Morning News Brief

Written by on October 4, 2022

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.

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