Local News

Batavian Editor Billie Owens Dies at 63

Billie Owens

Billie Faye Owens, 63, editor of The Batavian from 2010 to 2021, died at Rochester General Hospital on Friday evening from complications from congestive heart failure.

She was taken to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia with health issues on July 26 and remained hospitalized for 81 days. At no time did she test positive for COVID-19.

She was born in 1958 in Charlotte, N.C., to Barbara Jean Carter and Billie Eugene McSwain. Her mother moved her when she was 5 to San Diego where she would eventually attend San Diego State University, earning a B.A. in Journalism.

She went to work for the Daily Californian in El Cajon, Calif. in 1989, where she met her second husband, Howard Owens, then a wire and copy editor at the Daily Californian, and currently publisher of The Batavian. They were married on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene College in 1993.

Her journalism career began with an internship at the Los Angeles Times and included stints at the San Diego Business Journal, the Ventura County Star, and the Canandaigua Daily Messenger.

She won numerous regional and statewide journalism awards in San Diego for her writing and reporting.

She was passionate about her craft and one thing Howard and Billie bonded over quickly was the fact they both had substantial collections of books about journalism, which has grown to more than 400 titles over the years. They also both enjoyed old movies with main characters who were reporters and editors.

She loved animals and was upset by anybody who abused animals. She made it a mission to publish reports of people leaving dogs in hot cars and made local animal abuse cases her beat in Genesee County. She was also well-known for her colorful reports of lost and missing pets and shelter animals in need of adoption.

In 2015, Howard and Billie adopted Rocky, a mix-breed pit bull who had been abused by a previous owner. Rocky succumbed to cancer on July 31.

Billie is survived by her husband and three grandchildren, whom she loved. Her mother, Barbara France, passed away in December in San Diego.

In lieu of flowers or condolences, donations can be made to Volunteers for Animals in the name of Billie and Rocky. There will be no local service. Her wishes were that her ashes be deposited in the Pacific Ocean off the Ventura County Pier, where her son’s ashes, Charles Raymond Sutherland, were deposited in 2018.

Weekend News Brief

O-At-Ka Milk Products is spending 20-30 thousand dollars a day trucking waste water away from Batavia as their waste is too contaminated to go into the City’s Waste treatment ponds.  The city says they need to fix the waste or the city taxpayers will have to pay fines from the state.  O-At-Ka CEO Bill Schrieber disagrees.  Schrieber says it is right in their contract that they are responsible for paying the fines and are able to do so till they can fix the water issue.  Earlier this week, City Manager Rachel Tabelski said the city cannot allow  willful violations of permits for the waste water treatment plant.  Shrieber says the city has been unwilling to sit down and talk about the issue.  Schreiber says the company is seeking a “bridge” to get through the next several weeks and the city appears unwilling to cooperate.

The Spotted lantern fly is a pest and a plague on crops says Us Representative Joe Morelle.  He announced he has secured 4 million dollars to keep lanternflies from spreading and damaging crops.  Experts say if you happen to see a spotted lanternfly you’re advised to take a photo, report the location to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and then kill it.

The body that was recovered from the Niagara river on Thursday has been identified as the boy who fell into the river while fishing with his father.  15 year old Kameron Stenzel of Sanborn and his father were fishing at Whirlpool state Park when he slipped and fell into the water and never resurfaced.  Canadian authorities located the body near Niagara on the Lake.

November 8th will be the day when fully vaccinated Canadians can once again cross over to the US using the land bridges.  The reopening will take place in two phases. Phase one will open the border to nonessential travel from Canada and Mexico in November. The second phase starts in January and will allow travel through land and ferry ports of entry from other foreign nationals.

Midday News Brief

A local drug Take Back Day has been scheduled in Genesee County.
Law Enforcement agencies will collect un-wanted and expired medications at various sites next Saturday from 10 until 2.
The Batavia Police Department will accept prescription drugs and sharps in the Alva Place parking lot, the Sheriff’s Office will collect prescription drugs at the Pembroke Town Hall and LeRoy will accept prescription drugs at their headquarters on West Main in LeRoy.
Authorities remind homeowners that medicines that languish in home medicine cabinets are susceptible to misuse and abuse. Get rid of them, no questions asked, next Saturday.

Batavia Downs is supporting Operation Warm, a fund-raising effort by Batavia City Firemen to buy new coats for kids this winter.
The Downs presented a check for $2,000 to support the effort that has a goal of purchasing 300 new, American made coats for local child in need.
The money contributed by the Downs was raised at the Summer Concert Series through the rental of chairs.

State Park Police say a male body has been found in the lower Niagara River near an area where they’ve been searching for a missing teenager. Police say it could be the body of 15-year-old Kameron Stenzel, who fell into the water earlier this week while fishing with his father. The identity of the body has yet to be confirmed.

The Buffalo Sabres have started their brand-new season the right way with a big win on home ice. The Sabres beat the Montreal Canadiens by a score of five-to-one at KeyBank Center last night.
Buffalo goalie Craig Anderson was solid in net and stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced. The Sabres will have today off before hosting the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow afternoon at one p-m.

The City of Batavia announces that city wide leaf collection will begin October 25th.
Do not bag your leaves and be sure to rake them close to the curb line without placing them in the street.
Schedule of collection locations.

Citywide leaf collection will begin October 25th

The city-wide leaf collection program in Batavia begins on Monday, October 25th and continues through November 24th.

Residents are asked to rake leaves into piles and leave them in the parkway (un-bagged). Please, place close to curb line/edge of roadway without placing in the street. Do not pile around fire hydrants, trees, utility poles or signposts. Leaf piles should only contain leaves and no branches, grass clippings or other materials.

Leaf operations typically have one crew on the Northside working from Grandview Terrace moving West, North of Main Street, and a second crew on the Southside beginning on River Street moving East in areas South of Main Street. A third crew will work using a vacuum along main roads and numbered routes. It takes about 2 weeks to go through the entire city.

Any resident with leaves can also bring them to the Yard Waste Station until it closes for the season on December 11th, 2021. The Yard Waste hours are 8am-2pm Monday through Friday, 12pm-6pm Saturdays through October 30, and then 11am-5pm from November 1st through December 11th due to daylight savings. The Yard Waste Station will be closed November 25th and will officially close for the season after December 11th, 2021.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LEAF COLLECTION:

  • Leaf piles must be clear of sticks and other debris.
  • Leaf piles must be clear of all animal waste – if animal waste is found in the piles, they will not be picked up
  • Grass clippings, Flower potting’s, Branches, Pumpkins cannot be picked up and residents may bring those items to the Yard Waste Station on Law Street (which will be open through December 11th, 2021)
  • Leaves should not block traffic.
  • Leaves should not be piled near intersection corners. This causes sight issues for motorists/bicyclists/pedestrians.
  • Keep leaf piles clear of drainage ways and catch basins. Blocked drainage leads to localized flooding.
  • Leaves should not be piled around mailboxes, power poles, fences, fire hydrants or other obstacles.
  • Do not park on leaf piles. The heat from a vehicle exhaust system could start a fire.
  • Do not wait to get your leaves out. We will normally collect leaves twice within the month of leaf collection.
  • If it is snowing, we plow first. If it continues to snow, then leaf operations will be suspended.
  • There is no leaf pickup in the spring.

 

Contact the Bureau of Maintenance @ 585-345-6400 option 1 if you have any questions.

Morning News Brief

Attorney General for New York State Letitia James came to Batavia thursday to present a check for 1 million 60 thousand dollars to The Recovery Station on Clinton Road.  James is conducting a statewide tour to recognize communities for their efforts in fighting the opioid epidemic and to distribute funds awarded to New York through a settlement with opioid manufacturers and distributors. Yesterday afternoon, she presented oversized ceremonial checks in Waterloo, Rochester and Batavia.

The animal control in Basom are asking the public not to approach or feed a large white Great Pyrenees dog that has been wandering the community.  It is skittish and runs from humans.  They are hoping that if people stop feeding the dog it will go for the food placed in a trap placed on wednesday.  If you are the owner or know who owns the dog or sight the dog call 585 343 6410.

The Buffalo Sabres came out strong in their matchup against Montreal Thursday night.  It was the opening night for the Sabres as the preseason has ended and Buffalo gave a lackluster showing before the regular season got started.  But this 5 to 1 win over the Canadiens sets up the Sabres to hopefully do a little better this season.  Last year they ended with not just the worst record in the NHL but the worst record in the history of the NHL.  Coach Granato says they are going on offense and planning to be much more aggressive this season.  

Sabres legendary announcer Rick Jeaneret has announced that he will call 20 regular season games and then hang up his microphone.  He has had a hall of fame career calling Sabres games since 1971 on the radio and then moving over to tv in 1995.  He will retire after calling the April 29th game against the Chicago Blackhawks.  Dan Dunleavy will finish out the season.

Evening News Brief

A school bus carrying 35 BOCES students crashed into a ditch on Route 98 in Alexander after swerving to avoid striking a car.
None of students on board were seriously hurt. Some were evaluated by EMS at the scene, one student sough medical attention after the accident.
The accident happened shortly before 1 p.m. this afternoon.
The bus, owned by the Caledonia-Mumford School District, was carrying students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center to a building trades project site. The bus driver was not injured.
After the crash, the students were returned to the Career and Technical Center in Batavia.

The city of Batavia wants Oatka Milk to clean-up the contamination of waste water it dumps into the city’s sewer system. Oatka says it’s doing the best it can to control the contamination by trucking away the waste, but the cost of that operation is prohibitive. City Manager Rachel Tabelski addressed the issue on WBTA’s Main and Center program this morning

City Hall says taxpayers could face huge environmental fines until the contamination is brought down to acceptable levels.

New York is now facing the worst home care shortage in the nation and state lawmakers are calling for fair wages to end the crisis. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator Shelley Mayer and other officials are urging passage of the Fair Pay for Home Care Act to end the shortage by paying home care workers a living wage. The recent loss of over 15,000 nursing home residents to COVID has prompted an increasing number of families to choose home care, yet reports indicate over 40-percent of the state’s home care workers live in or near poverty.

The Buffalo Sabres begin their new season tonight and they’ll get to do it in front of their home crowd. The Sabres are taking on the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center, but they’ll be doing so without star player Jack Eichel who is involved in a dispute with team management and may end up getting traded. Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7 p.m..

Midday News Brief

Rachael Tabelski

The city of Batavia and one of areas largest employers are trying to resolve a dispute over waste water contamination. The city maintains that Oatka is dumping contaminants into the waste water stream that exceeds EPA guidelines. The company says the cost of shipping its excess waste-water out of the city by truck is cost prohibitive.
City Manager Rachel Tabelski, speaking on WBTA’s Main and Center program this morning, says the stakes are high

As Oatka faces a substantial increase in expense, the city faces potential environmental fines unless the contamination is cleaned up.

The Chancellor of the State university of New York – SUNY – is praising students for their efforts in preventing the spread of COVID-19
99-point-five percent of students have already been vaccinated against COVID-19. Only 15-hundred students have not been vaccinated yet and most of them are commuter students from community colleges.

Flu season is underway, and Governor Hochul is urging New Yorkers to roll up their sleeves and protect themselves from the virus. The state Department of Health says that everyone six months of age or older should receive a flu shot and that it’s especially important for kids under the age of two and people over the age of 65 to get immunized. Officials say flu season typically peaks between December and February. In 2020, there were a record low number of flu cases statewide due to people following mask-wearing and social distancing protocols.

The Buffalo Sabres kick off their new season tonight and they’ll get to do it in front of their home crowd. The Sabres are taking on the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center, but they’ll be doing so without star player Jack Eichel who is involved in a dispute with team management and may end up getting traded. This season, the Sabres are hoping to end their postseason drought which is currently the longest in the National Hockey League. Face-off for tonight’s contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Morning News Brief

With Pfizer seeking FDA approval for their vaccine to be administered to children 5-12 any parents and educators are wondering if a new mandate is coming and Governor Hochul is indicating that yes, a vaccine mandate for schools is inbound.  Governor Hochul says that once the COVID vaccine is approved for young kids she is planning to wait a couple of months to see how many parents get their kids the shot voluntarily and then impose a mandate for every school age child to get vaccinated in order to attend school.  She points to other vaccines that are required for school attendance in order to say that vaccine mandates are not unusual.  Critics point out that nearly all vaccines required for students were studied for years or even decades before being mandated and that the diseases they prevent are much more deadly to children than COVID.

The mail at the post office is getting slower and more expensive and New York State is not happy.  NYS Attorney General Letitia James is joining in with 20 other attorney Generals across the US to bring a lawsuit against the USPS over the slowdown and increase in prices that have made first class mail take up to 5 days to arrive and package fees go up.  The lawsuit alleges that the Postmaster General made wide sweeping changes without going through the USPS regulatory process and seeks to stall the changes and increased time and cost till at last after christmas. 

Genesee County is trying to locate a dog and its owner over a dog bite incident. The bite occurred late Monday morning in Centennial Park. The dog is described as a grey Pitbull with white markings around its neck, front paws and left ear. The dog is believed to weigh between 55 and 60 pounds and was wearing a camo collar. The dog was not accompanied by its owner and was running loose in the park.  Health Department officials need to know if the dog is current with its rabies shot, otherwise the victim will need post exposure rabies shots. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Genesee County Health Department.

O-AT-KA milk is facing a tough situation after the City of Batavia discovered exceedingly high levels of contaminants in the waste water sent into the ponds from the Cedar Street industry.  The city is facing thousands of dollars in fines from the State Department of Environmental Conservation if it can’t fix the contamination problem.  O-At-Ka is having to ship the waste water by truck away to other dumping grounds and is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra expenses.  Something that Chairman John Gould says they can’t do much longer.  The company is investing 6 million dollars into upgrading its waste water pretreatment facility but it may not be enough.  Gould says that if the city still restricts its ability to dump its waste water into the city waste treatment ponds they may have to look at reducing operations at the Batavia location or relocating the plant altogether

Evening News Brief

Genesee County is trying to locate a dog and its owner over a dog bite incident.
The bite occurred late Monday morning in Centennial Park. The dog is described as a grey Pitbull with white markings around its neck, front paws and left ear. The dog is believed to weigh between 55 and 60 pounds and was wearing a camo collar. The dog was not accompanied by its owner and was running loose in the park.
Health Department officials need to know if the dog is current with its rabies shot, otherwise the victim will need post exposure rabies shots. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Genesee County Health Department.

The City of Batavia wants Oatka Milk to stop contaminating its waste water treatment system. The city claims waste water contamination from Oatka exceeds state environmental guidelines. The city says it could be liable for thousands of dollars in fines if Oatka doesn’t clean up. The company maintains that the equipment required to bring their discharge within limits does not exist. Talks between the company and the city continue.

New York State is urging New Yorkers to be aware of an ongoing scam. Officials say the text message phishing scheme is asking people to validate their COVID-19 vaccination status in an attempt to steal their personal data such as passwords and Social Security numbers. The message appears to be from the Department of Health and tells the person receiving it they must enter their information in order to prove they’ve been vaccinated. Anyone who gets a text message like this should delete it immediately.

A new poll shows Governor Hochul is leading fellow Democrats who could end up facing her in a primary next year. According to the Marist poll, Governor Hochul has the support of 44-percent of people surveyed while state Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams finished with 28-percent and 15-percent support, respectively. While James has been rumored to be considering a run for governor, she hasn’t launched a campaign yet and Williams has only created an exploratory committee. New York Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs has already endorsed Hochul as she looks to win a full four-year term.

City Firemen Support Operation Warm

Everyone knows that Western New York winters can be long, snowy and brutally cold. Can you imagine being a child trying to get to and from school in these conditions and not having a warm coat to wear?

The City of Batavia Firefighters Local 896 is once again teaming up with Operation Warm to provide winter coats to children in our community. Local 896 has partnered with Batavia Downs raising money to purchase brand new American made winter coats so children can comfortably and confidently get to school this winter.

In the past Local 896 has donated more than 300 coats through Operation Warm. Our goal this year is to raise enough funds to purchase 300 coats. City firefighters will coordinate with Batavia Community Schools and distribute coats in the coming months.

To donate easily and securely please visit this website

Midday News Brief

The City of Batavia has issued a cease-and-desist order to Oatka Milk demanding the company clean-up its waste water.
The city maintains the waste water contamination from the Cedar Street plant exceeds state environmental guidelines.
The issue surfaced at last night/’s city council meeting.
The city says it could be liable for thousands of dollars in fines if Oatka doesn’t clean up. The company maintains that the equipment required to bring their discharge within limits does not exist.
So far, the city and the company continue to talk.

New York State is urging New Yorkers to be aware of an ongoing scam. Officials say the text message phishing scheme is asking people to validate their COVID-19 vaccination status in an attempt to steal their personal data such as passwords and Social Security numbers. The message appears to be from the Department of Health and tells the person receiving it they must enter their information in order to prove they’ve been vaccinated. Anyone who gets a text message like this should delete it immediately.

A new poll shows Governor Hochul is leading fellow Democrats who could end up facing her in a primary next year. According to the Marist poll, Governor Hochul has the support of 44-percent of people surveyed while state Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams finished with 28-percent and 15-percent support, respectively. While James has been rumored to be considering a run for governor, she hasn’t launched a campaign yet and Williams has only created an exploratory committee. New York Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs has already endorsed Hochul as she looks to win a full four-year term.

The City of Batavia Firefighters Local 896 is once again teaming up with Operation Warm to provide winter coats to children in Batavia.
The union partnered with Batavia Downs raising money to purchase brand new American made winter coats so children can comfortably and confidently get to school this winter. In the past the firefighters union has donated more than 300 coats through Operation Warm.
City firefighters will coordinate with Batavia Community Schools and distribute coats in the coming months.

Morning News Brief

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that New York must continue to allow health care workers to seek exemptions from a statewide vaccine mandate on religious grounds.  Judge David Hurd in Utica had issued a temporary restraining order a month ago after 17 doctors, nurses and other health professionals claimed in a lawsuit that their rights would be violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed the exemptions.  Hurd’s ruling Tuesday means New York will continue to be barred from enforcing any requirement that employers deny religious exemptions.  Lawyers for New York State say the case will continue being appealed to higher courts.

According to Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Brian Higgins say that the land border with Canada will be opened up to Canadians who are fully vaccinated by early November. Governor Hochul applauded the Federal government for pledging to reopen the border.  

Heath officials have authorized the first electronic cigarettes in the U.S., saying the R.J. Reynolds vaping products can benefit adult smokers.  The Food and Drug Administration said data submitted by the company showed its Vuse e-cigarettes helped smokers either quit or significantly reduce their use of cigarettes.  Tuesday’s action is part of a sweeping effort by the FDA to bring scientific scrutiny to the multibillion-dollar vaping industry after years of regulatory delays.  In September, the agency rejected applications for more than a million e-cigarettes and related products, mainly due to their potential appeal to underage teens.

The City of Batavia Firefighters Local 896 is once again teaming up with Operation Warm to provide winter coats to children in our community. Local 896 has partnered with Batavia Downs raising money to purchase brand new American made winter coats so children can comfortably and confidently get to school this winter.  In the past Local 896 has donated more than 300 coats through Operation Warm. The goal this year is to raise enough funds to purchase 300 coats. City firefighters will coordinate with Batavia Community Schools and distribute coats in the coming months.

Replacing Jack Eichel as team captain this season is not 1 but 2 players.  Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons will both be wearing the A on their jerseys and share an alternating captaincy.  Coach Granato said they both have passion and love for the Sabres.  Girgensons has been with the Sabres since 2012 and missed all of last season with an injury. Okposo has been with the Sabres since 2016, and has been regarded as a leader inside the locker room.

Evening News Brief

A Raymond Ave. couple has been arrested on several charges accusing them of illegal drug sales in the city of Batavia.
32 year old Cecilia Tina Rodriquez and 28 year old Herbert Gennis III, both of Raymond Ave., were arrested today. The investigation, by the Genesee County Drug Task Force, began with a search warrant conducted last August 16y. Police said drugs and a firearm were located during that search. Both were charged with low grade felonies and misdemeanors and were issued court appearance tickets.

 

While they’re currently not authorized for use on kids, area pediatricians are already working on how to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to their patients. Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve the use of its vaccine on kids between the ages of five and 12 and that could happen in a few weeks. Counties would then be in charge of deciding who would be able to give those shots and it’s likely doctor’s offices will be on that list. It’s also possible that mass immunization sites will need to open to meet demand for the vaccine.

An Attica prison corrections officer was stabbed in the chest by an inmate serving time for murder.
The guard was not critically injured despite being stabbed multiple times with a metal object. Two other officers had to step in to break up the assault. The officer was leading the prisoner out of this cell at the time.
The officer was treated at ECMC for a cut to the upper chest and an injury to his ankle. He remains unable to return to work.

From the Bad Boys & Girls report:
32-year-old Rae Cook of Batavia has been arrested for assault after allegedly stabbing another person in then neck during an argument.
The fracas was reported on Fisher Park in Batavia earlier this month and just made public by Batavia Police. Cook was locked up $5,000 bail.

18-year-old Marcos Velazquez of Batavia is charged with smashing out the windows of a car with a baseball bat. Police say the incident occurred following a fight with Velazquez’ sister. He was given a court appearance ticket.

A sure sign of Halloween approaching. Rolling Hills Asylum in Bethany is now open and offering guided tours almost every night. The building had served as a poor farm dating back to the 1800s and as mental facility till the 1970s. Many believe the place is haunted. If you would like to visit you can buy tickets at the Rolling Hills website.

Midday News Brief

New York State keeps incidents of violence at Attica State Prison very close to the vest but the union representing Corrections Officers does not.
The union has reported that a guard was stabbed in the chest last Friday
by an inmate serving time for murder.
The guard was not seriously injured despite being stabbed multiple times with a metal object. Two other officers had to step in to break up the assault.
The prison officer was letting a prisoner out of their cell at the time.
Later, officers found the 45-year-old inmate in possession of a 14-inch rusted piece of metal and a five-inch sharpened copper tube.
The officer was treated at ECMC for a cut to the upper chest and an injury to his ankle. He remains unable to return to work.

This week’s gasoline report: Prices are up an average of 7-cents a gallon in Batavia. The Triple-A says the price is $1.12 more than last year at this time.

While they’re currently not authorized for use on kids,area pediatricians are already working on how to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to their patients. Pfizer has asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve the use of its vaccine on kids between the ages of five and 12 and that could happen in a few weeks. Counties would then be in charge of deciding who would be able to give those shots and it’s likely doctor’s offices will be on that list. It’s also possible that mass immunization sites will need to open to meet demand for the vaccine.

Rescue crews are set to resume their search today for a 15-year-old boy who fell into the Niagara River and hasn’t been seen since. Officials say the teen was fishing with his father yesterday at Whirlpool State Park when he lost his footing and ended up in the water.

Rolling Hills Asylum is now open and offering guided and self guided tours almost every night. Opened in 1826 the Asylum ran as a western NY mental facility till the 1970s when it was shut down and has since been known as one of the most haunted places in the world. If you would like to visit you can buy tickets at the Rolling Hills website.

Morning News Brief

An officer at Attica Prison was reportedly stabbed in the chest by an inmate on October 8th.  According to the Correction Officers and Police Benevolent Association an officer was letting a prisoner out of their cell when they turned and stabbed the officer multiple times with a metal object before 2 other officers were able to intervene.  The 45 year old inmate who is serving a life sentence for murder was subdued and a 14.5 inch rusted piece of metal and a 5.5 inch sharpened copper tube were found in his possession.  The officer had a cut in their upper chest and a hurt ankle and was taken to ECMC for treatment and remains unable to return to work.  

44 year old Jon Magliocco of Batavia was released from prison on August 2nd and is back behind bars accused of 2 rapes in the same week.  2 people accused him of rape, the first on August 10th and the second on August 14th both at a home on Mill St.  Magliocco is charged with 3rd degree rape, 3rd degree criminal sexual act, and 1st degree criminal sexual act.  He was originally released as a level 3 sex offender and is now being held in Genesee County Jail. 

Rolling Hills Asylum is now open and offering guided and self guided tours almost every night.  Opened in 1826 the Asylum ran as a western NY mental facility till the 1970s when it was shut down and has since been known as one of the most haunted places in the world.  If you would like to visit you can buy tickets at the Rolling Hills website. HERE

The NYS Department of Health has released a new study showing the effectiveness of COVID vaccines over time.  They say that the results show a drop off in how effective the vaccines are in preventing infection by covid of about 20 percent over 5 months for people between the ages of 18 and 64 and closer to 10 percent for those older than 64 for all major vaccines.  They say that this is seen more with the delta variant and less with other variants.  The vaccines are effective in preventing hospitalization by over 86 percent across age groups and this effectiveness wanes less than 6 percent over the 5 months for all age groups.  Dr. Eli Rosenberg of the Department of Health says that these findings support the need for booster shots for all age groups but specifically for those who are older or immunocompromised.  

Restaurant goers may be met with a new way to combat the lack of servers, robots.  In several Rochester restaurants automated servers are being tasked with delivering food and drinks to tables when the servers are hard pressed to keep up due to staffing shortages.  The robots can carry 80 lbs, memorize the floor plans of restaurants and even sing and dance.  The distillery and Henrietta Food Supply are using them.  The question now is, how do you give a tip to a robot?

The northern lights may be visible in the northern sky tonight.  Those who can be closer to the shore of Lake Ontario have a better chance of seeing them once it gets sufficiently dark this evening.  A large geomagnetic storm has struck the planet and space forecasters expect a decent Aurora reaction in the Northern Hemisphere.

Midday News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul has signed five new bills aimed at reducing drug related overdose deaths.  One of the bills will decriminalize possession and sale of syringes and other drug paraphernalia.  Hochul says this will reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis.  Some of the other bills will establish programs to treat inmates in state and local correctional facilities along with expanding the label of substance use disorder so judges can send people for treatment instead of to jail.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is warning of a text message phishing scheme. Phishing texts are fraudulent messages that try to get your data or sensitive personal information, which is then used to either commit identity theft or trick you into installing malicious software onto a computer or mobile device.

The illegitimate text messages ask you to verify your driver’s license information and to validate your COVID-19 status. If you get this message, the DMV says delete it right away.

Get ready for a hike in gas prices this winter – to the tune of 43%. National Fuel says the price hike is because of fluctuating gas prices which is caused because of low supplies. As for how much in dollars it will cost you, National Fuel says the average home will pay, in total, $200 more this winter. You may be able to get help from New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program, which is accepting applications, and they encourage you to apply early.

Tonight the Batavia Blue Devils will host Honeyoe Falls-Lima in high school football tonight. The game is at 7 p.m. and you can hear it here on WBTA. The team is asking for donations of non perishable foods or hygiene items at tonights game. The donations will help the Family and Community Engagement Center’s Community Closet. Any non-perishable food or hygiene item donation enters you to win four season passes to Six Flags Darien Lake- good for the remainder of this season to enjoy Fright Fest and Magic of Lights.  Then on Saturday, October 16, the Batavia Bulldawgs and Community Schools will be hosting another Hygiene and Food Drive at VanDetta during their games at 1, 3, 5 and 7 pm. 

The Western New York National Cemetery Honor Guard for Genesee County needs volunteers to help with provide military honors in funeral services.  The National Cemetery, located in Pembroke, has become the final resting place for over 600 veterans so far this year and they need help from anyone with an honorable discharge from the military.  Right now there are 47 volunteers from Genesee county but the number is shrinking as winter arrives and many get ready to head south.  For more information on how you can help, stop by the Batavia American Legion, 8969 Alexander Rd on Saturday, October 9 from 1-4 pm or call Carl Hyde at 585.356.2658. 

 

Morning News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul signed 5 new bills aimed at reducing drug related overdose deaths yesterday.  Among the legislation was a bill to decriminalize possession and sale of syringes and other drug paraphernalia.  Hochul says this will reduce the transmission of HIV and hepatitis.  Also legislation was included that establishes programs to treat inmates in state and local correctional facilities.  Another bill expands the label of substance use disorder so judges can order individuals to treatment instead of incarceration.  

National Fuel is warning customers ahead of the winter months to get ready for a hike in gas prices.  How much of a hike?  43 percent.  They say the rise and continually fluctuating price of gas due to low supply is the culprit for why the average home will see an increase from 498 dollars for fuel for the entire winter to 714 dollars.  New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program is accepting applications and encourages people to apply early.

Buffalo Mayoral hopeful India Walton’s car was towed for an expired inspection sticker and multiple unpaid parking tickets and she says she may be getting targeted by Mayor Byron Brown.  Walton accused Mayor Brown of a “deliberate act of harassment and intimidation.”  She says that Brown may have targeted her with petty vindictiveness in the same way he targets black, poor and working class Buffalo residents instead of taxing his rich friends.  Critics have pointed out that she wants to run the city but hasn’t paid her own fines.  Some supporters are offering to pay her fees and fines for her.

The Batavia Blue Devils are asking for donations of non perishable foods or hygiene items at tonights game against the Honeoye-Falls Lima Cougars at 7pm.  Help support your community by bringing donations for the Family and Community Engagement Center’s Community Closet! Any non-perishable food or hygiene item donation enters you to win four season passes to Six Flags Darien Lake- good for the remainder of this season to enjoy Fright Fest and Magic of Lights.  Then on Saturday, October 16, the Batavia Bulldawgs and Community Schools will be hosting another Hygiene and Food Drive at VanDetta during their games at 1, 3, 5 and 7 pm. 

The Western New York National Cemetery Honor Guard for Genesee County is looking for volunteers to help with the important task of providing military honors in funeral services.  The National Cemetery, located in Pembroke, has become the final resting place for over 600 veterans so far this year and they need help from anyone with an honorable discharge from the military.  Right now there are 47 volunteers from Genesee county but the number is shrinking as winter arrives and many get ready to head south.  For more information on how you can help, stop by the Batavia American Legion, 8969 Alexander Rd on Saturday, October 9th from 1-4 pm or call Carl Hyde at 585.356.2658. 

Buffalo Bills and New York State may be looking downtown in Buffalo for their new Stadium.  In the proposal from Empire State Development and engineering firm AECOM, one of the sites for a new stadium for the Bills would be at South Park Avenue and Louisiana Street in Buffalo.  The Bills previously said they were looking into building a new stadium in Orchard Park on Abbott Road and would not continue to play in Highmark Stadium after the team’s lease with Erie County ends after 2023.

The tradition of food challenges continues for the Buffalo Bills in their game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.  The Kansas City, Mo. Police Department is challenging the Buffalo Police Department and whoever’s team wins gets food from the losing city.  If the Bills beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, the Kansas City Police Department will give Buffalo police barbecue from Gates Bar-B-Q.  If the Chiefs win, Buffalo police will need to send Kansas City police chicken wings.  The Chiefs beat the Bills in the AFC Championship Game in January.

Midday News Brief

A homeless Batavia man has been arrested for rape in a case that goes back more than 20 years. Batavia Police have arrested 57-year-old Roger K. Brinkman has been arrested for the first-degree rape of a girl who was 14 years old at the time.
Batavia Police said the attack occurred on Liberty Street in Batavia in 2000.
Brinkman is being held on 100-thousand dollars bail.

Another step into the future for Batavia. There are now two new electric vehicle charging stations. One is located adjacent to City Church the other at T F Browns restaurant.
Paul Gistner is with National Grid. He says electric vehicle usage is on the rise across New York State and there are incentives to businesses large and small to install the stations

These two electric charging stations are the first in downtown Batavia.

A Mercy Flight helicopter was damaged in a hard landing at the Genesee County Airport.
The chopper was returning from Strong Hospital last night when it attempted to land in a heavy fog.
There was no patient on board. The crew was evaluated at the hospital but was not injured. The hard-landing damaged the underside of the helicopter fuselage.

The NY state highway department has announced that they will begin using speed cameras on the thruway in work zones. The pilot program will include 30 cameras across the state set up in 10 work zones. This is to combat highway worker deaths. About 123 workers are killed a year nationally. No start or end dates have been announced.

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to have been planning to boot current Governor Kathy Hochul as his running mate if he sought a fourth term. The New York Post reported earlier this year aides for the ex-governor told then-Lieutenant Governor Hochul that she would be replaced on the Democratic ticket in 2022. Hochul became governor back in August when Cuomo resigned after being accused of sexual harassment.

Morning News Brief

A mercy flight helicopter returning from Strong Memorial hospital made a hard landing at Genesee county airport at around 9:30 last night.  The Bell 429 helicopter sustained damage to its underside fuselage and the crew were taken to the hospital as a precaution but no injuries were reported. The reason for the crash is under investigation. 

Just before noon on Wednesday a neighbor saw smoke coming out of 127 Tracy Ave and called the fire department.  Its a good thing they did as a fire had started in the kitchen and no one was home.  Batavia Fire Department reports that the fire was oxygen deprived so it didn’t grow out of control.  The home did not suffer much fire damage.  Lots of smoke damage throughout the house and unfortunately one cat died.  

Genesee and Orleans counties are under a special weather advisory this morning for areas of dense fog.  The weather service predicts that there will be visibility obscuring fog in low lying areas until about 10am this morning.  Be careful when driving as you may not be able to see far ahead.

The state highway department announced yesterday that they will begin using speed cameras on the thruway in work zones.  The pilot program will include 30 cameras across the state set up in 10 work zones.  This is to combat highway worker deaths.  About 123 workers are killed a year nationally.  No start or end dates have been announced.

