Local News

Thursday News Brief

Beer Bandit Arrested at Darien Lake

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department announced that Friday evening they arrested Nicholas McEneany at Darien Lake for Petty Larceny.

It is alleged that McEneany stole a can of beer from the concession stand at the Darien Lake Amphitheater while attending Friday night’s Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. McEneany was released on an appearance ticket and is set to return to Darien Town Court on August 6th.

This is already the 7th arrest this month at a Darien Lake concert.

Health Department Reminds About the Importance of Radon Testing

The Genesee County Health Department released a statement on Wednesday about the importance of testing your home for radon.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can enter your home through cracks in the foundation, walls, dirt floors, and multiple other locations. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and if you are a smoker who lives in a home with high radon levels your risk of developing lung cancer increases significantly.

Genesee County has higher than normal radon levels than the national average so it’s important to test your home. The Genesee County Health Department’s Radon Program provides short-term radon test kits to residents of Genesee County. For more information contact the health department.

Muckdogs Unable to Clinch Playoff Birth for Second Straight Night

For the second straight night, the Batavia Muckdogs had a chance to punch their ticket to the PGCBL Playoffs with a win, and for the second straight night, they came up empty-handed.

The Muckdogs travelled to Jamestown to play the Tarp Skunks who they previously had a 4-0 record against this season. The ‘Dogs trailed early and could never take the lead in a game they lost 3-1. With the loss, Batavia drops to 26-6 on the season but still holds a 3-game lead in the Western Division.

Today the Muckdogs play an exhibition game against the Syracuse Salt Cats at Dwyer Stadium and will have to wait until Saturday for another chance to clinch a playoff birth.

Wednesday News Brief

Batavia Middle School Names New Principal

Tuesday morning, the Batavia City School District Board of Education named Dr. Megan Crine as the new Principal of Batavia Middle School effective immediately.

Dr. Crine spent 12 years as the Middle School Red House Administrator at Churchville-Chili Central School before becoming the Principal of Dansville Elementary School last July. Dr. Crine holds multiple degrees including a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Rochester, a Master of Science in Literacy Education from Nazareth College, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Concentration in History from SUNY Cortland.

Dr. Crine said, “I am excited for the challenge and look forward to working with the exceptional students and staff. I cannot wait to become a part of the BMS family and Batavia community, and I am eagerly anticipating the start of the new school year.”

Break-in at Ellicott Station

Video News Service reports, that Tuesday around 7 AM the City of Batavia Police were called to the Ellicott Station Apartments on Ellicott St. for reports of a “suspicious condition”.

Police discovered a lock was cut to open an entryway to one of the buildings on the site and contacted the building owner. Police cleared the building to see if anyone was inside, but there were no reports on their findings. This news comes one day after owner Sam Savarino took down the fencing surrounding the site following a prompting by City Manager Rachael Tabelski for complaints of the site being an “eyesore”.

There were immediate concerns by the community of people getting into the building and those concerns appear to have quickly become a reality.

Batavia Downs Announces Free Concert this Friday

Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel announced that this Friday’s Peace Frog-Doors Tribute Concert is now free to the public.

The free concert is part of the Batavia Downs Guest Appreciation Celebration. Peace Frog is a highly acclaimed Jim Morrison and The Doors tribute band that has been performing for over 25 years. If you wish to attend Friday’s free concert you will still need tickets which you can get upon your arrival to the Batavia Downs at the entrance on Friday.

If you already purchased tickets don’t worry, you can visit the upgrade table outside of the Park Place room and have your tickets upgraded for free to the next section closer to the stage!

Monday News Brief

16 Students Graduate from Genesee County Sheriff’s Department Teen Academy

For the 5th consecutive year, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department held its teen police academy at Genesee Community College from July 8th-12th.

In total, 16 Genesee County teens graduated from the course. The week-long academy gave the teens a unique hands-on look at some of the tasks a Genesee County Sheriff takes on in an average day. The teens did shooting simulators, and sheriff exercises, toured the Genesee County Jail, and even watched a K9 unit in action!

Sheriff Sheron said, “The students were allowed to experience the various roles of law enforcement in our community, and they eagerly embraced all aspects of the curriculum.”

Genesee County Sheriff’s Ask Community for Help

Following a robbery at the Flying J in Pembroke, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department asks the community for help identifying the thief.

On Friday, a man of average height and average weight wearing a beanie and a black hoodie with a crossed rifle logo on the front robbed the Flying J in Pembroke of multiple items. The incident was reported to the Sheriff’s but the man was long gone at that point.

Police have made the picture of the man available on the Genesee County Sheriff’s website and asked if anyone recognizes the man to please contact them.

Muckdogs on the Verge of Clinching Playoff Birth

The Batavia Muckdogs need just one more win to punch their ticket to the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League playoffs.

The Muckdogs hoped to get that win Monday night, but rain forced their game against the Niagara Falls Americans to be postponed. With one more win, the Muckdogs can clinch a playoff birth and with 4 more wins they can clinch the Western Division pennant for the 2nd time in 3 years.

The Muckdogs have another chance to clinch a playoff spot tonight at Dwyer Stadium against their historic rivals the Auburn Doubledays.

Monday News Brief

High-Speed Chase Ends in Arrest in Batavia

Early Sunday at 1:45 AM the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department arrested Dandre Cramer of Dansville following a dangerous high-speed chase.

Cramer was pulled over on West Main Street in Batavia for traffic violations. As deputies approached the vehicle Cramer fled the scene. This led to a high-speed chase through the streets of Batavia that at its peak exceeded 93 miles per hour. The chase ended when Cramer crashed his vehicle on Swan St. Cramer exited the car and tried to escape by foot but was caught quickly and upon searching his vehicle deputies discovered a defaced Glock Model 19.

Cramer faces multiple charges including, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, defacing for concealment in the third degree, previous conviction in the third degree, and having a loaded firearm outside of a person’s home or business in the second degree.

Former Batavia Blue Devil Star has been Acquitted on all Charges

On Friday, a Genesee County Jury rejected rape charges against former Batavia High School Football phenom Ray Leach.

Leach had been accused of rape in the first degree in relation to an accusation that Leach had sexual contact with a person incapable of giving consent. Leach is well known in Genesee County for his football career. At Batavia, Leach set Section V records with 3,012 rushing yards in a season in 2018, 310 points in a season in 2018, and 111 career touchdowns. All of those numbers are top 10 in the state.

Leach had originally planned to continue playing football in college, but a 2018 incident where Leach was stabbed derailed those plans. Now that Leach has been acquitted of these rape charges he will look to get his life back on track.

Former President Donald Trump Shot at Rally

On Saturday, former President and current Republican Party nominee Donald Trump was shot at a political rally in Pennsylvania.

While delivering a speech, Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, PA. fired multiple shots at Trump from a nearby rooftop with an AR-15 rifle. One of the shots grazed Trump’s right ear. Trump by pure happenstance, happened to turn his head as the shot was fired. Had he not turned his head the bullet likely would’ve been lethal. Trump is reportedly doing “fine” and is grateful to only have a minor ear injury. Secret Service snipers shot and killed Crooks within moments of his firing. One audience member was killed while shielding his family from gunfire and two spectators were critically injured.

Following the shooting, Trump was escorted away by Secret Service and a now iconic political image was taken of him pumping his fist in the air with blood pouring from his ear.

Weekend News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul is signing off on a series of lithium ion battery safety bills.   One of bills sets a battery standard that retailers must meet, which will ban refurbished lithium ion batteries. Another new law will require retailers to provide an operating manual on how to safely charge the batteries and store e-bikes.   Batteries commonly used in e-bikes have been a big problem, causing 268 fires in New York City alone last year.   Meanwhile, Hochul also signed several bills aimed at improving pedestrian safety when it comes to e-bikes.

The Rochester Institute of Technology is now the subject of a civil rights lawsuit. The legal action is being taken by a group called the Equal Protection Project. It’s alleged RIT illegally discriminated against students based on their sex and gender identity when determining eligibility for scholarship money. The school says it won’t comment on this litigation.

 

Governor Kathy Hochul is announcing almost a half a-billion dollars in funding for bridge rehabilitation across the state. Western New York is one of the regions that will benefit. Over $3 million will go towards replacing the Glenwood East Concord Road Bridge over Sprague Brook in Erie County.   Over $18 million will go to the New York D-O-T to replace the Belt Parkway bridges over Ocean Avenue and Bedford Avenue and the Town of Brookhaven, Long Island is getting almost a million for the replacement of Barton Avenue culvert carrying Swan River Stream. The State’s Bridge NY initiative supports projects that will reduce the risk of flooding and improve the resiliency of structures.

Starting this weekend, visitors can interact with turtles, sturgeon, and more diverse species native to the Great Lakes at a brand new exhibit opening in the Niagara Falls Aquarium. The Great Lakes exhibit is part of the Niagara Halls Heritage Gateways project that works to stimulate reinvestment in the city. Several grants helped to create the aquarium’s latest addition. A $1 million dollar capital grant from I LOVE NY’s Market New York program and a grant of $675,000 by Empire State Development supported the aquarium’s expansion. Great Lakes 360 is located near other Niagara Falls attractions including the Niagara Gorge, State Parks, and the New York Power Authority.

New York’s Cannabis Control Board is taking steps to move forward with both regulation and enforcement following problems connected to its troubled rollout. Governor Hochul announced the state has approved 109 more adult-use licenses, bringing the total to 730 so far. Meantime, state enforcement reports the seizure of nearly $30 million worth of illegal product while padlocking 164 stores statewide. Hochul says the state is building a robust, equitable legal market that’s driving significant economic growth for communities. The state now has over 144 operating adult-use dispensaries.

Organizers have announced who is going to be serving as the headline act for this year’s Rochester Fringe Festival. Former Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson is going to perform at Kodak Hall on Friday, September 13th at 7:30. The full lineup for this year’s festival will be revealed during a news conference on July 23rd. Tickets are available right now for the festival, which is happening from September 10th through the 21st.

The annual Crossroads House Tent Sale is scheduled for Wednesday, July 24th. There will be many household items, as well as furniture, collectibles and toys to choose from. The preview and pre-sale is from 9am until 1:00 on the 24th; there’s a $5 entry fee and kids under 16 admitted free. The full sale starts July 25th from 9am until 6pm. For event details, go to www.crossroads.com/events.

The Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction will be on Thursday, July 25th starting at 6:00pm at the Genesee County Fair. The sale features animals raised by local 4-H members. You can bid online; head on over to www.williamkentinc.com.

The Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable will meet on Wednesday, July 17th at the Pavilion United Methodist Church, at the corner of 63 & 19 in Pavilion. The public is welcome.

LeRoy-Stafford Senior citizens are hosting a luncheon on Wednesday, July 17th at 12:30, at Our Lady of Mercy Parish Center, 44 Lake Street, LeRoy. Lunch will be provided along with a dessert, at a cost of $5 per person. Please bring along your own beverage. Entertainment will follow lunch. For more information, please call 506-5233.

NBC News Features:

AT&T believes a hacker has stolen records of calls and texts from almost all of its wireless customers. The company announced this morning that the stolen data doesn’t include the content of calls or texts, or personal info like Social Security numbers or birth dates. It does include which numbers a customer interacted with, and data like how long a call lasted. It affects customers who were subscribed from May 1st through October 31st, 2022 and a small potion of customers in January 2023. AT&T said it’s working with law enforcement and at least one person has been apprehended.

This summer marks the ten-year anniversary of the ALS ice bucket challenge. The campaign saw people around the world dumping ice water on their heads to raise money for care and research into ALS – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The ALS Association credits the global effort with “forever changing the future and trajectory of ALS.”

The IRS says it has collected more than a billion dollars in past due taxes from millionaires since last fall. The announcement made today was credited to funds provided by the Inflation Reduction Act passed by Congress nearly two years ago. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel says while the agency clearly knew the taxes were owed, they simply hadn’t had the staffing or resources to go after scores of wealthy individuals.

Multigenerational living arrangements are increasing in the U.S. and the data says that may be a good thing. A Harris poll found that 45-percent of adults in their twenties are living with their parents-making it the most common living arrangement for that age group for the first time since just after the Great Depression. While this might initially seem like over-dependence among a generation, turns out it’s beneficial for all parties.   The “boomerang kids” are contributing to household income and household labor. It was only after World War II that federal programs such as the GI Bill gave young people the incentive to buy their own house, but with people living longer and delaying maturity benchmarks like marriage and children, the parent/child relationship is evolving into adulthood.

Consumers lost over a billion dollars to romance scams in 2023. That’s according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC found that about 40-percent of people who said they lost money to a romance scam in 2022 said the contact started on social media.   Median losses per person amounted to two-thousand dollars, and almost three-quarters of those who had scammed were men. So-called romance scams involve building a relationship and trust with the victim so that the target willingly provides access to their accounts or transfers money to the criminal. If you suspect a romance scam you can report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov, or by contacting the F.B.I.

Friday News Brief

Genesee Country Village and Museum to Host First Pride Week

The Genesee Country Village and Museum announced that from July 17th until July 21st they will be hosting their first ever Pride Week.

Pride Week will have a variety of events occurring. Among them, is rainbow-themed crafting, a community art project that will be brought to the Rochester Pride Parade, and an exploration of untold stories from 19th century New York.

It is a great event to learn about the lesser-known side of pride from the 1800’s.

Muckdog’s Set to Host STOP DWI Night at the Ballpark

On Thursday, the Batavia Muckdogs announced they are partnering with Genesee County STOP DWI and the Genesee Youth Bureau to host STOP DWI Night at the Ballpark on July 18th.

This year the event will be specially dedicated to the families of Genesee County law enforcement officers recognizing the sacrifices they make. Officers often have to miss holidays and special events to protect the community. There will be a special tribute to the Sanfratello family as they lost Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

The game will start at 6:35 PM with gates opening at 5:30.

Annual Senior Luncheon Returns in Alabama

The South Alabama Fire Hall announced that their annual senior luncheon picnic is set to return on July 15th.

The annual “We’ve Only Just Begun” picnic kicks off at 11:30 am and will be catered by the Alabama Hotel. Following the picnic the South Alabama Fire Hall will be hosting their annual Bingo Day.

The event is open to anyone but reservations are required by calling 630-888-8966. There is a cost of $10 per person.

Thursday News Brief

Storms Wreak Havoc on Genesee County

Wednesday, storms and heavy winds wreaked havoc in Genesee County causing damage and a lot of commotion.

In Oakfield, Gorton Rd. had to be closed for 2 hours due to a tree knocked down with power lines in the street. Batavia City Hall lost internet connection amid the storms. Finally, small tornados were spotted in Darien, South Alabama, and Pavilion. At this time it is unknown whether the tornados caused any significant damage.

Thankfully, it appears Genesee County fared better than some other nearby counties that were hit harder with tornados and heavy wind.

United Way Hosts Community Baby Shower Drive at Dwyer Stadium

United Way of Greater Rochester announced they are partnering with the Batavia Muckdogs for a community baby shower drive.

The drive will take place at Dwyer Stadium during the remaining Batavia Muckdogs home games. There will be a drop-off bin at the stadium to make the process as easy as possible. The items United Way is focusing on are diapers, baby sleep sacks, baby wipes, baby board books, and digital thermometers. Donations are NOT limited to these items and other items will be graciously accepted.

United Way hopes to help Genesee County mothers in need with the help of the community.

Alabama Man Arrested for Harassment

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department announced that Phillip Louis Preston was arrested for alleged harassment following a July 5th incident.

It is alleged that on July 5th, Preston entered a business on Bloomingdale Rd. in Alabama. While inside Preston harrassed an employee in the store to the point where they had to call the police. Preston was arrested and issued an appearance ticket.

Preston is due to report to the Town of Alabama Court on August 6th.

Wednesday News Brief

Graham Corporation Proposes Large Expansion

On Tuesday, Graham Corporation in Batavia brought a proposal before the Genesee County Economic Development Center board of directors to expand their facility.

The proposal is for a 28,867-square-foot expansion that would help reduce design and manufacturing costs while improving Graham’s ability to ship products. The expansion would create 24 new full-time jobs at Graham which would bring their total employee count up to 391.

Graham Corporation is coming off a profitable few years and annually has a local economic impact of 19.5 million dollars. The GCEDC board will meet on Thursday to consider Graham’s proposal and the amount of tax exemptions Genesee County is willing to offer.

GeneSEEtheEclipse Wins Statewide Award

The Genesee Chamber of Commerce announced that Genesee Counties GeneSEEtheEclipse program won a 2024 New York State Tourism Excellence Award.

The Tourism Excellence Award recognizes programs that excel in marketing, managing, and operating local destination tourism. The Genesee Chamber of Commerce created the GeneSEEtheEclipse Program to commemorate Genesee County’s spot in the path of totality for the 2024 total solar eclipse.

Kelly Rapone with the Chamber of Commerce said, “Although we are still awaiting figures for overall visitor impact, our Q2 lodging data reflects that short-term rentals in April saw a +210% in revenue over 2023 and April hotel lodging was 25% above the previous year.”

T.F. Browns Looking for Cart Theif

Tuesday morning Rick Mancuso, the owner of T.F. Browns and Mancuso Lanes announced he is offering a $75 cash reward or a $100 T.F. Browns gift card to anyone who can provide information on a theft that took place.

Monday evening a utility cart went missing behind T.F. Browns and after watching surveillance film it became clear it was stolen. The photos of the man on the surveillance film are available at thebatavian.com

If you have any information about the suspect please contact the Batavia Police Department.

Tuesday News Brief

City of Batavia Receives 1.1 Million Dollars to Install New Sidewalks

Monday morning Batavia City Manager Rachel Tabelski announced that Batavia received $1,153,534 to install sidewalks connecting the Jackson Street Elementary School with Batavia Middle School.

The money comes from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program which in total has 97.7 million dollars. The program’s goal is to promote modes of travel that are both environmentally friendly and healthy for Americans.

The new sidewalks will cover over 10,000 linear feet and will exist on Swan St, South Swan St, South Jackson St, and Ross St. The total cost of the project is estimated to be 1.4 million dollars which means the city will have to fund $240,000.

Le Roy Residents Look Ahead to Oatka Festival

This weekend the 34th rendition of the Oatka Festival is returning to Le Roy and the event looks to be as big as ever.

The event kicks off Saturday at 8 am with the Oatka 5k run. Then throughout the day, there will be a car cruise, a children’s fishing derby, a scavenger hunt, and numerous bands playing music. This year the event secured 12 different food vendors and 70+ local arts and crafts vendors.

Sunday the events continue on all day and will wrap up with the return of the famous Duck Pluck at 5 pm. More information about the festival is available at oatkafestival.org.

Governor Hochul Warns Hazardous Weather Conditions Coming this Week

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Monday that heavy thunderstorms and rainfall associated with Hurricane Beryl will likely impact New Yorkers today through Thursday.

To go along with the storms, air quality index levels are expected to reach unhealthy levels. Hochul encourages New Yorkers to keep an eye on local air quality levels, especially if they have cardiovascular issues or young children.

The good news for us Genesee County residents is that this weather is anticipated to pass us by in time for the weekend when the weather looks excellent.

Monday News Brief

Le Roy Man Retires After 62 Years

Friday morning, Terry McCulley clocked in for the final time at PCore Electric in Le Roy after 62 years of service. McCulley started working for the company in November of 1961 when he was just 19 years old.

To put that into perspective, when McCulley first started working at PCore zip codes hadn’t yet been introduced, the first Super Bowl had yet to be played and man was just under a decade away from walking on the moon. McCulley now 81 years old plans on spending his retirement making hunting trips out west.

When asked how he could continue to do factory work into his 80s, McCulley credited coming into work every day with a good attitude and making the most of your days off.

Batavia is Set to Flush Hydrants on Monday and Tuesday

The City of Batavia Fire Department announced they will be flushing fire hydrants today and tomorrow from 9 AM until 3 PM.

The area that will be affected is north of East Main Street and East of Bank Street. The Fire Department warns that nearby businesses and homes will be affected. If you experience discoloration in your water, do NOT attempt to wash any clothing and instead run cold water until it returns to a clear state.

This annual testing ensures fire hydrants are operating properly to protect the community against fires.

Rollover Accident in Alabama

Video News Service reports, that Saturday morning a two-vehicle accident occurred on Lewiston Rd. in Alabama.

The Alabama Fire Department and Mercy Medic 1 responded to the scene where they discovered the two-vehicle accident including one vehicle that rolled over. Thankfully, no serious injuries were reported in the incident.

Officers shut down parts of Lewiston Rd. for multiple hours to clean up the incident.

Weekend News Brief

With the long holiday weekend that brings with it many celebrations, state police have once again increased DWI patrols and will ticket offenders, including those who are driving distracted with a handheld device. The current STOP DWI campaign is being partially funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

 

Governor Hochul has announced her support for President Biden indicating that he is ‘in it to win it’. However, some in the Democratic Party are concerned that Biden may not be fit enough for a second term following his weak performance at last week’s debate.

 

A new pedestrian bridge is making its way to Buffalo. The new Ralph Wilson Park Bridge was shipped from Italy and is heading down the Erie Canal. Once installed, it will connect the Lower West Side of Buffalo to the newly renovated park. The 266-foot bridge is expected to arrive in Buffalo by July 16th.

 

The New York State Thruway Authority is issuing a warning about an ongoing text message scam. The agency says scammers have reached out to people claiming to be from Tolls by Mail NY falsely saying the message recipient has unpaid tolls. That person is then directed to a website that asks them for personal data like their credit card number and social security number.   The Thruway Authority says it would never ask for information like this and urges anyone who gets one of these messages to delete it.

 

The next meeting of the Genesee Area Genealogists is Tuesday, July 18th at 7pm at the Holland Land Office Museum. The guest speaker will be Pamela Ware from the Daughters of American Revolution, talking about an upcoming exhibit at the museum and tracing American Revolutionary Veterans of Genesee County. Everyone is welcome to attend.

 

The Village of Corfu is kicking off their 2024 Farmer’s Market season in the parking lot of the Corfu United Presbyterian Church on Monday, July 8th. Buffalo-based singer and songwriter Davey O will be on hand from 4 to 7pm. For more information, please visit www.daveyo.com

 

The Oakfield United Methodist Church at 2 South Main Street, will host their annual chicken bar-b-q on Wednesday, July 17th from 4-6 pm. The cost is $15 and each person receives half a chicken, potato salad, baked beans, roll, dessert and a drink. It’s drive-through only.

 

The 25th Annual Le Roy Alumni Banquet, for alumni who have celebrated 50 or more years will be held from noon to 4:00 on Friday, July 12th, at Our Lady of Mercy Hall, 44 Lake Street. For more information, please call 585-768-7534.

 

NBC News features:

A University of Georgia-based start-up will launch a nasal COVID vaccine trial this fall. CyanVac LLC has received funding from Project NextGen, a federal initiative at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The new vaccine is based on a viral delivery platform that contains modified strains of canine influenza which causes kennel cough in dogs. The Phase 2b clinical trial will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of its new vaccine compared to an FDA-approved mRNA vaccine currently used to protect against serious COVID-19 illness.

 

It looks like a summer wave of COVID is here. Last week, the CDC estimated that COVID-19 infections are growing or likely growing across almost all of the U.S. With people gathering inside to avoid the heat and traveling for the 4th of July, cases are expected to go up. But experts are anticipating that the summer wave will stay mild.

 

Cancer centers are reporting drug shortages. Among 28 centers across the U.S., 89-percent reported that at least one drug used to treat cancer, symptoms, or treatment side effects was in short supply. That’s according to a survey by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The problem is reportedly being fueled by a combination of supply chain problems, and overseas companies cutting back on unprofitable drug manufacturing.

 

A recent SmartAsset study reveals what a family of four needs to earn to cover necessities in each US state. A family of four needs to earn at least $106,000 a year to cover their necessities in most U.S. states according to Smart Asset data. The findings are based on estimated costs for things like housing, taxes, and childcare.   The most expensive state is Massachusetts, where you’ll need $150,000 a year for a family of four; while $88,000 is what you’ll need in Mississippi, which least expensive state. Meanwhile, basic expenses in all states exceed what most U.S. households typically earn, estimated to be roughly $78,000 a year.

 

Moderna has reached a deal with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to develop a pandemic flu vaccine. An HHS official called it “an important step in our nation’s pandemic influenza preparedness and response capability.” The move will be useful in case the shot is necessary with the outbreak of bird flu. The government has four-point-eight million doses of an H5 vaccine under production, tailoring to the currently active strains of the H5N1 bird flu virus.

 

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the U.S. is making progress on inflation.   During a panel discussion at a conference in Portugal this week, Powell expressed satisfaction with the progress on inflation over the past year but said he wants to see more before cutting interest rates. He said cutting rates too soon could set the central bank back from its goal to bringing inflation down to 2%.

 

Loneliness could impact your risk of having a stroke.   A new study shows that older adults who reported being chronically lonely had a 56-percent higher stroke risk than those who rated their loneliness low. The lead study author at Harvard noted the importance of assessing loneliness, and said “consequences may be worse if ignored.”

Friday News Brief

Batavia Man Arrested for Possessing Stolen Property

On Thursday, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department announced they arrested Michael Sweet of Batavia for possessing stolen property.

Deputies allege that Sweet was driving a vehicle on Oak Street in Batavia when he was pulled over by Genesee County Sheriff’s. Upon investigation, the Deputies discovered he had stolen property. The specifics of the stolen property haven’t been released.

Sweet was taken to Genesee County Jail where he was processed and released with an appearance ticket. Sweet will face Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 5th Degree charges.

Muckdogs Pick Up Big Victory

The Batavia Muckdogs traveled to Niagara Falls for a 4th of July matchup with the Niagara Falls Americans and came out victorious.

The ‘Dogs won by a final score of 18-12. It is the 3rd straight game the ‘Dogs have scored over 10 runs and the 4th straight game they have won. The Muckdogs record on the season moves to 17-4-1.

The Muckdogs host the Buffalo Diesel tonight in a non-league contest at Dwyer Stadium.

Kiwanis Independence Day 5k was a Success

Thursday morning over 150 Genesee County residents lined up at Centennial Park in Batavia for the 10th annual Batavia Kiwanis Independence Day 5k Run.

The race was preceded by a half-mile run for kids 11 and under that featured over 30 children. The 5K was won by Justin Vrooman of Batavia who finished the race in 17 minutes and 5 seconds. The top female performer was Becca Galanti of Alden who finished in 23 minutes and 44 seconds.

Overall it was a fantastic way to kick off Independence Day and Genesee County residents had a blast.

Wednesday News Brief

Oakfield Man Arrested Following a Gun-Related Incident

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department reports, that on Monday they arrested Steven Underhill of Oakfield following a June 30th incident.

It is alleged that Underhill fired a shotgun into a residential neighborhood on the afternoon of June 30th. It is further alleged that Underhill was under the influence of narcotics while committing the crime.

Underhill was arrested on a Reckless Endangerment in the 2nd degree charge and was taken to Genesee County Jail where he was processed and released with an appearance ticket to return to Oakfield Town Court on July 8th.

