Local News

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul says Afghan refugees will be resettling in cities across New York over the next few months. The U.S. Department of State’s Afghan Placement Program says there are going to be up to more than 1,100 who left that country recently arriving in the Empire State.
They’ll be placed in their new homes by March 31st and 335 of them will be living in Buffalo and elsewhere in Western New York.

Batavia Police are looking to identify two women who forced their way into Go Art. The pair was caught on surveillance video wondering through the building with flashlights. The tape was released by police yesterday.
If you have any information, call Batavia Police.

View the surveillance video HERE

PHOTO: Taken from surveillance video

 

The superintendent of the Rochester City School District has been accused of harassing an employee.
The school board president says that an outside law firm will investigate the claims made against Lesli Myers-Small.
No further information has been revealed about this case including the details of the alleged harassment. There’s also no word when the law firm will issue its report.

There is a serious shortage of school bus drivers.
The Buffalo Schools superintendent has suggested calling in the National Guard to deal with the shortage.
The Governor of Massachusetts recently used the National Guard to help drive children to school.
Other ideas that were floated included paying parents and teachers to drive kids to school.

The Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia is looking for a few good men or women. The museum is reaching out to anyone with an interest in local history for help in staffing the facility. You could volunteer in the gift shop, document artifacts or serve as a docent. Contact the museum office.

Evening News Update

Buffalo Schools superintendent has suggested calling in the National Guard to deal with the bus driver shortage.  Dr Kriner Cash said that because many National Guard have army training they can drive busses.  The Governor of Massachusetts recently used the National Guard to help drive children to school.  Other ideas that were floated included paying parents and teachers to drive kids to school.

A Law designed to enhance reporting at nursing homes has been struck down.  Ruthies Law, which makes it so nursing homes have to report any incident involving a resident to their family as well as disclose any injuries that may have been suffered, was struck down by a judge citing that only the NYS Dept of Health and the State Legislature were the only ones that could make a law that effected the whole state.  The law was put in place by Erie county.

The Buffalo Sabres and The Toronto Maple Leafs will be playing the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.  The game will take place at the Tim Hortons Field, in Hamilton, Ontario, March 13 2022 at 3pm to be specific.  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says “by inviting the first U.S.-based team to a Heritage Classic, we will celebrate the greater Golden Horseshoe region as the home of so many fans of both the Leafs and Sabres.”  This will be the sixth Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, the first took place in November 2003.

Midday News Brief

The Batavia Town Board has taken several procedurals steps toward the eventual re-construction of Park Rd.
The $4.3-million dollar will rebuild Park Road from Lewiston Road, Route 63 to Oak Street, Route 98.
The Town board approved borrowing $3-million to cover the town’s portion of the project cost.

Retired City of Batavia Chief of Police Mark L. Robinson has passed away unexpectedly.
Mr. Robinson died last week in his hometown of LeRoy. He was with the Batavia Police Department for 30-years.

Governor Hochul’s mandated COVID vaccinations for health care workers has brought local opponents to the streets.
About two dozen sign carrying health care workers protested the order at Ellicott and Main during yesterday’s afternoon commute.
Hochul’s mandate requires unvaccinated health care workers to get at least one shot of the COVID vaccine by September 27th or risk losing their jobs.

Governor Hochul has issued another COVID order. The governor says that children over the age of two and employees at day care centers will have to wear masks.
Hochul says kids are at high risk of contracting the virus since there currently isn’t a vaccine available for anyone under the age of 12.

Visitors are again allowed at the Genesee County Jail.
Visitation of inmates had been halted as COVID cases went on the rise.

The Arc of Genesee-Orleans and the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming are holding job fairs next Thursday, a week from today. The two agencies will soon be merged into one called GLOW-Arc. The job fair will be held in Mount Morris and Batavia They are looking for direct support professionals to work in the day programs and residential settings.

Some legendary toys and games have been announced as finalists for enshrinement into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester. The list includes American Girl Dolls, Battleship, billiards, Cabbage Patch Kids and the Fisher-Price Corn Popper.
The inductees will be announced on November 4th.

Morning News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul’s mandated COVID vaccinations for health care workers is approaching a deadline.
The order requires unvaccinated health care workers to get at least one shot by September 27th.

About two dozen people gathered at the Main and Ellicott in downtown Batavia last night protesting what they proclaimed is a loss of freedom.
The protestors found support for their cause by passers-by honking horns and giving thumbs up.

Denise Adamski if a registered nurse at UMMC

Governor Hochul has issued another COVID order. The governor says that children over the age of two and employees at day care centers will have to wear masks. Hochul says kids are at high risk of contracting the virus since there currently isn’t a vaccine available for anyone under the age of 12.

The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee has stepped into mandate mayhem. The committee went on record yesterday opposed to the governor’s order requiring vaccinations for all health care workers.
The full legislature takes up the issue next week.

The Arc of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties is having a hiring fair before the merger of the four counties into one organization. This hiring fair is September 23rd and will be in both Mt Morris and Batavia. They are looking for direct support professionals to work in the day programs and residential settings.

Racing fans around the region will once again get to see the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series up close next year.
The series will return to Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 21st, 2022.
NASCAR has run races at the road course since 1986 with the lone exception being 2020 when the event was canceled due to COVID-19.

Some legendary toys and games have been announced as finalists for enshrinement into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester. The list includes American Girl Dolls, Battleship, billiards, Cabbage Patch Kids and the Fisher-Price Corn Popper. Also eligible are Mahjong, Masters of the Universe, the pinata, Risk, sand, The Settlers of Catan and the toy fire engine. The inductees will be announced on November 4th.

Evening News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul announced a universal mask requirement for child care and daycare centers in the state, effective today.  And this isn’t just for kids either, new masking requirements will also apply to congregate programs and facilities licensed, registered, operated, certified or approved by the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. This includes but is not limited to certified residential and day programs, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, substance abuse programs, juvenile detention programs, juvenile residential facilities, congregate foster care programs, runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence and other shelter programs.  The mandate is that everyone must wear a mask if they are able to medically tolerate it, regardless of age or vaccination status.

Erie County Legislator Frank Todaro says he will veto any public money going to the new Buffalo Bills stadium as long as a COVID vaccine is required to go to the stadium.  He says “I will not support tax dollars to build a stadium if rules remain in place that only certain people can use it.  If everyone is paying for it, everyone should be able to use it.”  This followed the announcement that Highmark stadium and the Keybank arena will require that everyone 12 and over who attends an event must be vaccinated.

The ARC of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties is having a hiring fair before the merger of the counties into one organization.  This hiring fair is September 23rd and will be in both Mt Morris and Batavia.  They are looking for direct support professionals to work in the day programs and residential settings.

Bills players Cole Beasley and Reid Ferguson are offering to buy the tickets of anyone who purchased them and is now unable to go to a Buffalo Bills game at Highmark stadium because they are unvaccinated.  They are asking on twitter that fans who bought tickets for games and cant attend send them a direct message on Twitter and they will happily buy back the tickets.  Pegula Sports and Erie county officials announced the vaccine requirement yesterday after many people decried the lack of masks at the first Buffalo Bills game of the regular season.  Season ticket holders have till Friday to ask for a refund from the team if they won’t get a vaccine but they will lose ticket seniority and seat location.  Individual tickets are not refundable.

Midday News Brief

Police identify the victim of an apparent accident at Western New York Concrete.
64-year-old Randy Ridd of Batavia died yesterday afternoon when he became stuck in a stone bin at the East Main Street facility.
City of Batavia firemen were able to extricate Ridd but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation continues. Police say the incident appears to be accidental.

A Wyoming County man is staring at a rape allegation. Deputies based in Warsaw say they arrested 52-year-old Kevin Gordon of Wyoming, NY. He was taken into custody following a sex offense investigation involving a person under the age of 17 years old. Kevin P. Gordon was charged with Rape in the Third Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He was arraigned and was committed to the Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 bail. -0-

A new poll shows there are plenty of Empire State residents who have a favorable opinion of Governor Hochul. According to the Siena College survey, 42-percent of people polled say they have positive view of the governor compared to 17-percent who don’t. However, 41-percent said they don’t know enough about Hochul yet to form an opinion of her. Hochul took office last month following the resignation of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo in the aftermath of sexual harassment allegations made against him. Previously, Hochul had served as the Lieutenant Governor since 2015.

-A federal judge has issued a ruling involving a mandate that all health care workers in New York State get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19. The judge said that the requirement can’t be enforced on people who seek or obtain a religious exemption. Last month, health care workers were ordered to be immunized by September 27th, but several health professionals filed a lawsuit claiming the mandate was a violation of their Constitutional rights because it disallowed exemptions for religious reasons.

A new requirement is being put in place for fans who attend Buffalo Bills games at Highmark Stadium and Buffalo Sabres contests at KeyBank Center. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announces that anyone 12 and older who goes to a game at those facilities must be vaccinated against COVID-19. One dose of vaccine will be required for the Bills’ next home game September 26th against the Washington Football Team and full immunization needs to be completed by the end of October.

Morning News Brief

A man working at Western New York Concrete Corp. at 638 East Main Street in Batavia died after becoming stuck in a stone bin. The cause of death is under investigation. Batavia fire and police responded to the scene.

A federal judge in New York has issued a temporary restraining order that stops the state from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate if a health care worker claims a religious exemption. The decision is a win – at least temporarily – for a group of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who challenged a state regulation mandating the COVID-19 vaccination of health care workers with no exemption for religious beliefs that compel the refusal of such vaccination. The lawsuit accused former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of running a “nearly 18-month-long medical dictatorship” and is laden with grievances about pandemic policies.

Siena College released data on a new poll they did about Governor Kathy Hochul with registered New York State voters. The poll focuses on the opinion voters have about Governor Hochul, and how voters view New York State. 42% of voters are in favor of Kathy Hochul. 74% of voters sat it’s exciting to have New York’s first woman governor and 27% say Cuomo left New York a worse place to live and work then when he was first elected.

He’s a name-protected boy from LeRoy, but he’s in hot water with the law. Troopers arrested the 18-year-old youth, charging him with felony grand larceny after Troopers received a stolen vehicle complaint. The teen was released on an appearance ticket for court.

NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney has introduced legislation to expand access to headstones and burial plaques for US military veterans who passed away on or after December 30, 1960. Under current law, any veteran who passed away on or after November 1, 1990, is eligible for a headstone or burial plaque through the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, anyone who served prior to that date is only eligible to receive a small medallion to commemorate their life and service to this country. Tenney’s bill would amend current law to expand burial benefits for American veterans who died prior to November 1990.

The state has made progress in making high-speed connections available to New Yorkers, ranking second in the U.S. in the percentage of the population with broadband available in their neighborhood, but more than one million, or 13.8%, of households do not have access or a subscription to home broadband services, according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. DiNapoli’s analysis finds many predominantly rural areas remain underserved by broadband infrastructure. In addition, approximately 1 in 3 New York households with income less than $20,000 lacked access to broadband at home.

The Pembroke Classic Car Show returns to Pembroke Town Park on Sunday with another large turnout of cherry classic cars and car fans expected. The event, sponsored by the Pembroke/Corfu/Darien Kiwanis Club runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 60 vendors are expected along with several food trucks. The Kids Car Cruise will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Pembroke Community Band will play from noon to 1:00 pm and a magician show will be held from 1:30 – 2:30 pm. Right now, the weather looks fairly decent…and warm.

A Wyoming County man is staring at a rape allegation. Deputies based in Warsaw say they arrested 52-year-old Kevin Gordon of Wyoming, NY. He was taken into custody following a sex offense investigation involving a person under the age of 17 years old.  Kevin P. Gordon was charged with Rape in the Third Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  He was arraigned and was committed to the Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 bail.  He is scheduled to appear in the Town of Middlebury Court at a later date.

Evening News Brief

Hundreds showed up in front of Strong Hospital today for a ‘Freedom Rally.’  They say they are rallying for the “freedom of choice, and mutual respect regardless of vaccination status.”  Worried about the looming vaccine mandates, healthcare workers could face losing their jobs because of choosing not the receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  Many nurses are frustrated after being on the frontlines during the pandemic.  Protesters say they will be out in front of Strong Hospital every Monday for the foreseeable future, rallying for the freedom to choose.

The US Department of Education has awarded GCC 2.2 million dollars to help unemployed workers, low wage workers, and returning high school and college students get a higher education.  This grant will help support programming and outreach efforts from the 2021-2022 through the 2025-2026 academic years.  The national Educational Opportunity Center program began in 1972 and is part of a set of federal educational opportunity outreach programs known as “TRIO,” which is authorized by the Higher Education Act to help low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities succeed in higher education

There was a tornado in Livingston county Monday morning.  The 110 mile per hour EF1 tornado touched down near Conesus and Springwater and uprooted some trees and ripped the tops off others.  The tornado was only on the ground for 1 mile and traveled East to Webster Crossing before dissipating.

Two Genesee county youth have placed in the 4-H Dairy Bowl held at Cornell University on September 11th.  Bing Zuber and Ian Keberle Both placed 8th in the State, Zuber in the Junior division and Keberle in the Senior division.  The contest was held in a quiz bowl format and tested youth’s knowledge of dairy cattle, environmental stewardship, nutrition and the dairy industry.  Youth qualified to participate in the event by scoring well in their 4-H regional competition.

There is a new book out about the Attica Prison Riots of 50 years ago written by the daughter of one of the guards killed in the riots and police response.  Deanne Quinn Miller, who was in the first grade when the riots happened, titled the book The Prison Guards Daughter, My Journey Through the Ashes of Attica.  Her father, Billy Quinn, worked in the Times Square area of the prison and was beaten by prisoners, it was also prisoners who tried to save him.  He was 28 when he died.

The Trans Siberian Orchestra will be playing at KeyBank Center on December 21st.  They will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their album “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.”  Tickets go on sale Friday at 10am.  A portion of sales go to benefit the Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Morning News Briefing

Batavia police continue to investigate a three-vehicle crash that shut down parts of E. Main Street. Police said one of the vehicles was on its side. During the investigation, it was discovered that the operator of a minivan was traveling northbound on Harvester Ave. while a small SUV was traveling westbound on E. Main St. The minivan failed to stop for the red light, and “T-Boned” the SUV, pushing the SUV to the NW corner of the intersection, and causing the SUV to tip on to its side. After striking the SUV, the minivan rolled back striking a third vehicle. No serious injuries were reported. Police said the operator of the minivan was issued tickets.

Genesee County deputies report the arrest of 25-year-old Brock Doberstein of Cattaraugus. He was charged with criminal mischief and petit larceny. Deputies said the charges stem from an incident last month at Darien Lake when Doberstein is accused of damaging a vehicle and stealing the license plates. He was arraigned in court and released. He’ll return to court Thursday.

National Grid customers and local law enforcement are reporting utility billing and payment scams across upstate New York. The company is asking its customers to beware and know the signs of a scam. Imposters claiming to be from National Grid may tell customers that they have past due balances on their utility bills, even promising a savings on their next bill. Customers who reported the scams, say they were contacted by telephone and email, and in some cases automated recordings.

This past weekend marked the start of big game hunting in New York, and with that, some major changes have been put into effect as hunters make their way into the woods. Look for hunters to start earlier and finish later, and everyone wearing orange or pink. Historically, hunters had to wait to start until sunrise and had to end their day at sunset.  Now, sunrise and sunset don’t exactly correspond to the period when daylight is, and so now, officials have changed the rules to allow hunters to begin deer and bear hunting 30 minutes before sunrise and extend 30 minutes until after sunset.”

By tomorrow, New York State will release its first draft of its redistricting map, which is updated every 10 years after the Census to show potential new district lines for State Senate, Assembly and Congress. The Census results were delayed because of the pandemic, giving the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission less time to create the maps. Whatever the end result of the maps may be, New York State is set to lose one Congressional seat. According to local leaders, the seat may be lost in the Southern Tier.

The governor’s office Monday updated New Yorkers on the state’s progress combating COVID-19. The Southern Tier has the second-lowest positivity rate, behind only New York City. The statewide positivity rate is 3.38% with 24 new hospitalizations and 25 people admitted to Intensive Care. Another 29 deaths were also reported.

The decision to invest approximately $10 million to build a 50,000-square foot headquarters at the intersection of West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia not only serves to showcase the growth of John Deere-authorized dealer LandPro Equipment but also will provide numerous career opportunities for students in the Genesee Region. That message was communicated clearly as representatives of LandPro, which has 20 locations, gathered with local government and economic development officials, for an on-location groundbreaking ceremony.

Evening News Brief

Governor Hochul and Senator Gillibrand made a statement today about the anti-Abortion regulations that went into effect last week in Texas.  They stated that abortions will always be available to women seeking them in New York State and that Lady Liberty will welcome the women of Texas.  As of 2018 New York State provided one eighth of all abortions in the US.  New York State Reproductive Health Act, signed into law in 2019, allows all abortions up to 24 weeks and allows abortions after 24 weeks if the mother’s health is at risk or if the pregnancy is not viable.  Critics of the law point out that the RHA does not define “at risk” or “viable” and leaves the defining of terms up to non physician medical practitioners and so functionally allows abortion up to the day of delivery.

The flag thief who took US flags from Assemblyman Hawley’s home and another home on Bank street has allegedly been caught and it’s a visitor from across the pond.  18 year old Spike Pope of Haywards Heath in the country of England has been arrested and charged with petty larceny and criminal trespass.  State police assisted in the investigation.

National Grid is issuing a warning to its customers about a scam.  The company said people claiming to be from National Grid may contact you via telephone and email, and in some cases automated recordings, and say you have past due balances and even promise a savings on your next bill. The scammers may also threaten to shut service off unless you purchase a prepaid debit card in a specific amount and ask for a Social Security number and a National Grid account number.  National Grid said the calls are not officially from National Grid. Although the company does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, it will never demand direct payment through prepaid debit cards.

Frightworld which bills itself as America’s Screampark, is opening for the season after last year they were forced to remain closed due to COVID.  It will be in a new location this year at 1001 Hertel Ave in Buffalo.  A former KMart has been converted into a huge haunted house.  Frightworld is hiring scare actors, ticket takers concessions workers and more and is having an open audition September 17th, 18th and 19th.

Midday News Brief

After weeks of increases Western New York drivers are finding consistent prices at the gas pump.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is now three-25 in Batavia. That’s the same as it was last week and only 2-cents higher than a month ago.
The average price for a gallon of regular at this time one year ago was $2.22.

A motorcycle accident in Cattaraugus County kills a Warsaw man and critically injures his passenger.
72-year-old William Schumaker of Warsaw was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday in the Cattaraugus County Town of Machias.
His passenger, 77-year-old Judith Schumaker was taken to ECMC with severe head trauma.

Despite trailing 10-0 at halftime, the Steelers came back in the second half to beat the Bills 23-16 in Orchard Park.
Josh Allen completed 30-of-51 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown for Buffalo.
Buffalo will now be on the road for their second game of the season next Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

The Batavia City Council meets tonight.
Council is holding both a conference meeting and a business meeting.
The conference meeting begins tonight 7 in the council board room on the second floor of city hall. This is the first meeting of council in five weeks.

 

Nearly $800-million will be up for grabs over the next two days thanks to the growing Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots.
The next Powerball drawing is set for tonight and the winner will take home at least $416-million.
Tomorrow, a $383-million prize awaits whoever picks the winning numbers for the Mega Millions drawing.
Tickets to play either game cost two-dollars apiece.

Morning News Briefing

An Orleans County man will appear in court to answer a felony complaint. State Police say they arrested 21-year-old William E, Reamsnyder of Albion. He was charged with possession of a sexual performance by a child. He will appear in Town of Carlton court at a later date.

A traffic stop in Bergen has landed a motorist in some hot water. Genesee County deputies arrested 33-year-old Katie Preedom of Alabama. She was charged with DWI, having a BAC above .08%, speeding and unlicensed operation. She was stopped on Clinton Street Road and will appear in Bergen Town Court October 6th.

The historic surge in unemployment claims at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly depleted the New York State Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund, resulting in the state borrowing from the federal government to pay claims. State UI tax rates have already risen to the highest level permissible under law in 2021. Unless the state or federal government takes significant action, federal UI tax rates on employers will also increase in 2022 and beyond, according to a report issued by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The pandemic had a crippling effect on some state businesses and their workforce, causing a historic surge in layoffs and claims for benefits. From the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, regular state UI benefits paid increased from $530 million to $6.5 billion – a staggering increase of 1,124%.

New York state’s COVID positivity rate is currently at 2.84%. The 7-day average rate is 3.22%. Twenty-four more residents were hospitalized over the weekend. 34 more people died from virus-related complications. State officials say the fight against COVID-19 is not over, adding that it is crucial that New Yorkers continue to wear a mask, wash their hands and get vaccinated if they haven’t.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recognized the New York National Guard on Saturday afternoon, 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Hochul announced that she signed three pieces of legislation to support 9/11 and communications first responders. The bills make it easier for WTC first responders to apply for WTC benefits, by both expanding the criteria for defining WTC first responders and allowing online submissions of notice that members of a retirement system participated in WTC rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations. This legislation also defines a first responder in communications as a person who is a public safety dispatcher.

Genesee County deputies arrested 33-year-old Jonathan Kent of Batavia. He was charged after allegedly pushing a victim into a door frame. He was arrested in Batavia Town Court and released. He’ll return to court October 19th.

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted Dean M. Conboy, Sr. on two counts of attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer, two counts of menacing a police officer, attempted assault in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, resisting arrest, and menacing in the second degree.  On June 11, 2021, Conboy allegedly threatened police officers and intended to cause serious injury to officers using a dangerous instrument. He also allegedly restrained another person and exposed that person to the risk of serious physical injury. He allegedly possessed a knife during these incidents.

Disappointment for Buffalo Bills fans. In the season opener, they fell to the Pittsburgh Steeles 23-16 at Highmark Stadium. The Bills take on the Dolphins in Miami next Sunday.

Batavia police say they arrested 30-year-old NiAsia S. Jiggets of Batavia, charging her with two counts of Criminal Contempt 1st Degree, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, following a child abuse investigation conducted by Detectives in conjunction with Child Protective Services. She is accused of violating an order of protection by causing injury to the protected party, a seven-year-old child, during visitation. Jiggets was previously convicted of violating an order of protection with the same child in March which elevates the new charge to Criminal Contempt 1st Degree.

Weekend News Brief

Several doctors in Western New York are pushing the State Health department to make a vaccine mandate for kids 12-17 to slow the spread of COVID 19.  They cite an increase in hospitalizations among unvaccinated individuals and a fourth wave of COVID cases in Erie County.  Dr. Gale Burstein, the Erie County Health commissioner says that 40 percent of new cases are vaccinated but don’t present serious illness or need to go to the hospital.  Dr. Winkelstein of Jacobs School of Medicine at University at Buffalo says that as winter approaches if you combine the Delta variant with colder temperatures, Western New York could see a dramatic increase in cases and hospitalizations.  The State Health Department said they are waiting for a mandate from Governor Hochul who has said she is considering it.

Congressman Chris Jacobs is protesting President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate.  Jacobs wrote in a press release: I am opposed to the President’s mandates and believe he has overstepped his authority in announcing them. In addition, I disagree with the President pitting vaccinated Americans against their unvaccinated peers. This serves no public health interest and only further divides an already fractured nation.   Jacobs also stated that he believes the vaccines work and are safe and credits Operation Warp Speed with getting the vaccine to 75 percent of Americans.

If you need to go to the hospital in Buffalo steer clear of Mercy Hospital.  The nurses are going on strike.  The nurses union at Mercy hospital have declared they intent to strike with 97 percent of the union voting to strike to protest low wages and understaffing starting within 10 days.  The hospital administration says this is unconscionable and will take care workers away from patients who need them in order to walk a picket line.  The nurses say this is for the greater good of the community and not just better pay.

The GCEDC Board of Directors accepted an initial application for a $4.5 million project proposed by Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. known as New York Bus Company. The company plans to build a new 20,000 square-foot facility at the corner of Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia.  They are expecting to create 24 full time jobs and are requesting 430 thousand dollars in exemptions.  Also Liberty Pumps is expanding their company in Bergen to the tune of 13.7 million dollars and wants to get 1.5 million in exemptions while creating 30 new jobs.

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting a FREE drive-thru anti-rabies immunization clinic on Thursday, September 16th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.  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.

Evening News Brief

The Batavia VA Medical Center is decked out to remember the tragedy of 9/11.  They placed 2977 US Flags on the lawn in front of the main medical center buildings to honor those who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and those who perished trying to save lives.  The flags were put up by employees and volunteers.

The VFW Post 1602 will be sponsoring a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at their facility, located at 25 Edwards St here in Batavia from 8 to 10:30 am. There will be  civic leaders, first responders, veterans, and others speaking as they pay respect to those who gave all to on September 11th 2001.  The VFW Post is also sponsoring an appreciation jamboree to honor first responders starting at 11 am and going till 4 pm, with music provided by Bill Pitcher, Julio Morales, Jr., The Front Porch Pickers, and Old State Road House.

The lack of drivers is affecting Rochester’s school children’s ability to get to the classroom and more drivers have resigned.  Right now the main reason for the lack of drivers is the fear of the COVID virus, lack of pay compared to other driving opportunities, and lack of people trained to drive.  Bussing companies have raised their wages to 17-20 dollars per hour to start and bonuses for those who stay on the job for longer periods of time.  In Rochester more than 100 people have applied to become drivers in the past week but there are concerns that these people will just get cdl licenses and then leave to become truckers.  To make driving busses more appealing, Representative Joe Morelle is pushing the state to waive the cdl requirement for bus drivers.

Erie County has joined most of the rest of the state in allowing 12 and 13 years old’s to hunt big game with a crossbow or firearms as long as they are supervised by a person 21 years or older.  Until this vote, Erie County was one of only two counties in the state that did not adopt New York’s youth hunting pilot program.

Midday News Brief

 Steve Hawley (R-Batavia)

 

Batavia Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley wants the state to reverse its COVID vaccination mandate for health care workers. Hawley tells WBTA today that the mandate could have unintended consequences

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo put the mandate in place. It requires health care workers to have at least the first dose of vaccine by September 27th.

 

A school bus maintenance facility gets the acceptance of the Genseee County Economic Development Center. The project would create 24 full time employee positions with an average salary range of $30,000 – $75,000 annually plus benefits. The project is requesting approximately $430,000 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions. The project is estimated to generate $50 into the Genesee County economy for every $1 of requested incentives. Construction for the project is expected to begin next month on West Saile Dr. in the Town of Batavia.

 

VFW Post 1602 in Batavia is holding a 9-11 remembrance ceremony tomorrow morning. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 8am at the post at 25 Edwards Street. Civic leaders, first responders and veterans pay respects to those who gave all 20 years ago. The post is also sponsoring an appreciation jamboree to honor first responders. This will run from 11am to 4pm.

 

The Buffalo Bills will kick off their 2021 season this weekend as one of the favored teams to make it to the Super Bowl in February. The defending AFC East champions are taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Last season, the Bills made it all the way to the AFC Championship game before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs. Due to staffing shortages, Bills fans are urged to arrive at the stadium early so they don’t miss the start of the game. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for one p-m.

 

Morning News Brief

The inability to get an accurate count of residents in the Genesee County portion of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation contributed to New York State losing a congressional seat following the 2022 election…that from the county’s planning director.  The Directors said he learned recently that the Census Bureau’s report of population in the Genesee County segment of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation reservation was not correct because the bureau’s enumerator was not allowed to enter the tribal grounds. According to the Census Bureau, the population dropped from 483 in 2010 to 241 in 2020 – a stunning 50 percent decline.

With a large contingent of family and friends present in the court room, 50-year-old Colleen L. Nelson of Alabama was sentenced to a determinate sentence of 3 1/2 years in state prison and 5 years post release supervision during her sentencing this week in Genesee County Court. The maximum sentence Nelson could have received was 7 1/2 years. Nelson stabbed a male co-worker during an attack at a candy production facility on S. Main Street in Elba last year. Nelson came up behind her co-worker and started stabbing him with a large knife. The 59-year-old victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the incident. Nelson pleaded guilty to attempted assault first degree, a class C felony, in July, waiving her right to a defense of mental defect.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has proposed regulations to implement the ban on expanded polystyrene foam containers and loose fill packaging or “packing peanuts” in New York State. The ban would go into effect on January 1, 2022. The ban was originally proposed in 2020 and several counties in New York have already adopted it. These include Albany, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. The DEC has now fully released the regulations to fully enact the ban. The DEC will be holding a virtual public hearing on the proposed regulations on November 15, at 1 p.m. and are accepting comments until Nov. 22, 2021.

Brian Benjamin is officially New York’s lieutenant governor.  Benjamin, a Democrat, was sworn in at Gov. Kathy Hochul’s New York City office Thursday, just more than two weeks after Hochul unveiled the state senator from Harlem as her choice to serve in the post.

Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is gearing up to host its annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester today in the track’s historic clubhouse. The fundraiser includes a $30 clubhouse buffet package deal, a silent auction with a wide variety of items up for bid, sponsorship of races and private donations. The clubhouse opens at 4 p.m. and the first race post time is 5 p.m. The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is the only full-scope, independently-operated organization focused on serving breast and gynecologic cancer survivors in the Central and Western New York regions and each year they benefit from over 100 fundraising events like this.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is joining his colleagues in the Assembly Minority calling on Governor Hochul and Health Commissioner Zucker to reverse the decision to mandate vaccination of healthcare workers. They argue that any public health benefit a mandate would provide would be outweighed by the detriment such a requirement would have on staffing levels within hospitals and health centers. Hawley is also concerned about how the mandate will affect people who either cannot be vaccinated due to their medical circumstances, and those who work remotely like coders and transcriptionists who do not come into contact with patients.

Evening News Brief

Another well known car dealer from Upstate New York has passed away.  84 year old Bob Johnson died last week at his home in Florida.  He founded 3 dealerships near Rochester including one in LeRoy.  Johnson retired to Florida about 20 years ago. The Bob Johnson Auto Group still bears his name.  Another big name in car dealerships, Billy Fucillo passed away in June.

UPS is hiring over 1000 workers for the holidays in Western New York.  These seasonal workers can be part or full time positions.  They are currently looking for warehouse workers, package deliver drivers and tractor trailer drivers.  Seasonal employees who work for three continuous months are eligible for up to $1,300 towards college expenses as part of the company’s “Earn and Learn” program.  UPS also says that about a third of seasonal workers are later hired to permanent positions.

If you are a fan of the Buffalo Bills you can now officially display your Bills pride on you license plate.  New York DMV is offering custom Bills, Giants and Jets plates for 60 dollars with an annual renewal of 31.25.  You can even have them personalized for a bit more.  For details go to the dmv website.

Bills tickets are a bit more expensive this year but they are still well below the national average for NFL tickets.  Regular seasons tickets average 414 for the Bills but 40 dollars more for other teams.  Bills prices were 159 dollars cheaper in 2019 and that’s not factoring in parking which will run you 40 at the stadium or 5-10 on someone’s lawn nearby.  Most Bills fans say its worth it.

Midday News Brief

50-year-old Colleen Nelson sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison for stabbing a male co-worker at Oliver’s Candies production facility in Elba.
The 59-year-old victim suffered several knife wounds in his back but none were life-threatening.
Nelson was allowed to plead guilty to a charge of attempted first degree assault.
She was also sentenced to five years post release supervision.

State Senator Brian Benjamin is expected to be sworn-in today and become New York’s next Lieutenant Governor. Benjamin will take the position that was held by Governor Hochul until just a few weeks ago. Hochul left that office after becoming governor following the resignation of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo. Benjamin is an African-American lawmaker from New York City and is going to help fulfill Governor Hochul’s promise that she’ll have a diverse administration.

Governor Hochul has announced a new campaign that she hopes encourages students and educators to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19. As part of the “vax to school” initiative, a digital marketing campaign will be launched to try and convince those who are unsure about getting vaccinated to do so. There’s also going to be a new website where parents and guardians can get the latest information about vaccines and how to schedule an appointment for their child. Currently, only kids 12 and older are eligible to receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

The Holland Land Office Museum announces its first indoor West Side Ghost Stories program on Friday, October 8th. Connie Boyd shares the spooky, sinister, and weird documented stories from the West Side of Batavia’s past. The program will be presented at the museum at 7pm. You’ll hear tales of murder, ghosts, body snatching hangings, and abandoned cemeteries. This presentation is the same as museum’s outdoor Ghost Walk on October 15th, 22nd and 29th. Complete information is available on the museum’s website.

Evening News Brief

Parents are showing up to school board meetings and demanding that their children be allowed to attend without masks.  In Hamburg parents stood up and demanded masks be optional saying that the masks do more harm than good.  A Williamsville School, The Christian Central Academy, has filed a lawsuit against the State and against Erie County, for a rescinding of the mask mandate.  Superintendents fielding these complaints across the state say that their hands are tied by the state mandate.

The Buffalo Bills will play their first game on Sunday, and fans are being urged to make sure they’re at Highmark Stadium early. Due to staffing shortages, stadium officials say people should arrive at the gates no later than noon if they want to avoid a long wait to get to their seats. The gates will open at 11 a-m which is half an hour earlier than usual and, as a reminder, masks will have to be worn by everyone in indoor areas of the stadium, even if they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Kickoff for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is scheduled for 1pm.

Splash World on Grand Island announced it will remain open on weekends for the rest of September.  Officials say guests can continue to enjoy limited water park attractions, weather permitting.  Splash World says as a thank you it will extend the preview ticket price of $9.99 and those 36″ and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County was given almost 4000 dollars thanks to a fundraising golf tournament and basket fundraiser by smartDesign Architecture.  The tournament raised 3,420 and the baskets sold for 390.  Habitat for Humanity provides housing to those in need by partnering with families to provide a hand up, not a handout. The mission of Habitat cannot be fulfilled without the support and generosity of local community members.

