Local News

Morning News Brief

What is the leading cause of death for people 18-45.  Guns? Car accidents? COVID?  None of the above.  Fentanyl kills more people every year than the rest.  58 people have died in Genesee county from overdosing on fentanyl since 2018 with 10 more still under investigation.  There is something people can do about it.  While it is very difficult to stop the drug, the public can combat overdose deaths by learning how to use and administer Naloxone, an anti-overdose drug.  If someone is unresponsive and you think they are overdosing, giving them naloxone can save their life.  To learn more, visit healtogetherny.gov/genesee or the gowopiodtaskforce.org. 

A homeless woman has been arrested for entering the Genesee county Jail with the intent to sell drugs.  40 year old Beth Ann Jeffres of Batavia is accused of going into the Genesee County Jail with narcotics on her person hoping to sell them to the inmates.  She is charged with criminal possession of a narcotic drug, 2 counts of criminal possession with intent to sell, promoting prison contraband in the first degree, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.  She is being held on bail till her court date of December 15th. 

The New York State Thruway Board of directors is meeting next month to discuss the toll prices and here is what they are going to vote on.   The difference between EZPass and toll by mail is going to increase to 75 percent, meaning that ezpass customers will pay 75 percent less than those who don’t have it.  The price across the board on tolls will go up by 5 percent.  Commuters who get the discount will keep seeing a 60 percent discount on their tolls.  The 2 dollar administrative fee for non ezpass drivers and anyone who gets their tolls processed by license plate image will stay in place.  Any changes go into effect January of 2024.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center claiming years of fraud and resident neglect.  This comes after gathering enough evidence of the alleged horrific neglect several loved ones have faced.  James says the owners of the nursing homes misused more than $18 million in government funds.  The Nursing home is also facing a lawsuit from families of those who died during the COVID outbreak of 2020 who allege that the facility did not take precautions to prevent the deaths and also neglected people who were in their care.  

Batavia High School is putting on the Trial of Robin Hood play Friday through Sunday this weekend.  25 students and a crew of six are putting on the play for Director Caryn Leigh Wood’s 20th season at the High School.  The self referential comedy has Robin Hood defending his actions of robbing from the rich to feed the poor in a trial.  And the twist is, the play can finish in 3 different ways and the audience gets to decide the ending.  Come see the hero, Maid Marian, the sheriff of Nottingham and others Friday and Saturday at 7pm, and Sunday at 2.

One of the most popular basketball teams on the planet is going to be taking the court in Western New York next year. The Harlem Globetrotters are going to be playing against the Washington Generals at KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Friday, February 3rd. Since being founded in 1926, the Globetrotters have played in over 120 countries and been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Tickets are available at the box office and through Ticketmaster.

Afternoon News Brief

Melvin Huntley

The trial for 40-year-old Melvin Huntley of Batavia has begun this week in Genesee County Court with jury selection. He rejected a plea deal that was offered in October. Huntley was first arrested in July 2021 following a sheriff’s investigation that allegedly revealed he sexually assaulted a child under 11 over the course of five years. Further investigation revealed three more victims, all under the age of 17 that involved repeated acts of sexual assault. In March, a Genesee County grand jury filed a 25-count indictment against Huntley including, among other multiple felony charges, predatory sexual assault, which is punishable by 25 years to life. Huntley remains in Genesee County Jail pending the outcome of the trial.

 

44-year-old Tara Lyn Hall-Dilaura of Batavia has been charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence and having an insufficient turn signal. Hall-Dilaura is accused of hiding a controlled substance on her person while deputies conducted a traffic stop. She was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released on an appearance ticket.

 

 

25-year-old Nicholas Goodell of LeRoy is charged with petit larceny after being accused of stealing in the Town of Batavia. He was arrested by State Police and released on an appearance ticket.

 

 

 

State residents are expected to see higher electric bills this winter compared to last year due to various national and geopolitical factors that combined, keep the cost of natural gas and electricity elevated. Inflation, ongoing supply issues from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine continue to keep energy costs significantly higher. However, New York’s power grid has a sufficient supply of energy and won’t be strained to carry the state through the winter season; this, according to an assessment made by the New York Independent System Operator. The higher prices however, with increases between 30 and 40%, aren’t expected to turn around before the spring thaw. The price of fuel and natural gas directly impact the cost of electricity. Last week, National Grid announced it would donate $6 million to customers struggling to pay their bills with the higher costs this season. The utility’s one-time program is separate from available federal and state assistance, and is expected to help an additional 31,500 New York households that do not qualify for the Home Energy Assistance Program or other aid. National Grid estimates a 39% increase for its natural gas customers this winter compared to last, and an overall 22% increase for customers across upstate New York.

 

Kristofor O’Rourke

A former member of the Geneseo Police Department is on the other side of the law after being arrested by State Police. Troopers say 29-year-old Kristofor O’Rourke arrested a woman for DWI back in July. He then allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with her without her consent. O’Rourke was arraigned last night and pleaded not guilty before being released. He has been ordered to stay away from the victim and is facing up to four years in prison if convicted.

 

 

A wind advisory will be in effect starting tomorrow morning at 10:00am and remain in place until 4:00am Thursday morning. Westerly winds at 25-35 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 mph can be expected. The effected areas include all but Livingston County in the GLOW region (Niagara County and Northern Erie County is also effected). Gusty winds could blow unsecured objects around. Tree limbs could come down and a few isolated power outages may result. Travel will be difficult at times in high profile vehicles.

 

A winter weather advisory is in effect for western Wyoming County and areas a little south, starting at 4:00 tomorrow afternoon; it will be in place until 1:00 Thursday afternoon. Lake effect snow is expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 7 inches in the most persistent lake snows could accumulate across higher terrain. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph will produce extensive blowing and drifting snow. Plan for snow covered and slippery road conditions. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility with hazardous conditions possibly impacting the evening commute Wednesday and the morning commute Thursday. Lake effect snow will fall in relatively narrow bands. If traveling, be prepared for rapidly changing visibility and road conditions.

 

 

Tage Thompson

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game losing streak after suffering a tough defeat at home. Dylan Cozens, Jack Quinn, Jeff Skinner, Tyson Jost and Tage Thompson each scored but the Sabres were still beaten by the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 in overtime at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surrendered all six Lightning goals in the contest. Buffalo’s next game is tomorrow night on the road against the Detroit Red Wings.

 

 

 

The Mega Millions jackpot has risen again. The prize up for grabs tonight is now $305,000,000 after no one correctly chose the winning numbers in Friday’s drawing. The odds of hitting the jackpot are one in more than 302,000,000. The drawing will be streamed online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties are going to be under a wind advisory for a storm coming Wednesday morning starting at 10am and lasting till 4pm on Thursday.  Winds 25-35 miles per hour are expected with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour going from west to east.  Gusts could blow around unsecured objects and possibly blow tree limbs onto power lines causing outages.  Travel in high profile vehicles could be dangerous.

Wyoming County is under a winter weather advisory Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.  From 4pm Wednesday to 1 pm Thursday lake effect snow of 4 to 7 inches are expected in conjunction with high winds blowing the snow around.  Lake effect snow will fall in relatively narrow bands. If traveling, be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions and visibilities.

More than a year after entering a guilty plea, trying to withdraw it, disappearing after being released to attend the birth of his child and then being recaptured months later, and asking for a new attorney, Devon Wright has been sentenced.  He was sentenced to 24 years in prison for attempted assault, criminal sexual act, attempted criminal possession of a weapon, and assault.  He had made a plea deal to run his sentences concurrently but lost the deal when he failed to appear for his sentencing date in 2021.  Wright could have faced up to 29 years for his crimes.

29 year old former Geneseo Police Officer Kristofor O’Rourke plead not guilty Monday evening for threatening a woman with jail time if she didn’t perform sex acts on him at a traffic stop.  O’Rourke is being charged with third-degree felony criminal sexual act and misdemeanor official misconduct in connection to the July 1st incident. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 18 months to 4 years in the state’s Department of Corrections if he’s convicted.  O’Rourke left the Geneseo Police to join the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department.  After an investigation into the incident he was fired on November 21st.  He also worked for Mount Morris Police Part time and Watkins Glen Police.

A 72 year old Wyoming County man was killed in a bulldozer accident in the Town of Leicester on Saturday.  According to the sheriff’s office, around 5:50 p.m. on Saturday sheriff’s deputies responded to Dunkley Road in the Town of Leicester for the report of a male that was run over by a bulldozer.  The sheriff’s office said it learned that Thomas Swyers of Perry had gone to the property earlier in the day and was using a bulldozer to clear a portion of a wooded area. When he did not return home his family requested assistance from friends to check his welfare. Swyers was found dead in the woods.  According to the sheriff’s office, Swyers was either working on the bulldozer or fell off while it was in gear and he was drug under the tracks.

Buffalo Sabres lost their match up with the Tampa Bay Lightning in a close game 6 to 5 in overtime.  Jeff Skinner, Jack Quinn, Dylan Cozens, Tage Thompson and for his first time, Tyson Jost scored for Buffalo.  The Sabres next game is in Detroit against the Red Wings Thursday at 7pm.  

Afternoon News Brief

Kenneth Campbell

Joanna Larnder

Andrew Taylor

The Genesee County Drug Task Force has arrested three people following a raid at 126 State Street. The charges filed against Kenneth Campbell of Batavia include criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was committed to Genesee County Jail without bail due to his extensive criminal history. 35-year-old Andrew Taylor of Albion and 29-year-old Joanna Larnder of Batavia were both charged with misdemeanor drug possession. They were released with appearance tickets.

 

50-year-old Jamie Schlonski of Batavia is charged with grand larceny, possession of stolen property and falsifying business records. He is accused of stealing more than $1000 in merchandise from Dick’s Sporting Goods and pawning it at Pawn Kings, which required completing paperwork for the transaction. Schlonski was issued an appearance ticket.

 

 

 

 

Peyton Gendron pleads guilty

Buffalo supermarket shooter Peyton Gendron pleaded guilty this morning to state charges stemming from the Tops supermarket shooting in East Buffalo. He pleaded guilty to 15 charges in all, including domestic terrorism motivated by hate, murder and attempted murder. He still faces more than two-dozen federal charges, some of which carry the possibility of the death penalty. Domestic terrorism motivated by hate carries a mandatory life sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for February 15, 2023, at 9:30 a.m.

 

 

 

51-year-old Michael Rech of North Chili was found guilty in U.S. District Court of trying to collect $900,000 in federal Payroll Protection Program funds. He was convicted by a federal jury of 37 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Rech has a long history of problems with the law as well as filing lawsuits, including one suit he filed in 2015 against the City of Batavia accusing city police of using excessive force. The suit claimed that officers smashed a window on his car, pulled him out of the car and arrested him on fake charges, violating his civil rights.

 

While still higher than they were last year at this time, gas prices continued their slow decline for still another week. According to Triple A this morning, the national average cost per gallon is $3.55. In New York, it’s $3.79. And in Batavia, we’re paying an average of $3.62, down 9 cents from a month ago today.

 

 

Jim Kelly – file photo

Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly is going to be making an appearance at a holiday tree lighting event this week. Kelly will be at the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls on Wednesday night. In addition to a visit by the NFL Hall of Famer, Santa Claus is also scheduled to greet folks in attendance. The event begins at five p-m and for more information, go to senecacasinos.com.

 

 

 

 

Cozens during New Jersey Devils game – 11/25/22

The Buffalo Sabres take the ice tonight as they try and avoid a second straight loss. The Sabres are hosting the defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning at KeyBank Center. The Sabres last played on Friday when they fell to the New Jersey Devils 3-1. Face-off for tonight’s game is 7:00.  (Sabres photo)

 

 

 

 

Entrance to Woodward Memorial Library – LeRoy

The elevator at the Woodward Memorial Library in LeRoy is out of service. It was installed in 1995 and gets inspected annually but has never before been fully serviced. Although repairs are anticipated to be costly, if not completed, they will be out of compliance with the American’s With Disabilities Act.

 

 

 

 

 

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty tells us that a fatal bulldozer accident occurred on Saturday afternoon in the Town of Leicester. 72-year-old Thomas Swyers of Perry had been using a bulldozer to clear a portion of a wooded area. When he failed to return home after dark, his family asked the sheriff to check on him. Swyers was found deceased in the woods. The scene suggested that he might have fallen off the bulldozer while it was still in gear and was dragged under the tracks. While the investigation continues, the incident is believed to be a tragic accident.

 

 

The Mega Millions jackpot continues to climb. No one picked all six numbers in the last drawing. That means tomorrow’s jackpot in the multi-state lottery game will be worth at least $305,000,000. Please play responsibly.

ArcGlow Chili and Chowder Fest

The rescheduled ArcGlow Chili and Chowder Fest will be held Friday and Saturday, December 16 and 17, at the Woodrow Road Community Center. Friday from 4pm to 6pm and Saturday from 10am to 1pm.

Live Nativity

Indian Falls Church will have a live, drive thru, nativity, in the Pembroke Town Park, Saturday, December 3, from 5pm to 7pm.

TOY DRIVE

The WBTA, Ken Barrett Chevrolet Cadillac, Salvation Army Original Toy Drive will be held Friday, December 9, 9am to 4pm, at the showroom of Ken Barrett, Main Street, Batavia. Just drive up and Batavia Firefighters will help you deliver your contributions. The need is great, contributions of new unwrapped toys stay in Genesee County. Thank you for all your support!

WBTA Auction

The Christmas Edition of the WBTA Really BIG Radio Auction will be held Saturday, December 10, 8am to 11am. Check out our website at WBTAi.com for items going up for bid.

Stafford Hymn Sing

The public is invited to join in the  Christmas Hymn Sing at Morganville United Church of Christ, in Stafford, Sunday, December 4, 3pm.

Trinity Treasures

Attica women in Faith will host and inside vendor sale, Saturday, December 10, 9:30am to 3pm at 75 Main Street, Attica. Lunch will be available.

Batavia Artists

Batavia Society of Artists will host their Winter Art Exhibit at the Richmond Memorial Library during December with  a free opening reception Thursday, December 8, from 6:30pm to 8pm.

 

Morning News Brief

It’s that time of year when people are out looking for that perfect gift or the perfect tree to place in their homes for the holiday season.  But just like the prices in the stores, prices on the tree lots have had to increase too.  A study shows across the country people are expected to pay on average $86 for a real Christmas tree this holiday season, that’s an increase of nearly 13 percent from 2021.  According to the latest data from the National Christmas Tree Association, over a quarter of Americans say they got their hands dirty last year by choosing and cutting down a real Christmas tree to celebrate the holiday season, down from 32% the previous year.

Thanks to a drop in gas prices, Batavia drivers are handing over less of their hard-earned money when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now three-76. That’s down four cents in the past week but is also five cents higher than this time one month ago. Currently, the state average is three-79 a gallon and nationally it’s three-55.

Stop into GO ART! after the Christmas parade to get a drink made by one of the new publishers of Batavia!  Tom Turnbull, former publisher of the Batavia Daily News and Howard Owens, Publisher/Executive Editor of the Batavian, will be making drinks at GO ART!s Tavern 2.o.1 from 6:30 to 9:30 on Saturday December 3rd.  The contenders have plenty of experience in journalism, but how will they fare behind a bar?  Serving a selection of locally made or sourced beer, wines, meads, and ciders, the pair will be in competition to earn the most tips, bragging rights and title of Ultimate Celebrity Bartender. All proceeds go to support GO ART!’s many public programs.  The event is open to the public.

The Pembroke Dragons are State Champions after beating Groton on Friday 38 to 18 at the Union Ellicott High School.  The Dragons 8 man team made history for the school being the first team to make states and now proving that they are the best in the state.  Coach Brandon Ricci had lots of gratitude for the superintendent, the Board of Education, Administration, Teachers, fire and police and fans and families for all the support through the season.  

First Presbyterian Church is hosting their 26th annual Service of Remembrance on December 7th at 7pm in collaboration with HE Turner, Bohm-Calarco-Smith and Burdett and Sanford Funeral homes.  The ecumenical service will combine music, prayer, scripture reading, reading of the names of loved ones, the tolling of the bell in remembrance, and a message of hope by Reverend Dr. Roula Alkhouri.  Anyone who has registered as having lost a loved one in the past year will receive a candle.  If you haven’t registered you can call HE Turner Funeral Home at 585 344 4295 or visit bataviafuneralhomes.com.  The service will also be livestreamed. 

3 Churches right near each other are tackling downtown Batavia’s hunger problems by providing food.  First Presbyterian and St James Episcopal church have little free pantries and blessing boxes located outside the church that people can walk up to at any time in the day and get food to make at home.  First Presbyterian also has a refrigerator with fresh produce, homemade dishes and frozen foods outside the church.  First Baptist Church has free home cooked meals provided through Lydia’s Kitchen.  Pastor Tim Young and his wife Lydia of Living Waters Apostolic Ministries host, cook and serve hot meals 5 days a week from 10 to noon.  To help keep these three important services available to our neighbors, there is going to be a big food drive on Sunday, Dec. 4, from noon to 3 p.m at Resurrection Parish and St Paul’s Episcopal in Stafford. 

Genesee Society of Model Engineers are having their 20th annual Holiday Open House on the 3rd at 50 Main Street in LeRoy from 10 am to 3 pm.  The event is free and features operating O, HO and N gauge sets with club members on hand to answer any model railway questions.  This year’s Open House will be one of the many events featured as part of Oakfield’s Christmas in the Village celebration.

The Buffalo Sabres will be back on their home ice as they try and avoid a second straight loss. The Sabres are hosting the defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning at KeyBank Center tonight. The Sabres last played on Friday when they fell to the New Jersey Devils three-to-one. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for seven p-m.

Weekend News Brief

The Greece Police department has released the names of the people involved in the shooting on Mosely Road Wednesday night.  51 year old Muharem Serhatlic apparently shot his wife, 46 year old Raza Knaji before turning the gun on himself.  Raza survived and was taken to Strong Memorial.  Serhatlic died at the scene.  

Medina Police working collaboratively with the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force during an investigation and then the execution of search warrants, resulted in four arrests and felony charges against 20-year-old Nasir Shine, 19-year-old Emmanuel Taylor and 37-year-old Darrell Shine, each of Medina and 36-year-old Ebony Shine of Rochester. Investigators recovered firearms including an assault rifle and tactical shotgun, ammunition, a half-pound of cocaine, a pound of fentanyl, drug packaging materials, and $29,000 cash ($20,000 of which was for one sale of over ¼ kilogram of fentanyl). In addition, charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute controlled substances, could result in a maximum penalty of life in prison, for each of the four except for Darrell Shine.

Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino announced its annual holiday tree lighting will take place November 30.  The event will include refreshments and special appearances by Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly and Santa Claus. In addition, Cami Clune and Joshua Vacanti will perform throughout the celebration.

Online Black Friday sales are expected to break records.  According to Adobe, sales are projected to top nine-billion dollars, which would be a new record.  The numbers come on the heels of a big day of Thanksgiving shopping online, with the numbers up three-percent year-over-year.  Small Business Saturday is expected to be more popular than Black Friday and local retailers are gearing up with sales and inflation busters.

The Buffalo Sabres lost to the New Jersey Devils Friday night 3 to 1 on their home ice.  This is the Devils 9th straight win on the road and the Sabres 1st loss in 3 games.  Victor Oloffson made 1 goal and Craig Anderson made 41 saves vs the Devils goalie Akira Schmid making 33 saves.  Next the Sabres are home at Keybank Center to face the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday at 7pm.

Afternoon News Brief

 

Eric Alcantara

A search is underway for a Rochester Institute of Technology student who has been reported missing. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says that 19-year-old Eric Alcantara is just over five-feet tall, weighs about 150 pounds and has brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing black pants, a red jacket, black knit cap, dark shoes and that he speaks both English and Spanish. It’s believed that Alcantara might be traveling to Great Neck, which is in Nassau County. Anyone who sees him or knows where he is should dial 911.

 

Police are still searching for the driver of a minivan that struck a utility pole on Law Street. The Wednesday afternoon accident caused a significant power surge in the area. Law enforcement believes they know who the driver was, that he’s not from the area, the vehicle was not stolen and they would like to question him about the accident. Witnesses saw a man running from the accident and provided a description to police. The crash caused roughly 300 homes on Chestnut and South Jackson to lose power. National Grid often attempts to recover damages from the driver’s insurance company (and indications are that this driver was insured) when an accident damages a utility pole. The damages, in this case, could include the pole and all of the subsequent residential repair work and any damages sustained by residents.

 

Drug and gun bust in Medina

Medina Police working collaboratively with the Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force during an investigation and then the execution of search warrants, resulted in four arrests and felony charges against 20-year-old Nasir Shine, 19-year-old Emmanuel Taylor and 37-year-old Darrell Shine, each of Medina and 36-year-old Ebony Shine of Rochester. Investigators recovered firearms including an assault rifle and tactical shotgun, ammunition, a half-pound of cocaine, a pound of fentanyl, drug packaging materials, and $29,000 cash ($20,000 of which was for one sale of over ¼ kilogram of fentanyl). In addition, charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute controlled substances, could result in a maximum penalty of life in prison, for each of the four except for Darrell Shine.  (Photo provided by law enforcement)

 

Unemployment rates across the GLOW region for October have improved. In fact, in the 32 years the state has been tracking this data, Orleans County’s 2.5% is the lowest it’s ever been. Genesee County’s unemployment rate improved from 2.5% in September to 2.1%, the same as it is in Wyoming County. Livingston County’s jobless rate is at 2.2%. Statewide for October, the 4.4% rate represents an increase of a tenth of a percent. The Bronx had the highest jobless rate at 7.4%.

 

The holiday shopping season is underway, and the New York Department of State’s Consumer Protection Division is offering some simple tips. The agency recommends that people be careful when shopping online where there are often both fake retailers and phony consumer reviews. Also, make sure to shop on a trusted site and beware of third-party vendors. Finally, designate just one credit card and one email address for online shopping to ensure an easy review of purchases and protection in case of a dispute.

 

People who are looking for some extra holiday cash might want to take a shot at winning tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot. There was no winner during the last drawing on Tuesday and that means the prize up for grabs this evening will be at least $284,000,000. The drawing is going to be streamed online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

Lucky dog!

If you purchased a Powerball lottery ticket in Arcade for the November 23 drawing, you may be a little richer today. A third prize-winning ticket worth $50,000 was sold at the Arcade Market Place on Main Street. The winning ticket had four matching numbers, as well as the Powerball. The winning numbers for the Powerball drawing held on November 23 are: 1-2-31-39-66 and the Powerball is 25. By the way, no one won the jackpot, so the next drawing will be held Saturday, November 26 and will be worth $48 million.

 

 

Tyler Bass – file photo

The Buffalo Bills are now on a two-game winning streak after picking up another victory on the road. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass hit a 45-yard field goal with just seconds left as the Bills defeated the Detroit Lions 28 to 25 at Ford Field yesterday. Quarterback Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes for the Bills who now have a record this season of eight wins and three losses. Up next for Buffalo is a road game against the New England Patriots on Thursday night, December 1st, with kickoff time at 8:15.

 

 

Morning News Brief

Greece Police are investigating a Wednesday night shooting that left one person dead, and one other in grave condition.  Police arrived to a home Mosely Road Wednesday night, just before 10 p.m.  Upon arrival, police say they found the dead victim, with an apparent gunshot wound.  In the same home, police found the second victim, and they were taken to Strong Hospital.

The driver of a minivan that struck a utility pole Wednesday afternoon on Law Street, causing a significant power surge in the area, has not been located.  Sgt. Mitch Cowen said Thursday morning that police are pretty confident they know who the driver was, that he’s not from the area and that the vehicle was not stolen.  Cowen said police are looking for him in order to question him about the accident.  Witnesses saw a man running from the accident and provided a description to police.  A K-9 was deployed shortly after the accident in an attempt to find his trail, but that effort failed to find the driver.  The crash caused roughly 300 homes on Chestnut and South Jackson to lose power.

Rochester tried the fast ferry with less than stellar results.  Now Buffalo wants to give hosting cruises a shot.  Steve Ranalli, President of Erie Canal Harbor Development Group says he can imagine cruise ships lined up with 200 to 300 passengers each.  Cruises from across the five great lakes are becoming more popular, breaking records in 2022 with nearly 150,000 passenger visits to Great Lakes ports like Cleveland, Milwaukee, Erie and Toronto, according to Cruise the Great Lakes.  Buffalo would need to build a Cruise Terminal, a welcome center and expand the port to make space for cruise ships if it wanted a piece of the more than 125 million dollar a year market.  

3 people were charged after the Batavia Emergency Response Team, working with the Genesee County Local Drug Task Force, raided a home at 126 State Street Tuesday night and found an illegal drug operation.  35 year old Andrew Taylor of Main St in Albion, 34 year old Kenneth Campbell of Oak St in Batavia and 29 year old Joanna Larnder of Summit St in Batavia were all charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Campbell was hit with a weapons charge on top of that.  Campbell was held without bail and the other 2 were released with appearance tickets for December 13th.

Snow removal operations are scheduled to resume in Buffalo today after being temporarily put on hold. Crews stopped cleaning up from the recent snowstorm Wednesday following the death of a city employee. The individual lost their life on the McKinley Parkway after they were struck by a high lift. The investigation into the tragedy is ongoing.

The holiday shopping season is underway, and the New York Department of State’s Consumer Protection Division is offering some simple tips. The agency recommends that people be careful when shopping online where there are often both fake retailers and phony consumer reviews. Also, make sure to shop on a trusted site and beware of third-party vendors. Finally, designate just one credit card and one email address for online shopping to ensure an easy review of purchases and protection in case of a dispute.

The Buffalo Bills are now on a two-game winning streak after picking up another victory on the road. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass hit a 45-yard field goal with just seconds left as the Bills defeated the Detroit Lions 28 to 25 at Ford Field on Thanksgiving day. Quarterback Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes for the Bills who now have a record this season of eight wins and three losses. Up next for Buffalo is a road game against the New England Patriots on December 1st.

The Buffalo Sabres are back in action tonight vs the New Jersey Devils at 8 o clock at the Keybank Arena.  The Sabres are 9 and 11 and the Devils are 16 and 4.  Buffalo is coming of a win Wednesday night against the St Louis Blues where they debuted their red and black goathead jerseys.

Thanksgiving Day News Brief

A 13-year-old Batavia girl – missing for nearly a week – has been located and she is safe.
Batavia Police tell WBTA that Jaylynn Alvord was last seen a week ago today and police had considered her a runaway.
In a statement issued late yesterday police said the girl had been located safely.
Police thanked the public for their help in locating the girl.

 

A one-vehicle crash on Law Street in the city caused a power outage affecting almost 300 customers of National Grid.
The crash was reported late yesterday afternoon. Police responded to find an SUV on its side and wrapped around a utility pole.
The driver had apparently fled the scene. Police used a K-9 and searched an area on Ganson Street but failed to locate the driver.

 

Devon Wright of Batavia will now spend the next 24 years in state prison. The 22-year-old wright had pleaded guilty in last November to a number of violent sex-related crimes, committed over the course of two years.
At one point during his legal case, while free pending the birth of his child, Wright fled, later located in Lockport, brought back here for sentencing.
In court Wright tried again to avoid sentencing by asking for a new lawyer. That was denied. His next stop is prison.

Devon Wright

 

The Buffalo Bills will be spending their Thanksgiving in the Motor City as they look to pick up their second win in a row. The Bills are taking on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Buffalo is coming off of a 31 to 23 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in a game that was also played in Detroit due to the snowstorm in Western New York. Kickoff for today’s contest is set for 12-30 p-m.

 

After snapping an eight-game losing streak, the Buffalo Sabres have now earned back-to-back victories.
The Sabres beat the Saint Louis Blues six-to-two at KeyBank Center last night. The Sabres have today off before another home game tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils.

 

It is a Thanksgiving tradition in Batavia.
The Kiwanis Club is again holding its free Thanksgiving ice skate at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena.
The skate, along with free ice skate rental and hot chocolate, runs from 9 to 11 this morning.

Afternoon News Brief

Devon Wright

22-year-old Devon Wright of Batavia has now been sentenced to 24 years in state prison. He had pleaded guilty in November 2021 to a number of violent sex-related crimes, committed over the course of two years. Wright had been scheduled to be sentenced a year ago after accepting a plea deal before his trial was to begin in County Court; he remained free pending sentencing to be available for the birth of his child. However, he fled and a $2500 reward was offered for his capture. Wright was eventually found in Lockport and returned to Genesee County. After previously engaging in what seemed to be legal maneuvers that stalled the sentencing process, this month he appeared in court now asking for a new attorney and also wanting to withdraw his guilty pleas. The next day, the judge denied his request and proceeded with sentencing.

 

 

Nicholas Perry, Sr.

74-year-old Nicholas Perry Sr. of Strykersville, the man who had been missing since the height of last week’s snowstorm following a one-car accident, was found deceased yesterday. His body was found in a field covered with snow about several hundred yards from the scene of the accident. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death.

 

 

 

Genesee County Sheriffs along with state and local police will be working together as part of the STOP-DWI program through Sunday. The campaign is intended to bring awareness of impaired driving and the potential for more crashes during the most highly traveled time of the year. If you are driving, stay within the speed limits, don’t drink and drive, and have a safe holiday.

 

 

 

Kirk Ashton entering court last month – file photo

The former Northwood Elementary School principal who was found guilty of sexually abusing 21 students has been sentenced to 63 years in prison. Kirk Ashton was convicted last month on dozens of the charges that were filed against him for inappropriately touching multiple male students. During his trial, those victims and staff members at the school testified about Ashton’s actions but he didn’t take the stand in his own defense. While being sentenced, the judge said to Ashton that he preyed on the boys at a time when they were most vulnerable. Ashton did not speak following sentencing; however, his attorney asked for protective custody for Ashton once he enters prison. Ashton was principal at the Hilton school from 2004 until 2021.

 

Fatal crash aftermath – 10/24/22

The teenager arrested in connection with a deadly crash in Buffalo last month has been indicted on multiple charges including manslaughter. According to prosecutors, the 16-year-old was driving the vehicle before it crashed on the inbound Kensington Expressway near the entrance to the westbound Scajaquada Expressway. Four people ended up being killed and another passenger was seriously injured. The teen is now in his grandmother’s custody but must wear an ankle monitor.

 

 

Steven Gasiorek

A former substitute teacher and coach will be spending 20 years in prison after admitting to receiving child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Steven Gasiorek worked at both John F. Kennedy Middle School and John F. Kennedy High School in Cheektowaga from March 2014 until April 2019. An investigation revealed he used a fake social media account to receive child porn from minors and that he knew some of the victims. Once Gasiorek is released, he’ll be under post-release supervision for 10 years.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills said thank you to the Detroit Lions for letting them use their field on Sunday. The Bills donated 20,000 dollars to the Lions Foundation and also sent Tim Hortons Coffee and donuts to the Lions Facility and Ford Field. The Bills will be back there to play the Lions tomorrow, with a 12:30 kickoff.

 

 

 

 

Jeff Skinner – file photo

The Buffalo Sabres have snapped their eight game losing streak in big way with a blowout victory on the road. Jeff Skinner scored twice and Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, JJ Peterka, Rasmus Dahlin, and Henri Jokiharju also had a goal as The Sabres beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-2 last night. The Sabres also benefited from solid goaltending from Craig Anderson who stopped 29 of 31 shots. Buffalo is back home to take on the Saint Louis Blues; it’s 90’s night at KeyBank and they’ll be wearing their black and red goat head jerseys. Puck drop is at 7:00.

 

Officials with the New York State lottery are making a request of Empire State residents this holiday season. They’re asking people not to buy scratch-off lottery tickets for children as gifts, saying that lottery games should only be gifted by adults to adults. The National Council on Problem Gambling says youth gambling has become a significant and growing issue. People who are struggling with a gambling addiction can get help by calling 1-877-8-HOPENY.

Morning News Brief

Around 7pm Monday night police in Rochester responded to multiple ShotSpotter activations on Reynolds and Atkinson Streets and found a 12 year old boy shot dead and a 16 year old wounded.  The 12 year old was identified as Juan Lopez a student at Benjamin Franklin Educational Campus.  According to the Rochester Police Department’s Open Data Portal, Lopez is the seventh person under age 18 to be killed in the city this year.  Mayor Evans said that the violence against children is not normal or natural.  No suspects have been apprehended in the shooting.  There was a candlelight vigil for Lopez Tuesday night.

Amber Beyer, Buffalo City Police captain overseeing the Buffalo Police Behavioral Health team, is being sued for allegedly launching into a racist rant against black police officers and black men after watching a viral video of a black officer being pulled over by a white officer.  3 African American officers are bringing the suit after leaving their jobs or going on leave.  They are being represented by Nate McMurray.  Beyer, the department and the City of Buffalo are being sued for retaliation, a hostile work environment and race discrimination.  They’re seeking $15 million in damages.

Gov. Kathy Hochul was in New York City to make an announcement on combating hate crimes.  This comes two weeks after the governor set aside millions of dollars to help nonprofit, community-based organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks.  At that time, Hochul announced $46 million in federal funding for 240 nonprofit organizations across the state facing an increased risk of terrorist attack.  In Tuesday’s announcement, Hochul announced she is signing new legislation to require those convicted of hate crimes to be required to attend hate crime prevention training, which was previously optional.  The other legislation signed is an amendment calling for a statewide campaign calling for the coordination of state and local government along with community groups, schools and places of worship to ensure inclusion, tolerance and understanding diversity.

Genesee County Sheriffs Office and the Village of Leroy Police will be working together in the STOP-DWI program over the thanksgiving holiday and weekend to prevent accidents by putting police in high traffic areas.  The high visibility campaign brings awareness of impaired driving and the potential form more crashes in the most highly traveled time of the year.  The police will be out in force today through Sunday.  If you are driving, stay within the speed limits, don’t drink and drive, and be safe for the holiday.

Batavia Downs has several events coming up over the winter.  On the 15th of December Marsha McWilson will be performing a MoTown Christmas.  On the 22nd the Uncle Louie Variety show,  two hilarious Italian American comedians, Carlo Russo and Lou Greco, will return to the Downs.  On Friday, Feb. 3, the BBQ and Bourbon Dinner Buffet and bourbon tasting presented by Beam Suntory is back for its 2nd annual event.  Other events scheduled for January and February at Batavia Downs include the Polka Buzz, Experience Psychic Fair, the Legends & Stars Sports Expo, and a Fundraiser for local animal shelters.   Information on these events and the Summer Concert Series will be found in the coming weeks on the Batavia Downs Facebook page.

Fire officials are reminding folks that Thanksgiving is the biggest day of the year for cooking fires.  That’s why they’re offering tips to help keep families safe this week.  Officials say “keep your eyes on your cooking equipment” and keep young children out of the kitchen.  Turkey fryers should be placed on a level surface and at least ten-to-15 feet away from any structures. 

The Buffalo Bills said thank you to the Detroit Lions for letting them use their field on Sunday as their field had a dusting of snow.  Roughly 7 feet fell on Highmark Stadium between Friday and Sunday.  The Bills donated 20,000 dollars to the Lions Foundation and also sent Tim Hortons Coffee and donuts to the Lions Facility and Ford Field.  The Bills will be back at Ford field to play the Lions in the Thanksgiving game tomorrow at 12:30.

The Buffalo Sabres ended their 8 game losing streak with a 7 to 2 win over the Montreal Canadiens.  JJ Peterka, Henry Jokiharju, Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, and Alex Tuch had one goal each.  Jeff Skinner had 2.  Craig Anderson made 29 saves.  Next up, the Sabres host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday. It’s 90s night for the fans, as the team unveils their black and red jerseys.

Afternoon News Brief

Leonard Hahn IV

For the second time, a state appellate court has rejected 23-year-old Leonard Hahn IV’s efforts to obtain youthful offender status. He was convicted as a 17-year-old of raping two children, one in Alabama and the other in Attica. However, his appeal was declined because it was determined Hahn acted alone and his involvement with both children was major. He was sentenced to concurrent 10-year terms in both Wyoming and Genesee Counties, along with 20 years of post-release supervision. While in prison, Hahn also was convicted of promoting contraband, which added 18 months to his sentence. He’s eligible for parole in 2025.

 

The Batavia Blue Devils are the Far West Regional champs; they defeated the Elma Iroquois last night 20-8 and will now play in the state semi-finals against Maine-Endwell. In other high school football action, the previously undefeated (OAE) Oakfield Alabama Elba Aggies lost their Regional Final match up against the Randolph Cardinals, 42-26. The Alexander Trojans lost to Cambridge Salem 12 to 7.

 

 

The 162.5 million dollar County budget has been passed. A minor amendment increased the tax rate by 1 cent from the proposed amount, of $8.44 to $8.45. Still, this means homeowners will see a 73-cent drop per 1000 dollars assessed value from the current tax rate of $9.18. The amount being raised by property taxes has not changed since the last budget at $32,080,762. However, the reason the tax rate can go down and the County is still able to receive the necessary amount of money, is because property values have gone up so some homeowners could see increases in the taxes they pay.

 

Peyton Gendron – file photo

A court appearance for the man accused of carrying out a mass shooting at the Buffalo Tops store has been rescheduled. Payton Gendron was reportedly planning to plead guilty yesterday to state charges for his role in the May 14th shooting, but the Erie County District Attorney’s Office adjourned that proceeding because of the weather. Gendron is now scheduled to return to court next Monday, November 28th. He’s also facing federal charges that could result in him receiving the death penalty if convicted.

 

 

Child with oxygen mask – file photo

Governor Hochul is urging New Yorkers to take precautions to protect themselves against multiple illnesses that are spreading rapidly. There has been an increase in the number of respiratory syncytial virus infections and flu cases over the past few weeks, and COVID-19 is still a very serious health threat. It’s recommended that residents get themselves vaccinated against the coronavirus and flu if they haven’t done so already. They should also practice good hygiene such as washing their hands and also covering up coughs to prevent the spread of germs.

 

It snowed a little… (file photo)

President Biden has approved Governor Hochul’s request for an Emergency Declaration for Western New York counties that were affected by the major snowstorm. The governor says this declaration allows FEMA to provide emergency protective measures like search and rescue operations and help with roads, bridges, water control facilities, utilities, and mass transit hubs. In a statement, Governor Hochul thanked President Biden for granting the request. The last time New York submitted an Emergency Declaration request for a similar winter storm was back in 2014.

 

The American Red Cross is urging donors to give over the holiday season. Blood and platelet donations tend to drop more than 20% during the holidays at a time when seasonal illness concerns increase. The next two opportunities to donate in Genesee County will be on December 1st from 1-6 at the Northgate Free Methodist Church in Batavia (350 Bank Street) and in LeRoy, on December 22nd from noon to 5 at the American Legion (53 West Main Street).

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be back on the ice in Canada tonight as they try and snap their current eight-game losing streak. The Sabres are set to battle the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Buffalo hasn’t played since Saturday when they were beaten by the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2. Face-off for tonight’s contest is set for 7:00.

 

Lottery players are hoping luck is on their side as they try and win tonight’s large Mega Millions jackpot. Because no one won Friday, whoever picks the correct numbers for this evening’s drawing will win at least $259,000,000. The drawing is going to be streamed online at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning New Brief

The Batavia Police Department is asking the public for help in the search for a missing 13-year-old girl.  The missing teenager, Jaylynn Alvord, was last seen on Thursday, Nov. 17 at approximately 7 p.m. in Batavia.  Jaylynn was last seen wearing black jeans, a tie-dye sweatshirt, and a nose ring.  She is approximately 5-foot-4-inches and 145 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.  Anyone with information on Jaylynn’s whereabouts is asked to call the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350 or the NYS Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 1-800-346-3543.

Genesee County has a new budget.  The 162.5 million dollar budget passed Monday night and thanks to an amendment there will be a tax hike of 1 penny compared to the proposed budget.  Overall homeowners will see a 73 cent drop per 1000 dollars assessed value.  The amount being raised by property taxes has not changed since the last budget at 32,080,762.  Property assessments have gone up over the past year though so homeowners may see increases because the value of their property is higher.  

President Biden has approved Governor Hochul’s request for an Emergency Declaration for Western New York counties that were affected by a major snowstorm. Several feet of snow fell across the area during a period of a few days and the governor says this declaration allows FEMA to provide emergency protective measures like search and rescue operations and help with roads, bridges, water control facilities, utilities, and mass transit hubs. In a statement, Governor Hochul thanked President Biden for granting the request. The last time New York submitted an Emergency Declaration request for a similar winter storm was back in 2014.

College athletes can now make money off sponsorships and advertising.  Governor Hochul signed legislation Monday that allows college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness without risking scholarships.  Student athletes would also be allowed to hire attorneys and agents to represent them under the new law fully taking effect Jan. 1, 2023.  Supporters of the new law say student athletes deserve a cut of the billions raked in each year by American colleges and their athletic department, especially considering the hard work they put into their sports.

There has been an increase in the number of respiratory syncytial virus infections and flu cases over the past few weeks.  For the third consecutive week, flu cases are on the rise across the GLOW region. This is according to the most recent data collected by the state Department of Health. According to the report, there were 80 total active cases across the four counties.  It’s recommended that residents get themselves vaccinated against the flu if they haven’t done so already.  They should also practice good hygiene such as washing their hands and also covering up coughs to prevent the spread of germs.

