Local News

Evening News Brief

Sen Charles Schumer 

 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York is criticizing Republican efforts to end President Biden’s vaccination mandate on large businesses.

Schumer says the anti-vax movement is fueled by online conspiracy theories that he called “crazy.”

Sentencing for former Batavia Funeral Director Michael Tomaszewski has been delayed again. Tomaszewski has COVID-19.
His sentencing has been put off until an undetermined date.
Tomaszewski pled guilty last April to charges of grand larceny, scheming to defraud, filing false instruments and untimely burials.
Prosecutors say Tomaszewski bilked local families out of nearly a half-million dollars in pre-paid funerals.

Elective and same day surgeries at Batavia’s United Memorial Medical Center will continue, for now.
UMMC’s parent group, Rochester Regional Health, has put off elective surgeries for at least two weeks at Rochester General and Unity Hospital.
The reason: COVID and saving staff to treat those patients infected with the virus.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced two-million dollars more in state funding will be used to help Afghan refugees resettle in New Yotrk. Governor Hochul says the money will be distributed to nonprofit groups who are going to help the refugees that are coming to New York during the next few months, including approximately 500 who are scheduled to arrive in Western New York. The nonprofit groups can use the funds to help the refugees learn English and also to give them access to job.

Midday News Brief

Michael Tomaszewski

Former Batavia Funeral Director Michael Tomaszewski has COVID.
Showing proof of his infection, Tomaszewski’s sentencing has been delayed again.
His sentencing has been put off until an undetermined date.
Tomaszewski pled guilty to grand larceny, scheming to defraud, filing false instruments and untimely burials.
Prosecutors say Tomaszewski bilked local families out of nearly a half-million dollars in pre-paid funerals.

 

Elective and same day surgeries at Batavia’s United Memorial Medical Center will continue, for now.
UMMC’s parent group, Rochester Regional Health, has put off elective surgeries for at least two weeks at Rochester General and Unity Hospital.
The reason: COVID and saving staff to treat those patients infected with the virus.

Over the past week, two more people have died from Coronavirus in Genesee County, one was under the age of 65.
Since the start of the pandemic the county’s death toll stands at 302.
As of last week, just 56 percent of Genesee County residents are fully vaccinated.

The losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres has now reached four games following a shutout loss on home ice.
The Anaheim Ducks beat Buffalo 2-0 at KeyBank Center last night.
Up next for the Sabres is a home game on Friday night against the New York Rangers.

Morning News Brief

Michael Tomaszewski, the funeral director who was charged with over a hundred crimes and plead guilty to grand larceny, scheme to defraud, offering a false instrument for filing and untimely burial, has had his sentencing delayed again.  This time it is because he has tested positive for COVID.  County Court Judge Charles Zambito ordered Tomaszewski to the Genesee County Jail where he was tested again.  That test, according to district Attorney Friedman, was also positive.  Tomaszewski will have to quarantine.

The Genesee Orleans county health department has released that there were 236 new COVID cases over the last week in Genesee county.  250 people have recovered and been released from isolation.  35 people are hospitalized with COVID and 2 people passed away.  In Genesee county there have been 302 deaths attributed to COVID since March of 2020.  As for vaccination, 30,551 Genesee County residents are fully vaccinated, or just shy of 56 percent of the population.

Erie County is 9th in the country in COVID cases over the past month.  There were 17 thousand 484 cases over the last 28 days.  Higher than Erie were Maricopa Arizona, Cook Illinois, LA California, Wayne Michigan, Oakland Michigan, Hennepin Minnesota, Macomb Michigan and Cuyahoga Ohio.  Maricopa county had 60 thousand cases.  

As part of the COVID response strategy and the new mandate that went into effect December 3rd Rochester Regional Health is postponing elective inpatient, 23 hour and same day hospital surgeries at Rochester General and Unity hospital starting Thursday.  UMMC is not effected.  Office based procedures and ambulatory surgery centers are not impacted.

After the disappointment of losing the business of Samsung at the STAMP facility in Alabama Senator Schumer is calling on Israel based company Tower Semiconductor to build in New York.  Schumer says that Tower is considering the location, or somewhere in New York for their 5 billion dollar semiconductor fabrication plant.  If they moved in the plant would bring over a thousand jobs to the area.  Samsung decided to build in Texas after many months of looking at several sites including STAMP.

The Buffalo Sabres couldn’t top the Ducks on Tuesday night and were shut out 2 to 0.  One goal was a trick shot where Trevor Zergas of the Anaheim team flipped the puck over the goal and then Sunny Milano tipped it in.  Zergas said after the game, “I can’t believe it worked.”  Buffalo has lost 5 in a row and stays home to face the New York Rangers Friday night at 7pm.

Midday News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced $539-million in federal funding for a new state-based Homeowner Assistance Fund.
This is the first such program in the United States and that it’s intended to help those struggling amid the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials say they expect to receive more claims than what the fund can pay-out, so applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information follow this link.

Just in case you haven’t heard: the Buffalo Bills have come up short in their effort to regain first place in the AFC East after a tough loss at home. Quarterback Josh Allen completed 15-of-30 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown but Buffalo fell to the New England Patriots 14-to-10 at Highmark Stadium last night.
Up next for the Bills is a road contest against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are led by former Patriots QB Tom Brady. Kickoff for that game is set for 4:25 Sunday afternoon.

A revolver once owned by Batavia native Emory Upton has sold at auction for $345,000.
The Colt Single Action Army revolver sold last Friday at the Rock Island Auction company in Illinois.
It was the same gun Upton used to take his own life in 1881.
Holland Land Office President Don Burkel said the local museum would have loved to add the Upton revolver to its collection but at $345,000 it was a bit out of its price range.

Batavia’s leaf collection has ended for the year.
If you still have leaves you want to get rid of you will have to take them to the city’s Yard Waste Station on Law Street by the end of this week.
The Yard Waste Station will close for the season on Saturday.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul announced yesterday that there is 539 million dollars set aside to help homeowners pay their mortgages and avoid delinquency, default, foreclosure, and displacement in a Homeowners Assistance Fund.  Applications for aid will be accepted beginning January 3rd.  Hochul says they will prioritize “vulnerable” areas and those who are already in litigation.  

Flags in New York are at half staff today to remember the day that will live forever in infamy, the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese military that entered the US into World War 2.  2400 civilians and service members lost their lives on that day 80 years ago.  

Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation Monday to protect seniors from fraudulent use of personal information.  The legislation incorporates identity theft into the definition of elder abuse to provide support services and programs for older people.  It allows the Office of the Aging and law enforcement to recognize identity theft as one of the many forms of elder abuse and take appropriate action to help seniors.  Hochul said that identity theft affects older New Yorkers worse than others.

There is little change on the price of Gas this week. Triple A reports today the average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is $3.46 which is down a penny from yesterday but up from last week.  President Biden announced that his opening up the national fuel reserves had dropped the price of gas 2 cents.  Gas is up more than a dollar from when he took office.

There were a few power outages in Batavia yesterday due to the wind.  Areas of Stafford, East Bethany, Byron and GCC had their power knocked out for some time.  A wire was down on Sunset Terrace, and a tree fell across State Street near the Thruway.  All these issues have been cleared up for today.  

Buffalo bowed to the Patriots in a windy matchup yesterday.  The Bills lost to New England 14 to 10.  Winds reached 50 miles per hour during the game which may have influenced the Patriots decision to run the ball as often as they could.  Next week the Bills are headed for warmer climes.  They are the road to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady, and the NFL’s top-ranked passing offense on Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

Midday News Brief

A high wind  advisory has been posted for Genesee and Orleans Counties until 10 o’clock tonight.
The National Weather Service says we can expect winds out of the Southwest at 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 55.
Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.
National Grid says it is increasing staffing and increasing evening and overnight works shifts to handle any potential power outages.

Batavia drivers will see little price change at the pump.
Triple A reports today the average price of a gallon of regular locally is $3.46 down a penny from yesterday but up a week ago from last week.
One year ago, the average price was $2.22 a gallon.

The Buffalo Bills will be taking on a longtime rival tonight as they look to move back into first place in the AFC East. Quarterback Josh Allen will lead the Bills as they battle rookie quarterback Mac Jones and the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park for Monday Night Football. This is the first of two times the Bills will square off against the Patriots over the next few weeks. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m.

With the spread of COVID-19 continuing across New York State, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for at-home tests for the virus to be available free of charge. Schumer says with the rising threat of the omicron variant, it’s important that people be able to test themselves for the virus right from home, which would prevent them from infecting others if they receive a positive result. Schumer wants the tests to be available at all community health centers and says funds to pay for them have already been appropriated as part of the American Rescue Plan. The omicron variant has been detected in New York and countries around the world.

Morning News Brief

With the high winds last night and through today National Grid says it is upping its workforce hours by increasing evening and overnight shifts.  According to National Grid, staffing has been increased to include more than 2,300 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers statewide.  The power company says it is staging trucks and workers in areas it anticipated will have need, calling in outside resources, and reaching out to customers and elected officials to keep the public updated on safety information and preparedness.  High winds are expected to continue through 10pm tonight with winds blowing southwest at 30 to 40 miles per hour and gusts of up to 50 mile per hour.

75 towns across New York state have decided to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and use sites in their areas.  Opting out means a dispensary or on-site smoking location would be prohibited from setting up shop in that town. A person could still legally consume marijuana in a municipality even if it opted out.  In Genesee county, Oakfield, Alabama and Bethany have said no while Leroy, Batavia and Alexander have held public hearings on the subject but not made a decision yet.  Most Orleans county towns and villages have said no with a couple being undecided.  The only exceptions are Albion village and Medina which voted yes.  In Wyoming County only Arcade has said yes while most towns and villages are undecided.  If a municipality does nothing by the end of the year, it will be automatically opted into the state’s recreational marijuana program.

Senator Charles Schumer is calling for a rapid surge of at home testing kits for COVID 19 in order to control the Omicron Variant’s spread in New York.  Schumer joined Governor Hochul in saying that they are concerned as now there are 8 confirmed cases of the new variant in the state.  The federal government has restricted travel from 8 African countries and changed their rule making it so flyers coming into the US have to have a negative covid test within 24 hours of boarding.  Schumer says he wants all tests to be free and have no fine print.  The omicron variant has been circulating in South Africa for several months, it is now in 17 States and at least 40 countries, there have not been any cases requiring hospitalization as of yet and researchers are suggesting that it may be more contagious than COVID 19’s other variants but have much milder symptoms.

The Buffalo Sabres lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 6 to 2 at PNC Arena on Saturday night.  Their season record now stands at 8 and 13 and 3.  Buffalo’s losing streak is up to four games. The Sabres return home to KeyBank Center on Tuesday to face the Anaheim Ducks at 7:30pm.

Weekend News Brief

The Batavia Police department and FBI have been investigating the social media threats of violence towards the city schools that closed all public schools in Batavia on Friday.  The police say that they have found no credible threat to the district.  Batavia was not alone in shutting down due to threats, Olean and Allegany Limestone school districts shut down for the same reason, Medina had a threat but remained open.  They are still trying to find where the post originated.  BCSD has been cleared to resume all activities beginning Saturday, December 4, and schools will open for all students on Monday, December 6.  As a precautionary measure, there will be an increased police presence in and around Batavia city school district buildings for all activities this weekend and next week.  The Batavia Police Department continues to work in collaboration with the FBI and Secret Service to monitor all social media threats to ensure the continued safety of the district’s students and staff.  Police are asking anyone with information to please call the police department or the tip line.

There is another vaccine raffle in New York and this time it’s for Ski Lift Tickets.  The “Ski for Free” sweepstakes is for children aged 5-11, and anyone who gets a booster shot. Over a six week period, eligible New Yorkers will be able to enter the random drawing for free tickets to participating mountains.  In Western NY, Holiday Valley, Bristol Mountain, Woods Valley, and Greek Peak will be participating.  For more information including how to enter, follow the link at wbtai.com. 

https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/ski-free-vaccine-incentive

There is a high wind watch for Genesee and Orleans counties form 8am to 8pm on Monday.  Temperatures will continue to rise overnight from Sunday into Monday morning briefly reaching the 50s with rain showers. Strong winds will be the main concern as gusts could hit 60mph from Sunday night into Monday evening with temperatures quickly falling into the 30s.  Remember to secure anything that might be blown around and be careful if you are driving a high profile vehicle.

Press Release from the sheriff’s office: Due to the increase in Covid cases within the county, Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is requiring all business (including animal adoptions and turn ins) at the Genesee County Animal Shelter be conducted by appointment only.  This goes into effect beginning Monday, December 6.  This is a precautionary measure to prevent the risk of exposure to coronavirus to community members, Animal Shelter employees, and volunteers.

Midday News Brief

City Police and the Batavia City School District continue to look for the source of what they described as threats against city schools posted on social media.
Those threats caused school officials to cancel school for today along with all after school activities. The Richmond Library is also closed.
Police are asking students or families who have any information about the threats to call Batavia Police or the confidential tip line.

34-year-old John Hobbs of Clinton Street Road: he’s charged with burglary and violating an order of protection.
Authorities say Hobbs entered the home of a person he was ordered to stay from. Hobbs fled the home before lawmen arrived. K-9 Deputy Rayzor found Hobbs hiding in the woods just south of the home.

27-year-old Alexander Scheg of Byron collared by deputies for bail jumping. Now he’s being held on $4,000 bail.

Governor Kathy Hochul says she’s not planning to issue any statewide mandates to deal with the growing number of coronavirus cases across New York. Governor Hochul says that she’s continuing to urge people to wear a mask and get vaccinated in order to keep the illness from spreading. However, Hochul said she isn’t opposed to putting mandates in place if infections keep increasing, but believes doing so now would be an overreaction.

The winless streak of the Buffalo Sabres has now hit three games following a disappointing loss on the road. After going ahead four-to-one in the second period, Buffalo gave up six unanswered goals and lost to the Florida Panthers seven-to-four. Up next for the Sabres is a road contest against the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night.

The jackpots for two popular lottery games keep rising, meaning there will be a total of $390-million up for grabs the next couple of days. The jackpot for tonight’s Mega Millions drawing is currently at $112-million. Tomorrow’s Powerball jackpot is even larger and that prize currently sits at $278-million.

Morning News Brief

The Batavia City Schools are closed today after social media posts began circulating that threatened violence against specific schools in the city.  The Batavia Police are investigating the threats.  All after school activities are also canceled.  A teenage shooter in Michigan killed several people at their school after posting threats to social media earlier this week.  It is unknown whether these threats are related in any way.  If any student or family has any information regarding the threats, we ask that you please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

A DEC stop turned into a chase and subsequent drug bust.  On Monday night at around 10pm a DEC officer attempted to stop a car near Sanders Rd in the Town of Stafford for a suspected conservation violation.  The car sped off and Genesee County Sheriffs joined the pursuit and also deployed a spike strip on rt 33 and 237.  The chase came to an end in the town of Clarendon as the driver failed to make a turn and crashed into a utility pole and and street sign on Glidden Rd.  After a brief foot chase and deployment of K-9 units Alexander Sheg, Zachary Hursh and Jason Schmeer were taken into custody.  The Honda Civic they were in was found to be reported stolen, cocaine was found along with drug paraphernalia.  All three are being held in Genesee County Jail.

Governor Hochul announced that there are so far 5 cases of the COVID Omicron variant in New York state.  All were either no symptoms or mild symptoms.  All 5 were downstate.  Hochul used the announcement to say people should get vaccinated and take the booster shots.  Thus far there has not been a case of Omicron reported that required hospitalization.  The most common symptoms were muscle soreness and or fatigue that lasted for 1 to 2 days.  Several researchers working with the variant say it may be as transmissible or more than the Delta variant.

The Panthers mauled the Sabres for a loss of 7 to 4 last night.  The Sabres had an early lead being ahead 3 to 0 at the end of the first period.  Then former Sabre Sam Reinhart started off the rally that led to 6 unanswered points for the Florida team.  The Sabres’ southern road trip continues on Saturday when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

BATAVIA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOLS CLOSED FRIDAY, DEC 3

News Release: Batavia City School District

Over the last few hours, it’s been brought to the attention of the Batavia City School District (BCSD) administration that reports of threats of violence at buildings in the district are circulating on social media.

BCSD is currently working closely with the Batavia Police Department, and out of an abundance of caution, BCSD has decided to close all buildings in the district tomorrow, Friday, December 3, while the Batavia Police Department continues its investigation into whether these threats are credible.

All after-school activities are also canceled for Friday, December 3.

BCSD will continue to update students, families, and staff as relevant information on the investigation becomes available. The safety of BCSD students and staff is the top priority, and the district is taking these allegations against our community very seriously.

If any student or family has any information regarding the threats, we ask that you please contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350 or the confidential tip line at (585) 345-6370.

Midday News Brief

Genesee County Manager Matt Landers says he needs to have financing for a new county jail in place by early next month.
The county is looking to finance 70-million dollars for the new jail house and take 30 years to pay for it. Landers say he needs the legislature to approve the bond measure by January 6th.
The annual payments on the jail would amount to between $3-million and $3.5-million a year.

An increase in COVID-19 cases has led to another Wyoming County to declare a state of emergency. The chairwoman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors says the ongoing health crisis is putting a strain on the health system. The purpose of the state of emergency is
to make sure hospitals, doctor’s offices and school districts have the resources they need to navigate the pandemic. The emergency declaration will be in place for at least 30 days but it could be extended for additional periods of up to 30 days.

A new study from the New York State Department of Health is taking a close look at the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. The data, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that the vaccines are effective in keeping people who test positive for the coronavirus out of the hospital. The study also said that any decline in vaccine effectiveness against infections could be connected to the Delta variant and people not taking preventative measures to keep themselves safe such as wearing a mask.

New documents posted by the state comptroller’s office show the investigations into ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo could cost taxpayers over 20-million-dollars. Those records indicate over eight-million-dollars has already been spent, with additional money possibly going towards legal services for the Executive Chamber.

The Buffalo Sabres will have a tough task in front of them tonight as they look to snap their two-game winless streak against one of the best teams in the NHL. The Sabres are taking on the Florida Panthers who are currently in second place in the Atlantic Division.

Morning News Brief

There is a wind advisory in effect for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties today from 10am to 7pm.  Winds are coming out of the west at 20 to 30 miles per hour and could gust up to 50 at times.  Remember to bring anything that could blow away inside and be careful if you are driving a tall vehicle.  Watch out for downed tree limbs while driving.

Police are looking for Devon Wright, again.  Wright is accused of shoving two females on Nov. 27 while at a location on Central Avenue and of tampering with the property of one of the women by throwing it all over the residence.  He is also wanted for violating his terms of release following his guilty plea on counts of attempted criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, assault 3rd, attempted assault 1st, and criminal sexual act 4th.  Anyone with information on Wright’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350 or the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370.

53 year old Matthew Barber of Batavia has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for  possession of Child pornography.  He was initially arrested in 2007 and sentenced to over 6 years for the same crime.  Then he was unsuccessfully discharged from a sex offender program after being released and going through supervision till 2017.  In may of 2020 he was caught with over 1000 images and 200 videos on a usb stick and a cell phone by the FBI.  

Wyoming County has declared a state of emergency due to COVID 19 cases rising in the county.  Wyoming County Chairwoman Rebecca Ryan says she declared the state of emergency in order to make sure the county receives resources aimed at ensuring safety of its residents.  Local emergency orders may also be enacted in addition to the county declaration.  From Tuesday, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Wyoming County was listed at 12.1 percent and 14.5 percent over the last seven days.  There are no current plans to put a mask mandate in place.

The group Constitutional Coalition of New York is planning a protest in Buffalo all next week over the mask mandates both in Erie county and in the schools.  They have published a series of events throughout the “civil disobedience” week including an outside protest in front of Buffalo City Hall, a school walkout day, and a day for all people to simply not wear masks wherever they are.  They liken their movement to Rosa Parks and Irena Sandler standing against powerful oppressors.  

Midday News Brief

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced the lineup for their fifth Rockin’ the Downs concert series which will take place outside on the racetrack, with ten Friday dates, starting in June and running into August.
Among the acts: Performing on Friday, July 15th a double bill of great music, this time with Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. Peter Noone is a multi-talented entertainer, who achieved international fame as Herman, lead singer of the legendary Sixties pop band Herman’s Hermits.
Earlier that evening The Grass Roots will take the stage having originated in the Mid-60’s and charted with such hits as; Midnight Confessions, Let’s Live for Today. See the entire line-up HERE.

 

The Elba Town Hall has moved.
Town offices are now located in the old M and T Bank building on Oak Orchard Road.
Town Hall was located on Maple Street in the village.
The Elba Town Clerk, Town Supervisor and Town Assessor are in the new location.
Hours of operation remain the same: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., with extra hours on Friday during tax season.

Governor Hochul has signed off on a new piece of legislation aimed at protecting New Yorkers from potentially dangerous holiday decorations. Under the measure, a warning label must be placed on certain products that use lead-based electrical cord casings. Studies have shown some decorative and seasonal holiday lighting products contain an unsafe level of lead, which could put people at risk for serious health issues such as heart and kidney disease and central nervous system problems. Any manufacturer who breaks the law will face a fine.

Frontier Airlines is planning to add nonstop flights from Buffalo to a pair of popular vacation destinations.
Soon, people will be able head directly to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and also Cancun.
The airline is offering fares starting at just 19-dollars, but those tickets must be bought by 11-59 p.m. on December 6th.
Advanced seating assignments will also be available for an additional charge. More information is available on the airline’s website.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is going to be spending her final day today in a position she’s had since 2014. Warren will be stepping down as mayor as part of her guilty plea to campaign finance fraud. Warren, who is the city’s first female mayor, says she’s focused on spending time with her family but isn’t ruling out a return to politics in the future.

Batavia Downs Announces “Rockin’ the Downs Concert Series for 2022

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced the lineup for their fifth Rockin’ the Downs concert series, presented by Pepsi, which will take place outside on the racetrack, with ten Friday dates, starting in June and running into August.

Kicking off the series on Friday, June 17th will be a double bill of rock with Tommy DeCarlo and Rudy Cardenas.   Tommy has been the lead singer of Boston since 2007 and performs all of Boston’s hits from the 70’s and 80’s including More Than a Feeling, Peace of Mind, Hitch A Ride, and more!  Opening the show will be Rudy Cardenas, a season 6 American Idol finalist and who will perform a full set of Journey’s classic hits.

Next up, on Friday, June 24th, Batavia Downs welcomes Canadian Rock Band Finger 11.  Originating in Burlington, Ontario in 1990, the band has gone on to release 7 studio albums.   The Juno Award winning rockers will be performing hits such as One Thing, Paralyzer and others.

Friday, July 1st will see Get the Led Out perform at Batavia Downs. This group of professional musicians are passionate about their love of the music of Led Zeppelin, making it their mission to bring the studio recordings of the Mighty Zep to life on stage.  These musicians were fans first and strive to do justice to one of the greatest bands in rock history by touring all across the US and Canada.  Songs performed by the band will include Led Zeppelin hits like Black Dog, Immigrant Song, Stairway to Heaven and more!

Returning to Batavia Downs on Friday, July 8th is Theory.  Hailing from Delta, British Columbia, the band also known as Theory of a Deadman has turned their hard rock/alternative sound into nine top 10 hits on the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, including four number one tracks in Bad Girlfriend, Lowlife, Rx (Medicate) and History of Violence.

Performing on Friday, July 15th is another double bill of great music, this time with Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. Peter Noone is a multi-talented entertainer, who achieved international fame as Herman, lead singer of the legendary Sixties pop band Herman’s Hermits.  His classic hits include: I’m Into Something Good, Mrs. Brown, you’ve Got A Lovely Daughter, I’m Henry VIII, I Am. 

 Earlier that evening The Grass Roots will take the stage having originated in the Mid-60’s and charted with such hits as; Midnight Confessions, Let’s Live for Today, Sooner or Later and Temptation Eyes.  Current Band Line up of Mark Dawson, Dusty Hanvey, Larry Nelson and Joe Dougherty rocked Batavia Downs last summer with an inspired performance.

On Friday, July 22nd, Batavia Downs welcomes back Southern Rock legends Molly Hatchet.  Originating in Jacksonville in 1978, the band has gone on to release 14 studio albums.   They’ll be performing hits such as Flirtin’ with Disaster, Dreams I’ll Never See and Whiskey Man.  Opening for them will be American Southern Rock Band Blackfoot, who will be playing such hits as Train, Train and Highway Song.

Rocking the stage on Friday, July 29th is the legendary band, 38 Special.  After forming in Jacksonville in 1974, they have currently achieved over $20 Million in sales.  Their signature blast of Southern Rock is unmistakable with such arena-rock pop smashes as Hold On Loosely, Rockin’ Into the Night, and Caught Up in You.

America’s top Pink Floyd Show, The Machine returns to the Batavia Downs stage on Friday, August 5th.   For over 30 years they have extended the legacy of Pink Floyd, while creating another legacy all their own. Over the years, The Machine has touched the hearts and souls of many with their stellar musicianship, dramatic lighting and video performances.  Last year’s performance at Batavia Downs was well received by one of the largest crowds of the summer.

Making his Batavia Downs debut on Friday, August 12th is Mike DelGuidice – Recording Artist/Singer/Songwriter who is currently on tour with Billy Joel.

Mike DelGuidice now lives a dream come true. In October of 2013, Billy Joel was so impressed with Mike’s singing, Joel personally hired Mike to join his band.

And now you can see Mike on tour with Billy Joel all over the US & world in major arenas and stadiums including every month at the iconic Madison Square Garden.  Mike and his band play all of Billy Joel’s big hits.  They will also perform a few astonishing renditions of other classic rock hits,  plus some of Mike’s own original work.

Closing out the series on Friday, August 19th  is the Dire Straits Experience.  With former Dire Straits member Chris White, this stellar collection of professional musicians has been paying homage to one of the greatest songbooks of all time with tours across the world.  They will be playing all Dire Straits’ major hits, in all their ambition, grandeur and aching beauty.  These songs are once again presented live for the fans that that have kept them alive.

“We are looking forward to hosting what we feel is the best Concert Series Line-up we’ve ever had,” said Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO for Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel. “We’re appreciative to the folks at Pepsi for being our headline sponsor this year and excited to welcome back charities like Make-A-Wish Western New York & Volunteers for Animals who raise funds for their organizations through the chair rental and guitar raffle.”

Tickets for all ten concerts will be available at www.BataviaConcerts.com only beginning on Thursday, December 2nd at 10am.

 

Morning News Brief

A spike in COVID cases and hospitalizations has incentivized Monroe County to announce a state of emergency starting December 1.  Like Erie County masking will be mandated for all county buildings.  But unlike Erie when it comes to private businesses, for now, the masking rules are up to them.  As of now businesses such as Tops and Wegmans are having all their employees mask and have for some time, they are encouraging customers to mask but not making it mandatory.

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is now collecting his $4,219 monthly pension, according to a spokesperson for the Office of the New York State Comptroller.  In total, he will receive around $50,000 a year and he received his first payment in October 2021.  Cuomo announced his resignation in August following an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him. New York Attorney General Letitia James said the independent investigation found he sexually harassed multiple women and violated state and federal laws.  Currently in NYS, the pension of a public official can only be reduced or revoked if they are convicted of a felony related to his/her official duties.

Governor Kathy Hochul says there are between 32 and 36 hospitals in New York State right now that will be ordered to stop elective surgeries come Friday. This is because they’re struggling with staffing and bed capacity.  She’s also using her emergency power to work on getting National Guard members into nursing homes that need staffing help. Hochul has the power to enforce these measures through the disaster emergency declaration she issued the day after Thanksgiving.

Buffalo Bills Quarterback Jake Fromm is signing with the New York Giants according to the NFL Network.  Fromm was drafted by the Bills in the fifth round, 167th overall, in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has not played in a regular season NFL game since being drafted and he has been on the team’s practice squad this season.  Giants starting quarterback Daniel Jones strained his neck early in last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles and his status is TBD for the Giants’ game Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Evening News Brief

The Genesee County Economic Development Center board is scheduled to take final action on a new bus maintenance facility along Saile Drive.
The $4.5-million project will provide training space, repair areas and storage to support local school district bus fleets. The project is slated to create 19 full, and 12 part-time jobs. The board will take up the measure at its regular meeting on Thursday.

A spokesman for Andrew Cuomo is criticizing the release of more videos and transcripts involving allegations of sexual harassment made against the former governor. The Cuomo team accused State Attorney General Letitia James of using her authority to boost her own political career and editing video of Cuomo’s testimony. Cuomo left office after a report from the Attorney General’s office was released earlier this year but he has denied doing anything wrong.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will be held tomorrow night in Midtown Manhattan. Last year, the ceremony itself was closed to the public due to COVID-19. You also had to reserve a spot in line and visitors only had five minutes to check out the tree, as the coronavirus vaccine was not yet widely available. Those same restrictions aren’t in place this year, although masks and social-distancing are advised.

The Buffalo Sabres have dropped their second straight game after losing to the NHL’s newest team on home ice. The Sabres fell to the Seattle Kraken seven-to-four at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski had a tough game, giving up six goals on the 31 shots he faced. The Sabres will look to end their losing streak on Thursday when they visit the Florida Panthers.

Midday News Brief

Governor Hochul says the state continues to watch for the variant, but adds New Yorkers are not defenseless against COVID-19.
She believes getting vaccinated is the best way for people to protect themselves and others from getting sick and said so far, no cases of the new variant have been found in the New York State.
In addition to getting immunized, the governor is also encouraging people to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols. But, Hochul says she is not planning to issue a statewide mask mandate.

A spokesman for Andrew Cuomo is criticizing the release of more videos and transcripts involving allegations of sexual harassment made against the former governor. The Cuomo team accused State Attorney General Letitia James of using her authority to boost her own political career and editing video of Cuomo’s testimony. Cuomo left office after a report from the Attorney General’s office was released earlier this year but he has denied doing anything wrong.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will be held tomorrow night in Midtown Manhattan. Last year, the ceremony itself was closed to the public due to COVID-19. You also had to reserve a spot in line and visitors only had five minutes to check out the tree, as the coronavirus vaccine was not yet widely available. Those same restrictions aren’t in place this year, although masks and social-distancing are advised. The forecast does look dry until after the show will be over.

The Buffalo Sabres have dropped their second straight game after losing to the NHL’s newest team on home ice. The Sabres fell to the Seattle Kraken 7-4 at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goaltender Dustin Tokarski had a tough game, giving up six goals on the 31 shots he faced. The Sabres will look to end their losing streak on Thursday when they visit the Florida Panthers

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul says that she has been told the Omicron Variant of COVID 19 has been detected in Ontario Canada.  On Friday she declared a state of emergency for NY and demanded that all hospitals suspend non-essential surgeries in order to free up more bed space for COVID patients starting december 3rd.  She is also announcing the opening of 13 new Vaccination sites.  The Omicron variant of COVID was first detected in South Africa and has spurred a reaction across the globe including a travel ban in the US.  researchers so far say that the variant has not shown to be any more transmissible than other variants and doctors in South Africa report that symptoms are generally much more mild than other variants with muscle soreness and 1 to 2 days of fatigue being the most common symptoms.  Loss of taste and smell so far has not been associated with Omicron according to Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association. 

Lovely Warren’s tenure as Rochester mayor is set to end Wednesday.  Her resignation is effective at the end of the day.  She resigned as part of a plea deal for a misdemeanor charge, after accepting campaign contributions that exceeded legal limits.  That charge was originally a felony.  Warren was also facing charges related to a raid at her home. Those charges were wiped out a part of the plea deal.  Deputy Mayor James Smith will take over as mayor until Malik Evans is sworn into the office in January 2021.

A collision in Elba involved the surprise flight of a small child.  At around 4:15 yesterday afternoon a sedan crossed 98 traveling westward on Lockport Road was struck by another car going south on 98.  The collision caused the sedan to strike a guard rail and eject a 6 year old girl from the back seat and down a steep hill.  No injuries were reported although the girl was taken to the hospital for evaluation.  The crash is under investigation.

