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NY Lottery Responds to Welfare Fraud Questions

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The New York Lottery is responding to questions about oversight after a prize winner was accused of welfare fraud for not reporting his winnings as income.   

Anthony Palermo, who lives in Orleans County, won the "Win for Life" scratch off game more than a decade ago, guaranteeing him one thousand dollars a week, for life.

Prosecutors say Palermo applied for Medicaid and HEAP last fall, and broke the law when he never disclosed his lottery winnings and got more than four-thousand dollars in benefits.

We emailed the lottery to find out if they have a system in place to prevent fraud like the kind Palermo is accused of.  Their response is below.

I Love My Parks Day; A Chance To Give Back

You can say a lot about New York State, but one thing you can't say is that it is short on parks.

The Empire State has almost an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beautiful green space. From the Adirondacks to Letchworth, there are 178 State Parks across New York, with each one having its own unique features.

While the larger parks are often magnificent in their grandeur, it is often the smaller ones that are most fascinating, and all the more satisfying because you feel as if you've just uncovered a hidden treasure. A case in point is Knox Farm State Park, a 600 acre gem nestled gently in the hills of East Aurora.

Seymour Knox IV is the President of Friends Of Knox Farm State Park. "It's a wonderful place to be. It's very pastoral, it's very, sort of healing...you're out in nature. It has beautiful vistas, there's a lot of trails you can walk, and there's a lot of wildlife out here."

Record Setting Prescription Drug Drop-Off

Hamburg, NY - Pharmaceutical drugs can be a life saver for millions of Americans, but often times these same drugs fall into the wrong hands.

On Saturday the Drug Enforcement Agency was out once again collecting all types of medicines from people who no longer wanted them in their homes during the 4th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The collection of these pharmaceutical drugs involved no questions being asked.

The parking lot of one car care center in Hamburg was turned into a prescription drug drop-off site for a few hours. Volunteers joined the DEA to collect everything from unused syringes, to thousands of pills that are no longer needed.

Another group of volunteers separated and cataloged the drugs that came in. Local pharmacist Heather Derck gave 2 On Your Side a quick update a few hours after the drug drop-off began.

"We've had over 125 cars come through. We've got probably 10 to 12 full boxes," said Derck.

Orleans Co. Animal Shelter Shut Down

ALBION, NY-An Orleans County animal shelter has shut down and its nearly 100 animals were turned over to the Humane Society of Greater Rochester following a law enforcement investigation into conditions at the shelter.

According to the Humane Society, more than 75 cats, 20 dogs and a rat were transferred Friday from the People for Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) facility in on Gaines Basin Road Albion to Lollypop Farm in Perinton.

Lotto Winner On Welfare Faces An Additional Charge

ALBION, NY- A town of Albion lottery winner accused of scamming the state out of thousands of dollars in welfare benefits was slapped with a new charge in court Tuesday night.

51-year-old Anthony Palermo was charged with a second count of filing a false statement in addition to his previous charges of welfare fraud and grand larceny, all felonies.

Through court paperwork obtained by Two On Your Side, we're learning just how the $1000 a week "Win For Life" winner was allegedly trying to access state benefits.

Police Officer Charged with Misconduct

MEDINA, N.Y. -- A police officer in the Village of Medina is charged with two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct. 

According to WHEC-TV in Rochester, investigators say Scott Merritt gave his girlfriend information about a pending drug raid involving her brother.  He also allegedly refused to arrest him despite knowing there were three warrants out against him.  Merritt is reportedly 31-years-old and has worked as an officer in Medina for three years.

Merrit is still employed by the Village of Medina Police Department, but has been placed on paid suspension.

Trees: The Givers Of Life

The great poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said of trees, "The wonder is, we see these trees, and we don't wonder more."

We live with trees, are surrounded by them, yet just how often do we stop to consider just how important they are to all life on earth?

Perhaps it's because they are becoming such a common part of our lives that we often take trees for granted. But doing so is increasingly at our peril. Things like clear cutting and invasive species are just some of the many threats to trees across the planet...threats we can neither ignore nor sustain.