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball led the Department’s annual tree-cutting tradition today at New York State Grown & Certified Stokoe Farms in Scottsville, cutting down a 9-foot-tall Fraser Fir that will be displayed at the Finger Lakes Welcome Center. The annual event highlights New York’s Christmas tree industry and encourages New Yorkers to shop local at farms— as they pick out trees this season— and at local agricultural businesses—as they check items off of gift lists for loved ones and set their tables for the holidays.  New York State ranks number 4 in acres dedicated to Christmas tree growing.  

In Local Sports the championships games have been played and we have the results.  The Batavia Blue Devils are Far West regional Champions!  They defeated Iroquois 20 to 8 on Monday night to win the big game. The Alexander Trojans lost to Cambridge Salem 12 to 7 in the State Class D quarterfinal.  The previously undefeated Oakfield Alabama Elba Aggies lost their Regional Final match up against the Randolph Cardinals on Monday night 42 to 26.

Wreaths Across America is doing its annual Wreath laying ceremony at the Western NY National Cemetery on December 17th.  And while Wreaths Across America is, as it implies, a national effort, Moscato’s Veterans Outreach Club at Pembroke Junior-Senior High School is selling the wreaths locally to also benefit the WNY National Cemetery Memorial Council, a non-profit entity that runs many of the events at the National Cemetery.  They have so far collected enough for 450 wreaths, with a total need of about 1,300 this year.  For every $15 wreath sold, $5 goes to the Council to offset expenses related to the cemetery, such as maintaining U.S. flags for the Avenue of Flags and providing uniforms for the Honor Guard.  Deadline for ordering is Nov. 29.

The tarp is off and underneath are…Tesla chargers.  Tesla has installed 12 electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot of Batavia Towne Center off Veterans Memorial Drive.  The Tesla website lists Batavia as a future location for electric vehicle charging stations but says the stations won’t open until the second quarter of 2023.

The Buffalo Sabres will be back on the ice in Canada tonight as they try and snap their current eight-game losing streak. The Sabres are set to battle the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Buffalo hasn’t played since Saturday when they were beaten by the Toronto Maple Leafs five-to-two. Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for seven p-m.

St. Paul Craft Sale

St. Paul Lutheran Church and School , 31 Washington Avenue, Batavia, will host a craft, vendor, and gift sale, Saturday, November 26, 10am to 3pm,

Afternoon News Brief

Ahhhh-choooooooo…..

For the third consecutive week, flu cases are on the rise across the GLOW region. This is according to the most recent data collected by the state Department of Health. According to the report, there were 80 total active cases across the four counties. People at higher risk of developing flu complications include young children, pregnant women and those two weeks postpartum, anyone over 65, those with weakened immune systems and some chronic illnesses, and those who are obese. The CDC and other health experts recommend a yearly flu vaccination for everyone age 6 months and older with rare exceptions. The vaccination is the best defense against flu. And while the flu vaccine does not provide complete protection against getting the virus, the goal to avoid severe reactions to the flu or hospitalizations.

 

 

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has issued a reminder to make sure your snowmobile is registered. Registrations must be renewed annually, which you can do by mail, at the DMV office, or online: https://transact3.dmv.ny.gov/registrationrenew/index.cfm/

 

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are under a wind advisory today until 7pm. Sustained southwest winds at 25-35 miles per hour are expected; gusts can reach 50 mph. Combined with the blowing snow this could result in reduced visibility and whiteouts on the road. Outdoor objects should be secured and tree limbs may fall on power lines causing outages.

 

 

BATAVIA INDICTMENTS: Stacey King has been indicted on counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and falsifying business records in the first degree. King is accused of presenting a forged COVID-19 vaccination record to her employer in the City of Batavia on Oct. 1, 2021. ALSO: Katherine Briggs has been indicted on one count of criminal contempt in the first degree. Briggs is accused of violating an order of protection on July 27 at a location on South Main Street, Batavia.

 

Gas prices are continuing their slow decline this week. According to Triple A, the state average is currently $3.85 and nationally it’s $3.66. In Batavia, we’re also paying $3.85 per gallon, down a nickel from a week ago but 28 cents higher than this time last year.

 

 

 

 

Peyton Gendron – file photo

A scheduled court appearance for the man accused of carrying out a mass shooting at a Buffalo Tops store has been postponed. Peyton Gendron was reportedly going to plead guilty to state charges for his role in the May 14th shooting; however, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office says that proceeding has been adjourned because of the weather. There is no word yet when Gendron will return to court. He’s also facing federal charges that could result in him receiving the death penalty if convicted.

 

 

Governor Hochul – file photo

Governor Hochul has directed State Police to increase their efforts to protect communities that might be targeted by hate crimes. The governor made the announcement yesterday after a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado and the arrest of two men who are accused of traveling to New York City with plans to cause violence towards the Jewish community. State Police will be boosting their surveillance of potential targets and also keeping a close eye on social media to find out if any threats are being made. Anyone who sees suspicious activity is asked to dial 911.

 

An example of a lithium-ion battery – file photo

A lithium ion battery is being blamed for causing a fire at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Crews were called to the scene yesterday and arrived to find a small fire in a work area at Nathaniel Rochester Hall. They were able to contain the flames in about 30 minutes. Lithium ion batteries are used to charge devices like e-bikes and have been responsible for several deadly fires.

 

 

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills are back on the winning track after snapping a two-game losing streak against a conference opponent. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen threw for 197 yards and tossed a touchdown as the Bills defeated the Cleveland Browns 31 to 23 at Ford Field in Detroit yesterday. The game was moved to the Motor City because of the snow that blanketed large parts of Western New York. Devin Singletary also had a rushing touchdown for the Bills whose record this season is now seven wins and three losses. Buffalo’s next game is on Thursday in Detroit when they take on the Lions.

Morning News Brief

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are under a wind advisory till 9pm.  Winds are expected to blow out of the southwest at 25-35 miles per hour.  Gusts can be up to 50 miles per hour.  Combined with the blowing snow this could result in reduced visibility, whiteouts on the roads and objects being blown around.  Tree limbs may fall on power lines causing outages.  

11 counties were in a state of emergency over the weekend for a snowstorm that had very different effects on different areas.  Rochester got less than an inch in places while areas of Buffalo got over 6 feet.  Orchard Park near the Bills stadium got 77 inches.  Batavia got over 2 feet in places.  LeRoy got 9 inches.  Warsaw got walloped with over 5 feet.  First responders went to the Buffalo area from several counties to help with the storm.  Batavia town and city fire, oakfield fire, east pembroke fire and corfu fire all traveled into the city to work 12 hour shifts. 

Batavia drivers are handing over just a little bit less of their money to fill up their vehicles these days. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now sitting at three-76. That is down two cents from last week but is still eight cents higher than this time one month ago. The state average is currently three-86 and nationally it’s three-67.

Governor Hochul is seeking resources from the federal government to help with the winter storm that hit over the weekend.  Once approved, the Emergency Declaration will provide immediate federal funding to impacted counties to support ongoing response and rescue operations. Governor Hochul will also ask the federal Small Business Administration to evaluate how it can help small businesses impacted by the storm in the 11 counties and contiguous counties.  Prior to the arrival of lake effect snow on Thursday, Governor Hochul declared a State of Emergency for 11 counties and contiguous counties, which remains in place.

Go ART! Is filled with soft art that you can look at but can’t touch.  The painted wool exhibit features bright and vibrant art that looks traditional until you get close enough to see the texture and the elements that lend it a 3d look.  East Bethany Arts owner Terry Webber made the 44 pieces on display.  See this unique display till December 3rd.

The Bills staved off a late comeback effort from the Browns and snapped their two-game losing streak with a 31-23 victory in Detroit.  The Browns scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to set up an onside kick attempt, which they failed to recover.  The Bills improved to 7-and-3 and are now tied with the Dolphins for first place in the division.   The game was moved to Ford Field as Buffalo dealt with a major snowstorm.  The Bills go back to Detroit for the Thanksgiving game on Thursday.

The Sabres were handed their 8th straight loss on Saturday night by the Maple Leafs 5 to 2.  Alex Tuch and Casey Middlestadt scored and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 18 saves for Buffalo.  Buffalo is now number 7 in the Eastern Atlantic Division with only Ottawa below them.  They have 7 wins and 11 losses as they go next to face the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal.  Puck drop is 7pm on Tuesday.

Weekend News Brief

Genesee county remains under a Lake Effect Snow Warning until afternoon on Sunday.  Heavy lake effect snow is expected. Additional snow accumulations of 10 to 20 inches in the most persistent lake snows. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph.  Travel could be very difficult to impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the evening commute. Gusty winds and heavy snow could bring down tree branches and result in isolated power outages.

At least 2 people are dead in Erie County after the snowstorm dumped up to 5 feet on Buffalo and western NY Friday.  The 2 died from heart attacks while shoveling the heavy pack.  Upwards of 6 million people are under snow alerts till Sunday.  70 percent of outgoing flights were canceled at the Buffalo Airport which had at least a foot of snow.  

All schools in New York State that have a Native American themed mascot are being ordered to retire them or lose state funding.  According to a memo that went out Thursday the State education Department is telling all schools that their mascot, logo and team names cannot be discriminatory.  They say that a name, logo or mascot that has a Native American theme stops the school from being a “safe and supportive environment for all students.”  From the memo: “Should a district fail to affirmatively commit to replacing its Native American team name, logo, and imagery by the end of the 2022-23 school year, it may be in willful violation of the Dignity Act. The penalties for such a violation include the removal of school officers and the withholding of State Aid.”

A local sauce canning business has hit it big with a 500,000 dollar prize.  Paul Guglielmo went to the Grow NY competition hoping that the panel of judges would want to support his business in Bergen on Appletree Road and they went for it.  He plans to add an expansion, buy new equipment, and hire additional workers at the Craft Cannery.  390 companies from 52 countries applied at the competition.  The requirement for the applications was they had to be operating a business in Central NY, the Finger Lakes, or the Southern Tier, no matter where the business was centered.  The top prize of a million dollars went to an Australian company.

The Genesee Valley BOCES School of Practical Nursing proudly graduated a new class of LPN Nurses.  The class was made up of 23 students, and they were celebrated at a pinning ceremony on Friday, November 18th.  This program is a 1200-clock-hour program, certified by the New York State Education Department, and is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Graduates of the program receive a certificate of completion of licensed practical nursing. The LPN Program has a 98 percent job placement rate after passing the NCLEX exam. 

After bringing home their schools one and only sectional championship win the Pembroke Dragons went and did it again by beating the Morrisville Eaton Warriors 54 to 38 on Thursday.  They will go on to represent Section 5 at the final 8 man football game in New York State this Season for the State Championship at Union Endicott High School on November 25th at noon.

Afternoon News Brief

Deborah Gorton

25-year-old Deborah Gorton of Overlook Drive, Batavia has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a child, assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Investigators said the series of offenses occurred in September and that all the charges are related to the same victim. Gorton was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court on all charges and released on her own recognizance. She’ll be back in court at a later date.

 

 

It snowed a little – file photo

The lake effect snow warning remains in place for several counties across the state, including Erie, Livingston, Wyoming and Genesee. The National Weather Service suggests using extra caution if you must travel into or through this lake effect snow band. Conditions include rapidly reduced visibility and snow or ice covered roads, both of which could lead to accidents. Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.

 

 

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in Orleans County starting at 7pm this evening and will be in place until 7am Sunday morning. About 4 to 7 inches of snow is expected with winds gusts as high as 35mph. The snowfall could cause hazardous travel conditions and power outages. Lightning and thunder may also occur in the heavier, more intense snow bands.

 

CLOSINGS:
The City of Batavia’s Mall Market will be closed tomorrow due to the threat of hazardous driving conditions. The Mall Market will reopen Saturday, November 26 from 8am until 11:30am.

The City Yard Waste Station will be closed this weekend.

Stuff The Cruiser is postponed until December 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Target and Kohls at Batavia Towne Center.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County and Leadership Genesee offices will be closed today. The offices will reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Monday.

 

Triple-A is encouraging drivers to be prepared as they weather the storm. A spokesperson for the organization is hoping drivers will “dust off” their winter driving skills, with the number one thing being to control your speed. While staying home is recommended, if drivers do need to hit the road, they should have flashlights, blankets, warm clothes, snacks, and water in their car, in case of emergency. Triple-A also says that, if you do break down or get stuck, staying in the car is safer than leaving it and walking on the road.

 

Peyton Gendron – file photo

The accused Buffalo mass shooter is slated to plead guilty on Monday. Payton Gendron, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, is accused of killing 10 people and injuring three others at the Tops supermarket last May. A grand jury indicted Gendron on 25 charges in June, including a domestic terrorism charge. He is scheduled to appear in Erie County Court at 2 p.m. Monday. The state case is separate from the federal case against Gendron.

 

A Gates man is dead after he was struck and killed by a school bus that then fled the scene in northwest Rochester yesterday morning. The victim is identified as 73-year-old Michael Rivoly. He was an employee of the Ontario Bus Company. Police say he was struck as he was leaving the bus company’s parking lot, walking across Fisher Street. A school bus leaving the parking lot struck Rivoly and left the scene; there were no children on the bus at the time. The driver was located later and is cooperating with investigators. His name is not being released as the case will be referred to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office to be presented to a Grand Jury.

 

Highmark Stadium – 11/18/22

The snow was just too much for the game between Buffalo and Cleveland on Sunday but instead of postponing it, the game has been moved to Detroit. Kickoff will remain at 1 p.m. but will be played at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. Buffalo will now play in Detroit twice in five days. The Bills were already scheduled to play the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. If you bought tickets for the game in Buffalo from the team or Ticketmaster you will get an automatic refund starting on December 2nd. If you bought them from somewhere else you need to contact your seller for the refund. By the way, the last time a Bills home game had to be moved due to weather – you guessed it – during the ‘Snovember’ storm, this week in 2014. Photo released by the Buffalo Bills.

 

 

Morning News Brief

Genesee county is under a Lake Effect Snow Warning till Sunday at 1pm.  2 to 4 feet of snow are expected over the next 2 days.  The heaviest snow is expected through Friday night when snowfall rates could exceed 3 inches per hour. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph will produce patchy blowing snow.  Travel will be very difficult to impossible. The hazardous conditions will impact the Friday morning and evening commutes. The heavy snow could also bring down some tree limbs and cause scattered power outages.  Snow could fall in scattered places on the road so be ready for changing conditions while you drive.  Don’t follow too close, leave room and time to stop.  

There are a few cancellations due to the snowstorm.  Alexander, Attica, Batavia, Byron Bergen, Elba, LeRoy, Notre Dame, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion, Pembroke St Josephs, St Paul Lutheran, and Wyoming Schools are canceled for Friday.  GCC and BOCES classes are also canceled.  The City Center Mall Market is closed Saturday.  The Yard Waste Station is closed Friday and Saturday.  St James Basket Raffle has been moved to Saturday from 10 to 2.  GCASA outpatient clinic and offices are closed today.  Residential, detox and methadone programs will remain open.  All staff should report.  Stuff The Cruiser which was going to be in front of Target has been moved to December 3rd from 11am to 3pm.  And Independent Living is closed. 

Western New York Catholics have received a special dispensation from Bishop of Buffalo Michael Fisher.  He urges Catholics to celebrate mass via livestream instead of traveling in the dangerous snow conditions.  The dispensation releases Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday mass.  This Sunday is the celebration of the feast of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe. 

A Batavia woman was arrested on one count of assault in the second degree, one count of aggravated sex abuse in the second degree, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  25-year-old Deborah Gorton was arrested after an investigation into a series of September offenses that occurred at home in Batavia.  Gorton was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court on all charges and released on her own recognizance. She will be due back in court at a later date.

A man is dead in Rochester after being struck by a school bus.  73 year old Michael Rivoly was crossing the road in front of the Ontario Bus Company bus depot on Lexington Ave where he worked when a bus leaving the parking lot hit him.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.  No children were on the bus that hit him.  The driver of the striking bus has been identified and is cooperating with the investigation. His name is being withheld as the case will be referred to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office for a Grand Jury Presentation.

Byron Bergen has a new principal for the Elementary School.  Kristin Loftus  was appointed at the November 17th School Board Meeting and will start her job effective January 3rd.  Loftus comes to Byron-Bergen from the Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts where she began as a Math Specialist/Coach in 2018 and worked her way up to Building Principal. Prior to the Renaissance Academy, she served as an Elementary School Classroom Teacher for more than a decade in the Warsaw Central School District.  Loftus holds a master’s degree in Reading and Literacy and a Bachelor of Science in Childhood and Special Education from SUNY Geneseo. She received an Educational Leadership Certificate from the University of Rochester and the National Principals Academy Fellowship from Relay Graduate School of Education.

Another cancellation and move.  The snow was just too much for the game between Buffalo and Cleveland on Sunday but instead of postponing it, the game has been moved to Detroit.  Kickoff will remain at 1 p.m. but will be played at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions.  Buffalo will now play in Detroit twice in five days. The Bills were already scheduled to play the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.  If you bought tickets for the game in Buffalo from the team or Ticketmaster you will get an automatic refund starting on December 2nd.  If you bought them from somewhere else you need to contact your seller for the refund.  

Afternoon News Brief

Sheriff William Sheron

The Genesee County’s Sheriff’s Office along with other emergency officials are asking residents to be prepared to stay home a few days if travel becomes restrictive during the snowstorm expected to hit tonight. Many times, vehicles become stranded on roadways during a snowstorm, making travel for emergency personnel and other drivers difficult and very dangerous. According to the Sheriff’s advisory, home is the safest place to be during a storm and people are encouraged to make sure they have basic emergency necessities such as food and water. In Genesee County, a lake effect snow warning is in effect starting at 4:00 this afternoon and will be in place until 1:00 Sunday. Heavy lake effect snow is expected with total accumulations of 2 to 3 feet in the most persistent bands. In Wyoming County, a lake effect snow warning is in effect through 10:00 tonight; accumulations of 9 inches are possible with wind gusts as high as 35 mph. A winter storm watch will be in effect tomorrow evening through Sunday morning in both Orleans and Niagara Counties. Governor Kathy Hochul has declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm.

 

The lake-effect snowfall that’s forecast for Western New York has led to the scheduled closure of the New York State Thruway to commercial traffic later this afternoon. The Thruway will be closed beginning at 4:00 from Exit 46 in Henrietta to the Pennsylvania state line. The snowfall is expected to become heavier as it nears Buffalo with little effect as it nears Rochester and the Finger Lakes area.

 

43-year-old Jacqueline Garret of LeRoy was sentenced in Orleans County Court to 1 to 3 years in state prison for 3rd degree burglary and petit larceny. She had been on a judicial diversion program but didn’t make it through without committing more crimes. Garrett’s most recent offense was taking aerosol cans from a hardware store in Albion so she could use them for huffing. Her attorney, public defender Joanne Best, said Garrett has been struggling with drug addiction; was doing well, until she had a relapse. Garrett said she will use the time while she is incarcerated to “better myself.” The judge noted that a treatment court with supervision was tried before but was unsuccessful; incarceration will keep her away from drugs.

 

Orleans County Courthouse – Albion

53-year-old David Snyder of Albion has been sentenced to 7 years in prison, by an Orleans County judge. This was the maximum he could have received as part of a plea deal for attempted sexual conduct against a child, over the course of six years. The victim spoke in court telling Snyder, “you’re sick; I’m the one crying every day. I hate what you did. You took away my ability to be a child. Snyder replied with “I’m sorry.” Snyder left Orleans County shortly after his arrest last year but was soon extradited from North Carolina. In addition to time in prison, he will be on post-release supervision for 15 years.

 

39-year-old Johnnie Waston of Rochester is charged with endangering the welfare of a child as well as harassment. He was arrested in connection with a disturbance reported last month on Shady Lane, in the Town of Batavia.

 

 

 

A Buffalo man faces charges of stabbing his girlfriend to death at a home on Cambridge Avenue earlier this month. The suspect is identified as 67-year-old James Allen. He allegedly stabbed his 44-year-old girlfriend November 4th during a domestic violence incident. She died a week later. A teenaged male also suffered a minor injury in the attack. Allen has been arraigned on charges that include second-degree murder and second-degree assault. He’s being held without bail.

 

 

 Eric Comrie

The Buffalo Sabres continue to try to find a way out of their current losing streak, which has reached seven with a 4-to-1 defeat at the hands of the Senators in Ottawa last night. It was a double loss as the team lost starting goalie Eric Comrie to injury after he collided with Rasmus Dahlin in the second period. The Sabres are now 7-and-10. They play the Maple Leafs Saturday night in Toronto. Face-off is at 7:00.

Injuries and illness are impacting the Buffalo Bills’ practice schedule. Five players are out sick with non-Covid illnesses, while quarterback Josh Allen, safety Jordan Poyer, and cornerback Kaiir Elam had limited practice. Three additional players did not practice all due to lingering injuries.

 

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul is planning on announcing a state of emergency ahead of the winter storm coming across the great lakes.  Several Feet of Snow are expected in Buffalo and areas continuing through Sunday.  The storm is expected to cause hazardous travel conditions and potential power outages resulting from snow, freezing rain and gusty winds. New Yorkers are urged to avoid unnecessary travel Thursday evening through Friday in Western and northern NY area due to dangerous conditions.

I-90 is closing to commercial traffic due to the incoming snowstorm.  From the Henrietta exit to the Pennsylvania line, starting at 4pm all commercial traffic will have to use other roads.  Near Rochester, the latest snow projections have around 1 inch of snow through midday Friday, with the chance for a few more inches heading into the weekend.  Also closed to commercial traffic are 190 from rt 62 to I90, 290, 990, 33, 219, 400, and the Buffalo Skyway.  On I 81 from exit 33 to Canada trucks are only to use the right lane.

Notre Dame honored some of its former players Saturday at the annual Hall of Fame Dinner.  Kevin Smith who played from 1984 to 1987, Christi Moskal who played from 2000 to 2003, Aaron Fix who played from 1989 to 1992 and Jack Wagoner who played from 1986 to 1989 were all inducted and honored for their achievements playing for the school.  Biographies can be read for each of the players on our news partner the Batavian.

A new study suggests that smoking marijuana may have additional ill effects on lung health beyond smoking cigarettes alone.  Many of the marijuana smokers in the study developed emphysema, a disease that causes difficulty breathing, said Dr. Luke Murtha.  Researchers with the radiology department at Ottawa Hospital in Canada studied CT scans of marijuana smokers, people who only smoked cigarettes, and nonsmokers.  While overall rates of emphysema were about the same between the marijuana smokers (75%) and the cigarette-only smokers (67%), the “age-matched” subgroup of marijuana smokers had higher rates of emphysema – 93% compared to 67% of those who only smoked tobacco.  Marijuana smokers also had more airway inflammation than tobacco-only smokers, Murtha said.

On Monday, Dec. 5, the Genesee County STOP-DWI Advisory Board will sponsor its 6th annual STOP-DWI Awards Luncheon at Terry Hills Restaurant & Banquet Facility.  Seven young people from districts in the county will be honored for their commitment to the community for entering the Board’s STOP-DWI Poster Contest. 6-8th grade winners; Elliott Dayton, Abbigale Russell and Alyssa Adair. The Computer Generated Art winners are Anna Holt, Sydney Konieczny and Kaelee Kelso. The Grand Prize Winner whose artwork will appear on a billboard in Genesee County in November and December is Zoey Shepard, a 12th grader from Byron Bergen Central School.  Batavia Police Officer John Gombos, Genesee County Sheriff Deputy David Moore and Village of LeRoy Police officer Jordan Wolcott are receiving the Top Cop Award for going above and beyond with DWI arrests during a twelve-month time period.  They are also being honored for their dedication to keeping our community safe.

Community Action of Orleans and Genesee has opened registration for the Harvest Dinner program.  Income-eligible Genesee County residents who qualify will receive a food box and Aldi’s gift card.  To reserve a registration appointment, please call (585) 343-7798. ID for all household members and current proof of income is required at the time of your visit. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The streak now stands at 7 losses straight for the Sabres after they dropped their game against the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night 4 to 1.  Tage Thompson scored the lone goal for Buffalo.  Craig Anderson made 14 saves vs Anton Forsberg who made 29 for Ottawa.  The Sabres next game is in Toronto against the Maple Leafs at 7 on Saturday.

Injuries and illness are impacting the Buffalo Bills’ practice schedule. Five players are out sick with non-Covid illnesses, while quarterback Josh Allen, safety Jordan Poyer, and cornerback Kaiir Elam had limited practice. Three additional players did not practice all due to lingering injuries.

Afternoon News Brief

Ronnie Johnson

52-year-old Ronnie Johnson has been charged with burglary and grand larceny for a theft last summer on East Main Street. He was also charged on a warrant with grand larceny and conspiracy in reference to another theft. Johnson is already in jail, charged with forcibly raping a woman. He was arraigned on the new charges and returned to Genesee County Jail.

 

 

All local high school sports originally scheduled for Friday night are postponed and rescheduled to be played Monday night, November 21st at 6:00. The Batavia Blue Devils will meet The Iroquois (from Elma) in their Regional Final at Van Detta Stadium. The OAE playoff game against Randolph will be contested at SUNY Brockport and Lackawanna will travel to Attica for their 6:00, Far West Regional game.

 

The GRC-GLOW chili and chowder fest at the Community Center at 38 Woodrow Road, originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, has been postponed due to the storm. It’s been rescheduled for Friday and Saturday, December 16th and 17th..

 

 

 

A lake-effect snow warning is in effect starting at 7 tomorrow evening and will be in place until 1:00 Sunday afternoon. Heavy snow is expected in Northern Erie and Genesee Counties, with accumulations of 2 to 3 feet in the most persistent lake snows. The heaviest snow is expected through Friday night with snowfall rates up to two inches per hour. Travel will be very difficult to impossible. Some major roadways could temporarily close; the hazardous conditions will impact the commute on Friday. If you’ll be on the road, be prepared for rapidly changing road conditions and visibilities.

 

You’ll have six months to find a new home for certain farm animals, if you own them within City limits. The City Council has passed the revised law, which means sheep, horses, pigs, cows, geese and other animals most commonly seen on a farm, will no longer be allowed. The exception is up to six chickens, as long as they are penned and maintained appropriately, with no odors or mess. The measure will be enforced based on complaints received about alleged offenders. Certified service animals are not affected by the new law.

 

The man accused of opening fire inside of a methadone clinic in Buffalo has been ordered by a judge to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Prosecutors say Jeremy Griffin entered the clinic on Virginia Street with an AR-15 style weapon last week, but he was tackled by security officers before anyone was injured. Griffin is also charged with shooting a woman on Pennsylvania Street before going to the clinic. His next court appearance is scheduled for December 12th.

 

Negative COVID test result

According to new data from the state, the spread of the coronavirus is still on the decline in our region. Currently, the 7-day average infection rate is 4.55%. At this time last week the average infection rate was at 5.52%. Anyone who has yet to be immunized against the virus or wants to receive a COVID-19 booster shot can set up an appointment by going to vaccines.gov.

 

Jeff Skinner – file photo

The losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres has now reached six straight games after the team suffers another defeat on home ice. Jeff Skinner had two goals and Casey Mittelstadt and Alex Tuch also scored but the Sabres were beaten by the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goaltender Craig Anderson was only able to stop 27 of the 32 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for Buffalo is a road game tonight against the Ottawa Senators; face-off is at 7:00.

Morning News Brief

If you own farm animals within the Batavia City limits you have 6 months to find them a new home according to a revised law passed by the City Council on Monday night.  Cows, pigs, horses, llamas, geese, and other animals typically found in a barnyard with the exception of up to 6 chickens if they are penned and don’t make a mess are not allowed in the city limits.  The measure will be enforced by complaint as there aren’t enough staff to go house to house to make sure animals have been removed.  Anyone with a certified service animal who is protected by federal Americans with Disabilities Act stipulations will not be affected by the local law, City Attorney George Van Nest said during the meeting.

Police say a triple shooting Monday night in rochester was a murder-suicide and the woman responsible was a law enforcement officer.  The 29-year-old woman accused of shooting the other two before turning the gun on herself is identified as Tiffani Gatson, a member of the Greece Police Department.  At around 7:20pm on Costar Street just north of High Falls, officers responded to reports of someone being shot.  Upon arrival police found three women shot, one dead at the scene.  The New York State Attorney General’s Office is investigating.

The Cheektowaga Police Department is joining other law enforcement agencies in the area in handing out wheel locks to Kia drivers. The owners of those vehicles are at risk of getting them stolen after a video went viral showing how easy it is to take vehicles that were made during certain model years. Anyone who wants to get a wheel lock can go to the front desk of police department headquarters and request the device. However, they’re only available on a first come, first served basis.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee are offering tips to drivers to help them travel safely if they have to deal with wintry weather conditions. The agencies recommend that before hitting the road, drivers check the tread on their tires, make sure their gas tank is full, and to remove all snow and ice from their vehicle. Drivers should also follow the posted speed limit and turn on their headlights whenever their windshield wipers are on, which is mandatory under state law. The National Highway Safety Administration also suggests that people keep items such as a shovel, flashlight, jumper cables, and blanket in their vehicles in case of an emergency.

Rent a chair, make a wish!  This past summer, concert attendees at Batavia Downs could rent a chair for their show — with proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish.  Batavia Downs presented Make-A-Wish with a $7,500 check Monday.  The money will be used to grant wishes for children dealing with critical illnesses.

The Buffalo Sabres suffered their 6th straight loss against the Canucks 5 to 4 at the Keybank Center.  Jeff Skinner scored twice and Alex Tuch and Casey Mittelstadt scored once.  Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots on goal.  The Sabres turn right around and head to Ottawa tonight to face the Senators who they beat in October.  Puck drop is at 7pm.

Plenty of smiles on Tuesday at the annual Thanksgiving Blitz. The Buffalo Bills teamed up with Feedmore WNY to distribute 600 holiday meals to families.  Meal totes included not only turkey but all of the fixings giving families some peace of mind in the face of rising prices and stress during the holiday season.  The meal giveaway was completely funded by the Buffalo Bills.

Afternoon News Brief

Last week it was 70 degrees with sunshine. This week, starting Thursday evening through Sunday we have a winter storm watch in effect. According to the National Weather Service, we can expect heavy lake effect snow with accumulations in the multiples of feet in Erie, Genesee and Wyoming counties. Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Make plans to stay in if snow closes roads. The Weather Service acknowledges there remains considerable uncertainty in exact band placement and amounts, but multiple periods of heavy snow are possible. They also predicted snow in Orleans and Livingston counties but noted the totals would not match the remainder of the GLOW region. Stay with WBTA; 13WHAM meteorologists will keep us up to date.

 

 

The Medina Police Department tells us that several suspects are in custody after search warrants there were executed this morning. The Police worked cooperatively with local, county and federal agencies; at this time, no additional details and no names have been released, as this is an ongoing investigation.

 

 

 

Superintendent Smith

City school board members have approved more than $89,000 in change orders to cover additional costs for work being done at Jackson Primary and Batavia High School. Much of the approved increases are for work at the high school, including emergency replacement of two water boilers. Work at Jackson includes installation and curb work along Liberty Street and Blakely Place and removing the unforeseen underground storage tank discovered during excavation.

 

 

The Monroe County Department of Health is reporting two deaths due to the respiratory syncytial virus that’s been spreading rapidly around the region. Both of the individuals who lost their lives were over the age of 65. Most of the illnesses have been among children who can end up getting seriously sick if they’re not treated quickly. Symptoms of RSV include headache, cough, fever and sore throat and in some cases difficulty breathing.

 

Attorney General James

State Attorney General Letitia James is cracking down on online retailers illegally selling firearm ammunition. Her office identified 39 sellers that have been violating state law and shipping ammunition directly to addresses in New York. James has ordered these retailers to immediately stop shipments or risk serious legal consequences. These sellers are also required to take every necessary step to preserve all records related to ammunition sales. Under New York’s SAFE Act, all sales of ammunition have to be conducted in-person between a licensed firearms dealer or registered seller of ammunition and a customer.

 

 

Governor Hochul in Buffalo – file photo

Governor Hochul is traveling today; her latest visit to Buffalo included commemorating the six-month anniversary of the mass shooting at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue. Yesterday, the governor said people in the area will come together and forge a path forward, as they did after the May 14th attack. In her efforts to help Buffalo recover, the governor announced a multi-million-dollar investment to fund several projects across the city’s downtown area. She previously joined local officials to outline plans for a permanent memorial that will honor the victims and serve as a place of reflection.

 

Buffalo Sabres – file photo from 2021

The Buffalo Sabres will once again take the ice in front of their home crowd tonight as they try and put an end to their current five-game losing streak. The Sabres are hosting the Vancouver Canucks at KeyBank Center. Buffalo last played Saturday when they were beaten by the Boston Bruins 3-1. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7:00.

 

Catholic Health will be holding a series of “On The Spot” hiring events for the rest of this week in an attempt to fill vacant positions. Today’s event goes until 6pm at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo on Abbott Road and tomorrow’s is taking place 9 until 4 at Sisters of Charity Hospital on Main Street. And on Friday, job seekers can go to Kenmore Mercy Hospital on Elmwood Avenue between 10am and 3pm. For more information and to set up an interview, go to chsbuffalo.org.

 

Foreigner – file photo

Members of a popular rock band that’s sold millions of albums are bringing their farewell tour to Western New York next summer. Foreigner is going to perform at the Darien Lake Amphitheater on Friday, July 28th. The group is known for several smash hits including “Feels Like The First Time” “Hot Blooded” “Cold as Ice” and “I Want to Know What Love Is” Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday.

 

Morning News Brief

A house fire in Gainesville claims a life.  Around 7am Monday the fire department in Gainesville was called to Dutton Rd.  When they arrived they found the house fully engulfed.  The house was structurally unsound and firefighters set up a defensive firefight to put it out.  At one point the second floor collapsed through the first. Fire chief Horton says that they were informed someone might be inside but there was no way to enter the building to check.  After the fire was knocked down they found an individual dead inside.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

FBI Buffalo is offering a $25,000 reward for information in connection to an arson investigation at CompassCare.  In June, Amherst police announced a fire at CompassCare, a pregnancy services clinic located at 1230 Eggert Road, was being investigated as an act of arson.  According to the FBI, an individual or individuals threw Molotov cocktails which started the fire and caused significant damage. The FBI said one of the individuals spray-painted the words “Jane was here” on the building.  The FBI believes the individuals drove a 2013-2016 red or orange Dodge Dart sedan. and one suspect is approximately 5’11” tall.  Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

A man in Buffalo is charged with conspiracy to smuggle machine guns.  Near the end of October 34 year old Angel Flores was found to be receiving parts for Machine Gun Conversion Devices in parcels from China where the parts were hidden among drawstring bags and plastic spring buckles.  On November 9th the parcel was delivered by an investigator and Flores was taken into custody.  He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

There is a winter storm watch coming over in 2 days.  Thursday evening through Sunday expect heavy lake effect snow with accumulations in the multiples of feet in Erie, Genesee and Wyoming counties according to the National Weather Service.  Travel could be very difficult to impossible.  Make plans to stay in if snow closes roads.

The New York State DEC is celebrating a day all about recycling.  New York Recycles Day is November 15th every year and is all about raising awareness for recycling efforts in the Empire State.  Across the state, individuals, community groups, businesses, schools, and government agencies celebrate New York Recycles Day in a variety of ways, from encouraging others to reduce their waste by pledging to start an office or school recycling program, participating in the New York Recycles poster contest, hosting a reuse exchange, and improving awareness of local recycling requirements. These efforts help educate and inform New Yorkers about the advantages of waste reduction and recycling.

GO Art has some new art installations for the public to see, right out in front.  The art is meant to be an invitation for the public to come and look and come inside and see what is going on in the Art council Go Art building.  Bill Schutt of Basom intends the art to be about “our shared humanity.”  One is about equity and the other about unity.  Come and get a look and then take a look inside.  

A group called “moms for Josh Allen” has started a petition on change.org to tell the Bills Quarterback that “It’s going to be ok” after the Bills second consecutive loss this past weekend.  The Bills lost due to an interception thrown by Allen in overtime which was brought back for a field goal.  Over 7200 people have signed the petition which reads in part “We know it is not easy to be a quarterback for any NFL team, but Josh Allen has taken on the weight of a city’s hopes and dreams, in addition to the regular pressures of the game. We have a history unlike any city and the pain and loss we felt in the past makes watching this Bills team a joy unlike any other…Western New York moms love you to the moon and back!”

Afternoon News Brief

 

Brian Cousins

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced that Brian Cousins has been selected as their new President. Cousins will succeed Erik Fix, who left to take a position with the City of Batavia. Cousins is currently the Director of Accommodations at Six Flags Darien Lake. He has over 25 years of experience there and has held various roles in marketing, operations, entertainment and accommodations.

 

 

 

Michael Salamone

25-year-old Michael Salamone of Perry has been sentenced to a five-year prison term in Wyoming County Court. He broke an infant’s leg and earlier this year was seen on video throwing a puppy. Salamone will also be on 3-years post-release supervision.

 

 

Katelyn Kubala

33-year-old Katelyn Kubala of Attica has been sentenced to 364 days in jail for offering a false instrument for filing and felony failing to register as a sex offender; this is her second conviction on the latter charge. Kubala is a Level 1 offender, considered the lowest. She had a sexual relationship with a teenage boy and was convicted of attempted rape in 2013 while she was serving a state prison term for burglary. The relationship happened before she was sent to prison.

 

State Police tell us that a former Pavilion man now faces 42 charges after holding police at bay for 8 hours in a house loaded with guns and possible explosive devices. 39-year-old Jacob McCowen, now of Centerville, was eventually taken into custody without incident after he exited the house and tried to leave in his car. He was arraigned in Town Court and committed to Allegany County Jail, with bail set at $25,000.

 

 

39-year-old Nicholas Mruczek of Batavia has been arrested and charged with harassment. He allegedly harassed a person during a domestic incident. Mruczek was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in Batavia City Court tomorrow.

 

 

 

According to a regional appellate Judge, police have to make disciplinary records public, even if the charges aren’t substantiated. The ruling came down that the public has a right to know about accusations against police departments and their officers irrespective of whether or not internal reviews found the accusations true. The New York Civil Liberties Union had been pursuing the suit against New York’s law enforcement since 2020 and this ruling overturns lower court’s rulings.

 

 

Tops Market, Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo

Tributes are being held throughout the day to remember the ten victims who lost their lives in that mass shooting at Tops in Buffalo six months ago today. One of those events will be at the Jefferson Avenue location at 2:30 p.m., which is where the attack happened May 14th. The top of Buffalo City Hall will be lit orange, the color associated with the gun violence prevention movement, until dawn tomorrow. The suspect who allegedly carried out the shooting, Payton Gendron, remains behind bars without bail.

 

Friday night, the Batavia Blue Devils football team scored against Monroe with just one second remaining in the game… that gave the defending champions a come-from-behind win; the tournament final score at SUNY Brockport was 14-8 that made them the Section 5 Class B champions again. Congratulations guys on the incredible comeback.

 

 

 

After a couple of weeks of dealing with increases, regional drivers are finally starting to see some consistent prices at the gas pump. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in our region is now sitting at $3.82. That’s the same as it was one week ago but still 12 cents higher from this time last month. Right now, the state average is $3.90 per gallon and nationally it’s $3.77. In Batavia this morning, we were paying an average of $3.78 per gallon, the same as it was a week ago and 4 cents higher than it was last month.

 

Devin Singletary

The Buffalo Bills are now on a two game losing streak after suffering a tough loss at home. Quarterback Josh Allen threw for 330 yards and a touchdown but also tossed two interceptions as the Bills were beaten in overtime 33 to 30 by the Minnesota Vikings at Highmark Stadium yesterday. Devin Singletary had a pair of rushing scores for Buffalo whose record this season is now 6 and 3. Up next for the Bills is a home game against the Cleveland Browns this Sunday with another 1:00 kickoff.

Morning News Brief

The public can see police disciplinary records.  According to a regional appellate Judge, police have to make public any disciplinary records, even if they aren’t substantiated.  The ruling came down Thursday that the public has a right to know about accusations against police departments and their officers whether or not internal reviews found the accusations true.  The New York Civil Liberties Union had been pursuing the suit against New York’s law enforcement since 2020 and this ruling overturns lower court’s rulings.

The cost of gas keeps going up and that means Western New York drivers are paying more these days to keep their vehicles running.  According to Triple A, the average price for a gallon of regular fuel in the area is now three-82.  That’s up one cent in the last week and is 12 cents more than this time last month. The state average is three-90 per gallon and nationally it’s three-77.

School trips are on the schedule for the Batavia City School Board meeting.  At 6pm tonight Coaches Staley and Kirkwood want to pitch a trip to Albany Academy Holiday tournament for the Batavia Notre Dame Hockey Team.  A Washington DC trip for March is being proposed to give kids a close up look at government and the modern day issues facing it.  And the Mixed And Treble Chorus wants to take a 2 day trip to the Big Apple for a Broadway Musical and sightseeing tour.

In local sports the Oakfield Alabama Elba Aggies overcame the only other undefeated team in Genesee County, the Alexander Trojans in the sectional final, 35 to 7 earning the Section 5 Class D title.  Alexander will go on to the Section 5 Class D Quarter Finals in Albany and the Aggies are facing off against Randolph in the Far West Regional game.  The Pembroke Dragons won their 10th game of the season against the Canisteo-Greenwood Redskins 40 to 20 for the first Sectional Title in the school’s history.  They were escorted back by the fire departments from East Pembroke, Pembroke, Indian Falls and Corfu.  The Dragons will go on to play the Regional Crossover game against Morrisville Eaton on friday.  Batavia won against Monroe making them the Section 5 Class B champions.  