A 75 year old Rochester man has died from COVID after Rochester General and Rochester Regional Health refused to treat him with Ivermectin.  Jeremy Carter was hospitalized last week with COVID and his condition deteriorated to the point that he was placed on a ventilator.  His primary care provider recommended Ivermectin as it has helped in other similar situations.  Ivermectin is a Nobel Prize Winning drug mostly prescribed for parasites in humans that has been described in the media as a horse de-wormer and is not FDA approved for treatment of COVID.  The hospital refused to give it to Carter prompting a lawsuit.  The judge order the hospital to treat him with the drug but they refused and appealed the decision.  The new decision was set for Monday but Carter died on Sunday.  His attorney, Ralph Lorigo, says that he has filed 3 lawsuits for Ivermectin treatments in Rochester Regional Health facilities and all of those were granted and the people recovered and went home.  He questions the reasoning for stopping treatments when a person is headed for death.

St Paul Lutheran School is having a chicken BBQ fundraiser on Sunday the 10th.  Chiavettas tickets are 12 dollars a meal.  Starts at 11am and goes till 3 or sold out.  You can call the church at 585 343 0488 to order yours. 

The governor announced the second round winners of the NFL cooperative vaccine prizes yesterday and they include 1 person from Genesee county.  Chad Kowalik won prizes from the Buffalo Bills after being vaccinated against COVID.  Prizes could be game tickets, in game experiences, stadium tours, signed gear or meet ups with the players.  The contest goes through October 24th for anyone who receives their first dose before then

Midday News Brief

BREAKING:  Batavia Fire has responded to a home at 127 Tracy Ave. Early reports from the scene say the home was unoccupied. The fire was confined to the kitchen. A neighbor called in the fire having seen smoke streaming the structure.

 

 

Regina Jo Roberts

A Batavia woman reported missing last weekend has been found safe.
Police had been looking for 53-year-old Regina Jo Roberts who went missing on Sunday.
Batavia Police issued a statement thanking the public and media for help in locating the woman. No explanation was given for her disappearance.

It appears the ongoing strike a major Buffalo hospital going to continue for at least one more day. Officials with Catholic Health and members of the union that represent roughly 25-hundred employees at Mercy Hospital met for several hours yesterday.
The main point of contention continues to be staffing levels at the hospital, but the union says progress has been made towards a pay raise for employees

Governor Hochul says another group of health care workers are going to need to roll up their sleeves and get their COVID-19 vaccine shots. The governor says employees at psychiatric hospitals in the state’s Office of Mental Health network as well as workers at specialty hospitals certified by the state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities must receive their first vaccine dose by November 1st. Employees won’t have the option of being tested for COVID-19 instead of getting a shot. A mandate that hospital and nursing home workers get vaccinated went into effect last week.

 

Morning News Update

Batavia Police are looking for a woman who was reported missing earlier this week.  They say Regina Jo Roberts, 53, was reported missing on Sunday. Roberts is described as 5′ 4″ tall, weighing approximately 165 lbs, and is believed to be driving a gray 2011 Toyota Highlander, NY registration JPU7881.  Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

 

Governor Hochul announced Tuesday the plan to expand the healthcare worker vaccine mandate to include employees who work in certain facilities served by the Office of Mental Health and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.  Employees in these areas have to have their first dose by November 1st.  Before the requirement takes effect, unvaccinated staff for those offices that work in hospitals will have to submit to weekly testing beginning October 12.  On Thursday, October 7 the vaccine mandate takes effect for workers at adult care facilities and home healthcare workers

 

Evening News Brief

An Attica man has been sentenced to serve four and a half years in state prison for what had been described as a hate crime.
21-year-old Dillen Powell accepted a plea deal to a charge of second-degree burglary.
Last April Powell was accused of breaking into the home of his neighbor, who is black, brandishing a knife and making racial slurs.
He was originally charged with a first degree hate crime, menacing burglary and other charges.

 

The LeRoy Village Board heard nearly three-hours of comment during a public hearing into a proposed senior housing project.
Eric Biscaro has proposed the project arguing there is a need for such housing and it would benefit the community.
About 50 people attended last night’s hearing, most of them opposed to the project citing traffic concerns, storm water runoff and tax incentives.
The project would be eligible for thousands of dollars in tax incentives from the county.
Another issue is the extension of East Avenue to accommodate the project. Biscaro now says that he would foot the bill for the road work saving taxpayer dollars.
The project still must go through environmental studies and final approvals before construction could ever begin.

 

From the Bad Girls report this afternoon:
27-year-old Carrie Anne Clay of Albion has been arrested by Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies for allegedly attacking a person with a hammer.
The fracas happened on September 25th in Byron but was just announced today. Lawmen charged Carrie Anne with burglary and assault. Her victim suffered minor injuries. Carrie Anne is being held on $5,000 bail.

Congressman Chris Jacobs has co-sponsored federal legislation changing the rules for transporting a firearm across state lines.
Jacobs says constitutional rights are not confined to state borders.
The bill changes the definitions of existing laws allowing firearms to be carried across state lines for temporary lodging, food, fuel, vehicle maintenance and medical treatment.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul maintains the state is prepared to fill any staffing issues medical centers may have as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Her comments come as two urgent care centers have been forced to close in the Albany-area, since the mandate went into effect. Governor Hochul argues one such measure is the use of student nurses, adding it won’t be a “perfect scenario” during the mandates. She also vows to eventually provide numbers as to how many hospitals and medical centers are dealing with staffing issues.

Midday News Brief

The LeRoy Village Board heard nearly three-hours of comment during a public hearing into a proposed senior housing project.
Eric Biscaro has proposed the project arguing there is a need for such housing and it would benefit the community.
About 50 people attended last night’s hearing, most of them opposed to the project citing traffic concerns, storm water runoff and tax incentives.
The project would be eligible for thousands of dollars in tax incentives from the county.
Another issue is the extension of East Avenue to accommodate the project. Biscaro now says that he would foot the bill for the road work saving taxpayer dollars.
The project still must go through environmental studies and final approvals before construction could ever begin.

An Attica man has been sentenced to serve four and a half years in state prison for what had been described as a hate crime.
21-year-old Dillen Powell accepted a plea deal to a charge of second-degree burglary.
Last April Powell was accused of breaking into the home of his neighbor, who is black, brandishing a knife and making racial slurs.
He was originally charged with a first degree hate crime, menacing burglary and other charges.

Inspectors with the Erie County Health Department say 14 people were turned away from Sunday’s Buffalo Bills game at Highmark Stadium. They say those folks couldn’t enter the Orchard Park facility after failing to provide proper proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Members of New York State’s Cannabis Control Board are holding their first public meeting today. The panel was recently put together to create guidelines for the state’s cannabis industry and issue applications and licenses to businesses. A law legalizing the use of marijuana by adults for recreational purposes has been in effect for months.

Evening News Brief

Lovely Warren (Courtesy: 13-WHAM)

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is resigning from office after accepting a plea deal.
The mayor was facing two felony counts related to allegations of her campaign finances being mishandled during the 2017 mayoral election in Rochester.
Under the deal, Mayor Warren pled guilty to an election law violation admitting to “knowingly and willfully contributed, accepted campaign donations in an amount more than the maximum amount specified.”
The plea deal will also satisfy the gun and child endangerment charges against her that stem from the New York State Police raid of her house back in May.

 

 

The Genesee County Economic Development Center is expected to take final action this week on a 1.7-million-dollar project in Pembroke.
J and R Fancher Property Holdings is proposing to build a 14-thousand sq ft two-story building with commercial space on the first floor and six market rate apartments on the second floor.
The building will be adjacent to Yancy’s Fancy on Brickhouse Drive.
The developers are seeking over 250-thosuand dollars in tax incentives from the county.

Governor Kathy Hochul says she believes the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for health care workers is largely a success. Hospitals say ongoing staffing shortages- especially in urgent care centers – are made worse by the governor’s mandate that all hospital employees get vaccinated or lose their jobs. The governor says she is waiting on hospitals to reach out for help in staffing urgent care centers as the state has identified student nurses, retired practitioners and out of state and out of country professionals who are ready to step in.

Western New York drivers still aren’t noticing much of a change when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is $3.25, a penny less than last week and $1.04 more than a year ago.

Midday News Brief

Western New York drivers still aren’t noticing much of a change when it comes time to fill up their vehicles. According to Triple A, the average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is $3.25, a penny less than last week and $1.04 more than a year ago.

 

The county’s Economic Development Center is expected to take final action this week on a $1.7-million project in Pembroke.
J and R Fancher Property Holdings is proposing to build a 14,000 sq.ft. two-story building with commercial space on the first floor and six market rate apartments on the second floor.
The building will be adjacent to Yancy’s Fancy on Brickhouse Drive.
The developers are seeking $254,000 dollars in tax incentives from the county.

 

Governor Kathy Hochul says she believes the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for health care workers is largely a success, even though some hospitals around the state have had to shut down some Urgent Care centers due to a staffing shortage. Hospitals say ongoing staffing shortages are made worse by the governor’s mandate that all hospital employees get vaccinated or lose their jobs. The governor says she is waiting on hospitals to reach out for help in staffing urgent care centers as the state has identified student nurses, retired practitioners and out of state and out of country professionals who are ready to step in.

The Buffalo Bills have extended their winning streak to three games following another victory in front of their home crowd. The Bills beat the Houston Texans 40 to nothing at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park yesterday. Buffalo’s defense has now shut out opponents in two of the last three games while the offense has scored 118 points in the last three weeks. The Bills will be on the road this coming weekend when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday Night Football.

Morning News Brief

Mayor Lovely Warren is having her first day in court for felony campaign finance charges today.  The trial is at the Monroe county courthouse.  Warren, along with Albert Jones Jr. and Rosiland Brooks Harris, were each charged with violating election laws. Both counts are Class E felonies. If convicted, each person could face 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison, or a range of sentencing options from probation to restitution.  Warren has maintained that the charges which are from the 2017 election in Rochester, are politically motivated and she is innocent.

Governor Kathy Hochul says she believes the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy for health care workers is largely a success, even though some hospitals around the state  have had to shut down some Urgent Care centers due to a staffing shortage.  A number of hospital chains in New York have temporarily closed or limited services at their Urgent Care centers, citing an ongoing staffing shortage made worse by the governor’s September 27 mandate that all hospital employees get vaccinated or lose their jobs.  The governor says she is waiting on hospitals to reach out for help in staffing urgent care centers as the state has identified student nurses, retired practitioners and out of state and out of country professionals who are ready to step in.

With news of a new stadium being talked over in Buffalo and the cost that the Bills want to pass on to the public for it’s construction eyes are turning to how expensive high school graduations have been for school districts at Highmark Stadium.  3 School districts used the Bills stadium for their commencement ceremonies.  Frontier paid almost 22 thousand dollars to graduate their seniors there.  Hamburg was closer to 21.5 thousand and Orchard park was 20 thousand.  There was a flat 5000 dollar licensing fee to use the stadium and then costs such as 3200 for using the scoreboard and 2300 for security.  When asked, Hamburg Superintendent Michael Cornell said that using the stadium allowed them to get around COVID restrictions and make a graduation that parents and students wanted.

Mercy Hospital workers are striking for the 3rd consecutive day today after negotiations did not proceed on Sunday.  In a statement, a Catholic Health representative said: “Given the verbal threats, intimidating actions and other inappropriate and possibly illegal behaviors by many individuals on CWA’s picket line and out of an abundance of caution for the safety and security of its bargaining committee, Catholic Health offered to meet today with the union only virtually.”  Catholic Health also said they are collecting evidence that picketers are engaging in hate crimes as the replacement workers are largely people of color and have been targeted by the striking workers with abusive comments and behaviors.

The Buffalo Bills beat the Houston Texans in a shutout Sunday afternoon 40 to zip.  The bills are now 3 to 1 in the season.  The last time they played the Texans was in January 2020 when they drew the wildcard and lost.  Their next game will be against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday the 10th at 8:20pm.

Weekend News Brief

Genesee County Sheriffs Deputies are looking for 2 suspects who stole more than a thousand dollars of Buffalo Bills merchandise from Dicks Sporting Goods on Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia on September 12th.  They say the suspects left the store, bypassing points of purchase, without paying for the items.  Deputies say the suspects reportedly entered a light blue Honda Odyssey that did not have visible license plates.

This week is fire prevention week and the City of Batavia Fire department is promoting the theme “Learn the sounds of safety.”  A regular beeping or series of 3 beeps in a row form your smoke detector means smoke or fire and get out of the building.  A single chirp every 30-60 seconds means the battery is low. The City of Batavia has a free Smoke alarm installation program.  If you don’t have a smoke detector or if you don’t know if yours is working Fire department members will come to your home and ensure you have a working smoke detector free of charge.  Just call 585 345 6375 to make an appointment.

More than four years in the making, the nation’s first nature trail designed specifically for people with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities is now open at Letchworth State Park.  The trail was created with the help of more than $3.3 million in private fundraising, including custom handmade benches auctioned off to the public.  The trail is designed to encourage sensory perception and integration using nature and natural materials.  It includes sensory stations, a gentle maze with cuddle swings, a music circle, a meadow with balance beams and an obstacle course, and many more special areas.  Located near the park’s Humphrey Nature Center with parking, restrooms and Wi-Fi, the ADA-compliant trail was designed with input from Dr. Temple Grandin, a cattle industry expert who was diagnosed with autism in 1950 at the age of two and is now one of the world’s most well-known advocates for the autistic community.

The Buffalo Sabres lost the match up against the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night in their first preseason game played at Keybank Arena.  Tage Thompson scored the lone goal for the Sabres who were unable to make any more headway as Pittsburgh put in 2 for a final score of 2 to 1.  The Sabres will be back at KeyBank Center on Monday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Afternoon News Brief

A long-awaited merger of the leading agencies serving people with developmental disabilities became official today.
The Arc of Genesee-Orleans and the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming are one agency under the name of Arc GLOW for the four-county area it will now serve.
Arc GLOW is dedicated to helping people meet their full potential and find fulfillment in learning, personal relationships, employment, recreation, the arts, and more.

A special video marking the merger:

 

State Police say Nicole Granger has been located and she is in good health. Troopers had issued an alert for the 30-year-old Batavia woman earlier today. She had been reported missing for 10 days.
In a brief statement troopers said Nicole was located with the help of the public.

After 35 years of service, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Communications Coordinator Russell Lang retires today.
Lang began his career in 1986, as a Dispatcher and three years later , he was appointed Communications Coordinator and has held this position ever since.
During his career, Lang earned include two Distinguished Service awards and three Meritorious Service awards from the Sheriff’s Office.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is kicking off a series of visits to local small businesses to commemorate National Women’s Small Business Month. Hawley has started with a visit to Gilliana’s Diner in on Jackson Street. Hawley says he will be visiting other women-owned small businesses in the district throughout October. Gilliana’s Diner is a restaurant owned by Jill Antinore which opened at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Buffalo Bills will have the support of their home crowd this weekend as they look to win their third game in a row. The defending AFC East champions are hosting the Houston Texans at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The Bills are two-and-one this season after back-to-back victories over the Miami Dolphins and Washington Football Team where Buffalo outscored both of those opponents by a total of 57 points while giving up just 21. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for 1p.m.

Midday News Brief

State Police say Nicole Granger has been located and she is in good health.
Troopers had issued an alert for the 30-year-old Batavia woman earlier today. She had been reported missing for 10 days.
In a brief statement troopers said Nicole was located with the help of the public.

 

 

After 35 years of service, Communications Coordinator Russell Lang is working his last shift today at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Lang began his career in 1986, as a Dispatcher and three years later , he was appointed Communications Coordinator and has held this position ever since. During his communications career, Lang earned several awards that include two Distinguished Service, three Meritorious Service for continuous excellence, and six Commendations.

PHOTO: Sheriff William Sheron (right) congratulates Russell Lang on 35 years of service to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office

Courtesy “The Batavian”

Batavia Downs has presented a check for $4,500 to the Make a wish foundation. The money was raised by renting chairs during the Rockin the Downs Summer Concert Series.
Make a Wish foundation workers volunteered at the rental booth this summer.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is kicking off a series of visits to local small businesses to commemorate National Women’s Small Business Month. Hawley has started with a visit to Gilliana’s Diner in on Jackson Street. Hawley says he will be visiting other women-owned small businesses in the district throughout October.
Gilliana’s Diner is a restaurant owned by Jill Antinore which opened at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Buffalo Sabres lost 6 to 2 after an early lead to the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night. The Sabres will be back home tonight at 7 when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

The Buffalo Bills will have the support of their home crowd this weekend as they look to win their third game in a row. The defending AFC East champions are hosting the Houston Texans at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. The Bills are two-and-one this season after back-to-back victories over the Miami Dolphins and Washington Football Team where Buffalo outscored both of those opponents by a total of 57 points while giving up just 21. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for 1p.m.

Morning News Brief

New York State Police need your help searching for a 30-year-old woman from Batavia.  Investigators say Nicole Granger was last seen 10 days ago.  Troopers say they received a missing person’s report on Wednesday.  If you have any information, you’re asked to contact New York State Police at (585) 786-5152.

3 people have been sentenced in connection to the murder of Cheyenne Farewell in Lockport at a 2020 Halloween party.  The district attorney says Shawn Johnson, the person who shot Farewell, pleaded guilty to Murder in the Second Degree, Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, and two counts each of Assault in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree, and was sentenced to 20 years to life in state prison.  Another person who had a gun but didn’t shoot any shots, was sentenced to a minimum of 16 months and a maximum of three years in state prison for Manslaughter in the First Degree.  Jonathan Frey, the person who drove the car that was involved in the shooting entered a guilty plea to Hindering Prosecution and was sentenced to a term of two to four years in state prison.

After 35 years of service, Communications Coordinator Russell Lang is working his last shift today at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.  Russ began his career on August 9, 1986, as a Dispatcher, and on June 17, 1989, he was appointed Communications Coordinator and has held this position ever since.  During his communications career, Lang earned several awards that include two Distinguished Service, three Meritorious Service for continuous excellence, and six Commendations.

Batavia Downs presented 4500 dollars to the Make a Wish Foundation on Wednesday.  The money was raised by selling the rental chairs for the Rockin The Downs Concert series.  Make a Wish foundation workers volunteered at the rental booth renting out chairs, selling koozys and glow jewelry.

Former Sabres owner John Rigas has passed away at 96.  Rigas owned the Sabres from 1997 to 2002 when he was convicted of wire fraud and the NHL took over the team.  He was released from prison in 2016 after being diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer.  He maintained his innocence till the end.

The Buffalo Sabres lost 6 to 2 after an early lead to the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night.  Buffalo started the game with Rasmus Asplund scoring the first goal of the game but the Sabres would only get one other goal by Arttu Ruotolainen. The Sabres will be back home tonight at 7 when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul has appointed Dr. Mary Bassett as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, effective December 1st.  Bassett will replace Howard Zucker as health commissioner.  Bassett is the director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University and FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  Bassett says she will work to make New York State more equitable and fight structural racism.

The Genesee Orleans Health department is offering 2 Pfizer Vaccine booster shot clinics October 6th and 7th.  Wednesday the 6th the clinic is at the Genesee County Health Department Building and Thursday the 7tyh it is at the Orleans county Health Department Building.  Both clinics are by appointment only.  Booster shots are recommended or those who are 65 and up, residents in long term care facilities, and 50 and up who are immunocompromised.

The Asbury Rd bridge, north of Harris Rd in the Town of LeRoy will be closed beginning Monday 10/4/2021 for bridge repairs. This project is expected to take six weeks. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles.

Students from every high school in Genesee county joined more than 700 students from throughout the GLOW region Tuesday at GLOW With Your Hands at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.  The event gave students a chance to experience a variety of trades including, bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, mechanical, and forms of manufacturing.  Among the 40 companies participating were Oxbow, Liberty Pumps, and O-AT-KA Milk.

Do you have antiques and you want to know what they are worth? Antiques Home Show is coming to Buffalo starting October 24th at the WNED PBS studios.  Full vaccination is needed to attend, tickets are 14 dollars and the show runs from 9AM to 3:45pm

Highmark stadium is hiring for gameday employees.  The Bills stadium is looking for guest service ambassadors, ushers and ticket takers.  If you are interested you can apply at BuffaloBills.com/stadium/employment.

New York State is contracting with 2 organizations to look into a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.  Empire State Development has entered into a 500 thousand dollar contract with O’Melveny and Myers for them to provide legal services related to negotiations for the state related to the Bills Stadium.  The second contract is with real estate/infrastructure consulting firm AECOM for a contract around $150,000.  AECOM will be looking into locations, size amenities and the cost of renovating the current Highmark Stadium vs building a new one.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul said she stands behind the healthcare worker vaccine mandate even with over 72000 hospital workers and 12000 nursing home staff being forced out of work.  As evidence that the mandate is working Hochul points to an increase in nursing home and adult care facilities vaccination rates from 71 percent to 92 percent over the last 4 weeks.  Hochul said in a press conference Tuesday, “This new information shows that holding firm on the vaccine mandate for health care workers is simply the right thing to do to protect our vulnerable family members and loved ones from COVID-19.”

The mandate that businesses with over 100 employees must have everyone vaccinated or face fines and expensive testing each week is getting bumped up by the US congress.  As part of the 3.5 trillion dollar bill going to the senate the house passed an increase in the fines to businesses which refuse to force their employees to get vaccinated.  How much of an increase? Up to 700000 dollars per infraction. The legislative provision passed the Democratic-controlled Budget Committee, and if enacted would levy drastic penalties that could rapidly shut down companies refusing to comply.

Ellicott Place in Batavia is opening today for the first time for a first look by the public at the new retail space and apartments. The 3.15 million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative project will have an open house at 2 today with Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Senator Ed Rath, City Council President Eugene Jankowski, Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein and others who were part of the building and planning process attending.  The Ellicott Street DRI project is part of the $20 million of capital investment projects taking place in downtown Batavia, including the development of approximately 65 market rate apartments which addresses the critical need for high-quality residential units in downtown Batavia and Genesee County.

For the 38th year the Jerome Foundation is looking for nominations for its Health and Humanitarian Award of Genesee County.  Award winners for the past four decades have included health care workers, builders, teachers, and many community volunteers.  The award recognizes outstanding men and women whose volunteer efforts have improved the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of the greater Genesee County area.  Nomination forms due by October 10th and are available on-line at www.thejeromefoundation.org or by calling 585-356-3419.

The Buffalo Sabres pulled out a win for their season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  After falling behind 4 to 1 a late game rally brought the score up to 5 to 4 in a shootout.  Arttu Ruotsolainen scored the first goal, then Michael Mersch got the next one.  JJ Peterka followed him with his first goal as a Sabre.  Weissbach made it a tied game and then Jack Quinn scored the winning goal after 5 minutes of overtime.

Morning News Brief

Across New York State roughly 72 thousand hospital workers and 16 thousand Nursing Home Employees were let go or placed on unpaid leave yesterday as the healthcare vaccine mandate went into effect.  As of Monday, the ECMC put roughly 5% of its hospital workforce on unpaid leave, and 20% of its nursing home staff. Catholic Health and U of R Medical Centers said they would postpone elective surgeries as well ahead of layoffs.  Several lawsuits are in the works to attempt to lift the mandate.  One was successful in putting a temporary hold in place for medical and religious exemptions which were left out of the mandate.  Another successfully blocked a similar mandate for teachers and school staff.

Governor Hochul announced on Monday that people who are considered at risk will be able to get a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine, considered a booster, to maximize their protection against COVID 19.  The Department of Health says that those 65 and older, residents in long-term care settings, and those between 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID exposure should receive the booster.  Also it has to be at least 6 months since you had the last shot of the regular Pfizer COVID vaccination.  Those who got the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccines are not eligible at this time.  Hochul also announced 65 million dollars to be spent in setting up booster shot infrastructure.

The western NY minimum wage is set to increase by the end of the year by 70 cents.  It was 12.50 and will rise to 13.20.  Even with it officially rising, many businesses were already paying employees above that.  McDonalds on West Main in Batavia is advertising positions starting at 16 dollars an hour.  Even with higher wages many businesses are finding it difficult to get prospective employees to apply.  Leading to things like the bussing shortage and shortages of goods in stores.

The City of Batavia is weighing the installation of a new playground at Austin Park.  This wouldn’t just be a regular playground though, City Manager Rachel Tabelski said at the City Council Meeting Monday night that it would be an “inclusive destination” playground.  The inclusive part of the wording is meant to apply to making the playground so it can be used by children who are differently abled.  Tabelski said she wants the playground to have a “wow” factor that will bring people to visit from around the region and “bolster activity in the downtown corridor.”  She says the playground would be paid for by roughly 400 thousand dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.  Batavia received almost 1 and a half million dollars.

Morning News Brief

Dustin Nemec of Elba was killed when his 2020 Volkswagen left the road and struck a tree then a barn at 5693 chapel Road in Byron around 6pm on Saturday night.  Nemec was going east on Chapel Road when he apparently failed to follow the curve of the road.  Byron Fire, South Byron Fire and Elba Fire responded to the accident.  Nemec was pronounced dead at the scene.

Today is the day for the vaccine mandate deadline to go into effect for healthcare workers across New York State.  Governor Hochul has announced a plan to fill up staffing shortages caused by the requirement for all healthcare workers to be COVID vaccinated with at least one shot by today.  The plan includes declaring a state of emergency to employ qualified healthcare professionals licensed in other states, countries, recent graduates and retirees to practice in New York.  Other options include deployment of medically-trained National Guard personnel.  As of September 22, 84% of hospital employees in New York are fully vaccinated leaving large gaps in the medical field which is causing hospitals across the region to suspend some services while they try to shore up the empty positions.  The Department of Labor has issued guidance to clarify that workers who are terminated because of refusal to be vaccinated are not eligible for unemployment insurance without a valid doctor-approved request for medical accommodation.

The Bills say that 4 people were refused entry to the game on Sunday because their vaccine passports did not pass screening or were not the correct type of card.  They did not accuse the people of forgeries and cannot say how many other people were turned away at the door.

Douglas Allen, longtime singer of the National Anthem for Buffalo Sabres games, says he isn’t singing this year.  He says he in unvaccinated and will not be getting the COVID vaccine as he has already had the virus and believes his natural immunity is enough.  According to research done in Israel and reported in the Washington Post, Science magazine, the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health among other sources, those who have recovered from a COVID infection have as much as 26 times the protection against reinfection as those who have been fully vaccinated.  Though researchers stress that this is a “don’t try this at home” result and that vaccines on top of natural immunity further enhance your protections.  Keybank Arena is requiring all attendees to be Covid Vaccinated.

The Bills beat the Washington Football Team soundly on Sunday 43 to 21 for their first home win.  Josh Allen was on fire from the start and finished with a season high 32 of 43 for 358 yards, 4TD passes and a TD run.  The Bills next game is against the Houston Texans at Highmark Stadium Sunday at 1pm.

Weekend News Brief

Going apple picking this week?  Check where you are going to see if you need reservations.  Many apple growers are requiring pre registration in order to go pick apples at their orchards to cut down on crowds and obey capacity limit rules that are an attempt to slow the spread of COVID 19.  Some have you pay in advance which will cover the price of entry and a bag of apples.  Locally both Watts Farms and Roanoke Orchard say on their websites or social media that they are not doing u-pick this year.

Are you having issues with your Excelsior Pass?  The New York State Health department launched the electronic Excelsior Pass 6 months ago and some people are reporting that they no longer show as vaccinated.  Sometimes the state database seems to have lost their name or changes the spelling of it and declares them not vaccinated.  Some have reported it showing their status as expired.  The passes are supposed to be good for at least a year but the NYS Health department says some passes are only good for 180 days.  They say if you are having trouble to call the location you received your vaccine.  Also deleting and reinstalling the app may fix the problem.

All Rochester City School students not currently on a bus route should be by the end of September according to Superintendent Dr. Lesi Myers-Small.  Myers-Small said in her weekly email newsletter that affected families will be getting a call and a letter from the transportation department early next week with the details.  The superintendent also says school bus driver absences are still causing problems. The district averages about 20 per day with no substitute drivers available.

The snow leopard cub at the Seneca Park Zoo may have a name soon but they continue to need the public’s help to choose between 3 names that were submitted.  Out of 750 public submitted names the 3 are Tashi which means “Good Luck,” Sabu which means “Snow Leopard,” and Kenji which means “Strong.”  They all reflect the strides he’s made since his start. He was born hypothermic and dehydrated and has been hand raised by zookeepers since.  His mom is Timila, the zoo’s four-year-old snow leopard.  To vote follow the link on Seneca Park Zoo’s Facebook Page.

Evening News Update

The University of Rochester Medical Centers will be pausing elective surgeries starting Monday due to staffing shortages.  This pause will last 2 weeks.  The medical centers say 99 percent of their professional medical staff are vaccinated but only 90 percent of all employees are fully vaccinated.  The healthcare system is also temporarily closing UR Medicine Urgent Cares in Spencerport and Farmington.  The system says patients should expect lengthier wait times for routine appointments, potential temporary bed closures and some workers being asked to take on other duties. Emergency and critical care, it says, will continue.

The kids who painted the rocks for the peace garden have received some recognition for their donation.  The children of St Josephs school Summer Camp worked to paint 30 stones to decorate the Peace Garden on East Main Street in Batavia to replace the ones stolen in August.  The students, including four who served as leaders from Notre Dame High School, were honored with Certificates of Appreciation Thursday at the Summit Street elementary school.

Midday News Brief

A Batavia man is facing new felony charges of rape and sexual assault in a case that goes back seven years. 40-year-old Melvin Huntley of Wilkinson Road has now been charged with Rape in the 1st Degree, 1st Degree sexual abuse and predatory sexual assault.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies said the on-going investigation found that Huntley had subjected a total of four victims to various incidents of sexual assault over the course of seven years. Deputies say Huntley was previously charged in relation to the initial three victims but these new charges relate to a recently discovered fourth victim. Huntley remains in the Genesee County Jail.

State health officials say Western New York has the second-lowest vaccination rate among home nursing staff of any region in New York. They say 22 percent of nursing home staff remain unvaccinated. This Monday, the vaccination deadline for health care workers takes effect. Governor Hochul has said the state will find replacements for those employees who are not yet vaccinated by the deadline.

Legendary Notre Dame High School Basketball Coach Mike Rapone says the upcoming season will be his last.
His last season will be his 42nd at the helm of one of Section 5’s most successful boys basketball programs.
The school says Rapone’s replacement will be announced before the start of the upcoming season.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) says today he’s happy to see State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker go.
Hawley has been a frequent critic of Zucker and demanded his resignation on many occasions. Hawley questioned the role Zucker may have played in the potential cover-up of the true number of fatalities that occurred in nursing homes during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bills Mafia probably won’t find this news surprising but a website has ranked Bills’ fans among the most loyal fans in the NFL.
The website called Lineups-dot-com surveyed pro football fans about fan behavior when they move away from their hometown. Bills fans are ranked third most loyal, right behind a couple of other diehard fanbases — Green Bay and Dallas. The survey also found that people who moved to the Buffalo area often switch to supporting the Bills.

Morning News Briefing

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker will be stepping down from his position after nearly seven-and-a-half years on the job. Governor Kathy Hochul says she agrees with his decision and went on to thank him for his service on behalf of the state. Hochul noted Dr. Zucker’s hard work throughout the pandemic and says he now has other opportunities he plans to pursue. The governor reports that Dr. Zucker will remain in his position until his replacement can be found.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Thursday that bowhunting seasons for deer and bear will begin in the Southern Zone, where our area is located, on Oct. 1.

There are some changes to big game seasons this year. Bowhunters may only use crossbows during the last 14 days of the Southern Zone bow season, which is Nov. 6-19. To hunt with a crossbow during this time, you must possess a muzzleloader privilege and a crossbow qualifications certificate.

The Genesee County STOP-DWI Board is inviting all sixth- through 12th-grade students to submit a poster design that reflects the dangers of drinking and driving. Designs should focus on the effects drinking and driving have on an individual, their family and the community.
The theme for the 2021 poster contest is, “If you drink it’s your business, if you drink and drive it’s ours.”

Complete details are located here.

Rochester police say one of their officers involved in the handcuffing of Daniel Prude in March of last year will face departmental charges in the incident. Prude died when he was taken off life support a week after Rochester police restrained and handcuffed him while he was in a mental health crisis and was resisting officers. The police department says Officer Mark Vaughn was served with departmental charges last night, though the statement did not specify the nature of those charges. Vaughn is one of seven officers who have been suspended in the incident but he’s the only officer the department has charged.


New York’s three NFL teams are partnering with the state in an effort to boost COVID-19 vaccination numbers. Gov. Kathy Hochul says this is rooted in her belief that people need to hear from trusted voices in order to overcome vaccine hesitancy. The campaign includes weekly drawings for five-straight weeks in which entrants can win game tickets, signed memorabilia, and even FaceTime calls with alumni players. In order to be eligible, you must have received your first dose of the coronavirus vaccine between Aug. 9 and Oct. 25.

“He’s listening.” For the past two days, some lucky shoppers in the Buffalo area had the chance to get up close and personal with Seattle’s most famous fictional radio psychiatrist. Actor Kelsey Grammer, who played the character of Dr. Frasier Crane on both “Cheers” and the popular spinoff “Frasier,” was on hand at a couple of local grocery stores to promote his new Faith American beer line. He chatted with customers at Dash’s Market on Wednesday, and then on Thursday at Tops on Elmwood Avenue. The Rochester-area gets its chance today, as Grammer will be at the Tops in Penfield today.

Evening News Brief

In a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday morning, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the state’s health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, had resigned.  As commissioner of the state health department, Zucker’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic came under fire in 2020 and into 2021. Following a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James in January of this year on the deaths of COVID-19 patients in nursing homes, several elected leaders in Western New York called for Zucker’s resignation.  Governor Kathy Hochul will appoint the next commissioner and Zucker will stay in his position until that replacement is appointed.

