Wednesday News Brief
Written by Doug Thompson on November 8, 2023
The Batavia Police Department is seeking public assistance in locating a 14-year-old girl. Kamela Lockhart was last seen on November 6 in Batavia. She was wearing a thin black sweatshirt, a red t-shirt, red pants, and multi-colored crocs. Kamela is about 5’04” and 180 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Batavia Police Department at 345-6350 or the NYS Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 1-800-346-3543.
A former Brighton High School physics teacher is now awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography involving prepubescent minors. 45-year-old Louis Carusone of Webster uploaded the material in an online file-sharing network late in 2022. An undercover officer downloaded the files and found more from Carusone’s IP address. Investigators then searched Carusone’s home recovering more than 2,000 images and videos of child pornography — some of which depicted children as young as 5 years old, as well as children being subjected to violence and sexual abuse. Carusone also recorded and photographed children in public — including students in his classroom, though none of the recordings were pornographic — and at a waterpark, where he recorded them in bathing suits. Carusone faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for February 21, 2024.
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that New York will honor veterans on the year’s sixth and final Free Fishing Day of 2023 this Saturday, November 11. On Free Fishing Days, the state waives the requirement for a freshwater fishing license, offering the perfect opportunity for beginners to try out the sport for the first time or for skilled anglers to bring along friends and family to experience the sport and the state’s waterways.
A former Wegmans employee is heading to prison for accumulating more than half a million dollars in fraudulent refunds for herself through a program used to fill customers’ prescriptions. 48-year-old Alicia Torres of Webster, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Prosecutors said she used the Enterprise System between 2014 and February 2023 to process approximately 350 credit card refund requests worth a total of $568,021.69 in store customers’ names. Torres worked at Wegmans for 27 years, including the last 15 as a pharmacy technician at the Eastway store on Empire Boulevard. Prosecutors said Torres also used Wegmans gift cards to steal $10,922.17 from the company between 2020 and February 2023. A judge sentenced Torres to one year in prison and ordered her to pay restitution totaling $578,943.86.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are in the process of returning a stolen vehicle that was seized at the Peace Bridge. A Mercedes-Benz with a value of $50,000 was on a commercial car carrier that attempted to enter the United States on Monday. An investigation revealed the Vehicle Identification Number and paperwork associated with the Mercedes were counterfeit. The vehicle was recently reported stolen out of Ontario.
Election results are in across New York State. Some of the big ones in Western NY: Democrat Adam Bello remains the Executive of Monroe County for a second term with 61 percent of the vote. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has made history by being elected to serve a fourth term in office. The incumbent Democrat fought off a challenge from Republican Chrissy Casilio and will serve another four-year term. Poloncarz won with 58 percent of the vote. Republican Alex Renzi was elected to the State Supreme Court with 37 percent of the vote. In Batavia Republicans swept the board running unopposed for County Clerk, County Coroner, and several legislator and town council positions.
Five-million-dollars is being made available to help animal shelters and humane societies statewide make needed improvements to their facilities. It is part of the Companion Animal Capital Fund that launched in 2017 and so far has helped pay for dozens of projects. The money can be used for things such as renovations and also lowering operational costs. The deadline to apply is January 29th.
The Buffalo Sabres have come up short in their bid to win a second straight game after suffering a tough loss on the road. Rasmus Dahlin and Alex Tuch each scored as the Sabres fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime at PNC Arena last night. Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced in the contest. On Friday, the Sabres host the Minnesota Wild. The puck drops at 7:00.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and registration is still underway for the 128th YMCA Turkey Trot in Buffalo. The event will kick off at 9:00am on November 23rd and roughly 14,000 runners and walkers are expected to take part. The race starts on Delaware Avenue and will wrap up at the Buffalo Convention Center. Money raised from registration fees will help support YMCA programs in the area. To sign up, head to ymcabn.org.
A hungry bear is blamed for ruining a Florida family’s dinner. Longwood residents Laidy Gutierrez and Daniel Bula ordered dinner, through UberEats, from Taco Bell last week. The family’s doorbell camera shows the driver dropping off the food before a black bear wanders onto the porch and takes it. The couple’s niece says the bear even took the soda. UberEats issued the family a refund.
Homer Simpson will no longer choke his son Bart. The producers of the animated, longest-running TV show have confirmed its policy shift. The last time Homer choked Bart on an episode of The Simpsons was three years ago but now Homer will take a stand against child abuse. In episode three of season 35, Homer tells a new neighbor that he won’t be choking his son anymore. The word is out on social media and fans are split about the decision. Some are cheering the move and others see it as a mandate from Disney, which owns the animated series.
The actor’s strike could soon come to a close. According to Deadline, SAG-AFTRA and motion picture and television studios have reportedly reached an agreement on the use of artificial intelligence. The use of AI to recreate actors’ likenesses has been a major topic in negotiations, as well as revenue sharing. The union’s lead negotiators and studios met on Tuesday in what could be the final phase to sealing a new deal and the end to the more than three-month strike.
Americans owe over a trillion dollars on their credit cards. That’s according to a new report on household debt from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It found that credit card balances spiked by over $150 billion year over year. It’s the largest increase this century. Credit card delinquency rates also went up, especially among millennials.
Today is Wednesday, November 8th, the 312th day of the year.
November 8 in history…
…In 1789, bourbon whiskey was first distilled from corn by Reverend Elijah Craig in Bourbon County, Kentucky.
…In 1956, Ford Motor Company decided to name their new car “Edsel” after Henry Ford’s only son; the first Edsels were available in 1958.
…In 1960, John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon in the run for the office of President of the United States.
…In 1965, the soap opera “Days of Our Lives” debuted on NBC.
…In 1968 Cynthia Powell Lennon is granted a divorce from John Lennon after 6 years of marriage.
…In 1975 David Bowie debuted “Fame” on the Cher CBS TV show.
…In 1980 Kiss kicked off their eleven-day “Unmasked” Tour in Australia and New Zealand.
…In 2020, global COVID-19 cases passed 50-million. The death toll at that point was over 1.2 million.
…In 2022, Kathy Hochul became the first elected female Governor of New York.