ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As 2019 comes to a close, we take a look back at some of the top local stories in the year that was.

Whether it was an uplifting story like young men rescuing their neighbors from a fire, a tragic story like the grease trap accident on University Avenue, or just flat out weird stories like a Rochester Airport worker handing a note that said “you ugly” to a traveler — there was a lot that happened locally this year.

Here’s a look back at some of those moments in chronological order:

January 7 — Rochester meteorologist Jeremy Kappell’s firing makes national news

Local meteorologist Jeremy Kappell stepped into the national spotlight in early 2019. Kappell, who at the time was WHEC’s chief meteorologist, was fired after being accused of using a racial-slur on air. Kappell maintains it was an honest mistake, saying he flubbed the words of Martin Luther King Jr., but the station fired him anyways.

Even NBC’s Al Roker spoke out about Kappell’s firing, saying that he shouldn’t have lost his job.

Since then, Kappell has filed lawsuits against his former station, as well as Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.

January 21 — Taughannock Falls freezes over

Taughannock Falls in Trumansburg, New York is always a beautiful sight to behold, but when it was minus 24 degrees with wind chill, it was even more incredible.

It was a bitter cold stretch of weather to kick off 2019 in Rochester, a mass of Arctic air eased its way into our region, and with it came a deep freeze and a lot of school closures.

January 30 — 21-car pile up shuts down Thruway

Everyone says they know how to drive in winter, but when the snow really starts falling, the skills get put to the test. At the end of January of this year more than 20 vehicles were involved in a pile-up crash on I-90 near Batavia.

Miraculously, there were no fatalities or major injuries. A New York State Trooper was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, but given the scope of the crash, it could have been much worse.

February 6 — Rochester weather does Rochester weather things

We know Rochester weather can be brutal, and we also know it can change rather quickly — for better or worse. In the beginning of February of this year, we saw just how extreme those swings can be.

There was a 60+ degree swing in less than 72 hours. We went from being warmer than Los Angeles on a Monday, to below zero on a Wednesday.

February 22 — Councilman McFadden faces federal charges in RHA scheme

In one of the biggest local scandals of the year, it was on this day that now-former Rochester City Councilman was charged with wire fraud as part of an investigation into a scheme where federal investigators say he improperly received funds from the Rochester Housing Authority.

McFadden has since pleaded guilty to federal charges, and will have to pay a fine on top of a potential prison sentence.

March 5 — Leticia Astacio begins campaign for Rochester City Council

After being removed from the bench in late 2018, former Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio decided to give it another go at running for public office.

Astacio filed the necessary forms to get the ballot for City Council. She ran for the Democratic nomination for the Council’s northwest district, but she would ultimately lose the June primary race to current Councilman Jose Peo with 24.2% of the vote.

A couple weeks later, Astacio would be found not guilty on gun charges stemming from an alleged probation violation, but that wasn’t the end of the former judge’s legal troubles (keep scrolling …)

March 8 — Louise Slaughter inducted into National Women’s Hall of Fame

Less than a year after death, longtime Rochester Congresswoman Louise Slaughter was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Inductees are selected for their “invaluable contributions to American Society in the areas of the arts, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, philanthropy, and science.”

For more than 30 years and 16 Congressional terms, Slaughter displayed those value, serving with a sharp wit, unmatched charm, and an insatiable passion to improve the lives of everyone in Monroe County.

March 29 — New York state passes plastic bag ban

It might seem like a minor story or a distant memory, but back in March the New York State Legislature passed a bill that would ban single-use plastic bags, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo swiftly announced it was a bill he intended to sign — it caused quite the uproar.

Some folks applauded the environmentally friendly legislation while others bemoaned the inconvenience. The law is set to be implemented in March 2020, while also allowing local governments the option to impose a 5-cent fee on paper bags.

April 5 — Pay raise approval set to make Cuomo nation’s highest paid governor

Few political people are as polarizing as Gov. Cuomo, and that was never more apparent than in April of this year when lawmakers approved a pay raise that would make him the highest paid governor in the country.

