Thursday News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on August 31, 2023
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning to residents throughout our area about an ongoing scam. Officials say scammers have been reaching out to people claiming to be from the Warrants and Citations division and saying they have an urgent civil matter to discuss. The sheriff’s department says folks should not give out personal information over the phone to these individuals. Residents who get one of these calls are asked to report it.
As of the end of July, the unemployment rate nationally was 3.8%, the same as it was one year ago. However, the number of people working has grown by 2.9 million in the year – from 159.1 million to 162.0 million. Statewide, the unemployment rate has dropped from 4.3 to 4.1 percent since a year ago last month. New York also has 178,200 more people working in that time – from 9.284 million to 9.462 million. In Genesee County, our unemployment rate remains unchanged at only 2.6%. Orleans County’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.1% last year to 3.5%.
The getaway driver involved in a shooting that took the life of a three-year-old boy is going to be spending decades in prison. Yesterday, a judge sentenced Jonay Robinson to at least 40 years behind bars. In 2021, Dequan Richardson opened fire on Donovan Drive in Buffalo, and Shaquelle Walker Junior ended up being hit and killed by gunfire. Robinson’s attorney is planning to appeal because Richardson only received a minimum sentence of 25 years.
An elderly Penn Yan man is likely going to be charged in connection with the death of his wife. Authorities say the 89-year-old suffers from dementia and it is believed he killed his spouse by using a bath towel to strangle her. The couple were discovered at their residence earlier this week after a home health aide went to check on them. Their names haven’t been released.
As reported by Tom Tharp this morning: A Good Samaritan is credited with saving a shooting victim’s life Tuesday night. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Interstate 390 near the Chili Avenue exit shortly before midnight following a report of a shooting. Deputies said the victim, a 30-year-old man who was shot multiple times, managed to drive himself to the Sunoco gas station just off the expressway on Chili Avenue, where a good Samaritan took him to Strong Memorial Hospital. The victim has since been discharged, MCSO said.
The investigation continues into a deadly crash in Cheektowaga between a motorcycle and tractor-trailer. The wreck happened Tuesday night on Broadway. A man on a motorcycle was going east when he collided with the tractor-trailer as it was traveling west. The rider, 30-year-old Zachary Reimers, died at the scene. No charges have been filed.
Republican lawmakers are demanding Albany’s state legislature hold a special session to urgently deal with the state’s rapidly worsening migrant crisis. The letter, sent by six GOP politicians in the Assembly, says that both the Assembly and the Senate should be reconvened — as more than 59,000 migrants are currently in New York’s care on the taxpayer dime. Governor Hochul was in Washington DC over the last few days meeting with President Biden. She asked that the White House approve work permits for the migrants and asylum seekers since putting them to work and then getting them permanent housing would help to solve the migrant crisis in New York State.
Legislators in New York have passed a bill that would form a commission to determine what, if any, reparations the state owes black residents. The bill goes to Governor Hochul’s desk for signing. Proponents say that racial inequity needs to be addressed and the state will help atone for past racism with the work of the commission. They cite redlining, higher incarceration numbers among African Americans, and economic inequality in their push for racial reparations. If Governor Hochul signs the bill the commission would meet within 6 months.
The Buffalo Bisons will be doing their part to help raise money for the Firefighter Jason Arno Memorial Foundation. The team is going to donate proceeds from tickets it sells to its game at Sahlen Field on September 23rd. The tickets will cost $12 apiece and can be bought online or at the stadium box office. The foundation was set up in honor of Arno who died while battling a blaze earlier this year.
Stargazers may get to see a rare “Full Super Blue Moon” this evening. The second of two August super moons, this one will be the closest full moon to the Earth’s surface, at just over 222,000 miles away, according to EarthSky. The blue moon will likely be at its brightest around 9:30pm Eastern Time.
Labor Day weekend is coming up fast, and the Transportation Security Administration has some tips for folks to make their travels a bit less stressful. The agency says it is important for people to know what is allowed in checked and/or carry-on baggage so they can move quickly through screening. Also, it’s recommended that people arrive at least two hours before their flight to allow enough time to park and go through security. Anyone with questions can text the word travel to 275-872.
A pig kidney is still functioning in a brain-dead man six weeks after transplant surgery. New York University Langone Health says this is the longest period a pig kidney has functioned in a human being. Surgeons transplanted the genetically engineered organ after the 57-year-old man’s family agreed to donated his body because his organs weren’t suitable for transplant. The NYU Langone Transplant Institute director said the kidney is doing all the jobs that a normal human kidney would do.
A Capitol rioter who bragged on social media that he “took the White House” has been arrested in Georgia. The FBI said Wednesday that 52-year-old William Beals is being charged with a felony count of knowingly making false statements and several other offenses. The FBI says he was part of a group that “physically overpowered” officers in the Senate wing on January 6th, 2021.
Today is Thursday, August 31st, the 243rd day of the year.
August 31 in history…
…In 1887, inventor Thomas Edison received a patent for the kinetographic camera. The device produced moving pictures.
…In 1895, the first professional football game was played in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The quarterback on the winning team was paid $10.
…In 1969, former heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano was killed in an airplane crash in Iowa. He is the only heavyweight champion to have finished his career undefeated. The story: Marciano was in Chicago on Aug. 31, 1969 — the day before his 46th birthday — where he had dinner with STP company CEO Andy Granatelli. He then boarded a Cessna 172 single-engine plane to fly to Des Moines for a private birthday party. Pilot Glenn Belz, a contractor, and insurance man Frank Ferrell, both of Des Moines, had flown the plane from Des Moines to pick up Marciano. Belz had little experience with night flying and no instrument training. They hit bad weather, and Belz tried to land the plane at the airport outside of Newton. At about 9 p.m., people on the ground heard a plane engine sputtering above the Henry Eilander farm, about 2 miles south of the airport. One witness saw the plane’s lights, heard the engine stop and then heard an “awful thud.” The plane came down in a pasture 2 miles short of the runway. It hit an oak tree, breaking apart and killing the three men instantly. The casket bearing Marciano’s body was loaded onto a United Airlines Boeing 727 the next day and flown to his hometown, Brockton, Massachusetts. Following services there, the casket was flown to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he had lived for several years, for burial.
…In 1978, Emily and Bill Harris plead guilty to the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst, the granddaughter of American publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. She first became known for the events following her 1974 kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army. She was found and arrested 19 months after being abducted, by which time she was a fugitive wanted for serious crimes committed with members of the group. She was held in custody, and there was speculation before trial that her family’s resources would enable her to avoid time in prison. At her trial, the prosecution suggested that Hearst had joined the Symbionese Liberation Army of her own volition. However, she testified that she had been raped and threatened with death while held captive. In 1976, she was convicted for the crime of bank robbery and sentenced to 35 years in prison, later reduced to 7 years. Her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter, and she was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton.
…In 1987, Michael Jackson’s album, “Bad,” was released with more than two-million in advance sales.
…In 1997, Britain’s Princess Diana was killed in an automobile accident in Paris, France. She was 36. Diana’s companion, Dodi Al-Fayed and the car’s driver Henri Paul were also killed in the accident. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor.