Thursday News Brief

Written by on March 7, 2024

File photo of interior of the Wyoming Correctional Facility

26-year-old Barron Williams, a former inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility, has received a 3- to 6-year sentence in state prison for promoting prison contraband. He’s now incarcerated at the Wyoming Correctional Facility in Attica, serving a five-year sentence for criminal possession of a weapon for crimes committed in the Bronx. Williams rejected a plea offer in the case and went to trial and was convicted. He had a toothpick container that was sharpened to be a weapon.


54-year-old George Luce of Holley has been arrested on Park Road in Batavia. He’s charged with strangulation and assault with the intent to cause physical injury. It’s alleged Luce choked and punched a female during the course of a domestic incident. He was held at the Genesee County Jail awaiting CAP Court arraignment.


Timothy Williams and Wendy Jerome

Closing arguments could be heard today in the murder trial of Timothy Williams. He’s the man accused of sexually assaulting and killing 14-year-old Wendy Jerome in Rochester on Thanksgiving Day back in 1984. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley says there are two key pieces of DNA evidence connecting Williams to this case. His first trial back in December was declared a mistrial due to juror misconduct.


Main Street Armory in Rochester (file photo)

More legal action is being taken following a deadly crowd surge at the Main Street Armory in Rochester. The family of Rhondesia Belton has filed a lawsuit against the facility, city, the police and fire departments and performer GloRila who was holding a concert last March. The 33-year-old Belton died after being trampled when people rushed towards the door of the venue after hearing what they thought were gunshots. Two other people were also killed and their families have also filed lawsuits.


Linda Lindell (WKBW Photo)

A woman in Buffalo feels ripped off after placing an order for a new mobility scooter. Linda Lindell who is physically disabled ordered a mobility scooter from the website Upright Cane, and paid $600. In the mail she received a cane worth about $40. She contacted local news media who investigated and found the company had no physical office, no business address, and phone calls and emails went unanswered. Since then the website has been taken down. The site also made a claim that they collected money for the charity, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children; however, a spokesperson for the charity said they never received donations from or done any business with Upright Cane. The Better Business Bureau says when shopping online, make sure you can verify who you are doing business with, and use a payment with some kind of protections just in case.


Shalom Mathews

The release from custody of a St. John Fisher University student charged following an incident that prompted a campus lockdown has led to new calls for changes to New York State’s bail reform law. 19-year-old Shalom Mathews who allegedly tried to kidnap and sexually abuse a Fisher staff member at knifepoint in her office last week, is due back in court next month after being arrested twice and then released; first on bail and then the second time on his own recognizance. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office released an apology to the professor who was attacked, saying that the release of Matthews within 24 hours of the crime and especially when he has a history of stalking was a failure of justice.


The Buffalo Bills are offering fans the chance to preview the new Highmark Stadium years before it’s scheduled to open. The Bills Stadium Experience is going to be open at the Walker Center Plaza on Main Street in Williamsville. Season ticket holders will be the first people invited to check out the exhibit, which will feature a model of the new stadium that’s under construction in Orchard Park. In order to join the priority list, folks must make a $153 deposit.


The Bills are moving on from several veteran players ahead of free agency. Buffalo released Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer and Mitch Morse on Wednesday. The team saves about $36 million in cap space with the moves. White was selected in the first round by Buffalo in the 2017 draft and went to a pair of Pro Bowls. Poyer spent the last seven seasons with the Bills after arriving from the Cleveland Browns and earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2022. Morse is considered a top-end center, especially in pass blocking. He also got a Pro Bowl nod in ’22 and started 77 games in Buffalo over five seasons after coming over from Kansas City.


Victor Olofsson (file photo)

The Buffalo Sabres are now on a two-game losing streak after suffering a tough defeat on the road. Victor Olofsson had the lone goal for Buffalo as his team fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime at Scotiabank Arena last night. Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen faced 27 shots in the contest and stopped 25 of them. Buffalo’s next game is tonight in Nashville against the Predators.



A new training stipend program has been launched in New York State for volunteer firefighters. A total of $10 million will go towards offsetting the cost of training courses that first responders are required to complete. Data shows volunteer fire departments serve about nine-million Empire State residents. Officials say these stipends will allow firefighters to keep helping people in their communities while also being able to provide for their families.


The solar eclipse is just over a month away, and the Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport is offering a unique experience. Aircraft can be rented for April 8th so people can take part in the Fly-by-Night event that will allow them to see the eclipse from the sky. There will also be vendors in attendance and a DJ. It’s expected thousands of people will come to the county for the eclipse.  The rest of the state is also prepping for next month’s extremely rare total solar eclipse. Governor Hochul announced a range of activities and events at state parks and historic sites to celebrate the eclipse passing through Western New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Adirondacks April 8th. Events will be held both where the eclipse will be fully visible, the so-called path of totality, and also statewide areas where visitors can catch a rare partial eclipse. Beginning this week sites will offer projects like DIY pinhole eclipse viewer construction with educational programs on solar system science in the ramp up to actual viewing events complete with safety solar viewing glasses distribution.



Oscar Mayer is coming out with plant-based hot dogs and sausages. The company announced their NotHotDogs and NotSausages will hit the shelves later this year. It’s a joint venture between their parent company Kraft Heinz and TheNotCompany, a food-tech company backed by Jeff Bezos. The company told NBC News the plant-based options are made of bamboo fiber, mushroom, pea protein, and acerola cherry.


An unidentified woman models the monitor attachment.

The first over-the-counter glucose monitor is getting the green light. On Tuesday, the FDA approved Dexcom’s Stelo Glucose Biosensor System. It’s intended to be worn on the back of the patient’s upper arm and according to the company, it can give 24-hour-a-day glucose readings on a smartphone for up to around two weeks. The device is intended for those 18 years or older, and it’s set to be released this summer.


Tim Allen

Comedian Tim Allen will be making a return to the ABC airwaves. A pilot for his newest sitcom called “Shifting Gears” has been ordered. The TV handyman will be playing the stubborn, widowed owner of a classic car restoration shop, when his estranged daughter and teenage kids move in with him. Allen has a long relationship with ABC dating back to 1991 when Home Improvement began. He was most recently seen on Disney-Plus’ Santa Clauses.

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