Batavia First United Methodist Church will hold its annual Cookie Walk & Vendor / Craft Sale on Saturday, December 11, from 10:00 am – 2:00pm.  The event will feature a large variety of homemade Christmas cookies for sale by the pound along with 35+ vendors and crafters with many interesting items for you or that special someone on your Christmas gift list.  There will be free pictures of the kids with Santa and the Kozy Korners Thrift Shop will be open.  Lunch will be available for takeout.

The Buffalo Sabres once again failed to defeat the Kraken, this time at home with a 7 to 4 loss.  With the loss, the Sabres finished the month of November with a 3-9-2 record. Nine of those 14 games featured the Sabres giving up five or more goals.  In this game 2 of the goals scored by Seattle in the first period were scored while short handed.  Buffalo plays the Florida Panthers Thursday at FLA Live Arena at 7pm.

Midday News Brief

Lawyers for both the Village and Town of Oakfield have agreed to extend the November 30th deadline in their dispute over fire services.
There is one fire department in Oakfield and it is owned by the village. For years, the town has paid a fee to the village for fire protection.
The village says it is owed $78,000 for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
There appears to be a compromise over a new agreement but the two sides are not saying what it is or when the new deadline is.

Gasoline prices continues their downward trend in Batavia, although they are still high.
The average prices of a gallon of regular in Batavia fell 2-cents last week to $3.45. The Triple-A says a year ago the average prices of a gallon in Batavia was $2.19

Some new data shows the COVID-19 infection rate in the Finger Lakes is still the second-highest of any region in the Empire State. The seven-day average positivity rate is now nine-point-six percent which is up from just under eight-point-six percent last week. Genesee County – which is part of the Finger Lakes Region – has a positivity rate of 13.1 percent

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Saturday the state is requiring nursing homes and adult care facilities to make COVID-19 booster doses available to all residents. The state sent a letter to nursing home and adult care facility operators and administrators Wednesday with information on the requirement.

Cyber Monday is underway and the Better Business Bureau is sharing tips with shoppers to help them avoid getting scammed online. The agency says to beware of false advertising and phony websites and make sure each site has legitimate contact information and a customer service number.

Morning News Brief

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Saturday the state is requiring nursing homes and adult care facilities to make COVID-19 booster doses available to all residents.  The state sent a letter to nursing home and adult care facility operators and administrators Wednesday with information on the requirement.

From the bad boys report: 25 year old Scott Simmons was arrested for burglary at Walmart on Memorial Drive at 4pm on Saturday.  He was charged with 3rd degree Burglary,   3rd degree Criminal Trespassing, Petty Larceny and False Impersonation.  He was given an appearance ticket and is set to go back before the Town court on December 21st.  

A shady debt collection agency in Buffalo has been shut down by the state Attorney General’s office.  The companies owned by Andrew Fanelli, Northwood Asset Management Group, Pinnacle Asset Recovery Group, and Koalaty Pay, all LLC’s are permanently banned from any debt collection.  According to the AG, call recordings revealed collectors working for those companies used illegal tactics to collect debt which included false threats of criminal action, wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension and lawsuits.  They have been ordered to shut down and dissolve all holdings within 6 months and pay the AG office 1.2 million dollars. 

Gas prices are dropping slightly this week.  In Batavia they are down 2 cents for a gallon of regular to 3.45.  The New York State Average is 3.56 which is one cent lower than last week.  The national average is 3.39 another 2 cent drop.  Lower prices per barrel and the tapping of 50 million gallons of the federal reserve are helping lower the price.  

The Buffalo Sabres, coming fresh off a win at home against the Canadiens Friday, couldn’t keep up with the Red Wings in Detroit on Saturday.  Buffalo lost 3 to 2 with Dylan Cozens and Jeff Skinner scoring for the Sabres.  This fresh loss leaves Buffalo at 8 and 10 and 3.  They play the Seattle Kraken home tonight at 7pm.  The Kraken beat Buffalo in Seattle early in November but they have a worse record than the Sabres with 7 and 13 and 1.

Weekend News Brief

Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced an executive order aimed at boosting hospital capacity ahead of a potential winter spike in COVID-19 cases.  She announced the new protocol Friday amid warnings about a new and highly transmissible coronavirus variant known as “omicron,” which has not yet been detected in New York.  Hochul’s order allows the state health department to limit non-essential surgeries, if needed, to ensure capacity.

Wreaths across America is coming to the Western New York National Cemetery in Corfu.  They would like to lay 700 wreaths for fallen soldiers at the cemetery and so far they are at 530.  The deadline for buying a wreath to lain is close of business on Monday.  If you get one you may lay it personally at the ceremony which will be Saturday December 18th or have it done by a volunteer.  Wreaths cost 15 dollars a piece and 5 dollars of the price goes to the cemetery.  You can purchase by following the link on wbtai.com.

http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/NY0368P

HE Turner Funeral homes is having their 25th Annual Service of Prayer & Remembrance at 7 pm on Wednesday, December 8 at the First Presbyterian Church of Batavia.  As always, one candle will be provided per deceased loved one and will be given to attendees at the service. Those that choose not to attend but would still like a candle to participate from home, please call the funeral home to arrange pick-up.  Call (585) 344-4295 to reserve your candle by Friday, December 3. There is no cost for a candle and all who experienced the pain of loss are welcome to participate regardless of who took care of your loved one and arranged their funeral service.

After being a powerhouse all season the Oakfield Alabama Elba Aggies hit the wall that is the Tioga Tigers Friday afternoon.  The Aggies were able to score just 1 touchdown with 9 minutes left in the game and lost 49 to 6.  Oakfield-Alabama/Elba’s record this season was 12-1.

The Buffalo Bills announced Friday cornerback Tre’Davious White tore his ACL in Thursday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.  The team said White underwent an MRI Friday morning and will miss the remainder of the 2021 season.  The two-time Pro Bowler had 27 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception before his injury against New Orleans. He was named First Team All-Pro in 2019 and Second Team All-Pro in 2020.

Morning News Brief

The town of Marilla has declared they will not be complying with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s mask mandate.  Town of Marilla Supervisor Earl Gingerich, Jr. said Thanksgiving night that “The Town of Marilla is going on record, opposed to the County Mask mandate. The Town is not going to comply or participate. The Town will defend our businesses and residents right to make their own decisions.” The Genesee Orleans County health department has stated they are not planning any mandates.  Monroe county officials have said the same.  Poloncarz responded when asked about the other counties not doing the same as Erie county and he called them reckless saying “If they want to talk about freedom, they can have the freedom to die or have their constituents die because it’s reckless.”

The Batavia Police Department is investigating a disturbance that occurred at Tops Markets Thanksgiving morning at approximately 10:55 a.m.  Batavia Police are attempting to locate and identify any witnesses to the disturbance that occurred inside of the store involving two or three adult males.  If you were inside and witnessed the altercation, please contact Officer Girvin at (585) 345-6350.

There are several open positions on Batavia boards and committees and they are looking for volunteers.  The committees and Boards that need people are: The Board Assessment Review, which handles grievance day.  The Community Garden, Historic Preservation Commission, Plumbing Board (Applicants must be Master Plumbers for this one) The Youth Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Applications are available at the City Clerk’s Office or online at https://www.batavianewyork.com

The Buffalo Bills won against the New Orleans Saints yesterday 31 to 6.  The Bills are now tied for 1st in the division with the New England Patriots who play the Titans on Sunday.  Allen finished 23-of-28 for 260 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also added 48 yards on the ground.  The Bills next game is against the Patriots on Monday December 6th.  

The Sabres were unable to prevail against the Bruins Wednesday in a 5 to 1 loss.  With the loss the Sabres fall to 7-10-2 on the season.  Kyle Okposo started off the scoring for the game but that was all the Sabres got.  With the 5-1 loss, the Sabres have now given up five or more goals eight different times this month alone.  They’re back on home ice Friday when they host Montreal.

Morning News Brief

Derek Hagen

29-year-old Derek Hagen used to teach in the Batavia City and Pembroke Central Schools. Now he has been charged with producing and distributing child porn.
Federal authorities say Hagen now resides in Mount Morris and teaches at Dansville Central.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says two computers and a cellphone were confiscated from Hagen’s apartment last summer and some 50,000 images of and videos of child pornography were found on the devices. Hagen is accused of quote: “actively producing and distributing child porn in online chats.
Members of the public who have further information on the case are asked to contact federal investigators in Buffalo at: 716- 464-6070 or hsibuffalotips@ice.dhs.gov.
Hagan faces a prison term of 5 to 30 years if convicted.

 

The Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse – known simply as GCASA – plans to open its new 20-bed detox center in January. An open house is scheduled for January 6th.
Construction began on the 8,600 sq. ft. foot facility began last January.

More than 20 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Erie County has set a brand-new record for the number of coronavirus cases. A local business group is taking legal action in an attempt to overturn an indoor mask mandate issued by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
The sudden action by Poloncarz has promoted Genesee and Orleans County officials to issue a formal statement that the mask mandate is NOT a requirement here.

The New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will participate in a special traffic safety initiative to prevent unsafe driving behaviors as the winter holiday season kicks off. The Thanksgiving weekend initiative runs from Wednesday, November 24, through Sunday November 28.

Just days after a blowout loss at home to the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills will have the chance to get back on the winning track tonight. The Bills are set to battle the New Orleans Saints in The Big Easy.
After spending most of the season on top of the AFC East, the Bills have slipped to second place behind their longtime rival the New England Patriots.

Midday News Update

Yesterday Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and State Senator Ed Rath unveiled a marker commemorating a portion of Route 77 through Pembroke as SP4 C. Jay Hall Memorial Highway.  Specialist Four Clarence Hall, a graduate of Pembroke High School, was mortally wounded in Vietnam on Oct. 7, 1969, while allowing his fellow soldiers to get to cover while under heavy fire.  As a result, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.  Also present at the dedication were Matthew Moscato, advisor to the Pembroke Veterans Outreach Club, and Pembroke school student Megan Stiles who both were instrumental in pushing for the highway to be named for Hall.

Governor Hochul announced a vaccine initiative aimed at getting hunters and anglers to take the COVID shot.  There will be a random drawing for the first 2000 outdoor enthusiasts between December 1st and the end of the year who get a COVID vaccination and enter into the sweepstakes.  Five Grand Prize winners will be randomly selected choice of deluxe fishing, hunting, and birding packages. Each Grand Prize package will include a lifetime license and the highest quality hunting and fishing gear. The deluxe birding package will include a spotting scope, binoculars, and more.  In addition, 25 entrants will be randomly selected to receive their choice of Second Tier fishing and hunting packages.  The first 2,000 people to enter the sweepstakes will all receive a tree seedling from DEC’s Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Tree Nursery in Saratoga, NY, and their choice of either a gift card to a major sporting goods retailer, or a free night of camping at a DEC campground. In addition, all sweepstakes entrants will receive a one-year subscription to DEC’s Conservationist Magazine.

Morning News Brief

Samsung was a hopeful investor for the STAMP site in Alabama but they have instead decided to go out of NY.  The 17 billion dollar semiconductor factory instead will go to Taylor, Texas.  A story from Bloomberg Wire stated the chip-making plant will instead be constructed in the Central Texas city, which is about 30 miles from Samsung’s giant manufacturing hub in Austin.  As late as September, Sen. Charles Schumer – during an appearance at STAMP to promote Plug Power’s decision to build a green hydrogen facility there – said that Samsung officials toured the 1,250-acre site owned by the Genesee County Economic Development Center and that he was communicating “on a regular basis” with the company’s president.  Taylor Texas is offering over 300 million dollars in tax credits plus a tax waiver and more to the South Korean company.

Erie county legislators are calling on State legislators to revoke County Executive Mark Poloncarz’s emergency powers.  Poloncarz has extended the state of emergency for Erie county every 30 days which extends his emergency powers as well.  Republican legislator Lorigo says the Erie County Legislature was not consulted about any of Poloncarz’s new phased approach to fighting COVID-19, which includes mask mandates, a potential vaccine mandate in a later phase, and capacity restrictions.  The only way to strip the powers is an act of the State legislature to change the statute which grants them.  

Democrat assemblyman Pat Burke who represents Buffalo has proposed a bill that would allow insurance companies to refuse coverage to people who don’t get the covid vaccine.  Specifically this bill would make it so companies would be able to deny coverage for COVID related treatments if the customer is unvaccinated.  In a tweet Burke said “Do your part or pay your own way.  Freedom isn’t free.”

The State Police, City police, and Sheriffs office will be participating in the STOP DWI program this week during Thanksgiving and the weekend to try to curb impaired driving.  Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and unfortunately, more people on the roadways means the potential for more vehicle crashes.  In a combined effort to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives law enforcement officers across New York State and STOP-DWI programs will be participating in special engagement efforts.  The increased enforcement starts today and goes through Sunday.

Genesee and Orleans county health officials have released a statement about whether they will issue and mandates to slow COVID spread.  The statement says “While we remain committed to the health and safety of our communities, Genesee and Orleans County will not be creating or implementing any new mask or vaccine mandates at this time.  We believe new mandates will only push residents into private settings where spread will still continue but local businesses will suffer.  For almost two years, businesses across the region have taken various measures to protect their workplaces and we trust them to do the same at this time.”

 

Midday News Brief

A new headquarters for the Batavia Police Department has been talked about for almost 20 years. Finally, last night, council approved spending over $370,000 to hire a private firm to manage the project.
The police station is now estimated to cost over $10.5-million and take over three years to build.
The site is Bank Street and Alva Place.
The existing police headquarters on West Main is 160 years old.

Council also approved a six-year labor contract with the CSEA. The contract covers 18 city employees. It provides a 2.5-percent pay raise in each year of the contract.

The Genesee County Jail is welcoming visitors again. Visitation resumes today for those inmates who are not in quarantine. Visitation had been halted to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

When it comes to battling the coronavirus, New Yorkers 18 and older are doing their part to try and end the pandemic. Governor Hochul’s office says that 90-percent of people in that age group have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, just over 80-percent of people 18 and older have been fully vaccinated.

The final report from outside lawyers in ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo’s misconduct investigation has been released. Those attorneys found Cuomo engaged in several instances of sexual harassment, fostered a hostile work environment and also wasn’t transparent in reporting the number of nursing home residents who died due to COVID-19.
It was also discovered that Cuomo utilized state resources for the memoir he wrote on how he handled the COVID-19 crisis.

Want to give a brand-new Corvette to someone for Christmas?
If you can’t exactly afford the car, you could give a chance for one.
The Batavia Rotary Club is now selling its annual Corvette Raffle tickets.
They are $50 each, or three for $100. The drawing will be held on February 26th. Tickets are available at WBTA Studios or any Batavia Rotarian.

Morning News Brief

With covid cases on the rise again county Executive Mark Polancarz ahs reinstated the mandatory mask mandate for Erie County.  This means masks are now required in all indoor public settings across Erie county.  And this is just step 1.  Poloncarz says that if the numbers don’t decrease then the next step is mandating the COVID Vaccine for entry into all indoor dining, bars, and entertainment venues.  He says NYC already has this.  Next up would be instituting capacity restrictions and then shutting down businesses again.  Essentially lockdowns till the COVID numbers drop.  No threshold or exact numbers were given except the mask mandate is expected to go to the end of the year. As of now there are 249 COVId patients in hospitals across Erie county and the positivity rate is 9 percent.  

Visitation is back at the jail in Batavia. Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron, is reinstating visitation at the Genesee County Jail beginning noon today, for those incarcerated individuals who are NOT in quarantine.  The sheriff says in a press release, “We appreciate your understanding while this precautionary measure was in place in order to prevent the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus to incarcerated individuals’ families and employees.”

The Batavia City Council voted on 1 resolution and put forward 2 others pertaining to the new Police station planned for the area of Alva Place and Bank Street.  The possible 10.8 million dollar construction project would relocate the police from the 10 west Main Brisbane Mansion which is over 160 years old and requires expensive restoration to a 1 story modern station.  The resolution that passed authorised 3250 to A Lancaster company, WM Schutt and Associates to conduct a land survey of the proposed area.  The 2 resolutions pushed to next month would engage a project manager and authorize a Bond for the cost of designing, engineering and architecture plans for the station.

A child predator caught and put away.  37 year old Michael Mullen of Oakfield, is charged with 10 counts of sex abuse in the first (contact with a person less than 11 years old), 10 counts of sexual conduct in the second with a child less than 11 years old, and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Mullen was arrested by State Police on Saturday. He was ordered held in jail.

The Sabres fell to the Blue Jackets Monday night 7 to 4.  This loss puts the Buffalo team at 7 and 9 and 2 in the season.  They will be back in Keybank Arena Wednesday to host the Bruins at 7pm.

Midday News Brief

The price of a barrel of crude oil has dropped below $80.
Experts say we could soon see some relief at the pump…but not quite yet.
In Batavia, the average price of a gallon of regular is now $3.47, up 2-cents from last week. A year ago, gasoline in Batavia was selling for $2.21 a gallon.

 

Governor Kathy Hochul is urging New Yorkers to get vaccinated as COVID hospitalizations begin to rise again in the state. The governor said this is “no time to let our guard down” with colder months and the holiday travel quickly approaching. Hochul said to get the shot if you haven’t already, and to get the booster to add another layer of defense.

Classes will be online in the Dansville Central School District for the rest of the month. The district announced last Thursday that all campuses will move to remote learning because of an increase in COVID cases among students and employees.

High School Football Far West Regionals this past weekend, one local team moves on to the state tournament and for another, a great season comes to an end.
On Friday night in Class D the Oakfield-Alabama-Elba “Aggies” beat the Randolph Cardinals 28 to 22.
The Aggies will advance to the state semi-finals at Cicero North near Syracuse this Friday.
The Aggies will meet a tough opponent in Section 4’s Tioga. Game time Friday is 3pm, live coverage on WBTA begins at 2:45.

On Saturday afternoon the Section 5 Class B champions Batavia Blue Devils were defeated by Western New York Maritime 22-14. Batavia’s season ended with an impressive 10 and 2 record.

The Bills are now in second place in the AFC East after a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Buffalo fell 41-to-15 yesterday in a game dominated by Colts running back Jonathan Taylor.
The Bills play the Saints Thanksgiving night.

Morning News Brief

Mobile sports betting will soon be legal in New York State.  The New York State Gaming Commission has voted to license 8 betting providers and 9 operators.  Currently, mobile sports betting is legal in a dozen states, including nearby states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.  Here in New York, the final tax rate for online betting will be set at 51%.  That means casinos and gamblers will be paying a higher percentage for added tax revenue.  Meanwhile, licenses for approved providers like FanDuel and Draft Kings will last for at least ten years.  Just within the last few years, sportsbooks became legal at casinos statewide.

Governor Hochul announced yesterday that New York was permanently adding into law the Nourish NewYork program.  The Nourish New York initiative reroutes New York’s surplus agricultural products to the populations who need them most through the state’s food banks. The program also provides support for the food producers and farmers who have lost markets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic because the state’s food banks are buying agricultural products from New York farmers and food processors.   Through three rounds of the program, New York’s food banks have purchased over 35 million pounds of food products, which equates to 29,800,000 meals. In this fourth round, New York’s food banks have purchased 6,900,000 pounds of food, creating an additional 5,750,000 meals for households in need. A total of $85 million has been committed to Nourish NY since its launch in May 2020.

The City of Batavia Democrats are upset about the process of selecting a City Councilperson to replace Rose Mary Christian as she leaves the City council.  Although Christian was a democrat when she was elected to the council she switched to Republican.  The charter says the seat that she left must be filled by someone of the same party as the person leaving.  But the question is, is it the party she was when she started or when she left.  The Democrats say it was when she started.  The Republicans disagree.  The Democrats say the city attorney has not been returning their calls and they demand a legal interpretation of the charter.  They say in a press release that this is to ensure fairness rather than one party choosing what happens.

High School Football Far West Regionals this past weekend, one local team moves on to the state tournament and for another, a great season comes to an end.  On Friday night in Class D the Oakfield-Alabama-Elba “Aggies” beat the Randolph Cardinals 28 to 22.  The Aggies will advance to the state semi-finals at Cicero North near Syracuse this Friday.  The Aggies will meet a tough opponent in Section 4’s Tioga. Game time Friday is 3pm, live coverage on WBTA begins at 2:45.  On Saturday afternoon the Section 5 Class B champions Batavia Blue Devils were defeated by Western  New York Maritime 22-14. Batavia’s season ended with an impressive 10 and 2 record.

The Buffalo Bills dropped the ball in orchard park Sunday afternoon in a 41 to 15 loss to the Colts.  The Bills threw 3 interceptions, had a fumbled kick, and had penalties take away field goal opportunities.  Overall the Bills had less than 300 yards on offense.  They are scheduled to play Thanksgiving against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Dome.  

The Sabres lost their game against the Rangers 5 to 4 in Manhattan Sunday.  Aaron Dell made 31 saves for Buffalo to start a back-to-back for the Sabres. They’re home at KeyBank Center tonight to host the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7:00 p.m.

Weekend News Brief

The Batavia School Board approved spending to repair the Batavia Middle School.  57 thousand 5 hundred dollars is needed to repair systems such as the boiler that has been in place since 1964.  Business Administrator Scott Rozanski says that the tank for the boiler is leaking, and if the tank and pumps fail they would have to close the school.  The vote to repair the school equipment passed unanimously.  They voted to use money already in the Repair Reserve Fund and that the fund would be replenished at the end of the year if funds are available.

A small group of Batavia School District parents dropped off shoes wrapped in bags on the lawn of Batavia High School to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates.  Organizers of what was called Operation Shoe Drop said they were protesting a State Assembly bill that would require school aged children to be vaccinated in order to attend classes. Each discarded pair of shoes was to represent a child who could not attend class for not being vaccinated.  Operation Shoe Drop was supposed to be a statewide silent protest of the mandate.

The Oakfield Alabama Elba Aggies are moving to the Class D State Semifinal in North Syracuse after the beating Randolph Cardinals 28 to 22 on Friday night in Jamestown.  Oakfield-Alabama/Elba will take on the Tioga Tigers in the state semifinal.  The match is set for Friday the day after Thanksgiving at 3pm.  The Tigers are coming off a win against Dolgeville who they beat 50 to 12.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has now officially been named the winner in the election earlier this month.  During the final vote tally on Friday evening, Mayor Brown has 38,338 write-in votes, while Democratic nominee India Walton has 25,773 votes.  Walton conceded in a press release. 

The Sharrick Road Bridge which was closed for a bridge replacement project September 7th has been reopened.  The bridge is located between Colby rd and Harper Rd. 

Are you interested in math and science and want to go to a school that will prepare you for a course of study in one of these fields in college? The Western New York P-Tech Academy provides students with a Regents diploma, a college degree and a career path – all in one program. Trade the traditional classroom for a new way to prepare for your future.  You can earn your high school credits while earning up to 27 college credits before even graduating from high school and an AAS degree from GCC for free.  An Open House is set for Thursday, December 2 from 6-7:30 p.m. The WNY P-Tech Academy is located behind the tennis courts at Byron-Bergen High School.

Midday News Brief

A small group of Batavia School District parents dumped discarded schools on the lawn of Batavia High School to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Organizers of what was called Operation Shoe Drop said they were protesting a State Assembly bill that would require school aged children to be vaccinated in order to attend classes. Each discarded shoe was to represent a child who could not attend class for not being vaccinated.
Operation Show Drop was supposed to be a statewide silent protest of the mandate.

New York State has reached another milestone in the ongoing battle against the coronavirus. Governor Hochul announced yesterday that 80-percent of New Yorkers over the age of 18 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The governor says with the holidays and cold weather coming, anyone who hasn’t been immunized yet should get their shots so they can protect themselves, their families and their friends from the illness.

The Winter Weather Advisory that had been posted for this weekend has been cancelled. The weather service says temperatures have risen above freezing in most areas. The weather service said that snow showers will continue in some areas but impacts and accumulation will be minimal.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today reminds New Yorkers to register their snowmobiles. Snowmobile registrations must be renewed annually. DMV allows snowmobilers to renew registrations online on the DMV website, by mail or in person at a DMV office.

Midday News Brief

After a decision earlier this week in Louisiana to halt the Biden administrations vaccine mandate for companies with 100 employees or more the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced it is suspending any work towards enforcing the mandate.  President Biden said that his administration is doing everything it can to get the courts to allow the mandate to proceed.  The 3 judge court that ordered the halt said the mandate “Grossly exceeded OSHA’s statutory authority.”

There is a winter weather advisory for Western NY including Wyoming County tonight from 7pm to 1pm on Friday.  The advisory says lake effect snow of up to 7 inches is possible overnight and into the morning and early afternoon.  Low visibility at times and rapidly changing road conditions are expected.  Remember to drive carefully, take turns slower and give yourself extra time to stop.

Monday is the last day for healthcare workers who received a religious exemption from Governor Hochul’s COVID vaccine mandate.  The state department of health sent a letter to health care providers across the state that said beginning Monday those who were previously granted religious exemptions must have documentation of a first dose COVID-19 vaccination or a valid medical exemption.  In early October a federal judge ruled the state had to allow health care workers to seek exemptions as a lawsuit challenging the requirement proceeded in court.  In late October a federal appeals panel upheld the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers and reversed the federal judge’s decision.

The Canadian Government is planning to lift the restriction requiring that fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents returning to Canada after trips into the US under 72 hours get a COVID test according to the CBC.  This change is expected to take place at the end of the month.  Congressman Higgins says that getting rid of the test for short visits is step one of three in changing how COVID is handled at the border.  Also Announced yesterday was that NY would start accepting vaccine passports from Canadian provinces and that Canada’s SMART Health Card would be integrated with NY States Excelsior Pass.  The Bills and Sabres have stated that they are ready to accept visitors from Canada with Canadian Vaccine Passports.

Morning News Briefing

New York Farm Bureau’s 2021 Market Basket Survey shows the price of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner saw a modest uptick from last year’s meal. The average total price, which includes a 16-pound turkey and other common items found on a holiday dinner table, is $52.59, a 1.7% increase over last year. New York Farm Bureau’s volunteer shoppers sampled prices at 21 different supermarkets throughout the state between October 31 and November 8 trying to get the best prices available, but they did not use promotional coupons or special deals such as “buy one-get one free.”

Batavia businessman Eric Biscaro’s attempt to construct a 30-duplex unit senior housing complex off East Avenue and develop 18 single-family home building lots on that street came to a screeching halt at Le Roy Village Board meeting. Biscaro introduced the project in April to the Genesee County Planning Board following discussions with Village Mayor Greg Rogers about a development that could provide upscale housing for residents age 50 and over and generate much needed tax revenue for the municipality. At the Wednesday session, Rogers clearly was disappointed as he communicated the fate of the project. Three of the five board members said they were going to vote against it. As he was leaving, The Batavian asked Biscaro if he would consider a revised plan or another location in the village. He response was clear…“No, it’s done.”

After deliberating for less than two hours, a Genesee County jury Wednesday convicted Jacob Sponaugle of attempted murder. He was convicted of trying to kill Jason Whitehead of Batavia. He will be sentenced on Dec. 15.

The NY State Dept of Health issued new visitation guidance for nursing homes so that it more closely aligns with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ recommendations. The guidance is intended to ensure that nursing homes are not unnecessarily restricting visitations, meaning there will be no limitations on the frequency and length of visits or the number of visitors. Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will still be barred from coming into nursing home facilities until they’re finished with their quarantine period.

NY State of Health, the state’s official health plan marketplace, has announced its enrollment for 2022 Qualified Health Plans is now open. The coverage for these plans begins on Jan. 1st. The marketplace provides low-cost health insurance options, with a choice of Qualified Health Plans in every county. The marketplace also offers expanded tax credits through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Dept of Motor Vehicles is reminding NYers to register their snowmobiles which must be renewed annually. The DMV allows snowmobilers to renew registrations online on the DMV website, by mail or in person at a DMV office. Members of the NY State Snowmobile Association also receive a $55 discount on snowmobile registrations.

Evening News Brief

The Town of Batavia is holding a public Hearing this evening into whether or not the town should opt out of allowing legal marijuana. The Town Board is on record as wanted to opt out. Tonight’s hearing is set for 7:10 at the Batavia Town Hall. If a community opts out before December 31st, they would be able to opt in at some point in the future.

 

Batavia’s City Republican Committee seeking persons interested in serving on City Council from Ward 6.
That post was held for almost 30 years by Rose Mary Christian. She recently resigned the seat when she moved out of the ward.
To be qualified for the post you must be a resident of the 6th Ward and be a member of the Republican party.
The GOP Committee says interested persons should submit a letter of interest at P.O. Box 260, Batavia.

The 20th Wonderland of Trees begins this Friday with an opening Gala at the Holland Land Office Museum.
The gala will feature basket raffles, music by the Genesee Symphony and hors d’oeuvres by D & R Depot. Tickets for this event are on sale at the museum. Tickets are $15 per person/ $10 for museum members and $5 for children under 12.
The Wonderland of Trees continues at the museum through December 17th.

Governor Kathy Hochul says health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may return if infection numbers keep rising statewide. The governor did not reveal exactly what guidelines would be put in place or when they could go into effect. She’s still urging people who haven’t been vaccinated against the virus to get their shot and says those who have been immunized need to get a booster shot.

The Buffalo Sabres have picked up their second road win of the season thanks in large part to a great performance from their goaltender. Dustin Tokarski had a career high 45 saves as the Sabres defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins two-to-one. Up next for Buffalo is a home game tomorrow night against the Calgary Flames.

Midday News Brief

Batavia’s City Republican Committee is seeking candidates for the Ward Six council seat vacated by Rose Mary Christian.
Christian resigned the seat when she moved out of the ward. She had been on council for nearly 30 years.
To be qualified for the post you must be a resident of the 6th Ward and be a member of the Republican party.
The GOP Committee says interested persons should submit a letter of interest to the committee at P.O. Box 260, Batavia.
The candidate named to the seat will serve through 2022. There will be a special election in November of 2022 to fill the remaining year of the regular four year term.

There has been a water main break on Thomas Avenue just north of Main Street. Water Department crews are on scene making repairs.
Water should be back to normal by 3 this afternoon.

The 20th Wonderland of Trees begins this Friday with an opening Gala at the Holland Land Office Museum.
The gala will feature basket raffles, music by the Genesee Symphony and hors d’oeuvres by D & R Depot. Tickets for this event are on sale at the museum. Tickets are $15 per person/ $10 for museum members and $5 for children under 12.
The Wonderland of Trees continues at the museum through December 17th. It is sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile and WBTA Radio.

Governor Hochul says health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may return if infection numbers keep rising statewide. The governor did not reveal exactly what guidelines would be put in place or when they could go into effect. She’s still urging people who haven’t been vaccinated against the virus to get their shot and says those who have been immunized need to get a booster shot.

The Buffalo Sabres have picked up their second road win of the season thanks in large part to a great performance from their goaltender. Dustin Tokarski had a career high 45 saves as the Sabres defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins two-to-one. Up next for Buffalo is a home game tomorrow night against the Calgary Flames.

Morning News Briefing

One of two men on trial over a gun-sale deal gone bad outside the Days Inn in Batavia last year, has agreed to plead guilty on multiple charges stemming from this case and several others in exchange for a sentence cap of 10 years in prison. As part of the deal, Devon Wright will admit to attempted criminal possession of a weapon 2nd. He is also pleading guilty to assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, attempted assault 1st, a Class C Violent Felony, and criminal sexual act, also a felony. In exchange, all other pending charges against Wright will be dropped. Wright was released under the supervision of Genesee Justice while Wright awaits sentencing.

