Local News

Weekend News Brief

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon has accepted the Farm Laborer’s Wage Board’s recommendation to lower the overtime threshold in New York state to 40 hours a week.  This would mean that farmers have to pay overtime to anyone who works more than 40 hours a week.  This is something that Farmers and workers both opposed for the last 2 years, sending videos and letters and social media posts to the board saying it was a bad idea and would destroy farming in New York and cause workers to leave to seek more hours outside the state.  Reardon said that the Department of Labor had to do this to enforce equity.  The Board’s report recommended that the reduction in overtime hours take place by reducing the overtime work limit by 4 hours every other year beginning in 2024 until reaching 40 hours in 2032, giving agriculture businesses proper time to adjust.

Police responded to shots fired near Evans Street in Batavia Friday night.  Sergeant Coffey approached a suspect who took off running.  Coffey gave chase and followed the man from Evans to Court street where he tackled him and placed him under arrest.  Batavia Police and Firefighters then searched the area until they found a gun under a bush between KeyBank’s ATM and M&T Bank.  The report is still under investigation and detectives are working on linking the man and gun and whatever charges should be filed. 

A football player from Geneseo High School is now out of the hospital after being seriously injured during a game last week.  Julian Huffman was rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital last Friday for emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain.  Huffman’s mother said her son came home from the hospital Thursday night.  She said he’s walking around and eating, and doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

The City of Batavia will be flushing and testing fire hydrants Monday and Tuesday in the area north of main street and east of bank street.  These tests will monitor the health of the city’s water system and get rid of material that settles in the pipes.   Homes and businesses nearby will be affected. These tests may result in a temporary discoloration of water in that area. As in the past, please do not attempt to wash any clothing if your water appears discolored. If you do experience a discoloration of your water, run cold water for about 5 minutes or until clear.

The Salvation Army has responded to Hurricane Ian with people on the ground and providing water, food, clean up supplies and mental and spiritual support.  If you would like to support the efforts to help people in Florida through the Salvation Army you can send money to their church on East Main Street.  They say that it is too early to send goods such as blankets and clothes as the infrastructure has not been set up yet.  The best way to help is monetarily and all donations will go directly to the relief efforts.  This is a part of the Salvation Army’s motto, “Doing The Most Good.”

Afternoon News Brief

Veterans have recently become the target of a scam to pay outlandish fees for copies of their military discharge papers. A company out of Phoenix, Arizona, named DD214 DIRECT, charges veterans $79 for a copy of their papers or $119 for an e-mail copy with a hard copy to follow. However, they should never have to pay anything. After leaving military service, veterans should file their discharge papers with the Clerk’s Office in the county where they reside. The original papers are always returned to the veteran. A FREE certified copy will be provided to the veteran, or parent, spouse, dependent or child of the veteran at any time. There is never any reason to pay fees for these records. NYS Military Law prohibits disclosure of information on the discharge papers to anyone else without the written authorization of the veteran. These papers are preserved permanently and will always be available when needed.

 

Teen ready to get Covid vaccine – file photo

Public health officials are encouraging eligible residents in our region to get vaccinated with the updated booster shot against COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control recently approved the reformulated boosters to further protect against the disease. Anyone 12 years of age and older are now eligible to receive an updated booster two months after their last COVID-19 dose; either since their last booster shot or since completing their initial two vaccine doses. The CDC suggests that people who had COVID-19 recently may consider waiting three months from the start of their symptoms or a positive test before getting the updated booster shot. People who have questions about COVID-19 vaccines should talk to their physician or visit http://www.getyouranswers.org.

 

Gas prices continue their downward trend. According to Triple A this morning, the nationwide average price for a gallon of gas is $3.80; in New York State, it’s $3.62. In Batavia, we’re paying an average price of $3.81, which is only 56 cents higher than we paid one year ago today.

 

 

Travis Lewis III

Two people are facing charges in connection with a shooting that seriously injured a three-year-old boy. Prosecutors say 34-year-old Travis Lewis the third and a 16-year-old were involved in a shootout on North Clinton Avenue in Rochester on Wednesday night. During that exchange of gunfire a bullet hit Marlo Joseph while he was sitting in his car seat. Joseph was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was last listed in critical, but stable, condition. Lewis is behind bars without bail and the teen was sent to the Monroe County Children’s Detention Center.

 

Christopher Koch

The criminal case against New Era Cap Company CEO Christopher Koch has now been dropped. Koch was involved in an argument earlier this year with his girlfriend’s ex-husband in the parking lot of Oliver’s Restaurant in Buffalo. At one point, Koch drove his vehicle towards the man but didn’t hit him. His attorney tells WGRZ the judge’s decision yesterday to drop the case against Koch was supported by new evidence that was uncovered. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says it cannot comment on the ruling because the case is now sealed.

 

BB gun – file photo

A student at Kenmore West High School is in some serious trouble for having BB gun on school property. Officials were notified yesterday that the student had a weapon and it later was found during a search of their locker. The student, whose name wasn’t released, was detained and Town of Tonawanda police were contacted. The school district says students and their families can help keep schools safe by reporting any suspicious activity immediately.

 

 

Lithium-ion battery – file photo

State Attorney General Letitia James has issued a consumer alert involving lithium-ion batteries that are used to power e-bikes, e-scooters, and hoverboards. She’s warning New Yorkers about the potential dangers those batteries pose because they have been known to cause fires that have led to injuries and even deaths. James says people should only purchase these batteries from a trusted manufacturer and store them in a safe place. And when it’s time to dispose of a battery, bring it to a proper recycling location.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills will be back in action this weekend as they try and rebound from their first loss of the season. The Bills are going to be on the road to take on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Last week, Buffalo was beaten by their AFC East division rivals the Miami Dolphins by a final score of 21 to 19 and the team has a record of two wins and one loss. Kickoff for Sunday afternoon’s game is set for 1:00.

 

So long, hope to see you (or some of your friends) again soon…

No one has been lucky enough to win the Mega Millions or Powerball games lately and that means the jackpots have now reached a combined $677,000,000. There will be at least $355,000,000 up for grabs in Mega Millions this evening and the Powerball prize for tomorrow is sitting at $322,000,000. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Two people are facing charges in connection with a shooting that seriously injured a three-year-old boy. Prosecutors say 34-year-old Travis Lewis the third and a 16-year-old were involved in a shootout on North Clinton Avenue Wednesday night. During that exchange of gunfire Marlo Joseph was hit by a bullet while he was sitting in his car seat. Joseph was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was last listed in critical, but stable, condition. Lewis is behind bars without bail and the teen was sent to the Monroe County Children’s Detention Center.

New York State is trying to make it easier on folks to purchase electric vehicles. Yesterday, Governor Hochul said the state is adding ten million dollars toward a Drive Clean Rebate Program. People purchasing electric vehicles could get up two thousand dollars off per vehicle through the rebate program. The governor is also directing the State Department of Environmental Conservation to take action that’ll require all new SUVs, pickup trucks and passenger cars sold in the Empire State to be zero emissions by 2035.

Well that stinks!  A tractor trailer carrying liquid manure crashed on I90 between Depew and Pembroke around 4pm Thursday.  The truck was heading eastbound when the accident happened.  The tractor and trailer split and the manure spread across the highway.  Police redirected traffic off the highway at exit 49.  It took till after 10pm to get the mess cleaned up and traffic back to normal.  State Police are investigating the reason for the crash. 

You see them everywhere.  Help wanted signs.  Nearly every industry is hiring and they aren’t alone.  The Batavia City Police department is trying to get more people to take the civil service exam after the last few were less than half the normal number.  This is causing officers to have to work more short shift overtime and not having enough for special details.  The schools are having trouble getting enough teachers and the bus driver shortages have been in the news for the last 2 years.  The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough people looking for work in some situations.  Empire Hemp said they got over 300 applications for a job at the store, but over 290 of them just wanted to smoke pot and dropped out when they found out they couldn’t get high on the job.  There are more people in the labor force now than there were last year and the year before.  Demand is still high.  Now is a great time to find work.

The Ascension Parish is getting ready for Oktoberfest this Saturday.  From 5 to 10 pm come out to eat, drink, dance and sing at 19 Sumner St.  The headliners for the event are The German American Musicians and of course, German and American beer.  The German American Musicians is a 25-member band founded in 1933.  It is a  not-for-profit cultural organization dedicated to the cultivation and performance of the traditional music and culture of German-speaking lands.  Admission is 5 dollars per person.  Kids 12 and under are free.  For details and to get presale tickets, only available till 5 today, go to ascensionoktoberfest.com.

It may be colder than summer but some people just can’t wait for the snow and ice.  And they can go to David M McCarthy Arena today through Sunday to get out on the ice during the open house.  The McCarthy Ice Arena welcomes the community back to the arena for another great year of winter sports.  Stop by the Evans Street arena and check out the recent improvements to the rink, enjoy discounted public events, cheer on area youth and adult hockey teams, and food specials at the newly opened snack shop.  There is a skate and shoot this afternoon from 3 to 5 for 5 dollars and public skate with free rentals from 7 to 9pm.  Saturday from 1-3 a skate to raise money for Batavia Schools and Sunday a family skate.  1 dollar hotdogs are on sale all weekend and several games will be played Saturday and Sunday.

The Buffalo Bills will be back in action this weekend as they try and rebound from their first loss of the season. The Bills are going to be on the road to take on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Last week, Buffalo was beaten by their AFC East division rivals the Miami Dolphins by a final score of 21 to 19 and the team has a record of two wins and one loss. Kickoff for Sunday’s game is set for one p-m.

Afternoon News Brief

McDonald’s Eastown Plaza – file photo

The investigation continues into a robbery this morning at McDonald’s on East Main Street. At 5:36am, a white male wearing a gray-hooded sweatshirt and a mask, walked up to the drive through window and demanded money. The suspect stole the cash drawer from the register and fled the scene and was last seen on foot running westbound behind 555 East Main Street. No one was injured and the suspect got away with an undetermined amount of money. Anyone with information should contact the Batavia Police immediately on their confidential tip line: 345-6370.

 

A Byron man has been sentenced to 5 years for raping a person under the age of 17 in the Target parking lot in January of last year. 21-year-old Shawn Myers is a volunteer firefighter and carries diagnoses of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. The victim suffered physical injury and still experiences emotional trauma from the event. The judge told Myers that he should spend the time in prison learning not to force people to do things against their will and to learn a trade.

 

Governor Hochul – Congressman Zeldin

A new poll is out and it reveals one candidate still has a double-digit lead in the race for New York governor. The Siena College Research Institute says Governor Hochul has a 17-point advantage over her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. Last month, the governor was ahead by 14 points in this contest. Hochul is looking to earn a full four-year term in office after taking over for ex-governor Andrew Cuomo last year. Zeldin is attempting to be the first Republican to be elected governor since George Pataki. Election Day is a little over a month away, on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

 

When the new state firearms laws were passed in July, many people across the GLOW region expressed opposition. New restrictions The Concealed Carry Improvement Act established include strict new standards for the purchase, possession and carrying of firearms. The requirements to obtain a New York state concealed carry pistol permit were expanded to include mandatory training, in-person interviews, and a review of the person’s social media posts. Permit re-certification and renewals are also now required. Firearms have also been forbidden from “sensitive areas” such as bars, libraries, schools, government buildings, parks, and protests. Violating the new laws is a felony offense. Most believe that law-abiding citizens will be the only ones to follow the new laws. And in fact, many believe the new law that took effect on September 1st place unprecedented and overly restrictive conditions on the process of applying for, obtaining, utilizing, maintaining and then recertifying a conceal carry permit for personal protection and other legal uses. Many members of the County legislatures find the new laws to be a gross violation of the Constitution and plan to work with other counties across the state to repeal it.

 

 

Positive COVID test result

For the first time since late spring, there have been more than 100 new COVID-19 cases reported in Genesee County in back-to-back weeks. Last week, there were 123 new positive tests reported to the Health Department; this week, there were 115. New case reports were well below 100 most weeks throughout the summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the county’s current transmission risk is “medium.”

 

Andrew Cuomo

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s time to move forward. In a video posted online, the 64-year-old Cuomo said being forced from office more than a year ago gave him time to reflect. Cuomo said he plans to do a weekly podcast and wants to start a political action committee with goals of electing the right people to office. Cuomo also wants to start a Gun Safety America Project.

 

Dane Jackson

A few weeks after being involved in a scary collision, Buffalo Bills cornerback Dane Jackson has returned to the field. Jackson was a limited participant in yesterday’s practice as the Bills started preparing to take on the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson was injured earlier this month when he was accidentally hit in the head by his teammate Tremaine Edmunds. There’s no word if Jackson is going to play in Sunday’s game in Baltimore.

Morning News Brief

Judge Melissa Cianfrini

A man from Byron has been sentenced to 5 years for raping a minor in a Target parking lot.  21 year old Shawn Myers was convicted of forcing a person less than 17 years old on January 28th 2021.  The girl suffered physical injury and still suffers emotional trauma from the rape.  Myers, a volunteer firefighter who suffers from PTSD, anxiety, and depression, was assured that prison staff would make sure he had access to his medication.  The judge, Melissa Cianfrini, told Myers that he should spend the time in prison learning not to force people to do things against their will and learn a trade.

A 3 year old in Rochester is in the hospital with life threatening injuries after being shot while sitting in a car in front of Clinton Grocery.  Just before 6pm on Wednesday night two people opened fire at each other on Scrantom Ave, between the store and gas station.  Police were on the scene and chased the shooters to a home on Sullivan Street where multiple people were arrested and 2 handguns were seized.  The child was taken by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital where he went into surgery.  Mayor Malik Evans said “We are dealing with individuals who have no regard for life. Not for their own life, and not for the people living in these communities that are sick of it. The vast majority of people in this neighborhood are good hardworking people.”  The shooting remains under investigation.

There is a frost advisory for Friday morning for most of Western NY.  Temperatures in the lower to middle 30s will result in frost formation. The lowest temperatures will be further inland away from the lakeshores.  Frosts can kill vulnerable plants if they are not covered. 

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo says he wants to move forward.  In a video posted online, the 64-year-old Cuomo said being forced from office more than a year ago gave him time to reflect.  Cuomo said he plans to do a weekly podcast and he’s “starting a political action committee to elect the right people to office.”  He also said he was “starting the Gun Safe America Project,” with more details to be announced.

Governor Hochul says she is putting an additional 50-million dollars towards public safety. Local police departments will receive a total of 30-million-dollars to upgrade technologies and another 20-million will be used to support pre-trial services. This is in addition to the 227-million-dollars that was put aside in the state budget approved earlier this year. The funding comes on the heels of Hochul promising those in law enforcement that she will assist them in any way possible.

Governor Hochul has a commanding lead against Lee Zeldin in the latest Siena Poll.  She is ahead by 17 points.  The lead currently stands at 54 to 37 percent, which is up slightly from 53 to 39 percent in August.  At the beginning of September a different poll showed she was only up by 4 points.  The New York Times warned 2 weeks ago that polling has been misleading and democrat candidates would assume their lean is much smaller than shown in polls.  Election Day is a little over a month away, on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

A football player from Geneseo High School is recovering from a life threatening injury sustained during a game on Friday.  Senior Julian Huffman was rushed off the field during Friday’s game against York with a severe brain injury.  Officials are unsure what happened to cause the injury, between plays Huffman collapsed on the field.  Huffman was rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital for emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain.  He has been up and walking and talking for short periods of time according to a friend of the family.  He hopes to continue playing and play in college.

Cornerback Dane Jackson was back in practice Wednesday after being ambulanced off the field on Friday.  The Buffalo Bills are dealing with a long injury report early in a season which they entered with high expectations.  In the secondary, safety Micah Hyde is out for the season with a neck injury. Hyde was injured in the same game as Jackson. Safety Jordan Poyer was limited in practice on Wednesday. Cornerback Christian Benford is week-to-week and recently had surgery on his hand. Star cornerback Tre’Davious White started the season on the reserve list after an ACL tear ended his 2021 campaign.  Tight end Dawson Knox and defensive tackle Ed Oliver were also limited in practice Wednesday due to injuries. Ryan Bates (concussion protocol), Dion Dawkins (illness), Jake Kumerow and Jordan Philips did not practice due to injury.

Afternoon News Brief

Zachary McCaa

A Livingston County man is behind bars after being accused of murdering his two-month-old son. According to the District Attorney’s Office, 26-year-old Zachary McCaa of Caledonia took the child’s life back in June by throwing him and violently shaking him. McCaa was originally charged with assault but he is now charged with murder, child endangerment and manslaughter. He returns to court in November.

 

 

 

 

Jerome Ware

59-year-old Jerome Ware of New Rochelle, Westchester County has turned himself in after a Warsaw resident was allegedly defrauded out of more than $5,500. The victim received a telephone call April 7 from a person claiming to be a Verizon Wireless employee and was able to get the victim’s account information; and then placed an order for four smartphones; they were reportedly delivered to an address in Mount Vernon, New York. A joint investigation found that a FedEx driver was also involved, delivering to places other than their intended addresses. Ware was charged with first-degree identity theft and third-degree grand larceny. He was released on his own recognizance and is to appear Nov. 7 in Warsaw Town Court.

 

Daniel Warmus

An Alden man has been sentenced for taking part in the violent protests that happened at the United States Capitol last year. Yesterday, a judge ordered 38-year-old Daniel Warmus to spend 45 days behind bars and the next two years on probation. Warmus has admitted to entering the Capitol building on January 6th, 2021 without permission. Thousands of people stormed the Capitol to try and prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s 2020 victory over former President Donald Trump.

 

Governor Hochul – Congressman Zeldin

Both Governor Hochul and her Republican challenger Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin have each picked up an endorsement from a law enforcement group. The Police Benevolent Association of New York State has thrown its support behind the governor as she tries to win a full four-year term in office. And, Congressman Zeldin has the endorsement of the Police Conference of New York. Crime has been a big issue in the race for governor as both candidates have clashed on things like gun violence and bail reform laws.

 

Election Day is just a few weeks away, and the New York State Board of Elections says an electronic ballot system is going to help some residents vote. The system is designed to assist folks who are visually impaired. Voters will be able to do things such as increase font size, use a screen reader, and change the color contrast of a ballot before making their selections. Applications for these absentee ballots can be filled out online.

 

 

Buffalo Bills block party – September 2022

Another Buffalo Bills Block Party will be happening this weekend as the defending AFC East champions take on the Baltimore Ravens. Organizers say West Chippewa Street between Delaware Avenue and Franklin Street in Buffalo is going to be shut down to traffic during the gathering. The event will feature two large video screens, a live DJ during commercial breaks and a halftime show. General admission starts at $10 and tickets can be purchased at ticketweb.com.

Morning News Brief

A man from Brooklyn was arrested after leading Wyoming County Sheriff’s Deputies on a chase from Perry to Warsaw Saturday.  18 year old Donte Dennis was driving 63 mile per hour in a 40 zone when deputies attempted to pull him over in Perry Center.  He took off and deputies gave chase.  Dennis crashed his car at the top of East Hill in Warsaw and was taken into custody.  He was found to be driving under the influence of drugs.  Dennis is charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful fleeing a police officer, reckless driving, speeding more than 55 miles per hour, speeding, failure to keep right, driving an unregistered vehicle, switched registration, driving without insurance, and passing in a no passing zone.

A Livingston County man is behind bars after being accused of murdering his two-month-old son. According to the District Attorney’s Office, 26-year-old Zachary McCaa of Caledonia took the child’s life by throwing him and violently shaking him at a residence on Iroquois Road back in June. McCaa was originally charged with assault but he is now charged with murder, child endangerment and manslaughter. He’s set to be back in court again in November.

A man who ran for both mayor and to be on the city council in Syracuse was arrested at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport Tuesday morning for attempting to get through security with a loaded gun.  Security agents said they caught, Alfonso Davis, 56, with a concealed 9mm handgun loaded with 14 bullets at the TSA checkpoint.  The gun was concealed in a sling, inches from the man’s hand, according to a TSA spokesperson.  Davis claimed he forgot he had his gun with him.  He was charged with third degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm in a sensitive location.

The weekend of October 8th and 9th is pheasant hunting weekend in Western New York.  The DEC has announced a special youth only hunting weekend for kids 12-15 to hunt pheasant with a licensed adult hunter.  In Niagara county, three state parks will be open for the hunt, Joseph Davis, Golden Hill, and Wilson-Tuscarora will have a permit lottery for hunters to go after their stocked pheasants. Two hunts will take place each day – one from sunrise until 12:30 p.m. and the other from 12:30 p.m. until sunset.  Youth hunters must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter during the pheasant hunt. The accompanying adult can not possess a firearm or take a pheasant during the weekend. Youth hunters will be allowed to take two birds per day.

Election day is just a little more than a month away and the New York State Board of Elections has announced a new way for people with vision impairments to get their ballots online.  By applying for an accessible ballot using the request portal on the state Board of Election site you will receive an email directing you on how to get your ballot.  Voters can now increase the font size on the ballot and change the color contrast and use a screen reader to help make ballot selections.  After the ballot is completed, the voter can print and return it using a return envelope that will be sent to them.

Batavia First United Methodist Church, on Lewiston Rd., will be holding a Rummage & Estate Sale on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.   There will be many estate and household items for sale, in addition to toys, furniture, holiday items, books & fresh produce.  A bag sale begins at 1 p.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Genesee County Fairgrounds will host one of the largest sports card and collectible shows in the region. There will be roughly 100 vendor tables full of sports cards, autographs, supplies, hobby boxes and non-sports-related collectibles.  The show/sale will be from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and have free admission.  There will also be a food truck available on site. 

The Buffalo Bills have placed Offensive Lineman Tommy Doyle on injured reserve after a torn ACL took him off the field against Miami on Sunday.  He will be replaced by Justin Murray who signed on for a 1 year contract earlier this week.  Murray is a 6-year veteran who spent the last three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He started his career as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos in 2016.  The Bills also signed cornerback Xavier Rhodes who will be added to the practice squad.  Rhodes has played with the Colts for the last 2 years.  He started in nearly 30 games for Indianapolis. 

Afternoon News Brief

1934 – C.L. Carr – Obsolete Scrip

The Carr’s Reborn project for the former C.L. Carr Department Store on Main Street has met another goal to get their project moving. Approved by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Committee earlier this month, the project received approval by the City Council last night and account for $1,000,000 of a Restore NY grant application that totals $2 million. No one spoke during a public hearing about the application, and City Council later voted to pursue the grant. The former Carr’s site is expected to accommodate several upper floor apartments with business and office use on the ground floor.

 

Power companies like National Grid are predicting that winter heating costs will rise again this year by at least 39 percent. For many homes already struggling with food and gas prices, the increase in heating costs are likely to have a significant impact. Starting November 1st applications for Home Energy Assistance Program benefits will be accepted. If you are eligible your household will automatically be enrolled in National Grid’s Energy Affordability Program. Check in with Genesee County’s department of social services to help determine eligibility.

 

 

The New York State Department of Health has launched a new website to support Empire State residents who are dealing with the effects of long COVID. The website provides a variety of information such as how people can seek treatment from healthcare providers. Officials say anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, even kids, is at risk of getting long COVID and symptoms could last for months. It is recommended everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated against the coronavirus receive their shots and an updated booster to avoid getting seriously ill. Here is a direct link to their website:  https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/long_covid/

 

 

Unemployment insurance fraud has cost state taxpayers $11,000,000 every month so far this year…that totals $110 million. Governor Hochul explained that this means there are people who are working and also collecting unemployment. A new system will soon be in place to identify people who are scamming and get the money back. People found to have been working will be given a chance to explain and then, if their explanation doesn’t legitimately support also receiving unemployment benefits, their wages can be garnished or they can be turned over to law enforcement.

 

 

Jupiter

The largest planet in the solar system will be closer to Earth tonight than it will be at any time over the next 1000 years. You can find Jupiter in the east after sunset. It’s hard to miss, even from a light-polluted city, as it will be the brightest object in the sky. As the night progresses, it rises higher into the sky, eventually appearing in the southeast around 11 p.m. It hasn’t been this visible since 1963.

 

“The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.” – Will Rogers

Another Mega Millions drawing has come and gone without a winner and that means the jackpot is still on the rise. Whoever picks all of the correct numbers ahead of tonight’s drawing will be able to claim at least $325,000,000. However, the odds of winning the game’s top prize are an astronomical one in 302,000,000. A ticket costs $2 and anyone who wants to watch the drawing live can do so online. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

The man who was shot dead in his car Sunday morning in Rochester has been identified as retired Rochester police officer William Keith Booker.  Booker was fatally shot near the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Iceland Park around 2 a.m. Officers say he was driving south on Jefferson, when he struck a parked and unoccupied car. It’s unknown at this time if he was shot before or after the accident.  Officer Booker served RPD from 1996 until his retirement in 2017. He previously spent 10 years as a School Resource Officer at Franklin High School, working to prevent violence in our youth population.  His death comes two months after Rochester Police Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz was shot and killed in the line of duty, making an already challenging year for the RPD family even more difficult.   No arrests have been made as of yet.

New York is out 110 million dollars so far this year because of unemployment insurance fraud according to the State Department of Labor.  Governor Hochul says that means 11 million dollars a month get stolen from taxpayers by people who are working while collecting unemployment.  She says a news system will find all the people who are doing this and get the money back.  People found to have been working will be given a chance to explain and then, if their explanation isn’t good enough, their wages can be garnished or they can be turned over to law enforcement.

Companies like National Grid are expecting winter heating costs to rise again this year by at least 39 percent.  For many homes already struggling with 12 percent inflation at the grocery store and gas prices at least a dollar more than last year per gallon the increase in heating costs will be the difference between being able to have heat or food or transportation.  There is help.  Starting November 1st you can apply for Home Energy Assistance Program benefits.  If you are eligible it automatically enrolls your household in National Grid’s Energy Affordability Program.  Check with your county’s department of social services for eligibility.

With access to cameras everywhere we go the threat of someone misusing them is always with us.  The FBI and local law enforcement are warning people about sexstortion, someone using threats to get compromising or sexual pictures from people.  Be very careful what you share online or over the phone.  People threatening to expose secrets or private information if they don’t get sexual pictures or videos is on the rise and not just with school age kids.  Adults and even seniors are being targeted.  It’s easy to avoid though, just don’t share private information or pictures of yourself that could be used to embarrass you online or with friends.  Turn off phones when not in use or put pieces of tape or paper over laptop cameras or webcams in case of hacking.  If you get threats you can call the police or FBI.  

The largest planet in the solar system will be nearer to Earth than at any point in the next thousand years tonight.  If you look up the planet Jupiter will be the brightest point of light in the sky.  It hasn’t been this visible since 1963.

Afternoon News Brief

Ronald Washburn

62-year-old Ronald Washburn of Stafford is arrested and now accused of engaging in sexual conduct with a child under the age of 13, on two or more occasions while babysitting the child between 2008 and 2012. Washburn was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

 

 

 

 

29-year-old Samantha Kent of LeRoy was arrested for aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, following too closely, failure to stop for a school bus and driving while ability was impaired. Her arrest followed the recent motor vehicle accident in the City involving a school bus. Kent was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released on her own recognizance. She returns to court on October 11th.  Also from the Police Blotter, 33-year old Jessica Eschenlauer of Batavia has been arrested and charged with criminal contempt, assault and unlawful imprisonment. She allegedly restrained another person, who was the protected party of an order of protection; Eschenlauer also punched the same individual, causing physical injury. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and is scheduled to return to Court at a later date.

 

Jeremy Ives

Jeremy Ives of Batavia has been indicted on two counts of attempted assault, menacing, kidnapping and criminal use of a firearm. He is accused of attempting to cause serious physical injury to a person using a shotgun in the City of Batavia and accused of abducting another person on that same day. Also indicted, Iverson Davis of Batavia has been indicted on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the form of Western Union Money Orders. He is accused of stealing property with a value of over $3000 at Batavia Downs.

 

Rainbow fentanyl

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for funding to help in the fight against fentanyl. Yesterday, the New York Democrat said he wants federal money to battle the growing threat of “rainbow fentanyl,” which are highly addictive pills that look like candy. The 290-million-dollars in funds would be used to sustain dozens of overdose response strategy teams. Over 107-thousand Americans passed away from drug overdoses last year. Fentanyl is said to be stronger than both heroin and morphine.

 

 

Plane crash site, Clarence, NY

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to release its preliminary report on a weekend plane crash in Western New York within the next two or three weeks. The NTSB says the small aircraft went down in a wooded area Saturday near the Clarence Aerodrome Airport. The pilot, 70-year-old Lee Hardy, is at Erie County Medical Center where he was last listed in stable condition. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

 

 

The Canadian government announced today that as of October 1st, it would no longer require people to wear masks on planes. Government officials also confirmed Canada is dropping the vaccine requirement for people entering the country and plans to end random COVID-19 testing at airports. Filling out information in what became an unpopular ArriveCan app will also no longer be required, which some people blamed for delays at airports. The government will also no longer require passengers to have pre-board tests for cruise ships.

