Morning News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on April 27, 2022
A Mercy Flight helicopter that was on a training flight crashed just off Norton Road in Elba in the early afternoon Tuesday and 2 people were killed in the crash. 60 year old James Sauer of Churchville was piloting and 60 year old Stewart Dietrick from Texas was instructing. The crash occurred during the annual Bell Helicopter factory training. The reason for the crash is under investigation, power lines were down at the scene of the crash and a witness, Charlene Schultz described the engines going on and off before the crash. There was no unusual weather and the chopper had only gone 3 miles from the Genesee County Airport. A final report could be months away. Mercy Flight services have been suspended for the time being.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the strong winds that brought down trees and caused damage to gravestones in Alexander on Monday were actually a tornado classed EF-0. This was the twister that brought down the power lines on Sandpit road and caused about 100 people to be without power. Alexander Cemetery is asking for donations to repair the historic gravestones, some of which date from 1813.
Monroe and Niagara counties both passed tax relief measures Monday to change how much taxes people pay at the pump. Erie county is anticipated to do the same soon. In Monroe county the rate will go down by 24 cents a gallon while in Niagara it is about 21 cents a gallon. These are based on what the price of gas is and not a flat reduction. These drops go into effect June 1st to coincide with the State gas tax change which will cut 16 cents per gallon of gas.
A Buffalo polling place worker is accused of stamping ballots in violation of New York Election Law. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced 58-year-old Luz Pena was arraigned Monday in Buffalo City Court on one count of unlawful use of pasters upon ballot and one count of unspecified violation of election law. The district attorney’s office said on November 2, 2021, while working at a polling place inside the Belle Center in Buffalo, Pena allegedly used a stamp to place the name of Byron Brown as a write-in mayoral candidate on numerous ballots. If convicted of all charges she faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.