Morning News Briefing
Written by Michael Baldwin on January 4, 2021
Court action is pending for a Batavia man who faces multiple counts following a domestic dispute on West Main Street Road in Batavia. 38-year-old William Kapelke is accused of choking his wife during a heated verbal and physical argument. The incident allegedly occurred in front of a child under the age of 17. Genesee County deputies arrested him and charged him criminal obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a child. Kapelke was arraigned at the county jail and released on his own recognizance. He was ordered to appear in court March 3rd.
A Genesee County grand jury has handed up indictments against two people for felony crimes here. The pair, and others, also have charges pending in multiple other counties. 47-year-old Tarus Fluitt and 29-year-old Jennifer D. Abrams face charges of third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, third-degree grand larceny – all felonies and fifth-degree conspiracy. Across the region, there have been more than two dozen similar crimes.
New York State Police are warning people of a scam involving test driving of vehicles. There have been multiple instances of people answering online ads to buy privately owned used vehicles in Western New York, according to police. Two or more people will go on a test drive with the vehicle for sale. At some point during the test drive, the suspect(s) ask the vehicle owner to step out, stating they hear a weird noise or think something is wrong with the vehicle. Once the owner steps out of the car, the suspect will drive off with the vehicle. This scam has occurred in Livingston, Wayne, Monroe and other counties in the area. State Police urge citizens to be vigilant and careful with transactions like this and suggest selling used vehicles in front of security cameras or have additional persons with you when attempting a private sale of a motor vehicle.
The Buffalo Bills will open up the playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts. The game will be in Orchard Park Saturday at 1PM. After the Bills locked up the 2 seed with the blowout of the Dolphins 56-26 yesterday, the Colts beat the Jags to lock up a Wild Card spot. The Colts are coached by former Bills quarterback Frank Reich. Sunday’s win gives the Bills 13 victories on the season for just the 3rd time in franchise history. Both of those previous seasons ended with the Bills in the Super Bowl. Yesterday’s win also gave the Bills an undefeated record in the AFC East for the first time in franchise history.
In the Finger Lakes Region, there are currently 892 COVID patients hospitalized. The Region has 31% of hospital beds available. 397 patients are in an Intensive Care Unit. On Sunday, another 138 deaths were reported.
A Batavia teen will appear in court next month to answer multiple felony counts. Batavia police recently arrested 18-year-old Dylan Pehrson of Franklin Street. He was charged with third-degree robbery, grand larceny and criminal mischief, all felony crimes. Police said they were called to a domestic dispute where Pehrson allegedly forcibly took items from the victim and broke property. He’s due in city court February 18th.
Congressman Chris Jacobs was sworn into the 117th Congress Sunday. In a statement, he said serving Western New York is the honor of a lifetime. He said his focus will be on rebuilding Western New York’s economy, supporting small businesses and farmers, and investing in new infrastructure – including rural broadband.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed on Sunday that he will not take the COVID-19 vaccine until it is available for Black, Hispanic and poor communities around New York. Cuomo made the announcement during remarks to a Baptist Church in Harlem.