The Democratic executive’s salary is set to increase from $179,000 to $250,000 by January 1, 2021. The last time the governor got a salary raise in New York was 1999.

April 9 — La’Ron Singletary named new Rochester Police Chief

In early April, Mayor Lovely Warren announced that La’Ron Singletary would become the new Rochester Police Chief. Singletary was chosen among 20 candidates who responded to a nationwide search.

Born and raised in Rochester, and with 19 years of law enforcement experience, Singletary said one of the biggest challenges of the job was bridging the gap between the community and his department. Having worked as deputy chief of community affairs, he was the logical choice to take on the task.

April 29 — Woodstock 50 canceled after financial backers pull out

The 50th anniversary of Woodstock Music and Arts Festival was supposed to be a legendary gathering in Watkins Glen, but instead, the event just saw one roadblock after another.

The first major blow came in late April when the festival’s financial partners announced they would be pulling their funding. After that Woodstock tried several fundraisers and relocation efforts, but they would ultimately fall short at every turn, and Woodstock 50 would never happen.

May 7 — RPD officer goes viral playing football with local kids

Protecting the community is a tall task, but that didn’t stop officer Colin Blind from lining up and playing football with some city kids in early May.

To protect and serve (and sometimes break some ankles on a post pattern).

May 20 — Golisano Children’s Hospital patient requests bacon, gets a ton of bacon

Jackson, a 10-year-old patient at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, found a creative way to land himself some bacon.

He put up a poster in his hospital window that simply said “send bacon.”

In response, community members who spotted the sign ended up sending him bacon, bacon jerky, and even bacon-theme Band-Aids.

May 27 — Dangerous situation brewing along Lake Ontario’s shoreline

Just two years removed from Lake Ontario’s highest water levels in recorded history, flooding was once again an issue along the shoreline.

Here was the scene in early May, an indication of things to come for another long summer for shoreline homeowners and businesses.

Water levels would once again break records for Lake Ontario this past summer. That trend led to New York state filing a lawsuit against the International Joint Commission.

May 28 — Former RPD officer Michael Sippel, convicted of assault

Michael Sippel, a now-former Rochester police officer, was sentenced to three years probation after being found guilty of assault in May.

Sippel was also sentenced to three years of an order of protection to Christopher Pate (victim of assault). Sippel was also ordered to pay a $250 court assessment penalty.

His probation is scheduled to last until September 16, 2022, but it can be terminated earlier if he abides to all conditions. His attorney said he will be appealing this decision.

June 5 — LGTBQ Pride Flag raised over State Capitol for 1st time

In early June, New York state made history when it raised the LGTBQ Pride Flag over the State Capitol for the first time.

(AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

The flag raising coincided with the opening of the LGBTQ Pride Month exhibit at the capitol, which celebrates the New York State LGBTQ community and recognizes the meaningful political, cultural and artistic impacts of LGBTQ New Yorkers.

June 25 — David Bellavia presented with Medal of Honor from President Trump

President Donald Trump awarded the nation’s highest military honor to Western New York native David Bellavia — an Iraq veteran who cleared an insurgent strong point and allowed members of his platoon to move to safety.

President Donald Trump awards the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Bellavia was leading a squad in support of Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah in November 2004. The White House says that after Bellavia helped his platoon escape fire, he entered a house and killed at least four insurgents who were firing rocket-propelled grenades.

He is the first living Iraq veteran to receive the Medal of Honor.

June 26 — Carousel dismantled at former Irondequoit Mall

While plans are in progress to redevelop the site, not much remains at the former Irondequoit Mall — now dubbed Skyview on the Ridge — but one of the last remaining relics of yesteryear was dismantled this summer.

The two-story carousel, which stood in the former mall’s food court, was taken apart and is being prepared and shipped to its new home in China. It was sold for more than $200,000.

