Local News

HAWLEY CALLS FOR FULL FUNDING OF VETERANS’ COUNSELING PROGRAMS AT LOCAL AMERICAN LEGION

Assemblyman Steve Hawley [at podium] rallies support to restore proposed cuts to veterans’ programs in this year’s budget.

Press Release:

Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined fellow veteran Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton) alongside their colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference, to co-host a “Voices for Veterans” press event Wednesday at the American Legion Cottreall-Warner Post 942, where they called for the immediate restoration of Gov. Cuomo’s planned $5.68 million cut to veterans’ services.

Gov. Cuomo’s 2020-21 Executive Budget takes aim at initiatives that range from helping soldiers manage PTSD and mental health challenges to enabling veterans to find job-training and successful careers, and improving access to VA services and quality healthcare.

Assemblyman Hawley served in the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves and hosts an annual Patriot Trip to Washington D.C. with over 100 veterans and their family members.

“As a veteran myself and son of a World War Two veteran, I can attest to the critical nature of these counseling programs and their necessity in protecting our nation’s heroes as they transition back to civilian life after their service,” Hawley said. “It’s a disgrace to play games with funding that is a drop in the bucket compared to our entire state budget. We are calling on Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to restore these cuts indefinitely in the final state budget.”

City of Batavia: List of Plumbers 2020

Press Release:

The following is the list of City of Batavia Plumbers who have obtained their 2020 Plumbing Renewal License to do plumbing in the City of Batavia, NY.

Arthur Allen
2927 Main St.
Leicester, NY 14481

Richard Biegasiewicz
2 Burke Dr.
Batavia, NY 14020
344-0051

Jason Brownlie
100 Nassau St.
Rochester, NY 14605
325-1290

Anthony Cellino
631 Bullis Rd.
Elma, NY 14059
716-683-5874

Henry H. Cook, Inc.
3508 Rose Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020
345-0915 or 762-8064

Christopher Cook
3508 Rose Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020
345-0915 or 762-8064

James J. DeWald
JW Danforth
300 Colvin Woods Pkwy.
Tonawanda, NY 14150
(716) 832-1940

Diegelman Plumbing LLC
4995 Ellicott St.
Batavia, New York 14020
356-3438

Michael Dollendorf
140 Cooper Ave.
Tonawanda, NY 44150
(716) 873-5000

James Ficarella
9531 Putnam Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020
409-5256

Timothy Fortin
JW Danforth
300 Colvin Woods Pkwy.
Tonawanda, NY 14150
(716) 832-1940

Joseph Grasso
2690 Wilson-Cambria Rd
Wilson, NY 14172

Ricky Hale
28 Swan St.
Batavia, NY 14020
343-3805

Warren Herdic
5769 Herman Hill Rd.
Hamburg, NY 14075
716-913-5721

Daniel Johnston
PO Box 533
Batavia, NY 14021

Matthew Kandefer
2215 Broadway
Buffalo, NY 14212
716-893-8376

Richard Lovria
150 Ross St.
Batavia, NY 14020
343-4852

Michael Mager
8939 Alexander Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020
343-2678

Robert Marvin
Tradestar Mechanical
764Flower City Pk.
Rochester, NY 14615

Patrick McBride
6110 Lake Ave.
Wolcott, NY 15490

Carl McQuillen
8171 E. Main Rd.
LeRoy, NY 14482
768-2322

Fredrick Mruczek
1 Valle Dr.
Batavia, New York

Thomas Mruczek
3 Valle Dr.
Batavia, New York

Dave Muskopf
3198 Union Rd.
Orchard Park, NY 14227
716-681-6997

Mark Napoleon
44 Morrow Ave.
Batavia, NY 14020
409-9961

William Penepent
7182 Kenyon Ave.
Basom, NY 14013
762-8687

David Pero
Charles R. Pero & Sons
121 Trumbull Pkwy.
Batavia, NY 14020
343-7011

John Pestillo
8486 Seven Springs Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020

Erich K. Postler
615 South Ave.
Rochester, NY 14620
546-7450

Alfred Rosemark
27 West Ave.
Elba, NY 14058
757-9291

David Salway
7100 Quinlan Rd.
LeRoy, NY 14482

Gabriel Sepi, Jr.
25 Ganson Ave.
Batavia, NY 14020

Walter Szczesny
24 Wood St.
Batavia, NY 14020
345-1697

Brandon Seliger
2980 Pearl Street Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020

Mark Taylor
8734 Stahley Rd.
East Amherst, NY 14051
716-913-2023

Larry W. Toal
3670 South Main St. Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020
344-3839

Ryan Toal
3670 South Main St. Rd.
Batavia, NY 14020
344-3839

Joel Tucciarone
202 Roosevelt St.
Tonawanda, NY 14150
716-696-6122

Francis Willett
180 Genesee St.
Corfu, NY 14036

Morning News Briefing

The Rochester resident who admitted to killing a Good Samaritan on Ross Street last summer has been sentenced to 20 years to life in state prison.,
32 year old Quinten Edmonds of Rochester previously pleaded guilty to the stabbing death of Michael Paladino after he came to the aid of a woman allegedly under attack by Edmonds.
According to investigators Paladino heard the screams of a woman being attacked in the middle of Ross Street while inside his apartment.
As Paladino intervened Edmonds stabbed him to death.

Plans for a Genesee County Jail Facility go forward amid new challenges.
Genesee County officials held a public information session at the Old County Courthouse about the proposed $60 million construction project where officials said they are sticking to their plan to build a state-mandated 184-bed jail on property east of County Building 2 on West Main Street Rd.
According to Matt Landers Assistant County Manager and co-chair on the jail committee said “It’s the worst time in New York State history to be building a jail … but it must be built,” pointing to the state’s recent change to bail reform law which is anticipated to reduce jail populations and has already eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses.
Landers, spoke along with jail committee co-chair Sheriff William Sheron, last night’s meeting with approximately 40 people, including county legislators, jail committee members and interested citizens in attendance.

After more than a dozen years of effort by county officials, the aging bridge over the Tonawanda Creek at South Lyon Street may finally get replaced, perhaps sooner rather than later.
The project has been approved for a $498,400 federal grant.
Tuesday the Public Service Committee recommended approval of a resolution authorizing the county to spend an additional $124,600 from the county’s 1-percent share of sales tax and beginning the design phase of the project.
Highway Superintendent Tim Hens…

Hens said under current terms of the grant, administered by the state, construction can’t begin until 2023 but the county will push to accelerate the project.

A Rochester-area man is facing serious charges after being accused of threatening two prominent members of Congress.
The U.S. Attorney’s office says 57 year old Salvatore Lippa the second of Greece called in threats targeting New York Senator Chuck Schumer and California Congressman Adam Schiff.
According to prosecutors, Lippa admitted to making the calls because he was upset over impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
He could spend 10 years in prison if convicted.

K9 FRANKIE HAS RECEIVED DONATION OF BODY ARMOR

GENESEE COUNTY SHERIFF WILLIAM A. SHERON, JR.ANNOUNCES THAT K9 FRANKIE HAS RECEIVED DONATION OF BODY ARMOR

Press Release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr. is pleased to announce that K9 Frankie has received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and private citizen donors. The vest was embroidered with the sentiment “In memory of GS-29”.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c(3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 3,500 U.S. made, custom fitted, NIJ-certified protective vests in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a value of $6.9 million dollars.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283, and a five-year warranty and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at www.vik9s.org or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

Morning News Briefing

The campaign to elect Republican State Senator Chris Jacobs to the 27th Congressional District seat has gained some steam following support from the Commander and Chief.
Yesterday President Trump tweeted out support for the candidate saying that Jacobs will fight for the people of New York and that he has the president’s full endorsement.
The tweet followed a meeting yesterday between state GOP chairman Nick Langworthy, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House.
Jacobs says if elected he will work to support the Presidents agenda after stating he was honored and humbled to receive Trump’s endorsement.
The special election to fill the 27th District vacancy is slated for April 28th.

Batavia woman arrested for endangerment.
33 year old Tonya Ficarella of Lovers Lane Road Batavia was arrested by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies last Thursday following a reported domestic incident on Lovers Lane Road.
Ficarella allegedly struck a male in the face during a fight which all played out in front of a three year old child.
Ficarella was given an appearance ticket for March 5th in Town Court.

Batavia man busted for fight at a local motel.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies took 27 year old Shaquille Davis of West Main Street Road into custody on counts of Menacing and Harassment following investigation into a domestic incident Tuesday night.
According to authorities Davis put the victim in fear of physical injury by placing his hands on them.
He was subsequently released with an appearance ticket for March 17th in Batavia Town Court.

Hawley to host “Voices for Veterans” event today
Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia will be joining fellow legislators, local veterans and members of the Assembly Minority Conference this morning in Webster for the first of several events calling on Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to restore proposed cuts to vital veterans’ programs in this year’s budget due on April 1st.
The assemblymen are calling for the immediate restoration of Gov. Cuomo’s planned $5.68 million cut to veterans’ services in his budget.
The largest cut proposed is to the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer-to-Peer Program which eliminates more than $4 million from the counseling program that allows veterans to connect with other men and women who have served in the armed forces.

WBTA will be bringing you live high school Basketball action as Notre Dame Basketball Coach Michael Rapone attempts to earn his 700th win.
Tune in at 7p.m. tonight to hear the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame take on the Lyndonville Tigers at Lyndonville High School.
Rapone is being honored at the School in Batavia next Tuesday for his excellence in coaching holding the record for team wins in Section V

The three-game winning streak of the Buffalo Sabres is no more following a disappointing game on the road.
Brandon Montour had two goals while Victor Olofsson and Kyle Okposo also scored, but it wasn’t enough as the Sabres lost to the Ottawa Senators seven-to-four last night.
With the defeat, the Sabres failed to gain ground in the race for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Sabres will be on the road again Saturday when they play the Pittsburgh Penguins.

HAWLEY JOINS ASSEMBLYMAN ASHBY CALLING FOR RESTORATION OF VETERANS’ PROGRAM CUTS

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he will join Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R,C,I,Ref-Castleton), local veterans and members of the Assembly Minority Conference tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. for the first of several events calling on Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to restore proposed cuts to vital veterans’ programs in this year’s budget due on April 1.

The assemblymen are calling for the immediate restoration of Gov. Cuomo’s planned $5.68 million cut to veterans’ services in the 2020-21 Executive Budget.
The largest cut proposed is to the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer-to-Peer Program. The governor’s budget eliminates more than $4 million from the counseling program that allows veterans to connect with other men and women who have served in the armed forces and are facing challenges similar to their own.

“Too many veterans come home after serving their country living with the horrors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and to cut these programs that are vital to protecting our nation’s heroes is an utter disgrace,” Hawley said. “Our veterans deserve to feel protected and cared for just as they have protected us from enemies foreign and domestic. In a budget that exceeds $170 billion eliminating vital programs for our veterans should be the last we are focusing on. I am hopeful we can call attention to the necessity of these programs and work with state leaders to see they are restored ahead of the budget deadline on April 1.”

Hawley, son of a World War Two veteran and member of the Ohio Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, will be joined by Assemblyman Jake Ashby who served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserves and rose to the rank of Captain. Ashby is the Ranking Minority Member on the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee and Hawley is a longtime member and former ranker.

WHO: Assemblyman Steve Hawley
Assemblyman Jake Ashby
Local veterans
Members of the Assembly Minority Conference

WHAT: “Voices for Veterans” Press Conference calling for a restoration of cuts to critical veterans programs

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 19
10 a.m.

WHERE: American Legion
Cottreall-Warner Post 942
818 Ridge Rd.
Webster, NY 14580

CONTACT: Assemblyman Hawley’s Office (585) 589-5780

First Annual BCSD Foundation Pep Rally

Press Release:

The BCSD Foundation, Inc. is excited to announce the 1st Annual Alumni Pep Rally on Sunday, March 29, 2020 from 12-6 pm. at Eli Fish Brewing Company (109 Main St., Batavia). Tickets to the event are $15 presale and $20 the day of the event (and include food). This event is for ages 21 and older.

There will be raffles, a Cornhole Tournament (with 2-person teams), a DJ, and–you guessed it– Pep Rally-style contests (where a class could win a paver at VanDetta Stadium and their class name on the Alumni Pep Rally Spirit Stick!)

Eli Fish will be renaming one of their beers to “Foundation Beer” for the event with 50% of the proceeds going to the Foundation.

So…wear your Blue and White, bring your friends, bring your school memories and join us for the first ever multi-class reunion event!

Tickets may be purchased at:: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bcsd-foundations-1st-annual-alumni-pep-rally-tickets-94281950853.

Please consider attending even if you are an alum of a neighboring district. All are welcome!

This Pep Assembly fundraiser will support the BCSD Foundation, Inc in their various activities within the Batavia City School District.

A copy of the flyer is attached to this press release. Questions may be directed to foundation@bataviacsd.org.

Morning News Briefing

Libertarian congressional candidate says he will debate with McMurray, instead of GOP pick Jacobs after he was snubbed from an invited by the democrat.
Libertarian Party candidate for Congress in the 27th District Duane Whitmer has accepted Democrat Nate McMurray’s invitation to Chris Jacobs to debate McMurray eight times during the election.
Jacobs ignored the invitation eight times however Whitmer was not even invited by McMurray and now Whitmer stands against the claim that the democrat’s challengers are afraid to debate him.
Whitmer, who is the chair of the Erie County Libertarian Party, received the endorsement from the district county chairs of the Libertarian Party Monday night and is also petitioning to be on the Right to Bear Arms ballot line for both the special election on April 28th and the general election in November.

State Police based out of Albion report the arrest of 38 year old Crystal Kiebzak of Shelby following an incident on East Shelby Road in Town of Shelby Sunday evening.
Kiebzak was charged with a Class D felony count of Assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon along with a Class A misdemeanor for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th degree with intent to use it.
She was remanded to the Orleans County Jail in lieu of $250 bail.

Notre Dame Basketball Coach Michael Rapone is going for his 700th win this Wednesday.
The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame will face Lyndonville at 7pm at the Lyndonville High School tomorrow night.
Rapone is being honored at Notre Dame next Tuesday for his excellence in coaching and has the leading record of team wins among all coaches in all of Section V history.

The Batavia Central School District Foundation is hosting their first ever Pep Rally at a downtown brewery.
The Foundation is excited to announce the 1st Annual Alumni Pep Rally on Sunday, March 29, at Eli Fish Brewing Company from 12-6 pm.
There will be raffles, a Cornhole Tournament, a DJ, and Pep Rally-style contests where a class could win a paver at VanDetta Stadium and their class name on the Alumni Pep Rally Spirit Stick!
Eli Fish will also be renaming one of their beers to “Foundation Beer” for the event with 50% of the proceeds going to the Foundation.
For more information send inquiries’ to foundation@bataviacsd.org.

Senator Chuck Schumer is sharing his thoughts on the controversy surrounding New York’s Green Light Law.
During an event in Albany yesterday, the Senate Minority Leader said he supported Governor Cuomo taking legal action in an effort to allow New Yorkers to enroll in Trusted Traveler Programs.
The Department of Homeland Security says the current ban should remain since the Green Light Law allows illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses and doesn’t give the federal government access to state DMV records.
Governor Cuomo and President Trump met to discuss the issue last week, but no agreement was reached.

The Buffalo Sabres will look to continue their winning ways north of the border tonight.
They’ll be visiting the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.
Buffalo has won four of its last five games and is trying to close in on the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 7:30 p.m.

Morning News Briefing

The Buffalo-based company, Delaware North, has reportedly placed Nate McMurray on leave without pay, apparently with no explanation.
Delaware North is owned by the family of Chris Jacobs, McMurray’s opponent in the April 28 special election for the NY-27 District seat.
McMurray broke the story to our news partner the Batavian after he received the notice just two weeks ago claiming that previously there was no apparent problem with his employer during his time as supervisor in Grand Island and while he ran against Chris Collins in 2018.
After the initial report was published, Republican Political strategist and NY-27 resident Michael Caputo responded to McMurray’s claims saying that McMurray insulted his company and it’s owners numerous times on social media.
McMurray said he is currently living on vacation pay and an earned bonus, but the lack of income has not shaken McMurray’s commitment to the race.
For the more on the story check the article by our news partner The Batavian.

Batavia woman busted over twice the legal limit.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies took 28 year old Sarah Reynolds of Ganson Ave Batavia, into custody on felony counts of DWI and Aggravated DWI, after deputies responded to a vehicle off the roadway on Lewiston Road in Batavia just after midnight into Sunday morning.
Reynolds received an aggravated count of DWI for driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .18% or more, along with infractions for speeding and moving from a lane unsafely.
Reynolds was ultimately released with appearance tickets for Batavia Town Court on February 27th.

Hawley works across the aisle to restore video lottery terminal aid for Batavia and Genesee County.
As budget negotiations in Albany intensify, Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia has written to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting that Video Lottery Terminal Aid be restored in this year’s Enacted Budget due April 1.
The City of Batavia is slated to lose over $440-thousand; the Town of Batavia over $160- thousand and over $200-thousand to Genesee County as proposed by Gov. Cuomo in this year’s Executive Budget.
Hawley said the cuts will put a devastating financial hardship on our already overtaxed State citizens who continue to flee to other states.

Governor Cuomo has announced a plan he hopes will boost winter tourism in the Empire State.
A free snowmobiling weekend has been scheduled for March 14th and 15th.
Out-of-state and Canadian visitors with registered and insured snowmobiles will be able to travel the Snowmobile Trail System which spans across New York. Usually, tourists have to pay 100 dollars to register their snowmobiles.
The governor’s office says winter tourism provides a significant boost to the state’s economy each year.

The Buffalo Sabres are on a bit of a roll after winning four of their last five games.
Jack Eichel, Kyle Okposo, Johan Larsson, Conor Sheary and Jimmy Vesey all scored in Buffalo’s five-to-two win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at KeyBank Center last night.
With the victory, the Sabres have clawed within nine points of the Philadelphia Flyers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
They’ll be hitting the road tomorrow to take on the Ottawa Senators.

Weekend News Briefing

Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies took 31 year old Christopher Sims of Manhattan Ave Batavia into custody after he was found unresponsive parked in the roadway on Dublin Road in Bethany.
Deputies took Sims into custody Friday morning on felony counts of DWI for having a prior conviction within the past 10 years, for Parking on a Highway, having an Uninspected motor vehicle and for Refusing to take a breath test.
Sims was processed in the Genesee County Jail and released with an appearance ticket for Bethany Town Court on February 25th.

Hawley works across the aisle to restore video lottery terminal aid for Batavia and Genesee County.
As budget negotiations in Albany intensify, Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia has written to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting that Video Lottery Terminal Aid be restored in this year’s Enacted Budget due April 1.
The City of Batavia is slated to lose over $440-thousand; the Town of Batavia over $160-thousand and over $200-thousand to Genesee County as proposed by Gov. Cuomo in this year’s Executive Budget.
Hawley said the cuts will put a devastating financial hardship on our already overtaxed State citizens who continue to flee to other states.

Eight County Chairs Make Nate McMurray Nomination Official.
Thursday night Nate McMurray received unanimous support from all eight county chairs that comprise the NY-27 Congressional District, as part of the legal process required by the state to be the nominee in the Special Election on April 28th.
The county chairs convened in Batavia to hold their meeting at the Holiday Inn.

Notre Dame Basketball Coach Mike Rapone is to be honored after upcoming playoff match.
The Notre Dame High School family will be honoring the legacy of excellence of Notre Dame Basketball Coach Mike Rapone with a reception in the school cafeteria following the boys Section V playoff game on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Coach Rapone currently has 697 career victories as he coaches in his 40th season here at Notre Dame making him the all-time leader in Section V coaching victories with the second place coach more than 150 wins behind.
Rapone recently announced he was retiring as the school’s varsity baseball coach this spring after a 12-year stint as head coach however he will remain in his other roles at Notre Dame, as assistant principal, athletic director and the varsity basketball coach.
Rapone is also Genesee Region Boys Basketball chairman.

As of Friday night The City of Batavia Water Department was on location of a water main break in front of 700 Ellicott Street.
City crews are said to be making every attempt to restore water as soon as possible.

Morning News Briefing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New Yorkers remain under a ban preventing them from enrolling in secure-traveler programs after Governor Cuomo failed to come to an agreement with President Trump.
Yesterday Cuomo attended a meeting with the President in Washington with the hopes of reaching a deal regarding the ban, which was made in reaction to the state’s Green Light Law according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The law gives illegal immigrants the ability to apply for driver’s licenses without providing federal officials access to state DMV records.
Cuomo claims that he would agree to provide the DMV information, but only on a case by case basis for those applying for Trusted Traveler programs.

Plot to pawn stolen goods ends in arrest for a Homeless man in Batavia.
36 year old Thomas Leonard is facing a felony count of Falsifying Business Records, Petit Larceny and Conspiracy following investigation into a fraudulent pawn shop transaction in Batavia.
According to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office Leonard was attempting to pawn property he had allegedly stolen from the Walmart to the Pawn King Pawn Shop.
Leonard was and ultimately released with an appearance ticket for March 17th to Batavia Town Court.

LeRoy man busted by Deputies for drugs during a separate investigation.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies took 26 year old Kyle Madden of Lake Street Road into custody yesterday afternoon on a count of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Madden was found in possession of the substance while officers were responding to an unrelated matter.
He was released with an appearance ticket for Leroy Town Court next Thursday.

Ex-Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb won’t be seeking re-election in November.
The announcement comes weeks after the Republican was arrested for DWI near his Ontario County home.
The 67 year old represents the 131st Assembly District which includes all of Ontario County and parts of Seneca County.
In a statement, Kolb said he’s proud of his time in office and thanked his family and friends for their support.
Kolb’s next court appearance on the DWI charge is set for March 5th.

The number of flu cases is continuing to rise across New York, but not by much.
The latest data from the Department of Health shows there were 17-thousand confirmed cases of the virus during the week ending February 8th.
That’s an increase of less than one-percent from the week before.
Meanwhile, the number of patients hospitalized due to complications from the flu was up one-percent.
Doctors say getting a flu shot and practicing good hygiene are the best ways to keep from getting sick.

Morning News Briefing

An Orleans County woman will have some extra spending money after winning a big scratch-off ticket prize.
State lotto officials say Nichole Williams of Knowlesville won a million bucks through the Triple Double 777 Red Hot game.
The prize winnings couldn’t have come at a better time for Williams who nearly died from surgery last year after a cancer diagnosis…

After her brush with death Williams was inspired by her care-providers to go back to school and is going to be working as a CNA at a Medina nursing home.
Williams was presented a ceremonial prize check by NY Lotto’s Yolanda Vega at the Crosby’s in Elba where her friend purchased the lucky ticket as birthday present.
Williams says she’ll use the money to pay-off medical bills to Roswell, and to save for her family with the exception of one fun purchase…

Williams chose to take the lump-sum payment, bringing her total winnings to just over 537-thousand dollars.

The anticipation of heavy snowfall has dwindled according to the National Weather Service out of Buffalo.
The Winter Weather Advisory posted for the region has been cancelled with forecasters saying light snow will continue through mid-morning, but additional accumulations will be limited to an inch or less.
Drivers should still use caution on slippery and untreated roads.

Governor Cuomo will be at the White House today for a meeting with President Trump.
They’re expected to discuss a recent Trump administration decision to prevent Empire State residents from taking part in travel programs that allow folks to quickly pass through airport checkpoints and borders.
The Department of Homeland Security says the change was made in reaction to New York’s Green Light Law which allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.
Federal officials say the policy is a problem since it prevents access to state DMV records.
The governor says one possible compromise is DMV information will be shared on a case by case basis and only involve people applying for Trusted Traveler and Global Entry

The Buffalo Sabres will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in front of their home crowd.
They’re hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets at KeyBank Center this evening.
Right now, the Sabres are sitting 11 points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Faceoff for tonight’s game is set for 7:00 p.m.

HAWLEY: ‘NYC POLITICIANS BLOCK RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT TO OBTAIN WELFARE’

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today scoffed at politicians on the Social Services Committee, many of whom are from New York City, who voted unanimously to block Hawley’s bipartisan legislation (A.2251) that would institute a 90-day residency requirement before someone is eligible for welfare benefits in New York. Republicans voted unanimously to report the bill to the floor for a full vote before the house.

“New York’s bloated welfare system has driven our state into fiscal ruin, causing a multi-billion dollar deficit that will likely fall on the middle class. It is policies like these that perpetuate our reputation as the cradle to the grave capital of the nation, and attracts more visitors looking for a handout,” Hawley said.

“In perilous fiscal times like these when we should be passing bills to root out fraud, waste and abuse in our social service system so that we can afford to help those who have fallen into unfortunate circumstances, instead of expanding an already wasteful system,” Hawley finished.

Brace Yourself for an Ebullition in Fashion

Press Release:

The Fashion Program students at Genesee Community College announced the 39th Annual Fashion Show will take over the Richard C. Call Arena on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 7 p.m. and no one should miss this “Ebullition” in Fashion!

Earlier in the semester, GCC’s Fashion Program student Yuuka Sano unveiled the 39th Annual Fashion Show theme as “Ebullition!” As the theme dictates, this show will be an eruption of emotion expressed through fashion. Each scene in the show will be connected through a series of introspective garment selections with specific colors and textures to reflect authentic emotions consistent with the Japanese representation “ki do ai raku” meaning happiness, anger, sadness and joy in English.

With an exciting and powerful theme to guide their selections, the students have already begun to audition Scene Coordinators, marketing, advertising, sponsorships and scene garments. In the coming months, GCC students will build and coordinate more than a dozen scenes for the fast-paced, professionally produced show.

In addition, the Fashion Show student committees are holding Model Tryouts for all ages in GCC’s Batavia Campus Forum on:

• Wednesday, February 12, 2020 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
• Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Anyone interested in becoming a GCC Fashion Show Model should email Fashion Show Marketing Committee Member Jess Piper at jpiper1@my.genesee.edu to schedule a tryout timeslot.

Taking full advantage of the 24,000 square foot indoor field house in the Richard C. Call Arena, “Ebullition” will accommodate up to 2,000 guests and offer ample parking. This year’s students are planning a fully immersive production which includes pre-show interviews and photo-ops featuring the coordinators of each scene, and a post-show party and vendor market. Currently, students are seeking vendors to participate in this portion of the program.

Tickets to the show will go on sale in February – watch https://www.genesee.edu/events/fashion/ for details. To appreciate the development of “Ebullition,” follow @gccfashionprogram on Instagram, @trendygcc on Twitter and the FBM (Fashion Business Merchandising) program blog at https://sunygcc.blog/category/academics/fashion/. Students will be sharing details about the show, their individual scenes and more! In addition, the show is live-streamed around the world.

There are industry-exclusive sponsorship opportunities available that include public recognition and promotional value. Any business, organization, or individual interested in supporting this year’s Fashion Show should contact Debbie Mancuso at (585) 345-6830 or via email at fashionshow@genesee.edu today.

The Fashion Program at GCC has always been a flagship for the college. The knowledge and experience of the faculty and their dedication to their students has produced quality and professional workplace candidates and well-prepared transfer students since the program’s inception more than 40 years ago.

Recently, GCC renewed its articulation agreement with LIM for students in the Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. program. Students who complete the track and degree can seamlessly transfer to LIM to complete their B.B.A. in Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing or Management. In addition, GCC is very excited to announce a new articulation agreement with Cazenovia College. This agreement provides a seamless transfer opportunity for GCC’s Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. students to Cazenovia’s Fashion Merchandising B.P.S. and for GCC’s Fashion Business: Fashion Design A.A.S. students to Cazenovia’s Fashion Design B.F.A. degree program. Anyone interested in taking advantage of these transfer opportunities through GCC is encouraged to contact GCC’s Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or via email at SSC@genesee.edu.

Morning News Briefing

Batavia Police are reporting the arrest of 18 year old Adrian Laird of Hutchins Street in the City on a count of Rape in the second degree.
The incident allegedly occurred at a lower Hutchins Street apartment on January 10th of this year.
Laird was taken into custody and arraigned in Batavia City Court yesterday where he was released with conditions of the court.
Laird was directed to reappear in City Court on Thursday morning.

Pringle Ave drug pusher busted by Batavia PD.
61 year old Gregory Seppe of Batavia is facing counts of Burglary and Endangering the Welfare of a Child after he allegedly pushed his way into a State Street residence on Saturday attempting to sell drugs.
According to reports Seppe refused to leave after being asked multiple times by the tenants.
Seppe was subsequently released with appearance tickets returnable to Batavia City Court on Thursday morning.

Darien woman faces felony DWI for driving over twice the legal limit.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies stopped 32 year old Tanya Captain in Alexander following investigation into an incident on Pike Road in Batavia.
Captain was charged with Aggravated DWI for recording a Blood Alcohol Content of .18 percent or higher along with Criminal Mischief with intent to damage property and failing to stop at a stop sign.
Captain is due back in Batavia Town Court on February 27th.

A Washington Ave woman arrested for endangerment.
City Police took 31 year old Alexis Finnin of Batavia into custody on a count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child following investigation into an incident at an East Main Street address back in September of last year.
Finnin was accused of being intoxicated to the point she was not able to supervise a five year old child and subjected the child to a risk of physical, mental and moral harm.
Finnin was released with an appearance ticket for City Court.

The list of candidates looking to fill the empty 27th Congressional District seat is now a bit smaller.
State Senator Robert Ortt announced yesterday he’s dropping out of the race.
The North Tonawanda lawmaker had been seeking the Republican nomination that eventually went to fellow State Senator Chris Jacobs.
Ortt also tried to get the backing of the Conservative Party, but came up short.
The 27th District seat has been open since last year following the resignation of ex-Congressman Chris Collins.
A special election is set for April 28th.

The Buffalo Sabres have won two out of their last three games following a victory at home.
Marcus Johansson, Sam Reinhart and Conor Sheary all scored in Buffalo’s three-to-two win over the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center last night.
Buffalo goalie Carter Hutton had 27 saves and has won three of his last four starts.
The Sabres next play on Thursday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Kim Arnold to Chair Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for care and support for all impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and research to find ways to prevent, treat and end the disease.
On October 3, 2020, the Genesee/Wyoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s will bring more than 600 people to Batavia who have touched in some way by dementia, and leading the effort is an executive with The Manor House in Batavia.

Kim Arnold and daughter Brooke will lead Alzheimer’s walk in Batavia

Manor House Sales and Marketing Director Kim Arnold will chair this year’s event in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter, which oversees five other Walks across the region. In 2019, the Batavia Walk raised more than $64,000. Corporate sponsorship and peer-to-peer fundraising for the Walk fund the Chapter’s local outreach, which includes free education and supportive services, as well as critical research.

“I am honored to be leading the volunteer team for the Batavia Walk. Our committee is very dedicated to organizing a fun and inspiring event and raising the funds that will help us end this terrible disease,” said Arnold. “One of the things I am most proud about is that our Walk is one of the leaders across the nation for returning Walk teams, and I think that is a reflection of the wonderful community we have here across Genesee and Wyoming counties”.

Individual, family and friend and corporate teams raise funds for the Walk through various means, including yard sales, raffles, dress down days and the sales of various purple items such as bracelets and paper flowers.

Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner welcomes Arnold to the Walk leadership group. “I am delighted that Kim has this critical leadership role to support families in her community and across Western New York. Her dedication and on-going support of chapter work is never ending and I can’t thank Kim enough for her commitment”.

Other Walks set for this year are set for the Buffalo on September 12, the Southern Tier and Orleans County on September 26, Niagara County on October 3 and Chautauqua County on October 10. All Walk locations are currently recruiting volunteers to serve on organizing committees. Roles include marketing, recruitment, sponsorship and logistics. To volunteer, call the WNY Chapter office at (716) 626-0600. To learn more about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and to start a fundraising team, visit alz.org/Walk.

Kim Arnold joined The Manor House in 2016 after working in sales and marketing in Monroe County, including serve as the Chair of Development for Camp HACCAMO for developmentally disabled children in Penfield. Her affiliation with the Alzheimer’s Association began seven years ago when she volunteered to work as a community educator. Arnold has been volunteering with the Association and the Walk since she began working in Batavia. She and her husband Tom reside in Avon with their daughter Brooke, who also volunteers at the Walk.

About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

About the Western New York Chapter
The local Chapter provides programs, services and other resources for those living with dementia, their care partners, healthcare professionals and others across eight counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.
You can learn more by calling (716) 626-0600 during traditional business hours, or 24/7 at 800-272-3900 or Online

Morning News Briefing

City Council members voted to schedule three public hearings to address the 2020-21 budget ordinance during their business meeting last night.
The meetings are to focus on a possible 7.5 percent property tax increase overriding the state’s property tax cap along with spending cuts to close a projected $700,000 gap in the City’s budget.
Most of the projected gap came from the Governor’s tentative state budget which looked to take approximately $440,000 in Video Lottery Terminal money from Batavia Downs Gaming which usually goes to the City.
According to Council President Eugene Jankowski the local legislature is not just dealing with the potential loss of the Video Lottery Terminal funds but also was anticipating to spend more on items related to bail reform…

If adopted, the tax rate would go from $8.92 to $9.60 per thousand assessed valuation
The public hearings have been scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday Feb. 24 at City Hall.

An Oakfield man facing charges across three Towns after leading officers on County wide car chase.
37 year old Jonathan Suggs of Lewiston Road Oakfield was arrested after he allegedly fled from Deputies trying to stop him for an expired registration in Batavia leading officers on a car chase through Oakfield that ended on Lewiston Road in Alabama at around 1:30 this morning.
Suggs was charged with Unlawfully Fleeing a Police Officer in a motor vehicle, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and Speeding in the Town of Oakfield as well as additional vehicle and traffic infractions outs of both the Town of Batavia and Alabama.
He was ultimately released with appearance tickets for the three separate town courts in March.

Governor Cuomo has officially set the date for a special election in the 27th Congressional District.
As expected, it’ll be Tuesday, April 28th, which is the same day as New York’s presidential primary.
Republicans have criticized that decision, saying the large number of Democrats expected to arrive at polling places that day could affect the final result.
The Democrats will be represented by Nate McMurray, while the GOP has nominated State Senator Chris Jacobs.
The seat has been open since ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins stepped down last year after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.

Spectrum customers affected by this weekend’s service outage will be able to get a credit on a future bill.
A company spokeswoman says the credit will be offered to folks who call the customer service line and ask for one.
The credit amount will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Customers in Upstate New York and New England were affected by the outage, which was caused by weather-related damage to fiber-optic lines.
The number to call for a credit is 855-707-7328.

The Buffalo Sabres will look to start putting an end to their recent struggles tonight.
They’ll be hosting the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center.
The two teams last squared off last Thursday, with the Red Wings winning four-to-three in a shootout.
Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 7:00 p.m.

Morning News Briefing

New charges have been filed against 23 year old Daniel Lewis, who is currently listed with no permanent address, after he was found with items allegedly stolen from vehicles in Stafford.
Lewis has been arrested multiple times since he was released from custody in December after pleading guilty to stolen property charges and most recently Lewis has been charged with seven additional counts of criminal possession of stolen property.
After pleading guilty to criminal possession of stolen property from an incident in Pavilion on Memorial Day Lewis was initially released from custody in December due to the new bail reform law however he has since been apprehended and is being held in jail now as a suspect in a New Year’s Day robbery on Bank Street.
He is also a person of interest in the theft of a Spectrum Truck and subsequent chase and foot pursuit on January 25th in Batavia.