 

 

“COVID brain”

COVID isn’t going away, but there’s a switch from focusing on daily cases to the long-term effects on those who have recovered. The latest study, in the journal Nature, found mild brain disorders occurred in 7% more of participants who previously had COVID compared with another group that hadn’t been infected. Most noticeable were changes in parts of the brain that affect memory, and tissue damage in regions linked to smell. Also, post-infected people showed larger cognitive decline than control subjects did between scans. (Image shows a brain model with areas in bright pink and dark red that have been found to be most effected over the longer-term.)

 

 

The latest data from Triple A shows the price of gas is still on the decline in our region. Right now, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in Batavia is $3.85. That’s down 10 cents from a week ago, and 50 cents cheaper than this time last month. The state average is currently sitting at $3.68, which is also down a dime in the last seven days. The national average is $3.71.

 

 

Josh Allen during the Dolphins game, 9/25/22

Following two blowout wins to start the season, the Buffalo Bills have suffered their first loss. Buffalo had the ball with seconds left in the game but failed to score and fell to the Miami Dolphins by a final score of 21 to 19 at Hard Rock Stadium yesterday. Bills quarterback Josh Allen completed 42 of his 63 passes, for 400 yards and two touchdowns for his team, whose record is now two wins and one loss. Up next for Buffalo another 1:00 start next Sunday, as they make a road trip to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.

Morning News Brief

On Saturday around 12:50pm Amherst Fire responded to reports that a plane had crashed in Clarence.  They found a single engine plane had gone down just south of Clarence Aerodrome.  Mercy Flight responded and the pilot, who was trapped in the cockpit with serious injuries, was airlifted to ECMC.  No details yet on what caused the crash or where the plane was going to at the time of the crash.

Another weekend of violence in Rochester with 2 people murdered and several shootings.  Around 11pm on Saturday police responded to an alley off Pearce Street for a report of a body.  They found a woman who had been murdered.  She was in her 30s or 40s and has not yet been identified.  Then at around 2am on Sunday morning police responded to a motor vehicle accident on Jefferson and Iceland Park.  They found a man in his 50s with a gunshot wound to his upper body.  He was pronounced dead at UR Medical Center.  Saturday morning a woman in her 20s was shot on Third Street.  She was taken to Rochester General with non-life threatening injuries.  This brings the number of murders in Rochester to 62.

From Buffalo to Rochester and everywhere in between thieves are making off with cars catalytic converters.  Police in Brighton gave out kits to try to prevent theft of catalytic converters at an event on Sunday at Brighton High School.  The kits include a non destructible tag and an engraving fluid to put a serial number on the converter.  People steal the car parts to sell to scrap companies, the hope is that these tags and serial numbers will allow scrap companies to report people who sell stolen converters.  The kits were free and donated by the Empire Chapter of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and by Metalico-Rochester.

The latest data from Triple A shows the price of gas is still on the decline in Western New York. Right now, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is 3.84 in Batavia. That’s down a dime in the past week and is 50 cents cheaper than this time one month ago. The state average is currently sitting at 3.68, which is down ten cents in the last seven days and the national average is 3.71.

Have you seen the new mural being painted on the back of GO ART! By Perry resident Dan Butler?  The mural on Seymour Place is of many different people holding flowers and is meant to show a welcome for everyone.  Butler paints the people and Jill Pettigrew paints the flowers they hold.  Go take a look and be welcomed.

The Buffalo Bills tried to feast on some fish Sunday afternoon but quickly realized that Buffalo are vegetarian and Dolphins aren’t fish.  Miami beat Buffalo 21 to 19 for the Bill’s first loss of the season.  Both teams were 2 and 0 going in.  Buffalo went in without safety Micah Hyde who will be out for the rest of the season with a neck injury.  The game was fraught with failed conversions, fumbles and a safety.  The Bill’s next game is Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens at 1p.  

Weekend News Brief

The City of Rochester is shutting down illegal gatherings in an attempt to deal with the rash of shootings.  Just Thursday night 2 people were shot, 1 killed in shootings out on the streets of the city.  Mayor Malik Evans said that a large chunk of the shootings were at unsanctioned parties outside rec centers and restaurants.  He asked the public to help by not gathering in crowds and also to blow the whistle on any they hear about so police can break them up before someone gets hurt.  RPD’s open data portal shows there have been 240 shootings in the city so far this year. 51 of the city’s 60 homicides have been a result of gun violence.

The highway department will be doing paving work on Morganville Rd and Lover’s Lane this week.  Morganville Road between Horseshoe Lake Road and Rt 237 and East Morganville Road between Morganville Rd and 237 in Stafford will be getting worked on Monday through Wednesday.  The roads will be closed to through traffic while the work is being done.  Lover’s Lane between 33 and South Main St Rd will be closed Tuesday.  Residents will be able to get to their properties but should expect delays.  Both these projects are weather permitting so if there is rain they will be pushed back.

Governor Hochul announced the second part of the initiative to find bus drivers as New York goes through a major shortage.  This part allows third parties to administer the CDL road test.  Companies can now apply for certification through the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Since launching in January, the DMV has designed training systems to certify future road test examiners and quickened the process of obtaining a Commercial Driver License.  Additionally, drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 with a valid New York State license can now apply for a Class A Commercial Driver License.

October 29th is the day law enforcement agencies will be accepting unused pills and other prescription drugs at several different locations.  Alva Place parking lot, Pembroke Town Hall, and The LeRoy Police Department headquarters will accept drugs from 10am to 2pm.  The Batavia location is the only one to accept sharps.  The service is free and no questions will be asked.  This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long. The Batavia Police department has a site that is open all year long for dropping off unused drugs.

A new blessing box has been installed across from the new Quicklees and Tim Hortons at Emmanuel Baptist Church.  The box holds canned goods, toiletries, and easy to make foods for anyone who wants them.  The church asks that the public come and partake as needed.  And if you have extra, think of your neighbors and add something of your own to the box.  It is located on Noonan next to the church driveway. 

Afternoon News Brief

Cassandra Elmore

Cassandra Elmore, the woman accused of allowing her French Bulldog to overdose on narcotics twice, along with weapons and other charges, has now had one of her days in court. She had a short hearing yesterday after failing to appear for her court dates twice and being arrested on a warrant and then held in jail. She has now posted bail and will be returning to court October 20th. Once outside of the courthouse Elmore told a reporter that people aren’t hearing the real case and once they do, they’ll be embarrassed. At least until the end of the case, the dog is staying at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

 

The proposed Genesee County Airshow, Wings Over Batavia, is now on hold due to questions regarding how much it would end up costing the county. This week, Highway Superintendent Tim Hens presented a brief update about the air show and it’s progress towards a date next year. A Wings Over Batavia Committee established an LLC to accept and manage funds for the show. Each air act would have its own insurance policy, in addition to the LLC, which would protect the county’s liability. The last air show was 25 years ago and happened at the same time as the Batavia Wing Ding on Main Street. Most of the present cost concern focuses on how much law enforcement and security would be needed for the event. Hens said he expects to have more details available for the next air show meeting in early October. In the 90s, Wings Over Batavia would draw roughly 40,000 people.

 

We’ll soon find out just how true ‘if we build it, they will come’ really is; so far, it looks promising. There have now been three tenants signed to occupy a yet-to-be-built building. Leases have been signed by Starbucks, Jersey Mike’s (a sub sandwich shop) and Tropical Smoothie and they’ll set up shop in the parking lot area of the former Kmart on Lewiston road. The hope is to start building within weeks and the new businesses to be open and operating by the second quarter of next year; the building can accommodate 4 tenants. And then a second building will follow, sometime next year.

 

The Park Road construction project is nearing completion, which means it may once again be open to two-way traffic by mid-October. The repaving is 80 percent done and expected to be mostly completed by October 17th. The next steps will be the installation of streetlights and trees along the road. Photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

 

Expect delays

Expect traffic delays for the next two Mondays and Tuesdays in the areas of Chandler Avenue, Bank and Ross Streets from 7am until 3pm as crews resurface. While work is being performed, local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence and property but should plan accordingly for delays. Motorists are asked not to park on the roadway within the work areas. Please contact the Bureau of Maintenance if you have questions (585) 345-6400.

 

There will be a walk-in Covid and flu vaccine clinic tomorrow morning from 8 until noon at the Batavia VA Medical Center, building four, in the lab area. The clinic is for veterans only; please be sure to bring your vaccine card.

 

Governor Hochul is urging New Yorkers to start preparing now for higher energy costs that will be affecting them as temperatures fall. The governor says residents who are worried about paying their bills can apply for money from the Home Energy Assistance Program. It’s recommended that people begin taking steps to become more energy efficient and to request a free energy audit of their residence. The governor has also directed state agencies to convene fuel providers to make sure they have enough of a supply available to last through the coldest months.

 

Bills and Dolphins – 2021

The Buffalo Bills will be taking a trip to the Sunshine State as they try to pick up their third straight win to start the season. The Bills are going to battle their longtime AFC East rival the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Buffalo is coming off of two dominating victories over the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and the Tennessee Titans. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is scheduled for 1:00.

 

The jackpots of two popular lottery games are still growing and have now reached a combined total of over a half-billion dollars. The prize up for grabs for Mega Millions tonight is now at $301,000,000. And should someone win Powerball tomorrow night, they’ll receive at least $270,000,000. The price of a ticket for each of these games is $2. Both the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

The proposed Genesee County Airshow, Wings Over Batavia, is on hold after being tabled during the public service meeting on Wednesday.  The question is, how much will it cost?  County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens presented a brief update about the air show, and it has been progressing towards a 2023 date. A Wings Over Batavia Committee has established an LLC to accept and manage funds for the show, Hens said. Each air act would have its own insurance policy, in addition to the LLC, which would protect the county’s liability, he said.  The last airshow was 25 years ago and happened at the same time as the Batavia Wing Ding on Main street.  Most of the cost concern was about how much law enforcement would be needed for the event.  In the 90s, the show would draw roughly 40,000 people.

The 2 hotels on Noonan street just off the highway are closed by order of the City.  The signs on the doors say the Wyndham Resorts Super 8 and Days Inn hotels which are right off the highway across from Emmanuel Baptist Church and the new Quicklees Service Station and Tim Hortons have both been condemned due to lack of working fire alarms, no water, heat or electricity in areas of the hotels.  The hotels had been being used to house homeless members of the community since the beginning of the COVID pandemic and were also the site of many emergency service calls over the last 2 years including at least one shooting.

She has had her day in court, finally, and says that when “you get the real case. You’ll be embarrassed.”  Cassandra Elmore, the woman accused of allowing her French Bulldog Oddey to overdose on narcotics twice, along with weapons and other charges, had a short hearing Thursday after failing to appear for her court dates twice and being arrested to force her to appear.  She posted bail and is free once more and will be returning October 20th.  Outside of the courthouse she told a reporter that they aren’t getting the real case.  Assistant Public Defender Jamie Welch is representing Elmore.  Oddey is staying at the Genesee County Animal Shelter until the court case concludes.

Press Release from the Bureau of Maintenance:  All motorists please be aware that Bank Street, Chandler Avenue and Ross Street will experience traffic delays on Sep. 26 and 27 and Oct. 3 and 4 between the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for resurfacing operations.  While work is being performed in this area, local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence/property but should plan accordingly for delays.  All residents/businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the operation.  This is weather dependent work; if work is postponed it shall progress the next workday.

Genesee County Legislators unanimously signed a resolution to go to state representatives vehemently opposing the new Concealed Carry Improvement Act.  Members of the Public Service Committee said not only will the Legislature “vehemently, adamantly and with full resolve” oppose what members believe are “ill-advised provisions,” of the act, but they will also work with other counties to demand its full repeal based on being “unjust, ineffective, vague and unconstitutional.”  They underscored the prominence of the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and how the Concealed Carry is no improvement act. The Second Amendment states that “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  Copies of the county’s resolution will be sent to Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and state Senators George Borrello and Edward Rath III among others.

Genesee County STOP DWI is holding a poster contest for 6th through 12th graders to show the risks of drinking and driving.  The theme for the 2022 poster contest is, “Don’t risk it, drunk driving is always a losing game.”  Contestants should make a poster no larger than 9 by 12, and include the theme on it.  Posters should be in landscape format and have the artist’s name, address and phone number along with their grade, age and what school they attend on the back.  Posters can be handmade or computer generated as long as it is original work.  The grand prize winner will have their poster on a billboard in Genesee county and will get a gift card, poster, and sweet treat and be honored at a banquet in December.  1st-3rd place winners will get a gift card, commendation, poster and sweet treat and also be recognized at the luncheon.  Entries must be received by October 7th.

The Park Road construction is almost completed.  According to Western Region Off Track Betting Corp President Henry Wojtaszek, the repaving is 80 percent done and expected to be “substantially completed” by October 17th.  Next steps will be the installation of streetlights and trees along the road.  He also said that parking at the former Kmart parking lot is at owner risk as their lease with  Benderson Development has expired.

Attorney General Letitia James is being criticized for her lawsuit against the Trump family and businesses by former US Attorney General Bill Barr.  Barr says that the civil lawsuit shows that James is overreaching and suffering from Trump derangement Syndrome.  James is seeking a minimum of 250 million dollars and barring Trump or any of his family from operating in New York State.  James promised during her 2018 election campaign that she would spend every day suing Trump.

Afternoon News Brief

Jeremy Ives

A Genesee County grand jury has indicted a Batavia man accused of shooting two people and kidnapping a third during an altercation at the 7-11 store on East Main Street. 47-year-old Jeremy Ives is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree assault, second-degree kidnapping, one count of second-degree menacing, and the most serious of the charges, first-degree criminal use of a firearm. The latter is a felony and punishable by up to 25 years in prison. The shootings happened on August 12th; Ives allegedly shot a man and woman, with one of the victims requiring treatment at the scene and the other, at a hospital. He then attempted to flee the scene with several passengers; Ives knew many of the victims but police have not identified a motive. Ives remains in Genesee County Jail pending arraignment in Genesee County Court.

 

Expect delays

Expect traffic delays for the next two Mondays and Tuesdays in the areas of Chandler Avenue, Bank and Ross Streets from 7am until 3pm as crews resurface. While work is being performed, local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence and property but should plan accordingly for delays. Motorists are asked not to park on the roadway within the work areas. Please contact the Bureau of Maintenance if you have questions (585) 345-6400.

 

4169 West Main Street Road

The Town of Batavia Planning Board has approved the opening of a new convenience store, which will be located at the intersection of Routes 5 and 63. The owner, Ali Musa says the store will sell groceries, cigarettes, tobacco products, clothing and other miscellaneous household items. At this time, Musa does not intend to sell beer or other alcoholic beverages. The new store will be called F & M Convenience. Photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

The unemployment rate for Orleans County was at 4.2 percent in August. That’s the lowest it’s been for an August in Orleans in at least the last decade. And more good news: The unemployment rate in Genesee County remains at an even 3%, presently the lowest in the entire GLOW region. Nationally the unemployment rate is down from 5.3 percent in August 2021 to 3.8 percent in August 2022. Statewide the rate dropped from 6.7 to 4.9 percent.

 

 

Positive COVID test result

The latest data from the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments shows confirmed Covid cases are on the rise locally. In Orleans, over the last three weeks, the cases have increased from 39 to 64 in the second week, and then to 79. In Genesee, during the same period, the cases have increased from 62, 91 and 123. Genesee also recently reported two deaths from Covid and now has documented 200 Covid-related deaths since March 2020. The State Department of Health also is reporting another Covid-related death in Orleans County, putting the Covid deaths at 121 in Orleans during the pandemic. The federal CDC puts both Orleans and Genesee counties at medium for the community level for Covid.

 

Rawleigh and Skavon Andrews

A Greece woman has been arrested after being accused of murdering her husband. Police say that 68-year-old Skavon Andrews shot Rawleigh Andrews in the head on Tuesday. The victim’s body was found in the driveway of the Vintage Lane home that the couple shared. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing and anyone who has information can contact Greece police.

 

 

Letitia James-Donald Trump

State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a civil lawsuit against former President Trump for allegedly inflating his net worth. James says this legal action is the result of a three-year investigation, alleging Trump and his family falsified business records, stretched asset valuations, and committed insurance fraud. The lawsuit seeks a 250-million-dollar judgment that would also ban any member of the Trump family from leading a business in New York State. In a statement, Trump called James’ lawsuit quote “another witch hunt.”

 

A Buffalo man is facing up to the next seven years in prison for his role in a crash that killed an infant. Prosecutors say 20-year-old Gino Cesar was speeding on Genesee Street in Cheektowaga last December when his car went through a red light at Pine Ridge Road and struck another vehicle. A six-month-old child in that vehicle died and another passenger was seriously hurt. Cesar pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and assault and is expected to be sentenced in November.

Morning News Brief

An official in Canada says that the vaccine requirement to cross the border will soon be dropped.  Canada is similar to the United States in that it requires non citizens to be vaccinated when entering the country. It is not immediately known whether the U.S. will make a similar move by Sept. 30. Congressman Brian Higgins is calling on the United States to end its COVID-related restrictions and in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security he said “the time is long overdue for the United States to cease its own COVID-19- related restrictions on our northern border.”  The official says that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to give final sign off on the decision but that the government will likely be dropping the requirement as well ending random COVID testing at airports.  ArriveCan will also be going away.

Governor Hochul has agreed to a general election debate for the governors race against candidate Lee Zeldin.  The debate will be hosted by Spectrum News NY1 at Pace University on October 25 at 7 p.m.  The Zeldin campaign responded to the offer with criticism — and without committing to the NY1 debate, while noting Zeldin already accepted two debate offers.  Zeldin said that Hochul is trying to get away with having the debate after absentee ballots had started being collected for over a month and that the debate she offered will miss millions of New Yorkers who don’t get NY1.  Absentee ballots are sent out beginning tomorrow.

The Buffalo Public School Board of Education is weighing plans to pay parents to drive their kids to school as the bus driver shortage for the city continues.  The Board is considering whether or not to implement a $856,000 Parent Transportation Reimbursement Pilot Program. This program would allow up to 15,000 parents in the district to earn 63 cents for every mile they drive to when taking their children to and from school.  Parents and community members are skeptical of the idea. Board member at-large, Larry Scott said he can’t stand behind a solution that will throw nearly $1 million dollars when it hasn’t been proven.  The Board sent out a survey to parents to see if they were willing to drive their kids. Less than 5 percent of respondents said they would.  Most cited work being in the way.

The Batavia Business Improvement District Scarecrow Contest has begun!  Get ready to see scarecrows lining main street through the city.  All set to the theme of dead celebrities.  If you haven’t signed up for one yet, you can register and pay 20 dollars at downtownbatavia.com by Friday and go pick up supplies to make one from Jackson Square on Saturday between 9 and 12.  Anyone can join in the fun.  Scarecrows will be up till November 4th and the public will vote on which they think is the best.  There are cash prizes for the top 3.  At the same time the scarecrows are going up, the Batavia wine walk will take place October 1st and the road will be lined with pink pumpkins for breast cancer awareness month.

If you go out to the tennis courts at Batavia High School and look across the way you’ll see the Batavia Community Garden.  And if you do you will be greeted with a new standing art display made by Bergen Artist David Burke.  5 8 foot tall 4 foot wide standing panels painted with flowers and landscapes now stand on the south side of the garden.  Burke was commissioned for the art display and paid by a grant awarded to the Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council.  The panels are two sided so they can be viewed either from the north or south sides.

The Batavia Planning Board has ok’ed the opening of the new convenience store at 4169 West Main street across from Tops Friendly Market and Sport of Kings.  The new business owner, Ali Musa, says the store will sell groceries, cigarettes, tobacco products, clothing and other miscellaneous household items.  Musa, who said he has operated businesses in Buffalo, said that at this time he does not intend to sell beer or other alcoholic beverages at his new store.  The new store will be called F And M Convenience. 

State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a civil lawsuit against former President Trump.  James says this legal action is the result of a three-year investigation, alleging Trump and his family falsified business records, stretched asset valuations, and committed insurance fraud. The lawsuit seeks a 250-million-dollar judgment that would also ban any member of the Trump family from leading a business in New York State.

The new stores going into the KMart Parking lot have been revealed and Batavia is getting a Jersey Mike’s Subs and a Tropical Smoothie Cafe.  This is according to paperwork filed by Benderson Development to the town of Batavia Planning Department.  There have been rumors that a Starbucks or Pizza Hut would be built there as well.  Benderson has stated that there will be 2 buildings with drive throughs and that there will be more than 1 business in each building.  A coffee shop is listed on some of the paperwork for the new structures.  No word yet on what the old KMart building, now housing Spirit Halloween, will be used for or what will happen to it in the future.

Afternoon News Brief

 

Bridge rendering.

South Lyon Street Bridge

Work for the replacement of the South Lyon Street Bridge is scheduled to begin Monday. The project includes a new steel truss bridge that was built to meet current structural standards with an increased service life and minimized maintenance costs. The bridge consists of two 11 foot lanes with two foot shoulders and a five foot sidewalk on the east side of the truss. The alignment of South Lyon will be modified to improve the intersection with South Main. A small portion of South Main will be closed to traffic beginning Monday with detours marked. The current plan is to close this area of South Main during work in the fall, re-opening it to traffic in the winter and then closing it back down in the spring to finish the bridge replacement work.  Photos provided by the Genesee County Manager’s Office.

 

101 Washington Avenue

The investigation continues today into the fire at 101 Washington Avenue. Firefighters were called yesterday afternoon around 1:30 and arrived within three minutes to find smoke and fire coming from the dentist’s office, which is located in the 2 and a half story building. Fire crews entered to extinguish the fire, which was coming from the reception area of Dr. Frias’ office. The office was closed but Dr. Frias happened to be stopping by when he saw smoke and called 9-1-1. The building sustained fire and smoke damage. No injuries were reported. (Photo from our news partner, The Batavian)

 

Solar panels – file photo

The town of Batavia Planning Board has determined the proposed Pike and Alexander Road solar projects, which would be built on separate properties on Alexander Road, will have no significant impact on the environment. At their meeting last night, the board went through the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) for both projects. As needed, herbicide would be used for particularly aggressive weed management but with regular upkeep, they hope not to need it. Also, a concrete pad for the equipment will include a grass strip, which would collect and control or detain any water from going further and ultimately be directed to the wetlands.

 

Brandi Spearance

A home health care aide is facing a felony charge after her client was injured and hospitalized, Livingston County sheriff’s Deputies were contacted in May by a patient at a local hospital. He was described as physically handicapped and had been injured while being cared for at home. The investigation that followed found 35-year-old Brandi Spearance of West Sparta had been hired as the victim’s in-home health care aide but did not provide adequate care. This led to his injuries and subsequent hospitalization. The victim has since been transferred to Wyoming County Community Hospital in Warsaw for rehabilitation. Spearance is charged with felony first-degree endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person. She will appear in West Sparta Town Court at a later date.

 

Anyone who is interested working in the cannabis industry might want to check out an event that’s taking place in Rochester this afternoon. A Cannabis Career Fair is happening from 2 until 4 today at the RochesterWorks Career Center. There will be several businesses in attendance and it’s possible people could be hired on the spot. A variety of positions are available including operations managers, bud technicians, sales associates and security.

 

Bobby Hart

Buffalo Bill’s Offensive Lineman Bobby Hart is suspended for one game without pay. This comes after Monday night’s game against the Titans, where the league claims Hart committed violations of unsportsmanlike conduct. In the statement issued, it was noted that Hart approached a Tennessee player in the tunnel attempting to throw a punch but instead hit a Titans coach. Hart will be eligible to return to play following the Bills game in Miami.

 

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles says newly redesigned Rotary International custom plates are now available for order. The plate features the Rotary International logo and the motto of the organization, which is “Service Above Self.” Anyone who is interested in getting one of these plates can request one online, by mail or by calling 518-402-4838. But, people do have to provide proof of membership on an organization letterhead that’s signed by either a Rotary Club President or Rotary District Governor.

 

After being open for the last few months, donations to the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund are no longer being accepted. The fund was set up in the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Jefferson Avenue Tops store in Buffalo that left 10 people dead and three others hurt. As of the latest update, more than five-and-a-half million dollars had been collected to help people affected by the tragedy. That money is expected to start being distributed in the next several weeks.

Morning News Brief

The Compasscare in Amherst that was partially destroyed in June in what was alleged to be a pro abortion group, Jane’s Revenge, response to the upcoming overturning of Roe V Wade, is suing the Amherst police department to get it’s surveillance video back.  CompassCare President and CEO James Harden says they want the surveillance video back now so they can do their own investigation. He says, “It’s been 105 days. The FBI refuses to communicate with the public. The public deserves to know what’s going on. There have been no arrests at any of the organizations that have been attacked…..all pro-life organizations. No arrests have been made. That’s a big question mark.”  There have been over 100 pro life health clinics, churches and stores attacked since early May of this year and the Thomas Moore Society says it is concerning how very little has been done to bring anyone to justice.  Meanwhile a Planned Parenthood was vandalized in Colorado and the perpetrator was caught within days.  Harden says they filed with the state supreme court to get their property back after requesting a copy of the surveillance video numerous times. He says, “They wouldn’t even let us view our own video surveillance.”

Around 1:30 pm on Tuesday Batavia Fire responded to a fire at Dr Frias’ dentist office at 101 Washington Ave.  The office was closed but Dr Frias was stopping by when he saw smoke and called 911.  The smoke and fire were coming from the reception area.  Fire Chief Herberger talks about where the fire was fought and the damage to the building.

The family of Daniel Prude, the man who died in police custody in March of 2020 in Rochester and whose death led to allegations of coverup and riots and protests, is pushing for a new law to be introduced in New York.  Daniel’s Law will make it so mental health professionals will respond to drug abuse and mental health calls instead of law enforcement.  They are also hoping to implement a community responder team or CRT. The CRT would be composed of one peer, one licensed clinician and one medic.  Several communities across New York State are pushing for the new law.  Cities like Rochester, Brooklyn, Albany and Buffalo have all joined in calling for the new law.

New York made a lot of hand sanitizer during the COVID pandemic and much of it has sat unused in warehouses and on runways for the last 2 years.  More than 700,000 gallons of the prison made sanitizer is coming to Rochester to be disposed of.  It is going to be distilled by Kodak for use in manufacturing.  It cost the state 4.3 million dollars to make and will cost 2 million to be processed.  The sanitizer has been sitting on an old airport tarmac in Oriskany, just outside Utica. It’s expected to arrive at the Eastman Business Park this week.

Dr Christopher Kerr, hospice physician and end of life researcher, will be holding a speaking event to talk about his book, “Death is but a Dream,” on Thursday at 6:30 at the First Presbyterian Church.  He will talk about the ways the process of dying can also be healing.  Kerr studied 1500 people who were at the end of their life and both how they responded to their imminent passing and what they needed from family and care workers who attended them.  He also will be showing videos of people in his study who talked of being visited in dreams by deceased loved ones, acquaintances, and even pets.

Apple picking season has started early this year and the peak is already upon us.  Becker Farms CEO Melinda Vizcarra says the season is about 10 days early.  New York is the 2nd largest apple producing state in the US with 29.5 million bushels of apples picked annually and more than 600 growers.  Orchard owners are urging people to get out to pick now before the choice picks are gone.

Buffalo Bill’s Offensive Lineman Bobby Hart will be suspended for one game without pay. This comes after Monday night’s game against the Titans, where the league claims Hart committed violations of unsportsmanlike conduct.  In the statement issued, NFL Vice President of Football Operations, Jon Runyan explains Hart approached a Tennessee player in the tunnel attempting to throw a punch but instead hit a Titans coach.  Hart will be eligible to return Monday, September 26, following the Bills game in Miami.

Afternoon News Brief

Varysburg fire truck – file photo

A home in Varysburg was struck by lightning. This happened during the heavy rain and thunderstorms that moved through the region yesterday. Initial investigation points to lightning coming into the house via a power or telephone line. When firefighters arrived some light smoke was seen coming from behind the walls, as well as between the roof and the rafters. The wall was opened up along with a small portion of the roof structure; the fire was contained to these small areas. The woman who owned the home got the dog and a couple of cats safely out of the house. National Grid responded to the scene as well and noted that the home is livable, but some electrical repairs would be needed. The cost estimate of damage was $12,000.

