By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2023 at 3:03 pm
ALBION – A man was arraigned in Orleans County Court this morning for second-degree assault and second-degree strangulation for allegedly choking and hitting an 85-year-old man.
Andrew Coley, 25, was living with the victim at the time, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Coley, a former Albion resident who now lives in Rochester, entered not guilty pleas in court today. He has already posted a $25,000 bond for bail, which remains at that level.
Coley also is accused of refusing to take the injured man to the hospital. His attorney, Zack Baisley, disputed that in court today.
Judge Sanford Church issued a temporary order of the protection for the victim who has suffered partial paralysis, according to the DA’s office.
In other cases in court today:
• The judge sentenced Andre Shine, 39, of Medina to four months of weekends in the county jail, plus a year of a conditional discharge. Shine pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child for providing alcohol and marijuana to an underage girl.
• Imani Williams, 33, an incarcerated woman at the Albion Correctional Facility, pleaded guilty to attempted assault in the second degree.
She said she struck another inmate with her hand after being pushed by that inmate. That person suffered facial lacerations and an orbital fracture, and suffered substantial pain from the injuries, said Susan Howard, assistant district attorney.
Williams accepted a plea deal where she faces 1 ½ to 3 years of additional time in state prison. She was headed to a trial starting on April 3 and could have faced a longer sentence if convicted of second-degree assault.
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 22 March 2023 at 12:14 pm
Students will see hospital, deliver medical supplies, teach basic hygiene to kids
Provided photo: Nursing instructor Courtney Slack, right, poses with three of her nursing students who are going to Ghana March 30 to work in a hospital there for 10 days. From left are Samantha McIntyre, Miranda Gebo and Arie Decker.
MEDINA – Three students in a nursing class at Medina Memorial Hospital will be leaving March 30 for a 10-day visit to Ghana.
Arie Decker and Samantha McIntyre, seniors at Royalton-Hartland Senior High School, and Miranda Gebo, a senior at Albion High School, are students in Courtney Slack’s offsite BOCES Career and Technical Education class, which meets at Medina Memorial Hospital.
The girls heard about the trip from Decker, whose teacher Melissa Brigham knew a doctor who made the trip every year with Global Partnership for Education. Usually they send 25 to 30 people annually to developing countries. This year, primarily school teachers are going, along with six students, three of whom are from the Medina Memorial Hospital class.
The girls will be involved in team building there, Decker said.
Gebo said they will also help build rowboats for the women to use to get their wares to market on the mainland. Ghana is an island, and getting their products to the mainland to be sold consumes their profits, Gebo said. The women make coconut oil and bracelets, among other things.
McIntyre said they will be visiting a hospital in Ghana, where they will give them donations, including medical supplies for wound care, such as gauze; no-rinse soap and dental products.
Decker said they will shadow doctors and will also take soccer balls and baseballs for the children.
“This is a great opportunity to help people ,” Decker said.
“This is bigger than anything I’ve ever done before,” McIntyre said. “We are going to a remote island with no electricity and no running water.
She is concerned about traveling abroad with people she doesn’t know and the food.
“Their diet consists mainly of seafood, and I don’t care for seafood,” she said. “I know it’s going to be a massive culture shock.”
Gebo said she wanted to go to help the children. They will also teach simple hygiene, she said.
There will be a couple of days for sightseeing, Decker said, including a visit to Cape Coast Castle, which was involved in the slave trade. People were taken as prisoners and kept in dungeons under the castle until they sold, she said.
Decker plans to become a physician’s assistant in pediatric oncology, she said. McIntyre hopes to attend medical school to become an anesthesiologist, while Gebo aspires to become an Emergency Room nurse practitioner.
This will be the first time any of the girls have been out of the country, except for Canada.
“I’m so proud of them,” Slack said.
She explained that although the students are members of BOCES Career and Technical Education class, they come to the hospital’s classroom every day, seniors in the morning and juniors in the afternoon. Being hospital-based makes it easier for us to work through shadowing and internship rotations in the different hospital departments, Slack said.
The students had to raise their own money for the trip. They will fly to JFK Airport, where they will board a plane for Ghana.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 March 2023 at 9:26 am
Photos by Tom Rivers
HOLLEY – Gabe Lindsay stars as Willy Wonka in Holley Junior-Senior High School’s production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka. This is from the opening scene of “Pure Imagination” and Willy Wonka is joined by Oompa-Loompas.