Batavia Police arrest an erratic driver from Alexander for DWI.
City police stopped 39 year old John Cummings of Dodgeson Road Alexander on Ross Street in Batavia in the early morning hours last Wednesday after the officer observed his erratic driving.
He was charged with DWI, along with failure to maintain his lane, to keep right and to stop at stop sign.
Cummings was issued multiple tickets returnable to Batavia City Court on February 19th.

Bergen man busted for Harassment in Batavia.
35 year old Thomas Wolcott of Buffalo Street Bergen was apprehended by City Police following a disturbance a t a Bank Street address last Wednesday.
Wolcott was charged with Harassment and Obstruction and was released on his own recognizance to return to City Court tomorrow afternoon.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office will be holding a news conference today to discuss the state’s Green Light Law.
It’s set to take place at the Peace Bridge, located between the United States and Canada.
Last week, the Homeland Security department said New Yorkers would no longer be able to enroll in trusted traveler programs, since the Green Light Law prevents federal officials from accessing DMV records.
Governor Cuomo says the state is filing a lawsuit claiming the change violates the rights of New Yorkers.

The Buffalo Sabres are continuing to struggle after dropping yet another game at home.
Sabres goalie Jonas Johansson allowed three goals on the first four shots he faced yesterday as Buffalo fell to the Anaheim Ducks by a final score of three-to-two. Rasmus Dahlin and Johan Larsson had the goals for the Sabres who have only won two games following the All-Star break.
They’ll be home again tomorrow night to host the Detroit Red Wings.

Morning News Briefing

The Winter Weather Advisory posted for Genesee, Wyoming and Livingston Counties has been extended until 6 p.m. this evening according to the National Weather Service based out of Buffalo.
The weather service has cancelled the Winter Storm Watch for the three counties with mixed precipitation expected through early this evening, and additional snow accumulations of 5 to 9 inches expected.
In Orleans County a Winter Storm Warning will remain in until 6 p.m. Saturday with weather officials expecting total snow accumulations of 7 to 14 inches along with ice accumulations of a few hundredths of an inch and winds gusting as high as 40 mph later tonight and Friday.
Make sure to take extra time and use caution especially during the morning and evening commutes.

City looks at nearly half a million hit to budget.
As the Cuomo administration works with State Legislature to close an over 6 billion dollar State Budget gap, many smaller municipalities are now looking at budget gaps of their own due to new state mandates.
Unfortunately for the City of Batavia, the new State mandates looking to close the gap with video lottery terminal funds from Batavia Downs is going to cost the city around 440-thousand dollars in revenue.
City Manager Martin Moore spoke to issue while appearing as a featured guest on WBTA’s morning program Main and Center…

Moore said he is working with the New York Conference of Mayors in an effort to oppose the change in funding stream and to navigate its symptoms.

A Lackawanna man is facing up to 20 years behind bars for causing a crash that killed three people and injured several more.
A judge sentenced Richard Sawicki yesterday after he drove drunk and slammed his vehicle into a minivan in the Wyoming County community of Varysburg last May.
Everyone who died was part of a family from New Jersey. Sawicki will have to serve over six years of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole.

The struggles of the Buffalo Sabres continue following a loss to the worst team in the NHL.
Evan Rodrigues, Jimmy Vesey and Scott Wilson all scored for Buffalo in last night’s four-to-three shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings at KeyBank Center. With the defeat, the Sabres continue to lose ground in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ll look to turn things around tonight on the road when they visit the New York Rangers.

Days after billboards went up hinting the Rolling Stones were coming back to Western New York, the band has officially announced their return.
The “No Filter” tour will be making a stop at New Era Field on Saturday, June 6th.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers last performed in the region back in 2015.
Tickets for June’s show go on sale next Friday, February 14th.

Doubt: A Parable Performed by GCC’s Forum Players

Back row, left to right is Sam Rigerman, Francesca Pieter, and Caitlynne Tape. Front row, left to right is Nevaeh Vindigni-Kretchmer and Lucine Kauffman. Missing from the photo is Alyssa Young.

Press Release:

What: Doubt: A Parable Performed by GCC’s Forum Players

When: Four performances: Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22, 2020 both at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Where: Genesee Community College Batavia Campus – Stuart Steiner Theatre

Who: This show is for mature audiences (ages 16+)

Background:

The Forum Players, Genesee Community College’s theatre arts students, and members of the local theatre community are excited to open the 2020 spring season with Doubt: A Parable, written by John Patrick Shanley, which won both a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award in 2005.

This performance is a brilliant and powerful drama which tells the story of Bronx school principal Sister Aloysius, who takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the young Father Flynn of improper relations with a male student. Shanley not only wrote the play, but he also wrote the screenplay and directed it as a film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

GCC’s talented Forum Players bring this parable to life with four live performances, directed by Maryanne Arena and Jaime Arena, which are intended for mature audiences.

• Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
• Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22, 2020, both at 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 2 p.m.

The cast includes:

• Lucine Kauffman of Elba, NY as Sister Aloysius
• Sam Rigerman of Batavia, NY as Father Flynn
• Nevaeh Vindigni-Kretchmer of Rochester, NY as Sister James (alternating the role)
• Alyssa Young of Holley, NY as Sister James (alternating the role)
• Francesca Pieter of Willemstad, Curacao as Mrs. Muller (alternating the role)
• Caitlynne Tape of Syracuse, NY as Mrs. Muller (alternating the role)

The crew includes:

• Brodie McPherson of Rochester, NY as technical director and production designer
• Emily Grierson of Perry, NY as stage manager
• Tiago Ortega of Sao Paulo, Brazil as a backstage assistant
• Leah Plummer of Bradford, PA as a backstage assistant

Tickets for these shows are available online! The cost is $8 for adults, and $5 for seniors (55+) and students (16+) and GCC faculty/ staff. GCC students with ID are $3, and GCC alumni with ID will receive a $2 discount on an adult ticket. To reserve seats, you may also contact the GCC box office at boxoffice@genesee.edu or (585) 345-6814.

Student Artwork Selected for Cover of the Rochester Auto Show

left to right: Gretchen Rosales, Principal of Elba Junior/Senior High School; Sandra Salcido, Fanny’s mother; Fanny Venegas; Juan Canto, Director of Training, Compliance, Recruitment and Placement for the RADA; Doug Russo, Batavia CTE Center Graphic Arts Instructor; Maggie Poray, Batavia CTE Center Student Services Coordinator.

Press Release:

Batavia, New York, February 5, 2020 – Fanny Venegas is a junior at Elba Central Schools and a first-year student in the Graphic Arts Program at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. She recently submitted a design for the cover of the Rochester Automobile Dealers Association’s (RADA) Rochester Auto Show Program and her design was selected as the winner.

Fanny was recently recognized by Juan Canto, Director of Training, Compliance, Recruitment and Placement for the RADA and she was presented with a monetary award.

“Each year, the RADA invites students to design the program cover because it provides an excellent learning opportunity allowing them to display their knowledge and skills that they learn in the Graphic Design classroom,” Canto said. “The student whose cover design is chosen, gets to have their bio and picture included in the Auto Show book which thousands of people look at. This prestigious selection can be included in the students’ resume as they look to attend college or, find gainful employment.”

Gretchen Rosales is the Principal of Elba Junior/Senior High School. She noted how Fanny goes above and beyond in all she accomplishes.

“Fanny is a student who consistently goes above and beyond in all that she does. Not only does she participate in the Graphic Arts program at the Batavia CTE Center, but she takes AP courses back at the Elba campus. She is a three-sport athlete, participating in cross country and indoor/outdoor track,” Rosales said. “Fanny strives to always give more than 100 percent and she exemplifies what it means to be an Elba Lancer.”

Doug Russo is Fanny’s Graphic Arts Instructor. He described how Fanny’s skill set has grown immensely since she first began in September.

“Fanny has gained a vast amount of experience in the graphic arts field. She is proficient in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop which are highly sought out skills in the graphics industry,” Russo said. “She is detail orientated, gets along well with others and has great leadership skills.”

Fanny was surprised when she was informed that she is the winner. “I was shocked because so many of my classmates entered this contest. I’m so happy,” Fanny said.

Fanny’s Mom was present as Canto gave Fanny the award check. With a big smile, her Mom said, “I am so proud.”

Fanny plans to pursue her education and become a photographer/videographer.

The Rochester Auto Show is held each year in March at the Floreano Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, New York. The event, that draws tens of thousands of attendees, is sponsored by the Rochester Automobile Dealers Association and features current and future new vehicles in the market.

Morning News Briefing

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory that remains in effect for the GLOW region this morning.
The advisory is set to expire at 1 PM with a Winter Storm Watch going into effect later this evening lasting through late Friday night.
Forecasters expect up to 4 inches of total snow accumulations by this afternoon and ice accumulations of a few hundredths of an inch with below freezing temperatures holding through the morning.
A special weather statement was also posted for slick road conditions this morning.
Weather officials remind motorists to use caution and to give yourself extra time to reach your destination while remaining alert for icy conditions, especially on secondary roads.

Neighborhood meeting for Ward Six residents targets hot topics concerning residents.
Rose Mary Christian Ward Six Councilwoman hosted public meeting at City Hall on yesterday evening.
A portion of the discussion focused on a registered sex offender living next to a park where children play and what residents could do to in response.

Our news partner the Batavian was on scene as City Council President Eugene Jankowski attempted to address their concerns…

Other topics of discussion ranged from the status of the GCASA-owned building on South Swan; the recent robbery by Pizza Hut; sidewalks; and the proposal for a new skate park in the city.
For more on the story check the video by our news partner The Batavian.

Fanny Venegas is a junior at Elba Central School who designed the cover of the Rochester Automobile Dealers Association’s (RADA) Rochester Auto Show Program and her design was selected as the winner.
Fanny is also a first-year student in the Graphic Arts Program at the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center.
She was recently recognized by Juan Canto, director of Training, Compliance, Recruitment and Placement for the RADA, and she was presented with a monetary award.

State Health Commissioner Doctor Howard Zucker says there still haven’t been any confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York.
Zucker says 21 Empire State residents have been tested for the illness. Twelve of those results have come back negative, while the remaining nine are still pending.
Anyone with questions about the disease can call 1-888-365-3065 to get answers from Department of Health experts.

Buffalo Bills season ticket holders are going to have to hand over more money to see their team play this upcoming season.
The Buffalo News reports the average cost of a season ticket will increase to 93 dollars per game, a jump of over four bucks.
How much each fan has to pay will depend on their seat location.
The price of season parking passes will also be going up.

MEGA PROPERTIES SUBMITS APPLICATION FOR 60,000 SQ. FT. FACILITY AT GATEWAY II CORPORATE PARK IN BATAVIA

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY – The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider accepting an application for assistance from Mega Properties at the GCEDC’s February 6, 2020 board meeting.

Mega Properties is investing approximately $3 million to build a 60,000 sq. ft. distribution warehouse in the town of Batavia at the Gateway II Corporate Park.

The project is the first phase of development on a 22.2-acre site purchased by Mega Properties in 2019. The site could accommodate approximately 120,000 sq. ft. of additional facilities.

Mega Properties has long-standing ties to Batavia, having launched in Batavia’s Harvester Business Incubation Center more than 30 years ago. The business is currently based at the Gateway I Corporate Park in the town of Batavia.

Mega Properties is seeking approximately $558,497 in assistance, including a property tax exemption of $400,497, a sales tax exemption of $128,000, and a mortgage tax exemption of $30,000.

Since the project is requesting more than $100,000 in incentives, public hearings will be scheduled for comment and feedback to the requests.

The Gateway II Corporate Park is located less than a mile from Interstate 90 Exit 48 in the town of Batavia, and is home to Ashley Furniture HomeStore’s regional distribution facility.

The Gateway II Corporate Park is also the site of Gallina Development’s square-foot office-manufacturing-distribution flex building Gateway GS campus, with has immediate availability for lease tenants seeking 4,500 to 27,000 sq. ft.

$22.5 MILLION BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT, $3.1 MILLION DOWNTOWN BATAVIA PROJECT SUBMIT APPLICATIONS TO GCEDC

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY – The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider accepting applications for assistance from two Batavia Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) strategic projects at the GCEDC’s February 6, 2020 board meeting.

Together, the Ellicott Station and Ellicott Place projects are proposing 65 new apartments that support Genesee County’s EDGE economic development strategy for housing to support the growth of Genesee County’s businesses and communities.

Ellicott Station is a $22.5 million mixed-use brownfield redevelopment project by Savarino Companies that includes adaptive re-use and new construction at _____ Ellicott St., a blighted property in a key gateway entrance to downtown Batavia, and the creation of 20 additional jobs to downtown Batavia’s business community.

Considerable brownfield remediation, site improvements, and construction is proposed, with the project proposing a 5-story apartment building with 55 new modern workforce housing units, along with a brewery, restaurant/beer garden, and preparation for additional development at the 3.31-acre campus.

Ellicott Station is requesting approximately $3.6 million in economic incentives, with a $2,105,792 property tax exemption, a $790,512 sales tax exemption, and a $180,792 mortgage tax exemption. Revenues from the project will also contribute to the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity brownfield redevelopment fund.

Ellicott Place is a $3.1 million redevelopment of 45-47 Ellicott St. by V.J. Gautieri Constructors that includes the creation of and access to residential and commercial spaces in downtown Batavia.

The project will construct 10 second-floor apartments at the existing facility, along with the development of first-floor storefronts and building-wide façade improvements. The redevelopment of Ellicott Place is estimated to create nine additional jobs to downtown Batavia’s business community.

Ellicott Place is requesting approximately $130,000 in economic incentives, with a $110,400 sales tax exemption and a $20,000 mortgage tax exemption.

Ellicott Station and Ellicott Place were among eight transformational investments announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as enabling the Batavia DRI’s strategy to drive new, mixed-use development, improved access to local healthcare, and transform public spaces for community use.

Since both the projects are requesting over $100,000 in incentives, public hearings will be scheduled for comment and feedback to the requests.

City Fire: North Street Fire

Press Release:

At 4:56 am on February 5, 2020 the City of Batavia Fire Department was dispatched to a reported residential fire at located at 216 North Street. First arriving fire units were on-scene at 5:00 am.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a fire involving the front porch of the home extending to the exterior siding. Responding crews made an aggressive attack and were able to confine and contain the fire to the exterior of the home and the situation was called under control by command at 5:07 am.

While the fire was contained to the exterior of the residence, two vehicles located in the driveway along the home received significant damage due to the intensity of the fire.

At this time the City of Batavia’s Fire Investigation team is investigating the fire to determine the origin and cause. Presently, the fire does not appear to be incendiary in nature. Once a determination has been made, we will be providing an additional media release with further information.

City Fire was assisted at the scene by the City of Batavia Police with additional support provided by the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch.

GCASA Foundation to award two $1,000 scholarships

Press release:

The GCASA Foundation is accepting applications for its annual scholarship, which is open to Genesee and Orleans County students entering college this fall.

The purpose of the program that awards two $1,000 scholarships – one to a Genesee County resident and one to an Orleans County resident – is to provide financial support to those pursuing their education at an institution of higher learning in the fields of human services or social services and, ultimately, to contribute to improving community health.

Scholarship criteria includes the following:

  • The applicant must be accepted at an accredited college or university and enrolled in or matriculated in an eligible program or major;
  • Eligible programs include Social Work, Nursing, Health Science, Mental Health Counseling, Psychology and Human Services (and related majors);
  • Current GCASA employees, board members and GCASA Foundation board members are not eligible, but relatives of the preceding are eligible.

Applicants are required to provide academic history (high school or college transcripts), two letters of recommendation from someone other than a relative who knows the applicant’s work/volunteer history/academic history, a resume or personal biography including work history, volunteer experience and extra-curricular activities, and an essay that addresses educational and employment objectives as they relate to the mission of GCASA.

Financial need, volunteerism, employment history and civic involvement will be given careful consideration. The recipients will be announced at GCASA’s annual membership meeting on May 20 upon verification of acceptance into an accredited college or university.

GCASA Foundation scholarship applications are posted on the agency’s website – www.gcasa.net.

Completed applications and accompanying documents should be mailed to Diane Klos, Prevention Secretary, GCASA, 430 E. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020, or emailed to dklos@gcasa.org.

Applications must be postmarked by March 6 if sent in the mail.

Albion PD: Three arrested for Albion Burglary

BENJAMIN E. Coger Age: 33

BENJAMIN E. Coger Age: 33

JAMES V. GURSSLIN AGE 33

JAMES V. GURSSLIN AGE 33

 

Press Release:

The Albion Police Department has arrested 3 Individuals after the immediate commission of a Burglary to a Dwelling and the Larceny from several vehicles.

Shortly after midnight the Albion Police Department was dispatched to the area of Clarendon Street and Childs Street for an audible car alarm going off and suspicious persons in the area. Albion Police Officers arrived on scene and took 3 suspicious persons located in the area into custody. The suspects were in possession of numerous stolen items and Burglar Tools.

The investigation resulted in the discovery of a Burglary at a residence on Childs Street and several larcenies from vehicles in the area of Childs Street, Clarendon Street and Crimson Heights, all committed by the 3 suspects.

The 3 Suspects were charged with Burglary 2nd (C Felony) and numerous counts of Grand Larceny 4th (E Felony), Petit Larceny and several other A misdemeanors. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges will be filed following the investigation.

Two of the persons arrested are Adults while the third is a 17-year-old Adolescent Offender because of the new Raise the Age Legislation.

Because of the New York State Justice Reform, the 2 adult offenders were released on appearance tickets and the Adolescent Offender was placed on House Arrest following an arraignment in County Youth Court.

All of the offenders have also been recently arrested and released for other burglaries they are alleged to have committed and are under investigation for additional Burglaries in the immediate area. They can not be held because of Justice Reform.

This is another example of Law-Abiding Citizens of our community being placed in harms way, because of Law Enforcement’s ability to protect our citizens being hampered by legislation.

The Above Defendants are Albion residents that use many addresses in the Village of Albion.

Third Suspects Name is being withheld due to his Adolescent Offender Status.

We believe that the above Defendants may have committed other crimes and if anyone believes they are Victims of Larcenies or Burglaries we ask that you contact the Albion Police or the Law Enforcement Agency where you live.

If anyone has seen the above individuals acting suspicious to please report the activity to the Albion Police.

The Albion Police Department was assisted by the Orleans County Sheriffs Office and the New York State Police.

Morning News Briefing

A Trio of Albion men suspected of burglarizing an Albion home and committing multiple larcenies from vehicles in the Village were apprehended by Albion Police last night.
Police were called for reported car alarm sounding and suspicious people around the vehicle shortly after midnight last night.
Officers allegedly found 33 year olds Benjamin Coger and James Gursslin, along with an unnamed 17-year-old suspect, all in possession of stolen items and burglary tools.
All three were arrested and charged with counts of burglary, grand larceny, petit larceny, and various misdemeanor counts with charges pending.
The teen was placed on house arrest and Both Coger and Gursslin were released with appearance tickets.
All three had prior criminal history and had been previously arrested and released for various other burglaries.
Lawmen are encouraging anyone suspicious that they may have had their home burglarized or had items stolen from their vehicles to contact their police department.

State Police name New Troop-A Commander.
Major James M. Hall, a 25-year veteran of the New York State Police has been named the 25th Troop Commander in the 102-year history of Troop A.
As the Troop A Commander, Hall will oversee all State Police patrol and investigative operations within the eight counties of Western New York for more than 400 sworn and civilian personnel.

The whole GLOW region is going under a Winter Weather Advisory this evening.
The National Weather Service has issued the advisory to be in effect from 7 this evening until 1 PM Thursday before an anticipated Winter Storm Watch goes into effect Thursday evening through late Friday night.
Forecasters are calling for mixed precipitation with total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches by tomorrow afternoon and ice accumulations of a few hundredths of an inch.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center board will consider accepting applications for assistance from Borrego Solar for five community solar projects at their board meeting Thursday.
Borrego Solar is investing approximately $21.6 million, into five solar projects expected to produce 22 megawatts of energy to subscribers and to generate over $2 million in revenues to municipalities and schools where the projects are located within Genesee County.
Since all the projects are requesting over $100,000 in incentives, public hearings will be scheduled for comment and feedback to the requests.

The Buffalo Sabres pursuit of a playoff spot takes another hit following a tough loss at home.
Sam Reinhart had Buffalo’s lone goal in a six-to-one defeat to the Colorado Avalanche at KeyBank Center last night.
The Sabres still have 53 points on the season and are now 12 points out of the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
The Sabres will be back home tomorrow night when they host the Detroit Red Wings.

State Police Name New Troop A Commander

Maj James M. Hall

Major James M. Hall, a 25-year veteran of the New York State Police has been named the 25th Troop Commander in the 102-year history of Troop A.

As the Troop A Commander, Hall will oversee all State Police patrol and investigative operations within the eight (8) counties of Western New York for over 400 sworn and civilian personnel.

Hall began his State Police career in 1994 and rose through the ranks, most recently, serving as Troop A’s BCI Captain. His duties have included: Uniform Trooper, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain. Additionally, he has served in the Professional Standards Bureau, as well as the Gaming Detail.

Hall received a Bachelor Degree in Organizational Management from Houghton College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Marist College. He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.

Throughout his career, Major Hall has had the opportunity to work on several high-profile cases during his various assignments. He is committed to public service and comes from a family with a rich history in law enforcement.

GCEDC BOARD TO CONSIDER APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY SOLAR PROJECTS IN BATAVIA, PEMBROKE

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY – The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider accepting applications for assistance from Borrego Solar for five community solar projects at the GCEDC’s February 6, 2020 board meeting.

Borrego Solar is investing approximately $21.6 million, which would generate 22 megawatts of energy for residential and commercial subscribers. The five projects are estimated to generate $2.092 million in revenues to the municipalities and schools where the projects are located.

In the town of Batavia, Borrego Solar has submitted applications for assistance for three solar farms that would be located at 5230 Batavia-Stafford Townline Road (Elba Central Schools), 3104 West Main Street Road (Pembroke Central Schools) and 3232 West Main Street Road (Pembroke Central Schools).

If approved, the proposed PILOTs for the three town of Batavia projects are estimated to generate $390,041 in revenues to Genesee County, $433,033 in revenues to the Pembroke Central Schools and $318,292 in revenues to the Elba Central Schools over 15 years.

In the town of Pembroke, Borrego Solar has submitted applications for assistance for two solar farms that would be located at 241 Knapp Road East (Akron Central Schools) and 241 Knapp Road West (Akron Central Schools).

If approved, the proposed PILOTs for the two town of Pembroke projects are estimated to generate $364,711 in revenues to Genesee County and $586,427 in revenues to the Akron Central Schools.

Since all the projects are requesting over $100,000 in incentives, public hearings will be scheduled for comment and feedback to the requests.

Morning News Briefing

Troopers based out of Machias are reporting the arrest of an erratic dump truck driver out of Orleans County.
41 year old Medina resident, Stephen Tagg was taken into custody on counts of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated in a Commercial Vehicle after being stopped by State Police on January 30th.
While Troopers were investigating an erratic operation complaint they discovered a ten-wheel dump truck off the road on Martin Road in Machias.
Tagg was unable to complete standardized field sobriety tests due to his level of intoxication and officers determined he had been operating the vehicle while in an extremely intoxicated condition.
Tagg later recorded a Blood Alcohol Content 0.31% nearly four times the legal limit and was issued appearance tickets for Machias Town Court, for later this month.

Ward Six Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian is hosting a neighborhood meeting tonight at City Hall.
Christian would like to discuss progress of the Crime Task Force and opportunities to organize a neighborhood group to design and improve resident’s safety.
The meeting is being held tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Board Room on the 2nd floor of City Hall.
The City Manager, City Police and Fire Chiefs are to be attendance.

A change in party Enrollment Deadline announced by County Elections
The Elections Office is informing voters that enrollment changes are now effective immediately, except for those that are filed between February 15th through June 30th.
Any changes falling in that period will take effect on June 30th. Therefore, the deadline for changing Party enrollment before the Presidential Primary on April 28th and the June 23rd Primary is February 14th.

State Police are once again urging New Yorkers to follow the state’s Move-Over Law.
The legislation requires everyone behind the wheel drive slowly and move one lane over if they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.
Troopers say 26 State Police vehicles were struck by last year by drivers who didn’t follow the law.
Penalties include a large fine and points on your driver’s license.

The flu is continuing to take a deadly toll in Monroe County. County health officials say four people have lost their lives this season due to complications from the virus.
One child under the age of four passed away in October, while three people ages 75 and older have also died.
As of January 25th, nearly 24-hundred cases of the flu have been confirmed in Monroe County. Doctors are still urging people who haven’t received a flu shot to do so immediately.

The Buffalo Sabres will be back in front of their home crowd tonight in search of a second straight win.
They’re hosting the Colorado Avalanche at Key Bank Center.
Currently, the Sabres are 21 points behind the Boston Bruins in the NHL’s Atlantic Division and 11 points out of a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 7:00 p.m.

Genesee County: Change of Enrollment Deadline

Press Release:

This notice is to inform voters that enrollment changes are now effective immediately, except for those that are filed between February 15th through June 30th. Any changes falling in that period will take effect on June 30th. Therefore, the deadline for changing Party enrollment before the Presidential Primary on April 28th and the June 23rd Primary is February 14th.

Morning News Briefing

24 year old Daniel J. Lewis of Genesee Street Lima was arrested by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies’ after leading officers on foot chase in Batavia.
Lewis was allegedly trying to gain entry to cars on Rollin Circle East before Deputies took him into custody on Haven Lane.
Lewis was found in possession of a number of items believed to be taken from recent car larcenies in the area.
The Sheriff’s Office charged him with 13 counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, 8 counts of Criminal Possession of a Stolen Credit Card, and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Personal Identification Number for an individual’s checking account.
Due to the new bail reform Lewis had been released from custody in early December and since at least Jan. 1 has allegedly been involved in a crime spree in Batavia.
Lewis was charged last week with Attempted Robbery, Menacing and Criminal Possession of a Weapon after investigation into an incident on Bank Street in Batavia on the night of New Year’s Eve where Lewis allegedly grabbed and menacing someone with a knife while demanding they give him their property.
City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch has said Lewis is also a person of interest in the Jan. 25 incident in which a person plowed a path of destruction through city residences in a stolen Spectrum work truck.
Lewis is eligible to be held in the county clink due to the count of Robbery.

Corfu Police Officer and Darien Deputy Town Supervisor David Krzemien is announcing his candidacy for Genesee County Sheriff.
Krzemien is seeking endorsement from all party lines.
He started his more than 20-year law enforcement career right here in Genesee County.
He graduated from the Rural Police Training Academy housed at Genesee Community College.

The Town of Batavia Fire Department held their department’s annual awards banquet and installation of officers at Terry Hills on Saturday night.
Bryan Moscicki was named Firefighter of the Year, Tim Yaeger, a past chief and current board member, received the President’s Award.
Jim Bouton was recognized for responding to the most calls in 2019 with 284 calls, while past chief Paul Barrett received his 35-year pin.
For more on the story check the article and video by our news partner The Batavian.

Governor Cuomo is expected to sign a package of bills today aimed at improving limousine safety.
Lawmakers recently approved several pieces of legislation, including a measure requiring there to be enough seat belts in a limo for all passengers to use.
The state will also have the authority to remove potentially dangerous limos from the road.
A hotline, app and website will also be created for people who want to express concerns about limos or other for-hire vehicles.
Today’s bill singing comes over a year after a limo crash in Schoharie left 20 people dead.

Weekend News Briefing

Batavia Police are reporting the arrest of 24 year old Daniel J. Lewis following investigation into an incident on Bank Street in the City back on the night of New Year’s Eve of this year.
Lewis, who has not permanent address listed in Batavia, allegedly approached another person, grabbed them while menacing them with a knife and demanded they hand over their property.
The victim in the attack was reportedly uninjured, however Lewis was locked up and is now facing counts of Attempted Robbery in the first degree, Menacing in the second and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the third.
Lewis is currently being held in the Genesee County Jail pending his next court appearance.

An Attica woman arrested after nearly striking a Sheriff Deputy’s patrol car.
37 year old Tamera Beitz of North Pearl Street was arrested on counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired by Drugs, along with both vehicle and traffic violations after investigation into an incident in Bethany back in November of last year.
Beitz was allegedly impaired by drugs when she nearly struck a Sheriff Deputy’s vehicle on Bethany Center Road.
She was issued an appearance ticket for February 13th in Town Court.

Nate McMurray is getting another boost in his bid to represent the 27th Congressional District.
He’s earned the endorsement of the Erie County Democratic Committee ahead of a special election in April.
McMurray came up short in his first bid to represent the area in Washington when he narrowly lost to ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins.
He left office last year after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.
Republicans have chosen Chris Jacobs as their party’s nominee.

Ward Six Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian will be hosting a neighborhood meeting on Tuesday.
Christian would like to discuss progress of the Crime Task Force and opportunities to organize a neighborhood group to design and improve resident’s safety.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 4th at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Board Room on the 2nd floor of City Hall with the City Manager and both City Police and Fire Chiefs to be in attendance.

Jacqualine Berger Announces Run for 61st Senate District

Press Release:

(Amherst, NY) Jacqualine Berger, a labor activist, and current Town Board member and Deputy Supervisor in the Town of Amherst, formally enters the race for the 61st Senate District.

Berger was first elected to the Amherst Town Board in 2017 and was the top vote-getter that year. In 2020, she was appointed Amherst Deputy Supervisor.

Berger is no stranger to serving the community. She’s spent her career as an educator, currently teaching at SUNY Empire State College, and a labor leader, locally and nationally, through her work with NYSUT and AFT. Berger has a master’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education from Tulane University. She’s a lifelong advocate for individuals with special needs, running a local Challenger Baseball program for children and adults with disabilities since 1991. In 2019, Empire State College awarded Berger the Altes Prize for Exemplary Community Service.

Berger believes she has the qualifications and ability to bring representation to the 61st Senate seat that encompasses parts of Erie, Monroe, and Genesee counties. She promises to utilize her position in the Democratic Senate majority to bring attention and State resources to the district and work with local municipalities to assess their needs. She cites the need for updated resources in school districts and improvements to aging infrastructure throughout the district as major proponents of her campaign.

“It is extremely important to the Town of Amherst that we have a State Senator who shares our values and understands our community. As an Amherst Town Council member and Deputy Town Supervisor, Jacqui Berger possesses the knowledge of our area and the skills to be an excellent and effective Senator in the 61st District,” said Assemblymember Karen McMahon.

In her role as Town Boardmember, Berger works directly with New York State to secure funding for projects throughout Amherst. Recently, she aided efforts to secure $783,000 for the Sattler Dellwood Park Green Infrastructure and Storm Water Project. Amherst will use the funds from this Green Innovation Grant Program to construct a bio-retention area, porous roller hockey rink and a porous parking lot.

Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa stated his support for Berger, “As an educator, Jacqui is a champion for students, and as Deputy Supervisor, she is a champion for Amherst residents. She takes taken bold actions to improve Amherst, and I’m confident that her values will make her a champion for this Senate district. I am proud to support her.”

Berger is a resident of Amherst, where she’s lived with her family for the past 32 years. In addition to her work in the town and with labor, she serves as liaison to Nature View Park Advisory Committee, Planning Board, Youth Board, Recreation Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals.

Morning News Briefing

Two Rochester residents are facing felony drug and weapons charges after fleeing from Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies last night, first by car then on foot.
A pursuit ensued as deputies tried conducting a traffic stop near Ellicott and Otis streets, with the suspects driving through a residential backyard of South Swan Street address.
The occupants then ditched the car and split up on foot for a brief chase before both being taken into custody.
27 year old Denzell Johnson, the driver is facing two felony counts of Possessing a Weapon, one for having a firearm on school property, along with a litany of misdemeanor drug and traffic charges after he was allegedly found with a handgun and drugs running across Jackson School property.
The other suspect, 26 year old Shafatiah Miller was allegedly in possession of drugs and was charged with counts Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Promoting Prison Contraband.
Both suspects were released with appearance tickets due to the current bail reform laws, returnable to Batavia City Court on February 18.

An Attica woman arrested after nearly striking a Sheriff Deputy’s patrol car.
37 year old Tamera Beitz of North Pearl Street was arrested on counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired by Drugs, along with both vehicle and traffic violations after investigation into an incident in Bethany back in November of last year.
Beitz was allegedly impaired by drugs when she nearly struck a Sheriff Deputy’s vehicle on Bethany Center Road.
She was issued an appearance ticket for February 13th in Town Court.

Another Democrat has entered the race for the 61st State Senate District seat.
Jacqualine Berger is a member of the Amherst Town Board, she’s officially declared her candidacy for the seat of retiring Republican Michael Ranzenhofer.
Berger was elected to the Amherst Town Board in 2017 and appointed the town’s deputy supervisor this month.
In a statement announcing her run for State Senate, Berger says she’s a life-long teacher and a life-long advocate for individuals with special needs.

Nate McMurray is getting another boost in his bid to represent the 27th Congressional District.
He’s earned the endorsement of the Erie County Democratic Committee ahead of a special election in April.
McMurray came up short in his first bid to represent the area in Washington when he narrowly lost to ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins.
He left office last year after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.
Republicans have chosen Chris Jacobs as their party’s nominee.

Ward Six Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian will be hosting a neighborhood meeting next Tuesday.
Christian said the meeting will focus on establishing volunteer leaders to watch over their streets in order to help keep the neighborhood safe.
The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday February 4th beginning at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall with the City Manager and both City Police and Fire Chiefs to be in attendance.

The Buffalo Diocese is in tough financial shape and a bankruptcy filing is reportedly imminent.
According to a financial report published in the Western New York Catholic newspaper, the Diocese ended 2019 five-million dollars in the red.
The diocese is facing several lawsuits from people claiming they were sexually abused by members of the clergy and has already paid out settlement money in some cases.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger has said repeatedly it’s likely the diocese will have to file for bankruptcy.

GCC swimmer sets new record in Men’s 50 Freestyle

Press Release:

Carlitos Sanchez (Albion, NY) has set a new Genesee Community College school record for Men’s 50 Yard Freestyle. Sanchez posted a 22.23 in the event, which was .08 faster than the previous Genesee record of 22.31 set back in 2005 by Adam Dewey.

Sanchez and the Genesee Community College Swimming & Diving team is back in action in their home pool on Saturday February 1st at 1pm and again on Wednesday February 5th at 6pm.

GOW Task Force Donates Painting to Recovery Center

Members of the GOW Opioid Task Force display a “remembrance painting” dedicated to those who have died as a result of the opioid crisis. From left are Nick Volpe, Marlowe Thompson, Brandon Fogg, Scott Davis, Chris Budzinack, Debbie Dutton, Ricco Oquendo, Sue Gagne, Nicole Anderson and Christen Ferraro.  Remembering Loved Ones

Press Release:

By Mike Pettinella
GCASA Publicist

Gone, never forgotten and now providing inspiration for those reaching out to help others whose lives have been adversely affected by the opioid crisis.

