Local News

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Afternoon News Brief

McDonald’s Eastown Plaza – file photo

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

 

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

 

Governor Hochul – Congressman Zeldin

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

 

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

 

 

Positive COVID test result

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

 

Andrew Cuomo

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

 

Dane Jackson

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

Morning News Brief

Judge Melissa Cianfrini

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Zachary McCaa

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

 

 

 

 

Jerome Ware

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

 

Daniel Warmus

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

 

Governor Hochul – Congressman Zeldin

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

 

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

 

 

Buffalo Bills block party – September 2022

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

1934 – C.L. Carr – Obsolete Scrip

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Jupiter

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

 

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

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Ronald Washburn

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

Jeremy Ives

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

 

Rainbow fentanyl

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

 

 

Plane crash site, Clarence, NY

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

 

 

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

 

 

“COVID brain”

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Cassandra Elmore

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Expect delays

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

 

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

 

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

 

Bills and Dolphins – 2021

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

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Jeremy Ives

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

 

Expect delays

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

 

4169 West Main Street Road

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

 

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

 

 

Positive COVID test result

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

 

Rawleigh and Skavon Andrews

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

 

 

Letitia James-Donald Trump

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

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

 

Bridge rendering.

South Lyon Street Bridge

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

 

101 Washington Avenue

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

 

Solar panels – file photo

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

 

Brandi Spearance

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

 

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

 

Bobby Hart

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

 

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

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Varysburg fire truck – file photo

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

 

Chris Monfort

Raymond Hardy

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

 

 

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

 

Chuck Schumer

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

 

 

Dane Jackson – pictured after the Bills win against the Rams

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Jamie Kraft

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

 

 

 

 

James Zurek

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

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Poler

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Josh Allen

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

 

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

 

 

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend News Brief

 

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Sign installation began before town approval

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Dr. Tonja Williams

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

 

 

New food options at Highmark for 2022

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Nyejay Braction

Darnell Cleveland

Kanyia Coleman

Craig Lynch, Jr.

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

 

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

 

 

 

Left to right: Gile, Pimentel-Hernandez

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

 

Kamala Harris in Buffalo

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

National Toy Hall of Fame Nominees, 2022

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

 

Great Northern Grain Elevator

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

Afternoon News Brief

Adam Kreutz

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

 

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

 

Eric Cushman

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

 

Andrew Cuomo

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Vice President Kamala Harris

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

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

 

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

 

Jefferson Avenue Tops location

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Cassandra Elmore

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

 

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

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

 

 

Purrrrrrrr…..

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

 

 

Governor Hochul

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

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

 

Adult Spotted Lanternfly – wings open

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

 

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

 

 

Raspberry Rally – new Girl Scout cookie for 2023

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

Normal red blood cells with sickle cells

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekend News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

 

Eric Motzer

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

 

 

Nicholas Maher

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

 

 

 

Park Road – file photo

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

 

 

Darien McMillian

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

 

 

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

 

Governor Hochul

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

 

Congressman Chris Jacobs

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

 

 

Josh Allen

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

 

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

 

 

King Charles-Queen Elizabeth

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Derek Hagen

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

 

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

 

Nicholas Maher

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

 

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

 

 

 

Olga Martinez being arrested

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

 

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

 

Josh Allen

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

 

 

Blake Shelton

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Governor Hochul removes her mask

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

 

Fisher-Price Bills Little People

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

 

Wheeler Yuta and Daniel Garcia

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

 

Monkeypox file photo

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

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Holiday News Brief

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Weekend News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

I hope Fred Flintstone has roadside service

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

High Falls Gorge Rochester

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

 

Covid test – positive result

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

Batavia Fire Department Seal

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

 

2016 Ford Expedition

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

 

Mine, all mine

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

Tim Hens

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

 

Valu Home Center

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Sam Martin

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

 

Jimmie Allen

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Wesley Thigpen

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

 

 

 

Robert Morris

Robert Morris

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Justice Coniglio

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

 

 

Jakubonis and Zeldin, July 2022

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

 

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

 

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

 

Governor Hochul

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

 

Attorney General James

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

 

Olcott Beach Carousel

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Superintendent Jason Smith

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

 

Louis Coleman, Jr.

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

 

Yellow-Abnormally dry; Orange-Moderate drought

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

 

Recalled cookies

Animal cookie recall label

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

 

United States Postal Service – Vehicle Maintenance Facility

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

 

Where’s my STAR check?

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

 

 

 

 

 

Hartway Motors, Medina – File Photo

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

 

 

Trans Siberian Orchestra

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Batavia High School – file photo

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

Matt Araiza

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

 

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

 

From a time before self-service was available

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

Weekend News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Eric Doleman

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Matt Araiza

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

 

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

 

Kaiyah Heinrich

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

 

 

 

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Holley Hotel

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

 

 

Seal of the FBI

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

 

 

 

Covid-19 virus

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

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

 

Wegmans – lemon dill butter recall

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

 

 

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

 

Positive COVID-19 test result

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

 

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

 

Governor Hochul

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Jarrett Coniglio

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Governor Hochul – file photo

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

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

 

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

 

Lions Club logo

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

 

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

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

Afternoon News Brief

Dean Gardner, Jr.

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

 

 

Raul Cruz

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

 

 

Ria Vannoort

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Emily Keiper

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

 

 

 

Case Keenum

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

 

 

 

Lets Go Buffalo – created by Fisher-Price

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

 

Starbucks Logo

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

 

 

 

 

Theirs, all theirs

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

 

Morning News Brief

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

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

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

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

Weekend News Brief

Jeremy Ives

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

Afternoon News Brief

Danielle Tooley

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Mayor Malik Evans

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

NASCAR at Watkins Glen – file photo

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

 

 

Hadi Matar – file photo

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

Afternoon News Brief

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

 

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

 

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

 

Fair season is in full swing and the New York State Department of Labor is doing its part to make sure the rides people go on are safe. The agency says rides at traveling carnivals or fairs are inspected each time they’re set up and that a ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the department. Officials also say there are things people can do to stay safe on a ride such as securing loose c