Holley performs the musical with shows at 7 p.m. on Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Junior-Senior High School Auditorium.
Tickets are available online. Click here for more information.
Ava Quincey plays the role of Charlie Bucket, left, and Charlie is very excited to have found a golden ticket in one of the Wonka chocolate bars. Charlie will be joined by Grandpa Joe (played by Owen Schultz) in a tour of the Wonka chocolate factory.
They are singing one of the shows catchy numbers, “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket.”
The Holley musical is directed by Dustin Gardner. Gardner played the role of Willy Wonka when he was a Kendall student in 2009.
Gardner made his directing debut for Holley last year with Footloose. He said Willy Wonka has a broad appeal to people of all ages. There are 40 students in the cast and another 20 in the crew.
“I’m most excited for the kids who are in a production for the first time,” Gardner said before Tuesday’s rehearsal. “Once they get the lights on them it’s a rush you can’t explain.”
Jax Richards-Dyson is Phineous Trout, a reporter who announces the winners of the Golden Ticket contest throughout the show. Here he interviews Augustus Gloop (played by Jose-Angel Valentin) and Mrs. Gloop (Maggie Skehan).
Augustus loves to eat, and sings “I Eat More!”
Valentin speaks in a German accent and wears some padding for the role. He said the cast members have been very excited about Willy Wonka.
“We’re very much out of our comfort zones,” Valentin said.
Phineous Trout interviews Violet Beauregarde (Ellie Quincey) and her mother, Mrs. Beauregarde (Allison Merle) after Violet finds one of the five Golden Tickets. Violet is a prolific chewer of gum.
(Left) Jayda Shampine plays Veruca Salt, a very wealthy, spoiled brat who sings, “I Want It Now.” Her father is played by Kohle Pachla. (Right) Mike Teavee (Nico Unterborn) is also one of the five Golden Ticket winners. He is addicted to video games. His mother is played by Isla Schultz.
Gabe Lindsay also plays the role of the “The Candy Man.” He sells Wonka chocolate bars. Charlie is the only kid too poor to buy one.
Lindsay said the show has been fun for the cast and crew. The musical sends a powerful theme, he said.
“Don’t be mean, and don’t be a greedy little kid.”
Press Release, Orleans County Department of Social Services
ALBION – The Orleans County Department of Social Services Fraud Unit is staffed by two investigators who review circumstances on both active and pending cases for applicants/recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Day Care, Emergency Assistance and Cash Assistance.
Referrals to the Fraud Unit initiate from staff, hot line tips from the public, database matches with Department of Labor and Wage Reporting System, and other public and private agencies. Investigations are done on known or suspected violations of the law, related to fraudulent receipt of welfare funds.
A typical fraud investigation consists of interviewing applicants/recipients, unscheduled site visits to applicant/recipient residences, and by making direct contact with retailers, employers, landlords, and other individuals associated with the individual suspected of committing fraud. Some instances of fraud are appropriate for court prosecution resulting in criminal charges being lodged such as Filing a False Instrument (the Application for Benefits), Petit Larceny or Grand Larceny.
The success of fraud mitigation efforts is measured in two ways:
• Cost avoidance is the upfront savings realized when a case is prevented from opening due to detected irregularities in the application. Applications are referred to the Fraud Investigator by Examiners in our Temporary Assistance or Day Care unit when specific indicators are present such as inconsistencies in reported income/resources, household composition, or prior case history.
If the investigator confirms inaccurate information, or if the applicant fails to keep their investigative appointment, benefits will not be issued. New York State establishes the basic cost per case which, when multiplied by the number of cases not opened, results in the cost avoidance amount. In 2022 the cost avoidance for Orleans County was estimated to be $1,389,462.
• Recovery is the actual monetary amount the agency collects when overpayments are verified to have occurred. In 2022 the amount established to be recovered for SNAP and Cash Assistance overpayments was $52,692 and the amount adjudicated by the court for recovery was $46,121.
Recoveries established by the Court are repaid through the Probation Department and the remainder are paid to Orleans County Department of Social Services. It is important to note that most of the money recovered is returned to either the Federal or New York State government and not returned to the county coffers.
