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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Billie Becker, 55, admitted to stealing $4.1 million from her employer.
The East Aurora woman’s arrest was announced earlier this year. She had been serving as Towne Automotive’s Comptroller for the last eight years, but had been with the company since 2001.
Orchard Park police suspected Becker had been stealing company funds since at least 2012. In court Tuesday, it was revealed she had actually been stealing from them since 2009.
Prosecutors say Becker owes the state more than $256,000 in taxes on the stolen money
Towne officials became aware of the thefts when a credit card company called and asked about a card that Towne was not aware of.
Becker was accused of using the money to pay bills, care for dressage horses she owned and online video games.
She is out on bail now, but will be sentenced for felony crimes of grand larceny and criminal tax fraud on June 13. Becker could spend up to 25 years in jail.
TOWN OF LEON, N.Y. (WIVB) — A fire chief from the Southern Tier who admitted to having sexual contact with kids will not be going to jail.
Laurence Ellis was a chief and EMT in the Town of Leon.
On Monday, Ellis was sentenced to ten years of probation on criminal sex act charges. He also received six years of probation on sex abuse charges.
Ellis will serve concurrent sentences.
After some patchy interior fog, we will see some improvement today. The upslope northerly wind from Lake Ontario isn’t always conducive to clearing, but some drier air working into the region should allow for sunshine to break out as we progress through the day.
After a partly clear night, more clouds will arrive toward Thursday morning. Thickening clouds during the day may result in a few sprinkles during the afternoon, but the bulk of the rain will hold off until Thursday night into Friday. Right now, the weekend still looks pretty good, just a bit cool for this time of year. Any leftover showers early Saturday end and clouds start to break getting into midday and afternoon allowing for some partial sunshine. It will continue to be partly sunny Sunday. Nice weather holds up along with rebounding temperatures Monday ahead of the next shot of rain Tuesday,
TODAY: Morning Clouds Thin, Sun Develops for the Afternoon, High: 44, Wind: N 5-12, Low: 28
THURSDAY: Morning Sun, Afternoon Clouds, Late Afternoon Rain Showers, High: 47, Low: 37
FRIDAY: Lingering Showers Taper off by Afternoon, High: 51, Low: 39
SATURDAY: Partly Sunny, High: 44, Low: 33
SUNDAY: Partly Sunny, High: 43, Low: 36
MONDAY: Lots of sunshine with Mild Temperatures. High: 52, Low: 42
TUESDAY: Partly Sunny. Few Rain Showers Possible. High: 56
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Dr. Matthew Bolton is developing a computer-based tool that uses the same technology as MP3 audio files.
The goal is pretty simple.
“When critical alarms go off people will be able to hear them,” the assistant professor in the Engineering Department at UB said.
With the help of a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Bolton is working to combat a symptom of over-stimulation in hospitals; missing important sounds.
“You can have multiple sounds coming into the human ear at any given time and our ear can only encode a certain amount of information at any given frequency,” Bolton explained.
Essentially, the brain risks getting overloaded and canceling out certain sounds when too many are thrown its way.
Bolton has enlisted the help of Scott Eardley, a Simulation Education Specialist with a doctorate degree in nursing. Eardley, who’s spent years in hospitals as a nurse, said ‘alarm masking’ is becoming a real issue.
“As the electronics proliferate and become more common, the chances increase that you’re going to have that masking,” he said.
According to the Joint Commission, between 2010 and 2016 there are 260 alarm-related events, which could mean anything from incorrect settings, to policies not in place, or an alarm not being heard.
The events impacted 264 patients and caused 193 deaths.
“Within the confines of say an operation room, you’re going to have multiple alarms, from the monitors from the patient, from the ventilator, from the pumps. You could probably have maybe 13-14 different noises going at once,” said Eardley.
As a human factors engineer, Dr. Bolton works to make machines better, knowing humans operate them.
Understanding innate human limitations, he said, will make hospital technology safer.
“If the person can’t physically hear the alarm they’re not going to be able to respond to it. And so this work is mean to provide that check.”
The International Medical Alarm Standard is currently being revised. Dr. Bolton said the changes will appear subtle, but they could impact doctors and nurses abilities to get to emergencies.
One of the problems researchers with the International Medical Alarm Standard are looking into, is alarm masking.
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) — A grandmother has been charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child after police say her grandson was found alone in the street.
Shortly after midnight, Tuesday, Jamestown police say they went to W. 8th St. after receiving a report of a small child in the street.
Police then contacted the boy’s grandmother, Jody Buck, 44, who according to officers, fell asleep while watching the child. This allowed him to leave the apartment, police say.
Within the apartment, police say a metal tray with marijuana on it was found just a few feet away from three kids in the room.
In addition to the child endangerment counts against Buck, she was also charged with unlawful marijuana possession.
Following the arrest, Buck was taken to the city jail.
LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — After being sentenced to weekend jail time for scamming three women out of money in exchange for home improvement work that never happened, Joseph Lloyd was sentenced for not paying them back.
Lloyd will spend 3 and 1/3 to 10 years in jail.
He ripped off the three women for more than $17,000. He was sentenced last year to weekends in jail in order to work and pay back the money he owed, which he did not.