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams formally announced his run for governor of New York on Tuesday. The 45-year-old launched his gubernatorial bid with the release of a campaign video titled “Always Moving.” Williams is the most progressive candidate in next year’s increasingly crowded Democratic primary race that already features current Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also said he’s considering jumping into the race.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Genesee County now stands at 326 and is nearing the heights total during the pandemic in December 2020…that’s all according to Health Department reports. Over the past few days, there have been 166 new positive COVID-19 cases reported to the county health department. There have been six recent deaths attributed to COVID-19 raising the countywide total over the course of the pandemic to 292. Of the current positive cases, 22 are hospitalized.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York City’s celebration in Times Square for New Year’s Eve will be coming back this year with COVID-19 vaccination requirements. All spectators five years and older will be asked to show proof of full vaccination. People who can’t be vaccinated because of a disability will have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Just days after President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY will hold a press conference this afternoon announcing at least $27 billion in direct funding to help revitalize New York State’s aging infrastructure. Several of Gillibrand’s provisions were included in the package, including measures to encourage the use of local workers in infrastructure projects, increase limo safety standards, and invest in marginalized workers and communities upended by the disruptive construction of highways. Gillibrand also fought for additional funding for infrastructure projects that will help repair bridges, airports, and roads, connect local workers to good-paying jobs, and improve New York’s water and sewage systems.

State ethics officials have moved to rescind the approval of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s book about the pandemic. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics voted 12-1 Tuesday in favor of revoking its prior approval. Cuomo now has to reapply for approval of the $5.1 million book deal. A spokesman for Cuomo called the move part of a “political game,” and said the group acted outside the scope of its authority.

Evening News Brief

Devon Wright

Jacon Sponaugle

Devon Wright, one of the two men charged in the July 2020 shooting at Batavia’s Days Inn, has entered a plea deal at the outset of this trial.
Wright pled guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon in return for a sentence cap of 10 years. Wright’s deal also included other charges in unrelated cases.
The trial in Genesee County Court continues for Jacob Sponaugle who is charged in the shooting of Jason Whitehead.
Police said that Sponaugle and Whitehead arranged for the sale to Wright of a 22-caliber pistol. The transaction was meant to take place at the Days Inn. When Wright wouldn’t pay the asking price, Sponaugle blamed Whitehead for the deal going south and shot him.
The trial of Sponaugle will continue in county court.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Genesee County has risen to 326.
The number is coming extremely close to the 343 cases reported at the height of the pandemic in December of 2020.
There have been six recent deaths attributed to COVID-19 bringing the county’s death toll during the entire pandemic at 292.

Jason Smith

 

Batavia’s new superintendent of schools is a former BHS graduate.
Jason Smith has been named the new superintendent. He will take over the post on January 3rd.
Smith is currently the superintendent of Lyndonville Central Schools.
His new job in Batavia will pay $165,000 a year.

 

The Transportation Security Administration says with more people traveling these days, they need additional officers at Buffalo-Niagara International Airport.
Previous experience working in security or law enforcement is not required. Anyone who joins the TSA will receive a $500 sign-on bonus and an additional $500 after one year of service.

Morning News Brief

The Batavia City Schools new superintendent has been announced.  Jason Smith, currently the superintendent of Lyndonville Central School district, is a Batavia High school class of 1990 graduate.  He held various principal positions in the Elba Central School district from 2004-2011. He began his career in 1994 in the Albion Central School District as a high school social studies teacher.  Smith received his Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration and his Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Brockport. He is also a graduate of The State University of New York at Geneseo, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in History with a Minor in Sociology.  Smith is scheduled to start his new role on Jan. 3, 2022.

The City of Batavia will hold a gathering for the Honorable Rose Mary Christian on Monday November 22 in the Council Chamber beginning at 5:30 P.M.  All citizens and well-wishers are invited to attend.  The gathering will be followed by a City Council meeting where proclamations will be presented to Councilwoman Christian honoring her for her years of service. Councilwoman Christian announced her resignation from City Council on November 15, 2021.  She is resigning the seat because she is moving out of the sixth ward.

New York State Police are warning residents to keep an eye out for people stealing packages out of mailboxes and off porches. So far, incidents have been reported in three towns. Some helpful tips: be home when your package is delivered, if you don’t plan to be home schedule the package to be dropped off at a trusted neighbor’s home or at a FedEx, UPS or Amazon locker service. On Monday, two people were arrested and charged with the misdemeanors of Petit Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the fifth degree and Conspiracy in the sixth degree. 

New Yorkers will soon have new ways of carrying food out of restaurants.  Effective January 1 no covered food service provider or store will be allowed to sell, offer for sale, or distribute disposable food service containers that contain expanded polystyrene foam in the state. The Act will stop the sale and distribution of expanded polystyrene foam containers and loose fill “packing peanuts.” 

Is there a little relief coming for high gas prices? Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.42, no change from last week when the numbers are rounded. The New York State average is $3.56 –no change from last week. In Batavia, pump prices are $3.45 which is one cent lower than last week.

The Genesee County Health department is looking for 2 dogs involved in a dog bite incident on Tuesday November 9th around 5:30pm.  A group of people were playing outside in the area of 16 Maple Street in Batavia when two dogs came running towards the group from the direction of Evans and Thorpe Street. One of the dogs charged the group and bit one individual.   The dog that bit was a shorthaired, pitbull shepherd mix and approximately 50 to 60 pounds. It is described as being tan with a white chest.  The other dog was described as a light tan, shorter-sized dog who was approximately 40 to 50 pounds.  It is important to determine if either dog has rabies.  If you have information about the location of the dogs and its owner, please contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the state is opening a mass COVID-19 vaccination site for 5 to 11-year-olds at UB South. UB South Campus is one of ten locations across the state offering COVID-19 vaccinations to kids between 5 and 11.

Midday News Brief

State Police have arrested an Allegany County man in connection with a one car fatal crash in Pavilion.
20-year-old Brennan Dean of Bolivar has been charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, DWI-Drugs and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Troopers say Dean was traveling at a high rate of speed Friday afternoon when he crashed into a utility pole on Starr Road near Crossman Road in Pavilion. Dean, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, then fled the scene leaving his passenger unattended.
His passenger, who has yet to be identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.
After being treated for his injuries, Dean was ordered held in the Genesee County Jail on $100,000 bail.

The Buffalo Bills have rebounded from their disappointing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars with a blowout victory on the road.
Buffalo crushed the New York Jets 45 to 17.
The Bills improved their record this season to six-and-three which keeps them atop the AFC East. Up next for Buffalo is a home game against the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday.

Two local high school football teams will enter the Far West Regional championship this weekend.
On Friday night it is the Class D Far West Regional. Oakfield-Alabama/Elba meets 10 and 0 Randolph. Kickoff is 5pm from Jamestown High School.
On Saturday, The Class B Far West Regional, the blue Devils of Batavia take on Western New York Maritime Health Sciences at 3:15. That game at Williamsville South High School.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the Biden Administration to tap the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to lower prices ahead of the busy holiday travel season.
Meanwhile, gasoline prices in Batavia over the past week have remained steady at an average of $3.45 a gallon.

Morning News Brief

20-year-old Brennan Dean of Bolivar has been charged following the deadly crash in Pavilion Friday.  He is charged with Manslaughter, Vehicular Manslaughter, possessing a stolen vehicle, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and more. Troopers said Dean was southbound at a high rate of speed on Starr Road when he lost control and struck a utility pole. A passenger was ejected and died at the scene. Dean fled the scene but was nabbed by police. The vehicle involved in this incident was reported stolen from North Tonawanda. The passenger has not been identified at this time. The investigation is ongoing

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released an audit that found the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services cannot assure the cybersecurity support they are providing to state agencies, local governments, and public authorities.  In New York, cyberattacks have impacted public and private entities large and small, including reported attacks at state agencies and 911 systems.  OatKa in Batavia was a victim of a cyber attack just a month ago.

According to the Associated Press…President Joe Biden’s $1.85 trillion social spending bill includes a provision that, if it becomes law, would mark the first time the federal government has offered money to local news organizations. The help would come in the form of a payroll tax credit for companies that employ local journalists. The measure would allow newspapers, digital news outlets and radio and television stations to claim a tax credit of $25,000 the first year and $15,000 the next four years for up to 1,500 journalists. 

After a year’s delay of celebrating the 25-year existence of Genesee Cancer Assistance the nonprofit will finally have its day.  The Non-Profit provides assistance by helping with expenses related to prescriptions, medical co-pays, transportation to and from medical facilities, home health care and related equipment and child care. The organization also provides biblical counseling, support groups, informative materials and the Simply Beautiful program, created to help cancer patients with personalized advice for how to deal with the side effects of treatment on their hair and skin. The organization’s dinner celebration is at 5 p.m. Saturday the 20th at Batavia Downs.

The Buffalo Bills trashed the New York Jets in Sunday’s 45-17 win. The Bills now hold the season at 6-2.  Their next game is against the Indianapolis Colts at Highmark Stadium Sunday at 1pm.

The Sabres lost their first game against the Maple Leafs in the last minute of regulation.  In the last 15 seconds of the game Toronto scored, taking the game to 5 to 4 in the Leafs favor.  Forward Jeff Skinner scored two goals for the Sabres, including a tally in the third that sparked a rally towards a late tie for Buffalo. Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin also found the back of the net for Buffalo.  The Sabres are back on the road to start the upcoming week. Buffalo will visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Morning News Briefing

A man from Allegany County remains jailed after a deadly vehicle crash in Pavilion. 20-year-old Brennan Dean of Bolivar has been charged with Manslaughter, Vehicular Manslaughter, possessing a stolen vehicle, leaving the scene of a fatal crash and more. Troopers said Dean was southbound at a high rate of speed on Starr Road when he lost control and struck a utility pole. A passenger was ejected and died at the scene. Dean took off but was captured a short time later. Dean was arraigned at the town of Pavilion court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond. The vehicle involved in this incident was reported stolen from North Tonawanda. The passenger has not been identified at this time. This is still an ongoing criminal investigation.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released an audit that found the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) cannot assure the critical cybersecurity support they are providing to state agencies, local governments, and public authorities. The recent passage of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act underscores how critical strengthening cybersecurity is across New York. The legislation will provide much needed funding for local governments to modernize and protect their networks against future cyberattacks. In New York, cyberattacks have impacted public entities large and small, including reported attacks at state agencies and 911 systems.

Genesee County Deputies report the arrest of 33-year-old Jeffrey Johnson of Lake Street in LeRoy. She was pulled over and charged with driving while impaired and driving to the left of pavement markings. He was released on appearance tickets and will appear in Stafford Town Court December 7th.

According to the Associated Press…President Joe Biden’s $1.85 trillion social spending bill includes a provision that, if it becomes law, would mark the first time the federal government has offered targeted support in response to the decline of local news. The help would come in the form of a payroll tax credit for companies that employ eligible local journalists. The measure would allow newspapers, digital news outlets and radio and television stations to claim a tax credit of $25,000 the first year and $15,000 the next four years for up to 1,500 journalists. It’s a response to growing alarm that the elimination of newsroom jobs is leaving communities without access to critical information.

The Buffalo Bills trashed the New York Jets in Sunday’s 45-17 win. The Bills now hold the season at 6-2.
After a year’s delay of celebrating the 25-year existence of Genesee Cancer Assistance — which means founders, board members, patients and volunteers — the nonprofit will finally have its day. The organization’s dinner celebration is at 5 p.m. Saturday at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road, Batavia.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation Board of Directors has approved more than $83 million for drinking water and wastewater projects across New York State. The Village of Bergen has received $256,000 and $393,875 short-term, interest-free financing, and $393,875 short-term market-rate financing for the planning, design, and construction of a collection system and wastewater treatment plant improvements.

Weekend News Brief

A decision in Louisiana that affects companies in Batavia. A fifth circuit of appeals court has blocked the federal mandate for all companies with over 100 employees to have to either make sure all employees are COVID vaccinated or tested weekly at their own expense.  The 3 judge panel in New Orleans ruled that President Biden’s Mandate “Grossly exceeds OSHA’s Statutory authority.”  The judges also decided that the order imposed financial burdens on businesses that could violate the constitution.  The White House responded to the decisions by saying that businesses should start enforcing the mandate anyway.  24 states and dozens of companies are suing the Biden Administration over the mandate.

A single vehicle accident in Pavilion leaves one person dead and another injured.  Investigators say the car was being driven south on Star Road and struck a utility pole.  One occupant was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was taken to Rochester Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  The name of the person who died in the crash has not been released.  State police say they are investigating the crash.

The new superintendent of Batavia City Schools will be announced Monday night after a special meeting of the Board of Education.  A brief meeting agenda lists the board vote about a contract agreement between the new superintendent and the city school district. Board President Alice Benedict says that two interviews whittled down four potential candidates to two.  The new Superintendent’s contract is set to start January 3rd.

Do you have a 401K?  You can if you work at a job with ten workers or more that has been in operation for more than 2 years.  The state 401K , the Secure Choice Savings Program is now available to New Yorkers who otherwise wouldn’t have a way to save for retirement through their workplace due to a law signed last month.  Employers do not have to contribute to the plan.  Employees can contribute up to 3 percent of their wages to the plan.

The baby rhino that was welcomed to the Buffalo Zoo in October made its public debut Thursday.  This zoo’s fifth rhino calf in 17 years is a female that was born October 16 to Tashi the greater one-horned rhino. The calf’s father, George, is a former resident of the Buffalo Zoo who now lives at another facility.  The calf doesn’t have a name yet, but you can help naming her! The zoo announced Friday its keepers have picked two names that pay homage to her father, Georgia and Georgie, and they need the public to help break the tie. You can vote by following the link at wbtai.com, voting will end November 16.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZLGL3FY

Midday News Brief

A big weekend for high school football.
Two local teams compete for Section 5 championships.
Tonight: The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies square off against Avon. The Aggies are ranked Number One in Class D. The game will be played ton9ight at VanDetta Stadium with Kick-off at 7.
Bob Brown and Pete Zehler call the game for WBTA. Coverage begins on-air and on-line at 6:45
Then tomorrow night, the Class B Sectional Final: Number 2 Batavia Blue Devils meet their nemesis, Number One ranked Honeoye Falls.
Kick-off is 6pm tomorrow night from Sutherland High School. Bob Brown and Paul Spiotta call the action on WBTA FM and AM, and on-line at WBTAi.com beginning at 5:45pm.

The Buffalo Bills will be back on the road this weekend as they look to rebound from a tough loss.
The Bills are going to take on their longtime AFC East rival the New York Jets in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Last weekend, the Bills’ offense struggled in a nine-to-six loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars which dropped their record this season to five-and-three which is still good enough for first place in the division.
Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for 1pm

Come Monday night, the Batavia City School District will reveal the name of the next Superintendent of Schools. The Board of Ed is meeting in special session Monday night to appoint the new superintendent.

Veterans across Western New York who are in need of dental care have somewhere they can go this weekend to receive it. Students with the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine will offer services such as cleanings, extractions, restorations and denture repairs.
The clinic will take place in Squire Hall on the UB North Campus in Amherst. The hours are eight a-m until three p-m tomorrow.
All services will be free.

Morning News Brief

Rochester has hit a new high and it isn’t one to be proud of.  With a shooting on chestnut Street on Thursday in which 2 young men were killed and another where a man was beaten to death after being shot outside Transit Center, Rochester stands with over 70 homicides this year.  This beats the previous high in 1993 and is the highest number since it started being recorded.  The average number of homicides for the last decade was 34 in a calendar year.  Capt. Frank Umbrino, who commands RPD’s major crimes unit, says “Rochester is worse than a warzone lately.”  He also said that the only way that it will stop is for “the community to get fed up” with the violence.

A new candidate has entered the ring for the US House of Representatives in Western New York.  Sgt Steven Sams the 2nd, a 90 percent disabled combat veteran is running for the 26th district seat.  He says division and government overreach is motivating him to run for office.  Sams says he wants to do things that will improve the lives of the people of western NY and make an actual difference in the lives of people, not just improve canalside and the waterfront in Buffalo.  Sams has also spoken out on the failure of party politics and the effect it has on the everyday life of average people.

A Batavia woman has been arrested on drug trafficking charges.  36 year old Emily Smith of Wilkinson Road in Batavia, was arrested by members of the Local Drug Task Force following an investigation into the transportation, sale, and possession of cocaine in and around the City of Batavia. Smith is charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd, criminal sale of a controlled substance 3rd, criminal nuisance 1st, and endangering the welfare of a child.     Smith was arraigned in City Court and released on her own recognizance.

The Western NY Gas and Steam Engine Grounds is putting on its second annual Christmas Light Display starting Thanksgiving night and running through December 18th.  The drive through display will run Fridays and Saturdays only, from 5 to 9 o clock.  Entry is 10 dollars a car, 20 for big vans and busses cash only at the gate, no presale tickets.  There will be food and drinks available.  

Midday News Brief

In 1938, Congress made the 11th of November each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.”
Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.
In 1954 Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.”
November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

 

 

The lesson of Veteran’s Day was recognized by students and staff of Batavia High School. A ceremony was held yesterday and attended by 95-year-old Navy World War Two veteran, Roger Martin…

 

PHOTO: Roger Martin,  Courtesy Howard Owens, The Batavian

This was the fifth year in a row the school held its Veterans Day observance led by High School Principal Paul Kessler.

 

There were several Veteran ‘s Day observances held locally this morning. Among them were traditional ceremonies at VC-A and the State Veteran’s Home, the Upton Monument and the Jerome Center Monument.

Tops Markets in Batavia and all of their Western New York stores, are offering an 11-percent discount off a total order. The discount is available to all vets and their immediate family in the same household.

Some National Fuel customers may see an additional charge on an upcoming bill. According to a National Fuel spokesperson, the company stopped doing in-house meter readings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led them to regularly give estimates on monthly bills. The company resumed in-house meter readings in July 2021. Now, some customers may be seeing a “rate or billing adjustment” on their monthly statement, possibly resulting in a higher bill than usual. The adjustment is a result of the accurate meter reading. National Fuel says this is not a widespread situation and only impacts customers with indoor meters.

Morning News Brief

The raising of the flag, the stirring notes of the Star Spangled Banner, and words honoring our veterans of military service to the USA started off the Batavia City Schools ceremony Wednesday morning just after 8 o clock.  After the outside portion of the ceremony the event moved inside with a concert and recognition of local heroes who were attending.  95 year old World War 2 veteran Roger Martin says he got up early to be there.  Martin says he wishes for more people to attend.  This was the fifth year of the high school’s effort to recognize local veterans.

There are many celebrations of our veterans going on today.  Here is a list of several of them.  Genesee County ceremonies are set to begin at 9 a.m. Today at Genesee County Park in East Bethany, followed by Batavia VA Medical Center at 10 a.m. and the New York State Veterans Nursing Home at 10:15 a.m., both on Richmond Avenue, Batavia, the Upton Monument at 11 a.m. at routes 5 and 33, Batavia, and ending at 11:30 a.m. at the Jerome Center monument at the corner of Bank Street and Washington Avenue in Batavia. Participating organizations include Veterans of Foreign Wars of Genesee County, Genesee County American Legions, Marine Corps League – Hansen Brothers Detachment, and Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 193.

Some National Fuel customers may see an additional charge on an upcoming bill.  According to a National Fuel spokesperson, the company stopped doing in-house meter readings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led them to regularly give estimates on monthly bills. The company resumed in-house meter readings in July 2021.  Now, some customers may be seeing a “rate or billing adjustment” on their monthly statement, possibly resulting in a higher bill than usual. The adjustment is a result of the accurate meter reading. National Fuel says this is not a widespread situation and only impacts customers with indoor meters.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management has created an online portal for municipalities to opt out of retail or on-site consumption licenses.  The portal, will allow municipalities if they so choose to opt-out of adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries or on-site consumption businesses from operating in their jurisdiction.  The deadline is December 31.

Evening News Brief

Michael Tomaszewski

For the fourth time, the sentencing of former Batavia Funeral Director Michael Tomaszewski has been delayed.
Tomaszewski has already plead guilty in the case involving the theft of nearly a half-million dollars in prepaid funeral arrangements.
Tomaszewski had a private lawyer but now says he wants the public defender to represent him at sentencing. The family of Al Kurek, one of Tomaszewski’s victimized families, said the postponement of sentencing was a “delay tactic by someone who doesn’t want to go to jail.”
Sentencing for Tomaszewski has now been set for December 7th. The delay today was ordered by Genesee County Court Judge Charles Zambito who told Tomaszewski at his last sentencing that it was the last delay he would allow.

 

Michael Ficarella

 

A promotion at Batavia City Hall.
Batavia native Michael Ficarella has been named the new Superintendent of Water and Waste Water.
Ficarella has worked in the department for nine years. He will earn $75,978 a year.

 

 

The investigation continues into what caused a fatal house fire in Livingston County. Crews were called to the scene on Pond Road in Lima yesterday. They arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the residence.
A neighbor used a tractor to tear through a wall of the home and pull 67-year-old Cynthia Chambery out of the fire.
She was rushed to a nearby hospital but was later pronounced dead.

The long-awaited transcript from former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment interview is now public. Attorney General Letitia James released the 515 page document which also includes exhibits from Cuomo’s July interview. Included in the transcript is the deposition of Brittany Commisso whose allegations are thought to be those which led to the current misdemeanor complaint against the Democrat filed by the Albany County Sheriff’s office. This interview preceded the bombshell August 3rd Attorney General’s report concluding Cuomo had sexually harassed multiple women. That led to his eventual resignation.

City Bureau of Inspections

News Release

Although not a well known branch of municipal government, the Bureau of Inspections impacts each of us on a daily basis. The Bureau of Inspections strives to keep the City free of trash and debris by enforcing local ordinances, inspecting current structures for safety and ensuring new building construction meets State and City regulations. As a result of this, the Bureau of Inspections is tasked with many different responsibilities including, permit review, site plan review, inspections of permitted work, enforcement, and staffing the City’s three land use boards. With a staff of 3 full time employees and one part time employee, the Bureau of Inspections covers the entire City; all 5.2 square miles of it!

Over the course of the next few weeks, we are going to take a deeper dive into the inner workings of the Bureau of Inspections, including permitting, land use boards, and enforcement. Each of these is a portion of the daily tasks that are part of the responsibilities of the Bureau of Inspections, but arguably have the most impact on City residents.

“It is extremely important for residents to understand the role inspections plays here in the City of Batavia, “ said Jill Wiedrick, Assistant City Manager. “Residents in Batavia seek a high quality of life in an aesthetically pleasing environment and are affected by what they see when they open their door every day. The Bureau of Inspections mission is to ensure a City where all residents have a clean, safe environment to live, work and play.”

Midday News Brief

Michael Tomaszewski

Michael Tomaszewski has had his sentencing delayed, again.
County Court Judge Charles Zambito delayed sentencing for the former funeral director for a fourth time after saying the last delay would be the last.
Now, Tomaszewski is asking for the services of the public defender after firing his previous private attorney. Tomaszewski admitted to defrauding local families out of nearly a $500,000 dollars in pre-paid funerals. Outside the courthouse today two victims of the fraud spoke to reporters.

Kathy Tyson, said her family is out $7,000 and Al Kurek is out $2.800

The new sentencing date is December 7th.

The investigation continues into what caused a house fire in Livingston County that left a woman dead. Crews were called to the scene on Pond Road in Lima yesterday and arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the residence. Officials say a neighbor used a tractor to tear through a wall of the home and pull 67-year-old Cynthia Chambery out. She was rushed to a nearby hospital but was later pronounced dead.

New York State is offering an incentive for parents to get their young children vaccinated against COVID-19. Governor Hochul said yesterday that over the next few weeks, 50 full SUNY and CUNY scholarships will be raffled off to kids between the ages of five and 11-years-old who get immunized. The scholarships will cover tuition, fees, expenses, and room and board at two-year and four-year schools.

The Buffalo Sabres have made an addition to their team, but you’re not going to see him compete in a game. The Sabres have announced they’ve adopted an eight-month-old Newfoundland puppy who was rescued by the Niagara County SPCA. The dog is named Rick after longtime play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret who has spent decades with the team and is going to retire at the end of the season.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul announced yesterday that the new Vaccine incentive program, Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate will be running from now until December 19th and will give kids 5-11 the chance to win free 4 year tuition, fees, expenses and room and board at SUNY or CUNY schools if they get the COVID vaccine.  50 kids can win if they get at least the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine before December 19th and then their parents register online by following the link on WBTAi.com.  Governor Hochul said “If one of your children wins this, you should probably take them to Disney World.”  Only 27 percent of parents said they were interested in getting their kids the vaccine in a recent poll.

https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Vaccinate-Educate-Graduate-Vaccine-Incentive

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is speaking out against the closing of six prisons across New York State.  The announcement went out yesterday that 6 facilities, which includes Rochester Correctional and Willard Drug Treatment Campus, will be shuttered by close of day March 10th.  Hawley says that it is disrespectful to employees and local governments and communities as it disrupts their lives and communities with little warning.  None of the facilities were operating at full or near full capacity so the inmates will be able to be absorbed into other facilities according to department of Corrections spokesman Thomas Mailey.  Ogdensburg correctional Facility, slated to be shut down, had just undergone a 10 million dollar renovation.

The pair that broke into a foster home and kidnapped two children in January have been charged with conspiracy to kill a judge.  Jonathan Cash and Dimitri Cash are accused of a conspiracy to kill Monroe County family court judge Stacey Romeo.  Dmitri had been in a 3 year custody battle over the 2 children who were kidnapped in January and spirited away to Alabama where they were discovered and returned home safely.  Earlier this month, the two were accused of trying to plot a jail escape.  Both defendants are being held without bail with the opportunity to make future bail applications.

The Buffalo Sabres are introducing their new team dog, Rick.  Rick is an approximately 8-month-old Newfoundland that was rescued by the Niagara County SPCA. He is named after Sabres Hall-of-Fame play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret, the name was decided by the fans in an online vote.  He is currently being trained to be a service dog for a local veteran and the Buffalo Sabres Foundation is sponsoring his training.

Midday News Brief

What’s wrong with working for the Batavia Police Department.
Just recently, three officers have left BPD. Some left for more money and benefits.
The city is looking to fill those positions and hire four new firefighters.
Council members John Canale and Rose Mary Christian suggested that the city look into a better pay and benefits package and look at what other police departments are paying in similar size cities.
Council President Gene Jankowski questioned if the city can get back some of the cost of training officers who leave shortly after being hired. Chief Shawn Heubusch said New York State’s Civil Service bureaucracy is partially to blame.

 

There is now a vacancy on City Council Ward Six. Rose Mary Christian is leaving council after 30 years in the seat. Council President Gene Jankowski said, she will be missed

PHOTO: Rose Mary Christian

There could also be a flap brewing on just what party Christian’s replacement on council should be from.
When first elected, Christian was a democrat when elected to her recent term but changed her affiliation to republican.
The city charter provides that if a vacancy occurs, a temporary appointment is made of the same political party as the person leaving.

Governor Hochul is taking aim at putting an end to those annoying robocalls. She has signed a new law that’s intended to build on federal action to better protect New Yorkers who are tired of the predatory calls. Under the legislation, telecommunication companies now have to block robocalls from certain numbers which are most likely illegitimate and prevent their spread across additional providers.

Thousands of employees at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo will be returning to work after voting to accept a new labor contract. The agreement will be in place for the next four years and put an end to a strike that began several weeks ago. Officials say 94-percent of union workers voted yes on the deal.

Morning News Brief

One of a slew of bills signed by Governor Hochul yesterday was aimed at combatting the plague of robocalls in New York State.  One part of the legislation implements a program that tracks whether a call is coming from the number it says it is by using the Stir/Shaken framework.  Another allows telecom companies to block calls that they deem to be from spammers or illegitimate numbers.  Hochul says that these bills will let the authorities take action against bad actors and stop annoying calls targeting New Yorkers.

Former Greece Police Chief Forsythe has been charged with misdemeanor drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and 3 officers have been suspended.  Forsythe resigned following an investigation into an accident where he totaled his police vehicle late at night after a State Police event.  He said he swerved to avoid a deer and then drove 6 miles with a busted wheel and major damage to the vehicle.  The DA says Forsythe drank 6 drinks at the event just before driving and that there is an investigation into how officers handled the crash.

Catholic Health and the striking nurses and other workers have reached an agreement which will end the strike.  The Communication Workers of America overwhelmingly voted to ratify six new contracts to cover the over 2500 workers at Mercy Hospital, Kenmore Mercy Hospital and Sisters of Charity.  All agreements are retroactive back to July 1st and workers return to their jobs on Wednesday.

Six Flags Darien Lake will start their Magic of Lights drive through light display November 18th.  It will run through January 2nd and be from 5 to 9pm.  All guests are required to purchase tickets in advance and admission is free to all current members and season pass holders. Six Flags said season passes for the 2022 season are now available and includes admission to this event.

The Sabres continue their losing streak as they fell to the Capitals last night.  It was their fifth straight loss.  Washington made 5 goals to Buffalo’s 3.  The Sabres are now at 5 and 5 and 2.  They will be hosting the Edmonton Oilers at Keybank Arena Friday night at 7.

Midday News Brief

Some new data from Governor ‘s office is taking a look at the ongoing spread of COVID-19 across the Finger Lakes. The seven-day average infection rate in the region is six-point-five percent, which is the highest of any region in the state. Genesee County is part of the Finger Lakes Region. The Genesee County passivity rate if 7.7 percent.
The governor’s office is urging everyone who still hasn’t been vaccinated to get their shots soon to prevent a spike in infections during the holiday season.

A great weekend of High School Football playoff action is set up.
On Friday, a section 5 Class D final showdown between the Number One ranked Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies meeting Number 2 Avon. That game will be played at VanDetta Stadium in Batavia. Kick-off is 7pm and will be broadcast over WBTA.

On Saturday afternoon, the Class B sectional match-up between Number 1 Honeoye Falls versus Number 2 Batavia. That game will be played at 6 Saturday night at Pittsford-Sutherlund High School. You can hear all the action of that game on WBTA.

And just in case you haven’t heard: The Buffalo Bills suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of a team with one of the worst records in the National Football League. The Bills offense was only able to muster a pair of field goals as they lost on the road to the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday by a final score of nine-to-six.

Governor Hochul has signed off on a new bill aimed at protecting drivers who purchase used vehicles. Under the legislation, car dealers are banned from selling used vehicles to if they do not have a working airbag inside.

Following weeks of increases, Batavia drivers are finally seeing consistent prices at the gas pump. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas is now $3.47, a penny less than last week.

Morning News Brief

Thursday is Veterans Day and Batavia City Schools are planning to honor veterans with a special ceremony the day before.  The event is set for 8:15 a.m. Wednesday, at the high school, 260 State St., Batavia.  Activities include a flag-raising ceremony by Batavia Boy Scouts, an audience participatory Pledge of Allegiance and a performance of the national anthem, otherwise known as the “Star-Spangled Banner,” by BHS Concert Band.  Keynote speaker Charles Williams, a BHS 2014 graduate, is slated to say a few words about his reason for serving in the United States Navy, and how that service helped shape his life. Williams is a Master at Arms Petty Officer Second Class.  Veterans will then be treated to a more formal concert and ceremony in the school’s auditorium. The high school’s band, orchestra and chorus are to give a musical tribute, and veterans in attendance will be introduced.

Gas prices hit a plateau.  Is this hope for a drop soon? According to AAA a gallon of regular gas will cost you 3.46 in Batavia, which is the same as last week.  The New York average is 3.55 and the national is 3.42.  There is increased demand to counter the increase in supply and the Biden Administration is making moves toward shutting down another pipeline.  All this may mean higher prices going into Thanksgiving but there is hope for a winter drop off.  

The Buffalo Bills kicking game was put to the test against the Jaguars Sunday afternoon in a no touchdown game against the Jaguars.  Jacksonville emerged victorious in the contest 9 to 6 after a late game drive saw Josh Allen drop the ball and the Bills were unable to recover.  Going into the game the Jaguars were 1 and 5 and the Bills were 5 and 2.  Next week the Bills take on the Jets.

The Sabres went to overtime against the Red Wings but were not able to pull out a win as the Red Wings scored and ended the game 4 to 3.  Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, and Arttu Ruotsalainen all scored for Buffalo. The Sabres play the Washington Capitals on the road tonight.