An additional outcome that can result from a Fraud substantiation is the Intentional Program Violation (IPV). If it can be established than an overpayment to an applicant/recipient was an intentional act, that applicant/recipient can be disqualified from receiving future benefits:
For Cash Assistance the disqualification period can be 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and 5 years.
For SNAP, the disqualification period can be 1 year, 2 years, and permanently for the third offense.
Disqualification periods are tied to the number of previous offenses.
If the IPV is the results from criminal charges, the Judge imposing the sentence can increase the length at their discretion.
During the height of the pandemic Orleans County cost avoidance and recovery figures decreased due to New York State relaxation of some eligibility criteria. As those restrictions have been gradually lifted, the number of investigations has increased.
For suspected cases of fraud call the Orleans County Fraud Hotline at 589-3110 or 589-3178.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2023 at 9:32 pm
Diana Baker will be new member of Medina Village Board
LYNDONVILLE/MEDINA – Village residents in Lyndonville and Medina elected trustees to their Village Boards, including a new member in Medina.
Diana Baker was elected toa two-year term as trustee in Medina with 49 votes. Jess Marciano also was re-elected and received 53 votes. Baker will take the post currently held by Owen Toale, who didn’t seek re-election after 12 years on the board. (There was also 1 write-in vote each for Peter Huth and Shawn Ramsey.)
In Lyndonville Kimberly Kenyon received 19 votes and Terry Stinson was backed on 23 ballots. Both are currently on the board. Justin Edwards also received one write-in. In Lyndonville, the terms are for four years.
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 21 March 2023 at 1:21 pm
MEDINA – United Way of Orleans County has announced allocations for its 2023 fiscal year.
According to executive director Matt Holland, United Way of Orleans County will distribute $120,000 to 17 non-profit organizations throughout the county. Funds will help basically every segment of the population in Orleans County, including childcare services, after school programming, services for the aging, community kitchen support, services for developmentally disabled, infants and all ages of youth.
Community partners receiving funds this year are GLOW Arc’s Camp Rainbow and Meals on Wheels, Boy Scouts of America Iroquois Trail Council, Care Net Center of Greater Orleans, Koinonia Community Kitchen, Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, GCASA, GO ART!, Supportive Care of Orleans, Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern, Senior Center of Western Orleans, OCALS, Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension, Orleans County YMCA, P’Raising Kids Child Care Center, Project Stork and VIA WNY 211.
“This year’s allocations cover a wide range of programming that will be of great benefit to the community,” Holland said. “We would like to give special thanks to all who give to the United Way of Orleans County’s fundraising campaign. Your donations make this process happen.”
Through the allocations process, organizations submit proposals and requests for funding for certain projects. The United Way’s allocation committee works diligently to review proposals and provide funding, Holland said. This year, every request received funding.
“These allocations are essential to ensure the viability of the wide variety of services provided by these organizations,” said Jim Punch, United Way’s board president. “The United Way of Orleans County fulfills its responsibility to provide funds year after year, no matter what financial and economic conditions prevail in the area we serve. We are extremely thankful to the people of Orleans County who donate and sacrifice to help those less fortunate. You make this a better place to live for all. I am very proud to be a part of our United Way and a member of this community.”
Individual donations to support United Way of Orleans County can be made online at OrleansUnitedWay.org. Contributions can also be mailed to P.O. Box 188, Medina.
In addition to soliciting donations, United Way of Orleans County is actively involved in fundraising, including the annual golf tournament scheduled this year on June 2 at Shelridge Country Club, and other special events. More information on these events will be announced in coming weeks.
HAMLIN – Tops Friendly Markets is proud to celebrate the grand reopening of its 1800 Lake Rd. location. This store is centrally located in the heart of Hamlin near town parks and camp sites, Hamlin Beach State Park and of course, Lake Ontario.
This renovation marks the 31st location recently updated with a new look and a renewed focus on fresh departments.
Tops will cut the ribbon on this multi-million-dollar renovation project at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 28. This store with over 47,000 square feet will offer new, enhanced services, an expanded assortment of products, and an enlarged fresh perimeter with new updated décor
This store has been refreshed from top to bottom for a new and contemporary experience which includes new exterior paint with refreshed awnings, landscaping, energy efficient equipment and LED lighting both inside and out, Flashfoods, fuel station, solar powered efficiencies, expanded state-of-the-art self-check outs, renovated restrooms and bottle redemption room, and new interior décor.