Midday News Brief

Three development projects, totaling 20-million dollars, will be taken up this week by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.
The board meets tomorrow and will consider a $13.7-million expansion at Liberty Pumps in Bergen. That project is expected to create 30 new jobs.
Valiant Real Estate, a property developer, is proposing to build a 20,000 sq. ft.square foot facility in the Town of Batavia creating 24 jobs.
J and R Fancher proposes a two-story mixed-use building in the Town of Pembroke. The $1.7-million project would include six market rate apartments on the second floor with commercial space on the first floor.
All three projects are seeking some form of tax incentives from the county.

City Police revealed today they are investigating gunshots fired late last month on South Main. The incident occurred in the early morning of August 28. No one was hit. Police said it was not a random act. Anyone with information is asked to call Batavia Police.

The 18-day long 2021 Great New York State Fair has wrapped up and even with the fair being an extra five days long, attendance numbers were much lower than years past. This year’s opening day of the fair saw just over 37,000 guests, where the first day in 2019 had over 74,000.

The Buffalo Bills will begin their regular season Sunday, and fans are being urged to make sure they’re at Highmark Stadium early. Due to staffing shortages, stadium officials say people should arrive at the gates no later than noon if they want to avoid a long wait to get to their seats. The gates will open at 11 a-m and as a reminder, masks will have to be worn by everyone in indoor areas of the stadium, even if they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Kickoff for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is scheduled for 1pm.

Morning News Brief

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.19, up four cents from last week. The New York State average is $3.28 – up five cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.30. The price at the pump in Batavia according to AAA is up a penny. Buffalo has climbed 7 cents while Rochester is up 8 cents.  AAA says it expected a jump in gas prices following the storm and taking into account the demand surrounding the holiday weekend; motorists are expected to pay the most expensive gas prices since 2014.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider resolutions advancing projects with a combined capital investment of approximately $19.9 million at its board meeting tomorrow. The Board will consider a final application for incentives from Liberty Pumps for its proposed $13.7 million expansion at its operations in the town of Bergen at the Apple Tree Acres industrial park. The company plans on constructing a materials center, creating 30 new jobs. The Board also will consider accepting an initial application from Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. (New York Bus Sales.)  Valiant is proposing a $4.5 million capital investment to construct a 20,000 sq. ft. facility in the town of Batavia. The project would create 24 new jobs. Finally, the Board will consider accepting an initial application from J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC which is proposing to construct a two-story mixed-use building on 2.6 acres at Buffalo East Tech Park in the town of Pembroke. This is the first of three phases of development that Fancher is proposing at the Tech Park. The $1.7 million investment would include six market-rate 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor and a first floor comprised of a 7,000 sq. ft. interior intended to attract commercial tenants.

Thousands of people enjoy the annual butter sculpture at the New York State Fair every year. But after the fair ends, there comes a time where that artwork must be deconstructed. That’s where Noblehurst Farms comes in. The Pavilion farm has made it a tradition to help recycle the butter used in the sculpture. The butter will be converted into renewable energy for the community, and to help develop liquid fertilizer. The 800 pounds of butter that came to the farm in plastic bags will be put into a digestor that creates what Chris Noble calls a “bio-gas” from organic materials.

The 18-day long 2021 Great New York State Fair has wrapped up and even with the fair being an extra five days long, attendance numbers were much lower than years past. Over half a million more people attended The Fair in 2019 than this year’s extra-long event. This year’s opening day of the fair saw just over 37,000 guests, where the first day in 2019 had over 74,000.

NY Governor Kathy Hochul has announced $6 million is now available over three years to support 150 Climate Justice Fellowship opportunities for individuals across the state currently residing in historically disadvantaged communities or from priority populations. This announcement, in advance of New York’s upcoming celebration of Climate Week from September 20 to September 26, helps support New York State’s commitment to ensure an equitable clean energy transition for all New Yorkers as required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

New York State has pushed back the date that employees working from home have to be back in the office and the date some state employees have to get vaccinated. Both dates have been moved to October 12. Face masks must also be worn by state employees, except when they are in a room or office by themselves, at their desk or workstation, and while eating or drinking. State healthcare workers have until September 27 to get their first shot of coronavirus vaccine.

Evening News Brief

On Labor Day Governor Hochul signed the Hero act among several other legislations.  All New York State employers, now need to have plans in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.  If a problem is reported with the plan employers have 30 days to fix the problem, if no action is taken, they could be looking at a law suit.

A reminder: school is back in session across most of New York States school districts.  This means kids crossing the street and busses stopping to pick kids up.  Remember to pay attention to the road while driving, do not pass busses when the stop sign is out, and slow down in school zones.  Failure to do any of these things could lead to fines and even arrests.

A vehicle rolled over the retaining wall at the Crosby’s in Corfu on Saturday early in the morning.  First responders were called to assist a person in a car who had driven the car over the retaining wall and was in the passenger seat.  When Mercy EMS and Corfu Fire arrived the man ran off but was caught by sheriffs deputies.  They had an active warrant in Montgomery County.

A rash of flag thefts?  Assemblyman Steve Hawley reported that his US flag had been stolen sometime around August 28th.  He replaced it and put out a call for the original to be returned.  Around the same time another flag was stolen on Bank Street Road in Batavia.  Then Hawley’s new flag was stolen on or around September 3rd or 4th.  The state police are looking into the incidents and have leads.  If you have any information about the flag thefts you can call NYS Police Troop A at 585 344 6200.

The Aquarium of Niagara is shifting to its fall hours on September 7th. The new hours are 9am to 5pm.  They’re also dropping the price of admission for children to $10 for the rest of September. The aquarium recommends buying tickets online ahead of time so you don’t have to wait at the door.  Admission is always free for Aquarium members, and members do not need to reserve timed tickets online ahead of their visit.

Midday News Brief

Today marks the first day of school for most Genesee County Districts.
In Batavia City Schools all grades, Pre-K to 12th, returned to class in-person.
Batavia is requiring all students, faculty and staff to wear masks and social distancing will be required where possible.

 

Interim Batavia School Superintendent Scott Bischoping there’s been some parental push-back to the masking protocol

PHOTO: Interim Batavia Superintendent Scott Bischoping

Pavilion Central starts tomorrow, Sept 8th.
Notre Dame Batavia of Batavia resumes classes on Thursday.
All other area school districts started class today.

 

There is an effort underway to educate children about 9-11 with the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City on Saturday. The 9-11 Memorial and Museum launched a fund at NeverForget.org to support its educational programs. A national PSA will be released to emphasize the importance of teaching 9-11 in schools. The museum has a website called 911Memorial.org that has 9-11 lesson plans and webinars to give teachers a guide on teaching it in the classroom. The webinar is being put in thousands of libraries across the U.S.

 

An expected rise in Gasoline prices didn’t have much of an impact in Batavia.
The current average price of a gallon of regular in the city is $3.24, up only a penny from last week – but a dollar-2 from a year ago.

 

New York, Governor Hochul is now making it mandatory for businesses to ensure their employees are protected from the virus. Under New York State’s HERO Act, workplaces must have a plan in place to keep coronavirus from spreading.
Some of the steps they can take include employee health screenings, putting a written mask policy in place, and making sure social distancing is possible.

Morning News Brief

Students in then Batavia City School District head back to class today.

All students in Pre-K to 12th grade are beginning the school year with in-person classes five-days a week.

Masks will be worn by all students, faculty and staff regardless of vaccination status. This also applies to students while riding school buses.

Masks will not be required while outside of school buildings. Social distancing will be implemented where possible.

 

With the spread of COVID-19 continuing across New York, Governor Hochul is now making it mandatory for businesses to ensure their employees are protected from the virus.

Under New York State’s HERO Act, workplaces must have a plan in place to keep coronavirus and other airborne infectious diseases from spreading.

The HERO Act also protects workers from any potential retaliation they may receive from employers or co-workers for following safety guidelines.

 

Hundreds turn out for the Oakfield Labor Daze Parade.

Heavy rain let up just in the for the parade down Main Street in Oakfield.

The hour-long Holiday parade returned this year following a one-year absence due to COVID-19.

The parade this year paid tribute to first responders throughout the region.

 

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of this year’s Patriots Trip to Washington.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley says anyone who signed up for this years trip will receive a full refund for any monies put down.

The trip was scheduled for September 16 to the 19th.

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As drivers across Western New York have likely noticed, there’s been quite an increase in gas prices over the past month.

According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular in Batavia is now $3.26 – up 6-cents from a month ago.

Labor Day News Brief

25-year-old Destiny Green of Batavia facing charges of burglary and criminal contempt this Labor Day weekend.
Batavia Police say Destiny was collared inside the residence of a person described as a protected party. She was arraigned on the charges in city court and released under supervision.

As drivers across Western New York have likely noticed, there’s been quite an increase in gas prices over the past week.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular in Batavia is now $3.26 – up 6-cents from a month ago.

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of this year’s Patriots Trip to Washington.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley says anyone who signed up for this years trip will receive a full refund for any monies put down.
The trip was scheduled for September 16 to the 19th.

The Labor Daze continues today in Oakfield. The parade steps off at 10 this morning, the Craft Show runs until six tonight. There will be music all day. All presented by the Oakfield Betterment Committee.

The New York State Fair in Syracuse will be wrapping up its 18-day run today which is the longest in the history of the event. A ticket to get in costs $3, however children 12 and under and people 65 and older can get in for free. get et in for free.

Notes from the opening weekend of the fall high school football season:
The Oakfield-Alabama /Elba Aggies crushed Cuba-Rushford on Saturday 64 to 6.
Pembroke beat Wellsville 55 – 26.
On Friday night, the big rivalry between LeRoy and Cal-mum went to the Knights, 21 to 6.
Batavia beat Bishop-Kearney 41-0,
Notre Dame pounded Pavilion 15-0, Alexander beat Bolivar-Richburg 7-0.

The Powerball jackpot is continuing to grow and has now reached 375-million-dollars ahead of tonight’s drawing. No one has taken home the top prize in several weeks and officials say the odds of winning the whole amount this evening are one in 292-million.

Weekend News Brief

Although He lost the primary to India Walton, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown worked to get his name on the ballot with a petition and a lawsuit and a federal judge has ordered that his name be placed on the ballot for the November election as an independent.  Brown filed a lawsuit against the Erie County Board of Elections last Monday alleging that the changing of the primary election date from September to June stripped voters of the necessary time to consider who to vote for.  Several voters also filed lawsuits.  The judge ruled on the case saying that the change constituted an undue burden on the voters.

Part of Seneca Park Zoo was evacuated Friday morning as a Lion escaped from her den.  During routine care duties with the African lions, one of the lions wandered into a hallway in the holding building, according to the zoo.  The zoo superintendent released a statement, saying the public was not in danger. Still, visitors were asked to leave a section of the zoo during the incident in accordance with Zoo protocols.  Staff were able to get the lion back out into her den and seal off the hallway.

Oakfield hosts Labor Daze this weekend and into Monday with a full schedule of events.  A parade boasting marching bands and newcomer Buffalo Ghostbusters will line up at the fire hall and begin at Seneca and Main streets 10 am Monday. Spectators should plan to be there about 30 minutes early before road closures prevent them from getting a good spot on the parade route between Seneca and Drake streets/Route 262.  There will also be a craft fest from 10-6.  For a full schedule of events check out our news partner the Batavian.

The Town of Alexander Republican Committee is looking for interested registered republicans who want to fill open positions.  Open slots are Town Republican Committee Member for districts 1 and 2 and town justice.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is saddened to announce that his annual Patriot Trip in which he brings veterans to landmarks and historical sites throughout the Washington, D.C. area will be canceled this year due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, especially as new variant cases in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals continue to increase. All participants who have signed up for the trip will be fully refunded for anything paid toward it.

The Batavia Improvement District has announced a Wine Walk for October 2nd downtown.  There are only 600 tickets available and are sold at Adam Miller’s Toy and Bicycle, the Yngodess Shop and downtownbataviany.com.  This year’s theme is Prom. Participants are encouraged to dress for any prom genre they wish. Prizes will be given for the best-dressed individuals and couples.

Evening News Brief

We had warning that it was coming and Thursday Governor Hochul announced a mandate for all teachers, administrators and other school employees to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing unless they show proof of vaccination, with either a CDC vaccine card or the Excelsior Pass.  The Governor also announced that the New York State Department of Health has finalized and released official guidance for classroom instruction.  The emergency regulation will apply to all schools in New York State until the government decides that it is no longer necessary.

A lawsuit in Monroe County was filed under the Child Victims Act names Buffalo Bills Linebacker Cornelius Bennett in a sexual assault in 1992.  According to the lawsuit, “repeated acts of sexual abuse, harassment and violence” allegedly occurred in the summer of 1992 when the plaintiff was 17-years-old.  It is alleged that Bennett attempted to rape the plaintiff in a phone booth in the basement of the Otter Lodge and was stopped when other people were heard coming down the stairs.  The Bills and the NFL are named in the lawsuit as the plaintiff says they knew what happened and did nothing.

Will the Bills stay at Highmark Stadium if they don’t get a new one?  Absolutely not according to Ron Raccuia, executive vice president of Pegula Sports and Entertainment.  Raccuia said that the Bills are ready to build a new stadium in Orchard Park across Abbot Road from Highmark Stadium. He says, a deal just needs to be finalized with the state and county. Sources said the Bills are looking at $1.4 billion stadium funded with a private public partnership.  But if they don’t get a deal before the lease is up in 2023 they won’t be playing.

Midday News Brief

A 25-year-old Steuben County man has been charged with a felony count of reckless endangerment following a two-county police chase.
Anthony Drake of Hornell is accused failing to pull over when troopers attempted a traffic stop in the Erie County Town of Newstead.
Drake then took off in his 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up heading east on Route 5. The chase continued into Genesee County and through downtown Batavia.
Batavia Police deployed spike strips, blowing out all four tires of the truck, before the vehicle stopped just east of the city line. Troopers said speeds reached about 70-miles an hour during the pursuit.
Drake was arrested at gunpoint along with a passenger, identified as 27-year-old Brittany Howland, also of Hornell. She was arrested for drug possession wile on probation.
Troopers say at one point during the chase Drake swerved toward a Genesee County Sheriff’s patrol car. State Police said Drake was found in possession of brass knuckles and crystal meth.
There were no injuries. An almost two-mile section of Route 5 was closed during the investigation.

Lawmen across New York State will be keeping an extra eye out for dangerous drivers this Labor Day holiday weekend.
Travelers can expect to see additional patrols as officers look to get people driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol off the road.
The STOP-DWI enforcement campaign is already underway and runs through September 6th.

Elba drivers: this one is for you.
The Hundredmark Road Bridge, at the intersection of Spoil Bank Road, will be closing on Tuesday for replacement.
This project is expected to take three months.
During construction the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Chicken Wing lovers will be in their glory this weekend when the National Buffalo Wing Festival gets underway. The event runs tomorrow and Sunday Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Admission is 20-dollars and then you must buy tickets for your wings.
More information is available online at buffalowing.com.

The second season of high school football for 2021 begins this weekend.
The Batavia Blue Devils take on Bishop Kearney tonight at VanDetta Stadium.
One of the biggest rivalries in Section Five pits Leroy at Cal-mum – that game will air on WBTA tonight at 7.
On Saturday our coverage continues with Oakfield-Alabama/Ebla meets Cuba-Rushford 1pm at Elba High School.

Troopers identify the driver and passenger in high speed chase.

News Release

On September 2, 2021, Troopers out of SP Newstead arrested Anthony T. Drake, 25 of Hornell, NY for Reckless Endangerment 1st degree (D Felony), Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and multiple traffic tickets. The passenger in the vehicle, Brittany N. Howland, 27 of Hornell, NY was arrested for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and Violation of Probation.

On September 2, 2021 at 6:42 P.M., Troopers out of SP Newstead attempted to make a vehicle and traffic stop on a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado at the intersection of Crittenden Road and Main Street in the town of Newstead. The Chevrolet failed to comply once the Trooper activated emergency lights. The pursuit initiated and the suspect vehicle continued east bound on State Route 5 (Main Street) into Genesee County. During the pursuit the suspect vehicle swerved toward a Genesee County Sheriffs Department patrol traveling west bound on State Route 5. The pursuit was picked up by Batavia Police Department and they deployed a tire deflating device, disabled the suspect’s vehicle. Troopers arrested Drake and Howland. Drake was in possession of brass knuckles and crystal meth and other drugs.

Morning News Brief

Police agencies across Genesee County chase a pick-up truck at high speeds along Route 5 through downtown Batavia.
The chase began last evening in the town of Batavia when State Police began their pursuit of a black Chevrolet Silverado.
Before long Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies and city of Batavia Police joined in. Witness said at one point as many as 10 patrol cars with sirens blaring chased the pick-up along Main Street through the City.

Spike strips were deployed blowing out all four tires of the truck, but the vehicle did not stop. It raced through Main Street on rims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Pedro, owner of Blondies Ice Cream, watched the end of the chase directly in front of her store:

Two occupants of the truck – a man and a young woman – were taken into custody. No one was injured.

 

Police across New York will be keeping an extra eye out for dangerous drivers this Labor Day holiday weekend. Travelers can expect to see additional patrols as officers look to get people who are driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol off the road. The STOP-DWI enforcement campaign is already underway and runs through September 6th. Last year, police statewide issued over 116-thousand traffic tickets during their Labor Day crackdown including more than 32-hundred arrests for impaired driving.

The Hundredmark Road Bridge in Elba , at the intersection of Spoil Bank Road, will be closing on Tuesday for a bridge replacement project.
This project is expected to take three months.
During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

General Motors has announced the temporary layoffs of hundreds of employees at its plant in the Erie County Town of Tonawanda. Officials with the automaker say the company is currently scaling back vehicle production due to an ongoing microchip shortage.

Chicken Wing lovers are going to be in their glory this weekend when the National Buffalo Wing Festival gets underway. The event runs tomorrow from noon until nine and Sunday from noon until seven at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Admission is 20 bucks. at provides several services to people in need. More information is available online at buffalowing.com.

High School Football begins its second season of the year tonight. WBTA will broadcast the traditional rivalry between LeRoy and Cal-mum beginning at 7 tonight from Cal-mum High School. Tomorrow, the station will broadcast the Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies game against Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale. Kickoff for this contest is 1pm.

Evening News Brief

The Hundredmark Road Bridge, at the intersection of Spoil Bank Road in Elba will be closing on Sep. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take three months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Earlier today a building in Batavia was damaged when a vehicle left the road and hit it.  The USDA building at 29 Liberty Street has mostly cosmetic damage and one person was treated at the scene.  No word yet on the vehicle and its occupants.

The New York State DEC has released new rules for hunting deer and bear this year.  The rules include changing the hours when hunters can hunt by extending the time frame by 30 minutes before down and after sunset.  A change to the uniform required to hunt.  Making the Bear hunting season longer in the Adirondacks and more.  To read all the changes follow the link on WBTAi.com.

https://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html#Parts_1_11

A former POW in World War 2, air medal, purple heart, bronze star and POW medal recipient was honored at the Batavia VA on Wednesday for his 107th birthday.  Sydney Cole was a forward observer for the 776th Field Artillery Battalion when he was shot down behind enemy lines by German anti air fire.  As a prisoner, Capt. Cole commanded 150 enlisted prisoners.  Despite his ill-treated wounds and diminished body weight of only 95 pounds, Cole was instrumental in maintaining high levels of discipline and morale among the enlisted men and served as an inspiration and an example of American military conduct while in enemy custody.

The Buffalo Bisons announced today that First Responders and members of the armed forces, both active and veteran, will be given 2 free tickets for the game on September 11th.  The Bisons say If you are a first responder or active duty/veteran armed forces member you can claim your two free tickets by presenting a valid ID at the Sahlen Field Box Office starting at 12:00 p.m. on September 11.  The team also announced on Military & First Responder Appreciation Night 20% of net proceeds from eligible Bisons.com and in-park merchandise sales will be donated to WNY Heroes, Inc. First responders and active duty/veteran armed forces members will also receive 20% off their purchase at the Bisons Team Shop in Sahlen Field.

Midday News Brief

36-year-old Danielle Tooley of Batavia is under arrest for applying and collecting nearly 100-thousand dollars in federal un-employment benefits.
Tooley is accused of knowingly using personal identifying information of other people to apply for and collect unemployment benefits connected with the federal COVID-19 relief programs.
Her scheme was discovered when Tooley was stopped by state police in Bergen last fall on suspicion of drug possession. During the search of her car, troopers found six New York State unemployment benefit cards. They were turned over to federal agents.
Tooley faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail and a $1-million fine.

The New York State Assembly and Senate approved the extension of the eviction moratorium until January 15, 2022 to protect struggling renters. The bill was passed by the State Legislature late last night and will head to Governor Kathy Hochul to sign. The vote was 80 to 60.

Steve Hawley

 

Assembly Steve Hawley of Batavia remains firm in his opposition to the extension.
Hawley telling WBTA News Today:

 

State Attorney General Letitia James says transcripts from the investigation her office conducted into former governor Andrew Cuomo will be made public. James said that she believed all of the women who came forward with allegations of harassment. She did not reveal a timetable on when the report is going to be released.

Have someone in mind for LeRoyan of the year?
The deadline for nominations is this Saturday.
The award is presented by American Legion Post 53 in LeRoy and recognizes an individual for True Americanism, good citizenship and community service.
The email address for nominations is: gdiskin@rochester.rr.com

Morning News Brief

Federal prosecutors have announced that 36-year-old Danielle Tooley of Batavia was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud and theft of government funds. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, between July and December 4, 2020, Tooley and others knowingly used the personal identifying information of other individuals unlawfully to apply for and collect unemployment benefits connected to federal COVID-19 relief programs. In total, the scheme resulted in a loss of at least $99,141.39 to the United States.  Tooley was released on conditions.

The New York state Legislature voted Wednesday to extend an eviction moratorium for tenants who fell behind on their rent because of hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. New York’s previous eviction moratorium expired Tuesday. In an Aug. 12 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court nixed part of the moratorium that allowed tenants to pause eviction proceedings simply by filing a form declaring they’d had a pandemic-related hardship. The bill would let landlords challenge hardship declarations. Hochul said the legislation will stand up to legal scrutiny. But the leader of the Rent Stabilization Association, the largest organization of landlords in New York, vowed Wednesday to sue to block the moratorium in federal court.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is standing firmly opposed to legislation that would extend the moratorium on evictions in the state. Hawley has expressed frustration that this moratorium has been extended multiple times, even as the state government sits on the vast majority of $2.6 billion in federal funding meant to address the issue, having distributed only 10 percent of those funds to tenants and landlords in need. According to Hawley, “If we do not do something to help our small landlords in this crucial moment, they may well go extinct within the housing market if forced to sell their property to large conglomerates to escape crushing debts which they cannot collect rent to pay.”

After investigating a complaint on Bethany Center Road, deputies arrested 18-year-old Hannah Roberts of Fulton. She was charged with trespass and will appear in Bethany Town Court on September 14th.

Representatives of Samsung have visited the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in recent days…that from Sen. Charles Schumer, renewing optimism that the international semiconductor manufacturer may join Plug Power, the Latham-based leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems, in placing a production plant at the 1,250-acre site in the Town of Alabama. Announcing what he called a “two-pronged approach” at a press conference at the STAMP site off Route 77, Schumer said that he has been communicating on a regular basis with the president of Samsung, based in South Korea, and the head of the company’s United States operations — promoting STAMP as the ideal location for the semiconductor facility it is looking to build.

The National Weather Service issued two historic flash flood emergencies for New York and New Jersey Wednesday night as heavy rains from remnants of Ida slammed the area; they were the first two the agency’s New York operation have ever issued. A flash flood emergency is issued in exceedingly rare situations when extremely heavy rain creates a severe threat to human life, and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is currently happening or will happen soon.

Midday News Brief

Sen Charles Schumer

New York Senior Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in Genesee County today.
Schumer made his second personal visit to the county’s Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park – known simply as STAMP.
Schumer saying today that he is still in contact with electronics giant Samsung corporation trying to convince them that STAMP is an idea location for a major semi-conductor manufacturing facility.

Genesee County Public Health Director Paul Pettit says don’t be surprised if the next state mandate will require teachers and school staff to be vaccinated. That has not happened yet, but Pettit said in broadcast remarks yesterday that it could be next.
Pettit also revealed that 20 to 30-percent of new COVID cases in Genesee County are so-called breakthrough cases infections in people already vaccinated.
Pettit credits the vaccine for lessening the severity of brearkthrough cases.
The Delta variant is the likely cause of new infections which Pettit said are still in an upward trend in the county.

State Troopers have announced that applications are now open for the next State Police Entrance Exam.
The exam, which will be administered from January through April of 2022, will be given online at authorized testing centers for the first time in State Police history. This is all part of an effort to reportedly make the exam more accessible to the general public.

The Rotary Club of Batavia has issued a BOLO for a Bovine named Butterscotch.
Now, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has entered the search.
Butterscotch is a life-size decorative cow used in the past by the Rotary Club to promote Rotary Activities.
Butterscotch will also answer to the name, Rotary Annie” as she was dubbed when promoting Rotary musicals.
The faux animal was apparently stolen from the home of a Rotary Member in Elba. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office.

Plans continue to evolve for the projected new Bills stadium.
The Associated Press reports the team is proposing Buffalo’s new stadium to hold about 60,000 seats, which is more than 10,000 seats less than what’s currently in Highmark Stadium. The team’s current lease is set to expire during the Summer of 2023, but pending approval for a new stadium the state and county are expected to extend that timeline.

Morning News Brief

Now that a statewide universal masking mandate is in place for all persons in school buildings, a requirement that all teachers and staff be fully vaccinated could be next. Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, said he has heard that Gov. Kathy Hochul is advocating for that to happen, just as she did in instructing the New York State Department of Health to issue the mask mandate — even after many school districts had developed their own reopening plans based on information that there would be no state guidance. To prepare for this situation, Pettit said the local health department is working with schools on testing. He admitted that the changing directives pertaining to masks in schools over the past three weeks “has been confusing.”

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the theft of “Butterscotch” the decorative cow from a residence in the Town of Elba.  Anyone with information regarding the theft or knowledge of “Butterscotch’s” location is being asked to contact the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

New York’s health benefit costs increased faster than the national average in 2020, leaving it with the second-least affordable coverage in the U.S. The state’s average total cost for employee-sponsored individual coverage was $8,177 and for family coverage was $23,381, according to an annual survey by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that Adrienne Harris has been nominated to lead the New York State Department of Financial Services as its next Superintendent. Formerly a top economic advisor to President Obama, Ms. Harris will become the state’s top financial regulator tasked with overseeing the banking and insurance industries and their compliance with state laws as New York works to rebuild its economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, if confirmed by the Senate.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday she will work with localities, the state health department, and other health agencies to put in place a mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing program for unvaccinated public and charter school employees. The governor made the announcement from University of Buffalo Tuesday where she hosted a COVID-19 briefing to discuss the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts. Gov. Hochul said she won’t be micro-managing from the governor’s office, but will be giving guidance.

State officials have announced that applications are now open for the next New York State Police Trooper Entrance Exam. The exam, which will be administered from January through April of 2022, will be given online at authorized testing centers for the first time in State Police history, part of an effort to reportedly make the exam more accessible to the general public.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that Adrienne Harris has been nominated to lead the New York State Department of Financial Services as its next Superintendent. Formerly a top economic advisor to President Obama, Ms. Harris will become the state’s top financial regulator tasked with overseeing the banking and insurance industries and their compliance with state laws as New York works to rebuild its economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, if confirmed by the Senate.

***The State Legislature will be back in session today, looking to extend New York’s eviction moratorium to Jan. 15. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an extraordinary session for the Legislature Tuesday, aimed at also addressing the state’s cannabis program and the Open Meetings Law.

Plans continue to evolve for the projected new Bills stadium. On Tuesday, John Wawrow of the Associated Press reported the team is proposing Buffalo’s new stadium to hold about 60,000 seats, which is more than 10,000 seats less than what’s currently in Highmark Stadium. The team’s current lease is set to expire during the Summer of 2023, but pending approval for a new stadium the state and county are expected to extend that timeline.

Evening News Brief

Governor Hochul has announced that she will be making 65 million dollars available to local governments to administer booster shots of the COVID 19 Vaccine.  The White House has started saying that all adults should get a third dose of the COVID vaccine 8 months after their last shot.  The FDA has yet to approve the boosters for anyone other than those who have had organ transplants or have compromised immune systems.  Researchers have found that a booster would increase the number of COVID antibodies which start to decrease after 6 months from vaccination.  Detractors of the booster shots point out that antibodies decrease over time with any vaccine but T-Cell immunity has been showing to be constant in vaccinated and in people who have recovered from COVID.  The vaccines have so far been shown to be equally effective against all strains of the COVID virus.

Governor Hochul also said her office is in the process of getting legal clearance for the Department of Health to put a “vax or test” policy in place for teachers, staff and anyone else entering a school this fall.  It would require proof of vaccination or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.  She said the state is not doing a good enough job getting everyone to take the vaccine and she is willing to quote “make the tough decisions if I think it’ll protect the people of this state.”

The Sharrick Road Bridge between Colby Road and Harper Road will be closing on Sept. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take 3 months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Batavia Downs wants you to know their new schedule for horse racing.  Wednesday racing will be off for 2 weeks from September 1st through the 15th.  Racing will shift back to Fridays starting on the 3rd.  September 4th Saturday times will move to 5pm except for the November 6th Breeders Cup which will be at 3:15.  The Clubhouse will be from 4-8pm.

Midday News Brief

Batavia’s South Lyon Street bridge over the Tonawanda Creek is now closed to all traffic.
The bridge failed a recent inspection.
The bridge had a posted load of 5-ton for some time but the latest inspection shows it cannot handle the minimum 3-ton load.
The bridge is slated for replacement with a new two lane structure. The new span should be open by September of next year.

It’s official now, all students in public and private schools in New York State will be required to wear masks when in class. Interim Batavia Schools Superintend Scott Bischoping was not surprised by the announcement but held off issuing a local mandate.
Oakfield Alabama was caught a bit surprise. They had been working on a local plan based on CDC guidelines. Oakfield Superintendent John Fisgus calls the situation frustrating.

Genesee County stands to receive more than $400,000 via a settlement between New York State and the pharmaceutical companies comprising the Johnson & Johnson brand for their role in contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic. The county’s Human Services Committee, on the advice of County Attorney Kevin Earl, recommended adoption of a resolution that would enable Genesee to participate in the New York Opioid Sharing Agreement. The settlement, negotiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, would provide Genesee County with between $177,000 and $413,000, with half of the money paid initially – possibly as soon as February 2022 – and the remainder paid incrementally over a 10-year period.

The Genesee County Health Department is planning a media briefing on various COVID-19 topics.
The briefing will be issued by county public health director Paul Petit.
WBTA plans to broadcasts Pettit’s remarks live at 2pm this afternoon.

Members of the State Legislature will be coming back to Albany this week to take action on the eviction moratorium that expires today. Lawmakers are set to return tomorrow or Thursday to discuss the next steps they can take to protect both tenants and landlords.

Morning News Brief

Due to a recent bridge inspection, the South Lyon Street bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in the City of Batavia will be closed to all traffic effective today until further notice.  The bridge is located between Main St (Rt 5) and South Main Street. The bridge had been load posted for 5 ton loads for some time, but a very recent inspection has determined that the bridge can no longer handle the minimum allowable loads of 3 tons.  A bridge replacement is under design and it is scheduled to be replaced completely with a new 2-lane structure.  It is expected that the design will be completed in November and that advertising of construction bids can be completed at that time. The new bridge should be open to the public by the end of September 2022.

Genesee County stands to receive more than $400,000 via a settlement between New York State and the pharmaceutical companies comprising the Johnson & Johnson brand for their role in contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic. The county’s Human Services Committee, on the advice of County Attorney Kevin Earl, recommended adoption of a resolution that would enable Genesee to participate in the New York Opioid Sharing Agreement. The settlement, negotiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, would provide Genesee County with between $177,000 and $413,000, with half of the money paid initially – possibly as soon as February 2022 – and the remainder paid incrementally over a 10-year period.

The Sharrick Road Bridge between Colby Road and Harper Road will be closing on Sept. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take 3 months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

This weekend’s announcement by the New York State Department of Health requiring mask wearing for everyone inside all school buildings essentially nullifies any school district reopening plans that recommended, but did not require, face coverings in the classrooms. Oakfield-Alabama was one of those districts that decided to not require masks while teachers and students were in class – basing its decision on an Aug. 4 directive from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office that the state was leaving reopening guidelines up to local school districts in conjunction with local health departments. Friday’s emergency regulation by the NYSDOH — taking its lead from the new governor, Kathy Hochul — is both frustrating and upsetting according to the O-A Superintendent. He said the state should be able to have confidence in local school boards, administrators and teachers to do what is right in the face of a prolonged COVID-19 situation.

Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled a new memorial honoring New York’s fallen highway workers at the Great New York State Fair. The memorial is located near the midway entrance and west of the Horticulture Building on the fairgrounds. It honors all transportation workers killed while doing their job duties on or near New York’s thousands of miles of highways, including State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority employees, municipal highway workers, contractors, consultants, and towing service employees.