The Buffalo Bills are now 3rd in the AFC East after dropping their second game this season.  They lost to the Vikings on Sunday 33 to 30.  Josh Allen was back in the game after an elbow injury kept him out of practices most of last week.  He threw an interception in the second half, tackled the runner himself, and ended the game with another interception leading to a field goal by the Vikings ending the game.  The Bills play next against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at 1 in Orchard Park.

The Buffalo Sabres dropped their 5th straight game against the Boston Bruins at the Keybank Center Saturday night 3 to 1.  The lone goal for Buffalo was scored by Tage Thompson in the first period.  Buffalo is back in action at home Tuesday night against Vancouver. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

Weekend News Brief

Over 12000 kindergarten through 8th grade students took an assessment in Rochester City Schools and it turned up a negative trend.  Over 4800 of the students are 3 grades or more behind in reading, and math according to the iReady assessment.  Rochester Central School District Academic Officer Shanie Keelan  says “this didn’t just happen in the past year because of COVID.”  The district is currently working on a plan to address the issue.  

A man is suing House of Mercy homeless shelter in Rochester after he was stabbed by another resident there in August.  20 year old Cameron Schuler says that the House of Mercy didn’t have adequate security when a man suffering a mental health episode came into his cubicle room and slashed at him with a machete like blade.  Schuler says that the homeless shelter knew the man had violent outbursts and a history of mental illness.  His attorney says the House of Mercy lacked security and failed to follow Department of Human Services rules meant to keep staff and residents safe.  The shelter closed following the attack and reopened last week.

The location of the Former Sweet Betty’s restaurant in LeRoy is in the process of being purchased by a commercial contractor who already owns an apartment building in Brockport and his out of state business partner.  Dustin Beardsley lives in Stafford and presented a plan to buy the Sweet Betty’s location and put in a restaurant and apartments.  Sweet Betty’s closed last month and the sale of the property by Gabrielle Keister to Beardsley and Dean is contingent on the partners obtaining the special use permit for the apartments.  Beardsley said they will seek a qualified operator for the restaurant space but are open to operating the restaurant themselves if necessary.

The White House is temporarily not accepting any more student loan forgiveness applications.  The announcement comes one day after a Texas judge ruled against the debt relief program.  The government website that used to lead to the student loan applications now shows a message that says a temporary pause is being put in place due to the ruling. 

Beginning on Veteran’s Day, veterans now have a lifetime pass to national parks, wildlife refuges and other public land. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement from her department that this is part of a “sacred obligation” to Americans who have served in the military. Each free pass will cover entrance fees for all passengers in a personal vehicle and amenity fees at national forests and grasslands.

The Buffalo Bills released the team’s injury report Friday afternoon and quarterback Josh Allen is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.  Allen suffered an elbow injury late in Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets and did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. He was listed as a limited participant in Friday’s practice.

Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble

Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will perform Saturday, November 19, 4pm, at the Oakfield Alabama auditorium. Children 5 and younger are free. Tickets available at the door.

Humanitarian Awards

The Jerome Foundation Health and Humanitarian Luncheon, Friday, December 2, noon at Terry Hills Restaurant will honor Peter Zeliff. For reservations, please contact the Jerome Foundation.

Afternoon News Brief

John Sumlin, III

A Batavia man in jail for assaulting a woman twice in a four-hour period last month now faces additional charges. 43-year-old John Sumlin III violated an order of protection. He is in Genesee County Jail and attempted to call the same woman five times. Telephone calls from jail are monitored. Initial felony charges against Sumlin include burglary, contempt of court and criminal mischief after breaking into the woman’s house, holding a knife to her neck and threatening to kill her and her children. This, within an hour of her having an order of protection put in place against him. The new charges include five counts of felony criminal contempt of court.

 

The County Planning Board has recommended approval for an expanded Tractor Supply Company retail store at 8727 Lewiston Road; two stipulations came along with it, including state Department of Transportation approval for a proposed access road/intersection and that the company complete a storm water pollution prevention plan. Project representatives are scheduled to meet with the Town Planning Board next Tuesday night and later in the month with the Town Zoning Board of Appeals. The Tractor Supply on East Main Street would move to the new site.

 

A former Greece police recruit and Spencerport school security guard has been arrested for child porn in Greece. 27-year-old Jason Lane allegedly had files containing an image of a partially nude preschool-age child at a local childcare facility, along with sexually explicit images of two minor victims that appeared to be taken by Lane. A search of Lane’s Yahoo account recovered non-explicit images of Spencerport High School students that appear to have been taken secretly by Lane while he worked there, according to prosecutors. The searches stemmed from a tip from Yahoo that a user uploaded approximately 260 files of child pornography. New York State Police traced the IP address back to Lane. Lane is the third person with ties to a regional school district to be arrested for child pornography in the last month. According to 13WHAM, investigators said Lane’s girlfriend discovered child porn on his laptop last year and said he told her it was a mistake.

 

Quack, quack

Governor Hochul is directing state agencies to be prepared to respond to emergencies as the remnants of Tropical Depression Nicole arrive in New York. The governor’s office says heavy rainfall and flooding is possible in multiple regions, including the Finger Lakes, as are strong wind gusts. New Yorkers are being urged to keep a close eye on the forecast over the next couple of days and to follow any emergency orders that are issued. For safety tips, go to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services website.

 

Two security guards are being called heroes after helping take a man who is suspected of being involved in two separate shooting incidents into custody. Officials say that the man entered a substance abuse clinic on Virginia Street in Buffalo yesterday with an AR-15 style rifle and opened fire. The guards ended up tackling him before anyone inside of the facility could get hurt. The man is also suspected of shooting a woman at a nearby residence before going to the clinic. The name of the gunman has not been released.

 

43-year-old Octavio Smith of Buffalo has been arrested and charged with destruction of government property. He’s the man who threw a brick at the window of the FBI Buffalo Field Office. Smith was detained by on-site security personnel; he reportedly said he did this to get the FBI’s attention. Investigation of the damage indicated a severely cracked window that needed to be replaced at an estimated cost of $5000. If convicted, Smith faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

 

Inductees – 2022 Toy Hall of Fame

Some of the most popular toys of all time have been officially inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong museum in Rochester. The Class of 2022 includes the spinning top, the Lite-Brite and Masters of the Universe action figures. The toys were picked by a committee of experts and by using the results of an online vote. Some of the nominees this year were bingo, Pound Puppies, Nerf toys, the piñata, and Breyer horses. By the way, last year’s inductees were Literal Sand, like what you’d find at the beach, the board game Risk and American Girl Dolls.

 

Thomas Rhett

Country singer Thomas Rhett is bringing his latest tour to Western New York next year. He’ll be taking the stage at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Thursday night, July 6th, 2023 at 7:30. The Grammy Award nominee is known for several popular songs including “Country Again,” “Get Me Some of That,” and “It Goes Like This. Tickets for the show went on sale today.

 

 

BOOOOOOOOO!!!!

The struggles of the Buffalo Sabres are continuing as the team drops its fourth consecutive game. Tage Thompson scored twice while Rasmus Asplund and Casey Mittelstadt also had a goal as Buffalo was beaten by the Vegas Golden Knights 7-4 at KeyBank Center last night. Former Sabres star Jack Eichel had a hat trick against his old team. You know that generated a few boos from fans. Up next for the Sabres is a home game against the Boston Bruins tomorrow night.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills will be back in action in front of the home crowd this weekend as they try and avoid a second straight loss. The AFC East leaders are hosting the Minnesota Vikings at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The playing status of Josh Allen remains unknown after he missed another day of practice yesterday due to an elbow injury. The Bills are coming off a defeat last week at the hands of the New York Jets. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is 1:00.

Morning News Brief

Veterans Day activities continue after a recognition at Batavia High School Thursday.  At 9am today there will be a service at Genesee County Park.  At 10 an event at the Batavia Veterans Administration Medical Center on the side patio near building 4.  At 11 a service at the Upton Monument on Main and Ellicott Streets and LeRoy Post 576 will have a service at Trigon Park.  At 11:30 a ceremony at Jerome Center Monument on Bank Street.  And at 1pm there will be a service at GCC in the William Stuart Forum.  Richmond Library is closed today.

A former Greece police recruit and Spencerport school security guard has been arrested for child porn in Greece.  27 year old Jason Lane allegedly had files containing an image of a partially nude preschool-age child at a local child care facility, along with sexually explicit images of two minor victims that appeared to be taken by Lane.  A search of Lane’s Yahoo account recovered images of Spencerport High School students that appear to have been taken “surreptitiously” by Lane while he worked there, according to prosecutors. The searches stemmed from a tip from Yahoo that a user uploaded approximately 260 files of child pornography. New York State Police traced the IP address back to Lane.

In Rochester the Police Accountability Board is calling on the city to recognize their union and support it.  They say after announcing their intentions to unionize three weeks ago, working conditions worsened, resulting in intimidation and retaliation from PAB board members and management.  Several City Council members say they are in support of the union.  The PAB has had several firing and hiring issues, sexual and workplace harrassment accusations, and been criticized by the people of Rochester for costing the city several million dollars without doing any work.  

Two security guards are being called heroes after helping take a man who is suspected of being involved in two separate shooting incidents into custody. Officials say that the man entered a substance abuse clinic on Virginia Street yesterday with an AR-15 style rifle and opened fire. The guards ended up tackling him before anyone inside of the facility could get hurt. The man is also suspected of shooting a woman at a nearby residence before going to the clinic. The name of the gunman has not been released.

There will be a police cruiser parked in front of Target and Kohls with officers collecting items for the Stuff the Cruiser event on November 19th.  Representatives from the Genesee County Probation Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Batavia Police Department, the New York State Police, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Genesee County Department of Social Services have come together to collect gifts for underprivileged children up to age eighteen across Genesee County, NY.  They will be there from 11 to 3 accepting new toys, new clothing, small denomination gift cards, personal care gift sets, hats/gloves and accessories, and non-perishable food items. All items collected will stay in Genesee County and will be distributed to children and families in need this holiday season.

Another little firefighter got to ride to school as a reward for winning the Fire Prevention coloring contest.  2nd grader Madelyn Alford got to ride in Ladder 15 to John Kennedy School Thursday morning.  Alford won 2nd place and the first place winner, Kylie Lutey of St Josephs school, decided to give up her ride because she had already won last year.

Amherst police are handing out free wheel locks to Kia owners in an attempt to stop the vehicles from being stolen. Thieves are targeting Kia’s after a video went viral online showing steps on how to easily take vehicles that were made during certain model years. Anyone who owns an affected model is asked to bring their vehicle and proof that they live in Amherst to the police station to get their wheel lock. The devices are available on a first come, first served basis.

Former Sabres captain Jack Eichel scored a hat trick as the Buffalo team lost to the Vegas Golden Knights 7 to 4.  Tage Thompson led the way for the Sabres, scoring his ninth and tenth goals of the year. Buffalo’s other goals came from Casey Mittelstadt and Rasmus Asplund.  Eric Comrie stopped 29 of the 35 shots he faced, while Logan Thompson made 30 saves. With the loss, the Sabres fall to 7-7 on the season and drop their fourth straight game.  Next up the Sabres play the Boston Bruins on home ice at 7pm on Saturday.

The Buffalo Bills will be back in action in front of their home crowd this weekend as they try and avoid a second straight loss. The AFC East leaders are hosting the Minnesota Vikings at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The playing status of Buffalo’s quarterback Josh Allen remains unknown after he missed another day of practice yesterday due to an elbow injury. The Bills are coming off a defeat last week at the hands of the New York Jets. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is one p-m.

Afternoon News Brief

Louis Coleman

A Batavia man with an extensive history of drug and burglary-related arrests, including two arrests during the past year in Livingston and Wyoming counties, now faces new charges after an indictment was unsealed in County Court. 50-year-old Louis Coleman was arrested on a grand jury indictment warrant charging him with third-degree criminal sale and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He is accused of selling methamphetamine in the village of Attica to an undercover Wyoming County Drug Task Force agent earlier this year. Coleman had been scheduled to be sentenced on previous drug charges and is still facing numerous, similar charges in Livingston County.

 

 

Wesley Thigpen

The sentence 42-year-old Wesley Thigpen of Batavia received is what he had accepted as a plea deal. He was in court yesterday for sentencing, during which time he made two attempts to speak. However, because his message addressed victims directly, the District Attorney objected. Thigpen then refused to sign an order of protection and the judge told him it would go into his file for parole boards to see. Thigpen once again tried to address the court. But the judge stopped him because he had already had the opportunity to speak, and the sentence of 10 years to life had been imposed.

 

23-year-old Cameron Federico of Batavia now faces felony conspiracy charges. He’s been indicted by a Wyoming County Grand Jury accused of conspiring to sell methamphetamine in the Village of Attica to the Wyoming County Drug Task Force earlier this year. ALSO: 45-year-old Stephen Thompson of Attica is charged with the sale and possession for dealing methamphetamine to drug task force agents in Attica. Thompson has served two state prison terms for dealing drugs in Wyoming County: He served one year and four months in 2012 and a year later was again convicted of dealing drugs. He was sentenced to a determinate term of four years and six months.

 

Delmus Tanner

Anthony Paradise

44-year-old Anthony Paradise, a convicted Albany Region bank robber, has pleaded guilty during jury selection to the murder of his cellmate, an Albion native who graduated from Medina High School. 38-year-old Delmus Tanner was killed in November 2018 when Paradise choked him with a torn bed sheet. Tanner was the father of three children, had been in prison on drug charges, and was reportedly looking forward to being a good citizen once released.

 

Robert Manley

A now-former bus driver in the Brockport Central School District is in some legal trouble after being accused of driving drunk. According to investigators, 47-year-old Robert Manley was transporting students during an out-of-district run earlier this week when a random alcohol-screening test revealed his blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit. Manley has been fired from his job with the district and is expected to appear in court later this month.

 

 

Congressman Zeldin with running mate Alison Esposito

Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin has officially conceded to Kathy Hochul in the race for New York governor. Hochul declared victory after the polls closed, but Zeldin initially refused to concede, saying there were votes that still needed to be counted. He released a statement yesterday congratulating the governor on her win and thanked his supporters for making such a close race possible. Hochul has been governor since the resignation of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo last year and will begin her full four-year term in January.

 

One person has been detained following vandalism that happened at the FBI office in Buffalo. Officials say the individual threw a brick multiple times at the lobby window of the building located on Niagara Street yesterday. Interior screens stopped the person from getting inside the building and no injuries were reported. The name of the individual hasn’t been released.

 

 

Goo Goo Dolls 2022-23 Publicity Photo

Music fans across Western New York will get the chance to celebrate New Year’s Eve by attending a free concert being performed by a popular band. That’s because the Goo Goo Dolls are going to take the stage at Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls on Saturday, December 31st. The show is scheduled to set to begin at 11:00pm. All concertgoers must be at least 21-years-old and VIP packages for the event go on sale tomorrow at senecaniagaracasino.com

 

 

Josh Allen at the moment of injury last Sunday afternoon

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott says the playing status of quarterback Josh Allen for this Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings still hasn’t been decided. Allen didn’t take part in practice yesterday and McDermott said he is listed as day-to-day with an elbow injury. Allen was hurt during Buffalo’s loss to the New York Jets last Sunday. If he can’t play this weekend, Case Keenum will be the starting QB for the Bills.

 

 

Sabres logo history, from left to right: 1970, 1996, 2006, 2010

The Buffalo Sabres will try once again tonight to snap their current losing streak, which is now at three games. But, standing in their way will be former Sabres star Jack Eichel and the Vegas Golden Knights. When Buffalo last played on Tuesday, they were defeated by the Arizona Coyotes 4-1. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7:00.

 

Morning News Brief

A man who sexually assaulted a child has been sentenced ten years to life.  42 year old Wesley Thigpen, was called a poison by judge Melissa Cianfrini as she handed down the sentence.  The day in court was fraught with warnings and outbursts and capped off with Thigpen refusing to sign an order of protection.  Cianfrini told him it would go into his file and that parole boards would see what kind of person he was.  She left the court before corrections officers removed him. 

Veterans Day in Batavia is actually Veterans 3 day.  Starting today at 8:15 there is a ceremony at the Batavia High School which includes music and remarks in honor of local veterans.  GCASA is hosting the Mission 22 Walk at 2:30 at Dewitt Park following the Ellicott Trail and ending at Recovery Station.  Friday there is a lineup of events from 9am to 1 pm.  You can check out the whole list on our news partner the Batavian.  Saturday Recovery Station will host a Veteran Connection gathering from 5 to 7pm on Nov 16. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced deer and bear hunting seasons in New York’s Southern Zone begin November 19.  According to the DEC, approximately 85% of New York’s 550,000 licensed hunters will participate in regular firearms season for deer and bear in the southern zone which begins November 19 and continues through December 11. The DEC said harvest during this season accounts for around 60% of the total statewide deer harvest and a substantial part of the statewide bear harvest.  That is followed by late bowhunting and muzzle-loading seasons which will begin on December 12 and continue through December 20. It takes place again from December 26 through January 1.

One person has been detained following vandalism that happened at the FBI office in Buffalo. Officials say the individual threw a brick multiple times at the lobby window of the building located on Niagara Street yesterday. Interior screens stopped the person from getting inside the building and no injuries were reported. The name of the individual hasn’t been released.

A now-former bus driver in the Brockport Central School District is in some legal trouble after being accused of driving drunk. According to investigators, 47-year-old Robert Manley was transporting students during an out-of-district run earlier this week when a random alcohol screening test revealed his blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit. Manley has been fired from his job with the district and is expected to appear in court later this month.

Rochester police say they’ve made an arrest in connection with a recent fire at the old Rochester Riverside Hotel. They say 39-year-old Isaac Lynch set the blaze on East Main Street last Wednesday and is now facing multiple charges including arson. It is believed Lynch was also responsible for causing another fire on Mortimer Street and setting two dumpsters on fire behind a business on Dewey Avenue. After being taken into custody, Lynch was sent to the Monroe County Jail.

The 37th Health and Humanitarian Award of Genesee County will be presented to Peter Zeliff of Batavia on Friday, December 2, at an awards luncheon at noon at Terry Hills Restaurant.  In naming Mr. Zeliff for this year’s award, the Jerome Foundation will recognize him for his many volunteer efforts.  He developed the WNY Aviation Adventure Camp for high school students interested in the field of aviation. He is spearheading an effort to bring back in 2023 the Wings Over Batavia airshow. Pete also has served on the Board of Directors of many local organizations.  Currently he is Chairman of the GCEDC Board and serves on the UMMC Board of Directors. He also volunteers for Wings Flights of Hope, Veteran’s Air Lift Command and the Special Olympics Airlift.  

Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. announces the promotion of Francis A. Riccobono to Director of Emergency Communications of the Genesee County Emergency Services Dispatch Center.  Director Riccobono assumed his new duties on October 29.  Director Riccobono has over 31 years of experience in Genesee County emergency dispatching services, having begun his dispatching career with the City of Batavia Police Department in 1991, and transitioning to the Genesee County consolidated dispatch center in 2008.  In 2019, he was appointed Assistant Director of Emergency Communications/Operations.  During his tenure, he has been awarded two Commendations.

The Elba FFA Chapter brought home big awards competing in the National FFA Dairy Evaluation and Management Competition in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The competition consisted of an online multiple-choice assessment that tested their dairy knowledge at the end of September, then at the end of October, they traveled to the National FFA Convention to compete in multiple days of events which included a team activity as well as judging multiple classes of dairy cattle.  They was awarded the National Silver Award for Dairy Evaluation and Management. Ian Keberle and Bing Zuber were awarded national gold individually, and Amelia and Jillian Brewer were awarded national silver individually.

Afternoon News Brief

Richard Castillo, Jr.

39-year-old Ricardo Castillo, Jr. of Oakfield has been charged with rape after an investigation into an incident in Sheldon. He was arrested as the result of a joint investigation by Wyoming & Genesee County Sheriffs. Castillo was arraigned in the Town of Warsaw Court and ordered held on $100,000 bail.

 

 

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer with Governor Kathy Hochul – file photo

Governor Kathy Hochul has defeated her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. It’s the first time a woman has been elected governor in the state. In other election news, both Attorney General Letitia James and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli earned re-election as did Senator Chuck Schumer. Proposition 1 the Clean Air and Water Bill passed. George Borello won the newly created 57th district and Stephen Hawley won in the 139th. It’s still unknown which party controls Congress the day after the Midterms. NBC News declared the House a toss-up for the time being, while the Senate is seeing what they’re referring to as a razor-thin margin between Democrats and Republicans.

 

30-year-old Tyler Thomas of Batavia is charged with petit larceny. State Police in Lockport arrested him; no further information is available at this time.

 

 

 

35-year-old Andrew Searight of Batavia is one of two people charged with aggravated cruelty to animals. It’s alleged he abandoned a pair of dogs in an apartment on Bank Street. Searight entered a not-guilty plea today in his first appearance in County Court. He and co-defendant 24-year-old Jerrtonia Scarbrough were both indicted on the two felony counts and will be prosecuted separately. They are accused of abandoning two Pitbulls in an apartment and were later found malnourished and covered in feces in their cages. The male Pitbull recovered while the female Pitbull had to be euthanized. Searight will return to court early in January for a preliminary conference in his case, with oral arguments on any motions in the case scheduled for later in the month.

 

If you happened to purchase Powerball tickets for the most recent draw in Buffalo or Cheektowaga, check them carefully. There are three third-place winners in Western New York, each worth $50,000. One winning ticket for the record-breaking $2.04 billion jackpot was sold in Altadena, California.

 

 

Fairport High School

A former substitute teacher who worked in the Fairport Central School District has been arrested for having child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that 25-year-old Marc Hoffman communicated online with several victims and exchanged sexually explicit photos. When police seized his phone, they found evidence of those discussions and also images of child porn. Hoffman has already been fired from his position with the school district and could spend up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

 

The Seneca Nation of Indians has announced plans to open its first legal marijuana dispensary in Niagara Falls. The 25-hundred square foot shop will be located in the area of John Daly Boulevard and Niagara Street near the Seneca One Stop gas station and convenience store. There will be a variety of products available to be purchased and there’s also going to be a drive-thru window. Construction has already started and the shop is expected to open early next year.

 

Tage Thompson

The losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres is now at three games following a disappointing defeat on home ice. Tage Thompson had the lone goal for Buffalo last night. They were beaten by Arizona 4-1 at KeyBank Center. Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie was only able to stop 20 of the 23 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for Buffalo is another home game Thursday night against the Vegas Golden Knights. Puck drop is 7:00.

 

 

 

Car warming up

Police in our region are warning drivers not to warm up their cars once the weather turns cold. They say that even if you can remote start the car and keep the key fob with you, the doors should be locked, valuables removed and perhaps even use a steering wheel lock. This is in response to numerous car thefts in recent months and if your vehicle is left unattended it’s an easy target.

Morning News Brief

In the New York State Elections Governor Hochul managed to pull out a win against challenger Lee Zeldin 53 to 47 percent.  Hochul can now start her first officially elected term as Governor.  Down ballot Letitia James, Thomas Dinapoli and Charles Schumer stayed in their positions.  Proposition 1 the Clean Air and Water Bill passed with 69 percent of the vote.  George Borello won the newly created 57th district and Stephen Hawley won in the 139th district.  Nationally the control of the house and senate are still up in the air as key races have yet to be called.

A federal judge has blocked parts of the concealed carry law that prohibits licensed gun owners from carrying on certain properties.  District Court Judge Glenn Suddaby said the law invoked “unprecedented constitutional violations” and granted a partial preliminary injunction in favor of Gun Owners of America, forcing the state to immediately cease enforcement of parts of the law, which was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in July.  Suddaby ruled the state can still prevent people from carrying guns in Times Square, public playgrounds, libraries, nurseries and preschools. But he ruled that mental hospitals, places of worship, public parks, zoos, theaters, conference centers, protests and bars are no longer off limits for people with a concealed carry permit. Another section of the law that required concealed carry applicants to disclose social media accounts for review and be subject to assessment of “good moral character” was also blocked.

Incumbent Democrat and Congressman Joe Morelle has declared victory in the 25th Congressional District. Morelle was taking on Republican and former Rochester police chief La’Ron Singletary. However, Singletary is refusing to concede and his campaign put out a statement calling for an investigation into what it claims are unprecedented irregularities in the election process. The 25th District covers portions of both Monroe and Wayne counties.

39 year old Oakfield man, Ricardo Castillo was charged with 1st and 3rd degree rape after an investigation into the incident in Sheldon on October 26th.  He was arrested as the result of a joint investigation by the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Castillo was arraigned in the Town of Warsaw Court and ordered held on $100,000 bail.

3 third place prizes in the powerball lottery were won in Western NY.  Each of them worth 50 thousand dollars.  The tickets were bought at 2 7-11s in Buffalo and a Kwik Fill in Cheektowaga.  The historically high 2 billion dollar winning ticket was sold in Altadena California.  You can check your numbers on the New York Lotto App, 22 other 1 million dollar prizes are still up for grabs.

Western NY police departments are warning drivers not to warm up their cars once the weather turns cold.  They say that even if you can remote start the car and keep the key fob with you you should lock your doors and remove valuables and perhaps get a steering wheel lock.  There have been a rash of car thefts in recent months and people leaving their vehicles unattended are prime targets.  Cheektowaga and Tonawanda police are starting stop thefts campaigns and trying to get the word out to residents.  

The losing streak of the Buffalo Sabres is now at three games following a disappointing defeat on home ice. Tage Thompson had the lone goal for Buffalo as they were beaten by the Arizona Coyotes four-to-one at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie was only able to stop 20 of the 23 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for Buffalo is another home game Thursday night against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Kiwanis Skate

Kiwanis Club of Batavia invites the community to a free Thanksgiving morning ice skate at the David McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena, Evans Street, Batavia. Free rental of skates and hot chocolate from 9am to 11am, Thursday, November 24.

Afternoon News Brief

Ericc Doleman

A Batavia man in jail for violating parole has been charged with conspiring with another man to smuggle contraband into jail…a $20 bill. 52-year-old Ericc Doleman has spent most of the past 20 years in prison and is presently in jail on a parole detainer following theft charges over the summer; he, along with 56-year-old Curtis Williams of Batavia were charged with promoting prison contraband and conspiracy, both considered misdemeanors. Deputies report the two conspired to have Williams smuggle a $20 bill into jail to pass along to Doleman. Williams was released on an appearance ticket.

 

Two men from Rochester have been arrested on drug charges. 27-year-old Tyshon McCullough and 31-year-old Stevonne Jones were arrested after a 6-month investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force into the possession, sale and transportation of crack cocaine in Batavia. Both are being charged with possession and sale of a controlled substance. Jones was already in custody in Monroe County when he was charged; McCullough was in court on another matter when he was arrested.

 

 

It’s Election Day and the polls are open until 9pm. Local polling places include the Batavia Town Hall, Genesee Community College, County Building 2, the Salvation Army, Richmond Memorial Library, the Senior Center On Bank Street, the ARC Community Center on Woodrow Road, Ascension Parish on Sumner St and the 400 Towers on East Main. If you aren’t sure where to vote, you can go to voterlookup.elections.ny.gov to find out.

 

 

 

Governor Hochul – Congressman Zeldin

Empire State voters will be deciding who leads New York for the next four years. Democrat and incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul, who took over for ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo last year, is trying to win a full four-year term in office. But to do that, she’ll have to defeat Republican and Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. Early polls showed Hochul with a clear lead in the contest but Zeldin has closed the gap lately. Other statewide contests being held today are the race for Attorney General, State Comptroller, and the United States Senate seat held by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

 

James Schlick is the Republican Election Commissioner in Wyoming County. This afternoon he told 7 News (WKBW-TV) that the county is experiencing ballot scanning issues in approximately six of its 40 districts. According to Schlick, it is not clear what is causing the issue but new ballots are being printed and delivered. He said the machines are brand new and they were recently certified by the state. Schlick noted that the county has been printing its own ballots for about 10 years and has never had a problem. If anyone is concerned about having to leave their ballot in the emergency slot, they are welcome to be present at every stage of the process at the end of the night and tomorrow morning when the board of elections attempts to use a different machine. “Whatever we can do to make them feel comfortable that’s what we’re going to do,” said Schlick.

 

James Krauseneck (right) at sentencing

The man who brutally murdered his wife with an ax four decades ago has found out the punishment for his crime. Yesterday, a judge sentenced James Krauseneck to a term of 25 years to life behind bars for killing Cathy Krauseneck at the couple’s Brighton home in February 1982. James Krauseneck had the chance to address the court and proclaimed his innocence and also called his wife the love of his life. Krauseneck’s lawyer is already planning to appeal his client’s conviction.

 

The Powerball jackpot got up to over two billion dollars for last night’s draw. Here are the winning numbers: 10, 33, 41, 47, and 56. The Powerball is 10. One winning ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California.

 

 

 

 

Lunar eclipse at 6:00am

Path of totality – April 8, 2024

The moon put on quite a show this morning, with a full lunar eclipse visible around 6:00am. Another sky show is coming in less than 18 months: A total solar eclipse, which happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. These are visible from someplace on earth every 18 months or so, and on April 8, 2024, it will be our turn. I’ve already marked my calendar. Lunar eclipse photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News; the Path of Totality image is from the AccuWeather website.

 

 

Spectrum is going to be holding a hiring event today to fill up to 40 positions at its new video repair call center in Cheektowaga. Anyone who is interested in applying should go to the call center located on Union Road between the hours of 3 and 7 today. Hourly wages for these jobs begin at $20 per hour with an additional 75 cents an hour for people who work certain shifts. Benefits include discounted pricing on Spectrum services and comprehensive health benefits.

 

 

Veterans Day is coming up on Friday, and Governor Hochul has announced a free fishing day statewide to honor those who have served our country. That means anglers won’t need a license to fish in the state’s fresh waters. However, all other fishing rules and regulations will remain in effect. Friday is going to be the final free fishing day of the year and to find a place to fish near you, visit dec.ny.gov

 

 

 

Josh Allen – the moment following his elbow injury

The head coach of the Buffalo Bills say the elbow injury of star quarterback Josh Allen is still under evaluation. Allen was hurt on Sunday when the Bills were defeated by the New York Jets 20 to 17 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Sean McDermott said that he would have more information about Allen’s prognosis when he meets again with the media tomorrow. The Bills are taking on the Minnesota Vikings at Highmark Stadium Sunday.

 

Sabres red and black jersey design

The Buffalo Sabres will be kicking off their latest homestand tonight as they try and put an end to their current two-game losing streak. The Sabres are hosting the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden. Buffalo hasn’t been in action since Saturday when they lost on the road 5-3 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7:00.

 

Volunteers are needed

Organizers of the Wings Over Batavia Air Show scheduled for Labor Day weekend in 2023 are in the process of putting together a team of volunteers to ensure a successful event. There are numerous air show volunteer positions available intended to complement the paid show employees and municipal leaders during the event, which is set for Sept. 1-3, 2023, at the Genesee County Airport. If you’d like to help out, email the air show chairman, Dennis Dunbar, at dennisjdunbar@rocketmail.com

 

 

St. Padre Pio Social

St. Padre Pio Parish Altar and Rosary Society will host a penny social at the Elba Fireman’s Hall, Rt. 98, Sunday, November 20, starting at Noon.

Morning News Brief

It’s Election Day and the polls will be open from 6am to 9pm for everyone who didn’t go to early voting.  Polling places in Batavia are the Batavia Town Hall on West Main Rd, The Richard Call Arena at GCC, County Building 2 On West Main St Rd, Salvation Army on East Main Street, Richmond Memorial Library, Senior Center On Bank Street, ARC Community center on Woodrow Rd, Ascension Parish on Sumner St and the 400 Towers on East Main.  If you aren’t sure which one is your voting place you can go to voterlookup.elections.ny.gov to find out.  

The Villages of Orleans nursing home is facing a class action lawsuit by the families of people who died of COVID in 2020 and 2021 at the facility.  Families are alleging that mistakes made during the Covid-19 pandemic led to their loved one’s deaths.  This care home has a history of violations with the New York State Health Department. In February 2021 it was handed one of the largest Covid-19 related fines in New York, totaling more than $86,000.  38 people had died of COVID at the facility by July of 2021.  The lawsuit alleges that the VIllages didn’t provide personal protective equipment, didn’t do droplet control, left residents alone without assistance eating and cleaning themselves for long periods of time and did not control for infections.  

Rochester police say an arrest has been made following the weekend shooting of a four-year-old girl but it isn’t the shooter. Officers found an illegal gun in the trunk of the vehicle the child was in when she was struck by gunfire on Selye Terrace Sunday. A relative of the girl is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and was issued an appearance ticket. So far, the person who shot the child isn’t in custody.

Sixth Grade students at Pembroke Intermediate School participated in the Korman Challenge Reading Contest during the month of October.  Students were challenged to read a book written by author Gordon Korman during the month to be invited to the Korman Party, which was held on Nov. 4.  By the end of the month, 24 students completed the challenge!  Students were invited to a special party where they watched a special video message from Gordon Korman himself! Students then received a special certificate recognizing their achievement.  To wrap up the special day, students enjoyed pizza generously donated by Homeslice Pizzeria 33!

November is Lung Cancer awareness month.  Lung Cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon, and pancreatic cancers combine.  It is most often caused by smoking but can occur in people who never smoked.  Other risk factors include being exposed to secondhand smoke, having a family history of lung cancer, exposure to asbestos, and exposure to radon gas. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an estimated 21,000 Americans die from radon-related lung cancer every year.

Two men from Rochester have been arrested for drugs.  27 year old Tyshon McCullough and 31 year old Stevonne Jones were arrested after a 6 month investigation by the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force into the possession, sale and transportation of Crack Cocaine in Batavia.  Both are being charged with possession and sale of a controlled substance in the 3rd degree.  Jones was already in custody in Monroe County when he was charged, McCullough was in court on another matter when he was arrested.

Tops Friendly Markets are giving military personnel, active duty and veteran, and their immediate families an 11 percent discount off of their grocery bill this Veterans Day.  Customers should present proof of service that they or an immediate family member are a U.S. Veteran, active duty, reserve or retired military personnel to automatically receive an 11 percent discount off of their total purchase that day.  Tops has been holding this discount day for the past 10 years.

Veterans Day is coming up on Friday, and Governor Hochul has announced a free fishing day statewide to honor those who have served our country. That means anglers won’t need a license to fish in the state’s fresh waters. However, all other fishing rules and regulations will remain in effect. Friday is going to be the final free fishing day of the year and to find a place to fish near you, visit dec.ny.gov

The Buffalo Bills announced that they are monitoring Josh Allen after an elbow injury that he sustained in the game on Sunday against the Jets.  A report from the NFL Network indicated Allen would be limited in practice this week but would likely play on Sunday.  McDermott said the team hasn’t made any decision yet and the team will take it “one day at a time,” awaiting an evaluation from doctors.  The injury happened when Allen had his right arm hit and was stripped of the ball as he was trying to throw a pass.  Allen appeared to be wincing in pain, but then threw the ball 50 yards downfield two plays later.  The Bills return home to host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. If Allen can’t play, backup Case Keenum, who led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game in 2017, would step in.

The Buffalo Sabres unveiled their new red and black jersey design on Monday.  It’s a throwback to their uniforms that were worn from 1996 through 2006 and will be their third jersey design and will be worn for 12 games from November 23rd through April 13th.  The Sabres play tonight at 7pm against the Arizona Coyotes at Keybank center.

Afternoon News Brief

 

Jacqueese Wapniewski

19-year-old Jacqueese Wapnieski of Batavia was arrested and charged with burglary, criminal mischief, grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. This, after he allegedly broke into a house causing damage and stealing various household items. Wapnieski was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. He is due back in Batavia City Court next week.

 

 

 

Stephen Pike

26-year-old Stephen Pike of Pavilion has been arrested following an investigation into an alleged domestic incident. He had just been released from prison a few months ago after serving a two-year sentence for domestic violence. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court on the charges of strangulation and criminal mischief. Pike has had numerous arrests for domestic violence and was ordered held without bail and remanded to the Genesee County Jail. He’s scheduled to return to court next week.

 

 

60-year-old Ronald Longhini of Warsaw has pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for January 27, 2023.

 

 

The polling place for the Town of Batavia District 12-03 will be changed to a different location within Genesee Community College. Originally it was planned for the Richard C. Call Arena; it will now be held in the William W. Stuart Forum on the 1st Floor of the Main Building at GCC. There will be signs and guidance at GCC to help guide voters to the right location. The parking lot in front of the Main Building will be reserved for voters. This polling location and all others across the county will be open from 6am-9pm on November 8th, 2022. For more information, please visit https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/elections/index.php

 

Tomorrow is Election Day, and free rides to the polls are being offered to people in the region with disabilities. The service is available to folks who live in Genesee, Erie and Niagara counties courtesy of Western New York Independent Living. Rides will be offered on a first-come, first served basis and seating is limited. To schedule a ride, call 716-836-0822.

 

 

Fred doesn’t seem to mind

Western New York drivers are not feeling any financial relief at the gas pumps these days thanks to yet another increase in prices. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in our region is now $3.82. That is up four cents in the last week and is 12 cents higher than this time one month ago. The state average is $3.87 a gallon while nationally it’s $3.80. In Batavia, the average price as of this morning was $3.78; same as it was yesterday and up 3 cents from a week ago.

 

Governor Hochul has released the results of the recent Halloween weekend crackdown on dangerous drivers. From Friday, October 28th through Tuesday, November 1st, State Police arrested 189 people for impaired driving, which was an increase of 56 from last year. This year’s campaign also led to police handing out more than 11,000 tickets. Many of those offenses were for things like speeding, distracted driving, and seatbelt violations.

 

 

Lottery players are lining up once again to take their shot at winning the largest Powerball jackpot in history. After no one won the $1.6 billion prize on Saturday, tonight’s jackpot will be at least $1.9 billion. In order to claim the top prize, players must match all six numbers, something that hasn’t been done since back in August. Good luck! The drawing will be streamed online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

 

The four game winning streak of the Buffalo Bills is over following that disappointing loss on the road yesterday. Bills quarterback Josh Allen ran for a pair of touchdowns but also threw two interceptions as the Bills were beaten by the New York Jets 20 to 17 in New Jersey. Allen was also sacked five times as Buffalo’s record this season fell to six wins and two losses. Up next for the Bills is a home game against the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday, with another 1:00 kickoff.

 

Not only is Tuesday Election Day, if you’re up early enough, you can check out the total lunar eclipse from 5:17-6:42am; peak totality is at 5:59.

 

Morning News Brief

Bethany Fire responded to an incident on Rt 20 and Transit rd for a woman who fell off a motorcycle on Sunday.  It appears she was a passenger and slipped off on a turn.  A chief on scene reports back pain and possible extremity injuries. The chief says he didn’t see anything too traumatic.  She was transported to Strong Memorial by ambulance.

The investigation continues into a weekend shooting in Buffalo that resulted in four people being injured. Police say two women and two men were hit by gunfire at an entertainment complex on East Amherst Street Saturday night. All four victims were taken to Erie County Medical Center and one of the women is in critical condition. One of the men who was hurt ended up being arrested for criminal possession of a weapon.

Tomorrow is Election Day, and free rides to the polls are being offered to people in the region with disabilities. The service is available to folks who live in Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties courtesy of Western New York Independent Living. Rides will be offered on a first-come, first served basis and seating is limited. To schedule a ride, call 716-836-0822.

Western New York drivers are not feeling any financial relief at the gas pumps these days thanks to yet another increase in prices. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now three-78. That is up six cents in the last week and is 19 cents higher than this time one month ago. The state average is three-87 a gallon while nationally it’s three-80.

Governor Hochul has released the results of the recent Halloween weekend crackdown on dangerous drivers. From Friday, October 28th through Tuesday, November 1st, State Police arrested 189 people for impaired driving which was an increase of 56 from last year. This year’s campaign also led to police handing out more than 11-thousand tickets. Many of those offenses were for things like speeding, distracted driving, and seatbelt violations

A new display in the window of the former Next Level Fitness building is hoped to spur interest in the military.  Al Kurek wants to open a military museum in the GLOW region to honor veterans.  Kurek and some volunteers have set up a display of some of their memorabilia for everyone going down East Main Street to see.  The display features uniforms worn by the men and women from the GLOW region who served.  The donations were solicited through the Veteran’s Services Office.  On Friday, about 20 volunteers helped install the display at the vacant gym.  The uniforms will be on display until Nov. 15.

Lottery players are lining up once again to take their shot at winning the largest Powerball jackpot in history. After no one won the one-point-six billion dollar prize on Saturday, tonight’s jackpot will be at least one-point-nine billion dollars. In order to claim the top prize, players must match all six numbers, something that hasn’t been done since back in August. The cost of a ticket is just two bucks and the drawing will be streamed online at powerball.com.

In local sports the Pembroke Dragons beat Bolivar-Richburg and will advance to the Section 5 title game against Canisteo-Greenwood.  The Oakfield, Alabama, Elba Aggies beat York-Pavilion and are moving on to face the other undefeated Genesee County team, the Alexander Trojans for the Class D championship.  The Trojans beat Avon to advance to this next round.  The Blue devils won against Livonia on Friday night to advance past the Section 5 semifinals.  And the Byron Bergen Bees are still undefeated in girls soccer with a win against Frewsburg.  They move to the state semifinal on saturday.