Genesee Community College Announces New Futuristic Degree

On Tuesday, Genesee County Community College announced they are adding the Cybersecurity, Systems, and Networking Associate in Applied Science Degree to their curriculum starting this fall.

In today’s world with how much important data is shared online, cybersecurity has become more crucial thus leading to an influx of jobs in the field. GCC students will be able to learn cutting-edge concepts in cybersecurity and try them in real-world scenarios. The course will look over a wide range of topics from cybersecurity, networking, desktop support, and server administration.

This degree also can be completed 100% online if a student chooses to do so.

Governor Hochul Makes Pool Access Free for the Summer at State Parks

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that as part of her “Get Offline, Get Outside” summer campaign, she is removing entry fees to swimming pools in all state parks this summer.

Hochul hopes the campaign encourages New York children to get outside and enjoy physical and mental stimulation away from their phones and computers. Hochul also announced a 1.5 million dollar grant to help kids have better access to swimming lessons.

Hochul said, “We’re making it easier for our young people to put down their phones and computers, enjoy time with friends and family, and stay active all across our state”

Tuesday News Brief

Batavia Man Has Two-Hour Standoff with Police

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department announced that on Friday a two-hour standoff took place at an apartment building on South Main Street in Batavia.

Martin Jones allegedly attempted to break into an apartment around noon at 11 South Main Street. When Batavia Police Department Deputies responded to the scene they discovered Jones had moved to a different apartment where he was threatening to use a gun. Deputies on the scene evacuated the other apartments in the building.

After a 2-hour standoff, the Crisis Negotiations Team from the Batavia Police Department was able to get Jones to surrender without further incident. Jones is charged with burglary in the 2nd degree, menacing in the third degree and harassment in the second degree.

Woman Unlawfully Imprisoned in Apartment

On Saturday, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department arrested Alec Posa-Whittington for unlawfully imprisoning a woman in an apartment.

Posa-Whittington allegedly prevented a female victim from leaving an apartment and making a 911 call, it is further alleged that Posa-Whittington punched, kneed, and spit on the woman. Deputies were able to arrest Posa-Whittington around 4 PM after a short investigation.

Posa-Whittington was arrested for Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree, Unlawful Imprisonment in the 2nd degree, and Harassment in the 2nd degree. Posa-Whittington is currently being held at the Genesee County Jail awaiting arraignment.

Water to be Turned Off in Batavia

The City of Batavia Water Department announced that today they will be repairing a water main on Center Street. This will require them to turn off the water from Main Street to School Street for an undetermined amount of time.

Traffic will be closed in the area where the repairs are being made. The Water Department warns that once the water is restored it may be discolored, so avoid doing laundry until the water returns to a clear state.

This repair is a make-up for a previously planned repair that was canceled due to the extreme heat two weeks ago.

Monday News Brief

New Twist in Alabama Murder Case

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department announced a new break through in the case of Michael Poole’s death back on March 19th. In March, Genesee County Sheriff’s located Poole’s body dumped in the Town of Alabama following a missing person’s report from Niagara County.

A month later on April 19th, Genesee County Sheriff’s charged Kathryn Henry of Lockport for conspiring with another party to intentionally kill Poole and conceal his body. On Friday, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department discovered that Norman DuBois of Lockport allegedly played a role in Poole’s death and arrested him as well.

DuBois has been charged with Hindering Prosecution in the 1st degree, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Concealment of a Human Corpse and Conspiracy in the 5th degree. Charges are expected to be coming in the near future for another involved party who’s name has yet to be released.

Four Arrests Made at Kenny Chesney Concert

On Friday, country music superstar Kenny Chesney made an appearence in front of a sold out crowd at Darien Lake. Unforturnately, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department had to make four seperate arrests at the concert.

Joseph Stephany of Le Roy and Joseph Dirisio of Batavia were both charged for Possession of Alcohol while being under the age of 21, Emily Schlabach of Clarence was charged with Trespassing after reentering the venue after being ejected and Marissa Peters of North Tonawanda was charged with Harrassment in the 2nd Degree for allegedly striking another concertgoer.

This serves as a solid reminder to enjoy yourself while listening to your favorite performers at Darien Lake, but make sure you remember the laws still apply.

Odd Fellow Lodge in Stafford Vandalized

Video News Service reports, that on Friday the long vacant Odd Fellow Lodge in Stafford was broken into and vandalized.

Friday evening owner James Pontillo went in to routinely check in on the Odd Fellow Lodge when he discovered “several” doors had been broken in and some vandalism has occured. This comes following a April 24th notice of abandonment that was placed on the front door of the building.

Pontillo is working to secure the entrances that have been broken into and the Sheriff’s Department is continuing to investigate who broke into the building.

Weekend News Brief

The New York State Department of Health has announced the launch of a free HIV self-test campaign. This initiative is aimed at highlighting the importance of HIV self-testing to prevent the spread of the illness and other sexually transmitted diseases. Sign-up can be done online and eligible individuals will be emailed a discount code and instructions detailing how to get their free kit. Data shows there are tens of thousands of New Yorkers living with HIV on a daily basis.

 

New York State is now launching a brand-new platform aimed at helping recruit teachers. It’s part of a partnership between the Department of Education and TEACH. Prospective teachers can access free resources such as one-on-one and group advising, a search tool to help them find teaching programs and support to prepare them for teaching tests.   For more information on this program, head to newyork.teach.org.

 

State residents that like to fish can take part in the very popular activity at no cost this weekend. A free fishing weekend gets underway Saturday and runs through Sunday (6/29 & 6/30) and no license is required to participate. Officials say free fishing days give people the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty that is found in every corner of the state. The Free Fishing Days program started in 1991 as a way to introduce folks to a new hobby.

 

The Oakfield United Methodist Church at 2 South Main Street, will host their annual chicken bar-b-q on Wednesday, July 17th from 4-6 pm. The cost is $15 and each person receives half a chicken, potato salad, baked beans, roll, dessert and a drink. It’s drive-through only.

 

The 25th Annual Le Roy Alumni Banquet, for alumni who have celebrated 50 or more years will be held from noon to 4:00 on Friday, July 12th, at Our Lady of Mercy Hall, 44 Lake Street. For more information, please call 585-768-7534.

 

“Heavenly Traditions and Holy Matrimony: Weddings Through Time,” is an exhibit that will take you through decades of wedding dress styles and traditions. Items from the 19th century through the 20th will be on display at the Holland Land Office Museum during normal museum hours through December 31st. For additional information, visit www.hollandlandoffice.com

 

The next meeting of Darien Seniors is Saturday, 6/29, at the Darien Town Hall. They’ll be having tacos at noon. For more information, please call 585-409-0899.

Thursday News Brief

As Per the Video News Service Currently Letchworth Park entrances are temporarily closed as of 10am Thursday.  No traffic allowed in the park, and entrance at Castile and Perry are temporarily closed due to a law enforcement incident in the Highbanks area, Trail 18.
Livingston County and State Police are involved with an incident with a male subject that Irondequoit Police were on the phone with.
The entire Campground has been evacuated as of 11:04am.

Batavia Man Arrested on Contraband Charges

Wednesday afternoon around 2 PM, Adam Shipwash of Batavia was arrested at the Genesee County Jail on a variety of contraband charges.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department alleges that Shipwash was in possession of a controlled substance while being in the Genesee County Jail and then attempted to contact a protected party. Shipwash faces charges of Possession of Dangerous Contraband in Prison in the 1st degree, Attempted Criminal Contempt in the 2nd degree and Criminal Possession of a Controlled substance in the 7th degree.

Shipwash is set to appear in CAP Court today at 9 AM.

Hawley to Host Multiple Town Hall Events Throughout Genesee County

Batavia City Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced on Wednesday that he is hosting 3 town hall events in Genesee County to give citizens a chance to discuss whats on their mind.

All 3 events will take place on Saturday, June 29th. The first will be at the Stafford Town Hall from 10 – 10:45 AM, followed by the Bethany Town Hall from 11-11:45 AM and will finish at the Alexander Town Hall from 12-12:45 AM. The goal of these events is to give local citizens a chance to discuss the issues that impact their everyday lives and work towards a resolution.

Hawley said, “I hope people show up to share their thoughts and opinions on how we can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Tenney Wins NY 24th District Primary

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney defeated Mario Fratto in dominant fashion in New York’s 24th District Republican Primary.

Tenney won with 61% of the vote while winning 13 of the 14 counties in New York’s 24th District including Genesee County. Within 18 minutes of the polls closing Tenney was declared as the election winner.

Tenney said, “I am grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support from the voters of NY-24 tonight. This landslide victory proves that voters are united behind our aggressive advocacy on behalf of the hard working people of NY-24 and will not be fooled by desperate lies and baseless attacks from a perennial, failed candidate”

Wednesday News Brief

Winning Lottery Ticket Sold in Elba

The New York Lottery announced on Tuesday that one of this weeks top prize winning tickets was sold in Elba.

The ticket was sold at Crosby’s on South Main Street in Elba for the June 24th TAKE 5 Evening drawing. The winning ticket is valued at $32,525.00 which is the biggest winner in Elba this year.

The lucky person has choose to not make their identity public, but pay attention to who’s tipping big this week at Chaps Elba Diner.

Kiln Firing Day at the Genesee Country Village and Museum

The Genesee Country Village and Museum is having their annual Kiln Firing Day today. Located at the Potter’s Shop in the Historic Village you can watch as they fire salt glazed stoneware in a wood fired kiln.

This is the only living museum in the north east where you can experience this. There will be several experts on site to educate you about the history of kiln firing and to explain what you are witnessing.

Admission to the event is $16 and it will take place from 10 AM until 4 PM.

Hochul Announces $956 Million in Financing to Fund NY School’s: Le Roy and Alexander Included

On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that $956 million dollars in tax-exempt bonds will be issued to 69 public school districts in New York State, inlcuding the Alexander School District and the Le Roy School District.

The bonds serve as a low cost way for districts to upgrade their classrooms, improve athletic facilities, improve saftey and upgrade technology to promote innovation. Alexander has taken $9.9 million dollars of financing and Le Roy has taken $9.6 million.

Hochul said, “With this financing, my administration is funding critical capital projects that will give our young people a learning environment that inspires, challenges, and motivates them, while making it more affordable for taxpayers in these districts all across New York State.”

Tuesday News Brief

Oakfield Women Busted with Controlled Substance

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office announced that on Monday at 3:45 AM, Jamie Dalba was arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Deputies allege that on South Pearl Street in Oakfield, Dalba was found in possession of a “quantity” of cocaine which is a Schedule II Controlled Substance. Dalba was arrested and taken to the Genesee County Jail where she was released with an Appearance Ticket.

Dalba is set to return to the Town of Oakfield Court on August 7th where she will face a charge of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Le Roy Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charge

On Monday, U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced that Jordan Brodie of Le Roy has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Brodie had previously been convicted of possessing child pornography on May of 2021 in Genesee County. As a result, Brodie was already a registered sex offender and watched closely. Last May, the Genesee County Probation Department discovered Brodie had been involved in a chat application where he and others traded child pornography.

The New York State Police obtained a search warrant to search Brodie’s residence and upon investigation found child pornography on his phone and social media accounts. Brodie will return to court for sentencing on October 21st where he faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

City of Batavia Begins Search for New Director of Public Works

Brett Frank, the current Director of Public Works in the City of Batavia announced on Monday that he will be resigning from his position as he and his family prepare to move to Poland, Maine.

With the news, Batavia City Manager Rachel Tabelski announced they will immediately start looking for candidates to take over as Director of Public Works. The Director of Public Works is responsible for ensuring the city has a safe water supply and distribution system, ensuring all roadways and sidewalks are safe and providing building maintence to city owned buildings.

Any interested candidates are told to contact the City of Batavia Human Resources Department for an application.

Monday News Brief

Batavia Middle Schoolers Win Statewide Contest

The Batavia City School District announced that Ms. Volpe’s 6th grade reading class won the statewide video contest hosted by the Rural Schools Association of New York State.

For two weeks, 21 students in the class worked on the project which had a theme of “The Miracles of Rural Eduaction”. The students studied past winning videos to see what the judges looked for and then strategically wrote their own script, filmed their own video and edited it all together.

David Little, the Director of the contest said, “For Batavia to have won First Place in a statewide competition that includes large districts and BOCES with studio quality equipment is a testament to the quality of their instruction and the dedication of their students.”

Alexander Woman Arrested for Child Endangerment

Over the weekend, the Genesee County Sheriffs Department released information related to a June 18th arrest. It is alleged that Amethyste Fleming of Alexander left her child unattended in over 90 degree heat.

The child left Fleming’s home unattended and wandered a quarter mile down the road to a neighbors house. The child was joined by Fleming’s two German Shepards that attacked a goat at the neighbors house.

Fleming was arrested and transported to Genesee County Jail where she faces charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Criminal Mischief in the third degree.

Reproductive Justice Rally set for Monday Evening

At 5 PM Monday Evening, the GLOW Women Rise for reproductive justice and bodily autonomy will rally outside of Batavia City Hall while local legislation takes place.

This rally is part of a nationwide day of action marking the second anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling by the Supreme Court. The ruling found that the constitution did not give women the right to an abortion.

The GLOW women hope to make their voices heard as they will certainly make their prescence felt at City Hall.

Friday News Brief

Record Heat Wave Nearing End

For the last 5 days Genesee County Residents have dealt with the effects of a brutal heat wave. Temperatures have exceeded 90 degrees every day since Monday and with humidity factored in it has often felt like over 100 degrees. This is the first time there has been four consecutive days over 90 degrees in June since 1949.

Fortunately, the record breaking heat is set to come to an end on Sunday when temperatures return to a high of 84 degrees. The humidity will stick around for the weekend but into next week is expected to lower and temperatures in the 70’s are predicted.

Just a couple more days of the extreme heat, then typical WNY summer conditions to return.

Cider Walk Returns to Batavia

On Saturday from 4 PM until 8 PM, Genesee County residents will have a chance to try the best local ciders offered at the annual Batavia Buisness Improvement District Cider Walk.

The walk will start at the Tonawanda Valley Credit Union where attendees will be given a map for the event and a glass for their cider. On the walk you will find various different ciders from local vendors.

Tickets are still available online for just $20, but there is a 300 person limit so act fast. This event is 21+ and no children are allowed.

Recycle Old Electronics for Free on Saturday

Batavia City Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced that this Saturday from 8:30 AM until noon his annual free electronic recylcing event will return.

The event will be held in Batavia at the Genesee County Social Services parking lot. Hawley has partnered with Sunnking Sustainable Solutions to make this event possible. Whether its a old flip phone, or that big ancient box TV sitting in your basement they will accept it all.

It is requested that you pre register by filling out a form that is available here https://form.jotform.com/Sunnking/eo-batavia—june-2024

Thursday News Brief

Pedestrian Struck by Car in Batavia

Around noon on Wedneday, Batavia City Fire and Mercy Medic responded to East Main Street for an incident where a pedestrian was allegedly struck by a vehicle.

The pedestrian stayed down on the roadway for a short time before managing to stand up and according to officers being “alert” to their situation. The pedestrian suffered minor injuries and was transported to UMMC for a full check up.

At this time the circumstances leading up to the incident remain unknown, however, this reminds everyone to always be alert when crossing busy roadways.

Girl Loses Phone and Phone Calls 911

On Tuesday afternoon, Howard Owens with the Batavian reported that an iPhone contacted emergency services for a accident on Townline Road in Byron. Byron Fire, South Byron Fire and Mercy EMS were all dispatched to the scene, however, upon arrival found no accident.

In a comedic turn of events, a middle school girl from Byron left her iPhone on the roof of her fathers truck. When her father drove away the phone crashed onto the ground and thought it had been in a car accident. When the girl realized she was missing her phone they returned to the scene where they discovered the first responders on the scene.

That’s one of those stories that girl and father will probably laugh at a few years from now, probably not today…

Hydrant Flushing Postponed Due to Heatwave

The Batavia Fire Department planned on flushing fire hydrants on East Main Street and Bank Street from 9 am until 3 pm Thursday.

However, due to the extreme heat wave Genesee County has asked the fire department to postpone the flushings to not interfere with anyones access to water. Fire Chief Josh Graham announced Wednesday afternoon the the fire department will respect the counties wishes and not proceed.

At this time, no reschedule has been announced.

Wednesday News Brief

Genesee County Opens 3 Cooling Centers Starting Wednesday

The Genesee County Emergency Management Services announced that with the current heat wave that is only going to get worse the next 2 days, they are opening 3 cooling centers in Genesee County.

The cooling centrs are located at the Byron Bergen Public Library, the Genesee County Office for the Aging in Batavia and the Grace Baptist Church in Batavia. All of these locations will be open Wednesday through Friday during the peak heat hours of 1 PM until 4:30 PM.

If you have find the heat is too much to handle, do not hesitate to cool down in one of these safe havens.

Narcan Administered in Pembroke Accident

Video News Service reports, that late Monday evening around 11 PM Pembroke Fire and Mercy Flight responded to a accident.

The accident involved a vehicle crashing into a guardrail with an unresponsive man who was aged around 40-50 years old. After investigating the scene, the first responders adminstered narcan to the man who then started to become responsive.

At this time the identity of the man and the extent of his injuries are unknown. Police have yet to announce what charges, if any the man will face.

All New York State Parks to Have NO Admission Fee Wednesday and Thursday

On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that all State Parks in New York will have free admission both Wednesday and Friday in a effort to help New Yorkers combat the current heat wave.

This includes Letchworth State Park, the Ontario Beach State Park in Rochester and Woodlawn Beach State Park in Buffalo. The Woodlawn Beach State Park has opened their beach early this year to accomodate the Govenor’s request.

Governor Hochul said, “I encourage everyone to take advantage of free and early admission to our world class beaches, pools and other State Park sites to beat the heat as we expect record temperatures across the state.”

Monday (6/17/24) News Brief

A Car Crashes into Peking Buffet in Batavia

Over the weekend, Batavia Fire and Mercy Ambulance responded to an incident where a black sedan crashed into the front of Peking Buffet next to BJ’s in Batavia.

Video News Service reports, that the elderly male driver of the vehicle claims his foot slipped off the brake pedal when attempting to park, and accidentally mashed the gas. The driver suffered no injuries and no charges were filed against the man.

Peking Buffet was forced to request Code Enforcement as the damage to the front of the building was rather extensive. Fortunately at the time of the incident no one was seated near where the vehicle struck and the Buffet was able to remain open.

 

Batavia City Manager Rachel Tabelski Requests Funding to Improve Water Infastructure

In a press release on Sunday, Batavia City Manager Rachel Tabelski announced the city is requesting funding for 3 seperate projects to improve water infrastructure.

The city is seeking a Water Infrastructure Improvement Act Grant for a $4.17 million dollar project to replace two aging water lines, a Congressional Direct Funding request submitted to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to replace aging water lines on Pearl Street and filed a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund funding request to replace 900 lead sevice pipes in Batavia.

Tabelski said,“The City is dedicated to improving our water system and making necessary repairs on infrastructure to reduce the amount of annual loss of water in the system and remove lead lines from the City”

Batavia lost 23% of water producd by the Batavia Water Plant in 2023 due to leakage. These grants would provide a stable future for water in Batavia.

 

River Street to be Closed on Monday and Tuesday

The Genesee County Bureau of Maintence reminds all motorists that starting on Monday June 17th at 6 AM, River Street in Batavia will be closed to all through traffic.

The paving project is scheduled to be completed by Tuesday June 18th at 5 PM as long as mother nature is cooperative. The BOM asks that any residents in the area please avoid parking on the street during the paving project.

This project is a continuation of Genesee County’s effort to improve all aging roadways.

Thursday News Brief

Sgt. Sanfratello

A Genesee County grand jury is indicting the man accused in the March death of Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Thomas Sanfratello. Thirty-three year-old Michael Elmore faces aggravated manslaughter of a police officer, criminally negligent homicide, assault, and burglary charges. Batavia police say Elmore caused the sergeant’s death when he fought with him at Batavia Downs and Sanfratello suffered an apparent heart attack. Elmore could get up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top charge.

 

 

 

28-year-old Megan Courtney of Batavia has been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Following an investigation, it’s alleged that Courtney left a three year old home alone, with no adult present. The child was found running outside near the residence by himself. Courtney was later located at Batavia Downs. Following her arrest, Courtney was held at the Genesee County Jail awaiting CAP Court.

 

Governor Hochul (file photo)

Governor Hochul today launched a first-in-the-nation, voluntary climate action pilot program for New York hospitals to improve the health and safety of workers statewide. The plan provides premium credits of up to $1,000,000 to State-Insurance-funded hospitals that pledge to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and enhance resiliency to extreme weather events. This helps mitigate climate-related hazards, which contribute to steep increases in workplace injuries and illnesses. The U.S. healthcare industry is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for over 8% of all national emissions.

 

 

Deborah Poprawski

A man whose wife was found dead from a gunshot wound last month at a home on Monroe-Orleans County Line Road has also died. Deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home just after 2:20 p.m. April 25 and found 71-year-old Deborah Poprawski dead. Her husband was found critically injured and was taken to a hospital. It’s now been reported that 72-year-old John Poprawski died last Friday from his injuries, though police haven’t shared more details on what may have caused his injuries or led to the shooting.

 

 

 

(Left to right) Frizelle, Billings, Galloway

Three teenagers in Wayne County face gun-related charges following a “lengthy” investigation. New York State Police executed search warrants earlier this week at three homes, uncovering multiple guns, gun parts and a 3D printer used to produce guns. 18-year-old Oakley Billings of Marion, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of a firearm, and sale of a ghost gun. 18-year-old Nicholas Frizelle of Williamson, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. 18-year-old Colin Galloway, also of Williamson, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. All three suspects were booked in Wayne County Jail. Frizelle and Galloway are still listed as being in custody, while Billings is out.

 

There’s a new warning from the medical community about COVID. Dr. Thomas Russo, a professor and chief of Infectious Disease at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine, detailed what steps you need to take concerning a new variant called “FLiRT” as we move into summer months. He expressed concern that many people believe COVID is behind us; however, that’s not the case. Russo says the new variant is not linked to more serious cases of COVID, but it may be more likely that we will catch the variant. Seniors, people with weakened immune systems, and people with existing conditions remain the most at risk for COVID. Russo summarized by saying that vaccines and masks still provide the best overall protection.

 

Rachael Alicea

A mother is being indicted after her 15-month-old allegedly died from fentanyl intoxication. According to the Erie County DA’s Office, 32-year-old Rachel Alicea exposed Theodore Alicea Smith to fentanyl in their home on William Street in Cheektowaga. Police responded to the home to find the child not breathing. He was taken to a hospital where he passed away. Alicea is being charged with manslaughter and could face a maximum of 15 years in prison if she’s convicted.

 

 

Preston Herbst, a 27-year-old convicted felon from Canandaigua, has admitted to a new charge related to trading child pornography using a Snapchat account. Herbst pleaded guilty to transferring obscene matter. This admission comes after he had already been sentenced to three years in prison for a separate child pornography offense but before he had surrendered to the Bureau of Prisons to begin his sentence. For this latest offense, Herbst faces the possibility of an additional five years in prison.

 

A 21-year-old man is dead after being hit by a car on Niagara Street in Buffalo on Wednesday. Police said a white Dodge Durango was going south when it hit the 21-year-old who was possibly on a skateboard. The driver continued traveling and hit a parked car then fled the scene on foot. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. One person is being questioned in connection to the incident and no charges have been announced.

 

Serdar Ozmen, the 40-year-old New York City man charged with kidnapping a 14-year-old girl from Brighton and holding her captive was arraigned yesterday afternoon in Monroe County Court on a five-count grand jury indictment. The arraignment came after multiple adjournments due to scheduling conflicts. Ozmen is also accused of restraining the teenager for more than 12 hours. Officers say he traveled to Brighton and took her back to the Bronx. Ozmen is charged with first-degree kidnapping as a sexually motivated felony. The other four charges involve sexual offenses. The district attorney’s office has filed a motion to compel a DNA sample from Ozmen. A one-year “no contact” order of protection has been granted for the teenage victim. Ozmen is currently being held in the Livingston County Jail with no bail.

 

The New York State Department of Health says the spread of the flu is no longer prevalent across the Empire State. As a result, the requirement that health care workers who aren’t vaccinated against the virus wear a mask to prevent the spread of the illness has been lifted. The latest data from the flu tracker shows there have been over 395,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the last several months. People who aren’t feeling well are still urged to stay home from work or school.

 

Ferret

The Genesee County Health Department will offer a rabies immunization clinic one week from today. Make sure you mark next Thursday, May 16th on your calendar from 4pm until 7pm and plan to bring your fur baby to the Genesee County Fairgrounds. Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least three months old, and each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. There is a maximum; the limit is four pets per person. For more information, please call 344-2580.

 

Albert the Alligator

The 750-pound alligator that was seized from a homeowner in Hamburg in March has a new home in Texas. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said Albert the Alligator is being cared for at a place called Gator Country in Beaumont. The original owner, Tony Cavallaro, says he owned the alligator for more than 30 years before DEC officers showed up at his house and took the eleven-foot reptile. DEC said Cavallaro’s permit to own Albert expired in 2021.

 

Fans of the Rochester Americans who were hoping to secure tickets to tomorrow night’s playoff game are out of luck. That’s because seats to the contest between the Amerks and Crunch at Blue Cross Arena are sold out. These teams are tied at two games apiece in their AHL postseason series after Rochester rallied to win in overtime this past weekend. Face-off tomorrow night is set for 7:05.

 

ELSEWHERE…

 

Terrance Gray

The Boston Patriots continue to search for a new head football executive. According to CBS Sports and Sports Illustrated, former Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris and current Buffalo Bills director of player personnel Terrance Gray declined to interview with the organization. The Pats interviewed Philadelphia Eagles director of scouting Brandon Hunt yesterday. Eliot Wolf remains the favorite to land the position, but the team must fulfill league requirements before making the hire.

 

Fish cooking on stove top

New research shows the smell of food cooking is a sign of air pollution. A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration measured what they called “underappreciated sources” of urban air pollution. Researchers wrote that if you can smell the food, “there’s a good chance it’s impacting air quality.” Overall, they found that cooking accounts for nearly a quarter of volatile organic compounds in the air. Those are human-made chemicals that are used in making paints and pharmaceuticals. Researchers are still looking at what these results mean for air quality, but the study’s lead author says having the data is the first step to making policy decisions.

 

Undated file photo of man obviously very happy with his purchase…

And speaking of smells…that new car smell could be toxic. A study out of Duke University and the Green Science Policy Institute found that the air inside some vehicles made since 2015 is polluted with flame retardants, some potentially neurotoxic or carcinogenic. The levels were higher in the summer compared with the winter months. The researchers recommend ventilating vehicles, particularly in the summer, and parking in the shade if possible.