Store Manager, Bobby Giancursio, said he and his team are working hard every day to make life easier for their shoppers by focusing on affordable, easy-to-prepare meal options as well as providing some new additions.
“When it comes to freshness, convenience and variety, you’ll find everything here at your newly remodeled Hamlin store,” he said. “With inspiring products including a wider selection of domestic and imported cheeses, healthy hydration selection, and custom cut meats by real butchers, guests are sure to enjoy all we have to offer.”
He invites the community to visit during the grand reopening celebration and even have the chance to win some great prizes like $1,000 in Tops gift cards for food and fuel, a family four pack to Six Flags Darian Lake, or a Flex Pack to a Rochester Red Wings game.
Tops partners with over 500 local produce and dairy farmers including several neighbors right in in our backyard like Partyka Farms.
As a long-time member of the community, it is our commitment to keep our neighborhoods strong. The Hamlin Tops store will be making $1,000 donations to each of the following local groups as a thank you for their support of the community: Brockport Central School, Hamlin Ambulance, Hamlin Fire Department, Life Solutions of Hamlin Food Pantry, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and VFW Post 6703.
By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 21 March 2023 at 12:22 pm
MEDINA – Marc Shurtz, CEO of Orleans Community Health, has responded to news of Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport closing its doors June 17.
“I think we were all equally surprised when we saw the troubling report that the Lockport community would be faced with a gap from the period when Eastern Niagara Hospital closes and the future center opens,” Shurtz said. “As a Lockport resident myself, I understand the emotions the community is currently going through. I know the team I work with at Orleans Community Health is always ready to help those in need. This time is no different.”
Shurtz said his team has been preparing for an increase of potential patients coming from Niagara County, something that has already been occurring for many of their services.
“When Eastern Niagara Hospital closes, Medina Memorial Hospital will be the closest hospital for many in the Lockport community,” Shurtz said. “We’ll do everything we can to make sure we’re continuing to provide the best possible care.”
He said they will continue to explore ways they can help the greater Lockport community.
A new Catholic Health care campus being built on South Transit Road is scheduled to open in the fall and will be called Lockport Memorial Hospital.
BATAVIA – Attention community members! Genesee Community College has recently unveiled a draft of its 2023-2028 Strategic Plan, “Connect | Include | Evolve”, which aims to guide the college in meeting the needs of the local, regional and global community for the next five years.
This comprehensive plan is made up of strategic priorities and core objectives that will serve as a guide to achieving key performance indicators. With an emphasis on helping students attain their educational goals, the plan was developed based on feedback received from six separate college forums, where around 150 individuals participated including community members, faculty, staff, students and administration.
These forums produced ideas based on critical data relating to current remediation rates, changing GLOW region demographics, completion rates, funding rates and enrollment trends.
Over the next five years, GCC plans to use this Strategic Plan as a dynamic document to facilitate the development and alignment of annual plans of achievement for each division within the college. This will bring GCC closer to achieving its mission.
As GCC continues to build on its successes and strives to create new collaborative partnerships, innovative academic programs, and foster an inclusive culture that promotes academic excellence, continuous improvement, and professional development, community input is essential.
Therefore, the college invites community members to provide their feedback on the draft plan. Click here for more information.
By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2023 at 8:33 am
Gas prices in New York State from an average of 2 cents from March 13 to March 20, with the average price for regular unleaded at $3.44, AAA reported on Monday. A year ago, the NYS average was $4.37.
The average price nationally was down 3 cents to $3.44 on Monday.
Here are the average prices today for regular unleaded among Western New York counties:
AAA issued this statement on Monday about gas prices:
“Global oil prices plunged into the low to mid $60 per barrel range last week, a level not seen since August 2021. Given that the cost of oil accounts for 55% of what we pay for gas, lower oil prices should bring pump prices down.
“However, gas stations paid for the fuel that is in their underground tanks weeks ago, when oil was nearly $15 more a barrel. So it will take time for significant savings to be reflected at the pump assuming that oil prices don’t rise again. This morning, oil prices range from $65 to $70 per barrel, down from $77 to $83 last week.”
“Diesel prices continue to fall. The national average price for a gallon of diesel is $4.29, down 5 cents from a week ago. Here in New York, the current average for diesel is $4.92, down 4 cents from last week.”
