Local News

Afternoon News Brief

Cassandra Elmore, the Batavia woman accused of allowing her dog access to narcotics, leading to emergency veterinarian treatment for overdoses on three separate occasions, was a no-show in City Court yesterday. It was suggested by one of her friends who called the court about four hours earlier, that Elmore might be in the hospital. However, City Court Judge Thomas Burns had no proof that the claim was true, so he has issued a warrant for her arrest. Elmore faces three counts of injuring an animal under New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law, Section 353.

Experts still don’t know what has caused cracks to appear on the property at 445 Scribner Road in Pembroke, which forced a family from their home. The cracks were first noticed last Sunday by the homeowner, Gene Nati, and the initial thought was that a sinkhole had formed but geologists have now ruled that out. Instead, they’re classifying it as a catastrophic movement of the earth. The last time any shift or movement there was noticed occurred this past Monday and Tuesday. Monitoring equipment will be installed in a well to check water levels in the affected area and a seismograph will be placed to monitor if the ground is still moving. As of last night, Nati’s home is still standing and Scribner Road remains closed.

Starting tomorrow, New Yorkers will be able to cast their ballots in primary races for Congress and state Senate. That’s because early voting is going to begin and is scheduled to run through Sunday, August 21st. In Genesee County, the only early voting location is at the ARC Community Center at 38 Woodrow Road in Batavia. The hours vary each day so check the Genesee County Board of Elections page for early voting hours. Primary Day is Tuesday, August 23.

 

 

You may already have heard, at $3.98, the national average price for a gallon of gas has now dropped to under $4, for the first time since March. The New York State average is $4.38 (down 5 cents since Monday, and 11 cents since last week). Average prices for the four-county GLOW Region remain above the state average, and Orleans County – with an average price of $4.66 – is among the highest in New York State. Only New York County, at $4.80 per gallon, and Delaware County, at $4.67 per gallon, was higher than Orleans County. The lowest prices in New York were found in Suffolk County, $4.15 per gallon. In Batavia, Triple A tells us the average price per gallon this morning is $4.42, down a nickel since last week and 30 cents from a month ago.

The Buffalo Bills will continue their preparation for the upcoming season when they host a preseason game tomorrow afternoon. The Bills are going to be taking on the Indianapolis Colts at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The Bills are coming off of a season that saw them win another AFC East title but once again fall to the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs. Kickoff for tomorrow afternoon’s contest is scheduled for 4:00.

 

Buffalo SkyRide – file photo

Bicyclists from around the region will be gathering this weekend to take part in the Buffalo SkyRide. The event is taking place this Sunday and the state Department of Transportation says the Buffalo Skyway is going to be closed down from 6:00am until noon that day. There are going to be detours posted in the area to help get drivers to their destinations. The ride will happen rain or shine and more information can be found online by visiting skyridebuffalo.org.

 

Both the FAA and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office are looking into a plane crash that left two people injured. According to WKBW, the individuals onboard the aircraft were conducting training exercises last night when the plane went down in a wooded area near Baker Street Extension in the town of Harmony. The victims were treated at the scene and taken to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania. There’s no word on their conditions.

 

 

 

Calvin Clemons

A Buffalo man could be spending the rest of his life behind bars after admitting his role in two separate murders. Prosecutors say 19-year-old Calvin Clemons shot and killed 17-year-old Feliz Aguirre back in December 2020 while the victim was sitting in a car on Liddell Street. The second deadly shooting happened in March 2021 when Clemons killed 20-year-old Trenten Sink during a robbery. Clemons is scheduled to be sentenced in October and is currently behind bars without bail.

 

Morning News Brief

A new bill that is bringing semiconductor manufacturing back to the U.S. could be good news for our region. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer helped author the bipartisan CHIPS bill in an effort to alleviate supply chain issues for products with microchips. That includes new cars, which a lot of consumers have to wait months for, which is also causing the prices for used cars to skyrocket.

But all this means Genesee County and the Western New York STAMP plant could be the new home of semiconductor manufacturing, along with other locations in upstate New York. Schumer says bringing semiconductor production to upstate New York will help ensure that long wait times for cars due to microchip shortages would be a thing of the past.

Experts are still baffled as to what has caused cracks to appear on the property at 445 Scribner Rd. in Pembroke, which forced a family from their home.

According to our news partner, the Batavian, the cracks were noticed by the homeowner, Gene Nati on Sunday, and the initial thought was that a sinkhole had formed but that’s been ruled out by geologists. Instead, they’re classifying it as a catastrophic movement of the earth, but are still monitoring the area to see if they can get an answer. Nati’s home is still standing as of last night and Scribner Road is still closed.

The City of Batavia water department will be shutting down water mains in the area of Oak Street and Richmond Avenue today.

This means there could be possible water interruptions will be from, North of Richmond Avenue on Oak Street, Richmond Avenue from Oak Street to State Street, Verona Avenue from Richmond Avenue to Hillcrest Street, all of Buxton Avenue, Genesee Street, and New York Place.

The water department will also be installing new water main valves on Prospect Avenue and State Street. During valve installations, water will be shut down on Prospect Avenue from Richmond Ave to Oak Street and on the West side of Oak Street from Prospect Avenue to the Ellicott Avenue and Main Street intersection, along with an area on State Street from the Richmond Avenue intersection to just South of Park Avenue.

The length of time the water will be off is unknown, but residents should be aware that water may be discolored when restored, and should refrain from doing any laundry until the water runs clear.

The Monroe County Department of Public Health is going to be holding a monkeypox vaccination clinic today. It’s happening at the county’s immunization clinic which is on Westfall Road in Rochester. Only people who meet certain criteria and schedule an appointment online in advance will be able to get their shot since walk-ins aren’t being accepted. Other clinics are set for this Mon., Aug. 15, and Fri., Aug. 19. So far, there have been several confirmed monkeypox cases in Monroe County.

Early voting in primary races for Congress and state Senate starts Saturday and runs through Sunday, Aug. 21. In Genesee County, the only early voting location is at the ARC Community Center at 38 Woodrow Rd. in Batavia. The hours vary each day so check the Genesee County Board of Elections page for early voting hours. Primary Day is Tue., Aug. 23.

Afternoon News Brief

Matthew Zakrzewski

A Batavia man accused of starting fires on three different occasions earlier this year, has now entered guilty pleas to counts of arson in County Court. 42-year-old Matthew Zakrzewski is likely to be sentenced to 10 years in state prison next month as part of the plea agreement he accepted. He was facing several other felonies — which have not yet been presented to a grand jury for possible indictment — and without the plea deal could have been sent to prison for up to 25 years. In court yesterday, Zakrzewski admitted to starting a fire at Washington Towers on January 16, and on the same date, setting a 2009 Jeep Patriot on fire. As part of the plea, Zakrzewski agreed to pay more than $10,000 in restitution to the arson victims.

 

Sheep – file photo

The City of Batavia council has scheduled a public hearing for September 12th in the boardroom on the second floor of City Hall. Starting at 7pm, they welcome comments from the public regarding possible amendments to the city code, to include animal and fowl restrictions. City Manager Rachael Tabelski said at the present time, per code, there is no way to regulate any situation where there may be farm animals living in different areas. The proposed 2022 amendment to Section 190-42 of the code says, in part, that no person shall own, bring into, possess, keep, harbor or feed farm animals, including hoofed animals, equine or fowl within city limits (including, but not limited to, cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, swine, llamas, alpacas, ducks, turkey, geese, feral cats, ponies, donkeys, mules or any other farm or wild animal). The meeting on September 12th will provide the opportunity for public feedback prior to consideration of the law being adopted.

 

Attorney Steve Barnes

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a new report on the plane crash that killed attorney Steve Barnes and his niece Elizabeth Barnes. The pair was flying from New Hampshire to Buffalo in October 2020 when the small aircraft went down in Pembroke. Investigators say that Barnes was at the controls of the plane when it struck the ground and that he didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the accident. The cause of the tragedy still hasn’t been released. Barnes specialized in personal injury lawsuits, and late in 2020 was in the middle of a contentious split before two separate companies, Cellino Law and The Barnes Firm, ultimately emerged.

 

 

Kelvin Vickers

The suspect accused of murdering a member of the Rochester Police Department has made another court appearance. Yesterday, 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers was in court to be arraigned on multiple charges. Last month, Vickers allegedly shot Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz and his partner, Officer Sino Seng while they were on a detail on Bauman Street. Mazurkiewicz died of his injuries but Seng survived. Vickers is still behind bars at the Monroe County Jail and is scheduled to face a judge again in November.

 

 

 

Governor Hochul

There’s a new law in New York State that aims to make sure students are being educated about the Holocaust. The legislation will require audits of schools to ensure they are in compliance with Holocaust curriculum requirements. Governor Hochul signed off on the measure yesterday after pointing to a study that showed a portion of young New York adults have a lack of knowledge of the Holocaust. She also noted there’s been hundreds of hate crimes committed against Jewish New Yorkers so far this year.

 

 

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection is sharing tips for college students to keep in mind before classes begin. The agency says they need to be aware of fake grants, scholarships, and loans and that the only paperwork required to file for financial aid is the free FAFSA form that’s online. Students should also keep an eye out for phony websites that claim to offer large discounts on textbooks, since those books often don’t get delivered which means the student loses their money. It’s also strongly recommended that students keep their personal information private so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

 

 

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump is pleading the fifth in a probe carried out by the New York Attorney General. He refused to answer questions at a deposition in New York City as part of a civil investigation into his business. In a statement, Trump said he once asked why people would plead the fifth if they’re innocent but says he now understands. The AG’s office is looking into whether the Trump Organization improperly reported real estate assets. On Monday, the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in search of White House documents he allegedly took when leaving office.

 

Morning News Brief

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a new report on the plane crash that killed attorney Steve Barnes and his niece Elizabeth Barnes. The pair were flying from New Hampshire to Buffalo in October 2020 when the small aircraft went down in Pembroke. Investigators say that Barnes was at the controls of the plane when it struck the ground and that he didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of the accident. The cause of the tragedy still hasn’t been released.

The state attorney general is providing a stark warning to the ReAwaken America Tour that’s headed to Batavia. Letita James said racially motivated violence will not be tolerated. She noted that this weekend’s ReAwaken America Tour is nothing more than a traveling carnival of hate speech with wild conspiracy theories and that it attacks the democratic process. James added wherever this tour goes, it leaves a trail of divided communities and heightened tensions.

Paul Doyle from the Cornerstone Church says there are no plans to interfere with anyone’s right to protest the event or express their beliefs and that they are not involved in any racist activities. ReAwaken has featured speakers in the past that include former president Donald Trump’s son Eric and former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Today is August 11, or 8-1-1.

8-1-1 is the number to call before you start a project that requires digging on your property, and today is 8-1-1 day. National Grid is one of the utility companies reminding you about calling that number before a project that involves digging, no matter how big or small. The utility says knowing where underground utility lines are buried before you dig will help protect you and your family. State laws mandate that 8-1-1 must be contacted 72 hours in advance of beginning projects that require excavation. You can also use the website DigSafelyNewYork.com instead of calling 8-1-1.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection is sharing tips for college students to keep in mind before classes begin. The agency says they need to be aware of fake grants, scholarships, and loans and that the only paperwork required to file for financial aid is the free FAFSA form that’s online. Students should also keep an eye out for phony websites that claim to offer large discounts on textbooks since those books often don’t get delivered which means the student loses their money. It’s also strongly recommended that students keep their personal information private, so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

Two pieces of legislation have been signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The first directs the Department of Labor to conduct a study on the statewide employment rate of trans individuals in the state, in concert with the Division of Human Rights. This study will be used to determine whether there is a disparity of employment rates between transgender New Yorkers and other residents in New York State.

The other bill package is to honor and support Holocaust survivors in educational, cultural, and financial institutions. The legislative package will help ensure schools are providing high-quality Holocaust education, require museums to acknowledge art stolen by the Nazi regime, and require the New York State Department of Financial Services to publish a list of financial institutions that voluntarily waive fees for Holocaust reparation payments.

A Rochester teen is in custody, charged with carjacking and using a firearm to commit a crime. According to the complaint from the U.S. district attorney, Jaden Z. Campbell, 18, of Rochester, popped out from behind a tree on Resolute Street in Rochester and demanded that a person in a car give him all his belongings or be shot. Campbell reached into the victim’s pocket and took his car keys but couldn’t start the car. That’s when Campbell told the victim to start the car or he would be shot. Campbell led police on a chase for nearly a half-hour before crashing the car on Quaker Road in Scottsville and fleeing. He was taken into custody a short time later. Campbell faces a maximum sentence of life in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Afternoon News Brief

Pastor Paul & Lee Doyle

The controversy continues regarding the ReAwaken Tour that is scheduled to come to Batavia this weekend. There have been protests and now Attorney General Letitia James has issued a notice about the upcoming ReAwaken event, in which she states that racially motivated violence will not be tolerated. She noted that ReAwaken America is nothing more than a traveling carnival of hate speech, wild conspiracy theories and attacks the democratic process. James added wherever this tour goes, it leaves a trail of divided communities and heightened tensions. She summarized by saying that the law will clamp down on any racially motivated violence or unlawful conduct. Paul Doyle from the Cornerstone Church says there are no plans to interfere with anyone’s right to protest the event or express their beliefs and that they are not involved in any racist activities. ReAwaken has featured speakers in the past that include former president Donald Trump’s son Eric and former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

 

The City of Batavia Water Department is shutting down water mains tomorrow in the area of Oak Street and Richmond Avenue (due to the Richmond Avenue Water Line Project). The streets with possible water interruptions will be from, North of Richmond Ave on Oak Street, Richmond Ave from Oak Street to State Street, Verona Ave from Richmond Ave to Hillcrest Street, all of Buxton Ave, Genesee Street, and New York Place. Additionally, new water main valves will be installed on Prospect Ave and State Street. During valve installations, water will be shut down on Prospect Ave from Richmond Ave to Oak Street and on the West side of Oak Street from Prospect Ave to the Ellicott Ave and Main Street intersection, along with an area on State Street from the Richmond Ave intersection to just South of Park Avenue. The length of time the water will be off is unknown. As is typically the case, when water service is restored it may be discolored. Please refrain from doing any laundry until the water runs clear.

 

A 26-year-old Buffalo man has been charged after an unusual incident in which he was found roadside. On Saturday, passersby in Elba discovered Terrance Dandridge II (of Bricsoe Avenue) in the area of Lockport Road and Route 98. Genesee County sheriff’s deputies tell us that Dandridge reported he had been kidnapped from his residence, driven to the location, and left tied up in his vehicle, before escaping and being discovered near the highway. Dandridge suffered no apparent injury but was taken to a hospital for medical evaluation. Investigation revealed the incident did not occur as reported by him. He was charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident and is to appear August 24 in Elba Town Court.

 

Governor Hochul

Governor Hochul has announced the issuance of new guidance to support the development of domestic terrorism prevention plans. Following the Buffalo supermarket shooting back in May, the governor issued Executive Order 18 requiring all state counties and New York City to develop plans to confront domestic terrorism, which includes racially and ethnically-motivated violence. The governor says one of the biggest threats New York currently faces is domestic terrorism and specifically white supremacist extremism. She also says the state is providing local governments with the tools they need to address the threat of domestic terror and targeted violence so future tragedies can be avoided.

 

Highmark Stadium

Drivers who travel near Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park may want to plan a little extra time to reach their destinations the next couple of nights. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office says that traffic delays are likely around the facility, because of the Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts concert tonight and the Metallica show tomorrow night. Abbott Road is going to close to traffic at 1:00pm today and 3:00pm tomorrow and remain shut until the concerts are over while the stadium lots will open at 2:00pm today and 4:00pm tomorrow. People are asked not to park on the shoulder of any roadways.

 

Andrew Cuomo

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants answers after the FBI raided former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The Democrat says the Department of Justice risks the search being viewed as a political tactic if they don’t explain, which could undermine any future investigation. Trump is accused of taking documents from the White House. He claims the raid on his Florida residence Monday was unannounced, adding it wasn’t necessary or appropriate.

 

 

 

Erie County Fair – file photo

The 2022 Erie County Fair opens today. The event is being held at the county fairgrounds which are located on McKinley Parkway in Hamburg and it runs through Sunday, August 21st. Organizers say there will be plenty of rides for people to go on as well as great food to taste and live music to listen to. Admission to the fair is free today for anyone who brings four cans or more of food to donate to FeedMore WNY. For a complete list of activities and events, visit ecfair.org.

 

The back of a male patient with monkeypox

Some brand new data shows that the number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Monroe County has increased to seven. New York has the most infections of any state in the country but most of those cases are in New York City. Monkeypox is commonly spread through exposure to an infected person’s lesions or respiratory droplets. Anyone who develops a sudden rash on any part of their body should call their doctor and avoid being around other people until they can be tested.

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

For the fifth time since July, the Niagara County Department of Health is telling swimmers not to enter the water at Olcott Beach. They say people should stay out of the water there for safety reasons. A high bacteria count has been detected and the beach will only be back open for swimming once it’s safe. Anyone who has questions can contact the principal public health engineer at 716-439-7451.

Morning News Brief

She’s had chickens in her Medina backyard for a decade, but now Debbie Varley is being told by the village to ditch the chickens. Varley lives on Highland Avenue with about 20 chickens her grandchildren show for 4-H. The chickens are popular in the neighborhood; however, her home is in an area zoned as residential, where chickens are not allowed. One resident complained and village officials were obligated to insist the birds be removed. Varley is hopeful she can find someone who lives nearby to take the chickens so her grandchildren can continue to show them.

The executive director of the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council wants to expand arts and culture programming across Western New York. According to our news partner, The Batavian, Gregory Hallock plans to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to develop the programming plan for nine counties in the region. He’s seeking help from the counties to cover some of the cost of creating the plan, which some have agreed to,I with others agreeing if all the counties chip in. Hallock says he’s not sure right now how much the total cost would be, but is asking for a total of $150,000 ­to start — $90,000 from the NEA grant, $60,000 from the rest of the counties. Hallock made his pitch to the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee for its support. The grant application to the NEA is due this week.

The City of Batavia will be hiring a full-time grant administrator who will handle the city’s grant writing and management. According to The Batavian, City Council overwhelmingly approved the position by an 8-1 vote. City Manager Rachel Tabelski said the position is needed with the city’s recent success in securing grants for infrastructure projects. Right now, the city is managing more than $11 million in grants and another $8.5 million in grants are pending. Tabelski and other department heads have been managing the grants, but the new position will report to the assistant city manager.

If you have paint, chemicals, or tires to get rid of, then make your appointment for the next Household Waste Collection Event on Sat., Sept. 17. You can make your appointment online at GlowSolidWaste.org, or by calling 585-815-7906. Here is the list of materials you can dispose of:

With the exception of tires, materials accepted at NO CHARGE:

  • LATEX and Oil base paint, varnishes and shellac
  • Household chemicals and cleaning products
  • Household pesticides and insecticides
  • Aerosol cans (partial or full)
  • Vehicle fluids, oil filters, vehicle batteries EXCEPT MOTOR OIL
  • 20 lb. propane tanks and 1 lb. canisters
  • Pool chemicals
  • Driveway sealer
  • Tires ($5.00 each)

Unacceptable materials include:

  • Empty containers, latex paint, farm pesticides, asbestos and radioactive waste and explosives

There will be a separate electronics collection one week later, on Sat. Sept. 24. Again, you’ll need to make an appointment for that event at the same website and phone number.

Brand new data shows that the number of confirmed monkeypox cases in Monroe County has increased to seven. New York has the most infections of any state in the country but most of those cases are in New York City. Monkeypox is commonly spread through exposure to an infected person’s lesions or respiratory droplets. Anyone who develops a sudden rash on any part of their body should call their doctor and avoid being around other people until they can be tested.

The Western New York Rural Area Health Education Center is holding a no-cost Mental Health First Aid course that can help you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults. You’ll also learn how to help connect those facing a crisis to appropriate support. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to send key staff to learn the skills.

The full-day training is on Tue. Aug. 30 at the Wyoming County Ag & Business Center. Click here to register.The cost of the training is covered by a grant from the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation.

Afternoon News Brief

Spotted Lanternfly

One invasive species could cost New York State millions of dollars. Officials say the colorful spotted lanternfly was first seen here two years ago on Staten Island but has now been seen throughout the state. The Department of Agriculture says the insect feeds on more than 70 plant species and is especially worried about what it could do to the state’s $300 million grape and wine industry. Officials are asking anyone who sees this bug to take a picture and report it to the Agriculture & Markets website, and then kill it. https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/a08d60f6522043f5bd04229e00acdd63

 

An opportunity to dunk Chris Kalin? Priceless!

The Batavia Police will host their annual Community Night this evening at City Church, St. Anthony’s, on Liberty Street. It’s scheduled to start at 5:30pm and goes until 8pm; the celebration includes free food, a bounce house, games and horses. The event will benefit the K-9 program, and our Nici Johnson will be broadcasting live, with Chris Kalin in the dunk tank. An opportunity to dunk Chris? Priceless…

 

 

 

 

Residents in the Town of Batavia may experience low water pressure through tomorrow as the town continues to make repairs and upgrades to the Ellicott Street Water Booster Station. Once the work is completed, the town says water pressure will be restored to normal.

 

 

 

Chickens – file photo

A village of Medina resident who has had chickens in her backyard for more than a decade – sharing the eggs with her neighbors – has now been told they have to go. Debbie Varley of Highland Avenue has about 20 chickens that are used by her grandchildren for 4-H. The chickens are popular in the neighborhood; however, her home is in an area zoned as residential, where chickens are not allowed. One resident complained and village officials were obligated to insist the birds be removed. Varley is hopeful she can find someone who lives nearby to take the chickens so her grandchildren can continue to show them for 4-H.

 

 

Lee Zeldin

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin wants state Democrats to dump a plan that would result in a 40-hour workweek for farm workers. The state’s Farm Laborers Wage Board wants to phase in the mandatory 40-hour work week over the next decade, which means farm owners would have to pay overtime if a worker logged more than 40 hours over the course of the week. Right now, farm owners don’t have to pay overtime unless someone works over 60 hours. Zeldin says the change would harm the state’s agriculture industry and smaller farms. The wage board meets September 6th to finalize the plan.

 

 

Hazardous Waste

The GLOW Region Solid Waste Management Committee is currently accepting appointments for the 2022 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event to be held Saturday, September 17th. You’ll need an appointment, which you can make online by going to www.glowsolidwaste.org and clicking on the link for the collection you’d like to attend. Those without Internet access can call the GLOW office at 815-7906. 480 spots are available and are filling fast. A separate Electronics Collection will be held 1 week later, Saturday, September 24, also in Batavia, and also by appointment. Additional information:

With the exception of tires, materials are accepted at NO CHARGE.

Acceptable materials include at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection:
 Latex and Oil base paint, varnishes and shellac
 Household chemicals and cleaning products
 Household pesticides and insecticides
 Aerosol cans (partial or full)
 Vehicle fluids, oil filters, vehicle batteries EXCEPT MOTOR OIL
 20 lb. propane tanks and 1 lb. canisters
 Pool chemicals
 Driveway sealer
 Tires ($5.00 each)

Unacceptable materials include:
 Empty containers, farm pesticides, asbestos and radioactive waste and explosives

 

Kirk Hobbs

Ontario County deputies say the body of a missing man has been removed from Canandaigua Lake. On Friday, 61-year-old Kirk Hobbs was visiting with family members when he entered the lake without a floatation device on and ended up going underwater in the area of the LeTourneau Christian Camp in Rushville. Crews needed special dive equipment to arrive before Hobbs’ remains could be recovered yesterday. Officials are now waiting for autopsy results to find out how he died.

 

 

 

Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer believes the Inflation Reduction Act is going to be good for the Empire State. The legislation was approved by the Senate on Sunday and is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives in the coming days. Schumer claims the bill is going to lower costs for working families, help seniors afford their medications and also create good-paying jobs. He also says the measure will kick-start a new era of affordable, American-made clean energy for New York and the entire country.

 

The Genesee County Branch of the Democratic Socialists of America is organizing what they are calling an “antifascist teach-in” this Saturday, August 13, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Austin Park; it’s in opposition to the local stop of the “ReAwaken America Tour.” During the event, speakers will argue that ReAwaken presenters engage people’s anxiety and anger about the state of the country and blame weak people for the decisions of the powerful. The “teach-in” is also presented as an opportunity for the Western New York Community that has resisted ReAwaken to come together.

 

 

Morning News Brief

The Batavia Police are hosting their annual Community Night tonight at St. Anthony’s, on Liberty Street. It starts at 5:30 pm and goes until 8 pm. The Celebration includes free food, a bounce house, games, and horses. The event will benefit the K-9 program, and our Nici Johnson will be broadcasting live, with Chris Kalin in the dunk tank.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin wants state Democrats to dump a plan that would result in a 40-hour work week for farm workers. The state’s Farm Laborers Wage Board wants to phase in the mandatory 40-hour work week over the next decade, which means farm owners would have to pay overtime if a worker logged more than 40 hours.

Right now, farm owners don’t have to pay overtime unless someone works over 60 hours. Zeldin says the change would harm the state’s agriculture industry and smaller farms. The wage board meets Sept. 6 to finalize the plan.

Residents in the Town of Batavia may experience low water pressure through tomorrow as the town is making repairs and upgrades to the Ellicott Street Water Booster Station. Once the work is completed, the town says water pressure will be restored to normal.

The deadline for you to change your party enrollment ahead of the August primary is coming up later this week. You now have until five p-m Thursday to switch your affiliation and you can do so by filling out a form that can be picked up at your city, town or village clerk’s office, post office or motor vehicle office. You can also request a change in-person at the county’s Board of Elections. Primary Day is set for Tue., Aug. 23 and ballots will be cast in both Congressional and State Senate races.

The American Red Cross says only 3% of eligible blood donors give blood. To entice more people to donate, the Red Cross is giving anyone who donates blood or platelets in August a $10 e-gift card good for various merchants and will be entered in a drawing for a chance to be one of three people to win gas for a year. We have a list of donation locations in Genesee County for August that can be found here, or you can call the Red Cross for info (1-800-RED-CROSS).

One invasive species could cost New York State millions of dollars.  Officials say the colorful spotted lantern fly was first seen in the area two years ago on Staten Island but has now been seen throughout the state.  The Department of Agriculture says the insect feeds on more than 70 plant species and is especially worried about what it could do to the state’s $300 million grape and wine industry.  Officials are asking anyone who sees the bug with the red body to stomp it out.

Buffalo-based Rich Holdings Inc., the parent company of food-service company Rich Products Corporation, will have a new chairperson. Mindy Rich, will take over the role, succeeding her husband, Robert E. Rich, in what the company called a long-planned transition.

She joined Rich’s in 1985 and worked in various roles as part of the leadership team, including executive vice president of innovation. She also chairs the board’s Finance and Audit and Compensation and Organization committees.

Afternoon News Brief

Today through Wednesday, August 10th, the Town of Batavia is making repairs and upgrades to the Ellicott Street Water Booster Station in the Town of Batavia, between the dates of August 8th and August 10th. While the work is being performed, water customers in the Ellicott Street Road area may experience lower than normal water pressure. Once the work is completed, water pressure will be restored to normal.

 

Nati home in Pembroke

A Pembroke family is now waiting to learn the fate of their home after being forced out of it because it could collapse at any time. Homeowner Gene Nati noticed a crack in his driveway, and later found one in the foundation on his Scribner Road home. Nati says the crack extends across the street and is getting worse. Genesee County officials told Nati that the nearby quarry may have drained the water table and geologists will determine whether the 10-year-old house is on a sinkhole.  Photo is provided courtesy of our news partner, The Batavian. Additional details and pictures are available on their website; here is a direct link to the story: https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/ground-shifts-under-pembroke-family-home-forced-to-evacuate-with-help-of-volunteer

 

The controversial ReAwaken America Tour is scheduled to come to Batavia Friday and Saturday, and protesters again made their feelings known about the upcoming event. Protesters were outside Cornerstone Church on Sunday, which is hosting the event after the original location in Rochester declined to host after public backlash. Protesters are concerned with the tour’s ideology and that nearly 3,500 people are expected for the event. Representatives of the Cornerstone Church have said they plan to move forward with the event, as scheduled.

 

The Batavia Police will host their annual Community Night tomorrow at City Church, St. Anthony’s, on Liberty Street. It’s scheduled to start at 5:30pm and goes until 8pm; the celebration includes free food, a bounce house, games and horses.

 

 

Western New York drivers are paying less money to fill up their vehicles these days as gas prices keep declining. According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand dropped recently to the point where it was in line with demand at the end of July 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions were in place. Meanwhile, stocks continue to rise while oil prices remain lower, which is leading to a drop in gas prices. This morning, oil prices ranged from $89 to $95 per barrel. And Triple A tells us; the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in our region is $4.53. That’s down eight cents in the past week and is 34 cents cheaper than this time one month ago. The state average is $4.43 a gallon and the national average if $4.06. In Batavia, the average price we’re paying is now $4.45, which is down 30 cents from a month ago today.

 

Dive teams are expected to be back in the water at Canandaigua Lake today as the search for a missing man resumes. Officials say the man didn’t have a flotation device on when he jumped into the lake Friday in the area of LeTourneau Christian Camp in Rushville. The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office tells the Democrat and Chronicle the search couldn’t move forward until today because the department was waiting for special dive equipment to arrive. So far, the name of the man hasn’t been released.

 

 

The New York State Fair is opening soon, and Amtrak will be making it easier for people to attend. The rail company is offering direct service to the fairgrounds in Syracuse. Officials say by deciding to take the train, folks will be able to avoid things like parking fees, traffic and tolls and save money on gas. Tickets are available right now and can be purchased online at amtrak.com. The fair begins Wednesday, August 24th and runs through Labor Day, which is Monday, September 5th.

 

What’s the rush, Earth?

Scientists in England tell us they recorded the shortest day ever on June 29 and another shortened day on July 26. On both of these days, the Earth completed its usual 24-hour rotation in less than 24 hours, 1.59 milliseconds less, to be precise. They say this is caused by the Earth spinning faster than usual, but why on earth are we doing that? Some believe it has to do with earthquakes or global warming. Australian scientists say it may be because the earth has liquid on the inside, it’s got liquid on the outside, and it’s got an atmosphere and all of these things slosh around a bit, which apparently influences the speed at which the earth spins. There is speculation as well that this could be the beginning of a new period of shorter days; however, the need to drop a second annually to catch up with solar time, that would still seem quite a ways off.

Morning News Brief

A Pembroke family is now waiting to see the fate of their home after being forced out of it because it could collapse any minute.

Our news partner, The Batavian, says the Nati family was forced out of their Scribner Road home on Sunday when homeowner Gene Nati noticed a crack in his driveway, and later found one in his foundation. Nati says the crack extends across Scribner Road and is getting worse. Genesee County officials told Nati that the nearby quarry may have drained the water table and geologists will determine whether the house is on a sinkhole. Gene Nati is a volunteer firefighter, and 30 firefighters came to help the family get their belongings out of the house, which is only 10 years old. You can read the whole story, and see photos of the damage at TheBatavian.com.

The controversial Reawaken America Tour is scheduled to come to Batavia Friday and Saturday, and protesters again made their feelings known about the upcoming event.

Protesters were outside Cornerstone Church on Sunday, which is hosting the event after the original location in Rochester declined to host after public backlash. Protesters are concerned with the tour’s ideology and that nearly 3,500 people are expected for the event which is slated to have speakers including former security advisor to former President Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, and Trump’s son, Eric.

Drivers in the Batavia region are paying less money to fill up their vehicles as gas prices keep declining. According to AAA, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.45. That’s down three cents in the past week and is 30 cents cheaper than this time one month ago. The state average is $4.43 a gallon and the national average is $4.06.

A pair of developers on Main Street in Batavia are planning expansions and improvements and are hoping that the city helps with a $20,000 grant.

According to our news partners at The Batavian, Matt Gray is looking to put replace the stairs and door behind Eli Fish Brewing, and build a two-level patio.

Peter Casey is looking to upgrade YNGodess by increasing space and updating a breakroom and bathroom. Casey also wants to renovate the former Alberty’s Drug Store space and move the DelPlato Casey Law Office into the space.

Batavia City Council will discuss those projects tonight, and the full details of those proposals can be found at TheBatavian.com.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling the Inflation Reduction Act a product of persistence. Schumer says he hopes the legislation would endure as a defining feat of the 21st century. The Democrat touted the ability of his party to get landmark legislation passed without the help of any Republicans. Schumer also believes that the bill will help Democrats come the midterm elections, saying not only did the bill address the concerns of the American people but also showed them the party could get things done amid a polarized political landscape. The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives.

If you’re into polka music, well Batavia Downs is where you’ll want to be in a few weeks. The Buffalo TV show “Polka Buzz” is taping at the downs on Thur., Aug. 25. The dance party program features the top polka bands in the country, including “The Buffalo Touch,” who will be featured during the tapings at Batavia Downs. Tickets for the taping are available on the Batavia Downs website or at Lucky Treasures Gift Shop.

Weekend News Brief

After President Biden and Governor Hochul both announced states of emergency due to Monkeypox, Monroe County’s top doctor says the county is not in a crisis.  Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza says “We are not in a crisis – far from it.  We are simply asking everyone to stay informed, to know your risk, and to take precautions.”  He warns returning college students that monkeypox is spread primarily through what he terms, vigorous skin to skin contact and that while vaccination is ideal, the best way to avoid contracting the virus is avoiding behaviors that spread it.  Right now 96 percent of cases are in men who engage in sexual activity with men.  Condoms do not reduce the risk of transmission. 

Gov. Hochul announced Friday a new “Tackle Box” mobile feature to enhance fishing-related tourism in the state.  The feature will help provide New Yorkers with information on all NYS fishing regulations, bodies of water, fishing access sites, and even photos to help identify certain types of fish.  The “Tackle Box” feature is available on the “HuntFishNY” app, which is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.  A fishing or hunting license is not necessary to use the feature.

On Thursday, August 25, 2022, the Batavia City School District will host the official dedication ceremony for the Frank E. Owen Auditorium at Batavia High School.  The ceremony will begin at 7:00 pm in the auditorium and will include an official ribbon cutting, and performances by Batavia High School music students, alumni, staff, and community members.  The evening will feature remarks from Superintendent Jason Smith, Batavia High School Principal Paul Kesler, and Batavia High School Music Department Chair Jane Haggett. The ceremony will also include an appearance by Frank E. Owen’s son, Jim Owen.

August 11th the Genesee County Health Department will be hosting a free drive through rabies clinic from 4 to 7pm at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.  All dogs, cats and ferrets are required to be vaccinated by law.  Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car maximum.

Frontier Airlines is changing where it goes from Buffalo starting in October.  It will no longer offer direct flights to Cancun, Mexico and Fort Myers Florida.  August 9th the airline will begin offering direct flights to Las Vegas.  Right now Frontier offers 7 destinations direct from Buffalo International Airport.  

Frightworld, America’s Screampark will return this Halloween season for its 20th anniversary.  The attraction will open again at 1001 Hertel Ave in Buffalo. Five haunted attractions will be available at the event, which is the largest of its kind in the country.  For the 20-year anniversary, Frightworld plans to feature new themes, designs, and effects.  No dates have been announced yet.

Afternoon News Brief

403 East Oak Orchard Street, Medina

A fire in Medina caused extensive damage to a house and destroyed a recreational vehicle. Yesterday afternoon, firefighters were dispatched to 403 East Oak Orchard Street. The RV was parked close to the house, and upon arrival, the firemen saw fire rolling up from the RV and on to the side of the residence. A Medina police officer forced entry into the house and rescued the homeowner’s dog and confirmed there were no occupants at home. The RV is a total loss and damage estimates to the structure are approximately $50,000. The Red Cross and other family members are assisting the family of four. At this time, Medina and Orleans County investigators ruled that the fire was accidental. Photo credit: Medina Fire Department

 

 

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for a $3.72 million financial investment by Ivy Village Corp. that would create 20 units of market-rate senior housing in the village of Le Roy. Ivy Village Corp. plans to build market rate residential units in three phases with each phase calling for the construction of 10 duplex residences. The development is located on 16 acres off Lake Street with easy access to village amenities and is a twenty-minute drive to downtown Rochester. The GCEDC board also granted mortgage, property and sales tax incentives totaling about $805,000.

 

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting a free drive-thru anti-rabies immunization clinic on Thursday, August 11th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Genesee County Fairgrounds. New York State Public Health Law requires all dogs, cats and domestic ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies after they reach the age of 4 months. Animals must also remain up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and owners can be fined up to $200 if they fail to get their pets vaccinated and keep them up to date. Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car please. For more information, call 344-2580 or click over to GOHealthNY.org

 

 

A free household hazardous waste collection has been set for September 17. The collection is open to Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston County residents. It will take place 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Batavia and is by appointment only. Those interested may check www.glowsolidwaste.org. They may also call (585) 815-7906. The number of open appointments is limited.

 

Governor Hochul says progress is being made in the ongoing fight against gun violence. Since the start of the year, State Police have seized close to 800 firearms, which is an increase of 104-percent compared to the same time period in 2021. The governor says that statistic was boosted when a specialized Gun Trafficking Interdiction Unit carried out a months-long investigation that led to a large cache of firearms being seized and multiple arrests being made. Overall, more than 3100 gun seizures have been reported by all law enforcement agencies in the state.

 

Officer Mazurkiewicz

A community charity walk is taking place this weekend to honor a Rochester police officer that was killed in the line of duty. Operation Patriot Foundation says registration for the event at The Mall at Greece Ridge Center in Rochester will begin at 8:00am tomorrow and the walk is set to start at 9:15am. There is going to be a short ceremony held in memory of Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz who lost his life after being shot by 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers last month. A minimum donation of ten-dollars per person is being requested and all proceeds will go to Mazurkiewicz’s family.

 

 

A Buffalo man is in some serious legal trouble after he allegedly threatened to kill African American people at grocery stores around the city. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says days after the May 14th mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops that left 10 people dead and three others hurt, 24-year-old Rolik Walker created a Twitter account and posted messages claiming he and his associates were targeting four stores and were only looking to kill African Americans. Walker also tried to mask his online activity using a virtual private network. If convicted, he’s facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is warning the State Government that now is the time to rein in spending. New York State is projected to be 13.7 billion dollars in the red over the next 5 years because of the decline in tax revenue due to downturns in the stock market and the economy. Hawley has historically been critical of the states spending, which he observes is more than Texas and Florida combined, and too heavily reliant on getting funding from the federal government. He called on the state to suspend the employer contribution to the interest assessment surcharge fund through 2023. This fund is to pay back borrowed money that went to paycheck protection programs during COVID to the federal government and it does it by having business owners chip in money that Hawley says puts a burden on them. He is now advocating that state officials take a hard look at ways to cut waste while still taking care of resident’s basic needs.

 

The Buffalo Bills are back on the field at Highmark Stadium today as they continue to get ready for the upcoming NFL season. The Return of the Blue and Red practice is being held at 5:30pm at the stadium located in Orchard Park. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office says there will be traffic pattern changes around the stadium. They include a section of Abbott Road near the facility shutting down from 2:00pm until after the practice is over. All parking lots are set to open at 3:00pm and people are asked not to park on the shoulder of any roadways.

 

Sammy Hagar

Fans of Sammy Hagar who were hoping to see the singer in-person this weekend will have to wait a bit longer for that opportunity. Yesterday, Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino announced that his concert scheduled for 8:00pm tomorrow has been postponed. Hagar sent out a statement saying that he’s currently battling a sinus infection and isn’t able to take the stage. Tickets that were purchased will be honored for the rescheduled performance, but that date hasn’t been set yet.

 

 

 

New Yorkers who are looking to change the preferred gender on their license can now do it online. Officials say that in-person visits to the Department of Motor Vehicles are no longer required to make the change. The state introduced “X” as a gender marker for driver’s licenses, permits, and non-driver IDs earlier this year. DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder says the online process is private and simple, adding one small letter can make a monumental impact on someone.

 

Morning News Brief

U.S Attorney Trini E. Ross announced Thursday that a Buffalo man was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill Black people at a number of grocery stores in the Buffalo area.  Twenty-four-year-old Rolik Walker was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with making an interstate threat.  Two days after the May 14 mass shooting at a Jefferson Ave Tops grocery store, Walker created a Twitter account called “@ConklinHero.” Walker allegedly tweeted from this account that he and his “associates” planned to target a number of Buffalo grocery stores and that they were “only looking to kill Blacks.”  The charges against Walker carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Independent Living of Genesee Region has joined the call to cancel the Reawaken America Tour at Cornerstone Church next week with a statement about standing against racism.  Over the past few weeks a group of clergy and social activists led by Presbyterian Pastor Alkhouri have been protesting and saying the event is white supremacist, divisive and hate filled and the Equity Statement released by ILGR follows the same lines.  It reads: “Independent Living of the Genesee Region unequivocally believes all forms of hate and violence directed against people based on their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, size, immigration, economic, or housing status has no place in our community.  We are in opposition to all discrimination and racism.  We stand with all members in unity for our community.  Independent Living of the Genesee Region will always be committed to stand with our community and will fight prejudice, discrimination, racism, and bigotry as we continue to advocate for tolerance, inclusion and understanding.”  They also posted a petition that attempts to link the ReAwaken America Tour to the Tops shooter in Buffalo and posts several links about the Great Replacement Theory. 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is warning the State Government about their spending.  New York State is projected to be 13.7 billion dollars in the hole over the next 5 years because of a drop in the stock market and projected recession causing a tax deficit.  Hawley hasn’t been shy about criticizing the states spending being more than Texas and Florida combined and relying heavily on getting extra funding from the federal government to cover gaps.  He called on the state to suspend the employer contribution to the interest assessment surcharge fund through 2023. This fund is to pay back borrowed money that went to paycheck protection programs during COVID to the federal government and it does it by having business owners chip in money that Hawley says puts a burden on them.  Hawley says the state can “tighten its belt and take a hard look at how we can cut waste while still taking care of our resident’s basic needs.”

The Genesee youth Court is looking for new members.  8th through 11th graders are invited to apply to learn more about the ins and outs of the court system and help those who are facing disciplinary action from schools or law enforcement.  Youth Court members learn about the judicial process & law enforcement; develop group decision-making, leadership and public speaking skills; participate in all roles of the courtroom: judge, prosecution, defense, and bailiff.  Applications are due by August 12th.  Interviews of potential candidates will take place in August and September with the training to begin in October.  Download the application by following the link at WBTAi.com.

https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/youthbureau/youthcourt.php

Afternoon News Brief

Today marks the 51st day in a row that gas prices nationally have not increased. According to Triple A this morning, the average price per gallon of regular gas is $4.14; the state average is $4.49. In Batavia, the average cost per gallon is $4.47; the same as it was yesterday, down 3 cents from a week ago and 34 cents from a month ago. However, we still have a ways to go before we get back to $3.20, which was the average price one year ago today.

 

The Genesee County Health Department is seeking information about the location of a dog and its owner(s) following a dog bite. The incident occurred on Tuesday, August 2, around 9am, on Jerome Place near East Main Street. The dog approached a person on Jerome and bit the individual’s arm. After the incident, the dog ran west across Main Street and was almost struck by a car. The dog was described as dark gray with a bright blue collar, resembling either a pit bull or bulldog. It is important to locate the dog to determine whether or not it is current on its rabies shot. If the health status is not identified, post-exposure rabies shots will be offered to the victim. If you have information about this dog and its owner(s), please contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

 

39-year-old Linda Snyder of Batavia is charged with abandonment of, and torturing or injuring an animal. Snyder is accused of striking a dog with a broom multiple times and leaving the animal outside in the middle of the night March 11, at a residence on Highland Park. Snyder was issued an appearance ticket. ALSO: 18-year-old Taiya Rolle of Batavia, is charged with attempted assault, reckless endangerment, and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident. Rolle was charged following an incident reported on Liberty Street, Batavia at noon July 4. She was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance. ALSO: 29-year-old Ashley Hightower of Batavia has a long list of charges filed against her, including unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. (As well as, failure to stop at a stop sign, illegal signal/less than 100 feet, speeding, and failure to obey traffic control device.) Hightower is accused of multiple traffic infractions after police attempted to pull her over (on July 16th), because at that time, she allegedly accelerated and refused to stop. Hightower is accused of fleeing from police from West Main Street to East Main Street, Batavia, before finally pulling over at Eastown Plaza. She was taken into custody and issued multiple traffic tickets and an appearance ticket.

 

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted 35-year-old Lakeisha Gibson of Albion, accusing her of the crime of criminal possession of weapon (third degree, a class D felony), menacing (second degree, a class A misdemeanor), and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly threatening to stab a person with a pair of scissors while in the presence of three children under 17 on April 14, 2022 in the City of Batavia. Gibson was previously convicted of the crime of attempted criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor, on January 14, 2020. This conviction forms the basis for count one in the indictment.

 

Sandra Doorley

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley has revealed the charges that the man accused of killing a Rochester police officer has been indicted on. Doorley says 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers is accused of committing multiple crimes including aggravated murder and that he could spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted. Officials say Vickers shot Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz and his partner, Officer Sino Seng, while they were on a detail on Bauman Street last month. Mazurkiewicz died after being wounded but Seng survived.

 

Starting today, all in-person visits at both the Erie County Holding Center and Erie County Correctional facility are suspended. The sheriff’s office said last night that this change is due to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases. The suspension is temporary and is expected to only last through August 11th. Up until July 5th, in-person visits at both facilities weren’t allowed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

For the fourth time since the beginning of July, the Niagara County Department of Health has issued an advisory involving Olcott Beach. Officials are telling people not to swim there due to the quality of the water. They say a high bacteria count was detected earlier this week and the beach will only be back open for swimming once it’s safe. Anyone with questions can contact the principal public health engineer at 716-439-7451.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs started out strong in yesterday afternoon’s game against Amsterdam; they tied the series with a final score of 8-1, which forced game 3. In the end, the Amsterdam Mohawks were able to close out the series; they won, with a final score of 7-2.

 

The New York State Fair is less than three weeks away, and today people have the opportunity to get all-day ride passes for just $20. The sale runs until midnight and the wristbands will be good for use on any day. During the fair, the midway is going to be up and running from 11:00am until 11:00pm Monday through Friday and from 11:00am until midnight Saturday and Sunday. This year’s fair runs from August 24th through September 5th. To purchase a wristband, visit innovativeticketing.com.

 

Morning News Brief

The man accused of killing officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz and wounding Officer Sino Seng in an ambush style shooting on July 21st has been indicted on 8 charges.  21 year old Kelvin Vickers of Boston is charged with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, attempted murder, 2 counts of assault, and 2 counts of criminal possession of a weapon.  He is also accused of shooting a 15 year old girl who was in the path of fire in her own home when he shot the police officers.  Vickers has a long criminal record, dating back to age 12 when he was accused of assaulting a police officer in his home state of Massachusetts.  Vickers had been released from a correctional facility in Boston May 24 after serving time for possession of a weapon.

An investigation is underway after a large portion of the Buffalo River shoreline near the DL&W Station collapsed.  According to an NFTA spokesperson, the 12-foot-by-200-foot section of shoreline at the east end of the DL&W Station collapsed around 1:15 a.m. Saturday. The incident did not have an impact on NFTA operations as the area has been closed to the public for several months due to an unrelated project that is in a different area. Barriers and markers are in place.  A marine contractor has been retained and an underwater investigation is underway. An estimated cost to repair the shoreline is not available at this time.  The United States Coast Guard, the Buffalo District of the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Buffalo are assisting the NFTA.

There are 9000 openings for nurses in New York State and Governor Hochul’s office just announced the first 1000 winners in the Nurses for Our Future scholarship program.  The governor had announced that New York was trying to bolster its nursing workforce by helping pay for their education.  The Scholarship program is designed to recruit and train healthcare professionals.  Hochul plans to increase the healthcare workforce by 20 percent over the next 5 years.  

The demolition has begun on the old Cary Hall to the east of the YMCA building to make room for the new Healthy Living program building for Rochester Regional Health and GLOW YMCA.  The new 78 thousand square foot facility will serve as a one stop shop for health concerns, chronic illnesses, cancer prevention and community education services.  There will also be a childcare drop in center.  The construction is set to be completed in 2023, with setting up the infrastructure to start in September.

Afternoon News Brief

Michael Salamone

Following an investigation that included the Wyoming County District Attorney’s office, 25-year-old Michael Salamone of Perry was arrested and charged with assault in the second degree, causing injury to a person less than 7 years old and endangering the welfare of a child. Following hospitalization, the 10-week-old injured child was found to have a broken leg. In March, Salamone was charged with throwing a 10-month-old puppy (the dog was not injured). For the present charge, he was arraigned in Perry Village Court and was committed to the Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail ($100,000 bond, or $200,000 partially secured). Salamone will return to Perry Village Court on September 13.

 

Lorenzo Baker

19-year-old Lorenzo Baker of Batavia has been indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury. Among the charges against him include attempted assault first degree, a class C violent felony, three counts of criminal possession of a weapon 2nd degree, a class C armed violent felony, and reckless endangerment first degree, a class D felony, after allegedly possessing a loaded firearm, a .32 caliber Revolver, and recklessly engaging in conduct that created a grave risk of death to another person after he allegedly discharged the loaded firearm in the direction of a crowd of people in the City of Batavia on February 13, 2022. In count 2, Baker allegedly knowingly possessed a loaded firearm in the City of Batavia on April 18, 2022. At approximately 12:29 PM, the Batavia Police Department arrested Lorenzo J. Baker for criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, following a traffic stop where he was allegedly found to be in possession of a loaded revolver.

 

State authorities have lifted a ban that had previously stopped state prison inmates from reading a book about the 1971 Attica Correctional Facility uprising; this, following a First Amendment lawsuit brought by its author. New York State officials, however, said they would continue to censor one small part of the Pulitzer-prize winning book for security reasons. A two-page map of Attica will be removed from copies sent into the prisons. {“Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971”, by Heather Ann Thompson, a historian and professor at the University of Michigan – Published in 2016}

 

Lee Zeldin

Governor Hochul

With just over three months until Election Day, a new poll shows one candidate with a double-digit lead in the race for New York governor. According to the Siena College survey, Governor Hochul is ahead of her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, by 14 points. Hochul, who is a Democrat, took office nearly one year ago after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned and is hoping to secure a full four-year term in November. Zeldin is looking to become the first Republican to be elected as the state’s governor since George Pataki.