 

Chris Monfort

Raymond Hardy

50-year-old Chris Monfort and another man were caught in Elba allegedly attempting to steal heavy equipment from a property on Oak Orchard Road. Early Friday morning, an alert citizen called 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity, with a car and person on the property. Deputies found Monfort of Henrietta and 41-year-old Raymond Hardy of Rochester. Both men were taken into custody. Monfort was charged with attempted second-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal mischief. Hardy was charged with attempted grand larceny and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. Hardy was released. Monfort, who has several previous felony convictions, was committed to Genesee County Jail without bail.

 

 

Your days of having to use the ArriveCAN app every time you want to go to Canada may be numbered. In June, the Canadian federal government extended many of its COVID-19 restrictions to go until at least September 30, but Congressman Brian Higgins, who has been critical of many of the COVID policies at the border for a long time now, is hopeful they will soon come to an end. Last week, Congressman Higgins met with some of his Canadian counterparts to talk about the need to remove barriers at border crossings to encourage travel and tourism. Members of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group encouraged the Canadian government to make ArriveCAN voluntary. Keep in mind these restrictions remain in place until at least next Friday, and there’s no official word yet from the Canadian government about them being dropped.

 

Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has laid out his plan to help keep Empire State residents warm during the winter months. Schumer is looking to add money to the federal budget to make sure Home Energy Assistance Program funds don’t run out. People can get anywhere between $350 and $675 annually depending on their income and the heat source they use. Utility companies, including National Grid, are already projecting a significant rise in home heating bills in the coming months because of high natural gas prices and increased gas delivery rates.

 

 

Dane Jackson – pictured after the Bills win against the Rams

Some very good news…Buffalo Bills cornerback Dane Jackson was discharged from the hospital this morning. He walked out under his own power, with full movement in all of his extremities. His injury occurred in the final minute of the game’s first half. Jackson was covering Titans receiver Treylon Burks and tackled him low after a completed pass. As they fell to the ground, Tremaine Edmunds dove in appearing to anticipate hitting Burks before he went to the turf. Instead, Burks and Jackson were already on the ground, and Edmunds made headfirst contact with Jackson with the crown of his helmet, sending Jackson’s head and neck whipping violently backward. The 25-year-old Jackson is a third-year pro who played college football at Pittsburgh. The Bills selected him in the seventh round of the 2020 draft. He was a part-time starter last season before earning a starting job for 2022. Once again, Dane Jackson left the hospital this morning and has full movement in all extremities.

 

The Buffalo Bills have started the season 2-0 following a blowout victory in front of the hometown crowd. Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes, including three to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, as Buffalo beat the Tennessee Titans 41 to 7 at Highmark Stadium last night. The Bills also forced multiple turnovers in the contest including an interception by Matt Milano that was returned for a touchdown. Up next for Buffalo is a road game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon at 1:00.

 

So, you’re telling me there’s a chance…

The Mega Millions jackpot just keeps growing and that means there’s going to be a big prize up for grabs tonight. Whoever picks the winning numbers ahead of this evening’s drawing will receive at least $277,000,000. However, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in over 302,000,000. Tickets to play are $2 each. The Mega Millions drawing will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

41 year old Raymond Hardy and 50 year old Chris Monfort were arrested on Oak Orchard Rd in Elba for trying to steal heavy equipment around 7 on Friday morning.  The Rochester men were spotted walking around and a caller who had been passing by said they didn’t believe they belonged there or that their vehicle belonged on the property.  They are charged with attempted grand larceny, Hardy also has been charged with criminal mischief, and criminal possession of stolen property.  Monfort has 2 prior felony convictions.

The city of Rochester is naming an amphitheater in Martin Luther King Park after Daniel Prude, the man who died of a drug overdose while in police custody in March of 2020.  Mayor Malik Evans said that Prude’s death reverberated across and beyond the region.  An investigator found that Prude’s death in custody had been covered up.  Rochester Police Chief Singletary accused the mayor at the time, Lovely Warren, of trying to force him to lie about the investigation and then announced his own resignation.  Warren then fired him before he could resign.  Prude’s death was ruled a homicide with excited delirium caused by PCP suddenly causing his heart and lungs to stop functioning.  

New York State and the City of Rochester are pledging to help Puerto Rico after the Island province was hit hard by hurricane Fiona.  The Ibero American Action League in Rochester has pledged to help people relocate into the city from Puerto Rico.  Governor Hochul has directed the New York State Police to send 50 troopers to assist with keeping residents safe, with 50 additional troopers being deployed in the coming weeks.  New York State is working with Delta, JetBlue, Coca-Cola, New York State’s Building Trades, the Greater New York Hospital Association, and SOMOS Community Care, who have all pledged their support for response and recovery efforts.  Teams from the New York Power Authority are ready to deploy and assist in restoring power to the island after 2 million people were plunged into darkness by the storm.

Governor Hochul says that she will debate Lee Zeldin but did not commit to any dates.  She said she will release a schedule by the end of the week.  Zeldin has been calling her out for a debate for several weeks.  Critics say that, with early voting and mail in voting causing people to be able to cast their ballot several weeks to a month in advance of the election date, a late debate will come after many people write down their choice.  The election is in November and polls show Hochul and Zeldin within a handful of points of each other.

The Buffalo Bills dominated the Tennessee Titans Monday night at Orchard Park.  Ending the game with 41 points to the Titans 7.  Allen and Diggs made several connections in both halves.  Mat Milano intercepted the ball and ran it back for a 43 yard touchdown.  So far the Bills are undefeated.  Their next game is against the dolphins in Miami on the 25th at 1pm.

Afternoon News Brief

Jamie Kraft

37-year-old Jamie Kraft of Batavia has been arrested for obstruction of governmental administration, aggravated harassment and falsely reporting an incident. He allegedly made numerous false reports and threatening phone calls to 9-1-1 Dispatch. Kraft was released on an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

James Zurek

19-year-old James Zurek of Batavia is now charged with strangulation, assault and petit larceny. Police arrested him in a parking lot on Cedar Street. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court.

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Poler

34-year-old Craig Poler, formerly of Castile, was sentenced today to 20 years in state prison for repeatedly raping a child over the course of two years. Poler will also be on 10 years of post-release supervision and have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Poler was arrested in January after a Wyoming County sheriff’s investigation. He had been charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, which carries a maximum term of life in prison. The plea deal he accepted limited the sentence to anywhere from 15 to 20 years in prison.

 

 

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has announced the results of the latest crackdown on impaired driving. From August 19th through September 5th, over 2800 tickets were handed out to people who were under the influence while behind the wheel. There were also over 100,000 tickets issued for vehicle and traffic violations including speeding and distracted driving. State DMV Commissioner at GTSC Chair Mark Schroeder applauded members of law enforcement for doing their part to get people who were driving dangerously off the road.

 

 

The Erie County Sheriff’s Department has announced the traffic plan that will be in place before and after tonight’s game between the Bills and Titans. A section of Abbott Road in front of Highmark Stadium is going to be shut down to northbound and southbound traffic starting at 2:15 and remain closed until the game is over. The parking lots at the stadium open at 3:15 and drivers are being asked not to park on the shoulder of any roads to ensure pedestrian safety. Go Bills!

 

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills will have the support of their home crowd tonight as they look to start their season with a second straight win. Quarterback Josh Allen and the defending AFC East champion Bills are hosting the Tennessee Titans at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Buffalo is coming off of a 31 to 10 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on September 8th. Kickoff for this evening’s contest is set for 7:15.

 

Free car seat checks are being offered around the Empire State over the next few days as part of Child Passenger Safety Week. Trained technicians will be available to teach parents how to select a child restraint and how to make sure that it’s used correctly every time. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed of the 755 children who died in crashes in 2020, 42% were unrestrained. A list of car seat check events can be found online at trafficsafety.ny.gov.

 

 

 

Morning News Brief

Around 2 pm on Sunday police and first responders were alerted to a crash on I90 near Pembroke.  It was reported that the accident involved 5 vehicles in the westbound lane with persons trapped.  Once Pembroke, Indian Falls and Alabama responded a Chief on the scene said the accident was only 2 cars and there was no trapped individual.  3 people were injured.  Mercy Flight came out of Olean but was turned back.  

The Red Osier Landmark Restaurant was the site over the weekend of the 50th anniversary celebration for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.  Hosted by Chamber staff Tom Turnbull, interim president, and Kelly Bermingham, director of Member Relations and Events, the gala drew 100 local business, municipal, and community members for a year-end celebration.  50 years ago Leroy and Batavia signed an agreement to merge their chambers and make one, even though they were rivals in many ways.  John Dwyer was on hand to tell of how the rivalry sparked from a controversial football call back when he played for the Blue Devils in 47.  He then became the head of the Batavia Area Chamber and oversaw the merger 25 years later.  Interim President Tom Turnbull said that after 50 years “it’s headed in the right direction.”

This week is Sheriff’s week.  First established in New York in 1777 in the state constitution and in Genesee County established in 1802 the office of the Sheriff has been held for the last 5 years by William Sheron Jr.  He has served the Sheriffs office for 45 years.  This week, the community celebrates the historical and current contributions of the Office of Sheriff and the significant role that the Sheriff’s Office plays in the modern criminal justice system.

Batavia Downs raised 20,000 dollars for Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester with a fundraiser dinner and silent auction on Saturday.  The grandstand sold out for the fundraiser.  Melisande Bianchi, a board member with the coalition, said the coalition funds research, offers seminars, and offers services to breast cancer patients such as book clubs, yoga, and meditation.

The Buffalo Bills are heading into Monday Night Football in Buffalo against the Titans with a couple injuries.  Receiver Gabriel Davis has an ankle injury after practice Saturday.  He joins lineman Ed Oliver also with an ankle injury.  Dane Jackson and Tim Settle are back in but both listed as questionable for the game.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 in Orchard Park. 

Weekend News Brief

 

The Town of Alabama is looking for a Town Justice after the September 12th resignation of Justice Pamela Thurber.  Ms. Thurber served as Court Clerk and subsequently Town Justice for a total of nearly thirteen years.  She was required to resign due to a change in residence outside of the town.  Alabama is accepting applications.  To be considered you must be a resident of the town and have qualifications to be a Justice.  Interested residents are encouraged to submit a letter of interest and current resume to Alabama Town Clerk by mail or email to alabamaclerk@rochester.rr.com by Sept. 29.  The Town Board anticipates making an appointment at their Nov. 14 meeting.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau and Office for the Aging are looking for volunteers to help with a Halloween Costume Kit Project.  The Youth Bureau creates costume kits for youth in the community who may otherwise not be able to afford a Halloween Costume. These kits include two or three pieces that make up various popular Halloween Costumes such as a “princess” and a “fireman.” Along with the costume kit, there will be a trick-or-treat bag for each child.  Monday, October 3rd from 3:30 to 5:30 they need volunteers to come to 2 Bank Street and decorate the bags.  A light dinner will be provided.  If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Youth Bureau at 585-344-3960 by Sept. 26.

This weekend starts Child Passenger Safety Week and certified child passenger safety technicians across the state are ready to help parents with education and installation of car seats.  When used correctly, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers in passenger cars, according to the NHTSA; and while most parents believe they have properly installed their child’s car seat, the seat was installed incorrectly in 46% of those cases.  755 children were killed in traffic crashes in 2020, and 42% of those children were unrestrained.  Trained technicians will use the model of “Learn, Practice, and Explain,” to educate caregivers on how to select a child restraint that will fit their child, fit their vehicle, and be used correctly every time.

Stefon Diggs has faced many tough competitors, risking health and safety for the game.  But now he may be facing his toughest challenger yet, his mother.  The Bill’s Wide Receiver will be going on Celebrity Family Feud for the episode airing Sunday night on ABC.  He will be joined in this difficult fight by fellow NFL players Christian Kirk, Najee Harris, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Grady Jarrett.  All will be playing against their own mothers who will make up the other team.  The players will be playing for the charity The Conscious Kid and their moms will be playing for Black Women’s Health Imperative.

Afternoon News Brief

Sign installation began before town approval

The property on the corner of Routes 5 & 63 in the Town of Batavia has sat vacant for years. You’ll recall at one time it was Clor’s but they’ve been closed for a while now. For a short time last month, there was a sign for F & M Convenience on the property; but then almost as quickly, it was gone. According to Town Building Inspector Daniel Lang, the man who has leased the property from Benderson Development, Ali Musa, had not gone through the proper channels to open or advertise just yet; Musa is scheduled to go before the Town Planning Board next week. However, some of the products he hopes to sell, a few of which are cannabis related, may not pass code. Although Cannabis sales are legal in the city, that’s not the case in the town, which vetoed an option for cannabis dispensaries. Photo by Doug Thompson (8/10/22), WBTA News.

 

Governor Hochul has signed legislation to make it easier for non-profit and public service workers to access loan forgiveness through the state’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The new bill eliminates substantial barriers to applying for and accessing loan forgiveness. It’s a federal program that rewards and provides incentives for public service work by canceling portions of the borrowers’ federal student loans. The program requires borrowers to be full-time employees of an eligible public service employer and make 120 qualifying payments toward their student loan, after which the remainder of their federal student loan debt is forgiven. Currently, about 2.7 million people in the state work in the public or nonprofit sectors.

 

 

Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a warning to consumers about scammers taking advantage of the recent student debt relief plan to steal borrowers’ money and personal information. Scammers will try to create a sense of urgency by impersonating government agencies and promising immediate student loan relief. Borrowers are reminded that it’s important to stay vigilant, well informed and prepared for any fraud related to this new relief plan. Protect yourself by making sure websites end in .gov so you can trust the information. Don’t trust any person or program that promises you early or special access, or guaranteed eligibility. Don’t give out your personal information, including Federal Student Aid ID or social security number to anyone who contacts you. If you encounter a scam, report it. Contact the official Federal Student Aid website to file a complaint, or contact the Federal Trade Commission.

 

34-year-old Kristin Forte, formerly of LeRoy, was sentenced to a 1-year conditional discharge after pleading guilty to Disorderly Conduct in Batavia Town Court. There were a few charges initially filed against her, stemming from her failure to correctly report her income and forged signatures of her employers. This resulted in her receiving over $3700 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to. Forte has made full restitution to the Department of Social Services and is disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for one year. Anyone wishing to report suspected cases of Welfare Fraud in Genesee County can contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services Investigations Unit at (585) 344-2580, ext 6417 or 6541.

 

 

Dr. Tonja Williams

Following a violent incident earlier this week, Buffalo Public Schools superintendent Doctor Tonja Williams has issued a statement to parents involving safety. Williams is asking parents to speak with their kids about the importance of engaging in safe behaviors while they’re at school. On Tuesday, a 16-year-old student allegedly stabbed a 17-year-old student at the Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. The victim was taken to Oishei Children’s Hospital for treatment and the suspect is facing charges including assault.

 

 

New food options at Highmark for 2022

The home opener for the Buffalo Bills is coming up Monday and the team has unveiled some of the new food offerings that’ll be available at Highmark Stadium this season. They include beef sliders, large nacho tables, barbecue mac and cheese, and the Shout! chicken sandwich that’s covered with sauce, provolone cheese, and crispy onions. There are also some additional drink options that have been added to the Dunn Tire, Toyota and Pepsi clubs at the facility. Kickoff for Monday night’s contest between the Bills and Tennessee Titans is set for 7:15.

 

Lottery players hope luck is on their side as they take their shot at winning two big jackpots that are up for grabs. The prize ahead of tonight’s Mega Millions drawing has grown to at least $256,000,000. And, whoever picks the correct numbers for Powerball tomorrow night is going to be $225,000,000 richer. The cost of a ticket to play these games is $2. Both the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Wegmans shoppers are being urged to check their online accounts to see if they’ve received a $20 digital coupon. The supermarket chain says it’s giving that bonus to customers who have used the SCAN app at least three times over the past 13 weeks to thank them for their loyalty. The app, which launched in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, gives people the ability to scan their own groceries and then pay for them when they are done shopping. But, due to losses the company has experienced, the app is being discontinued on Sunday.

 

 

 

Morning News Brief

2 Canadian men were arrested and charged with human smuggling in Lewiston.  On Sept. 10, members of the FBI and Department of Homeland Security received information about a potential human smuggling operation.  Surveillance caught a Canadian vessel leaving a marina in St. Catherines, Ontario with four people on board. The vessel entered the Niagara River and traveled towards Lewiston, where it entered American waters.  The vessel backed up into a private boat dock, and two individuals got off the boat. These two individuals were apprehended by law enforcement and were determined as inadmissible aliens.  The remaining two individuals on the boat were Zijad Saskin and Kevin Marlor, who were both arrested. The two defendants are believed to have been involved in a previous human smuggling operation on July 19, when two other aliens were illegally brought into the United States through the Niagara River.

If you are driving in Scottsville or the surrounding areas be on alert for nails in the road.  Police are warning drivers after someone intentionally dumped piles of roofing nails at several intersections.  Monroe County Sheriffs are investigating.  The nails have been swept up using roofing magnets to pick them up off the road. But so far the culprit has not been apprehended.  Extra police are patrolling the area.

Governor Hochul has signed legislation to make it easier for non-profit and public service workers to access loan forgiveness through the state’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  The new bill eliminates substantial barriers to applying for and accessing the loan forgiveness program.  PSLF is a federal program that rewards and incentivizes public service work by canceling portions of borrowers’ federal student loans.  The program requires borrowers to be full-time employees of an eligible public service employer and make 120 qualifying payments toward their student loan, after which the remainder of their federal student loan debt is forgiven.  Currently, about 2.7 million people in New York work in the public or nonprofit sectors, according to the governor.  The legislation also sets a standard hourly threshold for full-time employment at 30 hours per week for the purposes of accessing the program and clarifies standardized prep time to be included for faculty and teachers.  Finally, the legislation allows public service employers to certify employment on behalf of individuals or groups of employees directly with the U.S. Department of Education.

All Babies Cherished on Ellicott Street has a new nesting place for women and children because of the generosity of a longtime Genesee County resident.  Gary Good, a man from Alexander, bought a 5 bedroom house at 441 Ellicott Street and gifted it to the christian women’s center as a temporary residence for women in need of assistance during their pregnancy.  All Babies Cherished Executive Director Sue Sherman says that around 35 to 40 percent of the women ABC serves are homeless.  She says that  “Many of them have no family support – in fact, an alarming number of young women have been trafficked by their own families.”  Sherman said ABC’s mission is to give women the tools to make something of their lives “despite the fact that many of them have been told they will never amount to anything.”

The property on the corner across from Tops Friendly Markets in Batavia has sat vacant for years.  It used to be Clor’s but has been shuttered for some time.  Residents may have seen a sign for F&M Convenience store go up for a couple weeks on the triangle shaped property and then disappear.  They weren’t seeing things.  Someone has leased the property from Benderson Development but hasn’t gone through the proper channels to open or advertise yet says Town Building Inspector Daniel Lang.  Ali Musa is set to go before the Town Planning Board next week with plans to open a convenience store which will sell cannabis related items. 

The home opener for the Buffalo Bills is coming up Monday and the team has unveiled some of the new food offerings that’ll be available at Highmark Stadium this season.  They include beef sliders, large nacho tables, barbecue mac and cheese, and the Shout! chicken sandwich that’s covered with sauce, provolone cheese, and crispy onions.  There are also some additional drink options that have been added to the Dunn Tire, Toyota and Pepsi clubs at the facility.  Kickoff for Monday night’s contest between the Bills and Tennessee Titans is set for 7:15 p.m.

Buffalo Sabres center Tyson Kozak scored two goals in Thursday night’s Prospects Challenge opener against the Montreal Canadiens, leading Buffalo to a 4-3 win.  Nolan Burke and Josh Passolt tallied the other two goals for the Sabres this evening.  They’ll be back in action on Saturday to take on New Jersey for game two of three this weekend.  Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the LECOM Harborcenter.

Afternoon News Brief

Nyejay Braction

Darnell Cleveland

Kanyia Coleman

Craig Lynch, Jr.

City police and the owner of Ken Barrett Chevrolet Cadillac are thankful to a local citizen. The unnamed individual made a call late Monday night that ultimately led to arrests in a burglary attempt. Police said they would not release any information about the caller in case that individual did not want the attention. The County Dispatch Center received a call around 11:50 p.m. Monday. It was reported there were people inside Ken Barrett Chevrolet. Officers arrived and encountered four people trying to run away from the back of the business. Police arrested two of the suspects, 26-year-old Darnell Cleveland and 18-year-old Kanyia Coleman, both of Buffalo, at the scene. The other two suspects, 21-year-old Craig Lynch Jr. and 18-year-old Nyejay Braction, both also of Buffalo, were taken into custody close to the scene. Cleveland provided a false name in an attempt to prevent officers from arresting him on several outstanding warrants, including a parole warrant. Lynch struggled with officers while being detained. No injuries occurred. Cleveland was charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal impersonation. Lynch was charged with third-degree burglary, second-degree obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. Braction and Coleman were both charged with third-degree burglary. All suspects were arraigned on Tuesday before Judge Durin Rogers in Batavia City Court. In accordance with New York state bail reform, Cleveland and Lynch were released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. However, Cleveland was then remanded to the Genesee County Jail on his outstanding parole warrant. Braction and Coleman were released on their own recognizance. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be placed.

 

62-year-old Thomas Tacito of Batavia has been arrested and charged with criminal mischief after allegedly throwing a rock through a window at a location on West Main Street Road. Tacito will appear in Batavia Town Court to answer the charge.

 

 

 

Left to right: Gile, Pimentel-Hernandez

A Rochester man has been sentenced to 118 months in prison for selling drugs to a woman who fatally overdosed. 22-year-old Daniel Pimentel-Hernandez was convicted in federal court of possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. The charges date back to a year ago June when Pimentel-Hernandez sold fentanyl to Elliot Gile of Batavia and Margo Haddow of Pennsylvania. The couple was later found unconscious and unresponsive in a vehicle parked roadside on Route 490. Gile recovered; however, Haddow never regained consciousness. Pimentel-Hernandez was arrested the next day after selling drugs to an undercover officer.

 

Kamala Harris in Buffalo

Vice President Kamala Harris has wrapped up her visit to Western New York where she touted the benefits of the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act. Yesterday, the Vice President took a tour of the Grow Energy Center at the University at Buffalo in Amherst before giving a speech at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. During her address, the Vice President claimed that the Inflation Reduction Act would help families save money, lower prescription drug costs, raise taxes on corporations and cut the national deficit. She also took time yesterday to meet with family members of the victims of the mass shooting at a Tops store in Buffalo that left 10 people dead and three others hurt.

 

Governor Hochul says Frederick Douglass-Greater Rochester International Airport is receiving millions of dollars in state funding to make some much-needed improvements. The $18,000,000 will go towards revitalizing the terminal area by installing energy efficient technologies and upgrading security doors. There will also be a new passenger information display system and better Wi-Fi service. Outside of the airport, a longer curbside drop-off and pick-up area will be created and the entrance canopy is going to be extended.

 

The latest data from the state shows that there’s been a slight increase in the spread of COVID-19 in Western New York. Right now, the 7-day average infection rate is sitting at 12.6%. At this time one week ago, the average infection rate was 12.2%. Officials say the best way for people to prevent themselves and others from getting sick is to be vaccinated, get an updated booster shot and wear a mask while indoors.

 

The New York State Department of Health says monkeypox vaccine is going to be made available to a wider range of Empire State residents. The agency announced yesterday that all individuals at risk of becoming infected with monkeypox could now get vaccinated. Before this expansion, eligibility was limited to people who were likely exposed to the virus. Plans are also in the works to distribute more than 3800 vials of monkeypox vaccine to counties statewide. The state says that 100 of those vials will go to Monroe County.

 

National Toy Hall of Fame Nominees, 2022

The Strong Museum in Rochester has revealed the list of toys that could soon be inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The latest list of finalists includes bingo, Lite Brite, Pound Puppies, Nerf toys, the piñata, and Breyer horses. People can now cast their ballots online by visiting the museum’s website through September 21st, but it’ll be up to a committee to make the final decision. The winners will be announced on November 10th.

 

Great Northern Grain Elevator

After months of legal battles, The Buffalo News is reporting demolition of the Great Northern grain elevator in Buffalo will likely begin today. Preservationists have made several attempts to try and prevent the structure from being torn down. The grain elevator, built back in 1897, was severely damaged during a windstorm last year. City officials will be on hand to make sure that the demolition process goes smoothly. They’re also urging people who may want to watch the building come down to stay away from the Ganson Street area for their own safety.

Afternoon News Brief

Adam Kreutz

33-year-old Adam Kreutz of Batavia is charged with assault, burglary and coercion. He’s accused of burglarizing an apartment on Ellicott Street and assaulting the person inside that apartment. Kreutz was arraigned in City Court and ordered held in the Genesee County Jail without bail. ALSO:  33-year-old David Fielding of Stafford is charged with falsifying business records and grand larceny. He is accused of stealing tools from his employer on Godfreys Pond Road in Stafford and pawning them for money. Fielding was arrested and transported to the Genesee County Jail and released on appearance tickets.

 

Residents in the GLOW region have forgotten about or lost nearly $19 million, according to state Comptroller’s Office. The unclaimed money often comes from old bank accounts, utility deposits, checks that were never cashed, insurance claims, stocks and other sources that have been dormant for a number of years. In Genesee County, there are over 15000 accounts with a total value of over $6,000,000 (5,597 accounts valued at $6,267,590). The state Comptroller’s Office invites you to see if you have any unclaimed funds: Go to https://www.osc.state.ny.us. Or call 1-800-221-9311.

 

Eric Cushman

A former Warsaw man who has served four state prison terms and is on parole after serving time for the brutal beating of his wife, who he married in a public ceremony on radio, is back in jail after another arrest. 51-year-old Eric Cushman of Bliss, was arrested Saturday and charged with second-degree burglary, assault with intent to cause serious injury, criminal mischief and criminal contempt of court. He was committed to Wyoming County Jail without bail and will likely remain there on a parole detainer.

 

Andrew Cuomo

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has filed an ethics complaint against State Attorney General Letitia James, in which he discussed concerns about the sexual harassment investigation that led to his resignation last year. Cuomo questioned the accuracy and credibility of the investigation’s findings, alleging that James used the probe to tarnish him and further her own political interests. Cuomo believes James’ agenda included her own political motivations and self-interests. At this time, there has been no response from the Attorney General’s office.

 

The New York State Thruway Authority reports there are over 64 million dollars in unpaid tolls from between 2018 and 2021. The Authority says drivers who owe toll money will receive 4 notices and then their registration will be suspended. Enforcement has been paused since 2018 due to confusion over how to pay because of the tolls going cashless and then the COVID pandemic set collection back even further. Over the past few years the Thruway Authority has taken some steps to clear up some of the confusion such as, putting up signs, simplifying billing statements, offering an amnesty program to help customers settle their past due accounts and increased staffing at call centers.

 

Public health departments in the four-county GLOW region want you to know that clinics start this week for the new COVID booster vaccine. The eligibility requirements for the Moderna booster include being 18 years of age or older, and at least two months have passed since completing the primary vaccine series or booster. Requirements are similar for the Pfizer booster, but also include children 5-11 years of age as long as it has been at least five months since they completed their primary vaccine. The Genesee County Health Department encourages residents to talk with their primary care provider and/or their pharmacist to discuss questions they have related to the COVID vaccine and boosters.

 

The Genesee County Health Department is hosting a free drive-thru anti-rabies immunization clinic tomorrow from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Genesee County Fairgrounds (5056 East Main Street, Batavia). Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car maximum. For more information on Health Department services, visit GOHealthNY.org or call 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

 

Vice President Kamala Harris

The White House has announced the details of Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Western New York today. She’s scheduled to arrive in Buffalo before taking a tour of the Grow Energy Center at the University of Buffalo in Amherst. Afterwards, Vice President Harris will be giving a speech about the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. The White House believes the legislation will help lower the high costs families are dealing with, grow the economy and also create jobs.

A 16-year-old girl is in custody in connection with a stabbing at the Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. According to police, she attacked a 17-year-old girl inside of a classroom yesterday at the school which is located on West Huron Street. The victim was taken to Oishei Children’s Hospital where she was last listed in serious condition. Buffalo Public Schools says it takes any offenses that occur on school grounds seriously and that the Code of Conduct will be followed when coming up with disciplinary measures.

 

Students in the Orchard Park Central School District will be spending less time in their classrooms this coming Monday. District officials have announced a “Buffalo Bills Half-Day” ahead of the NFL team’s home opener against the Tennessee Titans. A lot of traffic is expected around Windom Elementary School and Orchard Park Middle School which both are near Highmark Stadium and an early dismissal will allow students to safely return home. Monday’s game between the Bills and Titans is set for 7:15pm.

