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Buffalo News, Buffalo Weather | WIVB-TV News 4 Buffalo, NY | WIVB.com
Last updated: Thu, 29 Jun 2017 04:45:11 GMT

  DMV approves Lyft and Uber in upstate New York Wed, 28 Jun 2017 18:35:16 +0000
On Wednesday afternoon, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced their approval for Lyft and Uber to start offering r…

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Wednesday afternoon, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced their approval for Lyft and Uber to start offering ride sharing services in upstate New York.

The services will be allowed starting Thursday.

“New Yorkers have long demanded statewide ride sharing services and I’m pleased that these services will now be available in time for the July 4th weekend,” DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said. “Ride sharing will enhance safety on our roads, open new economic opportunities for New York’s small businesses, and enable thousands of New Yorkers to earn extra income.  This is an exciting chapter in the history of New York transportation and another example of how government and industry are working together to move the Empire State forward.”

The DMV says that ride fare or estimated fare must be provided on ride sharing apps before a customer’s ride begins.

The app also must display a photo of the driver, as well as the vehicles’ license plate number, make, model and color.

The vehicle itself must display a prominent emblem on the passenger side.

Drivers must be at least 19 years old and they have to pass a criminal background check before transporting people.

COMPANIES | Companies seeking to become authorized can click/tap here for an application.

QUESTIONS | Find more ridesharing information here.

COMPLAINTS | See how to issue complaints here.

  Police do not think Kirk Jones’ Niagara Falls plunge was a suicide Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:30:46 +0000
A large bubble was found by Goat Island back in April. Police were initially not sure what it was.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — New York State Park Police do not think that Kirk Jones’ recent death in Niagara Falls was a suicide.

Jones was known for making national headlines back in 2003 when he plunged over Niagara Falls without any protection, only wearing his clothes.

He was the first person to survive doing this.

Initially, Jones’ family told media outlets that going over the falls in 2003 was a stunt, but Jones later claimed he was trying to commit suicide.

Jones most recently lived in Florida, and according to an investigation, he was in the area of Niagara Falls on April 19.

On June 2, his body was recovered from Lake Ontario near Youngstown by the United States Coast Guard.

On Wednesday, Park Police provided more information to News 4 regarding Jones’ death.

A large bubble, pictured below, was found by Goat Island back in April. Police were initially not sure what it was.

(Photo courtesy of New York State Park Police)

By they time they went to retrieve it, the bubble had already gone over the falls.

Park Police think Jones was trying to go over the falls again, but this time, inside the bubble. They also think he planned to take a boa constrictor with him in the bubble.

The snake was not found, but an empty cage was.

Further evidence making police think this was not a suicide was that it appears Jones tried to record the stunt.

A device recorded more than two and a half minutes of the day Jones went over the falls.

It is unclear what kept Jones and the bubble apart.

  Former West Seneca councilman admits to stealing $12,500 Wed, 28 Jun 2017 16:26:06 +0000
The Erie County District Attorney's office says that between February 2014 and April 2015, Hicks stole money while serving as treasurer of t…

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former Town of West Seneca councilman has admitted to Grand Larceny and Falsifying Business Records.

In 2000, Craig Hicks, 60, was appointed to fill out a term as a councilman following another councilman’s passing. He continued serving until 2007.

The Erie County District Attorney’s office says that between February 2014 and April 2015, Hicks stole money while serving as treasurer of the Carriager’s Social Club in West Seneca.

He admitted to taking $12,500 from the club’s operating account and cash fundraisers.

Hicks later made full restitution.

When sentenced on Sept. 11, Hicks could spend up to four years in jail.

  Turning windy with storms developing Thursday Sun, 21 May 2017 13:06:25 +0000
Chances for rain, and possibly potent thunderstorms return with warmth and humidity to end the week.

…Marginal risk of severe thunderstorms across all of our region Thursday…

Much of the overnight activity should be limited to a few widespread showers. We may still see some limited sun early Thursday before a few spotty showers, and thunderstorms start to develop toward midday into the afternoon.  Some of these storms could pack a punch for the afternoon and evening.  While coverage will be a bit more likely just to the south ans east of Buffalo, there will still remain a chance for a storm to get into the city by the evening hours, so keep an eye to the sky. 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. Southwest winds even outside of storms may gust upwards of 40-45 mph by later Thursday afternoon across the Niagara Frontier including the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro areas.