 

State Attorney General Letitia James says she’s doing her part to help crack down on those annoying robocalls many Empire State residents receive each day. She has joined a coalition of attorneys general to form a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Taskforce, which will investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies who are responsible for enabling foreign robocalls. James believes that New Yorkers shouldn’t have to worry about being scammed every time they answer their phone. Scams can be reported by using a form that has been posted on the Office of the Attorney General’s website.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs lost the first game of the championship round series to Amsterdam 9-5 and travel back to Dwyer today. Game 2 is a must-win for Batavia to have a chance of winning the best of three. This afternoon players take the field at 4:30; if needed, game 3 starts at 7:30.

 

 

Sandra Doorley

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley will be holding a news conference today to discuss the indictment a grand jury handed up against 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers. He’s accused of shooting Rochester police officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz and his partner Sino Seng last month while they were on a detail on Bauman Street. Mazurkiewicz lost his life in the line of duty but Seng survived. Doorley said last week she wanted to wait until after Mazurkiewicz’s funeral was held before discussing the charges Vickers is facing.

 

 

Moo

The owner of Asha’s Farm Sanctuary in Newfane is in trouble with the law after being accused of stealing cows. Officials say that 59-year-old Tracy Murphy claims the animals wandered onto her property and that she refused to give them back to their rightful owner. The cows were later recovered and returned unharmed. Murphy was arrested yesterday and charged with felony grand larceny.

 

 

 

Robert Dumas

A Buffalo man is facing up to 25 years behind bars after admitting that he had a role in the death of his girlfriend’s infant daughter. Prosecutors say 36-year-old Robert Dumas has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for repeatedly assaulting 17-month-old Simone Calhoun at a home on Hirschbeck Avenue in Buffalo back in September 2020. The girl was taken to Oishei Children’s Hospital but later passed away due to her injuries. Dumas is behind bars without bail and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

 

 

Amazon is offering to help its employees in the region pursue a higher education without them having to pay the large price of tuition. The retail giant says it’ll cover all the fees of hourly workers who decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Brockport. It’s part of Amazon’s more than one-billion-dollar investment towards upskilling 300-thousand of its workers by 2025. Anyone who is interested in applying can find out more information by visiting brockport.edu.

 

Starting today, the 2022 Niagara County Fair has opened at the county fairgrounds on Lake Avenue in Lockport. The event runs through Sunday and will feature food, entertainment, area vendors and more. Admission today through Saturday will cost eight-dollars per person, but on Sunday that price will drop to five dollars per person or 15 bucks per car. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit cceniagaracounty.org.

 

Afternoon News Brief

William Spaulding

A Pike man who repeatedly raped a child was sentenced Thursday in Wyoming County Court to a 10-year state prison term. 21-year-old William Spaulding will also be on 20 years of post-release supervision and have to register as a sex offender. Spaulding was indicted in March and charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, a class A1 felony with a maximum punishment of 25 years to life. The indictment came after a Wyoming County sheriff’s investigation revealed that Spalding repeatedly raped a child under 13 for several months in 2021. The charges carry a maximum term of a life in prison but in June Spalding pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child. Those charges are punishable by up to 25 years but the plea deal called for a sentence of no more than 10 years.

 

Christopher McClinic

Antwan Odom

20-year-old Christopher McClinic, Jr. of Batavia has pleaded guilty to four counts of third-degree burglary and will be sentenced in November. McClinic and 21-year-old Antwan Odom, also of Batavia, were arrested in March after an investigation revealed they had burglarized four houses in Covington in February. Both were charged with four counts of second-degree burglary. Odom was indicted and his case remains pending.

 

According to a state report, at 2.7%, Wyoming County had the lowest unemployment rate in the GLOW region, as of June 30. Genesee County’s unemployment rate was also low at 2.8 percent, with an estimated 900 people unemployed. That marked a 1.6 percent decrease compared to June 2021, when the rate was 4.4 percent with 1,300 people unemployed. Bronx County in the New York City area had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 8.4 percent.

 

The Genesee County Sheriffs Office tells us that reports of a massive brawl of up to 200 people at Six Flags Darien Lake were greatly exaggerated. While there were a few fights in the parking lot Sunday evening, it took no more than 45 minutes to clear out everyone involved and the Pitbull concert proceeded without any issue. Sheriffs from surrounding counties were called in for backup, which was noted to be typical under the circumstances. There were no injuries or major arrests.

 

The Muckdogs shutout the Utica Blue Sox for the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) West Division championship last night at Dwyer; the final score was 6-0. That means, the Muckdogs have advanced to the championship round of a three-game series and are on the road to Amsterdam for the first game tonight. They’re back at Dwyer tomorrow for a 4:30 start and if necessary, game 3 will start at 7:30.

 

Attorney General Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James is urging New Yorkers who have been deceived by cryptocurrency platforms to report their concerns to her office. James says that some high-profile crypto businesses have frozen customer withdrawals, filed for bankruptcy, or announced mass layoffs while investors have been left in financial ruin. The AG is also calling on employees of crypto companies who believe they’ve witnessed misconduct to file a whistleblower complaint. Complaints can be submitted anonymously by using a form that’s posted on the Office of the Attorney General’s website.

 

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles says a civil service exam for people who are interested in working for the agency is now available online. Applicants for Motor Vehicle Representative positions have until 11:59pm on Wednesday, August 31st to take the test. Anyone who wants to be considered for a Motor Vehicle Representative job must meet the minimum qualifications, which include having a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma and a year of customer service experience or 30 semester credit hours of college level courses. The starting annual salary for these positions is more than $37,000.

 

Family members of the people who were killed when Continental Flight 3407 crashed in Clarence Center over a decade ago have been honored in Washington, DC. Yesterday, the FAA dedicated a plaque to those relatives for their hard work to prevent another airline tragedy from happening. Following the February 12th, 2009 tragedy, family members of the victims pushed for things such as the creation of a pilot records database and also additional crewmember training. Those efforts led to legislation being passed in Congress and signed by former President Barack Obama.

 

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider at their next meeting on Thursday, final approval for a $3.72 million financial investment by Ivy Village Corporation. The project would create 20 units of market-rate senior housing in the village of Le Roy. The company proposes to build the residential units in three phases with each phase calling for the construction of 10 duplex residences. The development is located on 16 acres off Lake Street with easy access to village amenities and is a twenty-minute drive to downtown Rochester. Ivy Village Corporation has requested approximately $805,000 in mortgage, property and sales tax incentives.

Morning News Brief

Hundreds of police from the Rochester Police Department and beyond attended the memorial service for slain officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz on Monday at the Blue Cross Arena.  Mazukiewicz was shot from behind while he sat in his patrol car.  His partner, Officer Sino Seng, was also hit in the leg and is recovering.  The crowd included members of RPD’s Tactical Unit, where Officer Mazurkiewicz was remembered as always a professional, and a leader by example.  Officer Paul Romano, Mazurkiewicz’s usual partner, says he spoke non-stop of the love he had for his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.  All 4 of Officer Tony’s children spoke at the memorial.  

After 4 years of investigations a Vine street man has been charged with sexually abusing a child.  62 year old Ronald Washburn was charged with first degree sexual abuse of a 6 year old he was babysitting in April of 2018.  At the time Washburn was a level 1 sex offender.  Washburn is being held in Genesee County Jail with a bail of 5000 dollars.

Gas prices continue to come down a bit at a time this week.  This week we experienced a drop of 15 cents down to 4.21 as the national average.  Last year it was 3.17.  New York State’s average is 4.52 which is only 6 cents down from last week.  In Batavia a gallon of regular will run you 4.49 on average.  According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration, gas demand increased in recent weeks while inventory levels dropped, which could pressure pump prices and slow price decreases if the trend holds. Yet for now, prices continue to drop.

The GLOW Corp. Cup route has been announced for the 5k run on Thursday.  More than 750 runners are starting at Park Ave at 6pm, heading down State Street, turning left onto Washington, left on Bank St, then right on Vine, another right on East and then down to Washington and back to Ellicott Ave. Drivers are asked not to park on the 5k route.  Motorists and residents should know that Park Avenue will close traffic between Lincoln Avenue and State Street from 4:30 to 6:15 pm. Automobiles are encouraged to be parked in driveways along the entire course so that runners and walkers can pass unobstructed.

Batavia now has a place for nutritional beverages at Batavia Total Nutrition on West Main Street.  Owned and operated by the Cordes family, the shake shop opened on Monday in the Valu Plaza and the menu includes protein packed power shakes, energy drinks, and meal replacement drinks.  With over 20 fast food options in Batavia this is the first healthy business in town devoted fully to beverages.  There will be some foods on offer, they are thinking about waffle Wednesdays. 

Morning News Brief

Pastor Roula Alkhouri of First Presbetyrian church in Batavia another protest Saturday against the ReAwaken America Tour coming to Cornerstone Church on Bank Street Rd August 12 and 13th.  The first protest was last Sunday morning outside Cornerstone Church during their Sunday service.  This latest protest was in front of the Batavia City Hall.  Alkhouri said “We’re not accusing anybody of being hateful.  We’re just listening to their words.  Listening to how they’re speaking, how they’re expressing themselves.”  Alkhouri said that the words the ReAwaken America Speakers were bringing are replacing the gospel of Jesus Christ with a message of hate and violence and dividing Americans.  

Rapper Pitbull was in Six Flags Darien Lake Amphitheater Sunday night for the Can’t Stop Us Now Tour but the real action was in the parking lot.  Apparently a large number of fans who did not have tickets started a brawl in the parking lot around 8:30pm.  The fighting spread to encompass about 150 to 200 people.  Police were called in from as far away as Erie and Niagara Counties to quell the violence.  According to eyewitnesses the fighting stayed confined to the parking lot and the concert was not affected, many were ejected and some arrested.  Fighting was over by 10pm.  There are reports of Mercy Flight called to the scene.

2 window washers had to face being stuck up the Xerox Tower in Rochester for 3 hours on Friday after their window washing platform malfunctioned and stopped moving up or down.  According to the Rochester Police Department the pair were stuck halfway down the building, roughly 160 feet in the air.  Firefighters were able to get access to an apartment near where they were hanging and retrieve them safely.  

Kids who love dinosaurs are invited to come to the Haxton Memorial Library in Oakfield’s T-Rex party on Wednesday, at 10 am. There will be stories about dinosaurs, dinosaur dancing, and a special craft activity. And any child knows that dinosaurs were often very hungry, so snacks are also part of the program.  The T-Rex Party is perfect for children ages 2-5 but everyone is invited to attend. Please call the library to register for this fun summer celebration of some prehistoric creatures!  To register or for more information about the programs at the Haxton Memorial Library, please call 585-948-9900.

13 year old Thomas Keele brought a 1,089 pound steer to the auction at the Genesee County 4-H Market Thursday.  He hadn’t stopped working to raise the cow even while mourning his father dying 2 months ago in an accident.  Hurricane would most likely sell for 3-4 dollars a pound and help Keele and his family.  Thomas was in for a surprise when members of his 4-H club fundraised to buy the steer for 31 dollars a pound.  A whopping 32,670 dollars.  The meat will be donated to a food bank in Holland where the Keeles live. 

Weekend News Brief

Following the State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett declaring an imminent public health threat due to monkeypox in New York State on Thursday, Governor Hochul announced a full state disaster emergency by executive order.  The Executive Order specifically extends the pool of eligible individuals who can administer monkeypox vaccines, including EMS personnel, pharmacists and midwives; allows physicians and certified nurse practitioners to issue non patient specific standing orders for vaccines; and requires providers to send vaccine data to the New York State Department of Health. There have been over 4900 reported cases of the virus in the US with almost a third of them being in New York City.  They are nearly all clustered in the LGBT+ community.  The 2 vaccines that have been approved by the FDA for use against monkeypox are repurposed smallpox vaccines ACAM2000 and Jynneos.  Monkeypox has been affecting people in western Africa for over 60 years and was recently spread to a larger community following 2 LGBT+ festivals in western Europe.

7.5 million dollars has been set aside in the Senate Appropriations Bill for the USS The Sullivans for repair and restoration according to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.  Schumer announced he would seek funding for the ship back in April when it began sinking due to leaks below the water line.  In May, once the WW2 era destroyer had been refloated the Erie County Naval and Military Park announced the repairs would enter a maintenance phase until more funding was secured.  Of the $7.5 million, $2.5 million will come from the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund and $5 million will come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Fund.

Milling work is going to be done on Elm Street between Main Street and Fisher Park.  Monday motorists will experience delays from about 7am through 3pm.  The road will be closed to all through traffic.  Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence/property but should plan accordingly for delays.  All residents/businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the operation.  This is weather-dependent work; if work is postponed, it shall progress to the next workday.

Almost all of Western New York and the Finger Lakes region is in a drought watch, as dry conditions persist this summer.  Gov. Kathy Hochul directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a drought watch Friday for 19 upstate counties, which have seen below-normal precipitation the last three months.  The list includes Monroe, Orleans, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Wyoming, Erie and Niagara Counties along with the finger lakes and southern tier counties.  Residents in the affected counties, especially those who rely on private groundwater wells, are urged to conserve water.

The Seneca Park Zoo is in mourning this weekend after the death of a newly born baby Masai Giraffe.  The male calf was born on July 12.  He had lax tendons and had to wear a splint. But zoo officials say the congenital abnormality wasn’t improving, and the calf’s health deteriorated.  Dr. Chris McKinney said in a statement. “We attempted multiple therapies and explored all options, but the joint continued to be too weak to stand up to the normal stress of movement.”  After consultation with other zoos including San Diego and the Bronx the decision was made to euthanize the giraffe. 

Afternoon News Brief

Brett Frank, Director of Public Works

The Department of Public Works tell us that sidewalk replacement will take place in August on five streets in Batavia. The project will include both sides of Seneca, Miller and Columbia avenues, as well as Fisher Park. On Chase Park the sidewalk on part of the south side of the street will be replaced. The work will involve sidewalk replacements as needed, curb ramp installation and sidewalk passing zones (where there are 4-foot walks). If the sidewalk replacements go through a driveway, notice will be provided to residents that they will not have driveway access for up to a week. This is so the sidewalks can set up and cure to provide strength for vehicular traffic. If you have questions, please contact the Director of the Department of Public Works, Brett Frank, at 585-345-6345.

 

George Maziarz

Former State Senator George Maziarz has ended his lawsuit against the Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation. He filed a voluntary discontinuance earlier this week. In May, Maziarz filed suit as a follow up to a state Comptroller’s Office report indicating that officials misused tickets to sporting events and concerts and provided gold-plated health insurance policies to appointed board members. Maziarz was suing to have funds returned to Off Track Betting’s 17 member municipalities, including Genesee County. Maziarz noted that this discontinuance ending the lawsuit was filed at the request of a law enforcement agency and offered no further comment. The detailed story is available at the website of our news partner, The Batavian. Here is a direct link to the story:  https://www.thebatavian.com/mike-pettinella/maziarz-lawsuit-vs-wrotb-voluntarily-dismissed/612923

 

Barn damaged by tornado

The National Weather Service has confirmed it; it was a tornado, and one of the strongest confirmed tornadoes in the GLOW region since 1960. The twister touched down in the town of Java yesterday morning, just 3 minutes after an alert was sent out, near the intersection of Route 78 and Chaffee Road. It was characterized by wind speeds of 115 miles per hour and was over 1500 feet wide. It continued for roughly 10 miles before it tapered off near Gainesville after causing extensive damage. It destroyed a barn and also knocked trees down onto a few houses. Fortunately no injuries were reported to either people or animals.

 

 

Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is encouraging folks to reach out to Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon and Governor Hochul. The Farm Laborer Wage Board will reconvene on September 6 to vote on whether or not they will advance a final report recommending the farm laborer overtime threshold be lowered from 60 hours to 40. The wage board recommended this last January, but still has not released a final report containing recommendations. If they do stick to their earlier recommendation in their final report, it will be Labor Commissioner Reardon’s decision whether or not to accept or reject their recommendations within 45 days. If Reardon advances recommendations to lower the threshold, Governor Hochul would then need to choose whether or not it should be signed into law. Hawley believes if the farm laborer overtime threshold is lowered, it will put financial strain on farmers and encourage all to reach out to Labor Commissioner Reardon and Governor Hochul to urge them not to move forward with this threshold reduction.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs strengthened their hold on first place in the West Division with a win last night against the Auburn DoubleDays; final score was 6-3. Tonight they host Niagara with the game starting at 7:00.

 

 

Gerald Steve Pigeon

Former Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Steve Pigeon has found out his punishment for bribing a State Supreme Court judge. Yesterday, Pigeon was sentenced to spend one year in prison after admitting that he helped the judge get jobs for family members and also gave him free tickets to Buffalo Sabres games. In exchange, Pigeon received information about lawsuits that he was connected to. Earlier this week, Pigeon received a four-month sentence for helping arrange an illegal donation to the 2014 re-election campaign of former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

 

New Yorkers are hoping luck is on their side as they try to win the second-largest prize in the history of the Mega Millions lottery game. Whoever picks all six winning numbers ahead of tonight’s drawing will win at least one-point-one billion dollars. The biggest Mega Millions jackpot was more than one-point five billion dollars back in 2018. Tickets cost $2.00 each and the drawing will be streamed live online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

The monkeypox virus that’s been spreading rapidly across New York State is now being called an imminent threat to public health. That declaration by the state Department of Health Commissioner Mary Bassett means that local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities, will be able to access additional state reimbursement after other funding sources are maximized. New York State is leading the nation with monkeypox infections, most of which are in New York City; at last count, Monroe County has six confirmed cases. Monkeypox is commonly spread through exposure to an infected person’s lesions or respiratory droplets. Governor Hochul says 110,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine will be arriving in the next few weeks. Roughly 80,000 doses will go to New York City and the remaining doses will be distributed around the state.

 

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz

Memorial services are going to begin this weekend for the Rochester police officer that lost his life in the line of duty. The wake for Anthony Mazurkiewicz is set for Sunday from 1:00pm until 8:00pm at the Richard H. Keenan Funeral Home on Pittsford-Palmyra Road in Fairport. On Monday, Mazurkiewicz’s funeral is going to be held at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. Mazurkiewicz died after being shot while on a detail on Bauman Street by 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers. His partner was injured but survived.

 

Jakubonis and Zeldin

Updated information: The man accused of attacking New York Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin is going to stay behind bars until more is known about his mental health. The attack happened last Thursday while Zeldin was giving a speech at a VFW post outside of Rochester. Yesterday, 43-year-old David Jakubonis faced a federal judge and his attorney said that he’s a mentally-scarred war veteran with a drinking problem who suffers from severe anxiety and a panic disorder. Jakubonis is due back in court on August 24th. Zeldin wasn’t hurt in the attack.

 

Morning News Brief

It’s been confirmed that a tornado classified EF-2 touched down for about 15 minutes in Wyoming county on Thursday morning.  The twister came down in Java and went across country to Gainesville along rt 78 blowing down several barns and ripping up hundreds of trees and bushes.  Although apparently a dog in his doghouse was transported across a street and a barn full of cattle was reduced to just one board, no injuries were reported in either people or animals.  Meteorologists stated that this tornado was unusually strong for this area of the country.  An alert was sent out 3 minutes before the funnel touched down.  Wind speeds were roughly 115 miles per hour and the tornado was over 1500 feet wide.  

On Thursday, New York State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett declared monkeypox to be an “imminent threat to public health”. The declaration will allow the state to access more resources to fight the outbreak.  New York State is leading the nation with monkeypox infections, most contained to New York City.  Monroe County has six confirmed cases as of Thursday.  The state and county have been rolling out monkeypox vaccines, available now to men who have sex with men, the demographic health officials say have been most affected by the outbreak so far.  Health officials say that, while most of the people who have contracted the disease are in the LGBT+ community, since it is spread by close prolonged physical contact, technically anyone could get it.

The man who arranged for and then kidnapped his children from a foster care facility in Rochester in January 2021 has been sentenced to 115 years to life in prison.  The judge, Victoria Argento, called Dimitri Cash a “pathetic excuse for a human being,” and said that “I hope you never see the light of day.”  Cash and his cousin Joenathan broke into the foster home and duct taped residents to chairs before kidnapping the children that were there because Dimitri was physically abusing them at home.  The children were recovered in the state of Alabama days later.  Their foster mother said in court Thursday that they still relive the trauma of that night.  The two perpetrators were also accused of planning to kill the family court judge overseeing their case.  Joenathan was sentenced to 3 consecutive 25 year sentences.  The children are being adopted by their foster parents.

Despite calls to stop the tour from coming to Batavia and fears of extremists and radicals coming to the ReAwaken America tour featuring retired General Michael Flynn, Mike Lindell, and Eric Trump among dozens of other national names as speakers, the Genesee County Legislators say their concerns are mostly about traffic and not about any disturbances.  County Manager Matt Landers said that the Sheriffs Office has reached out to other places that hosted the event and found that no “disruptions, any kind of fights, any kind of lawlessness. None of those have occurred in the research done by the Sheriff’s office.”

The Lawsuit brought by former State Senator George Maziarz against Western Region Off Track Betting has been voluntarily dropped.  In May, Maziarz, who represented Niagara County in the State Senate from 1995-2014, took legal action against WROTB and its leadership, following up on a state Comptroller’s Office report that officials of the public benefit company misused tickets to sporting events and concerts and provided gold-plated health insurance policies to appointed board members.  Maziarz was suing to have funds returned to WROTB’s 17 member municipalities, including Genesee County.  Maziarz stated to the Batavian, “My lawsuit against Western Regional Off-Track Betting has been voluntarily withdrawn at the request of a law enforcement agency.” He had no further comment.

Afternoon News Brief

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued a reminder warning to residents about an ongoing text phishing scheme. The agency says scammers are sending messages where they’re impersonating financial institutions and claiming that a customer’s account has been compromised due to unusual activity. But, the messages are actually an attempt to get people to share personal information such as their social security number, credit card information or bank account number. Anyone who gets a fraudulent text message should delete it immediately.

“We urge all New Yorkers to take extreme caution if they receive any type of correspondence from a financial institution requesting personal information or that an account has been compromised,” said State Police Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen in a news release. “Even if a text message or website looks valid, do not provide any information without confirmation. We want to remind people to contact their financial institution first and to check statements regularly to ensure they are not a
victim of fraud.”

Anyone who receives a fraudulent text message should delete it immediately. If a person receives such a message, they should:

1) Inspect the sender’s information to confirm that the message was generated from a legitimate source, but don’t click on the link or call the number on the text.
2) Do not respond to the text. Even writing STOP will let the scammer know your number is genuine, and they may sell your number to other scammers, making the problem worse.
3) Remember, banks will never ask you to provide confidential information through text. Requests to do so, as well as poor spelling or grammar, are telltale signs of a scam.
4) If you are suspicious, call the alleged bank or financial institution directly to understand the protocols for alerting customers of potential fraud.
5) Do not post sensitive information online. The less information you post, the less data you make available to a cyber criminal for use in developing a potential attack or scams.
6) Keep an eye out for misspelled words, which are used to bypass a phone carrier’s filter system for fraud.

One simple method for preventing spam texts is to block unknown senders from your cell phone:
1) Go to settings on your phone
2) Click on messages or block numbers, depending on your phone type.
3) Hit “Filter Unknown Senders” or tap on “Block Numbers,” depending on your phone type.

For more information on phishing scams, as well as steps to mitigate a phishing attempt, visit the NYS Office of Information Technology Services Phishing Awareness resources page at https://its.ny.gov/resources. For more consumer protection tips, follow the Division of Consumer Protection on social media at Twitter: @NYSConsumer and Facebook: www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

 

Jakubonis and Zeldin

The man accused of attacking Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin was in federal court in Rochester late this morning. Last week, 43-year-old David Jakubonis approached Zeldin while he was making a campaign stop in Monroe County. Jakubonis had a weapon in his hand but was taken to the ground before Zeldin could be hurt. During court proceedings today, Judge Marian Payson reserved decision at this time and Jakubonis remains in custody. The Judge asked for further information, including an opportunity to review videos of the defendant’s interview with law enforcement following his arrest as well as the actual incident, and information regarding Jakubonis’s mental health and substance abuse history and treatment. A status hearing is scheduled for August 24th at noon. Jakubonis is facing up to 10 years in prison if he’s convicted of assaulting a member of Congress.

 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that the vast majority of $567 million dedicated to help low-income electric and gas utility customers pay off past due bills, would soon be reflected on their accounts. At the direction of the Governor, the Department of Public Service, worked with the state’s major utilities to credit customers’ accounts. The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant financial hardship for New Yorkers, particularly low-income consumers. Since March 2020, the number of customers more than 60 days behind in their electric and gas utility bills and the total dollar amount owed across all the customers statewide, had grown to unprecedented levels. It’s anticipated that low-income customer credits will be posted to accounts beginning August 1 and consumers can expect to see the credit on their next billing cycle.

 

The American Red Cross is experiencing a drop in blood and platelet donations this summer. Red Cross officials say donations are down nearly 20 percent. This could lead to a seasonal shortage—which can affect patients in hospitals all across the country. Type O negative blood donors are especially needed now. Locally, the next two blood drives will be held next week: On Tuesday, August 2nd at the New York State School for the Blind from 10am – 3pm, and on Thursday, August 4th at Northgate Free Methodist Church on Bank Street, from 1-6pm. Donors need to make an appointment ahead of time and by doing so, will be entered to win a $10 e-gift card. Donors can schedule an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

Gerald Steve Pigeon

Former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon has been sentenced to spend the next four months behind bars after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say Pigeon helped arrange an illegal donation to the 2014 re-election campaign of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, but The Buffalo News reports that neither Cuomo nor his campaign was aware of Pigeon’s actions. Once Pigeon is out of jail, he’ll be on post-release supervision for one year. He is expected to be back in court today to be sentenced for bribing a state judge.

 

Kelvin Vickers

The suspect arrested in connection with the deadly shooting of a Rochester police officer has been indicted by a grand jury. Prosecutors say 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers shot Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz while he was on a police detail on Bauman Street last Thursday. Mazurkiewicz’s partner, Officer Sino Seng, was injured but survived. Officials have not said if Vickers knew the two people he allegedly shot were police officers.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs won last night against their rival the Tarp Skunks; the final score was 6-1. They’re back at Dwyer tonight to host Auburn. The game gets underway at 7:00.

 

 

Jonathan Jordain

A former Gates Chili Central School District student is in trouble with the law after police say he made a threat against the high school. According to investigators, 24-year-old Jonathan Jordain posted a message on social media saying that he was going to shoot up the school. All schools in the district were placed on lockout yesterday and Jordain, who claimed he was just quoting rap music lyrics, was later taken into custody. He was arraigned in Gates Town Court and is being held in Monroe County Jail charged with felony making a terroristic threat. In 2015, 13 WHAM news reported a Gates Chili student named Jonathan Jordain was arrested for breaking into the high school, armed with a knife. He had also allegedly tweeted about killing students and teachers. It is not known at this time whether or not this was the same individual that was just charged.

Morning News Brief

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer announced a Federal Semiconductor Incentive, Scientific Research and Technological Competitiveness bill to bring manufacturing back from overseas.  The CHIPS bill sets about 60 billion dollars on the table to incentivize semiconductor chip manufacturers to build in the US.  Schumer says that the Western NY STAMP technology park in the town of Alabama will be a great place for these companies to go.  The reason for this bill is there is a semiconductor shortage plus most high end semiconductors are manufactured in Taiwan which is being threatened by China.  China has threatened to invade the island nation and cut off the west from semiconductors.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning a visit to Taiwan and China says if she does there will be dire consequences.

A grand jury in Monroe County has indicted the man accused of shooting and killing Officer Anthony Mazurkiewics and wounding Officer Sino Seng last Friday.  21 year old Boston resident Kelvin Vickers is accused of second degree murder and second degree attempted murder.  Mazurkiewicz, 54, was a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department.

A man from Gates was arrested for making terrorist threats against his former high school Wednesday.  24 year old Jonathan Jordain posted on Facebook that he was planning to shoot up his high school on Wednesday.  Police were alerted and Gates Chili High School was put on lockdown.  Jordain was arrested shortly after on Main Street in Rochester.  He says he was just quoting rap lyrics.  Jordain is being held in Monroe County Jail charged with felony making a terroristic threat.  In 2015, 13WHAM news reported a Gates Chili student by the same name was arrested for breaking into the high school, armed with a knife. He had also allegedly tweeted about killing students and teachers. Neither the police chief nor the superintendent could confirm on Wednesday whether it is the same Jonathan Jordain.

The director of Emergency Communications for the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has resigned his position.  Steven Sharpe has been with the Sheriff’s Office for a long time.  In 2016, Sharpe, an Air Force veteran, was named Public Safety Access Point Finest Director of the Year award.  Sharpe was instrumental in migrating the Emergency Dispatch Center to the Phase II P-25 TDMA radio system installed by Harris RF in 2013.  His resignation is effective September 3rd and Sheriff Sheron says “Search for his replacement will begin shortly,” and “There will be no interruption to dispatch services.”

Catholic Charities has received a $65,000 grant from the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging of Rochester Area Community Foundation to continue to support Genesee County residents through its Home Visitation Program, which provides weekly visits to homebound adults 60+ who live independently or with family.  The purpose of the program is to bring a sense of connectivity and friendship to program members. Volunteers engage in friendly conversation, partake in hobbies and special interests such as reading, crafts, baking or card games. Visits also may include phone calls. This grant is for a one-year period.  Even with the grant the program needs volunteers to visit.  For more information and if interested in participating or becoming a volunteer, please call the Batavia office at 585-343-0614.

Afternoon News Brief

At the city Planning and Development Committee meeting, the focus of much discussion was on farm animals – and how to enforce restrictions, and which animal species should or should not be allowed in the city. In the end last night, the group agreed to put forth a recommendation, to use City Manager Rachael Tabelski’s drafted resolution, with a few alterations. The changes included: limiting chickens to six, banning roosters from being kept in the city, and requiring city residents to register their animals by a certain date, to be determined by council if it adopts the recommendation, or not be allowed to keep the animal on their city properties. Registering the animals will allow folks that already have chickens, goats and the like to keep them, and should make it easier to track who has what and where. This will next go to City Council for review and eventually a vote. And a public hearing will be scheduled before a final decision is made. The resolution by Rachael Tabelski “restricts people from owning, bringing into, possessing, keeping, harboring or feeding farm animals, cloven-hoofed animals, equine or fowl, including but not limited to cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, swine, lamas, alpaca, ducks, turkey, geese, feral cats, ponies, donkeys, mules or any other farm or wild animal within city limits.”

Exceptions include:

Chickens, as long as they are penned appropriately, do not accumulate feces or cause odor or an unsightly or unsafe condition. The addition, if approved, would limit them to six.
Harborage, including transport to and from race tracks and all associated grounds.
Special events with the approval of an event application.
Animals in transit through the city.

Transport to and from veterinary hospitals/clinics, including short-term boarding for medical procedures/conditions.
No person shall permit an accumulation of animal and/or fowl feces on any property resulting in a foul odor or unsightly condition that makes travel or residence in the vicinity uncomfortable, or which attracts flies or other insects of animals, thereby creating an unsanitary condition and may facilitate the spread of disease of which endangers the public comfort and repose.

The registration requirement would be for people already with farm animals on their properties. If they don’t register an animal by the deadline, it would have to go.

(The comprehensive story is available at the website of our news partner, The Batavian: https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/got-farm-animals-in-the-city-a-mandatory-registry-may-be-for-you/612665 )

 

Scott Campagnola

Diane Mankowski

A Shirley, NY couple has been arrested. Wyoming County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Wal-Mart Store in Warsaw after receiving a call that a larceny was in progress. It was during a traffic stop shortly after on Route 19 in the Town of Warsaw where sheriffs pulled over: 56-year-old Scott Campagnola was the driver of the vehicle; 55-year-old Diane Mankowski was his passenger. The sheriffs found over $3500 ($3,513.20) worth of stolen merchandise in the vehicle and a total of 104 stolen gift cards with a value of over $3600 ($3,615). They also recovered Wal-mart gift cards with over $1400 ($1,437.84) remaining on them. Additional investigation revealed that the pair was involved with a detailed nationwide fraud scheme involving Wal-mart stores. (Wal-Mart Stores from as far west as California and Oregon, and as far east as Florida and Maine, were documented as having been affected by the couple’s fraud scheme.) Campagnola is a four-time convicted felon and was committed to the Wyoming County Jail without bail and is scheduled to return to Warsaw Town Court in August. Mankowski, a one-time convicted felon, was issued an appearance ticket to answer the charge early next month in Warsaw Town Court.

 

Fifty-two organizations in Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston counties will benefit from $400,000 in impact grant investments by the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes. This will include over $100,000 for 19 programs for summer camp and after-school programming, giving children and youth a safe place to socialize and gain new skills in leadership, literacy, art, work; as well as over $50,000 for seven food pantries and Meals on Wheels, helping seniors get proper nutrition and ensuring families have enough food to put a balanced meal on the table.

 

NYS Capitol Building

Some new bills have been signed into law that will expand the rights of New Yorkers who have disabilities. Officials say the goal of these measures is to help disabled individuals thrive. One piece of legislation protects, the decision-making process for people living with these challenges, by creating a formal legal process once they turn 18. Other laws call for a public awareness campaign to combat stigmas surrounding the disabled community while also changing how people with disabilities are referred to in previous legislation.

 

Solar panels – file photo

Governor Hochul announced the state’s approval of the largest solar facility in New York State and it will be built in Oakfield and Elba. The new facility is expected to bring in around $30 million to the county, town, and school district and is additionally expected to bring in 495 jobs. Once the solar facility is completed, it is expected to generate enough energy to power over 125,000 homes and reduce nearly 462,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. The facility will be designed, constructed, and operated by Hecate Energy Cider Solar, LLC.

 

Jefferson Avenue Tops

The eligibility requirements have been set for people who want to claim benefits from the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund. Money will be distributed to individuals who are legal heirs of the 10 people killed in the shooting, those who were struck by a gunshot or suffered some sort of physical injury, people who were present at the time of the shooting and are dealing with mental trauma and Tops employees of the Jefferson Avenue store who were not present at the time of the May 14th shooting. An online application will be available in the coming weeks and that document will need to be completed and returned by September 14th. The hope is the first payments from the fund will be sent out in the coming months.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs won their game against the Elmira Pioneers last night, 9-1. They continue to lead the West Division with their record of 27-14 over the Utica Blue Sox (26-16). Batavia continues their road trip to Jamestown for a game against the Tarp Skunks tonight. They’re back home tomorrow to host Auburn, game time 7:00.

 

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

For the third time since the beginning of July, the Niagara County Department of Health has issued an advisory involving Olcott Beach. Officials are telling people not to swim there due to concerns over the water quality. They say a high bacteria count was detected earlier this week and that the beach is only going to reopen for swimming once it’s safe. Anyone with questions can contact the principal public health engineer at 716-439-7451.

 

Sometimes all you really need is a billion dollars…

Sometimes all you need is a billion dollars. Well, as it turns out, you’re in luck. There was no winner in the Mega Millions drawing last night, and that means an already massive jackpot will grow even larger. No one correctly picked all six numbers, so on Friday there will be at least one-point-zero-two billion dollars up for grabs. The largest prize in the history of the game was over one-point-five billion dollars in 2018. Just four Mega Millions jackpots have been won since the beginning of 2022. The odds of correctly choosing all 6 winning numbers are 1 in 302,000,000. Please play responsibly.

 

Office for the Aging, 2 Bank Street – file photo (hope it’s from the file – no snow please yet!)

There were several delays in the production and shipping, but now they’re ready: The Office for the Aging has received the remainder of the Farmer’s Market Coupons. The delays were caused by problems that have impacted many businesses across the country and the Office for the Aging expressed thanks for the patience that has been shown while they waited to get the coupons in a press release. They also released when they are giving the coupons out. Office for the Aging staff will be handing them out at their office on Bank St from 8 to 4:30 and also at The Goose in Oakfield, Wednesday, the 27th from 9 to 10 a.m., 400 Towers, Thursday, July 28 from 9 to 11 a.m., Washington Towers, Thursday, July 28 from 2 to 4 p.m., the Genesee Country Farmers Market on Friday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to noon and the Le Roy Farmers Market on Saturday, July 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm.

 

Morning News Brief

Monroe County DA Sandra Doorley has recused herself from prosecuting the man who attacked gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin because she has ties to the campaign.  Doorley has attended Zeldin campaign rallies and called Zeldin a friend in the past.  She was also selected to Co-Chair the campaign in the spring but did not take the position because it conflicted with her duties as DA.  However, Zeldin’s campaign listed her as Co-Chair on their website until Monday.  Both Democrats and Republicans have taken issue with Zeldin’s attacker being out of jail within hours of the attack.  Monroe County Sheriffs say they made the decision.  

Governor Hochul announced the state’s approval of the Largest solar facility in New York State and it’s going in Oakfield and Elba.  The new facility is expected to bring in around $30 million to the county, town, and school district and is additionally expected to bring in 495 jobs.  Once the solar facility is completed, it is expected to generate enough energy to power over 125,000 homes and reduce nearly 462,000 tons of CO2 a year.  The facility will be designed, constructed, and operated by Hecate Energy Cider Solar, LLC.

You may have seen or even used the rental scooters or bicycles found stationed around the city of Rochester.  Now, you have the opportunity to rent a car at similar stations.  The City of Rochester is now offering an electric vehicle car sharing program called Flower City Carshare or “FloShare” for short.  The programs offers residents and visitors access to Chevrolet Volts that can be rented on an hourly or daily basis using the Miocar Networks smartphone app.  The vehicles will be available 24/7 and parked at charging stations at St. Mary’s Medical Campus, the Rochester Public Market and Genesee Valley Park.  It’s 5 dollars an hour or 40 for the whole day and yes, the vehicles are insured.  

Invasive worms are eating the Beech Trees and they are spreading throughout the state.  Called Beech Leaf Disease the worms can kill mature trees in 6 to 10 years and saplings in as few as 2 years.  Beech Leaf Disease has now been detected in 35 counties across the state, with 2 cases recently popping up in Monroe County. Experts worry about the long-term impact on wildlife.  The DEC began tracking Beech Leaf Disease in 2018 but a lot about it is still unknown, including how it spreads. However, according to the DEC symptoms to look for are: striping on the leaves in between the veins, a very dark band it raises up, leathery leaves and the outside of the leaves may curl a little, and substantial amounts of leaves falling off a tree.  The state is now asking the public to look out for infected beech trees and report by downloading the iMapInvasives app.

They’re finally here.  After numerous delays in the production and shipping, the Office for the Aging has received the rest of the Farmer’s Market Coupons.  The delays were caused by problems that have been plaguing all businesses across the country and the Office for the Aging expressed thanks for the patience that has been shown while they waited to get the coupons in a press release.  They also released when they are giving the coupons out.  Office for the Aging staff will be handing them out at their office on Bank St from 8 to 4:30 and also at The Goose in Oakfield, Wednesday, the 27th from 9 to 10 a.m., 400 Towers, Thursday, July 28 from 9 to 11 a.m., Washington Towers, Thursday, July 28 from 2 to 4 p.m., the Genesee Country Farmers Market on Friday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the Le Roy Farmers Market on Saturday, July 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm. 

Friday is GLOW with your hands day at Dwyer Stadium.  GLOW With Your Hands is hosting a night at the ballpark with the Muckdogs at 7pm on the 29th to give businesses a chance to do activities that involve working with your hands.  Alleghany Farms, Bricklayers and Allied Contractors Local #3, Summit Street Physical Therapy, Genesee Valley BOCES, and Transfer Virtual Reality will all be attending and offering information, giveaways and hands on activities during the game.  This is a prelude to the larger GLOW With Your Hands event on September 27th at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

Afternoon News Brief

A Genesee County Court jury has found a Corfu man guilty on all counts of sexually assaulting a child. 21-year-old Shawn Myers was found guilty Thursday of first-degree criminal sexual act, a Class B violent felony punishable by up to 25 years in state prison. He also was found guilty of misdemeanor counts of third-degree sexual abuse and sexual misconduct, both of which happened while at Target on Veteran’s Memorial Drive. Myers was found guilty of engaging in anal sexual conduct by forcible compulsion on Jan. 28, 2021 in Batavia. The victim was less than 17 years old. Myers is to be sentenced in September. The verdict came after a four-day trial that included the victim’s testimony.

 

Jakubonis during assault of Lee Zeldon

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has renewed his advocacy to allow judges to make the decision on a case-by-case basis, by rolling back the state’s bail reform law. This follows the recent series of violent incidents that occurred in the state over the last several weeks, including the attempted stabbing of gubernatorial candidate and Congressman Lee Zeldin. Hawley was concerned that Zeldin’s attacker was released from custody following the assault due to the state’s bail reform law, which considers assault in the 2nd degree, the crime Zeldin’s assailant was charged with, to be a non-violent felony. While the suspect was later arrested under a federal charge for assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon, if it weren’t for the federal action, state law would have allowed Zeldin’s attacker to continue walking freely today.

 

Jordan McMurtry

A Silver Lake woman was sentenced Monday in Wyoming County Court to state prison for possessing child pornography. Jordan McMurtry, who has an extensive criminal history that includes one previous stint in state prison, pleaded guilty in May to use of a child in a sexual performance, a felony charge punishable by up to 15 years in prison. She also pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and felony driving while high on drugs. McMurtry has an extensive criminal history. She has been arrested and charged with driving while high on drugs three times since 2014. She served a state prison term for a 2019 conviction for manufacturing meth and has been arrested numerous times for shoplifting and misdemeanor drug possession. The 2019 meth conviction came after she and three others were charged with manufacturing meth in a stairwell and balcony in two residences in the village of Warsaw.

 

Tom Turnbull

Tom Turnbull has come out of retirement to serve as the interim president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. This follows the departure of Erik Fix, who announced in June that he was leaving the position to become the City of Batavia’s Assistant Manager. Mr. Turnbull may be reached by calling 585-343-7440, extension 1029 or by email tturnbull@geneseeny.com

 

 

John Gugino

Three men are in some legal trouble after being arrested at the Garth Brooks concert at Highmark Stadium over the weekend. Officials say 45-year-old John Gugino, who is a former Erie County Sheriff’s Office jail deputy, was charged with harassment and criminal trespassing Saturday night. Gugino was fired from the department in the recent past after pleading guilty to a drug charge. Also, 30-year-old Steven Carnrike is facing charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct while 32-year-old Matthew Costello is charged with criminal trespassing. All three men were released on appearance tickets.

 

The Mega Millions jackpot continues to skyrocket, and New Yorkers are hoping to win one of the largest jackpots in the history of the lottery game. The prize that will go to whoever picks the winning numbers ahead of tonight’s drawing will be at least $810,000,000. The biggest Mega Millions jackpot was more than $1,500,000,000 (billion) back in 2018. A ticket to play is $2.00 dollars; the odds of picking all the winning numbers is roughly 1 in 302,000,000; this evening’s drawing will be streamed live at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Monkeypox on a man’s back – file photo

Another case of the virus that’s been spreading around the globe has been detected in Western New York. The Niagara County Department of Health says that an individual has contracted monkeypox, however officials determined that the risk of it spreading is very low. The incubation period for the virus is one-to-three weeks after exposure and the illness can last up to four weeks. Monkeypox is commonly spread through exposure to an infected person’s lesions or respiratory droplets.

 

The Monroe County Department of Public Health is now offering appointments so people can be vaccinated against monkeypox. An immunization clinic is being held Thursday at the Monroe County Sexual Health Clinic on West Main Street in Rochester and also on Friday at a clinic on Westfall Road in Rochester. In order to get a vaccination, people must meet certain criteria. Anyone who is interested in scheduling an appointment must do so online since walk-ins aren’t permitted: https://www.monroecounty.gov/health-monkeypox-vaccine

 

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz

Memorial services are now set for a member of the Rochester Police Department who was killed in the line of duty. Calling hours for Anthony Mazurkiewicz are taking place Sunday from 1:00pm until 8:00pm at the Richard H. Keenan Funeral Home on Pittsford-Palmyra Road in Fairport and his funeral is happening Monday at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. Mazurkiewicz died last week after being shot while on a detail on Bauman Street by 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers. His partner was injured but survived.

 

Morning News Brief

Inflation has also hit the pencils and plastic folders your kids will need for school this fall.  The National Retail Federation said back-to-school spending has increased by nearly 41% over 2019.  A parent could expect to spend between 60 and 90 dollars on the average back to school item list.  Backpack programs are suffering as the price of supplies has risen.  Avery Stanton organizes a backpack drive every year to help families in need across Monroe County.  This year, he spent $5,000 on 300 backpacks and hasn’t even bought the supplies to go in them yet.  He says that’s $2,000 more than what he spent last year.

Garth Brooks was in town to give highmark stadium a bit of country Saturday night but not everyone was a friend in low places.  3 people were arrested at the concert.  2 men were charged with criminal trespassing and one was arrested for disorderly conduct. 30 year old Steven Carnrike of Lockport, 32 year old Matthew Costello of Youngstown and 45 Year old John Gugino were arrested, processed and released at the stadium.  Gugino is a former Erie County Jail deputy who was fired after being convicted of cocaine possession.  According to his sister, Jill Gugino-Redman, he was arrested when Sheriffs deputies spotted him at the concert and began to accost him and then knocked him to the ground and beat him.  She then had to take him to hospital for a concussion and possible brain bleed.  Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said that the accusations were hearsay.

Crossroads House is having their annual Garage sale starting Thursday and running through Saturday.  They’ve been collecting all year and now the free hospice care center is opening the doors and letting the public in to find their treasures.  Thursday the hours are 9 to 6.  Friday 9 to 4 and everything is 25 percent off and Saturday 9 to noon and everything is 50 percent off.  At the same time the First Baptist Church next door is having a fundraiser so you can stop in and hit both in one trip.

The Genesee County Fair continues out at the fairgrounds.  Today is Celebrate 4-H and Chapin Manufacturing day.  Special today is the parade at 6:30 and Karaoke starting at 7.  There are also goat, hog, and market steer shows going on throughout the day.  Everyday there is pig racing, Niagara down under, pony rides, live chainsaw carving, remote control car racing and today is the last day for Johnny Muxville comedy.  And last but not least the midway with rides and shops and fair food is open.

Afternoon News Brief

State Police tell us that a passenger on a motorcycle died in a collision involving a deer. The accident occurred last night on Cockram Road in the Town of Byron. Investigation revealed that a 1998 Harley Davidson operated by 30-year-old Leland Fuller, IV of Byron was traveling east bound on Cockram Road with a passenger, 28-year-old Daylin Fagundo-Rodriguez, also of Byron. A deer entered the road and was struck by the motorcycle. Both occupants were ejected; Fuller was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Fagundo-Rodriguez was pronounced deceased at the scene. The deer also died at the scene.  The accident remains under investigation.

 

39-year-old James Cooper of Batavia is charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument, following an investigation into a fraudulent $20 bill at a business on Clinton street road in Batavia (last December). Cooper was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to re-appear in Court on August 2.  ALSO, 51-year-old Shannon Guiste of Batavia is charged with burglary and petit larceny after allegedly skip-scanning items without paying for them at Walmart in Batavia. Guiste was previously charged with trespass at Walmart in 2015 after allegedly entering the store unlawfully and allegedly committing a crime. For the present charge, she was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and is scheduled to return to court the end of next month.

 

David Jakubonis

The man who attempted to assault State Senator Lee Zeldin at a campaign rally in Perinton last Thursday was released from custody on his own recognizance within hours of the attack. Zeldin had put out a statement saying that this would be the case because of New York’s lax bail reform laws. However, 43-year-old David Jakubonis of Fairport, an Iraq War veteran, was rearrested within a few hours of being released and is now being held on federal charges. He allegedly climbed on stage with Zeldin and attempted to stab him in the neck with a plastic blade. In response to the charge, Jakubonis said that he was drunk at the time, thought Zeldin was disrespecting veterans but did not know who the speaker was or even that Zeldin was a political person.

 

Kelvin Vickers

The suspect in the murder of a Rochester Police officer and the wounding of another officer last Thursday night has pleaded not guilty to charges in the case. The suspect — 21-year-old Kelvin Vickers of Boston — was arraigned Saturday on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He’s being held without bail in the Monroe County Jail and is due back in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. Police say the two officers were sitting in an unmarked vehicle on patrol on Bauman Street in northeast Rochester when they were shot from behind. Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz was shot and killed. The second officer — Officer Sino Seng — was treated and released from the hospital.

 

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz

More than 100 officers from the Rochester Police Department packed the courtroom Saturday morning for the arraignment of the man charged with the shooting death of one of their colleagues and wounding of another — Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz and Officer Sino Seng. The two were shot Thursday night while sitting in an unmarked car. Mazurkiewicz was killed and Seng survived. At the beginning of the arraignment of the suspect — Kelvin Vickers — Judge Van White called for a moment of silence to honor those lost to gun violence in the city. Meanwhile, residents of the Village of Fairport, near where Officer Mazurkiewicz lived, tied blue ribbons to trees along Main Street in support of his family. Yesterday morning during a church service — 9th Bishop of Rochester Salvatore Matano — called for an end to gun violence.

 

According to Triple A this morning, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas dropped 16 cents nationally in the past week to $4.36 and 11 cents in New York State, to $4.58. A year ago, the state average was $3.19. In Batavia, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas is $4.52, that’s down 36 cents since a month ago but still up $1.35 from one year ago today.

 

Senator Patrick Gallivan

State Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma) is urging Governor Kathy Hochul to sign legislation to increase the penalty for those convicted of operating a boat while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs when a child 15 years or younger is onboard. Gallivan has co-sponsored a bill (S.947A) to align New York State’s navigation law with “Leandra’s Law,” which provides increased penalties for intoxicated persons who operate a motor vehicle when a child is a passenger. The bill passed the Senate and Assembly in June. It is now up to the governor to decide whether to sign the legislation into law. Leandra’s Law, which passed in 2009, amended state Vehicle and Traffic Law making it a Class E felony to drive while intoxicated with a child as a passenger.

 

Tre’Davious White

Fans packed the stadium at Saint John Fisher University in Rochester yesterday to catch the first training camp for the Buffalo Bills on the campus in two years. Some fans said they were excited by what the saw in the team this year. Cornerback Tre’Davious White was on hand but working on a stationary bike on the sidelines while he continues his recovery from a torn ACL. Training camp will continue until August 11th.

