Morning News Brief

Written by on September 19, 2023

Representatives from AAA say the United auto workers strike against the big three auto manufacturers most likely won’t make cars more expensive unless the strike drags on for a long time. But what they are concerned about is replacement part prices. Drivers and mechanics have already been reporting that replacement parts take weeks to acquire and are of generally lower quality than they used to be. With auto manufacturers switching to electric cars at the behest of federal and state incentives and mandates, less replacement parts for used cars are being made and third party manufacturers are making less well fitting and carefully made parts.  With the strike, the problem may become more extreme. 

Tolls will be going up on the New York State Thruway next year.  The increase, which is the state’s first toll hike in 14 years, takes effect Jan. 1, 2024, after the Thruway Authority voted to approve the move Monday.  Tolls for in-state E-ZPass holders will go up five percent, and then another five percent in 2027. New York drivers who do not have an E-ZPass will pay a hefty 75 percent more in tolls. The Thruway Authority said 85 percent of the roadway base dates back to its original construction in the 1950s, highlighting the need for heavy maintenance and reconstruction to keep the riding surface in good condition.  The upcoming adjustment comes after a 10-month long public process, which included five public hearings. 

The Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse has decided, since they have expanded so much in recent years, to rebrand. Effective Sept. 18, GCASA will be known as UConnectCare Behavioral Health Services – a title, according to Chief Executive Officer John Bennett, “that captures the full scope of what we do and who we are, providing a full spectrum of substance use disorder services, while also supporting the mental and physical health needs of the people we serve.”  GCASA, UConnectCare, has been working on expanding services into providing homes for people in mental and physical health emergencies, inpatient and outpatient care, more options for counseling and providing a variety assistance for substance use disorder sufferers. 

Farmers are warning drivers that more tractors and trucks carrying crops and silage will be on the road in coming weeks.  These slower moving vehicles need a bit more room on the road and move a bit slower than the speed limit. In 2021, in the US more than 450 fatalities were in the agriculture sector, and in NYS road-related crashes involving cars and farm equipment were the second-leading cause of farm-related deaths.  Farmers are asking for a little more time and a little bit more attention from drivers as they do their work.

A 29 year old man tried to get a sneak peek at the still under construction new Buffalo Bills Stadium in Orchard Park on Sunday according to police.  A couple of problems with his visit, he was under the influence of marijuana, cocaine and LSD.  And he was naked. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said around 12:18 p.m. on Sunday, just before the Buffalo Bills home opener began, Erie Community College security was flagged down by a concerned citizen for a person who appeared in distress.  Security followed the man after he scaled the 10 foot fence around the construction site as he ran into the stadium and fell down 2 parts of the construction. Security said that each part was about a 15 foot fall.  After he fell police and EMS were alerted. The man, who was also covered in human feces, was taken to ECMC for treatment for his injuries. He was charged with criminal trespass and released after being transferred to Buffalo General.  

A handful of local universities received some high marks in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 edition of the nation’s best colleges.  R.I.T. is ranked the 98th best university in the nation, and 42nd in the Best Value category. St. John Fisher was named the 185th best university, and 43rd for Best Value.  Nazareth University and Brockport College were ranked in the top 100 for Best Value in the northern region, with Nazareth landing at 30th and Brockport placing 63rd.

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