorists who were violating the law. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated. The Finger Lakes region accounted for 33 DWI arrests and 917 speeding tickets.

 

 

The Holland Land Office Museum is proud to announce the winners of the People’s Choice and Director’s Choice awards for the 21st Annual Wonderland of Trees decorated trees. The winner of the People’s Choice Award is the Stafford Garden Club; and the winner of the Director’s Choice Award is WBTA AM & FM. They congratulate the winners, and thank everyone who participated. They noted more trees this year than in recent years and were all beautifully done, which made the choices very difficult. Also, they wish to thank everyone who donated towards the event, and all who came to see the wonderfully decorated trees.

 

Tage Thompson’s response to hat trick – 1/3/23

The Buffalo Sabres are back on the winning track after picking up a victory on the road in overtime. Tage Thompson had a hat trick while Tyson Jost and Alex Tuch also scored as the Sabres defeated the Washington Capitals 5-4 at the Capital One Arena last night. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was able to stop 28 of 32 shots that he faced in the contest. Buffalo has the next few days off before a home game on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. Face-off is at 7:00.

 

 

The National Football League has announced that the Buffalo Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals won’t resume this week. The game was postponed on Monday night after Damar Hamlin of the Bills went into cardiac arrest following a hit in the first quarter. Hamlin was brought to a Cincinnati hospital and was last listed in critical condition. His family has released a statement thanking everyone for their prayers and support. Buffalo’s game with the New England Patriots is still scheduled for Sunday.

 

 

Please play responsibly.

The Mega Millions jackpot is closing in on a billion dollars. Nobody won the jackpot in Tuesday’s lottery drawing, which was worth $785,000,000. As a result, Friday’s jackpot will be worth an estimated $940,000,000. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Buffalo Bills players aren’t the only ones asking for prayers after their teammate Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game.  All 32 NFL team changed their twitter profile pictures to ask for prayers for Hamlin.  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.  Hamlin is still on a ventilator. But he is now only using 50% oxygen from the ventilator. Whereas Monday night he needed 100% oxygen.  The NFL has not yet decided if they will be rescheduling the game from Monday night which stopped with 5:58 left in the first quarter, but said it won’t be this week.  

A man faces charges, including rape, following an incident in Wyoming County.  Police said William Synder, 54, of Middlebury, violated a protection order and held a woman at a home in Perry for more than two days.  Snyder, a registered sex offender, allegedly sexually assaulted the victim and injured her.  Police arrested Snyder Dec. 28 and charged him with rape, criminal sex act, kidnapping and criminal contempt.  Snyder is being held in Wyoming County Jail without bail. He’s due in Perry Village Court Jan. 10.

The pair who were arrested for breeding dogs and then abandoning them in cages without food in an apartment have pleaded guilty to charges of cruelty to animals.  35 year old Andrew Searight and 24 year old Jerrtonia Scarborough will receive 1 year of probation and must perform 150 hours of community service.  After this is done they will be sentenced for misdemeanor charges which may carry up to a year in jail.  One of the dogs, a pitbull nicknamed Brad Pitt, survived and is now able to be adopted.  The pair can’t be forbidden from owning any more animals once they complete their sentences but are prohibited while they are under court supervision.

Mayor of Buffalo Byron Brown has announced a new position in his administration: Fleet Director.  Whoever takes on this job will be a central figure set to oversee and cross-coordinate all fleets within Buffalo during emergencies.  The director will perform a full inventory of all equipment across departments, including existing purchases of equipment in production. The director will also review and assess new advances in technology in order to build a line-up of supplies in Buffalo.  The City of Buffalo took almost a week to dig out after Winter Storm Elliot came through.  Many people were without power and unreachable in the snow by emergency services for that whole time.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has been re-appointed as deputy minority leader of the New York State Assembly.  Hawley has served in a leadership role with the Assembly Republican Conference for many years following his first election in 2006. He promises to continue the fight for lower taxes on the middle class as well as a new moratorium of no state tax on gasoline and home fuel.  Hawley will also serve as a member of the Agriculture Committee, Insurance Committee, Rules Committee, Veteran Affairs Committee, and Ways and Means Committee.

The Buffalo Sabres put one more in the win column Tuesday night with a 5 to 4 victory in Overtime against the Washington Capitals.  Tage Thompson scored a hat trick with Alex Tuch and Tyson Jost scored the other two goals to pull out the close win at the Capital One Arena in Washington DC.  Players wore “love for 3” t shirts into the arena.  3 is Damar Hamlin’s number in the Buffalo Bills.  The Sabres will be hosting the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.  Puck drop is at 7pm.

Afternoon News Brief

Liggans family home (12/31/22)

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.

 

 

Josh Allen – reaction after Damar Hamlin’s injury

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.

 

 

A few team members celebrating a moment during a game earlier this season (file photo)

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.

 

 

Please play responsibly.

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.

Morning News Brief

Dog abandonment lands a woman in police custody.  32 year old Ledeja Wright of Maple Street in Batavia was arrested on December 15th for leaving a dog in an apartment after she moved out and not providing it with any food.  She is charged with torturing or injuring an animal and failing to provide sustenance.  She was arraigned and released.  The dog is at the Animal Shelter.

New York is now on the list as the 6th state to legalize human composting or natural organic reduction. Natural organic reduction is a process of composting a human body.  Funeral home owners are concerned over the lack of direction on how remains will be handled under the new law.  Change is not instant and regulations are still being drafted to tell funeral homes how to proceed.  Not all are on board with this new law, including the Catholic Church, that opposes it.

The ratings for the best and worst counties to live in for life expectancy are out, and the GLOW region numbers are surprising.  The University of Wisconsin ranked the bottom 50 counties in each state for average age of death and overall health ratings.  The best county in the area is Livingston with a life expectancy of 80 years which is .3 years less than the state average.  They rank 11th out of NY counties in overall health of residents.  Next up is Wyoming County with a life expectancy of 78.9 years.  Wyoming ranks 17th in overall health.  Third is Genesee County with a 77.8 year life expectancy, and ranking 38th in overall health.  And at the bottom is Orleans County with 77.5 years and number 54 in overall health.  In the bottom 50, meaning a lower number is worse, Livingston was 47, Wyoming was 29, Genesee was 12 and Orleans was 7.

A messy divorce is leading to airing nasty comments in public under the guise of a lawsuit, at least that’s what the defendant is saying.  A radio and tv personality in Rochester, Deanna King, is suing her ex-husband David Bellavia, over an arrest in in 2021 where she was taken into custody over harassment charges.  She is suing the Sheriffs Cffice in Orleans County, the County DA’s Office, an investigator, her ex, and the county itself saying that she was targeted in a conspiracy.  She is represented by Nate McMurray who has previously represented the case of George Maziarz whose suit against Batavia Downs was thrown out. He also attempted to become the representative for Western NY in Congress but failed at his bid.  Bellavia says the lawsuit is just an attempt to get negative comments he made into public record and is asking the lawsuit to be sealed and dismissed.  His attorney, Donald O’brien, says King and McMurray failed to prove a conspiracy or even what law the defendants were supposed to have broken.

Move over Ronald, chicken and shakes are taking over this road.  I 90 service plazas shut down their McDonald’s locations starting Sunday.  The 11 fast food locations will be replaced by Chick Fil A and Shake Shacks as the service areas are brought back into operation.  Subway, Sbarro and Burger King will still be operating at some, and all will still have their convenience stores.  If you want to know what is at each thruway stop and their hours and menus you can visit the thruway’s website or download the app.

The NFL canceled Monday’s game after a Bills player collapsed at the end of a play.  It happened during a key contest between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills.  Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle where he jumped in front of Bengals Wide Receiver Tee Higgins and took him down in the impact.  He stood up for a second or two and then fell down on his back right in front of a referee.  Life-supporting measures had to be made on the field.  He was taken off the field by ambulance with his mother riding along.  He is being treated at University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition.  Bills players were seen in tears on the sidelines.  The Bills announced that he had suffered Cardiac Arrest while on the field.

Holiday News

Jose Rivera

36-year-old Jose Rivera of Batavia is in Genesee County Jail on domestic violence and contempt charges for violating an order of protection. He now faces additional felony charges after conspiring to have ‘dangerous contraband’ brought into jail. 36-year-old Ida Vanorden of Batavia has also been charged with conspiracy for allegedly working with Rivera and an unidentified third man to have the contraband smuggled into jail. Rivera remains in jail; Vanorden is scheduled to return to court on January 10th. The investigation remains active as police continue to search for the third person involved. Anyone with information can contact Deputy Nicholas Chamoun at 345-3000, ext. 3258

 

 

A woman who was involved in a murder in North Carolina in 2008, has been arrested in Batavia and charged with attacking and choking a person during a dispute at an East Main Street residence. 41-year-old Malinda Falk is charged with harassment and criminal obstruction of breathing. She returns to City Court tomorrow. Falk was charged with harassment and criminal obstruction of breathing She and two others were arrested in 2008 and charged with the murder of a man in Morganton, N.C. on Jan. 21, 2008. Three years later, Falk was convicted of being an accessory to murder and was given a suspended sentence of 38 to 55 months in prison, time she already served while awaiting the outcome of the case. Her then-boyfriend, Daniel Wolff, also of Batavia was sentenced as an accessory to murder to 94 months to 122 months. John Brant of Friendship was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a sentence of life without parole. The three traveled to North Carolina and robbed and murdered 49-year-old Dana Davis, an acquaintance of Wolff’s.

 

 

Governor Hochul being sworn in (1/1/23)

Governor Hochul has officially been sworn-in to begin her first full four-year term in office. During yesterday’s ceremony in Albany, the governor pledged to focus on making the state safer and more affordable. Hochul beat Republican Lee Zeldin back in November, becoming the first woman in state history to be elected governor. She has been governor since 2021 when she took over following the resignation of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo. Hochul will reveal more details about her plans for the months ahead in her State of the State address next week.

 

 

Photo provided by Buffalo Fire Department

A GoFundMe has been set up to help out the family who lost three young children in a blaze in Buffalo over the weekend. The fire happened Saturday morning at a home on Dartmouth Avenue. Three girls passed away and three other kids staying at the residence went to Oishei Children’s Hospital for treatment. Their grandmother also suffered burns but is expected to survive. The GoFundMe can be found by searching “Cornerstone Church Ministries Liggans Family” and as of this morning, they were just a few hundred dollars short of reaching their $10,000 goal.

 

 

Kensington Expressway (file photo)

Two people have been killed and a third person remains in intensive care following a wrong-way crash on the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo. According to police the collision happened yesterday near the Jefferson Street exit. Both drivers were rushed to Erie County Medical Center but could not be saved and a passenger is recovering from their injuries. Just what caused the tragedy is still under investigation. (The driver of the Jeep that was going the wrong way on the Kensington expressway is identified as 35-year old Patrick Stack of Williamsville.)

 

According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in New York State is $3.39. Nationally, it’s $3.21. As of this morning in Batavia, the average price is $3.31, up one cent from yesterday but down 29 cents from a month ago.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills are on the road for tonight’s game as they prepare to take on one of the top teams in the AFC. The Bills are set to battle the defending conference champions the Cincinnati Bengals. Even if they’re victorious, the Bills cannot clinch home field advantage through the playoffs because the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos yesterday. Kickoff tonight is scheduled for 8:30.

 

 

Zemgus Girgensons

The Buffalo Sabres have had their six game winning streak snapped after suffering a tough loss north of the border. Zemgus Girgensons had the lone goal for the Sabres as the Ottawa Senators defeated them last night with a final score of 3-1. Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced in the contest. The next game for the Sabres is tomorrow night when they visit the Washington Capitals. The puck drops at 7:00.

 

 

Please play responsibly.

A lucky lotto player could have a very happy start to their new year if they end up hitting the Powerball jackpot tonight. No one won the game on Saturday, pushing the prize for this evening’s drawing to at least $265,000,000. The odds of correctly picking all six numbers is one in over 292 million. The drawing will be streamed live online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

Weekend News Brief

Governor Hochul is to be officially sworn in on Sunday at 2 PM in Albany at the Empire State Plaza.  Although she has been doing the duties of Governor she will be starting her first elected term in the new year.  Hochul is the first elected female governor of New York narrowly beating out Republican challenger Lee Zeldin in the last election cycle.  The Buffalo native is expected to talk about women’s rights as she is sworn in on New Year’s Day.  

New York State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Moran ruled last week that one of the state’s strongest gun laws is unconstitutional.  The Extreme Risk Protection Order law, also known as the Red Flag law, allows law enforcement to temporarily seize a person’s guns based on someone else making a written allegation in a petition to a judge that the person poses a harm to themselves or others.  The attorney who successfully argued the unconstitutionality of the Red Flag law, Daniel Strollo, said the law allows a “very quick and easy mechanism to deprive somebody of their fundamental Second Amendment rights.” This would be the fifth time the law or parts of it have been struck down as unconstitutional. 

A new law is going into effect that will make it illegal to hurt the families of a victim of a crime by publishing, sharing or posting pictures of the victim. Bianca’s law, named after Bianca Davis who was murdered in 2019 and then her killer posted pictures of her on social media.  Those pictures were used to torment her family.  The law also prevents people who work in public service from sharing photos from crime scenes, which happened in the case of 26-year-old Caroline Wimmer.  Anyone suspected of distributing photos like these can now be charged with unlawful dissemination of a personal image, a misdemeanor.

Afternoon News Brief

Andrew Crimes

50-year-old Andrew Crimes of Batavia has been charged with felony criminal contempt of court and aggravated family offense. He has had numerous convictions for contempt and violating an order of protection. Crimes has served two state prison terms for domestic violence. Crimes was arraigned in City Court.

 

 

 

 

Tonawanda Creek – looking upstream (file photo)

An official from Genesee County Emergency Management tells us that little or no ice has formed on the Tonawanda, Black and Ellicott Creeks so at this time, they are not anticipating major flooding. Minor flooding is a possibility in Alexander and the City and Town of Batavia, especially if heavy rain moves through; however, at this time, that is not in the forecast.

 

Holland Land Office Museum (file photo)

The Holland Land Office Museum will be closed from Tuesday, January 3rd through Saturday, January 21st. During this time, the staff and volunteers will be preparing for 2023 with new exhibits, displays, programs and special events. The museum will resume regular operating hours of 10am – 4pm on Tuesday, January 24th. For additional information, contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or hollandlandoffice@gmail.com

 

 

Mayor Brown – Erie County Executive Poloncarz (file photo)

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is apologizing for his criticism of how Buffalo officials responded to the deadly blizzard. Earlier this week, Poloncarz called snow removal efforts in the city embarrassing, but said yesterday that he let his emotions get the best of him before making that remark. Sadly, at least 40 Erie County residents have died due to the weather disaster including 31 in Buffalo. Niagara County has reported one storm-related death after a man passed away of carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

The roads are expected to be busy this holiday weekend and members of law enforcement across New York State will be keeping a close eye out for drunk drivers. Travelers can expect to see increased police patrols as part of an ongoing STOP-DWI campaign that runs through Sunday. Police say folks can make sure they get home safely by having a designated driver or by using a taxi or rideshare service. Anyone who sees suspicious or dangerous activity while they’re traveling should dial 911 immediately.

 

A minimum wage increase goes into effect tomorrow, and that means a lot of workers upstate will be getting more money in their paychecks. The hourly wage for employees outside of Westchester County, Long Island, and New York City will go up by $1 from $13.20 to $14.20. Also, the hourly minimum wage for home care aides will rise by $1 to $16.20 in upstate counties. Workers who aren’t getting paid what they’re entitled to can reach out to the Division of Labor Standards at 1-888-469-7365.

 

 

A new Empire State law provides reimbursement to living donors of a kidney or liver. Governor Kathy Hochul signed the law on Thursday, which will cover costs incurred by the giver. This will likely reduce delays to receive a transplant by removing financial issues from the decision. Currently, there are approximately 9000 New Yorkers on the waiting list for an organ.

 

The Buffalo Bills Foundation is among three organizations that have donated money to help with storm recovery efforts in Buffalo and Western New York. The Bills, the NFL Foundation, and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York each handed over 100-thousand dollars. Those funds will be divided between immediate relief efforts in the region and future community needs. Also, all donations made to The Buffalo Bills Foundation through January 10th will benefit relief efforts.

 

Kyle Okposo (file photo)

The winning streak of the Buffalo Sabres has been extended to five games after the team picked up a big victory in front of their home crowd last night. Kyle Okposo had a hat trick, Casey Mittelstadt scored twice and Jeff Skinner had a goal as the Sabres defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 at KeyBank Center. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow afternoon on the road against the Boston Bruins; face off is at 1:00.

 

Please play responsibly.

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots just keep growing and that means there are still two huge prizes up for grabs. Whoever wins Mega Millions tonight will get a minimum of $640,000,000 after no one won the game on Tuesday. And there is going to be a jackpot of at least $246,000,000 for Powerball tomorrow night. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Mayor Byron Brown and County Executive Mark Poloncarz are at odds over how the snow removal operations in Buffalo went after winter storm Elliott rolled through.  Poloncarz said that the snow removal for the City of Buffalo was embarrassing storm after storm and year after year.  Brown defended the city workers and their efforts and said he didn’t know what Poloncarz was talking about.  Thursday night Poloncarz issued an apology for his comments saying his emotions got the better of him.  According to reports, Poloncarz and Brown have not spoken since the complaints.

It’s been a week since the beginning of the storm that dumped over 4 feet of snow onto the City of Buffalo and it is just opening up again.  Buffalo’s Commissioner of Public Works Nate Marton says this was a historic blizzard and the amount of snow and hurricane-force winds caused incredible snow drifts.  Critics say that the city’s snow removal plan lacks blizzard preparations.  The 50 page manual lacks the word blizzard anywhere.  Marton says that is a special operation that can be added in but isn’t in the official plan.  He said the major issue slowing down the snow removal was the wind which made it impossible for crews to see where they were removing snow.  If you can’t see, it doesn’t matter what kind of equipment you have, it isn’t going anywhere.   

Researchers at the University of Houston are saying that they have a vaccine in development that may be able to stop the fentanyl addiction rate in its tracks.  The vaccine, according to a university release, can stop people from getting the euphoric high feeling from the drug.  Tiny doses of Fentanyl can kill a person and most overdose deaths in the last few years have involved people taking the drug without knowing it as it was added to other drugs to increase their potency.  The Drug Enforcement Administration says agents have taken over 50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder off the streets in 2022.  The vaccine makes antibodies that bind to the fentanyl and purge it from the body via the kidneys and thus keeping it out of a person’s brain.  Researchers say that this will be a big help in stopping relapses as well.

A new Empire State law provides reimbursement to living donors of a kidney or liver.  Governor Kathy Hochul signed the law on Thursday which will cover costs incurred by the giver.  This will likely reduce delays to receive a transplant by removing financial issues from the decision.  Currently, there are approximately nine-thousand New Yorkers on the waiting list for an organ.

The Bills are saying they didn’t ask for special treatment getting back home to Buffalo while residents still hadn’t been dug out of the several feet of snow.  Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has said that the bills asked for a police escort and plows to pave the way for their buses from Rochester to Orchard Park on Christmas Day.  The team denies that they asked for or received any help from Erie County or the state police.  New York State Police said they didn’t provide the Bills an escort home either, though a trooper did help lead buses from the airport to Interstate 490 at the request of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.  Meanwhile, the team announced Thursday a $300,000 donation, in partnership with the NFL Foundation and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, toward blizzard relief efforts in the Buffalo area.

On Thursday night team captain for the Buffalo Sabres Kyle Okposo scored his third career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings contributing to a win of 6 to 3.  Jeff Skinner scored once and Casey Mittlestadt scored twice for the Sabres.  Buffalo will hit the road for a Saturday afternoon contest against the Bruins. Puck drop is at 1 p.m. est.

Afternoon News Brief

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.

Morning News Brief

Western NY was on the receiving end of so much snow that Governor Hochul is directing state agencies to get ready for floods.  Over 300 Pumps and Generators as well as 800,000 sandbags are ready to be deployed if the melting snow causes runoff to overflow flood vulnerable creeks, streams and low lying areas that have poor drainage.  Temperatures are expected to rise into the 50s by Friday and Buffalo and the surrounding areas are still digging out.  The snow could dam up culverts and other drainage and cause water to back up into roadways.  Remember to never attempt to cross water on the road where you can’t tell the depth.  Find an alternate route.

Parts of Western New York are dealing with the deadly effects of a massive winter storm.  Officials said Wednesday that the death toll has risen to at least 37 after several feet of snow slammed the region over the holiday weekend.  That number is expected to climb as authorities are going door-to-door to conduct wellness checks amid 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.

Genesee County received 477,000 dollars in Healthy Neighborhoods Program money for use between 2022 and 2027.  That grant money is to be used to visit 1000 homes in the 14020 area and help with increasing the overall health of the residents in that area.  Batavia has a 28 percent higher asthma hospital visit rare 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.  

If you know someone who stole COVID relief money or resources the State has just increased their reward for information about it.  Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz said, “As with other states of emergency, like Hurricane Sandy or September 11th, the need to respond swiftly creates opportunities for perpetrators of fraud.”  But the state is not just letting criminal fraudsters off the hook.  They are offering larger rewards for information and also harsher penalties for those who committed fraud.  The reward will be a portion of whatever money is recovered.

Want to perform a wedding but don’t have one of those pesky seminary degrees?  Governor Hochul has signed legislation allowing someone to become a wedding officiant for just one day.  Single use one day marriage officiant licenses allow someone to sign up to solemnize a marriage on one specific date at one specific event.  Only good for one wedding.  

TV Science explainer and CEO of the Planetary Society Bill Nye has said many times that in order to better use electricity we need a better battery.  New York State has taken that idea and decided to build more and bigger batteries.  Governor Hochul says she wants the state to have 6 gigawatts of energy storage by 2030.  That’s about 20 percent of the peak electrical load for the Empire State.  If they are successful the batteries would hold enough electricity to power about 1/15th of the homes in New York for 4 hours.  Money is also going into researching better storage options.

Afternoon News Brief

Raul Cruz

18-year-old Raul Cruz of Warsaw has been indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury, for felony promoting prison contraband. He’s accused of knowingly and unlawfully making two shanks while confined at the Genesee County Jail. Cruz also unlawfully made a long, plastic housing for a ‘Bic’ type pen. Cruz along with Prince N.K. Wilson of Albion were each charged last March for the murder of two farm workers in Alexander. Cruz accepted a plea deal in October and will be sentenced next month.

 

 

 

Mayor Brown and Governor Hochul

The death toll due to the snowstorm that rocked Buffalo and the Western New York region has sadly risen once again. More than 30 people have lost their lives and that total is expected to keep growing in the coming days. Even though cleanup efforts are still underway, the Thruway has reopened, Metro Service has resumed and today Buffalo Niagara International Airport will be up and running once again. Hundreds of residents remain without power and there’s no word yet how long it’s going to take before everyone has their service restored.

 

 

The Buffalo Police Department says a task force has been launched to crack down on looters who stole items from city businesses during and after the blizzard. Officers are now looking at video clips that have been posted on social media to try to identify the individuals involved in these crimes. So far, they’ve been able to make at least eight arrests. Police are again asking anyone with information to come forward and contact them at 716-847-2255.

 

 

Wegmans recall items – 12/28/22

Wegmans has announced the recall of three of its products due to the possible health risks that they could pose to customers. The supermarket chain says there are concerns that the products, which contain micro greens, cat grass, and sweet pea leaves could be contaminated with salmonella. A full list of the potentially affected items has been posted on the recall page of wegmans.com. No illnesses have been reported and anyone who purchased these products can return them for a refund.

 

 

New York State has opened the application process for the Excelsior Scholarship for the Spring 2023 term. The scholarship, combined with other financial aid, allows eligible full-time students to attend a SUNY or CUNY school tuition-free. Students from households with federal adjusted gross incomes of up to 125-thousand dollars are eligible to receive a scholarship. Applications are being accepted through February 9th and more information can be found by visiting hesc.ny.gov.

 

 

 

Please play responsibly.

The already-huge Mega Millions jackpot keeps getting bigger. It’s up to an estimated $640,000,000 after no one matched all six numbers in Tuesday night’s drawing. The next drawing is Friday night. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

The U of R medical campus north of the Highway on Call Parkway has had to shut down for the rest of the week as several pipes froze and burst.  The pipes are being repaired but a lot of water did flood the building according to Kim Hally Hettrick.  Patients will be directed to go to LeRoy, Brockport or Brighton for services.   Frozen pipes are nothing new in Upstate and Western NY.  The week before Christmas a water main burst in Rochester and flooded several street and caused water to be shut off for nearly half the city and another burst at Strong in their Medical Research building causing extensive damage across 5 floors.

