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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Orchard Park Police rescued a 59-year-old man from a ravine near New Area Field Tuesday after he fell down a 20 to 30 ft. muddy embankment while riding on a four-wheeler.
According to police reports, Buffalo Bills’ security contacted police around 7 p.m. stating that they heard a male voice yelling for help.
The voice was coming from a heavily wooded ravine area (South Branch Smokes Creek) east of the stadium complex in the wooded area between the stadium and California Road.
Police arrived at the scene, went down into the ravine and located 59-year-old John Nietopski, who was stuck under a fallen dead tree.
According to police, Nietopski was disoriented, soaking wet, muddy, and too weak to free himself.
Police along with multiple fire rescue personnel from Windom and Orchard Park fire companies, were able to traverse a quarter mile through dense woods, steep terrain, and the creek to rescue him.
Nietopski and a neighbor had been riding through the woods on four-wheelers when Nietopski got lost and fell down the ravine. It was also determined that alcohol was a factor in the situation.
Nietopski was checked and released by EMS personnel with minor scratches to his head and face.
“If it hadn’t been for Bills security being in the right place at the right time to hear the cries for help, this situation could have had a totally different ending,” a press release from the Orchard Park Police Department stated Tuesday evening. “This incident occurred in the same area where a young man drowned after a Buffalo Bills night game a few years ago.”
TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A fuel spill temporarily closed down River Rd. between Grand Island Blvd. and Sheridan Dr. in the Town of Tonawanda.
The incident happened early Wednesday morning.
The road reopened shortly before 7:30 a.m.
TRAFFIC | See our live traffic map here.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The indictments against NYS Sen. Robert Ortt have been dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Judge Peter Lynch dropped all of the indictments made by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman against Ortt (R-North Tonawanda) Tuesday.
The indictments alleged that Ortt had used campaign funds to pay for a job for his wife, which she never worked. Ortt was charged with three counts of offering a false instrument for filing. A grand jury decided to indict Ortt.
“The Court has inspected the Grand Jury minutes and finds that the evidence before the Grand Jury was legally insufficient to establish the offenses charged…. it is this court’s view that there was no valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences which could lead a rational Grand Juror to issue an indictment in this case,” Lynch wrote in a statement.
Ortt issued a statement on the decision, calling it “welcome news”.
“This quick and forthright dismissal exposed Eric Schneiderman for the power hungry, political opportunist that he is,” Ortt said. “It is my hope that this ruling today will force Mr. Schneiderman to think twice before concocting baseless charges to serve his own radical progressive political agenda again.”
Ortt added that he and his wife “look forward to receiving a personal apology from Schneiderman”.
A representative from Schneiderman’s office said Tuesday that the Attorney General’s office disagrees with the decision, adding that they are considering their options.
“Nothing in today’s opinion changes the fact that Meghan Ortt received money for a politically-connected no-show job,” the statement says. Only in Albany would a Senator argue that receiving money for a politically-connected no-show job isn’t a crime.”
Schneiderman’s office also indicted former state senator George Maziarz, accusing him of skimming more than $100,000 from his campaign coffers to make sexual harassment claims within his office disappear. The judge in Maziarz’ trial upheld the charges, and a trial is scheduled for Aug. 21.
…Marginal risk of severe thunderstorms across all of our region Thursday afternoon and evening…
We’re getting the weather back on track, at least for today. Sunshine, combined with low humidity, and pleasantly warm temperatures, will make for a near perfect early summer day. After a mostly to partly clear evening sky, clouds increase overnight.
We may still see some limited sun early Thursday before a few showers, and thunderstorms start to develop toward midday, especially during the afternoon. During the afternoon, the showers and thunderstorms will have a tendency to shift further south across the region. Some of these storms could pack a punch for the afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted our region for at least a marginal risk of severe thunderstorms with the primary threat being potentially strong damaging wind gusts. Lingering rain showers last into Friday. Temperatures and humidity remain higher right into the end of the week. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will kick off the weekend Saturday, but we should finish it up with partial sunshine and dry weather Sunday.
WEDNESDAY: Loads of Sunshine, Warmer, Comfortable Humidity, High: 73-76, Wind: SW 8-16
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly to Partly Clear this Evening, Intervals of Clouds overnight, Low: 52 inland valleys, 62 city, Wind: Lt. S increasing to 8-16 toward morning
THURSDAY: Warm and Humid, Some Limited Morning Sun, a few Showers and Thunderstorms develop midday and afternoon, Marginal risk of severe thunderstorms, Becoming Windy, High: 78-82, Wind: SW 15-30 G45, Low: 68
FRIDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Showers and a few Thunderstorms, High: 81, Low: 70
SATURDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Scattered Rain Showers and a few Thunderstorms, High: 82, Low: 64
SUNDAY: Partly Sunny, High: 77, Low: 61
MONDAY: Partly Sunny, chance for a shower mainly So. Tier. High: 76 Low: 59
TUESDAY (INDEPENDENCE DAY): Mostly Cloudy, Chance of Rain Showers, High: 78, Low: 62
ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — In a day featuring intense testimony and rapid-fire questions, Buffalo school board member Carl Paladino contended he was informing his constituents about a “rigged” teacher contract, and not illegally disclosing confidential information.