The Sharrick Road Bridge between Colby Road and Harper Road will be closing on Sept. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take 3 months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Just in case you missed it…Following a call from Gov. Kathy Hochul for a mask mandate in schools, the New York State Department of Health has filed an emergency regulation mandating masks inside all school buildings. According to the report, all students, faculty and staff of public and private schools, pre-K through 12th grade, will be required to wear masks inside school buildings. Visitors will also be required to wear masks inside school buildings.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the removal of the final toll booths on the New York State Thruway, a historic and significant milestone in the $355 million Cashless Tolling Design-Build Project. Monday, Cashless Tolling Constructors, LLC began removing the last standing toll plaza at Exit 60 (Westfield), the final of 52 toll plazas, including 230 individual toll booths, that have been removed since cashless tolling went live in November 2020. Exit realignment and road reconstruction continues at interchanges across the Thruway system and is on schedule to be completed by the end of October, weather permitting.

The Batavia Cemetery Association has announced that the annual Halloween Candlelight Ghostwalk…is back! Join them to meet the famous and infamous movers and shakers who shaped and influenced the City of Batavia on Saturday, October 23rd on a ghost walk through the Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. Tours begin at 7:00 p.m. and run every fifteen minutes until 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes refreshments. Reservations are required. Proceeds benefit the upkeep and restoration of the cemetery.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.15, down one cent from last week. The New York State average is $3.23 – up one cent from last week. In Batavia, the price at the pump is $3.24. Gas prices began to fluctuate over the weekend due to Hurricane Ida impacting the Gulf Coast, though mostly in states in the storm’s path. A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in production due to oil refinery shutdowns. Spikes in pump price due to the effects of the storm tend to be brief but dramatic. Furthermore, the upcoming Labor Day weekend holiday travel could push prices up based on demand.

Evening News Update

From the Genesee County Highway Department: Sandpit Road between Spring and Dry Bridge Road is now reopened.  It has been closed since June 7th

The happy and unhappy haunts of Batavia will return on October 23rd with the Ghost Walk through the historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue.  This candlelit guided tour will allow guests to meet men and women of Batavia who held great power and influence while they were alive, or experienced tragic events.  Among the notaries buried here are revolutionary war soldier James Holden, conspiracy theorist William Morgan who disappeared under mysterious circumstances while investigating the masons, and Military governor of DC John Martindale.  15 minute tours run from 7 to 8:30 and cost 10 dollars with refreshments included. Reservations are required.

The Buffalo Bills have said goodbye to Defensive End Darryl Johnson but will see him on the field when they play against the Carolina Panthers.  Johnson was traded to the Panthers for a 6th round draft pick in 2022.  Johnson, 24, has played 31 games with the Bills over two seasons after being drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Midday News Brief

The New York State Department of Health has issued a mask mandate for all schools in New York State.
According to the directive, all students, faculty and staff of public and private schools, pre-K through 12th grade, will be required to wear masks inside school buildings. Visitors will also be required to wear masks when inside school buildings. State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says the increasing transmission of the Delta COVID variant is the driving factor for the mandate.

Two people were rescued after a car fell down an embankment in Wyoming County.
Deputies from the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident on Bank Road in the Town of Middlebury just before 1a.m Saturday morning. Deputies say two people were inside the car, which was at the bottom of a 25-foot embankment. The occupants suffered only minor injuries. One was treated at UMMC in Batavia.

Hurricane Ida can be blamed for an increase in gasoline prices.
The storm has caused disruptions to oil production and transportation.
The average prices of a gallon of regular in Batavia is up to 2-cents since last week to $3.24.

A pick-up truck with four young passengers inside drove into a ditch on Alleghany Road in Pembroke. Deputies arrested of 46-year-old Nathan Stringer of Rochester. He was charged with four counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law, The children, all under the age of 15, were not injured. Stringer was released and will appear in Pembroke Town Court at a later date.

The Supreme Court’s decision last week to allow evictions to resume during the pandemic is expected to affect 3 million Americans. The court found the CDC did not have the authority to re-impose a moratorium earlier this month without Congressional authorization. New York’s eviction ban is set to expire tomorrow, but lawmakers have discussed extending it to the end of October. Gov. Hochul said she is in talks with the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker to call a special session to address the impending eviction crisis, given the Supreme Court’s decision.

Morning News Briefing

No injuries were reported when a pick-up truck loaded with four young children went into a ditch on Alleghany Road in Pembroke. An investigation by deputies led to the arrest of 46-year-old Nathan Stringer of Rochester. He was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law, DWI, DWI refusal, moving from a lane unsafely and unlicensed operation. The children, all under the age of 15, were not injured. Stringer was released and will appear in Pembroke Town Court at a later date.

Acting on a warrant, State Police arrested 36-year-old Danielle Tooley of Batavia. She was charged with bail jumping. She was released on her own recognizance.

An ambulance fire was reported early Sunday on East Main Street in Batavia, the Genesee County Fairgrounds. A chief on scene said the ambulance was fully involved. Town of Batavia Fire responded.

Charges have now been filed stemming from a vehicle crash in Pembroke on July 19th. Deputies arrested 62-year-old Norman Humel of Darien. He was charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, unreasonable speed, moving from a lane unsafely, failure to keep right and refusing to take a breath test. He’ll be arraigned in court Thursday afternoon.

A confrontation in the Town of Batavia resulted in criminal charges. Troopers say they arrested 26-year-old Abigail Button of Charlotte, North Carolina. She was charged with assault causing physical injury and criminal mischief. She was issued an appearance ticket for court and released.

By the end of October, dozens of insurance companies in New York will again require copays for Coronavirus hospital stays and testing. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, early on in the pandemic, insurers limited out-of-pocket expenses for anyone diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID through cost-sharing waivers. However, more than a year in, that has changed. Currently, federal law requires COVID testing to be free, as long as it’s deemed medically appropriate. However, tests are not covered if you’re getting them as an alternative to the vaccine.

The Supreme Court’s decision last week to allow evictions to resume during the pandemic is expected to affect 3 million Americans. The court found the CDC did not have the authority to re-impose a moratorium earlier this month without Congressional authorization. New York’s eviction ban is set to expire tomorrow, but lawmakers have discussed extending it to the end of October. Gov. Hochul said she is in talks with the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker to call a special session to address the impending eviction crisis, given the Supreme Court’s decision.

Governor Kathy Hochul on Sunday unveiled a Workers Memorial at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. The memorial honors all transportation workers killed while performing their job duties on or near New York’s thousands of miles of highways.

Batavia police say they arrested 40-year-old Wesley Thigpen on two counts of Thigpen is accused of a continuous course of conduct where he sexually abused two children while they were under the age of thirteen. The abuse occurred at multiple locations in the City of Batavia between 2007 and 2016. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and held with no set bail.

Batavia police arrested 51-yar-old Eric P. Doleman of Pembroke after an investigation into the use of counterfeit money at a local business, where he allegedly knowingly used a counterfeit $100 bill. Doleman was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to jail without bail.

Weekend News Aug 28 & 29

Batavia city officials hope to clear the air around the Waste Water Treatment Plant. A $1-million project to replace the air header system at the plant is nearly complete. The treatment plant is located in the southwest corner of the city.
For some time now, residents near the plant have complained about foul orders coming from the site.
The new air header system should substantially reduce the odor from the plant and the surrounding ponds.

The owner of the former Carr’s building on Monday vows a five-million-dollar project to renovate the former department store will move ahead.
Owner Ken Mistler has already been allocated a million dollars for the project under the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant.
There are no outward signs that anything has been done with the project. City Manager Rachel Tabelski said her understanding is that Mistler will keep the ground floor for commercial space and upper floors for residential.
Mistler was quoted this week by our news partner, The Batavian, as saying any information about what the building will ultimately look like is, “speculation.”

The New York State Department of Health has filed an emergency regulation that will require all students, faculty, and staff for all public and private schools in New York State to wear masks inside school buildings.
This comes after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul directed the health department to implement a universal mask mandate in all schools.
The governor also announced earlier this week that school personnel will be required to be vaccinated with the option to test out weekly.

State Senator Liz Krueger is calling for disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to return campaign contributions. Pointing out the fact that over 18 million dollars were gathered by Cuomo for his now canceled 2022 re-election campaign, the senator spoke about its purpose no longer existing. Krueger is calling on big donors to demand their money back. Politico reports that Cuomo plans to use the money in order to launch a retribution campaign against his enemies.

Authorities in Rochester are investigating the discovery of a body in the Genesee River.
The grim find was made late Friday afternoon near the Seneca Park Zoo.
The body was that of a man, but no further information is available.

Things to do this weekend:
On Saturday: Women of the Moose present Spirits Drive Thru Chicken BBQ, today starting at 1pm until sold out, 21 Bank Street, LeRoy. Pre-sale tickets available from the LeRoy Moose Club. Proceeds benefit the Jell-O sign on the Thruway and various Moose Charities. Also on Saturday the Attica Lions Club presents, Germanfest, Saturday, August 28, starting at 3:30pm in Attica Park, Exchange Street. Food, Music, and more. Take outs available.

On Sunday:
United Way presents the 5th annual Summer Serenade, ” A Night in Vienna”, Sunday, August 29th, at The LeRoyan, Rt. 5, LeRoy. Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra. You can get tickets for this garden party on-line or from any United Way or GSO member.

Midday News Brief

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott says the situation regarding players outspoken against the COVID-19 vaccine is “frustrating.”
McDermott has addressed two players in particular who were both recently fined for violating the league’s mask policy and who have been outspoken against vaccines.
Bills wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Cole Beasley took to social media to complain about being fined 14-thousand dollars for the violations. Beasley has been perhaps the most outspoken player in the NFL regarding vaccinations and other COVID-19 guidelines.

Two Genesee County woman plead guilty to welfare fraud.
50-year-old Trina Grimmer of Byron was allowed to plea to a reduced charge and given a conditional discharge. She was originally accused of collecting $8,104 in SNAP benefits.
42-year-old Valerie Marucci of Attica pled guilty to one count of Disorderly Conduct. Social Services investigators say Marucci collected $2,725 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.
Both Grimmer and Marucci have been banned from receiving SNAP benefits for one year.

The owner of Ken Barrett Chevrolet throws a big bone to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit.
Ken Barret donated 25-hundred dollars for K-9 Frankie.
Frankie’s care fund was drained after the dog spent a week in the hospital for an illness.
The Barrett donation will help restore funding for the care and feeding of the police dog.

Governor Kathy Hochul has selected Brian Benjamin for Lieutenant Governor. Senator Benjamin and Governor Hochul have previously worked together on several key issues.
Senator Benjamin previously served as the New York State Senator for District 30 – which encompasses Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper West Side of New York City.

Morning News Briefing

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the selection of Brian Benjamin for Lieutenant Governor. Senator Benjamin and Governor Hochul have previously worked together on several key issues, including fighting the opioid epidemic and boosting addiction recovery programs and making it easier for New Yorkers to vote. Senator Benjamin previously served as the New York State Senator for District 30 – which encompasses Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper West Side – Chairman of the Senate Committee on Revenue and Budget and Senior Assistant Majority Leader, where he distinguished himself as a leader in criminal justice reform and affordable housing. Senator Benjamin remains heavily involved in his community in Harlem.

Governor Hochul said she wants to impose a school mask mandate in New York State. Many parents in the area have voiced their concerns, both in favor and against masking, and even local officials seem to have differing opinions. Since New York is no longer in a state of emergency, Governor Hochul cannot officially impose a school mask mandate herself. But, in her recent address this week, she said she is directing the health department to instate a mask requirement. This would make it mandatory for all New York Schools to comply. The New York Department of Health was supposed to issue guidance to schools but they decided to leave that responsibility to local officials when there was only one month until school started.

New York is having a successful recovery from new unemployment claims, with last week’s claims lower than in the same week in 2019, according to WalletHub’s updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest. Weekly unemployment claims in New York decreased by 11.49% compared to the same week in 2019. This was the 8th biggest decrease in the U.S.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund voted against board directors at companies that failed to meet the Fund’s expectations for board diversity and filed shareholder proposals calling on companies to address investors’ concerns about diversity, equity and inclusion during the 2021 proxy season. The Fund’s ongoing efforts to hold publicly traded corporations and their top executives accountable received strong support.

Ken Barrett, owner of Ken Barrett Chevrolet/Cadillac in Batavia, surprised the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office with a $2,500 donation to the K-9 Fund. Barrett says he heard though a long-time employee, salesman Bob Mullen, that Mullen’s grandson, Deputy Andrew Mullen, advised that his K-9 partner Frankie just returned home from a weeklong stay in the hospital after an illness. The unexpected stay will deplete the K-9 fund, with only a few thousand dollars remaining. Barrett says his business has always tried to support local law enforcement and has made prior donations. He says the dealership plans to continue to support the K-9 fund in the future.

Following an investigation into a physical domestic at Six Flags Darien Lake Theme Park, deputies arrested 43-year-old Antonia Santiago Jr. of Rochester. He was charged with second-degree harassment. Santiago allegedly punched and pushed the victim. He was arraigned and will return to Town of Darien court on September 30th.

Evening News Brief

Western NY is under yet another heat advisory until 7pm today.  According to the National Weather service the high heat and humidity will make it feel like it is in the upper 90s today.  This August is now the 2nd hottest on record in Western NY with an average temperature of 75.3 degrees.  The hottest on record was in 2016 with the average being 75.6 with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th hottest being in the 1940s and 50s.

In her first week in office Governor Kathy Hochul officially acknowledged that Cuomo had been downplaying the number of COVID deaths in New York by about 12 thousand. Sharp eyed individuals who followed the CDC’s official numbers noticed in the summer of 2020 that the numbers being quoted by Cuomo in his daily updates and press releases were off from the total being reported by the CDC and this gap just kept getting bigger and bigger.  In its first daily update on the outbreak Tuesday evening, Hochul’s office reported that nearly 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from about 43,400 that Cuomo reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.  The official reason for the difference was that New York only reported deaths that were laboratory certified and did not count any that were not COVID tested before death.

Custom benches are being auctioned off to benefit the Autism Nature Trail in Letchworth State Park.  Officials say the Austim Nature Trail at Letchworth is close to completion but you still have a chance to be part of its legacy.  There are 6 benches being auctioned which will become part of the trail.  Bidding starts at 5 thousand dollars per bench and the auction will take place online.  They were created by artist Rick Pratt and his family.  To see the benches and bid on them follow the link at wbtai.com.  https://e.givesmart.com/events/n4y/

Bills wide receiver and kick returner Isaiah McKenzie has been fined over 14 thousand dollars for not wearing a mask.  From the letter he received from the NFL “On August 25, 2021, at approximately 2:15 p.m. while walking through the indoor fieldhouse and into the training room, you failed to wear a mask. Then at approximately 4:35 p.m. on August 25, for several minutes, you again failed to wear a mask in the meeting area of the weight room while gathered near other players after the offensive meeting.”  Cole Beasley replied to McKenzies tweet about the fine saying “don’t worry they got me too. But I was wearing a mask when I was in close contact with fully vaxxed trainer who tested positive and still got sent home. So what’s the point of the mask anyways?”  Beasley and 3 others are quarantining at the moment.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s office would like to thank the public for their assistance in locating Madalyn Muntz who went missing yesterday and has since been located.  Several people called in to the helpline which aided in deputies being able to find her and check on her welfare.

Morning News Briefing

The Genesee County Legislature has voted to approve a new sales tax allocation agreement with the City of Batavia – a move that clears the way for the annual distribution of $10 million in sales tax revenue to Genesee County towns and villages. The resolution passed by a unanimous vote. In other action, the legislature voted in favor of contracting with a Williamsville consulting firm for assistance in how to spend money received from the American Rescue Plan Act. The contract is for up to $10,000 for the two years of the contract, which includes the option of three, one-year renewals.

A source tells an Albany TV station that state Sen. Brian Benjamin will be the new Lieutenant Governor of New York. Someone familiar with the administration’s internal discussions spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Hochul had yet to announce her decision publicly. She is expected to do so this week. If he accepts the job, the 44-year-old Benjamin would become the state’s second Black lieutenant governor. The Democrat, whose district includes most of central Harlem, has focused his legislative career on criminal justice reform and affordable housing.

Delivering another blow to what’s left of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legacy, New York’s new governor acknowledged on her first day in office that the state has had nearly 12,000 more deaths from COVID-19 than Cuomo told the public. In its first daily update on the outbreak Tuesday evening, Hochul’s office reported that nearly 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from about 43,400 that Cuomo reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.

Lisa Casey, confidential secretary for the City of Batavia since January 2015, has been hired as clerk of the legislature for Genesee County. She calls the move a career advancement. A Batavia resident, Casey was an executive administrator for Conifer Realty in Rochester for seven years. Her first day with the county is Sept. 7th.

A knife fight led to the arrest of 2 men in the town on Albion.  53-year-old Angel Gonzalez-Rodriguez and 43-year-old Jeffrey VanEpps allegedly got into a fight over a cell phone, Rodriguez slashed VanEpps on the forehead and VanEpps stabbed Rodriguez in the leg.  Both have been arrested and charged with Assault, Criminal Possession of a weapon, and menacing.

The National Weather Service is continuing a heat advisory for today. Heat index values could reach 100 this afternoon. Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.

From Buffalo’s Channel 4… President Joe Biden appointed Williamsville native and SUNY Geneseo graduate Elizabeth “Liz” Allen as “Assistant Secretary of State for Global Public Affairs” at the United States Department of State Wednesday. Allen, a Williamsville South graduate, previously worked in the Obama-Biden White House for eight years in communications.

Evening News Update

A knife fight lead to the arrest of 2 men in the town on Albion.  53 year old Angel Gonzalez-Rodriguez and 43 year old Jeffrey VanEpps allegedly got into a fight over a cell phone, Rodriguez slashed VanEpps on the forehead and VanEpps stabbed Rodriguez in the leg.  Both have been arrested and charged with Assault, Criminal Possession of a weapon, and menacing.

The Buffalo Bills announced Tuesday that they are letting 5 players go, Tyrell Adams, Tyler Gauthier, Bug Howard, Lance Lenoir and Tariq Thompson.  4 players are on the COVID reserve list Cole Beasley, Star Lotulelei, Gabriel Davis, and Vernon Butler although all 4 tested positive then negative but have to stay on the reserve list for 5 days.  Their next game is against the Packers Saturday August 28th.

Midday News Brief

A heat advisory remains in effect until 7 o’clock tonight.
The National Weather Service is forecasting heat index values today as high as 100-degrees.
The advisory extends to all of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
Temperatures near or above 90 coupled with high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.
The Weather Service advises you to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

Governor Hochul has already made an announcement that will affect a lot of New Yorkers in the next few weeks. Yesterday, the governor said she’s directing the state Department of Health to make mask wearing mandatory in all schools. Hochul says the goal is to prevent an outbreak of the virus in school buildings that could lead to students and staff getting sick. The governor also suggests districts create a COVID-19 vaccination policy that would give employees the option of not getting immunized but only if they agree to weekly testing for coronavirus.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is asking the [public’s help in locating a woman last seen in Byron.
The missing woman is Madalyn Muntz. She was last seen on Monday.
The sheriff’s office notes that Madalyn is NOT in any trouble but they are trying to find her to be sure she is OK.
If you see her or know of her whereabouts, call 9-1-1.

PHOTO: Madalyn Muntz

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo has lost his Emmy award for his 2020 daily COVID-19 briefings. The EMMY Academy wrote in a statement:
“In light of the New York Attorney General’s report, and Andrew Cuomo’s subsequent resignation as Governor, it is rescinding his special 2020 International Emmy Award.”

Morning News Briefing

New York’s new Governor Kathy Hochul held a ceremonial swearing-in event in Albany after she officially became the state’s first female governor. She ascended to the role after former governor Andrew Cuomo resigned following the state attorney general’s report released earlier this month that found evidence, he had sexually harassed 11 women while in office. Following the brief ceremony, Hochul says her administration will focus on helping New Yorkers gain confidence in their elected officials.

City of Batavia Police Department members raised $1,500.00 among their ranks to support the Challenger Sports program run by the Batavia Y and supported by the Arc of Genesee Orleans.  Challenger sports benefits children with intellectual, developmental or physical disabilities and has offered them the opportunity to swim, bowl, dance, play baseball, soccer, basketball and tennis. It was Police Sergeant Lawrence’s idea to target their fundraising proceeds to Challenger Baseball and said this is a great cause to encourage officers get involved in the community.

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo has lost his Emmy award for his 2020 daily COVID-19 daily briefings after a firestorm of sexual harassment allegations and his subsequent resignation. The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences released a statement Tuesday saying that in light of the New York Attorney General’s report, and Andrew Cuomo’s subsequent resignation as Governor, it is rescinding his special 2020 International Emmy® Award. His name and any reference to his receiving the award will be eliminated from International Academy materials going forward.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Genesee and Orleans counties. Heat index values could reach 100 degrees. Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.

Hours after being sworn in as New York’s 57th governor, Kathy Hochul said she will require COVID vaccinations for all school staff, or weekly testing. Gov. Hochul’s vaccine mandate comes just two weeks before the start of school, and she promised more COVID policies are coming. The governor’s announcement comes as school leaders are finalizing reopening plans for the start of the school year.

New York’s COVID positivity rate is now 3.60%. 86 more people have been hospitalized and nine others have been admitted to the ICU. The state reports 11 additional deaths, bringing the statewide COVID death toll to more than 43,000 people. The positivity rate in the Finger Lakes region has slowly declined over the past three days. The WNY rate has been increasing.

Evening News Brief

There will be a heat advisory in effect for Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties starting tomorrow at 11am and running till 7pm.  Heat indexes as high as 100 are expected with temperatures in the 90s and high humidity.  Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

As Cuomo left office Monday he used his last speech to call on business to require their employees to get vaccinated or be fired.  President Biden has said the same thing.  Local Grocery Chains have said that while they encourage their employees to get the shot, they won’t require it.  Tops, Wegmans, and Target have all said they are not requiring employees to be vaccinated.

Starting tomorrow, August 25th, the UMMC is instituting new anti covid protocols.  There will be no visitation to COVID positive patients, the emergency room, or cancer infusion center patients with exceptions for pediatric patients, patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities and those with end of life care or dementia.  Check out the visitation hours and specifics at our news partner the Batavian.

Darien Lake Amusement Park has announced its plans for the winter holiday season and they involve lots of lights.  The Magic of Lights, a 1.25 mile drive through holiday light display extravaganza will start November 18th and run through January 2nd.  They plan to put up nearly 1 million lights.  This will be free to all members and season pass holders and others can purchase tickets which will be available this fall.

How much would you pay for a raspberry pie?  10 dollars?  15 dollars?  How about 4000 dollars?  A 6 year old girl who sold a pie at a 4-h auction at the Wyoming County Fair got a big surprise when bidding went from 25 dollars up by hundred dollar increments to a whopping 4 thousand for the fruit confection.  Jane Hull, who is in her first year at 4-H, tells reporters that she was there for the animals and also showed a rabbit which won 2nd place.  The winning bidder, Bobby Burt, is her grandfather.  The money raised by the Auction goes to the 4-H Family Fund and several scholarships and workshop funds.

Midday News Brief

 

 

PHOTO: WNY Native Kathy Hochul takes the oath of office as Governor of the State of New York. Husband William Hochul at her side. Oath administered by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore

 

It’s a historic day in New York as Governor Kathy Hochul has become the first female to hold that position in the Empire State.
In brief remarks following her ceremonial swearing in Hochul was asked what is her number one priority as she takes office…

Hochul took a few questions from reporters before a scheduled meeting with leaders of the State Legislature.

 

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in the doghouse with dog lovers. There are reports that when he moved out of the Governor’s Mansion in Albany last week and into his sister’s house in Westchester, New York he abandoned his dog. The Albany Times Union said Cuomo asked staffers to take Captain, a Siberian Husky-Malamute mix, that he adopted in 2018. One worker reportedly volunteered but Captain has a history of being nippy and was returned a few days later and seen wandering the grounds. Cuomo is tweeting a denial, suggesting their separation is temporary, but the New York State Animal Protection Federation is outraged and is offering to find Captain a trainer and a loving, forever home.

 

Notre Dame High School of Batavia is recommending that its students wear masks, but they will not be required.
In a letter to parents Notre Dame principal Wade Bianco said that students, faculty and staff will not be required to wear masks as a mean of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Bianco quickly added, however, that the school’s guidelines are subject to change.
Notre Dame will continue maintain social distancing – desks three feet apart, six feet apart where possible. Cafeteria seating will also be six feet apart.

Batavia’s boys and girls in blue had over a $1,500 donation to Challenger Sports.
The program is run by the YMCA and supported by the Arc of Genesee Orleans.
The Police department raised the money through personal contributions from several officers.

Morning News Briefing

Kathy Hochul made history today as the first woman to serve as New York governor after now-former Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially stepped down at midnight. Hochul, a 62-year-old Democrat, was sworn in as the state’s 57th governor during a private ceremony at the state Capitol. A Buffalo resident, Hochul has been New York’s lieutenant governor since 2015. Governor Cuomo says he has always tried his best to deliver for the people of New York.

The management of Batavia Downs and the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association has announced that starting Wednesday (Sept. 1) purses for all races held at the track will be increased by 10%. The increase is due to the recent success in business on the gaming floor and also from an increase in the live racing handle at the track. Reflective of the new structure, the bottom purse at the Downs will be raised from $3,800 to $4,200 and the top purse will jump from $11,200 to $12,300.

Due to COVID cases within the Genesee County Jail, Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is suspending all inmate visitations effective immediately until further notice. This is a precautionary measure to prevent the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) to inmates’ families and employees.  The Genesee County Health Department said there are currently three cases of COVID-19 at the jail.

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced a resolution expressing the need to safely evacuate American citizens and allies from Afghanistan. In a statement, Jacobs said the President has failed the American people and left our citizens and our allies trapped behind enemy lines without any plan to rescue them and ensure they are safely evacuated. Jacobs’ resolution expresses the need for every American citizen and ally to be safely evacuated from Afghanistan and calls upon the President to provide a clear plan to ensure this happens. In addition, the resolution highlights the dire conditions on the ground in Afghanistan with reports of beatings, executions, and growing security concerns.

Clean up from last week’s deadly and devastating floods continues across the Twin Tiers, with Woodhull, New York bearing the brunt of the damage. A mother, 31-year-old Klarissa Bivin’s died during the recent flooding in Steuben County. According to her obituary, Bivin’s had a “mother’s heart” and was devoted to her son Logan. She enjoyed cooking and baking with her family. As of Monday, this was the only confirmed fatality in the Twin Tiers as a result of the flash flooding.

Gas prices are down slightly around the country and may drop further according to AAA Western and Central New York, as children nationwide return to school. Nationally, the average price for gas dropped three cents over the last week to $3.16 per gallon. But New York state’s average did not change, staying at $3.22 per gallon.

Midday News Brief

Governor Cuomo today is spending his last few hours in a job that he’s held since January 2011. The governor is ending his term at midnight tonight, clearing the way for current Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to become the state’s 57th governor just moments later.
Earlier this month, a report from State Attorney General Letitia James accused the governor of sexually harassing several women. Cuomo has repeatedly denied those claims, but says he thinks it’s in the best interests of everyone if he leaves office.

From the Bad Boys, Bad Girls report:

• 38-year-old Michael Kaney of Batavia: he was arrested in Alexander and charged with aggravated DWI with a BAC above .18-percent.
• 50-year-old Tammy Kozub of Akron: she was arrested by state troopers for felony possession of a controlled substance and introducing contraband to a prison. Tammy was collared at a jail in Albion.
• 30-year-old Jeremiah Williams of Oak Street in Batavia is collared at the Super 8 motel. He was wanted on multiple warrants including failure to verify his address as a registered sex offender.

Batavia drivers are seeing a slight drop in gasoline prices.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is $3.21 two cents below last week’s average.

A man is looking to make history by becoming the first person with a disability to paddle board from the United States into Canada. Mike Shoreman started his expected 85-mile, multiple day journey from Rochester to Toronto yesterday. In 2018, Shoreman was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome which is a side effect of shingles. He’s using the journey to raise awareness about the importance of helping people who are struggling with mental health issues, particularly children and young adults.

Morning News Brief

Batavia Police responded to the Super 8 Motel in an attempt to locate 30-year-old Jeremiah Williams of Oak Street in Batavia on multiple warrants. He was located and taken into custody on a Batavia City Court Warrant for failing to verify his address as a registered sex offender.

Although many states are experiencing a drop in unemployment rates, New York is having a harder time bouncing back from the effect the pandemic has had on employment. According to the personal-finance website WalletHub, the U.S. unemployment rate currently sits at 5.4%, a vast improvement from the nearly historic high of 14.8% in April 2020. New York currently has a rate of 7.6%.

Four people were transported to Strong Memorial Hospital early Sunday after a one-car rollover accident on Assemblyman R Stephen Hawley Drive in the Town of Batavia. Entrapment was reported in the initial call. Mercy Flight transported one patient to Strong. State Police are conducting the accident investigation.

During a traffic stop on Alexander Road in Alexander, sheriff’s deputies arrested 38-year-old Michael Kaney of Batavia. He was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level above .18% and DWI. He was taken into custody after deputies observed his stopped vehicle on the shoulder of State Route 98. He’ll appear in court September 7th.

* An Erie County woman faces a felony count following an incident at a jail in Albion. State Police arrested 50-year-old Tammy Kozub of Akron. State Police charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and a lesser count of introducing contraband at a prison. Court action is pending.

New York’s COVID positivity rate is now 3.01%. The 7-day statewide average positivity rate is 3.14% Nearly 5,000 new cases have been confirmed. 21 more virus-related deaths have been reported. Health officials say there has also been 275 new hospitalizations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent his second-to-last day in office projecting an image that he is still in control, and still fully engaged as the state dealt with heavy rain from Tropical Storm Henri. Cuomo, who is set to resign at the end of the day, appeared at a televised briefing Sunday surrounded by top state officials involved in the state’s storm response. Absent from the briefing was Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is set to become governor in the first seconds of Tuesday morning.  Cuomo said “The lieutenant governor has been briefed on all of this and we’re in constant communication.”

Weekend News Aug 21 & 22

Genesee and Orleans Counties report 99 active cases of COVID-19.
Health Director Paul Pettit says of the 99 cases, 11 persons are hospitalized – eight in Genesee County and three in Orleans.
Pettit said of those reported cases none are nursing home residents and they are from across the age spectrum.
The majority of the cases are in individuals who have not been vaccinated.
Per CDC guidance, Pettit said the local health department urges everyone – vaccinated and un-vaccinated – to wear masks indoors in public and at crowed outdoor settings.

LeRoy’s hopes of landing a $500-million cheese processing plan within its borders have been dashed. LeRoy Town Supervisor Jim Farnholz confirms that Great Lakes Cheese will likely build their new facility in Cattaraugus County.
Putting a positive spin on the loss Farnholz said much of the work done to lure Great Lakes to LeRoy will be useful in the next attempt to land a major development.

That 4-and-a-half-foot monitor lizard that has been roaming through the Village of Attica is dead.
Attica police tell us the animal was apparently struck and killed by a car on Main Street.
The lizard escaped from its owner on July 29th.
Police said the lizard slithered out of his cage when a resident was moving out of his apartment.
The animal was venomous but not considered deadly to humans.

File Photo

New York City’s homecoming week of concerts are winding down with a big concert in Central Park tomorrow. Hudson Valley resident, musician Rob Thomas, is thrilled to be participating. Thomas will be performing with Carlos Santa. Other artists include Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Jennifer Hudson and LL Cool J.
If you would like to stay closer to home, we have two suggestions for you. Hogs for Paws will be held at Stan’s Harley Davidson until 3pm Saturday. It is a benefit for the Genesee County Animal Shelter and Volunteers for animals. If you miss that one, the Home-to-Home concert series will be held in Elba Town Park on Sunday afternoon starting at 3.p.m.

Midday News Brief

Genesee County’s representative on the Western Region OTB board says there’s no merit to the lawsuit filed against the corporation by former COO Michael Nolan.
Nolan is seeking $14-million from the owners of Batavia Downs claiming he was improperly terminated from his post last December.
Board member Richard Seibert says there is no basis for Nolan’s lawsuit.

For the first time since 2019, visitors will be filing through the turnstiles today at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Last year’s fair was canceled due to COVID-19 and with infections rising again, there will be health and safety rules in place to protect people from the virus.
Masks are going to be required indoors for most people and all tickets must be bought online since they won’t be available at the gates. Admission is three bucks for adults while seniors 65 and over and kids 12 and under get in for free.
The fair runs through Labor Day which is Monday, September 6th.

An Alden company is the apparent low bidder for the $4.3-million reconstruction of Park Road.
Catco Construction submitted the low bid for the project that will reconstruction Park Road from Lewiston Road – Route 63 to Route 98 – Oak Street.
Most of the cost is covered by New York State.

The number one pick in this year’s NHL Draft has reportedly decided against joining the lineup of the Buffalo Sabres this season. Instead, The Buffalo News says Owen Power has chosen to return to the University of Michigan for his sophomore year.

For the second week in a row, the Buffalo Bills will be on the road as they continue to prepare for their upcoming season. The defending AFC East champions will be at Soldier’s Field tomorrow to take on the Chicago Bears. Once again, Bills quarterback Josh Allen will watch from the sidelines while Buffalo is led by former Bears QB Mitch Trubisky. Kickoff for tomorrow’s preseason game is set for 1 p.m.

Morning News Brief

Catco Construction of Alden is the apparent low bidder to be the general contractor for the $4.3 million Park Road Reconstruction Project. Town of Batavia Engineer Steve Mountain reported a “favorable” bidding process, in which 11 applications were submitted to take the lead role in an extensive rehabilitation of the road from Lewiston Road (Route 63) to Oak Street (Route 98). Funding from New York State will cover most of the cost, except for the $900,000 it will take to replace the water main.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Congressman Chris Jacobs said his office is actively helping individuals trapped in Afghanistan. Jacobs said he is working to assist NY-27 constituents and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants who are in harm’s way in Afghanistan. He said if you are a petitioner or a family member of someone trapped or know of someone who is, you’re urged to contact his Geneseo or Clarence offices right away.

