Local News

Weekend News Brief

With the Delta Variant of COVID making headlines every day and worries of new masking guidelines Erie County has mandated that anyone, vaccinated or not, must wear a mask in county buildings.  Erie county has nearly 100 new cases of COVID a day.  New York has seen a spike in cases with nearly 27 hundred a day for the last few days and a 7 day average of 1700 cases a day.  Nearly all new cases are in New York city or surrounding areas.  In Genesee County there are 4 active cases.  In Orleans county there are 6.  Nearly 50 percent of people in Genesee and Orleans counties are vaccinated.  The percentages of people vaccinated by county is within 10 percent for nearly all counties in New York State.

The Batavia Muckdogs finished their season 22 and 19.  Just short of being able to get into the playoffs.  But they are hopeful for next year and say that 2021 was a great first season for the new league and new team.  Coach Jeoy Martinez has been offered two more years on his contract.  Owner Robbie Nichols said that the community is why they are there, “You see people over there in line, talking, having a beer, people bringing their grandkids to the game, and that’s what it’s all about.  It’s America’s game. It’s about bringing your family to the ballpark and Batavia answered the bell and this crowd is amazing.”

Speaking of baseball, Governor Cuomo announced Friday that he has declared Baseball as the official sport of New York State.  This bill was proposed by a Cooperstown Elementary School 4th grade class. Cooperstown, NY is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame and is believed to be the birthplace of the sport.  As the state sport, baseball joins a list of New York State symbols which includes milk as the state beverage, apple as the state fruit, the snapping turtle as the state reptile and yogurt as the state snack.

Buffalo Sabres forward Ramus Asplund has been offered and agreed to a 2 year deal for 825 thousand dollars per season.  Asplund was a restricted free agent.  Asplund, 23, is coming off his best season in the NHL. In 28 games played, the Sabres forward scored seven goals and added four assists for 11 points.  In his NHL career, Asplund has eight goals and 14 points in 57 games.

Afternoon News Brief

Today is senior citizen day at the county fair.  The schedule this afternoon is: Midway open for unlimited rides for 10 dollars for kids 16 and under form 1-5. The Genesee County fair talent show is at 2.  3:30 show up for the small fry tractor pull.  At 6 there is NIOGA Dairy Showmanship in the Main show ring.  The Demolition Derby starts at 7 with fireworks to follow.  Fair closes when the band stops playing in the Entertainment tent although the exhibits and buildings will be closed at 10.

Governor Cuomo has announced the launch of New York State’s $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit program, designed to help expand employment opportunities for workers and provide relief to COVID-impacted restaurants. The program offers a tax credit for the rapid hiring of restaurant workers.  Qualifying restaurants could receive a $5,000 tax credit per new hire, totaling up to $50,000 in tax credits per business.  Critics of the program say that the problem isn’t getting restaurants to hire people, its getting people to apply, show up to interviews or even show up after being hired.  Proponents say that this allows restaurants to pay workers more per hour and will incentivize people to want to work.  Bars, taverns, nightclubs, and certain breweries, wineries, and distilleries with tasting rooms are also eligible for this new tax credit.  To apply follow the link on wbtai.com.  https://esd.ny.gov/restaurant-return-work-tax-credit

The Buffalo Sabres have made two signing decisions.  Defenseman Ethan Prow has signed a 1 year contract and Forward John Hayden has also signed for a year.   Hayden was a third-round draft pick by the Coyotes in 2013 and previously played for Sabres head coach Don Granato with the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2011 to 2013 earning a silver medal at the 2013 U-18 World Championship. The 28-year-old Prow has appeared in 215 career AHL games tallying 116 points. He was selected to the AHL All-Star Game in 2018-19.  He played in 26 games last season with EHC Munchen in Germany and had 20 points.  The Sabres also announced that Jason Christie, Matt Ellis and Marty Wilford have been hired as assistant coaches.

Morning News Briefing

Schools in New York State are now prohibited from filing lawsuits against parents or guardians for unpaid meal fees. This was following the enactment of new legislation, signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday. The Governor’s Office stated that this builds on the state’s “No Student Goes Hungry” program, aiming to help protect students and families from legal tactics. Cuomo’s office stated that the new legislation will work to concert with commitments made on the federal level, ensuring that students in the United States receive “vital” meals.

The City of Batavia Water Department will be making repairs to a water main on Williams Street today. The water will be shut off the length of Williams Street and it should be restored by 3:00. The repair effort may cause discolored water in the general area and you should please refrain from doing laundry until the water is clear.

New York’s COVID positivity rate took a slight break earlier this week…but now it is on the rise again. State officials say the rate is up to 2.49%. Two more deaths have been reported along with 20 more hospitalizations, bringing the statewide total to 611. 72% of New Yorkers age 18 and older have received at least one COVID vaccine dose.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the launch of New York State’s $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit program, designed to help expand employment opportunities for workers and provide relief to COVID-impacted restaurants. Created as part of the state budget, the program offers a tax credit for the rapid hiring of restaurant workers to reduce the restaurant industry’s pandemic-induced economic difficulties. Qualifying restaurants could receive a $5,000 tax credit per net new hire, totaling up to $50,000 in tax credits per business.

New York students may need to wear masks when school begins in September. The New York State Department of Education said New York health officials are developing new guidelines for the upcoming school year, and the basis of those guidelines will follow the new mask-wearing recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier this week, the CDC said all students in K-12 should wear masks in the classroom. The education department sent a memo to school districts on Thursday so they can start preparing.

Sheriff’s deputies report the arrest old 23-year-old Andrea Tucker of Tonawanda. While at Six Flags Darien Lake, she allegedly made threats toward another person. She was charged with harassment and issued a ticket for Town of Darien court on August 17th.

Midday News Brief

Melvin A Huntley

 

A Batavia man arrested earlier this month on child sex abuse charges, has been arrested again.
40-year-old Melvin Andre Huntley, of Wilkinson Road, is charged with two counts of first-degree sex abuse. Two children were involved: one was under 13, the other under 11.
Back on July 8, Huntley was arraigned on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child. These new charges are the result of the ongoing investigation.
Huntley is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail.

 

With the start of classes a few weeks away, Governor Cuomo is urging schools statewide to keep a close eye on the growing number of COVID-19 cases. The governor said that districts may need to take aggressive action in order to prevent students and teachers from becoming super-spreaders. The Governor said that districts could require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

There is a hint of good news on the COVID front in New York State.
The positivity rate has actually declined from yesterday…it’s now at 2.23%. However, there have been seven more COVID deaths and around 120 hospitalizations and admissions to the ICU.
The positivity rate in Genesee County has dipped a 10th of a point to point-4 percent.
There were no new positive cases reported yesterday.

The YMCA summer recreation program is cancelled today due to the threat of thunderstorms. This affects the summer rec program at Farrall, John Kennedy, Lambert and Williams Parks.
Summer Rec anticipates the program will operate tomorrow.

Day 7 of the Genesee County Fair.
Highlights today include the Midway, which opens at 4 this afternoon, The 4H Market Animal Auction sale begins at 7.

Morning News Brief

A Rochester woman is facing 14 felony counts after she allegedly attempted to scam Genesee County Social Services out of nearly $3,800. Deputies arrested 33-year-old Kristin Forte. She was charged with 8 counts of filing a false instrument, five counts of forgery and one count of grand larceny. Investigators said she submitted application or recertification’s for SNAP benefits but omitted her wages. She is also accused of forging several documents and signatures. She was arraigned in Town of Batavia court and released on her own recognizance.

A 40-year-old Batavia arrested earlier this month on sex abuse charges has been arrested on additional child sex abuse charges. Melvin Andre Huntley, of Wilkinson Road, is charged with two counts of first-degree sex abuse.  The children are less than 11 and less than 13 years old.  He is also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. On July 8, he was arraigned on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child; course of conduct against a child in the first degree; first-degree rape; first-degree sex abuse. These new charges are the result of the ongoing investigation. The Sheriff’s Office is not releasing more information about the case at this time.  The investigation remains ongoing. Huntley is being held in the Genesee County Jail without bail

If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be a member of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and that there are pending charges against you that need to be paid for failing to appear, please hang up.  It is not the process of the Sheriff’s Office to call and request payment for any outstanding criminal charges. If you have any questions regarding whether a phone call is a scam, you can call the Sheriff.

The American Red Cross has an emergency need for lifesaving blood amid the ongoing severe blood shortage. Blood and platelet donations continue to be critical to meet hospital demand and the public is urged to make an appointment to give now. The Red Cross has been distributing about 12% more blood products to hospitals across the U.S. compared to this time last year. The Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet the current hospital demand and end the severe blood shortage. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially type O, which stands at just a one-day supply right now.

New York is one of a growing number of states that are making their state employees either get vaccinated for COVID-19 or get tested regularly. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says they are taking it a step further than other states. This comes as about 62-percent of New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose. Sen. George Borrello, who represents Allegany County, called the move outrageous, unconstitutional and more about muscle-flexing than public health.

It’s a good news-bad news story. There is a hint of good news on the COVID front in New York. The positivity rate has actually declined from yesterday…it’s now at 2.23%. However, there have been seven more COVID deaths and around 120 hospitalizations and admissions to the ICU. Cases in the Finger Lakes Region have continued to spike during the last three days.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation which allows victims of human trafficking to recover actual, compensatory and punitive damages or other appropriate relief. This legislation also amends current law that requires an action to be commenced within 10 years of victimization to state an action can be commenced within 15 years after victimization has occurred.

Morning News Brief

Prospective election workers in New York will now have the opportunity to train virtually. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation that provides a more flexible approach to election worker training, permitting both online and in-person instruction and examination of election inspectors, poll clerks and election coordinators. In-person training may still be required for specialized issues, such as the use of voting machines. Additionally, this legislation removes the requirement that the course of instruction be taken every year. Election inspectors, poll clerks and election coordinators will still be required to pass the annual examination, but they will only need to take the training course once.

The City of Batavia will be redoing the Center Street Parking lot (across from Adam Miller Toy & Bicycle) starting today. Initial milling of the lot will not allow for parking for most of today. Paving will be done in sections to try and accommodate parking after today.

The Batavia City School District’s Registration Office will be located at the Robert Morris Site beginning on Monday, August 2, 2021.   Families are asked to use the Community Schools entrance when picking up or turning in registration materials, which is located off of the parking lot at the corners of Richmond and Vernon Avenues.  The hours are 8 AM-12 PM and 1 PM-3 PM until August 20.  Beginning August 23, hours are 8 AM-4 PM.

A second DEC Forest Ranger has been deployed to Montana to assist in fighting western wildfires. Yesterday, New York State welcomed home Forest Ranger Timothy Carpenter at the end of his two-week assignment fighting the Bootleg Fire raging in Oregon. Ranger Carpenter, from Steuben County, began his assignment July 10, when he joined more than 2,000 federal, state, and local fire agencies battling the Bootleg Fire in Oregon. The Bootleg Fire started on July 6 and has burned more than 400,000 acres. It is now approximately 53 percent contained. Sustained winds and low humidity make this a difficult fire to get under control. The fire has already destroyed more than 200 buildings, forcing the evacuation of about 2,000 people.

New York’s COVID positivity rate continues its upward trend. In the most recent state report, the rate has climbed to 2.46%. New hospital admissions have increased along with patients being sent to the ICU. Nearly 1,700 new positive cases.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office confirms it is working with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in an investigation into a former New York State Supreme Court justice. The Sheriff’s Office says this past spring, it was notified of “possible criminal conduct” by former justice Matthew Rosenbaum. Deputies did not elaborate on the “possible criminal conduct” of which it was notified.

NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney and others have introduced a resolution to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which was founded on December 1, 1941, to assist the United States as a civilian defense organization during World War II. The resolution recognizes the historical contributions by the CAP over the course of its 80-year history

Morning News Brief

A violent domestic dispute in Batavia resulted in multiple felony counts lodged against a man. City police said Michael J. Perkins was arrested following a domestic disturbance on Ellicott Street. During the incident, Perkins allegedly assaulted another person resulting in serious physical injury, took their phone while they were attempting to call 9-1-1 and applied pressure to their neck, causing difficulty breathing. Perkins then fled the residence prior to patrols arrival. He was later charged with felony assault with serious injury, felony grand larceny and lesser counts including criminal mischief and criminal obstruction of breathing.

NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland seeking answers on why the Department of Justice abruptly terminated ongoing investigations into nursing home deaths in the states of New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Tenney said she continues to fight for the thousands of families who were cut off from their loved ones in long-term care facilities during the pandemic. She has introduced the Essential Caregivers Act (H.R.3733), a bipartisan bill that ensures individuals living in long-term care facilities, including nursing and group homes, are never cut off from essential caregivers in the event of a future public health emergency.

Amid lawmakers’ calls to release funds from New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday announced a streamlined application process. The new ERAP process relaxes documentation standards for both tenants and landlords effective today, according to the governor’s office. Over 1,000 dedicated staff and 350 volunteers are also slated to help clear close to 5,000 pending cases by next Tuesday.

New York’s COVID positivity rate has jumped to 2.28%. 85 people have been admitted to a hospital or the ICU and there have been four more deaths. The WNY rate has risen to 2.18%. It has jumped to 1.90% in the Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee County.

Two people face charges after a victim was struck in the head with a beer bottle on Bloomingdale Road. Jarrot Coniglio was charged with felony assault, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and obstruction. In addition, Justice Conoglio was also charged with obstruction and resisting arrest. Deputies said both suspects became hostile and combative towards deputies. K-9 Frankie assisted in the apprehension of both people. Justice was released on his own recognizance and ten turned over to Wyoming County deputies on a warrant. Jarrot was remanded to jail on $5,000 bail.

Six United Way chapters officially announced their merger and the creation of a powerful and aligned organization: United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, serving the counties of Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Wayne and Wyoming. The organization, which altogether raises and distributes more than $30 million annually, now encompasses 5,144 square miles of rural, suburban and urban neighborhoods, and brings together more than 50,000 donors, 1,300 workplaces, 1,000 nonprofit partners, and thousands of volunteers to address the region’s biggest human services challenges.

There is concern among wildlife experts throughout the Northeast about a mysterious disease that killing songbirds and while there’s no confirmation that the unknown pathogen has reached Genesee County it has been reported in the Southern Tier. Close enough that bird lovers might want to exercise caution, which could include taking down birdfeeders. Birdfeeders and birdbaths are places that encourage songbirds to congregate, which could help spread the disease. The Department of Environmental Conservation is asking state residents to report any unusual bird deaths.

Midday News Brief

The spread of COVID-19 is back on the rise across New York with the daily statewide infection rate surpassing 2-percent.
The Finger Lakes Region – which includes Genesee County – has a seven-day average positivity rate of .5-percent, among the lowest in the state.
Officials believe the new variants of the virus are what’s causing an increase in infections. Anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 can check out the state’s “Am I Eligible” website or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX to find an immunization clinic.

Gasoline prices in Batavia are unchanged from a week ago.
The average cost for a gallon of regular here is $3.17, the same as last week.
A year ago, at this time the average prices for a gallon of gas in Batavia was $2.24.

 

A suspect arrested for allegedly shoplifting at Walmart over a three-day period. 31-year-old Antonio Goodson of State Street, Batavia, is charged with three counts of petit larceny. Deputies say Goodson boosted Walmart merchandise last Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you use the Center Street Parking lot downtown this one is for you.
The lot will be closed for milling operations this Wednesday.
Once the milling is done the lot will be re-paved, an operation that could take a few weeks.
However, the city says during repaving the lot will remain opened with sections coned for pavement repairs and re-surfacing.