A warm front crosses our region Thursday night bringing increasingly warm and humid weather to finish the week. Lingering rain showers and a few thunderstorms last into Friday. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will kick off the weekend on a warm and humid Saturday, but we should finish it up with partial sunshine and drier weather on Sunday with just a few spotty showers possible. High pressure builds in bringing increasing sunshine to start next week.  Three day rainfall totals from today through Saturday will likely top out around 1″ for most of WNY with a chance for upwards of 2″ locally.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly to Partly Clear this Evening, Intervals of Clouds with a slight chance of showers overnight, Low: 52 inland valleys, 61 city, Wind: SSW 5-10.

THURSDAY: Windy, Warm and becoming More Humid, Some Limited Morning Sun, a few Spotty Showers and Thunderstorms develop in the afternoon, Marginal risk of severe thunderstorms, High: 77-81, Wind: SW 15-25 G40, Low: 68.

FRIDAY: Humid, Mostly Cloudy, Showers and a few Thunderstorms, High: 82, Low: 70.

SATURDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Scattered Rain Showers and a few Thunderstorms, High: 82, Low: 65.

SUNDAY: Partly Sunny, Slight chance of a shower, High: 78, Low: 61.

MONDAY: Partly Sunny, High: 79, Low: 60.

TUESDAY (INDEPENDENCE DAY): Partly Cloudy, Chance of Thundershower, High: 78, Low: 62.

WEDNESDAY: Partly Sunny, High: 79.

Download the 4 Warn Weather App

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  UPDATES: Closing arguments in Paladino hearing Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:30:00 +0000
News 4's Dave Greber is in Albany for the fifth day of the hearing on a petition to get Carl Paladino kicked off of Buffalo's school board.

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — News 4’s Dave Greber is in Albany for the fifth day of the hearing on a petition to get Carl Paladino kicked off of Buffalo’s school board.

See updates on the day below:

Follow @DaveGreber4 on Twitter for updates.

  Sheriff: Drunk driver attacks deputy during traffic stop Wed, 28 Jun 2017 14:36:05 +0000
After pulling him over, the deputy claimed to immediately smell alcohol.

COLLINS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Erie County Sheriff’s office says that a drunk driver attacked a deputy during a Tuesday night traffic stop.

A deputy pulled Collins resident Todd Edwards, 34, over on Taylor Hollow Rd. shortly before Midnight.

After pulling him over, the deputy claimed to immediately smell alcohol.

Edwards was ordered to get out of the vehicle and take sobriety tests.

The deputy said the Edwards failed them and started shouting obscenities at the officer.

The deputy then told Edwards he was under arrest and asked him to put his hands behind his back.

After this, the Sheriff’s office says Edwards attacked the deputy, but the officer was able to secure him on the ground following a struggle.

With help from New York State Police and a Seneca Nation Marshal, Edwards was taken to the North Collins substation, where he refused to take a breath test.

He faces multiple charges including DWI, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.

Edwards was committed to the Erie County Holding Center before his arraignment.

  New details on Clarence woman accused of hosting underage drinking party Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:54:35 +0000
Tracy Cicero, accused of hosting approximately 20 juveniles at her home while they consumed alcohol, is also a daycare provider.

CLARENCE, N.Y. (WIVB) – A 51-year-old Clarence woman accused of hosting approximately 20 juveniles at her home while they allegedly consumed alcohol is also a daycare provider, according to state records.

Tracy Cicero is listed as the on-site provider for Tracy’s Tots on Palmdale Drive in Williamsville.

She was arrested by Erie County Sheriff’s deputies Saturday night at her Coyote Court home.

Cicero is charged with Public Nuisance 2nd, a class B misdemeanor. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the house for reports of an underage drinking party and a female passed out at the residence.

A deputy arrived just before 10 p.m. and reported several juveniles in the basement, along with open beer cans and alcohol.

According to the deputy, parents attempted to get a hold of Cicero throughout the night but were unable to.

Cicero was found hiding in the home, according to investigators.

The juveniles were released to their parents.

The Office of Child and Family Services, which oversees daycare providers in the New York state, told News 4 they are aware of Cicero’s charges and are currently investigating.

