Morning News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on November 8, 2023
The Batavia Police Department is seeking public assistance in locating a 14-year-old girl. Kamela Lockhart was last seen on Nov. 6 in Batavia. She was wearing a thin black sweatshirt, a red t-shirt, red pants, and multi-colored crocs. Kamela is about 5’04” and 180 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350 or the NYS Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 1-800-346-3543.
A former Brighton High School physics teacher is now awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography involving prepubescent minors. Prosecutors said 45 year old Louis Carusone of Webster, shared the material in an online file-sharing network Oct. 10 of 2022. An undercover officer downloaded the files and found more from Carusone’s IP address over the next few days. Investigators searched Carusone’s home Oct. 21 of 2022, recovering more than 2,000 images and videos of child pornography — some of which depicted children as young as 5 years old, as well as children being subjected to violence and sexual abuse. Prosecutors said Carusone also recorded and photographed children in public — including students in his classroom, though none of the recordings were pornographic — and at a waterpark, where he recorded them in bathing suits. Carusone faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 21.
Election results are in across New York State. Some of the big ones in Western NY: Democrat Adam Bello remains the Executive of Monroe County for a second term with 61 percent of the vote. Democrat Mark Poloncarz stayed for his 4th term as Erie County Executive with 58 percent of the vote. Republican Alex Renzi was elected to the State Supreme Court with 37 percent of the vote. In Batavia Republicans swept the board running unopposed for County Clerk, County Coroner, and several legislator and town council positions.
A former Wegmans employee is heading to prison for accumulating more than half a million dollars in fraudulent refunds for herself through a program used to fill customers’ prescriptions. 48 year old Alicia Torres of Webster, pleaded guilty earlier this year to wire fraud. Prosecutors said she used the Enterprise System between 2014 and February 2023 to process approximately 350 credit card refund requests worth a total of $568,021.69 in customers’ names. Torres worked at Wegmans for 27 years, including the last 15 as a pharmacy technician at the Eastway store on Empire Boulevard. Prosecutors said Torres also used Wegmans gift cards to steal $10,922.17 from the company between 2020 and February 2023. A judge sentenced Torres to one year in prison and ordered her to pay restitution totaling $578,943.86.
Five-million-dollars is being made available to help animal shelters and humane societies statewide make needed improvements to their facilities. It is part of the Companion Animal Capital Fund that launched in 2017 and so far has helped pay for dozens of projects. The money can be used for things such as renovations and also lowering operational costs. The deadline to apply is January 29th.
The Buffalo Sabres have come up short in their bid to win a second straight game after suffering a tough loss on the road. Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch each scored as the Sabres fell to the Carolina Hurricanes three-to-two in overtime at PNC Arena last night. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced in the contest. The next game for the Sabres is on Friday when they play the Minnesota Wild.