Alianna Baris

It is Veteran’s Day at the Genesee County Fair.
The market auction goat show is scheduled for 4 this afternoon.
4-H livestock judging is scheduled for 6 this evening.

Yesterday at the fair: Alianna Baris was crowned Fair Queen.
Alianna is a 2021 graduate of LeRoy High School.

Morning News Brief

It’s Veteran’s Day at the Genesee County Fair. The day includes 4-H Auction final weigh-in, the 4-H Skill-a-thon and the 4-H livestock judging contest. The Midway opens Tuesday from 4-10 p.m. The county Fair runs thru Saturday. Alianna Baris, a 2021 graduate of Le Roy High School, is the 2021 Genesee County Fair Queen.

Batavia Downs has announced that with the approval of the New York State Gaming Commission, the special twilight card of live harness racing that was originally scheduled for today has been canceled due to a lack of entries. Racing will resume at the Downs on Wednesday at 5 p.m. as was originally scheduled. That night will feature the New York Sire Stakes 3-year-old colt and filly pacers.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate is now 2.23%. Over the weekend there were more hospitalizations and admission to Intensive Care. Additional deaths were also reported. The percentage of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose is 62%.

After investigating an alleged violation of an order of protection in the town of Stafford, state police report the arrest of 36-year-old Lindy Delapenha. He was charged with criminal contempt for allegedly disobeying a court order. He was released on his own recognizance.

Batavia-based Troopers arrested 25-year-old Aaron Hatt of Alexander. He was charged with felony aggravated family offense, felony criminal possession of cocaine and a lesser count of criminal contempt. He was released on his own recognizance.

The Justice Department has announced it will not open a civil rights investigation into New York’s handling of COVID-19 deaths at state-run nursing homes. The decision ends nearly a year of inquiry by the department started under then-President Donald Trump into how COVID deaths and infections swept through the vulnerable populations in nursing homes. In a letter to some Republican members of Congress, the Justice Department said it has decided against opening a civil rights investigation into public nursing homes in New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan, but it still has a probe in two nursing homes in New Jersey.

The Buffalo Bisons announced all single-game tickets for the remaining 23 home games at the downtown ballpark will be just $10. Tickets go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. at Bisons.com and the Sahlen Field box office. All single-game tickets will be general admission. Fans with ticket credits from the 2020 season can apply them to any ticket purchase.

There will be a Special Batavia Town Board Meeting on Wednesday at 5:00 P.M. . The Work Session will be immediately following the Special Meeting.

Weekend News Brief

The federal task force to address the violence and crime in Rochester and Buffalo has made 138 arrests so far in its efforts.  Operation Viper so far has been cracking down on illegal firearms, drugs and violent offenders.  Of the 138 arrests 45 were gun related, 45 were narcotics related, and 38 were violent felonies.  John DeVito, special agent in charge of the New York Field Division at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said it’s just the beginning.

SUNY Chancellor, Jim Malatras announced Friday the SUNY school system is requiring students to be vaccinated on campus.  Unvaccinated students will be required to wear masks and undergo weekly testing.  Individual schools can decide if they want to enforce stricter guidelines.  SUNY Brockport added if students live in a dorm or participate in a sport, they will need to be vaccinated.  Several private colleges and Community Colleges have also announced that they will mandate students to be vaccinated to participate in on campus classes and also mandate masks to be worn indoors for all students.

GO Health has announced free vaccinations at the Genesee County Fair.  Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for GO Health has said “The vaccination rates in both Genesee and Orleans counties are slowly increasing, but we are still lagging behind New York State.  The majority of the cases we are seeing in both counties are people that are unvaccinated.”  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday there will be a vaccine clinic at the fairgrounds from 1:30-4:30pm. Wednesday the clinic will go from 4:30-7:30pm.  These clinics are for the Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson vaccines.  Anyone 12 and up can get a shot.

The Crossroads House annual fundraiser Garage Sale is this week!  Starting Thursday at 9am you can see what treasures are available at 11 Liberty street in Batavia.  Or you can come early on Wednesday at 9am for a pre-sale that costs 5 dollars per person.

The Buffalo Sabres have made several trades since the beginning of the draft and 25 year old lead scorer Sam Reinhart is one of them.  Reinhart has been traded to the Florida Panthers.  It is unclear what the Sabres are getting for Reinhart who has been with the Sabres for 7 seasons and has never played for another NHL team.  Another big trade was Rasmus Ristolainen who was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers before the draft.

Afternoon News Brief

The Veterans Affairs of Western NY is hosting a career fair for a variety of jobs and shifts on August 12th at Freedom Hall on Bailey Ave in Buffalo.  You can submit an application package containing your resume, transcript, dd214 if you are a veteran, and 3 references to buffalovajobfair@va.gov.

The City of Batavia Water Department is going to be repairing a water line in front of 13 Holland Ave. today. The street will be closed to through traffic including emergency vehicles. Work began about 8 a.m. and should be completed by 3 p.m.  Residents are asked to find alternative routes.

After nearly 2 years of not being at their home the Buffalo Bisons are migrating back into Sahlen field.  There will be 23 home games and ticket prices are now revealed to be 10 bucks a person.  If you get season tickets for 2022 you also get 2021 free.  259 dollar club level suite rentals come with 12 game tickets and plenty of food and drinks.  All this goes on sale Monday at 10am.

Morning News Brief

It’s Fair time. The Genesee County Fair kicks off tomorrow and runs thru July 31st. Tomorrow is drive your tractor to the Fair day…and it launches at 9 a.m. General admission and demolition derby tickets can be purchased at the Fairgrounds daily. The daily schedule can be found at gcfair.com.

An Oakfield man has been jailed following a knife attack and other acts of violence. Sheriff’s deputies said they took 37-year-old Michael Martinez of Church Street into custody. According to a press release, he engaged in a violent confrontation with two people, threatening to kill them. He allegedly stabbed one person and then fled to his house. He then threatened a third person outside his home with a pipe and said he would get a gun. Deputies arrived and arrested him without incident. He was charged with menacing, two counts of felony first-degree attempted assault, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, harassment and trespass. He was arraigned and jailed on $10,000 bail. State Troopers assisted.

Genesee deputies report the arrest of 35-year-old Ida Vanorden of Swan Street in Batavia. She was charged with second-degree attempted assault and third-degree assault. She is accused of assaulting two people on Thursday. Vanorden was arraigned and is due to return to court August 11th.

Quicklee’s convenience store and gas station is a step closer to building in Batavia. The city Planning and Development Committee has approved the request to build at the former Bob Evans on Oak Street.

An accused Batavia drug dealer is headed to prison. In court this week, 46-year-old Angela Bateman of West Main Street Road was ordered to serve two years in state prison along with three years post-release supervision.

A Batavia man has pleaded guilty to raping a child. In court this week, 19-year-old Hezekiah Burch admitted to the crime of first-degree rape. He cut a deal with prosecutors so his prison time won’t exceed seven years when he is sentenced in September. The victim was under the age of 15.

There are now new rules for teenage marriages in New York. Legislation as been approved and signed raising the age of consent to be married in New York State to 18. This legislation takes effect 30 days after becoming law and will apply to licenses issued after that date.

Some New Yorkers with disabilities are missing out on employment opportunities and other benefits because the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) failed to include key features in its web-based advisement system…that’s according to an audit just released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. In a statement, the Comptroller said “New Yorkers with disabilities suffer much higher rates of unemployment and poverty than the general public, and the Office of Mental Health hasn’t done enough to fix those problems.”

The New York COVID rate has dropped a bit to 1.70%. As of Thursday, there were 21 new hospitalizations and five more people were admitted to ICU.

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel has been selected as one of four statewide recipients of “The Arc New York 2021 Employer of the Year Award,” acknowledging the value of employing people with disabilities in their place of business. Arc of Genesee Orleans representatives will be on hand at the Downs on Thursday, July 29, at 6 p.m. for the Zoom award presentation.

Midday News Brief

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and her husband Timothy Granison have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.
The pair were in court after being indicted by a Monroe County grand jury on weapons and child endangerment charges.
Police say a search of the mayor’s home in May uncovered guns that were not registered to Warren or Granison, and that their 10-year-old daughter was home alone when police got to the residence. Under New York State Public Officers Law, Mayor Warren would be removed from office if she’s convicted of a felony.

A Genesee County grand jury has handed up a four-count indictment against a Le Roy man accused of spraying bleach in the eyes of two dogs. 36-year-old Robert J. Williams is charged with felony cruelty to animals and misdemeanor criminal mischief. Williams was arrested in February after a month-long investigation revealed that he purposefully sprayed bleach into the eyes and faces of two dogs.

The COVID positivity rate across New York State has risen to 1.75-percent.
Five more COVID related deaths have also been reported in the state.
Genesee County reports one new case of the virus, two in Orleans County.

A Batavia woman arrested for allegedly boosting $113 worth of merchandise from Walmart.
31-year-old Elizabeth Thompson of Montclair Avenue was charged with petit larceny and given a court appearance ticket.

Felony drunk driving charges filed against a LeRoy woman.
61-year-old Pamela Morrow of Linwood Road in LeRoy was charged with felony DWI and a felony count of having a blood alcohol content above .08%.
Morrow was released on appearance tickets.

Morning News Brief

New York State has fallen below the rate established by the Federal government in order for the state to qualify for the highest level of Federal Extended Benefits (EB). Effective August 9, EB will be available for a maximum of 13 weeks.

38 more people have been admitted to a New York hospital with COVID-related symptoms. 11 more have been sent to the ICU. The COVID-19 positivity rate has risen to 1.75%. Five more deaths have also been reported. In the Southern Tier Region, the rate has jumped to 0.79%. Genesee County reports one new case and two in Orleans County.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 61-year-old Pamela Morrow of Linwood Road in LeRoy. She was charged with felony DWI and a felony count of having a blood alcohol content above .08%. Morrow was processed at the Genesee County Jail and released on appearance tickets. She’ll appear in L Roy town court August 3rd.

Genesee County deputies arrested 31-year-old Elizabeth Thompson of Batavia. She was charged with petit larceny. Deputies said she allegedly stole $113 in merchandise from a store. She’ll appear in Batavia Town Court next month.

A grand jury has leveled a four-count indictment against a Le Roy man accused of spraying bleach in the eyes of two dogs. 36-year-old Robert J. Williams is charged with two counts of felony aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief. Williams was arrested in February after a month-long investigation revealed that he purposefully sprayed bleach into the eyes and faces of two dogs.

New York’s attorney general says a proposed settlement involving several states would resolve claims against three major drug distributors and help communities impacted by the opioid epidemic. Attorney General Letitia James says the proposed $26 billion agreement that would resolve those claims against Johnson & Johnson, as well as three major drug distributors: McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc. and Amerisource Bergen Drug Corporation. Additionally, James says communities in New York that were impacted by the epidemic would receive up to $1.25 billion to help will programs focusing on prevention, treatment and recovery.

Rochester’s mayor and her estranged husband appeared in court Wednesday, pleading not guilty to charges filed against them last week. Mayor Lovely Warren and Timothy Granison, were charged with criminal possession of a firearm, endangering the welfare of a child and failure to lock/secure firearms in a dwelling following the unsealing of an indictment last week. Warren is also facing charges in an unrelated case. She and two others were charged last year, accused of mishandling campaign finances in her 2017 reelection bid.

On July 28, the Center Street Parking Lot in Batavia will be closed for milling operations. After the milling operations are completed city crews will begin pavement repairs and resurfacing over the next few weeks. The lot will remain open, but sections will be coned off for pavement repairs and resurfacing. This work will be performed during the business day (7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and operations are weather dependent.

Evening News Brief

The US governments Department of Homeland Security has announced that it is extending the travel restrictions with Canada till the 21st of August after Canada announced that it would allow vaccinated individuals to cross the border starting August 9th.  Both democrats and republican lawmakers decried the decision.  Democrat Congressman Brian Higgins Said “this is completely unnecessary” and cited businesses and families that are hurting because of the border closure.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “As Canada prepares to further open the border next month, the United States is failing to reciprocate, jeopardizing an already tenuous recovery for thousands of businesses, families, and communities across Upstate New York.”    These restrictions affect land ports and ferry terminals but do not cover sea, air or rail travel.

Rochester’s Mayor was in court earlier today and plead not guilty to charges of child endangerment, criminal possession of a firearm, and failure to secure firearms.  Her husband, Timothy Granison plead not guilty to the same charges and several drug related charges.  Prosecutors say that Warren left her 10 year old daughter alone at home with an unsecured handgun and rifle.  Granison was caught in an investigation into cocaine trafficking in Rochester.

MCC has released its COVID restrictions for the coming school year.  Fully vaccinated students will be allowed to take in person courses provided they prove they are vaccinated.  All students will have to wear masks in the classroom.  Half of courses will be online only.  Unvaccinated students will need to be tested for covid weekly and wear masks at all times.

The Toronto Blue Jays will be playing their final game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo tonight after calling the area home for much of the past two seasons.  The Blue Jays have had to play in Buffalo due to the ongoing shutdown of the border between the U.S. and Canada.  They return to Toronto on the 30th and have already tweeted out “no place like home.”  The Bisons will be back in buffalo at Sahlen field in August.  Their first game is against the Rochester Red Wings on August

Interested in working at Highmark Stadium?  They are hiring.  Delaware North, the food and beverage and retail partner for the Bills will be hosting a hiring fair for Cashiers, Suite Runners, Servers, Line Cooks, Prep Cooks, Supervisors, Dishwashers, Vendors and Warehouse operations workers.  The Hiring Fair will be held July 24th, 28th and August 3rd.  It will be held at the Bills Store located on Abbott Road in Buffalo.

The Center Street Parking lot will be closed for milling and resurfacing starting July 28th.  Work will take several weeks with parts of the lot being open when not being worked on.

Midday News Brief

Genesee County’s unemployment rate is half of what was a year ago.
Figures released by the State Department of Labor show the June jobless rate was 4.5 percent. One year ago, the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.
The labor department also reports the number of persons employed in Genesee County compared to a year ago has risen by a half-percent.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is seeking applicants for the Genesee Youth Lead Program.
Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year.
The deadline to apply is Sept. 3.
The eight-month program is focused on developing leadership skills within an individual through each specific session and through hands on experience.

The COVID numbers in New York have become even more concerning.
In the latest state report, the positivity rate has jumped to 1.67%
More people admitted to the hospital with virus-related symptoms…and admissions to the ICU also spiked.
Two additional deaths were also reported

The Toronto Blue Jays will be playing their final game at Sahlen Field in Buffalo tonight after calling the area home for much of the past two seasons.
The Blue Jays have had to play in Buffalo due to the ongoing shutdown of the border between the U.S. and Canada.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and her husband are going to be facing a judge today. Warren and Timothy Granison were recently indicted by a Monroe County grand jury on weapon and child endangerment charges. Police say a search of the mayor’s home back in May uncovered guns that weren’t registered to Warren or Granison.

Morning News Brief

Scott Bischoping has been named interim superintendent for Batavia City Schools following the resignation of Anibal Soler. Bischoping was the interim superintendent following the departure of Chris Dailey and preceding Soler’s appointment at the start of 2020. Soler accepted an appointment as superintendent of the Schenectady school district. In a statement, the district said “his knowledge and leadership will guide us into the new school year.”

