Local News

Afternoon News Brief

Roberts Wesleyan University and Northeastern Seminary will formally unite operations ahead of the next academic year according to a release issued this morning.  The schools have received approval from the New York State Board of Regents to merge effective June 30.  The schools already share a campus and a board of directors but have operated as separate educational corporations and legal entities.  Northeastern Seminary was founded in 1998 as a graduate school of theology and offers several master’s and doctorate programs related to ministry.

7 News in Buffalo has put together a list of where to get the basic household staples on the cheap in Western NY.  They published a list showing which store has the cheapest chicken breasts, bread, eggs, milk and toilet paper.  According to them Aldi has the edge in Milk, a Loaf of White Bread, and Toilet Paper.  Chicken Breast is cheaper at Wegmans.  Walmart has the lowest price on eggs.

Rochester Police are looking for suspects in a gunpoint robbery Tuesday night on North Goodman Street.  It happened around 6 p.m. near Bay Street. Police said a 25-year-old Monroe County resident was approached by a suspect with a handgun who demanded money.  The suspect fled the scene. The victim was not injured.

The New York State Police today announced that troopers issued 6,876 tickets during a special STOP DWI traffic enforcement period over Super Bowl Weekend.  State Police increased patrols and conducted sobriety checkpoints to deter, identify and arrest impaired drivers.  During this enforcement period, State Troopers arrested 139 people for DWI, and investigated 245 crashes, which injured 37 people. State Police did not respond to any fatal crashes during the weekend.  Officers gave out 2180 speeding tickets, 192 citations for distracted driving, 231 seatbelt violations and 58 move over law citations. From last year the number of DWIs stayed about the same but the number of other violations went down by almost 1500.

The City of Batavia Police and Fire Departments will face off at their annual charitable hockey game on Sunday the 25th at 6:30 P.M. with proceeds once again going to the David M. McCarthy Memorial Foundation.  Tickets are $10 and free for children under 10 years of age and are only available for purchase by following the link on crimestoppers or at wbtai.com.  There will be a 50-50 raffle during the game.

https://app.mysportsort.com/view/index.php?an=404&myss_source=register&entitytype=3&entityid=109110

Wednesday News Brief

File photo of Governor Hochul in Rochester (13WHAM Photo)

Governor Hochul is revealing what her latest budget proposal could mean for our area’s future. During a visit to Rochester yesterday, she said her fiscal plan would provide funds to improve higher education and battle poverty. Hochul also said that money would be set aside to repair many of the region’s roads and bridges so they can be safe for residents and tourists. The deadline to pass an on-time state budget is April 1st.

 

Catholic Charities of Buffalo is looking for people to join its free Home Visitation and Friendly Phones program in both Genesee and Orleans Counties. You would either visit in person or make phone calls to individuals who are homebound and 60 and over. These would be 1-hour weekly visits to help fight loneliness and provide opportunities for socialization. As a volunteer, you would engage in friendly conversation and partake in activities such as board games, puzzles, and crafts but would not be providing assistance with personal or medical care, banking, shopping or transportation. To find out more, please call Catholic Charities at 585-343-0614.

 

Lisa Haight

New information is out on a deadly officer-involved shooting in Hamburg. It’s been revealed that Officer Sean Gregoire is the one who shot and killed 36-year-old Lisa Haight during an encounter in the bathroom of a home on February 2nd. It was believed Haight had a knife when she threatened officers, but it was later determined to be a penlight. Gregoire remains on paid administrative leave.

 

 

PJ the Giraffe – 13WHAM photo

Staff members at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester are mourning the passing of a giraffe calf. Officials say that Parker Junior, who was also affectionately known as PJ, died over the weekend after suffering an apparent seizure. PJ was born on December 6th and had been receiving treatment for an issue with his leg. The calf’s mother is pregnant but has been diagnosed with a cancerous growth on her jaw.

 

 

 

Anthony Mazurkiewicz

A Rochester man may end up spending the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to drug and weapons charges. According to prosecutors, 31-year-old Rasheem Sullivan and members of his gang were arrested back in December 2022. An investigation into their activities started after the shooting death of Rochester Police Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz. Sullivan will be sentenced May.

 

 

 

Police in some of Western New York’s suburbs say they’re seeing an increase in car thefts. That includes the communities of Tonawanda, Amherst, Grand Island and West Seneca. The vehicles targeted the most are Kia’s and Hyundai’s, since they’re considered to be easier to steal because of security flaws. Owners are reminded to always lock their cars and never leave keys inside.

 

James Taylor

Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member James Taylor is coming to Western New York this summer. Taylor and his All-Star band will be at the Darien Lake Amphitheater on Tuesday, June 25th. He’s best known for big hits such as “Fire and Rain” and “You’ve Got A Friend.” Tickets go on sale this Friday starting at 10:00am through Live Nation

 

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be north of the border tonight as they look to get back on the winning track. The team is set to visit their longtime rivals the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Buffalo last played on Monday afternoon when they lost to the Anaheim Ducks 4-3. Face-off for this evening’s contest is scheduled for 7:00.

 

ELSEWHERE…

The Mega Millions jackpot has rolled over again. With no grand prizewinner in Tuesday night’s big drawing, a whopping $525 million will now be up for grabs in the next drawing on Friday. The cash option on that works out to just over $247 million. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Delta Airlines will be offering flights with views of the total solar eclipse. The airline announced several flights for April 8th, with one flight specially designed to follow the path of totality. The flights will depart from Austin at 12:15 p.m. and will land in Detroit. The aircraft type will be an Airbus A220-300 with extra large windows. Delta says other flights that day will also offer at least part of the solar eclipse view.

 

 

The Florida Senate is expected to take up a social media ban for kids Wednesday. The measure would prohibit anyone under the age of 16 from creating an account and require platforms to delete existing profiles run by minors. Lawmakers revamped it last week to specify which platforms are being targeted. Governor Ron DeSantis has not publicly supported the legislation, saying it’s “to be determined” whether he will sign it, if it passes the state legislature. The current session is set to wrap up early next month.

 

Afternoon News Brief

A gang member has pleaded guilty to drug and weapon charges following an investigation that stemmed from the shooting death of a Rochester police officer.  Prosecutors announced Today that 31 year old Rasheem “Coop” Sullivan of Rochester, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Sullivan is the self-proclaimed leader of a local subset of the Bloods known as the Immortal Stone Gorilla Gang.  Sullivan and several other gang members were arrested in December 2022 after a search uncovered drugs, cash and “numerous” guns, including a loaded Glock 10 mm pistol inside Sullivan’s home.  Sullivan was the person who hired the gunman from Boston who shot and killed Officer Mazurkiewicz.  Sullivan’s plea carries at least five years in prison and a maximum of life in prison.

A new report on the city’s Emergency Medical Services evaluates the system and provides recommendations for improved services.  This comes a few months after a man was forced out of an AMR ambulance in Rochester during a medical crisis and later died.  Saturday, the city released a report that evaluates the EMS system based on data from 2017 to 2021. It suggests seven alternative EMS models for the city to consider.  One of the options would involve the Rochester Fire Department transporting all patients. Another would only assign RFD to critical patients.  Dr. Jeremy Cushman, Rochester’s EMS medical director, said the city is now exploring additional investments to stabilize and improve the system.  The city is now in contract discussions with AMR. Its current contract with the company is set to expire in November.

Rochester police are still on the lookout for the driver who was involved in a hit-and-run. According to authorities, a man was run over after being attacked during a fight at the corner of Boardman Street and Monroe Avenue early Saturday morning. The 25-year-old was rushed to a nearby hospital to be treated for upper body injuries. So far, there has been no arrest made in this case.

Catholic Charities of Buffalo is looking for some caring people to join its free Home Visitation and Friendly Phones program in Genesee and Orleans County.  The job is to either visit in person or make phone calls to individuals who are homebound and 60 and over.  These would be 1 hour weekly visits to help fight loneliness with regular socialization.  Volunteers engage in friendly conversation and partake in activities such as board games, puzzles, and crafts. Volunteers do not help with personal or medical care, banking, shopping or transportation.  If interested, please call Catholic Charities at 585-343-0614.

Humans aren’t the only ones who will experience the total solar eclipse in Western NY our animal friends will also get to experience this unique daytime darkness.  Western NY hasn’t seen a total solar eclipse since 1925.  Buffalo Zoo will be conducting a study and inviting the public to join them on April 8th during the Total Solar Eclipse.  They predict that the animals will think it’s night time and try to go to sleep. 

Dozens of Buffalo area business owners met Monday to discuss new regulations that they believe will also impact consumers.  The New York State DEC proposed new regulation surrounding Hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs. The compound is commonly found in refrigeration, air-conditioning and aerosols, but scientists say it’s harmful to the environment.  New regulations seek to phase out HFC refrigerants in the state by 2034. However, it doesn’t completely align with the EPA’s new phase down. The state is more aggressive than the federal rules.  The state says the goal of this change is to implement recommendations of the Climate Action Council Scoping Plan necessary to achieve required statewide emission limits.  Critics say it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars in retrofitting equipment and buying new equipment.

Tuesday News Brief

A firefighter is recovering after being hurt in the line of duty. Crews were called to battle a blaze on Wortendyke Road in Batavia yesterday and arrived to find a fire inside a garage. The firefighter suffered a knee injury and is going to be OK, and the three people inside of the home at the time, a woman and two children, escaped unharmed. However, their pet dog, who was in the garage at the time, perished in the blaze. The fire did not get into the house; however, their home sustained heavy smoke damage. The investigation continues into how the fire started.

 

Senator Schumer in Rochester yesterday afternoon. (13WHAM Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing a plan to put an end to the shortage of RSV vaccine. During a visit to Rochester yesterday, Schumer says he’s going to try and pressure the FDA and drug manufacturers to produce more of the vaccine. Studies show people who have been immunized have a reduced risk of experiencing complications from RSV. Schumer says it’s unfair that doctors have to decide who gets vaccinated and who doesn’t.

 

The latest flu tracker data suggests the virus is stubbornly hanging on across our region. During the week ending February 10th, Monroe County had the highest number of infections with 503. Erie County was second with 333. Chautauqua County had 130 cases of flu and Niagara County had 86. Since the beginning of flu season, over 262,000 people in New York have contracted the illness.

 

Richard Metcalf, Jr.

The third week of testimony is scheduled to begin today in the wrongful death civil trial of Richard Metcalf, Jr. Metcalf was an inmate at the Erie County Holding Center when he passed away after being restrained following an encounter involving staff members at the jail in 2012. The jury has already heard testimony from the former county medical examiner that ruled Metcalf’s death was a homicide. His estate has filed a lawsuit against the county and multiple deputies.

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres have come up short in their bid to win a second straight game after suffering a tough loss on home ice. Jordan Greenway, Tage Thompson and Zach Benson had a goal each as their team fell to the Anaheim Ducks four-to-three at KeyBank Center yesterday. Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen faced just 15 shots in the contest and stopped only 11 of them. Buffalo hits the road for their next game tomorrow evening against the Montreal Canadiens.

 

File photo of Damar Hamlin

Damar Hamlin says that he has learned a lot about himself over the past year. That’s no surprise after his near-death experience on the field about 13 months ago when Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during a game at Cincinnati on January 2nd, 2023. Hamlin played in five games this past season, plus both of Buffalo’s postseason matchups. Hamlin says that he is focusing on all of his opportunities, setting himself up for the future outside of football.

 

 

With returns due in under two months, state residents are encouraged to know their rights when it comes time to hire someone to do their taxes. The state Department of Taxation and Finance says all tax preparers must tell you immediately if they’ll represent you if your return is audited and have to ask you the correct questions so they can do your return accurately. Preparers are also required to allow you to review your completed return before you sign it. Any complaints can be filed at tax.ny.gov.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Serotonin

Taking antidepressants like Prozac while pregnant can hinder a child’s brain development and possibly cause mental disorders later in life. That’s the findings in a new study published last week in the journal Nature Communications. Experts say antidepressants that raise Serotonin levels can influence how the brain learns and adjusts.

 

 

An artist’s perspective or ERS-2 satellite

A dead satellite is returning to Earth this week. ERS-2 is one of the European Space Agency’s advanced observation satellites. From 1995 to 2011 it tracked everything from shrinking polar ice to atmospheric composition. Most of the satellite is set to burn up on re-entry Wednesday morning, with no clear prediction on where any remaining debris will land.

 

 

2018 file photo of Kenny Chesney

One of the biggest names in country music is going to be making a stop at Darien Lake this summer. Kenny Chesney is set to be on stage at the popular concert venue on Thursday, July 27th as part of his “Sun Goes Down” tour. The Grammy Award nominated Chesney will be joined at the show by rising artist Megan Moroney. Tickets for this performance go on sale to the general public Friday through Live Nation.

 

 

Afternoon News Brief

Buffalo police are asking for help from the public as they try and solve three shootings in their city. They say a 37-year-old man was shot outside at an address on Sprenger Avenue Saturday night. Hours later, two more men were hit by gunfire inside of a speakeasy on East Lovejoy Street. All three victims ended up being taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Firefighters were at the scene of a two-story house fire on McKinley Avenue in Batavia.  There was heavy fire on the second floor of the wooden structure at number 14.  It was called in at around 2pm on Sunday.  Firefighters were battling the blaze amid an ongoing water shortage in the Genesee County area. All persons were out of the building before the firefighters arrived.  They said one person was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.  There was also reportedly a problem with water from the fire hydrant. Batavia Fire Chief Joshua Graham says the house is a total loss.

Rochester Police say a man was stabbed around 1 a.m. Monday morning on Monroe Avenue near Goodman Street.  The 37-year-old victim said a suspect demanded property before stabbing him once in the upper body. He’s been taken to the hospital for a non-life threatening injury.  No arrests have been made

Drivers in Western NY are seeing prices stay steady from last week.  In Batavia the price of a gallon of regular dropped less than a cent going from 3.238 to 3.234 with all discounts applied. Since last month the price is down about 6 cents.  The New York average went up by about 3 cents and nationally it stayed exactly the same from last week.  AAA says that the reason for the rise two weeks ago and then the leveling off is the shutdown of a refinery in Indiana which will be fixed soon.  

Damar Hamlin learned a lot about himself over the past year. That’s no surprise after his near-death experience on the field about 13 months ago.  Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during a game at Cincinnati on Jan 2, 2023. He needed to be resuscitated and the game was called off. Hamlin played in five games this season, plus both of Buffalo’s postseason matchups.  Hamlin says that he is focusing on all his opportunities, setting himself up for the future, and business outside of football.

Monday News Brief

CITY of BATAVIA POLICE BLOTTER:  On 2/9/2024, Felicia R Sherrell (age 43) of Batavia, was arrested for DWI. The arrest is the result of an investigation into a motor vehicle accident that occurred on 12/17/2023. It’s alleged that Sherrell struck a sign at West Main St and Oak St and left the scene. After being located by police Sherrell allegedly resisted arrest and struck an Officer as they attempted to take her into custody. Sherrell was additionally charged with Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs and Alcohol, Failure to Keep Right, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Harassment 2nd, and Resisting Arrest. She is due in court on 2/13/2024.

On 2/12/2024 Leona J Polk (age 44) of Leroy, was arrested for Harassment 2nd. Polk allegedly struck a nurse in the Emergency Room at UMMC. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 2/27/2024.

On 2/12/2024, Rebecca R Fugate (age 23) Batavia, was charged with Harassment 2nd. Fugate allegedly struck another person while on a bus in the City of Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 3/5/2024.

On 2/4/2024, Isaiah J Munroe (age 33) of Batavia, was arrested for Assault 3rd, Unlawful Imprisonment 2nd and Criminal Mischief 4th. Munroe was arrested after an investigation into a disturbance call on Walnut St on 1/28/2024. It’s alleged that Munroe engaged in a physical altercation with another person causing injury. He also allegedly restrained them and prevented them from calling for help. He was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in Batavia City Court at a later date.

On 2/6/2024 David J Sokolowski (age 54) of Batavia, was arrested for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th. The arrest stems from an incident on 10/7/2023 where Sokolowski was allegedly found in possession of narcotics. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 2/27/2024.

On 2/7/2024, Jaylinn M Oneil (age 33) of Leroy, was arrested on a warrant from Batavia City Court. Oneil was initially charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd on 11/8/2023. The warrant was issued after she failed to appear in court. Oneil was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released. She is due back in court on 2/28/2024.

On 2/9/2024, Michael R Ostrander (age 59) of Batavia, was arrested for Assault 3rd. Ostrander was arrested after police responded to an incident on Mill St where Ostrander allegedly struck another person causing injury. Ostrander was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due back in Batavia City Court at a later date.

On 2/3/2024, Kristen R Aquino (age 40) was arrested for DWI. Aquino was initially stopped on Liberty St for a vehicle and traffic violation. Aquino was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. She was issued several traffic tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on 2/21/2024.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Aftermath of fatal Lockport crash

Two Rochester residents have lost their lives following a high-speed chase in Lockport over the weekend. Niagara County officials say the pursuit began Saturday after a stolen vehicle was spotted on Route 31 near Chesnut Ridge Road. The driver, 29-year-old Michael Walker, refused to pull over and eventually lost control of the vehicle and slammed it into a tree. Both Walker and his passenger, 28-year-old Ana Cerrato, died at the scene.

 

 

Nationally, there has been a slight uptick in gas prices over the past week; locally however, the price has gone down a few cents. According to Triple A this morning, the national average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $3.28, which is up 2 cents from a week ago; the state average is $3.30. In Batavia, the average calculates out to $3.23; that’s down 7 cents from a month ago and 14 cents from a year ago today.

 

Unidentified snowmobilers enjoying the winter’s day

Governor Hochul has announced there will be two free snowmobiling weekends taking place next month. They’ll be March 1st through the 3rd and also March 8th through the 10th. The goal is to attract out-of-state snowmobilers and encourage them to ride New York’s over 10-thousand miles worth of trails. While the registration requirement will be waived, all riders still must carry proof of insurance with them. For a full list of rules and regulations, head to nysnowmobiler.com.

 

Governor Hochul and former President Trump

Governor Kathy Hochul is responding to a report that former President Trump would try to pass a federal 16-week abortion ban if he’s elected in November. Hochul says it’s abhorrent that women’s rights could be jeopardized across the country, including in New York, the birthplace of women’s rights. She says she would fight such a move with every breath and would never back down. The New York Times reported this morning that Trump privately told supporters he’s open to the idea of banning abortions after 16 weeks with few exceptions.

 

File photo of the Kensington Expressway

A major one billion dollar project in Buffalo is moving forward. Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that the feds have signed off on the Kensington Expressway project. It will create a tunnel and cap part of the Expressway and improve vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle mobility and access in the area. Despite some community opposition, Hochul says it will right the wrongs of the past by reconnecting communities. Construction should start later in the year.

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be back on their home ice today as they look to pick up a second consecutive victory. The Sabres are hosting the Anaheim Ducks at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played on the road Saturday when they beat the Minnesota Wild by a final score of 3-2 in overtime and boosted their point total this season to 52. The puck drops this afternoon at 12:30.

 

 

 

Undated file photo

Organizers of the Rochester Pride Festival say the event could be in a new location this year. They’ve asked the Monroe County Legislature to approve its move to Highland Park. The hope is this new spot will provide participants and visitors with additional shade and parking while also improving accessibility. Should the Legislature decide to green light this request, the festival will happen July 20th.

 

ELSEWHERE…

“Mean Girls” has surpassed $100 million at the global box office. The movie musical has made over $101 million worldwide after six weeks of release, including more than $71 million in North America. “Mean Girls” held the number one spot at the domestic box office for three weeks in a row after it was released on January 12th. The film was initially slated to debut on Paramount-plus, but after test screenings, the film was moved to a theatrical release.

 

Beatle Paul with the Hofner bass, back in the day.

Paul McCartney is getting back his bass guitar after it went missing more than a half-century ago. McCartney said he purchased the Hofner bass guitar in 1961 and played it for a number of Beatles concerts and albums. It had been stolen in 1972, but a Valentine’s Day statement on McCartney’s website said it was returned and authenticated. The statement credited the “Lost Bass Project,” which was created last year, for locating the bass.

 

A new CDC report shows the effects of long COVID are lingering longer among people who live in certain states. It’s most prevalent in West Virginia, Montana and Alabama, where about one in ten people surveyed reported experiencing the effects. Long COVID rates were nine–percent or higher in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming. The CDC says that overall, nearly 7% of U.S. adults have experienced it. Symptoms of long COVID, which is defined as lasting three months or more, include brain fog, persistent fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, rapid heart rate or cardiac arrhythmia. Dr. Marc Siegel of NYU Langone Medical Center in New York cites multiple studies that show getting three COVID shots or more significantly reduces the risk.

 

 

Afternoon News Brief

Did you know drowning is the leading cause of death among children under the age of five?  That is why New York State will soon require all new parents to watch a video about the dangers of drowning before they even leave the hospital.  Last fall, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a law that would require hospitals to show new parents a swim safety video.  The New York State Department of Health says the video, which will be provided to the hospitals, will be ready this spring.  Experts say most children ages one to four drown in home swimming pools, and infants under the age of one are most likely to drown in a bathtub.

Since Wednesday’s shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rally, donations have been pouring into Mercy’s Children Hospital in Kansas City, including from Buffalo Bills fans.  The children’s hospital has treated 12 patients since Wednesday’s shooting. Nine of those 12 patients were injured by gunshots.  As of Thursday afternoon, three patients remain hospitalized.  Hundreds of donations have come in from the Bills Mafia.

Attorney General Letitia James today sent a cease-and-desist letter to New York City-based law firm Held & Hines, warning the firm to immediately stop its attempts to get Uber and Lyft drivers to pay a fee for their settlement funds secured by the Office of the Attorney General. Held & Hines has been sharing deceptive posts on social media and in rideshare driver chat groups representing that the firm will help drivers claim their share of the settlement funds for a 15 percent fee to be taken out of the amount due to each individual driver. In reality, the process to receive settlement funds is simple and does not require legal representation. 

Some say he’s a hero and some say he’s a villain.  Either way 51 year old Peter Christopher of Buffalo will be spending a year in prison for stealing parking meters.  Between May 1st and May 19th of 2023 Christopher stole 91 City of Buffalo Parking Meters from Downtown Buffalo.  How, why and where he put them are all unanswered questions in this caper.  He pleaded guilty to one count of fourth-degree attempted grand larceny in December 2023.

The Buffalo Zoo is mourning the loss of its longtime silverback gorilla, Koga. He was born at the Bronx Zoo back in 1987, before coming to Buffalo in 2007, where he became the father of three offspring. The zoo says he passed away due to a cardiac event, and had been undergoing treatment for heart disease. There are still three other gorillas living at the zoo.

There’s an exciting new way to experience the new Highmark Stadium before it opens in 2026!  The Bills Stadium Experience is set to open next month in the Walker Center, located at 5110 Main St. in Amherst.  Fans will be able to take an interactive sneak peek on the upcoming venue and pick out their seats.  Season ticket holders will have priority access and previews are available by appointment only.

Friday News Brief

45-year-old Erich Hildebrant of Batavia has been arrested. He’s charged with endangering the welfare of a child. It’s alleged that during a domestic incident at his home, with a firearm in his hands, he made comments and conducted himself in a manner detrimental to the moral welfare of three children. Hildebrant is scheduled to appear in the Town of Batavia Court on February 27th.

 

 

Bank Street from Main to Washington Avenue will be closed until midday today, as the Bank Street Water project nears completion. Loss of water may occur in the surrounding area depending on valve closures. If your water is discolored when water pressure is regained, please avoid doing laundry or cooking until the water runs clear.

 

 

Paul Goodrell

A convicted sex offender accused of exposing himself to children at different locations across Ontario County last year has now pleaded guilty to felony charges. 54-year-old Paul Goodrell was arrested multiple times for incidents that took place during a four-day stretch in December, though authorities tell us he has a criminal history including similar crimes dating back to 1989. Goodrell is charged with burglary as a sexually motivated felony, public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child in connection to December’s incidents of public exposure. Orders of protection have been issued for the children involved.

 

 

Former President Trump and Attorney General James

A verdict in former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial is expected today. The New York judge overseeing the case has already found Trump did engage in fraud, and must now decide what penalties he and his company should pay. State Attorney General Letitia James is seeking 370-million dollars and a ban on Trump and other defendants doing business in New York.

 

 

Shaun Humphrey

The state Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation into the death of an inmate at the Erie County Holding Center. The individual, who has been identified as 23-year-old Shaun Humphrey, was in custody last August when he experienced what appeared to be a seizure. Humphrey became combative and later stopped responding before he was taken to a nearby hospital where he died days later. There has been no comment as yet from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

Steven Tyrrell

Flags will be lowered to half-staff across New York State today and tomorrow in honor of New York State Trooper Steven Tyrrell. He recently passed away from an illness connected to his work at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the September 11th terror attacks. Services for the 58-year-old will be today and tomorrow; at Anthony’s Funeral Home and that service will be followed by his funeral tomorrow at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Tyrrell is survived by his three children.

 

 

Some critical utility bill relief is coming to millions of New Yorkers. Governor Hochul announced the State Public Service Commission adopted a $200 million New York State energy bill credit to be administered by the state’s large electric and gas utilities on behalf of customers. It’s a one-time credit with state funds that will provide energy bill relief to more than eight-million directly-metered electric and gas customers. This is part of the Governor’s plan to help offset energy costs in 2024, and the one-time credit is expected to be allocated to customer accounts within roughly 45 days of the utilities receiving budget funds.

 

Jorge Santana-Torres

A jury has handed down its verdict in the murder trial of Jorge Santana-Torres. Yesterday, the panel found the 36-year-old guilty of opening fire at a house party back in 2022 on Lochner Place in Rochester. A bullet hit and took the life of 35-year-old Alexis Mercedes. Santana-Torres left the area and was later tracked down in Ohio. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

 

 

 

New York State’s Independent Redistricting Commission has redrawn the state’s Congressional lines once again. Now, all eyes are on state Democrats, to see if they keep the bipartisan plan, or scrap it to try and send more Democrats to Congress. The Commission’s final report, ordered by a state judge, barely changed the current map. In doing so, experts say, it weakened the reelection chances of just one upstate Republican, while aiding the re-election chances of Republicans in the Hudson Valley and Long Island, where the commission left districts mostly intact. The Democratically controlled legislature can now accept the commission’s map or redraw it to try and benefit more Democrats. An overly gerrymandered 2022 Congressional District Map was rejected by the courts; the court-ordered redrawn map that followed may have helped as many as 5-Republicans win New York seats in a closely divided Congress.

 

State Police have released the results of their latest STOP DWI traffic enforcement campaign. There were more than 6,800 tickets handed out between February 9th and 11th for offenses such as speeding, distracted driving, and seatbelt violations. And, 139 people statewide were arrested for DWI, including nine in our region. Troopers didn’t respond to any fatal crashes during Super Bowl weekend.

 

Michael DiCesare

Charges have been upgraded against the suspects who were involved in a brutal beating on Christmas Day in Rochester. Authorities say 22-year-old Brucewayne Beman and 33-year-old Guy Mustgray the Second have been indicted for murder, robbery, and assault. Allegedly, the pair severely beat 60-year-old Michael DiCesare for almost 20 minutes in the area of Bay Street and Portland Avenue. DiCesare died of his injuries weeks after the attack.

 

 

 

Johnathan Rzoska

A Williamsville man who threatened to blow up court buildings in Erie County has found out his punishment for that crime. A judge has sentenced 41-year-old Johnathan Rzoska to spend the next three years in prison. Prosecutors say Rzoska called emergency services back in 2022 and claimed that he wanted to blow up both the Erie County Court building and Williamsville Village Court building. Both buildings were evacuated and searched but nothing suspicious was found.

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres have come up short in their bid to win a second straight game; they lost last night on home ice. No Sabres scored as they fell to the Florida Panthers 4-0 at KeyBank Center. Buffalo goaltender Eric Comrie faced 30 shots in the contest and was only able to stop 27 of them. Up next for Buffalo, they saddle up the horse for a game tomorrow afternoon against the Minnesota Wild; face-off there is at 5:00.

 

 

Afternoon News Brief

There is a wind advisory in effect for Western NY including Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties from 4 this afternoon till 7 tomorrow morning.  Winds coming out of the west from 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour are expected.  Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few isolated power outages may result. Travel in high profile vehicles may be difficult.  Residents are urged to take extra precautions such as slowing down in the car and securing any outdoor objects.

Police say a 2-week-old girl has been taken to the hospital for possible cold exposure, and her father has been arrested in a connected domestic incident.  Around 7:45 Wednesday night, police were called to Farleigh Avenue near Otis Street for a family trouble report. They say a 28-year-old woman was accosted by a 23-year-old man. The man and woman have a 2-week-old daughter who was there at the time.  Police say before they arrived, the man fled the Farleigh Avenue home with the girl. They were located at an apartment on Green Knolls Drive, and the man was taken into custody.  They believe the girl may have been outside and improperly dressed. She was taken to the hospital for possible exposure to the cold. The child is in stable condition.  The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, is charged with criminal obstruction of breathing in connection to the child’s mother and with endangering the welfare of a child.

A parolee is heading back to prison after being found guilty of taking part in a deadly stabbing.  Authorities say 31 year old Lequan Hill was arguing with his father outside a home on Frost Avenue in Rochester where 42-year-old Antoine Parris lived back in 2022.  Parris tried to intervene in the dispute and ended up being attacked by Hill. Yesterday, Hill was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.  He was out on parole at the time of the stabbing after serving time for robbery and having dangerous prison contraband.

