Morning News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on November 2, 2023
Genesee County Sheriffs are investigating a fatal accident on rt 5 in Batavia that occurred Wednesday night at around 6:55pm. Police say a pedestrian attempted to cross the road into oncoming traffic and was struck by a gray SUV which was traveling west in the area of 4077 Rt 5. The male pedestrian suffered fatal injuries. The identity of the man has not been released and police are continuing the investigation.
The body pulled from the Genesee River Tuesday morning has been identified as Heikki Rantakari, the 44-year-old University of Rochester professor who went missing last month, according to police. Rantakari, who lived in Boston, was an associate professor of economics and management at the U of R’s Simon School of Business. The university said Rantakari was reported missing after he didn’t show up to teach a Saturday morning class Oct. 21. He was last seen Friday, Oct. 20 when he checked into an Airbnb on Exchange Street. Police later determined Rantakari fell off a pedestrian bridge at the end of Bragdon Place into the Genesee River early the next morning. Ten days after Rantakari was reported missing, a scuba team pulled his body from the river near the Inner Loop. Police said they have not found any signs of foul play. The exact cause of death remains under investigation.
The Niagara County District Attorney’s Office announced an indictment was unsealed in court Wednesday charging 19-year-old Alexander Bryant of Niagara Falls in two separate sexual assaults. According to the district attorney’s office, Bryant is facing charges in connection to an alleged sexual assault that occurred on September 19 in Niagara Falls: Two counts of predatory sexual assault, First-degree rape, First-degree criminal sexual act. Bryant is also charged with the following in connection to an alleged sexual assault that occurred on October 6 in Niagara Falls: Predatory Sexual Assault, First-degree criminal sexual act, Second-degree criminal sexual act. The Niagara Falls Police Department issued a warning to the public about the sexual assaults on October 8.
Applications are now being accepted for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program ahead of the 2024-2025 academic year. Financial help is available to both part-time and full-time students who attend an approved school in the Empire State. The maximum TAP award is more than five-thousand dollars, and the goal of this program is to provide support to people who may not be able to afford a college education. For more information, head to hesc.ny.gov.
The Batavia Indoor Market is set to return to the Batavia City Centre this Saturday with local vendors, farmers and handmade crafts offered for discerning customers. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, and Nov. 18, Dec. 16, Jan. 6 and 20, Feb. 3 and 17, and March 2, 16 and 30. The regular City Centre shops will be open and be joined by Porter Farms, Garner Farms, Ladybug Creations, Meadow Moon Designs, and For the Love of Madeline Candles. There is also an online market with 176 items for sale and orders open from 8am on Mondays to 8 PM on Thursdays. Current online vendors listed are Flint’s Maple, Botanical Ben, Garner Farms and Creekside Designs and Blanks. To get to the online market follow the link at wbtai.com.
The Buffalo Sabres have earned a second straight victory after picking up a win on the road. Brandon Biro scored twice and Tage Thompson, Casey Mittelstadt and Owen Power had a goal each as the Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers five-to-two at the Wells Fargo Center last night. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 38 of the 40 shots he faced in the contest. The Sabres and Flyers will meet again tomorrow night in Buffalo.