The New York State Department of Labor has released preliminary local area unemployment rates for June. To recap last week’s statewide press release, New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 7.8% in May to 7.7% in June 2021. In Genesee County, the unemployment rate stood at 4.5%. Orleans stands at 5.5and Wyoming is 4.6%.

The COVID numbers in New York have become even more concerning. In the latest state report, the positivity rate has jumped to 1.67% with 46 more people admitted to the hospital with virus-related symptoms. Admissions to the ICU also spiked. Two additional deaths were also reported. Western New York and the Finger Lakes Regions have been steadily climbing.

Another federal sex crime story from Wyoming County. A Bliss man has been indicted on charges of transportation and possession of child porn. Those indictment have been handed down against 40-year-old Shayne M. Hildreth. He could face 40 years behind bars. Prosecutors said police in Missouri interviewed a 15-year-old victim who said she was molested by the defendant over the past several years in the states of New York, Colorado, and Missouri. She allegedly told prosecutors that she had previously found child pornography, including recorded images of herself, on Hildreth’s cell phone and laptop computer. The defendant was arraigned and detained.

The City of Batavia Police Department, in partnership with The City Church, today announced that the 2021 Community Night Out event will take place on Tuesday, August 10th from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Church on 114 Liberty Street in Batavia.

At least one person is dead as police continue to investigate an explosion that occurred Tuesday morning in a residential area in the WNY community of Lackawanna. According to fire officials, a total of seven homes were damaged, but it’s not yet clear what caused the explosion.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is seeking applicants for the Genesee Youth Lead Program. Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year. The deadline to apply is Sept. 3. The eight-month program is focused on developing leadership skills within an individual through each specific session and through hands on experience. Each session will have a different focus on our community and leadership.

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted 41-year-old Shane Vanname of Batavia. He is accused of felony criminal contempt and two lesser counts of criminal contempt. He is accused of violating three orders of protection in Le Roy on Oct. 23.

Evening News Update

There is an air quality alert in effect for Western New York including the GLOW region till Midnight tonight  Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for fine particles which could affect people with respiratory illnesses and sensitivities.  Those who are susceptible should stay indoors and avoid strenuous activity.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued an executive order Tuesday declaring gun violence in Erie County a public health crisis.  According to data from the Erie County Crime Analysis Center shows that homicides in the county have increased the past four years. So far in 2021 the number of homicides has reached the total number in 2017 and 44 of them have involved a firearm.  Erie County leads the state in firearms used in violent crimes on a per capita basis.  Erie county has nearly twice the state average of violent crimes.

A home in Lackawanna exploded Early this morning, leveling the house and damaging 7 other homes and multiple vehicles.  Firefighters arrived after a report of something burning in the road and a loss of power in the area about 7:20am to Bedford Street in Lackawanna to find what volunteer firefighter Michael Salamone described as a “war zone.”  According to Salamone he opened his blinds and that’s when the flash/explosion went, he said it blinded him for several minutes. He then saw a huge fireball and flames in the middle where the basement would be.  1 person is dead but the cause of the explosion is unknown and few details have been released.

Midday News Brief

The Summer concert season is underway, and New York State will be cracking down on underage drinking at outdoor music venues.
Starting this week, investigators are going to be patrolling places like Darien Lake Performing Arts Center to search for fake ID’s.
They’ll also be keeping a close eye on vendors to make sure they don’t sell alcohol to underage people.
Anyone under 21 who is caught using a fake ID to buy an alcoholic beverage could get a ticket and also have their license revoked.

After more than a year of waiting, some Americans are finally going to be allowed into Canada next month. The Canadian government says beginning August 9th, U.S. residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can cross the border without having to quarantine. However, they’ll have to provide proof that they’ve been immunized, be tested for coronavirus before their trip and have no symptoms of the illness.
The border between both countries has been shut down since March 2020.

A Wyoming County man admits to attempting to have sex with whom he believed was an 11-year-old girl.
42-year-old Daniel Hays of Bliss is facing a maximum penalty of 20-years in prison and a quarter-million dollar fine.
Police say in April and May of this year Hay exchanged sexually explicit text messages with the underage girl who was actually an under-cover State Police Investigator. The two arranged a meeting and when Hay drove two hours to meeting, he was arrested.

All 64 SUNY campuses across New York State plan to fully reopen with in-person classes this Fall.
Vaccination rates for SUNY students are outpacing the general state population. The only restrictions will be for those who remain unvaccinated, who will be required to continue masking and social distancing, as well as be subject to weekly COVID testing. They may also be barred from sports and special events.

The COVID positivity rate across New York is 1.18%.
In the Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee County, has been increasing since Saturday.

Morning News Brief

The latest New York statewide COVID report has more conflicting results. The positivity rate has lowered to 1.18% with a 7-day average rate of 1.26%. However, the last week, hospitalization have noticeably increased. On Monday, 26 new people were admitted with COVID-related illnesses. The ICU admissions remain flat. In the Finger Lakes Region, the positivity rate has been increasing since Saturday. The Western New York rate has peaked to 1.42%

A Wyoming County man has pleaded guilty to attempting to have sex with an 11-year-old girl. 42-year-old Daniel Hays of Bliss entered his plea Monday. The charge carries a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum penalty of 20 years, and a $250,000 fine. In April and May of 2021, Hay allegedly engaged in sexually explicit online and text communications with an individual who he believed to be an 11-year-old girl. In reality, the child was an undercover New York State Police Investigator working with the Department of Homeland Security. On May 11 Hays traveled approximately two hours in order to have sex with the child. He was arrested upon his arrival at the meeting place. Sentencing is scheduled for October 19.

NY Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is leading 175 of her House Republican colleagues in filing an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court defending the right to conceal carry under the Second Amendment to the Constitution for the case New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett. According to a partisan press release, they say the case is slated to be the biggest Supreme Court decision regarding the Second Amendment since the District of Columbia v. Heller case that reaffirmed the right to keep and bear arms.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced nearly $25 million in federal funding to upgrade public water and waste management systems across five towns and villages in New York State. This funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants and will be used to reduce health and sanitary deficiencies, improve storm water management, and extend public water service to residents living without access to safe and reliable potable water. In Genesee County, the Town of Pembroke will receive more than $9 million.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that state investigators will be on patrol at popular summer concert venues to crack down on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs to purchase alcohol. Beginning this week and throughout the summer, Operation Prevent enforcement sweeps will be conducted at venues like Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Operation Prevent is an ongoing effort to stop and prevent underage drinking, promote healthier choices among young New Yorkers and enhance roadway safety.

Canada announced Monday it will begin letting fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on Aug. 9, and those from the rest of the world on Sept. 7. Canadian officials said the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived as of Aug. 9 for eligible travelers who are currently residing in the United States and have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada.

All 64 SUNY campuses across New York State plan to fully reopen with in-person classes this Fall. The Chancellor says that vaccination rates for SUNY students are outpacing the general state population. The only restrictions will be for those who remain unvaccinated, who will be required to continue masking and social distancing, as well as be subject to weekly COVID testing. They may also be barred from sports and special events.

A Genesee County Grand Jury has indicted Andre Roberts for felony assault on a deputy and resisting arrest. The incident happened last October in the Town of Alexander.

Evening News Brief

Planning on going to a concert this summer?  New York State is cracking down on underaged drinking at concerts.  There will be state investigators on patrol at concert venues such as CMAC in Canandaigua, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Jones Beach, and the Lakeview Amphitheater. The investigators will be there to crack down on underage drinking and the use of fake IDs.  Officials say those who are under 21 and found using a fake ID to purchase alcohol can be ticketed and their license can be revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year.

A school bus and a car collided this morning in Corfu at East Main and Alleghany Rd with 26 students being on the bus.  The fire chief reports that there were only minor injuries.  Mercy EMS responded to the scene.

You may think there has been a lot of rain this month and you’d be right.  This July has been the 5th wettest July on record in western New York with 5 inches above normal by today.  Right now the amount of rain is set at 6.6 inches for this month.  The wettest July on record had 8.93 inches of rain in 1992.  The other 3 wettest years on record are 1897, 1873, and 1878.  As far as the year goes we are 2 inches below normal for the whole year.

The Batavia Muckdogs game against the Elmira Pioneers last night ended in a rather colorful and abrupt way and we still don’t know who won.  The pioneers had a rocky relationship with the Umpires all night which started with a coach being ejected from the game and culminated in one pitcher being ejected, a second pitcher insulting the ump and then the dugout and infield all coming over to attack the umpire which resulted in the whole team being thrown out in the 9th inning.  The score stood at 10 to 10 with the Pioneers forfeiting but the league has yet to call the game.  The follow up Battle of the Badges game between the Batavia PD and the Batavia Fire Department involved a cat stuck in a tree and the game being called for rain in the third inning with the Fire Department leading the police by a score of 7 to zip.  No official word on what happened to the cat.

Midday News Brief

A Batavia woman is charged with a felony count of assault following a knife attack.
24-year-old Shacerie Rivera is accused of cutting another person on the arm causing a series injury. Rivera was arraigned on assault and weapons charges and then released under supervision of Genesee Justice.
Police did not disclose where the incident happened.

New York state health officials say numbers of COVID-19 cases as well as the positivity rate across the region are rising.
They say the western region’s seven-day average for positive tests has risen to 1.36% — while it was just under .5% point two weeks ago.
In the Finger Lakes region – which includes Genesee County – the positivity rate is .96% — up from .63% percent two weeks ago.

(Above) Batavia Police say one, maybe two people, tried to rip off Mr. Wine and Liquor in the Tops Plaza.
City Police want to questions two people in connection with the heist last night.

Only a slight increase in the price of gasoline in Batavia over the past week.
The average price for a gallon of regular is $3.17 – about a half-cent more than a week ago.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a sweeping package of voting reforms into law. The reforms he says will help voters, candidates and boards of elections more easily perform their functions. A few of the reforms include eliminating signed absentee ballot applications and allowing absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day to be considered timely; Allowing voters to request absentee ballots through electronic means and allowing candidates who have lost primaries to be removed from ballots as candidates for different parties.

Morning News Brief

Bail is set at $200,000 for a man charged with first-degree rape. Batavia Police say they arrested 52-year-old Editrudis Zavala-Palacio. The charge stems following an investigation into a reported forcible rape from 2009 that occurred at an apartment above 15 Jackson Street. Additional court action is pending.

New York’s statewide COVID positivity rate has now climbed to 1.51%. While the rate has increased, hospitalizations have dropped slightly. In the Finger Lakes Region, the positivity rate has jumped to 0.96%

A woman faces felony and other counts following a reported knife attack in the city. Batavia police arrested 24-year-old Shacerie Rivera. She was charged with felony second-degree assault with serious injury, criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing governmental administration. It’s alleged that Rivera cut another person in the arm with a knife. She then allegedly interfered with police as they attempted to take another person into custody. She was arraigned in Batavia City Court and released under the supervision of Genesee Justice. Rivera is due back in court on August 11th.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a sweeping package of voting reforms into law. The reforms he says will help voters, candidates and boards of elections more easily perform their functions. A few of the reforms include eliminating signed absentee ballot applications and allowing absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day to be considered timely; Allowing voters to request absentee ballots through electronic means and allowing candidates who have lost primaries to be removed from ballots as candidates for different parties.

The Holland Land Office Museum announces the return of its History Heroes Summer Program will be running Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The first event happens this Saturday. The theme is “Fun in the Roaring ’20s” — learning about different aspects of life 100 years ago. Join them to learn about the 1920s! Dance, sing, read, play, create, explore, and learn some history. The program will explore many facets of the era through many creative and interactive activities, and includes daily local walking field trips around Batavia. The program is open to children 7-12 and is limited to 16 participants each day. Registration is available for each individual day or for all five. Admission is $10 per child with discounts for multiple children and museum members. The program includes a field trip on Sept. 4th to the Arcade & Attica Railroad, which has a $20 admission. Registration forms can be found at the museum’s website.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new memorial honoring fallen highway workers across New York is currently under construction and will be unveiled at the 2021 Great New York State Fair.  The memorial, which will be located near the midway entrance and west of the Horticulture Building on the fairgrounds, is meant to honor all transportation workers killed while performing their job duties on or near New York’s thousands of miles of highways, including State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority employees, municipal highway workers, contractors, consultants and towing service employees. The State Department of Transportation alone has lost 56 workers during its existence.

New York State tax receipts exceeded the Enacted Budget Financial Plan forecast by $4.8 billion from April through June, the first three months of the 2021-22 State Fiscal Year…that’s according to the monthly State Cash Report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. He says the state is rebounding from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weekend News Brief

GO Health Director Paul Pettit gave an update on how the county is doing with Covid on Friday.  He gave updates on how many cases Genesee and Orleans county have been having.  Pettit also talked about the Delta Variant.  Pettit said that the state so far has not released guidance for schools in the fall.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was indicted on charges of criminal possession of a firearm, endangering the welfare of a child, and failure to secure firearms in a dwelling Friday.  State Police searched her home in May after a months long drug trafficking investigation found that her husband, Timothy Granison, was allegedly part of a cocaine drug ring.  Granison and 7 others are being charged in connection with that investigation.  Warren was not charged with any drug related crimes.  Warren’s attorney says the mayor will plead not guilty. An arraignment date is expected to be scheduled next week.

COVID Vaccines for 6 month old’s.  66 children are being used to test COVID vaccine dosages in Rochester for ages 6 months to 12 years at Rochester Clinical Research.  Dr. Janet Casey says that “Kids get COVID, kids get sick from COVID, kids end up in the ICU because of COVID. Kids die because of COVID. So if it’s preventable, we should try to prevent it.”  According to the CDC 335 children in the US below the age of 17 have died with COVID since February of 2020.  About 75 thousand children ages 12-15 have had to have medical checkups or been hospitalized after receiving the COVID vaccines.  Most of the checkups were for pain at the injection site.  The CDC Stresses that although about 6000 people have died soon after receiving the vaccine there has been no link established between the vaccine itself and the deaths.

Midday News Brief

The 51st Annual Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction will be held Thursday, July 29, at the Genesee County Fair. The auction will feature chickens, goats, lamb, beef steers, dairy steers and hogs raised by local 4-H members.
For the first time ever the 4-H Market Animal Auction will offer online and in-person bidding.
On-line bidding begins on Tuesday, July 27th, the live auction will be held at 7PM on the 29th in the Main Show Ring at the Fair.
Access the online auction here.

 

A suspected welfare cheat is caught. 42-year-old Valerie Marucci of Attica is accused of receiving $2,700 in benefits she was not untitled to. She’s been charged with grand larceny and offering a false instrument.
Deputies say Marucci failed to report income on two separate applications for benefits.

The concrete stairs and sidewalks in front of the Batavia post Office are being re-built. Officials are asking postal patrons to park behind the post office between the building and the police station and then walk around the west side of the building.
This way you can avoid walking in Main Street traffic.

Governor Cuomo is going to be interviewed this weekend as part of the state’s sexual harassment probe. The interview will be conducted by outside lawyers hired by state Attorney General Letitia James.
The move may signal the investigation looking into allegations he sexually harassed current and former aides may be entering its final stages. Cuomo’s office is not commenting.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says some Americans could be allowed back into that country very soon. During a phone call with provincial leaders, Trudeau announced that discussions are ongoing with the United States that may lead to fully-vaccinated U.S. citizens re-entering Canada for non-essential travel by the middle of August.