A convicted sex offender accused of exposing himself to children at different locations across Ontario County last year pleaded guilty to felony charges Wednesday.  54 year old Paul Goodrell was arrested multiple times for incidents that took place during a four-day stretch in December, though authorities tell us he has a criminal history including similar crimes dating back to 1989.  Goodrell is charged with burglary as a sexually motivated felony, public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child in connection to December’s incidents of public exposure.  Orders of protection have been issued for the children involved.

Police on the University at Buffalo campus are issuing a safety warning to students. Authorities say there have been a string of vehicle break-ins, and the models targeted most are Kias and Hyundais.  Three cars were broken into on the UB South Campus earlier this week and its recommended people who own these type of vehicles consider using a steering wheel lock.  

The Fe-Brew-ary Beer Walk is happening next Saturday from 4 to 8pm downtown in Batavia.  There are 23 businesses participating in providing samples of craft beers and various foods.  You can buy a ticket to give you access to all of the festivities for 35 dollars.  Only people 21 and over are allowed to attend.  Tickets are available at Adam Miller Toys & Bicycles, Yngodess Shop, and Eventbright.

Thursday News Brief

Amy Goodenow

43-year-old Amy Goodenow of Batavia has been arrested and charged with petit larceny. Investigation revealed she refused to return car keys to the victim. Goodenow was scheduled for Batavia Town Court. ALSO: 43-year-old Christine Caplis of Batavia has been arrested; she’s charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. This resulted following a traffic stop that had taken place on April 18, 2022. Caplis was then located after a disturbance on Dillinger Avenue. She’s due to return to the Corfu Village Court early next month.

 

 

Blue Heron Construction will continue to work on interconnections for the Jackson Street Water project today, Thursday, February 15th, on Jackson Street.  Loss of water should be expected in the surrounding area depending on valve closures.  If discolored water occurs when water pressure is regained, please avoid doing laundry or cooking until the water runs clear.

 

File photo of the interior of the Orleans Correctional Facility

A 22-year-old inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility, serving a seven-year sentence for robbery, was ordered to put his hands on the wall and submit to a pat frisk. He became argumentative with staff and came off the wall and elbowed an officer in the shoulder. The inmate was pushed back on the wall by the officer but continued to be combative and was forced to the floor in a body hold. Pepper spray was used with no effect. A second officer attempted to force the inmate’s arms behind his back. The inmate bit the officer on the hand, breaking the skin. A third officer responded and assisted in forcing the inmate’s arms behind his back, where handcuffs were applied; after which, the inmate became compliant. The inmate was escorted to a Special Housing Unit.

 

Anyone looking for work should check out an event today on the Monroe Community College downtown campus. A job fair is taking place from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the campus on State Street. Some of the companies taking part include Holbrook Heating, ConServe, Doyle Security Systems and the Rochester City School District. Attendees are asked to bring a copy of their resume and be prepared for interviews.

 

The Rochester Americans are going to be doing their part tomorrow to honor veterans who have served our country. The team will be holding their annual Military Salute Night and the first 1000 fans who file through the turnstiles will get an American flag. People are also urged to design a Valentine’s Day card for veterans. Players are going to be wearing special jerseys that will be auctioned off online.

 

A commission is going to be holding a vote in Albany today on a brand new set of congressional district maps for the Empire State. If those maps are approved, they’ll then be sent to the state Legislature who also must sign off on them. The exact layout of the maps and their changes haven’t been released to the public just yet. The goal is for these new maps to be used for this year’s elections.

 

DC Theatricks fire, March 2023

A lawsuit has now been filed in connection with a fire in Buffalo that resulted in the death of a firefighter. The Buffalo News reports legal action is being taken by DC Theatricks, which was destroyed in the blaze last March. The business sued the property owner and contractor whose employees sparked the fire on Main Street where Jason Arno was killed. An investigation revealed those employees used a leaf blower and torch to try and melt snow and ice before the fire began.

 

Khairullah Hasein

The delivery driver who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run near Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park has pleaded guilty. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says 33-year-old Khairullah Hasein admits to having a role in the death of 65-year-old William Young back in November. Hasein’s vehicle was later found in Buffalo after the tragedy. He’s now facing up to seven years in prison when he’s sentenced in April.

 

UB South Campus

Police on the University at Buffalo campus are issuing a safety warning to students. Authorities say there have been a string of vehicle break-ins, and the models targeted most are Kias and Hyundais. Three cars were broken into on the UB South Campus earlier this week and its recommended people who own these type of vehicles consider using a steering wheel lock. Any suspicious activity anywhere can be reported by dialing 911.

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be back in action tonight as they look to close out their current home stand with a second straight victory. The Sabres are set to host the Florida Panthers at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played on Tuesday when they dominated the Los Angeles Kings on their way to a seven-to-nothing win. The puck drops this evening at 7:00.

 

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

Unidentified man in undated file photo

The FDA is approving the first ever medication to treat frostbite. Aurlumyn is an injection used in adults who have suffered severe frostbite to help reduce the risk of toe or finger amputation. A trial of the treatment found that patients who received the medication alone saw a lower risk of amputation compared to patients who received other treatments. The FDA said, “Having this new option provides physicians with a tool that will help prevent the life changing amputation of one’s frostbitten fingers or toes.” The agency noted the most common side effects of the medication include headache, heart palpitations, nausea, dizziness and hypotension.

 

Today is Thursday, February 15, the 46th day of 2024 with 320 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.

February 15 in history…

Chris Farley (People Magazine Photo)

…In 1964, Chris Farley was born; he died at the age of 33 on December 18, 1997 reportedly of an overdose of cocaine and morphine.

 

 

 

 

…In 1985 Phil Collins released the album “No Jacket Required.”

 

 

 

Harry Whittington (Associated Press Photo)

…In 2006, four days after accidentally shooting his friend, high profile Texas attorney Harry Whittington, during a quail hunt, Vice President Dick Cheney finally spoke out about the incident with Fox News. Cheney described the incident as, quote, “one of the worst days of my life.” The 78-year-old Whittington was hospitalized and treated for a minor heart attack that was triggered by the shooting.

Afternoon News Brief

3 Corrections officers were injured during an incident at the Attica Correctional facility last Thursday.  While making rounds the officers found an inmate intoxicated in the bathroom having ingested an unknown substance.  While they were escorting him from the bathroom he kicked an officer in the legs and knocked them into the wall where they hit their head.  The inmate then fell unconscious and the other officer, attempting to get him up, slipped and hurt his knee on the floor.  Narcan was administered to the inmate who became alert and conscious.  The officer who was initially assaulted was transported to Erie County Medical Center and treated for swollen forehead, knee swelling, forearm abrasions and exposure to the intoxicant.  The second officer was taken to Wyoming Community Hospital for evaluation of his knee. A third officer sustained a shoulder injury loading the stretcher and inmate into the transport ambulance. He was treated at the facility and remained on duty.

Its Valentines day and love may be blind but scammers are looking for victims.  Nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam nationwide, with reported losses of over $1 billion last year.  Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said reports of online romance scams have exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a crime he said is nearly impossible to prosecute and one that often targets senior citizens.  Romance scams start online with dating sites and love letters.  Once a person is committed to an emotional relationship they move to trying to get their target to invest in fake opportunities or send money for things.  Experts say some red flags to be on the lookout for include: the relationship moves very fast, you never meet in person, they’re too hot to be true, they tell you a “hard luck” story and of course, they ask you for money.  AARP offers a free resource that allows people to get guidance from fraud specialists if you’ve been targeted. To read it, follow the link at wbtai.com.

https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/about-fraud-watch-network/

A man convicted of killing a Rochester man is now free after his conviction was vacated.  It was May of 2015 when Johnny Washington was shot and killed in a drive-by on Sixth Street and Bay Street.  More than three years later, in December 2018, Terrence Lewis was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison. A jury convicted him of murder for his role in Washington’s death.  Now, Lewis is free because of a federal violation.  In May of 2018, while Lewis was awaiting trial in the Monroe County Jail, he was returned to a federal correctional facility in Pennsylvania where he was serving time on separate charges.  That move, according to New York’s Supreme Court, violated a provision of the federal Interstate Agreement on Detainers law.

UConnect Care has received a federal grant to provide harm reduction services, treatment, and recovery support services to those struggling with substance use disorders. The nonprofit agency has begun an Open Access program that will operate three days per week at The Recovery Station on Clinton St Rd in Batavia as well as a Harm Reduction Mobile Outreach unit that will travel to several locations in the two counties five days per week.  Amy Kabel, project director, emphasized that services will be available to residents, even if they’re not ready for agency intervention.  Walk-ins are welcome to utilize Open Access. The program’s hours of service are 3-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at The Recovery Station.

Some tax incentives help, some don’t pay off.  A new report released Tuesday shows that for some programs targeted toward manufacturing and scientific research development, the incentives do work.  But for others, like those for the motion picture and theater industries, the state is losing way more than it’s paying out.  New York has poured more than $4.6 billion in incentives into the film and television industry over the last decade.  However, the auditors found that while the Film Production and Post-Production Credits have supported well over 100,000 jobs, they don’t provide a positive return for the state’s investments when it comes to direct revenue. Lawmakers are considering which programs to keep and which ones to throw away.

The Community Resource Collaborative is under investigation after the original founder was terminated.  The CRC helps fund outreach groups that provide critical services, such as housing, food, and development. It’s tasked with managing funds for 13 organizations that are in partnership with the Neighborhood Collaborative Project  here in Rochester.  Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced last week that funding from CRC was temporarily suspended after an audit into the nonprofit reportedly found financial mismanagement.  This investigation comes on the heels of the the founder of CRC being terminated. According to an attorney for CRC, the total amount of money missing is substantially under the $7 million dollar figure that has been reported, but he did not provide a specific dollar amount.

Wednesday News Brief

28-year-old Jacob Patterson of Batavia has been arrested and charged with criminal use of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. This followed an investigation into the welfare check and trespassing of an individual at a local hotel on Park Road. Patterson was held at the Genesee County Jail for CAP Court arraignment.

 

After a few weeks of showing a decline, updated data from the New York State Flu Tracker shows the spread of the illness continues to hold steady in our region. During the week ending February 3rd, the county with the highest number of cases was Monroe with 435; Erie County had the second highest number with 205. Chautauqua County had 118 and both Niagara and Orleans Counties had 71. State health officials continue to encourage people who still haven’t received their flu shot to get it.

 

 

At last word Cheektowaga Police are still trying to find the door to a small plane that apparently fell off shortly after takeoff from Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Monday evening. Officers say they received a call around 6 PM that a small plane, carrying the pilot and a passenger, had lost its rear left side door while flying over Stiglmeier Park. According to public flight data, the single-engine aircraft took off from the airport and several minutes into the flight reported the emergency. According to police the plane landed safely and parked back near the Signature Aviation terminal, where it originally took off. No injuries or property damage has been reported.

 

Unidentified dog in file photo receiving an anti-rabies vaccine

Lockport officials are urging residents to take precautions to protect themselves and their pets from rabies. The warning comes after a raccoon that was recently found in the community tested positive for the potentially deadly virus. It’s recommended animals such as dogs and cats be up to date on their rabies shots. Folks should also stay away from any animal that appears to be acting strangely. Anyone who is bitten by an animal should seek medical treatment immediately.

 

File photo of Rochester Fringe Festival

Organizers of the popular Rochester Fringe Festival say people who want to perform at this year’s event can start submitting their applications. Those applications can be filled out online and must be received by March 21st at 5:00pm. This year’s Fringe Festival is scheduled to begin on September 10th and run through September 21st. Since it began in 2013, over 750,000 visitors from around the world have attended the event.

 

13WHAM File photo of Jellia Lockhart in the hallway before entering the courtroom.

A driver has been found guilty of causing a crash that killed her own sister. Yesterday, a jury convicted 30-year-old Jellia Lockhart of killing 33-year-old Charlaura Lockhart. She was a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a collision with a car and tree at Denver Street and Hazelwood Terrace in Rochester in January 2023. Jellia Lockhart will be sentenced in March on manslaughter and assault charges.

 

 

 

 

13WHAM graphic

The Rochester Red Wings are making their annual guarantee ahead of the team’s home opener. If the temperature for the April 2nd contest against Lehigh Valley does not hit 50 degrees, fans will be able to redeem their tickets for another home game in April or May. In case you are wondering, Rochester’s average temperature on April 2nd is 41 degrees, but it did reach 86 degrees in 2010. Seats are available for purchase at milb.com/rochester.

 

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stops an attempt by Dubois to score during last night’s third period. (NHL Photo)

The two-game losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres is over after the team puts forth a dominant effort on home ice. Jordan Greenway scored twice and JJ Peterka, Alex Tuch, Kyle Okposo, Zach Benson and Rasmus Dahlin had a goal each as the Sabres beat the Los Angeles Kings 7-0 at KeyBank Center last night. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, with the help of his defense, stopped every shot he faced in the contest to earn another shutout for Buffalo. The next game for the Sabres is tomorrow evening when they host the Florida Panthers. The puck drops at 7:00.

ELSEWHERE…

Unidentified couple in undated file photo sharing an undated moment…

It’s shaping up to be a record year for spending this Valentine’s Day. That’s according to the National Retail Federation. It says consumers plan to spend a total of $25.8 billion this Valentine’s Day – the third highest in the survey’s history. 62% of consumers ages 25-to-34 intend to celebrate this year, more than any other age group. Consumers expect to spend $185 each on average, that’s nearly $8 more than the average Valentine’s Day spending over the last five years.

 

Coming in April.

The first trailer is being released for the upcoming comedy “Sasquatch Sunset.” The film stars Riley Keough and Jesse Eisenberg as Sasquatches living in a remote forest. It features no dialogue and aims to capture a “true” depiction of how a Sasquatch would live. The rest of the cast includes Christophe Zajac-Denek and Nathan Zellner. “Sasquatch Sunset” hits theaters on April 12th.

 

Unidentified pickleball players in undated file photo.

Pickleball’s popularity is skyrocketing, but unfortunately, so are the number of pickleball-related injuries among players. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, broken bones have increased 200% over the last 20 years. Other common injuries include sprained ankles as well as torn ACL’s and rotator cuffs. USA Pickleball says nearly nine-million Americans played the sport in 2023.

 

The CDC is reportedly going to further loosen COVID-19 guidelines in April. That’s according to the Washington Post. Recommendations for five-day isolation are expected to be scrapped, leaving in place guidelines that are similar to the flu and RSV. People will be urged to base their time in isolation on symptom severity and the amount of time without a fever.

Afternoon News Brief

A restaurant worker in Greece is recovering after being hit by a vehicle while on the job. According to authorities, two women ate then refused to pay for their meal  on Saturday before that employee followed them to their car. That is when the worker was intentionally struck and needed treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.  The situation is being investigated by Greece Police.

The names of the two men killed in a double homicide over the weekend in Rochester have been released. On Sunday, Wahid Nazario and Frank Rosario Vazquez were outside of a bar on North Goodman Street when they were shot. Both victims passed away at the scene due to their wounds. Police said the two men in their 40s were leaving the bar around 1:30 in the morning when they were shot. Officials aren’t saying if they’ve determined a motive for the murders. No arrests have been made.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, announced an official complaint against New York Attorney General Letitia James today for allegedly violating the rules of professional conduct in her prosecution of former President Donald Trump.  James demanded in January that the state penalize Trump $370 million and bar him from its real estate business in connection to his ongoing civil fraud trial. She also accused Trump of inflating his asset values to boost his net worth and receive financial benefits.  In a letter to the New York Committee on Professional Standards, Rep. Stefanik claimed James’s actions were unfair and politically motivated against Trump.  Letitia James ran on a platform of finding Trump guilty of “something” and is also being sued by former Governor Andrew Cuomo for what he says is a politically motivated investigation into his conduct in office.  Stefanik is demanding that James be suspended or disbarred.

The Buffalo Sabres are going to be back on their home ice once again tonight as they look to snap their current two-game losing streak. The Sabres are hosting the Los Angeles Kings at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played on Saturday when they were defeated by the Saint Louis Blues by a final score of three-to-one. Face-off this evening is set for seven p-m.

Governor Hochul has announced the date for a special election in the 26th Congressional District. People living in that district aren’t being represented on Capitol Hill right now following the resignation of Brian Higgins. The former congressman stepped down earlier this month to take over as president and CEO of Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. Whoever wins on April 30th will finish up the rest of Higgins’ term.

Tuesday News Brief

Employees from the Batavia City School District, New York State Troopers, Batavia Police Department, and the City of Batavia Fire Department, along with the Blue Devil Varsity Football Team, will participate in the “Polar Plunge” to benefit the Special Olympics of Western New York. Students, staff, and community members are encouraged to join the event in person, where participants will stand outside and get soaked for a great cause. The plunge is scheduled for this Friday at 3:00pm at John Kennedy Intermediate School – Back Bus Loop (off of Elm Street). In 2023, Batavia was the leading fundraising school district, and the Special Olympics of Western New York will be on hand to present an award before the event. If you wish to attend the event or would like to interview any participants, reach out to Emily Benedict at bcsdcommunications@bataviacsd.org or call 323.397.6456.

 

 

Meteorologist Marty Snyder

13WHAM meteorologist Marty Snyder tells us that, so far, this month is the warmest February on record for Rochester. With an average temperature 11 degrees above normal, it beats the second warmest February on the list by over 2 degrees. The outlook for the rest of this week and this upcoming weekend does feature colder temperatures and some snow, but no big storms are expected in Rochester through the end of the weekend. Marty is coming up with the detailed forecast for our area in just a few minutes.

 

 

Former Congressman Higgins

A special election will be held in New York’s 26th Congressional District. Governor Kathy Hochul announced the April 30th special election to fill Democrat Brian Higgins seat. Higgins resigned from office and is now the president of Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. The Western New York 26th Congressional District covers parts of Erie and Niagara counties, and includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

 

File photo

After about a month without any problems, carbon monoxide issues resurfaced at Holiday Twin Rinks in Cheektowaga. It happened over the weekend when a carbon monoxide detector sounded during a youth hockey game, which prompted evacuation of the building. A spokesperson for the rink said that they remained closed over the weekend due to the Ice Resurfacer once again having emissions issues. They were able to reopen yesterday.

 

Entrance to Stiglmeier Park, Cheektowaga (13WHAM Photo)

Cheektowaga Police are trying to find the door to an airplane that fell off mid-flight. Officers say they got a call around 6:00pm last night. A small plane carrying two people reported losing a door while flying over Stiglmeier Park. Officers scoured the area, but were unable to find the door. According to public flight data, the single-engine aircraft took off from the airport and several minutes into the flight reported the emergency. According to Police, the plane is reported to have landed safely and parked near the Signature Aviation terminal. As of this morning, no injuries or property damage has been reported.

 

New York Attorney General Letitia James has announced that her office has secured full refunds for hundreds of state residents who were wrongfully billed for COVID-19 vaccines by Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care (Northwell-GoHealth) clinics. Her Office found that Northwell-GoHealth wrongly charged up to 731 patients for the vaccines, resulting in patients paying a total of $14,996.05 in improper fees. Northwell-GoHealth also sent 72 unpaid bills for COVID-19 vaccines to collections. As a result of this agreement, Northwell-GoHealth has reimbursed all New Yorkers who were wrongly charged, will strengthen employee compliance with applicable laws for COVID-19 vaccine billing, and will pay a $25,000 penalty.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Recalled

Some 380,000 Frigidaire refrigerators are under recall after reports of plastic in the ice bucket. The Side-by-Side fridges with Slim Ice Buckets were sold between November 2015 and September 2019. Two injuries have been reported. Recalled model numbers can be found at frigidaire.com.

 

Tiger Woods makes a new deal

Tiger Woods has a new apparel deal. After ending his decades-long, highly profitable relationship with Nike last month, the pro golf veteran announced on Monday that he’s working with TaylorMade to launch a new brand: Sun Day Red. The company’s website says the line is coming May 1st and will also include women and children’s styles.

 

Today is Tuesday, Feb. 13, the 44th day of 2024 with 322 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.

February 13 in history…

Jerry Springer Speaks To Guests During His Show December 17, 1998. 

…In 1944, talk show host Jerry Springer was born (he died April 27, 2023, reportedly of pancreatic cancer)

 

 

 

 

 

A young Peter Gabriel dances with his sister.

…In 1950, Peter Gabriel, singer and one of the original members of Genesis, was born (happy 74th!

Monday News Brief

The NTSB provided this photo of the aftermath of the tragic plane crash in Clarence Center (2/12/09)

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the tragic crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence Center. The aircraft was on a flight from New Jersey when it slammed into a house, killing all 49 people on board and a person at that residence. An investigation revealed neither the pilot nor co-pilot had received sufficient training. A memorial ceremony is planned today at the crash site.

 

 

 

File photo

For the second time in the last few weeks, there have been carbon monoxide issues at Holiday Twin Rinks in Cheektowaga. The rink was shut on Saturday and yesterday due to an emissions problem with equipment. In December, several people, including kids were sickened by carbon monoxide and were taken to a hospital for treatment. All of their medical expenses were covered by the business.

 

Gas prices continue their slow decline. According to Triple A this morning, the national average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $3.20. The state average is $3.28. In Batavia, the average cost per gallon figures out to $3.24; that’s the same as it was a week ago; down 8 cents from a month ago and 16 cents lower than a year ago today.

 

 

Officials on the United States and Canada sides of Niagara Falls are anticipating a big turnout for the upcoming solar eclipse. Hotels near the Falls are seeing a lot of bookings, and schools on each side of the border have decided to close on April 8th so students do not get caught up in a mass of people. The last time there was a full solar eclipse in the region was in 1925 and it won’t happen again until 2144. Space.com has listed Niagara Falls as the most scenic spot in America to view the eclipse.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Teenagers with suspected substance abuse problems to de-stress are using drugs and alcohol. That’s according to research from the CDC. The findings follow reports of rising anxiety and depression among American teens, along with higher levels of hopelessness. Lead author of the new report Sarah Connolly said that because those conditions are often related to substance use in teenagers, “it might make sense that teens are looking for ways to reduce stress and anxiety.” Nearly three in four teens surveyed said they used drugs to “feel mellow, calm or relaxed.”

 

Argylle movie poster

The spy comedy “Argylle” tops the weekend box office for the second week in a row. The Matthew Vaughn-directed movie took in an estimated $6.52 million this weekend after earning more than $17 million in its opening weekend. The dark comedy “Lisa Frankenstein” is the only debut to make the top five, bringing in $3.8 million. A reissue of the 2021 version of “Dune” finished ninth with $1.6 million. The reissue leads into the March 1st release of Dune Two.

 

King Charles the Third

King Charles The Third is breaking his silence after being diagnosed with cancer. In a statement released by the Buckingham Palace, King Charles highlighted the positives of his diagnosis saying it’s helped promote public understanding and shine a light on the work of all the organizations that support cancer patients. The King’s diagnosis was revealed a week after undergoing treatment for an enlarged prostate. His specific type of cancer hasn’t been shared.

 

Taylor Swift

Donald Trump is sharing his thoughts on why Taylor Swift’s should support him instead of President Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election. Taking to X, Trump remind everyone that he was responsible for the Music Modernization Act for all musical artist, which allows them to receive fair payment for licensing of music. He went on to say Biden hasn’t done anything for artist “and he never will.” Trump also said that there’s no way Swift could be “disloyal” endorse Biden as he credited himself for helping her to make “so much money.” In October of 2020, Swift revealed that she would be voting for Biden for president in the U.S. general election and expressed her opposition of Trump.

 

Today is Monday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2024 with 323 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.

February 12 in history…

Dedication ceremony, today in history

…In 1914, a dedication ceremony was held and the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was laid. It took eight years to complete the monument honoring the 16th president.

 

 

 

 

Arsenio Hall

…In 1956, Arsenio Hall was born (happy 68th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend News Brief

The Genesee County Health Department is seeking information about the location of a dog and its owner following a dog bite incident on Friday, Feb. 2nd, at 8:30 a.m.   The incident occurred in a yard on Swamp Road near Jericho Road in Bergen. This dog has also been observed in that general area multiple times.  The dog was described as a black, lab/lab mix with a collar. The victim described the dog as well-groomed.  The health department is trying to determine if the dog is infected with rabies to see if the person who was bit needs treatment.

Police are investigating a shooting on the city of Rochester’s west side Friday night.  Just after 8 p.m., officers responded to a gas station on West Main Street, where they found a 24-year-old man from Rochester who had been shot inside the store. He was taken to the hospital with critical but non-life-threatening injuries.  No arrests have been made.

Its hard enough to get food to those in need in Buffalo, and it isn’t helped when thieves sabotage your distribution vehicle.  A church in Buffalo, Back to Basics Ministries, is asking the public for help after thieves stole the Catalytic Converter from the truck that they use to take food around the community.  Pastor James Giles says it will cost over 6000 dollars to repair the damage done.  The thieves were caught on camera but wore ski masks and had covered their license plate.  Pastor Giles hopes local scrap yards will keep him in mind if someone tries to cash in on the crime.

The lawsuit against the gun accessory manufacturer Mean Arms is being allowed to continue after a State Supreme Court Justice turned down a motion to dismiss the case.  The civil lawsuit, filed by Buffalo Attorney John Elmore on behalf of the families of people who died or were injured in the May 2022 Tops shooting, accuses Mean Arms of selling a locking device for the AR-15 assault weapon that allows a fixed magazine to be removed.  This is alleged by the families to have emboldened the shooter since he was then able to fire more rounds more quickly.  Elmore noted that this is considered a victory for the families because the arms industry has very powerful lawyers and unlimited resources.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley hosted his annual Pizza for Police event to show his appreciation for the work of local police departments. Hawley ordered pizzas from local shops for numerous departments around his district and personally made deliveries to three locations in Batavia, including the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police Troop A Headquarters and Batavia Police Department.  He sent or delivered pizza to 11 police and sheriffs departments.

Afternoon News Brief

The Humane Society of Greater Rochester and the University of Rochester’s Department of Public Safety are working together to investigate Wednesday morning’s discovery of three deceased and dissected animals by the door leading to Eastman Dental.  Two goats and a chicken were found dismembered under a tree near the corner of Elmwood Avenue and East Drive, according to the Humane Society, along with evidence that suggested the animals’ deaths could have been religious in nature.  No security cameras captured a person or vehicle involved in the incident, and no suspects have been identified as a result.

Plug Power is saying it will be building its newest plant in the village of Alabama starting in 2025.  The Hydrogen Fuel Cell company has had numerous financial woes since announcing that it would build on the STAMP site a couple years ago.  In collaboration with the New York Power Authority and National Grid, Plug Power expects to achieve its full capacity of 74 tons per day of liquid hydrogen production within that time frame.  Officials say the underground work and infrastructure is ready.  The company’s specialty is green hydrogen, which is hydrogen produced without fossil fuels powering the facilities, and then that hydrogen, when used as a fuel source, results in zero carbon emissions.

Buffalo police say two people are charged with murder in connection with a fatal shooting. According to authorities, the now 18-year-old suspects were involved in the death of 21-year-old Quban Embry at a residence on Shirley Avenue last August. Because the individuals were 17 at the time of the homicide, their names are not going to be released. They’re currently being held in the Erie County Youth Services Center.

A 19 year old from Brockport has been arrested for the fatal collision in Barre on Thursday afternoon.  Noah Magee is charged with reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident, and other vehicle and traffic violations.  Troopers responded to McNamer Road in the town of Barre for a collision involving a dirt bike around 4pm.  Investigation determined that a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado, operated by Magee was traveling eastbound on McNamer Road on the north shoulder which is the wrong lane of travel. The Chevrolet struck a Dirt Bike traveling west bound on the north shoulder head-on. Magee continued eastbound on McNamer Road leaving the scene.  Two uninvolved four-wheelers were traveling with the deceased, 24 year old Roger Kingdollar. 

The seasons of Western New York.  Winter and construction. And Erie county has announced a slew of construction.  Erie County officials have announced plans to spend tens of millions of dollars to upgrade the area’s roadway and bridges. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the county will invest 55-million dollars into this initiative. During the rest of 2024, there will be more than 100 miles of highway improvements and five bridge replacements.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley hosted his annual Valentines for Veterans Program Thursday morning at Jackson Primary School.  Valentines created by students at Jackson and Robert Morris schools were collected and delivered to veterans living at the New York State Veterans Home in Batavia.  Hawley said he appreciates the veterans and events like this help to give back for their sacrifices.

Friday News Brief

THE CITY OF BATAVIA POLICE BLOTTER:

Dylan Jordan

On January 29, 2024, Dylan T. Jordan, 22, of Bliss, NY, was arrested on an arrest warrant. The arrest stems from an incident on January 15, 2024, where Jordan allegedly engaged in an altercation with police in the Emergency Room at UMMC. Jordan allegedly placed an officer in a headlock and attempted to strangle him. Jordan was charged with Attempted Assault 2nd degree, Attempted Strangulation 2nd degree, Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, Obstructing Governmental Administration 2nd degree, and Harassment 2nd degree. Jordan was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court on February 15, 2024.

 

 

Danny Williams, Sr.

January 28, 2024, Danny D. Williams Sr., 35, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Contempt 1st degree. It’s alleged that Williams violated an order of protection, by going to the residence of the protected person. Williams was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail, without bail. He is due back in court on February 14, 2024.

 

 

 

On February 1, 2024, Olivia J. Patten, 26, of Oakfield, NY, was arrested on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. Patten was initially charged on November11, 2023 with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd degree, after allegedly driving with a suspended license. A warrant was issued after she failed to appear in court. Patten was arraigned in Batavia City Court, where the case was settled.

On January 31, 2024, Scott D. Murray, 38, of Darien, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Contempt 2nd degree. Murray allegedly violated an order of protection by having contact with the protected person while at the Genesee County Court House. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail. He is due back in court on February 13, 2024.