 

Tuesday News Brief

37-year-old Shameek Taylor of Bergen has been arrested by Genesee County Sheriffs in the Town of Batavia. He’s charged with contempt; it’s alleged Taylor intentionally violated a stay away order of protection by having communication with the protected party. Taylor was held awaiting CAP Court.

 

A health advisory has been issued to all providers and EMS agencies regarding the use of an AED in a pediatric emergency. An AED is a portable device that can check a person’s heart rhythm and deliver electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat.   The advisory was issued a few days after a new law went into effect across the state that required all camps and youth sports programs to have AED’s on site at all times. However, the devices could result in not being able to provide life-saving treatment to people of all ages and weights. The main concern is a certain defibrillation pad; which is not recommended for use with certain ages and weight groups. Health experts are warning first responders to review the operator’s manual for proper treatment of a young patient.

 

 

Governor Hochul is unveiling a $50 million modernization project at the Genesee Brewery. It’s to boost the 146-year-old site’s manufacturing capacity and transform it into a world-class packaging facility while increasing efficiency. The plant will supplement the production and shipping of Labatt Blue and Blue Light once the work is done. New York will supply a $7 million capital grant, while the Labatt parent company, FIFCO USA. will invest $50 million over three years. Officials say this will retain 500 brewery jobs and create another 57.

 

Officials at Monroe Community College have announced that teachers will be losing their jobs.   School leaders say the number of educators is being cut due to falling enrollment. The exact number of staff that are being laid off hasn’t been revealed, but, teachers will get a full year of notice before their employment comes to an end. Everyone affected will also receive help with finding a new job.

 

City of Batavia firefighters will be flushing hydrants from approximately 9:00am until 3:00pm, today through Thursday, May 9th. They’ll be working in the general area of north of Main Street and West of Bank Street and anticipate homes and businesses nearby will be affected. The tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As is always the case, do not attempt to wash clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration, run cold water for about five minutes or until it’s clear.  If you have questions, or notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Fire Department at 345-6375.

 

The Buffalo Bills and Wegmans are teaming up for a food drive to make sure people have enough to eat.   The drive lasts through May 18th and people are asked to donate items that can be used by food-insecure families with members that have special dietary needs. Whatever is collected will then be donated to Foodlink in Rochester and participating partners. To find a list of allergen-friendly food drive items, head to shop.wegmans.com.

 

 

A major announcement has been made to help prevent future flooding disasters along Lake Ontario. Senator Chuck Schumer arrived yesterday in Sodus to roll out the biggest federal investment ever in that waterfront community. $20 million will be pumped in to rebuild the crumbling break wall on Sodus Bay. The project is designed to further protect the shoreline from severe flooding, including communities that got slammed during the springs of 2017 and 2019.The break wall repair is expected to begin this summer and be finished by fall of next year.

 

 

A man who prosecutors said secretly recorded minors in bathrooms at a church and in his home is heading to prison. 61-year-old Stephen Nicot pleaded guilty earlier this year to receipt of child pornography. Prosecutors said Nicot hid a camera in an Orleans County church bathroom between 2012 and 2014, positioning it so it would capture video and images of naked people showering. Authorities executed a search warrant at his home July 21, 2022, recovering a memory card and USB drive with videos and images of at least five minor victims using the church bathroom and shower. They also seized two cell phones with naked images of a minor that were recorded by a camera hidden in a bathroom at Nicot’s home. A judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

 

An update from Rochester Police: a 14-year-old boy has died from his injuries following a crash over the weekend. Police responded to Bloss Street for a report of a rollover with someone trapped just after 7 p.m. Friday. Officers found six occupants in the car ranging in age from 12-16. The 14-year-old boy was taking to Strong Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. He died Sunday night. His name has not been released. Three others had minor injuries. Police said the crash was the result of reckless driving, and the vehicle was later determined to be stolen. The incident remains under investigation.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Massachusetts police say a bear at the scene of a fatal car crash dragged the victim’s body from the car. A police statement says that when first responders arrived at the scene, the man’s body was outside the car and a bear was seen in the woods nearby. Evidence suggests the bear “at some point had made contact with the victim’s body.” Investigators say that what most likely happened is the 31-year-old man was either fully or partially ejected from the car as a result of the crash and the bear pulled him from the car.

Monday News Brief

City of Batavia firefighters will be flushing hydrants from approximately 9:00am until 3:00pm, from Tuesday May 7th through Thursday, May 9th.  They’ll be working in the general area of north of Main Street and West of Bank Street and anticipate homes and businesses nearby will be affected. The tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As is always the case, do not attempt to wash clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration, run cold water for about five minutes or until it’s clear. If you have questions, or notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Fire Department at 345-6375.

 

A 14-year-old girl was killed in a mass shooting that injured five other teenagers, ages 14 to 16. It happened late Saturday night in Buffalo. According to Buffalo police, the six victims were shot in a parking lot behind the Neighborhood Housing Services of South Buffalo on Alexander Place. Officers were initially called to the area of 1500 Jefferson Avenue at about 10:20 p.m. for noise complaints and reports of a fight at a large house party with several hundred in attendance. Police then responded to a shots fired call in the same area at 11:10 p.m., followed by reports of a person shot approximately eight minutes later. The female victim was taken to Oishei Children’s Hospital, where she later died. She was a student at a Buffalo charter school. A 15-year-old boy, along with three other males, were taken to ECMC. The 15-year-old boy is listed in critical condition. A 16-year-old boy was grazed by a bullet and declined treatment at the scene. As of Sunday afternoon, the shooter has not yet been arrested.

 

The halls of the State Capitol will be busy once again today as members of the Senate and Assembly make their return.   They are be back in Albany to continue their legislative session, which has just 18 scheduled days left. Among the issues they’re expected to debate include ways to protect children from becoming addicted to social media and how much it’d cost to put additional measures in place to battle climate change.   This year’s legislative session is set to end in June.

 

Fatal crash that killed two (13WHAM Photo)

Two men were killed in a car accident at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford. According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, they arrived at the scene late last night after receiving a report of an accident with people trapped. The driver, a 24-year-old Fairport man, and the passenger, an 18-year-old Walworth man, died at the scene from their injuries. Sheriff’s will not release their identities at this time. Investigators said the driver was traveling fast on Chapin Way before losing control and crashing into a tree. No other vehicles were involved. The investigation is ongoing.

 

 

For an eighth straight week, gas prices are showing a slight increase. According to AAA this morning, the national average price per gallon of regular gas is $3.65. The state average is $3.73. In Batavia, the average per gallon price figures out to $3.63. That’s up 7 cents from a week ago; 27 cents from a month ago but down 3 cents from a year ago today.

 

The Rochester Americans have kept their season alive with a dramatic come-from-behind win. The Amerks were trailing the Syracuse Crunch in the third period of their American Hockey League playoff series Saturday night, but rallied to a four-to-three victory in overtime. Game Five between these two teams is coming up Friday at Blue Cross Arena. Tickets are available at the box office and also online. Face-off is at 7:05.

 

Good luck getting that theme song out of your head…

May 6, 1957: The final episode of “I Love Lucy” airs. Here’s the TV Guide description of the show: “Ricky has been chosen to dedicate a new Revolutionary War statue in the Westport Town Square. But there is a problem: Lucy has accidentally destroyed the statue.” By the way, Desi Arnaz, Jr. and his sister Lucie both appear as extras in this episode’s final scene, their only appearance on this show. Both Desi Jr. and Lucie later starred on their mom’s show, “Here’s Lucy” (1968-74), as her kids, Craig and Kim.

 

 

Unidentified students in 8th grade classroom.

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, a way to show a little thanks to those who have made such a big impact. The week traces its roots back decades to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Many restaurants and stores are holding special sales or deals for educators. To find out more, try searching for hashtag Teacher Appreciation Week.

Friday News Brief

Listening to a story at the Richmond Memorial Library (file photo)

For the Richmond Memorial budget increase there were a total of 225 ‘Yes’ votes, and 69 ‘No.’ Trustee results: Felipe Oltramari 270; John Roach 159; Christina Mortellaro 123

 

 

 

 

Senator Gillibrand talking about Internet affordability (file photo)

On April 16, 2021, then Governor Cuomo signed the Affordable Broadband Act into law, which meant a low-income $15/month Internet cost would be mandated. The state was sued by various lobbying and trade groups, citing that the state can’t regulate Internet providers because the Federal Communications Commission is the only authority that could do so. Well, the state lost in district court so the mandate was never implemented. However, New York State appealed that decision in the court of appeals, which reversed the district court, allowing the law to take effect. Now we wait to find out if attempts will be made to appeal that ruling. Meanwhile, full-price broadband bills will continue to arrive

 

Batavia city firefighters will continue flushing hydrants next week. They’ll be working in the general area of north of Main Street and West of Bank Street from approximately 9:00am until 3:00pm, from Tuesday May 7th through Thursday, the 9th. They anticipate homes and businesses nearby will be affected. The tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As is always the case, do not attempt to wash clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration, run cold water for about five minutes or until it’s clear. If you have questions, or notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Fire Department at 345-6375.

 

Police body cam screen capture of Sandra Doorley.

The chief of the Webster Police Department has put out a statement about a recent traffic stop involving Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley. Doorley has admitted to going 55 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone and not stopping until she got to her home. Body camera footage showed that Doorley was contentious with the officer, something she has apologized for. In the statement, Chief Kolheimer praised the officer for handling this case with professionalism. And Doorley was the main subject of public comment at their Town Board Meeting last night. Residents expressed concern that she be held accountable and an investigation be completed into how the police department handed the traffic stop. Some also questioned why she was able to enter her home at all when she was approached by police. The New York State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct and the Monroe County Office of Public Integrity, alongside the Board of Ethics, is conducting an investigation.

 

Tesla Gigafactory, Buffalo (file photo)

Tesla has announced another round of layoffs at one of its facilities located in Western New York.   The company says a second layoff notice has been posted for people who work at its plant in South Buffalo. A total of 26 employees are expected to lose their jobs starting in late July. Tesla previously said nearly 300 workers at the factory are going to be laid off as the company looks to reduce its global staff by 10%.

 

Governor Hochul (file photo)

Nearly $60 million in state funding will go toward accessory dwelling units for hundreds of state homeowners. Governor Hochul says the money will provide the resources to low and middle-income New Yorkers to convert structures like garages into housing, legalize basements for apartment use and construct new detached units. Hochul says this will help increase the housing supply with more affordable options, while helping property owners. The first couple rounds of the ADU Plus One program will assist homeowners on Long Island, in Westchester County, Ulster County and the Town of Amherst outside of Buffalo.

 

Aerial file photo of the Sabres playing at KeyBank Center

Crews have started their work on planned renovations to the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. Among the upgrades coming to the home of the Buffalo Sabres include a new roof and also a new state-of-the-art scoreboard. The arena first opened back in 1996, but since then, there have been few substantial changes made. These upgrades are set to be ready for the 2024-2025 NHL season.

 

 

The Rochester Amerks lost last night to the Syracuse Crunch in overtime, the final score was 2-1; to keep hopes alive and return home for game five, they’ll need to win tomorrow night in Syracuse; face-off is at 7:00.

 

 

Unidentified happy children in undated file photo engaged in safe riding.

It’s Bicycle Safety Month, and the state Department of Motor Vehicles is urging people who drive, walk, or bike to share the road safely. The agency has issued tips to make that happen including asking drivers to check blind spots of their vehicles before turning or parallel parking. They should also reduce speed when passing a bicyclist to ensure riders aren’t knocked off balance. Additional safety recommendations can be found online at trafficsafety.ny.gov.

Thursday News Brief

Lordseth Phoenix

A Corfu man has been arraigned on felony charges for threats he allegedly made against a local hospital. 31-year-old Lordseth Phoenix of Corfu, is accused of calling 911 and claiming a bomb would be placed in the parking garage of the Buffalo General Medical Center. Police arrested him on April 9. He was charged with one count of falsely reporting an incident and one count of making a threat of mass harm; if convicted, Phoenix faces up to four years in prison. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office yesterday said the incident took place at 5:14 a.m. on March 17. “The hospital was subsequently searched and cleared by security officers and members of the Buffalo Police Department,” the DA’s office said Wednesday in a statement, announcing the arraignment.

 

28-year-old Megan Courtney of Batavia has been arrested. She faces multiple charges, including grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument. It’s alleged Courtney possessed forged checks, stole a credit card, and withdrew over $7,200 from the victim’s bank account without permission. She was held at the Genesee County Jail for arraignment through CAP Court.

 

 

Two weeks from today, the Genesee County Health Department will offer a rabies immunization clinic. Mark May 16th on your calendar from 4pm until 7pm and plan to bring your furry friend to the Genesee County Fairgrounds. Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least three months old, and each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. There is a maximum; the limit is four pets per person. For more information, please call 344-2580.

 

Thomas Cooper

An Aurora man is under arrest following an investigation that revealed he was allegedly engaging in inappropriate communication with a teenage girl. The Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office reports that 34-year-old Thomas Cooper allegedly communicated electronically with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old girl over the course of three months, making sexual requests and sending nude photographs. Cooper was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony attempted dissemination of indecent material to a minor. He was arraigned and ordered to be held in jail.

 

 

Please let your dogs know that firefighters only need the hydrants for a few minutes.

City firefighters have one more day of flushing fire hydrants today from approximately 9:00am to 3:00pm. They’ll generally be working in the areas of south of East Main Street and East of Jackson Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. The tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As is always the case, do not attempt to wash clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration, run cold water for about five minutes or until it’s clear. If you have questions, or notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Fire Department at 345-6375.

 

Student protesters at the University of Rochester (13WHAM Photo)

Students at the University of Rochester have completed their sit in where they showed support for Palestinians. The students entered Wallis Hall on the school’s River Campus yesterday and remained there for hours.   They released a list of demands, including asking school leaders to put out a statement calling for a cease-fire in Gaza and for the university to divest in any program with ties to Israel.   Wallis Hall will be back open to the public today.

 

 

Ryan LaDuca and the scene of the accident. (13WHAM photos and graphic)

The driver from a deadly hit-and-run last year is now awaiting his sentencing. Ryan LaDuca pleaded guilty yesterday to leaving the scene and tampering with evidence after authorities determined he fatally struck 57-year-old Pamela Rubenstein while she was riding a bike on Klem Road in Webster back on August 22, 2023. Rubenstein died from her injuries two days after the crash.

 

Law enforcement went to search for a man who didn’t show up in Orleans County Court and a brief standoff ensued that led to two people being taken into custody. Late yesterday morning, law enforcement went to serve the bench warrant to 38-year-old Jacoun Harden at his residence at 10775 West Shelby Road. Harden failed to appear in County Court for a probation violation and the judge issued the warrant. The probation violation is on the charge of criminal possession of a loaded firearm. 30-year-old Maranda Button was also at Harden’s residence.  She let law enforcement inside, where officers saw a loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol on the floor and drug paraphernalia. Harden initially ran to the upstairs to hide and refused to come out; after a brief standoff, he gave himself up and was taken into custody. Both Harden and Button were charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the 2nd degree, and criminal possession of stolen property – firearm. The gun was reported stolen in February 2024 to Niagara County Sheriff’s. Additional charges may be forthcoming pending further investigation.

 

Retail Shoplifting; dramatization of man stealing.

Governor Hochul is making it official and signing legislation to crack down on retail theft and protect retail workers. She says the new protections in the 2025 budget put more power into the hands of police and prosecutors to break up sophisticated retail theft rings.   The five-point plan includes 40-million to create dedicated retail theft teams within the New York State Police, DA’s offices and local law enforcement. It also includes new felony penalties for assaulting a retail worker, tax breaks for small businesses to improve their security and making it illegal to foster the sale of stolen goods.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Unidentified elderly man on the telephone (file photo)

Over 100,000 Americans over 60 are computer money scam victims. That’s according to a new FBI report, showing the average person lost nearly $34,000, totaling more than $3.4 billion overall in 2023. That’s up 11% over the previous year.   The FBI is urging financial institutions to focus more in protecting the elderly.

Wednesday News Brief

The Genesee County Sheriffs have arrested 27-year-old Matthew Sanchez-Sanquiche of Batavia. He’s charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal contempt. It’s alleged Sanchez-Sanquiche possessed a handgun without a valid permit and was non-compliant with an order of protection that stated all firearms must be surrendered. He was held at the Genesee County Jail awaiting CAP Court arraignment.  ALSO: Sheriffs were called for the report of a damaged vehicle and physical altercation on Route 5 in Pembroke. Investigation revealed Jason Armstrong allegedly damaged the windshield of a vehicle and punched a person in the face. Armstrong was arrested and arraigned in CAP Court. He was held without bail and is scheduled for Pembroke Town Court on May 8th.

 

The Genesee County Health Department is offering a rabies immunization clinic two weeks from tomorrow, on Thursday, May 16th from 4pm until 7pm at the Genesee County Fairgrounds. Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least three months old, and each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. There is a maximum; the limit is four pets per person. For more information, please call 344-2580.

 

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley now faces at least two investigations. One was requested by Governor Kathy Hochul, and another now being launched by the Monroe County Office of Public Integrity. The tense exchange between Doorley and a Webster police officer during a traffic stop last week continues to stir controversy, and the Monroe County Office of Public Integrity says it has received several requests to investigate.

 

Public defenders for the mass shooter who killed ten people at a Tops in Buffalo in May 2022 will now be able to review his records from prison before they are turned over to prosecutors. According to a court ruling, a federal court judge will review records, and rule on whether prosecutors can see them. Prosecutors are seeking several records from Payton Gendron’s time in prison, including telephone calls, visitor logs, non-legal correspondence and Internet search history. The judge has set a federal trial date for the shooter of September 8, 2025; Gendron pleaded guilty in state court back in February, and is serving a life sentence on those charges.

 

Governor Hochul and the New York Legislature are reaching an agreement to secure New York’s place at the forefront of AI research. Hochul says the 2025 enacted budget includes a ten-year, $275 million investment to create a state-of-the-art AI computing center at the University at Buffalo. The center will be used by leading New York institutions to promote responsible research and development, create jobs and advance AI for the public good. Earlier this year Hochul proposed the “Empire AI” initiative, announcing it would be covered by more than $400 million in public and private funding.

 

A Buffalo man has been sentenced for the predatory sexual assault against a child. 51-year-old Steven Burr was sentenced to 32-years to life in prison.  Investigators say Burr had subjected a child to sexual contact back in 2016. They say he then engaged in more acts of sexual contact with children from September 2016 through February 2018. The child was less than 13 years old and was known to Burr. An order of protection was issued on behalf of the victim and their family, which will remain in effect until March 2074.

 

City firefighters will continue flushing fire hydrants today through tomorrow from approximately 9:00am to 3:00pm. They’ll be working in the general area of south of East Main Street and East of Jackson Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. The tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As is always the case, do not attempt to wash clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration, run cold water for about five minutes or until it’s clear. If you have questions, or notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Fire Department at 345-6375.

 

63-year-old Dale Henry Mosher of Geneva, has been charged with grand larceny for stealing $92,698 from the American Legion. He was a commander of the Geneva American Legion. The arrest took place after several months of investigation by the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office, along with the New York State Police after the current commander found improprieties in past financial records and current banking information. Mosher was arraigned and released on his own recognizance on Monday.

 

Governor Hochul has announced the launch of a brand-new scholarship program aimed at boosting the number of health care professionals.   The New York State Healthcare Workers for Our Future Scholarship provides help to students who are looking to earn their degree in fields such as respiratory therapist and surgical technologist. The selected recipients will get a two-year scholarship to attend a SUNY or other accredited college. Additional details on the program can be found online.

 

The American Red Cross is offering new initiatives in an attempt to boost donations. Anyone who rolls up their sleeves and donates through May 31st will receive a coupon for a free haircut courtesy of Sport Clips (locations in both Clarence and Rochester). They’ll also be entered to win a VIP experience to the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series races at Darlington Raceway located in South Carolina this Labor Day weekend. This Friday, May 3rd, you can donate blood at the Social Services Building on East Main Street Road in Batavia from 9:00am to 3:00pm; next Tuesday, May 7th, the Darien Fire Hall is holding a blood drive in Darien Center from 1:00 to 6:00pm. Additional information is available at redcrossblood.org.

 

The University of Rochester Medical Center is getting $27 million to look into ways to prevent heart failure. Researchers will spend the next few years looking at heart failure patients who do and don’t have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator installed in their bodies.   They say these studies may lead to the creation of new therapies that will extend people’s lives. The funding is coming from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

 

The Rochester Amerks split the opening weekend of the playoffs; they won one game and lost one in overtime against the Syracuse Crunch in the North Division Semi-finals. They’ll play again in Syracuse tomorrow night, with face-off at 7:00.

 

ELSEWHERE…

A quarter of American workers are worried that they may lose their job in the coming year. A survey by OnePoll found that they’re worried about the job market and the stability of their industry. Others are also worried about falling behind or lacking the skills needed for what they consider success.

Tuesday News Brief

Raymond Brooks

25-year-old Raymond Brooks of Buffalo has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography by an individual with a prior sex offense conviction and cyber-stalking. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Brooks recent charges were filed against him in January 2021 when it was discovered he had contacted a 15-year-old via Snapchat and persuaded her to produce sexually explicit images of herself and send them to him. He then threatened to distribute the pictures if she didn’t send him more. Sentencing is scheduled for October 3rd.

 

 

13WHAM Photo of aftermath of crash

From Ontario County, no children were injured when their school bus was involved in a crash. Police responded yesterday afternoon and found that a vehicle had failed to yield at a stop sign and struck the bus. The impact sent both vehicles off of the road. The driver of the car had non-life threatening injuries and was flown to Strong Memorial Hospital; her condition as of this morning was listed as ‘stable’. A second school bus was behind the one involved in the crash. The driver of that bus helped provide assistance.

 

The City of Batavia Fire Department will continue flushing fire hydrants today through this Thursday, May 2nd from approximately 9:00am to 3:00pm. They’ll be working in the general area of south of East Main Street and East of Jackson Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. The tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As is always the case, do not attempt to wash clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration, run cold water for about five minutes or until it’s clear. If you have questions, or notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Fire Department at 345-6375.

 

A woman has been seriously injured after being run over by a car. It happened yesterday morning in the town of Arcade. Multiple police agencies responded to East Arcade Road for the report of a woman who had been run over by a vehicle. Once there, officers determined that a disabled car that was being towed with a towrope had accidentally run over a 58-year-old woman. She suffered severe injuries to the lower leg and torso. An Arcade police officer applied a tourniquet to the woman’s leg and was able to gain control of the bleeding. She was transported to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment. Officers found that the woman had assisted in moving the disabled car, and a family member had attempted to pull it with another vehicle. No charges are expected to be filed.

 

Gas prices are up once again, this marks the seventh consecutive week of increases. The national average price per gallon of regular gas is $3.66; the state average is $3.72. In Batavia, the average price figures out to $3.72; that’s up 2 cents from a week ago; 27 cents from a month ago and up a penny from a year ago today.

 

Deborah Poprawski

A woman who was found dead at a house in Hamlin last week has now been identified. Authorities say the remains of 71-year-old Deborah Poprawski were discovered at a residence on Monroe Orleans County Line Road last Thursday and that she passed away of a gunshot wound. Her husband, 72-year-old John Poprawksi, was also found suffering from multiple injuries and was last listed in critical condition. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

 

 

 

Screen capture from Sandra Doorley’s apology video.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley has released a video apologizing for her actions towards a police officer. The officer tried to pull Doorley over in Webster last week after she was spotted going 55 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. Doorley only stopped when she arrived at her home and body camera footage showed she was contentious towards the officer. She admits she didn’t treat him with respect and takes responsibility for her actions. Doorley says she’s planning to enroll in ethics training.

 

 

 

Greg Rousseau

A key member of the Buffalo Bills defense is going to remain on the team through at least the 2025 season. The Bills have decided to exercise the fifth-year option on the contract of defensive end Greg Rousseau. He was selected by Buffalo in 2021 and will get over $13 million in salary this year. Rousseau has picked up 17 sacks in his time with the Bills. There’s no word yet if he and the franchise will try and work out a contract extension.

 

One study shows people who have Long COVID are more likely to have mental health issues. The study published by the American Medical Association studied over 25,000 U.S. adults with and without long COVID and discovered that long COVID patients were twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders, cognitive problems and disabling fatigue. Researchers discovered people with post-COVID condition might have more difficulty paying for therapy because of lost wages among other challenges from COVID-19.

 

 

Monday News Brief

Shawn Sloan

On 4/24/2024, Shawn M Sloan (age 39) of Batavia, was arrested for Burglary 2nd, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd, Menacing 2nd, Criminal Mischief 4th, and Harassment 2nd. It’s alleged that Sloan broke into a residence, on Porter Ave, while in possession of a pellet gun. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail. He is due back in court on 5/9/2024.

 

 

 

Benito Gay

On 4/21/2024, Benito A Gay (age 36) of Batavia, was arrested for Robbery 2nd and Menacing 2nd. Gay allegedly forcibly stole money from another person, on Hutchins St, while giving the appearance of pointing a firearm. He was arraigned in CAP Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail.

 

 

 

 

Nathaniel Davis

On 4/17/2024, Nathaniel R Davis (age 29) of Batavia, was arrested for Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd, Menacing 2nd, Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, and Harassment 2nd. Davis was arrested following an investigation into an altercation, on Porter Ave, where he allegedly held a knife to another person’s throat and grabbed them around the neck. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail, without bail. He is due back in court on 5/1/2024.

 

 

OTHER ARRESTS ON THE BATAVIA POLICE BLOTTER:

On 4/24/2024, Trevor N Christman (age 33) of Batavia, was arrested on an arrest warrant. Christman was initially arrested on 3/14, after allegedly exposing himself in public. The warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. He is due back in court on 5/9/2024.

 

On 4/23/2024, Ricky L Miller (age 42) and Ryan M Arner, both of Batavia, were arrested for Petit Larceny. Miller and Arner allegedly stole merchandise from Tops. They were both issued appearance tickets and are due in court on 4/30/2024. Miller was turned over to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, on an outstanding warrant.

 

On 4/23/2024, Mark A Remington (age 50) of Batavia, was arrested for Petit Larceny. Remington allegedly stole merchandise from Quicklee’s. He was issued an appearance ticket and released. He is due in court on 5/14/2024.

 

On 4/19/2024, Robert B Elliott (age 50) of Batavia, was arrested for Harassment 2nd and Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd. Elliott was arrested after police responded to Hutchins St, for a physical disturbance, inside a residence. Elliott allegedly pushed another person and then resisted when officers attempted to detain him. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 5/7/2024.

 

On 4/16/2024, Fawn Dockstader (age 37) of Batavia, was arrested for Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Dockstader allegedly dug her nails into a 12-year-old child’s arm, grabbed the child by the hair and punched the child in the face. Dockstader was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. She is due back in court on 4/30/2024.

 

On 4/21/2024, Shamond R Adams (age 27) of Batavia, was cited for a barking dog violation. Adams allegedly allowed his dog to continuously bark. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 5/7/2024.