July 8 — ‘Jenga Bridge’ takes Rochester by storm

A strange structure appeared under the bridge at Blossom Road and 590 over the summer, and its appearance inspired its name — “Jenga Bridge.”

It’s a technique known as “cribbing,” said NYS DOT Public Information Officer Jordan Guerrein, who added that the DOT put it there as a temporary support. The Jenga Bridge portion is now long gone, but it’s burned into our collective memories forever.

July 15 — Grease trap tragedy, 3-year-old dies in heartbreaking accident

Perhaps the most tragic event in Rochester of 2019. In the middle of July, 3-year-old Bryce Raynor died after falling into a grease trap behind the Tim Hortons on University Avenue.

Raynor’s death was not in vain — local, state, and even federal lawmakers have all proposed legislation since Bryce’s tragic passing to ensure these kind of accidents never happen again.

July 24 — 1st ever female captain for the Maid of the Mist

The Maid of the Mist has been providing breathtaking views of Niagara Falls since 1846, but never before have they had a female captain — until this year.

Our John Kucko got to chat with the history-making Henrietta native Capt. Kaitlynn McHenry, with a front row seat on one of the most famous boats in the world to boot.

July 30 — Josh Allen converts young Dolphins fan into Bills fan at training camp

On a sweltering summer day Bills Training Camp — Josh Allen saw Mason Schram of Brockport wearing a Dolphins jersey and said “Oh, that can’t happen.”

The Bills QB gave Mason one of his jerseys, and the hat he was wearing, signed both of them — and then took care of the Miami apparel.

July 31 — Tour the $10 million home in Penfield on Old Quarry Lane

A $10 million home just ten minutes from downtown Rochester on Old Quarry Road in Penfield seems like a punchline to a non-existent joke, but anyone who visits the 180-acre property sees why it’s no laughing matter.

The home itself is part barn, part cathedral, complete with a chef’s kitchen, a pool table, internet, a mostly-in-tune piano and a breathtaking view. Built on the site of the old sand quarry, the property feels like its own lost valley — a private paradise to take in nature.

The house remained on the market throughout the summer and fall before it was ultimately gifted to RIT. Soon enough it will be the home of the Tait Preserve of RIT and Leenhouts Lodge, and will offer research opportunities in ecology, agriculture, sustainability and other fields.

August 2 — Touring the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Rochester

Frank Lloyd Wright is America’s most famous and lauded architect. Born in 1867, his work still feels contemporary, fresh, and groundbreaking. That’s why when News 8 got the chance to tour Rochester’s “The Boynton House” we had to do it.

It’s a private residence, so a virtual tour will have to suffice.

August 7 — Ridge Donut Cafe, Rubino’s team up for Italian cookie donut

The Taste of Ridge Rainbow Layer Donut — a collaboration between Irondequoit businesses — was a summer sensation (and it made a return in the fall too). The donut drew huge lines at Ridge Donut Cafe for its limited release, but all agreed line-lingering was worth the wait.

Like the classic Italian cookie it’s inspired by, it tastes like almond with a little bit of vanilla, topped with chocolate frosting, chocolate sprinkles, a raspberry drizzle plus a piece of an Italian cookie — and it’s completely unique to Rochester. During each weekend the donut was available, more than 1,000 dozen were sold.

August 8 — Wegmans, community rally to collect bread for Webster boy with feeding disorder

Allen Iglesia is a young man from Webster with a severe feeding disorder, which means he can only eat three foods. One of those was Wegmans potato bread, and when Wegmans stopped selling it, the community and the grocery store rallied together to collect as many loaves of they could.

Hundreds of donated-loaves later, Allen and his family would meet with the Wegmans bakery team to help him find a long-term solution.

August 21 — House leveled by explosion on Illinois St. in Rochester

Our station was literally shaken when a house on nearby Illinois Street exploded this summer. People who live in the area said they heard a loud bang and felt their walls shake. The force of the explosion was felt by people as much as a mile away.