That was the message conveyed by Nicole Anderson, Statewide Targeted Response case manager at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, as she provided information about a “remembrance painting” at the recent GOW Opioid Task Force meeting in Batavia.

“As part of Overdose Awareness Day last summer at Austin Park, we asked people to participate in remembering those we have lost to overdose deaths,” she said. “This beautiful painting – created and donated by one of our members — was displayed at the event for loved ones to put a heart with the name of those they have lost.”

Anderson, who lost her stepfather to a heroin overdose 17 years ago, went on to say that the task force put the painting on display in agencies across Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties, and now has extended the opportunity for community members to add their loved ones’ names to the painting.

“It is our hope that the task force will continue to support those who have lost loved ones and honor the memories of those who have passed and, this year, with the support of the GOW Opioid Task Force Steering Committee, we would like to donate this painting to the GCASA Recovery Center,” she said.

The Recovery Center, located at the former Bohn’s Restaurant on Clinton Street Road, is scheduled to open by the end of February.

Anderson also serves as the secretary of the task force’s Families, Loved Ones and Allies Work Group, which is committed to providing support and resources for those distressed by the opioid epidemic.

She said another Overdose Awareness Day is planned for this August. The 2019 inaugural event drew more than 100 people and more than a dozen representatives from substance abuse prevention agencies in the tri-county area.

Albion PD: Fraud Complaints

Press Release:

The Albion and Holley Police Departments have received numerous complaints recently involving Phone, Mail and Internet Fraud. These complaints vary in how they are orchestrated but the result is always the transfer of funds that are nearly impossible to trace.

Some of the scams we have received are as follows, but these are only a few of the many fraudulent incidents reported:

Victims receiving text messages stating that person Clergy member of there parish is ill and funds are needed and to send the funds to various locations in the form of cash, gift cards and electronically.

Victims receiving an item in the mail from Publishers Clearing House advising that they had won and needed to send funds electronically and in cash to various locations to cover the Tax before they received their grand prize of over $100,000.00.

Victim receiving a text message advising that they had been selected to be an undercover Shopper to evaluate retail locations. The victim was instructed to call a specific phone number and to provide a mailing address to receive mail correspondence. After providing their mailing address the victim received items in the main and instructions to purchase several Walmart git cards in various amounts over $200.00 and to send the card numbers to various locations and to provide their bank account information so the funds could be placed back in there account to verify the account and information and then additional funds will be provided for “Undercover Shopping”. The victims entire bank account was then emptied electronically.

These fraudulent incidents have resulted in thousands of dollars being stolen from the victims.
The Albion Police and Holley Police are working with our federal partners and financial institutions to investigate these crimes. However, there is little that can be done to find the persons responsible or to get the money back. The address’s used are ghost addresses and the electronic accounts where the funds are sent are fraudulently obtained with fake identification’s being used by the perpetrators.

The statement that “If it sounds to good to be true, means it usually is not true” is one of the best ways to determine if something is a scam. The other basic way of determining if something is fraud is to do a simple Google Search of the phone number or other information given. The fraud complaints contained in this release will appear with a Google Search.

Many of the scams involve fake Websites, so use caution going directly to a website provided to verify the validity of the request or offer.

Authority: Roland D. Nenni III
Chief of Police

Morning News Briefing

The Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task Force is reporting the arrest of an Albion resident following investigation into the sale and distribution of crack cocaine in the Village of Albion.
48 year old Yehudah Davis of South Main Street is facing 4 counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance and 5 counts of Criminal Possession which are all Class B- Felonies.
Due to his previous criminal history Davis was ordered to be held without bail in the Orleans County Jail until his next court date.
According to deputies the investigation is on-going and further charges and arrests are pending.

Perry resident busted for drugged driving after crashing in Pavilion.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the intersection of Route 20 and Perry Road in Pavilion just before 5 am yesterday for a one-car crash.
Deputies found the driver, 20 year old Jacoby Green of Perry was allegedly driving while impaired by drugs, and additionally charged him with a traffic violation for moving from his lane unsafely.
Green is due back in Pavilion Town Court next Tuesday.

A Pearl Street woman arrested for spitting on a nurse in Batavia.
City Police report the arrest of 47 year old Kelly Rodriguez following an incident at the United Memorial Medical Center Sunday afternoon, where Rodriguez allegedly spit in the eyes of a nurse who was caring for her at the time.
She was charged with a count of Aggravated Harassment and is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court on February 11th.

Former Albion resident sentenced to prison for Child Porn Possession.
33 year old Andrew Campbell, who is now living in North Carolina, appeared in federal court yesterday where he was sentenced to serve 78 months in prison on a conviction of Possession of Child Pornography.
Following a tip to the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office in July of 2018 a forensic analysis of Campbell’s electronic devices revealed more than 65 image files and 20 videos containing child pornography some depicting abuse of an infant or toddler.

Governor Cuomo is giving an update on the push to legalize recreational marijuana in the Empire State.
During a radio interview yesterday, the governor said if an agreement on the issue isn’t part of the state budget, it may not pass at all this year.
A push for similar legislation fell apart last year after questions were raised about public safety and how any new tax dollars would be spent.
A recent Siena College poll showed strong support among New Yorkers for recreational marijuana legalization.
This year’s budget deadline is April 1st.

Members of law enforcement are being asked to share their thoughts with lawmakers about the state’s controversial bail reform laws.
As of January 1st, pretrial detention and cash bail was eliminated for a large number of non-violent felony and misdemeanor cases.
Republicans have announced a new “Repeal Bail Reform” task force and will hold hearings across the state to discuss the issue with police and the public.
Meanwhile, Democrats have reportedly been meeting with DA’s and law enforcement leaders to discuss possible changes to the legislation.

Concerns over the spread of the flu have led all Rochester Regional Health hospitals including UMMC to put restrictions in place.
Under the rules, patients can only have two visitors at a time as long as they’re at least 14 years old and have no symptoms of the virus.
Children under 14 who want to visit newborns will be allowed to do so if they’re healthy.
There have been nearly two-thousand flu cases in Monroe County this season.

The Buffalo Sabres will look to turn things around tonight in front of their home crowd.
The Sabres are hosting the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center as part of their ongoing five-game homestand.
Buffalo will be without starting goalie Linus Ullmark who is expected to miss several weeks with a leg injury.
Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 7:00 p.m.

Morning News Briefing

An Akron woman succumbed to her injuries she sustained in a two car crash in Pembroke yesterday morning.
50 year old Patricia Dzienciol of Golden Pond Estates died after being taken to the Erie County Medical Center according to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.
Tuesday morning as Dzienciol was westbound in a 2015 Nissan Rogue on Route 5 Batavia, she was struck just east of Barrett Drive, by a 1997 Mercury sedan, driven by 84 year old Kathleen Swanekemp of Tonawanda.
SwaneKemp reportedly drifted into Dzienciol’s lane, striking her car and causing it to hit a mailbox, then tumble down an embankment where it overturned.
Swanekamp had two other passengers with one requiring extrication from the back seat of her vehicle.
Swanekemp was cited for allegedly driving faster than was safe or prudent for the conditions and for failing to keep right.
For more on the story check the article by our news partner The Batavian.

The Conservative Party has announced it won’t endorse state Senator Christopher Jacobs in the battle for the empty 27th Congressional District seat.
Party leaders tell The Buffalo News they’re not convinced he’s the best fit to represent the region on Capitol Hill.
Jacobs was nominated by the Republican Party over the weekend and is expected to take on Democrat Nate McMurray in the April 28th special election.
The 27th District seat has been open since last year following the resignation of ex-Congressman Chris Collins.

State lawmakers are pushing for child sexual abuse survivors to have more time to hold those who allegedly abused them responsible for their actions.
Last year, a window opened for survivors, allowing them to take civil action against their abusers and the institutions that employed them, regardless of their age.
Some lawmakers say that window should be extended until August 2021 since some victims still haven’t had time to process their trauma and come forward, while others can’t find a lawyer willing to take their case.
Most of the nearly 15-hundred lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act in recent months have targeted organizations like the Boy Scouts of America or Catholic Church.

City Council members heard public comment about the declining condition of Falleti Ice Arena on Evans Street during their Council meeting Monday night.
Batavia resident Michael Reich told Council members that the City needs to invest in the facility to make the next 40 years as successful as the past 40 years. Hockey enthusiast and Council Member Paul Viele concurred…

Council President Eugene Jankowski suggested forming a group to clean and make minor repairs to the Ice Arena.

The Buffalo Sabres return from a 10-day break with a tough loss to a division rival.
Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart both scored, but it wasn’t enough as Buffalo fell to the Ottawa Senators five-to-two at KeyBank Center last night.
Making matters worse, Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark ended up leaving the contest with a lower-body injury.
Buffalo will be back in action tomorrow night when they host the Montreal Canadiens.

The Western New York Farm Show opens up Thursday.
It’s the 10th year for the Farm Show at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg featuring the latest agricultural products and technology.
Other highlights include the High School Mechanics competition Friday and the 5th annual Farmer Elite Toss hay bale throwing competition each day of the show at Noon.
The show runs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Brace Yourself for an Ebullition in Fashion

Student Designers from 2019 Fashion Show “LIMITLESS”

Press Release:

The Fashion Program students at Genesee Community College announced the 39th Annual Fashion Show will take over the Richard C. Call Arena on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 7 p.m. and no one should miss this “Ebullition” in Fashion!

Earlier in the semester, GCC’s Fashion Program student Yuuka Sano unveiled the 39th Annual Fashion Show theme as “Ebullition!” As the theme dictates, this show will be an eruption of emotion expressed through fashion. Each scene in the show will be connected through a series of introspective garment selections with specific colors and textures to reflect authentic emotions consistent with the Japanese representation “ki do ai raku” meaning happiness, anger, sadness and joy in English.

With an exciting and powerful theme to guide their selections, the students have already begun to audition Scene Coordinators, marketing, advertising, sponsorships and scene garments. In the coming months, GCC students will build and coordinate more than a dozen scenes for the fast-paced, professionally produced show.

In addition, the Fashion Show student committees are holding Model Tryouts for all ages in GCC’s Batavia Campus Forum on:

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 from 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 13, 2020 from 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Anyone interested in becoming a GCC Fashion Show Model should email Fashion Show Marketing Committee Member Jess Piper at jpiper1@my.genesee.edu to schedule a tryout timeslot.

Taking full advantage of the 24,000 square foot indoor field house in the Richard C. Call Arena, “Ebullition” will accommodate up to 2,000 guests and offer ample parking. This year’s students are planning a fully immersive production which includes pre-show interviews and photo-ops featuring the coordinators of each scene, and a post-show party and vendor market. Currently, students are seeking vendors to participate in this portion of the program.

Tickets to the show will go on sale in February – watch https://www.genesee.edu/events/fashion/ for details. To appreciate the development of “Ebullition,” follow @gccfashionprogram on Instagram, @trendygcc on Twitter and the FBM (Fashion Business Merchandising) program blog at https://sunygcc.blog/category/academics/fashion/. Students will be sharing details about the show, their individual scenes and more! In addition, the show is live-streamed around the world.

There are industry-exclusive sponsorship opportunities available that include public recognition and promotional value. Any business, organization, or individual interested in supporting this year’s Fashion Show should contact Debbie Mancuso at (585) 345-6830 or via email at fashionshow@genesee.edu today.

The Fashion Program at GCC has always been a flagship for the college. The knowledge and experience of the faculty and their dedication to their students has produced quality and professional workplace candidates and well-prepared transfer students since the program’s inception more than 40 years ago.

Recently, GCC renewed its articulation agreement with LIM for students in the Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. program. Students who complete the track and degree can seamlessly transfer to LIM to complete their B.B.A. in Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing or Management. In addition, GCC is very excited to announce a new articulation agreement with Cazenovia College. This agreement provides a seamless transfer opportunity for GCC’s Fashion Business: Merchandising A.A.S. students to Cazenovia’s Fashion Merchandising B.P.S. and for GCC’s Fashion Business: Fashion Design A.A.S. students to Cazenovia’s Fashion Design B.F.A. degree program. Anyone interested in taking advantage of these transfer opportunities through GCC is encouraged to contact GCC’s Student Success Center at (585) 345-6805 or via email at SSC@genesee.edu.

Morning News Briefing

City Police and Genesee County Lawmen are working together in search of a suspect who carved a path of destruction through Batavia this weekend.
The police pursuit began late Saturday night following the theft of a Spectrum Cable truck.
BPD spotted the truck and attempted to stop it when the driver took off on Charles Street and plowed through several backyards of homes damaging fences and vehicles.
The chase then went onto Oak Street and still more damage before the suspect ditched the truck and fled on foot. He’s described as a white male with long hair, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black back pack.

Batavia woman arrested for fighting at GCASA.
33 year old Jennifer Stack of South Main Street was arrested by City Police following report that she allegedly struck another subject multiple times while at the GCASA headquarters on East Main Street in Batavia earlier this month.
Stack was charged with a count of second degree Harassment and is scheduled to appear in City Court on February 4th.

An Oakfield woman arrested for endangerment.
30 year old Ashley Quintern of Pearl Street Oakfield was arrested by Batavia Police last Friday morning following an alleged incident on Ross Street in the City where Quintern was accused of leaving her two children without supervision for about an hour and a half.
She was charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and was issued an appearance ticket for February 4th.

Three busted for Petit Larceny by Batavia PD.
59 year old Robert Strollo of East Main Street was arrested for allegedly shoving merchandise from Family Dollar into his pockets and attempting to walk out of the store.
30 year old Nateeka Gibson of Tracy Ave was charged for allegedly stealing from the Kwick-Fill on Jackson Street and 29 year old Albion resident Phillip Byford Jr. was charged twice for two instances in which he allegedly stole food and beer from the Speedway on West Main Street last Friday.
All three were given appearance tickets for City Court in February.

Budget hearings are underway in Albany, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are asking for more input in the process.
Typically, the final budget is worked out between the governor and leaders of the Senate and Assembly.
Now, a bill has been introduced that would require two-thirds of the Legislature to approve any tax increases.
A second measure would make it mandatory that budget bills only focus on the state’s finances.
Governor Cuomo says he’d like to see things like recreational marijuana legalization and a ban on single-use Styrofoam containers discussed in this year’s budget process.

For the first time in 10 days, the Buffalo Sabres will be playing a game tonight.
They’re hosting the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center, where nine of Buffalo’s next 10 contests will be played.
Jeff Skinner could return to the lineup for the Sabres after suffering an upper body injury last month.
Faceoff for tonight’s game is set for 7 p.m.

Evening News Briefing

The search continues this afternoon for the suspect wanted in a police pursuit and resulting mayhem over the weekend. The chase began late Saturday night when Batavia Police and the Sheriff’s Office learned of the theft of a Spectrum Cable truck.
BPD spotted the truck and attempted to stop it when the driver took off on Charles Street and plowed through several backyards of homes damaging fences and vehicles. The chase then went onto Oak Street and still more damage before the suspect ditched the truck and fled on foot. He’s described as a white male with long hair, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black back pack.

 

Batavia Police reminding the public that the rear vestibule of the city police station at 10 West Main is a certified Safe Trade Station. People are advised to use the area for private transactions when you may not know the people you are dealing with such as sales that begin on line. On Friday, two victims met up with a would be buyer in the Pizza Hut parking lot and were robbed.

 

A bit of discord in Western New York Republican Ranks.
Over the weekend GOP chairs from the counties in the 27th congressional district gave their backing to State Senator Chris Jacobs to fill the seat once held by Chris Collins.
Attorney Beth Parlato, fresh off her endorsement by former football great Jim Kelly, says she’ll continue her campaign.
There would be no primary for the special election, expected in April, but Parlato could circulate petitions to force a primary in June for the next general election.

 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has won a Grammy.
The Grammy award went to American Rapture in the category of Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
RPO Musical Director Ward Stare directed the recording.

Listen to American Rapsody, Rochester Philharmonic  (Courtesy Spotify)

BPD: Robbery Investigation

Press Release:

The Batavia Police Department is investigating a robbery which occurred in the parking lot of Pizza Hut on 01/24/2020 at approximately 7:38 PM. The victims had gone to the lot to meet with a potential buyer of items the victims were selling online when the robbery occurred. It is believed the potential buyer is the suspect in this case. The suspect was armed with a blunt object at the time. The victims were not injured during the incident. Further information can not be released at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

The Batavia Police would like to remind citizens the Batavia Police Headquarters rear vestibule, located at 10 W. Main Street, is a certified SafeTrade Station. This means members of the public wishing to buy or sell online items, can conduct the sale with the other party in a safer spot than a parking lot or house. The area is monitored by surveillance cameras / police personnel and a direct phone connection to the Genesee County Dispatch Center is available. More information of the SafeTrade Program can be found at http://www.safetradestations.com.

Anyone with information in reference to the case may contact Detective Sergeant Matt Lutey at 585-345-6311 or the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online at http://www.batavianewyork.com/police-department/webforms/report-suspicious-drug-or-criminal-activity

HAWLEY ANNOUNCES FEBRUARY OFFICE HOURS

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is holding his next round of office hours for Genesee and Monroe county residents starting February 12. The office hours will be attended by Hawley’s staff. The 139th Assembly District, represented by Hawley, includes all of Genesee County and portions of western Monroe County.

“These office hours offer local residents an opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns and ideas regarding the issues facing state government,” said Hawley. “I strongly encourage those who are able to attend to come and make their voices heard.”

To schedule an individual appointment with Hawley, please contact his office at hawleys@nyassembly.gov or by calling 585-356-0686 for the Monroe County office hours, or 585-813-1608 for the Genesee County office hours.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley
February Office Hours:

Monroe County:
Ellwanger Room
Seymour Library
161 East Avenue, Brockport
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Ellwanger Room
Seymour Library
161 East Avenue, Brockport
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Genesee County:
Genesee Community College
Conable Technology Building, Room T124
Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive (1 College Road), Batavia
Friday, February 21, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Genesee Community College
Conable Technology Building, Room T124
Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive (1 College Road), Batavia
Friday, February 28, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Parlato criticizes GOP endorsing Jacobs for 27th

Press release:

Yesterday, the county chairs held a closed-door meeting to pick career politician Chris Jacobs for the GOP ballot in the special election. This decision does not reflect the voice of the voters of NY27. Jacobs has voted to raise taxes and fees, funded planned parenthood, has been weak on the Second Amendment and voted to provide free college tuition. As a Republican in name only, he is the wrong fit for the constituents in the reddest district in New York State.

As the true conservative, our message has resonated with voters. In six short days, we had over 2,500 voters sign our pick Parlato petition. Our campaign has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, our grassroots continue to build and we are gaining momentum as our movement continues to motivate and excite voters throughout the district.

We believe the voters deserve to have their voices heard. Therefore, we will continue our campaign and look forward to winning the Republican nomination in the June primary.

Chris Jacobs receives GOP endorsement for NY-27 special election

Press release:

State Senator Chris Jacobs received the Republican nomination for the special election to Congress from Western New York’s now-vacant 27th Congressional District seat.

“I’m honored by this opportunity and I want to thank the county chairs and my fellow candidates,” Jacobs said. “Western New York needs a strong advocate in Congress who will stand with President Trump and get results for the American people.”

“Governor Cuomo is doing all he can to hand this seat to the Democrats, but I’m prepared for the fight,” Jacobs said. “I’ve got a track record of winning tough races and delivering real results for this community and we’ll win this race by focusing on strengthening the future of Western New York by creating an environment for job growth, defending our borders and preserving our shared values and ideals.”

About Chris Jacobs
Chris Jacobs is a conservative reformer, small businessman and New York State Senator representing Erie County in Western New York. First elected to the Senate in 2016 and re-elected in November of 2018, Chris has been a strong voice for Western New York, fighting against policies driven by New York City political interests that are harmful to the region. He has also been a strong advocate for government reform. The first piece of legislation Chris introduced in the Senate was term limits for all state elected officials.

Prior to his election to the Senate, Jacobs was the first Republican clerk elected in Erie County in 40 years. As county clerk, Jacobs was credited with reforming the operations of the Office’s Real Estate Division, which had fallen into dysfunction. Jacobs drove dramatic efficiencies and revenues throughout the Clerk’s Office without increasing the number of employees. He was also credited with building the clerk’s “Thank A Vet” Program, now the largest veterans discount program of its kind in the entire state. As clerk, he also ran Erie County’s Pistol Permit Division, where he received an accommodation for his strong defense of Second Amendment rights, especially during the passage of the New York SAFE Act.

A small business owner, Jacobs is the founder and owner of Avalon Development. Founded in 2002, Avalon has redeveloped many vacant and historic buildings in Western New York. Chris has received numerous awards for bringing older buildings and the communities around them back to life. His projects have focused on providing unique and affordable space for small businesses to thrive. Jacobs’ business experience is one reason he believes that small business creation and growth is critical to the region’s comeback.

Jacobs’ first job after college was working in Washington, D.C., for former Buffalo Congressman and Buffalo Bills quarterback Jack Kemp. In 1994, Jacobs returned home to Western New York to start the BISON Scholarship Fund, a charity that raised donations to help send children to private and religious schools. BISON will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary this fall, over that time providing scholarships for more than 20,000 children throughout Western New York. Jacobs believes that all children in America, no matter their income or their address, deserve an education of the highest quality.

Jacobs grew up in Western New York. He is married to Martina Jacobs and they have a daughter, Anna. He is a graduate of Boston College and has an MBA from American University in Washington, D.C., and a law degree from SUNY Buffalo.

Morning News Briefing

The Batavia Police Department along with the Genesee City Sheriff’s Office are collaborating in an investigation into a highly destructive vehicle pursuit that damaged numerous properties over the weekend.
At around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night Batavia Police received report of a stolen white Ford F-150 Spectrum Cable work truck that taken from the Town of Batavia.
The truck was spotted on Washington Ave and after following the vehicle the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop at the intersection of Olyn Ave. at Holland Ave.
The suspect fled northbound eventually making an abrupt right turn on to Charles St. where the suspect drove through all the backyards of the houses located on the north side of Charles St. Damaging fences, vehicles and the yards.
The suspect vehicle then emerged through an Oak Street driveway damaging vehicles and a house and subsequently three more vehicles on Oak Street before the suspect fled on foot.
The suspect who has yet to be apprehended was described by witnesses to be a white male, with long hair, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black backpack.
Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident and investigation remains on going.

State Senator Chris Jacobs has received the Republican nomination for the special election to Congress from Western New York’s now-vacant 27th Congressional District seat.
Jacobs said he was honored by the opportunity, adding that. “Western New York needs a strong advocate in Congress who will stand with President Trump and get results for the American people.”
Fellow Republican candidate Beth Parlato criticized the GOP endorsement saying that Jacobs has voted to raise taxes and fees, funded planned parenthood, has been weak on the Second Amendment and voted to provide free college tuition.
Parlato called Jacobs a Republican in name only, and vowed to continue her campaign to win the Republican Primary.

An Oakfield man turns himself in for reporting fake bomb scare in Batavia.
31 year old Robert Devos of Pearl Street Oakfield turned himself into Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies yesterday on a pending count of Falsely Reporting an Incident in the second degree.
Devos was accused of telling store patrons and staff at a Park Road Business in Batavia that there was an impending explosion about to occur at the store earlier this month.
Devos was subsequently released with an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court on February 6th.

Starting today, shoppers will have to bring their own bags when they go to their Wegmans grocery store.
After trials at its stores in Corning and Ithaca, the company is ending its use of plastic bags beginning today.
Beginning March first, a statewide ban on plastic bags takes effect to encourage New Yorkers to use reusable bags.
Shoppers can bring their own reusable bags or can buy paper bags from Wegmans for a nickel apiece.
Wegmans will donate profits from the sales of paper bags toward local food pantries.
Plastic bags contain petroleum and don’t decompose.

Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator Matt Landers has announced that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving over the Super Bowl weekend.
The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on January 31st and will end on February 3rd.
State, County and municipal law enforcement agencies will be out in force across the state.

BPD: Oak St. and Charles St. – Vehicle Pursuit/Accidents.

Press Release:

On Saturday, January 25, 2020 at or about 11:30 PM, the Batavia Police Department was notified by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office of a stolen Spectrum Cable work truck (white Ford F-150) taken from the Town of Batavia.

While patrolling, one of our Officers observed a white F-150 Spectrum work truck traveling on Washington Ave. The Officer followed the vehicle on to westbound W. Main St. Our Officer continued to follow the vehicle, confirming with the Genesee County Dispatch Center, the vehicle in question was the stolen vehicle from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office investigation. Our Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the stolen vehicle at the intersection of Olyn Ave. at Holland Ave. The suspect fled northbound on Holland Ave., continuing northbound on to Oak St. before making an abrupt right turn on to Charles St. The suspect then drove through all the backyards of the houses located on the north side of Charles St. Damaging fences, vehicles and the yards. The suspect vehicle then emerged through the driveway of 70/72 Oak St. damaging vehicles and a house. The vehicle traveled westbound across Oak St. striking and significantly damaging three vehicles in the driveway of 69 Oak St. The operator then fled the area on foot.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, K-9 Frankie and handler Deputy Erion, and New York State Police assisted with establishing a perimeter around the suspect vehicle, and the neighboring streets. Unfortunately, the suspect was not located at that time. The suspect was described by witnesses to be a white male, with long hair, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black backpack. No individuals were hurt as a result of the accidents. All property owners were notified of the damaged property and have been assisting with the investigation.

The Batavia Police Department is working collaboratively with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office to confirm the identity of the suspect. Due to the active, on-going investigation, the name of the suspect will not be released. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jason Ivison.

The Batavia Police Department can be reached at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online at
http://www.batavianewyork.com/police-department/webforms/report-suspicious-drug-or-criminal-activity.

Weekend News Briefing

Genesee County Republicans have made their endorsements for candidates up for election in November.
Incumbents Eric Adams for Family Court; William Sheron for Sheriff; Treasurer Scott German and Assemblyman Steve Hawley all maintained GOP approval along with Party Chair Dick Seibert.
Seibert announced Friday that local Republicans endorsed Edward Rath the Third to succeed Michael Ranzenhofer in the State Senate…

County Republicans have yet to endorse a candidate for the 27th Congressional District seat once held by Chris Collins.
Seibert said that decision is pending an official special election date from the Governor…

At least four Republicans have announced interest in running.

Deputies arrest a Livingston County man for suspected car theft in Batavia.
23 year old Daniel Lewis of Lima was taken into custody by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies on Thursday for allegedly stealing a car earlier this month from Clinton Street in Batavia.
Lewis was charge with Grand Larceny in the 4th degree and issued an appearance ticket returnable to Batavia Town Court on February 6th.

Congratulations to members of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office who received departmental awards for 2019.
Included were Investigator Christopher Parker who was named Officer of the Year.
Parker is a 22 year veteran of the sheriff’s office.
A distinguished Service Award was given to Emergency Dispatcher Steven Robinson, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 30 years.
Several officers received longevity awards, meritorious service awards and commendations.
A complete list of the awards can be found here.

Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator Matt Landers has announced that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving over the Super Bowl weekend.
The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on January 31st and will end on February 3rd.
State, County and municipal law enforcement agencies will be out in force across the state.

Evening News Briefing

A Livingston County man arrested for car theft in the Town of Batavia.
23 year old Daniel Lewis of Lima was collared for allegedly stealing a car earlier this month from Clinton St in Batavia.
Lewis was issued a court appearance ticket on a charge of Grand Larceny in the 4th degree.

 

Genesee County Republicans have endorsed their slate of candidates for the November general election. Getting the GOP are incumbents: Eric Adams for Family Court; William Sheron for Sheriff; Treasurer Scott German and Assemblyman Steve Hawley. GOP Chair Dick Seibert said local Republicans endorsed Edward Rath the Third for State Senate

 

County Republicans have yet to endorse a candidate for the 27th Congressional District seat once held by Chris Collins. At least four Republicans have announced interest in running.

 

The latest data from the state Department of Health shows the flu is continuing to spread rapidly across New York. There were 13-thousand confirmed cases of the virus during the week ending January 18th. That’s a 22-percent increase from the week before. One bit of good news is the number of people hospitalized due to complications from the flu was down five-percent.

 

Congratulations going out today to members of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.
Several members received departmental awards for 2019.
Among them were:
Investigator Christopher Parker was named Officer of the Year. Parker is a 22 year veteran of the sheriff’s office.
A distinguished Service Award was given to Emergency Dispatcher Steven Robinson, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 30 years.
Several officers received longevity awards, meritorious service awards and commendations. A complete list of awards HERE.

Sheriff Announces Annual Awards

News Release

Officer of the Year Award Investigator Christopher A. Parker
Investigator Christopher A. Parker has distinguished himself in the performance of service to the citizens of Genesee County during 2019. Investigator Parker’s professional skill and devotion to duty are evident in his work practices. He is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and continues to maintain an exemplary drive with regard to every aspect of police work. His commitment to public safety is apparent as he is credited with recent investigations leading to the removal of two illegal handguns from our community. The quality of Investigator Parker’s work was displayed this past year during a successful prosecution of a fatal hit-and-run motor vehicle accident which he was the lead investigator. He dedicated countless hours to ensure justice which resulted in a vehicular manslaughter conviction. Investigator Parker undertakes investigations into complex financial crimes against the elderly, works as a fire investigator, and is an invaluable intelligence resource. Investigator Parker has fostered relationships with law enforcement personnel from countless agencies and works to gather and share intelligence concerning criminal activity.
Investigator Christopher A. Parker has reflected great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and most deserves to be named Officer of the Year.

Distinguished Service Award – Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson
Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson has distinguished himself as a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Thirty years ago, Dispatcher Robinson began his lengthy career in emergency communications; and during this time, he has been the recipient of numerous awards for his professionalism and dedication. Dispatcher Robinson has spent many years as a trainer of new dispatchers and provided critical insight during the consolidation and creation of the Genesee County Emergency Services Dispatch Center. Additionally, Dispatcher Robinson played an integral role in establishing quarterly workshops in which law enforcement officers and dispatchers meet face to face to discuss topics of mutual concerns. He often volunteered for extra assignments including maintaining records validation within the New York State Integrated Justice Portal.
Emergency Services Dispatcher Steven L. Robinson reflects great credit upon himself and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

Longevity Awards
Correction Officer Andrew D. Hurley  10 years
Chief Deputy Joseph M. Graff  15 years
Emergency Services Dispatcher Stephen R. Smelski  15 years
Undersheriff Bradley D. Mazur  20 years
Deputy Sheriff John P. Weis  20 years
Deputy Sheriff Nathan W. Balduf  25 years
Investigator R. Pete Welker  25 years

Meritorious Awards
Sr. Correction Officer Jason R. Queal  1st

Commendations
Principal Financial Clerk Deborah A. Shea  1st
Deputy Sheriff Richard S. Schildwaster  1st
Correction Officer Michael F. Lindsley  1st
Investigator Joseph D. Loftus  2nd
Correction Officer Andrew D. Hurley  2nd
Correction Officer Daniel J. Renz  2nd
Deputy Sheriff Ryan W. Young  3rd
Sr. Emergency Services Dispatcher Jason W. Holman  3rd & 4th
Youth Officer Howard J. Carlson  4th
Emergency Services Dispatcher Lynn B. Riccobono  6th
Sergeant Andrew B. Hale  6th

Evening News Briefing

Heidi Schollard

47 year old Heidi Schollard of Batavia is wanted by Genesee County.
Schollard pled guilty to three counts of grand larceny back in 2012.
She admitted she stole 350-thosuand dollars from two elderly people she was caring for.
Schollard was sentenced to serve seven years in prison and make payments of $500 a month in restitution.
She made about 100 payments and then those payments stopped.
She was ordered into court this week but failed to show up. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

 

The Rochester man accused of killing a Good Samaritan on Ross Street last summer has struck a plea deal with the court.
Quinton Edmonds admitted to killing Michael Paladino who had come to the aid of a woman he thought was being assaulted by Edmonds.
Edmonds is expected to get 20 to life when sentenced next month.

 

The Republican candidates looking to fill the vacant 27th Congressional District seat are reportedly set to be interviewed this weekend.
The Buffalo News reports the candidates will be talking with GOP leaders from around the district Saturday.
The list of potential candidates include attorney Beth Parlato from Darien, State Senators Chris Jacobs and Rob Ortt and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw.

GOW Task Force members encouraged to ‘stay the course’ in battling opioid crisis

Taking part in Wednesday’s GOW Opioid Task Force meeting were, from left, Christen Ferraro, task force coordinator; Donald O’Geen, Wyoming County district attorney; Paul Pettit, public health director of Genesee and Orleans counties; Laura Paolucci, Wyoming County public health administrator, and Matthew Kuhlenbeck, Greater Rochester Health Foundation president. Submitted photo.

Press Release:

By Mike Pettinella
GCASA Publicist

On a national level, the number of deaths from opioid overdoses has decreased over the past two years, but that trend doesn’t give the nearly 450 members of the GOW Opioid Task Force any reason to relax their efforts in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

That was the message communicated by the coalition’s leaders on Wednesday during their quarterly meeting at the Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road in Batavia. About 100 people representing a cross-section of organizations from the three counties attended.

“We’ve seen a 5 percent decrease from 2017 (in the number of opioid-related deaths) and that’s a positive thing … but we need to stay the course, even if the numbers are going down,” said Paul Pettit, public health director of Genesee and Orleans counties.

Pettit’s statement is especially true when considering the data from the GOW counties, particularly Genesee, which had an opioid overdose death rate of 36.2 per 100,000 people in 2017 – one of the highest in the United States.

That number went down to 21.1 in 2018, but in Orleans County the rate rose from 17.1 to 29.5 from 2017 to 2018 while in Wyoming County the rate stayed the same at 27.

The opioid epidemic started due to physicians’ overprescribing drugs such as Oxycodone, Pettit said, and evolved into serious problems with heroin and fentanyl after laws were passed that restricted access to the prescription drugs.

Drug overdoses resulted in nearly 800,000 deaths to Americans from 1999 through 2018, including 47,590 from opioids in 2018 alone, Pettit reported.

Pettit applauded the work of the GOW Task Force which has taken on the crisis by pooling the resources of the three counties and developing six “work groups” that meet on a regular basis – Access to Care, Community Education, Data, Family/Loved Ones/Allies, Law Enforcement and Naloxone.

He also noted the significance of funding provided by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

“The funding is very important in that it enabled the task force to hire someone (a project coordinator) with a dedicated focus,” he said. “They see the value in what we are doing.”

The meeting also featured reports from the chairpersons of the work groups and task force evaluators, updates from the GRHF President Matthew Kuhlenbeck and GOW Task Force Coordinator Christen Ferraro, and a summation of the state’s new bail reform law by Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen (see separate story).

Access to Care – John Bennett and Rosalie Mangino-Crandall, executive director and project director, respectively, at Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and Holli Gass, clinic director at Spectrum Health and Human Services, outlined the numerous services and programs that have been instituted in all three counties – programs such as expanded jail services, childcare for patients, crisis housing, certified peer recovery advocate training.

Bennett also said that a 16-bed detox center and recovery recreation center in Batavia and a 25-bed women’s and children’s residence in Albion are on the horizon (with the recovery center at the former Bohn’s Restaurant expected to open by the end of February).

Community Education – Sherri Bensley, a GCASA employee, explained the role of this work group is to facilitate the task force meetings, including setting up venues, speakers and vendor tables, and to coordinate media campaigns with the three county’s hospitals.