 

Joey Davis George

A Washington State man is facing federal charges after reportedly making threats against a Tops Markets store in Buffalo. Officials say 37-year-old Joey David George called a location on Elmwood Avenue on July 19th and 20th and threatened to shoot Black shoppers. He also went on about a “race war.” George’s threats come just months after 10 people were killed and three more were injured in a racially motivated attack on the Tops market on Jefferson Street.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs lost to the Tarp Skunks on Saturday (3-2) and won their game against Niagara on Sunday (10-6). They hold on to first place in the West Division with their 26-14 record; however, the Utica Blue Sox are close behind in second place (25-15). Today the Muckdogs travel to Elmira for a game against the Pioneers. Their next home game is this Thursday when they take on Auburn. Game time is 7:00.

 

 

Morning News Brief

A group of protesters gathered outside the Cornerstone Church on Bank St Rd Sunday morning attempting to reach members of the church and get them to turn against the leadership who had invited the ReAwaken America Tour to meet there in August.  The protest was organized by Reverend Roula Alkhouri of Batavia First Presbetyrian.  Alkhouri encouraged protestors to bring signs and and messages and to have quote, “no name calling or demonizing messages,” and that the people they are protesting from the tour use, “deceit, lies and fear to divide,” and “promote white supremacy.”  She also compared the tour to the Charlottesville Virginia Rally in 2017 that ended in a woman being killed.  Another protest organizer, Rev Dr Sheila McCullough wrote for The Batavian that “I am afraid the organizers of The Great Awakening vs The Greatest Reset Tour have been bamboozled, hoodwinked, and duped by Russian propaganda.”  The tour was moved from Rochester to Batavia because of death threats against the owner and employees of the location it was to be held.

2 more people were fatally shot in Rochester over the weekend, marking at least 3 dead since the state of emergency over violence was declared Thursday.  The 3 are Police officer Tony Mazurkiewicz who was shot from behind while sitting in his patrol vehicle Thursday night, a man in his 30s shot on Lyle ave around 1:30am Sunday morning, and a man in his 20s shot around 3:30 am on N Clinton Ave on Saturday.  Rochester Major Crimes is investigating the 2 shootings over the weekend.

The man who attempted to assault State Senator Lee Zeldin at a campaign rally in Fairport on Thursday was released from custody on his own recognizance within hours of the attack.  Zeldin had put out a statement saying that this would be the case because of New York’s lax bail reform laws.  The man, 43 year old David Jakubonis of Fairport was rearrested however within a few hours of being released and is being held on federal charges.  He allegedly climbed on stage with Zeldin and attempted to stab him in the neck with a plastic blade which had a punch style handle.  He said he was drunk and had heard Zeldin was disrespecting veterans and didn’t know who he was attacking.  Governor Hochul is also in the spotlight for releasing a schedule of Zeldin’s events and calling on Democrats to RSVP to events which were going to be attended by “dangerous extremist groups” which Zeldin says was a call to violence against him and his campaign.

Batavia Muckdogs and GLOW YMCA volunteers held the Challenger Baseball Series Saturday at Dwyer Stadium. The event was for children with developmental or other disabilities between the ages of 5 and 21.  The YMCA has held this event in the past.  The Muckdogs players appeared to have just as much fun as the kids.  Each participant was given 4 free tickets to Sunday’s game, a team hat, and were on the field with the team for the National Anthem.  

Weekend News Brief

The man who killed officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz and wounded Officer Sino Seng on Thursday night has been identified as 21 year old Kelvin Vickers of Boston Massachusetts.  Around 9:15 pm on Thursday Vickers approached the police car the officers were in from behind and fired 17 shots into the car.  Both officers were struck and a bullet also entered a home nearby and hit a 15 year old girl.  Within an hour, police say they found Vickers – along with a loaded gun – hiding inside a crawl space in a vacant house.  According to RPD, Vickers had “juvenile contacts” for assault and battery on an officer at the age of 12, burglaries, strangulation with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, and two possession of firearms offenses. As an adult, he’s been convicted of possession of an unlicensed firearm.  Vickers has been charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, second-degree assault, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

A man from Lynnwood, Washington was arrested after calling the TOPs Friendly Markets store on Elmwood in Buffalo and threatening to go on a shooting spree against black patrons and start a “race war.”  37 year old Joey David George called the store on July 19th and 20th.  Police were able to trace the number back to his Washington State home and apprehending him.  He was also accused of making similar threats to a restaurant in San Bruno, California.  He was charged with making interstate threats. 

Rochester Lawmakers are calling on the State legislature to allow judges to retain people who have a history of violence.  City Councilman Michael Patterson says his constituents live in fear of leaving their homes.  He wants the state to pass legislation to give judges discretion to detain people without bail if they have a criminal record.  Opponents to the proposal say that it may have a disproportionate effect on black people and it may set a dangerous standard.  

St Jerome’s Urgent Care Center will be closing according to a press release from Rochester Regional Health Friday.  The closing is effective August 1st.  Rochester Regional Health will be opening a new urgent care at the Batavia Medical Campus on Oak Orchard Rd in the spring of next year.  While the new four-story, 115,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building is under construction, RRH continues to offer urgent care services through primary care offices, telemedicine and at United Memorial Medical Center.

A former pastor, marine reservist, and residential coordinator has been named the new Youth Bureau leader.  Daniel Calkins, a 2007 Batavia High School Graduate who spent 6 years in the US Marine Reserves and then got his bachelors degree in Community and Human Services from Empire State college and his Masters of Divinity from North Eastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College.  He then pastored the Next Generation program at Northgate church for 4 years and most recently worked as residential coordinator for the Genesee County ARC now called ARC GLOW.  Calkins says he is excited to share his many ideas and make sure people’s lives in the community are meaningful.

Afternoon News Brief

David Jakubonis and Lee Zeldin

At a campaign rally in Perinton, while speaking before the crowd, gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was grabbed by an attendee who walked up on stage and assaulted. Last night, the man identified as 43-year-old David Jakubonis yelled, “You’re done Lee” and grabbed Zeldin by the arm as they fell to the ground. Zeldin’s aides pulled him away safely and he was not injured in the incident. Afterward, Zeldin said he was more resolved than ever before to make New York State safe again. Jakubonis was charged with attempted assault and released on his own recognizance.

 

 

Rochester Regional Health has made the decision to close the Batavia Urgent Care at the Jerome Medical Center, which will take effective August 1. This is in preparation to offer what they are referring to as re-imagined urgent care services in the Batavia Medical Campus on Oak Orchard Road, opening in the spring of 2023. Every staff member from Batavia Urgent Care is moving into another position within their system while the organization works through the Urgent Care redesign. In the coming days and weeks, patients will receive letters with more information and there will be new signs at the Batavia Urgent Care site about the changes. Primary care offices remain open, and providers aware of the changes ahead are prepared to see any patients with urgent needs.

 

Public Works Director Brett Frank tells us that the second phase of the roof replacement is just the beginning of the revitalization of the City Centre Mall. The vision for the mall is to have the entrances completely redone and once they are made more attractive and the water buckets inside are gone they hope more people will want to come in and more stores will want to set up shop inside. Money for the entrance project is coming from a 1 million dollar downtown revitalization initiative grant.

 

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz

Just hours after the city of Rochester declared a state of emergency, 2 police officers were shot, one of them fatally, on Bauman Street. At around 9:15 last night the officers were conducting a detail and a man approached them and opened fire. Both officers were hit; a woman was also shot and treated at the scene. Officer Sino Seng was shot in the leg; both officers were rushed to nearby hospitals; Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz, a 29-year veteran of the Rochester Police, was later pronounced dead. Police are asking anyone with information on this case to dial 911 immediately. These shootings happened just hours after Mayor Malik Evans declared a gun violence state of emergency in the city.

 

Matt Landers

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will be a few dollars short for the new branding initiative the former president had proposed. The county’s Ways and Means Committee voted this week to rescind the $139,500 advance payment due to a material change in the original proposal, which had been requested by Erik Fix. Shortly after, Fix resigned his position. He had initially requested $240,000 from the county to establish a branding initiative that would meet American Rescue Plan Act requirements, which were intended to help businesses and organizations that lost revenues due to the pandemic. County Manager Matt Landers said that due to the change in terms from the chamber, county legislators and he agreed to terminate the contract. Decreasing expenses in the amount of $139,500 will amend the budget, to be offset by a decrease in federal aid in the same amount.

 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on federal agencies to investigate airline practices. The New York Democrat wrote a joint letter to the Department of Transportation and Federal Trade Commission to request that they review whether airlines are engaging in unfair or deceptive business practices. Gillibrand says more flights were canceled in June of 2022 in the United States than any other June in previous years, while other customers dealt with severe delays and lost luggage. Some airlines are also accused of scheduling flights they know can’t be staffed.

 

Drought Report – from 13 WHAM

Most of our region saw a beneficial rain on Monday that dropped nearly 1″ of rain in many areas. The rain helped, but our rainfall deficit for the month of July is still nearly 1″ and for the year most of the region is 3-4″ below normal. During a more typical season, that’s about a month’s worth of precipitation.

 

 

 

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks is going to be in Orchard Park tomorrow night, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office says his concert will lead to a traffic pattern change near Highmark Stadium. Beginning at 4:00pm tomorrow, Abbott Road in front of the stadium will be shut down in both directions until after the show is finished. All parking lots at the stadium will open up at 5:00pm and people are asked not to park their vehicles on the side of the road. Seats for the concert are still available and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

 

With the start of the regular season just a few weeks away, the Buffalo Bills are kicking off training camp this weekend. The team’s first practice is scheduled for Sunday at Saint John Fisher University. All tickets to see the defending AFC East champions up close there have already been claimed, however tickets for a practice at Highmark Stadium on August 5th have been made available. The Bills start their 2022 campaign against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on September 8th.

 

The Elmira Pioneers beat up on their host, the Batavia Muckdogs last night…the final score was 13-5. Batavia is now 25-12, still in first place in the West Division, with the Utica Blue Sox nipping at their heels. The Muckdogs are off to Auburn for a game tonight against the DoubleDays; and then they’re back home for the weekend. Tomorrow they host the Tarp Skunks starting at 7:00 and then on Sunday, it’s a 4:00 start time against the Niagara Power.

 

“A bank is a place that’ll loan you money…if you can prove you don’t need it.” – Bob Hope

Lotto players will be lining up to take their shot at winning two big jackpots that are going to be up for grabs over the next couple of days. The prize for whoever picks all the winning Mega Millions numbers ahead of tonight’s drawing will be at least $660,000,000. Meanwhile, tomorrow night’s Powerball jackpot is sitting at $119,000,000. The cost of a ticket for each game is two-dollars. The Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will both be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

 

Just hours after the city of Rochester declared a state of emergency, 2 police officers were shot, one of them fatally, on Bauman Street.  At around 9:15 last night the officers were conducting a detail and a man approached them and opened fire.  A woman was shot also and was treated at the scene.  One officer was shot in the leg and treated at Strong Memorial.  The other was taken to Rochester General where they died from their wounds around midnight.  Law enforcement from New York State Police, Irondequoit, Rochester, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office swarmed the shooting location to help. Officers rushed to both hospitals to support their colleagues.  No information on any suspects or if anyone is in custody has been released.

Firing Pin owner Brandon Lewis was at the campaign rally in Fairport when gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was grabbed by an attendee and attacked.  The man yelled “you’re done Lee” and grabbed Zeldin by the arm and fell to the ground, pulling him over on top of him.  Zeldin’s aides pulled him away safely.  Lewis heard someone yell for a medic and went to his truck to get a first aid kit according to what he told The Batavian.  The first aid kit was apparently to help Zeldin’s assistant Alison Esposito who had scraped her knuckles during the altercation. 

The City of Rochester is in a state of emergency because of a rise in shootings in the city.  5 people were shot with 2 of them dying on North Clinton Ave in a few hours earlier this week and it was just the latest spate of violence.  202 people have been shot so far this year and 41 people have been murdered, 34 of them with guns.  Mayor Evans and City Council President Melendez said the people who are responsible for the violence are “depraved cowards” and called on the communities to rise up and come forward with information to help authorities arrest and convict them.  The state of emergency involves targeting the 50 most violent streets in Rochester with more law enforcement and other resources.  Community leaders across the city have responded to the increase in police enforcement and said more police leads to better results.  

2 people from the Buffalo area face charges following a chase on Interstate 390 in Livingston County.  Troopers attempted to stop a Dodge Caravan that displayed a stolen license plate Monday, according to New York State Police. The driver allegedly failed to comply and led police on a pursuit.  Deputies from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office used a tire deflation device to stop the van. They arrested two people after a brief foot chase.  38 year old John Slomka and 33 year old Tina Bredt both of Kenmore and having several active warrants were arrested and are being held in Livingston County Jail for Arraignment.  The vehicle was reported stolen out of Niagara Falls.

The second phase of the roof replacement is just the beginning of revitalizing the City center mall according to Public Works Director Brett Frank.  The vision of the mall is to have the entrances completely redone and then go from there.  City officials say once the entrances are made more attractive and the ubiquitous water buckets are gone they hope more people will want to come in and more stores will want to open shop inside.  Money for the entrance project is coming from a 1 million dollar downtown revitalization initiative grant.

Governor Hochul has signed a new law that will help babies.  A law signed Thursday will exempt baby and adult diapers from sales tax.  It includes all types of diapers including disposable, reusable, and washable options.  The “DIAPER Act” is designed to help reduce the tax burden for New Yorkers, especially those in lower income brackets.  A report from the CNY Diaper Bank shows that low-income families spend roughly two times as much as those who can afford to buy diapers in bulk.

Afternoon News Brief

Nikayla Jackson

There is a young woman with ties to Batavia that has been reported missing by her family. 24-year-old Nikayla Jackson was last seen in the Rochester/Brighton-Henrietta area wearing black leggings and a yellow shirt. Anyone with information is asked to call Brighton Police at 585-784-5150.

 

 

Residents of Albion have expressed concern regarding the $236,000 over-payment that has been made to police officers during the previous five years. The village board room in Albion was packed last night with discussion focused on whether or not the money should be recouped. A CPA firm last week presented the results of an audit, looking at officers’ pay checks over five years, ever since the village changed from having officers work five 8-hour shifts a week to 12-hour shifts. The change was made to reduce overtime in the police department and to give officers more days off. However, the village made an error in determining the hourly pay rate. In the end, board members voted to have the officers continue to be paid at the rate they’ve been getting, at least for the time being, until all details of the overpayment are available.

 

The Town of Batavia Fire Department responded to a small fire in one of the rooms at the Red Roof Inn on Park Road. Last night around 9:30, they were called as the hotel was evacuated. The fire was contained to a small corner of one of the rooms, put out with an extinguisher. The hotel was ventilated and guests were allowed to return to their rooms a short time later. The cause of the fire was determined to be a lithium-ion battery from a remote control car that overheated while being charged.

 

33-year-old Roy Watson Jr. of Batavia has pleaded guilty to criminal mischief in the fourth degree. He admitted to entering a home in Medina without permission and damaging items. He may be required to pay $650 in restitution. That amount will be determined during sentencing in October. Watson faces a maximum of 60 days in jail or four months of weekends. He could also receive a conditional discharge and three years of probation.

 

According to data from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, the number of confirmed Covid cases in Genesee and Orleans counties is holding steady, with 86 confirmed cases in the two counties from July 13 to July 19, compared to 81 the previous seven days. In Orleans, the Covid cases increased from 28 to 36, while in Genesee they decreased from 53 to 50. In New York State, the seven-day positivity rate, ending on Monday, was at 8.93 percent statewide. Orleans and Genesee counties are in the nine-county Finger Lakes Region, where the seven-day positivity rate is at 6.87 percent. The percentage is the highest in Western New York at 10.39 percent and the lowest in the Southern Tier at 6.64 percent.

 

Governor Hochul

Governor Hochul is outlining how New York State is going to tackle COVID-19 cases this upcoming fall. Under the plan, 3,000,000 test kits will be distributed to school districts and kids won’t have to mask up in the classroom. The plan also includes bolstering hospital systems and improving access to vaccines and treatment. The governor also announced yesterday that the state would conduct a review of how it handled the pandemic and said that information will serve as a blueprint for dealing with future emergencies.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs didn’t get the ‘W’ last night; they lost to the Niagara Power, 2-1. They return home to Dwyer tonight to host the Elmira Pioneers. Game time is 7:00.

 

 

Genesee County Sheriff Report: 29-year-old Jamie McClurg of Batavia is charged with petit larceny after allegedly skip-scanning multiple items that had a cost of $76.84 and then passing all points of sale in a store on Veteran’s Memorial Drive. McClurg was transported to the Genesee County Jail for prints and photos and will appear next month in Batavia Town Court. ALSO, 51-year-old Scott McColl of Pavilion is charged with DWI/alcohol or drugs/2nd offense, moving from a lane unsafely and operating an unregistered motorcycle, after deputies responded to a motorcycle accident on Summit Street Road in the town of Pavilion last week. McColl was released on an appearance ticket and will appear in the Town of Pavilion Court next month.

 

Next week, 84 Lumber will be holding a hiring event as the company tries to add employees to its stores in the Buffalo area. The job fair is happening on Wednesday, July 27th from 7:00am until 5:00pm at the Depew store, which is located on Walden Avenue. Among the positions that are available include manager trainees, truck drivers, window and door service technicians and also forklift/yard associates. Anyone who is interested in attending can pre-register online and should be prepared to participate in an interview. https://www.84lumber.com/

 

Health officials say plans are currently in the works to offer monkeypox vaccination clinics in Monroe County. There have been several cases of the virus confirmed in the county and shots could be distributed as early as this Monday. The Department of Public Health says anyone who has been notified that they’ve been in close contact with a person who has monkeypox will automatically have the chance to get vaccinated. The exact dates, times, and locations the clinics haven’t been made public yet.

 

Morning News Brief

A local news organization had their social media account hacked.  Our news partner The Batavian spent half of the day on Monday getting their Facebook page restored after it was hijacked and then it happened again on Tuesday.  Batavian owner Howard Owens says downloading a business manager app called Pages Manager allowed a malicious third party to remove him as page manager and take over and attempt to buy facebook ads using company money.  He says make sure you only use the facebook approved app.  An update posted to The Batavian’s site Wednesday afternoon said they have regained control and will start posting news again soon.

Governor Hochul announced this wednesday that the COVID situation in New York was not going to cause a return to masking the kids going back to school in the fall, although she reserves the right to put a mandate back in place if COVID numbers climb.  Hochul said kids need to be in school and it is the state’s objective to ensure the safety of students and that they are in the classroom for in-person learning this fall.  The state is distributing over 3 million COVID-19 tests to school districts ahead of the start of the school year to ensure every student and staff member can test before the first day.

A set of 8 bills were signed into law by Governor Hochul Wednesday to address human trafficking.  2 of the bills added trafficking awareness training to Liquor Stores and Hotels employee training requirements.  The other 6 were about adding human trafficking help information to public places and bathrooms in Airports, Thruways stops, Truck Stops, Port Authority locations, anywhere that sells alcohol, and adult entertainment venues and stores.  The hopes of these bills is that people being trafficked will see the information and seek help or that employees might be able to recognize the signs of human trafficking and contact authorities to intervene.  

The Sheriff’s Office Teen Academy is underway at GCC.  The program was moved from Byron Bergen to GCC so it can be more centrally located to the county.  GCC also has a VirTra virtual reality training simulator that has been used by local law enforcement to train for different scenarios.  There are 13 students participating in the academy. The program was started by Deputy Matthew Butler in 2018 while he was a School Resource Officer at Byron-Bergen High School. Butler retired in 2019, and the academy was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

After the Main Street Armory in Rochester canceled their event a church in Batavia stepped up to give a controversial tour a place to meet.  The Cornerstone Church on Bank Street Rd just north of I90 will be hosting the ReAwaken America Tour August 12th and 13th.  The Tour is a combination of political, business and Christian speakers with a tagline of “freedom, faith, family, health and conservative family values” and fighting the Great Reset.  It is led by Thrivetime’s Clay Clark and retired General Michael Flynn.  The event was supposed to be held at Main Street Armory but the venue canceled it after staff and employees received death threats and threats to the building and Rochester’s mayor and community organizers worked to get it shut down.  They said the event would draw “extremists” to the area.  Cornerstone Church, led by Pastor Paul Doyle, is also hosting tent revivals on August 4th through 6th.

Afternoon News Brief

There is a heat advisory in effect for our entire region today, with temperatures reaching the mid to upper 90’s in combination with high humidity. The National Weather Service encourages folks to drink plenty of fluids, avoid working or being outside in the sun if possible, stay in an air-conditioned room, and check up on relatives and neighbors. The elderly, young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances, as they are the most susceptible to health issues associated with the heat.

 

The Genesee County Office for the Aging reminds people to be aware of the danger signs for heat exhaustion. They include heavy sweating, tiredness, headache, a cool, moist feeling on the skin, paleness, weakness, nausea or vomiting, a fast or weak pulse rate, muscle cramps, dizziness, fainting or fast, shallow breathing. The danger signs for heat stroke include: extremely high body temperature (above 103 degrees Fahrenheit), red, hot and dry skin (no sweating), a rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache or dizziness and nausea. The following can help everyone to protect themselves from heat-related problems:

-Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages (seek advice from the doctor)
-Rest
-Take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath
-Seek an air-conditioned environment
-Wear lightweight clothing
-Remain indoors
-Do not engage in strenuous activities

 

RIT Campus

The Rochester Institute of Technology has revealed the COVID-19 health and safety protocols that’ll be in place for the fall semester. All faculty, staff, students, and certain visitors must be vaccinated against the illness, however the booster shot requirement is still suspended indefinitely. Masks are also going to be optional in all locations except health care facilities and on public transportation. Return to campus testing won’t be mandatory and eating and drinking in classrooms is going to be allowed.

 

Amazon is now one step closer to building a brand new three-million-square foot facility in the Town of Niagara. Last night, the Town Board gave the green light to the retail giant’s plan to construct a new warehouse on more than 200 acres of land in the area of Niagara Falls International Airport and the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. The Buffalo News reports Amazon’s board of directors must sign off on the project before construction can begin. The distribution center is projected to create over 1000 jobs in the area.

 

Mayor Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is calling for federal aid to be sent to communities who have suffered economic damage due to mass shootings. Brown made the request for assistance yesterday during testimony in front of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which is part of the House Financial Services Committee. He says that in the weeks following the May 14th shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops, the city’s government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on overtime for the police, fire department and other services. The man accused of carrying out the shooting, Payton Gendron, is facing dozens of charges and is being held without bail.

 

Governor Hochul

Governor Hochul has announced the official launch of a brand new workplace sexual harassment hotline. The governor said yesterday the free hotline will provide legal advice to anyone who may be experiencing sexual harassment while they’re on the job. New Yorkers can now call 1-800-HARASS-3 and they will connect with experienced pro-bono attorneys to talk about sexual harassment issues. Hochul says the state has already taken action to make workplaces safer, more respectful, and more collaborative and will never stop working to support survivors and eliminate sexual harassment.

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

For the second time this month, the Niagara County Department of Health has issued an advisory involving Olcott Beach. Officials are telling people not to swim there due to the quality of the water. They say a large bacteria count was detected Monday and that the beach will only reopen for swimming once it’s safe. Anyone with questions can contact the principal public health engineer at 716-439-7451.

 

 

David Calaiacovo

A former school psychologist has found out his punishment after pleading guilty to having child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says a judge has sentenced 65-year-old David Calaiacovo to spend the next five years behind bars. Calaiacovo worked in the West Seneca Central School District until 2019, which is when he retired. Once Calaiacovo is out of prison, he’ll be on supervised released for 15 years.

 

The official opening of the Genesee County Fair is Saturday, July 23rd, but there will be horse shows and entertainment this Friday as well. The fair opens at 9am and rides and buildings close at 10pm but special ticketed entertainment will run later at night. Each day of the fair features a theme. Saturday is drive your tractor to the fair day and kids day. Sunday is Senior Citizens day. Monday is Veterans day. Tuesday is 4-H Day and Chapin manufacturing day. Wednesday is Emergency Responders Day and the second Kids Day. Thursday is HP Hood day and Friday is Chamber of Commerce Day. Kids Day for the last day of the fair. Admission is 10 dollars and an unlimited wristband for the midway can be had for 25 dollars or 15 on the first and last day of the fair, both of which are Kids Days. For more information visit the fair website at gcfair.com

 

The New York State Fair is just a few weeks away, and today tickets and parking passes for the very popular event will be going on sale. Admission is $3.00 and parking is available for $5.00. People 65 and older and children 12 and under will still get in for free. This year’s fair begins Wednesday, August 24th and runs through Monday, September 5th; to buy tickets and for a full list of events, go to nysfair.ny.gov

 

The Batavia Muckdogs played their rival Jamestown Tarp Skunks last night at Dwyer Stadium with the ‘Dogs coming out on top, 2-1; both the Muckdogs and Utica won their games last night so Batavia maintains the top spot in the West Division. The Muckdogs take on the Power tonight at Niagara…the next home game is tomorrow night against Elmira, starting at 7:00.

 

Rochester police are continuing their investigation into a shooting that left one person dead and two others hurt. According to 13 WHAM, officers were on patrol in the area of North Clinton Avenue and Rauber Street overnight when they heard gunshots and found the victims. A 19-year-old man was killed, a 25-year-old man suffered serious injuries and a 29-year-old man is expected to survive. Anyone with information on this case is asked to dial 911 immediately.

 

Morning News Brief

It’s hot out!  The national weather service has issued a heat advisory for Genesee, Livingston and Orleans Counties in addition to many western ny and upstate counties.  Temperatures will reach between 91 and 93 degrees with high humidity.  Heat based illnesses can occur.  They recommend staying in air conditioned buildings, avoiding working in the sun outdoors.  Young children and older adults are most susceptible to heat issues.  

You didn’t notice it but Batavia almost ran out of water on Sunday.  A sensor malfunctioned at the water plant and stopped the pump that sends water out to the community.  The water storage tanks started sending out their water instead of using the water in the clean wells and for 2 and a half hours the city was draining the reserve supply.  The North Road pumping station started upping their capacity to 3.5 million gallons, the most it’s ever put out, and the City asked Erie County to open their valve to send water from there.  About that time the malfunctioning sensor was discovered and reset manually.  By 5pm the water was restored.  Batavia residents were about 2 hours away from being affected by the lack of water.

Batavia Downs harness racing season is getting underway.  6 O clock today is the start of the 56 days of live racing and the facilities and staff have undergone major changes.  Several staff members have joined the team including a new voice of the racetrack Wayne Teaven and Wendy Lowery as track photographer.  The track itself has been regraded and resurfaced.  The Clubhouse, Rail Bar and Homestretch Grill have been remodeled.  Also check the casino schedule for special events days and a new menu at the restaurants.

Starting Friday the Genesee County Fair will be taking over the fairgrounds.  The official opening is Saturday but there will be horse shows and entertainment running Friday as well.  The fair opens at 9am and rides and buildings close at 10pm but special ticketed entertainment will run later at night.  Each day is themed.  Saturday is drive your tractor to the fair day and kids day.  Sunday is Senior Citizens day.  Monday is Veterans day.  Tuesday is 4-H Day and Chapin manufacturing day.  Wednesday is Emergency Responders Day and the second Kids Day.  Thursday is HP Hood day and Friday is Chamber of Commerce Day.  Kids day returns for the last day of the fair.  Admission is 10 dollars and an unlimited wristband for the midway can be had for 25 dollars or 15 on kids days.  For more information visit the fair website at gcfair.com

Genesee County Youth Bureau is looking for teens who want to develop leadership skills in their Youth Lead Program.  Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year.  The eight-month program is focused on developing leadership skills within an individual through each specific session and through hands-on experience. Each session will have a different focus on our community and leadership.  The deadline to apply is Sept. 2.

Afternoon News Brief

Prince N. K. Wilson

Raul Cruz

One of the suspects in the murder of two men at a dairy farm in Alexander says that he is not getting along with his court appointed attorney. Prince N.K. Wilson appeared in court yesterday and demanded that the judge allow him to defend himself because he had access to the jail law library and didn’t need representation. He also believes the case is moving along too slowly and he asked to testify in the grand jury hearing. The judge declined this request because it wasn’t substantiated; legally, as part of this motion, he is required to inform the court what it is he would like the court to do if the judge ruled in his favor. Wilson was told to either work things out with his court-appointed attorney or he would have to hire one himself. The 23-year-old Wilson and 18-year-old Raul Cruz are accused of killing two men in a bunkhouse at a dairy farm on Alexander Road last March. (The victims were: Elibander Morales, 30, and Marceleno Gomez Hernandez, 29).

 

Erie County emergency crews have responded to a propane leak at 820 County Line Road, Alden.  A 1,000 pound propane tank is reportedly on its side and leaking.  Evacuations within a half-mile of that address are being assisted by State Police. Traffic has been shut down between Seven Day Road and Alley Road. Residents from 400 Seven Day Road to the west have been asked to evacuate.  As of 2:12pm, Tuesday, 7/19/22, the valve on the tank has been shut off; it is now safe for all residents to return to their homes.

 

The city’s filtration plant stopped pumping out water this past weekend due to a problem with a controller, a part that sends a signal to the pumps to turn off. This resulted in the Control Panel defaulting to the off position, with no power going to the pump. So, in summary, for about a two-hours Sunday afternoon, there was no water coming out of the Batavia Water Plant; when this happens, county highway superintendent Tim Hens said that water storage tanks are used in lieu of working pumps. The detailed story is available on the website of our news partner, The Batavian; here is a direct link: https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/a-dripless-dilemma-city-water-pumps-shut-down-this-past-weekend/611446

 

LED street lights – file photo

Power and Construction Group crews have begun work on the LED Street Light Project. Today they plan to finish Main Street and start Oak Street; tomorrow they hope to finish Oak and start Ellicott; and through Friday, are scheduled to finish Ellicott and replace all other cobra head street light locations. Traffic delays should be expected; however, no street closures are anticipated at this time.

 

 

Payton Gendron – file photo

The man accused of opening fire at Tops supermarket in Buffalo has made another court appearance. During his arraignment yesterday, Payton Gendron responded by pleading not guilty to more than two-dozen federal charges. Prosecutors say that he shot and killed 10 people and injured three others at the Jefferson Avenue store back on May 14th in what officials have called a hate crime. The Justice Department hasn’t said yet if it will seek the death penalty.

 

Members of the Erie County Gun Violence Prevention Task Force have released their first report. The group is made up of agencies including the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, Buffalo Police Department and Erie County District Attorney’s Office. The task force was created after more than 30 shooting incidents happened last July. Since then, the task force says it has accomplished several things including expanding the Summer Youth Employment Program which allows young people to take part in a 16-week program where they work 25 hours a week. The complete report can be found on the county’s website.

 

Monkeypox – file photo

The latest information from New York State says there have now been three monkeypox cases detected in Monroe County. The first case of the virus in the county was confirmed last week, but health officials say the chances of an outbreak remain low. Monkeypox is mostly spread by close contact and exposure to an infected person’s lesions or respiratory droplets. People who develop a sudden rash on any part of their body should contact a doctor and avoid contact with others until they can be tested.

 

Mayor Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will be spending some time in the nation’s capital today to give testimony in front of lawmakers. Brown is going to speak in front of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee to discuss the impact mass shootings has on communities. Brown was previously in Washington, DC earlier this month when he attended a White House ceremony to mark the passage of new federal gun control legislation. His testimony is scheduled to begin at 2:00 this afternoon and will be shown online.

 

One of the oldest hotels in the area will be going up on the auction block later this year. A real estate firm has put the over 300 room Millennium Hotel Buffalo located on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga up for sale and the minimum bid is two-million-dollars. The hotel is still open and operational and the auction is scheduled for September 6th through the 8th. The hotel was built back in 1973 and features 12-thousand square feet of event and meeting space and also a restaurant.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs remain on top in the West Division with 24 wins and 10 losses (the last 10 games: 8-2). The Utica Blue Sox remain a close second. Tonight the Muckdogs host the Jamestown Tarp Skunks; game time is 7:00.

 

 

The Richmond Memorial Library Tweens & Teens Staff will be sponsoring a Book Drive for Children’s and Young Adult books beginning later this month. The book drive starts July 27th; they welcome books for children or teens of all ages’ they must be in new or good condition, and can be dropped off anytime the library is open. The Library G.I.F.T. Program (Generate Imagination in Families Today) is dedicated to making new or gently used books available to children and their families in our area, and to raising awareness of the lifelong benefits of early childhood literacy. For information on the book drive and other library programs, visit the library website at www.batavialibrary.org.

 

 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that SUNY and CUNY community colleges will receive $5 million in funding to support the creation or enhancement of short-term credential programs or course offerings that provide pathways to employment in the cannabis industry. The funding supports programs that will create or enhance non-degree and degree-eligible courses and programs, stackable credentials, and/or micro credentials that quickly address local employer skill needs within the cannabis sector, a projected multi-billion dollar industry with tens of thousands jobs. Selected campuses must also partner with local employers in the cannabis industry and receive their input on curriculum development. Additionally, the New York State Department of Labor and the Office of Cannabis Management will support efforts to expand learning opportunities by helping to connect businesses and job seekers to these essential training programs. Upon completion, the Department will help candidates complete resumes, prepare for job interviews and provide regional job leads.

 

Money talks, but all mine ever says is ‘goodbye’!

A Mega Millions jackpot of more than half a billion dollars is up for grabs in just a few hours. The game’s top prize has been growing for weeks and is now at $530,000,000 ahead of tonight’s drawing. Lottery players need to pull $2 out of their wallets for each ticket they purchase. The chance of winning the grand prize is roughly 1 in 302,000,000. Keep your fingers crossed! This evening’s drawing will be streamed live online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

One of the suspects in the murder of two men at a dairy farm in Alexander in March is having trouble with his court appointed attorney.  Prince Wilson appeared in court today to demand that the judge allow him to defend himself because he had access to the jail law library and didn’t need representation.  He said the case is going too slowly and he asked to testify in the grand jury hearing.  The judge declined to rule on his requests and told him to go back and work with his attorney.  Wilson, 23, and Cruz, 18, are accused of killing  Elibander Morales, 30, and Marceleno Gomez Hernandez, 29, in a bunkhouse at a dairy farm at 10216 Alexander Road.

A Press Release about the Water on Richmond Ave: The City of Batavia Water Department will be shutting down the 12” water main on Richmond Avenue, from Oak Street to Buxton Avenue, for emergency repairs due to construction on Richmond Avenue.  The length of time the water will be off is unknown.  As always, when the water is restored it may be discolored.  Please refrain from doing any laundry until the water runs clear.  We apologize for any inconvenience and the public’s patience is greatly appreciated

The Richmond Memorial Library Tweens & Teens Staff will be sponsoring a Book Drive for Children’s and Young Adult books starting this month. The book drive begins July 27th and runs through August 13th.  The books can be for children or teens of all ages, must be in new or good condition, and can be dropped off and put in the purple crates in the RML Foyer anytime the library is open.  The Library G.I.F.T. Program (Generate Imagination in Families Today) is dedicated to making new or gently used books available to children and their families in our area, and to raising awareness of the lifelong benefits of early childhood literacy.  For information on the book drive and other library programs, visit the library website at www.batavialibrary.org.

The Genesee County and Batavia Youth Bureaus are planning the annual Safe Summer Children’s Carnival open to the public to take place on Thursday, July 28 from 10:15 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at David M. McCarthy Ice Arena in Batavia.  One dollar buys a ticket to play 10 games, and children can win “funny money” to redeem for prizes.  There will also be several community agency booths that the children can visit for a chance to win one of our grand prizes.  For more information on the carnival, please contact Chelsea at the Genesee County Youth Bureau at 344-3960.

Afternoon News Brief

A Covington woman has been indicted in Wyoming County Court on charges that she stole checks from mailboxes. 52-year-old Paula Kingdollar entered a not guilty plea to an indictment charging her with first-degree scheme to defraud, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and seven counts of petit larceny. An investigation by state police revealed she was going through mailboxes in the early mornings and stealing checks and then depositing them into her account. She has been ordered to return to court September 8 for argument of motions.

 

Patrick White and Mayor Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown accompanied an Army veteran who was shopping at the reopened Tops grocery store yesterday to help the store — and the community — try to return to normal. The store reopened for the first time since a mass shooting in May left ten people dead and three others wounded. Prior to the massacre, the veteran — Patrick White — would shop at the Tops store several times a week. Yesterday, White said he was glad to be back and he’s proud of the Buffalo community for pulling together after the tragedy.

 

Police are investigating after ten cars were stolen from a West Herr dealership in Orchard Park Saturday night. Five of the vehicles have since been found as of 11:00 yesterday morning, without any damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact local police.

 

According to Triple A this morning, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas dropped 16 cents nationally in the past week to $4.52 and 11 cents in New York State, to $4.69. This is largely due to gas demand tapering off over the past two weeks following the Independence Day holiday. In Orleans County, the price decreased only 2 cents; in Genesee County, the per-gallon cost went down 8 cents to $4.62. In Batavia, the average cost for gas is the same as it is countywide at $4.62, down 27 cents from a month ago today.

 

35-year-old Stacy Patterson of LeRoy is charged with petit larceny after she allegedly stole groceries after passing all points of sale at Walmart in Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket and will return to Batavia Town Court late next month.

 

 

Our region is getting much-needed rain today after very little precipitation the past month. All of Western New York and much of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region are either abnormally dry or in moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Southern half of Genesee County is under moderate drought conditions, which have turned many lawns and fields yellow.

 

Erie Community College

The Erie Community College Board of Trustees has voted to cut 60 non-faculty jobs. That amounts to about 200 jobs, saving the school $8,000,000. Earlier this month, the same board eliminated 90 support staff jobs. An additional 50 people have also taken early retirement. Despite the steady decline of enrollment, school officials hope an increase in students will help them make up the remaining $1,000,000 they need.

 

 

James Phillip Mault

Cody Mattice

Two Monroe County men have each been sentenced to 44 months in prison for assaulting law enforcement officers during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 30-year-old James Phillip Mault, formerly of Brockport, and 29-year-old Cody Mattice of Greece, were sentenced during a District of Columbia court session. Following their prison terms, each will be placed on three years of supervised release. They also must pay $2,000 each in restitution.

 

Example of LED street lighting

A traffic alert for you…Power and Construction Group crews are scheduled to begin work tonight on the City of Batavia LED Street Light Project. The tentative schedule is as follows:
· Tonight & tomorrow – start/finish Main Street and then begin on Oak Street.
· Tomorrow & Wednesday – finish Oak Street and then begin on Ellicott Street.
· Wednesday through Friday – finish Ellicott Street and all other cobra head street light locations.
Traffic delays should be expected; however, no street closures are anticipated at this time.

 

A Leicester man was killed when a car pulled in front of his motorcycle at Morgan Road and Union Street Friday night, Monroe County Sheriff’s investigators said. 49-year-old James E. Lee III was pronounced dead at the scene of the 9 p.m. crash. Deputies said Lee was traveling south on Union Street when a Pontiac Vibe that was going west on Morgan stopped and then pulled out in front of Lee.

 

One of the recalled products

A North Carolina company is recalling some dog treats because of possible Salmonella contamination. Stormberg Foods announced its chicken dog treats, sold under a few different brand names were recalled after it was discovered their treats were tainted with the bacteria. If you bought chicken breast strips dog treats between June 6th and June 23rd, please check the UPC with the list below to find out if the product you purchased is part of the recall:

 

1 oz Beg & Barker Chicken Breast Strips UPC: 8 50025 54628 7; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

4 oz Beg & Barker Chicken Breast Strips UPC: 8 50025 54611 9; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

10 oz Beg & Barker Chicken Breast Strips UPC: 8 50025 54610 2; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

4 oz Billo’s Best Friend Chicken Breast Strips UPC: 8 50025 54682 9; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

4 oz Green Coast Pets Chicken Crisps UPC: 8 60001 92832 7; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

8 oz Green Coast Pets Chicken Crisps UPC: 8 60001 92833 4; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

 

Rochester Pride Parade, 2022

The Rochester Pride Parade returned this weekend after being suspended for the last two years because of the pandemic. The parade took place Saturday along Park Avenue with about 140 groups taking part. The Pride Festival followed the parade and lasted until Saturday night.

 

Morning News Brief

75 New York State Senate staffers have unionized.  The new New York State Legislative Workers United Union informed the senate of their organizing and retaining counsel in a letter sent to the Majority Leader Senator Stewart-Cousins on Friday asking to be voluntarily recognized.  Previously it had been thought that they didn’t have the right to unionize and a bill, A109 introduced by Dan Quart, sought to allow them the ability to unionize.  In the letter they say that since they fall under the title of “Public Employer” they should be allowed to unionize under Taylors Law.  They say the next step is to decide on bargaining and democratically come up with a list of demands and a timeline for official recognition.

Sumner Rd in Darien is closed through Wednesday for a culvert replacement.  This is adjacent to Darien Lake Theme Park and between Rt 77 and the Darien Lake Employee entrance on Sumner Rd.  The culvert replacement has been coordinated with Daren Lake and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office to hit a gap in the busy concert schedule at the Park.  It is expected that the road will be reopened by Wednesday evening. Use caution once reopened as the culvert crossing will remain a gravel surface until paving can occur once the concert season slows down.

A North Carolina company is recalling some dog treats because of possible Salmonella contamination.  Stormberg Foods announced its chicken dog treats, sold under the Beg and Barker, Billo’s Best Friend and Green Coast Pets brands were recalled after the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said their treats were tainted with the bacteria.  If you bought a chicken breast strips dog treat under one of those brands between June 6th and June 23rd check the UPC to see if it’s one of the recalled products.  For a list of the UPC codes check out wbtai.com.

 

1 oz Beg & Barker Chicken Breast Strips UPC: 8 50025 54628 7; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

4 oz Beg & Barker Chicken Breast Strips UPC: 8 50025 54611 9; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

10 oz Beg & Barker Chicken Breast Strips UPC: 8 50025 54610 2; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

4 oz Billo’s Best Friend Chicken Breast Strips UPC: 8 50025 54682 9; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

4 oz Green Coast Pets Chicken Crisps UPC: 8 60001 92832 7; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

8 oz Green Coast Pets Chicken Crisps UPC: 8 60001 92833 4; All batch numbers; Exp Dates: 06/06/23 to 06/23/23

 

A bevy of new businesses opened up in and near Batavia over the weekend.  First a farm store in Stafford opened to sell All Natural beef.  Casper’s Farm at 6671 Main Rd’s freezers at the store are generally well stocked with strip, ribeye, tomahawk, briskets, roasts, and other cuts of “all-natural” beef.  The store also sells cheese from Craig’s Creamy in Pavilion and local maple syrup.  The Caspers intend to add more locally sourced products and home made seasonings.  Next, Thoughtful Kids Consignment Shop opened on Harvester Ave at the Harvester Center between the bounce facility and coffee shop.  The shop is a clearing house for things that people didn’t want to throw away but also didn’t have a use for.  Donors who give directly to the shop get a portion of the sales.  Buyers can save 50-70 percent of retail and help a small, local business.  Fairfield Inn opened on Federal Drive to offer upscale accommodations to travelers.  It was supposed to open 4 years ago but COVID issues caused the opening to be delayed. 

Weekend News Brief

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office reported that the man who was driving the motorcycle in the crash with the van in front of Dave’s Ice Cream on West Main Street in Batavia succumbed to his injuries at Strong Memorial Hospital.  Gilberto Natal was 34 years old and was a resident of Batavia.  The crash, where Gilberto hit the side of a transit van being driven by 80 year old Bruce Chilson as he turned into Dave’s Ice Cream, flipped the Van over onto its side and threw Natal into the side of it before he hit the road.  The collision is still under investigation.

Governor Hochul has signed new legislation aimed at making bicyclists and pedestrians more safe.  The new legislation makes learning about bicycle and pedestrian safety mandatory and adds it to the licensing exam.  Information will be added to the license handbook and adds curriculum to the prelicensing course that includes an overview of a vehicle operator’s duty to be aware of and exercise care around pedestrians and bicyclists. 

Governor Hochul has signed legislation that bans smoking in public parks and beaches.  The legislation bans smoking in all state-owned beaches, boardwalks, marinas, playgrounds, recreation centers, and group camps according to the governor’s office. Smoking those areas will be punishable with a civil fine of $50.  The governor’s office said the Adirondacks and Catskills as well as parking lots, sidewalks adjoining parks, and areas not used for park purposes are exempt from the legislation.

The Batavia LED Street Light project is slated to get underway Monday night.  The project involved buying back the lights from National Grid and now new LED lights will be installed and maintained by the city instead of by the utility company.  Work is scheduled to start on Main street and then Oak street.  Tuesday and Wednesday it will move over to Ellicott Street.  They hope to be done by Friday.  No street closures are expected but there will be delays as the work is done over the street.

The Buffalo Sabres announced their contracts for the first round picks on Friday.  Matt Savoie, Noah Ostlund, and Jiri Kulich signed three-year entry-level deals.  Ostlund and Kulich have had the chance to showcase their talents in development camp while Savoie continues to recover from a shoulder injury.

Afternoon News Brief

Genesee County deputies are continuing their investigation into a motorcycle crash on West Main Street Road that left a man with life-threatening injuries. Officials say 34-year-old Gilberto Natal of Rochester was riding at a high rate of speed late yesterday afternoon, when his motorcycle collided with a van that was making a left turn into Dave’s Ice Cream. Natal ended up being ejected and hit the van; the force of the accident knocked the van onto its’ side. Natal was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries. 80-year-old Bruce Chilson was driving the van; his 80-year-old wife Mary Chilson was a passenger; both reside in Spring Hill, Florida. She was taken to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia for treatment of minor injuries. Mr. Chilson did not require hospitalization. Charges against both of the vehicle operators may be pending, including failure to yield the right of way. Witnesses to the accident are asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 585-345-3000.

 

Craig Poler

34-year-old Craig Poler, a former resident of Castile, NY, has pleaded in Wyoming County Court to sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, a class B felony. Poler admitted engaging in multiple acts of sexual conduct with a child under the age of 13 between January 14, 2020 and January 4, 2022. Under the plea agreement, Poler faces a sentence of 15 -20 years in New York State Prison and 10 years of post-release supervision. In addition, he will have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. Sentencing is scheduled for September 15.

 

Gregory Foster II

A state corrections officer, previously employed at the Attica Correctional Facility, who was suspended for making an offensive Facebook post about the Tops Market massacre in Buffalo, has retired. Gregory Foster II of Arcade had been awaiting a disciplinary hearing with the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision in response to a post and comments joking about the shootings shortly after they occurred. The post was brought to the attention of officials, who suspended Foster without pay, pending efforts to terminate his employment. He had accrued 25 years of service and retired last month.

 

Jared Wrazen

29-year-old Jared Wrazen of Java has been indicted by a grand jury on charges that he shot a 29-year-old woman in the stomach. The incident occurred during a domestic dispute last May. A 63-year-old woman and a 4-year-old child were in the house at the time of the shooting. The assault and additional violent felony offenses are punishable by up to 25 years in prison. He is scheduled to return to court in October. Wrazen has a violent past. He was released from Five Points Correctional Facility last December after serving five years and six months of a seven-year term for possessing methamphetamine and also for an assault, which involved driving his car into two people during a fight at a party. Wrazen was on parole following his release from prison until late September and on post-release supervision until December 2026.

 

TOPS Markets – Classic Logo

More than two months after a mass shooting that left 10 people dead and three others hurt, the doors of a Tops store in Buffalo are back open to the public today. Prosecutors say back on May 14th, Payton Gendron opened fire at the supermarket in what they are calling a racially motivated hate crime. Gendron has been indicted by a grand jury on over two-dozen federal charges. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison or face the death penalty.

 

Batavia City Police report the dog that overdosed on cocaine and an unknown narcotic is recovering at Genesee County Animal Shelter. The French bulldog was seized after police investigation revealed it had overdosed three times, over the course of approximately five weeks (on May 15, May 25 and again on June 21). Assistant Chief Christopher Camp said the dog was taken from its owner, 30-year-old Cassandra Elmore of Batavia. Elmore was charged with three counts of injuring an animal and one count of owning an unlicensed dog. She is to appear later this month in City Court. Elmore may have attempted to conceal the incidents by going to vets in another county. However, police tell us the veterinarian who treated the dog after the third overdose, will not face any repercussions since it was the first time the dog was brought to that vet.

 

Monkeypox – file photo

The first case of the monkeypox virus has been confirmed in Monroe County, but Public Health Commissioner Doctor Michael Mendoza says this is no cause for alarm. Mendoza says a male resident has contracted the illness and the person is currently in isolation. Mendoza believes that the possibility of a monkeypox outbreak is low because it is spread mostly by direct contact with an infected individual’s sores or rashes and respiratory droplets. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of monkeypox such as rashes, muscle aches, headaches, and fever should contact their doctor immediately.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs swept the double-header last night against Geneva, the first game final score was 8-1, and the second, 7-4. Batavia’s record is now 22-10 and the two wins strengthen their hold on first place in the West Division. The Muckdogs are in Jamestown today to take on the Tarp Skunks; game time is 6:30.

 

One of the largest jackpots in the history of the Mega Millions lottery game is going to be up for grabs tonight. Whoever is lucky enough to pick all of the winning numbers will win at least $480,000,000. No one has claimed the top Mega Millions prize since back on April 15th. The cost to play is $2.00 per ticket with the odds of picking all of the winning numbers, one in over 302,000,000. Tonight’s drawing will be streamed live online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Dr. Tonja Williams

The Buffalo Public Schools board has officially named the person who will be serving as the district’s new superintendent. Last night, Doctor Tonja Williams was chosen to replace Doctor Kriner Cash, who resigned from the position back in March. Williams had been working as the interim superintendent following Cash’s departure. She was first hired by the district in 1990 and spent time in multiple positions including guidance counselor and elementary school principal.

 

The number of Finger Lakes residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus is continuing to rise. The latest data from the state shows the 7-day average infection rate is now over 6.7%. At this time last week, the infection rate was 5.4%. And the number of Western New York residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus is also continuing to rise. The latest data from the state shows the 7-day average infection rate is now over 9.8%. At this time last week, the infection rate was 9.1%. People are being urged to protect themselves and others from the illness by being vaccinated, getting their booster shots and wearing a mask indoors.