The Buffalo Police Department has announced the start of a task force to investigate blizzard break-ins and said eight arrests have been made as of Tuesday afternoon.  According to police, the task force is searching through social media videos and asking for residents to contact the confidential tip line at (716) 847-2255.  Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the department has had to divert resources away from recovery missions because the crime that is occurring cannot be ignored.

On Tuesday, as more people in Western New York were allowed to travel once again, Erie County’s Executive continued to release tragic information about the storm.  Mark Poloncarz reporting the death toll in his county is now at 28. This, in addition to at least two deaths outside the county. Poloncarz said two originally reported storm deaths were found to be unrelated to the weather, but three additional deaths were confirmed in the past 24 hours.  “Unfortunately, @BPD alerts expects that number to rise,” Mayor Byron Brown tweeted about deaths in the city. “Our hearts and prayers go out to their family members.”  The city of Buffalo remains under a driving ban. Portions of Route 5 are also still closed heading south through Lackawanna and Hamburg.  County Executive Poloncarz is reporting additional outside help coming in to support efforts in the county. 100 military police and additional troopers will be aiding with traffic control and ticketing in Buffalo for anyone violating the travel ban. We know at least 15 troopers from Central New York were deployed to assist. New Jersey State Police are coming into downstate New York to supplement those troopers being diverted to Buffalo.  There are still significant time delays for emergency services in Buffalo because of road conditions.

After working round the clock since Friday, National Grid has announced that nearly all customers that lost power have had it restored.  107,700 residents in Western NY lost power due to the ice and high winds.  98 percent of them, or 105,700 of them have it back.  The historic multi-day blizzard brought hurricane-force winds and more than 50 inches of heavy, wet snow to the region. National Grid’s field force of nearly 3,000 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers will remain on the ground and continue to partner with state and local agencies to gain access to the remaining damage so that repairs can be completed.

Afternoon News Brief

Arthur Brown

A four-time ex-con who was indicted in October for violating sex offender registry rules was arrested again on the same charges. According to Genesee County sheriffs, 46-year-old Arthur Brown of Batavia has been charged with failure to report a change of address within 10 days. The charge is a class D felony because Brown has two previous felony convictions for the same charge.

 

 

 

President Biden has signed an emergency declaration to provide federal help to Buffalo and surrounding areas (including Genesee County) that were impacted by a deadly winter storm. So far, the deaths of over two-dozen people in the region have been linked to the weather disaster, including at least 20 in Buffalo alone. As cleanup efforts continue, residents there are asked to stay off the roads so crews can safely work on removing the snow that fell and first responders can get to people who need help. Utility crews are also making progress towards restoring power to customers who have been without service for days.

 

 

28-year-old Ashley Schaefer of Batavia has been charged with petit larceny after allegedly stealing over $250 worth of merchandise from Walmart in Batavia. She was transported to Genesee County Jail for processing and released on an appearance ticket. Schaefer is scheduled to appear in Batavia Town Court on January 17th.

 

 

Not sure why anyone would’ve thought of this as a good idea during a blizzard…but someone did. State Police were called to the scene of a 2-car crash in Barre on Saturday afternoon. There were no injuries; however, an investigation found that one of the cars had been stolen. 37-year-old Ashlee Corter of Walterboro, South Carolina was charged with the felony of possession of stolen property, punishable by up to seven years in state prison. Corter previously lived in Albion. She was released with an appearance ticket for a later court date. In 2018, Corter was charged with grand larceny for stealing a car in Albion.

 

 

Wyoming County Sheriffs have arrested and charged 50-year-old Paul Zangerle of Warsaw for petit larceny. He allegedly left the Warsaw Walmart with a cart full of items without paying for them. Zangerle was issued an appearance ticket and released, and will return to Town of Warsaw Court at a later date.

 

 

Steve Hawley

Today Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced that his office would distribute free fuel weatherizing kits courtesy of National Fuel Gas. The kits are intended to help residents to better afford the costs of heating their homes this winter. You can pick up your kit at the Richmond Memorial Library.

 

 

Lending a helping hand

Monroe County has sent help out to Buffalo and surrounding communities as recovery efforts from a deadly blizzard continue. Over two-dozen residents in that region have lost their lives due to the weather disaster, and cleanup is expected to take several days to complete. Monroe County Executive Adam Bello says that six storm emergency fire units will be on the ground, as will members of the Rochester Police Department. In a statement, Bello also expressed condolences to everyone impacted by the storm.

 

 

Mayor Brown with Governor Hochul

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is criticizing the people who looted stores in the city during the blizzard by calling them absolutely reprehensible and the lowest of the low. Brown made the comments during a news conference yesterday, saying these individuals did not steal from businesses while they were looking for food or other necessities, instead, they just took whatever they wanted. Some arrests have already been made in connection with these cases. Tips can be submitted by contacting police at 716-847-2255.

 

 

Lonsdale Road, Buffalo

The American Red Cross is helping out 20 people who were displaced following a blaze in Buffalo that ended up damaging four residences. Crews were called to battle the two-alarm fire on Lonsdale Road yesterday and say the roof of one home ended up collapsing and three others were affected by exposure to smoke and flames. There were no injuries reported. Just what caused the fire is still under investigation.

 

 

The Rochester Fire Department says a burst pipe was responsible for causing a big mess at the University of Rochester’s Clinical Research Center. When crews arrived at the building on Crittenden Boulevard yesterday, they noticed there was water flowing from a four-inch standpipe on the fifth floor. As a result, there was extensive water damage done to multiple floors. Patient care at the building was never affected.

 

State Attorney General Letitia James has issued a consumer alert to New Yorkers after getting reports of price gouging involving children’s medication. Right now, there are a high number of flu, RSV, and COVID-19 cases in the Empire State and James says medicines for kids such as painkillers and fever reducers are being sold for up to three times their retail value. Under state law, merchants are prohibited from selling goods that are vital to the health of consumers for an excessive price. Anyone who wants to report price gouging can do so by calling 1-800-771-7755.

 

 

Cozens-Dahlin and very excited young fan (file photo)

For the second time in the past week, the Buffalo Sabres have had a scheduled game postponed. The team was supposed to visit the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, but because Buffalo Niagara International Airport is still closed, the team is not able to fly to Ohio. The Sabres game this past Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning was pushed back to March 4th because of the massive snowstorm that hit the area. The new date for the Columbus contest hasn’t been scheduled yet.

 

 

Please play responsibly (file photo)

One of the largest jackpots in Mega Millions history is going to be up for grabs this evening. No one won on Friday, meaning whoever picks the winning numbers for tonight’s drawing will receive at least $565,000,000. There has not been a Mega Millions jackpot claimed since October, when tickets for a $502,000,000 prize were sold in Florida and California. The biggest Mega Millions jackpot was over $1.5 billion dollars back in 2018. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

Over 4 feet of snow fell on Buffalo over the weekend.  49.2 inches were recorded on average with areas near the city getting over 2 feet.  Buffalo has had up to 92 inches of snow so far this season.  Rochester is only up to 9.  Another 4-7 inches is expected through today.  It is safe to say buffalo will be up for another Golden Snowball award this year.

All 5 floors of the clinical research center building at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester were damaged extensively when a standpipe on the top floor sprung a leak Monday.  Crew from the Rochester Fire Department responded by shutting off water and power to the building.  Hospital and patient care was not affected.  The damage and lack of power was kept to just the Clinical Research Building, and crews are working to remove the water in the building.

I90 is back open but under winter travel advisory from Henrietta to the PA border.  The road status is clear but with possible snow and ice conditions and wet spots.  It was closed through the weekend and into Monday morning.  The travel advisory for Genesee county was lifted Monday afternoon but caution is still being urged as conditions still exist.

Several agencies in the greater Rochester area sent units to the Buffalo area to lend a helping hand during the deadly winter storm there.  Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced six Storm Emergency Fire Unit (SEFUs) were deployed in the area. Those units are from the Chili, Brighton, Henrietta, Gates, Ridge Road and Lakeshore fire departments.  Rochester Police sent members of its Scuba Team to assist with rescue efforts.  NYSP Troop E, based in the Rochester area, sent snowmobiles and UTVs to assist drivers stranded on the roads, and help with other search and rescue efforts.

Turns out western NYers are well equipped to deal with snow, who knew?  Members of a local snowmobile club were out around-the-clock during the blizzard, working to rescue people and get essential workers to their jobs. The Northern Erie Sno-Seekers Snowmobile Club has heavy-duty equipment designed to shape trails for snowmobiles. These “groomers” were one of the few things that were able to transport people through the storm.  From Friday evening through Saturday afternoon, members of the club rescued 41 people from Main Street in Clarence, including state troopers, ambulance workers, and a firefighter. They also worked with the Newstead Fire Company, NYS Police and the Newstead and Akron Highway Departments to pick up drivers and get them to plow trucks.  On Sunday, members brought nurses from the Clarence/Amherst area to Buffalo General Hospital, an Emergency Room doctor to Sister’s Hospital, and a Buffalo Police Department Officer to his police station.  Northern Erie Sno Seekers serves Erie, Niagara and Genesee Counties and has 700 members.

The Buffalo Bills couldn’t fly home to Buffalo as the airport was closed and there were 75 mile per hour winds blocking the way.  Instead they opted to fly a bit further and land in Rochester Sunday afternoon.  They were greeted by hundreds of fans on Airport Way at the Frederick Douglas International Airport.  They then boarded busses and traveled with a police and plow escort on county routes back to Orchard Park.  Their travels took them through downtown Batavia.

The Sabres game scheduled for Columbus Ohio has been postponed because the Sabres can’t get out of Buffalo.  The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is still shut down.  The new date for the game has not been announced.  The game against the Blue Jackets will be announced as soon as it can be confirmed.

Morning News Brief

At least 27 (Updated) people in Western NY died due to the snow over the weekend.  Several of them were the result of first responders not being able to get to them because of the storm. Governor Kathy Hochul called the days-long winter storm in the western part of the state a “war with Mother Nature,” and one of the worst blizzards in Buffalo history.

Although the travel bans have been lifted in most of Western NY, I 90 is still closed from the border with Pennsylvania to Henrietta.  Drivers were off the roads for nearly the whole weekend with nearly all churches moving their services online for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and most businesses also being closed whether they had planned on taking Christmas off or not.  Drivers that attempted to brave the storm were quickly stuck in snow drifts or went off the road due to the ice making the roads slick and the wind making visibility so low it could be measured in inches.  

In Genesee County at least 550 people were in warming centers that were opened up in Churches, restaurants, and fire halls.  Dozens of individuals and organizations donated to these centers to keep the people there warmed and filled.  Some even braved the elements to bring stranded truckers coffee and meals while they waited in their cabs to be able to travel again.  Police and Fire personnel worked long and cold hours rescuing people from cars and trucks all across the county.  That includes a Batavia City Police MRAP vehicle that dared the elements to rescue 30 stranded motorists in the Oakfield-Alabama area.  Members of the Genesee Snowpackers were out with their Snowgroomers rescuing people in the Oakfield and Alabama areas as well.  Our news partner the Batavian has chronicled the hour by hour updates of the whole weekend.  Check out their write ups to really get a feel for what rescuers were doing.

At least 73 thousand National Grid customers were without power at different times on Saturday and Sunday.  Currently, power has been restored throughout Genesee County.  There are still isolated outages reported in Erie, Niagara and Orleans Counties with crews working round the clock to restore everyone. 

An additional 200 National Guard members will be deploying to Western New York to help with recovery efforts following a devastating storm.  Officials expect the double digit numbers of deaths to keep growing in the coming days. Most of the deaths have been in Erie County, which was hard hit by snow and strong winds. Crews are also working to restore power to people who have spent the last few days in the dark. Buffalo Niagara International Airport is also still closed and isn’t expected to reopen until Tuesday.

Gas update: Western NY drivers are still paying less to fill up their vehicles these days as gas prices continue to slide. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now three-33. That’s down 10 cents from last week and is 30 cents less than this time one month ago. Right now, the state average is three-42 a gallon and nationally it is three-10.

Playing in 9 degrees seems to just make the Bills better.  They are the AFC East champions after beating the Bears in Chicago Saturday 35 to 13.  They maintain their number 1 playoffs seed position after the win at Soldier Field.  This is the Bills 5th straight win this season and third straight AFC East title.  On the flip side this was Chicago’s 7th straight loss this season.  8 losses in a row would make a new franchise record.  Next up the Bills play the Bengals in Monday Night Football at 8:30 on the 2nd of January.  The game is at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

Genesee County Travel Ban Lifted. State of Emergency Rescinded

Genesee County Manager L. Matthew Landers has rescinded the State of Emergency for Genesee County. All roads are open. The travel ban has been downgraded to a travel advisory effective immediately for all of Genesee County.

A travel advisory means that no unnecessary travel is advised. A trip which could wait until the advisory is lifted should not be made.

Genesee County Sheriff Updates Travel Ban

Road conditions in several areas of Genesee County, mostly the Western towns, continue to be extremely dangerous with severe blizzard conditions, blowing and drifting snow, zero visibility and extreme cold temperatures.  Emergency service providers are still in the process of attempting to clear vehicles that became stranded overnight.

 

After consulting with the Genesee County Highway Superintendent, Emergency Management Services Coordinator, and the County Manager, Genesee County Sheriff Sheron updates the Genesee County travel ban for the following:

– a travel ban remains in effect for Alabama, Oakfield, Elba, Pembroke, Darien,  Batavia, Alexander.

– the travel ban has been downgraded to a travel advisory, effective at noon today,   December 24, for Byron, Bergen, Bethany, LeRoy, Stafford, Pavilion.

 

“We cannot stress enough how important it is for your safety and that of our emergency personnel that you stay where you are until conditions improve.  Hundreds of vehicles are stranded, and it has been very challenging, if not impossible, to get to them.  We want everyone to have a safe holiday so if you have to postpone family gatherings, please do so.  It could save your life or that of your loved ones,” stated Sheriff Sheron.

 

A travel ban means no travel for anyone except emergency vehicles which includes police, ambulance, snow plows, fire, etc.

 

A travel advisory means that no unnecessary travel is advised.  A trip which could wait until the advisory is lifted should not be made.

Weekend News Brief

Winter Storm Elliott Continues to hit Genesee County and the rest of Western New York.  The Blizzard Warning continues through Saturday and into Sunday at 7am.  The high winds of up to 70 miles per hour will continue, up to 3 feet of snow could fall across the region.  The wind will drive temperatures down as low as negative 30 degrees.  Travel will be difficult to impossible due to drifting snow.  Trees and power lines being down could cause power outages.

Roughly 2000 customers were without power Friday as the storm knocked out service.  Elba Central School, Oakfield Fire Department, Alabama Hotel, and several other locations were turned into warming centers for stranded travelers or people who were without power.  First responders were heavily engaged in getting out to cars reported stranded in the snow off the roads.  Finding lost people in the snow, and directing people to shelter.  The Thruway has been closed from Henrietta to Pennsylvania to all non-emergency traffic.  The Sheriffs Department for Genesee County has declared a travel ban on all non emergency traffic.  

Closings and Cancellations:  Ascension Parish has canceled masses for Saturday and Sunday.  They will not be livestreamed.  St Paul Lutheran Church has canceled Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services.  First United Methodist Church has canceled Christmas Eve Services.  Tops and Wegmans have closed their stores in Erie, Niagara, Genesee Orleans and Wyoming Counties for the weekend.  They plan to reopen on Monday.  

A cancelation that has nothing to do with the winter storm is that of the statewide gas tax suspension.  The regular gas taxes are set to go back into place at the end of the year.  Governor Hochul says they need the revenue from the gas taxes to maintain the roads.  The winter storm that hit Buffalo with several feet of snow just a few weeks ago cost an estimated 2 million dollars.  Gas prices continue a downward trajectory — a national average is $3.09, New York has an average of $3.43, and the Capital Region is averaging $3.41 a gallon, all of these numbers coming from AAA.  The gas tax suspension saved drivers just under 20 cents a gallon. 

Genesee County Issues Travel Ban

Genesee County Manager L. Matthew Landers has declared a local state of emergency for Genesee County due to blizzard-like conditions.  Effective immediately, Genesee County Sheriff upgrades previously issued travel advisory to a travel ban for all of Genesee County until further notice.  A travel ban means no travel for anyone but emergency vehicles which includes police, fire, ambulance, snow plows, etc.

Currently, the western half of Genesee County is experiencing blizzard conditions with blowing and drifting snow causing zero visibility. Weather forecasts indicate similar conditions are expected for all of Genesee County later today and through Saturday.  Numerous accidents and stranded vehicles are blocking roadways and causing unsafe driving conditions for motorists and first responders.

Sheriff Sheron encourages residents, “For your safety and the safety of first responders and highway snow removal personnel this holiday weekend, please stay off the roads until conditions improve.”

Blizzard

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties are now under a Blizzard Warning.
The seldom issued Blizzard Warning remains in effect until Sunday morning.

Expect very icy road conditions as temperatures continue to fall significantly throughout the day.
Temperatures will eventually fall into the single digits resulting in a flash freeze.

The National Weather service is predicting 2 to 3 feet of snow and up to 70 mile per hour winds, resulting in wind chills well below zero.
Numerous isolated power outages have been reported.

As of Noon today, 1,608 customers ogf National Grid were without power in Genesee County.
Travel is expected to be near impossible, exposure outside could result in frostbite in 30 minutes or less if in direct wind.

A travel advisory is in effect for Genesee County. All motorists are urged to avoid any unnecessary travel. Ice and white out conditions will make any driving extremely hazardous.

The New York State Thruway is closed to all commercial travel from Henrietta to the Pennsylvania Line.
The governor has declared a state of emergency through the weekend. Batavia City and Genesee County buildings are all closed and expected to reopen Tuesday.

Read the latest Closings and Cancellations HERE

New York legislators have a bill to give themselves a 29-percent raise, which would make them the highest paid state lawmakers in the U.S.
The raise extends to members of the state Assembly and Senate, making the base salary $142,000.
However, they would then be limited in earnings at other jobs, with external income capped at $35,000 come 2025.
Batavia Assemblyman Steve Hawley says he voted against the raise calling it “tone deaf” and “embarrassing.”

Morning News Brief

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties are under a Blizzard Warning from 7am through Sunday morning.  Expect ice on the roads as the wet rain from overnight and this morning freezes as temperatures fall throughout the day into the single digits resulting in a flash freeze.  The National Weather service is predicting 2 to 3 feet of snow and up to 70 mile per hour winds.  The winds are expected to go from tonight into Saturday morning with temperatures dropping into the negatives with wind chill.  Numerous power outages are expected with trees and power lines going down due to the combination of ice and wind.  Travel is expected to be near impossible, exposure outside could result in frostbite in 30 minutes or less if in direct wind.  

The weather has brought multiple reactions and closures.  A travel advisory is in effect for Genesee County.  All motorists are urged to avoid any unnecessary travel.  Ice and white out conditions will make any driving extremely hazardous.  The thruway is closed to all commercial travel from Henrietta to the Pennsylvania Line.  The governor has declared a state of emergency through the weekend.  Batavia City and Genesee County buildings are all closed and expected to reopen Tuesday.  The following schools have announced closures: Batavia City Schools, Alexander Central School District, Attica Central School District, Genesee Valley BOCES, Pavilion Central School District, St Joseph’s School and St Paul Lutheran School.  Tonawanda Valley Credit Union is closed, as is the Cornell Cooperative Extension. Genesee Orleans Mental Health in Batavia and Albion are closed and will reopen on Tuesday.

Hoover Beach neighborhood in Hamburg was evacuated Thursday night ahead of the expected flooding from the severe winds coming with winter storm Elliot.  In the last major storms several homes were flooded and many were damaged, some with walls being knocked down and windows blown in. 

The City of Rochester has announced a state of emergency both for the oncoming storm and because of a water main break that caused issues for well over half the Flower City on Wednesday.  Mayor Malik Evans said that the state of emergency will allow him to make the changes he needs to to respond to the issues facing the city right now.  He says he hopes that he doesn’t have to use the powers given by the state of emergency but he’s doing it out of an abundance of caution.  Rich Perrin, the city’s environmental services commissioner, said the break is under control but excavation work continues.

Despite calls to “talk about other issues,” the New York State Legislature met in a special session on Thursday, voting on a bill to increase lawmakers’ pay from $110,000 to $142,000, capping outside income at $35,000.  After some debate, the Senate passed the bill 33-23, and the Assembly 81-52, closer margins than most. With that, the bill now heads to the governor’s desk, where Kathy Hochul, who has supported a raise for legislators, will decide whether she wants to sign off on the raise.  Assemblyman Steve Hawley says he voted against the raise and that it is “tone deaf” and “embarrassing.” 

A Viral Buffalo Puppet Maker and Art teacher has had the honor of being on the show, Worst Cooks in America.  Adam Kruetinger said he didn’t know the show when he got the call but his wife was a fan.  He made puppets that did funny bits online and they wanted him on.  It was just a week before he was diagnosed with brain cancer and he says he had to keep his sense of humor up.  The show premieres on January 1st.  You can check out Kruetinger’s puppets at puppetnerds.com.

City of Batavia and Genesee County Offices and Buildings Closed Friday

News Release

City of Batavia and Genesee County offices and buildings will be closed on Friday,
December 23, 2022 due to the severe weather forecast.

The City and County are committed to ensuring the safety of their workforce and citizens and therefore
are taking this precautionary measure. With the predicted drop in temperature, rain turning to ice, snow
and high winds, travel should be avoided.

Both City of Batavia and County offices are scheduled to reopen Tuesday, December 27, 2022

 

Afternoon News Brief

Robert Ritchey

An Oakfield man who repeatedly sexually assaulted a child has been sentenced in Genesee County Court to 14 years in state prison. 58-year-old Robert Ritchey pleaded guilty in October to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Ritchey also was sentenced to 15 years of post-release supervision. He was arrested in April and had more charges filed against him in June after the state police investigation. There were a total of 14 charges against Ritchey that involved a child under age 11.

 

 

 

Christopher Say

31-year-old Christopher Say of Stafford has been sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for attempted third-degree arson. There were multiple charges filed against him stemming from an altercation that happened the day after Christmas last year. Firefighters were initially called to a Main Road address in Stafford for a report of a garage fire. Upon first responder’s arrival, Say was uncooperative and barricaded himself inside the garage. He threatened firefighters, deputies and state police, saying he was going to blow up the garage. Route 5 was closed for a period of time. Say eventually drove a car backwards through the garage door, hit a fence and slammed into a patrol car; he was then taken into custody.

 

 

Tarrance Williams

23-year-old Tarrance Williams of Batavia entered a plea deal this week. He was charged with possessing a handgun during an incident in the area of Ellicott and Court Street in September, at a time when he was awaiting sentencing on a drug possession conviction. As part of the plea, the cases were consolidated so Williams could be sentenced on both convictions simultaneously but by law will need to serve sentences on both convictions consecutively. He faces up to seven years in prison on the weapons charge; he could also be placed on parole for seven years and fined up to $5000. He’s also eligible for probation. Williams was originally going to be sentenced on Tuesday afternoon, but because of a timing conflict with an ongoing, unrelated trial, Williams will be sentenced on a later date.

 

Superintendent Tonja Williams

Plans are currently in the works to increase the safety of students, teachers, and staff at Buffalo Public Schools. The district is going to install new weapons detection systems that use advanced imaging technology and artificial intelligence to find weapons quickly. The first demonstration of the new system will be tomorrow at the International Preparatory School. Superintendent Doctor Tonja Williams says the district is committed to providing a safe and secure learning environment for students.

 

 

Members of the New York State Legislature will be back at the Capitol building today for a special session. Both the Assembly and Senate are expected to vote on a measure that would increase their salaries from the current $110,000 a year to $142,000 a year. There’d also be limits placed on the amount of money that lawmakers can earn outside of their position as an elected official. If approved, the salary increase would go into effect on January 1st.

 

 

Governor Hochul has signed off on a brand new law that will make it mandatory for employers to list the salary ranges for every advertised job and promotion. The goals of this legislation are to provide workers with important information before they apply for a position and to reduce discriminatory wage setting and hiring practices. The U.S. Department of Labor says that in 2020, women made 83 cents for every dollar made by men. The governor believes the legislation will usher in a new era of fairness and transparency for New York’s workforce.

 

Erie County officials say the cost of cleanup efforts from the massive snowstorm that slammed the region back in November has surpassed 11-million-dollars. The storm ended up dropping several feet of snow between November 17th and the 20th and five deaths were reported across Western New York. President Biden authorized a federal emergency declaration but funding hasn’t reached communities in the county just yet. That money can be used to help cover the cost of things like snow removal and plowing roads.

 

 

Positive COVID test result

The latest data from the state shows the spread of the coronavirus is on the rise once again in our region. The seven-day average infection rate is now at 6.15%. At this time last week, the infection rate was at 4.88%. Anyone who wants to receive a COVID-19 shot or booster dose can schedule an appointment online at vaccines.gov.