Specific ongoing projects are educating the senior population about opioids and the handling of prescription medications and assisting the task force in distributing “Dispose Rx” packets.

Data – Brenden Bedard, Genesee County director of community health services and deputy public health director for Genesee and Orleans counties, said the role of the evaluators is to ensure that task force initiatives are data-driven, to get that data to the community and to use the data to support grant applications.

In addition to the county overdose death rates mentioned above, he reported that there were 23 opioid overdose deaths in the three counties in 2019 – down from 38 the previous year – and that Naloxone (Narcan) administration – given to those who are overdosing from opioids — has decreased in all three counties since 2017.

Bedard also said that more than 2,000 pounds of prescription drugs were collected during “take back days” in both 2018 and 2019.

Families, Loved Ones and Allies – Sue Gagne, coordinator of the Recovery WOW program, said that the goal of her work group is to support families of those in active addiction or recovery and families of those who have died as a result of drug use.

She reported that the group plans another Overdose Awareness Day this summer at Austin Park.

Law Enforcement – Batavia City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch touted the tri-county law enforcement collaboration on projects such as drug drop-off and jail programs, and participation in the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative that creates non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery.

Naloxone – Chairperson Charlotte Crawford reported that more than 1,300 people have been trained in the use of Narcan, including all of the peer recovery advocates.

A video, “Narcan After Care,” can be viewed on the GOW Opioid Task Force website at https://www.gowopioidtaskforce.org/.

Tom LaPorte, Ph.D., research scientist with the Center for Human Services Research, University of Albany, said that evaluation objectives include reaching 1,800 users per year with opioid information, deploying peers or recovery coaches to assist 90 percent of opioid patients and increasing the number of people trained to administer Narcan by 500 per year.

“This provides us with useful feedback that providers of services can use for data-driven decision-making,” he reported.

In closing, Kuhlenbeck and Ferraro spoke of the importance of making sure grants were available for programs in rural counties, and set goals as follows:

— Establish and implement policies and protocols at United Memorial Medical Center, Orleans Community Health/Medina Memorial Hospital, and for contacting Peers/Wyoming County Community Health System Recovery Coaches on call every time a person arrives at the emergency department due to opioid use.

— Establish a three-prong approach: peers called, bridge scripts are given, and naloxone training is provided.

— Schedule and conduct doctor-to-doctor trainings and conversations in each county on opioids, non-opioid pain management alternatives, and limiting opioid prescription writing.

— Conduct at least two community education events around non-opioid pain management alternatives, and create and publish two press releases or news articles on non-opioid pain management alternatives.

— Communicate with Buffalo and Rochester hospitals to share policy best practices and advocate for and locally lead action toward improvements.

The next quarterly meeting of the GOW Task Force is scheduled for April 23 at a site to be determined.

SIDEBAR:

Wyoming County DA: Bail reform law limits access for those in addiction

By Mike Pettinella
GCASA Publicist

The Wyoming County district attorney on Wednesday spoke out against New York State’s new bail reform rules, stating that they will adversely affect law enforcement’s efforts to assist those struggling with drug addiction.

Speaking at the GOW Opioid Task Force quarterly meeting at the Quality Inn & Suites in Batavia, Donald O’Geen said that state lawmakers’ decision to require automatic appearance tickets or “released on own recognizance” status for all misdemeanor and non-violent felonies means that many who are using opioids or other drugs won’t have access to treatment programs provided in local jails.

“This law takes us back to where we we’re 30 years ago,” he said, adding that the powers-that-be in Albany passed these new rules without the input of the police agencies or attorneys who deal with crime on a regular basis.

Bail now can only be set on certain qualifying offenses, such as first- and second-degree assault, rape, manslaughter, sexual abuse, but suspects must be set free for crimes such as second-degree burglary, grand larceny, non-violent homicides “and every single drug case.”

“We want to treat the users, but you have to (be able to) get after the dealers,” he said.

O’Geen said the reform measures are based upon a “false narrative” – that poor people are languishing in jail because they can’t make bail.

“That is definitely not true,” he said. “The ones incarcerated are the flight risks and those who present risks to public safety.”

The district attorney also noted that the time restrictions to turn over documents to defense lawyers – in most cases, 15 days – put a huge burden on police, district attorneys and labs.

“This is not CSI New York. You don’t go to a commercial break and the labs (results) are done,” he quipped.

He said that the new rules, which took effect on Jan. 1, have created a “lawlessness system” where many of those charged don’t show up for their court appearance.

“If they don’t show up, we have to send a second notice,” he said. “If they fail to appear again, we have to wait another 48 hours and send out another notice before we can issue a warrant for their arrest.”

O’Geen said pressure is being put on Gov. Cuomo to modify the law, but criticized the State Assembly for “holding fast” to the current provisions.

“I think the only way it will happen (modifications) is through his budget,” he said. “That’s how it passed in the first place.”

According to a Siena College poll released on Tuesday, more New Yorkers are taking O’Geen’s view.

The poll found that 49 percent of respondents said the changes were bad for New York while 37 percent said they were good for the Empire State, a far cry from April 2019 poll numbers that showed that 38 percent said it would be bad and 55 said it would be good.

A Test of Skills for Batavia Career and Technical Education Students

Press Release:

Batavia, New York, January 22, 2020 – Each year the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association hosts a competition that is held at the Erie Community College Vehicle Technology Training Center (ECC-VTTC) in Orchard Park, New York. This event, called the Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition, is open to any high school senior or junior who is enrolled in an automotive program. This competition draws students from seven Western New York counties. The winners of this contest, along with their high school instructor, receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the nationals at the National Automotive Technology Competition.

Six students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center’s Auto Technology Program competed in this year’s Ron Smith Auto Tech Competition.

During this day-long event students, who competed in teams of two, were scored on their knowledge of tools, measuring instruments, specific vehicle components, and job interview skills. Students were also required to diagnose and repair a number of preassigned problems under a car’s hood. During the Tire Rodeo, students were put to the test as they raced to replace a damaged tire in the quickest time.

Seniors Lucas Doran from Alexander CS, and Patrick Willis from Attica CS, took second place in the automotive competition. John McCarthy from Alexander CS, and Michael Roberts from Attica CS, are both seniors and they also competed in the automotive competition. This team took fourth place and just missed third place by only one point. Devon Zinter from Byron-Bergen CS, and Joshua Roberts from Attica CS, are both juniors. This team took second place in the Tire Rodeo.

All four seniors were offered the opportunity for tuition-free enrollment into the two-year Ford Automotive Student Service Education Training (ASSET) Program at Erie Community College. Lucas and Patrick each received a $750 scholarship to the college of their choice, tool boxes, and an assortment of tools. Mike and John received a $250 college scholarship. Devon and Joshua won jump boxes and have qualified to return to next year’s competition as seniors to represent the Batavia CTE Center.

Bob Yates is the Auto Technology Instructor at the Batavia CTE Center. He noted it’s not always about winning but more importantly, how a competition gives students the opportunity to learn about their skill set and how they can improve.

“All of these students worked hard preparing for the competition both during school as well as over winter break. The seniors spent time at Basil Ford working with a senior technician preparing for the debugging of a 2019 Ford Ranger. The second part of the competition was based on a series of stations which we prepare for during class and shop time,” Yates said. “I am very proud of the students and the effort they put in. I was complimented several times about the professionalism, politeness, and knowledge our students displayed during the competition. They were a great representation of our program and the Batavia CTE Center.”

OFA Director Ruth Spink-Retirement

Pictured L-R: Legislator Gary Maha, OFA Director Ruth Spink, Legislature Chair Rochelle M. Stein, Legislator Gordon Dibble

Press Release:

BATAVIA – Ruth Spink attended her last monthly management meeting January 15th before retiring from the Genesee County Office for the Aging where she served as director. Before reading a retirement commendation, Genesee County District #9 Legislator Gary Maha shared memories of when he met Ruth years ago. County Manager Jay Gsell thanked Ruth for her dedication to ensuring quality, relevant services were provided to Genesee County’s senior and disabled population. He went on to say, “Ruth recognized the value of older adults, their wisdom and experience, and worked tirelessly to embrace the positives of aging.”

Ms. Spink began her employment with OFA as the aging services specialist in 1994 and was promoted to services administrator in 2001. She went to work at the Genesee County Nursing Home as a supervisor before returning to OFA in 2006 where her vision for the department was to become more of a long-term care support system for the county, as well as a resource for information and referral. Ruth took great care to empower OFA employees and began an informal cross-training program to allow employees to learn aspects of different jobs.

Nearly all County department heads and supervisors were on hand to congratulate Ruth. It was bittersweet for all who heard for the last time how much she loved working for Genesee County.

NEW YORK FARM BUREAU ACHIEVES SUCCESS AT ANNUAL AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION NATIONAL CONVENTION

Press Release:

Austin, TX – New York Farm Bureau leaders are heading back to New York today with a positive outlook for national farm policy this year following a successful national convention in Austin, TX.

Delegates at the 101st Annual American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting that ran January 17-21 established public policy positions for the organization, including passing several that originated through NYFB’s grassroots policy development process aimed at better positioning farmers for the future.

Also, during the business meeting, NYFB President David Fisher was elected by the Northeast Region delegates to represent them on the national AFBF Board of Directors that governs the national organization.

“I’m honored for New York Farm Bureau to once again have a seat at the table to help guide AFBF during this critical time for American agriculture. We will work hard for our farmers to turn the policy positions set this week into actual policy in Washington, D.C. that will benefit our members. Convention was successful on many levels for New York Farm Bureau, showing the strength and diversity of our great organization,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.

Among the many policy positions established this week were several changes to direct the dairy conversation with the United States Department of Agriculture over things that may improve the price that farmers receive for their milk. Delegates also passed policy to tackle rising federal H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates for agricultural guest workers as well as emphasizing the need for a year-round federal visa program to address labor shortages for all of agriculture.

Delegates also supported several new policies to improve the cultivation of industrial hemp, including support for allowing a higher THC level in hemp, giving AFBF staff the flexibility to engage in discussions with regulators about the appropriate legal level, and to increase the window of time farmers are allowed to conduct THC testing, acknowledging the many questions about how the testing process will work and the potential for backlogs.

New policies are on the books supporting science-based climate change research and the documentation of agriculture’s tremendous advances toward climate-smart practices. In addition, New York Farm Bureau was successful in getting support for the issuance and enforcement of the National Organic Program Origin of Livestock Rule.

Also, at convention, NYFB Young Farmers and Ranchers competed in all three national competitive events. Eileen Jensen, of Branchport, NY and a member of Yates County Farm Bureau, was named a top 10 finalist in the Excellence in Agriculture Award.

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to represent New York Farm Bureau and compete in the National Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture contest in Austin, TX. It allowed me to expand my network and gather new ideas to continue to be an advocate and voice for New York agriculture,” said Jensen. “Being named a top 10 finalist was the culmination of many years of hard work, passion and dedication to my life’s work of helping to bridge the gap between people and agriculture.”

Also competing at AFBF, Evan and Elizabeth Schiedel, of Ripley, NY and members of Chautauqua County Farm Bureau, represented NYFB in the Achievement in Agriculture Award. And Adam Miner, of Mannsville, NY and a Jefferson County Farm Bureau member, took part in the national Discussion Meet competition.

NYFB member Tinia Pina, Founder and CEO of Re-Nuble in New York City, was a semi-finalist in the Ag Innovation Challenge and presented to a panel of judges in competing for the AFBF Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

“It was an incentive to get some visibility. Us being really focused on the niche of indoor agriculture isn’t something AFBF had a lot of representation with but there was a lot of excitement about it, and we wanted to be a part of that. And just being here we had a lot of conversations about opportunities that exist for us,” said Pina.

Chenango County Farm Bureau was honored with the AFBF County Activities of Excellence Award. Bradd and Rainy Vickers represented the county by hosting a booth on the trade show floor highlighting their county Farm Bureau’s winning farm safety program.

NYFB was also honored with all four Awards of Excellence for outstanding programming in Advocacy; Engagement and Outreach; Leadership and Business Development; and Membership Value.

Finally, NYFB continued to be represented on the national level with Paul Molesky of Schaghticoke, NY and Rensselaer County Farm Bureau member who serves as the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers chair and Patti Fisher of Madrid, NY and member of St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau who heads up the national AFBF Promotion and Education Committee.

For more information on policy development and convention events, please visit www.fb.org.

Morning News Briefing

The Rochester man accused of killing a good Samaritan on Ross Street over the summer is now looking at serious prison time following a guilty plea.
Quinton Edmonds admitted in County Court Tuesday, to killing Michael Paladino on Ross Street June 1st.
Paladino was attacked after he attempted coming to the aid of a woman he thought was being assaulted by Edmonds.
In his plea agreement Edmonds avoids a possible 25-to-life sentence he could have faced if found guilty at trial and instead gets a sentence cap of 20-to-life in state prison.
Edmonds is scheduled for sentencing the morning of February 19th.

Warrant out for a Batavia woman who reportedly stopped paying restitution.
47 year old Heidi Schollard was scheduled to appear in Genesee County Court yesterday after she reportedly stopped paying her monthly restitution payments of 500 dollars to the elderly victims she stole over $350K from between 2006 and 2011.
Schollard was ordered to begin paying back her victims when she was convicted on multiple counts of grand larceny back in 2012, managing to pay back over $15K that she stole.
Schollard didn’t show up in court and is now wanted on a bench warrant. For more on the story check the article by our news partner The Batavian.

A domestic incident with choking ends in arrest for a Harvester Ave man.
Batavia Police took 38 year old Brian Miller into custody following report of a domestic incident at a Harvester Ave address last Sunday evening.
Miller was charged with Harassment, Criminal Mischief and Criminal Obstruction of Breathing and was ultimately released with an appearance ticket for City Court on January 30th.

Batavia man arrested for for Unlawful Imprisonment.
27 year old Kyle Mancuso of Ellicott Street in the City was arrested and charged with Unlawful Imprisonment, Harassment and Criminal Mischief after investigation into a domestic incident that allegedly occurred early Sunday morning.
Mancuso is expected to reappear in Batavia City Court today.

Cameron Collins, the son of ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins, will find out today how long he’ll be spending behind bars.
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
Prosecutors believe he should spend at least 37 months in prison, but the U.S. Probation Office is recommending a six-month sentence.
His father will spend 26 months in custody after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.

For the second year in a row, state lawmakers will try and reach a deal on recreational marijuana legalization.
Governor Cuomo made a push for it in his budget address Tuesday, claiming it could generate much needed tax revenue and economic activity. Similar legislation failed last year after questions were raised about public safety and how any new tax dollars would be spent.
The governor says he’d like to see marijuana legalization discussed in the upcoming state budget negotiations.

Evening News Briefing

Governor Cuomo has proposed an overhaul of the state’s Medicaid system in order to help close a 6-billion dollar state budget gap.

Part of the plan would require local governments, like Genesee County, to pay for any increase in Medicaid costs over 3-percent.
Batavia Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley says there is a better way to reign in Medicaid costs – cut some of the Medicaid options…

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia)

Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell called the governor’s plan to shift more of Medicaid burden to local governments a quote, “Ponzi scheme.”

 

There’s another Republican hat in the ring for the 27th Congressional District. It’s the hat of Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw.
He joins attorney Beth Parlato and state senators Chris Jacobs and Rob Ortt seeking the GOP nod. The lone Democrat candidate is Nate McMurray. A special election to fill the seat vacated by Chris Collis has been scheduled for April 28th.

 

A new poll shows support for the state’s controversial bail reform law is declining.
The Siena Research Institute says only 37 percent of New Yorkers are behind the legislation, down from 55 percent last April. The law went into effect January 1st, eliminating pre-trial detention and cash bail for a large number of non-violent felony and misdemeanor cases.
Lawmakers have discussed making changes to the legislation, but that likely won’t happen for a few months.

 

Genesee County Democrats for looking for a few good people to fill some local elected offices this November.
Among the offices seeking a Democrat candidate are:
Genesee County Sheriff, Batavia City Council at-large and town justices in Batavia, Bergen and Byron.
Other offices looking for Democrat candidates are listed HERE

Genesee County Democrats Seek Candidates

If you are someone who is civic-minded, independent, ambitious, enjoy exploring creative solutions to problems, and want to make an impact in your community we want to talk to you about running for local office.

If you are interested in getting involved politically in any capacity, please reach out to us at geneseenydemocrats@gmail.com  or www.geneseedemocrats.net

The following local elected offices will be voted on in November 2020.

• Genesee County- Sheriff, Treasurer, Family Court Judge, Coroner- 2 positions
• City of Batavia- 1 City Council at Large – unexpired term
• Town of Alabama- 1 Town Council- unexpired term
• Town of Alexander- 1 Town Clerk- unexpired term
• Town of Batavia- 1 Town Justice
• Town of Bergen- 1 Town Justice
• Town of Byron- 1 Town Justice
• Town of Elba- 1 Town Justice, 1 Town Council- unexpired term
• Town of LeRoy- 1 Town Council- unexpired term
• Town of Oakfield- Town Justice, 1 Town Supervisor- unexpired term, 1 Town Council- unexpired term
• Town of Pavilion- Highway Superintendent- unexpired term

Morning News Briefing

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed an overhaul of the Medicaid system, in order to deal with an expected shortfall.
Cuomo proposed in his Budget Address yesterday that municipalities where Medicaid spending grows by over three-percent should pay extra.
The Governor says that right now, the Medicaid cost to local governments is fixed a system which doesn’t work.
Batavia Assemblyman Steve Hawley offered a simple solution to the budget shortfall saying the obvious answer is to cut certain Medicaid options…

Cuomo also proposed what he calls the nation’s most aggressive climate change program, additional infrastructure spending, and a new formula in terms of funding schools.
Finally, Governor Cuomo re-stated his desire to see marijuana legalized for adults, saying that the budget is the best option towards getting it passed.

Another candidate has announced a run for the vacant 27th Congressional District seat.
Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw has entered the race to replace ex-Congressman Chris Collins.
Mychajliw is seeking the Republican nomination and says he’s a true Conservative who can run and win.
The 27th District seat has been open since Collins stepped down last year after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.
A special election will likely happen in April.

A federal appeals court has dismissed three criminal counts against Sheldon Silver.
The ex-Assembly Speaker has been convicted twice on federal corruption charges.
The first guilty verdict was overturned and Silver appealed the second one, claiming the judge gave improper instructions to the jury.
Silver still faces prison time on the four felony counts the court didn’t throw out.

A new poll shows support for the state’s controversial bail reform law is declining.
The Siena Research Institute says only 37 percent of New Yorkers are behind the legislation, down from 55 percent last April.
The law went into effect January 1st, eliminating pre-trial detention and cash bail for a large number of non-violent felony and misdemeanor cases.
Lawmakers have discussed making changes to the legislation, but that likely won’t happen for a few months.

Evening News Briefing

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing g an overhaul of the Medicaid system, in order to address an expected shortfall.
Under the proposal, municipalities would have to pony up more cash if their Medicaid spending grows by over three-percent.
Right now, the Medicaid cost to local governments is fixed – a system Cuomo says, doesn’t work

Cuomo also proposed what he calls the nation’s most aggressive climate change program, additional infrastructure spending, and a new formula in terms of funding schools.
Finally, Governor Cuomo re-stated his desire to see marijuana legalized for adults, saying that the budget is the best option towards getting it passed.

The son of ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins will find out later this week if he’ll be spending time in prison.
Cameron Collins is set to be sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
On Friday, his father received a sentence of 26 months behind bars following his guilty plea to federal insider trading charges.

Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly is lending his voice to local politics.
Kelly has endorsed GOP candidate Beth Parlato for the congressional seat vacated by Chris Collins.
Kelly said Parlato is strong conservative who can win the special election in April.
State Senators Chris Jacobs of Buffalo, and Rob Ortt of North Tonawanda are also seeking the GOP endorsement.
Nate McMurray, a Democrat, is also seeking the seat.

Morning News Briefing

Following report that three suspected shoplifters allegedly refused to stop for store security Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Kohl’s Department Store of Veterans Memorial Drive in Batavia.
The incident occurred early yesterday afternoon with report that the two female suspects who were said to be wearing black jackets and pants had left the store on foot toward Home Depot.
The third male suspect reportedly left in a Nissan with Georgia license plates.
Sheriff’s Deputies had detained the male suspect at last report near the Target Plaza parking lot.

Scott German the Genesee County Treasurer has announced that he will be seeking re-election.
It would be the fifth term for German as County Treasurer who is in his 27th year in the office, the past 16 as Treasurer.
German is credited for overseeing the successful refinancing of county debt, which saved Genesee County taxpayers more than $1,000,000 in interest expense over six years.

Governor Cuomo will be laying out his fiscal plan for the Empire State when he gives his budget address today.
Right now, New York is facing a six-billion-dollar budget gap, mostly due to Medicaid overspending.
The governor said during his recent State of the State address he’d reveal a plan to try and fix the shortfall in his budget proposal.
He’s also expected to discuss school funding and the financial benefit of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.
Lawmakers have until April 1st to pass the budget.

The son of ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins will find out later this week if he’ll be spending time in prison.
Cameron Collins is set to be sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
On Friday, his father received a sentence of 26 months behind bars following his guilty plea to federal insider trading charges.
Prosecutors believe Cameron Collins deserves to spend at least 37 months in custody, while the U.S. Probation Office is recommending a six month sentence.

Wegmans is issuing a reminder to customers ahead of a change to its plastic bag policy.
Starting January 27th, the grocery chain will be getting rid of single-use plastic bags at all of its Empire State locations.
The company will push shoppers towards buying reusable bags to carry their groceries.
They’ll be available at each Wegmans for 99 cents each, while paper bags will cost a nickel apiece.
A statewide ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect in March.

Morning News Briefing

A vehicle parked outside a business on Lake Street in LeRoy is the reported source that sparked a structure fire at local business in LeRoy yesterday morning.
According to Leroy Fire Chief Tom Wood fire traveled from the pickup truck parked outside to the Weldon Service and Repair building which was closed for the day.
Fire crews were able to quickly contain the fire, keeping damage to the inside of the structure to a minimum.
Strong wind played a factor in the fire according to officials and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
For more on the story check the video and news article by our news partner The Batavian.

A crash in the city leads to DWI for a Batavia woman.
Batavia Police report the arrest of 39 year old Cristal Nesbitt of Vine Street following investigation into a crash outside of a Chase Park address in which she was allegedly driving while intoxicated.
Nesbitt was charged with DWI, and Failure to keep right.
She is expected to appear in Batavia City Court on January 29th.

Six-term Erie County Legislator Ed Rath officially announced his candidacy for the New York State Senate in Batavia Friday afternoon.
Rath addressed a crowd of supporters inside the Harvester Center…

First elected to the Erie County Legislature in 2007, Rath is running to represent the Senate’s 61st District, which includes all of Genesee County, and portions of Erie and Monroe Counties.
He is running to replace Senator Mike Ranzenhofer, who recently announced that he will not seek re-election.
For more on the story check the video and news article by our news partner The Batavian.

Ed Fauth named Corfu’s Firefighter of the Year.
At the Corfu Volunteer Fire Department’s annual dinner on Friday night, Ed Fauth, who has served actively for 65 years, was named Firefighter of the year.
Lori Stiles was named Service Person of the Year for her help behind the scenes with barbecues, fund drives, fishing raffles, and organizing the annual family picnic.

It looks like any changes to the state’s controversial bail reform legislation may not be happening for a few months.
As of January 1st, pretrial detention and cash bail was eliminated for a large number of non-violent felony and misdemeanor cases.
Lawmakers believe any tweaks would be included in the state budget, which is due April 1st.
Bail reform has been a hot topic in Albany, but there isn’t broad support among members of the Legislature to make immediate changes.

Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly has announced who he’s endorsing in the 27th Congressional District race.
The Hall of Fame quarterback sent a tweet over the weekend announcing his support for Republican Beth Parlato.
Kelly noted that his daughters grew up with Parlato’s children and that he believes she’s the best person for the job.
Parlato is one of several candidates looking to replace ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins, who was sentenced to 26 months behind bars after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.

Weekend News Briefing

Chris Collins

Former 27th Congressional District representative Chris Collins reportedly cried while his attorneys argued for leniency in federal court Friday, according to a Washington Post report.
The display didn’t keep him from being locked-up as Collins was then sentenced to 26 months in prison for engaging in insider trading and lying to the FBI.
The prosecution recommended up to 57 months behind bars.
According to the Post, Collins said while sobbing that he had no excuse, and had tarnished his reputation.
The Congressional District has been without representation in Washington since Collins resigned in September, after winning re-election while proclaiming his innocence and vowing to clear his name.
There will likely be a special election to fill the seat in April.
For more on the story check the article by our news partner The Batavian.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the region this weekend.
The National Weather Service out of Buffalo has issued the advisory for Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Northern Erie, and Genesee counties to be in effect from 8 Saturday morning to Sunday at 9 a.m.
Snow and sleet is expected with forecasters calling for total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches and winds gusting as high as 50 mph Saturday night.
Motorists are encouraged to use caution, plan on snow covered and slippery road conditions with reduced visibility.
Gusty winds could also bring down tree branches and result in isolated power outages.

Batavia Downs has announced the acts for this summer’s Rockin’ the Downs Concert Series.
The Friday night shows begin in June and run through August.
Tickets start at 10-dollars for general admission, VIP seats are $25.
Downs President Henry Wojtaszek says it’s quite a line-up of talent

The complete list of artists and band’s for this summer’s concert series can be found here.

Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron announced Thursday that he will seek the Republican Party endorsement for a second term as Genesee County Sheriff.
Sheriff Sheron began his career with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 1977 as an Emergency Services Dispatcher.
During his career, he has progressed through the ranks of Deputy Sheriff-Jail, Deputy Sheriff-Road Patrol, Sergeant, Investigator and Chief Deputy-Road Patrol.
In January 1996, he was appointed Undersheriff, a position he held until being elected Sheriff in 2016.

Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Open House

Press Release:

Batavia, New York, January 17, 2020 – The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Practical Nursing Program will hold an Open House on Wednesday, January 22 from 4-6 p.m. for anyone interested in learning more about upcoming classes for the Licensed Practical Nursing or Certified Nursing Programs.

The Open House will be held at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Batavia Campus at 8250 State Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

LPN and CNA Instructors will be available to meet and speak with potential students.

The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership School of Practical Nursing has been in existence since 1994. It is a 1,200-clock hour program, certified by the New York State Education Department, and is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Every student who enrolls in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program receives a Chromebook computer as part of their tuition fees. This computer becomes the property of the student and it is utilized for many purposes. Course curriculum includes a broad scope of topics including foundations of nursing, human growth and development, obstetrical and pediatric nursing, human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and more.

The CNA Program is also offered at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. This course is no less than a 150-clock hour program, approved by the New York State Education Department, and designed to prepare graduates for immediate employment following successful mastery of the post-program certification testing.

The LPN Program is offered at three different site locations: Batavia, Rochester Tech Park in Gates, and Mount Morris. The CNA Program is offered at two different locations, Mount Morris and Batavia. For more information or any questions, please call 585-344-7788.

Morning News Briefing

The growing divide between so-called down state politics and upstate values is starting to show in some of the Offices of Genesee County Officials, specifically regarding two new pieces of legislation.
The Genesee County Manager, County Sheriff and Local ICE Field Director spoke to the challenges presented by the new bail reform and the so-called green light law on WBTA’s Main and Center yesterday morning.
Also joining the County heads was County Clerk Michael Cianfrini who attacked the green light law, a measure that allows illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license.
Cianfrini says an illegal immigrant can show nearly any document from a foreign country and receive a license…

Because the new process includes voter registration for non-citizens, Cianfrini believes the ultimate goal of the legislation is to get illegals to vote.

The line-up for the fourth annual Rockin’ the Downs summer Concert Series was announced at Batavia Downs yesterday.
The eight Friday night shows kick off in June and run through August.
This year’s line-up includes Skid Row, Molly Hatchet, Don Felder formerly of the Eagles and the return of Puddle of Mudd just to name a few.
Tickets start at 10-dollars for general admission, with VIP seats at $25 and can go on sale at Bataviaconcerts.com beginning at 10 this morning.
Check the article for a complete list of acts.

Hawley decides against Congressional run.
Assemblyman Steve Hawley made a statement yesterday saying that “After much consideration with my friends and family, I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for the open 27th Congressional seat in Congress at this time.
Hawley added that “Serving the residents of the 139th District in the State Assembly has been one of the highest honors of my life and our state faces a host of pressing challenges that cannot be ignored.

Former 27th District Congressman Chris Collins will find out today if he’ll be spending time in prison.
The Republican pleaded guilty last year to federal insider trading charges and faces a maximum of 57 months behind bars.
The U.S Probation Office is recommending Collins be sentenced to a year and a day in custody, while his lawyers believe he should remain free since he’s not a danger to society.
Collins’ Congressional seat has been open since his resignation and a special election to fill it will likely happen in April.

Forecasters are calling for as much as six inches of snow for Genesee County this weekend as a storm is expected to pass through the northeast.
The storm is predicted to hit Western New York after 7 a.m., tomorrow morning.

Evening News Briefing

Genesee County intensify their opposition to progressive initiatives out of Albany such as bail reform and the so-called green light law.
On WBTA’s Main and Center program this morning, County Clerk Michael Cianfrini attacked the green light law he said was enabled by downstate liberals.
The measure allows illegal immigrants to get a driver’s license.
Cianfrini says the end game is the right for these illegals to vote:

Cianfrini says an illegal immigrant can show nearly any document from a foreign country and walk away with a license.

 

Batavia Downs has announced the acts for this summer’s Rockin’ the Downs Concert Series. The Friday night shows begin in June and run through August. Tickets start at $10 for general admission, VIP seats are $25.
The complete list of artists and band’s for this summer’s concert series can be found on the local news page of our website.

 

Former Republican Congressman Chris Collins will be finding out tomorrow how much time he’ll be spending behind bars. Collins pleaded guilty to federal insider trading charges last year and faces a maximum sentence of 57 months. But, the U.S Probation Office is recommending the ex-27th District representative only spend a year and a day in prison. Collins’ lawyers are planning to request he spend no time in custody because they don’t believe the 69-year-old is a threat to society.

 

The Buffalo Sabres will be on the road tonight in search of a third straight win. They’ll be taking on the Dallas Stars.
Buffalo currently sits in fifth place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division, 17 points behind the Boston Bruins. Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 8:30p.m.

4th Annual “Rockin’ the Downs Series” Announced

News Release

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has announced the lineup for their fourth annual Rockin’ the Downs concert series, which take place outside on the racetrack, with eight Friday dates, starting in June and running into August.

Kicking off the series on Friday, June 19th is Vince Neil, the Legendary Voice of Mötley Crüe. An accomplished businessman and heartfelt philanthropist, his unmistakable voice leads some of the greatest rock songs of a generation including “Wild Side”, “Shout at the Devil,” “Home Sweet Home,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feelgood,” “Kickstart
My Heart,” “Same Ol’ Situation,” and many others.

Next up, on Friday, June 26th, is former Journey front man Steve Augeri. Steve returns after playing one of the most enjoyable concerts from last year’s series. The lead vocalist for the rock group from 1998-2006, Steve headlined an eight-year tenure that included three albums, and will perform hits such as Don’t Stop Believin’, Separate Ways, Wheel in the Sky, Faithfully, and Anyway you Want it.

After a 1 week hiatus for the Fourth of July Holiday, the concert series returns on Friday, July 10th with Southern Rock legends Molly Hatchet. Originating in Jacksonville in 1978, the band has gone on to release 14 studio albums. They’ll be performing hits such as Flirtin’ with Disaster, Dreams I’ll Never See and Whiskey Man among others.

Rocking the stage on Friday, July 17th is Heavy Metal Rockers Skid Row. After forming in New Jersey in 1986, the band has performed all over the world with hard guitars and a unique songwriting style. They’ll be performing their hits; In a Darkened Room, We Are the Damned, Youth Gone Wild and 18 and Life and many more.

Jonny Lang performs on Friday, July 24th. Hailing from Fargo, North Dakota, the blues, gospel, and rock singer has had five albums chart in the Billboard 200. The Grammy Award winning artist will perform hits such as Still Rainin’, Bring Me Back Home, Breakin’ Me and Lie to Me.

Friday, July 31st will see Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles, perform at the Downs. As a renowned former lead guitarist of The Eagles, one of the most popular and influential rock groups of our time, Don has helped write and perform many iconic classics. His 2008 memoir was a New York Times best seller. Don will perform solo and Eagles’ hits during his set including Heavy Metal (Takin’ a Ride), Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, the Long Run and Tequila Sunrise.

America’s top Pink Floyd Show, The Machine hits the stage on Friday, August 7th. Over 30 years they have extended the legacy of Pink Floyd, while creating another legacy all their own. Over the years, The Machine has touched the hearts and souls of many with their stellar musicianship, dramatic lighting and video performances. Two other tribute rock acts celebrating the Music of The Who and Queen will also grace the stage that evening for what will be a memorable musical journey back in time.

Closing out the series on Friday, August 14th is American Alternative Rock Band, Puddle of Mudd. The post-grunge band from Kansas City, Missouri has sold over 7 million albums. One of the most well attended concerts of 2018’s summer concert series, Puddle of Mudd concert goers will be sure to hear hits such as She Hates Me, Blurry and Control.

Tickets for all eight concerts will be available at BataviaConcerts.com beginning at 10am on Friday, January 17th. Individual pre-sale tickets to each concert will remain at $10 for General Admission while VIP tickets will again be $25. Concert goers will be able to purchase tickets in the Premium Section directly in front of the stage. Premium tickets are $50 and will be very limited for each concert. General Admission tickets are $15 if purchased on the day of the concert. Tickets can also be purchased at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel at the “Lucky Treasures” Gift Shop located in the lobby. At noon on Thursday, January 16th, Special VIP packages for the Don Felder Concert only will be available on BataviaConcerts.com

Concert goers will once again have the option of purchasing a “Season Pass”, which includes admission to all eight concerts at a discounted rate. The season pass for 2020 is $60.00 for General Admission and $150.00 for VIP.

New this year will be a chair rental option for lawn seats. While patrons are allowed to bring their own chairs, there will be 500 chairs available for rental for $5 each. A portion of proceeds for chair rental will benefit Western New York Make a Wish. Staff from Make a Wish will also be selling drink koozies.

“It’s incredible to think we are in our 4th year of the concert series,” said Henry Wojtaszek, CEO/President of Batavia Downs Gaming. “We’re excited to continue to bring musical icons to Batavia Downs and provide great entertainment at an affordable price. We’re looking forward to partnering again with Western New York Make A Wish to help raise funds to help them transform lives. We hope to see the community come together again this summer.”

Hotel room/ticket packages will be available for each concert. Purchase of a hotel room on the night of a concert using the code includes two VIP tickets to the show while supplies last. Each concert ticket is also redeemable once at Player’s Club in the three days following the concert for $10 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines. Concerts are held Rain or Shine. Additional information may be found at BataviaDownsGaming.com.

Genesee County 4-H Program Seeks Volunteers for Youth Public Speaking Contest

Press Release:

The Genesee County 4-H Program is looking for volunteers to help with its upcoming 4-H Public Presentations Program. The 4-H Public Presentations Program gives 4-H youth an opportunity to expand their public speaking skills in a fun, competitive format.

