News briefs: A breakdown of this week in the news

A breakdown of this week in news locally, nationally and globally.


Totes McGoats found to be convicted heroin dealer

Last week, the Niagara Falls Solid Waste Education and Enforcement team introduced Totes McGoats, its new mascot. But this “terrifying” mascot that encourages children to recycle has an unfriendly past.

James L. Dolson, 50, is the man in the costume and a man who was charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for selling heroin from his car, according to The Buffalo News. Dolson said he was at a low point in his life when he started selling and wanted to “make a difference” as Totes McGoats.

Corey Wells dies of infection after fighting cancer

Rock star and Buffalo native Corey Wells died from an infection earlier this week, according to The Buffalo News. Wells, of Three Dog Night, was diagnosed with myeloma in September but wanted to keep it private from his friends and fans.

Wells died in Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, New York on Tuesday. His family is unaware of what caused the infection and no further information on Wells’ illness and cause of death has been released.


Four dead and 34 injured after car crashes into parade

A woman crashed into an Oklahoma State University homecoming parade on Saturday, killing four including a 2-year-old. Thirty-four people were injured – eight of them in critical condition. The woman was suspected of drunken driving, according to CNN.

The car hit a police officer’s motorcycle before driving into the crowd of people. Witnesses said there was smoke and panic and they saw people flying in the air when the car hit. The woman was arrested and taken to city jail. She is not believed to be an OSU student.

Obama administration announces new guidelines for standardized tests

The Obama administration said kids spend too much time taking “unnecessary exams,” according to CNN. President Obama said he wants to fix the testing system after hearing many complaints from teachers and parents about the pressure put on students.

The new guidelines are recommendations for schools, not regulations. The “Testing Action Plan” recommends students spend no more than 2 percent of classroom time taking tests and the tests should “crowd out teaching and learning.” More information will be released in January.


Hurricane Patricia hits Mexico

Hurricane Patricia was recorded as the strongest hurricane ever at sea, according to CNN. Patricia hit Mexico’s coast Friday night as a category 5 hurricane, which is the strongest level. Patricia hit resorts and impoverished communities and took down trees and power lines.

Although there have been injuries, Mexican officials said there have been no reports of fatalities.

Israel’s Prime Minister agrees to surveillance at Jerusalem holy site

A deadly shooting at an Israeli bus station left three people dead. This growing violence has called for an “immediate end to violence,” according to CNN.

There have been more security restrictions, including the restriction of Palestinian movement in East Jerusalem. Israel’s Prime Minister has agreed to a 24-hour surveillance at a Jerusalem holy site to keep people from “disturbing the sanctity of this holy site.”

News desk can be reached at