Weekend News Brief

If you have a 5 to 11-year-old and you would like them to be vaccinated against COVID-19, now is the time to sign up.  The Genesee-Orleans Health Department is making appointments for next week.  In Orleans County, vaccinations will be given on Tuesdays between 4:30 and 6:30pm. Genesee County will administer shots on Wednesday, 4:30 to 6:30.  Public Health Educator Nola Goodrich-Kresse says only the Pfizer vaccination has been approved for kids. They will get 1/3 of the adult dose and three weeks later, another 1/3 dose…Complete information on the vaccine for kids, and how to make an appointment, is available on the Health Department’s website.

 

Representative Brian Higgins announced on Friday that the United States land border will reopen to international travelers at 12:01 a.m. on November 8; while the Whirlpool Bridge will reopen at 7 a.m. on November 8.  The land border has been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020.  Canadians do not need to take a COVID-19 test to get into the United States, but will need to take a COVID-19 test to return to Canada.

The New York State Partnership Against Drowsy Driving reminded motorists to be aware of the dangers of drowsy driving after the end of Daylight Saving Time. Despite the additional hour gained in the time change, it can disrupt sleep patterns, causing people to feel drowsy.  Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November every year. The National Sleep Foundation uses the occasion to begin its Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, November 7 to 13.  “The risk posed by driving drowsy or fatigued is known, yet each year police report ‘fatigue/drowsy driving’ and/or ‘driver fell asleep’ as contributing factors in thousands of crashes statewide, resulting in deaths and injuries that are preventable,” said NYS DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Mark Schroeder.  If you feel tired or drowsy while driving, find a place to pull over safely.  

Tuesday the 9th Batavia City Schools is hosting a Fall Expo at Robert Morris School.  There will be a Job Fair from 2 to 7pm with openings at local businesses for all ages.  At 5pm the Warm the Night winter clothing giveaway starts.  Families can come get Coats, Hats, Gloves, Scarves and Boots all gently used and free.  There will also be community agency tables offering information about their services along with food and raffles.

Midday News Brief

Pfizer COVID vaccinations are ready for Genesee County Kids.
The health department is scheduling 5-to-11-year-olds to receive the Pfizer vaccine beginning this Wednesday.
Public Health Educator Nola Goodrich-Krese appeared on WBTA’s Main and Center program this morning. She says only the Pfizer vaccine is currently available for children

Pfizer vaccines for kids will be available from 4:30 to 6:30 at County Building Two. They will be available in Orleans County beginning Tuesday.
You can make an appointment and read all the information at the health departments website, GOhealthn.org.

Sand, American Girl Dolls, and the board game Risk will join the National Toy Hall of Fame’s collection at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester.
They were chosen from a field of 12 finalists.
The hall of fame was created in 1998 to recognize toys that have shaped play, been popular, and have had a lasting impact.

Several weeks after it began, it looks like a tentative agreement has been reached to end the strike at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo. Catholic Health and the union representing hospital employees announced they’ve finished hammering out a four-year contract. The rank and file must now vote.

The Kraken scuttled the Sabres 5 to 2 on Thursday night. The Kraken outshot Buffalo 38 to 21. The Sabres next game is 7pm at Keybank Arena facing the Detroit Redwings.

The Buffalo Bills will be visiting the Sunshine State this weekend to take on one of the worst teams in the National Football League. The Bills are going to battle the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville. The Bills have a five-and-two record this season and are currently in first place atop the AFC East

 

High School Football, Section 5 Semi-finals tonight:
Class B Wayne at Batavia, 7pm Vandetta Stadium WBTA Broadcast at 6:50pm
Class D Avon v Alexander, 7pm Avon HS
Class D   OAE v Cal-mum 7pm

Tomorrow:
Class C Haverling v LeRoy, 12 Noon at LeRoy WBTA Broadcast at 11:50am

Morning News Brief

It is now official, companies with more than 100 workers now have till January 4th to have all employees fully vaccinated or have every unvaccinated employee tested weekly for COVID or face hefty fines by the federal government.  OSHA will be administering the mandate which affects roughly 84 million American workers.  Regulation included in the 490 page order will force the companies to require that unvaccinated workers test negative for COVID-19 at least once a week and wear a mask while in the workplace.  It also opens the possibility to expanding the mandate to smaller businesses.  Also included in the mandate is a blanket national mandate for all healthcare workers which says they need to be vaccinated or let go.  Many companies are refusing to follow the mandate with some bringing lawsuits against the government saying that this is unconstitutional government overreach.

The mayoral election in Buffalo is hitting some rough waters as several election inspectors have been dismissed and replaced for allegedly misusing a stamp with Mayor Byron Browns name on it at the polling place.  Browns campaign bought thousands of stamps and handed them out to voters to use while voting, which is legal, but Runner up India Walton claimed that Brown was using every “dirty trick in the book” to win the election and that “republican poll inspectors were pre-stamping ballots.”  

With one small flurry hitting Batavia this week people are thinking of Christmas and the Batavia Business District is planning its Christmas in the City event for December 4th.  The event  goes from 2 to 6pm on that saturday with a parade to follow.  All businesses, groups and organizations are are invited to participate by walking riding or entering a float in the parade.  Downtown businesses are encouraged to host an activity or have a store special during the event.  This year’s event includes train rides, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa, crafts, and a Downtown Scavenger hunt with chances to win some great prizes.  The BID also is hosting its second annual Wreath Contest for Downtown Batavia.  Again, any business, group, organization or family are invited to enter the contest.

Sand, American Girl Dolls, and the board game Risk will join the National Toy Hall of Fame’s collection at The Strong National Museum of Play.  The announcement was made Thursday morning.  They were chosen from a field of 12 finalists that included Battleship, billiards, Cabbage Patch Kids, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Mahjong, Masters of the Universe, piñata, the Settlers of Catan, and toy fire engine.  The hall of fame was created in 1998 to recognize toys that have shaped play, been popular, and have had a lasting impact.

The Kraken scuttled the Sabres 5 to 2 on Thursday night.  In the first matchup by the two teams Tage Thompson and Kyle Okposo scored for Buffalo and the Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski blocked 33 shots.  The Kraken outshot Buffalo 38 to 21.  The Sabres next game is 7pm at Keybank Arena facing the Detroit Redwings.

Midday News Brief

The Genesee County Health Department has begun administering COVID booster shots.
The vaccine is available every Wednesday. The clinic started yesterday and appointments are being scheduled for next week.
The clinic is at the health department offices at county building two on West Main Street. Pzizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson doses are available.
You can schedule an appointment and read the eligibility criteria, on the Health Department website.

Genesee Community College announces their fundraiser “Encore” will be held December 4th. The annual event will be held in the Richard Call arena.
A ticket includes dinner, beverages and music by Nik and the Nice Guys and it supports the GCC’s scholarship program. The school awarded 120-thosuand dollars in scholarships last year.
Tickets start at $100. They are available at gccfoundation.org.

A Buffalo Bills fan is being investigated by the state Department of Health after saying she used a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to enter Highmark Stadium.
In a message posted on Twitter, Kimberly Ray claimed that stadium staff never looked at her card before the Bills played the Dolphins on Sunday.
In the past, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has threatened to prosecute fans who use a fake vaccination card but there have been no issues this season.

The Buffalo Sabres have lost back-to-back games and they’ll try and end their western road trip on a winning note tonight. The Sabres will be taking on the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena in the first-ever meeting between the two franchises. Face-off on the left coast is set for 10 o’clock tonight.

Morning News Brief

There is still an undecided race in this year’s election.  This is the race for LeRoy Town justice where only the name of Carol DeFrancisco appeared on the ballot. She tallied an unofficial 638 votes.  But there are a total of 700 write-in votes. Tom Freely conducted a serious write-in campaign and although earlier reports had him winning as all 700 were attributed to him, none of the write-ins have yet been counted. 

The CDC has now authorized the Pfizer vaccine for Children ages 5-11 and yesterday was the first day they could receive the shot.  No mandates can be put in place till the vaccine has full authorization.  In New York a child who is in a classroom with someone who tests positive for COVID does not have to quarantine if they are vaccinated but those who are not have to go into quarantine.  Surveys done in October found that only 27 percent are eager to get their kids the shot.  Several medical experts question why the gap between shots is 3 weeks when most vaccines require 6 months to a year between shots.  Test to stay in school is still being discussed.

Former Rochester Police Chief La’ron Singletary plans to run for congress.  The announcement came on a campaign website declaring his candidacy as a republican for congress in New York’s 25th District. The seat is currently held by Democrat Joe Morelle.  Singletary retired following the controversial death of Daniel Prude in March 2020 and two weeks before his retirement date he was fired by Rochester Mayor Warren who blamed him for poor communication in the case.

GCC is announcing their fundraising dinner and dance, Encore!  This event scheduled for December 4th from 6-10pm at the Richard Call Arena is a fundraiser for GCC’s scholarship program which awarded 120,000 dollars last year.  Tickets are on sale now at gccfoundationinc.org for dinner, drinks and dancing and a holiday concert by Nik and the Nice Guys.  

Former Team Captain for the Sabres Jack Eichel has been traded away to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Alex Tuch.  The deal was announced this morning.  The Sabres drafted Eichel in the 2015 NHL Draft with the 2nd overall pick. In October of 2017, he signed an eight-year, $80M contract extension that began at the start of the 2018-19 season. Exactly a year after signing that contract extension, Eichel was named the team’s captain. He held that Captaincy until September 2021, in which General Manager Kevyn Adams took the letter ‘C’ away following an offseason of tension between Eichel and the Sabres over an injury and disagreements over which surgery he should have.  Eichel failed his pre-camp physical and has been on long-term injured reserve ever since.

The Buffalo Sabres are getting a dog, and they need your help choosing a name.  The choices for the name of the new team dog are based on things familiar to the team and their fans.  There are 5 choices, Bert, for Gilbert Perreault, Rick, for Rick Jeanneret, Audie, for the old arena, the Aud.  Punch, for George Punch Imlach.  And Puck, for that little black disc that gets hit back and forth on the ice.  Follow the link at wbtai.com to vote. https://onebuffalo.formstack.com/forms/sabres_team_dog

Midday News Brief

A new study is recommending that a brand-new stadium be built for the Buffalo Bills instead of renovating their current stadium in Orchard Park.
A private consulting firm hired by the state said the cost of building a new stadium would be over one-billion dollars compared to the 862-million-dollars in repairs and upgrades that are needed at Highmark Stadium. While the price of fixing up the current stadium is cheaper, it’s considered cost prohibitive.
The study didn’t say whether the stadium should be built in Orchard Park or possibly downtown Buffalo. Negotiations on a new stadium are continuing and the hope is a deal can be reached by the end of the year.

The election brings no changes to Genesee County Government…all nine members of the county legislature were incumbents running unopposed, all are republicans. The same is true for the Batavia City Council, the three incumbent Republican at-large council members easily won re-election over the lone Democrat.

See results of all contested races

Due to a lack of entries, live racing this Friday and next will be canceled at Batavia Downs.
All top trot classes that normally race on Friday will be moved to Saturday and the remainder of the Friday classes will be moved to Wednesday, and both moves are for the remainder of the meet.

UPS is offering people in the Western New York area the opportunity to make some extra money during the holiday season. The company is looking to add hundreds of local workers during its annual “UPS Brown Friday” hiring event which runs from Thursday through Saturday. There are several positions that need to be filled including package delivery drivers, tractor-trailer drivers, warehouse workers and package handlers.

The San Jose Sharks beat the Sabres 5 to 3 last night in San Jose.
Buffalo is now 5 and 3 and 1 on the season.
The Sabres meet the Seattle Kraken tomorrow night, 10pm ET.

Morning News Brief

Election results are in for Genesee county.  In Batavia all 3 republican At large council members, Jankowski, Karas, and Bialkowski, were re-elected.  Joseph Nowakowski and Jeff Wolak were elected Bethany Town Justice.  In Bergen Starowitz and Whalin were elected to the town council.  And in Leroy Tom Feeley won as a write in candidate for Town Justice while Paddock and Fox took the town council spots.  All results are unofficial at this time.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has declared victory as a write in candidate after he was primaried earlier this year by India Walton.  It appears that he won 59 percent of the vote over Walton’s 41 percent.  Low voter turnout due to a date change during the primary was blamed for Browns surprise primary loss and subsequent aggressive campaign to get people to write him in after the courts denied him a place on the ballot.  Walton has not conceded.

The CDC has advised that they believe that kids 5-11 should be able to receive the Pfizer ⅓ dose COVID vaccine.  Once CDC director Rachel Walensky signs off on the decision the vaccine will be open to being received by the 28 million children in that age group in the US.  NY is already preparing for the vaccine with Governor Hochul announcing that pop up clinics for kids are being prepared.  

The Buffalo Zoo has had to euthanize their 19 year old African Lion Shona.  She had had deteriorating health for some time and the zoo says her kidney and liver could no longer be treated medically.  Shona was born at the Como Park Zoo in St. Paul, MN. in 2002 and came to the Buffalo Zoo with her sister Acacia and brother Tsavo when they were around a year old.  Acacia passed away earlier this year. 

New York State has released the Buffalo Bills stadium study conducted by AECOM that will be used to inform stadium negotiations.  According to the study, it will cost $862 million to renovate the current stadium and $1.354 billion to build a new stadium next to the current site.  It was recommended that the Bills, state and county proceed with options for a new stadium over renovating the existing stadium.  The two main areas of land considered in the study for a new stadium are the South Park site in Buffalo, as well as parking lots 3 and 4 at the current location in Orchard Park.

The Sharks beat the Sabres 5 to 3 last night in San Jose.  Buffalo is now 5 and 3 and 1.  Jeff Skinner scored 2 goals for the Sabres and Drake Caggiula put in one.  Their next game will be against the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena.  Both the Kraken and Sabres are coming off a 2 game losing streak.

2021 Unofficial Election Results

 

Genesee County Contested Races

 

 

Batavia City Council at-large  (Top three are elected)

Eugene A.Jankowski Jr. Republican 1143    √
Jeremy W. Karas Republican 1128    √
F. Robert Bialkowski Republican 1032    √
Erica B. O’Donnell Democrat, Families of Batavia 609

Bethany Town Justice  (Top two are elected)

Joseph Nowakowski Republican, Legal Party 246      √
Jeff Wolak Republican 206      √
Peggy Johnson Justice 106
Nichole Szymkowiak Justice 81

Town of Bergen Town Council  (Top two are elected)

James S. Starowitz Republican 561    √
Anne M. Sapienz Democrat, Conservative, WOR 232
Teresa F. Whalin Republican 511    √

Town of Byron Town Supervisor  (Vote for One)

Peter N. Yasses Republican 283  
Gerald L. Heins Byron Ind. 248

LeRoy Town Justice (undecided)

Carol DiFranscisco 638
Write-in 700

LeRoy Town Council   (vote for two)

Robert E. Fussell Democrat 528
Sarah Krzemien Democrat 329
Bill Fox Conservative 792      √
David R. Paddock Republican, Conservative 930      √
Ronald B. Pangrazio Republican 501

Town of Pembroke Town Council   (vote for two)

Edward G. Arnold, Jr. Republican 687    √
Helen Trowbridge Hanes Democrat, Independence 247
K. Warren Clark Republican 588    √

 

Download all Unofficial Results from Board of Elections Website

Midday News Brief

 

 

Heavy Equipment and construction workers are on the site of the long overdue Ellicott Station project in Batavia.
Crews have begun demolition at the site once known as the Della Penna property and home of Santy’s Tires.
Sam Savarino is the chosen developer for the site. He is planning to build a five-story building of 55 apartment units on the upper four floors with parking on the first floor. The project is estimated to cost $22-million.
The project is using a fist full of state grants money and $3.5-million in county tax incentives.
The project was first proposed 51/2 years ago.

 

PHOTO: Demolition begins on the site of the long delayed Ellicott Station Project

 

 

 

 

Today is Election Day. Polls opened in Genesee County at 6 this morning.
Turn-out is said to be very light. There are few contested races in Genesee County and none are county wide. Polls are open until 9 tonight. WBTA will post the returns as soon as they are released by the Board of Elections.

New Yorkers will have the opportunity today to vote on five amendments to the state’s constitution. The first proposal would freeze the number of State Senate seats at 63 while making sure each district is equal in population while a second proposal would put the right to clean air and water in the constitution.
Also on the ballot is a proposal to eliminate the requirement that voters need to be registered for an election at least 10 days in advance. There’s also a proposal that would allow any eligible voter to request an absentee ballot no questions asked. The final proposal only affects New York City.

A LeRoy based physical therapy practice is expanding. Village Physical Therapy has opened a fourth office in Webster, Monroe County.
It is the fourth location for the company.

In advance of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, Genesee County announced that the Old Court House will be illuminated green November 7th through the 13th as part of Operation Green Light. That’s a new collaborative initiative to support veterans of all military conflicts, with a special emphasis on the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Residents are also encouraged to change an exterior or interior light-bulb on their house to green in support the week of Veteran’s Day.

Morning News Brief

Today is Election Day.  In Genesee County polls are open from 6am to 9pm.  There are only a handful of contested races locally.  In the city of Batavia, there are four candidates running for three city council -at-large seats.  At the county level, there are elections for County Court Judge, District Attorney and all nine seats on the county legislature…all are Republicans and all are running unopposed.  There is a contested race for Bryon Town Supervisor: Peter Yasses the incumbent is opposed by Gerald Heins.  In LeRoy, five candidates are vying for two seats on the town board,  There is one seat to be decided for LeRoy Town Justice. Carol DeFrancisco is the endorsed Democrat while Tom Freely is conducting a write-in campaign.  Bethany will elect two Town justices from a field of four candidates.

Paid Family Leave is expanding in New York State and will now allow for individuals to care for siblings.  Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation on Monday to expand the law. Currently, the law covers caring for spouses, domestic partners, children and step-children, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandchildren with a serious health condition.  The new law goes into effect January 1st.

You’ve seen them decorating the lamposts of Main Street for the Halloween season.  The Batavia Improvement District scarecrows made by businesses and organizations in Batavia. Well now they have been voted on and the winners picked.  The First Place Winner for 2021 is Veterans Services.  Second Place Winner is Charles Men’s Shop and Third Place goes to Eli Fish Brewing Co.  First place winner receives $100 cash prize, second place $75 and third place $50. The BID thanks Home Depot for sponsoring the scarecrows, the City of Batavia Fire Department for assembling the posts, and The Daily News for assisting with the voting process.

The sheriffs office has  announced that due to COVID-19 cases within the Genesee County Jail, Sheriff Sheron is suspending all visitations effective today until Nov. 22, tentatively.  This is a precautionary measure to prevent the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus to incarcerated individuals’ families and employees.

Tops Friendly Markets announced it will offer military personnel and their immediate families an 11% discount off their grocery bill on Veterans Day.  Customers will be asked to present proof of service that they, or an immediate family member are U.S. Veteran, active duty, reserve or retired military personnel to receive the discount.  Veterans Day is Thursday the 11th.

The price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Batavia is up a penny from last week to $3.46 a gallon.  The Average price in New York is 3.55 while the US average is 3.40.  The Triple-A reports the current average in Batavia is 21-cents a gallon higher than a month ago.  Gas Buddy is predicting that prices will level off this week and possibly start to drop soon.  

2021 Elections

Genesee County

2021 General Election

Contested Races

 Batavia City Council at-large  (Top three are elected)

Eugene A.Jankowski Jr. Republican
Jeremy W. Karas Republican
F. Robert Bialkowski Republican
Erica B. O’Donnell Democrat, Families of Batavia

Bethany Town Justice  (Top two are elected)

Joseph Nowakowski Republican, Legal Party
Jeff Wolak Republican
Peggy Johnson Justice
Nichole Szymkowiak Justice

Town of Bergen Town Council  (Top two are elected)

James S. Starowitz Republican
Anne M. Sapienz Democrat, Conservative, WOR
Teresa F. Whalin Republican

Town of Byron Town Supervisor  (Vote for One)

Peter N. Yasses Republican
Gerald L. Heins Byron Ind.

LeRoy Town Council   (vote for two)

Robert E. Fussell Democrat
Sarah Krzemien Democrat
Bill Fox Conservative
David R. Paddock Republican, Conservative
Ronald B. Pangrazio Republican

Town of Pembroke Town Council   (vote for two)

Edward G. Arnold, Jr. Republican
Helen Trowbridge Hanes Democrat, Independence
K. Warren Clark Republican

 

Evening News Brief

Genesee County Manager Matt Landers has released his proposed county budget for next year. The budget proposes a tax rate increase of 2.16-percent. If you break that down, Landers say the budget – if approved in its present form – would increase the average homeowners property tax bill by $24.33.
The budget increase is due in part to water system improvements, new hires in the Public Defender’s Office, jail and highways departments. There has also been an increase in the health department’s budget for combatting COVID-19.
The budget now goes to the full legislature for consideration and final adoption.

The price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Batavia is up a penny from last week.
The Triple-A reports the current average in Batavia is $3.46 a gallon, that’s 21-cents a gallon higher than a month ago.
One year ago today: the average price for a gallon of regular in Batavia was only $2.20.

Tomorrow is Election Day.
In Genesee County polls are open from 6am to 9pm.
There are only a handful of contested races locally.
In the city of Batavia, there are four candidates running for three city council -at-large seats.
At the county level, there are elections for County Court Judge, District Attorney and all nine seats on the county legislature…all are Republicans and all are running unopposed.
There is a contested race for Bryon Town Supervisor: Peter Yasses the incumbent is opposed by Gerald Heins.
In LeRoy, five candidates are vying for two seats on the town board,
There is one seat to be decided for LeRoy Town Justice. Carol DeFrancisco is the endorsed Democrat while Tom Freely is conducting a write-in campaign.
Bethany will elect two Town justices from a field of four candidates.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is set to make a full comeback this year after being forced to comply with extensive COVID-19 regulations last year. Crowds will once again line the New York City parade route and human handlers will be used to pull along the giant helium balloons after vehicles were utilized in 2020. Last year, the route was contained to the front of Macy’s flagship store in Manhattan as a way to reduce crowds. When the parade steps off later this month, it will feature 28 floats, 36 inflatables, and 15 giant character balloons.

Midday News Brief

Crews from then city’s water department spent much of their Halloween day fixing a water main break.
City Manager Rachel Tabelski said the trouble began to show itself on Saturday…

Come day light on Sunday crews walked the line and found a break on Law Street. Service was shut off to nearby homes until repairs were completed about 11:30 yesterday morning.

The Buffalo Bills say talks on a new stadium are moving forward and that the NFL franchise may have its new home by 2026. An official with Pegula Sports and Entertainment tells The Buffalo News it could happen if the team reaches a deal soon with both New York State and Erie County on how much public funding would be used to build the stadium. One proposal is calling for an over one-billion-dollar facility to be constructed close to Highmark Stadium which is where the team plays now. The Bills’ current lease is scheduled to expire in 2023.

The Buffalo Bills have extended their winning streak to seven straight games over a division rival thanks in large part to quarterback Josh Allen. Allen threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a third score as the Bills defeated the Miami Dolphins 26 to 11 at Highmark Stadium yesterday.
Up next is a road game against the Jacksonville Jaguars this coming Sunday.

The Los Angeles Kings have collected a second consecutive win after topping the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in Los Angeles. Buffalo will continue its western road trip tomorrow with a game against the San Jose Sharks.

Our Monday gasoline price report:
The price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Batavia is up a penny from last week.
The Triple-A reports the current average in Batavia is $3.46 a gallon, that’s 21-cents a gallon higher than a month ago.

Morning News Brief

Hochul Signed legislation on Saturday which protects pets, vets and owners.  The legislative package prohibits insurers from refusing to issue certain policies based solely on the breed of the dog owned. It also would prohibit insurers from refusing to renew, cancel, charge or impose an increased premium based solely on the breed of dog owned.  The new legislation also requires veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty. It also protects the identity of such veterinarians and allows veterinarians to receive a copy of any report generated.  Governor Hochul said that “to own a pet is a blessing, and we owe it to the animals of New York state to keep them safe and healthy.”

Healthcare workers who were hoping for a lifting of the COVID vaccine mandate through the courts in New York were disappointed on Friday as the federal appeals court upheld the mandates legality.  The ruling late Friday by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by an upstate judge who had temporarily blocked vaccination requirements on the grounds that the mandate did not accommodate religious exemptions.  In a brief order, a panel of three 2nd Circuit judges also upheld a ruling by a Brooklyn judge who had found the mandate constitutional.

There was a water main break on Law Street in Batavia Sunday morning.  The break was repaired quickly and water service was restored.  The city is asking everyone who lives on the South West side of Batavia to check their water for discoloration.  If your water is brownish they say to run the tap till it clears.

The Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins 26 to 11 at Highmark Stadium Sunday afternoon.  The Bills are now 5 and 2 and have knocked down the Dolphins twice.  They were tied at 3 3 going into halftime with a strange turnover when a snap hit a player instead of going to the Dolphins Quarterback and the ball being recovered by the Bills.  The Bills got ahead and stayed ahead to pull out the win.  Buffalo plays against the Jaguars in Jacksonville next Sunday at 1pm.   

The Sabres dropped their game against the Kings in Los Angeles last night 3 to 2.  Buffalo players Rasmus Asplund and Victor Olofsson scored the first 2 goals of the game but even with Dustin Tokarski making 31 saves it wasn’t enough.  The Sabres play the Sharks on Tuesday night in San Jose at 10:30pm.

Weekend News Brief

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, a move that will make the shots available to 28 million kids in the U.S.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must sign off before shots can be distributed. It’s scheduled an advisory committee meeting to review the pediatric doses next week and is expected to swiftly clear them for public distribution immediately thereafter.  The company said its low-dose vaccine for kids, which is a third of the dosage given to adults, is more than 90% effective in preventing symptomatic infection. It also said the shots were well tolerated in young children, producing side effects comparable with those seen in a study of people ages 16 to 25. 

State Attorney General Letitia James has now officially announced her challenge to Governor Hochul in 2022’s Gubernatorial race.  James will be running as a Democrat.  James, 63, was born in Brooklyn and has served as Attorney General since 2019.  The election for New York governor is November 8, 2022. 

You want a bit more bass or buzz from your car when you press the accelerator?  Don’t mess with the muffler.  A new bill signed friday by governor Hochul increases the fines for illegally modifying the muffler or exhaust system of a motor vehicle.  Fines are raised to 1 thousand dollars, and repair and inspection stations can lose their certificates if they install or fail to cite drivers for illegal systems.  Hochul says this is to combat noisy vehicles making neighborhoods feel less safe.

Holland Land Office invites the public to the 20th annual Wonderland of Trees opening Gala Friday November 19th.  This year’s theme to honor this milestone year is Through the Years. Visit the museum to see all the wonderfully decorated trees and displays by local businesses and organizations.  This year’s opening gala will feature many great gift baskets to win and a Silent Auction. The night will also feature holiday music by the Genesee Symphony Orchestra and hors d’oeuvres provided by the D R Depot. Tickets for this event are on sale at the museum. Tickets are $15 per person/ $10 for museum members and $5 for children under 12.  For more details contact the museum or visit www.hollandlandoffice.comThe exhibit will run through December 17th.

Midday News Brief

NYS Attorney General Letitia James

New York Attorney General Letitia James is responding to a sex crime charge filed against Andrew Cuomo. A misdemeanor charge of forcible touching was brought against the former governor yesterday. James released a statement soon afterward, saying as soon as her office heard about the multiple sexual harassment allegations, they proceeded “without fear or favor.” James said the findings in their report ultimately led to the charge.

 

 

Some announcements from the City of Batavia:
The Yard Waste Station on Law Street has new hours for the rest of the season. Effective Monday, the hours of the Yard Waste Station will be 11 until 5. The facility will close for the season on December 11.

Batavia Police have that Halloween activities, including Trick or Treating, end at 8pm Sunday. for Sunday, Halloween, will end at 8:pm

High School Football playoffs begin tonight.
In Class B the Batavia Blue Devils take on Newark at Dwyer Stadium.
Kick-off is 7pm.
In Class C: 2nd seeded LeRoy meets Attica. That game will be broadcast on WBTA from LeRoy beginning at 7.
In Class D: Number 1 ranked Oakfield-Alabama-Elba meets number 8 Clyde-Savannah, that game to be played at Oakfield High School and also tonight in Class D number 2 Avon hosts number 7 Notre Dame.

The Buffalo Sabres began a four-game road trip last night by dropping the Ducks in Anaheim in overtime, four-to-three. Craig Anderson stopped 34 shots in goal for Buffalo.
The Sabres head for Los Angeles to square off against the Kings on Halloween.

Morning News Brief

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation that is aimed at combating gun violence and criminalizing the sale of ‘ghost guns’.  Ghost guns are guns that can be made or bought that have no serial numbers and are usually sold in pieces and then assembled later.  The legislation package includes the following  criminalizing the sale of ‘ghost guns’, criminalizing the sale of untraceable guns and cracking down on firearms that are designed to look like toy guns

Be careful when doing any kind of business online.  Erie County got scammed out of more than $100,000 taxpayer money after being tricked into paying a scam artist pretending to be a local construction firm.  In August, the Erie County Department of Works received an email believed to be from Mark Cerrone, Inc., a local construction company, doing work at the Rath Building in downtown Buffalo.  That email asked for the county to change the bank routing number for payment.  But when the actual construction firm called the county asking for its payment, the county realized the email was fraudulent and the comptroller’s office sent the money to a bank in Texas.

The Buffalo Sabres beat the Anaheim Ducks 4 to 3 yesterday in California.  Rasmus Asplund scored the winning goal with just 43.9 seconds left in overtime.  Zemgus Girgensons and Arttu Ruotsalainen also scored for the Sabres. Craig Anderson stopped 34 shots in a standout performance in goal.  The Sabres play the Kings next on Halloween afternoon at 4pm.

Evening News Brief

Andrew Cuomo

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is being charged with a misdemeanor in what a state spokesperson is calling a “sex crime case.” This follows a criminal probe that stemmed from a number of women who accuse the former Democratic governor of inappropriate sexual conduct. Reports indicate the charge relates to allegations of “forcible touching” and an arrest warrant is being issued by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. Cuomo resigned in August as state lawmakers were preparing impeachment proceedings.
The charge accuses Cuomo of forcibly touching a woman whose name will reportedly be redacted. More information is expected to come out this afternoon from Albany Criminal Court. Meanwhile, the Albany District Attorney’s Office says it is still investigating and this charge isn’t related to that.

A note for area motorists: a portion of Route 490 westbound will be closed from late tonight until early tomorrow for roadwork.
The highway will close at exit 2, that’s Byron/Bergen, at 11 o’clock tonight through 5 a.m. Friday morning. Detours will be posted. The work includes new overhead signage at the LeRoy Exit 47 interchange.

State Attorney General Letitia James will be revealing soon whether she’ll be running for governor next year. An adviser to the AG said in a statement yesterday that James’ announcement would be made in the coming days. Recent polls showed that James would lose in a potential head-to-head matchup against Governor Hochul if she seeks the Democratic nomination.

The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is the recipient of fundraising proceeds from Batavia Downs.
The Downs hosted a fundraising dinner back in September to benefit the coalition. The money raised came from the sponsorship of races, direct donations, raffles and auction.
Today the Downs presented a check to the Breast Cancer Coalition in the amount of $19,650.

Midday News Brief

New York Governor Kathy Hochul held a COVID-19 update Wednesday and said a possible COVID-19 vaccine mandate in public schools in the state is “on the table.”  Tuesday, a Food and Drug Administration panel voted to formally recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5 and a CDC committee will meet next week to discuss granting approval.  When asked if she will put a mandate for children 5 and up in place the governor said if there is not adequate compliance, or COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations among children begin to rise, she will have “no choice.”

The New York State Health Department has announced new guidelines for COVID protocols in schools.  Currently, any unvaccinated student who was exposed to COVID is required to quarantine.  The new guidance suggests the “test to stay” method could be used. This strategy allows students who have been exposed to COVID to stay in school without having to quarantine – if they test negative.

New divorce legislation has now been signed and it changes how pets are treated by the courts.  The new bill signed into law Monday makes pets able to be disputed in Family Court.  What this means is that instead of the family dog or cat or other domesticated companion animal, excluding livestock, being treated as property, the judge must now consider the best well being of the animal in nearly the same way as a child during a divorce proceeding.  The Bill Takes effect immediately.