Genesee County’s STOP-DWI Coordinator announced that the Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and Village of LeRoy Police Department will participate in a special event to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving. Law enforcement officers across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI Campaign begins today and will end on September 6th.

According to preliminary figures just released by the New York State Department of Labor, the number of private sector jobs in New York State increased over the month by 43,800 in July 2021. This was the largest net gain in private sector jobs since March 2021.  New York State’s private sector jobs (not seasonally adjusted) increased by 7.0% over the year in July 2021.

The NY state Department of Health (DOH) allowed more than $1.5 billion in improper Medicaid payments over the course of several years due to errors in its billing system and may have exposed patients to unqualified and uncredentialed health care providers, according to three reports just released. For the state fiscal year that ended March 31, 2020, New York’s Medicaid program had approximately 7.3 million recipients and Medicaid claim costs totaled $69.8 billion.

The Taste NY Marketplace will be back at the Great New York State Fair for the 2021 season, bringing a taste of some of the best homegrown and homemade New York maple and dairy products, craft beverages, and more to fairgoers in the Horticulture Building. This year’s vendor Marketplace will showcase nearly 40 food and craft beverages from regions across the state over the 18 days of the Fair, highlighting some of New York’s finest products. The State Fair in Syracuse opens today.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced on Thursday that Josh Allen and the majority of what he called the “core” starters won’t play tomorrow in the preseason game with the Bears. On the injury front, McDermott also said that Stefon Diggs will not play and they are hoping they can get him back on the field soon. Diggs has been out for more than a week with a knee injury that has become a concern. Left tackle Dion Dawkins, returning from Covid, will play in the game.

It’s clean-up time in the Southern Tier after heavy rain from Tropical System Fred cause chaos and life-saving evacuations. The Genesee River at Wellsville crested at over 11 feet Thursday at noon. In Allegany County, the worst flooding was south of Wellsville. Over a three-day period, Steuben County received more than 7 inches of rain. Several communities remain under a State of Emergency this morning and officials there said more than 120 homes sustained flood damage as did a school building.

Midday News Brief

Dozens of people turn out for a public hearing in LeRoy to express their opinions on a new housing development.
The project has been proposed by Eric Biscaro of Batavia. He is planning to build 30 duplex units and space for six single family homes at the end of East Avenue in the Village of LeRoy. The housing is intended for persons over the age of 50.
Most who spoke at the hearing – which at times became heated – are worried about an increase of traffic and potential water runoff from the 20-acre site.
Biscaro said his proposal is good for LeRoy and create housing opportunities for older people.
The Village Board took no final action on the project last night and will continue the hearing at is September 15th meeting.

One name on today’s Bad Boys report: 53-year-old Richard Augugliaro facing a charge of Grand Larceny. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say Augugliaro, from Munford, was found in possession of a wallet reported stolen from LeRoy. That wallet contained a debit card allegedly used by the suspect, who was issued a court appearance ticket.

One longtime Wyoming County furniture retailer is buying another. Harding’s Attica Furniture V.P. Luke Harding tells WBTA his family has purchased Mount Morris Furniture. The Mount Morris location closed last Friday for two weeks for renovation. It will re-open on August 27th.

The New York State Department of Health has released new data on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers found that people who aren’t vaccinated are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized if they contract coronavirus. They’re also eight times more likely to be diagnosed with the illness than people who are immunized.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be taking to the stage at KeyBank Center in Buffalo later this year. Legendary singer and songwriter James Taylor is performing at the arena on Monday, December 13th. Taylor will be joined by his All-Star band and fellow artist Jackson Browne. Tickets for the show go on sale next Friday.

Midday News Brief

Over 80 people turned out for a public hearing in LeRoy – most of them opposed to plans to building a housing development for persons over 50.
The developer of the proposed project is Eric Biscaro, the owner of Armor Building Supply in Batavia.
He is proposing a 30-unit -duplex development on a 20-acre site off of East Avenue in the village of Leroy.
Voices were raised in opposition to the development which Biscaro said would be good for LeRoy. Opponents said they were concerned over the potential increase in traffic and water runoff from the development.
The hearing lasted an hour and a half before it was adjourned by Mayor Greg Rogers. He said the hearing would continue at the board’s next meeting in September.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is hinting that a mask mandate for schools across New York State may be coming when she takes over as governor next week.
For now, the state has left it up to individual school districts to decide on coronavirus-related rules. Hochul takes over as governor next Tuesday

One longtime Wyoming County furniture retailer is buying another. Harding’s Attica Furniture V.P. Luke Harding tells WBTA his family has purchased Mount Morris Furniture. The Mount Morris location closed last Friday for renovation. It will re-open on August 27th.

The New York State Department of Health has released new data on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers found that people who aren’t vaccinated are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized if they contract coronavirus. They’re also eight times more likely to be diagnosed with the illness than people who are immunized. The health department says this data is clear proof of how important it is for people to protect themselves from the virus.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be taking to the stage at KeyBank Center in Buffalo later this year. Legendary singer and songwriter James Taylor is performing at the arena on Monday, December 13th. Taylor will be joined by his All-Star band and fellow artist Jackson Browne. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday August 27th

Midday News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo has officially filed his retirement paperwork.
While the governor is planning to step down next week, his retirement won’t go into effect until September 1st.
That’s because due to a state pension requirement, any retirement application must be on file for at least 15 days before it can actually occur. Cuomo’s pension could be worth around $50,000 a year.

 

Lawmen are gearing up for Labor Day Holiday traveling. with another “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign
State Troopers and local law enforcement will be increasing patrols to target impaired driving from this Friday through September 6.
There were 378 fatal impaired driving crashes in 2019, compared to 408 fatal impaired crashes in 2020.

The NYS COVID positivity rate is now 3.94%. 91 more people have been admitted to hospitals and seven others have been admitted to intensive care.
18 new deaths from COVID have also been reported in the state.
The Finger Lakes positivity rate – which includes Genesee County – has declined slightly to 4.20%.
For Genesee County alone, its positivity rate stands at 3.6%.

For the first time in the history of the New York State Fair, smoking marijuana will be legal on some fairground property. That’s because earlier this year, Governor Cuomo and lawmakers struck a deal to legalize the drug for adult use. Marijuana can be used wherever tobacco smoking is allowed. The State Fair gets underway Friday and runs through Labor Day.

Morning News Brief

The NYS COVID positivity rate is now 3.94%. 91 more people have been admitted to hospitals and seven others have been admitted to intensive care. 18 new deaths from COVID have also been reported in the Empire State. The Finger Lakes positivity rate has declined slightly to 4.20% after reaching 4.25% on Sunday.

Reversing course, the New York State Assembly will continue its broad investigation of Gov. Cuomo and issue a report with its findings. This is coming from lawmakers following speaker of the assembly, Carl Heastie announcing on Friday that lawmakers would close their investigation of Cuomo and would no longer move to impeach him, despite finding “credible evidence” regarding allegations made against him. Last week’s announcement prompted major bipartisan backlash over the decision to suspend the inquiry. Both Republican and Democratic legislators say that the assembly has a duty to, at the very least, make the findings of the investigation public. On Monday, Heastie and Charles Lavine the chairman of the judiciary committee leading the investigation, issued a statement saying it will continue.

The lawyer representing Michael Nolan, the former chief operating officer at Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., is suing the public benefit company for $14.5 million following his client’s termination last December. The 23-page document was filed in U.S. District Court in Buffalo. The suit is asking for Nolan to receive $4.5 million for violating his First Amendment rights, another $4.5 million for breaking the state’s Civil Service Law and an additional $5.5 million for emotional pain and suffering. Nolan, who lived in Elma at the time of his employment, now resides in West Palm Beach, Fla. The lawsuit is requesting a jury trial.

The University of Rochester is continuing its initiative with the Wilmot Cancer Institute to Promote Health. Prevent Cancer through free, virtual classes on cancer and chronic disease prevention. Promote Health. Prevent Cancer., an initiative with UR Medicine’s Center for Community Health & Prevention and Wilmot Cancer Institute, empowers participants to make healthy lifestyle changes. Participants take part in eight free classes, one per week, over Zoom that consist of 40 minutes of nutrition education and 20 minutes of exercise. These lifestyle changes have been shown to lower the risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases, while increasing overall health. The classes begin next month.

Another statewide STOP-DWI “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is about to begin. The New York State Police and local law enforcement will be increasing patrols to target impaired driving from Friday through September 6. There were 378 fatal impaired driving crashes in 2019, compared to 408 fatal impaired crashes in 2020, according to preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, and far more serious injuries as a result of those avoidable crashes.

The New York State Comptroller’s Office says the governor has officially filed for retirement, effective Sept. 1. As the law stands right now – Gov. Cuomo will be eligible to receive a state pension. The comptroller’s office says, as of July 31st, he has a little over 14 and a half years of service credit – which could translate to a payout of about $50,000 dollars a year. Some state lawmakers are trying to enact legislation that would strip the pension of anyone who is convicted of impeachment charges, but it’s not clear how much support that has.

New York’s legalization of recreational marijuana means it will be allowed at the New York State Fair. A Fair spokesperson confirms that anywhere tobacco use is permitted, adult use of marijuana will be permitted. The 18-day New York State Fair begins Friday and ends on Labor Day.

Midday News Brief

Germayne Session     Sylvania Perez

A Rochester man and woman arrested for allegedly possessing and selling a variety of illegal drugs in and around the City of Batavia.
27-year-old Germayne Session, known on the street as “Case”, and 60-year-old Sylvania Perez both of Carl Street in Rochester are facing multiple felony and misdemeanor drug charges.
Members of the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force say the pair trafficked crack and powdered cocaine and a form of Fentanyl called “Grey Death.”
Session was jailed on $10,000 bail while Perez was released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

 

New York legislators are doing an about-face on the Cuomo impeachment investigation. After three days of backlash over the announcement that the inquiry would be suspended after Governor Cuomo announced his resignation, the impeachment probe is on again. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says the Judiciary Committee will continue to review evidence and issue a final report. But, the New York Times notes that Heastie’s reversal doesn’t mean Cuomo will actually face impeachment since state lawmakers apparently don’t have the authority to impeach a Governor after he’s out of his office.

The Batavia City School District has released some information to parents about the return to class next month.
In a letter to parents, the district says it expects to have students and teachers in school, in-person, full time – similar to how they finished the 2020-21 school year.
The district will have more detailed information soon – specifically related to when students and staff are expected to wear masks.
Officials say While they plan to start the school year in person, they understand that there may be circumstances related to health issues that may warrant a desire for remote learning for certain students and families.

Both Genesee and Orleans Counties have shown an increase in the rate of COVID community transmission. Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments said he was not surprised to see the increase. He also reported another COVID-related death involving a Genesee County resident who was under age 65. There are currently no masking mandates that have been issued by either county.

Morning News Brief

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that all healthcare workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities (LTCF), including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27. The State Department of Health will issue orders requiring all facilities to develop and implement a policy mandating employee vaccinations, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration was briefed prior to the announcement.

The New York state Assembly Judiciary Committee will release a final report on their impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, despite saying on Friday they were suspending the probe once the governor stepped down, according Speaker Carl Heastie and Chair Charles Lavine. Monday’s news followed outrage over the weekend in reaction to the committee’s announcement Friday. The committee heads did not give an indication of when the final report would be released.

An accident occurred in the last race at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon after pacer Red Roll (Kyle Cummings) went down and Sizzling Summer (Denny Bucceri) and Hardts Or Bettor (Justin Huckabone) ran over him as close quarters prevented them from making a diversionary move. All three drivers were thrown and two of the loose horses continued to run.  After the race, those horses were caught and upon examination, Sizzling Summer suffered multiple lacerations and required stitches and Hardts Or Bettor appeared to be all right. Red Roll had to be euthanized. The drivers were examined on-site and suffered minor bruises and abrasions. None were transported to area hospitals.

The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee has acted on a suggestion by the Pembroke Town Board to increase the amount of sales tax earmarked for distribution to towns and villages by passing a resolution amending the county’s sales tax allocation agreement with the City of Batavia. The committee approved a restated contract with the city – which along with the county is one of the two taxing municipalities in Genesee County. The amended agreement ups the amount of sales tax revenue the county is willing to share with its towns and villages over the next 38 years from $7 million to $8.5 million. This latest legislation, which is subject to final approval by the full legislature at its Aug. 25 meeting, was triggered by the recent opting in of revised water supply agreements with the county by the Village of Corfu and the Town of Pembroke.

Both Genesee and Orleans Counties have increased to a substantial and high levels of community transmission, respectively, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker. Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments said he was not surprised to see the increase. He also reported another COVID-related death involving a Genesee County resident who was under age 65. There are currently no masking mandates that have been issued by either county.

Out of an abundance of caution, Seneca Gaming Corporation announced that masks will be required for everyone attending upcoming indoor shows at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino. The requirement applies to all guests and staff inside the Center’s regardless of vaccination status. The resorts will host their first live entertainment performances in more than a year, when Ron White performs in the Seneca Niagara Events Center on August 21 and John Fogerty takes the stage inside the Seneca Allegany Events Center on August 28. The masking requirement will be in effect for the Events Centers only.

Evening News Brief

A Niagara County man should have done a better disguising his suspected dope at the Darien Lake Luke Bryan concert.
Deputies say they spotted 32-year-old Bryan Lewis Fitts of Gasport with baggies of drugs hanging out of his socks.
Lawmen said the number of suspected drugs was enough to lead them to believe Fitts intended to sell the alleged drugs at the concert.
He was charged with criminal possession of narcotics with intent to sell, arraigned in Town of Pembroke Court and released.

An accident on the track at Batavia Downs involved three horses and their drivers. Unfortunately, one of the horses involved had to be put down.
The Downs says the accident occurred in the last race yesterday afternoon.
A Pacer named Red Roll went down at the 5/8’s pole. Two other paces then ran over him.
The drivers escaped serious injury. Two of the horses were treated but Red Roll had to be euthanized.

A shooting in Albion over the weekend. It happened on Saturday afternoon, lawmen found a 23-year-old man lying on the sidewalk at South Main and Beaver Street in Albion with gunshot wound to right leg. He was taken to the hospital and later released. The incident remains under investigation. Police are calling it an isolated incident and there is no danger to the public.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says she supports the decision of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to suspend the impeachment investigation into Governor Cuomo.
Hochul said she defers to the leadership of the Assembly on this issue but promised there won’t be any controversies in her administration once it begins August 24th. Heastie said Friday the investigation is stopping despite a report from state Attorney General Letitia James saying the governor sexually harassed women. Cuomo has denied those claims repeatedly and said he’s stepping down because it’s in the best interests of everyone.

A survey by Triple-A shows gasoline prices in Batavia about three cents a gallon higher than the Western New York Average.
The average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is about two-cents higher than last week.

Midday News Brief

It is a sad part of the sport. An accident on the track at Batavia Downs involved three horses and their drivers. Unfortunately, one of the horses involved had to be put down.
The Downs says the accident occurred in the last race yesterday afternoon.
A Pacer named Red Roll went down at the 5/8’s pole. Two other paces then ran over him.
The drivers escaped serious injury. Two of the horses were treated but Red Roll had to be euthanized.

A shooting in Albion over the weekend. It happened on Saturday afternoon, lawmen found a 23-year-old man lying on the sidewalk at South Main and Beaver Street in Albion with gunshot wound to right leg. He was taken to the hospital and later released. The incident remains under investigation. Police are calling it an isolated incident and there is no danger to the public.

A Batavia man who crashed his car into a house in Lockport last week has died.
63-year-old John Kindig succumbed to his injuries on Saturday.
Deputies say Kindig crashed into a home on Chestnut Hill Road in Lockport.
Three people in the house at the time were not hurt but the house was declared a total loss.

The owners of the Buffalo Bills say they’re willing to share the cost of a new stadium with taxpayers. Pegula Sports and Entertainment officials say the idea of renovating Highmark Stadium isn’t realistic and they want a new facility to be built across from it in Orchard Park. The price tag for the new stadium is projected to be about $1.4-billion.

A survey by Triple-A shows gasoline prices in Batavia about three cents a gallon higher than the Western New York Average.
The average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is about two-cents higher than last week.

Morning News Brief

Genesee County Deputies say they arrested a Gasport man for alleged drug crimes as he was being ejected from the Luke Bryan concert in Darien. 32-year-old Bryan Fitts was charged with two counts each of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance with an intent to sell. Deputies said the drugs were located by the baggies hanging out of his socks. He was arraigned in Town of Pembroke Court and will appear in Town of Darien Court on August 24th.

New York State Police are continuing to investigate the rollover crash of a tour Bus on the Thruway west of Syracuse. More than 50 passengers were injured. 25 people were transported to Upstate Hospital after the crash. Another 27 people were taken to Auburn Community Hospital. Several other passengers were taken to Crouse Hospital. Troopers said injuries range from minor to serious. The bus departed Poughkeepsie and was headed to Niagara Falls. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

An Orleans County man faces several counts following a domestic dispute in the Town of Gaines. 50-year-old Demetrius Spinks of Gaines was charged by Troopers with felony first-degree criminal contempt involving a weapon, criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree menacing with a weapon. Court action is pending.

During a traffic stop in Pembroke, State Police arrested 49-year-old Patrick Reiner of Corfu. He was charged with felony and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. He’ll answer the charges in court at a later date.

Albion Police are investigating a shooting that happened Saturday. Investigators say they responded to the area of South Main Street and Beaver Street. At the scene, they say they found a 23-year-old man laying on a sidewalk with a gunshot wound to the right leg. He was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, and was later released. The investigation is ongoing, however police say they believe it was an isolated incident and that there is no danger to the public.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office reports that 63-year-old John Kindig of Batavia, has succumbed to injuries he sustained in a single-vehicle accident last week in Lockport. Kindig’s car struck a residence with three people inside the home.  None of the residents were injured but a deputy did need to extricate one person from a bedroom.

After responding to a domestic dispute call, deputies arrested 33-year-old John Hobbs of Clinton Street in Batavia. He was charged with menacing for allegedly threatening a female victim. Arraigned in town court, he was released on his own recognizance. Hobbs is due back in Batavia town court on September 21st.

Weekend News Brief

Cuomo is not getting impeached if he resigns as governor of New York.  The New York Legislature speaker, Carl Heastie says that the New York Constitution does not allow them to continue the impeachment investigation into Andrew Cuomo after he leaves office.  The evidence gathered during the committee’s investigation will be turned over to relevant authorities, Heastie said.  The investigation encompassed the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, the mishandling of COVID patients that lead to the deaths of thousands of elderly New Yorkers in Nursing Homes and the subsequent coverup of the numbers of dead, and the use of government resources to create Cuomo’s memoirs.  Governor Cuomo is set to step down the 24th.

The New York Supreme Court has ruled to block part of the Eviction Moratorium in New York State.  Landlords can now contest a tenants claim of hardship.  Previously all a tenant had to do to avoid being evicted was fill out the form claiming a hardship and that would block the eviction process.  Now they can still fill out the form but it doesn’t automatically cancel the eviction.  Landlords still have to go through the process of giving 5 day notice, then 14 day notice, then taking the tenants to court.  Tenant advocates say the moratorium is needed to stop a wave of homelessness because of COVID shutdowns while Landlords are saying there will be a wave of foreclosures if they can’t get rent money or evict non-paying tenants.

Go Health and Pampers brand Diapers are partnering up to help dads find a place to change babies in store restrooms.  A nationwide survey found that 9 out of 10 dads have gone into a public restroom unable to find a changing table. As a result, Pampers created the “Love the Change” campaign to provide changing tables to businesses and not-for-profits across the United States to install in men’s  restrooms. Pampers has already donated 3,557 changing tables, but they  are pledging to donate 1,000 more by the end of 2021.  If you are a business or non-profit owner you can apply to get a free changing table for your men’s restroom by calling the Genesee County Health Department at 5853442580 extension 5578.

The Office For the Aging is offering free handyman services to seniors who need to make improvements to their homes.  The services include installing grab bars and railings, minor plumbing, window and door repair, smoke detector and Carbon Monoxide detector installation, and other non-emergency repairs.  No charge for labor for residents 60+. Some material costs may apply. Donations towards labor costs are gratefully accepted.  Call 585 815 7979 for details.

Friday night, Seneca Park Zoo hosted another summer ZooBrew.  The 21-and-over happy hour event has live music, animal experiences, and cash beer and wine bars.  The zoo is hosting another September 10 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.  A portion of the ticket sales will go towards elephant conservation. The Zoo society wants to raise $5,000 for each ZooBrew event and save elephants from extinction.

Evening News Brief

COVID Guidance is in for NY schools coming down from the New York State Education Department.  The state’s guidance calls for high-risk sports to be canceled and for extracurricular activities to be held virtually, or to also be canceled, in areas of high community spread unless all participants have been fully vaccinated. The guidance also states people who are fully vaccinated can refrain from quarantine following potential exposure if they are asymptomatic.  The guidance on masks in schools simply reiterates the CDC guidance which says that all teachers, staff and students should wear masks indoors regardless of vaccine status but does not go so far as to insist that NY schools should mask up.  They repeat multiple times that it is up to School Districts to decide for themselves.

The FDA now says that if you have a compromised immune system because of a transplant or your immune system is being suppressed somehow you may be eligible to receive a third COVID vaccine shot.  It’s harder for vaccines to rev up an immune system suppressed by certain medications and diseases, so those patients don’t always get the same protection as otherwise healthy people — and small studies suggest for at least some, an extra dose may be the solution.  This third shot of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can be done at least 28 days after receiving the 2nd dose.  This is not a booster shot and most likely only applies to 3 percent of the US population.

Lt Governor and soon to be acting Governor Kathy Hochul says she fully expects to put mask mandates in place before the beginning of the school year.  Just 12-days away from becoming governor of New York State Hochul boldly stated on NBC’s Today show children and everyone in schools will be wearing masks.  Hochul says this is only her “opinion” because she does not have the authority to create policy until she is governor.  But  Hochul says this time she wants school districts to be very involved in decision making.

Several Venues and artists are demanding proof of vaccination before fans will be allowed to enter.  Jason Isbell, headliner for the Borderland Festival in East Aurora has said he will refuse to perform unless all fans are vaccinated or have a negative test before the performance.  Other artists like Maroon 5, Dead and Company and Phish are following suit, they will also require a negative test or proof of vaccination.

Midday News Brief

Census numbers are out and over the past decade Genesee County has lost 2.8-percent of its population…but county officials are alright with that.
County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said the loss was less than projected.
The county’s official population from the 2020 census is 58,388.
The population of the City of Batavia went up by 135 people and now stands at 15,600.

A Batavia man seriously injured when his car crashed into a home in Lockport.
63-year-old John Kindig was flown of ECMC by Mercy Flight following the crash late last night on Chestnut Ridge Road.
The home was declared a total loss.

The National Weather Service is warning of some Hazardous weather ahead.
The service is predicting thunderstorms for this afternoon and tonight with the risk of strong gusty winds and heavy rain.
No specific warnings have been issued.

She hasn’t even moved into the Executive Mansion yet, but Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul already has her eye on the 2022 race for governor. Hochul, who will take over for Governor Cuomo on August 24th, says she intends to seek a full four-year term.

The Buffalo Bills will be back on the gridiron tonight as they play in their first preseason game of the 2021 campaign. They’ll be in the Motor City to take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Bills starting quarterback Josh Allen will not be seeing any action since the team wants to use the game to evaluate who will serve as his backup when the regular season starts next month. Kickoff for this evening’s contest is set for 7 p-m.

Morning News Brief

Residents have renewed efforts to have Governor Andrew Cuomo’s name removed from the sign at Watkins Glen State Park amid his recent resignation over allegations of sexual harassment. A new petition on Change.org has accumulated over 1,000 supporters to remove the outgoing Governor’s name from the park’s main sign, which is located at the entrance to the state park’s gorge trail. Residents originally called for the Governor’s name to be removed from the sign back in mid-March when multiple women began to come forward accusing him of sexual harassment. The initial petition garnered over 3,600 signatures and has also seen new support.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is evaluating 42 publicly traded shale oil and gas companies to determine if they are prepared for the transition to a low-carbon economy…that from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, trustee of the third largest public pension plan in the country. The Fund also restricted investments in five more coal producers, adding those companies to the list of 22 that the Fund divested from in 2020. The actions come as part of DiNapoli’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan to mitigate investment risks posed by climate change and ultimately transition the Fund’s investment portfolio to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Due to staff limitations, the Batavia City Clerk’s office will be unable to issue the following today…       Marriage Licenses or Certificates, Copies of a Death Certificate, Copies of a Birth Certificate and Fishing/Hunting Licenses. The office will remain open for all other services.

State Police arrested a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old after they led troopers on a vehicle pursuit in the city of Rochester.  The 2 individuals allegedly threw a loaded handgun from the vehicle as they failed to comply to troopers in the vehicle pursuit. Both individuals were charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the second and third degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd Degree, and Unlawful Fleeing.  The 17-year-old has a previous Criminal Possession of a Weapon charge pending. Both teens were remanded and will answer charges in family court.

The New York State Education Department has released COVID-19 safety guidance for school districts across the state. The state health department had previously announced it would not be distributing safety guidance to schools ahead of the new school year. In response, the education department promised it would do so. School districts have been imploring the state for guidance as the new academic year approaches. This, as the pandemic persists and COVID cases increase with the rise of the delta variant. The newly released guidance is based on recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Those organizations recommend universal indoor masking for teachers, students and staff, no matter their vaccination status. The state’s guidance also calls for high-risk sports to be canceled and for extracurricular activities to be held virtually, or to also be canceled, in areas of high community spread unless all participants have been fully vaccinated.

A Utility Terrain Vehicle was spotted by a Sheriff’s patrol at 1:34 a.m., July 31, on Route 33, in the area of Seven Springs Road, in the Town of Batavia and when the deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the driver failed to stop. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the drive took the UTV into harvestable crops causing significant damage to the crops and to fencing in the area. The Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the UTV. The UTV is described as white in color and affixed with lights that change colors while in operation.

Midday News Brief

Another Heat Advisory is in effect. This advisory is in effect until 8 tonight.
Again, the National Weather Service is warning of heat index values in the mid 90’s to as high as 100.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, try to stay out of the sun or take periodic rest breaks in the shade. Never leave young child or pets unattended in a vehicle.

OSHA has recognized the one-year anniversary of the death of a LeRoy man suspected of have succumbed to heat exhaustion on a job site in Geneseo.
35-year-old Timothy Barber was taken ill while working on the Route 63 bridge over the Genesee River in Geneseo on last July 7.
Temperatures reached 90 degrees that day.
Timothy was rushed to Strong Hospital but later died of apparent heat related illness.

The OSHA Buffalo office is using the anniversary of Barber’s death to remind employers with workers exposed to high temperatures:
They must provide workers with water, rest and shade;
Allowing new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks to build tolerance to the heat and monitor their employees for signs of heat related illness.
Barber was on his second day working for Pavilion Drainage.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says she’s ready to work hard for New Yorkers once her administration begins in 12 days. Hochul will be taking over for Governor Cuomo who said he’ll be resigning on August 24th. Hochul said that her staff will not include anyone from Cuomo’s office who behaved unethically.

When Governor Cuomo leaves office later this month, he’ll be doing so with the lowest favorability rating of his entire tenure. According to a new Marist Poll, Cuomo currently has a 28-percent favorability rating which is down 22 points from his previous low set back in February.

Morning News Briefing

With just about a week until the opening of The Great New York State Fair, people are guessing what the 800 pounds of butter will become, as construction of one of the most beloved attractions gets underway – the 53rd Annual American Dairy Association North East Butter Sculpture. Sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton unpacked the butter and their tools and began work on the sculpture over the weekend. The butter, produced from over two-thousand gallons of milk, came from Batavia, N.Y.-based producer O-AT-KA Milk Products. Even after the Fair, the butter doesn’t go to waste, instead, it gets recycled into renewable energy. The butter will be sent to Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion, where it goes into a digester along with other food waste from Wegmans stores and local Universities. The digester then breaks down the material and creates about 450 kilowatts of electricity, which is enough to power about 350 homes for a year. On a weekly basis, Noblehurst is responsible for diverting 100 tons of food waste from local landfills.

New York’s Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to succeed Governor Andrew Cuomo after he resigned earlier this week. She delivered remarks on Wednesday, with a promise to New Yorkers. Governor Cuomo will officially end his term on August 24th, as he faces damning sex allegations brought forth by several women who worked for him, as well as for being involved in other scandals involving his administration’s COVID response – making Kathy Hochul the 57th Governor of New York, and the first female governor of the state.

The head of the Republicans in the New York State Senate says state leaders with direct ties to disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo should step down. Republican Sen. Rob Ortt says Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health department commissioner, and Linda Lacewell, superintendent of the state’s financial services department, “directly aided Andrew Cuomo’s misdeeds” and therefore don’t deserve to keep their jobs. If Lacewell and Dr. Zucker don’t resign, Ortt said they should be removed by incoming governor Kathy Hochul.

Batavia PD received an anonymous tip that led to the recovery of some of the decorated stones and shells that were stolen from the Batavia Peace Garden a couple of weeks ago. The officers who recovered the stones and shells returned them to the Peace Garden. Peace Garden founder and director Paula Savage confirmed that the stones and shells returned were from the Peace Garden.

Randy Fancher, president of Fancher Properties of Akron, is returning to the Genesee County Planning Board tonight for a third time to propose a revised site plan for a mixed-use project on Main Road between Brickhouse Corners Drive and Tim Hortons in the Town of Pembroke. The latest version has Fancher Properties of Akron constructing a two-story building with 7,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and six market rate apartments on the second floor, along with driveways, parking lots and a six-bay tenant parking garage to the south. A review of his site plan is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting starting at 7 o’clock at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road.

Another day, another heat advisory. The National Weather Service says today’s advisory will run from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Heat index values in the mid-90s to as high as 100 can be expected.

Evening News Brief

Part of the Infrastructure Bill just passed through the Federal Senate is a regulation plan on page 1066 on how you will drive with a new car in 6 years.  The plan calls for “passive” systems to monitor the performance of a driver, for example, by using eye scans. Or, it requires automakers to passively gauge blood alcohol levels, perhaps by measuring them in the air of the vehicle.  If impairment is detected the vehicle will slow and then stop.  It stops short of mandating breathalyzers or ignition devices but leaves the door open.  All new cars sold after 2027 will be required to have these devices and have them active at all times.

As of now, Governor Cuomo will stand to get a full pension of over 100,000 dollars a year after his resignation.  But there is a bill going through to stop that from happening.  Democrat Senator James Skoufis has put forward a bill that revokes the public pension of a public officer who stands convicted on an impeachment.  This bill is retroactive.  The impeachment investigation into Cuomo is going forward regardless of his resignation.

Livingston County has announced that their county is not considering any new mask mandates.  Jennifer Rodriguez, Livingston Counties Public Health Director, says that “Cases are trending upwards we must remember that these are just cases – confirmed, positive cases of COVID-19, both delta and non-delta cases. We have had no recent deaths, and currently, there are four hospitalizations, all of which are unvaccinated individuals.”

The city of Batavia has been awarded a grant to work on the Bank Street waterline to the tune of 334 thousand dollars.  The current Bank street waterline will be updated to an 8” line.  Over 950 linear feet of 8-inch diameter water main will be installed and replace the current 4” and 6” lines that are undersized and aging, 90+-year-old water lines.  The estimated cost of the project is $410,000 and the City will provide a local match to the grant of 20% or $82,000.  Currently, there is over $50M in public/private development in downtown Batavia, at various stages of planning, permitting, and construction.

The Buffalo Bisons had their opening home game last night, the first since August of 2019, and over 6,000 fans were in attendance.  A spokesperson for the Bisons says the official paid attendance for the return of Bisons baseball to Sahlen Field Tuesday was 6,404. The Blue Jays played home games at Sahlen Field from June 1 to July 21 and according to attendance numbers averaged just over 6,500 fans a game.  The Bison’s season goes from now till September 26th.

Midday News Brief

The National Weather Service has posted a heat advisory until 8 p.m. tonight.
Heat index values will approach the upper 90’s.
Drink plenty of fluids, stay out of direct sunlight and check up on relatives and neighbors. Keep pets out of unattended vehicles.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has advice for anyone planning to have their driveway paved or repaired.
Contractors in most towns need a permit to solicit door to door.
This often happens when a company is already in the neighborhood and contacts neighbors nearby. Most are legitimate, but many are not. Ask to see their permit. If they offer a price that is too good to be true, it probably is.

On the bad girl’s report: Nateeka Gibson, believed to be from Batavia, has been arrested for burglary, sex abuse and prostitution.
Police found Nateeka when they were called to home on Holland Ave and found Nateeka in a fracas with another woman. It was then with the help of K-9 Batu, police found Nateeka hiding in the basement and learned of outstanding warrants against her.

The heat is definitely going to be on across the Finger Lakes today, and National Grid wants customers to be ready. The utility company says there will be a high demand on energy through the afternoon and early evening hours as temperatures hover around the 90-degree mark. To help save a bit of money, National Grid says you should use fans to circulate air around your home and even adjust your thermostat by a couple of degrees.

Morning News Briefing

Embattled governor Andrew Cuomo announced he will be stepping down as leader of New York effective in 14 days…this decision came in the wake of last week’s Attorney General bombshell report detailing sexual harassment allegations against him. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over the reins. She will be the first female governor in the state’s history, and the first governor from Buffalo since Grover Cleveland became president in 1885.

A LeRoy Town Court justice has resigned. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct says the resignation comes as that judge was under investigation. John Duyssen submitted his resignation in June and left office on July 8. He has agreed not to seek judicial office in the future. Duyssen served as a judge for LeRoy Town Court since 2018, and his current term was set to run through the end of the year. In January, the Commission said it was investigating complaints stemming from the judge’s arrest for child endangerment and harassment.