Morning News Brief

The latest COVID report for New York shows mixed results. Close to 1,000 new positive cases were reported in the most recent report…and for the first time in weeks, the positivity rate has grown above 1%, today at 1.17% The good news is, hospital admissions and those admitted to the ICU have declined, slightly. Cases in the Finger Lakes Region have been on the rise and one new positive case was confirmed in Genesee County and two in Wyoming. Orleans County cases have remained flat.

Following his successful passage of the broader American Rescue Plan earlier this year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer heralded the Child Tax Credit expansion, which will allow payments of up to $300 per child to automatically go out to families across New York each month – starting TODAY July 15. Schumer said the plan will impact more than 86 percent of New York children. The Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee County, is expected to receive Expanded Child Tax Credits totaling more than $435 million.

According to preliminary figures just released by the New York State Department of Labor, the number of private sector jobs in New York State increased over the month by 9,800, or 0.1%, to 7.4 million in June. By comparison, the number of private sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 0.5%. New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 7.8% to 7.7% last month.

Genesee County deputies report the arrest of 42-year-old Valerie Marucci of Attica. She was charged with grand larceny and two counts of offering a false instrument for filing. It’s alleged that she failed to report income on two separate applications for public assistance benefits, resulting in her receiving $2,700 in SNAP benefits she was not entitled to.

Due to construction, officials with the Post Office in Batavia, are asking patrons to park behind the building, in the lot next to Austin Park, and then walk around the building on the west side — between the building and the police station — to avoid walking in traffic on Main Street. The sidewalk and steps of the post office are being reconstructed.

The 51st Annual Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction will be held Thursday, July 29, at the Genesee County Fair.  The auction will feature chickens, goats, lambs, beef steers, dairy steers and hogs raised by local 4-H members. Animals will be auctioned by William Kent Inc. of Stafford. New this year, the 4-H Market Animal Auction will offer online and in-person bidding. Online pre-bidding will be available on www.williamkentinc.com starting Tuesday, July 27th.  The live auction will be held at 7 p.m. in the Main Show Ring at the Genesee County Fair. Registration for bidders attending the live auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the 4-H Kennedy Building. The fairgrounds are located at 5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 28-year-old Davis LeRoy of Pembroke. He was charged with criminal contempt and trespass. LeRoy is accused of violating a stay away order of protection with his neighbor by speaking to him and allegedly trespassing on his property. Arraigned in Pembroke Town Court, LeRoy was released under supervision.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to be interviewed tomorrow as the state attorney general’s office winds down its investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct allegations that upended his national reputation and threatened his hold on power as he gears up to run for a fourth term next year. The timing of the interview in Albany was confirmed Thursday to The Associated Press by two people familiar with the investigation. Several women have accused Cuomo of unwanted kisses, touches and groping and inappropriate sexual remarks.

Midday News Brief

47-year-old Lori Ann Adolf of Pembroke now admits to the abuse of 13 dogs and two cats at her Akron Road home.
Adolf was arrested last March when deputies found the animals l8iving in deplorable conditions.
Under terms of a plea agreement, Adolf is likely to be placed on three years’ probation and during that time she can not own, purchase, breed or work with any animal of any kinds.
All the dogs have been or will be turned over to the Genesee County Animal Shelter. Many of the animals are available for adoption.
The court has ordered that Adolf must continue mental health and substance abuse treatment.

The number of COVID cases in New York continues to slowly rise. According to the latest report, the statewide 7-day average positivity rate has climbed to 0.95%. Hospitalizations have remained steady during the past 24 hours. Cases in the Finger Lakes Region – which includes Genesee County – have declined slightly.

A Batavia woman will appear in court later this month to respond to a felony count. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say they arrested 35-year-old Amanda Bowles of West Main Street Road. She was charged with felony fourth-degree grand larceny stemming from an incident on Sunday. Deputies did not disclose what the incident was.

The Genesee County Ag Society has officially shown off what they are calling the Agri-Cultural Center on East Main Street.
The building  purchased  is the site of the old Country Max facility near the entrance to the fair grounds.
Organizers Tim Call said it could take up to two years before the center is ready to welcome regular visitors. They are starting a fund raising campaign to repair the building which has been vacated for several years.

The Buffalo Bills have announced that three of their upcoming training camp sessions will be open to the public. Fans will be able to see their favorite players on the field at Highmark Stadium on July 31st, August 7th and September 7th at 10am. Tickets and parking are free but folks will need to register in advance through the team website if they want to attend.

Morning News Brief

A Batavia woman will appear in court later this month to respond to a felony count. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say they arrested 35-year-old Amanda Bowles of West Main Street Road. She was charged with felony fourth-degree grand larceny. That count stems from an incident reporting Sunday afternoon. She will appear in court July 27th.

Congressman Chris Jacobs voted to advance the bipartisan Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act (HR 4374) out of the House Agriculture Committee. Jacobs said the Act directs $43 billion in investments in rural communities to expand high-speed internet access. Currently, a bipartisan group of Senators is developing infrastructure legislation with $65 billion allocated for broadband.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is calling on federal regulators to make some changes to child car seat safety standards. The AG co-led a coalition of 18 Attorneys General, calling out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They’re asking for side-impact testing standards for child car seats. The coalition is also urging for a requirement that all car seat labels include guidance that says every child should remain in their current car seat until exceeding its height or weight maximum.

The Batavia Muckdogs are proud to host the inaugural “Battle of the Badges” game between our local Police and Fire Departments in Batavia. The game will take place this Sunday on 716 Day at the ballpark. Batavia will host the Elmira Pioneers for a 4:05 PM start with the “Battle of the Badges” game following the completion of the Muckdogs. Tickets will be required for the police vs. fire matchup, and admission will be counted toward both games that occur on Sunday. Tickets range from $9-11, and a dollar is added if purchased the day of.

The number of COVID cases in New York continues to climb. According to the latest report, the statewide 7-day average positivity rate has climbed to 0.95%. Hospitalizations have remains steady during the past 24 hours. Cases in the Finger Lakes Region have declined slightly.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined nearly two dozen of her Senate colleagues in urging the Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to expand student debt relief in the Department’s upcoming higher education rulemaking. In a letter to the Secretary, Gillibrand highlighted the need for polices that improve and expand the existing student loan repayment and forgiveness programs to ensure borrowers can access the relief they are owed.

If Bills training camp was at St. John Fisher College in 2021, fans would have a few weeks to see their team up close and personal. But that’s not happening. So with camp in Orchard Park, the Bills are planning on holding 3 open practices at Highmark Stadium where fans can watch Josh Allen and company go to work. The team sent out an email to season ticket holders giving them an opportunity to secure the free tickets beginning on Thursday morning, July 15th. There is no indication yet on how many tickets will be available and when they will be offered to the general public. The 3 dates for the practices are July 28th, August 7th and September 1st.

Evening News Brief

The Audubon Society says you should take your bird feeders down.  A neurological disease is killing birds, mostly grackles, blue jays, starlings, and robins in Ohio, middle Atlantic States and Pennsylvania.  A few deaths have been recorded in New York but people who have bird feeders are advised to take them down till late fall so birds will be less likely to congregate and get sick from each other.  For those who are worried whether the birds have enough to eat the Audubon society says this is the time of year when food is plentiful and bird feeders are just snacks for most birds right now.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is hosting a virtual Town Hall event  tomorrow night titled “Imagine an Independent Greater Western New York.”  The event is set to start at 7:30 pm.  He will be joined by Sen. George Borello and attorney James Ostrowski.  Hawley will defend the merits of making the region its own state; Borello will discuss the benefits of making the area an autonomous zone within the state; and Ostrowski will detail the benefits of following a path of nullification of disagreeable laws by local sheriffs and elected officials.  In order to participate in this Zoom Town Hall you have to register.  Follow the link on WBTAi.com.

https://stateof.greaterwesternnewyork.com/2021-midsummers-night-town-hall-meeting/

The Batavia Fire Department has become the first department in the state to join the Public Safety Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative.  The goal of the initiative is to provide addicts with a pathway to treatment and recovery without the fear of being arrested.  It allows anyone to go to the fire department and turn in either drug paraphernalia or drugs themselves, and they’ll receive the tools they need to jump on the path to recovery.  Nearby police departments such as the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, LeRoy Police and Batavia Police are all each a part of the initiative as well.

Midday News Brief

Governor Cuomo has signed a new law aimed at blocking those annoying robo-texts from telemarketers.
While residents currently have protection against unwanted robocalls, the measure closes a loophole that previously didn’t define text messages as telemarketing.
While telemarketing isn’t illegal, people can place their phone numbers on a company’s Do Not Call list to avoid being contacted.
The governor hasn’t said how this new change involving text messages will be enforced.

A new poll shows that most New Yorkers believe the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic have already come and gone. According to Siena College, 68-percent of people surveyed think that’s the case even though 47-percent of folks are still worried about contracting the illness.
When it comes to personal health, 49-percent of people said they gained weight during the pandemic.

From today’s bad boys report:
48-year-old Wade Jared Murphy of Clarendon collared by Gennesee County Deputies for strangulation, unlawful imprisonment and assault. Deputies say Murphy, a parolee, allegedly held a female against her will and strangled her at a home on Sunset Parkway in Oakfield

Agriculture is Genesee County’s largest industry, and now it is being given a home to showcase its importance and its history.
The Genesee County Ag Society is holding an Open House today at what is being called the Agri-Culture Center.
It is located at 50-22 East Main Street, the site of the old Country Max store. The hours are 4 until 8pm today.
The center will showcase vintage Ag machines, tools, toys, signs, and memorabilia.
The Ag Society plans to build classrooms for 4-H, FFA, cooperative extension and the general agriculture community.

Morning News Brief

Rochester Regional Health is expanding its partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), the nation’s largest medical school.  Rochester Regional Health will become the medical school’s largest clinical campus. This partnership will enable Rochester Regional to dramatically increase clinical rotations and feature locations in addition to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia where its program began. Now, as part of this 10-year agreement between Rochester Regional Health and Lake Erie, approximately 100 third- and fourth-year students will be on clinical rotation across the health system each month.

The Genesee County Youth Court is recruiting new members. Youth Court is a voluntary alternative for young people who face disciplinary action through school or law enforcement. Youth who are referred admit to the charge and appear before a court of their peers. Three youth judges listen to both sides of the issue and determine an appropriate disposition. The goal of youth court is to improve youth citizenship skills and decrease problematic behavior. Genesee County eighth to 11th graders who are interested can go online to download an application from the county website, where you will find a link on the Youth Bureau page. Applications are due by Aug. 2nd. Interviews of potential candidates will take place in August and September with the training to begin in October.

More disturbing news on the COVID front in New York; The statewide 7-Day positivity rate has increased again…it’s now at 0.93%. Hospitalizations and those admitted to the ICU have also increased as well. In the Finger Lakes Region, the positivity rate has wobbling between .79 and .80%.

After discovering a loaded gun in a chicken coop on Route 237 in Stafford, sheriff’s deputies arrested 29-year-old Clyde Hoskins of Buffalo. He was charged criminal possession of a loaded firearm, criminal possession of stolen property and tampering with physical evidence. He was arraigned in Stafford Town Court and released under supervision. He returns to court next month.

A New York State DEC Forest Ranger and expert wildland firefighter has been deployed to assist with efforts to contain the Bootleg Fire in Oregon. Nearly every year, New York State deploys its highly trained wildland firefighters to help battle fires in western states. This is DEC’s first wildland firefighting deployment after 2020’s busy fire season. In 1979, New York sent its first firefighting crew to assist western states with large wildfires. On average, one or two crews have been sent as needed to assist with wildfires every year since. In 2020, DEC Forest Rangers led four 10-person wildland firefighting crews to western states to aid in the national wildfire suppression effort. Each crew consisted of a Forest Ranger crew boss, four additional Forest Rangers, and five volunteer DEC employees with wildland firefighter training.

Gov. Cuomo announced that all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits for July. The agency is also working with the federal government to ensure this aid, which has brought in more than $2.5 billion in food assistance to New Yorkers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, will continue beyond July. Nearly 1.6 million households in New York State will receive the supplemental benefits later this month, which will result in the state receiving roughly $200 million in federal assistance.

New Yorkers now have increased protections against spam text messages. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation expanding the state’s definition of telemarketing to include marketing by text message. Previously, under state, telemarketing only included phone calls, so text messages were exempt from existing protections.

Evening News Brief

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties are under a severe thunderstorm watch till 11pm this evening.  Thunderstorms are expected to increase through the afternoon and into the evening.  The pattern of the storms is unstable so isolated powerful storms can pop up at any time.  Strong gusts of wind over 50 miles per hour are expected along with tropical downpours that may cause flooding.  If you come to a flooded roadway don’t try to ford it with a vehicle.  Find an alternate safe route.

Governor Cuomo signed legislation today allowing for barbershops and hair salons to offer haircuts and shaves on Sundays.  Although rarely enforced, and most people most likely didn’t even know about it, there was a law that made it a misdemeanor to cut hair or provide a shave to another person on Sunday.  Governor Cuomo called it “archaic and making little sense in the 21st century.”  The law takes effect immediately.

The governor also signed legislation labeling text messaging used for advertising goods or services as telemarketing.  New Yorkers were previously only protected against unwanted robocalls under state law, texting was not defined as telemarketing, new legislation closes that loophole.

The New York State DMV is warning of an increase in vehicle thefts.  From 2019 to 2020 thefts rose 54 percent and 2021 is showing an even higher rate of vehicle theft.  You can protect yourself by not leaving keys in the car or leaving your vehicle running when you go into the house or store or to get the mail.  Also to avoid car break ins don’t leave valuables where they can be seen through the windows.

A former priest of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church ahs been accused of child sexual abuse and placed on leave by the Diocese of Buffalo.  The 88 year old Reverend Monsignor Leo McCarthy was accused by someone who filed through the child victims act of abusing them in the 1980s when he served at the parish of St Matthew.  McCarthy served in Batavia for 12 years.

Midday News Brief

The chances of a nine-hole Disc Golf course in Batavia’s Centennial Park is about as likely as a par 5 hole in one.
About 16 people showed up at last night’s city council meeting protesting the location of the course
Batavia resident Philip Boyd, the man who first proposed it, has withdrawn his plan. He now says he’s open to other locations.
Council President Gene Jankowski the use of Centennial Park for disc golf is a non-starter.
The council says city parks are not big enough for the Frisbee like golf-styled game and suggested Boyd take his plan to Genesee County.

State Police have released the results of their recent July Fourth weekend dangerous driving crackdown. In the Western New York Region, there were 11-hundred 60 tickets issued between July 2nd and July 5th. Most of the violations were for speeding, seat belt or child restraint issues and drunk driving.

New York State’s COVID rate continues to edge up. In the latest report, the statewide 7-day average positivity rate has grown to 0.88%. Hospitalizations have also increased, now standing at 348 – an increase of nine from the last report. Patients admitted to the ICU has also increased.

