Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on July 1, 2014 · Page A4
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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page A4

Rochester, New York
Issue Date:
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Page A4
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Page4A Tuesday,July1,2014 DemocratandChronicle. com DC-0000333207 Simply the Best for Less ™ 110 Halstead St Rochester, NY 14610 Free In-home Estimates 288-8888 *Ask salesperson for details. Quality Windows $ 189 Completely installed. White double hung. Any size*! 338-9865 Clogged Gutters? WET BASEMENT? LEAKY ROOF? Top to Bottom ROCNews Proposed sites for new RG&E facilities in Henrietta and Chili that drew broad public criticism at public meetings in May have been taken off the table. Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. is building anew substation and re- l ated transmission lines a s part of a $254 million p roject to increase the e lectric supply to west- e rn Monroe County and h ead off what the compa- n y says are looming shortages. After the original location for the facilities was panned by a Chili farm family a year ago, however, New York state regulators ordered that alternatives be considered. Anew list was devised, b ut at May meetings in C hili, an alternative subs tation site and an alter- n ative transmission corridor were denounced by n umerous speakers who s aid the facilities would d amage their property, threaten their health, mar the environment or erode their quality of life. Apair of state Public Service Commission law judges agree. In a ruling filed last week, they noted a complete lack of support for the contested s ubstation site and trans- m ission corridor and e liminated them from f urther consideration. “I’m very happy. It w as the logical low-imp act decision,” said Fred H agen, who with his wife, Susan, owns land that would have been impacted by the transmission lines. He was among several property owners who lobbied hard against the proposed corridor. Had that substation s ite been chosen, a his- t orically significant edu- c ational complex that a d eveloper wants to turn i nto a high-end office p ark would have been dem olished. The transmission corridor would have routed power lines near a senior citizen residential center, several home-building sites, the Hagens’ kiwi- berry farm, a planned sustainable farming center and two horse farms, o ne of them the large W ehle boarding and t raining operation. S till left on the table is a nother possible substa- t ion site in Henrietta and t he original one, on farm land owned by Marie and Dave Krenzer in Chili. Though part of the final route remains uncertain, the transmission lines would be built along an existing transmission corridor and would affect far fewer residents. PSC judges ax proposed RG&E sites Steve Orr Staff writer ARochester man admitted Monday in state S upreme Court that he killed two men outside a c ity nightclub last summer, days before he led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a s hootout with a police officer. Ralph Strong, 32, said he felt threatened and thought he was about to b e robbed when he shot J ahmia Singleton, 31, and Reggie Johnson, 27, both of Rochester, in the chest during an argument outside Club Net- w ork, 420 Central Ave., o n June 24, 2013. The men were “disrespecting” his sister and girlfriend minutes earlier, he said. “ I thought Reggie p ulled a gun, so I jumped in front of my sister, pushed her to the ground,” he said. “I pointed in his direction, a nd shot twice.” Strong took the stand and testified in his own defense Monday, but repeatedly changed his story and contradicted p revious testimony from other witnesses as he outlined his actions last June. He testified t hat after the initial shootings, he again shot both men, in the back; S ingleton was face- down in a nearby alley. He ran from the scene. “When you shoot a dead man in the back, I call it one thing, an execution,” said Assistant D istrict Attorney Kelly W olford during closing arguments Monday afternoon. It’s “to make s ure it’s done.” Strong testified that he planned to surrender t o police, but was still gathering bail money to hire a lawyer when offi- c ers spotted him on East Main Street on June 27, 2 013. He said he had planned to stash a gun at h is mother’s house that day but didn’t because small children were ins ide. He testified that he was driving around, try- i ng to decide where to take the gun, when he encountered police and led them on a brief pursuit that ended with a shootout in northeast Rochester. A fter he ran through yards, Strong claimed he froze when he spotted Sgt. Flamur Zene- lovic on his police radio 10 feet away from him as he exited a yard on North Goodman Street. “He sees me and pulls his gun out. He told me to put my hands