Batavia police say they arrested Nateeka M. Gibson. She is charged with burglary 2nd, sex abuse 1st, robbery 3rd, grand larceny 4th, criminal mischief 4th, and prostitution.  Officers say they were aware of four active arrest warrants against Gibson from City Court and Town of Batavia Court. She was also a suspect in an ongoing investigation where charges are still pending. Gibson was placed under arrest after an alleged brief struggle inside the residence.  Gibson was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail.  Police suspect Gibson of stealing money from the victim on two occasions and prevented the male from calling 9-1-1.

40-year-old Brooke Kimberley Tubbins of Ellicott Street in Batavia has been arrested and charged with grand larceny 3rd and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing.  Tubbins allegedly failed to report income on two applications for SNAP benefits and as a result, received $6,215 in benefits she was not qualified. Tubbins was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance.

The remains found in the Genesee River last week have been identified. Members of the Rochester Police Department scuba team discovered Tammy Greer’s body inside a vehicle in the Genesee River on Aug. 5. They did so during a training exercise. When the vehicle was pulled out of the river, the remains were found. Greer is from Pennsylvania and believed to have moved to Rochester in 2018 or 2019. She has no local family, according to police. They believe the vehicle entered the river sometime after May 2019. Police continue to investigate how and why the vehicle went into the river and how Greer died, though they do not suspect foul play.

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Cuomo announced today that he will be stepping down from his post and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will become New York’s first female governor.   In a live address just before noon Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo denied the allegations of sexual harassment but did say he takes “full responsibility” for making the women who came forward uncomfortable.  Cuomo says he will leave office within 14 days.  His announcement came just after his attorney addressed the allegations and charges against him in a separate press conference where Outside Council Glavin said the Attorney Generals reports were full of errors and omitted key evidence.

There is a heat advisory today through 8pm on Wednesday in the GLOW region.  The temperature is expected get up to mid 90s with a high humidity.  Officials say to drink plenty of water, avoid staying out in the sun, seek air conditioning and keep special watch over pets, children and older adults.

The State Education Department is picking up the slack on guidance for schools this fall.  Earlier this week the New York State Health Department said it would not send out additional COVID guidance for the fall term and that school districts should make their policies based on CDC guidance.  Now The State Education Department says it will provide its own guidance.  Betty Rosa, head of NYSED, said they were forced to develop guidance because the state health department and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office did not. She did not indicate when that guidance would be put forth.  Last month, local superintendents implored the state to provide reopening guidance so they could plan their return to school.

GO Health says that Orleans county is now in the level of Substantial community transmission with 26 active cases after months of having under 10 active cases a day.  Director Paul Petit says that this was not unexpected as case rates have been higher in surrounding counties and the delta variant is causing higher numbers of unvaccinated people to contract COVID.

Midday News Brief

Police in Attica urge the public to be on the lookout for a very large lizard.
The 4-and-a-half-foot monitor lizard escaped from its it’s owner on July 29th.
Police tell WBTA the lizard is venomous; it can bite and he downright dangerous to children and small animals.

It was spotted in the 200 block of Exchange Street yesterday afternoon. The homeowner managed to snap a picture but the reptile was gone by the time police arrived. Police say if you see the lizard do not approach it. It will bite, although it is not fatal to humans – but who wants to be bit by a four-foot-long lizard?

A Batavia woman busted for welfare fraud. 40-year-old Brooke Tubbins of Ellicott Street is charged with Grand Larceny for allegedly collecting over $6,000 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.
Tubbins was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and then released on her own recognizance.

At least one City of Batavia resident is fed up with the traffic jams at the Dunkin Donuts on West Main St. and ambulance sirens in the vicinity of Oak and Union streets. Speaking during the public comment portion of the City Council Conference Meeting, Michael Barrett urged council members to look into a way to alleviate both situations. The owner of Barrett’s Batavia Marine Sporting Goods reported that vehicles lined up for coffee and donuts are infringing upon his property.
Council members agreed with Barrett’s observations.

The chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee says the impeachment investigation into Governor Cuomo is expected to continue for a few more weeks. Members of the committee met for hours yesterday in Albany just days after state Attorney General Letitia James released a report claiming the governor sexually harassed several women. Committee chairman Charles Lavine says the probe won’t focus completely on the AG’s findings, and that the governor’s lawyers have until Friday to submit documents to support his defense. The governor is denying all allegations made against him and says he’s not planning to resign.

Morning News Brief

The impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be done by the end of August. For the remainder of the month the state Assembly Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to review evidence against Gov. Cuomo and hear expert testimony about sexual harassment and the standards for impeachment. Committee Chairman Charles Lavine said Cuomo has until Friday to submit evidence and he promised the committee would consider it. An impeachment process could likely start in early September.

At least one City of Batavia resident is fed up with the traffic jams at the Dunkin Donuts on West Main St. and ambulance sirens in the vicinity of Oak and Union streets. Speaking during the public comment portion of the City Council Conference Meeting, Michael Barrett urged council members to look into a way to alleviate both situations. The owner of Barrett’s Batavia Marine Sporting Goods reported that vehicles lined up for coffee and donuts are infringing upon his property and, moreover, said he is afraid that a major accident is just waiting to happen. He noted that there is a sign there that indicates no left hand turns, but it isn’t being heeded. Council members agreed with Barrett’s observations, with Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. asking City Manager Rachael Tabelski to see if the ambulances could sometimes use a different route that could be just as fast and to study traffic patterns at Dunkin Donuts during its peak times.

Tonight is Batavia Police Community Night Out.  Thirty-seven business, organizations and individuals have signed on to support the outreach, which is scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the City Church’s St. Anthony’s campus at 114 Liberty Street.  The event offers entertainment in the forms of a bounce house, balloon artist, games at vendor booths, and pony rides. Additionally, the police chief and his assistant chief have offered their services at the dunk tank, which will raise money for the K-9 fund.

Citing the “need for speed,” the Genesee County Legislature has approved a resolution to accept a pair of bids for the construction of a new water pump station along Golden Road in the Town of Chili to advance Phase 2 of the Countywide Water Project. Legislators awarded the general construction contract to C.P. Ward, Inc., of Scottsville, for an amount not to exceed $2.8 million and the electrical construction contract to Kaplan-Schmidt Electric, Inc., of Rochester, for an amount not to exceed $595,000.

According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Orleans County has increased to substantial level of community transmission. Genesee County is currently maintaining a moderate level of transmission for COVID-19.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.19, up one cent in the past week. One year ago, the price was $2.18. The New York State average is $3.21 – up one cent from last week. Batavia gas prices have edges up two cents over the last seven days. However, motorists report Triple-A prices are not correct…and that prices are much higher.

Evening News Update

Over 50 New York State county Democratic Chairs are calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, including the majority of the Democratic Chairs in Western New York.  Of New York State’s 62 Democratic Chairs for each county, 51 of them are calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, including six in Western New York.  This includes Michael Plitt of Genesee county, Cynthia Appleton of Wyoming county and Jeff Lewis of Orleans county.

Sahlen field will be smile free indoors at all locations when people are not eating or drinking.  Officials announced today that masks will be required whenever indoors.  Indoor locations include restrooms, club level suites, all gift shops, and the Pub at the Park.  Masks are strongly encouraged in outdoor areas as well.

Midday News Brief

A new report says Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is preparing for the possibility of Governor Cuomo either resigning or being removed from office.
The Wall Street Journal says Hochul has been seeking advice on several issues, including who from the current administration could be asked to stay.
Hochul has reportedly told people close to her that she might have to take over running the state within the next several weeks.
If that happens, Hochul would become the first female governor in New York history.

PHOTO: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul

The spread of COVID-19 is continuing to worsen across the Finger Lakes and there are no signs of it slowing down. The seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate is now three-point-five-four percent which is the fourth highest of any region in the Empire State. Genesee County is part of the Finger Lakes Region. The county’s 7-day rate is 2.0 percent.

Fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents will be allowed to enter Canada for non-essential travel beginning today. The border will reopen to Americans who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days.

A Heat Advisory is in effect for the rest of this afternoon.
The National Weather Service warns of heat index values of between 95 and 100…that’s a combination of temperature and humidity.
The Weather Service says hot temperatures and high humidity can cause heat illnesses to occur.
They advise you to brink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun, check up on neighbors and never leave pets unattended in vehicles.

The price of gasoline seems to have been moving in one direction: up.
Over the past week, the average cost of a gallon of regular in Batavia has risen 2-cents from last week to $3.21 – and a dollar more than a year ago.

Morning News Brief

Promises that there will be a fair and impartial investigation into the first criminal complaint against Governor Cuomo, following a state probe that he sexual harassed multiple women, which he denies. Sheriff Craig Apple of Albany County at briefing said that the woman’s decision to come forward is likely “the hardest thing that she’s ever done in her life”…and he answered questions about possible charges. The criminal complainant is identified as “executive assistant number one,” in the New York attorney general’s report this week, which described her as somebody who endured a pattern of inappropriate conduct.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa has resigned. Her resignation comes at a time where the embattled governor is facing potential impeachment. Her name appears throughout the New York State Attorney General’s report released August 3 that found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. In a statement, she said “Personally, the past 2 years have been emotionally and mentally trying.” She said she was forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such talented and committed colleagues on behalf of the state.

Charges have been filed following a disturbance outside of Autozone in the Town of Batavia. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 27-year-old Joseph Dispenza of Lewiston Road. He was charged with two counts of harassment following a physical altercation with two people. Court action is pending.

A Stafford woman was taken into custody Sunday afternoon following a larceny complaint at Walmart in Batavia. Deputies arrested 21-year-old Brittany Bolton. She allegedly stole $293 in property from the store. She’ll responded to the charge in Batavia Town Court on September 21st.

New York’s COVID positivity rate has now increased to 3.06%. Hospitalizations and those admitted to Intensive Care have climbed again. Eleven new virus-related deaths have also been reported. The percentage of New Yorker’s who have received complete vaccinations has risen to 56%.

Weekend News Brief

Planning to visit Canada after the border opens again on Monday to fully vaccinated Americans?  There are a few things you need to do first.  You need proof of a negative molecular covid test within 72 hours of reaching the border, register with Arrivecan a free app for your phone, have your vaccine card and passport handy, and be ready to take another covid test once you arrive in Canada.  If you test positive you will need to quarantine so have a plan in case you have to stay put on the other side.

As of Friday, all Tops employees are required to wear masks again regardless of their vaccination status.  At this time masks are not required for vaccinated shoppers, but Tops is recommending that you wear a mask.  Masks are still required for non-vaccinated shoppers.

Funeral Director Michael Tomaszewski’s sentencing for fraud has been delayed for unspecified reasons.  It was supposed to take place last Wednesday morning after he plead guilty to Grand Larceny among other crimes in April.  The new court date is set for October 6th.

What can you do with a million dollars, fix the aeration system at the water treatment plant!  The 30 year old air header system at the plant had been judged to be compromised and the air lines had degraded over the years, causing waste products not to be broken down fast enough and a bad smell to waft away from the treatment plant and into surrounding neighborhoods.  The city worked with the DEC to try to mask the smell.  A temporary system was set up but can only do half the job of a whole new system.  Material delays set the project back months but work is being completed and the city is working to expedite completing the project.

There are bicycle safety classes happening Monday all around Batavia.  The Summer Rec Program, YMCA and Batavia Police department are partnering up to bring bicycle safety to the city with classes at Lambert, Austin, Farrall, Williams and John Kennedy Parks Monday the 9th.  For a list of times check wbtai.com.

9:00 a.m. – Lambert Park

10:00 a.m. – Austin Park

12:00 p.m. – Farrall Park

1:00 p.m. – Wiliams Park

2:00 p.m. – John Kennedy School

Tuesday night is Batavia Police Community Night Out and it looks to be a big one.  Thirty-seven business, organizations and individuals have signed on to support the outreach, which is scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the City Church’s St. Anthony’s campus at 114 Liberty St.  the event offers entertainment in the forms of a bounce house, balloon artist, games at vendor booths, and pony rides through A Horse’s Friend Trail Riding & Youth Programs based in Rush.  Additionally, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch and Assistant Chief Chris Camp have offered their services at the dunk tank, which will raise money for the K-9 fund.

The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen have come to an agreement for another 6 years.  The 25 year old will be staying with the Bills through the 2028 season after leading the Bills to a 13-3 season in 2020 and breaking 6 single season records.  ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Allen’s six-year contract is worth $258 million, including $150 million guaranteed.

Evening News Brief

One of the women who came forward to accuse Governor Cuomo of inappropriate touching her on multiple occasions has taken her complaint to the police after the state attorney general refused to press charges after finding that Cuomo did commit the actions that 11 women accused him of.  The woman, who is Cuomo’s Executive Assistant no 1, said that the governor intentionally touched her on the butt and breasts, kissed her forcibly multiple times, grabbed and rubbed her butt during a selfie, and slapped her butt on a tour of the Executive Mansion.  Albany Sheriff Craig Apple confirmed that she has filed criminal complaints against Cuomo.

The 2 teens charged in the indiscriminate shooting at a Lockport party in October of 2020 have plead guilty.  They were caught after firing a pistol though a closed door into the garage of a house where a Halloween party was going on, injuring 5 people and killing 20 year old Cheyenne Farewell.  The two boys, 16 and 17, plead guilty to 2nd degree murder, 2 counts of 1st degree assault, 2 counts of 2nd degree assault, 1 count of criminal possession of a weapon, and 1 count of 1st degree reckless endangerment.  The boy who pulled the trigger could get 20 years to life and the accomplice could get up to 25 years in prison.

The Buffalo Bisons are offering free tickets to healthcare workers for their August and 14th and 15th games.  If you are a healthcare worker and show your employer Id during the Bisons home opening weekend you can get 2 free tickets at the Sahlen Field box office.  For the game on August 14, the first 2,000 fans will receive a replica Buffalo Bisons jersey, and kids will be able to run the bases after the game on August 15.  Both games will be played at 1:05 p.m. against the Rochester Red Wings.  Regular tickets are 10 dollars.

Midday News Brief

Liberty Pumps of Bergen is planning a major expansion.
The company has filed for various tax incentives from the county’s Economic Development Center amounting to about  $1.4-million.
The project would add about 107,000 square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space.
The total investment by Liberty Pumps amounts to nearly $14-million and would create 30 new jobs over the next three years.
Liberty Pumps currently employs 280 people.

A Genesee County bridge is deemed unsafe and has been closed effective immediately. County officials say a recent inspection of the Colby Road bridge over Murder Creek in the Town of Pembroke revealed the span was unsafe. That bridge is located just south if the CSX Railroad tracks that run alongside Route 33.
The county will be assessing the condition of the bridge and will re-open it when it’s safe.

It will be up to schools to determine what protocols will be in place to protect students and staff from COVID-19.
Doctor Howard Zucker, the State Health Commissioner, is recommending that schools follow local health department and federal guidance as they try and keep students and staff from getting sick.
Zucker says because there’s no longer a state of emergency in effect, schools are responsible for creating their own rules regarding masks, social distancing and COVID-19 testing.

Tomorrow, fans of the Buffalo Bills will once again have the opportunity to see their team get ready for the upcoming season. For the second Saturday in a row, the Bills are opening up training camp practice at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park to the public.
Tickets are required – problem is, … it’s already sold out.

This weekend at Williams Park it’s the “Seats and Feet” Back to School Drive…collecting new underwear and socks for local kids
It’s being held tomorrow and Sunday and Noon to 2 at the Williams Park Playground. All donations will benefit and Batavia City Schools Community Closet – all sizes are appreciated.

Morning News Brief

Due to a recent bridge inspection the Colby Road bridge over the Murder Creek in the Town of Pembroke will need to be closed to all traffic immediately until further notice.  The bridge is located just south of the CSX Railroad Tracks that run alongside NYS Route 33. Genesee County will be assessing the bridge condition and we will reopen the bridge as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Genesee Valley BOCES School Library System has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries in response to the need to identify recommendations for effective post-COVID school library programs. This $150,000 grant will fund four virtual national forums on the future of school libraries. The first work in the grant project will be the convening of a national advisory panel.

The New York State Department of Transportation has announced that applications are currently being accepted for approximately 26 full-time positions in the DOT’s fleet administration and transportation maintenance disciplines in Central New York, including Syracuse, Ithaca, Oswego and the surrounding communities. Additional positions above and beyond these 26 spots are anticipated to be filled in the coming months. To be eligible, candidates must be at least 18 years old and pass a physical and drug test. Most positions also require a valid, clean Class A or B commercial driver license, and the ability to operate DOT heavy dump trucks within two weeks after start of employment.

After a one-day reprieve, positive cases of COVID-19 in New York are on the rise…again. Official now report the positivity rate has climbed to 2.77%. It was 2.57% the day before. Hospitalizations and ICU admissions have also increased. Five more ICU patients have been placed on ventilators.

Applications are now being accepted with anticipated move-in capability for December 1 for Liberty Square Apartments on East Main Street, Batavia. Liberty Square is a 28-unit program located at 554 East Main Street in Batavia that will serve homeless or unstably housed Veterans with disabilities in a Permanent Supportive Housing environment. The 28 units are integrated into a 55-unit, general occupancy community, being developed in partnership with Home Leasing, LLC. Applications for the Supportive Housing apartments are available at the Eagle Star Housing website.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker issued a special statement Thursday afternoon. He said…With the end of the state disaster emergency on June 25, school districts are reestablished as the controlling entity for schools. Schools and school districts should develop plans to open in-person in the fall as safely as possible, and he recommends following guidance from the CDC and local health departments.

Rochester Police are investigating after a body was found in a vehicle recovered Thursday from the Genesee River in Charlotte. Police could be seen Thursday evening on River Street, near the Genesee River. According to investigators, a vehicle was found by a SCUBA team in the area. After it was recovered, a body was reportedly found inside. Police say the matter is considered suspicious at this time, and that the Major Crimes Unit is investigating.

The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee says it’s investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo is “nearing completion” and the governor’s counsel was also given a deadline to submit evidence. Cuomo’s lawyers were told to submit any new evidence in the sexual harassment case to the committee by next Friday.

Evening News Brief

New York State Department of Health has stated that they will not be issuing COVID 19 guidance to schools by start of term in September.  The state office says to continue following CDC guidelines which at the moment say encourage wearing masks and vaccinating.  Local school districts will have to set their own policy come the beginning of the school year.

As of now most venues and entertainment locations have not changed their policies on wearing masks or allowing unvaccinated people into events.  County Health Officials in Ontario County say that spikes happen but then the spread goes back down so they are following the numbers but its not time to make big changes.  In Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming Counties there are a total of 26 active cases.  95 percent of new cases and hospitalizations in areas where there is substantial spread are among the unvaccinated.  Death rates have not substantially increased even with case rates going up.  Officials credit this to most of the new cases being among people under the age of 40 who don’t have co-morbidities.  They caution those who have compromised immune systems or can’t take the vaccine to avoid large indoor gatherings where social distancing can’t be maintained.

The Health Department is looking for the dog that bit an employee at Home Depot on Saturday July 17th around noon.  The dog is a small black dog that was near register 2 at the time of the incident.  The employee asked if they could pet the dog and were told yes before they were bit on the hand.  The owners asked if they were ok then left the store.  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 the location of the dog and its owners, please contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

The Genesee County Health Department is hosting a free drive through =rabies clinic Thursday august 12th from 4-7pm at the Genesee county Fairgrounds.  Vaccines are free for dogs, cats and ferrets.  Animals must be at least 3 months old.  Animals must be leashed or crated.  Limit of 4 pets per car.  The next clinic will be September 16th.

Liberty Square is now accepting applications from qualified veterans looking for housing.  Liberty Square is a 28-unit apartment building located at 554 East Main Street,  in Batavia that will serve homeless or unstably housed Veterans with disabilities in a Permanent Supportive Housing environment.  To qualify, you must have served in the military, be in a housing crisis and have an identified disability or case management need.

Midday News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The Judiciary Committee of the New York State is giving Governor Cuomo until August 13th to submit the evidence in the Governor’s defense against sexual harassment complaints.
The committee is close to concluding its work and possibly moves toward articles of impeachment against the governor.
All of this comes after a report this week by the state attorney general that accuses the governor of sexually harassing numerous women.
Cuomo denies the allegations and has no plans to resign.
Multiple district attorneys have opened criminal investigations into the Democratic governor.

A former substitute teacher in Dansville now faces new charges in Batavia. Police arrested 29-year-old Derek Hagen and charged him with a felony count using a child in a sexual performance. Last week, he was charged with two counts of child pornography. Court action is pending.

Starting this Tuesday, sections of the Center Street lot in Batavia will be closed for paving operations.
The work will be performed August 10th, during the business day between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. and is weather-dependent.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate has taken a decent decline in the past day. Officials say the rate is now 2.57%, down from 3.47% the day before. While that’s good news, there is less encouraging news. Officials say 50 more people have been hospitalized and 14 others have been admitted to Intensive Care. Seven new virus-related deaths have also been reported.

The GLOW Corporate Cup 5K begins tonight in Batavia.
Over 700 runners have registered for the race that begins at 6p.m.on Richmond Ave. across from the State School for the Blind.
Proceeds from the race benefit to the GLOW Region YMCA.

Morning News Brief

A former substitute teacher in Dansville now faces new charges in Batavia. Police arrested 29-year-old Derek Hagen and charged him with a felony count of use of a child in a sexual performance. Last week, he was charged with two count of child pornography. Court action is pending.

According to a Marist Poll, 59 percent of New Yorkers think the Governor should step down. The poll was conducted Tuesday night, after the results of the New York Attorney General’s Office’s investigation into Andrew Cuomo were announced. The report concluded that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed several women. More than half of the registered Democrats who were surveyed say he should resign.

Starting on August 10, sections of the Center Street lot in Batavia will be closed for paving operations. This work will be performed during the business day between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. and is weather-dependent.

District attorneys in Westchester and Manhattan on Wednesday announced their offices had reached out to the attorney general for “investigative materials” from their probe into multiple sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The news comes after Albany District Attorney David Soares on Tuesday said his office had launched a criminal investigation into the allegations against the governor. Soares said his office was also planning to formally request information from the investigation by the AG. James revealed the conclusion of her office’s probe Tuesday morning, calling the findings “disturbing.”

Two inmate fights occurred in the Elmira Correctional Facility fieldhouse less than an hour apart on Sunday, according to union officials representing the officers. The fights resulted in two inmates being cut multiple times by make-shift weapons at the maximum-security prison. No staff were injured in either incident.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate has taken a decent decline in the past day. Officials say the rate is now 2.57%, down from 3.47% the day before. While that’s good news, there is less encouraging news. Officials say 50 more people have been hospitalized and 14 others have been admitted to Intensive Care. Seven new virus-related deaths have also been reported.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits for the 2021-2022 seasons are on sale now. In addition, DEC announced new opportunities for hunters this year, including expanded hunting seasons and allowing youth ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow in upstate counties that have passed a local low and ‘opted in’ to participate. Beginning this week, the DEC Call Center’s hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Nov. 30. Regular call center weekday hours will resume on Dec. 1.

Evening News Update

The Law firms working on the Cuomo sexual harassment investigations, Joon Kim, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Anne L. Clark, a partner at Vladeck Raskin & Clark, P.C, are getting paid 325 to 750 dollars an hour depending on the level of associate in their firm doing the work.  Their initial contract was for 6 months but can be extended by State Attorney General Letitia James.  All of this is being paid for with taxpayer money.

The Attica Rodeo is this week running tomorrow through the 8th.  The rodeo features bull riding, cattle penning, barrel racing and many other events.  It starts at 8pm on Thursday and Friday, 1 and 8 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.  Gates open 2 hours before the start of the show.  Cost for admission is 18 dollars for adults, 8 dollars for kids 6-12 years old and 5 and under get in free.  Children can attend free for the early shows on Saturday and Sunday with paid adult admission.

Midday News Brief

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political future hangs in the balance a day after the state attorney general released a report accusing him of sexually harassing nearly a dozen women. Democratic Albany County District Attorney David Soares says lawmakers will move to quickly finish their impeachment inquiry into the Democrat governor and he’s calling on any additional potential accusers to step forward.
He went on to say Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the majority. Even President Biden yesterday called for him to step down. Cuomo maintains he has not acted inappropriately and says he has no plans to resign.

While Governor Cuomo has said he won’t leave office due to sexual harassment allegations, several politicians including President Biden are urging him to go. Biden said the governor should resign, echoing similar calls from Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

A poll shows 59-percent of New Yorkers want Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign. The Marist survey conducted last night shows 32-percent think the governor should serve out the rest of his term. The poll was conducted hours after a report by the state attorney general accused the governor of sexually harassing numerous women and creating a toxic work environment. The poll also shows just eleven-percent of New Yorkers think he deserves re-election. The governor says the allegations are false and he called the report biased.

The latest data from New York State shows the spread of the coronavirus is worsening again across Western New York. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is three-point-three-three percent, an increase from earlier this week and the second highest rate in any area of the state.
Genesee County, meanwhile, is in the Finger Lakes Region.
The county’s positivity rate remains at 1.1 percent, among the lowest in the state.

Morning News Brief

The independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James have released their report into the multiple allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew Cuomo. After nearly five months, the investigators concluded that Governor Cuomo did sexually harass multiple women — including former and current state employees — by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments. Further, the governor and his senior staff took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story. Finally, according to the report, the Executive Chamber fostered a “toxic” workplace that enabled “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.” The investigators find that Governor Cuomo’s actions and those of the Executive Chamber violated multiple state and federal laws, as well as the Executive Chamber’s own written policies.

The scathing report by the New York Attorney General’s Office into allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has triggered an emergency meeting by the New York State Assembly. Speaker Carl Heastie said Tuesday that lawmakers “will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible.” Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called for Cuomo to step down.

A North Chili man faces 26 counts following a high-speed chase that started in Stafford and ended with a successfully deployed spike strip in the City of Batavia. 23-year-old James Lepore was arrested. He was charged with felony first-degree reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, unlawfully fleeing police, drug possession, speeding along with 21 other traffic offenses. Lepore was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and under terms of bail reform released on his own recognizance.

New York’s COVID positivity rate now stands at 3.47%. Hospitalizations have jumped by 64 in a single day and admission to the ICU have also climbed. Five new deaths have also been reported.

A Rochester music teacher is going to prison of 50 years after being convicted of 74 charges, including 61 counts of production of child pornography. 43-year-old Philip Close pleaded guilty in the case. Between 2012 and 2019, Close produced hundreds of videos of child pornography involving 61 identified minor victims. The youngest victim was four years old. While executing search warrants at the Close School of Music, investigators also discovered 13 devices that contained other images and videos of child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement – “if you seek to exploit children to satisfy your own perverse interests, be prepared to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and potentially to lose your freedom forever.”

Wegmans says employees will once again be required to wear face masks at work. This, the company says, comes after reviewing updated guidance from the CDC and health departments. Customers are not required to wear masks, however it is strongly recommended they do so

Evening News Update

The issue with the Genesee County Sheriffs office phone has been resolved and should be working properly now.

GO Health Departments will be on the road with Back-to-School Pop-up Clinics the week of August 9th across Genesee and Orleans Counties.  The Pfizer vaccine will be offered at the clinics, which is approved for everyone 12 years of age and older.  COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective.  Each clinic is open to the public and walk-ins will be accepted. Appointments are strongly encouraged. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian with them to receive the vaccine.  The second dose of the vaccine will be offered three weeks after the first shot at the same school during the same time.

Midday News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

State AG Letitia James

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing serious charges of sexual harassment. Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings of her five-month investigation into allegations from multiple women that Cuomo created a sexually hostile work environment. The report cites numerous women, including current and former state employees, who claim the Democrat touched their “intimate body parts” and made unwanted advances. In one instance, a staffer said Cuomo reached under her blouse and touched her breasts. James said she has proof that Cuomo’s office intimidated witnesses and created a “toxic work environment” based upon 74,000 pieces of evidence.

 

Deputies say speeds reached 100 miles an hour chasing down a suspect for speeding on Route 33 in Stafford.
23-year-old James Lepore of Chili was finally stopped with spike strips deployed by lawmen on Route 98 just north of the city.
Lepore was charged with Reckless Endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, speeding and 21 additional traffic offenses.
Deputies, who were assisted in the chase by State and Batavia Police, said Lepore recklessly engaged in conduct that created a grave risk of death. Police said Lepore intentionally crossed over into the opposite lane causing other motorists to swerve out of the way. Speeds were estimated at 90 to 100 miles an hour.
Lepore was arraigned in thew Town of Batavia Court and under the terms of bail reform, he was released on his own recognizance.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s office is having telephone trouble. The administrative phone number, 345-3000, is not working. 9-1-1 emergency service is not affected.

Batavia’s Peace Garden, the line of international flags along West Main Street near the Holland Land Office, has been vandalized.
Peace Garden officials say volunteers spent hours and hours over the past two months decorating 100 stones and seashells for the landscape as part of an art project.
The peace garden is a popular place for people to just relax, take in the site, and enjoy the day. The stone project was completed on Tuesday, July 20.
By Wednesday morning, all 100 were gone, stolen in the night.
Officials say they will not replace them.

Morning News Brief

A Batavia man has been accused of committing a sex crime. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 22-year-old Thomas Bergman of Park Road. He was charged with forcible touching. It is alleged that he forcibly touched the intimate parts of a female Uber driver while in the parking lot of the Relax Inn. Bergman was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released to return August 24th.

Governor Andrew Cuomo suggests that businesses should only allow vaccinated people to go inside venues and events. Cuomo says that New Yorkers should follow guidance put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so everyone can stay safe.

The Friends of Richmond Memorial library will host their monthly book sale on Thursday from 9 am to 7 pm in the Wilber-Fox Room at the library. After more than a year without a monthly sale, the Friends are excited to welcome the community back. Thanks to many wonderful donations, there is a huge selection to choose from, including fiction, history, sports, cookbooks, gardening, children’s and many. Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia.

From Batavia…Peace Garden committee members spent numerous hours over two months painting and decorating 100 stones and seashells as an art project for the garden only to have it destroyed in one night by vandals. Paula Savage, the founder and director of the Peace Garden, said the final installation of the stones and shells was completed on July 20. That was a Tuesday.  By Wednesday evening, every single painted stone and shell was missing.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity has been dialed back a bit. The rate has dipped to 5.53%. Still thought, hospitalizations and admissions to the ICU have increased. Four new deaths have been reported.

The price of gas is up again, on both a national and a state level, with the highest increases in our area. Triple A says there’s another month of summer travel ahead through Labor Day, and college students will begin their return to campuses in the meantime, so gas demand will likely remain high.

Evening News Brief

With COVID-19 numbers starting to increase, Governor Cuomo says masking policies may not go far enough to stop the spread of the virus.  Of particular concern, the governor said during a news conference Monday, is the highly-contagious delta variant.  Cuomo is calling on local governments to require vaccination or testing for public-facing employees. and for private hospitals across the state to adopt such a policy. If COVID numbers don’t come down, Cuomo said he thinks schools should be making a similar demand for teachers in districts located in areas with high or substantial risk for transmission. He is encouraging private businesses to operate under a vaccine-only admission system.

The Buffalo Bills want a new stadium and they want the public to pay for it to the tune of 1.1 billion dollars.  Pegula Sports and Entertainment say they want to put the new stadium next to the old one in Orchard park.  They also want .4 billion dollars to fix up the Keybank Center.  Officials in Erie County have not made any comment and say they will not till a deal is reached.  ESPN reported that if the Bills don’t get the deal they like then they are considering moving to Austin Texas.  Erie County has denied that this was said in any of their correspondence.

Midday News Brief

It should have been expected. Summer driving is increasing demand for fuel and so the price at the pump goes up.
According to Triple A: the average price of a gallon of gas in Batavia has gone up two-cents over the past week….96-cents higher than a year ago.

This one is happening right now.
Numerous volunteer fire departments are responding to a barn fire on Hall’s Corners Road in Attica. Departments from both Genesee and Wyoming Counties are on scene.

An Attica man suffered what were described as non-life-threatening injuries following a crash on Route 98 in Alexander.
Deputies say 27-year-old Timothy Johnson crashed his jeep into a utility pole, the vehicle broke in half. Johnson was airlifted to ECMC.

The Buffalo Bills are reported to have proposed a $1.1 billion new stadium for the team.
Terry and Kim Pegula, the owners of the team, say the new stadium should be fully funded by New York taxpayers.
Many fans say while a new stadium is needed, they say the funds shouldn’t come out of their pockets.
When it comes to rumors of the team moving out of Buffalo altogether, fans are skeptical.

New York’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has now risen to 2.68%. On Sunday, 39 new hospitalizations were reported. Five new deaths were also attributed to virus-related complications.
Genesee County is reporting a 7-day positivity rate of point-8 percent.

No injuries were reported after a United Express flight had to make an emergency landing at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. The plane was traveling from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo last night when a pilot noticed a fuel leak coming from the aircraft. It was then diverted to Rochester and was able to touch down safely a few minutes later.

Morning News Brief

A one-car crash on County Line Road in Darien in March has now resulted in numerous charges for the driver. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 24-year-old Hannah Varshay of Alden. The charges include driving while impaired by drugs, evidence tampering, criminal possession of a weapon, speeding and eight counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Varshay was processed, then released to appear in Town of Darien court August 24th.

New York’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has now risen to 2.68%. On Sunday, 39 new hospitalizations were reported. Five new deaths were also attributed to virus-related complications. Rates in the Finger Lakes region are at 2.57%.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation designating baseball as the official sport of the state of New York. This bill was proposed by a Cooperstown Elementary School 4th grade class. Cooperstown, NY is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and is believed to be the birthplace of the sport. As the state sport, baseball joins a list of New York State symbols which includes milk as the state beverage, apple as the state fruit, the snapping turtle as the state reptile and yogurt as the state snack.