The four game winning streak of the Buffalo Bills is over following a disappointing loss on the road. Bills quarterback Josh Allen ran for a pair of touchdowns but also threw two interceptions as the Bills were beaten by the New York Jets 20 to 17 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey yesterday. Allen was also sacked five times as Buffalo’s record this season fell to six wins and two losses. Up next for the Bills is a home game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

The Sabres lost against the Lightning 5 to 3 in their matchup on Saturday despite leading at the end of the second period.  Buffalo’s goals came from Zemgus Girgensons, Casey Mittelstadt, and Jeff Skinner. Eric Comrie turned away 26 of the 30 shots he faced.  With the loss, the Sabres fall to 7-5 on the season. The Sabres return to KeyBank Center for a game against the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday.

Weekend News Brief

A Buffalo man was arrested Friday morning after an alleged reckless motorcycle operation caused the death of his 17-year-old passenger.  Just before noon police responded to reports of an accident involving a motorcycle at the Roundabout on Oak St.  They arrived to find a woman on the ground and a man remounting his motorcycle to ride away.  Police chased down the fleeing cyclist and returned to the scene of the accident where he tried to attack the EMS workers who were trying to assist the woman.  Police took him into custody again and transported him to the Batavia Police HQ where he broke a window and tried to escape.  He was apprehended again.  The man has been identified as 27 year old Christopher Scinta.  The woman was taken to UMMC where she was pronounced dead. She was identified as 17 year old Jasmyne Rubel.  Police have been able to ascertain that Scinta was driving and Rubel was riding when he hit the curb and the bike went over.  He is being charged with many crimes including manslaughter and obstructing medical services.

After a St Paul student was driven to school in the red school bus, Batavia Fire Engine Number 11, a Jackson School student got a ride Friday morning.  Joseph Schafer won the city’s Fire Prevention coloring contest in the K-1 group.  He had been sick and unable to go to school so the ride was a surprise as his parents didn’t tell him he won till he was better and the fire engine showed up at his home.

Turnbull Heating and Air Conditioning is under new ownership.  The new President and Owner, Jake Koch, says he’s been in the industry since he was a kid.  Koch, a resident of Hilton, has owned Triton Mechanical in Monroe County with his father Jeff and friend Kevin O’Connell for more than six years.  He met former Turnbull owner Bill Hayes a couple of years ago, and was introduced to the company at 50 Franklin St., Batavia, more thoroughly after Hayes decided to put it up for sale. One selling point was that Koch wanted to become as fully involved with the community as Hayes has been, the new owner said.  Hayes will go into retirement but stay around to ease the transition.

Richmond Memorial Library is holding a food drive with the RML Teen and Tween Programming Group until November 18th.  The bin for thanksgiving food items will be in the foyer of the library.  Donations will be delivered to the Salvation Army.  

The Aquarium of Niagara harbor seal, Stryker, has predicted this will be a frigid winter.  Stryker makes his prediction annually by jumping up and hitting a balloon labeled either frigid or cold.  He has predicted the weather for 2 years and been right both times.

Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets as he deals with an elbow injury.  The Bills released their injury report Friday afternoon and there were only two other players with an injury designation, linebacker Matt Milano and offensive lineman Spencer Brown were both listed as questionable.  Milano is dealing with an oblique injury, he did not practice Wednesday or Thursday but did practice in a limited capacity on Friday.  Brown is dealing with an ankle injury, he practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Afternoon News Brief

Tyshon Taylor

A 25-year-old man is charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly stabbing a person in the City of Batavia. Tyshon Taylor was arrested after the stabbing was reported to police (on October 18th around 9:30pm). The victim was stabbed in the abdomen while walking on Jackson Street and rushed to ECMC for treatment. Taylor was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail. He’ll be back in City Court at 1:30 p.m., November 10.

 

 

 

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted 35-year-old Andrew Searight and 24-year-old Jerrtonia Scarbrough, both of Batavia, accusing each of the felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals (two counts), a felony charge under Agriculture and Markets law, after allegedly abandoning an animal in a cage for an extended period of time, intentionally causing serious physical injury to a companion animal. (in the City of Batavia on May 10, 2022)

 

 

 

Snail jungle gym – Medina – 11/04/22

There are some unhappy people in Medina now that the snail jungle gyms from their local parks are up for auction. They’d been playground pieces for at least 50 years. However, the village’s insurance company would no longer cover claims filed by people injured on the equipment. And that’s why the snails are now listed for sale through an online auction by Government Deals. Bidding started at $10 for the snail that was in the better shape; at last check, the current bid was $525, which means if you’re interested, the minimum bid is now to $550. The auction continues until November 14. A direct link to their website is provided on today’s Afternoon News Brief page; click the Local News tab at WBTAi.com to take a look. at 7:15 p.m. for the Pine Street Park snail and 7:30 p.m. for the Butts Park snail.

https://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm?fa=Main.Item&itemid=14&acctid=21516

 

 

Andrew Draper

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted Andrew Draper, accusing him of the felony of criminal contempt and harassment. He allegedly subjected a person with an order of protection against him, to physical contact while at a residence in the City of Batavia on June 17, 2022. Draper was also indicted on charges of falsifying business records after he made a false entry on a Bill of Sale at Pawn King, 4140 Veteran’s Memorial Drive.

 

 

 

Artist rendering of the new Bills stadium

Officials with Pegula Sports and Entertainment have chosen the contractors who will be building a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. New York City-based Turner Construction, the Buffalo-based 34 Group and the Gilbane Building Company in Rhode Island are going to be responsible for constructing the over one-billion dollar stadium. The facility is going to be built near Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The new stadium is expected to open in 2026. (Image obtained from the Buffalo Bills website)

 

…that is, Wimpy will pay you back, if he wins Powerball tomorrow night…

The Powerball jackpot just keeps getting bigger and that means there’s going to be a huge prize up for grabs this weekend. The jackpot for tomorrow night’s drawing is going to be at least one-point-five billion dollars. That is just short of the record $1.586 billion-dollar Powerball jackpot that was claimed in 2016. The drawing will be streamed live online at Powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

 

 

 

Congressman Lee Zeldin

Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin will be bringing his campaign for governor to Western New York this weekend. According to the Amherst New York Republican Committee, Zeldin is going to appear at 9:30 Sunday morning at the West Seneca Community Center. Zeldin is hoping to be the first Republican to be elected New York governor since George Pataki. Polls show incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul is leading the race but that Zeldin has closed the gap.

 

 

The Buffalo Bills are taking a trip to the Garden State as they try and extend their current winning streak to five games. Josh Allen and the defending AFC East champions are set to visit the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Buffalo is coming off of a 27 to 17 victory over the Green Bay Packers and has a record of 6 and 1 this season. Kickoff for Sunday afternoon’s game is 1:00.

 

The Town of Batavia is seeking a part-time and/or full-time Deputy Town Clerk. The Deputy position assists the Town Clerk in all phases of administrative functions in the Town Clerk’s Office, including the duties associated with Tax Collector. A complete job description and employment application is available on their website at www.townofbatavia.com or at the Batavia Town Hall. Applicant must be a Town of Batavia resident and must possess a valid NYS Driver’s License. The salary for this position will be based on experience. Please send completed employment application and resume with references to Heidi Librock, Town of Batavia, 3833 West Main Street Road, Batavia, New York 14020.

 

The start of the holiday season is just around the corner, and UPS is looking to add to its number of employees in the area. A hiring event that begins a ten a-m is taking place today and tomorrow at the UPS Customer Center on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo. UPS is searching for seasonal drivers, driver helpers and warehouse workers. For more information, visit jobs-ups.com.

 

 

Morning News Brief

A 25 year old man is charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly stabbing a person on Jackson Street in Batavia.  Tyshon Taylor was arrested after the stabbing was reported on October 18th around 9:30pm.  The victim was stabbed in the abdomen while walking on Jackson st and rushed to ECMC for treatment.  Taylor is being held without bail.

A Buffalo man has been convicted for his role in the murders of three people from Florida during a drug-related robbery over three years ago. Thursday, a jury found Deandre Wilson guilty in connection with the deaths of Nicole Marie Merced-Plaud, Miguel Anthony Valentin-Colon, and Dhamyl Roman-Audiffred. The bodies of Merced-Plaud  and Valentin-Colon were spotted in a burned out van on Tonawanda Street in September 2019. Roman-Audiffred’s remains were found in a fire pit in the back of a home on Box Avenue.

ALDI has announced that because of inflation and high prices of thanksgiving related items it will be matching its prices from 3 years ago on thanksgiving appetizers, sides, desserts and beverages.  They are calling it the Thanksgiving Rewind.  You can look for a red sticker that says thanksgiving price rewind on it for the discounts. 

The Powerball jackpot just keeps getting bigger and that means there’s going to be a huge prize up for grabs this weekend. The jackpot for tomorrow night’s drawing is going to be at least one-point-five billion dollars. That is just short of the record one-point-five-eight-six billion dollar Powerball jackpot that was claimed in 2016. As always, the cost of a ticket to play the game is just two dollars. The drawing will be streamed live online at powerball.com.

Gerald Maley, otherwise known as “Mr Baseball,” a veteran, major league and minor league baseball player and avid supporter of baseball in Batavia, passed away on Wednesday at 92 years old.  Maley played ball for the Cleveland Indians in 1949 and went 2 seasons in the PONY league.  He went on to coach Little League and Babe Ruth League in Batavia and was a director with Genesee County Baseball Club, the community organization that owned the Batavia Clippers/Batavia Muckdogs.  He served in the United States Army during the Korean War. When he returned to civilian life, he worked as a lineman and switchman for Niagara Mohawk for 37 years. He was active in the American Legion, Batavia Lion’s Club, Niagara Mohawk Pensioners Club, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and was a long-time usher at St. Mary’s Church.

A Batavia Fire truck rushed to the scene with sirens blaring and lights flashing but there was no fire.  Instead it was delivering one of the winners of the Fire Prevention Coloring Contest to St Paul Lutheran School Wednesday morning.  Abigail Varland was dropped off amid cheers and whistles of her classmates and teachers.  Then the students all got a chance to take pictures in front of fire engine 11 with the firefighters.  

The Genesee County Master Gardeners announced they will be collecting NEW, unwrapped BOOKS for the annual Toys for Tots campaign.  The books that are collected will go to children and youth aged preschool through high school.  A gift of a new book delivers a message of hope and instills self-confidence to children in need.  You can drop off books at the Genesee County Cooperative Extension office, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  They will have a collection bin set up near the reception area.  Donations of new books can be made at the CCE office through Dec. 5.

Officials with Pegula Sports and Entertainment have chosen the contractors who will be building a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. New York City-based Turner Construction, the Buffalo-based 34 Group and the Gilbane Building Company in Rhode Island are going to be responsible for constructing the over one-billion dollar stadium. The facility is going to be built near Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park which is where the Bills currently play their home games. The new stadium is expected to open in 2026.

Organizers announced the Buffalo/Niagara Holiday Light Show is set to return to the Niagara County Fairgrounds.  Scheduled to open on November 18 organizers say the drive-thru show features “a mile of towering displays, with hundreds of thousands of lights, synchronized to holiday music broadcast right to each car’s radio!”  Those who attend can expect to spend about 20 to 25 minutes driving through the show. It will run at the Niagara County Fairgrounds on select dates through December 31.  Advance tickets are $25 per carload with a reservation or $62.50 for unlimited visits which do not require a reservation. Organizers say tickets can be purchased at the gate, but availability is not guaranteed.

Afternoon News Brief

 

Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend as we ‘fall back’ by one hour early Sunday morning. Several states are encouraging the federal government to make daylight saving permanent through a bill called the Sunshine Protection Act. In March, the Senate voted in favor of the Act, which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, year-round. But the bill has stalled in the House. While some argue that if passed, crime and car accidents would be reduced. However, sleep experts support a permanent switch to standard time (which starts Sunday) because our brain and bodies function best with more sunlight in the morning. They further point out that the sun should reach its highest point at noon, known as solar time. During standard time (starting this weekend) people in the central time zone are perfectly aligned with the sun’s clock; whereas daylight saving pushes the country further from solar time. Most sleep experts favor permanent standard time; however, most would opt for switching back and forth over permanent daylight saving time. Either way, we ‘fall back’ by one hour to standard time this weekend.

 

A jury has convicted Robert Williams of Batavia of two counts of animal cruelty for pouring some sort of corrosive agent on two dogs. He was arrested during the winter of 2021, following a month-long investigation. The convictions mean a maximum sentence of two years local confinement in the Genesee County Jail. The crimes were not witnessed; however, the evidence supported the prosecution, and included one dog with burned fur and skin and the other had sustained burns to the eyes. Both dogs show no ill effects. The dogs belonged to the girlfriend of a person Williams was living with at the time of the incidents.

 

COVID-19 negative test result

According to the newest data from the state, the spread of the coronavirus is still declining in our region. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is 6.15%. At this time one week ago, the infection rate was 6.59%. As a reminder, anyone who wants to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a booster shot can find a clinic in our area by going to vaccines.gov.

 

The area’s economy is going to be getting a massive boost thanks to an announcement by Edwards Vacuum. The British company is planning to build a new dry pump-manufacturing site in Genesee County. The more than 300-million-dollar facility will be located at the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park – STAMP for short. The first phase of building is expected to be completed in two years and once construction is finished in about five years, the facility expects to create about 600 jobs.

 

Sabres retro blue and gold ‘goathead’ jersey

The Buffalo Sabres debuted their new Reverse-Retro Blue and Gold Goathead jerseys and scored five goals in the third period to extend their current winning streak to three games. Last night, Victor Olofsson scored twice and Tage Thompson, Kyle Okposo, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch also had a goal each as the Sabres defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 at KeyBank Center. The Sabres also received solid goaltending from Eric Comrie who stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced. Up next for Buffalo is a road game with the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night; face-off time, 7:00.

 

The State Department of Motor Vehicles wants you to know that answers to some commonly asked questions are just a few clicks of a keyboard away. The DMV has expanded its live chat service, which means customers can find out information about things like traffic tickets, their license, permit, or registration and get details about REAL ID’s and enhanced licenses. All you need to do is visit dmv.ny.gov and find the live chat feature. The number of topics representatives will respond to will increase in the coming months.

 

Not only is Tuesday Election Day, if you’re up early enough, you can check out the total lunar eclipse from 5:17-6:42am; peak totality is at 5:59.

 

 

From the Notre Dame parking lot, you’ll find the building entrance for voting.

Early voting continues through November 6 at the ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Road; here is the schedule of open hours:

Thursday, November 3 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Friday, November 4 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Saturday, November 5 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Sunday, November 6 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Poll site is accessible.
Call the Genesee County Board of Elections with any questions: 815-7804.

Thanksgiving pie sale

Pumpkin and apple pies may be pre-ordered for the Thanksgiving pie sale at St. James Episcopal Church, Batavia. Pies will be available from 4pm to 6pm on Friday, November 18 or from 10am to noon on Saturday, November 19th. Call 343-6802.

Cookie Sale for Ukraine

St. James Episcopal Church, 405 East Main Street, Batavia, will hold a cookie sale bot benefit relief in Ukraine, will be held Friday, November 11, 10am to 6pm.

Cookie Walk

Batavia First United Methodist Church, Lewiston Road, will hold their cookie walk and vendor craft sale, Saturday, December 10, 10am to 2pm. Lunch will be available.

Craft & Vendor Show

East Bethany Presbyterian Church, 5735 Ellicott Street Road, will hold a holiday happenings craft and vendor show Saturday, November 5, 9am to 3pm. Bake sale and food also available.

Morning News Brief

There is a dense fog advisory for Orleans county till 11am this morning.  Fog will cause low visibility driving conditions.  Visibility will be a quarter mile or less.  The National weather service says to slow down and be prepared for sudden stops.  Leave lots of distance between vehicles.

Semi Pro Football is set to return to Genesee County.  Elba resident Harry Roscoe announced he is serving as head coach and offensive coordinator for the Genesee Spartans Football Club and is negotiating for the team to play in the Empire Football League or the Gridiron Developmental Football League.  He said the plan is for the Spartans to play an eight-game schedule, with four or five of them at a location to be determined in Batavia.  Craig Tiberio of Le Roy, who played at Buffalo State College, will be the assistant coach/defensive coordinator; Otis Thomas, football coach at Notre Dame High, will assist on defense, and Jerry Smith Jr. will assist on the offensive side of the ball. Macy Paradise of Elba has been signed on as the team trainer.  They are looking for sponsors and inviting former semi pro players to get involved.

A Batavia man has been convicted of cruelty to animals after he burned 2 dogs with acid in January of 2021.  One dog sustained burned fur and skin. The other dog’s eyes were burned.  Both dogs have made a full recovery.  The dog with the burned eyes shows no ill effects.  Robert Williams was convicted on 2 counts of animal cruelty and 2 counts of criminal mischief.  The maximum sentence is 2 years in jail. 

Livingston County deputies have released the name of the man who was found dead in Lakeville. They say the remains of 73-year-old Daniel Wnuk were spotted last week floating in several inches of water in the area of Big Tree Road and Stone Hill Road. Wnuk had been reported missing last Monday after a family member wasn’t able to get in contact with him. Police are still waiting for autopsy results to find out how he died

The College Board National Recognition Programs recognized 3 Byron Bergen students for academic honors.  Ava Wagoner was awarded the National African American Recognition Award.  Zoey Shepard was awarded the National Rural and Small Town Award.  Dayanara Caballero was awarded the National Hispanic Recognition Award, National Rural and Small Town Award, and the National Indigenous Award.  To qualify for recognition, students have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams; and are African American or Black, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous, and/or attend school in a rural area or small town.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that ⅕ of all deaths in people ages 20-49 are traceable directly to alcohol use.  The study examined 694,660 mean deaths per year between 2015 and 2019.  The leading causes of alcohol-related deaths in both men and women were alcohol liver disease, other poisonings, and motor vehicle crashes. Experts said this study should be taken seriously by anyone consuming alcohol.  Although the study only went till 2019, it is estimated that alcohol abuse increased by 25 percent since the COVID Pandemic.  There are many resources for people who need help with problem drinking and don’t want to be part of this statistic.  The Genesee County Office for the Aging website keeps a list of organizations.  To take a look, follow the link at wbtai.com.

https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/office_for_the_aging/substance_abuse.php

A new study shows that ending daylight saving time could save more than daylight.  Daylight Saving Time ends on this weekend. However, several states are pushing the federal government to make daylight saving permanent through a bill called the Sunshine Protection Act. This act would take effect next March if President Biden signs it into law.  A new study from Current Biology was published and found that the number of crashes involving deer jumps 16% the week after daylight saving time ends.  The DMV and DEC say that 40 percent of deer/car crashes happen between October and December.  The study suggests if daylight saving was kept year-round it would prevent dozens of human deaths, save drivers nationwide almost $1.2 billion every year and save more than 36,000 deer from being hit and killed.

The Buffalo Sabres debuted their new Reverse-Retro Blue and Gold Goathead jerseys and gave fans another come from behind win Wednesday night at the KeyBank Center. Defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3.  Thanks to scoring five goals in the third period, the Buffalo Sabres were able to extend their current winning streak to three games. Victor Olofsson scored twice and Tage Thompson, Kyle Okposo, JJ Peterka and Alex Tuch also had a goal each as the Sabres defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins six-to-three at KeyBank Center last night. The Sabres also received solid goaltending from Eric Comrie who stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced. Up next for Buffalo is a road game with the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night.  Puck drop is 7pm.

Holland Land Office Museum announced their annual Wonderland of Trees with the opening night Gala on Friday the 18th of November.  Opening night will run from 6-8:30 pm.  Come to the museum to marvel at all of the wonderfully decorated trees from local organizations and businesses from around Genesee County. Live holiday music will be performed by members of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, and hors d’oeuvres will be provided by the D&R Depot.  There will also be a basket raffle of dozens of exciting gift baskets.  Tickets are $15 per person or $10 for museum members. Children under 12 are $5.  The display will run through the end of December.  

Afternoon News Brief

Sign at entrance of Days Inn, Batavia

Super 8 and Days Inn – Batavia

Batavia City Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall has condemned two local hotels on Oak Street due to inoperable fire alarm systems, as well as no electrical, gas or water service. Both the Days Inn by Wyndham and Super 8 by Wyndham have signs posted that say ‘this property is closed’ along with notices from the City. Public Works Director Brett Frank said that the property owners have left the country and the City has been unable to contact them. He added there is not much that can be done unless they don’t pay taxes and the City could then foreclose. Photos by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

Lance Mercado, Sr.

32-year-old Lance Mercado, Sr. of Batavia is charged with aggravated harassment. He is accused of repeatedly calling another person, threatening physical harm and causing the victim to fear for his or her own safety. Mercado was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and ordered to return at a later date. He is also charged with criminal possession of a weapon following his arrest in Alexander, when it was allegedly found that he was in possession of knife knuckles.

 

25-year-old Kyle Schroeder of Batavia is charged with criminal mischief. Schroeder is accused of damaging property at a business on Jackson Street. He was arraigned in City Court and released under supervision.

 

 

 

 

20-year-old Nickolas Adam Figlow of Batavia is charged with criminal mischief and harassment. He is accused of damaging a victim’s vehicle and of following the victim to Walmart late one evening last week. Figlow was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and ordered to return later this month.

 

 

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer with Governor Kathy Hochul – file photo

Governor Kathy Hochul and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer announced this morning that Edwards Vacuum, a British-based world leader in vacuum and abatement equipment in the semiconductor industry and part of the Atlas Copco Group, has chosen the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in Genesee County, as the location for their new $319 million, U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility. The dry pump technology that will be produced at the new facility is a vital component to controlling the highly sensitive environment of semiconductor manufacturing processes. Phase One of Edwards Vacuum’s 240,000 square-foot campus include manufacturing, warehouse and administration. The company is expected to employ 600 people and the state and federal financial incentives tied to the deal require Edwards to meet that employment goal. Edwards will also negotiate a PILOT agreement (a reduction in property taxes on the increased value of the property in exchange for payments to local governments), along with sales tax, and mortgage tax abatements with Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC).

 

 

Solar energy farm – file photo

The Genesee County Economic Development Center board of directors advanced 5 projects totaling approximately $582.5 million of investments at its board meeting last night. (Tuesday, November 1, 2022) The board accepted initial applications from Hecate Energy Cider Solar LLC for a proposed $550 million utility scale solar project in the towns Elba and Oakfield and for community solar projects in the town of Batavia and LeRoy totaling $20 million. The board also approved final incentives for a $12 million tourism hospitality project as well as a final resolution for 8250 Park Road LLC. The project proposes to invest $12 million for extensive renovations to the Quality Inn & Suites and Palm Island Indoor Water Park.

 

The State Department of Civil Service is offering state residents, the opportunity to take the Professional Career Opportunities exam online for the first time. Results of the test will be used to help agencies across the state fill a variety of positions. Qualified candidates who have or will have a Bachelor’s degree by June 30th, 2023 have until midnight on November 30th to apply. All candidates have until midnight Eastern time on December 15th to finish the exam. For more information, go to cs.ny.gov/pco.

 

Buffalo police say reports that have been circulating on social media involving tainted candy that was handed out for Halloween aren’t true. Claims were made that kids died due to fentanyl-laced candy, but neither the police nor fire department have responded to any reported incidents. Adults should still check all candy to make sure that it’s safe for children to eat. Any candy that looks like it may have been contaminated should be thrown out immediately.

 

This is the weekend we “fall back”. It officially happens at 2:00am early on Sunday morning; however, most people turn the clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday. This means it’s a little lighter in the morning with sunrise before 7AM, but then the sun sets before 5PM. On a positive note, at least for one night, we’ll get an extra hour’s sleep.

 

 

Walden Galleria Mall

Customers who choose to do their holiday shopping at Walden Galleria are going to have plenty of time to get it done. The shopping center will be closed on Thanksgiving, but the mall is going to be open for extended hours from Friday, November 25th through New Year’s Day which is Sunday, January 1st. Santa Claus is also set to arrive November 18th and will be there until Christmas Eve. The complete list of shopping hours can be found at waldengalleria.com.

 

Rasmus Dahlin

The Buffalo Sabres will be finishing up their current homestand tonight and they’re hoping to end it with a third straight win. The Sabres are hosting Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is coming off of a dominating eight-to-three victory over the Detroit Red Wings Monday night and have 12 points already to start the season. Face-off for this evening’s contest is scheduled for 7:30.

 

 

Nyheim Hines

The Buffalo Bills did not let having the best record in the AFC stop them from making moves at the NFL trade deadline. Buffalo acquired running back Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for running back Zack Moss and a conditional sixth-round draft pick. Hines adds some veteran depth to the running backs room and also presents Buffalo with a potential punt returner. The Bills also traded for Dean Marlowe in a deal with the Falcons. Buffalo sent Atlanta a 2023 seventh-rounder for the safety.

 

If you ask nicely, maybe I’ll share.

The 4th largest jackpot in United States lottery history is going to be up for grabs tonight as the Powerball jackpot keeps growing. The prize for whoever picks the winning numbers is going to be at least $1.2 billion, which is the second highest jackpot in the history of the popular lottery game. The record Powerball jackpot of more than $1.5 billion was claimed back in 2016. The drawing will be streamed online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

The national weather service has issued a warning for Genesee and Orleans Counties for dense fog in the area.  Visibility will be limited to less than a quarter mile.  Motorists are urged to drive slowly and not overtake how far they can see.  Be ready to make sudden stops and for visibility to change rapidly.  The fog should lift by 7am. 

The race to be New York’s next governor could be turning into a toss-up.  Republican Lee Zeldin is closing in on incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul and pollsters say this election is going to come down to voter turnout.  Now two polls show Zeldin slightly ahead of Hochul while another has him slightly trailing her, though most polls still show Hochul with a wider lead, yet much slimmer than weeks ago.  The candidates have been bringing political heavyweights on the campaign trail as Election Day nears.

The city of Rochester is letting people on North Clinton Ave know that they are being watched.  Bright pink enveloped are being sent to people who have been observed buying drugs.  They aren’t being charged, they are being told they have been seen and the envelopes contain an account of where they were observed buying the drugs, a list of safety risks and possible criminal activities.  The city is hoping this will scare people into seeking help or make them wary knowing their deeds aren’t going unnoticed.

A man already facing charges of domestic violence has been arrested again for 2 new warrants.  43 year old James Santiago Jr. was arrested Monday for kidnapping, strangulation and assault.  Batavia Police say Santiago was involved in a domestic assault in a car involving a woman, he wouldn’t let her out of the car and then drove her to a residence in Rochester where she got away.  Santiago has already served 3 sentences for kidnapping, sex with a minor, and robbery and assault.  He is in Genesee county jail without bail.

And he would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those darn police.  33 year old Shawn Wisniewski, a man with no permanent address, is accused of stealing a vehicle from a parking lot on Bank Street and then fleeing from police when they tried to stop him.  Around 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 25, police received a report of a suspicious person in a parking lot on Bank Street. A male was reportedly trying to get into vehicles. A short time later, police received a report of a vehicle being stolen from the parking lot. A vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle was spotted traveling westbound on West Main Street in the area of Denny’s. The vehicle failed to stop for patrols.  He was caught in East Pembroke.  He was also accused of breaking into an office on Washington Ave.  Wisniewski is being held on bail.

Gov. Hochul and Congressman Brian Higgins announced Tuesday federal funding to further the state’s efforts in combatting targeted violence and domestic terrorism.  The funding, $500,000, was awarded from the U.S Department of Homeland Security’s Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention grant program.  The funding will help support threat assessment and management teams in Buffalo, Troy, Niagara County, and Monroe County.  The creation of the threat assessment and management teams was a part of Hochul’s Executive Order 18, issued in the wake of the May 14 Tops shooting.

The city has asked Zoom Buffalo to take down their tribute to Josh Allen’s leap over Kansas City’s defensive line that was posted above the Hertle Ave sign.  Instead the image of Allen hurtling will be attached to the outside of Fairy Cake Cupcakery.  The cakery is holding a photo competition to celebrate, take a picture with Allen and tag the bakery in it to get entered to win a cookie cake and Josh Allen Earrings. 

Buffalo police say reports that have been circulating on social media involving tainted candy that was handed out for Halloween aren’t true. Claims were made that kids died due to fentanyl-laced candy, but neither the police or fire department have responded to any reported incidents. Adults should still check all candy to make sure that it’s safe for children to eat. Any candy that looks like it may have been contaminated should be thrown out immediately.

The former United Methodist Church in Alexander has a new name and is no longer part of the Methodist denomination.  It will now be known as The Church in Alexander.  7 other UMC churches in the area announced they would become independent at the October 6th Upper NY UMC Annual Conference.  The church is looking for a full time pastor.  Their mission is to connect with others, lead them to Christ, and prepare God’s people for works of service that the Body of Christ may be built up.

The Buffalo Sabres will be finishing up their current homestand tonight and they’re hoping to end it with a third straight win. The Sabres are hosting Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is coming off of a dominating eight-to-three victory over the Detroit Red Wings Monday night and have 12 points already to start the season. Face-off for this evening’s contest is scheduled for seven-30 p-m.

The Buffalo Bills did not let having the best record in the AFC stop them from making moves at the NFL trade deadline. Buffalo acquired running back Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for running back Zack Moss and a conditional sixth-round draft pick. Hines adds some veteran depth to the running backs room and also presents Buffalo with a potential punt returner. The Bills also traded for Dean Marlowe in a deal with the Falcons. Buffalo sent Atlanta a 2023 seventh-rounder for the safety.

Afternoon News Brief

James Santiago, Jr.

43-year-old James Santiago, Jr. of Batavia is in trouble again. He’d been awaiting sentencing on domestic violence charges from last year. Over the weekend, Santiago was involved in another domestic dispute, during which he allegedly attacked a woman while in a car and refused to let her leave.  He then allegedly took the vehicle without the owner’s consent. New charges now include kidnapping, strangulation and assault. Santiago was committed to Genesee County Jail without bail. He is a Level 2 offender on the NYS Sex Offender Registry and has served three previous state prison terms: For having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl, for robbery and also for assault.

 

Governor Hochul has announced that New York’s ConnectAll office has now identified over 31,000 addresses across the state that are unserved or underserved by broadband. This data allows for informed federal funding decisions to ensure high-speed Internet is available in every home across the country. According to the information that was collected, Genesee County has 5-1/4% of its population unserved, which represents 1237 households. In Orleans County, 5-1/3% are unserved, or 980 households. If this data were unavailable, it would not be possible for the Federal Communications Commission to recognize locations as lacking broadband service and the state would miss out on much-needed funding. GLOW region data reported:

Orleans: unserved at 5.36% (980), 0% as underserved (0), 94.94% as served (17,305)
Genesee: unserved at 5.26% (1,237), with another 0.14% as underserved (32), 94.6% as served (22,247)
Wyoming: unserved at 12.72% (2,138), with another 0.41% as underserved (69) and 86.87% as served (14,604)
Livingston: unserved at 10.14% (2,676), with another 0.70% as underserved (186) and 89.16% as served (23,538)

 

Following the fatal crash of a Kia in Buffalo that killed four teenagers, and with the ‘Kia Challenge’ seen by millions on social media, drivers across the country are saying the company is not doing enough to make their cars secure and attorneys have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company. People who participate in the challenge break into Kia and Hyundai model vehicles, damage wires under the steering wheel and use USB cords to start them. The lawsuit demands that Kia do a national recall to correct the flaw that makes their cars vulnerable to theft. Lawyers estimate the cost involved would be around $5 billion to fix the 10 million vehicles on the road. This would be the third largest recall in the country and would be listed after the 1982 Tylenol recall after seven people in the Chicago area died from cyanide-laced Extra Strength Tylenol and the 2008 salmonella outbreak linked to products distributed by the Peanut Corporation of America.

 

With the upcoming holiday season fast approaching, The American Red Cross is asking people to donate now to help make sure there’s a large enough blood supply to last through the end of the year. The agency is offering a $10 e-gift card to individuals who donate through Tuesday, November 22nd. All blood types are needed and donations are used to help people recover from things such as serious illnesses and medical procedures. To schedule an appointment, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or call 1-800-733-2767. The next blood drive in Batavia is this Friday at the Social Services Building on East Main Street Road. Click here to make an appointment: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/donation-time

 

 

Jeff Skinner

Tage Thompson scores

The Buffalo Sabres have extended their winning streak to two games following a blowout victory on home ice. Among the players who found the net, Jeff Skinner; he got his 300th career goal last night and Tage Thompson had a hat trick. Other players who scored were Jack Quinn, Rasmus Asplund, Dylan Cozens and Rasmus Dahlin as the Sabres beat the Detroit Red Wings 8-3 at KeyBank Center. Eric Comrie helped Buffalo secure the victory by stopping 15 of the 18 shots he faced in goal. By the way, Dahlin has further secured his place in the record books…he’s now the first defenseman to have six goals in the first nine games of the season since Hall of Famer Al MacInnis in 1998. Up next for the Sabres is a home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night at 7:30.

 

 

Ahhh….chooo!

Flu season is off to a fast start with hospitalizations at 10-year highs for this time of year and a wave of infections setting in well before the annual outbreak typically begins. Adults who are 65 and older are the most likely to be hospitalized by the flu so far this year, followed by children aged 4 and younger; this, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hospitalizations due to the flu had been down for the past two years as people wore masks, practiced social distancing and stayed home more often to combat the coronavirus. Now that people have returned to pre-pandemic activity doctors are seeing a surge in severe influenza cases. Immunity from being exposed to the flu has also waned during the pandemic, which has helped flu season set in earlier and effect younger children more severely. Flu season typically runs from October to May with a peak in December and January. But this year, it has arrived over a month early. The timing of its onset means fewer people are vaccinated and have full protection from the shot as the flu makes its way through the country.

Morning News Brief

Someone has been targeting Crosby’s convenience store for robberies, State Police say.  Around midnight on Saturday someone broke into the Crosby’s on Clinton St Rd in Batavia.  It isn’t clear what was taken but the store was left in disarray.  There was also another burglary at the Crosby’s in Elba a week ago on October 23rd and in Albion on the 22nd.  Chief deputy Sheriff Joseph Graff said they all look like the same MO.  All stores were closed at the time of the break in.

After the crash that took the lives of 4 teenagers and a rash of thefts across the country the car company Kia is facing a class action lawsuit.  Drivers are saying the company hasn’t done enough to make secure cars.  The Kia challenge on Tiktok has been blamed for teens stealing Kia and Hyundais.  People taking part in the challenge break into Kia modeled cars, damage wires under the steering wheel and use USB cords to start them up and take off.  The lawsuit demands that Kia do a national recall to address the security flaw that the cars have which allows them to be stolen so easily.  Lawyers estimate that the cost would be a round 5 billion dollars to fix the 10 million Kias on the road and would be the 3rd largest recall the country has ever seen. 

Governor Hochul announced Monday that New York’s ConnectAll office has identified over 31,000 addresses across the state that are unserved or underserved by broadband.  This data was submitted to the Federal Communications Commission’s broadband mapping project.  This project allows for informed federal funding decisions to ensure high-speed internet is available in every home across the country.  According to the Governor’s office, the Commerce Department is expected to distribute money to states in late 2023 based on the FCC’s broadband maps.

The American Red Cross is asking people to roll up their sleeves to help make sure there’s a large enough blood supply to last through the holiday season. The agency is offering a 10-dollar e-gift card to individuals who donate between today and Tuesday, November 22nd. All blood types are needed and donations are used to help people recover from things such as serious illnesses and medical procedures.

The billion-dollar Powerball jackpot keeps getting bigger.  There wasn’t a winner in Monday’s drawing which means Wednesday’s jackpot will be an estimated one-point-two-billion-dollars.  That marks the largest Powerball prize in over six years.

A very popular show is going to be returning to the KeyBank Center next year. The cast of “Disney on Ice” will be performing in Buffalo from Thursday, January 26th through Sunday, January 29th. The theme of the show this time is “Into The Magic” and it will feature appearances by several characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Moana and Belle. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to disneyonice.com.

The Buffalo Urban League has received a significant financial boost thanks to philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Scott, who is the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated six-million-dollars to the organization. This is the largest donation in the 96-year history of the Buffalo Urban League and the money will be used to help expand and enhance its programs. The Buffalo Urban League serves roughly 60-thousand people in the area each year.

Tre’Davious White has been reactivated by the Buffalo Bills which doesn’t mean he will play this week but does mean he doesn’t have to go back on the injured reserve list for the next year.  He was injured last thanksgiving, tearing his ACL and hurting his knee.  The starting cornerback has a 4 year, 69 million dollar contract including a 10.5 million dollar signing bonus with the Bills and hasn’t played for a year.

The Sabres topped the Red Wings Halloween night in a game at Keybank Center.  The final score was 8 to 3.  Tage Thompson put in 3 goals, Rasmus Dhalin, Rasmus Asplund, and Dylan Cozens all dropped 1 in.  Jack Quinn got his first goal of the season and Jack Skinner got his 300th career goal.  Eric Comrie saved 15 shots. This puts the Sabres to 6 and 3 and 0.  Buffalo will be home against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night at 7:30. 

Afternoon News Brief

Ronnie Johnson

52-year-old Ronnie Johnson of Batavia is now in custody, arrested on an outstanding warrant for a felony rape charge. While being taken into custody, he allegedly possessed narcotics with intent to sell. Additional charges include unlawful imprisonment and criminal obstruction of breathing and blood circulation. He was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and is being held without bail. Johnson is scheduled to return to court on November 15th.

 

 

Reflective tape on Halloween costume

Your doorbell could get a good workout starting at 4:00 through 9:00 this evening. Children are out and about and in their excitement, may not be as careful as they usually are. So please watch out for them. Parents can help keep kids stay safe by putting reflective tape or bright colors on candy buckets. That will help to increase their visibility. By the way, if you aren’t handing out treats, please leave your porch lights off.

 

 

 

 

59-year-old Linda Betties of Batavia has been arrested and charged following a trespass complaint. It was later discovered that she trespassed on a property that she had previously been told to stay off of. She was arrested and issued an appearance ticket. Betties is to return to Batavia City Court a week from tomorrow.

 

 

Example of a knuckle knife – file photo

32-year-old Lance Mercado, Sr. of Batavia has been arrested following a complaint to the police of a man threatening a woman in the Town of Alexander. It’s alleged Mercado was in possession of a knuckle knife. He was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon and with a previous conviction is being held in Genesee County Jail until he reappears before the judge in Alexander Town Court a week from tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Governor Hochul announced this afternoon that New Yorkers needing assistance to help pay heating bills this season, can apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program starting tomorrow. HEAP can provide up to $976 this winter to help low and middle income households as well as senior citizens keep their homes warm. If you’d like more information, contact the Genesee County Department of Social Services.

Department of Social Services
Genesee County Department of Social Services
5130 East Main Street
Batavia, NY 14020
Phone: (585) 344-2580 Ext. 6524
Days Open: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm
General Email address for HEAP Clients: genesee.heap@dfa.state.ny.us

 

 

M & T Bank entrance, Jefferson Avenue

This morning Buffalo police say they’ve arrested a 12-year-old boy in connection with a bank robbery. The boy entered the M&T Bank branch office on Jefferson Avenue Friday morning and gave the teller a note demanding money. He was able to get away with a small amount of cash but was taken into custody a short time later on East Utica Street. He is now facing a felony charge.

 

 

Here we go again?

Gas prices are once again on the rise. According to Triple A this morning, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel in our region is now $3.78. That’s up nine cents since this time last week and is four cents higher than a month ago. The state average is $3.81 and nationally it is $3.76. In Batavia, we’re paying on average $3.75, that’s up 2 cents from a week ago but down 6 cents from a month ago. Earlier this month, President Biden released 15 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserve for this winter in order to help keep gas prices down. AAA officials said that, because the barrels are part of an earlier planned release, the market is likely to have already priced in the impact on per gallon costs. The Biden administration plans to restock the reserves as soon as oil prices fall between $67 and $72 per barrel, AAA representatives said.

 

A town in Maine is telling its residents that they cannot vote Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen into the mayor’s office. Bills fans are everywhere, including Westbrook, just a few miles northwest of Portland in Maine, and they’ve been showing their support of the quarterback using yard signs. Those signs, promoting Allen for mayor, confused some other residents into going to city hall to ask why Allen was not on their ballots. The city put out a press release and updated their Facebook page to say Allen was not a candidate for mayor.

 

 

Attorney General James

State Attorney General Letitia James has issued guidance to police and local Boards of Elections on how they can prevent voter intimidation at the polls. The AG some things they should look out for include individuals or groups of people who gather outside of polling places and attempt to scare voters out of line and individuals who make false statements claiming there are negative consequences to voting. James says it is against the law to interfere with a person’s right to vote. As a reminder, the Election Protection Hotline can be reached at 866-390-2992.

 

It’s Halloween and a lucky lottery player could end up with quite a treat if they win tonight’s Powerball jackpot. No one won on Saturday, and that means whoever picks the winning numbers before this evening’s drawing will win one-billion-dollars. There have been 37 drawings in a row since last time the Powerball grand prize was claimed back in August. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Isiah McKenzie

The winning streak of the Buffalo Bills is now at four games following another victory at home. Quarterback Josh Allen completed 13 of 25 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns as the Bills beat the Green Bay Packers 27 to 17 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park last night. Isaiah McKenzie also scored a touchdown for Buffalo whose record this season is now 6 and 1. On their way to the ‘W’, the Bills drew several penalties. The good news, by then the Bills were on the right side of that 27-17 win. Up next for the Bills is a road contest against the New York Jets this Sunday; kickoff is 1:00.