 

Jefferson Avenue Tops location

The application deadline for people who want to receive money from the Buffalo 5/14 survivors fund is coming up later today. The fund was put together after a mass shooting at a Tops store in Buffalo that left 10 people dead and three others hurt. In order to get benefits, individuals must be a legal heir of the victims, have been hit by a gunshot or suffered some sort of physical injury, have been present at the time of the shooting and are dealing with mental trauma or been an associate of the Jefferson Avenue store who was not present on the day of the shooting. The deadline to submit an application is 6:00pm.

 

Morning News Brief

Ever see a trailer angled down on the road and wanted to jump it like one of the Duke Boys?  Well it turns out it’s not such a good idea.  At around 3pm Tuesday afternoon Stafford fire responded to a report of a car over a trailer at 6204 Main Road.  Multiple witnesses gave stories about exactly what happened when a large truck was eastbound on Main rd and made a wide turn which somehow forced a red sedan to go to the right onto the shoulder.  A Wyatt Van Buren Tree Service crew was working there with a flatbed trailer angled down to the road and the sedan went right up the trailer and onto the pickup truck.  There were several workers on the trailer at the time and they leapt off.  One suffered a broken leg and another a broken arm.  The whole crew was transported to Strong Memorial by Mercy Ambulance.  No other injuries were reported.  

As the City Council was meeting on Monday to discuss the farm animal law in the city a vandal was apparently suffering from having too much nail polish on hand.  They poured it on a vehicle that was outside the City Hall.  Acetone in nail polish contains chemicals that eat away at a car’s paint.  It takes about an hour to damage a car.  No word yet on the amount of damage suffered or who the car belonged to.  Batavia Police are investigating. 

The Batavia City School District has received 1.4 million dollars from the New York State office of Mental Health to assist with mental health issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The amount of learning loss suffered by students during the COVID lockdowns and because of anxiety and other mental health issues caused by COVID and the government response are still being studied.  Rates of suicide and mental health issues have markedly increased.  This grant will go to helping deal with these issues.  Batavia City Schools are reviewing their options and will make an announcement at a later date.

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo filed an ethics complaint Tuesday against state Attorney General Letitia James, reiterating his oft-repeated concerns about a sexual harassment investigation that led to his resignation last year.  Cuomo questioned the accuracy and credibility of the investigation’s findings, alleging James, a fellow Democrat, used the probe to tarnish him and further her own political interests.  James, who briefly ran for governor after Cuomo resigned, “had her own politically motivated and self-interest driven agenda,” Cuomo said. James’ office declined comment

The New York State thruway Authority is reporting over 64 million dollars in unpaid tolls from between 2018 and 2021 and they are coming to collect.  The authority says drivers who owe toll money will receive 4 notices and then their registration will be suspended.  Enforcement has been paused since 2018 because of confusion over how to pay because of the tolls going cashless and then the COVID pandemic set collection back further.  Over the past few years the Thruway Authority has taken some steps to clear up some of the confusion such as, installing new signage, simplifying billing statements, offering an amnesty program to help customers get back into the black and enhancing technology and increased staffing at call centers.

Former New York State supreme Court Justice John Michalek was sentenced on Tuesday for taking bribes and offering a false instrument.   He was sentenced to pay 5000 dollars and spend 16 months in prison.  Michalek was originally sentenced in July, along with his co-conspirator former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon, but was allowed to walk free from court when the judge stayed the sentencing until September 9 following an oral motion made by his counsel.  Pigeon is facing a possible 25 years behind bars for allegedly raping a child and another 16 months for bribery and organizing illegal campaign donations to former Governor Cuomo’s 2014 election campaign.

The lowest price you would pay for a Monday Night Football Bill’s ticket for next week is 216 for an upper level seat and you’d be lucky to get that.  Stubhub says the tickets are selling out fast, they were under 500 left Tuesday night when usually there would be 1500 to 2000 tickets still available.  The Bills will be playing the Tennessee Titans.  

Afternoon News Brief

Cassandra Elmore

30-year-old Cassandra Elmore of Batavia, who twice failed to appear in City Court to answer charges related to her dog overdosing on drugs, has been arrested. Her most recent failure to appear was last Thursday; the judge issued a warrant for her arrest. Elmore is charged with three counts of injuring/torturing an animal as well as two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of obstruction of governmental administration and two counts of misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance. Some of those charges are related to a traffic stop on August 30 in the city. Elmore was committed to jail over the weekend.

 

Most recent map of drought conditions – as of 9/13/22

The GLOW region is no longer in a drought, this according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor data. The organization’s latest map shows the entire region classified as “abnormally dry.” That’s an improvement over the previous two months in which portions of Genesee and Livingston counties were shown to be in a moderate drought. The abnormally dry areas include all of Western New York except for Chautauqua County. Additionally, outdoor fire risk for all of New York State is now rated as low, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Color key to the map: Yellow=Abnormally Dry; Light Orange=Moderate Drought; Dark Orange=Severe Drought

 

 

Purrrrrrrr…..

It’s unanimous. Last night, the Batavia City Council voted to move forward with the farm animals ban but after much discussion, removed feral and community cats from the list of prohibited animals. Next, the pared down law moves to the September 26 business meeting for vote.

 

 

Governor Hochul

New York Governor Kathy Hochul will allow her COVID-19 emergency powers to expire. As of today, there’s no longer an executive order in effect giving the governor’s office the authority to purchase pandemic-related goods and services without a competitive bidding process. The governor says she’ll reinstate emergency orders if there’s a sudden increase in coronavirus cases.

 

 

 

A popular feature that was put in place by Wegmans at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is being discontinued. The SCAN App allowed customers to scan their own groceries then pay for them when they were done shopping. But, the supermarket chain says that due to the losses the company experienced after the app launched, it will be turned off until improvements can be made. Wegmans says it’ll keep introducing new digital solutions to help streamline the shopping experience for the future.

 

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection is offering some tips to grandparents about how to avoid being scammed. The agency says older residents are often targeted by scammers who attempt to take advantage of the close relationship grandparents have with their grandchildren. In many cases, the scammer pretends to be a relative and says there’s an emergency in order to get money sent to them. They also often insist that no one be told about the financial transaction. Officials say people should try to verify if what the scammer is saying is true or not. Folks also should not reveal their address or other personal information over the phone to anyone they don’t know.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul has announced that she will allow her COVID emergency powers to expire without renewing them again.  She has renewed them through executive order every time its come up. The latest time being August 13th.  The number of people testing positive across New York State continues to decline.  Last week she decided that New York Mass Transit riders no longer had to mask up.  The CDC has changed their COVID recommendations to make vaccinated and unvaccinated recommendations the same throughout the US.  Republicans such as Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin say the emergency powers should have been gone “a VERY long time ago.”

Republican Candidate for Governor Lee Zeldin is only a couple points away in the polls from incumbent Kathy Hochul and he wants a debate.  Zeldin tweeted Monday, “It’s September 12 and @KathyHochul still has not accepted ANY debate requests. This is not ok. The contempt Hochul has for being challenged should alone disqualify her. Absentee ballots start going out in less than two weeks. These debates need to start now before voting begins.”  Kathy Hochul has said she is willing to debate, but hasn’t said anything about where or when.  According to a SurveyUSA poll released August 23rd Zeldin is only 4 points behind Hochul but the New York Times cautioned yesterday that democrat poll numbers may be inflated as they have been so many times in the past.  If Zeldin wins it will be the first time a republican has been governor since George Pataki.

Mercy EMS drove 1 driver to Strong Memorial after a crash at the intersection of Batavia Stafford Townline Rd and Rt 5 Monday afternoon.  State troopers say that a red Hyundai pulled out in front of an eastbound silver Ford and was struck on the side.  A broken arm was the only injury reported.  Stafford Fire and Mercyflight responded, the helicopter was canceled.  

Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit Buffalo on Wednesday, according to Congressman Brian Higgins.  On Monday afternoon Higgins announced a media availability to address the Vice President’s upcoming visit. According to Higgins, the Vice President will be in Buffalo to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act. The act was signed into law by President Biden on August 16.

Oliver’s Candies is 90 years old and they want to celebrate!  September 17th, Olivers will be having a party at their store in Batavia with face paintings, kid’s games, bounce house,  and wine tasting with Autumn Moon Winery.  Also there will be State Troopers, Genesee County Sheriff with K9 Unit, the Batavia Animal Shelter, table raffles and a 50/50 raffle. Proceeds from the table and 50/50 raffles will be donated to the Batavia Animal Shelter.  The first 150 customers to make an in store purchase will receive a Oliver’s Candies swag bag.

This Saturday the great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence is starting it’s Annual Fall Festival which will run every weekend through the end of October.  Opening weekend at the festival will be an armed forces weekend in collaboration with the Clarence Citizens for Veterans. Admission for any active duty, retired military, veterans, police, or fire department personnel will be admitted for free with proper identification. They are also permitted to bring one guest for free as well.  All attractions will be running during the opening weekend, including Vinnie & Teddy the animatronic dinosaurs, the Balloon Experts, and live music.  Original attractions such as amusement rides, hayrides, corn maze, and the pumpkin patch will be available this year as well.

Afternoon News Brief

A mobile phone left charging on a bed is the suspected cause of a fire on Big Tree Road in Pavilion. It appears to have started in a second-floor bedroom and residents told investigators that a phone was left on the bed plugged into a charger. A 13-year-old resident smelled the smoke and found the fire. He alerted his father and they shoved the mattress out the window but the fire spread quickly anyway. All residents of the two-unit apartment building escaped safely, which included one adult and two children that lived in each of the apartments. The investigation continues today into whether or not the building is a total loss; however, it was heavily damaged on both floors with heavy flame damage in the front of the second floor. No injuries were reported.

27-year-old Jarrod Fotiathis and 31-year-old Julie Richardson, both of LeRoy, were arrested after an investigation into theft from a motor vehicle. It is alleged they conspired together to steal the victim’s wallet to purchase items at a local business. At the time of the arrest, both Fotiathis and Richardson resisted by attempting to run away. This led to a foot pursuit by police throughout the City of Batavia. Fotiathis eventually turned himself in to police and Richardson was stopped by a local citizen who witnessed the incident. Both Fotiathis and Richardson were issued appearance tickets and are scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court at a later date.

 

Adult Spotted Lanternfly – wings open

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets says a destructive insect has recently been found in the Western New York region. The spotted lanternfly is known to cause damage to plants and crops that play a key role in the Empire State’s agricultural economy. More than 100 adult insects have already been located and members of the Agriculture and Markets department will be on the lookout for additional bugs in the coming days. Residents who spot the insects are asked to report their location immediately.

 

Western New York drivers are still feeling less pain at the pump as the cost of gas continues to fall across our region. According to Triple A today, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.04. That’s down a dime from this time one week ago and is 45 cents less than what people were paying a month ago. The state average is now $3.89 and nationally it’s $3.72. In Batavia this morning, the average price per gallon was $4.05; closing the gap even more to what the cost was on this day one year ago, just an 80 cent difference now, $3.25.

 

 

Raspberry Rally – new Girl Scout cookie for 2023

The Girl Scouts have unveiled a new cookie for the 2023 sales season; it’s called the Raspberry Rally, but you won’t be able to buy it directly in person. This one particular cookie will be available on-line only. This is an effort to help the girls learn entrepreneurship through their own online business. Cookies will be shipped directly to the customers. Other cookie sales — at booths, via online ordering, and directly from scouts — will remain as they have been. Cookie season varies by council, but runs nationally from January to April. What exactly is a Raspberry Rally? The Girl Scouts describe it as “a thin, crispy cookie infused with raspberry flavor and dipped in chocolaty coating,” dubbing it “the sister to Thin Mints, their best selling cookie. Proceeds raised from in-person and online cookie orders directly benefit local councils and troops.

 

 

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting a free drive-thru anti-rabies immunization clinic this Thursday, September 15th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Genesee County Fairgrounds (5056 East Main Street, Batavia). Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car maximum. For more information on Health Department services, visit GOHealthNY.org or call 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

 

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” – Bo Derek

Another round of Powerball and Mega Millions drawings have come and gone without a winner and that means both jackpots have risen again. Tonight’s Powerball prize will be at least $193,000,000 dollars and tomorrow’s Mega Millions jackpot has gone up to $231,000,000. The cost of a ticket is $2.00 for each game. Both the Powerball and Mega Millions drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Normal red blood cells with sickle cells

September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month and the American Red Cross is looking for donations to help those who are battling the disease. It affects over 100-thousand people nationwide and regular blood transfusions are used to help those individuals deal with pain and life-threatening complications. The Red Cross is offering anyone who donates a free shirt so long as they give blood through September 18th. Here is a link with more information.  https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types/diversity/sicklecell.html

 

Morning News Brief

A fire at a Pavilion apartment home may have been started by a cell phone that was charging on a bed according to investigators.  At around 7pm on Sunday the fire department received a call for a fire on Big Tree Road.  Residents said a 13 year old smelled smoke and found the fire on a mattress.  Him and his father then shoved the mattress out a window but the fire spread through the house.  All occupants escaped safely.  It was unclear if the structure is a total loss, but it was heavily damaged on both floors with obvious heavy flame damage in the front of the second floor.  Pavilion, LeRoy and Stafford fire departments responded, as well as FAST Teams from Batavia and Alexander.

Police are investigating a home invasion that resulted in a dead man in Rochester.  A man in his 20s was found shot in the chest in a home on Kenwood Ave at around 4:30pm Saturday.  The man who called 911 said the deceased broke into his house and he shot him with a shotgun, killing him.  Others attempted to break in and fired several shots into the house before fleeing the scene once the first man was shot.  The Major Crimes Unit responded and conducted the investigation. As a result of the information obtained so far, no charges have been filed at this time.  

The second homicide of the weekend was around 2AM on Sunday when police responded to shots fired at Thomas Ryan Recreation Center on Webster Ave.  They found a 16 year old boy with gunshot wounds to the face and a 17 year old boy dead in a field at the park, shot multiple times in the upper body.  Police say during the preliminary investigation, it has been determined the victims were hanging out in the park at the recreation center with a group of four to six of their friends when a suspect approached and shot 2 of them.  The other boy was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.   No suspects are in custody.

Western New York drivers are still feeling less pain at the pump as the cost of gas continues to fall across the area. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now 4.05 in Batavia. That’s down 10 cents from this time one week ago and is 45 cents less than what people were paying a month ago. The state average is now 3.90 and nationally it’s 3.72.

President Biden will give a speech  in the same location where President John F Kennedy promised to send a man to the moon but this speech will be about curing cancer.  Chris Carragio has more.

The VA Hospital in Batavia honored those who were killed on the September 11th terrorist attacks by setting up flags on the lawn for the 2,977 victims.  More than 20 volunteers from the VA, National Fuel and the American legion helped.  The attacks involving 4 hijacked jetliners 21 years ago were remembered across the country with flag raisings, first responder fundraiser events, moments of silence, speeches and ceremonies. 

Lei Ti Campground in Bethany held their annual auction fundraiser for One Soldier at a Time and raised 9,200 dollars.  One Soldier at a time runs three primary programs.  One provides gifts for wives and mothers of military members deployed overseas for Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.  Another provides care packages for soldiers on deployment.  And the third, that this donation will benefit, assists veterans who are homeless, impoverished, in PTSD housing or in similar hardships with care products to take care of them from head to toe, from hair-care products to socks and shirts and ties, and for veterans who have passed, suits “so they can be buried with dignity.”

Weekend News Brief

2 more people were murdered in Rochester Friday night.  42 year old Lanard Davis was shot 3 times while in his car on Congress Ave.  A woman and child were in the car with him when he was killed.  Police have not made any arrests though they swarmed the area looking for the shooter.  2 hours earlier 34 year old Cory Dubois was stabbed in a fight on Angle Street and then died in the entryway to St Mary’s hospital.  Mayor Malik Evans called the killings senseless saying “We need people to choose life instead of death, and we also need people to stop solving disputes that are petty and insignificant by taking innocent people’s lives.”

Tired of paying 5 cents a bag for groceries?  According to a post on the Facebook page of Batavia Walmart.  Walmart is done with paper bags come October 1st.  All Walmarts in New York State are apparently discontinuing use of paper bags but will continue to offer reusable bags.  

The spotted lantern fly, an insect that has been wreaking havoc on more than 70 plants and crops downstate, has been found in large numbers in the Buffalo area.  The state agriculture department is concerned with them being so close to New York’s grape producing areas as lantern flies can have a devastating effect on grapevines.  The agriculture department wants the public to report any sightings of the fly and, if possible capture and kill any they find by putting them in a bag and freezing it or putting it in a jar with rubbing alcohol for preservation.  Signs of lantern fly infestation include, sap oozing from wounds on tree trunks, inch long egg masses that are brownish gray, waxy and mud like when new, and honeydew buildup under plants.

Kiwanis club of Pembroke Corfu Darien is hosting the 15th annual Car Cruise and Fall Festival on September 18th at the Pembroke Town Park.  Last year, Genesee County’s premier car show attracted over 300 cars, 65 vendors, food trucks, music and raffles. Family activities include a Kids’ Car Cruise for those 8 and under, face painting, a bounce house, Big Red’s Magic Show and free train rides. Crossroads House will have a Basket Raffle. There will be the Red Cross Blood Drive. The Pembroke Community Band will be performing.  Car registration is 20 dollars.

This Thursday the Genesee County Health Department is holding a free rabies immunization clinic at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.  This is a drive through clinic for dogs, cats and ferrets at least 3 months old.  4 pets per car maximum.  The next ones coming up will be on October 13th at the fairgrounds and October 15th at the Orleans County Fairgrounds.

GCC Foundation announced the date for their Encore Gala to raise funds for student scholarships.  November 19th the theme of the Gala to be held at the William W. Stuart Forum is “A Night in Casablanca.”  Sponsors who give several thousand dollars can reach levels of giving like “We’ll always have Paris,” and “Here’s looking at you kid.”

Afternoon News Brief

 

Eric Motzer

Perry Police tell us that a parolee and Level 3 sex offender who changed his name and fled the state to avoid a state prison sentence was arrested on drugged-driving charges earlier this week. 36-year-old Eric Motzer of Attica was charged with driving while impaired by drugs; he failed field sobriety tests and it was found that he was high on marijuana. He was issued appearance tickets and is scheduled to appear October 11th in Village Court. In 2012, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for rape charges and in 2021 was returned to prison for violating parole because of new drug charges. Motzer was living in Alexander when he was arrested in 2011 and accused of raping a teenage girl. He was convicted after a jury trial and was scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 22, 2011. On September 21, he got married in Genesee County, changed his name to Eric J. Disalvo and, with his new bride, fled to West Virginia. A warrant was issued and he was arrested two weeks later and returned to Wyoming County and sentenced to seven years. He served all seven years. A year later he was jailed for a year for failing to register with the state Sex Offender Registry.

 

 

Nicholas Maher

Today 38-year-old Nicholas Maher of Oakfield was sentenced in Genesee County Court to 23 years in state prison, in the death of his father. In May of this year, Maher accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. In addition to the prison sentence, Maher was also sentenced to five years of Post Release Supervision and several Orders of Protection were issued.

 

 

 

Park Road – file photo

Here’s a traffic pattern change you should be aware of: The portion of Park Road from Richmond Avenue south to the intersection of Lewiston Road will be reopened to southbound traffic only, as of 5:00pm this afternoon. Motorists approaching Park Road from Lewiston Road are asked to continue to follow the detour along Veteran’s Memorial Drive to Park Road. This traffic pattern will remain in place until the project is completed. Anyone with questions is asked to call the Town of Batavia Highway Department at 585-343-1729, extension 218.

 

 

Darien McMillian

Two Rochester men in the Attica Correctional Facility, including one involved in a police shooting, have been indicted on gang assault charges. 30-year-old Randy Love and 28-year-old Darien McMillian are charged with first-degree gang assault and second-degree assault for their involvement in an altercation in the prison on July 13. The most serious charge, gang assault, is a class B violent felony punishable by up to 25 years in state prison. The men were arraigned Wednesday in Wyoming County Court. Both entered not guilty pleas and are to return to court in November. Love remains in Attica Correctional Facility and McMillian has since been transferred to another state prison.

 

 

The woman, who was arrested after her dog was found to be overdosed on narcotics has once again failed to show up for her court date. When she missed the first date, Judge Thomas Burns issued a warrant for Cassandra Elmore of Batavia, after a friend called and said she was in the hospital, which couldn’t be verified. The Batavia Police say they never received the warrant and she was never apprehended. She was to be arraigned yesterday but once again failed to show. Court clerks said someone claiming to be an attorney in Pennsylvania but not leaving a phone number, address or filing a motion to change Elmore’s court appointed attorney called her behalf, but again verification was not possible and the judge did not excuse Elmore from appearing. Elmore faces three counts of injuring an animal and multiple charges stemming from a traffic stop late last month. The Judge has issued an arrest warrant and 2 bench warrants for her arrest.

 

Governor Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that $475,000,000 in direct payments would be sent out to New Yorkers to help fight inflation. The 1.7 million New Yorkers who received the state’s Empire State Child Credit or Earned Income Credit on their 2021 taxes can expect a check for $270 per person starting near the end of October. Governor Hochul and members of the state legislature approved the Additional NYS Child and Earned Income Tax Payment as part of the 2023 Enacted Budget. Eligible New Yorkers do not need to take any action to receive their checks, as they will be mailed automatically.

 

Congressman Chris Jacobs

Congressman Chris Jacobs has introduced legislation at the federal level that would override the Farm Labor Bureau’s overtime threshold decision, which if approved, would gradually make it so that farm owners have to pay laborers overtime pay after 40 hours instead of 60. The Protect Local Farms Act, co-sponsored by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, would mandate that states couldn’t set the overtime threshold lower than 60 hours a week. Jacobs noted that farming is not like other industries with a normal workweek and is subject to variables such as the weather. He also says that changing the overtime threshold will cause farms to cut laborers’ hours, leading many workers to leave the state to seek higher wages and more work hours elsewhere.

 

 

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills lived up to their preseason hype as a team that could win the Super Bowl with a dominating effort on the road. Bills quarterback Josh Allen tossed three touchdown passes and rushed for another score as Buffalo beat the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams 31 to 10 at SoFi Stadium last night. Buffalo’s defense also contributed by picking up several sacks and forcing multiple turnovers. The Bills will be back in action on Monday evening, September 19th, when they host the Tennessee Titans.

 

Wegmans has found itself on top of a brand-new list that’s been released by Fortune. The popular supermarket chain was ranked number one in the “best workplaces in retail” category among large companies. Fortune praised Wegmans for several things such as having an internal job posting program and flexible scheduling for employees. In second place was the Target Corporation followed by Sheetz.

 

 

King Charles-Queen Elizabeth

Flags across the state are at half-staff after the passing of the Worlds longest reigning monarch. Queen Elizabeth the Second passed away peacefully last night. She was 96. Queen Elizabeth reigned for 70 years, appointed 15 Prime Ministers and met 13 of the 14 US presidents who served during her time on the throne. The money in the UK will continue to have her face on it for the time being but the royal song will be changed to “God Save the King” for King Charles the 3rd who is now the monarch of the United Kingdom.

 

 

“My wallet is like an onion. Opening it makes me cry.”

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots just keep growing and that means there’s a combined $396,000,000 up for grabs the next couple of days. The prize for whoever picks the winning numbers ahead of tonight’s Mega Millions drawing will be at least $210,000,000. And the Powerball jackpot for tomorrow night is currently sitting at $186,000,000. The price of a ticket to play each game is $2.00. Both the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

The holidays will be here before we know it and the United Parcel Service is planning to hire over one-thousand people in Buffalo ahead of the season. UPS is offering part-time and full-time seasonal jobs to fill positions such as drivers, driver helpers, and package handlers. Seasonal package car driver positions begin at 21-dollars an hour and seasonal tractor- trailer driver positions begin at 35-dollars an hour. More information can be found online by visiting jobs-ups.com.

 

Morning News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that 475 million dollars in direct payments would be sent out to New Yorkers to fight inflation.  The 1.7 million New Yorkers who received the state’s Empire State Child Credit or Earned Income Credit on their 2021 taxes can expect a check for 270 dollars per person starting near the end of October.  Governor Hochul and members of the state legislature approved the Additional NYS Child and Earned Income Tax Payment as part of the 2023 Enacted Budget.  Eligible New Yorkers do not need to take any action to receive their checks; checks will be mailed automatically.  

Congressman Chris Jacobs has introduced legislation at the federal level to override the Farm Labor Bureau’s overtime threshold decision which would make it so farms have to pay laborers overtime pay after 40 hours instead of 60.  The Protect Local Farms Act, co-sponsored by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, would mandate that states couldn’t set the overtime threshold lower than 60 hours a week.  Jacobs says that farming is not like other industries with a normal work week and is subject to the whims of weather.  He also says that changing the overtime threshold will cause farms to cut laborers’ hours, leading many to leave the state to seek higher wages elsewhere.

The woman who was arrested after her dog overdosed on narcotics, twice, failed to show at court August 11th and then again on Thursday.  On the 11th Judge Thomas Burns issued a warrant for Cassandra Elmore after a friend called and said she was in the hospital.  They were informed they needed proof and none was given.  The Batavia Police say they never received the warrant and she was never apprehended.  She was to be arraigned Thursday but once again failed to show.  Court clerks said someone claiming to be an attorney in Pennsylvania but not leaving a phone number, address or filing a motion to change Elmore’s court appointed attorney called but the judge did not excuse Elmore from appearing.  Elmore faces three counts of injuring an animal and multiple charges stemming from a traffic stop on the 30th.  The Judge issued an arrest warrant and 2 bench warrants for her arrest.

Flags across the state are at half staff after the death of the Worlds longest reigning monarch.  Queen Elizabeth the Second passed away peacefully Thursday.  She was 96.  Queen Elizabeth reigned for 70 years, appointed 15 Prime Ministers and met 13 of the 14 US presidents who served during her time on the throne.  The money in the UK will continue to have her face on it for the time being but the royal song will be changed to “God Save the King” for King Charles the 3rd who is now the monarch of the United Kingdom.

After an early game with fumbles and interceptions the Bills found their feet and roared ahead to a 31 to 10 victory over the Rams in California Thursday night.  In the first half Josh Allen threw 2 interceptions and rookie James Cook fumbled the ball on his first touch.  In the second half Mackenzie, Allen and Diggs scored touchdowns to win it.  The Bills next game is at home against the Titans on Monday the 19th.

Afternoon News Brief

Derek Hagen

A 29-year-old man from Batavia has pleaded guilty in Rochester to possession and production of child pornography. Derek Hagen worked in several Western New York teaching, substitute teaching, and child-care positions, including the Brockport Childhood Development Center, and schools in Batavia, Pembroke and Dansville. While working in schools and childcare he made sexually explicit images of children entrusted to his care from 6 months to 5 years of age. He did this while changing diapers and helping in the restroom. He then shared videos and pictures online and was also found in possession of over 50,000 pictures and videos he received from others. There has been no information released indicating that Hagen exploited children in Batavia. But charges in Genesee and Livingston Counties are anticipated as a result of the investigation. Hagen faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison with a possible sentence of up to 30 years. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

 

Wyoming County Emergency Services tell us that the investigation continues today into a fire that destroyed a house on Maxon Road in Bennington. The fire was reported just after 5:30 yesterday afternoon in the basement of the home owned by Robert and Darcie Kozlowski. Firefighters worked for over five hours to control the blaze but the house was ultimately considered a total loss. No injuries were reported. The Red Cross is assisting the three adults who were living in the home.

 

Nicholas Maher

An Oakfield man who admitted stabbing his father to death is in the schedule to be sentenced to 20 to 25 years in state prison tomorrow in Genesee County Court. 38-year-old Nicholas Maher pleaded guilty May 20 to first-degree manslaughter in a plea arrangement. (worked out by District Attorney Kevin Finnell and Public Defender Jerry Ader) Following the prison sentence, Maher will have five years of post-release supervision. Maher admitted that he stabbed his father to death at the home they shared at 32 Drake Street. 69-year-old Martin Maher was found dead after relatives called Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies to do a welfare check Oct. 17. His son was found and arrested hours later in Erie County and charged with second-degree murder. Finnell said Maher has mental health issues but that he was deemed competent to continue with court proceedings. Maher is set to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Genesee County Court with Judge Michael Mohun of Wyoming County presiding.

 

According to the latest data from the state, the spread of COVID-19 has increased slightly in our region. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is sitting at 7.3%. At this time last week, that infection rate was at 6.9%. To help prevent another spike in cases, New Yorkers are encouraged to get the new COVID-19 vaccine boosters that are now being made available. To find out where to get immunized, call 1-800-232-0233 or visit vaccines.gov.

