Morning News Brief

Written by on April 5, 2021

A Batavia teen has been accused of raping a child under the age of 15. City police say they arrested 19-year-old Hezekiah Burch stemming from a January 18th incident on Hutchins Place. Burch has been charged with two counts of first-degree rape with forcible compulsion, first-degree sex abuse with forcible compulsion, and attempted sex abuse in the 1st degree with forcible compulsion, all stemming from separate incidents over a one-month time frame. He was initially remanded to Genesee County Jail pending court action.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, Genesee and Orleans counties are now under a Drought Watch. There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch, but residents are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water. The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, groundwater levels, and stream flow in nine designated regions throughout New York.

An Ontario man lost his appeal stemming from his arrest nearly four years ago in Genesee County. 49-year-old Ronald Barber was convicted in 2018 on a felony criminal mischief charge. A jury found that Barber damaged limousines belonging to S & S Limousines of Le Roy where he was employed as a driver. Barber maintained he was denied effective assistance of counsel.  The Appellate Court ruled in a two-page decision that although “an acquittal would not have been unreasonable,” the verdict was not against the weight of the evidence. Finally, the Court ruled that the sentence was not unduly harsh or severe.

New York begins the new week without benefit of a state budget. The spending plan was due last Thursday and negotiations reportedly are ongoing. Thursday is a key day for many. Without a budget adopted today, 39,000 state employees who work in health care and correctional facilities and other state institutions might not get their paychecks on time. Another 146,000 state employees at administrative and executive state agencies are expecting their pay day April 14.

Beginning today, New York State will lift the 11 p.m. curfew for casinos, movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls, and gym and fitness centers. However, bars and restaurants will still be saddled with the 11 p.m. curfew.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System has identified eight villages and three cities in New York that were in some level of fiscal stress in 2020, based on scores that largely reflect the time period before the COVID-19 pandemic. DiNapoli evaluated all non-calendar year local governments and designated three cities and three villages in “significant fiscal stress,” one village in “moderate fiscal stress” and four villages as “susceptible to fiscal stress.” The good news…no communities in Genesee County made the list.

United Memorial Medical Center announces renewed visitation beginning today. Hospital officials say visitors will be capped at two per patient for up to four hours. However, only one person can visit at a time. Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. Visitors are still banned in the Emergency Department.

Batavia Police arrested 24-year-old Alexandro Rodriguez after a domestic incident on Dellinger Ave. where he allegedly punched another person in the face and stole property from her. Police leveled charged of robbery and assault. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail in lieu of cash bail. Rodriguez is scheduled to reappear in Batavia City Court May 6th.

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