Morning News Brief

State Attorney General Letitia James has signaled her intent to run for the governor’s office in the 2022 election.  Although she has not officially announced her intent yet, the New York Times is reporting that her aides have have told political and union leaders she intends to run.  The rumor of James possibly running for governor has been a well publicized one, with even former Governor Cuomo’s legal team using it as one of the factors they say led to Cuomo’s resignation.

A new exhibit at the Rochester Museum & Science Center is pretty big.  It’s so big, large machinery was necessary to move it in.  Expedition: Dinosaur opens Nov. 5. It brings robotic reptiles from the Mesozoic era to life. There’s even a climbable T-Rex.  Crews installed it earlier this week at the museum.  Advance tickets are available at the RMSC website.

Liberty Pumps broke ground yesterday on a new expansion.  The 107 thousand square foot addition is anticipated to create 30 new jobs at the Byron Bergen facility.  The ground breaking ceremony was attended by members of Genesee County Economic development Center and state and local partners.  CEO of Liberty Pumps Charlie Cook says that the new expansion will “relieve congestion” and “free up manufacturing space for large pump systems.”  

Batavia Police have announced the official hours for Trick or treating this year.  Going door to door will go till 8pm officially.  The PD remind parents and kids to cross streets at corners and in well lit areas, make sure drivers see you before crossing and use some light colors or reflective tape in your costume or candy bag.  For drivers, slow down, stay alert, and keep your headlights on.  Together we can have a safe and fun Halloween.

Over the coming weekend at several churches are having Trunk R Treat in their parking lots.  The United Methodist Church at 8221 Lewiston Rd is having theirs saturday from 2 to 4.  Emmanuel Baptist Church at 190 Oak street is putting one on Halloween Night from 5-7.  Grace Baptist Church at 238 vine street is having theirs 530 to 730 on Halloween as well.  Tunk r Treats are great for kids to have the trick or treat experience without the dangers of traffic and dark streets.

Midday News Brief

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says discussions on a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills are moving forward in a positive direction.
Goodell spoke during the league’s Fall meetings in New York City yesterday and said everyone who is involved in the negotiations are working towards getting a deal done soon.
The team’s ownership group has proposed an over $1-billion stadium be built near Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park which is where the Bills play now. The Bills’ current lease is scheduled to expire in 2023.

Halloween is just a few days away and the State Attorney General’s Office has issued an alert involving deceptive marijuana products. Officials say those items are designed to look like standard snack food and candy but actually contain high levels of cannabis and THC. The products are illegal and unregulated in New York and have been known to cause serious health problems among people who ingest them. Parents are being asked to take a very close look at what their kids get while trick-or-treating to prevent them from getting sick.

This weekend the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a coordinated effort with the STOP-DWI program to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.
While families spend time trick or treating and hosting parties with loved ones, law enforcement officers and STOP-DWI programs across New York State will participate in special efforts to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives.

The Genesee County Health Department is trying to sniff out information into a dog bite incident last Saturday. The department says the owner of the dog was walking the animal on a leash along Clinton Ave near James Street in Batavia.
The health department is looking for the dog’s owner to determine if the animal was current on its rabies vaccinations.

Dellinger Avenue in Batavia is closed today for a utility repair.
Dellinger is closed to all traffic between West Main and Washington.
Motorists who regularly use Dellinger are asked to find an alternate route for today.

Morning News Brief

New York Attorney General Letitia James is warning residents of marijuana products being packaged to look like popular kids treats especially at Halloween time.  The products can look like anything from Doritos, Sour Patch Kids, or Oreos to breakfast cereals and candy bars.  Many of them may say on the packaging that they have THC in them but might look like the normal product on first inspection.  AG James said the products are illegal and unregulated in New York and contain a high concentration of THC.  The AG’s office, citing information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said the most common overdose incidents among children involve edible cannabis foods.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center clinical study, the COVID booster you get does not have to match the type of COVID vaccine shot you recieved.  David Dobrzynski assistant professor of Medicine and infectious diseases at URMC says “We really didn’t see any signal for worst side effects with the vaccines in terms of whether you got Johnson, Johnson, Pfizer or Moderna.”  The FDA recommends a booster shot for adults 65 and older, those with underlying health conditions and those with occupational exposure, such as healthcare workers, teachers and bus drivers.  Those who got the Johnson and Johnson signal dose are encouraged to also seek a booster shot as the JJ shot has proven to be the least effective over time.  Young, health people don’t need a booster shot as of now. A more dangerous variant could change that, but only time will tell.

The Genesee County Health Department is looking for a dog and its owner after a person was bit around 6pm Saturday on Clifton ave in Batavia.  The dog is described as a medium-sized white dog with patches of black throughout the body. The dog had medium hair length, similar to a border collie mix and was approximately 40 to 50 pounds. The dog had ears that were flopped over and after the incident, there was damage to the left ear.  The owner is described as a white male in his 30s around5’9 with a medium build and glasses.  They say that the dog and owner have been seen in the area before.  Several people were apparently bit by the dog and the Health department is looking for the dog to determine rabies status.

Statewide police, Troopers and Sheriffs are increasing their DWI patrols as apart of a STOP-DWI high visibility campaign.  This runs October 30th through November 1st.  The Statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign also targets Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day/End of Summer, Thanksgiving, Holiday Season, Super Bowl weekend and St. Patrick’s Day.  Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like this aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.  

Evening News Brief

Batavia’s Ellicott Station project was launched in March of 2016. Developer Sam Savarino of Buffalo proposed building a craft brewery, apartments and commercial space on the site that was once referred to as the Della Penna property.
Fast forward five and a half years and virtually nothing has been done on the property. Deadlines from the city have come and gone with nothing being done.
Only Ward Six councilwoman Rose Mary Christian seems to have had enough saying she has lost faith in the Savarino company. She voted not to accept a half-million-dollar state grant to help Savarino with demolition costs.
City Council President Gene Jankowski says he’s willing to see if Savarino lives up to his latest timeline

City Manager Rachel Tabelski said Savarino would not get this latest grant unless work was actually completed.

Ground breaking will take place tomorrow afternoon for the $13.5-million expansion of Liberty Pumps. The project is expected to create 30 new jobs.
The company sought and received various tax incentives from the county in support of the project.
Since its opening in 1965, Liberty Pumps has become a leading manufacturer of sewage pumps for residential, commercial and municipal systems.

The Buffalo Sabres have snapped their two-game losing streak with a big win over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Sabres beat the Tampa Bay Lightning five-to -one at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goalie Craig Anderson was solid once again in net, stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced. Up next for the Sabres is a road game against the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night.

Midday News Brief

Plush Dozier

Attempted murder suspect Plush Dozier was moments away from going on trial when a judge ordered another mental health exam for the defendant.
Dozier is accused of allegedly setting his girlfriend on fire in a Maple Street apartment three years ago.
Jury selection started yesterday afternoon when the judge ordered the competency hearing.
At least one previous competency exam found Dozier fit for trial.
He’s charged with attempted Second-Degree Murder and arson. He could get 25-years to life if convicted.

 

Governor Hochul has decided to extend the state of emergency on gun violence for at least another few weeks. The emergency declaration was made back in July by former Governor Andrew Cuomo and will stay in effect through November 22nd. The extension allows the state keep giving out millions of dollars in funding to support initiatives that are aimed at curbing gun violence.

The Batavia City Council, with some reservation, appear willing to give the Ellicott Station developer a little more time to begin work on the multi-million-dollar project.
Council is growing increasingly impatient over the snail’s pace of progress with the project.
Council president Gene Jankowski said some of the delays were not the fault of the developer…

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian said she had “no faith” in the Savarino company and voted “no” on two measures to secure yet another grant for the project. The final vote was 7 to 1.

The Buffalo Sabres have snapped their two-game losing streak with a big win over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Sabres beat the Tampa Bay Lightning five-to -one at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goalie Craig Anderson was solid once again in net, stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced. Up next for the Sabres is a road game against the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night.

Morning News Brief

The Batavia City Council has some reservations about the work being done at Ellicott station, specifically about whether or not it will ever get done.  Discussion of the work shows that the committee has little trust that after 5 and half years of planning, working with NYS, COVID delays, Cost overruns and seeking permissions from various agencies that Savarino’s will begin actual physical work on the project.  The council did vote 7 to 1 to let the work continue with Rosemary Christian the only no vote on two resolutions, one to take a 500 thousand dollar grant to support the work and two to require Savarino’s to enter an Undertaking Agreement which makes the company responsible for meeting the grants requirements.  City Council President Eugene Jankowski argued to give them a chance.  Christian accompanied her No votes by saying she had no faith in the company.

Congressman Chris Jacobs criticized the Federal trade Commission for its lack of approval for the Tops Price Chopper merger which was announced earlier this year.  The deadline for the FTC to approve the deal is November 8th but so far there has been no movement from the federal agency to allow the companies to make the move.  Jacobs says that this could cause the closure of many Tops Friendly Markets locations, 30 of which are in his district.  Tops Markets is one of the largest private employers in Western New York and the largest grocery chain. Tops and Price Chopper have so far adhered to all the requests of the staff at the FTC, such as selling off approximately seven stores for anti-trust reasons.  The merger of Price Chopper/Market 32 and Tops Markets grocery store chains will create a “powerhouse” company with nearly 300 supermarkets.

The chief of police for Greece has resigned following a crash on Thursday where he says he swerved to avoid a deer and totaled his police issue vehicle.  Forsythe drove nearly six miles to English and North Greece roads. At least two people called 911 and reported seeing a damaged vehicle in that vicinity just before 2 a.m. One caller said the vehicle was sparking and appeared to be missing a tire.  He says the crash disabled the radio and put his phone out of reach and he had to drive to get help.  The department says Forsythe was not given a breathalyzer test because alcohol impairment wasn’t suspected. An officer drove him home.  Town Supervisor Bill Reilich says the town had lost faith in the chief because of the crash and the right thing to do was ask for his resignation.

The Sabres beat the Stanley Cup Champs the Lightning 5 to 1 last night to go to 4 and 1 and 1 in the season.  Buffalo hasn’t beat Tampa Bay since November of 2018 and this breaks a 7 game losing streak against the Lightning.  Victor Olofsson, Drake Caggiula, Vinnie Hinostoza and Robert Hagg all scored with Olofsson putting in 2.  The Sabres will now head West for a four-game road trip that begins this Thursday.

Evening News Brief

The owners of Northside Meadows have been ordered to appear in court next month to answer to charges of violating city code violations.
Northside Meadows is located at 335 Bank Street. There are 24 units in the complex.
Northside Meadows is charged with violating city code pertaining to roofs and drainage and a violation of Fire Code for using plastic tarps as a roof covering.
WBTA News partner The Batavian discovered the charges after filing a Freedom of Information request with the city.
It was also discovered that the owners of the complex owe the city $615,000 in back taxes.
The local property manager is listed as David Renzo of V & Development Corporation of Batavia.

Batavia drivers are still going to be feeling the pain at the pump following another increase in gas prices.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is now $3.45. That’s up 8-cents in the last week and is $1.25 more than this time one
year ago.

The Walmart Store in Geneseo had to be evacuated after a suspicious package was found in the produce department.
The store was evacuated yesterday and the Monroe County Bomb Squad was called in.
It was determined the package was not a threat, and the store was re-opened soon after the incident.

The Buffalo Sabres have lost their last two games and will be looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat tonight. The Sabres are hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning at KeyBank Center. Face-off for tonight’s game is 7 p.m.

Midday News Brief

Batavia drivers are still going to be feeling the pain at the pump following another increase in gas prices.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is now $3.45. That’s up 8-cents in the last week and is $1.25 more than this time one
year ago.

The Walmart Store in Geneseo was evacuated following the discovery of a suspicious package.
The package was found yesterday in the produce section and the Monroe County Bomb Squad was called in. The store was evacuated.
It was determined the package was not a threat, and the store was re-opened soon after the incident.

A successful Fall Festival for All Babies Cherished.
About $4,000 was raised yesterday through the participation of 90 vendors in the City Centre Concourse.
The agency will be hosting a free online fundraiser on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in commemoration of its 25th year.

The Buffalo Sabres have lost their last two games and will be looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat tonight. The Sabres are hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning at KeyBank Center. Face-off for tonight’s game is 7 p.m.

Morning News Brief

A bag left in the Geneseo Walmart was cause to call in the bomb squad.  Police were called when a suspicious package was discovered in the produce section of the Supercenter at 4235 Veteran Drive Sunday afternoon.  Law enforcement officials decided to evacuate the store until it could be determined what the package was.  The bomb squad from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was called in to evaluate the package, due to its appearance.  It was determined the package was not a threat, and the store was opened soon after the incident.

Legislation that helps credit unions give out more small business loans was signed into law by Governor Hochul Sunday.  The legislation allows Credit Unions to participate in the Excelsior Linked Deposit Program where the state puts money into the Credit Union equal to the loan being given out which allows the institution to give out at a lower interest rate.  Then the deposit is paid back 4 years later.  Hochul and supporters say this will help unbanked communities. 

The Monroe County DA is investigating a crash involving the Chief of the Greece Police Department and his police issue vehicle.  Chief Drew Forsythe crashed into a guard rail while trying to avoid a deer on Interstate 390 near Latona Road around 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the department. He had attended a function for the New York State Police earlier in the night, the department spokesperson said.  After the crash Forsythe reportedly drove for 2 miles with sparks flying from the vehicle and one tire deflated claiming that his radio wasn’t working, the crash had caused him to lose his phone and he was trying to get a signal.  He was not tested for impaired driving or treated for any injuries.  

All Babies Cherished, the pro-life nonprofit on Ellicott street that offers support, education and supplies to pregnant moms and new mothers and also helps with adoption services held their second Fall Festival Saturday and filled the City Center with vendors and some community organizations.  Notable were The Peace Gardens Basket Raffle, UMMC’s Baby Cafe and GLOW4BABIES tables along with over 90 craft, book, and various other vendors.  Coming up Thursday this week at 7pm is their online fundraiser to coincide with their 25th anniversary.  Follow the link to their website on wbtai.com.  

www.allbabiescherished.com www.facebook.com/AllBabiesCherishedPregnancyCenter/

The Buffalo Sabres couldn’t keep up with the New Jersey Devils Saturday night as they went down 2 to 1 in overtime.  Dylan Cozens gave buffalo their only goal 4 minutes into the game and that was the only goal till the third period.  Sabres Goalie Dustin Tokarski made 37 saves.  Buffalo has another quick turnaround on the horizon. The Tampa Bay Lightning come to KeyBank Center for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop tonight.

Weekend News Brief

Governor Hochul signed new criminal justice reform legislation Friday which grants more freedoms to previously incarcerated individuals.  The 4 pieces of legislation give convicted felons the ability to be executors of estates, allow parolees to work overnights and overtime shifts without violating parole, allows those under supervised release to protest working conditions and grants official certificates to those who are being released with good behavior.  From the governor’s press release about this legislation: These pieces of legislation build on Governor Hochul’s vision of a balanced approach to public safety that strengthens fairness in the criminal justice system while ensuring that New York State’s streets are kept safe. 

Early voting is underway this weekend for Batavia and Genesee County and will run through Sunday October 31st.  The only local site for early voting for the City of Batavia and all Genesee County towns is the Arc GLOW Community Center on Woodrow Road in Batavia.  Voting continues, at various times, daily until October 31st.  Check wbtai.com for the list of times.  County wide, voters will elect a county court judge and the only candidate is Republican Melissa Cianfrini (sin-free-nee) a former Assistant District Attorney.  The lone candidate for Genesee County District Attorney is Kevin Finnell.  All nine members of the Genesee County legislature are running for re-election and all are Republicans running unopposed.  Election Day is Tuesday, November 2nd.

Aspen Dental in Batavia is offering free dental care for Military veterans November 6th in honor of Veterans Day.  Appointments are required.  Call 8442773646 to schedule.  

Just because he used to be a Sabre doesn’t mean Linus Ullmark has to be nice to them.  In the matchup Friday night the Bruins beat the Sabres for their first loss in the regular season.  Ullmark blocked a lot of shots for the Bruins and helped them go to a 4 to 1 victory over his former team.  The Sabres had 36 shots on goal compared to the Bruins 26.  The lone goal for the Sabres was scored by Victor Olofsson. 

Evening News Brief

Early voting gets underway tomorrow for Batavia and Genesee County and will run through October 31st.
The only local site for early voting is the Arc GLOW Community Center on Woodrow Road in Batavia. This site serves as the early voting location for the City of Batavia and all Genesee County towns.
The hours of early voting for tomorrow are Noon to 5pm.
Voting continues, at various times, daily until October 31st.
The schedule on dates and times came be found HERE.

While you are welcome to vote early, there are few choices in this local election. Most races feature candidates who are running unopposed.
In the city of Batavia, voters will select three councilmen at large from a field of four candidates. The field includes incumbents Gene Jankowski, Bob Bialkowski and Jeremy Karas, all Republicans and the lone Democrat on the ballot is Erica O’Donnell. The top three vote getters are elected.

County wide, voters will elect a county court judge. The lone candidate is Republican Melissa Cianfrini (sin-free-nee) a former Assistant District Attorney.
The lone candidate or Genesee County District Attorney is Kevin Finnell.
All nine members of the Genesee County legislature are running for re-election and all are Republicans, and all are running unopposed.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 2nd.

Shiela Taylor

Some statewide recognition for a Direct Care Specialist for the Arc GLOW.
Sheila Taylor has been selected to receive the Thomas A. Maul award for excellence. Only four persons in the state are chosen to receive the award from hundreds of nominations.
Sheila works at a home for Livingston County for Developmentally disabled individuals. Arc GLOW is made up of the recently merged Arc Chapters in Genesee, Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming Counties.

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres are back on the ice tonight as they look to continue their perfect start to the brand-new season. The three-and-oh Sabres are hosting the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center.
Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7 p-m.

Midday News Brief

While Election Day is still over a week away, voters could begin casting ballots this weekend.
Early voting gets underway tomorrow and will run through October 31st. Turnout is likely to be high once again this year because most people will want to avoid potentially crowded polling places on Election Day due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
In Genesee County, the only site for early voting is the ARC Community Center on Woodrow Road in Batavia. This site serves as the early voting location for the City of Batavia and all Genesee County towns.

Early Voting Schedule at Arc GLOW Community Center, 38 Woodrow Rd., Batavia

Saturday, Oct 23  12pm – 5pm

Sunday, Oct 24  12pm-5pm

Monday, Oct 25, 9am – 5pm

Tuesday, Oct 26  12pm – 8pm

Wednesday, Oct 27  12pm – 8pm

Thursday, Oct 28,  9am – 5pm

Friday, Oct 29  9am – 5pm

Saturday, Oct 30  12pm – 5pm

Sunday, Oct 31  12pm-5pm

 

In the city of Batavia, voters will select three councilmen at large from a field of four candidates. The top three vote getters are elected. The filed includes incumbents Gene Jankowski, Bob Bialkowski and Jeremy Karas, all Republicans and the lone Democrat on the ballot is Erica O’Donnell.

County wide, voters will elect a county court judge. The lone candidate is Republican Melissa Cianfrini,  a former Assistant District Attorney.
The lone candidate or Genesee County District Attorney is Kevin Finnell.
All nine members of the Genesee County legislature are running for re-election and all are Republicans, and all are running unopposed.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 2nd.

A new poll is revealing how New Yorkers are feeling about the COVID-19 pandemic these days. According to the Siena Research Institute, 50-percent of people surveyed said they believe the worst of the health crisis is over. But 36-percent predict the worst of the pandemic is yet to come. When asked if think every day about protecting themselves and their families from coronavirus, 78-percent of people polled said yes.

The Buffalo Sabres are back on the ice tonight as they look to continue their perfect start to the brand-new season. The three-and-oh Sabres are hosting the Boston Bruins at KeyBank Center.
Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for seven p-m.

Evening News Brief

Town of Batavia property owners can expect a tax rate decrease of about 12-percent next year…but that does not mean your property taxes are going down.
Town Supervisor Greg Post says the town will use about 1.1-million dollars in its fund balance to hold down the actual tax levy.
While that may sound like good news, the devil is in the details. Property assessments have gone up
That means the actual amount of money you pay out in taxes could increase even though the tax rate has gone down.

Much the same situation at the county level. County Manager Matt Landers says he expected the tax rate to do down by about 4.5 percent. But again, assessments have gone up in most towns and villages and the city of Batavia.

Student-athletes at high schools across New York State can now benefit from their accomplishments on the field.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association changed a rule that allows them to monetize their name, image, and likeness.
But an athlete will lose their amateur status if they accept gifts, endorsements, or money connected with activities involving their team or school.
Athletes also can not appear in the uniform of their school or utilize any marks or logos.

Governor Kathy Hochul is signing legislation to ensure retirement plan security for New Yorkers. The new law requires private sector employers who don’t provide retirement plans to automatically enroll employees in the state’s Secure Choice Savings Plan. It’s a self-sufficient retirement savings program that works in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA. State AARP Director Beth Frankel said the Governor is empowering millions of working New Yorkers to save for a financially secure and independent retirement, while providing small businesses an effective way to attract and retain employees.

Midday News Brief

Property owners in the Town of Batavia can expect a tax rate decrease of about 12-percent next year.
Town Supervisor Greg Post says the town’s expenses are up and revenues are down. So how do you get a decrease?
Post says the town will use about $1.1-million in its fund balance. That will keep the tax levy about the same as this year.
Now factor in an increase in assessments and you get a tax rate decrease.
Does that mean your tax bill goes down? No, because your assessment has likely gone up.
Post is quick to point out final adoption of the budget is scheduled for November 17th and changes could be made by then.

Much the same situation at the county level. County Manager Matt Landers says he expects the tax rate to do down by about 4.5 percent.
That news is also tempered by an increase in assessments.

Student-athletes at high schools across New York State can now benefit from their accomplishments on the field.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association changed a rule that allows them to monetize their name, image, and likeness.
But an athlete will lose their amateur status if they accept gifts, endorsements, or money connected with activities involving their team or school.
Athletes also can not appear in the uniform of their school or utilize any marks or logos.

The lawyer for ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo is accusing state Attorney General Letitia James of being biased against him. Rita Glavin claimed that James interfered with the investigation into sexual harassment allegations that were made against Cuomo by several women. Glavin went on to say that James’ alleged actions were politically motivated and aimed at destroying Cuomo’s reputation.
Cuomo resigned as governor back in August but hasn’t publicly ruled out running for office again.

Morning News Brief

Leroy will be getting a spray ground to replace the old leaky wading pool at Wildwood Park.  This was decided in a town and village Board meeting earlier this month.   The spray park will be installed with 2,000 square feet of misting stations, aqua arches, showers, spills, and water weaves of intertwining spouts from the base outward. Activities are geared for kids of all ages and sizes, and the park will be handicap accessible.  A cooperative effort by both town and village boards, the project is estimated to cost $300,000 to be split by each municipality. The money is coming from the federal COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

With the cost of gas rising rapidly across New York State, Republicans in the State Senate are asking Governor Hochul to suspend the state’s tax on fuel. New York currently has the ninth-highest gas tax in the country at just over 46-cents per gallon. Right now, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in the area is $3.45 which is up 10-cents in the last week and 17 cents in the last month.  Republicans are also trying to stop a bill that would raise the gas tax by 55 cents and home heating gas by 25 percent in addition to the rise we are seeing.

The Buffalo Common Council is now calling for city, county and state officials to seriously consider building a new Bills stadium downtown.  They said they feel that moving the Bills to Orchard Park was an “error” and that bringing the team back into the city limits would help Buffalo continue to grow.  The resolution acknowledged the speculation that the cost to build the new stadium in Buffalo would cost much more than the proposed $1.4 billion price tag to build a new one in Orchard Park due to major infrastructure changes. But they said the changes would stimulate further economic growth.  The Bills organization has said it does not want to leave Orchard Park.

State Police have announced the results of their Columbus Day weekend crackdown on dangerous drivers. Troopers say they issued almost 18-thousand tickets from October 7th through October 12th and arrested 207 people for impaired driving.   Most of the traffic tickets were handed out for speeding, distracted driving and seatbelt violations

Evening News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul came to town today to ceremonially break ground for Plug Power on the STAMP project in the Town o Alabama.
Plug Power plans to spend 290-million dollars building a green Hydrogen Fuel production plant and 450-megawatt electric substation to provide power to the STAMP site.
Hochul said employees with a strong work ethic is a calling card for the region…

Plug Power expects to employ 68 people in Alabama.
STAMP has been the hallmark of the Genesee County Economic Development Center. Over the years potential projects have come and gone. Right now, the Plug Power project is the only one to actually start construction.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, center, is flanked by local politicians and Plug Power officials at ground breaking for the $290-million Hydrogen Fuel plant in the Town of Alabama

Development will be on the mind of the LeRoy Village Board tonight. Citizens are expected to again voice their opinions on a 30-unit housing project just off of East Avenue in the village. Batavia Businessman Eric Biscaro is behind the project to provide duplex housing to persons 50 and over.
Tonight’s Village Board meeting will be held in Memorial Auditorium on Trigon Park at 7pm.

With the cost of gas rising rapidly across New York State, Republicans in the State Senate are asking Governor Hochul to suspend the state’s tax on fuel. New York currently has the ninth-highest gas tax in the country at just over 46-cents per gallon. Right now, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in the area is $3.45 which is up 10-cents in the last week and 17 cents in the last month.

State Police have announced the results of their Columbus Day weekend crackdown on dangerous drivers.
Troopers say they issued almost 18-thousand tickets from October 7th through October 12th and arrested 207 people for impaired driving.
Most of the traffic tickets were handed out for speeding, distracted driving and seatbelt violations

Midday News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul is visiting Genesee County’s STAMP project this afternoon. Her office says she will make announcement about so-called “green jobs.”
Plug Power is building a green hydrogen fuel facility at the site.
The governor was here for the official ground-breaking for the project that is expected to employ about 65 people.

Governor Hochul says parents of young children should start planning to get their kids vaccinated against COVID-19. While FDA approval of a vaccine for children five to 11-years-old is likely still a few weeks away, the governor is urging parents to make an appointment with their child’s pediatrician now instead of waiting for that to happen. The governor says the state will depend mostly on pediatricians to distribute vaccine doses. But she also says she’s looking into reopening mass-vaccination sites and working with schools in order to get kids immunized.

A proposed housing development in LeRoy the hot topic for tonight’s LeRoy Village Board meeting. The development, proposed by Batavia businessman Eric Biscaro, has drawn criticism from nearby property owners. Biscaro is planning to build 30-duplex units for persons 50 and over on land just off East Ave in the village.
Previous meetings have had property owners express concerns over traffic and storm water run-off from the project.
Tonight’s meeting will be held in Memorial Auditorium on Trigon Park.

The Buffalo Sabres have extended their winning streak to three games and are off to their best start since the 2008. The Sabres beat the Vancouver Canucks by a final score of five-to-two at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goalie Craig Anderson picked up his second victory of the year by stopping 32 of the 34 shots he faced. The Sabres will finish up their homestand on Friday when they host the Boston Bruins.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul told parents to get ready for vaccines for kids 5-12 by setting up appointments with their primary care physicians to get their kids vaccinated as soon as the COVID vaccine is approved.  Hochul said the state anticipates Pfizer’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 12 will be out in November.  Hochul said there will be “options” when it comes to getting kids vaccinated. If a parent can’t get their child in to the pediatrician, she said schools will have resources to make it happen.  Hochul has said she won’t put a vaccine mandate for kids to attend school in place right away but is ready to if not enough kids get the shot.

Strong Museum of Play has a new way for kids to experience the museum.  A robot that can be controlled from anywhere in the country.  This robot will be partnered with a tour guide for kids to go to and explore the museums exhibits remotely.  Right now the plan is for the robot to be used by kids who are in hospitals including Golisano Children’s Hospital.  VP of marketing and communications at Strong, Sara Poe says children are also able to drive the robot from their bed.  The robot essentially looks like an tablet attached to a pole on wheels with the ability to go up and down and pitch to look around. 

The Buffalo Sabres triumphed again Tuesday night against the Vancouver Kanucks.  The 5 to 2 victory was due to a rapid succession of goals in the third period which took the Sabres from behind to winning in a short period of time.  Buffalo took 43 shots compared to Vancouver’s 34.  The Sabres next game is friday against the Bruins at Keybank center.  

The Bills announced yesterday that Tight end Dawson Knox has fractured his hand.  The injury happened during the game against the Titans.  Knox threw the pass in the second half to QB Josh Allen that put the Bills up 31 to 24.  Knox left the game after that play.  Knox is off to a career year. He has 21 catches for 286 yards and five touchdowns in six games. It’s worth noting that no Bills tight end has ever had more than six touchdowns in a single season.

 

Evening News Brief

23-year-old Kaleb Bobzien of Batavia has been indicted on a variety of felony charges for allegedly trying to strangle two people in a violent confrontation this past summer.
At the time of his arrest, sheriff’s deputies said Bobzien placed a blanket over the face of one of his victims and then choked a second victim with his arm. One of the victims was under the age of 17. One of his victims lost consciousness for a time. The indictment charges Bobzien with criminal obstruction of breathing, two counts of harassment, witness tampering and other charges.

 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul is noting she has COVID-19 related concerns heading into the holiday season…

New York experienced an uptick in coronavirus numbers last year around this time as the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays brought friends and family together. Officials hope that things will be much better this time around given the relatively high rate of vaccinations.

Two local airports cash in for some state money.
The Genesee County airport is getting $400,000 for buying service equipment to maintain operations during bad weather. The Perry /Warsaw Airport in Wyoming County is getting $600,000 to build a new above ground spill containment fuel farm.

Congressman Chris Jacobs gets an up-close and personal look at the recently combined Arc GLOW, serving developmentally disabled people in a four-county area.
Jacobs toured the agency’s Day Habilitation Center in Elba yesterday. He met several individuals served by the agency and greeted several staff members. The Arc GLOW is geographically the largest chapter in the state.
The agency sought Jacobs’ support of the “Better Care Better Jobs Act.”
Also discussed were staffing shortages and poor wages that have plagued agencies like Arc GLOW.

PHOTO: Chris Jacobs (R-NY) meets Danny at Arc GLOW Day Hab facility in Elba

 

The Buffalo Sabres are off to a two-and-oh start to their season and they’ll be looking to secure their third straight win on home ice tonight. They’re hosting the Vancouver Canucks at KeyBank Center and goalie Craig Anderson is expected to be in net for the Sabres.
Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7 p-m.

 

Midday News Brief

Chris Jacobs (R-NY)

Congressman Chris Jacobs gets an up-close and personal look at the recently combined Arc GLOW, serving developmentally disabled people in a four-county area.
Jacobs toured the agency’s Day Habilitation Center in Elba yesterday. He met several individuals served by the agency and greeted several staff members.
The Arc GLOW is geographically the largest chapter in the state.
The agency sought Jacobs’ support of the “Better Care Better Jobs Act.”
Also discussed were staffing shortages and poor wages that have plagued agencies like Arc GLOW.

 

PHOTO: Alicia and Kathy present Jacobs with a puzzle art piece made at the Day Hab Center in Elba

 

Governor Hochul announced state funding for the Genesee County Airport. The airport is getting $400,000 for buying service equipment to maintain operations during bad weather. The Perry /Warsaw Airport in Wyoming County is getting $600,000 to build a new above ground spill containment fuel farm.

The four-game winning streak of the Buffalo Bills is over following a heartbreaking loss on Monday Night Football.
Quarterback Josh Allen had the ball with seconds left in the game but came up short on a fourth down attempt as the Bills lost to the Tennessee Titans 34 to 31.
With the loss, Buffalo is four and two this season but is still in first place in the AFC East.