On January 30, 2024, Jeanna M. Hattaway, 37, of Batavia, NY, was arrested on a warrant out of Batavia City Court. Hattaway was initially charged on December 13, 2023 with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree in relation to an incident in April of 2023. A warrant was issued after she failed to appear in court. Hattaway was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

On January 27, 2024, Adrienne S. Bechtold, 28, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia 2nd degree. Bechtold was arrested after police responded to a location on East Main Street for the report of a suspicious vehicle. Bechtold was allegedly found in possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia. She was issued an appearance ticket and was due in court on February 6, 2024.

On January 26, 2024, John A. Cabrera Sr., 56, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny. It’s alleged that Cabrera stole merchandise from Kwik Fill. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on February 13, 2024.

On January 29, 2024, James W. Zurek, 20, of Batavia, NY, was arrested on two warrants. The first warrant stems from an incident in August of 2022, when Zurek was charged with Strangulation 2nd degree, Assault 3rd degree and Petit Larceny after a disturbance on Cedar Street. The second warrant charged Zurek with Bail Jumping 3rd degree. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court at a later date.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Genesee County Sheriffs tell us they conducted a vehicle and traffic stop early yesterday morning, which resulted in multiple drug-related arrests and felony charges. The driver of the vehicle, 54-year-old Edmund Sobresky of Batavia was determined to be driving while impaired by drugs (his first offense). 34-year-old Matthew Parker of Batavia and 30-year-old Katelyn Jimenez of Medina were both charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, criminal possession of a controlled substance; Jiminez was additionally charged with false impersonation after providing deputies with a fake name. Jiminez and Parker were held at the Genesee County Jail pending CAP Court.

 

People who want to apply for a civil service exam that might put them on the path towards being, for example, a Rochester police officer (and they happen to be looking right now to increase their ranks) are running out of time to do so. The sign up deadline for the exam is coming up at midnight. So far, there have been at least 700 applicants ahead of the test, which is happening on March 2nd. There is no cost to take the exam and additional details can be found at cityofrochester.gov.

 

A 21-year-old woman has tragically lost her life after being ejected from a vehicle on the Kensington Expressway in Cheektowaga. Police were called to an area of the highway between Union and Cayuga Roads last night and spotted the woman in the roadway. She was pronounced dead moments after first responders arrived. Witnesses are urged to call 716-686-3257 immediately.

 

Candis Allison

The name of the woman who died after being dropped off at Rochester General Hospital has been released. Authorities say 35-year-old Candis Allison was taken to the medical facility in a private vehicle on Wednesday. She was found to be suffering from injuries consistent with a motor vehicle incident. Allison was rushed into surgery but ended up dying. Anyone with information on this case can call 585-428-7157.

 

 

 

 

Steven Tyrrell

Funeral arrangements are now set for retired New York State Trooper Steven Tyrrell. He recently passed away due to an illness related to his work at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the September 11th terror attacks. A wake for the 58-year-old will be next Friday at Anthony’s Funeral Home and that will be followed by his funeral on Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Tyrrell is survived by his three children.

 

The big game is coming up on Sunday, and police across the state are going to be cracking down on drunk drivers during this Super Bowl weekend. People who are out on the roads can expect to see increased patrols beginning today as part of the latest STOP-DWI campaign. Police say folks can ensure they get home safely by having a designated driver or by using a taxi or rideshare service. Drivers who see any suspicious or dangerous activities while traveling should dial 911 right away.

 

Scott German

Genesee County Treasurer Scott D. German has announced that after five terms as Treasurer and what will be 31 years in the County Treasurer’s Office at year end 2024, that he will not be seeking another term as County Treasurer so that he can pursue other opportunities. German started his career January 1, 1994 as Deputy Treasurer, becoming County Treasurer May 1, 2004 by appointment by then Governor George Pataki. Mr. German was elected County Treasurer in November of 2004 and has run four additional times. Treasurer German was elected by his fellow New York State County Treasurers to serve as President of the New York State County Treasurers and Finance Officers Association in 2012. In 2016, German was named New York State Finance Officer of the Year by his peers. For the past 10 years, German has been one of two New York State Directors to the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers and Finance Officers (NACCTFO), an elected position by his New York State colleagues. In 2020, Mr. German was presented the Inaugural National Leadership Award from a Pittsford NY company Three + One, who does business with hundreds of municipalities nationwide in assisting with liquidity analysis. German was presented this award for his role in maximizing the return on Genesee County’s cash. Mr. German wishes to thank the voters of Genesee County for the last 20 years in entrusting him with the county’s finances. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of this county as the county’s Chief Fiscal Officer,” German said. “German wishes to thank all the county legislators that he had the opportunity to work with and the Genesee County Republican Committee for their support over the last 20 years. I’d also like to thank all of the employees of the Treasurer’s Office who I have had the pleasure to work with over the last 31 years. It is those employees that I owe a debt of gratitude to for their work that has allowed me to be a successful County Treasurer.” German also wishes to thank his three deputies for their loyalty, dedication and hard work over the last 21 years. They are L. Matthew Landers who served 10 years, James Stack for one year and Kevin J. Andrews for the final 10 years of German’s tenure as County Treasurer.

ELSEWHERE…

Eiffel Tower

The medals for the Paris 2024 Olympics will include a small piece of iron from the Eiffel Tower. The country is including the hexagonal piece to mark 100 years since Paris last hosted the Olympic Games. The iron chunks come from pieces removed from the iconic power over various renovations in the last century. The organization that oversees the Eiffel Tower donated them to the Paris Olympic Committee.

 

During a hearing in front of a senate subcommittee Thursday the three largest pharmaceutical executives admitted that patients in the United States are paying too much. Executives at Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb were summoned in front of the Senate Health Committee and were confronted about American prices compared to other wealthy countries. They conceded that prices are higher in America but claimed that medications arrive faster than anywhere else in the world, and that other countries have more limited health insurance coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services found in 20-22 that even when taking into account the discounts Americans receive from health plans and employer’s pay, people still pay on average at least three times as much. The executives went onto blame the pharmacy benefit managers for not negotiating better deals because they receive more money when the sticker price of a drug is higher.

 

Please play responsibly.

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are still growing and have now reached a combined total of $642 million. The prize up for grabs in Mega Millions tonight is $394 million. And if anyone is lucky enough to select all six winning Powerball numbers tomorrow, they’ll get at least $248 million. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

 

 

Today is Friday, Feb. 9, the 40th day of 2024 with 326 to follow.

The moon is new. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus

February 9 in history…

Carole King at age 4; already at the piano. Was there ever a doubt?

…In 1942, Carole King was born (happy 82nd!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Beatles with Ed Sullivan, on his show which aired today in history

…In 1964, the Beatles appeared on television’s The Ed Sullivan Show. An estimated 73 million people watched.

 

 

 

 

 

Cars line up at gas pumps during the OPEC shortage in 1979, hoping to get gas before the station ran out.

…In 1974, America’s motorists suffered through the worst day of the energy crisis. Many gas stations were closed and the others often limited purchases to $3.00 per car. Some reported customer lines up to six miles long.

Thursday News Brief

28-year-old Jacob Patterson of Batavia has been arrested. He’s charged with introducing prison contraband. This followed an incident at the Best Western in the Town of Batavia. After being transported to the Genesee County Jail, it’s alleged he introduced dangerous prison contraband into the jail facility. Patterson was arraigned in CAP Court. ALSO: 48-year-old Mary Virgilio of Batavia has been arrested and charged with criminal tampering. It’s alleged that she entered the residence of another person, displaced their property and then denied them access to their residence by locking an internal screen door. Virgilio was issued appearance tickets and is due in Batavia Town Court on February 27th. ALSO: 28-year-old Austin Durham of Batavia has been arrested. He’s charged with aggravated harassment. It’s alleged Durham repeatedly messaged an individual with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm them, with no purpose of legitimate communication, after being warned by a police officer to cease contact with that individual. Durham was held at the Genesee County Jail pending CAP Court arraignment.

 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and members of the Great Lakes Task Force has introduced the bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2024, which extends the program for another five years through 2031, and in doing so, increases annual funding levels from $475 million in 2026 to $500 million from 2027 through 2031. This initiative is the most significant investment ever made to restore and protect the Great Lakes and its watersheds, which continue to be stressed by contamination and threats to water quality, and are under increasing pressure from new invasive species, climate change, erosion, and habitat destruction. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has focused federal and nonfederal efforts to stop the spread of carp and other invasive species, restore coastline and habitats connecting our streams and rivers, clean up environmentally damaged Areas of Concern, prevent future contamination and address new and emerging threats to our lakes and waterways.

 

James Weeks (released images)

A Sodus man is facing charges in connection with violent protests at the United States Capitol. According to prosecutors, 55-year-old James Weeks attacked a Metropolitan Police Department officer and he also incited a group of rioters to enter the Capitol building through a window. Weeks was captured on camera taking part in the protests over three years ago. Thousands of people were trying to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

 

Mark Shadle

The man who was involved in a violent home invasion in Amherst will spend multiple decades behind bars. A judge sentenced 34-year-old Mark Shadle to 23 years to life in prison. Back in 2022, Shadle and his co-defendant broke into a residence on Bucyrus Drive before threatening the homeowner and then beating him. That man suffered injuries to his arms, head, chest and legs. Shadle received the long sentence because he’s a persistent violent felony offender.

 

 

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Starbucks illegally fired several employees at stores across the region. Those individuals were part of a group called Starbucks’ Workers United that came together to create a union. The NLRB says Starbucks violated federal law by threatening to close down the first store that unionized after workers went on strike. In a statement, Starbucks says the company has provided reassurances to its partners that it respects the rights of collective organization through fair elections.

 

Steven Tyrrell

A New York State Trooper from Rochester has passed away of an illness related to his work in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. Trooper Steven Tyrrell served at the site of the World Trade Center in 2001 and assisted in search and recovery efforts. The 58-year-old Tyrrell joined the State Police back in 1997 and was a member of the force for 26 years. Funeral arrangements haven’t been made public yet.

 

Rochester General Hospital

Rochester police are continuing their investigation into what’s being called a suspicious death at a hospital. Authorities say a woman in her 30s was unresponsive when she arrived in a private vehicle at Rochester General Hospital yesterday. She was immediately rushed into surgery but couldn’t be saved. The name of the woman has not been released and tips on this case can be submitted by calling 585-428-7157.

 

Dunkirk is on the list of 20 locations across New York State that has been designated as a pro-housing community. That means the city and other municipalities will receive priority when competing with other places for a share of $650 million in discretionary funding from state programs. Governor Hochul created an incentive program last year to try and boost the state’s housing supply. The goal is to build 800-thousand new homes over the next decade.

 

Unidentified couple in undated file photo

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and the state Division of Consumer Protection is warning New Yorkers about romance scams. The agency says romance scams occur when a criminal lies about their identity and feigns romantic interest to steal from victims. If someone asks for money, assume it’s a scam and never give out personal information to someone you’ve met online. It’s recommended folks only use trusted dating sites and do a reverse image search to see if someone’s profile photo is linked to another name.

 

Dawson Knox

Plans have been announced for the upcoming football camp involving Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox. This will be the third year for the camp, which will run on June 8th and 9th at Nazareth University in Rochester. Knox and a group of coaches will offer hands-on instruction to players and each attendee will get an autograph from Knox. The cost of the camp is $299 and registration can be done online:

https://registration.procamps.com/camper/auth/login/

 

ELSEWHERE…

A new flavor of Coca-Cola will be hitting store shelves soon. Coca-Cola Spiced is set to go on sale February 19th, marking the beverage company’s first new permanent flavor in three years. The new flavor is described as a “burst of refreshing raspberry flavors and spiced notes.” The company is also launching a flavor called “Happy Tears” that will be available exclusively on TikTok on February 17th to mark Random Acts of Kindness Day. That flavor is described as the taste of Coca-Cola paired with a splash of salty minerals.

 

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is announcing his return to play. Woods committed to playing in The Genesis Invitational next week near Los Angeles. He also serves as the host of the tournament. Woods hasn’t played since last year’s Masters. On Tuesday the golf legend teased announcement that will happen on the 12th of this month but there’s no official word yet on what that will be.

 

Research findings suggest she should get a multi-dose vaccine booster in the other arm.

Switching up arms for multi-dose vaccines could improve immune response by up to four times. That’s according to new research out of Oregon Health and Science University, which looked at how people received COVID-19 vaccine shots. Researchers say it could have implications for other types of vaccines as well. There’s no clear answer yet as to why switching arms improves results.

 

The CEOs of three major pharmaceutical companies will appear before a Senate health committee today to explain how much they charge for drugs and why. The heads of Johnson and Johnson, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb will likely face intense scrutiny from committee chair Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who has championed making drug prices affordable. Sanders wants to know why drugs cost so much more in the U.S. than in other wealthy countries.

 

Today is Thursday, Feb. 8, the 39th day of 2024 with 327 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

February 8 in history…

Robert Klein

…In 1942, comedian Robert Klein was born. (happy 82nd!) His credits include the movies “Reign Over Me,” “Primary Colors,” “How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days,” “Two Weeks Notice,” and “One Fine Day” as well as the TV series “Sisters.”

 

 

 

 

 

John Grisham in 2009

…In 1955, author John Grisham was born. (happy 69th!) Several of his books have been turned into films, including “A Time To Kill,” “Skipping Christmas,” which became “Christmas with the Kranks,” “Runaway Jury,” The Client,” “The Pelican Brief” and “The Firm.”

 

Wednesday News Brief

Emmanuel Jenkins

A convicted serial rapist has been accused of attacking a civilian employee at the Attica Correctional Facility. The attack happened last November, according to the Wyoming County District Attorney’s office. 37-year-old Emmanuel Jenkins is currently serving a sentence of 15 years to life in prison for preying on women who worked as sex workers in Buffalo by leading them to dark or abandoned areas and assaulting them in two separate incidents in 2015. He was sentenced in 2016. In the newest incident, he is charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree criminal mischief. Jenkins returns to court on March 13 and in the meantime has been transferred to Marcy Correctional Facility in Oneida County.

 

The latest numbers show the spread of the flu is still declining across our region. During the week ending January 27th, Monroe County had the highest amount of cases with 439; followed by Erie County with 162. Chautauqua County had 102 while Niagara County had 81. Health Department officials say the best way to protect yourselves and others from getting sick is to receive a flu shot if you haven’t already and to practice good hygiene. Statewide, over 217,000 people have contracted the flu since the season started in October.

 

File photo

34-year-old Ericka McBride and 28-year-old Tajhenne Walker, both of Buffalo have been arrested by Genesee County Sheriffs. This followed an incident at Ulta Beauty, during which the women concealed merchandise and exited the store without paying. McBride and Walker were charged with grand larceny, possession of burglar tools and conspiracy. McBride was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court for later this month; additional information on the status of Walker was unavailable.

 

The FBI has been investigating an illicit online marketplace known as Genesis Market, whose operators compile stolen data, such as computer and mobile device identifiers, email addresses, usernames, and passwords, from malware-infected computers around the world and package it for sale on the market. Purchases made through Genesis Market are conducted using virtual currency, such as bitcoin. 23-year-old Brandon Hall of Rochester has been charged with possessing 15 or more unauthorized devices, by purchasing them on Genesis Market; 1100 stolen account credentials that included Citi Bank, Venmo, Paypal, Walmart and several others, were also found. Hall is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon. If he is eventually found guilty, the charges carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

A plan to build a large-scale studio in Buffalo for television and film production has been put on hold. Officials with Buffalo Studios say the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in the cost of materials. That means what was supposed to be an $80 million project has now ballooned to $120 million. There is hope that the project on South Park Avenue may be able to continue, but an exact timeline isn’t set.

 

Police body cam image of Todd Novick running away

The state Attorney General’s Office has revealed footage of a deadly officer involved shooting in Rochester. The incident happened on Christmas Eve and video shows an officer approaching 46-year-old Todd Novick on Murray Street after reports were received of a person with a gun. Novick ran away from the officer and later reached for his waistband before the officer shot him. Novick was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The shooting is still under investigation.

 

Randy Peterson

The name of a bicyclist who was hit and killed in Perinton this past weekend has now been released. According to authorities, 40-year-old Randy Peterson was struck by at least one vehicle while riding in the area of Courtney Drive Sunday night. Peterson passed away at the scene and so far no charges have been filed in connection with this tragedy. A GoFundMe has been set up to help Peterson’s family cover expenses.

 

SUNY students across New York are getting critical funds for internships. Governor Hochul announced SUNY is investing $10 million in funding to provide 3,000 SUNY students with internship experiences. She noted internships provide students with transformative opportunities outside classrooms to explore fields of study and gain hands-on experience before graduation. It’s part of the 163-million SUNY Operating Aid Increase, expanding opportunities for more students while helping secure skill sets needed to enter the workforce and pursue careers.

 

Lisa Haight

Hamburg police have released more information on a deadly officer-involved shooting in their community. Last Friday, officers were called to investigate a burglary at a home on Willet Road. The suspect, 36-year-old Lisa Haight, left the residence and was found inside another house nearby. She encountered police inside of a bathroom and ended up being shot and killed. The police chief says the shooting was justified because Haight tried to slash officers with what they thought was a knife but turned out to be a penlight.

 

Starting Sunday, a brand-new consumer protection law will be going into effect in New York State. The legislation will amend and clarify the state’s current credit card surcharge law. It will limit credit card surcharges to the amount charged to the business by the credit card company. Businesses must also post the total price of an item or service inclusive of the credit card surcharge. Governor Hochul says this measure will keep people from having to deal with hidden credit card costs.

 

Wegmans has issued a recall of Harissa Hummus Dip that is sold at its stores. The supermarket chain says the 10 and a half ounce product has an incorrect ingredient label on it. As a result, it could lead to people who are allergic to sesame getting sick. No illnesses have been reported, and the product has expiration dates of March 19th and March 24th of this year. Customers who bought the dip can return it for a refund.

 

Tage Thompson (file photo)

The two-game winning streak of the Buffalo Sabres has been snapped after the team suffers a loss at home. Tage Thompson had the lone goal for the Sabres as his team fell to the Dallas Stars 2-1 at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was able to stop 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for Buffalo is a home game on Saturday against the Saint Louis Blues; the puck drops at 1:00.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Dollar General is soon going to carry fresh fruits and vegetables. The new choices include salad mixes, strawberries, potatoes, and tomatoes. The items will hit around 5,000 locations across the country. The retailer serves a large percent of rural and under-populated areas. The upgrades are set to begin as early as next month.

 

More Americans are drowning in credit card debt. The New York Federal Reserve says credit card delinquencies surged more than 50% in 2023. Total consumer debt soared to more than $17.5 trillion with the Fed noting “serious delinquency” of 90 days or more across multiple categories. As one economic researcher at the Fed put it, the data signals increased financial stress especially among younger and lower-income households.

 

Honda is recalling nearly 750,000 vehicles in the U.S. over air bags that could deploy unintentionally during a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the front passenger seat weight sensor could crack and short circuit, failing to suppress the air bag. Officials reported that 16 Honda and Acura makes are included in the recall. According to federal safety regulators, dealers will replace the seat weight sensors free of charge.

 

Happy birthday Edie!

The oldest living person in the United States is celebrating a milestone. Edith “Edie” Recogno Keenan Ceccarelli turned 116 on February 5th. That’s according to the Gerontology Research Group. Her town of Willits, California threw a birthday bash for her with a parade despite rain and wind throughout the region. A friend of the supercentenarian told Nexstar’s KTXL that there was an “incredible turnout.” Her birthday celebration has become an annual event in recent years.

 

 

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 7, the 38th day of 2024 with 328 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

February 7 in history…

Garth Brooks, age 8

…In 1962, country singer Garth Brooks was born (happy 62nd!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They look both shocked and overwhelmed.

…In 1964, the Beatles arrived in the United States at New York’s Kennedy Airport for the first time and immediately set off a frantic wave of “Beatlemania.”

 

 

 

 

Chris Rock, age 8

…In 1965, comedian Chris Rock was born (happy 59th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Burn the tapes…” President Nixon in 1972

…In 1973, the U.S. Senate voted to set up a committee to investigate a break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in Washington’s Watergate complex.

 

 

 

Ashton Kutcher, age 7

…In 1978, actor Ashton Kutcher was born (happy 46th!)

Tuesday News Brief

Ashton Mohney

33-year-old Ashton Mohney of Batavia has been arrested and charged with promoting dangerous contraband in a prison. It’s alleged he possessed the contraband inside the Genesee County Jail. Mohney was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the jail.

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Mikula

A Springville man has been indicted for his alleged role in a road rage incident that left a person dead. The Erie County District Attorney’s office says Mario Garcia is charged with manslaughter after intentionally hitting 64-year-old Andrew Mikula with his vehicle on Vaughn Street in the East Concord neighborhood last November. Mikula ended up dying at the scene, and Garcia didn’t report what happened until he got home. Garcia faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

 

 

 

Kelvin Hunt

A registered sex offender is once again in trouble with the law after being accused of a disturbing crime. According to authorities, 47-year-old Kelvin Hunt broke into a home on Avenue C in Rochester Friday before kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. The victim was choked, and at one point Hunt pointed a gun at the girl’s head and threatened to kill her. Hunt is expected to be in court later today.

 

 

The investigation continues this morning into a body that was found in the Genesee River in Rochester on Sunday morning. A person walking across the Andrews Street Bridge noticed the body around 11:15 and called 911. Police and firefighters arrived on scene and retrieved the body from the river. The identity and cause of death will be determined by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

 

Richard Metcalf, Jr.

Testimony is scheduled to start today in the wrongful death civil trial of Richard Metcalf Junior. Yesterday, both the prosecution and defense laid out their opening statements to the jury. Metcalf was an inmate at the Erie County Holding Center when he passed away days after being restrained following an encounter involving staff members at the jail back in 2012. His estate has filed a lawsuit against the county and multiple deputies. The trial is expected to last several weeks.

 

 

 

Undated file photo

Governor Hochul is calling on House Republicans to pass immigration reform. In a press conference Monday, Governor Hochul said Republicans and Democrats have come together with the most significant immigration reform in decades, which President Biden will sign, if the House and Senate pass it. It would mean tougher asylum laws, $1.4 billion for states, which New York would receive a share of, and the border could be shut down. Hochul said the only thing standing in the way is that House Republicans refuse to take action because they don’t want there to be a resolution. The Governor called on the 10 Republicans who are in the majority to vote for the reform.

 

Unidentified children fishing in this undated file photo

Governor Hochul is out with New York State’s free fishing days. There are six designated dates when the state’s fishing license requirement is waived for freshwater fishing in New York. The first free fishing days include President’s Day weekend, February 17th to 18th; June 29th to 30th, September 28th, which is National Hunting and Fishing Day, and November 11th, which is Veterans Day. The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to give people who might not fish a chance to try the sport of freshwater fishing at no cost.

 

A new poll is showing the impact online sports betting has had on Americans. According to the Siena College/Saint Bonaventure survey, 39% of people asked said they have wagered on sporting events while 19% admitted to having an online betting account. When asked why they decide to gamble, 93% said it was fun and 85% look at it as a way to make money. There are also fans that believe online betting will impact organized sports and that it should be regulated by the federal government.

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be back in front of their home crowd tonight as they return to action after a long break. The Sabres are set to host the Dallas Stars at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is currently on a two-game winning streak, but hasn’t played since January 27th when they beat the San Jose Sharks on the road. Face-off this evening is scheduled for 7:00.

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

Toby Keith

Country music superstar Toby Keith is dead. The 62-year-old died peacefully last night surrounded by his family, according to a message on his social media platforms. The singer was diagnosed with stomach cancer not too long ago and had been undergoing chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Keith sold more than 40 million records over the course of his career. Long before his diagnosis, Keith had set up a foundation to help children battling cancer.

Unidentified women in an undated file photo working on a puzzle together.

A new study says healthy living can help fight against cognitive decline even with signs of dementia. The research published in the journal JAMA Neurology used autopsies on nearly 600 people, including those living in retirement communities or senior housing in the Chicago area. They tracked five of their habits beginning in 1997. Those included smoking, exercise, alcohol, brain stimulation and diet. The study’s use of autopsies was particularly unique, with experts saying it’s “one of the first to harness brain pathology.”

 

An NBA all-glass LED court

The NBA is doing something unique to their court for All-Star weekend. The league announced on Monday that a full video, LED court will be used for several events at Lucas Oil Stadium. The new floor will make its debut for the celebrity game on the 16th and stay for the three-point and other skill competitions on Saturday night. The high-tech court will feature design and color changes, live replays and other video content, and real time game stats along with other animations. The traditional All-Star game tips off from Indianapolis on February 18th.

Today is Tuesday, Feb. 6, the 37th day of 2024 with 329 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

February 6 in history…

Ronald Reagan, age 13

…In 1911, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan was born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Brokaw in first grade

…In 1940, TV newsman Tom Brokaw was born (happy 84th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W. Axl rose, age 7

…In 1962, W. Axl Rose was born (happy 62nd!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jay Leno during his last appearance as ‘Tonight Show’ host, today in history.

…In 2014, Jay Leno ended his 22-year stint as host of The Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon took over hosting duties, moving the talk show from Burbank, California, to New York City.

Afternoon News Brief

Two days after the death of her sister, 33 year old Brandi Haight of Jamestown faces charges in an unrelated case.  Haight forced her way into a house in Jamestown Saturday Night, per police, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, kicked a door in and stabbed a victim in the face.  Haight then left the scene before officers arrived; they found her in a car shortly after, according to officials. She ran from that vehicle and resisted officers.  Her sister was shot by Hamburg police on Saturday for also breaking into homes and stabbing a woman.  She is facing a number of charges including assault in the 1st degree, two counts of burglary, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and more.

Police said a body was found in the Genesee River in Rochester downtown Sunday morning.  A person walking across the Andrews Street bridge noticed the body around 11:15 a.m. and called 911. Police and firefighters arrived on scene and retrieved the body from the river.  The identity and cause of death will be determined by the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Free Fishing days of 2024 have been announced.  Starting with February 17th and 18th those who don’t have a fishing license can try out fishing in NY state for free.  All other regulations still apply.  Other dates are June 29th and 30th, September 28th, and November 11th.  If you don’t have equipment to go fishing there are Rod Loaner programs available.  Just got to DEC.NY.gov and navigate to the things to do part of the site to find out more.

February 3rd marked the Pink Fund’s 10th annual Bikini Snowmobile Rally except there were no sleds to be found.  22 women came with ATVs since the weather was 40 degrees and sunny in Oakfield.  The fundraiser raised over 37 thousand dollars for the Pink Fund, a non-profit organization that provides financial support to those battling breast cancer. Funds can be used for cost-of-living expenses and cover things like mortgage, rent, utility bills, and auto payments, while breast cancer patients are in active treatment for 3 months.  This will be the last year for the Bikini Rally as organizers say it takes a lot of work to set up and there are other things they could be doing to raise money and awareness.

The first Batavia City School District Foundation Blue vs. White charity hockey game went to overtime before a winner could be crowned at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena on Sunday evening.  The White team broke a 6-6 tie to win it in overtime, 8-6.  Alumni members of the Batavia and Notre Dame Hockey programs, City School District faculty and staff along with several members of City Fire and the local business community made up the two teams.  Batavia Middle School Principal, Nathan Korzelius coached the White Team and John Kirkwood headed up the Blue Team, both were high school coaches at one time.

Monday News Brief

36-year-old Andrew Taylor of Batavia has been arrested. He’s charged with petit larceny, after it was alleged he stole items worth nearly $40 from WalMart in Batavia. Taylor was released on an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court at a later date. ALSO: 35-year-old Shandell Lissow of Albion and 52-year-old Philip Mayberry of Syracuse have been arrested in Batavia, following an investigation into a prior incident at the Quality Inn. They’re charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia. Both were released on appearance tickets for Town of Batavia Court.

 

According to Triple A this morning, the national average price for a gallon of regular fuel is $3.15. The state average is $3.28. In Batavia, the average figures out to $3.24 per gallon; that’s down a nickel from a week ago and down 19 cents from a year ago today.

 

Rachel Tari

A Wayne County woman has been charged after being accused of abandoning her child. The three-year-old was left alone in a vehicle and 32-year-old Rachel Tari of Sodus was taken into custody. The child was sitting in temperatures that were below freezing and had been without supervision for some time. Tari was brought to the Wayne County Jail ahead of her arraignment.

 

 

 

 

Polar Plunge yesterday (13WHAM Photo)

The yearly Rochester Polar Plunge is once again being called a success. People entered the cold water of Lake Ontario at Ontario Beach Park in Rochester yesterday to help raise funds for Special Olympics New York. That agency provides help for people who are living with developmental disabilities and want to compete in sports. Anyone who is interested in donating can still do so at polarplunge.net.

 

Clyde-Savannah Junior-Senior High School (13WHAM file photo)

A judge has dismissed the most-serious charges against three varsity football players from Clyde-Savannah High School who were accused of sexually assaulting a boy in a locker room last fall. The incident happened Oct. 31 at the school. Police said the incident was recorded and shared on social media. Judge Richard Healy dismissed felony charges for aggravated sexual abuse against the three defendants, following a review of grand jury minutes. They still face misdemeanor charges for hazing and forcible touching. If convicted, the defendants — ages 15, 16 and 17 — could face jail time, probation or conditional discharge, but no prison time.

 

Unidentified boy models one example of the newly required neck protection gear.

A new piece of safety gear will soon be required for youth hockey players. USA Hockey, the national ice hockey association in the United States, has mandated neck protection guards for players under 18; a policy that will go into effect August 1st. Some players say they’re on board, with many already starting to wear them ahead of the policy change. However, not everyone agrees. Some players say the guards can be irritating. While players 18 and up will not be required to wear neck guards, they are highly encouraged.