 

 

 Cozens and Dahlin from earlier this season

Tomorrow night’s game between the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning has been postponed due to severe weather that is predicted to affect the area. The contest has been pushed back to Saturday, March 4th at the KeyBank Center. People who have tickets for the game will still be able to use them. The next game for the Sabres is set for December 27th when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.

 

 

Morning News Brief

Two people were arrested for stealing from Dicks Sporting Goods on Memorial Drive on Wednesday.  According to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office 19 year old Kia Morris and 27 year old Jaszandra Davis loaded up a cart full of items and then left the store.  Deputies took them into custody following a brief foot chase.  Deputies say they were in possession of stolen goods from multiple stores.  Both are facing charges of 4th degree Grand Larceny, 4th degree criminal possession of stolen property, possession of burglar’s tools, and Morris is facing second degree obstruction of government administration. 

The West Side of the City of Rochester was told to boil any water they wanted to use after a water main break on Favor St at around 5pm.  It led to severe flooding down Ford St. and surrounding blocks in residential neighborhoods. Many businesses and homes were left without water. Restaurants in the area were forced to stop service just before the dinner hours.  The City of Rochester closed several buildings in the area, including the Tyshaun Cauldwell R-Center for Hope, Edgerton R-Center, and the Rochester Community Sports Complex.  The city branch libraries are also closed, including the Phillis Wheatley Community Library, the Arnett branch, the Lyell branch, and the Central branch.  School was canceled for RCSD on Thursday as well.  The boil water advisory will remain in effect for well over half the city till Saturday. 

People from over half a dozen churches and from as far away as Hawaii gathered Wednesday night in front of Planned Parenthood in Batavia for Glow4Babie’s celebration of the birth of Jesus and Babies in the womb candlelight vigil.  Care A Van Ministries set up across the street with coffee and cookies.  Group founder Anne Scalia organized the event to celebrate the baby in the womb at Christmas.  The group stayed for over an hour along West Main Street with signs and music and lights.  They offered prayers for an end to abortion in New York State.

An 85-year-old woman crashed her vehicle into a Lockport Burger King on Wednesday.  According to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, the driver mistook the vehicle’s accelerator for the brake and drove into the exterior wall of the 5720 South Transit Road restaurant.  The Town of Lockport Building Inspector determined the building had no structural damage.  No one was injured in this crash.

Genesee County has been given a grant of 540K to demolish the old YMCA building and the boiler house at the UMMC.  The grant was awarded through the Restore NY Communities program.  More than $102 million was awarded to 64 projects through the Initiative.  Restore New York supports municipal revitalization efforts across the state.  New life for downtown Batavia is to come from the partnership of RRH-UMMC and GLOW YMCA to develop a $33.5 million, two-story, 78,000-square-foot regional health and wellness facility. The new site will integrate a new YMCA facility with state-of-the-art medical space for the Healthy Living program.

A second now-former staff member at the Monroe County Children’s Detention Center has been arrested.  49 year old Gregory Bodine is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a child for an incident that happened Oct. 23 at the center’s annex on East Henrietta Road in Brighton, against a juvenile who was in detention there.  Bodine’s arrest follows the arrest of 23 year old John Kanu who allegedly let two juveniles fight each other in a bathroom at the CDC in Rush last month. Kanu also allegedly struck a juvenile in the face.  County officials blame the raise in age at the detention center saying the kids there are older, more violent, and harder to deal with.  Many of them are awaiting trial for homicide, assault and illegal gun charges.  The center is looking for a new director who can put in new policies and train employees on how to handle the more difficult juveniles.  

The Buffalo Bills tweeted that they are headed to Vegas after 4 players were selected for the February 5th Bowl game in Las Vegas.  Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Mitch Morse and Jordan Poyer were named as playing in the 2023 Pro Bowl.  12 players were also selected as alternates.  The Bills next game is against the Bears in Chicago on Christmas Eve at 1pm.

The snowy weather is canceling hockey.  The Buffalo Sabres announced the game scheduled for Friday at KeyBank Center against the Tampa Bay Lightning has been postponed due to impending inclement weather.  The game has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 4 at 12:30 p.m. at KeyBank Center.  The game that was originally set for March 4 against the Philadelphia Flyers will now be played on Monday, January 9 at 7 p.m.  According to the Sabres, original tickets for both games can be used for entry to the rescheduled date and time.

Afternoon News Brief

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.

Morning News Brief

The weather won’t stop Santa, but it might stop you.  A winter Storm Watch has been issued for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties from Friday at 7am to Monday at 7am.  The national weather service is saying that 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. Localized blizzard conditions are possible.  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.  Travel could be difficult to impossible.  

With a need for children’s pain-relief medicine in such high demand, pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens are now limiting drug purchases.  “High demand is causing pharmacies to add restrictions to children’s pain-relief sales,” said Dr. Rachel Kaufman, Pediatrician & Partner at Buffalo Pediatric Associates.  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.

Buffalo, New York, is suing all major gun manufacturers, distributors and some gun shops.  Mayor Byron Brown announced on Tuesday what he called 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.”  Not to be outdone, The City of Rochester launched their own lawsuit on Tuesday.  Defendants in the case include Beretta, Smith & Wesson, Glock, Remington and Bushmaster, along with ghost gun companies including Polymer 80 and Arm or Ally.  The suit aims to hold them responsible for “the illegal and unreasonable sale, manufacture, distribution, importing, and marketing of firearms.”  Both cities cited the lawsuits against Opioid manufacturers as reasons they hope for success in this lawsuit.

A fire in Pavilion had Bethany, LeRoy, Stafford and Batavia’s FAST Team come to the scene.  The structure fire, at 915 Perry Rd, took little time for the 4 fire departments to knock down.  The Pavilion chief canceled the second alarm at around 6:15 and told dispatchers that all units could stand down.

Nearly 140-thousand Chevrolet Bolt electric 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 gasses that can come in contact with carpet fibers.

Does your daughter want to play football?  At Monday’s School Board Meeting Batavia’s director of Health, Physical Education and athletics Mike Bromley stood with 6 girls who want to play flag football for Batavia City Schools.  He said there were at least 10 who had asked if they could add it to the school sports offering.  Bromley also stated that adding the girls sport would make an equal number of boys and girls teams available and that 22 other districts were considering adding girls flag football to their lineup.  The matter will be up for a vote in January.

On Dec. 13, eight Byron-Bergen staff “elves” loaded shopping carts with one goal: Help ease the holiday stress for members of the Byron-Bergen community. These holiday helpers filled over 40 shopping carts with merchandise to assist more than 100 kids from 42 local families in need.  This year’s Holiday Community Service Project collected over $8,500 in donations from faculty, staff, and individual community members.  The holiday items were each wrapped and labeled by Byron-Bergen staff volunteers.  On Saturday, December 17th, staff members delivered black contractor bags filled with brightly wrapped presents to individual cars in the High School bus loop. In addition to the gift items, the High School Student Council collected funds and non-perishable foods so that each family will also receive a holiday meal.

Afternoon News Brief

Nina Baker

Buffalo police are searching for a missing 12-year-old girl. Nina Baker was last seen yesterday on the 200 block of Rodney Avenue. She is five-foot-one and 110 pounds. She has black hair and was last seen wearing a blue and pink tie-dye hoodie with the words “Justice,” and “Love is here to Stay” around an image of a hand with a white dove inside it. Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1.

 

 

Robert Morris School

The Batavia City School District will replace the public address/clock system at the High School and make the interior of Robert Morris School more secure through projects that the Board of Education has approved. The board also gave the go-ahead last night for the transfer of up to $244,000 from the district’s repair reserve to the general fund to pay for the work as needed. File photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

An intense winter storm is likely to bring snow, ice and high winds to our area just in time for Christmas weekend travel. The National Weather Service said that the storm would start to impact western and north central New York with a wintry mix Thursday, changing over to rain Thursday night with strong winds, which could cause power outages and some flooding along the shores of our neighboring Great Lakes. Temperatures will quickly fall on Friday, and the precipitation will change over to all snow with increasingly stronger winds developing Friday night and Saturday, with wind-driven heavy lake effect snows developing. Heavy lake snows will last through at least Christmas Day. Stay with WBTA for the latest weather updates from 13 WHAM.

 

 

Santa – checking his list (for the second time)

A gift for the entire family awaits participants in the Cookies & Crafts with Santa event on Thursday afternoon from 3 – 6 at The Recovery Station, 5256 Clinton St. Rd., Batavia. “We’re celebrating the holiday season with Jolly Old St. Nick, himself,” said Harry Rascoe, director of the social club, a program of Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. “All are invited to join us.” Each family will receive a free printed picture with Santa and a Christmas book to take home. For more information, call 585-815-5248. (File photo)

 

 

Lockport Fire Department (file photo)

The fire department in Lockport is back in the ambulance business after Lockport’s common council approved an agreement in a vote of 4 to 3, for the fire department to assume control of the ambulance service. This follows the decision by Twin City Ambulance to scale back its services. The city had been the provider of emergency service for Lockport until 2014, when it decided to contract the services to Twin City Ambulance.

 

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

The Buffalo Sabres topped the Las Vegas Golden Knights last night in their first win in Sin City 3 to 2. Ukko Pekka Luukkonen made 41 saves. Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson and Lawrence Pilut scored. The Sabres improved to 6-2-1 in December, after going 4-9-1 the previous month, and moved into a fourth-place tie with Florida in the Atlantic Division with 34 points. Next up the Sabres host Tampa Bay on Friday night at the Keybank Center. The puck drops at 7:00.

 

Buffalo General Medical Center – Gates Vascular Institute

Graduate and registered nurses looking for a job can attend a recruitment event being held by Kaleida Health today. The event will be at Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute (875 Ellicott St.) from 2-6. Free parking can be found in the surface lot at the southwest corner of High and Ellicott streets. Anyone looking to attend the event is asked to bring a resume. Walk-ins are welcome, but people are encouraged to RSVP. Kaleida says it has a sign-on bonus of up to $20,000.

 

 

Phil Aguglia – released photo

A high school band director in Kenmore is a top-10 finalist for a GRAMMY award. Phil Aguglia is the band director for Kenmore East High School and he is in the running to be the 2023 Music Educator of the Year. Aguglia has been named a quarterfinalist two other times and a semifinalist once before, but this is his first time being named a finalist. There were over 1,200 initial nominations for the award.

Morning News Brief

A man convicted of defrauding hundreds of investors out of millions of dollars in a nationwide Ponzi scheme has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.  Christopher Parris pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit mail fraud related to a Ponzi scheme, as well as to wire fraud involving the fraudulent sale of purported N95 masks during the pandemic.  Prosecutors said Parris and Perry Santillo pitched investment opportunities to victims, bilking close to 1,000 investors out of at least $115.5 million between January 2012 and June 2018.   Prosecutors said the two men had to use funds from new investors to pay off old ones, using the rest of the money to pay for their lavish lifestyles.  Parris was also ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution.  Santillo was sentenced in January to 17 1/2 years in prison.

Another messy winter storm is likely to bring snow, ice and high winds to Upstate New York just in time for Christmas weekend travel.  The National Weather Service said that the storm could start off mostly as rain Thursday, and then rapidly falling temperatures late Friday could coat streets and trees with a layer of dangerous ice. High winds are also likely, too, which could cause power outages and even some flooding along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. 

State lawmakers may be returning to Albany to talk about giving themselves a pretty hefty pay hike.  On Monday, the Assembly Majority Conference met privately in a virtual meeting, with Democrats reportedly discussing several key issues, including potential pay raises.  Right now, New York State lawmakers earn $110,000 a year. A raise of $20,000 would make them the highest paid legislature in the country.  Republican Assemblymembers have been outspoken against the pay raises, including Assemblyman Chris Tague, who calls the idea “ludicrous.”  According to state law, if pay raises aren’t enacted by the end of 2022, state lawmakers wouldn’t be able to get a raise until 2025.

A state commission Monday approved plans to phase out fossil fuel-burning furnaces beginning as soon as 2025 as part of New York’s aggressive program to address climate change.  The plan adopted Monday by the state Climate Action Council requires energy-efficient electric heat pumps or other non-combustion heating systems in every new home built in 2025 or thereafter.  For existing homes, residents whose fossil fuel-burning heating units give out after 2030 will have to replace them with a zero-emission system.  Heat pumps cost more to install than traditional furnaces but usually cost less to operate over the long run. Research shows they are healthier than sources that rely on combustion, which can contribute to asthma and other respiratory problems.  The council voted 19-3 Monday to approve the scoping plan.

In a 4 to 3 decision the City of Lockport has voted to return 2 ambulances to service.  The city had suspended their ambulance service because of financial issues.  The 2 ambulances are owned and operated by the fire department instead of the ambulance corp in town. 

The cannabis is ready to hit the shelves, but there aren’t enough shelves in New York State just yet. Three Cord Ranch sent 42 pounds of cannabis from Derby to be processed in Batavia, but that’s where it stops.  That’s all because of a hold up in court, leaving WNY and four other regions barred from receiving licenses for the time being.  The court case is about whether someone who was arrested for pot when it was illegal can open a store selling it in NY if their arrest was out of state.  The Office of Cannabis Management has its final board meeting of the year Wednesday at 11am.

The Buffalo Sabres topped the Las Vegas Golden Knights in their first win in Sin City 3 to 2.  Ukko Pekka Luukkonen made 41 saves.  Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson and Lawrence Pilut scored.  The Sabres improved to 6-2-1 in December, after going 4-9-1 the previous month, and moved into a fourth-place tie with Florida in the Atlantic Division with 34 points.  Next up the Sabres host Tampa Bay on Friday night at the Keybank Center.

Afternoon News Brief

40-year-old Carrianne Rozbicki of Batavia is charged with petit larceny. State troopers responded to the Walmart in Batavia, worked with a store employee and found that Rozbicki allegedly took nearly $70 worth of merchandise without paying. She was arrested and released on an appearance ticket. Rozbicki is to return to the Town of Batavia Court next month. ALSO: 49-year-old Kelly Judson of Pavilion allegedly took grocery items valued at over $126 from the Tops Supermarket in LeRoy. She was arrested and released on an appearance ticket; Judson is scheduled to return to the LeRoy Court in January.

 

Lower demand and increased supply is driving gas prices even lower just as more people are expected to hit the road for the holidays. Triple A tells us this morning that the national average price per gallon is $3.14. In New York State, the average price is $3.49. In Batavia, we’re paying $3.39, which is down 32 cents from this time a month ago and is 8 cents lower than it was one year ago today.

 

Starbucks workers gathered this weekend at the Mt. Hope location near New York City, in a strike of solidarity with colleagues across the country. The Mt. Hope Starbucks is one of several locations across the country that has unionized. Workers say they’re lobbying for better pay and safety when they have to deal with problem customers. News 8 in Rochester says the company answered their request for comment by saying it respects their right to have their voices heard.

 

A combined nearly $1,000,000 is being distributed among five regional school districts to put toward expanding access to pre-kindergarten for children four years of age. Pembroke Central School District will get $307,000; Batavia and Avon will each receive $200,000; Wyoming, $140,000 and Elba, over $115,000. The state’s 2023 budget included $125 million to expand access to full-day pre-k, creating up to 17,500 additional pre-K seats statewide.

 

The Buffalo Bills have clinched a postseason berth for the fifth time in the past six seasons and are now looking to their Christmas Eve match against Chicago. The Bills beat the Miami Dolphins Saturday night, 32-to-29, for their 11th victory for the third consecutive season. Buffalo also extended its winning streak to five straight. The Bills improved to 10-and-3 on the season and are now three games ahead of Miami in the AFC East race.

 

 

 

Check your tickets carefully, especially if you purchased them in Buffalo

A top prize-winning Take 5 lottery ticket has been sold in Buffalo. The New York State Lottery says the ticket, worth nearly $19,000, was sold at a Speedway on Maple Road. A prize of any amount can be claimed up to one year from the date of the drawing. Also, one top-prize winning ticket was sold for the December 18th Take 5 Evening drawing. The ticket was purchased at E Z Mart, 4535 Broadway in Depew, and is work nearly $32,000. TAKE 5 players with midday and evening draws on the same ticket must check their numbers at nylottery.ny.gov to determine if they have the winning numbers for the corresponding midday or evening drawing.

Another huge Mega Millions jackpot is up for grabs tomorrow. The jackpot currently sits at $465,000,000. The drawing is tomorrow night at 11:00. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Rochester Police have arrested three suspects — including one who was wearing an ankle monitor — in connection with a weekend armed robbery.  The robbery occurred Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless store on Lyell Avenue.  Police say the suspects — who were armed — ordered customers and staffers to lie on the floor.  They made off with 25-thousand dollars in electronics.  Nobody was hurt.  Police were able to locate the suspects because of the ankle monitor on one of them at a nearby gas station.   

Porch Pirating is on the rise according to a yearly study done by Safewise, an online resource that provides tools and information to help people make their life safer.  For this study, they surveyed 1,000 Americans.  More than 75 percent of respondents said they had had a package stolen.  The study said 260 million packages are found to have disappeared in the last year, which is 50 million more packages stolen compared to the study last year.  The website states that 40% of packages stolen are worth between $50 and $100, with an estimated loss of $19.5 billion nationwide.  Police say that tracking your packages, getting them as soon as they are dropped off, and using some kind of video doorbell or camera al help in reducing porch package theft.  

Batavia City Schools have received a grant from the Pediatric Suicide Prevenetion Community at the American Academy of Pediatrics for 12,500 dollars.  The grant is to help find and fix gaps in youth suicide prevention services in Batavia.  Batavia City School District says it will use funds from the grant to expand its “Sources of Strength” program, which is designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. The mission of Sources of Strength is to prevent suicide by increasing help-seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults. According to the AAP, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24 in the United States, and rates have been rising for decades.

The snow falling didn’t stop those who came out to Western NY National Cemetery Saturday from honoring the fallen with Wreaths Across America.  Community members and loved ones of veterans placed wreaths on all of the headstones in the cemetery while a ceremony was held.  Genesee County’s veterans’ services officer, Bill Joyce, was the keynote speaker during an opening service that included placing a wreath for each branch of the military by either a veteran or an active member of the Armed Forces, a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.  Joyce called the service a day of “remembrance and reflection,”.

After coaching the team to winning 6 sectional titles and 2 state semifinals, Brennan Briggs is stepping down as coach of the Batavia Blue Devils Football Team.  He said in his resignation letter that he is leaving to spend more time with family and that the stress and long hours of coaching are making his life too unbalanced.  Briggs has been head coach for 11 seasons and has an 88-25 record.  He coached the Blue Devils to their first sectional title since 1991.  He will stay at the High School as a teacher.

The Buffalo Bills have clinched a postseason berth for the fifth time in the past six seasons and are now looking to their Christmas Eve match against Chicago.  The Bills beat the Miami Dolphins Saturday night, 32-to-29, for their 11th victory for the third consecutive season.  Buffalo also extended its winning streak to five straight.  The Bills improved to 10-and-3 on the season and are now three games ahead of Miami in the AFC East race.  During the game the fans were warned for throwing snowballs onto the field and at the Miami team.  Officials warned them that if they didn’t stop then the Bills would be hit with a 15 yard penalty.

Weekend News Brief

Genesee and Wyoming Counties are under a Lake Effect Snow Warning this weekend.  The warning started at 10pm on Friday and goes till 1pm Sunday for Genesee County and 1pm Monday for Wyoming county.  There could be up to 2 feet of snow in the southern part of the region with particularly heavy accumulations on the higher areas and in narrow bands on the roads.  Watch out for drifts that could make travel treacherous.  

Friday Governor Hochul announced that PreK will be getting a nearly 12 million dollar boost.  In western NY Several local schools will be getting some big bucks to help make preK more available to 4 year olds.  Batavia will be getting 200K, Pembroke will get 307K, Elba gets 118K and Wyoming Central Schools get 140K.  This money will go towards starting or expanding PreK programs for the school districts.

The St John Fisher University student that has been missing for the last several weeks from his Study Abroad Program in France has been located in Spain.  Apparently Kenneth DeLand didn’t even know he was reported missing.  He called his mother to say that he saw himself on TV and that he is OK.  His mother has traveled to France to get him and bring him home.  She thanks congresswoman Claudia Tenney, Senator Pamela Helming, The FBI, and American Institute for Foreign Study for their help.

The Batavia woman whose dog reportedly ingested narcotics, leading to her arrest and to the dog being confined to the Genesee County Animal Shelter, once again failed to appear in Batavia City Court Thursday.  30 year old Cassandra Elmore has had a colorful relationship with the court since her initial arrest.  She has failed to show up for appearances, had fake representatives call the court from out of state, said that there is hidden information that she will expose, and been given a lot of leniency by the Judge.  The Judge, Thomas Burns, gave her attorney 48 hours to find her.  After that he would issue a warrant for her arrest.  Her dog, Oddey, is still in volunteer care and can’t go to a new home till the case is resolved.

Afternoon News Brief

Cassandra Elmore

30-year-old Cassandra Elmore of Batavia, is the woman whose dog reportedly ingested narcotics on more than one occasion and required medical treatment. This lead to her arrest; since then, she has consistently missed scheduled court appearances, despite her promise that once the case is cleared, people will better understand what actually happened. Her latest no-show was yesterday. The assistant public defender told the judge that he has not heard from Elmore and has not been able to contact her for weeks. Motions were going to be filed on her behalf yesterday; however, the judge thought it best to wait until she was present. Since Elmore’s arrest earlier this year, she has also been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstruction of governmental administration and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

 

 

Batavia High School (file photo)

The Batavia City School District has received a $12,500 Pediatric Suicide Prevention Community Grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The funds will help identify and address gaps in youth suicide prevention services within our community. The District plans to use funds from the grant to expand its “Sources of Strength” program, which is focused on promoting connections between peers and caring adults.

 

 

Genesee and Wyoming Counties are under a lake effect snow warning starting at 7:00 tonight; it will be in place until 1:00 Sunday afternoon. One to two feet of snow is predicted to fall over the weekend with the main accumulations hitting southwest areas of Genesee County. Heavy snow will fall in narrow bands. Travel could be very difficult at times with poor visibility and snow covered roads. If driving, be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions and visibility.

 

 

34-year-old Alyssa Harnish of Batavia is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, while at the Genesee County jail. The charge resulted from an investigation of an incident that occurred last month at a residence in the Town of Batavia. Harnish was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to return to Batavia Town Court on January 4th.

 

 

28-year-old Joey Tatro of Attica has been arrested, stemming from a domestic incident in Alden. Tatro reportedly prevented the injured victim from calling 9-1-1, destroyed property and caused physical injury to the victim. He was arraigned in the Town of Alden court where an order of protection was issued to the victim. Tatro is scheduled to return to court on December 27th.

 

 

Governor Hochul has signed off on a new piece of legislation that will ban the sale of certain animals at retail pet stores. Starting in 2024, people will no longer be able to purchase dogs, cats or rabbits at those businesses. One goal of this measure is to prevent the buying and selling of animals from large-scale, abusive breeders who in many cases do not properly care for those animals, which can lead to new owners having to pay big veterinary bills. Pet stores will still be able to work with animal shelters and rescue groups to hold adoption clinics.

 

Entrance to Batavia post office (file photo)

The U.S. Postal Service has announced its shipping deadlines for packages to arrive by Christmas Eve. The deadline for regular ground service is tomorrow, December 17th. Priority Mail must be sent by December 19th and the Priority Mail Express deadline is December 23rd. These dates exclude Hawaii and Alaska. (File photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News)

 

 

Calvin Clemons

A Buffalo man is going to be spending decades behind bars for killing two people in two separate shootings. Yesterday, a judge sentenced Calvin Clemons to 35 years to life in prison for his crimes. Prosecutors say Clemons admitted to shooting and killing 17-year-old Felix Aguire on Liddell Street back in December 2020. Then in March of 2021, he was involved in the shooting of 20-year-old Trenton Sink during a robbery. Sink was taken to Erie County Medical Center and later died of his injuries.

 

 

 

Members of the West Seneca Police Department are going to be doing their part tomorrow to help get people in the holiday spirit. The agency is teaming up with the Home Depot to hand out Christmas trees free of charge. The trees will be available starting at nine a-m at the police garage that is located in the parking lot behind Town Hall on Union Road. They’ll be distributed by volunteers on a first come, first served basis.

 

 

A meeting is going to be held next week where customers of Rochester Gas and Electric will once again call for a public takeover of the company. Customers have been upset with RG&E since it announced a proposed increase of its gas and electric prices. They’re also angry about billing issues they’ve had to deal with. The meeting is set for Monday evening from 6 to 8 in the Gleason Auditorium at the Rochester Public Library.