The Buffalo Sabres are off to a two-and-oh start to their season and they’ll be looking to secure their third straight win on home ice tonight. They’re hosting the Vancouver Canucks at KeyBank Center and goalie Craig Anderson is expected to be in net for the Sabres.
Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7 p-m.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul announced state funding for airports and Genesee County Airport and Perry Warsaw Airport are getting some of the pie.  Genesee county Airport is getting 4 hundred thousand out of the 20.7 million going out.  The money is earmarked for buying service equipment to maintain operations during inclement weather.  Perry/Warsaw Airport is getting 6 hundred thousand for a new above ground spill containment fuel farm.  

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Batavia is up for the second week in a row.  Triple-A shows the average price per gallon in Batavia is $3.38, up 5-cents from just last week.  13 cents up from 2 weeks ago.  Nationally, the average price of a gallon of regular is at a seven year high.

Buffalo Zoo has a new baby animal and it’s a doozy.  A female baby greater one horned rhino was born to Tashi at 3:29 am Saturday morning.  She was 130 pounds.  The Association of Zoos and Aquariums includes the Buffalo Zoo in its Species Survival Plan for the greater one-horned rhino. In the past 17 years, five calves have been born at the zoo.  Tashi’s calf does not yet have a name, and the zoo has not yet announced when the public will be able to view her.

The Buffalo Bills fell before the Titans after a last minute drive failed to carry the game for them Monday night in Tennessee.  The final score with the Bills at the 3 yard line on the 4th down was 34 to 31. The Bills are now 4 and 2 and have a bye next week.  Their next game is Halloween against the Miami Dolphins at Highmark Stadium.  

Labatt USA made a gift of over 600 orders of buffalo chicken wings to the city of Nashville medical workers as a thank you for hosting Bills fans for Monday’s game.  The wings went to health care workers at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown and West locations.  Labatt said the donation is a continuation of a program it launched in 2020 named “Buffalo Brings the Wings,” when it donated almost 100,000 chicken wings to front line workers across six core markets during the pandemic.

 

Evening News Brief

COVID-19 infection rates in the Finger Lakes is still among the highest in the state.
Right now, the region’s seven-day average coronavirus positivity rate is 4.9 percent. In Genesee County alone, the 7-day rate is 6.9 percent.
Only the North Country, Mohawk Valley and Central New York regions have a higher infection rate.

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Batavia is up for the second week in a row.
Triple-A shows the average price per gallon in Batavia is $3.38, up 5-cents from just last week.
Nationally, the average price of a gallon of regular is at a seven year high.

Nicolas Maher

The investigation continues this afternoon into the murder of an Oakfield man.
69-year-old Martin Maher of Drake Street was found dead in a home he he shared with his son, 37-year-old Nicolas Maher.
Within hours of the grim discovery, Nicholas was arrested and charged with murdering his father.
The Sheriff’s Office has not revealed the cause of death or released any information about a possible motive.

O-At-Ka milk has been the target of a cyber-attack CEO Bill Schrieber says the attack effected company computers, timeclocks, and other equipment. He called the attack sophisticated and labeled it a ransomware attack.
O-At-Ka is working with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to recover and resume normal operations

The Buffalo Bills will be in the Music City tonight as they look to extend their current winning streak to five. The AFC East leading Bills are taking on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville tonight.
Buffalo is five and one this season and hasn’t lost since falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 12th.

Midday News Brief

Nicholas Maher

An Oakfield man is charged with killing his father.
37-year-old Nicholas Maher has been charged with second degree murder in the death of his father, 69-year-old Martin Maher in a home they shared at 32 Drake Street in the village.
Deputies say they were called to the Maher home yesterday to check on the welfare of the elder Maher.
When they entered police found Maher’s body. They said it was determined he was the victim of a homicide.
Authorities have not disclosed the cause of death.
The investigation quickly led them to Maher’s son Nicholas who was located in Erie County and taken into custody without incident. Nicholas is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

PHOTO: 32 Drake St., Oakfield

Our weekly gasoline prices report shows the average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is up again, for the second week in a row.
Triple-A shows the average price per gallon in Batavia is $3.38, up five cents from just last week.
Nationally, the average price of a gallon of regular is at a seven year high.

O-At-Ka milk has been the target of a cyber-attack CEO Bill Schrieber says the attack effected company computers, timeclocks, and other equipment. He called the attack sophisticated and labeled it a ransomware attack.
O-At-Ka is working with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to recover and resume normal operations

The Buffalo Bills will be in the Music City tonight as they look to extend their current winning streak to five. The AFC East leading Bills are taking on the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville for Monday Night Football. The Bills are coming off of a win last week over the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs and will try and avenge a 42 to 16 loss to the Titans last year. Buffalo is five and one this season and hasn’t lost since falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 12th. Kickoff for tonight’s contest is set for 8:15 p.m.

Morning News Brief

O-At-Ka milk was the target of a cyber attack starting Thursday night.  CEO Bill Shrieber says the attack effected company computers, timeclocks, and other equipment.  Schreiber said O-At-Ka routinely prepares for such attacks and “the contingencies we put in place have been effective in restoring and maintaining our business functions.”  He called the attack sophisticated and labeled it a ransomware attack.  O-At-Ka is working with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts to recover and resume normal operations.

Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was in Batavia Friday to visit Chapin Manufacturing and find out what local manufacturers and those in upstate NY care about and the issues they face. CEO of Chapin Jim Campbell said local companies want less regulation and more employable workers. They also asked Zeldin questions, he was asked how he could think he could win NY and said that he just needed to raise the number of people in rural counties who went to the polls.  

A Genesee County man was arrested after allegedly assaulting a person by shoving them, which caused them to break their foot, while yelling racial slurs at them.  Investigators say 44-year-old John Gaylord of Elba was charged with assault in the third degree as a hate crime.  The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office believes the victim was selected based on their race.  Gaylord is expect to re-appear in court on October 27.

A man from Oakfield is charged with killing his own father.  Police responded to a welfare check call on Sunday morning around 11 to a home on drake street in Oakfield.  They discovered that 69 year old Martin Maher was deceased and the victim of a homicide.  After investigating, deputies arrested Maher’s son, 37-year-old Nicholas Maher, who lives in the same house. He was found in Erie County around 3:30 Sunday afternoon and taken into custody without incident.  Maher is charged with 2nd degree murder.-0-

The snow leopard cub at the Seneca Park Zoo has a name!  Kenji, which means strong in Himalayan was born in April and a fundraising campaign was held where members of the public could donate to vote on names.  

The Buffalo Sabres beat the Arizona Coyotes 2 to 1 in a shootout Saturday.  Cody Eakin scored the regulation goal for the Sabres while Tage Thompson and Artuu Routsalainen scored the 2 shootout goals.  The Sabres take on the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night at 7pm.

Batavian Editor Billie Owens Dies at 63

Billie Owens

Billie Faye Owens, 63, editor of The Batavian from 2010 to 2021, died at Rochester General Hospital on Friday evening from complications from congestive heart failure.

She was taken to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia with health issues on July 26 and remained hospitalized for 81 days. At no time did she test positive for COVID-19.

She was born in 1958 in Charlotte, N.C., to Barbara Jean Carter and Billie Eugene McSwain. Her mother moved her when she was 5 to San Diego where she would eventually attend San Diego State University, earning a B.A. in Journalism.

She went to work for the Daily Californian in El Cajon, Calif. in 1989, where she met her second husband, Howard Owens, then a wire and copy editor at the Daily Californian, and currently publisher of The Batavian. They were married on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene College in 1993.

Her journalism career began with an internship at the Los Angeles Times and included stints at the San Diego Business Journal, the Ventura County Star, and the Canandaigua Daily Messenger.

She won numerous regional and statewide journalism awards in San Diego for her writing and reporting.

She was passionate about her craft and one thing Howard and Billie bonded over quickly was the fact they both had substantial collections of books about journalism, which has grown to more than 400 titles over the years. They also both enjoyed old movies with main characters who were reporters and editors.

She loved animals and was upset by anybody who abused animals. She made it a mission to publish reports of people leaving dogs in hot cars and made local animal abuse cases her beat in Genesee County. She was also well-known for her colorful reports of lost and missing pets and shelter animals in need of adoption.

In 2015, Howard and Billie adopted Rocky, a mix-breed pit bull who had been abused by a previous owner. Rocky succumbed to cancer on July 31.

Billie is survived by her husband and three grandchildren, whom she loved. Her mother, Barbara France, passed away in December in San Diego.

In lieu of flowers or condolences, donations can be made to Volunteers for Animals in the name of Billie and Rocky. There will be no local service. Her wishes were that her ashes be deposited in the Pacific Ocean off the Ventura County Pier, where her son’s ashes, Charles Raymond Sutherland, were deposited in 2018.

Weekend News Brief

O-At-Ka Milk Products is spending 20-30 thousand dollars a day trucking waste water away from Batavia as their waste is too contaminated to go into the City’s Waste treatment ponds.  The city says they need to fix the waste or the city taxpayers will have to pay fines from the state.  O-At-Ka CEO Bill Schrieber disagrees.  Schrieber says it is right in their contract that they are responsible for paying the fines and are able to do so till they can fix the water issue.  Earlier this week, City Manager Rachel Tabelski said the city cannot allow  willful violations of permits for the waste water treatment plant.  Shrieber says the city has been unwilling to sit down and talk about the issue.  Schreiber says the company is seeking a “bridge” to get through the next several weeks and the city appears unwilling to cooperate.

The Spotted lantern fly is a pest and a plague on crops says Us Representative Joe Morelle.  He announced he has secured 4 million dollars to keep lanternflies from spreading and damaging crops.  Experts say if you happen to see a spotted lanternfly you’re advised to take a photo, report the location to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and then kill it.

The body that was recovered from the Niagara river on Thursday has been identified as the boy who fell into the river while fishing with his father.  15 year old Kameron Stenzel of Sanborn and his father were fishing at Whirlpool state Park when he slipped and fell into the water and never resurfaced.  Canadian authorities located the body near Niagara on the Lake.

November 8th will be the day when fully vaccinated Canadians can once again cross over to the US using the land bridges.  The reopening will take place in two phases. Phase one will open the border to nonessential travel from Canada and Mexico in November. The second phase starts in January and will allow travel through land and ferry ports of entry from other foreign nationals.

Midday News Brief

A local drug Take Back Day has been scheduled in Genesee County.
Law Enforcement agencies will collect un-wanted and expired medications at various sites next Saturday from 10 until 2.
The Batavia Police Department will accept prescription drugs and sharps in the Alva Place parking lot, the Sheriff’s Office will collect prescription drugs at the Pembroke Town Hall and LeRoy will accept prescription drugs at their headquarters on West Main in LeRoy.
Authorities remind homeowners that medicines that languish in home medicine cabinets are susceptible to misuse and abuse. Get rid of them, no questions asked, next Saturday.

Batavia Downs is supporting Operation Warm, a fund-raising effort by Batavia City Firemen to buy new coats for kids this winter.
The Downs presented a check for $2,000 to support the effort that has a goal of purchasing 300 new, American made coats for local child in need.
The money contributed by the Downs was raised at the Summer Concert Series through the rental of chairs.

State Park Police say a male body has been found in the lower Niagara River near an area where they’ve been searching for a missing teenager. Police say it could be the body of 15-year-old Kameron Stenzel, who fell into the water earlier this week while fishing with his father. The identity of the body has yet to be confirmed.

The Buffalo Sabres have started their brand-new season the right way with a big win on home ice. The Sabres beat the Montreal Canadiens by a score of five-to-one at KeyBank Center last night.
Buffalo goalie Craig Anderson was solid in net and stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced. The Sabres will have today off before hosting the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow afternoon at one p-m.

The City of Batavia announces that city wide leaf collection will begin October 25th.
Do not bag your leaves and be sure to rake them close to the curb line without placing them in the street.
Schedule of collection locations.

Citywide leaf collection will begin October 25th

The city-wide leaf collection program in Batavia begins on Monday, October 25th and continues through November 24th.

Residents are asked to rake leaves into piles and leave them in the parkway (un-bagged). Please, place close to curb line/edge of roadway without placing in the street. Do not pile around fire hydrants, trees, utility poles or signposts. Leaf piles should only contain leaves and no branches, grass clippings or other materials.

Leaf operations typically have one crew on the Northside working from Grandview Terrace moving West, North of Main Street, and a second crew on the Southside beginning on River Street moving East in areas South of Main Street. A third crew will work using a vacuum along main roads and numbered routes. It takes about 2 weeks to go through the entire city.

Any resident with leaves can also bring them to the Yard Waste Station until it closes for the season on December 11th, 2021. The Yard Waste hours are 8am-2pm Monday through Friday, 12pm-6pm Saturdays through October 30, and then 11am-5pm from November 1st through December 11th due to daylight savings. The Yard Waste Station will be closed November 25th and will officially close for the season after December 11th, 2021.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LEAF COLLECTION:

  • Leaf piles must be clear of sticks and other debris.
  • Leaf piles must be clear of all animal waste – if animal waste is found in the piles, they will not be picked up
  • Grass clippings, Flower potting’s, Branches, Pumpkins cannot be picked up and residents may bring those items to the Yard Waste Station on Law Street (which will be open through December 11th, 2021)
  • Leaves should not block traffic.
  • Leaves should not be piled near intersection corners. This causes sight issues for motorists/bicyclists/pedestrians.
  • Keep leaf piles clear of drainage ways and catch basins. Blocked drainage leads to localized flooding.
  • Leaves should not be piled around mailboxes, power poles, fences, fire hydrants or other obstacles.
  • Do not park on leaf piles. The heat from a vehicle exhaust system could start a fire.
  • Do not wait to get your leaves out. We will normally collect leaves twice within the month of leaf collection.
  • If it is snowing, we plow first. If it continues to snow, then leaf operations will be suspended.
  • There is no leaf pickup in the spring.

 

Contact the Bureau of Maintenance @ 585-345-6400 option 1 if you have any questions.

Morning News Brief

Attorney General for New York State Letitia James came to Batavia thursday to present a check for 1 million 60 thousand dollars to The Recovery Station on Clinton Road.  James is conducting a statewide tour to recognize communities for their efforts in fighting the opioid epidemic and to distribute funds awarded to New York through a settlement with opioid manufacturers and distributors. Yesterday afternoon, she presented oversized ceremonial checks in Waterloo, Rochester and Batavia.

The animal control in Basom are asking the public not to approach or feed a large white Great Pyrenees dog that has been wandering the community.  It is skittish and runs from humans.  They are hoping that if people stop feeding the dog it will go for the food placed in a trap placed on wednesday.  If you are the owner or know who owns the dog or sight the dog call 585 343 6410.

The Buffalo Sabres came out strong in their matchup against Montreal Thursday night.  It was the opening night for the Sabres as the preseason has ended and Buffalo gave a lackluster showing before the regular season got started.  But this 5 to 1 win over the Canadiens sets up the Sabres to hopefully do a little better this season.  Last year they ended with not just the worst record in the NHL but the worst record in the history of the NHL.  Coach Granato says they are going on offense and planning to be much more aggressive this season.  

Sabres legendary announcer Rick Jeaneret has announced that he will call 20 regular season games and then hang up his microphone.  He has had a hall of fame career calling Sabres games since 1971 on the radio and then moving over to tv in 1995.  He will retire after calling the April 29th game against the Chicago Blackhawks.  Dan Dunleavy will finish out the season.

Evening News Brief

A school bus carrying 35 BOCES students crashed into a ditch on Route 98 in Alexander after swerving to avoid striking a car.
None of students on board were seriously hurt. Some were evaluated by EMS at the scene, one student sough medical attention after the accident.
The accident happened shortly before 1 p.m. this afternoon.
The bus, owned by the Caledonia-Mumford School District, was carrying students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center to a building trades project site. The bus driver was not injured.
After the crash, the students were returned to the Career and Technical Center in Batavia.

The city of Batavia wants Oatka Milk to clean-up the contamination of waste water it dumps into the city’s sewer system. Oatka says it’s doing the best it can to control the contamination by trucking away the waste, but the cost of that operation is prohibitive. City Manager Rachel Tabelski addressed the issue on WBTA’s Main and Center program this morning

City Hall says taxpayers could face huge environmental fines until the contamination is brought down to acceptable levels.

New York is now facing the worst home care shortage in the nation and state lawmakers are calling for fair wages to end the crisis. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator Shelley Mayer and other officials are urging passage of the Fair Pay for Home Care Act to end the shortage by paying home care workers a living wage. The recent loss of over 15,000 nursing home residents to COVID has prompted an increasing number of families to choose home care, yet reports indicate over 40-percent of the state’s home care workers live in or near poverty.

The Buffalo Sabres begin their new season tonight and they’ll get to do it in front of their home crowd. The Sabres are taking on the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center, but they’ll be doing so without star player Jack Eichel who is involved in a dispute with team management and may end up getting traded. Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7 p.m..

Midday News Brief

Rachael Tabelski

The city of Batavia and one of areas largest employers are trying to resolve a dispute over waste water contamination. The city maintains that Oatka is dumping contaminants into the waste water stream that exceeds EPA guidelines. The company says the cost of shipping its excess waste-water out of the city by truck is cost prohibitive.
City Manager Rachel Tabelski, speaking on WBTA’s Main and Center program this morning, says the stakes are high

As Oatka faces a substantial increase in expense, the city faces potential environmental fines unless the contamination is cleaned up.

The Chancellor of the State university of New York – SUNY – is praising students for their efforts in preventing the spread of COVID-19
99-point-five percent of students have already been vaccinated against COVID-19. Only 15-hundred students have not been vaccinated yet and most of them are commuter students from community colleges.

Flu season is underway, and Governor Hochul is urging New Yorkers to roll up their sleeves and protect themselves from the virus. The state Department of Health says that everyone six months of age or older should receive a flu shot and that it’s especially important for kids under the age of two and people over the age of 65 to get immunized. Officials say flu season typically peaks between December and February. In 2020, there were a record low number of flu cases statewide due to people following mask-wearing and social distancing protocols.

The Buffalo Sabres kick off their new season tonight and they’ll get to do it in front of their home crowd. The Sabres are taking on the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center, but they’ll be doing so without star player Jack Eichel who is involved in a dispute with team management and may end up getting traded. This season, the Sabres are hoping to end their postseason drought which is currently the longest in the National Hockey League. Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Morning News Brief

With Pfizer seeking FDA approval for their vaccine to be administered to children 5-12 any parents and educators are wondering if a new mandate is coming and Governor Hochul is indicating that yes, a vaccine mandate for schools is inbound.  Governor Hochul says that once the COVID vaccine is approved for young kids she is planning to wait a couple of months to see how many parents get their kids the shot voluntarily and then impose a mandate for every school age child to get vaccinated in order to attend school.  She points to other vaccines that are required for school attendance in order to say that vaccine mandates are not unusual.  Critics point out that nearly all vaccines required for students were studied for years or even decades before being mandated and that the diseases they prevent are much more deadly to children than COVID.

The mail at the post office is getting slower and more expensive and New York State is not happy.  NYS Attorney General Letitia James is joining in with 20 other attorney Generals across the US to bring a lawsuit against the USPS over the slowdown and increase in prices that have made first class mail take up to 5 days to arrive and package fees go up.  The lawsuit alleges that the Postmaster General made wide sweeping changes without going through the USPS regulatory process and seeks to stall the changes and increased time and cost till at last after christmas. 

Genesee County is trying to locate a dog and its owner over a dog bite incident. The bite occurred late Monday morning in Centennial Park. The dog is described as a grey Pitbull with white markings around its neck, front paws and left ear. The dog is believed to weigh between 55 and 60 pounds and was wearing a camo collar. The dog was not accompanied by its owner and was running loose in the park.  Health Department officials need to know if the dog is current with its rabies shot, otherwise the victim will need post exposure rabies shots. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Genesee County Health Department.

O-AT-KA milk is facing a tough situation after the City of Batavia discovered exceedingly high levels of contaminants in the waste water sent into the ponds from the Cedar Street industry.  The city is facing thousands of dollars in fines from the State Department of Environmental Conservation if it can’t fix the contamination problem.  O-At-Ka is having to ship the waste water by truck away to other dumping grounds and is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra expenses.  Something that Chairman John Gould says they can’t do much longer.  The company is investing 6 million dollars into upgrading its waste water pretreatment facility but it may not be enough.  Gould says that if the city still restricts its ability to dump its waste water into the city waste treatment ponds they may have to look at reducing operations at the Batavia location or relocating the plant altogether

Evening News Brief

Genesee County is trying to locate a dog and its owner over a dog bite incident.
The bite occurred late Monday morning in Centennial Park. The dog is described as a grey Pitbull with white markings around its neck, front paws and left ear. The dog is believed to weigh between 55 and 60 pounds and was wearing a camo collar. The dog was not accompanied by its owner and was running loose in the park.
Health Department officials need to know if the dog is current with its rabies shot, otherwise the victim will need post exposure rabies shots. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Genesee County Health Department.

The City of Batavia wants Oatka Milk to stop contaminating its waste water treatment system. The city claims waste water contamination from Oatka exceeds state environmental guidelines. The city says it could be liable for thousands of dollars in fines if Oatka doesn’t clean up. The company maintains that the equipment required to bring their discharge within limits does not exist. Talks between the company and the city continue.

New York State is urging New Yorkers to be aware of an ongoing scam. Officials say the text message phishing scheme is asking people to validate their COVID-19 vaccination status in an attempt to steal their personal data such as passwords and Social Security numbers. The message appears to be from the Department of Health and tells the person receiving it they must enter their information in order to prove they’ve been vaccinated. Anyone who gets a text message like this should delete it immediately.

A new poll shows Governor Hochul is leading fellow Democrats who could end up facing her in a primary next year. According to the Marist poll, Governor Hochul has the support of 44-percent of people surveyed while state Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams finished with 28-percent and 15-percent support, respectively. While James has been rumored to be considering a run for governor, she hasn’t launched a campaign yet and Williams has only created an exploratory committee. New York Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs has already endorsed Hochul as she looks to win a full four-year term.

City Firemen Support Operation Warm

Everyone knows that Western New York winters can be long, snowy and brutally cold. Can you imagine being a child trying to get to and from school in these conditions and not having a warm coat to wear?

The City of Batavia Firefighters Local 896 is once again teaming up with Operation Warm to provide winter coats to children in our community. Local 896 has partnered with Batavia Downs raising money to purchase brand new American made winter coats so children can comfortably and confidently get to school this winter.

In the past Local 896 has donated more than 300 coats through Operation Warm. Our goal this year is to raise enough funds to purchase 300 coats. City firefighters will coordinate with Batavia Community Schools and distribute coats in the coming months.

To donate easily and securely please visit this website

Midday News Brief

The City of Batavia has issued a cease-and-desist order to Oatka Milk demanding the company clean-up its waste water.
The city maintains the waste water contamination from the Cedar Street plant exceeds state environmental guidelines.
The issue surfaced at last night/’s city council meeting.
The city says it could be liable for thousands of dollars in fines if Oatka doesn’t clean up. The company maintains that the equipment required to bring their discharge within limits does not exist.
So far, the city and the company continue to talk.

New York State is urging New Yorkers to be aware of an ongoing scam. Officials say the text message phishing scheme is asking people to validate their COVID-19 vaccination status in an attempt to steal their personal data such as passwords and Social Security numbers. The message appears to be from the Department of Health and tells the person receiving it they must enter their information in order to prove they’ve been vaccinated. Anyone who gets a text message like this should delete it immediately.

A new poll shows Governor Hochul is leading fellow Democrats who could end up facing her in a primary next year. According to the Marist poll, Governor Hochul has the support of 44-percent of people surveyed while state Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams finished with 28-percent and 15-percent support, respectively. While James has been rumored to be considering a run for governor, she hasn’t launched a campaign yet and Williams has only created an exploratory committee. New York Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs has already endorsed Hochul as she looks to win a full four-year term.

The City of Batavia Firefighters Local 896 is once again teaming up with Operation Warm to provide winter coats to children in Batavia.
The union partnered with Batavia Downs raising money to purchase brand new American made winter coats so children can comfortably and confidently get to school this winter. In the past the firefighters union has donated more than 300 coats through Operation Warm.
City firefighters will coordinate with Batavia Community Schools and distribute coats in the coming months.

Morning News Brief

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that New York must continue to allow health care workers to seek exemptions from a statewide vaccine mandate on religious grounds.  Judge David Hurd in Utica had issued a temporary restraining order a month ago after 17 doctors, nurses and other health professionals claimed in a lawsuit that their rights would be violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed the exemptions.  Hurd’s ruling Tuesday means New York will continue to be barred from enforcing any requirement that employers deny religious exemptions.  Lawyers for New York State say the case will continue being appealed to higher courts.

According to Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Brian Higgins say that the land border with Canada will be opened up to Canadians who are fully vaccinated by early November. Governor Hochul applauded the Federal government for pledging to reopen the border.  

Heath officials have authorized the first electronic cigarettes in the U.S., saying the R.J. Reynolds vaping products can benefit adult smokers.  The Food and Drug Administration said data submitted by the company showed its Vuse e-cigarettes helped smokers either quit or significantly reduce their use of cigarettes.  Tuesday’s action is part of a sweeping effort by the FDA to bring scientific scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping industry after years of regulatory delays.  In September, the agency rejected applications for more than a million e-cigarettes and related products, mainly due to their potential appeal to underage teens.

The City of Batavia Firefighters Local 896 is once again teaming up with Operation Warm to provide winter coats to children in our community. Local 896 has partnered with Batavia Downs raising money to purchase brand new American made winter coats so children can comfortably and confidently get to school this winter.  In the past Local 896 has donated more than 300 coats through Operation Warm. The goal this year is to raise enough funds to purchase 300 coats. City firefighters will coordinate with Batavia Community Schools and distribute coats in the coming months.

Replacing Jack Eichel as team captain this season is not 1 but 2 players.  Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons will both be wearing the A on their jerseys and share an alternating captaincy.  Coach Granato said they both have passion and love for the Sabres.  Girgensons has been with the Sabres since 2012 and missed all of last season with an injury. Okposo has been with the Sabres since 2016, and has been regarded as a leader inside the locker room.

Evening News Brief

A Raymond Ave. couple has been arrested on several charges accusing them of illegal drug sales in the city of Batavia.
32 year old Cecilia Tina Rodriquez and 28 year old Herbert Gennis III, both of Raymond Ave., were arrested today. The investigation, by the Genesee County Drug Task Force, began with a search warrant conducted last August 16y. Police said drugs and a firearm were located during that search. Both were charged with low grade felonies and misdemeanors and were issued court appearance tickets.

 

While they’re currently not authorized for use on kids, area pediatricians are already working on how to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to their patients. Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve the use of its vaccine on kids between the ages of five and 12 and that could happen in a few weeks. Counties would then be in charge of deciding who would be able to give those shots and it’s likely doctor’s offices will be on that list. It’s also possible that mass immunization sites will need to open to meet demand for the vaccine.

An Attica prison corrections officer was stabbed in the chest by an inmate serving time for murder.
The guard was not critically injured despite being stabbed multiple times with a metal object. Two other officers had to step in to break up the assault. The officer was leading the prisoner out of this cell at the time.
The officer was treated at ECMC for a cut to the upper chest and an injury to his ankle. He remains unable to return to work.

From the Bad Boys & Girls report:
32-year-old Rae Cook of Batavia has been arrested for assault after allegedly stabbing another person in then neck during an argument.
The fracas was reported on Fisher Park in Batavia earlier this month and just made public by Batavia Police. Cook was locked up $5,000 bail.

18-year-old Marcos Velazquez of Batavia is charged with smashing out the windows of a car with a baseball bat. Police say the incident occurred following a fight with Velazquez’ sister. He was given a court appearance ticket.

A sure sign of Halloween approaching. Rolling Hills Asylum in Bethany is now open and offering guided tours almost every night. The building had served as a poor farm dating back to the 1800s and as mental facility till the 1970s. Many believe the place is haunted. If you would like to visit you can buy tickets at the Rolling Hills website.

Midday News Brief

New York State keeps incidents of violence at Attica State Prison very close to the vest but the union representing Corrections Officers does not.
The union has reported that a guard was stabbed in the chest last Friday
by an inmate serving time for murder.
The guard was not seriously injured despite being stabbed multiple times with a metal object. Two other officers had to step in to break up the assault.
The prison officer was letting a prisoner out of their cell at the time.
Later, officers found the 45-year-old inmate in possession of a 14-inch rusted piece of metal and a five-inch sharpened copper tube.
The officer was treated at ECMC for a cut to the upper chest and an injury to his ankle. He remains unable to return to work.

This week’s gasoline report: Prices are up an average of 7-cents a gallon in Batavia. The Triple-A says the price is $1.12 more than last year at this time.

While they’re currently not authorized for use on kids,area pediatricians are already working on how to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to their patients. Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve the use of its vaccine on kids between the ages of five and 12 and that could happen in a few weeks. Counties would then be in charge of deciding who would be able to give those shots and it’s likely doctor’s offices will be on that list. It’s also possible that mass immunization sites will need to open to meet demand for the vaccine.

Rescue crews are set to resume their search today for a 15-year-old boy who fell into the Niagara River and hasn’t been seen since. Officials say the teen was fishing with his father yesterday at Whirlpool State Park when he lost his footing and ended up in the water.

Rolling Hills Asylum is now open and offering guided and self guided tours almost every night. Opened in 1826 the Asylum ran as a western NY mental facility till the 1970s when it was shut down and has since been known as one of the most haunted places in the world. If you would like to visit you can buy tickets at the Rolling Hills website.

Morning News Brief

An officer at Attica Prison was reportedly stabbed in the chest by an inmate on October 8th.  According to the Correction Officers and Police Benevolent Association an officer was letting a prisoner out of their cell when they turned and stabbed the officer multiple times with a metal object before 2 other officers were able to intervene.  The 45 year old inmate who is serving a life sentence for murder was subdued and a 14.5 inch rusted piece of metal and a 5.5 inch sharpened copper tube were found in his possession.  The officer had a cut in their upper chest and a hurt ankle and was taken to ECMC for treatment and remains unable to return to work.  

44 year old Jon Magliocco of Batavia was released from prison on August 2nd and is back behind bars accused of 2 rapes in the same week.  2 people accused him of rape, the first on August 10th and the second on August 14th both at a home on Mill St.  Magliocco is charged with 3rd degree rape, 3rd degree criminal sexual act, and 1st degree criminal sexual act.  He was originally released as a level 3 sex offender and is now being held in Genesee County Jail. 

Rolling Hills Asylum is now open and offering guided and self guided tours almost every night.  Opened in 1826 the Asylum ran as a western NY mental facility till the 1970s when it was shut down and has since been known as one of the most haunted places in the world.  If you would like to visit you can buy tickets at the Rolling Hills website. HERE

The NYS Department of Health has released a new study showing the effectiveness of COVID vaccines over time.  They say that the results show a drop off in how effective the vaccines are in preventing infection by covid of about 20 percent over 5 months for people between the ages of 18 and 64 and closer to 10 percent for those older than 64 for all major vaccines.  They say that this is seen more with the delta variant and less with other variants.  The vaccines are effective in preventing hospitalization by over 86 percent across age groups and this effectiveness wanes less than 6 percent over the 5 months for all age groups.  Dr. Eli Rosenberg of the Department of Health says that these findings support the need for booster shots for all age groups but specifically for those who are older or immunocompromised.  

Restaurant goers may be met with a new way to combat the lack of servers, robots.  In several Rochester restaurants automated servers are being tasked with delivering food and drinks to tables when the servers are hard pressed to keep up due to staffing shortages.  The robots can carry 80 lbs, memorize the floor plans of restaurants and even sing and dance.  The distillery and Henrietta Food Supply are using them.  The question now is, how do you give a tip to a robot?

The northern lights may be visible in the northern sky tonight.  Those who can be closer to the shore of Lake Ontario have a better chance of seeing them once it gets sufficiently dark this evening.  A large geomagnetic storm has struck the planet and space forecasters expect a decent Aurora reaction in the Northern Hemisphere.