By Kim Pritt, Contributor Posted 21 March 2023 at 8:00 am
In the Hall of Fame room, you’ll find plaques of all the greats inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame over the years. This is the very first set of inductees in 1936: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson, and Walter Johnson.
Let’s go on an adventure together…. to Cooperstown!
The other night I was flipping channels looking for something to watch on TV when I found “A League of Their Own” just starting. I loved that movie and – just guessing here – I’ve likely seen it close to a million times. (only a slight exaggeration) But, I hadn’t watched it in a long time, so I settled in to watch. It didn’t disappoint…..I laughed and cried and was on the edge of my seat watching the final World Series game like I had no idea what the outcome was going to be. And, then, it came to the last scene where they all gathered later in life at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and I was right there….remembering my little trip to Cooperstown in the fall of 2013. I decided right then that I would take you all back there with me.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame had been on my bucket list for years. In September of 2013, I finally decided to take an overnight trip to see it. The plan was to get an early start, drive down via Route 20 with some quick photo stops along the way, arrive in Cooperstown around noon to explore and see the Hall Of Fame, do a bit more exploring the next morning, and head back home that afternoon. Well…I love being retired and having the flexibility to change plans on the fly! My estimated 5-6 hour drive (with photo stops) turned into 10 hours because of all the amazing things I took the time to stop and see along the way. I had a reservation at a lovely Bed and Breakfast in downtown Cooperstown that was happy to accommodate me for a second night so I could do everything I wanted to do and not be rushed. So, my overnighter turned into a two night, three day adventure that I’ll never forget.
One of the exhibits is “The Baseball Experience” – a short film that takes you right into the heart of baseball, tugs at your heart strings, and ends with the entire audience singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”…don’t miss it!
Taking the scenic route is the best way to go. The thruway would have gotten me there quicker, but I would have missed so much long the way. Some of my stops along the way included: breakfast in Canandaigua, the Montezuma Winery, a couple hours exploring Seneca Falls and the history of Women’s Rights, Skaneateles, Cazenovia Lake, and Chittenango Falls.
Just about 10 hours and lots of memories later, I arrived in Cooperstown in time to check into my Bed & Breakfast and walk downtown for some dinner. I loved Cooperstown. It is an awesome small town on Otsego Lake with all the small town charm and appeal. Of course, it takes full advantage of the Baseball Hall of Fame with lots of baseball themed shops, restaurants, and attractions, but there is so much to love for everyone – regardless of their interest in baseball.
After I explored a little and had some dinner, I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It was getting late, so I wasn’t sure how much I could see, but I discovered that the purchase of a ticket that late in the day also included access the next day. I spent about an hour and a half that first evening and barely made it through the first floor. The next morning, I returned and spent another three hours going through the second and third floor and revisiting parts of the first floor. It was really amazing! The hall of plaques of those inducted into the Hall of Fame was quite an experience. There were several people wandering through looking at the plaques, but no one spoke more than a whisper – it was a respectful and emotional room. I thoroughly enjoyed all the time I spent there. If you’re going to visit the HoF, you should definitely allow at least 3-4 hours to see it all – more to really do it justice.
Other places I enjoyed visiting while in Cooperstown included Doubleday Field – the birthplace of baseball, Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, Otsego Lake – I was happy to see a lighthouse, and just spending time wandering around downtown. It was September, so the leaves were turning and the town is so quaint, it just made for such a lovely time. I also visited the Fenimore Art Museum and the Farmer’s Museum – both very interesting – plan for at least a couple hours or more for each.
So, if you’re looking for a 2-3 or so day get away, consider Cooperstown – take the scenic route – you won’t regret it! Check out these blog posts that provide much more info and photos about my Cooperstown adventure:
Legislation named in honor of man who died working in 93 heat on Geneseo bridge in 2020
Press Release, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-24) introduced the Timothy J. Barber Act on Monday, which would require the Department of Labor to study the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s spending on technical support and compliance assistance for heat-related illnesses and recommend ways to increase its effectiveness.
Technical support and compliance assistance help small businesses comply with OSHA’s regulations and defray the costs of complying with these regulations.
Tragically, Tim Barber, 35, passed away on July 7, 2020, at a work site on the Route 63 Bridge over the Genesee River in Geneseo. It was Tim’s second day on the job when the temperature hit 93 degrees with a heat index of 95 degrees, and he died from hyperthermia. After a nine-month investigation, OSHA determined that Tim’s employer “failed to train him and implement other safeguards to protect him and other employees against extreme heat hazards.”