The New York State Comptrollers office has released a report saying they found lax oversight of operations at Western Region Off Track Betting.  Western Regional Off-Track Betting spent thousands on tickets to events, food and alcohol for board members, employees and other individuals without state oversight, according to an audit released Thursday.  A second audit found that CEO Henry Wojtaszek did not reimburse the organization for his personal use of a company vehicle in a timely manner.

New York State announced the “Vax and Win” COVID-19 vaccine incentive partnership today.  The program is a partnership between NYS and the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and New York Jets. It offers New Yorkers a chance to win tickets, signed merchandise and more.  It is open to New Yorkers 12 and older who received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose between September 9, 2021 and October 24, 2021.  For more information follow the link at wbtai.com.  https://www.governor.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-vax-and-win-football-sweepstakes

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the Public’s assistance in locating Marc C. J. Cook.  Mr. Cook is wanted on multiple Warrants including Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd and Bail Jumping 2nd, all Felonies in Alabama Town Court.  He is also wanted by Batavia City Court for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th, Criminal Use of Drug  Paraphernalia 2nd, Possession of a Hypodermic Needle, and three counts of Bail Jumping 3rd, all Misdemeanor charges.  If anyone knows his whereabouts, please contact the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000.

Jack Eichel is no longer the captain of the Buffalo Sabres.  The Sabres and Eichel have been at odds lately as Eichel, following a neck injury, accused the team of not supporting him during his recovery and making bad medical decisions that could have ended his career.  General Manager Kevyn Adams said that the decisions was made because “the captain should be the heartbeat of his team.”

Midday News Brief

Two people are dead following a collision between a car and a tractor-trailer in Pembroke.
The crash occurred yesterday afternoon. Deputies say the driver of a 2009 Chevrolet Sedan, 69-year-old Arnold Herdendorf of Lockport, failed to stop at a stop sign on Route 77 while westbound on Indian Falls Road. He crashed into the tractor trailer in the intersection. Herdendorf and a passenger, 70-year-old Christopher Rowell also of Lockport, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The truckdriver and a passenger in the big rig were not injured.

The Batavia City School Board of Education is working with the superintendent of Genesee Valley BOCES in the district’s search for a new superintendent.
Kevin MacDonald will hold virtual sessions with stakeholders including staff and the community next week.
The district hopes to announce a new superintendent in early November, and have the person start Jan. 1 or sooner.

Governor Kathy Hochul says the results of the study of Buffalo Bills Stadium will be released soon. She says all options for the future of the stadium are being studied. Officials with Pegula Sports and Entertainment say they prefer a location in Orchard Park close to the current stadium. They estimate the stadium would cost about one-point-four-billion dollars and seat up to 62,000 fans.

Batavia Downs continues to give back to the community.
The Downs and Western Region OTB presented a check today to the Alzheimer’s for $2,000 in support of Western New York patients and their families. The money was collected this summer at the Rockin’ the Downs Concert Series.

The Genesee County STOP-DWI Board is inviting all sixth- through 12th-grade students to submit a poster design that reflects the dangers of drinking and driving. Designs should focus on the effects drinking and driving have on an individual, their family and the community.
The theme for the 2021 poster contest is, “If you drink it’s your business, if you drink and drive it’s ours.”
Details on the contest HERE

STOP DWI Poster Contest Announced

In support of the Genesee County STOP-DWI program, the STOP-DWI Board invites all sixth- through 12th-grade students to submit a poster design that reflects the dangers of drinking and driving.
Designs should focus on the effects drinking and driving have on an individual, their family and the community.
The theme for the 2021 poster contest is, “If you drink it’s your business, if you drink and drive it’s ours.”

Guidelines:

Contestants must be enrolled as a sixth- through 12th-grader in a Genesee County School;
Poster should be no larger than 9’’ x 12” and must include the theme of: “If you drink it’s your business, if you drink and drive it’s ours”;
Please submit your artwork in landscape (horizontal) orientation;
Each submission should be the original student’s work. Submissions should be mailed or dropped off to the address below;
Each entry must include the artist’s full name, address, phone number, grade, age and school on the back of the poster (no personal information should be on the illustration).
Designs can be in any medium, including computer-generated. However, we strongly recommend that students create strong, simple and colorful designs that will deliver the most visual impact for their message.

Grand Prize Winner — gift card, T-shirt with their artwork on it and their artwork on a billboard in Genesee County. They will also be honored at the STOP DWI luncheon banquet in November.

First- through third-place winners from each category (sixth – eighth grade; ninth – 12th grade; and graphic art) will receive a gift card, commendation and T-shirt with the overall winner’s design. They will also be recognized at the STOP-DWI luncheon banquet in November.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received in person or by mail by 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8th.

Send submissions to:

Genesee County Youth Bureau

ATTN: STOP DWI Poster Contest

2 Bank St.

Batavia, NY 14020

Morning News Brief

Two people are dead following yesterday’s vehicle collision in Pembroke.  Local deputies say it happened shortly before 1:45 p.m. when a passenger vehicle headed west on Indian Falls Road blew through a stop sign at the intersection of Rt. 77 and was T-boned by a semi tractor-trailer.  Both vehicles reportedly came to rest in a nearby field.  Two people in the car were declared dead at the scene.  No other injuries were reported

The Batavia Board of Education is working with the superintendent of Genesee Valley BOCES in the district’s search for a new superintendent.

Kevin MacDonald will help the board during the process. Virtual sessions with stakeholders including staff and the community will be held next week.

The district hopes to announce a new superintendent in early November, and have the person start Jan. 1 or sooner.

Here is the schedule of the informational sessions, along with the link to register:

Tue., Sept. 28 @ 3:30pm – Staff/employee stakeholders (must have bataviacsd.org domain to register)
Tue., Sept. 28 @ 6:00pm – Community stakeholders
Wed., Sept. 29 @ 5:30pm – Staff/community

Register for a virtual information session here.

A man from York is facing felony charges after he threatened to shoot employees from the county’s family court.

Livingston County Sheriffs say Chad Curtis, 38, sent threatening emails to family court employees after he was upset about pending matters with the court.

Curtis faces felony charges for making a terroristic threat and aggravated harassment.

Beginning Sept. 29, proof of vaccination will be required for anyone who wants to go to any event at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.  For the first month, from Sept. 29 through Nov. 2, guests will be allowed to enter the arena with just one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Beginning Nov. 3, guests must be fully vaccinated.  Anyone younger than 12 years of age will not have to show proof of vaccination.

Governor Kathy Hochul calls work to upgrade the Niagara Power Project part of New York’s effort to fight the apocalypse of climate change.  The governor visited the power plant yesterday upon the completion of the latest upgrade to the facility.  The $460 million upgrade replaced all 12 power-generating turbines at the Lewiston Pump Generating Station and took ten years to complete.  The station is one of the two power plants at the complex.  It’s part of a $1.1 billion project called Next Generation Niagara, which is key to the state’s goal of no carbon emissions by the year 2040.

Evening News Brief

The Governors traffic Safety Committee released the impact the STOP DWI campaign had earlier this year.  Over 2500 tickets were issued to impaired drivers, and over 94 thousand tickets were issued for other violations.

Blue Cross Arena in Rochester is going to start requiring anyone attending an event to be fully COVID vaccinated starting November 3rd.  From September 29th through November 2nd one dose will be ok for entry.  This is for anyone 12 and over.  All those 12 and under must wear masks.

ECMC has announced it will be suspending inpatient elective surgeries due to staffing shortages.  They say the COVID Vaccine requirements for healthcare workers is to blame.  ECMC’s suspension of elective surgeries is part of a contingency plan as it prepares for staffing shortages due to the vaccine requirement. ECMC said the plan also includes not allowing ICU transfers from other facilities, reducing the number of units at the Terrace View long term care facility, and cutting hours at the outpatient clinics. A spokesperson for the hospital says over 400 staff are unvaccinated and will not be able to work under the mandate.

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Hochul announced Tuesday that the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Energy research and Development Authority will be working to monitor air quality in minority communities.  The readings would be used to develop strategies to reduce pollution.  According to the governor’s office, NYSERDA will work within its Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative process to allocate funding to the effort. The DEC’s Environmental Justice Program will also provide up to $500,000 in Community Air Monitoring Capacity Building Grants to ensure community participation.

Police are asking for community help in finding the suspects in the August 28th shooting on South Main street.  There is a video of the people they are looking for on our news partner the Batavian.  Shots were fired at a home in what police say was a targeted incident.

Because of rain this morning, Allenview Drive and Garden Drive in the City of Batavia won’t be closed today for roadwork.  Bureau of Maintenance Superintendent Raymond Tourt said the planned work has been rescheduled for tomorrow.

The Buffalo Sabres and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin have agreed to terms on a three-year contract.  The team made the announcement Wednesday, the average annual value of the contract is $6 million. Dahlin was selected first overall by the Sabres in the 2018 NHL Draft and was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2018-19. He has played 197 games in his NHL career tallying 18 goals and 89 assists for 107 points.

The Buffalo Bisons wrap up the 2021 season with a five-game homestand against Lehigh Valley beginning tonight.  Since returning to Sahlen Field on August 10, the Bisons have averaged 4,030 fans per game. Total attendance across the 18 home games played between August 10 and the beginning of this final homestand has reached 72,533.  Attendance for Bisons games at Sahlen Field is down 49.5% from 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morning News Brief

The City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee approved a site plan for the Healthy Living campus. It’s a joint venture between United Memorial Medical Center and the GLOW YMCA.

According to The Batavian, the committee approved the $30 million project by a 3-1 vote. The approved project eliminates a proposed traffic exit onto Summit Street, and eliminates 30 parking spaces between the existing YMCA and GO ART!

The Healthy Living Campus is slated to replace the current YMCA.

The State Department of Labor last week said the state’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in August from 7.6% to 7.4%.

The latest unemployment figures for August showed that Genesee County’s unemployment rate was 4.5%, a full 3% drop from the rate in August 2020. It’s also one of the lowest county unemployment rate in the state.

The Rochester man arrested in connection with violent protests at the United States Capitol is due back in court today. Prosecutors have charged Dominic Pezzola with multiple crimes for his alleged role in the January 6 protests including conspiracy and assaulting police. Pezzola was among a group of protesters who were trying to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s win over former President Donald Trump. Pezzola is currently behind bars and awaiting trial.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced yet another effort to get teenagers vaccinated against the coronavirus. The governor said yesterday that 120 new pop-up vaccination sites will be opening statewide over the next 12 weeks. The hope is to boost the immunization rate among people in the 12 to 17-year-old age group. So far, only 54 percent of New Yorkers in that category have been vaccinated which is the lowest of any demographic that’s currently eligible to get their shots. Hochul also says there are no plans to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for students.

The Governor is making a trip to Rochester today, to announce that Constellation Brands will move its headquarters from Victor to downtown Rochester. The company, which distributes beer, wine and spirits like Modelo beer and Svedka vodka, is expected to bring 300 jobs to downtown Rochester.

A federal judge has issued a new ruling involving a mandate that health care workers in New York State get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19. The judge says the state can’t enforce the rule on people who seek or obtain a religious exemption until October 12. The order is being challenged by health professionals who are claiming the mandate is a violation of their Constitutional rights because it doesn’t allow exemptions for religious reasons. Any health care worker who hasn’t received an exemption must still get vaccinated by September 27.

If you feel like you’ve been bitten by more mosquitos this year, you’re not alone. U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is requesting more federal dollars – a 61% increase, to be exact – for the CDC’s Vector-Borne Diseases programs which helps fend off the increasing mosquito population and curb the spread of disease spread by mosquitos like West Nile.

Schumer said a wet summer and climate change could keep the mosquitos around during the fall months. A recent article by the Syracuse Post-Standard said Syracuse is experiencing 25 times more mosquitos this year than last. local departments of health to ensure research findings and information are getting out into the community more rapidly, support surveillance efforts, and promote outreach and education.

Yesterday, we reported at the Biden Administration would keep the land border between the U.S. and Canada closed to Canadians until October 21. Now U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants President Biden to open up the border sooner and allow Canadians in.

Gillibrand said the border closure strained supply chains of New York businesses, hospitals, and medical equipment providers that rely on travel across the border to stay afloat. She said it’s also affecting cross-border families, including service members at Fort Drum.

Gillibrand said the closure and loss of Canadian business is costing the U.S. economy $1.5 billion each month and $665-855 million annually in Erie County alone.

Evening News Brief

Police want to correct a story that went out about a stop and manhunt on Rt 33.  It was originally reported that the man fired off at least a dozen shots while the police were searching for him.  In actuality there was a propane fueled wildlife scare cannon in use nearby that sounded like gunshots.  The man, 44 year old Arthur Brown of LeRoy, is facing three felony charges including weapons possession, menacing a police officer, and evidence tampering. Brown is also facing three misdemeanor charges and two traffic violations. He is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail and will be in court October 5.  The passenger in the car, 29-year-old Brianna Smith of Rochester, who says she only met Brown earlier that day, has a warrant in the state of Florida for violating probation, but the state of Florida would not extradite Smith. She faces one charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance and will back in Stafford Town Court at a later date.

Senator Chuck Schumer is calling upon the federal government to combat rising Mosquito populations in New York State.  Schumer says that this year has had record numbers of the tiny blood sucking insects and thousands of West Nile Virus carriers have been identified.  Onondaga county has reported a 25 times increase in the numbers of mosquitos from last year.  Schumer is calling on the CDC to increase vector borne disease funding and the EPA to work harder to control mosquito populations.

The 45th annual Letchworth Arts and Crafts show and sale is coming to Perry Park on Columbus Day weekend.  October 9-11th go see over 200 artisans, food vendors, live entertainments and family fun activities.  The show is moving from Letchworth park to Perry park over covid concerns and restrictions.  Follow the link on WBTAi.com for more details.  http://artswyco.org/

Over 700 season ticket holders have requested a refund for the Buffalo Bills over the vaccine mandate.  Friday is the deadline to request a refund. All those who do will lose their ticket seniority and seat.  Under the mandate Fans 12 and over must have proof of at least one vaccine by Sunday’s home game and must be fully vaccinated by October 31.  Anyone under the age of 12 must wear a mask at all times.  Sabres season ticket holders have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to request a refund for their tickets.

Morning News Brief

The man who fled a traffic stop Sunday night in Stafford is facing a slew of charges. Police say 44-year-old Arthur Brown of LeRoy was seen driving erratically on Rt. 33 in Stafford, and when his vehicle was pulled over, Brown fled into a wooded area. That’s when police heard what sounded like gunshots, but was actually a wildlife scare cannon that’s used to scare off birds and other animals that might damage crops.

A nearly five-hour search by police finally ended around just before 11:30 p.m. when Brown was taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team.

Brown is facing three felony charges including weapons possession, menacing a police officer, and evidence tampering. Brown is also facing three misdemeanor charges and two traffic violations. He is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail and will be in court October 5.

A passenger in the car, 29-year-old Brianna Smith of Rochester, has a warrant in the state of Florida for violating probation, but the state of Florida would not extradite Smith. She faces one charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance and will back in Stafford Town Court at a later date.

The city of Batavia will be closing some roads tomorrow for resurfacing. Parts of Allenview Drive and Garden Drive will be close tomorrow between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The city will also resurface the parking lot at Lion’s Park and the Canale Lot off Ellicott Street.

The work should be completed in a day as long as the weather doesn’t postpone the work.

The Biden Administration says the land border between the United States and Canada is going to be closed for another month. That means Canadians won’t be able to drive into the U.S. for nonessential reasons until October 21. But a White House official revealed yesterday foreign visitors can fly into the U.S. in November if they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. In August, Canada began allowing Americans who are protected from the virus to enter their country for the first time in months. U.S. officials say Canadians can cross the border for essential reasons such as business or to receive medical care.

A federal lawsuit has been filed to challenge a mandate that children statewide are required to wear masks in school and on the bus. The legal action is being taken by parents who claim the rights of their kids are being violated because the facial covering order causes them harm. The attorneys for the plaintiffs say some children have complained of health issues such as headaches, anxiety, and depression due to having a mask on. Governor Kathy Hochul said last month she was putting the masking guideline in place because she believes it’s the best way to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Governor Kathy Hochul is announcing a new series of environmental goals as Climate Week gets underway in the state. Hochul is calling on the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York State Department of Public Service to develop a solar roadmap that would expanded the state’s current solar program to at least 10 gigawatts by 2030. Hochul is also aiming to have over one-million zero emissions vehicles on the road by 2035, which is on par with California’s goals.

Morning News Brief

More details are expected later today from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office about last night’s traffic stop where the driver fled on foot and shot at police.

It started on near Mill Road on Rt. 33 in Stafford just after 6 p.m. yesterday when Howard Owens, from our news partner The Batavian, called police about a car driving erratically. He said a sheriff’s deputy pulled the car over and the driver burst out of the car, fled on foot into a corn field, pulled out a weapon and started shooting. For the next five hours, a search for the man included Batavia police, a K-9 unit, a State Police helicopter, and the Monroe County SWAT team. The man was taken into custody just before midnight. A female passenger in the suspect’s car was also taken into custody.

Owens gives the whole timeline of last night’s incident at TheBatavian.com.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a plan to address the shortage of bus drivers that is plaguing many school districts across the state. In the short-term, the state will expand testing opportunities for interested drivers to get their CDL license, and the DMV is removing the 2-week waiting period between the permit and road tests – an effort to get more drivers into school buses.

Hochul is also directing state agencies to come up with a plan to recruit more drivers – including reaching out to the more than 550,000 CDL license holders in New York state to gauge interest in becoming a school bus driver.

This past weekend, Rep. Lee Zeldin, the leading Republican candidate for next year’s governor’s race, said he was diagnosed with leukemia last year. The Long Island lawmaker issued a statement Saturday saying he was diagnosed in November with early-stage chronic myeloid leukemia and began immediate treatment. The 41-year-old said he’s achieved complete remission and expects to lead a normal life.

Today is the kickoff of Sheriffs’ Week in the state which celebrates the contributions of Sheriff Offices across the state. Here in Genesee County, the Sheriff’s Office was established in 1802. The Sheriff’s Office says its duties go beyond just keeping the peace, the Sheriff’s Office also maintains the county jail, provides security to courts and schools, runs animal control, and dispatches emergency services, among other duties.

Weekend News Brief

With Governor Hochul and Genesee Orleans County Health Commissioner Paul Petit both saying that booster shots for fully vaccinated individuals will be coming soon and with a possibility of mandates to follow the FDA has put its foot down and said no.  On Friday the FDA overwhelmingly rejected recommending booster shots for most people who were fully vaccinated.  The committee voted 16 to 2 to only recommend giving boosters to people who had compromised immune systems or were at specifically high risk due to age or special health circumstances.  The Federal Government had been asking for approval of boosters for the general population 16 years old and up.

A motorcycle accident on Walnut Street at Law Street Friday afternoon left the rider seriously injured.  The collision occurred at about 12:22 when the bike slammed into the side of a pickup truck at the intersection.  The 30-year-old male, whose name has not yet been released was taken ECMC by Mercy Flight.  According to Sgt. Mitchell Cowen, Batavia PD, the motorcycle was traveling west on Law Street at a high rate of speed and passing other vehicles and collided with a pick-up truck that was headed north on Route 98.

Western New Yorkers donated over 4350 pounds of food to FeedMore WNY during Thursdays Buffalo Strong Back To School Food Drive.  You can help raise money to feed people in Western NY by joining FeedMore WNY for Walk Off Hunger on Friday, October 1 through Sunday, October 3.  You can sign up for one of seven walks in Western New York on Friday and Saturday for Walk Off Weekend, or creating your own route.  Registration is $25 for anyone over 12 and free for anyone under 12.  To register follow the link on wbtai.com.  https://www.feedmorewny.org/walk-off-hunger/

Highmark Stadium and Keybank Arena are not allowing refunds for tickets to events that ticketholders cannot attend due to the vaccine rules.  Ticketmaster says that the venues are still planning to hold the events and their policy does not allow refunds if the organizer doesn’t specifically allow it.  People who bought tickets are upset, many people have medical exemptions to taking the COVID vaccine and say they bought tickets before the rules changed and it is unfair that they cant get refunds to events they can’t attend.

For the first time since 2005 the Buffalo Bisons are champions.  They won the division title for only the 10th time on Thursday with a loss to the Rochester Red Wings.  But because of the loss by Wilkes Barre to Lehigh Valley and the Bisons 70 to 44 record it made the Bisons the winners of the championship.  This is the bison’s best season since 2001.  Following their series with Rochester, the Bisons will compete in Triple-A’s 10-game “Final Stretch” playoff. Five of those games will be played at Sahlen Field from September 22-26.

Evening News Brief

Governor Hochul signed a law today which largely eliminates New York’s practice of incarcerating people for technical parole violations that include being late to an appointment with a parole officer, missing curfew, changing a residence without approval, and failing to attend a mandated program.  Proponents of the bill said that jailing people for these violations was unfair and caused recidivism.

The President and the Governor have both stated they will be pushing COVID booster shots as soon as they are approved or the general populace.  Pfizer and Moderna have assured the government that there will be no shortage of shots for those who want them.  The reason for a booster shot is that antibodies begin to decline over time.  Critics of the need for boosters, which include many health professionals from around the country, say that by focusing on antibodies we would need boosters every year but t-cell immunity, which controls antibody production, has been shown to last long after the antibodies decline.  Excelsior passes expire after a year and officials say there shouldn’t be a need to get booster shots to renew it.

As part of a statewide Day of Service project, employees of National Grid volunteered at Arc of Genesee Orleans in Batavia to dismantle obsolete machines, boxes, and pallets.  These had been used to recycle cans, cardboard, plastic, and newspapers. National Grid employees broke down and made ready for removal old equipment that wasn’t being used anymore.

Genesee county had 2 ribbon winners at the Cortland Fairgrounds on September 11th.  Eva Rhoads and Alexandria Tarbell competed at the New York State 4-H Hippology and Horse Judging Contest and came in 2nd overall in the state.  Individually in the Senior Division of the Hippology contest, Alexandria Tarbell placed 4th and Eva Rhoads placed 9th.  The 4-H Hippology Contest is an opportunity for youth to demonstrate their knowledge of equine science.  The contest consisted of written questions, identification stations, horse judging and a team problem.  Youth qualified to participate in the event by scoring well in their 4-H regional competition.

Fisher Price is making Buffalo Bills toys for tots.  The infant and small children’s toy company is now producing Lets Go Buffalo Little People figures such as Josh Allen, Sean McDermott, as well as 2 Bills Mafia Fans wearing team apparel and one has a chicken wing hat on.  100% of the proceeds from the set will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation, which supports Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Morning News Brief

Governor Hochul says Afghan refugees will be resettling in cities across New York over the next few months. The U.S. Department of State’s Afghan Placement Program says there are going to be up to more than 1,100 who left that country recently arriving in the Empire State.
They’ll be placed in their new homes by March 31st and 335 of them will be living in Buffalo and elsewhere in Western New York.

Batavia Police are looking to identify two women who forced their way into Go Art. The pair was caught on surveillance video wondering through the building with flashlights. The tape was released by police yesterday.
If you have any information, call Batavia Police.

View the surveillance video HERE

PHOTO: Taken from surveillance video

 

The superintendent of the Rochester City School District has been accused of harassing an employee.
The school board president says that an outside law firm will investigate the claims made against Lesli Myers-Small.
No further information has been revealed about this case including the details of the alleged harassment. There’s also no word when the law firm will issue its report.

There is a serious shortage of school bus drivers.
The Buffalo Schools superintendent has suggested calling in the National Guard to deal with the shortage.
The Governor of Massachusetts recently used the National Guard to help drive children to school.
Other ideas that were floated included paying parents and teachers to drive kids to school.

The Holland Land Office Museum in Batavia is looking for a few good men or women. The museum is reaching out to anyone with an interest in local history for help in staffing the facility. You could volunteer in the gift shop, document artifacts or serve as a docent. Contact the museum office.

Evening News Update

Buffalo Schools superintendent has suggested calling in the National Guard to deal with the bus driver shortage.  Dr Kriner Cash said that because many National Guard have army training they can drive busses.  The Governor of Massachusetts recently used the National Guard to help drive children to school.  Other ideas that were floated included paying parents and teachers to drive kids to school.

A Law designed to enhance reporting at nursing homes has been struck down.  Ruthies Law, which makes it so nursing homes have to report any incident involving a resident to their family as well as disclose any injuries that may have been suffered, was struck down by a judge citing that only the NYS Dept of Health and the State Legislature were the only ones that could make a law that effected the whole state.  The law was put in place by Erie county.

The Buffalo Sabres and The Toronto Maple Leafs will be playing the 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic.  The game will take place at the Tim Hortons Field, in Hamilton, Ontario, March 13 2022 at 3pm to be specific.  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says “by inviting the first U.S.-based team to a Heritage Classic, we will celebrate the greater Golden Horseshoe region as the home of so many fans of both the Leafs and Sabres.”  This will be the sixth Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, the first took place in November 2003.

Midday News Brief

The Batavia Town Board has taken several procedurals steps toward the eventual re-construction of Park Rd.
The $4.3-million dollar will rebuild Park Road from Lewiston Road, Route 63 to Oak Street, Route 98.
The Town board approved borrowing $3-million to cover the town’s portion of the project cost.

Retired City of Batavia Chief of Police Mark L. Robinson has passed away unexpectedly.
Mr. Robinson died last week in his hometown of LeRoy. He was with the Batavia Police Department for 30-years.

Governor Hochul’s mandated COVID vaccinations for health care workers has brought local opponents to the streets.
About two dozen sign carrying health care workers protested the order at Ellicott and Main during yesterday’s afternoon commute.
Hochul’s mandate requires unvaccinated health care workers to get at least one shot of the COVID vaccine by September 27th or risk losing their jobs.

Governor Hochul has issued another COVID order. The governor says that children over the age of two and employees at day care centers will have to wear masks.
Hochul says kids are at high risk of contracting the virus since there currently isn’t a vaccine available for anyone under the age of 12.

Visitors are again allowed at the Genesee County Jail.
Visitation of inmates had been halted as COVID cases went on the rise.

The Arc of Genesee-Orleans and the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming are holding job fairs next Thursday, a week from today. The two agencies will soon be merged into one called GLOW-Arc. The job fair will be held in Mount Morris and Batavia They are looking for direct support professionals to work in the day programs and residential settings.

Some legendary toys and games have been announced as finalists for enshrinement into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester. The list includes American Girl Dolls, Battleship, billiards, Cabbage Patch Kids and the Fisher-Price Corn Popper.
The inductees will be announced on November 4th.

Morning News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul’s mandated COVID vaccinations for health care workers is approaching a deadline.
The order requires unvaccinated health care workers to get at least one shot by September 27th.

About two dozen people gathered at the Main and Ellicott in downtown Batavia last night protesting what they proclaimed is a loss of freedom.
The protestors found support for their cause by passers-by honking horns and giving thumbs up.

Denise Adamski if a registered nurse at UMMC

Governor Hochul has issued another COVID order. The governor says that children over the age of two and employees at day care centers will have to wear masks. Hochul says kids are at high risk of contracting the virus since there currently isn’t a vaccine available for anyone under the age of 12.

The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee has stepped into mandate mayhem. The committee went on record yesterday opposed to the governor’s order requiring vaccinations for all health care workers.
The full legislature takes up the issue next week.

The Arc of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties is having a hiring fair before the merger of the four counties into one organization. This hiring fair is September 23rd and will be in both Mt Morris and Batavia. They are looking for direct support professionals to work in the day programs and residential settings.

Racing fans around the region will once again get to see the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series up close next year.
The series will return to Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 21st, 2022.
NASCAR has run races at the road course since 1986 with the lone exception being 2020 when the event was canceled due to COVID-19.

Some legendary toys and games have been announced as finalists for enshrinement into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester. The list includes American Girl Dolls, Battleship, billiards, Cabbage Patch Kids and the Fisher-Price Corn Popper. Also eligible are Mahjong, Masters of the Universe, the pinata, Risk, sand, The Settlers of Catan and the toy fire engine. The inductees will be announced on November 4th.

Evening News Brief

Governor Kathy Hochul announced a universal mask requirement for child care and daycare centers in the state, effective today.  And this isn’t just for kids either, new masking requirements will also apply to congregate programs and facilities licensed, registered, operated, certified or approved by the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. This includes but is not limited to certified residential and day programs, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, substance abuse programs, juvenile detention programs, juvenile residential facilities, congregate foster care programs, runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence and other shelter programs.  The mandate is that everyone must wear a mask if they are able to medically tolerate it, regardless of age or vaccination status.

Erie County Legislator Frank Todaro says he will veto any public money going to the new Buffalo Bills stadium as long as a COVID vaccine is required to go to the stadium.  He says “I will not support tax dollars to build a stadium if rules remain in place that only certain people can use it.  If everyone is paying for it, everyone should be able to use it.”  This followed the announcement that Highmark stadium and the Keybank arena will require that everyone 12 and over who attends an event must be vaccinated.

The ARC of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties is having a hiring fair before the merger of the counties into one organization.  This hiring fair is September 23rd and will be in both Mt Morris and Batavia.  They are looking for direct support professionals to work in the day programs and residential settings.

Bills players Cole Beasley and Reid Ferguson are offering to buy the tickets of anyone who purchased them and is now unable to go to a Buffalo Bills game at Highmark stadium because they are unvaccinated.  They are asking on twitter that fans who bought tickets for games and cant attend send them a direct message on Twitter and they will happily buy back the tickets.  Pegula Sports and Erie county officials announced the vaccine requirement yesterday after many people decried the lack of masks at the first Buffalo Bills game of the regular season.  Season ticket holders have till Friday to ask for a refund from the team if they won’t get a vaccine but they will lose ticket seniority and seat location.  Individual tickets are not refundable.

Midday News Brief

Police identify the victim of an apparent accident at Western New York Concrete.
64-year-old Randy Ridd of Batavia died yesterday afternoon when he became stuck in a stone bin at the East Main Street facility.
City of Batavia firemen were able to extricate Ridd but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation continues. Police say the incident appears to be accidental.

A Wyoming County man is staring at a rape allegation. Deputies based in Warsaw say they arrested 52-year-old Kevin Gordon of Wyoming, NY. He was taken into custody following a sex offense investigation involving a person under the age of 17 years old. Kevin P. Gordon was charged with Rape in the Third Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He was arraigned and was committed to the Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 bail. -0-

A new poll shows there are plenty of Empire State residents who have a favorable opinion of Governor Hochul. According to the Siena College survey, 42-percent of people polled say they have positive view of the governor compared to 17-percent who don’t. However, 41-percent said they don’t know enough about Hochul yet to form an opinion of her. Hochul took office last month following the resignation of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo in the aftermath of sexual harassment allegations made against him. Previously, Hochul had served as the Lieutenant Governor since 2015.

-A federal judge has issued a ruling involving a mandate that all health care workers in New York State get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19. The judge said that the requirement can’t be enforced on people who seek or obtain a religious exemption. Last month, health care workers were ordered to be immunized by September 27th, but several health professionals filed a lawsuit claiming the mandate was a violation of their Constitutional rights because it disallowed exemptions for religious reasons.

A new requirement is being put in place for fans who attend Buffalo Bills games at Highmark Stadium and Buffalo Sabres contests at KeyBank Center. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announces that anyone 12 and older who goes to a game at those facilities must be vaccinated against COVID-19. One dose of vaccine will be required for the Bills’ next home game September 26th against the Washington Football Team and full immunization needs to be completed by the end of October.

Morning News Brief

A man working at Western New York Concrete Corp. at 638 East Main Street in Batavia died after becoming stuck in a stone bin. The cause of death is under investigation. Batavia fire and police responded to the scene.

A federal judge in New York has issued a temporary restraining order that stops the state from enforcing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate if a health care worker claims a religious exemption. The decision is a win – at least temporarily – for a group of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who challenged a state regulation mandating the COVID-19 vaccination of health care workers with no exemption for religious beliefs that compel the refusal of such vaccination. The lawsuit accused former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of running a “nearly 18-month-long medical dictatorship” and is laden with grievances about pandemic policies.

Siena College released data on a new poll they did about Governor Kathy Hochul with registered New York State voters. The poll focuses on the opinion voters have about Governor Hochul, and how voters view New York State. 42% of voters are in favor of Kathy Hochul. 74% of voters sat it’s exciting to have New York’s first woman governor and 27% say Cuomo left New York a worse place to live and work then when he was first elected.

He’s a name-protected boy from LeRoy, but he’s in hot water with the law. Troopers arrested the 18-year-old youth, charging him with felony grand larceny after Troopers received a stolen vehicle complaint. The teen was released on an appearance ticket for court.

NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney has introduced legislation to expand access to headstones and burial plaques for US military veterans who passed away on or after December 30, 1960. Under current law, any veteran who passed away on or after November 1, 1990, is eligible for a headstone or burial plaque through the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, anyone who served prior to that date is only eligible to receive a small medallion to commemorate their life and service to this country. Tenney’s bill would amend current law to expand burial benefits for American veterans who died prior to November 1990.

The state has made progress in making high-speed connections available to New Yorkers, ranking second in the U.S. in the percentage of the population with broadband available in their neighborhood, but more than one million, or 13.8%, of households do not have access or a subscription to home broadband services, according to a report released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. DiNapoli’s analysis finds many predominantly rural areas remain underserved by broadband infrastructure. In addition, approximately 1 in 3 New York households with income less than $20,000 lacked access to broadband at home.