The 4-H Public Presentations program would not be possible without volunteer evaluators! Evaluators watch 4-H youth participants give presentations and provide them with constructive comments to help them improve their public speaking skills.

The 2020 4-H Public Presentations Events will be held on Saturday, February 15th, 9:00am – 12:00pm; Thursday, February 20th, 3:00pm – 5:00pm and Wednesday, February 26th, 3:00pm – 5:00pm at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office in Batavia. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer evaluator, please contact the 4-H Office at genesee4h@cornell.edu or 585-343-3040 ext. 101.

GOW Task Force quarterly meeting

Press Release:

The quarterly meeting of the GOW Opioid Task Force is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the Quality Inn & Suites Hotel on Park Road in Batavia.

Residents of Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties wanting to gain or share information regarding the opioid crisis are invited to attend.

“The purpose of this meeting is to address the growing opioid crisis by sharing information across several sectors and to monitor the task force’s progress in our tri-county region,” said Christen Ferraro, project coordinator. “You do not need to be a member (of the task force) to attend.”

Ferraro said the meeting will feature more than 10 community resource tables from agencies across the region.

“Our work groups will share their highlights of 2019 and plans for the upcoming year,” she said. “The Law Enforcement Work Group will be giving a presentation on the new bail reform law — going into more detail on what it means and how it might affect our area – and task force evaluators will discuss their role and share and their findings from last year.”

She said representatives of the Greater Rochester Health Foundation will talk about the grant that supports the task force and how to connect with the organization to apply for community health grants.

For more information about the GOW Task Force, go to www.gowopioidtaskforce.org.

To attend the meeting, visit the Eventbrite link at www.eventbrite.com/e/gow-opioid-task-force-quarterly-meeting-january-2020-tickets-87432660441 to RSVP or contact Ferraro at cferraro@gcasa.org.

Morning News Briefing

Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia joined law enforcement professionals, lawmakers and family members of crime victims at a press conference in Albany calling for a repeal of new bail reform laws that he says are leading to serial criminals being released before trial.
Joining lawmakers at the press conference yesterday were several women whose families have been negatively effected by the early release of criminals due to the new reforms.
Hawley wants to see the new reforms repealed…

The Assemblyman said judges are being restricted by New York City politicians from holding criminals in custody who are at risk of re-offending.

Credit Card fraud under investigation in Batavia.
Batavia Police have been investigating several cases where credit card numbers have been used fraudulently at businesses in the City of Batavia.
The suspect reportedly does not show a physical credit card but instead requests store clerk type in the numbers manually.
The transactions are initially approved, however they are declined approximately a month later after the suspect has made off with the merchandise.
Police encourage businesses to ensure customers have their physical credit card with them and to ask for identification with every card transaction, making sure the names on both the ID and card match.

A Batavia woman busted for child endangerment.
43 Year old Jeanette Higgins of Ganson Ave Batavia was arrested by Batavia Police following investigation into an incident that occurred on January 3rd at an Evans Street residence in the City.
Higgins is facing a count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child for allegedly encouraging a juvenile to engage in a physical altercation.
She is scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court next Tuesday.

The Genesee County Sheriff Office has five new Deputies.
Sheriff William Sheron has filled several vacant positions with the hiring of Kenneth Quackenbush III, Jared Swimline, Nicholas Chamoun, Jordan Alejandro and Brock Cummins.
All five Deputies recently completed their field training programs after graduating from the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy at Niagara University on Sept. 11.

Former Republican Congressman Chris Collins will be finding out tomorrow how much time he’ll be spending behind bars.
Collins pleaded guilty to federal insider trading charges last year and faces a maximum sentence of 57 months.
But, the U.S Probation Office is recommending the ex-27th District representative only spend a year and a day in prison.
Collins’ lawyers are planning to request he spend no time in custody because they don’t believe the 69 year old is a threat to society.

The Buffalo Sabres will be on the road tonight in search of a third straight win.
They’ll be taking on the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center.
Buffalo currently sits in fifth place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division, 17 points behind the Boston Bruins.
Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 8:30 p.m.

Hawley Calls for Repeal of Bail Reform

Steve Hawley

Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) is again lending his voice to the growing chorus of state legislators opposed to the state’s new bail reforms.
Flanked by two women whose stories told how offenders released under the new bail reform law, went tragically wrong.
Hawley said the bail reform should be repealed

Hawley said New York City politicians are responsible for tying judges’ hands by restricting their ability to lock up career criminals.

Joining Hawley and Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R-Pulaski) at the news conference yesterday was Jennifer Payne, mother of Sarah Tombs who was shot and killed in April 2019 by her live-in boyfriend. The individual was released from custody last week under the new bail reform laws. Also in attendance at the press conference was Sheila Harris, cousin of Maria “Rosie” Osai, a 35-year-old mother of three who was struck and killed by an unlicensed, hit-and-run driver in Rockland County on Christmas Eve. The driver was immediately released without bail pursuant to the new law.

Credit Card Fraud at Local Businesses

Press Release:

The Batavia Police Department has been investigating several cases where credit card numbers have been used fraudulently at businesses in the City of Batavia. The suspect will not have the physical credit card but will ask the clerk to type in the numbers manually. The transactions will be initially approved, allowing the suspect to obtain the items from the business, but will be declined approximately a month later. Business insurance will typically not cover the transactions which means the business is out of the money.

The best practice for businesses to help prevent this type of fraud is to ensure customers have the physical credit card with them and to ask for identification with every card transaction, making sure the names on both the ID and card match. The cases are ongoing so further details cannot be released at this time.

Anyone with information in reference to the case may contact Detective Sargent Matthew Lutey at 585-345-6365 or the Batavia Police Department at 585-345-6350, the confidential tip line at 585-345-6370 or online at http://www.batavianewyork.com/police-department/webforms/report-suspicious-drug-or-criminal-activity.

Morning News Report

2018 booking photo

A Florida man who died after a crashing in Alexander was apparently a member of a nationwide smash-and-grab gang known as the “Felony Lane Gang.”
Lauderdale Lakes, Florida resident, 22 year old Cleveland Johnson was stopped for a traffic violation in the Village of Warsaw Monday afternoon but instead Johnson took off before the stop commenced.
Briefly after Johnson lost control of the rented Chrysler 300 he was driving as he came into Alexander crashing sideways into a tree on Main Road.
Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene with his two passengers hospitalized with serious injuries.
According to investigators, in 2018 Johnson along with three other individuals were arrested in Greenburgh, N.Y., where all four were accused of being part of the “Felony Lane Gang.”
The smash and grab gang members are said to smash into parked vehicles and then run stolen debit cards for cash. For more check the article by our news partner The Batavian.

A Big-Rig wreck in Bethany is reportedly blocking.
A tractor-trailer and box truck collision with minor injuries has been reported at 6071 Ellicott Street Road in Bethany between East and Transit roads.
The northbound lane is completely blocked and southbound is partially blocked. The road is being shut down as the tractor-trailer will require a heavy wrecker for removal. Bethany and Stafford fire are on scene along with Mercy medics.

Genesee County deputies are investigating a recent rash of car thefts and break-ins.
Officials say they’ve received several reports over the last week about the crimes which have targeted vehicles parked in private driveways and parking lots.
They’re asking folks to make sure their vehicles are locked up and remove any valuable items from inside of them.
If you see anything suspicious, call police immediately.

The United Way of Genesee County will be looking forward to its 13th Annual Day of Caring on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020.
More than 30 nonprofit agencies are expected to benefit from over 400 volunteers who will paint, landscape, and perform general beautification projects throughout Genesee County.
Those interested in the Day of Caring are encouraged to reach out to the Tammy Hathaway at the United Way of Genesee County at 343-8141.

Changes to New York’s limousine laws are now just a signature away from becoming official.
Lawmakers approved a package of bills yesterday that will soon be signed off on by Governor Cuomo.
Included in the legislation is a requirement there be enough seat belts in a limo for all passengers to use.
Another measure would allow the state to remove potentially dangerous vehicles from the road.
Limousine safety has been a major topic in the Legislature since the October 2018 limo crash in Schoharie that killed 20 people.

Jack Eichel scores again as the Buffalo Sabres win their second straight game.
Eichel had his 28th goal of the year in Buffalo’s 4 to 2 win last night against the Vegas Golden Knights at KeyBank Center.
Eichel has now tied his career high for goals which was set last year.
Sam Reinhart, Curtis Lazar and Kyle Okposo also scored for the Sabres.
Buffalo will be back in action Thursday night when they visit the Dallas Stars.

Evening News Briefing

One person was killed, two other seriously injured, when their car crashed into a tree after being pursued by police.
The crash happened late yesterday afternoon on Route 98 in Alexander.
A car that was initially pursued by Warsaw Police in Wyoming County, then later by Attica Police, was found slammed into a tree on Route 98.
The driver, 22 year old Cleveland Johnson of Ft Lauderdale, Florida, was pronounced dead at the scene.
One male passenger and one female passenger were injured and taken to ECMC in Buffalo.
Both Warsaw and Attica police had just terminated the chase due to high speeds it had reached when the crash was discovered. It is unknown why the occupants of the car were fleeing police.

A fracas at Batavia Downs leads to the arrest of a Rochester woman. 51 year old Renee Symonds was arrested for allegedly assaulting two security guards after she refused their order to leave.

Prosecutors are calling for ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins to spend nearly five years in prison.
Collins, who represented the 27th Congressional District- which includes Genesee County – is set to be sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.
Collins’ lawyers are planning to ask for no jail time.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is responding to President Trump’s retweet of a photo-shopped image showing Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Muslim headwear.
The image also had a photo of the Iranian flag behind Schumer and Pelosi. Schumer sent out a tweet of his own questioning Trump about how low he could go and asking Republicans how long they’ll continue to defend the President’s actions.

The United Way of Genesee County will hold its annual Day of Caring this year on May 13th.
The popular event draws in more than 400 volunteers who perform fix-up projects at 30 non-profit agencies throughout the county. If you are interested in participating contact the United Way at 343-8141.

United Way Announces 13th Annual Day of Caring

Photo credit to Carlson’s Studios

Press Release:

The United Way of Genesee County will be looking forward to its 13th Annual Day of Caring on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020.

More than 30 nonprofit agencies are expected to benefit from over 400 volunteers who will paint, landscape, and perform general beautification projects throughout Genesee County.

Dwyer Stadium will again be the host site to kick-off the event and after all projects are completed a wrap-up celebration will be held to share successes from the day.

Registration for projects and volunteers will be available soon.

Those who are new to the Day of Caring and would like to be involved in spending a united day together making the community a better place, or who have a project they would like completed, are encouraged to reach out to the Tammy Hathaway at the United Way of Genesee County at 585-343-8141.

Morning News Briefing

A Florida man who attempted to outrun police from Wyoming to Genesee County has ended up dead with two others seriously injured after crashing in Alexander.
22 year old Cleveland Johnson of Lauderdale Lakes Florida reportedly fled lawmen attempting to stop him for speeding in Warsaw yesterday afternoon leading to a brief car chase that ended a short time later when Johnson crashed his vehicle into a tree on Route 98 in Alexander.
Johnson was pronounced deceased at the scene while the two other occupants of the vehicle, a male from Florida and a female from Pennsylvania both sustained life-threatening injuries.
According to police the vehicle was a rental out of Pennsylvania.
Investigation into the crash remains on-going as well as to the reason why Johnson initially fled from law enforcement.

Assault at Batavia Downs leads to arrest for a Rochester woman.
51 year old Renee Symonds was arrested by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies following a disturbance at the Batavia Downs Monday afternoon.
After refusing to leave the venue Symonds allegedly attacked two security guards.
She was hit with counts of Assault and Harassment and was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court on January 30th.

New First Assistant District Attorney Finnell is sworn in.
After 29 years with the District Attorney’s Office, Kevin Finnell officially became Lawrence Friedman’s top assistant when he was sworn in by County Court Judge Charles Zambito as the new First Assistant District Attorney yesterday afternoon.
Finnell replaces Melissa Cianfrini, who quit without notice on Friday.

Prosecutors are calling for ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins to spend nearly five years in prison.
They say Collins should receive a stiff sentence in order to make sure the public knows people in power aren’t above the law.
Collins, who represented the 27th Congressional District, is set to be sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.
The U. S. Probation Office says Collins should spend a year and a day behind bars, while his lawyers are planning to ask for no jail time.

After a judge rejected efforts by the state Health Department and Governor Cuomo to ban the sale of flavored vaping products, some lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands.
They’re looking to pass legislation that would keep all flavored tobacco products off store shelves.
Supporters say action is needed to keep these dangerous products out of the hands of kids.
Studies show 80% of youngsters who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.

Wegmans has issued a recall involving a breaded chicken product.
It’s due to concerns the chicken in the 20-ounce bags of Wegmans Breaded Chicken Breast Fillets may be undercooked.
The bags have a “best used by” date of October 23rd, 2020.
Customers with the affected product can return it for a refund.

Ralph M. Torcello, 89, dies

Press Release:

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY — Ralph M. Torcello, 89, of Batavia, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Jan. 8, 2020 at the United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia after a brief illness.

Born on Sept. 29, 1930 and raised in Batavia, Mr. Torcello was the son of Michael C. Torcello, Sr. and Mary Torcello (Feniello). He grew up on the family farm on Creek Road in Batavia and lived there until his death.

Mr. Torcello graduated from Batavia High School in the late 1940s and was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Buffalo State College with his B.A. in education. He served in the U.S. Army following his graduation and after his duty was completed, taught Industrial Arts to high school students in the Letchworth Central School District until his retirement.

Mr. Torcello’s passion was harness racing. During college he worked part-time as a security guard at Batavia Downs and that began a lifetime of involvement in the sport that would last almost seventy years. He was an owner, trainer and driver and raced almost entirely in Western New York.

Mr. Torcello trained and often drove his small stable of horses after getting his license in 1962. During that time he raced campaigners like Gypsy Flash, Gold Piece, Outlaw Collins and Bait The Trap. His last driving win came in 1993 in a lifetime best effort with a trotting mare named Spell Rosie followed by his last training win in 1999 with one of his better horses, What About Bob. His love of the sport spread to many in his family who later owned, trained and drove horses themselves.

Mr. Torcello was preceded in death by nine brothers and sisters, Anna Strollo (Michael), Marie Perry (Samuel), Frances, Lawrence (Madeline), Rose, Angeline, Genevieve, Michael Jr. (Patricia) and Marcella, as well as by his nephew, Anthony M. Strollo. He is survived by his nieces and nephews, Ann Marie Caste (Paul) of New Jersey, Michael C. Torcello (Lynn) of Delaware and Lawrence Torcello (Katie) of East Bethany, Mary Jo Dumuhosky and Ross Perry, both of Batavia, Michael L. Torcello (Deborah) of Hamburg, Ralph P. Torcello (Diane) of Pavilion and Marirose Ethington (Larry) of East Bethany. He is also survived by numerous grand-nieces and nephews, as well as his longtime friend, Hiland Clark.

Mr. Torcello was a member of Ascension Catholic Church in Batavia and a former member of the New York State Teachers’ Association and the United States Trotting Association.

There will be a mass in celebration of Mr. Torcello’s life at the Ascension Parish, 19 Sumner St. in Batavia on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at 11 a.m. Memorials may be made to United Memorial Hospital Foundation.

New First Assistant District Attorney named for Genesee County

Press Release:

From: Lawrence Friedman, District Attorney
Date: January 13, 2020

I am very pleased to announce that long- time Assistant District Attorney Kevin T. Finnell is being promoted to the position of First Assistant District Attorney. Mr. Finnell is a highly experienced prosecuting attorney, having served more than 29 years with this office. ADA Finnell is a very knowledgeable, motivated public servant, who consistently exercises appropriate judgment in the prosecution of criminal cases.

When long time Bergen Town Justice Donald R. Kunego retired, his notice of retirement made mention of “the outstanding professionalism of ADA Kevin Finnell”.

In 2018 ADA Finnell received a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition “for the highest level of professional assistance he has provided to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office”. The Certificate stated that his “professional skills and consistent high performance has been a major contributor to the overall effectiveness of the Sheriff’s Office and the efforts of the Local Drug Task Force…Kevin T. Finnell has brought great credit upon himself and his chosen career as a Prosecutor.”

Last Spring, based on nominations from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Finnell received the statewide MADD Law Enforcement Recognition Award and the Kiwanis Club of Batavia Criminal Justice Award. In endorsing the MADD nomination, I referred to ADA Finnell’s enthusiasm for the job, work ethic and advocacy skills.

I am confident that Kevin Finnell will do a great job in his new role and that he is fully capable of running this office in my absence.

Democratic Candidates’ Night in Batavia

Press Release:

Democratic Candidates for Congress and NYS Senate to visit Batavia to talk with voters.

The Genesee County Democratic Committee invites the community to meet Candidates for Congress and NYS Senate District 61.

Candidates including Nate McMurray, Joan Seamans, Kim Smith, and Jacqualine Berger will join us on Thursday, January 30th from 7 to 9pm at Moonjava Cafe, 56 Harvester Avenue, Batavia.

Come register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot, learn about the upcoming elections, participate in a Democratic Presidential Primary Poll, visit with local Democratic Officials, meet potential 2020 candidates, learn more about early voting and changes to NYS elections laws and more.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

Be represented, Be a voter.

Morning News Briefing

The high winds that whipped across the region yesterday morning are being blamed for the partial collapse of a 141 year old building in Attica.
A large section of masonry and brick of the rear wall of the Williams Opera House, on Exchange Street in Attica began to collapse causing the second floor in the rear of the building to collapse onto the first floor.
A vehicle was also damaged that was parked behind the Opera House.
The structural integrity of the building is compromised all though only a portion of the rear wall is damaged and the Wyoming Building Code Enforcement as well as the property owner plan to reinforce the structural integrity of the damaged wall and building.
Until the building can be made structurally safe, residents must stay out of the exclusion zone set up in the rear of the building.

Liberty Street woman arrested for Grand Larceny in the City.
30 year old Marissa Lehto was arrested following an investigation into a theft that allegedly occurred at the Tim Hortons on Main Street last February.
Lehto is accused of taking a wallet containing a credit card from a purse that did not belong to her while at the restaurant.
She was charged with a count of Grand Larceny and is expected back in Batavia City Court tomorrow.

Rochester resident picked up on a two year old warrant out of Alabama.
44 year old Michael Coleman was turned over by Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office after being arrested on an outstanding arrest and bench warrant out of the Town of Alabama.
Coleman was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and Bail Jumping stemming from an incident on Judge Road in Alabama that allegedly occurred back in April of 2018.
Coleman was released on his own recognizance and is expected back in Alabama Town Court on Wednesday.

A crash in LeRoy leads to arrest for a village resident.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies took 67 year old John Macintyre of Linwood Road into custody late Saturday night following investigation into a property damage accident on Linwood Road.
Macintyre was accused of being intoxicated and was charged with DWI, speeding and failing to keep right.
He was issued appearance tickets for LeRoy Town Court on February 4th.

Several groups will be coming together in Albany today to call on lawmakers to pass legislation banning the sale of flavored tobacco products.
Organizations that support the Flavors Hook Kids NY campaign says statistics show 80 percent of kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.
They also say tobacco use costs the state ten billion dollars a year in health care expenses while taking the lives of 23-thousand New Yorkers.
The state previously tried to ban the sale of flavored vaping products, but it was stuck down by a State Supreme court judge.

A reminder to motorists that North Road is closed today through Wednesday between Route 19 and Conlon Rd to all traffic including emergency vehicles.
Crews will be installing a water transmission main across the roadway.

Evening News Briefing

We have two weather watches in effect for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties this weekend.
First, there is a Flash Flood Watch posted for tomorrow afternoon through Sunday afternoon.
Periods of rain will develop across the region becoming widespread and heavy late tomorrow. Rainfall totals could reach 2 ½ inches.
The heavy rain falling on nearly saturated ground will result in excessive runoff.
There is also a High Wind Watch in effect from late tomorrow night through Sunday afternoon.
Southwest winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 are possible.
Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines.
Scattered power outages are possible.

 

There is a new chair of the Genesee County Legislature.
She is Shelly Stein from LeRoy.
Stein tells WBTA she’s prepared to tackle a number of issues coming out of Albany that could negatively impact Genesee County

Batavia’s Marianne Clattenburg was sworn in as vice-chair of the legislature.

 

A Batavia woman and her father will serve no jail time for welfare fraud.
28 year old Tanyana Williams and her father, Roy Bell Senior, pleaded guilty to defrauding Social Services out of 12-hundred and 50 dollars in day care subsidies.
Both accepted a guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy and received a one year conditional discharge.

 

Flu season is in full-swing and New Yorkers are continuing to feel the impact. The Department of Health says there were over 10-thousand confirmed cases of the virus during the week ending January 4th, a nine-percent increase from the week before. Nearly two-thousand people were also hospitalized due to complications from the flu.

Genesee Community College Alumni Mixer at Buffalo RiverWorks

Press Release:

What: Genesee Community College Alumni Mixer at Buffalo RiverWorks

When: Friday, January 24, 2020 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Where: RiverWorks at 359 Ganson Street in Buffalo, NY 14203

Who: GCC Alumni, family and friends!

Background:

Everyone knows that a student graduates with more than a degree – they’ve had experiences, learned lessons and often most importantly – made friends and colleagues and connections that could make a difference in their futures and last a lifetime!

In support of those connections, GCC’s Alumni Affairs Office is hosting a series of Alumni Mixers that re-unite graduates with the connections they made at GCC, and also expand the important network of GCC graduates and colleagues.

The next event in this series of mixers is happening at Buffalo’s exciting new RiverWorks, a great place to come in from the cold and enjoy great company!

The event is FREE (cash bar), but seating is limited – so WNY alumnus are encouraged to register today by contacting the Alumni Affairs Office at alumni@genesee.edu or calling Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs Jennifer Wakefield at (585) 343-0055 x 6265.

In October 2019, more than 55 GCC alumni, friends and staff enjoyed the first Alumni Mixer at the SUNY Global Center in New York City. They enjoyed amazing food and conversation and heard great success stories from Stevens Cadet ’13, Jermaine Cameron ’09, Ana Olmeda ’14 and Kento Takayama ’19 who all got their start at GCC. Highlights from their moving testimonies can be seen on GCC’s YouTube channel @sunygcc.

For more information, or to register to attend, email the Alumni Affairs Office at alumni@genesee.edu.

Saturday Hikes at the GC Park & Forest now January 18th

Press Release:

The Winter Wonderland Hike for Saturday January 11th at the Genesee County Park & Forest has been CANCELLED due to inclement weather. The Winter Wonderland Hike has been RESCHEDULED to Saturday January 18th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Please call 585-344-1122 to register.

The Winter Fun Night Snowshoe Hike for Saturday January 11th at the Genesee County Park & Forest has been CANCELLED due to inclement weather. The Winter Fun Night Snowshoe Hike has been RESCHEDULED to Saturday January 18th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Please call 585-344-1122 to register.

CCE of Genesee: Garden Talk Series Returns

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY – Garden Talk returns on February 6 at 12:15 pm with a “trip” to the lovely Butchart Gardens. Take a break from winter to enjoy Vancouver Island’s “Vision of Beauty.” The Butchart Gardens is a flowering oasis, a 100 plus years in the making. Come see how one woman’s vision came to be. A National Historic Site of Canada, the Butchart Gardens are world renowned.

March 5 – “Soil Blocking for Seed Starting.” Come and learn about an indoor seed-starting technique called soil-blocking. This unique method allows gardeners to produce twice as many vigorous seedlings in about half the space of traditional seed starting methods. The seedlings grow in a free-standing block of growing medium. That’s right no containers! The space between these blocks “air prunes” the roots, so plants do not become root bound and are also easier to transplant.

April 4 – “Get your Garden Ready for Spring.” Need some help getting your garden ready for a spring and summer of beauty and color? Let us help you start your gardens right this season. Whether bulbs, annuals or existing perennials, one can minimize weeds, change locations of plants, or prep a spot for a brand new garden.

May 7 – “Common Garden Mistakes.” Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Even Master Gardeners make mistakes and kill plants! If you have questions about proper watering techniques, fertilizing or soil preparation this talk is for you.

June 4 – “Spotted Lantern Fly.” This pretty bug has been in the news, but not for its good looks. Spotted Lantern Fly is the latest invasive pest from Asia that is causing concern to farmers and homeowners alike. Learn how to identify the eggs, nymphs and adults.

All Garden Talk programs run from 12:15 to 12:45 pm. Bring your lunch to the Cornell Cooperative Extension office (420 E. Main St, Batavia) and join us. This free series is open to the public. Registration is not required.

Future topics and other Master Gardener events will be posted on the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/ and also on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CCEofGenesee.

Morning News Briefing

The immediate resignation of First District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini was announced in a memo issued by District Attorney Lawrence Friedman to members of the local legal community yesterday.
The departmental memo said that First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini has made the difficult decision to resign her position with the Genesee County District Attorney’s Office effective immediately and that she has other opportunities that she would like to pursue.
An Oakfield resident and wife of County Clerk Michael Cianfrini, Melissa joined the DA’s office in 2009 being promoted to first district attorney in 2017.
Before her resignation, Cianfrini appeared to be heir apparent to the DA post as Friedman is planning to retire at the end of his current term.
Her resignation comes at a time when the DA’s office is adjusting to an increased caseload, with additional staff, because of new, more rigorous, discovery rules in New York. Photo provided by our news partner The Batavian.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the entire GLOW region starting Saturday afternoon lasting through Sunday afternoon.
Total rainfall may reach up to 2.5 inches.
Hazardous flooding conditions may be caused due to significant snowmelt and runoff combined with the rainfall.

Gates man arrested for attempting to have sex with a 13 year old.
24 year old Gates resident Michael Greco was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with online enticement of a minor.
Greco allegedly engaged in online conversations with an undercover New York State Police investigator posing as a “mother” engaged in the prostitution of her 13 year old daughter.
Greco agreed to pay $100 in order to have sex with the child during the conversations earlier this month.
On Tuesday, Greco arrived at a pre-arranged meeting place for sex but, was instead met by State police and Homeland Security Investigations, who took him into custody.
Greco was found in possession of $100, condoms, and candy, which he intended to give the child as a gift.
He is being held pending a detention hearing.

Office for the Aging names new director as current office head prepares for retirement next Friday.
After 25 years with the agency and the past 5 as director, Ruth Spink has decided it’s time to retire.
Her successor Diana Fox of Clarendon has been named as the next Office for the Aging Director and is taking up her new post on January 17th
Spink said she is looking forward to travelling and spending more time with family.

County Legislature names new chairwoman.
The Genesee County Legislature held its organizational meeting Wednesday evening where Shelly Stein was sworn in as the new chairwoman.
Also during the meeting, Christian Yunker was sworn in as the newest member of the legislature, Marianne Clattenburg was sworn in as vice-chair and Andrew Young as second vice-chair.

Evening News Briefing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is laying out his administration’s agenda for 2020 in his State of the State address in Albany.
The Governor says a main focus in 2020 will be combating the threats associated with climate change.

He’s proposing a number of additional items, focusing on gun-control, school funding, a regional approach to legalizing marijuana, and eliminating the state’s law that bans paid-surrogacy.

 

Steve Hawley

 

As expected, Republican state legislators were critical of the Governor’s speech. Batavia Assemblyman Steve Hawley says he’s prepared to work against several of the governor’s policies that Hawley says hurt the state…

One of the governor’s overarching themes included overcoming political divisiveness.

 

There is a new director for the Genesee County Office for the Aging.
She is Diana Fox from Clarendon. Fox is a Batavia native who has spent her career in human services.
She replaces Ruth Spink, who has been with the agency for 25 years, the past five as executive director.
The change becomes effective January 17th.

 

Friends of ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins are showing their support ahead of his sentencing on federal insider trading charges. They’ve sent 170 pages worth of letters to the judge who will decide how long the former 27th District representative will spend behind bars.
Collins is facing up to 57 months in prison when he’s sentenced January 17th.

 

The Buffalo Sabres will look to keep their two-game winning streak alive on the road tonight. They’ll be visiting the defending Stanley Cup champion Saint Louis Blues. The Sabres have struggled away from home this season and currently have the NHL’s fifth-worst road record.
Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for eight p-m.

Morning News Briefing

A pair of 13 year old Albion Middle School Students have accepted plea agreements for threats they made to violently attack other students and staff at their school.
Two of the three students accused in the incident pled guilty in Orleans County Family Court Tuesday to conspiracy to commit murder.
One of the two unnamed boys also pled guilty to a count of Aggravated Harassment for sending threatening messages to a fellow student.
The two will face up to a year in juvenile detention at sentencing on February 25th, while the third boy who was accused, also 13 year old, is expected to appear in court on January 21st.

The County’s Economic Development Center is going to consider tax incentives for the Ellicott Station project in Batavia to the tune of $3.6 million.
The GCEDC will look at the application for tax breaks on the 22 and a half million dollar project proposed by Buffalo Developer Sam Savarino during their meeting today.
Savarino proposed a 55 unit apartment building, a brewery and beer garden, however nothing has been done on the site since Savarino purchased the property over three years ago.
A public meeting will be scheduled if the GCEDC accepts the application.

Cuomo touts New York as the progressive Capital of the Nation in his 10th State of the State address.
The governor discussed several initiatives during yesterday’s speech in Albany, including legalizing recreational marijuana, improving health care and tax cuts for both the middle class and small businesses.
While most Democrats supported the governor’s speech, Republicans were critical of him for failing to mention potential changes in the new bail reform laws and for only briefly touching on the state’s six-billion dollar budget gap.

Local Assemblyman Steve Hawley was included in the group of Republicans who remained critical of Cuomo and his so-called progressive agenda.
Hawley emphasized his concern over what he sees as the Governors negative impact on the State’s economics and ultimately its population…

 

Hawley went on to say he will be working against many of the Governors policies that he believes hurt the state…

The Buffalo Sabres will look to keep their two-game winning streak alive on the road tonight.
They’ll be visiting the defending Stanley Cup champion Saint Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.
The Sabres have struggled away from home this season and currently have the NHL’s fifth-worst road record.
Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 8:00 p.m.

Special Weather Statement

An area of briefly heavy lake effect snow showers will move from the eastern suburbs of Buffalo into southwest Genesee and Wyoming counties. Expect a brief burst of moderate to heavy snow that lasts for 15 to 20 minutes. This will reduce the visibility to less than a half mile and result in slick spots on untreated roads.

Locations impacted include…
West Seneca, East Aurora, Elma, Marilla, Warsaw, Bennington, Alden, Attica, Pavilion, Wales Center, Varysburg, Sheldon, Covington, Pike, Silver Springs, Corfu and Alexander.

Conditions can deteriorate rapidly in winter weather situations. Be prepared for snow or ice covered roads. Slow down and allow extra time when traveling.

Evening News Briefing

Two 13 year old boys have admitted in court they made violent threats against Albion Middle School.
The two, whose names have not been released, pleaded guilty in Orleans County Family court yesterday to conspiracy to commit second degree murder. The two face up to a year in juvenile detention when they are sentenced late next month.
A third boy, also 13, is expected in court later this month.

 

 

 

Genesee County will consider $3.6-million in tax breaks for the so-called Ellicott Station project in Batavia. The GCEDC meets tomorrow to take up the tax breaks for 22 and a half million dollar project proposed by Buffalo Developer Sam Savarino. He has proposed a 55 unit apartment building, a brewery and beer garden. So far, Savarino has done nothing with the property he purchased from the city for $60,000 but has only paid a $5,000 dollar down payment on the land.

 

 

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce announcing today their 2019 Award Recipients.
Business of the Year is Tompkins Bank of Castile;
Agricultural Organization of the Year is Call Lands/My T Acres;
Special Service Recognition went to Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship and
Geneseean of the Year honor went to Jeff Allen, who is the Executive Director of Crossroads House.

 

 

The U. S. Probation Office has made its sentencing recommendation for ex-Republican Congressman Chris Collins. The Buffalo News reports the agency is suggesting he spend a year and a day behind bars, which is far less than the maximum of 57 months his plea agreement allows for. Collins pleaded guilty to federal insider trading charges last year and will be sentenced January 17th.

 

One of the most popular bands in country music is bringing their farewell tour to Western New York. Rascal Flatts will be performing at the Darien Lake Amphitheater on Saturday September 5th. Tickets will go on sale January 24th

GENESEE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 48th ANNUAL AWARD RECIPIENTS

Press Release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 48th Annual Awards Ceremony which will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at the Quality Inn & Suites, Park Road, Batavia. This is the County’s premier event that honors businesses and individuals for their achievements in business, community service and volunteerism. Tickets are $50.00 per person or a table of 10 for $450.00.

The evening begins at 5:30 with Hors D’oevures, Entrée Tables & Cash Bar (no formal sit-down dinner is to be served). The Award Program starts at 7:00 pm where dessert and coffee will be served.

This year’s honorees are:

Business of the Year: Tompkins Bank of Castile
Agricultural Organization of the Year: Call Lands/My T Acres
Special Service Recognition of the Year: Purple Pony Therapeutic Horsemanship
Geneseeans of the Year: Jeff Allen

 

GENESEE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTING WORKSHOP ON GETTING MORE OUT OF YOUR CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP

Press Release:

“Getting The Most Out Of Your Chamber Membership” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Workshop on January 15.

“Most people are aware of many benefits of Chamber membership,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber. “But there are so many other benefits that are sometimes overlooked and can add value to any business organization. This workshop will highlight the many new and exciting ways you can get more out of your Chamber membership. ”

The workshop will be presented by the Chamber staff and will be held at the Chamber of Commerce office, 8276 Park Rd., Batavia. The session will run from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and is free to both Chamber members and non-members. Attendees are encouraged to make reservations to insure space.

To reserve a seat in the workshop or for more information, contact Kelly Bermingham at 585-343-7440 or by email at kbermingham@geneseeny.com.

GCEDC BOARD TO CONSIDER APPLICATION FOR ELLICOTT STATION PROJECT IN THE CITY OF BATAVIA

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY – The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) board of directors will consider accepting an application for assistance for the proposed $22.5 million Ellicott Station project in the city of Batavia at the GCEDC’s Jan. 9 meeting.

The Ellicott Station project is a mixed-use brownfield redevelopment project including adaptive re-use and new construction of a blighted property in a key gateway entrance site to downtown Batavia. Considerable brownfield remediation, site improvements, and construction is proposed by project developer Savarino Companies.

“With Genesee County, the City of Batavia, and the Batavia City School District, we are working collectively to revitalize the city,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “The clean-up and redevelopment of the Ellicott Station site is a critical component of achieving our collective vision for Batavia’s Pathway to Prosperity.”

If the application is accepted, a public hearing on the proposed incentives will be scheduled in the City of Batavia.

The Ellicott Station project has been updated from a previous application that was approved by the GCEDC board in November 2018. The project proposes a 5-story apartment building with 55 new modern workforce housing units, along with a brewery, restaurant/beer garden, and the preparation of an additional development site on the 3.31 acre campus.

The proposed project supports the Genesee County’s EDGE economic development strategy of creating housing for entry level workers at Genesee County’s growing businesses.