 

 

 

Olga Martinez being arrested

The Greece Central School District has fired a cafeteria worker after she was accused of pointing a loaded gun towards someone in a school parking lot. Officials say that the incident involving Olga Martinez happened after she was involved in an apparent road rage incident yesterday on Mount Read Boulevard. Both vehicles ended up on the property of Odyssey Academy, which is when Martinez allegedly displayed the weapon. The school was briefly placed on lockdown and Martinez was taken into custody. She was arraigned yesterday and has pleaded not guilty to several charges.

 

A new poll shows that a majority of Empire State residents support President Biden’s plan to cancel student debt. According to Siena College, 56% agree with Mister Biden’s decision to have the federal government eliminate up to $20,000 worth of federal student loans for millions of people compared to 33% who don’t. While 29% of people think that the president’s plan goes too far, 21% believe it doesn’t go far enough, and 39% say the plan is the right approach. Also, 57% believe canceling some student debt will provide a lot of Americans with financial relief that will help both them and the economy.

 

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills will be taking the first step tonight on a journey that they hope ends with the first Super Bowl title in the history of the franchise. The reigning AFC East champions are set to battle the defending Super Bowl champions the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The Bills will once again be led by star players including quarterback Josh Allen, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and new addition Von Miller who was with the Rams last season. Wide receiver Marquez Stevenson is on injured reserve after a foot injury during training camp. Kickoff for this evening’s contest is set for 8:20.

 

 

Blake Shelton

One of the biggest names in country music is bringing his latest tour to Buffalo next year. Blake Shelton is set to take the stage at KeyBank Center on Saturday, March 25th. Shelton, who is known for several hits including “All About Tonight,” “Came Here to Forget,” and “She Wouldn’t Be Gone,” will be joined by special guests Jackson Dean and Carly Pearce. Tickets for the show go on sale a week from tomorrow, Friday, September 16th at noon and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Morning News Brief

NY Assemblyman Steve Hawley put out a press release saying he is disappointed in the Farm Laborers Board’s decision to lower the overtime threshold.  During the board’s hearings, the vast majority of testimony provided by farmers and farm workers opposed its implementation, warning that it threatened the livelihoods of both farm owners and laborers.  The concerns expressed by those opposed to lowering the threshold have been corroborated by a number of studies, as a report by Farm Credit East has stated that the total cost of lowering the overtime threshold to 40 hours, coupled with minimum wage increases, would result in an increase in labor costs by over 40 percent for New York’s farms. Another study by Cornell University found that 70 percent of New York farm labor guest workers would not return to New York were the threshold to be lowered and would instead seek work in other states where they have the opportunity to work longer hours.  “Now that the fate of farming as we know it here in New York state has been put in jeopardy by the Wage Board.”

A 29 year old man from Batavia pleaded guilty to possession and production of child porn in Rochester Wednesday.  Derek Hagen worked in several WNY teaching, substitute teaching, and child-care positions in the Western District of New York, including at the Brockport Childhood Development Center, the Batavia City School District, the Pembroke Central School District, and most recently with the Dansville Central School District.  While working in schools and child care he made sexually explicit images of children entrusted to his care aging from 6 months to 5 years.  He did this while changing diapers and helping in the restroom.  He shared videos and pictures of this online while also being found in possession of over 50,000 pictures and videos from others.  There has been no information released indicating that Hagen exploited children in Batavia.

Batavia County Sheriff Sheron says that they need more corrections officers, especially females.  At the Ways and Means committee meeting on Wednesday Sheriff Sheron said that the new jail which is under construction will house both male and female inmates and they need to expand the search for more corrections officers to counties outside Genesee.  He asked legislators for approval of an amendment to allow officers to be from contiguous counties as well as from the desired first choice of Genesee. Less than 40 people took the last Civil Service test, compared to 80 previously. The pool of candidates is growing “leaner and leaner,” he said.  Currently corrections officers must reside in Genesee County to be considered. 

Rehearsals start soon for the Genesee Chorale and the chorale is eager to accept new members into the group.  Rehearsals are Monday evenings starting at 7 p.m. and wrapping up by 9 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church.  The first rehearsal is on Sept. 12.  The chorale is planning its seasonal concert for December.  Singers of all levels of experience are welcome.

The Buffalo Bills will be playing their season opener tonight at 8:20 in California against the Los Angeles Rams Rams.  The Rams are hosting at LoFi Stadium in Inglewood.  The Bill signed Sam Martin to a 1 year contract as punter to replace Matt Araiza who was initially signed and then released after allegations of rape at a Arizona college party came to light.  Wide receiver Marquez Stevenson is on injured reserve after a foot injury during training camp.

Afternoon News Brief

A three-person Farm Laborers Wage Board voted 2-1 yesterday in a recommendation that the state reduce the overtime threshold for New York farm workers in a gradual phase-in from 60 to 40 hours a week. New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher cast one of the three votes and he opposed lowering the threshold. Fisher said the report is flawed and doesn’t reflect the data and witness testimony in hearings that he said showed lowering the OT threshold would hurt farms and farm workers. The reduction is proposed to be phased-in over a ten-year period, with reductions of four hours on a biannual basis. The phase-in schedule would begin on January 1, 2024, with the threshold set at 56 hours; on January 1, 2026, with the threshold set at 52 hours; on January 1, 2028, with the threshold set at 48 hours; on January 1, 2030, with the threshold set at 44 hours; on January 1, 2032, with the threshold set at 40 hours. Once the board delivers its report, Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon will have 45 days to review and announce her decision.

 

The City of Batavia Fire Department has released Community Connect, that’s an application focused on protecting residents and their property in the most effective way possible during an incident or major disaster. Community Connect is a safe, secure online platform. It’s easy to use and allows residents to share critical information about their household in order to aid first responders and emergency service personnel to respond more efficiently and effectively. Community Connect is completely voluntary and residents are individually able to decide which information they are comfortable sharing. Residents simply create a profile and enter critical property and occupant information, which is then made available to public safety agencies at the time of dispatch. To learn more about the program and to create your profile, click the following link.    https://www.communityconnect.io/info/ny-cityofbatavia

 

This Friday is the day that our local Valu store will begin the process of closing down; that’s the day their inventory liquidation sale starts. Out of 16 stores across the region, the chain decided to close the doors at three under-performing locations. Besides Batavia, the other stores closing are in Chataqua County (Fredonia and Lakewood).

 

It looks like National Grid customers are going to be handing over a lot more money if they want to stay warm this winter. That’s because the utility company today predicted the average household would pay $943 for natural gas heating during the season, an increase of 39% from last winter. National Grid says this jump is mostly due to record natural gas prices and higher gas delivery rates. The company says people who are worried about paying their bills should check and see if they’re eligible for its Energy Affordability Program or the federal Home Energy Assistance Program.

 

 

Governor Hochul removes her mask

Governor Hochul is immediately lifting the mask mandate in several spaces across New York State, including public transit. Yellow signs will be placed at transit hubs notifying people that masks are now optional. The Governor says this was a data driven decision. Masks will no longer be required in shelters or corrections facilities, but a mandate will remain in place for health care centers and hospitals. It comes as health officials report major declines in COVID-19 hospitalizations while pharmacies start rolling out targeted coronavirus boosters, possibly as early as late this week.

 

Fisher-Price Bills Little People

The Buffalo Bills are once again teaming up with Fisher-Price and Wegmans to help raise money for kids who are being treated at Oishei Children’s Hospital. Fisher-Price has released Little People characters featuring Bills quarterback Josh Allen, head coach Sean McDermott and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Fans can purchase the Go Bills! pack at Wegmans stores across the region. They cost $19.99 each and all net proceeds will go to the foundation that helps support the hospital.

 

Wheeler Yuta and Daniel Garcia

One of the biggest professional wrestling companies in the country will be making its debut in Buffalo this evening. The stars of All Elite Wrestling are going to be at the KeyBank Center for a live broadcast of AEW Dynamite and their taped show AEW Rampage that airs on Friday. Among those scheduled to perform is Buffalo native Daniel Garcia who is taking on Wheeler Yuta for the Ring of Honor Pure championship. Tickets for the show are still available and can be bought at the box office or through Ticketmaster.

 

Monkeypox file photo

The number of monkeypox cases has increased once again Monroe County. The latest data shows that a total of nine people have now contracted the illness since the outbreak started. One bit of good news is that cases in both New York State and nationally have been falling as of late because more people can get vaccinated. Monkeypox is often spread through exposure to an infected individual’s lesions or respiratory droplets. People who develop a sudden rash on any part of their body should contact their doctor and avoid being around others until they can be tested.

 

30-year-old Cassandra Elmore of Batavia is in trouble again. She’s the individual who was charged over the summer when it was discovered her dog had ingested illegal narcotics. And now, during a traffic stop, it was discovered she was driving with a suspended license. Police also found two sets of metal knuckles in her car with drug paraphernalia. Elmore was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstruction of governmental administration, aggravated unlicensed operation, driving an un-inspected motor vehicle, and insufficient tail lamps. She was processed by City Police and released with an appearance ticket.

Morning News Brief

Members of the Grow NY Farms Coalition which includes many local producers called on the State Department of Labor and governor Hochul to reject the Farm Laborers Wage Board report and keep the 60 hour a week overtime threshold for farm workers.  Lowering the threshold would mean farms would have to pay laborers more overtime and many farmers say that that is money they don’t have.  They also say that the report ignores hundreds of testimonies and letters sent in by farmers requesting that the overtime not be changed.  Once the board delivers its report, Department of Labor Commissioner Reardon will have 45 days to review and announce her decision.

The same woman who was charged with allowing her dog to ingest illegal narcotics is in trouble again.  This time for a traffic violation.  30 year old Cassandra Elmore of Batavia was stopped on August 30th at about 2:40 in the afternoon on Ellicott Street.  She had a suspended license, police found 2 sets of metal knuckles in her car along with drug paraphernalia.  Elmore is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, obstruction of governmental administration, aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd, uninspected motor vehicle, and insufficient tail lamps.  She was processed and released with an appearance ticket.

Former Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren’s estranged husband has been sentenced for his role in a drug trafficking ring in the city.  Granison pleaded guilty in federal court in April to drug conspiracy. He, and five others, were arrested in 2021, accused of distributing crack cocaine and cocaine in Rochester.  Specifically, Granison admitted intending to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. He was sentenced to 32 months Tuesday.

The Great Batavia Train Show is coming puffing around the bend to GCC again this year.  The GEnesee Society of Model Engineers has set the show for October 16th.  Admission is 6 dollars for adults, 3 for kids under 18, and free for 13 and under.  All forms of model railroad and train-related merchandise will be available. Items offered include all scales of model trains, historic railroad items, books, DVD’s and toys. Modeling demonstrations, and a limited number of portable layouts, will be part of the fun. Free parking.

The anchor store of Valu Plaza on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia is closing with a liquidation sale set to start on Friday.  Valu Home Centers, based in Western New York with more than 16 stores in the region, is closing three underperforming stores. Besides Batavia, the other stores closing are Fredonia and Lakewood.

Afternoon News Brief

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has launched a brand new online service aimed at making it easier for customers to access important records. The Records Request Navigator allows people to both request and pay for records that they need rather than having to make a request to the DMV through the mail. In addition to requesting registration and title record abstracts, folks can also ask for other information such as traffic violation tickets, crash records, and license and registration suspension orders. The records navigator can be found online at dmv.ny.gov.

 

With kids across the Empire State heading back to school over the next few days, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued some tips parents should follow. The agency recommends parents protect any documents with their child’s personal information on it and to ask how after-school programs and sports clubs secure their records. Parents should also discuss Internet safety tips with their children. Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the Consumer Assistance Helpline at 1-800-697-1220.

 

24-year-old Jacob Bedard of Albion is charged with aggravated harassment (2nd degree), after allegedly harassing a victim via electronic communication with no legitimate purpose, causing alarm and annoyance after being specifically instructed to cease all communication with the victim. The incident occurred on September 3, 2022, at 11:00a.m. He was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and a stay away order of protection was issued. Bedard will re-appear in Batavia Town Court next month (on October 11, 2022). AND 41-year-old Courtney Hewitt of Oakfield is charged with harassment (2nd degree), after allegedly striking a person in the head with a lamp. Hewitt was released on an appearance ticket and will appear in the Town of Oakfield Court next week (on September 12, 2022, at 6:30p.m.).

 

The latest data from Triple A shows that the pain at the pump is continuing to ease up in our region. The state average is $4.00 a gallon; nationally it’s $3.78. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.15, which is down 31 cents from a month ago. We’re now less than a dollar away from the price we paid a year ago at this time, $3.27.

 

Police across the state are warning drivers to be on the lookout for students crossing streets and getting on and off the bus. Drivers are urged to stay alert, put aside all distractions, and never try to pass a stopped school bus when the stop sign is out and lights are flashing. The safest option is to wait for the bus to turn off its lights and retract the stop sign. Failure to stop could lead to fines, jail time, injury or death.

Morning News Brief

Orleans county could soon be missing a vital emergency service.  Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance may close their doors and that would mean Orleans County would be without an Ambulance service.  President of the Board of Directors, Jennifer Stilwell, said COVA is financially struggling.  The organization is not government funded and operates off of donations and insurance money.  Supply costs and bills have increased, yet money flow has decreased.  The fire and police departments all receive money from county and municipalities but the ambulance corps does not.  

Since the beginning of the year Rochester has had 54 homicides.  Labor day marked the 55th with a man found shot dead at Joseph Xpress convenience store on Joseph Street just after midnight.  Officers say the victim, 24-year-old Isaiah Fleming of Rochester, was pronounced dead at the scene.  No arrests have been made yet.  Rochester has had a marked increase in violence and murders. Especially shooting deaths.  The homicide rate was up 126 percent in the last 5 years.  The 54th homicide was Saturday.

You’ve heard of smash and grab but how about crash and grab?  Euphoria Liquor on East Main St in Rochester had a driver crash his car into it, jump out and steal lottery tickets and other items from the store.  The robbery happened early in the morning on Labor day.  A pickup truck was the door opener and getaway vehicle.  The owner, Carl Fantauzzo, says the damage will cost him tens of thousands of dollars.  He also said he had already paid out significant money after the 2020 riots damaged his store.  

It’s that time again, school is back in session.  Police across New York are warning drivers to be on the lookout for students crossing streets and getting on and off the bus.  Drivers are urged to be alert, put down their phones or coffees, and not try to pass stopped school buses.  Every year there are tragic incidents where kids are killed or injured when someone tries to pass a stopped bus with its lights and sign on.  Be patient, wait for the bus to turn off its lights and retract the stop sign.  Failure to stop could lead to fines, jail time, and death or injury.

The latest data from Triple A shows that the pain at the pump is continuing to ease up. Right now, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in Batavia is sitting at 4.15. That’s down 11 cents in the past week and is 30 cents lower than this time one month ago. The state average is four-dollars a gallon while nationally it’s 3.78.

Holiday News Brief

Food poisoning incidents, thought to be caused by bad lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants, have now spread into New York State, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new cases raised the number of states where diners have fallen ill to six. A total of 97 people nationwide have been infected with an outbreak strain of E. coli after dining at Wendy’s. The agency has not confirmed the cause of the outbreak but said many sick people reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce before falling ill. Officials did not specify where in New York State the illnesses occurred.

 

With Election Day just a few weeks away, a new poll shows the race for New York governor is getting closer. According to a survey released by the independent Trafalgar Group, Governor Hochul is just over four points ahead of her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. Other recent polls have shown Hochul with a double-digit lead in the contest. She’s hoping to win a full-four year term in November and Zeldin is looking to become the first Republican to be elected New York governor since George Pataki.

 

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted Michael Jackson, Jr. of Batavia, accusing him of the crime of bail jumping second degree, a class E felony, after he did not appear in Genesee County Court in connection with another charge against him, a felony. Jackson was required to personally appear in court on March 1, 2022 and was released from custody allowing him to remain at liberty either upon bail or his own recognizance, upon the condition that he would appear personally in Genesee County Court, or voluntarily within 30 days thereafter.

 

27-year-old McKayla J. Kosiorek of Oakfield was arrested after allegedly stealing cash from two different cash registers while working at the Days Inn. Kosiorek was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court tomorrow.

 

The fun comes to an end today as the New York State Fair in Syracuse wraps up its run. The gates will shut down at 9:00 tonight. Today’s featured concerts are Night Ranger on the Chevy Court stage at 4:00 and Dire Straits Legacy 6:00. For a full list of today’s events, head to the official fair website at nysfair.ny.gov.

 

Lotto players will be lining up to take their shot at winning two big jackpots that are up for grabs over the next couple of days. The prize for whoever wins tonight’s Powerball drawing is going to be at least $159,000,000. And the Mega Millions jackpot has grown to $191,000,000 ahead of tomorrow night’s drawing. The price of a ticket for each game is $2.00. Both the Powerball and Mega Millions drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

Weekend News Brief

Downtown Batavia continues getting a rebuild as several construction projects are going on at once.  Ellicott station with its 55 new apartments, office suites and brewery/restaurant is steadily going up.  Theater 56 is on track for finishing its construction in the city Center by the end of the year.  Hunt Real estate finished their building and cut the ribbon at 97 Main Street.  Ellicott Place has been completed on top of the Save-a-Lot building.  Carr’s Reborn construction is underway on Main Street.  Almost 70 million dollars in work is getting done and that doesn’t take into account what’s going in across the highway.

Student Loan Borrowers are wondering when and where and how to get their loans forgiven after President Biden signed an executive order for 10,000 dollar loan forgiveness for most student loan borrowers and 20 thousand for those who received Pell Grants last week.  They will have to wait a bit.  Applications either online or through an app will start being accepted in October.  There will be a 4-6 week processing period.  If you don’t know what kind of loan you have you can check at studentaid.gov.  Applications need to be in before the student loan pause on payments ends on November 15th if you want your loan forgiven and not make any more payments on it.

The Dansville Balloon Festival kicked off on Friday and goes all weekend.  This year is the 41st year for the Official hot air balloon festival of New York.  The event includes access to over 100 arts and crafts vendors, an “international” food court, a car show, rides and games for children, and free musical performances.  The most exciting and expensive part of the day is a private balloon ride with one of the attending pilots.  Rides are available for purchase the day of on festival grounds, with all flights contingent on cooperative weather.  The festival is organized and staffed solely by community volunteers, drawing over 30,000 visitors annually.

Oakfield’s Annual Labor Daze is going on this weekend.  The event centers in Triangle Park in the Village.  There is live music, food, children’s events, a car cruise, 5K race, fireworks, craft vendors, and a community worship service on Sunday.  The annual Parade is at 10am on Monday.  

The Aquarium of Niagara is looking for the public’s help naming a Humboldt Penguin chick.  This is the 23rd penguin at the Aquarium.  They already ran the contest to get names in and the public answered with over 50 names and 2000 dollars in donations.  The 3 main contenders are: Cusco, Gus, and Boldt.  To vote follow the link at wbtai.com.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdYXZQWNGv3bIsz9HBStDi4Li0aNTCkLEpDzkN7fqwr04yE0A/viewform

Afternoon News Brief

I hope Fred Flintstone has roadside service

The roads are expected to be busy over the next few days for the Labor Day holiday. Triple A’s Robert Sinclair says the agency is ready. They’re predicting the need to respond to more than half a million vehicle breakdowns leading up to Labor Day. Gas prices are still high but have come down considerably since the end of spring. Triple A tells us the average price for a gallon of regular in New York State is now $4.06. In Batavia, the average price per gallon is $4.19, down 31 cents from a month ago.

 

With a lot of people getting behind the wheel over the next couple of days, police across New York State are going to be keeping a very close eye out for drunk drivers. It’s part of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee’s STOP-DWI campaign that runs through September 5th. People who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages are being urged to make sure they have a safe ride home. Anyone who sees suspicious or dangerous activity on the road should dial 911 immediately.

 

 

Governor Hochul today announced that temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on state highways will be suspended until Tuesday, September 6, to ease travel throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend. Suspension of roadside construction during a weekend of increased traffic also helps protect the safety of highway workers. Motorists should be aware that some work might continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.

 

29-year-old Thea Mauritia Irons of Batavia is charged with petit larceny. She is accused of shoplifting at Walmart earlier this week. Irons was released on an appearance ticket.

 

 

 

High Falls Gorge Rochester

The name of the 19-year-old man who died after falling into a gorge off the Inner Loop in Rochester has been released. Yesterday, Rory Lochner was in the area of High Falls with a group of friends when he went through some damaged fencing that allowed entry into the area, which has a steep drop. Lochner ended up in the gorge. He was pronounced dead shortly after first responders arrived. Investigators say this was a tragic accident and that no foul play is suspected.

 

Covid test – positive result

With Covid cases seeing a slight uptick in recent weeks, the federal Centers for Disease Control has put both Orleans and Genesee counties at medium for the community level for Covid. Both counties had been at the low level early last month. In Orleans this past week, the number of cases totaled 55 with 59 in Genesee. The CDC encourages residents in counties in the medium community level to wear a high-quality mask or respirator (N95) when indoors in public. Governor Kathy Hochul suggests individuals stay up to date on the vaccine and booster doses. She also noted people should test before gatherings or travel and check with the doctor following a positive test.

 

 

People who have accounts at M&T Bank won’t be able to access their accounts for part of this weekend. Both mobile and online banking are going to be down for 36 hours starting tomorrow as the chain completes systems integrations of People’s United Bank and M&T. It’s important to note that customers can still use ATM services and their debit cards. Anyone with questions can contact M&T Bank at 1-800-724-2440.

 

No one has won the Mega Millions or Powerball in a while and that means both jackpots are still growing. The prize up for grabs in tonight’s Mega Millions drawing is at least $169,000,000. And whoever is lucky enough to pick the winning numbers for Powerball tomorrow night is going to be $148,000,000 richer. The cost of a ticket for each game is $2.00. Both the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Batavia Fire Department Seal

Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have announced over $6,000,000 in federal funding will be going to fire departments across Upstate New York. The money is coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant. In Western New York, fire departments in Lewiston, Delavan, Batavia, and Lackawanna are among those who can use these funds to boost training, purchase equipment and provide firefighters with the support they need to keep themselves and others safe. Both Schumer and Gillibrand say it’s essential for firefighters to have every necessary resource available to them when it comes time to respond to an emergency.

 

2016 Ford Expedition

Ford is recalling nearly 200,000 large SUVs in the U.S. because the heating and cooling fan motors can fail and catch fire. The recall covers Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators from the 2015 through 2017 model years. The company has received reports of 25 fires caused by the motors, which are behind the glove box. One person reported injuries to their hand and fingers, and all fire reports indicated that the vehicles were running at the time of the incidents. Dealers will replace the front blower motor assembly at no cost to owners, who will be notified starting September 12.

 

Mine, all mine

Food lovers will be making a trip to Highmark Stadium this weekend for the National Buffalo Wing Festival. It’s scheduled to run from noon until 9pm tomorrow and from noon until 7pm on Sunday. The event is going to feature the opportunity to taste a wide variety of wings and there will also be eating competitions and cook-offs. Tickets cost $20.

 

Morning News Brief

It started Thursday and you may see it more as you go to businesses across New York State.  Signs like the one in front of Nick Tahou’s in Rochester that say ”Your gun is welcome here, you may save someone’s life.”  According to the new gun control laws, private businesses that do not qualify as “sensitive locations,” are required to either post a sign like that or give verbal permission in order for patrons with concealed carry permits to bring in their firearms.  Guns are also no longer allowed in “sensitive locations”, including bars, libraries, schools, government buildings and hospitals, theaters, places of worship, parks, public transportation and more.  Nick Tahou’s does not serve alcohol, but at restaurants that do, guns are not allowed at all per the new laws.

A 19-year-old city man died early Thursday morning after falling into a gorge.  Rochester Police say they were called to the area off the Inner Loop near High Falls around 2 a.m. for the report that a man had fallen into the gorge.  City firefighters were able to pull the man, later identified as Rory Lochner, out of the gorge. He was pronounced dead.  Officers say nearby fencing had been damaged, allowing entry into the area, which has a steep drop.  Police say this appears to be a tragic accident.

The spooky, weird and sinister tales of Batavia’s West Side will be told by Connie Boyd at the Holland Land Office Museum on Friday September 30th.  West Side Batavia Ghost stories have the same content as the famous Ghost Walks and are perfect for those who can’t go on the guided tours.  Tickets are $5/$3 for museum members. If you would like to attend please contact the museum at (585) 343-4727.

The Hope Center of LeRoy has announced their fall programs for 2022.  The faith based non profit community outreach center started in 2016 and provides resources to help those in need.  Grief Share, the weekly grief support group meets on Thursday evenings from 7 to 8:30 starting on September 8th.  Fresh Start Tutoring is looking for tutors to volunteer to teach kids k-6th grades for half an hour each week.  Please contact Amy at fs.hopecenter@gmail.com if you are interested in making a difference in a child’s life.  Memory and Friends, the free monthly respite care program for mid stage memory impairment from Alzheimer’s or Dementia is also looking for volunteers for 4 hours a month to help people 1 on 1 or just assist in lunches and activities.  

The Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s is set to return in person October 1st at Dwyer Stadium.  The Alzheimer’s Association of Western New York is looking for Genesee and Wyoming county residents to walk in support of Alzheimer’s research.  Their goal: to have the first survivor of Alzheimer’s.  In New York alone, there are more than 410,000 people living with the disease and 580,000 caregivers.  COVID caused the walk to go online in 2020 and a hybrid walk was held in 2021.  Organizers are happy to have it be back full in person this year.  To register and receive the latest updates on the Genesee/Wyoming Counties Walk, visit act.alz.org/GeneseeWyoming.

Afternoon News Brief

Milling and paving work will create traffic delays Thursday and Friday on Park Road. All through traffic is asked to avoid Park Road if possible and seek alternate routes. Today, the work is focused between Veterans Memorial Drive and Route 98. Traffic will be reduced to one lane of alternating traffic. In that same section, the final course of paving is scheduled for tomorrow and will also include Park Road between Richmond Avenue and Veterans Memorial Drive. Batavia Downs traffic is asked to enter and exit the facility parking area from the north end of Park Road near Richmond Avenue; signs will help to guide traffic. For traffic needing to access Park Road approaching from Lewiston Road/Route 63, drivers are asked to follow the Park Road detour using Veterans Memorial Drive. For traffic needing to access Lewiston Road/ NYS Route 63 approaching from Route 98 and the Thruway, drivers are asked to follow the Route 63 detour using Veterans Memorial Drive.

 

Tim Hens

The upgrade to Genesee County’s pump station is in progress. However, according to Genesee County Highway Superintendent and Engineer Tim Hens, as phase two of the three-phase project progresses, there is a shortage of funds. The County received a grant worth nearly $1.25 million; however, because costs have increased considerably since before COVID, the County is now in need of $6.35 million. Options considered at this time include applying for another grant, or rescind the one received and go for a larger amount, plus obtain a loan. If the work doesn’t get done Genesee County could experience – instead of close calls during hot, dry summers — actually running out of water due to the pumping stations’ current production limitations. The project continues to move forward and is expected to be complete sometime into 2024.

 

Valu Home Center

The process to close the Valu Home Center store at 4152 West Main Street Rd. will start in a little over a week. The liquidation sale begins a week from tomorrow, September 9th and could last three or four weeks. According to Valu managers and associates, sales at Valu stores generally remained strong in the face of challenges to retail businesses but the COVID pandemic created challenges for some of the locations. The three Valu stores that are slated to close are located in Batavia, with two in Chautauqua County, Fredonia and Lakewood.

 

Despite a late legal challenge, brand new gun permit and gun carrying laws are now in effect across New York State. Yesterday, a federal judge denied a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by Gun Owners of America to block the legislation from taking effect today. The measures passed in July include rigorous steps to obtain a conceal-carry permit including a social media check, classroom training, and live-firing exercises. There are also areas where guns are banned for ordinary citizens including schools, churches, and hospitals. Governor Hochul says the state will continue leading the way forward and implement common sense gun safety legislation.

 

The Erie County Department of Health says the presence of the West Nile Virus has been detected in the area. According to officials, mosquitoes with the illness were collected during recent surveillance pool testing. While most people who contract West Nile won’t exhibit any symptoms, there are others who experience health issues including a fever, headache, and vomiting. Residents should remove standing water in their yards to curb the mosquito population. They should also wear insect repellent while outdoors to prevent from potentially getting sick.

 

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be sporting a throwback look when they take the ice for 12 home games during the upcoming season. The NHL franchise announced that its alternate jersey is going to be black and red, which are the colors the team wore from 1996 to 2006. The actual jersey itself won’t be officially revealed until November 23rd when the Sabres take on the Saint Louis Blues.