 

 

 

Bills vs Colts – 2017 “Snow Bowl”

The Buffalo Bills will be looking to clinch their spot in the postseason this weekend when they take on a longtime AFC East rival. Should the Bills defeat the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, they will officially have a playoff spot. When the Bills and Dolphins played earlier this year, the Dolphins ended up winning that game 21 to 19. Kickoff for tomorrow night’s contest is scheduled for 8:15.

 

 

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game winning streak after defeating the defending Stanley Cup champions on the road. Alex Tuch, Dylan Cozens, Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin each scored as the Sabres topped the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 at Ball Arena in Denver last night. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 39 shots. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow night against the Arizona Coyotes with puck drop at 9:00. (Sabres are now 14-14-2)

 

No one has been lucky enough to win the Mega Millions or Powerball lately and now, the combined jackpots of both games have reached $578,000,000. The prize up for grabs for this evening’s Mega Millions drawing is going to be at least $429,000,000. And, should someone win Powerball tomorrow night, they’ll get a minimum of $149,000,000. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

Genesee and Wyoming Counties are under a winter storm warning from 7pm tonight till 1 am on Sunday.  Up to 18 inches of snow is expected to fall over the weekend with the main accumulations hitting southern Genesee county.  Heavy snow will fall in relatively narrow bands.  Travel could be very difficult at times with poor visibility and snow covered roads.  If traveling, be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions and visibilities.

Icy road Conditions caused several accidents in Genesee County Thursday.  2 rollover accidents were reported in Alexander.  No injuries were reported but people were trapped till Alexander and Batavia Fire departments could get them out.  A tanker truck carrying milk rolled over on Broadway Rd in Bethany.  2 wreckers from the dairy came to get the truck back up and the driver was uninjured.  Rt 20 was reported to be a sheet of ice at the time.  Another vehicle rollover was reported in Pavilion on Telephone Rd.  A truck hit a tree in Oakfield with minor injuries.  Several accidents and cars off the road were reported on the Thruway westbound.  

Rochester police are still on the lookout for the suspect who slammed a rental truck into a city business before committing a burglary. Investigators say the person intentionally drove into a store in the area of Ames Street and Maple Street yesterday. Surveillance video captured the suspect stealing items from the business before leaving the scene in the truck. Anyone with information on this case is asked to dial 911.

Governor Hochul has signed off on a new piece of legislation that will ban the sale of certain animals at retail pet stores. Starting in 2024, people will no longer be able to purchase dogs, cats or rabbits at those businesses. One goal of this measure is to prevent the buying and selling of animals from large-scale, abusive breeders who in many cases do not properly care for those animals, which can lead to new owners having to pay big veterinary bills. Pet stores will still be able to work with animal shelters and rescue groups to hold adoption clinics.

If you are in trouble in the Genesee County Park and Forest now the Bethany Fire Department has new vehicle equipment that can be used to come rescue you.  Genesee County Emergency Management Services is pleased to announce the deployment of a MedLite Transport Bed for use by the Town of Bethany Fire Department. This equipment was obtained through the procurement of Homeland Security grant funding.  The MedLite Transport Bed is a medical rescue skid unit for Utility Task Vehicles that has the ability to transport one patient on a long board or stokes basket and one attendant in a seat.  The bed fits on their UTV and helps make extractions from the trails and hard to reach places of the park.

The Buffalo Bills will be looking to clinch their spot in the postseason this weekend when they take on a longtime AFC East rival. Should the Bills defeat the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, they will officially have a playoff spot. When the Bills and Dolphins played earlier this year, the Dolphins ended up winning that game 21 to 19. Kickoff for tomorrow night’s contest is scheduled for eight-15 p-m.

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game winning streak after defeating the defending Stanley Cup champions on the road. Alex Tuch, Dylan Cozens, Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin each scored as the Sabres topped the Colorado Avalanche four-to-two at Ball Arena in Denver last night. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 39 shots.  Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow night against the Arizona Coyotes.

Afternoon News Brief

Tyshon Taylor

25-year-old Tyshon Taylor of Batavia has entered a not guilty plea in court. He had been indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury on an attempted murder charge in what was an apparent, unprovoked attack against a stranger on Jackson Street. Taylor is accused of stabbing the victim, who survived the attack. Taylor is being held in Genesee County Jail without bail.

 

 

 

Unidentified man shoveling snow (file photo)

A winter storm watch is in effect for Genesee County from tomorrow evening through Sunday morning. Heavy lake effect snow is possible, with total accumulations of 9 inches or more in the most persistent lake snows. Travel could become very difficult, especially when driving through narrow bands of heavy snow that create localized, dangerous wintry conditions.

 

 

 

A public vote this week in LeRoy resulted in community approval for $1.7 million to be earmarked for the LeRoy Fire Department to purchase an aerial ladder truck. The proposal passed with a vote of 133-99.

 

 

 

 

New York State is reporting its first pediatric flu death of the season. The state health department says flu cases are up 64 percent over the last week and hospitalizations are up by 58 percent. The health department recommends that everyone who is six months and older get a flu shot and urges the wearing of masks indoors or around people at higher risk because of the rise of the flu, RSV and COVID cases.

 

 

 

Officials with D’Youville University have announced plans to build a $50,000,000 academic building that will expand its healthcare programs. In the school’s site plan application for the project, the new building will house academic programs and focus on world-class education for healthcare professionals. If it wins approval by the city of Buffalo, construction would start next May and finish early in 2025.

 

 

The stadium agreement for the Buffalo Bills is a step closer to becoming fully approved. NFL owners have unanimously approved a year-to-year extension of the team’s lease agreement at Highmark Stadium and a 30-year lease agreement for a new stadium. The new stadium is expected to open as soon as 2026. Construction on the new stadium is expected to begin next year. It will be located across the street from Highmark Stadium.

 

 

Buffalo Skyline – file photo

The folks at consumer advice website WalletHub have just completed a study of the most fun cities in America. The site compared statistics from 180 cities in more than 65 key metrics including the number of music venues and dance clubs per capita, access to water and amusement parks, and the cost of beer. In the rankings, Buffalo placed as the 51st most fun city in America…one spot behind Portland Maine and one spot ahead of Omaha Nebraska. Las Vegas topped the survey at number one.

 

The Buffalo Sabres will see action on the road tonight in Colorado. Buffalo enters their contest following a shutout win over the Kings on Tuesday night. Face off tonight is at 9:00.

 

 

The Red Cross is asking for donors to set aside some time to give blood or platelets for patients waiting for care over the holidays. Hospitals have an especially high need for type ‘O’ blood and platelets. Those who come to give from December 16 to January 2, 2023 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. Upcoming blood drives in Batavia include Friday, December 23rd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel and also Thursday, December 29th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Robert Morris; in Le Roy, on Thursday, December 22nd, from Noon to 5 p.m. at the American Legion, 53 West Main Street. Anyone interested may schedule an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

 

 

This Saturday is the last chance this season to shop at the Batavia City Center Mall Market. They’re open from 8 to 11:30am.

 

 

Morning News Brief

Till 4 pm Genesee and Orleans counties are under a winter weather advisory with expected snow and ice accumulations of between a tenth of an inch and 1 inch.  In Wyoming county this goes to 7pm and twice that is expected.  Winds can gust up to 45 miles per hour.  Plan on very slippery roads and slow down to give yourself time to stop.  Slow down going around curves as ice buildup may make you lose traction.  Friday through Saturday there is a winter storm watch for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties with up to 9 inches of snow expected.  The snow and wind combined could make white out conditions in bands on the roadways.  Once again the advice is to slow down especially going over hills where you can’t see if snow has drifted on the other side.

The mass shooting on Illinois St in Rochester may have been a rap video shoot gone wrong according to the owner of the property where the shooting occurred.  Mazzeo Mouzon owns the house and was renting it out as an AirBNB when he heard there was a large gathering there.  By the time he went to tell them they couldn’t have additional guests the police were setting up the crime scene.  Apparently the people had gathered to shoot a rap video about a man who was shot dead in the city in 2019 when gunshots were fired leaving 1 dead and 5 in the hospital.  The man who was killed was 24 year old Jakheem Douglas.  It is unclear whether the gunshots were intentional or accidental.  There are no suspects in custody.

Rochester Police say they’ve arrested a suspect in recent burglaries of the Susan B. Anthony House.  Police say the suspect — 32-year-old Richard Seawright — faces charges in two burglaries at the historic home — both of which occurred on the same night.  Police answered a call about a burglary at the house Tuesday night — followed by another call of a burglary at the house three hours later.  Security camera video enabled police to identify the suspect.  Seawright is also charged in a burglary at a restaurant around the corner from the Susan B. Anthony House last week.  

25 year old Tyshon Taylor has plead not guilty to stabbing a man on Jackson Street on October 18th.  It is alleged that he stabbed the person randomly as neither he nor the other person knew each other prior to the attack.   Taylor is also accused of attempted assault in the third degree for an incident reported at 11:39 p.m. Oct. 13 on Oak Street.  Taylor is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

An SUV and a minivan were reportedly in an accident at the intersection of Buckley and Britt Rds in the Town of Stafford around 9pm on Wednesday night.  It appears the SUV t-Boned the minivan.  There are 4 children and 4 adults involved.    2 people were seriously injured with mercy flight taking one of them by helicopter to Strong Memorial and the other being taken by ambulance.  No further information was given by police at the scene.

This Saturday is the last chance to shop at the Batavia City Center Mall Market this year.  The Mall Market runs from 8 to 11:30am.  You can get everything from farm raised produce and meats to artisan ciders and clay jewelry.  You can also get your picture taken with 2 Santa pooches from Flint’s Maple.

The City of Batavia Police Department is honored to announce the promotion of Officer Christopher “CJ” Lindsay to the rank of Sergeant.  Sergeant Lindsay began his career with the City of Batavia Police Department in September of 2014.  He attended the Basic Police Academy at the Monroe County Public Safety Training Center, graduating in 2015.  Sergeant Lindsay is a Field Training Officer, Bicycle Patrol Officer and a member of the Department’s Emergency Response Team. He has been active in community events and has received recognition from the Department, City and community for his work on several cases.

Well, at least it’s more fun than Nebraska.  The folks at consumer advice website WalletHub have just completed a study of the most fun cities in America.  The site compared statistics from 180 cities in more than 65 key metrics including the number of music venues and dance clubs per capita, access to water and amusement parks, and the cost of beer.  In the rankings, Buffalo placed as the 51st most fun city in America…one spot behind Portland Maine and one spot ahead of Omaha Nebraska. Las Vegas topped the survey at number one.

By a 32-0 vote, NFL owners approved a lease extension at Highmark Stadium and a lease for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills at their league meetings in Dallas Wednesday.  In March the Bills, Erie County and New York State announced an agreement was reached to build a new $1.4 billion stadium in Orchard Park. Gov. Kathy Hochul said the agreement secures a 30-year commitment to keep the Bills in Western New York. The stadium will be completed across the street from the team’s current home, Highmark Stadium.  The proposed $1.4 billion price tag will be covered by a public-private partnership which includes an $850 million investment in taxpayer funds.

Afternoon News Brief

Michael Jones

A North Carolina man associated with two right-wing extremist groups now faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting he possessed an AR-15 rifle illegally. 24-year-old Michael Jones of Charlotte was driving an unregistered vehicle when he was stopped in LeRoy by sheriffs. Deputies later found the rifle inside, along with a 30-round magazine and ammunition, knives, handheld radios, assorted tools and an Army Tactical Combat Casualty Care handbook. Jones had been convicted of two felonies in North Carolina stemming from similar charges. Following his guilty plea this week, sentencing was scheduled for May 16th.

 

 

Melvin Huntley

While incarcerated at the Genesee County Jail, 41-year-old Melvin Huntley of Batavia has been arrested and charged with promoting prison contraband and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He will appear in City Court on January 3rd to answer the charges. Huntley had previously been found guilty in the sexual abuse of four victims under the age of 17.

 

 

Wyoming and Livingston Counties are both under a Winter Weather Advisory starting 1AM tomorrow morning; it will be in place until tomorrow evening at 7:00. 2 to 4 inches of snow are expected along with windy conditions with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour. Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the Thursday morning and evening commutes. Periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will result in slippery roads and limited visibility. Slow down and use caution while driving.

 

A nurse who formerly worked at Roswell Park Comprehensive Center has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for tampering with and stealing the drugs meant for patients. 30-year-old Kelsey Mulvey of Grand Island had been observed accessing a dispensing machine and exiting a medication room to which she was not assigned. It was later determined that she had accessed hydromorphone, an opioid used to treat severe pain. She was placed on administrative leave and later resigned. Officials said from June to July 2018 there were waterborne infections at Roswell Park and six patients became ill. An investigation concluded that tampering of compounded hydromorphone vials was the cause. In March 2021 Mulvey pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a consumer product. The other charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. She surrendered her nursing license at the beginning of the case.

 

Linda Tschari

John Sauberan

A Buffalo man has been sentenced to spend 25 years to life in prison for his role in a homicide that happened over four decades ago. Prosecutors say 63-year-old John Sauberan entered the Pooley Place home of 19-year-old Linda Tschari in February 1978 and stabbed her multiple times. Tschari’s body was discovered in the living room by her brother when he went to check on his sister. Sauberan was connected to the murder through DNA evidence when his profile was uploaded to a national database following a felony conviction in Oregon.

 

 

Mark Poloncarz

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says he’s going to be working from home over the next few days after testing positive for COVID-19. Poloncarz made the announcement on social media yesterday, saying that he’s dealing with a cough and mild fever. Poloncarz went on to say that he feels that he would be in much worse shape if he wasn’t vaccinated and boosted against the virus. He also urged anyone who he’s been in contact with recently to monitor their health.

 

 

 

Cole Beasley

The offense of the Buffalo Bills is going to be getting a boost thanks to a very familiar face. That’s because wide receiver Cole Beasley has come out of retirement and has signed to be part of the team’s practice squad. Beasley played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season before calling it a career. Now, he’s preparing to return to action and might end up playing in this Saturday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. In his previous tenure with the Bills, Beasley caught 231 passes for more than 24-hundred yards and 11 touchdowns.

 

Craig Anderson

After a scoreless game for the first two periods, the Sabres had 6 goals in the 3rd for a shutout win against the Los Angeles Kings last night. Craig Anderson stopped 40 shots and Tage Thompson, Victor Olofsson, JJ Peterka, Alex Tuch, and Peyton Krebs all scored. Buffalo improved their record to 13-14-2 on the season. They’ve saddled up the horse for a three-game Western Conference road trip. Their first game is tomorrow as they take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. The puck drops at 9:00.

 

 

A lot of people will be heading to and from holiday gatherings over the next few weeks and they can expect to have an extra set of eyes on them while they are traveling. Beginning today, State Police are going to crack down on impaired and reckless driving as part of the “Drive High Get a DUI” campaign that runs through January 1st. During last year’s campaign, 522 drivers were arrested for DWI and over 35,000 traffic tickets were issued. Police say folks can make sure they get home safely by having a designated driver or by using a taxi or rideshare service.

 

Darien Lake Amphitheater (file photo)

Starting today, Live Nation will be offering music fans the chance to see some of the best artists in the world next year for just one price. The company says its popular Lawn Pass is going to be available for just $199 plus taxes and fees and can be used for shows at the Darien Lake Amphitheater. The passes are going on sale at one p-m and can be purchased online at lawnpass.livenation.com. Live Nation says people should act fast because there will be limited number of passes up for grabs.

 

Morning News Brief

Wyoming and Livingston county are under a Winter Weather Advisory starting 1AM on Thursday and running to 7pm.  2 to 4 inches of snow are expected along with windy conditions with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour.  Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the Thursday morning and evening commutes. Periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will result in slippery roads and limited visibility. Slow down and use caution while driving.

A shootout on the street on Atlantic Ave in Rochester is being called a mass shooting.  Police responded to reports of gunfire on Atlantic Ave and Illinois St Tuesday night around 10:30 and found a man in his 20s shot.  He was taken to the hospital where he is expected to survive. Police learned that 4 others were in the hospital with gunshot wounds.  One of them was pronounced dead at the hospital and another is in critical condition.  No arrests have been made, and police say there is currently no danger to the community.  Parts of Atlantic Avenue and Illinois Street are closed off as the investigation continues.

A nurse who formerly worked at Roswell Park Comprehensive Center has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for tampering with and stealing the drugs meant for patients.  30-year-old Kelsey A. Mulvey of Grand Island was observed accessing a dispensing machine, carrying a backpack, and exiting a medication room to which she was not assigned. It was determined that she had accessed the drawer for hydromorphone. She was placed on administrative leave and then resigned. Officials said from June to July 2018 there were waterborne infections at Roswell Park and six patients became ill. An investigation concluded that tampering of compounded hydromorphone vials was the cause.  In March 2021 Mulvey pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with a consumer product. The other charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. She resigned from her position and surrendered her nursing license at the beginning of the case.

5 men from Western New York have been arrested for child pornography charges.  25 year old Scott Wood of Eden, 44 year old Dominic Licata of West Seneca, 24 year old Matthew Koons of Kenmore, 34 year old Leonard Sawyer of Cheektowaga and 41 year old Daniel Johnson of North Tonawanda were all arrested in an operation that ran from December 9th through 12th for possessing or promoting and disseminating child pornography.  They all face multiple charges and are scheduled to appear in court either this month or in January.

A lot of people will be heading to and from holiday gatherings over the next few weeks and they can expect to have an extra set of eyes on them while they are traveling. Beginning today, State Police are going to crack down on impaired and reckless driving as part of the “Drive High Get a DUI” campaign that runs through January 1st. During last year’s campaign, 522 drivers were arrested for DWI and over 35-thousand traffic tickets were issued. Police say folks can make sure they get home safely by having a designated driver or by using a taxi or rideshare service.

The Batavia Community Garden is now accepting applications for residents to rent their raised beds for the growing season.  Garden plots are offered in three sizes: 4’ x 4’ ($20), 4’ x 8’ ($30) and 2’ x 10’ ($25) trough plots for gardeners with limited range of motion.  All plots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Plot rentals are available to anyone living in Genesee County.  Plot fees include access to a raised bed filled with a growing soil mix, access to a water source with a hose, watering wand, and watering cans; use of provided hand tools; use of compost bin and other resources at the garden.  The Cornell Cooperative Extension manages the community garden.

The offense of the Buffalo Bills is going to getting a boost thanks to a very familiar face. That’s because wide receiver Cole Beasley has come out of retirement and has signed to be part of the team’s practice squad. Beasley played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season before calling it a career. Now, he’s preparing to return to action and might end up playing in this Saturday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. In his previous tenure with the Bills, Beasley caught 231 passes for more than 24-hundred yards and 11 touchdowns.

After a scoreless game for 2 whole periods the Sabres ripped out 6 goals in the 3rd to win against the Los Angeles Kings 6 to 0 Tuesday night.  Craig Anderson stopped 40 shots and Tage Thompson, Victor Olofsson, JJ Peterka, Alex Tuch, and Peyton Krebs all scored.  Buffalo improves to 13-14-2 on the season as they get set to begin a three-game Western Conference road trip. Their first game of the trip is on Thursday as they take on the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.

Afternoon News Brief

2019 Ascent – Subaru’s largest SUV

Subaru is recalling 271,694 SUV’s because some of them could catch fire. The effected model is the Ascent, manufactured from 2019-2022. The company is advising owners to park them outside, away from garages and other structures and to not leave the vehicles unattended with the engine running. An electrical grounding bolt connected to the SUVs cabin heating system may have been improperly fastened, according to a company statement on the recall of over a quarter of a million cars. This problem can result in the grounding terminal and surrounding parts melting and increase the risk of fire when the vehicle’s PTC heater, or positive temperature coefficient heater, is on, according to Subaru. The PTC heater is part of a back-up heating system that operates until the engine is warmed up enough to heat the passenger cabin. If drivers notice smoke or odors coming from the dashboard or foot-well while driving, they should pull over, turn off the vehicle and call Subaru Roadside Assistance. There have been no known crashes or injuries resulting from this issue and Subaru believes a very small percentage of Ascents actually have this problem. The company will contact owners of vehicles involved in the recall by mail over the next 60 days. In the meantime, owners can contact Subaru or go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall website and enter their 7-digit vehicle identification number to determine if they are impacted. Here is a direct link:  https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

 

The number of Monroe County residents who have passed away after contracting the flu has risen to four. Two of the victims were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old and the other two individuals were above the age of 85. One bit of good news is that flu cases declined slightly between late November and early December. People who haven’t received a flu shot yet should get one immediately to protect themselves and others from becoming seriously ill.

 

32-year-old Brett Holt and 46-year old Kelly Holt both of Medina have been charged with petit larceny. Late yesterday afternoon Batavia Police responded to a call from Sally Beauty Supply on Veteran’s Memorial Drive regarding a larceny in progress. Police eventually located both of the Holt’s inside Kohls who were positively identified as the individuals who stole approximately $400 in products. Brett and Kelly were transported to the Genesee County Jail and issued appearance tickets. They’re scheduled to appear in Batavia Town Court on January 4th.

 

Make room for ‘the middle’

The New York State Board of Elections tells us that non-affiliated registered voters have now overtaken republicans for the State’s second largest voting block. The new statistics show roughly the same increase in non-affiliated voters over the past five years compared to the two decades before it. This may be attributed to a change in election law in 2020 that tripled the number of voter signatures required for a party to get on a ballot — now grouping all minor parties into the “blank” category. And while this rise in non-affiliated voters hasn’t yet seen significant effects in our region, the gap is closing. This means that moving forward, the Republican Party can no longer win an election without the support of the middle.

 

 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is reminding New Yorkers that assistance is available to help them stay warm during the winter. She tells us the state has received over $400,000,000 in federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds. Gillibrand says that LIHEAP provides a lifeline to low-income families because many of them can’t afford to pay high heating bills. More information on this program can be found at otda.ny.gov/programs.

 

 

Great Northern Grain Elevator – damaged from last year’s wind storm – file photo

There is a new development in the ongoing legal battle over the future of the Great Northern grain elevator in Buffalo. Yesterday, an Appellate Division court ruled against a preservation organization’s request for a temporary injunction that would prevent the building from being torn down. The grain elevator was severely damaged during a windstorm last year. The structure was built back in 1897 and is one of the last of its kind in North America.

 

 

Deyanna Davis

The trial for the woman who is accused of driving a vehicle into a State Trooper over two years ago has been pushed back. Jury selection was supposed to begin yesterday in the case against Deyanna Davis but that didn’t happen because she has once again switched lawyers. Prosecutors say Davis was traveling on Bailey Avenue in June 2020 when she intentionally hit and seriously hurt Trooper Ronald Ensminger Junior while he was at the scene of a protest. Davis has denied that allegation and her trial is now expected to start in February.

 

 

 

Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence

Buffalo police say that two arrests have been made in connection with a recent stabbing at a school. According to investigators, 34-year-old Diamond Gray and 35-year-old Dominique Gray were involved in the attack of a 31-year-old woman at the Lydia T. Wright School Of Excellence last Thursday. The victim had gone to the school to pick up her child when she was involved in a physical altercation that resulted in her being stabbed in the back. Both suspects are facing multiple charges including assault.

 

The Buffalo Sabres are hoping the support of their home crowd helps them snap their current two-game losing streak tonight. They host the Los Angeles Kings at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played Saturday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins came out on top, 3-1. Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7:00.

 

The Mega Millions jackpot has ballooned once again and that means there’s going to be a massive prize up for grabs this evening. The jackpot has now grown to at least $400,000,000 after no one correctly picked all the winning numbers for this past Friday’s drawing. There hasn’t been a jackpot winner since back on October 14th. The Mega Millions drawing will be streamed at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Ball Drop – City of Buffalo New Year’s Eve (file photo)

Organizers say they are finally starting to put the finishing touches on plans for the City of Buffalo’s New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be live entertainment downtown on December 31st and the ball drop will happen at the Iskalo Development Electric Tower. Mayor Byron Brown believes holiday traditions are especially important for people this year in the aftermath of the deadly Tops store shooting in May and the recent snowstorm. There will be free parking for the event at both the Fernbach and Mohawk parking ramps.

Morning News Brief

A 40 year old Batavia man has been arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and tampering with evidence.  Eric Motquin of Ellicott Street was arrested after a traffic stop on December 3rd where he struggled with officers and tried to destroy the drugs he had.  He was also arrested for failure to appear for another crime. 

GCASA has hired a new Recovery Services Director.  58 year old Luke Granger has a resume that includes service in the Army, being a full time Baptist minister with a degree from Jacksonville Baptist Theological Seminary, running theological education for Fort Drum and in Germany for the Army, Missionary work in Honduras and Costa Rica, and being the Director of IT services for a company in Texas.  He now resides in Mt Morris and will oversee 30 staff at the Genesee Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

Batavia and Elba Fire departments responded to the Koolatron building on Commerce Dr Monday at just after 7pm for a fire.  Employees called in saying that a stack of boxes was on fire.  The dispatcher could hear the fire alarms going off and said the sprinklers were activated in the building.  The fire was put out by the combined firefighting forces.  No injuries were reported. 