A few days after the blast, firefighters determined that the explosion was intentionally caused by a former homeowner who had defaulted on his mortgage — that man died in the explosion. Even though the man destroyed his house, he tethered his dog behind a detached garage to protect the animal from harm. The dog was later turned over a friend of the man.

August 14 — Young heroes rescue 5 from house fire

Darius Dillard and Nate Williams, two young men from Rochester, were sitting on an Emerson Street porch this summer when they saw smoke streaming from the second floor from across the street.

While their uncle called 911, they ran over without hesitation, kicked in the door, and helped rescue the family of five.

They would later be recognized by Rochester City Council for their efforts.

Councilmember Mitch Gruber, Fire Chief Jackson, Dillard, Williams, Councilmember Lightfoot, Mayor Warren, left to right.

August 15 — Rochester airport security worker fired after passing mean note to traveler

When it comes to most bizarre stories for 2019 in Rochester — this one is tough to top. A security worker at the Greater Rochester International Airport was fired after she was caught on tape passing a note with a mean message to a traveler.

The traveler who received the note — which said “You ugly!!!” on it — was a man named Neal Strassner. He said he obtained the video footage through a Freedom of Information request and that it took more than a month for him to get access to the video.

August 19 — New York license plate design competition rears its ugly side

Few legislative ideas were met with as much public backlash as Gov. Cuomo’s 10-Year License Replacement Program. Lawmakers called it in a money grab, and unnecessary. At the time, many of our viewers said they didn’t like any of the five design finalists.

A winner did eventually emerge.

August 30 — Power finally restored to Lyons mobile home park after 50 days

Canalside Mobile Home Park in Lyons New York went more than a month without power this summer, enduring sweltering heat with no access to fans or air conditioning. The situation became so dire that New York State Attorney General and lawmakers were asked to investigate.

At the end of August, power was finally restored, but the memory of the previous 50 days is still lingering for the residents of the park.

September 2 — Man robbed of garbage plates while walking home in Brockport

A man was walking home from Jimmy Z’s in Brockport around 3 a.m. in early September when a car pulled up on him and people jumped out.

They didn’t want to take his money or steal his car keys. Instead, they took his garbage plates.

Jimmy Z took care of the victim.

“The number one thing for me was, I said to him, ‘let’s get you your food back’, and he stopped in last night and gave him a couple of plates,” said Jimmy “Z” Zisovski.

As a result, 19-year-old Charles Brown of Rochester was later arrested and charged with a felony charge of robbery in the third degree, a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny, and second degree harassment.

September 6 —East High football star Seven McGee ruled ineligible to play this season

One of the best football players in the area — and a nationally ranked prospect — was denied the right to play this year.

Seven McGee, a junior who has already committed to the University of Oregon, is listed as the No. 2 ranked running back in his class for the entire country, according to scouting website 247 Sports.

He wasn’t allowed to suit up for the Eagles after transferring back to Rochester from a prep school in California.

September 11 — Spike in vaping related illnesses sparks ban proposal

A nationwide spike in vaping related illnesses sparked a national conversation a few months ago.

Two New Yorkers died from vaping-related illnesses, and as a result, Gov. Cuomo moved to ban flavored e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The state also filed a lawsuit against Juul.

That ban, however, has stalled in the courts.

September 11 — Tom Golisano’s yacht transported 30 tons of supplies to Bahamas, rescued 50 dogs

Local businessman and philanthropist Tom Golisano donated the use of his yacht earlier to aid in the relief efforts in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian devastated the islands.

The yacht, Laurel, was used to transport 30 tons of supplies including water, food and sanitation kits from Nassau to Freeport. Along with transporting essential supplies to the areas impacted by Hurricane Dorian, roughly 50 dogs were rescued from the destruction caused by the hurricane.