 

Sam Martin

The Buffalo Bills have found their new punter ahead of next week’s season opener. Buffalo signed Sam Martin to a one-year deal yesterday and the 32-year-old will take over the starting job after the Bills released rookie Matt Araiza this past weekend. Araiza and two of his former San Diego State football teammates have been accused of gang raping a 17-year old girl at a party last October. Araiza was chosen by the Bills in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft.

 

Jimmie Allen

Fans who were hoping to see rising country music star Jimmie Allen perform this weekend won’t be getting that opportunity after all. That’s because Allen’s performance that was set for Sunday at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor has been canceled. In a statement, The Buffalo Waterfront said it was sorry for everyone who is disappointed with this decision but did not reveal the exact reason why the show was scrapped. People who had tickets will automatically receive refunds.

 

Morning News Brief

If you hoped to get a gun permit before new regulations went into effect in New York, you are out of time.  The new requirements for a permit including a 16 hour training course, increased background checks, and needing to renew every 3 years go into effect today and Governor Hochul says, if you don’t have your permit in hand already, it may take years to get one now.  Also included in the changes to the State’s gun laws is the addition of exclusion zones around Schools, Day Cares, Libraries, and restaurants that serve alcohol along with several public areas including Times Square.  Bringing a gun onto the property of any of these will result in a felony charge.

A recreational paddle at Dewitt Pond became a fight for survival when high winds overturned a woman’s Kayak Wednesday.  Ron Bebak of Depew was going fishing at the pond when he noticed a woman had overturned in her kayak and couldn’t get back in or make progress swimming to shore.  The wind was strong enough to capsize her and also was keeping her and her boat from reaching the shore.  Bebak got his life preserver and went out and paddled her to the island in the middle of the pond.  Soon, City Fire and members of the Water Rescue Team arrived on scene and helped her back to the west side of the pond, where she was evaluated by medics.  She had no injuries, according to Batavia PD Assistant Chief Christopher Camp.

6.3 million dollars.  That’s how much Genesee county is looking at for needed upgrade work to be done on the County’s pump station and electrical construction work.  And it’s money they don’t have.  The county received a $1.23 million grant, which isn’t nearly enough for that $6.35 million total, and other options considered were to apply for another grant, or rescind the one received and go for a larger amount, plus obtaining a loan.  Genesee County Highway Superintendent and Engineer Tim Hens says that it is twice what the cost would have been before COVID.  If the work doesn’t get done then the county could realistically run out of water next summer.  The County legislature approved the spending with 2 companies, CP Ward and Concord Electric Corporation.  The work is set to be completed sometime into 2024.

Park Road between Veterans Memorial Drive and Oak Street will be getting worked on for milling and paving.  The work will be today and Friday.  Motorists can expect one lane alternating traffic and significantly slowed down traffic conditions.  Batavia Downs traffic is asked to enter and exit the facility parking area from the north end of Park Road near Richmond Avenue. Signage will direct Batavia Downs customers and staff to the parking areas.  For traffic needing to access Park Road approaching from Lewiston Road/ NYS Route 63, you are asked  to follow the Park Rd Detour utilizing Veterans Memorial Drive.  All through traffic is asked to avoid Park Road if possible and seek alternate routes.

Six Flags Darien Lake announced their lineup of events for the rest of this season and next season Wednesday.  Finishing out this year at the park is Fright Fest running from September 17th through October 15th.  Next season there is a kids Fest Saturdays and Sundays through June.  Starting on June 23rd the laser light show is coming back along with LED light and tunnel displays.  Independence Day and Canada Day will be celebrated with flags, fireworks and patriotic tributes July 1st through the 4th.  July 21st through the 23rd there will be Luaus in Hurricane Harbor with live island music, water park contests, a pig roast and more food and drink options.  And closing out the regular season will be the International Festival from September 1st through the 16th next year.  This will feature seasonal craft beer, international foods, live music and dancing and locally made crafts.

The Buffalo Bills have found a new punter after releasing Matt Araiza from the team.  Sam Martin comes to the Bills from the Denver Broncos who he played with for 2 years.  The 2013 fifth-round draft pick was previously in Detroit for seven years.  Last season Martin ranked third in the NFL in net punting average at 42.8 yards per punt.  It’s only 8 days out from the season opener where the Bills go up against the Rams at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood CA. 

Afternoon News Brief

Wesley Thigpen

Wesley Thigpen of Batavia admitted to child sex abuse in 2019 and then similar charges in 2021. He had made a plea deal, in which he agreed to a 13-year prison sentence cap. However, in Genesee County Court he learned the plea was rejected. The judge had received many letters from the victim’s family and law enforcement asking for a more severe penalty. Thigpen is now considering an offer of a guilty plea to predatory sexual assault against a child, with a sentence of 10 years to life. He has until early October to decide and if he rejects this offer, Thigpen will go to trial next February.

 

 

 

Robert Morris

Robert Morris

Robert Morris School will soon have youngsters back in classrooms. The building will be used as the district’s preschool and universal pre-kindergarten site starting next week, when all city schools reopen. Superintendent Jason Smith says that the number of kids needing preschool has almost doubled and they had a hard time finding programs for the students. Robert Morris was closed in 2012 in a money-saving move and the building has since been used as a rental property for BOCES, the ARC, daycares and other businesses. With grant money and the school districts work with other counties in the GLOW region, the school will once again be used to teach kids including those with special needs. Photos by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

29-year-old Thea Irons of Batavia is charged with petit larceny after deputies responded to Walmart, 4133 Veteran’s Memorial drive, for a larceny complaint on August 29. Irons allegedly stole merchandise from the store and passed all points of sale without making payment. Irons is scheduled to appear in the Town of Batavia Court on September 27 at 10:00a.m. in front of Judge Young.

 

 

The next meeting of the Farm Laborers Wage Board will be held virtually at 4:30 p.m. next Tuesday, September 6. The board is expected to deliver its report and final recommendations to New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon on the proposal to reduce the overtime threshold for farm workers from 60 hours to 40 hours a week. Under the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act of 2019, farm laborers became entitled to overtime premium pay starting on January 1, 2020, for any work that they perform in excess of 60 hours per week, and for work performed on their designated day of rest. The board plans to address whether or not to reduce the overtime threshold for farm laborers from 60 hours to 40 hours a week, and if so, over what period of time the change is phased in. Once the board delivers its report, Commissioner Reardon will have 45 days to review it and announce her decision. Here is a link for more information about the upcoming meeting: https://dol.ny.gov/farm-laborers-wage-board

 

 

Justice Coniglio

Justice Coniglio of Basom has been sentenced to seven years in prison on an assault conviction, something that surprised him. He thought that if he followed the judge’s orders from the time of his guilty plea to his sentencing, he would get a reduced sentence. Coniglio’s understanding from a previous court appearance was that his plea deal was for his sentences on assault and grand theft to run concurrently if he made his court appearances and stayed out of trouble. If he didn’t, then the sentences would run consecutively. As it turned out, Coniglio was arrested during this timeframe for assault; as a result, the sentences will run consecutively; he now acknowledges that he misunderstood the judge’s orders.

 

 

Jakubonis and Zeldin, July 2022

A new court date has been set for the man accused of attacking Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. David Jakubonis was supposed to be in front of a judge yesterday, but the hearing was adjourned until October 18th at the request of his defense council. Zeldin, who is the Republican nominee in the race for New York governor, was making a campaign stop in Monroe County last month when Jakubonis approached him with a weapon in his hand. He was taken into custody and Zeldin wasn’t hurt.

 

Genesee and Wyoming Counties now have one of New York State’s lowest unemployment rates, according to data just released. The two counties were tied for the state’s fourth-lowest unemployment rate at 3 percent each as of July 31st; this, according to the state Department of Labor. Only Hamilton, Saratoga, Yates and Columbia counties had lower unemployment rates. About 900 people were unemployed in Genesee County as of July 31st. That compares to about 1,300 unemployed people in July 2021. In Wyoming County, about 600 people were unemployed as of the end of last month. That compares to about 800 unemployed people in July 2021. By the way, The Bronx had the state’s highest unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

 

Buffalo Bills fans will have a place where they can gather next week to watch their team take on the defending Super Bowl champions. A block party is going to be happening on Chippewa Street in Buffalo when the Bills battle the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, September 8th. There will be two large LED video walls set up, a DJ will perform during commercial breaks, and there’s also going to be a halftime show. More information about this event can be found online.

 

Governor Hochul

Governor Hochul has announced additional money for childcare providers in an effort to give parents more and cheaper childcare options in New York State. She says there will be 343,000,000 federal dollars from a Childcare Provider Stabilization grant that’ll go to providers to expand their number of seats and improve employee benefits and wages. Hochul is also launching a multimedia marketing campaign to educate folks on childcare assistance. She says only 12% of families eligible for childcare assistance are taking advantage of it.

 

Attorney General James

State Attorney General Letitia James is reminding pharmacies it is illegal to deny customers reproductive health care prescriptions. James sent letters to CVS and Walgreens after she heard reports that employees in other states were refusing to give customers birth control and several other forms of contraceptives. She’s also requesting these pharmacies give her more information about what’s considered timely in fulfilling a prescription and training policies regarding refusals and related policies. The AG recently launched a hotline to provide legal guidance regarding reproductive health care and it can be reached by calling 212-899-5567.

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

For the eighth time in the last several weeks, the Niagara County Department of Health is again telling swimmers not to enter the water at Olcott Beach. They say people should stay out of the water there for their own safety. A high bacteria count has been detected and the beach will only reopen for swimming once it’s safe. Anyone with questions can contact the principal public health engineer at 716-439-7451.

 

Morning News Brief

No, whipped cream is still legal for people under 21.  Has this happened to you?  You go to buy a can of whipped cream at the grocery store and they stop you and ask you to prove you are over 21.  This is because of a law passed in New York State in October which restricts the sale of whipped cream chargers to those under 21.  The chargers contain nitrous oxide which can be huffed to get high, known as doing “whippets.”  This can lead to seizures, suffocation, and heart failure.  Senator James Addabbo Jr., a Democrat from Queens who sponsored the law says the law was intended to restrict just the individual sale of the chargers and not whipped cream.  He wants to make it clear that whipped cream is not age restricted and stores shouldn’t be carding people over the whipped topping.

After 10 years sitting closed, Robert Morris school in Batavia is going to have classes again this year.  It will be used as a pre school and universal pre kindergarten site after the School District put a 225 thousand dollar investment into updating and reopening it.  Superintendent Jason Smith says that the number of kids needing preschool has almost doubled and they had a hard time finding programs for the students.  Morris was closed to save money in 2012 and the building has been used as a rental property for BOCES, the Arc, daycares and other businesses.  Now, thanks to grants and the school districts work with other regions the building will be used once again to teach area kids including those with special needs. 

A 50 year old Rochester man was arrested Monday after leading police on a chase from Bergen to Gates.  Genesee County sheriff’s Deputies attempted to pull over Anthony Liberi in Bergen when he took off and led them on a chase which ended when Liberi struck a median and his vehicle became disabled.  He is being charged with Unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, reckless driving and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.  

Do you have a business in the front and party in the back hairstyle or just like the look?  Do you like Buffalo Wings? Then perhaps you want to go to the USA Mullet Championship qualifying event at the 20th National Buffalo Wing Festival on Saturday.  Unfortunately registration for the competition is now closed but you can go grab some wings and cheer on contestants at 4pm at Highmark Stadium as they compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to go to the Mane Event Championships.  1st place prize is 500 dollars and a pair of Pit Viper Sunglasses.  

NFL veterans O.J. Howard and Duke Johnson are among the players released Tuesday, as the Bills trimmed their roster to 53 players.  Both players had signed with the team in March.  Howard, 27, came to Buffalo on a one-year, $3.5 million contract after five seasons with Tampa Bay. He was unable to surpass Dawson Knox, Tommy Sweeney or Quintin Morris on the depth chart. Howard will get to keep nearly $3.2 million despite being cut.  Johnson, 28, a seven-year veteran, signed a one-year deal with the Bills after playing for his hometown Miami Dolphins last year.  The full list of cuts includes: Matt Barkley, Greg Mancz, Luke Tenuta, Alec Anderson, Raheem Blackshear, Duke Johnson, Tanner Gentry, Isaiah Hodgins, O.J. Howard, Mike Love, Kingsley Jonathan, Brandin Bryant, Prince Emili, C.J. Brewer, Joe Giles-Harris, Nick McCloud, Ja’Marcus Ingram.  Defensive tackle Eli Ankou was released with an injury settlement.  Cornerback Tre’Davious White will begin the regular season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and will miss at least four games.  Linebacker Andre Smith is serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs.  The 53-man roster was due by 4 p.m. Tuesday, though it remains fluid as teams around the league shuffle players.

Afternoon News Brief

Superintendent Jason Smith

Batavia City Schools issued a letter this morning to parents regarding respectful etiquette. This morning, Superintendent Jason Smith appeared on the Main and Center Show with Chris Kalen and elaborated this point. He asked that everyone stay mindful and respectful of neighbors when parking and dropping off their kids for school. Mr. Smith also spoke with enthusiasm about the re-opening of Robert Morris to pre-school students.  He noted that with the Blue Devils good track record and growing popularity, with crowds at games that sometimes reach more than 1000 attendees, there is a need for increased security measures. Admission for all Varsity football games is $2 for adults; students and seniors 62 and older get in for free. One additional change for this year includes that all kids 12 and under need to be accompanied by an adult. The first home game is Friday evening, September 9th.

 

Louis Coleman, Jr.

48-year-old Louis Coleman, Jr. of Batavia has been arrested and charged with operating a vehicle on a suspended license. Additional investigation revealed that Coleman was in possession of drugs, including suspected cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, scales and drug-packing materials. He is now held without the possibility of bail due to having three prior felony convictions.

 

Yellow-Abnormally dry; Orange-Moderate drought

Recent rainfalls have apparently had no effect on the GLOW region’s drought status. The latest map released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor showed no change from the week before. About 46.4 percent of Genesee County (and 31.8 percent of Livingston County) remains in a moderate drought. All of Western New York, including the GLOW region, remained at a moderate fire risk, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The number of wildfire ignitions is generally low under such circumstances; according to the DEC. Fires in open grasslands will burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days. Timber fires spread slowly to moderately fast. However, in general, fires are not likely to become serious and control is relatively easy. The “moderate” fire risk is a reduction from the “high” risk posted earlier this month by the DEC.

 

Recalled cookies

Animal cookie recall label

Animal cookies sold at Target nationwide are being recalled because they may contain pieces of metal. The voluntary recall is for the 44-ounce package of Market Pantry White Fudge Animal Cookies. The cookies were sold under the brand Market Pantry, and come in a clear plastic jug formed in the shape of a bear. The recalled products have a Best By Date of Feb. 21, 2023, the jug lot number Y052722, with a UPC code of 085239817698. No other lots or products are affected.

 

United States Postal Service – Vehicle Maintenance Facility

People living in the Buffalo and Western New York region who are searching for a job might want to consider a career with the United States Postal Service. The agency is currently looking to hire automotive technicians at its vehicle maintenance facility on William Street in the city. Shifts run from 3:00pm until 11:30pm Monday through Friday and the starting pay rate is $28.74 an hour. Benefits include paid federal holidays, sick leave, and health and life insurance. The application deadline is September 6th and more information is available online at about.usps.com/careers.

 

Where’s my STAR check?

If you haven’t yet received your STAR property tax rebate check, there’s an easy way to find out what its status is. Click here: https://www8.tax.ny.gov/SCDS/scdsGateway  And then input your zip code, county of residence and school district.

 

 

 

 

 

Hartway Motors, Medina – File Photo

During the early morning hours today in Medina, an individual broke into Hartway Motors on North Main Street and stole keys to multiple vehicles. The suspect then took one of these vehicles and left the scene. The Medina Police Department caught up with him on Route 63, south of the Village of Medina where the suspect was taken into custody. The 18-year-old man has been charged with several felonies as well as traffic offenses. His name has not yet been released.

 

 

Trans Siberian Orchestra

A popular music group will be bringing its winter tour to Western New York later this year. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be performing at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on Thursday, December 1st at 7:00pm. Presale tickets will be available to fan club members on September 8th and 9th. Seats for the general public will go on sale September 16th at 10:00am.

Morning News Brief

Thursday September 1st is the start date for several pieces of new gun control legislation in New York.  After the 1st, in order to apply for a concealed carry permit new applicants must first complete a state regulated and standardized firearm training course.  Also included are live fire testing, background checks and character references.  This also increases disqualifying criteria for misdemeanor convictions for this like weapons charges, drug related charges, and alcohol related charges.  Rifles, shotguns and other firearms are now required to be in safe storage if someone under 18 lives in the home.  Lastly, ammunition will be subject to background checks.  

Movie theaters across the country will be participating in a National Cinema day on Saturday where there will be reduced ticket prices to help theater franchises rebound from pandemic related decreases in attendance.  For most theaters this means offering tickets for 3 dollars for every showtime, format, and movie.  While Batavia’s theater has closed, there are movie theaters participating in Rochester and Buffalo.  AMC and Regal and many other privately owned theaters are lowering their prices for the day.  

Genesee Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse announced Monday that they had received nearly 250 thousand dollars in a grant from the New York Office of Addiction Services and Supports for non-medical transportation.  With the 2 year grant, GCASA will be able to hire new drivers and pay for transporting clients to and from Recovery Station and around Batavia, Albion, Rochester and Buffalo.  Transportation Coordinator Nickole Millette says she estimates they have done about 800 rides since January first.  Funding awarded under this grant must be used for non-medical transportation needs, such as recreational activities likely to increase social connection or emotional well-being, recovery supports, peer interactions, formal or informal mutual support groups such as SMART Recovery and AA or NA meetings, and rides to treatment or harm reduction services or to service providers.

The Holland Land office has announced their upcoming events for September.  September 8th is Trivia night at 7pm at the GO Art Building.  Admission is 3 dollars or 2 for members.  A guest presenter, Deanne Quinne Miller, will be speaking about her book on Attica and the 1971 riots, “A Prison Guards Daughter: My Journey Through the Ashes of Attica,” on September 14th at 7pm.  Admission is 5 dollars or 3 for members.  Java With Joe will be September 22nd at 9am with presenter Greg Van Dussen to hear about the Methodist Circuit Riders.  This event is free and coffee and donuts are provided.  

Section VI announced Monday an agreement to a new contract with WNY Sports Officials.  This agreement comes just days before the previous contract was set to expire on August 31.  The High School Sports Officials of Western New York were demanding more money after not being paid throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Section VI said in a statement, “All involved are pleased to be moving forward with Fall Sports on behalf of our member schools and most importantly our student-athletes.”  The two groups have been negotiating the contract since December 2021.

Afternoon News Brief

Batavia High School – file photo

The state comptroller’s office has released an audit that found that the Batavia City School District lost 229 staff computers and 62 tablets, paying about $17,000 in service fees for those missing devices in 2021-22. The report notes that district officials did not appropriately track and inventory the information technology (IT) equipment nor did they have a detailed written policy for establishing and maintaining equipment inventory, or perform an annual physical inventory. Superintendent Jason Smith believes it’s possible that turnover in department administration and within the IT department contributed to and compounded problems with equipment management. He said the district is working closely with the Board of Education to adopt a comprehensive written policy to establish, control, track and inventory equipment.

 

 

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for this afternoon, through 7pm this evening. The effected counties include Genesee, Orleans and Livingston, which could experience heat that feels like the mid-90’s. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity increases the chances that heat illnesses could occur. People are advised to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Additional information: Muscle cramping is usually the first sign of heat-related illnesses (heat exhaustion or heat stroke). Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, vomiting, cold/pale/clammy skin, heavy sweating, fast and weak pulse, weakness or fainting and fast and shallow breathing. Victims of this illness should be moved to a cool place, be cooled using any method available such as ice packs; cool, wet cloths, or by applying water to the body, and sip on water. If a victim is continuously vomiting or loses consciousness, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If heat exhaustion is not treated it may progress to heat stroke. Symptoms of heat stroke include hot body temperature, hot/red/dry/moist skin, rapid and strong pulse and possible unconsciousness. Victims of this illness should be treated in the same ways as those with heat exhaustion but do not give fluids. Also, 911 should be immediately called, as heat stroke is a medical emergency.

 

You can expect traffic delays tomorrow and Wednesday on Bank Street, Chandler Avenue and Ross Street from 7:00am to 3:00pm while crews resurface. While work is being performed in these areas, local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence/property but should plan accordingly for delays. All residents and businesses within the work area are asked not to park on the roadway during the operation. If work needs to be delayed due to weather conditions, work will progress the next business day. Please contact the Bureau of Maintenance at 585-345-6400 Option 1 if there are any questions.

 

 

BATAVIA RESIDENTS ARRESTED AND CHARGED: 54-year-old Marcus Mobley of Batavia has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property, following a traffic stop on Bank Street over the weekend. Mobley was allegedly operating a vehicle with stolen license plates. He was issued an appearance ticket and was also issued traffic tickets for an unregistered vehicle, operating while registration was suspended or revoked and operating without a license. Mobley will appear in City Court early next month (September 7 at 9:00am). AND, 45-year-old Crystal Mounts of Batavia has been arrested and charged with grand larceny, possession of stolen property and forgery. She was remanded to Genesee County Jail without bail. AND, 58-year-old Ricky Marsceill of Batavia was arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Marsceill was issued an appearance ticket with a return court date in September. AND, 56-year-old Wendy Shako of Batavia has been arrested and charged with criminal mischief after an investigation that alleged she smashed the rear window of a vehicle. Shako was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in City Court on a later date. AND, 33-year-old Tommy Crawford of Batavia was arrested after an investigation into a civil complaint at a local motel in the City of Batavia. It is alleged that Crawford refused to pay his bill and exit the hotel room when asked by management. While City Police were investigating the complaint, it is alleged that Crawford provided City Police with a false name. He was arrested for criminal impersonation and on 3 bench warrants. Crawford was arraigned in City Court and held with bail set at $10,000 A, $20,000 B, and $40,000 E. Along with an additional $100.00 cash bail on each warrant.[Criminal Impersonation 2nd; Bail Jumping 3rd; Bench Warrant, 1:25 PM, Saturday, August 20, 2022, Oak St. – On Saturday, 8/20/2022]

 

Matt Araiza

The Buffalo Bills have released punter Matt Araiza after allegations of rape were made against him. A civil case has been filed in California claiming that Araiza and two other San Diego State football players gang raped a then 17-year-old girl. Araiza, who was 21 in October of last year, is also accused of possibly drugging the girl at his home, and having sex with her while knowing he had an STD. He was picked by the Bills in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft. Araiza’s attorney says the allegations against his client are false.

 

The deadline to reach a lease agreement for a brand-new Buffalo Bills stadium was supposed to be later this week, but it has now been pushed back. The team, state and Erie County Legislature, had hoped to have everything signed by Thursday, but people involved in the negotiations are now giving themselves until October 16th to get a deal done. Plans call for the new over one-billion-dollar facility to be located in Orchard Park near Highmark Stadium where the Bills currently play their home games. Ground is still set to be broken on the project next year.

 

From a time before self-service was available

Gas prices are still falling in Western New York and that means drivers are paying less money to keep their vehicles running. According to Triple A this morning, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in our region is $4.27. That’s down 11 cents in the past week and is 37 cents fewer than this time one month ago. The state average is $4.14 a gallon and nationally it is $3.85. In Batavia, the average cost per gallon is $4.27, down 22 cents from a month ago but still $1.05 higher than one year ago today.

 

Morning News Brief

26 racers hit the streets of Batavia to satisfy their need for speed and prove who had the best engineering and daredevil chops as the Box Car Derby returned to town on Saturday.  The last time there was a box car derby in Batavia was decades ago.  The racers Saturday were between the ages of 7 and 10 and 11 and 13.  The race track was Ellicott Avenue between Richmond and Park.  The racers were provided with a box car kit at cost and built and decorated their derby cars for this morning’s race.  The winner for the 7 to 10 year age bracket was Brett Doward and the older age winner was Dominic Darch.  Style awards went to Ceili Finn and Maylo Kemp.  

Veterans One Stop Center is holding a stand down event from 10 to 3 on August 30th at Sahlen Field.  The Stand Down will provide Veterans with a wealth of resources in one convenient location. This event is open to all Veterans of the U.S. Military, regardless of discharge status. All Veterans can obtain information about VA health care and other Veteran benefits information, education, free haircuts, social and family services, and more. The Stand Down will connect homeless Veterans or those at risk of homelessness with information and services, including housing, legal advice, and many other additional critical services. Free lunch, surplus, and giveaways are offered to Veterans who attend. Veterans need to bring a copy of their DD-214 discharge papers, military ID, VA ID card, or a license with Veteran status to present at registration

The Just Kings distributed 75 backpacks full of school supplies for the 3rd annual Free Backpack Giveaway program this Saturday afternoon at Austin Park.  All donations were gone in about 10 minutes with a line formed at 1:30p.m. for the 2:00 p.m. distribution.  They also had haircuts, a bounce house, and several community groups set up tables to talk to the kids.

The Buffalo Bills announced Saturday the team had made the decision to “part ways” with rookie punter Matt Araiza after he was named in a civil lawsuit by a California woman accusing him and two former teammates at San Diego State University of “gang raping” her when she was 17 years old.  General manager Brandon Beane announced Araiza’s release at a press conference with head coach Sean McDermott after the team’s practice on Saturday.  Araiza says he is innocent and “looks forward to setting the record straight.”

Weekend News Brief

One of the 2 men accused of stabbing 2 other men to death in a trailer on a farm on Rt 98 near Alexander has pleaded not guilty.  23 year old Prince Wilson of Albion is facing a five-count indictment with murder in the 1st degree, 2 counts of murder in the second degree, arson, and petit larceny.  Wilson had argued with his public defender and asked the judge to reassign him during Friday’s arraignment.  Wilson remains in jail with bail set at $300,000.  He originally was remanded to jail without bail by a local court when first arrested. Wilson is to return at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 24 in Genesee County Court for oral arguments.

Batavia City School’s superintendent Jason Smith addressed the report from New York’s comptroller’s office that the district had paid exorbitant service fees, did not maintain an IT equipment inventory, and had lost 229 computers and 62 tablets.  Smith outlined 3 steps the district is taking.  They have started working with a third party IT company to assess their IT department, started reducing their BOCES costs and service charges by purging and returning unused inventory, and are writing a policy for tracking and maintaining their IT inventory.  The district was overpaying by about 17 thousand dollars.  

We have some smart dairy farming kids and they had a chance to show off at the New York State Fair Friday.  Genesee County 4-H members Bing Zuber, Tate Zuber and Annalise Sybertz competed at the 4-H Dairy Judging Contest at the New York State Fair.  Their team placed third in the Junior Division of the contest.  Individually, Annalise also placed in the top ten juniors.  Youth participating in these competitions learn the anatomy and physiology of the dairy animal and gain the capability to choose the proper animal to take in the show ring or keep for breeding on the farm. They also learn confidence and public speaking skills while defending the reasoning for their placements to the judges.

The Darien Alexander Townline Rd Bridge has been reopened after months of work on it.  Work on the bridge started on May 23rd for a bridge replacement project.  It is now also able to take full legal loads instead of the previous 12 ton limit.  

The Buffalo Bills had a perfect preseason going but fell and fell hard against the Carolina Panthers Friday night.  They were shutout 21 to 0 by the Charlotte team.  Araiza did not kick for the Bills.  This was the Bills last preseason game.  They need to drop players to get down to 53 by 4pm on Tuesday.

Afternoon News Brief

Eric Doleman

52-year-old Eric Doleman of Corfu is charged with petit larceny. He is accused of stealing merchandise from Walmart valued at $128.04 earlier this week (August 23rd). He was arrested by State Police and released on an appearance ticket but was then committed to Genesee County Jail on a parole detainer. Doleman has spent most of the past 20 years in state prison. He was just released on July 12th after serving time for a forgery conviction. Earlier convictions and prison sentences resulted from thefts.

 

 

The Batavia City School District hosted an official dedication ceremony for the Frank E. Owen Auditorium at Batavia High School. The ceremony yesterday included an official ribbon cutting, and performances by Batavia High School music students, alumni, staff, and community members. Frank E. Owen started his career with the Batavia City School District in 1927, where he directed the orchestra and was appointed the head of the music department. He was responsible for many musical “firsts” across the district: the first BCSD band was formed in 1930, and he founded the Batavia High School Choristers in 1935. He directed the first school musical in 1937 and formed the first jazz/swing choir in the 1960s. Owen retired in 1964, completing a career that spanned 37 years of dedication to the students of Batavia. He passed away on July 9, 1978, in Batavia, and shortly after, a scholarship was set up in his name and is awarded each year to a student pursuing a career in music education.