 

The Buffalo Sabres are continuing their current homestand tonight as they try and win their second game in a row. The Sabres are hosting the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is coming off of a 4-3 win in overtime on Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7:00.

 

There will be 9 days of early voting beginning October 29 – November 6 at the ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Road; here is the schedule of open hours:

Saturday, October 29 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Sunday, October 30 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Monday, October 31 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Tuesday, November 1 12:00 PM—8:00 PM
Wednesday, November 2 12:00 PM—8:00 PM
Thursday, November 3 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Friday, November 4 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Saturday, November 5 9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Sunday, November 6 9:00 AM—5:00 PM

Poll site is accessible.

Call the Genesee County Board of Elections with any questions:  815-7804.

Halloween Morning News Brief

The ghosts and ghouls and superheroes will be out to get their candy or maybe a trick or two.  Halloween trick r treating is tonight from 4 to 9pm in Batavia.  If you are driving anywhere make sure to slow down and look for trick or treaters in the road, especially because wearing all black as a costume is popular.  If you are going to any Halloween parties, have a plan to get home safely.  Parents, make sure your kids know not to eat any unwrapped candies and to look before crossing streets and driveways.  Putting reflective tape or bright colors on candy buckets is a great way to increase visibility without sacrificing the costume.  And lastly, if you aren’t handing out candy, leave your porch light off.

Two 16-year-olds are expected to survive after being shot in Buffalo over the weekend. The boy and girl were hit by gunfire Saturday night on Weston Avenue near the Mount Calvary Cemetery and were taken to Erie County Medical Center where they were last listed in stable condition. The names of the victims haven’t been released yet.

Buffalo police say they’ve arrested a 12-year-old boy in connection with a bank robbery. The boy entered the M&T Bank branch office on Jefferson Avenue Friday morning and gave the teller a note demanding money. He was able to get away with a small amount of cash but was taken into custody a short time later on East Utica Street. He is now facing a felony charge.

We knew the drop in gas prices wouldn’t last.  Drivers are definitely feeling the pain at the pump due to a rise in gas prices over the past seven days. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now three-75. That’s up eight cents since this time last week and is two cents higher than a month ago. The state average is three-81 and nationally it is three-76.  Prices are on the rise thanks  to OPEC decreasing the amount of oil being produced after President Biden’s failed attempt to convince them to keep the amount up at least through the midterm elections.

Witches are casting a spell on Google’s list of most popular Halloween costumes this year.  With Halloween upon us, Google Trends is out with its 2022 FrightGeist list that takes a look at the most searched for costumes in the U.S.  For the second straight year witch comes in at number one.  Rounding out the top five are Spider-Man, dinosaur, “Stranger Things” and fairy. 

Need a little pocket change?  Someone out there could become a billionaire when the lotto is announced tonight.  As the Powerball jackpot once again reaches the ten-figure level.  No one’s hit the multi-state lottery since August 3rd, so tonight’s jackpot will climb past one-billion-dollars for just the second time ever.  A top prize of more than one-point-five-billion dollars was awarded back in 2016.  The cash value for today’s upcoming jackpot will be at least 497-million-dollars. 

Labor unions, the Rochester City School District and several local organizations partnered up to give away more than 20,000 free children’s books to Rochester students, families, and educators at Abraham Lincoln School No. 22 on Saturday.  The event included free books, food, games, face painting, bounce houses and more.  Parents and guardians were able to choose books for home libraries and educators and school staff were able to choose books for their classrooms or programs.  Governor Kathy Hochul also stopped by the book drive during her visit to Rochester.

A town in Maine is telling its residents that they cannot vote Buffalo Bills Quarterback Josh Allen into the mayor’s office.  Bills fans are everywhere, including the city of 20,000-plus residents, Westbrook, Maine, and they’ve been showing their support of the quarterback using yard signs. Those signs, promoting Allen for mayor, confused some other residents into going to city hall to ask why Allen was not on their ballots.  The city put out a press release and updated their Facebook page to say Allen was not a candidate for mayor

The Buffalo Bills beat the Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium on Sunday night.  But their 27 to 17 win wasn’t all wings and snowflakes.  Allen threw 2 interceptions in the second half.  The Bills drew several penalties.  The good news, the Bills were on the right side of that 27-17 win. They’ll take their 6-1 overall record and head to the Meadowlands to take on the New York Jets on Sunday.

The Buffalo Sabres beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4 to 3 Saturday with come from behind goals in the last 20 minutes of the game and an overtime goal from Victor Olofsson.  Tage Thompson scored both the late game goals after Buffalo started the 3rd period down 3 to 1.  The Sabres will miss trick r treating tonight as they are playing against the Detroit Red wings at 7 at the Keybank Arena.

Weekend News Brief

Early voting starts this weekend and runs up through November 8th and State Attorney General Letitia James is warning New Yorkers about voter intimidation.  She says that voters shouldn’t be harassed by individuals dressed in fatigues and body armor or poll watchers who get too close to the voting booths.  It is illegal for people to attempt to intimidate or coerce someone who is in line to vote to try to get them to leave or change their vote.  It is also illegal to be required to show a photo ID to vote.  If you have a disability the poll workers are also instructed that they are required to make sure you are accommodated and able to vote. 

Next Sunday is the end of daylight saving time as the clock gets held back for an hour from November 5 to November 6th.  There has been much speculation about a proposal to eliminate Daylight Saving Time but it hasn’t gone through yet.  So far, only Hawaii is spared from the clock change twice a year.  While some may not like the resulting early sunset, Daylight Saving Time can serve as a reminder to take care of seasonal maintenance on your home. It’s always a good time to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure the batteries are working.

The New York State Department of Health is looking for applications for the 41 million dollars that has been set aside for helping women get access to breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings in their community.  The state is attempting to serve women who may not be getting screened because of being low income or not having health insurance.  To address health equity and improve cancer screening rates among populations less likely to be screened, the funding opportunity prioritizes reaching individuals who are Black, who identify as LGBTQIA2S+, or who live in rural areas.  The funding will help provide cancer screening, diagnostic follow-up, and treatment referral services for every county and borough in New York State, with a focus on helping individuals who lack health insurance.   

Pavilion Future Farmers gained a high rank in the national FFA agricultural science research competition.  Evan Sidhu and Evelyn Northrup presented a project that they had been working on since last winter.  They placed first in New York’s convention in May which allowed them to progress to the top 10 in the nation.  This fall the team competed in an intense interview regarding their research and conclusions. This earned them the seventh spot in the nation.

The Buffalo Bills will be playing the Packers in Sunday Night Football and they’ll be doing it without Spencer Brown as starting right tackle.  Brown started all 6 games for the Bills so far this season.  Tre’Davious White is also out for the game and Jake Kumerow and Taiwan Jones are questionable. 

Afternoon News Brief

Ricardo Castillo, Jr.

The Oakfield man charged earlier this month in Genesee County with repeatedly raping a child now faces similar charges in Wyoming County. 39-year-old Ricardo Castillo Jr. was charged after a joint investigation by Wyoming and Genesee county sheriff’s departments. Castillo is accused of forcibly raping a person and also raping a child under 15 while in the town of Sheldon. He was arraigned and committed to Wyoming County Jail with bail set at $100,000. Castillo earlier in October was charged in Genesee with 13 counts each of first-degree rape and first degree criminal sexual act; and 10 counts each of second-degree rape and second-degree criminal sexual act involving a victim less than 15 years old. The assaults happened in Oakfield and Elba from November 2019 to August 2021, investigators said. At that time, he was released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

 

County Manager Matt Landers has released his recommended budget for the legislature to consider. It totals $162,567,180; $3,593,714 more than the budget for 2022. Highlights include $70 million for the new County Jail; as well as earmarked money for phase three of the County Water System project. The 2023 recommended budget does raise the tax levy by 2.00% in 2023, but adheres to the New York State property tax cap.

 

 

Wesley Thigpen

41-year-old Wesley Thigpen of Batavia is currently in Groveland Correctional Facility, serving a prison term for sexually assaulting a child who was less than 13 years old. His expected release could have come as early as January. He has now pleaded guilty to predatory sexual assault against a child, the most severe sex-related crime under New York penal law. Thigpen at first rejected any notion of a plea and instead made a motion to have Genesee County Court recuse itself from the proceedings. That motion was denied and Thigpen ultimately accepted a plea deal to the felony charges with the promise of a sentence of 10 years to life in prison. The maximum sentence for that charge is 25 years to life. Thigpen will be sentenced November 9. The sentence will be consecutive to the 3 1/2 to four-year term he is currently serving.

 

 

Oct 24, 2022

The teenage driver arrested in connection with a deadly rollover crash that happened in Buffalo earlier this week is scheduled to be in court today. Police say the 16-year-old was behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle Monday when it was involved in the accident on the westbound entrance to the Scajaquada Expressway from the inbound Kensington Expressway. At the time of the crash, there were six people in the vehicle and four of them ended up being killed. A 14-year-old girl was also injured but is expected to survive. The suspect, whose name hasn’t been made public due to his age, is facing multiple charges.

 

 

Louis Carasone

A Brighton High School physics teacher is in some serious trouble with the law after being accused of having child pornography. Investigators say a search of 44-year-old Louis Carusone’s home in Webster led to the discovery of over two-thousand disturbing images and more than 20 videos. Carusone made an appearance in court yesterday and was released but will be under electronic monitoring. In a statement, the Brighton Central School District said Carusone won’t be returning in any capacity. The charges carry a penalty of 5-20 years in prison.  (Released photo)

 

 

 

The latest data released by the state shows there’s been a decline in the spread of COVID-19 in our region. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is 6.44%. At this time one week ago, the infection rate was at 7.65%. As a reminder, anyone who wants to get a COVID-19 vaccine or receive the latest booster shot can find an immunization clinic in our area by going to vaccines.gov.

 

 

 

Congressman Lee Zeldin

Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin has brought his campaign for New York governor to Rochester as he looks to continue building support. The main issue that Zeldin addressed during yesterday’s visit was his ongoing criticism of the state’s bail laws. Zeldin claims Governor Hochul isn’t doing enough to hold criminals accountable for their actions. Recent polls show that while Governor Hochul is leading the race, the Republican Zeldin has closed the gap in the last few weeks.

 

 

The early voting period gets underway in New York tomorrow and the state Attorney General’s Office says the Election Protection Hotline will be up and running. The hotline be reached by calling 866-390-2992 and it’ll be available from 9:am until 6:00pm through November 6th and from 6:00am until 9:00pm on Election Day. Written requests for election-related help can also be submitted using an online form. The AG’s office also is reminding New Yorkers that they have to right to vote free of intimidation and coercion.

 

 

Jeff Skinner

The Buffalo Sabres have dropped their second straight game after falling to a longtime rival on home ice. Jeff Skinner and Dylan Cozens had the goals for the Sabres as they were beaten by the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 at KeyBank Center last night. Buffalo goaltender Eric Comrie gave up three goals on the 34 shots he faced in the contest. Up next for the Sabres is a home game against the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow night at 7:00.

 

 

Josh Allen playing leapfrog

After having last week off, the Buffalo Bills are going to be back in action Sunday as they try and extend their winning streak to four games. The Bills are hosting Aaron Rodgers and the struggling Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Buffalo last played a game October 16th when they beat the Kansas City Chiefs 24 to 20 and improved their record this season to five wins and one loss. Kickoff for Sunday evening’s contest is set for 8:20.

 

 

Fine, I’ll share…

 

Lottery players across the Empire State are hoping that luck will be on their side as they try and win the 2nd largest Powerball jackpot in the history of the game. Because no one matched all six winning numbers Wednesday, the prize up for grabs tomorrow night will be at least at least $800,000,000. The biggest jackpot in Powerball history was over one-point-five billion dollars back in 2016. The drawing will be streamed online at powerball.com. Good luck! Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Starting in 2023 anyone committing a crime who is 12 or under will no longer face arrest and prosecution for nearly all crimes, except homicide.  While some are calling the new law a victory, others say it just opens doors to more crime.  Under the new law, signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier this year, local social services departments will set up what’s known as a differential response program with children who commit crimes.  State Sen. Jeremy Cooney of Rochester, a co-sponsor of the bill, said that this will help make sure kids don’t get entrenched in the criminal justice system.

A Brighton High School teacher was arrested last week for charges of possession and transmission of child porn.  According to a criminal complaint, Louis Carusone, 44, of Webster, shared a video and images containing child pornography Oct. 10 through an online file-sharing network.  An undercover officer downloaded the files, and then downloaded more that were shared Oct. 14-15 from Carusone’s IP address.  Investigators executed a search warrant at Carusone’s home Oct. 21 and seized multiple devices, uncovering 11 videos that Carusone appeared to have recorded himself between Aug. 16-Oct. 13.  According to prosecutors, Carusone appeared to have recorded minors and adults in public places, including at a waterpark while they were wearing bathing suits.  Investigators said they also recovered more than 2,000 images and 21 videos of child pornography.  The charges carry a penalty of 5-20 years in prison. Carusone appeared in federal court Thursday and was released on conditions, including electronic monitoring.

Batavia Downs is doing its part to help women dealing with deadly cancers.  Western Regional Off Track Betting President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek presented representatives from the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester with a check for $23,605.70 to help those who have been affected by breast or gynecologic cancer.  The money was raised during a dinner benefit held on September 16th.  Racers, trainers and owners donated, there were raffles and auctions and harness races through the event. 

I90 westbound was shut down for several hours Thursday afternoon after a tractor trailer hauling soup crashed into another tractor trailer and then caught fire near Pembroke. The tractor trailer that was hit was traveling slowly on the right shoulder of the highway.  Both drivers were able to get out safely with one being transported to the hospital for evaluation.  The soup truck quickly became fully involved and burned to a pile of metal as its fuel caught.  The fire took several hours to get out.  Pembroke and Indian Falls responded. 

Batavia Police are looking to the public for help identifying the operator of a dirt bike who was riding in an unsafe manner throughout the city.  The individual is pictured in several security photos on the Batavian website and rode their dirt bike on the sidewalks.  The bike is bright orange and the rider was wearing a green and purple and white coat and a black backpack.  Anyone with information can call Officer Pete Post at 585 345 6350 or the department’s confidential tip line at 585 345 6370.

The Sabres lost their second straight game Thursday night against the Canadiens 3 to 2.  In their first home game after a week on the road featuring several victories and a defeat by the Krakens Alex Tuch and Dylan Cozens scored for the Sabres but Montreal got 1 in the last minutes of the game to take the win.  The Sabres will be back in action tomorrow night against the Chicago Blackhawks.  The Puck drops at 7 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills have unveiled renderings of their new stadium for the first time.  From their description: “The exterior stadium image highlights the team’s desire for a visual identity that reflects some of the historical architecture of Buffalo, while also delivering a modern appearance.  Featured in the inside bowl rendering is a stacked seating design, which will help to rain crowd noise down onto the playing field. In addition to the stacked seating that will provide protection from the elements, extensive radiant heating will be in place to enhance fan comfort. The Bills are committed to creating an intimate yet intimidating football-first seating bowl that harnesses the energy of the fans.”  The renderings are subject to change.

Afternoon News Brief

John Sumlin III

43-year-old John Sumlin the 3rd of Batavia has been arraigned on charges of burglary and assault after he allegedly broke into a home on West Main Street. He is accused of holding a knife to a woman’s neck, hitting her and threatening to kill her and her children and then breaking her television. Sumlin was arraigned and is being held without bail. Charges include Burglary, Criminal Contempt, Criminal Mischief, Assault and Menacing. He will be back in court November 1st.

 

 

26-year-old Aaron Hendershot of Batavia has been indicted by a Genesee County Grand Jury and charged with second-degree criminal mischief for damaging a city police car, for damaging property belonging to a woman and obstruction of governmental administration.

 

 

 

Marcella Greene

A former Batavia woman convicted of driving while high on drugs has been indicted and charged a second time, just three weeks after her conviction. 38-year-old Marcella Greene is charged with felony driving while impaired by drugs, reckless driving and misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance. The indictment accuses Greene, who has had multiple arrests for drug-related charges, of driving while high in the city of Batavia last spring. She was convicted on March 31 of misdemeanor driving while high on drugs, also in the city. Greene most recently was arrested on warrants charging her with failure to appear in court for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. She also was arrested in December at a local hotel, where she was found with crack cocaine with intent to sell. She served a four-year prison term for a drug-dealing conviction in Genesee County in 2014.

 

 

 

Bear shaped fentanyl

The Batavia Police Department tells us that “rainbow fentanyl” pills have recently been located in the City of Batavia. The drugs were found in a local gas station bathroom and turned over to officers. The tablets are blue in color and stamped into the shape of a bear. There hasn’t been any association between these pills and Halloween, but the department wants to remind parents to check their children’s candy before consumption. If any candy is opened, appears to have been tampered with, or looks suspicious, throw it out. If any illegal drugs are located in Halloween candy, please contact the police department at 585-345-6350. Have a safe and Happy Halloween! Photo provided by Batavia Police.

 

 

The latest data from the State Department of Labor puts the unemployment rate in Genesee County at 2.5%, down a third of a percent from a month ago and the same as it is in Wyoming County; the two counties have the lowest rates in the GLOW region. Nationally the unemployment rate is down from 4.6% last month to 3.8%, while New York State’s overall rate dropped a full percentage from 4.9 to 3.9. Bronx County in New York City continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the state at 7.2%, although that’s down from 8.4% from a month ago. There are only a few counties in the state, one of which is Yates, with unemployment rates of 2.4%.

 

 

 

The City of Batavia invites residents to attend the opening of the forthcoming Mall Market. Visit the Batavia City Centre Mall on Saturday, October 29th for the first Mall Market day. And then mark your calendars for future Mall Market Days: November 12, November 19, November 26, December 10, and December 17. The Mall Market will be open from 8:00am to 11:30am. Porter Farms, Garner Farms, and Tastefully Simple are among the vendors who will be on hand. Applications are still being accepted! Anyone interested in endorsing their business or promoting their products is encouraged to apply at https://bit.ly/BataviaMallMarket.

 

 

Senator Sue Serino

State Senator Sue Serino wants to close what she calls a loophole in the law when it comes to mandated reporters of suspected child abuse. She is advocating an amendment to the law, which would spell out that teachers, doctors and others who are mandated reporters must “report any suspected abuse directly to law enforcement” irrespective of the relationship the abuser has with the child. This follows the conviction earlier this week of Kirk Ashton. He’s the former principal of a Hilton elementary school who abused 21 students over the course of four years; parents there believe if more people had reported the abuse, it could have been stopped sooner.

 

 

Governor Hochul receiving flu shot

Governor Hochul has joined the large number of New Yorkers who have already received their flu shot as the state tracks three respiratory illnesses. She is encouraging everyone to get the flu shot now since this year’s flu season has started earlier than usual. She adds the state is still monitoring COVID-19 and urges residents to get an updated booster shot. The governor’s office is also checking local data to see if there’s a spike in the Respiratory Syncytial Virus which typically affects young children.

 

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has a timely reminder for us to keep a close eye out for moose and deer while we’re traveling. Data from the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research showed that last year; 41-percent of the crashes involving deer and vehicles happened in October, November and December. Officials say that deer and moose are very difficult to spot during dawn and dusk when visibility is already low. Drivers should slow down if they see an animal and try to avoid swerving so they don’t collide with another vehicle or objects like trees and utility poles.

 

The Buffalo Police Department has released brand new information on the upcoming launch of its threat management unit. The unit will be made up of four detectives and a detective sergeant who will be in charge of investigating threats made towards the public that could lead to a large number of casualties. Members will also be responsible for handling extreme risk protection orders and racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism cases. The unit is expected to begin its work next month.

 

 

Buffalo Sabres Logo History – left to right, 1970, 1996, 2006, 2010

After a long road trip, the Buffalo Sabres are going to have the support of their home crowd when they take the ice tonight. The Sabres are set to host the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is coming off of a tough five-to-one defeat at the hands of the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 7:00.

 

 

Morning News Brief

43 year old John Sumlin the 3rd was arraigned on charges of burglary and assault after he allegedly broke into a home on West Main Street and attacked the residents.  He is accused of breaking into the home, holding a knife to a woman’s neck, hitting her and threatening to kill her and her children and then breaking her tv.  Sumlin was arraigned Tuesday and is being held without bail.  He is charged with Burglary in the 1st degree, Criminal Contempt in the 1st, Criminal Mischief in the 3rd, Assault in the 3rd and Menacing in the 2nd.  He will be back in court November 15th.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Environmental Conservation are reminding drivers to keep a close eye out for moose and deer while they’re traveling. Data from the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research showed that last year, 41-percent of the crashes involving deer and vehicles happened in October, November and December. Officials say that deer and moose are very difficult to spot during dawn and dusk when visibility is already low. Drivers should slow down if they see an animal and try to avoid swerving so they don’t collide with another vehicle or objects like trees and utility poles.

A bill working its way through the state senate would clarify mandated reporters responsibilities when it comes to suspected child abuse.  State Sen. Sue Serino wants to close what she calls a loophole in the law, saying the current law on mandated reporting is too vague.  She wants an amendment to the law, spelling out that mandated reporters like teachers and doctors are required to “report any suspected abuse directly to law enforcement” regardless of whether the abuser is a family member of the child.  After the conviction of Kirk Ashton, former Principal in Hilton, of abusing 21 students.  Parents are saying more could have been done and that others knew of the abuse and did nothing. 

If you’ve driven through Rochester you’ve seen them, on almost every street corner and on the medians between roads, panhandlers.  The city is now trying to get them off the streets with a campaign called Be the Change, Keep the Change.  The campaign encourages the community to donate directly to nonprofit organizations providing services to the homeless — rather than paying panhandlers directly.  Some business owners say panhandlers are a disruption.  Others say it’s inhumane to not support those in need.  Others argue that once money is given to a panhandler, they keep coming back for more.

The Town of Bergen is asking Genesee County for more money as they say they are facing running out completely and having to suspend snowplowing and reduce their workforce.  Bergen has a budget of 2.3 million dollars.  They have cut funding to the library, closed the transfer station, and raised taxes.  Bergen Supervisor Ernie Hayward said the county has not been keeping up its end of the bargain in how much it provides to towns.  County Chairwoman Shelley Stein said that the towns had a chance to share concerns before agreements were put in place and at some point in the future the county will be in a position to help, but not now.

A meeting will be held where Rochester lawmakers and customers are planning to call for a public takeover of Rochester Gas and Electric.  Customers have been upset with the utility company, which is currently owned by AVANGRID Incorporated, after it announced a proposed increase of its gas and electric rates. The meeting is happening from six p-m until eight p-m at the Thomas P. Ryan Recreation Center on Webster Avenue in Rochester.  People who want to attend can register online in advance by going to metrojustice.org.

The Volunteers for Animals are holding a FurRaiser to raise money for their furry friends this Saturday from 10 to 3 at Pudgies Lawn and garden on West Main Street.  There will be a giant basket raffle and a raffle for 2 Buffalo Bills tickets for the game on December 11th against the Jets.  The nonprofit helps animals at Genesee County Animal Shelter, from providing much-needed medical care, vaccinations, fostering, walking, assisting with adoptions, to, of course, showering them with lots of TLC.  Pudgies will also be offering 10 percent off on all pet friendly plants.

Buffalo is facing Green Bay this weekend and Tre’Davious White is not playing.  He practiced with the Bills on Wednesday wearing a red no contact jersey.  He was not on the injury report.  Buffalo will have to make a decision on White in the very near future. The team has until next Wednesday, November 2nd by 4:00 p.m. est. to either activate White to the roster. Or he will go back on the Injured Reserve list for the rest of the year.  

After a long road trip, the Buffalo Sabres are going to have the support of their home crowd when they take the ice tonight. The Sabres are set to host the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center. Buffalo is coming off of a five-to-one defeat at the hands of the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for seven p-m.

Crossroads House Sale

Crossroads House annual Christmas Sale continues on Friday, November 25 from 9am to 6pm and on Saturday, November 26th, from 9am to 1pm.  New and like new items available.

Crossroads House Sale

Crossroads House annual Christmas sale will be held Friday and Saturday, November 18, and 19th, at the Batavia First Presbyterian Church Hall, 300 East Main Street, Batavia. Friday hours are 9am to 6pm and Saturday hours are from 9am to 1pm.

Afternoon News Brief

Scott Campagnola

A Long Island man who was part of a nationwide theft scheme that targeted Wal-Mart stores has pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a forged instrument. 56-year-old Scott Campagnola waived indictment on burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and theft charges before making the plea deal. He’ll be sentenced in January. Campagnola was arrested in July after a report of shoplifting at Wal-Mart in Warsaw. Police found more than $8,500 worth of items in his car, along with stolen gift cards and ledgers detailing thefts across the country. Campagnola is now a five-time convicted felon with criminal histories in five states.

 

37-year-old Robert Williams of Le Roy has been accused of spraying bleach into the eyes of two dogs. And today he is in Genesee County Court as his trial began with jury selection. Williams was charged with two counts of felony-aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief. Williams was living at a friend’s house in Batavia when the alleged abuse happened. The dogs were treated and have recovered. Williams faces up to two years for each count of cruelty to animals and up to a year for the criminal mischief charges.

 

Genesee county Sheriffs and LeRoy police will be engaging in a high visibility campaign as part of the STOP DWI initiative from Saturday the 29th through Halloween Monday, the 31st. The goals include stopping people from driving impaired by drugs or alcohol. Law enforcement will be out in high traffic areas so slow down, drive safe and drive sober. If you are going to a party that involves drinking, have a plan in place and don’t get behind the wheel.

 

 

City police are warning about an apparent text scam targeting area residents. The text claims to offer $10 off “City of Batavia Police Department” hoodies if the recipient clicks a link. Batavia Police say they do not sell clothing and never text people randomly under any circumstances. Their advice is to not click on the link and delete the message.

 

 

 

 Trick or treat! – File photo

The City of Batavia will recognize Halloween on Monday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 9 p.m. Trick-or-treaters should be off the streets by 9 p.m. on Halloween night.

 

 

 

The Diocese of Buffalo and New York State Attorney General’s Office have reached a deal to settle a lawsuit that was filed nearly two years ago. In November 2020, the AG’s office took legal action claiming the Diocese didn’t help protect young people from being sexually abused. The Diocese was also accused of covering up that abuse for years. As part of this agreement, a Child Protection Policy Coordinator has been appointed to make sure all of the proper guidelines are followed.

 

 

The ARC Center – 38 Woodrow Road

Early voting for the November 8th election, including the Governor’s race begins this Saturday at the ARC Center at 38 Woodrow Road. Hours of operation are from 9 to 5 the 29th through the 6th with the exception of Tuesday the 1st and Wednesday the 2nd being noon to 8. November 8th all polling places will be open from 6am to 9pm.  Photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

 

Cozens talks with Dahlin – file photo (2021)

The three-game winning streak of the Buffalo Sabres has been snapped after the team wraps up its road trip with a loss. Dylan Cozens scored the lone goal for Buffalo as they were beaten by the Seattle Kraken 5-1 at Climate Pledge Arena last night. Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie had a very tough game, giving up five goals on the 24 shots he faced in the contest. Buffalo will be back home tomorrow night to take on the Montreal Canadiens. Puck drop at the Keybank Center is at 7:00.

 

This Saturday from 10am to 2pm, law enforcement agencies across the County are providing you the opportunity to turn in your expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The service is free and anonymous. Stop by the Batavia Police Department in the Alva Place parking lot; or The Genesee County Sheriff’s office at the Pembroke Town Hall, 1145 Main Road, Corfu; or The Le Roy Police Department headquarters at 3 West Main Street. Sharps will only be accepted at the Batavia location.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
· The Batavia Police Department, in conjunction with United Memorial Medical Center, will be accepting prescription drugs and sharps in the Alva Place parking lot across the street from Batavia Showtime (located in the Genesee County Mall), Batavia.
· The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will be accepting prescription drugs ONLY at the Pembroke Town Hall, 1145 Main Road, Corfu.
· The Le Roy Police Department will be accepting prescription drugs ONLY at their headquarters located at 3 West Main Street, Le Roy.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. 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 Headquarters has one for everyday collection of drugs located in the rear vestibule at 10 West Main St., Batavia, NY. Containers are also located at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Park Rd, Batavia, and at the Le Roy Police Department. Sharps are accepted at United Memorial Medical Center, 127 North Street, Batavia. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 29th Take Back Day event , go to www.DEATakeBack.com.

 

The Powerball jackpot keeps growing and that means there is going to be at least $700,000,000 up for grabs tonight. That prize is the fifth largest in the history of the lottery game. All someone has to do to win is correctly choose all six winning numbers, but the odds of doing that are one in 292,000,000. This evening’s drawing will be streamed live online at Powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

Investigators are saying a Tiktok challenge may be the cause of the crash that killed 4 teens and left 1 in the hospital and another in police custody in Buffalo Monday morning.  Police said the vehicle was stolen and it is believed excessive speed played a significant factor in the crash.  Police believe the stolen Kia involved in the crash may have been motivated by a social media challenge.  The viral challenge can be found on TikTok, showing how to steal Kias and Hyundais in a matter of seconds.  The amount of thefts of Hyundais and Kias in the last year has more than quadrupled compared to previous years.  Police say to never leave your keys in the car or leave your car running unattended. 

Governor Hochul and Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin have taken part in their only scheduled debate and there were a variety of topics discussed. During last night’s debate at Pace University, the governor spoke about her ongoing commitment to putting an end to gun violence and her efforts to improve the state’s economy. But Zeldin, her Republican opponent, claimed Hochul is not doing enough to crack down on crime or keep dangerous criminals in custody. Early voting begins in New York State this Saturday and Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th.

GO Health’s director of public health, Paul Petit is calling the opioid situation in Orleans County an epidemic.  Pettit said the health department works in collaboration with substance use agencies, such as Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, along with mental health clinics and law enforcement to prevent overdoses. And, that work is becoming more and more challenging.  Last year, more than 100,000 Americans lost their lives due to fentanyl, which, on average, is about 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.  Orleans county has a much higher rate of opioid deaths per capita than the state or national average.  In a move to increase awareness and community action, the health department helped institute the GOW Opioid Task Force, a three-county initiative to inform the public of the dangers of opioids and to develop strategies to deter use of opioids.  Right now they are trying to get Naloxone into the hands of as many people as possible and show them how to use the overdose stopping drug.  They may place boxes with it in public areas.

Genesee county Sheriffs and LeRoy police will be engaging in a high visibility campaign as part of the STOP DWI initiative on the 29th through 31st to stop people from driving impaired by drugs or alcohol.  Halloween is meant to be scary, but not when it comes to driving. When it comes to drunk driving Halloween can turn the roads into a horror fest. While families spend time trick or treating and hosting parties with loved ones, law enforcement officers and STOP-DWI programs across New York State will participate in special efforts to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives.  Law enforcement will be out in high traffic areas so slow down, drive safe and drive sober.  If you are going to a party that involves drinking, have a plan, don’t drive.

The Ice we skate is getting pretty thin at David M McCarthy Memorial Ice Arena because of leaks in the chiller.  As Carrier Services took over the management of the arena they say they’ve uncovered issues that had gone unrepaired and unreported until now.  A leak in the chiller being the biggest one and costing nearly 22 thousand dollars to deal with.  Also they discovered a compressor that had never been turned on.  The city council says there is a lot that needs improving at the arena but that the new company is making progress.  The emergency spending for keeping the chiller going with more refrigerant is coming out of the ice rink reserve fund which has 357 thousand dollars in it.

GO Health is holding a Trauma and Resiliency conference at Batavia Downs Casino November 9th from 8:30am to 3pm to help people understand how these issues influence our communities.  The conference will look at Adverse Childhood Experiences data in Genesee Orleans and Wyoming Counties.  If you are in education, behavioral health, mental health, department of social services, law enforcement, the court system, probation, human services, etc. you are invited to register to attend.  To register follow the link at WBTAi.com.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/genesee-orleans-wyoming-trauma-resiliency-conference-tickets-440332495347

Batavia’s City Council needs new phones.  Assistant City Manager Eric Fix says that the phones they’ve been using are antiquated and in need of a boost and are no longer being serviced by Cisco Systems.  Fix and a committee got applications from 4 vendors and recommended a cloud based phone service provider Ring Central.  Not to be confused with the Ring doorbells, Ring Central is based in California and would cost roughly 23 thousand dollars a year for 5 years.  This would include the phones, installation and training.  The proposal will be voted on November 8th.

The three-game winning streak of the Buffalo Sabres has been snapped after the team wraps up its road trip with a loss. Dylan Cozens scored the lone goal for Buffalo as they were beaten by the Seattle Kraken five-to-one at Climate Pledge Arena last night. Sabres goaltender Eric Comrie had a very tough game, giving up five goals on the 24 shots he faced in the contest. Buffalo will be back home tomorrow night to take on the Montreal Canadiens. Puck drop at the Keybank Center is at 7pm.

Afternoon News Brief

Firefighters at the Baskin Livestock fire on Sunday

Fire investigators know where the Baskin Livestock fire on Sunday started but have not yet determined what caused it. The fire appears to have ignited in a bay area of the facility where paper that contained waste food items is stored prior to shipment to a landfill. The company converts waste food into cattle feed. Since they are self insured, it’s unlikely fire investigators will return to the scene unless requested to by the company. A representative of Baskin Livestock said they plan to investigate a fire suppression system that was installed in the building but seems to have malfunctioned. Photo courtesy of Howard Owens and The Batavian.

 

 

Tonight at 5:30pm on FOX and 7:00pm on the CW you’ll be able to watch local Deputy and School Resource Officer, Jordan Alejandro and his family compete on Family Feud! He would not share whether or not they won. (Photos included with the press release)

 

Sample of bulletproof vest

The Batavia Police Department has received a grant of $5,667.30 that it can use toward the purchase of bulletproof vests. The City Council approved updating the department’s budget to include receiving the money. The award comes from the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program of the Bureau of Justice Assistance and will cover half the cost of each vest, which helps to offset the total cost of approximately $900 for each vest.

 

 

 

40-year-old Justin Cowell of Batavia is charged with four counts of criminal contempt of court for violating orders of protection. He is also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful dealing with a child for providing alcohol and selling tobacco to a minor.

 

With just two weeks left until Election Day, the two candidates in the race for New York governor will be holding their first and only scheduled debate tonight. It will be carried live on Spectrum News starting at 7:00. Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, are going to discuss issues important to voters. Recent polls have shown that while the governor is leading the race, Zeldin has gained some ground in the contest. Hochul is hoping to win a full four-year term in office while Zeldin wants to become the first Republican since George Pataki to be elected governor.

 

 

Kirk Ashton (front) after hearing guilty verdicts

Following hours of deliberations, a jury has handed down its verdict in the trial of former Northwood Elementary School principal Kirk Ashton. Yesterday, Ashton was convicted on 46 of the 50 counts that were filed against him for inappropriately touching multiple students. During the trial, those victims and staff members at the school testified about Ashton’s actions, but he didn’t take the stand in his own defense. Ashton, who was principal at the school for 17 years will be sentenced late next month.

 

 

Fatal crash in Buffalo

Buffalo police are continuing their investigation into a crash that resulted in the deaths of four teenagers. According to officials, there were a total of six people inside of the stolen vehicle when yesterday’s accident happened at the entrance to the westbound Scajaquada Expressway from the westbound Kensington Expressway. Three of the victims died at the scene and the fourth passed away at a nearby hospital. The two people who survived, including the 16-year-old driver, were also hurt. The driver was taken into custody but there’s no word what charges they’ll face. The theft may have been associated with a social media challenge, involving videotaping the theft of a Hyundai or Kia model vehicle. Following a joyride, the vehicle is abandoned.

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be looking to extend their current winning streak to four games tonight. The Sabres are finishing up their road trip with a contest against the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. Buffalo is coming off of a dominating five-to-one victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night and have only lost one game so far this season. Face-off for tonight’s contest is set for 10:00.

 

Snail Jungle Gym in a Medina park – file photo

The snail jungle gyms at two parks in Medina will soon to be sold through an online auction site. The Village Board declared them to be surplus items after their insurance company recommended they be taken out because they don’t meet requirements for modern day safety of playground equipment. The snail at Pine Street Park is in better shape; the eyes had fallen off the one at Butts Park. The board also voted to declare the merry-go-round at one of their parks as surplus because it was in what they described as ‘rough shape’.

 

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul announced Monday that New York is sending out 28 million dollars to cities such as Buffalo and Rochester to combat gun violence.  Each city can get up to 4 million dollars to be used as part of project RISE.  RISE, which stands for Respond, Invest, Sustain and Empower is a community center based program meant to help youth and families in areas where there is more gun violence.  Community centers can each receive up to 500K dollars.  Hochul is saying that these community centers and initiatives will combat the root causes of gun violence and create safer neighborhoods.

A man claiming to be a police officer was detained by actual police Tuesday night behind TOPs Friendly Market in Batavia.  The police responded to a call of someone who may have a gun chasing people in the area of Rite Aid on west Main and Lewiston Rd at around 9pm.  The suspect is described as a thin white male wearing jeans and a red windbreaker with a black and blue baseball cap.  No further details about him are available at this time.

Buffalo police are continuing their investigation into a crash that resulted in the deaths of four teenagers. According to officials, there were a total of six people inside of the stolen vehicle when yesterday’s accident happened at the entrance to the westbound Scajaquada Expressway from the westbound Kensington Expressway. Three of the victims died at the scene and the fourth passed away at a nearby hospital. The two people who survived, including the 16-year-old driver, were also hurt. The driver was taken into custody but there’s no word what charges they’ll face.

The “Nation’s Report Card” is painting a grim picture of the state of schools in the U.S.  The National Assessment of Education Progress found that math scores for both fourth and eighth graders declined by record levels.  Between 2019 and 2022, math scores fell by five points for fourth graders and eight points for eighth graders.  46.6% of students tested statewide were proficient in English, while 38.6% were proficient in math, the data show.  Reading scores also fell, but the declines weren’t as steep. 

Multiple Upstate New York school districts are among those with the slowest internet speeds in the state, according to a recent list from Stacker.  Nearly 28 million students nationwide lack the internet speeds they need for digital learning, Stacker said. A total of 275 school districts in New York fail to meet minimum thresholds measured by megabytes per second.  In the lowest 10 are districts like Victor and Canandaigua.  

Last week the Centers for Disease Control voted to include the Covid-19 vaccine in the recommended vaccine schedule for 2023.  The vote does not mandate the vaccine for anyone, including children attending public school. That decision is left up to individual states.  Governor Hochul, when asked if kids in schools would have to get the shot to attend school, didn’t give a clear answer.  Instead she said if it was to be made mandatory the decision would have to go up through the legislature in consultation with the Commissioner of Health.  Zeldin has released a statement saying he is against mandating the vaccine for school children.  Parents are on both sides of the issue, some saying they would feel safer if all kids had to be vaccinated against COVID and some pointing to children and teens suddenly developing heart problems and several athletes suddenly dying due to heart issues in recent months are reasons they are not vaccinating their kids.

If you go to buy beer this week you might see a sticker you hadn’t seen before on the box.  It will read “Warning! It is illegal for any person 21 or older to purchase or provide alcohol to minors. Fines up to $1,000 and/or 1 year in jail.”  This sticker is placed by Batavia High and Notre Dame students for Operation Project Sticker Shock as part of Red Ribbon Week.  The week is sponsored by the DEA in honor of special agent Enrique Camarena who was tortured and killed by a cartel in Mexico in 1985.  The red ribbon is a pledge to live drug free.  Students will also be participating in activities at Recovery Station.

With just two weeks left until Election Day, the two candidates in the race for New York governor will be holding their first and only scheduled debate tonight. Incumbent Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, are going to discuss issues that are important to voters at Pace University. Recent polls have shown that while the governor is leading the race, Zeldin has gained some ground in the contest. Hochul is hoping to win a full four-year term in office while Zeldin wants to become the first Republican since George Pataki to be elected governor.

Frontier Field in Rochester may be getting a new moniker.  Monroe County Executive Adam Bello is recommending county legislators authorize an amendment to the contract with Frontier Communications regarding naming rights for the stadium used by the Rochester Red Wings.  Under the amendment, Innovative Data Processing Solutions, a Henrietta-based company that specializes in cloud services and consulting, would take over the stadium’s naming rights.  If the amendment is passed, the stadium’s name would change to Innovative Field.  The stadium has been known as Frontier Field since its inception. Frontier purchased naming rights in 1994, with the stadium opening in 1996. Frontier’s current contract runs through 2025.

Afternoon News Brief

Jill Turner

An investigation stemming from the report of a vehicle that was damaged with nail polish while the owner was attending a City Council meeting, has resulted in charges against 40-year-old Jill Turner of Batavia. Turner was charged with criminal mischief and arraigned in Batavia City Court. She was released on her own recognizance and is scheduled to return to court on Thursday. The unidentified owner of the vehicle told police that someone had poured nail polish on it while she was at the meeting, which was a public hearing about the current law that allows farm animals within city limits. Some residents, including the claimant, who live near Turner had complained that her goats and other animals were a nuisance to the neighborhood. Turner was not at the meeting that brought out about 30 people.

 

 

A house fire this morning at 8920 Batavia Stafford Townline Road resulted in the home being a total loss. Early stages of the investigation into the cause point to a malfunctioning propane-fueled furnace. No injuries were reported and firefighters rescued two dogs from the house.