September 12 — Diocese of Rochester files for bankruptcy amid mounting sex abuse lawsuits

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. That filing came after a flurry of lawsuits against the organization, mostly sexual assault cases, that were filed following the enactment of the Child Victims Act.

Diocese officials said the bankruptcy will not affect local parishes and parishioners as they are legally independent of the the diocese under the New York State Religious Corporation Law, according to Bishop Salvatore Matano. No parishes were named or associated with the bankruptcy filing.

The Child Victims Act, which went into effect on August 14, extended the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases for one year.

September 19 — Abby Wambach inducted into National Soccer Hall of Fame Saturday

Soccer legend and Pittsford native Abby Wambach was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Wambach, who is the all-time leading scorer in women’s international soccer with 184 goals, played in four World Cups and two Olympic Games on her way to 255 international appearances for the United States. She maintained excellence on the field from her international team debut in 2001 through her final game in 2015.

September 25 — Rochester tattoo artist Laura Marie wins $100K on ‘Ink Master’

Rochester-based tattoo artist Laura Marie is officially an Ink Master. Marie won $100,000 as the winner of the competitive tattoo reality TV show.

She’s a co-owner of Atomic ROC Tatoo based out of the the Village Gate, and was declared the winner over other finalists Dani Ryan and Creepy Jason in the season finale. She sat down with News 8’s Dan Gross for an in-depth interview about her creative process, and why she loves Rochester.

September 26 — ‘Significant cuts’ loom due to $30M shortfall in RCSD budget

Although initial reports indicated the Rochester City School District was facing a budget crisis of approximately $50 million, it was on this date in late September when RCSD Superintendent Terry Dade announced the shortfall was actually closer to $30 million. Still, he warned that “significant cuts” would be a result.

Since then, RCSD has restructured its administration. Dade himself was only a few months into the job when this situation first became public. The district’s Chief Financial Officer resigned, and was replaced by the Monroe County CFO, and two deputy superintendent positions was consolidated into one. Still, there’s a long way to go to close the budget gap.

The fiscal crisis within the district has since led to teacher and student protests, state comptroller audits, federal investigations, substantial job cuts, and more. For a complete review of RCSD’s budget shortfall, check out or timeline of events within the district.

October 1 — New record! Rochester beats 142-year-old temperature mark for first day of October

Rochester made history in early October when the temperature in the city reached 87 degrees.

The previous record of 86 degrees for 142 years. Unfortunately, it’ll be awhile until we see temps like that again …

October 8 — Oakfield bow hunter bags a potentially record-breaking buck

Local bow hunting season started in a big way when Zachary Grazioplene, a 2019 Oakfield-Alabama High School graduate, hunted a huge 11-point buck with a gross 180-class score.

When the buck is officially graded, it could land in the record books as high as the top 10.

October 9 — WWE superstar Mick Foley visits 92-year-old fan at Canandaigua nursing home

Former WWE superstar Mick Foley was traveling through western New York in early October and he made time to visit with 92-year-old Wilma Gibson at the Thompson Health nursing home in Canandaigua.

Gibson’s nursing home has a wish program and she wished to see the WWE star — and her wish came true! Foley then made time for News 8 and was interviewed by Adam Chodak in a wide-ranging conversation.

October 10 — Skateboarders rejoice over groundbreaking of the new ROC City Skate Park

After years of planning and development, city officials broke ground on the long-waited skate park in downtown Rochester.

The park will be over 14,000 square-feet, and is set for completion by fall of 2020. Skaters in the Rochester area are rejoicing, as it finally gives them a skating option close to home.

The costs of the park range over $1 million. Funds from Friends of ROC-City Skatepark have been allocated as well as state funds that are part of 13 different ROC the Riverway projects. 

The city was also given $250,000 from legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk’s foundation. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.

October 17 — Marion soccer star Chloe DeLyser breaks national goals record, and then doesn’t

Marion soccer star Chloe DeLyser made all of Western New York proud when she broke the high school national goals record for girls soccer in October.