 

Unidentified senior citizen in file photo receiving vaccine.

Older New Yorkers are being urged to roll up their sleeves and get themselves vaccinated against three potentially dangerous viruses. Experts say the flu, COVID-19 and RSV can pose a serious threat to people who are 60 and older. Folks in that age group have ended up in the hospital or even lost their lives after getting infected. Medicaid can be used to cover the cost of these vaccines. A list of immunization sites can be found online.

 

Mattias Samuelsson is out for the remainder of the season.

The Buffalo Sabres will be without one of their young stars for the rest of the regular season. It was revealed yesterday that defenseman Mattias Samuelsson needs surgery to repair an upper body injury. The 23-year-old played in 41 games this year, scoring one goal and adding six assists. Samuelsson was Buffalo’s second round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

 

 

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

13WHAM photo of the New York State Fair, from September 2023

The New York State Fair has announced a significant change to this year’s concert schedule. There will no longer be any free afternoon shows at Suburban Park due to the cost of running them and low attendance. However, the eight p-m concerts will remain, as will the one p-m and six p-m performances at Chevy Park. This year’s state fair starts on August 21st and runs through September 2nd.

 

Kenya the Giraffe ‘sticks his neck out’ and makes a Super Bowl prediction…

A giraffe in Florida is predicting who will win this year’s Super Bowl. A prediction ceremony was held Friday at the Gulf Breeze Zoo, where Kenya the Giraffe was offered two buckets of food, one labeled Kansas City Chiefs and the other labeled San Francisco 49ers. After a moment of deliberation, Kenya chose the Kansas City bucket of food. The giraffe also predicted an early spring.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave your #2 pencils at home…

A standardized test that’s widely used for college admissions will look different this spring. Starting next month, the SAT will only be available digitally. The new test will also be shorter and adaptive, so questions will change depending on how a student performs as the test progresses.

 

Today is Monday, Feb. 5, the 36th day of 2024 with 330 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

February 5 in history…

…In 1998, Pearl Jam released the album “Yield.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bono, pictured during Super Bowl XXXVI performance.

…In 2002, U2 performed the halftime show for Super Bowl XXXVI. Paul McCartney and Barry Manilow sang at a pre-game concert before the game.

 

 

 

Phil Spector in the courtroom, following his arrest.

…In 2003, Phil Spector was arrested in connection with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. He was later released on $1 million bail.

Weekend News Brief

3 people were arrested on Dellenger Ave Friday morning.  33 year old Pierre Humphrey of Rochester, 42 year old Malinda Falk and 39 year old Matthew Reed, both of Batavia were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 3rd degree, possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell, possession of a narcotic drug in excess of a half ounce and criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the 2nd degree.  The Genesee County Drug Task Force and the Batavia Police Emergency Response Team executed a search warrant at a residence at 36 Dellinger Avenue.  The warrant was executed as part of a narcotics investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force.  Humphrey was held on bail and the other 2 were released under supervision.

Police were called to McDonalds in Albion for a robbery.  It was determined that a customer was upset and believed that he was short changed after his purchase. An argument between the customer and the manager ensued. The customer was then advised several times to leave the building by the manager.  During the argument, the customer pushed the manager of McDonald’s and entered the area behind the counter. The customer then took money from the cash register and left.  The Albion Police subsequently arrested 36 year old Donovan Conner who resides at Beechwood Apartments in the Village of Albion. Conner is charged with trespassing, operating a motor vehicle without a license, aggravated unlicensed operation, 2 counts of harassment, and robbery in the 3rd degree.

A judge has dismissed the most-serious charges against three varsity football players from Clyde-Savannah High School who were accused of sexually assaulting a boy in a locker room last fall.  The incident happened Oct. 31 inside a locker room at the school. Police said the incident was recorded and shared on social media.  Judge Richard Healy dismissed felony charges for aggravated sexual abuse Friday against the three defendants, following a review of grand jury minutes. They still face misdemeanor charges for hazing and forcible touching.  If convicted, the defendants — ages 15, 16 and 17 — could face jail time, probation or conditional discharge, according to Callanan, but they would not face prison time.

A new piece of safety gear will soon be required for youth hockey players.  This week, USA Hockey has mandated neck protection guards for players under 18. That policy will go into effect Aug. 1.  Some players say they’re on board, with many already starting to wear them ahead of the policy change.  Yet, not everyone agrees. Some players say the guards can be irritating.  While players 18 and up will not be required to wear neck guards, they are highly encouraged.

Afternoon News Brief

Batavia police closed Dellenger Ave this morning for an “Active Police Situation.”  From the press release sent out by the Police Department at 7:15 this morning: The Batavia Police Department has the area of Dellinger Avenue closed off due to an active police situation. We are asking everyone to stay away from the area at this time. There is no active threat to the public. The Police Department is coordinating with the Batavia City School District and St. Paul Lutheran schools to ensure kids to get to school safely.  The area has been reopened, although there will be a police presence in the area for an extended time. There is no threat to public safety at this time. More information will be released at a later time. 

Get ready for springtime, Western New York!  Dunkirk Dave, America’s second longest prognosticating groundhog, is predicting an early spring after not seeing his shadow this morning. He joins Punxsutawney Phil who also did not see his shadow with an early spring prediction.  According to his handler, Bob Will, Dave’s accuracy rate is 90%.

Amazon will no longer allow police to request video from Ring doorbell cameras on its neighborhood watch app. The app’s “Request for Assistance” tool is being removed.  The change will now take away the simple tool, which helped authorities as they physically investigated an area.  Police can still go door to door an ask for permission to view their camera footage.  If residents don’t cooperate, police can still obtain video through a subpoena or reservation order, but that adds time to the investigative process.  Police say this is a step backwards in use of the technology.

The Police Accountability Board in Rochester recommended several police reforms Thursday, including recommendations for the Rochester Police Department’s responses to protests and mass gatherings.  The suggestions of the PAB are that Police officers should not have discretion on deploying certain weapons and tactics, as well as mandate every officer who responds to a protest or mass gathering has a body-worn camera.  The group also wants clear guidance on when RPD requests mutual aid from neighboring law enforcement agencies.  The board will be submitting its recommendations to city leaders, who can then give their feedback.

A Buffalo Public Schools teacher and coach is getting a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas. James Damon has been gifted tickets to the big game by Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Damon, who works at the Emerson School of Hospitality, is credited with saving a woman’s life by using CPR on her after she was in a crash on Interstate 190 in December. Damon says he hopes his story encourages everyone to be CPR certified.

Tesla is recalling over two-million vehicles over claims the warnings lights on its display panel are too small. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall, saying it found the issue during a routine audit. The agency said the small font on its warning lights could increase crash risks by making it harder to read “critical safety information.” Tesla said it doesn’t know of any injuries or crashes caused by the problem. Owners will not have to bring their vehicles in because it will be fixed through an over-the-air software update.

Friday News Brief

David Fladie

A contractor from Wyoming County is accused of defrauding customers. According to the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, David Fladie of Varysburg accepted payments totaling $63,700 from three victims for work that was incomplete or not started. Fladie turned himself on January 25th and was charged with three counts of grand larceny and three counts of scheming to defraud. He also faces charges in Monroe County and turned himself in there later the same day. Fladie was released and is scheduled to appear at later dates in Murray, Clarendon and Clarkson town courts.

 

 

31-year-old Michael Smith, Jr. of Batavia has been arrested and charged with petit larceny. It’s alleged that Smith stole an electric scooter from inside the Batavia WalMart. He was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court on February 13th. ALSO: 40-year-old Omar Cabrera of Rochester has been arrested and faces multiple felony charges, including burglary and criminal mischief. He was caught by Genesee County Sheriff’s while attempting to break into an Elba residence and once inside, unlawfully remained there while causing damage in excess of $250. It’s alleged Cabrera stole a quantity of copper fittings. He was arraigned in CAP Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail.

 

2021 file photo of AG James following another opioid settlement.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is leading a coalition that is securing several hundred million dollars in a massive multi-state opioid settlement. She led a group of all AGs nationwide and announced the $350 million settlement from the marketing firm Publicis Health for its role in the opioid crisis. The NYC-headquartered Publicis is Purdue Pharma’s former advertising company and per the suit developed predatory and deceptive marketing strategies for Purdue to increase prescriptions and sales of opioids like OxyContin. New York will receive $19 million as a result, which will be used to fund opioid abatement, treatment and prevention. To date, Attorney General James has recovered over $2.7 billion from manufacturers, distributors and marketers that now goes toward treatment and recovery.

 

The rollout of legal weed in NY has been slow and complicated by legal challenges; and many applicants who want to open stores or cultivate are still waiting for approval. Part of the issue was a lawsuit that that stopped part of the state from opening up to cannabis. Another was the social equity plan, which prioritized people who had a criminal record involving pot. This long process has urged members from a variety of cannabis industry groups to launch the ‘Cannabis Conference.’ The group is coming together to work with officials to find solutions to the ongoing challenges facing the cannabis market. They’re laying out 12 priorities to fix what they say is a “delayed” and “flawed” rollout of the retail cannabis market.

 

Undated file photo of unidentified mail carrier making deliveries.

Folks who are looking for work may want to consider a career with the United States Postal Service. The agency is hosting job fairs in the throughout our region this month, starting next Wednesday, February 7th at the Fairport Post Office. That’ll be followed by another hiring event February 15th at the Seneca Falls Post Office. A long list of the available jobs have been posted at usps.com/careers.

 

Lithium-ion battery

A statewide campaign has been launched to make New Yorkers aware of the dangers posed by lithium ion batteries. Those batteries are used to power things like e-scooters, laptops, toys, hoverboards and smart phones, but they’ve also been responsible for causing fires. The Buy Safe, Charge Safe campaign will teach residents how to properly buy, use, and maintain devices that run on lithium ion batteries. Important safety tips can be found by going to ny.gov/chargesafe.

 

Undated file photo of the Erie County Fair

Organizers of the Erie County Fair have announced some new competitions that’ll be taking place during this year’s event. They include a baking competition, adult Lego building competition, chalk art competition, and also a community garden competition. Folks who want to sign up to take part in these contests must do so by July 12th and can fill out a form posted at ecfair.org. This year’s fair is set to run from August 7th through the 18th.

 

ELSEWHERE…

The sequel for the hit movie “Beetlejuice” finally has a title. The film will be titled “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice 2024 A.D.” Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara will all be reprising their roles from the first film. Meanwhile, new additions to the cast include Jenna Ortega, Willem Dafoe and Justin Theroux. “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice 2024 A.D.” will hit theaters on September 6th.

 

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots just keep rising and have combined to cross the half-billion dollar mark. The lucky winner of Mega Millions tonight will get a top prize of $333 million. And, whoever matches all six Powerball numbers for tomorrow night’s drawing is in line to receive $206 million. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Hulu is going to start banning password sharing. The streaming service notified customers on Wednesday that it will ban people sharing accounts outside of a household starting in March. Netflix started doing the same thing last year and despite fears of losing subscribers, the service has actually seen subscriber growth.

 

A new World Health Organization study predicts there will be more than 35-million new cancer cases by 2050. That would be an increase of just over 75% from 2022 levels. The majority of diagnoses are expected to be in low-income countries with mortality seen as doubling. The President of the International Cancer Foundation, Professor Solange Peters told The Guardian, “It is alarming that a mere 5% of global cancer spending reaches countries with 80% of the cancer burden.”

 

February 2 in history…

The 1876 rule book

…In 1876, baseball’s National League was formed. The original eight teams were based in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Louisville and Hartford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farrah Fawcett, age 11

…In 1947, Farrah Fawcett was born (happy 77th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ina Garten

…In 1948, Ina Garten was born (happy 76th!)

 

 

Afternoon News Brief

Two men have now been charged for their alleged roles in an assault that happened on Christmas Day. According to authorities, 22-year-old Brucewayne Beaman and 33-year-old Guy Mustgray the second allegedly attacked a man in his 60s near Bay Street and Portland Avenue in Rochester. The victim was rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital where he is still recovering from serious injuries. Both Beaman and Mustgray are charged with attempted murder.

Sheriff William Sheron Jr. announced Wednesday that he will not be seeking reelection for another term as Genesee County Sheriff.  Sheron’s current term ends on Dec. 31, 2024, at which time he will retire.  At the time of his retirement, Sheriff Sheron will have served 47 1/2 years with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, starting in 1977 as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher.  He was Deputy Sheriff for the Jail, Road, Patrol, Sergeant, Investigator, and Chief Deputy then Undersheriff before he was elected Sheriff in 2016.

Three teenagers are in some legal trouble after being arrested following a vehicle pursuit in Orchard Park. An officer was in a neighborhood off Powers Road yesterday when he saw the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer tried to pull it over, but the driver reportedly refused to stop, triggering a chase that ended near the Ridge Road exit of Interstate 90. A 17-year-old suspect and two 18-year-olds were then taken into custody. An investigation revealed the vehicle had been stolen.

The rollout of legal weed in NY has been slow and fraught with trials and many applicants to open stores or cultivate are still waiting for approval from the state.  Part of the issue was a lawsuit which blocked part of the state from opening up to cannabis.  Another was the social equity plan which prioritized people who had a criminal record involving pot.  This long process has urged members from a variety of cannabis industry groups to launch the ‘Cannabis Conference.’ The group is coming together to work with officials to find solutions to the ongoing challenges facing the cannabis market. They’re laying out 12 priorities to fix what they say is a “delayed” and “flawed” rollout of the retail cannabis market.  Last week the Cannabis Control Board canceled its meeting to approve a handful of licenses saying in part, “OCM is working hard to process this major backlog of applications.”  While in Buffalo, Governor Kathy Hochul expressed her frustration with the rollout and said she had a part in the board canceling its meeting.

Get ready to loosen your wallets and your belts.  Girls Scout Cookies are on their way.  Whether you enjoy Thin Mints, Adventurefuls, Caramel deLites, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Lemonades, Toast-Yays, or Trefoils, all varieties will be $6 per package and 100% of all proceeds stay local within Girl Scouts of WNY.  To purchase cookies you can reach out to a registered Girl Scout or visit the Girl Scout website here to find out where you can purchase cookies.

New batches of your favorite local maple syrup may be hitting the shelf a little early this year, thanks to the warm winter forcing local farmers to start production a few weeks sooner than normal.  It’s already that time of year for Merle Maple in Attica.  Time to start harvesting the sap from their thousands of maple trees. Greg Zimpfer, who has worked at Merle Maple for 40 years, says they usually start tapping trees in late February or early March.  He also says the Maple Syrup and other products will taste just as good this year.

Thursday News Brief

Michael Sweet

On 1/26/2024, Michael A. Sweet, 37, of Batavia, NY was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny 4th degree. Sweet allegedly took payment to complete renovations at a residence in the City of Batavia, but never completed the work. Sweet was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 2/6/2024.

 

 

 

 

On 1/29/2024, Trace G. Brewer, 23, of Batavia, NY, was arrested on an arrest warrant for Petit Larceny and Conspiracy 6th degree. It’s alleged that Brewer and another person stole merchandise from the 7-Eleven store on East Main Street. Brewer was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in Batavia City Court at a later date.

 

On 1/25/2024, Nicole K. Dell, 38, of Silver Springs, NY, was arrested on an arrest warrant. Dell was initially arrested on 5/23/2022 and charged with DWI. The warrant was issued after she allegedly failed to appear in court. Dell was arraigned in CAP Court and released. She is due in Batavia City Court at a later date.

 

On 1/26/2024, Jacob J. Frayne, 26, of Darien, NY, was arrested and charged with Aggravated DWI. Frayne was arrested after a traffic stop on Pearl Street, where he was allegedly found to be operating a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. He was additionally charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd degree. Frayne was issued appearance tickets and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on 2/7/2024.

 

On 1/28/2024, Takari G. Lang-Smith, 22, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and chaged with DWI. Lang-Smith was arrested following a traffic stop where he was allegedly found to be operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He was issued several tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on 2/6/2024.

 

On 1/20/2024, Richard M. Fuhry, 42, of Brockport, NY, was arrested and charged with DWI. Fuhry was arrested after police were called to the area of North Park and Ross Street for the report of people fighting in the street. Fuhry, who was allegedly involved in the fight, was located operating a vehicle, on Seneca Avenue. He was allegedly found to be intoxicated and was arrested. Fuhry was issued several tickets and released. He is due in court on 2/7/2024.

 

On 1/22/2024, Brian J. Hawkins, 44, of Olean, NY, was arrested on two warrants out of Batavia City Court. The first was a bench warrant related to an incident in 2019 where he allegedly provided alcohol to a person under the age of 21. The second warrant was an arrest warrant for Bail Jumping 3rd degree. Hawkins was arraigned in CAP Court and is due in Batavia City Court at a later date.

 

On 1/22/2024, Tanika N. Avant, 22, of Batavia, NY, was arrested on a bench warrant out of Batavia City Court. The warrant stems from an incident in April of 2023, where she was charged with two counts of Harassment 2nd degree and one count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child after a disturbance call on Bank Street. Avant was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail. She was scheduled to appear back in court on 1/25/2024.

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

33-year-old Dennis Jones of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has been convicted in Rochester and sentenced to serve 57 months in prison. From December 2021 through March 2022, Jones and three others drove from Florida to Rochester for the purpose of stealing purses from unoccupied vehicles in gym parking lots, hiking trails and residential neighborhoods. They used stolen driver’s licenses to cash stolen checks totaling over $55,000 at local banks. The other three defendants are already serving their prison terms.

 

 

Rochester police are continuing to look into the tragic death of a one-year-old child in their city. The 13-month-old girl was found unresponsive and not breathing at the Chatham Gardens apartment complex Tuesday. The girl was later pronounced dead at Rochester General Hospital. The cause of her death remains under investigation.

 

 

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that Department of Motor Vehicles investigators last year recovered 286 stolen vehicles valued at nearly $8.6 million and another $152,000 in stolen auto parts, as the State ramps up efforts to crack down on skyrocketing auto thefts. The recoveries are up 19% from the $7.3 million recovered in 2022, and a 67% increase from the $5.2 million recovered in 2021. In addition to the 286 vehicles recovered, 29 of which were from Western NY, DMV investigators recovered 157 auto parts, nearly twice the number of parts recovered in 2022.

 

New York State is awarding $100 million to 50 school districts, including many in our region, to help support efforts to address learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. The districts in Western New York that are receiving a portion of these funds include Buffalo, Tonawanda, and also Erie-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES. Governor Hochul says the state is making this investment to ensure students are on the path to success. She added that the money would also help support the mental health of students by providing them with critical resources.

 

Kerisa Schmitt

An Erie County woman has been arraigned after being accused of abusing more than 150 animals. The District Attorney’s Office says 24-year-old Kerisa Schmitt had animals such as chickens, dogs, goats and rabbits living in horrific conditions on her property in Cheektowaga. The animals also did not have access to food and water at the time they were rescued back in December. Schmitt is currently banned from owning any animals and is due back in court February 29th.

 

 

 

The state Division of Consumer Protection has issued some tips to help New Yorkers avoid scams during tax season. The agency recommends filing early using e-file and to request a direct deposit of your refund so that identity thieves have less of an opportunity to claim it. If you choose to mail in your return, do so from a secure location like the post office instead of leaving it in your home mailbox. If you want to use a tax preparer, research that person and make sure they’re willing to sign your return.

 

Josh Allen

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has traded in his football helmet for golf clubs today. Allen is set to take part in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California that runs today and tomorrow. Allen will be joined by former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, current New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young. Coverage of the tournament will air on both the Golf Channel and ESPN plus.

ELSEWHERE…

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin is pleading not guilty to a shooting charge on the “Rust” movie set in 2021. Baldwin plead not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins who was fatally shot during filming on the New Mexico set. Hutchins died after Baldwin was involved in a rehearsal where the gun he was using fired with a real bullet. Initial charges were dropped after Baldwin’s lawyers maintained he never actually pulled the trigger. Baldwin was indicted by a grand jury on the latest charge on January 19th.

 

President Biden’s lead over former President Trump is increasing in the polls. That’s according to a new Quinnipiac University poll that shows Biden leading Trump 50 to 44 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup. A December poll showed Biden receiving 47% support from registered voters and Trump securing 46%.

 

The Federal Reserve is holding interest rates at their highest level as consumer confidence improves and inflation slows. Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters, however, the central bank needs to see more evidence inflation is easing before cutting back rates. He said inflation is still too high and the path forward is “uncertain.” The Fed is aiming to bring inflation down to two-percent.

February 1 in history…

Garrett Morris and the Saturday Night Live cast

…In 1937, Garrett Morris was born (happy 87th!) He is best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live.”

 

 

 

 

 

Pauly Shore, age 8

…In 1968, Actor and comedian Pauly Shore was born. (Happy 56th!) His credits include the TV series “Minding the Store” and the films “Son-In-Law,” “Encino Man” and “Bio-Dome.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, moments before the famed ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in 2004

…In 2004, Janet Jackson had a “wardrobe malfunction” in her appearance with Justin Timberlake during the halftime of Super Bowl XXXVIII.

 

Afternoon News Brief

A Rochester man who police said shot and killed another man in front of his family was sentenced Tuesday.  36 year old Jerrod Dozier was sentenced to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter, according to prosecutors.  Police said Dozier shot 27 year old Terry Howard multiple times Nov. 12, 2022 while Howard sat in the passenger seat of a vehicle parked in a driveway on Norton Street.  Howard’s wife and kids were also in the vehicle but were not shot.  Dozier was arrested the next day. He pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to first-degree manslaughter.

Genesee County Sheriffs are investigating a break in at a gun shop in Oakfield.  In the early morning on Friday, a caller, using security cameras, observed individuals in hoodies in a gun shop on Lockport Road, and called law enforcement while continuing to monitor their activities.  The individuals fled the store before police arrived.  The owner and police have not released if anything was stolen from the store.  The perpetrators are still at large. 

New York Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado visited Western New York on Tuesday.  Gov. Kathy Hochul recently tasked Delgado with leading the new Office of Service and Civic Engagement.  The lieutenant governor’s first stop was SUNY Geneseo to learn about the university’s students’ work in the community.  Then, Delgado visited the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester, where he learned how Rochester is supporting those who served.  Delgado said he believes the new office can help connect both younger and older generations.

Police are investigating the death of a toddler on the city of Rochester’s north side.  Officers responded to the Chatham Gardens apartment complex on Kelly Street around noon Tuesday for a report of a 1-year-old not breathing.  Firefighters were rushing the child into an ambulance while attempting lifesaving measures when police arrived.  The child was taken to Rochester General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.  The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office is working to determine the cause of death.

According to a January 12 internal memo from the Department of Civil Service, New York State is looking to make it easier for migrant workers to be hired for state jobs.  The memo was confirmed by a spokesperson for Governor Kathy Hochul.  It says that “State agencies have identified approximately 4,000 positions… that can potentially be filled by these individuals and others.”  If this initiative was implemented, it would lessen the amount of required job qualifications for temporary positions with the State.  The memo states many of these positions “are in hard-to-recruit, entry level titles.”

Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that DMV investigators recovered 286 stolen vehicles valued at nearly $8.6 million and another $152,000 in stolen auto parts in 2023, as the State ramps up efforts to crack down on skyrocketing auto thefts. The recoveries are up 19 percent from the $7.3 million recovered in 2022, and a 67 percent increase from the $5.2 million recovered in 2021. In addition to the 286 vehicles recovered, 29 of which were from Western NY, DMV investigators recovered 157 auto parts, nearly twice the number of parts recovered in 2022.

Wednesday News Brief

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is announcing that Deputy Sheriff Chad Cummings, a nine-year member, has been named Officer of the Year. Deputy Cummings is noted as a leader in civil enforcement, considered one of the most dangerous duties a Deputy performs. He always accepts special assignments and has regularly taken on additional duties.

 

File photo of one of many potholes on the streets.

Anyone who has spent time driving lately already knows that pothole season has started. Triple A dispatchers tell us that the early freeze and thaw caused the potholes to open up earlier this year than normal. They respond to thousands of tire-related calls each month and say that one of the biggest culprits is potholes. In 2022 nearly 2 in 10 drivers had to get their vehicles repaired after hitting a pothole. The average cost of repair was over $400 and prices continue to rise.

 

Some General Motors employees in the region are going to be receiving profit-sharing payments worth over $12,000. The money will go to United Auto Workers members at plants in both Lockport and Tonawanda. GM says it wants to reward its employees who have had a major role in the company’s success. These payments will be distributed in $250 increments.

 

 

 

Dan DeWolf

Flags are going to be lowered to half-staff across New York State today in honor of a fallen firefighter from Wayne County. Dan DeWolf, who was a member of the Fairville Volunteer Fire Department, died in the line of duty earlier this month. DeWolf went into cardiac arrest while at the scene of a house fire and passed away at the age of 52. DeWolf spent 32 years as a member of the department and also served time as its chief.

 

 

 

Organizers of the Rochester Lilac Festival have announced when the very popular event is going to be taking place this year. It is scheduled to run from May 10th through the 19th and over 500,000 visitors are expected to attend. In the aftermath of a few incidents that happened last year, there will be increased safety measures in place such as additional fencing and extra security. For more information, head to rochesterevents.com.

 

The Niagara Falls Police Department has announced the results of a major drug bust in the city. Authorities say they seized crack cocaine, crystal meth, fentanyl, suboxone strips and cash after executing a search warrant at a home on Buffalo Avenue last week. Charges are going to be filed once the results of lab tests come back.

 

Troy Parker (center) leaves the courtroom yesterday after being found guilty of murder. (13WHAM Photo)

A jury has issued its verdict in the murder trial of Troy Parker. Yesterday, Parker was found guilty of brutally killing Fantasia Stone at an address in Rochester last year by setting her on fire. The jury reached its decision in roughly 20 minutes after the defense and prosecution gave their closing arguments. Prosecutors say that Parker was motivated to carry out the killing by drugs and money. He’s facing decades in prison when he’s sentenced February 28th.

 

Mifepristone

Governor Hochul is calling on the United States Supreme Court to protect access to an abortion medication. The drug, called mifepristone, has been used by millions of people over the last two decades. A lower court ruling has been handed down limiting the use of this medication; something the governor says undermines the rights of states to provide adequate health care services. New York already has a five-year supply of a similar abortion drug named misoprostol.

 

Bobby Babich

The Buffalo Bills have named the man who is going to be serving as the team’s new defensive coordinator. Bobby Babich, who has been with the Bills since 2017, is being promoted to the role after working the last two years as linebackers coach. However, there’s no word yet if he’ll be calling the plays on game day. As you know, this past season, head coach Sean McDermott took on those duties. Buffalo’s season came to an end earlier this month with a playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

ELSEWHERE…

The state Senate’s transportation committee has started debate on legislation aimed at improving limousine safety. One measure calls for limos to be removed from the road after 10 years or 350,000 miles. Another bill would extend the state limousine passenger task force and allow members to work through the end of 2025. Limo safety has been a major topic at the Capitol since a crash in Schoharie back in October 2018 took the lives of 20 people.

 

Universal Epic Universe

Universal Orlando Resort is unveiling the first details about Florida’s next theme park. Universal Epic Universe is set to open next year and will feature five new lands — Super Nintendo World, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Ministry of Magic, How to Train Your Dragon – Isle of Berk, Celestial Park and Dark Universe. Guests will enter through Celestial Park which will feature mythological-inspired architecture and a dual-launch racing coaster. Meanwhile, Dark Universe is inspired by classic Universal Monsters characters like Frankenstein’s Monster and Dracula. Epic Universe will also be the home of the Universal Helios Grand Hotel that will have 500 rooms and unique views of the park.

 

Amyloid beta protein destruction of the brain is evident on the right.

Rare cases of early-onset dementia symptoms could be connected to a now-discontinued human growth hormone medical treatment. A study published in the journal Nature Medicine suggests that five adults may have received the treatment decades ago as children. The research presents the first reported evidence of Alzheimer’s disease in living people having been medically acquired. In those cases, researchers believe the early-onset dementia symptoms resulted from transmission of amyloid beta protein, which is a key part of Alzheimer’s disease when it forms plaques in the brain.

 

The Mega Millions jackpot keeps growing with no big winner Tuesday night. Friday’s prize now stands at $333 million, with the cash option working out to about $160 million. The odds of winning the grand prize are roughly one in 302 million. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2024 with 335 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 31 in history…

All-Star Nolan at age 11

…In 1947, baseball Hall of Fame member Nolan Ryan was born (happy 77th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Timberlake, age 12

…In 1981, Justin Timberlake was born (happy 43rd!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cher performing the National Anthem, 1999

…In 1999, Cher sang the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXXIII.

Afternoon News Brief

GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare plans to host its second annual career exploration event for local students interested in healthcare career pathways and opportunities. Approximately 600 students in grades 8-12 from 28 schools will gather at Genesee Community College on March 22, to connect with various healthcare businesses and organizations to learn about careers in healthcare and science-related fields throughout the GLOW region.  GLOW With Your Hands: Healthcare will provide the healthcare sector with the opportunity to meet and recruit its future workforce. Participants include representatives from hospitals and health systems and those in nursing, mental health, social services and first responders. Attendees also will be able to explore educational pathways in the healthcare sector through BOCES and local colleges and universities.

New rules are about to go into place that will make a lot of changes necessary for the Genesee County Animal Shelter.  Companion Animal Law will force the Shelter to update its HVAC system to have separate systems for dogs and cats and keep the temperature set between 60 and 80 degrees at all times.  Also they have to build larger kennels for dogs and cats, separate washing facilities for both dogs and cats, additional wash sinks for volunteers, and daylighting for diurnal lighting.  The updates are expected to cost quite a lot and the shelter is hoping to get a grant of 500K.  Other changes are how the animals activities are tracked with logs for interactions and regulations for how much noise there is in the shelter.