IN OTHER NEWS..

File photo of the Air 1

The Erie County Sheriff’s Air 1 helicopter assisted in six arrests during the past week, all in connection to stolen vehicles. Two of those arrests involved the same 14-year-old girl. The first arrest happened on Thursday, when a stolen vehicle was tracked to Central Park Plaza and Hill Street, near McCarthy Park some time past 4 a.m. A 14-year-old Buffalo girl was arrested and charged with one misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a vehicle. The next morning, around 9:30 a.m., Air 1 assisted in tracking another vehicle stolen at Leroy Avenue and Holden Street. The vehicle was tracked to the 200 block of Hastings Avenue, where five occupants fled on foot. The same 14-year-old girl from Thursday was arrested, along with a 16 and 17 year-old boy, 18-year-old Nojaved Serrano, and 19-year-old Willie Weeden. They were all charged with one felony count of criminal possession of stolen property and one misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a vehicle. Weeden also received one felony county of grand larceny.

 

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants from Monday, April 29th through Thursday, May 2nd from approximately 9:00am to 3:00pm, in the general area of south of East Main Street and East of Jackson Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. The tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As is always the case, do not attempt to wash clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration, run cold water for about five minutes or until it’s clear. If you have questions, or notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Fire Department at 345-6375.

 

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (WIVB News 4 Photo)

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Junior is campaigning in West Seneca. The independent spoke to nearly 300 people on Saturday. Kennedy is working to get enough support to be on the ballot in New York. To do that, he needs to have at least 45,000 signatures by May 28th.

 

 

Screen capture from police video of Sandra Doorley apparently showing her badge to the police officer that pulled her over.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul is among those weighing in on the controversy surrounding Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley. Police in Webster last week released body cam video of an officer who was forced to follow Doorley to her home after the D.A. refused to pull over for a traffic stop. In the video, Doorley, who was reportedly going 55-miles-per-hour in a 35-mile-per-hour zone, identifies herself as the D.A. and appears dismissive of the officer telling him multiple times to leave her home and later telling him to go ahead and write her a ticket since she is the one who would prosecute it anyway. Governor Hochul says that Doorley undermined her ability to hold others accountable and says that she has referred the matter to the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct.

 

Kalique Miller

19-year-old Kalique Miller of Niagara Falls has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after his conviction of the crimes of Attempted Murder, Attempted Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon. In 2022, Miller shot a 22-year-old woman in Niagara Falls. He then shot at Police Officer James Bissell in the town of Niagara who came to respond to reports of a burglary. Miller was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the attempted murder of the woman and an extra 10 years for shooting at Officer Bissell. Niagara County District Attorney Brian Seaman said he was glad no one was fatally injured.

 

Here’s a road closure alert for you from the Department of Public Works: Bank Street from Alva Place to Washington Avenue will be closed on Monday, April 29, from 8am – 3:30pm. Taking an alternate route to minimize traffic congestion is recommended.

 

Unidentified child reading a book to us.

Governor Kathy Hochul is launching an initiative to improve reading among elementary school students statewide by getting back to basics. Speaking at an Albany magnet school, the governor said current methods of teaching reading are leaving kids at a disadvantage that can carry into adulthood. $10 million in the state’s fiscal 2025 budget will be used to train 20,000 teachers in New York, as part of an initiative to boost reading proficiency statewide.

 

“Heavenly Traditions and Holy Matrimony: Weddings through time” is an exhibit that will open at the Holland land Office Museum on Thursday, May 16th at 6:00pm. The exhibit will display decades of wedding dress styles and traditions. The public is welcome to the free reception with food provided by Terry Hills.

 

Amerks on the ice with Syracuse over the weekend (Rochester Americans Photo).

So far, the Amerks have won one and lost one in overtime against the Syracuse Crunch in the North Division Semi-finals. They’ll play again in Syracuse on Thursday evening, with face-off at 7:00.

 

ELSEWHERE…

A Pennsylvania man is hoping he doesn’t have to use his $900 federal tax refund towards a $34 billion state bill for unpaid taxes. Barry Tangert of Mount Joy received the state bill last weekend from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.   The bill came after his tax preparer had filed an amendment earlier this year to correct an error on his 2022 return.   Tangert says he’s never made enough money to owe $34 billion. He says he spoke with a Department of Revenue representative, who told him, “You had a good year.”

 

 

Friday News Brief

John Reese

Asa Wooten

LeRoy Police have arrested two people and charged them with endangering the welfare of a child. Law enforcement had been made aware of possible drug activity in the area of Woodward Memorial Library and the Elementary School in the village. Arrested were John Reese and Asa Wooten; it’s alleged they were loitering in the area of the schools and provided a LeRoy Central School District student under the age of 17 with marijuana, which was consumed shortly after. It’s further alleged that the initial interaction occurred between the student and defendants via the social media platform, ‘Snapchat’. Reese and Wooten were taken into custody and turned over to the Genesee County Jail for arraignment and issuance of an order of protection. LeRoy Police encourages parents to speak with their children about the dangers of drug use, associating with strangers and social media. Anyone with additional information should contact LeRoy Police at 585-768-2527 or via email wriley@leroypolice.org

 

The Genesee County Sheriffs have arrested three people. 29-year-old Alexander Young of Corfu was one of the three and is charged with failure to stop at a stop sign and criminal possession of a controlled substance. 39-year-old David Hawk of Batavia and 29-year-old Brandi Hough of Elba were passengers in Young’s car; and during a traffic stop on East Main Street police allege that they both were in possession of a controlled substance, as well. All three individuals were transported to the Genesee County Jail and are scheduled to appear in City of Batavia Court on May 14th.

 

The City of Batavia Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants from Monday, April 29th through Thursday, May 2nd from approximately 9:00am to 3:00pm, in the general area of south of East Main Street and East of Jackson Street. Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. The tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As is always the case, do not attempt to wash clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration, run cold water for about five minutes or until it’s clear. If you have questions, or notice a hydrant in need of repair, contact the Fire Department at 345-6375.

 

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the entire GLOW region remains abnormally dry as of Tuesday. All of Genesee County is abnormally dry, along with 92.87 percent of Livingston County; 93.9 percent of Orleans County; and 84.79 percent of Wyoming County. But the drought that had affected the region for nearly a year has dissipated for now. Abnormally dry conditions typically show in stunted crop growth, lower surface water levels and lawns turning brown earlier.

 

Alexander Kise

A convicted rapist from Ontario County allegedly hired a hitman to kill three people who sent him to jail, including the judge and district attorney. A jury convicted 21-year-old Alexander Kise of Canandaigua, of rape and other charges March 15, after prosecutors said he held a teenage victim captive for two days, sexually assaulted, injured and threatened her in June 2022. Now, Kise is accused of attempting to have multiple people involved in his rape trial murdered. While being incarcerated at the Ontario County Jail, Kise directed his girlfriend, Alydia Gater, to hire a hitman to kill the judge in exchange for Xanax pills, according to court paperwork. The hitman was actually an undercover New York State Police investigator. Kise remains in jail. Gater is also now in custody. Both are being held without bail. Kise is still awaiting sentencing for his rape conviction.

 

Sandra Doorley

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley is taking responsibility for getting a speeding ticket. Doorley says the incident happened earlier this week in Webster while she was driving home from work. The DA says she contacted the police chief and said that she would be willing to talk to an officer at her residence. Doorley has already pleaded guilty and says that no one, even the District Attorney, is above the law.

 

A woman has tragically lost her life following a shooting in Monroe County. The body of the woman was discovered yesterday at a home on Monroe-Orleans County Line Road, which is located in Hamlin. A man was also found seriously hurt at that residence and was last listed in critical condition. The names of the individuals have not been made public.

 

National Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday, April 27th from 10:00am until 2:00pm. The Batavia Police Department, in conjunction with United Memorial Medical Center, will be accepting prescription drugs and sharps at the police department, at 10 West Main Street. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office accepts prescription drugs only at the Pembroke Town hall, 1145 Main Road, Corfu. The LeRoy Police Department will also only accept prescription drugs at their headquarters, at 3 West Main Street, LeRoy. That’s tomorrow, April 27th, from 10am until 2pm, for this free and anonymous service.

 

 

The Buffalo Bandits will be back in action tomorrow as they look to defend their National Lacrosse League title. The Bandits are set to host the Georgia Swarm at KeyBank Center at 7:00pm. When these two squads squared off during the regular season, it was the Swarm who picked up a win over the Bandits. Some seats for this game are still available at the box office and through Ticketmaster.

 

The Buffalo Bills have still yet to make a pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Buffalo was supposed to have the 28th overall selection last night but traded it for the number 32 pick with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. They then flipped the 32nd pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the 33rd pick. That selection won’t be made until the second round of the draft begins tonight.

 

 

Thursday News Brief

“Sophia”

When students at D’Youville University graduate in a few weeks, they won’t be hearing a commencement address from a human being. Instead, the school says the speech will be given by an artificial intelligence robot named Sophia. The university president says one of the major roles of higher education is to prepare students for challenges and opportunities they may face in the future and that this event will combine technology and education. The graduation ceremony is May 11th at Buffalo’s Harborcenter.

 

 

 

File photo of the Pittsford Wegmans

Monroe County deputies are continuing their investigation into a shooting incident in a supermarket parking lot. Officers responded to a shots fired call at the Wegmans on Monroe Avenue in Pittsford yesterday. A man was in the parking lot waiting for a grocery delivery when a vehicle pulled up and someone opened fire. Thankfully no one was hit but the search for a suspect is still underway.

 

The spa where Linian Song worked (WGRZ Photo)

The federal raid of a Lockport spa business was related to a six-month criminal investigation into prostitution and commercial sex acts that allegedly occurred at a South Transit Road business. Papers filed in U.S. District Court revealed the FBI and Niagara County Sheriff’s Office investigation targeted Linian Song, the operator of New Elegant Shiatsu Spa. at 5714 S. Transit Rd. Federal agents arrested Song, who had her first appearance in federal court yesterday, on an interstate racketeering charge. Prosecutors allege that Song was a key figure in a prostitution scheme stretching from Rochester to Buffalo with links to China.

 

The numbers are in, and it looks like the recent solar eclipse provided a major tourism boost to this area. It’s estimated the eclipse generated nearly $15 million in revenue for the Buffalo-Niagara region. Most of that spending was done on hotels and restaurants between April 5th and the 8th. It is possible the final total could be even higher once people who made day-trips to the area and short-term rentals are factored in.

 

 

Seven parents have each filed a lawsuit against Sweet Angels Daycare and Preschool in Newfane, claiming negligence. The lawsuits claim that between 2022 and 2023, the children suffered severe personal injuries as a direct result of negligence, carelessness and recklessness. Last year, New York State Police arrested three daycare employees on charges of endangering the welfare of a child. In September, Victoria Stanton, 22, of Lockport was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Karon Anterline, 66, of Newfane was also charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Police say the charges came from a complaint about “possible abusive treatment” at Sweet Angels Daycare in Newfane. Following up on the complaint, investigators concluded that the suspects used “excessive force” with children at the daycare.

 

File photo of the striking D & C journalists.

Journalists at the Democrat and Chronicle are ending their strike against parent company Gannett and heading back to work today. They have been pushing for higher wages and projections from layoffs and artificial intelligence. Gannett has said the company is bargaining in good faith.

 

File photo of Clyde-Savannah Junior-Senior High School

There is a brand-new development in the legal case involving three football players at Clyde-Savannah High School. Yesterday the members of the varsity squad pleaded guilty to crimes including forcible touching and hazing. The individuals had been charged with felonies but those counts were later dismissed. As part of their plea deal, the players will be on probation for two years and must stay away from the victim.

 

The NFL Draft is taking place tonight, and the Buffalo Bills will need to wait a while to make a pick. The Bills have the 28th overall selection in the first round of the draft, which is being held in Detroit, Michigan. Buffalo is coming off of a season where they won another AFC East title, but were beaten in the playoffs again by the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The draft begins at 8:00pm.

 

Not sure what these are or what they do, but New York State uses a lot of them…

It seems New York State leads the charge in keeping their landline phones. A new survey by the Chamber of Commerce shows New York state leads the country in percentage of landline phones with The National Center of Health Statistics reporting that over 52 percent of New Yorkers say they still own a fixed line phone. New Jersey is a close second because, as the study concluded, the population in these states is a bit older than in the rest of the country, and seniors are the most likely to still keep a landline phone in their homes.

 

Wednesday News Brief

CITY OF BATAVIA POLICE BLOTTER:

Adam Shipwash

On 4/15/2024, Adam T Shipwash (age 44) of Batavia, was arrested for Attempted Robbery 2nd, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd, Menacing 2nd, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th. It’s alleged that Shipwash entered the Mobil gas station, on East Main St, brandished a knife and demanded money from the clerk. Shipwash left the store, after the clerk refused to give him any money. He was arraigned in CAP Court and is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

 

 

On 4/7/2024, Johnathan M Falk (age 25) of Batavia, was arrested for Petit Larceny. Falk allegedly stole merchandise from Tops. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court, on 4/23/2024.

On 4/15/2024, Jeanna M Hattaway (age 37) of Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. The warrant stems from a traffic stop, in April of 2023, where she was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance. The warrant was issued when she failed to appear in court. She was arraigned in CAP Court and is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 4/13/2024, Lance D Beals (age 53) of Batavia, was arrested on two bench warrants. The first warrant stems from an incident, on 7/12/2023, when Beals allegedly stole and damaged a cell phone, from a residence on East Main St. The second warrant stems from an incident, on 7/30/2023, when Beals again damaged property, at the same residence. He was issued appearance tickets, in both cases. The warrants were issued, after he failed to appear in court. He was arraigned in CAP Court and is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 4/15/2024, Shane R Reisman (age 54) of Batavia, was arrested for Petit Larceny. It’s alleged that Reisman stole property from Tops. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court, on 5/7/2024.

On 4/8/2024, Tiffany M Macey (age 32) of Batavia, was arrested on an arrest warrant. Macey was issued several appearance tickets following a traffic stop, on 7/2/2023. The warrant was issued, after she failed to appear in court. She was arraigned in CAP Court and is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 4/11/2024, Ann M Capuano (age 39) of Batavia, was arrested for Menacing 2nd, Criminal Mischief 4th, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Capuano allegedly damaged her neighbor’s door and threatened him with a hammer, while in the presence of a child. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court, on 4/23/2024.

On 4/12/2024, Michael R Ostrander (age 59) of Batavia, was arrested for Criminal Contempt 2nd. It’s alleged that Ostrander violated an order of protection, at the Genesee County Courthouse. When police responded to his residence to arrest him, he was found with the protected party and charged with a second count of Criminal Contempt 2nd. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail. He is due back in court, on 4/17/2024.

On 4/5/2024, Nicholas L Stone (age 25) of East Pembroke, was arrested for DWI. Batavia Police were called to the Copperhead Creek Bar, for the report of a large fight. As police arrived, a vehicle operated by Stone, was observed leaving the area, at a high rate of speed. Stone allegedly fled southbound, on South Lyon St, failed to negotiate the turn at South Main St, and drove off the road and through a yard, causing damage to the lawn. Stone was charged with DWI, Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle, Criminal Mischief 4th, and several other traffic violations. He is due in Batavia City Court, on 4/16/2024.

On 4/8/2024, Eric R Sawyer (age 36) of Batavia, was arrested for DWI. Sawyer was charged, after a traffic stop on Bogue Ave. He was issued several traffic tickets and released. He is due in Batavia City Court, on 4/24/2024.

On 4/8/2024, Tanisha N Gibson (age 39) of Batavia, was arrested for Criminal Contempt 2nd. Gibson allegedly violated an order of Protection by engaging in a verbal argument with them. She was arraigned and is due back in court, at a later date.

On 4/7/2024, John H Bush Jr (age 40) of Batavia, was arrested on three bench warrants. A Batavia Police Officer located Bush at the Mobil gas station, on East Main St. The officer began to take Bush into custody on the warrants. Bush then pulled away from the officer and attempted to run. Police were able to stop him and successfully take him into custody. He was additionally charged with Resisting Arrest and Escape 3rd. He was arraigned in CAP Court and is due back in court, on 4/23/2024.

IN OTHER NEWS…

File photo of spaghetti and meatballs dinner.

Joe Gerace’s annual spaghetti dinner, hosted by the Genesee Cancer Assistance, will be tomorrow April 25th from 4 to 7 pm at Ascension Parish Hall. The cost is $15 per dinner, which includes spaghetti, meatballs, salad, bread and dessert. Dine-in or take-out is available. Pre-sale tickets are recommended but not required. For more information, please call 585-345-0417.

 

 

 

 

Martice Porter

A member of the Niagara Falls Police Department is now in serious legal trouble after being accused of committing a disturbing crime. The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office says 21-year-old Martice Porter is facing three rape charges. The sheriff’s office says it has been looking into a report of a sex crime involving a young victim and after being taken into custody, Porter was sent to the county jail. He’s on administrative leave from his job with the police department.

 

35-year-old Michael Lanham of Niagara Falls has been convicted of production of child pornography with a prior sex offence. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. His prior conviction was for rape of a victim less than 17-years-old. After serving time for that offense, he was found to have taken a sexually explicit photo of a minor with his cell phone, which he sent to an undercover law enforcement officer online.

 

 

National Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday, April 27th from 10:00am until 2:00pm. The Batavia Police Department, in conjunction with United Memorial Medical Center, will be accepting prescription drugs and sharps at the police department, at 10 West Main Street. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office accepts prescription drugs only at the Pembroke Town hall, 1145 Main Road, Corfu. The LeRoy Police Department will also only accept prescription drugs at their headquarters, at 3 West Main Street, LeRoy. That’s this Saturday, April 27th, from 10am until 2pm, for this free and anonymous service.

 

A student has been arrested for their alleged role in a stabbing outside of a high school in Buffalo. Authorities say the incident happened yesterday near LaFayette High School, and the stabbing was the result of a fight between two people. The 18-year-old suspect, Harun Sabriye, attacked another individual with a pocket knife, and the brawl was broken up by the time law enforcement arrived. The 19-year-old man who was stabbed suffered non life-threatening injuries.

 

The Genesee County Health Department is offering a rabies immunization clinic on Thursday, May 16th from 4pm until 7pm at the Genesee County Fairgrounds. We’ll remind you between now and then. Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least three months old, and each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. There is a maximum; the limit is four pets per person. For more information, please call 344-2580.

 

Ralph Minni (13WHAM Photo)

The former manager of the U.S. post office in Greece has pleaded guilty to using his position to attempt to deal cocaine. 54-year-old Ralph Minni pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, and possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. Between May 2018 and May 2022, took parcels containing drugs out of the mail stream and into his private office, where he would remove the contents and return the empty packages back into the mail stream — before taking the substances home and redistributing them to others. And on three occasions, Minni distributed cocaine to a co-worker who then snorted it off Minni’s desk in front of him, according to prosecutors. Minni faces a minimum of five years in prison; sentencing will be on August 13th.

 

Governor Hochul (File photo)

Governor Hochul is celebrating an historic agreement as part of the 2024 state budget to address the state’s housing crisis. Joined yesterday by other leaders including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Hochul said the cost of housing comes down if more is built. She says the years-in-the-making deal in Albany will create high paying construction jobs for union members, which will lead to thousands and thousands of new affordable housing units. The agreement also includes $500 million to build up to 15,000 new homes statewide, as well as more protection to tenants and tax breaks for developers that rent at below market prices.

 

File photo of unidentified student researching the FAFSA.

A campaign has now been launched to encourage students to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms. FAFSA allows qualified individuals to receive state and federal financial aid opportunities. In 2023, New York’s high school students left more than $200 million unclaimed by not applying for FAFSA and submission rates are down 24-percent already this year when compared to last year. For more details, head to studentaid.gov.

Tuesday News Brief

According to New York State’s Department of Health, around 1.6 million residents have been diagnosed with diabetes and a majority of them rely on insulin everyday. Co-payments had previously been capped at $35 for a 30-day supply; going forward, the co-pay will be zero for insulin purchases statewide, estimated to save individuals insulin-dependent more than $400 a year. This makes the Empire State the first in the nation to eliminate this co-pay, according to the American Diabetes Association.

 

 

A Rochester man has been arrested and charged for allegedly sending a threatening email and fax to federal and local law enforcement. 27-year-old Eric Anthony is charged with threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder federal law enforcement with intent to impede, intimidate or interfere with officers engaged in the performance of official duties. According to officials, Anthony was living with his mother in a Rochester home at the time of his arrest. In addition to making threats, he also made a set of demands related to gun laws and asked for $650,000 to be transferred to his Cash App, as well as ammunition magazines. He noted, if those demands weren’t met and if anything were to happen to his family after the message, he would impose a “hellish strategic move.” Anthony faces multiple felony charges.

 

A road construction alert for late night commuters that drive toward Rochester: The state Department of Transportation says a portion of Interstate 390 between Brighton and Henrietta will be closed again tonight. A section of the highway from Exit 14 and the Interstate 390-590 interchange is going to be shut from 10 p-m until six a-m through Thursday. Crews will be out replacing an overhead signage structure. A detour is going to be posted to help motorists get where they need to go.

 

 

Lewiston has been ranked number one for having the lowest crime rate of small towns in New York State, according to The Travel. Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte said he was pleasantly surprised to find the town earned the top spot. Lewiston has a crime rate index of 7.7 percent. Other communities on the list with low crime rates include Ogden, with a crime rate index of 8.2%. In fact, the crime rate indexes for each small town in New York State – defined by having a population of 20,000 or less – are all reported lower than the national average of 22%.

 

Lucky dog…

The New York Lottery today announced one top-prize winning ticket was sold for the April 22 Take 5 midday drawing. The winning ticket was sold at the Pilot Travel Center in Corfu and is worth close to $18,000.

 

 

 

 

 

Unidentified baby in undated file photo receiving a vaccine.

This is National Infant Immunization Week, a yearly observation that highlights the importance of protecting infants from birth to two years of age from serious childhood diseases. Vaccines have greatly reduced infant deaths and disability caused by 14 preventable diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough, chickenpox and polio. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on-time vaccinations throughout childhood help provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Delaying vaccines leaves children unprotected during the time when they need vaccine protection the most. For more information, please call the Genesee County Health Department at 344-2580.

 

File photo of Governor Hochul

The results of a new poll show a lot of New Yorkers do not have a favorable opinion of Governor Hochul. In fact, researchers at Siena College say her favorability rating is just 40%, which is the lowest it has been since she took office back in 2021. The governor’s job approval has also fallen to 45%, which is the worst rating of her term. Most Democrats polled believe Hochul is doing a good job but a majority of Republicans say that’s not the case.

 

 

Martice Porter

A Niagara Falls man has been charged with multiple counts of rape, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said Monday. 21-yaer-old Martice Porter has been charged with three counts of third-degree rape. Police said the investigation began following a report of a sex offense involving a juvenile victim. Porter is being held at the Niagara County Correctional Facility pending arraignment.

 

 

Solar panels (file photo)

New York State is receiving nearly $250 million for solar projects benefiting low-income residents. Governor Hochul announced yesterday that the state is among the applicants selected to receive EPA funding through the $7 billion federal Solar for All grant competition. The funding award expands New York’s commitment to increase access to clean, affordable solar energy to low-income residents. It also supports the state’s goal to obtain 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

 

Lindy Ruff

The Buffalo Sabres are bringing back a familiar face behind the bench. The team announced on Tuesday Lindy Ruff has been re-hired to become the next head coach. The 64-year-old replaces Don Granato, who lasted three seasons with the franchise, which is riding a 13-year playoff drought. Ruff was fired by the New Jersey Devils midseason and previously coached the Sabres from 1997 to 2013. He was the last coach to lead Buffalo to a playoff berth in 2011. Ruff is currently the fifth-winningest coach in league history.

 

 

The Doobie Brothers

A group that’s been enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is bringing its latest tour to Central New York this year. The Doobie Brothers are set to take the stage at the Upstate Medical University Arena at the Onondaga County War Memorial Friday, September 27th. Among the band’s greatest hits include “Listen To The Music,” Long Train Runnin'” and “Black Water.” Seats for this show go on sale Friday at 10:00am through Ticketmaster.

 

 

Monday News Brief

Terry Anderson in 1991, shortly after being freed. (Reuters Photo)

Terry Anderson, the Associated Press news correspondent who became one of America’s longest-held hostages after being captured in war-torn Lebanon in 1985 and held for nearly seven years, has died. Anderson was born in Ohio and raised here in Batavia, graduating from BHS in 1965. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Among other jobs, Anderson taught journalism to college students. Upon retiring from the University of Florida in 2015, Anderson settled on a small horse farm in a quiet, rural section of northern Virginia he had discovered while camping with friends. Terry Anderson passed away following complications from recent heart surgery; he was 76.

64-year-old Michael Pullinzi of Batavia has been arrested. He’s charged with disobeying a court mandate; it’s alleged Pullinzi violated a served order of protection out of Genesee County Family Court. He was arraigned in CAP Court. ALSO: 38-year-old Krista Penkszyk of Batavia has been arrested by Genesee County Sheriffs. She’s charged with petty larceny and harassment with physical contact. This followed an investigation into a domestic incident. It’s alleged Penkszyk got into a physical altercation and stole property that was not hers. She was arrested and held for CAP Court.

 

Rochester River Run/Walk 5K, April 21, 2024 (13WHAM Photo)

The Rochester River Run and Walk 5K and Organ Transplant Ceremony was held yesterday morning in Rochester. The fundraiser benefits the University of Rochester Medicine’s Organ Transplant Program, and supports patients awaiting and recovering from organ transplant surgery at Strong. There is no word yet as to how much yesterday’s event brought in; however, since its inception in 2001, organizers have raised more than $330,000. Funds directly supplement patient care needs with emergency financial assistance.

 

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel tell us that the Fur Ball Gala Fundraiser from earlier this month raised $30,000 for Begin Again Horse Rescue and Whispering River Rescue. Over 90 baskets donated by local companies and individuals were raffled off to the more than 200 people in attendance. Monies will be used by the charities to support their work, which includes caring for horses, donkeys and other farm animals.

 

National Drug Take-Back Day is this Saturday, April 27th from 10:00am until 2:00pm. The Batavia Police Department, in conjunction with United Memorial Medical Center, will be accepting prescription drugs and sharps at the police department, at 10 West Main Street. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office accepts prescription drugs only at the Pembroke Town hall, 1145 Main Road, Corfu. The LeRoy Police Department will also only accept prescription drugs at their headquarters, at 3 West Main Street, LeRoy. That’s next Saturday, April 27th, from 10am until 2pm, for this free and anonymous service.

For the sixth week in a row, gas prices are trending upward. According to Triple A this morning, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.67; the state average is at $3.69. In Batavia, the average price figures out to $3.53 per gallon; two cents higher than it was yesterday, nine cents more than last week at this time and 22 cents higher than a month ago today. Today’s price is 13 cents lower than it was a year ago.