Morning News Brief

Another major accident in front of Dave’s Ice Cream.  A 2019 Ford Transit van being driven by 80 year old Bruce Chilson of Spring Hill in Florida was making a left turn into Dave’s at around 5:20 when 34 year old Gilberto Natal riding a motorcycle slammed into the passenger side of the van.  Natal was ejected and hit the van.  The van was knocked onto its side by the force of the crash.  Natal sustained life threatening injuries and was airlifted by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.  Bruce Chilson and Mary Chilson were treated at the scene for minor injuries and taken to UMMC.  The accident is under investigation.

Brown grass getting you down?  You aren’t alone.  According to the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NOAA, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, parts of Western New York are now in a “moderate drought”.  Right now, a region from Niagara Falls south to Buffalo and east into Genesee and Wyoming County has been upgraded to “moderate drought” status, from “abnormally dry”.  Scientists use soil moisture readings, river level gauges and groundwater levels to determine water conditions.  The city of Batavia has issued several water use warnings over the past month asking residents to conserve their water.   

Multiple departments responded to a fire in a field in East Pembroke Thursday afternoon.  Around 2pm a fire was reported in the back of a wheat field at 2281 Brown Rd.  East Pembroke Fire responded and requested Elba’s utility transport vehicle and Alexander’s UTV because they are equipped with pumps.  Alexander Fire, Indian Falls, Alabama, and Darien Fire also dispatched. Alden Fire, which was on scene at a Darien accident, volunteered to bring their UTV to the fire and was dispatched.  Crittenden Fire was also dispatched.  The fire was reported out by 3:10.

Genesee County is seeing a changing of the guard for school boards.  In Batavia John Marucci is taking the reigns moving from VP to President and John Reigle is moving into the VP spot.  Korinne Anderson was newly elected to the board.  In Elba Michael Riner was elected president and Travis Torrey as VP.  Mercy Caparco was elected new this year.  In Leroy Superintendent Merritt Holly reported that Jackie Whiting was elected as president and Rich Lawrence for vice president.  In Oakfield for the first time a student representative was elected to the board in an ex-officio position.  Aiden Warner, a senior this year, is filling the position.

O-At-Ka Milk has announced a donation of 2500 dollars to the Annual Police Community Night in Batavia.  Community Night Out is part of a community-building campaign that promotes strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make safer neighborhoods.  Various organizations and groups once again will be participating in the annual event which will include free food and a bounce house and games for kids and more.  The 2022 Batavia Police Community Night is in partnership with The City Church.  The event will be held Tuesday, August 9th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at City Church at St. Anthony’s on Liberty St.

Afternoon News Brief

Genesee Country Mall

The need for more roof repairs has been discovered at the mall in the City Centre. The first phase of roof repair was completed in 2020 at a cost of $763,600. And now, during the second phase of repairs, a deteriorated bunch of metal decking and structural portion of the roof itself was found to be in need of repairs, thus requiring the use of $54,000 in the facility reserve funds to pay for these unexpected repairs.

 

 

Payton Gendron – file photo

A federal grand jury today returned a 27-count indictment charging 19-year-old Payton Gendron with 14 hate crime violations and 13 firearms offenses in connection with the mass shooting at the Tops store in Buffalo. If he is convicted, the charges in the indictment carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or the death penalty. The Attorney General will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later time. Should the Attorney General determine that the circumstances of the offense are such that a sentence of death is justified, the law requires that notice be filed with the court at a reasonable time before trial. Gendron is currently in state custody pending state criminal charges.

 

 

Positive COVID-19 test result

There has been an increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in both Orleans and Genesee Counties. According to our county Health Departments, in Orleans, the cases totaled 28 over the past week, up from 26 the previous week. However, in Genesee, the numbers more than doubled in a week, from 21 to 58 cases. Residents are encouraged to get tested when they feel ill and pursue treatments if they test positive. The recommendations of getting vaccinated and boosted remain in place. Parents and guardians should talk to pediatricians about getting youngsters vaccinated, as well.

 

38-year-old William Humphrey of LeRoy and 20-year-old Maxwell Reigelsperger of Atlanta, NY, are charged with criminal mischief, conspiracy and grand larceny. They are accused of removing a catalytic converter from a vehicle without the owner’s permission. Both were arraigned in Pavilion Town Court and released on their own recognizance.

 

Hundreds of nurses who work at Rochester General Hospital have voted to form a union. Overall, more than 400 nurses said they wanted to join the Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals while nearly 300 of them voted against the move. The outcome of this vote still needs to be approved by the National Labor Relations Board and that process could take a few days to complete. In a statement, officials with Rochester Regional Health expressed disappointment with this vote, saying they believe a direct working relationship with employees is best for the hospital and team members.

 

Evelyn Bailey

People in Rochester and surrounding communities are mourning the loss of longtime LGBTQ plus advocate Evelyn Bailey. It was announced yesterday that the local pioneer and historian passed away at the age of 75. She became a member of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley back in 1985 and served in a variety of roles. She also spent time digitizing the archives of The Empty Closet, which is the oldest continually published newspaper for the gay community in the state. A celebration of life for Bailey will be held July 24th from 2:00 – 4:00pm at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

 

A moment of silence will be held at a Tops store in Buffalo today to remember the people who lost their lives in a mass shooting two months ago. On May 14th, Payton Gendron allegedly opened fire at the supermarket, killing 10 people and injuring three others in what prosecutors have called a racially motivated attack. Gendron is behind bars and may spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted. The supermarket is scheduled to reopen to the public tomorrow.

 

Monkeypox – file photo

The first case of monkeypox has officially been confirmed in Western New York. The Erie County Department of Health says the patient who contracted the virus is in isolation and does not pose a risk to the general public. Health Commissioner Doctor Gale Burstein says monkeypox is mostly spread by close contact and exposure to an infected person’s lesions or respiratory droplets. Anyone who develops a sudden rash on any part of their body should contact a doctor and avoid contact with others until they can be tested.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs beat the Elmira Pioneers on the road last night, the final there was 5-3. With that win, they’re now 20-10 and have once again moved into first place in the West Division, with the Utica Blue Sox close behind in second place. The Muckdogs are back home today for a double-header at Dwyer against the Geneva Red Wings…the first game is scheduled to start at 5:05.

 

Brian Higgins

The US house of representatives has passed an Active Shooter Alert Act which creates a communication system similar to Amber Alert to let communities know about active shooters in their area. Congressman Brian Higgins cosponsored the bill and believes the legislation will allow law enforcement to keep communities safe during times of crisis. The bill now heads to the Senate for approval.

 

Alexander’s Zoning Board has decided against putting up a windmill off Dry Bridge Road. The key issue was the height: The Town only allows 500 feet as the maximum for windmills and this one would have to be 650 feet tall. 500 feet was standard when the town approved its zoning code. However, changes in technology and industry standards now require 650 feet. The proposed 4.5-megawatt windmill would have been the only wind turbine on the 147-acre parcel as part of a community-based renewable energy project.

 

Morning News Brief

The US house of representatives has passed an Active Shooter Alert Act which creates a communication system similar to the Amber Alert system to let communities know about active shooters in their area.  Congressman Brian Higgins, a cosponsor of the bill, said in a statement, “This legislation establishes a messaging system that will allow law enforcement to keep communities safe when an active shooter crisis arises, especially when there is clear and present danger in schools, groceries stores, churches, and other public establishments.”  The bill now heads to the Senate for approval.

A case of Monkeypox has been confirmed in Erie county according to the Erie  County Department of Health.  According to a release, the patient has been in isolation and does not pose a risk to the general public. The ECDOH is conducting contact tracing to determine if any additional residents have been exposed to the virus.  Monkeypox is generally spread by prolonged skin to skin contact and most of those who have caught it in the US are men who have had sexual contact with other men.  It is characterized by flulike symptoms and lesions on the body.  Contact with these lesions is the most common way to catch it.  The health department says that anyone who develops a new, unexplained rash should seek medical attention and stay isolated from others.  The rash starts as flat, red bumps, which can be painful, before turning into blisters and finally scabbing over.  It may spread through respiratory droplets but not aerosol like the cold or COVID.  

Alexander’s Zoning Board decided against putting up a windmill off Dry Bridge Road on Wednesday.  At issue was the height.  The Town only allows 500 feet as the maximum height for windmills and this one was going to be 650 feet tall.  At the ZBA meeting in June, Borrego representative David Strong said the height of the wind turbine was driven primarily by changes in technology and the standards of the industry. It’s just no longer possible to build 500-foot tall — the standard when the Town approved its zoning code — windmills.  The proposed 4.5-megawatt windmill would have been the only wind turbine on the 147-acre parcel as part of a community-based renewable energy project.

The new Batavia School Board President says he is committed to Honesty and Transparency and is an open book.  John Marucci says he is here to assist members of the district in any way he can.  Marucci has been a resident of Batavia since July of 2014. Three of his children are Batavia High School graduates and a son is in the Class of 2025 at the school. Marucci has served on the Batavia Bulldawgs Board and as a coach for seven years. He is a recipient of the Jim Ellegate Memorial Award by The Niagara / Orleans Football Association for “The Love  of the Game and More Importantly The Love of Children.” He previously served as the head coach for the BCSD Modified Wrestling Team and also assisted in coaching Batavia Little Devils Youth Wrestling Club.

Afternoon News Brief

Nicole McDougall

31-year-old Nicole McDougall of Niagara Falls, who once snuck balloons filled with marijuana to her street gang member boyfriend in 2014 in jail, has pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs to him at Attica Correctional Facility. She was also arrested in October on charges of hindering police who were arresting her boyfriend in Niagara Falls — a man police say murdered a barber. McDougall pleaded guilty to the felony drug charges and will be sentenced in September.

 

44-year-old Aaron Gaylord of Batavia has been arrested for petit larceny. It is alleged that while he was at Home Depot, Gaylord removed price tag stickers from one item, and placed them on another item, in an effort to pay a lower price. He then used the self-checkout, scanning the incorrect barcodes. Gaylord was transported to Genesee County Jail for fingerprinting and photos. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in court next month.

 

35-year-old Cordero Royes of Batavia is charged with DWI and drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, reckless driving and speeding in a zone, with no seat belt on. He was allegedly traveling eastbound in the Village of Corfu at speeds in excess of 120mph, while allegedly intoxicated by alcohol. Royes was released with an appearance ticket and returns to court in Pembroke next week.

 

A new COVID-19 public awareness campaign has been launched to educate New Yorkers who test positive for the virus about their treatment options. It also encourages people who have contracted the illness and are experiencing symptoms to contact their health care provider right away to see which treatment is best for them. The emphasis is, the sooner treatment begins the better it works, and the best way to be protected against COVID-19 is to be vaccinated and boosted. The nearly $1,000,000 campaign will run in English and Spanish across radio, TV, and digital media.

 

Dr. Jonathan Daniels

A funeral service is taking place today for a local doctor and his two daughters who died when a fire tore through their Buffalo home. Family and friends are going to gather to mourn 53-year-old Doctor Jonathan Daniels, 27-year-old Jordan Daniels, and 23-year-old Jensen Daniels at Friendship Baptist Church on Clinton Street in Buffalo. The July 4th fire at a residence on Huntington Avenue also seriously injured Doctor Daniels’ wife Janessa Givens-Daniels but she survived. There’s no word yet what caused the blaze.

 

New York is giving grant money to abortion providers throughout the state following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Governor Hochul says $10,000,000 from a newly created Abortion Provider Support Fund is being sent to 13 organizations that have dozens of abortion clinics across the state. The money will be used to expand abortion clinic operations with out-of-state residents expected to come to New York seeking abortion services. New York will also soon give $15,000,000 to independent abortion clinics in phase two of the grant funding.

 

The Batavia Muckdogs shut out the Jamestown Tarp Skunks last night 4-0…the ‘Dogs record is now 19-10. They’re in second place in the West Division, behind the Utica Blue Sox (22-11). The Muckdogs saddled up the horse this morning to travel to Elmira; they’ll take on the Pioneers at 7:00 tonight.

 

 

Captain David Bentley

Services have been announced for a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office captain who drowned over the weekend. Family and friends will gather to mourn the death of 62-year-old David Bentley from 2:00pm until 8:00pm tomorrow at Lind Funeral Home on West Third Street in Jamestown. His funeral will be on Friday at First Lutheran Church on Chandler Street in Jamestown. Bentley ended up in the water at Chautauqua Lake in Ellery on Saturday while he was trying to board a boat and was pronounced dead shortly after he was rushed to the hospital. He’d been with the sheriff’s department since 1985.

 

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will be making a stop in Western New York next year. The group is going to be performing at KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023. The 72-year-old Springsteen is known for hits such as “Born to Run,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Glory Days.” Folks can sign up for the chance to get tickets through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program and seats will be available later this month.

 

Mine, all mine…

Organizers of the National Buffalo Wing Festival say the popular event is going to return to Highmark Stadium this September. It’s scheduled to run Labor Day weekend at the stadium. The event will feature the chance to taste a wide variety of wings and there are also going to be eating competitions and cook-offs. Tickets cost $20 each and include free parking. More information can be found online at buffalowing.com.

 

Today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the successful implementation of 9-8-8 in New York State as the new three-digit number to call or text to be connected to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. All 62 counties in New York State will be covered for the launch of the new 9-8-8 Lifeline, which will ensure that anyone with a New York area code will be connected to one of New York’s 9-8-8 crisis centers. Calling 9-8-8 provides a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health or substance abuse related distress. A chat feature will also be available through the Lifeline’s website (988lifeline.org). There are currently 13 operating 9-8-8 crisis contact centers in New York State and two in the development stage.  The 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline will be able to:

• Connect people experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis to a trained counselor who can address their immediate needs and help connect them to ongoing care.
• Reduce health care spending with more cost-effective early intervention.
• Reduce use of law enforcement, public health, and other safety resources.
• Meet the growing need for crisis intervention.
• Help end stigma toward those seeking or accessing mental healthcare.

Afternoon News Brief

Park Road – file photo

Some temporary changes to the traffic pattern near Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel are now in effect: Anyone visiting Batavia Downs will have to enter by heading south on Park Road and using the access road just past Alex’s Place. Traffic leaving the parking lot must also exit there. Park Road is now closed between Lewiston Road and Richmond Avenue but is open to two-way traffic north of the Downs. By the way, if you’d like the free valet parking offered at Batavia Downs, you’ll have to enter through the parking lot entrance. Valet parking will not be accessible from the Kmart lot. It’s anticipated the project will be completed by late August.

 

888-TREAT-NY

New York State is starting to treat COVID-19 by telephone. Governor Hochul says a new free hotline will serve New Yorkers who test positive for coronavirus but do not have a healthcare provider. Residents across the state can call 888-TREAT-NY 24 hours a day to connect with professionals who have clinical training and can provide treatment or referrals if needed. Patients with insurance will have a co-pay based on their plan and the state Department of Health will cover the costs of the service for those without health care coverage. More information about COVID-19 treatment options can be found at health.ny.gov/CovidTreatment.

 

John Flynn

Six people that range in ages from 18 to 26 now face charges following the discovery of a body in a wooded area in Lake View. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said in a press conference that three females drove the victim, 26-year-old Brenden Benoit to that location where the three male defendants were allegedly waiting to cause physical harm to him. Flynn says the victim was allegedly punched by one of the male suspects and when Benoit tried to get back into the vehicle, 26-year-old Jared Adamski got into an altercation with the victim and allegedly stabbed him multiple times in the leg. Benoit died from his injuries. Adamski is charged with manslaughter while everyone else who was arrested is charged with assault (Harrison Drozen, 20, Conner Krone, 22, Kayleigh Skybyk-Schuh, 19, Larissa Smith, 18 and Elexus Dean, 20). The suspects were all arraigned in Hamburg Town Court yesterday afternoon. Adamski is being held without bail. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office hasn’t commented on a motive for the incident. The other five co-defendants are being held on $100,000 cash/bond or $200,000 partially secured bond.

 

The Muckdogs were victorious over the Niagara Power last night 11-2. With that ‘W’, Batavia improved their overall record to 18-10. They play again tonight at home against the Jamestown Tarpskunks. Game time, 7:00.

 

 

One of the memorials for victims of Tops shootings

The Tops store that was the scene of a mass shooting in Buffalo nearly two months ago is expected to reopen on Friday. The Jefferson Avenue supermarket has been shut down since May 14th, which is when Peyton Gendron allegedly opened fire in a shooting that left 10 people dead, and three others injured. Thursday will mark two months since the shooting and there will be a moment of silence and prayer at 2:30pm to honor and respect all victims and impacted associates and community members. Gendron is behind bars without bail and faces decades in prison if convicted.

 

Wegmans is holding a hiring event today as the supermarket chain looks to fill hundreds of positions at its Rochester area stores. It’s happening from 2:00 until 6:00pm at the Pittsford Wegmans located on Monroe Avenue in Rochester. Among the jobs that are available include food service workers, pharmacy techs, cooks and management opportunities. Anyone who wants to apply can do so by visiting jobs.wegmans.com.

 

If you happen to see long lines of people waiting to get into stores today, they’re probably also holding $2.00 in their hands. That’s the cost of a ticket to take a shot at winning the largest Mega Millions jackpot in almost 14 months. The jackpot for tonight’s drawing will be at least $440,000,000. No one has claimed the top Mega Millions prize since someone picked all the winning numbers back in April. The drawing will be streamed live at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

The price per barrel of oil is falling and so are gas prices across the country and its not for a happy reason.  Fears of a recession are growing and with it comes less demand and higher interest rates.  This is leading to a drop.  This week so far prices have dropped 9 cents in New York compared to last week.  The average is now 4.80.  We still have a long way to go, last year the average was 3.20.  As prices at the pump fall so should the prices in grocery stores and in other goods.  But it will be a slow decline.  Prices of oil are still over 100 dollars a barrel.  

The Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson ave in Buffalo that was the site of the mass shooting back in May is going to be reopening Friday.  Thursday will mark two months since the shooting and there will be a moment of silence and prayer at 2:30 p.m. “to honor and respect all victims and impacted associates and community members,” according to Tops.  The store has been remodeled and TOPs president John Persons said the reopening will be done in a proper and respectful way.

Victims  of the Tops mass shooting and their families went to the White House to meet with the President and Vice President Monday. They commemorated the passage of the new bipartisan “Safer Communities Act.” The goal is to prevent future acts of gun violence.  The son of shooting victim Ruth Whitfield spoke at the ceremony. Garnell Whitfield, Junior read aloud all the names of the victims before the President spoke Monday. Lia Lando spoke with family members of shooting victims Margus Morrison and Pearl Young after the ceremony. They say they are happy with the new laws but more needs to be done.

Temporary changes to the traffic pattern are in effect near Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel.  Those visiting Batavia Downs will have to enter by heading south on Park Road and using the access road just past Alex’s Place. Traffic leaving the parking lot must also exit at that location.  Park Road will be closed between Lewiston Road and the parking lot entrance for Batavia Downs.  Park Road will be open to two-way traffic north of Batavia Downs.  Visitors looking to use free valet parking at Batavia Downs will have to enter through the parking lot entrance. Valet parking will not be accessible from the former Kmart lot.  The project is expected to be completed by late August.

What’s your milkshake flavor?  That’s the question posed by RTA Outdoor living to all 50 states.  They compiled google search data to find the most popularly searched milkshake flavor for each state and you may be surprised by New York’s favorite creamy confection.  Pineapple milkshakes are apparently the Empire States favorite  flavor of milkshake.  Strawberry came in first across the US with 10 states siding with the fruit over chocolate or vanilla.  Chocolate came in next with 8 states followed by Oreo in 6.  Vanilla and Shamrock tied for 5 each.  New York is not alone in its hankering for the spikey tropical fruitiness. Texas also had pineapple as its’ favorite flavor.

Afternoon News Brief

Erik Fix

The Batavia City Council has to make an exception to the City Charter in order to seat the new Assistant City Manager.
Erik Fix had been president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce for about a year when he resigned to take the assistant City Manager’s job in Batavia. The charter requires the assistant manager be a resident of the city unless council approves an exception. Council takes a vote on that exception tonight. Fix is a resident of LeRoy.

 

 

Devon Wright

A man on the run from Batavia Police for the last eight months is back behind bars.
21-year-old Devon Wright was arrested in Lockport over the weekend. Wright had been arrested numerous times in Genesee County but was always released on bail, under the state’s new bail reform law. Wright then repeated violated terms of his release. He is now in the Chautauqua County Jail – without bail.

 

 

 

30-year-old Cassandra Elmore of Batavia is facing three counts of injuring a French bulldog.
Police say the dog – apparently owned by Elmore – got into a stash of narcotics – believed to be cocaine -on three different occasions.
The dog required treatment from a vet for the overdose.
Elmore was given a court appearance ticket.

Batavia drivers are feeling a bit more relief at the gas pumps when it comes time to fill up. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.72. That’s down nine cents from last week and is 20 cents cheaper than this time a month ago.

Someone holds a $1-million state lottery ticket that they purchased in Elba.
According to the lottery, the ticket was sold at Crosby’s in Elba for the July 8th Mega-Millions game.
The $1-million ticket was the second-place prize in the game.

The summer concert season is underway, and multiple state agencies are working together to prevent underage drinking at venues across the state. Under an initiative called Operation Prevent, there will be enforcement sweeps to stop the use of fake IDs to buy alcohol.

Midday News Brief

Devon Wright

He has spent the last 8 months on the run from Batavia police; however, now 21-year-old Devon Wright is in jail. He was taken into custody in Lockport over the weekend without incident and is committed to Genesee County Jail with no bail set. He had been arrested numerous times over the last 3 years but judges have refused to incarcerate him citing bail reform laws as the reason…this was the case, even though in some instances the charges against him allowed for incarceration. Wright repeatedly violated terms of his release and failed to appear for sentencing, resulting in the warrant for his arrest.

 

 

A Batavia woman has been charged with injuring an animal after a veterinarian had to treat her French Bulldog for overdosing on narcotics on 3 separate occasions. 30-year-old Cassandra Elmore now faces 3 counts of injuring an animal and owning an unlicensed dog. Officers believe the dog “got into” the narcotic but don’t specify how the dog came into contact with the narcotic. Elmore was issued a ticket to appear in court at a later date. Also, 60-year-old Kelly Fossum of Batavia has been arrested for petit larceny. It is alleged that Fossum stole numerous packages of meat from a local grocery store and walked past all points of sale. She was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in Batavia City Court tomorrow.

 

Western New York drivers are feeling a bit more relief at the gas pumps when it comes time to fill up. According to Triple A this morning, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.85. That’s down 6 cents from last week and is 12 cents cheaper than this time a month ago. Right now, the state average is sitting at $4.80 per gallon while nationally it is $4.68. In Batavia, the average cost per gallon is $4.72; down 1 cent from yesterday, down 9 cents from a week ago and 20 cents lower from a month ago today.

 

Jerome Bridges

A Tops employee who is credited with helping save lives during the mass shooting at a store in Buffalo will be meeting with President Biden today. Jerome Bridges and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown are going to be at the White House when Biden holds an event to mark the passage of new gun legislation. On May 14th, Bridges moved several people into a conference room at the supermarket until the alleged shooter Payton Gendron was arrested. There were ten people killed due to the gunfire and three others were hurt.

 

 

 

David Bentley

The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department is mourning the loss of one of its members following a weekend drowning. Officials say 62-year-old David Bentley ended up going into the water at Chautauqua Lake in Ellery on Saturday while he was trying to board a boat. People in the area found Bentley and began CPR and he was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua where he was later pronounced dead. Bentley had been with the sheriff’s department since 1985 and was promoted to captain in 2019.

 

 

 

The summer concert season is underway, and multiple state agencies are working together to prevent underage drinking at venues across the state. Under an initiative called Operation Prevent, there will be enforcement sweeps to stop the use of fake IDs to buy alcohol. Anyone under the age of 21 who’s caught using a phony ID or someone else’s ID can get a ticket and have their license revoked for up to a year. Police will also be keeping an eye out for drunk drivers during and after concerts.

 

 

DO NOT OPEN

 

The state Department of Motor Vehicles continues to warn New York residents about a new phishing scam. The DMV says people are receiving text messages claiming that the state is offering 15-hundred dollar rebates due to high gas prices. Anyone who clicks on the message is directed to website that appears to be associated with the DMV but it’s actually aimed at stealing their personal data. More information on phishing scams and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim can be found at its.ny.gov/resources.

 

Morning News Brief

Someone in Elba may be 1 million dollars richer.  A winning 1 million dollar lottery ticket was sold at the Crosby’s on 98 in Elba and all that person needs to do is claim their prize.  The ticket was purchased on July 8th.  The winning numbers were 20-36-61-62-69.

2 from Rochester were apprehended after allegedly stealing from Dicks Sporting Goods on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia and then leading Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies on a high speed chase.  33 year old Ashley Grann and 33 year old Jacob Smith fled from police down I-90 and up 390 before ditching their vehicle and running on foot on Brooks Ave where they were caught by the police.  They were found to be in possession of narcotics.  They are charged with reckless endangerment 1st, grand larceny 4th, unlawful fleeing from a police officer, criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th, and obstruction of governmental administration.   No information has been provided on what they stole from Dicks.

A Batavia woman is being charged with injuring an animal after a veterinarian had to treat a French Bulldog for overdosing on narcotics 3 times.  30 year old Cassandra Elmore is facing 3 counts of injuring an animal and owning an unlicensed dog.  The vet says they treated the dog on 2 dates in May and once in June for apparently eating cocaine or some other narcotic.  

Livingston County isn’t just painting the town, they are painting the whole county!  All 9 villages in Livingston County are getting a new Large Scale Mural painted by an international artist and every Saturday in July is a festival where people can come and watch the murals get painted while enjoying food, craft beverages, live music, family art activities and other performances.  July 16th new paintings will be unveiled in Geneseo, Leicester, and Livonia.  And the 23rd will be Dansville, Mount Morris and Nunda.  This is the first ever countywide Mural Festival in New York State

And they’re off!  Over 750 cyclists from over 40 states started out in Amherst Sunday and will ride their bicycles for 8 days, covering 400 miles and camping each night, till they have completed the Erie Canal Trail in Albany.  This morning they are leaving from Medina and will end their ride in Fairport.  The annual ride was suspended for the pandemic and the organizers are happy to have it back at full capacity for another trip.

Weekend News Brief

As part of the legislation Governor Hochul signed to increase state gun control in New York, applicants for concealed carry permits must now hand over their social media account information.  The stated reason for this is that the state will then be able to review a person’s character and conduct before deciding if they can carry a pistol.  This will start in September following recent concerns about social media postings by the suspected mass shooters in Buffalo and Uvalde.

Going to a concert or other live event this summer?  Don’t try to sneak in or get a beer with fake id.  Operation Prevent, A NYS Department of Motor Vehicles initiative involving DMV and Liquor Authority investigators as well as State Police and Parks Police is in full swing through the summer months and they will be doing sweeps of events throughout the state.  Customers under 21 found to be using a fake ID or another person’s ID to buy alcohol can be ticketed and their licenses can be revoked for up to a year.

O’Lacy’s Irish Pub is going to a new owner.  Kent Ewell, sent out a goodbye letter to the community.  -After over 25 years I am saying “goodbye” to O’Lacy’s Irish Pub. It has been a wonderful ride thanks to the many gracious and repeat customers throughout the years. I have developed many friendships over these 25 years and will cherish each and every one of them. Please remember the good times you have had at O’Lacy’s and be sure to look forward to many more happy times under new ownership. O’Lacy’s was & is a blessing for Batavia and will be for years to come.-

7 months after he failed to show for court, his attorney said he had to be at the birth of his first child, Devon Wright has been apprehended in Lockport.  According to Batavia police, Wright was taken into custody without incident for his many outstanding warrants.  In November he plead guilty to counts of Criminal Sexual Act, Attempted Assault in the 1st degree, assault in the 3rd degree, and criminal posession of a weapon in the 2nd degree.  There was a $2,500 reward offered for the capture of Wright.  Batavia PD did not release details on whether information was offered by somebody to assist in the arrest of Wright that might make such a person eligible for the reward.  Wright is now in Genesee County Jail being held without bail.  

The City has been looking for a manager for the David M McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena and someone has stepped up to take the job.  Matt Gray who owns Alex’s Place, The Tiny Piney, is a partner in Eli Fish Brewing Company, and Matty’s Pizza and sits as vice president of GCEDC  and on the towns planning and development board and on the batavia Improvement District and is a USA Hockey Coach level 4 has submitted a proposal to take over the management and make some improvements to the Arena.  Gray is proposing that his organization, Batavia Sports Facility Management, spend 140 thousand dollars to fix up the lights, office space, concessions, audio and visual equipment, and maybe invest in some curling and non ice skating equipment.  City Manager Rachel Tabelski recommends the city take the deal.

Afternoon News Brief

Nicholas Turnquist

A former Java man, who avoided a possible life in prison sentence when child sex assault charges were dismissed in Wyoming County, now faces at least 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to federal charges. 36-year-old Nicholas Turnquist, now of West Falls in Erie County, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to transportation and attempted transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, with a maximum of life and a $225,000 fine. The plea came on the day jury selection was scheduled. Turnquist admitted that beginning in 2012 he began sexually assaulting the girl who was 14 at the time. The assaults continued for years, including in 2014 when he transported the girl, then 16, to Pennsylvania to engage in sexual activities. The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

 

Scam text message, NOT from the DMV

A scam alert from the Department of Motor Vehicles: The DMV has issued a warning to consumers to beware of a new attempt to steal their personal information. The scam claims the DMV is offering rebates due to high fuel prices. This is not the case. If someone clicks on the link provided, they are brought to a webpage that is designed to look like the DMV website and they are asked to submit personal information. This is the latest in a series of such so-called phishing schemes that DMV has warned New Yorkers to avoid. Phishing texts are fraudulent messages designed to obtain data or sensitive personal information to be used to commit identity theft or trick the recipient into installing malicious software onto a computer or mobile device.

 

After a wet start to the summer months with over two inches of rain falling within the first 10 days of June, the pattern shift that followed has been quite the opposite. And as a result, the entire GLOW region is now described as “abnormally dry,” the lowest of five classifications on the drought scale. The U.S. Drought Monitor released its latest weekly report yesterday. It shows the dry conditions spreading through most of Western New York. That’s a change from last week, when only the northeastern quarter of Orleans County was affected by the dry conditions within the GLOW region. The “abnormally dry” classification means that crop growth can be stunted and planting delayed, with early browning of lawns and declining surface water levels. Fire danger is also elevated. If the dry conditions were to worsen, they would be classified as a moderate drought — not unusual for portions of New York in summer. Genesee County asked its residents to conserve water last week — especially on hot days. Work to increase the area’s water supply is ongoing, but the projects will take several years to complete. Genesee County Highway Superintendent and County Engineer Tim Hens suggests, “Water gardens at night or early morning when evaporation is less. We have contingency plans in place for emergency water supply and pumping, but if everyone works together to do their small part at conservation efforts we can avoid water supply issues.”

 

Area drivers, businesses, and property owners along Park Road are being advised of an upcoming change in traffic patterns. Utility work is nearly complete on the Park Road Improvement project. Work will be focusing on roadway reconstruction, including excavation and removal of the existing roadbed, curb work, streetlighting, sidewalks and paving. As the work proceeds, a portion of Park Road between Lewiston Road and Richmond Avenue will be closed to all through traffic beginning Tuesday. The stretch will remain closed until Labor Day. The portion of Park Road from Richmond Avenue to Veterans Memorial Drive will revert from one-way traffic back to two-way traffic. Daily work zones with reductions to a single lane traffic are to be expected. Batavia Downs traffic is asked to enter and exit the facility parking area from the north end of Park Road near Richmond Avenue. Signs will direct Batavia Downs customers and staff to the parking areas. For traffic needing to access Park Road approaching from Lewiston Road/Route 63, driers are asked to follow the Park Road detour using Veterans Memorial Drive. For traffic needing to access Lewiston Road/Route 63 approaching from Oak Street/ Route 98 and Thruway, drivers will be asked to follow the Route 63 detour using Veterans Memorial Drive. All through traffic is asked to avoid Park Road if possible and seek alternate routes. Call the Town of Batavia Highway Department at (585) 343-1729, ext. 218 for more information.

 

Positive COVID test result

The latest data from the state shows the spread of COVID-19 is on the rise again in Western New York. Right now, the average 7-day infection rate in the region is 9.1%. At this time one week ago, that infection rate was 7.1%. However, in the Finger Lakes region, the average 7-day infection rate is just below 5.5%. At this time one week ago, the infection rate was 6.2%. New Yorkers are being urged to protect themselves and others from the illness by being vaccinated, getting their booster shots and wearing a mask indoors.

 

Payton Gendron – file photo

The suspect accused of carrying out a mass shooting at a Tops store in Buffalo has made another court appearance. Yesterday, Payton Gendron was back in front of a judge and his attorney’s were granted a 90-day extension to decide if they want to use a psychiatric defense. Gendron is accused of opening fire at the Jefferson Avenue Tops back on May 14th, killing 10 people and injuring three others in what prosecutors have called a racially motivated hate crime. He’s facing dozens of charges and could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

 

One of the biggest lottery prizes of the entire year is going to be up for grabs in just a few hours. The Mega Millions jackpot has grown to at least $400,000,000 ahead of tonight’s drawing. The cost to play is $2.00 per ticket. No one has won the top Mega Millions prize since April 15th. Tonight’s drawing will be streamed online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Matthew Savoie

Noah Ostlund

Jiri Kulich

The Buffalo Sabres have added three players to their organization who they hope can help lead the team to the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The Sabres had the ninth, 16th, and 28th overall selections in the first round of the NHL Draft last night and used them to select Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund and Jiri Kulich. All three will be new centers able to leap into the forward position. Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs in the last 11 seasons, which is the longest active drought in the league. Rounds two through seven of the draft began this morning.

 

In a press release issued today, the City of Batavia tells us: There is an urgent need to fill crossing guard positions for the 2022-23 School Year. The salary is $13.46/hour, and they’re accepting applications for the position of part-time School Crossing Guard. Qualifications: Graduation from a standard senior high school or possession of a high school equivalency diploma. Civil Service employment applications may be picked up in the Human Resources Department, City Hall, One Batavia City Centre. Please submit completed applications to Dawn Fairbanks, Human Resources Director, e-mail: fairbank@batavianewyork.com. Background check and drug testing required. Candidate must become a resident of the County of Genesee or any adjacent town to the County of Genesee within 6 months of the date of conclusion of the probationary period for the City of Batavia. EEO

Morning News Brief

Does your organization give out free diapers, rides to OBGYN offices, clothes, continuing education and even housing?  If you don’t also offer abortions, New York is concerned.  The State of New York will be investigating Crisis Pregnancy Centers to determine if they are misleading women to get them to keep their children instead of aborting them according to a bill Governor Hochul signed into law in the middle of June.  The bill Authorizes a Study to Examine Unmet Health and Resource Needs and Impact of Limited Service Pregnancy Centers.  Locally All Babies Cherished and Care-Net operate to support, educate and supply mothers.  The state investigation into pregnancy centers is expected to begin in about six months, once a task force is put together and it will take 18 months to complete. It is unclear whether there will be any action based on the results, but they will be published online.

Sheriffs from across the state say that New York’s new gun control laws are unconstitutional and also impossible to implement.  The NYS Sheriff’s Association is behind a letter that alleges Governor Kathy Hochul and the state legislature violated citizens’ rights by passing new gun bills “without waiting the constitutionally required three days.”  Also, they say that the new laws infringe on New Yorkers 2nd Amendment rights by requiring businesses to post signs if guns are allowed.  Sheriffs say there should be an assumption under the constitution guns are allowed unless explicitly prohibited.  

Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Joseph Morelle announced that the Frederick Douglas Greater Rochester International Airport will be getting an update.  5 million dollars of the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Law will be going to modernize the terminals of the airport.  This is on top of the 27 million the airport will also receive and the 5.4 million going to other finger lakes airports.  The boarding bridges in Rochester’s airport are over 30 years old and 5 of them will be replaced.

Let’s go out to the ballpark!  The Genesee County STOP-DWI and Youth Bureau invite all youth to the July 14th Muckdogs game at Dwyer Stadium.  The first 200 youth through the gates will receive a t-shirt or Muck Bucks.  Brooke Jarkiewicz and Grace Shepard, participants in the STOP-DWI poster contest and Byron Berger Graduates, are throwing out the first pitch.  The Genesee County Youth Bureau has 500 free tickets available for youth and their families.  Get your tickets by calling 585-344-3960.  Any remaining tickets will be available the night of the event at the STOP-DWI booth outside the main gate.  

The Buffalo Sabres have selected several new players in the draft.  In the 28th overall pick the team selected Jiri Kulich.  In the 16th overall pick they got Noah Ostlund from Sweden.  And in the 9th overall pick the Sabres grabbed Matthew Savoie.  All three will be new centers able to leap into the forward position.

Afternoon News Brief

Tyler Gulisano

Tyler Gulisano

The Batavia Police Department is seeking public assistance in locating Tyler Gulisano who has been reported missing. Tyler was last seen on 07/06/2022 in the early morning hours after leaving the Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, NY. A family member received a call from him at about 12:45 PM from the Seneca Texas Red Hot’s business in Buffalo. Tyler is believed to be in an altered mental state, so there is a concern for him. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Police Officer Josh Girvin or the on-duty supervisor at the Batavia Police Department, without delay, at (585) 345-6350.

 

Nicholas Keiffer

A Genesee County Sheriff was in pursuit of a motorcyclist, which had been observed speeding on Route 5; however, it’s alleged that the driver, 26-year-old Nicholas Keiffer, refused to stop when the Sheriff tried to pull him over, early last evening. Instead, he sped away and the deputy ended the pursuit when he lost sight of Keiffer. It was only moments later that the deputy came upon the site of the accident. Keiffer apparently left the road and careened off the grass and edge of Fargo Road becoming airborne, and ended up in a hedgerow in a field. Keiffer was confirmed dead at the scene. State Police have taken over the investigation.

 

Genesee County has issued water conservation notices for the last 2 years as water levels in the aquifer have been below normal levels for some time. Well, Seneca Power Partners on Cedar Street wants to draw more than 715 thousand gallons of water a day from the water that supplies the County, City and Town. The 3 municipalities have asked the DEC to deny the permit to draw all of this water. They say this would burden the aquifer, affecting the water treatment plant and the Tonawanda Creek. They said that the company did not inform the municipalities and did not consider other sources first, such as O-At-Ka Milk Products, which is only 100 yards away and discharges over 1 million gallons of water daily.

 

A road construction alert…Richmond Avenue is closed for road construction between Redfield Parkway and Park Road today and tomorrow, from 7:00am – 5:00pm. The roadway will be re-opened overnight. Motorists looking to access Park Road are asked to approach from the North at the intersection of Park and Veterans Memorial Drive.

 

George Maziarz

Last May, former state senator George Maziarz filed a lawsuit against Western Regional Off-Track Betting, accusing their board members of diverting funds for their own use, which prevented money from being fairly distributed to municipalities. OTB officials referred to the lawsuit as a ‘publicity stunt’. Today it was announced that the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department, unanimously affirmed the ruling of a previous judge, denying Maziarz reimbursement for attorney’s fees and litigation costs.

 

Governor Hochul

New York State is working to strengthen its sexual harassment prevention policies. Governor Hochul says that the state Department of Labor is asking New Yorkers to submit feedback for the revisions they would like to see. Officials will launch a multi-platform campaign to let people know public input is being accepted through September 20th. The labor department will also update its current sexual harassment training videos to incorporate remote work.

 

Dr. Jonathan Daniels

A balloon release is being held tonight to honor a Buffalo pediatrician who died in a house fire. The event will take place at 6:00pm at Urban Family Practice on Jefferson Avenue, which is where Doctor Jonathan Daniels treated his patients. On Monday, Daniels and his daughters, 27-year-old Jordan Daniels and 23-year-old Jensen Daniels, passed in the fire on Huntington Avenue. The girls’ mother and Daniels’ wife, 53-year-old Janessa Givens-Daniels, survived but is recovering. The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined.

 

Netza Medina

A Buffalo man who assaulted a woman and her child will be spending the next 20 years behind bars. Yesterday, a judge sentenced 43-year-old Netza Medina for violating an order of protection by breaking into the victim’s residence back in December 2020. Once he was inside, Medina pushed the woman to the floor and started choking her. The child then grabbed a knife to get Medina off the victim, but was hit in the face by his elbow. The woman was treated for multiple injuries and the child suffered a broken jaw. Once Medina is out of jail, he’ll have to spend five years on probation.

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be hoping to improve their roster tonight during the NHL Draft. The Sabres have the 9th, 16th, and 28th overall selections in the first round of the draft, which is taking place at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Buffalo had the number one pick last year and used it to choose defenseman Owen Power. The draft begins at 7:00pm and is going to air on both ESPN and ESPN Plus.

 

Niagara beat the Muckdogs last night 11-5. Today the ‘Dogs’ travel to Oneonta for a double-header that starts at 5 this afternoon; they’re back home tomorrow night against Geneva.

 

Morning News Brief

Genesee County has issued water conservation notices for the last 2 years as water levels in the aquifer have been below normal levels for some time.  But one company wants more water.  75 times more water.  Seneca Power Partners on Cedar St in Batavia wants to draw more than 715 thousand gallons of water a day from the water that supplies the County, city and town.  The 3 municipalities have banded together to ask the DEC to deny the permit to draw the water.  They say this much water usage would burden the aquifer, affecting the water treatment plant and the Tonawanda River.  They said that the company did not inform the municipalities and did not consider other sources such as O-At-Ka which is 100 yards away and discharges over 1 million gallons of water daily.  

A motorcyclist is dead after an accident on Rt 63 near Bethany.  A Genesee County Sheriff was in pursuit of a motorcycle which had been speeding on rt 5 and refused to stop when they tried to pull them over.  The bike sped away and the deputy ended the pursuit and lost sight of them.  It was only moments later that the deputy came upon the site of the accident.  The cycle apparently left the road and careened off the grass and edge of Fargo Rd and became airborne, landing in a hedgerow in a field on the east side of the road.  The driver was confirmed dead at the scene.  The incident is being investigated.

A road construction alert…Richmond Avenue will be closed for road construction between Redfield Parkway and Park Road today and Friday, from 7:00am – 5:00pm both days. The roadway will be re-opened overnight. Motorists looking to access Park Road are asked to approach from the North at the intersection of Park and Veterans Memorial Drive. 

Suicide rates are skyrocketing in New York and the state government is spending 52 million dollars to try to combat it.  The money is going to expand call centers for suicide and mental health emergencies.  The suicide prevention hotline is also changing numbers.  The new number is 988 which is a switch from the longer 1-800 number and the switch will happen July 16th.  The state has also earmarked 60 million dollars annually for funding these call centers.  The Governor and state government want people who are experiencing feelings of suicide or any other mental health emergency to know that they are not alone and there is someone who wants to talk to them.  Call 988 before it’s too late.

Local politicians on both sides of the border are calling on the US government and the Canadian Government to get together and lift all COVID related restrictions on the border crossing.  The mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Jim Diodati said that this year only half the pre-pandemic number of people came across the border to celebrate the 4th, about 170 thousand less vehicles crossed the Peace Bridge.  US representative Brian Higgins said that people are confused, the policies are inconsistent and “people have adjusted their economic behavior to avoid coming into western NY or going into Southern Ontario.”  The tourism revenue between the United States and Canada is about half of what it was before COVID-19. Diodati believes the impacts could be long-term.

Afternoon News Brief

Jason Smith

Batavia residents are invited to share their thoughts at two public hearings about the school district’s conduct code and the addition of another school resource officer at about $100,000 a year. A prior hearing about the Code of Conduct brought out no one for comment. The school resource officer is obtained through the city of Batavia and its police department, with the school district picking up the cost. The hearings are part of combined re-organizational and regular meetings of the board this week. The session begins at 6:15pm tomorrow in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at Batavia High School. Superintendent Jason Smith will provide the review of each topic, and district residents will be invited to sign up prior to or during the review to voice comments or questions. Speakers are given a three-minute time limit each per topic. Additional information is available here: https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/batavia-district-residents-invited-to-public-hearings-about-code-and-second-100k

 

A road construction alert…Richmond Avenue will be closed for road construction between Redfield Parkway and Park Road tomorrow and Friday, from 7:00am – 5:00pm both days. The roadway will be re-opened overnight. Motorists looking to access Park Road are asked to approach from the North at the intersection of Park and Veteran’s Memorial Drive. If there are any questions concerning this work, please, contact The Town of Batavia – Highway Department at (585) 343-1729 Extension 218.

 

 

The 2022 Summer Food Service Program is kicking off and that means thousands of kids across the state are going to be able to receive free meals over the next several weeks. Data shows that access to healthy food during summer break benefits a child’s health and education. Locally, Batavia City Schools are offering two meals each day until August 26th. Families may pick up a free breakfast and lunch bundle from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays at John Kennedy Intermediate School, and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at Genesee Country Farmers Market in the former JC Penney’s parking lot. The meals will also be available Monday through Friday 9-12 at Jackson Primary.

 

A Warsaw resident died this morning in a house fire at 24 Murray Street. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered smoke coming from the house’s second story with a victim reportedly inside. They were able to rescue him; however, he later succumbed to his injuries at Wyoming County Community Hospital. The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

 

37-year-old Tarrell Carter of Rochester was arrested by Le Roy Police and charged with strangulation (a felony) and two misdemeanors, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Shortly before midnight Sunday evening, police responded to a domestic incident at a residence in the Village of Le Roy. Carter is accused of choking and punching the victim during an argument that turned physical. He was taken into custody and arraigned in Le Roy Town Court. Carter was remanded to the Genesee County Jail with no bail and is due in court again later this month.

 

Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James is taking aim at stopping human trafficking in the Empire State. She has provided the state’s hotel and tourism associations with cards containing human trafficking information and hotline numbers and is reminding lodging facilities of their obligation to post the cards in visible locations. Traffickers rely on the hospitality industry to move, control and deliver victims of commercial sex or forced labor. A recent federal human trafficking report revealed 57-percent of all trafficking victims last year were minors and 92-percent were sex trafficking cases.

 

Great Northern Grain Elevator

Following a ruling from a State Supreme Court judge, demolition of the Great Northern Grain Elevator in Buffalo can now proceed. Preservationists have been trying for the last several months to prevent the structure from being torn down. The grain elevator, built back in 1897, was severely damaged during a windstorm last December during which a significant portion of its brick exterior walls was lost. It’s the last of its kind in North America. There’s no word yet when demolition is going to begin. However, the City of Buffalo announced it would grant an emergency demolition permit.

 

Shore erosion – Lake Ontario

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says efforts are being made to prevent future flooding in communities along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Schumer made the announcement yesterday during a visit to Sodus Point, which was devastated by flooding in both 2017 and 2019. Schumer says a bill called the Storm Act would provide $500,000,000 for flood control projects. Once that funding is made available, residents and businesses will have access to the money.

 

Two members of the Buffalo Police Department have been cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with an officer-involved shooting. The incident happened last month after 27-year-old Nakeem Haynes allegedly shot and killed 63-year-old Atlas Johnson near Broadway and Sears Street. When police approached Haynes, he jumped on the hood of their vehicle and opened fire but didn’t hit anyone. The officers then ran after Haynes who ended up being shot several times. Haynes is charged with murder and attempted murder and could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

 

Tops early logo

Tops Friendly Markets is holding a hiring event over the next couple of days as the company looks to add employees at its distribution center. The supermarket chain is offering in-person interviews at its facility on Genesee Street in Lancaster from noon until 3:00pm tomorrow. Some of the positions that need to be filled include warehouse selectors, drivers and maintenance mechanics. For more information, visit topsmarkets.com/jobs.

Morning News Brief

Thanks to the Keep Kids Fed program Batavia city schools are offering free meals through the summer for kids 18 and under. Two meals a day will be available until August 26th. Families may pick up a free breakfast and lunch bundle from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays at John Kennedy Intermediate School, and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at Genesee Country Farmers Market in the former JC Penney’s parking lot downtown.  The meals will also be available Monday through Friday 9-12 at Jackson Primary. 

If you run a hotel you are obligated to post human trafficking hotline and help information in public places said NY Attorney General Letitia James as a reminder to all hotels in NY.  New York law requires hotels and lodging facilities to post informational cards that contain only information about services for human trafficking victims.  The cards must be in plain view and prominently display the national human trafficking hotline number.  According to the most recent Federal Human Trafficking Report from June, 57% of all human trafficking victims in 2021 were minors and 92% were sex trafficking cases.  New York remains among the top five states with the highest number of new sex trafficking cases, active sex trafficking cases, and cases involving minors.

The Great Northern Grain Elevator near Buffalo’s waterfront is finally going to be torn down after a judge ruled Wednesday to go ahead with it’s demolition.  The grain elevator was damaged during a windstorm on December 11, 2021 and lost a significant portion of one of its brick exterior walls. The owner of the building, ADM Milling Company, then filed for emergency demolition and on December 17,  the City of Buffalo announced it would grant an emergency demolition permit.  Preservation groups sued to stop the demolition of the over 100 year old building.  Some groups even offered to buy the building and repair it or turn it into a multi use building. All those plans fell through a judge reached the decision that the building could not survive the damages and ordered it torn down.

Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln, will be visiting the Richmond Memorial Library on July 16th at 2pm to share a tea time with all who gather with her and talk about her life, achievements and more. Learn how Mary’s knowledge of both politics and social customs made it possible for a backwoods frontier attorney to achieve the highest office in the land and lead America through the darkest time in its history. Librarian Laura Keyes shares Mary’s story in an entertaining and educational program entitled “Mrs. Lincoln in Love,” which is set on January 31st 1862.

In 2018 over 7000 people answered the survey to share their health information. This year Common Ground Health wants 10000 people from western NY and the Finger Lakes regions to answer their survey to help deepen understanding of the dynamics that drive health equity, and reveal where program and policy changes could make our communities healthier. The survey will be open throughout the summer.

Afternoon News Brief

Jeffery Hall

A Batavia man is facing felony sex abuse charges. 38-year-old Jeffery Hall is accused of grabbing a 63-year-old delivery employee and forcing her hand to touch him. The incident occurred on May 24th at a Ross Street residence, close to midnight. Hall was arrested following police investigation and released on his own recognizance. He is to appear July 13 in City Court.