The Pembroke Classic Car Show returns to Pembroke Town Park on Sunday with another large turnout of cherry classic cars and car fans expected. The event, sponsored by the Pembroke/Corfu/Darien Kiwanis Club runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 60 vendors are expected along with several food trucks. The Kids Car Cruise will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Pembroke Community Band will play from noon to 1:00 pm and a magician show will be held from 1:30 – 2:30 pm. Right now, the weather looks fairly decent…and warm.

A Wyoming County man is staring at a rape allegation. Deputies based in Warsaw say they arrested 52-year-old Kevin Gordon of Wyoming, NY. He was taken into custody following a sex offense investigation involving a person under the age of 17 years old.  Kevin P. Gordon was charged with Rape in the Third Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  He was arraigned and was committed to the Wyoming County Jail on $5,000 bail.  He is scheduled to appear in the Town of Middlebury Court at a later date.

Evening News Brief

Hundreds showed up in front of Strong Hospital today for a ‘Freedom Rally.’  They say they are rallying for the “freedom of choice, and mutual respect regardless of vaccination status.”  Worried about the looming vaccine mandates, healthcare workers could face losing their jobs because of choosing not the receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  Many nurses are frustrated after being on the frontlines during the pandemic.  Protesters say they will be out in front of Strong Hospital every Monday for the foreseeable future, rallying for the freedom to choose.

The US Department of Education has awarded GCC 2.2 million dollars to help unemployed workers, low wage workers, and returning high school and college students get a higher education.  This grant will help support programming and outreach efforts from the 2021-2022 through the 2025-2026 academic years.  The national Educational Opportunity Center program began in 1972 and is part of a set of federal educational opportunity outreach programs known as “TRIO,” which is authorized by the Higher Education Act to help low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities succeed in higher education

There was a tornado in Livingston county Monday morning.  The 110 mile per hour EF1 tornado touched down near Conesus and Springwater and uprooted some trees and ripped the tops off others.  The tornado was only on the ground for 1 mile and traveled East to Webster Crossing before dissipating.

Two Genesee county youth have placed in the 4-H Dairy Bowl held at Cornell University on September 11th.  Bing Zuber and Ian Keberle Both placed 8th in the State, Zuber in the Junior division and Keberle in the Senior division.  The contest was held in a quiz bowl format and tested youth’s knowledge of dairy cattle, environmental stewardship, nutrition and the dairy industry.  Youth qualified to participate in the event by scoring well in their 4-H regional competition.

There is a new book out about the Attica Prison Riots of 50 years ago written by the daughter of one of the guards killed in the riots and police response.  Deanne Quinn Miller, who was in the first grade when the riots happened, titled the book The Prison Guards Daughter, My Journey Through the Ashes of Attica.  Her father, Billy Quinn, worked in the Times Square area of the prison and was beaten by prisoners, it was also prisoners who tried to save him.  He was 28 when he died.

The Trans Siberian Orchestra will be playing at KeyBank Center on December 21st.  They will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of their album “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.”  Tickets go on sale Friday at 10am.  A portion of sales go to benefit the Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Morning News Briefing

Batavia police continue to investigate a three-vehicle crash that shut down parts of E. Main Street. Police said one of the vehicles was on its side. During the investigation, it was discovered that the operator of a minivan was traveling northbound on Harvester Ave. while a small SUV was traveling westbound on E. Main St. The minivan failed to stop for the red light, and “T-Boned” the SUV, pushing the SUV to the NW corner of the intersection, and causing the SUV to tip on to its side. After striking the SUV, the minivan rolled back striking a third vehicle. No serious injuries were reported. Police said the operator of the minivan was issued tickets.

Genesee County deputies report the arrest of 25-year-old Brock Doberstein of Cattaraugus. He was charged with criminal mischief and petit larceny. Deputies said the charges stem from an incident last month at Darien Lake when Doberstein is accused of damaging a vehicle and stealing the license plates. He was arraigned in court and released. He’ll return to court Thursday.

National Grid customers and local law enforcement are reporting utility billing and payment scams across upstate New York. The company is asking its customers to beware and know the signs of a scam. Imposters claiming to be from National Grid may tell customers that they have past due balances on their utility bills, even promising a savings on their next bill. Customers who reported the scams, say they were contacted by telephone and email, and in some cases automated recordings.

This past weekend marked the start of big game hunting in New York, and with that, some major changes have been put into effect as hunters make their way into the woods. Look for hunters to start earlier and finish later, and everyone wearing orange or pink. Historically, hunters had to wait to start until sunrise and had to end their day at sunset.  Now, sunrise and sunset don’t exactly correspond to the period when daylight is, and so now, officials have changed the rules to allow hunters to begin deer and bear hunting 30 minutes before sunrise and extend 30 minutes until after sunset.”

By tomorrow, New York State will release its first draft of its redistricting map, which is updated every 10 years after the Census to show potential new district lines for State Senate, Assembly and Congress. The Census results were delayed because of the pandemic, giving the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission less time to create the maps. Whatever the end result of the maps may be, New York State is set to lose one Congressional seat. According to local leaders, the seat may be lost in the Southern Tier.

The governor’s office Monday updated New Yorkers on the state’s progress combating COVID-19. The Southern Tier has the second-lowest positivity rate, behind only New York City. The statewide positivity rate is 3.38% with 24 new hospitalizations and 25 people admitted to Intensive Care. Another 29 deaths were also reported.

The decision to invest approximately $10 million to build a 50,000-square foot headquarters at the intersection of West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia not only serves to showcase the growth of John Deere-authorized dealer LandPro Equipment but also will provide numerous career opportunities for students in the Genesee Region. That message was communicated clearly as representatives of LandPro, which has 20 locations, gathered with local government and economic development officials, for an on-location groundbreaking ceremony.

Evening News Brief

Governor Hochul and Senator Gillibrand made a statement today about the anti-Abortion regulations that went into effect last week in Texas.  They stated that abortions will always be available to women seeking them in New York State and that Lady Liberty will welcome the women of Texas.  As of 2018 New York State provided one eighth of all abortions in the US.  New York State Reproductive Health Act, signed into law in 2019, allows all abortions up to 24 weeks and allows abortions after 24 weeks if the mother’s health is at risk or if the pregnancy is not viable.  Critics of the law point out that the RHA does not define “at risk” or “viable” and leaves the defining of terms up to non physician medical practitioners and so functionally allows abortion up to the day of delivery.

The flag thief who took US flags from Assemblyman Hawley’s home and another home on Bank street has allegedly been caught and it’s a visitor from across the pond.  18 year old Spike Pope of Haywards Heath in the country of England has been arrested and charged with petty larceny and criminal trespass.  State police assisted in the investigation.

National Grid is issuing a warning to its customers about a scam.  The company said people claiming to be from National Grid may contact you via telephone and email, and in some cases automated recordings, and say you have past due balances and even promise a savings on your next bill. The scammers may also threaten to shut service off unless you purchase a prepaid debit card in a specific amount and ask for a Social Security number and a National Grid account number.  National Grid said the calls are not officially from National Grid. Although the company does contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, it will never demand direct payment through prepaid debit cards.

Frightworld which bills itself as America’s Screampark, is opening for the season after last year they were forced to remain closed due to COVID.  It will be in a new location this year at 1001 Hertel Ave in Buffalo.  A former KMart has been converted into a huge haunted house.  Frightworld is hiring scare actors, ticket takers concessions workers and more and is having an open audition September 17th, 18th and 19th.

Midday News Brief

After weeks of increases Western New York drivers are finding consistent prices at the gas pump.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is now three-25 in Batavia. That’s the same as it was last week and only 2-cents higher than a month ago.
The average price for a gallon of regular at this time one year ago was $2.22.

A motorcycle accident in Cattaraugus County kills a Warsaw man and critically injures his passenger.
72-year-old William Schumaker of Warsaw was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday in the Cattaraugus County Town of Machias.
His passenger, 77-year-old Judith Schumaker was taken to ECMC with severe head trauma.

Despite trailing 10-0 at halftime, the Steelers came back in the second half to beat the Bills 23-16 in Orchard Park.
Josh Allen completed 30-of-51 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown for Buffalo.
Buffalo will now be on the road for their second game of the season next Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

The Batavia City Council meets tonight.
Council is holding both a conference meeting and a business meeting.
The conference meeting begins tonight 7 in the council board room on the second floor of city hall. This is the first meeting of council in five weeks.

 

Nearly $800-million will be up for grabs over the next two days thanks to the growing Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots.
The next Powerball drawing is set for tonight and the winner will take home at least $416-million.
Tomorrow, a $383-million prize awaits whoever picks the winning numbers for the Mega Millions drawing.
Tickets to play either game cost two-dollars apiece.

Morning News Briefing

An Orleans County man will appear in court to answer a felony complaint. State Police say they arrested 21-year-old William E, Reamsnyder of Albion. He was charged with possession of a sexual performance by a child. He will appear in Town of Carlton court at a later date.

A traffic stop in Bergen has landed a motorist in some hot water. Genesee County deputies arrested 33-year-old Katie Preedom of Alabama. She was charged with DWI, having a BAC above .08%, speeding and unlicensed operation. She was stopped on Clinton Street Road and will appear in Bergen Town Court October 6th.

The historic surge in unemployment claims at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly depleted the New York State Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund, resulting in the state borrowing from the federal government to pay claims. State UI tax rates have already risen to the highest level permissible under law in 2021. Unless the state or federal government takes significant action, federal UI tax rates on employers will also increase in 2022 and beyond, according to a report issued by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The pandemic had a crippling effect on some state businesses and their workforce, causing a historic surge in layoffs and claims for benefits. From the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, regular state UI benefits paid increased from $530 million to $6.5 billion – a staggering increase of 1,124%.

New York state’s COVID positivity rate is currently at 2.84%. The 7-day average rate is 3.22%. Twenty-four more residents were hospitalized over the weekend. 34 more people died from virus-related complications. State officials say the fight against COVID-19 is not over, adding that it is crucial that New Yorkers continue to wear a mask, wash their hands and get vaccinated if they haven’t.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recognized the New York National Guard on Saturday afternoon, 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Hochul announced that she signed three pieces of legislation to support 9/11 and communications first responders. The bills make it easier for WTC first responders to apply for WTC benefits, by both expanding the criteria for defining WTC first responders and allowing online submissions of notice that members of a retirement system participated in WTC rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations. This legislation also defines a first responder in communications as a person who is a public safety dispatcher.

Genesee County deputies arrested 33-year-old Jonathan Kent of Batavia. He was charged after allegedly pushing a victim into a door frame. He was arrested in Batavia Town Court and released. He’ll return to court October 19th.

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted Dean M. Conboy, Sr. on two counts of attempted aggravated assault upon a police officer, two counts of menacing a police officer, attempted assault in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, resisting arrest, and menacing in the second degree.  On June 11, 2021, Conboy allegedly threatened police officers and intended to cause serious injury to officers using a dangerous instrument. He also allegedly restrained another person and exposed that person to the risk of serious physical injury. He allegedly possessed a knife during these incidents.

Disappointment for Buffalo Bills fans. In the season opener, they fell to the Pittsburgh Steeles 23-16 at Highmark Stadium. The Bills take on the Dolphins in Miami next Sunday.

Batavia police say they arrested 30-year-old NiAsia S. Jiggets of Batavia, charging her with two counts of Criminal Contempt 1st Degree, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, following a child abuse investigation conducted by Detectives in conjunction with Child Protective Services. She is accused of violating an order of protection by causing injury to the protected party, a seven-year-old child, during visitation. Jiggets was previously convicted of violating an order of protection with the same child in March which elevates the new charge to Criminal Contempt 1st Degree.

Weekend News Brief

Several doctors in Western New York are pushing the State Health department to make a vaccine mandate for kids 12-17 to slow the spread of COVID 19.  They cite an increase in hospitalizations among unvaccinated individuals and a fourth wave of COVID cases in Erie County.  Dr. Gale Burstein, the Erie County Health commissioner says that 40 percent of new cases are vaccinated but don’t present serious illness or need to go to the hospital.  Dr. Winkelstein of Jacobs School of Medicine at University at Buffalo says that as winter approaches if you combine the Delta variant with colder temperatures, Western New York could see a dramatic increase in cases and hospitalizations.  The State Health Department said they are waiting for a mandate from Governor Hochul who has said she is considering it.

Congressman Chris Jacobs is protesting President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate.  Jacobs wrote in a press release: I am opposed to the President’s mandates and believe he has overstepped his authority in announcing them. In addition, I disagree with the President pitting vaccinated Americans against their unvaccinated peers. This serves no public health interest and only further divides an already fractured nation.   Jacobs also stated that he believes the vaccines work and are safe and credits Operation Warp Speed with getting the vaccine to 75 percent of Americans.

If you need to go to the hospital in Buffalo steer clear of Mercy Hospital.  The nurses are going on strike.  The nurses union at Mercy hospital have declared they intent to strike with 97 percent of the union voting to strike to protest low wages and understaffing starting within 10 days.  The hospital administration says this is unconscionable and will take care workers away from patients who need them in order to walk a picket line.  The nurses say this is for the greater good of the community and not just better pay.

The GCEDC Board of Directors accepted an initial application for a $4.5 million project proposed by Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. known as New York Bus Company. The company plans to build a new 20,000 square-foot facility at the corner of Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia.  They are expecting to create 24 full time jobs and are requesting 430 thousand dollars in exemptions.  Also Liberty Pumps is expanding their company in Bergen to the tune of 13.7 million dollars and wants to get 1.5 million in exemptions while creating 30 new jobs.

The Genesee County Health Department will be hosting a FREE drive-thru anti-rabies immunization clinic on Thursday, September 16th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.  Vaccinations are free for dogs, cats, and ferrets, but voluntary donations are accepted. Animals must be at least 3 months old. Each animal must be leashed or crated and accompanied by an adult who can control the animal. Limit 4 pets per car maximum.

Evening News Brief

The Batavia VA Medical Center is decked out to remember the tragedy of 9/11.  They placed 2977 US Flags on the lawn in front of the main medical center buildings to honor those who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and those who perished trying to save lives.  The flags were put up by employees and volunteers.

The VFW Post 1602 will be sponsoring a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at their facility, located at 25 Edwards St here in Batavia from 8 to 10:30 am. There will be  civic leaders, first responders, veterans, and others speaking as they pay respect to those who gave all to on September 11th 2001.  The VFW Post is also sponsoring an appreciation jamboree to honor first responders starting at 11 am and going till 4 pm, with music provided by Bill Pitcher, Julio Morales, Jr., The Front Porch Pickers, and Old State Road House.

The lack of drivers is affecting Rochester’s school children’s ability to get to the classroom and more drivers have resigned.  Right now the main reason for the lack of drivers is the fear of the COVID virus, lack of pay compared to other driving opportunities, and lack of people trained to drive.  Bussing companies have raised their wages to 17-20 dollars per hour to start and bonuses for those who stay on the job for longer periods of time.  In Rochester more than 100 people have applied to become drivers in the past week but there are concerns that these people will just get cdl licenses and then leave to become truckers.  To make driving busses more appealing, Representative Joe Morelle is pushing the state to waive the cdl requirement for bus drivers.

Erie County has joined most of the rest of the state in allowing 12 and 13 years old’s to hunt big game with a crossbow or firearms as long as they are supervised by a person 21 years or older.  Until this vote, Erie County was one of only two counties in the state that did not adopt New York’s youth hunting pilot program.

Midday News Brief

 Steve Hawley (R-Batavia)

 

Batavia Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley wants the state to reverse its COVID vaccination mandate for health care workers. Hawley tells WBTA today that the mandate could have unintended consequences

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo put the mandate in place. It requires health care workers to have at least the first dose of vaccine by September 27th.

 

A school bus maintenance facility gets the acceptance of the Genseee County Economic Development Center. The project would create 24 full time employee positions with an average salary range of $30,000 – $75,000 annually plus benefits. The project is requesting approximately $430,000 in sales, mortgage and property tax exemptions. The project is estimated to generate $50 into the Genesee County economy for every $1 of requested incentives. Construction for the project is expected to begin next month on West Saile Dr. in the Town of Batavia.

 

VFW Post 1602 in Batavia is holding a 9-11 remembrance ceremony tomorrow morning. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 8am at the post at 25 Edwards Street. Civic leaders, first responders and veterans pay respects to those who gave all 20 years ago. The post is also sponsoring an appreciation jamboree to honor first responders. This will run from 11am to 4pm.

 

The Buffalo Bills will kick off their 2021 season this weekend as one of the favored teams to make it to the Super Bowl in February. The defending AFC East champions are taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Last season, the Bills made it all the way to the AFC Championship game before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs. Due to staffing shortages, Bills fans are urged to arrive at the stadium early so they don’t miss the start of the game. Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for one p-m.

 

Morning News Brief

The inability to get an accurate count of residents in the Genesee County portion of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation contributed to New York State losing a congressional seat following the 2022 election…that from the county’s planning director.  The Directors said he learned recently that the Census Bureau’s report of population in the Genesee County segment of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation reservation was not correct because the bureau’s enumerator was not allowed to enter the tribal grounds. According to the Census Bureau, the population dropped from 483 in 2010 to 241 in 2020 – a stunning 50 percent decline.

With a large contingent of family and friends present in the court room, 50-year-old Colleen L. Nelson of Alabama was sentenced to a determinate sentence of 3 1/2 years in state prison and 5 years post release supervision during her sentencing this week in Genesee County Court. The maximum sentence Nelson could have received was 7 1/2 years. Nelson stabbed a male co-worker during an attack at a candy production facility on S. Main Street in Elba last year. Nelson came up behind her co-worker and started stabbing him with a large knife. The 59-year-old victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the incident. Nelson pleaded guilty to attempted assault first degree, a class C felony, in July, waiving her right to a defense of mental defect.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has proposed regulations to implement the ban on expanded polystyrene foam containers and loose fill packaging or “packing peanuts” in New York State. The ban would go into effect on January 1, 2022. The ban was originally proposed in 2020 and several counties in New York have already adopted it. These include Albany, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. The DEC has now fully released the regulations to fully enact the ban. The DEC will be holding a virtual public hearing on the proposed regulations on November 15, at 1 p.m. and are accepting comments until Nov. 22, 2021.

Brian Benjamin is officially New York’s lieutenant governor.  Benjamin, a Democrat, was sworn in at Gov. Kathy Hochul’s New York City office Thursday, just more than two weeks after Hochul unveiled the state senator from Harlem as her choice to serve in the post.

Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel is gearing up to host its annual fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester today in the track’s historic clubhouse. The fundraiser includes a $30 clubhouse buffet package deal, a silent auction with a wide variety of items up for bid, sponsorship of races and private donations. The clubhouse opens at 4 p.m. and the first race post time is 5 p.m. The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester is the only full-scope, independently-operated organization focused on serving breast and gynecologic cancer survivors in the Central and Western New York regions and each year they benefit from over 100 fundraising events like this.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is joining his colleagues in the Assembly Minority calling on Governor Hochul and Health Commissioner Zucker to reverse the decision to mandate vaccination of healthcare workers. They argue that any public health benefit a mandate would provide would be outweighed by the detriment such a requirement would have on staffing levels within hospitals and health centers. Hawley is also concerned about how the mandate will affect people who either cannot be vaccinated due to their medical circumstances, and those who work remotely like coders and transcriptionists who do not come into contact with patients.

Evening News Brief

Another well known car dealer from Upstate New York has passed away.  84 year old Bob Johnson died last week at his home in Florida.  He founded 3 dealerships near Rochester including one in LeRoy.  Johnson retired to Florida about 20 years ago. The Bob Johnson Auto Group still bears his name.  Another big name in car dealerships, Billy Fucillo passed away in June.

UPS is hiring over 1000 workers for the holidays in Western New York.  These seasonal workers can be part or full time positions.  They are currently looking for warehouse workers, package deliver drivers and tractor trailer drivers.  Seasonal employees who work for three continuous months are eligible for up to $1,300 towards college expenses as part of the company’s “Earn and Learn” program.  UPS also says that about a third of seasonal workers are later hired to permanent positions.

If you are a fan of the Buffalo Bills you can now officially display your Bills pride on you license plate.  New York DMV is offering custom Bills, Giants and Jets plates for 60 dollars with an annual renewal of 31.25.  You can even have them personalized for a bit more.  For details go to the dmv website.

Bills tickets are a bit more expensive this year but they are still well below the national average for NFL tickets.  Regular seasons tickets average 414 for the Bills but 40 dollars more for other teams.  Bills prices were 159 dollars cheaper in 2019 and that’s not factoring in parking which will run you 40 at the stadium or 5-10 on someone’s lawn nearby.  Most Bills fans say its worth it.

Midday News Brief

50-year-old Colleen Nelson sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison for stabbing a male co-worker at Oliver’s Candies production facility in Elba.
The 59-year-old victim suffered several knife wounds in his back but none were life-threatening.
Nelson was allowed to plead guilty to a charge of attempted first degree assault.
She was also sentenced to five years post release supervision.

State Senator Brian Benjamin is expected to be sworn-in today and become New York’s next Lieutenant Governor. Benjamin will take the position that was held by Governor Hochul until just a few weeks ago. Hochul left that office after becoming governor following the resignation of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo. Benjamin is an African-American lawmaker from New York City and is going to help fulfill Governor Hochul’s promise that she’ll have a diverse administration.

Governor Hochul has announced a new campaign that she hopes encourages students and educators to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19. As part of the “vax to school” initiative, a digital marketing campaign will be launched to try and convince those who are unsure about getting vaccinated to do so. There’s also going to be a new website where parents and guardians can get the latest information about vaccines and how to schedule an appointment for their child. Currently, only kids 12 and older are eligible to receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

The Holland Land Office Museum announces its first indoor West Side Ghost Stories program on Friday, October 8th. Connie Boyd shares the spooky, sinister, and weird documented stories from the West Side of Batavia’s past. The program will be presented at the museum at 7pm. You’ll hear tales of murder, ghosts, body snatching hangings, and abandoned cemeteries. This presentation is the same as museum’s outdoor Ghost Walk on October 15th, 22nd and 29th. Complete information is available on the museum’s website.

Evening News Brief

Parents are showing up to school board meetings and demanding that their children be allowed to attend without masks.  In Hamburg parents stood up and demanded masks be optional saying that the masks do more harm than good.  A Williamsville School, The Christian Central Academy, has filed a lawsuit against the State and against Erie County, for a rescinding of the mask mandate.  Superintendents fielding these complaints across the state say that their hands are tied by the state mandate.

The Buffalo Bills will play their first game on Sunday, and fans are being urged to make sure they’re at Highmark Stadium early. Due to staffing shortages, stadium officials say people should arrive at the gates no later than noon if they want to avoid a long wait to get to their seats. The gates will open at 11 a-m which is half an hour earlier than usual and, as a reminder, masks will have to be worn by everyone in indoor areas of the stadium, even if they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Kickoff for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is scheduled for 1pm.

Splash World on Grand Island announced it will remain open on weekends for the rest of September.  Officials say guests can continue to enjoy limited water park attractions, weather permitting.  Splash World says as a thank you it will extend the preview ticket price of $9.99 and those 36″ and under are free when accompanied by an adult.

Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County was given almost 4000 dollars thanks to a fundraising golf tournament and basket fundraiser by smartDesign Architecture.  The tournament raised 3,420 and the baskets sold for 390.  Habitat for Humanity provides housing to those in need by partnering with families to provide a hand up, not a handout. The mission of Habitat cannot be fulfilled without the support and generosity of local community members.

Midday News Brief

Three development projects, totaling 20-million dollars, will be taken up this week by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.
The board meets tomorrow and will consider a $13.7-million expansion at Liberty Pumps in Bergen. That project is expected to create 30 new jobs.
Valiant Real Estate, a property developer, is proposing to build a 20,000 sq. ft.square foot facility in the Town of Batavia creating 24 jobs.
J and R Fancher proposes a two-story mixed-use building in the Town of Pembroke. The $1.7-million project would include six market rate apartments on the second floor with commercial space on the first floor.
All three projects are seeking some form of tax incentives from the county.

City Police revealed today they are investigating gunshots fired late last month on South Main. The incident occurred in the early morning of August 28. No one was hit. Police said it was not a random act. Anyone with information is asked to call Batavia Police.

The 18-day long 2021 Great New York State Fair has wrapped up and even with the fair being an extra five days long, attendance numbers were much lower than years past. This year’s opening day of the fair saw just over 37,000 guests, where the first day in 2019 had over 74,000.

The Buffalo Bills will begin their regular season Sunday, and fans are being urged to make sure they’re at Highmark Stadium early. Due to staffing shortages, stadium officials say people should arrive at the gates no later than noon if they want to avoid a long wait to get to their seats. The gates will open at 11 a-m and as a reminder, masks will have to be worn by everyone in indoor areas of the stadium, even if they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Kickoff for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is scheduled for 1pm.

Morning News Brief

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.19, up four cents from last week. The New York State average is $3.28 – up five cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.30. The price at the pump in Batavia according to AAA is up a penny. Buffalo has climbed 7 cents while Rochester is up 8 cents.  AAA says it expected a jump in gas prices following the storm and taking into account the demand surrounding the holiday weekend; motorists are expected to pay the most expensive gas prices since 2014.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider resolutions advancing projects with a combined capital investment of approximately $19.9 million at its board meeting tomorrow. The Board will consider a final application for incentives from Liberty Pumps for its proposed $13.7 million expansion at its operations in the town of Bergen at the Apple Tree Acres industrial park. The company plans on constructing a materials center, creating 30 new jobs. The Board also will consider accepting an initial application from Valiant Real Estate USA, Inc. (New York Bus Sales.)  Valiant is proposing a $4.5 million capital investment to construct a 20,000 sq. ft. facility in the town of Batavia. The project would create 24 new jobs. Finally, the Board will consider accepting an initial application from J & R Fancher Property Holdings LLC which is proposing to construct a two-story mixed-use building on 2.6 acres at Buffalo East Tech Park in the town of Pembroke. This is the first of three phases of development that Fancher is proposing at the Tech Park. The $1.7 million investment would include six market-rate 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor and a first floor comprised of a 7,000 sq. ft. interior intended to attract commercial tenants.

Thousands of people enjoy the annual butter sculpture at the New York State Fair every year. But after the fair ends, there comes a time where that artwork must be deconstructed. That’s where Noblehurst Farms comes in. The Pavilion farm has made it a tradition to help recycle the butter used in the sculpture. The butter will be converted into renewable energy for the community, and to help develop liquid fertilizer. The 800 pounds of butter that came to the farm in plastic bags will be put into a digestor that creates what Chris Noble calls a “bio-gas” from organic materials.

The 18-day long 2021 Great New York State Fair has wrapped up and even with the fair being an extra five days long, attendance numbers were much lower than years past. Over half a million more people attended The Fair in 2019 than this year’s extra-long event. This year’s opening day of the fair saw just over 37,000 guests, where the first day in 2019 had over 74,000.

NY Governor Kathy Hochul has announced $6 million is now available over three years to support 150 Climate Justice Fellowship opportunities for individuals across the state currently residing in historically disadvantaged communities or from priority populations. This announcement, in advance of New York’s upcoming celebration of Climate Week from September 20 to September 26, helps support New York State’s commitment to ensure an equitable clean energy transition for all New Yorkers as required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

New York State has pushed back the date that employees working from home have to be back in the office and the date some state employees have to get vaccinated. Both dates have been moved to October 12. Face masks must also be worn by state employees, except when they are in a room or office by themselves, at their desk or workstation, and while eating or drinking. State healthcare workers have until September 27 to get their first shot of coronavirus vaccine.

Evening News Brief

On Labor Day Governor Hochul signed the Hero act among several other legislations.  All New York State employers, now need to have plans in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.  If a problem is reported with the plan employers have 30 days to fix the problem, if no action is taken, they could be looking at a law suit.

A reminder: school is back in session across most of New York States school districts.  This means kids crossing the street and busses stopping to pick kids up.  Remember to pay attention to the road while driving, do not pass busses when the stop sign is out, and slow down in school zones.  Failure to do any of these things could lead to fines and even arrests.

A vehicle rolled over the retaining wall at the Crosby’s in Corfu on Saturday early in the morning.  First responders were called to assist a person in a car who had driven the car over the retaining wall and was in the passenger seat.  When Mercy EMS and Corfu Fire arrived the man ran off but was caught by sheriffs deputies.  They had an active warrant in Montgomery County.

A rash of flag thefts?  Assemblyman Steve Hawley reported that his US flag had been stolen sometime around August 28th.  He replaced it and put out a call for the original to be returned.  Around the same time another flag was stolen on Bank Street Road in Batavia.  Then Hawley’s new flag was stolen on or around September 3rd or 4th.  The state police are looking into the incidents and have leads.  If you have any information about the flag thefts you can call NYS Police Troop A at 585 344 6200.

The Aquarium of Niagara is shifting to its fall hours on September 7th. The new hours are 9am to 5pm.  They’re also dropping the price of admission for children to $10 for the rest of September. The aquarium recommends buying tickets online ahead of time so you don’t have to wait at the door.  Admission is always free for Aquarium members, and members do not need to reserve timed tickets online ahead of their visit.

Midday News Brief

Today marks the first day of school for most Genesee County Districts.
In Batavia City Schools all grades, Pre-K to 12th, returned to class in-person.
Batavia is requiring all students, faculty and staff to wear masks and social distancing will be required where possible.

 

Interim Batavia School Superintendent Scott Bischoping there’s been some parental push-back to the masking protocol

PHOTO: Interim Batavia Superintendent Scott Bischoping

Pavilion Central starts tomorrow, Sept 8th.
Notre Dame Batavia of Batavia resumes classes on Thursday.
All other area school districts started class today.

 

There is an effort underway to educate children about 9-11 with the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City on Saturday. The 9-11 Memorial and Museum launched a fund at NeverForget.org to support its educational programs. A national PSA will be released to emphasize the importance of teaching 9-11 in schools. The museum has a website called 911Memorial.org that has 9-11 lesson plans and webinars to give teachers a guide on teaching it in the classroom. The webinar is being put in thousands of libraries across the U.S.

 

An expected rise in Gasoline prices didn’t have much of an impact in Batavia.
The current average price of a gallon of regular in the city is $3.24, up only a penny from last week – but a dollar-2 from a year ago.

 

New York, Governor Hochul is now making it mandatory for businesses to ensure their employees are protected from the virus. Under New York State’s HERO Act, workplaces must have a plan in place to keep coronavirus from spreading.
Some of the steps they can take include employee health screenings, putting a written mask policy in place, and making sure social distancing is possible.

Morning News Brief

Students in then Batavia City School District head back to class today.

All students in Pre-K to 12th grade are beginning the school year with in-person classes five-days a week.

Masks will be worn by all students, faculty and staff regardless of vaccination status. This also applies to students while riding school buses.

Masks will not be required while outside of school buildings. Social distancing will be implemented where possible.

 

With the spread of COVID-19 continuing across New York, Governor Hochul is now making it mandatory for businesses to ensure their employees are protected from the virus.

Under New York State’s HERO Act, workplaces must have a plan in place to keep coronavirus and other airborne infectious diseases from spreading.

The HERO Act also protects workers from any potential retaliation they may receive from employers or co-workers for following safety guidelines.

 

Hundreds turn out for the Oakfield Labor Daze Parade.

Heavy rain let up just in the for the parade down Main Street in Oakfield.

The hour-long Holiday parade returned this year following a one-year absence due to COVID-19.

The parade this year paid tribute to first responders throughout the region.

 

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of this year’s Patriots Trip to Washington.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley says anyone who signed up for this years trip will receive a full refund for any monies put down.

The trip was scheduled for September 16 to the 19th.

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As drivers across Western New York have likely noticed, there’s been quite an increase in gas prices over the past month.

According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular in Batavia is now $3.26 – up 6-cents from a month ago.

Labor Day News Brief

25-year-old Destiny Green of Batavia facing charges of burglary and criminal contempt this Labor Day weekend.
Batavia Police say Destiny was collared inside the residence of a person described as a protected party. She was arraigned on the charges in city court and released under supervision.

As drivers across Western New York have likely noticed, there’s been quite an increase in gas prices over the past week.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular in Batavia is now $3.26 – up 6-cents from a month ago.

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of this year’s Patriots Trip to Washington.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley says anyone who signed up for this years trip will receive a full refund for any monies put down.
The trip was scheduled for September 16 to the 19th.

The Labor Daze continues today in Oakfield. The parade steps off at 10 this morning, the Craft Show runs until six tonight. There will be music all day. All presented by the Oakfield Betterment Committee.

The New York State Fair in Syracuse will be wrapping up its 18-day run today which is the longest in the history of the event. A ticket to get in costs $3, however children 12 and under and people 65 and older can get in for free. get et in for free.

Notes from the opening weekend of the fall high school football season:
The Oakfield-Alabama /Elba Aggies crushed Cuba-Rushford on Saturday 64 to 6.
Pembroke beat Wellsville 55 – 26.
On Friday night, the big rivalry between LeRoy and Cal-mum went to the Knights, 21 to 6.
Batavia beat Bishop-Kearney 41-0,
Notre Dame pounded Pavilion 15-0, Alexander beat Bolivar-Richburg 7-0.

The Powerball jackpot is continuing to grow and has now reached 375-million-dollars ahead of tonight’s drawing. No one has taken home the top prize in several weeks and officials say the odds of winning the whole amount this evening are one in 292-million.

Weekend News Brief

Although He lost the primary to India Walton, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown worked to get his name on the ballot with a petition and a lawsuit and a federal judge has ordered that his name be placed on the ballot for the November election as an independent.  Brown filed a lawsuit against the Erie County Board of Elections last Monday alleging that the changing of the primary election date from September to June stripped voters of the necessary time to consider who to vote for.  Several voters also filed lawsuits.  The judge ruled on the case saying that the change constituted an undue burden on the voters.