 

Kyle Baker (released photo)

An Ontario County sheriff’s deputy and New York State Trooper are recovering after being hurt while making an arrest. Authorities say 29-year-old Kyle Baker is facing a robbery charge after an investigation into a stolen vehicle in Manchester. Baker was later spotted in Clifton Springs and was involved in a short pursuit that ended when he abandoned that vehicle. The deputy and Trooper were injured while trying to take Baker into custody. He was sent to the Ontario County Jail ahead of his arraignment.

 

The Governor’s Safety Traffic Commission and state Department of Motor Vehicles are working together this week for the annual “No Empty Chair” campaign. This initiative runs through Friday, and school students will learn about safe driving practices. Police will also be increasing patrols near schools this week to get dangerous drivers off the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among young adults in the United States.

 

 

The Rochester Amerks posted a win yesterday in Utica; they beat the Comets 3-2. They’re back home Friday to host the Syracuse Crunch as the semi-finals of the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs begin; the puck drops at 7:05; game two against The Crunch will be Sunday at 3:05.

The reigning National Lacrosse League champions the Buffalo Bandits are going to get to host a playoff game this weekend. The Bandits earned that right by picking up a win on the road in Las Vegas Saturday night. Buffalo is now going to battle the Georgia Swarm this Saturday at seven p-m at KeyBank Center. Georgia beat the Bandits in Buffalo back in December. Seats for the game are available through Ticketmaster.

 

Foreigner performs onstage during the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Concert at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, May 14, 1988. Pictured is Lou Gramm (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

After years of waiting, Rochester native Lou Gramm is going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Gramm and his band Foreigner are part of the Class of 2024 that includes Ozzy Osbourne, Cher, Mary J Blige, Dave Matthews Band, Peter Frampton, and A Tribe Called Quest. Among Foreigner’s greatest hits include “Urgent,” “Cold as Ice” and “Juke Box Hero.” The induction ceremony is October 19th in Cleveland.

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

Barbara Walters with Harry Reasoner. Yes, he really was as pleased about this pairing as he looks (first night on the air, April 22, 1976; ABC Photo)

April 22, 1976: Barbara Walters became the first female nightly news anchor when she teamed with Harry Reasoner to co-host the “ABC Evening News.”

Friday News Brief

Looking ahead on the calendar, the Genesee County Health Department is offering a rabies immunization clinic on Thursday, May 16th from 4pm until 7pm at the Genesee County Fairgrounds. We’ll remind you between now and then. Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least three months old, and each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. There is a maximum; the limit is four pets per person. For more information, please call 344-2580.

 

Monroe County deputies are looking into vehicle thefts at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. Nine vehicles have been taken since the start of the year, and eight of them were rental cars. The suspects are approaching people who are returning their rental cars and pretending to be employees before asking those folks for their keys. Four arrests have already been made in connection with these incidents.

 

New York would expand access to booze by allowing movie theaters to sell liquor and continuing to let people buy takeout cocktails from bars and restaurants under a series of measures unveiled yesterday. The state Assembly passed the measures, which are part of the larger state budget agreement. The state Senate is expected to follow before it’s sent to Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk for signature. The deal was struck between Hochul and leaders of the state Senate and Assembly after a series of closed-door talks. Movie theaters in New York are only allowed to sell beer and wine, according to the New York State Liquor Authority, but this new legislation would add liquor to the mix. The measure comes with guardrails in an attempt to maintain a family-friendly environment at theatres that have licenses to sell booze. People would only be allowed to purchase one alcoholic beverage per transaction, and theaters must stop selling alcohol once the credits start rolling in for the last showing of the day.

 

Dramatization of shoplifting

Governor Hochul says the soon-to-be passed New York State budget will help crackdown on retail theft. She said yesterday that $40 million of the fiscal plan will go towards dedicated retail theft investigation teams on the state and local level. The budget also includes legislation that makes it illegal to foster the sale of stolen goods and increases the penalties for criminals who attack retail workers. Business owners will also have access to a tax credit to cover the cost of security cameras.

 

Governor Hochul at the groundbreaking ceremony (13WHAM Photo)

Ground has officially been broken on the site of a brand-new Fairlife plant in Webster. The dairy producer’s 745,000 square foot facility is going to be located on Tebor Road. Fairlife manufactures products using a process that removes lactose and most of the sugar found in milk. Coca-Cola, which owns Fairlife, received millions of dollars in incentives to get this project started. It’s expected that the new facility will create 250 new jobs for the regional economy and it’ll be fully operational by the end of next year.

 

Six people have now been arrested in connection with a vehicle pursuit in Cheektowaga. Authorities say on Tuesday night, police spotted a vehicle that was reported stolen out of Buffalo. The driver of that vehicle refused to pull over for law enforcement, causing a chase that ended with other vehicles being struck at the intersection of William Street and Harlem Road. Four individuals were taken to a hospital for treatment. There’s no word what charges the suspects are facing.

 

RISE Community School

Two men and a teenager are recovering after a fight broke out near RISE Community School on West Ridge Road. Around 6:30 last night, Rochester police officers responded to the 1600 block of Dewey Avenue for the report of a male stabbed. Upon arrival, they located the victim, an 18-year-old male, with at least one stab wound to his upper body. The victim was taken to Strong Hospital, where he is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. A preliminary investigation indicates an argument involving several people took place outside RISE Community School and continued to the back of the property, into a field where police say the victim was stabbed. A second victim, a 19-year-old male, suffered an injury to his upper body but was not stabbed. He was transported to Strong Hospital for treatment. Around 10:00 p.m., a third victim, a 14-year-old male, arrived at Rochester General Hospital. He was stabbed at least once in the upper body during the same incident. His injuries are non-life-threatening. There are no suspects in custody.

 

Brandon Beane with Sean McDermott (Sports Illustrated photo)

Buffalo Bills General Manager Brandon Beane is sharing his thoughts ahead of the upcoming NFL Draft. Beane said yesterday that he is not against trading up or down in next Thursday’s draft. Right now, the Bills own the 28th pick in the first round. Beane also announced the Bills used up all 30 of their allowed pre-draft visits to talk with players who stopped by the franchise’s headquarters.

 

 

 

Prospective homebuyers are feeling the squeeze as mortgage rates rise. The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate jumped above 7%, its highest level in nearly five months. Rising rates can add hundreds of dollars a month for borrowers. The timing couldn’t be worse with spring being the housing market’s busiest time of the year.

 

Thursday News Brief

Cody Bush

38-year-old Cody Bush of Batavia has been arrested and faces felony charges. City Police investigated an assault that caused the victim to try and get away by jumping from a second-floor window. Bush is charged with attempted assault, aggravated family offense and unlawful imprisonment; along with misdemeanor assault and a charge of obstruction of governmental administration. Police said Bush punched a person numerous times during an altercation at a Columbia Avenue residence on April 1st. He allegedly barred the victim from leaving a second-floor room, resulting in the victim jumping out the window to escape and suffering serious injuries. Bush has previously served three prison terms related to drug offenses.

 

Wendy Jerome

13WHAM file photo of Timothy Williams

The man who brutally murdered a Rochester teenager decades ago will be spending a long time behind bars. Yesterday, a judge ordered Timothy Williams to serve 25 years to life in prison for killing 14-year-old Wendy Jerome back in 1984. Williams avoided being arrested until DNA evidence was uncovered connecting him to the crime. Jerome’s mother says she’s glad to see Williams finally get what he deserves.

 

File photo of Tops on Jefferson Avenue

Attorneys on both sides of the civil lawsuit that seeks to hold social media companies liable for their alleged roles in the racist mass shooting at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo met yesterday to try and move the case forward. There had been a motion to dismiss the case under Section 230, a law that has historically shielded internet platforms from lawsuits over content posted by their users. However, the motion was denied by Judge Paula Feroleto; the plaintiffs contend that it was not just content but rather the decision by social media to repeatedly expose Payton Gendron to racist ideology, which radicalized him to the point of executing a plan to seek and kill Black people. Another motion was put forth yesterday to stall the case as more documents and evidence were gathered prior to trial. The judge has not ruled on that motion yet but did make it clear that she wants the case to move forward.

 

Shon Todd (13WHAM Photo)

A Rochester man is now awaiting sentencing. 50-year-old Shon Todd was convicted yesterday of killing the mother of his children last year. He’s been found guilty of murder and arson. Prosecutors say he stabbed 37-year-old Lysandra Bagley multiple times during an argument before lighting the building on fire last May. Investigators said two of Todd’s children were inside the home at the time of the incident and were able to escape without injury. Todd will be sentenced May 16th.

 

The Genesee County Highway Department tells us a bridge replacement project begins today in Bethany, to upgrade the current bridge on Fargo Road over Black Creek, near Route 63 and Little Canada Extension. The bridge will be closed during construction, with a designated detour in place. Construction is expected to continue until the end of August.

 

The annual Alexander Doll Show and Sale is being held on Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM at the Alexander Firemen’s Rec Hall on Route 98 in Alexander. Admission is $5.00; children under 12 are free. You’ll see old, new, collectible dolls and bears. There will be door prizes and food available. This is the only doll show being held in the region.

 

 

 

File photo of Tesla Gigafactory in Buffalo

The regional economy is going to be taking a hit thanks to job cuts that are being planned by Tesla. The company is planning to lay off 280 workers at its plant located at 1139 South Park Avenue, Buffalo, and five additional employees at 1216 South Park Avenue. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk claims these reductions are necessary as the company prepares to enter a new phase of growth. Layoffs are expected to begin in July.

 

Tiffany Swoffard

Canisius University has named the person who will be leading its women’s basketball team into the future. The school has selected Penn State University assistant coach Tiffany Swoffard to become the 11th head coach in program history. Swoffard has over a dozen years of coaching experience at the Division One level. She’ll replace Sahar Nusseibeh, who stepped down last month to take a new job with Eastern Michigan.

 

 

The Amerks beat the Toronto Marlies last night with a final score of 3-1. That’s two wins in a row for Rochester as they look to make it three tomorrow night when they host the Monsters from Cleveland. The puck drops at 7:05.

 

 

 

2022 file photo of the Erie County Fair

The cost of attending the Erie County Fair is set to rise once again this year. Kids 12 and under will still get in for free, but anyone above that age group will be paying $22.60 for a ticket at the gate. Organizers say they need to increase prices due to several factors such as growing insurance, entertainment and labor costs. The fair is taking place August 7th through the 18th in Hamburg.

 

Wednesday News Brief

File photo of air conditioner

Governor Kathy Hochul is providing money to help state residents stay cool this summer. Applications are now being accepted for new, free air conditioning units, which will be provided through the state’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Cooling Assistance. HEAP recently received $22 million in additional funding for this initiative, which is expected to provide AC units to more than 27,000 homes. In order to apply, households must meet certain criteria based on income and size, and must include at least one member who:
· Suffers from a medical condition aggravated by extreme heat
· Is under age 6
· Is over age 60
In Genesee County, contact the Department of Social Services (344-2580) or the Genesee County Office for the Aging (343-1611)

 

The Genesee County Highway Department tells us a bridge replacement project begins tomorrow in Bethany, to upgrade the current bridge on Fargo Road over Black Creek, near Route 63 and Little Canada Extension. The bridge will be closed during construction, with a designated detour in place. Construction is expected to continue until the end of August.

 

 

Kimanhi Hinds

A man is now awaiting sentencing after being convicted of murder for a shooting that killed another man and injured a security guard at a bar in the East End of Rochester on Memorial Day last year. Prosecutors said the now 37-year-old Randy Burney shot and killed 41-year-old Kimanhi Hinds around 2:00am on May 29th inside Flour City Station on East Avenue. The security guard was hit by the same bullet but survived. What apparently started as a bar fight quickly turned into a homicide. Burney’s sentencing is scheduled for May 24th.

 

 

 

Cory Neild

A sex crime suspect facing serious charges in Wayne County has been released from custody. 26-year-old Cory Neild of Williamson, is facing eight felony counts of promoting and possessing a sexual performance by a child following a months-long investigation stemming from a cyber tip line report, according to New York State Police. Neild was released and referred to pretrial services for weekly check-ins. His next court date is one week from today, Wednesday, April 24.

 

 

Davante Thompson

A Buffalo man who was convicted of stabbing multiple family members will be spending the next 40 years behind bars. Prosecutors say 27-year-old Davante Thompson attacked the victims at a home they shared on Humboldt Parkway back in August. All three individuals were taken to Erie County Medical Center but survived their wounds. Thompson will spend a decade on probation once he’s released from custody and must stay away from the victims until 2068.

 

 

The state Department of Motor Vehicles is reminding motorcyclists about an important deadline that is coming up. The agency says all motorcycle registrations expire April 30th and need to be renewed by then. The registration lasts one year and the DMV says motorcycles must be inspected at a licensed station. For information on how to renew a motorcycle registration, visit dmv.ny.gov.

 

Jaylen Griffin

A reward is now being offered for information that helps police solve the murder of a 12-year-old Buffalo boy. Crime Stoppers WNY says up to $7,500 will go to whoever helps authorities make an arrest in connection with the death of Jaylen Griffin. The boy’s remains were discovered Friday at a residence on Sheffield Avenue almost four years after he went missing. Tips can be submitted by calling 716-867-6161.

 

 

 

 

File photo of Don Granato

The Buffalo Sabres have fired head coach Don Granato. It happened yesterday; making him the seventh coach to be ousted during what’s grown into an NHL-record 13-season playoff drought. Granato completed his third full season in Buffalo after taking over on an interim basis in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened 2021 season after Ralph Krueger was fired. And the move comes with the 56-year-old Granato still having two seasons left on his contract, which featured an extension that kicked in to start next season. He finishes with a record of 122-125-27 in Buffalo. The team also announced the firing of assistant coach Jason Christie and video coordinator Matt Smith. The Sabres stumbled through a season in which the team won three straight games just twice and were too often unable to overcome slow starts. The Sabres only missed the playoffs last season by two points but finished this season with a 39-37-6 record, and had been eliminated from playoff contention last week. The Sabres’ playoff drought is tied with the New York Jets as being the longest active drought in North America’s four major professional sports.

 

The playoffs-bound Rochester Amerks host the Toronto Marlies tonight. Face-off is at 7:05.

Tuesday News Brief

Two weeks after it was initially due, Governor Hochul says a brand-new state budget is likely going to be passed soon. At the Capitol yesterday, the governor laid out a $237 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year. Lawmakers and Hochul have been trying to strike a deal on key issues including Medicaid reimbursement rates, school aid funding, and how to address the Empire State’s housing crisis. Both the Senate and Assembly need to approve the budget before the governor can sign it.

 

 

Jeremy Griffith is overpowered in this security camera screen capture.

The man who entered a methodone clinic in Buffalo armed with a gun has pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges. Prosecutors say that before 49-year-old Jeremy Griffith went into the clinic in November 2022, he shot a woman in her apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue. The victim, who didn’t know Griffith, was hit once by gunfire and survived her injuries. Griffith is still in custody and will be sentenced in May.

 

Jaylen Griffin

The nearly four-year search for a missing Buffalo boy has come to a sad end. According to authorities, the remains of 12-year-old Jaylen Griffin were found in a residence on Sheffield Avenue and this case is being treated as a homicide. Griffin was last seen alive in August 2020 after going to a grocery store, but he never returned home. Anyone who has information can reach out to Buffalo police at 716-851-4416.

 

 

 

 

Albert Ranieri

A convicted murderer is now a free man after being released from federal prison. Albert Ranieri was behind bars after admitting to shooting and killing Anthony Vaccaro in Greece back in 2000. Before that homicide, Ranieri was the driver during an armored truck heist that led to nearly $11 million being stolen in Henrietta. Ranieri is now 59-years-old and was serving a 30 year prison sentence.

 

 

 

Richard Metcalf, Jr.

Following weeks of testimony, the jury has handed down its verdict in the wrongful death trial of Richard Metcalf Junior. The panel ruled yesterday that Metcalf’s father would receive at least $95 million. Metcalf died after being strangled and beaten by officers at the Erie County Holding Center back in 2012. He was in custody after being accused of breaking into a catering business where he was employed. The Erie County Attorney says an appeal is already being planned.

 

 

 

The animals are now safe at the Humane Society

Nearly two-dozen animals were discovered in a downtown Rochester building last week, sparking an investigation from the Humane Society. A total of 22 exotic pets, including geckos, a tortoise, snakes and more, were found in poor condition in a room in that building. The Humane Society found the animals after the tenant was evicted from the property and left their pets behind. All told, those 22 animals were left in what was described as “dehydrated and emaciated” states. One of those animals was found dead due to the lack of day-to-day care. The rescued animals are now being cared for at Lollypop Farm, with the Seneca Park Zoo also helping care for a larger tortoise. No arrests or charges have been announced at this point, but we’re told this is an ongoing investigation.

 

For the next few days, folks who live in Buffalo and surrounding areas will be able to get a great meal at an even better price. That is because Buffalo Restaurant Week Spring Edition is now underway and runs through Friday. There are dozens of restaurants taking part and many of them will be offering special menu items. To check out the full list of participating businesses, head to visitbuffaloniagara.com.

 

The Buffalo Sabres have wrapped up their season on a winning note after picking up a victory on the road. Dylan Cozens scored twice while Zach Benson and Jordan Greenway had a goal each as the Sabres defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 last night. Buffalo goaltender Eric Comrie stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced in the contest. The Sabres finished with 84 points but missed the postseason for the 13th year in a row.

 

Dyaisha Fair

Former Syracuse women’s hoops star and Rochester native Dyaisha Fair has fulfilled her dream of being selected by a WNBA team. Fair was the 16th overall pick in last night’s draft in New York City, and will join the reigning league champions the Las Vegas Aces. Fair finished her collegiate career as the third-leading scorer in NCAA Division One women’s basketball history. The WNBA’s 2024 campaign begins May 14th.

 

Monday News Brief

It’ll be yet another busy week at the State Capitol as lawmakers work to get a new budget in place. Politico is reporting the legislature and Governor Hochul have the framework for a $235 billion spending plan. Most of the debate has centered around things such as a housing plan, funding for schools, and how to crackdown on retail theft. The budget was initially due April 1st and has been late multiple years in a row.

 

The scene of the trailer fire in Albion yesterday (Photo by Tom Rivers)

A 68-year-old man who lived at Oak Orchard Estates in Albion has died. Firefighters were dispatched late last night and upon arrival found that his trailer was fully engulfed in flames. The man, who will be identified after police have the opportunity to notify his family, was unable to get out of the fire. Two neighbors tried to kick in doors and break into the back window to assist the man but sadly were unsuccessful. State fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

 

 

 

CITY OF BATAVIA POLICE BLOTTER

Matthew Bader

Jennifer Shaffer

Matthew O. Bader (age 41) of Batavia, and Jennifer M Shaffer (age 41) of Batavia, were arrested in regards to several cases, in the City of Batavia. It’s alleged that Bader stole the tip jar from Southside Deli. He was charged with Petit Larceny. He is also accused of stealing a credit card out of a vehicle, and using the card at several local businesses. In that case, he is charged with Burglary 3rd, Identity Theft 3rd, Grand Larceny 4th, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th, and Petit Larceny. He is also accused, in another case, of stealing a wallet out of a vehicle and using the stolen credit card at several local businesses. He is charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 3rd, Grand Larceny 4th, Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification 3rd, Identity Theft 3rd, and Conspiracy 5th. Shaffer was charged with Identity Theft 3rd, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 4th, and Conspiracy 5th, in that case. Bader also had a warrant, out of South Carolina. He was arraigned as a Fugitive from Justice and remanded to the Genesee County Jail.

 

Cody Bush

On 4/1/2024, Cody A Bush (age 38) of Batavia, was arrested for Attempted Assault 2nd, Aggravated Family Offense, Unlawful Imprisonment 1st, Assault 3rd, and Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd. Bush was charged after an investigation into an incident that occurred on 2/25/2024, when he allegedly struck another person numerous times, during an altercation at a residence, on Columbia Ave. He also allegedly refused to let the victim leave a second-floor room, causing the victim to jump out of the window, to get away from him, resulting in serious physical injury. Bush was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail. He is due back in court, on 4/17/2024.

 

 

Christopher Bisig

On 4/9/2024, Christopher D. Bisig (age 37) of Batavia, was arrested for Sex Offender Failure to Report Internet Identifiers within 10 Days. Bisig, who is a level 3 sex offender, allegedly failed to register two internet identifiers, pertaining to social media accounts. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court, and is being held at the Genesee County Jail.

 

 

 

 

On 4/5/2024, Robert L Drennen Sr (age 42) of Batavia, was arrested on an arrest warrant. Drennen was initially charged, on 9/6/2023, with Driving while Ability Impaired by Alcohol and Drinking Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle. He was issued appearance tickets and released, but failed to appear in court. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court, on 4/25/2024.

On 3/27/2024, Marcus A King (age 22) of Webster, was arrested on an arrest warrant. King was initially arrested, on 11/6/2023, for Harassment 2nd after allegedly striking another person in the face, during an altercation on Pearl St. The warrant was issued, after he failed to appear in court. King was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. He is due back in court, on 4/17/2024.

On 3/27/2024, Evan J Vanskiver (age 32) of Hamlin, was arrested for Bail Jumping 2nd. It’s alleged that Vanskiver had been released, on another charge, but fail to appear in court on the scheduled date, or within thirty days after. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail, without bail. He is due back in court, on 5/1/2024.

On 3/26/2023, Jennifer L Elmore (age 52) of Batavia, was arrested for Harassment 2nd. It’s alleged that Elmore engaged in a course of conduct with the intent to alarm, or seriously annoy another person. Elmore is accused of repeatedly standing outside of the victim’s house and yelling at the victim and writing profanities on the sidewalk, in front of the victim’s residence. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 4/9/2024.

On 4/6/2024, Jennifer K Freeman (age 40) of Batavia, was arrested on three bench warrants. All three warrants were issued, after she failed to appear in court. Freeman was arraigned in CAP Court and is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

Gas prices continue to nudge their way higher. According to Triple A this morning, the national average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $3.63. The state average is $3.51. In Batavia, the average price calculates out to $3.44. That’s up 9 cents (roughly 2 and a half percent) from a week ago; 18 cents from a month ago; but down 13 cents from a year ago today.

 

Patrick Steinmetz

New information has been revealed about why there was a search around Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. Authorities say 38-year-old Patrick Steinmetz of Springwater was recently arrested on charges of sexually abusing a minor and ended up going to the hospital after experiencing a medical problem. A court order led to him being discharged from the hospital Saturday, but due to the nature of his alleged crimes, deputies contacted the court and got another order saying he could be taken back into custody. He was captured without incident in Rochester.

 

 

Today is tax day, and if you haven’t already filed, the IRS is making it easier for some. The agency released an update for Direct File, its free tax-filing program. The update allows taxpayers to import the previous year’s information from the IRS in order to easily validate the current year’s return. The Direct File pilot program is only available to taxpayers in 12 states as a test this year and New York is one of those states. If you’re in a crunch, you need to file for an extension. The key thing to keep in mind is to file your extension today. If you file for an extension, you need to file form 4868 on IRS.gov, which gives you an automatic extension for six more months.

 

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

 

Unidentified carrier delivering mail in an undated file photo.

It may soon cost more to mail a card or letter. The U.S. Postal Service is asking for approval to raise the price of stamps for the second time in six months. If the change gets the green light, a first class stamp will jump from 68-cents to 73-cents in July.

 

 

 

Photo and graphic credit: Rochester Americans 

Clinching a playoff berth is usually worthy of celebration, but it would have looked a little weird for the Rochester Americans to be sharing a toast or high-fiving on the ice of Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial after Friday’s 6-3 loss to the Belleville Senators. So, they instead somewhat passively saluted the accomplishment, knowing full well that a post-season berth for the third consecutive spring was definitely earned. Utica’s loss at Providence assured the Amerks a trip to the Calder Cup playoffs.

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be in the Sunshine State tonight as they finish up what has been yet another disappointing season. The Sabres are going to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. Buffalo last played on Saturday night when they lost to the Florida Panthers by a final score of three-to-two in overtime. Face-off this evening is set for 7:00.

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

File photo of meteor shower

Starting next week, stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere can try to catch a glimpse of one of the oldest known meteor showers. The Lyrids meteor shower, which has been viewed by humans annually for nearly 2700 years, starts on April 15th and lasts until April 29th. In ideal conditions, viewers can spot around 10 to 15 meteors per hour during the shower’s peak, which is on April 22nd, according to EarthSky.

 

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner

“The Golden Bachelor” stars Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist are going their separate ways. In an interview that aired Friday on “Good Morning America,” the couple announced they are divorcing. The news comes three months after they got married on national television. Turner, the first bachelor on ABC’s senior reality dating show, said he is still in love with Nist and will “root for her every day.”

 

Friday News Brief

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Christopher Walters

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

O.J. Simpson

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

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

 

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

 

 

Thursday News Brief

File photo

A Ridgeway volunteer firefighter who collapsed and needed CPR at the scene of a fire last Thursday has made a full recovery, Medina and Ridgeway fire officials announced in a press release. As crews were finishing active firefighting operations at 515 North Academy Street in Medina on April 4, the Ridgeway firefighter suddenly collapsed in the street without warning. The firefighter, whose name is not being released, did not have a pulse and wasn’t breathing. CPR was initiated, and the firefighter was defibrillated five times over the course of the next 14 minutes while simultaneously receiving advanced airway control and multiple Advanced Cardiac Life Support medications. The firefighter was initially going to be transported directly to Buffalo General but was too unstable at that point and was taken to Medina Memorial Hospital Emergency Department. Once stabilized by team members at Medina Hospital but still critical, the firefighter was transferred by a team of Medina firefighters to Buffalo General.

 

2015 file photo of Batavia Walmart

What appeared to be a gun threat led to customers and employees being evacuated at Batavia Walmart. It was yesterday afternoon when law enforcement got a call about a person loading a shotgun in the Walmart parking lot and going into the store. Turns out, it was not a shotgun. Instead, it was a pellet gun that the person was returning to the store because it didn’t work properly. And according to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, no criminal charges were filed.

 

 

Senator Ortt

State lawmakers are expected to vote today on another budget extension. New York State Senate Republican Leader Robert Ortt says it’s the second consecutive year a budget has been late. He’s blaming Governor Kathy Hochul for her lack of urgency, saying she should be driving both parties towards an agreement. Ortt says the April 1st deadline should mean something. If the extension is approved, the spending plan would be due April 16th.

 

Patrick Dai

A former student at Cornell University and Pittsford native has admitted to making online threats targeted towards Jewish people on campus. Back in October, 21-year-old Patrick Dai was arrested for calling for the deaths of Jewish individuals and claiming he was going to shoot up a kosher dining hall. Dai’s lawyer said in court yesterday that he’s been diagnosed with autism and also has mental health issues. Just how much, if any, time Dai will be in prison is up to the judge.

