Sunrise Smart Start: October 19, 2021

Sunrise Smart Start

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Stay up to date on the latest headlines in today’s Sunrise Smart Start on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.


Kirk Ashton, former Hilton principal charged with sex abuse, to be released on bail

Former Northwood Elementary School Principal Kirk Ashton will be released from jail after making bail, according to a statement the district sent to parents Monday.

He has multiple sexual abuse charges involving children, spanning his 17 years at Hilton.

At least 26 victims have come forward against Ashton. His bail had been lowered multiple times since his arrest, most recently to $100,000.

Ashton resigned in September, after pleading not guilty to 25 charges in April.

As part of the separation agreement between Ashton and the district, he will be paid 5 months salary along with the amount of his accrued vacation and sick time.

In an email sent to families Monday, Hilton Central School District Superintendent Casey Kosiorek said:

“I have been informed that former Northwood Principal, Kirk Ashton, was released from jail today. The district will have additional security present outside Northwood tomorrow. In addition, I will be there, along with other administrators from District Office. We will also have several additional counseling staff available for students and staff throughout the day.”


Bills come up short on fourth down, fall to Titans 34-31

Derrick Henry scored his third touchdown with 3:05 left, and the Tennessee Titans stopped Josh Allen on a fourth-down quarterback sneak in the final seconds to beat Buffalo 34-31 on Monday night, snapping the Bills’ four-game winning streak.

The AFC East-leading Bills drove to the Titans 3 on their final possession and could have sent the game to overtime with a field goal, but instead went for the win — and didn’t execute.

First, Allen was marked just shy of the first-down marker on a scramble. On fourth down, the rugged quarterback moved from the shotgun to take the snap from under center. Tennessee’s defensive line surged forward to meet Allen, whose legs went out from under him.

The Titans (4-2) took over with 12 seconds left to start a much-needed celebration for the battered defending AFC South champs.


‘Like a bomb went off’: Fatal stolen car crash in Rochester leaves neighbors, police shaken

“It was just like a bomb went off in the neighborhood,” said Bruce Register, a resident who lives across the street from Sunday afternoon’s fatal motor vehicle crash involving a stolen van.

The accident started on Jefferson Avenue, where police say an officer spotted four suspects in a van that was reported stolen a week earlier.

Before the officer had a chance to pursue, the van allegedly sped away at an extremely high rate of speed. The van ended up on Seward St, crashing into another car going Southbound. Police say one of the victims was pronounced dead on scene, the other in the hospital fighting for his life.

Register was sitting in his home with his seven year old son, about to watch football when it happened. He describes it as a loud bang.

He quickly ran out the door.

“On my way out the door I see a police officer pulling up behind the SUV, and of course from there it was just carnage all over the place,” he said.

He ran up to the victim’s car where two passengers were unconscious, and for a moment thought of trying to get them out.

“I came back and told the officer, I said you need to call the ambulance they really hurt down,” he said. “There was a big cloud of smoke I didn’t know if the car was going to catch on fire or anything like that.”

Captain Frank Umbrino with Rochester Police Major Crimes Unit says this was one of the worst accidents he’s seen in a long time.

“The impact was so severe, that the engine of the victims vehicle actually came out of the car so it was very sad to see,” Umbrino said.


Man pleads guilty to setting off explosives in Rochester neighborhood

A man who used explosives to threaten a Rochester neighborhood, leaving behind notes that read “call the cops they won’t catch me,” pleaded guilty Monday.

Prosecutors say James Pane, 50, set off a number of explosive devices between January 20 and February 2 in Rochester’s Falleson Road neighborhood. One such explosion on January 23 broke a window and left a softball-sized hole and burn marks in the siding of a house.

Pane mailed 10 letters to 10 different houses in the neighborhood between February 24 and March 9, 2021. Each letter read:

“I don’t mean to bother you people in this neighborhood. But the little (expletive) crack head at 288 Falleson owes me a lot of money for drugs. He is a liar and a thief. He burned down his father’s cottage in the 1000 island for the insurance money, which he was supposed to pay me off with. He didn’t. I will keep throwing bombs off in his yard until he pays. call the cops they won’t catch me.”

On March 2, police searched the garbage at Pane’s Harding Road home and found a list of addresses from the Falleson Road neighborhood. Nine of the 10 addresses on the list received the threatening letters. The 10th address was the site of the explosions.

Pane was arrested on April 8. He told investigators he believed the target of the explosive threats had been spreading false rumors about him. He said he sent the letters to that person’s neighbors hoping the neighbors would confront the targeted individual.

Pane pleaded guilty to threatening by mail to injure or intimidate and unlawfully damage and destroy property by means of an explosive. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 24.


Holiday season supply chain crisis: ‘Crazy right now,’ local toy, gaming businesses say

You may want to get started on your holiday shopping a little bit earlier this year, especially if you have little ones. 

It may seem like you hear that every year, but this season is a little different. 

Supply chain issues across the country are having an impact on all sorts of consumer goods, specifically toys and games.

“It’s a real recipe for disaster. There’s a multi-dimensional problem that’s going on here and we’re all facing the consequences of it. It’s like whack-a-mole, you smack one problem down, it’s like bam, another one. And then another one pops up. It’s pretty crazy right now,” said Steven Carnovale, an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management with Saunders College of Business at RIT. 

Carnovale said there are a few reasons we may be seeing this problem. 

For one, demand has been up for games, toys, and electronics, as more people are at home during the pandemic. 

“Warehouses are filled up to the brim and they’re having a difficult time because when COVID happened, there was a huge shift towards online consumption. At the same time, a lot of the freight companies said well, we don’t need any more freight, shut it down. They didn’t take into account that people were gonna say, ‘Well, actually, I’m still gonna need stuff, I’m still gonna need food, I’m still getting the product, except I’m gonna buy it online now,” Carnovale said.

He also said many toys come from Southeast Asia, generally China, where transportation stopped going back and forth as much during the pandemic with changes in consumer spending. 


Weather forecast: Skies clear and temperatures make a comeback

It is a cold start to our Tuesday, but abundant sunshine and winds shift more WSW will help usher in much milder air into the afternoon.


We have highs into the middle 60s Tuesday and closer to 70 degrees Wednesday in what will amount to a sparkling 48 hours stretch across WNY. After 48 hours, we’re eyeing our next storm system that will work through Thursday. A cold front will cut through the region late Thursday, bringing a round of widespread rain and a fresh surge of cooler air to close the week and into the weekend.

That will mean more lake effect rain showers and weekend highs back in the 50s. Overnight lows could drop into the 30s by the weekend, meaning we may need to watch for the chance for patchy frost. For many, this would be the first of the season.

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