Part of Seneca Park Zoo was evacuated Friday morning as a Lion escaped from her den.  During routine care duties with the African lions, one of the lions wandered into a hallway in the holding building, according to the zoo.  The zoo superintendent released a statement, saying the public was not in danger. Still, visitors were asked to leave a section of the zoo during the incident in accordance with Zoo protocols.  Staff were able to get the lion back out into her den and seal off the hallway.

Oakfield hosts Labor Daze this weekend and into Monday with a full schedule of events.  A parade boasting marching bands and newcomer Buffalo Ghostbusters will line up at the fire hall and begin at Seneca and Main streets 10 am Monday. Spectators should plan to be there about 30 minutes early before road closures prevent them from getting a good spot on the parade route between Seneca and Drake streets/Route 262.  There will also be a craft fest from 10-6.  For a full schedule of events check out our news partner the Batavian.

The Town of Alexander Republican Committee is looking for interested registered republicans who want to fill open positions.  Open slots are Town Republican Committee Member for districts 1 and 2 and town justice.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is saddened to announce that his annual Patriot Trip in which he brings veterans to landmarks and historical sites throughout the Washington, D.C. area will be canceled this year due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, especially as new variant cases in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals continue to increase. All participants who have signed up for the trip will be fully refunded for anything paid toward it.

The Batavia Improvement District has announced a Wine Walk for October 2nd downtown.  There are only 600 tickets available and are sold at Adam Miller’s Toy and Bicycle, the Yngodess Shop and downtownbataviany.com.  This year’s theme is Prom. Participants are encouraged to dress for any prom genre they wish. Prizes will be given for the best-dressed individuals and couples.

Evening News Brief

We had warning that it was coming and Thursday Governor Hochul announced a mandate for all teachers, administrators and other school employees to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing unless they show proof of vaccination, with either a CDC vaccine card or the Excelsior Pass.  The Governor also announced that the New York State Department of Health has finalized and released official guidance for classroom instruction.  The emergency regulation will apply to all schools in New York State until the government decides that it is no longer necessary.

A lawsuit in Monroe County was filed under the Child Victims Act names Buffalo Bills Linebacker Cornelius Bennett in a sexual assault in 1992.  According to the lawsuit, “repeated acts of sexual abuse, harassment and violence” allegedly occurred in the summer of 1992 when the plaintiff was 17-years-old.  It is alleged that Bennett attempted to rape the plaintiff in a phone booth in the basement of the Otter Lodge and was stopped when other people were heard coming down the stairs.  The Bills and the NFL are named in the lawsuit as the plaintiff says they knew what happened and did nothing.

Will the Bills stay at Highmark Stadium if they don’t get a new one?  Absolutely not according to Ron Raccuia, executive vice president of Pegula Sports and Entertainment.  Raccuia said that the Bills are ready to build a new stadium in Orchard Park across Abbot Road from Highmark Stadium. He says, a deal just needs to be finalized with the state and county. Sources said the Bills are looking at $1.4 billion stadium funded with a private public partnership.  But if they don’t get a deal before the lease is up in 2023 they won’t be playing.

Midday News Brief

A 25-year-old Steuben County man has been charged with a felony count of reckless endangerment following a two-county police chase.
Anthony Drake of Hornell is accused failing to pull over when troopers attempted a traffic stop in the Erie County Town of Newstead.
Drake then took off in his 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up heading east on Route 5. The chase continued into Genesee County and through downtown Batavia.
Batavia Police deployed spike strips, blowing out all four tires of the truck, before the vehicle stopped just east of the city line. Troopers said speeds reached about 70-miles an hour during the pursuit.
Drake was arrested at gunpoint along with a passenger, identified as 27-year-old Brittany Howland, also of Hornell. She was arrested for drug possession wile on probation.
Troopers say at one point during the chase Drake swerved toward a Genesee County Sheriff’s patrol car. State Police said Drake was found in possession of brass knuckles and crystal meth.
There were no injuries. An almost two-mile section of Route 5 was closed during the investigation.

Lawmen across New York State will be keeping an extra eye out for dangerous drivers this Labor Day holiday weekend.
Travelers can expect to see additional patrols as officers look to get people driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol off the road.
The STOP-DWI enforcement campaign is already underway and runs through September 6th.

Elba drivers: this one is for you.
The Hundredmark Road Bridge, at the intersection of Spoil Bank Road, will be closing on Tuesday for replacement.
This project is expected to take three months.
During construction the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Chicken Wing lovers will be in their glory this weekend when the National Buffalo Wing Festival gets underway. The event runs tomorrow and Sunday Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Admission is 20-dollars and then you must buy tickets for your wings.
More information is available online at buffalowing.com.

The second season of high school football for 2021 begins this weekend.
The Batavia Blue Devils take on Bishop Kearney tonight at VanDetta Stadium.
One of the biggest rivalries in Section Five pits Leroy at Cal-mum – that game will air on WBTA tonight at 7.
On Saturday our coverage continues with Oakfield-Alabama/Ebla meets Cuba-Rushford 1pm at Elba High School.

Troopers identify the driver and passenger in high speed chase.

News Release

On September 2, 2021, Troopers out of SP Newstead arrested Anthony T. Drake, 25 of Hornell, NY for Reckless Endangerment 1st degree (D Felony), Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and multiple traffic tickets. The passenger in the vehicle, Brittany N. Howland, 27 of Hornell, NY was arrested for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree and Violation of Probation.

On September 2, 2021 at 6:42 P.M., Troopers out of SP Newstead attempted to make a vehicle and traffic stop on a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado at the intersection of Crittenden Road and Main Street in the town of Newstead. The Chevrolet failed to comply once the Trooper activated emergency lights. The pursuit initiated and the suspect vehicle continued east bound on State Route 5 (Main Street) into Genesee County. During the pursuit the suspect vehicle swerved toward a Genesee County Sheriffs Department patrol traveling west bound on State Route 5. The pursuit was picked up by Batavia Police Department and they deployed a tire deflating device, disabled the suspect’s vehicle. Troopers arrested Drake and Howland. Drake was in possession of brass knuckles and crystal meth and other drugs.

Morning News Brief

Police agencies across Genesee County chase a pick-up truck at high speeds along Route 5 through downtown Batavia.
The chase began last evening in the town of Batavia when State Police began their pursuit of a black Chevrolet Silverado.
Before long Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies and city of Batavia Police joined in. Witness said at one point as many as 10 patrol cars with sirens blaring chased the pick-up along Main Street through the City.

Spike strips were deployed blowing out all four tires of the truck, but the vehicle did not stop. It raced through Main Street on rims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Pedro, owner of Blondies Ice Cream, watched the end of the chase directly in front of her store:

Two occupants of the truck – a man and a young woman – were taken into custody. No one was injured.

 

Police across New York will be keeping an extra eye out for dangerous drivers this Labor Day holiday weekend. Travelers can expect to see additional patrols as officers look to get people who are driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol off the road. The STOP-DWI enforcement campaign is already underway and runs through September 6th. Last year, police statewide issued over 116-thousand traffic tickets during their Labor Day crackdown including more than 32-hundred arrests for impaired driving.

The Hundredmark Road Bridge in Elba , at the intersection of Spoil Bank Road, will be closing on Tuesday for a bridge replacement project.
This project is expected to take three months.
During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

General Motors has announced the temporary layoffs of hundreds of employees at its plant in the Erie County Town of Tonawanda. Officials with the automaker say the company is currently scaling back vehicle production due to an ongoing microchip shortage.

Chicken Wing lovers are going to be in their glory this weekend when the National Buffalo Wing Festival gets underway. The event runs tomorrow from noon until nine and Sunday from noon until seven at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park. Admission is 20 bucks. at provides several services to people in need. More information is available online at buffalowing.com.

High School Football begins its second season of the year tonight. WBTA will broadcast the traditional rivalry between LeRoy and Cal-mum beginning at 7 tonight from Cal-mum High School. Tomorrow, the station will broadcast the Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies game against Cuba-Rushford/Hinsdale. Kickoff for this contest is 1pm.

Evening News Brief

The Hundredmark Road Bridge, at the intersection of Spoil Bank Road in Elba will be closing on Sep. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take three months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Earlier today a building in Batavia was damaged when a vehicle left the road and hit it.  The USDA building at 29 Liberty Street has mostly cosmetic damage and one person was treated at the scene.  No word yet on the vehicle and its occupants.

The New York State DEC has released new rules for hunting deer and bear this year.  The rules include changing the hours when hunters can hunt by extending the time frame by 30 minutes before down and after sunset.  A change to the uniform required to hunt.  Making the Bear hunting season longer in the Adirondacks and more.  To read all the changes follow the link on WBTAi.com.

https://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html#Parts_1_11

A former POW in World War 2, air medal, purple heart, bronze star and POW medal recipient was honored at the Batavia VA on Wednesday for his 107th birthday.  Sydney Cole was a forward observer for the 776th Field Artillery Battalion when he was shot down behind enemy lines by German anti air fire.  As a prisoner, Capt. Cole commanded 150 enlisted prisoners.  Despite his ill-treated wounds and diminished body weight of only 95 pounds, Cole was instrumental in maintaining high levels of discipline and morale among the enlisted men and served as an inspiration and an example of American military conduct while in enemy custody.

The Buffalo Bisons announced today that First Responders and members of the armed forces, both active and veteran, will be given 2 free tickets for the game on September 11th.  The Bisons say If you are a first responder or active duty/veteran armed forces member you can claim your two free tickets by presenting a valid ID at the Sahlen Field Box Office starting at 12:00 p.m. on September 11.  The team also announced on Military & First Responder Appreciation Night 20% of net proceeds from eligible Bisons.com and in-park merchandise sales will be donated to WNY Heroes, Inc. First responders and active duty/veteran armed forces members will also receive 20% off their purchase at the Bisons Team Shop in Sahlen Field.

Midday News Brief

36-year-old Danielle Tooley of Batavia is under arrest for applying and collecting nearly 100-thousand dollars in federal un-employment benefits.
Tooley is accused of knowingly using personal identifying information of other people to apply for and collect unemployment benefits connected with the federal COVID-19 relief programs.
Her scheme was discovered when Tooley was stopped by state police in Bergen last fall on suspicion of drug possession. During the search of her car, troopers found six New York State unemployment benefit cards. They were turned over to federal agents.
Tooley faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail and a $1-million fine.

The New York State Assembly and Senate approved the extension of the eviction moratorium until January 15, 2022 to protect struggling renters. The bill was passed by the State Legislature late last night and will head to Governor Kathy Hochul to sign. The vote was 80 to 60.

Steve Hawley

 

Assembly Steve Hawley of Batavia remains firm in his opposition to the extension.
Hawley telling WBTA News Today:

 

State Attorney General Letitia James says transcripts from the investigation her office conducted into former governor Andrew Cuomo will be made public. James said that she believed all of the women who came forward with allegations of harassment. She did not reveal a timetable on when the report is going to be released.

Have someone in mind for LeRoyan of the year?
The deadline for nominations is this Saturday.
The award is presented by American Legion Post 53 in LeRoy and recognizes an individual for True Americanism, good citizenship and community service.
The email address for nominations is: gdiskin@rochester.rr.com

Morning News Brief

Federal prosecutors have announced that 36-year-old Danielle Tooley of Batavia was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud and theft of government funds. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Rossi, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, between July and December 4, 2020, Tooley and others knowingly used the personal identifying information of other individuals unlawfully to apply for and collect unemployment benefits connected to federal COVID-19 relief programs. In total, the scheme resulted in a loss of at least $99,141.39 to the United States.  Tooley was released on conditions.

The New York state Legislature voted Wednesday to extend an eviction moratorium for tenants who fell behind on their rent because of hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. New York’s previous eviction moratorium expired Tuesday. In an Aug. 12 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court nixed part of the moratorium that allowed tenants to pause eviction proceedings simply by filing a form declaring they’d had a pandemic-related hardship. The bill would let landlords challenge hardship declarations. Hochul said the legislation will stand up to legal scrutiny. But the leader of the Rent Stabilization Association, the largest organization of landlords in New York, vowed Wednesday to sue to block the moratorium in federal court.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is standing firmly opposed to legislation that would extend the moratorium on evictions in the state. Hawley has expressed frustration that this moratorium has been extended multiple times, even as the state government sits on the vast majority of $2.6 billion in federal funding meant to address the issue, having distributed only 10 percent of those funds to tenants and landlords in need. According to Hawley, “If we do not do something to help our small landlords in this crucial moment, they may well go extinct within the housing market if forced to sell their property to large conglomerates to escape crushing debts which they cannot collect rent to pay.”

After investigating a complaint on Bethany Center Road, deputies arrested 18-year-old Hannah Roberts of Fulton. She was charged with trespass and will appear in Bethany Town Court on September 14th.

Representatives of Samsung have visited the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in recent days…that from Sen. Charles Schumer, renewing optimism that the international semiconductor manufacturer may join Plug Power, the Latham-based leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems, in placing a production plant at the 1,250-acre site in the Town of Alabama. Announcing what he called a “two-pronged approach” at a press conference at the STAMP site off Route 77, Schumer said that he has been communicating on a regular basis with the president of Samsung, based in South Korea, and the head of the company’s United States operations — promoting STAMP as the ideal location for the semiconductor facility it is looking to build.

The National Weather Service issued two historic flash flood emergencies for New York and New Jersey Wednesday night as heavy rains from remnants of Ida slammed the area; they were the first two the agency’s New York operation have ever issued. A flash flood emergency is issued in exceedingly rare situations when extremely heavy rain creates a severe threat to human life, and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is currently happening or will happen soon.

Midday News Brief

Sen Charles Schumer

New York Senior Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in Genesee County today.
Schumer made his second personal visit to the county’s Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park – known simply as STAMP.
Schumer saying today that he is still in contact with electronics giant Samsung corporation trying to convince them that STAMP is an idea location for a major semi-conductor manufacturing facility.

Genesee County Public Health Director Paul Pettit says don’t be surprised if the next state mandate will require teachers and school staff to be vaccinated. That has not happened yet, but Pettit said in broadcast remarks yesterday that it could be next.
Pettit also revealed that 20 to 30-percent of new COVID cases in Genesee County are so-called breakthrough cases infections in people already vaccinated.
Pettit credits the vaccine for lessening the severity of brearkthrough cases.
The Delta variant is the likely cause of new infections which Pettit said are still in an upward trend in the county.

State Troopers have announced that applications are now open for the next State Police Entrance Exam.
The exam, which will be administered from January through April of 2022, will be given online at authorized testing centers for the first time in State Police history. This is all part of an effort to reportedly make the exam more accessible to the general public.

The Rotary Club of Batavia has issued a BOLO for a Bovine named Butterscotch.
Now, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has entered the search.
Butterscotch is a life-size decorative cow used in the past by the Rotary Club to promote Rotary Activities.
Butterscotch will also answer to the name, Rotary Annie” as she was dubbed when promoting Rotary musicals.
The faux animal was apparently stolen from the home of a Rotary Member in Elba. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office.

Plans continue to evolve for the projected new Bills stadium.
The Associated Press reports the team is proposing Buffalo’s new stadium to hold about 60,000 seats, which is more than 10,000 seats less than what’s currently in Highmark Stadium. The team’s current lease is set to expire during the Summer of 2023, but pending approval for a new stadium the state and county are expected to extend that timeline.

Morning News Brief

Now that a statewide universal masking mandate is in place for all persons in school buildings, a requirement that all teachers and staff be fully vaccinated could be next. Paul Pettit, public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, said he has heard that Gov. Kathy Hochul is advocating for that to happen, just as she did in instructing the New York State Department of Health to issue the mask mandate — even after many school districts had developed their own reopening plans based on information that there would be no state guidance. To prepare for this situation, Pettit said the local health department is working with schools on testing. He admitted that the changing directives pertaining to masks in schools over the past three weeks “has been confusing.”

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the theft of “Butterscotch” the decorative cow from a residence in the Town of Elba.  Anyone with information regarding the theft or knowledge of “Butterscotch’s” location is being asked to contact the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

New York’s health benefit costs increased faster than the national average in 2020, leaving it with the second-least affordable coverage in the U.S. The state’s average total cost for employee-sponsored individual coverage was $8,177 and for family coverage was $23,381, according to an annual survey by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that Adrienne Harris has been nominated to lead the New York State Department of Financial Services as its next Superintendent. Formerly a top economic advisor to President Obama, Ms. Harris will become the state’s top financial regulator tasked with overseeing the banking and insurance industries and their compliance with state laws as New York works to rebuild its economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, if confirmed by the Senate.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday she will work with localities, the state health department, and other health agencies to put in place a mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing program for unvaccinated public and charter school employees. The governor made the announcement from University of Buffalo Tuesday where she hosted a COVID-19 briefing to discuss the state’s ongoing coronavirus response efforts. Gov. Hochul said she won’t be micro-managing from the governor’s office, but will be giving guidance.

State officials have announced that applications are now open for the next New York State Police Trooper Entrance Exam. The exam, which will be administered from January through April of 2022, will be given online at authorized testing centers for the first time in State Police history, part of an effort to reportedly make the exam more accessible to the general public.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that Adrienne Harris has been nominated to lead the New York State Department of Financial Services as its next Superintendent. Formerly a top economic advisor to President Obama, Ms. Harris will become the state’s top financial regulator tasked with overseeing the banking and insurance industries and their compliance with state laws as New York works to rebuild its economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, if confirmed by the Senate.

***The State Legislature will be back in session today, looking to extend New York’s eviction moratorium to Jan. 15. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced an extraordinary session for the Legislature Tuesday, aimed at also addressing the state’s cannabis program and the Open Meetings Law.

Plans continue to evolve for the projected new Bills stadium. On Tuesday, John Wawrow of the Associated Press reported the team is proposing Buffalo’s new stadium to hold about 60,000 seats, which is more than 10,000 seats less than what’s currently in Highmark Stadium. The team’s current lease is set to expire during the Summer of 2023, but pending approval for a new stadium the state and county are expected to extend that timeline.

Evening News Brief

Governor Hochul has announced that she will be making 65 million dollars available to local governments to administer booster shots of the COVID 19 Vaccine.  The White House has started saying that all adults should get a third dose of the COVID vaccine 8 months after their last shot.  The FDA has yet to approve the boosters for anyone other than those who have had organ transplants or have compromised immune systems.  Researchers have found that a booster would increase the number of COVID antibodies which start to decrease after 6 months from vaccination.  Detractors of the booster shots point out that antibodies decrease over time with any vaccine but T-Cell immunity has been showing to be constant in vaccinated and in people who have recovered from COVID.  The vaccines have so far been shown to be equally effective against all strains of the COVID virus.

Governor Hochul also said her office is in the process of getting legal clearance for the Department of Health to put a “vax or test” policy in place for teachers, staff and anyone else entering a school this fall.  It would require proof of vaccination or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.  She said the state is not doing a good enough job getting everyone to take the vaccine and she is willing to quote “make the tough decisions if I think it’ll protect the people of this state.”

The Sharrick Road Bridge between Colby Road and Harper Road will be closing on Sept. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take 3 months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Batavia Downs wants you to know their new schedule for horse racing.  Wednesday racing will be off for 2 weeks from September 1st through the 15th.  Racing will shift back to Fridays starting on the 3rd.  September 4th Saturday times will move to 5pm except for the November 6th Breeders Cup which will be at 3:15.  The Clubhouse will be from 4-8pm.

Midday News Brief

Batavia’s South Lyon Street bridge over the Tonawanda Creek is now closed to all traffic.
The bridge failed a recent inspection.
The bridge had a posted load of 5-ton for some time but the latest inspection shows it cannot handle the minimum 3-ton load.
The bridge is slated for replacement with a new two lane structure. The new span should be open by September of next year.

It’s official now, all students in public and private schools in New York State will be required to wear masks when in class. Interim Batavia Schools Superintend Scott Bischoping was not surprised by the announcement but held off issuing a local mandate.
Oakfield Alabama was caught a bit surprise. They had been working on a local plan based on CDC guidelines. Oakfield Superintendent John Fisgus calls the situation frustrating.

Genesee County stands to receive more than $400,000 via a settlement between New York State and the pharmaceutical companies comprising the Johnson & Johnson brand for their role in contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic. The county’s Human Services Committee, on the advice of County Attorney Kevin Earl, recommended adoption of a resolution that would enable Genesee to participate in the New York Opioid Sharing Agreement. The settlement, negotiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, would provide Genesee County with between $177,000 and $413,000, with half of the money paid initially – possibly as soon as February 2022 – and the remainder paid incrementally over a 10-year period.

The Genesee County Health Department is planning a media briefing on various COVID-19 topics.
The briefing will be issued by county public health director Paul Petit.
WBTA plans to broadcasts Pettit’s remarks live at 2pm this afternoon.

Members of the State Legislature will be coming back to Albany this week to take action on the eviction moratorium that expires today. Lawmakers are set to return tomorrow or Thursday to discuss the next steps they can take to protect both tenants and landlords.

Morning News Brief

Due to a recent bridge inspection, the South Lyon Street bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in the City of Batavia will be closed to all traffic effective today until further notice.  The bridge is located between Main St (Rt 5) and South Main Street. The bridge had been load posted for 5 ton loads for some time, but a very recent inspection has determined that the bridge can no longer handle the minimum allowable loads of 3 tons.  A bridge replacement is under design and it is scheduled to be replaced completely with a new 2-lane structure.  It is expected that the design will be completed in November and that advertising of construction bids can be completed at that time. The new bridge should be open to the public by the end of September 2022.

Genesee County stands to receive more than $400,000 via a settlement between New York State and the pharmaceutical companies comprising the Johnson & Johnson brand for their role in contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic. The county’s Human Services Committee, on the advice of County Attorney Kevin Earl, recommended adoption of a resolution that would enable Genesee to participate in the New York Opioid Sharing Agreement. The settlement, negotiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, would provide Genesee County with between $177,000 and $413,000, with half of the money paid initially – possibly as soon as February 2022 – and the remainder paid incrementally over a 10-year period.

The Sharrick Road Bridge between Colby Road and Harper Road will be closing on Sept. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take 3 months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

This weekend’s announcement by the New York State Department of Health requiring mask wearing for everyone inside all school buildings essentially nullifies any school district reopening plans that recommended, but did not require, face coverings in the classrooms. Oakfield-Alabama was one of those districts that decided to not require masks while teachers and students were in class – basing its decision on an Aug. 4 directive from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office that the state was leaving reopening guidelines up to local school districts in conjunction with local health departments. Friday’s emergency regulation by the NYSDOH — taking its lead from the new governor, Kathy Hochul — is both frustrating and upsetting according to the O-A Superintendent. He said the state should be able to have confidence in local school boards, administrators and teachers to do what is right in the face of a prolonged COVID-19 situation.

Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled a new memorial honoring New York’s fallen highway workers at the Great New York State Fair. The memorial is located near the midway entrance and west of the Horticulture Building on the fairgrounds. It honors all transportation workers killed while doing their job duties on or near New York’s thousands of miles of highways, including State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority employees, municipal highway workers, contractors, consultants, and towing service employees.

The Sharrick Road Bridge between Colby Road and Harper Road will be closing on Sept. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take 3 months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Just in case you missed it…Following a call from Gov. Kathy Hochul for a mask mandate in schools, the New York State Department of Health has filed an emergency regulation mandating masks inside all school buildings. According to the report, all students, faculty and staff of public and private schools, pre-K through 12th grade, will be required to wear masks inside school buildings. Visitors will also be required to wear masks inside school buildings.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the removal of the final toll booths on the New York State Thruway, a historic and significant milestone in the $355 million Cashless Tolling Design-Build Project. Monday, Cashless Tolling Constructors, LLC began removing the last standing toll plaza at Exit 60 (Westfield), the final of 52 toll plazas, including 230 individual toll booths, that have been removed since cashless tolling went live in November 2020. Exit realignment and road reconstruction continues at interchanges across the Thruway system and is on schedule to be completed by the end of October, weather permitting.

The Batavia Cemetery Association has announced that the annual Halloween Candlelight Ghostwalk…is back! Join them to meet the famous and infamous movers and shakers who shaped and influenced the City of Batavia on Saturday, October 23rd on a ghost walk through the Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. Tours begin at 7:00 p.m. and run every fifteen minutes until 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes refreshments. Reservations are required. Proceeds benefit the upkeep and restoration of the cemetery.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.15, down one cent from last week. The New York State average is $3.23 – up one cent from last week. In Batavia, the price at the pump is $3.24. Gas prices began to fluctuate over the weekend due to Hurricane Ida impacting the Gulf Coast, though mostly in states in the storm’s path. A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in production due to oil refinery shutdowns. Spikes in pump price due to the effects of the storm tend to be brief but dramatic. Furthermore, the upcoming Labor Day weekend holiday travel could push prices up based on demand.

Evening News Update

From the Genesee County Highway Department: Sandpit Road between Spring and Dry Bridge Road is now reopened.  It has been closed since June 7th

The happy and unhappy haunts of Batavia will return on October 23rd with the Ghost Walk through the historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue.  This candlelit guided tour will allow guests to meet men and women of Batavia who held great power and influence while they were alive, or experienced tragic events.  Among the notaries buried here are revolutionary war soldier James Holden, conspiracy theorist William Morgan who disappeared under mysterious circumstances while investigating the masons, and Military governor of DC John Martindale.  15 minute tours run from 7 to 8:30 and cost 10 dollars with refreshments included. Reservations are required.

The Buffalo Bills have said goodbye to Defensive End Darryl Johnson but will see him on the field when they play against the Carolina Panthers.  Johnson was traded to the Panthers for a 6th round draft pick in 2022.  Johnson, 24, has played 31 games with the Bills over two seasons after being drafted in the 7th round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Midday News Brief

The New York State Department of Health has issued a mask mandate for all schools in New York State.
According to the directive, all students, faculty and staff of public and private schools, pre-K through 12th grade, will be required to wear masks inside school buildings. Visitors will also be required to wear masks when inside school buildings. State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says the increasing transmission of the Delta COVID variant is the driving factor for the mandate.

Two people were rescued after a car fell down an embankment in Wyoming County.
Deputies from the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident on Bank Road in the Town of Middlebury just before 1a.m Saturday morning. Deputies say two people were inside the car, which was at the bottom of a 25-foot embankment. The occupants suffered only minor injuries. One was treated at UMMC in Batavia.

Hurricane Ida can be blamed for an increase in gasoline prices.
The storm has caused disruptions to oil production and transportation.
The average prices of a gallon of regular in Batavia is up to 2-cents since last week to $3.24.

A pick-up truck with four young passengers inside drove into a ditch on Alleghany Road in Pembroke. Deputies arrested of 46-year-old Nathan Stringer of Rochester. He was charged with four counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law, The children, all under the age of 15, were not injured. Stringer was released and will appear in Pembroke Town Court at a later date.

The Supreme Court’s decision last week to allow evictions to resume during the pandemic is expected to affect 3 million Americans. The court found the CDC did not have the authority to re-impose a moratorium earlier this month without Congressional authorization. New York’s eviction ban is set to expire tomorrow, but lawmakers have discussed extending it to the end of October. Gov. Hochul said she is in talks with the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker to call a special session to address the impending eviction crisis, given the Supreme Court’s decision.

Morning News Briefing

No injuries were reported when a pick-up truck loaded with four young children went into a ditch on Alleghany Road in Pembroke. An investigation by deputies led to the arrest of 46-year-old Nathan Stringer of Rochester. He was arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated under Leandra’s Law, DWI, DWI refusal, moving from a lane unsafely and unlicensed operation. The children, all under the age of 15, were not injured. Stringer was released and will appear in Pembroke Town Court at a later date.

Acting on a warrant, State Police arrested 36-year-old Danielle Tooley of Batavia. She was charged with bail jumping. She was released on her own recognizance.

An ambulance fire was reported early Sunday on East Main Street in Batavia, the Genesee County Fairgrounds. A chief on scene said the ambulance was fully involved. Town of Batavia Fire responded.

Charges have now been filed stemming from a vehicle crash in Pembroke on July 19th. Deputies arrested 62-year-old Norman Humel of Darien. He was charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, unreasonable speed, moving from a lane unsafely, failure to keep right and refusing to take a breath test. He’ll be arraigned in court Thursday afternoon.

A confrontation in the Town of Batavia resulted in criminal charges. Troopers say they arrested 26-year-old Abigail Button of Charlotte, North Carolina. She was charged with assault causing physical injury and criminal mischief. She was issued an appearance ticket for court and released.

By the end of October, dozens of insurance companies in New York will again require copays for Coronavirus hospital stays and testing. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, early on in the pandemic, insurers limited out-of-pocket expenses for anyone diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID through cost-sharing waivers. However, more than a year in, that has changed. Currently, federal law requires COVID testing to be free, as long as it’s deemed medically appropriate. However, tests are not covered if you’re getting them as an alternative to the vaccine.

The Supreme Court’s decision last week to allow evictions to resume during the pandemic is expected to affect 3 million Americans. The court found the CDC did not have the authority to re-impose a moratorium earlier this month without Congressional authorization. New York’s eviction ban is set to expire tomorrow, but lawmakers have discussed extending it to the end of October. Gov. Hochul said she is in talks with the Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker to call a special session to address the impending eviction crisis, given the Supreme Court’s decision.

Governor Kathy Hochul on Sunday unveiled a Workers Memorial at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. The memorial honors all transportation workers killed while performing their job duties on or near New York’s thousands of miles of highways.

Batavia police say they arrested 40-year-old Wesley Thigpen on two counts of Thigpen is accused of a continuous course of conduct where he sexually abused two children while they were under the age of thirteen. The abuse occurred at multiple locations in the City of Batavia between 2007 and 2016. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court and held with no set bail.

Batavia police arrested 51-yar-old Eric P. Doleman of Pembroke after an investigation into the use of counterfeit money at a local business, where he allegedly knowingly used a counterfeit $100 bill. Doleman was arraigned in Batavia City Court and remanded to jail without bail.

Weekend News Aug 28 & 29

Batavia city officials hope to clear the air around the Waste Water Treatment Plant. A $1-million project to replace the air header system at the plant is nearly complete. The treatment plant is located in the southwest corner of the city.
For some time now, residents near the plant have complained about foul orders coming from the site.
The new air header system should substantially reduce the odor from the plant and the surrounding ponds.

The owner of the former Carr’s building on Monday vows a five-million-dollar project to renovate the former department store will move ahead.
Owner Ken Mistler has already been allocated a million dollars for the project under the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant.
There are no outward signs that anything has been done with the project. City Manager Rachel Tabelski said her understanding is that Mistler will keep the ground floor for commercial space and upper floors for residential.
Mistler was quoted this week by our news partner, The Batavian, as saying any information about what the building will ultimately look like is, “speculation.”

The New York State Department of Health has filed an emergency regulation that will require all students, faculty, and staff for all public and private schools in New York State to wear masks inside school buildings.
This comes after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul directed the health department to implement a universal mask mandate in all schools.
The governor also announced earlier this week that school personnel will be required to be vaccinated with the option to test out weekly.

State Senator Liz Krueger is calling for disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to return campaign contributions. Pointing out the fact that over 18 million dollars were gathered by Cuomo for his now canceled 2022 re-election campaign, the senator spoke about its purpose no longer existing. Krueger is calling on big donors to demand their money back. Politico reports that Cuomo plans to use the money in order to launch a retribution campaign against his enemies.

Authorities in Rochester are investigating the discovery of a body in the Genesee River.
The grim find was made late Friday afternoon near the Seneca Park Zoo.
The body was that of a man, but no further information is available.

Things to do this weekend:
On Saturday: Women of the Moose present Spirits Drive Thru Chicken BBQ, today starting at 1pm until sold out, 21 Bank Street, LeRoy. Pre-sale tickets available from the LeRoy Moose Club. Proceeds benefit the Jell-O sign on the Thruway and various Moose Charities. Also on Saturday the Attica Lions Club presents, Germanfest, Saturday, August 28, starting at 3:30pm in Attica Park, Exchange Street. Food, Music, and more. Take outs available.

On Sunday:
United Way presents the 5th annual Summer Serenade, ” A Night in Vienna”, Sunday, August 29th, at The LeRoyan, Rt. 5, LeRoy. Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra. You can get tickets for this garden party on-line or from any United Way or GSO member.

Midday News Brief

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott says the situation regarding players outspoken against the COVID-19 vaccine is “frustrating.”
McDermott has addressed two players in particular who were both recently fined for violating the league’s mask policy and who have been outspoken against vaccines.
Bills wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Cole Beasley took to social media to complain about being fined 14-thousand dollars for the violations. Beasley has been perhaps the most outspoken player in the NFL regarding vaccinations and other COVID-19 guidelines.

Two Genesee County woman plead guilty to welfare fraud.
50-year-old Trina Grimmer of Byron was allowed to plea to a reduced charge and given a conditional discharge. She was originally accused of collecting $8,104 in SNAP benefits.
42-year-old Valerie Marucci of Attica pled guilty to one count of Disorderly Conduct. Social Services investigators say Marucci collected $2,725 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.
Both Grimmer and Marucci have been banned from receiving SNAP benefits for one year.

The owner of Ken Barrett Chevrolet throws a big bone to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit.
Ken Barret donated 25-hundred dollars for K-9 Frankie.
Frankie’s care fund was drained after the dog spent a week in the hospital for an illness.
The Barrett donation will help restore funding for the care and feeding of the police dog.

Governor Kathy Hochul has selected Brian Benjamin for Lieutenant Governor. Senator Benjamin and Governor Hochul have previously worked together on several key issues.
Senator Benjamin previously served as the New York State Senator for District 30 – which encompasses Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper West Side of New York City.