New York State Police and local law enforcement have increased patrols to target speeding thru Sunday. According to preliminary data, unsafe speed was a contributing factor in 314 fatal crashes in 2020, compared to 230 fatal crashes in 2019 – a 36 percent increase. The 314 fatal crashes last year resulted in 365 deaths including drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Data shows fatal crashes in New York caused by unsafe speed increase during the summer months with the highest totals in June through October.

According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Monroe and Erie Counties are now ‘substantial’ COVID transmission areas. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings, in areas of substantial or high transmission. Those unvaccinated are recommended to wear a mask in all areas. Genesee County is considered low, while Orleans and Wyoming counties are considered at a moderate transmission rate.

At around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, Batavia police responded to a report of someone shot. The victim was identified as a 40-year-old male. He was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was treated for his injuries, he has since been released. Police say the victim was the target of the crime and it was not a random act. Police continue to investigate.

Batavia police arrested 29-year-old Nathan Royse. He was charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. It is alleged that in June, while on Willow St. in the City of Batavia, Royse menaced another person with a real or imitation pistol. Batavia PD was assisted by NYS Parole in this investigation.

Weekend News Brief

With the Delta Variant of COVID making headlines every day and worries of new masking guidelines Erie County has mandated that anyone, vaccinated or not, must wear a mask in county buildings.  Erie county has nearly 100 new cases of COVID a day.  New York has seen a spike in cases with nearly 27 hundred a day for the last few days and a 7 day average of 1700 cases a day.  Nearly all new cases are in New York city or surrounding areas.  In Genesee County there are 4 active cases.  In Orleans county there are 6.  Nearly 50 percent of people in Genesee and Orleans counties are vaccinated.  The percentages of people vaccinated by county is within 10 percent for nearly all counties in New York State.

The Batavia Muckdogs finished their season 22 and 19.  Just short of being able to get into the playoffs.  But they are hopeful for next year and say that 2021 was a great first season for the new league and new team.  Coach Jeoy Martinez has been offered two more years on his contract.  Owner Robbie Nichols said that the community is why they are there, “You see people over there in line, talking, having a beer, people bringing their grandkids to the game, and that’s what it’s all about.  It’s America’s game. It’s about bringing your family to the ballpark and Batavia answered the bell and this crowd is amazing.”

Speaking of baseball, Governor Cuomo announced Friday that he has declared Baseball as the official sport of New York State.  This bill was proposed by a Cooperstown Elementary School 4th grade class. Cooperstown, NY is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and is believed to be the birthplace of the sport.  As the state sport, baseball joins a list of New York State symbols which includes milk as the state beverage, apple as the state fruit, the snapping turtle as the state reptile and yogurt as the state snack.

Buffalo Sabres forward Ramus Asplund has been offered and agreed to a 2 year deal for 825 thousand dollars per season.  Asplund was a restricted free agent.  Asplund, 23, is coming off his best season in the NHL. In 28 games played, the Sabres forward scored seven goals and added four assists for 11 points.  In his NHL career, Asplund has eight goals and 14 points in 57 games.

Afternoon News Brief

Today is senior citizen day at the county fair.  The schedule this afternoon is: Midway open for unlimited rides for 10 dollars for kids 16 and under form 1-5. The Genesee County fair talent show is at 2.  3:30 show up for the small fry tractor pull.  At 6 there is NIOGA Dairy Showmanship in the Main show ring.  The Demolition Derby starts at 7 with fireworks to follow.  Fair closes when the band stops playing in the Entertainment tent although the exhibits and buildings will be closed at 10.

Governor Cuomo has announced the launch of New York State’s $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit program, designed to help expand employment opportunities for workers and provide relief to COVID-impacted restaurants. The program offers a tax credit for the rapid hiring of restaurant workers.  Qualifying restaurants could receive a $5,000 tax credit per new hire, totaling up to $50,000 in tax credits per business.  Critics of the program say that the problem isn’t getting restaurants to hire people, its getting people to apply, show up to interviews or even show up after being hired.  Proponents say that this allows restaurants to pay workers more per hour and will incentivize people to want to work.  Bars, taverns, nightclubs, and certain breweries, wineries, and distilleries with tasting rooms are also eligible for this new tax credit.  To apply follow the link on wbtai.com.  https://esd.ny.gov/restaurant-return-work-tax-credit

The Buffalo Sabres have made two signing decisions.  Defenseman Ethan Prow has signed a 1 year contract and Forward John Hayden has also signed for a year.   Hayden was a third-round draft pick by the Coyotes in 2013 and previously played for Sabres head coach Don Granato with the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2011 to 2013 earning a silver medal at the 2013 U-18 World Championship. The 28-year-old Prow has appeared in 215 career AHL games tallying 116 points. He was selected to the AHL All-Star Game in 2018-19.  He played in 26 games last season with EHC Munchen in Germany and had 20 points.  The Sabres also announced that Jason Christie, Matt Ellis and Marty Wilford have been hired as assistant coaches.

Morning News Brief

Schools in New York State are now prohibited from filing lawsuits against parents or guardians for unpaid meal fees. This was following the enactment of new legislation, signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday. The Governor’s Office stated that this builds on the state’s “No Student Goes Hungry” program, aiming to help protect students and families from legal tactics. Cuomo’s office stated that the new legislation will work to concert with commitments made on the federal level, ensuring that students in the United States receive “vital” meals.

The City of Batavia Water Department will be making repairs to a water main on Williams Street today. The water will be shut off the length of Williams Street and it should be restored by 3:00. The repair effort may cause discolored water in the general area and you should please refrain from doing laundry until the water is clear.

New York’s COVID positivity rate took a slight break earlier this week…but now it is on the rise again. State officials say the rate is up to 2.49%. Two more deaths have been reported along with 20 more hospitalizations, bringing the statewide total to 611. 72% of New Yorkers age 18 and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the launch of New York State’s $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit program, designed to help expand employment opportunities for workers and provide relief to COVID-impacted restaurants. Created as part of the state budget, the program offers a tax credit for the rapid hiring of restaurant workers to reduce the restaurant industry’s pandemic-induced economic difficulties. Qualifying restaurants could receive a $5,000 tax credit per net new hire, totaling up to $50,000 in tax credits per business.

New York students may need to wear masks when school begins in September. The New York State Department of Education said New York health officials are developing new guidelines for the upcoming school year, and the basis of those guidelines will follow the new mask-wearing recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier this week, the CDC said all students in K-12 should wear masks in the classroom. The education department sent a memo to school districts on Thursday so they can start preparing.

Sheriff’s deputies report the arrest old 23-year-old Andrea Tucker of Tonawanda. While at Six Flags Darien Lake, she allegedly made threats toward another person. She was charged with harassment and issued a ticket for Town of Darien court on August 17th.

Midday News Brief

Melvin A Huntley

 

A Batavia man arrested earlier this month on child sex abuse charges, has been arrested again.
40-year-old Melvin Andre Huntley, of Wilkinson Road, is charged with two counts of first-degree sex abuse. Two children were involved: one was under 13, the other under 11.
Back on July 8, Huntley was arraigned on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child. These new charges are the result of the ongoing investigation.
Huntley is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

 

With the start of classes a few weeks away, Governor Cuomo is urging schools statewide to keep a close eye on the growing number of COVID-19 cases. The governor said that districts may need to take aggressive action in order to prevent students and teachers from becoming super-spreaders. The Governor said that districts could require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

There is a hint of good news on the COVID front in New York State.
The positivity rate has actually declined from yesterday…it’s now at 2.23%. However, there have been seven more COVID deaths and around 120 hospitalizations and admissions to the ICU.
The positivity rate in Genesee County has dipped a 10th of a point to point-4 percent.
There were no new positive cases reported yesterday.

The YMCA summer recreation program is cancelled today due to the threat of thunderstorms. This affects the summer rec program at Farrall, John Kennedy, Lambert and Williams Parks.
Summer Rec anticipates the program will operate tomorrow.

Day 7 of the Genesee County Fair.
Highlights today include the Midway, which opens at 4 this afternoon, The 4H Market Animal Auction sale begins at 7.

Morning News Brief

A Rochester woman is facing 14 felony counts after she allegedly attempted to scam Genesee County Social Services out of nearly $3,800. Deputies arrested 33-year-old Kristin Forte. She was charged with 8 counts of filing a false instrument, five counts of forgery and one count of grand larceny. Investigators said she submitted application or recertification’s for SNAP benefits but omitted her wages. She is also accused of forging several documents and signatures. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia court and released on her own recognizance.

A 40-year-old Batavia arrested earlier this month on sex abuse charges has been arrested on additional child sex abuse charges. Melvin Andre Huntley, of Wilkinson Road, is charged with two counts of first-degree sex abuse.  The children are less than 11 and less than 13 years old.  He is also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. On July 8, he was arraigned on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child; course of conduct against a child in the first degree; first-degree rape; first-degree sex abuse. These new charges are the result of the ongoing investigation. The Sheriff’s Office is not releasing more information about the case at this time.  The investigation remains ongoing. Huntley is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail

If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and that there are pending charges against you that need to be paid for failing to appear, please hang up.  It is not the process of the Sheriff’s Office to call and request payment for any outstanding criminal charges. If you have any questions regarding whether a phone call is a scam, you can call the Sheriff.

The American Red Cross has an emergency need for lifesaving blood amid the ongoing severe blood shortage. Blood and platelet donations continue to be critical to meet hospital demand and the public is urged to make an appointment to give now. The Red Cross has been distributing about 12% more blood products to hospitals across the U.S. compared to this time last year. The Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet the current hospital demand and end the severe blood shortage. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially type O, which stands at just a one-day supply right now.

New York is one of a growing number of states that are making their state employees either get vaccinated for COVID-19 or get tested regularly. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says they are taking it a step further than other states. This comes as about 62-percent of New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose. Sen. George Borrello, who represents Allegany County, called the move outrageous, unconstitutional and more about muscle-flexing than public health.

It’s a good news-bad news story. There is a hint of good news on the COVID front in New York. The positivity rate has actually declined from yesterday…it’s now at 2.23%. However, there have been seven more COVID deaths and around 120 hospitalizations and admissions to the ICU. Cases in the Finger Lakes Region have continued to spike during the last three days.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation which allows victims of human trafficking to recover actual, compensatory and punitive damages or other appropriate relief. This legislation also amends current law that requires an action to be commenced within 10 years of victimization to state an action can be commenced within 15 years after victimization has occurred.

Morning News Brief

Prospective election workers in New York will now have the opportunity to train virtually. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation that provides a more flexible approach to election worker training, permitting both online and in-person instruction and examination of election inspectors, poll clerks and election coordinators. In-person training may still be required for specialized issues, such as the use of voting machines. Additionally, this legislation removes the requirement that the course of instruction be taken every year. Election inspectors, poll clerks and election coordinators will still be required to pass the annual examination, but they will only need to take the training course once.

The City of Batavia will be redoing the Center Street Parking lot (across from Adam Miller Toy & Bicycle) starting today. Initial milling of the lot will not allow for parking for most of today. Paving will be done in sections to try and accommodate parking after today.

The Batavia City School District’s Registration Office will be located at the Robert Morris Site beginning on Monday, August 2, 2021.   Families are asked to use the Community Schools entrance when picking up or turning in registration materials, which is located off of the parking lot at the corners of Richmond and Vernon Avenues.  The hours are 8 AM-12 PM and 1 PM-3 PM until August 20.  Beginning August 23, hours are 8 AM-4 PM.

A second DEC Forest Ranger has been deployed to Montana to assist in fighting western wildfires. Yesterday, New York State welcomed home Forest Ranger Timothy Carpenter at the end of his two-week assignment fighting the Bootleg Fire raging in Oregon. Ranger Carpenter, from Steuben County, began his assignment July 10, when he joined more than 2,000 federal, state, and local fire agencies battling the Bootleg Fire in Oregon. The Bootleg Fire started on July 6 and has burned more than 400,000 acres. It is now approximately 53 percent contained. Sustained winds and low humidity make this a difficult fire to get under control. The fire has already destroyed more than 200 buildings, forcing the evacuation of about 2,000 people.

New York’s COVID positivity rate continues its upward trend. In the most recent state report, the rate has climbed to 2.46%. New hospital admissions have increased along with patients being sent to the ICU. Nearly 1,700 new positive cases.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office confirms it is working with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in an investigation into a former New York State Supreme Court justice. The Sheriff’s Office says this past spring, it was notified of “possible criminal conduct” by former justice Matthew Rosenbaum. Deputies did not elaborate on the “possible criminal conduct” of which it was notified.

NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney and others have introduced a resolution to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which was founded on December 1, 1941, to assist the United States as a civilian defense organization during World War II. The resolution recognizes the historical contributions by the CAP over the course of its 80-year history

Morning News Brief

A violent domestic dispute in Batavia resulted in multiple felony counts lodged against a man. City police said Michael J. Perkins was arrested following a domestic disturbance on Ellicott Street. During the incident, Perkins allegedly assaulted another person resulting in serious physical injury, took their phone while they were attempting to call 9-1-1 and applied pressure to their neck, causing difficulty breathing. Perkins then fled the residence prior to patrols arrival. He was later charged with felony assault with serious injury, felony grand larceny and lesser counts including criminal mischief and criminal obstruction of breathing.

NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland seeking answers on why the Department of Justice abruptly terminated ongoing investigations into nursing home deaths in the states of New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Tenney said she continues to fight for the thousands of families who were cut off from their loved ones in long-term care facilities during the pandemic. She has introduced the Essential Caregivers Act (H.R.3733), a bipartisan bill that ensures individuals living in long-term care facilities, including nursing and group homes, are never cut off from essential caregivers in the event of a future public health emergency.

Amid lawmakers’ calls to release funds from New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday announced a streamlined application process. The new ERAP process relaxes documentation standards for both tenants and landlords effective today, according to the governor’s office. Over 1,000 dedicated staff and 350 volunteers are also slated to help clear close to 5,000 pending cases by next Tuesday.

New York’s COVID positivity rate has jumped to 2.28%. 85 people have been admitted to a hospital or the ICU and there have been four more deaths. The WNY rate has risen to 2.18%. It has jumped to 1.90% in the Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee County.

Two people face charges after a victim was struck in the head with a beer bottle on Bloomingdale Road. Jarrot Coniglio was charged with felony assault, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and obstruction. In addition, Justice Conoglio was also charged with obstruction and resisting arrest. Deputies said both suspects became hostile and combative towards deputies. K-9 Frankie assisted in the apprehension of both people. Justice was released on his own recognizance and ten turned over to Wyoming County deputies on a warrant. Jarrot was remanded to jail on $5,000 bail.

Six United Way chapters officially announced their merger and the creation of a powerful and aligned organization: United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, serving the counties of Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Wayne and Wyoming. The organization, which altogether raises and distributes more than $30 million annually, now encompasses 5,144 square miles of rural, suburban and urban neighborhoods, and brings together more than 50,000 donors, 1,300 workplaces, 1,000 nonprofit partners, and thousands of volunteers to address the region’s biggest human services challenges.

There is concern among wildlife experts throughout the Northeast about a mysterious disease that killing songbirds and while there’s no confirmation that the unknown pathogen has reached Genesee County it has been reported in the Southern Tier. Close enough that bird lovers might want to exercise caution, which could include taking down birdfeeders. Birdfeeders and birdbaths are places that encourage songbirds to congregate, which could help spread the disease. The Department of Environmental Conservation is asking state residents to report any unusual bird deaths.

Midday News Brief

The spread of COVID-19 is back on the rise across New York with the daily statewide infection rate surpassing 2-percent.
The Finger Lakes Region – which includes Genesee County – has a seven-day average positivity rate of .5-percent, among the lowest in the state.
Officials believe the new variants of the virus are what’s causing an increase in infections. Anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 can check out the state’s “Am I Eligible” website or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX to find an immunization clinic.

Gasoline prices in Batavia are unchanged from a week ago.
The average cost for a gallon of regular here is $3.17, the same as last week.
A year ago, at this time the average prices for a gallon of gas in Batavia was $2.24.

 

A suspect arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Walmart over a three-day period. 31-year-old Antonio Goodson of State Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts of petit larceny. Deputies say Goodson boosted Walmart merchandise last Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you use the Center Street Parking lot downtown this one is for you.
The lot will be closed for milling operations this Wednesday.
Once the milling is done the lot will be re-paved, an operation that could take a few weeks.
However, the city says during repaving the lot will remain opened with sections coned for pavement repairs and re-surfacing.

Alianna Baris

It is Veteran’s Day at the Genesee County Fair.
The market auction goat show is scheduled for 4 this afternoon.
4-H livestock judging is scheduled for 6 this evening.

Yesterday at the fair: Alianna Baris was crowned Fair Queen.
Alianna is a 2021 graduate of LeRoy High School.

Morning News Brief

It’s Veteran’s Day at the Genesee County Fair. The day includes 4-H Auction final weigh-in, the 4-H Skill-a-thon and the 4-H livestock judging contest. The Midway opens Tuesday from 4-10 p.m. The county Fair runs thru Saturday. Alianna Baris, a 2021 graduate of Le Roy High School, is the 2021 Genesee County Fair Queen.

Batavia Downs has announced that with the approval of the New York State Gaming Commission, the special twilight card of live harness racing that was originally scheduled for today has been canceled due to a lack of entries. Racing will resume at the Downs on Wednesday at 5 p.m. as was originally scheduled. That night will feature the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old colt and filly pacers.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate is now 2.23%. Over the weekend there were more hospitalizations and admission to Intensive Care. Additional deaths were also reported. The percentage of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose is 62%.

After investigating an alleged violation of an order of protection in the town of Stafford, state police report the arrest of 36-year-old Lindy Delapenha. He was charged with criminal contempt for allegedly disobeying a court order. He was released on his own recognizance.

Batavia-based Troopers arrested 25-year-old Aaron Hatt of Alexander. He was charged with felony aggravated family offense, felony criminal possession of cocaine and a lesser count of criminal contempt. He was released on his own recognizance.

The Justice Department has announced it will not open a civil rights investigation into New York’s handling of COVID-19 deaths at state-run nursing homes. The decision ends nearly a year of inquiry by the department started under then-President Donald Trump into how COVID deaths and infections swept through the vulnerable populations in nursing homes. In a letter to some Republican members of Congress, the Justice Department said it has decided against opening a civil rights investigation into public nursing homes in New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan, but it still has a probe in two nursing homes in New Jersey.

The Buffalo Bisons announced all single-game tickets for the remaining 23 home games at the downtown ballpark will be just $10. Tickets go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. at Bisons.com and the Sahlen Field box office. All single-game tickets will be general admission. Fans with ticket credits from the 2020 season can apply them to any ticket purchase.

There will be a Special Batavia Town Board Meeting on Wednesday at 5:00 P.M. . The Work Session will be immediately following the Special Meeting.

Weekend News Brief

The federal task force to address the violence and crime in Rochester and Buffalo has made 138 arrests so far in its efforts.  Operation Viper so far has been cracking down on illegal firearms, drugs and violent offenders.  Of the 138 arrests 45 were gun related, 45 were narcotics related, and 38 were violent felonies.  John DeVito, special agent in charge of the New York Field Division at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said it’s just the beginning.

SUNY Chancellor, Jim Malatras announced Friday the SUNY school system is requiring students to be vaccinated on campus.  Unvaccinated students will be required to wear masks and undergo weekly testing.  Individual schools can decide if they want to enforce stricter guidelines.  SUNY Brockport added if students live in a dorm or participate in a sport, they will need to be vaccinated.  Several private colleges and Community Colleges have also announced that they will mandate students to be vaccinated to participate in on campus classes and also mandate masks to be worn indoors for all students.

GO Health has announced free vaccinations at the Genesee County Fair.  Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for GO Health has said “The vaccination rates in both Genesee and Orleans counties are slowly increasing, but we are still lagging behind New York State.  The majority of the cases we are seeing in both counties are people that are unvaccinated.”  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday there will be a vaccine clinic at the fairgrounds from 1:30-4:30pm. Wednesday the clinic will go from 4:30-7:30pm.  These clinics are for the Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson vaccines.  Anyone 12 and up can get a shot.

The Crossroads House annual fundraiser Garage Sale is this week!  Starting Thursday at 9am you can see what treasures are available at 11 Liberty street in Batavia.  Or you can come early on Wednesday at 9am for a pre-sale that costs 5 dollars per person.

The Buffalo Sabres have made several trades since the beginning of the draft and 25 year old lead scorer Sam Reinhart is one of them.  Reinhart has been traded to the Florida Panthers.  It is unclear what the Sabres are getting for Reinhart who has been with the Sabres for 7 seasons and has never played for another NHL team.  Another big trade was Rasmus Ristolainen who was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers before the draft.

Afternoon News Brief

The Veterans Affairs of Western NY is hosting a career fair for a variety of jobs and shifts on August 12th at Freedom Hall on Bailey Ave in Buffalo.  You can submit an application package containing your resume, transcript, dd214 if you are a veteran, and 3 references to buffalovajobfair@va.gov.

The City of Batavia Water Department is going to be repairing a water line in front of 13 Holland Ave. today. The street will be closed to through traffic including emergency vehicles. Work began about 8 a.m. and should be completed by 3 p.m.  Residents are asked to find alternative routes.

After nearly 2 years of not being at their home the Buffalo Bisons are migrating back into Sahlen field.  There will be 23 home games and ticket prices are now revealed to be 10 bucks a person.  If you get season tickets for 2022 you also get 2021 free.  259 dollar club level suite rentals come with 12 game tickets and plenty of food and drinks.  All this goes on sale Monday at 10am.

Morning News Brief

It’s Fair time. The Genesee County Fair kicks off tomorrow and runs thru July 31st. Tomorrow is drive your tractor to the Fair day…and it launches at 9 a.m. General admission and demolition derby tickets can be purchased at the Fairgrounds daily. The daily schedule can be found at gcfair.com.

An Oakfield man has been jailed following a knife attack and other acts of violence. Sheriff’s deputies said they took 37-year-old Michael Martinez of Church Street into custody. According to a press release, he engaged in a violent confrontation with two people, threatening to kill them. He allegedly stabbed one person and then fled to his house. He then threatened a third person outside his home with a pipe and said he would get a gun. Deputies arrived and arrested him without incident. He was charged with menacing, two counts of felony first-degree attempted assault, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, harassment and trespass. He was arraigned and jailed on $10,000 bail. State Troopers assisted.

Genesee deputies report the arrest of 35-year-old Ida Vanorden of Swan Street in Batavia. She was charged with second-degree attempted assault and third-degree assault. She is accused of assaulting two people on Thursday. Vanorden was arraigned and is due to return to court August 11th.

Quicklee’s convenience store and gas station is a step closer to building in Batavia. The city Planning and Development Committee has approved the request to build at the former Bob Evans on Oak Street.

An accused Batavia drug dealer is headed to prison. In court this week, 46-year-old Angela Bateman of West Main Street Road was ordered to serve two years in state prison along with three years post-release supervision.

A Batavia man has pleaded guilty to raping a child. In court this week, 19-year-old Hezekiah Burch admitted to the crime of first-degree rape. He cut a deal with prosecutors so his prison time won’t exceed seven years when he is sentenced in September. The victim was under the age of 15.

There are now new rules for teenage marriages in New York. Legislation as been approved and signed raising the age of consent to be married in New York State to 18. This legislation takes effect 30 days after becoming law and will apply to licenses issued after that date.

Some New Yorkers with disabilities are missing out on employment opportunities and other benefits because the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) failed to include key features in its web-based advisement system…that’s according to an audit just released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. In a statement, the Comptroller said “New Yorkers with disabilities suffer much higher rates of unemployment and poverty than the general public, and the Office of Mental Health hasn’t done enough to fix those problems.”

The New York COVID rate has dropped a bit to 1.70%. As of Thursday, there were 21 new hospitalizations and five more people were admitted to ICU.

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has been selected as one of four statewide recipients of “The Arc New York 2021 Employer of the Year Award,” acknowledging the value of employing people with disabilities in their place of business. Arc of Genesee Orleans representatives will be on hand at the Downs on Thursday, July 29, at 6 p.m. for the Zoom award presentation.

Midday News Brief

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and her husband Timothy Granison have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.
The pair were in court after being indicted by a Monroe County grand jury on weapons and child endangerment charges.
Police say a search of the mayor’s home in May uncovered guns that were not registered to Warren or Granison, and that their 10-year-old daughter was home alone when police got to the residence. Under New York State Public Officers Law, Mayor Warren would be removed from office if she’s convicted of a felony.

A Genesee County grand jury has handed up a four-count indictment against a Le Roy man accused of spraying bleach in the eyes of two dogs. 36-year-old Robert J. Williams is charged with felony cruelty to animals and misdemeanor criminal mischief. Williams was arrested in February after a month-long investigation revealed that he purposefully sprayed bleach into the eyes and faces of two dogs.

The COVID positivity rate across New York State has risen to 1.75-percent.
Five more COVID related deaths have also been reported in the state.
Genesee County reports one new case of the virus, two in Orleans County.

A Batavia woman arrested for allegedly boosting $113 worth of merchandise from Walmart.
31-year-old Elizabeth Thompson of Montclair Avenue was charged with petit larceny and given a court appearance ticket.

Felony drunk driving charges filed against a LeRoy woman.
61-year-old Pamela Morrow of Linwood Road in LeRoy was charged with felony DWI and a felony count of having a blood alcohol content above .08%.
Morrow was released on appearance tickets.

Morning News Brief

New York State has fallen below the rate established by the Federal government in order for the state to qualify for the highest level of Federal Extended Benefits (EB). Effective August 9, EB will be available for a maximum of 13 weeks.

38 more people have been admitted to a New York hospital with COVID-related symptoms. 11 more have been sent to the ICU. The COVID-19 positivity rate has risen to 1.75%. Five more deaths have also been reported. In the Southern Tier Region, the rate has jumped to 0.79%. Genesee County reports one new case and two in Orleans County.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 61-year-old Pamela Morrow of Linwood Road in LeRoy. She was charged with felony DWI and a felony count of having a blood alcohol content above .08%. Morrow was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released on appearance tickets. She’ll appear in L Roy town court August 3rd.

Genesee County deputies arrested 31-year-old Elizabeth Thompson of Batavia. She was charged with petit larceny. Deputies said she allegedly stole $113 in merchandise from a store. She’ll appear in Batavia Town Court next month.

A grand jury has leveled a four-count indictment against a Le Roy man accused of spraying bleach in the eyes of two dogs. 36-year-old Robert J. Williams is charged with two counts of felony aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief. Williams was arrested in February after a month-long investigation revealed that he purposefully sprayed bleach into the eyes and faces of two dogs.

New York’s attorney general says a proposed settlement involving several states would resolve claims against three major drug distributors and help communities impacted by the opioid epidemic. Attorney General Letitia James says the proposed $26 billion agreement that would resolve those claims against Johnson & Johnson, as well as three major drug distributors: McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc. and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation. Additionally, James says communities in New York that were impacted by the epidemic would receive up to $1.25 billion to help will programs focusing on prevention, treatment and recovery.

Rochester’s mayor and her estranged husband appeared in court Wednesday, pleading not guilty to charges filed against them last week. Mayor Lovely Warren and Timothy Granison, were charged with criminal possession of a firearm, endangering the welfare of a child and failure to lock/secure firearms in a dwelling following the unsealing of an indictment last week. Warren is also facing charges in an unrelated case. She and two others were charged last year, accused of mishandling campaign finances in her 2017 reelection bid.

On July 28, the Center Street Parking Lot in Batavia will be closed for milling operations. After the milling operations are completed city crews will begin pavement repairs and resurfacing over the next few weeks. The lot will remain open, but sections will be coned off for pavement repairs and resurfacing. This work will be performed during the business day (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and operations are weather dependent.

Evening News Brief

The US governments Department of Homeland Security has announced that it is extending the travel restrictions with Canada till the 21st of August after Canada announced that it would allow vaccinated individuals to cross the border starting August 9th.  Both democrats and republican lawmakers decried the decision.  Democrat Congressman Brian Higgins Said “this is completely unnecessary” and cited businesses and families that are hurting because of the border closure.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “As Canada prepares to further open the border next month, the United States is failing to reciprocate, jeopardizing an already tenuous recovery for thousands of businesses, families, and communities across Upstate New York.”    These restrictions affect land ports and ferry terminals but do not cover sea, air or rail travel.

Rochester’s Mayor was in court earlier today and plead not guilty to charges of child endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, and failure to secure firearms.  Her husband, Timothy Granison plead not guilty to the same charges and several drug related charges.  Prosecutors say that Warren left her 10 year old daughter alone at home with an unsecured handgun and rifle.  Granison was caught in an investigation into cocaine trafficking in Rochester.

MCC has released its COVID restrictions for the coming school year.  Fully vaccinated students will be allowed to take in person courses provided they prove they are vaccinated.  All students will have to wear masks in the classroom.  Half of courses will be online only.  Unvaccinated students will need to be tested for covid weekly and wear masks at all times.

The Toronto Blue Jays will be playing their final game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo tonight after calling the area home for much of the past two seasons.  The Blue Jays have had to play in Buffalo due to the ongoing shutdown of the border between the U.S. and Canada.  They return to Toronto on the 30th and have already tweeted out “no place like home.”  The Bisons will be back in buffalo at Sahlen field in August.  Their first game is against the Rochester Red Wings on August

Interested in working at Highmark Stadium?  They are hiring.  Delaware North, the food and beverage and retail partner for the Bills will be hosting a hiring fair for Cashiers, Suite Runners, Servers, Line Cooks, Prep Cooks, Supervisors, Dishwashers, Vendors and Warehouse operations workers.  The Hiring Fair will be held July 24th, 28th and August 3rd.  It will be held at the Bills Store located on Abbott Road in Buffalo.

The Center Street Parking lot will be closed for milling and resurfacing starting July 28th.  Work will take several weeks with parts of the lot being open when not being worked on.

Midday News Brief

Genesee County’s unemployment rate is half of what was a year ago.
Figures released by the State Department of Labor show the June jobless rate was 4.5 percent. One year ago, the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.
The labor department also reports the number of persons employed in Genesee County compared to a year ago has risen by a half-percent.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is seeking applicants for the Genesee Youth Lead Program.
Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year.
The deadline to apply is Sept. 3.
The eight-month program is focused on developing leadership skills within an individual through each specific session and through hands on experience.

The COVID numbers in New York have become even more concerning.
In the latest state report, the positivity rate has jumped to 1.67%
More people admitted to the hospital with virus-related symptoms…and admissions to the ICU also spiked.
Two additional deaths were also reported

The Toronto Blue Jays will be playing their final game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo tonight after calling the area home for much of the past two seasons.
The Blue Jays have had to play in Buffalo due to the ongoing shutdown of the border between the U.S. and Canada.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and her husband are going to be facing a judge today. Warren and Timothy Granison were recently indicted by a Monroe County grand jury on weapon and child endangerment charges. Police say a search of the mayor’s home back in May uncovered guns that weren’t registered to Warren or Granison.

Morning News Brief

Scott Bischoping has been named interim superintendent for Batavia City Schools following the resignation of Anibal Soler. Bischoping was the interim superintendent following the departure of Chris Dailey and preceding Soler’s appointment at the start of 2020. Soler accepted an appointment as superintendent of the Schenectady school district. In a statement, the district said “his knowledge and leadership will guide us into the new school year.”

The New York State Department of Labor has released preliminary local area unemployment rates for June. To recap last week’s statewide press release, New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 7.8% in May to 7.7% in June 2021. In Genesee County, the unemployment rate stood at 4.5%. Orleans stands at 5.5and Wyoming is 4.6%.

The COVID numbers in New York have become even more concerning. In the latest state report, the positivity rate has jumped to 1.67% with 46 more people admitted to the hospital with virus-related symptoms. Admissions to the ICU also spiked. Two additional deaths were also reported. Western New York and the Finger Lakes Regions have been steadily climbing.

Another federal sex crime story from Wyoming County. A Bliss man has been indicted on charges of transportation and possession of child porn. Those indictment have been handed down against 40-year-old Shayne M. Hildreth. He could face 40 years behind bars. Prosecutors said police in Missouri interviewed a 15-year-old victim who said she was molested by the defendant over the past several years in the states of New York, Colorado, and Missouri. She allegedly told prosecutors that she had previously found child pornography, including recorded images of herself, on Hildreth’s cell phone and laptop computer. The defendant was arraigned and detained.

The City of Batavia Police Department, in partnership with The City Church, today announced that the 2021 Community Night Out event will take place on Tuesday, August 10th from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Church on 114 Liberty Street in Batavia.

At least one person is dead as police continue to investigate an explosion that occurred Tuesday morning in a residential area in the WNY community of Lackawanna. According to fire officials, a total of seven homes were damaged, but it’s not yet clear what caused the explosion.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is seeking applicants for the Genesee Youth Lead Program. Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year. The deadline to apply is Sept. 3. 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.

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted 41-year-old Shane Vanname of Batavia. He is accused of felony criminal contempt and two lesser counts of criminal contempt. He is accused of violating three orders of protection in Le Roy on Oct. 23.

Evening News Update

There is an air quality alert in effect for Western New York including the GLOW region till Midnight tonight  Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for fine particles which could affect people with respiratory illnesses and sensitivities.  Those who are susceptible should stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued an executive order Tuesday declaring gun violence in Erie County a public health crisis.  According to data from the Erie County Crime Analysis Center shows that homicides in the county have increased the past four years. So far in 2021 the number of homicides has reached the total number in 2017 and 44 of them have involved a firearm.  Erie County leads the state in firearms used in violent crimes on a per capita basis.  Erie county has nearly twice the state average of violent crimes.