up,” Strong said, and admit- t ed he was still holding a handgun at his side. “I d idn’t respond. I just stood there.” Strong claimed that h e was trying to toss the g un and brought his hands up when he was s hot. “I didn’t shoot first,” he said several times. S trong admitted he fired back, but never aimed his weapon. “I just wanted to get by him. He was just shooting so much. I want- e d to get to the sidewalk t o run.” His claims contradicted earlier eyewitness testimony at the two-weeklong jury trial that indi- c ated Strong fired first. S trong “stood there and looked a police officer in the eyes, raised his right hand and shot him, hitting him in the arm,” W olford said. Strong adv anced on Zenelovic, she said, “just like he did with Reggie and Jahmia on Central Ave. The only things that saved the ser- g eant were his training and his Glock.” Zenelovic rolled on the ground and fired back, emptying his gun as bullets struck a nearby gar age, his patrol car, the pavement, Strong and passing motorist Gene McDougal of Henrietta, w ho was northbound on Goodman Street when he was struck in the lower b ody. Strong, who was hospitalized for more than three weeks, was charged with two counts of first- degree murder in connection with the double homi- c ide, and attempted ag- g ravated murder, aggravated assault upon a police officer, first-degree a ssault and first-degree reckless endangerment, all felonies, in connection w ith the chase and shootout on June 27. Zenelovic was hit t wice, in his arms, and remains off duty a year aft er the encounter. McDougal also survived. “I know you don’t like w hat he did,” Strong’s lawyer Paul Vacca told the jury. But Strong felt t hreatened, that his life was in danger on Central A venue and he “engaged in reckless conduct” during the chase and shootout three days later. “It’s tough to make sense of what the defendant did that day, but it’s t ough to make sense of anything (Strong) did,” Wolford said. “He did everything with a purpose. He didn’t care what happened to anyone but himself.” The jury will begin deliberating Tuesday morning. VFREILE@DemocratandChronicle. com T Defendant in slaying felt ‘threatened’ Victoria E. Freile Staff writer Ralph Strong The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a heat advisory for Tuesday for Monroe, Ontario and several other a reacounties. T he advisory will be in effect from 1to 9 p.m. Meteorologist Jon H itchcock said temperatures are expected to be in the lower 90s Tuesday. B ut when considering the heat index, which also factors in humidity, it will f eel like temperatures in the triple digits, he said. T he National Weather Service advises everyone, especially the very y oung and elderly, to avoid being outside for extended periods of time a nd to drink plenty of fluids. Residents should c heck on relatives and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning and be a ware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat s troke. The City’s Cool Sweep is in effect, and Monroe C ounty Executive Maggie Brooks announced Monday that the hours for pub- l ic swimming at Ontario Beach Park would be ext ended by one hour, until 8p.m., on Tuesday due to the extreme heat. A lthough scattered showers are expected t hroughout the week, Hitchcock said Tuesday has the potential for hail a nd strong isolated winds, which could result in wind damage. “Because of the heat a nd humidity, (the storm) will have lots of fuel to feed off of,” he said. But the extreme weather is not expected to persist. Temperatures w ill dip into the upper 8 0s on Wednesday and drop into the mid-70s for the remainder of the w eek. “There is only going to be one really hot day, s o that’s the good thing,” said Hitchcock. “It looks much cooler at the end of t he week for the Fourth of July holiday.” Emya Bennett, 10, of Rochester, center, does her best to beat the heat Monday by playing in the water at the Edgerton Community Center spray park as part of the city’s Cool Sweep program. SHAWN DOWD/@SDOWDPHOTO/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Heat advisory issued for Tuesday Neeti Upadhye Staff writer “There is only going to be one really hot day, so that’s the good thing.It looks much cooler at the end of the week for the Fourth of July holiday.” JON HITCHCOCK, meteorologist Emergency crews re- s ponded to a crane collapse Monday at a construction site on Elmwood Avenue near Mt. Hope Avenue. No injuries were reported, according to firefighters on scene. The partial collapse was reported about 11:30 a.m. near the College Town development project now underway. No injuries reported in crane collapse Staff report Part of a crane collapsed in a construction area on E lmwood Avenue near East Drive on Monday. TINA MACINTYRE-YEE/@TYEE23/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

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