 

35-year-old Brandon Dodd of Highland Drive, Batavia now has felony and misdemeanor charges filed against him. Genesee County Sheriffs investigated a larceny complaint at Kohl’s and found that Dodd had taken merchandise, which he brought to the Pawn King Shop and falsified a bill of sale attesting to the ownership of the stolen property. Dodd was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear to Town of Batavia Court early next month.

 

Dr. Jonathan Daniels

The Daniels home, Huntington Avenue, Buffalo

The investigation continues into what caused a house fire in Buffalo that killed a father and two of his daughters. Crews were called to the scene on Huntington Avenue yesterday and arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the residence. The victims have been identified as 53-year-old Doctor Jonathan Daniels, 23-year-old Jensen Daniels and 27-year-old Jordan Daniels. The girls’ mother, 53-year-old Janessa Givens-Daniels, was rushed to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Five firefighters were hurt while battling the blaze but none of their injuries are serious.

 

Ronnie Hartman

A Western New York resident has come up short in his bid to be named the best competitive hot dog eater in the world. Yesterday, Ronnie Hartman of Hamburg downed 25 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes as part of the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest at Coney Island in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, Hartman’s total was far below winner Joey Chestnut’s tally of 63. Hartman says he tried his best and is promising to come back even hungrier next year.

 

Triple A tells us that highway travel over the holiday weekend was the second busiest since 2000 and many campgrounds and RV parks were booked to capacity. This morning, Western New York drivers are seeing lower prices at the pump when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. The average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in our region is now $4.91. That’s down four cents from last week, is 14 cents less than a month ago, and is a $1.76 more than this time last year. The state average is currently $4.88 a gallon while nationally it’s $4.80. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.79; down 2 cents from yesterday and 8 cents from a week ago. The average price for diesel is $6.26 a gallon, the same as it was a week ago.

 

Carey Bradley

A Rochester man has been arrested in connection with a shots fired incident that happened in Gates. Officials say 26-year-old Carey Bradley was trying to shoot a man on Fox Run Sunday night. That man was later found with a gunshot wound to the foot but he refused to provide details of the incident to police. Bradley was taken into custody following a traffic stop in Rochester and police say at the time of his arrest, he had a loaded gun with him that appears to have been stolen.

 

The Muckdogs lost to Geneva in the tenth inning last night, the final score was 5-4. They have an afternoon game today at Niagara, and then travel back home tomorrow for $1.00 hotdog weenie night at Dwyer Stadium. Game time is 7:00pm.

 

The American Red Cross is urging people to roll up their sleeves and donate blood during the summer months. The agency says donations typically decline during this time of the year which limits the amount of blood that’s available to help people in an emergency. Everyone who donates through July 10th is going to receive a Red Cross recycled cotton tote bag while supplies last. The next local blood drive is this Friday, July 8th from 9am to 3pm, at the Social Services Building, 5130 East Main Street.

 

They say money can’t buy happiness. But wouldn’t it be fun to try?

Lottery players will be lining up today to purchase their tickets for the biggest Mega Millions jackpot since January. The amount of money up for grabs in this evening’s drawing is $370,000,000. The cost of a ticket to play is $2.00. The drawing will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

This is the first 4th of July for 49 new citizens in Rochester.  The Genesee Country Village and Museum held a naturalization ceremony on the Fourth, honoring the finale of the citizenship process for these people who come from countries like Cuba, Jamaica, and Bhutan, all with the same idea in mind – to live the American dream.  All expressed thankfulness and joy over getting their certificate making them officially US citizens.  This was the first time in three years the Genesee Country Village and Museum was able to hold the naturalization ceremony.

Gas prices were at an all time high over the July 4th weekend but that didn’t stop travelers from enjoying the holiday.  Many campgrounds and RV parks report being booked to capacity.  Air travel returned to pre pandemic levels even with many cancelations and delays.  Highway travel was the second busiest since 2000.  Gas nationally stayed expensive with the average being 4.81.  In New York the average is still 4.89 a gallon.  Summer is usually a high time for gas prices and they were already elevated going in.  We can expect gas prices to stay up through the summer.

A Batavia man is facing felony sex abuse charges after an incident in May.  38 year old Jefferey Hall is accused of grabbing a 63 year old delivery employee and forcing her hand into his privates.  The incident occurred on May 24th on Ross Street at almost midnight.  Hall is charged with felony first degree sex abuse.

A historical artifact of the forgotten war was turned over to the LeRoy historical society on Sunday.  The sword of Brigadier General Daniel Davis, which he brandished as he went into battle on September 17th. 1814, the day that he died,  was in the care of his family.  In a ceremony held at Buell cemetery on rt 5 the Davis family and friends gave the saber over.  Davis was killed defending Fort Erie against a combined British and Mohawk attack.  Armed only with his sword he charged into a melee with British veterans in an attempt to silence the cannons firing on the Fort.  During the fighting he climbed onto a parapet and was shot while attempting to stall British reinforcements so his men could retreat.  Officers recovered his sword and body and returned it to LeRoy.

4th of July News Brief

In a response to the Supreme Court Decision that New York’s restriction that someone applying to get a concealed carry permit need a stated reason for carrying outside the home is unconstitutional Governor Hochul announced signing emergency legislation to restrict gun owners.  The new legislation restricts places where permit holders are allowed to carry firearms.  Areas where guns will not be allowed to be carried include Times Square, churches, bars, restaurants, airports, public parks, subways, trains, buses, ferries, schools, libraries, public parks, zoos, homeless shelters, and private property without permission of the property owner.  Democrats hail this as a landmark decision with Hochul saying this will make New Yorkers “feel safer.” And that it is the “embodiment of what it means to be an American. In honor of our 4th of July weekend.”  Republicans called it a “national embarrassment” and vowed that these restrictions would also be declared unconstitutional.  

Don’t go swimming in ponds in Clarence.  You might just brush up against an alligator.  New York State Police reported finding 2 alligators at the Clarence Town Park after a fisherman caught one and called it in.  The alligators were 3 feet long.  The DEC was called in to handle the reptiles and they had to be euthanized.  It is illegal to own an alligator in New York and police don’t know how they got there.  They are guessing that someone bought them as babies and then dropped them off at the pond when they grew too big.  Two weeks before, state troopers were called to Derby where they wrangled a 9-foot boa constrictor. The snake was then sent to the SPCA Serving Erie County.

The Genesee County Sheriffs Office unveiled a new k9 training course located at the Genesee County Fire Training Center.  Everything used to make the course, from the materials and labor, to the design and layout were donated by local businesses and through several grants.  Countrymax, Home Depot, Keybank, BOCES, Hoselton Automall and the Rochester Area Crime Stoppers donated to the project.  The course will primarily be used by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit as well as other outside law enforcement K9 units upon request and availability.

Chase, Fisher Parks, Seneca, Miller and Columbia avenues are getting a sidewalk upgrade thanks to a deal between the Batavia City Council and contractor Master’s Edge Inc. to replace about 6400 feet of sidewalks and handicap ramps.  The contract is for just over 490 thousand dollars with 94.5 thousand available for overages.  The State Funded Consolidated Highway Improvement Program is set to help with the expenses.  Work has already started and no end date has been announced.

A hundred year old veteran is getting to live out his dream of being a pro baseball player.  Today at the Buffalo Bisons game Roy Kinyon will finally accept the offer the Bisons made to him 80 years ago when they tried to recruit him in 1942.  He told them he was bound for the Navy the next day.  Today he signs a 1 day contract and throws out the 1st pitch for the 6 o clock game.  Kinyon served in the US Navy for four years, rising to the ranks of Chief, Motorist Machinist. His vessel, the USS Shoshone, was an amphibious cargo assault ship active in the Pacific Theater. Kinyon was aboard his ship off the shores of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945 where he watched six US Marines raise an American flag atop the summit of Mount Suribachi.

4th of July Weekend News

Despite some rain early Saturday morning, a water conservation notice remains in effect for Genesee County.
Although there is plenty of water throughout the year on average days, without conservation efforts, keeping up with demands during hot dry stretches becomes difficult. The County is asking everyone to pitch in on water conservation efforts through the peak of summer heat.
The forecast through the July 4th Holiday weekend calls for mostly sunny skies with highs in the upper 70’s to low 80’s.

The woman who stole $105,000 from the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce will spend the next seven years in state prison.
45-year-old Kelly Ashcraft will serve concurrent sentences for grand larceny, forgery and falsifying business records.
Ashcraft admitted to taking the money while she worked as the director of member services for the chamber. As part of her sentence, she also has to pay restitution.

With a lot of people expected to be on the roads for the Independence Day weekend, members of law enforcement across New York State will be keeping a close eye out for drunk drivers.
Travelers can expect to see increased police patrols as part of a STOP-DWI campaign that runs from today through July 5th.

The state Health Department is issuing a reminder to all New Yorkers about the dangers of fireworks. The agency says in order to prevent serious injury leave the use of fireworks to professionals.
There were over 15-thousand fireworks-related injuries that required emergency department treatment in 2020, with most happening around July 4th.

A note for drivers who use Richmond Avenue in Batavia. Construction on Richmond is scheduled to begin this Wednesday, July 6th.
Milling and paving as well as work on the sidewalk on the north side of the street will start the $2.6 million project from Oak Street to State Street. No street closures are anticipated but delays should be expected.

The Genesee County Office for Aging tells us that the Farmer’s Market Coupons will not be available until sometime next week.
The coupons will be good for free produce at any certified Farmer’s Market in Genesee County. They expect to have coupons available sometime this coming week.

Afternoon News Brief

The State Department of Environmental Conservation tells us there is an Air Quality Advisory in effect for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties today, until 11:00pm. This is due today to high-levels of ground-level ozone, most often created by car exhaust and out-of-state emission sources mixing with oxygen. This form of ozone should not be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere. During times of elevated pollution levels, people are advised to consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who are especially sensitive to pollutants include the very young and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Anyone with symptoms should consider consulting their Primary Care Provider. For more information, the New York State Air Quality Hotline can be reached by calling 800-535-1345.

 

The Genesee County Office for Aging tells us that the Farmer’s Market Coupons that they hoped could be handed out starting today will not be available until sometime next week due to printer problems. The coupons will be good for free produce at any certified Farmer’s Market in Genesee County. They expect to have coupons available sometime next week.

 

With the recent drier than normal weather and forecasted above average temperatures, Genesee County officials are once again asking residents to conserve water. Although there is plenty of water throughout the year on average days, without conservation efforts, keeping up with demands during hot dry stretches becomes difficult. The County is asking everyone to pitch in on water conservation efforts through the peak of summer heat.

 

 

The Canadian Government has announced that the travel restrictions for COVID 19 will continue at least until September 30th. What this means is, Americans crossing the border must be fully vaccinated and are mandated to use the ArriveCAN app to submit information. They may also be subject to random arrival testing. Representative Brian Higgins is not happy about this; he reflected that 2-1/2 years of border restrictions, with most people being vaccinated on both sides of the border, are breaking the US Canada relationship and economies.

 

Craig Anderson

41-year-old goaltender Craig Anderson is returning to the NHL for a 20th season. He signed a one-year contract yesterday worth $1.5 million to remain with the Buffalo Sabres. He posted a 17-12-2 record with a 3.12 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in 31 starts in 2021-22. He began playing in the NHL in the 2002-03 season and joined the Sabres last July on a one-year contract worth $750,000.

 

A traffic alert for you to stay mindful of: Work on Richmond Avenue in Batavia is scheduled to begin next Wednesday, July 6th. Milling and paving as well as work on the sidewalk on the north side of the street will start the $2,650,000 project, from Oak Street to State Street. Once the North side is done the work will shift to the sidewalk on the south side from Oak to Ellicott Ave. No street closures are anticipated but delays should be expected.  Meanwhile, Governor Hochul has suspended construction-related lane closures for road and bridge work, to help ease travel during the holiday weekend. The temporary closures began this morning and will end at 6:00am on Tuesday, July 5.

 

The state Department of Health has issued a reminder to all New Yorkers about the dangers of fireworks. The agency says in order to prevent serious injury, people should only use legal sparkling devices and leave the use of other types of fireworks that are illegal to professionals. Data released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed there were over 15,000 fireworks-related injuries that required emergency department treatment in 2020, with many of them happening around July 4th. The health department is also recommending that people use earplugs when watching fireworks displays to help protect their hearing.

 

Lee Zeldin

Nick Langworthy

Coming off of his big primary victory earlier this week, the Republican nominee in the race for New York governor has made a stop in Buffalo. Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin visited Erie County Republican headquarters yesterday where he was joined by state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy. Zeldin is predicting that Governor Hochul will lose Erie County on Election Day and claims he’s already spoken with a lot of people who are upset with her. Should Zeldin win, he would become the first Republican to be elected as the Empire State’s governor since George Pataki.

 

With a lot of people expected to be on the roads for the Independence Day weekend, members of Genesee County law enforcement agencies as well as police across New York State, will be keeping a close eye out for drunk drivers. Travelers can expect to see increased police patrols as part of a STOP-DWI campaign that runs through Tuesday, July 5th. Folks who are planning to drink are urged to make sure they have a safe ride home. Anyone who sees suspicious or dangerous activity while they’re traveling should dial 911 immediately.

 

Erie County Fair

The start of the Erie County Fair is just a few weeks away, and today tickets for the popular event will go on sale. They can be bought by visiting the fair’s official website at ecfair.org, and adult admission is going to cost $13.50 when purchased online. Organizers say children 12 and under can get into the fair each day for free and there’s also going to be no cost for parking. This year’s fair gets underway in Hamburg on August 10th and it runs through August 21st.

 

Theirs, all theirs

Good news for someone from Western New York…The Winning CASH4LIFE Jackpot Ticket worth $1000 a day for life, was sold in Niagara Falls. The New York Lottery today announced one jackpot ticket was sold for the June 30 CASH4LIFE drawing. It was purchased at the Tops Markets, located on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Niagara Falls. The winning numbers are 6-9-20-31-34 and Cash Ball is 2.

 

No one has won the top Mega Millions prize in several weeks; all lotto players are hoping tonight is their lucky night. The jackpot up for grabs in this evening’s drawing will be $360,000,000. The cost of a ticket to play is $2.00, but the odds of picking all of the winning numbers are one in over 302,000,000. Tonight’s drawing will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul signed new legislation Thursday that will make concert goers happy.  The legislation coined New York’s “Ticketing Law” bans hidden fees in live event tickets, establishes fines for scalper bots or illegal ticket purchasing software, bans the sale of tickets that were given out for free initially, and bans delivery fees on print at home tickets or e-tickets.  These potentially unfair and deceptive practices will hopefully make going to live events cheaper and less likely to be scammed.  

Do you have an electric vehicle?  Governor Hochul has just announced that EVolve NY charging stations will be free through the Independence day weekend.  This goes from midnight July 1st through Midnight July 5th.  There are about 100 of these stations throughout New York placed and maintained by the New York Power Authority.  Follow the link at WBTAi.com to see where they are.

https://evolveny.nypa.gov/

The Supreme Court decided not to make a decision in the case brought by health care workers against the State of New York on Thursday.  The case centers around the requirement for healthcare workers to get the COVID vaccination with no exemptions for religious reasons.  New York is one of only 3 states in the union that denies religious exemptions for the vaccine requirement.  3 Justices dissented in the decision not to take up the case.

The Canadian Government announced Thursday that the travel restrictions for COVID 19 will continue at least until September 30th.  Americans crossing the border must be fully vaccinated and are mandated to use the ArriveCAN app to submit information. They may also be subject to random arrival testing.  Representative Brian Higgins says that 2 and a half years of border restrictions, with most people being vaccinated on both sides of the border, are breaking the US Canada relationship and economies.

Genesee County Office for the Aging wants to apologize.  The coupons for seniors at the farmers market are not yet available because of a shipping delay.  They will start having coupons after July 5th and will post updates as soon as they get them.

The City of Batavia wants to replace the public lights throughout the city with LEDs but they don’t own them.  Through a contract with National Grid, the power company is responsible for keeping the lights on and their maintenance.  The City is voting to spend 226 thousand dollars to buy the lights, 948 of them, back from the power company.  The City Council wants to convert the lights to LEDs so they will last longer, provide more light, and more coverage.  City Manager Rachel Tabelski says that National Grid does a good job but it will be better to have more local control.

Work on Richmond Ave in Batavia is scheduled to begin July 6th.  Milling and paving as well as work on the sidewalk on the north side of the street will begin from Oak Street to State Street.  Once the North side is done the work will shift to the sidewalk on the south side from Oak to Ellicott Ave.  No street closures are anticipated but delays should be expected.

Afternoon News Brief

The investigation by State Police into the accident at West Main Street and Lewiston Roads continues today. According to police, a white vehicle was southbound on Lewiston Road, stopped at a light in the far left lane. A black car headed east on West Main Street crossed the centerline and both westbound lanes, striking the white vehicle. None of the four individuals sustained life-threatening injuries; three of them were taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, the fourth, went via Mercy Flight helicopter. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact State Police.

 

Kelly Ashcraft

The 45-year-old woman who embezzled more than $105,000 from the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce has been sentenced to prison. Kelly Ashcraft will up to seven years for grand larceny, forgery and falsifying business records. A 25-year order of protection has also been issued. Warsaw Village Police arrested Ashcraft in January pursuant to their investigation. The embezzlement started in 2018. She was well-known throughout Wyoming County for her Chamber of Commerce role, which included conducting ribbon cuttings at new and expanding businesses. She had also been honored in 2019 with Alan B. Goodenow Memorial Award for Citizen of the Year, which is awarded to a person who has shown outstanding commitment and service to the Warsaw community.

 

Genesee County Sheriffs are continuing their investigation this afternoon, into a one-vehicle accident on Lockport Road in Elba. Deputies tell us the male driver of a truck with a camping trailer in tow, swerved to avoid hitting an animal in the roadway. When he did, he drove off the shoulder of the road and struck a tree. The accident caused the camper to break apart and debris covered a wide area behind the truck. The driver needed to be extricated from the vehicle. He had non-life threatening injuries but was transported to Erie County Medical Center due to serious injury to his lower body and legs.

 

Lawmakers are back at the State Capitol today for a special session that was ordered by Governor Hochul. The governor is asking the Senate and Assembly to consider several pieces of legislation after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the State’s conceal carry weapons law. The country’s highest court said last week that the rules for granting concealed-carry permits to gun owners violated the U.S. Constitution. Governor Hochul has proposed several measures including a requirement that people who have a history of dangerous behavior be banned from getting a concealed-carry permit.

 

Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James says a lawsuit has been filed against several national gun distributors who she claims have fueled the gun crisis and put the safety of New Yorkers at risk. Attorney James says these distributors have sold thousands of illegal, unfinished frames and receivers that were later turned into untraceable weapons known as ghost guns. James says illegal guns don’t belong on the streets and that her office will use every tool necessary to root them out. This year hundreds of ghost guns have already been seized.

 

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will once again be participating in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving. The increased efforts across New York start tomorrow and continue through Tuesday, July 5th. Police have made great strides during previous holiday weekends in reducing the number of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Law enforcement reminds us that you can make a difference. Plan ahead to get a safe ride because impaired driving is completely preventable. Visit www.stopdwi.org for more information.

 

Mark Croce

Michael Capriotto

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its final report on the helicopter crash that killed Buffalo developer Mark Croce and Orchard Park businessman Michael Capriotto. The agency says Croce was flying the aircraft from Maryland to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in January 2020 when the helicopter encountered turbulence over Pennsylvania. At one point the helicopter flipped upside down which resulted in the main rotor blade striking and slicing the tail of the aircraft and caused it to break apart in midair. The report also said that Croce was neither incapacitated nor impaired at the time of the tragedy.

 

Today Attorney General Letitia James secured $400,000 from Wegmans, for exposing the personal information of more than three million consumers nationwide, including 830,000 New Yorkers. The compromised data included usernames and passwords for Wegmans accounts, as well as customers’ names, email addresses, mailing addresses, and additional data derived from drivers’ license numbers. As a result of Attorney General James’ action, Wegmans is also required to upgrade its data security practices to protect consumers. In June 2021, Wegmans began notifying affected consumers whose personal information was compromised during the incident. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) determined that, in addition to failing to appropriately configure the cloud storage containers to limit access to its contents, at the time of the incident, Wegmans failed to inventory its cloud assets containing personal information, secure all user passwords, and regularly conduct security testing of its cloud assets. In addition, Wegmans maintained checksums derived from customers’ driver’s license numbers without a reasonable business purpose to maintain any form of driver’s license information indefinitely. Wegmans also failed to maintain long-term logs of its cloud assets, which made it difficult to investigate security incidents.
As a result of today’s agreement, Wegmans is required to pay New York $400,000 in penalties. In addition, Wegmans must adopt new measures to protect consumers’ personal information going forward, including:
• Maintaining a comprehensive information security program that includes regular updates to keep pace with changes in technology and security threats and reporting security risks to the company’s leadership;
• Maintaining appropriate asset management practices, including maintaining an inventory of all cloud assets;
• Establishing policies and procedures to ensure all cloud assets containing personal information have appropriate access controls to limit access to such information;
• Developing a penetration testing program that includes at least one annual comprehensive penetration test of Wegmans’ cloud environment;
• Implementing centralized logging and monitoring of cloud asset activity, including logs that are readily accessible for a period of at least 90 days and stored for at least one year from the date the activity was logged;
• Establishing appropriate password policies and procedures for customer accounts, including hashing stored passwords with a hashing algorithm and salting policy commensurate with NIST standards, encouraging customers to use strong passwords, educating customers on the benefits of multifactor authentication, and prohibiting password reuse;
• Maintaining a reasonable vulnerability disclosure program that allows third parties, such as security researchers, to disclose vulnerabilities;
• Establishing appropriate practices for customer account management and authentication, including notice, a security challenge, or re-authentication for account changes; and,
• Updating its data collection and retention practices, including only collecting a customer’s personal information when there is a reasonable business purpose for collection and deleting personal information when there is no longer a reasonable business purpose to retain such information — for information collected prior to the effective date of the agreement, Wegmans will permanently delete all personal information for which no reasonable purpose exists within 240 days of the effective date.

Morning News Brief

Getting guns off the streets has been part of the anti gun violence initiative for Governor Hochul and state lawmakers.  Wednesday they announced how that initiative has increased seizures of ghost guns and the state police have also upped their game on seizing illegal weapons.  State Troopers have seized 662 guns, a 98 percent increase from last year at this time.  And ghost gun seizures are up 38 percent.  Hochul is also planning a special legislature session to combat the Supreme Court’s decision that New York’s law prohibiting licensed gun owners from carrying outside the home unless they can provide a reason for needing protection was unconstitutional.  That extraordinary session meets today.

New York Attorney General Letitia James called on Mega Corporation Google to change how Women’s Pregnancy Centers or Crisis Pregnancy Centers which don’t offer abortions show up in the search engine results.  Attorney General James expressed grave concerns regarding the failure of Google Maps to distinguish between facilities that offer abortion services and those that do not, which could lead individuals seeking abortions to visit crisis pregnancy centers for care.  James said that CPCs can cause individuals to face dangerous and harmful situations and accused them of being misleading and spreading misinformation.  Crisis Pregnancy Centers outnumber abortion providers by roughly 10 to 1 in most states in the US.  Often they are 501c3 or privately funded organizations that offer adoption services, education, ultrasounds, diapers, formula and mental health counseling services and are usually pro-life.  Organizations such as CompassCare and Care-Net have urged Hochul and James not to take steps such as these as they have been violently targeted by domestic terrorist organizations and are afraid of more attacks spurred on by anti Crisis Pregnancy Center Rhetoric.

The CEO of the large copying company Xerox, founded in Rochester in 1906, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday.  John Visentin was 59 years old and died of complications from an ongoing illness.  Xerox moved to Connecticut but maintains a sizeable campus in Webster.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced an Albion man broke the New York State smallmouth bass record with an 8.6-pound catch on Cayuga Lake.  The NYSDEC said on June 15 Thomas Russell Jr. reeled in an eight-pound, six-ounce smallmouth bass from Cayuga Lake in Seneca County which surpassed the previous record by two ounces.

Starting Friday the New York STOP DWI taskforce will be out working to keep drivers safe through the 4th of July Weekend.  They are working with the Genesee County Sheriffs.  Police will be maintaining higher visibility and urge people celebrating the country’s freedoms to have a plan on how to get home.  There is no need for a celebration to turn into a tragedy. 

Afternoon News Brief

The investigation by State Police continues this afternoon following a serious motor vehicle accident at the intersection of West Main Street and Lewiston Road. There were two people in each vehicle and all four were taken to Erie County Medical Center; one of the individuals had possible life-threatening injuries and was flown in by Mercy Flight helicopter. One vehicle stopped on the grass in the triangle between West Main Street and Lewiston, and the other vehicle stopped partly over the curb and partly in Lewiston Road.

 

43-year-old Andrew Draper and 45-year-old Crystal Mounts both of Batavia are each charged with petit larceny after a theft from Walmart in Batavia. Draper and Mounts were transported to the Genesee County Jail for prints and photos and were issued appearance tickets. They’re scheduled to return to Batavia Town Court early next month. Draper was additionally charged with criminal contempt after being found to be in contact with a person who had a full stay away order of protection against him.

 

At least some adults in the country may get updated COVID-19 shots this fall, as government advisers voted yesterday that it’s time to tweak booster doses to better match the most recent virus variants. Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration wrestled with how to modify doses now when there’s no way to know how the rapidly mutating virus will evolve by fall – especially since people who get today’s recommended boosters remain strongly protected against COVID-19’s worst outcomes. The logistics will be challenging. Many Americans haven’t had their first vaccinations yet, including young children who just became eligible – and it’s not clear whether tweaked boosters eventually might lead to a change in the primary vaccine. But the FDA’s advisers said it’s important to go ahead and study updated vaccine recipes in children, too. And a third company, Novavax, is awaiting FDA authorization of a more traditional kind of COVID-19 vaccine, protein-based shots. Novavax argued Tuesday that a booster of its regular vaccine promises a good immune response against the new omicron mutants without a recipe change. Advisers to the World Health Organization recently said omicron-tweaked shots would be most beneficial as a booster only, because they should increase the breadth of people’s cross-protection against multiple variants. The FDA will have to decide the exact recipe, but expect a combination shot that adds protection against either omicron or some of its newer relatives to the original vaccine.

 

GLOW With Your Hands is on the search for volunteers to help support the day long, hands-on career exploration event for GLOW Region students, scheduled for September 27. Annually, the event averages roughly 100 volunteers, with 50 – 75 individuals working directly with the students. Some volunteers will be paired with students individually for assistance. There are several skilled trades and fields that students can learn more about, including agriculture, bricklaying, electrical wiring and heavy-equipment operation. Additional information and volunteer applications are available here: https://www.glowwithyourhands.com/volunteer.

 

Kim Pegula

The co-owner of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres is continuing to recover after recently experiencing an unexpected health issue. The family of Kim Pegula released a statement yesterday saying that she is resting and rehabilitating but didn’t reveal any additional information about her condition. They also said they were grateful for the care she has received and thanked everyone who has sent well wishes. Pegula and her husband Terry have owned the Sabres since 2011 and they purchased the Bills in 2014.

 

Kathy Hochul

Lee Zeldin

The race for New York governor is now down to two candidates after Governor Hochul and Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin win their respective primaries. Hochul secured the Democratic nomination by beating New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi yesterday. Zeldin, a Republican, came out on top against Andrew Giuliani, businessman Harry Wilson, and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Hochul is now one step closer to winning a full four-year term but Zeldin will try and defeat her to become the first Republican to be elected as the Empire State’s governor since George Pataki. Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 8th.

 

Letitia James

The state Attorney General’s office has teamed up with law firms and reproductive rights groups to launch a new legal hotline. The hotline will provide guidance and resources to patients and healthcare providers who are looking for information on their legal rights to access and provide abortions. The hotline is available free of charge and can be reached by calling 212-899-5567. Attorney General Letitia James says now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade it is important to ensure people have access to safe abortions.

 

Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has taken a tour of the remodeled Tops store that was the scene of a mass shooting last month where 10 people were killed. Brown was joined on his visit to the Jefferson Avenue location yesterday by the president of the supermarket chain. Brown says he feels good about the changes that have been made so far and that the store is still expected to reopen by the end of July. The man accused of carrying out the shooting, 18-year-old Peyton Gendron, is behind bars without bail.

 

The state Department of Transportation says a construction project in Monroe County began today. According to the agency, drivers can expect to have to deal with delays due to single-lane closures along Interstate 490 westbound in the area of Exit 26 in Perinton. Exit 26 connecting westbound traffic on I-490 to State Route 31 will still remain open. Construction is scheduled to continue through August and more information can be found by visiting 511ny.org.

 

The Genesee County Office for the Aging will be giving out coupons at the farmers markets in Batavia and Leroy starting this Friday from 10 am to noon. Every Friday they will be at the Alva Place farmer’s Market. They will also be handing them out at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia, every Tuesday in July from 10 a.m. to noon at the outside patio and in the Community Room if it is raining.

 

Morning News Brief

The Primary results are in after voting took place on Tuesday.  In the democratic primary for Governor, Hochul pulled in over 433 thousand votes for a 65 percent win.  Suozzi only got 12 percent with 82 thousand votes and Williams came in with 21 percent, 140 thousand votes.  In the Republican Primary for the governors seat Zeldin led the pack with just over 107 thousand votes which got him 42 percent.  Wilson had 15 percent with 37.5 thousand and Astorino got 45 thousand for 17 percent.  Giuliani had 63 thousand votes for nearly 25 percent.  Antonio Delgado won the Lt Governor position with 57 percent of the votes. Democratic commentators were quick to point out that the democrats showed up in much larger numbers for the vote, over 650 thousand democrats voted vs just over 250 thousand for the republicans.

Batavia PD is looking for the public’s assistance in identifying a man who is suspected of stealing more than $350 of Allegra from the CVS pharmacy on East Main Street.  The larceny took place today a little before noon.  The suspect was last seen getting into the passenger seat of a white-colored SUV. It left the area heading westbound.  If anyone recognizes the person pictured, please notify investigating Officer Nicole McGinnis by calling (585) 345-6350.

The Fix is in, Erik Fix that is.  Batavia City Manager Rachel Tabelski announced that the President of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, Erik Fix has been appointed the new City of Batavia Assistant Manager. Some of his responsibilities will include creating and implementing a new Neighborhood and Housing Transformation initiative, community development, public relations and information technology. In a letter Fix submitted to Chamber members, he noted his last day as president of the Chamber would be July 22.

After 2 bidding cycles there is still no contractor for the work needing to be done to revitalize Jackson Square.  The last low bidder, Mark Cerrone Inc. raised prices by almost 25 percent after winning the contract.  Cerrone had bid 654 thousand dollars for the project and then delivered a bill of 847 thousand.  The other bids were 870 thousand and over a million. The Revitalization Committee decided to rescind the offer to Cerrone.

If you are a senior and you like the farmers market then you are in luck.  The Genesee County Office for the Aging will be giving out coupons at the farmers markets in Batavia and Leroy starting this Friday from 10 am to noon.  Every Friday they will be at the Alva Place farmer’s Market and Saturday the 2nd, 23rd and 30th they will be at Trigon Park.  They will also be handing them out at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia, every Tuesday in July from 10 a.m. to noon at the outside patio and in the Community Room if it is raining.

Afternoon News Brief

Erik Fix

Batavia City Manager Rachel Tabelski announced that the President of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, Erik Fix has been appointed the new City of Batavia Assistant Manager. Some of his responsibilities will include creating and implementing a new Neighborhood and Housing Transformation initiative, community development, public relations and information technology. In a letter Fix submitted to Chamber members, he noted his last day as president of the Chamber would be July 22.

 

Vidalia Onions

Wegmans has issued a recall involving vidalia onions that were sold at its stores in our region. The supermarket chain says there are concerns the onions may be contaminated with listeria, which is a bacteria that has been known to cause serious illness. The affected onions were sold by the pound from June 23rd through June 24th and may have PLU stickers with the numbers 4159 or 4166 on them. Anyone who purchased the onions can return them for a full refund.

 

New Yorkers are heading to the polls today to decide who will be the nominees in the race for governor. For the Democrats, Governor Hochul, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi are hoping they’ve earned enough support to win. For the Republicans, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, Andrew Giuliani, businessman Harry Wilson, and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino are looking to be the GOP nominee. Primaries are also being held today for seats in the state Assembly and for lieutenant governor. Polls are open until 9:00pm.

 

37-year-old Marvin Barber, Jr. of Lackawanna, is charged with harassment, criminal possession of a weapon, menacing and grand larceny….stemming from a reported disturbance on Lewis Place; Barber had left the scene but eventually turned himself in to police custody. He was arrested and arraigned in City Court and ordered held in the Genesee County Jail.  Also, 52-year-old Daniel Yates of Batavia is charged with criminal tampering and criminal mischief. He is accused of damaging property inside Tops Market and was issued an appearance ticket.

 

Jackson Square

There is plenty to do over the long holiday weekend in Batavia: On Friday, the Jackson Square concert series continues with the “Old Hippies;” the Muckdogs play at Dwyer Stadium. Also on Friday is “Rockin’ the Downs” with the Led Zeppelin tribute band “Get the Led Out.” Saturday the Batavia Ramble Explore Arts & Music Festival will be held at Jackson Square. Live bands, cultural dances, hands-on arts and crafts, and more will run from 10:00am to 9:00pm. And then on Sunday, there is another Muckdogs game at 7:05. And on Monday, the 4th, the Kiwanis Club 5k starts at 9:00am in Centennial Park. By the way, there will be no fireworks at the Downs this year due to the construction on Park Road.

 

Toronto skyline

For the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amtrak service from New York State to Toronto has resumed. The Maple Leaf line connects several locations to Toronto, including Niagara Falls. Passengers who are traveling to Toronto by train will need to use the ArriveCAN app and also must wear a mask while on-board and inside train stations. For a full list of schedules and fares, visit amtrak.com.

 

A Rochester couple is in trouble with the law after being arrested in connection with recent catalytic converter thefts in Onondaga County. According to State Police, 25-year-old Brittany Hollaert and 31-year-old Vasiliy Maksimchuk took 17 of those devices from vehicles at the Drivers Village Auto Mall, which is located in Cicero. Troopers also claim the pair were involved in similar thefts in the Rochester area. Both suspects are facing multiple charges including grand larceny and criminal mischief.

 

Luz Pena

A poll worker has admitted that she pre-stamped the name of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown on several ballots last year. Yesterday, 59-year-old Luz Pena pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in Buffalo City Court. Prosecutors say Luz pre-stamped the ballots back in November 2021 while she was working at a polling place inside the Belle Center on Maryland Avenue in Buffalo. Brown was a write-in candidate in the mayoral race and ended up beating India Walton to remain in office. As part of her plea agreement, Luz was given an unconditional discharge and ordered to pay a fine.

Morning News Brief

Primary day is here in New York State.  Running in New York for governor are Democrats Kathy Hochul, Tom Suozzi, and Jumaane Williams.  For the Republicans Rob Astorino, Andrew Giuliani, Harry Wilson and Lee Zeldin are vying for the Governor nomination.  3 Democrats are also running for Lieutenant Governor, Ana Maria Archila, Antonio Delgado and Diana Reyna.  Polls will be open from 6 to 9 today.  Congressional and State Senate primaries are going to be held on August 23rd this year due to redistricting of New York’s election map.

Governor Hochul has announced what she is planning to do about the Supreme Court’s decision striking down New York’s law about needing a stated reason to concealed carry a pistol outside the home.  She is planning to put forward measures that would allow businesses to declare themselves a gun free zone by posting a sign near the entrance.  Hochul says this will allow restaurants and other places of business to make their customers feel safe knowing if there are concealed firearms or not near them.  Previously, the only dedicated gun free zones were airports, federal and state buildings and lands including state parks, schools and daycares and public campgrounds.

Fourth of July Weekend is right at the end of the week and there is a lot to do in Batavia.  Friday the Jackson Square concert series continues with the “Old Hippies” while the Muckdogs play at Dwyer Stadium.  Competing with the Jackson Square series is “Rockin’ the Downs” with the Led Zeppelin tribute band “Get the Led Out.”  Saturday will also bring the family fun all day and night long with the Batavia Ramble Explore Arts & Music Fest downtown in Jackson Square. Live bands, cultural dances, hands-on arts and crafts, and more will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Sunday There is another Muckdogs game at 7:05.  And The 4th itself starts off with some exercise at the Kiwanis Club 5k starting in Centennial Park.  No fireworks at the Downs this year due to the construction on Park Road.

Everybody has blood, and if you are injured, you might need more of it.  The Red Cross is reminding the public of the increased need for blood during the summer months as more people skip giving to go on vacations and are just generally out of town and not thinking about donating.  They are seeking more donors and more volunteers for their blood drives.  There is a blood drive today at the American Legion in Batavia from 2 to 7pm and another tomorrow at St James Episcopal Church.  There will be 4 more through July in Batavia.  Walk Ins are welcome.

New York Bus Sales broke ground on their new 20 thousand square foot facility on West Saile Drive and Call Parkway on Monday.  The regional director for National Grid, Ken Kujawa, Batavia Town Supervisor Greg Post, Genesee County Legislature Chairwoman Shelley Stein, Assemblyman Hawley and Senator Rath were all part of the groundbreaking ceremony.  The 4.5 million dollar building will house the offices, training space and repair and storage areas for the company in this area.   It is intended to support school districts and bus operators across Genesee County and the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions to convert their fleets from diesel fuel to all-electric.  The project has also pledged to create 24 full-time jobs.  One of the first electric school buses will be delivered this summer to the Lake Shore School District in Erie County.

Afternoon News Brief

By now you may have heard that the only independently owned pharmacy in Batavia, Alberty Drug Store, is in the process of closing. Beginning this week, they will only be open to fill prescriptions, which will be the case until sometime in July. The detailed story is available at the website of our news partner, The Batavian. A direct link to the story is available here: https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/during-its-100th-year-in-business-alberty-drugs-is-closing-next-month/609482

 

Western New York drivers woke up this morning to find a nearly 3% decrease in the per-gallon price at the pumps, that’s since a week ago today. According to Triple A this morning, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.86 in our region. The state average is now sitting at $4.96 a gallon and the national average is $4.90. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.88. The average price for diesel here is the same as it was a week ago, $6.26 per gallon.

 

Early voting for tomorrow’s primary election has wrapped up, with election officials reporting an increase in voting over last year. The period lasted nine days and ended yesterday. According to a poll conducted by Survey USA, Lee Zeldin is leading the pack in the Republican primaries with Andrew Giuliani close behind. Both have nearly 25% of the vote each with Wilson and Astorino lagging behind in the teens and single digits. 31 percent of republican voters are still undecided. In the democrat primary Governor Hochul is far ahead of her challengers Suozzi and Williams. Tomorrow, polls will be open from 6:00am until 9:00pm tomorrow night.

 

31-year-old Brianna Way of Batavia has been arrested for assault and endangering the welfare of a child, following a child abuse investigation conducted by detectives and Genesee County Child Protective Services. Way is accused of punching and kicking a 9-year-old child, causing injury, shoving the child’s head as punishment and forcing the child to watch a TV-MA (mature audiences only; no one under 17 should view) child-murder documentary titled, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” while telling the child it could be them. Way was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on her own recognizance following the issuance of an order of protection. Also, 36-year-old Maurice Bishop of Rochester was arrested on charges of criminal contempt. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. A temporary stay away order of protection was issued protecting the victim in this case. Bishop’s return court date is scheduled for early next month.

 

30-year-old Jordan Reese of Elba has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and criminal mischief following a domestic incident. Reese allegedly physically injured an infant and destroyed property. Reese was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and will appear in Elba Town Court later next month. Also, 42-year-old David Choromanski of Byron, has been charged with criminal mischief and endangering the welfare of a child after a domestic incident. Choromanski allegedly damaged property belonging to another person in the presence of a child. Choromanski was arraigned in Le Roy Town Court and released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to appear in Byron Town Court in July.

 

A bipartisan gun control package is now law. President Biden signed the legislation into law Saturday after receiving it from the Senate late Thursday. The act enhances background checks, provides funding for mental health services, prevents convicted domestic abusers from purchasing a weapon for five years, as well as creates penalties for gun trafficking, among other measures. It’s the first significant gun control legislation passed in 30 years, and follows devastating mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas.

 

Okay fine, I’ll share

The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots continue climbing, bringing tonight’s total winnings to more than $346,000,000 dollars. Nobody matched all six numbers in Saturday night’s drawing, which included the Mega Millions “gold ball” or Powerball. Tickets cost $2.00 each; drawings are always streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

 

National Fuel logo

National Fuel is turning gas services back on in the Southtowns neighborhoods. Service was temporarily suspended on Saturday due to an issue with mercaptan, also known as the rotten eggs smell that is added to natural gas to help detect a leak. National Fuel says odorant pumps from a compressor station were pumping twice the typical level of mercaptan into the gas system, which is why residents were reporting the smell.

Morning News Brief

The Genesee County Branch of the Democratic Socialists held a rally in front of Batavia City Hall Sunday afternoon to protest the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey.  The decision sends the abortion debate back to the states to decide what to make legal and illegal.  Previously the court decisions established a trimester system and stopped states from making any laws that prohibited abortion in the first 12 weeks and allowed regulation but not outright bans in the second trimester.  In New York Aborotion is legal up to the birth of the baby as long as a medical professional deems it necessary.  The protesters held signs saying slogans such as “my body my choice,” “Pro life is not pro birth,” and “abortion is healthcare” along with many signs accusing pro life people of racism among other things.

Police have been on the lookout for illicit sales of Catalytic converters after a rash of thefts from parked cars.  An Albion man, 31 year old Joshua Grosskopf, allegedly stole a catalytic converter from a truck parked on West Lee Rd in Barre and tried to sell it to Metalico Scrap Yard in Rochester when he was apprehended by New York State Troopers.  He faces a charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and is expected to be in Barre Town Court in July.

Survey USA, a polling company which works with media, corporate, non profits and the government, has released their findings from a poll showing that Lee Zeldin is leading the pack in the Republican primaries although Andrew Giuliani is close behind him.  Both have nearly 25 percent of the vote each with Wilson and Astorino lagging behind in the teens and single digits.  31 percent of republican voters are still undecided.  In the democrat primary Governor Hochul is far ahead of her challengers Suozzi and Williams.  The primaries are on June 28th.  

Spots are still open for Environmental Science Camp at the Genesee County Park & Forest! This hands-on outdoor camp is for students entering 7th – 10th grade. Camp meets Monday through Friday, July 18th – 22nd from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Interpretive Nature Center. This week-long adventure includes survival skills, wildlife and stream studies, outdoor recreation, a field trip and more! Cost is $95/camper for the entire week. All materials and a camp T-shirt are provided. Transportation is provided from Batavia High School to and from camp each day.

Weekend News Brief

With the Supreme Court striking down the 1973 case of Roe V Wade and the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v Casey on Friday several groups took to the street in Western NY to either protest or celebrate.  In Batavia GLOW4Babies along with several people from the Ascension and Resurrection Parishes came together in front of Planned Parenthood holding signs saying Choose Life, Love Will End Abortion and signs commemorating the overturning of Roe V Wade.  Governor Hochul pledges to fight the ruling and keep New York a haven for abortion.  Michele Sterlace Executive Director of Feminists Choose Life of New York, says she hopes to be able to help those traveling to New York look into alternatives before they make it to an abortion clinic.  The group Jane’s Revenge which claimed responsibility for the vandalism and firebombing of the Amherst Women’s Pregnancy Center Compasscare, said that they were readying a night of rage where more violence would be done across the country in  response to the court ruling.

Governor Hochul signed a new law into effect that is designed to make schools a little bit safer from School Shooters.  Alyssa’s Law makes it so public schools have to consider adding a silent alarm system for the school as part of their school safety plan.  School districts such as Niagara Falls are taking it further than just a silent alarm, Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark Laurrie says Alyssa’s Law is a step forward but they are adding vestibules in every school so there is a 2 step process to enter the building and a door alarm that rings if doors are propped open more than a few seconds.  

Buffalo Police are investigating vandalism at St Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church on Hertel Ave in Buffalo.  Someone smashed statues and broke garden pots at the back of the church between 10pm on Wednesday and 9am on Thursday.  The heads of several statues were broken off and put at the feet of the statue.  

Do you wanna go fishing but don’t have a license?  All weekend fishing is free in the State of New York.  During designated free fishing days, New Yorkers and visitors to the state are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license.  Upcoming free fishing days in 2022 include National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 24 and Veterans Day on November 11. 

Seneca Park Zoo has announced it is offering 1 dollar entry to the zoo for low income families.  This comes after Monroe County Executive Adam Bello signed legislation reducing prices for income eligible families as part of a national program called Museums For All.  In order to get the reduced price, individuals and families have to show a SNAP or EBT card along with a valid ID. The George Eastman House Museum and the Rochester Museum and Science Center are also part of this program.

Afternoon News Brief

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Department is investigating why a car went off the road in Pembroke and struck a parked van in the Kutter’s Cheese Factory Store parking lot. The accident occurred late yesterday afternoon. The elderly male driver was extricated and was in and out of consciousness when he was transported by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center after having suffered life-threatening injuries. The elderly female passenger had serious, but non-life-threatening injuries and was also transported to ECMC by a second Mercy Flight helicopter. The driver may have suffered a medical issue before the crash.

 

Around 2:00am this morning, a 2017 Toyota 4-Runner was operating at a high rate of speed eastbound on Chestnut Street but then failed to stop for the stop sign at the South Jackson Street intersection and was going too fast to navigate safely. After shearing a National Grid pole in two places, the vehicle finally stopped in the front porch of a S. Jackson Street home. Initial reports from witnesses indicated four passengers including the driver fled on foot. Officers identified 4 other passengers who remained on scene. One of the passengers suffered a minor injury and was transported to UMMC by Mercy EMS. Additional passengers were transported to UMMC by private vehicles for evaluations. All occupants of the vehicle have been identified and the accident remains under investigation. Most occupants of the vehicle were minors including the alleged driver. Alcohol and marijuana are believed to be a contributing factor in the accident. Charges are pending.  Security video camera footage, along with the detailed story, are both available at the website of our news partner, The Batavian:  https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/driver-flees-after-suv-strikes-utility-pole-on-south-jackson-batavia-at-2-am/609286

 

Shelby Fire Truck

Police have identified the victim of Tuesday’s fire on Freeman Road in Shelby. 22-year-old Michael Cherry, who had trouble walking and was trapped in an upstairs bedroom, was found dead in the upstairs of the house he shared with his father, aunt, uncle and brother; this, according to Orleans County Sheriff’s Major Rob Reimer. Michael’s 29-year-old brother Daniel Cherry suffered serious injuries, including smoke inhalation and was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center. Their father, 74-year-old Roger Cherry, was treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital and released. The house was full of clutter, which restricted firefighter efforts to get inside to save Michael Cherry. Shelby Fire Chief Jason Watts said both front doors were boarded and blocked from the inside. A rear door entry was full of clutter, as well. The cause of the fire was determined to be a toaster oven in the kitchen. Reimer said Daniel Cherry was cooking and cardboard near the toaster oven caught fire.

 

Alberty Drugs will close its doors for good after 100 years in business in the City of Batavia; employees have been busy cleaning out the nearly empty shelves inside the store, which closes for good next week. It will be closed on Saturday and reopen on Monday 6/27 at 9:00am. There is no word as to which day they will close next week. If you have a current prescription at the pharmacy, ask to have your doctor write a new prescription to start with a new pharmacy as current prescriptions are not being transferred to a different pharmacy. The owners of Alberty Drugs will continue to run Mead Square Pharmacy in Victor.

 

Onofhil (“Tony”) Nieves

The search for a jet skier who was reported missing last weekend has come to a sad end. According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, the body of 43-year-old Onofhil Nieves was found yesterday in Lake Ontario near Durand Beach. Crews had been looking for Nieves for several days after he disappeared last Saturday. In a statement, the sheriff’s department expressed its condolences to Nieves’ family and friends during this difficult time.

 

New Yorkers who want to cast their ballots ahead of the upcoming primary are running out of time to do so. The early voting period that began last Saturday is coming to an end on Sunday. There are primary contests being held for statewide races including governor, lieutenant governor and state Assembly. Primary day is Tuesday, June 28th and polls on that day will be open from 6:00am until 9:00pm.

 

Fake $20 bill

Fake $20 bill

Medina Police tell us that they have received information of attempts to pass counterfeit money labeled “motion picture use only.” Businesses and cashiers should visually check all bills carefully. Photos provided by the Village of Medina Police Department.

 

 

Vanessa Armstead

A Buffalo woman who stole an ambulance in Utica last year before crashing it in the Rochester area has pleaded guilty to a grand larceny charge. Yesterday, Vanessa Armstead admitted to taking the ambulance from a garage after she had been released from the hospital following a car crash. Armstead then led police on a pursuit that came to an end when she drove the ambulance into the Irondequoit Bay. Armstead had to be rescued from the water and is facing up to nine years in prison when she’s sentenced in August.

 

No one has been lucky enough to win the Mega Millions or Powerball lately and that means the jackpots for both games are still growing. There will be $312,000,000 up for grabs in tonight’s Mega Millions drawing and whoever picks the winning numbers for Powerball tomorrow night will win at least $335,000,000. Tickets to play are $2.00 each. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

The Buffalo Police Department has released body camera footage of an officer-involved shooting that happened last week. Officials say the incident occurred after 27-year-old Nakeem Hayes allegedly shot and killed 63-year-old Atlas Johnson near Broadway and Sears Street last Friday night. When police approached Hayes, he jumped on the hood of their vehicle and opened fire but didn’t hit anyone. The officers ran after Hayes who was shot several times and is facing an attempted murder charge. Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said yesterday he believes video of the encounter between Hayes and police shows the actions the officers took were within the confines of the law and department policy.

 

Tyler Prospero

Starting pitcher Tyler Prospero from Batavia, took his first loss of the season, as The Batavia Muckdogs dropped a home game last night to the Newark Pilots 7-5. The Muckdogs are now 10-4 on the season, in second place in the West Division, two games behind Utica.