Disturbing new details have been released involving a crash earlier this month that left a man dead. Prosecutors say 42-year-old Jennie Clark drove into the wrong lane on Colby Street in Ogden July 4th. Video from inside the vehicle recorded by one of her daughters showed that Clark asked everyone inside if they were ready to die. The vehicle ended up hitting a utility pole, which fell on Clark’s husband Matthew, killing him. Clark is facing murder and other charges and is being held on 200-thousand dollars bail.

The Goo Goo Dolls have announced a return trip to Buffalo, but fans are going to have to wait a while to see them perform. The Grammy-nominated band said yesterday they’ll be taking the stage at KeyBank Center on September 24th, 2022. It will be the final stop on the group’s upcoming North American tour. Tickets for the show go on sale to the general public at ten a-m Friday and seats will cost between $29 and $99 each.

Morning News Brief

Despite receiving prior assurances from several Batavia City Council members that Centennial Park was off the table as a possible location for a disc golf course in the city, representatives of the “Save the Park” committee weren’t taking any chances. About 16 of them made their way to the City Council Conference meeting, with five of those people urging the board to maintain the aesthetics of the 14-acre natural setting by finding another place to put a nine-hole disc golf layout proposed by Batavia resident Phillip Boyd. Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. informed the group that Centennial Park is “off the list … and not even a consideration.”

Six Flags Darien Lake has announced the formal launch of Project Ed. This hiring initiative is an opportunity for all educators and school employees to earn extra cash this summer, free tickets, and school supplies for their classroom in the fall. According to a press release – Participants will be paid premium wages and those who work an average of 24 hours for eight weeks in a variety of leadership roles have the opportunity to earn more than $3,000. They’ll be automatically entered into a raffle to earn up to $250 in gift cards for supplies in their classrooms.

New York State’s COVID rate continues to edge up. In the latest report, the statewide 7-day average positivity rate has grown to 0.88%. Hospitalizations have also increased, now standing at 348 – an increase of nine from the last report. Patients admitted to the ICU has also increased.

More than 10,000 traffic tickets were issued by state police in New York during the July 4th weekend enforcement campaign. Troopers arrested 195 people for DWI and investigated 648 crashes, including 122 personal injury crashes and two fatalities. As part of the enforcement, Troopers also targeted speeding and aggressive drivers across the state. Just shy of 4,000 speeding tickets were issued and 202 for distracted driving.

Dominic Pezzola, the Rochester man seen on video smashing a window at the U.S. Capitol with a police shield on January 6, has filed a motion for conditional release. According to WROC-TV, Pezzola is accused of smashing a window at the U.S. Capitol, smoking a cigar inside the building, and threatening to kill former Vice President Mike Pence. The motion argues conditions in the D.C. jail where Pezzola is being held violate his human rights, and prevent him from privately speaking with his attorneys and reviewing the evidence against him. Pezzola’s attorneys unsuccessfully filed for his release in February. That motion was denied in March when a judge signed a detention order that holds Pezzola until his trial date, which has not yet been set.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection and the Department of Motor Vehicles today warned New Yorkers of a text message phishing scheme. Phishing texts are fraudulent messages designed to obtain data or sensitive personal information to be used to commit identity theft or trick the recipient into installing malicious software onto a computer or mobile device. The illegitimate text messages reference the Secretary of State NY Drivers License Facility and tells recipients they are required to update their data for their current NY Drivers License. Anyone who received such a text message should delete it right away.

Evening News Brief

The New York State Police have released the results of their crackdown on DWI and reckless driving over the 4th of July Weekend.  10,238 tickets were issued across the state.  Nearly 4000 of those were for speeding, and almost a thousand were for distracted driving, seatbelts not being worn and failure to move over for emergency vehicles.  195 people were arrested.  There were 648 crashes and 122 people were injured and 2 died over the weekend.  Last year the numbers were about 20 percent lower.

The gas prices keep on rising in Western Ny and the country as a whole.  The price in Batavia is up to 3.16 which is 2 cents higher than last week.  The New York State Average is 3.19 which is 1 cent up from last week.  Across the nation the average is 3.15.  The Energy Information Administration said that gas demand was the highest that it has been since 1991 while supplies continue to dwindle.  Gasbuddy predicts higher prices through the rest of the summer.

Six Flags Darien Lake today announced the formal launch of Project Ed. This hiring initiative is for all educators and school employees.  Participants will: be paid premium wages and those who work an average of 24 hours for eight weeks in a variety of leadership roles; have the opportunity to earn more than $3,000; and will automatically be entered into a raffle to earn up to $250 in gift cards for supplies in their classrooms.  Six Flags Darien Lake, like many businesses, has been dealing with staffing shortages that lead to some rides not being open some areas of the park not being staffed.

Midday News Brief

The investigation took seven years, but a Batavia man is now behind bars charged with sexually abusing children since 2014.
40-year-old Melvin A. Huntley of Wilkonson Road, is charged with four felony counts of sexual abuse against a child, first degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse.
According to Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies the abuse against one of the children began in September of 2014. The abuse allegedly continued against one or more children over an extended period of time.
Huntley is in jail without bail.
Deputies say more charges are expected.

A domestic dispute on Hutchins Place lands a city man in jail. 40-year-old Michael Jackson is charged with assault, strangulation and unlawful imprisonment. Jackson was found by police in the Town of Greece.
He’s behind bars without bail for now.

Once again, Batavia drivers are having to pay more money to keep their vehicles running. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular is now $3.16 a gallon. That’s 3-cents from last week, 12-cents in the last month and is 94-cents more than this time last year.

While New York state has made significant strides in managing the coronavirus, there has been a recent uptick. The statewide 7-day average positivity rate has climbed to 0.84%. However, hospitalizations, now at 339, continue to decease. 65% of New Yorkers age 18 and older have complete the vaccine series.

Three members of the New York State Assembly are criticizing a plan to open several Chick-fil-A restaurants at rest stops along the Thruway.
The three, who are openly gay, say the company has opposed the rights of LGBTQ individuals.
In a statement, the fast-food chain said it doesn’t have a political or social agenda and that everyone is welcome at their restaurants.

Morning News Brief

A nearly seven-year investigation has led to high level sex charges against a Batavia man who is beginning the week in jail. Genesee County Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested Melvin A. Huntley of Wilkinson Road. The 40-year-old is charged with four felony crimes to include predatory sexual assault against a child, first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse. The sheriff’s office says the charges stem from an incident in Batavia on September 1st, 2014. Deputies say the crime involve one or more children and occurred over an extended period of time. Huntley was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and remanded to jail without bail. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected.

Leaders of the Public Safety Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative in Genesee County have been informed that Allie Hunter, the Initiative’s national executive director, will be coming to Batavia to speak at tomorrow’s event showcasing the participation of the City of Batavia Fire Department. The program is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at fire headquarters at 18 Evans St. Hunter, in her role as executive director of the Boston, Mass.-based organization, coordinates training, technical assistance, and strategic guidance to police to help them when dealing with individuals using alcohol or drugs, or in recovery. The public is invited to attend the session, which will feature local public safety officials as well as representatives of the Genesee County Health Department, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, and the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

While New York state has made significant strides in managing the coronavirus, there has been a recent uptick. The statewide 7-day average positivity rate has climbed to 0.84%. However, hospitalizations, now at 339, continue to decease. 65% of New Yorkers age 18 and older have complete the vaccine series.

Following an incident on Clinton Street Road in Bergen, sheriff’s deputies arrested 51-year-old Jon Charles Brooks of Spencerport. He was charged with aggravated DWI, first-offense DWI and failure to keep right. Deputies said they made the traffic stop on State Route 33 and allege that Brooks has a blood alcohol level above .18% during the 3 p.m. stop on Saturday. He’ll chat with a judge on August 4th.

NY Congressman Tom Reed, Republican Leader of the Social Security Subcommittee released a statement on President Biden’s decision to fire Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul. Instead of preserving the agency’s longstanding independence, Reed said the President has decided to reject the large bipartisan consensus that confirmed Commissioner Saul and embrace more of the partisan politics that are ravaging our nation.

The investigation continues following Saturday deadly boating accident on Seneca Lake. Pronounced dead at the scene was 65-year-old Cynthia Stuck. Three others were injured while another suffered no injuries. Preliminary finding found a high-performance boat turned sharply while at a high speed, ejecting people off the boat.

After going virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, the annual eight-day, cross-state Cycle the Erie Canal bike tour returns this year. It departing from Buffalo Sunday and arriving in Albany on July 18. Reduced in numbers to meet COVID safety requirements, more than 300 cyclists from 34 states will cross New York State as part of the 23rd Cycle the Erie Canal tour organized by the statewide nonprofit Parks & Trails New York. Covering between 40 and 60 miles per day, cyclists travel along the Erie Canalway Trail, which is now more than 85 percent complete and is the east-west axis of the statewide 750-mile Empire State Trail.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer suggests that the N-R-A has committed fraud . Senator Chuck Schumer finds that the actions of the N-R-A contradict the organization’s claim of being bankrupt. He refers to the fact that the N-R-A has spent millions of dollars in advertising to Americans to end universal background checks and other forms of gun reform.  The N-R-A says that it does not support the proposed H-R 8 legislation because it “attacks law-abiding gun owners by placing further burdens on gun ownership and use.”

Weekend News Brief

The CDC has stated that they want all schools across the country to be back in full in person session come the fall.  As far as masks they are still recommending that all non vaccinated students and teachers continue to wear masks indoors but say that vaccinated persons don’t need to wear the masks.  School districts will have to follow state regulations and no word yet on whether schools will require proof of vaccination against COVID 19 for students to forgo masking.

The FDA and the CDC are both saying that Americans will not need a booster shot of COVID vaccine to remain immunized against the virus and its strains.  The CDC says that in tests so far the vaccines have kept their effectiveness even several months after administration.  Pfizer had said that a third dose may be needed and submitted booster shots for approval.  CDC data shows that one dose of Johnson and Johnson or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna Vaccines are still 93 percent effective in keeping people who contract COVID out of the hospital even if the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing catching the disease drops to 65 percent after 6 months.

At around 7 p.m. Friday, Batavia Fire Department responded to a report of a commercial building fire with smoke showing at 4080 Pearl Street.  When they arrived on the scene they identified the building as Summit Lubricants chemical plant.  Large barrels spilled and heated up which lead to an explosion and fire at the plant.  Other area fire departments also responded to the report including Albion and Leroy.  Around 75-100 firefighters from 10 different fire companies were on the scene.  A deputy reported pressurized smoke coming from building 1.  There are no known injuries at this time.  It took fire personnel 90 minutes to completely put the fire out.

Join Genesee County STOP-DWI and the Genesee County Youth Bureau for a night of family fun as they team up to host the STOP-DWI Night at the Ballpark on Thursday, July 15, gates open at 6 p.m.  The Batavia Muckdogs will take on the Jamestown Tarp Skunks.   The first 100 youths will receive a T-shirt or Muck Bucks for purchases in the ballpark. An additional 500 giveaways and prizes will be given throughout the night.   The grand prize is a youth bike from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

The Town of Bethany is looking for a new clerk.  The incumbent clerk retired and now the republican committee is looking for people who would be willing to be nominated for the spot.  If you are interested contact Tom Douglas.  His contact information can be found at wbtai.com.

Thomas J. Douglas, 10515 East Road, Pavilion, NY 14525, or contact Mr. Douglas at tdgoldenrod@yahoo.com  Cell: (585)-356-0824.

The water park at the former Fantasy Island location on Grand Island will open at the end of July, with a full amusement park opening in 2022.  Niagara Amusement Park and Splash World will open the water park some time in July, with an exact date not yet released.  Organizers say they plan on adding rides to Niagara Amusement Park and Splash World within the next six to eight months, with a full park reopening in the spring of 2022.

Evening News Brief

Covid Vaccination in New York is at 55 percent of the population fully vaccinated and 60.7 percent having at least 1 shot.  There are an average of 390 new cases in the state every day.  In Orleans county 15.7 thousand people are vaccinated.  In Genesee county 25.5 thousand people are vaccinated.  There are 3 total active cases in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties.  2 are in Wyoming County and 1 is in Orleans county.

37 year old Spencer Hart of Albion has been indicted on 3 counts of distribution of Child pornography and one count of possession of child porn.  Prosecutors allege Hart distributed child porn last year on the dates of March 17, June 21 and June 22. On July 16, he was allegedly in possession of a hard drive that contained a child porn image.  If convicted, Hart faces 15 to 40 years in prison. He was previously convicted of possession of child pornography at the state level.

Midday News Brief

A Byron man is behind bars charged with possessing a pipe bomb.
49-year-old Donald Ray Read of Mill Pond Road was arrested on three counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Read had previously been convicted on a weapons charge.
The case was investigated by the local drug task force, the ATF and FBI.
Read will be back in court on July 12th.

Congressman Chris Jacobs announces a grant of $9-million in rural water funding for the Town of Pembroke. The cash will help the town to bring municipal water to every resident in the Pembroke.

New York State will allow restaurants to utilize municipal spaces like sidewalks and streets for outdoor dining. First granted under an executive order by the Governor, this law allows restaurants to continue using these public spaces for another year as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Motors has announced a job fair in Lockport that the automaker hopes will help fill dozens of positions.
The hiring event will take place July 14th from 10am to 2pm and July 15th from 1pm to 5pm at a GM facility on Upper Mountain Road.
The company will conduct interviews and drug testing on-site so hiring decisions can be made quickly.

Morning News Brief

The Schenectady City School District Board of Education announced at a press conference that Anibal Soler, Jr. has been selected to serve as the Schenectady City School District Superintendent of Schools, effective July 19. Soler, who has 21 years of experience in the field of education, twelve as an administrator, is currently the superintendent of schools for the Batavia City School District. Soler called it a true privilege and honor. Soler was selected as the successful candidate after a 14-month process that was impacted by COVID-19.

New York no longer requires students to wear face masks in summer school. The Department of Health (DOH) released new guidance suggesting they would treat school programs like summer camps—encouraging face masks without mandating them. A spokesperson with the Department of Health (DOH) says the new guidance was included in three updates they sent to schools and educators this week. Districts also no longer need to report daily to the COVID-19 Report Card.

The number of people hospitalized in New York has dropped by seven, and now stands at 347. However, patients in Intensive Care ticked up by three to 80. Three more deaths were also reported, bringing the statewide total to more than 43,000.

South Main Street Road near the Wortendyke Road intersection in the Town of Batavia will be closed beginning Monday, July 12th for a culvert replacement project. The project will take approximately eight weeks to complete, and that portion of the road will not be passable to traffic or emergency vehicles during that time.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a $4.5 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma – one of the largest in U.S. history – over the company’s role in falsely marketing its products to get more Americans hooked on opioids. The owners of Purdue Pharma, the Sackler family, will be required to pay $4.5 billion over the next nine years, with New York State expected to receive at least $200 million. Funding from the settlement will be used to fund prevention, treatment and recovery programs in communities across the country, and thousands of individual victims will also receive compensation as part of Purdue’s bankruptcy process. Additionally, the settlement requires the Sackler family to relinquish control of family foundations.

The Elba Betterment Committee is pleased to announce the first concert in their summer concert series — EBC Music and More 2.0 this Saturday, July 10 at the Elba Village Park. It is located in the center of the Village on east side of Main Street. Bring your own lawn chair and there will be plenty of food and drinks available for purchase.