A Labor day tradition for over 4 decades will not be happening this coming year.  The Dansville Balloon Festival has been canceled due to lack of help.  Organizers say there has been a decline in volunteers for the last couple years and they just can’t make the festival work without people to staff it.  They also cited the financial environment.  Organizers said the festival, which brought in an estimated 30,000 visitors annually, had donated more than $225,000 to local organizations since 2001.

4 girls from North Tonawanda are going on the big stage in New York City to sing for the “Christmas Spectacular” show with the Rockettes.  The Spotlight Kidz show invited the girls, who are between and 10 and 14 years old, to come sing after they’re performance on YouTube and Instagram of several songs went viral and they were on several national shows singing.  Grace, Ashlyn Piper and Macy will be singing ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’ and ‘Christmas in New York’.

Dinosaur Adventure organizers say the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center will be transformed into a prehistoric exhibit this weekend.  The event will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  According to organizers, guests can expect the average adventure to last between two to three hours.  Tickets are limited and sold on a per-day, per-hour basis.

The Buffalo Sabres are hoping the support of their home crowd helps them snap their current two-game losing streak tonight. The Sabres are set to host the Los Angeles Kings at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played Saturday night when they were beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins three-to-one. Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for seven p-m.

Afternoon News Brief

65-year-old Robyn Scott of Batavia has been charged with disorderly conduct for unreasonable noise. Police responded to a call on Walnut Street to address an ongoing annoyance issue involving alarms and unreasonable noise. Following an investigation, Scott was arrested, issued an appearance ticket and then released; Scott is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on December 20th.

 

 

Michael Woloschuk

42-year-old Michael Woloschuk of Hamlin has been convicted of possession of child pornography and was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release. He had been convicted previously for a similar offense. In October 2021, law enforcement received a tip that eventually led to Woloschuk’s arrest. A forensic analysis of his digital devices recovered several videos and images of child pornography, some of which depicted violence against children.

 

POLICE BLOTTER: 34-year-old Benito Gay of Batavia has been charged with petit larceny, falsifying business records, criminal use of an access device and unlawful possession of personal identification information. He allegedly used another inmate’s personal identification number to make phone calls at the Genesee County jail in the early morning hours of Monday, December 5th. The calls were charged to the victim’s account. Gay is due to appear in City Court for arraignment early next month. ALSO: 48-year-old Willie Sabb, Jr. of Batavia is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was allegedly found to be in possession of cocaine during a traffic stop on Clinton Street Road in Stafford. Sabb was issued an appearance ticket and scheduled to return to Stafford Town Court next month.  ALSO:  50-year-old Andrew Crimes of Batavia has been charged with two counts of criminal contempt, after entering Batavia Downs late in the evening on December 7. Crimes allegedly violated an order of protection by entering the Downs at that particular time but also for sending over 100 text messages to an individual over the course of several months violating an order of protection that was in place. Crimes was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and will return to court on December 20th.

 

Gas prices continue their slow decline…According to Triple A today, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel nationwide is $3.26. That’s down 52 cents since November 12th. The state average is currently $3.59 per gallon. In Batavia, we’re at $3.47, down 32 cents from a month ago today.

 

 

Ingersoll Street Lift Bridge – Albion, NY

A man has drowned after falling into the Erie Canal. He had been walking on the south side of the canal along a sidewalk when he fell into the water near the Ingeroll Street lift bridge in Albion. Medics from Mercy Flight EMS attempted CPR and transported the man to Medina Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The man’s name has not been released pending notification of family.

 

 

Father Patrick Melfi

A priest in Allegany County has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Buffalo. Reverend F. Patrick Melfi is accused of having an improper sexual relationship with a woman. Melfi has been serving at Our Lady of the Angels in Cuba as well as Saint Patrick in Fillmore and Belfast. In a statement, the diocese said Melfi’s leave is part of an ongoing investigation and that anyone with information about clerical sexual misconduct can call 716-895-3010.

 

 

Tyler Bass

The Buffalo Bills have extended their winning streak to four games following a big victory on a mixed-precipitation Sunday afternoon, over a division rival. Quarterback Josh Allen threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Bills defeated the New York Jets 20 to 12 at Highmark Stadium yesterday. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass also hit two field goals for his team who now has a record of 10 wins and three losses. Up next for the Bills is a home contest against the Miami Dolphins this Saturday night with kickoff scheduled for 8:15.

 

Peyton Krebs

The Sabres lost their second straight game to the Penguins 3 to 1 on Saturday. Peyton Krebs scored the lone goal for Buffalo. They’ll be back on home ice tomorrow night against the L.A. Kings. Face-off is at 7:00.

Morning News Brief

Smoking Marijuana recreationally is legal in New York State.  Just don’t do it when people are depending on you to save their lives.  2 Rochester firefighters have been suspended for allegedly smoking pot while on duty. According to the national safety council, THC in marijuana affects depth perception, reaction time, coordination and other motor skills, and it creates sensory distortion. For someone operating machinery, driving a forklift or a vehicle like a large fire engine, these effects can be deadly.  According to a study reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, employees who tested positive for marijuana had 55% more industrial accidents and 85% more injuries.  While laws are still being crafted on how to view legal marijuana use in the workplace, many employers are leaning toward treating it the same as drunkenness.  

The Gates Police Department is investigating after 17 vehicles were stolen overnight at Hertz Car Rental in Gates on Ajax Road. Officers say during the overnight hours a group of people are seen on video cutting the fence to the secured rental car lot.  According to GPD, the suspects were able to obtain keys to the rental vehicles which were parked in the lot.  The suspects used one of the vehicles, a Chevrolet Suburban, to push multiple vehicles out of the way of the vehicle exit fence.  Then the suspects were able to break through the fence with the Suburban. Officers have recovered some of the vehicles at this point.

Western New York drivers are seeing some lower prices at the pump these days when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now three-65. That’s down five cents in the past week and is 17 cents less than this time one month ago. The state average is currently three-59 a gallon and nationally it’s three-26.

Taylor McCabe, of McCabe Enterprises, an electrical contractor, was one of four contractors on a job site at Brickhouse Corners in Pembroke to introduce students to the building trades.  Owner and developer Randy Fancher said he and his brother thought their mixed-use development — retail and apartments — was a good job site to show young people what a construction site is like and hear about the kind of work available in different facets of construction.  Besides electrical, students — and their parents and grandparents — learned about drywall, HVAC, and plumbing.

The Bills split their season series with the Jets after earning a 20-12 victory on the rainy Sunday afternoon in Orchard Park.  Josh Allen combined for 194 yards and two touchdowns to lead Buffalo to its 10th win of the season. The Jets are now third in the division with a record of 7-and-6.  Buffalo is 1st in the AFC.  The Bills play the Dolphins at Highmark Stadium next on Saturday at 8:15.  

The Sabres lost their second straight game to the Penguins 3 to 1 on Saturday not 24 hours after losing to them 4 to 3.  Peyton Krebs scored the lone goal for the Buffalo team. They’ll be back on home ice Tuesday against the LA Kings.  Puck drop is at 7pm.

Weekend News Brief

A new law affects how gift cards work in the empire state.  Businesses are no longer allowed to have gift cards expire within 9 years of purchase starting December 10th.  Gift cards cannot reduce in value over time because of fees.  And, if you have less than 5 dollars left on your gift card, you are allowed to redeem it for cash.  Governor Hochul says she wants consumers to be able to enjoy their gift cards without worrying about expirations or fees.

All employers must make accommodations for their workers to breast feed according to a new law.  Signed Friday, a new law requires safe, hygienic, and convenient spaces in all workplaces for mothers to go and either pump or breastfeed.  Specifically it requires all employers in New York to ensure that pumping spaces are convenient and private, as well as include seating, access to running water and electricity, and a working space. It will also require employers to develop and implement a written policy regarding employee rights when breastfeeding in the workplace. The new legislation will ensure that all employees across the state will receive the same basic accommodations that public employees currently receive.

Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments are calling on local businesses to install Naloxone boxes at their workplaces.  Naloxone boxes are wall mounted metal boxes containing 2 doses of the drug Naloxone which is used to prevent overdoses of Opioids.  Like an AED, they can be placed in high traffic locations to be used in an emergency to save lives.  There are only 8 boxes set up so far and they are all in Batavia.  If you are a business or organization located in Genesee County and are interested in receiving more information about having a Naloxone Box at your location, contact: Kaitlin.Pettine@co.genesee.ny.us.

The Byron-Bergen Senior High School proudly announces that every fall varsity Byron-Bergen sports team achieved the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Team award. The fall sports teams are boys cross-country, girls cross-country, football, gymnastics, boys soccer, girls soccer, and girls volleyball.  The Scholar-Athlete program recognizes athletes for their academic success. NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete Team awards go to teams whose average GPA of 75% of the athletic team equals 90 or above.

Emmanuel Baptist Church on Oak Street in Batavia is inviting the public to their annual Christmas Cantata, The Love of God At Christmas, at 2 pm on Sunday.  Come catch the Christmas spirit and join in listening to and singing along with many songs you know and some you’ll be happy to know.  There will be a free supper after the concert.  The choir is lead by Debbie Prosser.

The Buffalo Sabres lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4 to 3 on Friday night. The game at the KeyBank center went into overtime but the Sabres couldn’t secure the victory.  Victor Olofsson, Jeff Skinner, and Kyle Okposo scored for Buffalo.

Afternoon News Brief

David Sherman

A Pike man faces charges after allowing his dog to attack a sheriff. The incident occurred after a deputy arrived to investigate a domestic incident there. 56-year-old David Sherman allowed an aggressive dog out of the residence. He then allegedly refused to comply with orders to get the dog back inside. The dog then attached the deputy, who was treated at Wyoming County Community Hospital and released. The dog was identified as a pit bull/mastiff mix and was removed from the premises by Animal Control because it had previously bitten another person. Sherman is to appear in Town Court on December 13th.

 

38-year-old Jeremy Lyons of Mount Morris is believed to be the man who was behind the wheel of a minivan that struck a utility pole on Law Street. The accident occurred on November 23, and caused a widespread power surge. He has turned himself in to police and is now cited for leaving the scene of a property damage accident and aggravated unlicensed operation. Lyons was observed running from the scene of the accident and attempts to locate him immediately afterward were unsuccessful. The minivan struck a utility pole, causing 287 homes in the area of Chestnut Street, South Jackson and to both the north and south of those streets to lose power. The power surge caused electric meters on the outside of dozens of homes to blow out. The vehicle Lyons was driving was insured; residents with claims directly related to the power surge should contact National Grid by calling 315-428-6536. Or, at ClaimsDept@nationalgrid.com

 

 

According to the state comptroller’s office, poverty rates have decreased in the GLOW region over the 10 year period of 2010-2020. However, even though the numbers are down, Orleans County ranked 15th statewide for poverty. The poverty rate is based primarily on income, along with family size and composition but do not reflect the existence of unmarried partners, foster children and other non-related household members. They also don’t factor in taxes and medical expenses — which can affect a person or family’s economic security — or non-cash resources such as tax credits, housing support or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Genesee County reported a 10.2 percent poverty rate in 2020, ranking 48th statewide. That compares to 12.1 percent in 2010 and 10.5 percent in 2019.

 

The latest data from the state shows the spread of the coronavirus has decreased in our region. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is sitting at 4.38%. At this time last week, the infection rate was at 4.51%. Anyone wishing to make an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot can do so at vaccines.gov.

 

 

POLICE BLOTTER: 46-year-old Jeannine Mobley of LeRoy has been charged with petit larceny. She is accused of stealing from a business on Jackson Street. Mobley was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance. ALSO: 21-year-old Jada Smith of Niagara Falls is charged with criminal trespass. She was located on Genesee Community College property after previously being told she was not allowed on the property. Smith was released on an appearance ticket. ALSO: 32-year-old Joshua Moore of Batavia is charged with harassment and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arrested following the report of a disturbance early in the morning on November 24th on Chase Parkway. Moore was arraigned in City Court and released on his own recognizance.

 

Gas prices are finally lower than they were a year ago. Triple-A reports today’s national average is $3.31 a gallon compared to about $3.34 a year ago. That’s a significant drop from the all-time high of $5.01 a gallon seen back in mid-June. We can’t quite say the same thing in Batavia; as of this morning, the average price per gallon was $3.52; still a nickel higher than one year ago today.

 

 

 

They look like they’d be willing to share…

The jackpots of two popular lottery games keep growing and that means there’s going to be a combined $495,000,000 up for grabs over the next couple of days. No one has won the Mega Millions in weeks so the top prize available for tonight’s drawing is $379,000,000. And should someone win Powerball tomorrow night they will get at least $116,000,000. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills will be back in front of their home crowd as they look to hold onto first place in AFC East against a division rival. The Bills are hosting the New York Jets at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. When these two teams played earlier this season, the Jets came out on top by a final score of 20 to 17. Buffalo is coming off of a 24 to 10 win last Thursday over the New England Patriots. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for 1:00.

 

 

Plans to build a brand-new stadium in Orchard Park for the Buffalo Bills have taken another step forward. A new study shows the proposed facility would not have any negative effects on the surrounding environment. That means it’s now up to the Erie County Legislature to issue a negative declaration of environmental impact. If that happens, The Buffalo News reports the deadline for reaching a stadium agreement would be mid-January. The over one-billion-dollar facility would be located near Highmark Stadium which is where the Bills currently play.

 

Dylan Cozens and Rasmus Dahlin – and excited fan in the front row (file photo)

The Buffalo Sabres have won back-to-back games and they’ll be hoping to extend their winning streak to three this evening. The Sabres are taking on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played Wednesday night when they cruised to a 9-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Face-off for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:00.

 

 

Morning News Brief

The new New York gun law is ping ponging back and forth in the courts and the latest is that part of it can be enforced according to a Federal Appeals court decision. The part they allowed is that guns can be banned from parks and theaters while the constitutionality of the law is being decided.  The temporary stay from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday puts on hold most of a ruling last month from U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby, who found constitutional issues with multiple portions of the law related to carrying firearms in public places and to licensing requirements.  Among the new licensing rules Suddaby found constitutionally flawed was a provision requiring applicants to be of “good moral character,” and another that made applicants turn over information about their social media accounts.

Genesee County is proposing an increase in the salary of the County Coroner because they can’t find anyone else who wants to move dead bodies.  The proposal would pay the Coroner 200 dollars every time they were called upon to be the transportation service for the deceased.  County Manager Matt Landers said they had tried to find a dedicated service but no one stepped forward and so the job often fell to the coroner to be both official and taxi for the dead.  This happened about 50 times last year.  There will be a public hearing on the proposal on January 4th at the Old Courthouse in Batavia. 

A Wyoming County is man under investigation following a domestic incident and faces charges after a dog attacked a sheriff’s deputy.  The incident happened Monday at a home on Route 39 in Pike. Police said David Sherman, 56, allowed an aggressive dog out of the home during the investigation, refusing to comply with orders to keep the dog inside.  Sherman is charged with assault, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, criminal contempt and menacing.  He’s being held in Wyoming County Jail without bail due to his criminal history. He’s due in Pike Town Court on Tuesday.  The injured deputy was treated at Wyoming County Community Hospital and discharged. Police did not say what happened to the dog after the attack or what prompted the investigation. 

According to the CEO of Economic Development Center for Genesee County Steve Hyde it’s all sunshine and nearly free money for Elba, Oakfield and Genesee county itself if a Solar Project is approved for Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC.  The EDC is expecting 88 million dollars being paid back the county and municipalities over the next 30 years Hyde said.  He says thats 22 dollars back for every dollar invested in the project.  Each municipality is expected to get payouts of between 500,000 and 1 million dollars annually from Hecate during the operation of the 500 megawatt farms of solar panels.  

Assemblyman Steve Hawley informed local fire departments in a press release about grant money being offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA has $90 million to award.  Hawley said, “This is an opportunity for those who tirelessly protect our communities to receive a significant amount of grant money.  Our emergency employees are vital to our communities. I am proud of their hard work to keep us all safe and secure. Their valiant efforts to maintain safety in my district and throughout New York state should not go unnoticed.” The application period for these awards will begin between January 6 and 9 and will continue for 6 weeks, subject to change. For more information, contact the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program at 866-274-0960 or firegrants@fema.dhs.gov. 

An academy award winning director who is famous for his monster movies says he loves the city of Buffalo.  Guillermo del Toro says he and his wife are considering buying a house in the City of Buffalo after filming Crimson Peak and Nightmare Alley there over the past 6 years.  He says that he is just booking for an excuse to film there again and needs very little provocation.  The things he likes about the city, it’s energy and artistic movement, oh and also the food. 

A new flag is flying over the parking lot of the current Highmark stadium to show where midfield of the new Buffalo Bills stadium will be.  The flagpole, which is set directly in the pavement and has a red and blue map pin icon on it and a blue flag with the number 2026, is set to show where the dead center of the new stadium will be once it is constructed.  The new, 1.4 Billion dollar stadium, will be open to the public in 2026.

Afternoon News Brief

Joshua Schohn (released photo)

32-year-old Joshua Schohn of Akron has been convicted of two counts of possession and production of child pornography. He’s been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release. The investigation started three years ago, during which the FBI found videos of Schohn’s girlfriend’s daughters. Upon his arrest, Schohn admitted to State Police that he had been collecting child pornography for five years.

 

 

A $5,000,000 federal funding grant will help to pay for upgrades for Attica’s water treatment plant. The funding was announced last month as part of the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, and will cover half of the estimated $11.1 million project planned for the Dunbar Road location. Upgrades will include new treatment units, disinfection and chemical feed equipment. New pumps, piping and valves are also planned, along with structural and mechanical improvements. The equipment is generally meant to last for about 20 years.

 

Negotiations resumed today between representatives of Buffalo Public Schools and the Buffalo Teachers Federation. Both sides have been working to reach an agreement on a new contract but say that little progress has been made during recent discussions. Teachers have issued a vote of no-confidence in Superintendent Doctor Tonja Williams and also the school board. Issues that still need to be resolved include teacher salaries and adjusting school start times to help out with an ongoing bus driver shortage.

 

 

Unidentified teenager receives vaccination – file photo

Governor Hochul is urging New Yorkers to take the proper steps to protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19, the flu, and RSV. Hospitals across the Empire State are very busy right now dealing with a surge in illnesses and data shows a lot of people who are eligible for the latest COVID-19 booster shot haven’t gotten it. The governor recommends residents who have symptoms of the coronavirus or flu get tested immediately. The state has a stockpile of coronavirus test kits and ventilators that can be made available if necessary.

 

A Newfane resident is facing up to 11 years behind bars after pleading guilty to multiple charges including criminally negligent homicide. The Niagara County District Attorney’s Office says 20-year-old Sean Kelahan admitted to hitting and killing 25-year-old Richard Howes, III with his car on Transit Road in Lockport March 18th. Kelahan is going to be sentenced in February. His co-defendant, Tyreek Wolfe, is also awaiting sentencing.

 

Von Miller – Thanksgiving Day, 2022

The Buffalo Bills are going to be without star defensive player Von Miller for the rest of the season. Miller underwent exploratory surgery on his knee earlier this week and it was discovered he has a torn ACL. Miller was hurt back on Thanksgiving Day when the Bills played the Lions and was placed on the injured reserve list last week. Buffalo signed the 33-year-old Miller to a six-year, 120-million-dollar contract this past off-season and he leads the team this year with eight sacks.

 

 

 Matt Araiza

Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza and two of his college teammates will not face criminal charges after being accused of gang raping a 17-year-old girl while Araiza attended San Diego State University. The alleged assault happened at an off-campus party in October 2021, six months before the Bills drafted Araiza. The decision to not pursue charges came following a four month investigation involving more than 35 witness interviews and evidence derived from 10 search warrants that included cell phone data and video from the night in question. A still-pending civil lawsuit was filed August 25th; the Bills released Araiza two days later.

 

 

Tage Thompson

The Buffalo Sabres have picked up their second straight victory after a dominant effort on the road. Tage Thompson scored five goals and Dylan Cozens, Peyton Krebs, Alex Tuch, and Rasmus Dahlin also had a goal each as the Sabres smashed the Columbus Blue Jackets nine-to-four last night. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was able to stop 20 of the 24 shots he faced in the contest. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins. Face-off is at 7:00.

Morning News Brief

The New York State Education Department is recommending that schools go back to mandatory masking to fight the Flu, RSV and Covid once again and superintendents for a lot of the state are saying “no.”  Niagara Falls, Erie and Hamburg superintendents characterized it as going backwards and said that we are “well past mandates.”  While the state is saying that kids are in danger the schools are mostly reporting that the rate of illness is average for the season.  The districts say some kids and teachers are choosing to wear masks but the number is small.  Mostly the advice is the same as it has been, stay home if you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze, and wash your hands regularly.  

It’s been two weeks now since the New York State’s cannabis control board approved the first dispensary license. 36 licenses were approved — none of them are in Western New York.  This first set of licenses are for people who were impacted by cannabis convictions in the past, called Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensaries.  Western, Central NY, and the Finger Lakes are currently barred from receiving licenses due to an ongoing court case.  So, if you are wanting to buy pot legally in Western NY, you’ll just have to travel or wait.

Former Buffalo Bills punter Matt Araiza and two of his college teammates will not face criminal charges after being accused of gang raping a 17-year-old girl while Araiza attended San Diego State University.  The alleged assault happened at an off-campus party in October 2021, six months before the Bills drafted Araiza.  The decision to not pursue charges came following a 124-day investigation involving more than 35 witness interviews and evidence derived from 10 search warrants that included cell phone data and video from the night in question, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office said in a statement.  A still-pending civil lawsuit was filed Aug. 25, with the Bills releasing Araiza two days later.

The Genesee County 4-H Program is now accepting registrations for its 2023 4-H Tractor Safety Program.  The program is open to youth age 14 and over and covers farm safety, tractor safety, tractor operation and other related topics.  The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program is a certification program that allows youth ages 14 and 15 to be certified to legally operate farm equipment for hire.  After completing the training course, youth will need to pass a written knowledge test and driving test to receive the certification.  The program is scheduled to run Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, from January through April at farm machinery dealerships throughout Genesee County.  The fee for the program is $25, and youth must also be currently enrolled 4-H members.  Registrations are due January 28, 2023.

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse has scheduled in-person and virtual Naloxone & Opioid Overdose Prevention Training sessions into June of next year.  Twelve sessions will take place at The Recovery Station on Clinton Street Road in Batavia and six will be held at GCASA’s Outpatient Clinic in Albion starting in January. Additionally, six virtual training classes are scheduled, beginning Jan. 9.  Check out our news partner the Batavian for a list of dates and times.  To register, email dklos@gcasa.org or call 585 815 1883.

The Genesee Chorale is performing their annual holiday concert, From Star to Star, at 4 pm on Saturday and you are invited.  Tickets are 10 dollars either at the door or at www.geneseechorale.com for the concert at St James Episcopal Church.  The chorale is directed by Ric Jones. Janine Fagnan is the associate conductor, and Doug Hanson is the accompanist.

The Buffalo Bills are going to be without star defensive player Von Miller for the rest of the season. Miller underwent exploratory surgery on his knee earlier this week and it was discovered he has a torn ACL. Miller was hurt back on Thanksgiving Day when the Bills played the Lions and was placed on the injured reserve list last week.  Buffalo signed the 33-year-old Miller to a six-year, 120-million-dollar contract this past offseason and he leads the team this year with eight sacks.

The Buffalo Sabres have picked up their second straight victory after a dominant effort on the road. Tage Thompson scored five goals and Dylan Cozens, Peyton Krebs, Alex Tuch, and Rasmus Dahlin also had a goal each as the Sabres smashed the Columbus Blue Jackets nine-to-four last night. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was able to stop 20 of the 24 shots he faced in the contest. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Afternoon News Brief

Melvin Huntley

41-year-old Melvin Huntley of Batavia now faces the possibility of life in prison. Late yesterday afternoon, a Genesee County Court jury found him guilty of repeatedly raping children. The jury deliberated for two days before reaching the verdict; the most severe convictions are for felony predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in prison. Huntley was first arrested in July 2021 following a sheriff’s investigation. He remains in Genesee County Jail without bail, pending sentencing on January 11.

 

Yesterday marked 1,000 days since the World health Organization declared the start of the pandemic on March 11, 2020. Much has changed since then; however, a new letter from the New York State Education Department and Department Of Health suggests we may be heading backward. Both are urging the community and schools to consider re-masking students when in public indoor spaces as a precaution ahead of the holidays. This comes as the nation is being hit by what many are calling a rare “tripledemic” seeing an increase in COVID, Flu, and RSV cases. In addition to considering masking up, the Department of Health advises residents to stay up to date on vaccines, wash their hands often and stay home when sick to ensure that everyone stays safe as the holidays approach.