Morning News Brief

A medical issue may be to blame for a crash involving a car and a parked van in Pembroke on Thursday evening.  At around 5:45 a car being driven by an elderly man was going east on Main Road in Pembroke when it left the road and struck a van that was parked at Kutter’s Cheese Factory Store.  The driver was extricated by Pembroke and Indian Falls Firefighters and was in and out of consciousness.  He was flown to ECMC by Mercy Flight with life threatening injuries.  The elderly female passenger had non-life threatening injuries and was flown by a second helicopter.  The reason for the crash is under investigation but the driver may have suffered a medical issue which caused the car to veer off the road.

The US Supreme court struck down a gun law in New York State that required people getting a concealed carry license to have a stated reason for wanting a license.  In a 6-3 decision the court found that there was no Constitutional right that required a stated reason to be articulated before the citizen was allowed to exercise that right.  Governor Hochul said that this is a “a deeply disturbing day” and said that this would cause gun violence to increase.  Law enforcement including Peter Kehoe, Executive director of the New York State Sheriffs Association, said this won’t increase violence and most people who shoot others or shoot at police have handguns illegally.  Chief Long of the Gates police department said “I can’t remember the last time we arrested a permit carrying member of our community who used it in any sort of crime.”

Batavia Downs took in nearly 90 million dollars in the month of May according to the Chief Financial Officer for Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp.  6.4 million was paid back in winnings with 31.6 million paid back so far this year.  Half of that number gets taken by the New York State gaming Commission which puts 90 percent of its share towards education.  The casino gives a portion of its income to 15 counties and Rochester and Buffalo.  In 2021 Genesee County got 123,409 dollars.  

Gubernatorial Candidate Lee Zeldin is set to have a rally in Batavia at the old courthouse.  Today at around noon he is planning a Save Our State rally.  Zeldin, from Long Island, is running as a republican on the platform of bringing people back to the Empire State and reducing regulations and taxes.  He has visited Batavia before to talk with business leaders about what they need from a governor.  

GCC is getting some new improvements thanks to Genesee County agreeing to a request for 1.3 million dollars in funding for capital projects.   A new turf field, cooling tower, arts center connector and a roof for Conable Technology Building, costing a total of 2.6 million dollars will be built with half the money being paid by Genesee county and the other by New York State.  The turf field will be a replacement for the nearly 13-year-old soccer and lacrosse field adjacent to Richard C. Call Arena; a new cooling tower would replace one that is “well past its useful life,”while an updated connective corridor will be situated between original buildings, from the cafeteria to the fine arts building and theater. A new roof for the Conable Technology Building would shore up one that was part of the original 2000 structure, which has developed leaks.

Afternoon News Brief

Fantasia Speed

Dontaya Kyles

21-year-old Fantasia Speed of Rochester and 30-year-old Dontaya Kyles of Greece, are each charged with grand larceny in the 3rd degree with property value exceeding $3,000, after an investigation into a larceny complaint at the Walmart on Veteran’s Memorial Drive on June 20. Speed and Kyles allegedly passed all points of purchase without paying for the merchandise. Speed was additionally charged with conspiracy and arrested on a warrant for criminal possession of stolen property. Kyles was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released on her own recognizance. She will re-appear in Batavia Town Court on August 8th.

 

Raccoon

Two Attica residents have been fined $500 each for keeping a raccoon as a pet; because raccoons are at higher risk than other animals for contracting rabies, they’re considered a dangerous wild animal in New York State. The man and his girlfriend reportedly took the animal to a pet store to get food and supplies; one of the store’s employees contacted authorities. Using store surveillance cameras and license plate information, The Department of Environmental Conservation tracked them down. The animal tested negative for rabies.  Photo provided by The Department of Environmental Conservation.

 

Shelby Fire Truck

Clutter both outside and inside a burning house significantly hampered firemen’s efforts to get inside and save a 22-year-old man. The fire on Freeman Road in Shelby was believed to have started in the kitchen; upon first responders’ arrival, they assisted to rescue three individuals hanging outside a window; two were okay once safely out of the house, however one of the individuals was transported to the Erie County Medical Center by Mercy Flight helicopter. When firemen attempted to access the house to assist the man still inside, they found both of the front doors were boarded over, with cabinets and other debris in front. The only other access to the house was in the rear, where there was so much clutter firemen couldn’t get inside. Once debris was cleared and firefighters could enter, they found the man had died.

 

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lowered the Covid community level for both Genesee and Orleans counties from medium to low. The two counties were both put in the high community level about two months ago. But the confirmed Covid cases have steadily been dropping. Orleans reported 15 cases total from June 15 to 21, which was down from 36 the week before. Genesee reported 34 cases, down from 43 the previous week. To put this in perspective, Genesee County had 278 cases during the third week of April.

 

 

Chris Jacobs

Brian Higgins

Two local congressmen are casting doubts over President Biden’s call for a gas tax holiday to help manage rising gas prices. Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins and Orchard Park Congressman Chris Jacobs say something needs to be done to help ease the pain at the pump for consumers but pausing the federal gas tax is not the way to do it. Higgins, a Democrat, says a recent survey shows the temporary suspension of the state gas tax has not had a substantial impact on local gas prices. And Jacobs, a Republican, calls it a band-aid on the real problem.

 

Tomorrow there will be some road construction for you to stay mindful of…delays will occur during the second phase of paving work on Columbia, Seneca and Miller Avenues. The work is scheduled for tomorrow from 7:00am to 3:00pm. Stretches of each avenue will be closed to all through traffic during times of roadwork. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their property but should plan accordingly for delays and there is no parking on the street when work is underway. The project is weather dependent. If work is postponed it shall progress the next workday. Call the Bureau of Maintenance at (585) 345-6400 Option 1 for more information.

 

40-year-old Lauren Kay Pellegrino of West Main Street, Le Roy, is charged with assault and menacing. She is accused of assaulting another person on June 20 and has been arrested and arraigned in Le Roy Town Court. She was released on her own recognizance and an order of protection was issued for her alleged victim.

 

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that Genesee Community College’s TRiO Upward Bound Program will receive a 5-year, $3 million federal Upward Bound grant to be equally divided between Genesee and Wyoming counties. The funding will provide opportunities to assist more low-income students who would be the first members of their families to earn degrees, to prepare for and enroll in college. Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree. GCC’s Upward Bound program services seven schools in Genesee and Wyoming Counties.

 

Rochester New York

A survey says Rochester is among the worst run cities in the nation. The survey comes from the financial website WalletHub. It evaluated the top 150 cities in the United States according to credit rating, debt, crime rate and other categories. Rochester fell to Number 13 among the lowest-ranked cities. Washington D-C and San Francisco ranked at the bottom because of their city debt per capita.

 

Dr Lydia T Wright School of Excellence

Parents of students attending Dr. Lydia T. Wright School are upset that many in the graduating class didn’t move on to high school. Earlier this week, parents learned only eight of the 65 eighth grade students at the school would be graduating. Then Tuesday, administrators said the number grew to 17 and yesterday, 39 students took part in graduation ceremonies. Parents say they were never notified that their children were not moving up. Administrators now say another ceremony may be held tomorrow to graduate students who were not part yesterday’s ceremony.

 

The City of Henrietta has rejected a request for a permit by Planned Parenthood to operate a clinic in the city. Last week, New York State had expanded legal protections for people seeking and providing abortion. But at a packed meeting last night, the Henrietta Town Board narrowly voted down the request by Planned Parenthood. Last year, a proposal to build a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brighton won approval by the city’s Planning Board.

 

Morning News Brief

Genesee County Ways and Means Board has approved 55 thousand dollars for the Spectrum Health and Human Services to provide after hours mental health services till the end of the year.  Director of Community Mental Health Services Lynda Battaglia had previously said that the county’s day treatment program was closed, and funding for that will be redirected to the after-hours, on-call mental health needs of the county.  Staff had said that, due to staffing shortages, fully running the mental health services, especially after regular hours, would be impossible.  Spectrum Health is located in Orchard Park and their contract with the county was set to run out June 30th.

According to the World Health Organization, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety spiked up at least 25 percent due to the COVID pandemic and its associated lockdowns and the New York State Attorney General’s office is looking for ways to help.  Attorney General Letitia James hosted a several hour open forum Wednesday.  Most of the participants were mental health professionals.  Their biggest suggestions were more funding and more beds in mental health facilities.  The number of emergency visits related to mental health went up by 31 percent last year, specifically in adolescents.  James said her office would review the suggestions and move forward from there.

Looking for a summer job?  Governor Hochul announced that there are over 15 thousand job opportunities available in New York State covering a variety of industries and in every part of the state.  Interested applicants can find the listed openings on the department of labors seasonal works site or by following the link at wbtai.com.  There is also help with filling out the applications split up by age group.

https://seasonalworks.labor.ny.gov/

https://dol.ny.gov/youth-ages-14-17

https://dol.ny.gov/youth-ages-18-24

New York State is increasing the pay for lifeguards this year as the state has had a shortage for the past several years.  New York Governor Kathy Hochul said this is to combat a staffing shortage at state park beaches and pools as well as campgrounds and day-use area beaches.  Starting pay for lifeguards at upstate facilities will increase 34% from $14.95 per hour to $20 per hour.  The new pay rates will go into effect immediately for lifeguards at swimming facilities operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and the Department of Environmental conservation.  Lifeguarding can start at 15 years old.

Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern announced a change in leadership with Robert Harker taking the reins.  Harker was announced as the new executive director on Wednesday and he hopes to promote agency growth, and expand services, allowing it to be of even greater service to people in need in the Genesee / Orleans County areas.  Donations, volunteers, and ideas are always welcome. Bob can be reached at (585) 589-9210.

Afternoon News Brief

A heat advisory has been issued for this afternoon in the GLOW region. The advisory is in effect until 6:00pm, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Heat index values in the mid-to-upper 90s are expected. Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur. People are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Watch pets, small children and the elderly for signs of heat exhaustion. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. And if you work or spend time outside, take extra precautions…When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Call 911 in the event of heat stroke. The advisory also includes Niagara, Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties.

 

Jae Lim

A Monroe County grand jury has indicted the owner of a local martial arts studio on sexual abuse and child endangerment charges. According to prosecutors, 50-year-old Jae Lim of Master Lim’s Taekwondo in Brockport allegedly touched a 12-year-old in a sexual manner. Right now, investigators believe that this was an isolated incident. Lim is in the Monroe County Jail without bail and a judge has also issued an order of protection for the victim.

 

A traffic alert for you…delays will occur during the second phase of paving work on Columbia, Seneca and Miller Avenues. The work is scheduled for this Friday from 7:00am to 3:00pm. Stretches of each avenue will be closed to all through traffic during times of roadwork. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their property but should plan accordingly for delays and there is no parking on the street when work is underway. The project is weather dependent. If work is postponed it shall progress the next workday. Call the Bureau of Maintenance at (585) 345-6400 Option 1 for more information.

 

According to Triple A this morning, the average national price of regular gas has slipped to under $5.00 per gallon; it’s the first time this closely watched number has decreased in nine weeks. Experts say it’s an indication that prices will be slightly lower before the July 4th holiday. The U.S. Energy Information Administration tells us that pump prices are declining in part because of a reduction in demand for fuel, as more drivers change daily routines and prioritize budgets for recreational travel. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.88; the same as it was yesterday, but down 3 cents from a week ago.

 

With just days until the June 28th primary, four Republican candidates in the race for New York governor have held their third and final debate. Andrew Giuliani, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, businessman Harry Wilson, and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino all gathered on stage in Rochester last night. There were a variety of topics discussed including crime, immigration, abortion and gun control. The candidates also criticized Governor Hochul, who is the frontrunner to be the Democratic Party’s nominee in November.

 

A new report says a 300-million-dollar Amazon regional distribution center in the Town of Niagara could be just weeks away from receiving its final approvals. According to Buffalo Business First, the planning board has already signed off on the facility, which will be located on Lockport Road near Niagara Falls International Airport. Now, the town board is going to begin an environmental review before the project advances to the zoning board. If the necessary approvals are in place soon, construction could start this fall.

 

Tonawandas Gateway Harbor stage

A popular concert series that’s been entertaining people across Western New York for years is going to be kicking off tonight. Tonawandas Gateway Harbor Concerts will happen each Wednesday through the end of August at Gateway Harbor Park. Among the musicians who are set to perform in the coming weeks are Chicago Authority, A-List, and the Dave Constantino Band. Each show begins at 6:00pm and more information about each concert can found online.

 

The Muckdogs are number 1 in the league after their 5 to 0 win over the Niagara Power Monday night. Even with the Power getting 13 hits they could not score a run. The Muckdogs scored once in the second inning, three in the third, and one in the fifth. They are now 9 and 2, a half game ahead of the Utica Blue sox. They are home again tonight at 7 pm to face off against Watertown.

 

A pilot has been taken to the hospital following a single-engine plane crash in Canandaigua. The Ontario County Sheriff’s Department says the aircraft went down in a field yesterday. The pilot ejected moments before impact and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Both the FAA and sheriff’s office are looking into what caused the crash.

 

Morning News Brief

There is a heat advisory in effect until 6pm for Genesee, Orleans and Livingston counties.  The heat index is predicted to go to the upper 90s to near 100 degrees from the shore of Lake Ontario to Letchworth.  Remember to drink plenty of fluids and stay in the shade or in air conditioning.  Plan not to work outside unless absolutely necessary.  Watch pets and small children for signs of heat exhaustion and check on elderly loved ones.

A hiker found themselves in a sticky situation Monday at Letchworth State Park.  Around 9:45 pm state Police responded to the park to the report of a hiker who had fallen into the gorge.  The High Angle Rescue Team were able to locate, contact and then rappel down to the hiker who was 150-200 feet down the gorge wall.  They were able to extricate the hiker using ropes.  The hiker only had minor injuries and was evaluated at the scene by EMTs.  They were cited by the police.  

Are you thirsty on these hot days?  There is a way to wet your whistle and help babies at UMMC at the same time.  Each year, more than 500 babies are born at United Memorial Medical Center.  Soon after birth, the newborns are swaddled for comfort and safe sleeping.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says when done correctly, swaddling is an effective technique to calm infants and promote sleep.  Thursday at Centennial Park from 5 to 7 pm, UMMC staff and friends are having a lemonade sale with kids setting up lemonade stands to buy swaddles for babies.  Stop by and buy a glass of refreshment to give babies a better beginning.  A maternity nurse, the director of the program and volunteers will be on hand to talk about what they do.

It’s not just the price on gallons of gas that have risen.  The price has affected prices on other goods as well.  The average price of a gallon of milk has risen by 50 cents since the beginning of the year in part because of rising gas prices.  Western NY dairy farmers are saying the price of bringing their milk to market has nearly doubled due to fertilizer prices doubling and gas prices shooting even higher.  The higher prices have also slowed everything down.  Robert Hoover the Second of Hoover Dairy says supplies and equipment that used to take a week to get are now backordered for months and shipping has become more expensive.  Even with the state gas tax suspension and county level caps and the predicted call to suspend the federal gas tax these slow downs and price hikes will be felt for a long time.

Genesee Community College’s TRio Upward Bound program is receiving a 5 year, 1.5 million dollar grant for both Genesee and Wyoming county to help low income students who would be the first in their families to earn college degrees.  Upward Bound is an intensive intervention program that prepares students for higher education through various enrichment courses. At least two-thirds of the students in each local Upward Bound program are from low-income economic backgrounds and families in which neither parent has a bachelor’s degree. GCC’s Upward Bound program services seven schools in Genesee and Wyoming Counties.  As of 2021, over 3,000 TRiO projects serve approximately 855,000 participants. TRiO projects are in every state and territory in the nation.

The Muckdogs are number 1 in the league after their 5 to 0 win over the Niagara Power Monday night.  Even with the Power getting 13 hits they couldn’t get a single run.  The Muckdogs scored once in the second inning, three in the third, and one in the fifth.  They are now 9 and 2, a half game ahead of the Utica Blue sox.  They are home again tonight at 7 pm to face off against Watertown.  

 

Afternoon News Brief

Erica Raphael

A Batavia woman with a long criminal history and who has repeatedly failed to appear in court when scheduled to, is now in jail following a shoplifting complaint. 37-year-old Erica Raphael, a convicted felon, along with 31-year-old Justin Baehr, both from Batavia, have been charged following a shoplifting complaint at the Wal-Mart in Warsaw, with both occasions occurring early last month. It is alleged Raphael and Baehr filled up a cart with items, attempted to leave the store through the lawn and garden doors, which turned out to be locked. They abandoned the cart and left through the front doors, where they stole a bicycle from an outside display. It turned out that Raphael had been banned from entering that particular store due to previous shoplifting. Raphael is being held in Wyoming County Jail; Baehr was released on his own recognizance; both are scheduled to return to the Town of Warsaw Court on July 11. Raphael has a long history of petit larceny and arrests that date back to at least 2009.

 

State records show that health insurance providers are seeking an average rate increase of 18.7% next year for individuals and 16.5% for small group plans. The proposed insurance premium rate hikes exceeded recent years. Insurers cited, in part, the ongoing health-related costs of COVID-19 and inflation as reasons for seeking the rate increases. The changes will impact millions of state residents who are enrolled in individual and small group plans directly through private insurers or through New York State of Health. Now, the state Department of Financial Services, which regulates insurers, will review the rate proposals and consider adjustments before finalizing the 2023 rates in August. Historically, the state agency has significantly reduced the rates from those sought by insurers.

 

Four ounces of marijuana

Marijuana use is now legal in the State of New York, which means at festivals, fairs or anywhere that smoking is allowed, marijuana is also allowed. Possession is limited to 3 ounces or less. Users must be 21 and up and driving under the influence is illegal. So far police departments across the region have not reported any problems.

 

 

36-year-old Mary Dorman of Batavia is charged with DWI, failure to keep right, and moving unsafely between lanes. Dorman was involved in a head-on collision earlier this month (June 4) on Bank Street with a Batavia Police Department patrol vehicle. Her vehicle also struck a parked car. Dorman was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance.

 

Governor Hochul has officially signed off on a piece of legislation aimed at bolstering the Empire State’s election laws. Under the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act Of New York, the state will provide language assistance to voters who are not proficient in English and punish those who try to deceive voters or unlawfully block them from voting. The act also reinstates a pre-clearance provision requiring certain jurisdictions to prove new election laws don’t discriminate against voters of color. The governor says at a time when the very foundation of democracy is being threatened, New York is leading the nation with laws protecting the right to vote.

 

Four Republicans who are running for New York governor have taken part in their second debate. Last night, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, businessman Harry Wilson, ex-Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Andrew Giuliani discussed issues such as COVID-19 related mandates and bail reform. The candidates also took the opportunity to attack each other during the debate. The GOP primary is coming up next Tuesday and the winner will take on either Governor Hochul, Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi or New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in November.

 

Delaware North is a food, beverage and retail partner with the Buffalo Bills is holding the first of two job fairs today. The company wants to fill positions at Highmark Stadium. The hiring event goes from 5:30pm until 7:30pm at the ADPRO Sports Training Center located on Abbott Road in Orchard Park. The second job fair will be July 16th from 11:00am until 1:00pm at the same location. Among the positions that are available include cashiers, servers, vendors and line cooks. More information can be found online at careers.delawarenorth.com.

 

A food drive to help people affected by a mass shooting in Buffalo last month will continue to be up and running through this Saturday. Uniting and Healing through Hope says donations can be dropped off at any one of more than 20 locations across Monroe County such as police stations, churches and libraries. In addition to food, items that are still needed include toothpaste, shampoo, diapers and detergent. More information can be found online at unitingthroughhope.com.

 

45-year-old Thomas Michael Busch of Willow Street, Lockport, has been charged with possession of a sexual performance, by a child. Busch was arrested in Darien following an investigation into digital images on an electronic device in his possession He was released on an appearance ticket.

 

The search for a jet skier who was reported missing over the weekend is going to resume today. Monroe County deputies say Onofhil Nieves was last seen Saturday in the area of Durand Eastman Beach. Crews have been searching both the water and land near the beach for days but so far there have been no signs of Nieves’ whereabouts. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s department at 585-753-4178.

 

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul signed the John Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York into law Monday on the day Juneteenth was celebrated.  The act recognizes that New York’s voter laws are already superior at protecting voting rights when compared to federal voting laws but also are written to assert that New York has discrimination built into its laws which has lead to a disparity in voter turnout and representation.  This act is supposed to stop Voter Dilution, Suppression, Intimidation, Deception, and Obstruction and expand language assistance to minorities who don’t speak English.  The Republican and conservative parties opposed the act, saying it attempts to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, is far too broad, vague and expensive and doesn’t spell out how it would accomplish what it sets out to do.  They are also concerned that it imposes civil penalties on perceived violations that are hard to prove and are based on a shifting idea of a “protected class” that is entirely subjective.

With Marijuana use being legal in the State of New York, festivals and fairs where smoking is allowed may have a different odor to them.  Anywhere where smoking is allowed, marijuana is also allowed.  Possession is limited to 3 ounces or less.  Users must be 21 and up and driving under the influence is illegal.  So far police departments have not reported running into any problems at festivals.  

New York’s new law banning body armor is getting criticism by gun rights advocates and republican lawmakers.  Not because of what it bans, but what it doesn’t ban.  The law which bars sales of bullet-resistant vests to most civilians doesn’t cover the type of armor worn by the man accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket.  The accused gunman wore a steel-plated vest, an armor strong enough to stop a handgun round fired by a store security guard who tried to halt the rampage.  A law hastily enacted by state lawmakers after the attack restricts sales of vests defined as “bullet-resistant soft body armor.”  Brad Pedell, who runs 221B Tactical in New York City complains the law is too vague.  Assemblymember Jonathon Jacobson, a lead sponsor of the legislation, told The Associated Press he would “be glad to amend the law to make it even stronger.”

36 Year old Mary Dorman of Batavia is charged with DWI, failure to keep right, and moving from a lane unsafely on June 4th.  How did the police catch her?  She ran head on into a Batavia Police patrol vehicle at around 10:45 that evening.  She also hit a parked car.  

Delaware North, the food, beverage and retail partner for the Buffalo Bills is holding jobs fairs for Highmark Stadium for the 2022 season.  The first fair is today from 5:30 to 7:30 and the second is on July 16th.  Both are held at ADPRO Sports Training Center on Abbot Rd in Buffalo.  Positions needing to be filled are: Cashiers, Suite Runners, Servers, Line Cooks, Prep Cooks, Supervisors, Dishwashers, Vendors and Warehouse Operators. 

Afternoon News Brief

Genesee County Sheriffs tell us that earlier this month, they responded to the parking lot of Dick’s Sporting Goods, following a complaint that a man was trying to sell a gold ring for cash. Following the investigation, it became evident that the man and a female passenger in his car were perpetrating a scam that has previously been identified by law enforcement. Genesee County Sheriff’s are asking any citizens who purchased jewelry from an individual in this area, including the Walmart and Batavia Downs parking lots, to contact them directly at 585-345-3000 (Investigator Ryan DuLong, ext. 3572; or Investigator Erik Andre, ext. 3574).

 

The Genesee County Board of Elections is seeking to hire poll workers for election days and early voting days. Individuals are required to attend a two-and-half-hour paid training session and are paid a competitive daily rate. Anyone interested in being a poll worker should call Genesee County Board of Elections at 585-815-7804.

 

Governor Hochul

Governor Hochul has announced New York State is making a $50,000,000 investment to help improve the lives of people who live in Buffalo’s East Side neighborhood. Over the weekend, the governor said money would go towards things like job training, housing initiatives and supporting small businesses. The area was devastated May 14th when a gunman opened fire at the Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue, killing 10 people and injuring three more in what’s been called a racially motivated attack. The store is expected to reopen sometime next month.

 

Old electronic devices

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is sponsoring an electronic waste-recycling event with Sunnking from 8:30am until noon this Saturday, June 25, at the parking lot of 5130 E. Main Street. That’s next to National Grid, in the town of Batavia. Most e-waste will be accepted, including cell phones, computers, printers and by the way, please no more than 4 televisions or monitors per carload. Anyone interested in attending this event must pre-register:  https://form.jotform.com/Sunnking/clone-of-batavia-2022

 

28-year-old Megan Gregg of Batavia has been arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child. It’s alleged that she left controlled prescription pills and drug paraphernalia in an area that was accessible to a child that lives in the residence. Gregg was issued an appearance ticket for a future court date.  Also, 19-year-old McKenzie O’Connell of Batavia has been arrested on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. O’Connell allegedly provided marijuana to two juveniles and permitted them to smoke it in her residence. She was issued an appearance ticket returnable to Batavia City Court next week and released. And 40-year-old Erik Motquin of Batavia has been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct following a fight in a public building on East Main Street. He was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court tomorrow for arraignment.

 

53-year-old Paula Kingdollar of Covington was arrested for petit larceny. Troopers investigating the complaint from the owner of a produce stand on Bank Street Road in the Town of Batavia, determined Kingdollar had allegedly taken produce valued at $33.00 without paying for it. Kingdollar was arrested and released with an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court and is due back in court next month.

 

Western New York drivers are seeing consistent prices at the gas pumps these days. According to Triple A this morning, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is $4.98 in our region. That’s the same as it was last week but 14 cents more than this time one month ago is and $1.89 higher than a year ago. The state average is now sitting at $5.01 a gallon and the national average is $4.98. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.89; same as it was yesterday and down 3 cents from a week ago. By the way, average price for diesel here is $6.26 per gallon.

 

A traffic alert to stay mindful of over the next few days:  Columbia Avenue, Seneca Avenue, and Miller Avenue will experience traffic delays starting tomorrow, June 21st through Friday, June 24th from 7:00am to 3:00pm. The roads will be closed to all through traffic for paving. While local traffic will be permitted to and from their property, everyone should plan accordingly for delays. All residents/businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the operation. This is weather dependent work; if work is postponed it shall progress the next workday. Please contact the Bureau of Maintenance at 585-345-6400 Option 1 if there are any questions.

 

The early voting period continues ahead of the upcoming June 28th primary and the state Attorney General’s Office says its Election Protection Hotline is up and running. The hotline can be reached by calling 866-390-2992 and will be available from 9:00am until 5:00pm through June 26th and from 6:00am until 9:00pm on primary day, the 28th. Written requests for election-related help can also be submitted using a form posted online. The AG’s office is reminding New Yorkers they have to right to vote free of intimidation in coercion.

 

Okay fine, I’ll share

No one picked all the winning numbers in this weekend’s Powerball drawing and that means even more money is up for grabs tonight. The top prize for this evening is now at least $296,000,000. A ticket to play the game is $2.00. Tonight’s drawing will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

 

The Buffalo Police Department is expected to release body camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in the coming days. According to investigators, 27-year-old Nakeem Haynes shot and killed 63-year-old Atlas Johnson near Broadway and Sears Street Friday night. At one point, Haynes was on the hood of a police vehicle and opened fire but no one was hit. The officers later ran after Haynes who ended up being shot several times. He was taken to Erie County Medical Center and is charged with attempted murder.

 

Kodie Skeels

State Police in Warsaw arrested 24-year-old Kodie Skeels, of Varysburg for strangulation, obstruction of breathing, and assault. Acting on an arrest warrant, Troopers went to Skeels’ residence and he was taken into custody. Skeels had allegedly been involved in domestic incidents on two different dates. He was remanded to the Wyoming County jail and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Sheldon Court next week.

 

Weekend News Brief

NY Congressman Joe Morelle is calling on the federal government to cleanup the mess in Rochester.  He said that the US Justice Department needs to address the gun violence in the Flour City.  A recent study from RIT’s Center for Public Safety Initiatives found that no other city’s per-capita homicide rate has increased at a faster rate than Rochester over the past two years.  So far the city has had 31 homicides in the first half of the year.  Last year there were 81 by the end of the year with the summer months being the deadliest. 

Batavia City Schools is making the move to hire a second School Resource Officer.  Superintendent Jason Smith believes that, given “recent tragic events over the past month” in Buffalo and Texas, that school safety concerns have once again been heightened.  These officers are not direct employees of the district, as they are subcontracted from the City Police Department. Smith has been talking to City Council, the city manager, and the police department about a possible arrangement. One officer would cover the high and middle schools while a second officer would cover Jackson Primary, John Kennedy Intermediate, and Robert Morris.  Smith said that funding is anticipated to come through the remote learning money from COVID relief.

Catholic Charities in Genesee and Orleans Counties is looking for people to do calling and visitation for the community’s elderly.   The Friendly Phones and Home Visitation programs depend on dedicated volunteers to provide weekly visits or phone calls to isolated seniors 60+ who live independently, or with family.  Program manager Linda Chadderdon said that “Not only do these interactions brighten our seniors’ days, but our volunteers also enjoy the time spent together.”  are you interested in brightening someone’s day?   Please call Catholic Charities at 585-343-0614, ext. 3804.

Coming to Buffalo’s Shea’s Theater are some big names in comedy.  Earthquake, Cedric the Entertainer, DL Hughley, Don DC Curry and Aida Rodriguez are putting on the Jokes for Our Folks show on Tuesday June 28th.  All proceeds will be donated to Feed Buffalo.  Tickets can be bought at Ticketmaster.

Mercy Flight is hosting its biggest annual fundraiser at the Buffalo Riverworks this year.  The BASH for Mercy Flight will be held on September 24th.  The fundraiser will feature Nerds Gone Wild and DJ Milk, a fireworks show by Skylighters, a silent auction, food and drinks and more.  Tickets for the event are 75 dollars a person, 50 for a pack of 4.

The Quicklees on the corner of Oak St and Noonan is now partially open for business.  The gas station which sits in the place of the former Bob Evans restaurant gasoline pumps are working and the mini mart inside is open.  The Tim Hortons and drive through will not be open for another month and a half.

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that a total of $567 million is available to help low-income electric and gas utility customers pay off past-due utility bills. Under the bill credit program, all State help available for utility bill assistance will be coordinated to ensure maximum benefits to ratepayers and to avoid duplication of efforts. This includes relief available to low-income customers for rental assistance, directed to utilities to eliminate pandemic-related unpaid utility bills for low-income households. This one-time bill credit, which will be applied to affected customers’ bills by the utilities, requires no action by existing low-income customers enrolled in the EAP to receive the benefit. It is anticipated the bill credit will be applied to customers’ accounts by August 1, 2022.

Early voting begins Saturday across the GLOW region for voters registered in the Democratic or Republican primaries. Democrats will vote on a candidate for governor and lieutenant governor. Republican voters will choose a candidate for governor, but not lieutenant governor. Only Republicans and Democrats are eligible to participate in their respective primaries, since New York is a closed primary state. The primary is June 28. A second primary is scheduled for Aug. 23 and feature congressional and Senate candidates. On June 28, polling sites around Genesee County will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Check your poll site at https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/ or call Genesee County Board of Elections at (585) 815-7804. Early voting will begin tomorrow and continue through June 26 at the Arc Community Center, 38 Woodrow Rd., Batavia. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday; noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 23 to 26.

 

BB gun

A teenager is continuing to recover after being accidentally shot with a BB gun in Rochester. Police say two children were playing with the weapon yesterday when it went off, hitting the 13-year-old victim in the upper body. The teen was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries but is currently in stable condition. The incident is still under investigation.

 

Peyton Gendron

The man accused of carrying out the mass shooting at Tops in Buffalo that left 10 people dead has made another appearance in court. Yesterday, 18-year-old Peyton Gendron was in front of a judge, just one day after federal charges were announced against him that could result in the death penalty. Prosecutors say Gendron opened fire at the Jefferson Avenue supermarket in what they’re calling a racially motivated attack. He remains held behind bars without bail.

 

With the number of New Yorkers testing positive for the coronavirus on the decline, the state Department of Health is closing down all of its mass COVID-19 vaccination sites. Last year, the vaccination sites were set up to distribute COVID-19 vaccine to the public quickly and efficiently. So far, over 90-percent of New Yorkers 18 and older have received at least one vaccine dose.

 

The Food and Drug Administration today has authorized the first COVID-19 shots for infants at least 6 months of age and preschoolers; vaccinations could begin as early as next week. That means kids under 5 — roughly 18 million youngsters — are eligible for the shots, about 1-1/2 years after the vaccines first became available in the United States for use with the most vulnerable adults, who had been hit the hardest during the pandemic. There’s one step left: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends how to use the vaccines and its vaccine advisers are set to discuss the shots for the youngest kids today and vote on in tomorrow.

 

People across Western New York will be gathering this weekend to celebrate Juneteenth. In Buffalo, an event is taking place both Saturday and Sunday at Martin Luther King Junior Park. The 47th annual gathering is going to feature historical tours and education programs, arts and cultural displays, food, and a health and wellness pavilion. Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, is a day, which commemorates the end of legalized slavery in the United States.

 

 

Governor Hochul during debate

Governor Hochul and the two candidates who are looking to defeat her in the Democratic primary later this month have squared off in their final debate. Last night, the governor as well as Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams discussed a variety of topics such as gun violence and whether they’d be willing to accept an endorsement from former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Only Suozzi said he’d welcome the support of Cuomo who he noted is still very popular in New York. Primary day is Tuesday, June 28th.

 

The Buffalo Bills have announced when they’ll be kicking off training camp to begin their preparations for the upcoming season. The Bills will be taking the field at Saint John Fisher College in Rochester on July 24th. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Bills held their last two training camps at Highmark Stadium. Fans are going to be able to attend at no cost and mobile tickets will be available to the entire general public July 14th. For more information, click on this link:  buffalobills.com/trainingcamp The Bills start their regular season September 8th against the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

 

Garth Brooks

Fans of country music superstar Garth Brooks will finally get the chance to purchase tickets to his upcoming show at Highmark Stadium. Brooks is set to take the stage in Orchard Park on Saturday, July 23rd. Tickets were supposed to be available last month, but Brooks postponed the sale in the aftermath of the Tops supermarket shooting. The seats are now available through Ticketmaster. There will be an 8-ticket limit on purchases.

 

Ok fine, I’ll share

Lottery players are lining up to buy their tickets over the next couple of days as they take their shot at winning two big jackpots. The prize up for grabs during tonight’s Mega Millions drawing is $273,000,000 and whoever picks the correct Powerball numbers tomorrow will receive at least $279,000,000. The price of a ticket for each game is $2.00 and the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly

 

 

Morning News Brief

Representatives Chris Jacobs, Brian Higgins and Grace Meng introduced legislation in the US House of Representatives to restrict what they call enhanced body armor to law enforcement, active duty military and other public servants and make it illegal for private citizens to purchase, sell, trade or own.  The legislation is named after Aaron Salter Jr. the TOPs security guard and retired police officer who shot the shooter as he entered the Jefferson road TOPs.  The shooter was wearing body armor which stopped the bullet and allowed him to kill Salter and continue on his spree.  Representative Jacobs said, “There is simply no reason for enhanced body armor to be used without restriction on our streets. It puts others in extraordinary danger and prevents the swift termination of a dangerous threat.”

After 2 years of cool cats and groovy dudes not being able to come together for the Rochester International Jazz Festival it is finally back.  From today till the 25th the Jazz Festival will take over more than 20 venues and host hundreds of performances.  This is the 19th International Jazz Festival with free and paid shows.  The headliners are Chris Botti, Devon Allman Project and many more and all the headliners shows are free.  For details go to Rocehsterjazz.com.

Do you have past due gas or electric utility bills?  Governor Hochul announced on Thursday that there is 557 million dollars available for low income households to pay off their bills.  All you have to do to get access to this money is be enrolled in the Energy Affordability Program by December 31st.  The program will send a one time credit to the utility company to pay off past due balances.  The credit will start going out August 1st.

Finger 11 will no longer be coming to Batavia Downs on June 24th during the Rockin’ the Downs concert series.  Instead, The Sweet, the legendary band that shot to the top of the charts in the 70s with songs such as Ballroom Blitz and Little Willy, will be playing that evening.  The Downs wants everyone to please note that tickets purchased for the Finger 11 concert will still be honored on that date.  Those wishing for a refund may do so through their point of purchase.  Info can be found inside of your ticket confirmation email.  Tickets purchased at the Lucky Treasures gift shop may be refunded during normal gift shop hours.

The Buffalo Bills have announced the 2022 training camp schedule as the team is set to return to St. John Fisher College after two years away due to COVID-19.  All fans attending will be required to obtain a mobile ticket, which will be available online here.  Season ticket members can claim tickets starting at 10 a.m. on July 13. Registered Bills Mobile App users can secure their tickets from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 14.  The tickets will be open to the general public after 1 p.m. on July 14. There is a limit of four tickets per account.  For the complete schedule go to wbtai.com.

You can find the schedule below:

Sunday, July 24 (9:45 am)

Monday, July 25 (9:45 am)

Wednesday, July 27 (9:45 am)

Friday, July 29 (9:45 am)

Saturday, July 30 (9:45 am)

Monday, August 1 (9:45 am)

Tuesday, August 2 (9:45 am)

Thursday, August 4 (9:45 am)

Friday, August 5 (5:30 pm) at Highmark Stadium – Return of the Blue and Red

Sunday, August 7 (11:45 am)

Wednesday, August 10 (9:45 am)

Thursday, August 11 (9:45 am)

The team said ticket details for the ‘Return of the Blue and Red’ practice at Highmark Stadium will be announced at a later date.

Afternoon News Brief

Jennifer Moton

37-year-old Jennifer Moton of Rochester, has been charged with two counts of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and promoting prison contraband. Moton was arrested following a traffic stop on a warrant based on a sealed Grand Jury indictment in Genesee County for allegedly selling crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force in the City of Batavia. While Morton was being processed at the jail, information was developed that resulted in a search warrant. Moton was allegedly found in possession of 41 pre-packaged bags of crack cocaine along with a bulk quantity of crack cocaine. She was arraigned in Genesee County Court and released on her own recognizance and also arraigned in Town of Stafford court and similarly released on her own recognizance.

 

Anyone who has been outside today is already well aware of the high temperature and humidity. This has resulted is a heat advisory for Western NY, in effect until 6:00pm this evening. The National Weather Service warns us that the heat index will be in the upper 90s throughout the afternoon. High humidity and heat may cause heat illnesses to occur. Remember to drink plenty of water and get in the shade or air conditioning if you start feeling hot or light headed. Young children, the elderly, and pets are especially vulnerable as they may not know their limits or perceive the problem until it has advanced.

 

Brandon Pfeifer

Mercy Flight flew a man to Strong Memorial Hospital. This, after his motorcycle was struck by a car pulling out on to Clinton Street from Terry Hills Golf Course yesterday afternoon. 46-year-old Brandon Pfeifer of Chili was thrown about 4 feet and suffered lower leg injuries and an injury to his left arm, when he was t-boned by a Chevrolet Equinox driven by 70-year-old Dale Gillmer of Amherst. Gillmer was cited for failure to yield the right of way; he claimed he could not see the motorcycle. Another person was charged with failure to obey a designated flag person after ignoring and driving around an accident barricade. When police caught up with that individual on the green at Terry Hills the individual was ticketed after he reportedly claimed that his tee-time was more important than someone fighting for their life in the middle of the road. Alcohol was not believed to be a factor in either incident. Photo: LinkedIn

 

63-year-old Arthur Golden of Batavia is charged with criminal contempt and burglary. He is accused of contacting a person he was ordered not to contact and has been ordered held without bail.

 

 

Payton Gendron

The suspect in that mass shooting at Tops in Buffalo last month is now facing 26 federal charges. Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland visited Buffalo and talked with family members of the victims who were killed at the Jefferson Avenue store back on May 14th. Garland then revealed the additional charges that have been filed against Payton Gendron that could make him eligible to receive the death penalty. Gendron has already pleaded not guilty to dozens of state charges and is in jail without bail.

 

Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch

The Batavia Police Department is conducting a Civilian Response to Active Shooter/Threat Events Class next week. There are two options to choose from — 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22 or 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, June 23 at City Hall, 1 Batavia City Centre. This course is open to the public and is free of charge; Batavia residents will be given first preference. The class will provide strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving shooter and threat events. Although there will be signs advising attendees about the sensitive nature of the course, people may want to consider whether they want to remain for the entire portion of the presentation due to the nature of the subject matter. Seating is limited and registration is required. To sign up or for more information, contact aperkins@batavianewyork.com with your name, address, and phone number.

 

Some new data shows the spread of the coronavirus is continuing to slow down in our region. Right now, the 7 day average infection rate is sitting at just over 5%. At this time one week ago, the infection rate was 5.9%. While the number of new COVID-19 cases is dropping, people are still being urged to protect themselves and others from the illness by being vaccinated, getting their booster shots, and wearing a mask indoors. In a related story, Governor Hochul has renewed the state of emergency for the State of New York citing the COVID pandemic. In an executive order signed earlier this week, she cited that hospital admissions remain at over 100 per day; this was the primary reason she extended the order. On Tuesday, statewide hospitalizations were at 1,938, with 38 deaths. The Capital Region had a 7-day infection rate of 17.37 out of 100,000 New Yorkers with a percentage positivity of 7.09%. Central, NY was at 10.89 and Western NY, 11.85.

 

Governor Hochul

With just under two weeks until the primary, the three Democrats involved in the race for New York governor are taking part in another debate tonight. Governor Hochul, Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will be hoping to show voters why they’re the best choice to lead the state into the future. When the candidates met last week for a debate, they discussed several key issues including gun violence and the economy. Primary day is set for Tuesday, June 28th.

 

Governor Hochul has announced over 46-million-dollars in funding will be available for a summer jobs program to help disadvantaged youth. The program introduces young New Yorkers from low-income families into the labor market so they can develop useful skills by working at places like parks, summer camps and nursing homes. In order to be eligible, young people must be between the ages of 14 and 20 years old and have a household income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Anyone who is interested in taking part in the program can sign up at their local department of social services.

 

Norzel Aldridge

A Buffalo man who shot and killed a youth football coach nearly three years ago is going to be spending a lot of time behind bars. Yesterday, a judge sentenced 20-year-old Jason Washington to 25 years in prison. Back in August 2019, Washington shot Norzel Aldridge behind the Harvey Austin School on Sycamore Street. Earlier this year, a jury found Washington not guilty of murder and attempted murder but did convict him on manslaughter and other charges.

 

Rochester police are still looking into a shooting that sent a 33-year-old man to the hospital. The man told investigators that he was hit by gunfire on Epworth Street last night. The victim, whose name hasn’t been released, suffered a lower-body injury and is expected to be OK. Anyone with information on the case is asked to dial 911.

 

Lacritia Verstraete

Kiara Scott

A second arrest has been made in connection with the discovery of a man’s body in a parking lot behind Geneva Hospital. Police have charged 24-year-old Lacritia Verstraete with manslaughter and concealment of a human corpse, the same crimes 21-year-old Kiara Scott is accused of committing. Officials say 44-year-old Keith Morlang suffered a medical emergency earlier this month and instead of getting him treatment, Scott and Verstraete left him in the parking lot. Police haven’t revealed Morlang’s exact cause of death yet.

Morning News Brief

A man was flown by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital after his motorcycle was struck by a car pulling out from Clinton St near Terry Hills Golf Club Wednesday afternoon.  46 Year old Brandon Pfeifer of Rochester was thrown about 4 feet and suffered lower leg injuries and an arm injury when he was t-boned by a Chevy Equinox driven by 70 year old Dale Gillmer of Buffalo.  Gillmer was cited for failure to yield the right of way and claimed he couldn’t see the motorcycle.  Another person was charged with failure to obey a designated flag person when they went around the officer trying to get them to stop.  A deputy caught up with them on the green at Terry Hills they reportedly said “their tee-time was more important than someone fighting for their life in the middle of the road.”

 

There is a heat advisory for Western NY in effect.  From 10 this morning to 6 tonight the National Weather Service warns that the heat index will be in the upper 90s.  High humidity and heat may cause heat illnesses to occur.  Remember to drink plenty of water and get in the shade or air conditioning if you start feeling hot or light headed.  Young children and pets are most susceptible for heat exhaustion as they may not know their limits or to protect themselves.  

 

Governor Hochul has renewed the state of emergency for the State of New York citing the COVID pandemic.  In an executive order signed on Tuesday, she cites that hospital admissions remaining at over 100 per day were the reason to extend the order.  On Tuesday, statewide hospitalizations were at 1938, with 38 deaths.  The Capital Region had a 7 day infection rate of 17.37 out of 100,000 New Yorkers with a percentage positivity of 7.09%.  Central, NY at 10.89 and Western NY at 11.85.  

Continued violence in Rochester has caused some organizations to halt services out of fear for their safety.  Love, Rob and Amber, a pet food and supply delivery organization run by Suzanne Nugent, says they can no longer deliver in the city of Rochester because it isn’t safe anymore.  Nugent’s business has about 50 households that regularly order in the city.  She says that one of her delivery drivers, her sister Patty, narrowly avoided being shot once.  The business is working on setting up a pickup location in a safe place.

Seneca Park Zoo has some new fuzzy babies born earlier this month.  The Seneca Park Zoo’s two Canada lynx are the new parents to a litter of kittens.  Bianca gave birth to the kittens June 2, marking the first successful Canada lynx litter born at the zoo.  The kittens’ father is Gretzky, born in 2012. Bianca was born in 2013.  The zoo is in the midst of a baby boom. Olmsted the giraffe was born at the end of April.

Evening News Brief

The Department of Homeland Security is expressing concern that the recent mass shooting at a Tops store in Buffalo could inspire other attacks. A confidential document obtained by WKBW-TV says calls for copycat attacks are already circulating online and that minorities could be targeted by violence.
Officials say that the May 14th shooting at the Tops on Buffalo’s east side was racially-motivated.

Republican State Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia says the just completed legislative session in Albany just didn’t do enough.
Hawley says the state budget is more bloated than ever before but does less for the average working family.
He said he was disappointed that the GOP plan to remove state sales taxes for two years on certain necessities were not every considered by the Democrat majority.

The co-owner of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres is currently undergoing treatment for what are being called unexpected health issues. In a statement, the family of Kim Pegula said yesterday she has been making progress over the last few days but didn’t reveal what her ailment is.

The Batavia Police Department will once again host the Community Night out.
It will be held on August 9th at St. Anthony’s.
The event was very successful last year brining elements of law enforcement together with the community.
There are sponsorships opportunities available. If you want to learn more contact Detective Matt Wojtasczck at BPD.

The 96th season of concerts in the park begins next Wednesday.
The Batavia Concert Band performs in Centennial Park at 7pm every Wednesday night starting on June 21 and continuing until August 3rd.
Bring your lawn chairs.

Midday News Brief

Rachel Tabelski

At least one city official is proposing a local law restricting the animals and fowl that residents can have within city limits. City Manager Rachael Tabelski Monday night talked about the proposal she came up with, using input from the city attorney’s office, for a local law restricting residents from bringing into the city or keeping a number of wild animals or farm animals. (including cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, swine, llamas, alpacas, ducks, turkeys, geese, feral cats, ponies, donkeys and mules) There could be some exceptions, such as allowing residents to keep chickens as long as they are appropriately kept in a pen and do not create safety or health concerns; as well as providing shelter while transporting animals to special events or veterinary hospitals and clinics, including short-term boarding for medical procedures/conditions. City lawmakers are asking the Planning and Economic Development Committee to review the proposed restrictions.

 

Batavia Concert Band, 2021

The Batavia Concert Band announced their return for the 96th season of public concerts in Centennial Park this summer. Concerts will be held every Wednesday evening starting at 7:00pm from June 22nd through August 6th. The Band consists of 45-55 brass, woodwind and percussion players ranging from high school students to 60-year veterans. Many have professional experience, others are advanced amateur musicians. The Batavia Concert Band also announced the return of WBTA as the Official Media Sponsor for the 2022 summer concert series. Band members will be appearing on the “Main & Center” program, where they will go into some depth about the band’s makeup and its history. Also, be listening for weekly radio ads promoting the musical selections for the upcoming concerts, and announcing weekly sponsors. Photo courtesy of our news partner, The Batavian. Here is a link to the full story: https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/batavia-concert-band-returns-june-22-for-96th-season/608360

 

Todd Baxter

Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter will be spending time in the nation’s capital today as he testifies in front of a Congressional subcommittee. Baxter is going to speak with the House Rules Committee’s Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process. The chairperson of the committee is 25th District Congressman Joseph Morelle. According to 13 WHAM, Baxter’s testimony is going to focus on several things including gun ownership.

 

Jefferson Avenue Tops

The Department of Homeland Security is expressing concern that the recent mass shooting at Tops store in Buffalo could inspire other attacks. A confidential document obtained by a Buffalo television station says calls for copycat attacks are already circulating online and that minorities could be targeted by violence. Officials say that the May 14th shooting at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue was racially-motivated. The man who allegedly carried it out, Payton Gendron, could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

 

The USS The Sullivans

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes says an additional $500,000 has been allocated to help cover the cost of repairs to the USS The Sullivans. While making the announcement yesterday, Peoples-Stokes revealed that the money is coming from state discretionary capital funds. The vessel suffered a massive hull breach back in April, which caused the boat to fill up with thousands of gallons of water. The historic World War 2 ship is still closed off to visitors.

 

Kim Pegula

The co-owner of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres is currently undergoing treatment for what are being called unexpected health issues. In a statement, the family of Kim Pegula said yesterday she has been making progress over the last few days but didn’t reveal what her ailment is. They also asked people to keep her in their prayers and to respect the family’s privacy. Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said during his press conference yesterday that Kim and Terry Pegula are the best owners in the NFL.

 

Zachary McCaa

A Livingston County man has been arrested in connection with the brutal assault of an infant. According to officials, 26-year-old Zachary McCaa threw and shook the two-month old child at a residence in Caledonia last week. The young victim suffered a head injury and is currently in guarded condition at a hospital in Rochester. McCaa is charged with reckless assault and is being held behind bars on $25,000 bail.

Morning News Brief

The City of Rochester is in legal trouble for misleading investors according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The city, former finance director Rosiland Brooks-Harris, and former RCSD CFO Everton Sewell are accused of allegedly misleading investors in a $119 million bond in 2019 that included using documents with outdated financial information.  The documents allegedly did not indicate that the school district was experiencing financial issues due to overspending on teacher salaries.  Other charges were included against Rochester’s municipal advisor Capital Markets Advisor, and its principal, Richard Ganci, and its co-principal, Richard Tortora, with misleading clients and failing to inform them of conflicts in the budget.  The city released a statement saying it disagrees with the filing and is taking legal steps to defend itself and former financial director.  