Construction will soon begin to modernize service areas on the Thruway, bringing new restaurants, electric vehicle charging stations, updated buildings, and more. The $450 million project will begin on July 29 with ten service areas initially closing for construction. Fuel services will remain available. Empire State Thruway Partners was awarded the contract for the renovation and will rebuild 23 of the 27 service area restaurant buildings and provide significant upgrades to the remaining four. The project is funded through a public-private partnership, and no toll dollars or state tax dollars are being used.

Evening News Brief

The thruway rest areas are getting an upgrade.  450 million dollars is going to upgrade the thruway rest areas with new restaurants, EV charging stations, and updating the buildings.  The Clarence and Pembroke service areas will get an upgrade that will include more outdoor seating.  No other details have been released about what specific areas will be getting.  New Restaurants include shake Shack, Panera, Popeyes, Burger King, Panda Express, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. This is the first big upgrade that the rest areas will be getting since the 90s.

South Main Street Road near the Wortendyke Road intersection in Batavia will be closed beginning Monday the 12th for a culvert replacement project.  The project will take approximately eight weeks to complete, and that portion of the road will not be passable to traffic or emergency vehicles during that time.  The public will be notified again once the road is reopened.

Elba will be having its first concert of the summer series on Saturday the 10th at the Elba Village Park.  EBC Music and More 2.0 starts at noon with bobby and the Pedestrians then next up will be Genesee ted and Savage Cabbage following him.  At a smaller stage will be the Elba guys.  Bring your own chair, food and drinks will be available for purchase.  There will be a collection taken up for the Down Syndrome Parent Support Group.  The music is free.

Midday News Brief

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for most of Western New York, including Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
The weather service says showers and thunderstorms today will produce localized heavy rainfall. While most areas will pick up an average of a half inch of rain…some sites will receive one to two inches in under an hours’ time. There is also the risk that some of the stronger thunderstorms could produce wind gusts in excess of 40 mph.

The threat of bad weather has caused the YMCA to cancel the Summer Rec program at all city parks for today.
This affects summer rec programs at Farrall, John Kennedy, Lambert, and Williams parks, The YM expects to re-open tomorrow.

The statewide shortage of referees at youth and high school levels is a problem that has only grown worse since the pandemic started. Both the state and Section V are making pushes this summer to hire -as well as keep – more officials. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association says all school sports, regardless of level, are impacted.

A Livingston County man is facing a felony charge after being arrested for shooting and killing a dog. Deputies arrived at a home in West Sparta last month after getting a report that a dog had been shot. They later found that the 11-year-old pit bull was killed by 56-year-old Edward Carswell. He told investigators that he shot the dog because of its aggressive past.

The second edition of a cereal featuring Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen will be available this Fall. It can be purchased at Tops and Wegmans stores around the region and also online at plbse.com. All proceeds are going to once again benefit the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo. Since Allen wears number 17 on the field, each box will have a QR code that allows fans to make a $17 donation. Allen says having his own cereal is surreal and humbling experience

Morning News Brief

Congressman Chris Jacobs is announcing $9,050,000 in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rural water funding for the Town of Pembroke. Town of Pembroke Supervisor Thomas Schneider Jr. says “It is important to bring municipal water to every resident in the Town of Pembroke and to do it at a reasonable cost. This funding helps the town in accomplishing that.” Jacobs said “With this funding, Pembroke will not only be able to provide more residents with safe drinking water, but also attract new small businesses and residents.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James is co-leading a bipartisan coalition of 37 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against Google LLC for what she calls its illegal and anticompetitive conduct that has sought to maintain the company’s monopoly power in the mobile app distribution and in-app payment processing markets. Through a series of exclusionary contracts and other anticompetitive conduct in the Google Play Store, Google has deprived Android device users of competition that could lead to greater choice and innovation, as well as significantly lower prices for mobile apps.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley of Batavia is demanding the immediate passage of a bill known as Paula’s Law, which aims to ensure that persons who sexually assault and then murder a child under the age of 18 will never be released from prison. This push to pass the bill comes in response to the granting of parole to Robert McCain, one of two men who brutally raped and murdered a 16-year-old New York girl. Hawley is also calling for the resignation of every member of the New York State Parole Board under Gov. Cuomo’s administration, following their decision to grant McCain his release. Hawley adds that his release is just one of many instances of releasing offenders known to be highly violent into the public by the parole board.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that will allow restaurants to utilize municipal spaces like sidewalks and streets for outdoor dining. First granted under an executive order by the Governor, this law allows restaurants to continue using these public spaces for another year as they recover from the economic devastation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants were especially impacted by the pandemic, with many continuing to struggle as New York recovers.

Lyme disease season is here again. While you can get bit by a tick year-round, there is typically a surge in the spring and summer months. In 2019, New York State had 2,847 confirmed cases of Lyme. It is likely that these numbers were even higher, as many cases remain undiagnosed. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks. There is a wide range of early signs and symptoms, which include: fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and/or a bull’s-eye rash. Serious health complications can occur if Lyme is left untreated. If you find a tick on you, remove it as soon as possible.

Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks has announced the appointment of Hon. Kevin M. Carter as Administrative Judge of the Eighth Judicial District.
In his new position, Judge Carter will oversee the management and day-to-day operations of the trial courts in the Eighth Judicial District, which comprises Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
The appointment was made with the approval of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and after consultation with Hon. Gerald J. Whalen, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department. Judge Carter succeeds Hon. Paula L. Feroleto, who is returning full-time to the trial bench.

Amid a rise in violence in the Rochester area, federal and local law enforcement will be working together to push back against gun-related crime. Speaking Wednesday – near the site where a woman was fatally shot in front of two young children – officials pledged new efforts, including the formation of a new task force, to curb that violence. U.S. Attorney James Kennedy and members of the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, DEA and Homeland Security joined leaders from the Rochester Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office to discuss the formation of the Federal Violence Prevention and Elimination Response Task Force. Kennedy also announced a 60-day “surge” from law enforcement to “target the worst of the worst” offenders in the community.

The statewide shortage of referees at youth and high school levels is a problem that has only grown worse since the pandemic started. Both the state and Section V are making pushes this summer to hire -as well as keep – more officials. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association says all school sports, regardless of level, are impacted.

Evening News Brief

Governor Cuomo signed legislation today making municipal space available for restaurants to use for outdoor dining for at least 1 more year.  This means that until July of 2022 restaurants can use sidewalks and parts of streets as outdoor dining.  This is to continue the economic recovery from the covid lockdowns.

Senator Charles Schumer was in Avon Tuesday to announce 11 million dollars being granted from the US Department of agriculture to help increase high speed internet access to rural regions of New York State.  The senator said the pandemic helped reveal the significant digital divides around our area. The funding, he says, will help bridge those divides.  The grant funding will allow for the deployment of fiber-optic internet to reach about 11,000 people, including businesses and farms in Livingston County.

The Alexander Fire Department invites you to the roar and Excitement of a tractor pull Friday and Saturday at the recreation grounds on Alexander Road.  There will be super farm, light super farm, limited pro stock diesel trucks and heavy super stock and modified tractors all pulling away.  The Ladies Auxiliary will be putting on a chicken BBQ Friday at 5pm and Red Creek will be performing Saturday from 9pm to 1am.  Cost to attend is 16 dollars for those over 12, 8 bucks for 6-12 and kids 5 and under are free.

After winning by shutout on Saturday against the Niagara Power, The Muckdogs dropped the next 2 games against the Mansfield destroyers 11 to 9 and the Syracuse Salt cats 1 to 0.  These games don’t count towards their regular season record or individual stats.  The game last night however against Geneva redwings, did count and the Muckdogs gave up that loss to the redwings 3 to 2.  They play against the Power again in Niagara Falls tonight at 6pm.

Batavia Downs announced a change to their Summer Rockin’ the Downs concert series today.  July 23rd instead of Skid Row performing, Slaughter will be taking the stage that Friday.  Slaughter is known for performing such hits as Up all Night, Fly to the Angels, & The Wild Life.  Tickets for Skid Row will be honored, new tickets are on sale right now and refunds can be obtained where you bought your tickets.

O’Lacys is going to be closed from Saturday through next Wednesday to give the staff a chance to rest.  Citing being understaffed and overworked the popular pub on School Street will be taking a few days off.  They say that they are burnt out and that due to labor shortages no one has been able to take a break lately.  O’Lacy’s will be back open Thursday the 15th.

Noon News Brief

Elba central school district has name Gretchen Rosales as the new superintendent.  Gretchen Rosales is the Principal of Elba Junior/Senior High School, a position she has held since 2019. Previously, she was the Assistant Principal of Alexander Middle/High School. From 2015-2017, she served as an Instructional Support Specialist and Middle School Department Chair at the Kendall Central Schools. Rosales began her career in education in 1998 as an English as A Second Language Teaching Assistant/Long-Term Spanish Substitute for Elba Central Schools. She will begin her post mid august.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is announcing his annual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., taking place from Sept. 16 to 19, where veterans and their family members are hosted on a tour throughout the area to visit several historical sites and landmarks. This year’s tour will feature stops at war memorials throughout the DC area including Arlington National Cemetery. Previous tours have included stops at the White House, the Capitol Building, Mt. Vernon, the Annapolis Naval Academy and various museums.  Participation in the trip is open to all military veterans and their family members and will cost $475 per person (includes all food, accommodation, travel, and other expenses). Those interested in this year’s trip can call his district office at 585-589-5780.

GO Health has put out a list of gas stations that offer discounts during this time of increased gas prices.  The list includes places such as Tops Friendly Markets and Speedway and 7-Elevens.  The discounts are mostly tied to memberships or discount cards.  For a complete list check out wbtai.com.

Below is a list of stations within Genesee and Orleans County that utilize credit/ reward cards along with their website to learn more:

 

TOPS Markets

https://www.topsmarkets.com/gassavings/

Locations w/ Fuel: Medina, NY   Batavia, NY   Le Roy, NY

 

Kwik Fill

https://www.kwikfill.com/charge-card

Locations: Medina, NY   Albion, NY   Batavia, NY   Le Roy, NY

 

Speedway

Locations: Batavia, NY

https://www.speedway.com/speedyrewardsmastercard

 

7-Eleven

Locations: Oakfield, NY   Bergen, NY

https://onlineservices.secure.force.com/creditapplication/WexBOCA?pgm=7Eleven&cc=W7A&lc=wcs

 

Mobil Stations

Locations: Albion, NY   Holley, NY   Batavia, NY   Pembroke, NY   Elba, NY

https://www.exxon.com/en

 

SUNOCO Stations

Locations: Medina, NY   Clarendon, NY   Kendall, NY   Holley, NY   Albion, NY   Le Roy, NY   Pavilion, NY   Corfu, NY

https://www.sunoco.com/consumer-credit-cards

 

Gulf Stations

Locations: Waterport, NY

https://www.gulfoil.com/cards-payments#:~:text=The%20Gulf%20Card%20offers%20pay,fleet%20vehicles%20and%20company%20drivers.

 

 

CITGO Stations

Locations: Kent, NY   Medina, NY   Alexander, NY   Attica, NY   Batavia, NY

https://www.citgo.com/payment-cards/rewards-card/rewards-card

 

Crosby’s

Locations: Clarendon, NY   Kendall, NY   Holley, NY   Medina, NY   Albion, NY   Batavia, NY   Byron, NY   Corfu, NY   Le Roy, NY   Pavilion, NY   Pembroke, NY   Elba, NY

https://crosbysstores.com/my-crosbys-rewards/

 

VP Fuel

Locations: Holley, NY

https://vpracingfuels.com/

 

Marathon

Locations: Lyndonville, NY   Byron, NY   Corfu, NY   Batavia, NY

https://www.marathonbrand.com/

 

Valero

Locations: Batavia, NY

https://www.valero.com/

 

T&A

Locations: Corfu, NY

https://www.ta-petro.com/

 

Pilot Flying J

Locations: Pembroke, NY

https://pilotflyingj.com/rewards/

Morning News Brief

Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared the first-in-the-nation gun violence disaster emergency as part of a new, comprehensive strategy to build a safer New York. In a press release, he says this new strategy treats gun violence as a public health crisis, using short-term solutions to manage the immediate gun violence crisis and reduce the shooting rate, as well as long-term solutions that focus on community-based intervention and prevention strategies to break the cycle of violence. The disaster emergency allows the State to expedite money and resources to communities so they can begin targeting gun violence immediately.

The Batavia Police Department investigated a car vs. pedestrian accident that occurred around 8:30AM Tuesday at the intersection of East Main Street at Swan Street. Police said according to multiple witnesses on scene a pedestrian, 23-year-old Angel Kemp of Batavia, had the right of way walking in the crosswalk northbound across East Main Street. A Jeep, operated by 73-year-old Jean Monroe of Batavia, was making a left hand turn from Ross Street on to East Main Street. The operator of the Jeep failed to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk, subsequently striking the pedestrian. Kemp was transported by Mercy EMS to an awaiting Mercy Flight helicopter with serious injuries. The pedestrian was then transported to Strong Memorial Hospital and was admitted to the ICU under guarded conditions. The operator of the Jeep was issued traffic tickets for failure to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, speed not reasonable and prudent, failure to exercise due care, improper left turn, driver’s view obstructed and uninspected motor vehicle.

Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested 26-year-old Liza Marie Besczyznski of Pearl Street Road in Batavia. She was charged with criminal mischief and menacing. According to a press release, she damaged another person’s property and then threatened that person with a hammer. She was arraigned in town court and released on her own recognizance.

Genesee deputies arrested 30-year-old Wyatt Becker of Darien. He was charged with harassment following a domestic disturbance. He was processed and issued a court appearance ticket for August 3rd.

There will be a Democratic party caucus in Le Roy on July 20th at 7 p.m. at the town hall. Nominations will be accepted for town council and town justice.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.13, up 3 cents in the past week. One year ago, the price was $2.18. The New York State average is $3.18 – up 3 cents from last week. In Batavia, Triple-A says the price at the pump is $3.14, up 4 cents since last Monday.

Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that 70 percent of all eligible New Yorkers—those 12-years-old and older—have now received at least one vaccine. dose.

Evening News Brief

The rockets red glare was seen a bit closer to the ground on Saturday night in Pembroke as a panel truck carrying leftover fireworks from a show in Akron exploded on South Lake Road.  Edwin Mileham, Assistant Fire Chief for the Pembroke Fire District says particles stemming from the fireworks launched all over the road and into nearby yards.  The truck was loaded with launch canisters stacked in the front of the truck and unused fireworks in the back of the truck.  Exploding fireworks lit up the neighborhood and blew out the passenger side panel of the truck, the back roll-up door, and the roof. The cab was undamaged, probably because of the stacked canisters in the box stacked between the fireworks and the cab, Mileham said.  Crews were able to stand on a deck gun from a fire engine to put out the flames coming from the truck.  The driver of the truck was not injured and does not know how the fire started.  There is a spectacular video captured from a front door camera of the explosion at our news partner the Batavian.

The Toronto Blue Jays want to fly the coop back to Toronto.  With some restrictions getting lifted in Canada the Jays have submitted a petition to the Canadian government to be allowed to return to their stadium in Toronto by July 30th.  A spokesperson for the team says they are not tied to that date and may go back later if that is what is offered.

Midday News Brief

A Special Weather Statement has been issued for Genesee County this afternoon.
After isolated thunderstorms this morning, thunderstorms are expected
to increase across the area again by this afternoon. Stronger
thunderstorms today will be capable of producing gusty winds and
heavy rainfall and small hail. There is a marginal risk of severe
storms, especially from the Southern Tier to the western Finger
Lakes.