 

A lengthy investigation by The Genesee County Drug Task Force, which culminated in the use of a search warrant, resulted in the arrests of two women: 38-year-old Jennifer Moton of Rochester and 50-year-old Angela Bateman of Batavia. Moton is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance (a class B felony) and promoting prison contraband (a class D felony). She is currently on probation for previous drug charges, and was allegedly found to be in possession of 150 bags of cocaine and allegedly entered a secure area at the Genesee County jail with it. Bateman is on parole for previous drug charges and was allegedly found in possession of a small quantity of cocaine and also charged with maintaining a place where controlled substances were being sold. Both women were arraigned and held without bail.

 

For the first time since the start of the season, the death of a Monroe County resident has been connected to the flu. The person who passed away was between the ages of 75 and 84 years old. From October 1st through November 26th, there were more than 4000 lab confirmed cases of the virus in the county. Officials say that it’s never too late to get a flu shot, which will help protect you and others from getting seriously ill.

 

 

Governor Hochul has signed off on a new piece of legislation that’s aimed at cracking down on those annoying telemarketing calls. The bill requires telemarketers to give customers the choice of being placed on a do-not-call list at the beginning of certain calls. Under current law, telemarketers must inform people that they may request to be added to their company’s do-not-call list but most individuals hang up before the list is mentioned. The governor says this legislation will protect New Yorkers from receiving unwanted calls.

 

Dion Dawkins

Offensive lineman Dion Dawkins of the Buffalo Bills has been nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The award honors players from all 32 NFL franchises for their outstanding community service and also their play on the field. Following a mass shooting at a Buffalo Tops store back in May, Dawkins decided to host a cornhole and kickball tournament that raised 20-thousand dollars for victims of the tragedy, and he has also launched the Dion’s Dreamers Foundation to support young people who live in underserved communities. The Man of the Year award winner will be revealed during the NFL Honors ceremony ahead of the Super Bowl.

 

 File photo

The Buffalo Sabres will be back on the road again tonight as they try and pick up a second straight victory. The Sabres are going to be visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in Ohio. The Sabres are coming off of a 6-3 win on Sunday night against the San Jose Sharks. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7:30.

 

 

Mayor Byron Brown

Officials with the City of Buffalo have announced that a new app is now available that will provide residents with important information. It can be downloaded by going to the app store on your phone and typing in Simplicity. From there, choose Buffalo and the city institutions that you want to follow and make sure your notifications are on. Mayor Byron Brown believes the app will keep the city on the cutting edge of innovation and prove to be a useful resource for residents and visitors.

 

Shania Twain – promotional photo

Country music superstar Shania Twain is bringing her brand new tour to Western New York next year. Twain is scheduled to perform at KeyBank Center in Buffalo on October 20th. The Grammy Award winner is best known for songs such as “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “From This Moment On” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” Tickets for the concert go on sale December 16th through Live Nation.

Morning News Brief

A new law is on the books that affects how social media works in New York State.  Social media is now required to have a way for users to report hate speech.  Hate speech is defined in the law as any conduct that “vilifies, humiliates, or incites violence.”  A first of its kind in the nation, the new law requires social media companies to put in place a mechanism for reporting hate speech and also disclose how they respond to such complaints when reported.  There is a lawsuit against the law from social media video hosting site Rumble which claims that the law fails to define what vilifying, humiliating or inciting violence mean and that the law violates free speech rights. 

A fire in Arcade drew roughly 100 firefighters Tuesday night.  The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office said that the fire broke out at the Finger Lakes Hay and Straw building on Park Street.  Crews from Arcade, North Java, Strykersville and Bliss all responded to the fire.  Second Assistant Fire Chief Joshua Graham explained part of the reason it required a massive response and took so long to put out was the 15 wagon loads of hay inside the building.  The sheriff’s office said no one was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A woman who was arrested for robbing 3 stores with a bb gun is back behind bars after she did it again within 30 minutes of being released.  41 year old Jessica York of Rochester was arrested after displaying a realistic looking bb gun at a restaurant, Bubble Tea spot, and at a cleaning store and taking money from the cash register.  She was charged with three counts robbery and three counts of petit larceny.  York was released from Monroe County Jail around 11 a.m. Saturday. About 30 minutes later, police responded to Starbucks inside the Hyatt Regency on East Main Street for a reported robbery. York allegedly had entered the shop, threatened the possibility of a weapon and stole money from the cash register.  The spree continued Sunday afternoon when York forcibly stole money from a cash register at Java’s on Gibbs Street, according to police. Officers arrested her Tuesday morning on East Main Street, shortly after an unsuccessful robbery attempt at Ugly Duck Coffee on Charlotte Street, and returned her to jail.

Batavia and LeRoy police departments will hold their annual Shop With a Cop event on Saturday the 10th at the Walmart on Veterans Memorial Drive.  There will be approximately 30 children shopping with officers and taking a picture with Santa.  Donations have been received from Wal-Mart, H.E. Turner & Company, Inc., the Batavia Police Benevolent Association, Civil Service Employee Association, Bonarigo and McCutcheon law office, and other members of the community.  Approximately $2,800 has been raised to date.

The STOP DWI program honored officers from the LeRoy and Batavia Police and the county Sheriffs who had the most DWI arrests over the last year at the Terry Hills Country Club on Monday.  For Le Roy, Jordan Wolcott, for Batavia, John Gombos, and for the Sheriff’s Office, David Moore.  Also honored, for the 4th time, was Byron Bergen high schooler Zoey Shepard who created the grand prize winning STOP-DWI poster for their annual contest.  

The Genesee County Interagency Council, Inc. honored Esther Leadley at their monthly meeting on Nov. 16 with their first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.  The council recognized Esther with a plaque citing “outstanding service and commitment” to the council for 26-plus years.  Leadley began her career in Genesee County in 1985 with Genesee Community College working with displaced homemakers.  From there, Leadley worked as a member of the Genesee County Legislature and the EOP in Geneseo, as well as served on many area boards and councils.  Leadley is currently a board member of Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, as well as a Community Advocate.

Governor Hochul has signed a new law which combats telemarketers.  The twist is, it requires you to talk to them to be effective.  The legislation requires telemarketers to give customers the option to be added to the company’s do-not-call list at the beginning of certain telemarketing calls.  Most people hang up right away and don’t get to the point where they could tell the marketer to add them.  

Afternoon News Brief

The investigation continues today into the accident involving two trucks running into the library wall of an elementary school in Warsaw. As of this morning, the two drivers remain in stable condition. 61-year-old Martin Lodinsky of Gainesville is at Erie County Medical Center awaiting surgery. He claims his vehicle kept accelerating and he could not stop it, resulting in a t-bone accident with another vehicle, driven by a 35-year-old male who has not been identified but was also injured. Both vehicles crashed into the side of the school. The school district is working on a plan for a temporary home for its elementary school library. Their superintendent said that kindergarten students were in the library at the time, but away from the wall that was struck. Aside from the two drivers, no one else was hurt in the incident.

 

 

Governor Hochul says $10,000,000 in funding is going to be used to help revitalize Downtown Rochester. The money will go towards things such as adding affordable housing, creating a new hotel, and restoring historic buildings. The governor believes that these improvements are vital since so many people work and live downtown. The funds are coming from the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative and all of these projects are scheduled to be completed in 2023 and 2024.

 

Two men with long criminal histories are once again in trouble with the law – this time, facing drug charges following a traffic stop in LeRoy. 41-year-old Chad Main of Warsaw was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal. He allegedly attempted to run from deputies during the stop; following a brief chase, he was taken into custody. Among other charges, he was found in possession of drugs and was high while driving unlicensed. His passenger, 49-year-old James Sherbert of Perry is on parole and was also found with drugs.

 

 

From the security camera footage – still shot released by Gates Police

An 18-year-old from Ogden has been arrested after hitting a gas pump at a gas station in Gates and then fleeing the scene. Police reviewed security camera footage and was able to identify the vehicle from the license plate and arrested Ryan Odell at his residence. He admitted that he was trying to do a burnout in the parking lot. Odell was charged with criminal mischief and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. He was issued an appearance ticket and will return to court at a later date.

 

 

Today Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to crack down on unwanted telemarketing and robocalls. The new law requires telemarketers to give customers the option to be added to their company’s ‘do-not-call’ list at the start of the call and is intended to safeguard state residents from continuous, unwanted calls.

 

 

 

Dr. Tonja Williams

The Buffalo Common Council unanimously passed a resolution that asks Governor Kathy Hochul to declare a State of Emergency over the Buffalo School District’s transportation issues. This would allow Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams to change school start times without the approval of the Buffalo Teacher’s Federation. The district and the union have been renegotiating a contract for months, but are reportedly not close to reaching a solution. One point of disagreement involves a three-bell start time for grades kindergarten through 8, as opposed to two different start times that are in place now, to address the shortage of bus drivers without needing to hire more. The Buffalo Teachers Federation says its members are frustrated because they have been working without a contract for three years and that discussions on a new deal have slowed down. Dr. Williams released a statement yesterday saying that she’s staying focused on making the district stronger and better. The next negotiation day is tomorrow.

 

 

Randall Rolison

New information has been released about a deadly crash Chautauqua County over the weekend. State Police say 59-year-old Randall Rolison failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of State Route 83 and Center Road in Arkwright Saturday night. Rolison’s vehicle collided with another vehicle driven by 71-year-old Gary Kraemer and the impact caused his passenger, 71-year-old Linda Kraemer, to be ejected and killed. Rolison was charged last year for hitting and killing a 15-year-old girl in Jamestown.

 

 

 

The Buffalo Bills and longtime, AFC East rivals the Miami Dolphins are scheduled to play at Highmark on Saturday night, December 17th with kickoff scheduled for 8:15. The contest will air on the NFL Network. Earlier in the season Miami came out on top, 21 to 19. The Bills will also be home this coming Sunday when they host the New York Jets with kickoff at 1:00.

 

The non-emergency phone line to the City of Batavia Police has been fixed. The city’s dispatcher can now once again be reached by calling (585) 345-6350 for non-emergency situations. The phone line had been experiencing problems since Sunday afternoon.

 

 

Another Mega Millions drawing has come and gone without a jackpot winner and that means the game’s top prize is now even bigger. Whoever is lucky enough to select all of the winning numbers ahead of tonight’s drawing is going to get at least $354,000,000. This evening’s drawing will be streamed live online at megamillions.com.

 

 

New information has been released about the arrest of a now former employee at the Monroe County Children’s Detention Center in Rush. Police say 23-year-old John Kanu allowed two juveniles to take part in slap boxing inside a bathroom last month and also allegedly hit a child after they left the bathroom. An investigation started after the incident was reported and Kanu ended up being fired. He’s been charged with child endangerment.

 

 

 

 

Morning News Brief

Rochester Police are investigating a triple shooting in the city’s Upper Falls area on Monday night.  Around 6:20 p.m., officers responded to William Warfield Drive for the report of shots fired.  Once there, they found out there was an altercation, which resulted in three people being shot.  Police say two young girls, ages 12 and 16, were both shot at least once in the lower body, and a 20-year-old man was shot in the upper body.  All three were taken to Rochester General Hospital by private vehicles, where they are expected to recover from their injuries.  No arrests have been made.

Bribery and fraud charges against former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin were tossed out Monday by a federal judge, leaving Benjamin to face only records falsification charges and prompting his lawyers to say it was tragic that the case was ever brought.  Judge J. Paul Oetken in a written opinion said prosecutors failed to allege an explicit example in which Benjamin provided a favor for a bribe, an essential element of bribery and honest services fraud charges.  Benjamin resigned after his arrest last April. He pleaded not guilty to charges that he obtained campaign contributions from a real estate developer in exchange for his influence to get a $50,000 grant of state funds for a nonprofit organization the developer controlled.

US representative Elise Stefanik is alleging nearly $20,000 dollars in donations has been stolen from her campaign in targeted mail theft, and her team is demanding action from the United States postal service.  The claim was made in a letter Thursday, addressed to Postmaster General Louis Dejoy. It shows photos of mail being ripped apart—including a torn check from a donor. The packages were discovered in Memphis by the USPS Inspection Service.  The letter states that “on four separate occasions between June and November, packages sent by Elise For Congress containing campaign contributions were ripped open and the contents stolen while in the custody of usps or its contractors.”  The US Postal Service said they received the letter and will respond with findings, adding both the Postal Inspection Service and Office of Inspector General have a potential role to play in this investigation.

The Buffalo Common Council unanimously passed a resolution that asks Governor Kathy Hochul to declare a State of Emergency over the Buffalo School District’s transportation issues. This would allow the district’s Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams to change the district’s start times without the approval of the Buffalo Teacher’s Federation.  Buffalo School said the district and the union have been renegotiating a contract for months, but have not come close to reaching a solution. In a press conference on Wednesday, the district’s general counsel said one of the reasons is they can’t agree on a three-bell start time.  The teachers federation held a vote of no confidence in the Superintendent.  The next negotiation day is tomorrow.  

December 3rd a battle of the Batavia publishers came close to a tie, pitting former Daily News publisher Tom Turnbull against Howard Owens, publisher of The Batavian. The match-up was for GO Art!’s Bartender Challenge, a fundraiser for the Batavia-based  nonprofit.  After about two dozen patrons participated, the total tips were counted: $164 for Turnbull and $159 for Owens. All in good fun, it ended well with a contribution of $323 for Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

The National Football League has revealed the kickoff time for the upcoming game between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. The two longtime AFC East rivals will play at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park on Saturday, December 17th at eight-15 p-m and the contest will air on NFL Network. These teams played earlier in the season with Miami winning 21 to 19. The Bills will also be home this coming Sunday when they host the New York Jets.

Afternoon News Brief

Jared Wrazen

A parolee from Java will be returning to state prison. 29-year-old Jared Wrazen has admitted in Wyoming County Court that he shot a woman in the stomach. This felony first-degree assault offense punishable by up to 25 years in state prison. Sentencing is scheduled for February 9th.

 

 

 

 

67-year-old James Cason of Batavia has been arrested on sex abuse charges. It’s alleged that he subjected another person to unwanted sexual contact. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and an Order of Protection to stay away from the victim was issued. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to reappear in court later this week.

 

 

Genesee County Sheriff’s Report:  33-year-old Jason Whitehead, Jr. of Batavia has been arrested during a traffic stop. It’s alleged that he was operating a vehicle with a revoked non-driver ID only and was out of compliance with Interlock Device restrictions. Deputies also say that Whitehead, along with a passenger in the vehicle, 33-year-old Herbert Gennis of Batavia, were allegedly in possession of narcotics with intent to sell them. Both were arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and released on their own recognizance. They are scheduled to re-appear in court early next month (on January 10, 2023 at 2:30p.m.). ALSO: 46-year-old Jeannine Mobley of LeRoy has been arrested and charged with petit larceny, following a complaint from a business on Jackson Street. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on recognizance. Mobley is due back in court later this month. ALSO: 38-year-old Tonya Weber of Batavia was arrested late last month following an investigation into an alleged larceny from a business on East Main Street. She is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court tomorrow.

 

 

The Batavia City School District is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Batavia Middle School. Construction of the current building began in 1922, which originally housed both junior and senior high school students. The existing Batavia High School building was built in 1961, and 96 Ross Street was officially designated as Batavia Middle School. This Thursday December 8 a concert will be held inside the Middle School auditorium, with recently restored historic bells that called students to school over 150 years ago, located on both sides of the stage. The celebration featuring the Middle School band, orchestra, and chorus starts at 7:00pm, is free and open to the public. (Photo from Batavia Middle School website)

 

Police are investigating a crash into a house in Bergen. It happened around 1:30 a.m. this morning on Reed Road. Officials tell us a vehicle crashed into the house. Police say the people in the car got out and ran away. That investigation is still active this morning, a search is underway with drones and dogs.

 

 

Governor Hochul has announced the results of the recent Thanksgiving holiday crackdown on impaired driving. There were 213 people arrested by State Police for driving while impaired from Wednesday, November 23rd through Sunday, November 27th, including 16 in our region. Police also investigated 927 crashes across the state, three of which included fatalities. Nearly 7000 tickets were also issued statewide for dangerous behaviors behind the wheel including speeding and distracted driving.

 

Today the International Association of Arson Investigators is looking into a Saturday afternoon fire that damaged more than a dozen vehicles at Insurance Auto Auctions in Bergen on Apple Tree Avenue. This is where cars totaled by the owner’s insurance company are taken. There were at least four fire companies that responded, including Bergen. The Bergen Fire Department tells us they were called out there just after noon on Saturday along with several other fire departments. Auction Company representatives lent a hand to firefighters in battling the blaze by using heavy machinery to move burnt vehicles out of the way to give fire crews better access.

 

The prices at the gas pump continue their slow decline. According to Triple A this morning, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in Batavia is $3.59; down 17 cents from a month ago. The state average is at $3.70 a gallon, down 14 cents in a month. Nationally, the average price is $3.40.

 

Jack Quinn

The Buffalo Sabres have avoided a second straight loss after picking up a big win on home ice. Jack Quinn scored twice and Alex Tuch, Jeff Skinner, JJ Peterka and Tage Thompson had a goal each as The Sabres, in their red and black jerseys, defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-3 at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen had a solid night in net, stopping 26 of the 29 shots that he faced. Up next for Buffalo is a road game on Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The puck drops at 7:30.

 

 

 

Josh Allen

Two long winning streaks are still alive while another is over in the NFL. The 49ers extended their winning streak to a league-best five straight with a 33-17 victory over the Dolphins. That snapped Miami’s five-game winning streak. The Bengals knocked off the Chiefs 27-24 to run their winning streak to four in a row. Kansas City is now tied with Buffalo atop the AFC at 9-and-3, but the Bills currently hold the tiebreaker for the top seed.

 

 

Morning News Brief

The drivers of both vehicles that hit the elementary school in Warsaw on Friday afternoon are in stable condition according to Warsaw Police Chief Hoffmeister.  The driver of the pick up that was traveling at around 80 miles per hour straight at the school when it struck another pick up crossing in front of the school, a 61 year old man who has not been identified, suffered broken ribs and internal injuries and was taken by mercy fight to ECMC.  The driver of the other pick up, a 35 year old man,  suffered leg, back and internal injuries and was taken by mercy flight to Strong Memorial.  Both men are in the ICU and are awaiting surgery.  The cause of the crash, which caused the school to be evacuated, is under investigation.  No students or teachers were hurt.

Bergen, LeRoy, Churchville and Byron Fire Departments responded to a fire at the Insurance Auto Auction, a location where damaged cars that have been totaled by their insurance are taken on Appletree Ave, on Saturday night.  The fire reportedly involved nearly a dozen cars but the Fire department got it under control fairly quickly and no electric vehicles were involved in the fire according to the Bergen fire department.  The International Association of Arson Investigators is looking into the fire.

Batavia drivers are still saving a little bit of money at the gas pump as the price of fuel continues to fall. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas is three-59. That’s down 3 cents in the last week and is also 18 cents cheaper than this time one month ago. The state average is sitting at three-70 a gallon while nationally it’s three-40.

Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council will be hosting a Local Authors Night from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday December 8th at 201 East Main St., Batavia, organizer Sammy DiSalvo says.  “Come support local authors with a night of meet and greets, readings, Q & A’s, and book signings,” DiSalvo said. “This event features five authors — Greg Van Dussen, David Neth, Sammy DiSalvo, Andrew Freeman, and Mary Ellen Reardon — from the Western New York community, and some of their most recent works.”  GO Art!’s cash bar will be available during this event.

The Neediest Children Fund is looking for donors for this year.  The 25 Neediest Children Fund, a charity run by a committee that has been in operation since 1934 in Batavia, helps students who have been identified by their teachers, the school nurse, or social worker as needing health care services, counseling, clothes, shoes, sneakers, or other educational services.  All money given to the fund goes straight to helping the children.  The Twenty-five Neediest Fund simply pays the bills without red tape or publicity. Although the initial intent was to assist twenty-five of the most needy children, the fund’s scope is to help whomever needs assistance, with no limit to the number of children helped.  Anyone interested in contributing to the Quiet Fund may make their check payable to the Twenty-five Neediest Children’s Fund, Inc. to be sent to Nann K. Zorn, 12 River Street in Batavia.

The Buffalo Sabres broke out the red and black jerseys and beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 on Sunday night.  Tage Thompson scored the first goal of the game, putting the Sabres up 1-0.  The lead was short-lived, but JJ Peterka opened up the second period with a big goal that tied the game at two and gave the Sabres the needed momentum.  Jack Quinn scored twice for Buffalo.  Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch also scored.  The Sabres play again on Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio.  Puck drop is at 7:30 pm.

Weekend News Brief

At around 2pm on Friday 2 pickup trucks struck the Warsaw Elementary School Library.  One of them breached the walls and entered the library just as a class of about 20 kindergartners was lining up to leave.  No students or teachers were injured.  The driver of one of the trucks said that their accelerator was stuck, causing them to drive straight at the school down Liberty street at nearly 80 miles per hour.  The other truck was crossing liberty on rt 20A in front of the school when it was t-boned by the first truck.  The power of the hit caused both trucks to roll across the lawn and into the side of the school.  Both drivers were flown by mercy flight to the hospital with life threatening injuries.  The School was evacuated but will resume on Monday according to the Police. 

The New York State Health Commissioner has announced her resignation.  Dr. Mary T. Bassett was appointed to the position following the resignation of Howard Zucker, starting on January 1st of 2021.  She says in her resignation letter that she is leaving so that the next commissioner will be able to serve a full 4 year term alongside Governor Hochul. Bassett is planning on going back to work at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in Massachusetts. 

Gas prices statewide and nationally are continuing to drop into the month of December. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is currently $3.45, which is down 10 cents from Monday.  The average across New York State is $3.74, which is down 5 cents from Monday.  Buffalo holds the third lowest average per gallon, at $3.69. Only Batavia with $3.60 a gallon and Elmira at $3.59 have lower average prices.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services has extended the deadline to apply for $343 million in childcare provider grants targeting workforce assistance.  The new deadline is now December 14, 2022.  OCFS encourages those who have not applied to do so. OCFS says at least 75% of the funding must be used for: Bonuses or increases in wages, contributions towards health insurance costs that reduce these costs for staff, contributions to staff retirement plans that supplement any employer contribution, supplemental educational advancement or tuition reimbursement or mental health supports and services for staff.

Notice

Afternoon News Brief

Prince Z. Wilson

Prince N.K. Wilson

An Albion man whose brother is under indictment for a double-murder in Alexander has been sentenced to eight years in state prison in connection with two shootouts with another man in Albion. 23-year-old Prince Z. Wilson will also be on five years of post-release supervision. Wilson’s twin brother, Prince N.K. Wilson, was charged here with first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, arson and petit larceny. He is accused of the stabbing deaths of two farm workers.

 

From 1 – 5 tomorrow stop by the mall in Batavia to visit Santa’s Workshop and Village, and have pictures taken with jolly old Saint Nick himself. Many local shops and organizations will be offering holiday specials and activities, including horse and buggy rides. And then afterward, there will be a Holiday Parade down Main Street, starting at 6.

 

 

Adam Kreutz

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted 33-year-old Adam Kreutz of Batavia, accusing him of multiple felonies, including burglary, assault in the second degree, a class D violent felony, assault in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor, and attempted coercion in the first degree, a class E felony, after an incident on Sept. 5 and 6, 2022, during which Kreutz allegedly entered a dwelling on Ellicott Street at least twice, with the intent to commit a crime. Kreutz allegedly caused injury to a person using steel or hard toed boots. Kreutz, who was on parole at the time he allegedly committed these crimes, is the same individual who has served time in prison for, among other crimes, strangling a woman and drowning a kitten.

 

OTHER GENESEE COUNTY INDICTMENTS: Tammy Cicatello has been indicted on charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a class D felony. She is accused of possessing a firearm on July 30, 2022 in the City of Batavia. District Attorney Kevin T. Finnell reports that Cicatello was previously convicted of the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 5th degree, a class D felony, back on April 25, 2011 in Wyoming County Court, which forms the basis for current indictment. ALSO: Christian Andrzejek has been indicted and charged with multiple misdemeanors as well as the felony of 3rd degree burglary. He is accused of entering a shed on Washington Avenue in Batavia, on September 6, 2022 with intentions of committing a crime. He’s also accused of possessing methamphetamine and of stealing clothes.

 

Plan for windy conditions tomorrow.

There is a high wind watch in effect for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties starting tomorrow morning at 7:00 and will be in place until 5:00pm. Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts from 50 to 60 mph are predicted. Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Make sure to secure outside decorations and loose objects that could blow around or out into roadways.