Monroe Community College is moving forward with its plan, unveiled in September, to equip campus security officers with long guns.  At a MCC Board of Trustees meeting, school officials said having officers with patrol rifles would allow for a swifter, more effective response if someone intending to do harm comes on campus. They say they’ve learned from other incidents around the country that seconds count.  Campus Safety Chief Stephen Wise said that handguns had a limited range, between 20 and 30 yards, and long guns would allow campus safety officers to engage threats from hundreds of yards away.  According to MCC officials, officers would not carry the guns. They would be kept in a secure location where officers could get them in an active shooter or mass casualty situation.  The college notified faculty of the decision on Monday.

Rochester police are saying that they are understaffed and it’s affecting their day to day operations.  The department is currently down more than 90 officers.  With fewer officers on hand it means longer response times for 911 calls and fewer investigators to work crime scenes or follow up when crimes are committed.   Current officers have felt the pinch. Many of them have been forced to stay overtime and work double shifts.  The officer shortage dates back several years to the “Defund the Police” movement and cancellation of a police academy class which has resulted in a higher murder rate especially in poorer areas and higher crime rates across the city.  

It’s something most of us have already experienced firsthand while on the road, pothole season in Western New York is already off and running.  AAA Emergency Road Service Dispatcher Dan Fisher, not to be confused with the former owner of WBTA, said that the early freeze and thaw caused the potholes to open up earlier this year.  AAA of Western and Central New York responds to thousands of tire-related calls each month and says that one of the biggest culprits is potholes.  In 2022 nearly 2 in 10 drivers had to get their vehicles repaired after hitting a pothole. The average cost of repair was over $400 and prices continue to rise.

Another Trash Removal service wants your business.  Dirty Dan’s Junk and Trash Removal started in June with Dan King wanting to help people get rid of their waste after experiencing trash pickup delays and neighbors missing having their cans emptied.  For junk removal, King says it’s $100 per load for a one time pick up of junk. Trash pick-up is $35 per month and includes 10 bags with 2 bulk items and recycling per week. He says he picks up junk and trash areawide. Dirty Dans Junk and Trash Removal also offers small moving services.  His fiance answers the phone and sets up appointments and sometimes his 2 year old rides along.

Tuesday News Brief

File photo of damaged cell phone; this one is probably broken beyond repair!

Attorney General Letitia James is reminding residents that the New York State Digital Fair Repair Act recently went into effect statewide, making repairs of cell phones, tablets, and other electronics simpler and more affordable. The law makes it easier to get electronics repaired at independent shops or do repairs at home by requiring manufacturers that do business in New York to make certain documents, tools, and parts widely available. Limited access to those materials meant fewer options for repairs; resulting in higher prices and longer wait times. Businesses that fail to follow the new rules could face civil penalties.

 

Registration for the 2024 Batavia Youth Baseball Season is now open until March 2nd. Divisions available in our House League are:

T-Ball (Ages 4-6)
Coach Pitch (Ages 7-8)
Minor Division (Ages 9-10)
Majors Division (Ages 11-12)
Any youth ages 4-12 interested in playing baseball can register @ https://www.nybataviayouthbaseball.com/

The Batavia Youth Baseball Board would like to welcome our new Board of Directors for 2024:
Kevin Rogers(President), Jenn Pacino-Lendvay(Vice President), Beth Kemp(Secretary), Jason Crater(Treasurer), Jose Arroyo, Dave D’Amico, Steve Fancher, Pat Fava, Pam Martin, Kristine McCarthy, James Patric, and Mark Sacheli.

 

The most recently released data provides us with some good news as it shows the spread of the flu appears to be on the decline across our region. During the week ending January 20th, Monroe County had the highest number of cases with 528; Erie County had the second highest number of cases with 201. Niagara County was third with 99 infections and Ontario County had 61. Since the beginning of flu season, over 193,000 residents statewide have contracted the illness.

 

 

 

Troy Parker in the courtroom (13WHAM Photo)

Closing arguments are expected to be heard today in the murder trial of Troy Parker. Yesterday, jurors saw footage of Parker being questioned by authorities after he allegedly killed Fantasia Stone by setting her on fire in Rochester last year. The two were dating at the time, and had reportedly been involved in an argument before Stone’s death. Parker’s attorney continues to say his client is innocent.

 

Congressman Higgins

Congressman Brian Higgins has announced a grant program that’ll provide a needed boost to local fire departments. The “Assistance for Firefighters Grant” will give first responders funds to modernize equipment and also train new members. Higgins says it’s important to make sure that emergency crews have all necessary tools available at their disposal so they can help the communities they serve. The deadline to apply for this program is March 8th.

 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pledging federal action to help area kids get access to RSV vaccine. Immunizations are recommended for all babies that are born during colder months and the shot promises to lower their risk of being hospitalized for RSV by 80%. Currently, manufacturers say there is a shortage of this drug. Schumer is calling on the FDA and CDC to solve this problem.

 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on his colleagues in Congress to renew the Undetectable Firearms Act. Schumer made that request during a visit to Albany yesterday. The legislation was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan back in 1988 and its currently scheduled to expire in March. Schumer believes if that happens, gun crimes across the country will rise. A measure to extend the UFA was put into the Defense Authorization Act but was removed by House Republicans.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Amelia Earhart and a sonar image of what is believed to be her plane at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean about 100 miles from Howland Island. 

Location of Howland Island

A pilot and explorer says he found Amelia Earhart’s long-lost plane. CEO of Deep Sea Vision Tony Romeo sold commercial real estate to fund his deep-sea exploration of the Pacific Ocean last year. The former US Air Force intelligence officer used sonar technology to inspect the ocean floor in the area Earhart is suspected to have crashed in 1937. His team reviewed the data in December and say they found a shocking discovery: a blurry plane-like shape Romeo believes to be Earhart’s. It was taken about halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

 

 

Jason Kelce and The Feast of Bacchus.

A New York City man is going viral for comparing memorable sports photographs to works of art. According to The New York Times, LJ Rader, who lives on the Upper East Side, has 365-thousand followers on X and Instagram. The NFL approached him about Jason Kelce’s shirtless, beer-drinking antics in the freezing cold during the Kansas City Chiefs-Buffalo Bills game earlier this month. Rader’s choice was the 17th Century The Feast of Bacchus, a piece by the Dutch painter Phillips Kornick that depicts the Greek God of wine, shirtless and in a wine-induced haze. The NFL’s response was “Nailed it.” Rader grew up in Katonah and describes himself as a self-taught art enthusiast.

 

 

Tom Johnson

Writer and comedian Tom Johnson has died at the age of 55. His family confirmed that Johnson died at his Los Angeles home on January 14th. Johnson wrote more than one-thousand episodes for “The Daily Show” and won Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards for his work. His other writing credits include the Grammy Awards, “Comedy Central Roast” and “Talk Show with Spike Feresten,” Fox network’s longest-running late night show. Johnson’s family said in a statement Friday that he died “peacefully and unexpectedly.” A cause of death wasn’t given.

 

 

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2025 with 336 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 30 in history…

Phil Collins, age 13

…In 1951, Phil Collins was born (happy 73rd!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Elton with The Queen in 1998

…In 1998 Elton John received his knighthood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image from the Charles Schwab commercial that featured Ringo in 2000.

…In 2000, Ringo Starr was featured in a commercial for the investment broker Charles Schwab, which aired during the Super Bowl.

Afternoon News Brief

It was an early morning surprise that brought together members of the Pavilion Fire Department and a family on Sparks Road.  The call for a 23-year-old going into labor for her first time came into Genesee County dispatch about 2:30a.m., last Sunday. Chief Jason Everett, Firefighter Tom Garlock, Certified First Responder Chris Holley and Firefighter Don Roblee all responded to the call along with Mercy Ambulance.  That morning, the Pavilion Fire Department was without one of their most experienced members, Rescue Squad Lieutenant Amanda Holley.  She was working at her regular job as an RN in the labor and delivery department at Millard Fillmore Suburban.  Everett, who has been a Medic for 33 years, says he was a little nervous the first 30 seconds. He says being calm and thinking of the steps in his training immediately came to mind. Especially since it’s a training they do not do often.  Baby Cinderella was born at 2:55a.m.

A federal grand jury has indicted a Buffalo man for selling fentanyl which killed a small child.  23 year old Javonte Holloway is charged with distribution of controlled substances causing death and trafficking in counterfeit drugs causing death. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life.  It is alleged that on December 2nd of 2022, Holloway distributed fentanyl, which  caused the death of a toddler. In addition, Holloway sold counterfeit M-30 oxycodone hydrochloride pills containing fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl. 

The Firing Pin in Bergen, hosted nearly 1,000 people at an eight-hour firearm safety class at the Kodak Center on West Ridge Road in Rochester on Sunday. Many students took the class in pursuit of a New York state pistol permit. Under the 2022 Concealed Carry Improvement Act, signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, pistol permit applicants are required to attend 18 hours of firearms safety training, as well as submit to a months-long background check.  The Firing Pin said it’s offering a discount to attendees of Sunday’s class so they can complete the remaining 10 hours of the required course.

Postal inspectors are offering a $150,000 reward for information after a letter carrier was robbed in Rochester earlier this month.  According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the worker was robbed on Brambury Drive shortly before 5 p.m. Jan. 9.  The suspect reportedly got in a dark-colored SUV that was waiting alongside State Route 104 and fled. No further information about the suspect has been released.  Inspectors are investigating several robberies of United State Postal Service carriers throughout Monroe County over the last year.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.  A low moment has turned into overwhelming support for Bills kicker Tyler Bass.  With donations for the Ten Lives Club nearing $350,000, the organization wanted to honor Bass in a unique way, making him into an ice sculpture made by Eric Jones.  The sculpture features both Allen and Bass next to a cat, all sponsored by Cellino Plumbing. Dozens gathered for a big surprise unveiling Saturday afternoon.

Monday News Brief

13WHAM file photo of Troy Parker in court last Monday, 1/22/24.

The prosecution could be wrapping up its case soon in the murder trial of Troy Parker. He’s the man accused of killing Fantasia Stone last year by setting her on fire at an address in Rochester. On Friday, Parker’s ex-girlfriend testified she saw him the night Stone lost her life and that she ended up bringing him home the next day. There is no word yet if Parker is going to take the stand in his own defense.

 

Serious legal trouble for a Buffalo man; it’s alleged he committed a disturbing crime. Police say 31-year-old David McKeever is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. The two reportedly met on a dating site back in July and the encounter between them happened shortly after. McKeever was later identified as a suspect following a complaint filed by the girl’s mother and is charged with rape and child endangerment.

 

According to Triple A this morning, local drivers are feeling a little bit of relief at the gas pumps. The national average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $3.11. The state average is $3.26. In Batavia, the average price calculates out to $3.29; that’s down 12 cents from a month ago and 15 cents from a year ago today.

 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced new legislation that would encourage grocery stores to build in underserved communities. The Healthy Food Financing Initiative Reauthorization Act bill would provide $50 million in federal funding to grocery stores to build in areas like the East Side of Buffalo. Organizations like Community Action say that the struggle with food insecurity is real. The organization has been giving away food all week to neighbors in need — food they would not receive otherwise. Last Friday, they ran out of food within 27 minutes of opening.

 

“Whose the good boy??” dog calmly receives anti-rabies vaccination – file photo

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting an anti-rabies immunization clinic at no charge Thursday, February 8th from 4:00pm until 6:00pm at the Batavia Town Highway Garage. Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old and each must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car please.

 

File photo of Brian Higgins

In just a few days, people who live in the 26th Congressional District are not going to have any representation on Capitol Hill. That’s because Congressman Brian Higgins is resigning Friday so he can become the new president and CEO of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. The Democrat said back in November he was stepping down in part due to the partisan nature of Congress. It’ll be up to Governor Hochul to set the date for a special election to pick Higgins’ replacement.

 

2021 photo of former Governor Cuomo at the time of his resignation.

New York State has agreed to implement several reforms as part of a settlement with the US Department of Justice over Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment of women while he was in office as Governor. The Justice Department investigation found a pattern of sexual misconduct by Cuomo and said he subjected at least 13 state employees to a hostile work environment. The investigation found that Cuomo’s staffers failed to adequately report allegations and retaliated against four women who raised complaints. In a statement, Governor Hochul said she looks forward to continuing to reform the state’s procedures for addressing and preventing sexual harassment and retaliation. Cuomo’s attorneys deny any harassment and say the investigation is purely political. He is currently suing Attorney General Letitia James for her records of the interviews she did during the investigation.

 

New York State’s climate plan, which includes phasing out the state’s reliance on natural gas, continues to face criticism. Experts say changing every household to electric only would cost $30,000 to $40,000 per home. Add to that the push to buy electric cars which would charge mostly at night and school districts needing to buy electric school buses for 3 times the cost and also have them charge every night. Critics claim the electrical grid in its current form can’t handle all that with fossil fuels. New York has a statewide goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by switching all electricity production to solar and wind power by 2040. However, solar panels don’t work at night and wind turbines are not reliable.

 

Tax season is underway, and the state Department of Taxation and Finance is reminding New Yorkers they can file their returns for free. In order to qualify, people must meet income and other qualifications to send in their federal and state returns at no cost. It’s estimated that free filing saves people hundreds of dollars a year, and this year’s deadline is midnight on April 15th. For more information, head to tax.ny.gov.

 

Joe Brady

The Buffalo Bills have decided to officially promote Joe Brady to the role of offensive coordinator. Brady had taken over the job on an interim basis when Ken Dorsey was fired this past November. Brady helped the Bills go on a six-game winning streak that was snapped when the team lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs. Buffalo has also reportedly interviewed former Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell to fill the same role for the Bills.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Critical federal funding is coming to New York State to cover COVID costs. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced more than $157 million in FEMA money to reimburse the state for emergency proactive measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The state utilized equipment, materials, and contracts to implement emergency measures to reduce and prevent the virus’ spread. This allowed testing center operations to run smoothly and safely, ensuring that thousands of New Yorkers could be tested to minimize the spread of the virus.

 

File photo of unidentified young boy with measles.

A doctor with the Yale School of Medicine says he’s concerned about recent cases of measles in Pennsylvania, Virginia and now Georgia. Dr. Thomas Murray focuses on infectious diseases and global health. He says about 90% of susceptible people who are exposed to measles will come down with the highly contagious virus. It was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, but has been making a comeback as childhood vaccination rates fall below the threshold in some areas. Murray says measles spreads when unvaccinated people travel abroad, become infected and return to the United States.

 

Unidentified woman in file photo appears to have a headache.

A new study claims an oncoming migraine can be predicted. The study published in the journal “Neurology,” claimed a change in sleep quality and energy the day before the migraines were clear indicators. A 2018 study showed that chronic migraines are the leading cause of disability in people under the age of 50. The study authors used electronic diaries to track over 470 people’s behavior and symptoms over two weeks.

 

Unidentified location and undated file photo but unmistakably the Budweiser Clydesdale horses

The Clydesdales are coming back to the Super Bowl. St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch has released a 15-second video clip teasing the return of the trademark Budweiser draft horses. The beer company stopped airing commercials with the horses during the Super Bowl three years ago as it said it wanted to raise awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine along with the Ad Council. That marked the first time in nearly 40 years that the international brewer had skipped the Super Bowl. The teaser video shows the world-famous horses emerging from their stables in a blizzard. The Super Bowl airs February 11th on CBS, Paramount Plus and Nickelodeon.

 

Today is Monday, Jan. 29, the 29th day of 2024 with 337 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 29 in history…

Tom Selleck, age 9

…In 1945, Tom Selleck was born (happy 79th!)

 

 

 

 

 

Oprah, age 9

…In 1954, TV personality Oprah Winfrey was born (happy 70th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara Gilbert, age 5

…In 1975, actor Sara Gilbert was born (happy 49th!)

 

 

 

 

 

…In 1998, a top tobacco company executive admitted under oath to Congress for the first time that cigarettes are dangerous. The testimony by RJR Nabisco chairman and CEO Steven Goldstone came at a hearing where industry leaders pushed Congress to enact an over 368-billion dollar deal giving them partial immunity from future lawsuits.

 

 

 

 

Bob Woodruff spends time with his children during recovery. (ABC Photo)

…In 2006, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and an ABC cameraman were seriously injured after a roadside bomb exploded near the Iraqi town of Taji. Both men suffered head injuries in the blast and were taken to a U.S. military hospital in Iraq.

 

Weekend News Brief

New York State has agreed to implement several reforms as part of a settlement with the US Department of Justice over Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment of women while he was in office as Governor.  The Justice Department investigation found a pattern of sexual misconduct by Cuomo and said he subjected at least 13 state employees to a sexually hostile work environment. It said Cuomo’s staffers failed to adequately report allegations and retaliated against four women who raised complaints.  In a statement, Kathy Hochul said she looks forward to continuing to reform the state’s procedures for addressing and preventing sexual harassment and retaliation.  Cuomo’s attorneys deny any harassment and say the investigation is purely political.  Cuomo is currently suing Attorney General Letitia James for her records of the interviews she did during the investigation.

Stinky situation in Rochester.  Roughly 120,000 gallons of sewage was dumped into the Genesee River Friday, according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.  The discharge reportedly happened along East River Road in Henrietta.  A “New York Sewage Pollution Right to Know” alert says the sewer system reached its capacity due to rainfall following heavy snow melt.  The DEC said the sewage was “partially treated” with a lime disinfectant.

On Friday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced new legislation that would encourage grocery stores to build in underserved communities.  The Healthy Food Financing Initiative Reauthorization Act bill would provide $50 million in federal funding to grocery stores to build in areas like the East Side of Buffalo.  Organizations like Community Action say that the struggle with food insecurity is real.  The organization has been giving away food all week to neighbors in need — food they would not receive otherwise.  On Friday, they ran out of food within 27 minutes of opening.

The community came together to help one food pantry here in Batavia.  The Salvation Army food pantry ran out of shelf stable foods on Wednesday.  Knowing that more people needed food they decided to post pictures of their empty shelves on Facebook and challenge people to give 10 dollars each, hoping for 500 dollars to buy more food.  They raised 2,300.  The Salvation Army was able to fill 10 shopping carts with food and a good Samaritan offered to let them use his truck to transport and unload at the pantry.  Before the Pandemic, they were seeing 15-25 families a month. Now they are seeing 25-35 families every day that need food.

Afternoon News Brief

One individual is in custody facing criminal charges after a report of menacing involving a handgun led to an hours-long standoff in the City of Rochester’s Beechwood neighborhood.  Around 10 p.m. Thursday, officers were in the neighborhood on East Main Street near Culver Road to investigate the call. The area was closed as officers surrounded a home on the street for several hours.  One person was taken into custody. A BB gun was recovered at the scene. Officers said the individual will be charged.

Three former employees of Batavia Downs have filed a lawsuit against Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. and two supervisors, alleging sexual harassment and wage theft.  The suit was filed in Genesee County on Wednesday. It names as plaintiffs, Tara Sweet of Elba, Corrine Armison of Batavia, and Brooklynn Cline of Belmont.  All three are claiming wage theft by supervisors keeping a share of pooled tips, and Sweet is making allegations of sexual harassment.  The defendants, besides Batavia Downs and WROTB, are Scott Kiedrowski, chief operating officer, and Daniel Wood, director of security.  Sweet was fired by Batavia Downs on Nov. 16. Armison and Cline both quit their jobs in the spring.

Tops Friendly Markets has announced the launch of a brand-new specialty pharmacy program. Its goal is to provide more services to people who are living with complex and chronic medical conditions. Patients will be able to access specialty medications at their neighborhood store to treat issues such as hepatitis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s Disease. More details on this initiative can be found by visiting topsmarkets.com.

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday blasted his Democratic colleagues over their handling of the ongoing migrant crisis.  Writing an op-ed in The Hill, Cuomo likened the Democrats’ current strategy to that of a failing NFL team.  The party, Cuomo said, suffers from a “lack of logic” in its approach to such a critical issue.  He said that local leaders can be blamed by the public and shouldn’t ignore the problem.  He also said that Former President Trump can’t win the 2024 election but the Democratic Party can lose the election.

New York State’s climate plan, which includes phasing out the state’s reliance on natural gas, continues to face criticism.  Experts say changing every household to electric only would cost 30 to 40 thousand a home.  Add to that the push to buy electric cars which would charge mostly at night and school districts needing to buy electric school buses for 3 times the cost and also have them charge every night.  The electrical grid currently can’t handle all that with fossil fuels.  New York State has a statewide goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by switching all electricity production to solar and wind power by 2040.  Solar panels don’t work at night and wind turbines are not reliable.  

It has been dubbed the “Mother of all Breaches”.  Cybersecurity researchers discovered a database that contained more than 26 billion leaked data records.  Researchers have called it the biggest data breach found to date.  Just to get a sense of the breach’s scope, the newly discovered database contains over 3,800 folders, each containing records from an individual data breach.  It was discovered that X, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Adobe, Telegram and Canva were breached and usernames and passwords as well as other information about users was leaked.  If you suspect that your information may have been leaked you should immediately change your password on any account that could be affected.  The second thing is to turn on two factor authentication if it is available.  

Friday News Brief

 

Jessica Eschenlauer

On 1/17/2024, Jessica B. Eschenlauer, 34, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Burglary 2nd degree, Criminal Contempt 2nd degree, and Aggravated Family Offense. It’s alleged that Eschenlauer was found inside a residence in violation of a stay-away order of protection. She was arraigned in CAP Court and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court at a later date.

 

 

 

 

Roger Hofmeier

On 1/11/2024, Roger M. Hofmeier, 22, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd degree. The arrest stems from an investigation into an incident from July of 2022, where Hofmeier was allegedly found to be illegally in possession of a firearm. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court on 1/23/2024.

 

 

 

MORE FROM THE BATAVIA CITY POLICE BLOTTER:

Maverick X. Cook and Patrick J. Peters, both age 18 of Batavia, NY, are each charged with Open Burning. It’s alleged that Cook and Peters set several fires on the sidewalk and parking lots, in the area of Ellicott Street and Liberty Street in December of 2023. Both were issued appearance tickets and were scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on 1/23/2024.

On 1/20/2024, Nikkia M. Blackshear, 26, of Batavia, NY, was arrested for Trespassing. Blackshear was charged after allegedly refusing to leave the 7-Eleven store on East Main Street. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 1/30/2024.

On 1/18/2024, Adrienne S. Bechtold, 28, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and Criminal Use of Drug Paraphernalia 2nd degree. Bechtold was arrested after a traffic stop on Ross Street, where she was allegedly found in possession of narcotics and a scale. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 2/6/2024.

On 1/11/2024, Vincent J. Disalvo, 48, of Webster, NY, was arrested and charged with Harassment 2nd degree and Trespassing. Disalvo allegedly kicked another person during an altercation in the parking lot of 7-Eleven. He then entered the store, after previously being trespassed and told not to return. He was issued an appearance ticket and was scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on 1/23/2024.

On 1/13/2024, Kaila S. Smith, 27, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Filing a False Written Statement and Falsely Reporting an Incident. It’s alleged that Smith falsely reported a sexual assault on 1/5/2024 and knowingly provided a false written statement. Smith was issued an appearance ticket and was scheduled to appear in court on 1/23/2024.

On 1/15/2024, Anthony A. Bomasuto, 29, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Obstruction of Breathing. Bomasuto was arrested after an investigation into a domestic incident on Ellicott Street. Bomasuto was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

IN OTHER NEWS…

The Governor budgets to fight hate crimes.

Governor Hochul is pitching budget items that aim to combat a rise in hate crimes across New York State. Hochul says since Hamas initially attacked Israel on October 7th, there has been a 400% surge in threats against Jewish and Muslim New Yorkers. She also acknowledged a rise in bias crimes against Asian and LGBTQ+ communities. The governor’s proposed budget will include the Hate Crime Modernization Act which will update the list of eligible offenses that can be prosecuted and establish different degrees of bias harassment.

 

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn (file photo)

We have some new information for you this morning, regarding an officer-involved shooting in Buffalo. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says that no charges will be filed in an officer-involved shooting incident. The officers acted in self-defense after responding to a call about a suicidal man on Tonawanda Street back in September. Body camera footage showed the officers tried to get him to drop a weapon he was pointing at his head before he was shot. The man survived and has filed a notice of claim against the officers, the city and police department.

 

Stephen Nicot

A Rochester man is now facing prison time after pleading guilty to recording minors in a church bathroom. Prosecutors say 61-year-old Stephen Nicot has admitted to placing cameras in an Orleans County bathroom between 2012 and 2014. When police executed a search warrant, they found that Nicot had images of at least five victims. He’ll be ordered to spend at least five years behind bars when he’s sentenced in May.

 

 

 

Richmond Memorial Library is partnering with volunteers from the New York State Department of Tax and Finance to offer income-eligible citizens assistance with filing their taxes online this tax season. Tax Department employees will walk you through your income tax returns, step-by-step, as you complete and e-file your tax return for free. You are eligible to get this help if you make less than $79,000 per year. This tax help will be available at the library Thursdays in February, March and April. Please call the library to make an appointment at 585-343-9550.

 

Tyler Bass after the failed field goal attempt. NFL Photo.

Fans are coming together for a heartwarming showing of support for Bills kicker Tyler Bass after he missed a game-tying 44-yard field goal late in Sunday’s playoff loss to the Chiefs. Since then, more than 2,000 people have donated $22 in Tyler’s name to the Ten Lives Club, a nonprofit cat adoption agency dedicated to saving felines in Western New York. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $260,000 in donations from around the nation has since poured into the shelter. The money raised will go toward providing everything from food to medical services for the cats.

 

File photo of Josh Allen

Damar Hamlin back on the field (October 2023; NFL Photo)

Two members of the Buffalo Bills have been named finalists for two major NFL awards. Quarterback Josh Allen is one of five candidates who could end up being named league MVP. Also, safety Damar Hamlin is up for Comeback Player of the Year following his recovery from a cardiac issue during a game in January 2023. Allen and Hamlin will find out if they’ve won during the NFL’s annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas during Super Bowl 58 week.

ELSEWHERE…

Please play responsibly.

Lottery players will be lining up over the next couple of days to take their shot at winning a combined $449 million in cash. The top prize up for grabs in Mega Millions tonight is $285 million. And if someone is lucky enough to hit Powerball tomorrow night, they’ll receive at least $164 million. Both drawings will be streamed online. Please play responsibly.

 

Unidentified family with adult children still living at home. (File photo)

Many young adults aren’t financially independent. That’s according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, which found that those aged 18 to 24 are most likely to rely on their parents for financial support. But the study also found that people in their early 30s also need assistance, with almost one in five saying their folks help out with their household bills.

 

George Carlin

George Carlin’s estate is suing the creators of a new AI comedy special on YouTube that replicates the late legendary comedian’s voice. Kelly Carlin, who manages the estate, posted on X that there was zero permission granted for the special, called “I’m Glad I’m Dead.” Kelly Carlin said she’s used to fake memes and quotes attributed to her father but that this is an entirely different animal. She says that those who care for the legacies of artists need to take a stand. The AI special was posted this month on the Dudesey YouTube channel, a podcast hosted by Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen. The AI was fed five decades of Carlin’s material to create a new special that addresses modern topics.

Today is Friday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2024 with 340 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 26 in history…

George Green with the first dental drill (ouchie).

…In 1875, the electric dental drill was patented by George Green of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poster from World War I

…In 1918, to promote food conservation during World War I, the U.S. government called for one meatless day, two wheatless days and two porkless days each week.

 

 

 

 

Bob Uecker in 1963

…In 1934, sports personality Bob Uecker was born (happy 90th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11-year-old Wayne Gretzky

…In 1961, hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky was born (happy 63rd!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kobe and Gianna Bryant

…In 2020, Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, were among nine killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif.

 

Afternoon News Brief

A Rochester man is now awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a child pornography charge.  Prosecutors said Stephen Nicot, 61, 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.  Nicot pleaded guilty to receipt of child pornography. He faces at least five years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May 6.

People living in the Pines of Perinton housing and members of Being Black in the Burbs attended Perinton’s town board meeting demanding change Wednesday.  The housing development was promised a $137 million renovation last spring after a January 2022 fire.  But tenants say high expectations have turned into a nightmare, expressing concerns over subpar living conditions in the Pines — including a lack of working utilities and failed inspections.  Town Supervisor Ciaran Hanna said he, along with code enforcement, will meet with the developer, Winn Companies, next week.

Richmond Memorial Library is partnering with volunteers from the New York State Department of Tax and Finance to offer income-eligible citizens assistance with filing their taxes online this tax season.  Tax Department employees will walk you through your income tax returns, step-by-step, as you complete and e-file your tax return for free.  You are eligible to get this help if you make less than 79K a year.  This tax help will be available at the library Thursdays in February, March and April.  You must call the library to make an appointment.

No, those aren’t lost puppies.  Tonawanda residents are being urged to keep an eye out for coyotes that have been spotted in their community. The Town Supervisor says it is unclear just how many coyotes are in the area right now. But, he says people need to be careful while they’re doing outdoor activities and they should also take action to keep their pets safe. Experts believe coyotes may be looking for a new place to live following recent snowstorms in the region.

Fans are coming together for a heartwarming showing of support for Bills kicker Tyler Bass after he missed a game-tying 44-yard field goal late in Sunday’s playoff loss to the Chiefs.  Since then, more than 2,000 people have donated $22 in Tyler’s name to the Ten Lives Club, a nonprofit cat adoption agency dedicated to saving felines in Western New York.  As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $260,000 in donations from around the nation have since poured into the shelter.  The money raised will go toward providing everything from food to medical services for the cats.

