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BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — After her twin two-year-olds died in a Batavia house fire last May, a mother was sentenced.
Heather Ace will spend one year in jail after pleading guilty to endangering the welfare of a child.
Ace, who was the mother of Michael and Micah Gard, left the boys alone for more than an hour to buy marijuana and visit a friend.
She received two calls and a text from her mother around 10 p.m. that night, telling her that her home was on fire.
Although she was previously charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, Ace pleaded guilty to just one count of the crime.
Prosecutors say that if she would have pleaded guilty to two counts, she would have served time concurrently for both of them.
During the sentencing, the judge said he had presided over many child endangerment cases, but that this was the most tragic. He said if Ace would have arranged for child care, the situation would have had a different outcome.
Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini said Ace received jail time because she told lies and kept changing her story.
Officials in Genesee County said that Ace was in no way suspected of starting the fire. Even so, officials hope her jail sentence will be a deterrent for her and others in the community.
Ace’s attorney said she is not reprehensible for what happened, and suffered tremendously because of it.
After the incident, Ace said she did not want to live, but a deputy told her that she has something to live for. Ace has another son.
It is not clear how old the other son is.
Ace has 30 days to appeal her sentence, and was ordered to pay a $255 surcharge in court.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The National Weather Service issued a Beach Hazards Statement on Monday morning.
The statement, which is in effect until 8 p.m., is for beaches in Erie and Chautauqua counties.
A high swim risk prompted the statement. Life threatening currents and waves are expected.
The National Weather Service says people should stay out of the water and away from piers and break walls.
FORECAST | See our complete 4Warn Forecast here.
In the wake of a cool frontal passage this morning, cooler air will filter into the region along with a mix of clouds and sun. A freshening southwest breeze off the eastern end of Lake Erie will most likely clear more clouds away from the metro and areas northeastward, so it could become quite sunny. The southwest wind may gust to 35 mph. The cooler air filtering in behind the front, will limit the amount of warming today. Pretty nice weather returns for the overnight into Tuesday. Some fog is possible in the interior overnight where the wind drops to nearly calm.
The next approaching storm will start to impact the region Wednesday with increasing clouds during the day, though most of the rain should hold off until evening. Rain showers, and a few thunderstorms will be likely Wednesday night. Though presently not highlighted by the Storm Prediction Center, there is a chance of a few more potent thunderstorms across parts of our broadcast area at night. Unfortunately, some of those rain showers will linger into Thursday. On and off showers will be most likely during Thursday afternoon.
Considerable cloudiness continues Friday with just a chance of a shower, and even though those clouds will be rather persistent into Saturday, we should catch a break from the rain. Another widespread storm is expected to result in a rainy Sunday, with some of those showers lingering into Memorial Day as well.
MONDAY AFTERNOON: Cool and Becoming Very Breezy, Cloud and Sun Mix, but even sunnier around the metro and areas northeastward. High: 57-63, 68 northern Pennsylvania, Wind: SW 10-20 gusts to 30
MONDAY NIGHT; Mostly to Partly Clear, Low: 53-58, Wind: SW 10-20/5-12
TUESDAY: Partly Sunny, Milder, High: 69-73, Wind: S/SW 8-15, Low: 57
WEDNESDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Showers approach toward evening, High: 75, Low: 59
THURSDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Few On and Off Showers, especially during the afternoon, High: 65, Low: 55
FRIDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Chance of a Shower, High: 64, Low: 54
SATURDAY: Mostly Cloudy, High: 70, Low: 58
SUNDAY: Cloudy and Rainy, High: 70, Low: 59
MONDAY (MEMORIAL DAY): Mostly Cloudy, Scattered Rain Showers, High: 65, Low: 55
TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – The criminal case against a town of Tonawanda liquor store owner accused of sexually abusing a young employee took another step forward Monday morning.
Nasr Mohamed went in front of a judge in Tonawanda Town Court with his attorneys for a brief appearance.
Mohamed, who owns the Sheridan Liquor Store and runs the Sheridan Market in the same building, is charged with sexual abuse, unlawfully dealing with a child and prohibited sale of alcoholic beverages, after an alleged incident in early April.
Police say Mohamed pressured an 18 year old employee to take shots before closing time on her first day on the job at his store. The employee then went to a back room to get sick after drinking, and, according to police, Mohamed followed her and sexually assaulted her.
Similar allegations have been made by other employees in the past.
Mohamed was arrested in May. The State Liquor Authority suspended the liquor licenses for both of his operations on May 18. The SLA charged the Sheridan Liquor Store with seven violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control law; the Sheridan Market was charged with four violations.
The decision about whether to permanently revoke the licenses or reinstate them will be made by the SLA independently of what happens with the criminal case.
Mohamed remains out of police custody on his own recognizance pending his next court appearance, June 26 at 9 a.m.
ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — The flooding along Lake Ontario’s shore has taken a toll on roads and other infrastructure in New York.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that $10 million is available for repairs in communities along the lake.
The announcement comes after a State of Emergency was declared in multiple counties, including Niagara and Orleans, earlier this month.
“As Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River continue to slowly rise, we must do everything in our power to ease the financial and personal toll on our families and communities, while fortifying our infrastructure to ensure its continued viability,” Cuomo said. “With this available funding, we are ramping up our multi-agency response efforts to help these communities and provide the assistance that they need now.”
The governor’s office says the state funding will help repair roads, sidewalks, culverts, sewer infrastructure and public water infrastructure.
On Tuesday, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., the New York State Emergency Response Mobile Command Centers will be in Niagara and Orleans counties.
In Niagara County, a command center will be at the Olcott Fire Company at 1691 Lockport-Olcott Rd. Orleans County residents interested in getting help can go to the County Marine Park on Point Breeze Rd. in the Town of Kent.
“Our communities on Lake Ontario are working hard to fight off flood damage to roads, floodwalls and the public water infrastructure in several locations along the lakefront spanning from Jefferson County to Niagara,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Governor Cuomo has committed $10 million in state funding to help make needed infrastructure repairs in these communities, and we will continue our ongoing support in manpower, sandbagging and assistance at our Mobile Command Center.”
190,000 sandbags have been distributed in Orleans and Niagara counties.
Anyone who suspects price gouging related to help services can call the Lake Ontario Flood Assistance Hotline at (866) 244-3839.