Midday News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul has signed five new bills aimed at reducing drug related overdose deaths.  One of the bills will decriminalize possession and sale of syringes and other drug paraphernalia.  Hochul says this will reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis.  Some of the other bills will establish programs to treat inmates in state and local correctional facilities along with expanding the label of substance use disorder so judges can send people for treatment instead of to jail.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is warning of a text message phishing scheme. Phishing texts are fraudulent messages that try to get your data or sensitive personal information, which is then used to either commit identity theft or trick you into installing malicious software onto a computer or mobile device.

The illegitimate text messages ask you to verify your driver’s license information and to validate your COVID-19 status. If you get this message, the DMV says delete it right away.

Get ready for a hike in gas prices this winter – to the tune of 43%. National Fuel says the price hike is because of fluctuating gas prices which is caused because of low supplies. As for how much in dollars it will cost you, National Fuel says the average home will pay, in total, $200 more this winter. You may be able to get help from New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program, which is accepting applications, and they encourage you to apply early.

Tonight the Batavia Blue Devils will host Honeyoe Falls-Lima in high school football tonight. The game is at 7 p.m. and you can hear it here on WBTA. The team is asking for donations of non perishable foods or hygiene items at tonights game. The donations will help the Family and Community Engagement Center’s Community Closet. Any non-perishable food or hygiene item donation enters you to win four season passes to Six Flags Darien Lake- good for the remainder of this season to enjoy Fright Fest and Magic of Lights.  Then on Saturday, October 16, the Batavia Bulldawgs and Community Schools will be hosting another Hygiene and Food Drive at VanDetta during their games at 1, 3, 5 and 7 pm. 

The Western New York National Cemetery Honor Guard for Genesee County needs volunteers to help with provide military honors in funeral services.  The National Cemetery, located in Pembroke, has become the final resting place for over 600 veterans so far this year and they need help from anyone with an honorable discharge from the military.  Right now there are 47 volunteers from Genesee county but the number is shrinking as winter arrives and many get ready to head south.  For more information on how you can help, stop by the Batavia American Legion, 8969 Alexander Rd on Saturday, October 9 from 1-4 pm or call Carl Hyde at 585.356.2658. 

 

Morning News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul signed 5 new bills aimed at reducing drug related overdose deaths yesterday.  Among the legislation was a bill to decriminalize possession and sale of syringes and other drug paraphernalia.  Hochul says this will reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis.  Also legislation was included that establishes programs to treat inmates in state and local correctional facilities.  Another bill expands the label of substance use disorder so judges can order individuals to treatment instead of incarceration.  

National Fuel is warning customers ahead of the winter months to get ready for a hike in gas prices.  How much of a hike?  43 percent.  They say the rise and continually fluctuating price of gas due to low supply is the culprit for why the average home will see an increase from 498 dollars for fuel for the entire winter to 714 dollars.  New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program is accepting applications and encourages people to apply early.

Buffalo Mayoral hopeful India Walton’s car was towed for an expired inspection sticker and multiple unpaid parking tickets and she says she may be getting targeted by Mayor Byron Brown.  Walton accused Mayor Brown of a “deliberate act of harassment and intimidation.”  She says that Brown may have targeted her with petty vindictiveness in the same way he targets black, poor and working class Buffalo residents instead of taxing his rich friends.  Critics have pointed out that she wants to run the city but hasn’t paid her own fines.  Some supporters are offering to pay her fees and fines for her.

The Batavia Blue Devils are asking for donations of non perishable foods or hygiene items at tonights game against the Honeoye-Falls Lima Cougars at 7pm.  Help support your community by bringing donations for the Family and Community Engagement Center’s Community Closet! Any non-perishable food or hygiene item donation enters you to win four season passes to Six Flags Darien Lake- good for the remainder of this season to enjoy Fright Fest and Magic of Lights.  Then on Saturday, October 16, the Batavia Bulldawgs and Community Schools will be hosting another Hygiene and Food Drive at VanDetta during their games at 1, 3, 5 and 7 pm. 

The Western New York National Cemetery Honor Guard for Genesee County is looking for volunteers to help with the important task of providing military honors in funeral services.  The National Cemetery, located in Pembroke, has become the final resting place for over 600 veterans so far this year and they need help from anyone with an honorable discharge from the military.  Right now there are 47 volunteers from Genesee county but the number is shrinking as winter arrives and many get ready to head south.  For more information on how you can help, stop by the Batavia American Legion, 8969 Alexander Rd on Saturday, October 9th from 1-4 pm or call Carl Hyde at 585.356.2658. 

Buffalo Bills and New York State may be looking downtown in Buffalo for their new Stadium.  In the proposal from Empire State Development and engineering firm AECOM, one of the sites for a new stadium for the Bills would be at South Park Avenue and Louisiana Street in Buffalo.  The Bills previously said they were looking into building a new stadium in Orchard Park on Abbott Road and would not continue to play in Highmark Stadium after the team’s lease with Erie County ends after 2023.

The tradition of food challenges continues for the Buffalo Bills in their game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.  The Kansas City, Mo. Police Department is challenging the Buffalo Police Department and whoever’s team wins gets food from the losing city.  If the Bills beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, the Kansas City Police Department will give Buffalo police barbecue from Gates Bar-B-Q.  If the Chiefs win, Buffalo police will need to send Kansas City police chicken wings.  The Chiefs beat the Bills in the AFC Championship Game in January.

Midday News Brief

A homeless Batavia man has been arrested for rape in a case that goes back more than 20 years. Batavia Police have arrested 57-year-old Roger K. Brinkman has been arrested for the first-degree rape of a girl who was 14 years old at the time.
Batavia Police said the attack occurred on Liberty Street in Batavia in 2000.
Brinkman is being held on 100-thousand dollars bail.

Another step into the future for Batavia. There are now two new electric vehicle charging stations. One is located adjacent to City Church the other at T F Browns restaurant.
Paul Gistner is with National Grid. He says electric vehicle usage is on the rise across New York State and there are incentives to businesses large and small to install the stations

These two electric charging stations are the first in downtown Batavia.

A Mercy Flight helicopter was damaged in a hard landing at the Genesee County Airport.
The chopper was returning from Strong Hospital last night when it attempted to land in a heavy fog.
There was no patient on board. The crew was evaluated at the hospital but was not injured. The hard-landing damaged the underside of the helicopter fuselage.

The NY state highway department has announced that they will begin using speed cameras on the thruway in work zones. The pilot program will include 30 cameras across the state set up in 10 work zones. This is to combat highway worker deaths. About 123 workers are killed a year nationally. No start or end dates have been announced.

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to have been planning to boot current Governor Kathy Hochul as his running mate if he sought a fourth term. The New York Post reported earlier this year aides for the ex-governor told then-Lieutenant Governor Hochul that she would be replaced on the Democratic ticket in 2022. Hochul became governor back in August when Cuomo resigned after being accused of sexual harassment.

Morning News Brief

A mercy flight helicopter returning from Strong Memorial hospital made a hard landing at Genesee county airport at around 9:30 last night.  The Bell 429 helicopter sustained damage to its underside fuselage and the crew were taken to the hospital as a precaution but no injuries were reported. The reason for the crash is under investigation. 

Just before noon on Wednesday a neighbor saw smoke coming out of 127 Tracy Ave and called the fire department.  Its a good thing they did as a fire had started in the kitchen and no one was home.  Batavia Fire Department reports that the fire was oxygen deprived so it didn’t grow out of control.  The home did not suffer much fire damage.  Lots of smoke damage throughout the house and unfortunately one cat died.  

Genesee and Orleans counties are under a special weather advisory this morning for areas of dense fog.  The weather service predicts that there will be visibility obscuring fog in low lying areas until about 10am this morning.  Be careful when driving as you may not be able to see far ahead.

The state highway department announced yesterday that they will begin using speed cameras on the thruway in work zones.  The pilot program will include 30 cameras across the state set up in 10 work zones.  This is to combat highway worker deaths.  About 123 workers are killed a year nationally.  No start or end dates have been announced.

A 75 year old Rochester man has died from COVID after Rochester General and Rochester Regional Health refused to treat him with Ivermectin.  Jeremy Carter was hospitalized last week with COVID and his condition deteriorated to the point that he was placed on a ventilator.  His primary care provider recommended Ivermectin as it has helped in other similar situations.  Ivermectin is a Nobel Prize Winning drug mostly prescribed for parasites in humans that has been described in the media as a horse de-wormer and is not FDA approved for treatment of COVID.  The hospital refused to give it to Carter prompting a lawsuit.  The judge order the hospital to treat him with the drug but they refused and appealed the decision.  The new decision was set for Monday but Carter died on Sunday.  His attorney, Ralph Lorigo, says that he has filed 3 lawsuits for Ivermectin treatments in Rochester Regional Health facilities and all of those were granted and the people recovered and went home.  He questions the reasoning for stopping treatments when a person is headed for death.

St Paul Lutheran School is having a chicken BBQ fundraiser on Sunday the 10th.  Chiavettas tickets are 12 dollars a meal.  Starts at 11am and goes till 3 or sold out.  You can call the church at 585 343 0488 to order yours. 

The governor announced the second round winners of the NFL cooperative vaccine prizes yesterday and they include 1 person from Genesee county.  Chad Kowalik won prizes from the Buffalo Bills after being vaccinated against COVID.  Prizes could be game tickets, in game experiences, stadium tours, signed gear or meet ups with the players.  The contest goes through October 24th for anyone who receives their first dose before then

Midday News Brief

BREAKING:  Batavia Fire has responded to a home at 127 Tracy Ave. Early reports from the scene say the home was unoccupied. The fire was confined to the kitchen. A neighbor called in the fire having seen smoke streaming the structure.

 

 

Regina Jo Roberts

A Batavia woman reported missing last weekend has been found safe.
Police had been looking for 53-year-old Regina Jo Roberts who went missing on Sunday.
Batavia Police issued a statement thanking the public and media for help in locating the woman. No explanation was given for her disappearance.

It appears the ongoing strike a major Buffalo hospital going to continue for at least one more day. Officials with Catholic Health and members of the union that represent roughly 25-hundred employees at Mercy Hospital met for several hours yesterday.
The main point of contention continues to be staffing levels at the hospital, but the union says progress has been made towards a pay raise for employees

Governor Hochul says another group of health care workers are going to need to roll up their sleeves and get their COVID-19 vaccine shots. The governor says employees at psychiatric hospitals in the state’s Office of Mental Health network as well as workers at specialty hospitals certified by the state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities must receive their first vaccine dose by November 1st. Employees won’t have the option of being tested for COVID-19 instead of getting a shot. A mandate that hospital and nursing home workers get vaccinated went into effect last week.

 

Morning News Update

Batavia Police are looking for a woman who was reported missing earlier this week.  They say Regina Jo Roberts, 53, was reported missing on Sunday. Roberts is described as 5′ 4″ tall, weighing approximately 165 lbs, and is believed to be driving a gray 2011 Toyota Highlander, NY registration JPU7881.  Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

 

Governor Hochul announced Tuesday the plan to expand the healthcare worker vaccine mandate to include employees who work in certain facilities served by the Office of Mental Health and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.  Employees in these areas have to have their first dose by November 1st.  Before the requirement takes effect, unvaccinated staff for those offices that work in hospitals will have to submit to weekly testing beginning October 12.  On Thursday, October 7 the vaccine mandate takes effect for workers at adult care facilities and home healthcare workers

 

Evening News Brief

An Attica man has been sentenced to serve four and a half years in state prison for what had been described as a hate crime.
21-year-old Dillen Powell accepted a plea deal to a charge of second-degree burglary.
Last April Powell was accused of breaking into the home of his neighbor, who is black, brandishing a knife and making racial slurs.
He was originally charged with a first degree hate crime, menacing burglary and other charges.

 

The LeRoy Village Board heard nearly three-hours of comment during a public hearing into a proposed senior housing project.
Eric Biscaro has proposed the project arguing there is a need for such housing and it would benefit the community.
About 50 people attended last night’s hearing, most of them opposed to the project citing traffic concerns, storm water runoff and tax incentives.
The project would be eligible for thousands of dollars in tax incentives from the county.
Another issue is the extension of East Avenue to accommodate the project. Biscaro now says that he would foot the bill for the road work saving taxpayer dollars.
The project still must go through environmental studies and final approvals before construction could ever begin.

 

From the Bad Girls report this afternoon:
27-year-old Carrie Anne Clay of Albion has been arrested by Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies for allegedly attacking a person with a hammer.
The fracas happened on September 25th in Byron but was just announced today. Lawmen charged Carrie Anne with burglary and assault. Her victim suffered minor injuries. Carrie Anne is being held on $5,000 bail.

Congressman Chris Jacobs has co-sponsored federal legislation changing the rules for transporting a firearm across state lines.
Jacobs says constitutional rights are not confined to state borders.
The bill changes the definitions of existing laws allowing firearms to be carried across state lines for temporary lodging, food, fuel, vehicle maintenance and medical treatment.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul maintains the state is prepared to fill any staffing issues medical centers may have as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Her comments come as two urgent care centers have been forced to close in the Albany-area, since the mandate went into effect. Governor Hochul argues one such measure is the use of student nurses, adding it won’t be a “perfect scenario” during the mandates. She also vows to eventually provide numbers as to how many hospitals and medical centers are dealing with staffing issues.

Midday News Brief

The LeRoy Village Board heard nearly three-hours of comment during a public hearing into a proposed senior housing project.
Eric Biscaro has proposed the project arguing there is a need for such housing and it would benefit the community.
About 50 people attended last night’s hearing, most of them opposed to the project citing traffic concerns, storm water runoff and tax incentives.
The project would be eligible for thousands of dollars in tax incentives from the county.
Another issue is the extension of East Avenue to accommodate the project. Biscaro now says that he would foot the bill for the road work saving taxpayer dollars.
The project still must go through environmental studies and final approvals before construction could ever begin.

An Attica man has been sentenced to serve four and a half years in state prison for what had been described as a hate crime.
21-year-old Dillen Powell accepted a plea deal to a charge of second-degree burglary.
Last April Powell was accused of breaking into the home of his neighbor, who is black, brandishing a knife and making racial slurs.
He was originally charged with a first degree hate crime, menacing burglary and other charges.

Inspectors with the Erie County Health Department say 14 people were turned away from Sunday’s Buffalo Bills game at Highmark Stadium. They say those folks couldn’t enter the Orchard Park facility after failing to provide proper proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Members of New York State’s Cannabis Control Board are holding their first public meeting today. The panel was recently put together to create guidelines for the state’s cannabis industry and issue applications and licenses to businesses. A law legalizing the use of marijuana by adults for recreational purposes has been in effect for months.

Evening News Brief

Lovely Warren (Courtesy: 13-WHAM)

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is resigning from office after accepting a plea deal.
The mayor was facing two felony counts related to allegations of her campaign finances being mishandled during the 2017 mayoral election in Rochester.
Under the deal, Mayor Warren pled guilty to an election law violation admitting to “knowingly and willfully contributed, accepted campaign donations in an amount more than the maximum amount specified.”
The plea deal will also satisfy the gun and child endangerment charges against her that stem from the New York State Police raid of her house back in May.

 

 

The Genesee County Economic Development Center is expected to take final action this week on a 1.7-million-dollar project in Pembroke.
J and R Fancher Property Holdings is proposing to build a 14-thousand sq ft two-story building with commercial space on the first floor and six market rate apartments on the second floor.
The building will be adjacent to Yancy’s Fancy on Brickhouse Drive.
The developers are seeking over 250-thosuand dollars in tax incentives from the county.

Governor Kathy Hochul says she believes the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for health care workers is largely a success. Hospitals say ongoing staffing shortages- especially in urgent care centers – are made worse by the governor’s mandate that all hospital employees get vaccinated or lose their jobs. The governor says she is waiting on hospitals to reach out for help in staffing urgent care centers as the state has identified student nurses, retired practitioners and out of state and out of country professionals who are ready to step in.

Western New York drivers still aren’t noticing much of a change when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is $3.25, a penny less than last week and $1.04 more than a year ago.

Midday News Brief

Western New York drivers still aren’t noticing much of a change when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is $3.25, a penny less than last week and $1.04 more than a year ago.

 

The county’s Economic Development Center is expected to take final action this week on a $1.7-million project in Pembroke.
J and R Fancher Property Holdings is proposing to build a 14,000 sq.ft. two-story building with commercial space on the first floor and six market rate apartments on the second floor.
The building will be adjacent to Yancy’s Fancy on Brickhouse Drive.
The developers are seeking $254,000 dollars in tax incentives from the county.

 

Governor Kathy Hochul says she believes the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for health care workers is largely a success, even though some hospitals around the state have had to shut down some Urgent Care centers due to a staffing shortage. Hospitals say ongoing staffing shortages are made worse by the governor’s mandate that all hospital employees get vaccinated or lose their jobs. The governor says she is waiting on hospitals to reach out for help in staffing urgent care centers as the state has identified student nurses, retired practitioners and out of state and out of country professionals who are ready to step in.

The Buffalo Bills have extended their winning streak to three games following another victory in front of their home crowd. The Bills beat the Houston Texans 40 to nothing at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park yesterday. Buffalo’s defense has now shut out opponents in two of the last three games while the offense has scored 118 points in the last three weeks. The Bills will be on the road this coming weekend when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday Night Football.

Morning News Brief

Mayor Lovely Warren is having her first day in court for felony campaign finance charges today.  The trial is at the Monroe county courthouse.  Warren, along with Albert Jones Jr. and Rosiland Brooks Harris, were each charged with violating election laws. Both counts are Class E felonies. If convicted, each person could face 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison, or a range of sentencing options from probation to restitution.  Warren has maintained that the charges which are from the 2017 election in Rochester, are politically motivated and she is innocent.

Governor Kathy Hochul says she believes the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for health care workers is largely a success, even though some hospitals around the state  have had to shut down some Urgent Care centers due to a staffing shortage.  A number of hospital chains in New York have temporarily closed or limited services at their Urgent Care centers, citing an ongoing staffing shortage made worse by the governor’s September 27 mandate that all hospital employees get vaccinated or lose their jobs.  The governor says she is waiting on hospitals to reach out for help in staffing urgent care centers as the state has identified student nurses, retired practitioners and out of state and out of country professionals who are ready to step in.

With news of a new stadium being talked over in Buffalo and the cost that the Bills want to pass on to the public for it’s construction eyes are turning to how expensive high school graduations have been for school districts at Highmark Stadium.  3 School districts used the Bills stadium for their commencement ceremonies.  Frontier paid almost 22 thousand dollars to graduate their seniors there.  Hamburg was closer to 21.5 thousand and Orchard park was 20 thousand.  There was a flat 5000 dollar licensing fee to use the stadium and then costs such as 3200 for using the scoreboard and 2300 for security.  When asked, Hamburg Superintendent Michael Cornell said that using the stadium allowed them to get around COVID restrictions and make a graduation that parents and students wanted.

Mercy Hospital workers are striking for the 3rd consecutive day today after negotiations did not proceed on Sunday.  In a statement, a Catholic Health representative said: “Given the verbal threats, intimidating actions and other inappropriate and possibly illegal behaviors by many individuals on CWA’s picket line and out of an abundance of caution for the safety and security of its bargaining committee, Catholic Health offered to meet today with the union only virtually.”  Catholic Health also said they are collecting evidence that picketers are engaging in hate crimes as the replacement workers are largely people of color and have been targeted by the striking workers with abusive comments and behaviors.

The Buffalo Bills beat the Houston Texans in a shutout Sunday afternoon 40 to zip.  The bills are now 3 to 1 in the season.  The last time they played the Texans was in January 2020 when they drew the wildcard and lost.  Their next game will be against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday the 10th at 8:20pm.

Weekend News Brief

Genesee County Sheriffs Deputies are looking for 2 suspects who stole more than a thousand dollars of Buffalo Bills merchandise from Dicks Sporting Goods on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia on September 12th.  They say the suspects left the store, bypassing points of purchase, without paying for the items.  Deputies say the suspects reportedly entered a light blue Honda Odyssey that did not have visible license plates.

This week is fire prevention week and the City of Batavia Fire department is promoting the theme “Learn the sounds of safety.”  A regular beeping or series of 3 beeps in a row form your smoke detector means smoke or fire and get out of the building.  A single chirp every 30-60 seconds means the battery is low. The City of Batavia has a free Smoke alarm installation program.  If you don’t have a smoke detector or if you don’t know if yours is working Fire department members will come to your home and ensure you have a working smoke detector free of charge.  Just call 585 345 6375 to make an appointment.

More than four years in the making, the nation’s first nature trail designed specifically for people with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities is now open at Letchworth State Park.  The trail was created with the help of more than $3.3 million in private fundraising, including custom handmade benches auctioned off to the public.  The trail is designed to encourage sensory perception and integration using nature and natural materials.  It includes sensory stations, a gentle maze with cuddle swings, a music circle, a meadow with balance beams and an obstacle course, and many more special areas.  Located near the park’s Humphrey Nature Center with parking, restrooms and Wi-Fi, the ADA-compliant trail was designed with input from Dr. Temple Grandin, a cattle industry expert who was diagnosed with autism in 1950 at the age of two and is now one of the world’s most well-known advocates for the autistic community.

The Buffalo Sabres lost the match up against the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night in their first preseason game played at Keybank Arena.  Tage Thompson scored the lone goal for the Sabres who were unable to make any more headway as Pittsburgh put in 2 for a final score of 2 to 1.  The Sabres will be back at KeyBank Center on Monday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Afternoon News Brief

A long-awaited merger of the leading agencies serving people with developmental disabilities became official today.
The Arc of Genesee-Orleans and the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming are one agency under the name of Arc GLOW for the four-county area it will now serve.
Arc GLOW is dedicated to helping people meet their full potential and find fulfillment in learning, personal relationships, employment, recreation, the arts, and more.

A special video marking the merger:

 

State Police say Nicole Granger has been located and she is in good health. Troopers had issued an alert for the 30-year-old Batavia woman earlier today. She had been reported missing for 10 days.
In a brief statement troopers said Nicole was located with the help of the public.

After 35 years of service, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Communications Coordinator Russell Lang retires today.
Lang began his career in 1986, as a Dispatcher and three years later , he was appointed Communications Coordinator and has held this position ever since.
During his career, Lang earned include two Distinguished Service awards and three Meritorious Service awards from the Sheriff’s Office.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is kicking off a series of visits to local small businesses to commemorate National Women’s Small Business Month. Hawley has started with a visit to Gilliana’s Diner in on Jackson Street. Hawley says he will be visiting other women-owned small businesses in the district throughout October. Gilliana’s Diner is a restaurant owned by Jill Antinore which opened at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Buffalo Bills will have the support of their home crowd this weekend as they look to win their third game in a row. The defending AFC East champions are hosting the Houston Texans at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The Bills are two-and-one this season after back-to-back victories over the Miami Dolphins and Washington Football Team where Buffalo outscored both of those opponents by a total of 57 points while giving up just 21. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for 1p.m.

Midday News Brief

State Police say Nicole Granger has been located and she is in good health.
Troopers had issued an alert for the 30-year-old Batavia woman earlier today. She had been reported missing for 10 days.
In a brief statement troopers said Nicole was located with the help of the public.

 

 

After 35 years of service, Communications Coordinator Russell Lang is working his last shift today at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Lang began his career in 1986, as a Dispatcher and three years later , he was appointed Communications Coordinator and has held this position ever since. During his communications career, Lang earned several awards that include two Distinguished Service, three Meritorious Service for continuous excellence, and six Commendations.

PHOTO: Sheriff William Sheron (right) congratulates Russell Lang on 35 years of service to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

Courtesy “The Batavian”

Batavia Downs has presented a check for $4,500 to the Make a wish foundation. The money was raised by renting chairs during the Rockin the Downs Summer Concert Series.
Make a Wish foundation workers volunteered at the rental booth this summer.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is kicking off a series of visits to local small businesses to commemorate National Women’s Small Business Month. Hawley has started with a visit to Gilliana’s Diner in on Jackson Street. Hawley says he will be visiting other women-owned small businesses in the district throughout October.
Gilliana’s Diner is a restaurant owned by Jill Antinore which opened at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Buffalo Sabres lost 6 to 2 after an early lead to the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night. The Sabres will be back home tonight at 7 when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

The Buffalo Bills will have the support of their home crowd this weekend as they look to win their third game in a row. The defending AFC East champions are hosting the Houston Texans at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The Bills are two-and-one this season after back-to-back victories over the Miami Dolphins and Washington Football Team where Buffalo outscored both of those opponents by a total of 57 points while giving up just 21. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for 1p.m.

Morning News Brief

New York State Police need your help searching for a 30-year-old woman from Batavia.  Investigators say Nicole Granger was last seen 10 days ago.  Troopers say they received a missing person’s report on Wednesday.  If you have any information, you’re asked to contact New York State Police at (585) 786-5152.

3 people have been sentenced in connection to the murder of Cheyenne Farewell in Lockport at a 2020 Halloween party.  The district attorney says Shawn Johnson, the person who shot Farewell, pleaded guilty to Murder in the Second Degree, Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, and two counts each of Assault in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree, and was sentenced to 20 years to life in state prison.  Another person who had a gun but didn’t shoot any shots, was sentenced to a minimum of 16 months and a maximum of three years in state prison for Manslaughter in the First Degree.  Jonathan Frey, the person who drove the car that was involved in the shooting entered a guilty plea to Hindering Prosecution and was sentenced to a term of two to four years in state prison.

After 35 years of service, Communications Coordinator Russell Lang is working his last shift today at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.  Russ began his career on August 9, 1986, as a Dispatcher, and on June 17, 1989, he was appointed Communications Coordinator and has held this position ever since.  During his communications career, Lang earned several awards that include two Distinguished Service, three Meritorious Service for continuous excellence, and six Commendations.

Batavia Downs presented 4500 dollars to the Make a Wish Foundation on Wednesday.  The money was raised by selling the rental chairs for the Rockin The Downs Concert series.  Make a Wish foundation workers volunteered at the rental booth renting out chairs, selling koozys and glow jewelry.

Former Sabres owner John Rigas has passed away at 96.  Rigas owned the Sabres from 1997 to 2002 when he was convicted of wire fraud and the NHL took over the team.  He was released from prison in 2016 after being diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer.  He maintained his innocence till the end.

The Buffalo Sabres lost 6 to 2 after an early lead to the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night.  Buffalo started the game with Rasmus Asplund scoring the first goal of the game but the Sabres would only get one other goal by Arttu Ruotolainen. The Sabres will be back home tonight at 7 when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul has appointed Dr. Mary Bassett as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, effective December 1st.  Bassett will replace Howard Zucker as health commissioner.  Bassett is the director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  Bassett says she will work to make New York State more equitable and fight structural racism.

The Genesee Orleans Health department is offering 2 Pfizer Vaccine booster shot clinics October 6th and 7th.  Wednesday the 6th the clinic is at the Genesee County Health Department Building and Thursday the 7tyh it is at the Orleans county Health Department Building.  Both clinics are by appointment only.  Booster shots are recommended or those who are 65 and up, residents in long term care facilities, and 50 and up who are immunocompromised.

The Asbury Rd bridge, north of Harris Rd in the Town of LeRoy will be closed beginning Monday 10/4/2021 for bridge repairs. This project is expected to take six weeks. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles.

Students from every high school in Genesee county joined more than 700 students from throughout the GLOW region Tuesday at GLOW With Your Hands at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.  The event gave students a chance to experience a variety of trades including, bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, mechanical, and forms of manufacturing.  Among the 40 companies participating were Oxbow, Liberty Pumps, and O-AT-KA Milk.

Do you have antiques and you want to know what they are worth? Antiques Home Show is coming to Buffalo starting October 24th at the WNED PBS studios.  Full vaccination is needed to attend, tickets are 14 dollars and the show runs from 9AM to 3:45pm

Highmark stadium is hiring for gameday employees.  The Bills stadium is looking for guest service ambassadors, ushers and ticket takers.  If you are interested you can apply at BuffaloBills.com/stadium/employment.

New York State is contracting with 2 organizations to look into a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.  Empire State Development has entered into a 500 thousand dollar contract with O’Melveny and Myers for them to provide legal services related to negotiations for the state related to the Bills Stadium.  The second contract is with real estate/infrastructure consulting firm AECOM for a contract around $150,000.  AECOM will be looking into locations, size amenities and the cost of renovating the current Highmark Stadium vs building a new one.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul said she stands behind the healthcare worker vaccine mandate even with over 72000 hospital workers and 12000 nursing home staff being forced out of work.  As evidence that the mandate is working Hochul points to an increase in nursing home and adult care facilities vaccination rates from 71 percent to 92 percent over the last 4 weeks.  Hochul said in a press conference Tuesday, “This new information shows that holding firm on the vaccine mandate for health care workers is simply the right thing to do to protect our vulnerable family members and loved ones from COVID-19.”

The mandate that businesses with over 100 employees must have everyone vaccinated or face fines and expensive testing each week is getting bumped up by the US congress.  As part of the 3.5 trillion dollar bill going to the senate the house passed an increase in the fines to businesses which refuse to force their employees to get vaccinated.  How much of an increase? Up to 700000 dollars per infraction. The legislative provision passed the Democratic-controlled Budget Committee, and if enacted would levy drastic penalties that could rapidly shut down companies refusing to comply.

Ellicott Place in Batavia is opening today for the first time for a first look by the public at the new retail space and apartments. The 3.15 million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative project will have an open house at 2 today with Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Senator Ed Rath, City Council President Eugene Jankowski, Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein and others who were part of the building and planning process attending.  The Ellicott Street DRI project is part of the $20 million of capital investment projects taking place in downtown Batavia, including the development of approximately 65 market rate apartments which addresses the critical need for high-quality residential units in downtown Batavia and Genesee County.

For the 38th year the Jerome Foundation is looking for nominations for its Health and Humanitarian Award of Genesee County.  Award winners for the past four decades have included health care workers, builders, teachers, and many community volunteers.  The award recognizes outstanding men and women whose volunteer efforts have improved the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of the greater Genesee County area.  Nomination forms due by October 10th and are available on-line at www.thejeromefoundation.org or by calling 585-356-3419.

The Buffalo Sabres pulled out a win for their season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  After falling behind 4 to 1 a late game rally brought the score up to 5 to 4 in a shootout.  Arttu Ruotsolainen scored the first goal, then Michael Mersch got the next one.  JJ Peterka followed him with his first goal as a Sabre.  Weissbach made it a tied game and then Jack Quinn scored the winning goal after 5 minutes of overtime.

Morning News Brief

Across New York State roughly 72 thousand hospital workers and 16 thousand Nursing Home Employees were let go or placed on unpaid leave yesterday as the healthcare vaccine mandate went into effect.  As of Monday, the ECMC put roughly 5% of its hospital workforce on unpaid leave, and 20% of its nursing home staff. Catholic Health and U of R Medical Centers said they would postpone elective surgeries as well ahead of layoffs.  Several lawsuits are in the works to attempt to lift the mandate.  One was successful in putting a temporary hold in place for medical and religious exemptions which were left out of the mandate.  Another successfully blocked a similar mandate for teachers and school staff.

Governor Hochul announced on Monday that people who are considered at risk will be able to get a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine, considered a booster, to maximize their protection against COVID 19.  The Department of Health says that those 65 and older, residents in long-term care settings, and those between 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID exposure should receive the booster.  Also it has to be at least 6 months since you had the last shot of the regular Pfizer COVID vaccination.  Those who got the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccines are not eligible at this time.  Hochul also announced 65 million dollars to be spent in setting up booster shot infrastructure.

The western NY minimum wage is set to increase by the end of the year by 70 cents.  It was 12.50 and will rise to 13.20.  Even with it officially rising, many businesses were already paying employees above that.  McDonalds on West Main in Batavia is advertising positions starting at 16 dollars an hour.  Even with higher wages many businesses are finding it difficult to get prospective employees to apply.  Leading to things like the bussing shortage and shortages of goods in stores.

The City of Batavia is weighing the installation of a new playground at Austin Park.  This wouldn’t just be a regular playground though, City Manager Rachel Tabelski said at the City Council Meeting Monday night that it would be an “inclusive destination” playground.  The inclusive part of the wording is meant to apply to making the playground so it can be used by children who are differently abled.  Tabelski said she wants the playground to have a “wow” factor that will bring people to visit from around the region and “bolster activity in the downtown corridor.”  She says the playground would be paid for by roughly 400 thousand dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.  Batavia received almost 1 and a half million dollars.

