Morning News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on August 29, 2023
Genesee and Orleans County Sheriffs along with State Police responded to a call that came into Monroe County emergency dispatch of a possible murder suicide in the area of Darien on Countyline Rd on Monday afternoon. The caller said that a person had shot his girlfriend and then killed himself. It was determined that the call was a prank or “Swatting” incident. Chief Deputy Joseph Graff said prank calls like this are a public hazard. Authorities are working to identify the caller and personally inform them of how dangerous swatting calls can be. They could face a felony or misdemeanor charge from the incident.
Legislators from 6 counties, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming, Genesee, Livingston and Seneca, have joined together to challenge the bill passed by New York State legislators to seize control of the Western Regional Off Track Betting Corp board in favor of large cities instead of parceling out power equally. Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein said that premise of the litigation is “to protect the counties’ Home Rule rights” – the one-county, one-vote format — that have been in place since WROTB’s creation 50 years ago. The state legislature voted to change the board structure after a report saying WROTB had illegally given away tickets to Bills and Sabres games to board members and friends, the CEO, Henry Wojtaszek had improperly used a company car, and the board members and directors benefited from special health insurance not available to employees. Wojtaszek said that the company had taken action to correct the issues well before the state vote.
A person currently seeking asylum here in the U.S. is now facing charges over a weekend fight at the Red Roof Inn in Amherst. Police were initially called to the hotel on Flint Road over reports of a fight involving a knife. When officers arrived on scene they say no knife was involved but that the suspect, identified as 35-year-old Daniel Narvaez-Velasqu, used a roofing nail during the fight. Narvaez-Velasqu, is now charged with Attempted Assault, Menacing and Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Police say he was processed on the charges and released on an appearance ticket.
Batavia Police are investigating a shots fired report on Oak Street in Batavia from around 10:50 Monday night. At about 10:50 p.m., dispatchers asked a patrol officer to switch to LE Secure (the encrypted channel for police communications), and another officer responded that he had heard gunshots while he was still inside the police station. The dispatcher said the 9-1-1 Center had received multiple calls. A source said there are no reported injuries at this time and patrols were in place overnight and crime scene investigators were checking the area.
NY Bridges are in desperate need of repair and replacement. A Scripps News investigation found 537 bridges in New York State have been rated in “poor” condition for a decade or more. That’s the ninth most in the United States. That’s just a portion of the 14,000 bridges that have been listed in poor condition for at least 10 years across the United States, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration. Five bridges in the City of Buffalo are on the list, including the Louisiana Street bridge over I-190. New York State invested more than $80 million on bridge replacement and rehabilitation in Western New York over the last five years, but still falling short in fixing all state bridges in disrepair. There are many more bridges in need of repair than money available to fix them, both at the federal and local levels.
The Buffalo Sabres announced owner Terry Pegula has been named president of the team and he will continue to work closely with COO John Roth who is leading the business side of the organization and general manager Kevyn Adams who is leading the hockey side of the organization. Pegula also announced that Pegula Sports & Entertainment will be dissolved as they separate resources between the Bills and Sabres. Terry also took over the role of president of the Bills in July as the team parted ways with executive vice president and chief operating officer Ron Raccuia.