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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The WNY family of a college student who died while pledging a fraternity at West Virginia University have reached a “landmark” settlement.
The family of Nolan Burch sued two of the individual Kappa Sigma fraternity members, the Kappa Sigma organization, West Virginia University, and the owners of the house where the pledging event occurred. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but the case is a “landmark” for West Virginia, Lawlor Quinlan of Connors LLP, who is representing the family, said.
Nolan was 18 when he died of alcohol poisoning after being given a bottle of whiskey to drink at a “big brother” event with Kappa Sigma. After becoming incapacitated from drinking in just 90 minutes, Nolan was carried by fraternity brothers to a wooden table. The fraternity members didn’t call 911 until they saw him turning blue, at which point it was too late, said Quinlan.
“They should have obtained medical attention for Nolan,” Quinlan said. “If they had obtained medical attention for him in time, he would have been fine by the next morning.”
Nolan’s parents are using the money for the NMB Foundation, an organization they set up in Nolan’s honor. The foundation’s goal is to educate high school and college students about the dangers of hazing, and to call 911 if they see someone drunk enough to require medical attention.
They have already had some engagement with the foundation locally, Quinlan said, but they are looking to take it nationally.
“There’s nothing good that comes from pressuring someone to drink alcohol,” he added.
High pressure will bring dry, but windy weather heading into the weekend. The strongest wind gusts will likely come during the overnight, well into the 40 mph range in some spots. The wind being out of the southwest will keep our temperatures in the upper-20s, but it will still bring wind chills in the teens overnight. Warming continues this weekend, but will continued to be offset by the gusty wind early Saturday, though the wind will gradually back off Saturday afternoon. Increased moisture along a developing warm front will bring increased clouds Saturday, and a rather cloudy sky will prevail Sunday, but much of the day will be dry outside of a few spotty sprinkles. There is a slight chance that some drizzle or freezing drizzle could fall at times Sunday into Sunday night, but most areas stay dry. An approaching storm will start to produce some more precipitation toward Monday.
This storm will spread rain into the area Monday morning, possibly as a wintry mix especially north of Buffalo. The early mix switches over to occasional rain showers as we work through the day. There may be an extended lull in the rain between the warm and cold fronts, but rain increases later Monday night into early Tuesday and then changes to snow showers during the morning as colder air sweeps Some snow showers linger Wednesday. There is a chance for some additional lake enhancement or lake effect snow Tuesday and Wednesday. Expect a return to a more seasonably cold pattern during next week.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Quite Windy, Mostly to Partly Clear, Some Drifting Snow in rural areas, Wind Chills in the teens, Low: 27-31, Wind: SW 15-30 G45.
SATURDAY: Milder but Windy, Increasing Clouds, High: 35-40, Wind: SW 15-25 G35/10-16 late, Low: 32.
SUNDAY: Cloudy, Patchy Drizzle, a Lighter Breeze, High: 40. Some patchy flurries and drizzle possible Sunday night, Low: 33.
MONDAY: Milder with Occasional Rain Showers Developing, Possible Icy Mix Early, Breezy, High: 45. Rain increases by late Monday night, Low: 38.
TUESDAY: Windy, Turning Colder, Early Rain changes quickly to Snow Showers, Pre-dawn High: 42, Low: 25.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Scattered Snow Showers, Brisk Breeze, High: 31, Low: 20
THURSDAY: Partly Sunny, High: 31, Low: 22.
FRIDAY: Partly Sunny, High: 40.
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Niagara Falls Police are investigating a serious hit-and-run accident that happened Friday afternoon at 24th Street and Independence Avenue.
The victim, a 57-year-old Niagara Falls man, was struck by a southbound vehicle in the 800 block of 24th Street around 3:15 p.m. Friday. The vehicle was described as a large SUV or pickup truck. The vehicle fled the scene southbound toward Pine Avenue.
The victim was treated by Niagara Falls Fire and AMR Ambulance and transported to ECMC, where he is in critical condition.
Anyone with information is asked to call (716)286-4711.
CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — 24 pigs were taken from a farm in Cattaraugus County.
It is not clear where in the county the pigs were, but the Cattaraugus County SPCA confirmed to News 4 that they worked with Farm Sanctuary to remove some of the animals on Tuesday.
In all, there were 85 pigs at the farm, kept in “pitch-black and windowless barns”.
The terrified animals were “scarcely surviving and nearly drowning in filth,” Farm Sanctuary said. “Food and water were nowhere to be seen. And yet, these sick, emaciated and mange-ridden pigs were allegedly being sold for human consumption.”
“It’s outrageous that this man has been allowed to torture pigs for nearly two decades,” Farm Sanctuary National Shelter Director Susie Coston said. “The last time we were called to his property, we found pigs literally frozen to the ground. We urge the court to prosecute this known animal abuser to the fullest extent of the law and prevent him from ever having animals in his care again. We’re grateful for our strong relationship with the Cattaraugus County SPCA and the Cattaraugus County Office of the Sheriff, who diligently investigate cruelty cases on farms and contact us to help these beings get the love and care they so desperately need.”
In 2002, Farm Sanctuary responded to a cruelty case involving more than 125 pigs at the same property on Folts Road in Ashford, they say.
Charges have not been filed against the owner, although a spokesperson for Farm Sanctuary says they will be filed “very soon”. The organization is waiting on a veterinarian analysis report from Cornell University’s Animal Hospital, which will provide a basis for the District Attorney.
The group is looking to find homes for more of the pigs that remain at the farm.
BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two Genesee County residents were arrested in relation to what Batavia police call a ‘false “vehicle for sale” ad.’
Police say Batavia resident Jaequele Tomlin, 23, and Stafford resident Quamane Santiago, 19, posted the advertisement on Craigslist with the intention of robbing potential buyers.
Concerned citizens told police about the ad. Later, members of the Batavia Police Department and the Genesee County Drug Task Force took Tomlin and Santiago into custody. They were charged with conspiracy.
According to police, the two were found with replica guns.
After their arraignment, Tomlin and Santiago were jailed with no bail. Tomlin was additionally arrested on a City of Batavia warrant for criminal mischief and assault, police say.
More charges against both suspects are pending.
Police want anyone who responded to a suspicious vehicle sale ad in Batavia to call Detective Sergeant Kevin Czora at (585) 345-6311.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With so many ways to serve a taco, who do you think makes the best in Buffalo?
Nominate your favorite below.
APP USERS | Tap here to access the poll.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State health officials say a drastic rise in flu cases has hospitalized more than 1,600 New Yorkers this past week alone.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Thursday that all New Yorkers six months of age and older over who haven’t received a flu shot yet should get vaccinated as soon as possible. The Democrat says the health department reports influenza cases rose by 54 percent over the past week, with new cases diagnosed in all 62 counties.
Officials say the 1,606 New Yorkers hospitalized the past week with lab-confirmed flu is the highest weekly number since the health agency reporting began in 2004.
Health officials say as of last Sunday, there were 17,362 confirmed cases of flu reported, with more than 5,200 people hospitalized this season.