Morning News Brief

Dustin Nemec of Elba was killed when his 2020 Volkswagen left the road and struck a tree then a barn at 5693 chapel Road in Byron around 6pm on Saturday night.  Nemec was going east on Chapel Road when he apparently failed to follow the curve of the road.  Byron Fire, South Byron Fire and Elba Fire responded to the accident.  Nemec was pronounced dead at the scene.

Today is the day for the vaccine mandate deadline to go into effect for healthcare workers across New York State.  Governor Hochul has announced a plan to fill up staffing shortages caused by the requirement for all healthcare workers to be COVID vaccinated with at least one shot by today.  The plan includes declaring a state of emergency to employ qualified healthcare professionals licensed in other states, countries, recent graduates and retirees to practice in New York.  Other options include deployment of medically-trained National Guard personnel.  As of September 22, 84% of hospital employees in New York are fully vaccinated leaving large gaps in the medical field which is causing hospitals across the region to suspend some services while they try to shore up the empty positions.  The Department of Labor has issued guidance to clarify that workers who are terminated because of refusal to be vaccinated are not eligible for unemployment insurance without a valid doctor-approved request for medical accommodation.

The Bills say that 4 people were refused entry to the game on Sunday because their vaccine passports did not pass screening or were not the correct type of card.  They did not accuse the people of forgeries and cannot say how many other people were turned away at the door.

Douglas Allen, longtime singer of the National Anthem for Buffalo Sabres games, says he isn’t singing this year.  He says he in unvaccinated and will not be getting the COVID vaccine as he has already had the virus and believes his natural immunity is enough.  According to research done in Israel and reported in the Washington Post, Science magazine, the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health among other sources, those who have recovered from a COVID infection have as much as 26 times the protection against reinfection as those who have been fully vaccinated.  Though researchers stress that this is a “don’t try this at home” result and that vaccines on top of natural immunity further enhance your protections.  Keybank Arena is requiring all attendees to be Covid Vaccinated.

The Bills beat the Washington Football Team soundly on Sunday 43 to 21 for their first home win.  Josh Allen was on fire from the start and finished with a season high 32 of 43 for 358 yards, 4TD passes and a TD run.  The Bills next game is against the Houston Texans at Highmark Stadium Sunday at 1pm.

Weekend News Brief

Going apple picking this week?  Check where you are going to see if you need reservations.  Many apple growers are requiring pre registration in order to go pick apples at their orchards to cut down on crowds and obey capacity limit rules that are an attempt to slow the spread of COVID 19.  Some have you pay in advance which will cover the price of entry and a bag of apples.  Locally both Watts Farms and Roanoke Orchard say on their websites or social media that they are not doing u-pick this year.

Are you having issues with your Excelsior Pass?  The New York State Health department launched the electronic Excelsior Pass 6 months ago and some people are reporting that they no longer show as vaccinated.  Sometimes the state database seems to have lost their name or changes the spelling of it and declares them not vaccinated.  Some have reported it showing their status as expired.  The passes are supposed to be good for at least a year but the NYS Health department says some passes are only good for 180 days.  They say if you are having trouble to call the location you received your vaccine.  Also deleting and reinstalling the app may fix the problem.

All Rochester City School students not currently on a bus route should be by the end of September according to Superintendent Dr. Lesi Myers-Small.  Myers-Small said in her weekly email newsletter that affected families will be getting a call and a letter from the transportation department early next week with the details.  The superintendent also says school bus driver absences are still causing problems. The district averages about 20 per day with no substitute drivers available.

The snow leopard cub at the Seneca Park Zoo may have a name soon but they continue to need the public’s help to choose between 3 names that were submitted.  Out of 750 public submitted names the 3 are Tashi which means “Good Luck,” Sabu which means “Snow Leopard,” and Kenji which means “Strong.”  They all reflect the strides he’s made since his start. He was born hypothermic and dehydrated and has been hand raised by zookeepers since.  His mom is Timila, the zoo’s four-year-old snow leopard.  To vote follow the link on Seneca Park Zoo’s Facebook Page.

Evening News Update

The University of Rochester Medical Centers will be pausing elective surgeries starting Monday due to staffing shortages.  This pause will last 2 weeks.  The medical centers say 99 percent of their professional medical staff are vaccinated but only 90 percent of all employees are fully vaccinated.  The healthcare system is also temporarily closing UR Medicine Urgent Cares in Spencerport and Farmington.  The system says patients should expect lengthier wait times for routine appointments, potential temporary bed closures and some workers being asked to take on other duties. Emergency and critical care, it says, will continue.

The kids who painted the rocks for the peace garden have received some recognition for their donation.  The children of St Josephs school Summer Camp worked to paint 30 stones to decorate the Peace Garden on East Main Street in Batavia to replace the ones stolen in August.  The students, including four who served as leaders from Notre Dame High School, were honored with Certificates of Appreciation Thursday at the Summit Street elementary school.

Midday News Brief

A Batavia man is facing new felony charges of rape and sexual assault in a case that goes back seven years. 40-year-old Melvin Huntley of Wilkinson Road has now been charged with Rape in the 1st Degree, 1st Degree sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies said the on-going investigation found that Huntley had subjected a total of four victims to various incidents of sexual assault over the course of seven years. Deputies say Huntley was previously charged in relation to the initial three victims but these new charges relate to a recently discovered fourth victim. Huntley remains in the Genesee County Jail.

State health officials say Western New York has the second-lowest vaccination rate among home nursing staff of any region in New York. They say 22 percent of nursing home staff remain unvaccinated. This Monday, the vaccination deadline for health care workers takes effect. Governor Hochul has said the state will find replacements for those employees who are not yet vaccinated by the deadline.

Legendary Notre Dame High School Basketball Coach Mike Rapone says the upcoming season will be his last.
His last season will be his 42nd at the helm of one of Section 5’s most successful boys basketball programs.
The school says Rapone’s replacement will be announced before the start of the upcoming season.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) says today he’s happy to see State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker go.
Hawley has been a frequent critic of Zucker and demanded his resignation on many occasions. Hawley questioned the role Zucker may have played in the potential cover-up of the true number of fatalities that occurred in nursing homes during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bills Mafia probably won’t find this news surprising but a website has ranked Bills’ fans among the most loyal fans in the NFL.
The website called Lineups-dot-com surveyed pro football fans about fan behavior when they move away from their hometown. Bills fans are ranked third most loyal, right behind a couple of other diehard fanbases — Green Bay and Dallas. The survey also found that people who moved to the Buffalo area often switch to supporting the Bills.

Morning News Briefing

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker will be stepping down from his position after nearly seven-and-a-half years on the job. Governor Kathy Hochul says she agrees with his decision and went on to thank him for his service on behalf of the state. Hochul noted Dr. Zucker’s hard work throughout the pandemic and says he now has other opportunities he plans to pursue. The governor reports that Dr. Zucker will remain in his position until his replacement can be found.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Thursday that bowhunting seasons for deer and bear will begin in the Southern Zone, where our area is located, on Oct. 1.

There are some changes to big game seasons this year. Bowhunters may only use crossbows during the last 14 days of the Southern Zone bow season, which is Nov. 6-19. To hunt with a crossbow during this time, you must possess a muzzleloader privilege and a crossbow qualifications certificate.

The Genesee County STOP-DWI Board is inviting all sixth- through 12th-grade students to submit a poster design that reflects the dangers of drinking and driving. Designs should focus on the effects drinking and driving have on an individual, their family and the community.
The theme for the 2021 poster contest is, “If you drink it’s your business, if you drink and drive it’s ours.”

Complete details are located here.

Rochester police say one of their officers involved in the handcuffing of Daniel Prude in March of last year will face departmental charges in the incident. Prude died when he was taken off life support a week after Rochester police restrained and handcuffed him while he was in a mental health crisis and was resisting officers. The police department says Officer Mark Vaughn was served with departmental charges last night, though the statement did not specify the nature of those charges. Vaughn is one of seven officers who have been suspended in the incident but he’s the only officer the department has charged.


New York’s three NFL teams are partnering with the state in an effort to boost COVID-19 vaccination numbers. Gov. Kathy Hochul says this is rooted in her belief that people need to hear from trusted voices in order to overcome vaccine hesitancy. The campaign includes weekly drawings for five-straight weeks in which entrants can win game tickets, signed memorabilia, and even FaceTime calls with alumni players. In order to be eligible, you must have received your first dose of the coronavirus vaccine between Aug. 9 and Oct. 25.

“He’s listening.” For the past two days, some lucky shoppers in the Buffalo area had the chance to get up close and personal with Seattle’s most famous fictional radio psychiatrist. Actor Kelsey Grammer, who played the character of Dr. Frasier Crane on both “Cheers” and the popular spinoff “Frasier,” was on hand at a couple of local grocery stores to promote his new Faith American beer line. He chatted with customers at Dash’s Market on Wednesday, and then on Thursday at Tops on Elmwood Avenue. The Rochester-area gets its chance today, as Grammer will be at the Tops in Penfield today.

Evening News Brief

In a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday morning, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the state’s health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, had resigned.  As commissioner of the state health department, Zucker’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic came under fire in 2020 and into 2021. Following a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James in January of this year on the deaths of COVID-19 patients in nursing homes, several elected leaders in Western New York called for Zucker’s resignation.  Governor Kathy Hochul will appoint the next commissioner and Zucker will stay in his position until that replacement is appointed.

The New York State Comptrollers office has released a report saying they found lax oversight of operations at Western Region Off Track Betting.  Western Regional Off-Track Betting spent thousands on tickets to events, food and alcohol for board members, employees and other individuals without state oversight, according to an audit released Thursday.  A second audit found that CEO Henry Wojtaszek did not reimburse the organization for his personal use of a company vehicle in a timely manner.

New York State announced the “Vax and Win” COVID-19 vaccine incentive partnership today.  The program is a partnership between NYS and the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and New York Jets. It offers New Yorkers a chance to win tickets, signed merchandise and more.  It is open to New Yorkers 12 and older who received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose between September 9, 2021 and October 24, 2021.  For more information follow the link at wbtai.com.  https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-vax-and-win-football-sweepstakes

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the Public’s assistance in locating Marc C. J. Cook.  Mr. Cook is wanted on multiple Warrants including Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd and Bail Jumping 2nd, all Felonies in Alabama Town Court.  He is also wanted by Batavia City Court for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th, Criminal Use of Drug  Paraphernalia 2nd, Possession of a Hypodermic Needle, and three counts of Bail Jumping 3rd, all Misdemeanor charges.  If anyone knows his whereabouts, please contact the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000.

Jack Eichel is no longer the captain of the Buffalo Sabres.  The Sabres and Eichel have been at odds lately as Eichel, following a neck injury, accused the team of not supporting him during his recovery and making bad medical decisions that could have ended his career.  General Manager Kevyn Adams said that the decisions was made because “the captain should be the heartbeat of his team.”

Midday News Brief

Two people are dead following a collision between a car and a tractor-trailer in Pembroke.
The crash occurred yesterday afternoon. Deputies say the driver of a 2009 Chevrolet Sedan, 69-year-old Arnold Herdendorf of Lockport, failed to stop at a stop sign on Route 77 while westbound on Indian Falls Road. He crashed into the tractor trailer in the intersection. Herdendorf and a passenger, 70-year-old Christopher Rowell also of Lockport, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The truckdriver and a passenger in the big rig were not injured.

The Batavia City School Board of Education is working with the superintendent of Genesee Valley BOCES in the district’s search for a new superintendent.
Kevin MacDonald will hold virtual sessions with stakeholders including staff and the community next week.
The district hopes to announce a new superintendent in early November, and have the person start Jan. 1 or sooner.

Governor Kathy Hochul says the results of the study of Buffalo Bills Stadium will be released soon. She says all options for the future of the stadium are being studied. Officials with Pegula Sports and Entertainment say they prefer a location in Orchard Park close to the current stadium. They estimate the stadium would cost about one-point-four-billion dollars and seat up to 62,000 fans.

Batavia Downs continues to give back to the community.
The Downs and Western Region OTB presented a check today to the Alzheimer’s for $2,000 in support of Western New York patients and their families. The money was collected this summer at the Rockin’ the Downs Concert Series.

The Genesee County STOP-DWI Board is inviting all sixth- through 12th-grade students to submit a poster design that reflects the dangers of drinking and driving. Designs should focus on the effects drinking and driving have on an individual, their family and the community.
The theme for the 2021 poster contest is, “If you drink it’s your business, if you drink and drive it’s ours.”
Details on the contest HERE

STOP DWI Poster Contest Announced

In support of the Genesee County STOP-DWI program, the STOP-DWI Board invites all sixth- through 12th-grade students to submit a poster design that reflects the dangers of drinking and driving.
Designs should focus on the effects drinking and driving have on an individual, their family and the community.
The theme for the 2021 poster contest is, “If you drink it’s your business, if you drink and drive it’s ours.”

Guidelines:

Contestants must be enrolled as a sixth- through 12th-grader in a Genesee County School;
Poster should be no larger than 9’’ x 12” and must include the theme of: “If you drink it’s your business, if you drink and drive it’s ours”;
Please submit your artwork in landscape (horizontal) orientation;
Each submission should be the original student’s work. Submissions should be mailed or dropped off to the address below;
Each entry must include the artist’s full name, address, phone number, grade, age and school on the back of the poster (no personal information should be on the illustration).
Designs can be in any medium, including computer-generated. However, we strongly recommend that students create strong, simple and colorful designs that will deliver the most visual impact for their message.

Grand Prize Winner — gift card, T-shirt with their artwork on it and their artwork on a billboard in Genesee County. They will also be honored at the STOP DWI luncheon banquet in November.

First- through third-place winners from each category (sixth – eighth grade; ninth – 12th grade; and graphic art) will receive a gift card, commendation and T-shirt with the overall winner’s design. They will also be recognized at the STOP-DWI luncheon banquet in November.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received in person or by mail by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8th.

Send submissions to:

Genesee County Youth Bureau

ATTN: STOP DWI Poster Contest

2 Bank St.

Batavia, NY 14020

Morning News Brief

Two people are dead following yesterday’s vehicle collision in Pembroke.  Local deputies say it happened shortly before 1:45 p.m. when a passenger vehicle headed west on Indian Falls Road blew through a stop sign at the intersection of Rt. 77 and was T-boned by a semi tractor-trailer.  Both vehicles reportedly came to rest in a nearby field.  Two people in the car were declared dead at the scene.  No other injuries were reported

The Batavia Board of Education is working with the superintendent of Genesee Valley BOCES in the district’s search for a new superintendent.

Kevin MacDonald will help the board during the process. Virtual sessions with stakeholders including staff and the community will be held next week.

The district hopes to announce a new superintendent in early November, and have the person start Jan. 1 or sooner.

Here is the schedule of the informational sessions, along with the link to register:

Tue., Sept. 28 @ 3:30pm – Staff/employee stakeholders (must have bataviacsd.org domain to register)
Tue., Sept. 28 @ 6:00pm – Community stakeholders
Wed., Sept. 29 @ 5:30pm – Staff/community

Register for a virtual information session here.

A man from York is facing felony charges after he threatened to shoot employees from the county’s family court.

Livingston County Sheriffs say Chad Curtis, 38, sent threatening emails to family court employees after he was upset about pending matters with the court.

Curtis faces felony charges for making a terroristic threat and aggravated harassment.

Beginning Sept. 29, proof of vaccination will be required for anyone who wants to go to any event at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.  For the first month, from Sept. 29 through Nov. 2, guests will be allowed to enter the arena with just one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Beginning Nov. 3, guests must be fully vaccinated.  Anyone younger than 12 years of age will not have to show proof of vaccination.

Governor Kathy Hochul calls work to upgrade the Niagara Power Project part of New York’s effort to fight the apocalypse of climate change.  The governor visited the power plant yesterday upon the completion of the latest upgrade to the facility.  The $460 million upgrade replaced all 12 power-generating turbines at the Lewiston Pump Generating Station and took ten years to complete.  The station is one of the two power plants at the complex.  It’s part of a $1.1 billion project called Next Generation Niagara, which is key to the state’s goal of no carbon emissions by the year 2040.

Evening News Brief

The Governors traffic Safety Committee released the impact the STOP DWI campaign had earlier this year.  Over 2500 tickets were issued to impaired drivers, and over 94 thousand tickets were issued for other violations.

Blue Cross Arena in Rochester is going to start requiring anyone attending an event to be fully COVID vaccinated starting November 3rd.  From September 29th through November 2nd one dose will be ok for entry.  This is for anyone 12 and over.  All those 12 and under must wear masks.

ECMC has announced it will be suspending inpatient elective surgeries due to staffing shortages.  They say the COVID Vaccine requirements for healthcare workers is to blame.  ECMC’s suspension of elective surgeries is part of a contingency plan as it prepares for staffing shortages due to the vaccine requirement. ECMC said the plan also includes not allowing ICU transfers from other facilities, reducing the number of units at the Terrace View long term care facility, and cutting hours at the outpatient clinics. A spokesperson for the hospital says over 400 staff are unvaccinated and will not be able to work under the mandate.

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Hochul announced Tuesday that the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Energy research and Development Authority will be working to monitor air quality in minority communities.  The readings would be used to develop strategies to reduce pollution.  According to the governor’s office, NYSERDA will work within its Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative process to allocate funding to the effort. The DEC’s Environmental Justice Program will also provide up to $500,000 in Community Air Monitoring Capacity Building Grants to ensure community participation.

Police are asking for community help in finding the suspects in the August 28th shooting on South Main street.  There is a video of the people they are looking for on our news partner the Batavian.  Shots were fired at a home in what police say was a targeted incident.

Because of rain this morning, Allenview Drive and Garden Drive in the City of Batavia won’t be closed today for roadwork.  Bureau of Maintenance Superintendent Raymond Tourt said the planned work has been rescheduled for tomorrow.

The Buffalo Sabres and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin have agreed to terms on a three-year contract.  The team made the announcement Wednesday, the average annual value of the contract is $6 million. Dahlin was selected first overall by the Sabres in the 2018 NHL Draft and was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2018-19. He has played 197 games in his NHL career tallying 18 goals and 89 assists for 107 points.

The Buffalo Bisons wrap up the 2021 season with a five-game homestand against Lehigh Valley beginning tonight.  Since returning to Sahlen Field on August 10, the Bisons have averaged 4,030 fans per game. Total attendance across the 18 home games played between August 10 and the beginning of this final homestand has reached 72,533.  Attendance for Bisons games at Sahlen Field is down 49.5% from 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morning News Brief

The City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee approved a site plan for the Healthy Living campus. It’s a joint venture between United Memorial Medical Center and the GLOW YMCA.

According to The Batavian, the committee approved the $30 million project by a 3-1 vote. The approved project eliminates a proposed traffic exit onto Summit Street, and eliminates 30 parking spaces between the existing YMCA and GO ART!

The Healthy Living Campus is slated to replace the current YMCA.

The State Department of Labor last week said the state’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in August from 7.6% to 7.4%.

The latest unemployment figures for August showed that Genesee County’s unemployment rate was 4.5%, a full 3% drop from the rate in August 2020. It’s also one of the lowest county unemployment rate in the state.

The Rochester man arrested in connection with violent protests at the United States Capitol is due back in court today. Prosecutors have charged Dominic Pezzola with multiple crimes for his alleged role in the January 6 protests including conspiracy and assaulting police. Pezzola was among a group of protesters who were trying to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s win over former President Donald Trump. Pezzola is currently behind bars and awaiting trial.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced yet another effort to get teenagers vaccinated against the coronavirus. The governor said yesterday that 120 new pop-up vaccination sites will be opening statewide over the next 12 weeks. The hope is to boost the immunization rate among people in the 12 to 17-year-old age group. So far, only 54 percent of New Yorkers in that category have been vaccinated which is the lowest of any demographic that’s currently eligible to get their shots. Hochul also says there are no plans to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for students.

The Governor is making a trip to Rochester today, to announce that Constellation Brands will move its headquarters from Victor to downtown Rochester. The company, which distributes beer, wine and spirits like Modelo beer and Svedka vodka, is expected to bring 300 jobs to downtown Rochester.

A federal judge has issued a new ruling involving a mandate that health care workers in New York State get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19. The judge says the state can’t enforce the rule on people who seek or obtain a religious exemption until October 12. The order is being challenged by health professionals who are claiming the mandate is a violation of their Constitutional rights because it doesn’t allow exemptions for religious reasons. Any health care worker who hasn’t received an exemption must still get vaccinated by September 27.

If you feel like you’ve been bitten by more mosquitos this year, you’re not alone. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is requesting more federal dollars – a 61% increase, to be exact – for the CDC’s Vector-Borne Diseases programs which helps fend off the increasing mosquito population and curb the spread of disease spread by mosquitos like West Nile.

Schumer said a wet summer and climate change could keep the mosquitos around during the fall months. A recent article by the Syracuse Post-Standard said Syracuse is experiencing 25 times more mosquitos this year than last. local departments of health to ensure research findings and information are getting out into the community more rapidly, support surveillance efforts, and promote outreach and education.

Yesterday, we reported at the Biden Administration would keep the land border between the U.S. and Canada closed to Canadians until October 21. Now U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants President Biden to open up the border sooner and allow Canadians in.

Gillibrand said the border closure strained supply chains of New York businesses, hospitals, and medical equipment providers that rely on travel across the border to stay afloat. She said it’s also affecting cross-border families, including service members at Fort Drum.

Gillibrand said the closure and loss of Canadian business is costing the U.S. economy $1.5 billion each month and $665-855 million annually in Erie County alone.

Evening News Brief

Police want to correct a story that went out about a stop and manhunt on Rt 33.  It was originally reported that the man fired off at least a dozen shots while the police were searching for him.  In actuality there was a propane fueled wildlife scare cannon in use nearby that sounded like gunshots.  The man, 44 year old Arthur Brown of LeRoy, is facing three felony charges including weapons possession, menacing a police officer, and evidence tampering. Brown is also facing three misdemeanor charges and two traffic violations. He is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail and will be in court October 5.  The passenger in the car, 29-year-old Brianna Smith of Rochester, who says she only met Brown earlier that day, has a warrant in the state of Florida for violating probation, but the state of Florida would not extradite Smith. She faces one charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance and will back in Stafford Town Court at a later date.

Senator Chuck Schumer is calling upon the federal government to combat rising Mosquito populations in New York State.  Schumer says that this year has had record numbers of the tiny blood sucking insects and thousands of West Nile Virus carriers have been identified.  Onondaga county has reported a 25 times increase in the numbers of mosquitos from last year.  Schumer is calling on the CDC to increase vector borne disease funding and the EPA to work harder to control mosquito populations.

The 45th annual Letchworth Arts and Crafts show and sale is coming to Perry Park on Columbus Day weekend.  October 9-11th go see over 200 artisans, food vendors, live entertainments and family fun activities.  The show is moving from Letchworth park to Perry park over covid concerns and restrictions.  Follow the link on WBTAi.com for more details.  http://artswyco.org/

Over 700 season ticket holders have requested a refund for the Buffalo Bills over the vaccine mandate.  Friday is the deadline to request a refund. All those who do will lose their ticket seniority and seat.  Under the mandate Fans 12 and over must have proof of at least one vaccine by Sunday’s home game and must be fully vaccinated by October 31.  Anyone under the age of 12 must wear a mask at all times.  Sabres season ticket holders have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to request a refund for their tickets.

Morning News Brief

The man who fled a traffic stop Sunday night in Stafford is facing a slew of charges. Police say 44-year-old Arthur Brown of LeRoy was seen driving erratically on Rt. 33 in Stafford, and when his vehicle was pulled over, Brown fled into a wooded area. That’s when police heard what sounded like gunshots, but was actually a wildlife scare cannon that’s used to scare off birds and other animals that might damage crops.

A nearly five-hour search by police finally ended around just before 11:30 p.m. when Brown was taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

Brown is facing three felony charges including weapons possession, menacing a police officer, and evidence tampering. Brown is also facing three misdemeanor charges and two traffic violations. He is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail and will be in court October 5.

A passenger in the car, 29-year-old Brianna Smith of Rochester, has a warrant in the state of Florida for violating probation, but the state of Florida would not extradite Smith. She faces one charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance and will back in Stafford Town Court at a later date.

The city of Batavia will be closing some roads tomorrow for resurfacing. Parts of Allenview Drive and Garden Drive will be close tomorrow between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The city will also resurface the parking lot at Lion’s Park and the Canale Lot off Ellicott Street.

The work should be completed in a day as long as the weather doesn’t postpone the work.

The Biden Administration says the land border between the United States and Canada is going to be closed for another month. That means Canadians won’t be able to drive into the U.S. for nonessential reasons until October 21. But a White House official revealed yesterday foreign visitors can fly into the U.S. in November if they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. In August, Canada began allowing Americans who are protected from the virus to enter their country for the first time in months. U.S. officials say Canadians can cross the border for essential reasons such as business or to receive medical care.

A federal lawsuit has been filed to challenge a mandate that children statewide are required to wear masks in school and on the bus. The legal action is being taken by parents who claim the rights of their kids are being violated because the facial covering order causes them harm. The attorneys for the plaintiffs say some children have complained of health issues such as headaches, anxiety, and depression due to having a mask on. Governor Kathy Hochul said last month she was putting the masking guideline in place because she believes it’s the best way to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Governor Kathy Hochul is announcing a new series of environmental goals as Climate Week gets underway in the state. Hochul is calling on the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York State Department of Public Service to develop a solar roadmap that would expanded the state’s current solar program to at least 10 gigawatts by 2030. Hochul is also aiming to have over one-million zero emissions vehicles on the road by 2035, which is on par with California’s goals.

Morning News Brief

More details are expected later today from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office about last night’s traffic stop where the driver fled on foot and shot at police.

It started on near Mill Road on Rt. 33 in Stafford just after 6 p.m. yesterday when Howard Owens, from our news partner The Batavian, called police about a car driving erratically. He said a sheriff’s deputy pulled the car over and the driver burst out of the car, fled on foot into a corn field, pulled out a weapon and started shooting. For the next five hours, a search for the man included Batavia police, a K-9 unit, a State Police helicopter, and the Monroe County SWAT team. The man was taken into custody just before midnight. A female passenger in the suspect’s car was also taken into custody.

Owens gives the whole timeline of last night’s incident at TheBatavian.com.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a plan to address the shortage of bus drivers that is plaguing many school districts across the state. In the short-term, the state will expand testing opportunities for interested drivers to get their CDL license, and the DMV is removing the 2-week waiting period between the permit and road tests – an effort to get more drivers into school buses.

Hochul is also directing state agencies to come up with a plan to recruit more drivers – including reaching out to the more than 550,000 CDL license holders in New York state to gauge interest in becoming a school bus driver.

This past weekend, Rep. Lee Zeldin, the leading Republican candidate for next year’s governor’s race, said he was diagnosed with leukemia last year. The Long Island lawmaker issued a statement Saturday saying he was diagnosed in November with early-stage chronic myeloid leukemia and began immediate treatment. The 41-year-old said he’s achieved complete remission and expects to lead a normal life.

Today is the kickoff of Sheriffs’ Week in the state which celebrates the contributions of Sheriff Offices across the state. Here in Genesee County, the Sheriff’s Office was established in 1802. The Sheriff’s Office says its duties go beyond just keeping the peace, the Sheriff’s Office also maintains the county jail, provides security to courts and schools, runs animal control, and dispatches emergency services, among other duties.

Weekend News Brief

With Governor Hochul and Genesee Orleans County Health Commissioner Paul Petit both saying that booster shots for fully vaccinated individuals will be coming soon and with a possibility of mandates to follow the FDA has put its foot down and said no.  On Friday the FDA overwhelmingly rejected recommending booster shots for most people who were fully vaccinated.  The committee voted 16 to 2 to only recommend giving boosters to people who had compromised immune systems or were at specifically high risk due to age or special health circumstances.  The Federal Government had been asking for approval of boosters for the general population 16 years old and up.

A motorcycle accident on Walnut Street at Law Street Friday afternoon left the rider seriously injured.  The collision occurred at about 12:22 when the bike slammed into the side of a pickup truck at the intersection.  The 30-year-old male, whose name has not yet been released was taken ECMC by Mercy Flight.  According to Sgt. Mitchell Cowen, Batavia PD, the motorcycle was traveling west on Law Street at a high rate of speed and passing other vehicles and collided with a pick-up truck that was headed north on Route 98.

Western New Yorkers donated over 4350 pounds of food to FeedMore WNY during Thursdays Buffalo Strong Back To School Food Drive.  You can help raise money to feed people in Western NY by joining FeedMore WNY for Walk Off Hunger on Friday, October 1 through Sunday, October 3.  You can sign up for one of seven walks in Western New York on Friday and Saturday for Walk Off Weekend, or creating your own route.  Registration is $25 for anyone over 12 and free for anyone under 12.  To register follow the link on wbtai.com.  https://www.feedmorewny.org/walk-off-hunger/

Highmark Stadium and Keybank Arena are not allowing refunds for tickets to events that ticketholders cannot attend due to the vaccine rules.  Ticketmaster says that the venues are still planning to hold the events and their policy does not allow refunds if the organizer doesn’t specifically allow it.  People who bought tickets are upset, many people have medical exemptions to taking the COVID vaccine and say they bought tickets before the rules changed and it is unfair that they cant get refunds to events they can’t attend.

For the first time since 2005 the Buffalo Bisons are champions.  They won the division title for only the 10th time on Thursday with a loss to the Rochester Red Wings.  But because of the loss by Wilkes Barre to Lehigh Valley and the Bisons 70 to 44 record it made the Bisons the winners of the championship.  This is the bison’s best season since 2001.  Following their series with Rochester, the Bisons will compete in Triple-A’s 10-game “Final Stretch” playoff. Five of those games will be played at Sahlen Field from September 22-26.

Evening News Brief

Governor Hochul signed a law today which largely eliminates New York’s practice of incarcerating people for technical parole violations that include being late to an appointment with a parole officer, missing curfew, changing a residence without approval, and failing to attend a mandated program.  Proponents of the bill said that jailing people for these violations was unfair and caused recidivism.

The President and the Governor have both stated they will be pushing COVID booster shots as soon as they are approved or the general populace.  Pfizer and Moderna have assured the government that there will be no shortage of shots for those who want them.  The reason for a booster shot is that antibodies begin to decline over time.  Critics of the need for boosters, which include many health professionals from around the country, say that by focusing on antibodies we would need boosters every year but t-cell immunity, which controls antibody production, has been shown to last long after the antibodies decline.  Excelsior passes expire after a year and officials say there shouldn’t be a need to get booster shots to renew it.

As part of a statewide Day of Service project, employees of National Grid volunteered at Arc of Genesee Orleans in Batavia to dismantle obsolete machines, boxes, and pallets.  These had been used to recycle cans, cardboard, plastic, and newspapers. National Grid employees broke down and made ready for removal old equipment that wasn’t being used anymore.

Genesee county had 2 ribbon winners at the Cortland Fairgrounds on September 11th.  Eva Rhoads and Alexandria Tarbell competed at the New York State 4-H Hippology and Horse Judging Contest and came in 2nd overall in the state.  Individually in the Senior Division of the Hippology contest, Alexandria Tarbell placed 4th and Eva Rhoads placed 9th.  The 4-H Hippology Contest is an opportunity for youth to demonstrate their knowledge of equine science.  The contest consisted of written questions, identification stations, horse judging and a team problem.  Youth qualified to participate in the event by scoring well in their 4-H regional competition.

Fisher Price is making Buffalo Bills toys for tots.  The infant and small children’s toy company is now producing Lets Go Buffalo Little People figures such as Josh Allen, Sean McDermott, as well as 2 Bills Mafia Fans wearing team apparel and one has a chicken wing hat on.  100% of the proceeds from the set will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation, which supports Oishei Children’s Hospital.

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.

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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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