 

 

 

“Sorry, kids…it’s time to rake them to the curb.”

City-wide leaf collection will begin next Monday, October 31st and will continue until November 30th. Residents are reminded to rake leaves into piles and leave them in the parkway (un-bagged). Also, place them close to the curb line/edge of roadway without placing in the street. Do not pile around fire hydrants, trees, utility poles or signposts. Leaf piles should only contain leaves and no branches, grass clippings or other materials.

 

 

22-year-old Isaiah Poole of Albion is charged with possession of a forged instrument and criminal contempt, after allegedly possessing 16 fraudulent $100 bills and also violating an order of protection in Elba. Poole was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and is to appear in Elba Town Court on Wednesday.

 

 

Fire at Baskin Livestock

The investigation continues into the cause of a three alarm industrial fire at a livestock barn. The blaze at Baskin Livestock on Creek Road in Bethany yesterday afternoon appears to have started in a machine that separates food from paper. Nearly ten fire companies from two counties were called in to battle the fire. The facility processes expired food products for use with livestock. All seven people working at the time of the fire got out safely. There’s no word at this time of an estimate on damage. (Photo provided courtesy of Howard Owens, of The Batavian)

 

Drug take-back day is this Saturday. You can turn in your unwanted or expired drugs in the Alva Lot from 10am until 2:00. Visit www.DEATakeBack.com to learn more.

 

 

 

 

Kirk Ashton entering courtroom – file photo

The jury in the Kirk Ashton trial went back to work today as they try and decide the legal fate of the former Northwood Elementary School principal. On Friday, the jury requested some of the testimony be read back including allegations made by one student who claimed Ashton would touch him inappropriately and make him feel uncomfortable. Jurors also reheard some testimony given by a Northwood teacher. Ashton is accused of sexually abusing multiple children. He was principal at the Hilton school from 2004 until his arrest last year. UPDATE at 4:40pm, 10/24: The jury has found former Principal Ashton guilty on 46 of 50 charges.

 

Hochul and Zeldin

Recent polls show Congressman Zeldin with a slight edge over Governor Hochul. Their first and only debate will be conducted at Pace University and air only on Spectrum News tomorrow night starting at 7:00.

 

 

 

The eighth largest jackpot in the history of the Powerball lottery game is going to be up for grabs tonight. No one correctly matched all six numbers on Saturday, meaning if someone has a winning ticket tonight, they’ll get at least $610,000,000. There have been over 30 drawings since the last time the top Powerball prize was won in August. The drawing will be streamed live online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Rasmus Dahlin

The Buffalo Sabres kept their winning streak alive on Saturday against the Canucks with a 5 to 1 win. Alex Tuch, Victor Olofsson, Zemgus Girgensons, and Rasmus Dahlin all scored for Buffalo. Rasmus Dahlin continues to improve on his records; he is now the only defenseman in the history of the NHL to score during the first five games of the season. He has now tied the team record for any position. The Sabres are now 4 and 1 on the season. They play Seattle tonight; face-off is 10:00.

 

 

After a two-year absence that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant week finally returns in Buffalo today. Folks will be able to visit plenty of locations in the city and get themselves a bite to eat for lunch and dinner. Also, restaurants no longer have to pay to take part in this event, which lasts until October 30th. A complete list of participating businesses can be found at visitbuffaloniagara.com.

 

Morning News Brief

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a three alarm industrial fire at a livestock barn.  Crews encountered heavy fire and smoke conditions when they arrived at Baskin Livestock on Creek Road in Bethany Sunday.  Fire officials say it appears the blaze started in a machine that separates food from paper.  Nearly ten fire companies from two counties were called in to battle the fire.  This facility processes expired food products for use by livestock.  All seven people working at the time of the fire got out safely.  There’s no word on a damage estimate.

A Batavia woman has been charged in connection to the vandalism of a car outside the city council meeting in September.  40 year old Jill Turner allegedly poured nail polish on a car while the owner was in the meeting about farm animals inside the city limits on September 12th.  Turner owns goats and her neighbors have complained about them being a nuisance and Turner being a bully.  She was charged with criminal mischief in the 2nd degree. 

With recent polls showing Zeldin with a slight edge over Hochul the first and only debate will be airing this Tuesday.  The 2 candidates will be taking the stage at Pace University.  Zeldin says he hopes the moderator will ask Hochul about rising crime and why she only agreed to 1 debate over a month after absentee voting has started.  The debate will only air on spectrum tv.  

This week is national Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.  About 3.3 million American households, including 2.1 million low-income households that have children under six years of age, live in homes containing lead exposure hazards. According to the 2021 American Community Survey, approximately 74% (30,000) of housing units in Genesee and Orleans Counties were built before 1978 and may have lead exposure hazards.  Lead exposure in children can cause learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, and cause hearing and speech problems.  Doctors can test kids for lead and GO Health can help you get your house tested as well.  If you are renting you should ask your landlord to get your home tested. 

Batavia drivers are paying a bit less to keep their vehicles running these days thanks to a slight drop in gas prices. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is now three-68. That is down a penny from this time last week and is 14 cents cheaper than it was a month ago. Currently, the state average is sitting at three-67 a gallon and nationally it’s three-79.

Author Salman Rushdie is back on his feet after the knife attack on the stage at Chautauqua Institute.  His agent says he has lost the use of one eye and one hand since the assailant stabbed him in the neck and chest over 15 times.  24 year old Hadi Matar, of Fairview, New Jersey, has been incarcerated after pleading not guilty to attempted murder and assault.  Matar has said he follows Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in interviews with the New York Post since the attack.  Khomeini issued a decree in 1989 calling for the killing of Rushdie after he wrote the book The Satanic Verses which many Muslims consider blasphemous.  Rushdie’s whereabouts are being kept secret at this time.

The Buffalo Sabres kept their winning streak alive on Saturday against the Canucks with a 5 to 1 win.  Alex Tuch, Victor Olofsson, Zemgus Girgensons, and Rasmus Dahlin all scored for Buffalo.  The Sabres are now 4 and 1 on the season.  They go on to play the Seattle Kraken tonight.  Puck drop is 10 pm.

Weekend News Brief

A Rochester woman has been charged with several crimes after she burst into the maternity ward and started throwing things and attacking a mother with her newborn baby.  27 year old Destiny Thompson entered the Unity Hospital’s August Family Birth Place around noon on Thursday and threw a tray with surgical instruments at a mother and her baby and then proceeded to attempt to strike them with her hands.  She was taken out by security but then took a baseball bat and attacked cars in the parking lot.  Thompson was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. and charged with harassment, endangering the welfare of a child, and two felony counts of criminal mischief.  The hospital said it is increasing security and thanked staff for acting quickly.  Thompson was previously acquainted with the father of the baby.

Police are investigating a school bus crash in Elba just off Oak Orchard Road Thursday afternoon.  One person was taken to the hospital but no injuries were reported.  According to State Police Sergeant Benjamin Fasano the bus was going north on 98  when it went off the right side of the road and hit a ditch then a utility pole.  There was only one child on board, a student at the school for the blind.  State police are still looking into the cause of the single vehicle crash.

A new poll by Co/Efficient, a national polling company, shows that Lee Zeldin is in the lead against Governor Hochul.  The lead is very small, .3 percent, well within the margin of error, but far away from the 17 point lead Hochul had at the end of the summer in other polls.  They surveyed 1,056 likely voters.  The poll showed that Zeldin is performing well with a number of key demographic groups.

A federal appeals court is putting a temporary hold on President Biden’s student debt relief program.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled it will be put on hold while challenges play out.  The Biden administration must now respond by Monday night.  The president announced earlier that over 22 million people have applied for student loan debt forgiveness since the release of an application earlier this week.

The downtown Batavia Business Improvement District has announced its annual Christmas in the City event and parade.  They will be held on Saturday December 3rd from 2 to 6pm with the parade starting at 6.  Any business, organization or group can walk, ride or enter a float.  Downtown businesses are encouraged to host activities or do store specials.  Vendors will also be invited to attend.  This year’s event includes Santa’s Village, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa & cookies, crafts, cookie decorating, kid’s zone, Santa’s workshop, shopping specials, Dickens Carolers, Scrooge, adult tastings and more.  There are also events happening in the mall.  On top of all this is the annual wreath contest.  People interested in entering can pay 20 dollars and get their wreath on November 19th.  Interested parties can contact Shannon Maute at director@downtownbataviany.com.

Afternoon News Brief

Charles Dockstader

A Tonawanda Seneca Nation man has been arrested and charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting two children. 76-year-old Charles Dockstader of Council House Road, was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree sexual conduct against a child. Both charges are related to continuing the conduct against a child under the age of 11. The charges are class D felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison. Dockstader was arraigned in Alabama Town Court and committed to Genesee County Jail.

 

 

Solar energy panels – file photo

The Town of Batavia Planning Board unanimously approved special use permits and site plans for two solar projects to be located at 9183 Alexander Road. It’s known as the Pike Road Solar Farm Project. Before a building permit is issued, the company must finalize, a host community agreement with the Town of Batavia, to include annual payments of $2,500 per megawatt for 25 years with a 2 percent annual escalation of payments or a lump sum payment approved by the Town. The resolution includes provisions on grading and landscaping and there are also provisions to handle any changes to the development plan.

 

Cassandra Elmore

The criminal case against Cassandra Elmore of Batavia, the owner of a French bulldog who overdosed on narcotics last May and June, will likely remain pending for now. Without revealing specific details, Public Defender Jamie Welch indicated he needs more time to file motions in light of new evidence, new discovery turned over by the District Attorney’s Office, and his recent receipt of lab reports. Welch indicated the charges of injuring an animal under New York’s Ag and Markets Laws are more complicated than typical penal statutes and required more research. A hearing date is scheduled for December 15 and if agreement is reached, the case could be resolved at that time.

 

Kirk Ashton enters courtroom – file photo

Jury deliberations resumed this afternoon in the Kirk Ashton trial. He’s the former principal at Northwood Elementary School in Hilton who’s accused of sexually abusing 26 students over the course of 17 years. Ashton did not take the stand in his own defense. In closing arguments, his attorney acknowledged Ashton was a bit ‘touchy-feely’ when interacting with male students but said those interactions took place out in the open and never behind closed doors. He also questioned the credibility of some of the victim’s testimony suggesting some of them had a hard time answering ‘unscripted’ questions. This morning, jurors requested a read-back of one student’s testimony, to which they reportedly paid close attention. Ashton was principal at the school from 2004 until he was arrested last year.

 

Jennie Clark

The woman who caused a crash that killed her husband has now been sentenced for her crime. Yesterday, a judge ordered Jennie Clark to spend the next 20 years behind bars following her guilty plea to vehicular manslaughter and attempted murder charges earlier this year. Back on July 4th, 2021 Clark was under the influence of alcohol when she drove off the road and struck a telephone pole in Ogden. Matthew Clark died but the couple’s three children who were in the vehicle were not hurt.

 

 

 

File photo – teen receiving Covid booster shot

Some brand-new data from the state shows the spread of the coronavirus is now on the decline in our region. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is sitting at 7.7% compared to last week, when it was at 8.4%. Or local health departments continue to recommend getting vaccinated against the virus and receive a booster shot to prevent another surge in cases.

 

 

Alex Tuch celebrates hat trick in last night’s game against Calgary

The Buffalo Sabres have picked up their second win in a row last night after another victory on the road. Alex Tuch had a hat trick Dylan Cozens and Casey Mittelstadt each scored as did Rasmus Dahlin. The Sabres beat the Calgary Flames 6-3 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Dahlin now holds the record of being the first defenseman in NHL history to score in the first four games of a season. Buffalo goalie Eric Comrie had another great game, stopping all but three of the 43 shots he faced. The Sabres continue their road trip tomorrow night when they take on the Vancouver Canucks at 10.

 

Lucky bear…

Lotto players are hoping luck is on their side as they try and win one of the biggest Powerball jackpots of the year. There was no winner on Wednesday, so the prize up for grabs for tomorrow night’s drawing will be at least $550,000,000. No one has won the top Powerball prize since August, and the odds of you correctly picking all six winning numbers are 1 in 292,000,000. The drawing will be streamed live online. Good luck! Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

The woman who intentionally ran her car into a telephone pole, killing her husband, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.  44 year old Jennie Clark of Rochester was having an argument while driving with her husband and 3 children when the fight got heated and she drove off the road and into a pole.  The children were uninjured.  She was also drunk at the time.  One of her children recorded the fight and crash on their phone.  The judge issued three non-offensive orders of protection for Clark’s children, in place until 2050. Clark’s sentence also includes five years of post-release supervision.

A man in Wyoming county has been arrested on an attempted murder charge.  Eric Cushman, 51, is accused of breaking into another man’s home in Silver Springs through a window and attempting to strangle him to death last month.  The victim was rushed to the hospital and died this week from his injuries.  Cushman is facing a possible life sentence as a persistent violent felony offender due to a previous assault conviction.

Genesee County manager Matt Landers has proposed a new budget that includes a 2 percent tax increase but he says it will actually lower taxes.  The itemized financial plan for 2023 totals $162,567,180, and although the levy is going up, the tax rate is expected to decrease due to higher property assessments, Landers said after Wednesday’s Ways & Means meeting.  The reason for the 2 percent increase is the new county jail and the hiring of personnel for it.  The 70 million dollar jail will be paid off over the next 30 years.  The property assessment rate is projected to drop from 9.18 to 8.44 per 1000 dollars assessed.

Monroe county is rolling out a new anti-opioid initiative to educate those who may be using drugs illegally and save the lives of those overdosing.  Boxes containing doses of life-saving naloxone will be installed across the county to help rapidly reverse overdoses.  The county also announced a new awareness campaign that will share facts about the dangers of illicit fentanyl. The campaign will be seen on social media, public service announcements, billboards and through street-level outreach.  The initiatives are meant to help the community know the signs and learn how to respond to an overdose.

Have your kids ever wanted to try hockey but its too intimidating or expensive?  Genesee Amateur Hockey Association is holding a Try Hockey For Free event at David McCarty Ice Arena on November 5th.  It goes from 11:40 to 12:50 and is open to kids 4 to 9 so they can experience the sport for the first time.  USA Hockey’s Try Hockey program, with the support of the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs, among others, is designed to provide youth hockey associations with a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge.  All kids need to participate is a helmet and winter gloves.  Players in attendance will be given a free hockey jersey to take home.  To register go to tryhockeyforfree.com.

F and M convenience store on West Main Street at the Tops intersection is having its grand opening and will continue through the weekend.  There will be a BBQ on Sunday afternoon with burgers and sausages.  The store is fully stocked with all the things a convenience store should have as well as some extras like Bills Jerseys and hats.  The Store is open 9 to 9 Monday through Saturday and 9 to 8 on Sundays and owner Ali Mohammed hopes you’ll stop by and check it out.

The Buffalo Sabres emerged victorious against the Calgary Flames 6 to 3 Thursday night.  Alex Tuch scored a hat trick and an extra goal and Rasmus Dahlin and Casey Mittelstadt put one in each handing the Flames their first loss of the season.  Eric Comrie made 40 saves.  Next up the Sabres head to Vancouver for a 10 pm game on Saturday against the Canucks who haven’t won a game yet this season.

Wonderland of Trees

Opening night gala for the Holland Land Office Museum Wonderland of Trees will be on Friday, November 18, 6pm to 8:30pm. Tickets available online or call the office at 343-4727.

Afternoon News Brief

Tyler Potter

Marcus Scribner

Two Medina men are facing drug and other charges following a traffic stop in Conesus. The driver, 21-year-old Tyler Potter was operating the vehicle on an expired license; one of his passengers, 18-year-old Marcus Scribner was in possession of an illegal knife and LSD. Both were booked at Livingston County Jail and released with appearance tickets for future court dates.

 

18-year-old Sean Wilt of Corfu is charged with grand larceny 4th degree after allegedly stealing over $1,000 worth of merchandise from his employer at 8336 Lewiston Road over a period of time while working as an employee. Wilt was arrested and released with an appearance ticket; he’s due back in Batavia Town Court next week.

 

 

Expect traffic delays on Harvester tomorrow and next Monday and Tuesday for paving. While work is being performed in this area, local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence and property but should plan accordingly for delays. Residents are asked not to park on the roadway during paving work.

 

 

 

Park Road

Park Road between Richmond and Lewiston Road will be closed tomorrow until 4pm for specialty pavement treatment. If you are going to Batavia Downs you’ll need to enter the parking lot from the north side near Richmond Avenue. There will be a detour posted from Lewiston around to the north side of Park for all traffic using Veterans Memorial Drive. Photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

 

89-year-old Ruth McVay of Alexander died after being brought to the hospital. She had been struck by a truck’s side mirror while crossing West Bethany Road (near 10342), near the crest of a hill. 55-year-old Patrick McCormick was driving over the hill. He saw McVay in the road and swerved to avoid hitting her but clipped her with the side mirror. McCormick immediately called 9-1-1. McVay was taken by Mercy EMS to Strong in Rochester where she died. The accident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, including the Crash Management Team.

 

Jakubonis with Congressman Lee Zeldin

The Fairport man who was arrested for attacking a New York Congressman this summer is expected to be released from custody next week. David Jakubonis will be taking part in a PTSD and alcohol recovery program that has been set up by the VA. He’ll have to follow several conditions including wearing monitors that’ll track his location and alcohol intake. In July, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin was making a campaign stop in Monroe County when Jakubonis approached him with a weapon in his hand but he was quickly taken into custody. Zeldin, who is the Republican nominee in the race for New York governor, wasn’t hurt. Jakubonis is still facing criminal charges.

 

Brittanee Drexel

Raymond Moody

Over a decade after a teenager was brutally murdered, the man who was accused of killing her has pleaded guilty to the crime. In court yesterday, Raymond Moody admitted that he took the life of 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel of Chili while she was visiting South Carolina back in 2009. Earlier this year, Moody told investigators where Drexel’s remains were located and he was charged in connection with her death several years after he was considered a person of interest in the case. He will be spending the rest of his life in prison.

 

Positive Covid test

Orleans and Genesee counties combined continue to see about 200 confirmed Covid cases each week. The two counties are both ranked as medium for community Covid level by the federal CDC. The statewide seven-day positivity rate is 6.7%; in Orleans County, it’s 7.1%; and in Genesee, 7.4%. The highest positivity rate in the Finger Lakes Region is currently in Wyoming County at 9.9% with Livingston County a close second at 9.8%. Gov. Kathy Hochul continues to urge people to get vaccinated and boosted to help fight off serious cases of Covid.

 

Child receiving vaccine – file photo

Updated COVID-19 booster shots are now available in the Empire State for children ages five and older to help protect them against the virus. It’s recommended people in that age group receive a booster dose at least two months after finishing their initial vaccine series or following their last booster or additional vaccine dose. So far, over one-million bivalent booster doses have been distributed to people 12 and older in New York State. To find a vaccination clinic in your area, go to vaccines.gov or text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations. At vaccines.gov, after entering a 5-digit ZIP Code, New Yorkers can click “Updated Vaccines” and select the bivalent booster type by age they are seeking to book an appointment for themselves or their children.

 

 

 

Cozens and Dahlin, and an excited young fan in the front row

The Buffalo Sabres continue their road trip tonight as they try and pick up their second win in a row. The Sabres are taking the ice to battle the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Buffalo is fresh off of a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for 9:30.

 

 

 

Josh Allen

Josh Allen leaps over “Hurdle” Avenue

Josh Allen has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the week for the second week in a row. Allen completed 27 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s 24-20 comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. After Allen leapt over Justin Reid in a drive against the chiefs some enterprising person replaced the sign on Hertle Ave in Buffalo with a Hurdle with a U and a large cutout of Allen making the jump above it. Allen currently leads the NFL in passing yards and total touchdowns. He has now earned nine player of the week awards and trails Jim Kelly (10) for the most player of the week awards in team history.

 

 

6-2-4

A new area code will be rolled out as early as the second quarter of 2024. The new area code is 6-2-4 and will be assigned to new phone numbers once all 7-1-6 numbers have been assigned. The area code will apply to any telephone number, regardless of service type. Existing numbers will not be changed to the new area code.

Morning News Brief

There’s a new curriculum in New York State and hundreds of schools are taking part in it.  The New York State Seal of Civic Readiness pushes students to make a difference in their community.  This curriculum which teaches kids from kindergarten to their senior year of High School teaches civic knowledge skills and actions.  Creators of the program say it is based in equity.  More than 9,000 students in the state have graduated with this seal.  New York is one of seven states who have implemented its curriculum.  Students who earn the seal will be recognized with an additional regalia at graduation and a seal logo on their diploma.

An 89 year old woman is dead after being struck by a truck’s side mirror in Alexander.  Ruth McVay was crossing the street around 4 in the afternoon Wednesday in the area of 10342 West Bethany rd near the crest of a hill when 55 year old Patrick McCormick drove over the hill from the North.  He saw McVay in the road and swerved his 2013 Ford F150 to avoid her but clipped her with the side mirror.  He stopped immediately and called 911.  McVay was taken by Mercy EMS to Strong in Rochester where she died.  The accident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, including the Crash Management Team.

The New York State Public Service Commission announced Wednesday that residential, business and wireless customers in the WNY region should prepare for the new 624 area code.  The new area code will be rolled out as early as the second quarter of 2024.  The new area code will be assigned to new phone numbers once all 716 numbers have been assigned. The area code will apply to any telephone number, regardless of service type.  If requesting a new service or line, or moving within the WNY area, a 624 area code may be assigned.  Existing numbers will not be changed to the new number.

The Sheriff’s Department is trying to get more people to sign up to be Corrections Officers.  The Genesee County Legislature passed the law to allow people who are residents of Erie, Niagara, Monroe, Livingston and Wyoming Counties to become officers in Genesee County.  Previously only Genesee county residents could take the civil service exam.  The deadline to apply to take the exam is November 2 and the examination date is December 10.  The civil service examination fee has been waived for the remainder of 2022.  The new jail being built will require many more corrections officers.  

Genesee County 2050 was awarded an award by the 2022 Upstate Chapter Conference of the American Planning Association.  Members of the Genesee County planning team Felipe Oltramari, Rochelle Stein, Paul Osborne, and Erin Pence were honored for excellence in comprehensive planning.  If you haven’t checked it out, you can go to genesee2050.com to see all the plans they have for the county and how you can get involved.

Batavia residents have lots of choices for mexican food in town.  A new Mexican restaurant has opened in the plaza across from Walmart on Veterans Memorial Drive.  Senor Leon, owned by the same man as Rancho Viejo on Ellicott, Guillermo Leon is serving up more seafood options and a higher caliber of foods than their other restaurant.  They have expanded dessert options and, although their liquor license hasn’t come through yet, will have a full bar.  Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 585-250-4484.  Senor Leon joins Rancho Viejo, Los Compadres, that Taco Place, Taco Bell and Chipotle as well as a new restaurant run by the Mexican Market in the Valu Plaza.  

Next week, members of the public will get an opportunity to share their thoughts on a proposed stadium for the Buffalo Bills. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday, October 27th at the Orchard Park Community Activity Center on California Road. It’s scheduled to begin at six p-m and people who can’t attend can watch it online through YouTube. Plans call for the over one-billion-dollar stadium to be built in Orchard Park across from Highmark Stadium which is where the Bills play their home games. A date on when construction could begin hasn’t been set yet.

The Buffalo Sabres will continue their road trip tonight as they try and pick up their second win in a row. The Sabres are taking the ice to battle the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Buffalo is coming off of a four-to-two victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Face-off for this evening’s contest is set for nine-30 p-m.

Josh Allen has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the week for the second week in a row.  Allen completed 27 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s 24-20 comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.  After Allen leapt over Justin Reid in a drive against the chiefs some enterprising person replaced the sign on Hertle Ave in Buffalo with a Hurdle with a U and a large cutout of Allen making the jump above it.  Allen currently leads the NFL in passing yards and total touchdowns. He has now earned nine player of the week awards and trails Jim Kelly (10) for the most player of the week awards in team history.

Afternoon News Brief

Matthew Zakrzewski

The man who set fire to the Washington Towers apartment complex back in January has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for Arson. The judge strongly advised 42-year-old Matthew Zakrzewski to use the time in prison to improve himself and go to counseling for his mental illness and substance abuse issues. The fire he set caused $10,000 in damages but could have been much worse according to the District Attorney. Zakrzewski apologized for his actions and admitted his struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. He said what he did at Washington Towers wasn’t really who he is.

 

Batavia Police are investigating a stabbing on Jackson Street. The incident was called in to police around 9:30 last night when first responders were called to Highland Park. The suspect is described as a black male wearing a white hooded sweatshirt. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment. No further information is available at this time as this is an ongoing investigation. If you have information that would be helpful for police, please call 585-345-6350. The confidential tip line is 585-345-6370.

 

 

Expect traffic delays on Harvester this Friday and next Monday and Tuesday for paving. While work is being performed in this area, local traffic will be permitted to and from their residence and property but should plan accordingly for delays. Residents are asked not to park on the roadway during paving work.

 

 

 

South Lyon Street Bridge – file photo

Replacement of the South Lyon Street bridge won’t be as expensive as expected. That’s the word from Genesee County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens. He said the county has received federal aid funding for the construction and replacement project, as well as a state Marchiselli grant of $600,623. The bridge has been closed since August 2021 when an inspection revealed significant structural deficiencies. A new steel truss bridge will be built in its place. The new span will include two 11-foot lanes with 2-foot shoulders and a 5-foot sidewalk on the east side of the truss. South Lyon Street’s alignment will also be changed as part of the work. Photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

 

Park Road is closed until 4:00 today

At least for today until 4, Park Rd between Richmond and Lewiston Rd will be closed for specialty pavement treatment. If you are going to Batavia Downs you’ll have to enter the parking lot from the north side near Richmond Avenue. There will be a detour posted from Lewiston around to the north side of Park for all traffic using Veterans Memorial Drive. This work is weather permitting so if it rains it will be rescheduled at least one more day.

 

Dr. Thomas Ramming

Dr. Thomas Ramming of International Deliverables was on hand Monday evening at the Board of Education meeting; he is a consultant who reviewed staffing at the Batavia City School District from an efficiency standpoint. He noted there appeared to be a lack of a strategic plan. One area of potential need he identified was staff assignments; for example, Dr. Ramming noted that some of the specialists, such as school psychologists, are assigned to one school, regardless of student enrollment in that school. Typically, school psychologists’ assignments are determined by population, not by school. He said this is something district administrators should look at. Similarly, the student-to-counselor ratio is “richer” than what most districts in Western New York have. While Dr. Ramming did not suggest there was an immediate need for change, he did summarize by recommending the district create a strategic plan with a five-year vision; something student-centered, with specific, measurable goals. The goals would be based on data that is available, or will become available, through information sources such as standardized testing and Regents testing.

 

Rasmus Dahlin

The Buffalo Sabres won their first road game of the season. JJ Peterka, Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch and Rasmus Dahlin, all scored as the Sabres beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 at Rogers Place last night. And with his goal in the first period, Dahlin became the second defenseman in 30 years to score a goal in each of his team’s first three games. (For trivia buffs, the other player to do that was Tampa Bay Lighting’s Victor Hedman). Buffalo goaltender Eric Comrie was able to stop 46 shots. Up next for the Sabres is another road contest against the Calgary Flames tomorrow night, with a 9:30 face-off.

 

 

Morning News Brief

Batavia Police are investigating a stabbing on Jackson St late Tuesday night.  Around 9:38 first responders were called to Highland Park.  Batavia Police, Fire and Mercy EMS were dispatched.  The suspect is described as a black male wearing a white hooded sweatshirt.  The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment.  No further information is available at this time.  If you have information please call the police department at 585 345 6350.  The confidential tip line is 585 345 6370.  

According to an Attorney General’s Office report the shooter in May’s racist massacre at TOPs Friendly Market in Buffalo was radicalized by videos and social media he consumed online.  The report found that livestreaming “has become a tool of mass shooters to instantaneously publicize their crime, further terrorizing the community targeted by the shooter and serving as a mechanism to incite and solicit additional violent acts.”  Governor Hochul and AG Letitia James recommended the state pass legislation restricting websites from livestreaming homicides, reforming a law that protects online platforms from liability for hosting 3rd party content, increased transparency for online platform’s content moderation policies, and getting service providers to police sites and platforms that spread racist or hateful content.

The Genesee Orleans Wyoming County Opioid task force met Tuesday night with special presenters from local law enforcement to talk about how the counties are doing dealing with the deadly drug Fentanyl.  Fentanyl is now responsible for the most unintentional injuries in the US for ages 25 through 64.  Just 2 milligrams is a lethal dose for most people.  The task force has been working with the federal and local government to try to stop the drugs from coming into the communities and also trying to track down any that is already here.  They are also working to train and equip community members through the HEALing Genesee program to get them to carry Naloxone, a drug to save the lives of people overdosing.  The signs of an overdose include drowsiness or unconsciousness, slow or shallow breathing, choking sounds or skin tone changes and a timely administration of Naloxone can be the difference between life and death.

The man who set fire to the Washington Towers apartment complex back in January has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for Arson.  42 year old Matthew Zakrzewski was admonished by Judge Cianfrini to use the time in prison to improve himself and go to counseling for his mental illness and substance abuse issues.  The fire he set caused 10,000 dollars in damages but could have been much worse according to DA Kevin Finnell.  Zakrzewski apologized for his actions and admitted his struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.  He said what he did at Washington Towers wasn’t really who he is.

It was open for a couple of days but it’s going to be closed again.  At least for today from 7 to 4 Park Rd between Richmond and Lewiston Rd will be closed for specialty pavement treatment.  If you are going to Batavia Downs you’ll have to enter the parking lot from the north side near Richmond ave.  There will be a detour posted from Lewiston around to the north side of Park for all traffic using Veterans Memorial Drive.  This work is weather permitting so if it rains it will be rescheduled for the next business day.

With just under three weeks until Election Day two brand-new polls show the race for New York governor is tightening. According to Quinnipiac University, Democrat and incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul has just a four-point advantage over her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. That survey shows Hochul has a big lead among New York City voters but Zeldin leads in the suburbs and upstate. A Siena College poll released yesterday puts Hochul ahead of Zeldin by 11 points which is six fewer than last month.

Independent Living of the Genesee region is hosting its Meet the Candidates forum in Batavia on Tuesday October 25th from 11 to 1 at the Crickler Executive Business Center on West Main Street.  Independent Living is encouraging community members to come and meet the candidates running for office and be able to make an informed decision when voting.  Candidates invited to participate appear on the November ballot include those running for U.S. House of Representatives; State Senator; New York State Assembly; Genesee County Coroner; City of Batavia Councilman-At-Large.  In-person attendance is limited, and registration is required. To register to attend in person, to get the details to connect to Zoom, or for any questions on the event, please call Cathy DeMare at (585) 815-8501, extension 400.

Batavia High School graduate and former “voice of the Muckdogs” Griffin Della Penna has been recognized by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association with the annual BBA Russert Award.  The BBA recognizes an undergraduate or graduate student with a promising future in radio, television, digital media and/or social media with the annual Tim Russert Media Career Award. The awardees are given a $1,000 scholarship and are honored at the Hall of Fame dinner, which was this past weekend.  Della Penna is a Canisius student who has worked with the Buffalo Sabres and Bandits. He has worked on the Sabres website, including prospect updates, practice reports, and community events. He is also a Canisius College Athletics reporter.  He was a broadcaster for the Muckdogs during the first year the Muckdogs competed in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.

Getting from Western New York to a destination in the Sunshine State is now going to be a bit easier. That’s because Spirit Airlines is now offering daily non-stop flights from Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport to Orlando, Florida. The discount air carrier is also hoping to add routes to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina at some point next year.

The Buffalo Sabres are back on the winning track after picking up a victory in their first road game of the season. JJ Peterka, Rasmus Dahlin, Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch all scored as the Sabres beat the Edmonton Oilers four-to-two at Rogers Place last night. Buffalo goaltender Eric Comrie was able to stop 46 shots. Up next for the Sabres is another road contest against the Calgary Flames tomorrow night

GCA Volunteer Appreciation

Genesee Cancer Assistance wants to celebrate its volunteers! Tickets available thru Monday, November 7, for the dinner to be held at Batavia Downs, Saturday, November 19. Order tickets online or call  345-0417.

Afternoon News Brief

Raul Cruz

After nearly a day of discussion, multiple conferences with his attorney, conversations in the courtroom and several recesses called by the judge, 19-year-old Raul Cruz, one of the two men charged in the killing of two farm workers in Alexander last March, has accepted a plea deal and admitted to the killings. Additionally, Cruz also attempted to bribe a witness with a fentanyl and marijuana cigarette. Cruz needed the specifics of the plea deal and charges explained to him multiple times; at one point, he said that he only had a 9th grade education and never earned his GED. By the end of the day, he accepted the plea following a conversation in the courtroom with the judge, his lawyer and at least one family member present. The offer Cruz eventually accepted was a guilty plea to two counts of murder in the second degree, with a sentencing cap of 20 years to life on each count to run concurrently and a guilty plea intimidating a witness with any sentence on that conviction to run concurrently. The plea satisfies all other pending charges. If he stays out of trouble in prison, he could be a free man in 15 years. Cruz is on the schedule to be sentenced on December 13th.

 

This week is School Board Appreciation Week. At the Board of Education Meeting last night district students surprised Board members with letters of support, speeches and even a special cheer provided by Jackson Primary student…At the end, board members were provided a Certificate of Appreciation.

 

 

 

Kirk Ashton (right) enters the courtroom – file photo

More former students from Northwood Elementary School have taken the stand in the trial of former principal Kirk Ashton. Yesterday, the jury heard from five of the over 20 people who have accused Ashton of sexual abuse. One victim claimed Ashton touched him inappropriately and another said Ashton would often give him small gifts and touch his back and backside. Ashton was principal at the school in Hilton from 2004 until he was arrested last year.

 

File photo

The investigation continues today into what caused a crash in Buffalo that ended up sending seven children to the hospital. Officials say that an SUV spun out of control and struck a school bus yesterday morning on Bailey Avenue in the area of Walden Avenue and Broadway. The seven kids were brought to Oishei Children’s Hospital and the driver of the SUV went to Erie County Medical Center for treatment. At this time, there has been no word on how badly any of the victims were injured.

 

A band that’s been enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be bringing its latest tour to Western New York next year. Journey is set to take the stage at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Thursday, March 16th, 2023. The group is of course known for several smash hits including “Faithfully,” and “Open Arms” and will be joined at the show by special guest Toto. Tickets for the concert go on sale this Friday at 10am at journeymusic.com.

 

After playing their first two games of the regular season on home ice, the Buffalo Sabres are set to play a road contest tonight. The Sabres are going to battle Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Buffalo is coming off of a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Florida Panthers Saturday. Face-off for this evening’s game is scheduled for 9:00.

 

Wimpy forgot to mention that he has to win the lottery first…

There was no winner in the latest Powerball drawing and that means the prize up for grabs has risen to over half-a-billion dollars. The jackpot for tomorrow night’s drawing is now going to be at least $508,000,000. The Powerball jackpot was last won on August 3rd. The next drawing will be streamed live online at powerball.com. Please play responsibly.

 

 

 

It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee is reminding adults of the important role they play in helping keep young drivers safe on the road. The GTSC says they should talk with teens about the importance of following the rules while they’re behind the wheel because motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 18-years-old in the United States. The GTSC is also continuing its partnership with Students Against Destructive Decisions to teach teens about things like seat belt safety and how to avoid digital distraction. For more information, visit trafficsafety.ny.gov.

Morning News Brief

After a long back and forth, many conferences with his attorney and conversations in the courtroom and several recesses Raul Cruz, one of the two men charged in the the killing of 2 farm workers in Alexander in March has accepted a plea deal and admitted to the killings.  Cruz, who is 18, was offered a plea deal after he tried to bribe a witness with a fentanyl and marijuana cigarette and was caught.  Cruz said he didn’t understand and had to have the deal and charges explained to him multiple times.  After saying he wouldn’t take the deal, he changed his mind after a conversation in the courtroom and accepted it.  He will be sentenced on December 13th.

Governor Hochul announced Monday that she is ordering State Police to up their actions to stop catalytic converter thefts.  Hochul signed legislation to combat the theft of the converters which sets restrictions on the purchase, sale, and possession of stolen catalytic converters by vehicle dismantlers and scrap processors.  The New York State Police and the New York Department of Motor Vehicles were instructed to use their partnerships with local, state, and federal law enforcement to increase investigations in high-theft areas.  Catalytic converters are made with platinum, rhodium, and palladium and are worth about 200 dollars to scrappers.  This, combined with the installation location being on the outside of the car, has lead to daring broad daylight thefts that have been caught on doorbell security cameras across the country.  It is estimated that the number of thefts increased from 1300 in 2018 to over 60 thousand so far this year.

An investigation is underway into what caused a crash in Buffalo that ended up sending seven children to the hospital. Officials say that the collision involving a school bus and SUV happened yesterday on Bailey Avenue in the area of Walden Avenue and Broadway. The seven kids were brought to Oishei Children’s Hospital and the driver of the SUV went to Erie County Medical Center for treatment. There’s no word on how badly any of the victims were injured.

This week is School Board Appreciation Week and at the Board of Education Meeting on Monday students from Jackson Primary, John Kennedy Intermediate, Batavia Middle School, and Batavia High School attended the meeting and read letters in support, and presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the Board of Education.  The New York State School Boards Association recognizes October 17-21 as School Board Recognition Week in order to promote awareness and understanding of the important work performed by local school boards.

The two New York State Senators who are looking to represent the newly redrawn 61st District have announced a plan to take part in a debate just a few days before Election Day. Democrat Sean Ryan and Republican Ed Rath will lay out their vision to voters November 2nd at nine-30 a-m at Saint Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Tonawanda. The debate won’t be open to the public but will be livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook. Students at the school will be moderating the debate.

Leroy Ice Cream and Diner food restaurant Sweet Betty’s is closing.  Owner Gabrielle Keister says they have been forced to close because they can’t find cooks to make their foods and they are done trying to make it work while understaffed.  Sweet Betty’s opened in 2020 with 25 ice cream flavors and survived the pandemic.  Keister says they will participate in Winterfest December 3rd with Santa and Mrs Clause and the one mile walk.  Any customers who have gift certificates should go Friday from 4-6 and get a refund or some ice cream. 

After playing their first two games of the regular season on home ice, the Buffalo Sabres are set to play a road contest tonight. The Sabres are going to battle Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Buffalo is coming off of a four-to-three defeat at the hands of the Florida Panthers Saturday. Face-off for this evening’s game is scheduled for nine p-m.

Afternoon News Brief

George Brown

A former inmate at Attica Correctional Facility was indicted last week in Wyoming County Court on charges that he set items in his cell on fire and injured corrections officers. 37-year-old George Brown now faces the felony charge of arson, which is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. He is from Wayne County and in 2017 was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for a series of burglaries in Wayne and Ontario counties. He also has a previous prison sentence for burglary. Brown was eligible for parole in 2024.

 

 

An investigation into a stolen vehicle complaint revealed a 2020 Chevy Silverado was taken from a driveway in Le Roy by a 17-year-old male without the owner’s consent. Police were able to track the vehicle’s position in real time by using OnStar and the information was distributed to surrounding law enforcement agencies. A short time later, the Silverado was located in Cheektowaga. The suspect was arrested by police there and then turned over to members of the LeRoy Police Department on additional charges. The 17-year-old male of Wolcott, is charged with grand larceny a class D felony, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. He was issued an appearance ticket and returns to the Town of Le Roy Court on November 1.

 

30-year-old Joseph Martino of Batavia has been arrested and charged with petit larceny after he allegedly stole merchandise from a business on East Main Street. He was processed at the Batavia Police Department and issued an appearance ticket and released; Martino is scheduled to return to Batavia City Court next week. ALSO: 26-year-old Aaron Hendershot of Batavia was arrested following an investigation into a violation of an order of protection. It’s alleged that he was present at the home of the protected party of a stay-away order of protection. He was issued an appearance ticket.

 

Former President Trump

Congressman Zeldin

Former President Donald Trump is throwing his support behind Lee Zeldin as the Long Island congressman looks to become New York’s next governor. Trump revealed his endorsement on the social media platform Truth Social, calling Zeldin a winner and praising him for his positions on important issues such as crime and the military. Zeldin is taking on Democrat and incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul in November. In a statement posted on Twitter, the governor claimed that Zeldin has enabled and embraced Trump’s extremism since day one but New Yorkers have rejected Trump and they’ll do the same to Zeldin. Meanwhile, Zeldin says he will issue a state of emergency on crime in the Empire State on day 1 if he gets elected.

 

Student loan debt forgiveness applications are now accessible online. Borrowers are eligible to cancel $10,000 of student loan debt. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 of relief. The application takes less than five minutes to fill out. For more information, go to studentaid.gov and click on ‘learn about one time student loan debt relief’. The application is in the beta testing phase, which means technical teams are focusing on fixing any bugs or technical issues that may present themselves in the process.

 

Drivers are seeing minimal changes in fuel prices when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas in our region is $3.69; the same as it was a week ago and 20 cents cheaper than this time last month. The state average is $3.67; nationally it’s $3.89. In Batavia this morning, the average price was $3.74, down a penny from yesterday. Last week, national gas prices increased by 12 cents while regional gas stations only went up by an average of three cents. As recession fears rise, however, prices could stay low.