A home in Lackawanna exploded Early this morning, leveling the house and damaging 7 other homes and multiple vehicles.  Firefighters arrived after a report of something burning in the road and a loss of power in the area about 7:20am to Bedford Street in Lackawanna to find what volunteer firefighter Michael Salamone described as a “war zone.”  According to Salamone he opened his blinds and that’s when the flash/explosion went, he said it blinded him for several minutes. He then saw a huge fireball and flames in the middle where the basement would be.  1 person is dead but the cause of the explosion is unknown and few details have been released.

Midday News Brief

The Summer concert season is underway, and New York State will be cracking down on underage drinking at outdoor music venues.
Starting this week, investigators are going to be patrolling places like Darien Lake Performing Arts Center to search for fake ID’s.
They’ll also be keeping a close eye on vendors to make sure they don’t sell alcohol to underage people.
Anyone under 21 who is caught using a fake ID to buy an alcoholic beverage could get a ticket and also have their license revoked.

After more than a year of waiting, some Americans are finally going to be allowed into Canada next month. The Canadian government says beginning August 9th, U.S. residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can cross the border without having to quarantine. However, they’ll have to provide proof that they’ve been immunized, be tested for coronavirus before their trip and have no symptoms of the illness.
The border between both countries has been shut down since March 2020.

A Wyoming County man admits to attempting to have sex with whom he believed was an 11-year-old girl.
42-year-old Daniel Hays of Bliss is facing a maximum penalty of 20-years in prison and a quarter-million dollar fine.
Police say in April and May of this year Hay exchanged sexually explicit text messages with the underage girl who was actually an under-cover State Police Investigator. The two arranged a meeting and when Hay drove two hours to meeting, he was arrested.

All 64 SUNY campuses across New York State plan to fully reopen with in-person classes this Fall.
Vaccination rates for SUNY students are outpacing the general state population. The only restrictions will be for those who remain unvaccinated, who will be required to continue masking and social distancing, as well as be subject to weekly COVID testing. They may also be barred from sports and special events.

The COVID positivity rate across New York is 1.18%.
In the Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee County, has been increasing since Saturday.

Morning News Brief

The latest New York statewide COVID report has more conflicting results. The positivity rate has lowered to 1.18% with a 7-day average rate of 1.26%. However, the last week, hospitalization have noticeably increased. On Monday, 26 new people were admitted with COVID-related illnesses. The ICU admissions remain flat. In the Finger Lakes Region, the positivity rate has been increasing since Saturday. The Western New York rate has peaked to 1.42%

A Wyoming County man has pleaded guilty to attempting to have sex with an 11-year-old girl. 42-year-old Daniel Hays of Bliss entered his plea Monday. The charge carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years, and a $250,000 fine. In April and May of 2021, Hay allegedly engaged in sexually explicit online and text communications with an individual who he believed to be an 11-year-old girl. In reality, the child was an undercover New York State Police Investigator working with the Department of Homeland Security. On May 11 Hays traveled approximately two hours in order to have sex with the child. He was arrested upon his arrival at the meeting place. Sentencing is scheduled for October 19.

NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is leading 175 of her House Republican colleagues in filing an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court defending the right to conceal carry under the Second Amendment to the Constitution for the case New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett. According to a partisan press release, they say the case is slated to be the biggest Supreme Court decision regarding the Second Amendment since the District of Columbia v. Heller case that reaffirmed the right to keep and bear arms.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced nearly $25 million in federal funding to upgrade public water and waste management systems across five towns and villages in New York State. This funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants and will be used to reduce health and sanitary deficiencies, improve storm water management, and extend public water service to residents living without access to safe and reliable potable water. In Genesee County, the Town of Pembroke will receive more than $9 million.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that state investigators will be on patrol at popular summer concert venues to crack down on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs to purchase alcohol. Beginning this week and throughout the summer, Operation Prevent enforcement sweeps will be conducted at venues like Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Operation Prevent is an ongoing effort to stop and prevent underage drinking, promote healthier choices among young New Yorkers and enhance roadway safety.

Canada announced Monday it will begin letting fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on Aug. 9, and those from the rest of the world on Sept. 7. Canadian officials said the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived as of Aug. 9 for eligible travelers who are currently residing in the United States and have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada.

All 64 SUNY campuses across New York State plan to fully reopen with in-person classes this Fall. The Chancellor says that vaccination rates for SUNY students are outpacing the general state population. The only restrictions will be for those who remain unvaccinated, who will be required to continue masking and social distancing, as well as be subject to weekly COVID testing. They may also be barred from sports and special events.

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted Andre Roberts for felony assault on a deputy and resisting arrest. The incident happened last October in the Town of Alexander.

Evening News Brief

Planning on going to a concert this summer?  New York State is cracking down on underaged drinking at concerts.  There will be state investigators on patrol at concert venues such as CMAC in Canandaigua, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Jones Beach, and the Lakeview Amphitheater. The investigators will be there to crack down on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs.  Officials say those who are under 21 and found using a fake ID to purchase alcohol can be ticketed and their license can be revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.

A school bus and a car collided this morning in Corfu at East Main and Alleghany Rd with 26 students being on the bus.  The fire chief reports that there were only minor injuries.  Mercy EMS responded to the scene.

You may think there has been a lot of rain this month and you’d be right.  This July has been the 5th wettest July on record in western New York with 5 inches above normal by today.  Right now the amount of rain is set at 6.6 inches for this month.  The wettest July on record had 8.93 inches of rain in 1992.  The other 3 wettest years on record are 1897, 1873, and 1878.  As far as the year goes we are 2 inches below normal for the whole year.

The Batavia Muckdogs game against the Elmira Pioneers last night ended in a rather colorful and abrupt way and we still don’t know who won.  The pioneers had a rocky relationship with the Umpires all night which started with a coach being ejected from the game and culminated in one pitcher being ejected, a second pitcher insulting the ump and then the dugout and infield all coming over to attack the umpire which resulted in the whole team being thrown out in the 9th inning.  The score stood at 10 to 10 with the Pioneers forfeiting but the league has yet to call the game.  The follow up Battle of the Badges game between the Batavia PD and the Batavia Fire Department involved a cat stuck in a tree and the game being called for rain in the third inning with the Fire Department leading the police by a score of 7 to zip.  No official word on what happened to the cat.

Midday News Brief

A Batavia woman is charged with a felony count of assault following a knife attack.
24-year-old Shacerie Rivera is accused of cutting another person on the arm causing a series injury. Rivera was arraigned on assault and weapons charges and then released under supervision of Genesee Justice.
Police did not disclose where the incident happened.

New York state health officials say numbers of COVID-19 cases as well as the positivity rate across the region are rising.
They say the western region’s seven-day average for positive tests has risen to 1.36% — while it was just under .5% point two weeks ago.
In the Finger Lakes region – which includes Genesee County – the positivity rate is .96% — up from .63% percent two weeks ago.

(Above) Batavia Police say one, maybe two people, tried to rip off Mr. Wine and Liquor in the Tops Plaza.
City Police want to questions two people in connection with the heist last night.

Only a slight increase in the price of gasoline in Batavia over the past week.
The average price for a gallon of regular is $3.17 – about a half-cent more than a week ago.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a sweeping package of voting reforms into law. The reforms he says will help voters, candidates and boards of elections more easily perform their functions. A few of the reforms include eliminating signed absentee ballot applications and allowing absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day to be considered timely; Allowing voters to request absentee ballots through electronic means and allowing candidates who have lost primaries to be removed from ballots as candidates for different parties.

Morning News Brief

Bail is set at $200,000 for a man charged with first-degree rape. Batavia Police say they arrested 52-year-old Editrudis Zavala-Palacio. The charge stems following an investigation into a reported forcible rape from 2009 that occurred at an apartment above 15 Jackson Street. Additional court action is pending.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate has now climbed to 1.51%. While the rate has increased, hospitalizations have dropped slightly. In the Finger Lakes Region, the positivity rate has jumped to 0.96%

A woman faces felony and other counts following a reported knife attack in the city. Batavia police arrested 24-year-old Shacerie Rivera. She was charged with felony second-degree assault with serious injury, criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing governmental administration. It’s alleged that Rivera cut another person in the arm with a knife. She then allegedly interfered with police as they attempted to take another person into custody. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. Rivera is due back in court on August 11th.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a sweeping package of voting reforms into law. The reforms he says will help voters, candidates and boards of elections more easily perform their functions. A few of the reforms include eliminating signed absentee ballot applications and allowing absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day to be considered timely; Allowing voters to request absentee ballots through electronic means and allowing candidates who have lost primaries to be removed from ballots as candidates for different parties.

The Holland Land Office Museum announces the return of its History Heroes Summer Program will be running Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The first event happens this Saturday. The theme is “Fun in the Roaring ’20s” — learning about different aspects of life 100 years ago. Join them to learn about the 1920s! Dance, sing, read, play, create, explore, and learn some history. The program will explore many facets of the era through many creative and interactive activities, and includes daily local walking field trips around Batavia. The program is open to children 7-12 and is limited to 16 participants each day. Registration is available for each individual day or for all five. Admission is $10 per child with discounts for multiple children and museum members. The program includes a field trip on Sept. 4th to the Arcade & Attica Railroad, which has a $20 admission. Registration forms can be found at the museum’s website.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new memorial honoring fallen highway workers across New York is currently under construction and will be unveiled at the 2021 Great New York State Fair.  The memorial, which will be located near the midway entrance and west of the Horticulture Building on the fairgrounds, is meant to honor all transportation workers killed while performing their job duties on or near New York’s thousands of miles of highways, including State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority employees, municipal highway workers, contractors, consultants and towing service employees. The State Department of Transportation alone has lost 56 workers during its existence.

New York State tax receipts exceeded the Enacted Budget Financial Plan forecast by $4.8 billion from April through June, the first three months of the 2021-22 State Fiscal Year…that’s according to the monthly State Cash Report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. He says the state is rebounding from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weekend News Brief

GO Health Director Paul Pettit gave an update on how the county is doing with Covid on Friday.  He gave updates on how many cases Genesee and Orleans county have been having.  Pettit also talked about the Delta Variant.  Pettit said that the state so far has not released guidance for schools in the fall.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted on charges of criminal possession of a firearm, endangering the welfare of a child, and failure to secure firearms in a dwelling Friday.  State Police searched her home in May after a months long drug trafficking investigation found that her husband, Timothy Granison, was allegedly part of a cocaine drug ring.  Granison and 7 others are being charged in connection with that investigation.  Warren was not charged with any drug related crimes.  Warren’s attorney says the mayor will plead not guilty. An arraignment date is expected to be scheduled next week.

COVID Vaccines for 6 month old’s.  66 children are being used to test COVID vaccine dosages in Rochester for ages 6 months to 12 years at Rochester Clinical Research.  Dr. Janet Casey says that “Kids get COVID, kids get sick from COVID, kids end up in the ICU because of COVID. Kids die because of COVID. So if it’s preventable, we should try to prevent it.”  According to the CDC 335 children in the US below the age of 17 have died with COVID since February of 2020.  About 75 thousand children ages 12-15 have had to have medical checkups or been hospitalized after receiving the COVID vaccines.  Most of the checkups were for pain at the injection site.  The CDC Stresses that although about 6000 people have died soon after receiving the vaccine there has been no link established between the vaccine itself and the deaths.

Midday News Brief

The 51st Annual Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction will be held Thursday, July 29, at the Genesee County Fair. The auction will feature chickens, goats, lamb, beef steers, dairy steers and hogs raised by local 4-H members.
For the first time ever the 4-H Market Animal Auction will offer online and in-person bidding.
On-line bidding begins on Tuesday, July 27th, the live auction will be held at 7PM on the 29th in the Main Show Ring at the Fair.
Access the online auction here.

 

A suspected welfare cheat is caught. 42-year-old Valerie Marucci of Attica is accused of receiving $2,700 in benefits she was not untitled to. She’s been charged with grand larceny and offering a false instrument.
Deputies say Marucci failed to report income on two separate applications for benefits.

The concrete stairs and sidewalks in front of the Batavia post Office are being re-built. Officials are asking postal patrons to park behind the post office between the building and the police station and then walk around the west side of the building.
This way you can avoid walking in Main Street traffic.

Governor Cuomo is going to be interviewed this weekend as part of the state’s sexual harassment probe. The interview will be conducted by outside lawyers hired by state Attorney General Letitia James.
The move may signal the investigation looking into allegations he sexually harassed current and former aides may be entering its final stages. Cuomo’s office is not commenting.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says some Americans could be allowed back into that country very soon. During a phone call with provincial leaders, Trudeau announced that discussions are ongoing with the United States that may lead to fully-vaccinated U.S. citizens re-entering Canada for non-essential travel by the middle of August.

Morning News Brief

The latest COVID report for New York shows mixed results. Close to 1,000 new positive cases were reported in the most recent report…and for the first time in weeks, the positivity rate has grown above 1%, today at 1.17% The good news is, hospital admissions and those admitted to the ICU have declined, slightly. Cases in the Finger Lakes Region have been on the rise and one new positive case was confirmed in Genesee County and two in Wyoming. Orleans County cases have remained flat.

Following his successful passage of the broader American Rescue Plan earlier this year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer heralded the Child Tax Credit expansion, which will allow payments of up to $300 per child to automatically go out to families across New York each month – starting TODAY July 15. Schumer said the plan will impact more than 86 percent of New York children. The Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee County, is expected to receive Expanded Child Tax Credits totaling more than $435 million.

According to preliminary figures just released by the New York State Department of Labor, the number of private sector jobs in New York State increased over the month by 9,800, or 0.1%, to 7.4 million in June. By comparison, the number of private sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 0.5%. New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 7.8% to 7.7% last month.

Genesee County deputies report the arrest of 42-year-old Valerie Marucci of Attica. She was charged with grand larceny and two counts of offering a false instrument for filing. It’s alleged that she failed to report income on two separate applications for public assistance benefits, resulting in her receiving $2,700 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.

Due to construction, officials with the Post Office in Batavia, are asking patrons to park behind the building, in the lot next to Austin Park, and then walk around the building on the west side — between the building and the police station — to avoid walking in traffic on Main Street. The sidewalk and steps of the post office are being reconstructed.

The 51st Annual Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction will be held Thursday, July 29, at the Genesee County Fair.  The auction will feature chickens, goats, lambs, beef steers, dairy steers and hogs raised by local 4-H members. Animals will be auctioned by William Kent Inc. of Stafford. New this year, the 4-H Market Animal Auction will offer online and in-person bidding. Online pre-bidding will be available on www.williamkentinc.com starting Tuesday, July 27th.  The live auction will be held at 7 p.m. in the Main Show Ring at the Genesee County Fair. Registration for bidders attending the live auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the 4-H Kennedy Building. The fairgrounds are located at 5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 28-year-old Davis LeRoy of Pembroke. He was charged with criminal contempt and trespass. LeRoy is accused of violating a stay away order of protection with his neighbor by speaking to him and allegedly trespassing on his property. Arraigned in Pembroke Town Court, LeRoy was released under supervision.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to be interviewed tomorrow as the state attorney general’s office winds down its investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct allegations that upended his national reputation and threatened his hold on power as he gears up to run for a fourth term next year. The timing of the interview in Albany was confirmed Thursday to The Associated Press by two people familiar with the investigation. Several women have accused Cuomo of unwanted kisses, touches and groping and inappropriate sexual remarks.

Midday News Brief

47-year-old Lori Ann Adolf of Pembroke now admits to the abuse of 13 dogs and two cats at her Akron Road home.
Adolf was arrested last March when deputies found the animals l8iving in deplorable conditions.
Under terms of a plea agreement, Adolf is likely to be placed on three years’ probation and during that time she can not own, purchase, breed or work with any animal of any kinds.
All the dogs have been or will be turned over to the Genesee County Animal Shelter. Many of the animals are available for adoption.
The court has ordered that Adolf must continue mental health and substance abuse treatment.

The number of COVID cases in New York continues to slowly rise. According to the latest report, the statewide 7-day average positivity rate has climbed to 0.95%. Hospitalizations have remained steady during the past 24 hours. Cases in the Finger Lakes Region – which includes Genesee County – have declined slightly.

A Batavia woman will appear in court later this month to respond to a felony count. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say they arrested 35-year-old Amanda Bowles of West Main Street Road. She was charged with felony fourth-degree grand larceny stemming from an incident on Sunday. Deputies did not disclose what the incident was.

The Genesee County Ag Society has officially shown off what they are calling the Agri-Cultural Center on East Main Street.
The building  purchased  is the site of the old Country Max facility near the entrance to the fair grounds.
Organizers Tim Call said it could take up to two years before the center is ready to welcome regular visitors. They are starting a fund raising campaign to repair the building which has been vacated for several years.

The Buffalo Bills have announced that three of their upcoming training camp sessions will be open to the public. Fans will be able to see their favorite players on the field at Highmark Stadium on July 31st, August 7th and September 7th at 10am. Tickets and parking are free but folks will need to register in advance through the team website if they want to attend.

Morning News Brief

A Batavia woman will appear in court later this month to respond to a felony count. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say they arrested 35-year-old Amanda Bowles of West Main Street Road. She was charged with felony fourth-degree grand larceny. That count stems from an incident reporting Sunday afternoon. She will appear in court July 27th.

Congressman Chris Jacobs voted to advance the bipartisan Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act (HR 4374) out of the House Agriculture Committee. Jacobs said the Act directs $43 billion in investments in rural communities to expand high-speed internet access. Currently, a bipartisan group of Senators is developing infrastructure legislation with $65 billion allocated for broadband.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is calling on federal regulators to make some changes to child car seat safety standards. The AG co-led a coalition of 18 Attorneys General, calling out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They’re asking for side-impact testing standards for child car seats. The coalition is also urging for a requirement that all car seat labels include guidance that says every child should remain in their current car seat until exceeding its height or weight maximum.

The Batavia Muckdogs are proud to host the inaugural “Battle of the Badges” game between our local Police and Fire Departments in Batavia. The game will take place this Sunday on 716 Day at the ballpark. Batavia will host the Elmira Pioneers for a 4:05 PM start with the “Battle of the Badges” game following the completion of the Muckdogs. Tickets will be required for the police vs. fire matchup, and admission will be counted toward both games that occur on Sunday. Tickets range from $9-11, and a dollar is added if purchased the day of.

The number of COVID cases in New York continues to climb. According to the latest report, the statewide 7-day average positivity rate has climbed to 0.95%. Hospitalizations have remains steady during the past 24 hours. Cases in the Finger Lakes Region have declined slightly.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined nearly two dozen of her Senate colleagues in urging the Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to expand student debt relief in the Department’s upcoming higher education rulemaking. In a letter to the Secretary, Gillibrand highlighted the need for polices that improve and expand the existing student loan repayment and forgiveness programs to ensure borrowers can access the relief they are owed.

If Bills training camp was at St. John Fisher College in 2021, fans would have a few weeks to see their team up close and personal. But that’s not happening. So with camp in Orchard Park, the Bills are planning on holding 3 open practices at Highmark Stadium where fans can watch Josh Allen and company go to work. The team sent out an email to season ticket holders giving them an opportunity to secure the free tickets beginning on Thursday morning, July 15th. There is no indication yet on how many tickets will be available and when they will be offered to the general public. The 3 dates for the practices are July 28th, August 7th and September 1st.

Evening News Brief

The Audubon Society says you should take your bird feeders down.  A neurological disease is killing birds, mostly grackles, blue jays, starlings, and robins in Ohio, middle Atlantic States and Pennsylvania.  A few deaths have been recorded in New York but people who have bird feeders are advised to take them down till late fall so birds will be less likely to congregate and get sick from each other.  For those who are worried whether the birds have enough to eat the Audubon society says this is the time of year when food is plentiful and bird feeders are just snacks for most birds right now.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is hosting a virtual Town Hall event  tomorrow night titled “Imagine an Independent Greater Western New York.”  The event is set to start at 7:30 pm.  He will be joined by Sen. George Borello and attorney James Ostrowski.  Hawley will defend the merits of making the region its own state; Borello will discuss the benefits of making the area an autonomous zone within the state; and Ostrowski will detail the benefits of following a path of nullification of disagreeable laws by local sheriffs and elected officials.  In order to participate in this Zoom Town Hall you have to register.  Follow the link on WBTAi.com.

https://stateof.greaterwesternnewyork.com/2021-midsummers-night-town-hall-meeting/

The Batavia Fire Department has become the first department in the state to join the Public Safety Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative.  The goal of the initiative is to provide addicts with a pathway to treatment and recovery without the fear of being arrested.  It allows anyone to go to the fire department and turn in either drug paraphernalia or drugs themselves, and they’ll receive the tools they need to jump on the path to recovery.  Nearby police departments such as the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, LeRoy Police and Batavia Police are all each a part of the initiative as well.

Midday News Brief

Governor Cuomo has signed a new law aimed at blocking those annoying robo-texts from telemarketers.
While residents currently have protection against unwanted robocalls, the measure closes a loophole that previously didn’t define text messages as telemarketing.
While telemarketing isn’t illegal, people can place their phone numbers on a company’s Do Not Call list to avoid being contacted.
The governor hasn’t said how this new change involving text messages will be enforced.

A new poll shows that most New Yorkers believe the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic have already come and gone. According to Siena College, 68-percent of people surveyed think that’s the case even though 47-percent of folks are still worried about contracting the illness.
When it comes to personal health, 49-percent of people said they gained weight during the pandemic.

From today’s bad boys report:
48-year-old Wade Jared Murphy of Clarendon collared by Gennesee County Deputies for strangulation, unlawful imprisonment and assault. Deputies say Murphy, a parolee, allegedly held a female against her will and strangled her at a home on Sunset Parkway in Oakfield

Agriculture is Genesee County’s largest industry, and now it is being given a home to showcase its importance and its history.
The Genesee County Ag Society is holding an Open House today at what is being called the Agri-Culture Center.
It is located at 50-22 East Main Street, the site of the old Country Max store. The hours are 4 until 8pm today.
The center will showcase vintage Ag machines, tools, toys, signs, and memorabilia.
The Ag Society plans to build classrooms for 4-H, FFA, cooperative extension and the general agriculture community.

Morning News Brief

Rochester Regional Health is expanding its partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), the nation’s largest medical school.  Rochester Regional Health will become the medical school’s largest clinical campus. This partnership will enable Rochester Regional to dramatically increase clinical rotations and feature locations in addition to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia where its program began. Now, as part of this 10-year agreement between Rochester Regional Health and Lake Erie, approximately 100 third- and fourth-year students will be on clinical rotation across the health system each month.

The Genesee County Youth Court is recruiting new members. Youth Court is a voluntary alternative for young people who face disciplinary action through school or law enforcement. Youth who are referred admit to the charge and appear before a court of their peers. Three youth judges listen to both sides of the issue and determine an appropriate disposition. The goal of youth court is to improve youth citizenship skills and decrease problematic behavior. Genesee County eighth to 11th graders who are interested can go online to download an application from the county website, where you will find a link on the Youth Bureau page. Applications are due by Aug. 2nd. Interviews of potential candidates will take place in August and September with the training to begin in October.

More disturbing news on the COVID front in New York; The statewide 7-Day positivity rate has increased again…it’s now at 0.93%. Hospitalizations and those admitted to the ICU have also increased as well. In the Finger Lakes Region, the positivity rate has wobbling between .79 and .80%.

After discovering a loaded gun in a chicken coop on Route 237 in Stafford, sheriff’s deputies arrested 29-year-old Clyde Hoskins of Buffalo. He was charged criminal possession of a loaded firearm, criminal possession of stolen property and tampering with physical evidence. He was arraigned in Stafford Town Court and released under supervision. He returns to court next month.

A New York State DEC Forest Ranger and expert wildland firefighter has been deployed to assist with efforts to contain the Bootleg Fire in Oregon. Nearly every year, New York State deploys its highly trained wildland firefighters to help battle fires in western states. This is DEC’s first wildland firefighting deployment after 2020’s busy fire season. In 1979, New York sent its first firefighting crew to assist western states with large wildfires. On average, one or two crews have been sent as needed to assist with wildfires every year since. In 2020, DEC Forest Rangers led four 10-person wildland firefighting crews to western states to aid in the national wildfire suppression effort. Each crew consisted of a Forest Ranger crew boss, four additional Forest Rangers, and five volunteer DEC employees with wildland firefighter training.

Gov. Cuomo announced that all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits for July. The agency is also working with the federal government to ensure this aid, which has brought in more than $2.5 billion in food assistance to New Yorkers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, will continue beyond July. Nearly 1.6 million households in New York State will receive the supplemental benefits later this month, which will result in the state receiving roughly $200 million in federal assistance.

New Yorkers now have increased protections against spam text messages. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation expanding the state’s definition of telemarketing to include marketing by text message. Previously, under state, telemarketing only included phone calls, so text messages were exempt from existing protections.

Evening News Brief

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties are under a severe thunderstorm watch till 11pm this evening.  Thunderstorms are expected to increase through the afternoon and into the evening.  The pattern of the storms is unstable so isolated powerful storms can pop up at any time.  Strong gusts of wind over 50 miles per hour are expected along with tropical downpours that may cause flooding.  If you come to a flooded roadway don’t try to ford it with a vehicle.  Find an alternate safe route.

Governor Cuomo signed legislation today allowing for barbershops and hair salons to offer haircuts and shaves on Sundays.  Although rarely enforced, and most people most likely didn’t even know about it, there was a law that made it a misdemeanor to cut hair or provide a shave to another person on Sunday.  Governor Cuomo called it “archaic and making little sense in the 21st century.”  The law takes effect immediately.

The governor also signed legislation labeling text messaging used for advertising goods or services as telemarketing.  New Yorkers were previously only protected against unwanted robocalls under state law, texting was not defined as telemarketing, new legislation closes that loophole.

The New York State DMV is warning of an increase in vehicle thefts.  From 2019 to 2020 thefts rose 54 percent and 2021 is showing an even higher rate of vehicle theft.  You can protect yourself by not leaving keys in the car or leaving your vehicle running when you go into the house or store or to get the mail.  Also to avoid car break ins don’t leave valuables where they can be seen through the windows.

A former priest of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church ahs been accused of child sexual abuse and placed on leave by the Diocese of Buffalo.  The 88 year old Reverend Monsignor Leo McCarthy was accused by someone who filed through the child victims act of abusing them in the 1980s when he served at the parish of St Matthew.  McCarthy served in Batavia for 12 years.

Midday News Brief

The chances of a nine-hole Disc Golf course in Batavia’s Centennial Park is about as likely as a par 5 hole in one.
About 16 people showed up at last night’s city council meeting protesting the location of the course
Batavia resident Philip Boyd, the man who first proposed it, has withdrawn his plan. He now says he’s open to other locations.
Council President Gene Jankowski the use of Centennial Park for disc golf is a non-starter.
The council says city parks are not big enough for the Frisbee like golf-styled game and suggested Boyd take his plan to Genesee County.

State Police have released the results of their recent July Fourth weekend dangerous driving crackdown. In the Western New York Region, there were 11-hundred 60 tickets issued between July 2nd and July 5th. Most of the violations were for speeding, seat belt or child restraint issues and drunk driving.

New York State’s COVID rate continues to edge up. In the latest report, the statewide 7-day average positivity rate has grown to 0.88%. Hospitalizations have also increased, now standing at 348 – an increase of nine from the last report. Patients admitted to the ICU has also increased.

Disturbing new details have been released involving a crash earlier this month that left a man dead. Prosecutors say 42-year-old Jennie Clark drove into the wrong lane on Colby Street in Ogden July 4th. Video from inside the vehicle recorded by one of her daughters showed that Clark asked everyone inside if they were ready to die. The vehicle ended up hitting a utility pole, which fell on Clark’s husband Matthew, killing him. Clark is facing murder and other charges and is being held on 200-thousand dollars bail.

The Goo Goo Dolls have announced a return trip to Buffalo, but fans are going to have to wait a while to see them perform. The Grammy-nominated band said yesterday they’ll be taking the stage at KeyBank Center on September 24th, 2022. It will be the final stop on the group’s upcoming North American tour. Tickets for the show go on sale to the general public at ten a-m Friday and seats will cost between $29 and $99 each.

Morning News Brief

Despite receiving prior assurances from several Batavia City Council members that Centennial Park was off the table as a possible location for a disc golf course in the city, representatives of the “Save the Park” committee weren’t taking any chances. About 16 of them made their way to the City Council Conference meeting, with five of those people urging the board to maintain the aesthetics of the 14-acre natural setting by finding another place to put a nine-hole disc golf layout proposed by Batavia resident Phillip Boyd. Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. informed the group that Centennial Park is “off the list … and not even a consideration.”

Six Flags Darien Lake has announced the formal launch of Project Ed. This hiring initiative is an opportunity for all educators and school employees to earn extra cash this summer, free tickets, and school supplies for their classroom in the fall. According to a press release – Participants will be paid premium wages and those who work an average of 24 hours for eight weeks in a variety of leadership roles have the opportunity to earn more than $3,000. They’ll be automatically entered into a raffle to earn up to $250 in gift cards for supplies in their classrooms.

New York State’s COVID rate continues to edge up. In the latest report, the statewide 7-day average positivity rate has grown to 0.88%. Hospitalizations have also increased, now standing at 348 – an increase of nine from the last report. Patients admitted to the ICU has also increased.

More than 10,000 traffic tickets were issued by state police in New York during the July 4th weekend enforcement campaign. Troopers arrested 195 people for DWI and investigated 648 crashes, including 122 personal injury crashes and two fatalities. As part of the enforcement, Troopers also targeted speeding and aggressive drivers across the state. Just shy of 4,000 speeding tickets were issued and 202 for distracted driving.

Dominic Pezzola, the Rochester man seen on video smashing a window at the U.S. Capitol with a police shield on January 6, has filed a motion for conditional release. According to WROC-TV, Pezzola is accused of smashing a window at the U.S. Capitol, smoking a cigar inside the building, and threatening to kill former Vice President Mike Pence. The motion argues conditions in the D.C. jail where Pezzola is being held violate his human rights, and prevent him from privately speaking with his attorneys and reviewing the evidence against him. Pezzola’s attorneys unsuccessfully filed for his release in February. That motion was denied in March when a judge signed a detention order that holds Pezzola until his trial date, which has not yet been set.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection and the Department of Motor Vehicles today warned New Yorkers of a text message phishing scheme. 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. The illegitimate text messages reference the Secretary of State NY Drivers License Facility and tells recipients they are required to update their data for their current NY Drivers License. Anyone who received such a text message should delete it right away.

Evening News Brief

The New York State Police have released the results of their crackdown on DWI and reckless driving over the 4th of July Weekend.  10,238 tickets were issued across the state.  Nearly 4000 of those were for speeding, and almost a thousand were for distracted driving, seatbelts not being worn and failure to move over for emergency vehicles.  195 people were arrested.  There were 648 crashes and 122 people were injured and 2 died over the weekend.  Last year the numbers were about 20 percent lower.

The gas prices keep on rising in Western Ny and the country as a whole.  The price in Batavia is up to 3.16 which is 2 cents higher than last week.  The New York State Average is 3.19 which is 1 cent up from last week.  Across the nation the average is 3.15.  The Energy Information Administration said that gas demand was the highest that it has been since 1991 while supplies continue to dwindle.  Gasbuddy predicts higher prices through the rest of the summer.

Six Flags Darien Lake today announced the formal launch of Project Ed. This hiring initiative is for all educators and school employees.  Participants will: be paid premium wages and those who work an average of 24 hours for eight weeks in a variety of leadership roles; have the opportunity to earn more than $3,000; and will automatically be entered into a raffle to earn up to $250 in gift cards for supplies in their classrooms.  Six Flags Darien Lake, like many businesses, has been dealing with staffing shortages that lead to some rides not being open some areas of the park not being staffed.

Midday News Brief

The investigation took seven years, but a Batavia man is now behind bars charged with sexually abusing children since 2014.
40-year-old Melvin A. Huntley of Wilkonson Road, is charged with four felony counts of sexual abuse against a child, first degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse.
According to Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies the abuse against one of the children began in September of 2014. The abuse allegedly continued against one or more children over an extended period of time.
Huntley is in jail without bail.
Deputies say more charges are expected.

A domestic dispute on Hutchins Place lands a city man in jail. 40-year-old Michael Jackson is charged with assault, strangulation and unlawful imprisonment. Jackson was found by police in the Town of Greece.
He’s behind bars without bail for now.

Once again, Batavia drivers are having to pay more money to keep their vehicles running. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is now $3.16 a gallon. That’s 3-cents from last week, 12-cents in the last month and is 94-cents more than this time last year.

While New York state has made significant strides in managing the coronavirus, there has been a recent uptick. The statewide 7-day average positivity rate has climbed to 0.84%. However, hospitalizations, now at 339, continue to decease. 65% of New Yorkers age 18 and older have complete the vaccine series.

Three members of the New York State Assembly are criticizing a plan to open several Chick-fil-A restaurants at rest stops along the Thruway.
The three, who are openly gay, say the company has opposed the rights of LGBTQ individuals.
In a statement, the fast-food chain said it doesn’t have a political or social agenda and that everyone is welcome at their restaurants.

