Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on April 22, 2021
The Town of Batavia Planning Board will be adding a “public comments” segment to its meetings. In response to Planning Board Member Don Partridge’s inquiry into the procedure for conducting an annual review of Area 51 Motocross, the board has agreed to give residents time at the beginning of each meeting to bring up pertinent issues.
A new service for people 55 and older is available in Genesee County. Lifespan’s Community Care Connections service helps older adults navigate health care and supports at home. Nurses meet patients at medical appointments, communicate with doctors’ offices and ensure the correct medications are being taken at home. Our social workers also help connect older adults to help at home and governmental benefits. Lifespan is a regional nonprofit based in Rochester dedicated to providing information, guidance and services that help older adults take on the challenges of longer life.
COVID-19 has claimed another life in Genesee County. The health department would only say the victim was over age 65. Meanwhile, just four new positive cases were confirmed on Wednesday. Seven of the current positive cases are hospitalized. However, in Orleans County, 20 new cases were reported; Seven additional cases were confirmed in Wyoming County.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed flags on State government builds to be flown at half-staff beginning today and through interment in recognition of Spc. Abigail Jenks, a native of Saratoga County, who died Monday following a training exercise at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The 20-year-old died following a Blackhawk helicopter static line jump training exercise at Fort Bragg. The incident is under investigation.
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee announced that Operation Safe Stop—an enforcement and education campaign designed to deter drivers from illegally passing stopped school buses—will be held today. Law enforcement throughout the state will be participating. Drivers who pass school buses that are stopped and flashing their red lights will be ticketed. Surveys show that approximately 50,000 motorists illegally pass school buses statewide each school day.
Jason Molino is returning to the GLOW region. Molino, the City of Batavia manager for 11 years prior to leaving in January 2018 to become administrator for Tompkins County, has accepted the executive director post with the Livingston County Water and Sewer Authority based in Lakeville. Molino said he was looking forward to “a little more balance” in his life as he moves closer to extended family members who live in Western New York.
A 22-year-old Wellsville man is headed to state prison for his role in the murder last March of Nicholas Burdge in his North Main Street home. During a 14-minute court appearance Wednesday, Allegany County Judge Thomas Brown sentenced Brandon J. Poehmel to serve 15 years in prison, followed by five years of post-release parole supervision for his guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter. Poehmel was dressed in orange prison clothing with his hands and feet shackled. Burdge had been tied to a chair and savagely beaten, repeatedly. He was also cut repeatedly. His body was later dumped in the Genesee River, where it was discovered the following day. In a Victim Impact Statement written by Burdge’s mother, she said “the system clearly failed my son in giving eight monsters 16 years or less.” She said she prays that Poehmel “seeks God.” While the statement was read, Poehmel stared straight ahead. Speaking to Poehmel, Judge Brown said “you’ve caused hurt and suffering. The sentence is appropriate.” In total, eight people were charged with Burdge’s murder. Seven have taken or plan to take plea deals. Several are now in state prison. Howard Burroughs of Wellsville has rejected a deal and a trial is pending.
State Police have arrested Joshua Bennett for first-degree Burglary, Menacing of a Police Officer and Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree. Bennett was released from Strong Hospital and was processed at the State Police Station in Rochester and taken to the Monroe County Jail and will be held on a New York State Parole Warrant. According to a press release, Bennett was a parole absconder who armed himself with a butcher knife then allegedly held a woman at knife point before advancing at police. The 37-year-old was shot by a state trooper, who is assigned to the US Marshal Regional Fugitive Task Force.