Morning News Briefing

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the selection of Brian Benjamin for Lieutenant Governor. Senator Benjamin and Governor Hochul have previously worked together on several key issues, including fighting the opioid epidemic and boosting addiction recovery programs and making it easier for New Yorkers to vote. Senator Benjamin previously served as the New York State Senator for District 30 – which encompasses Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper West Side – Chairman of the Senate Committee on Revenue and Budget and Senior Assistant Majority Leader, where he distinguished himself as a leader in criminal justice reform and affordable housing. Senator Benjamin remains heavily involved in his community in Harlem.

Governor Hochul said she wants to impose a school mask mandate in New York State. Many parents in the area have voiced their concerns, both in favor and against masking, and even local officials seem to have differing opinions. Since New York is no longer in a state of emergency, Governor Hochul cannot officially impose a school mask mandate herself. But, in her recent address this week, she said she is directing the health department to instate a mask requirement. This would make it mandatory for all New York Schools to comply. The New York Department of Health was supposed to issue guidance to schools but they decided to leave that responsibility to local officials when there was only one month until school started.

New York is having a successful recovery from new unemployment claims, with last week’s claims lower than in the same week in 2019, according to WalletHub’s updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest. Weekly unemployment claims in New York decreased by 11.49% compared to the same week in 2019. This was the 8th biggest decrease in the U.S.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund voted against board directors at companies that failed to meet the Fund’s expectations for board diversity and filed shareholder proposals calling on companies to address investors’ concerns about diversity, equity and inclusion during the 2021 proxy season. The Fund’s ongoing efforts to hold publicly traded corporations and their top executives accountable received strong support.

Ken Barrett, owner of Ken Barrett Chevrolet/Cadillac in Batavia, surprised the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office with a $2,500 donation to the K-9 Fund. Barrett says he heard though a long-time employee, salesman Bob Mullen, that Mullen’s grandson, Deputy Andrew Mullen, advised that his K-9 partner Frankie just returned home from a weeklong stay in the hospital after an illness. The unexpected stay will deplete the K-9 fund, with only a few thousand dollars remaining. Barrett says his business has always tried to support local law enforcement and has made prior donations. He says the dealership plans to continue to support the K-9 fund in the future.

Following an investigation into a physical domestic at Six Flags Darien Lake Theme Park, deputies arrested 43-year-old Antonia Santiago Jr. of Rochester. He was charged with second-degree harassment. Santiago allegedly punched and pushed the victim. He was arraigned and will return to Town of Darien court on September 30th.

Evening News Brief

Western NY is under yet another heat advisory until 7pm today.  According to the National Weather service the high heat and humidity will make it feel like it is in the upper 90s today.  This August is now the 2nd hottest on record in Western NY with an average temperature of 75.3 degrees.  The hottest on record was in 2016 with the average being 75.6 with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th hottest being in the 1940s and 50s.

In her first week in office Governor Kathy Hochul officially acknowledged that Cuomo had been downplaying the number of COVID deaths in New York by about 12 thousand. Sharp eyed individuals who followed the CDC’s official numbers noticed in the summer of 2020 that the numbers being quoted by Cuomo in his daily updates and press releases were off from the total being reported by the CDC and this gap just kept getting bigger and bigger.  In its first daily update on the outbreak Tuesday evening, Hochul’s office reported that nearly 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from about 43,400 that Cuomo reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.  The official reason for the difference was that New York only reported deaths that were laboratory certified and did not count any that were not COVID tested before death.

Custom benches are being auctioned off to benefit the Autism Nature Trail in Letchworth State Park.  Officials say the Austim Nature Trail at Letchworth is close to completion but you still have a chance to be part of its legacy.  There are 6 benches being auctioned which will become part of the trail.  Bidding starts at 5 thousand dollars per bench and the auction will take place online.  They were created by artist Rick Pratt and his family.  To see the benches and bid on them follow the link at wbtai.com.  https://e.givesmart.com/events/n4y/

Bills wide receiver and kick returner Isaiah McKenzie has been fined over 14 thousand dollars for not wearing a mask.  From the letter he received from the NFL “On August 25, 2021, at approximately 2:15 p.m. while walking through the indoor fieldhouse and into the training room, you failed to wear a mask. Then at approximately 4:35 p.m. on August 25, for several minutes, you again failed to wear a mask in the meeting area of the weight room while gathered near other players after the offensive meeting.”  Cole Beasley replied to McKenzies tweet about the fine saying “don’t worry they got me too. But I was wearing a mask when I was in close contact with fully vaxxed trainer who tested positive and still got sent home. So what’s the point of the mask anyways?”  Beasley and 3 others are quarantining at the moment.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s office would like to thank the public for their assistance in locating Madalyn Muntz who went missing yesterday and has since been located.  Several people called in to the helpline which aided in deputies being able to find her and check on her welfare.

Morning News Briefing

The Genesee County Legislature has voted to approve a new sales tax allocation agreement with the City of Batavia – a move that clears the way for the annual distribution of $10 million in sales tax revenue to Genesee County towns and villages. The resolution passed by a unanimous vote. In other action, the legislature voted in favor of contracting with a Williamsville consulting firm for assistance in how to spend money received from the American Rescue Plan Act. The contract is for up to $10,000 for the two years of the contract, which includes the option of three, one-year renewals.

A source tells an Albany TV station that state Sen. Brian Benjamin will be the new Lieutenant Governor of New York. Someone familiar with the administration’s internal discussions spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Hochul had yet to announce her decision publicly. She is expected to do so this week. If he accepts the job, the 44-year-old Benjamin would become the state’s second Black lieutenant governor. The Democrat, whose district includes most of central Harlem, has focused his legislative career on criminal justice reform and affordable housing.

Delivering another blow to what’s left of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legacy, New York’s new governor acknowledged on her first day in office that the state has had nearly 12,000 more deaths from COVID-19 than Cuomo told the public. In its first daily update on the outbreak Tuesday evening, Hochul’s office reported that nearly 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from about 43,400 that Cuomo reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.

Lisa Casey, confidential secretary for the City of Batavia since January 2015, has been hired as clerk of the legislature for Genesee County. She calls the move a career advancement. A Batavia resident, Casey was an executive administrator for Conifer Realty in Rochester for seven years. Her first day with the county is Sept. 7th.

A knife fight led to the arrest of 2 men in the town on Albion.  53-year-old Angel Gonzalez-Rodriguez and 43-year-old Jeffrey VanEpps allegedly got into a fight over a cell phone, Rodriguez slashed VanEpps on the forehead and VanEpps stabbed Rodriguez in the leg.  Both have been arrested and charged with Assault, Criminal Possession of a weapon, and menacing.

The National Weather Service is continuing a heat advisory for today. Heat index values could reach 100 this afternoon. Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.

From Buffalo’s Channel 4… President Joe Biden appointed Williamsville native and SUNY Geneseo graduate Elizabeth “Liz” Allen as “Assistant Secretary of State for Global Public Affairs” at the United States Department of State Wednesday. Allen, a Williamsville South graduate, previously worked in the Obama-Biden White House for eight years in communications.

Evening News Update

A knife fight lead to the arrest of 2 men in the town on Albion.  53 year old Angel Gonzalez-Rodriguez and 43 year old Jeffrey VanEpps allegedly got into a fight over a cell phone, Rodriguez slashed VanEpps on the forehead and VanEpps stabbed Rodriguez in the leg.  Both have been arrested and charged with Assault, Criminal Possession of a weapon, and menacing.

The Buffalo Bills announced Tuesday that they are letting 5 players go, Tyrell Adams, Tyler Gauthier, Bug Howard, Lance Lenoir and Tariq Thompson.  4 players are on the COVID reserve list Cole Beasley, Star Lotulelei, Gabriel Davis, and Vernon Butler although all 4 tested positive then negative but have to stay on the reserve list for 5 days.  Their next game is against the Packers Saturday August 28th.

Midday News Brief

A heat advisory remains in effect until 7 o’clock tonight.
The National Weather Service is forecasting heat index values today as high as 100-degrees.
The advisory extends to all of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
Temperatures near or above 90 coupled with high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.
The Weather Service advises you to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

Governor Hochul has already made an announcement that will affect a lot of New Yorkers in the next few weeks. Yesterday, the governor said she’s directing the state Department of Health to make mask wearing mandatory in all schools. Hochul says the goal is to prevent an outbreak of the virus in school buildings that could lead to students and staff getting sick. The governor also suggests districts create a COVID-19 vaccination policy that would give employees the option of not getting immunized but only if they agree to weekly testing for coronavirus.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is asking the [public’s help in locating a woman last seen in Byron.
The missing woman is Madalyn Muntz. She was last seen on Monday.
The sheriff’s office notes that Madalyn is NOT in any trouble but they are trying to find her to be sure she is OK.
If you see her or know of her whereabouts, call 9-1-1.

PHOTO: Madalyn Muntz

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo has lost his Emmy award for his 2020 daily COVID-19 briefings. The EMMY Academy wrote in a statement:
“In light of the New York Attorney General’s report, and Andrew Cuomo’s subsequent resignation as Governor, it is rescinding his special 2020 International Emmy Award.”

Morning News Briefing

New York’s new Governor Kathy Hochul held a ceremonial swearing-in event in Albany after she officially became the state’s first female governor. She ascended to the role after former governor Andrew Cuomo resigned following the state attorney general’s report released earlier this month that found evidence, he had sexually harassed 11 women while in office. Following the brief ceremony, Hochul says her administration will focus on helping New Yorkers gain confidence in their elected officials.

City of Batavia Police Department members raised $1,500.00 among their ranks to support the Challenger Sports program run by the Batavia Y and supported by the Arc of Genesee Orleans.  Challenger sports benefits children with intellectual, developmental or physical disabilities and has offered them the opportunity to swim, bowl, dance, play baseball, soccer, basketball and tennis. It was Police Sergeant Lawrence’s idea to target their fundraising proceeds to Challenger Baseball and said this is a great cause to encourage officers get involved in the community.

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo has lost his Emmy award for his 2020 daily COVID-19 daily briefings after a firestorm of sexual harassment allegations and his subsequent resignation. The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences released a statement Tuesday saying that in light of the New York Attorney General’s report, and Andrew Cuomo’s subsequent resignation as Governor, it is rescinding his special 2020 International Emmy® Award. His name and any reference to his receiving the award will be eliminated from International Academy materials going forward.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Genesee and Orleans counties. Heat index values could reach 100 degrees. Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur.

Hours after being sworn in as New York’s 57th governor, Kathy Hochul said she will require COVID vaccinations for all school staff, or weekly testing. Gov. Hochul’s vaccine mandate comes just two weeks before the start of school, and she promised more COVID policies are coming. The governor’s announcement comes as school leaders are finalizing reopening plans for the start of the school year.

New York’s COVID positivity rate is now 3.60%. 86 more people have been hospitalized and nine others have been admitted to the ICU. The state reports 11 additional deaths, bringing the statewide COVID death toll to more than 43,000 people. The positivity rate in the Finger Lakes region has slowly declined over the past three days. The WNY rate has been increasing.

Evening News Brief

There will be a heat advisory in effect for Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties starting tomorrow at 11am and running till 7pm.  Heat indexes as high as 100 are expected with temperatures in the 90s and high humidity.  Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

As Cuomo left office Monday he used his last speech to call on business to require their employees to get vaccinated or be fired.  President Biden has said the same thing.  Local Grocery Chains have said that while they encourage their employees to get the shot, they won’t require it.  Tops, Wegmans, and Target have all said they are not requiring employees to be vaccinated.

Starting tomorrow, August 25th, the UMMC is instituting new anti covid protocols.  There will be no visitation to COVID positive patients, the emergency room, or cancer infusion center patients with exceptions for pediatric patients, patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities and those with end of life care or dementia.  Check out the visitation hours and specifics at our news partner the Batavian.

Darien Lake Amusement Park has announced its plans for the winter holiday season and they involve lots of lights.  The Magic of Lights, a 1.25 mile drive through holiday light display extravaganza will start November 18th and run through January 2nd.  They plan to put up nearly 1 million lights.  This will be free to all members and season pass holders and others can purchase tickets which will be available this fall.

How much would you pay for a raspberry pie?  10 dollars?  15 dollars?  How about 4000 dollars?  A 6 year old girl who sold a pie at a 4-h auction at the Wyoming County Fair got a big surprise when bidding went from 25 dollars up by hundred dollar increments to a whopping 4 thousand for the fruit confection.  Jane Hull, who is in her first year at 4-H, tells reporters that she was there for the animals and also showed a rabbit which won 2nd place.  The winning bidder, Bobby Burt, is her grandfather.  The money raised by the Auction goes to the 4-H Family Fund and several scholarships and workshop funds.

Midday News Brief

 

 

PHOTO: WNY Native Kathy Hochul takes the oath of office as Governor of the State of New York. Husband William Hochul at her side. Oath administered by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore

 

It’s a historic day in New York as Governor Kathy Hochul has become the first female to hold that position in the Empire State.
In brief remarks following her ceremonial swearing in Hochul was asked what is her number one priority as she takes office…

Hochul took a few questions from reporters before a scheduled meeting with leaders of the State Legislature.

 

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in the doghouse with dog lovers. There are reports that when he moved out of the Governor’s Mansion in Albany last week and into his sister’s house in Westchester, New York he abandoned his dog. The Albany Times Union said Cuomo asked staffers to take Captain, a Siberian Husky-Malamute mix, that he adopted in 2018. One worker reportedly volunteered but Captain has a history of being nippy and was returned a few days later and seen wandering the grounds. Cuomo is tweeting a denial, suggesting their separation is temporary, but the New York State Animal Protection Federation is outraged and is offering to find Captain a trainer and a loving, forever home.

 

Notre Dame High School of Batavia is recommending that its students wear masks, but they will not be required.
In a letter to parents Notre Dame principal Wade Bianco said that students, faculty and staff will not be required to wear masks as a mean of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Bianco quickly added, however, that the school’s guidelines are subject to change.
Notre Dame will continue maintain social distancing – desks three feet apart, six feet apart where possible. Cafeteria seating will also be six feet apart.

Batavia’s boys and girls in blue had over a $1,500 donation to Challenger Sports.
The program is run by the YMCA and supported by the Arc of Genesee Orleans.
The Police department raised the money through personal contributions from several officers.

Morning News Briefing

Kathy Hochul made history today as the first woman to serve as New York governor after now-former Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially stepped down at midnight. Hochul, a 62-year-old Democrat, was sworn in as the state’s 57th governor during a private ceremony at the state Capitol. A Buffalo resident, Hochul has been New York’s lieutenant governor since 2015. Governor Cuomo says he has always tried his best to deliver for the people of New York.

The management of Batavia Downs and the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association has announced that starting Wednesday (Sept. 1) purses for all races held at the track will be increased by 10%. The increase is due to the recent success in business on the gaming floor and also from an increase in the live racing handle at the track. Reflective of the new structure, the bottom purse at the Downs will be raised from $3,800 to $4,200 and the top purse will jump from $11,200 to $12,300.

Due to COVID cases within the Genesee County Jail, Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is suspending all inmate visitations effective immediately until further notice. This is a precautionary measure to prevent the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19) to inmates’ families and employees.  The Genesee County Health Department said there are currently three cases of COVID-19 at the jail.

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced a resolution expressing the need to safely evacuate American citizens and allies from Afghanistan. In a statement, Jacobs said the President has failed the American people and left our citizens and our allies trapped behind enemy lines without any plan to rescue them and ensure they are safely evacuated. Jacobs’ resolution expresses the need for every American citizen and ally to be safely evacuated from Afghanistan and calls upon the President to provide a clear plan to ensure this happens. In addition, the resolution highlights the dire conditions on the ground in Afghanistan with reports of beatings, executions, and growing security concerns.

Clean up from last week’s deadly and devastating floods continues across the Twin Tiers, with Woodhull, New York bearing the brunt of the damage. A mother, 31-year-old Klarissa Bivin’s died during the recent flooding in Steuben County. According to her obituary, Bivin’s had a “mother’s heart” and was devoted to her son Logan. She enjoyed cooking and baking with her family. As of Monday, this was the only confirmed fatality in the Twin Tiers as a result of the flash flooding.

Gas prices are down slightly around the country and may drop further according to AAA Western and Central New York, as children nationwide return to school. Nationally, the average price for gas dropped three cents over the last week to $3.16 per gallon. But New York state’s average did not change, staying at $3.22 per gallon.

Midday News Brief

Governor Cuomo today is spending his last few hours in a job that he’s held since January 2011. The governor is ending his term at midnight tonight, clearing the way for current Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to become the state’s 57th governor just moments later.
Earlier this month, a report from State Attorney General Letitia James accused the governor of sexually harassing several women. Cuomo has repeatedly denied those claims, but says he thinks it’s in the best interests of everyone if he leaves office.

From the Bad Boys, Bad Girls report:

• 38-year-old Michael Kaney of Batavia: he was arrested in Alexander and charged with aggravated DWI with a BAC above .18-percent.
• 50-year-old Tammy Kozub of Akron: she was arrested by state troopers for felony possession of a controlled substance and introducing contraband to a prison. Tammy was collared at a jail in Albion.
• 30-year-old Jeremiah Williams of Oak Street in Batavia is collared at the Super 8 motel. He was wanted on multiple warrants including failure to verify his address as a registered sex offender.

Batavia drivers are seeing a slight drop in gasoline prices.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is $3.21 two cents below last week’s average.

A man is looking to make history by becoming the first person with a disability to paddle board from the United States into Canada. Mike Shoreman started his expected 85-mile, multiple day journey from Rochester to Toronto yesterday. In 2018, Shoreman was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome which is a side effect of shingles. He’s using the journey to raise awareness about the importance of helping people who are struggling with mental health issues, particularly children and young adults.

Morning News Brief

Batavia Police responded to the Super 8 Motel in an attempt to locate 30-year-old Jeremiah Williams of Oak Street in Batavia on multiple warrants. He was located and taken into custody on a Batavia City Court Warrant for failing to verify his address as a registered sex offender.

Although many states are experiencing a drop in unemployment rates, New York is having a harder time bouncing back from the effect the pandemic has had on employment. According to the personal-finance website WalletHub, the U.S. unemployment rate currently sits at 5.4%, a vast improvement from the nearly historic high of 14.8% in April 2020. New York currently has a rate of 7.6%.

Four people were transported to Strong Memorial Hospital early Sunday after a one-car rollover accident on Assemblyman R Stephen Hawley Drive in the Town of Batavia. Entrapment was reported in the initial call. Mercy Flight transported one patient to Strong. State Police are conducting the accident investigation.

During a traffic stop on Alexander Road in Alexander, sheriff’s deputies arrested 38-year-old Michael Kaney of Batavia. He was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol level above .18% and DWI. He was taken into custody after deputies observed his stopped vehicle on the shoulder of State Route 98. He’ll appear in court September 7th.

* An Erie County woman faces a felony count following an incident at a jail in Albion. State Police arrested 50-year-old Tammy Kozub of Akron. State Police charged with felony criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and a lesser count of introducing contraband at a prison. Court action is pending.

New York’s COVID positivity rate is now 3.01%. The 7-day statewide average positivity rate is 3.14% Nearly 5,000 new cases have been confirmed. 21 more virus-related deaths have been reported. Health officials say there has also been 275 new hospitalizations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent his second-to-last day in office projecting an image that he is still in control, and still fully engaged as the state dealt with heavy rain from Tropical Storm Henri. Cuomo, who is set to resign at the end of the day, appeared at a televised briefing Sunday surrounded by top state officials involved in the state’s storm response. Absent from the briefing was Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is set to become governor in the first seconds of Tuesday morning.  Cuomo said “The lieutenant governor has been briefed on all of this and we’re in constant communication.”

Weekend News Aug 21 & 22

Genesee and Orleans Counties report 99 active cases of COVID-19.
Health Director Paul Pettit says of the 99 cases, 11 persons are hospitalized – eight in Genesee County and three in Orleans.
Pettit said of those reported cases none are nursing home residents and they are from across the age spectrum.
The majority of the cases are in individuals who have not been vaccinated.
Per CDC guidance, Pettit said the local health department urges everyone – vaccinated and un-vaccinated – to wear masks indoors in public and at crowed outdoor settings.

LeRoy’s hopes of landing a $500-million cheese processing plan within its borders have been dashed. LeRoy Town Supervisor Jim Farnholz confirms that Great Lakes Cheese will likely build their new facility in Cattaraugus County.
Putting a positive spin on the loss Farnholz said much of the work done to lure Great Lakes to LeRoy will be useful in the next attempt to land a major development.

That 4-and-a-half-foot monitor lizard that has been roaming through the Village of Attica is dead.
Attica police tell us the animal was apparently struck and killed by a car on Main Street.
The lizard escaped from its owner on July 29th.
Police said the lizard slithered out of his cage when a resident was moving out of his apartment.
The animal was venomous but not considered deadly to humans.

File Photo

New York City’s homecoming week of concerts are winding down with a big concert in Central Park tomorrow. Hudson Valley resident, musician Rob Thomas, is thrilled to be participating. Thomas will be performing with Carlos Santa. Other artists include Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Jennifer Hudson and LL Cool J.
If you would like to stay closer to home, we have two suggestions for you. Hogs for Paws will be held at Stan’s Harley Davidson until 3pm Saturday. It is a benefit for the Genesee County Animal Shelter and Volunteers for animals. If you miss that one, the Home-to-Home concert series will be held in Elba Town Park on Sunday afternoon starting at 3.p.m.

Midday News Brief

Genesee County’s representative on the Western Region OTB board says there’s no merit to the lawsuit filed against the corporation by former COO Michael Nolan.
Nolan is seeking $14-million from the owners of Batavia Downs claiming he was improperly terminated from his post last December.
Board member Richard Seibert says there is no basis for Nolan’s lawsuit.

For the first time since 2019, visitors will be filing through the turnstiles today at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Last year’s fair was canceled due to COVID-19 and with infections rising again, there will be health and safety rules in place to protect people from the virus.
Masks are going to be required indoors for most people and all tickets must be bought online since they won’t be available at the gates. Admission is three bucks for adults while seniors 65 and over and kids 12 and under get in for free.
The fair runs through Labor Day which is Monday, September 6th.

An Alden company is the apparent low bidder for the $4.3-million reconstruction of Park Road.
Catco Construction submitted the low bid for the project that will reconstruction Park Road from Lewiston Road – Route 63 to Route 98 – Oak Street.
Most of the cost is covered by New York State.

The number one pick in this year’s NHL Draft has reportedly decided against joining the lineup of the Buffalo Sabres this season. Instead, The Buffalo News says Owen Power has chosen to return to the University of Michigan for his sophomore year.

For the second week in a row, the Buffalo Bills will be on the road as they continue to prepare for their upcoming season. The defending AFC East champions will be at Soldier’s Field tomorrow to take on the Chicago Bears. Once again, Bills quarterback Josh Allen will watch from the sidelines while Buffalo is led by former Bears QB Mitch Trubisky. Kickoff for tomorrow’s preseason game is set for 1 p.m.

Morning News Brief

Catco Construction of Alden is the apparent low bidder to be the general contractor for the $4.3 million Park Road Reconstruction Project. Town of Batavia Engineer Steve Mountain reported a “favorable” bidding process, in which 11 applications were submitted to take the lead role in an extensive rehabilitation of the road from Lewiston Road (Route 63) to Oak Street (Route 98). Funding from New York State will cover most of the cost, except for the $900,000 it will take to replace the water main.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Congressman Chris Jacobs said his office is actively helping individuals trapped in Afghanistan. Jacobs said he is working to assist NY-27 constituents and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants who are in harm’s way in Afghanistan. He said if you are a petitioner or a family member of someone trapped or know of someone who is, you’re urged to contact his Geneseo or Clarence offices right away.

Genesee County’s STOP-DWI Coordinator announced that the Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and Village of LeRoy Police Department will participate in a special event to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving. Law enforcement officers across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI Campaign begins today and will end on September 6th.

According to preliminary figures just released by the New York State Department of Labor, the number of private sector jobs in New York State increased over the month by 43,800 in July 2021. This was the largest net gain in private sector jobs since March 2021.  New York State’s private sector jobs (not seasonally adjusted) increased by 7.0% over the year in July 2021.

The NY state Department of Health (DOH) allowed more than $1.5 billion in improper Medicaid payments over the course of several years due to errors in its billing system and may have exposed patients to unqualified and uncredentialed health care providers, according to three reports just released. For the state fiscal year that ended March 31, 2020, New York’s Medicaid program had approximately 7.3 million recipients and Medicaid claim costs totaled $69.8 billion.

The Taste NY Marketplace will be back at the Great New York State Fair for the 2021 season, bringing a taste of some of the best homegrown and homemade New York maple and dairy products, craft beverages, and more to fairgoers in the Horticulture Building. This year’s vendor Marketplace will showcase nearly 40 food and craft beverages from regions across the state over the 18 days of the Fair, highlighting some of New York’s finest products. The State Fair in Syracuse opens today.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced on Thursday that Josh Allen and the majority of what he called the “core” starters won’t play tomorrow in the preseason game with the Bears. On the injury front, McDermott also said that Stefon Diggs will not play and they are hoping they can get him back on the field soon. Diggs has been out for more than a week with a knee injury that has become a concern. Left tackle Dion Dawkins, returning from Covid, will play in the game.

It’s clean-up time in the Southern Tier after heavy rain from Tropical System Fred cause chaos and life-saving evacuations. The Genesee River at Wellsville crested at over 11 feet Thursday at noon. In Allegany County, the worst flooding was south of Wellsville. Over a three-day period, Steuben County received more than 7 inches of rain. Several communities remain under a State of Emergency this morning and officials there said more than 120 homes sustained flood damage as did a school building.

Midday News Brief

Dozens of people turn out for a public hearing in LeRoy to express their opinions on a new housing development.
The project has been proposed by Eric Biscaro of Batavia. He is planning to build 30 duplex units and space for six single family homes at the end of East Avenue in the Village of LeRoy. The housing is intended for persons over the age of 50.
Most who spoke at the hearing – which at times became heated – are worried about an increase of traffic and potential water runoff from the 20-acre site.
Biscaro said his proposal is good for LeRoy and create housing opportunities for older people.
The Village Board took no final action on the project last night and will continue the hearing at is September 15th meeting.

One name on today’s Bad Boys report: 53-year-old Richard Augugliaro facing a charge of Grand Larceny. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say Augugliaro, from Munford, was found in possession of a wallet reported stolen from LeRoy. That wallet contained a debit card allegedly used by the suspect, who was issued a court appearance ticket.

One longtime Wyoming County furniture retailer is buying another. Harding’s Attica Furniture V.P. Luke Harding tells WBTA his family has purchased Mount Morris Furniture. The Mount Morris location closed last Friday for two weeks for renovation. It will re-open on August 27th.

The New York State Department of Health has released new data on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers found that people who aren’t vaccinated are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized if they contract coronavirus. They’re also eight times more likely to be diagnosed with the illness than people who are immunized.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be taking to the stage at KeyBank Center in Buffalo later this year. Legendary singer and songwriter James Taylor is performing at the arena on Monday, December 13th. Taylor will be joined by his All-Star band and fellow artist Jackson Browne. Tickets for the show go on sale next Friday.

Midday News Brief

Over 80 people turned out for a public hearing in LeRoy – most of them opposed to plans to building a housing development for persons over 50.
The developer of the proposed project is Eric Biscaro, the owner of Armor Building Supply in Batavia.
He is proposing a 30-unit -duplex development on a 20-acre site off of East Avenue in the village of Leroy.
Voices were raised in opposition to the development which Biscaro said would be good for LeRoy. Opponents said they were concerned over the potential increase in traffic and water runoff from the development.
The hearing lasted an hour and a half before it was adjourned by Mayor Greg Rogers. He said the hearing would continue at the board’s next meeting in September.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is hinting that a mask mandate for schools across New York State may be coming when she takes over as governor next week.
For now, the state has left it up to individual school districts to decide on coronavirus-related rules. Hochul takes over as governor next Tuesday

One longtime Wyoming County furniture retailer is buying another. Harding’s Attica Furniture V.P. Luke Harding tells WBTA his family has purchased Mount Morris Furniture. The Mount Morris location closed last Friday for renovation. It will re-open on August 27th.

The New York State Department of Health has released new data on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers found that people who aren’t vaccinated are 11 times more likely to be hospitalized if they contract coronavirus. They’re also eight times more likely to be diagnosed with the illness than people who are immunized. The health department says this data is clear proof of how important it is for people to protect themselves from the virus.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be taking to the stage at KeyBank Center in Buffalo later this year. Legendary singer and songwriter James Taylor is performing at the arena on Monday, December 13th. Taylor will be joined by his All-Star band and fellow artist Jackson Browne. Tickets for the show go on sale Friday August 27th

Midday News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo has officially filed his retirement paperwork.
While the governor is planning to step down next week, his retirement won’t go into effect until September 1st.
That’s because due to a state pension requirement, any retirement application must be on file for at least 15 days before it can actually occur. Cuomo’s pension could be worth around $50,000 a year.

 

Lawmen are gearing up for Labor Day Holiday traveling. with another “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign
State Troopers and local law enforcement will be increasing patrols to target impaired driving from this Friday through September 6.
There were 378 fatal impaired driving crashes in 2019, compared to 408 fatal impaired crashes in 2020.

The NYS COVID positivity rate is now 3.94%. 91 more people have been admitted to hospitals and seven others have been admitted to intensive care.
18 new deaths from COVID have also been reported in the state.
The Finger Lakes positivity rate – which includes Genesee County – has declined slightly to 4.20%.
For Genesee County alone, its positivity rate stands at 3.6%.

For the first time in the history of the New York State Fair, smoking marijuana will be legal on some fairground property. That’s because earlier this year, Governor Cuomo and lawmakers struck a deal to legalize the drug for adult use. Marijuana can be used wherever tobacco smoking is allowed. The State Fair gets underway Friday and runs through Labor Day.

Morning News Brief

The NYS COVID positivity rate is now 3.94%. 91 more people have been admitted to hospitals and seven others have been admitted to intensive care. 18 new deaths from COVID have also been reported in the Empire State. The Finger Lakes positivity rate has declined slightly to 4.20% after reaching 4.25% on Sunday.

Reversing course, the New York State Assembly will continue its broad investigation of Gov. Cuomo and issue a report with its findings. This is coming from lawmakers following speaker of the assembly, Carl Heastie announcing on Friday that lawmakers would close their investigation of Cuomo and would no longer move to impeach him, despite finding “credible evidence” regarding allegations made against him. Last week’s announcement prompted major bipartisan backlash over the decision to suspend the inquiry. Both Republican and Democratic legislators say that the assembly has a duty to, at the very least, make the findings of the investigation public. On Monday, Heastie and Charles Lavine the chairman of the judiciary committee leading the investigation, issued a statement saying it will continue.

The lawyer representing Michael Nolan, the former chief operating officer at Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., is suing the public benefit company for $14.5 million following his client’s termination last December. The 23-page document was filed in U.S. District Court in Buffalo. The suit is asking for Nolan to receive $4.5 million for violating his First Amendment rights, another $4.5 million for breaking the state’s Civil Service Law and an additional $5.5 million for emotional pain and suffering. Nolan, who lived in Elma at the time of his employment, now resides in West Palm Beach, Fla. The lawsuit is requesting a jury trial.

The University of Rochester is continuing its initiative with the Wilmot Cancer Institute to Promote Health. Prevent Cancer through free, virtual classes on cancer and chronic disease prevention. Promote Health. Prevent Cancer., an initiative with UR Medicine’s Center for Community Health & Prevention and Wilmot Cancer Institute, empowers participants to make healthy lifestyle changes. Participants take part in eight free classes, one per week, over Zoom that consist of 40 minutes of nutrition education and 20 minutes of exercise. These lifestyle changes have been shown to lower the risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases, while increasing overall health. The classes begin next month.

Another statewide STOP-DWI “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is about to begin. The New York State Police and local law enforcement will be increasing patrols to target impaired driving from Friday through September 6. There were 378 fatal impaired driving crashes in 2019, compared to 408 fatal impaired crashes in 2020, according to preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, and far more serious injuries as a result of those avoidable crashes.

The New York State Comptroller’s Office says the governor has officially filed for retirement, effective Sept. 1. As the law stands right now – Gov. Cuomo will be eligible to receive a state pension. The comptroller’s office says, as of July 31st, he has a little over 14 and a half years of service credit – which could translate to a payout of about $50,000 dollars a year. Some state lawmakers are trying to enact legislation that would strip the pension of anyone who is convicted of impeachment charges, but it’s not clear how much support that has.

New York’s legalization of recreational marijuana means it will be allowed at the New York State Fair. A Fair spokesperson confirms that anywhere tobacco use is permitted, adult use of marijuana will be permitted. The 18-day New York State Fair begins Friday and ends on Labor Day.

Midday News Brief

Germayne Session     Sylvania Perez

A Rochester man and woman arrested for allegedly possessing and selling a variety of illegal drugs in and around the City of Batavia.
27-year-old Germayne Session, known on the street as “Case”, and 60-year-old Sylvania Perez both of Carl Street in Rochester are facing multiple felony and misdemeanor drug charges.
Members of the Genesee County Local Drug Enforcement Task Force say the pair trafficked crack and powdered cocaine and a form of Fentanyl called “Grey Death.”
Session was jailed on $10,000 bail while Perez was released under the supervision of Genesee Justice.

