Rochester Rundown: Week of July 9, 2021

Rochester Rundown

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Catch up on the last week in local news, in just a few minutes!

Rochester Rundown, a digital exclusive brought to you by News 8 WROC, recaps the past week’s top stories with everything you need to know, or might have missed.

Gov. Cuomo declares disaster emergency on gun violence in New York state

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a disaster emergency on gun violence for the state of New York Tuesday, a first-of-its-kind disaster emergency for the country.

“We have to get illegal guns off the streets and we have to get illegal guns out of the hands of people and we have to rebuild the community,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Treat it like a public health issue. We know how to deal with an epidemic and what we want to say is, we want to treat gun violence like we did with COVID.”

According to the governor, immediate efforts of the disaster emergency to quell the ongoing gun violence statewide will focus on the following seven key areas:

  1. Treat gun violence like the emergency public health issue it is
  2. Target hotspots with data and science
  3. Positive engagement for at-risk youth
  4. Break the cycle of escalating violence
  5. Get illegal guns off the streets
  6. Keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people
  7. Rebuild the police community relationship

According to officials from the governor’s office, this measure:

  • Officially declares gun violence as a disaster emergency
  • Requires Division of Criminal Justice Services to gather and share incident-level data from local police departments on gun violence
  • Creates an office of gun violence prevention to coordinate efforts and direct resources to emerging gun violence hotspots
  • Invests $138.7 million in intervention, prevent, and jobs programs to engage at-risk youth and get young people off the streets
  • Creates new state police gun trafficking interdiction unit to stop the flow of illegal guns into the state
  • Partners with John Jay College of Criminal Justice to strengthen police-community relations

The governor said the state’s plan to reduce gun violence includes both short and long term initiatives.

New VIPER federal task force in Rochester aims to reduce gun violence with ’60-day surge’

United States Attorney James Kennedy Jr. held a press conference in Rochester Wednesday to announce a new federal task force aimed at reducing the recent gun violence in the city.

Rochester has already seen 38 homicides this year as of Wednesday, and is on pace for an all-time record of more than 70, Kennedy said. In 2019, the city saw 32 homicides, up from 28 in each year of 2017 and 2018. In 2020, that number jumped to 52, an increase of 150% over three years.

“The VIPER Task Force will seek to accomplish its objective by enhancing the one methodology that research has consistently shown to be proven effective as a method of reducing crime, and that method is proactive policing,” Kennedy said. “They will assign significant resources and manpower as part of a 60-day surge to target the worst of the worst in terms of violent offenders in our community. They will supplement the efforts of the Rochester Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, who have all committed to this effort.”

In addition to targeting known violent offenders, the will be a new daily process where all local gun charges will be subject to review by state and federal prosecutors.

Woman charged with murder, DWI after fatal 4th of July crash in Ogden

A woman is facing murder and DWI charges, among others, after a crash which killed her husband in Ogden on the Fourth of July.

According to the Ogden Police Department, Jennie Clark, 42, was driving her family home early in the morning of July 4 when she crashed into a utility pole along Colby Street. Her husband Matthew Clark, 43, was in the car at the time, as were three children under the age of 15.

Investigators say alcohol, speed and reckless driving all played a role in the crash.

Matthew Clark was killed instantly, officials said. Jennie Clark, received minor injuries and was briefly hospitalized. The children were not injured and released to the family members.

According to a felony complaint (full document below), one of the children in the backseat recorded the incident on an iPhone at the time of the crash. The court documents state that Clark was speeding and arguing with her husband when she drove into the opposing lane, left the road, and crashed into the pole.

The filing also reveals Clark refused to take a breathalyzer test at the scene, instead admitting to police that she had “three glasses of wine” prior to the crash. The Ogden Police Officer who filed the report said she had trouble standing, walking, and turning at the time. He also said she argued while performing a roadside sobriety test, which she failed.

Jennie Clark has been charged with second degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, three counts of reckless endangerment, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, reckless driving, three counts of aggravated DWI.

The case was waived to a grand jury Friday.

Judge Doran steps down as administrative judge, apologizes for 1988 Halloween photo

Justice Craig Doran has stepped down as the administrative judge for New York’s Seventh Judicial District and issued an apology for a photo from a 1988 Halloween party.

In the apology, Doran says the photo that has been recently circulating, depicts him appearing as “a well-known public figure of color.” He said at the time, he didn’t comprehend the hurtful nature of his actions and it in no way reflects his beliefs.

Although Doran will be stepping down as administrative judge, he said he will continue his work as an  elected State Supreme Court justice.

It is not immediately clear who will succeed Doran in the administrative judge role.

Dr. Mendoza calls on parents, child care workers to remain vigilant in fight against COVID-19

Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza is asking parents, guardians, and others caring for children under the age of 12 to remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.