Except, she didn’t officially break the record. It’s complicated, but essentially the National Federation of State High School Associations didn’t acknowledge the varsity goals she scored as a seventh and eighth grader. 

Marion Central School District officials dispute the dispute, saying in part:

“We are choosing to place Chloe’s inarguable accomplishment of scoring more goals than any other female soccer player in the country above any arbitrary technicalities that would say otherwise.”

October 21 — Time capsule found while moving Frederick Douglass statue

Rochester’s original Frederick Douglass statue stood in Highland Park for nearly 80 years, but was getting moved to a more prominent showcase. While it was being moved, crews discovered a time capsule underneath.

Contents of the time capsule were waterlogged, but when the state was originally dedicated in 1899, newspaper accounts indicated the time capsule contained two leaflets furnished by Susan B. Anthony, and a copy of the Declaration of Sentiments.

Unfortunately, many of the documents were lost to history as City of Rochester’s historian Christine Ridarsky said everything in it was saturated and not salvageable.

October 22 — Pittsford running back escaped homelessness with help of teammate’s family

At just 18-years-old, Clyde Williams has seen more in his short life than many do in decades. Clyde and his twin sister Claudia spent their childhood moving between homes, with different guardians, often not knowing where their next meal would come from, but a YMCA flag football friend would soon turn into family as a Pittsford family adopted the twins.

The Arena family grew from five to seven, and for the first time in his life, Clyde got to focus solely on going to school and playing football. The senior running back for the Pittsford Panthers got to play varsity alongside his friend-turned-brother Caleb, a Pittsford linebacker, in a full circle moment that continues to touch the lives of many.

October 24 — Injured officer Denny Wright released from hospital, surrounded by support

Rochester police officer Denny Wright was released from the hospital three weeks to the day after he was attacked during an altercation on Peck Street, surrounded by fellow law enforcement, family, and friends.

In connection to the attack on Officer Wright, Keith Williams, 28 of Rochester, is charged with attempted aggravated murder and aggravated assault of police officer.

November 5 — Bob the Boomer: Lonsberry’s ageism take goes viral in since-deleted tweet

In a since-deleted tweet, Rochester area radio host Bob Lonbserry compared the term “boomer” to the n-word.

Outlets throughout the state, throughout the country, and even throughout the world, reported on the tweet. Even Dictionary.com responded on Twitter.

Although the tweet was deleted, the internet didn’t. The term “Lonsboomer” even has its own entry on Urban Dictionary.

November 6 — Adam Bello defeats Cheryl Dinolfo for Monroe County Executive

With less than a 6,000 vote gap, Democratic challenger Adam Bello defeated Republican incumbent Cheryl Dinolfo for Monroe County Executive on Election Night.

When Bellow is sworn in, he’ll become the county’s second Democratic executive, and the first since 1991.

November 6 — Voters overwhelmingly approve referendum on Police Accountability Board

Few issues were as controversial and hotly debated locally as the police accountability board. It was proposed, protested, counter-protested, and challenged in the courts, but come Election Day, voters overwhelmingly approved the measure.

More than 75 percent of Rochester voters decided to pass the referendum.

The next step is filling out the positions on the board. City Council accepted applications and are now reviewing those they received.

November 8 — Officer Manuel Ortiz remembered: A cop’s cop, a servant of the community

The Rochester Police Department and the family of Officer Manny Ortiz, extended an invite to the entire community to attend a memorial service in his honor at the Joseph A. Floreano Riverside Convention Center in early November. 

Ortiz, a 22-year veteran of the department, died the week prior in a car crash. The Monroe County Sheriff and Rochester Police Chief described it as a “tragic accident.”

November 9 — NY post writer calls Rochester ‘grim and depressing,’ sparks rivalry with Red Wings

New York Post writer Maureen Callahan blasted Rochester in an article about the new Wegmans in Brooklyn — calling our city “grim and depressing.” The Red Wings were quick to notice and they announced on Twitter that they would be hosting “Maureen Callahan Night” on Friday, August 21 of next year — a night celebrating our “grim and depressing city.”