 

 

State Police are continuing their investigation into what caused a small plane to crash at the Clarence Aerodrome. Authorities say the aircraft went down yesterday during takeoff. It’s believed the front tire of the plane got stuck in some mud, which caused it to flip upside down before coming to rest near the runway. The 82-year-old pilot was the only person on board and was treated for minor injuries.

 

Ryan Corbett with his family.

We have a follow up to tell you about regarding the resolution that is now in the Senate that calls for the release of Dansville man Ryan Corbett. The Taliban has wrongfully detained him for nearly two years. His wife says she’s thankful for the new effort on Capitol Hill to bring her husband home. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell jointly introduced a resolution Tuesday calling for Ryan’s immediate release and condemning the wrongful detention of him and other Americans by the Taliban. Ryan was imprisoned in August 2022; there have been five phone calls between him and his wife since then.

 

United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes is hosting its annual Day of Caring on May 23. Day of Caring is the largest single day of volunteering in the region. Six counties, including Genesee, Ontario, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, and Wyoming will mobilize over 6,000 volunteers who will work together to meet the needs of dozens of local agencies and non-profits. For more information, please call 585-242-6517.

 

Paul Goodrell

A registered sex offender accused of exposing himself to children several times was supposed to be sentenced Wednesday, but the proceedings came to a sudden halt. In February, Paul Goodrell pleaded guilty to burglary as a sexually motivated felony, public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child after police said he exposed himself to children at multiple stores in Ontario County late last year. District Attorney James Ritts said he’s frustrated after a transportation error delayed Goodrell’s sentencing; it’s anticipated Goodrell will be sentenced to serve seven years in prison. After his release, Ritts said he would like the parole board to consider having him involuntarily hospitalized for mental health reasons.

 

Upper Deck Golf (Buffalo Bills Photo)

The Buffalo Bills are offering fans a unique chance to grab their clubs and do a little bit of golfing at Highmark Stadium. Upper Deck Golf is coming to the facility in Orchard Park this summer. Golfers will be able to tee off from the stadium’s 300 level and aim for greens that are located on the field. Tee times are available between July 26th and the 28th. Registration opens in June but people can try and get early access to those spots by heading to upperdeckgolfing.com.

 

The Buffalo Sabres are going to be taking to their home ice for the final time this season tonight. The Sabres will host the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars Tuesday that officially eliminated them from playoff contention. Face-off tonight is at 7:00.

 

The Rochester Amerks have won their last six games and they hope to keep that momentum going tomorrow night. They’re hosting the Belleville Senators; the puck drops at 7:05.

Wednesday News Brief

Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman (Photo credit: Francis Chung, Associated Press)

A settlement has been reached between the New York state attorney general’s office and two people accused of discouraging Black New Yorkers from voting. Attorney General Letitia James says Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman have to pay one million dollars to the state and plaintiffs. James alleges they targeted Black voters and gave false and threatening messages intended to discourage voting before the 2020 election. James says their robocall campaign reached roughly 5500 New Yorkers.

 

Two suspects are in custody after police executed a “high-risk” search warrant at a home in Greece. Police say they arrested 19-year-old Christian Marshmon and 33-year-old Jeffrey Schirtz yesterday; they are both known by local law enforcement. Charges of criminal possession of a weapon followed after SWAT officers found an illegally owned firearm during Tuesday’s search. They were arraigned and remanded to Monroe County Jail, according to police.

 

The ongoing battle over the New York State budget isn’t going to be affecting the paychecks of thousands of state workers. The comptroller’s office says those checks will be delivered on time this week after the legislature recently voted on a budget extender. That means the state will be funded through at least tomorrow. Lawmakers are optimistic a deal can be reached soon once issues like education, housing and health care spending are worked out. The original budget deadline was April 1st.

 

File photo

An 18-year-old is being treated at Strong Memorial Hospital after being struck by a driver on Portland Avenue, Rochester. The pedestrian was struck around 10:45pm last night and sustained a serious upper body injury. The 24-year-old driver remained on the scene and was arrested for DWI.

 

File photo

New information has been released on a weekend fire that destroyed a home in Lockport. The blaze happened Sunday at a residence on Royal Parkway North and it is now believed it started in an attached structure such as a garage or shed. First responders and State Police worked quickly to make sure everyone inside the house was safe and there were no injuries reported. The exact cause of the fire is still being looked into.

 

Mark Poloncarz (file photo)

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is facing criticism for his location during this week’s solar eclipse. Instead of staying in Erie County, Poloncarz decided to head to Ohio and posted video of his visit on social media. Some people commented Poloncarz should have stayed in this area, especially since he considered issuing a state of emergency so that fewer people would be allowed on the roads. Poloncarz hasn’t made any additional statements about his trip.

 

Ryan Corbett with his family.

A resolution is now in the hands of the United States Senate that’s calling for a Dansville man to be released by the Taliban. Ryan Corbett went to Afghanistan nearly two years ago so that he could renew his visa and pay staff members of his non-profit but has now been in captivity for over 600 days. Corbett’s wife says he’s being held in bad conditions and that his health is declining. The Senate could pass the resolution in the coming days.

 

2022 file photo of Bills during training camp

It appears the Buffalo Bills likely aren’t going to be changing the location of their upcoming summer training camp. According to a report, the Bills will return to the campus of Saint John Fisher University to prepare for the NFL season. However, it is important to note that no official agreement has been reached between the school and Bills just yet. Camp would likely start during the last week of July.

 

The slim hopes the Buffalo Sabres had of making the playoffs are over after the team suffers a loss in the Lone Star State. Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch had a goal each as the Sabres were beaten by the Dallas Stars three-to-two last night. Buffalo’s goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonnen stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced in the contest. The next game for the Sabres is tomorrow against the Washington Capitals.

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

Who knew that a naked man could be so destructive?

Police in Lakewood, New Jersey didn’t have to look too hard to find the suspect who destroyed a golf course restaurant this weekend – they just had to search for the naked guy. Police busted the unnamed 29-year-old man – who was walking around Maggie’s Bar & Grill Sunday morning – breaking things – while naked. He broke bottles, smashed glasses, and a lot more – total damage estimated to be about 100-thousand dollars. Police charged the man, who they said was in emotional distress, with burglary and criminal mischief. He’s also getting a psych evaluation.

 

Superman was first introduced in this issue of Action Comics, June 1938.

One of the most coveted comics of all time has sold at auction in Texas. Action Comics Number One features the first appearance of Superman. When it came out in 1938, it sold for ten-cents. The bidding at Heritage Auctions set a record at $6 million. That makes it the most valuable comic book in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a push to kick Lunchables off school menus. Consumer Reports issued a warning Tuesday saying the school cafeteria version of the popular lunch snack contains too much sodium. Last year, Lunchables developed two new versions of the cheese, meat and cracker snacks especially for school lunch programs. Consumer Reports says the turkey and cheddar school-lunch versions contained nearly 200 more milligrams of sodium than the store-bought Lunchables. The nonprofit group says it’s petitioning the USDA to remove the snacks from school cafeterias.

 

Tiger Woods celebrates winning the 2019 Masters. Can he do it again this year? (PGA Photo)

Tiger Woods is sticking with the belief that he could win another Masters golf tournament in Augusta. The 15-time major champion spoke in front of the press yesterday on the eve of golf’s first major of the season. Woods said he thinks he can get one more championship if everything comes together. The 48-year-old has been building back up since suffering injuries in a 2021 car wreck.

Tuesday News Brief

The Buffalo Zoo offered a unique opportunity for visitors during its solar eclipse event yesterday. Visitors were able to see how animals reacted to the celestial event. Zoo officials say the lions roared just before totality hit and birds began screaming as the moon covered the sun with darkness.

 

Two Buffalo residents are facing felony drug charges after a traffic stop. Thirty-one-year-old Unique Williams and 29-year-old Ayanna Pace have been charged on multiple counts, including possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. This comes after police pulled their vehicle over on Sunday night on Kensington Expressway for a traffic violation. Police say officers found several baggies containing suspected cocaine, crack, and fentanyl, along with a large amount of cash.

 

Four counties in Western New York are getting federal funding to help with responses to severe weather. Senator Chuck Schumer announced an investment of more than $1.6 million dollars for Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties yesterday. The money will be used to help local officials develop emergency response plans ahead of major snowstorms. Schumer also announced $39 million in federal funding for upgrades to the Grand Island Bridge.

 

A man is hospitalized following an ATV crash in Ontario County this past weekend. Emergency responders were called to Flint Creek near the Ontario Pathways Sunday evening after someone reported a drowning man. Arriving officials reportedly found that the man was riding an ATV along the creek when the vehicle overturned in the water. He was pulled from the creek and flown to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. Authorities say the man is still in the ICU but his condition has been upgraded to stable.

 

It appears New York State lawmakers and Governor Kathy Hochul are close to a housing deal as they continue to negotiate the state budget, which is late. Sources tell the New York Post that Hochul is agreeing to some parts of the Good Cause Eviction bill. The bill would cap rent increases at 3% per year. However, the Post reports the deal being worked out would limit it to 10% or 5% plus having it tied to inflation.

 

The Buffalo Sabres are in Austin, Texas for a game tonight against the Dallas Stars; they’ll be back home to host the Washington Capitols on Thursday evening.

 

Those eclipse glasses everyone used yesterday still have a purpose — by donating them to charity. The group Astronomers Without Borders is accepting donated glasses to send to Africa, Asia and North and South America for future eclipse events. They can be donated at any Warby Parker store; there’s a location in Victor. Also, the organization called Eclipse Glasses USA is accepting glasses to send to students in Latin America for the October annular eclipse (eclipse23.com). If you happen to go into Erie County, all libraries there are collecting eclipse glasses now that the eclipse is over. The glasses will be donated to schools in Latin America for the annular eclipse in October. The glasses can be dropped off at bins inside of Erie County Libraries. Or, of course, the glasses can also be saved for the next eclipse event, with the most notable one coming in 2044.

 

Monday News Brief

The Governor with eclipse glasses.

Governor Kathy Hochul is warning of high volumes of traffic throughout New York, with thousands of visitors coming to the state. Hochul recommends allowing extra travel time and packing plenty of food and water while traveling through the state. She also advises to have a full tank of gas in anticipation of long traffic jams. The state of New York has been preparing for today’s eclipse for 18 months. This will be the first total solar eclipse over New York in 99 years.

 

The Genesee County Sheriffs have made three arrests during a traffic stop. 40-year-old Donald Ryan of Pembroke, 28-year-old Brandi Hough of Elba, and 52-year old Eddie Miles of Batavia each face various charges, including tampering with evidence and criminal possession of a controlled substance. A traffic stop was conducted in the Park Road area, of the vehicle that Ryan was operating. It was discovered that they possessed a controlled substance and there were also attempts to conceal drug paraphernalia from deputies. They were ticketed and scheduled for Batavia Town Court on April 23rd.  ALSO: 29-year-old Kathryn Reinard of Pensacola, Florida has been arrested by Genesee County Sheriffs. She’s charged with criminal trespass. It’s alleged Reinard knowingly entered and remained unlawfully in a dwelling located in the Town of Pembroke. She was transported to the Genesee County Jail and scheduled for CAP Court. ALSO:  The Sheriffs have arrested two people following an investigation into two people reported to be slumped over in a vehicle in the Target parking lot. It’s alleged that 31-year-old David Eck, Jr. of Attica and 29-year-old Ashley Rzemek of Lancaster possessed cocaine and other substances; while in custody, Eck allegedly ate a quantity of a suspected narcotic in attempt to conceal it. Eck and Rzemek were both issued appearance tickets for Batavia Town Court for April 23rd.

 

Maplewood Park, Rochester

A man is recovering after falling into the gorge at Maplewood Park in Rochester. Emergency crews were called to the area near Maplewood Avenue yesterday afternoon. Firefighters and law enforcement officers assisted in the rescue effort. Officials say the man suffered minor injuries and is expected to be ok.

 

 

 

13WHAM Photo

Journalists at the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle are striking through today. Leaders of the union that represents the paper’s writers have extended their work stoppage after the Gannett company did not agree on a contract on Friday. The union claims Gannett is paying out large salaries for corporate executives, but they are not paying reporters a living wage. Picketers gathered outside the Democrat & Chronicle offices for a demonstration on Saturday.

 

File photo

Pet owners are being warned that today’s solar eclipse could have an effect on animals. Experts say wildlife may think it’s already nighttime when the moon blocks the sun, possibly leading to nocturnal animals coming out of their burrows, owls and frogs calling and vultures coming to roost. The eclipse could also be confusing and stressful for pets. Experts recommend pet owners stay calm during the eclipse, maintain your pet’s routine and keep them indoors. They also suggest you avoid taking them to eclipse parties or covering their eyes with eclipse glasses.

 

File photo

A man has been taken into custody by Medina Police after allegedly threatening an ambulance crew from Medina Fire Department. The call came in yesterday afternoon and the ambulance dispatched to what was anticipated to be a non-emergency, basic life support call for service. Upon their arrival, the crew was met by a person with a gun making threats to them as well as a neighbor. Police were called; the man went back inside and then came back out without the weapon. The crew was able to restrain the man until police arrived and took him into custody. The incident remains under investigation.

 

Coyer Field

Buffalo State University is among several places hosting eclipse events today. The university will host Eclipse Fest from 1pm until 5pm at the Sports Arena and Coyer Field. General admission is $40 and includes an eclipse swag bag, a kid’s zone, and eclipse demos. Eclipse totality is expected to happen around 3:18 pm in Western New York.

 

It wasn’t meant to be in Detroit. The Red Wings jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and then cruised to a 3-1 win over Buffalo; tomorrow night the Sabres play in Dallas against the Stars.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Seismologists say aftershocks could continue for another week following Friday’s earthquake in New Jersey. The U.S. Geological Survey says the 4.8 magnitude earthquake was the strongest on the East Coast in 100 years, and shook buildings across the Northeast. The quake was followed by 32 aftershocks, and seismologists expect more aftershocks in the coming week, especially near the epicenter in northern New Jersey.

 

Today’s solar eclipse will briefly block out the sun, but it’s expected to shine some light into the economy. As millions prepare to witness the rare celestial event, experts are forecasting upwards of a $1.5 billion boost to businesses within the eclipse’s corridor. Lodging and travel, such as Airbnb, hotels and airlines, will be the major beneficiaries with an estimated four million travelers on the move along its path from Texas to Maine. Retailers are also expected to continue seeing an uptick in sales for eclipse-related products, from viewing glasses to portable chairs. History shows the stock market is likely to have a positive response with the Dow finishing the year with notable gains 10 times out of 13 total solar eclipse events since 1900.

 

Totality at 2:40 p.m. in Dallas, Texas Totality at 2:45 p.m. in Idabel, Oklahoma Totality at 2:51 p.m. in Little Rock, Arkansas Totality at 2:56 p.m. in Poplar Bluff, Missouri Totality at 2:59 p.m. in Carbondale, Illinois Totality at 3:00 p.m. in Paducah, Kentucky Totality at 3:02 p.m. in Evansville, Indiana Totality at 3:13 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio Totality at 3:16 p.m. in Erie, Pennsylvania Totality at 3:18 p.m. in Buffalo, New York Totality at 3:26 p.m. in Burlington, Vermont Totality at 3:27 p.m. in Lancaster, New Hampshire Totality at 3:32 p.m. in Caribou, Maine.

 

Sorry, “Lucky.” But that’s an old ticket.

Somebody won the billion-dollar Powerball jackpot. Lottery officials say a single ticket in Oregon matched all six numbers in Saturday’s drawing, and is worth an estimated $1.3 billion. Powerball says it’s the fourth-largest jackpot in the history of the game. The winner has the option of getting the full amount, before taxes, spread out over 30 years, or getting a lump sum payment of about $620 million. If you didn’t buy your ticket in Oregon, don’t throw it out — seven tickets worth a million dollars were sold in Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan and Wyoming.

 

The IRS is waiving failure-to-pay penalties for eligible taxpayers. Mark Steeber with Jackson Hewitt’s tax services says it’s due to the collection notice pause during 2020 and 2021 COVID years. So they are waiving “failure to pay” penalties for those years. This penalty relief will benefit about five-million taxpayers and provide an estimated one-billion in tax relief. The relief is automatic for those eligible, so no action is required. A refund or credit payments toward outstanding tax liabilities will be issued to taxpayers who qualify. An IRS spokesman says the government should be looking out for taxpayers, and this penalty relief is a common-sense approach to help people in this situation.

 

Friday News Brief

Three men will be sentenced on May 3rd for the murders of a Tonawanda woman and two people in Buffalo. This comes after a jury on Wednesday found 41-year-old Ernest Green and 41-year-old Daniel Rodriguez guilty of second-degree murder and attempted murder in the 2019 shooting death of 31-year-old Danielle Cretacci during a home invasion at her residence on Ebling Avenue. Her eight and 11 year-old daughters were also shot but survived. A jury also found Green and 27-year-old Wayne Robbins guilty of the murders of 21-year-old Bethany Malloy and 26-year-old Shaquiel St. John. They were fatally shot during a home invasion in Buffalo about a month after Cretacci’s murder. All three men face up to life in prison.

 

File photo

A Medina firefighter has experienced a medical emergency while working at the scene. It happened when firefighters were called to put out a basement fire on North Academy Street in Medina yesterday afternoon. Immediate care was rendered and the firefighter was transported to the hospital. Structural damage was estimated at $1000 with $5000 in contents damaged. The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental.

 

The Zonta Club of Batavia – Genesee County is now accepting applications for their annual Scholarship Awards and they’re encouraging all high school seniors in Genesee County to apply. Applications are available in the school’s guidance office, career center office, or online by emailing zontabatavia@gmail.com. All applicants will be asked to schedule an in-person interview with the scholarship committee. Submission deadline for applications is next Friday, April 12.

 

Sadly, a 13-year-old boy has drowned in a creek. According to the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office the boy fell into the creek in Gorham yesterday and was swept away by the current. He was located a short distance downstream and was pulled from the creek, where first responders performed life-saving measures. The boy was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The investigation is ongoing but no foul play is suspected.

 

 

 

File photo of Governor Hochul (July 2023; 13WHAM)

Governor Kathy Hochul reports construction is now underway on a sustainable, affordable mixed-use housing development in downtown Rochester. The all-electric Alta Vista apartment building includes 76 units and event space. It sits on four vacant lots along Franklin, Pleasant and Andrews Streets adjacent to the historic St. Joseph’s Park. This project furthers the city’s goal of achieving a more vibrant downtown via the state’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. All 76 apartments will be affordable to households earning at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, with 14 units reserved for households experiencing or at risk for homelessness.

 

Rinaldo Pearson

A Buffalo man is facing three to six years in prison for a fatal hit and run accident. That sentence was handed down yesterday to 48-year-old Rinaldo Pearson. Prosecutors say Pearson was intoxicated when he hit 31-year-old Amber Young as she was walking along the 15-hundred block of Broadway in Buffalo back in February of 2023. Young was taken to an area hospital, where she later died.

 

 

 

Red and green look different during a total solar eclipse (AccuWeather Photo)

Viewers of the upcoming eclipse should wear red and green clothes to reveal an interesting scientific phenomenon. The darkening sky will cause red and yellow colors to fade faster than greens and blues. Anyone wearing a mixture of green and red will see the green look a lot brighter, contrasting with the dark red. Experts say people will see the biggest effect if large groups dress in the contrasting colors.

 

Tonight the Buffalo Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. And then they’re off to Detroit for a Sunday matinee game against the Red Wings. Face-off for tonight’s game is at 7:00

 

ELSEWHERE…

Tax experts say if you’re a first-time tax filer, make sure you obey the rules because pleading ignorance won’t cut it with the IRS. Oren Adler, a certified public accountant in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, says forget about trying “to game” the system because the IRS will find out if you’ve failed to report W-2 or 1099 income properly. He says it’s important to be compliant but also to use the tax code to minimize your taxes by taking all the deductions and tax credits you’re entitled to take. That includes child, earned income and electric vehicle credits as well as deductions for charity and paying back student loans. He also recommends filing electronically and says refund checks are often issued in less than a week.

 

Dr. Jeanette Epps (NASA Photo)

A Syracuse native is sharing her experience in space. Governor Kathy Hochul had a conversation with NASA Astronaut Dr. Jeanette Epps who is aboard the International Space Station after launching into space for her mission a month ago. She tells Hochul it’s a mind-blowing experience. Epps says she is working on a number of projects to help life back on Earth. That includes testing of experimental medicine and materials. She says from her point of view, she’ll be able to see the shadow of the eclipse as it passes through New York Monday.

 

NFL file photo of Mr. Diggs

It wasn’t long after word spread that the Buffalo Bills traded Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans, the wide receiver took to social media: He shared his thoughts on Instagram; basically, he just wanted to say ‘thank you’. Diggs posted, “I can’t begin to express the amount of love and respect I have for the city of Buffalo. Four of the best years of my life, the city welcomed me with open arms. I’m forever grateful for you all and the Buffalo Bills organization.” The 30-year-old Diggs joined the Bills in 2020 and helped them become Super Bowl contenders during his four seasons. In his first season, he caught 127 passes for 1,535 yards. During the course of his four seasons in Buffalo, Diggs racked up 5,372 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns. Meanwhile, The Texans are wiping out the final three years of their new star receiver’s contract. ESPN reports that Houston is giving wide receiver Stefon Diggs the ability to become a free agent after the upcoming season after trading for him on Wednesday. The Texans also gave Diggs a $3.5 million raise by converting guaranteed money from next season into 2024. The 30-year-old is now guaranteed $22.52 million for this season. Diggs had originally signed a four-year, $104 million contract extension with the Buffalo Bills in April 2022.

 

La’El Collins

The Buffalo Bills are bringing in some protection for star quarterback Josh Allen. La’el Collins agreed to a one-year deal with the team on Thursday. ESPN reports the money hasn’t been disclosed. Collins is expected to back up right tackle Spencer Brown, who’s heading into the final year of his rookie deal. The 30-year-old didn’t play last season after suffering a torn ACL in December of 2022. He started 15 games for the Cincinnati Bengals that season, and originally joined the Dallas Cowboys as an un-drafted free agent in 2015.

Thursday News Brief

A reminder has been sent out from National Grid to alert you to a possible scam and remind you to make sure that you safeguard personal information. While it’s possible the individual that came to your door is a licensed energy services company representative, there is also a chance it’s someone looking to steal your personal information. Also, National Grid never engages in door-to-door solicitation. Make sure you verify the identity of anyone who visits or calls to discuss your energy bills.

 

Negotiations continue between Governor Hochul and members of the state Legislature on a brand-new state budget. Last week, lawmakers passed a resolution giving them until the end of today to agree on a fiscal plan, but there’s no word if they’ll actually meet the deadline. Some of the debate has centered on the best way to deliver tax relief to homeowners and families as well as school funding. The original budget deadline was April 1st.

 

The City of Batavia Police Department has new green bins installed inside the waiting area of the police station to accept unused or unwanted medications. The bins are safer for use by the public and safer for disposal by members of the police department. Acceptable items include: Unused or expired prescription medication, including controlled substances as well as over-the-counter medications. Any syringe, needle or sharps, illegal drugs and aerosol cans or containers are not accepted. The new bins are accessible during regular hours of the department (9:00am – 1:00pm Monday through Thursday, and 9:00am-12:30pm on Friday.

 

Genesee Justice has relocated to office space at the new Genesee County Jail. Effective today their new address is 3839 West Main Street Road, Batavia. If you’d like more information, please call 585-815-7821.

 

 

Harpreet Singh

A recent sting operation in Gates led to the arrest of a suspected scammer accused of trying to trick a woman into draining her bank account. 29-year-old Harpreet Singh was first arrested in November 2023 after illegally crossing the Mexican border into Arizona. Just last week, Gates police arrested Singh after he allegedly scammed a woman. Gates Police Chief Robert Long says the victim initially received an email notifying her that her Netflix account was expiring. Upon calling the listed number, Long says the woman was told her bank account had been compromised. After spending four hours on the phone with the alleged scammer she was told a federal reserve officer would show up to get her money. The woman contacted police, who then set up the sting operation. When Singh arrived he was immediately taken into custody. He’s currently in federal custody awaiting an immigration hearing, scheduled for March 2025.

 

A former teacher’s aide in East Irondequoit is now facing more than a decade behind bars. Prosecutors say Leonard Ortiz Junior has pleaded guilty in connection with a child pornography case. Investigators found over 600 disturbing images and more than 100 videos on Ortiz’s cell phone last year. He could be ordered to spend up to 14 years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender.

 

Morrell Buster, Jr.

A 16-year-old Buffalo boy who pulled the trigger in a deadly shooting has received the maximum punishment for that crime. A judge sentenced the teen to spend up to the next 10 years behind bars. The boy shot 24-year-old Morrell Buster Junior in the neck and the victim’s body was found on Spaulding Avenue back in June 2022. The teen was later convicted on manslaughter and weapon possession charges.

 

The solar eclipse is coming up Monday, and people planning to watch the event are being urged to take the proper precautions. Officials say folks should make sure they’re wearing proper eye protection because not doing so could lead to retina damage. Also, if you’re planning to travel April 8th, be prepared for long traffic delays and fill up the gas tank of your vehicle so you don’t get stranded. Additional tips can be found online at iloveny.com.

 

A multi-year project has been launched that’s aimed at improving the quality of services offered by the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The agency’s technology systems will be replaced and modernized and work will take place over the next four years. Once everything is complete, customers will notice more secure, efficient, and convenient services. The DMV will also be better prepared to implement future technology advancements.

 

Three employees are continuing to recover after being stabbed at a psychiatric facility in Buffalo. A patient, Calvin Haskins, brought a knife to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center yesterday and carried out what’s being called an unprovoked attack. The workers were taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment and one of them needed to undergo surgery. Haskins is now facing multiple charges.

 

Stefon Diggs

The Buffalo Bills have shipped their top wide receiver to the Lone Star State after pulling off a stunning trade. The Bills are sending Stefon Diggs to their AFC rival the Houston Texans in exchange for a second round pick in next year’s NFL Draft. The 30-year-old Diggs has four years and $75 million left on his current contract. Last season, Diggs had more than 1100 yards receiving and eight touchdown catches.

 

 

Wednesday News Brief

22-year-old Nickolas Figlow of Batavia has been arrested and charged with making threats of mass harm. This resulted from a police investigation into an event that occurred at a business on Lewiston road in the Town of Batavia. Figlow allegedly made threats against a business. He was released on an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court later this month. ALSO: The Genesee County Sheriffs arrested 41-year-old Matthew Bader of Batavia. He’s charged with identify theft to obtain goods and criminal possession of stolen property. It’s alleged Bader stole a credit card and used it to make purchases. He’s scheduled to appear in Batavia Town Court next Tuesday. ALSO: 52-year-old Paul Lee of Rochester has been arrested in Bergen. He’s charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Lee’s arrest followed a drug complaint in the Town of Batavia. It’s alleged he was in possession of narcotics when deputies made contact with him on Route 33 in the Town of Bergen. Lee was issued an appearance ticket for Bergen Town Court for April 10th.