 

The Scribner Road homeowner whose property is uninhabitable due to damage that occurred starting August 7th, is hoping Pembroke will have an independent investigation completed as to why that damage happened. Gene Nati, spoke after the Town Board meeting last night; he noted that the contractor working at the local quarry, named One County Line Stone Company, Incorporated, was going to conduct an inquiry into the matter of why the damage to his home occurred; but Nati prefers someone independent of the quarry be brought in to investigate noting that unless someone independent does the investigation, he’s not sure how results will help local residents. The Town Board indicated they would look into the cost of an independent investigation.

 

 

Matt Araiza

An NFL rookie is at the center of a lawsuit accusing him and two others of gang raping a minor last year. The Los Angeles Times reports the allegations involve three current and former San Diego State football players, including Buffalo Bills’ punter Matt Araiza. The suit alleges they had sex with and assaulted a then-17-year-old girl at an off-campus party last October. A lawyer for Araiza, a recent sixth round pick by the Bills, denied the claim. Both the team and the NFL said they’re aware of the ongoing legal situation. No arrests have been made.

 

No Kid Hungry New York is issuing an important reminder to parents ahead of the upcoming school year. The agency says parents have to submit an application so their kids can receive free or reduced-price meals at school. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal child nutrition waivers allowed schools to provide free meals for children but that provision has now expired. Application forms can be found both online and at schools.

 

Kaiyah Heinrich

A Cheektowaga woman has been sentenced for selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards online. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says 24-year-old Kaiyah Heinrich used her Facebook account to sell the cards to an undercover member of law enforcement. She pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument. Heinrich is going to be on probation for the next three years.

 

 

 

Lotto players are hoping they’ll have money to burn after winning two big jackpots that are going to be up for grabs over the next couple of days. The prize for whoever picks all the winning Mega Millions numbers ahead of tonight’s drawing will be at least $135,000,000. Meanwhile, tomorrow night’s Powerball jackpot is sitting at $115,000,000. The cost of a ticket for each game is $2. The Mega Millions and Powerball drawings will both be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Matt Araiza and 2 San Diego State football players have been named in a lawsuit alleging that they participated in a gang rape of a 17 year old girl last year at Halloween party.  She says he gave her a drink with drugs in it and then him and the other two raped her while she was unconscious.  Araiza’s attorney says that he did have sex with the girl but that it was consensual and her allegations of force and being unconscious at the party are untrue.  The lawsuit comes days after the Bills cleared the way for Araiza to take over the punting duties by releasing returning veteran Matt Haack. Buffalo drafted Araiza in the sixth round because of his booming left leg.  Haack has signed with the Indianapolis Colts.  The Buffalo Bills issued a statement: “We were recently made aware of a civil complaint involving Matt from October 2021.  Due to the serious nature of the complaint, we conducted a thorough examination of this matter. As this is an ongoing civil case, we will have no other comment at this point.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James is applauding the search engine giant Google’s decision to exclude Crisis Pregnancy centers from searches in favor of Abortion Providers.  She had called on search engine companies to change their algorithms to make sure results for Crisis Pregnancy Centers like All Babies Cherished, CompassCare, and Care-Net which provide educational services, pregnancy tests, help with prenatal care, diapers, ultrasounds, and many other services to women in need of help during and after pregnancy, were buried because they do not offer abortions.  James called not offering abortions predatory and dangerous and called for CPCs to be shut down.  Organizations such as Jane’s Revenge burned and vandalized dozens of CPC’s across the country including several in New York.

Today is the second day that marijuana dispensary owners can apply for a license to sell cannabis retail.  The process is first come first served with a couple of caveats.  First is that a dispensary has to prove they can run a successful business and second, that they have been arrested or have family that have been arrested for a cannabis related charge.  The second part is from Governor Hochul’s equity initiative to make reparations to communities that have been impacted by marijuana arrests.  Applications are handled through an online form on New York State’s website.

The ARC GLOW Friends and Family 5K is set to be held on September 7th this year in Elba.  This is the 18th year the event has been held.  The run raises funds for Arc GLOW and raises awareness of the agency’s programs to children, adults, and families with intellectual or developmental disabilities.  Funds raised also contribute to the Mary Anne Graney Memorial Scholarship.  Registration is $20 per 5K entrant and $15 for the fun walk.  The after-party includes music, food, children’s activities and the “Taste of the County.”

The warehouse being added onto the south side of Batavia Downs is finished.  The new 5000 square foot 1 million dollar structure is going to hold all the food, beverages, and hospitality inventory for the Downs.  Now Park Road just has to be completed to make it easier to get to it all.

Afternoon News Brief

Holley Hotel

The Holley Hotel has been determined to be unsafe and unsanitary and ordered to close by the village code enforcement officer. This forces 28 residents to find other shelter. Many of the residents have been assisted by the Department of Social Services. About 16 are staying at a Batavia motel in the short term. Others are staying with friends and family. Kathy Blackburn, the building owner, said the plan is to extensively clean the building and then an exterminator will be brought in to focus on ridding the site of rodents and insects, including cockroaches and bedbugs. The Holley Hotel is known as a place for registered sex offenders, people on parole and others who are difficult to place in housing.

 

 

Seal of the FBI

The FBI is warning of potential copycat attacks following the publication of the alleged Buffalo supermarket gunman’s manifesto. Along with the Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI said the 180-page document and 672-page online diary would likely enhance the capabilities of others who may be inspired by it. Investigators found that the suspect, Payton Gendron, invited several others to view and help disseminate his writings just minutes before the attack that left 10 dead and three injured.

 

 

 

Covid-19 virus

According to the latest data from the state, the spread of COVID-19 is holding steady in the Finger Lakes region. Currently, the seven-day average infection rate is sitting at 7.4%. At this time last week, the infection rate was at 7.1%. However, the spread of COVID-19 appears on the rise again in Western New York, with the seven-day average at 12.8%; last week at this time, it was 10.9%. Experts continue to say the best way to protect yourself and others from getting infected is to be vaccinated, receive your booster shots, and wear a mask while indoors.

 

Following an investigation by police, 39-year-old Donald Cooper of LeRoy has been arrested and charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Cooper will return to the Town of LeRoy Court at a later date.

 

 

 

 

Governor Hochul says police agencies are making significant progress towards getting illegal guns off the streets. The governor announced that thanks to the efforts of the Interstate Gun Task Force, more than 6000 illegal weapons were seized during the first seven months of the year. That’s a 20% jump from the same time period last year. The governor says that her administration is focused on stopping the devastation caused by gun violence.

 

Rochester police are continuing their investigation into another shooting in their city that left one person dead. According to officials, the victim was hit by gunfire last night in the area of North Street. The name of the individual who was killed hasn’t been released. Anyone with information on this shooting is asked to dial 911 immediately.

 

 

 

A new poll from Siena College shows there are a lot of New Yorkers who aren’t happy with the way their lives are going. Just 27% of people said they are more satisfied with their life than they were a year ago while 33% are less satisfied. However, many folks say they are satisfied with things like their family and friends, spiritual life, health, and even where they live. But 75% of those surveyed are either not very or not at all satisfied with the world as a whole.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul announced Wednesday that there have been over 6000 illegal guns seized in New York State since January.  She says that is 20 percent higher than last year.  The state seized 76 ghost guns in July, which is more than what was seized in all of 2021.  Hochul said the key to their success is collaboration with other state governments.  She used the example of gun shows where people purchase guns in Pennsylvania and then traffic them to New York where they are illegal.

A fire in Silver Springs at a home on Maple street Tuesday morning had several fire departments responding and a daring roof escape.  3 people, 2 adults and a baby, were forced to climb onto the roof of the home by the rising flames and smoke.  They went out the second story window and a neighbor helped get them safely to the ground with a ladder.  The fire happened at around 6:45 am.  No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.  

The man responsible for the beautiful murals in Jackson square and Oakfield’s historical mural as well as many others passed away Monday due to complications from Diabetes.  Vincent “Vincenzo” Delplato was 65 at the time of his death.  He is described as being a talented artist who saw the beauty in God’s creation and tried to capture that beauty with his paints and brushes.  Vincent’s wishes were to have his body donated to science at the University of Buffalo.  He will be entombed in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

According to a new Siena College Poll only 27 percent of New Yorkers say they are more satisfied with their lives than they were a year ago.  For reference, from 2017 to 2018 the number was 44 percent.  The poll also found that over 70% are satisfied with family and friends, spiritual life, where they live, their community and their health.  Most dissatisfaction among New Yorkers was with personal financial conditions and the direction of the world. Only 12% of New Yorkers were completely satisfied with their financial condition, and 75% are not very or not at all satisfied with the world. This includes political, economic, social, and environmental issues/trends, and the direction that the world is going.  Less New Yorkers are also satisfied with their work, with only 24% completely satisfied with work, and 26% satisfied with what they do for recreation.

Afternoon News Brief

It appears New York State Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy is one step closer to heading to Capitol Hill. Langworthy has declared victory over Carl Paladino in the Republican primary for the newly-redrawn 23rd District. But, Paladino’s campaign has released a statement saying its seeing statistical irregularities in a number of counties that will be looked into in the coming days. In the newly created 24th District, Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney defeated challengers Mario Fratto and George Phillips. Tenney is now going to face Steven Holden, who is the nominee of the Democratic Party.

 

The unemployment rate for Genesee County is now at 3.0 percent, which represents an increase in the total number of people working, from 28,200 in July 2021 to 29,600 as of the end of last month. The number of unemployed dropped from 1,300 to 900 during that time. The unemployment rate for Orleans County was at 4.2 percent, compared to 5.5 percent a year earlier, the state Department of Labor reported today. (In July 2020, early in the Covid pandemic, the unemployment rate was at 9.4 percent in Orleans.) The unemployment rate also dropped statewide from 7.1 percent in July 2021 to 4.8 percent last month. Nationally the unemployment rate declined from 5.7 to 3.8 percent.

 

Wegmans – lemon dill butter recall

Wegmans has issued a recall of its brand of lemon dill finishing butter due to the possibility it may be contaminated. The supermarket chain says that the product could have listeria in it. According to the Food and Drug Administration, listeria can affect anyone and symptoms include high fever, severe headache, vomiting, and weakness. So far, no illnesses have been connected to the product. Anyone who purchased it should throw it out or return it to the store for a refund.

 

 

The Carlton Fire Company tells us that a vehicle was found partially submerged in Lake Ontario early Tuesday morning. The car had driven over an embankment from the Lakeside Beach Park and landed upside down in Lake Ontario. A single occupant was found inside the vehicle by first responders. The occupant was quickly extricated from the car and transported to the hospital with only minor injuries.

 

Positive COVID-19 test result

Among COVID-19’s most harmful features, is its incubation period. It’s much longer than many other respiratory viral infections. However, according to recently published research out of China, it appears the time period between an individual’s exposure to COVID-19 and development of symptoms, is narrowing from what used to be 5 days to now roughly 3-1/2 days. And that’s good news, because the longer a virus can replicate inside a person before causing symptoms, the harder it can be to stop because of the greater potential for the infected individual to unknowingly spread it to many other people.

 

The New York State Fair opened today at the Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The popular event is scheduled to run through Labor Day, which is Monday, September 5th. There will be a wide variety of things for visitors to check out including food, rides and performances from some of the biggest names in the music industry. For a complete list of events and to purchase tickets, head to nysfair.ny.gov.

 

Governor Hochul

Today marks one year since Kathy Hochul was sworn in to become New York State’s governor. Hochul became the 57th governor of New York and the only female governor in state history after Andrew Cuomo resigned due to sexual harassment allegations. Hochul is touting her success, highlighting her efforts to combat gun violence, protect reproductive and human rights, and alleviate rising costs. The Democrat is hoping to win a full four-year term in office when she takes on Republican and Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin on Election Day.

 

Morning News Brief

The primary results are in and the battle over who will run for New York’s contested new 24th district has been decided.  Republican Claudia Tenney will be running against Democrat Steve Holden in November.  Tenney beat out Fratto by roughly 3000 votes and Philips by 13000 votes.  Democrat Brian Higgins won the primary for the 26th district in Erie County and will go up against Republican Steve Sams in November.  Ed Rath won in the 61st Senate district.

November is going to be a referendum on New York’s controversial bail reform legislation in the contest between Governor Kathy Hochul and hopeful Lee Zeldin.  In Niagara Falls the murder of a 16 year old girl has brought the reform legislation back into the spotlight. One of the suspects in her murder was granted bail of 50,000 dollars and that isn’t sitting well with Emily Keiper’s family.  District Attorney John Flynn says bail reform is a big problem and lawmakers who support it aren’t looking at the full picture. He explains, “all they care about is whether or not the individuals who get out on bail….whether or not they are committing more crimes and they are totally hanging their hat on those numbers.”  Buffalo Police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia says there needs to be changes to bail reform. He says criminals are “benefiting off of what bail reform was designed to fix without the thought of people that are going to continue to commit crimes.”  Hochul continues to support the bail laws but says she is open to revisions.  Zeldin says the law should be repealed immediately and Judges should be allowed to make the decision.

A vehicle was found partially submerged in Lake Ontario early Tuesday morning, according to the Carlton Fire Company.  The car had driven over an embankment from the Lakeside Beach Park and landed upside down in Lake Ontario. A single occupant was found inside the vehicle by responding units.  The occupant was quickly extricated from the car and transported to the hospital with only minor injuries.

The site of the old Batavia Iron and Metal building next to Dwyer Stadium has sat idle for over a decade and was declared a NY Superfund site due to over 50,000 tons of PCB impacted soil.  The DEC has been trying to get companies to come clean it up and has received 4 bids and anticipates work to start in the spring.  It will cost between 15 and 20 million dollars for the site to be cleaned of contaminated soil, debris and materials.  The contamination comes from open dumpsters that were used to burn off insulation from wiring, electrical transformers, smelting furnaces, and other waste and runoff from the recycling and metal reclamation work for over 50 years.  

With the start of a new school year right around the corner, Catholic Charities is hosting a Socks and Undergarment Drive to benefit school age kids and teenagers in grades Pre-K through 12th in need throughout Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.  Donations of new, unopened packages of socks and underwear are being accepted now through Sept. 11 in Genesee County at: Ascension Church, Immaculate Conception in East Bethany; Maurice’s on Lewiston Rd in Batavia,  Old Navy in Batavia; and Resurrection Church on Main St in Batavia.

In case you didn’t know it was there, St James Episcopal Church wants you to be blessed by their thrift shop.  Opened in 2000 the small store has several rooms full of donated goods for sale for low prices.  The shop is run by volunteers and is open from 11am to 2pm on Thursdays.  They accept non electronic donations and profits are used for ministries like the blessing box on Main street that provides food and care items to people.  There will be some special sales in September. On Thursday, September 1st all items in the Christmas room are half price, then on Thursday, September 15th everything in the shop will be half price.

Afternoon News Brief

Jarrett Coniglio

A 29-year-old Basom man has been indicted for attempting to murder a witness to a crime before they could testify. Jarrett Coniglio was indicted for attempted murder in the second degree, a class B violent felony, for the April 11th stabbing that took place on Sandhill Road in Alabama. He allegedly stabbed the other person to stop them from providing testimony to authorities in reference to a July 2021 assault during which Coniglio struck a neighbor over the head with a bottle. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison in June for that crime and is now also indicted on counts of assault in the first degree, a Class B violent felony, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, intimidating a victim or witness in the third degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, and menacing in the third degree.

 

The New York State Police today announced that Troopers issued 25,199 total traffic tickets during the special “Speed Week” enforcement campaign. “Speed Week,” which was conducted from Monday, August 15, 2022, to Sunday, August 21, 2022, targeted speeding, and other unsafe driving behaviors, including distracted driving and violations of the Move Over Law. Troopers issued 14,008 tickets for speeding, 531 for distracted driving, 476 for Move Over law violations, and arrested 214 people for drunk and impaired driving. 21 of the DWI arrests were in the Finger Lakes Region; 18 in Western New York. State Police also responded to 206 personal injury crashes, including five fatal crashes.

 

 

49-year-old Jay Michael Blatchley of Bank Street Road, Batavia, has been charged with petit larceny. Blatchley is accused of stealing $82.06 in merchandise from a retail store on Veterans Memorial Drive. He was processed at the Genesee County Jail and returned to court today.

 

 

 

ARC GLOW has announced Monday that they sold their waste collection business to Casella Waste Systems. Casella will continue using the same property and staff at the West Main Street waste transfer station. Arc GLOW will use the money from the acquisition to invest in programs and services to meet the needs of those they support. They said the reason for the sale was that they had been losing money on their trash collection services for years, the fleet of garbage trucks was old and would have been very expensive to replace. Casella promised to hire on anyone who wished to stay; however, the number of people being helped by employment with the trash collection and transfer station was shrinking. ARC GLOW anticipates the move out of the transfer station will take place over the next 6 months.

 

Western New York residents will be heading to the polls today to cast their ballots in some important races. In the newly redrawn 23rd Congressional District, there will be a Republican primary involving Carl Paladino and New York State Republican Committee Chairman Nicholas Langworthy. And, Republicans in the brand-new 24th District will be choosing between Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, Mario Fratto and George Phillips. Polls will be open today until 9pm.

 

Governor Hochul – file photo

Governor Hochul isn’t reinstating COVID-19 restrictions this upcoming school year despite a potential rise in cases as the weather changes. She says there will be no more quarantining, test to stay, or sending an entire classroom home due to exposure. These changes align with recent suggestions from the CDC, which also does not require schools to randomly test people who don’t have symptoms. The governor says that being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way for residents to protect themselves against the illness.

An investigation is underway following the death of a pedestrian in Rochester. According to officials, the 37-year-old man was in the area of Lyell Avenue and Glide Street yesterday when a vehicle struck him. The man passed away at the scene and the driver involved in the incident is cooperating with police. Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be factors in the tragedy.

 

The average gas prices have dropped for the 10th week in a row but are still well above what they were a year ago. According to Triple A this morning, the national average price is $3.89, which is down 7 cents from last week. The New York State average is higher at 4.25 but that is 9 cents less than a week ago. The average price per gallon in Orleans County is $4.38 and in Genesee, $4.34. In Batavia it is 4.34, which is 6 cents cheaper than last week. A year ago the New York State average was 3.22. The main reason for falling gas prices is a decrease in demand as the vacation season is ending.

 

Lions Club logo

The Attica Lion’s Club presents the 11th Annual Germanfest featuring authentic German Food, German and domestic beer, wine, desserts and so much more! There will be a 50/50 raffle and great live music from the Genesee Valley Band. Saturday, August 27th, at Attica Village Park. The gates open at 3:30; $5 admission for anyone over 21; $3 for age 12-2; anyone under 12 is free. Credit cards will be accepted. You could win a pair of free tickets to Germanfest, courtesy of the Attica Lions Club! We’ll select the winners Thursday and tickets MUST be picked up at their office in Warsaw Friday by 4:30 PM.

 

 

Morning News Brief

A 29 year old Basom man has been indicted for attempting to murder a witness to a crime before they could testify.  Jarrett Coniglio was indicted for attempted murder in the second degree, a class B violent felony, for the April 11th stabbing that took place on Sandhill Road in Alabama.  He allegedly stabbed the other person to stop them giving testimony to authorities about a July 2021 assault where he struck a neighbor over the head with a bottle.  Coniglio was sentenced to 5 years in prison in June for that crime.  He is also indicted on counts of assault in the first degree, a Class B violent felony, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, intimidating a victim or witness in the third degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, and menacing in the third degree.

ARC GLOW announced Monday that it has sold its waste collection business to the company Casella Waste Systems.  Casella will continue using the same property and staff at the West Main Street waste transfer station.  Arc GLOW will use the money from the acquisition to invest in programs and services to meet the needs of those they support.  Arc GLOW says that the reason for the sale was that they had been losing money on their trash collection services for years, the fleet of garbage trucks was old and would have been very expensive to replace, Casella promised to hire on anyone who wished to stay and the number of people being helped by employment with the trash collection and transfer station was shrinking.  Moving out of the transfer station will take place over the next 6 months.  

School starts in 2 weeks and the state has some new rules about how COVID will be handled.  Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday the state will ease up on COVID-19 quarantine guidance and ditch random testing for students in hopes of causing less disruption on students, parents, and staff this year.  Hochul chalking up the state’s response to COVID a “failed experiment” – saying taking children out of the classroom and away from traditional learning has had devastating consequences.  She also announced that students and teachers are now able to stay in class if exposed to someone who has COVID-19 if they’re asymptomatic, but they should mask for 10 days.  For those teachers or students who test positive for COVID, the new advice is to stay home for five days and return to school when symptom-free, and to wear a mask for an additional five days.

The average gas prices have dropped for the 10th week in a row but are still well above what they were a year ago.  The national price is 3.90 which is 6 cents down from last week.  New York State is higher with 4.25 but that is 9 cents less than a week ago.  In Batavia it is 4.34 which is 6 cents cheaper than last week.  A year ago the New York State average was 3.22.  The main driver for lower oil prices is a decrease in demand as the vacation season is ending.  

The Buffalo Bills announced the release of punter Matt Haack and wide receiver Tavon Austin Monday.  The Bills signed Haack to a three-year contract in March 2021. He appeared in 17 games with the team and had 52 punts.  Haack’s release clears the way for rookie Matt Araiza to be the team’s punter. The Bills drafted Araiza in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Afternoon News Brief

Dean Gardner, Jr.

The LeRoy Police Department reports they have arrested 46-year-old Dean Gardner Jr., of Pavilion after responding to a domestic dispute that was occurring in a vehicle on Warsaw Road in the Town of LeRoy. Following investigation, it is alleged that Gardner choked the victim until they were unable to breathe. The investigation further revealed he had allegedly grabbed a gas can from the back of his truck, opened the valve on the can and attempted to pour gasoline on the driver’s seat of the vehicle, attempting to light the vehicle on fire while the victim was in the passenger seat. The victim initially tried to call 9-1-1 but was afraid that Gardner would hear the call to police. The victim then hung up and sent a text message to the Genesee County Dispatch Center requesting help. Gardner was placed under arrest and charged with menacing 2nd, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, attempted arson 2nd degree, criminal possession of a weapon 3rd degree, and criminal possession of a weapon 4th degree. Gardner was transported to the LeRoy Police headquarters for processing. He was arraigned in LeRoy Town Court and released on his own recognizance and will re-appear in court next month (on September 15, at 2:00p.m.).

 

 

Raul Cruz

One of two men indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury of murder in a double homicide in Alexander was arraigned on those counts in Genesee County Court this morning. 18-year-old Raul Cruz entered a not-guilty plea for the murders that occurred last March. More evidence will be coming from the crime lab; however, it was indicated there is presently substantial evidence available to prosecute the case. Cruz is being held without bail at the Genesee County Jail. The other defendant, 23-year-old Prince N.K. Wilson, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

 

 

Ria Vannoort

Niagara County Sheriff’s tell us that a Canadian woman was killed in an accident on Lake Ontario. 32-year-old Ria Vannoort of Canfield, Ontario was attending a party on Saturday at a residence in Wilson and operating a personal watercraft just offshore. Attendees of the party noticed that Vannoort had become dismounted from the watercraft and was floating in the lake. She was transported by ambulance to Eastern Niagara Lockport Hospital where she was pronounced deceased a short time later. The investigation into the incident by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Bureau and Marine Unit is ongoing.

 

 

The investigation continues today into the fatal Thruway accident at the Slusser Road overpass in Pembroke. It has been determined that a 2014 Dodge Ram 3500 pulling a trailer was traveling west bound on the I-90. The Dodge exited the roadway on the right shoulder and drove through a grassy area until it struck the bridge. The trailer became detached and came to rest vertically against the overpass. Both occupants of the Dodge, 64-year-old Thomas Cartmel, of Crossville, Alabama and the passenger 67-year-old Deborah Burrelli of Rochester were pronounced deceased at the scene.

 

51-year-old Kevin Weber of Batavia has been arrested for assault in the second degree after he allegedly beat up a housemate during an argument over beer. He was arraigned in front of Judge Burns who remanded Weber to the Genesee County Jail in lieu of bail.

 

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office report there has been an increase in larcenies from vehicles in our region. In many cases, these vehicles are parked at hiking areas, County or local parks, and/or parking lots. They believe this illegal activity is being perpetrated by what is referred to as Felony Lane Gang, a well-organized group of individuals that originated in Florida, but operates throughout the country. They specialize in ‘Smash and Grab’ larcenies, stealing purses from vehicles and using victim’s ID’s, credit cards and/or checks to commit other identity theft related crimes. The Sheriff’s Office is advising the public not to leave anything of value inside your vehicle while unoccupied. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police immediately.

 

Emily Keiper

Police in Buffalo are investigating the shooting death this past weekend of 16-year-old Emily Keiper from Niagara Falls. The incident occurred about midnight on Elmer Avenue. Police say two teenagers — a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy — have been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in her death. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victim’s family. It had raised almost $8000 as of this morning. https://www.gofundme.com/f/emily-keiper

 

 

 

Case Keenum

The Buffalo Bills were dominant this weekend as they rolled to a 42-to-15 victory over the visiting Denver Broncos at Highmark Stadium. Quarterback Case Keenum hit on 16 of his 18 passes for a total of 92 yards and a touchdown in his second preseason game. It was the tenth consecutive preseason victory for the Bills, a streak that dates back four years, minus the 2020 season because of the pandemic.

 

 

 

Lets Go Buffalo – created by Fisher-Price

Thousands of fans attended the Buffalo Bills’ pre-season game on Saturday. Many fans were excited to see Josh Allen and the new rookies take the field. Before the game, Fisher-Price held their second annual “Junior Tailgate,” allowing fans of all ages to take part in tailgating with fun activities like Power Wheel tracks and ring stacking contests. The Bills defeated the Broncos 42 to 15.

 

Starbucks Logo

Some Starbucks workers held a protest at the Buffalo Bills game on Saturday. Starbucks Union leaders are accusing Broncos co-owner Mellody Hobson of leading a national anti-union campaign, which the leaders say has resulted in over 80 union workers losing their jobs. Starbucks has not commented on the protest or the claims.

 

 

 

 

Theirs, all theirs

Officials with the New York State Lottery say a top-prize-winning ticket from this weekend’s contest was drawn at a Wegman’s in Buffalo. Officials say the Take Five Evening ticket is worth more than $37,000. The winner of a lottery game in any amount has up to one year to claim the prize.

 

Morning News Brief

2 are dead and 2 were wounded over the weekend in Rochester, continuing the trend of shootings and further violence in the City.  1 man was found on the sidewalk of Olean street Sunday morning suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body.  The man was unresponsive and when AMR arrived, they attempted life saving measures without success.  The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.  There are currently no suspects in custody.  Another man in his 20s was found on State Street around 2:35am shot in his upper body.  There were 50-75 people milling around in the road and on the sidewalk near him.  He was taken to Strong where he was pronounced dead.  Another man was found shot in his lower body and another stabbed.  Both were taken to Strong Memorial and are recovering.  Apparently a restaurant was holding a late night party and a fight broke out.  Major Crimes is investigating.  

The town of Byron is 200 years old.  The Byron Bicentennial Committee held a full day of activities Saturday to celebrate the town’s birthday.  The day included a 5K run, parade, food, games, vendors, music, a car show, and fireworks.  After the morning parade, Assemblyman Steve Hawley,  Town Supervisor Peter Yasses and Matt Meier, president of the Byron Historical Society stood with a State Assembly Proclamation to commemorate the anniversary.  Pictures can be seen at our news partner the Batavian.

The New York State Fair is starting Wednesday and each day is special.  Wednesday is Governor’s Day.  Thursday is Student and Agriculture Day with free admission for those 18 and under.  Friday is Pride and New Americans Day.  Monday is Law Enforcement Day with free admission to active and retired law enforcement.  Tuesday is Fire and Rescue and Beef Day with free admission to active or retired firefighters and emergency responders.  Next Thursday is Armed Forces day with free admission to active and veteran members of the armed forces.  Next Friday is Native American day with free admission for members of Native American Tribes.  Every day admission is free for those 65 and over and 12 and under.  The fair closes on Labor Day and there are no COVID restrictions at the fair other than masks being required on the buses.

According to a new Bankrate Ranking which takes into account affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime New York isn’t the worst place to retire.  Alaska is at the bottom with high crime and bad weather and the Empire State is 20th thanks to its culture and wellness ratings even though its high tax burden and weather drag it down.  Number 1 is the sunshine state of Florida with its great weather and culture ranks.  The number 1 in affordability if money is your biggest worry in retirement is Michigan.  Number 1 in weather is Arizona.  Number 1 in crime is New Hampshire and the healthiest state is Massachusetts. 