It caused quite a stir locally, but also for Callahan who received a lot of emails about the whole ordeal. We interviewed her one-on-one about the article, if she’d attend the Red Wings night for her, and what she was focused on, to which she replied: “I’m going to keep my focus right on winning the hearts and minds of Rochester.”

November 11 — Rochester shatters snowfall record on Veterans Day

In early fall, we got a taste of mid-winter. On Veterans Day a severe storm broke a snowfall record by three inches.

In the days that followed, more records would be broken, including record low temperatures and record low high temperatures.

November 12 — Man charged for wife’s 1982 axe murder in Brighton

James Krauseneck is scheduled to go on trial for murder next year in connection to his wife’s death nearly four decades ago.

Authorities say Brighton police responded to the Del Rio Drive home of James and his wife Cathleen on February 19, 1982.

Upon arrival, officers discovered that Cathleen was killed, and it was later determined that the cause of her death was a single blow to her head with an axe.

Cathleen was 29 years old at the time of her death. The two shared a daughter, Sarah, who was 3 and half years old when the crime occurred.

November 20 — Charlie Tan admits to shooting, killing father: ‘I knew I had killed him’

Nearly five years later, Charlie Tan, a Pittsford Mendon High School graduate and former Cornell University student, confessed to shooting and killing his father Jim Tan in their Pittsford home.

Tan admitted to the shooting in an affidavit filed in Syracuse, revealing new details about the days leading up to the shooting and some testimony of abuse he and his family suffered at the hands of his family.

Tan was initially charged with murder for his father’s death, but the charges were ultimately dropped after a mistrial. He was later sentenced to 20 years in prison on weapons charges in connection the February 2015 shooting of his father, and his confession via affidavit is an effort to get his sentence reduced.

November 25 — Hong Kong conflict reaches UR campus over flag controversy, tunnel painting

An intense, and complex international geopolitical conflict reached our city — and the public protests in Hong Kong had the University of Rochester under pressure.

The university recently moved a few flags as part of their international display — a move that would boil tensions on campus and spur back and forth gatherings to paint over messages on walls in the campus tunnel system.

November 26 — Former judge Leticia Astacio sentenced to 180 days in jail for violating probation

An ongoing legal saga that has captured the attention of Rochester for more than three and a half years finally met its conclusion in late November when former City Court Judge Leticia Astacio was sentenced to six months in prison for violating her probation.

Astacio’s probation stemmed from a 2016 DWI conviction. Since her initial arrest, she was in and out of courts (and headlines), spent nearly four months in jail, was put on trial for a separate weapons charge, was formally removed from the bench, and even had an unsuccessful run for City Council.

December 2 — Dinolfo signs controversial police harassment bill despite protest, hearing

In one of her last moves before leaving office, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo signed a controversial bill into law that would make harassing or annoying police officers and first responders illegal.

Protesters argued the bill’s language is vague, and unconstitutional. The bill says that “harassment” can be anything from annoying a first responder to assaulting one. Punishments include jail time and up to a $5,000 fine.

Law enforcement agencies throughout the region have stated they will not arrest anyone at this time for violating the law, and the matter is likely headed to the courts in the near future. Sheriff Baxter said the law is “a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.”

December 6 — Webster man turns favorite Christmas movie scenes into epic holiday display

Rick Harris spent a year on his holiday display, and it was well worth the effort.

Using mannequins, Harris recreated his favorite scenes of two iconic Christmas movies to the delight of the community.

There’s still a little bit of time left in 2019 so we’ll be sure to update this page if anything warrants a mention.

It was certainly an eventful year in Rochester and we here at News 8 are all looking forward to an exciting 2020 and we would like to wish you and all of your loved ones a safe, happy, and healthy new year!