In a statement Tuesday, the health commissioner said masks remain strongly recommended for children in child care settings and summer camps when indoors, which is consistent with CDC guidance. He added that children should be assigned cohorts as much as possible in those settings, and have limited interactions with others outside of those cohorts.

“These children are not yet eligible for vaccination, and studies show they could be particularly susceptible to the Delta variant if it finds its way into our community,” Dr. Mendoza said. “Most of us are now enjoying a respite from the pandemic, but it is not over. We should follow existing guidance to prevent another surge in cases.”

The health commissioner said an outbreak among young people could endanger adults, especially for those who are not vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or those who have compromised immune systems.

Dr. Mendoza also said parents should keep a close on eye on potential COVID-19 symptoms in children.

“Parents should not send a child to child care, summer school or camp if the child is experiencing symptoms. Instead, consult with your primary care provider, and have your child tested for COVID-19.” Dr. Mendoza said.

Willow and Resolve of Greater Rochester merge to expand services

The Willow Domestic Violence Center and RESOLVE of Greater Rochester have come together to expand staff clinical expertise and mental health services within Willow.

RESOLVE’s experience providing therapeutic support since 1998 will complement the continuum of services that Willow has been providing to the Greater Rochester region for more than 40 years. Leaders say a majority of survivors need a combination of services and bringing together support systems from both Willow and Resolve under one roof will increase access and allow them to serve more people.

“It makes so much sense. RESOLVE of Greater Rochester has been around for about 22 years providing in-depth mental health treatment and Willows been around for decades and really this is about complementary services,” Interim CEO of Resolve Mary Whitier said.

WATCH: Surveillance video shows lightning set fire to Webster home

A Webster teenager is being hailed a hero by her neighbors, after she witnessed a house in her neighborhood burning early Friday morning and raced over to wake up the neighbor in time. 

For 2 hours, 16-year-old Isabella Marlin and her mother were stuck in New York City as they were trying to fly back home from vacation. They eventually landed around midnight and as she was upstairs unpacking, she noticed the flames erupting from her neighbor’s roof.  

Surveillance footage from the back porch of the Marlin home captured the moment their neighbors house on Sunningdale Rise was struck by a bolt of lightning over the garage. The very same storm prevented Isabella’s flight from landing on time. But if it hadn’t, Isabella is unsure she would have been awake to spot the trouble. 

Environmentalists link virus to killing gypsy moths, stopping infestation will take time

Property owners with maple, pine, and oak trees are still seeing their land under attack by an invasive bug, eating them up, but multiple natural and manmade barriers have come up to help the threat die down. 

An invasive species has homeowners around the Rochester Metro on alert. The gypsy moths are taking over many trees, which could be the difference between them dying out. But a virus is coming along that could push back their population.  

Since first reporting, an outbreak of gypsy moths on her maple tree sue McCarthy has seen their impact spread to every leaf little sighting is left of the caterpillar culprit due to the NPV Virus. 

“My understanding is that it is really the only known predator in North America is this virus,” Sue McCarthy of Irondequoit told us. “It is not like any other bugs are going to go after them, so I am happy to hear the virus has come out.” 

Before this species forms into a moth, it hatches in caterpillar form, producing a virus called NPV if populations surge out of control and spread easily.  

Party in the Park returns in Rochester: 2021 lineup announced, tickets on sale now

After a one-year hiatus, Party in the Park is officially back for the summer of 2021!

Gates open at 5 p.m. for each Party in the Park show and performances begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $7 with VIP upgrade options available.


  • Pigeons Playing Ping Pong — Wednesday, July 14
  • The Seven Wonders (Fleetwood Mac tribute) and The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd tribute) — Thursday, July 15
  • Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes — Thursday, July 22
  • The Nude Party and Ripe — Thursday, July 29
  • Almost Queen — Thursday, August 5
  • To be announced (stay tuned) — August 12
  • Third World — Thursday, August 19
  • Larkin Poe and Eric Krasnow — Thursday, August 26
  • Zack Brown Tribute Band — Thursday, September 2

Eat, drink and shop

As in past years, Party in the Park will offer plenty of options for food, drink, and shopping, including beer gardens, the bubbly bar, Bazaar in the park, the sangria station, and a rotating cast of food vendors:

  • Sonny’s
  • Eat Greek
  • Marty’s Birdland
  • Tony Tomato
  • Chef’s
  • Wraps on Wheels
  • Neno’s
  • Rochester Kettle Korn
  • Smokin’ Pete Barbecue
  • Craft Crepes
  • Macarollin’
  • Effortlessly Healthy
  • Rob’s Kabobs
  • Roc City Sammich
  • Jeremiah’s
  • Meat the Press
  • Twist This
  • Cheesed and Confused
  • Hopp’d & Brew’d Sauce Co.

That’s it for this week, we’ll see you next time on Rochester Rundown.

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