“Heat-related illnesses like hyperthermia are easily preventable,” Tenney said. “We must work with companies to help them protect their employees from hyperthermia. OSHA’s compliance assistance and technical support should continue to help our small businesses protect workers without increasing costs.
“By introducing this bill, we remember and celebrate the life of Tim Barber while working to make OSHA’s spending more effective. Additionally, as we begin to enter warmer months, I encourage all of my constituents, especially those who work outdoors, to be careful in the heat, drink water, and take rest breaks when necessary. Together, we can honor Tim’s life and prevent others from needlessly suffering from hyperthermia.”
“We would like to thank Congresswoman Tenney for her help joining with us to bring awareness to the dangers of heat illness. We hope the results from this legislation bring recommendations that will prevent another loss of life due to hyperthermia,” said Jim and Kathy Barber.
Provided photo: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer was in Macedon in Wayne County today to highlight the dangers of Xylazine, which caused 59 fatal overdoses in Monroe County last year, and is suspected in 10 recent deaths in Wayne County. Schumer is joined by Wayne County Sheriff Rob Milby and other officials during a news conference this afternoon at Lakeview Community Services’ Woodland Commons in Macedon.
Press Release, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer
MACEDON – Standing with local law enforcement and health leaders, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today revealed his three-pronged plan to combat the horrific rise in Xylazine, a deadly, skin-rotting zombie drug, also known as ‘Tranq,’ that is fueling a new wave of overdoses and deaths heading towards Rochester and spreading across the Finger Lakes.
“Upstate New York is seeing a dramatic rise in Xylazine, a horrific skin rotting zombie drug, plaguing our streets, overwhelming law enforcement and causing serious concern because it is Narcan resistant, putting lives at greater risk,” Schumer said.
The senator explained that Upstate communities cannot fight the scourge of this dangerous drug on streets alone and is calling for a major boost in federal support to combat drug trafficking and this public health crisis.
First, Schumer said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to accelerate its operations to track down illicit sources of Xylazine that are plaguing Northeast, and Upstate New York in particular, to cut off supply that is flooding New York streets.
Second, the senator detailed his new push to supercharge the federal COPS Hiring Program with nearly $537 million in new funds to help stop drug trafficking in its tracks.
Third, Schumer said we need an all-of-the-above approach to treat the overdose crisis, and said he is calling for new boosts to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) appropriations, including grants that can be used to fund testing infrastructure for Xylazine.
“The feds need to accelerate their efforts to crack down on this drug illegally being shipped from overseas and unlawfully making its way onto the streets of Rochester, Wayne County, and communities across New York,” Schumer said. “In far too many communities, including the Finger Lakes, the pandemic has made opioid addiction and its health impacts worse, and Xylazine could make this growing problem even more deadly which is why we need the feds to step up now.”
Schumer explained that although Xylazine is a sedative most commonly used as an animal tranquilizer by veterinarians, the deadly drug is now finding its way onto Upstate streets through illicit sources.
He said that these dangerous drug deals are contaminating opioids like fentanyl, heroine, and cocaine with Xylazine, which has the ability to compound the effects of opioids and has led to countless overdoses and deaths in Upstate NY. This dangerous drug is right on the doorstep of the Finger Lakes and has already been identified in several local communities.
Xylazine has been a contributing factor in fatal overdoses across Monroe County for years, with over 180 deaths tied to the lethal drug since 2019. Out of 22 deaths that were directly attributed to drug overdoses in nearby Wayne County last year, 3 deaths were directly tied to usage of Xylazine in conjunction with other opiates and Xylazine is suspected in up to 10 fatal overdoses now under investigation in Wayne County. This deadly drug, which is already at large in Central NY and responsible for over 40 overdoses this month alone.
“Law enforcement working together in tandem with our partners in medicine, prevention, and recovery,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter. “Xylazine powder can be purchased for prices ranging from $6-$20 per kilo. At a price that low, drug trafficking organizations and dealers use this dangerous drug to reduce the amount of fentanyl or heroin used in a mixture, prolonging the effects of the drugs, while increasing profits. As those dealing this poison change their tactics, so must we in our response to this crisis which is why I appreciate the Senator’s push. Lives depend on it.”