The cost of a gallon of gasoline in Batavia is up 4-cents in just one week.
The here is now $3.14 a gallon.
The Triple A expects crude oil prices to continue their upward trend…and in turn gas prices …through the end of summer.
A year ago, gasoline prices in Batavia hovered around $2.25 a gallon.

Batavia police report the arrest of 46-year-old Melton Chisom. – who has no local address…is charged with felony second-degree assault, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, and Menacing. Police say that Chisom engaged in a physical altercation with another person and held a knife to the victim’s face causing injury which required stitches. He is in jail without bail.

State officials are urging people not to get complacent in the ongoing battle against COVID-19. Currently the positivity rate Genesee County is point-1 percent.
Nearly 73-percent of Empire State residents 18 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 66-percent of that age group is fully immunized.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the process of easing COVID-19 restrictions at the country’s border is finally underway. Trudeau announced yesterday that fully vaccinated residents will no longer have to quarantine for several days after they come back to Canada.
However, this change does not impact fully vaccinated U.S. residents. Trudeau is hoping to roll out the next steps of the border’s reopening in the coming weeks.

Morning News Brief

The number of people in the hospital with COVID-related illnesses is now 330…that’s down a dozen from the last report. Patients in Intensive Care has also dropped to 80. The governor said “We’re working to beat back COVID-19 on all fronts, and with more New Yorkers getting vaccinated every day, our future looks bright.” The seven-day average positivity rate currently stands at 0.56%. As of Sunday, no new COVID cases were reported.

Two Elmira residents were killed in a weekend crash on I-390 northbound in the Steuben County Town of Wayland. The crash involved a pick-up truck and tractor trailer. The investigation found that the tractor-trailer was in the driving lane when it was rear-ended by the pick-up truck near the Livingston County border. State Police said the driver of the pick-up truck, 58-year-old Harold Novitsky and his daughter, 19-year-old Miranda were killed in the collision. The operator of the tractor-trailer, Randolph Notice, from Mississauga, Ontario was also taken to a hospital. In a press release, State Police said the speed of the pickup truck was a factor in the accident and the investigation is continuing. Miranda was an aspiring young athlete and soccer player about to enter her sophomore year at SUNY Geneseo. A GoFundMe page for funeral expenses has already raised over $30,000.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer will visit Livingston County this afternoon to announce an $11.3 million grant to bring new high speed internet broadband access to thousands of homes, businesses, schools, and farms across Livingston County. Schumer has repeatedly pushed USDA for the funding and will personally travel to Livingston to deliver the news.

A Churchville woman was killed in a crash on the Thruway over the weekend. New York State Police say it happened in the town of Manchester. 59-year-old Jane Grein of Churchville died when the car she was driving struck a concrete support for the exit 43 bridge. State Police believe she may have suffered a medical event. The investigation is ongoing.

The Little Free Pantry in Batavia is looking to spread its reach further into the community to assist more in need, and they say they need your help to do so. By the end of summer, they are hoping to erect six mini pantries in Batavia to help more neighbors in need. Fresh veggies are in season, and they are looking for people to help reduce food waste and promote food security by sharing with neighbors. Visit lfpbatavia.org for full details, and to sign up.

Former Erie County Executive Dennis Gorski has died. The 76-year-old from Parkinson’s Disease. Gorski, who was also a New York State assemblyman, ran Erie County government from 1988 through 1999.

***A woman from Sheldon faces a felony count after she allegedly caused nearly $17,000 in damage to an emergency room and equipment at the Wyoming County hospital in Warsaw. Deputies said 32-year-old Mary Coyne then barricaded herself in a room. She was eventually taken into custody and transferred to ECMC in Buffalo…where she promptly escaped. The woman eventually turned herself in. She was charged with felony criminal mischief, arraigned and released. Coyne in due in village of Warsaw court on Monday.

Morning News Brief

Batavia police have charged a man with two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and strangulation. 48-year-old Jason Armstrong was taken into custody following an incident on Hutchins Place. According to police, Armstrong forcibly raped someone in front of their children. He was arraigned and remanded to jail without bail.

Batavia police report the arrest of 46-year-old Melton Chisom. He was charged with felony second-degree assault, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree, and Menacing 2nd Degree. Police allege that Chisom engaged in a physical altercation with another person and held a knife to the victim’s face causing injury which required stitches. He was arraigned in city court and remanded to jail without bail. Further court action is scheduled for July 21st.

A recent state audit raised some concerns with the Town of Albion. According to the audit summary, the board generally developed realistic budgets. However, the budgets were not structurally balanced. The board used fund balance to finance operations. This resulted in the four main operating funds’ combined unrestricted fund balance to decline 65% as of Dec. 31, 2020. The reports says if the board continues to use fund balance at the current levels, it could deplete fund balance in the general town-wide fund by the end of 2024. The board also did not adopt a written multiyear financial plan and written fund balance policy, which limits transparency.

New York officials say two more have died from COVID-19, the fewest since last September. New York’s seven-day average positivity rate is 0.51%. 340 people spent the July 4th holiday in a hospital…79 were in the ICU. Nearly 70% of all New Yorkers 18 and older have received at least one vaccine dose. 64% have completed the series.

A truck loaded with fireworks exploded over the weekend in Pembroke. It happened on South Lake Road. The driver was able to safely escape moments before the truck was consumed. Flames soared into the sky. No word on what caused the fire.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday that Tyson Foods Inc is recalling nearly 8.5 million pounds of ready-to-eat chicken products due to possible Listeria contamination. The frozen, fully cooked chicken products were produced between December 26, 2020, and April 13, 2021. An investigation revealed three listeriosis illnesses, including one death.

Batavia police say 32-year-old Christopher Wiegman surrendered to authorities on two arrest warrants charging five counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance stemming from a traffic stop in April. He was arraigned and remanded to the Genesee County Jail without bail pending his next court appearance on August 5th.

Weekend News Brief

The results are in and to answer your burning question, a hotdog counts as a sandwich.  RTA Outdoor Living conducted a survey of over 1000 people from coast to coast on their preferences about barbeque, pizza and summer foods.  57 percent of respondents say a hotdog is a sandwich, 15 percent said that cheese goes under the burger on a cheeseburger, 2/3rds of respondents prefer drumsticks over flats when it comes to chicken wings, and 63 percent of people prefer boneless.  Only 10 percent of people think you should cut pizza into squares but 18 percent of people use a fork and knife to eat pizza.  And for grill enthusiasts hotdogs are best done on the grill by 57 percent and burgers are best done medium according to 40 percent of Americans.  Although more women prefer well done.  For the full results follow the link on WBTAi.com.

RTAOutdoorliving.com/food-debates-controversial-foods/

If you are traveling this summer and want to get a good rate on lodgings airbnbs may be pretty appealing.  But the Better Business Bureau warns that there are potential pitfalls of renting from private owners and to watch out for scams.  One Penfield father wanted to take his family on vacation. After arriving at their Airbnb in Saratoga Springs, they found holes in the walls, filthy floors and broken fixtures.  Because they didn’t take pictures the owner was able to charge the family for damages totaling over 1500 dollars.  The BBB says to always record the state that a rental is in before you get settled and to report any problems to Airbnb as soon as you notice them.  In this situation the family had no documentation and the host had pictures and invoices so the family was on the hook for everything.

The MLB All Star Game in Denver later this month will feature a Buffalo native, Jesse Winker.  The Cincinnati Reds outfielder is having a career year hitting 19 home runs and 48 RBI while batting .322 with a .987 OPS.  Jesse Winker who was born in Buffalo and raised in Florida is a Buffalo Bills fan.  He was one of three outfielders voted to start in the All-Star Game for the National League.

On the other side of the All Star Game in the American League 3 Toronto Blue Jays players have been selected for the starting lineup.  Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien will start at first base and second base for the American League, respectively. Teoscar Hernandez will start in the outfield as well.

Go Art in Batavia is hosting Jazz Musician and artist Sean Madden with his quartet FlashBamPow on July the 9th from 7:30-9:30pm.  FlashBamPow is known as a highly expressive band that often employs surreal video and art in their live shows. The art is mostly created by Sean Madden, who is also an award-winning artist. A quote from their website best sums up who they are: “We come on time, set up, blow everyone’s minds and leave.”  Go Art has a bar and tables for seating. Refreshments will be served.

Evening News Brief

Congressman Chris Jacobs is back from the border and he says what he saw there is a stark contrast from his trip in 2019.  Jacobs said that “he was here in 2019, the successful policies implemented by President Trump were working effectively to deter illegal immigration, and Border Patrol was supported and given the resources needed to protect our border.”  Now the Department of Homeland Security is reporting three consecutive months of 170,000+ apprehensions of illegal immigrants. In May alone there were over 180,000 encounters, representing a new 20-year record.  Jacobs says that now the policies are weakened and the CBP is understaffed and underfunded so “it has become common practice in this region for the cartel to traffic and abandon a large group of children at one gap in the wall to occupy Border Patrol agents while they then move to another gap to smuggle drugs and dangerous criminals across the border.”  Jacobs says the Biden administration is to blame.

There are jobs available at Fantasy Island amusement park.  Indiana Beach Parks and Entertainment has posted job openings for ticket sales, maintenance mechanics, park service attendants, security officers, and lifeguards for the Splash World portion of the park.  A representative of the company says that they are hoping to open the water park this summer.

There are now 2 empty seats on the Batavia School Board.  Brenda Good, who was elected to the board of trustees, tendered her resignation to pursue a position in administration with the Batavia City School district.  Good’s resignation comes after last month’s resignation by Peter Cecere, so there are now two vacant positions on the board.   It will be up to the remaining trustees to fill the vacancies and the district has posted a call for candidates.

The concert to be held at the Jackson Square tonight has been moved into the city center Mall because of bad weather.  The performers for tonight are the Old Hippies and the festivities are set to start at 7pm

Midday News Brief

Anibal Soler

Batavia City School Superintendent Anibal Soler is leaving.
Soler announcing this morning, in an email to staff obtained by WBTA, that he is about to accept a position as Superintendent of the Schenectady City School District.
Soler joined the Batavia City School District in January of 2020, just weeks before the corona virus shut down the district and the nation.
The Schenectady school district has about four times the number of students as Batavia.
He is stepping into a district facing a nasty dispute between former super Larry Spring. Spring claims he was coerced to resign a year ago based on what he insisted were false accusations of sexual harassment. He’s suing the district for nearly $8-million.
Soler just received a pay raise from Batavia City Schools along with a one-year extension of his contract. He is now making $165,000 a year.

New York State officials have announced that temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended from today to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6, to ease travel throughout the July 4th holiday weekend.
Motorists should be aware that some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.
AAA predicts travel over the holiday weekend to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, making it the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record.

Police across New York will be keeping an extra eye out for dangerous drivers this Fourth of July weekend. Travelers can expect to see additional patrols as officers look to crack down on people who are driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

While he hasn’t made an official announcement about his political future, a new poll shows many New Yorkers don’t think Governor Cuomo should run for reelection. Only 33-percent of people surveyed by Siena College say that he should seek another term in 2022, while 39-percent think he should finish out his current time in office and not run again.

Soler Leaving City School District

Anibal SolerBatavia City School Superintendent Anibal Soler is leaving.

Soler announcing this morning, in an email to staff obtained by WBTA, that he is about to accept a position as Superintendent of the Schenectady City School District.

Soler joined the Batavia City School District in January of 2020, just weeks before the corona virus shut down the district and the nation.

The Schenectady school district has about four times the number of students as Batavia.

He is stepping into a district facing a nasty dispute between former super Larry Spring. Spring claims he was coerced to resign a year ago based on what he insisted were false accusations of sexual harassment. He’s suing the district for nearly $8-million.

Soler just received a pay raise from Batavia City Schools along with a one-year extension of his contract. He is now making $165,000 a year.

Morning News Brief

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation authorizing forest rangers, park rangers and environmental conservation police officers to possess and administer EpiPens. Epinephrine is commonly used to treat serious allergic reactions such as bee stings, insect bites & more. Cuomo said this commonsense legislation allows a wider range of professionals in state parks and other natural areas to use EpiPens and keep New Yorkers safe in the wild. Cuomo added…This will give hikers, bikers and other outdoor travelers a greater sense of security as they navigate New York’s natural areas.

The New York State Police will increase patrols and crack down on drunk and drugged driving and other traffic infractions this 4th of July weekend. State Troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and target reckless and aggressive driving statewide to keep New York highways safe during one of the busiest summer holidays for travel. The campaign begins today and runs through Monday. Last year, the State Police issued nearly 9,214 vehicle and traffic tickets during the 4th of July weekend. Troopers arrested 180 people for DWI and investigated 456 crashes and one fatality.

New York officials have announced that temporary lane closures for road and bridge construction projects on New York State highways will be suspended from today to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6, to ease travel throughout the July 4th holiday weekend. Motorists should be aware that some work may continue behind permanent concrete barriers or for emergency repairs. AAA predicts travel over the holiday weekend to nearly fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, making it the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation prohibiting public employers from penalizing employees who use sick leave or compensatory time to quarantine, seek medical treatment, or for other absences related to a COVID-19 diagnosis or contact. This new measure builds on COVID-related employee protections signed into law by Cuomo, including guaranteed paid leave for New Yorkers under mandatory or precautionary quarantine due to COVID, and guaranteed time off from work to receive the vaccine.

Officials with the New York Army National Guard say a “procedural error” led to a fatal helicopter crash in Mendon this past January. Three people were killed. Between the three of them, they shared more than 50 years of combined flight experience. Their UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine mission, performing night vision proficiency training, when it went down. The New York Army National Guard says an investigation into the crash determined a procedural error that took place during an emergency training maneuver led to the crash.

In a recent Siena Poll, overall voters approve of how Governor Cuomo handled the pandemic by a 51-32% margin. Of those polled, voters say that Cuomo did a good job with managing vaccines, keeping NY informed, and the reopening of the state. (54-33%). What continues to plague the Governor is the nursing home scandal, as 60-22% say he did a bad job answering questions on nursing homes and COVID.

Evening News Brief

According to a new Siena college poll only 1 in 3 people in New York State think Governor Cuomo should run for re-election.  The main factor contributing to lack of support seems to be his mishandling of Nursing homes during the pandemic.  39 percent of respondents said he should finish his term and not run again.  23 percent said he should resign immediately.  62 percent of respondents said they want someone else to be Governor.  The largest areas of concern for voters in New York were Crime and Education.

The reason for the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of 3 New York Army National Guardsmen in January in the town of Mendon has been ruled to be operator error.  Their UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter was on a routine mission, performing night vision proficiency training, when it went down.  The New York Army National Guard investigation showed that a training maneuver was being practiced and the procedures taken during the maneuver put the helicopter into an unrecoverable situation before the crash.  The training procedure they were executing is now going to be restricted to simulator only.

New regulations went into effect yesterday to hang up on robocallers.  The last day of June was the final day for large phone carriers like Verizon and AT and T to implement a technology called STIR/SHAKEN which tracks and logs every robocall to make sure they come from legal sources.  Tech sites such as CNet say that this is unlikely to effect the amount of call you receive right away but hopefully over time this will cut down fake calls to your phone.  If you have a landline it is likely that this wont effect you as older networks wont be able to use this type of system.  If you are getting robocalls the FCC says to hang up immediately, don’t talk to the caller or press any buttons to try to end calls other than the hang up button.

