Midday News Brief

Written by on March 8, 2022

Benderson Development is the owner of the land on Lewiston Road, on which the empty K-mart building sits, and is seeking a special use permit and site plan review when the county Planning Board meets via Zoom this Thursday evening. If their plan is approved, Benderson Development would like to add two businesses to the parking lot area. One of them could be a restaurant or a retail space, but will have a coffee shop as an end cap to the building. The other building will have a drive-through restaurant.

The project will also include:
■ drainage upgrades to bring the site into compliance with the current storm water regulations;
■ an increase in overall green space and landscaping;
■ utility upgrades;
■ new curbing, pavement and site lighting around the proposed buildings.

Presently, the land is used for ‘spillover’ parking for businesses in the area.

A 62-year-old Bergen man, Steven Reber, was killed while out walking. Late on Sunday during the windstorm, a tree fell striking him on the head. Family members and emergency personnel attempted life-saving measures; however, Reber died at the scene. It was a dangerously strong storm, causing many power lines, branches and trees to come down, including one tree in Centennial Park in Batavia.

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning about an ongoing phone scam that’s been targeting people in the region. One resident contacted the agency and said they received a call claiming to be from Amazon Tech Support. The scam resulted in over 100-dollars being withdrawn from the victim’s bank account. The sheriff’s office says that you should never give out any personal information over the phone such as your date of birth or social security number or ever give anyone money using prepaid cards or gift cards. Anyone who gets a suspicious call like this should hang up immediately.

New York Attorney General Letitia James today launched a rulemaking process to look into whether major corporations are using the pandemic and inflation as an excuse to unfairly raise the price of basic goods. This first-ever price gouging rulemaking process by the Office of the Attorney General will examine and address new evidence that some of the recent price hikes by big corporations were driven by profit not increased costs. Through this process, James aims to implement new price gouging rules that will crack down on pandemic profiteering and corporate greed. New York’s current price gouging law bans companies from taking advantage of a crisis to charge excessive prices for vital and necessary goods and services. The rulemaking process will explore growing evidence that big corporations appear to have used the pandemic as an excuse to charge more for necessary goods, such as gas and oil, food, and cars. As evidenced by the recent spike in corporate profits, many companies are not sharing in the burden of the pandemic, nor are they neutral. Evidence indicates that some companies are profiting by increasing costs for the people hit hardest by the pandemic.

The Transportation Security Administration says another step has been taken to increase the safety of travelers at one Western New York airport. The TSA has installed a new scanner at Niagara Falls International Airport that’ll provide increased detection of explosive devices and weapons at security checkpoints. The same kind of scanner will also be in place soon at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The scanner is expected to make the screening process faster because it provides enhanced images of items that have been placed inside bags which will make it easier for TSA agents to determine if they need to be removed for closer inspection or not.

With gas prices nearing an all-time high, state lawmakers are proposing dropping or suspending the NY state Gas tax but Governor Hochul is not sure that is a good idea. She says that while there are options, she stated that there are no guarantees that suspending the gas tax would result in lower prices at the pump. Hochul wants to make sure it would actually help before she cuts into state revenues. The gas tax accounts for at least 45 cents a gallon at the pump.

Governor Hochul is promising that millions of dollars will be coming to the Finger Lakes region if her proposed state budget is approved by lawmakers. During a visit to Rochester yesterday, the governor said that 100-million bucks would go towards filling another section of Rochester’s Inner Loop. If the money is approved, construction on that project is expected to begin in 2024 and will likely wrap up in 2027. The governor says funds would also be distributed to Frontier Field and Seneca Park Zoo.

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game losing streak following a poor offensive performance on home ice. John Hayden had the lone goal for Buffalo as they were beaten by the Florida Panthers six-to-one at KeyBank Center last night. Sabres goalie Craig Anderson was hoping to win his 300th career game but instead gave up six goals on the 31 shots he faced in the contest. The Sabres will continue their home stand on Thursday night when they host the Vegas Golden Knights.

A new historical marker will highlight one of the great engineering feats along the Erie Canal: the aqueduct in Medina where the Oak Orchard Creek goes under the Erie Canal with the creek then plunging in a waterfall north of the canal. The Orleans Renaissance Group will be putting up the marker, with assistance from the Medina Sandstone Society, which provided a $500 grant for the project. The Village Board has agreed to allow the marker in the Canal Basin. The image of the sign posted above was computer-generated.


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