According to records from the Amherst Town Court, Cicero currently has an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) for a stalking charge. Generally speaking, ACD’s will wipe out a charge as long as the defendant remains out of trouble for a certain period of time.

The ACD is set to expire March 2018 according to court data. Cicero’s new charge in the Town of Clarence could impact the standing of that ACD.

Cicero is expected back in Clarence Town Court to face her Public Nuisance charge July 18.

News 4 has spoken to Cicero’s attorney, Sunil Bakshi.

“We believe that statement does not accurately depict what happened that night and vehemently deny those allegations,” he said regarding the press release sent to News 4 by the Erie County Sheriff’s office, outlining the allegations against Cicero.

  Tips on how to hail an Uber or Lyft through the app Thu, 29 Jun 2017 03:21:14 +0000
When the clock strikes 12:01 am on Thursday, Uber and Lyft drivers will be allowed to hit the roads in western New York.

BUFFALO,N.Y. (WIVB) — When the clock strikes 12:01 am on Thursday, Uber and Lyft drivers will be allowed to hit the roads in western New York.

Uber and Llyft hired more than a thousand drivers each which gave a boost to the local economy.

“Anything that we can do to produce more jobs, to produce more employment opportunities and circulate more dollars into our economy, benefits the economic development and the economy of Buffalo,” said Mayor Byron Brown, City of Buffalo.

For many western New Yorkers, it will be their first time taking an Uber or Lyft.

After downloading either app the first thing a rider should do is enter their credit card information. This will be how each ride is paid for.

When passengers are ready to get picked up, you pick where you want to go in the app. The estimated fare will be provided before the ride begins.

Riders get matched with a driver in minutes and the app shows you how close the driver is to you.

The apps will also show details about the driver and vehicle including the make, model, color, license plate and the photo of the driver.

Passengers will get an update when the driver is close to the selected location.

When the ride ends, there’s no need to get out a wallet since the credit card on file will already be charged.

Those who live in WNY who have been hired by Uber or Lyft say they’re excited for ride sharing to begin on Thursday.

“In western New York it’s going to be huge because we got sports teams all around, bars don’t close until four, it’s going to help a lot of people traveling around,” said Tony Calarese, new Uber driver from Blasdell.

“I’m excited, I can’t wait for Thursday and get the ball rolling and see what happens,” said Jerry Pomplun, new Uber driver from Tonawanda.

Currently, Uber is testing out tipping drivers in three cities and by the end of July all Uber drivers could expect tips.

Lyft will be offering $5 off of the first ride for new passengers when ride sharing officially kicks off in upstate New York.

  “Big Brother” contestant from Grand Island still in the running tonight Thu, 29 Jun 2017 02:48:00 +0000
Mark Jansen is competing for $500,000 prize.

GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Grand Island native on this season of “Big Brother” is still in the running as of Wednesday night.

Mark Jansen, a personal trainer from Grand Island, is one of the season 19 house guests on the reality TV show.

Jansen is competing for the $500,000 top prize.

The two-night premiere continues tomorrow night.

  Queen City Landing fined $50,000 by DEC Thu, 29 Jun 2017 02:43:18 +0000
DEC began investigation of site following Nov. 2016 incident where concrete wall fell into Lake Erie.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The NYS DEC has fined the developers of the Queen City Landing project $50,000 after a piece of a concrete wall from the former Freezer Queen building fell into Lake Erie in Nov. 2016.

According to Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, the DEC began investigations of the Outer Harbor site after the Nov. 2016 incident, and found several additional violations of Environmental Conservation Law.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper found through a Freedom of Information request that the DEC had issued Queen City Landing a notice of violation and a consent order, which Queen City Landing  acknowledged May 2. The organization also agreed to pay the fine.

Queen City Landing issued a statement Wednesday morning, stating that they have been cooperating with the state DEC to examine all of the issues.

“Queen City Landing’s ownership had no involvement in the matters raised by the DEC, and we have addressed the issue, both internally and with the DEC,” the statement added.

“We appreciate the thorough and professional matter in which the DEC worked with our team. We look forward to continuing and completing our remediation activities at the site, in full compliance with the standards of the DEC’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, which is an essential component to this once-in-a-lifetime development opportunity along the Outer Harbor.”