Wednesday News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on August 30, 2023
42-year-old Jason Clark, the former teacher and principal at St Paul Lutheran School in Batavia, may have violated his parole by telling conflicting statements to his parole officer. In court when he entered his guilty plea he stated that he had sexual contact with a child, touching her chest on multiple occasions. He told his parole officer he isn’t and has never been attracted to children. However, the judge noted that contradicts his sworn admission in court. A hearing that is likely to include testimony from the probation officer, is scheduled for October 17th (at 10:30am).
Governor Hochul has revealed new steps that are aimed at protecting New Yorkers from a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The governor says the Wadsworth Lab is monitoring samples for a new variant that has yet to be detected in the Empire State. The Department of Health has also reached out to nursing homes to remind them that it is their responsibility to keep residents safe. Also, N-95 masks and test kits are being made available to county and local governments upon request.
An investigation is underway after a Buffalo police officer was involved in a shooting. According to authorities, the officer was off-duty and working as a security guard at a business on Elmwood Avenue yesterday. There was a struggle between the guard and a customer who was attempting to steal items from the store when the guard’s gun went off and the customer suffered a non-life-threatening hand injury. The name of the officer hasn’t been made public.
Some new data shows more than 3,000 vehicles have been stolen in Monroe County since the start of 2023. Last month, the sheriff’s office launched a task force to try and reduce the number of these crimes. Members say there has been some progress made because 42 people have been arrested. There have also been over 100 citations issued and 11 stolen vehicles recovered. The task force plans to continue for the foreseeable future.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Brian Higgins will be making an important announcement later today. The Buffalo News is reporting they’re going to announce that $22 million in federal funds will go towards the Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute in Buffalo. The goal of this venture is to celebrate Hispanic heritage, arts, and culture while encouraging a sense of community. The institute will be located on Niagara Street and could be open by the end of next year.
As reported by Tom Tharp this morning: Mike Sputore has been hired as the Blue Devils varsity baseball coach. Sputore, a Batavia native, played as a member of the Ramblers, who were coached by his father, Paul, in the Batavia Minor League on the diamond at the corner of State and Denio Streets and continuing through two seasons as a pitcher and third baseman for the Genesee Community College Cougars. For the last two years he was coach at Pembroke Central School. He said he hopes to get his players on the field for some practice in October and is planning some “winter workouts” with the drop-down batting cage at the high school’s auxiliary gym. He also is excited about the “Meet the Coach Night” on Sept. 12 at the high school for all of the program’s players and parents.
The Buffalo Bills are going to be without one of their best defensive players when the regular season starts. Von Miller has been put on the physically unable to perform list as his recovery from a knee injury continues. The earliest Miller can play would be Week Five when Buffalo battles the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last season, Miller had 21 tackles and eight sacks in 11 games for the Bills.
A new study says the majority of dog owners are skeptical of vaccines, including the rabies shot. Published in the medical journal Vaccine, it finds that 53% of dog owners have concerns about the safety or necessity of vaccines for their four-legged friends. More than a third also believed vaccines could cause “cognitive issues” in dogs leading to autism – a theory that has no scientific evidence. The study says hesitancy to vaccinate dogs is an issue because without them, disease could spread through both canine and human population.
COVID-19 Hospitalizations are up by another 19%. According to the CDC, deaths also saw a large jump by 21% in one week. More than half of US states saw a “substantial” jump. South Dakota had the biggest spike, with hospitalizations surging more than 127% in one week. A new booster likely won’t be approved until the end of September.
CBS is set to air a special tribute show to the late Bob Barker. Drew Carey will host “The Price Is Right: A Tribute to Bob Baker” on Thursday. It will feature highlights from Barker’s time hosting the game show like his first episode, the first appearance of Plinko and his final episode when he retired in 2007. The Daytime Emmy-winning host passed away at the age of 99 on Saturday.
A new WalletHub study says New York and New Jersey are among the top states to live. It compared all 50 states based on 51 livability categories. Massachusetts was number one, followed by New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York and Wyoming. Massachusetts took the top spots for education and health, New Jersey for safety and New York for quality of life but they all ranked low for affordability. Connecticut was in the middle at 26.