 

The Buffalo Sabres fell just short in a 4-3 contest to the reigning NHL Presidents’ Trophy winner Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon at the KeyBank Center. Their next game is against the Oilers at Edmonton at 9pm on Tuesday.

 

Park Road

In case you missed it, Park Road lanes in both directions are now open to traffic. Photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News.

 

 

 

 

With no grand prize winner in Saturday’s Powerball drawing, tonight’s jackpot is worth $480,000,000. The odds of winning are roughly one in 292-million. Please play responsibly.

 

 

 

 

 

Winter will be here before you know it, and the New York State Department of Transportation wants to increase its number of employees before the flakes start to fly. The agency is currently looking to hire fleet technicians and highway maintenance workers, and those openings include permanent and seasonal positions. Applicants need to be at least 18-years-old and pass a physical and drug test. Some positions do require a valid Class A or B commercial driver’s license. More information can be found online by going to ny.gov/dotjobs.

 

 

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills have earned their third consecutive victory after rallying late in the fourth quarter. Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw a touchdown pass to Dawson Knox with just over a minute left in the game as Buffalo defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 24 to 20 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri yesterday. Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs also had receiving touchdowns for the Bills whose record this season is now 5 and 1. The Bills have this Sunday off before a contest with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, October 30th starting at 8:20.

Morning News Brief

Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was endorsed by Donald Trump over the weekend.  The former president said that he has known Zeldin for many years and that he would make a great governor.  Zeldin’s opponent, current Governor Kathy Hochul, issued a response on twitter following the announcement, saying, “Donald Trump just officially endorsed my opponent. Lee Zeldin has enabled and embraced the former president’s extremism since day one — but New Yorkers rejected Trump and they’ll do the same for Lee in November.”  Zeldin is within a couple points of Hochul in the polls with realclearpolitics calling the race a tossup with just weeks to go before the election.  Zeldin says he will issue a state of emergency on crime in the Empire State on day 1 if he gets elected.

The student loan debt forgiveness applications went live on Friday.  Borrowers are eligible to cancel $10,000 of student loan debt. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for up to $20,000 of relief. The application takes less than five minutes to fill out.  In order to access the application, go to studentaid.gov and click on learn about one time student loan debt relief.  The application is in the beta testing phase, which means technical teams are focusing on fixing any bugs or technical issues that may present themselves in the process.

A student from Long Island is dead after being stabbed during a visit to the University of Buffalo.  On-campus police believe the incident stemmed from a fight on Friday night.  The victim, 19-year-old Tyler Lewis was attending Buffalo State College.  Authorities believe up to four people may have been involved, and are seeking a person of interest between the ages of 19 and 22 who was left with a cut face and a blood-covered shirt.

Western NY drivers are seeing consistent 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 gas is now three-69. That’s the same price as one week ago and is 20 cents cheaper than this time last month. The state average is three-67 a gallon and nationally it’s three-89.

No injuries have been reported following a massive blaze at a storage facility in Rochester. When crews arrived at the scene on Leighton Avenue last night, the building was engulfed in heavy smoke and flames. There were also several loud bangs heard inside the building due to tires and other items that exploded because of the intense heat. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

At the annual Wiener dog races Batavia Downs crowned Louie the 2022 winner on Sunday.  Louie the wiener dog bested 47 other dogs in a tightly contested competition.  Both Louie and his owners received a Hotel and Restaurant Stay and Play at Batavia Downs along with a gift basket from Genesee Feeds.  Second place Piper and third place Ted also received a Hotel and Restaurant Stay and Play.  Each “heat” winner received a Free Play prize.

The City Center in Batavia is full of empty hallways ready for vendors to set up and hawk their wares.  Batavia officials have decided to hold saturday morning indoor markets in the center October 29th through the end of the year.  Each market will run from 8 to 11:30am.  Spaces are $40 per day, $100 for three days, and $150 for seven days. It is open to any Farmers Market vendor or anyone else who has goods to sell.

The Buffalo Sabres fell just short in a 4-3 contest to the reigning NHL Presidents’ Trophy winner Florida Panthers Saturday afternoon at the KeyBank Center.  Alex Tuch, Zemgus Girgensons and Rasmus Dahlin scored for the Sabres but couldn’t catch up to the Panthers during the scoreless third period.  Their next game will be against the Oilers at Edmonton at 9pm on Tuesday.

The Buffalo Bills kept their winning streak going Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Bills won the game against the team that ended their playoff run for the last 2 years with a touchdown with less than 2 minutes left on the clock for a score of 24 to 20.  They move to 5-1 on the season, and are currently in first place in the AFC.  This week is Buffalo’s bye week.  The Bills next game will be against the Green Bay Packers at Highmark Stadium on Sunday October 30th at 8:20pm.

Weekend News Brief

Two Baptist ministers are suing the state for their right to carry firearms in their church.  Pastor Jimmie Hardaway of Trinity Baptist Church and Bishop Larry Boyd of Open Praise Full Gospel Baptist Church both in Western New York are suing former NY police Superintendent Kevin Bruen, Niagara County DA Brian Seaman, and Erie County DA John Flynn.  They say they always concealed carry to protect their congregations during services and that the new gun control law which criminalizes carrying on church premises denies law abiding citizens from exercising their right to self defense.  They say that churches, especially black churches, are targets of shooters and cite the 2015 church shooting in Charleston.  

Ever wondered if anyone really won those thousand dollar a week for life lottery tickets?  Well someone did, right here in Batavia.  Shawn Elkins bought a ticket at Batavia Downs and won the grand prize, 1000 dollars a week for the rest of his life.  He opted to take the annual payouts of around 34 thousand dollars every year after taxes.  There are 6 top prizes left.  

Oakfield is holding its annual Halloween Decorating Contest.  Deadline to sign up is October 17th with judging being between the 18th and 21st.  Top 3 winners get a gift card to an Oakfield or Alabama business of their choice.  Winners are decided by the community and will be announced on the 22nd.

Halloween isn’t the only day when people dress up as skeletons and there is special food and celebration.  Go ART! Is holding a day of the dead celebration in Medina on October 22nd at the Orleans County YMCA from 3 to 7pm.  GO ART! staff will host face painting, and Mariachi de Oro will provide samples of Mexican hot chocolate and pan de muerto, typical food of the holiday.  Mexican dance and music performances will be presented by Alma de México, a group from Rochester led by Karla Alcalá.  All activities will continue throughout the day: a full schedule can be found at www.MedinaDoD.com

The Niagara Parks Police Service reported Friday morning that a man was rescued from the Canadian side of the Niagara Gorge.  At 7 a.m. Friday morning, a lone male was rescued by members of the Niagara Falls Fire Department after he climbed over the retaining wall and fell nearly 10 feet into the gorge headwall.  Once rescued and brought to street level, the man climbed back over the retaining wall in front of the police and was arrested and charged with trespassing and unlawfully climbing the wall.

The post office at 170 Manhattan Ave in Buffalo has been designated as the Indiana Hunt-Martin Post Office Building by President Biden.  Indiana Hunt-Martin served in World War 2 as a member of the only Black Women’s Army Corps unit overseas.  Hunt-Martin graduated from Niagara Falls High School in 1940 and joined the Women’s Army Corps in September 1944. She received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 1945 before working for the state department of labor in New York City, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo until 1987.

Afternoon News Brief

Ronald Rowcliffe

A former Boy Scout leader who molested Scouts at a camp in St. Lawrence County has now been charged with violating probation. 58-year-old Ronald Rowcliffe of Elba made an initial appearance on the charge earlier this week in Genesee County Court. He was released after his appearance pending further court action. Rowcliffe pleaded guilty in September 2020 to a single count of first-degree sexual abuse in satisfaction of all charges against him. He was placed on one year of interim probation and was successful, leading to the probation sentence. Rowcliffe was then sentenced in St. Lawrence County Court in November to 10 years of probation and is on probation until Nov. 9, 2031. He also was fined $2,500.

 

According to the New York Lottery, Shawn Elkins of Batavia has claimed his $1000 a week for life winning ticket. He opted to take the top prize in an annuity and received his first payment of $33,852 after required withholdings and will continue to receive payments annually, for life. The winning ticket was purchased at Batavia Downs Gaming.

 

Former Western Regional Off Track Betting CEO Michael Nolan says he will appeal the decision throwing out his lawsuit against the gambling corporation. The judge made that decision because Nolan filed after the statute of limitations had expired. Nolan alleged OTB violated his First Amendment rights by firing him in retaliation for speaking to federal investigators.

 

 

Payton Gendron – file photo

There’s a new development in the ongoing legal case against the man who allegedly carried out a mass shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo. According to WIVB, the attorneys for Payton Gendron have decided against pursuing a psychiatric defense in his state case. Gendron is accused of opening fire at the Jefferson Avenue store on May 14th, killing 10 people and injuring three others in what prosecutors say was a racially-motivated hate crime. He is facing both state and federal charges and is currently behind bars without bail.

 

 

Governor Hochul

Congressman Zeldin

A new poll has been released involving the race for New York governor and it shows one candidate has a solid lead over their opponent. According to the Marist College survey, Democrat and incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul has a 10-point advantage over her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. But, Hochul’s lead is only eight points among those who say they’ll definitely vote. Hochul is looking to win a full four-year term in office while Zeldin is hoping to become the first Republican since George Pataki to be elected governor. Election Day is coming up on Tuesday, November 8th.

 

Victor Olofsson

The Buffalo Sabres have started of their new season in the best way possible after picking up a win on home ice. Victor Olofsson had two goals and both JJ Peterka and Rasmus Dahlin also scored as the Sabres beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 at KeyBank Center last night. And if I’m doing the math correctly, Sabres goalie Craig Anderson stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced. Up next for the Sabres is another home game against the Florida Panthers tomorrow at 1:00.

 

 

Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills have hit the road on their way to battle the team that’s eliminated them from the playoffs the past two seasons. The Bills are taking on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Buffalo is fresh off a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week that improved their record this season to four wins and one loss. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is scheduled for 4:25.

 

Batavia Post Office

Prices at the post office could soon increase. The United States Postal Service has plans to hike prices on everything from stamps to post office boxes and money order fees. In a news release issued today, USPS officials detailed the price changes, which included a 3 cent increase for Forever Stamps, up from 60 cents, and postcards would increase from 44 cents to 48 cents. An international 1-ounce letter, currently priced at $1.40, would move to $1.45. The changes have already been approved by the USPS Board of Governors, and will be reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission. If the increases are approved, the new prices will take effect January 22, 2023. (Photo by Doug Thompson, WBTA News)

 

The Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots continue to grow and have now reached a combined total of $948,000,000. The prize up for grabs in this evening’s Mega Millions drawing is going to be at least $494,000,000. And, whoever picks all the correct numbers for tomorrow night’s Powerball drawing will win $454,000,000. Both drawings are going to be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

Having trouble paying back your student loans?  New York State now has a little bit more debt relief.  Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill Thursday ending the practice of charging an additional fee to debtors when collecting outstanding debts owed to the state from educational expenses.  Before this bill, a fee of 22% was added by state law in addition to the total debt due.  The governor said that students who are already having trouble paying back their loans shouldn’t be hit with additional fees. 

A new poll has been released involving the race for New York governor and it shows one candidate has a solid lead over their opponent. According to the Marist College survey, Democrat and incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul has a 10-point advantage over her Republican challenger, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. But, Hochul’s lead is only eight points among those who say they’ll definitely vote. Hochul is looking to win a full four-year term in office while Zeldin is hoping to become the first Republican since George Pataki to be elected governor. Election Day is coming up on Tuesday, November 8th.

Former WROTB CEO Michael Nolan says he will appeal the decision throwing out his lawsuit against the gambling corporation.  The decision was thrown out because Nolan didn’t file soon enough after he alleged his First Amendment rights were violated by WROTB by firing him in retaliation for speaking to federal investigators. 

In Elba there is a new Sheriff’s deputy in the schools.  Deputy Ryan Young, a 6 year veteran of the sheriffs office will be assisting in keeping the kids safe at the schools.  In BOCES Deputy Kyle Tower will be on duty.  Deputy Jordan Alejandro has been assigned to Oakfield Alabama.  These School resource officers are there to provide security and safety services for the faculty and students.  Elba didn’t have an SRO until now and the Sheriffs office is pleased to be helping out there as well.

Parents in New York are asking the state to pass a bill which will change how schools handle discipline.  Specifically, they want schools to stop suspending and expelling students.  Often schools can’t handle bad behavior in house so they send the kids home.  Most of the kids who are kicked out are teens but in the upstate area over 600 pre-k through 3rd graders were suspended or expelled in the 2020-2021 year and over 15 thousand kids were kicked out in total.  The data showed black and Hispanic students, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students, were suspended at higher rates than their peers.  The parents want the state to pass the Children’s Agenda which will implement alternative methods, solutions not suspensions, the NYS Culturally responsive sustained education framework, and provide additional funding for more solutions to be found.

In Rochester the Police aren’t the only ones who show up to an emergency call.  The Person in Crisis team was formed in 2021 to deal with mental health situations that the police might not be trained to handle.  In the beginning these crisis counselors would respond to 15-20 calls a day.  Now its up to 150 calls a week.  Response times are usually measured in the minutes when an ambulance might take almost an hour to arrive.  In the city people can call 988 or 211 for mental health emergencies.

The Sabres started off slow but came back to pick up the win in their season opener against the Ottawa Senators Thursday night.  Captain Kyle Okposo lead the Buffalo team to a 4 to 1 win after Ottowa scored their only goal in the first period.  Peterka, Dahlin and Olofsson scored for the Sabres.  Next up is a home game against the Panthers Saturday at 1pm.

The Buffalo Bills will be hitting the road this weekend to battle the team that’s eliminated them from the playoffs the past two seasons. The Bills are taking on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Buffalo is coming off of a 38 to three victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week that improved their record this season to four wins and one loss. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is scheduled for four-25 p-m.

Pancake Breakfast

Knights of Columbus Council # 2240 will host a buttermilk and Buckwheat pancake breakfast, Sunday, October 30, 8am to 12:30pm in St. Vincent’s Auditorium, 72 East Avenue, Attica. No charge for children under 5 years of age.

Afternoon News Brief

The Gun Control laws in New York are back in full effect after an appeals court ruled to put a hold on the lower Syracuse courts hold which temporarily blocked portions of the laws. Yesterday a federal appeals court reinstated the affected portions of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act. The high court struck down the state’s long-standing requirement that people demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety to qualify to carry a handgun outside the home. The Syracuse judge had blocked portions that required applicants to turn over their social media information and also parts that blocked concealed carry permit holders from entering certain places.

 

 

Poler’s Pub, Medina – File Photo

43-year-old Nicholas Amos of Medina now faces multiple felony charges. He is accused of stabbing five people outside Poler’s Pub in Medina on Sunday; this followed an altercation in which it’s believed everyone involved knew each other. The victims were transported by ambulance or private vehicle to Medina Memorial Hospital and Erie County Medical Center. Police said, two of the four required surgery. They all remain in stable condition as of this afternoon. Amos was committed to Orleans County Jail pending arraignment.

 

A judge has dismissed the $14.5 million lawsuit against Western Regional Off Track Betting by former CEO Michael Nolan, noting that the statute of limitations had expired on his first amendment violation case. Nolan had said his rights were violated when the corporation’s leadership allegedly retaliated against him for talking to federal agencies about alleged improprieties. He contended that he was fired from his position in December 2020 after being ostracized since April 2019 for sharing information with federal and state authorities as part of an inquiry into business practices. The judge said that the complaint simply came too late after the alleged violation.

 

Positive COVID test result

New data from the state shows the spread of the coronavirus is continuing hold steady in our region. Right now, the seven day average infection rate is sitting at 8.4%. At this time one week ago, the infection rate was 8.6%. To prevent a surge in infections, it’s recommended that folks get vaccinated against COVID-19, receive an updated booster shot and wear a mask while they’re indoors.

 

 

 

Brett Frank

Public Works Director Brett Frank told Chris Kalen this morning on Main & Center that the plan is to have construction work done on Harvester Avenue, including the sidewalks, by mid-December.

 

 

 

 

 

Kyle Okposo

Don Granato

The Buffalo Sabres will be on home ice tonight as they start their new season against a longtime rival. The Sabres are hosting the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center. Brand-new team captain Kyle Okposo is leading buffalo and head coach Don Granato has signed a multi-year contract to remain with the franchise. Face-off for this evening’s contest is scheduled for 7:00.

 

Keaira Bennefield

Adam Bennefield

The man wanted in connection with the murder of his estranged wife has been taken into custody. According to investigators, 45-year-old Adam Bennefield shot and killed 40-year-old Keaira Bennefield, who is also known as KeairaHudson, on October 5th while she was in her vehicle near Richlawn Avenue and Shawnee Avenue in Buffalo. Adam Bennefield was arraigned yesterday on multiple charges and is currently behind bars without bail. He’s expected to be back in court again on November 15th.

Morning News Brief

The Gun Control laws in New York are back in full effect after an appeals court ruled to put a hold on the lower Syracuse courts hold which temporarily blocked portions of the laws.  Wednesday a federal appeals court reinstated the blocked portions of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act.  Gov. Kathy Hochul and lawmakers rewrote the state’s handgun laws this summer after a Supreme Court ruling invalidated New York’s old system for granting permits to carry handguns outside the home. The high court struck down the state’s long standing requirement that people demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety to qualify for such a license.  The Syracuse judge had blocked portions that required applicants to turn over their social media information and also parts that blocked concealed carry permit holders from entering an increased list of properties. 

A judge dismissed the lawsuit against Western Regional Off Track Betting corp by former CEO Michael Nolan Wednesday saying the statute of limitations was up on his first amendment violation case.  Nolan had said his rights were violated when the corporation’s leadership allegedly retaliated against him for talking to federal agencies about alleged improprieties.  Nolan contended that he was fired from his position in December 2020 after being ostracized since April 2019 for sharing information with federal and state authorities as part of an inquiry into practices such as health insurance plans for board members, use of sports tickets and luxury boxes, and awarding of contracts.  The judge said that the complaint simply came too late after the alleged violation.  Nolan had sought 15 million dollars.

A 39 year old Oakfield man has been arrested and charged with 46 counts of rape between 2019 and 2021.  Ricardo Castillo Jr., according to the sheriff’s office, was charged in connection to a series of sexual offenses that took place across the Village of Oakfield and the Town of Elba.  He is charged with 13 counts of first degree rape, 10 counts of 2nd degree rape of a victim under 15 years of age, 13 counts of first degree criminal sex act, and 10 counts of 2nd degree ciminal sex act against a victim under 15 years old.  Castillo was arraigned on all charges and released under Genesee Justice supervision. He is due back in court at a later date.

Less than a year after unionizing the workers at the Starbucks on Elmwood in Buffalo are striking.  Starbucks Workers United filed labor board claims, accusing the company of illegally terminating more than 80 of its supporters, including a prominent activist in the Buffalo region recently fired for refusing to remove a suicide awareness pin.  British musician Billy Bragg joined the strike on Wednesday ahead of his concert in Toronto.  Workers have said they will continue to strike until an agreement is met.

The Keybank center has some new food offerings available for fans of the Sabres this year.  New additions at Perry Market and Rachel’s Mediterranean Grill include: Porchetta Sandwich, Korean Chicken Quesadilla, Hawaiian Beef Dog.  New food items throughout general concessions include: Baja Fish Tacos, Spicy Cheese Dog, Mustard Pulled Pork Sandwich, Artisan Deli Sandwich, Walking Taco and La Nova Chicken Wings.  There will also be new items at the Lexus Club, KeyBank Club and in suites.

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced that cornerback Tre’Davious White will return to practice Wednesday but will not play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.  White had an ACL injury against the Saints on Thanksgiving of 2021.  The Bills, who have a 4-1 record through five games, are set to take on the Chiefs on Sunday. Following the matchup against the Chiefs, the Bills will have their bye week and after the bye week they will take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football.

The Buffalo Sabres have signed head coach Don Granato to a multi year extension to his contract.  Granato starts his second full season as coach for the Sabres today.  He joined the organization as an assistant coach prior to the 2019-20 season and was promoted to interim head coach in March 2021 when the Sabres fired Ralph Kruger. He coached 28 games to finish out the season and the team went 9-16-3.  The sabres also signed Mattias Samuelsson to a 7 year contract extension for 30 million dollars.  The son of longtime NHL defenseman and coach Kjell Samuelsson, Mattias served as a captain of Team USA at the U-18 and U-20 World Championships and at Western Michigan University.  He played 42 games last 

The Holland Land Office is hosting Guest Speaker Ken Slaughenhopt who will be presenting on the Holland Land Survey.  Slaughenhopt is a surveyor from the Lewiston Historical Society.  He will be discussing the trials and tribulations of the surveying process that went into laying out the Holland Purchase and its 3.25 million acres, as well as its importance to Western New York even today.  The event will be October 19th at 7pm.  Admission is $5 or $3 for museum members.

Pancake Breakfast

Stafford Volunteer Fire Dept. will host an all you can eat pancake breakfast, Sunday, October 23, 8am to 1pm,. Kids 5 and under are free. Eat in or take out.

Afternoon News Brief

Linda Tschari

John Sauberan

An Erie County jury has convicted a man who committed a murder that happened more than 44 years ago. Prosecutors say 63-year-old John Sauberan killed 19-year-old Linda Tschari at an address on Pooley Place in Buffalo back in February 1978. Sauberan was finally arrested after DNA evidence connected him to the crime. He is currently behind bars without bail and is facing 25 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced in December.

 

A union at the University of Rochester and their Medical Center has set a date for a possible strike. Members say if they don’t have an agreement in place by 8:30am on Monday, October 24th they will walk off the job. Negotiations on a new contract started back in June, but WHEC-TV reports the union turned down a vote on a deal last month. University of Rochester officials say there is a plan in place to make sure research, teaching, and patient care isn’t interrupted if there is a strike.

 

Richard Castillo, Jr.

An Oakfield man is arrested and faces 46 counts of rape and other sex assault charges for a series of incidents, which spanned over the course of two years. 39-year-old Richard Castillo, Jr. is charged with offenses that allegedly occurred at multiple locations in the village of Oakfield and town of Elba; some of the charges involve sexual acts with a victim less than 15 years old. Castillo was released under the supervision of Genesee Justice and is to appear in court at a later date.

 

State Police are continuing their investigation today into the crash in Royalton in Niagara County that left four people dead and another person hurt. Investigators say a Chevrolet Cruze was traveling west on Slayton Settlement Road when an RV traveling south on Orangeport Road failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with the Cruze in the intersection. The driver of the Cruze, 20-year-old Austin Wilson, of Wilson; and his passengers, 20-year-old Simon Fox of Medina and 21-year-old William Bernadt IV of Newfane were killed in the accident; Troopers say that Wilson and Fox were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. The driver of the RV, 81-year-old Michael Duffy and 80-year-old Linda Duffy, both of Sommerton, South Carolina, were transported to the hospital in critical condition; Linda Duffy later died of her injuries. There is no word as to whether or not charges will be filed.

 

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced it has started mailing additional financial relief to eligible New Yorkers. The Tax Department is issuing $475 million in additional New York State child and earned income tax payments to about 1.8 million people. Most of the checks should arrive by the end of this month. The checks are automatically being mailed to those who received the Empire State Child Credit or the Earned Income Credit, or both, on their 2021 state tax returns. No action is required by taxpayers.

 

 

In the wake of Hurricane Ian and recent severe weather across the country, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is warning consumers to take precautions in the weeks and months ahead, against unintentionally purchasing vehicles damaged by flooding. The DMV’s website includes a link to the National Insurance Crime Bureau database. People looking to buy a used car can enter the Vehicle Identification Number and learn if it was ever flooded or stolen. For more information visit dmv.ny.gov

 

Morning News Brief

A union at the University of Rochester and University of Rochester Medical Center has set a date for a possible strike. Members say if they don’t have an agreement in place by eight-30 a-m on October 24th they will walk off the job. Negotiations on a new contract started back in June, but WHEC reports a vote on a deal was turned down by the union last month. University of Rochester officials say there is a plan in place to make sure research, teaching, and patient care isn’t interrupted if there is a strike. 

The Rochester Police Accountability Board is trying to get acting manager Duwaine Bascoe fired and replaced.  In a letter sent Tuesday to the PAB and city council, 17 staff members list several demands including that acting manager Duwaine Bascoe be terminated, and replaced by associate general counsel Anthony Durwin.  They also call for a “firing freeze” and for people who resigned or were fired under Bascoe’s leadership to be offered their jobs back. They allege 15% of the PAB’s staff members left or were fired under Bascoe’s leadership.  The Board has been embroiled in scandal and accusations of being useless and not having a purpose since its inception.  The PAB has a five million dollar budget and was approved by voters in 2019.  It has yet to issue any disciplinary recommendations for police accountability.  The staff members who are calling for the firing are also saying they want to form a union.  No one knows what their demands will be as they haven’t done any work yet.

Fentanyl is a major threat to communities and state and local leaders are coming together to warn citizens about it.  Drugs such as meth and cocaine are being spiked with fentanyl which can lead to overdoses on the first use even if it small.  Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein says, “there is no safe drug.”  Most recently, rainbow fentanyl, a type of the drug packaged to look like candy, was detected not too far from WNY in Monroe County. In the WNY area, according to Burstein, blue, yellow and green colored pills have been found within the past year. Since last year there have been nearly 550 overdose deaths in Erie county.  There have been hundreds of thousands in the US since January.  Overdosing is now the leading cause of death in people 18 to 45.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is reminding drivers that if the license plates on their vehicles are peeling, they can be replaced free of charge. The DMV Commissioner says anyone who has a peeling plate is at risk of getting ticketed and having to pay a fine. To have your plate replaced with the next available standard plate number, email the DMV with information including your name as it appears on your registration, address, city, state, ZIP code, phone number, peeling plate number and a photograph of the plates. A new registration/windshield sticker will be mailed along with the new plates.

Alabama Hotel is hosting a benefit fundraiser October 19th from 4 to 8pm for an Oakfield woman who has a rare form of cancer.  46 year old Carrie Desjardins has intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and is taking chemotherapy.  Judy Gilbert is planning the benefit which will include a basket raffle, a bake sale, side raffles and 50/50 drawings.

The Strong National Museum of Play is turning 40!  Wednesday marks four decades since the museum opened in downtown Rochester.  The museum will celebrate with free train and carousel rides, party hats, a birthday tea party, a photo booth, birthday card crafts and more.  The celebration runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., though the museum will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

A new proposal from the Labor Department could help millions of gig workers to be classified as employees instead of independent contractors.  That would guarantee them minimum wage pay and overtime.  Many gig workers such as rideshare drivers don’t want the change, saying that being able to pick their hours and use their gig jobs as supplemental income and not a standard part time job would be threatened by the proposal.  The new rule would lower the bar for being classified as an employee from the previous rules set during the Trump administration.

Afternoon News Brief

37-year-old Erica Raphael of Batavia has been arraigned on an indictment charging her with two counts of third-degree burglary and petit larceny. She is accused of stealing a bicycle and attempting to steal a cart full of merchandise from Walmart in Warsaw, where she had been banned for previous shoplifting incidents.

 

Poler’s Pub, Medina – file photo

Medina Police report today that all of the victims from the multiple stabbings at Poler’s Pub are alive and in stable condition. It was learned that all parties involved knew each other; and what started as a verbal argument inside the bar escalated and became physical outside, during which a person used a knife against multiple people. Police know who the subject in this incident is and he is wanted for questioning. At this time, no charges have been filed and the investigation continues.

 

The Department of Motor Vehicles encourages vehicle owners to exchange any license place that is peeling, free of charge; to avoid the risk of being ticketed or having to pay a fine. License plates that show signs of natural aging, including chips or cracks, are not eligible for a free exchange. Stop in to the DMV for additional information.

 

 

Election Day is only four weeks away and there’s an important registration deadline coming up later this week for residents. The final day to sign up to vote is this Friday, October 14th. You can register to vote in-person at the DMV, at a Board of Elections office, by mail, or online. To check your registration status, go to voterlookup.elections.ny.gov Early voting starts Saturday, October 29th.

 

 

Proposal 1 is on the ballot this November: It’s The Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. The proposal asks if you approve for the State to borrow 4.2 billion dollars and spend 1.5 billion for climate change mitigation, 1.1 to reduce flood risks, 650 million to increase water quality and infrastructure, and 650 million for open space land conservation. This is in addition to voting for governor, attorney general, comptroller and senator.

 

Kirk Ashton (right) enters court with his attorney last week

Testimony resumed today in the trial of former Northwood Elementary School principal Kirk Ashton. He is accused of sexually abusing over 20 students while he worked at the school, which is located in Hilton. Last week, jurors heard from multiple witnesses. A former student who took the stand testified Ashton touched him under his clothes. Two teachers and a district counselor claimed they saw Ashton acting inappropriately towards students. He was principal at the school from 2004 until his arrest last year.

 

The Mega Millions jackpot keeps growing and is now sitting at $445,000,000 ahead of tonight’s drawing. No one has claimed the top prize since an over $1.3 billion jackpot was won back in July. Anyone who wants to watch this evening’s drawing live can do so at megamillions.com. Please play responsibly.

 

 

 

The Great Batavia Train Show – 2021

The Genesee Society of Model Engineers will host the 101st “Great Batavia Train Show” this Sunday, October 16th, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at the Richard C. Call Arena, Genesee Community College. Admission is $6 for adults; $3 for kids 13-17 and under 13 are free.

Morning News Brief

Governor Candidate Lee Zeldin expressed outrage after a shooting in front of his Long Island home sent his daughters into hiding in their bedrooms and 2 men to the hospital.  Zeldin says he came home to blood on his front porch, and that security footage revealed two individuals, one underneath his front porch, another underneath a bush in front of the porch. He also says a third person was seen by a few cameras walking around, leaving the scene. Suffolk County Police are investigating the crime, Zeldin says they’ve told him this violent act isn’t related to him or his campaign.  He addressed the media while standing in front of crime scene tape in front of his house, not the first time Zeldin has been at the center of a crime, in July a man attempted to stab Zeldin while he was speaking near Fairport.  Zeldin has made overturning the Bail reform legislation a central part of his campaign.  

On the ballot this November, or earlier if you vote early or send in absentee ballots, is a proposal called Proposal 1: the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.  This proposal asks if you want the State to borrow 4.2 billion dollars to spend on things like 1.5 billion for climate change mitigation, 1.1 to reduce flood risks, 650 million to increase water quality and infrastructure, and 650 million for open space land conservation.  Voters can either vote yes or no on the whole package.  This is in addition to voting for governor and many other races.

A teenager had to be rescued from the Letchworth Gorge Saturday after falling about 150 feet down the slope.  New York State Police say she slipped while standing near the edge.  The Park Police High Angle Rope Rescue Team used a stokes basket to lift her up.  She sustained injuries in the fall and was taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.  No other information is available.

Attorney General Letitia James has filed to overturn the Federal Judge ruling that put a temporary hold on parts of the gun control law.  Judge Glenn Suddaby ordered a temporary hold back on October 6th on multiple provisions of the law that went into effect on September 1st.  Part of that provision that was halted was the requirement that permit applications to hand over social media account information.  James said that the gun control was for the safety of New Yorkers and was common sense.  In August the Supreme Court struck down part of New York’s concealed carry application process that required applicants to give a reason why they needed to carry a gun outside the home.  In response New York pushed through new laws requiring businesses to put signs in their windows if they allowed guns on their property, expanded the list of places where guns were never allowed, introduced more requirements for applicants to meet to get a license, and made it more difficult to get ammunition, amid other new rules. 

2 people are charged with setting a smoke shop on fire in Alabama at the end of September.  Brandi Rueben and Garret Porter allegedly set fire to the newly opened smoke shop at 368 Martin Rd around 11pm on September 29th.  They are charged with arson in the 3rd degree, criminal mischief, and conspiracy in the 5th.  They are scheduled to appear in court on November 15th.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello is asking the County Legislature for 100-thousand dollars to help cover police overtime costs. Over the last few months, members of the county sheriff’s department have been working alongside Rochester officers due to the large amount of violent crime in that city. As a result, overtime expenses have been on the rise. There’s no word on just how much money has already been spent on overtime this year.

October 20th Haxton Memorial Library is inviting the community to come and laugh with Improv Group Defiant Monkey.  Starting at 7pm the duo of Karen Eichler and Andrew Spragge will host an evening of laughs, fun and audience participation.  To register go to the circulation desk at Haxton or call 585 948 9900. 

Trick or Trot 5K

Batavia Rotary Club will host Trick or Trot 5K, Saturday, October 29, 5:15pm in DeWitt Park. Spooky costumes with this fun run through Batavia Cemeteries. Sign up on line.

All the Lonelyl People

Genesee County Office for the Aging, 2 Bank Street, Batavia, will show the film, “All the Lonely People”, Wednesday, November 2, 3pm to 5pm. Call 343-1611 to reserve a seat.

Crossroads House Fundraiser

Crossroads House annual Fall Fundraiser will be held Saturday, November 5, noon to 3pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main Street, Batavia. Lunch available.

WBTA really BIG Radio Auction

Let’s Give Thanks! The Next WBTA Really BIG Radio Auction will be held Saturday, November 12, at 8am, Check out items going up for bid on our website, Wbtai.com.

Afternoon News Update

Poler’s Pub, Medina NY – file photo

Some new information has been made available today. Police say that the person who stabbed at least three people during a fight at Poler’s Pub in Medina early yesterday morning has yet to be found and is likely injured. The victims did not appear to have life-threatening injuries but ambulance crews took the three to the hospital, with one taken to Erie County Medical Center. Police know that an argument started inside the bar but then moved outside where it became physical. However, creating challenges for the investigation, some of the people involved have been uncooperative with police and not willing to speak or go on record about the incident.

 

Two people have been arrested after an investigation into a fire at a roadside marijuana-selling stand in Akron. Genesee County Sheriffs tell us that 26-year-old Brandi Reuben is charged with multiple felonies, including third-degree arson. 26-year-old Garrett Porter is charged with conspiracy. The charges followed an investigation into a fire that was reported late in the evening of Sept. 29 at a roadside stand at 368 Martin Road, Akron. Both were released and are scheduled to appear November 15 in Town of Alabama Court.

 

Wal*Mart storefront – file photo

29-year-old Rufus Johnson of Chili is charged with burglary and petit larceny, after allegedly stealing property from WalMart in Batavia. On a previous occasion, Johnson had been asked to leave the store. He is scheduled to appear in Town of Batavia Court on October 26th.

 

 

 

The rainy few weeks we’ve been having has helped in many ways. And now the state Department of Environmental Conservation has lifted its drought watch for much of upstate New York, including the four-county GLOW region. The ‘watch’ status is still in place for a few counties downstate, near Long Island.

 

 

ALDI has announced a recall of two products due to concerns that they may be contaminated with E.Coli bacteria. The grocery store chain says this recall involves Earth Grown Vegan Traditional Falafel and Garlic and Herb Falafel that is manufactured by Cuisine Innovations Unlimited, LLC. The products have already been removed from the shelves. Anyone who purchased them should not eat or serve them and can return them for a full refund.

 

Gabriel Davis

The Buffalo Bills have picked up their second win in a row after crushing a longtime AFC rival in front of the hometown crowd. Bills quarterback Josh Allen got the scoring started early when he tossed a 98-yard-touchdown pass to Gabriel Davis as the Bills cruised to a 38 to three victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park yesterday. With the victory, Buffalo improved their record to 4 and 1. Up next for the Bills is a road contest against the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday. Game time, 4:25.

 

There hasn’t been a Powerball jackpot winner since early August and after no one picked all the correct numbers for Saturday’s drawing, the prize this evening will be at least $401,000,000. But, the odds of hitting the Powerball jackpot are one in over 292,000,000. The drawing will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

Morning News Brief

Police in Medina say multiple people have been stabbed in an early morning melee.
Little in the way of information has been released.
Police do report that incident happened around 1:30 Sunday morning at Poler’s Pub on Main Street in Medina.
Several police agencies responded. Police say it is an on-going investigation.

 

Genesee County deputies arrest two people on felony charges related to a suspected arson in the Town of Alabama.
26-year-old Brandi Reuben has been charged with felony arson. 26-year-old Garrett Porter has been charged with felony conspiracy.
Deputies say the fire occurred on Sept 29th on Martin Road in Alabama.
Both Reuben an d Porter have been released pending further court action.

 

 

Today is officially, Indigenous people’s Day. Most still call it Columbus Day. It is a federal Holiday. Banks, Schools and governmental offices are closed. There will be no mail delivery.
The Batavia City Council will not meet tonight as they usually do on a Monday.
City lawmakers will instead meet tomorrow night at 7.
Following this meeting Council will conduct its first budget workshop

 

ALDI’s has announced a recall of two products that may be contaminated with E-Coli bacteria.
The grocery store chain – with a store in Batavia – says the recall involves Vegan Traditional Falafel and Garlic and Herb Falafel.
The products have already been removed from the shelves.
Anyone who purchased them should not eat or serve them and can return them for a full refund.

 

 

Gasoline prices down a bit in Batavia. Triple A says the average price for a gallon of regular is now $3.69 down 2-cents over the past week. Prices are expected to rise.

 

 

 

Two people are being treated for injuries after they were shot outside the home of New York Congressman Lee Zeldin. The Republican lawmaker, said the incident happened Sunday on his property in Shirley, New York., His teenage daughters called the police. Zeldin said he was not home.
Police said Zeldin was not the target of the shooting.

 

 

There hasn’t been a Powerball jackpot winner since early August, but lottery players are hoping their luck changes tonight. After no one picked all the correct numbers for Saturday’s drawing, the prize this evening will be at least 401-million-dollars. But, the odds of hitting the Powerball jackpot are one in over 292-million.

Weekend News Update

Fall foliage map, as of 10/8/22

The statewide “I LOVE NY Fall Foliage Report” has come out and shows peak fall colors in the Adirondacks, with near-peak leaves to be found throughout most of the upper Catskills, plus parts of the Chautauqua-Allegheny, Thousand Islands-Seaway, and Finger Lakes regions. The report says Genesee County is at about 20% change with primarily red leaves. And in Albion, foliage is expected to be nearing midpoint of change with bright shades of red and yellow.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the launch of the Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council, with goals of developing a plan to cut child poverty in half over the next decade. The panel meets for the first time in Albany next Thursday. The meeting can be viewed online starting the next day, at:   otda.ny.gov/news/meetings/.

 

Zachary McCaa

A Caledonia man has been indicted by a Livingston County Grand Jury on murder and manslaughter charges in connection with the death of an infant. 26-year-old Zachary McCaa was charged with second-degree murder and first- and second-degree manslaughter, as well as endangering the welfare of a child. McCaa was the sole caregiver at home during the incident. The investigation alleged that he caused serious physical injuries after throwing the child, causing him to strike his head. It is further alleged that during the incident McCaa shook the child violently on more than one occasion. If convicted, McCaa could face a sentence of life in prison.

 

Robert Morris

Batavia Community Schools is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive in the Robert Morris Multi-Purpose Room (80 Union Street) on Tuesday, October 11th from noon until 5. Donors should use the bus loop entrance. Contact Batavia Community Schools Coordinator, Julia Rogers with questions: jrogers@bataviacsd.org, 585-343-2480 x 1004. Anyone who is interested in donating should sign up for an appointment by clicking on the link below:

https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?order=DATE&range=10&zipSponsor=14020

 

Batavia City Council

The Batavia City Council will hold a Business Meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Board Room on the second floor of the Batavia City Centre. Following this meeting Council will conduct its first budget workshop. The Council Meeting is open to the public with appropriate facemasks and social distancing.

Options for viewing the meeting:

Batavia News Service Youtube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOdvZ9lGH0FiD9ADz6Cg6EQ

Streamed LIVE on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/bataviany/

Spectrum Channel 1301 – Thursday October 13, 2022 9:00am and Friday October 14,
2022 8:00pm

The agenda is posted on the City website at the following URL link:
https://www.batavianewyork.com/city-council/agenda/business-meeting-agenda-10-11-22

 

Afternoon News Brief

Quality Inn Palm Island Indoor Water Park

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board has accepted an initial resolution. It’s for the proposed $12 million investment by 8250 Park Road, LLC for extensive renovations to the Quality Inn & Suites and Palm Island Indoor Water Park (at its board meeting last night). 8250 Park Road, LLC would renovate the facility’s hotel rooms, lobby, event spaces, water park, and restaurant. The re-development proposes to create 38 new full-time jobs. The project is estimated to generate $32 of economic activity for every $1 of local public benefits. They are requesting sales tax exemptions estimated at $458,400, a property tax abatement of approximately $659,521, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $80,000. A public hearing for the initial application will be scheduled in the town of Batavia.

 

Jakubonis being arrested – July 2022

The Fairport man accused of attacking Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin a few months ago has made another appearance in court. David Jakubonis was back in front of a judge yesterday as his lawyer attempted to have him placed in a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and alcohol recovery program through Veterans Treatment Court and the Bath Veteran’s Administration. The judge did not make a decision because she wants more information about how the program would work. In July, Jakubonis approached Zeldin with a weapon in his hand while he was making a campaign stop in Monroe County. Zeldin, the Republican nominee in the race for New York governor, wasn’t hurt.

70-year-old Gerald Freeman of Batavia has been arrested and charged with grand larceny. It’s alleged he stole a Ford water truck from the Genesee County Fairgrounds. Freeman was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Batavia Town Court on October 18th.