 

Genesee Justice is relocating to office space at the Genesee County Jail. Effective Thursday, April 4, their new address will be: Genesee Justice, 3839 West Main Street Road, Batavia. If you’d like more information, please call 585-815-7821.

 

 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in Victor yesterday (13WHAM Photo).

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the Department of Justice to help prevent retail theft in this region. Schumer held a news conference yesterday at the Victor Crossing Shopping Plaza, where an Ulta Beauty store has been affected by $100,000 worth of thefts since 2023. Schumer says the suspects involved in these cases are often part of organized crime rings who re-sell what’s taken on the black market. Schumer wants the Department of Justice to use the RICO Act {The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) of 1970} to help put an end to these thefts.

 

Another day has come and gone without a deal in place on a new state budget. Lawmakers were back at the Capitol yesterday after deciding to miss the April 1st deadline and give themselves until tomorrow to strike an agreement. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins tells Politico she is optimistic a budget will be hammered out sometime this month. But after today, there are only a few legislative sessions scheduled the rest of April.

 

As expected, President Biden and former President Donald Trump have cruised to wins in New York’s primary. Before the polls opened yesterday, it had already been determined Mister Biden will represent Democrats in November while Trump will be the Republican nominee. That means it’ll be a rematch of the 2020 election when Biden stopped Trump from winning a second term. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th.

 

Vincent Stack

A body found in Oswego County more than three decades ago has finally been identified as a Buffalo man. Authorities say the remains were those of 40-year-old Vincent Stack who went missing back in 1990 in Niagara Falls State Park. It’s believed Stack went over the falls. and his body traveled about 130 miles before ending up on the shores of Lake Ontario. DNA taken from a family member helped identify the remains as Stack’s.

 

 

As has been the case for weeks, the spread of the flu virus continues to hold steady in our region. During the week ending March 23rd, the area with the highest number of cases was Erie County with 515. That was followed by Monroe County with 378. Niagara County had 104 cases of the flu; Ontario County, 61 and Genesee County reported 44. Residents who still have not been immunized can find a clinic by going to vaccines.gov.

 

A Lancaster resident is now in some serious trouble with the law after being accused of sending death threats to New York Attorney General Letitia James. According to prosecutors, 26-year-old Tyler Vogel sent the threats on March 24th, saying harm would come to James and a state Supreme Court Judge if they did not cease action in a high-profile civil case. It was determined the case was the civil lawsuit against ex-President Donald Trump. If convicted, Vogel faces up to seven years in prison.

 

Yesterday’s Red Wings game in Rochester against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs was postponed due to rain; they’ll try again tonight. Players are scheduled to take the field at 6:05.

 

The Buffalo Sabres avoid a two-game losing streak after picking up a much-needed victory at home. JJ Peterka scored twice and Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, Rasmus Dahlin and Zemgus Girgensons also had a goal each as the Sabres beat the Washington Capitals 6-2 at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo’s goaltender Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced in the contest. The next game for the Sabres is Friday evening when they host the Philadelphia Flyers; face-off is at 7:00.

 

ELSEWHERE…

The Nutmobile.

If your current job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be then go nuts and become a “Peanutter.” Planters wants three people to join its team and drive around the country with Mr. Peanut in a unique NUT-mobile. No hot dog cars here – this one is peanut-shaped. Believe it or nut, the year-long commitment will have you being grand marshals of parades, making appearances at public events and doling out nuts to festival goers. This is no nut shell game – the prerequisite to become a Peanutter is to be fun, creative and carefree. A college grad who’s chock full of nut-related puns is a plus. The gig starts this June. Apply at BeAPeanutter.com. Cashew later!

 

High-risk strains of HPV in women can lead to increased risk of death by heart attack or stroke. A study by the European Society of Cardiology found that women with the particular strains of the virus were up to four times more likely to eventually suffer from cardiovascular disease. HPV, or human papillomavirus, can also cause genital wants and certain types of cancer.

 

 

Monday News Brief

38-year-old Michael Sweet of Batavia has been arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was allegedly found to be in possession of methamphetamine during a traffic stop investigation. Sweet was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Town of Batavia Court on April 9th. ALSO: 37-year-old Jared Burns of Batavia has been arrested for falsely reporting; this followed an incident on Clinton Street Road. It’s alleged Burns called the Sheriff’s Office Emergence Dispatch to falsely report an incident that he claimed was about to occur. Burns is due to appear in Batavia Town Court on April 9th.

 

The Jackson Street Water project will resume today, with the installation of interconnections on Ellicott Street. Loss of water should be expected from Main to Liberty Street and possible surrounding areas, depending on necessary valve closures. If discolored water occurs when water pressure is regained, it’s best to avoid doing laundry or cooking until the water once again runs clear.

 

A Dyngus Day celebration will be held today at the Polish Falcons Nest on South Swan Street. A Polish platter will be available at $13 per plate from 4:00-6:00pm, or until sold out. Eat-in or take-out is available and pre-orders are suggested. For more information, please call 343-0225.

 

The presidential primary poll site for Ward IV in Batavia is the ARC Community Center. Stop by Tuesday to vote: 38 Woodrow Road. Enter through the rear side doors toward the back of the parking lot. All polling sites are open Tuesday, April 2 from 6:00am until 9:00pm. (WBTA Photo)

 

 

 

 

According to Triple A this morning, the national average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $3.54. Right now, the state average is $3.45 a gallon. In Batavia, the average price calculates out to $3.36. That’s up a nickel from a week ago, up 9 cents from a month ago but down 6 cents from a year ago today.

 

 

 

We’re just seven days away from the solar eclipse, and border patrol officials in the United States and Canada have issued an alert. While the border will be open during the April 8th event, there will likely be long traffic delays. The region is in the path of totality, and it’s likely drivers will want to stop their vehicles and see the eclipse while it is happening. There will be additional staff in place at the border to keep crossing times to a minimum.

 

Unidentified woman in undated file photo demonstrating what NOT to do…

Police across New York State will be cracking down on distracted drivers over the next several days. It is part of the “Operation Hang Up” campaign that runs through April 8th. Drivers can expect to see increased patrols and there will also be radio, TV, and social media messages to inform people about the dangers of distracted driving. During last year’s campaign, more than 2,600 distracted driving tickets were issued. Penalties range from fines to drivers license violation points and even license suspension.

 

Someone in Rochester or the surrounding area is $50,000 richer after purchasing a Powerball ticket. The New York State Lottery says the third-prize ticket was bought at the Wegmans store located on East Ridge Road. The numbers for Saturday’s drawing were 12, 13, 33, 50, 52 and 23. No one hit the jackpot, which means the prize up for grabs tonight soars to $975 million There hasn’t been a grand prizewinner in the Powerball since January 1st. Please play responsibly.

 

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

AT&T said it has begun notifying millions of customers about the theft of personal data recently discovered online. The company said it has already reset the passcodes of current users and will be communicating with account holders whose sensitive personal information was compromised. It is not known if the data originated from AT&T or one of its vendors. The compromised data is from 2019 or earlier and does not appear to include financial information or call history. In addition to passcodes and Social Security numbers, it may include email and mailing addresses, phone numbers and birth dates.

 

April is National Donate Life Month and state residents are being urged to join the state’s organ donation registry. They can do so through the Department of Motor Vehicles by completing the donation section on their license or non-driver ID application. Registration can also be done when a person signs up to vote online or when they want to apply for licenses or certifications from the Department of State. There are more than 8,000 Empire State residents waiting for a life-saving transplant.

 

 

There’s no clear origin to April Fool’s Day. References to the first of April as a day of trickery date back all the way to Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” in the 14th century. The first recorded April Fool’s Day was in France in 1582. It’s believed that April 1st was celebrated as New Year’s Day before the Gregorian calendar changed it to January 1st. Those who didn’t get the word about the change were called “fools,” and people played tricks on them. That grew into a tradition of playing pranks or telling lies on the first day of April.

 

 

Friday News Brief

Allister Gunter

On 3/17/2024, Allister L Gunter (age 28) of Batavia, was arrested for Attempted Assault 2nd, Attempted Robbery 3rd, four counts of Unlawful Imprisonment 2nd, two counts of Criminal Mischief 4th, three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Resisting Arrest, two counts of Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd, and Harassment 2nd. Patrols responded to a disturbance, on Thomas Ave, where the victim had reported a physical altercation, inside the house. Gunter had allegedly barricaded the door, causing police to force entry into the residence. Upon entering the house, officers attempted to take Gunter into custody, however he resisted arrest and fought with patrols. The victim alleged that Gunter had attempted to assault her and would not allow her or her children to leave. Gunter then attempted to prevent her from calling the police for help. Gunter was arraigned in CAP Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court, at a later date.

 

Jorgia Fortiathis

On 3/19/2024, Jorgia A Fotiathis (age 30) of Batavia, was arrested for Assault 1st and Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th. Fotiathis was arrested after an investigation, into an incident on 3/4/2024, when it’s alleged that she stabbed another person, during an altercation on Hutchins St. Fotiathis was remanded to the Genesee County Jail, and is due back in court on 4/3/2024.

 

 

 

 

James Briggs

On 3/24/2024, James R Briggs (age 48) of Batavia, was arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument 2nd and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 5th. The arrest comes as the result of a traffic stop, where Briggs was allegedly found to be operating a vehicle with a stolen license plate and a forged registration sticker. He was arraigned in CAP Court and is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

 

 

 

 

Mark Farley

On 3/23/2024, Mark L Farley (age 55) of Batavia, was arrested for Criminal Contempt 1st and Harassment 2nd. It’s alleged that Farley threatened another person, in violation of an order of protection. He was arraigned in CAP Court and is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 3/25/2024, Farley was charged with Harassment 2nd in relation to an incident that occurred in February, where he allegedly grabbed another person. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 4/9/2024.

On 3/27/2024, Miya R Houseman (age 23) of Batavia, was arrested on a bench warrant. Houseman was initially arrested for DWI, on 11/27/2021. A warrant was issued, after she failed to appear in court. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. She is due back in court, on 4/10/2024.

On 3/25/2024, Martin J Rodgers (age 40) of Batavia, was arrested for Criminal Contempt 1st. It’s alleged that he violated a stay-away order of protection, by being with the protected party. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail, on $4,000 cash bail. He is due in Batavia City Court, on 4/18/2024.

On 3/22/2024, Carl E Canterbury (age 53) of Batavia, was arrested on an arrest warrant. Canterbury was charged on 1/23/2024, for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration. A warrant was issued, after he failed to appear in court. Canterbury was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 3/22/2024, Joey A Evans (age 33) of Batavia, was cited for Riding a Bicycle on a Sidewalk. Evans was cited after an investigation into an incident where he allegedly struck a pedestrian with his bike. Evans was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court, on 4/9/2024.

On 3/23/2024, Mark A Constable (age 35) of Batavia, was arrested for Harassment 2nd. It’s alleged that Constable grabbed another person by the arm, during a dispute on Ganson Ave. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court, on 4/2/2024.

On 3/17/2024, Kenneth H Avery (age 53) of Byron, was arrested for DWI. Avery was arrested following a traffic stop, on Clinton St, where it’s alleged that he was operating a motor vehicle, while intoxicated. He was issued several traffic tickets and is due in Batavia City Court, on 4/2/2024.

On 3/19/2024, Mark A Constable (age 35) and Kayleen M Laird (age 28) both of Batavia, were charged with Theft of Services. It’s alleged that Constable and Laird left Gilliana’s Diner, on Jackson St, without paying for their food. They were each issued an appearance ticket and are due in court, on 4/2/2024.

On 3/20/2024, Ronald W Lewis (age 36) of Ogden, was arrested on two bench warrants. The first warrant stems from a larceny complaint in July of 2023, when Lewis allegedly stole merchandise, from Tim Horton’s. The second is the result of a Trespass charge, in September of 2023, at UMMC. He was arraigned in CAP Court on both warrants and is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 3/20/2024, Canden J Thomas (age 29) of Albion, was arrested on an arrest warrant. Thomas was initially charged, on 11/22/2023 with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident and other traffic violations, after a motor vehicle crash, on Bank St. The warrant was issued, after he failed to appear in court. He was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in City Court, at a later date.

On 3/15/2024, Lewis A Morris Jr (age 69) of Batavia, was arrested for Criminal Obstruction of Breathing and Harassment 2nd. It’s alleged that he put his hands around another person’s neck and struck the person in the face, during an altercation on Brooklyn Ave. He was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due back in court, on 3/26/2024.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Please take note that construction on the Jackson Street Water project will resume on Monday, April 1st, with the installation of interconnections on Ellicott Street. Loss of water should be expected from Main to Liberty Street and possible surrounding areas, depending on necessary valve closures. If discolored water occurs when water pressure is regained, it’s best to avoid doing laundry or cooking until the water once again runs clear.

 

 

Members of the state Legislature have approved a measure extending the deadline to reach a new budget agreement. Lawmakers and the governor now have until April 4th to get a deal done instead of the traditional April 1st. There are still some issues that need to be worked out before an agreement is in place such as education funding and housing plans. Lawmakers won’t return to the Capitol until Tuesday.

 

The FBI is being tight-lipped about an investigation in Rochester. The agency was joined by police yesterday and evacuated a building located on Andrews Street in the city. The area between Saint Paul Street and North Clinton Avenue was closed down for some time but is now back open for the morning commute. There is no word on when officials will reveal more details about this case.

 

 

 

13WHAM photo of the aftermath of Wednesday’s crash.

A member of the Lewiston Police Department continues on the road to recovery this morning. He was hurt while on the job. According to authorities, the officer was involved in a crash on Wednesday on Military Road in the area of the 190 North. The patrol vehicle struck the back of a tractor-trailer and the impact caused the car to catch fire. Following his rescue from the burning vehicle by another Lewiston Police Officer and a State Trooper, the officer went to Erie County Medical Center for treatment of a broken ankle and head injury. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

 

William Collins, Sr.

A former member of the Niagara County Legislature has been sentenced to community service for slashing someone’s tires. Prosecutors say the incident involving William Collins Senior happened last October in the parking lot of a business in Lockport. Collins has also been ordered to stay away from the victim and pay more than 200 dollars in restitution. The 58-year-old used to represent Niagara County’s 12th district but was defeated back in November.

 

Raheim Robinson (13WHAM Photo)

The second day of jury deliberations in a high-profile murder trial that has connections to Kelvin Vickers, the man who was convicted of murdering Rochester Police Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, is now in the books. Raheim Robinson is accused of being involved in a 2022 gang turf war, during which he allegedly shot and killed 25-year-old Myjel Rand and 19-year-old Ricky Collinge, 19, and wounded another man on North Clinton Avenue July 20. That deadly shooting actually led Mazurkiewicz and Rochester Police Officer Sino Seng to that area the next night, where they were shot by Vickers, who was Robinson’s criminal ally, according to prosecutors. Investigators said Robinson was on a nearby porch armed with a handgun during that incident. Yesterday, jurors asked for the legal definitions of first- and second-degree murder and attempted murder. The jury is scheduled to continue deliberations today.

 

Watkins Glen State Park

Starting next week, veterans and Gold Star families will get free admission to many of New York’s landmarks. Beginning Monday, those folks won’t have to pay to enter state parks, campgrounds, and historic locations across the Empire State. This initiative is part of Governor Hochul’s push to provide resources to veterans and those who have lost a loved one in the line of duty. Anyone who wants to apply for the Lifetime Liberty Pass can do so online.

 

Plans are in the works that would bring both a men’s and women’s professional soccer team to Buffalo. A group called Buffalo Pro Soccer is interested in launching a men’s squad that would play in the United Soccer League, which is the second-highest professional league in the country. The franchise could have players on the field as early as 2026. That would be dependent on just how quickly a new stadium could be built for the team.

 

 

 

The Rochester Institute of Technology men’s hockey team’s season is over after a tough loss in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers took on national powerhouse Boston University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last night and ended up falling by a final score of 6-3. Gianfranco Cassaro, Cody Laskosky, and Elijah Gonsalves each scored a goal for RIT. The Tigers made the NCAA Tournament after winning the Atlantic Hockey Conference.

 

The Buffalo Sabres are going to be back in front of their home crowd tonight as they look to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Sabres are set to host the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played Wednesday night when they were dominated by the Ottawa Senators and lost 6-2. Face-off this evening is set for 7:00.

 

 

 

It’s opening day today for The Buffalo Bisons, as they prepare for the 139th season of professional baseball in Buffalo. The Bisons host the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at Sahlen Field; the first pitch is at 2:05.

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

Rates of sexually transmitted diseases are skyrocketing among older Americans. This week the CDC revealed rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in people over 55 more than doubled in the U.S. between 2012 and 2022. In those ten years, rates of syphilis among seniors increased seven-fold. Factors driving up rates of STDs include longer life spans and a lack of sex education among older adults.

 

Students’ college decisions could be delayed because of a FAFSA calculation mistake by the Department of Education. The error impacted several hundred thousand financial aid forms. The new FAFSA process already has been riddled with complications including delays and glitches because of an updated version released this year. CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators said “every error adds up and will be felt acutely by every student who is counting on need-based financial aid to make their postsecondary dreams a reality.”

 

The proud papa’s offspring…

Punxsutawney Phil may not have much time on his hands to predict the future of early springs, as he’s just become a father. The Groundhog Club says Phil and Phyllis have given birth to two healthy babies. The babies are with their parents at the zoo inside the Punxsutawney Memorial Library. The names of the new babies have not been announced.

 

 

The Powerball jackpot just keeps surging and is now closing in on the one-billion-dollar mark. The top prize up for grabs in tomorrow night’s drawing will be a whopping $935 million. That is the fifth-largest jackpot in the history of the game and the last time someone correctly matched six winning numbers was back on New Year’s Day. The drawing will be streamed live at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Thursday News Brief

File photo of the Easter Bunny with golden eggs

A reminder that the annual Batavia Kiwanis Easter egg hunt is this Saturday starting at 9:00am at Centennial Park. There will be 1000’s of eggs and as a bonus; each child that finds a golden egg may redeem it for a chocolate bunny from Oliver’s Candies. The Easter Bunny has been busy assisting the Batavia Kiwanis, and they’re ready to host some family fun this Saturday.

 

 

 

 

Governor Hochul says she and state lawmakers will not be able to reach a budget agreement ahead of the April 1st deadline. She put out a statement last night and announced she’ll be sending a bill to the Legislature that’ll push the deadline back to April 4th. The governor and lawmakers have been talking for weeks about how to fund the state and both sides are optimistic a deal is close. Much of the debate has involved investments in housing, schools, and health care.

 

Shawn Jordan

A former Rochester police officer has pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and forcible touching in Ontario County. Prosecutors said Shawn Jordan, now 40, had sex with a 13-year-old girl at his South Bristol home in the summer of 2022. As part of his plea agreement, Jordan admitted to having sex with the girl and touching her “intimate parts” on another occasion. Jordan’s arrest in September came six months after he was accused of exposing himself to a 16-year-old girl in a separate incident in Monroe County. He was charged was disseminating indecent material to minors and endangering the welfare of a child. The case was waived to a grand jury. The Rochester Police Department placed Jordan on paid suspension last March, following his initial arrest, and said he resigned weeks later. Jordan was released after his guilty plea yesterday. Sentencing is scheduled for June 25.

 

A man has now been indicted in connection with the murder of a teenager in Buffalo. Prosecutors say 21-year-old Avantae Ayala is the person who shot and killed 13-year-old Miracle Hunt near Broadway and Mortimer Street last July. Ayala opened fire towards a large group of people who were standing outside of the Forge Apartments and a bullet hit Hunt in the head. Ayala remains in custody without bail.

 

Angel Cooper Vause

Angel Cooper Vause, the longtime girlfriend of Raymond Moody, the man who raped and killed Brittanee Drexel of Chili in 2009 while the teenager was on a spring break trip in Myrtle Beach, has herself been arrested on federal charges related to the kidnapping and murder. A federal grand jury has returned indictments against the 56-year-old Vause, on three counts of lying to the FBI. In May 2022, Moody was arrested and told police that he and his girlfriend picked up Brittannee and went someplace to smoke marijuana. While Moody said Vause left the scene prior to his killing Brittannee; Vause’s lies involved her whereabouts and the location of Brittannee’s phone during the commission of the crimes. If convicted Vause faces a long prison term.

 

ORLEANS COUNTY COURT ACTIONS: 32-year-old Alexander Gelo had been wanted on a warrant following a traffic stop on February 28, 2023 on Ridge Road in the Town of Gaines. The warrant stemmed from an incident that occurred two weeks prior when Gelo allegedly made threats to physically harm a witness in a criminal proceeding against him. And now Gelo has pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon, a charge that carries 3 ½ to 15 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to criminal possession of stolen property and aggravated harassment. Gelo is being held in the Orleans County Jail without bail until sentencing. ALSO: 31-year-old Garrett Strickland of Medina has been sentenced to six months in the county jail for violating his probation. He admitted he didn’t notify probation of a change in his address to Holley, and also that he missed several probation appointments and consumed alcohol. He was on probation for bail jumping in Genesee County.

 

Aftermath of crash that injured a Lewiston Police officer

A member of the Lewiston Police Department continues to recover after being hurt while on the job. According to authorities, the officer was involved in a crash yesterday on Military Road in the area of Interstate 190 North. The patrol vehicle struck the back of a tractor-trailer and the impact caused the car to catch fire. The officer went to Erie County Medical Center for treatment of a broken ankle and head injury. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

 

The Buffalo Sabres have fallen short of picking up a second straight win after suffering a blowout loss at home. Buffalo fell behind five to nothing in the first period and ended up being beaten by the Ottawa Senators six-to-two at KeyBank Center last night. Connor Clifton and JJ Peterka had a goal apiece for the Sabres who are sliding out of contention for a playoff spot. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow against the New Jersey Devils.

The Buffalo Bisons are preparing for the 139th season of professional baseball in Buffalo with Opening Day set for Friday, March 29 as the Herd hosts the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at Sahlen Field. The players will take the field at 2:05.

 

 

The Rochester Amerks won their game last night against the Syracuse Crunch; the final score was 2-0. They’ll play the first of two against the Cleveland Monsters in a matinee game on Saturday starting at 3:15; after that, the Amerks will host Cleveland on Wednesday, April 3rd (face-off is at 7:05).

 

The Rochester Institute of Technology men’s hockey team will be back in action tonight as they try and keep their season alive. The Tigers are set to battle Boston University in an NCAA Tournament game in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This will be the first time ever these programs have gone head to head. Face-off is scheduled for five p-m and the winner advances to play Minnesota or Nebraska-Omaha Saturday.

 

Mr. Brown

The Jerome Foundation is sponsoring the William F. Brown Jr. Scholarship. The award is given in memory of the late William F. Brown Jr., noted author, broadcaster, and journalist who contributed greatly to the quality of life in Genesee County through his writing, and as a member of numerous community and civic organizations. An annual $1000 scholarship for four years for a total of $4000 given to a deserving Senior graduating from a Genesee County School whose intention is to pursue a career in the field of journalism, marketing, communication or public relations (in print, radio, television or digital media). Applications for the scholarship have been sent to area High School Counselors or can be found at thejeromefoundation.org. Applications are due May 10, 2024 and can be mailed to The Jerome Foundation, PO Box 249, Batavia, New York 14021. If further information is needed, contact Chris Fix at thejeromefoundation@gmail.com.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Genesis in Buffalo, March 1976

March 28, 1976…Genesis began their first North American tour since Peter Gabriel left the band the previous year. The road trip started in Buffalo. Drummer Phil Collins took over as lead singer.

 

 

 

Most Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. A survey from Pew Research Center found 88% of Americans think cannabis should be legal for recreational or medicinal use. While nearly six out of ten believe it should be legal for both uses, around three out of ten think it should only be legal for medical purposes. About 10% believe it should be outlawed. The survey also revealed that more Americans disagree over the effects of legalizing the drug, with only half believing legalization has a positive economic impact.

 

Shaun Randall with his date: A cardboard cutout of Taylor Swift. I wonder if he got a kiss goodnight?

A high school freshman in North Dakota had a good time showing off his prom date this past weekend. Shaun Randall was pictured at the prom with his arm around the waist of none other than Taylor Swift. Randall’s mom says his sister bought the life-sized cardboard cutout of the pop icon for her brother as a joke. But Shaun found Swift’s likeness to be a big hit at the dance that added to the fun.

 

 

Wednesday News Brief

The state Division of Consumer Protection has issued a warning about home improvement scams. The agency says such scams and contractor fraud are one of the top five things it investigates yearly and there are ways for people to protect themselves. They include doing extensive research before hiring someone and getting at least three estimates before making a final decision. Also, have a contract detailing the kind of work you want done, the contractors’ contact information and a detailed pricing breakdown.

 

 

Starting today, a major change to New York State’s Move Over law will be going into effect. Drivers are now required to slow down and move over to avoid colliding with all vehicles that are stopped along a roadway. The goal is to prevent travelers, pedestrians, highway workers and first responders from being hurt. The law has been in place since 2010 and data shows that nationally, nearly 300 people are struck and killed roadside each year.

 

26-year-old Tyler Vogel was arraigned Monday night in Lancaster Town Court on two counts of Making a Terroristic Threat and two counts of Aggravated Harassment. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says Vogel allegedly sent text messages to two victims separately threatening to physical harm or death if they did not comply with his request to cancel a pending high-profile case happening in another county. The DA’s office declined to provide more information on that case to protect the victims’ identities. If convicted, Vogel could face up to seven years in prison.

 

13WHAM photo of crash aftermath

A baby and a teenager remain in critical condition today; the crash happened in Ogden Monday afternoon. Police responded to the area of Washington Street and Whittier Road shortly before 4:15 p.m. for a report of a two-vehicle crash. Investigators determined a westbound van failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign and was struck by a southbound van that was unable to avoid a collision. Three people in the westbound van were hospitalized. The 37-year-old driver was treated and released, while the 18-year-old and 6-month-old female passengers remain at Strong Memorial Hospital. The driver of the southbound van was treated and released. The crash remains under investigation, but police said criminal charges are not expected to be filed.

 

A man convicted of carrying out a murder in Rochester two years ago has found out his punishment for that crime. Yesterday, a judge sentenced 33-year-old Charles Holley to 25 years to life in prison. Holley was found guilty of shooting and killing 29-year-old Devon Wilburn in the area of Dewey and Magee Avenues in March 2021. Holley was on parole for robbery at the time of the homicide.

 

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is offering a timely reminder for taxpayers. The fastest and easiest way to file tax returns, check refund status and receive money as quickly as possible, is to combine electronic filing and direct deposit into your account. Many state residents quality to e-file for free with the Direct File and Free File programs; find out more by visiting tax.ny.gov.