A woman has been leaving $2,000 tips for wait staff at the Dalrock Diner in Rowlett, Texas. So far three servers have received the generous tips, and they’re not sure why. They refer to her as the “angel tipper,” and so far they haven’t caught her name. The restaurant doesn’t have pool tips, so each fortunate server gets the entire $2,000.
A New Jersey park will remain closed through Thursday following multiple alligator sightings. Police say it’s just one alligator, a three- to-four footer that was likely someone’s illegal pet until it got too big for the bathtub and got re-homed in Victor Crowell Park in the Borough of Middlesex. The gator’s been spotted several times since last Friday, once by a local who saw the gator dive under the water with a duck in its mouth and another time by a cop who tried to shoot it. So many drones are out looking for the gator that one got stuck in a tree Monday night.
Today is Wednesday, August 30th, the 242nd day of the year.
August 30 in history…
…In 1965, Casey Stengel announced his retirement after 55 years in baseball.
…In 1967, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
…In 1979, the first recorded instance of a comet hitting the sun. The energy of the collision was equal to about one million hydrogen bombs.
…In 1997, Americans first learned that Princess Diana, her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, were involved in a fatal car crash in a Paris tunnel. Diana’s Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived. Due to the time difference, Princess Diana was actually pronounced dead on the morning of August 31st.
…In 1993, “Late Show with David Letterman” debuted on CBS Television. And in case you missed it, here’s the detailed story of speculation regarding David’s transition from NBC to CBS. This article was originally published in The New York Times on January 29, 1992:
Having sworn off his famous Top 10 lists — for the moment, anyway — David Letterman will not identify the No. 1 reason he got angry at NBC.
But if he did, he said, the top item would surely not be that NBC named Jay Leno the new host of the “Tonight” show.
“Actually, I’m not very angry with them at all now,” Mr. Letterman said during a recent interview, just after taping his show. “I was always kind of ticked off at them, but it was not so much the ‘Tonight’ thing. I was pretty sure Jay was going to get the job, so that didn’t anger me. But other things did.”
The other things seem to be centered in an abiding dislike of NBC’s corporate parent, General Electric. Mostly the anger translated into a general feeling that he and his show had been taken for granted for the 10 years he had been on the air. NBC executives have been wondering and worrying about just how angry Mr. Letterman might be since May, when the network more or less decreed that Mr. Letterman, with his quirky, edgy humor, was better suited to a later time period, and anointed the more mainstream comedian, Mr. Leno, as the future king of the late-night empire ruled for 30 years by Johnny Carson, called a Network ‘Treasure’.
The network definitely wants to keep Mr. Letterman where he is, on his successful 12:30 A.M. show, “Late Night.” Warren Littlefield, the president of NBC Entertainment, called him a network “treasure.” He said NBC would do everything it could to make the comedian happy. Mr. Letterman’s response: “Yeah, that’s great. But also that’s the way it should have been for 10 years.”
One NBC executive who has negotiated with Mr. Letterman in the past called him “a brilliant guy, but the most complex human being I’ve ever encountered.” And several NBC executives admit they are not sure they will be able to keep him. Nor did Mr. Letterman dispel NBC’s concerns. He said, rather, that at age 44 he might be getting too old to stay up until 12:30 to watch his show every night and that he might look for offers for a show that might make bedtime more appropriate to someone his age, one, say, that started at 11:30. At least one network, CBS, might have a time period that would allow Mr. Letterman an earlier nighty-night, and ABC could at least offer him midnight, after “Nightline.”
Then there is always the possibility that Mr. Letterman could skip the network business entirely and take his show into syndication. That is a chancier but potentially a much more lucrative business. Mr. Letterman appears to have thought that part of it through. Though he said, “Money doesn’t make much difference to me whatsoever,” Mr. Letterman later said of the risks of syndication, “It’s a roll of the dice, but then again, Arsenio Hall took the same roll and made himself a very wealthy young fellow.” All those considerations have not made NBC’s task in re-wooing and renewing Mr. Letterman any easier.