 

New York legislators are doing an about-face on the Cuomo impeachment investigation. After three days of backlash over the announcement that the inquiry would be suspended after Governor Cuomo announced his resignation, the impeachment probe is on again. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says the Judiciary Committee will continue to review evidence and issue a final report. But, the New York Times notes that Heastie’s reversal doesn’t mean Cuomo will actually face impeachment since state lawmakers apparently don’t have the authority to impeach a Governor after he’s out of his office.

The Batavia City School District has released some information to parents about the return to class next month.
In a letter to parents, the district says it expects to have students and teachers in school, in-person, full time – similar to how they finished the 2020-21 school year.
The district will have more detailed information soon – specifically related to when students and staff are expected to wear masks.
Officials say While they plan to start the school year in person, they understand that there may be circumstances related to health issues that may warrant a desire for remote learning for certain students and families.

Both Genesee and Orleans Counties have shown an increase in the rate of COVID community transmission. Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments said he was not surprised to see the increase. He also reported another COVID-related death involving a Genesee County resident who was under age 65. There are currently no masking mandates that have been issued by either county.

Morning News Brief

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that all healthcare workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities (LTCF), including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27. The State Department of Health will issue orders requiring all facilities to develop and implement a policy mandating employee vaccinations, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration was briefed prior to the announcement.

The New York state Assembly Judiciary Committee will release a final report on their impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, despite saying on Friday they were suspending the probe once the governor stepped down, according Speaker Carl Heastie and Chair Charles Lavine. Monday’s news followed outrage over the weekend in reaction to the committee’s announcement Friday. The committee heads did not give an indication of when the final report would be released.

An accident occurred in the last race at Batavia Downs on Sunday afternoon after pacer Red Roll (Kyle Cummings) went down and Sizzling Summer (Denny Bucceri) and Hardts Or Bettor (Justin Huckabone) ran over him as close quarters prevented them from making a diversionary move. All three drivers were thrown and two of the loose horses continued to run.  After the race, those horses were caught and upon examination, Sizzling Summer suffered multiple lacerations and required stitches and Hardts Or Bettor appeared to be all right. Red Roll had to be euthanized. The drivers were examined on-site and suffered minor bruises and abrasions. None were transported to area hospitals.

The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee has acted on a suggestion by the Pembroke Town Board to increase the amount of sales tax earmarked for distribution to towns and villages by passing a resolution amending the county’s sales tax allocation agreement with the City of Batavia. The committee approved a restated contract with the city – which along with the county is one of the two taxing municipalities in Genesee County. The amended agreement ups the amount of sales tax revenue the county is willing to share with its towns and villages over the next 38 years from $7 million to $8.5 million. This latest legislation, which is subject to final approval by the full legislature at its Aug. 25 meeting, was triggered by the recent opting in of revised water supply agreements with the county by the Village of Corfu and the Town of Pembroke.

Both Genesee and Orleans Counties have increased to a substantial and high levels of community transmission, respectively, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker. Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments said he was not surprised to see the increase. He also reported another COVID-related death involving a Genesee County resident who was under age 65. There are currently no masking mandates that have been issued by either county.

Out of an abundance of caution, Seneca Gaming Corporation announced that masks will be required for everyone attending upcoming indoor shows at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino. The requirement applies to all guests and staff inside the Center’s regardless of vaccination status. The resorts will host their first live entertainment performances in more than a year, when Ron White performs in the Seneca Niagara Events Center on August 21 and John Fogerty takes the stage inside the Seneca Allegany Events Center on August 28. The masking requirement will be in effect for the Events Centers only.

Evening News Brief

A Niagara County man should have done a better disguising his suspected dope at the Darien Lake Luke Bryan concert.
Deputies say they spotted 32-year-old Bryan Lewis Fitts of Gasport with baggies of drugs hanging out of his socks.
Lawmen said the number of suspected drugs was enough to lead them to believe Fitts intended to sell the alleged drugs at the concert.
He was charged with criminal possession of narcotics with intent to sell, arraigned in Town of Pembroke Court and released.

An accident on the track at Batavia Downs involved three horses and their drivers. Unfortunately, one of the horses involved had to be put down.
The Downs says the accident occurred in the last race yesterday afternoon.
A Pacer named Red Roll went down at the 5/8’s pole. Two other paces then ran over him.
The drivers escaped serious injury. Two of the horses were treated but Red Roll had to be euthanized.

A shooting in Albion over the weekend. It happened on Saturday afternoon, lawmen found a 23-year-old man lying on the sidewalk at South Main and Beaver Street in Albion with gunshot wound to right leg. He was taken to the hospital and later released. The incident remains under investigation. Police are calling it an isolated incident and there is no danger to the public.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says she supports the decision of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to suspend the impeachment investigation into Governor Cuomo.
Hochul said she defers to the leadership of the Assembly on this issue but promised there won’t be any controversies in her administration once it begins August 24th. Heastie said Friday the investigation is stopping despite a report from state Attorney General Letitia James saying the governor sexually harassed women. Cuomo has denied those claims repeatedly and said he’s stepping down because it’s in the best interests of everyone.

A survey by Triple-A shows gasoline prices in Batavia about three cents a gallon higher than the Western New York Average.
The average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is about two-cents higher than last week.

Midday News Brief

It is a sad part of the sport. An accident on the track at Batavia Downs involved three horses and their drivers. Unfortunately, one of the horses involved had to be put down.
The Downs says the accident occurred in the last race yesterday afternoon.
A Pacer named Red Roll went down at the 5/8’s pole. Two other paces then ran over him.
The drivers escaped serious injury. Two of the horses were treated but Red Roll had to be euthanized.

A shooting in Albion over the weekend. It happened on Saturday afternoon, lawmen found a 23-year-old man lying on the sidewalk at South Main and Beaver Street in Albion with gunshot wound to right leg. He was taken to the hospital and later released. The incident remains under investigation. Police are calling it an isolated incident and there is no danger to the public.

A Batavia man who crashed his car into a house in Lockport last week has died.
63-year-old John Kindig succumbed to his injuries on Saturday.
Deputies say Kindig crashed into a home on Chestnut Hill Road in Lockport.
Three people in the house at the time were not hurt but the house was declared a total loss.

The owners of the Buffalo Bills say they’re willing to share the cost of a new stadium with taxpayers. Pegula Sports and Entertainment officials say the idea of renovating Highmark Stadium isn’t realistic and they want a new facility to be built across from it in Orchard Park. The price tag for the new stadium is projected to be about $1.4-billion.

A survey by Triple-A shows gasoline prices in Batavia about three cents a gallon higher than the Western New York Average.
The average price of a gallon of regular in Batavia is about two-cents higher than last week.

Morning News Brief

Genesee County Deputies say they arrested a Gasport man for alleged drug crimes as he was being ejected from the Luke Bryan concert in Darien. 32-year-old Bryan Fitts was charged with two counts each of criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance with an intent to sell. Deputies said the drugs were located by the baggies hanging out of his socks. He was arraigned in Town of Pembroke Court and will appear in Town of Darien Court on August 24th.

New York State Police are continuing to investigate the rollover crash of a tour Bus on the Thruway west of Syracuse. More than 50 passengers were injured. 25 people were transported to Upstate Hospital after the crash. Another 27 people were taken to Auburn Community Hospital. Several other passengers were taken to Crouse Hospital. Troopers said injuries range from minor to serious. The bus departed Poughkeepsie and was headed to Niagara Falls. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

An Orleans County man faces several counts following a domestic dispute in the Town of Gaines. 50-year-old Demetrius Spinks of Gaines was charged by Troopers with felony first-degree criminal contempt involving a weapon, criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree menacing with a weapon. Court action is pending.

During a traffic stop in Pembroke, State Police arrested 49-year-old Patrick Reiner of Corfu. He was charged with felony and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. He’ll answer the charges in court at a later date.

Albion Police are investigating a shooting that happened Saturday. Investigators say they responded to the area of South Main Street and Beaver Street. At the scene, they say they found a 23-year-old man laying on a sidewalk with a gunshot wound to the right leg. He was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, and was later released. The investigation is ongoing, however police say they believe it was an isolated incident and that there is no danger to the public.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office reports that 63-year-old John Kindig of Batavia, has succumbed to injuries he sustained in a single-vehicle accident last week in Lockport. Kindig’s car struck a residence with three people inside the home.  None of the residents were injured but a deputy did need to extricate one person from a bedroom.

After responding to a domestic dispute call, deputies arrested 33-year-old John Hobbs of Clinton Street in Batavia. He was charged with menacing for allegedly threatening a female victim. Arraigned in town court, he was released on his own recognizance. Hobbs is due back in Batavia town court on September 21st.

Weekend News Brief

Cuomo is not getting impeached if he resigns as governor of New York.  The New York Legislature speaker, Carl Heastie says that the New York Constitution does not allow them to continue the impeachment investigation into Andrew Cuomo after he leaves office.  The evidence gathered during the committee’s investigation will be turned over to relevant authorities, Heastie said.  The investigation encompassed the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo, the mishandling of COVID patients that lead to the deaths of thousands of elderly New Yorkers in Nursing Homes and the subsequent coverup of the numbers of dead, and the use of government resources to create Cuomo’s memoirs.  Governor Cuomo is set to step down the 24th.

The New York Supreme Court has ruled to block part of the Eviction Moratorium in New York State.  Landlords can now contest a tenants claim of hardship.  Previously all a tenant had to do to avoid being evicted was fill out the form claiming a hardship and that would block the eviction process.  Now they can still fill out the form but it doesn’t automatically cancel the eviction.  Landlords still have to go through the process of giving 5 day notice, then 14 day notice, then taking the tenants to court.  Tenant advocates say the moratorium is needed to stop a wave of homelessness because of COVID shutdowns while Landlords are saying there will be a wave of foreclosures if they can’t get rent money or evict non-paying tenants.

Go Health and Pampers brand Diapers are partnering up to help dads find a place to change babies in store restrooms.  A nationwide survey found that 9 out of 10 dads have gone into a public restroom unable to find a changing table. As a result, Pampers created the “Love the Change” campaign to provide changing tables to businesses and not-for-profits across the United States to install in men’s  restrooms. Pampers has already donated 3,557 changing tables, but they  are pledging to donate 1,000 more by the end of 2021.  If you are a business or non-profit owner you can apply to get a free changing table for your men’s restroom by calling the Genesee County Health Department at 5853442580 extension 5578.

The Office For the Aging is offering free handyman services to seniors who need to make improvements to their homes.  The services include installing grab bars and railings, minor plumbing, window and door repair, smoke detector and Carbon Monoxide detector installation, and other non-emergency repairs.  No charge for labor for residents 60+. Some material costs may apply. Donations towards labor costs are gratefully accepted.  Call 585 815 7979 for details.

Friday night, Seneca Park Zoo hosted another summer ZooBrew.  The 21-and-over happy hour event has live music, animal experiences, and cash beer and wine bars.  The zoo is hosting another September 10 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.  A portion of the ticket sales will go towards elephant conservation. The Zoo society wants to raise $5,000 for each ZooBrew event and save elephants from extinction.

Evening News Brief

COVID Guidance is in for NY schools coming down from the New York State Education Department.  The state’s guidance calls for high-risk sports to be canceled and for extracurricular activities to be held virtually, or to also be canceled, in areas of high community spread unless all participants have been fully vaccinated. The guidance also states people who are fully vaccinated can refrain from quarantine following potential exposure if they are asymptomatic.  The guidance on masks in schools simply reiterates the CDC guidance which says that all teachers, staff and students should wear masks indoors regardless of vaccine status but does not go so far as to insist that NY schools should mask up.  They repeat multiple times that it is up to School Districts to decide for themselves.

The FDA now says that if you have a compromised immune system because of a transplant or your immune system is being suppressed somehow you may be eligible to receive a third COVID vaccine shot.  It’s harder for vaccines to rev up an immune system suppressed by certain medications and diseases, so those patients don’t always get the same protection as otherwise healthy people — and small studies suggest for at least some, an extra dose may be the solution.  This third shot of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can be done at least 28 days after receiving the 2nd dose.  This is not a booster shot and most likely only applies to 3 percent of the US population.

Lt Governor and soon to be acting Governor Kathy Hochul says she fully expects to put mask mandates in place before the beginning of the school year.  Just 12-days away from becoming governor of New York State Hochul boldly stated on NBC’s Today show children and everyone in schools will be wearing masks.  Hochul says this is only her “opinion” because she does not have the authority to create policy until she is governor.  But  Hochul says this time she wants school districts to be very involved in decision making.

Several Venues and artists are demanding proof of vaccination before fans will be allowed to enter.  Jason Isbell, headliner for the Borderland Festival in East Aurora has said he will refuse to perform unless all fans are vaccinated or have a negative test before the performance.  Other artists like Maroon 5, Dead and Company and Phish are following suit, they will also require a negative test or proof of vaccination.

Midday News Brief

Census numbers are out and over the past decade Genesee County has lost 2.8-percent of its population…but county officials are alright with that.
County Planning Director Felipe Oltramari said the loss was less than projected.
The county’s official population from the 2020 census is 58,388.
The population of the City of Batavia went up by 135 people and now stands at 15,600.

A Batavia man seriously injured when his car crashed into a home in Lockport.
63-year-old John Kindig was flown of ECMC by Mercy Flight following the crash late last night on Chestnut Ridge Road.
The home was declared a total loss.

The National Weather Service is warning of some Hazardous weather ahead.
The service is predicting thunderstorms for this afternoon and tonight with the risk of strong gusty winds and heavy rain.
No specific warnings have been issued.

She hasn’t even moved into the Executive Mansion yet, but Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul already has her eye on the 2022 race for governor. Hochul, who will take over for Governor Cuomo on August 24th, says she intends to seek a full four-year term.

The Buffalo Bills will be back on the gridiron tonight as they play in their first preseason game of the 2021 campaign. They’ll be in the Motor City to take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Bills starting quarterback Josh Allen will not be seeing any action since the team wants to use the game to evaluate who will serve as his backup when the regular season starts next month. Kickoff for this evening’s contest is set for 7 p-m.

Morning News Brief

Residents have renewed efforts to have Governor Andrew Cuomo’s name removed from the sign at Watkins Glen State Park amid his recent resignation over allegations of sexual harassment. A new petition on Change.org has accumulated over 1,000 supporters to remove the outgoing Governor’s name from the park’s main sign, which is located at the entrance to the state park’s gorge trail. Residents originally called for the Governor’s name to be removed from the sign back in mid-March when multiple women began to come forward accusing him of sexual harassment. The initial petition garnered over 3,600 signatures and has also seen new support.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is evaluating 42 publicly traded shale oil and gas companies to determine if they are prepared for the transition to a low-carbon economy…that from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, trustee of the third largest public pension plan in the country. The Fund also restricted investments in five more coal producers, adding those companies to the list of 22 that the Fund divested from in 2020. The actions come as part of DiNapoli’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan to mitigate investment risks posed by climate change and ultimately transition the Fund’s investment portfolio to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Due to staff limitations, the Batavia City Clerk’s office will be unable to issue the following today…       Marriage Licenses or Certificates, Copies of a Death Certificate, Copies of a Birth Certificate and Fishing/Hunting Licenses. The office will remain open for all other services.

State Police arrested a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old after they led troopers on a vehicle pursuit in the city of Rochester.  The 2 individuals allegedly threw a loaded handgun from the vehicle as they failed to comply to troopers in the vehicle pursuit. Both individuals were charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the second and third degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 3rd Degree, and Unlawful Fleeing.  The 17-year-old has a previous Criminal Possession of a Weapon charge pending. Both teens were remanded and will answer charges in family court.

The New York State Education Department has released COVID-19 safety guidance for school districts across the state. The state health department had previously announced it would not be distributing safety guidance to schools ahead of the new school year. In response, the education department promised it would do so. School districts have been imploring the state for guidance as the new academic year approaches. This, as the pandemic persists and COVID cases increase with the rise of the delta variant. The newly released guidance is based on recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Those organizations recommend universal indoor masking for teachers, students and staff, no matter their vaccination status. The state’s guidance also calls for high-risk sports to be canceled and for extracurricular activities to be held virtually, or to also be canceled, in areas of high community spread unless all participants have been fully vaccinated.

A Utility Terrain Vehicle was spotted by a Sheriff’s patrol at 1:34 a.m., July 31, on Route 33, in the area of Seven Springs Road, in the Town of Batavia and when the deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the driver failed to stop. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the drive took the UTV into harvestable crops causing significant damage to the crops and to fencing in the area. The Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the UTV. The UTV is described as white in color and affixed with lights that change colors while in operation.

Midday News Brief

Another Heat Advisory is in effect. This advisory is in effect until 8 tonight.
Again, the National Weather Service is warning of heat index values in the mid 90’s to as high as 100.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, try to stay out of the sun or take periodic rest breaks in the shade. Never leave young child or pets unattended in a vehicle.

OSHA has recognized the one-year anniversary of the death of a LeRoy man suspected of have succumbed to heat exhaustion on a job site in Geneseo.
35-year-old Timothy Barber was taken ill while working on the Route 63 bridge over the Genesee River in Geneseo on last July 7.
Temperatures reached 90 degrees that day.
Timothy was rushed to Strong Hospital but later died of apparent heat related illness.

The OSHA Buffalo office is using the anniversary of Barber’s death to remind employers with workers exposed to high temperatures:
They must provide workers with water, rest and shade;
Allowing new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks to build tolerance to the heat and monitor their employees for signs of heat related illness.
Barber was on his second day working for Pavilion Drainage.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says she’s ready to work hard for New Yorkers once her administration begins in 12 days. Hochul will be taking over for Governor Cuomo who said he’ll be resigning on August 24th. Hochul said that her staff will not include anyone from Cuomo’s office who behaved unethically.

When Governor Cuomo leaves office later this month, he’ll be doing so with the lowest favorability rating of his entire tenure. According to a new Marist Poll, Cuomo currently has a 28-percent favorability rating which is down 22 points from his previous low set back in February.

Morning News Briefing

With just about a week until the opening of The Great New York State Fair, people are guessing what the 800 pounds of butter will become, as construction of one of the most beloved attractions gets underway – the 53rd Annual American Dairy Association North East Butter Sculpture. Sculptors Jim Victor and Marie Pelton unpacked the butter and their tools and began work on the sculpture over the weekend. The butter, produced from over two-thousand gallons of milk, came from Batavia, N.Y.-based producer O-AT-KA Milk Products. Even after the Fair, the butter doesn’t go to waste, instead, it gets recycled into renewable energy. The butter will be sent to Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion, where it goes into a digester along with other food waste from Wegmans stores and local Universities. The digester then breaks down the material and creates about 450 kilowatts of electricity, which is enough to power about 350 homes for a year. On a weekly basis, Noblehurst is responsible for diverting 100 tons of food waste from local landfills.

New York’s Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is expected to succeed Governor Andrew Cuomo after he resigned earlier this week. She delivered remarks on Wednesday, with a promise to New Yorkers. Governor Cuomo will officially end his term on August 24th, as he faces damning sex allegations brought forth by several women who worked for him, as well as for being involved in other scandals involving his administration’s COVID response – making Kathy Hochul the 57th Governor of New York, and the first female governor of the state.

The head of the Republicans in the New York State Senate says state leaders with direct ties to disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo should step down. Republican Sen. Rob Ortt says Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health department commissioner, and Linda Lacewell, superintendent of the state’s financial services department, “directly aided Andrew Cuomo’s misdeeds” and therefore don’t deserve to keep their jobs. If Lacewell and Dr. Zucker don’t resign, Ortt said they should be removed by incoming governor Kathy Hochul.

Batavia PD received an anonymous tip that led to the recovery of some of the decorated stones and shells that were stolen from the Batavia Peace Garden a couple of weeks ago. The officers who recovered the stones and shells returned them to the Peace Garden. Peace Garden founder and director Paula Savage confirmed that the stones and shells returned were from the Peace Garden.

Randy Fancher, president of Fancher Properties of Akron, is returning to the Genesee County Planning Board tonight for a third time to propose a revised site plan for a mixed-use project on Main Road between Brickhouse Corners Drive and Tim Hortons in the Town of Pembroke. The latest version has Fancher Properties of Akron constructing a two-story building with 7,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor and six market rate apartments on the second floor, along with driveways, parking lots and a six-bay tenant parking garage to the south. A review of his site plan is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting starting at 7 o’clock at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road.

Another day, another heat advisory. The National Weather Service says today’s advisory will run from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Heat index values in the mid-90s to as high as 100 can be expected.

Evening News Brief

Part of the Infrastructure Bill just passed through the Federal Senate is a regulation plan on page 1066 on how you will drive with a new car in 6 years.  The plan calls for “passive” systems to monitor the performance of a driver, for example, by using eye scans. Or, it requires automakers to passively gauge blood alcohol levels, perhaps by measuring them in the air of the vehicle.  If impairment is detected the vehicle will slow and then stop.  It stops short of mandating breathalyzers or ignition devices but leaves the door open.  All new cars sold after 2027 will be required to have these devices and have them active at all times.

As of now, Governor Cuomo will stand to get a full pension of over 100,000 dollars a year after his resignation.  But there is a bill going through to stop that from happening.  Democrat Senator James Skoufis has put forward a bill that revokes the public pension of a public officer who stands convicted on an impeachment.  This bill is retroactive.  The impeachment investigation into Cuomo is going forward regardless of his resignation.

Livingston County has announced that their county is not considering any new mask mandates.  Jennifer Rodriguez, Livingston Counties Public Health Director, says that “Cases are trending upwards we must remember that these are just cases – confirmed, positive cases of COVID-19, both delta and non-delta cases. We have had no recent deaths, and currently, there are four hospitalizations, all of which are unvaccinated individuals.”

The city of Batavia has been awarded a grant to work on the Bank Street waterline to the tune of 334 thousand dollars.  The current Bank street waterline will be updated to an 8” line.  Over 950 linear feet of 8-inch diameter water main will be installed and replace the current 4” and 6” lines that are undersized and aging, 90+-year-old water lines.  The estimated cost of the project is $410,000 and the City will provide a local match to the grant of 20% or $82,000.  Currently, there is over $50M in public/private development in downtown Batavia, at various stages of planning, permitting, and construction.

The Buffalo Bisons had their opening home game last night, the first since August of 2019, and over 6,000 fans were in attendance.  A spokesperson for the Bisons says the official paid attendance for the return of Bisons baseball to Sahlen Field Tuesday was 6,404. The Blue Jays played home games at Sahlen Field from June 1 to July 21 and according to attendance numbers averaged just over 6,500 fans a game.  The Bison’s season goes from now till September 26th.

Midday News Brief

The National Weather Service has posted a heat advisory until 8 p.m. tonight.
Heat index values will approach the upper 90’s.
Drink plenty of fluids, stay out of direct sunlight and check up on relatives and neighbors. Keep pets out of unattended vehicles.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office has advice for anyone planning to have their driveway paved or repaired.
Contractors in most towns need a permit to solicit door to door.
This often happens when a company is already in the neighborhood and contacts neighbors nearby. Most are legitimate, but many are not. Ask to see their permit. If they offer a price that is too good to be true, it probably is.

On the bad girl’s report: Nateeka Gibson, believed to be from Batavia, has been arrested for burglary, sex abuse and prostitution.
Police found Nateeka when they were called to home on Holland Ave and found Nateeka in a fracas with another woman. It was then with the help of K-9 Batu, police found Nateeka hiding in the basement and learned of outstanding warrants against her.

The heat is definitely going to be on across the Finger Lakes today, and National Grid wants customers to be ready. The utility company says there will be a high demand on energy through the afternoon and early evening hours as temperatures hover around the 90-degree mark. To help save a bit of money, National Grid says you should use fans to circulate air around your home and even adjust your thermostat by a couple of degrees.

Morning News Briefing

Embattled governor Andrew Cuomo announced he will be stepping down as leader of New York effective in 14 days…this decision came in the wake of last week’s Attorney General bombshell report detailing sexual harassment allegations against him. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over the reins. She will be the first female governor in the state’s history, and the first governor from Buffalo since Grover Cleveland became president in 1885.

A LeRoy Town Court justice has resigned. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct says the resignation comes as that judge was under investigation. John Duyssen submitted his resignation in June and left office on July 8. He has agreed not to seek judicial office in the future. Duyssen served as a judge for LeRoy Town Court since 2018, and his current term was set to run through the end of the year. In January, the Commission said it was investigating complaints stemming from the judge’s arrest for child endangerment and harassment.

Batavia police say they arrested Nateeka M. Gibson. She is charged with burglary 2nd, sex abuse 1st, robbery 3rd, grand larceny 4th, criminal mischief 4th, and prostitution.  Officers say they were aware of four active arrest warrants against Gibson from City Court and Town of Batavia Court. She was also a suspect in an ongoing investigation where charges are still pending. Gibson was placed under arrest after an alleged brief struggle inside the residence.  Gibson was arraigned in City Court and ordered held without bail.  Police suspect Gibson of stealing money from the victim on two occasions and prevented the male from calling 9-1-1.

40-year-old Brooke Kimberley Tubbins of Ellicott Street in Batavia has been arrested and charged with grand larceny 3rd and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing.  Tubbins allegedly failed to report income on two applications for SNAP benefits and as a result, received $6,215 in benefits she was not qualified. Tubbins was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released on her own recognizance.

The remains found in the Genesee River last week have been identified. Members of the Rochester Police Department scuba team discovered Tammy Greer’s body inside a vehicle in the Genesee River on Aug. 5. They did so during a training exercise. When the vehicle was pulled out of the river, the remains were found. Greer is from Pennsylvania and believed to have moved to Rochester in 2018 or 2019. She has no local family, according to police. They believe the vehicle entered the river sometime after May 2019. Police continue to investigate how and why the vehicle went into the river and how Greer died, though they do not suspect foul play.

Afternoon News Brief

Governor Cuomo announced today that he will be stepping down from his post and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will become New York’s first female governor.   In a live address just before noon Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo denied the allegations of sexual harassment but did say he takes “full responsibility” for making the women who came forward uncomfortable.  Cuomo says he will leave office within 14 days.  His announcement came just after his attorney addressed the allegations and charges against him in a separate press conference where Outside Council Glavin said the Attorney Generals reports were full of errors and omitted key evidence.

There is a heat advisory today through 8pm on Wednesday in the GLOW region.  The temperature is expected get up to mid 90s with a high humidity.  Officials say to drink plenty of water, avoid staying out in the sun, seek air conditioning and keep special watch over pets, children and older adults.

The State Education Department is picking up the slack on guidance for schools this fall.  Earlier this week the New York State Health Department said it would not send out additional COVID guidance for the fall term and that school districts should make their policies based on CDC guidance.  Now The State Education Department says it will provide its own guidance.  Betty Rosa, head of NYSED, said they were forced to develop guidance because the state health department and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office did not. She did not indicate when that guidance would be put forth.  Last month, local superintendents implored the state to provide reopening guidance so they could plan their return to school.

GO Health says that Orleans county is now in the level of Substantial community transmission with 26 active cases after months of having under 10 active cases a day.  Director Paul Petit says that this was not unexpected as case rates have been higher in surrounding counties and the delta variant is causing higher numbers of unvaccinated people to contract COVID.

Midday News Brief

Police in Attica urge the public to be on the lookout for a very large lizard.
The 4-and-a-half-foot monitor lizard escaped from its it’s owner on July 29th.
Police tell WBTA the lizard is venomous; it can bite and he downright dangerous to children and small animals.

It was spotted in the 200 block of Exchange Street yesterday afternoon. The homeowner managed to snap a picture but the reptile was gone by the time police arrived. Police say if you see the lizard do not approach it. It will bite, although it is not fatal to humans – but who wants to be bit by a four-foot-long lizard?

A Batavia woman busted for welfare fraud. 40-year-old Brooke Tubbins of Ellicott Street is charged with Grand Larceny for allegedly collecting over $6,000 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.
Tubbins was arraigned in the Town of Batavia Court and then released on her own recognizance.

At least one City of Batavia resident is fed up with the traffic jams at the Dunkin Donuts on West Main St. and ambulance sirens in the vicinity of Oak and Union streets. Speaking during the public comment portion of the City Council Conference Meeting, Michael Barrett urged council members to look into a way to alleviate both situations. The owner of Barrett’s Batavia Marine Sporting Goods reported that vehicles lined up for coffee and donuts are infringing upon his property.
Council members agreed with Barrett’s observations.

The chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee says the impeachment investigation into Governor Cuomo is expected to continue for a few more weeks. Members of the committee met for hours yesterday in Albany just days after state Attorney General Letitia James released a report claiming the governor sexually harassed several women. Committee chairman Charles Lavine says the probe won’t focus completely on the AG’s findings, and that the governor’s lawyers have until Friday to submit documents to support his defense. The governor is denying all allegations made against him and says he’s not planning to resign.

Morning News Brief

The impeachment investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be done by the end of August. For the remainder of the month the state Assembly Judiciary Committee will hold hearings to review evidence against Gov. Cuomo and hear expert testimony about sexual harassment and the standards for impeachment. Committee Chairman Charles Lavine said Cuomo has until Friday to submit evidence and he promised the committee would consider it. An impeachment process could likely start in early September.

At least one City of Batavia resident is fed up with the traffic jams at the Dunkin Donuts on West Main St. and ambulance sirens in the vicinity of Oak and Union streets. Speaking during the public comment portion of the City Council Conference Meeting, Michael Barrett urged council members to look into a way to alleviate both situations. The owner of Barrett’s Batavia Marine Sporting Goods reported that vehicles lined up for coffee and donuts are infringing upon his property and, moreover, said he is afraid that a major accident is just waiting to happen. He noted that there is a sign there that indicates no left hand turns, but it isn’t being heeded. Council members agreed with Barrett’s observations, with Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. asking City Manager Rachael Tabelski to see if the ambulances could sometimes use a different route that could be just as fast and to study traffic patterns at Dunkin Donuts during its peak times.

Tonight is Batavia Police Community Night Out.  Thirty-seven business, organizations and individuals have signed on to support the outreach, which is scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the City Church’s St. Anthony’s campus at 114 Liberty Street.  The event offers entertainment in the forms of a bounce house, balloon artist, games at vendor booths, and pony rides. Additionally, the police chief and his assistant chief have offered their services at the dunk tank, which will raise money for the K-9 fund.

Citing the “need for speed,” the Genesee County Legislature has approved a resolution to accept a pair of bids for the construction of a new water pump station along Golden Road in the Town of Chili to advance Phase 2 of the Countywide Water Project. Legislators awarded the general construction contract to C.P. Ward, Inc., of Scottsville, for an amount not to exceed $2.8 million and the electrical construction contract to Kaplan-Schmidt Electric, Inc., of Rochester, for an amount not to exceed $595,000.

According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Orleans County has increased to substantial level of community transmission. Genesee County is currently maintaining a moderate level of transmission for COVID-19.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.19, up one cent in the past week. One year ago, the price was $2.18. The New York State average is $3.21 – up one cent from last week. Batavia gas prices have edges up two cents over the last seven days. However, motorists report Triple-A prices are not correct…and that prices are much higher.

Evening News Update

Over 50 New York State county Democratic Chairs are calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, including the majority of the Democratic Chairs in Western New York.  Of New York State’s 62 Democratic Chairs for each county, 51 of them are calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign, including six in Western New York.  This includes Michael Plitt of Genesee county, Cynthia Appleton of Wyoming county and Jeff Lewis of Orleans county.

Sahlen field will be smile free indoors at all locations when people are not eating or drinking.  Officials announced today that masks will be required whenever indoors.  Indoor locations include restrooms, club level suites, all gift shops, and the Pub at the Park.  Masks are strongly encouraged in outdoor areas as well.

Midday News Brief

A new report says Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is preparing for the possibility of Governor Cuomo either resigning or being removed from office.
The Wall Street Journal says Hochul has been seeking advice on several issues, including who from the current administration could be asked to stay.
Hochul has reportedly told people close to her that she might have to take over running the state within the next several weeks.
If that happens, Hochul would become the first female governor in New York history.

PHOTO: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul

The spread of COVID-19 is continuing to worsen across the Finger Lakes and there are no signs of it slowing down. The seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate is now three-point-five-four percent which is the fourth highest of any region in the Empire State. Genesee County is part of the Finger Lakes Region. The county’s 7-day rate is 2.0 percent.

Fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents will be allowed to enter Canada for non-essential travel beginning today. The border will reopen to Americans who have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days.

A Heat Advisory is in effect for the rest of this afternoon.
The National Weather Service warns of heat index values of between 95 and 100…that’s a combination of temperature and humidity.
The Weather Service says hot temperatures and high humidity can cause heat illnesses to occur.
They advise you to brink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun, check up on neighbors and never leave pets unattended in vehicles.

The price of gasoline seems to have been moving in one direction: up.
Over the past week, the average cost of a gallon of regular in Batavia has risen 2-cents from last week to $3.21 – and a dollar more than a year ago.

Morning News Brief

Promises that there will be a fair and impartial investigation into the first criminal complaint against Governor Cuomo, following a state probe that he sexual harassed multiple women, which he denies. Sheriff Craig Apple of Albany County at briefing said that the woman’s decision to come forward is likely “the hardest thing that she’s ever done in her life”…and he answered questions about possible charges. The criminal complainant is identified as “executive assistant number one,” in the New York attorney general’s report this week, which described her as somebody who endured a pattern of inappropriate conduct.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa has resigned. Her resignation comes at a time where the embattled governor is facing potential impeachment. Her name appears throughout the New York State Attorney General’s report released August 3 that found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. In a statement, she said “Personally, the past 2 years have been emotionally and mentally trying.” She said she was forever grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such talented and committed colleagues on behalf of the state.

Charges have been filed following a disturbance outside of Autozone in the Town of Batavia. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 27-year-old Joseph Dispenza of Lewiston Road. He was charged with two counts of harassment following a physical altercation with two people. Court action is pending.