A private college in East Rochester is no longer going to be a college.  Saint John Fisher College, Alma Mater of the Wegman family and home to Wegmans schools of nursing and pharmacy is changing from a college to a University.  The State Board of Regents approved the change to take place on July 1st.  Roberts Wesleyan and Nazareth College are also being considered for University status. 

The Batavia Concert Band announced their return for the 96th season of public concerts in Centennial Park this summer.  Concerts will be held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. on June 22 and 29, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27 and Aug. 6.  The Band consists of 45-55 brass, woodwind and percussion players ranging from talented high school students to 60-year veterans. Many have professional experience, others are advanced amateur musicians.  The Batavia Concert Band also announces the return of WBTA as the Official Media Sponsor for the 2022 summer concert series.  Be on the lookout for appearances by band members on the “Main & Center” program, where they will go into some depth about the band’s makeup and its history.  Also, be listening for weekly radio ads promoting the musical selections for the upcoming concerts, and announcing weekly sponsors.

Students at Jackson Primary School learned how to respect the American Flag during flag day ceremonies on Tuesday.  The Genesee County Joint Veterans Honor Guard and Western NY National Cemetery Honor Guard came to the elementary school to share lessons about the flag, show how to fold it properly, and demonstrate proper flag hoisting.  Members of the Muckdogs were also on hand.  The students sang God Bless America and This Land Is Your Land.  Star Spangled pictures are available on The Batavian.

The president and CEO of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, Kim Pegula, is receiving medical care as a result of “some unexpected health issues,” according to a spokesperson for the Buffalo Bills.  The Bills, Sabres and Bandits all put out statements expressing their love for and prayers for Kim as she receives care.

Six Flags Darien Lake announced the grand opening of the Wahoo Wave at the Hurricane Harbor Waterpark and their new schedule of weekends till June 24th and weekdays with the exception of Tuesdays till Labor day.  No schedule for Fright Fest has been announced this year.  They also announced the new annual pass which is good for 12 months instead of simply being a season pass.  There are 3 options, each option has access to several Six Flags Parks and free parking. 

Afternoon News Brief

James Bumbarger

Perry Police tell us that James Bumbarger, a 41-year-old Attica resident, now faces a felony charge. He forced his way into an ex-girlfriend’s residence with an ax; she was not at home, at the time. Bumbarger said he was attempting to retrieve personal property but did not have permission to be at the residence. He was committed to Wyoming County Jail without bail and is to appear August 2 in Village Court. Bumbarger is an ex-con with a history of violence and sex abuse. He pleaded guilty in April 2016 to attempted assault and criminal possession of a weapon after stabbing and seriously injuring a man in November 2015. He was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison and released from Collins Correctional Facility on parole in July 2017, according to state records. Bumbarger is also a Level 2 sex offender after his conviction in August 2000 of first-degree sexual abuse for an incident involving a 19-year-old female in Warsaw.

 

 

Jerod Baltz

A Pavilion man has been acquitted of all charges in a four-year-old rape case that his attorney says should have never been prosecuted. 42-year-old Jerod Baltz of Pavilion was found not guilty of all charges against him, at the completion of a three-day bench trial with Judge Andrew Lotempio presiding. Baltz was arrested in March 2018 and accused of raping a woman he met at a bar and took home. He was jailed and later indicted but the case stalled in County Court and then again when COVID hit. Baltz had maintained his innocence from the beginning and even rejected a plea deal that would have gotten him probation without any prison time.

 

Candlelight vigils are being held at Tops stores across the region tonight to mark one month since the mass shooting in Buffalo that left 10 people dead and three others injured. The vigils will begin at 7pm in the parking lots of Western NY Tops locations, including Batavia. People who are attending are being asked to bring American flags, luminary bags and candles. On May 14th, Payton Gendron allegedly opened fire at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue in what officials have called a racially motivated attack.

 

Governor Hochul

Governor Hochul has signed off on a new package of bills aimed at further protecting abortion rights. The governor says legislation will ensure a woman is never forced into a government-mandated pregnancy. One measure allows New Yorkers to sue people who are trying to limit their reproductive rights while another protects women wanted for having abortions in other states from extradition. The state health department is also required to conduct a study and issue a report on unmet health and resource needs for pregnant people in New York.

 

John Mulaney

A popular comedian has announced he’s going to be bringing his current tour to Rochester later this year. John Mulaney is scheduled to perform at the Kodak Center on Wednesday, November 9th. During his career, Mulaney has worked as a writer for Saturday Night Live, had several Netflix specials and won two Emmy awards. Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday through Ticketmaster and will cost at least $55.00 each.

 

Peter Pavlovich

A youth baseball coach is facing up to a year behind bars after admitting that he stole roughly $15,000. Prosecutors say 40-year-old Peter Pavlovich took the money between June 2017 and June 2020 while he was a coach for the Town of Clarence Baseball Association. Pavolich pleaded guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor charge and has already paid restitution. He will be sentenced in September.

 

Park Road construction

A little bit of good news on the Park Road construction…the $4,000,000 project is reportedly a little ahead of schedule. The east side of Park is ready to move to the next stage of work, which includes milling, stone and repaving. Once completed, the east side of the road will be opened up and work on the west side will begin. It is now expected that the entire project will be completed by mid-October. Photo courtesy of https://www.thebatavian.com/

 

The Rotary Club of Batavia is sponsoring their annual Father’s Day Breakfast this Sunday, June 19 at the Genesee County Airport. Breakfast will be served from 7 until 11 a.m. The menu including eggs, pancakes, sausage, omelets, juice, coffee, tea and milk. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under eat free. Tickets are available from any Batavia Rotary Club member. All proceeds from the breakfast help fund the Batavia Rotary Club’s charitable projects.

 

It’s been about a month since prime contractors were told to proceed with work on the $57.27 million new jail for Genesee County. Foundation work is set to start June 27, which is about two weeks before the date listed on the project manager’s construction guideline. It is expected the new jail will be substantially completed by mid-January, 2024 with final completion set for about two months later, on March 15, 2024.

Morning News Brief

A young man who captured the hearts and minds of people across America, met president Goerge W Bush, and then became the team manager for Greece Athena High School, Jason McElwain, otherwise known as J-Mac, is in intensive care after a bicycle and car collision Monday afternoon.  According to police, McElwain drove his bike into a car, sending him to Strong Memorial Hospital with several broken ribs, among other injuries. His father said he also suffered a collapsed lung, but no head injuries.  Police said McElwain’s helmet likely spared him from a serious brain injury or worse.  Since his big night when he scored 6 3 point shots in 2006, McElwain served as a volunteer coach at his alma mater, co-authored a book, ran the Boston Marathon, suited up for the Rochester Razorsharks, and most recently has been serving as a classroom aide and bus monitor for Greece schools.  Police added they do not believe charges will be pressed in the crash.

With Roe V Wade hanging in the balance and America waiting for the Supreme Court decision after a draft was leaked in May, New York has pushed through legislation enshrining Abortion access and expanding services in preparation for Abortion tourism to come to the Empire State.  The Empire State provides nearly 1 in every 8 abortions in the US.  On Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a package of bills to ensure the state will remain a safe harbor for people seeking to terminate their pregnancies. The laws include protections for abortion providers and patients.  Pro Life advocates want to see more money being put towards taking care of women who continue their pregnancies and the families after the baby is born.  People like Carol Crossed, president of Feminists Choosing Life of New York, says that the state is trying to take the easy way out instead of offering childcare, education or housing help to women in need.  Organizations such as Compasscare, Abortion Abolitionists and others have called on the State and federal government to pass legislation protecting crisis pregnancy centers, especially after several were firebombed over the last week including one in Amherst.

Frustrated by the construction on Park Road in front of Batavia Downs?  Concrete Applied Technologies Corp has an update.  The 4 million dollar project has reached the boxing out stage on the east side of the road, which means that the road is prepared for milling, stone and repaving.  After they are done with the east side it will be opened up for traffic and then the west side will get worked on.  Henry Wojtaszek, president of Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., said the project is ahead of schedule, stating that he is confident work will be done by mid-October.

The Rotary Club of Batavia is holding its annual Father’s Day Breakfast on Sunday, June 19 at the Genesee County Airport.   Breakfast will be served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the menu including eggs, pancakes, sausage, omelets, juice, coffee, tea and milk.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-12.  Children 3 and under eat free.  Tickets are available from any Batavia Rotary Club member.  All proceeds from the breakfast will help fund the Batavia Rotary Club’s charitable projects.

Afternoon News Brief

Jennifer Sprague-Clark

Robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, grand larceny, coercion and menacing; that’s the list of charges against 39-year-old Jennifer Sprague-Clark of Batavia. She was arrested after a traffic stop, during which she fled on foot. Police used a taser to subdue Sprague-Clark, and took her into custody. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and is scheduled to return there tomorrow. (Photo: LinkedIn)

 

21-year-old Robert Doud of North Chili has been charged with a felony, including two counts of grand larceny, following theft from a vehicle in the Town of Batavia. Additional felony charges were later added when it was discovered he was in possession of stolen property, including credit cards, with which he attempted identity theft. Following his arrest in Bergen, Doud was released on his own recognizance.

 

Following mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas that left dozens of people dead, changes may be coming to the country’s gun laws. The framework of a bipartisan deal was announced yesterday and if approved, legislation would limit the ability of people to quickly obtain assault rifles by establishing an enhanced background check process for gun buyers under age 21. Federal penalties would also be established for gun traffickers and funds would be used to address the country’s mental health crisis. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says once an agreement is finalized, he’ll bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

 

You may have recently started noticing a small fee on your receipt when you purchase paint. It’s a Paintcare fee; they are a non-profit organization that represents paint makers in states with similar programs. Think of them as a middleman. What they do is set up drop-off sites to handle paint waste and recycling. In New York, the fee runs anywhere from $0.45 to $1.95 depending on how much architectural paint you’re buying. The fee is not a deposit or a tax; the money doesn’t get returned to you when you drop off paint nor does go to the state. Instead, Paintcare uses the funds to self-sustain because they do not receive monetary support from the state. They currently offer more than 200 drop-off sites here in New York, with at least one in Batavia. You can look locations up online: https://www.paintcare.org/

 

The New York State Department of Health reminds residents that COVID-19 booster vaccinations for kids between the ages of five and 11 years old are still available. Children in that age group should receive their booster shot five months after completing their initial two-dose Pfizer vaccine series. The vaccines are offered at no cost.

 

It’s becoming the ‘same old story’. This morning oil prices are at about $118 per barrel. Crude prices surged last week in response to global supply concerns amid expected demand increases, particularly as China emerges from lockdowns. The pain at the pump regionally keeps getting worse for Western New York drivers. Gas prices have reached another record high. According to Triple A this morning, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now sitting at $4.98. That’s up 20 cents in the past week, 33 cents in the last month and is nearly $2.00 ($1.92) more than this time one year ago. The state average is currently $5.04 a gallon while nationally its $5.01. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is the same as it was over the weekend, $4.92.

 

Ryan Miller

The Buffalo Sabres have announced plans to retire the jersey of one of the best players in franchise history next season. The number 30 is going to be raised to the rafters in honor of goalie Ryan Miller. He was selected by the franchise during the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and ended up playing 11 seasons for the Sabres. He earned a team record of 284 victories and retired with the most wins of any American-born goaltender. There’s no word yet when Miller’s jersey retirement ceremony will take place.

Morning News Brief

The Senate in Washington has announced a bipartisan agreement on some gun control legislation and New York Politicians are lauding it as a good step in the right direction to keep mass shootings from happening.  But some of the survivors of the TOPS shooting are less enthusiastic.  Grady Lewis says “This is like putting a band aid over the problem and actually creating a new problem where black people don’t have guns anymore.”  The agreement would make the juvenile records of gun buyers under age 21 available when they undergo background checks.  It would also offer money to states to implement “red flag” laws that make it easier to temporarily take guns from people considered potentially violent, and to bolster school safety and mental health programs.  President Biden said the framework “does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction.”

This was a weekend of parades and events.  The Goose in Oakfield hosted a fundraising event for The Warrior House and held a basket raffle and open house.  Dewitt Park had a family outdoor challenge with bug identification and informational sessions.  Richmond Memorial Library had a drag queen story hour following the Washington St Pride Parade.  The Firing Pin celebrated Freedom weekend and marched in the Bergen Festival Parade.  And this weekend had the first Eli Fish Carnival in Jackson Square with special craft brews and Matty’s Pizza, live music and vendors.  

Buffalo hosted a March for Our Lives event Saturday on Jefferson Avenue but, much like the march in Washington DC it was marred by fear.  At least one person was arrested for carrying a gun in the crowd.  19 year old Amauri Smith was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon.  The rally in Washington nearly fell into bedlam when someone yelled out “gun shot” and it caused the thousands strong crowd to start fleeing for fear of a shooter before rally organizers could tell everyone to stop and not run away.  Both marches and others around the country were meant to rally against gun violence.

Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame inductee Ryan Miller was in town for the ceremony this weekend and learned he had another honor coming his way.  The Buffalo Sabres retiring his number from the team.  Miller, number 30, was the goalie for the Sabres for 11 seasons starting in 2005.  His 284 wins are a Sabres franchise record. After his career in Buffalo, he played another eight years in the NHL.  He retired with the most wins of any American-born goalie.  Miller also won a silver medal with Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The same year, he won the Vezina Trophy, given to the NHL’s best goaltender.

Weekend News Brief

For the first time since 1998 there is a planned airshow coming to the Genesee County Airport.  “Wings Over Batavia” is now scheduled for September 15th-17th and will feature exhibitions by aerobatic jet teams such as the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds or Snowbirds and patriotic displays of F16 and F22 fighter jets.  County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens talked about why there hadn’t been an airshow in 24 years.

News_A :15 “Event Like That” 

The air festival is scheduled to take place in conjunction with the renewal of the Wing Ding event on Sept. 16 in the City of Batavia.  

Nick Langworthy, New York Republican Chairman, is throwing his hat into the ring for the newly created 23rd district after Chris Jacobs announced he won’t run this year.  Langworthy is a Southern Tier native from South Dayton, N.Y.  While he never ran for congress until now, he has served a number of roles in Republican politics. Past roles include District Director for former Congressman and NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds and Erie County Republican Chairman.  In 2016, former President Donald Trump named Langworthy to the executive committee of his transition team. Trump called on Langworthy again in 2019 to lead the NYS Republican Party, making him the youngest person to lead the party in its history.  He is running against Carl Paladino in the primary and Retired Air Force Colonel Max Della Pia running as the only democrat in the race.

The ARC Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch run, where an officer of the Genesee County Sheriffs ran the torch from park road to the ARC building on Walnut Street, took place on Thursday.  Sheriff’s Department Investigator Chad Minuto ran the 5k route and passed the torch to Scott, an individual in the ARC’s Day Habilitation Program who carried the torch over the finish line.  The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an annual event that has been held at the Arc Chapter’s Genesee County location since 2005 and the rain didn’t dampen the flame that brings awareness to athletes with disabilities and the Special Olympics. 

Usually you think of firefighters blasting water onto a fire to save a burning building but the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department took delivery of a different kind of water this week.  98 cases of Anheuser Busch canned water were donated to the firefighters by the beer company to be given out at events or to people who need emergency water supplies.  Anheuser-Busch says that since the program began, the company has donated 4.8 million cans of emergency drinking water to more than 900 volunteer fire departments across 49 states.

Afternoon News Brief

Genesee County officials and business leaders are already preparing for “Wings Over Batavia,” the first air show in our area since 1998. The show will feature aerobatic jet teams such as the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds or Snowbirds and patriotic displays of F16 and F22 fighter jets. The show is tentatively scheduled for September 15-17th, 2023 at the Genesee County Airport and is scheduled to take place in conjunction with the renewal of the Wing Ding event on Sept. 16 in the City of Batavia. Residents interested in volunteering in the planning of on-site operations should contact Tim Hens, the County Highway Superintendent (tim.hens@co.genesee.ny.us)

 

New York State Police in Troop A issued a warning today that scams targeting the elderly have once again become prevalent. Troop A includes Genesee, Wyoming and Orleans; police tell us they looked into over 442 fraud cases in 2021, across the 3 counties. And as of the end of March this year, they’ve investigated 113. Although numbers for the last two months have not been released, investigators say reports of scams and scam attempts have increased in the past few weeks. In fact, more than $500,000 has been reported stolen in such scams so far this year compared to a little over $1 million last year. Scammers take many different approaches to convince people that they are legitimate. Here are some suggestions to help you prevent from getting scammed:

1) The caller claims to be a family member who is sick or has been arrested.
2) The caller claims to be a law enforcement official saying a family member has been arrested and needs bail money or other funds.
3) The caller claims to be law enforcement and says that your Social Security number or bank accounts have been compromised. The caller will ask the person to verify their Social Security numbers of bank account numbers.
4) Emails or texts with an “URGENT” message regarding Social Security numbers, bank accounts, Apple, Netflx or Amazon accounts that were compromised.
5) Callers will ask victims to get money in multiple ways, including purchasing gift cards and sending the bar code on the back to the caller, sending case by mail in a packaged box or by purchasing crytpocurrency. Police agencies never ask for money for bail or for Social Security or bank account numbers and do not send texts. Anyone who believes that a call is a scam should “resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.” People also can verify a caller’s identity by asking questions that a stranger could never answer or to check with a family member to see if the account is true.
6) Lastly, police say, never send cash, gift cards or money transfers and never give out personal information by email or phone. Anyone who believes they are the victim of a scam can contact state or local police.

 

69-year-old Julious Murphy, also known as ‘Fatboy’, of Jerome Place Batavia, is charged with criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance. Murphy was arrested Sunday on a sealed Grand Jury indictment during a traffic stop by Batavia Police. He is accused of selling crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force while in Batavia. Murphy was arraigned in Genesee County Court and released under supervision.

 

Erica Rapfael

37-year-old Erica Raphael of Batavia was arrested on a warrant. She was sentenced on the charges contained in the warrant. Neither the charges nor the sentence were specified in the release provided by police.

 

 

 

Robert Ritchey

58-year-old Robert Ritchey of Oakfield, is charged with forcible touching, sex abuse of a victim less than 13 years old, and acting in a manner injurious to a child. The alleged incident was reported early in April and is considered a pending investigation. Ritchey was arrested by State Police on Wednesday. He was ordered held without bail. No further details were released.

 

A traffic alert to remind you about: If you’ll be driving on Columbia, Seneca and Miller Avenues in Batavia today until about 3pm, you should expect traffic delays. While work is being performed in this area, the roadway will be closed to all through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence or property but are asked not to park on the roadway during construction. Please contact the Bureau of Maintenance at 585-345-6400 Option 1 if there are any questions.

 

With gas prices reaching a record high, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued some tips to help people save money. The agency recommends drivers choose the lowest octane recommended for their vehicle and compare the price advertised on the gas station’s sign and on the pump to ensure they’re the same. It’s also recommended that drivers maintain their vehicles so they can get the best possible fuel mileage. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in Batavia this morning is $4.92, up two cents from yesterday.

 

Mine, all mine

At least $455,000,000 will be up for grabs the next couple of days as the jackpots of two popular lottery games keep getting bigger. The prize for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing will be $226,000,000, and whoever picks the winning numbers for tomorrow evening’s Powerball game is in line to win $229,000,000. The cost of a ticket to play each game is $2.00. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Brittanee Drexel

Raymond Moody

A public celebration of life is taking place this weekend for a 17-year-old from Chili who was murdered over a decade ago. A gathering in memory of Brittanee Drexel is happening tomorrow morning at 10:00, at The Fathers House on Paul Road in Rochester. Drexel was on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 2009 when she disappeared and her remains were only found recently. Police have arrested Raymond Moody in connection with this case.

 

William M. Sywak of Hamburg

William J. Sywak of Arcade

A father and son from Western New York have been punished for their actions during the violent protests at the U.S. Capitol. Yesterday, 46-year-old William M. Sywak of Hamburg and 28-year-old William J. Sywak of Arcade were sentenced to probation. Prosecutors say the Sywaks spent about 20 minutes inside the building on January 6th, 2021 before leaving and they have been ordered to pay 500-dollars restitution. Protestors stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump.

 

Sheriff John Garcia

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has announced the creation of a new behavioral threat assessment team. Sheriff John Garcia says members will focus on trying to prevent someone from carrying out a violent attack like the mass shooting at the Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo last month that left 10 people dead and three others hurt. The man accused of carrying out the attack, Payton Gendron, is facing dozens of charges. Anyone who wants to join the team can contact the sheriff’s department.

 

Buffalo-Niagara International Airport

The Transportation Security Administration has announced the installation of some brand new scanners at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. The scanners are located at the security checkpoint and will provide 3-D imaging that makes it easier for agents to screen carry-on items and detect explosives. If a bag requires further screening, a security officer is going to inspect it themselves to make sure there’s nothing dangerous inside. The scanners will also allow passengers to leave their laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags.

Morning News Brief

A group of teenagers has been charged with a spree of carjackings in Rochester and Gates.  Two 15 year olds and a 16 year old are accused of holding a woman at gunpoint and pulling her from her car before driving it away on Wednesday night on Polaris street.  Tuesday they allegedly carjacked a man outside his apartment on Resolute Circle and another was attacked and had his car stolen at Poplar Gardens.  There were so many carjackings last year that a task force was formed in Monroe County after a man was shot to death during an attempted carjacking in Gates. Two teens pleaded guilty this week in Richard Sciascia’s death.  Rochester police are saying if someone approaches you and demands something, a phone, shoes, your car or anything else, just to give it to them.  No item is worth your life.  

The national price per gallon of regular unleaded is only 3 cents shy of 5 dollars which is up 10 cents from Monday.  It was 3.07 a year ago.  New York State’s is 1 cent over the 5 dollar mark even with the tax relief.  In Batavia we are a bit below average with prices hovering around 4.90 which is 15 cents up since Monday.  Oil has increased to 123 a barrel.  Seasonal demand coupled with cutting off the oil supply coming from Russia and investors not wanting to put money into the increasingly hostile US market have led to a record increase in prices.  Even with the high prices demand has stayed up.

Drivers on Columbia, Seneca and Miller Avenues in Batavia may experience delays between 7am and 3pm for cold milling operations. While work is being performed in this area, the roadway will be closed to all through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence or property but should plan accordingly for delays. All residents and businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during construction. This is weather dependent work; if work is postponed it shall progress the next workday.

A new airline is now operating in Buffalo, NY.  Sun Country Airlines is offering low cost flights to and from the Minneapolis St Paul International Airport for as low as 79 dollars a ticket Thursday through Sunday.  The Minnesota-based airline offers service to 80 destinations, including Charleston, Jacksonville, Spokane and Vancouver.  On Tuesday, low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines announced it was launching daily non-stop service from Buffalo to Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas starting August 9.

Country Music Star Garth Brooks is coming to Orchard Park on July 23rd and has a message to share with his fans in Buffalo and Western NY.   Tickets go on sale June 17th.

Afternoon News Brief

Dale Young, Jr.

A state appeals court has denied an appeal by a Batavia man convicted of sexually assaulting a child. 42-year-old Dale Young Jr. was arrested in 2018 and convicted in 2019 of three counts of third-degree criminal sexual act against a child under 17. He was convicted after a jury trial but was acquitted of the most serious charges against him, first-degree criminal sexual act and was sentenced to three years in state prison. Young appealed the conviction, claiming that the court should have barred testimony from the prosecution’s expert witness. He also claimed to have lacked effective counsel; however, the appeals court rejected each of Young’s claims. Young is set for release from prison later this year.

 

Tarrence Williams

22-year-old Tarrence Williams of Porter Avenue, Batavia, was arrested today on a Genesee County Court Indictment Warrant. He is charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, a Class B felony, and two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, also a Class B felony. His arrest concluded an investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force into the transportation, sale, and possession of ‘crack’ cocaine in and around the City of Batavia. Williams was arraigned in Genesee County Court and was released on his own recognizance.

 

This morning, Batavia City Police responded to a Jackson Street residence for a report of a possible gunshot fired in the area but were unable to confirm that it actually happened. Sergeant Daniel Coffey noted that, even though police have thus far been unable to substantiate it, the investigation continues. No one was injured or has been taken into custody.

 

Western New York drivers are now paying more than ever to fill up their vehicles as gas prices have soared to new record highs. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in is now $4.95. That’s up 20 cents in the past week, 53 cents in the past month and is $1.91 higher than this time last year. The state average is now $5.00 a gallon while nationally it’s $4.97. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.90, up one cent from yesterday and 18 cents from a week ago today.

 

A traffic alert to call your attention to: If you’ll be driving on Columbia, Seneca and Miller Avenues in Batavia tomorrow between 7am and 3pm, you should expect traffic delays. All motorists please be aware that Columbia Avenue, Seneca Avenue, and Miller Avenue will experience traffic delays on Friday, June 10th from 7AM to 3PM for cold milling operations. While work is being performed in this area, the roadway will be closed to all through traffic. Local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence or property but should plan accordingly for delays. All residents and businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during construction. This is weather dependent work; if work is postponed it shall progress the next workday. Please contact the Bureau of Maintenance at 585-345-6400 Option 1 if there are any questions.

 

Jae Lim

The owner of a local martial arts studio is in trouble with the law after being accused of disturbing crimes. Monroe County deputies say 50-year-old Jae Lim of Master Lim’s Taekwondo on Brockport-Spencerport Road in Brockport allegedly touched a 12-year-old in a sexual manner on more than one occasion last month. Lim was arraigned on sexual abuse and child endangerment charges and sent to the Monroe County Jail. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

 

 

Officer Denny Wright

The man who brutally attacked a Rochester police officer has found out the punishment for his actions. Yesterday, a judge ordered Keith Williams to spend at least the next 40 years behind bars for assaulting Officer Denny Wright at a home on Peck Street back in October 2019. Wright suffered multiple stab wounds to his body and face and lost sight in both eyes. Wright spoke during yesterday’s sentencing, saying that while Williams took his vision, he won’t take another thing from him or his family.

 

 

Maurice Green

A reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in connection with a recent homicide in Buffalo. Crime Stoppers Western New York says up to $7500 will go to the person who helps police solve the murder of Maurice Green who was killed on Marine Drive back on April 24th. Anyone who has information on the case can call 716-867-6161. Tips can also be submitted by downloading the Crime Stoppers app.

 

 

The latest data from state health officials shows fewer people in our region are testing positive for COVID-19. The 7-day average infection rate is currently just under 5.9%. At this time last week, the infection rate was 7.9%. Even though the number of new coronavirus cases is falling, people are still being urged to take the proper precautions to protect themselves and others from getting sick such as being vaccinated against the illness and wearing a mask while indoors.

 

Officials with Tops Friendly Markets say they’re hoping to reopen the company’s Jefferson Avenue location in Buffalo by the end of July. The store was the scene of a mass shooting back on May 14th that left 10 people dead and three others injured. The man who allegedly carried out the shooting, Payton Gendron, was arrested and is facing more than two-dozen charges. The attack has been called a racially-motivated hate crime.

 

 

Congressman Chris Jacobs

Congressman Chris Jacobs was one of five Republicans to break party ranks and vote with Democrats in approving the “Protecting Our Kids Act,” intended to strengthen gun laws. The legislation, however, is expected to face a tough road in the Senate. The House voted 223-204 to pass the package of gun control legislation. Other measures include establishing new federal offenses for gun trafficking and for selling large-capacity magazines, and allow local governments to compensate individuals who surrender such magazines through a buyback program. In addition, there would be a new tax incentive for retail sales of safe storage devices and criminal penalties for breaking new requirements regulating firearm storage on residential premises. Jacobs has faced strong opposition since stating his support for the gun control measures Republican pushback for his stance, decided against running for election to a newly drawn 23rd Congressional District after many party leaders withdrew their endorsements.

 

 

The State University of New York schools are updating policies when it comes to a person’s chosen name and pronoun they wish to use. According to officials, the move is being made ensure that transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students’ identities are fully reflected and represented. SUNY students will now be able to select ‘X’ when asked to provide gender by the college. The chosen names are going to appear on college diplomas, campus profiles and more.

 

Garth Brooks

Country music superstar Garth Brooks has announced a new on-sale date for tickets ahead of his upcoming concert at Highmark Stadium. Brooks says seats for his performance in Orchard Park on July 23rd will be available starting Friday, June 17th at 10am. Tickets were originally supposed to be available last month, but Brooks postponed the sale in the aftermath of the Tops supermarket shooting. There will be an 8-ticket limit on purchases.

Morning News Brief

30 years in prison and 1 million in fines for taking COVID relief money that wasn’t hers.  That’s what 37 year old Danielle Tooley plead guilty to Wednesday at a US district Court.  Tooley pled guilty to wire fraud from July 9th through December 4th 2020 where she applied for and collected unemployment benefits connected to federal COVID relief programs that she was not eligible for.  Her crime was discovered during a traffic stop in Bergen on Nov. 24, 2020 by New York State Police. A trooper found crack cocaine in her car. As her vehicle was being prepared to be towed, troopers found six New York State unemployment benefit cards issued to individuals other than Tooley. An investigation discovered Tooley withdrew money from bank accounts associated with the cards several times.

A report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office found that 90 percent of New York schools don’t offer mental health training or provide insufficient training.  All faculty and staff working in New York’s 800-plus school districts are required to receive annual safety and mental health training with the 12 components outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the New York Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act, or the SAVE Act. The law requires school administrators to develop a comprehensive, districtwide safety plan to address crisis intervention, emergency response and management for staff and students.  School districts were audited between July of 2020 and June of 2021.  Many of the schools audited said they didn’t know about the mental health requirements or that COVID had forced them to prioritize student’s health against the virus instead of mental health.

Students going to SUNY and CUNY schools will be able to select “X” as their gender and have their chosen pronoun protected by a new policy that was announced Wednesday.  Campuses will be required to have all operational systems reflect a student’s chosen name and pronouns, including campus portals, class rosters, email addresses and more.  Governor Hochul said “Every person, regardless of their gender identity or the name they choose to go by, deserves to have identity documentation that reflects who they are.”  The changes go into effect at the beginning of the fall semester.

Kill the eggs.  That’s what New York Department of Environmental Conservation representative Justin Perry says people can do about the spongy caterpillars that eat trees and other plants.  He says to scrape off the spongy looking eggs from the trees and soak them in soapy water to destroy them.  There are also sticky bands you can put around the trees that will stop some of the caterpillars from being able to climb the trunks.  Perry also said that the caterpillars should be gone in a few years and will be dormant for the next 15 to 20 after that.

One of the new businesses going into the parking lot of the Kmart on Lewiston and Park Roads is a Starbucks.  The property owner Benderson Development, LLC, made the announcement Wednesday morning. The company shared that they are working closely with three other tenants and will provide additional details once leases are signed.

Afternoon News Brief

 

37-year-old Danielle Tooley of Batavia has pleaded guilty to wire fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi stated that between July 9 and December 4, 2020, Tooley applied for and collected unemployment benefits to which she was not entitled, benefits that were connected to federal COVID-19 relief programs. The scheme came to the attention of law enforcement on November 24, 2020, when Tooley was arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance during a vehicle traffic stop on Clinton Street in Bergen. Tooley admitted at the time that she had crack cocaine in the center console of the vehicle. As they prepared for Tooley’s vehicle to be towed, troopers recovered six New York State unemployment benefit cards issued to individuals other than Tooley, which they turned over to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. Subsequent investigation determined that Tooley consistently withdrew money from bank accounts associated with the benefit cards. Sentencing is scheduled for August 17, 2022.

 

Justice Coniglio

A Basom resident has admitted in County Court that he stole a vehicle and assaulted a police officer; with this admission, he traded for a potential prison term of no more than seven years. 31-year-old Justice Coniglio entered guilty pleas to grand larceny for the theft of a vehicle and also assault in connection with an incident at his home. His plea deal caps his sentence at 1 1/3 to three years on the grand larceny conviction and 3 1/2 to seven years on the assault conviction, with the sentences to run concurrently. The plea also satisfied pending charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration. (Additional information: The assault charge seemed to stem from an incident that also involved Justice’s brother, Jarrett Coniglio. Jarrett hit a neighbor, while on the neighbor’s property, over the head with a beer bottle and then was involved in the fight with deputies that led to one of the deputies being bit by K-9 “Frankie.” The deputy suffered a puncture wound. Justice Coniglio will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 30. In the meantime, Judge Melissa Cianfrini ordered that he remain held in the Genesee County Jail.)

 

Starbucks Logo

Starbucks will be one of the tenants in the development to come in the parking lot of the vacant Kmart building at Lewiston and Park roads. The property owner Benderson Development, LLC, made the announcement this morning. The company shared that they are working closely with three other tenants and will provide additional details once leases are signed.

 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that $46 million is earmarked for investment into two pavement improvement projects on the New York State Thruway in both Erie and Genesee counties. The two projects include resurfacing of more than 100 lane miles of the Thruway between exit 47 (Rochester – Le Roy – I-490 – NY Route 19) to beyond exit 48A (Pembroke – Medina – NY Route 77). A $23.4 million pavement improvement project on the Thruway in Genesee County is underway on a 15.5-mile stretch between exit 47 (Rochester – Le Roy – I-490 – NY Route 19) and exit 48 (Batavia – NY Route 98). Approximately 39,000 motorists travel on this section of I-90 every day. The project includes full and partial depth repairs as well as full pavement resurfacing. Additionally, pavement-resurfacing work will take place at the on- and off-ramps at exit 47 and exit 48, as well as the exit 47 Commuter Park and Ride lot. Reflective line striping for enhanced safety will also be applied. Cold Spring Construction Company of Akron, NY is the contractor for the project. Work is expected to be complete in summer 2023.

 

Alexander Town Hall

An hour-long Public Hearing was held at the Alexander Town Hall last night (Tuesday June 7), in regard to three variances for a proposed 650-foot-tall wind turbine on Drybridge road. One variance request is looking to increase the height allowed from a 500 feet to 650 feet, the other two variances were in reference to changing setback requirements. The board did not take a vote on the variance requests after the public hearing and have 62 days to make a decision and take a vote. According to Codes/Zoning Officer Matt Mahaney, if the ZBA grants the variance requests, the project would move to the Planning Board where a special use permit would have to be approved along with site plan approval. If the zoning board decides not to approve the three variances, the project would be stalled and would not advance to the Planning Board. Town Board input is optional. Decisions may be made at the next zoning board meeting on July 26th.

 

After last year’s virtual run, the Kiwanis Club of Batavia is glad to be bringing back the Independence Day 5K run at Centennial Park on Monday, July 4th. Proceeds from the race will be distributed to the Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park, Batavia City School Foundation for the Community Schools Program, and the Kiwanis activity fund; the latter of which, supports community events such as the Thanksgiving Morning Skate and Annual Easter Egg Hunt.

 

Yesterday, the Muckdogs beat the Jamestown Tarp Skunks 12 to 6. They are now 4 and 1; their next game against the Capital City Reds is at home tonight at 7pm.

 

 

State Police have released the results of their recent Memorial Day weekend traffic enforcement campaign. From 6:00pm on Friday, May 27th through 3:00am on Tuesday, May 31st. A total of 13,688 tickets were given out statewide for violations such as speeding and distracted driving. There were also 213 people arrested for DWI. During last year’s Memorial Day weekend enforcement campaign, a little over 14,000 (14,249) tickets were issued and 185 people were arrested for DWI.

 

CompassCare building

Amherst police say a fire that happened at a pregnancy services office in their community is being investigated as arson. Crews were called to the scene at CompassCare on Eggert Road yesterday and arrived to find the building had been broken into and was burning. CompassCare officials claim a group that has opposing viewpoints on abortion set the fire. Two firefighters were injured while battling the flames but will be OK. Anyone who has information on this case is asked to call police.

 

There are just a few weeks until the start of training camp and the Buffalo Bills have now finalized their preseason schedule. The first preseason game will be August 13th at 4:00 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park against the Indianapolis Colts; their second is also happening at home against the Denver Broncos at 1:00 on August 20th. Their final preseason contest is August 26th on the road against the Carolina Panthers. The Bills kick off their regular season September 8th against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

 

Joseph Gramaglia

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia will be in the nation’s capital today to testify in front of members of Congress. Gramaglia told The Buffalo News that he’s going to call on lawmakers to take steps towards preventing future gun violence following a mass shooting at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue last month. Prosecutors say Payton Gendron carried out the shooting that left 10 people dead and three others hurt. He is facing more than two-dozen charges and is behind bars without bail.

 

Governor Hochul during debate

With just weeks until the primary, three Democrats looking to be their party’s nominee in the race for New York governor have held their first debate together. Last night, Governor Hochul, Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams discussed several issues such as gun control, abortion rights, and the plan to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. The next debate for the candidates is June 16th. Voters will head to the polls on June 28th to cast their ballots in the Democratic primary.

 

Officials in the Gananda Central School District say they’re looking into ways to improve school safety following a recent scare. On Friday, an eighth-grader said there was a person with a gun inside of Gananda Middle School but it turned out that was not the case. Last night, district leaders and police met with parents to discuss the incident, which led to the student being arrested. Law enforcement will continue to have an increased presence at Gananda schools.

 

Richard Sciascia

Two teenagers have pleaded guilty in connection with a deadly attempted carjacking last year. Prosecutors say 17-year-old Anthony Jacobs and 17-year-old Edgar Tolentino tried to steal Richard Sciascia’s vehicle at gunpoint on Buell Road in Gates in April 2021. Sciascia was shot and later died at Strong Memorial Hospital. As part of his plea deal, Tolentino will get 20 years to life in prison. Jacobs will be sentenced to 15 to 25 years behind bars.

 

Morning News Brief

A fire at a pro life center in Amherst is being investigated as Arson.  CompassCare in Amherst on Eggert Rd, part of a regional chain of women’s crisis centers which provide counseling, ultrasounds, STD testing, Abortion Pill reversal and access to care during and after pregnancy all for free, was firebombed Tuesday early in the morning.  Workers at the clinic believe it was done by a radical Pro-Abortion group called “Janes Revenge” because of graffiti found after the fire that says “Jane was here.”  CEO Jim Harden says a similar clinic was targeted in Madison, Wisconsin last month with Jane’s revenge claiming responsibility and threatening more sites.  Harden held a news conference outside the clinic Tuesday afternoon saying the fire was no accident. He says fires were set inside causing extensive damage.  Police said two firefighters were treated for minor injuries and the fire is being investigated as arson at this time.

According to court officials, Albany City court was closed on Tuesday for fumigation after hundreds of cockroaches were released during a court procedure.  The incident occurred Tuesday morning during an arraignment of 4 people, where one of the defendants began to record court proceedings.  When told to stop, we’re told that a fight escalated and cockroaches were then released from plastic containers.  Clyanna Lightbourn, 34, was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, criminal contempt, and tampering with physical evidence.  It’s unclear who released the cockroaches and how this person managed to bring them inside the court.  Lucian Chalfen, director of public information with the Unified Court System said that an investigation into the incident is underway and more people may be charged.  

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia will be bringing back the Independence Day 5K run on Monday the 4th of July this year.  They said they are so excited to be doing it in person again at Centennial park as last year they had to go virtual.  Proceeds from the race will be distributed to the Autism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park, Batavia City School Foundation for the Community Schools Program, and lastly the Kiwanis activity fund which supports community events such as the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Thanksgiving Morning Skate and others.

The Muckdogs beat the Auburn Doubledays 6 to 5.  Monday’s game at Dwyer Stadium was delayed by rain a few times.  Then Tuesday the Dogs beat the Jamestown Tarp Skunks 12 to 6.  The Muckdogs are now 4 and 1 with their next game against Capital City Reds at home tonight at 7pm.

Afternoon News Brief

The Batavia Police Department is looking for help in identifying a person of interest in a larceny at Tops Supermarket which occurred on 06/02/2022 at approximately 10:05 AM. Anyone with information on the identity of the person in the photo is asked to contact Officer Christopher Lindsay at 585-345-6350 or the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370. Please do not post tips on Facebook or Twitter as the posts are not continuously monitored.

 

The price of gas for regular unleaded went up an average of 6 cents a gallon since yesterday to $4.94, an all-time high in New York state. AAA reports this morning that Monday’s price of $4.88 was down 5 cents from a week ago, while the national price jumped 25 cents in the week. The state price was down due to the state suspending its 4-percent share of the sales tax on gas. That knocked about 16 cents off the price. But the cost has continued to go up. The price of crude oil is about $120 a barrel. While regular unleaded is at an all-time high, diesel is at $6.30 a gallon. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.83 per gallon, up 8 cents from yesterday but is the same as it was a week ago. Several counties have average prices over $5 a gallon; most are downstate (Franklin, Clinton, Hamilton, Queens, Kings (Brooklyn), Richmond (Staten Island), New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Duchess.) Westchester County, with the Hudson River on one side and Connecticut on the other, has the highest average price at $5.148 a gallon for regular unleaded.

 

New York has started mailing out homeowner tax rebate checks several months earlier than originally planned. The homeowner tax rebate credit is a one-year program providing direct property tax relief to nearly three million eligible homeowners in 2022. New York is set to spend $2.2 billion in one-time property tax rebates, but was expected to arrive this fall. As stated on the Department of Taxation and Finance website, New Yorkers that are eligible don’t need to do anything—you’ll automatically be sent a check for the amount of your credit. If you don’t get your check by early July, expect it before your school tax bill is due. Their contact center can’t provide a specific timeframe.  https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/homeowner-tax-rebate-credit.htm#definition-of-income

 

There are now even tougher gun laws on the books in New York State after Governor Hochul signed off on several pieces of legislation. Among the bills she approved yesterday was a measure raising the age to purchase a semiautomatic rifle to 21-years-old. There are also new restrictions on civilian purchases of bullet proof body armor and new semiautomatic handguns are required to have microstamping technology. Social media companies must also have a way for users to report hateful conduct they see online.

 

There is an ongoing police investigation in Orleans County involving an altercation at the Holley Middle School last week. This is surrounding a student who identifies as transgender. The incident happened during school on June 2nd when a 7th grader, who goes by the name River, was wearing a rainbow pride flag at school. Another student reportedly pulled the flag, which River was wearing as a cape and had been fastened around his neck. In response, River pulled the other student’s backpack. The other student had then yanked on the flag, again, but this time harder, pulling River down. This led to a physical fight between the two students. The school district had contacted the students’ parents and both students were disciplined according to school protocol (both were suspended) and police report. River’s mom, Robayn Perrin, however, says her child had been subject to bullying for months. Police say this is an ongoing investigation.

 

A student at Gananda Middle School has been arrested after Wayne County deputies say he falsely reported an incident. Last Friday, the eighth-grader claimed there was someone inside the school with a gun but it turned out that wasn’t true. This incident happened just days after a Gananda High School student was charged with making a terroristic threat. In that case, the student posted a photo online that showed him posing with what appeared to be an assault weapon.

 

Family members who were affected by the shooting at a Jefferson Avenue Tops store will be spending some time on Capitol Hill this week. They’ll be speaking with lawmakers during Congressional hearings that are scheduled for today and tomorrow. Back on May 14th, Peyton Gendron allegedly opened fire at the supermarket, killing 10 people and injuring three others in what is being called a racially-motivated hate crime. He was indicted last week on over two-dozen charges and is behind bars without bail.

 

Robert Maharrey

A state appeals court has denied an appeal by a decorated Marine veteran who is serving a state prison sentence for assaulting a police officer during a concert at Darien Lake. 27-year-old Mississippi resident Robert Maharrey is serving a three years and six months sentence for the 2018 assault at a Jason Aldean concert. Maharrey appealed a jury verdict, claiming that the injuries a Genesee County sheriff’s deputy suffered were not serious enough to warrant a felony assault conviction. However, the appeal was denied as it was determined the police officer sustained a serious physical injury. Maharrey attended the concert with his sister and got involved in a brawl where he punched a woman in the face, fought with security guards, spit in a deputy’s face and then head-butted another deputy, causing those serious injuries. Maharrey claimed he did not remember the incidents. At his sentencing, he spoke of his family’s 214- year history of serving the country and of his own service, which included numerous commendations and awards. Maharrey had no criminal history at the time; however, the judge said he had to have consequences for his actions.

 

Dominic Pezzola

A Rochester man who is accused of being involved in violent protests at the U.S. Capitol is in some more legal trouble. Prosecutors have charged Dominic Pezzola with seditious conspiracy after they say he knowingly tried to use force to prevent the lawful transition of presidential power. (Seditious means: disposed to arouse or take part in) Pezzola allegedly used a stolen police shield to smash a window at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 and smoked a cigar inside the building. Pezzola is scheduled to appear in federal court on Thursday.

 

A Chili man faces several felony charges after he led police on a high-speed chase that started on Clinton Street Road in Stafford with a juvenile in his car. Genesee County Sheriffs tell us that 19-year-old Logan Biedrzycki refused to stop for a deputy and fled at a high rate of speed before finally being stopped on Route 33. He was charged with three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, unlawful fleeing a police officer, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless driving, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and numerous traffic violations. He was arraigned in Town Court and released to appear July 12.

 

Walden Galleria Mall

The company that owns Walden Galleria has avoided defaulting on its over 230-million-dollar loan after signing a three-year extension with its lenders. In a statement, Pyramid Management Group said this extension would allow the company to continue reinvesting in the shopping center. There have been several new stores added to the mall recently and plans are in the works for a Five Below and Irish department store to open soon. The mall and its businesses currently employ about 4000 people.

 

Kevin Hart

A comedian who is a star both on the stage and silver screen will be making an appearance in Buffalo later this year. Kevin Hart is bringing his “Reality Check Tour” to KeyBank Center on Friday, October 28th. During his career, the 42-year-old Hart has been nominated for both an Emmy and Grammy award. Tickets for the show are scheduled to go on sale to the general public at 10am Friday and they can be purchased at kevinhartnation.com.

 

Morning News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of Gun Control legislation into law including raising the age that a person can purchase a rifle from 18 to 21.  Also among the new laws was a law enabling medical providers to flag people who should not have guns, restricting body armor to police and other emergency personnel and microstamping to make guns more traceable by the bullets they fire.  Critics of the new laws say they wouldn’t have stopped the mass shootings here or in Texas, what is needed is enforcing the laws already on the books.  A red flag law that should have kept guns out of the hands of the TOPs shooter wasn’t funded or fully functional even though it was passed and signed in 2019.  Critics like Tom King, Executive Director of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, say these laws are just window dressing and won’t achieve anything.  Hochul and other state lawmakers are calling on the federal government to enact a ban on “assault weapons” although King says there is no such thing.

Crossroads House has a new executive director in Charlotte Crawford.  Crawford had been serving as interim director since Jeff Allen left.  Crawford has been a nurse and a teacher for many years.  She teaches Nursing Leadership at GCC.  Her last 22 years were spent at Lake Plains Community Care Network, a rural health network covering Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties. She began her employment as the Care Management Developer, followed by Associate Director, and the last 6 years as the CEO.

Western New York drivers are feeling a little bit of relief at the gas pumps these days as prices are finally starting to fall a bit.  The state average is $4.87 per gallon and nationally it’s $4.85. In Batavia the average price per gallon is $4.75, down a dime since last Monday.  The gas in New York is a bit cheaper because of the tax relief giving drivers around 16 cents off each gallon.  Gas stations are still catching up to the price changes, some are still near 5 dollars while some have altered their prices to nearer 4.70. 

Dave Chappelle performed at Shea’s on Sunday and is now announcing he is donating all proceeds from the show to the families of the victims of the Tops Shooting.  Other big names are set to perform in Buffalo in the coming months.  Kevin Hart is coming to the KeyBank Center in October and Alice Cooper will be performing at Sheas Performing Art Center in September. 

Afternoon News Brief

Genesee County Sheriffs continue their investigation today into gunshots that were fired at several residences in the town of Bethany. The incidents occurred on Bethany Center Road starting a little after 9pm Saturday and continued into early Sunday morning. There is no known motive for the attacks and no one in particular appears to have been targeted. A 2 door dark blue car with a loud exhaust was witnessed driving up and down the street earlier in the evening. No one was injured. Anyone with information about this should call the sheriffs at 343-5000 and talk to investigator DeLong at extension 3572.

 

Alyssa Alhadeff

Alyssa’s Law goes to the governor’s desk to sign days after strict gun legislation was sent to Governor Hochul for her signature. Alyssa’s Law would require school districts statewide to seriously consider installing silent panic alarms to alert law-enforcement authorities during emergencies. It’s named for Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old who was killed in her English class in 2018 during the Parkman, Florida school massacre.

 

After a two-year break, Batavia City Firefighters will once again be passing the boot for donations a week from Friday, June 17th. They will be standing in the street from 8:30 to 1:30 on Court and Main and Court and Ellicott. Donations collected during the Fill the Boot campaign support researching neuromuscular diseases such as ALS, muscular dystrophy, and other diseases. Donations will also provide support for families affected by these diseases and opportunities for children affected to go to camps with other children.

 

Western New York drivers are feeling a little bit of relief at the gas pumps these days as prices are finally starting to fall a bit. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.78. That’s down 10 cents from last week, but is still 55 cents more than a month ago and $1.75 cents higher than this time last year. The state average is $4.87 per gallon and nationally it’s $4.85. In Batavia, as of this morning, the average price per gallon is $4.75; up one cent from yesterday but down a dime since last Monday.

 

Some new data from the state Department of Health shows the adult cigarette-smoking rate is at an all-time low in New York State. In 2020, that rate was sitting at 12%, which is below the national average of 15.5%. Among people between the ages of 18 and 24, the smoking rate is 5.5%. However, diseases that are caused by smoking and secondhand smoke still cause over 22,000 deaths statewide each year. Anyone who needs help quitting smoking can call the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-697-8487 or visit nysmokefree.com.

 

Opening night at Dwyer Stadium was a success in more ways than one; Saturday night, the Muckdogs beat the Pioneers 6 to 4. In addition to the game, there were plenty of fun activities including a memorial presentation, races around the bases, and fireworks. The Muckdogs had been on a two game winning streak, but then lost yesterday to Niagara Power. The Muckdogs return home to take the field this evening against Auburn; game time is 7pm.

 

Tom Reed

Governor Hochul has officially announced a special election to fill the vacant seat in the 23rd Congressional District. The position has been empty since last month when former Congressman Tom Reed resigned to take a job with Prime Policy Group, which is a public relations and government relations agency in Washington, DC. The election will happen on Tuesday, August 23rd. The candidate who wins will serve until the end of the year.