Weekend News Brief

Jeremy Ives

One man has been arrested in connection with a shooting on Elm Street near East Main in the city.
47-year-old Jeremy Ives has been charged with two counts of attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon and other crimes stemming from a shooting last Friday afternoon.
No address was listed for Ives. He accused of firing one shot from what’s believed to be a shotgun and striking two people. One required hospital treatment for minor injuries the other was treated at the scene.
Police say the motive is unclear. They did say that Ives and at least one of his knew each other.
Authorities said that following the shooting Ives fled the scene in a car along with other passengers – one of whom tried to get out of the car, but Ives allegedly threatened them preventing from escaping.
Ives is currently in county jail without bail.

 

A warning from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office: avoid leaving valuables in an unattended car. Deputies say a smash and grab gang has been operating along hiking trails, parks and parking lots. They are described as well organized and go by the name The Felony Lane gang.

 

 

Governor Hochul announces that New York’s college Tuition Assistance Program is now available to part-time students. Previously, the program was available only to people enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester. Last year, 250,000 students across the state got financial support through the program, with an average award of $3,300.
With this change, taking as few as six credits are now eligible for the assistance.

 

 

New York state’s unemployment rate stands at four-point-four percent in July — the worst among America’s largest states and nearly a full percentage point higher than the national average.

 

Police across the state will be taking part in the latest “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” STOP-DWI campaign. Police are going to be increasing patrols through September 5th in an effort to get drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol off the roads. According to data from the University at Albany the number of police-reported impaired driving crashes went up by 11% between 2020 and 2021.

Afternoon News Brief

Danielle Tooley

A Batavia woman, who applied for and received unemployment benefits connected to COVID-19 relief programs that she was not entitled to, has been sentenced to six months in federal prison. 37-year-old Danielle Tooley must also pay $18,000 in restitution to the federal government. Law enforcement found six New York State unemployment benefit cards during a traffic stop, when she was arrested for alleged criminal possession of a controlled substance. Further investigation revealed that Tooley consistently withdrew money from bank accounts associated with the cards.

 

 

 

 

Governor Hochul announced today that New York’s college Tuition Assistance Program is now available to part-time students. Previously, the program was available only to people enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester. Last year, 250,000 students across the state got financial support through the program, with an average award of $3,300. With this change, students attending public state colleges in the SUNY or CUNY system and those in private, nonprofit New York colleges taking as few as six credits are now eligible for the assistance.

 

 

 

The cost per gallon of gas continues its downward trend. According to Triple A this morning, the national average price for a gallon of regular is $3.92. In New York State, the average is $4.28. So why do gasoline costs differ so much from one area to the next? Economists attribute it to many different things related to supply chains, the local cost of doing business, taxes and environmental policy, among other factors. Crude oil is a global commodity, whose prices are set by supply and demand. But it also has to be transported to a refinery, processed and then shipped to individual fuel stations, which have operating costs of their own. Each link in that chain is reflected in what consumers pay at the pump, and that cost varies significantly depending on the location. With all of this in mind, in Batavia as of this morning, the average cost is $4.36. That’s down 6 cents from a week ago and a quarter from a month ago.

 

The clock is ticking down for New Yorkers who want to cast their ballots ahead of the upcoming primary. The early voting period that started last Saturday comes to an end on Sunday. There are primary elections being held for Congress and state Senate. In Genesee County, the only early voting location is at the ARC Community Center at 38 Woodrow Road in Batavia. The hours vary each day so check the Genesee County Board of Elections page for early voting hours. Primary Day is Tuesday, August 23 and polls that day are open from 6am to 9pm.

 

 

 

 

Mayor Malik Evans

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans says that the gun violence state of emergency presently in place, will remain in effect for a few more weeks. Evans said that the order has been extended until at least September 17th, noting that the reason for his decision is connected to what’s being called unprecedented levels of gun violence in the city.

 

 

 

 

 

Starting today, police across the state will be taking part in the latest “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” STOP-DWI campaign. Police are going to be increasing patrols through September 5th in an effort to get drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol off the roads. According to data from the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, the number of police-reported impaired driving crashes went up by 11% between 2020 and 2021. During last year’s campaign, more than 2500 people statewide were arrested for impaired driving.

 

 

NASCAR at Watkins Glen – file photo

The stars of the NASCAR Cup Series are going to be doing battle in the Empire State on Sunday. Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch among others will be competing in the Go Bowling At The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Harvick has crossed the finish line first in the last two Cup series races at Michigan and Richmond and is looking to make it three victories in a row. The green flag will wave Sunday shortly after 3pm.

 

 

Hadi Matar – file photo

 

The man who is accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie has been indicted by a grand jury. Prosecutors say 24-year-old Hadi Matar attacked the 75-year-old Rushdie last week at the Chautauqua Institute. Rushdie survived the assault but suffered severe injuries to his liver, arm and eye. In court yesterday, Matar’s attorney asked that his client be released on bail while he’s awaiting trial but the judge denied that request. Matar was also told that he could not participate in any more media interviews.

 

 

 

The Buffalo Bills take the field tomorrow as they continue to prepare for the upcoming NFL season. The defending AFC East champions will host the Denver Broncos at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The Bills won their first preseason contest last week, beating the Indianapolis Colts 27 to 24. Kickoff for tomorrow’s game with Denver is set for 1:00.

 

Afternoon News Brief

A Grand Jury in Genesee County has handed up indictments against two men charging them with murder and arson. 18-year-old Raul Cruz of Warsaw and 23-year-old Prince N.K. Wilson of Albion are both charged with murder and arson for the killings of two dairy farm workers at an Alexander Road farm. Upon arrival to the scene last March, emergency responders found a bunkhouse on fire and the bodies of two men were inside.  The indictment comes after months of wrangling between attorneys, who had been attempting to work out a deal and bring a resolution to the case. Cruz and Wilson remain in Genesee County Jail pending arraignment in Genesee County Court.

 

The City of Batavia Water Department along with Zoladz Construction will be repairing an emergency water main break on Harvester Ave. The water will be shut down on Harvester Ave from Colorado Ave to Ellicott Street. The length of time the water will be off is unknown. As is always the case, when the water is restored, it may be discolored. Please refrain from doing any laundry until the water runs clear.

 

Approximately 2500 National Grid customers in Batavia lost power during a lightning storm. This happened yesterday afternoon a little before 2pm. Power was restored for all by 4pm.

 

Fair season is in full swing and the New York State Department of Labor is doing its part to make sure the rides people go on are safe. The agency says rides at traveling carnivals or fairs are inspected each time they’re set up and that a ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the department. Officials also say there are things people can do to stay safe on a ride such as securing loose clothing or long hair, keeping their hands and feet inside the ride while its moving and not leaving a ride until it comes to a full stop. To report an unsafe ride, call the labor department at 1-888-469-7365.

 

The suspect arrested in connection with the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institute is speaking about the attack. In a video interview from the Chautauqua County Jail, 24-year-old Hadi Matar told the New York Post he was surprised Rushdie survived last Friday’s assault. But he wouldn’t say why he attacked the 75-year old, who suffered a damaged liver and severe injuries to his arm and eye. Matar said he only read a couple pages of Rushdie’s controversial novel, “The Satanic Verses” and added he doesn’t think Rushdie is a very good person. Matar is facing several charges and is expected to be back in court tomorrow.

 

There’s some new information in the ongoing legal case involving the man who is accused of killing 10 people and injuring three others during a mass shooting at a Tops store in Buffalo. The Buffalo News reports that the attorneys for Payton Gendron may potentially challenge the process used to pick the federal grand jury that indicted him on multiple charges. Gendron’s lawyers are asking for access to court data showing the pool of people the grand jury members were chosen from to make sure the proper protocols were followed. They also say they’re hoping to resolve this case without a trial.

 

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia says there are seats available for his annual Patriot’s Trip to Washington, DC. The annual trip is for veterans and their families to visit historical sites and memorials in the nation’s capital. This year’s trip is scheduled for September 15th through the 18th. Contact Hawley’s office for full details.

 

Kenmore police are issuing a warning to residents whose vehicles might be at risk of being stolen. The department says thieves across the region are targeting Hyundai and Kia vehicles from the 2015 to 2021 model years as part of a social media challenge that involves using a USB cord to take the vehicles without having to use a key. It is recommended that people with these vehicles park them in a driveway and place another vehicle behind them to block them in. Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

A former Erie County Sheriff’s Office jail deputy has been arraigned following his arrest at a Garth Brooks concert last month. The District Attorney’s office says 46-year-old John Gugino refused to leave the show at Highmark Stadium after being thrown out for violating the facility’s rules involving profanity. He also struggled with deputies while being escorted out of the stadium and made threatening comments toward a member of the sheriff’s office. Gugino is facing a maximum sentence of 90 days behind bars if convicted of the highest charge and he’s due back in court October 6th.

 

Governor Hochul has announced the relaunch of the statewide Vax To School campaign ahead of the upcoming school year. As part of this initiative, vaccination clinics will be opening up around the area so school-aged children can get immunized. The governor says that by breaking down the barriers to vaccine access, the health and safety of the state’s most vulnerable community members will continue to be protected and schools will be able to stay open. For more information, visit ny.gov/vaxtoschool.

Afternoon News Brief

Joseph Kuzma

A Batavia man who served a state prison term for stealing more than 400 veterans’ grave markers and flags, and has repeatedly been re-arrested, now faces more charges following a state police investigation. 42-year-old Joseph Kuzma formerly of Byron, is now charged with two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent and fourth-degree criminal mischief, following a complaint of a domestic dispute in Byron. Kuzma has been in and out of trouble since 2014 when he stole money from a business where he worked in Bergen.

 

Photo provided by Lollypop Farm

68-year-old Elaine Bute of Carlton, now faces charges after several horses in Orleans County were found severely neglected. Lollypop Farm Humane Law Enforcement investigators responded July 26 to a request from Orleans County Animal Control. Investigators found a thin Palomino with overgrown hooves standing on at least 2 feet of packed manure. Investigators returned and found a total of 10 horses living on the property. Multiple horses were found covered in their own feces in stalls packed down with manure and old straw. Several horses had overgrown hooves, which make it difficult for them to bear weight. Investigators also found insufficient water in the areas used to house the horses. Bute is charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty. She’s due in Carlton Town Court next month (September 12th). If convicted on all 10 charges, she could face up to a $10,000 fine and/or 10 years in prison. The horses are now receiving care at Lollypop Farm.

 

In Attica, the Department of Public Works has shut down Exchange Street just south of the rodeo driveway entrance thru this Friday, August 19th. Residents and visitors can access Exchange from Main Street. Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to call the Village Office at 585-591-0898.

 

 

 

 

Attorney General James

New York Attorney General Letitia James is continuing her efforts to protect renters in the state by cracking down on “tenant blacklisting,” which is what happens when landlords use housing court records as a basis to deny a potential tenant’s rental application. Tenant blacklisting was made illegal in 2019 following changes to the Real Property Law, which outlawed efforts to deny housing to renters with a history of landlord-tenant court cases. And now, the Office of the Attorney General has launched an online complaint form for New Yorkers to report instances in which landlords have engaged in blacklisting.

 

 

 

Salman Rushdie

Two state lawmakers are calling for change following a stabbing at the Chautauqua Institute that left author Salman Rushdie seriously injured. State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, who both represent the Southern Tier, want the institute’s security force to have the legal authority to arrest people. Last Friday, the 75-year-old Rushdie was attacked by 24-year-old Hadi Matar and suffered significant wounds to his liver, arm and eye. Matar is scheduled to be back in court again this Friday.

 

 

Applications are now being accepted from people who want to receive money from the Buffalo 5/14 survivor’s fund. The fund was put together after a mass shooting at a Tops store in Buffalo that left 10 people dead and three others hurt. In order to get benefits, individuals must be a legal heir of the victims, have been hit by a gunshot or suffered some sort of physical injury, have been present at the time of the shooting and are dealing with mental trauma or been an associate of the Jefferson Avenue store who was not present on the day of the shooting. The deadline to submit an application is September 14th.

 

Toy guns

Governor Hochul is strengthening the safety restrictions on realistic-looking imitation weapons. A new law that she signed yesterday makes imitation weapons easily identifiable, preventing them from being used to commit crimes while allowing law enforcement to identify devices as fake when assessing threats. The law also clarifies that imitation weapons can’t be black, blue, silver or aluminum-colored. Data from the Attorney General’s office shows there have been at least 63 shootings in the state as a result of individuals mistaking imitation weapons for real firearms, eight of which resulted in fatalities.

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

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

 

The man accused of carrying out a deadly stabbing at a homeless shelter in Rochester has been indicted on several charges. Prosecutors say 40-year-old Nathaniel Jeanpierre, III killed 68-year-old Michael Nairy at the House of Mercy shelter on August 7th. A man in his 20s was also injured in the assault but survived his injuries. Police say that the attacks against both men were unprovoked.

Afternoon News Brief

Mary Coyne

A Sheldon woman has admitted to causing more than $16,000 damage to a room at Wyoming County Community Hospital. 33-year-old Mary Coyne appeared in Wyoming County Court last week and pleaded guilty as charged to a single count of second-degree criminal mischief. Coyne was a patient in the Emergency Department of the hospital in June 2021 when she began damaging equipment and other items in a room before barricading herself inside the room. Wyoming County sheriff’s deputies and hospital staff were able to subdue Coyne, who was then transferred to Erie County Medical Center. Coyne left that hospital but later turned herself in after an arrest warrant was issued. She will be sentenced Sept. 14.

 

 

According to a preliminary report from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), an earthquake occurred Monday in Genesee County. It happened early in the morning today. The quake’s epicenter was located east of Batavia, north of the Stafford County Club, between Prentice Road and Randall Road. Overall, it wasn’t a powerful earthquake, only registering a magnitude of 1.2 on the Richter scale. USGS says it was five kilometers deep.

 

 

Jakubonis and Zeldin

A special prosecutor has been named to handle the case of the man who is accused of assaulting Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn’s office will be overseeing the prosecution of 43-year-old David Jakubonis who approached Zeldin with a weapon in his hand during a campaign stop in Monroe County last month. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley recused herself because she’s friends with Zeldin who is the Republican nominee in the race for New York governor. Jakubonis is due back in court later this month.

 

Ontario Beach Park – file photo

The investigation continues into what led to a man’s body being found in Lake Ontario. According to officials, the remains were seen floating near a pier in the area of Ontario Beach Park yesterday and were later removed from the water. The man’s name hasn’t been released and police are waiting for autopsy results to find out how he died. Anyone who has information on this case is asked to dial 911.

 

 

 

Jim Kelly at Terry Hills

Christopher McDonald (‘Shooter McGavin’ from Happy Gilmore)

Another Kelly for Kids Foundation fundraiser is now in the books. Hall of fame player Jim Kelly, along with some teammates that included past NFL players, was at Terry Hills over the last few days to play for the cause. They’ve raised millions of dollars over the years for local charities. The “reunion” tournament that many from all over the country come back to annually is what fans, family and friends of BillsMafia enjoy and look forward to every year. Kelly emphasized there are ‘No Mulligans and five total hits only’. He summarized that, while the prizes are serious, the fun is like “Caddyshack.” (Photos courtesy of Chris Kalin)

 

Wild Cherry CapriSun – recalled

Kraft Heinz is recalling more than 5,700 cases of Wild Cherry CapriSun drinks contaminated with cleaning solution. The recall applies to all products with a “best when used by” date of June 25, 2023. The company issued the voluntary recall after the drinks accidentally mixed with a diluted cleaning solution used on processing equipment at one of its factories. The issue was discovered after Kraft Heinz received several consumer complaints about the taste of the affected product People should not drink it; anyone who purchased the product can return it to the store where they bought it for a full refund.

 

MD Abedin

A Buffalo landlord has been sentenced for knowingly exposing residents to unsafe levels of lead. Prosecutors say 54-year-old MD Abedin continued to rent out a property on Hammerschmidt Avenue and violated a health order issued after a child tested positive for lead exposure. Abedin was given a one-year conditional discharge and he must also make sure his properties follow the proper health and safety codes. Residents who are concerned about potentially high lead levels in their homes can call the county health department at 716-961-6800.

 

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority wants it to be easier for Buffalo Bills fans to attend home games this season. After a five year hiatus, the agency is planning to offer bus service to and from Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park with a soft launch of the program planned for this Saturday when the Bills host the Denver Broncos. A spokesperson for the NFTA told The Buffalo News that the bus rides are coming back due to high demand. The cost of a trip will be $5 each way and a list of starting points can be found online. For the pilot program, in addition to the downtown bus terminal station at 181 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, there are 4 other locations:

• Black Rock/Riverside Transit Hub
• University Station.
• Thruway Mall.
• Athol Springs

 

Hazardous Waste – file photo

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

With the exception of tires, materials are accepted at NO CHARGE.
Acceptable materials include at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection:
 Latex and Oil base paint, varnishes and shellac
 Household chemicals and cleaning products
 Household pesticides and insecticides
 Aerosol cans (partial or full)
 Vehicle fluids, oil filters, vehicle batteries EXCEPT MOTOR OIL
 20 lb. propane tanks and 1 lb. canisters
 Pool chemicals
 Driveway sealer
 Tires ($5.00 each)
Unacceptable materials include:
 Empty containers, farm pesticides, asbestos and radioactive waste and explosives

Afternoon News Brief

Fatal crash in LeRoy

The investigation continues into what caused the crash that took the life of a Warsaw man. According to State Police, 66-year-old Duane Hamill was traveling on State Route 19 in LeRoy Saturday when he swerved into another lane, causing his vehicle to hit an SUV head-on. Hamill was ejected and later rushed to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the other vehicle wasn’t seriously hurt and anyone who saw the accident can contact police. The State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation are conducting the ongoing investigation.

 

Genesee County Sheriffs tell us that 35-year-old Adam Kopper of Batavia has been charged with petit larceny after allegedly stealing $737.00 between July 13, 2022 and July 16, 2022 while employed by a retail store located on Veteran’s Memorial drive. He was arrested at this residence in the Town of Batavia and issued an appearance ticket. Kopper will appear in the Town of Batavia Court next month.

 

 

 

Hadi Matar

Some policy changes have been made at the Chautauqua Institution following the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie. Bags aren’t being allowed at the venue and all gate passes and tickets will now require identification. On Friday, the 75-year-old Rushdie was stabbed by 24-year-old Hadi Matar in what has been called a targeted, preplanned and unprovoked attack. The assault left Rushdie with several injuries and Matar has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges including attempted murder. During a visit to the institute yesterday, Governor Hochul thanked the first responders who helped save Rushdie’s life and said the state will always stand up to protect freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Rushdie was taken off a ventilator over the weekend but was still being treated for injuries including three stab wounds to his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, puncture wounds to his chest, and a laceration on his right thigh; it’s also possible Rushdie may lose his right eye as a result of the attack.

 

People who will be hitting the road this week are going to want to keep an extra close eye on their vehicle’s speedometer. That’s because police across the state will be increasing patrols through this Sunday in an effort to make sure everyone is following the correct speed limit. Preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College shows unsafe speed contributed to 353 deadly crashes last year, an 11-percent jump from 2020. During last year’s Speed Awareness Week, law enforcement gave out over 23-thousand speeding tickets.

 

The early voting period continues ahead of the upcoming August 23rd primary and the state Attorney General’s Office says its Election Protection Hotline is up and running. The hotline can be reached by calling 866-390-2992 and it will be available from 9am until 6pm through August 21st and from 6am until 9pm on primary day. Written requests for election-related help can also be submitted through a form that’s online. The AG’s office is reminding New Yorkers they have to right to vote free of intimidation and coercion. In Genesee County, the only early voting location is at the ARC Community Center at 38 Woodrow Road in Batavia. The hours vary each day so check the Genesee County Board of Elections page for early voting hours. Primary Day is Tuesday, August 23.

 

Western New York drivers are still seeing lower prices at the pump when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now $4.45. That’s down eight cents in the past week and is 34 cents less than this time last month. Currently, the state average is $4.34 a gallon while nationally it’s $3.96. In Batavia, the average price per gallon this morning was $4.40, down 28 cents from a month ago today.

 

The USS The Sullivans – file photo

For the first time in several months, the USS The Sullivans is once again open for tours. The vessel was damaged back in April following a massive hull breach that caused the ship to fill with thousands of gallons of water. In a statement, officials with the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park thanked everyone who has stepped up to help make the necessary repairs. The boat is named after the five Sullivan brothers who served our country during World War Two. For touring hours and more information, visit buffalonavalpark.org.

 

With the number of drug overdoses rising across the Empire State each day, action is being taken to try and save people’s lives. Starting today, naloxone can be dispensed at pharmacies in New York without a prescription under an order issued by state Health Commissioner Doctor Mary Bassett. Naloxone is used to block the effects of opioids and helps a person regain consciousness and resume regular breathing if they’ve overdosed. New Yorkers who are struggling with addiction can get assistance by calling the state’s 24-hour hotline at 1-877-846-7369.

Morning News Brief

World Famous author Salman Rushdie was stabbed while on stage at the Chautauqua Institute on Friday.  The 75 year old author was stabbed in the neck, arm and side by a 24 year old man from New Jersey who has been identified as Hadi Matar.  Rushdie was rushed to the hospital in Erie, PA and is now off the ventilator and talking again according to Michael Hill, president of Chautauqua Institute.  His agent said that he has severed nerves in his arm, liver damage and is likely to lose an eye.  Matar has been charged with 2nd degree attempted murder and second degree assault.  The reason for the attack has not been released but may have something to do with the ongoing Fatwa that was declared against Rushdie by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 after the publishing of the novel “The Satanic Verses” which was deemed insulting to Muslim Prophet Muhammad.  Rushdie had to go into hiding for several years protected by the British government due to threats and attacks from the Fatwa. He wrote the stories, “1000 Days in a Balloon” and “The Disappeared” about this period of his life.  

According to the Office of Emergency Management in Genesee County there is a slowly building crisis that is going unnoticed by the community at large.  EMS and Fire services are not going to be able to keep up with the demand for their services in the near future.  Meaning fire and ambulance calls may start having longer response times and someone may die because it takes too long for emergency services to get to them.  The reason for this: a lack of volunteers coupled with a rise in the price of equipment and training.  Keeping EMS services staffed is both a challenge for volunteer departments and Mercy EMS and Le Roy Ambulance.  The training hours to qualify as a crew member can be up to 150 hours and the duty is hard and often puts EMTs in harm’s way.  Volunteer Firefighters have to train for dozens of hours a year and receive no pay as it goes against NY State law.  Many EMTs and Firefighters have left because it is too difficult or demanding.  The Office of Emergency Management has put forward a 278 page report with 95 recommendations to help with these problems.  To read the report go to The Batavian for a full PDF download.

A Warsaw man is dead after a crash in Leroy on Saturday.  Troopers responded to the report of a collision on State Route 19 in the town of LeRoy around 1:20 p.m. on Saturday.  The investigation determined that a 1994 Ford F-150 operated by 66 year old Duane Hamill of Warsaw was traveling south bound on State Route 19 and swerved into the oncoming lane and struck a 2015 Chevrolet Trax traveling north bound.  The Ford exited the roadway and overturned, ejecting Hamill.  Hamill was transported by ambulance to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The operator of the Trax was also transported to Strong for non-life-threatening injuries.  This is still an active investigation.

On Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a pair of new laws. These laws are meant to keep pedestrians and cyclists safer on the roads. The first law gives cities and towns the ability to reduce their speed limits to 25mph instead of the current 30mph. The second law increases the fine for hit and run offenses. The law will go into effect in January 2023.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced Sunday that, within the past three months, there has been a significant rise in Red Flag, or Extreme Risk Protection Order, applications.  The Red Flag Law went into effect in 2019 in an effort to prevent individuals who posed a threat to themselves or to others from having access to firearms.  From August 2019 to April 2022, over 1,000 ERPOs were reported. Since the shooting at Tops in May, more than 800 ERPOs have been reported.

Afternoon News Brief

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

Buffalo SkyRide – file photo

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

 

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

 

 

 

Calvin Clemons

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Matthew Zakrzewski

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

 

Sheep – file photo

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

 

Attorney Steve Barnes

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

 

 

Kelvin Vickers

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

 

 

 

Governor Hochul

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

 

 

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

 

 

Donald Trump

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Pastor Paul & Lee Doyle

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

 

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

 

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

 

Governor Hochul

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

 

Highmark Stadium

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

 

Andrew Cuomo

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

 

 

 

Erie County Fair – file photo

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

 

The back of a male patient with monkeypox

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

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unacceptable materials include:

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Spotted Lanternfly

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

 

An opportunity to dunk Chris Kalin? Priceless!

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Chickens – file photo

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

 

 

Lee Zeldin

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

 

 

Hazardous Waste

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

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

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

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

 

Kirk Hobbs

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

 

 

 

Chuck Schumer

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

 

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

 

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

Nati home in Pembroke

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

What’s the rush, Earth?

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

403 East Oak Orchard Street, Medina

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Officer Mazurkiewicz

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

 

 

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

 

Steve Hawley

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

 

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

 

Sammy Hagar

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

 

 

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sandra Doorley

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

 

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

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

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

 

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

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Michael Salamone

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

 

Lorenzo Baker

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

 

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

 

Lee Zeldin

Governor Hochul

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Sandra Doorley

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

 

 

Moo

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

 

 

 

Robert Dumas

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Afternoon News Brief

William Spaulding

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

 

Christopher McClinic

Antwan Odom

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Attorney General Letitia James

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Brett Frank, Director of Public Works

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

 

George Maziarz

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

 

Barn damaged by tornado

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

 

 

Steve Hawley

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

 

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

 

 

Gerald Steve Pigeon

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

 

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

 

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

 

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz

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

 

Jakubonis and Zeldin

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jakubonis and Zeldin

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

 

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

 

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

 

Gerald Steve Pigeon

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

 

Kelvin Vickers

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

 

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

 

 

Jonathan Jordain

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

Exceptions include:

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

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

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

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

 

Scott Campagnola

Diane Mankowski

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

 

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

 

NYS Capitol Building

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

 

Solar panels – file photo

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

 

Jefferson Avenue Tops

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

 

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

 

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

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

 

Sometimes all you really need is a billion dollars…

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

 

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

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

Jakubonis during assault of Lee Zeldon

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

 

Jordan McMurtry

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

 

Tom Turnbull

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

 

 

John Gugino

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

 

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

 

Monkeypox on a man’s back – file photo

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

 

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

 

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

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

 

David Jakubonis

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

 

Kelvin Vickers

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

 

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz

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

 

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

 

Senator Patrick Gallivan

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

 

Tre’Davious White

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

 

Joey Davis George

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

 

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

 

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

Weekend News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

David Jakubonis and Lee Zeldin

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz

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

 

Matt Landers

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

 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

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

 

Drought Report – from 13 WHAM

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

 

 

 

Garth Brooks

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Morning News Brief

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Nikayla Jackson

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Governor Hochul

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

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

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

 

RIT Campus

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

 

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

 

Mayor Byron Brown

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

 

Governor Hochul

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

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

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

 

 

David Calaiacovo

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Prince N. K. Wilson

Raul Cruz

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

 

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

 

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

 

LED street lights – file photo

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

 

 

Payton Gendron – file photo

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

 

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

 

Monkeypox – file photo

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

 

Mayor Byron Brown

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

Patrick White and Mayor Byron Brown

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Erie Community College

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

 

 

James Phillip Mault

Cody Mattice

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

 

Example of LED street lighting

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

 

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

 

One of the recalled products

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rochester Pride Parade, 2022

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Weekend News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

Craig Poler

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

 

Gregory Foster II

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

 

Jared Wrazen

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

 

TOPS Markets – Classic Logo

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

 

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

 

Monkeypox – file photo

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dr. Tonja Williams

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

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Genesee Country Mall

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

 

 

Payton Gendron – file photo

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

 

 

Positive COVID-19 test result

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

 

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

 

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

 

Evelyn Bailey

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

 

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

 

Monkeypox – file photo

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

 

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

 

Brian Higgins

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

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Nicole McDougall

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dr. Jonathan Daniels

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Captain David Bentley

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

 

Bruce Springsteen

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

 

Mine, all mine…

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

 

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Park Road – file photo

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

 

888-TREAT-NY

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

 

John Flynn

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

 

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

 

 

One of the memorials for victims of Tops shootings

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

 

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

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Erik Fix

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

 

 

Devon Wright

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Midday News Brief

Devon Wright

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Jerome Bridges

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

 

 

 

David Bentley

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

DO NOT OPEN

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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