Midday News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on January 27, 2022
The Village of Elba will be handing out free COVID-19 test kits this Saturday from 11-12; the end time may change due to availability. You must be a Genesee County resident and they are not taking pre-orders. Kits will be handed out at Village Office, 4 South Main Street, Elba. There is a two-test kit limit and proof of county residency is required
Some encouraging news on the Covid-19 front…while there were a total of 1200 more confirmed cases in Genesee and Orleans Counties, and this was the third most during a week over the course of the pandemic; on positive notes, the number is down from the previous two weeks. This downward trend is also observed in both Erie and Monroe Counties.
Buffalo police say they’ve made an arrest in connection with the murder of a teenage girl. According to investigators, 19-year-old Vincent Manirakiza shot the 17-year-old victim inside of a home on Koons Avenue Tuesday. A 19-year-old man in the residence was also hit by gunfire but is expected to survive. Police haven’t released the names of the victims but say they do believe this was a targeted shooting. They’re asking anyone with information on the case to call them at 716-847-2255.
The man accused of stabbing a Rochester police officer has turned down a plea deal and will be going on trial. Prosecutors say Keith Williams brutally attacked officer Denny Wright after he responded to a domestic call on Peck Street in 2019. Wright was seriously hurt and ended up losing his eyesight. Williams is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault of a police officer among other crimes. His trial is scheduled to begin in April and if convicted he faces 40 years to life behind bars.
A West Seneca couple is in trouble with the law after being accused of using fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to watch a Buffalo Bills playoff game in-person. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says 34-year-old Michael Naab and 37-year-old Amber Naab used the phony cards on January 15th when the Bills played the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium. The Naab’s were eventually removed from their seats and later kicked out of the stadium. They’ve been arraigned and are due back in court next month.
The Empire State Games Olympic torch will be stopping in Batavia at the Batavia Ice rink Saturday at 8 am. The torch bearer will arrive through the front doors and go to the Rink and pass the torch to an awaiting Genesee Amateur Hockey Rampart player who will proceed to skate around the rink and pass the torch off to other Rampart players. There will be a photo shoot in front of the trophy case before their departure.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley has announced he will conduct mobile office hours next month. He will be available at Genesee Community College in Room T124 from Noon to 2, on both February 3 and the 24th.
The Orleans County unemployment rate has fallen to 3.1%, which is the lowest in at least 30 years. The State Department of Labor reports about 500 people in the county are on unemployment, the lowest since 1990. By comparison, there were 1,100 individuals unemployed in December 2020.
The general manager of the Buffalo Bills has shared his thoughts on the disappointing end to the team’s season. Yesterday, Brandon Beane said that he still hasn’t re-watched the end of Sunday’s game between the Bills and Kansas City Chiefs that saw Buffalo fall 42 to 36 in overtime. Beane went on to thank the players, coaches and staff for all their efforts this year. Beane says the team will eventually review what happened in the closing moments of Sunday’s contest and learn from it. He also praised Bills fans for supporting the franchise all season long.
Buffalo Sabres goalie Aaron Dell has been charged with interference and suspended for three games, pursuant to his elbowing Ottawa Senators Drake Batherson; causing him to slide feet first into the boards behind the goal. Batherson hurt his ankle during the play.
The College Board SAT test will be fully digital for 2024. According to the College Board, the switch to digital will help create more dates and times for testing. They also noted, over the past 23 years, the percentage of ‘A’ average high school students has increased from 39% to 55%. The test will now be two hours instead of three; and will provide students more time per question. Although the test will be digital, it cannot be taken at home. The College Board said 80% of students who participated in the pilot said the new test seemed less stressful to them.
Members of a newly formed task force say they’re going to focus on stopping illegal guns from entering the Empire State. The task force, which is made up of law enforcement representatives from several northeastern states and also the NYPD and State Police, held its first meeting yesterday in East Greenbush which is located near Albany. Officials say they’ll work together to share resources, set up crime analysis centers and create strategies that will help lower the number of shootings statewide. Governor Hochul says any data collected by the task force will be released to the public.