Ellicott Station is requesting approximately $3.6 million in economic incentives, with a $2,105,792 property tax exemption, a $790,512 sales tax exemption, and a $180,792 mortgage tax exemption.

The proposed incentives are aligned with a request for financial support from the New York State Office of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR).

“We believe that the proposed project can be economically viable as the market-rate housing component checks a number of boxes that support the state’s interest in funding these types of developments,” Hyde continued. “The fact that there are a growing number of employment opportunities in the surrounding area to attract workforce talent to our region is certainly another factor we hope the state will consider in its decision.”

Project Connect offers a Free Hot Meal for Homeless in a one-day blitz of the Genesee Region

Press Release:

Issues of housing instability, maintaining gainful employment, and obtaining needed healthcare are not limited to large metropolitan areas, they can occur to people living anywhere. With this in mind, Batavia’s premier advocacy agency for people with disabilities, Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) plus the Homeless Alliance of WNY (HAWNY), working with other community organizations, will be available to those in need in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties as part of Project Connect on Thursday January 30, 2020.

Join us for a FREE hot meal, with access to local available resources to assist with housing, employment, healthcare, and other needs, during the time that we will be in your County:

Wyoming County: from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, they will be at the Warsaw Food Pantry, located in the United Church of Warsaw, 22 South Main Street, Warsaw, NY 14569.

Orleans County: only one hour thereafter, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, you’ll find them at the Hoag Library, 134 South Main Street, Albion, NY 14411

Genesee County: they will cap off this rather full day, by offering the hot meal and information at The Salvation Army, 529 East Main Street, Batavia NY 14020 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.

Signing up for a session in advance is encouraged but NOT REQUIRED. For more information or to register, please contact: Amber Mesita at (585) 815-8501, ext. 417 or email her at amesita@wnyil.org

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

Morning News Briefing

Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies report the arrest of 18 year old Alexander Neu of Dubonnet Drive in Depew after investigating an alleged assault that was reported at a Wiz Khalifa concert at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center over the summer.
According to officers Neu struck a victim in the face causing injury during the concert back in July of last year.
He is now facing a count of Assault in the third degree and is expected to appear on January 14th in Darien Town Court.

An Alden man busted for DWI after allegedly driving on the sidewalk in Batavia.
City Police took 25 year old Joshua Pesci of Broadway Road Alden into custody last Friday after investigation into a property damage accident at 26 South Main Street in the Batavia.
Pesci was charged with DWI, failure to use the designated lane, driving on a sidewalk and speeding.
He’s slated to answer to the charges in Batavia City Court on January 22nd.

A Clifton Ave man is looking at a felony level DWI after crashing into a telephone pole in the City.
26 year old Nathan Hinze of Clifton Ave in Batavia was arrested last Saturday on East Ave following a motor vehicle accident where Hinze allegedly hit and damaged a telephone pole with his vehicle.
Hinze was charged with Aggravated DWI and ultimately released with an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court on January 22nd.

Police arrest a Homeless man in Batavia for imprisonment.
Batavia Police took 31 year old William Haight into custody following a reported domestic disturbance at a Jackson Street address just after midnight on Monday.
Haight was hit with counts of Criminal Mischief and Unlawful Imprisonment and is expected to appear in City Court on January 14th.

Visitor restrictions in place at UMMC.
Restrictions are now in place at the United Memorial Medical Center and the three other Rochester Regional Health hospitals to help reduce further transmission of influenza or other infectious diseases.
The hospital is only allowing two visitors per patient at a time not including Parents/caregivers.
All visitors must be at least 14 years old and not displaying flu-like symptoms.
The resections are in place until further notice.

New information is being released on the DWI arrest of former Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
According to court documents, Kolb’s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit when he crashed his state-issued SUV near his home in the Town of Victor on New Year’s Eve.
He also reportedly told deputies that he had several cocktails before getting behind the wheel.
Even though he stepped down from his minority leader post, Kolb will keep his seat in the Assembly.

State lawmakers will return to Albany today as this year’s legislative session gets underway.
In the Assembly, Republicans have chosen Central New York Assemblyman William Barclay to be their new minority leader.
He previously served as deputy minority leader and was also the top GOP lawmaker on the Ways and Means Committee.
Currently, Democrats outnumber Republicans in the Assembly by a wide margin.

Morning News Briefing

A Batavia man was apprehended by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies after taking lawmen on pursuit of a stolen vehicle out of Orleans County.
Early yesterday morning Deputies stopped 57 year old Edward Ruckdeschel of Liberty Street on Clinton Street Road in Bergen in a vehicle that was allegedly stolen out of Orleans County.
Ruckdeschel then sped off, leading officers in a car chase through Genesee County eventually arriving in the Monroe County Town of Wheatland where Ruckdeschel tried to continue evading officers on foot before being apprehended.
He is charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Obstruction of Governmental Administration, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and other vehicle and traffic infractions.
Ruckdeschel was subsequently released with an appearance ticket for January 15th in Bergen Town Court.

A young woman reported missing by Batavia Police.
25 year old Desiree Hutchinson of Batavia has been missing since last month according to the police department.
Her family hasn’t heard from her since December 29th and she was reportedly last seen in the Rochester area.
She is described as a white woman, 4ft 9in tall, approximately 150 pounds.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is encouraged to call Batavia Police at 345-6350.

Supermarket chain Wegmans has announced a change to its plastic bag policy.
Starting January 27th, the single-use bags will no longer be used and they’ll be replaced by paper bags.
The move is being made ahead of a statewide ban on plastic bags that goes into effect in March.
Wegmans says it’ll encourage customers to bring reusable bags to take their groceries home.

As the holiday decorations come down, the City of Batavia begins its Christmas tree pick up operation.
The city only pick-ups real trees that have been stripped of all decorations.
Residents are asked to place their trees in the parkway clear of the curb and sidewalk.
City Officials also request residents keep their trees clear from snow and ice so they are visible and not frozen to the ground while crews are attempting to collect them.
The last day for tree pick-up is slated for Jan 31st weather permitting.

Governor Cuomo says he’s open to changing the state’s controversial new bail reform legislation.
It went into effect January 1st and eliminates pretrial detention and cash bail for a large number of non-violent felony and misdemeanor cases.
Critics say that prevents judges from taking the necessary steps to keep dangerous criminals off the streets.
Yesterday, the governor called the law a work in progress and said he’ll collaborate with the Legislature to come up with a solution.
Lawmakers return to Albany tomorrow.

Evening News Briefing

Desiree Hutchinson

Batavia Police are asking for information about a missing city woman.
She is 25 year old Desiree Hutchinson.
She hasn’t been seen or heard from since December 29th.
She is described as a white woman, 4ft 9in tall, 150 pounds. We have a picture of Desiree posted on the local news page of our website.
Anyone with information is asked to call Batavia Police.

 

 

Steve Hawley

 

Republican State Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia takes himself out of consideration for Assembly Minority Leader.
Hawley is endorsing Assemblyman William Barclay of Syracuse for minority leader.
Hawley is mentioned as a possible GOP candidate for the congressional seat vacated by Chris Collins.

 

 

The news just keeps getting worse when it comes to the spread of the flu across New York. According to the Department of Health, there were 92-hundred confirmed cases of the virus during the week ending December 28th.
Nearly 1,400 people were also hospitalized due to complications from the virus, a nearly 120-percent spike from the week before.

The City of Batavia is now picking up discarded Christmas Trees.
The city will only pick-up real trees that have been stripped of all decorations.
Residents are asked to place their trees in the parkway – the area between the curb and sidewalk.
The last day for pick-up will be Jan 31st.

Police report missing Batavia woman

Posted by BPD:

The Batavia Police Department is looking for your assistance in locating this missing person. Desiree Hutchinson has not been heard from since Friday, December 27. Desiree is believed to either have gone to Rochester, or still in the Batavia area. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Batavia Police Department at (585) 345-6350.

BPD Facebook

City of Batavia: Christmas Tree removal

Press Release:

The City of Batavia will be picking up Christmas trees during the month of January as weather and operations permit.

Important information regarding Christmas tree removal:

  • We can only pick up real trees. No artificial trees.
  • Residents are to place trees in the parkway near the curb. Keep trees out of the roadway and clear of sidewalks.
  • Residents placing trees out will need to strip the trees of all decorations, lights, stands and bags. These items damage chipping equipment. Contact your waste disposal company for information on the proper disposal of these items.
  • If high winds are forecasted, delay putting trees out until after winds have subsided. Trees in the road and across sidewalks are a hazards to motorists and pedestrians.
  • Keep trees free of snow and ice so they are visible and do not become frozen to the ground.
  • Please, have trees out for pick up before January 31 (Last day of pick-up).

Hawley decides not to run for Assembly Minority Leader

News Release:

A statement from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

“After discussions with family, friends and colleagues, I have decided not to explore a potential run to become the next Assembly Minority Leader. I sincerely appreciate all of the support and consideration I’ve received over the last few days.

For our conference and constituents, it is important that Assembly Republicans begin the new year and new legislative session as a unified force. Even in the midst of change, our resolve and commitment must remain strong as we develop solutions for our constituents and fight back a liberal agenda that threatens our great state.

I proudly support my friend Assemblyman Will Barclay as our next Assembly Minority Leader, and I look forward to working alongside him as we move New York State in the right direction.”

GCC Athletics Update: Condidorio Signs with GCC

Kiaya Condidorio (left) signed her Letter of Intent with Genesee CC. Kiaya is joined by her parents and Genesee Head Coach Jeff Reyngoudt

Press Release:

On December 19th, Genesee Women’s Soccer signed their sixth recruit for the upcoming season, Kiaya Condidorio. Kiaya is a 5’7” center midfielder and a 3-year varsity starter for LeRoy girls’ soccer team. She is an Honor Roll student, appeared in the Exceptional Senior Game this past fall, and was awarded All Livingston County as well. She has played for the Greece Cobras in the offseason and also plays basketball at LeRoy.

When asked what Genesee head coach Jeff Reyngoudt saw in Condidorio, he responded with, “She’s big, strong, and wins balls out of the air. She commands leadership on the field and distributes so well. We have been lacking a midfield with size and strength for a while.” Head Coach Jeff Reyngoudt had also mentioned that Chloe Barrett, who was Genesee’s first signee for the 2020 season, will be a perfect fit with Kiaya. “They are both powerhouses and I’m excited to put the two of them on the field together”, stated Reyngoudt.

The Genesee Cougar’s Coaching staff are still in the process of recruiting for their 2020 team and have some more signings coming up in the new year. If you are interested in trying out for next year’s 2020 Genesee Cougars, please email Jeff Reyngoudt at jcreyngoudt@genesee.edu.

Morning News Briefing

Fire crews were called at around 11 p.m. last night to report of a fire at a West Albion Street address in Holley that challenged crews due to lack of access to water.
When crews arrived they found the hydrant nearby was not working and so water tankers were brought to the scene according to Holley’s fire chief.
Unbeknownst to the department, a water main break had occurred the night before, which complicated their efforts.
In total 10 fire companies from 4 counties were called to action. Eleven people were displaced in the blaze, five children and six adults.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Batavia Woman busted for menacing with a weapon and endangerment.
35 year old Leah Kelly of Jackson Street is facing counts of Menacing with a Weapon, Criminal Possession of a Weapon and Endangering the Welfare of a Child following investigation into an alleged domestic disturbance that occurred early December at a lower apartment on Jackson Street.
Kelly used a knife unlawfully against another person or persons during the domestic incident according to Batavia Police.
Kelly was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on January 14th.

Residents should keep their cars locked, especially when parked overnight according to the Genesee county Sheriff’s Office says.
Deputies say they have received several complaints over the past week involving the theft of vehicles and articles left in vehicles parked in private driveways and lots.
The majority of the thefts have occurred in the overnight hours.

Starting today, employers will no longer be able to ask prospective or current employees about their salary history.
Governor Cuomo signed the legislation last year in hopes of bringing the state closer to closing the gender wage gap.
Employers can ask job seekers about their salary expectations for a position they’re applying for.
However, they can’t retaliate against anyone who refuses to reveal their salary history.
Anyone with questions or concerns about the new law can contact the Department of Labor’s Division of Labor Standards.

The halls of the state Capitol will be buzzing again this week as lawmakers return to Albany for their 2020 session.
One pressing issue they’ll need to address is a roughly six billion dollar budget gap that was mostly caused by four billion bucks in Medicaid overspending.
The governor’s office hasn’t said whether he’s in favor of raising taxes to cut the deficit.
Other items on the Legislature’s agenda are expected to be criminal justice reform, marijuana legalization, education and gun safety.
This year’s legislative session runs from Wednesday until June 2nd.

The news just keeps getting worse when it comes to the spread of the flu across New York.
According to the Department of Health, there were 92-hundred confirmed cases of the virus during the week ending December 28th. That’s a whopping 74-percent increase over the agency’s previous flu surveillance report. Nearly 14-hundred people were also hospitalized due to complications from the virus, a nearly 120-percent spike from the week before.

Weekend News Briefing

State Police based out of Batavia report the arrest of an Albion man on multiple felony charges after he allegedly fired a rifle into a sports bar in the Town of Carlton.
The incident occurred at Roadies Pizzeria and Sports Bar on Oak Orchard Road at around 11:30 Thursday night.
Troopers took 52 year old Scott Foley of Albion into custody for allegedly firing his Stag Arms rifle from his car into the restaurant.
Officers say Foley was drunk at the time.
Fortunately no one was injured and Foley was taken into custody without incident.
The weapon was recovered on scene and Foley has been jailed on $100,000 bail.

The Genesee county Sheriff’s Office says residents should keep their cars locked, especially when parked overnight.
Deputies say they have received several complaints over the past week involving the theft of vehicles and articles left in vehicles parked in private driveways and lots.
The majority of the thefts have occurred in the overnight hours.

New York Republican Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb is stepping down after his New Year’s Eve DWI arrest.
Kolb announced on Friday that he would not be leaving the Assembly, but stepping down from his post as minority leader.
Kolb was arrested after crashing into a ditch near his home upstate on Tuesday night.
He issued a statement taking full responsibility, saying that he deeply regrets his actions, and that he’s seeking professional help to heal and address the challenges he and his family are facing.

The legal battle over the special election in the 27th Congressional District has reached State Supreme Court.
Last week, a judge in Rochester delayed the state GOP’s request to order Governor Cuomo to quickly set a date to fill the seat left open by the resignation of ex-Congressman Chris Collins.
The Buffalo News reports the judge adjourned the case until January 13th after the assistant attorney general in charge of the Rochester-area office said he was only given the case yesterday.
The governor has hinted he’d like the special election to be April 28th, the same day as New York’s presidential primary.

Governor Cuomo is continuing to reveal some of the key issues he’ll be discussing during next week’s State of the State address.
The governor says he’ll propose banning the sale of so-called “ghost guns” to people who can’t legally have firearms.
Those weapons are sold as a kit that needs to be assembled.
The governor says New York has the toughest gun laws in the country, but people still find ways around them.

Evening News Briefing

An Albion man has been arrested on multiple felony charges for allegedly firing a rifle into a Town of Carlton sports bar.
The incident happened around 11:30 last night at Roadies Pizzeria and Sports Bar on Oak Orchard Road.
State Police say 52 year old Scott Foley of Albion fired his Stag Arms rifle from his car into the restaurant.
No one was injured. Troopers say Foley was drunk and taken into custody without incident.
The weapon was recovered, Foley has been jailed on $100,000 bail.

Keep your car locked, especially when parked overnight. That’s the advice from the Genesee county Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say they have received several complaints over the past week involving the theft of vehicles and articles left in vehicles parked in private driveways and lots. The thefts have occurred mainly during overnight hours.

A special prosecutor has been appointed to handle the drunken driving arrest of Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
Kolb was arrested Tuesday night after crashing his state-issued SUV near his home in the Town of Victor.

Students at Albion schools noticed an increased police presence on campus today
The police department said the move was made following an investigation into social media posts indicating there may be violence at the school
A closer look into those messages revealed there was no evidence anyone’s safety could be in danger.
Back in November, three students were charged with making a threat against Albion Middle School.

The Buffalo Bills take a step towards the franchise’s first Super Bowl title this weekend. They’ll be visiting the Houston Texans in the AFC Wild Card game. The Bills were 10 and six this season, while the Texans won the AFC South with an identical record. The Bills haven’t won a postseason game since 1995. Kickoff for tomorrow’s contest is set for 4:35 pm.

Man arrested for shooting at a sports bar

Press Release:

On January 3, 2020 at 1:19 A.M., the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) out of SP Batavia arrested Scott A. Foley, 52 of Albion, NY for Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd degree (C Felony), Criminal Possession of Assault Weapon 3rd degree (D Felony), Criminal Possession Weapon 3rd ammunition feeding device (D Felony), Reckless Endangerment 1st (D Felony), Driving While Intoxicated 1st degree, Harassment 2nd and other traffic tickets.

On January 2, 2020 at 11:31 P.M., Troopers responded to reports of a disturbance and shots fired from a vehicle at Roadies Pizzeria and Sports Bar on Oak Orchard Road in the town of Carlton. Responding deputies from the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene and initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle being driven by Foley, who was the only occupant. Foley was taken into custody without incident. Further investigation revealed that Foley was intoxicated, and he failed standard field sobriety tests. The weapon Foley used to fire at the restaurant, a Stag Arms rifle, was recovered on scene. None of the patrons at the restaurant was injured.

Foley was arraigned at the town of Carlton Court and remanded to Orleans County Jail on $100,000 cash, $200,000 bond.

The Orleans County District Attorney Office and Orleans County Sheriff’s Office assisted in this investigation.

This is still an ongoing investigation.

GVEP Nursing Program Receives NYS Reaccreditation

Press Release:

LeRoy, New York, January 2, 2020 – The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Practical Nursing Program recently had a reaccreditation of programs by the New York State Office of Professions Division of Professional Education Program Review. These audits occur approximately every five years and include a thorough review of curriculum, clinical sites, staff qualifications, as well as student and instructor files.

The New York State Office of Professions oversees the licensing and regulation of over 50 professions and is guided by the New York State Board of Regents. According to its website, “The registration of a program means that it has met the Department’s standards for accreditation as provided in the Rules of the Board of Regents and the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.”

Heidi Mix is the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Coordinator of Regional Medical Programs. She oversees both Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Programs. Mix explained the extent of the audit.

“This reaccreditation is crucial to the success of this program. If you do not have this approval, then you are not permitted to offer this program. We just received official notification that we received our reaccreditation. In our debriefing, the auditors praised the work that is being done in our nursing programs,” Mix explained. “We are moving in the right direction with our curriculum, and the use of Google classroom, an educational blackboard system, which allows students access to content at any time and it also is a great communications tool for students and instructors.”

This three-day review was completed by state auditors who visited classroom sites, met with students, staff, and administrators. Auditors reviewed instructors’ credentials and evaluations, as well as student files including admissions and graduation processes, board passing and job placement rates.

“The auditors were also impressed with the number of clinical sites that we provide. Clinical experiences provide opportunities for students and potential employers to work together. We have 23 sites and this includes large and small acute care facilities, and nursing homes throughout the Rochester region as well as Genesee and Livingston counties,” Mix said.
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The Genesee Valley Educational Partnership School of Practical Nursing has been in existence since 1994. It is a 1,200-clock hour program, certified by the New York State Education Department, and is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

Every student who enrolls in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program receives a Chromebook computer as part of their tuition fees. This computer becomes the property of the student and it is utilized for many purposes. “Students have access to many electronic books and databases such as online lessons/modules and interactive activities that augment classroom curriculum and enhance the educational experience,” Mix explained. “Each student can create their own dashboard and monitor their progress.”

Course curriculum includes a broad scope of topics including foundations of nursing, human growth and development, obstetrical and pediatric nursing, human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and more.

The CNA Program is also offered at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. This course is no less than a 150-clock hour program, approved by the New York State Education Department, and designed to prepare graduates for immediate employment following successful mastery of the post-program certification testing.

The LPN Program is offered at three different site locations: Batavia, Rochester Tech Park in Gates, and Mount Morris. The CNA Program is offered at two different locations, Mount Morris and Batavia. For more information or any questions, please contact 585-344-7788.

HAWLEY NAMED TO FARM BUREAU ‘CIRCLE OF FRIENDS’

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I- Batavia) announced today that he has once again been named to the Farm Bureau ‘Circle of Friends’ for his legislative support of agricultural and farming initiatives in 2019.

“I am honored to once again be named to the Circle of Friends and I thank the Farm Bureau for the great relationship and dialogue we have exercised over the years to do what’s best for our area’s producers,” Hawley said.

Hawley is the former owner and operator of Hawley Farms in Batavia, a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and a leading opponent of the Farm Labor Bill, which allows unionization, mandatory time off and other labor restrictions for farm workers.

“The new farm labor regulations, which took effect yesterday, are an absolute deathblow to family farms across our state. By choking our farmer’s labor supply and mandating drastic wage increases, we are threatening our farms’ livelihood and their ability to operate and succeed when they need laborers the most. I was proud to stand with farmers across the state in debating and voting against this bill when it came to the Assembly floor. New York City politicians who have probably never set foot on a farm should never be allowed to dictate how we operate.”

Morning News Briefing

27 year old Morgan Cox Jr. of Batavia appeared in Genesee County Court yesterday morning for sentencing on a count of Menacing a Police Officer and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.
Cox was arrested last September after he displayed a knife while threatening Batavia Police.
He was sentenced to the previously agreed upon mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison with 1 and ½ years post release supervision on the count of Menacing a Police Officer and the minimum of 1 and 1/3 to 3 years on the Weapons charge with his sentences to run concurrent.

Stafford house fire claims the life of a dozen dogs.
The fire was reported around 9 yesterday morning along Prole Road.
Officials said the fire was confined to a fireplace near a coach, where the dogs were found.
The occupant was not at home at the time however two dogs and as many as 10 puppies perish in the blaze.
Stafford and four additional volunteer departments were dispatched.

Attica man arrested for shoplifting in Batavia.
42 year old Thomas McCabe of East Ave in Attica was arrested and charged with Petit Larceny following a shoplifting complaint from the Kohl’s Department Store on New Year’s Day.
Investigators say McCabe allegedly stole clothing from the store before he was busted by deputies.
He was released with an appearance ticket for Town Court on January 16th.

Albion students will likely notice an increased police presence when they head to class today.
The police department says the move is being made following an investigation into social media posts indicating there may be violence on the Albion Central School Campus.
A closer look into those messages revealed there was no evidence anyone’s safety could be in danger.
Back in November, three students were charged with making a threat against Albion Middle School.

The legal battle over the special election in the 27th Congressional District has reached State Supreme Court.
Yesterday, a judge in Rochester delayed the state GOP’s request to order Governor Cuomo to quickly set a date to fill the seat left open by the resignation of ex-Congressman Chris Collins.
The Buffalo News reports the judge adjourned the case until January 13th after the assistant attorney general in charge of the Rochester-area office said he was only given the case yesterday.
The governor has hinted he’d like the special election to be April 28th, the same day as New York’s presidential primary.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel plays hero as his team gets back on the winning track.
Eichel scored on a penalty shot in overtime as the Sabres beat the Edmonton Oilers three-to-two at KeyBank Center last night.
Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart also added goals for Buffalo who snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Sabres will be back in action when they host the Florida Panthers tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

Evening News Briefing

Morgan Cox of Batavia sentenced today to two years in prison for threatening a city police officer with a knife last September.
Judge Charles Zambito called Cox’s actions totally pointless and said most importantly, Cox needs to address his drug addiction.
Cox had agreed to a plea deal in the case. He will also be on probation following his prison term.

PHOTO: Morgan Cox

 

Two dogs and as many as 10 puppies perish in a Stafford house fire today.
The fire was reported around 9 this morning along Prole Road.
The occupant of the home was not at home at the time.
Officials said the fire was confined to a fireplace near a coach, where the dogs were found.
Stafford and four additional volunteer departments responded to the fire.

 

Genesee County management expressing concerns over New York’s bail reforms that went into effect on New Year’s Day.
Law enforcement has already expressed their reservations with the change that allows misdemeanor and Class E felony offenders to be released from custody without bail.
County Manager Jay Gsell on WBTA’s Main and Center program today, echoed the concerns of lawmen:

PHOTO: Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell

Gsell said he had to budget a quarter of a million dollars for the training of police and prosecutors to deal with the bail reform.

The Buffalo Bills are taking part in their second playoff game in three years this weekend, and some local fans will be in attendance to cheer them on. Members of the so-called “Bills Mafia” are heading to Houston ahead of Buffalo’s big showdown with the Texans. Kickoff for Saturday’s contest is set for four-35 p-m.

The Buffalo Sabres will look to start 2020 off on a winning note in front of their home crowd. They’re hosting the Edmonton Oilers at KeyBank Center. Faceoff for tonight’s game is 7 p.m.

Batavia man sentenced to prison for Menacing Police with a knife

27 year old Morgan Cox Jr. of Batavia appeared in Genesee County Court this morning for sentencing on a count of Menacing a Police Officer and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.
Cox who has an extensive criminal history was arrested on the Class D violent felony on September 28th when he displayed a knife in order to intimidate a Batavia Police officer while the officer was performing his duties.
Both the District Attorney and defense in the case declined making a presentence statement, including Cox himself.
Judge Charles Zambito did however speak to Cox before handing down his sentence calling his actions “totally pointless” and fueled by his addiction to drugs.
Zambito referred to a dangerous incident that Cox had found himself in saying “People came with baseball bats because they know how you are” stressing that Cox needed to address his addiction most importantly.
He was sentenced to the previously agreed upon mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison with 1 and ½ years post release supervision on the count of Menacing a Police Officer and the minimum of 1 and 1/3 to 3 years on the weapons charge with his sentences to run concurrent.

Bergen Teen’s Fundraiser Benefits Arc’s GO TO Hub

Jillian Menzie (center) with Hugh Gabalski, Megan Jarkiewicz, John Gabalski and Landon Kent.

Press Release:

BERGEN – Jillian Menzie accomplished quite a feat last year, raising over $4,000.00 for Arc of Genesee Orleans with the support of her fellow bowlers. Her goal this year was to raise more. She didn’t disappoint, turning in $5,077.00 in cash and an additional $845.00 in gifts and gift cards. She did this with the help of league bowler Megan Jarkiewicz who was able to accompany her on many of her fundraising trips through 11 towns in three counties.

Three other Rose Garden bowlers helped raise an additional $327.80 in the effort: Landon Kent ($102.80); John Gabalski ($125.00) and his brother Hugh Gabalski ($100) bringing the grand total raised in cash to $5,404.80!

“Counting all the gifts, Jillian led the effort to collect over $6,240.00 for the Arc of Genesee Orleans,” Arc Community Relations Coordinator Sandy Konfederath said. “The funds have been targeted to help with technology needs and art program for our new GO TO Hub center at 64 Walnut Street, Batavia,” Konfederath said.

Jillian’s family has been raising money for Arc of Genesee Orleans since Jillian’s father Jerry was a youth bowler, and Jillian’s grandmother Ellen Menzie ran the Rose Garden’s Youth bowling league and was a Bowl-A-Thon volunteer. Jillian logged 43 hours of volunteer time collecting donations this fall and winter, ensuring a strong finish, as she gets set to tackle the last semester of her senior year at Byron-Bergen.

At BBCS, Jillian is the Student Council President, National Honor Society President, and is a member of band, elite choir (Singing Silhouettes) and is in this year’s school musical, “School House Rock.” She played Varsity soccer and is a member of Varsity Club, Spanish Club, Alliance for Equality Club, attends school board meetings and is the school mascot.

Outside of school, Jillian is involved in the “Young Life” youth group, has a 190 bowling average and holds down a part-time job at McDonald’s! She is going to pursue a career in teaching or nursing and plans to continue volunteering and helping people throughout her life.

“Megan and I have been working together for a few years on this fund raiser,” said Jillian. “My hope is that she’ll carry it on in the years to come,” she added. Besides bowling, Megan, a 6th grader at BBCS, also plays soccer and basketball.

Jillian wishes to thank the league bowlers who participated and the community and businesses who generously supported the event!

Morning News Briefing

It appears New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb should have taken his own advice when just days ago he urged constituents to avoid drinking and driving over the holiday season.
The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office reports that the 67 year old Republican was arrested on New Year’s Eve after crashing his state–issued SUV on County Road 41 in the Town of Victor around 10 p.m.
He was charged with DWI and because of his notoriety, the case is going to be handled by a special prosecutor before a judge from outside the counties he represents.

Buffalo woman busted for DWI in Pembroke.
25 year old Lillian Doll was arrested by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies just after midnight Sunday after she had apparently run out of gas in the vehicle she was driving.
Following a brief investigation it was determined Doll was intoxicated and she subsequently recorded a Blood Alcohol Content over .08 percent.
She was charged with DWI along with Operating a Vehicle with a Suspended Registration and was released with an appearance ticket for Pembroke Town Court on January 16th.

New bail reform legislation is in effect statewide along with the new year.
The law gets rid of pretrial detention and cash bail in most non-violent felony or misdemeanor cases.
Cash bail is still required for offenses like drug trafficking and sex crimes involving children.
Governor Cuomo believes the new rules will keep thousands of people accused of crimes out of jail until their legal case is resolved.

North Road in LeRoy will be closed between Route 19 and Conlon Road today and tomorrow according to the county highway department.
Construction crews will be installing a water main across the roadway.
The stretch North Road will be closed to all traffic, including emergency vehicles until this weekend.

The Buffalo Sabres will look to start 2020 off on a winning note in front of their home crowd.
They’re hosting the Edmonton Oilers at KeyBank Center.
Buffalo is coming off a tough loss New Year’s Eve where they squandered a four to one lead and lost six to four to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Faceoff for tonight’s game is 7:00 p.m.

The Buffalo Bills are taking part in their second playoff game in three years this weekend, and some local fans will be in attendance to cheer them on.
Members of the so-called “Bills Mafia” are heading to Houston ahead of Buffalo’s big showdown with the Texans.
Fans tell The Buffalo News they have to be at the game as the team looks for its first playoff win in decades.
Kickoff for Saturday’s contest is set for 4:35 p.m.

Morning News Briefing

Det. Sgt. Kevin Czora capped off his career yesterday surrounded by colleagues and friends at a retirement party at police headquarters.
Czora had been with the department for 20 years after moving from a job with the Federal Reserve as a protections officer.
Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said as soon as he met Czora in 2012, he realized that he would be someone he could count on.
Cheif Heubusch announced that Sgt. Matt Lutey will move into the detective sergeant position, replacing Czora, effective Jan. 7, 2020.
In addition the chief said that Sgt. Chris Camp, a 12-year employee, will move into the Assistant Chief post, replacing Todd Crossett, who has accepted a police officer position with the VA Medical Center in Batavia.

A Batavia man is arrested for shoplifting at Wal-Mart and is busted with promoting prison contraband.
36 year old Thomas Leonard of East Main Street was arrested and charged with Falsifying Business Records, Petit Larceny and Conspiracy following a larceny complaint on Monday afternoon at the Wal-Mart in Batavia.
Around an hour later Leonard was hit with a count of Promoting Prison Contraband for allegedly introducing contraband to the detention facility.
He was ultimately released with appearance tickets for both Town and City Court in Batavia.

It’s a new year, and that means new bail reform legislation is in effect statewide.
The law gets rid of pretrial detention and cash bail in most non-violent felony or misdemeanor cases.
Cash bail is still required for offenses like drug trafficking and sex crimes involving children.
Governor Cuomo believes the new rules will keep thousands of people accused of crimes out of jail until their legal case is resolved.

The county highway department announced that North Road in LeRoy will be closed between Route 19 and Conlon Road this Thursday and Friday.
Construction crews will be installing a water main across the roadway.
North Road between Route 19 and Conlon Road will be closed to all traffic, including emergency vehicles, this Thursday and Friday.

Governor Cuomo has directed the state Labor Department to eliminate subminimum wage for over 70-thousand tipped workers.
That means people with jobs such as tow-truck drivers, hairdressers and nail salon workers will soon see bigger paychecks.
The governor’s order will be phased in over the next several months.
Cuomo says studies show the current tipping system mostly affects the bottom lines of women and minorities who have jobs that help keep the state’s economy moving forward.

Evening News Briefing

A snow squally warning has now expired for Wyoming County but periods of moderately heavy snow is expected for Genesee County.
Significant snow accumulations are not expected but intermittent bursts of snow could affect visibility.

A note to LeRoy motorists: The county highway department announced that North Road will be closed between Route 19 and Conlon Road this Thursday and Friday.
Construction crews will be installing a water main across the roadway.
North Road between Route 19 and Conlon Road will be closed to all traffic, including emergency vehicles, this Thursday and Friday.

Batavia Police call it a case of road rage.
48 year old Lisa Marie Fox of Broadway Road in Alexander was charged with menacing following an incident on Oak Street in Batavia.
Police say Lisa brandished what appeared to be a knife while engaged in a verbal fracas with another driver.
Lisa was issued a court appearance ticket.

Thousands of police officers will be patrolling in and around Times Square today as folks pack the area to ring in the New Year.
Police will use drones to keep a bird’s eye view on things.
There will be bomb sniffing dogs and heavily armed counter-terrorism teams.
The NYPD’s chief of counter-terrorism says Times Square is probably the safest place on Earth on New Year’s Eve.

Starting today, minimum wage employees in Upstate New York will start earning more money. The hourly wage is going from $11.10 an hour to $11.80.
There will also be a 70 cent increase to $12.50 an hour one year from now. The State Department of Labor is urging employees to call and report businesses that don’t follow the new minimum wage increase.

Morning News Briefing

An Alexander woman was arrested after a road rage incident in Batavia.
City Police took 48 year old Lisa Fox of Broadway Road Alexander into custody on Christmas Eve following a verbal altercation with another person in a road rage incident on Oak Street in Batavia.
Fox is accused of displaying an object in a way to have it appear as a knife during the altercation.
She was charged with Menacing and was released with an appearance ticket for City Court on January 14th.

A Batavia Man busted over twice the legal limit in Pavilion.
32 year old Victor Trejo of East Main Street in the City was stopped on Ellicott Street Road in Pavilion by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies for allegedly speeding earlier this month.
Trejo was allegedly driving while intoxicated and recorded a Blood Alcohol Content two times over the legal limit.
He was charged with DWI and speeding and issued an appearance ticket for January 14th in Pavilion Town Court.

City Police stop a Rochester woman with a list of traffic offenses.
51 year old Karen Scott of Rochester was stopped for speeding on Main Street in the city.
During the traffic stop Officers discovered Scott possessed a revoked non driver ID with 10 or more scoffs on 10 or more dates.
She was charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and Speeding and is scheduled to appear on January 15th in City Court.

A Bank Street resident accused of imprisonment.
Batavia Police report the arrest 43 year old Randy Wilmet after investigation into an incident at a lower apartment at a Bank Street address last Thursday.
Wilmet was apprehended after he allegedly prevented an individual from leaving the residence.
He was charged with Unlawful Imprisonment and released on his own recognizance to appear in Batavia City Court January 16th.

East Main Street woman pinched for petit larceny in Batavia
Genesee County Sheriff’s responded at around 5 p.m. last night to a possible shoplifting incident on Veterans Memorial Drive.
They arrested 45 year old Michelle May of Batavia on counts of Petit Larceny, and Conspiracy.
She is expected to appear in Town of Batavia court next Monday.