The Buffalo Sabres have snapped their two-game losing streak and picked up a much-needed win in the process. JJ Peterka scored twice while Alex Tuch, Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn had a goal apiece as the Sabres came from behind and defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5 to 3 last night. Buffalo goaltender Devon Levi stopped 37 of the 40 shots he faced in the contest. Buffalo’s next game is Saturday against the San Jose Sharks.

Thursday News Brief

James Carollo

28-year-old James Carollo of Texas has been sentenced in Erie County Court to 12 years in prison followed by 20 years of post-release supervision and he will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release. Between July and September 2020, Carollo forcibly engaged in sexual intercourse with a child who was less than 14 years old. According to Orchard Park police, Carollo was the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother.

 

 

 

FROM THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE: 45-year-old Lorrie Fischer of Batavia has been arrested. She’s charged with misapplication of property; it’s alleged that Fischer had another person’s property while at a hotel in the Town of Batavia (8250 Park Road) and allegedly sold the property, failing to return it. She was transported to the County Jail for fingerprints and photographs. Fischer was then released on an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court. ALSO: 53-year-old Darrell McFadden of Batavia was arrested. He’s charged with assault with intent to cause serious physical injury. It’s alleged McFadden caused serious injury to another during the course of a domestic incident. He was held at the Genesee County Jail pending CAP Court.

 

 

A Rochester woman who dealt drugs is going to be spending the next 10 years behind bars. Prosecutors say between October 2021 and November 2022, 37-year-old Ebony Shine sold more than 400 grams of Fentanyl, 119 grams of cocaine and a pistol to undercover law enforcement in Medina and Rochester. During a search of her home, authorities discovered over $4000 cash, drug paraphernalia and ammunition. Her co-conspirators are awaiting sentencing.

 

 

The Rochester Police Department is currently looking to boost the number of officers in its ranks. Anyone who wants to take the March 2nd civil service exam that is required to become a member of the department must sign up for the test by February 9th. Potential officers are also required to pass an agility exam in April. Among the benefits of joining the police department include paid holidays, a pension plan, and an over $102,000 a year salary after 44 months on the job. For more information, go to: https://www.cityofrochester.gov/joinrpd/

 

Senator Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced a new bill in Congress aimed at improving mental health in underserved communities. The Mental Health Professionals Workforce Shortage Loan Repayment Act would give mental health professionals psychologists, social workers, and school counselors up to $250,000 in student loan forgiveness if they want to work in certain areas of the state. Data shows 55 of New York’s 62 counties don’t have enough mental health professionals available. Gillibrand says this measure has bipartisan support.

 

Governor Kathy Hochul has joined Planned Parenthood’s Day of Action to codify the state’s abortion rights. The group has started raising awareness about the New York Equal Rights Amendment, which will be on the ballot this November. If New Yorkers vote to pass the measure and amend the state constitution, it would prevent New York from implementing a statewide abortion ban. The push comes days after what would have been the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade if the Supreme Court hadn’t overturned abortion protections in June of 2022.

 

Paterka-Power-Cozens from last night’s game (NHL Photo)

The Buffalo Sabres have snapped their two-game losing streak and picked up a much-needed win in the process. JJ Peterka scored twice while Alex Tuch, Dylan Cozens and Jack Quinn had a goal apiece as the Sabres came from behind and defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5 to 3 last night. Buffalo goaltender Devon Levi stopped 37 of the 40 shots he faced in the contest. Buffalo’s next game is Saturday against the San Jose Sharks.

 

ELSEWHERE…

The CosMc menu

McDonald’s trendy new spin-off CosMc’s is bringing in more traffic than a typical McDonald’s. Its first location had twice as much traffic last month than the original fast food chain. CosMc’s is a specialty drinks café that targets younger customers. The company first unveiled it in December, and the first location is in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Another nine are slated to open this year.

 

Melanie Safka

A singer from the Woodstock era has passed away. Melanie, as she went by, became famous after appearing at the iconic music festival in 1969, and wrote the hit song “Lay Down (Candles In the Rain)” about the experience. On Wednesday, her children posted on Facebook that Melanie Safka died Tuesday at age 76.

 

 

 

Recalled

The manufacturer of Robitussin is recalling eight lots of cough syrup due to a microbial contamination. On Wednesday, the company Haleon announced they are voluntarily recalling lots of their Robitussin Honey CF Max medicine for adults. Specific recalled lot numbers can be found online, and Haleon says people with these products should stop consuming them immediately.

 

Jon Stewart (NBC Photo)

A familiar face is set to return to “The Daily Show” next month. Jon Stewart will host the Comedy Central show on Monday nights beginning February 12th. The former host will sit behind the desk through the 2024 election. “The Daily Show” has been using guest hosts as it continues to look for a permanent replacement for Trevor Noah after he left in December of 2022. Stewart ended his first run as host of the comedic news program in 2015 after 16 years.

 

The American Red Cross is sounding the alarm as it deals with an ongoing nationwide shortage of blood. The agency says donations have not been this low in 20 years. And that may end up leading to delays for people who need treatment for serious illnesses or who have to undergo lifesaving medical procedures. Anyone who donates through the end of the month will be entered to win a trip to Super Bowl 58. To find a clinic in your area, head to redcrossblood.org.

Today is Thursday, Jan. 25, the 25th day of 2024 with 341 to follow.

The moon is full. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 25 in history…

Screen capture of John Kennedy during the first televised news conference by a president, today in history

…In 1961, newly inaugurated U.S. President John Kennedy had the first televised presidential news conference.

 

 

 

 

Alicia Keys, age 11

…In 1981, Alicia Keys was born (happy 43rd!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billy Joel in 2003 (UPI Photo)

…In 2003, Billy Joel spent the night at Stony Brook University Hospital after he ran his Mercedes into a tree in Sag Harbor, Long Island.

Afternoon News Brief

Two people are now facing charges after leading police on a chase through multiple communities. Officers were called to look into a shoplifting report at the Dollar Tree on Spencerport Road in Gates yesterday, and while heading to the scene, a police sergeant saw the suspects leaving the area in a vehicle. He tried to pull them over, but they did not stop, triggering a pursuit through Gates that ended with a crash in Rochester. Both men were taken into custody and no one was hurt during the chase.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced that 28-year-old James Q. Carollo of Crosby, Texas was sentenced in State Supreme Court to 12 years in prison followed by 20 years of post-release supervision and he will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.  Between July 2020 and about September 2020, Carollo forcibly engaged in sexual intercourse with a child who was less than 14 years old.  According to Orchard Park police, Carollo was the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother.  Carollo was arrested on the indictment warrant in Houston, Texas in July and was returned to Western New York to face prosecution after he waived extradition.

ARC GLOW has announced its 48th annual golf and bocce tournament for this summer and it has a new name.  The GLOW Abili-TEES Golf and Bocce Tournament at Terry Hills Golf Course will be held on July 15th.  The name was chosen in a staff naming contest. It’s 135 dollars to play in the golf tournament and 60 to play in the bocce tournament.  

The Town of Bethany is holding a public hearing for residents to come to the town hall and discuss the construction of water district 5.  Specific discussion will be relative to the proposed Water District No. 5, which will include a total of approximately 154,000 linear feet of 8-inch water main. The water main will be installed along portions of Ellicott Street Road, Bethany Center Road, Broadway Road, Brown Road, Cackner Road, Clapsaddle Road, East Road, East Bethany-LeRoy Road, Francis Road, Fargo Road, Jerico Road, Little Canada Road, Marsh Road, Mayne Road, McLennon Road, Sweetland Road, Silver Road, Paradise Road, and Paul Road.  Portions of the project will be installed in the Town of Batavia, as that will be the primary water supply for the project.  The hearing is February 7th at 7pm. 

Getting from Buffalo to a popular southern destination is now going to be cheaper thanks to Frontier Airlines. The discount carrier is offering direct flights to Charlotte, North Carolina for as little as 19-dollars. It is part of the company’s “Get It All For Less” campaign, and travelers who want to take part must book their trip in the next few days. To find out more information, head to flyfrontier.com.

Wednesday News Brief

Nathan Royse

The City of Batavia Police are asking for your assistance in locating Nathan L. Royse, who has been on the police department’s wanted list since late August. Crime Stoppers WNY is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of Royse. Royce is wanted on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Police warn he should be considered armed and dangerous. He is also wanted on a parole warrant. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 716-867-6161

 

 

The aftermath of a fatal car-bus crash in Buffalo

One person is dead and four others have been hurt after a crash involving a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Metro Bus. The driver of a car was traveling on Fillmore Avenue near Kensington Avenue in Buffalo yesterday when that person lost control and spun into the path of the bus. That driver was killed, and four people on the bus suffered minor injuries. The cause of the tragedy is still being looked into.

 

Mayor Evans

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans believes efforts to reduce violence in the city appear to be working. He noted there were 58 homicides last year, which represents a 32% drop from 2021. And, the number of shootings also declined by 31% in 2023. Evans says while Rochester is getting safer, there is still a lot that needs to be done. A new online dashboard will also help keep residents informed about public safety issues.

 

 

 

A bill has been introduced in the state Legislature that calls for health insurers to cover co-payments for Paxlovid. The drug is used to help people who contract COVID-19 recover quicker, but co-payments for the medication can run as high as $140. The federal government previously covered that cost, but no longer does so. Paxlovid has been proven to reduce the risk of death from coronavirus by 73%. If approved, this measure would go into effect next year.

 

Ryan Realbuto

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for tomorrow night in memory of a murder victim from Pittsford. Authorities say Ryan Realbuto was shot and killed last week during a botched robbery in Washington, DC. The vigil is set to begin at five-30 p-m in the Doyle Chapel at Saint Bonaventure University, which is where Realbuto graduated from. The 23-year-old was walking back from a youth church event when he tragically lost his life.

 

 

 

“What? I don’t understand you. Why can’t you speak ‘Dog’??”

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting a free anti-rabies immunization clinic Thursday, February 8th from 4:00pm until 6:00pm at the Batavia Town Highway Garage. Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old and each must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car please.

 

Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott (Sports Illustrated Photo)

The leaders of the Buffalo Bills say they aren’t planning to make any major changes to the team in the offseason. Yesterday, head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane expressed disappointment that the team was eliminated from the playoffs by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Both men went on to say that they believe the Bills still have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl in the coming years. Right now, Buffalo is projected to be more than $40 million over the salary cap.

 

 

Tyler Bass after missing the game-tying field goal attempt.

Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass is deleting his social media accounts following his missed field goal in Sunday’s playoff loss against Kansas City. Buffalo was beaten by the Chiefs, 27-24 at Highmark Stadium in the Divisional Round matchup. Bass missed a potential game-tying 44-yard field goal with just under two minutes remaining and the Bills’ season came to an end. Since then Bass has apparently received multiple threats online, prompting him to delete his social media accounts. After the game, Bass said he feels terrible and took the blame for the loss.

ELSEWHERE…

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night party in Nashua, New Hampshire last night. (Associated Press photo, by Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

With the race for the White House now well underway, former President Trump is celebrating victory in the New Hampshire primary. Trump defeated former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as voters went to the polls on Tuesday. Earlier, Haley said the primaries are a “marathon, not a sprint” while looking ahead to the next contest.

 

 

 

Gary Graham

Actor Gary Graham, known for his role in “Star Trek: Enterprise,” is dead. The 73-year-old died Monday from cardiac arrest at a hospital in Spokane Washington. In addition to playing Vulcan ambassador Soval in the Star Trek franchise, Graham had a number of other television and movie roles dating back to the 1970s.

 

 

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 24, the 24th day of 2024 with 342 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 24 in history…

The 1852 view of Sutter’s Mill

…In 1848, gold was discovered at John Sutter’s mill near Sacramento. The discovery touched off the great gold rush of 1849.

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Diamond, age 12

…In 1941, singer Neil Diamond was born (happy 83rd!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Epstein (center) with the famous singing insects.

…In 1962 Brian Epstein becomes the manager for The Beatles. The deal stated Brian was to receive 25% of the income, when a normal manager makes 10%.

 

 

 

 

Mary Lou Retton at age 16 in 1984, with all of her Olympic awards.

…In 1968, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Mary Lou Retton was born (happy 56th!)

 

 

 

 

 

The original, in 1984.

…In 1984, Apple’s Macintosh computer went on sale. Price tag: $2,495.

Afternoon News Brief

It may look frozen but the ice isn’t always safe.  An uptick in ice rescues this winter has local fire departments and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation urging New Yorkers to stay off the ice.  Jordan Fire Chief Jeremy Chilson and several other first responders were called to the Seneca River Sunday after a 36-year-old woman fell into the frigid waters after she ran out to try and get her dogs.  Chilson said it took less than five minutes to rescue the woman and get her into an ambulance, but they couldn’t save the dogs.  Last week, two men were rescued in Oneida County after a dog fell through the ice. Earlier this month, a man died after trying to ice fish near Cooperstown, and an Onondaga County man died after his truck fell through the icy bay of the St. Lawrence River

A Rochester man assigned to help deter people away from crime in the city is now accused of leading a drug trafficking operation.  According to a federal criminal complaint, law enforcement has been actively investigating 46 year old Timothy Jackson, who is a part time worker for Pathways to Peace, a support program for at risk youth, for involvement in drug trafficking, including cocaine and fentanyl, and associated acts of violence since October 2021.  The complaint alleges Jackson is one of two leaders linked to a drug trafficking operation in the city that has used multiple homes along Angle Street to store and distribute illegal drugs.  According to a City of Rochester statement, Jackson has been a part of Pathways to Peace since December 2020 and is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the pending investigation.

New York undocumented immigrants under age 65 and at a certain income level would receive health insurance under a bill reintroduced in the state legislature this year.  Migrants with a household income between 133% and 250% of the federal poverty line would be eligible for coverage if they are disqualified from basic healthcare programs. Immigrants who have an unaffordable employer-sponsored plan and are ineligible for minimum essential coverage can also apply for state insurance.  Eligible migrants’ children can enroll in their parents’ plans for a year. The health commissioner may also include other individuals whose continued health and well-being would be “significantly at risk” without routine healthcare access, like those with serious behavior health issues, life-threatening conditions or in need of an organ transplant.  No premium would be required for immigrants at or below 200% of the poverty line.

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting their first rabies immunization  clinic of the year at no charge to participants on Thursday, February 8th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Batavia Town Highway Garage.  Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per person maximum.

So far this winter season Buffalo is in first place for the Golden Snowball for most snow in NY but not for the most snow in the country. Anchorage Alaska is in first place with almost 88 inches of snow.  Most other cities have had less snowfall than most years except for Buffalo which is at 51 inches so far.  Rochester is in 5th place in the nation with 33 inches behind Grand Rapids Michigan and Boulder Colorado.

The Bills season came to an end Sunday night with another playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.  Buffalo was just two wins away from the Super Bowl — the same place the season ended last year and the year before that. It’s a frustration the fans feel deeply, and the players and staff feel it, too.  But Josh Allen says the Super Bowl window is not closing.  He says he believes in his teammates and coaches.  Dawson Knox says the Bills have made the playoffs every year of his career and won the division 4 years in a row. 

Tuesday News Brief

Frank Littiero

An Elma man has been indicted after being accused of killing a woman with a crossbow. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office claims 61-year-old Frank Littiero shot his girlfriend, 62-year-old Jill Harris, at a home on West Blood Road last month. Littiero owned the residence and the couple had been together for about 15 years. He’s been charged with murder and is due in court again February 13th.

 

 

 

New York State is getting a $228 million boost from the federal government to help improve high-speed Internet service in underserved communities. The ConnectALL Municipal Infrastructure Program will connect tens of thousands of homes across the Empire State to broadband service. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer believes broadband is a necessity these days so people can stay connected to things like healthcare, school and their jobs.

 

Governor Hochul gives a ‘thumbs up’ during a news conference in 2021. Evidently, the public is now saying, “right back at you, Gov.”

A new survey shows growing approval for Governor Kathy Hochul. The Siena College poll finds the Governor has a 45% favorability rating, up 5% in two months. However by margins of between 21 and six percentage points, a majority of New Yorkers think that Hochul will not make progress on any of the five issues she’s put forth as goals including making New York a more desirable place to live, making New York the Artificial Intelligence capital of the world, making the state safer, fixing the mental health care system, and increasing the housing supply.

 

Troy Parker in court yesterday. (13WHAM Photo)

Opening statements are going to be heard today in the murder trial of Troy Parker. Yesterday, the defense and prosecution were able to seat the jury; that will decide if Parker killed Fantasia Stone at an apartment building on Jefferson Avenue in Rochester last year. It’s being argued that Parker allegedly killed Stone by setting her on fire after an argument. The victim was found with burns to over 80% of her body.

 

File photo of the TSA at Syracuse Hancock International Airport (photo credit: TSA)

An Erie County man is not going to be facing charges despite being found with a gun at Syracuse Hancock International Airport. Authorities say the loaded weapon was spotted in the man’s carry-on bag at the security checkpoint Saturday. The man had a permit for the pistol and said he didn’t know the gun was in his bag. He was allowed to get on his flight and the Onondaga County DA’s Office decided not to pursue legal action against him.

 

The Honda Center where the ‘Ducks’ will host the Sabres this evening.

The Buffalo Sabres will be back on the ice this evening as they start a three-game West Coast road trip. The Sabres are set to battle the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center. Buffalo has not played since Saturday when they were beaten by the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1. The Sabres have earned 44 points so far this season. Face-off tonight will be at 10:00.

 

 

Micah Hyde (NFL Photo, dated January 2023)

The Buffalo Bills have cleaned out their lockers following another disappointing end to their season. The AFC East champions were defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs 27 to 24 at Highmark Stadium on Sunday. Yesterday, quarterback Josh Allen and other players expressed support for interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who took over play-calling duties from Ken Dorsey back in November. Also, safety Micah Hyde said he’s considering retirement, but has made no decision about his future.

ELSEWHERE…

Dexter Scott King (FOX News photo)

The youngest son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has died at the age of 62. The King Center says Dexter Scott King passed away on Monday. His wife, Leah Weber King, says he passed “peacefully in his sleep” at their home in Malibu. He had been battling prostate cancer, according to family members.

 

 

Devon and Dylan Lee

Twin brothers from Long Island are named valedictorian and salutatorian of their high school graduating class. Devon and Dylan Lee are the top performing seniors in their Herrick High School graduating class in New Hyde Park. The 17-year-old fraternal twins’ GPAs are separated by just six-thousandths of a point. Devon, the valedictorian, will attend Cornell, while Dylan, the salutatorian, is set for Yale. The twins are also volleyball champs, marathoners and musicians. They’re also humble, crediting their parents for their success, saying they didn’t push them to get top grades, just to do their best.

 

The largest virus ever discovered, Pithovirus sibericum, has been resurrected from 30,000-year-old- permafrost. In this electron microscope image and false-colored micrograph, the 1.5-micrometer-long virus rests. Let’s keep the noise level down so it continues to rest peacefully…

Concerned scientists are focusing on ancient “zombie viruses” that could be unleashed. They fear the viruses, which are trapped in Arctic ice, could be unleashed due to global warming and fear once they are unfrozen could possibly start a deadly new pandemic. Scientists, from a university in southern France, say the frozen microbes could remain viable for tens-of-thousands-of-years.

 

 

 

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 23, the 23rd day of 2024 with 343 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 23 in history…

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell

…In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in U.S. history to receive a medical degree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Nixon announces a peace agreement, today in history.

…In 1973, U.S. President Richard Nixon announced that U.S. troops would cease fighting in Vietnam at midnight January 27, 1973.

 

 

 

 

Keith Richards inducts Chuck Berry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

…In 1986 Keith Richards was the first ever presenter for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He gave Chuck Berry an award. Elvis Presley, James Brown, Buddy Holly, and Fats Domino were also among the first round of inductees.

 

 

 

 

Love him or hate him, he enjoyed a long career in sports for ABC.

…In 1992, Howard Cosell retired from sports broadcasting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘king of late night television’

…In 2005, Johnny Carson, host of TV’s Tonight Show for 30 years and a powerful presence in American entertainment, died of emphysema at age 79.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larry King’s career spanned more than six decades. He’s pictured above in May 2017 in West Hollywood, California.

…In 2021, broadcasting legend Larry King died at a hospital in Los Angeles at the age of 87.

Afternoon News Brief

31 year old Henry Horton of Clarendon was arrested at a residence in Albion on Wednesday and charged with Robbery 2nd degree, Criminal Use of a Firearm 2nd degree, Menacing 2nd degree and Petit Larceny.  On October 17, 2023, Troopers and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation responded to Crosby’s on Holley Byron Road in the town of Clarendon for an armed robbery. An Investigation determined that an unidentified suspect, later identified as Horton, entered the Crosby’s with a firearm and demanded money. Horton took cash out of the register and a few packs of Newport cigarettes.  Horton is also the suspect in multiple robberies in the Monroe County area.  He is being held on bond.

There’s someone new to haul away your waste.  Triple R Waste Removal was started by Joey Raziano and Bre Downs and has been operating for the past 5 months.  They offer a monthly garbage service, garbage and junk removal services, clean outs, and moving services. They also have a Veterans Program, which offers $11 off the monthly fee of $30 for trash removal.  Downs is 22 and is currently going to school for nursing and is planning to become an RN. She also works at UMMC as a Patient Care Technician part time. Raziano is 24 and is working on getting his CDL and currently works for a paving company in the summer, and a plowing company in the winter.  They say they have about 60 customers in the GLOW area and are thinking of branching out and hiring employees.  They like to bring a personal touch to their work that they say the big companies don’t have.

A new poll shows growing approval for New York Governor Kathy Hochul.  The Siena College poll finds Governor Hochul has a 45-percent favorability rating, up from 40-percent in November.  However by margins of between 21 and six percentage points, a majority of New Yorkers think that Hochul will not make progress on any of the five issues she’s put forth as goals including making New York a more desirable place to live, making New York the A.I. capital of the world, making the state safer, fixing the mental health care system, and increasing the housing supply.

Goodwill of Western New York has completed the expansion and renovation of its location in the Batavia Plaza at 4152 West Main Street doubling the amount of its retail space while adding a covered drive up donation center.   The new location, one of their largest in Western New York, now features a new open layout allowing it to expand its offering of gently used donated men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. The store also features a broad array of previously owned housewares, decorative items, small appliances, electronics, and furniture. Goodwill is excited that the open format and wider selection will make the store a destination for its current and new customers.

Monday News Brief

File photo of former Governor Andrew Cuomo

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has filed a lawsuit against State Attorney General Letitia James in an effort to force her to turn over interviews from the sexual misconduct investigation that led to his resignation. Cuomo is arguing that he needs the witness statements in full to defend himself against two sexual harassment lawsuits linked to the investigation. A federal judge declined to release similar records in a separate case filed by Cuomo last year.

 

33-year-old Johnny Koonce, Jr. of Batavia has been arrested. He’s charged with criminal contempt, aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and failure to stop at a stop sign. It’s also alleged he violated a stay-away order of protection by operating a vehicle with the protected party as a passenger, and having been convicted of criminal contempt in the past five years. Koonce, Jr. was held at the Genesee County Jail pending CAP Court arraignment. ALSO: 31-year-old Samantha Balduf of Depew has been arrested in Batavia and charged with petit larceny. It’s alleged she swapped the price tag on an item of lesser value and paid the lesser price for an item she purchased at a store on Veteran’s Memorial Drive. Balduf was issued an appearance ticket for a later date in the Town of Batavia Court.

 

Unidentified location in undated file photo; clearly this ice is a problem for the homeowner.

Days of heavy snow combined with clogged gutters can create ice dams on your roof. Some residents report seeing icicles 15 feet in length hanging from their homes. Unfortunately, this slow drip can have major consequences — as the water could get into your house, starting from the attic and working its way down, and not only turn into a mess but also an expensive insurance claim. If you have a roof shovel, you can use it to scoop snow and ice off the roof from the ground; it’s a good idea to get rid of the buildup before it freezes.

 

Some brand-new data shows the spread of the flu virus is slowly on the decline across our region. During the week ending January 13th, the county with the highest number of infections was Monroe County with 686. That was followed by Erie County with 286; Niagara County, with 104; Wayne County had 85 and Ontario County, 83. Anyone who hasn’t received their flu shot yet can find a clinic at vaccines.gov.

 

We’re saving a little bit of money when it comes time to fill up our vehicles. According to Triple A this morning, the national average cost for a gallon of regular gas is now sitting at $3.08. The state average is $3.26 per gallon. In Batavia, the average price comes out to $3.29; that’s down 3 cents from a week ago and down 17 cents from a month ago today.

 

Sean McDermott following the Bills’ loss against KC last night. (NFL Photo)

The road to the Super Bowl has come to an end for the Buffalo Bills as the team suffers a heartbreaking loss at home. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass missed a 44-yard-field goal attempt with under two minutes left as the Bills fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 27 to 24 last night. Quarterback Josh Allen had two rushing scores and also threw a touchdown for the Bills; but in the end, they had their six game winning streak snapped.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Former President Trump in a photo from his deposition video.

Newly released deposition video shows former President Trump saying he saved the world from “nuclear holocaust.” The video is from Trump’s deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud lawsuit against him and his company. In the deposition Trump says he believes there would have been a nuclear holocaust brought on by North Korea if he weren’t elected. He goes on to say there may be a “nuclear war now.” Excerpts of the video of his questioning were made public last Friday by the AG’s office. James has accused Trump and the Trump Organization of inflating their assets to secure favorable bank loans.

 

Eating dark chocolate could reduce the risk of high blood pressure. A new study in the journal Nature Scientific Reports found that dark chocolate might also decrease the risk of blood clotting. While an exact cause couldn’t be determined, experts say the findings may warrant further research for any benefits in combating cardiovascular diseases.

 

 

The Panera Bread “Charged Lemonade”

Panera Bread’s “Charged Lemonade” drinks with caffeine are at the center of another lawsuit. A woman filed a lawsuit in Delaware Tuesday, alleging that she suffers long-term and permanent cardiac issues after drinking “Charged Lemonade.” According to the lawsuit, the woman drank two-and-a-half “Charged Lemonades” and started experiencing symptoms like body shakes, heart palpitations and shortness of breath. The woman allegedly went to the emergency room and was treated for atrial fibrillation, which the CDC describes as an irregular heartbeat. Two previous lawsuits blamed “Charged Lemonade” for the deaths of a Florida man and a college student.

 

Today is Monday, Jan. 22, the 22nd day of 2024 with 344 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 22 in history

Steve Perry, age 12

…In 1949, Journey lead singer Steve Perry was born (happy 75th!)

 

 

 

 

Guy Fieri, age 4; obviously on his way to a diner, drive-in or dive.

…In 1968, restaurateur Guy Fieri was born (happy 56th!)

 

 

 

Protesters in 1973

…In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in the Roe versus Wade case. The justices ruled the Constitution allows women the right to an abortion.

 

 

 

 

 

James Taylor on cassette, whatever they are.

…In 1988 James Taylor released the album “Never Die Young.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And U2 on compact disc, whatever they are.

…In 2002 U2 released the EP “U2 7.”

Weekend News Brief

The crew members who removed a man from an ambulance in Rochester Nov. 30, 15 days before he died, are on administrative leave pending an investigation.  Video released last week shows the man, who was having trouble breathing, being asked to leave one ambulance and wait on the street for another to arrive and take him to the hospital.  In the video, an officer is heard explaining to the man that the EMTs wanted him out of the ambulance. One EMT told an officer the patient jumped at her, grabbed her and wouldn’t let go. The patient explained to the officer he couldn’t breathe.  After getting out of the ambulance, the man fell to the sidewalk and waited more than two minutes before medical personnel helped him. He was hospitalized until he died Dec. 15.  In a statement released Friday, ambulance provider American Medical Response extended its condolences to the man’s family and said it is conducting a detailed review of what happened.

As the days of lake-effect snow wind down, Western New Yorkers will be facing a new winter hurdle in the upcoming weeks — ice dams.  Days of heavy snow combined with clogged gutters can create ice dams on neighbors’ roofs. Some houses are seeing icicles 15 feet in length hanging from their house. Unfortunately, this slow drip can have quick consequences — as the water could get into your house, starting from the attic and working its way down, and turn into an expensive insurance claim.  If you have a roof shovel, a shovel with a long handle that you can use to scoop snow and ice off the roof from the ground, its a good idea to get rid of the buildup before it freezes.  Just don’t stand under the snow as you pull it down or go up on the roof.  If you can’t, there are services available to do it for you.

A new plan to help fix the school bus driver shortage hopes to ease the application process.  A recently-passed federal waiver permits states to modify the commercial driver’s license test, eliminating the need for applicants aspiring to become school bus drivers to complete a test identifying parts of the engine.  This policy enables aspiring school bus drivers to bypass the repair-oriented segment of the commercial driver’s license road test, potentially easing the licensing process.  According to the NYS governor’s office, this new CDL classification, set to expire on Nov. 27 this year, will restrict licensees to driving only school buses and only in New York state.

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is suing state Attorney General Letitia James in an effort to force her to turn over interviews from the sexual misconduct investigation that led to his resignation.  Cuomo filed the case against James in New York state court on Thursday, arguing he needs the witness statements in full to defend himself against two sexual harassment lawsuits linked to the investigation.  A federal judge declined to release similar records in a separate case filed by Cuomo last year.

The Buffalo Bills and Delaware North, Highmark Stadium’s food service partner, have rolled out new menu items for Sunday’s game Divisional Round matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.  First up is a Taylor Swift inspired Bad Blood Waffle Fries which are topped with Buffalo chicken and blue cheese on one side and Kansas City BBQ pork and cole slaw on the other.  Another item is the Karma Quesadilla, chicken tenders, bacon and cilantro ranch in a triple-stacked quesadilla, topped with pork-belly chaser.  The game starts 6:30 Sunday night.

