Weekend News Brief

Written by on November 4, 2023

If you try to go to Denny’s in Geneseo you’ll find a sign in the window of the front door that says “closed permanently as of 10/30/2023.”  The reason it’s closed?  The owner, Dawood Beshay, who owns Denny’s restaurants in New York and Arizona, took a Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant from the government in 2020 to cover revenue losses from the COVID shutdowns but was not eligible for the grant.  Beshay owned more than the allowed number of locations and lied on the application.  He was charged with fraud by the US Attorney’s Office and just settled for 2 million dollars.  

A man was seriously injured in a shooting in Rochester on the 600 block of North Clinton Avenue Friday evening.  Rochester Police said the victim, a 25-year-old man, was found around 4:45 p.m., rushed to the hospital and taken into surgery. His injuries are considered “very serious” but non-life-threatening, according to police. No arrests have been made as of yet.

Tuesday is election day and the Batavia City School Board wants to remind you to get out and vote.  Specifically they want you to vote yes on Proposition 1 which raises the small city debt rate from 5 percent to 10 percent.  In a letter to the community they point out that rural schools and large city schools can carry a 10 percent debt but small cities are limited to half that which hinders their ability to carry out large capital projects which are needed to do building upgrades and improvements.  The vote would change the limit across the state and only affect small city school districts like Batavia.  The school board says Small City School Districts view this critical issue and vote as a matter of equity and fairness for students, school districts and communities across New York State.  The letter is signed by the school board members and Jason Smith, the school Superintendent.

As the holiday season approaches, a collaborative effort is underway to bring joy and  support to underprivileged children and teenagers in Genesee County.  On November 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., “Stuff the Cruiser” will take place at the Batavia Town Centre.  To stuff the cruiser items are needed such as new toys, new clothing, small denomination gift cards, personal care gift sets, hats, gloves, accessories, and non-perishable food items.  All contributions will remain within Genesee County, ensuring they reach children and families who can benefit from these gifts during the holiday season. The event features the active involvement of many local law enforcement and social welfare agencies including: the Genesee County Probation Department, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Batavia Police Department, the New York State Police, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Genesee County Department of Social Services.

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?  At the Buffalo City Zoo.  The Buffalo Zoo announced Friday the arrival of a rhinoceros, Romeo.  Romeo is a four-year-old Eastern Black rhino from Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. On October 3rd, he was transferred to Buffalo, while LuLu, a five-year-old Eastern Black rhino from Buffalo was transferred to Chicago.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists Eastern Black rhinos as a critically endangered species. Romeo and Lulu were transferred as part of a Species Survival Plan recommendation to support the Eastern Black rhino conservation.  In Buffalo, Romeo will mature until he is ready to breed. In Chicago, Lulu will be paired with a 19-year-old male Eastern Black rhino.

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