Starting today, minimum wage employees in Upstate New York will start earning more money.
The hourly wage is going from $11.10 an hour to $11.80.
There will also be a 70 cent increase to $12.50 an hour one year from now.
The State Department of Labor is urging employees to call and report businesses that don’t follow the new minimum wage increase.

Governor Cuomo has revealed another issue he’d like to see the Legislature take on when lawmakers return to Albany next month.
He’s planning to ask them to pass a bill legalizing paid gestational surrogacy.
New York is one of three states that ban infertile and same sex couples from having someone carry their child in exchange for compensation.
The governor says it’s time for the state to update its antiquated laws to help people start families.

Evening News Briefing

Power has been restored to nearly all 2,200 customers of National Grid who had lost power earlier today in Genesee County.
Most of those affected lived in Stafford.
The outage also affected Genesee Community College and for a time threatened the Lions Club annual basketball Tournament.
Those games are back on. The championship round begins at 7 tonight.
We’ll have live coverage of the small and large school championship games tonight on WBTA.

Western New York drivers are handing over a bit more money at the pump. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular gas is $2.65. That’s up five cents from last week and is four cents higher than this time a month ago.

Governor Cuomo has ordered increased security in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods statewide following a violent attack that injured five people. It happened Saturday night in Rockland County.
Police said a man went into a rabbi’s home with a machete and stabbed five people during a Hanukkah celebration.

Governor Cuomo wants state lawmakers to pass a bill that would only allow registered retailers to buy e-cigarettes online, by phone or mail. In a proposal released Sunday, Cuomo is also calling for a ban on all flavored vaping products including nicotine. Cuomo also wants a ban on vaping advertising that some argue is used to get the youth hooked. The governor is expected to detail the proposals at his state of the state address next month.

The Buffalo Bills will be heading into the playoffs on a two-game losing streak after dropping their regular season finale. Quarterback Josh Allen played briefly while other starters sat out entirely as the Bills lost 13 to six to the New York Jets at New Era Field yesterday. The Bills finished 10 and six on the season and will be the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs. That means they’ll be visiting the AFC South champion Houston Texans in the Wild Card round Saturday afternoon. Kickoff for that game is set for 4:35p.m.

NEW YORK FARM BUREAU NAMES 2019 “CIRCLE OF FRIENDS” IN STATE LEGISLATURE

Press Release:

Albany, NY – New York Farm Bureau has released its annual “Circle of Friends,” naming 77 New York State Legislators to the distinguished list. The award is an indication of the individual lawmaker’s support of New York agriculture and Farm Bureau.

The “Circle of Friends” honor is based upon each legislator’s voting record on issues of agricultural importance as well as other evidence of legislative support, including sponsorship of bills that New York Farm Bureau has either supported or opposed during the most recent legislative session.

“New York Farm Bureau recognizes these Senators and Assembly Members for their legislative work on agricultural issues that matter to our members. We appreciate their support of bills and budget items that benefit farm families, and we hope to continue this partnership in the 2020 legislative session. We aim to work together with all lawmakers to support local food production and address the needs of our rural communities,” said David Fisher, President of New York Farm Bureau.

The “Circle of Friends” is not an endorsement, and this distinction only recognizes the 2019 legislative session.

“Circle of Friends” recipients for 2019 are:

New York Senate:

Akshar, Fred(R)
Amedore, Jr., George A.(R)
Antonacci II, Robert E. (R)
Boyle, Philip M.(R)
Flanagan, John J.(R)
Funke, Rich(R)
Gallivan, Patrick M.(R)
Griffo, Joseph A.(R)
Helming, Pamela(R)
Jacobs, Chris(R)
Jordan, Daphne (R)
LaValle, Kenneth P.(R)
Lanza, Andrew J.(R)
Little, Elizabeth O’C.(R)
Metzger, Jen (D)
O’Mara, Thomas F.(R)
Ortt, Robert G.(R)
Ranzenhofer, Michael H.(R)
Ritchie, Patricia A.(R)
Robach, Joseph E.(R)
Serino, Susan J.(R)
Seward, James L.(R)
Tedisco, James(R)
New York Assembly:
Ashby, Jacob C.(R)
Barclay, William A.(R)
Blankenbush, Kenneth(R)
Brabenec, Karl(R)
Buttenschon, Marianne (D)
Byrne, Kevin(R)
Byrnes, Marjorie (R)
Crouch, Clifford W.(R)
DeStefano, Joseph R)
DiPietro, David J.(R)
Finch, Gary D.(R)
Fitzpatrick, Michael J.(R)
Friend, Christopher S.(R)
Garbarino, Andrew R.(R)
Giglio, Joseph M.(R)
Goodell, Andrew(R)
Hawley, Stephen M.(R)
Johns, Mark C.(R)
Jones, D. Billy(D)
Kolb, Brian M.(R)
Lalor, Kieran Michael(R)
Lawrence, Peter A.(R)
Lupardo, Donna A.(D)
Malliotakis, Nicole(R)
Manktelow, Brian (R)
McDonald, III, John T.(D)
McDonough, David G.(R)
McMahon, Karen (D)
Mikulin, John(R)
Miller, Brian(R)
Miller, Melissa(R)
Montesano, Michael A.(R)
Morinello, Angelo(R)
Norris, Michael(R)
Palmesano, Philip A.(R)
Palumbo, Anthony H.(R)
Ra, Edward P,(R)
Raia, Andrew P.(R)
Reilly, Michael (R)
Salka, John (R)
Santabarbara, Angelo L.(D)
Schimminger, Robin(D)
Schmitt, Colin (R)
Smith, Douglas(R)
Smullen, Robert (R)
Stec, Daniel G.(R)
Stern, Steve(D)
Stirpe, Jr., Albert A.(D)
Tague, Christopher(R)
Thiele, Jr., Fred W.(D)
Walczyk, Mark (F)(R)
Walsh, Mary Beth(R)
Williams, Jaime(D)
Woerner, Carrie(D)

HAWLEY ENCOURAGES COLLABORATION, PROGRESS IN 2020

Press Release:

“The end of 2019 does not represent a time of closure but rather a time for new hope, new opportunity and the fulfillment of long-standing aspirations. It is a symbolic time to set new goals, raise your standards and put failures and disappointment behind you. Although we must always look forward, it is important to reflect on what we have accomplished this year and all that we have to be thankful for. In doing so, we can evaluate what we have achieved and push ourselves even further professionally, personally and physically to even greater limits next year.

“The division in our state and our nation is troubling. Politics shouldn’t be a perpetual competition as much as it should be about listening, collaboration and compromise. New York has taken on a stark progressive character the last year under one-party leadership and although I disagree with many of the current policies, I will continue to extend the olive branch in 2020 and forge a bond with elected officials as fellow New Yorkers first, not Republicans or Democrats.

“Next year’s election cycle is sure to be contentious, but we will heal as a nation by always remembering to listen, respect and be kind to others.

“If you are out celebrating the New Year with family and friends and choose to consume alcohol, please do so responsibly and always take advantage of the great ride-sharing and taxi services we have locally. We need to all do our part this time of year to keep our drivers and passengers safe.

“On behalf of all the constituents of the 139th Assembly District and fellow New Yorkers alike, I wish everyone and their families a happy and safe New Year!”

Morning News Briefing

Batavia Police have arrested an East Main Street man for allegedly choking and unlawfully imprisoning a victim during a Christmas Day domestic disturbance.
Officers were called to responded to an East Main Street address at around 8 p.m. Christmas night were they took 61 year old Ernest Lane into custody on counts of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing, Unlawful Imprisonment, Aggravated Family Offense and Criminal Contempt.
He is accused of violating a stay away order of protection and having physical contact with the protected person including preventing them from leaving the apartment.
Lane was arraigned in Batavia City Court and is slated to appear at a later date.

Stafford woman pinched for a stolen credit card in Batavia.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 22 year old Stormy Watts of Main Road Stafford Friday evening on a count of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property following investigation into an incident at the Wal-Mart in Batavia.
Watts allegedly tried to use a stolen credit card at the store on December 22nd.
She was released with an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court on January 9th.

A Batavia man busted over twice the legal limit.
22 year old Zachary Knapp of East Ave in Batavia was arrested last Monday on a count of Aggravated DWI following a traffic stop on East Ave in the City.
Knapp allegedly had a flat tire and recorded a BAC over twice the legal limit.
He was released with an appearance ticket for January 15th in City Court.

The Buffalo Bills will be heading into the playoffs on a two-game losing streak after dropping their regular season finale.
Quarterback Josh Allen played briefly while other starters sat out entirely as the Bills lost 13 to six to the New York Jets at New Era Field yesterday.
The Bills finished 10 and six on the season and will be the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs.
That means they’ll be visiting the AFC South champion Houston Texans in the Wild Card round Saturday afternoon.
Kickoff for that game is set for 4:35 p.m.

Governor Cuomo has ordered increased security in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods statewide following a violent attack that injured five people.
It happened Saturday night in the Rockland County community of Monsey when a man went into a rabbi’s home with a machete and stabbed five people during a Hanukkah celebration.
The suspect was taken into custody hours after the incident.
Governor Cuomo called the violence an act of domestic terrorism.

HAWLEY ANNOUNCES JANUARY OFFICE HOURS

Press Release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is holding his next round of office hours for Genesee and Monroe county residents starting January 10. The office hours will be attended by Hawley’s staff. The 139th Assembly District, represented by Hawley, includes all of Genesee County and portions of western Monroe County.

“These office hours offer local residents an opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns and ideas regarding the issues facing state government,” said Hawley. “I strongly encourage those who are able to attend to come and make their voices heard.”

To schedule an individual appointment with Hawley, please contact his office at hawleys@nyassembly.gov or by calling 585-356-0686 for the Monroe County office hours, or 585-813-1608 for the Genesee County office hours.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley
January Office Hours:

Monroe County:

Ellwanger Room
Seymour Library
161 East Avenue, Brockport
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Ellwanger Room
Seymour Library
161 East Avenue, Brockport
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Genesee County:

Genesee Community College
Conable Technology Building, Room T124
Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive (1 College Road), Batavia
Friday, January 10, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Genesee Community College
Conable Technology Building, Room T124
Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive (1 College Road), Batavia
Friday, January 24, 2020
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Weekend News Briefing

Genesee County deputies have arrested a man who was injured during a home invasion at a Clinton Street Road address in Stafford.
Investigators say 36 year old Charles Cooper was shot in the back by the homeowner when he broke into the man’s residence in November.
Cooper also had a pellet gun on him when he went into the Clinton Street Road home and asked the homeowner for money before allegedly threatening him.
Cooper who has been hospitalized since the incident was charged upon his release with counts of burglary and robbery with his next appearance in Stafford Town Court scheduled for January 7th.
He was arraigned and sent to the Genesee County Jail on $50,000 bail.

A Pembroke man arrested for menacing and harassment.
State Troopers based out of Batavia report the arrest of 27 year old David LeRoy following an incident the night of Christmas Eve at a Town of Pembroke address.
LeRoy was charged with a Class A Misdemeanor count of Menacing along with second degree harassment and was released on his own recognizance.

According to County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens construction of a major water main will restart on Monday, Dec. 30th along North Road in the Town of LeRoy.
The road will be closed and will only be accessible by local traffic and emergency vehicles during this time and major delays can be expected for several weeks.
Complete roadway shutdowns will occur and be communicated as blasting of bedrock and road crossings occur.
Officials suggest using alternate routes in the meantime.

The Buffalo Bills will look to build momentum for their upcoming playoff run in their final regular season contest.
They’re hosting the New York Jets at New Era Field in Orchard Park this weekend.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen will start, but there’s no word on just how long he’ll play.
Buffalo is currently locked into the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs, but their opponent hasn’t been determined yet.
Kickoff for Sunday’s contest is set for 1:00 p.m.

Morning News Briefing

Kim Hill

Add another hat into the ring for the New York State Senate.
She is Democrat Kim Smith. She is running for the seat to be vacated by Republican State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer.
Smith has been with the Monroe County Health Department for 25 years.
She is the second Democrat to announce for the post.
Earlier this month businesswoman Joan Seamons announced her candidacy.
No Republicans have formally announced for the post.

Batavia’s bravest still looking for the cause of a Christmas Eve fire that heavily damaged a two-story home on Highland Park.
City firemen reached the scene quickly and found flames shooting out of the second floor. Everyone has safely escaped including a dog but two pet reptiles did not.
One fireman suffered a minor injury but remained on duty.

If you’re heading out today for some post-holiday shopping, experts have some simple things you should keep in mind.
First is don’t assume every sale is a good deal, meaning you should compare prices at several stores before making a purchase.
Also, most retailers have a shorter return window for items purchased after the busy shopping period, so make sure you know how long you have bring back something you buy.

Beginning the first of the year a lot of New Yorkers will be earning more money while on the job.
The minimum wage for Upstate New York will increase by 70 cents to $11.80 an hour.
Then in 2021, there will be a similar jump to $12.50 an hour

Morning News Briefing! State Police Identify Hit and Run Victim

A tractor-trailer rollover in Caledonia has led to the death of a Genesee County man.
The crash occurred on state Route 20 near Route 5.
55 year old Richard Ishmael of Bergen was pronounced dead at the scene Friday morning.
Deputies say Ishmaels’ rig left the roadway while making a turn and rolled over trapping him inside.

State Police have identified the victim of a deadly weekend hit-and-run in the Town of Niagara. Troopers say 22-year-old Maxim Vyazovoy was struck and killed on Lockport Road Saturday morning. Police have found the vehicle that hit him but are still trying to track down the driver. If you have any information, investigators want to hear from you.

Jeremy M. Fairbanks, 41, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree strangulation. Fairbanks was arrested following an investigation into a domestic dispute that occurred at 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 13 on Jackson Street in Batavia. He was arraigned in Batavia City Court at 3:03 p.m. on Dec. 18 and jailed without bail.

Drivers hitting the road during this busy travel week will find steady gas prices in Western New York.
According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of gas is two-65.
That’s the same as it was last week and is a penny cheaper than a month ago.

The New York State Thruway Authority has announced a new way to help thousands of drivers in the Empire State. The Office of the Toll Payer Advocate will help customers who aren’t able to resolve toll problems using the Customer Service Center. Each office will also help make sure folks get fair and responsive treatment and recommend reforms to improve service. Thruway Authority customers who haven’t been able to resolve toll violations can fill out a form on the agency’s website to ask for help.

Governor Cuomo has signed off on a new law to eliminate the use of a potentially cancer-causing chemical. PFAS is commonly used in firefighting foam and is known to contaminate drinking water sources. In addition to cancer, PFAS has been linked to other serious health problems. Its use will also now be phased out at oil refineries, fuel storage and distribution facilities and chemical plants.

Morning News Briefing

Batavia Police have arrested one person in connection with a car theft from earlier this month. Back on December 7, a vehicle was allegedly stolen from the parking lot of a business on Liberty Street in the city.  After the investigation, Police arrested 57-year-old Edward Ruckdeschel of Liberty Street and charged him with second-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle and fourth-degree grand larceny.  He is being held without bail in the Genesee County Jail pending a court appearance.

Some residents receiving food stamps across New York State could be at risk of losing those benefits. It’s due to new federal rules demanding states enforce work requirements for folks who are considered able-bodied.  Previously, states could waive those requirements in areas where unemployment was high.  But now, unemployment will have to be at least six percent for that to happen. When the new regulations kick in next year, folks who are able to work, are single or don’t have children will have to either be employed or receive job training for at least 20 hours a week to receive their benefits.

On Friday, Durin Rogers was sworn in as the new full-time judge Batavia City Court and David Saleh was sworn in as the new part-time judge.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to unveil a proposal in his upcoming State of the State address that would save women money.   He’s planning to call for an end to the so-called ‘pink tax’ and ban businesses from charging more for items marketed towards women. On average, women pay seven cents more for things like razors, shampoo and health care products than men.  In a statement, the governor called the practice of basing prices on gender discriminatory and repugnant.

The Buffalo News is reporting that there is a push intensifying to bring trans-Atlantic flights to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The Buffalo News says airport officials and politicians are lobbying the state for money in order to make the flights a reality. They point to the fact that nearby airports, like Toronto’s Pearson Airport, are congested and that makes the Buffalo Airport a logical choice for trans-Atlantic flights. Airport officials will look to make their pitch to the state in January.

Drivers hitting the road during this busy travel week will find dropping gas prices.  According to AAA of Western and Central New York, the average cost for a gallon of gas in Batavia is $2.65 a gallon, and that’s a drop of 8 cents from a year ago.  The state average is $2.69, while nationally it’s $2.55. Triple-A expects 116 million people to be traveling for the holiday, the most in nearly 20 years.  That’s an increase of almost four-percent over last year.  Triple-A expects 104 million of those holiday travelers will drive to their destinations.

Senator Chuck Schumer is demanding a federal investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission into T.J. Maxx and its Marshall’s and HomeGoods brands.  Schumer said the stores sold recalled products including clothes, toys, and electronics. The products were already recalled between 2014 and 2019.  Most of the merchandise was highly hazardous, with dangers such as infant fatalities, fire, burning, and explosions, just to name a few.  He added that consumers deserve to be notified, refunded, and reassured that this will not happen again.

 

Morning News Briefing

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday announced that more than $761 million in economic and community development funding has been awarded through Round IX of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Since its inception in 2011, over $6.9 billion has been awarded to more than 8,300 projects that are projected to create and retain more than 240,000 jobs statewide through the REDC process.  Here’s more information on the local 2019 Regional Economic Development Council Awards, courtesy of The Batavian:

The local projects:

City of Batavia Advancing Batavia Opportunities The City of Batavia will advance the redevelopment of City Centre and Harvester Center BOA strategic sites within the Batavia Opportunity Area by undertaking pre-development activities including preliminary engineering and architectural studies, legal services, real estate services, zoning updates, and marketing. $193,500
City of Batavia Revitalize Downtown Batavia The City will assist in the renovation of mixed-use buildings in the City’s Business Improvement District. $300,000
Genesee County Genesee County 2040 Strategy Genesee County will prepare an update to its outdated 1997 Comprehensive to provide a new direction for the future of Genesee County with a focus on economic development and community revitalization. The plan will be action-oriented and community-driven with an emphasis on priority county- wide revitalization projects complemented by an implementation strategy and performance measurements. $40,000
Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council Seymour Place The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council will make needed renovations and upgrades to maintain the fundamental beauty of its historical building while bringing the functionality of the building into the 21st century. $72,500
Town of Byron Town of Byron Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements Study The Town of Byron will complete an engineering report to evaluate disinfection alternatives at its wastewater treatment plant. $30,000
Town of Pavilion Town of Pavilion Wastewater Treatment Plant Disinfection Study The Town of Pavilion will complete an engineering report to evaluate disinfection alternatives at its wastewater treatment plant. $30,000
Village of Corfu Village of Corfu Wastewater Treatment Plant Disinfection The Village of Corfu will install effluent disinfection at the village’s wastewater treatment plant. This project will improve water quality by reducing pathogens in the treatment plant’s discharge. $620,000
Village of Elba Village of Elba Wastewater Treatment Facility and Collection System Study The Village of Elba will complete an engineering report to evaluate disinfection alternatives at its wastewater treatment facility. The report will also include recommended actions to reduce the inflow and infiltration in the sanitary sewer collection system. $30,000
Village of LeRoy Village of LeRoy Sewer Inflow and Infiltration Study The Village of LeRoy will complete an engineering report that provides a detailed sanitary sewer collection system capital improvement plan based on investigations of inflow and infiltration in the system. $30,000

If you don’t have an E-Z Pass on your vehicle, you could be reaching deeper into your pocket to pay for tolls.  It’s part of a proposed plan by the state Thruway Authority that would go into effect in 2021.  If approved, drivers without an E-Z Pass would pay 30-percent more in tolls whether you live in New York State or not.  Drivers with an out-of-state E-Z Pass would see a 15-percent increase. Public hearings will be held before a final decision on toll increases is made.

Officials at Genesee Community College are delighted to introduce two new administrators, both coming to GCC after dynamic terms of service at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo. Vice President of Development and External Affairs Justin Johnston and Director of Student Engagement and Inclusion, Miguel Baique began their appointments on Dec. 3 and Nov. 20, respectively.

The House of Representatives approved legislation yesterday to repeal part of the 2017 Republican tax law. The law put a cap on how much state and local tax you were allowed to deduct on your taxes. The cap was $10 thousand dollars but this new bill would take away that cap. The bill is not expected to pass in the Senate.

Over 150 people will soon be out of work after the Rochester Board of Education approves layoffs.  Most of the cuts are set to affect teachers in the district.  Superintendent Terry Dade says staff reductions are necessary to help deal with a multi-million-dollar budget shortfall.  The original plan was for roughly 150 teachers to be let go, but grant money from the State Department of Education kept that from happening.

It looks like there’s no slowing down the spread of the flu across New York State.  The latest data from the Department of Health says there were over 3200 confirmed cases of the virus during the week ending December 14th.  That’s a 77- percent increase from the previous report.  Over 500 New Yorkers were also hospitalized due to complications from the virus.  Doctors continue to say getting vaccinated is the best way to keep you safe from the flu.

Batavia Downs experienced a record breaking season

Press Release:

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY — Although the final day of racing was canceled on Saturday (Dec. 14) due to bad weather conditions, the clubhouse that night was still sold out and the 400 or so patrons enjoyed Christmas music instead of race calls. But that was the norm at Batavia Downs in 2019; happy customers having fun at the races.

Indicators for every aspect of the racing product pointed toward positive territory and in several areas showed record breaking performances.

Betting-wise the on track handle was up 12.2%, driven by a 5% increase in attendance, the export signal was up 24% and Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) revenue was up 5.3%. All tolled, wagering from all sources was up a combined 19.9% and provided the highest total handle at the track and the top three highest single night handles since WROTB reopened the Downs in 2002.

The total handle was also $1.4 million higher than last year and all of this was accomplished with three fewer race days on the schedule.

“Our customers came out in force, both live and at simulcast to support us all year and we couldn’t be more grateful to them,” said Todd Haight, Director/General Manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs. “We gave them some of the best racing in the state this year and they validated it by betting us the whole season.”

There were several reasons for the increases and they were all primarily driven by the eight legs of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) culminating in the $1.8 million Night of Champions (NOC) finals in September. Along with the highest overnight purses ever offered at the track, Batavia Downs dolled out over $8.1 million in total purses this year and that drew top horses and horsemen from across North America all year, providing great betting opportunities for the customers.

The Downs also took full advantage of the Strategic Wagering Pool sponsored by the United States Trotting Association (USTA) and offered enhanced funds for exotic wagers that also provided free program pages for half the card on those nights. Aside from the NYSS NOC which was the highest handle in the tracks history under WROTB ownership, the track saw its highest total nightly handles on cards where the Strategic Wagering Pools were offered.

“We had 14 Strategic Wagering opportunities during the course of the season and every one paid off. Many thanks to USTA Director Chris Schick and Social Media Director Michael Carter for their assistance with these wagers,” said Haight.

Two other factors for the increase include the simulcast department doing a great job marketing the live signal from Batavia and picking up many new customers this year which drove the export numbers and the track’s group sales department who brought in 31% more parties and events to the clubhouse than ever before and enhanced the live handle.

“A lot of the people we see during live racing were introduced to the sport by attending our live concert series over the summer. They actually walk across the track and ask questions about horse racing and then come back when the meet starts to see it,“ said Haight. “It’s really been a good selling point for us and we’ve made many new customers as a result.”

On the track, Billy Davis Jr. won his first driving title at Batavia Downs in 2019 by averaging two wins a night for the entire meet. His 131 wins, 102 seconds and 83 thirds out of 629 starts earned him a Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .342 for the meet and $861,336 in purses.

Jim Morrill Jr. was second with 79 wins, 56 seconds and 37 thirds with $921,527 in earnings and Dave McNeight III was third with 78 wins, 61 seconds and 70 thirds with $543,064 in purses.

On the training side, Jim Clouser Jr. also won his first Batavia Downs training title after scoring 51 wins, 29 seconds and 39 thirds out of 219 starts for a UTR of .366 and $361,413 in earnings. His stable members finished in the money 54% of the time.

Finishing second in the trainer race was Maria Rice who scored 43 wins, 31 seconds and 21 thirds out of 190 starts and earned $358,234 in purses with the legendary Gerry Sarama finishing third while making 246 starts with 32 wins, 40 seconds and 32 thirds with $256,619 in earnings.

Live racing returns to the oldest lighted harness racing track in America on July 22, 2020 pending approval from the New York State Gaming Commission.

LeRoy Central School Wins Genesee Community College’s 2019 Play to Get Fit Challenge!

L to R: Leroy Central School Physical Education (PE) Teacher Michelle Sherman, GCC Director of Health and PE Rebecca Dziekan, Leroy Central School Physical Education (PE) Teachers Brian Herdlein and Mike Humphrey, (in front) 1st Lyla Jones; 2nd Jacob Kochmanski; (missing from the photo) 3rd Abigail Valdes

Press Release:

LeRoy Central School has won the 2019 Play to Get Fit Challenge hosted by the Health and Physical Education department at Genesee Community College!

The Get Fit Challenge effort began in 2011 to motivate third, fourth and fifth graders in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties to get more active. The Challenge is designed to draw students’ attention to just how many minutes they spend engaged in physical activity outside of school. Throughout the five-week program, participating students record their active minutes – time spent walking, biking, running, skating, swimming, playing a sport, playing tag, playing on a swing set and other active, creative games. (Video games designed for fitness utilizing Wii, Xbox Kinect or other similar gaming systems are not active minutes eligible.) Recorded minutes are then totaled and an average active minute count is calculated based on the number of students enrolled in third, fourth and fifth grades in each school.

This year, LeRoy Central School generated an impressive 2,831 average active minutes – beating even their winning count from 2018. The school was awarded the 2019 winning plaque and each student received a certificate recognizing their participation and effort.

In each participating school district the program also recognizes the three most active students:

• LeRoy – 1st Lyla Jones; 2nd Jacob Kochmanski; 3rd Abigail Valdes
• Batavia – 1st Ryan Bigsby, 2nd Jonah Arroyo; 3rd Dominic Darch
• Warsaw – 1st Delaney Baker; 2nd Kinsley Baker; 3rd Jaiden Fries
• York – 1st Briana Parsons; 2nd Brody Pangrazio; 3rd Charlie Cuozzo
• Pavilion – 1st Ella Brian; 2nd Peyton Gay and Colton Brian; 3rd Jessie Brian
• Perry – 1st Reagan Moroz; 2nd Aubrey McCowen; 3rd Tysen Deaton

The three most active participants (based on total minutes recorded) in the region this year were:

• Ryan Bigsby of Batavia with 11,122 minutes
• Reagan Moroz of Perry with 8,620 minutes
• Aubrey McCowen of Perry with 5,540 minutes

“The Play to Get Fit Challenge encourages kids to lead an active lifestyle in a way they can see and understand,” said Becky Dziekan, GCC’s director of Health and Physical Education. “Each year, the participating school districts see proof that the program works! Congratulations to LeRoy and all of the students who worked hard to be active and enjoy the program.”

The Health and Physical Education program at Genesee Community College offers several areas of study related to health, fitness and coaching. The Sports Management Studies transfer degree programs or Associate of Science (A.S.) includes foundations in sports facility management, accounting, marketing and more. The Fitness and Recreation Management Applied Associate of Science degree (A.A.S.) offers a Personal Trainer concentration and the opportunity to earn the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) credential through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a certified personal trainer. In addition, GCC offers an A.A.S in Physical Education Studies in which students have the opportunity to earn a coaching certificate for NYS non-Certified Physical Education Teachers.

The spring semester starts January 13, 2019, so there is still time to register! GCC has more than 80 introductory courses available, including Beginning Personal Fitness (PED259) which teaches basic fitness training and conditioning techniques to help anyone make active choices. The full spring semester course schedule is available at https://www.genesee.edu/courses/schedule/.

For more information, contact Becky Dziekan, GCC’s director of Health and Physical Education at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6424, or via email: rldziekan@genesee.edu.

L to R: (front row) Amanda Cook, 2nd Jonah Arroyo; 1st Ryan Bigsby, 3rd Dominic Darch; (back row) James Patric, GCC Director of Health and PE Rebecca Dziekan

L to R: Principal Maura Gilsinan, GCC Director of Health and PE Rebecca Dziekan, 2nd Aubrey McCowen; 1st Reagan Moroz; 3rd Tysen Deaton, Perry Central School Physical Education (PE) Teacher Rodney Allen

Raising Awareness of Hepatitis C Testing this Holiday Season

Tammi Bale of “Just Socks, Ma” Campaign

Press Release:

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis C, but early diagnosis of Hepatitis C is important as it can prevent serious liver problems. Approximately 3.2 million people in the U.S. have chronic Hepatitis C, but most do not know that they are infected. This is exactly why testing is so important!

Hepatitis C is primarily spread through contact with blood from an infected person, even in amounts too small to see. People with Hepatitis C often have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they can be a sign of advanced liver disease (such as cirrhosis or scarring of the liver). “Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and the leading cause of liver transplants,” stated Deputy Director, Brenden Bedard, of Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. New treatments for Hepatitis C are available and more are in development. Today, chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is usually curable with oral medications taken every day for two to six months. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “The homeless population is disproportionately impacted by HCV infection, with an estimated prevalence of 22% to 53% percent.” (Dan, 2018).

Hepatitis C Testing is recommended if you,

o Were born from 1945 through 1965
o Injected drugs
o Received donated blood or organs before 1992
o Have been exposed to blood on the job through a needle stick injury with a sharp object
o Have medical conditions, such as chronic liver disease or HIV/AIDS

To increase awareness about Hepatitis C, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments are donating socks to Tammi Bale who operates the “Just Socks, Ma” Campaign, collecting socks to donate to those in need in memory of her son Robert Bale who passed away of a drug overdose in 2016. “These socks read #NYCuresHepC and is a reminder to get tested and that a cure is available to those who need it. It’s a small way to give back to the community this holiday season and increase a valuable message,” said Bedard.

“Not one more is needed,” stated Bale, referring to deaths caused by overdoses and hepatitis C. “This is my third year collecting socks and donating them to the homeless in memory of Robert. I wasn’t able to help him because I didn’t know anything was wrong (substance use disorder). He had a good job, was working 50 hours a week and had just gotten a raise. No one knew his secret, not even his roommate. It’s good to try to find out what is happening in your child’s life so this doesn’t happen. This campaign makes me happy and hopefully make Robert proud.” Tammi is also giving back by operating a Facebook group named “Angel Mothers Unite” providing uplifting messages to those who need it.

Morning News Briefing

Donald Trump has now become the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.
Two articles of impeachment were approved after a day-long debate in the Democratic-led House.
One article covers abuse of power, and the other involves obstruction of Congress.
Both votes fell primarily along party lines.
New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are sharing their thoughts on the impeachment.
Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, called Trump’s impeachment a solemn and serious moment for our country.
Senator Gillibrand called the facts laid out by the House disturbing and said it’s up to the Senate to try the president for these alleged crimes.
Two-thirds of that chamber would have to vote to convict the president in order to remove him from office.
A trial in the U.S. Senate could begin as early as next month.

Batavia Police bust a LeRoy man for shoplifting in the city.
City Police apprehended 23 year old Kyle Schroeder of Telephone Road LeRoy following report earlier this month of a shoplifting incident at a business housed in the Plaza at 412 East Main Street in Batavia.
Schroeder allegedly took an item out of its packaging and placed the empty package back on the shelf as he attempted to make his way out of the store with the concealed item.
He is facing a count of Petit Larceny and was issued an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court at a later date.

A Bank Street man busted for Harassment.
Batavia Police arrested 39 year old Jose Fuentes late last Friday night after receiving a complaint from a Bank Street residence.
Fuentes was charged with Harassment in the 2nd and given an appearance ticket for Batavia City Court on Christmas Eve.

Governor Cuomo is continuing to roll out the initiatives he’ll be talking about in his upcoming State of the State address.
Yesterday, the governor announced a three-part proposal to cut the cost of prescription drugs in the Empire State.
He wants to see legislation passed that would limit co-payments for insulin and start a mandatory investigation into rising drug prices.
Cuomo is set to give his State of the State on January 8th.

The Buffalo Sabres will look to snap their two-game losing streak tonight in the City of Brotherly Love.
They’ll be taking on the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Sabres captain Jack Eichel has been red hot as of late, scoring a point in his last 17 games.
Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 7 p.m.

Morning News Briefing

Anibal Soler, Jr. has been named by the Batavia City School District’s Board of Education as the district’s next Superintendent.
Since 2018 Soler, Jr. has been employed as the Associate Superintendent of Strategic Alignment and Innovation for the Buffalo Public Schools, New York State’s second largest school district.
He began teaching in 2000 as an art teacher at Thomas Middle School in the Rochester City School District before becoming Principal of East High School, also in the Rochester City School District and then Principal of North Park Academy, in the Buffalo Public School District.
Soler Jr. begins his new position in Batavia on January 20th.

Plush Dozier

New charges facing Batavia man accused Attempted Murder and Arson.
Plush Dozier who is jailed without bail awaiting trial on counts of Arson and Attempted Murder is now facing new charges from his alleged behavior while in custody since his arrest in in the summer of 2018.
Dozier was initially arrested back in June of 2018 after allegedly setting fire to a Maple Street address intending to kill his girlfriend.
He has recently been indicted on counts of Criminal Mischief in both the second and third degrees.
He is accused of kicking out a plate of glass in a holding cell at the Genesee County Jail in August of last year, which caused more than $5,000 damage then causing more than $250 of damage to a Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle later that month.
Dozier continues to be held without bail.

Bergen robbery suspect in custody after allegedly assaulting officers and pouring gasoline on them.
31 year old Elon Seeger, of Bergen has been charged with counts of Robbery by Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies, as well as Assault, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and Resisting Arrest by Gates Police.
According to lawmen he stole a vehicle in Bergen on December 15 during a domestic incident.
Seeger allegedly drove the stolen vehicle at Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies that same day, then robbed a Kwik Fill on Buffalo Road in Chili and successfully fled from lawmen in Scottsville later that night.
The following day Seeger allegedly robbed a Speedway on Chili Avenue and as Police approached attempting to take him into custody he is allegedly assaulted the two officers and poured gasoline on them.
He was committed to the Monroe County Jail with his next court appearance scheduled to appear for December 20th.

The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement alerting of a band of lake effect snow producing up to an inch of snow per hour that is moving across the region from Niagara and Orleans Counties this morning.
The band is expected to maintain its current intensity while dropping southward through 8 am, bringing greatly reduced visibilities and very poor driving conditions to the area during the morning commute.
Forecasters say to be prepared for greatly reduced visibilities and snow covered roads.
Slow down and allow extra time when traveling.

Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel tallied a point for a 17th straight game, but it wasn’t enough to push his team past the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin and Kyle Okposo each had goals for Buffalo as they lost 5 to 3 last night on the road.
The Sabres have now lost 2 straight and sit 10 points behind the Boston Bruins for first place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division.
Buffalo will be back in action Thursday when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

Cold Case Tuesday: Florida woman found dead in Orleans County

Shari Lynne Ball

Press Release:

Cold Case Tuesday: New York State Police in Batavia continue to investigate the 1983 homicide of a Florida woman found in Orleans County.