Mr. Letterman has never courted publicity. He is talking now, he said, to acknowledge the milestone he and his staff will reach on Thursday night, when they celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Late Night” with a 90-minute, prime-time special on NBC. Mr. Letterman even consented to appear on a Barbara Walters special (on ABC tonight at 9), something he has repeatedly turned down in the past. Sitting in his large but spartan office at NBC, which is decorated along the lines of a sporting goods outlet (there is a tall trash can full of footballs and an entire shelf full of baseball gloves, including one autographed by Mickey Mantle that he actually uses in staff softball games), Mr. Letterman described his career thus far, relying heavily on self-deprecating cracks. “I don’t have any pretense about the reason we’ve been here 10 years,” he said. “It’s Johnny Carson. I’m telling you, you could put squirrels mating in a cage on after Carson and you’re going to get an audience.”
His anniversary show was a great experience, he said, especially for the guest appearance by Bob Dylan (and for the return of the temporarily shelved Top 10 list), but was still cause for worry. “First you have to fill Radio City twice, for two tapings,” he said. “Then you know that not as many people are going to watch as watch ‘L.A. Law.’ Actually, what will happen is the Barbara Walters special that I will be on will do better than the anniversary special — because people will want to see Phil Donahue and Marlo.” Despite all the worries, Mr. Letterman admitted a 10th anniversary carries a certain “resonance,” enough to get him talking about himself. “I just felt a small celebration is called for, being on 10 years.”
Contract Up Next Year
He is not using the occasion to sound off about NBC, not exactly anyway. But he is answering the obvious questions about his feelings toward the network, sometimes indicating that his relationship with it has improved ( “things are really much better”), sometimes dropping rather provocative hints that no matter what NBC does now, he will be moving in a new direction when his contract with the network expires in a year: “We’re very lucky and we probably could stay here as long as wanted. But then again after 10 years — or 11 after next year, when my contract is up — if you’re going to take risks you might as well take them after 11 years.” None of this is directly motivated by the opportunity to go after Mr. Leno at 11:30, Mr. Letterman said: “I was never mad at Jay. I feel silly all of this became a sort of issue because to me it’s just, everybody has problems with work. And you talk about them and you fight about them and hopefully you reach some sort of reconcilation.”
Most of the fights, Mr. Letterman said, have been with G.E., which he blamed for what he called the numerous slights his show had suffered over the past few years. Trying to Make Money
“These things were coming from the financial side,” he said. “From the G.E. managers. It was almost this: ‘Dave, when you’re done with your ties, would you mind if we take them and rent them out to restaurants where you have to wear a coat and tie? We can make a little money that way.’ It was that silly.” He said the “Tonight” show decision was a real disappointment, but more in a “last straw” kind of way: “My feeling was to call somebody’s bluff and say: O.K., here’s A, here’s B and now here’s C. Do you want us here at all? Because you’re certainly not behaving like you want us here.” He continued: “By the time they came to let me know the ‘Tonight’ show was going to Jay, I felt like this was something that can be put on the list to forge some action, to get us some better treatment. And I must say things are better for us here now than they have been.”
Whether he moves on or not, Mr. Letterman said, he sees his show evolving into something different. The show became famous for such outlandish touches as having Mr. Letterman don a suit of Alka Seltzer and jump into a glass of water, and, of course, for those Top 10 lists (they began in 1985 with “Top 10 Things That Almost Rhyme With Peas.”) But it is likely to become “less goofy” in the future. He cited an idea suggested to him recently: “We were going to ask one guest if they wanted a chance to double their weekly paycheck or lose the whole thing.” But after his staff built a “Wheel of Fortune” prop, he said, “I told them I’m not Bob Barker here. I don’t want this. For some reason an idea that I think would have been on immediately early on, now seems to be not even plausible.” The “less goofy” version of “Late Night” is likely to be on the market — to NBC and others — about this time next year. “I’m open to the possibilities,” Mr. Letterman said. “Maybe it’s just a way to protect yourself, but I feel like the buffer against failure is I can always say we did it for 10 years. And if you step off the pier and never come back up, so what?”