He also took the opportunity during direct questioning by his attorney Dennis Vacco to apologize for his comments about the Barack and Michelle Obama, saying he wished he could take them back.
“I think some of the most compelling testimony that we heard today from Carl was his remorse over the really low and despicable comments that he made,” Vacco said. “And I say that with him standing right next to me, because he expressed his remorse today I think better than he has any time since those comments were made.”
Indeed, Paladino’s testimony about his reasoning for writing disparaging and racist comments about the Obamas took on a very different tone than what he’s said during public board meetings since his December story appeared in Artvoice.
“There’s no excuse for how I was thinking at that moment,” Paladino said. ‘I was thinking about Obama and his wife. It led me to make a terrible error in allowing that message to go public. And I sincerely regret my words. I regret thinking them and saying them. I regret the shame I brought on myself and my kids.
“It wasn’t a good day for me,” he added.
Paladino has since the comments he wrote were never intended for publication, and that he sent them to the publication by mistake.
He also said he was given an opportunity by Artvoice to write additional stories, which appeared on Jan. 5 and Jan. 14. What he revealed in those articles is the subject of the petition to remove him from the board.
In the petition, the school board majority alleges Paladino disclosed information he learned during executive sessions. Specifically, they said he revealed confidential information about the negotiation for a new contract with the Buffalo Teachers Federation, a pending lawsuit with LP Ciminelli — which the district has since lost and is now appealing — and disciplinary action taken against East High School Principal Casey Young.
“He’s got an obligation to his constituents,” Vacco said. “He’s got a fiduciary responsibility to his oath of office and to his constituents, and that’s what motivated him.”
Paladino said millions of dollars were spent out of the district’s reserve fund, as a result of a broken promise by Superintendent Kriner Cash. He also said (twice) that the FBI is investigating the nearly $1.4 billion deal with Ciminelli to renovate the district’s school buildings.
A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Buffalo field office said Tuesday the agency does not confirm nor deny the existence of an any investigation.
“If the public doesn’t know that, they don’t know that their servants aren’t serving their interests well,” Vacco said. “If it’s not for guys like Paladino and (board member Larry) Quinn.
Quinn, a Paladino ally, took the stand during Tuesday’s morning session.
Quinn testified he agreed with Paladino’s stance that information about the teacher contract should be public, since the contract was ratified in October.
The school board’s attorney, Frank Miller, says there is no justification for revealing confidential information.
“It’s just nonsense. It means that any time a person makes an argument that this is somehow the public interest is going to be served by betraying a confidence then there never is going to be anything that’s confidential,” Miller said. “If we adopt Carl Paladino’s approach, there’s nothing that’s going to remain confidential.”
In her first public comments since the hearing in Albany got underway, Board President Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold said she didn’t think Paladino would ever be welcomed back to the board.
“He doesn’t feel that he is bound by the policies that are related to executive session, and I suspect policies related to other things that control the board’s behavior,” she said. “He feels free to act on his own best belief in what he sees as the interests of his constituents at any time.”
The final day of the hearing is begins Wednesday, with closing arguments from both sides. State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is expected to issue a written decision weeks after the hearing comes to an end.
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Niagara County Sheriff’s office is looking for help finding a missing, possibly endangered woman.
Anna Niles, 23, was last seen in Niagara Falls this past Wednesday. She is known to live in the Lockport area.
Anna is 5’2″ and 120 lbs. She has brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone who has seen her is asked to call the Niagara County Sheriff’s office at (716) 438-3393 or Inv. Amanda Irons at (716) 438-3338 during normal business hours.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Differences of opinion between law firm partners Ross Cellino and Stephen Barnes in the conduct and management of the Cellino and Barnes Corporation have lead to “an immediate danger of irreparable impairment of the business”, documents in the case unsealed Tuesday state.
The documents, dated May 10, were ordered unsealed by State Supreme Court Judge Deborah A. Chimes Tuesday.
A representative for the firm said that neither Ross M. Cellino Jr. nor Stephen E. Barnes opposed to the documents being released.
Cellino is the owner of one-half of the capital stock in the company, and filed for a voluntary dissolution of the company in May.
According to the documents, Cellino alleged in his petition that the firm has an even number of directors who are so divided in the management of the firm’s affairs that they are unable to vote on any actions. He also alleged that the shareholders are so divided that they are unable to vote for a new board of directors.
“There is internal dissention and the two equal shareholders are so divided that dissolution of the corporation would be beneficial to the shareholders,” the document stated.
The differences of opinion include approaches to the practice of law, employment issues, compensation of employees, marketing, expansion, case management responsibilities and strategy. and have proved impossible to resolve despite efforts by shareholders and directors, the docurment added.
“On each of these issues, petitioner Cellino and respondent Barnes have taken essentially opposite positions, resulting in a deadlock among both the two board members, as well as the two equal shareholders,” the document stated. “Attempts by the two to resolve the deadlock have been unsuccessful, and as a result the board of directors consisting of Cellino and Barnes has effectively ceased to function.”
The entire court document can be found here.