Morning News Brief

A nearly seven-year investigation has led to high level sex charges against a Batavia man who is beginning the week in jail. Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested Melvin A. Huntley of Wilkinson Road. The 40-year-old is charged with four felony crimes to include predatory sexual assault against a child, first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse. The sheriff’s office says the charges stem from an incident in Batavia on September 1st, 2014. Deputies say the crime involve one or more children and occurred over an extended period of time. Huntley was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and remanded to jail without bail. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

Leaders of the Public Safety Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative in Genesee County have been informed that Allie Hunter, the Initiative’s national executive director, will be coming to Batavia to speak at tomorrow’s event showcasing the participation of the City of Batavia Fire Department. The program is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at fire headquarters at 18 Evans St. Hunter, in her role as executive director of the Boston, Mass.-based organization, coordinates training, technical assistance, and strategic guidance to police to help them when dealing with individuals using alcohol or drugs, or in recovery. The public is invited to attend the session, which will feature local public safety officials as well as representatives of the Genesee County Health Department, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, and the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

While New York state has made significant strides in managing the coronavirus, there has been a recent uptick. The statewide 7-day average positivity rate has climbed to 0.84%. However, hospitalizations, now at 339, continue to decease. 65% of New Yorkers age 18 and older have complete the vaccine series.

Following an incident on Clinton Street Road in Bergen, sheriff’s deputies arrested 51-year-old Jon Charles Brooks of Spencerport. He was charged with aggravated DWI, first-offense DWI and failure to keep right. Deputies said they made the traffic stop on State Route 33 and allege that Brooks has a blood alcohol level above .18% during the 3 p.m. stop on Saturday. He’ll chat with a judge on August 4th.

NY Congressman Tom Reed, Republican Leader of the Social Security Subcommittee released a statement on President Biden’s decision to fire Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul. Instead of preserving the agency’s longstanding independence, Reed said the President has decided to reject the large bipartisan consensus that confirmed Commissioner Saul and embrace more of the partisan politics that are ravaging our nation.

The investigation continues following Saturday deadly boating accident on Seneca Lake. Pronounced dead at the scene was 65-year-old Cynthia Stuck. Three others were injured while another suffered no injuries. Preliminary finding found a high-performance boat turned sharply while at a high speed, ejecting people off the boat.

After going virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, the annual eight-day, cross-state Cycle the Erie Canal bike tour returns this year. It departing from Buffalo Sunday and arriving in Albany on July 18. Reduced in numbers to meet COVID safety requirements, more than 300 cyclists from 34 states will cross New York State as part of the 23rd Cycle the Erie Canal tour organized by the statewide nonprofit Parks & Trails New York. Covering between 40 and 60 miles per day, cyclists travel along the Erie Canalway Trail, which is now more than 85 percent complete and is the east-west axis of the statewide 750-mile Empire State Trail.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer suggests that the N-R-A has committed fraud . Senator Chuck Schumer finds that the actions of the N-R-A contradict the organization’s claim of being bankrupt. He refers to the fact that the N-R-A has spent millions of dollars in advertising to Americans to end universal background checks and other forms of gun reform.  The N-R-A says that it does not support the proposed H-R 8 legislation because it “attacks law-abiding gun owners by placing further burdens on gun ownership and use.”

Weekend News Brief

The CDC has stated that they want all schools across the country to be back in full in person session come the fall.  As far as masks they are still recommending that all non vaccinated students and teachers continue to wear masks indoors but say that vaccinated persons don’t need to wear the masks.  School districts will have to follow state regulations and no word yet on whether schools will require proof of vaccination against COVID 19 for students to forgo masking.

The FDA and the CDC are both saying that Americans will not need a booster shot of COVID vaccine to remain immunized against the virus and its strains.  The CDC says that in tests so far the vaccines have kept their effectiveness even several months after administration.  Pfizer had said that a third dose may be needed and submitted booster shots for approval.  CDC data shows that one dose of Johnson and Johnson or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna Vaccines are still 93 percent effective in keeping people who contract COVID out of the hospital even if the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing catching the disease drops to 65 percent after 6 months.

At around 7 p.m. Friday, Batavia Fire Department responded to a report of a commercial building fire with smoke showing at 4080 Pearl Street.  When they arrived on the scene they identified the building as Summit Lubricants chemical plant.  Large barrels spilled and heated up which lead to an explosion and fire at the plant.  Other area fire departments also responded to the report including Albion and Leroy.  Around 75-100 firefighters from 10 different fire companies were on the scene.  A deputy reported pressurized smoke coming from building 1.  There are no known injuries at this time.  It took fire personnel 90 minutes to completely put the fire out.

Join Genesee County STOP-DWI and the Genesee County Youth Bureau for a night of family fun as they team up to host the STOP-DWI Night at the Ballpark on Thursday, July 15, gates open at 6 p.m.  The Batavia Muckdogs will take on the Jamestown Tarp Skunks.   The first 100 youths will receive a T-shirt or Muck Bucks for purchases in the ballpark. An additional 500 giveaways and prizes will be given throughout the night.   The grand prize is a youth bike from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

The Town of Bethany is looking for a new clerk.  The incumbent clerk retired and now the republican committee is looking for people who would be willing to be nominated for the spot.  If you are interested contact Tom Douglas.  His contact information can be found at wbtai.com.

Thomas J. Douglas, 10515 East Road, Pavilion, NY 14525, or contact Mr. Douglas at tdgoldenrod@yahoo.com  Cell: (585)-356-0824.

The water park at the former Fantasy Island location on Grand Island will open at the end of July, with a full amusement park opening in 2022.  Niagara Amusement Park and Splash World will open the water park some time in July, with an exact date not yet released.  Organizers say they plan on adding rides to Niagara Amusement Park and Splash World within the next six to eight months, with a full park reopening in the spring of 2022.

Evening News Brief

Covid Vaccination in New York is at 55 percent of the population fully vaccinated and 60.7 percent having at least 1 shot.  There are an average of 390 new cases in the state every day.  In Orleans county 15.7 thousand people are vaccinated.  In Genesee county 25.5 thousand people are vaccinated.  There are 3 total active cases in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties.  2 are in Wyoming County and 1 is in Orleans county.

37 year old Spencer Hart of Albion has been indicted on 3 counts of distribution of Child pornography and one count of possession of child porn.  Prosecutors allege Hart distributed child porn last year on the dates of March 17, June 21 and June 22. On July 16, he was allegedly in possession of a hard drive that contained a child porn image.  If convicted, Hart faces 15 to 40 years in prison. He was previously convicted of possession of child pornography at the state level.

Midday News Brief

A Byron man is behind bars charged with possessing a pipe bomb.
49-year-old Donald Ray Read of Mill Pond Road was arrested on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Read had previously been convicted on a weapons charge.
The case was investigated by the local drug task force, the ATF and FBI.
Read will be back in court on July 12th.

Congressman Chris Jacobs announces a grant of $9-million in rural water funding for the Town of Pembroke. The cash will help the town to bring municipal water to every resident in the Pembroke.

New York State will allow restaurants to utilize municipal spaces like sidewalks and streets for outdoor dining. First granted under an executive order by the Governor, this law allows restaurants to continue using these public spaces for another year as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Motors has announced a job fair in Lockport that the automaker hopes will help fill dozens of positions.
The hiring event will take place July 14th from 10am to 2pm and July 15th from 1pm to 5pm at a GM facility on Upper Mountain Road.
The company will conduct interviews and drug testing on-site so hiring decisions can be made quickly.

Morning News Brief

The Schenectady City School District Board of Education announced at a press conference that Anibal Soler, Jr. has been selected to serve as the Schenectady City School District Superintendent of Schools, effective July 19. Soler, who has 21 years of experience in the field of education, twelve as an administrator, is currently the superintendent of schools for the Batavia City School District. Soler called it a true privilege and honor. Soler was selected as the successful candidate after a 14-month process that was impacted by COVID-19.

New York no longer requires students to wear face masks in summer school. The Department of Health (DOH) released new guidance suggesting they would treat school programs like summer camps—encouraging face masks without mandating them. A spokesperson with the Department of Health (DOH) says the new guidance was included in three updates they sent to schools and educators this week. Districts also no longer need to report daily to the COVID-19 Report Card.

The number of people hospitalized in New York has dropped by seven, and now stands at 347. However, patients in Intensive Care ticked up by three to 80. Three more deaths were also reported, bringing the statewide total to more than 43,000.

South Main Street Road near the Wortendyke Road intersection in the Town of Batavia will be closed beginning Monday, July 12th for a culvert replacement project. The project will take approximately eight weeks to complete, and that portion of the road will not be passable to traffic or emergency vehicles during that time.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a $4.5 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma – one of the largest in U.S. history – over the company’s role in falsely marketing its products to get more Americans hooked on opioids. The owners of Purdue Pharma, the Sackler family, will be required to pay $4.5 billion over the next nine years, with New York State expected to receive at least $200 million. Funding from the settlement will be used to fund prevention, treatment and recovery programs in communities across the country, and thousands of individual victims will also receive compensation as part of Purdue’s bankruptcy process. Additionally, the settlement requires the Sackler family to relinquish control of family foundations.

The Elba Betterment Committee is pleased to announce the first concert in their summer concert series — EBC Music and More 2.0 this Saturday, July 10 at the Elba Village Park. It is located in the center of the Village on east side of Main Street. Bring your own lawn chair and there will be plenty of food and drinks available for purchase.

Construction will soon begin to modernize service areas on the Thruway, bringing new restaurants, electric vehicle charging stations, updated buildings, and more. The $450 million project will begin on July 29 with ten service areas initially closing for construction. Fuel services will remain available. Empire State Thruway Partners was awarded the contract for the renovation and will rebuild 23 of the 27 service area restaurant buildings and provide significant upgrades to the remaining four. The project is funded through a public-private partnership, and no toll dollars or state tax dollars are being used.

Evening News Brief

The thruway rest areas are getting an upgrade.  450 million dollars is going to upgrade the thruway rest areas with new restaurants, EV charging stations, and updating the buildings.  The Clarence and Pembroke service areas will get an upgrade that will include more outdoor seating.  No other details have been released about what specific areas will be getting.  New Restaurants include shake Shack, Panera, Popeyes, Burger King, Panda Express, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. This is the first big upgrade that the rest areas will be getting since the 90s.

South Main Street Road near the Wortendyke Road intersection in Batavia will be closed beginning Monday the 12th for a culvert replacement project.  The project will take approximately eight weeks to complete, and that portion of the road will not be passable to traffic or emergency vehicles during that time.  The public will be notified again once the road is reopened.

Elba will be having its first concert of the summer series on Saturday the 10th at the Elba Village Park.  EBC Music and More 2.0 starts at noon with bobby and the Pedestrians then next up will be Genesee ted and Savage Cabbage following him.  At a smaller stage will be the Elba guys.  Bring your own chair, food and drinks will be available for purchase.  There will be a collection taken up for the Down Syndrome Parent Support Group.  The music is free.

Midday News Brief

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for most of Western New York, including Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
The weather service says showers and thunderstorms today will produce localized heavy rainfall. While most areas will pick up an average of a half inch of rain…some sites will receive one to two inches in under an hours’ time. There is also the risk that some of the stronger thunderstorms could produce wind gusts in excess of 40 mph.

The threat of bad weather has caused the YMCA to cancel the Summer Rec program at all city parks for today.
This affects summer rec programs at Farrall, John Kennedy, Lambert, and Williams parks, The YM expects to re-open tomorrow.

The statewide shortage of referees at youth and high school levels is a problem that has only grown worse since the pandemic started. Both the state and Section V are making pushes this summer to hire -as well as keep – more officials. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association says all school sports, regardless of level, are impacted.

A Livingston County man is facing a felony charge after being arrested for shooting and killing a dog. Deputies arrived at a home in West Sparta last month after getting a report that a dog had been shot. They later found that the 11-year-old pit bull was killed by 56-year-old Edward Carswell. He told investigators that he shot the dog because of its aggressive past.

The second edition of a cereal featuring Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen will be available this Fall. It can be purchased at Tops and Wegmans stores around the region and also online at plbse.com. All proceeds are going to once again benefit the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. Since Allen wears number 17 on the field, each box will have a QR code that allows fans to make a $17 donation. Allen says having his own cereal is surreal and humbling experience

Morning News Brief

Congressman Chris Jacobs is announcing $9,050,000 in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural water funding for the Town of Pembroke. Town of Pembroke Supervisor Thomas Schneider Jr. says “It is important to bring municipal water to every resident in the Town of Pembroke and to do it at a reasonable cost. This funding helps the town in accomplishing that.” Jacobs said “With this funding, Pembroke will not only be able to provide more residents with safe drinking water, but also attract new small businesses and residents.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James is co-leading a bipartisan coalition of 37 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against Google LLC for what she calls its illegal and anticompetitive conduct that has sought to maintain the company’s monopoly power in the mobile app distribution and in-app payment processing markets. Through a series of exclusionary contracts and other anticompetitive conduct in the Google Play Store, Google has deprived Android device users of competition that could lead to greater choice and innovation, as well as significantly lower prices for mobile apps.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia is demanding the immediate passage of a bill known as Paula’s Law, which aims to ensure that persons who sexually assault and then murder a child under the age of 18 will never be released from prison. This push to pass the bill comes in response to the granting of parole to Robert McCain, one of two men who brutally raped and murdered a 16-year-old New York girl. Hawley is also calling for the resignation of every member of the New York State Parole Board under Gov. Cuomo’s administration, following their decision to grant McCain his release. Hawley adds that his release is just one of many instances of releasing offenders known to be highly violent into the public by the parole board.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that will allow restaurants to utilize municipal spaces like sidewalks and streets for outdoor dining. First granted under an executive order by the Governor, this law allows restaurants to continue using these public spaces for another year as they recover from the economic devastation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants were especially impacted by the pandemic, with many continuing to struggle as New York recovers.

Lyme disease season is here again. While you can get bit by a tick year-round, there is typically a surge in the spring and summer months. In 2019, New York State had 2,847 confirmed cases of Lyme. It is likely that these numbers were even higher, as many cases remain undiagnosed. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks. There is a wide range of early signs and symptoms, which include: fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and/or a bull’s-eye rash. Serious health complications can occur if Lyme is left untreated. If you find a tick on you, remove it as soon as possible.

Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks has announced the appointment of Hon. Kevin M. Carter as Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District.
In his new position, Judge Carter will oversee the management and day-to-day operations of the trial courts in the Eighth Judicial District, which comprises Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
The appointment was made with the approval of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and after consultation with Hon. Gerald J. Whalen, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Judge Carter succeeds Hon. Paula L. Feroleto, who is returning full-time to the trial bench.

Amid a rise in violence in the Rochester area, federal and local law enforcement will be working together to push back against gun-related crime. Speaking Wednesday – near the site where a woman was fatally shot in front of two young children – officials pledged new efforts, including the formation of a new task force, to curb that violence. U.S. Attorney James Kennedy and members of the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, DEA and Homeland Security joined leaders from the Rochester Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office to discuss the formation of the Federal Violence Prevention and Elimination Response Task Force. Kennedy also announced a 60-day “surge” from law enforcement to “target the worst of the worst” offenders in the community.

The statewide shortage of referees at youth and high school levels is a problem that has only grown worse since the pandemic started. Both the state and Section V are making pushes this summer to hire -as well as keep – more officials. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association says all school sports, regardless of level, are impacted.

Evening News Brief

Governor Cuomo signed legislation today making municipal space available for restaurants to use for outdoor dining for at least 1 more year.  This means that until July of 2022 restaurants can use sidewalks and parts of streets as outdoor dining.  This is to continue the economic recovery from the covid lockdowns.

Senator Charles Schumer was in Avon Tuesday to announce 11 million dollars being granted from the US Department of agriculture to help increase high speed internet access to rural regions of New York State.  The senator said the pandemic helped reveal the significant digital divides around our area. The funding, he says, will help bridge those divides.  The grant funding will allow for the deployment of fiber-optic internet to reach about 11,000 people, including businesses and farms in Livingston County.

The Alexander Fire Department invites you to the roar and Excitement of a tractor pull Friday and Saturday at the recreation grounds on Alexander Road.  There will be super farm, light super farm, limited pro stock diesel trucks and heavy super stock and modified tractors all pulling away.  The Ladies Auxiliary will be putting on a chicken BBQ Friday at 5pm and Red Creek will be performing Saturday from 9pm to 1am.  Cost to attend is 16 dollars for those over 12, 8 bucks for 6-12 and kids 5 and under are free.

After winning by shutout on Saturday against the Niagara Power, The Muckdogs dropped the next 2 games against the Mansfield destroyers 11 to 9 and the Syracuse Salt cats 1 to 0.  These games don’t count towards their regular season record or individual stats.  The game last night however against Geneva redwings, did count and the Muckdogs gave up that loss to the redwings 3 to 2.  They play against the Power again in Niagara Falls tonight at 6pm.

Batavia Downs announced a change to their Summer Rockin’ the Downs concert series today.  July 23rd instead of Skid Row performing, Slaughter will be taking the stage that Friday.  Slaughter is known for performing such hits as Up all Night, Fly to the Angels, & The Wild Life.  Tickets for Skid Row will be honored, new tickets are on sale right now and refunds can be obtained where you bought your tickets.

O’Lacys is going to be closed from Saturday through next Wednesday to give the staff a chance to rest.  Citing being understaffed and overworked the popular pub on School Street will be taking a few days off.  They say that they are burnt out and that due to labor shortages no one has been able to take a break lately.  O’Lacy’s will be back open Thursday the 15th.

Noon News Brief

Elba central school district has name Gretchen Rosales as the new superintendent.  Gretchen Rosales is the Principal of Elba Junior/Senior High School, a position she has held since 2019. Previously, she was the Assistant Principal of Alexander Middle/High School. From 2015-2017, she served as an Instructional Support Specialist and Middle School Department Chair at the Kendall Central Schools. Rosales began her career in education in 1998 as an English as A Second Language Teaching Assistant/Long-Term Spanish Substitute for Elba Central Schools. She will begin her post mid august.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is announcing his annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., taking place from Sept. 16 to 19, where veterans and their family members are hosted on a tour throughout the area to visit several historical sites and landmarks. This year’s tour will feature stops at war memorials throughout the DC area including Arlington National Cemetery. Previous tours have included stops at the White House, the Capitol Building, Mt. Vernon, the Annapolis Naval Academy and various museums.  Participation in the trip is open to all military veterans and their family members and will cost $475 per person (includes all food, accommodation, travel, and other expenses). Those interested in this year’s trip can call his district office at 585-589-5780.

GO Health has put out a list of gas stations that offer discounts during this time of increased gas prices.  The list includes places such as Tops Friendly Markets and Speedway and 7-Elevens.  The discounts are mostly tied to memberships or discount cards.  For a complete list check out wbtai.com.

Below is a list of stations within Genesee and Orleans County that utilize credit/ reward cards along with their website to learn more:

 

TOPS Markets

https://www.topsmarkets.com/gassavings/

Locations w/ Fuel: Medina, NY   Batavia, NY   Le Roy, NY

 

Kwik Fill

https://www.kwikfill.com/charge-card

Locations: Medina, NY   Albion, NY   Batavia, NY   Le Roy, NY

 

Speedway

Locations: Batavia, NY

https://www.speedway.com/speedyrewardsmastercard

 

7-Eleven

Locations: Oakfield, NY   Bergen, NY

https://onlineservices.secure.force.com/creditapplication/WexBOCA?pgm=7Eleven&cc=W7A&lc=wcs

 

Mobil Stations

Locations: Albion, NY   Holley, NY   Batavia, NY   Pembroke, NY   Elba, NY

https://www.exxon.com/en

 

SUNOCO Stations

Locations: Medina, NY   Clarendon, NY   Kendall, NY   Holley, NY   Albion, NY   Le Roy, NY   Pavilion, NY   Corfu, NY

https://www.sunoco.com/consumer-credit-cards

 

Gulf Stations

Locations: Waterport, NY

https://www.gulfoil.com/cards-payments#:~:text=The%20Gulf%20Card%20offers%20pay,fleet%20vehicles%20and%20company%20drivers.

 

 

CITGO Stations

Locations: Kent, NY   Medina, NY   Alexander, NY   Attica, NY   Batavia, NY

https://www.citgo.com/payment-cards/rewards-card/rewards-card

 

Crosby’s

Locations: Clarendon, NY   Kendall, NY   Holley, NY   Medina, NY   Albion, NY   Batavia, NY   Byron, NY   Corfu, NY   Le Roy, NY   Pavilion, NY   Pembroke, NY   Elba, NY

https://crosbysstores.com/my-crosbys-rewards/

 

VP Fuel

Locations: Holley, NY

https://vpracingfuels.com/

 

Marathon

Locations: Lyndonville, NY   Byron, NY   Corfu, NY   Batavia, NY

https://www.marathonbrand.com/

 

Valero

Locations: Batavia, NY

https://www.valero.com/

 

T&A

Locations: Corfu, NY

https://www.ta-petro.com/

 

Pilot Flying J

Locations: Pembroke, NY

https://pilotflyingj.com/rewards/

Morning News Brief

Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared the first-in-the-nation gun violence disaster emergency as part of a new, comprehensive strategy to build a safer New York. In a press release, he says this new strategy treats gun violence as a public health crisis, using short-term solutions to manage the immediate gun violence crisis and reduce the shooting rate, as well as long-term solutions that focus on community-based intervention and prevention strategies to break the cycle of violence. The disaster emergency allows the State to expedite money and resources to communities so they can begin targeting gun violence immediately.

The Batavia Police Department investigated a car vs. pedestrian accident that occurred around 8:30AM Tuesday at the intersection of East Main Street at Swan Street. Police said according to multiple witnesses on scene a pedestrian, 23-year-old Angel Kemp of Batavia, had the right of way walking in the crosswalk northbound across East Main Street. A Jeep, operated by 73-year-old Jean Monroe of Batavia, was making a left hand turn from Ross Street on to East Main Street. The operator of the Jeep failed to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk, subsequently striking the pedestrian. Kemp was transported by Mercy EMS to an awaiting Mercy Flight helicopter with serious injuries. The pedestrian was then transported to Strong Memorial Hospital and was admitted to the ICU under guarded conditions. The operator of the Jeep was issued traffic tickets for failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, speed not reasonable and prudent, failure to exercise due care, improper left turn, driver’s view obstructed and uninspected motor vehicle.

Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested 26-year-old Liza Marie Besczyznski of Pearl Street Road in Batavia. She was charged with criminal mischief and menacing. According to a press release, she damaged another person’s property and then threatened that person with a hammer. She was arraigned in town court and released on her own recognizance.

Genesee deputies arrested 30-year-old Wyatt Becker of Darien. He was charged with harassment following a domestic disturbance. He was processed and issued a court appearance ticket for August 3rd.

There will be a Democratic party caucus in Le Roy on July 20th at 7 p.m. at the town hall. Nominations will be accepted for town council and town justice.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.13, up 3 cents in the past week. One year ago, the price was $2.18. The New York State average is $3.18 – up 3 cents from last week. In Batavia, Triple-A says the price at the pump is $3.14, up 4 cents since last Monday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that 70 percent of all eligible New Yorkers—those 12-years-old and older—have now received at least one vaccine. dose.

Evening News Brief

The rockets red glare was seen a bit closer to the ground on Saturday night in Pembroke as a panel truck carrying leftover fireworks from a show in Akron exploded on South Lake Road.  Edwin Mileham, Assistant Fire Chief for the Pembroke Fire District says particles stemming from the fireworks launched all over the road and into nearby yards.  The truck was loaded with launch canisters stacked in the front of the truck and unused fireworks in the back of the truck.  Exploding fireworks lit up the neighborhood and blew out the passenger side panel of the truck, the back roll-up door, and the roof. The cab was undamaged, probably because of the stacked canisters in the box stacked between the fireworks and the cab, Mileham said.  Crews were able to stand on a deck gun from a fire engine to put out the flames coming from the truck.  The driver of the truck was not injured and does not know how the fire started.  There is a spectacular video captured from a front door camera of the explosion at our news partner the Batavian.

The Toronto Blue Jays want to fly the coop back to Toronto.  With some restrictions getting lifted in Canada the Jays have submitted a petition to the Canadian government to be allowed to return to their stadium in Toronto by July 30th.  A spokesperson for the team says they are not tied to that date and may go back later if that is what is offered.

Midday News Brief

A Special Weather Statement has been issued for Genesee County this afternoon.
After isolated thunderstorms this morning, thunderstorms are expected
to increase across the area again by this afternoon. Stronger
thunderstorms today will be capable of producing gusty winds and
heavy rainfall and small hail. There is a marginal risk of severe
storms, especially from the Southern Tier to the western Finger
Lakes.

The cost of a gallon of gasoline in Batavia is up 4-cents in just one week.
The here is now $3.14 a gallon.
The Triple A expects crude oil prices to continue their upward trend…and in turn gas prices …through the end of summer.
A year ago, gasoline prices in Batavia hovered around $2.25 a gallon.

Batavia police report the arrest of 46-year-old Melton Chisom. – who has no local address…is charged with felony second-degree assault, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, and Menacing. Police say that Chisom engaged in a physical altercation with another person and held a knife to the victim’s face causing injury which required stitches. He is in jail without bail.

State officials are urging people not to get complacent in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. Currently the positivity rate Genesee County is point-1 percent.
Nearly 73-percent of Empire State residents 18 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 66-percent of that age group is fully immunized.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the process of easing COVID-19 restrictions at the country’s border is finally underway. Trudeau announced yesterday that fully vaccinated residents will no longer have to quarantine for several days after they come back to Canada.
However, this change does not impact fully vaccinated U.S. residents. Trudeau is hoping to roll out the next steps of the border’s reopening in the coming weeks.

Morning News Brief

The number of people in the hospital with COVID-related illnesses is now 330…that’s down a dozen from the last report. Patients in Intensive Care has also dropped to 80. The governor said “We’re working to beat back COVID-19 on all fronts, and with more New Yorkers getting vaccinated every day, our future looks bright.” The seven-day average positivity rate currently stands at 0.56%. As of Sunday, no new COVID cases were reported.

Two Elmira residents were killed in a weekend crash on I-390 northbound in the Steuben County Town of Wayland. The crash involved a pick-up truck and tractor trailer. The investigation found that the tractor-trailer was in the driving lane when it was rear-ended by the pick-up truck near the Livingston County border. State Police said the driver of the pick-up truck, 58-year-old Harold Novitsky and his daughter, 19-year-old Miranda were killed in the collision. The operator of the tractor-trailer, Randolph Notice, from Mississauga, Ontario was also taken to a hospital. In a press release, State Police said the speed of the pickup truck was a factor in the accident and the investigation is continuing. Miranda was an aspiring young athlete and soccer player about to enter her sophomore year at SUNY Geneseo. A GoFundMe page for funeral expenses has already raised over $30,000.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer will visit Livingston County this afternoon to announce an $11.3 million grant to bring new high speed internet broadband access to thousands of homes, businesses, schools, and farms across Livingston County. Schumer has repeatedly pushed USDA for the funding and will personally travel to Livingston to deliver the news.

A Churchville woman was killed in a crash on the Thruway over the weekend. New York State Police say it happened in the town of Manchester. 59-year-old Jane Grein of Churchville died when the car she was driving struck a concrete support for the exit 43 bridge. State Police believe she may have suffered a medical event. The investigation is ongoing.

The Little Free Pantry in Batavia is looking to spread its reach further into the community to assist more in need, and they say they need your help to do so. By the end of summer, they are hoping to erect six mini pantries in Batavia to help more neighbors in need. Fresh veggies are in season, and they are looking for people to help reduce food waste and promote food security by sharing with neighbors. Visit lfpbatavia.org for full details, and to sign up.

Former Erie County Executive Dennis Gorski has died. The 76-year-old from Parkinson’s Disease. Gorski, who was also a New York State assemblyman, ran Erie County government from 1988 through 1999.

***A woman from Sheldon faces a felony count after she allegedly caused nearly $17,000 in damage to an emergency room and equipment at the Wyoming County hospital in Warsaw. Deputies said 32-year-old Mary Coyne then barricaded herself in a room. She was eventually taken into custody and transferred to ECMC in Buffalo…where she promptly escaped. The woman eventually turned herself in. She was charged with felony criminal mischief, arraigned and released. Coyne in due in village of Warsaw court on Monday.

Morning News Brief

Batavia police have charged a man with two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and strangulation. 48-year-old Jason Armstrong was taken into custody following an incident on Hutchins Place. According to police, Armstrong forcibly raped someone in front of their children. He was arraigned and remanded to jail without bail.

Batavia police report the arrest of 46-year-old Melton Chisom. He was charged with felony second-degree assault, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree, and Menacing 2nd Degree. Police allege that Chisom engaged in a physical altercation with another person and held a knife to the victim’s face causing injury which required stitches. He was arraigned in city court and remanded to jail without bail. Further court action is scheduled for July 21st.

A recent state audit raised some concerns with the Town of Albion. According to the audit summary, the board generally developed realistic budgets. However, the budgets were not structurally balanced. The board used fund balance to finance operations. This resulted in the four main operating funds’ combined unrestricted fund balance to decline 65% as of Dec. 31, 2020. The reports says if the board continues to use fund balance at the current levels, it could deplete fund balance in the general town-wide fund by the end of 2024. The board also did not adopt a written multiyear financial plan and written fund balance policy, which limits transparency.

New York officials say two more have died from COVID-19, the fewest since last September. New York’s seven-day average positivity rate is 0.51%. 340 people spent the July 4th holiday in a hospital…79 were in the ICU. Nearly 70% of all New Yorkers 18 and older have received at least one vaccine dose. 64% have completed the series.

A truck loaded with fireworks exploded over the weekend in Pembroke. It happened on South Lake Road. The driver was able to safely escape moments before the truck was consumed. Flames soared into the sky. No word on what caused the fire.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday that Tyson Foods Inc is recalling nearly 8.5 million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products due to possible Listeria contamination. The frozen, fully cooked chicken products were produced between December 26, 2020, and April 13, 2021. An investigation revealed three listeriosis illnesses, including one death.

Batavia police say 32-year-old Christopher Wiegman surrendered to authorities on two arrest warrants charging five counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance stemming from a traffic stop in April. He was arraigned and remanded to the Genesee County Jail without bail pending his next court appearance on August 5th.

Weekend News Brief

The results are in and to answer your burning question, a hotdog counts as a sandwich.  RTA Outdoor Living conducted a survey of over 1000 people from coast to coast on their preferences about barbeque, pizza and summer foods.  57 percent of respondents say a hotdog is a sandwich, 15 percent said that cheese goes under the burger on a cheeseburger, 2/3rds of respondents prefer drumsticks over flats when it comes to chicken wings, and 63 percent of people prefer boneless.  Only 10 percent of people think you should cut pizza into squares but 18 percent of people use a fork and knife to eat pizza.  And for grill enthusiasts hotdogs are best done on the grill by 57 percent and burgers are best done medium according to 40 percent of Americans.  Although more women prefer well done.  For the full results follow the link on WBTAi.com.

RTAOutdoorliving.com/food-debates-controversial-foods/

If you are traveling this summer and want to get a good rate on lodgings airbnbs may be pretty appealing.  But the Better Business Bureau warns that there are potential pitfalls of renting from private owners and to watch out for scams.  One Penfield father wanted to take his family on vacation. After arriving at their Airbnb in Saratoga Springs, they found holes in the walls, filthy floors and broken fixtures.  Because they didn’t take pictures the owner was able to charge the family for damages totaling over 1500 dollars.  The BBB says to always record the state that a rental is in before you get settled and to report any problems to Airbnb as soon as you notice them.  In this situation the family had no documentation and the host had pictures and invoices so the family was on the hook for everything.

The MLB All Star Game in Denver later this month will feature a Buffalo native, Jesse Winker.  The Cincinnati Reds outfielder is having a career year hitting 19 home runs and 48 RBI while batting .322 with a .987 OPS.  Jesse Winker who was born in Buffalo and raised in Florida is a Buffalo Bills fan.  He was one of three outfielders voted to start in the All-Star Game for the National League.

On the other side of the All Star Game in the American League 3 Toronto Blue Jays players have been selected for the starting lineup.  Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien will start at first base and second base for the American League, respectively. Teoscar Hernandez will start in the outfield as well.

Go Art in Batavia is hosting Jazz Musician and artist Sean Madden with his quartet FlashBamPow on July the 9th from 7:30-9:30pm.  FlashBamPow is known as a highly expressive band that often employs surreal video and art in their live shows. The art is mostly created by Sean Madden, who is also an award-winning artist. A quote from their website best sums up who they are: “We come on time, set up, blow everyone’s minds and leave.”  Go Art has a bar and tables for seating. Refreshments will be served.

Evening News Brief

Congressman Chris Jacobs is back from the border and he says what he saw there is a stark contrast from his trip in 2019.  Jacobs said that “he was here in 2019, the successful policies implemented by President Trump were working effectively to deter illegal immigration, and Border Patrol was supported and given the resources needed to protect our border.”  Now the Department of Homeland Security is reporting three consecutive months of 170,000+ apprehensions of illegal immigrants. In May alone there were over 180,000 encounters, representing a new 20-year record.  Jacobs says that now the policies are weakened and the CBP is understaffed and underfunded so “it has become common practice in this region for the cartel to traffic and abandon a large group of children at one gap in the wall to occupy Border Patrol agents while they then move to another gap to smuggle drugs and dangerous criminals across the border.”  Jacobs says the Biden administration is to blame.

There are jobs available at Fantasy Island amusement park.  Indiana Beach Parks and Entertainment has posted job openings for ticket sales, maintenance mechanics, park service attendants, security officers, and lifeguards for the Splash World portion of the park.  A representative of the company says that they are hoping to open the water park this summer.

There are now 2 empty seats on the Batavia School Board.  Brenda Good, who was elected to the board of trustees, tendered her resignation to pursue a position in administration with the Batavia City School district.  Good’s resignation comes after last month’s resignation by Peter Cecere, so there are now two vacant positions on the board.   It will be up to the remaining trustees to fill the vacancies and the district has posted a call for candidates.

The concert to be held at the Jackson Square tonight has been moved into the city center Mall because of bad weather.  The performers for tonight are the Old Hippies and the festivities are set to start at 7pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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