 

The City of Batavia Police along with Genesee County Sheriffs will be conducting alcohol compliance checks at retail businesses this month. This service is provided to ensure that vendors are attentive to properly identifying the age of individuals purchasing alcohol. Among teens, abuse of alcohol has been shown to cause accidents and lead them to make other poor choices. The checks will take place prior to Christmas and focus on supermarkets, convenience and liquor stores. (Note: Law enforcement partners with prevention educators with the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse – the GCASA).

 

Security has been increased in the Victor Central School District following an incident involving a former student earlier this week. Officials say the person drove into a hill on High Street near the south entrance of the campus. It was later discovered the individual made concerning statements on social media referencing his health and safety. The ex-student was taken to the hospital but there’s no word if he’ll face any charges.

 

Devin Singletary

The Buffalo Bills are back on top of the AFC East following a dominant victory on the road. Quarterback Josh Allen threw for 223 yards and tossed two touchdown passes as the Bills beat the New England Patriots 24 to 10 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts last night. Devin Singletary also had a rushing TD for Buffalo whose record this season is now 9 and 3. Up next for the Bills is a home game against the New York Jets on Sunday, December 11th; kickoff time is 1:00.

 

 

 

Tage Thompson

The Buffalo Sabres have come up short of winning their second straight game after a defeat at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup champions. Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch all scored a goal but the Sabres still fell to the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen had a tough night in net and only stopped 28 of 33 shots. The Sabres next game is Sunday at home against the San Jose Sharks.

 

 

 

Okay fine, I’ll share…

There hasn’t been a Mega Millions jackpot winner in weeks, but lottery players are hoping that luck is on their side tonight. The top prize for the popular game has grown to $333,000,000 after no one correctly picked all of the winning numbers for Tuesday’s drawing. Tonight’s drawing will be streamed live online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

There is a high wind watch for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties starting at 8am Saturday and going 7pm.  Southwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph possible.  Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.  Make sure to secure any loose objects outside that could blow around or out into roadways.

The DEC makes a controversial decision to allow the Seneca Power Partners to draw extra water from the Batavia city well.  The permit has been granted for five years, with the option for Seneca Power Partners to reapply when that time is up.  The city and town of Batavia and Genesee county had filed letters of protest with the DEC saying that the amount of water the company wanted to pull, 26 million gallons a year, would overstrain the aquifer and cause collateral environmental impacts.  The DEC reviewed the data from the area and disagreed.  Seneca Power Partners is using the water to cool their equipment, create steam to create electricity, and for system maintenance.  

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Thursday a Request For Proposals to redevelop the building known as Terminal A on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor, an approximately 550,000-square- foot building that has been vacant for years. This RFP presents an opportunity for experienced real estate developers to purchase and transform the main terminal and three adjacent buildings into a unique waterfront destination, located at 901 Fuhrmann Boulevard. Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, a state entity, envisions that the project could potentially include residential, restaurants, office space, cultural attractions and parking. Proposals are due by 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

Western Region Off Track Betting’s revenues for the year broke records again.  CFO Jacquelyne Leach said that Batavia Downs made between 8.5 and 9 million dollars in 2022.  That is more than 3 million dollars above what was expected for the year.  This means that the casino will be distributing even more money to municipalities as part of their operating deal with the county and towns.  Leach reported that $54,370 will be distributed to municipalities, including Genesee County, from October’s activity

Batavia Downs is looking into adding on to the Hotel on Park Road in 2024.  They want to add on 24 rooms to keep up with increased business.  According to CEO Henry Wojtaszek the hotel operated at 70 percent of capacity in November.  Right now the hotel has 84 rooms.  

The most haunted place in western NY is getting a grant to fund roof repair and replacement of part of the building.  Rolling Hills Asylum in Bethany is getting 50 thousand dollars for restoration as a national historic place.  The Ghost Tour venue is planning on replacing the roof of the East wing and the Ice/Dairy House and then turning part of the building into an inn and restaurant.

If you find yourself heading to the Genesee county Park and Forest on Saturday you can stop into the interpretive center to take part in Create-a-Critter.  With a touch of imagination and some hot glue, you can turn pine cones, seed pods, and other natural materials into your own unique critter or work of art.  Session 1 is from 10 to noon and session 2 is 1 to 3.  Cost is 5 dollars per person or 10 for the family.  Call 585 344 1122 to preregister.

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans says the city is going to be providing five-million-dollars for a new anti-violence initiative. The money will go to organizations such as the Action for a Better Community, Hope Initiatives, Community Resource Collaborative and Conflict Management Solutions. The funding will be used to help those groups launch programs that are aimed at helping prevent violence. The money is coming from the American Rescue Plan.

The Buffalo Bills are back on top of the AFC East following a dominant victory on the road. Quarterback Josh Allen threw for 223 yards and tossed two touchdown passes as the Bills beat the New England Patriots 24 to 10 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts last night. Devin Singletary also had a rushing TD for Buffalo whose record this season is now nine and three. Up next for the Bills is a home game against the New York Jets on December 11th.

The Buffalo Sabres have come up short of winning their second straight game after a defeat at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup champions. Tage Thompson, Dylan Cozens, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch all scored a goal but the Sabres still fell to the Colorado Avalanche six-to-four at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen had a tough night in net and only stopped 28 of 33 shots. The Sabres next game is Sunday at home against the San Jose Sharks.

Afternoon News Brief

Tyshon Taylor – 2020 file photo

A Genesee County grand jury has filed a three-count indictment against 25-year-old Tyshon Taylor of Batavia. He is accused of stabbing another man in the stomach in October. Charges include attempted second-degree murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The victim suffered serious injuries and was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment. Taylor has a history of trouble with the law and was most recently released from state prison March 30, 2021, after serving a term for armed robbery.

 

 

 

Santa checking his ‘good’ list – file photo

From 1 – 5pm this Saturday stop by the mall in Batavia to visit Santa’s Workshop and Village, and have pictures taken with jolly old Saint Nick himself. Many local shops and organizations will be offering holiday specials and activities, including horse and buggy rides. And then afterward, there will be a Holiday Parade down Main Street, starting at 6 that evening.

 

 

 

 

 

Positive COVID test result

Some new data shows an increase in our region of the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus. According to the state, the seven-day average infection rate in our area is 6.44%. At this time one week ago the average infection rate was 5.12%. People who want to be vaccinated against the illness or get a booster shot can schedule an appointment at vaccines.gov.

 

 

 

33-year-old Giuseppe Flannaca of Batavia is charged with grand larceny. He’s accused of stealing more than $3000 in merchandise from The Home Depot. Flannaca was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on his own recognizance.

 

 

 

The National Weather Service is placing the GLOW region (except for Livingston County) under a high wind watch, which will be in effect from Saturday morning through Saturday evening. Southwest winds at 25 to 35 mph are expected with occasional gusts up to 60 mph. Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. Fasten loose objects or shelter objects in a safe location prior to the onset of winds.

 

 

Sheriff William Sheron, Jr.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has a reminder for us during this charitable, giving season regarding scams and scammers. Please be suspicious concerning anyone who pressures you to act quickly by threatening that a problem will only get worse if you don’t do something now or that you will be arrested if the issue is not immediately addressed. Never give out personal or financial information. If you suspect something may not be legitimate, tell someone you trust what the situation is before you act and potentially suffer a financial loss. If you fall victim to a scam, please report it to your local law enforcement agency.

 

 

Officials with the New York Independent System Operator say there’s enough of an electricity supply in the Empire State to meet demand during the winter months. There are over 43-thousand megawatts of supply available and the agency is forecasting that peak demand will reach close to 24-thousand megawatts based on expected winter temperatures. That’d be an increase of 685 megawatts from last winter’s peak demand. Consumers are likely going to see higher bills in the coming months due to factors that continue to impact the cost of natural gas used in the production of electricity.

 

 

 

No injuries have been reported after a fire caused extensive damage to multiple businesses in Lewiston. Crews were called to the scene on Center Street yesterday and arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from a building. While they were trying to contain the blaze, firefighters were forced to evacuate because the building became unstable and there were concerns it could collapse. According to reports, an issue with a transformer may have been responsible for sparking the fire.

 

 

 

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills are in the Bay State tonight as they take on a longtime AFC East rival. The Bills will be at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts to battle the New England Patriots. Buffalo has not played since Thanksgiving Day when they beat the Detroit Lions 28 to 25 to improve their record this season to 8 and 3; kickoff for tonight’s game is 8:15.

 

 

 

 

Dylan Cozens talks with Rasmus Dahlin – file photo

The two-game losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres is over after the team picked up a much-needed victory on the road. They defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in a shoot-out last night. Dylan Cozens scored twice while Jeff Skinner and Mattias Samuelsson also had a goal each as the Sabres. Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson stopped 41 of the 45 shots that he faced. The Sabres will host the defending Stanley Cup champions the Colorado Avalanche at KeyBank Center tonight at 7:00.

 

Morning News Brief

2 Teens are accused of bringing a gun into Dr. Alice Holloway Young School of Excellence on Tuesday Morning.  School security “safely secured a loaded revolver from a 13-year-old male,” according to Rochester Police.  The investigation found another 13-year-old boy was also involved in bringing the gun into the school.  The Rochester City School District released a statement saying the students “circumvented security screening” and brought the weapon inside. The district said the gun was “immediately retrieved and turned over to the Rochester Police Department.”  Both boys were referred to Monroe County Family Court on charges of criminal possession of a weapon.  It is unknown how they came to be in possession of the gun or why.

Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams is under fire from the Buffalo Teachers Federation over a contract dispute.  They are asking teachers to vote that they have no confidence in her and the school board.  The district and teachers union have been negotiating a new contract, but the district’s general counsel said there’s not much negotiating getting done at meetings. He said the union is refusing to discuss bell time adjustments to resolve transportation issues, hiring coaches for sports, and health insurance.  BPS said it’s increased its offer to the union twice, which includes a 20% increase in teacher pay over the course of the contract, an 8% increase in the first year, and close to a $6,000 bonus for every teacher.  The district said its current proposal has a price tag of $215 million. The union’s proposal would cost the district $2 billion.

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney was unanimously elected to serve Genesee county as part of the NY 24 region on the Republican Policy Committee.  The Committee was created in 1949 as a forum for debate and to develop legislative proposals that promote common sense conservative solutions. It also produces informational background materials for use by the House Republican Conference.

About 400 National Grid customers in Genesee County were without power due to the wind storm wednesday.  The largest outage was in Darien with 310 customers without power.  There was an outage along Beckwith Road in Batavia, one in Basom and one in East Oakfield, along with outages that affected five or fewer customers in East Bethany, and Batavia.  East Pembroke fire was dispatched to Beckwith Road with wires down.  Earlier, Alexander Fire was dispatched to Halstead Road for a wire down and a field on fire.  National Grid reports that all power has been restored.

LeRoy’s Winterfest is set to be a big event Saturday.  Starting off the day the Jinglin All The Way Festive 5k is starting at 10 am.  There is a horse and carriage ride from 1 to 5pm leaving from St Mark’s Episcopal Church. Santa Claus will be visiting at The Moose Club from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by 3 to 5 p.m. at the former Sweet Betty’s location, and then leading a parade at 5 p.m. from the old Bank of America parking lot to the Christmas tree, which is scheduled for lighting at 5:30 p.m.  There will be caroling around the tree with Le Roy Jr/Sr High School’s choir, s’more cones, Santa story time, hot chocolate from Dave Ehrhart and cookies from Le Roy Presbyterian Church.  Maddie Masters second annual one-mile walk,  begins at 3:30 p.m. at Sweet Betty’s. Other activities include a kids obstacle course by BeyonDriven, crafts from noon to 5 p.m. and face painting from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Art of Mandy, and Woodward Memorial Library, from noon to 4 p.m., and Save-a-lot from 1 to 3 p.m., will also have face painting and kids’ crafts; and a store scavenger hunt and free hot chocolate and cookies.  The Hope Center is also doing a slew of activities from 11 to 3.  Another new offering will be a poker run, set to run from 6 to 9 p.m. at five establishments: American Legion, The Moose, Capish! Brick Oven Pizza Ristorante, Sweet Betty’s, Smokin’ Eagle BBQ & Brew. Wristbands are $10 each, and participants will get a cocktail and poker card at each stop before turning in their final hands for a 50/50 jackpot.  A three-piece acoustic band, Nate Coffey, will be performing at Smokin’ Eagle to cap off the night.

The Batavia BOCES Auto Body program has a non auto contribution they’ve been working on for the Batavia Middle School.  The 2 bells that used to hang at the middle school, one bronze and one cast iron, have been restored and will be unveiled and rung at the Centennial celebration on December 8th at 7pm.  One bell is 150 years old, made in McNeeley Foundry in Troy Ny in 1873.  The other comes from West Seneca and is roughly 100 years old.

The two-game losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres is over after the team picks up a much-needed victory on the road. Dylan Cozens scored twice while Jeff Skinner and Mattias Samuelsson also had a goal each as the Sabres defeated the Detroit Red Wings five-to-four in a shootout last night. Sabres goaltender Craig Anderson stopped 41 of the shots that he faced. The Sabres will host the defending Stanley Cup champions the Colorado Avalanche at KeyBank Center tonight at seven p-m.

The Batavia United won their first game of the season on Tuesday against the Geneva Panthers 6 to 1.  Ronin Hofmaster and Jameson Motyka scored twice each.  Brady Johnson and Cooper Hamilton scored once.  Goalie Thys Tanner blocked 15 shots.  United plays Starpoint at the Northtowne Center in Buffalo on Friday at 5:30pm.  The team faces Hamburg at home at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Afternoon News Brief

Albion Correctional Facility – file photo

Over 750 former prison and jail inmates will file a series of civil lawsuits against the state of New York over the next year. The state has opened a window for past survivors of sexual assaults. New York State’s Adult Survivor’s Act went into effect last week and people now have until November 23, 2023 to file lawsuits, even if the statute of limitations has expired. Of the 750 inmates, at least 164 were confined at the Albion Correctional Facility, which for years has been under scrutiny for repeated sexual assaults of female inmates. Under state law, a person in correctional custody is legally incapable of providing consent.

 

Deputies have charged 40-year-old Michael Schultz of Attica with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. This followed police checking on a suspicious vehicle that was reportedly parked on Tooley Road and flashing its headlights on and off. Schultz allegedly has one active suspension on his New York state license for a failure to answer a citation for an out-of-state violation. For the current charge, he was processed roadside and issued an appearance ticket. Schultz is scheduled to appear in the Town of Bennington Court in December.

 

 

Genesee County Jail – file photo

A homeless woman has been arrested for entering the Genesee County Jail with the intent to sell drugs. 40-year-old Beth Ann Jeffres of Batavia is accused of going into the jail with narcotics on her person hoping to sell them to the inmates. She is charged with criminal possession of a narcotic drug, intent to sell, promoting prison contraband, and criminal possession of a controlled substance. She is being held on bail until her mid-December court date.

 

The New York State Thruway Board of directors is meeting next month to discuss the current tolls. The difference between EZPass and toll by mail is anticipated to increase by 75 percent, meaning that EZPass customers will pay 75 percent less than those who don’t have it. The price across the board on tolls will go up by 5 percent. Commuters who get the reduction in cost will keep seeing a 60 percent. The $2 administrative fee for non-EZPass drivers and anyone who gets their tolls processed by license plate image will stay in place. All changes go into effect January of 2024.

 

A wind advisory is now in effect for the entire GLOW region and remains in place until 1am early tomorrow morning. Winds 25-35 miles per hour are expected with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour going from west to east. Gusts could blow around unsecured objects and possibly blow tree limbs onto power lines causing outages. Travel in high profile vehicles could be dangerous.

 

 

A winter weather advisory is in effect for Warsaw and south-western towns in Wyoming County, and will be in place until 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. Lake effect snow is expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 7 inches in the most persistent lake snows could accumulate across higher terrain. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph will produce extensive blowing and drifting snow. Plan for snow covered and slippery road conditions if you’ll be driving through the western part of Wyoming County during the timeframe of the advisory. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility with hazardous conditions possibly impacting the evening commute Wednesday and the morning commute Thursday. Lake effect snow will fall in relatively narrow bands. If traveling, be prepared for rapidly changing visibility and road conditions.

 

File photo

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against a nursing home located in Orleans County. The AG claims the owners of Comprehensive at Orleans LLC doing business as The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion were involved in fraud. It’s alleged that they took advantage of the state’s Medicare system for their own personal profit and didn’t use the money for staffing and treatment of residents at the facility. James is urging anyone who’s concerned about conditions they see at nursing homes or resident abuse to call 833-249-8499.

 

George Moses

The former chairman of the Rochester Housing Authority is going to spend the next 6-1/2 years in prison. Yesterday, a judge sentenced 53-year-old George Moses for committing crimes including defrauding three nonprofits, lying to the FBI, and filing false tax returns. Moses used money from the housing authority and also community grant funds to buy things such as a new car, a time share in Florida, and trips to Canada. Once he’s released from custody, Moses will be on probation for three years.

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres are on a road trip tonight as they look to snap their current two-game losing streak. The Sabres are taking on the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena in the Motor City. Buffalo is coming off of a 6-5 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday night. Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7:00.

 

Promotional Photo – November 2022

One of the most popular basketball teams on the planet is going to be taking the court in Western New York next year. The Harlem Globetrotters are going to be playing against the Washington Generals at KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Friday, February 3rd. Since being founded in 1926, the Globetrotters have played in over 120 countries and been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Tickets are available at the box office and through Ticketmaster.

Morning News Brief

What is the leading cause of death for people 18-45.  Guns? Car accidents? COVID?  None of the above.  Fentanyl kills more people every year than the rest.  58 people have died in Genesee county from overdosing on fentanyl since 2018 with 10 more still under investigation.  There is something people can do about it.  While it is very difficult to stop the drug, the public can combat overdose deaths by learning how to use and administer Naloxone, an anti-overdose drug.  If someone is unresponsive and you think they are overdosing, giving them naloxone can save their life.  To learn more, visit healtogetherny.gov/genesee or the gowopiodtaskforce.org. 

A homeless woman has been arrested for entering the Genesee county Jail with the intent to sell drugs.  40 year old Beth Ann Jeffres of Batavia is accused of going into the Genesee County Jail with narcotics on her person hoping to sell them to the inmates.  She is charged with criminal possession of a narcotic drug, 2 counts of criminal possession with intent to sell, promoting prison contraband in the first degree, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.  She is being held on bail till her court date of December 15th. 

The New York State Thruway Board of directors is meeting next month to discuss the toll prices and here is what they are going to vote on.   The difference between EZPass and toll by mail is going to increase to 75 percent, meaning that ezpass customers will pay 75 percent less than those who don’t have it.  The price across the board on tolls will go up by 5 percent.  Commuters who get the discount will keep seeing a 60 percent discount on their tolls.  The 2 dollar administrative fee for non ezpass drivers and anyone who gets their tolls processed by license plate image will stay in place.  Any changes go into effect January of 2024.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center claiming years of fraud and resident neglect.  This comes after gathering enough evidence of the alleged horrific neglect several loved ones have faced.  James says the owners of the nursing homes misused more than $18 million in government funds.  The Nursing home is also facing a lawsuit from families of those who died during the COVID outbreak of 2020 who allege that the facility did not take precautions to prevent the deaths and also neglected people who were in their care.  

Batavia High School is putting on the Trial of Robin Hood play Friday through Sunday this weekend.  25 students and a crew of six are putting on the play for Director Caryn Leigh Wood’s 20th season at the High School.  The self referential comedy has Robin Hood defending his actions of robbing from the rich to feed the poor in a trial.  And the twist is, the play can finish in 3 different ways and the audience gets to decide the ending.  Come see the hero, Maid Marian, the sheriff of Nottingham and others Friday and Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 2.

One of the most popular basketball teams on the planet is going to be taking the court in Western New York next year. The Harlem Globetrotters are going to be playing against the Washington Generals at KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Friday, February 3rd. Since being founded in 1926, the Globetrotters have played in over 120 countries and been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Tickets are available at the box office and through Ticketmaster.

Afternoon News Brief

Melvin Huntley

The trial for 40-year-old Melvin Huntley of Batavia has begun this week in Genesee County Court with jury selection. He rejected a plea deal that was offered in October. Huntley was first arrested in July 2021 following a sheriff’s investigation that allegedly revealed he sexually assaulted a child under 11 over the course of five years. Further investigation revealed three more victims, all under the age of 17 that involved repeated acts of sexual assault. In March, a Genesee County grand jury filed a 25-count indictment against Huntley including, among other multiple felony charges, predatory sexual assault, which is punishable by 25 years to life. Huntley remains in Genesee County Jail pending the outcome of the trial.

 

44-year-old Tara Lyn Hall-Dilaura of Batavia has been charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence and having an insufficient turn signal. Hall-Dilaura is accused of hiding a controlled substance on her person while deputies conducted a traffic stop. She was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released on an appearance ticket.

 

 

25-year-old Nicholas Goodell of LeRoy is charged with petit larceny after being accused of stealing in the Town of Batavia. He was arrested by State Police and released on an appearance ticket.

 

 

 

State residents are expected to see higher electric bills this winter compared to last year due to various national and geopolitical factors that combined, keep the cost of natural gas and electricity elevated. Inflation, ongoing supply issues from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine continue to keep energy costs significantly higher. However, New York’s power grid has a sufficient supply of energy and won’t be strained to carry the state through the winter season; this, according to an assessment made by the New York Independent System Operator. The higher prices however, with increases between 30 and 40%, aren’t expected to turn around before the spring thaw. The price of fuel and natural gas directly impact the cost of electricity. Last week, National Grid announced it would donate $6 million to customers struggling to pay their bills with the higher costs this season. The utility’s one-time program is separate from available federal and state assistance, and is expected to help an additional 31,500 New York households that do not qualify for the Home Energy Assistance Program or other aid. National Grid estimates a 39% increase for its natural gas customers this winter compared to last, and an overall 22% increase for customers across upstate New York.

 

Kristofor O’Rourke

A former member of the Geneseo Police Department is on the other side of the law after being arrested by State Police. Troopers say 29-year-old Kristofor O’Rourke arrested a woman for DWI back in July. He then allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with her without her consent. O’Rourke was arraigned last night and pleaded not guilty before being released. He has been ordered to stay away from the victim and is facing up to four years in prison if convicted.

 

 

A wind advisory will be in effect starting tomorrow morning at 10:00am and remain in place until 4:00am Thursday morning. Westerly winds at 25-35 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 mph can be expected. The effected areas include all but Livingston County in the GLOW region (Niagara County and Northern Erie County is also effected). Gusty winds could blow unsecured objects around. Tree limbs could come down and a few isolated power outages may result. Travel will be difficult at times in high profile vehicles.

 

A winter weather advisory is in effect for western Wyoming County and areas a little south, starting at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon; it will be in place until 1:00 Thursday afternoon. Lake effect snow is expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 7 inches in the most persistent lake snows could accumulate across higher terrain. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph will produce extensive blowing and drifting snow. Plan for snow covered and slippery road conditions. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility with hazardous conditions possibly impacting the evening commute Wednesday and the morning commute Thursday. Lake effect snow will fall in relatively narrow bands. If traveling, be prepared for rapidly changing visibility and road conditions.

 

 

Tage Thompson

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game losing streak after suffering a tough defeat at home. Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn, Jeff Skinner, Tyson Jost and Tage Thompson each scored but the Sabres were still beaten by the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 in overtime at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surrendered all six Lightning goals in the contest. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow night on the road against the Detroit Red Wings.

 

 

 

The Mega Millions jackpot has risen again. The prize up for grabs tonight is now $305,000,000 after no one correctly chose the winning numbers in Friday’s drawing. The odds of hitting the jackpot are one in more than 302,000,000. The drawing will be streamed online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties are going to be under a wind advisory for a storm coming Wednesday morning starting at 10am and lasting till 4pm on Thursday.  Winds 25-35 miles per hour are expected with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour going from west to east.  Gusts could blow around unsecured objects and possibly blow tree limbs onto power lines causing outages.  Travel in high profile vehicles could be dangerous.

Wyoming County is under a winter weather advisory Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.  From 4pm Wednesday to 1 pm Thursday lake effect snow of 4 to 7 inches are expected in conjunction with high winds blowing the snow around.  Lake effect snow will fall in relatively narrow bands. If traveling, be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions and visibilities.

More than a year after entering a guilty plea, trying to withdraw it, disappearing after being released to attend the birth of his child and then being recaptured months later, and asking for a new attorney, Devon Wright has been sentenced.  He was sentenced to 24 years in prison for attempted assault, criminal sexual act, attempted criminal possession of a weapon, and assault.  He had made a plea deal to run his sentences concurrently but lost the deal when he failed to appear for his sentencing date in 2021.  Wright could have faced up to 29 years for his crimes.