On October 29, 1983, a body was found by a hunter off of State Route 63 in the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, in the town of Shelby, Orleans County. The victim was found several feet off the shoulder of the roadway, in a severely decomposed state, and is believed to have been there for several months.

In 1984, the Center of Human Identification was used by the New York State Police to make a facial reconstruction from the remains (pictured). This was done to make a facial render to give the public a possible identity to compare and also render sketches.

In October of 2013, the body was exhumed and DNA testing was done. The victim was identified as Shari L. Ball.

Shari Lynne Ball was reported missing by her family in June of 1983 to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. She had told her family that she was going to New York State with an unknown friend to pursue a modeling career.

At the time of her disappearance, Ball was living in Boca Raton, Florida, was a 20 year old white female, 5’ 4”, 100 pounds, with hazel eyes and blonde hair. Shari Lynne was also known to use the last name of Timmerman.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Batavia by calling 585-344-6200. Please refer to SJS # 3032334.

Morning News Briefing

37 year old Dustin Wayne Bogue, a homeless man with ties to Batavia was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison after accepting a plea agreement for robbing the Speedway on West Main Street in Batavia.
Bogue pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery after additionally being charged with criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property from the September robbery.
The maximum sentence Bogue faced was 15 years with a minimum of 10 years under terms of a previous plea agreement.
District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said Judge Charles Zambito decided to split in half the maximum statutory time of 25 years, which is how he arrived at 12 and a half years

An East Main Street woman jailed for beating up her live-in boyfriend.
23 year old Katty Jackson of Batavia is facing charges of Harassment, Strangulation, Unlawful Imprisonment and Criminal Mischief following investigation into a domestic incident that allegedly occurred earlier this month.
Jackson was subsequently arraigned in City Court and remanded to jail to appear in Batavia City Court at a later date.

A Rochester man busted for driving over twice the legal limit after crashing in Bergen.
26 year old Thomas Noce of Rochester was arrested following investigation into motor vehicle accident on Clinton Street Road in Bergen late last night.
Noce was charged with Aggravated DWI for recording a Blood Alcohol Content over twice the legal limit, Reckless Driving, failing to stop at a stop sign and Operating a Motor Vehicle while using a portable electronic device.
He was ultimately released with an appearance ticket for January 8th in Bergen Town Court.

Martins and Salvania’s Restaurants will not be serving customers in the New Year.
Both businesses made recent announcements that they are closing with the doors of Martin’s Restaurant already shuttered and Salvania’s to close at the end of 2019.
Laura Salvania says she is closing after 38 years on Jackson Street, however she is not ready to hang up the spatula quite yet as she is considering starting a small catering business out of her home.
Those holding gift certificates for Salvania’s are encouraged to use them as soon as possible, before they become nonredeemable at end of the year.

A new report says Congress has set aside money for the International Joint Commission to review a controversial flood prevention plan.
Many believe Plan 2014 has actually led to more flooding along the shoreline of Lake Ontario in recent years.
The Buffalo News reports over a million dollars in federal funding has been set aside to help the IJC revise and study the plan.
Right now, water levels in the lake are 17 inches higher than the long-term monthly average for December, which is causing concerns about severe flooding in the spring.
The IJC says it’ll start reviewing Plan 2014 once the agency receives the government’s money.

Morning News Briefing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the 1st proposal of his 2020 State of the State agenda.
He proposed preventing individuals from receiving New York State gun licenses if they commit a crime in another state that is similar to a crime that would disqualify them from owning a gun in New York.
State law currently prohibits individuals from obtaining a gun license if they commit certain New York misdemeanors that are deemed “serious offenses.” like domestic violence or forcible touching. However, the law does not prohibit individuals from obtaining a New York gun license after committing comparable misdemeanors in another state.
The Governor proposes amending the New York Penal Law to prevent such individuals from obtaining a gun license in New York.

DWI arrests reported during the start of Holiday STOP-DWI crackdown.
As one of the busiest travel times of the year is underway so is a special enforcement effort by State, County and local law enforcement across New York to crackdown on drunk and distracted driving through New Year’s Day.
In Genesee County, Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested three people for drunk driving over the first weekend of the detail.
54 year old Linda Doucette of Brockport, 57 year old Matthew Vandyne of Canandaigua, and 20 year old Baillie Schwab of Attica were all arrested and charged with DWI and various other counts over the weekend.

A new law now in effect in New York is continuing to stir controversy especially with County Clerks in the State.
The so-called “green light” legislation allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.
All they need is a combination of documents proving their name, date of birth and New York State residency.
The law, passed earlier this year, has been challenged in court by opponents who claim it puts county clerks at odds with federal immigration law.
Supporters say the legislation will increase driving safety, allow undocumented immigrants to get to work and medical appointments and also create revenue for the state.

For the second time in the last three seasons, the Buffalo Bills are heading to the playoffs.
Jordan Poyer and Levi Wallace each picked off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Delvin Hodges in the end zone late in the fourth quarter in Buffalo’s 17 to 10 road win on Sunday Night Football.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 117 yards and a touchdown and also had a rushing TD in the victory.
The Bills are now 10 and four on the season and have reached double-digit wins for the first time since 1999.
Up next is a Saturday afternoon showdown with the AFC East leading New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.

Weekend News Briefing

33 year old Edward Simmons of Applegate Drive in Medina was taken into custody following investigation into a burglary in the Town of Oakfield.
Simmons is accused of breaking into an East Shelby Road residence in Oakfield in September and stealing a 22-caliber Remington rifle and over a $1,000 worth of property.
He was arrested on December 9th and arraigned in Oakfield Town Court on two counts of Grand Larceny and a count of Burglary.
Simmons was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on January 6th.

Genesee County Clerk in majority of State County Clerks calling for delay on ‘Green Light Law’.
Twenty-seven County Clerks in New York State with DMV responsibilities, including Genesee County Clerk Michael Cianfrini, have called on Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYS DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder to halt implementation of the Driver License Access & Privacy Act immediately for the safety and security of all New Yorkers.
County clerks agree that the State DMV failed to provide regulations that would ensure the integrity of the identification process for Standard Driver License applicants.
The group says they have been provided no standard to prevent someone who has a Social Security number from signing the affidavit form (NSS-1) claiming they’ve never been issued one, enabling people to conceal their true identities.
After citing other issues with the process the group called for the implementation of the so-called ‘Green Light Law’ to be delayed until October 1st when the federal REAL ID Act goes into effect, which increases security standards for certain state-issued driver licenses and identity documents.

Local law enforcement is taking part in a Statewide special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving over the Holiday season.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia and Village of LeRoy Police Departments will be out in force for the rest of the month as part of the statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts that began on December 11th and will end on January 1st.

The Genesee County Highway Department announced that Bloomingdale Road in the Town of Alabama was reopened to all traffic Friday morning.
The department announced on November 1st that Bloomingdale Road between Wright Road and Tensow Road in the Town of Alabama would be closed through approximately December 6th.

The Buffalo Bills hit the road this weekend for a game that will likely have major playoff implications.
They’re visiting Heinz Field to battle the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football.
Right now, the Bills hold the fifth seed in the AFC while the Steelers are right behind them in sixth.
Should Buffalo win, they’d clinch a spot in the postseason.
Kickoff for Sunday night’s contest is set for 8:20 p.m.

Morning News Briefing

A local law was adopted Thursday by the Genesee County Legislature that set the salaries for seven officer positions for next year.
Legislators voted in favor of Local Law No. 3 of 2019 that established salaries for the elected or appointed positions for a fixed term.
Salaries for Commissioner of Elections Lori Longhany and Richard Siebert is set at $49,037; Highway Superintendent Tim Hens will be paid $113,421; Director of Real Property Tax Services Kevin Andrews salary is $65,410; Director of Human Resources Anita Cleveland will be receiving $78,676; Sheriff William Sheron is being paid $106,518; Treasurer Scott German, $99,393; and the Commissioner of Social Services David Rumsey will be compensated $87,999.
The local law and new payment structure takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

A Corfu man arrested over twice the legal limit following a crash in the Village.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a motor vehicle accident on West Main Street in Corfu Last night just after 7:30 p.m.
Deputies took 38 year old Brandon Rindell of West Main Street into custody for Aggravated DWI with a Blood Alcohol Content of .18 % or higher and DWI.
Rindell was given appearance tickets for Corfu Village Court on Monday.

State health officials have voted to extend the ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
The regulations, set to expire Sunday, will now be place for another 90 days.
Enforcement of the ban was supposed to start in October but is still being challenged in court by the vaping industry.
Supporters say they hope lawmakers will vote to put a permanent ban in place when the Legislature returns in January.
Opponents say such a move could force vape shops to close and push people back towards using traditional cigarettes.

A new report shows the number of flu cases is surging statewide.
The Department of Health says there were over 18-hundred new cases of the virus reported during the week ending December 7th.
That’s a 60 percent jump from the week before and brings the total number of confirmed cases statewide to nearly five-thousand for the season.
Doctors say if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, you need to do it immediately.

Local law enforcement is taking part in a Statewide special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving over the Holiday season.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia and Village of LeRoy Police Departments will be out in force for the rest of the month as part of the statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts that began on December 11th and will end on January 1st.

The Buffalo Bills hit the road this weekend for a game that will likely have major playoff implications.
They’re visiting Heinz Field to battle the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football.
Right now, the Bills hold the fifth seed in the AFC while the Steelers are right behind them in sixth.
Should Buffalo win, they’d clinch a spot in the postseason.
Kickoff for Sunday night’s contest is set for 8:20 p.m.

The Buffalo Sabres are on a three-game winning streak, and they have their captain to thank for it.
Jack Eichel scored twice last night as the Sabres beat the Nashville Predators four to three at KeyBank Center.
Victor Olofsson and Jimmy Vesey also added goals as Buffalo moved within eight points of first place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division.
The Sabres will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when they visit the New York Islanders.

GCC Athletics Update: Mickey Signs with Genesee Women’s Soccer

Kelly Mickey (center) signs her Letter of Intent with Genesee Women’s Soccer

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY… The Genesee Community College Women’s Soccer program just signed their fourth recruit of the year on December 2nd, Kelly Mickey. Cougars Head Coach Jeff Reyngoudt traveled to Elba Central School to sign Mickey. Kelly is a 5’2” spit fire forward and a 4-year varsity starter for the Oakfield-Alabama/Elba girls’ soccer team. She is a two-time Genesee Region All-Star and appeared in the Exceptional Senior Game this past fall. Kelly has 35 career goals and 20 career assists. She will be majoring in General Studies and plans to become a Dental Hygienist in the future.

Kelly was recommended to our coaching staff by Genesee Women’s Soccer Player Alumni, Breyanna Crawford, who played here in 2015 and 2016. Brey is now the assistant girls’ soccer coach at Oakfield-Alabama/Elba and had only positive things to say about Mickey. She had compared Kelly to another GCC Alumnus, Shawna Adams. Adams played at Genesee from 2014-2015 and was on the team that appeared in the NJCAA Division III Women’s Soccer National Championships. Shawna was the leading scorer in her two years and is the team record holder for career goals (47).

Macy Reyngoudt, assistant women’s soccer coach, had watched Kelly play in their first round of sectionals and was blown away by her tenacity and strength to carry her team. “This kid has a lot of heart and that’s exactly what we’re looking for right now”, stated Macy.

Jeff and Macy will be signing more players in the coming months. They are excited about next year’s incoming class and also expect a lot from their returning freshmen class. If you are interested in trying out for next year’s 2020 Genesee Cougars, please email Jeff Reyngoudt at jcreyngoudt@genesee.edu

The 2019 Genesee women’s soccer program finished the season with a record of 10-7 and made it to the NJCAA Region III final four.

Genesee County to Participate in Statewide STOP-DWI Holiday Season Crackdown Enforcement Effort

Press Release:

Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator Matt Landers announced today that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of LeRoy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving.

While we spend this Holiday Season celebrating with friends and family and looking forward to the blessings of a New Year the law enforcement community across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on December 11th and will end on January 1st. New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

The STOP-DWI Holiday Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by STOP-DWI NY and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets the 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Super Bowl weekend and St. Patrick’s Day.

You can help to make a difference by ‘Having a Sober Plan’! Download our mobile app – “Have a Plan” and you will always be able to find a safe ride home www.stopdwi.org/mobileapp Impaired driving is completely preventable. All it takes is a little planning. We wish you and your family and friends a very safe and Happy Holiday season!

GCC Athletics Update: Mercado Signs with Genesee Women’s Soccer

Jasmine Mercado (center) with Genesee Head Coach Jeff Reyngoudt (left) and Ashley Hearn (right) after Mercado signed her Letter of Intent

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY… The Genesee Community College women’s soccer team signed another recruit for the incoming 2020-2021 season as Jasmine Mercado signed her Letter of Intent. Head Coach, Jeff Reyngoudt, traveled to Keshequa Central School to sign forward, Jasmine Mercado. Jasmine is a 5’2” go-getter and a three-year varsity athlete for Keshequa girls’ soccer team. Jasmine is the fifth recruit to sign with Genesee this off-season.

She was awarded Livingston County All-Star and appeared in the Exceptional Senior Game this past fall. She was also captain of her team during her senior season. Jasmine has 20 career goals, 7 career assists, and also runs track at her high school.

Jeff had watched Mercado play when her high school team competed against Albion High School at Genesee’s soccer facilities. Not only was he impressed by her style of play, but some of Genesee’s current women’s soccer players were present at the game and were also excited about her abilities. “She’s incredibly feisty, quick, and always fights to get the ball back. That is the style of play that we plan on recruiting for the 2020 season”, said Head Coach, Jeff Reyngoudt.

Jeff and assistant coach, Macy Reyngoudt, are still in the process of recruiting for their 2020 team and have some more signings coming up. They are excited about next year’s incoming class and also expect a lot from their returning freshmen class. If you are interested in trying out for next year’s 2020 Genesee Cougars, please email Jeff Reyngoudt at jcreyngoudt@genesee.edu

Morning News Briefing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo is going to be facing a legal battle with New York State Republicans who have fled a lawsuit for his failing to call for a special election in the 27th Congressional District.
The governor is apparently violating the constitutional and civil rights of voters in the district according to claims by GOP officials.
Cuomo has said on multiple occasions that he was looking to hold the special election on April 28th when New York holds its presidential primary.
Republicans say their candidate would be at a disadvantage if Cuomo picked that date as there will likely be a lot of registered Democrats at the polls that day.
The congressional seat has remained open since Chris Collins stepped down after pleading guilty to federal insider trading charges.
There has been no comment from the governor’s office regarding the lawsuit.

Robert Bausch the Genesee County Legislature Chairman is heading into retirement from County Government.
He was surrounded by colleagues and friends to celebrate his retirement during a reception in his honor yesterday afternoon at the Old Courthouse.
Bausch said he was proud of how well the legislature works together and what they have accomplished during his tenure…

He added that getting the new county jail project financing in place is another one of the legislature’s major accomplishments.
Bausch is stepping down after 10 years as a legislator, including the past two as the board chair.
The District 2 representative also has chaired the Ways & Means Committee for the past six years.

State health officials are expected to make a renewed push today to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.
An emergency ban was put in place back in September but was challenged in court by the Vapor Technology Association and two affiliates, preventing it from being enforced.
Today’s meeting of the state Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council will call for the renewal of the emergency regulations and there will be discussion about adopting permanent rules.
Those guidelines would add menthol to the list of banned flavors and make clear the ban only applies to the sale of e-cigarettes by retailers.

Republican State Senator Joseph Robach says he won’t run for re-election in 2020.
Robach represents the 56th State Senate district that covers several Monroe County communities as well as part of Rochester.
Robach has spent nearly three decades representing the area and currently holds the Assistant Minority Whip position.
Robach says he’s leaving office because Democrats, who have the majority in the Senate, have made it difficult to pass any significant reforms that affect people living upstate.

The Buffalo Sabres are turning back the clock tonight for their game against the Nashville Predators.
Crews have been hard at work transforming KeyBank Center for ’80s night.
T-shirts have been placed on each seat to help recreate the look of Memorial Auditorium where the team used to play.
The Sabres will be honoring alumni from the ’80s and also use special music and graphics during the game.
Faceoff for tonight’s contest is set for 7:00 p.m.

Give the Gift of Theatre with Tickets to GCC’s Spring Season

 

Joe Beard

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY (12/11/2019) More and more, the traditional ribbon-and-bow-wrapped gifts are being replaced by the gift of shared experiences – such as tickets to events. Hence, the Genesee Center for the Arts located at Genesee Community College has announced its spring season line-up in time for the holidays. Spring 2020 brings a playbill fit to entertain everyone.

Excited to begin the season, GCC’s student performers, the Forum Players, will perform Doubt: A Parable, written by John Patrick Shanley, which won both a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award in 2005. This performance is a brilliant and powerful drama which tells the story of Bronx school principal Sister Aloysius, who takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the young Father Flynn of improper relations with a male student. Shanley not only wrote the play, but he also wrote the screenplay and directed it as a film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. GCC’s talented Forum Players will also bring this parable to life with four live performances, directed by Maryanne Arena and Jaime Arena, which are intended for mature audiences.

• Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
• Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22, 2020, both at 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 2 p.m.

On Friday, March 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m., the Stuart Steiner Theatre will host singer-guitarist Steve Grills and the Roadmasters. Originally from Rochester, N.Y., Grills’ music is deeply rooted in the blues tradition. He draws inspiration from the giants of blues guitar, such as Freddie King, Earl Hooker, Magic Sam and Albert Collins, among many others. As a special addition to the evening, fellow Rochester guitarist Joe Beard, originally from Ashland, Mississippi, will join the Roadmasters as an opening act. Beard has played many major festivals in the U.S. and Europe and was inducted into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame in 2017. He has released four albums to great critical acclaim.

Then, in May, the Forum Players return with a Children’s Theatre production of Jack, written by Mike Kenny. Kenny’s version of Jack and the Beanstalk, directed by Norm Gayford and Rob Reiss, adds a wonderfully creative and contemporary twist to the classic storyline. The production will open with Jack in a dinner pot awaiting his fate as the main course for the hungry giant. As Jack recounts how he found himself on the giant’s dinner menu, he talks his way out of the soup pot with a fun, humorous outburst that keeps audiences laughing and begging for more.

Take a magical journey up a beanstalk into an unknown world above the clouds and back again. This is perfect family fun for all generations.

• Friday, May 1, 2020 at 7 p.m.
• Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
• Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Tickets for shows at GCC’s Stuart Steiner Theatre are $8 for adults, $6 for alumni (with ID) and $5 for seniors (55+), students (16+) and GCC faculty/ staff. GCC students with ID and children under 16 are $3. To reserve seats, contact the GCC box office at boxoffice@genesee.edu or (585) 345-6814.

Morning News Briefing

The Orleans County Major Felony Crime Task force executed a search warrant on a South Ave address that resulted in the arrest of three Medina residents on drug and weapons charges.
Police seized over an ounce of crack cocaine packaged for sale, cash, a loaded semi-auto handgun, a stungun, synthetic marijuana and various drug packaging materials in the search.
Police took 40 year old Brandon Askew and 48 year old Lisa Mailman both into custody at the residence and 30 year old Mathew Parker, was apprehended later at a separate location.
Askew is facing Class B Felony counts of Criminal Sale and Possession of a Controlled Substance, all along with a count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon.
Mailman was charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and, Parker was charged with two counts each of Criminal Sale and Possession of a Controlled Substance.
Askew was ordered to be held in lieu of 100-thousand dollars bail, while Mailman was held on 20-thousand dollars.
Due to his criminal history, Parker was jailed without bail and all three are due back in Shelby Town Court on Friday.
Investigation is on-going according to lawmen with further charges and arrests pending.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for today.
It’s in effect now until 7 tonight and covers all of Genesee County and Northern Erie County.
The weather service predicts lake effect and blowing snow with accumulations of 3 to 5 inches.
Winds may gust up to 40 miles per hour.

A Penfield woman busted with drugs and drunk driving in Batavia.
36 year old Mellanie Golamb was stopped by Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies on Stephen Hawley Drive in Batavia following a call to emergency dispatchers reporting an erratic driver.
Golamb was subject to a series of field sobriety tests and was subsequently arrested and charged with Aggravated DWI for driving over twice the legal limit, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance along with several other infractions. She was released with an appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court on December 19th.

A Batavia woman arrested after found sleeping in her vehicle.
Batavia Police report the arrest of 54 year old Karen Lau of North Spruce Street in the City after she was found sleeping in the drivers seat of her vehicle in the parking lot of a local business on East Main Street.
She was charged with Aggravated DWI for recording a Blood Alcohol Content of .18 percent or more and was issued appearance tickets for Batavia City Court on December 18th.

The battle over banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in New York isn’t over yet.
Emergency regulations were approved in September, but the vaping industry mounted a legal challenge to keep them from being enforced.
Tomorrow, state health officials are expected to take steps to keep those regulations alive.
They’re planning to add menthol to the list of prohibited flavors and also make clear that the ban would only affect retail sales of e-cigarettes.
The hope is to keep the ban in place long enough to allow lawmakers to come back in January and pass permanent legislation.

Evening News Briefing

David Saleh

Local lawyer David Saleh has been named part-time Batavia City Court judge.
In accepting the judgeship, Saleh must give up his post as City Republican Party Chairman.
Saleh replaces Durin Rogers who was elected to the full time Batavia City Court judge in November.
Rogers’ term is for 10 years, Saleh will serve a six year term beginning January 1st
City Council unanimously approved Saleh’s appointment last night.

 

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for tomorrow. It takes effect at 5AM and covers all of Genesee County and Northern Erie County. It is set to expire at 7 tomorrow night.
The weather service predicts lake effect and blowing snow with accumulations of 3 to 5 inches. Winds may gust up to 40 miles per hour.

 

Former Republican Congressman Chris Collins has reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission following a guilty plea on federal insider trading charges.
As part of the deal, the ex-27th District representative can no longer be on the board of a publicly traded company.
His son Cameron will have to pay back over 634-thousand dollars for his part in the scheme and Stephen Zarsky, whose daughter is engaged to Collins’ son Cameron, will need to hand over 159-thousand dollars.

 

A new report is showing some encouraging signs in the fight against the opioid crisis.
Data shows opioid overdose deaths outside of New York City have dropped for the first time since 2009.
The Department of Health says opioid-related fatalities dropped from 21-hundred in 2017 to 18-hundred in 2018

GCC Athletics Update: Barros de Souza Commits to MACU

Hiago Barros de Souza (right) joined by Assistant Vice President of Student Engagement and Inclusion Kristen Schuth as he signs his Letter of Intent with Mid-America Christian University (MACU) to continue his soccer career

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY… Genesee men’s soccer player Hiago Barros de Souza is continuing his soccer and academic career as he will be attending Mid-America Christian University (MACU) in the fall.

Barros de Souza will be heading to an NAIA Evangels program that finished the 2019 regular season with a record of 20-3-1 and are the 2019 NCCAA National Champions. The Evangels were also the 2019 NCCAA Central Region Champions. Hiago will join former Cougar Rodrigo Albuquerque wearing the Red, White, and Black of MACU.
A 5’7 sophomore from Cerquilho, Brazil, Hiago Barros de Souza played in a total of 43 games wearing the Genesee Blue and Gold. Hiago started 33 of those contests, scoring 47 career goals. Barros de Souza tallied 27 assists and totaled 121 points in his two years. His 121 points places him second in school history and sits as the leader in goals and points in a single season.

2019 was a breakout season for Barros de Souza, leading the country in goals (34) and points (82). Hiago was also named an NJCAA Division III First Team All-American as well as named to the NJCAA Region III All-Region Team as well as an Western New York Athletic Conference All-Conference team member.

The 2019 Cougars reached the NJCAA Division III Men’s Soccer National Semifinals, losing to eventual national champion Richland College.

GCC Athletics Update: LaBarr and Brewer sign with Genesee Soccer

Kellie Brewer (left) and Alyson LaBarr (right) signed their Letters of Intent with Genesee Women’s Soccer. Joining them is Sophomore Autumn Ressue

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY… On December 2nd, the Genesee Community College Women’s Soccer team signed two more recruits for the upcoming year, Alyson LaBarr and Kellie Brewer.

Alyson LaBarr, 5-7”, is a center back from Williamsville, NY and Kellie Brewer, 5’5”, is a goalkeeper from Sodus, NY. Alyson is a High Honor Roll student who plans to major in Business. She is a 3-year varsity athlete and has been First Team All-County for the past two years. She was a captain of her team during her senior season and led her team to sectional finals, where they became the 2019 champions. LaBarr also appeared in the Exceptional Senior game this year.

Kellie is not only a 4-year varsity soccer player, but is also a three-sport athlete at her high school, including basketball and softball. She was awarded Wayne County All Star and appeared in the Exceptional Senior game, alongside with Alyson. Alyson and Kellie know each other from playing together in travel leagues over the years and made their commitment to GCC at the same time.

Soon-to-be graduating Genesee Cougar Sophomore, Autumn Ressue, also played with Alyson and Kellie in years past. She had nothing but good things to say about both of them and was excited when she heard of their interest. “Both of these girls are extremely hard workers and I truly think GCC will be a great fit for them”, said Ressue. Genesee coaches Jeff and Macy Reyngoudt are excited about these recruits. “We are losing a lot of our defense and both of our keepers from this past season. These two are the start of our back for next year and I know they will fit well with the current freshmen class”, states Head Coach Jeff Reyngoudt.

Jeff and assistant coach, Macy Reyngoudt, are getting the ball rolling when it comes to recruiting for the 2020 fall season. They have been working hard speaking to 2020 prospects and will be signing more players in the coming months. They are excited about next year’s incoming class and have high hopes for the team to exceed people’s expectations. If you are interested in trying out for next year’s 2020 Genesee Cougars, please email Jeff Reyngoudt at jcreyngoudt@genesee.edu

The 2019 Genesee women’s soccer program finished the season with a record of 10-7 and made it to the NJCAA Region III final four.

Morning News Briefing

Batavia City Council members have appointed longtime attorney David Saleh as part-time City of Batavia Court Judge.
Saleh will be filling the vacancy created by former part-time judge Durin Rogers who in November was elected as the full-time City Court Jusitce.
Council members voted unanimously in favor of Saleh’s hiring at the close of their Business meeting at City Hall Council Chambers last night.
Saleh begins his six year term on January 1st 2020.

Delays on Ellicott Station project development continue.
Since Buffalo developer Sam Savarino bought the Della Penna and Santy’s Tire property for 60-thousand dollars 3 and a half years ago, no visible work has been done on the promised remediation of the brownfield site.
Savarino has also only put 5-thousand dollars on the down payment for the property.
Savarino proposed the construction of a commercial and retail space, including the Resurgence Brewing Company and 55 medium income apartments to the tune of $22.7-million.
The city wants Savarino to begin work by tearing down a garage on the old Santy’s Tire property, which has yet to be done.

Former Republican Congressman Chris Collins has reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission following a guilty plea on federal insider trading charges.
As part of the deal, the ex-27th District representative can no longer be on the board of a publicly traded company.
His son Cameron will have to pay back over $634,000 for his part in the scheme and Stephen Zarsky, whose daughter is engaged to Cameron Collins, will need to hand over $159,000.
The settlements won’t be official until they’re approved by a federal judge and all three men will be sentenced in federal court next month.

Batavia Police are out with a warning for Holiday shoppers.
Lock your car and don’t leave valuable items in view.
City police have received multiple reports of vehicle thefts and larcenies from cars over the past two weeks.
If you are taking your car after hours to a mechanic, do not leave your keys in the car.
Use a drop-box instead.

A new report is showing some encouraging signs in the fight against the opioid crisis.
Data shows opioid overdose deaths outside of New York City have dropped for the first time since 2009.
The Department of Health says opioid-related fatalities dropped from 21-hundred in 2017 to 18-hundred in 2018.
Once overdose death data is released in New York City, officials will be able to know if the decreases are part of a statewide trend.

A judge has ruled in favor of New York’s controversial school vaccination requirements.
Over 50 families filed a lawsuit earlier this year, claiming the new legislation that eliminates religious exemptions violates the constitution.
But the Albany County Supreme Court judge disagreed, saying the law was put in place due to public health concerns and not to affect anyone’s religious freedom rights.
The vaccination law went into effect in June due to measles outbreaks in New York City and surrounding counties.

Evening News Briefing

The city is still waiting for the first shovel to be put into the ground for the long awaited Ellicott Station project.
It’s been 3 1/2 years since the city announced, with great fanfare, that Buffalo developer Sam Savarino bought the property for $60,000.
Savarino proposed construction spending of 22.7-million dollars. Plans called building for commercial and retail space, the Resurgence Brewing Company and 55 medium income apartments.
To date, Savarino has only spent $5,000 for the down payment on the land and owns the balance.
The city wants Savarino to tear down a garage on the old Santy’s Tire property, work that has yet to be done.

Batavia Police are out with a warning for Holiday shoppers:
Lock your car and don’t leave valuable items in view.
City police have received multiple reports of vehicle thefts and larcenies from cars over the past two weeks. If you are taking your car after hours to a mechanic, do not leave your keys in the car. Use a drop-box instead.

A Rochester man has been arrested for Gang Assault following a fracas on Highland Park in Batavia.
The incident last October 4th ended with a serious injury to one man.
21 year old Terrance Falk of Rochester was charged in the assault.
21 year old Riley Mayor of Batavia, a co-defendant in the case, pled guilty to a charge of second degree assault. A third suspect has yet to be charged.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the FAA to wrap up its study involving airline seating space.
Schumer says carriers need to allow customers to have more legroom aboard flights. The FAA was supposed to release the report in October, Now, the agency says it will be the end of the year before the report is ready. Schumer says passengers should have enough legroom to recline their seats without affecting people sitting behind them.

Maryann Sarama-Luce to be honored by USHWA

Press Release:

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY — Maryann Sarama-Luce was a pioneer in harness racing in western New York as one of only a handful of female drivers who raced full time at Batavia Downs. And despite beating the odds more than just in a race, she not only met the challenges she faced in her role, she exceeded them and excelled in the sport for decades.

As a result of her place in the history of harness racing, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) will posthumously present her with their Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday (Dec. 14) at Batavia Downs during the Night of Distinction awards ceremony.

Maryann Sarama-Luce passed away in July of 2011 at 73 years of age after a long battle with leukemia. She was introduced to the business when she met Danny Sarama in the late 1960’s and from that point on, the two formed the successful Mardan Stable. Their most memorable performer was the pacer You Devil You, who won 10 races in a row in 1976 while rising from a lowly claimer to an Open class pacer. In the early 1980s after separating from Danny, she continued on her own as both a trainer and a driver and had her best year in the bike in 1983 when she won 21 races.

She ended her driving career in 1990 with 109 wins and $201,435 in earnings, but at that point she started training full time and continued to do so until her passing. As a conditioner she sent 107 horses to the winner’s circle and their efforts produced $334,835 in earnings. Some of the best horses she trained included Gold Bandit N, Top Dog Alex, Top Dog Nicholas, Easy L Bar and Guy Lee Debbie.

After her passing, her son Carl and husband Richard have carried on with her stable.

“Harness racing was her number one priority and passion” her daughter Lynette McGiveron said. “Her horses were the driving force behind her battle to recover. Even in her final days she worried more about her horses than herself.”

McGiveron continued “A passion of Maryann’s was to have her mares bred and to raise the foals to race. She named them after her kids and grandchildren and had planned on doing so until every child and grandchild was named. The last foal to be born on her farm was “Top Dog Morgan” named after her grandson. Unfortunately Maryann never got to see it in person. He was born the night she went into the hospital for her final stay.”

Maryann Sarama-Luce will join previous Lifetime Achievement award recipients Gaston Guindon, Fred Haslip, Ken Ball and Gerry Sarama in this honor.

The family of Maryann Sarama-Luce will be presented the award in the Purple Haze Winner’s Circle at Batavia Downs between races on Saturday evening (Dec. 14). Post time for the first race is 6 p.m.

GCC Athletics Update: Women’s Basketball

Holiday Classic MVP Alayah Sweeney (24) bringing the ball up against the Ithaca College Club Team Sunday afternoon

Press Release:

BATAVIA, NY… The Genesee Community College women’s basketball team won their second straight game, sweeping the 2019 Cougar Holiday Classic with a 72-54 victory over the Ithaca College Bombers Sunday evening.

Five different Cougars scored in double-digits. Alayah Sweeney scored 20 points to lead all scorers. Sweeney also collected 11 rebounds to earn a double-double, as well as two steals and two blocks. Erina Ishiguro scored 13 points, as did Tylasia Weaver. Weaver also collected 11 rebounds, earning a double-double. LisBeth Pineda Polanco scored 10 points with 13 rebounds, and six assists. Haley Alvord scored 11 points.

With her performance over the two-day weekend, Alayah Sweeney was named Most Valuable Player. Erina Ishiguro and LisBeth Pineda Polanco also represented the home team on the All-Tournament Team. Other selections include Libby Cook (Ithaca), Paige Emborsky (Niagara County CC) and Aubrey Halloran (Niagara County CC), and Nicole Chamberlain (CC Rhode Island).

Genesee (6-6) will play at Finger Lakes Community College Tuesday night at 6pm.

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Batavia brought in the New Year with fireworks last night at 9p at Batavia Downs.  The time was moved up to avoid potential hazards due to the high winds that arrived after midnight, the original time of the fireworks.  No reports of major damage today due to the high winds but be aware of tree limbs and downed power lines in your area.

A grand jury has indicted a man who was arrested over the summer at the August 10th Jason Aldean concert at Darien Lake.  Robert Maharrey was indicted for disorderly conduct, multiple counts of harassment for striking a female patron in the face, 2nd degree assault a class D violent felony for allegedly striking a sheriff’s deputy, assaulting a police officer a class C violent felony when he spit and struck another deputy assisting in the arrest.

Friday evening Livingston County Sheriffs were in the middle of the state wide stop DWI effort, when deputies pulled a vehicle over on 390 for speeding.  Upon further investigation a 27 year old Geneseo man Patrick Dunn was charged with DWI.  Dunn’s BAC was .25% and was further charged with felony DWI from a previous 2015 conviction.  Dunn is now being held on 1,5k bail or 3k bond and remanded to the custody of the sheriff.

Yesterday afternoon, Genesee County Sheriffs made a traffic stop in Oakfield on Lewiston road when a Rochester man, 20 year old Damian Schoonmaker of Smith Street was found to be in possession of marijuana in his 2000 Buick LeSabre.  He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and is scheduled to appear in Oakfield town court 1/21

A motor vehicle accident yesterday in Elba led to a lane closure around 3:30p.  Two vehicle collided at Oak orchard and Lockport roads in Elba.  Elba fire police and 2 ambulance responded along with Elba Fire dept.

New Yorkers are seeing a number of new state laws in the New Year.  Among them, a law that requires diaper changing tables in all new public men’s and women’s restrooms.

Other changes include a requirement that health insurance companies give male patients free prostate cancer screenings and that residents be allowed to return unused prescription meds to pharmacies for free.

Many homeowners will enjoy an increase in property tax rebates, of an average of more than five-hundred dollars.

There’s the hike in the minimum wage. In our area, the minimum wage goes to eleven-dollars-and-ten-cents.



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