Afternoon News Brief

Nobody was hurt after a plane slid off a runway at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport due to snowy conditions Thursday afternoon.  Airport officials say 50 passengers and three crewmembers were on board when the American Airlines aircraft veered onto the grass while taxiing, after touching down safely.  Passengers were stranded on the plane for roughly an hour as stairs were assembled to help platform passengers.  Those interviewed described the incident as being a little bumpy and then the plane tilting as it settled into the grass.  The aircraft was towed from the taxiway and taken out of service for a full inspection.  American Airlines released a statement on the incident, reading in part: “Safety is our top priority and we apologize to our customers for their experience.”

Another charge for the serial flasher of the Finger Lakes.  54 year old Paul Goodrell has been charged with another flashing incident within 4 days of the other incidents he was already in trouble for.  Investigators said Goodrell was observed on surveillance video following a family with young girls through a Walmart store and “at no time was engaged in shopping.” Police believe it was “an attempt to commit a crime for his own sexual gratification.”  Goodrell had previously been banned from all Walmart properties, according to police.  He faces dozens of charges of exposing himself to minors in the Farmington/Canandaigua area at grocery stores such as Walmart, Tops and Wegmans.  The incidents allegedly happened between December 6 and 9 multiple times per day.  Goodrell was already in Ontario County Jail at the time of his latest arrest. He’s charged with third-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony, in addition to the charges he was already facing. He remains in jail without bail.

CAN-USA Sports has teamed up with the Batavia Community Schools Foundation for their inaugural Blue vs White Charity Hockey Game. Sunday February 4th at 5 PM with doors opening at 4 PM at the David McCarthy Memorial Arena.  The game will feature local business owners, Batavia City School District Alumni, & local youth hockey leaders.  Tickets for the event start at just $10 with proceeds benefiting the Batavia Community Schools Foundations.  To buy a ticket go to wbtai.com and follow the link or in person at the David McCarthy Memorial Arena box office.

https://app.mysportsort.com/view/index.php?an=404&myss_source=register&entitytype=3&entityid=112932

The Emergency Declaration by Governor Hochul may help out schools that closed for the snow this week.  Several School districts in Western NY had to close due to the storms, eating up their snow day numbers and leaving many without the requisite number of school days in their regular year.  Except that, with the emergency declaration in place, school districts are exempt from the 180 day rule.  The state of emergency was declared on January 12th and goes till February 11th.

The Buffalo Bills are looking for shovelers to help with snow removal ahead of this weekend’s AFC divisional playoff game.  Snow removal starts today at 2 p.m. Those interested can expect a pay rate of $20 per hour and a warm break area.  Participants are asked to bring a valid ID, proper winter clothing and shovels if possible. Participants under age 18 must bring valid working permits.  The Bills are set to host the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at 6:30 p.m.  Both teams are 12 and 6.  This is the Bills 3rd time facing the Chiefs in the playoffs in 3 years but the first time on home turf.  The Chiefs have never played a road playoff game while Mahomes was Quarterback.  They have lost 2 out of 3 of the matchups.

Genesee Country Village & Museum and Wild Wings Inc. are hosting the weekend Owl Moon night-hike and owl meet and greet experience.  During the event, visitors will have the opportunity to take a guided night hike with a naturalist from GCV&M, meet the owls with Wild Wings, listen to a reading of the book “Owl Moon,” and more.  In addition, the Museum’s Meeting Center Lounge will offer food and drinks, along with a cash bar featuring a selection of historical craft beer, rotating hard cider, wine, and soft drinks.  The Flint Hill Store will also be open, showcasing owl-themed merchandise, village-made goods, and museum apparel.  The event will be held on January 19, 20, 26, and 27 beginning at 4:30 PM. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit gcv.org.

Friday News Brief

Marlene Cruz caught on camera opening mail (February 2022)

40-year-old Marlene Cruz of Rochester has pleaded guilty to mail theft by a United States Postal Service employee. Investigation into complaints made by customers that their mail had been tampered with, found that Cruz routinely opened envelopes and parcels, removed items such as ticket stubs, documents, cash, lottery tickets and gift cards, on dozens of occasions. She faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; Cruz’s sentencing is scheduled for May 9th.

 

East Side Nursing & Rehabilitation Center sign (13WHAM Photo)

A Warsaw nursing home dealing with a staffing shortage is now seeing an impact on patient care. A long-term resident at East Side Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Warsaw reached out to 13WHAM, explaining the recent decline in care he’s been receiving and how it’s impacted his health. The number of residents receiving care at the nursing home reached their maximum – 80 and typically has 115 support staff providing services. However, this number has fluctuated because of the shortage of health care workers experienced at nursing homes across the region. East Side tries to use outside agencies for staffing but has found it works better for all to have internal staff for provision of direct continuum of services. In interview with 13WHAM, the vice president of operations at East Side noted that the New York State Department of Health does not investigate care complaints filed by residents or their families. However, once annually the state visits the nursing home for about a week to go through medical records and follow up on any complaints that have been received.

 

Clyde-Savannah Junior-Senior High School (file photo)

Charges could be reduced against three Clyde-Savannah High School football players accused of sexually assaulting a boy in the locker room last fall. Three teenagers are charged in the case and a fourth is accused of unlawful surveillance. The defense has filed a motion to reduce the indictment, meaning the charges the defendants are facing could be decreased or dismissed entirely. The investigation began late last October into the alleged sexual assault of a Clyde-Savannah student in the boys’ locker room on school grounds. Presently, the three since-suspended varsity football players are facing charges of aggravated sexual abuse, hazing, and forcible touching. The court’s decision on how the case will proceed will be announced on Friday, February 2.

 

Fortunately, no one was hurt. (13WHAM Photo)

No injuries were reported after a plane skidded off the runway at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. The American Airlines aircraft had 50 passengers and three crewmembers onboard when it ended up in a grassy area yesterday. The flight had just touched down from Philadelphia. The cause of the incident is still being looked into.

 

Members of the 5/14 Commission have set a date to get public feedback on a memorial to honor 10 people killed in a mass shooting. A meeting will be held January 23rd from 6:00pm until 7:30pm at the Stanley Makowski Early Childhood Center on Jefferson Avenue. It has been almost two years since Payton Gendron opened fire at a Tops store in a racially motivated attack. The federal government is seeking the death penalty against him.

 

Kodak Center, Rochester (file photo)

Enhanced security will be in place at the Kodak Center in Rochester when the venue hosts a concert tomorrow night. Back on January 1st, several people were killed when a man intentionally crashed an SUV in front of the building on West Ridge Road. Officers will be keeping a close eye out for any disputes that may end up escalating to violence. Concertgoers are asked to report any suspicious activity immediately.

 

 

Josh Allen holds off two Chiefs players in this 2022 NFL file photo.

The Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs will be renewing their rivalry with a trip to the AFC Championship game on the line. The two teams are set to square off on Sunday at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The Bills have won six straight games, including a 20 to 17 road win over the Chiefs on December 10th. This will be the third time in the past four seasons the two teams have squared off in the postseason. You don’t need the reminder that Kansas City has eliminated Buffalo twice in recent years. The start time for Sunday evening’s game is set for 6:30.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Researchers at the University of Virginia believe they have solved some of the mystery surrounding the transmission of HIV – the virus that can lead to AIDS. A recently published study suggests that a protein produced by the virus may adapt inside the body, allowing it to be transmitted to others through activities like sex. The adaptation also allows the virus to overcome cellular defenses and reproduce. Researchers feel that studying and understanding their discovery could be a key factor in stopping the future spread of HIV. The CDC reported in 2021 that over one-million people in the United States were living with HIV.

 

New documents show coronavirus’s genetic sequence was submitted to a U.S. database two weeks before China’s official release. The sequence doesn’t show the origin of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but it does go against the Chinese government’s claims about how much it knew about the virus. Experts say it may have cost important time in vaccine development.

 

 

Ranch flavored lip balm.

Lip balm flavors inspired by a basket of chicken wings have already sold out. Burt’s Bees announced that it teamed up with Hidden Valley Ranch to create a line of lip balms that features flavors of Buffalo Sauce, Crunchy Celery, Fresh Carrot and Hidden Valley Ranch. The collaboration started after an April Fool’s post in 2022 of ranch-flavored lip balm. The limited-edition pack of lip balms was launched on Wednesday.

 

In just two days, it is going to cost us more money to send letters in the mail. That is because on Sunday, the United States Postal Service will increase the cost of a First-Class Forever U.S. Postage Stamp from the current 66 cents to 68 cents. Plus, the price of domestic postcard stamps will also rise from 51 cents to 53 cents. And, stamps for international postcards will go up a nickel to $1.55. The postal service says these increases will help provide much-needed revenue.

 

Today is Friday, Jan. 19, the 19th day of 2024 with 347 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 18 in history…

Lucy’s line in the show was, “This is it.” The three then scrambled to get everything organized to go to the hospital; they left, leaving Lucy standing in the living room. (CBS Photo)

…In 1953, Lucy Ricardo gave birth to a baby boy on the “I Love Lucy” show. A record 68% of all television sets in the U.S. tuned in for the event.

 

 

 

 

 

Desi Arnaz, Jr. at age 21.

…And by coincidence (!), also in 1953, Desi Arnaz, Jr. was born. (Happy 70th!).

 

 

 

 

 

The Beatles getting a big break in 1963.

…In 1963 The Beatles made their first national UK television appearance on the ITV program “Thank Your Lucky Stars.”

Afternoon News Brief

Thanks to the actions of a good Samaritan, no one was hurt when a train struck a car in Fairport.  Fairport police said around 7 p.m. Wednesday, a car was heading southbound on Main Street and the driver’s GPS indicated making a right turn onto Railroad Street.  Police said that’s when the driver accidentally turned too early, onto the railroad tracks just before Railroad Street.  The car was suspended on the tracks.  Police said the driver, with the help of a good Samaritan, got out of the car and off the track, just minutes before a westbound train passed by and struck the car.  The car was then dragged roughly half a mile up the tracks and recovered near LiDestri Food and Drink.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced that three deaths related to the recent winter weather have been reported in the county.  According to Poloncarz, on Monday a 64-year-old man died while shoveling snow, and a 42-year-old man was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Cheektowaga. On Tuesday, a 57-year-old woman was killed in a snowblower incident.  The victim of the hit-and-run was identified by police as 42-year-old Antwain Hankle. Police said that the driver has still not been identified and was last seen driving west on Losson Road toward Union Road.

The travel bans that were put in place in Erie County on Wednesday due to the heavy lake effect snow were all lifted as of 8 a.m. today.  Although the travel bans have been lifted, the entire county remains under a travel advisory until 7 p.m.  The travel ban that was in place for the City of North Tonawanda was lifted at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. A travel advisory remained in place till noon today.  The New York State Thruway lifted the commercial vehicle driving ban on the I-90 at 8:30 this morning.

Charges could be reduced against three Clyde-Savannah High School football players accused of sexually assaulting a boy in the locker room last fall.  Three teenagers charged in the case faced a judge in Wayne County today. The fourth teenager charged is accused of unlawful surveillance.  Wednesday, the defense filed a motion to reduce the indictment, meaning the charges the defendants are facing could be decreased or dismissed entirely.  On Halloween last year, the Clyde Village Police Department began investigating the alleged sexual assault of a Clyde-Savannah student in the boys’ locker room on school grounds.  Now, three since-suspended varsity football players are facing charges of aggravated sexual abuse, hazing, and forcible touching.  The court’s decision on how the case will proceed is expected to be announced on Friday, Feb. 2.

Saturday is National Use Your Gift Cards Day and if you have unused gift card funds, you could recoup that money through the state.  The Office of the New York State Comptroller is urging New Yorkers to keep track of the gift cards they may have received, after it recovered more than $27 million in unused gift card money in 2023.  After five years of inactivity, unused gift card balances can be turned over to the comptroller’s office of unclaimed funds.  DiNapoli said his office returns an average of $1.5 million in unclaimed funds every day by working with retailers to identify the owners of unused gift cards.

Thursday News Brief

Michael Brodman

An arrest has been made in connection with a fatal hit-and-run in Gates. Police say 52-year-old Michael Brodman was driving on Buffalo Road New Year’s Eve when he struck 32-year-old Jesse Rivera. Rivera was pronounced dead at the scene just moments after first responders arrived. Brodman has been arraigned and taken to the Monroe County Jail.

 

 

 

We’ve been talking about it for a couple of days, and today the lake effect snow warning remains in effect until 7:00 this evening. The most persistent lake snows will remain in Erie County with 2 to 5 more inches of snow possible for us in western Genesee County. The full forecast is coming up in just a few moments. Travel will be difficult in the areas most impacted by the storm from the combination of snow-covered roads and poor visibility.

 

The nearly week long winter storm that we’ve experienced and necessitated the cancellation of live racing at Batavia Downs on Monday, January 15th, has once again forced track officials to cancel live racing at The Downs for tonight (Thursday, January 18th) due to the ongoing effects of the extreme weather conditions. Simulcast at the track will remain open.

 

 

Unidentified school bus driver in undated file photo.

Governor Hochul is making it easier for schools to address the ongoing shortage of bus drivers in New York State. She’s instructed the DMV to implement a waiver that allows driver applicants to skip the engine compartment component part of a license test. That will allow people to get their commercial license quicker so they can get out on the road. Hochul says transportation and care for children are vital and this change will encourage more folks to become bus drivers.

 

Police investigate at Main Street Armory (file photo)

A woman has filed a lawsuit after being injured during a stampede at a Rochester concert venue. Tiffany Baxtrum claims that she was hurt as a result of the carelessness and recklessness of the former owner of the Main Street Armory and a security company. Thousands of people ran towards the exit of the building during a show last March after thinking they heard gunshots. One woman was killed and the venue hasn’t hosted a concert since the stampede.

 

File photo of Mark Poloncarz

The deaths of at least three people have been connected to recent snowstorms that have impacted the region. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says a man died on Monday while shoveling snow, and another person lost their life after being hit by a car in Cheektowaga. On Tuesday, the body of a 57-year-old woman was found near a snow blower.

 

Aerial file photo of KeyBank Center

The Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks are finally going to get the chance to do battle tonight. The teams were supposed to play last night at KeyBank Center, but the game was postponed due to a winter storm. The Sabres will be playing the second-to-last game of their current home stand before traveling out west for three games. Face-off for this evening is set for 7:00.

 

 

File photo of Coach McDermott

Several Buffalo Bills players are still recovering from injuries ahead of this weekend’s big showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs. Among the players who were not available for yesterday’s walk-through practice included Gabe Davis, Christian Benford, Sam Martin, and Taylor Rapp. Head coach Sean McDermott hasn’t said if any of them are going to be available to help Buffalo battle the reigning Super Bowl champions. Kickoff Sunday evening at Highmark Stadium is set for 6:30.

ELSEWHERE…

 

It has been a week since the opening of OpenAI’s GPT store and already users are breaking the rules and creating, “companions.” A search for “girlfriend” on the new GPT store will populate the site’s results bar with at least eight “girlfriend” AI chatbots. The company bans apps dedicated to fostering romantic companionship. In the US, seven of the 30 AI chatbot apps downloaded last year from the Apple or Google store were related to AI friends, girlfriends, or companions, according to data.ai. The proliferation of these apps comes as the US faces an epidemic of loneliness and isolation, with the Surgeon General calling for the need to strengthen social connections, and AI chatbots could be part of the solution.

 

File photo of fruit juices

A Harvard study is showing a link between fruit juice and weight gain in both children and adults. The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, says the actual weight gain is small, but significant, because fruit juice causes a sugar spike and too much sugar in the blood can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

 

 

Lionel Ritchie (second from the left) with Earth, Wind and Fire

A solo singer and group that have both been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are coming to Buffalo later this year. Lionel Richie will be joined by Earth, Wind and Fire at KeyBank Center on Saturday, June 15th. The artists are teaming up for what they’re calling the “Sing A Song All Night Long Tour.” Tickets for the show are scheduled to go on sale to the public Friday at 10 a-m through Ticketmaster.

Today is Thursday, Jan. 18, the 18th day of 2024 with 348 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 18 in history…

 

Curly Howard

…In 1952, actor, comedian Curly Howard died at the age of 48. Born Jerome Lester Horowitz, he is best remembered as part of the legendary comedy team The Three Stooges.

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Costner at age 12

…In 1955, Kevin Costner was born (happy 68th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is anyone really surprised that this union didn’t work out?

…In 1996, Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson after 20-months of marriage.

Afternoon News Brief

The New York State Thruway Authority has announced a new commercial vehicle ban from Exit 46 in Henrietta to the Pennsylvania state line. This new ban follows a similar one days ago during the winter storm that gripped much of Western New York. That ban was lifted Monday morning.  The ban also impacts Interstate 190 in both directions until further notice.

Wayne Central School was evacuated Tuesday because of a threatening voicemail according to Superintendent Joe Siracuse.  He said that a staff member received the voicemail, which he characterized as vague, on a school phone.  He said it warranted the evacuation of the High and Middle Schools.  An investigation found no credible threat, and students were able to return to the high school.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating its 52nd Annual Awards Ceremony on March 2nd at Batavia Downs Casino.  Being honored this year are the Business of the year: Alabama Hotel, Agricultural Business of the year: Offhaus Farm Inc., Special Anniversary: Volunteers for Animals, Special Recognition: Holland Land Office, and Genesean of the Year goes to Michelle Gillard.  Tickets are $60.00 per person, or a table of 8 for $440.00.  The evening begins at 5 p.m. with Hors Oeuvres, Entrée Tables & Cash Bar (no formal sit-down dinner is to be served). The Award Program starts at 7 p.m. where dessert and coffee will be served.

When fans saw Bills star linebacker Terrel Bernard get carted off the field in the team’s wild-card win over the Steelers, it looked like he was done for the season.  Instead, it appears to just be an ankle sprain, and he’s now listed as day-to-day.  He’s just one of several Bills players currently nursing an injury ahead of Sunday’s divisional round showdown against the Chiefs.  There’s currently eight players, not including Bernard, listed as day-to-day going into the week:  Cornerback Rasul Douglas, Cornerback Taron Johnson, Cornerback Christian Benford, Wide receiver Gabe Davis, Safety Taylor Rapp, Linebacker Tyrel Dodson, Linebacker Baylon Spector, and Punter Sam Martin.  Douglas, David, Rapp and Dodson all missed the matchup against Pittsburgh, but the others on the list were all hurt during the team’s win.

Singer, songwriter and producer Lionel Richie announced the extension of his “Sing A Song All Night Long” tour which includes a stop at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center on June 15.  Richie will be joined by special guests Earth, Wind & Fire.  Tickets will be available starting with artist presales beginning on Wednesday at 10 a.m.  A KeyBank Center presale will be held Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  The general on-sale will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. on the Ticketmaster website.

Wednesday News Brief

Batavia City Police Blotter:

Donald Vanelli

On 1/4/2024, Donald G. Vanelli, 60, of Oakfield, NY was arrested on an arrest warrant for Burglary 3rd degree, Criminal Mischief 4th degree, Conspiracy 5th degree, and Petit Larceny. It’s alleged that in October of 2023, Vanelli and another person broke into a business on Mill Street and stole property. Vanelli was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court on 2/6/2024.

 

 

 

 

Tanisha Gibson

On 1/8/2024, Tanisha N. Gibson, 38, of Batavia, NY, was arrested on an arrest warrant for Assault 2nd degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd degree, and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The arrest is the result of an investigation into an incident on 12/2/2023, where Gibson allegedly sprayed another person in the face with pepper spray during an altercation on Bank Street. Gibson was arraigned in Batavia City Court and is scheduled to reappear on 2/4/2024.

 

 

 

Brandon March

On 12/28/2023, Brandon J. March, 39, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Strangulation 2nd degree, Assault 3rd degree, and Menacing 3rd degree. March was arrested after police responded to an address on S. Lyon Street for a disturbance. It’s alleged that March strangled and kicked the victim, while threatening to kill them. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and was released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in court on 1/23/2024.

 

 

On 1/5/2024, Johnathan M. Falk, 25, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny and Conspiracy 6th degree. Falk and another person allegedly stole property from 7-Eleven on East Main Street. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 1/23/2024.

On 1/11/2024, Samuel J. Hernandez, 21, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny. Hernandez allegedly stole merchandise from West Main Wine and Spirits on 1/5/2024. Hernandez was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 1/23/2024.

On 1/10/2024, Jaliyla S. Shelton, 18, of Rochester, NY, was arrested on two warrants. Shelton was initially arrested on 11/2/2023, and charged with two counts of Grand Larceny 4th degree after allegedly stealing two cars from the City of Batavia. She was issued appearance tickets, but allegedly failed to appear in court. She was arraigned in CAP Court and released. She is due back in Batavia City Court, at a later date.

On 1/10/2024, Crystal L. Dacey, 29, of Attica, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and Petit Larceny. Dacey was charged after allegedly stealing several items, including prescription pills, from another person. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 1/23/2024.

On 1/3/2024, Timothy D. Cobb,19, of Buffalo, NY, was charged with Unlawfully Fleeing a Police Officer 3rd degree. Cobb allegedly fled from police in a vehicle following an incident at Speedway. The pursuit was terminated; however, Cobb was apprehended a short time later. He was issued an appearance ticket along with numerous traffic tickets and released. He is due in Batavia City Court on 1/23/2024.

On 1/4/2024, James R. Briggs, 48, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny. Briggs allegedly stole merchandise from the Family Dollar Store on East Main Street. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 1/23/2024.

On 12/27/2023, Joshua W. Bombard, 18, of Pavilion, NY, was arrested and charged with Assault 3rd degree and Criminal Mischief 4th degree. Bombard was arrested after police responded to an address on Ellicott Street for the report of a fight. Bombard allegedly injured another person and damaged their property. He was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in Batavia City Court on 1/16/2024.

On 12/27/2023, Jennifer M. Beswick, 41, of Batavia, NY was arrested and charged with DWAI/Drugs and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree. Beswick was arrested after an investigation into a motor vehicle accident that occurred on 7/29/2023. It’s alleged that Beswick was operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 1/10/2024.

On 12/24/2023, Jason C. Mann, 47, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Mischief 4th degree. It’s alleged that Mann damaged another person’s property during an altercation in the parking lot of 587 East Main Street. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 1/16/2024.

On 12/19/2023, Martin J. Rodgers, 39, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Criminal Mischief 4th degree. Rodgers allegedly damaged a window at a residence during an altercation on Oak Street. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in court on 1/9/2024.

On 12/20/2023, Naquan J. Shepherd, 24, of Batavia, NY, was charged with Harassment 2nd degree. Shepherd allegedly struck another person during an altercation on Hutchins Street. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 1/10/2024.

On 12/26/2023, Ronald J. Murray, 29, of Batavia, NY was arrested on a bench warrant. The warrant stems from an incident on 8/11/2023, where Murray was allegedly found in possession of narcotics. Murray was arraigned in CAP Court and released. He is due in Batavia City Court at a later date.

On 12/29/2023, Henry C. Roberts, 19, of Batavia, NY, was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny. Roberts allegedly stole merchandise from Tops. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on 1/16/2024.

On 12/24/2024, Levy Spikes Jr., 50, of Batavia, NY was arrested and charged with DWI. Spikes was arrested after a traffic stop on Lewiston Road, where he was allegedly found to be operating a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol. He was issued several traffic tickets and is due in Batavia City Court on 1/9/2024.

 

In other news…

Unidentified woman in undated file photo attempting to clean snow off of her car.

A Lake Effect Snow warning is in place for Erie, Genesee and Wyoming Counties through 7:00pm tomorrow evening. The highest amounts of snow are predicted to accumulate in and around Buffalo. Especially on the western side of Genesee County, snowfall predictions range from 4 to 8 inches through this evening. The bitter cold that will accompany the lake effect snow is concerning because the wind chills can reach as low as 10 below zero, which could result in hypothermia if precautions aren’t taken. Periods of blowing snow could make travel very difficult to impossible.

 

Unidentified mail carrier in undated photo making deliveries.

The United States Postal Service is looking into reports of mail thefts in Rochester and other communities throughout our region. People have reported that their mail has been stolen and in some cases they’ve become victims of identity theft. The Postal Service recommends folks use blue collection boxes or post offices when sending mail to ensure that it’s not taken. Victims of mail theft are asked to call the agency at 877-876-2455.

 

Governor Kathy Hochul is proposing to increase state spending on the migrant crisis as part of her fiscal year 2025 budget proposal. Hochul unveiled her $233 billion budget plan yesterday which sets aside $2.4 billion for the migrant crisis including half a billion dollars from state reserves. In her budget speech, she called on Congress and the White House to get the border situation under control and provide relief to states shouldering the migrant crisis burden. Hochul says New York will continue to face an uphill battle until there is federal policy change that slows the flow of newly arriving migrants. Hochul’s budget also includes more money to tackle crime, including paying for a dedicated team to drive down a spike in retail theft. Hochul also made a series of proposals to address the affordable housing crisis including offering a new tax incentive for local governments to build housing. Hochul also earmarked $10 million to train thousands of teachers on a new back to basics reading program. The Governor notes that New Yorkers won’t be paying higher income taxes if her 2025 state budget proposal is approved.

 

A memorial at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo (May 2022)

Plans are still moving forward to create a memorial that would honor the 10 people who were killed in a mass shooting in Buffalo. Members of the 5/14 Memorial Commission were supposed to gather last night, but the meeting was scrapped due to the weather. The public will get the opportunity to weigh in on the memorial at a later date. The man who opened fire at the Jefferson Avenue Tops store almost two years ago, Payton Gendron, is now facing the death penalty.

 

Released photo of the victim’s car lodged under the train.

A 29-year-old woman has been identified as the victim of a deadly crash in North Tonawanda. Authorities say the Wheatfield resident’s vehicle was struck by a train at the Witmer Road rail crossing near River Road yesterday. She was the only person in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Her name isn’t being released until family members have been notified.

 

 

Genesee County Park and Forest is hosting its winter walks series starting this Saturday. Through January and February there are a variety of walks, hikes, and environmental education programs. Guides lead walks through forest, meadow, and wetland habitats. Each will explore a different topic. Walks are approximately 1 – 2 miles long over easy terrain and all are family-friendly. Cost is $5 per person and $10 per family. Pre-register to receive the exact meeting location and other details; call 585-344-1122 for more information. Or, follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GeneseeCountyParksNY

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be back in action tonight as they look to continue their current home stand with a second straight win. The Sabres are set to host the Chicago Blackhawks at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is coming off of a three to nothing shutout victory over the San Jose Sharks Monday afternoon and has earned 42 points so far this season. Unless the weather prevents it, face-off this evening is set for 7:30.

 

ELSEWHERE…

 

File photo of groceries on checkout belt.

Inflation slowed in 2023, while Americans continued to spend at the grocery store. Average weekly grocery spending is highest in California, followed by Nevada, Mississippi, Washington, and Florida. Households in Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, and Indiana spend the least on groceries, averaging $220 to $230 per week. Households with children spend 41% more than households without kids. This is all according to an analysis by HelpAdvisor.com of the most recent data from the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey.

 

Consumers are about to save at the bank. The Biden Administration and The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today unveiled new regulations for overdraft fees that are expected to go into effect in 2025. Banks will now have to choose between offering overdraft loans for profit or a courtesy service, dropping fees by over 50 percent. The rule changes will go into effect around 175 banks nationwide. Experts say consumers have paid an estimated 280-billion in bank overdraft fees since 2000.

 

Hulk Hogan and his wife Skye; the teenagers car following the accident.

Pro wrestler Hulk Hogan is being credited with rescuing a 17-year-old girl from a car crash just west of Tampa International Airport Sunday night. Based on a social media account, TMZ reports Hogan was driving with his wife, Sky Daily, and a friend when they witnessed the wreck. The wrestler reportedly used a tool to cut through the airbag and helped the driver, who was not seriously injured, escape the car. Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, lives in Pinellas County.

Today is Wednesday, January 17, the 17th day of 2024 with 349 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 17 in history…

 

…In 1929, Popeye, his spinach, and his “guns” debut in the comic strip, Thimble Theatre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Carrey at age 9 and as an adult.

…In 1962, Jim Carrey was born (happy 61st!)

 

 

 

 

 

Columbia Records photo

…In 1966, Simon and Garfunkel released the album “Sounds Of Silence.” In case you missed it, according to Garfunkel, the song was first developed in November 1963, but Simon took three months to perfect the lyrics, which were entirely written on February 19, 1964. Garfunkel, introducing the song at a live performance (with Simon) in Harlem, in June 1966, summed up the song’s meaning as “the inability of people to communicate with each other, and not particularly internationally but especially emotionally, so that what you see around you is people who are unable to love each other. However, Garfunkel’s college roommate, Sandy Greenberg, wrote in his memoir that the song reflected the strong bond of friendship between Simon and Garfunkel, who had adopted the epithet “Darkness” to empathize with Greenberg’s sudden-onset blindness.

 

Michelle at age 9.

…In 1964, former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama was born (happy 59th!)

Afternoon News Brief

Winter Weather continues in Genesee and Wyoming Counties.  There is a Lake Effect Snow Warning from today at 1pm through Thursday at 7pm.  Experts are expecting 1 to 3 feet of snow starting in the south and then slowly moving north.  Winds of up to 40 miles per hour will blow snow over the roads and could produce whiteout conditions.  Wind chills as low as 20 below zero could also result Wednesday night.  Heavy snows will fall in narrow bands and may stay in the western regions of the counties.  

