Morning News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on May 17, 2022
In the aftermath of the shooting at TOPS Friendly Markets copycats have emerged in Buffalo. While no violence has taken place several people posted threats against area businesses online and one person called businesses and made threats. 52 year old Joseph Chowaniec called a pizzeria and a brewery and threatened to carry out a similar shooting at each location. He was arrested and is being held without bail while authorities conduct a forensic exam. Two Walmarts and a Save-A-Lot were targeted by online threats and temporarily closed on Monday. By 4:30 in the afternoon police said the threats were not credible and that arrests have been made.
The President and First Lady are visiting Buffalo today to pay their respects at the Jefferson Ave TOPS and give a remembrance for the 13 people shot on Saturday. Governor Hochul will meet with them. After visiting Tops, they will meet with families of the victims, law enforcement, community leaders, and first responders. The president is expected to make public remarks at a community center in the early afternoon.
Governor Hochul announced that in order to help Buffalo residents she has directed the NFTA to suspend fares on some of its bus routes. The Utica, Kensington, Jefferson and Genesee bus routes in the city will now be free effective immediately and going till the end of May. Hochul also announced that the state is partnering with Lyft and Uber to provide rides for people who may need it.
Six students from Batavia High School are set to compete for the title of “Mr. Batavia” at the 9th annual competition being held on Friday at 7 pm in the Batavia High School Auditorium. The students compete in multiple rounds of the event, and all money raised from ticket sales and donations is given to the top three winners’ charities. This year’s contestants are: Jack Bruggman, Noah Burke, Nicholas Grover, Andrew Kasmarek, Lucas Radley, and Matt Smith. Tickets are $10 each and will be sold to students during school lunch this week and at the door on Friday for the community.
Darien Lake Amusement Park’s only wooden coaster is getting a bit of new life this season. 450 of the Predator’s 3400 feet of track are in the process of being replaced with a new Titan track produced and installed by Great Coasters International. The Predator has long been known to be a bumpy ride and this new track, while capable of allowing the coaster to make maneuvers outside the capabilities of normal wooden coasters, is being added to particularly rough spots to even them out and won’t be adding any new elements. This hybrid coaster will be ready for the 2022 summer season.