29 year old former Geneseo Police Officer Kristofor O’Rourke plead not guilty Monday evening for threatening a woman with jail time if she didn’t perform sex acts on him at a traffic stop.  O’Rourke is being charged with third-degree felony criminal sexual act and misdemeanor official misconduct in connection to the July 1st incident. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 18 months to 4 years in the state’s Department of Corrections if he’s convicted.  O’Rourke left the Geneseo Police to join the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department.  After an investigation into the incident he was fired on November 21st.  He also worked for Mount Morris Police Part time and Watkins Glen Police.

A 72 year old Wyoming County man was killed in a bulldozer accident in the Town of Leicester on Saturday.  According to the sheriff’s office, around 5:50 p.m. on Saturday sheriff’s deputies responded to Dunkley Road in the Town of Leicester for the report of a male that was run over by a bulldozer.  The sheriff’s office said it learned that Thomas Swyers of Perry had gone to the property earlier in the day and was using a bulldozer to clear a portion of a wooded area. When he did not return home his family requested assistance from friends to check his welfare. Swyers was found dead in the woods.  According to the sheriff’s office, Swyers was either working on the bulldozer or fell off while it was in gear and he was drug under the tracks.

Buffalo Sabres lost their match up with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a close game 6 to 5 in overtime.  Jeff Skinner, Jack Quinn, Dylan Cozens, Tage Thompson and for his first time, Tyson Jost scored for Buffalo.  The Sabres next game is in Detroit against the Red Wings Thursday at 7pm.  

Afternoon News Brief

Kenneth Campbell

Joanna Larnder

Andrew Taylor

The Genesee County Drug Task Force has arrested three people following a raid at 126 State Street. The charges filed against Kenneth Campbell of Batavia include criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was committed to Genesee County Jail without bail due to his extensive criminal history. 35-year-old Andrew Taylor of Albion and 29-year-old Joanna Larnder of Batavia were both charged with misdemeanor drug possession. They were released with appearance tickets.

 

50-year-old Jamie Schlonski of Batavia is charged with grand larceny, possession of stolen property and falsifying business records. He is accused of stealing more than $1000 in merchandise from Dick’s Sporting Goods and pawning it at Pawn Kings, which required completing paperwork for the transaction. Schlonski was issued an appearance ticket.

 

 

 

 

Peyton Gendron pleads guilty

Buffalo supermarket shooter Peyton Gendron pleaded guilty this morning to state charges stemming from the Tops supermarket shooting in East Buffalo. He pleaded guilty to 15 charges in all, including domestic terrorism motivated by hate, murder and attempted murder. He still faces more than two-dozen federal charges, some of which carry the possibility of the death penalty. Domestic terrorism motivated by hate carries a mandatory life sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for February 15, 2023, at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

 

51-year-old Michael Rech of North Chili was found guilty in U.S. District Court of trying to collect $900,000 in federal Payroll Protection Program funds. He was convicted by a federal jury of 37 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Rech has a long history of problems with the law as well as filing lawsuits, including one suit he filed in 2015 against the City of Batavia accusing city police of using excessive force. The suit claimed that officers smashed a window on his car, pulled him out of the car and arrested him on fake charges, violating his civil rights.

 

While still higher than they were last year at this time, gas prices continued their slow decline for still another week. According to Triple A this morning, the national average cost per gallon is $3.55. In New York, it’s $3.79. And in Batavia, we’re paying an average of $3.62, down 9 cents from a month ago today.

 

 

Jim Kelly – file photo

Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly is going to be making an appearance at a holiday tree lighting event this week. Kelly will be at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls on Wednesday night. In addition to a visit by the NFL Hall of Famer, Santa Claus is also scheduled to greet folks in attendance. The event begins at five p-m and for more information, go to senecacasinos.com.

 

 

 

 

Cozens during New Jersey Devils game – 11/25/22

The Buffalo Sabres take the ice tonight as they try and avoid a second straight loss. The Sabres are hosting the defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning at KeyBank Center. The Sabres last played on Friday when they fell to the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Face-off for tonight’s game is 7:00.  (Sabres photo)

 

 

 

 

Entrance to Woodward Memorial Library – LeRoy

The elevator at the Woodward Memorial Library in LeRoy is out of service. It was installed in 1995 and gets inspected annually but has never before been fully serviced. Although repairs are anticipated to be costly, if not completed, they will be out of compliance with the American’s With Disabilities Act.

 

 

 

 

 

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty tells us that a fatal bulldozer accident occurred on Saturday afternoon in the Town of Leicester. 72-year-old Thomas Swyers of Perry had been using a bulldozer to clear a portion of a wooded area. When he failed to return home after dark, his family asked the sheriff to check on him. Swyers was found deceased in the woods. The scene suggested that he might have fallen off the bulldozer while it was still in gear and was dragged under the tracks. While the investigation continues, the incident is believed to be a tragic accident.

 

 

The Mega Millions jackpot continues to climb. No one picked all six numbers in the last drawing. That means tomorrow’s jackpot in the multi-state lottery game will be worth at least $305,000,000. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

It’s that time of year when people are out looking for that perfect gift or the perfect tree to place in their homes for the holiday season.  But just like the prices in the stores, prices on the tree lots have had to increase too.  A study shows across the country people are expected to pay on average $86 for a real Christmas tree this holiday season, that’s an increase of nearly 13 percent from 2021.  According to the latest data from the National Christmas Tree Association, over a quarter of Americans say they got their hands dirty last year by choosing and cutting down a real Christmas tree to celebrate the holiday season, down from 32% the previous year.

Thanks to a drop in gas prices, Batavia drivers are handing over less of their hard-earned money when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now three-76. That’s down four cents in the past week but is also five cents higher than this time one month ago. Currently, the state average is three-79 a gallon and nationally it’s three-55.

Stop into GO ART! after the Christmas parade to get a drink made by one of the new publishers of Batavia!  Tom Turnbull, former publisher of the Batavia Daily News and Howard Owens, Publisher/Executive Editor of the Batavian, will be making drinks at GO ART!s Tavern 2.o.1 from 6:30 to 9:30 on Saturday December 3rd.  The contenders have plenty of experience in journalism, but how will they fare behind a bar?  Serving a selection of locally made or sourced beer, wines, meads, and ciders, the pair will be in competition to earn the most tips, bragging rights and title of Ultimate Celebrity Bartender. All proceeds go to support GO ART!’s many public programs.  The event is open to the public.

The Pembroke Dragons are State Champions after beating Groton on Friday 38 to 18 at the Union Ellicott High School.  The Dragons 8 man team made history for the school being the first team to make states and now proving that they are the best in the state.  Coach Brandon Ricci had lots of gratitude for the superintendent, the Board of Education, Administration, Teachers, fire and police and fans and families for all the support through the season.  

First Presbyterian Church is hosting their 26th annual Service of Remembrance on December 7th at 7pm in collaboration with HE Turner, Bohm-Calarco-Smith and Burdett and Sanford Funeral homes.  The ecumenical service will combine music, prayer, scripture reading, reading of the names of loved ones, the tolling of the bell in remembrance, and a message of hope by Reverend Dr. Roula Alkhouri.  Anyone who has registered as having lost a loved one in the past year will receive a candle.  If you haven’t registered you can call HE Turner Funeral Home at 585 344 4295 or visit bataviafuneralhomes.com.  The service will also be livestreamed. 

3 Churches right near each other are tackling downtown Batavia’s hunger problems by providing food.  First Presbyterian and St James Episcopal church have little free pantries and blessing boxes located outside the church that people can walk up to at any time in the day and get food to make at home.  First Presbyterian also has a refrigerator with fresh produce, homemade dishes and frozen foods outside the church.  First Baptist Church has free home cooked meals provided through Lydia’s Kitchen.  Pastor Tim Young and his wife Lydia of Living Waters Apostolic Ministries host, cook and serve hot meals 5 days a week from 10 to noon.  To help keep these three important services available to our neighbors, there is going to be a big food drive on Sunday, Dec. 4, from noon to 3 p.m at Resurrection Parish and St Paul’s Episcopal in Stafford. 

Genesee Society of Model Engineers are having their 20th annual Holiday Open House on the 3rd at 50 Main Street in LeRoy from 10 am to 3 pm.  The event is free and features operating O, HO and N gauge sets with club members on hand to answer any model railway questions.  This year’s Open House will be one of the many events featured as part of Oakfield’s Christmas in the Village celebration.

The Buffalo Sabres will be back on their home ice as they try and avoid a second straight loss. The Sabres are hosting the defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning at KeyBank Center tonight. The Sabres last played on Friday when they fell to the New Jersey Devils three-to-one. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for seven p-m.

Weekend News Brief

The Greece Police department has released the names of the people involved in the shooting on Mosely Road Wednesday night.  51 year old Muharem Serhatlic apparently shot his wife, 46 year old Raza Knaji before turning the gun on himself.  Raza survived and was taken to Strong Memorial.  Serhatlic died at the scene.  

Medina Police working collaboratively with the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force during an investigation and then the execution of search warrants, resulted in four arrests and felony charges against 20-year-old Nasir Shine, 19-year-old Emmanuel Taylor and 37-year-old Darrell Shine, each of Medina and 36-year-old Ebony Shine of Rochester. Investigators recovered firearms including an assault rifle and tactical shotgun, ammunition, a half-pound of cocaine, a pound of fentanyl, drug packaging materials, and $29,000 cash ($20,000 of which was for one sale of over ¼ kilogram of fentanyl). In addition, charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute controlled substances, could result in a maximum penalty of life in prison, for each of the four except for Darrell Shine.

Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino announced its annual holiday tree lighting will take place November 30.  The event will include refreshments and special appearances by Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and Santa Claus. In addition, Cami Clune and Joshua Vacanti will perform throughout the celebration.

Online Black Friday sales are expected to break records.  According to Adobe, sales are projected to top nine-billion dollars, which would be a new record.  The numbers come on the heels of a big day of Thanksgiving shopping online, with the numbers up three-percent year-over-year.  Small Business Saturday is expected to be more popular than Black Friday and local retailers are gearing up with sales and inflation busters.

The Buffalo Sabres lost to the New Jersey Devils Friday night 3 to 1 on their home ice.  This is the Devils 9th straight win on the road and the Sabres 1st loss in 3 games.  Victor Oloffson made 1 goal and Craig Anderson made 41 saves vs the Devils goalie Akira Schmid making 33 saves.  Next the Sabres are home at Keybank Center to face the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday at 7pm.

Afternoon News Brief

 

Eric Alcantara

A search is underway for a Rochester Institute of Technology student who has been reported missing. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says that 19-year-old Eric Alcantara is just over five-feet tall, weighs about 150 pounds and has brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing black pants, a red jacket, black knit cap, dark shoes and that he speaks both English and Spanish. It’s believed that Alcantara might be traveling to Great Neck, which is in Nassau County. Anyone who sees him or knows where he is should dial 911.

 

Police are still searching for the driver of a minivan that struck a utility pole on Law Street. The Wednesday afternoon accident caused a significant power surge in the area. Law enforcement believes they know who the driver was, that he’s not from the area, the vehicle was not stolen and they would like to question him about the accident. Witnesses saw a man running from the accident and provided a description to police. The crash caused roughly 300 homes on Chestnut and South Jackson to lose power. National Grid often attempts to recover damages from the driver’s insurance company (and indications are that this driver was insured) when an accident damages a utility pole. The damages, in this case, could include the pole and all of the subsequent residential repair work and any damages sustained by residents.

 

Drug and gun bust in Medina

Medina Police working collaboratively with the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force during an investigation and then the execution of search warrants, resulted in four arrests and felony charges against 20-year-old Nasir Shine, 19-year-old Emmanuel Taylor and 37-year-old Darrell Shine, each of Medina and 36-year-old Ebony Shine of Rochester. Investigators recovered firearms including an assault rifle and tactical shotgun, ammunition, a half-pound of cocaine, a pound of fentanyl, drug packaging materials, and $29,000 cash ($20,000 of which was for one sale of over ¼ kilogram of fentanyl). In addition, charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute controlled substances, could result in a maximum penalty of life in prison, for each of the four except for Darrell Shine.  (Photo provided by law enforcement)

 

Unemployment rates across the GLOW region for October have improved. In fact, in the 32 years the state has been tracking this data, Orleans County’s 2.5% is the lowest it’s ever been. Genesee County’s unemployment rate improved from 2.5% in September to 2.1%, the same as it is in Wyoming County. Livingston County’s jobless rate is at 2.2%. Statewide for October, the 4.4% rate represents an increase of a tenth of a percent. The Bronx had the highest jobless rate at 7.4%.

 

The holiday shopping season is underway, and the New York Department of State’s Consumer Protection Division is offering some simple tips. The agency recommends that people be careful when shopping online where there are often both fake retailers and phony consumer reviews. Also, make sure to shop on a trusted site and beware of third-party vendors. Finally, designate just one credit card and one email address for online shopping to ensure an easy review of purchases and protection in case of a dispute.

 

People who are looking for some extra holiday cash might want to take a shot at winning tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot. There was no winner during the last drawing on Tuesday and that means the prize up for grabs this evening will be at least $284,000,000. The drawing is going to be streamed online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Lucky dog!

If you purchased a Powerball lottery ticket in Arcade for the November 23 drawing, you may be a little richer today. A third prize-winning ticket worth $50,000 was sold at the Arcade Market Place on Main Street. The winning ticket had four matching numbers, as well as the Powerball. The winning numbers for the Powerball drawing held on November 23 are: 1-2-31-39-66 and the Powerball is 25. By the way, no one won the jackpot, so the next drawing will be held Saturday, November 26 and will be worth $48 million.

 

 

Tyler Bass – file photo

The Buffalo Bills are now on a two-game winning streak after picking up another victory on the road. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass hit a 45-yard field goal with just seconds left as the Bills defeated the Detroit Lions 28 to 25 at Ford Field yesterday. Quarterback Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes for the Bills who now have a record this season of eight wins and three losses. Up next for Buffalo is a road game against the New England Patriots on Thursday night, December 1st, with kickoff time at 8:15.

 

 

Morning News Brief

Greece Police are investigating a Wednesday night shooting that left one person dead, and one other in grave condition.  Police arrived to a home Mosely Road Wednesday night, just before 10 p.m.  Upon arrival, police say they found the dead victim, with an apparent gunshot wound.  In the same home, police found the second victim, and they were taken to Strong Hospital.

The driver of a minivan that struck a utility pole Wednesday afternoon on Law Street, causing a significant power surge in the area, has not been located.  Sgt. Mitch Cowen said Thursday morning that police are pretty confident they know who the driver was, that he’s not from the area and that the vehicle was not stolen.  Cowen said police are looking for him in order to question him about the accident.  Witnesses saw a man running from the accident and provided a description to police.  A K-9 was deployed shortly after the accident in an attempt to find his trail, but that effort failed to find the driver.  The crash caused roughly 300 homes on Chestnut and South Jackson to lose power.

Rochester tried the fast ferry with less than stellar results.  Now Buffalo wants to give hosting cruises a shot.  Steve Ranalli, President of Erie Canal Harbor Development Group says he can imagine cruise ships lined up with 200 to 300 passengers each.  Cruises from across the five great lakes are becoming more popular, breaking records in 2022 with nearly 150,000 passenger visits to Great Lakes ports like Cleveland, Milwaukee, Erie and Toronto, according to Cruise the Great Lakes.  Buffalo would need to build a Cruise Terminal, a welcome center and expand the port to make space for cruise ships if it wanted a piece of the more than 125 million dollar a year market.  

3 people were charged after the Batavia Emergency Response Team, working with the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force, raided a home at 126 State Street Tuesday night and found an illegal drug operation.  35 year old Andrew Taylor of Main St in Albion, 34 year old Kenneth Campbell of Oak St in Batavia and 29 year old Joanna Larnder of Summit St in Batavia were all charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Campbell was hit with a weapons charge on top of that.  Campbell was held without bail and the other 2 were released with appearance tickets for December 13th.

Snow removal operations are scheduled to resume in Buffalo today after being temporarily put on hold. Crews stopped cleaning up from the recent snowstorm Wednesday following the death of a city employee. The individual lost their life on the McKinley Parkway after they were struck by a high lift. The investigation into the tragedy is ongoing.

The holiday shopping season is underway, and the New York Department of State’s Consumer Protection Division is offering some simple tips. The agency recommends that people be careful when shopping online where there are often both fake retailers and phony consumer reviews. Also, make sure to shop on a trusted site and beware of third-party vendors. Finally, designate just one credit card and one email address for online shopping to ensure an easy review of purchases and protection in case of a dispute.

The Buffalo Bills are now on a two-game winning streak after picking up another victory on the road. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass hit a 45-yard field goal with just seconds left as the Bills defeated the Detroit Lions 28 to 25 at Ford Field on Thanksgiving day. Quarterback Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes for the Bills who now have a record this season of eight wins and three losses. Up next for Buffalo is a road game against the New England Patriots on December 1st.

The Buffalo Sabres are back in action tonight vs the New Jersey Devils at 8 o clock at the Keybank Arena.  The Sabres are 9 and 11 and the Devils are 16 and 4.  Buffalo is coming of a win Wednesday night against the St Louis Blues where they debuted their red and black goathead jerseys.

Thanksgiving Day News Brief

A 13-year-old Batavia girl – missing for nearly a week – has been located and she is safe.
Batavia Police tell WBTA that Jaylynn Alvord was last seen a week ago today and police had considered her a runaway.
In a statement issued late yesterday police said the girl had been located safely.
Police thanked the public for their help in locating the girl.

 

A one-vehicle crash on Law Street in the city caused a power outage affecting almost 300 customers of National Grid.
The crash was reported late yesterday afternoon. Police responded to find an SUV on its side and wrapped around a utility pole.
The driver had apparently fled the scene. Police used a K-9 and searched an area on Ganson Street but failed to locate the driver.

 

Devon Wright of Batavia will now spend the next 24 years in state prison. The 22-year-old wright had pleaded guilty in last November to a number of violent sex-related crimes, committed over the course of two years.
At one point during his legal case, while free pending the birth of his child, Wright fled, later located in Lockport, brought back here for sentencing.
In court Wright tried again to avoid sentencing by asking for a new lawyer. That was denied. His next stop is prison.

Devon Wright

 

The Buffalo Bills will be spending their Thanksgiving in the Motor City as they look to pick up their second win in a row. The Bills are taking on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Buffalo is coming off of a 31 to 23 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in a game that was also played in Detroit due to the snowstorm in Western New York. Kickoff for today’s contest is set for 12-30 p-m.

 

After snapping an eight-game losing streak, the Buffalo Sabres have now earned back-to-back victories.
The Sabres beat the Saint Louis Blues six-to-two at KeyBank Center last night. The Sabres have today off before another home game tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils.

 

It is a Thanksgiving tradition in Batavia.
The Kiwanis Club is again holding its free Thanksgiving ice skate at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena.
The skate, along with free ice skate rental and hot chocolate, runs from 9 to 11 this morning.

Afternoon News Brief

Devon Wright

22-year-old Devon Wright of Batavia has now been sentenced to 24 years in state prison. He had pleaded guilty in November 2021 to a number of violent sex-related crimes, committed over the course of two years. Wright had been scheduled to be sentenced a year ago after accepting a plea deal before his trial was to begin in County Court; he remained free pending sentencing to be available for the birth of his child. However, he fled and a $2500 reward was offered for his capture. Wright was eventually found in Lockport and returned to Genesee County. After previously engaging in what seemed to be legal maneuvers that stalled the sentencing process, this month he appeared in court now asking for a new attorney and also wanting to withdraw his guilty pleas. The next day, the judge denied his request and proceeded with sentencing.

 

 

Nicholas Perry, Sr.

74-year-old Nicholas Perry Sr. of Strykersville, the man who had been missing since the height of last week’s snowstorm following a one-car accident, was found deceased yesterday. His body was found in a field covered with snow about several hundred yards from the scene of the accident. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death.

 

 

 

Genesee County Sheriffs along with state and local police will be working together as part of the STOP-DWI program through Sunday. The campaign is intended to bring awareness of impaired driving and the potential for more crashes during the most highly traveled time of the year. If you are driving, stay within the speed limits, don’t drink and drive, and have a safe holiday.

 

 

 

Kirk Ashton entering court last month – file photo

The former Northwood Elementary School principal who was found guilty of sexually abusing 21 students has been sentenced to 63 years in prison. Kirk Ashton was convicted last month on dozens of the charges that were filed against him for inappropriately touching multiple male students. During his trial, those victims and staff members at the school testified about Ashton’s actions but he didn’t take the stand in his own defense. While being sentenced, the judge said to Ashton that he preyed on the boys at a time when they were most vulnerable. Ashton did not speak following sentencing; however, his attorney asked for protective custody for Ashton once he enters prison. Ashton was principal at the Hilton school from 2004 until 2021.

 

Fatal crash aftermath – 10/24/22

The teenager arrested in connection with a deadly crash in Buffalo last month has been indicted on multiple charges including manslaughter. According to prosecutors, the 16-year-old was driving the vehicle before it crashed on the inbound Kensington Expressway near the entrance to the westbound Scajaquada Expressway. Four people ended up being killed and another passenger was seriously injured. The teen is now in his grandmother’s custody but must wear an ankle monitor.

 

 

Steven Gasiorek

A former substitute teacher and coach will be spending 20 years in prison after admitting to receiving child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Steven Gasiorek worked at both John F. Kennedy Middle School and John F. Kennedy High School in Cheektowaga from March 2014 until April 2019. An investigation revealed he used a fake social media account to receive child porn from minors and that he knew some of the victims. Once Gasiorek is released, he’ll be under post-release supervision for 10 years.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills said thank you to the Detroit Lions for letting them use their field on Sunday. The Bills donated 20,000 dollars to the Lions Foundation and also sent Tim Hortons Coffee and donuts to the Lions Facility and Ford Field. The Bills will be back there to play the Lions tomorrow, with a 12:30 kickoff.

 

 

 

 

Jeff Skinner – file photo

The Buffalo Sabres have snapped their eight game losing streak in big way with a blowout victory on the road. Jeff Skinner scored twice and Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, JJ Peterka, Rasmus Dahlin, and Henri Jokiharju also had a goal as The Sabres beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-2 last night. The Sabres also benefited from solid goaltending from Craig Anderson who stopped 29 of 31 shots. Buffalo is back home to take on the Saint Louis Blues; it’s 90’s night at KeyBank and they’ll be wearing their black and red goat head jerseys. Puck drop is at 7:00.

 

Officials with the New York State lottery are making a request of Empire State residents this holiday season. They’re asking people not to buy scratch-off lottery tickets for children as gifts, saying that lottery games should only be gifted by adults to adults. The National Council on Problem Gambling says youth gambling has become a significant and growing issue. People who are struggling with a gambling addiction can get help by calling 1-877-8-HOPENY.

Morning News Brief

Around 7pm Monday night police in Rochester responded to multiple ShotSpotter activations on Reynolds and Atkinson Streets and found a 12 year old boy shot dead and a 16 year old wounded.  The 12 year old was identified as Juan Lopez a student at Benjamin Franklin Educational Campus.  According to the Rochester Police Department’s Open Data Portal, Lopez is the seventh person under age 18 to be killed in the city this year.  Mayor Evans said that the violence against children is not normal or natural.  No suspects have been apprehended in the shooting.  There was a candlelight vigil for Lopez Tuesday night.

Amber Beyer, Buffalo City Police captain overseeing the Buffalo Police Behavioral Health team, is being sued for allegedly launching into a racist rant against black police officers and black men after watching a viral video of a black officer being pulled over by a white officer.  3 African American officers are bringing the suit after leaving their jobs or going on leave.  They are being represented by Nate McMurray.  Beyer, the department and the City of Buffalo are being sued for retaliation, a hostile work environment and race discrimination.  They’re seeking $15 million in damages.

Gov. Kathy Hochul was in New York City to make an announcement on combating hate crimes.  This comes two weeks after the governor set aside millions of dollars to help nonprofit, community-based organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks.  At that time, Hochul announced $46 million in federal funding for 240 nonprofit organizations across the state facing an increased risk of terrorist attack.  In Tuesday’s announcement, Hochul announced she is signing new legislation to require those convicted of hate crimes to be required to attend hate crime prevention training, which was previously optional.  The other legislation signed is an amendment calling for a statewide campaign calling for the coordination of state and local government along with community groups, schools and places of worship to ensure inclusion, tolerance and understanding diversity.

Genesee County Sheriffs Office and the Village of Leroy Police will be working together in the STOP-DWI program over the thanksgiving holiday and weekend to prevent accidents by putting police in high traffic areas.  The high visibility campaign brings awareness of impaired driving and the potential form more crashes in the most highly traveled time of the year.  The police will be out in force today through Sunday.  If you are driving, stay within the speed limits, don’t drink and drive