Three individuals were hospitalized following separate incidents across the City of Rochester.  Rochester General Hospital issued a report of a person stabbed just after 11 p.m. Monday. The victim, a 26-year-old man, had received treatment for a stab wound to his left shoulder. This occurred on Lake Avenue.  Officers responded to West Main Street for the report of a person shot just before 2 a.m. Upon their arrival, they located the 28-year-old male victim with a gunshot wound to the lower body. He was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital.  Around 2:30 a.m., officers responded to a report of another Lake Avenue assault. The victim at this scene, a 65-year-old woman, was suffering a gunshot to her upper body. She was transported to Strong for treatment.  The victims in all three assaults were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.  There are no suspects in custody for any of the incidents.

A car collided with an Amtrak passenger train this morning at Witmer and River Road in North Tonawanda. The occupant of the car was transported to Erie County Medical Center with injuries. The extent of their injuries are still unknown.  The Amtrak train was traveling from Niagara Falls to New York City. All passengers on the train were taken off. Amtrak says the 11 passengers and crew on the train were taken to the Downtown Buffalo Exchange Street Station. No injuries were reported for those on the train.

Eight fire companies responded to the scene of a storage building fire at Stoney Creek Dairy in the Town of Warsaw late Sunday morning.  Dispatchers received a call for a barn fire about 11:28a.m. for 4436 Rt. 20A.  According to the Wyoming County Office of Emergency Services, a 45’x80′ storage building was fully involved when firefighters arrived on scene. A feeder truck, two tractors and miscellaneous equipment were lost in the fire. Estimated damages are pegged at $175,000.  Fire crews from Warsaw, Wyoming, Varysburg, Silver Springs, Perry Center, North Java, Attica and Perry were on scene for about 7.5 hours. The cause of the fire is under investigation. No one was injured.

Genesee County Park and Forest is hosting its winter walks series starting this Saturday.  Through January and February there are a variety of walks, hikes, and environmental education programs.  Walks are led by a guide who takes you through forest, meadow, and wetland habitats. Each will explore a different topic. Walks are approximately 1 – 2 miles long over easy terrain and all are family-friendly. Cost is $5 per person and $10 per family.  Snowshoe Hikes include snowshoe rental, cost is $5 per person and $15 per family.  Pre-register to receive the exact meeting location and other details.  Details on dates and walks can be found by visiting our news partner The Batavian.

Tuesday News Brief

Jordan Raynor

A Batavia man has been arrested. 30-year-old Jordan Raynor is accused of entering an occupied residence in Gainesville early yesterday morning and when he did so, he awoke the residents. Raynor fled the scene after being confronted by the family, at which time the Wyoming County Sheriff’s responded to the scene. They located him in a vacant house that was being renovated. Raynor is a convicted felon, and on probation out of Genesee County after a conviction for Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Raynor now faces multiple felony charges and is being held in jail on bail in Warsaw.

 

Governor Hochul will be laying out her budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year today. She’ll reveal her budget during an address in the Red Room of the State Capitol in Albany at 10:30 this morning. Among the things she’s expected to discuss include the state’s more than $4 billion budget gap and how to fund things like healthcare and schools. The deadline for the Legislature to pass an on-time budget is April 1st.

 

38-year-old Scott Murray of Darien has been arrested. He’s charged with assault and criminal obstruction of breathing. His arrest followed a domestic incident that happened late last month, during which it’s alleged Murray struck an individual in the face multiple times and applied pressure to their neck. Murray was arraigned in CAP Court.

 

Ah-choooo! Hey Bud, do you need another tissue?

Updated data from the state shows the spread of the flu virus is holding steady in our region. During the week ending January 6th, Monroe County had the highest number of reported infections with 813; Erie County had 367; Ontario County reported 102 and Wayne County had 96. Since the start of flu season, over 144,000 New Yorkers have contracted the illness. It’s recommended anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against the virus yet get immunized immediately.

 

$325 million is being made available for clean water infrastructure projects across New York State. Governor Hochul announced the funding, which now includes additional benefits for rural and disadvantaged communities, while also ensuring those communities get more equitable access to funding opportunities. Grants will also go towards protecting safe drinking water by increasing awards for emerging contaminant projects to 70% of project costs. This will help ensure cost isn’t a barrier for communities working on investments to eliminate risks to their drinking water supplies. Applications for the funding will go live online February 5.

 

East Rochester Police investigate officer-involved shooting (13WHAM Photo)

New information has been released on an officer-involved shooting that happened in East Rochester. Authorities say Officer Brad Steve was looking into a possible domestic situation on Garfield Street Sunday afternoon. That’s when he came across 50-year-old Raymond Noel, and the encounter between the two reportedly led to both men exchanging gunfire. Both Steve and Noel needed treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. There’s no word yet on what charges Noel could be facing.

 

Josh Allen after the win against the Steelers last night (NFL Photo)

The Buffalo Bills are still on the road to the Super Bowl after earning a double-digit win in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Josh Allen threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another score as the Bills defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 to 17 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park yesterday. Dawson Knox and Dalton Kincaid each had receiving TD’s for Buffalo who has now won six straight. Their next game is this Sunday at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

The Buffalo Sabres have avoided a second straight loss after picking up a shutout victory at home. Casey Mittelstadt, Jordan Greenway, and Alex Tuch all had a goal as the Sabres beat the San Jose Sharks three to nothing yesterday. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped all 28 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for the Sabres is a game tomorrow against the Chicago Blackhawks. The puck drops at 7:30.

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

 

The cast of “Succession.” (HBO Photo)

The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards are in the books. “Succession” took home the trophy for Outstanding Drama Series, while “The Bear” won the Outstanding Comedy Series Award. Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook won outstanding lead actor and actress in a drama series for their roles in “Succession.”

 

Kohberger’s attorneys are asking to see the evidence.

The judge in the Bryan Kohberger case is ordering the prosecution to turn over more information about how he was connected to the murders of four University of Idaho students in 2022. Investigators used genealogy tracing from DNA found on a knife sheath to identify Kohberger. The defense wants to know more about that process and the family tree that linked Kohberger to the case.

 

Today is Tuesday, Jan. 16, the 16th day of 2024 with 350 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 16 in history…

We’re legally a ‘dry’ country, today in history.

…In 1919, the United States went legally “dry” when the 36th state ratified the 18th Amendment. Prohibition went into effect one year later and the amendment was repealed in 1933.

 

 

 

 

Ted Cassidy pictured in 1964 at the start of his role as ‘Lurch’ in “The Addams Family.” He later acknowledged he didn’t know how to play the harpsichord.

…In 1979, actor Ted Cassidy died at the age of 46. He is best remembered for his role as Lurch on “The Addams Family” television series. Cassidy underwent surgery at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles to have a benign tumor removed from his heart. Complications arose several days later while he was recuperating at home. He was readmitted to the same hospital, where he died.

 

 

 

 

 

Ennis and Bill Cosby

…In 1997, the 28-year-old son of TV star Bill Cosby, Ennis Cosby, was shot to death in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles while changing a flat tire on his car.

Afternoon News Brief

Fire investigators with Batavia City Fire have concluded that Friday’s blaze at the former Backhoe Joe’s at 46 Swan St., was “ignited under circumstances when a fire should not be ignited,” according to a press release.  They note, “a fire declared incendiary does not indicate the crime of arson.”  The investigation is being turned over to Batavia PD to determine if the fire was intentionally set or caused by some human action.  No utilities were operating in the building at the time of the fire.  The owner, Ron Veile said he thinks there might have been a transient trying to light a fire to keep warm.  The building was not insured and had very little value according to him.  Veile bought the building at auction for 1,800 dollars.  Cleanup after the fire is estimated to cost 40,000 dollars.

A Batavia man is behind bars after he allegedly broke into a family’s house while they were sleeping.  30 year old Jordan Raynor is accused of forcefully entering an occupied residence on Jordan Road in Gainesville at approximately 3:47 AM early this morning, awaking a family with children while inside. Raynor fled the scene after being confronted by the family, at which time the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.  He was located in a vacant house that was being renovated and taken into custody.  Raynor is a convicted felon, and on probation out of Genesee County after a conviction for Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  He is charged with Burglary in the Second Degree, a Class C violent felony, Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  He is being held in jail on bail in Warsaw.

Didn’t get enough snow?  There is another storm coming according to the national weather service. A Winter Storm Watch will be in effect from Tuesday at 10am to Thursday at 7pm in Genesee and Wyoming counties.  Heavy lake effect snow is possible. There could be total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches in the most persistent lake snows.  Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

A Rochester police officer and a suspect have non-life-threatening injuries after an exchange of gunfire Sunday afternoon.  Police responded to a disturbance on Garfield Street in East Rochester just before 3:40 p.m.  It’s unclear what led to the exchange of gunfire, but police said Officer Brad Steve was hit in his bulletproof vest.  The initial call was from a neighbor complaining about noise. He said another officer was on scene taking down information from other people when the shooting happened.  Chief Michael Brandenburg said the vest stopped the bullet.  Steve has more than 25 years of experience and is working as a part-time officer for the East Rochester Police Department after retiring from the Brighton Police Department.

Although are furry friends are, well, furry.  They still need care in the cold.  The SPCA has released tips on how to keep your pets safe in a snowstorm.  First on the list is to keep them at home and never leave them in a car.  Make sure to dry your pets feet when they come in from outside to get painful salt and ice out of their pads.  Check inside your car’s hood before turning it on in case cats have cozied up to the engine.  You can bang on the hood and sides to try to scare them out if you can’t open the hood.  If going for a walk don’t let pets off the leash as they can quickly get lost in the snow.  And if they have an outdoor shelter, make sure it can keep them warm in the cold weather.

Monday News Brief

File photo of Attorney General James

The Office of State Attorney General Letitia James is warning businesses in the region against price gouging during and after severe weather. State law makes it illegal to increase prices on essential goods and services that people need. Those items include things like batteries, food, water, hotel lodging, and transportation. Any price gouging is punishable by a fine and can be reported by calling 800-771-7755.

 

As a result of the winter storm, and dangerous road conditions, Batavia Downs has canceled live racing for today out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the horses, horsemen and woman as well as the fans. Live racing will resume as scheduled on Thursday January 18 at 3:00pm.

 

The travel advisory for Genesee County has been lifted. The Sheriff’s Office continues to urge motorists to use caution if they decide to travel. However, another winter storm watch goes into effect tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16/24).

 

Gas prices continue to trend slightly downward. According to Triple A, the national average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $3.09. The state average is $3.28. In Batavia, the average price is reported to be $3.32; that’s down a nickel from a week ago; 18 cents from a month ago and exactly the same price it was a year ago today.

 

 

Police investigate shooting in East Rochester (13WHAM photo)

An East Rochester police officer is continuing to recover after being injured in the line of duty. Authorities say Officer Brad Steve was struck in his bulletproof vest yesterday during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect on Garfield Street. Both the officer and suspect were taken to a hospital and are expected to survive. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

 

Aftermath of New Year’s Day crash near Kodak (13WHAM Photo)

A vigil has been held for the victims of a fiery crash in Rochester on New Year’s Day. The gathering took place last night outside of the Kodak Center on West Ridge Road. Four people ended up dying after a man intentionally slammed a Ford Explorer into a rideshare vehicle and a group of pedestrians. The Ford driver was among those who lost their lives. Authorities have yet to determine a motive for the tragedy.

 

The state Division of Consumer Protection is providing tips to help job seekers avoid employment scams. The agency recommends that people be weary of possible employers who want personal information before an interview. Other red flags are employers who only communicate via text or offer to hire you without a meeting or interview. If you’re trying to find a job, some reputable places to search online include usajobs.gov and the state Department of Labor’s website.

 

The view at Highmark during the blizzard of 2022.

After a one-day delay due to that lake-effect storm, the Bills will finally get to take the field for their AFC Wild Card game today. They will be hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. If Buffalo is victorious, they’ll end up playing the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs this coming weekend. Kickoff for this afternoon’s contest is scheduled for 4:30.

 

 

 

 

ELSEWHERE…

 

‘Trixie and Ed Norton’ – Joyce Randolph and Art Carney on “The Honeymooners.”

Fans of the iconic 1955 TV sitcom “The Honeymooners” are remembering Joyce Randolph. Randolph’s son told TMZ that his mother died “peacefully in her sleep of old age” at her New York City home at the age of 99. Randolph’s character “Trixie” was married to Ed Norton, played by Art Carney on the popular TV series based in Brooklyn which still lives on in re-runs. It centered around bus driver Ralph Kramden played by Jackie Gleason and also starred Audrey Meadows as Kramden’s wife Alice. Randolph is the last of the cast to pass on and as one fan wrote on social media, it marks the end of the golden age of television.

 

 

 

New Peeps!

A classic Easter candy will debut some new flavors this year. Four new flavors of Peeps will be hitting shelves soon. The flavors include Rice Krispies Treats, Icee Blue Raspberry, Sour Strawberry and S’mores Graham Cracker dipped in Milk Chocolate. The Rice Krispies Treats flavor will be a Walmart exclusive, Icee Blue Rasperry will only be sold at Target and Sour Strawberry will be only on Kroger stores shelves. The new offerings will join classic Peeps offerings like Sour Watermelon, Sparkly Wild Berry and Cotton Candy.

 

The 75th Annual Emmy Awards are almost here. The Primetime Emmys will be on Monday with Anthony Anderson set to host live on Fox from the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles at 8:00pm Eastern Time. Warner Brothers-Discovery led the way for the studios with 155 total Emmy nominations. Television icons including Carol Burnett and Peter Dinklage are also set to present. Fans of shows like the Sopranos and Cheers will want to watch for possible cast reunions and tributes.

 

Today is Monday, January 15, the 15th day of 2024 with 351 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 15 in history…

The Nast drawing from 1870.

…In 1870, a cartoon by Thomas Nast appeared in Harper’s weekly with a donkey symbolizing the Democratic Party for the first time.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Naismith appears ready to play.

…In 1892, Dr. James Naismith published the rules of basketball. He invented the game at a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Bowl I, today in history.

…In 1967, the first Super Bowl, pitting the NFL and AFL champions, was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, with the Green Bay Packers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.

 

 

 

The Rolling Stones on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Mick had to compromise for this appearance.

…Also in 1967 The Rolling Stones were asked to change the words to the hit “Let’s Spend the Night Together” when the group was to perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” CBS-TV censors wanted Mick Jagger to sing “Let’s Spend Some TIME Together” instead of the actual lyrics.

 

 

 

Who else but President Nixon?

…In 1973, President Richard Nixon called a halt to U.S. military offensives in Vietnam.

 

 

 

 

The Eagles on stage at The Forum.

…In 2014 The Eagles played the first of six concerts at the Forum in Inglewood, California, which were the first shows at the remodeled venue. To commemorate the occasion, a giant, 407-foot diameter vinyl replica of the band’s 1977 album “Hotel California” was built on top of the arena, and began spinning like a record.

Weekend News Brief

The High Wind and Winter Storm Warning are set to continue through the weekend with Southwest winds coming across at 30 to 40 miles per hour and gusts of up to 65 miles per hour pushing up to 3 feet of snow in heavy bands across Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties.  Travel could be difficult to impossible.  Blowing snow can produce whiteout conditions and reduce visibility to zero in places.  Very strong winds could cause extensive tree and powerline damage.  The Winter Weather Warning ends Monday at 7am and the Wind Warning ends Sunday at 4am.  Governor Hochul has declared a state of emergency, deployed the national guard to Western NY and banned empty Tractor Trailers and tandem trucks from the Thruway from the Henrietta exit to the Pennsylvania border.

Fire investigators are trying to get to the bottom of what caused a blaze at 46 Swan Street in Batavia, the site of the former Backhoe Joes.  Around 12:10 in the afternoon someone called the fire department and reported seeing flames coming from the windows of the under renovation building.  Within short minutes the entire structure was engulfed.  The city and town fire departments were on the scene quickly and called for 3 alarms and set up a defensive firefighting effort to save the surrounding buildings. All City Fire platoons were dispatched to the fire. Oakfield Fire filled in at City Fire’s hall. Town of Batavia, Stafford, and Elba all responded to the scene. There have been no reported injuries.

A fourth person has died as a result of the fiery crash early New Year’s Day outside the Kodak Center in Rochester.  While sharing an update on the investigation Friday, Rochester Police Chief David Smith confirmed 54 year old Dawn Revette died Wednesday from her injuries.  The crash happened Jan. 1 around 12:50 a.m., when an SUV driven by 35 year old Michael Avery and filled with gasoline canisters barreled toward a crowd leaving a concert and crashed into an Uber vehicle that was pulling out of a parking lot onto West Ridge Road.  Authorities say that the Uber driver saved the lives of dozens of people by getting hit instead of allowing the SUV to plow into the crowd and then explode.

A man is facing charges following a menacing incident in Greece Friday evening.  Around 5:30 p.m., police responded to the 2500 block of Ridgeway Avenue for the report of a fight involving a machete.  Officers discovered that 39 year old Reginald Jacobs, of Gates, was allegedly attempting to assault a victim with a machete, when a witness took action and ran him over.  Jacobs was charged with attempted assault, menacing and criminal mischief, and was released on an appearance ticket, according to police.  No charges will be filed against the witness who reportedly ran over Jacobs to stop the assault. No other injuries were reported.

The weather could affect the upcoming Buffalo Bills first playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon.  That’s why the Bills and Jani-King are looking for anyone 18 and older, or under 18 with proper working papers, interested in shoveling snow inside the stadium. The Bills said those interested in shoveling should go to Highmark Stadium starting at 10 p.m. on Saturday.  Shovelers will be paid $20 an hour and complimentary food and breaks will be provided throughout the shifts in a comfortable warm area.  They are expecting to need shovelers through the night.

Afternoon News Brief

Breaking news:  Fire crews responded to 46 Swan Street in the early afternoon for a fire at the old Backhoe Joes.  Reports are that flames were showing through the windows.  Batavia City Fire Department and Pavilion Fire Department responded with a second alarm called for.  The building was being remodeled and had all new windows and other work done on it.  Stay tuned for updates as the afternoon continues.

Genesee and Wyoming Counties are going to be under a Winter Weather Watch starting Saturday at 1pm and going through Monday at 7am.  Heavy lake effect snow is expected with high winds and gusts of up to 65 miles per hour.  Travel could be extremely difficult. Widespread blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.  Unsecured objects could blow into roadways and trees and branches could come down on power lines causing outages.  The High Wind Warning continues tonight through Sunday at 4am with winds between 20 and 30 mph and gusts of up to 50mph tonight into Saturday morning.  

The Justice Department will seek the death penalty for the New York Tops Supermarket mass shooter.  The then-18-year-old killed ten people in the racially-motivated shooting in May 2022.  In a court filing Friday, the DOJ said it believes a death sentence is justified in the event of a conviction.  His lawyers have said he would plead guilty to the more than two dozen federal charges he faces if the death penalty was taken off the table.  The shooter was previously sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to more than a dozen state charges last year.

Authorities in Niagara County say they’re experiencing an uptick in illegal crossings on the Niagara River from Canada into the United States.  CBP officers say they’ve seen an increase in small rafts and inflatables being used to come across the river illegally since late fall.  While it isn’t the hundreds of thousands of people a month being encountered at the southern border, 9 people have been arrested in the last month crossing the Niagara River.  The CBP says it is usually cases of human trafficking.  They say it is a 30 year high in this area of the country.  

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans and Police Chief David Smith called for an investigation after video came out of a man being kicked out of an ambulance.  The video shows the man, who was having trouble breathing, being asked to leave one ambulance and wait on the street for another to arrive and take him to the hospital.  In the video, an officer is heard explaining to the man that the EMTs wanted him out of the ambulance.  After getting out of the ambulance, the man fell to the sidewalk and waited more than two minutes before medical personnel helped him.  The man died shortly before Christmas.  Police were also on scene saying they had been called there for an assault against an EMT.  Mayor Evans and Chief Smith say they will get to the bottom of what happened and why the man wasn’t taken directly to the hospital.

Some borrowers who have student loans may see their loans paid off by the Federal SAVE Plan in the next few months.  Starting in February, the Education Department will automatically wipe away balances for eligible borrowers enrolled in the SAVE plan. To be eligible for the relief, borrowers will have had to had an original balance of $12,000 or less, made at least 10 years of payments and be enrolled in the SAVE Plan. No action is needed other than being enrolled in SAVE and meeting the eligibility requirements for cancellation.  Borrowers who took out more than $12,000 will still be eligible for cancellation, but over a longer timeframe. Every additional $1,000 borrowed adds another year of payments before cancellation takes effect.

Buffalo Bills fans can enjoy this Sunday’s playoff game with some extra warmth — Highmark Stadium is now allowing battery-heated clothing inside the stadium.  The Buffalo Bills and the Pittsburgh Steelers have a frigid game ahead of them, with wind gusts 30 – 40 mph and an estimated wind chill of 0 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heated vests, coats, gloves, blankets etc are now allowed in the stadium for the playoff game.  How this will affect the people who paint their bodies in the team colors is unknown. 

Friday News Brief

Cold, snow and high winds forecast for tonight. (Unidentified man in file photo)

A high wind warning goes into effect this evening starting at 7:00 and remains in place until early Sunday morning. Winds could gust at times to 50 miles per hour. Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are expected. And travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

 

 

 

A vehicle failing to stop for traffic violations led LeRoy Police on a brief pursuit into the Village. Yesterday morning, a vehicle attempted to make a U-turn and struck a utility pole on Munson Street. Both the driver and passenger had warrants and were held at gunpoint until additional help arrived from LeRoy Police. The male passenger had minor injuries and was transported to the hospital. The male driver was uninjured and taken into custody. Names have not been released as this is an ongoing investigation and charges are pending.

 

 

File photo of Gendron in court, during sentencing.

The Justice Department is expected to make a major announcement today involving a mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store. Payton Gendron is scheduled to be in federal court. Family members of the 10 people he killed after opening fire at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue in 2022 have also been asked to be in court. Gendron has already been sentenced to life in prison for the shooting. But, the Justice Department has yet to say if it’ll seek the death penalty.

 

13WHAM photo of deadly crash on New Year’s Day

The death toll following a fiery crash in Rochester on New Year’s Day has sadly increased by one. Authorities say a woman who was hit by a car near the Kodak Center on West Ridge Road passed away due to her injuries. The driver of a Ford Explorer slammed that SUV into a rideshare vehicle, killing himself and two others. Police haven’t revealed if they’ve determined a motive for the driver’s actions.

 

The Governor during her State of the State address on Tuesday.

Governor Hochul is funding additional psychiatric beds across New York State. The governor says $50,000,000 will go towards several hospitals to expand their psychiatric facilities and cover construction costs. Hochul says the state’s mental health system has been de-funded and de-prioritized for too long, and are now dealing with the effects as children report record rates of depression and anxiety. Hochul says she wants to ensure all schools have mental health clinics, expand mental health courts, and require insurance companies to cover mental health visits.

 

An inmate at the Erie County Correctional Facility is in more legal trouble after being accused of having synthetic marijuana. The drug was discovered in the prosthetic leg of 39-year-old Gregorio Chevere during a routine check of the Gulf Housing area yesterday. A folded up piece of paper was used to try and hide the narcotic which is believed to be K2 spice. Chevere is now facing a felony charge.

SUNY campuses are investing nearly $10 million in annual state funding to support students identifying with disabilities. Governor Hochul discussed the crucial investments, calling it historic funding that’s part of the state’s goal to build a future where diversity is not just acknowledged but celebrated. Among funding plans, all 29 state-operated campuses will hire staff to mitigate barriers and support students with disabilities, including disability services coordinators, and learning and physical disability specialists. According to the State Education Department more than 30,000 SUNY students reported having a disability, which also means that 39% of college students identifying with disabilities in the state attend a SUNY institution.

 

The Buffalo Bills will be looking to take another step towards reaching the Super Bowl this weekend. The Bills are riding a five-game winning streak and finished the regular season 11-and-6. The AFC East champions are host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Kickoff on Sunday is set for 1:00.

 

ELSEWHERE…

Fruit Stripe gum is being discontinued. The iconic gum featured fruit inspired flavors, a zebra print wrapper and a zebra mascot on the package. It was first sold in the 1960s and came with a temporary tattoo of Yipes the Zebra. Ferrera, which owns other candy brands like Nerds and Fun Dip, said the decision to discontinue Fruit Stripe was difficult. Those looking to get their hands on the gum may be able to still find it at retailers across the country before it sells out one final time.

 

An MH-60R helicopter, similar to the one that crashed (NBC News file photo)

All six crewmembers aboard a Navy helicopter that crashed into the San Diego Bay on Thursday have survived. Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet spokesperson Commander Beth Teach says the MH-60R Sea Hawk Helicopter went down around 6:40 pm near the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. The incident happened during a routine training mission.

 

Unidentified man protesting the COVID vaccine in London, in 2020.

World health officials say low COVID vaccination rates are putting a strain on healthcare systems. The U.S. and several other countries are reporting a rise in hospitalizations due to respiratory illnesses. An official with the World Health Organization cites “incredibly low” vaccination rates as the cause, as many countries try to move past COVID restrictions.

 

 

Unidentified woman in file photo vaping, which is now linked to increased risk of lung disease.

The New York State Department of Health has launched a new effort aimed at reducing youth vaping. The agency has created posters and rack cards that’ll be placed in middle schools and high schools promoting the DropTheVape confidential text service. E-cigarettes are the most-used tobacco product by high schoolers in the state, with over 18% of kids in that age group saying they vaped in 2022. Anyone who needs help quitting can text DropTheVape to 88709.

 

Today is Friday, Jan. 12, the 12th day of 2024 with 354 to follow.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Uranus and Venus. Evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus.

January 12 in history…

 

The Amazing Kreskin

In 1935, The Amazing Kreskin was born; George Joseph Kresge (happy 88th!)

 

 

 

 

Kirstie Alley at age 13

…In 1951, Kirstie Alley was born (happy 73rd!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stern at age 8: Who would’ve guessed this little boy would grow up to have such a potty mouth?

…In 1954, radio personality Howard Stern was born (happy 69th!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gordy sitting in his office, in 1970

…In 1959, Berry Gordy borrowed $800 to found the Motown record empire.

 

 

 

 

Say it’s so, Joe: Namath in Super Bowl III, 1969

…In 1969, Joe Namath and the AFL’s New York Jets defeated the NFL’s Baltimore Colts 16 to 7 in Super Bowl Three. It is regarded as one of the most shocking upsets in professional football history.

 

 

 

 

Jean Stapleton and Carrol O’Connor, in 1971, as Edith and Archie in “All In the Family” (CBS Photo)

…In 1971, “All in the Family” debuted on CBS television.

Afternoon News Brief

If you battened down the hatches for the last couple days of high winds you may just want to leave them battened down. From Friday at 7pm till Sunday at 4am Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties are expected to get hit by 20 to 30 mile per hour winds coming out of the Southwest on Friday and then ramping up to 40 mile per hour with gusts of up to 65 MPH Saturday into Sunday.  Falling branches could knock down power lines, high profile vehicles may find it dangerous to be on the roads.  

A Rochester police officer was involved in a crash on the city’s north side late Wednesday afternoon.  Around 4:30 p.m., an officer was responding to a request for assistance from New York State Police, and was driving in the 700 block of Joseph Avenue, when a vehicle pulled out from Berlin Street and began driving southbound in the northbound lane on Joseph, crashing head-on with the officer.  Police said the officer’s patrol car was sent off the road and crashed into the front of an unoccupied building on Joseph.  The officer involved was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.  The driver of the vehicle involved, now identified as a 51-year-old woman from Rochester, was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Officers determined she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and will only be issued traffic citations.

Rochester Police are investigating a five-vehicle crash on Portland Avenue near Clifford Avenue Wednesday night.  Investigators said around 5:45 p.m., a vehicle on Portland crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting another vehicle. That driver tried to overcorrect, spinning out and hitting three other vehicles.  One of the drivers had a minor injury and was treated at the scene.  The driver of the vehicle that started the chain of events was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, and was issued several traffic citations, according to police.

Governor Hochul said in her state of the state address that she would form a Smash and Grab crime task force out of the State Police to deal with property crimes and lawmakers and police don’t think it will help.  Assemblyman Josh Jensen who represents the 134th district says that it’s a step in the right direction but “a task force isn’t going to work.”  In addition “what is needed is a way to
Hold people accountable for their actions, whether that’s violent crimes, or thefts at a CVS or a corner store.”  According to Monroe County Sheriff’s Sergeant David Bolton says out of 117 arrests in 2023 for property theft it was found that “more than 50 percent of those issued appearance tickets never showed up for court, which then caused warrants to be put out. They’d be picked up, and because the underlying offense wasn’t a bail offense, they’d get another appearance ticket that they don’t show up on, and it’s a never-ending cycle.”

Schools in western NY have announced changes to their mascots, team names and logos as the deadline looms banning schools from using Native American imagery.  Iroquois CSD changed theirs from Chiefs to Red Hawks.  Cheektowaga CSD changed theirs from the Warriors to the Chargers.  Tonawanda CSD changed theirs from the Warriors to the Timberwolves.  Jamestown CSD changed theirs from the Red Raiders to the Red and Green.  Now the schools are turning their eye toward funding the changes as all images in and around the schools, uniforms, letterhead, websites and more have to be changed with some schools estimating it will cost over half a million dollars to make the changes.  

The Great Batavia Train Show is coming up on April 14th at the Richard C Call Arena at GCC.  The train show will feature model train vendors, free parking, and a snack bar.  All forms of model railroad and train-related merchandise will be available. Over 100 vendors will be offering all scales of model trains and historic railroad items.  Modeling demonstrations, and a limited number of portable layouts, free parking, on-site concession stand, and plenty of seating will be available.  The show will run from 9:30 to 3:30 and admission is 6 dollars for adults and 3 for kids 13 to 18.  Under 13 year olds get in free.

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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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