 

A Geneva man has been arrested by State Police on several disturbing charges. Troopers say 56-year-old Andrew Jensen was taken into custody Saturday and is accused of sexual conduct against a child, among other crimes. Jensen was arraigned and released to pretrial services but must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. Anyone who has information on this case is asked to contact State Police.

 

Morning News Brief

Genesee County Sheriffs are investigating reports of a series of gunshots fired at several residences in the town of Bethany late Saturday night.  The incidents occurred on Bethany Center Rd between Mayne and Raymond Rds at about 9pm and then into the early morning.  There is no known motive for the attacks.  A 2 door dark blue car with a loud exhaust was witnessed driving up and down the street before the shots were heard.  Anyone with information about this should call 585 343 5000 and talk to investigator DeLong at extension 3572.

Alyssa’s Law goes to the governor’s desk to sign days after strict gun legislation was sent to be signed by Governor Hochul.  Alyssa’s law makes it so schools must have a panic button accessible in the case of a life threatening event to alert Law Enforcement.  It’s named for Alyssa Alhadeff, a 14-year-old who was killed in her English class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in 2018.

Opening night at Dwyer Stadium saw the Muckdogs beat the Pioneers 6 to 4.  There were plenty of exciting events Saturday night with cheerleaders, a memorial presentation, races around the bases, fireworks and more.  The dogs had been on a streak of 2 wins but lost Sunday to Niagara Power.  The Muckdogs play again tonight at home at 7pm.  

The dedication of the new name for the Batavia Ice Rink brought over 150 friends, family and supporters to the newly christened David M. McCarthy Memorial Arena for the ceremony.  Guy Pellegrino bought the naming rights for the arena for 3100 a year for the next 10 years.  Pellegrino played hockey with McCarthy on the Batavia High team.  McCarthy was killed in a car accident in 2006.  The McCarthy Foundation, Friends of the Rink, Genesee Amateur Hockey Association, city management and other supporters are working to improve youth athletics in Genesee County. 

Oliver’s Candies and Eli Fish Brewing Company are collaborating to bring a new kind of confection to the people.  Beer Brittle, peanut brittle with a beer base instead of water, is being created to mark the anniversary of both businesses.  Eli Fish is approaching 4 years old and Oliver’s is coming up on 90.  The Beer used is Bad Bad Leroy Brown, a sweet beer, and it is added to the malt, sugar and peanuts.  The beer-brittle is being sold at both Oliver’s Locations — Batavia and Elba, as well as at Eli Fish.

City Firefighters will be passing the boot for donations toward the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Friday June 17th.  They will be standing in the street from 8:30 to 1:30 on Court and Main and Court and Ellicott.  Donations collected during the Fill the Boot campaign will support researching neuromuscular diseases such as ALS, muscular dystrophies, and other diseases.  Donations will also provide support for families affected by these diseases and opportunities for children affected to go to camps with other children.

Weekend News Brief

A student in Kendall found out the cost of making a threat online.  A 14 year old student and their parents have been charged in relation to a threat made against Kendall Central School district.  The student made the threat on social media Friday and within minutes police were at the school and the student was searched, their locker and bag were searched.  The student’s residence was searched and the parents lied about what was in the house.  No weapons were found at school but weapons and ammunition were found at the home.  The student was taken to Strong for mental health evaluations.  The student is being charged with Felony Making a Terroristic Threat.  The Parents are charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

You may have noticed that gas is a little bit cheaper since June 1st.  The state wide gas sales tax has been suspended till December 31st and is saving drivers an average of 16 cents per gallon.  Counties have jumped on the bandwagon as well, capping their taxes for additional savings.  In the GLOW region, Livingston County has capped theirs to only collect taxes on the first 3 dollars per gallon saving drivers an additional 7 cents at the rate gas is right now.  County Executive Matt Landers of Genesee county says that, while a gas tax holiday has been discussed for Genesee the legislature has opted not to suspend taxes.  Landers says losing the tax revenue from Thruway travelers would take bites out of infrastructure spending and keeping property taxes down.

The New York State Agriculture department announced that the ban on Poultry Shows, auctions, meets, swaps and exhibitions is over.  Poultry were restricted because of Avian Influenza, 8 flocks in New York tested positive and thousands of birds had to be destroyed to stop the contagion.  The last positive case was nearly 2 months ago with the last detection being in Fulton County April 6th.  The bans were put into place on March 25th and April 14th.  No word yet on if there will be poultry show at the New York State Faire.

New York has ended its legislative session with a flurry of legislations.  One that is the first in the nation is a targeted move to place a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining, specifically that which is housed in Fossil Fuel Burning Power plants.  This move is aimed at a company on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes which has had activists accusing the company of increasing the temperature of the lake for the past several years. 

The State Senate and Assembly both passed a package of bills cracking down on gun violence. The bills include banning the sale and possession of semi-automatic rifles for anyone under the age of 21, requiring anyone wanting to buy one of those rifles receive a permit, restricting civilian purchases of bullet-resistant body armor, and require new guns be equipped with microstamping technology which would help law enforcement investigators trace bullets to specific firearms.  The bills passed on party lines with Republicans saying these laws would not prevent any shootings and that Democrats should put aside politics and work on actual solutions.

Representative Jacobs has announced he will not run for reelection.  He came under fire after saying he would support gun control legislation, including a federal assault weapons ban.  He serves the 27th district which was changed in the new election map. 

Afternoon News Brief

Luis Gabriel Torres

The Le Roy Police Department has arrested Luis Gabriel Torres and charged him with felonies, the most serious of which include intent to cause physical injury with a weapon, attempted assault, and criminal possession of a weapon after a previous conviction. Torres was remanded to the Genesee County Jail and will return to court on June 7th to answer the charges.

 

Wyoming County Sherriff’s deputies tell us a Batavia man now faces felony charges after he was found to be driving while high with two teenagers in the car, along with concentrated cannabis. Sheriffs stopped 21-year-old Memphis Chamberlain during the DWI crackdown over Memorial Day Weekend. He appeared high on drugs and the odor of marijuana was inside the car. Two teenagers, age 15 and 17, were passengers. The 17-year-old had more than 24 grams of concentrated cannabis in her possession and told police Chamberlain gave it to her. Chamberlain was charged with driving while impaired by drugs, felony aggravated DWI with a child in the car, felony criminal sale of cannabis, unlawful possession of cannabis, unlicensed operation, driver’s view obstructed, modified muffler and unauthorized stickers on windows. He is to appear at a later date in Town Court.

 

A Batavia man needed to be flown by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital. He suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns yesterday afternoon as he was getting a lawn mower from his shed. He believes he accidentally hit an igniter on a propane grill, which caused a spark and the vapors exploded. The man was reportedly burned across 60 percent of his body.

 

 

Mobile Wagering

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York’s recently launched mobile sports wagering has generated a record-breaking amount of tax revenue in less than six months, surpassing states that have offered sports wagering for years. According to New York state data, the state has generated more than $267 million from sports wagering since January. Mobile sports wagering accounted for $263 million of that.

 

The Genesee Country Farmer’s Market is located at Alva and Bank Streets in Batavia and they opened today for the season. Vendors will be on hand Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9am until 4pm through October 28th.

 

 

 

Payton Gendron

The suspect who allegedly killed 10 people at a Tops store in Buffalo has pleaded not guilty to over two-dozen charges. Yesterday, 18-year-old Payton Gendron was back in court after he was indicted by a grand jury for murder, attempted murder and domestic terrorism. Prosecutors say Gendron carried out the shooting at the supermarket on May 14th in what’s been called a racially-motivated hate crime. Gendron remains behind bars without bail and faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.

 

Dave Chappelle

A comedian who is known to people around the world is bringing his latest tour to Buffalo this weekend. Dave Chappelle is set to take the stage at Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Sunday at 7:00pm. No cell phones are allowed at the show and people are asked to leave those devices at home or in their vehicles. Anyone who is caught with a cell phone will be removed from the theater. Tickets for the performance are still available and can be purchased through Live Nation.

 

Letitia James

State Attorney General Letitia James is reminding New Yorkers about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency. She says cryptocurrencies often have significant price swings and the market reached record lows last month that cost investors billions of dollars. James is urging people to be cautious so they don’t lose any of their hard-earned money. She’s also asking anyone who believes they’ve been a victim of investment fraud to contact the Investor Protection Bureau.

 

The Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors approved an agreement supporting the O-AT-KA Milk Products 3,200 square foot facility expansion. O-AT-KA had proposed a $3.1 million investment that would be home to two new 18,000-gallon tanks. The goals of the project include increased capacities of cream-based liquor beverages and future expansions. The project is proposing to create two new jobs at a leading employer in Genesee County’s food and beverage manufacturing ecosystem.

 

Buffalo police have released new information their investigation into what caused a vehicle to crash into a building. According to police, the man behind the wheel had been shot before the vehicle struck a building in the area of Genesee Street and Bissell Avenue Wednesday night. The man was pronounced dead at the scene and a passenger went to Erie County Medical Center where they’re in serious condition. The names of the victims haven’t been made public and anyone with information can call police.

 

The dedication and unveiling of the signage at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena is set for 6:00 this evening at 22 Evans St., Batavia. A food stand fundraiser will open at 5, featuring hotdogs, chips and water, with proceeds going to the David McCarthy Memorial Foundation. Everyone is invited to attend. Also, the David McCarthy Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for tomorrow.

 

Morning News Brief

A man was taken to the hospital by Mercy Flight chopper after being severely burned when his grill exploded.  The Batavia Fire department say a man on Cherry Street in Batavia had left the grill on or that the tank or hose had a leak when he accidentally hit the igniter Thursday, causing the built up gasses to explode and cause 2nd degree burns across 60 percent of his body.  He was pulling a lawn mower from his shed when the explosion happened.

Do you like loud engines and high flying acrobatics?  Well the Geneseo Airshow is here for you!  This weekend the warplanes will be on and above the field just west of Geneseo from 11am till the show is done.  Gate opens at 9.  They are doing a tailgate or drive in style viewing this year with a general seating area also available.  Headliners will be the USAF F-22 Raptors Demo team, The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association Formation Team, and the Round Chute Jump Team among many others.  If you can’t make it Saturday the same events will be performed Sunday.  Tickets are 35 dollars a person for General admission seating or starting at 100 for car seating.

Our news partner the Batavian has named a new news editor, Joanne Beck.  Beck has been freelancing for the Batavian since August and began her new staff position in May.  She took over the City and County beats from Mike Pettinella and will also be covering schools.  Beck has a Bachelors in News/Media and has been active in journalism in the area for many years.

Fresh produce, food trucks, live music, and fudge.  What do all these things have in common?  The Genesee County Farmers Market!  Starting today 9 to 4 and going Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through October 29th, the Farmers Market will feature live music on some Fridays this season and a Master Gardener and Nutritionist.  The market is at the parking lot at Alva Place and Bank Street.

Genesee County Park and Forest is hosting guided dog walks for you and your 4 legged canine friend.  Each walk is on a Saturday a month apart.  The first is June 4th, next is July 2nd and the last is August 6th and they run from 10 to 11 am.  The walks start at the Interpretive Center and are 5 dollars a dog.  All dogs must be leashed, vaccinated and licensed.

The Buffalo Bills have signed a veteran Wide receiver and former first round draft pick Tavon Austin to the team.  Austin was originally selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft after his college career at West Virginia. He spent his first five years in the NFL with the Rams.  He has also played for the Cowboys, 49ers, and Jaguars. Last season, Austin hauled in 24 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown with Jacksonville. He also had three carries for 21 yards.

Kiwanis Club Announces 2022 Criminal Justice Awards

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award is presented to a member or members of the community, law enforcement, or a criminal justice agency serving the citizens of Genesee County whose exceptional career achievements and conscientiousness to citizenship have demonstrated a spirit of selfless public service or demonstrated an act of exceptional valor or heroism.

The 2022 Award Recipients are:
Rosanne DeMare, Community Victim/Services Counselor, Genesee Justice
Rosanne started her career with Genesee Justice in 2006 and has worked with countless victims by supporting and guiding them through their role in the justice process. She is compassionate when speaking to, or on behalf of victims and is determined to ensure that victim’s rights are met with the utmost respect and dignity at all stages of the criminal justice process. The victims Rosanne has assisted wholeheartedly share their appreciation for all she did to help them get through some very trying times.

Rosanne always has the interests of the victims first and foremost and is ready, willing, and able to assist in whatever way necessary. She will calculate large and complex restitution claims or simply be there to comfort a victim in distress. She will supervise and entertain children while their parent or guardian is testifying in court and she will provide assistance to allow victims to travel to court to remain safe from a threat. She will make phone calls, emails, whatever is necessary, to keep a victim apprised of the progress of their case or relieve their anxiety.

Rosanne has a superior work ethic and is often the last one to leave on any given day. Her dedication and professionalism to the mission of the Genesee Justice Victim Advocacy program is a true asset to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and Genesee County. Community Victim/Services Counselor Rosanne DeMare was nominated for this award by Genesee Justice Program Coordinator Diana Prinzi.

Thomas Graham, Justice, Town of Oakfield
Justice Thomas Graham began his law enforcement career on February 17, 1976, with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and retired after 29 ½ years of service. During his tenure, he held the positions of Deputy Sheriff – Jail, Deputy Sheriff – Road Patrol, Dispatcher, and Sergeant. Additionally, he was a Field Training Officer, was the lead for the Buckle Up New York Program and earned a Meritorious Service Award for his exceptional performance over an extended period of time. He played an instrumental role in the operations of the Emergency Services Dispatch Center and was a K-9 handler for several years.

Honorable Graham is currently the Secretary and Treasurer of the Genesee County Magistrates’ and Court Clerks’ Association and is a board member on the Criminal Justice Advisory Council and Genesee County Traffic Safety Board. He is also an instructor for the Rural Police Training Academy at Genesee Community College.

Judge Graham has spent the past 48 years as a volunteer fireman and was the Assistant Chief of the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department.

It is evident that Judge Thomas Graham is dedicated to the profession of law enforcement and has contributed extensively to the several organizations and boards he has served and currently serves. Genesee County is very fortunate to have such an experienced, dedicated professional serving its citizens. Justice Graham was nominated for this award by the Town of Oakfield Court Clerk Sandy Almeter.

Kevin Forsyth, Investigator, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office
Investigator Forsyth‘s career in law enforcement began in June of 2007, as a Probation Officer with the Genesee County Probation Department, and on July 11, 2015, he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigator Forsyth proved himself a valuable member of the road patrol division and was selected as a Field Training Officer. He was awarded a Meritorious Service Award in 2017, reflecting his consistent high standard of work. Investigator Forsyth’s excellent performance led to his promotion on November 30, 2019, to Investigator with the Criminal Investigation Division. He demonstrates a consistent work ethic, is knowledgeable of the law, and is a valued, reliable member of the Investigation Division. Investigator Forsyth presently serves the community spending countless hours investigating crimes, which through his effort and commitment, often lead to an arrest and the perpetrator brought to justice. Along with his investigative responsibilities, Investigator Forsyth is also an instructor of Defensive Tactics, Taser, Aerosol Subject Restraint, Stinger Spike System and is trained as a Crisis Intervention Officer. Investigator Forsyth is also a veteran of the United States Army.

Investigator Kevin Forsyth was nominated for this award by the Chief of Criminal Investigations Joseph Graff.

Eric Hill, Youth Detective, City of Batavia Police Department
Youth Detective Hill was hired by the City of Batavia Police Department in 2005, and has served many roles within the department during his 17 years of service to the community. He has served as a road patrol officer, Field Training Officer, one of the Department’s Public Information Officers (PIO), has been a member of the Department’s Emergency Response Team, and is active in community events such as Shop with a Cop.

Youth Detective Hill was promoted to the position of Youth Detective in 2015, and has since worked alongside multiple partner agencies to ensure that the City’s youth are served with professionalism and empathy, always emphasizing a restorative justice model. Youth Detective Hill has worked with countless parents, teachers, and officers to assist them in dealing with difficult situations, all while ensuring that the best interest of the youth is met. Eric has also worn the unofficial “hat” of being the Department’s IT support. He has worked alongside County IT, City officials, IT vendors and department members to ensure that the technology used to assist officers and citizens is kept operational. Eric’s technical background and skills have proven to be an indispensable resource to the staff.

Throughout his career, Youth Detective Hill handles all of his duties with professionalism and pride for the uniform he wears and the department he represents. Youth Detective Hill was nominated for this award by City of Batavia Police Detective Sergeant Matt Lutey.

Afternoon News Brief

Zachary Hursh

Alexander Scheg

Jason Schmeer

A Rochester man who led police on a high-speed chase through two counties in a stolen car has been indicted by a Genesee County grand jury. 37-year-old Zachary Hursh is charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, obstruction of governmental administration, third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer and reckless driving. The 2017 Honda Civic that he was driving was reported stolen from the city of Rochester and observed at Horseshoe Lake and Sanders roads in Stafford the night of December 1. Attempts to pull the vehicle over were unsuccessful, even the use of spike strips failed. Hursh eventually lost control and crashed the car. He and one of his passengers (27-year-old Alexander Scheg of Byron), attempted to flee but were soon found; a third passenger, 41-year-old Jason Schmeer was immediately taken into custody.

 

Jarrett Coniglio

A Basom man who made a plea deal as long as he stayed out of trouble, was soon back in court charged with felonies. The initial charges against 29-year-old Jarrett Coniglio included DWI, forgery and criminal impersonation – he initially provided the name of his brother when police pulled him over. With the deal that he made, he would have served less time in prison but then, unprovoked, assaulted a neighbor. At sentencing, he said he wanted to be a better person, take care of his mother who apparently is having health problems, and also take care of his kids; something he has not done in the past and is court-ordered to stay away from the mother of his children . The judge did not believe Coniglio was the family man he said he was; he was sentenced to five years in prison for assault and up to four years for the DWI conviction. He had accepted 2-1/2 years in the plea deal.

 

Officers from the Genesee County Local Task Force have announced they arrested a Batavia resident for selling cocaine. Members of the Task Force, comprised of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and Batavia Police Department, arrested 69-year-old Julious Murphy of Jerome Place, after an investigation into the transportation and sale of crack cocaine in and around the City of Batavia. Officers said Murphy was taken into custody on a sealed grand jury indictment warrant during a traffic stop. Officers added that He allegedly sold quantities of crack cocaine to an agent of the Genesee County Drug Task Force while in Batavia. Murphy is also known as ‘Fatboy’, and has been charged with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, both class B-felonies according to New York State Penal Law. The suspect was arraigned in Genesee County Court Tuesday and was released under supervision.

 

Lynne Johnson

Orleans County officials don’t plan to suspend any of the sales tax on gas, this, from Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson. She noted that the funds are needed to improve bridges, emergency response and communication services, the county will become further burdened with fixable and unfixable problems in the absence of the gas tax. Out of the 62 counties in the state only 25 have suspended the gas tax when the price hits either $2 or $3 a gallon. In the GLOW region, only Livingston is waiving the sales tax – and that’s after $3 a gallon. Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming have not suspended the local share of the tax.

 

Andrew Cuomo

After an online ad campaign, billboards and television ads touting his innocence and a possible run for governor: Former Governor Andrew Cuomo has not filed paperwork to run and the deadline is now past. If he had wanted to run he would have needed a 45,000 signature petition to run as an independent candidate. Cuomo could still get on the ballot if his campaign had collected those signatures and put his petitions in the mail. Board of Elections spokesperson Jennifer Wilson says, “If that paperwork was to arrive by Thursday, bearing a postmark dated Tuesday or earlier, it would still count.”

 

Payton Gendron

The man accused of carrying out a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo is expected to be back in court today. Payton Gendron has been indicted by an Erie County grand jury on several charges including domestic terrorism, murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors say that Gendron arrived at a Tops store May 14th and allegedly opened fire, killing 10 people and injuring three others in what officials have called a racially motivated hate crime. Gendron is behind bars without bail.

 

New data shows the spread of the coronavirus is continuing to slow down across our region. Right now, the 7-day average infection rate is just below 7.9%. Last week, the average infection rate was at 10.5%. Health officials are urging residents to take the proper precautions to protect themselves and others from getting sick such as being vaccinated against the virus and wearing a mask while indoors.

 

Genesee County is waiving fees for civil service exams. This is an effort to try to get more people interested in employment with Police, Sheriff, Fire, Probation and Dispatch service. Human Resources Director Anita Cleveland noted that since the 20 to 25 dollar exam fee was implemented the number of people signing up to take the exams has fallen. This led her to propose dropping the fees through December 31st a move that will cost the county approximately $3000. After passing the Ways and Means Committee, it goes to the county legislature for the final vote.

 

A popular fast-food chain is planning to add a fourth location in the Rochester area. According to WHEC, Chick-fil-A wants to build a new restaurant on Route 250 in Penfield that would seat 75 people and have a three-lane drive-thru. The other Chick-fil-A’s are located in Greece, Henrietta and Irondequoit. There’s no word yet on when the Penfield restaurant will open.

 

 

Joshua Wilson

A Buffalo man has been sentenced for brutally beating a woman to death inside of her home Tonawanda. Prosecutors say 24-year-old Joshua Wilson attacked 71-year-old Diane Wolfe with a gardening tool at her residence back in May 2020. After killing Wolfe, Wilson left the scene with the victim’s vehicle and several items from her house. He will be spending the next 22 years behind bars after pleading guilty.

 

Morning News Brief

The suspected shooter who took the lives of 10 people in a Buffalo TOPs has been officially charged with terrorism and 10 counts of 1st degree murder.  The jury decided Wednesday to charge the 18 year old that the charge of terrorism will be domestic terrorism motivated by hate.  The suspect has plead not guilty.  

Genesee County is waiving fees for civil service exams in a move to try to get more people interested in Police, Sheriff, Fire, Probation and Dispatch service.  Since the 20 to 25 dollar exam fee was implemented the number of people signing up to take the exams has fallen.  This led Human Resources Director Anita Cleveland to propose dropping the fees from June 1st to December 31st.  Not having the fees will cost the county approximately 3000 dollars.  After passing the Ways and Means committee, it goes to the county legislature for the final vote.

Buffalo Police have seized 23 ATVs and dirt bikes since Sunday during a special operation to get the off road vehicles off Buffalo’s roads.  Riders of these vehicles have been known to run lights and stop signs, drive on sidewalks, and ride across public parks en masse causing damage and endangering pedestrians.  Mayor Byron Brown says that “This is not fun and games. This is dangerous.”  Brown also says that the city will continue to offer a cash reward for information leading to the confiscation of these vehicles.

After an online ad campaign, billboards and television ads touting his innocence and a possible run for governor.  Former Governor Andrew Cuomo has not filed paperwork to run and the deadline is now past.  If he had wanted to run he would have needed a 45,000 signature petition to run as an independent candidate.  Cuomo could still get on the ballot if his campaign had collected those signatures and put his petitions in the mail. Board of Elections spokesperson Jennifer Wilson says, “If that paperwork was to arrive by Thursday, bearing a postmark dated Tuesday or earlier, it would still count.”

The Oakfield Alabama Hornets are Section 5 Title Winners after beating Notre Dame in a close fought 8 to 7 game.  The Section C Class 5 title game was played Tuesday.  Bodie Hyde had 2 runs scored for the Hornets.  David Schnaufer knocked out 3 runs in one hit and Brayden Smith scored twice.  

Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo has announced the name of the Giraffe baby born at the end of April.  Little calf Olmsted was born to Iggy and Parker on April 29th and has been sheltered inside with his mother and father and is now going to be let out for visitors to see.  The name Olmsted is meant to honor Frederick Law Olmstead who designed Seneca Park.  2022 marks 200 years since Frederick Olmstead was born.

Afternoon News Brief

Makeen Ithna-Asheri

A Genesee County grand jury has indicted a Batavia man on charges that he failed to help his wife or call for help, while she was overdosing on drugs. 61-year-old Makeen Ithna-Asheri is charged with second-degree manslaughter due to recklessly causing the death of his wife; also included are two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police also said he prevented his children from calling by taking their phone away. The couple both overdosed that night, police said, with Ithna-Asheri recovering before police and medics arrived. Attempts were made to revive his wife but failed. The manslaughter charge is a class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Ithna-Asheri is already on lifetime parole because of a 1977 murder conviction in Suffolk County when he was 17 years old.

 

Attica Correctional Facility

A corrections officer at the Attica Correctional Facility was stabbed with a makeshift knife. This occurred during a brawl in the mess hall last Friday. The officer was coming to the aid of an inmate who was being attacked by several other inmates. Three other inmates then joined in as two officers ordered them to stop. The inmates ignored the officers. More officers arrived to assist and the three inmates who joined the fight fled and attempted to mix in with other inmates as the initial attacker kept trying to stab the inmate. An officer was treated for a stab wound in the left hand. All five inmates involved in the fight were placed in Special Housing Units pending disciplinary charges.

 

Richard Steen

53-year-old Richard Steen of Lake Street, Le Roy, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, and menacing. He was arrested by deputies after they responded to a call of a disturbance in the evening of May 27, at a residence on Cole Road, Le Roy. Steen allegedly displayed a long gun in a threatening manner and allegedly shot a camper causing damage to it. He was arraigned in Town of Le Roy Court and released.

 

26-year-old Megan Courtney of Batavia has been charged with grand larceny and three counts of filing a false instrument. She is accused of failing to report that the father of her children was residing in her home and earning income; as a result, she allegedly received $6830 in SNAP benefits that she was not eligible to receive.  Similarly, 30-year-old Chandah Sundown of Batavia faces multiple charges, including grand larceny. She is accused of failing to report the father of her children was residing with her and earning income. This resulted in Sundown allegedly receiving $8353 in SNAP benefits she should not have received. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance.

 

38-year-old Thomas Wolcott of Batavia is charged with criminal contempt. He is accused of violating an order of protection. Wolcott was arraigned in City Court and ordered held on $10,000 bail.

 

 

After weeks of having to hand over a lot of money to fill up their vehicles, New York drivers are finally getting a little relief at the gas pumps today. That’s because a gas tax holiday that was approved as part of this year’s state budget is now in effect. The suspension of the state’s 16-cents-per gallon tax is going to remain in place through the end of December. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in Batavia is $4.85, up two cents from yesterday.

 

Mayor Byron Brown

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is calling for the country’s leaders to come up with a solution to put an end to ongoing gun violence. Brown hosted a virtual conference yesterday during which other mayors from around the state joined him. In the last few weeks, there have been shootings in Buffalo and Texas that took the lives of dozens of people. Democrats in Congress are calling for additional gun legislation, but many Republicans believe other methods to prevent mass shootings should be considered including increasing access to mental health care. And the New York State Assembly and Senate are currently reviewing 10 new bills that have come up for approval that have to do with guns and stopping shooters before they can hurt others.

 

NYS Capitol Building

Governor Hochul and the leaders of the state Senate and Assembly have introduced a package of bills that are aimed at toughening the state’s gun laws. The measures would make threatening mass harm a crime, require information between state, local and federal agencies be shared when guns are used in crimes and require microstamping for new guns. Another bill would raise the minimum age to buy a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21-years-old and a license would be needed prior to purchase. Lawmakers are expected to vote on these measures before the legislative session ends tomorrow.

 

Brittanee Drexel

A coroner in South Carolina says the cause of death of a 17-year-old girl from Chili is undetermined. The coroner said due to the condition of Brittanee Drexel’s remains, strangulation could not be confirmed. Drexel was last seen alive in April 2009 while she was on vacation in Myrtle Beach. Police recently arrested Raymond Moody in connection with this case and charged him with murder, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct.

 

Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is donating 3300 concert tickets to the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency. The concert tickets are good for the June 10th ‘Bruce in the USA’ charity concert, and the 11 concerts in the Rockin’ The Downs series starting on June 17th.

 

 

Notre Dame High School

Notre Dame High School Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation will take place on June 5th; they will be celebrating the accomplishments of Seniors. Members of the graduating class of 1972 (50 years ago) will also be honored.

 

 

 

A local Boy Scout leader and employee in the Greece Central School District is in trouble with the law after being accused of a disturbing crime. According to State Police, 51-year-old Sean Glenney allegedly had sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy back in 2015. Glenney met the teen through an explorer program with the North Greece Fire Department. He’s on leave from his job in the school district but officials say the inappropriate contact didn’t happen on school grounds. Glenney is due back in court at a later date.

 

BB Gun

A Buffalo Public Schools seventh-grade student is facing punishment after allegedly bringing a BB gun to school with him. Police responded to Olmstead School 156 yesterday after getting a report of a student with a gun and the weapon was later found in a bathroom. The school was put on lockdown during the incident, but it was later lifted, and classes resumed. The district said the student will be disciplined using the guidelines laid out in the Code of Conduct. Counseling will also be made available to other students.

Morning News Brief

RG and E and NYSEG customers could see a hike in their bills if the Public Service Commission approves it.  Both organizations said an increase of 10 to 18 dollars per billing cycle is needed to cover the cost of replacing aging infrastructure to prevent outages, and to make the transition to clean energy.  Another issue customers have been dealing with is extremely high bills, sometimes 5 to 10 times higher than normal, which RG and E says are because they don’t have enough meter readers and have been estimating people’s bill and then sending one big one with the missing kilowatts charged once they get a read.  Most customers say that the bills are fantastically over anything that may have been missed.  RG&E and NYSEG are asking the public service commission to approve a proposal to increase rates by 13 to 22 percent starting in May of 2023.

10 new bills have come up for approval in the NY State Assembly and Senate that have to do with guns and stopping shooters before they can hurt others.  Among the bills is one requiring a person to have a license to purchase a semi automatic rifle.  Another restricts body armor to law enforcement professionals.  On the side of stopping shooters who have mental health issues a bill that would allow health care practitioners to file Extreme Risk Protection Orders if they examine someone and think they could be a risk to themselves or others.  This would also restrict that person from purchasing a firearm or getting a license.  Social media also made it into the bills with one creating a task force to study how social media could lead to shootings and another making social media platforms create and maintain clear rules about hateful conduct or threats. Threats would become a criminal offense under the proposed bill.   

Anyone driving in Buffalo has probably heard them long before they saw them.  Dirt Bikes and ATVs driving down city roads late at night, blowing through red lights and swerving around traffic.  Buffalo Common Council Member Mitch Nowakowski says they have become “brazen and inconsiderate of residents in the
City of Buffalo.”  Riders use social media to form massive groups to meet up.  The Buffalo Police Department has a safety policy not to chase ATVs or dirt bikes because chases can be dangerous for civilians caught in the middle between fleeing riders and police.  Police are able to seize bikes and atvs if they find them sitting still though.  Common Council Members said the key to ending the illegal use of dirt bikes and ATVs is community members coming forward with information. They said community members can report on illegal dirt bike or ATV activity using the police non-emergency number or by calling 311.  In Rochester a task force has taken 12 ATVs, 21 Dirt Bikes, 4 mini bikes and 1 golf cart off the road.

Batavia Downs donates concert tickets to veterans.  The Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel donated 3300 tickets to the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency.  Ricky Palermo, president and CEO of the Palermo Foundation, works with many veterans agencies.  The concert tickets are good for the 11 concerts in the Rockin The Downs series starting on June 17th and the June 10th Bruce in the USA charity concert.  

The Buffalo Sabres have signed another 2021 NHL Draft pick, inking forward Isak Rosen to a three-year entry-level contract on Tuesday.  Rosen, the 14th overall pick in the 2021 Draft, comes to the Sabres from Sweden in which he played for Leksands’ senior team during the 2021-22 season. In 28 games with the team, he recorded two goals and two assists.  Rosen played in the World championships in 2021 and is in the Junior World Championship this year. 

Afternoon News Brief

United States and Canadian regulators are investigating a hepatitis outbreak that may be linked to fresh organic strawberries. In a joint weekend statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Public Health Agency of Canada say at least 27 illnesses have occurred after people ate FreshKampo and H-E-B brand strawberries. The strawberries were purchased between March 5 and April 25 at various retailers, including Aldi, Kroger and Wal-Mart. Of course, the strawberries are past their shelf life, but consumers who froze them to eat later should throw them away. There have been 17 illnesses and 12 hospitalizations reported. Ten cases and four hospitalizations have been reported in Canada. In a statement on its website, Texas grocer H-E-B said it has not received or sold organic strawberries from the supplier in question since April 16. H-E-B said anyone who still has the strawberries should throw them away or return them to the store where they were purchased. Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause liver disease and, in rare cases, liver failure and death. Illness usually occurs within 15 to 50 days after eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and jaundice. Consumers who ate the potentially affected berries in the last two weeks and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A should immediately consult with a physician, the FDA said.

 

The Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors will be considering the O-AT-KA Milk Products proposal this Thursday night when they meet: OATKA wants to expand their facility by 3,200 square feet. The $3.1 million proposed investment would be home to two new 18,000-gallon tanks intended to increase capacities of cream-based liquor beverages and future expansions. The project proposal includes a request for a little over $208,000 ($208,109) in property, sales and mortgage tax assistance. Upon completion, it’s estimated to generate $3.5 million in local economic benefits over 10 years, equal to $27 in economic activity for every $1 of public investment.

 

After dealing with weeks of increases, Western New York drivers are finally seeing steady prices at the gas pumps. According to Triple A, in our region, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is $4.88. That’s the same price as last week but is 60 cents higher than this time last month and a $1.85 more than a year ago. The state average is $4.93 a gallon while nationally it’s $4.62. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.83, down a penny from yesterday. Governor Hochul has pledged that the state tax will be suspended starting tomorrow, saving upwards of 16 cents per gallon. Several counties including Erie and Monroe are also dropping their gas tax on top of the state tax for another 12 to 15 cents off. The gas tax relief will be in place until September.

 

The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming June primary is just a few days away. Folks have until this Friday, June 3rd to register through the state DMV website or in-person at their local Board of Elections office. Anyone who wants to mail in his or her application must make sure it’s postmarked no later than June 3rd and received by the Board of Elections no later than June 8th. The primary is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28th.

 

 

NYS Capitol Building

Members of the state Senate and Assembly are back at the Capitol in Albany today as this year’s legislative session winds down. Lawmakers are reportedly planning to address several key issues including guaranteeing access to abortion services and strengthening the state’s gun control laws. They might also vote on a measure that would switch local elections for certain offices outside of New York City to even-numbered years. The legislative session is currently scheduled to end on Thursday.

 

Mine, all mine...

The Mega Millions jackpot hasn’t been won in a few weeks, and players of the game are hoping to claim a huge prize tonight. The jackpot for this evening’s drawing has grown to at least $170,000,000. The price of a ticket for Mega Millions is $2.00; tonight’s drawing will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Jefferson Avenue Tops

FeedMore WNY has announced it’s going to be holding additional food distribution events for Buffalo residents who have been affected by the ongoing closure of the Jefferson Avenue Tops. One of those distributions will take place on Wednesdays from 3:00pm until 7:00pm at the Resource Council of WNY. Food is also going to be distributed on Fridays from 3 until 7pm at the Johnnie B. Wiley Pavilion. People can also have meals delivered by calling 716-822-2002.

Morning News Brief

Drivers are looking for a little help paying for gas as it approaches 5 dollars a gallon in New York State.  Governor Hochul has pledged that the state tax will be suspended, saving upwards of 16 cents per gallon.  Several counties including Erie and Monroe are also dropping their gas tax on top of the state tax for another 12 to 15 cents off.  The gas tax relief is set to go into effect on Wednesday and will go till September.

June is Gun Violence Awareness Month and most people are only too aware of gun violence in Western NY.  Mayor Byron Brown, whose city remains grieving following the mass shooting at a Tops store on May 14, is hosting a statewide gun violence press conference Tuesday. He’ll be joined by Rochester Mayor Malik Evans, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas, and Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino.  The event will also feature remarks from anti-gun violence advocates and clergy members. It comes a week after 21 were killed in a school shooting in Texas.

In North Tonawanda a new memorial has been dedicated to residents of the town who served in the armed forces.  The North Tonawanda City Market has a hometown heroes wall with pictures of veterans and the USS The Sullivans.  Several local elected officials and members of the city’s veterans groups paid tribute and took part in the rededication ceremony on Saturday.  A donation from Joe Smith of David Chevrolet in Niagara Falls paid for the new wall.  The North Tonawanda City Market is open on Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM and is located at Payne Avenue and Robinson Street.

Buffalo tennis star Jessica Pegula made it to the French Open Quarterfinals as the 3rd woman from the US to make it this year.  The 26-year-old Pegula is seeded 11th at Roland Garros. Her two previous runs to the round of eight at Grand Slam tournaments came at the Australian Open — this January and last year.  Pegula, whose parents own the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, will play either the no 1 spot or number 74 spot depending on matchups. 

Afternoon News Brief

Kenneth Butler

Dillon Decker

Livingston County Sheriff’s tell us that two men have been arrested and face felony grand larceny charges after allegedly stealing a car in Caledonia and selling it to a scrap yard. Sherriffs allege that two men, 31-year-old Dillon Decker of Caledonia, and 32-year-old Kenneth Butler of Pavilion had damaged the vehicle in question and took it to a scrap yard where it was sold without permission. Both were issued appearance tickets for a later date and released on their own recognizance.

 

 

32-year-old Jonathan Little of Batavia has been arrested and faces multiple charges, including possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest. During a traffic stop, in which he was a passenger, it was determined that Little provided a false name; further investigation found that he had several outstanding warrants from the Genesee County Sherriff’s Office. Little initially resisted arrest and attempted to flee by foot. Little was quickly apprehended, at which time police found several bags of cocaine in his possession. The Genesee County Drug Task Force assisted Batavia police with this arrest.

 

Niagara County deputies are continuing to investigate the circumstances that led to a body being discovered on the shore of Lake Ontario. They say the remains were spotted on Saturday off Maple Avenue, which is located in the Town of Wilson. The name of the individual hasn’t been released. Officials are now waiting for autopsy results to find out how the person died.

 

As part of Memorial Day Weekend, and for the first time since it opened, veterans, family members, and area residents gathered at the WNY National Cemetery in Pembroke to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country. Several hundred people gathered for the ceremony yesterday, which included a 21-gun salute, honor guard flag presentation, and special remembrances.

 

Batavia Peace Garden

A new statue is set to light the way in the Batavia Peace Garden. The Friends of Batavia Peace Garden with the help of Ken Barret Chervolet, Cadillac and Superior Garden Decor installed a 6-foot facsimile of The Statue of Liberty. Just as she stands tall on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, this replica will now greet visitors to the Batavia Peace Garden for current and future generations. Volunteers are always needed and welcome. Visit bataviapeacegarden.com for additional information; or contact Paula Savage for details at (585) 343-2387.

 

 

 

Vice President Kamala Harris

The Vice President was in Buffalo to memorialize the oldest victim of the TOPs Friendly Market shooting on Saturday. Ruth Whitfield was laid to rest after a church service. In addition to hundreds of family members and friends, Vice President Kamala Harris was on hand. Vice President Harris was not scheduled to speak but Al Sharpton invited her to come up. Harris spoke of the shared pain the community had. Whitfield was remembered as a loving, caring and giving person.

 

Mine, all mine

Someone could end their Memorial Day weekend on a very high note if they have a bit of luck on their side. Because there was no winner on Saturday, whoever correctly picks the numbers for Powerball tonight will win at least $157,000,000. The cost of playing the popular lottery game is $2.00 per ticket. Tonight’s drawing will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

RIT Lacrosse

For the second year in a row, the Rochester Institute of Technology’s men’s lacrosse team are national champions. After falling behind by five goals to the Union Dutchmen yesterday, RIT rallied and won the NCAA Division Three title by a final score of 12 to 10 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Quinn Commandant had three goals for RIT while Marley Angus and John Mozrall had two each. Last year, RIT beat Salisbury in double-overtime to win the program’s first NCAA championship.

 

Many people will be having a barbeque today and the State Division of Consumer Protection has issued some safety tips to keep in mind when grilling. The agency recommends making sure the grill is clean before use and checking the hoses on a gas grill for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. Also, only use grills outside in a well-ventilated area and keep them away from surfaces that could burn. Finally, have an extinguisher nearby and easily accessible in case of a fire. I smell what you’re cooking and I’m on my way…

 

 

Memorial Day News

The Vice President was in Buffalo to memorialize the oldest victim of the TOPs Friendly Market shooting on Saturday.  Ruth Whitfield was laid to rest after a service at Mt Olivet Baptist Church.  In addition to hundreds of family members and friends, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff flew from Washington DC to memorialize Whitfield. Also at the service was attorney Ben Crump, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Brian Higgins, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and others.  Vice President Harris was not scheduled to speak but Al Sharpton invited her to come up.  Whitfield was remembered as a loving, caring and giving person.  Harris spoke of the shared pain the community had.

The end of June is set to be a bit wetter in LeRoy this summer as the town board has had to push back the opening of a new splashpad near Wildwood park because of water transportation problems. Supervisor James Farnholz says Monroe County keeps changing the way they want the water brought in.  Water running off the splashpad has been a concern with several options available.  The water could be run off into the woods and down into the ground.  A cistern could be built.  Or a channel running the water from the pad to the nearest storm drains on Gilbert street   The Board says it will choose option 1, let the water run off and see how it goes.  The splashpad was supposed to open Memorial Day Weekend.

For the first time since it opened, veterans, family members, and area residents gathered at the WNY National Cemetery in Pembroke to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country as part of Memorial Day Weekend.  Several hundred people gathered for the ceremony Sunday which included a 21 gun salute, honor guard flag presentation, and special remembrances.  

A new statue is set to light the way in the Batavia Peace Garden.  Lady Liberty, at least a 6 foot facsimile of her, was installed by the Friends of Batavia Peace Garden with the help of Ken Barret Chervolet, Cadillac Inc and Superior Garden Decor.  Just as she stands tall on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, a replica of Lady Liberty will now greet visitors to the Batavia Peace Garden for current and future generations.

Memorial Day Weekend News

Memorial Day observances throughout Genesee County are scheduled for Monday.
The Genesee County Veterans Service Agency has issued a list of observances and parades :

All ceremonies will include full military honors: Wreath Laying, Rifle Salute & Taps.
 7:00 a.m. – Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Genesee County Park, sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 193.
8:00 a.m. – Williams Park (Batavia) W.W.I Memorial. This memorial honors the 35 Batavians who gave their lives in WORLD WAR I.
8:30 a.m. – Batavia VAMC, at the main flagpole, sponsored by the VAMC.
8:45 a.m. (approx.) – NYS Veterans Home, at the main flagpole, sponsored by the NYS Veterans Home.
9:30 a.m. – Veterans Plot on Harvester Ave. This memorial honors all war dead of all wars in Elmwood and St. Joseph’s Cemeteries.

10:00 a.m. – Upton Monument. This monument honors the dead of the Civil War, and all wars since.
10:30 a.m. – UMMC Jerome Center. This is the site of the Genesee County War Memorial, honoring all war dead from Genesee County. The names of county veterans who have died since the previous Memorial Day will be read and a flag placed to honor each of them in front of the memorial.
Memorial services will be carried out by Veness-Strollo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1602, Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post #332, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #193.

Today’s Bad Boys, Bad Girls report:
A pair of Rochester woman busted for allegedly boosting 17-hundred dollars’ worth of merchandise from Dick’s Sporting Goods in Batavia. 24-year-old Angela Bennett and 22-year-old Shamya Brown were each charged with Grand Larceny in then 4th degree, given court appearance tickets and released.

A Batavia couple arrested on a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
35-year-old Andrew Searight and 24-year-old Jerrtonia Scarbrough are accused of abandoning an animal in a cage for an extended period of time. Each given an appearance ticket

A LeRoy man arrested for harassment and criminal obstruction of breathing. 30-year-old Timothy Nurmi of West Main Street LeRoy was later ordered to stay away from his victim. Nurmi was then released on his own recognizance.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has issued warnings to more than 30 online and brick-and-mortar retailers across the state to stop overcharging for baby formula after consumers reported unreasonably high prices. Due to recalls and supply chain disruptions, there has been a nationwide shortage of baby formula.

Afternoon News Brief

Sheriff William Sheron speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony (Photo credit: The Batavian)

It took 50 years of discussion until finally, construction of the new Genesee County Jail has officially begun. Ground was ceremoniously broken yesterday on the new 184-bed county jail on West Main Street Road next to Genesee County Building Two; the existing jail was built in 1902. An addition was built onto the back of the jail in 1985. Officials say the existing jail lacks space, is overcrowded and no longer meets state standards for health and safely. The new jail will incorporate a pod system allowing guards to watch more inmates with less staff. The new jail will also allow the housing of female inmates. The estimated completion date of the facility and complex is March 2024. Detailed information about the groundbreaking is available on our news partner’s website https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/at-groundbreaking-officials-state-new-jail-fulfills-countys-obligation-to-operate-a

 

New York Attorney General Letitia James has issued warnings to more than 30 online and brick-and-mortar retailers across the state to stop overcharging for baby formula after consumers reported unreasonably high prices. Due to recalls and supply chain disruptions, there has been a nationwide shortage of baby formula. New York’s price gouging statute prohibits merchants from charging excessive prices for essential goods or services during abnormal market disruptions. State residents are encouraged to report potential concerns about price gouging to James’s office by  calling: 800-771-7755 or filing a complaint online.  https://ag.ny.gov/complaint-forms

 

Western New York residents who are planning to drive to their Memorial Day weekend events are going to be paying a lot of money when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.89. That’s up 5 cents from last week, is 61 cents higher than last month. The state average is $4.93; nationally, it’s $4.60. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.85, up 6 cents from last Friday. And some good news for travelers by car…Governor Hochul is suspending construction-related lane closures through Memorial Day Weekend. The goal is to help minimize traffic congestion and travel delays. She urges motorists to follow all rules of the road, including moving over for maintenance vehicles as well as vehicles experiencing roadside emergency.

 

With a lot of people hitting the road for the holiday, police across New York State are going to be keeping a very close eye out for drunk drivers. It’s part of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee’s STOP-DWI campaign that runs from today through May 31st. Folks who are planning to drink are urged to make sure they have a safe ride home. Anyone who sees suspicious or dangerous activity while they’re traveling should dial 911 immediately.

 

Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo TOPS

An investigation is reportedly underway into whether a retired federal agent may have known about the plot to carry out a mass shooting at the supermarket in Buffalo. Law enforcement sources report that the former agent was one of several people who regularly communicated online with the alleged shooter, Payton Gendron. Those individuals were reportedly invited by Gendron to read about his plan before he opened fire inside the store on Jefferson Avenue May 14th and murdered 10 people. There has not been confirmation that the former agent accepted the invitation. Neither the FBI nor U.S. Attorney’s Office have commented.

 

The Department of Environmental Conservation reminds boaters and anglers to clean, drain and dry boats and trailers, and also disinfect fishing gear before enjoying the water; this will help to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Watercraft inspection stewards, also known as boat stewards, will be stationed at more than 225 boat launches statewide this weekend to educate and help the public in cleaning their equipment. They can be identified by their blue vests and are there to provide a refresher on how to inspect boats and gear. https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.html

 

Mine, all mine…

It’s been a while since the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery games were won and that means both jackpots are still growing. The prize up for grabs tonight for Mega Millions is at least $157,000,000. And $150,000,000 will go to whoever picks the winning numbers in tomorrow night’s Powerball drawing. The cost of a ticket for both games is just $2. Both the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Ontario Beach Park

Rochester Police, State Police and the Monroe County Sheriff’s office will be working together this weekend to make sure people who visit Ontario Beach Park stay safe. The agencies are going to be increasing patrols in the area due to the large crowds that are expected to gather. Police are also planning to shut down the parking lot and streets if there are too many people at the park. In 2020, a large fight broke out at the park on Memorial Day that left one person hurt but there were no major incidents reported last year.

 

Buffalo Marathon

The Buffalo Marathon is taking place this weekend and the event is going to be honoring the victims who lost their lives in the Tops supermarket shooting. Organizers say a banner at the start line will have the names everyone who was killed. There will also be 7500 ribbons given to runners and volunteers in memory of those who died. More information on the marathon can be found online at buffalomarathon.org.

 

USS The Sullivans

For the first time in several weeks, visitors will once again be allowed at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. The park is scheduled to reopen at 10:00am tomorrow after being closed due an emergency involving the USS The Sullivans. The vessel suffered a massive breach and was in danger of sinking but crews were able to prevent that from happening. There will be no onboard tours of the ship, which is named for the five Sullivan brothers who served our country during World War Two.

 

President Trump

Former President Donald Trump must give testimony in New York State’s civil probe into his financial dealings. A state appeals court upheld a New York City judge’s original ruling to subpoena Trump and two of his children to answer questions under oath in Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation. In a statement, James said that the appellate court rejected all of Trump’s arguments. She also vowed to continue following the facts of the case to ensure no one can evade the law.

 

Memorial Day events, May 29 and May 30:

PARADE in Batavia starts at 9:45am at Eastown Plaza, travel west on Main Street and end at Alva Place, Monday, May 30.

SUNDAY, May 29: Western New York National Cemetery (WNYNC) 1254 Indian Falls Road, Corfu, NY
· The ceremony begins at 1400hrs.(2 p.m.) at the Main Flag Ceremonies site.
MONDAY, May 30
All ceremonies will include full military honors: Wreath Laying, Rifle Salute & Taps.
· 7:00 a.m. – Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Genesee County Park, sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 193.
· 8:00 a.m. – Williams Park (Batavia) W.W.I Memorial. This memorial honors the 35 Batavians who gave their lives in WORLD WAR I.
· 8:30 a.m. – Batavia VAMC, at the main flagpole, sponsored by the VAMC.
· 8:45 a.m. (approx.) – NYS Veterans Home, at the main flagpole, sponsored by the NYS Veterans Home.
· 9:30 a.m. – Veterans Plot on Harvester Ave. This memorial honors all war dead of all wars in Elmwood and St. Joseph’s Cemeteries.
· 10:00 a.m. – Upton Monument. This monument honors the dead of the Civil War, and all wars since.
· 10:30 a.m. – UMMC Jerome Center. This is the site of the Genesee County War Memorial, honoring all war dead from Genesee County. The names of county veterans who have died since the previous Memorial Day will be read and a flag placed to honor each of them in front of the memorial.
Memorial services will be carried out by Veness-Strollo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1602, Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post #332, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #193.

 

Morning News Brief