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley has joined his colleagues in the State Assembly to call for an independent and public review of the state’s COVID response. On March 7th, 2020, former Governor Cuomo declared a state of emergency, which shut down the state for over a year. And it was four years ago yesterday, that Cuomo decided to have Covid-positive patients stay in nursing homes. Overall, during the pandemic, approximately 80,000 New Yorkers died and many businesses struggled. In May 2022, Governor Hochul called for a study of the state’s pandemic response; however, the final report is not yet available.

 

Medical residents at the University at Buffalo are giving people the chance to get their eyesight checked following the upcoming solar eclipse. A clinic is happening on April 8th and it will run from 4:00pm until 9:00pm at the UBMD Opthalmology/Ross Eye Institute on Main Street in Buffalo. Viewing the eclipse without the proper protection might lead to eye injuries and the school wants to make sure any problems are caught early so they can be treated. Walk-in appointments will be accepted.

 

Aerial shot of KeyBank Center

With their latest road trip in the rear view mirror, the Buffalo Sabres will be back on home ice tonight. The Sabres are hosting the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played Sunday when they beat the Calgary Flames 4-1, and are still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the competitive Eastern Conference. Face-off is set for 7:00.

 

The Amerks are in Syracuse tonight to take on the Crunch. They won their last game on Sunday at home against Utica, 4-1.

 

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

The New York judge presiding over Donald Trump’s upcoming hush money trial is imposing a gag order on the former president. The order prohibits Trump from publicly commenting on witnesses, prosecutors and court staff. The move comes as the former president’s trial is scheduled to begin on April 15th. Trump pleaded not guilty last year for allegedly covering up $130,000 in hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

 

 

Lucky dog…

A lucky lottery player could be just a few hours away from winning the fifth-largest prize in the history of Powerball. The jackpot up for grabs tonight is now $875 million after no one matched all the correct numbers on Monday. The odds of actually claiming the jackpot are an astronomical one in 292,000,000. The drawing will be streamed live online. Meanwhile, someone in New Jersey won the over one-billion-dollar Mega Millions jackpot last night.

 

 

 

See’s Famous Old Time Candies

See’s Candies is gearing up for Easter. The 102-year-old candy maker has to prepare four million chocolate Easter eggs in time for the holiday. Workers at the See’s Candies South San Francisco factory have been hard at work for months now making the eggs with various fillings like Bordeaux, vanilla butter cream or peanut butter. While the popular smaller sized chocolate eggs can be made in minutes, the larger ones take more time and are decorated entirely by hand.

 

 

Tuesday News Brief

48-year-old James Briggs of Batavia has been arrested and charged with petit larceny. This followed an investigation of a theft complaint at Walmart. It’s alleged Briggs stole merchandise from the store and then passed all points of sale. He is scheduled to appear in Town of Batavia Court on April 9th. ALSO: 46-year-old Jennifer McCoy of Attica has been arrested. She’s charged with grand larceny and unlawful possession of personal identification information. The arrest occurred following investigation into an incident that previously occurred in Oakfield. It’s alleged that McCoy stole $2,800. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in Oakfield Town Court on May 6th. ALSO: 34-year-old Thomas Mitchell of Batavia has been arrested by Genesee County Sheriffs. He is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and operating a motor vehicle without inspection certificate. Thomas’s vehicle was stopped for traffic violations last Friday in Bergen. Following investigation, it’s alleged that he was in possession of a controlled substance. Thomas was released with an appearance ticket and scheduled to return to the Town of Bergen Court on April 10th.

 

The Buffalo Police Department has released more information on threats that were made against multiple schools in the city. A message claiming that schools would be shot up was posted on Instagram by a 15-year-old boy; the teen also allegedly created the post in an attempt to make it look like it was coming from someone who was being bullied. The boy has been arrested and officials don’t believe the threats were credible.

 

The flu continues to hang on in our region.

As has been the case for several weeks, the spread of the flu is still holding steady across our region. During the week ending March 16th, Erie County led the area in infections with 474; Monroe County had the next highest with 378. That was followed by Niagara County with 110, Chautauqua County had 77 and Genesee County reported 38. Since the beginning of flu season back in October, over 348,000 New Yorker State residents have tested positive for the illness.

 

When voting, enter through the rear doors toward the back of the parking lot. (Photo: Doug Thompson, WBTA)

State residents who don’t want to wait until April 2nd to cast their ballots in the presidential primary can now do so. The early voting period is currently open and will remain so through Saturday. Both President Biden and former President Donald Trump have already secured enough support to be their respective party’s nominees in November. Vote early at the ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Road, Batavia.

 

 

55-year-old Melanie Armstrong of Rochester has pleaded guilty to wire fraud involving national emergency benefits, filing false claims against a government agency, and transfer of a means of identification. Between July 2020 and August 2021, Armstrong falsely applied for and collected unemployment benefits while falsely representing that she had no other source of income. Armstrong also filed false tax returns with the IRS for herself along with family members and associates; claiming false and inflated wages and federal income tax withholdings. As a result, the IRS issued tax refunds to her and others totaling over $100,000. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

 

Aftermath of Ogden crash (13WHAM Photo)

An investigation is still underway into what caused a serious crash in Monroe County. The collision happened yesterday in the area of Washington Street and Whittier Road in Ogden. Four people, including a six-month-old girl, were rushed to a nearby hospital and the child suffered life-threatening injuries. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in this accident.

 

Several companies have been named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the families of the Tops mass shooting victims and have appealed a recent court ruling. Alphabet, which is the parent company of Google along with Amazon and Discord have each filed appeals. This comes one week after an Erie County Supreme Court judge ruled against the social media companies’ motion to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed against them in connection with the shooting. An attorney representing some of the 5/14 families said that an appellate court in Rochester will now review the decision.

 

The Purple Eagles

The Niagara University women’s basketball team has had its season come to an end after a tough loss on the road. Angel Parker led the Purple Eagles with 22 points, but her squad still fell to the Vermont Catamounts 69 to 63 in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament last night. Aaliyah Parker was the second-leading scorer for Niagara with 12 points. The Purple Eagles finished the season with a record of 21 wins and 15 losses.

 

The Buffalo Sabres start a five-game home stand tomorrow evening; they’ll host the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center. Face-off is at 7:00. The Amerks travel to Syracuse for a game tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

The I Love NY eclipse glasses

New York officials are urging folks to prepare for a total solar eclipse that’s expected to happen in the state in a couple weeks. The eclipse on April 8th will be seen in 12 states. Officials are expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors to those areas and many events are planned. Special “I Love New York” eclipse glasses are being sold at a number of places throughout the state.

 

 

 

Unknown location of passengers waiting at an airport.

The FAA is warning of potential delays for commercial flights during next month’s total solar eclipse. The rare astronomical event will happen April 8th with the path of totality across a dozen states. Passengers can expect delays between April 7th and April 10th as people flock to the best areas to witness the eclipse.

 

 

Unidentified location of a house for sale (file photo)

New home sales dipped slightly in February as mortgage rates remain high. Figures from the Commerce Department show sales of new single-family homes slipped three-tenths of a percent below January’s revised annual rate of 664,000 units. That’s still nearly six percent above last year’s rate for February. The average price of a new home sold last month was $485,000.

The math teacher formerly known as Dustin Ebey.

A seventh grade math teacher and army veteran in Texas has changed his name to Literally Anybody Else, and is trying to get on the upcoming presidential ballot. The 35-year old from the Fort Worth area was born Dustin Ebey, but he successfully got a Tarrant County judge sign off on the name change. Mr. Else has already filed with the Federal Election Commission and is now working to get on state ballots as an independent candidate. He says he understands it’s a long shot to get on state ballots at this late of a date, but he hopes word will spread and voters will write him in come November. His campaign website is literallyanybodyelse.com.

 

 

Weekend News Brief

Rochester Police are looking for a woman who was reported missing more than two weeks ago and may be in need of medical attention.  25 year old Shateria Wilson was last seen Tuesday, March 5 in the area of Lake Avenue and Driving Park, according to police.  She was last seen wearing a black jacket, blue scarf, blue jeans and moccasin shoes. She has dark skin and is roughly 5-foot-4-inches, 130 pounds and currently has red hair.  Officers say Wilson has mental health concerns and is believed to be in the Rochester area. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call 911.

The NYS Cannabis Control Board voted Friday to waive licensing fees for two years for adult-use conditional cultivators.  Those fees can range from $4,000 to $40,000. Licensees are allowed to cultivate and sell cannabis from an approved location.  The board also approved 114 new cultivating licenses, 45 of those new licenses are going to applicants seeking to open a retail dispensary. which is more than the board has approved in the last three years combined. Another 31 of those are going to applicants seeking to operate a microbusiness to grow, process, distribute and sell all under one license.  In total, there are now 88 licensed dispensaries in New York State.

Chocolate shops are busy preparing now that Easter is creeping up on us.  As you prepare to fill your Easter baskets — be mindful that it may cost you a bit more this year thanks to the rising cost of cocoa and sugar.  Cocoa has roughly doubled since the start of the year. While sugar prices are also rising, a pound of sugar is up about 8 percent this year after hitting 2.7 percent last year. According to cocoa futures from the Intercontinental Exchange, there’s been a $3,000 jump per ton in the past month.

Afternoon News Brief

Genesee Orleans and Wyoming Counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory starting tonight at 5pm and going through 8am tomorrow morning.  Mixed precipitation is expected with possible freezing rain with accumulations of a tenth inch or less and snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches.  Plan on the roads to be slippery and restrict travel unless absolutely necessary.  Slow down and use caution if going out.  

Police are investigating several stabbings in the City of Rochester.  Two stabbing victims were transported to Strong Memorial Hospital with laceration wounds, while another person on Roxborough Road reported having similar injuries.  The first incident was initially reported as a stabbing and a shooting on Lawrence Street. Police say they found nobody had been shot, and the location of the stabbing is unknown.  Whether the two incidents are related is unclear. All three parties have non-life threatening laceration wounds on their upper bodies.

A man is now facing charges in a deadly shooting on the city’s north side.  Keyon Wright, 18, of Rochester was arrested Thursday for allegedly shooting and killing Julien Walthour, 28, during a marijuana deal in the area of Avenue D and Bauman Street the night of Dec. 30.  Walthour died at the scene after he was found shot in a vehicle that was stopped in the roadway.  U.S. Marshals found Wright in a vehicle Thursday on Laser Street. Police said he was in possession of a loaded 9 mm handgun.  Wright is charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

The annual Tech Wars brings middle and high school students from all 24 of the GLOW region’s school districts together in teams to demonstrate their technical expertise through innovative, mind-expanding competitions.  Tech Wars 2024 events include: Battlebot Soccer; the Regatta; Bridge; CO2 Cars; Logo Design; Sculpture; Onsite CAD Drawing and Reverse Engineering CAD; Skimmer Cars; Sumo Bots; Tractor Pull; Trebuchet and Lumber Labyrinth. A new event this year, Drone Agility.  2 scholarships are offered every year to encourage high school students to enter technology and trade fields.

As all of the young Easter egg hunters prepare for the annual Batavia Kiwanis Easter egg hunt, which begins at 9 a.m. sharp on March 30 at Centennial Park, club member Matt Landers wants to remind participants that there will be one golden egg hidden every day in the park from Friday through March 28 for the finding.  Each child that finds a golden egg may redeem it for a prize of a chocolate bunny from Oliver’s Candies during the big event on March 30 at Centennial Park in Batavia.  The Easter egg hunt will feature “thousands of eggs,” members say, so come prepared for the hunt and to have some family fun, even if Mother Nature doesn’t fully cooperate with the beginning of spring.

The choir of Emmanuel Baptist Church at 190 Oak Street in Batavia is performing it’s Easter Cantata, “Then Came The Morning” this Sunday at 2pm.  The choir is comprised of members of the church and the community and is led by Debbie Prosser of Debbie Prosser Music Ministries.  The performance will be followed by a free refreshment hour.  The cantata is free to attend and everyone is welcome.

Friday News Brief

On 3/14/2024, Trevor N Christman (age 33) of Batavia, was charged with Exposure of a Person. It’s alleged that Christman exposed himself, in a public place. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court, on 3/26/2024.

On 3/16/2024, Martin J Rodgers (age 40) of Batavia, was arrested for Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Harassment 2nd. Rodgers allegedly threw a cell phone at a 15-year-old child, during a disturbance, on Summit St. He was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 3/13/2024, Janell M Sauer (age 48) of Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Sauer was initially charged on 11/10/2023, with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd. The warrant was issued, after she failed to appear in court. Sauer was arraigned in CAP Court and released. She is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 2/28/2024, Brian A Powell (age 64) of Batavia, was arrested for Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd. Patrols responded to the area of Oak St and West Main St, for the report of a person slumped over the wheel of a car. When police made contact with the driver, later identified as Powell, he allegedly drove away, leading police on a short pursuit. Powell then stopped the vehicle, on Central Ave, but refused to exit the car. Powell was then removed from the vehicle, by police, and placed under arrest. He was issued an appearance ticket and several traffic tickets. He is due in Batavia City Court, on 3/14/2024.

On 3/7/2024, Keonon S Williams (age 46) of Batavia, was arrested for Petit Larceny. Williams allegedly stole a set of license plates, from another person, and refused to return them. Williams was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 3/11/2024, Misty R Scutt (age 34) of Akron, was arrested on a bench warrant. Scutt was initially charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, on 4/26/2023. The warrant was issued after she allegedly failed to participate in a court ordered program. Scutt was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. She is due back in court, on 3/27/2024.

Between 3/11/2024 and 3/13/2024, Alicia M Lyons (age 44) of Batavia, was arrested a total of four times for Trespass. It’s alleged that Lyons entered onto the property of Kwik Fill on 3/11, twice on 3/12, and once on 3/13, after previously being banned. On 3/13, she was additionally charged with Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd, after allegedly fleeing police, who were attempting to take her into custody. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. She is due back in court, on 3/26/2024.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

Unidentified teacher in undated file photo

There is a proposal in Albany to change the way teachers and principals are evaluated. It means school districts could be moving away from standardized testing as a way to do these evaluations. Historically, many parents throughout our region had opted out of these tests and keeping their kids at home. One problem with assessing students at one particular point of the school year is that the tests are sometimes measuring things that had not yet been taught. If this bill becomes law, it would be up to individual school districts to decide whether to keep testing kids to evaluate teachers.

 

Buffalo Police are investigating a double fatal crash along Main Street and Humboldt Parkway. Officers were called to the area just after midnight yesterday morning. According to accident investigators, a Dodge Magnum was speeding north on Main Street, when it collided with a Toyota Corolla, which was trying to make a left turn onto Main Street. The Dodge Magnum did not have its headlights on. Police say a 27-year-old male driver and a 26-year-old female passenger from Ohio in the Corolla were transported to Erie County Medical Center, where they died. Two other passengers in the Corolla, both 31-year-old men from Ohio, were also transported to ECMC. As of this morning, one is listed in critical condition and the other in stable condition. The crash remains under investigation.

 

A Rochester woman is one of four people indicted, accused in a massive mail fraud scheme. Prosecutors say 30-year-old Heather Dierna helped trick nearly 5,000 companies into paying false invoices over the course of about two years, which brought in almost $4 million. She and three others are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

 

 

Buffalo and Erie Naval and Military Park

The 45th season at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park will be getting underway tomorrow. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 9:30am and is going to be followed by staff members talking about events that are planned for the months ahead. They include a celebration of the 80th anniversary of the USS Croaker where the history of the submarine will be highlighted. For more details, head to buffalonavalpark.org.

 

The Newman Center

The Diocese of Buffalo has put another one of its current properties up for sale. The diocese listed the Buffalo State University Newman Center on Elmwood Avenue online for $649,000. The building has been the home of the school’s Catholic ministry for decades. The Diocese is facing financial problems as it deals with hundreds of sex abuse allegations involving clergy and may end up selling at least two dozen properties.

 

Governor Hochul says a new effort is getting underway to help New Yorkers who struggle with serious mental illness. She says $92 million is going towards assisting Critical Time Intervention teams, which provide support for individuals in need. And $10 million will be used to create additional Safe Options Support teams that focus on young adults and children. The governor says the mental health crisis is the defining challenge of our time and all available resources will be used to address it.

 

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game losing streak after suffering a blowout loss on the road. JJ Peterka scored twice and Victor Oloffson also had a goal as the Sabres fell to the Edmonton Oilers eight to three at Rogers Place last night. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen had a tough night in net and was only able to stop 31 of the 39 shots he faced. The next game for the Sabres is Sunday against the Calgary Flames.

 

The Rochester Amerks play tonight in their second of a three game home stand; they host the Toronto Marlies. They’re fresh off from an exciting game Wednesday night against the Hartford Wolf Pack that featured three lead changes with the Americans on top at the end; the final score was 6-5. Face-off tonight is at 7:05.

 

Damar Hamlin

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is teaming up with Tops to promote a new flavor as part of a brand he supports called ‘DON’T QUIT’. The campaign focuses around Hamlin’s new healthy sports nutrition drink with the signature flavor, cookies and cream. Shoppers can celebrate the new flavor by stopping by Tops, and taking a picture with the life-size Damar Hamlin cutout for a chance to win a meet and greet with the football player, and a 6-month supply of the cookies and cream beverage. The promotion is on from April 15th through the 29th; Hamlin will announce the winner in a personal video during the week of April 29th.To learn more, visit dontquit.com

 

ELSEWHERE…

The solar eclipse is just over two weeks away, and Wegmans has announced it’ll be shutting its stores briefly during the event. The Rochester-based supermarket chain will close from 3:00pm until 3:30pm on April 8th. That means grocery, pharmacy, and meal services will be unavailable during that time. Wegmans says it is making this move so that employees and customers can take time to enjoy the eclipse.

 

Tiger Woods celebrates winning the 2019 Masters

Tiger Woods is on the Master’s official tournament field list, signaling a possible appearance at Augusta National. Tiger has just played one time this season at the Genesis Invitational, and exited early due to illness. The five-time Master’s Champion is one victory shy of the record held by Jack Nicklaus. The tournament is scheduled for April 11th through the 15th.

 

 

Clara Peller finds the beef.

On March 22, 1985, Wendy’s hamburger restaurant ended its relationship with Clara Peller. She coined the famous phrase “Where’s the Beef?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Star Wars original cast

All nine Star Wars movies are returning to theaters this spring and will be shown in chronological order. Lucasfilm announced Thursday that the “Skywalker Saga” is being shown to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “The Phantom Menace.” Fans will be able to see the entire series from the beginning, starting with “The Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith,” followed by “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” and ending with “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker.” The “Skywalker Saga” begins on Star Wars Day, May 4th.

 

 

Afternoon News Brief

Mayor Malik Evans confirmed today that the man whose body was pulled from the Highland Park reservoir Tuesday had been reported missing last month and had been in the water for nearly a month.  The body was identified as 29 year old Abdullahi Muya who was reported missing March 9 after last being seen Feb. 18.  Muya entered a gated area at the reservoir Feb. 24 around 6:30 a.m., slid down the side of the reservoir into the water and died. Police said no one else was present and Muya’s death doesn’t appear to be criminal in nature.  Evans said the area is patrolled by cameras, with heat and motion sensors, as well as city security and Water Bureau personnel but Muya’s body went undetected for 24 days.

Rochester Police are looking for suspects from a shooting on the city’s northside Wednesday morning.  Around 9:15 a.m., officers responded to the 1700 block of St. Paul Street for the report of a person shot.  A short time later, the victim, a 17-year-old girl, arrived at a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.  No arrests have been made.

Sheriff William Sheron put out a thank you to the community today.  It reads: On behalf of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, I would like to thank the community, emergency service responders, fellow law enforcement agencies, and state and local government officials for your immense support to the Sanfratello and Genesee County Sheriff’s Office family during our time of loss.  We have received support locally, from across the state, and nationally and your words and gestures are very much appreciated.  Sergeant Sanfratello was a special person to all that knew him, and he will be missed tremendously.

A Rochester woman is one of four people indicted, accused in a massive mail defrauding scheme.  Prosecutors say 30-year-old Heather Dierna helped trick nearly 5,000 companies into paying false invoices over the course of about two years, raking in almost $4 million.  She and three others are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

A New York City homeowner was arrested for unlawful eviction after arguing with squatters who, she says, stole her $1 million home last month. Two men broke into the home of 47 year old Adele Andaloro and when she called police on them, they claimed to live there.  According to the laws in New York City, as soon as the men claimed to live there they gained squatters rights and it then became a tenant landlord issue and had to go to court, which could take over 2 years to reach a judgment, before the men could be removed.  The men said to reporters that the law means if they just stay there and claim to be residents they thought they could claim the building for themselves and become New York City landowners.

The woman accused of stealing almost half a million dollars from a Buffalo church allegedly spent the money on Taylor Swift concert tickets among other things.  Lisa Noble is accused of stealing more than $400,000 from St. Amelia Church in the Town of Tonawanda while working as a business manager between April 2023 and September 2023.  Investigators believe she spent all the money on concert tickets, travel, lodging, and other personal expenses including $20,000 on a trip to Kansas City for a Taylor Swift concert.  She is also accused of stealing more than $500,000 from a doctor’s office in the City of Tonawanda over about five years while working as an office manager.

Thursday News Brief

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an apparent homicide. The victim has been identified as 59-year-old Michael Poole of Olcott. The victim was located Tuesday afternoon, March 19th in the town of Alabama, during the investigation into a missing person out of Niagara County. No further details are being released at this time.

 

The Move Over Law is being expanded starting next Wednesday.

Law enforcement is providing a reminder that the move-over law will be expanding as of next Wednesday, March 27. The law will require drivers to change lanes for all stopped or disabled vehicles on highways, not just emergency vehicles or tow trucks. If a motorist cannot move into an adjacent lane, they are required to slow down when nearing that stopped vehicle. Those who don’t could be ticketed.

 

A Buffalo man is in serious trouble with the law after being accused of hurting a New York State Trooper. The incident involving 29-year-old Antonio Tucker started Tuesday when law enforcement pulled him over for a traffic stop in Lockport. He was asked to get out of the vehicle but instead put it into drive and dragged the Trooper about 15 feet. Tucker was eventually taken into custody following a pursuit that ended in Genesee County. He’s charged with multiple crimes including reckless endangerment and assault.

 

Budget negotiations continue in Albany today between state lawmakers and Governor Kathy Hochul. April First is the budget deadline and between now and then lawmakers and the governor will hash out a number of items including whether to raise taxes, the amount allocated to schools and how much to put toward the migrant crisis.

 

13WHAM photo of accident aftermath.

Multiple injuries have been reported after a tractor-trailer slams into a home in Brighton. The crash happened last night on South Clinton Avenue and caused extensive damage to the residence. First responders say two people inside the house and the truck driver needed treatment but all are expected to be OK. There was a snow squall happening at the time of the accident, which remains under investigation.

 

Lisa Noble

A former employee at Saint Amelia’s Church in Tonawanda has been arraigned after being accused of stealing $465,000. Authorities claim 43-year-old Lisa Noble took the money while working as the business manager at the church. The funds were stolen between April and September of last year and Noble ended up being fired. Noble also allegedly took $500,000 from a medical practice in Tonawanda where she served as an office manager between 2016 and 2021.

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres take the ice tonight as they continue the Canadian portion of their current road trip. They’re set to take on the Edmonton Oilers as they try to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot; the puck drops at 9:00. The Sabres are set to take on Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Buffalo is coming off a tough 3-2 loss on Tuesday night to the Vancouver Canucks but is still in the hunt for a playoff spot. Face-off for this evening’s contest is scheduled for 9:00.

 

The Rochester Amerks overcame three different deficits before ultimately outlasting and beating the Hartford Wolf Pack last night with a final score of 6-5. The victory gives the Amerks at least one point in 18 of their last 26 games dating back to January 17, which includes four straight home wins. Next up for the Americans, the second of a three game homestand tomorrow night when they host the Toronto Marlies; the puck drops at 7:05.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Richard Simmons (CNN Photo)

Fitness guru Richard Simmons says he’s been diagnosed a form of skin cancer, after sharing a post in which he wrote “I am dying” on social media. The 75-year-old said he noticed this strange looking bump under my right eye” that didn’t disappear, which led to him calling his dermatologist. He was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. He wrote: “Now I am getting a little bit nervous. He comes back about 20 minutes later and says the C word. ‘You have cancer.'”

 

The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates unchanged. Speaking at a press conference, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said the policy rate is “likely at its peak.” He also said the Fed is committed to its two-percent inflation goal, which is crucial to a “sustainably strong” labor market. Powell said that while inflation has eased, it’s still too high. Meanwhile, higher inflationary data haven’t changed its overall downward trend, despite major points — the consumer price index and personal consumption expenditure — rising in both January and February. Powell called it a “sometimes bumpy road toward 2%.”

 

The U.S. is no longer in the top 20 happiest countries in the world. It’s the first time that’s happened since rankings were started by Gallup back in 2012. Americans are now 23rd on the list. Happiness has fallen among all age groups, but particularly those under age 30, thanks in part to unaffordable housing and a growing sense of loneliness. Nordic countries top the list, with Finland at number one.

 

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Batavia brought in the New Year with fireworks last night at 9p at Batavia Downs.  The time was moved up to avoid potential hazards due to the high winds that arrived after midnight, the original time of the fireworks.  No reports of major damage today due to the high winds but be aware of tree limbs and downed power lines in your area.

A grand jury has indicted a man who was arrested over the summer at the August 10th Jason Aldean concert at Darien Lake.  Robert Maharrey was indicted for disorderly conduct, multiple counts of harassment for striking a female patron in the face, 2nd degree assault a class D violent felony for allegedly striking a sheriff’s deputy, assaulting a police officer a class C violent felony when he spit and struck another deputy assisting in the arrest.

Friday evening Livingston County Sheriffs were in the middle of the state wide stop DWI effort, when deputies pulled a vehicle over on 390 for speeding.  Upon further investigation a 27 year old Geneseo man Patrick Dunn was charged with DWI.  Dunn’s BAC was .25% and was further charged with felony DWI from a previous 2015 conviction.  Dunn is now being held on 1,5k bail or 3k bond and remanded to the custody of the sheriff.

Yesterday afternoon, Genesee County Sheriffs made a traffic stop in Oakfield on Lewiston road when a Rochester man, 20 year old Damian Schoonmaker of Smith Street was found to be in possession of marijuana in his 2000 Buick LeSabre.  He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and is scheduled to appear in Oakfield town court 1/21

A motor vehicle accident yesterday in Elba led to a lane closure around 3:30p.  Two vehicle collided at Oak orchard and Lockport roads in Elba.  Elba fire police and 2 ambulance responded along with Elba Fire dept.

New Yorkers are seeing a number of new state laws in the New Year.  Among them, a law that requires diaper changing tables in all new public men’s and women’s restrooms.

Other changes include a requirement that health insurance companies give male patients free prostate cancer screenings and that residents be allowed to return unused prescription meds to pharmacies for free.

Many homeowners will enjoy an increase in property tax rebates, of an average of more than five-hundred dollars.

There’s the hike in the minimum wage. In our area, the minimum wage goes to eleven-dollars-and-ten-cents.



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