A Stafford woman was taken into custody Sunday afternoon following a larceny complaint at Walmart in Batavia. Deputies arrested 21-year-old Brittany Bolton. She allegedly stole $293 in property from the store. She’ll responded to the charge in Batavia Town Court on September 21st.

New York’s COVID positivity rate has now increased to 3.06%. Hospitalizations and those admitted to Intensive Care have climbed again. Eleven new virus-related deaths have also been reported. The percentage of New Yorker’s who have received complete vaccinations has risen to 56%.

Weekend News Brief

Planning to visit Canada after the border opens again on Monday to fully vaccinated Americans?  There are a few things you need to do first.  You need proof of a negative molecular covid test within 72 hours of reaching the border, register with Arrivecan a free app for your phone, have your vaccine card and passport handy, and be ready to take another covid test once you arrive in Canada.  If you test positive you will need to quarantine so have a plan in case you have to stay put on the other side.

As of Friday, all Tops employees are required to wear masks again regardless of their vaccination status.  At this time masks are not required for vaccinated shoppers, but Tops is recommending that you wear a mask.  Masks are still required for non-vaccinated shoppers.

Funeral Director Michael Tomaszewski’s sentencing for fraud has been delayed for unspecified reasons.  It was supposed to take place last Wednesday morning after he plead guilty to Grand Larceny among other crimes in April.  The new court date is set for October 6th.

What can you do with a million dollars, fix the aeration system at the water treatment plant!  The 30 year old air header system at the plant had been judged to be compromised and the air lines had degraded over the years, causing waste products not to be broken down fast enough and a bad smell to waft away from the treatment plant and into surrounding neighborhoods.  The city worked with the DEC to try to mask the smell.  A temporary system was set up but can only do half the job of a whole new system.  Material delays set the project back months but work is being completed and the city is working to expedite completing the project.

There are bicycle safety classes happening Monday all around Batavia.  The Summer Rec Program, YMCA and Batavia Police department are partnering up to bring bicycle safety to the city with classes at Lambert, Austin, Farrall, Williams and John Kennedy Parks Monday the 9th.  For a list of times check wbtai.com.

9:00 a.m. – Lambert Park

10:00 a.m. – Austin Park

12:00 p.m. – Farrall Park

1:00 p.m. – Wiliams Park

2:00 p.m. – John Kennedy School

Tuesday night is Batavia Police Community Night Out and it looks to be a big one.  Thirty-seven business, organizations and individuals have signed on to support the outreach, which is scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the City Church’s St. Anthony’s campus at 114 Liberty St.  the event offers entertainment in the forms of a bounce house, balloon artist, games at vendor booths, and pony rides through A Horse’s Friend Trail Riding & Youth Programs based in Rush.  Additionally, Police Chief Shawn Heubusch and Assistant Chief Chris Camp have offered their services at the dunk tank, which will raise money for the K-9 fund.

The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen have come to an agreement for another 6 years.  The 25 year old will be staying with the Bills through the 2028 season after leading the Bills to a 13-3 season in 2020 and breaking 6 single season records.  ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Allen’s six-year contract is worth $258 million, including $150 million guaranteed.

Evening News Brief

One of the women who came forward to accuse Governor Cuomo of inappropriate touching her on multiple occasions has taken her complaint to the police after the state attorney general refused to press charges after finding that Cuomo did commit the actions that 11 women accused him of.  The woman, who is Cuomo’s Executive Assistant no 1, said that the governor intentionally touched her on the butt and breasts, kissed her forcibly multiple times, grabbed and rubbed her butt during a selfie, and slapped her butt on a tour of the Executive Mansion.  Albany Sheriff Craig Apple confirmed that she has filed criminal complaints against Cuomo.

The 2 teens charged in the indiscriminate shooting at a Lockport party in October of 2020 have plead guilty.  They were caught after firing a pistol though a closed door into the garage of a house where a Halloween party was going on, injuring 5 people and killing 20 year old Cheyenne Farewell.  The two boys, 16 and 17, plead guilty to 2nd degree murder, 2 counts of 1st degree assault, 2 counts of 2nd degree assault, 1 count of criminal possession of a weapon, and 1 count of 1st degree reckless endangerment.  The boy who pulled the trigger could get 20 years to life and the accomplice could get up to 25 years in prison.

The Buffalo Bisons are offering free tickets to healthcare workers for their August and 14th and 15th games.  If you are a healthcare worker and show your employer Id during the Bisons home opening weekend you can get 2 free tickets at the Sahlen Field box office.  For the game on August 14, the first 2,000 fans will receive a replica Buffalo Bisons jersey, and kids will be able to run the bases after the game on August 15.  Both games will be played at 1:05 p.m. against the Rochester Red Wings.  Regular tickets are 10 dollars.

Midday News Brief

Liberty Pumps of Bergen is planning a major expansion.
The company has filed for various tax incentives from the county’s Economic Development Center amounting to about  $1.4-million.
The project would add about 107,000 square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space.
The total investment by Liberty Pumps amounts to nearly $14-million and would create 30 new jobs over the next three years.
Liberty Pumps currently employs 280 people.

A Genesee County bridge is deemed unsafe and has been closed effective immediately. County officials say a recent inspection of the Colby Road bridge over Murder Creek in the Town of Pembroke revealed the span was unsafe. That bridge is located just south if the CSX Railroad tracks that run alongside Route 33.
The county will be assessing the condition of the bridge and will re-open it when it’s safe.

It will be up to schools to determine what protocols will be in place to protect students and staff from COVID-19.
Doctor Howard Zucker, the State Health Commissioner, is recommending that schools follow local health department and federal guidance as they try and keep students and staff from getting sick.
Zucker says because there’s no longer a state of emergency in effect, schools are responsible for creating their own rules regarding masks, social distancing and COVID-19 testing.

Tomorrow, fans of the Buffalo Bills will once again have the opportunity to see their team get ready for the upcoming season. For the second Saturday in a row, the Bills are opening up training camp practice at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park to the public.
Tickets are required – problem is, … it’s already sold out.

This weekend at Williams Park it’s the “Seats and Feet” Back to School Drive…collecting new underwear and socks for local kids
It’s being held tomorrow and Sunday and Noon to 2 at the Williams Park Playground. All donations will benefit and Batavia City Schools Community Closet – all sizes are appreciated.

Morning News Brief

Due to a recent bridge inspection the Colby Road bridge over the Murder Creek in the Town of Pembroke will need to be closed to all traffic immediately until further notice.  The bridge is located just south of the CSX Railroad Tracks that run alongside NYS Route 33. Genesee County will be assessing the bridge condition and we will reopen the bridge as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Genesee Valley BOCES School Library System has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries in response to the need to identify recommendations for effective post-COVID school library programs. This $150,000 grant will fund four virtual national forums on the future of school libraries. The first work in the grant project will be the convening of a national advisory panel.

The New York State Department of Transportation has announced that applications are currently being accepted for approximately 26 full-time positions in the DOT’s fleet administration and transportation maintenance disciplines in Central New York, including Syracuse, Ithaca, Oswego and the surrounding communities. Additional positions above and beyond these 26 spots are anticipated to be filled in the coming months. To be eligible, candidates must be at least 18 years old and pass a physical and drug test. Most positions also require a valid, clean Class A or B commercial driver license, and the ability to operate DOT heavy dump trucks within two weeks after start of employment.

After a one-day reprieve, positive cases of COVID-19 in New York are on the rise…again. Official now report the positivity rate has climbed to 2.77%. It was 2.57% the day before. Hospitalizations and ICU admissions have also increased. Five more ICU patients have been placed on ventilators.

Applications are now being accepted with anticipated move-in capability for December 1 for Liberty Square Apartments on East Main Street, Batavia. Liberty Square is a 28-unit program located at 554 East Main Street in Batavia that will serve homeless or unstably housed Veterans with disabilities in a Permanent Supportive Housing environment. The 28 units are integrated into a 55-unit, general occupancy community, being developed in partnership with Home Leasing, LLC. Applications for the Supportive Housing apartments are available at the Eagle Star Housing website.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker issued a special statement Thursday afternoon. He said…With the end of the state disaster emergency on June 25, school districts are reestablished as the controlling entity for schools. Schools and school districts should develop plans to open in-person in the fall as safely as possible, and he recommends following guidance from the CDC and local health departments.

Rochester Police are investigating after a body was found in a vehicle recovered Thursday from the Genesee River in Charlotte. Police could be seen Thursday evening on River Street, near the Genesee River. According to investigators, a vehicle was found by a SCUBA team in the area. After it was recovered, a body was reportedly found inside. Police say the matter is considered suspicious at this time, and that the Major Crimes Unit is investigating.

The New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee says it’s investigation into Governor Andrew Cuomo is “nearing completion” and the governor’s counsel was also given a deadline to submit evidence. Cuomo’s lawyers were told to submit any new evidence in the sexual harassment case to the committee by next Friday.

Evening News Brief

New York State Department of Health has stated that they will not be issuing COVID 19 guidance to schools by start of term in September.  The state office says to continue following CDC guidelines which at the moment say encourage wearing masks and vaccinating.  Local school districts will have to set their own policy come the beginning of the school year.

As of now most venues and entertainment locations have not changed their policies on wearing masks or allowing unvaccinated people into events.  County Health Officials in Ontario County say that spikes happen but then the spread goes back down so they are following the numbers but its not time to make big changes.  In Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming Counties there are a total of 26 active cases.  95 percent of new cases and hospitalizations in areas where there is substantial spread are among the unvaccinated.  Death rates have not substantially increased even with case rates going up.  Officials credit this to most of the new cases being among people under the age of 40 who don’t have co-morbidities.  They caution those who have compromised immune systems or can’t take the vaccine to avoid large indoor gatherings where social distancing can’t be maintained.

The Health Department is looking for the dog that bit an employee at Home Depot on Saturday July 17th around noon.  The dog is a small black dog that was near register 2 at the time of the incident.  The employee asked if they could pet the dog and were told yes before they were bit on the hand.  The owners asked if they were ok then left the store.  It is important to locate the dog to determine whether or not it is current on its rabies shot. If the health status is not identified, post-exposure rabies shots will be offered to the victim.  If you have information about the location of the dog and its owners, please contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 ext. 5555.

The Genesee County Health Department is hosting a free drive through =rabies clinic Thursday august 12th from 4-7pm at the Genesee county Fairgrounds.  Vaccines are free for dogs, cats and ferrets.  Animals must be at least 3 months old.  Animals must be leashed or crated.  Limit of 4 pets per car.  The next clinic will be September 16th.

Liberty Square is now accepting applications from qualified veterans looking for housing.  Liberty Square is a 28-unit apartment building located at 554 East Main Street,  in Batavia that will serve homeless or unstably housed Veterans with disabilities in a Permanent Supportive Housing environment.  To qualify, you must have served in the military, be in a housing crisis and have an identified disability or case management need.

Midday News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The Judiciary Committee of the New York State is giving Governor Cuomo until August 13th to submit the evidence in the Governor’s defense against sexual harassment complaints.
The committee is close to concluding its work and possibly moves toward articles of impeachment against the governor.
All of this comes after a report this week by the state attorney general that accuses the governor of sexually harassing numerous women.
Cuomo denies the allegations and has no plans to resign.
Multiple district attorneys have opened criminal investigations into the Democratic governor.

A former substitute teacher in Dansville now faces new charges in Batavia. Police arrested 29-year-old Derek Hagen and charged him with a felony count using a child in a sexual performance. Last week, he was charged with two counts of child pornography. Court action is pending.

Starting this Tuesday, sections of the Center Street lot in Batavia will be closed for paving operations.
The work will be performed August 10th, during the business day between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. and is weather-dependent.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate has taken a decent decline in the past day. Officials say the rate is now 2.57%, down from 3.47% the day before. While that’s good news, there is less encouraging news. Officials say 50 more people have been hospitalized and 14 others have been admitted to Intensive Care. Seven new virus-related deaths have also been reported.

The GLOW Corporate Cup 5K begins tonight in Batavia.
Over 700 runners have registered for the race that begins at 6p.m.on Richmond Ave. across from the State School for the Blind.
Proceeds from the race benefit to the GLOW Region YMCA.

Morning News Brief

A former substitute teacher in Dansville now faces new charges in Batavia. Police arrested 29-year-old Derek Hagen and charged him with a felony count of use of a child in a sexual performance. Last week, he was charged with two count of child pornography. Court action is pending.

According to a Marist Poll, 59 percent of New Yorkers think the Governor should step down. The poll was conducted Tuesday night, after the results of the New York Attorney General’s Office’s investigation into Andrew Cuomo were announced. The report concluded that Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed several women. More than half of the registered Democrats who were surveyed say he should resign.

Starting on August 10, sections of the Center Street lot in Batavia will be closed for paving operations. This work will be performed during the business day between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. and is weather-dependent.

District attorneys in Westchester and Manhattan on Wednesday announced their offices had reached out to the attorney general for “investigative materials” from their probe into multiple sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The news comes after Albany District Attorney David Soares on Tuesday said his office had launched a criminal investigation into the allegations against the governor. Soares said his office was also planning to formally request information from the investigation by the AG. James revealed the conclusion of her office’s probe Tuesday morning, calling the findings “disturbing.”

Two inmate fights occurred in the Elmira Correctional Facility fieldhouse less than an hour apart on Sunday, according to union officials representing the officers. The fights resulted in two inmates being cut multiple times by make-shift weapons at the maximum-security prison. No staff were injured in either incident.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate has taken a decent decline in the past day. Officials say the rate is now 2.57%, down from 3.47% the day before. While that’s good news, there is less encouraging news. Officials say 50 more people have been hospitalized and 14 others have been admitted to Intensive Care. Seven new virus-related deaths have also been reported.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that hunting and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits for the 2021-2022 seasons are on sale now. In addition, DEC announced new opportunities for hunters this year, including expanded hunting seasons and allowing youth ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow in upstate counties that have passed a local low and ‘opted in’ to participate. Beginning this week, the DEC Call Center’s hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Nov. 30. Regular call center weekday hours will resume on Dec. 1.

Evening News Update

The Law firms working on the Cuomo sexual harassment investigations, Joon Kim, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Anne L. Clark, a partner at Vladeck Raskin & Clark, P.C, are getting paid 325 to 750 dollars an hour depending on the level of associate in their firm doing the work.  Their initial contract was for 6 months but can be extended by State Attorney General Letitia James.  All of this is being paid for with taxpayer money.

The Attica Rodeo is this week running tomorrow through the 8th.  The rodeo features bull riding, cattle penning, barrel racing and many other events.  It starts at 8pm on Thursday and Friday, 1 and 8 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.  Gates open 2 hours before the start of the show.  Cost for admission is 18 dollars for adults, 8 dollars for kids 6-12 years old and 5 and under get in free.  Children can attend free for the early shows on Saturday and Sunday with paid adult admission.

Midday News Brief

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political future hangs in the balance a day after the state attorney general released a report accusing him of sexually harassing nearly a dozen women. Democratic Albany County District Attorney David Soares says lawmakers will move to quickly finish their impeachment inquiry into the Democrat governor and he’s calling on any additional potential accusers to step forward.
He went on to say Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the majority. Even President Biden yesterday called for him to step down. Cuomo maintains he has not acted inappropriately and says he has no plans to resign.

While Governor Cuomo has said he won’t leave office due to sexual harassment allegations, several politicians including President Biden are urging him to go. Biden said the governor should resign, echoing similar calls from Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrat Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

A poll shows 59-percent of New Yorkers want Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign. The Marist survey conducted last night shows 32-percent think the governor should serve out the rest of his term. The poll was conducted hours after a report by the state attorney general accused the governor of sexually harassing numerous women and creating a toxic work environment. The poll also shows just eleven-percent of New Yorkers think he deserves re-election. The governor says the allegations are false and he called the report biased.

The latest data from New York State shows the spread of the coronavirus is worsening again across Western New York. Right now, the seven-day average infection rate is three-point-three-three percent, an increase from earlier this week and the second highest rate in any area of the state.
Genesee County, meanwhile, is in the Finger Lakes Region.
The county’s positivity rate remains at 1.1 percent, among the lowest in the state.

Morning News Brief

The independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James have released their report into the multiple allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew Cuomo. After nearly five months, the investigators concluded that Governor Cuomo did sexually harass multiple women — including former and current state employees — by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments. Further, the governor and his senior staff took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story. Finally, according to the report, the Executive Chamber fostered a “toxic” workplace that enabled “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.” The investigators find that Governor Cuomo’s actions and those of the Executive Chamber violated multiple state and federal laws, as well as the Executive Chamber’s own written policies.

The scathing report by the New York Attorney General’s Office into allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has triggered an emergency meeting by the New York State Assembly. Speaker Carl Heastie said Tuesday that lawmakers “will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible.” Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called for Cuomo to step down.

A North Chili man faces 26 counts following a high-speed chase that started in Stafford and ended with a successfully deployed spike strip in the City of Batavia. 23-year-old James Lepore was arrested. He was charged with felony first-degree reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, unlawfully fleeing police, drug possession, speeding along with 21 other traffic offenses. Lepore was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and under terms of bail reform released on his own recognizance.

New York’s COVID positivity rate now stands at 3.47%. Hospitalizations have jumped by 64 in a single day and admission to the ICU have also climbed. Five new deaths have also been reported.

A Rochester music teacher is going to prison of 50 years after being convicted of 74 charges, including 61 counts of production of child pornography. 43-year-old Philip Close pleaded guilty in the case. Between 2012 and 2019, Close produced hundreds of videos of child pornography involving 61 identified minor victims. The youngest victim was four years old. While executing search warrants at the Close School of Music, investigators also discovered 13 devices that contained other images and videos of child pornography. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement – “if you seek to exploit children to satisfy your own perverse interests, be prepared to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and potentially to lose your freedom forever.”

Wegmans says employees will once again be required to wear face masks at work. This, the company says, comes after reviewing updated guidance from the CDC and health departments. Customers are not required to wear masks, however it is strongly recommended they do so

Evening News Update

The issue with the Genesee County Sheriffs office phone has been resolved and should be working properly now.

GO Health Departments will be on the road with Back-to-School Pop-up Clinics the week of August 9th across Genesee and Orleans Counties.  The Pfizer vaccine will be offered at the clinics, which is approved for everyone 12 years of age and older.  COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective.  Each clinic is open to the public and walk-ins will be accepted. Appointments are strongly encouraged. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian with them to receive the vaccine.  The second dose of the vaccine will be offered three weeks after the first shot at the same school during the same time.

Midday News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

State AG Letitia James

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing serious charges of sexual harassment. Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings of her five-month investigation into allegations from multiple women that Cuomo created a sexually hostile work environment. The report cites numerous women, including current and former state employees, who claim the Democrat touched their “intimate body parts” and made unwanted advances. In one instance, a staffer said Cuomo reached under her blouse and touched her breasts. James said she has proof that Cuomo’s office intimidated witnesses and created a “toxic work environment” based upon 74,000 pieces of evidence.

 

Deputies say speeds reached 100 miles an hour chasing down a suspect for speeding on Route 33 in Stafford.
23-year-old James Lepore of Chili was finally stopped with spike strips deployed by lawmen on Route 98 just north of the city.
Lepore was charged with Reckless Endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, speeding and 21 additional traffic offenses.
Deputies, who were assisted in the chase by State and Batavia Police, said Lepore recklessly engaged in conduct that created a grave risk of death. Police said Lepore intentionally crossed over into the opposite lane causing other motorists to swerve out of the way. Speeds were estimated at 90 to 100 miles an hour.
Lepore was arraigned in thew Town of Batavia Court and under the terms of bail reform, he was released on his own recognizance.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s office is having telephone trouble. The administrative phone number, 345-3000, is not working. 9-1-1 emergency service is not affected.

Batavia’s Peace Garden, the line of international flags along West Main Street near the Holland Land Office, has been vandalized.
Peace Garden officials say volunteers spent hours and hours over the past two months decorating 100 stones and seashells for the landscape as part of an art project.
The peace garden is a popular place for people to just relax, take in the site, and enjoy the day. The stone project was completed on Tuesday, July 20.
By Wednesday morning, all 100 were gone, stolen in the night.
Officials say they will not replace them.

Morning News Brief

A Batavia man has been accused of committing a sex crime. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 22-year-old Thomas Bergman of Park Road. He was charged with forcible touching. It is alleged that he forcibly touched the intimate parts of a female Uber driver while in the parking lot of the Relax Inn. Bergman was arraigned in Batavia Town Court and released to return August 24th.

Governor Andrew Cuomo suggests that businesses should only allow vaccinated people to go inside venues and events. Cuomo says that New Yorkers should follow guidance put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so everyone can stay safe.

The Friends of Richmond Memorial library will host their monthly book sale on Thursday from 9 am to 7 pm in the Wilber-Fox Room at the library. After more than a year without a monthly sale, the Friends are excited to welcome the community back. Thanks to many wonderful donations, there is a huge selection to choose from, including fiction, history, sports, cookbooks, gardening, children’s and many. Richmond Memorial Library is located at 19 Ross Street in the City of Batavia.

From Batavia…Peace Garden committee members spent numerous hours over two months painting and decorating 100 stones and seashells as an art project for the garden only to have it destroyed in one night by vandals. Paula Savage, the founder and director of the Peace Garden, said the final installation of the stones and shells was completed on July 20. That was a Tuesday.  By Wednesday evening, every single painted stone and shell was missing.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity has been dialed back a bit. The rate has dipped to 5.53%. Still thought, hospitalizations and admissions to the ICU have increased. Four new deaths have been reported.

The price of gas is up again, on both a national and a state level, with the highest increases in our area. Triple A says there’s another month of summer travel ahead through Labor Day, and college students will begin their return to campuses in the meantime, so gas demand will likely remain high.

Evening News Brief

With COVID-19 numbers starting to increase, Governor Cuomo says masking policies may not go far enough to stop the spread of the virus.  Of particular concern, the governor said during a news conference Monday, is the highly-contagious delta variant.  Cuomo is calling on local governments to require vaccination or testing for public-facing employees. and for private hospitals across the state to adopt such a policy. If COVID numbers don’t come down, Cuomo said he thinks schools should be making a similar demand for teachers in districts located in areas with high or substantial risk for transmission. He is encouraging private businesses to operate under a vaccine-only admission system.

The Buffalo Bills want a new stadium and they want the public to pay for it to the tune of 1.1 billion dollars.  Pegula Sports and Entertainment say they want to put the new stadium next to the old one in Orchard park.  They also want .4 billion dollars to fix up the Keybank Center.  Officials in Erie County have not made any comment and say they will not till a deal is reached.  ESPN reported that if the Bills don’t get the deal they like then they are considering moving to Austin Texas.  Erie County has denied that this was said in any of their correspondence.

Midday News Brief

It should have been expected. Summer driving is increasing demand for fuel and so the price at the pump goes up.
According to Triple A: the average price of a gallon of gas in Batavia has gone up two-cents over the past week….96-cents higher than a year ago.

This one is happening right now.
Numerous volunteer fire departments are responding to a barn fire on Hall’s Corners Road in Attica. Departments from both Genesee and Wyoming Counties are on scene.

An Attica man suffered what were described as non-life-threatening injuries following a crash on Route 98 in Alexander.
Deputies say 27-year-old Timothy Johnson crashed his jeep into a utility pole, the vehicle broke in half. Johnson was airlifted to ECMC.

The Buffalo Bills are reported to have proposed a $1.1 billion new stadium for the team.
Terry and Kim Pegula, the owners of the team, say the new stadium should be fully funded by New York taxpayers.
Many fans say while a new stadium is needed, they say the funds shouldn’t come out of their pockets.
When it comes to rumors of the team moving out of Buffalo altogether, fans are skeptical.

New York’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has now risen to 2.68%. On Sunday, 39 new hospitalizations were reported. Five new deaths were also attributed to virus-related complications.
Genesee County is reporting a 7-day positivity rate of point-8 percent.

No injuries were reported after a United Express flight had to make an emergency landing at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport. The plane was traveling from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo last night when a pilot noticed a fuel leak coming from the aircraft. It was then diverted to Rochester and was able to touch down safely a few minutes later.

Morning News Brief

A one-car crash on County Line Road in Darien in March has now resulted in numerous charges for the driver. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 24-year-old Hannah Varshay of Alden. The charges include driving while impaired by drugs, evidence tampering, criminal possession of a weapon, speeding and eight counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Varshay was processed, then released to appear in Town of Darien court August 24th.

New York’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has now risen to 2.68%. On Sunday, 39 new hospitalizations were reported. Five new deaths were also attributed to virus-related complications. Rates in the Finger Lakes region are at 2.57%.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation designating baseball as the official sport of the state of New York. This bill was proposed by a Cooperstown Elementary School 4th grade class. Cooperstown, NY is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and is believed to be the birthplace of the sport. As the state sport, baseball joins a list of New York State symbols which includes milk as the state beverage, apple as the state fruit, the snapping turtle as the state reptile and yogurt as the state snack.

New York State Police and local law enforcement have increased patrols to target speeding thru Sunday. According to preliminary data, unsafe speed was a contributing factor in 314 fatal crashes in 2020, compared to 230 fatal crashes in 2019 – a 36 percent increase. The 314 fatal crashes last year resulted in 365 deaths including drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Data shows fatal crashes in New York caused by unsafe speed increase during the summer months with the highest totals in June through October.

According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Monroe and Erie Counties are now ‘substantial’ COVID transmission areas. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor settings, in areas of substantial or high transmission. Those unvaccinated are recommended to wear a mask in all areas. Genesee County is considered low, while Orleans and Wyoming counties are considered at a moderate transmission rate.

At around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, Batavia police responded to a report of someone shot. The victim was identified as a 40-year-old male. He was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital where he was treated for his injuries, he has since been released. Police say the victim was the target of the crime and it was not a random act. Police continue to investigate.

Batavia police arrested 29-year-old Nathan Royse. He was charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. It is alleged that in June, while on Willow St. in the City of Batavia, Royse menaced another person with a real or imitation pistol. Batavia PD was assisted by NYS Parole in this investigation.

Weekend News Brief

With the Delta Variant of COVID making headlines every day and worries of new masking guidelines Erie County has mandated that anyone, vaccinated or not, must wear a mask in county buildings.  Erie county has nearly 100 new cases of COVID a day.  New York has seen a spike in cases with nearly 27 hundred a day for the last few days and a 7 day average of 1700 cases a day.  Nearly all new cases are in New York city or surrounding areas.  In Genesee County there are 4 active cases.  In Orleans county there are 6.  Nearly 50 percent of people in Genesee and Orleans counties are vaccinated.  The percentages of people vaccinated by county is within 10 percent for nearly all counties in New York State.

The Batavia Muckdogs finished their season 22 and 19.  Just short of being able to get into the playoffs.  But they are hopeful for next year and say that 2021 was a great first season for the new league and new team.  Coach Jeoy Martinez has been offered two more years on his contract.  Owner Robbie Nichols said that the community is why they are there, “You see people over there in line, talking, having a beer, people bringing their grandkids to the game, and that’s what it’s all about.  It’s America’s game. It’s about bringing your family to the ballpark and Batavia answered the bell and this crowd is amazing.”

Speaking of baseball, Governor Cuomo announced Friday that he has declared Baseball as the official sport of New York State.  This bill was proposed by a Cooperstown Elementary School 4th grade class. Cooperstown, NY is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and is believed to be the birthplace of the sport.  As the state sport, baseball joins a list of New York State symbols which includes milk as the state beverage, apple as the state fruit, the snapping turtle as the state reptile and yogurt as the state snack.

Buffalo Sabres forward Ramus Asplund has been offered and agreed to a 2 year deal for 825 thousand dollars per season.  Asplund was a restricted free agent.  Asplund, 23, is coming off his best season in the NHL. In 28 games played, the Sabres forward scored seven goals and added four assists for 11 points.  In his NHL career, Asplund has eight goals and 14 points in 57 games.

Afternoon News Brief

Today is senior citizen day at the county fair.  The schedule this afternoon is: Midway open for unlimited rides for 10 dollars for kids 16 and under form 1-5. The Genesee County fair talent show is at 2.  3:30 show up for the small fry tractor pull.  At 6 there is NIOGA Dairy Showmanship in the Main show ring.  The Demolition Derby starts at 7 with fireworks to follow.  Fair closes when the band stops playing in the Entertainment tent although the exhibits and buildings will be closed at 10.

Governor Cuomo has announced the launch of New York State’s $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit program, designed to help expand employment opportunities for workers and provide relief to COVID-impacted restaurants. The program offers a tax credit for the rapid hiring of restaurant workers.  Qualifying restaurants could receive a $5,000 tax credit per new hire, totaling up to $50,000 in tax credits per business.  Critics of the program say that the problem isn’t getting restaurants to hire people, its getting people to apply, show up to interviews or even show up after being hired.  Proponents say that this allows restaurants to pay workers more per hour and will incentivize people to want to work.  Bars, taverns, nightclubs, and certain breweries, wineries, and distilleries with tasting rooms are also eligible for this new tax credit.  To apply follow the link on wbtai.com.  https://esd.ny.gov/restaurant-return-work-tax-credit

The Buffalo Sabres have made two signing decisions.  Defenseman Ethan Prow has signed a 1 year contract and Forward John Hayden has also signed for a year.   Hayden was a third-round draft pick by the Coyotes in 2013 and previously played for Sabres head coach Don Granato with the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2011 to 2013 earning a silver medal at the 2013 U-18 World Championship. The 28-year-old Prow has appeared in 215 career AHL games tallying 116 points. He was selected to the AHL All-Star Game in 2018-19.  He played in 26 games last season with EHC Munchen in Germany and had 20 points.  The Sabres also announced that Jason Christie, Matt Ellis and Marty Wilford have been hired as assistant coaches.

Morning News Brief

Schools in New York State are now prohibited from filing lawsuits against parents or guardians for unpaid meal fees. This was following the enactment of new legislation, signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday. The Governor’s Office stated that this builds on the state’s “No Student Goes Hungry” program, aiming to help protect students and families from legal tactics. Cuomo’s office stated that the new legislation will work to concert with commitments made on the federal level, ensuring that students in the United States receive “vital” meals.

The City of Batavia Water Department will be making repairs to a water main on Williams Street today. The water will be shut off the length of Williams Street and it should be restored by 3:00. The repair effort may cause discolored water in the general area and you should please refrain from doing laundry until the water is clear.

New York’s COVID positivity rate took a slight break earlier this week…but now it is on the rise again. State officials say the rate is up to 2.49%. Two more deaths have been reported along with 20 more hospitalizations, bringing the statewide total to 611. 72% of New Yorkers age 18 and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the launch of New York State’s $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit program, designed to help expand employment opportunities for workers and provide relief to COVID-impacted restaurants. Created as part of the state budget, the program offers a tax credit for the rapid hiring of restaurant workers to reduce the restaurant industry’s pandemic-induced economic difficulties. Qualifying restaurants could receive a $5,000 tax credit per net new hire, totaling up to $50,000 in tax credits per business.

New York students may need to wear masks when school begins in September. The New York State Department of Education said New York health officials are developing new guidelines for the upcoming school year, and the basis of those guidelines will follow the new mask-wearing recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier this week, the CDC said all students in K-12 should wear masks in the classroom. The education department sent a memo to school districts on Thursday so they can start preparing.

Sheriff’s deputies report the arrest old 23-year-old Andrea Tucker of Tonawanda. While at Six Flags Darien Lake, she allegedly made threats toward another person. She was charged with harassment and issued a ticket for Town of Darien court on August 17th.

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Batavia brought in the New Year with fireworks last night at 9p at Batavia Downs.  The time was moved up to avoid potential hazards due to the high winds that arrived after midnight, the original time of the fireworks.  No reports of major damage today due to the high winds but be aware of tree limbs and downed power lines in your area.

A grand jury has indicted a man who was arrested over the summer at the August 10th Jason Aldean concert at Darien Lake.  Robert Maharrey was indicted for disorderly conduct, multiple counts of harassment for striking a female patron in the face, 2nd degree assault a class D violent felony for allegedly striking a sheriff’s deputy, assaulting a police officer a class C violent felony when he spit and struck another deputy assisting in the arrest.

Friday evening Livingston County Sheriffs were in the middle of the state wide stop DWI effort, when deputies pulled a vehicle over on 390 for speeding.  Upon further investigation a 27 year old Geneseo man Patrick Dunn was charged with DWI.  Dunn’s BAC was .25% and was further charged with felony DWI from a previous 2015 conviction.  Dunn is now being held on 1,5k bail or 3k bond and remanded to the custody of the sheriff.

Yesterday afternoon, Genesee County Sheriffs made a traffic stop in Oakfield on Lewiston road when a Rochester man, 20 year old Damian Schoonmaker of Smith Street was found to be in possession of marijuana in his 2000 Buick LeSabre.  He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and is scheduled to appear in Oakfield town court 1/21

A motor vehicle accident yesterday in Elba led to a lane closure around 3:30p.  Two vehicle collided at Oak orchard and Lockport roads in Elba.  Elba fire police and 2 ambulance responded along with Elba Fire dept.

New Yorkers are seeing a number of new state laws in the New Year.  Among them, a law that requires diaper changing tables in all new public men’s and women’s restrooms.

Other changes include a requirement that health insurance companies give male patients free prostate cancer screenings and that residents be allowed to return unused prescription meds to pharmacies for free.

Many homeowners will enjoy an increase in property tax rebates, of an average of more than five-hundred dollars.

There’s the hike in the minimum wage. In our area, the minimum wage goes to eleven-dollars-and-ten-cents.



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