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WACK News Update

In The News

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017



Macedon/Palmyra, N.Y. – A Mercy Flight helicopter transported a woman to Strong Hospital Monday morning with serious injuries after a crash that occurred around 6am, on Route 31 near Alderman Road.

Police say a woman, 30, was westbound of Rt. 31 and crossed over into the eastbound lane, crashing head-on into a tractor trailer, according to State Police.

According to Police there was also a 7-month-old in the backseat of the car; properly restrained in a child safety seat and was thus not injured. Police said the driver of the tractor trailer was also not injured.

Rt. 31 was closed for several hours as the investigation continued.


Canandaigua Police arrested 48 year old Conrad Gunkler, around 4:00 this morning, after he was spotted trespassing inside the fenced off construction site at the old Steamboat Landing on Lakeshore Drive.

A short time later, deputies found a 15 year old who was hiding nearby . It’s alleged that Gunkler brought the teen there for the purposes of engaging in sexual activity. Though no intimate contact between the pair was said to have occurred this time, Police told the media that their investigation revealed that over the past month the defendant engaged in illegal sexual conduct with the juvenile, at several locations in Ontario County.

Gunkler was arraigned on criminal trespass and criminal sex act charges and sent to the Ontario County Jail in lieu of six thousand dollars cash bail. Other charges are said to be pending.


An Auburn lawyer who works part-time for Cayuga County government was arrested Friday evening for driving while intoxicated, city police said.

Samuel P. Giacona, of Auburn, was charged Aug. 18 with misdemeanor DWI.

Auburn Police said officers were dispatched to Logan Street at around 5:45 p.m. Friday after a complaint of a man parked on the side of the road, and upon arrival, found 59-year-old Giacona in his car, the engine idling. Further investigation revealed that Giacona was intoxicated.

Giacona was charged with first-offense DWI and released to a third party. He was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday morning in Auburn City Court.

Cayuga county’s human resources administrator, Michael Russell, said Giacona is still employed with the county. Giacona was out of the office Monday for “personal reasons” and it was unclear whether the charge could affect his job status at a later date.

An attorney with Giacona Law P.C. in Auburn, Giacona primarily practices in real estate and family law. He is also employed as a part-time attorney with Cayuga County Department of Social Services, representing the county in child abuse and neglect cases.


The Cayuga County Health Department has ssued a Boil Water Order for the Village of Cato on Monday and advises that persons in the affected area not drink the

water without boiling it first. Repairs being conducted to the water distribution system in the Village of Cato has created a loss of water pressure which may allow disease causing organisms to enter the water system.

Residents are advised to bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water certified for sale by the New York State Department of Health. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice.

Once the repairs are completed, the village will take samples to confirm there is no contamination in the distribution system. It is anticipated that the Boil Water Order will remain in effect for a few days. The Health Department will notify individuals in the Village of Cato when they no longer need to boil their water.

If you have questions, contact the Cayuga County Health Department at 315-253-1560 or the Cayuga County Environmental Health Division at 315-253-1405.


Cayuga County District Attorney’s office on Monday announced the arrest of two Cayuga County residents on various welfare fraud charges.

Rhea Peck, 30, and Patrick Stotler, 33, both of Scipio, were arrested on August 17 and charged with several felonies, following a two year investigation by investigators from multiple agencies, including the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department, Cayuga County Department of Social Services Case Integrity Division and Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges against the pair including Welfare Fraud in the 3rd Degree, Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree, multiple counts of Filing a False Instrument in the First Degree, and Identity Theft in the Third Degree. In addition they were also charged with misdemeanor charges including: Misuse of Food Stamps.

As of a result of their illegal activity the defendants obtained over $15,000.00 in public assistance, to which they were not entitled.

Ms. Peck failed to report or notify the Cayuga Department of Social Services where she lived, that a man was who had income was living in her household and her total household income. She is alleged to have failed to inform the Department of Social Services of approximately $30,000.00 she had earned from the sale of gold in February and March, 2017. Additionally, Mr. Stotler was seen illegally using Ms. Peck’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits card on multiple occasions, entering her Personal Identification Number (PIN), and items, all contrary to the Social Security Law.

Both were arraigned and further Court proceedings are pending. Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department says the investigation is ongoing and asks anyone with pertinent information to contact their office.


Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts announces plans for this fall’s Citizens Academy that will start September 5th and run through October 24.

Each Tuesday morning from 10 until Noon, attendees will learn about special units, road patrol operations, criminal investigations and other operations, as well as the Departments history. Class size is limited and there is a background check for applicants.

Anyone interested in participating should contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s department.


Property owners affected by flooding from record Lake Ontario water levels can learn how they can get help next week in a meeting hosted by state Sen. Pam Helming and Assemblyman Bob Oaks.

An informational meeting on the Lake Ontario Flood Recovery Program will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23 at the Wallington Fire Department, 7863 Ridge Road.

In June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature reached an agreement to provide $45 million in relief for communities impacted by flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. That was in addition to the $22 million in relief the state made available in May.

Helming and Oaks said that at the session individuals, farmers and small business owners will learn about state grants for flood remediation on their properties.


Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team from the History Channel series “American Pickers” will return to New York to film more episodes throughout the region in September.

“American Pickers” is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’. The show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in their business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always on the hunt for unique collections of Americana and learn the interesting stories behind them.

Travelling in a panel van around the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank’s mission is to find, rescue, and re-use or re-purpose forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers meet interesting people and collectors with remarkable stories behind their items.

The pair of Pickers give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items they call “rusty gold”, and hear the fascinating tales about them.

AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore area treasure troves. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST.

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