 

 

 

The latest data from the state shows the spread of COVID-19 has once again risen in our region. Right now, the 7 day average infection rate is sitting at 8.4% percent. At this time one week ago, the average infection rate was 8.0%. Anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against the virus or is interested in receiving the vaccination or a booster shot can find an immunization clinic in our area by visiting vaccines.gov.

 

Tim Hens

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens says he thinks the Wings Over Batavia air show would cost nearly $13,000, which include costs for Sheriff’s Office deputies and Emergency Management Services staff to provide security, traffic and crowd control. The breakdown was estimated to be $5,400 for offsite traffic control; $2,055 for EMS presence; and $5,250 for pre-show preparations by highway and facilities maintenance staff. Hens noted that, although a profit would be ideal, breaking even would be fine, too. His main hope is that people who come to the airshow would shop in Batavia and sales tax would make back that cost and possibly more. The County Legislature is set to vote on approval for the Airshow later this month.

 

Josh Allen – during a game against the Colts – January 2021

After playing their last two games on the road, the Buffalo Bills are going to be back in front of their home crowd on Sunday. The Bills are set to host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark. Buffalo is coming off a 23 to 20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens last week in a contest that saw the team score 20 unanswered points. The Bills have a record this season of 3 and 1 and are in second place in the AFC East. Kickoff for Sunday’s game is set for 1:00.

 

Gladys Knight

A legendary singer will be performing alongside members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra this weekend. Gladys Knight, also known as the “Empress of Soul” is set to take the Kleinhans Music Hall stage tomorrow night at 7:30. The seven-time Grammy Award winner is going to perform several of her biggest hits. There are still a limited number of tickets available for the show and they can be purchased at bpo.org, the box office or by calling 716-885-5000.

 

 

 

A total of $788,000,000 will be up for grabs in the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery games over the next couple of days. The prize for Mega Millions tonight is $410,000,000. And, whoever is lucky enough to pick the winning numbers for Powerball tomorrow night will be at least $378,000,000 richer. Both drawings will be streamed live online. Please play responsibly.

 

Morning News Brief

(Not actual sign)

According to the new gun control law in New York, in order for someone who has completed the process of acquiring a concealed carry license to take their concealed gun into any private business that business needs to explicitly tell them that it is allowed.  Attica Mayor Nathan Montford wants to make this easier by giving out signs for businesses to post in their windows.  He paid for and commissioned the signs which say “Lawful concealed carry permitted on these premises” at his own expense and initiative.  All counties in the GLOW region have decided to send resolutions protesting the new gun laws as unconstitutional to Governor Hochul.  Other signs like these ones are being handed out by sheriffs and private gun organizations across the state.

The city of Rochester has agreed to pay the children of Daniel Prude, the man who died of a drug overdose and excited delirium while in police custody in March of 2020, and whose death was covered up by order of former Mayor Lovely Warren and lead to the resignation and then firing of Police Chief L’Ron Singletary, 12 million dollars.  Mayor Malik Evans says the decision to settle for 12 million dollars is saving the city money from a prolonged litigation.  The settlement money, minus lawyers’ fees and costs, will go to Prude’s five children, who are heirs to the estate, attorneys said.

A Syracuse judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the New York gun control laws put in place recently.  The judge says the laws are unconstitutional.  Specifically they said that the state can’t enforce requirements that a gun license applicant turn over 3 years of social media.  They also reduced the list of locations deemed sensitive where carrying a gun is a felony.  The state attorney general’s office says they will appeal the decision.

RG and E and NYSEG are putting out recommendations for how to lower your gas and electric costs this winter.  They say that electric customers should expect to pay at least 12 dollars more a month and gas customers should be ready for at least a 47 dollar month increase.  In order to keep costs down homeowners can take some steps to lower their heating bills.  Set thermostats below 68 degrees during the day and down to at least 58 when you are away from home.  Clean or replace furnace filters.  Have your registers blow across the floor instead of towards the ceiling.  Use blinds and curtains to keep heat in.  Turn off lights when not in the room.  And lastly turn down the water heater to 120 degrees to cut water heating bills.  

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens says he thinks the Wings Over Batavia air show will cost about 12,700 dollars.  That total would be for county Sheriff’s Office deputies and Emergency Management Services staff to provide security, traffic and crowd control. The breakdown was estimated to be $5,400 for offsite traffic control; $2,055 for EMS presence; and $5,250 for pre-show preparations by highway and facilities maintenance staff.  Hens says that, although a profit would be ideal, breaking even would be fine too.  His main hope is that people who come to the airshow would go shopping in Batavia and nearby towns and sales tax would make back the cost and more.  The County Legislator is set to vote on approval for the Airshow later this month.  

Buffalo Zoo has announced some new Bison as the newest residents.  The zoo welcomed three new female American Plains bison to the facility earlier this week. They were born a little over a year ago.  The Buffalo Zoo said in a Facebook post that the bison came to Buffalo from The Wilds, a safari park outside of Columbus, Ohio.  The zoo says they plan to keep the new bison separate from 29-year-old bison, Wilma, as introductions continue.  Names and more information about the bison will be released in the near future.

After playing their last two games on the road, the Buffalo Bills are going to be back in front of their home crowd on Sunday.  The Bills are set to host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.  Buffalo is coming off a 23 to 20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens last week in a contest that saw the team score 20 unanswered points.  The Bills have a record this season of three wins and one loss and are in second place in the AFC East.  Kickoff for Sunday’s game is set for one pm.

Afternoon News Brief

Joshua Graham

Joshua Graham, a graduate of Pembroke Junior-Senior High School, has been appointed to the position of fire chief for the City of Batavia. Graham holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire and Emergency Management from Purdue Global University, an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science, and an Associate’s Degree in Strategic Operation Management from the Community College of the Air Force. He has also completed numerous trainings and certifications related to fire safety, management, and leadership. He is currently serving as Captain in the Fire Department with the Department of Defense at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Graham will start in his new position at the end of this month.

 

 

Paul Barth Jr.

31-year-old Paul Barth, Jr. of Pembroke has been jailed after repeated violations of an order of protection. Wyoming County sheriff’s deputies said Barth has a long history of violating such orders, and was first charged after an investigation that began early last month. He was arraigned in Wyoming County Court and committed to jail with bail set at $25,000.

 

 

 

 

 

42-year-old Daniel Henning of Batavia is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, while on Veteran’s Memorial Drive. He was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on his own recognizance. ALSO: 39-year-old Jamie Lee Broadbent of Batavia is charged with petit larceny. He is accused of entering an unsecured storage room and a vacant room at a local hotel and stealing items belonging to the hotel. Broadbent was released on an appearance ticket.

 

 

21-year-old Delonta Curry of Batavia is charged with criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds. He is accused of possessing a weapon on Washington Avenue. Curry was arrested on a warrant, arraigned in City Court and ordered held on bail.

 

 

Kirk Ashton

A social worker has testified in the trial of former Northwood Elementary School principal Kirk Ashton that she raised red flags about his behavior with students. In one instance, Jaime Kelsey testified she walked into his office and saw him with his arm around a young boy’s waist. She says she also witnessed Ashton rubbing students’ shoulders and heads in the school’s main office. Investigators claim he sexually abused more than 20 students while he worked at the school, which is located in Hilton. Testimony in the trial continued today.

 

 

Chris Jacobs

Claudia Tenney

Congressman Chris Jacobs is asking the New York State Department of Education to release 2021 and 2022 standardized test data for kids in grades 3-8. Typically, these results are sent out in August; however, Jacobs believes it’s possible the state is keeping the information private because of the COVID school closures having a detrimental effect on student’s learning. Representative Claudia Tenney supports Jacobs and believes Governor Hochul is withholding the data, suggesting that the school shutdown decisions, along with other COVID mandates the governor ordered, were not supported by science.

 

The US Department of Education is warning of scammers who are calling on people and claiming to be able to secure debt relief for a fee. They usually ask for your social security number or FSA ID or say they can help you refinance your loan. Federal Student Loan Service agents will never call or email you asking for your private information and you do not need to pay anyone for the student debt relief.

 

 

David Quessenberry

One Buffalo Bills player is opening up about his scary medical diagnosis. Back in 2014, at the age of 23, offensive guard David Quessenberry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s T-cell lymphoma, and spent three years on and off the field battling the disease. He says he knew something wasn’t right almost immediately; the symptoms began with a cough, feeling run down, and almost passing out at practice. Quessenberry pursued medical assessment immediately; and believes had he not gotten the early diagnosis and treatment, his outcome from the disease may have been quite different. The Bills are gearing up to play their annual Crucial Catch game, which focuses on early cancer detection.

Morning News Brief

Congressman Chris Jacobs is calling for the New York State Department of Education to release 2021 and 2022 standardized test data for kids in grades 3-8.  He was joined by Elise Stefanik, Nicole Malliotakis, Joe Sempolinski, Claudia Tenney and Lee Zeldin in demanding that the data be released to the public as it has been in previous years.  Usually it is sent out in August.  Jacobs and the others say that the state is hiding the information because COVID school closures negatively effected kids learning.  Tenney called the shutdowns unscientific and said Governor Hochul is refusing to release the information because of the November 8th election.

Hoping to get your students loans forgiven when the applications open up later this month?  Watch out for scammer trying to make money off you.  The US Department of Education is warning of scammers who are calling on people and claiming to be able to secure debt relief for a fee.  They usually ask for your social security information or FSA ID or say they can help you refinance your loan.  Federal Student Loan Servicers will never call or email you asking for your private information and you do not need to pay anyone for the student debt relief.

The Genesee County Board of Elections is in need of poll workers.  They say they are expecting a major turnout for the November elections but they are understaffed.  People have signed up and then no showed.  Many people who used to do the elections have retired.  Anyone 17 and older who is a Genesee County resident and pre-registered for one of the two parties of Republican or Democrat may be qualified for the job.

3 Batavia High School Students have been recognized by the College Board National Recognition Program.  The 3 seniors, Jack Pickard, Lauren Reimer, and Nathan Canale, were recognized for their academic achievement of having an above 3.5 GPA and a high PSAT score or 3 or better on 2 or more AP exams.  Students apply for the honor.

Genesee County Sheriffs want to introduce their newest deputy.  Deputy Jacob A. Kipler recently graduated from the 78th Basic Course for Police Officers at the Niagara County Law Enforcement Training Academy held at Niagara County Community College. Deputy Kipler is a 2013 graduate of Maryvale High School, Cheektowaga.  Following high school, Deputy Kipler enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from 2013 to 2018 and was awarded several medals, badges and citations.  He was an aviation mechanic and achieved the rank of Sergeant.  After the Marines, Deputy Kipler pursued a college education at the Community College of Vermont and Erie Community College where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a 3.6 GPA.  

The Museum Quilt Guild of Batavia will present their biennial show, “Stitches in Time”, on Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There will be more than 150 quilts displayed at the Alexander Fireman’s Recreation Hall.  In addition, there will be vendors, demonstrations, a silent auction, a boutique and a basket raffle.  Admission is $5; children under 10 are free.

Former Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Cole Beasley is retiring from the NFL according to his agent.  He has played 11 seasons and is 33 years old.  This season he is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 3 seasons with the Bills.  In Buffalo, Beasley was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2020 with 82 receptions for 967 yards and four touchdowns.  He had another 82 receptions in 2021, though his yardage total dropped to 693 yards with one touchdown.  Beasley is also known for his outspoken stance against COVID-19 vaccinations and was reportedly fined multiple times for violating the NFL’s COVID protocols.  The Dallas native finishes his NFL career with 554 receptions for 5,726 yards and 34 touchdowns in 151 regular-season games. He had another 40 receptions for 457 yards in 11 playoff games.

Afternoon News Brief

Wesley Thigpen

A Batavia man already in prison for child sex abuse will have more time to consider a plea offer on the latest charge he’s facing following a court appearance in Genesee County on Monday. 41-year-old Wesley Thigpen is being given time to consider an offer of a guilty plea to predatory sexual assault against a child, a Class A-II felony, with a sentence of 10 years to life. Last month, the judge rejected his prior plea offer, which would have capped Thigpen’s sentence at 13 years. Members of local law enforcement and the victim’s family objected to that prior plea deal, saying it wasn’t enough time. Thigpen is already in prison on a guilty plea from 2019; that plea to child sex abuse capped his prison term to four years. Thigpen also asked for a new attorney, a motion that the judge denied. He is scheduled back in court again on October 24th.

 

Michael Alan Jones

Federal prosecutors have an interest in a North Carolina man who was arrested last March in Le Roy after allegedly being found in possession of an AR-15 rifle. 24-year-old Michael Alan Jones of Raleigh, has been charged in U.S. District Court in Western New York with possession of a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon, and has reportedly reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors. The FBI’s interest in Jones may have more to do with his alleged participation in the January 6 attempted insurrection in Washington, D.C. According to the police report, Jones previously served in the United States Army.

 

Jeffrey Hall

A Genesee County grand jury has indicted 36-year-old Jeffrey Hall of Batavia. He is accused of sexual assault of a delivery driver, by forcing the 63-year-old driver to touch his intimate parts on May 24. The alleged abuse happened just before midnight at a residence on Ross Street.

 

 

 

 

Also indicted, 31-year-old Ledeja Wright of Batavia. She is charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and third degree criminal tampering. Wright is accused of entering a house on Holland Avenue June 15 and damaging a television and stereo.

 

 

Quality Inn Palm Island Indoor Waterpark

The Genesee County Economic Development Center is being asked to approve renovations at Quality Inn and the Palm Island Indoor Waterpark. This would mean renovations for use as a four-season tourism and hospitality facility that includes a water park, hotel rooms, lobby, event spaces, and restaurant. The re-development proposes to create 38 new full-time jobs. The corporation is requesting tax exemptions estimated at $458,400, a property tax abatement of approximately $659,521, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $80,000. If accepted, a public hearing would be scheduled in the Town of Batavia. The meeting will be in the MedTech Center’s Innovation Zone, 99 MedTech Drive, across the street from Genesee Community College.

 

 

Todd Kendall

60-year-old Todd Kendall of Batavia is indicted and charged with failure to verify as a sex offender by not providing a current photograph of himself. Kendall is a Level 2 violent sexual offender on the state registry. He was convicted in 2006 of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old child and was sentenced to a mere six months in jail and 10 years probation.

 

 

 

Kelvin Vickers

New information has been released about the suspect who allegedly killed a member of the Rochester Police Department. Officials say that Kelvin Vickers came to the city earlier this year to murder rival marijuana dealers. Vickers and two other people are accused of being involved in the deaths of two men on North Clinton Avenue July 20th. The next day, he shot Officer Anthony Mazurkiewicz and his partner, Officer Sino Seng, while they were on Bauman Street. Mazurkiewicz passed away due to his injuries but Seng survived.

 

 

Kirk Ashton

Testimony is scheduled to resume today in the trial of former Northwood Elementary School principal Kirk Ashton. Investigators claim he sexually abused more than 20 students while he worked at the school, which is located in Hilton. Yesterday, both the prosecution and defense laid out their opening statements and the jury also heard from witnesses. Due to the nature of this case, the judge has issued a gag order to prevent anyone from talking about it outside of the courtroom.

 

Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management

A 16-year-old girl arrested in connection with a stabbing at the Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management has been indicted on an assault charge. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says that the suspect attacked a 17-year-old girl at the school on West Huron Street last month. The victim spent two days in the hospital due to her injuries and is continuing to recover. The 16-year-old, who isn’t being identified due to her age, is scheduled to be back in court next month. She’s in the Erie County Youth Services Center without bail.

 

Some of the best dancers in the country will be making an appearance in Buffalo next year. The cast of “Dancing With The Stars: Live” will take the stage at Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, January 24th. Performers who are expected to be at the show include Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater and Britt Stewart plus some special guests. Tickets go on sale this Friday and can be purchased by visiting dwtstour.com.

 

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and free mammograms are being offered through the New York State Cancer Services Program. The tests are available to individuals who meet age and income eligibility requirements, state residents and people who don’t have health insurance. If cancer is detected, those who are eligible might be able to enroll in the Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program so they can receive Medicaid coverage during treatment. More information about this program is available by calling 1-866-442-2262.

 

The New York Lottery today announced one second prize ticket was sold for yesterday’s CASH4LIFE drawing. The ticket is worth a guaranteed $1,000 A Week for Life. The lucky ticket was purchased at Tucci’s on Lyell Avenue in Rochester. The winning numbers are 9-15-32-40-42 and Cash Ball is 1.

 

Morning News Brief

The shooting of Officer Mazurkiewicz in July in Rochester has been tied to a drug ring that the police were trying to shut down.  Investigators determined the shooter, Vickers, was brought in from Boston to help in a gang war over the distribution of marijuana in Rochester.  Police were cracking down after a string of shootings and arson.  Vickers allegedly murdered at least 2 other men in this gang war before shooting the police as they sat in an unmarked van on Bauman Street.  As part of the long-term investigation, 18 people have been arrested. Police seized 22 guns and 139 pounds of marijuana.

Winter is coming.  And with winter, snow and the need for snowplow workers.  Across the state, the New York State Department of Transportation is hiring fleet technicians and highway maintenance workers.  The openings include both permanent and seasonal roles. 649 positions are currently available across the state, 86 of which are right here in Western New York.  Some of the positions require a CDL.  You can apply even if you don’t have a CDL license and the DOT offers in house training and road tests. 

A 16-year-old girl arrested in connection with a stabbing at the Buffalo School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management has been indicted on an assault charge. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says that the suspect attacked a 17-year-old girl at the school on West Huron Street last month. The victim spent two days in the hospital due to her injuries and is continuing to recover. The 16-year-old, who isn’t being identified due to her age, is scheduled to be back in court next month. She’s in the Erie County Youth Services Center without bail.

You’ve eaten their food whether you knew it or not.  Sysco is one of the largest distributors of restaurant, school and hospital food in the nation and their New York workers are striking.  Sysco Union workers say they have been working for almost 2 months without a contract in Buffalo, Rochester, Elmira and Syracuse.  Sysco has hired replacement workers while the dispute is ongoing.  There are reports of unrefrigerated trucks being used to transport frozen foods, restaurants not getting their shipments on time, and other issues stemming from the strike.  Workers say the union has had 12 meetings but they have so far been fruitless. 

The Genesee County Economic Development Center is being asked to approve renovations at Quality Inn and the Palm Island Indoor Waterpark.  Formerly Quality Inn and Suites, 8250 Park Road, LLC would renovate the four-season tourism and hospitality facility’s water park, hotel rooms, lobby, event spaces, water park, and restaurant.  The re-development proposes to create 38 new full-time jobs. The project is estimated to generate $32 of economic activity for every $1 of local public benefits.  8250 Park Road, LLC is requesting sales tax exemptions estimated at $458,400, a property tax abatement of approximately $659,521, and a mortgage tax exemption estimated at $80,000.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County will hold its Annual Meeting and Recognition Breakfast on Oct. 27, at 8 a.m. at Terry Hills Restaurant.  CCE of Genesee County invites you to join them for breakfast and help recognize employees and volunteers. Cornell Cooperative Extension friends, volunteers and members of the community are welcome to attend.  Volunteers of the Year Joanna Miller of 4-H, Eric Holliday of Leadership Genesee and Lori Gattie of the Master Gardener program, plus Friend of CCE 2022 Julia Garver will be recognized during this time.  You can register by going to the CCE website or calling 585 343 3040 extension 123.

Early voting for the November 8th Midterm election and Governor’s race will begin on October 29th at the ARC Center at 38 Woodrow Rd in Batavia.  Hours of operation are from 9 to 5 the 29th through the 6th with the exception of Tuesday the 1st and Wednesday the 2nd being noon to 8.  November 8th all polling places will be open from 6 to 9.  The last day for absentee ballots to be requested is October 24th.  Go to absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov to apply for one.  In person applications can be made all the way up to November 7th and ballots must be postmarked by the 8th and received by the 15th.  Military ballots must be in by the 21st.  If you haven’t registered to vote you must do so by the 14th to be able to Vote.

Some of the best dancers in the country are going to be making an appearance in Buffalo next year. The cast of “Dancing With The Stars: Live” will take the stage at Shea’s Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, January 24th. Performers who are expected to be at the show include Sasha Farber, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater and Britt Stewart plus some special guests. Tickets go on sale this Friday and can be purchased by visiting dwtstour.com.

A man from Queens is accused of trying to illegally slither across the border.  Not him specifically, but the several Burmese pythons he had stuck down his pants.  36 year old Calvin Bautista had 3 pythons in his pants on a bus which was coming across the border from Canada to the US.  He was caught by border patrol and is awaiting trial.  He was released without the snakes on his own recognizance.

Afternoon News Brief

Kirk Ashton

The trial of a former principal who is accused of sexually abusing over 20 students is now underway. Yesterday, jury selection started in the case of Kirk Ashton who prosecutors say abused the victims while he was the principal at Northwood Elementary School located in Hilton. Since Ashton’s arrest last year, the district has made some policy changes including restricting one-on-one meetings. The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

 

 

 

Samuel Blackshear

A state appeals court has upheld a 2019 ruling against a Batavia teenager who shot a man in the leg, after the man had just stabbed and killed someone. Samuel Blackshear was 17 at the time of his conviction of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. His attorneys appealed the conviction, saying that the court should have granted Blackshear youthful offender status during his sentencing due to mitigating circumstances. Blackshear was sentenced as an adult to three years and six months in prison. He was released from Franklin Correctional Facility on March 1 and is now on parole until February 1, 2024. The state Appellate Division, unanimously upheld the conviction and the ruling. Blackshear never disputes that he was convicted of an armed felony offense but contends that the court should have determined him to be eligible for youthful offender treatment because of the mitigating circumstances in his case, in that he was defending others. However, the court ruled against him; as Blackshear “pursued his target in order to fire the gun at that person at close range.” The court ruled they found no mitigating factors with respect to youthful offender status.

 

Tarrence Williams

Police tell us that 22-year-old Tarrence Williams, of Batavia, was allegedly carrying a “ghost gun” as he ran from police who were responding to a report of shots fired. The incident began after a complaint of what sounded like gunshots early Friday evening at 200 Ellicott Street. Witnesses observed a man walking nervously with what appeared to be a gun and then saw him again walking on the Ellicott Trail a short distance from the incident location. Officers tried to stop him but he fled on foot. During the foot pursuit Williams allegedly removed his identifiable clothing and discarded a firearm in a bush near M&T Bank on Court Street. The handgun had no make, model or serial number. Williams was charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon. He was committed to Genesee County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. The incident is believed isolated and no injuries were reported. Williams is currently awaiting sentencing from a previous court proceeding where he pled guilty to felony third-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

The IRS wants you to know there are scammers out there trying to steal your money. The IRS tells us this morning there has been a recent increase in the number of people impersonating IRS agents. Scammers can send out hundreds of thousands of fake IRS emails and text messages in just hours. But there are clear signs that the messages are phony. They include spelling and grammar mistakes, a sense of urgency and the promise of money. Keep in mind the IRS will only ever contact you by sending letters through the US Postal Service. Things to watch out for that could tip you off that the message is from scammers:

*Spelling and grammar mistakes. One common text scam reads, “IRS is filing [sic] lawsuit against you [sic] for more information [sic] call this number on urgent basis” Notice the “a” is missing as are the periods. No professional would send a text as a long run-on sentence.

*A sense of urgency. Some common IRS impersonation scams warn of a warrant and pending arrest if you don’t call immediately.

*The promise of money. Many of these scam IRS messages are tied to the promise of another stimulus payment. Some may even address you by name.
The text includes a number to call or a link to click. That link will either unleash malware on your device or take you to sites that look like the IRS, but instead are designed to steal your personal information.

*Fake websites. There are also fake sites that ask victims for a host of information including their social security number, name, birthday, email and employer. But the first thing you should look for are spelling and grammar mistakes. Here is one example: “Important for every tax payers [sic] to avoid being over charged… [sic]” The word, “taxpayers” should not have been plural, and it’s one word, as is overcharged.

*Finally, the IRS will never contact you by text message, email or by phone. The IRS will always use the United States Postal Service.

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley

 

 

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has expressed his displeasure with Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon’s decision to gradually lower the farm overtime threshold from 60 to 40 hours. With inflation and minimum wage set to rise again, he believes this decision could force hundreds of farms out of business in the very near future. He also noted that farmers and farm laborers rely on the current 60-hour threshold. Hawley said he would continue to work toward overturning the ruling.

 

 

 

 

Genesee County Office For the Aging – 2 Bank Street – file photo

The Director of Genesee County’s Office For the Aging, Diana Fox; estimates that the last of the Baby Boomers will be turning 65 by 2030, and that will mean more seniors to serve. Projections of an aging population on the rise put ages 60 and older at around 16,000 people in Genesee County, to increase to nearly 20,000 by 2035, and ages 65 and older at a close second with some 16,000 to 17,000 by that same time period. And these are the age groups that are prime candidates for the services provided by the Office For the Aging. The caseload waitlist is slightly higher than last year’s; 101 versus 90, a year ago — as people wait for caregiver support for an older loved one. There are no wait lists for meal deliveries, which are at about 165 active cases right now. Our news partner, The Batavian, published a comprehensive story discussing the increasing demand on services for an aging population. Here is a direct link:

https://www.thebatavian.com/joanne-beck/boomers-part-of-older-population-expected-to-keep-growing-putting-demand-on-services

 

 

Beach Boys Christmas Concert

They’ve sold millions of albums and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, now The Beach Boys have announced a trip to Western New York later this year. The ‘Tis The Season with The Beach Boys featuring The Holiday Vibrations Orchestra Tour is coming to the Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo Friday, December 9th. Songs from the band’s 1964 holiday album are going to be performed and tickets go on sale Friday at 10:00am. They can be purchased at the Shea’s box office or through Ticketmaster.

 

 

 

Jamison Crower – following injury during Bills-Ravens game, 10/2/22

It looks like the Buffalo Bills are going to be without wide receiver Jamison Crowder for the foreseeable future. Head coach Sean McDermott said yesterday that Crowder suffered a broken ankle during Buffalo’s 23 to 20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie also left the contest and the team later revealed he’s in NFL’s concussion protocol. Buffalo’s next game is scheduled for this Sunday at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 

 

 

 

The Bethany-LeRoy Road from Route 63 to Clipnock Road is closed until Thursday for culvert replacement. No traffic will be allowed through.

Morning News Brief

Did you ever sweat the fee for having an overdue book?  Not anymore at Richmond Memorial, Byron Bergen, and Haxton Memorial Libraries.  The three libraries are running a trial program where there will be no fines for overdue books from October 1st to December 31st.  They join the other Genesee County libraries, Corfu Public, Hollwedel Memorial, and Woodward Memorial libraries – that have and will continue to offer fine-free circulation.  If you have any library material out that is overdue right now you can return it and the fine will be forgiven.  Old fines and any other fees still need to be paid.  Why are they doing this?  To get books and other materials back that people are holding for fear of being charged.  Other libraries across the country have seen 85 percent of the items that were being held onto by patrons because they didn’t want to return them overdue and face a fine returned according to a CNN article. 

Rochester City Schools are under the microscope because they may have artificially inflated students’ grades.  An internal audit showed that the school started students off with a 4.5 grade point average instead of a 4.0.  Essentially giving them free points they didn’t have to earn above 100.  It gets worse for regents and honors classes which started at 5.5 and 6.5 meaning a C would look like a 4.0 and many classes that were not regents or honors such as PE and art were classified that way to use the inflated system of grading.  Several students who graduated in the 2015-2017 classes were found to not have enough credits to graduate if they had not had their scores increased.  School board president Cynthia Elliott said “Somebody needs to go to jail over this.” 

The Rochester Police Department is continuing its investigation into the latest deadly shooting to happen in the city. Last night, a man in his 40s was hit several times by gunfire in the area of Driving Park Avenue and Finch Street. The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital but could not be saved. Police say there’s currently no threat to the public and are asking anyone with information to dial 911.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says additional funding has been secured that’ll help thousands of upstate residents stay warm this winter.  Schumer said yesterday that one-billion-dollars is going towards the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program which will provide people with funds to pay their heating bills. The money is coming from a temporary budget bill that was passed by Congress. Utility companies are projecting a large spike in home heating bills in the coming months due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Genesee County Student Transition and Recovery Program or STAR has ended without a contract renewal potentially leaving hundreds of teens in need of help without the resources in place to assist them.  The department of Social Services is hoping to step into the gap by hiring adolescent behavioral specialists and working directly with at-risk youth at their homes and in the schools.  Youth will get exercise classes, help with school work, mentoring and therapy.  The budget for it will come from what was being used for the STAR program and lost employees.  Legislator John Deleo saw it as putting a youth back on track versus being derailed by the absence of such a hands-on program. There can be about 40 kids at any given time with a total of close to 200 going through the program. The county would be employing many of the same people that ran STAR, which offers continuity for participants. 

The North Side was getting flushed already and now it’s the south side’s turn.  On Wednesday and Thursday fire hydrants south of West Main Street and West of Jackson Street will be flushed to drain out sediment that has collected in the pipes and check the pressure of the system.  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 five minutes or until clear.

The Bills sure seem to be having a lot of injuries.  It looks like the Buffalo Bills are going to be without wide receiver Jamison Crowder for the foreseeable future. Head coach Sean McDermott said yesterday that Crowder suffered a broken ankle during Buffalo’s 23 to 20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie also left the contest and the team later revealed he’s in NFL’s concussion protocol. Buffalo’s next game is scheduled for this Sunday at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Monday the Buffalo Sabres announced their newest team dog.  Nikki the 8 month old golden retriever will attend home games and other events to greet fans, woof on the team, and get belly rubs.  According to the team, Nikki is currently training to be a service dog as part of WNY Heroes’ Pawsitive for Heroes program. She was donated to WNY Heroes by the Warden family and named in honor of Nicholas Warden, a U.S. Army veteran from Depew, who was killed in Syria while combating ISIS as a volunteer fighter in 2017.  This is the second team dog in the team’s history. Last season the Sabres introduced Rick, he is currently in the service of U.S. Coast Guard veteran Chris Kankiewicz.

Crossroads House Spaghetti Western

Crossroads House will host their annual Spaghetti Western Dinner, Wednesday, October 19, starting at 5pm until sold out at Batavia First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main Street. Free will offering at the door.  Live music.

PostPoned ! Arc Glow Chili & Chowder Fest

Due to weather forecasted, event has been postponed to December 16 and 17 – same time and place. Arc Glow, 38 Woodrow Road, Batavia, will host their annual Chili and Chowder Fest, Friday, xxxxxxxDecember 16,  4pm to 6pm and on Saturday, xxxxDecember 17,  10am to 1:30pm. Call Tracey Jones at 343-1123 ex. 1735 for more information or sponsorships.

Afternoon News Brief

Daniel Goodell

State Police are asking for your help in an investigation of a 41-year-old man arrested and charged with multiple felonies, including counts of sexual abuse, sexual conduct and endangering the welfare of a child. Daniel Goodell of Wichita, Kansas previously lived in New York State but left before the investigation into incidents reported to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation out of Batavia. Police received complaints involving children possibly being abused between 2019 and 2021; investigation found that the 12 and 13-year-old victims had been abused multiple times. Goodell was extradited to Genesee County; he was then arraigned in the Town of Alexander Court and remanded to Genesee County Jail. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has pending charges on Goodell. If anyone has information on him, contact the New York State Police at 344-6200.

 

New York’s minimum wage will increase at the end of this year, in all areas outside New York City, Long Island and Westchester County. Locally, that means the minimum wage will rise from $13.20 per hour to $14.20, which represents an increase of 7.5%. In those other three areas of the state, the minimum wage is already at $15 an hour and will not increase further.

 

 

57-year-old Michelle Misiak and 34-year-old Brian Raphael, both of Batavia, were arrested during a larceny in progress. Upon arrival to the scene, officers learned that this was the pair’s second attempt at stealing groceries, following an incident earlier in the day. Both are charged with petit larceny. They were issued appearance tickets and are due back in Batavia City Court later this month. ALSO, in an unrelated arrest: 33-year-old Shawn Wisniewski of Medina was arrested and charged with petit larceny after an incident at a local business on Jackson Street. He was issued an appearance ticket in Batavia City Court and will return to court next week. ALSO, in another unrelated arrest: 42-year-old Daniel Henning of Batavia was arrested for criminal possession of stolen property. It’s alleged that he possessed stolen property on Veterans Memorial Drive. Henning was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court late next month.

 

Farm workers – file photo

Farmers and agricultural groups believe the potential is there for disastrous results now that the state has reduced the overtime threshold for farm labor. The Farm Laborers Wage Board’s recommendation was released last week and will lower the current 60-hour threshold for overtime pay to 40 hours per week by January 1, 2032, with reductions made in small steps over the next 10 years. Farm labor advocates say the reduced threshold ensures fair pay for laborers’ work, while agriculture groups have argued the added pressure would ultimately create financial hardship for farmers and lead to a shortage of workers due to their leaving the state in pursuit of more work.

 

Following extensive negotiations, Kaleida Health and unions representing over 6000 workers have reached a tentative agreement to avoid a strike. The deal was announced overnight and came after union members voted last month to authorize walkouts at Kaleida facilities. The terms of the agreement won’t be released until members are briefed. In a statement, the Kaleida Health President CEO said this contract is fair, rewards current employees and will help attract new staff. A ratification vote is expected to be held in the next few weeks.

 

Drivers in our region are still paying less at the pump to fill up their vehicles following another drop in gas prices. According to Triple A today, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is sitting at $3.72. That’s down nine cents in the past week and is 46 cents less than this time last month. The current state average is $3.60; nationally, it’s $3.80. In Batavia, our average price per gallon is $3.78, up 53 cents from a year ago today.

 

There hasn’t been a Powerball jackpot winner in weeks, but lottery players are hoping that changes tonight. After Saturday’s jackpot went unclaimed, the prize ahead of this evening’s drawing has grown to at least $336,000,000. The last time someone won the jackpot was in August. Please play responsibly.

 

 

Tyler Bass – 10/2/22

The Buffalo Bills have avoided dropping a second straight game after rallying to pick up a victory on the road. Tyler Bass kicked a 21-yard-field goal with the clock running out as the Bills overcame a 20-to-three deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens 23 to 20 at M&T Bank Stadium yesterday. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen threw one touchdown and ran for another for the Bills who have a record this season of three wins and one loss. Up next for Buffalo is a home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday at 1:00.

Morning News Brief

The man police say fired shots around the area of 200 Ellicott street on Friday evening has been identified as 22 year old Tarrance Williams of Batavia.  The incident began with a report of gunshots at about 6 p.m.  Witnesses reported seeing a male walking nervously with what appeared to be a gun on his person.  A man matching the description provided was spotted by Sgt. Dan Coffey walking on the Ellicott Trail a short distance from the incident location. When Coffey attempted to stop the individual for an interview, the man fled on foot and Coffey chased him from Evans Street to Court Street. Williams has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon 2nd, a Class C felony, and criminal possession of a weapon 4th, a Class A misdemeanor.  Williams recently entered a guilty plea in County Court to a charge of attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance 3rd — a charge that indicates prosecutors believe he possessed enough of a controlled substance that he intended to sell it.  He is awaiting sentencing on that conviction.  There have been no reports of any injuries from the gunshots.

Rochester Police are investigating 3 shootings that happened Saturday night and Sunday morning.  A shooting on Lyle Ave Saturday night around midnight left a man in the hospital with non life threatening injuries to the upper chest.  The second was on 6th Street around 1:30am Sunday.  A man was shot getting out of his car and was taken to Strong with non life threatening injuries.  There was a woman and child in the car who were not hurt in the shooting.  Around 5 a.m. officers arrived at Hudson Avenue near Berlin Street where they located a man in his 20s who had been shot in his lower body.  He was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital and his condition is unknown at this time.  So far no suspects are in custody.  

Western NY drivers are still paying less at the pump to fill up their vehicles following another drop in gas prices. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular fuel is sitting at 3.72. That’s down seven cents in the past week and is 40 cents less than this time last month. The current state average is 3.60 while nationally it’s 3.80.

The Walk to End Alzheimers on Saturday raised over 80,000 dollars for support for patients and caregivers.  The funds also go to the Alzheimer’s Association for research on treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s.  There are more than six million Alzheimer’s patients in the country who are helped by more than 11 million unpaid caregivers.  The first survivor is out there.

The Buffalo Bills started off struggling against the Ravens but came out on top winning 23 to 20 against the Baltimore team.  The first half started off rough.  Allen threw an interception that was run back for a touchdown by the Ravens on the opening drive.  Baltimore followed that up with a 15-play, 81 yard drive at the end of the first quarter. Putting them ahead 14-3.  At the half the Ravens lead 20 to 3.  The Bills came charging back in the second half with touchdowns by Isaiah McKenzie and Allen and a field goal to tie up the game before the 4th quarter.  Poyer intercepted the ball for the second time in the game as the Ravens tried to score at the 2 yard line and gave the ball to the Bills for a last second field goal.  The Bills next game is against the Steelers in Buffalo Sunday at 1pm.

The Sabres won their exhibition match 3 to 1 against the Penguins Saturday at the Keybank Center.  The Sabres goals came from a trio Victor Olofsson, Tage Thompson and Jack Quinn on an empty net late in the third period.  Ukko-Pekka Luukonen made 32 saves.  Buffalo will host Carolina Tuesday night at 7 p.m. for another exhibition game at the Key Bank Center.

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.

Ham Dinner, Bazaar, & Bake Sale

Covington United Methodist Church, 1557 Simmons Road, will hold a ham dinner, bazaar, and bake sale, Saturday, October 15, starting at 4pm. take outs available.

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.

Swiss Steak Dinner

Batavia Salvation Army will host a Swiss Steak Dinner, Saturday, November 12, with take outs from 4:15pm to 4:45; eat in serving at 5pm. Pre-Sale Tickets ONLY.  Call 343-6284.

Batavia Artists

Batavia Society of Artists will host Julie Lambert, Tuesday, October 11, 7pm, at Go Art, in a demonstration on how she creates handmade paper.

HLOM Guest Speaker

Holland Land Office Museum, 131 West Main Street, Batavia, will host Ken Slaughenhopt to speak on the Holland Land Survey, and its importance to Western New York, on Wednesday, October 19, 7pm. To make reservations, call 343-4727.

Ham & Scalloped Potato Dinner

Elba United Methodist Church, Chapel Street, will hold a ham and scalloped potato dinner, Saturday, October 22, 4pm to 6:60pm. Eat in or take out.

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. 

Humanitarian Awards

The Jerome Foundation will award the 37th annual Genesee County Health and Humanitarian Award at a luncheon on Friday, December 2, at Terry Hills Restaurant. Reservations required.  ( call 356-3419)

DSP Falling Leaves

Downsyndrome Parents group will hold their annual Fall Auction Saturday, October 29, 11am to 4pm at the Quality Inn, Park Road, Batavia.

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.

Civil Service Job Fair

Genesee County Career Center will host a civil service job fair, Tuesday, October 11, 10am to 1pm at 587 East Main Street, Batavia.

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.

Zonta Holiday Festival

10th annual Zonta Holiday Festival will be held at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel, Saturday and Sunday, November 12th & 13th from 10am to 4pm. Free admission. Santa will be there on Sunday, 11am to 2pm.

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.

Maryland Horse Haven Sale

Maryland, A haven for horses, will hold a garage sale Saturday, September 24, and Sunday, September 25th, 10 to 3, at 8132 West Bergen Road, LeRoy.

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Batavia brought in the New Year with fireworks last night at 9p at Batavia Downs.  The time was moved up to avoid potential hazards due to the high winds that arrived after midnight, the original time of the fireworks.  No reports of major damage today due to the high winds but be aware of tree limbs and downed power lines in your area.

A grand jury has indicted a man who was arrested over the summer at the August 10th Jason Aldean concert at Darien Lake.  Robert Maharrey was indicted for disorderly conduct, multiple counts of harassment for striking a female patron in the face, 2nd degree assault a class D violent felony for allegedly striking a sheriff’s deputy, assaulting a police officer a class C violent felony when he spit and struck another deputy assisting in the arrest.

Friday evening Livingston County Sheriffs were in the middle of the state wide stop DWI effort, when deputies pulled a vehicle over on 390 for speeding.  Upon further investigation a 27 year old Geneseo man Patrick Dunn was charged with DWI.  Dunn’s BAC was .25% and was further charged with felony DWI from a previous 2015 conviction.  Dunn is now being held on 1,5k bail or 3k bond and remanded to the custody of the sheriff.

Yesterday afternoon, Genesee County Sheriffs made a traffic stop in Oakfield on Lewiston road when a Rochester man, 20 year old Damian Schoonmaker of Smith Street was found to be in possession of marijuana in his 2000 Buick LeSabre.  He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and is scheduled to appear in Oakfield town court 1/21

A motor vehicle accident yesterday in Elba led to a lane closure around 3:30p.  Two vehicle collided at Oak orchard and Lockport roads in Elba.  Elba fire police and 2 ambulance responded along with Elba Fire dept.

New Yorkers are seeing a number of new state laws in the New Year.  Among them, a law that requires diaper changing tables in all new public men’s and women’s restrooms.

Other changes include a requirement that health insurance companies give male patients free prostate cancer screenings and that residents be allowed to return unused prescription meds to pharmacies for free.

Many homeowners will enjoy an increase in property tax rebates, of an average of more than five-hundred dollars.

There’s the hike in the minimum wage. In our area, the minimum wage goes to eleven-dollars-and-ten-cents.