The US Olympic Tennis Team for the 2021 Tokyo Games is going to include Jessica Pegula.  The Daughter of the Bills and Sabres owners is ranked 26th in womens tennis worldwide.  This will be her first time in the Olympics along with 4 other first timers Jennifer Brady, Coco Gauff, Alison Riske and Nicole Melichar.  The 6th woman on the team is Gold Medalist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.  Pegula will be playing singles and Mattek-Sands and Pegula will be playing as doubles

Crossroads house will be holding its annual Garage Sale July 29th through the 31st.  there is a presale on the 28th for 5 dollars a person to get in before the rush.  Donations are being accepted Mondays through Thursdays 10am to 2pm.  The sale hours will be from 9am through 6pm the 29th, 9am-4pm the 30th and 9am-noon the 31st.

Midday News Brief

A Town of Batavia man behind bars without bail following a violent incident on Alexander Road.
23-year-old Kaleb Bobzien is accused of choking two victims, one of them under the age of 17.
The incident occurred a week ago but the arrest was not made until last night.
Deputies say that during the incident, Bobzien allegedly placed a blanket over one of the victims while choking the second victim with his arm.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging has added a new program to its services for adults 60 and older. The new “Got Groceries?” program is a free grocery-shopping service. The office is looking for volunteers who are age 55 and older to do the shopping and deliver the groceries to individuals’ homes within Genesee County. The OFA is kicking off the program with an Open House on Wednesday, July 14 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 pm at the Senior Center at Bank and Main.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee will be issuing subpoenas as their impeachment investigation into Governor Cuomo continues.
Panel members have agreed to subpoena people who may not be willing to provide testimony or requested documents. They also didn’t rule out the possibility Governor Cuomo could be called to testify.
The governor is accused of sexually harassing multiple women, claims that he has repeatedly denied. The committee also wants to look into how his administration handled nursing home residents in the early days of the COVID-19.

Starting today, more fast-food workers across New York State will be seeing a boost to their bottom lines. That’s because the minimum wage for those positions will rise from $14.50an hour to an even $15. That puts them in line with New York City fast food workers who have been earning that amount since 2018. For full-time employees, the increase is projected to add about 20 dollars extra per week to their paychecks.

Morning News Brief

A Batavia man is in jail following a violent confrontation with two people on Alexander Road. Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested 23-year-old Kaleb Bobzien. He was charged with second-degree strangulation, two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a child. According to a press release, he allegedly placed a blanket over the face of one victim and choked the second victim with his arm. One victim reported a neck injury as a result of the choking. Bobzien was arraigned and remanded to jail without bail.

The Batavia City Council this week sent a stinging letter to state officials regarding the bail reform mandate that went into effect in 2019. In the letter, the Council said it is very concerned. The Council added that while well intentioned, the reforms are having serious consequences regarding public safety in Batavia. Local officials also noted that criminal elements from both Rochester and Buffalo have an even more visible presence in Batavia. The Council said…”at the end of the day, judges should be able to determine whether a violent criminal poses a dangerous threat to the community and can be held without bail.

The Diocese of Buffalo says it recently became aware of an action brought pursuant to the Child Victims Act by an individual who alleges that he was abused as a child fifteen years ago by 83-year-old Rev. Msgr. James G. Kelly, a retired priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, but who continues to assist in parish ministry. The complaint has been filed anonymously and was not served on the Diocese but was discovered during a recent search of publicly filed complaints. Upon learning of the complaint, the Diocese notified the Erie County District Attorney’s office.  As a result, Bishop Fisher has decided to place Msgr. Kelly on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation by the appointed independent investigator and a final determination by the Independent Review Board.

With everything that has been canceled in the past year and a half, one thing that is remaining the same is the Genesee County Fair Talent Show! All are welcome to show off their talents, whether it is music, dance, comedy or more. The fair is set for July 24-31. Participants will receive a goody bag and first, second, and third prizes will be awarded. Participants will be divided into age groups.

Legislation to establish an “Opioid Settlement Fund” has been signed into law. The new law requires that any settlement funds New York State receives from lawsuits and other actions against opioid manufacturers and distributors be dedicated to opioid prevention, treatment, and recovery programs and services. The legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate and Assembly in the closing days of this year’s legislative session and signed into law this week by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Genesee County Office for the Aging has added a new program to its many services for adults 60 years of age and older. The new “Got Groceries?” program is a free grocery-shopping service. The office is looking for volunteers who are age 55 and older to do the shopping and deliver the groceries to individuals’ homes within Genesee County. The commitment can be as little as two shopping trips a month or more often if the volunteer is willing and the need exists. The office is kicking this off with an Open House on Wednesday, July 14 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. outdoors on the patio of the Senior Center, 2 Bank St., Batavia. Interested parties are invited to stop by anytime for information on volunteering or receiving this service for themselves or a loved one. No reservations are needed.

State Police arrested 32-year-old Jacob W. Dunaway of Leroy for Driving While Intoxicated. Troopers responded to a motor vehicle that had crashed into a tree off Old Buffalo Road in town of Warsaw.  Dunaway was released with appearance tickets for Warsaw town court on a later date.

Evening News Update

There is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Livingston and Wyoming counties until 7pm this evening.  A cold front will move southeast from Canada late tonight into Thursday morning. Showers and thunderstorms will develop ahead of this front through early evening tonight. There was some light to moderate rain this afternoon in Batavia.  The weather service says if thunderstorms should development, they will have the potential for damaging winds and very heavy rain.  Hail is also possible.

State police are cracking down on drunk and drugged driving this weekend.  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies across the state will increase patrols and crack down on drunk and drugged driving and other traffic infractions this 4th of July weekend. State Troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and target reckless and aggressive driving statewide to keep New York highways safe during one of the busiest summer holidays for travel.  The campaign will begin this Friday, July 2 and run through Monday, July 5.

Midday News Brief

Power has been restored to nearly all customers of National Grid in Genesee County. They are a few outages in LeRoy.
At times late this morning as many as two-thousand customers were without power.

 

The National Weather Service says there is a Marginal Risk for severe thunderstorms today.
We have had some lights to moderate rain this afternoon in Batavia.
The weather Service says if thunderstorms should development, they will have the potential for damaging winds and very heavy rain.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy is meeting with Rochester police and Monroe County DA’s Office to discuss ongoing violence in the city.
This year alone, there have already been 35 homicides in Rochester. -0-

The Buffalo Sabres have officially hired Don Granato to be the team’s next head coach. Granato led Buffalo during the final 28 games of this past season when he replaced Ralph Krueger.
Granato will have a lot of work to do to turn the Sabres around after the team finished with the worst record in the National Hockey league.

The Toronto Blue Jays have extended their winning streak to three following another victory at Sahlen Field.
The Blue Jays defeated the Seattle Mariners 9 – 3  last night.
The Blue Jays and Mariners will continue their series tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:07p.m.

Morning News Briefing

The Batavia City Board of Education will act on seven resignations when it meets for its reorganizational meeting Thursday evening. Leaving…a Special Education Teacher, a Teacher Aide, a Data Processing Clerk and others. Board committee assignments and building assignments will also be made.

The New York State Department of Health will temporarily increase the Women, Infants and Children’s nutrition program’s fruit and vegetable benefit through the American Rescue Plan. For the next four months, WIC participants will now receive $35 per month for fruits and vegetables instead of $9 or $11. The goal of the program is to increase the nutritional quality of WIC-approved foods and reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity. New York State began implementing the increase June 1 and will continue until September 30.

Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) reported 4,320 active projects valued at $109 billion for 2019, a 3.3 percent, or $3.5 billion, increase in project values from 2018, while net tax exemptions totaled $796 million in 2019, compared to nearly $784 million in 2018. Project values have increased by 48 percent since 2009, while the number of active projects has declined by six percent over the same period, according to a report released today by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Empire Access announced today that it has been named fastest Internet provider in the United States for 2021 by PC Mag, beating out national and regional Internet providers. Empire Access is a fast-growing fiber optic telecommunications service provider, offering high-speed Internet, digital television, phone and security services to homes and businesses – all enabled by Fiber Optic technology – to over 25 communities in Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. After starting with one telephone line in Steuben County, NY, Empire Access has grown significantly as a family-owned, locally based communications provider.

Congressman Chris Jacobs is joining members of the Republican Study Committee and Texas Governor Greg Abbott for a trip today to the Southern Border with Former President Trump. Jacobs will be traveling to McAllen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley sector. This sector is consistently considered the epicenter for illegal entries, in part due to the intense terrain and dense forest cover.

On Thursday the Genesee Country Farmers Market starts a new program called Double Up Food Bucks. Spend up to $20 in SNAP — Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — and receive $20 matching funds. SNAP is accepted at the market. Redeem for tokens at the market kiosk. The Farmers Market at Bank Street and Alva Place downtown is open Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Fridays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New York state is now accepting applications for $2.7 billion in funding for income-eligible renters who fell behind on rent or utility payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (National Fuel) is encouraging all eligible customers to apply for up to 12 months in back rent and up to three months of future rent payments, as well as up to 12 months of overdue gas bill payments. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program or ERAP is funded largely by the most recent federal stimulus package and provides the money directly to landlords and utility companies on the renter’s behalf.

Evening News Brief

A heat advisory remains in effect today till 8pm in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wayne, Monroe, Ontario and Yates counties.  A heat advisory is issued when the combination of air temperature and relative humidity make the apparent air temperature ‘feel like’ 95 to 99 degrees.  Remember to use air conditioning or a fan when possible. Try to avoid direct sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. if possible. Wear light colored clothing.  Drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activity during the peak heat of the day. Check on the pets and make sure they have plenty to drink as well.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says he isn’t done with the election yet after losing the democrat primary last week to socialist nurse India Walton who is slated to become Buffalo’s first female mayor.  “There are two phases of every election, a primary and a general election,” said Brown. “This election isn’t over. I’m running as a write-in candidate, and I am running to win this election. I am the person that has served this city in this capacity for 15 years.”

The department of homeland Security and emergency services and the state office of fire prevention and control released a warning about using fireworks coming up to 4th of July.  They urge New Yorkers to use sparkling devices responsibly and remind people that it is illegal for people under 18 years of age to use sparkling devices.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates approximately 10,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks in 2019. Almost three-quarter of injuries occurred during a one-month period around the Fourth of July.

The New York State Department of Health announced Tuesday a temporary increase for the state’s Women, Infants and Children nutrition program’s fruit and vegetable benefit.  Officials say the fruit and vegetable benefit will increase from $9 a month for children and $11 a month for women, to $35 a month per participant. The state began the increase June 1 and it will continue until September 30.

Early Monday morning there was a porch fire on Gilhooly rd that was reported to have been quenched by 4am and then rekindled again around 11am.  It now seems that that was an error.  The house was fully involved and not just a porch fire.  It is being declared a total loss.  All occupants were able to get out of the residence in the early morning.  The challenge that the fire departments of Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Darien, East Pembroke, Stafford and Pavilion had was the lack of access to water.  Alexander Fire Chief Marshal Merle Requested additional tankers to the scene and 2 engines pulled water from a nearby pond.  The cause of the fire which is believed to have started inside the house is under investigation.

Starting tomorrow the Genesee County Farmers Market is starting a program called Double Up Food Bucks.  This program benefits SNAP recipients.  How it works is if a person spends 20 SNAP bucks at the farmers market they will receive 20 dollars in DUFB Silver coins.  You can redeem your SNAP bucks at the market kiosk for wooden SNAP tokens.  The silver coins are good for fruits and vegetables and the SNAP tokens are good for any SNAP eligible item.

Midday News Brief

It has been abnormally dry and this combination is exactly what causes water usage to spike.
County Public Works Director Tim Hens says the County is continuing to urge all residents connected to the public water supply system to make small changes to conserve water usage.
Avoid watering lawns, washing vehicles and any unnecessary water usage. If you need to water a garden, please do so at night.
Small changes, the county says, can make a big difference.

The dangerous heat continues today. The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Genesee and Orleans counties. It’s in effect from noon until 8 p.m. Hot temperatures and high humidity may cause heat illnesses to occur. Heat index values in the mid to upper 90’s is expected. Drink plenty of fluids and check on neighbors.

The Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia remains closed today due to a broken air conditioning system that impacts most of the library.
The library’s on-line services are still available.
It could be several more days until repairs are made.
Library staff is hoping cooler temperatures will allow them to open even without repairs.

Originally reported as a porch fire on Gilhooly Road in Alexander has now declared the house a total loss.
The fire erupted around 3am Monday sent several volunteers departments to the scene. All occupants had escaped safely.
Today, Alexander Fire Chief Marshall Merle said the fire started in the front porch but spread quickly and eventually burned the entire hosue to the ground.

New York Republicans are throwing their support behind Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin in his bid to be the state’s next governor.
Zeldin received 85-percent of the votes in a straw poll, making him the party’s presumptive nominee.
Former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino earned five-percent of the vote while Andrew Giuliani, who is the son of ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, received no votes.

Morning News Brief

The Batavia City Council has approved a resolution to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to help fund an estimated $1.36 million project to replace 4- and 6-inch water lines on Jackson Street with 2,250 linear feet of 8-inch water main, and another setting a public hearing on the matter for 7 p.m. July 12. If received, the grant could cover up to 90 percent of the project cost. The Council also awarded a contract from the Revolving Loan Fund Grant to help replace sidewalks at the Ellicott Place project, which is the Save-A-Lot building.

The Richmond Memorial Library will remain closed today due to a broken air conditioning system that impacts most of the library. Temperatures have reached 86 degrees in staff areas and no air flow is available. Tomorrow through Saturday, the library will try to resume hours of 9am to 1pm. Wednesday’s family program scheduled for noon will proceed as planned, and Friday’s afternoon program has been rescheduled. Air conditioning is expected to be restored next week. Lower temperatures forecast for next week may also allow them to resume normal hours of operation.

Triple-A is out with its July 4th expected travel report. They say more than 47.7 million Americas are expected to travel for the holiday. They said this 4th of July is expected to have the second-highest travel volume on record, with only 2019 being higher. AAA said that despite the gas prices, which are expected to be high for the holiday, most Americans will travel by car.

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory from noon until 8 p.m. today for Genesee and Orleans counties. Heat index values in the upper 90’s expected.

This week, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments are hosting COVID-19 vaccination clinics at their respective health departments. For the first time, each clinic will offer all three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer vaccine is available for anyone 12 years of age and older and the J&J and Moderna vaccine is available for anyone 18 years of age and older. J&J is one dose, and Moderna and Pfizer are two doses. Genesee County will hold their vaccination clinic tomorrow from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at 3837 W. Main Street Road in Batavia. Orleans County will hold their clinic on Thursday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at 14016 State Route 31, Suite 101. Both vaccine clinics are available for walk-ins and registration.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.10, up 3 cents in the past week. One year ago, the price was $2.18. The New York State average is $3.15 – up 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.25. Batavia prices have edged up two cents to $3.10 a gallon. Demand for gasoline is on the rise as schools have wrapped up and summer travel is in full swing. Crude prices remain well over $70 per barrel.

Evening News Brief

A heat advisory has been issued for WNY through 8 p.m. tomorrow. Genesee, Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, and Yates Counties are included in the advisory.  A heat advisory is issued when the combination of air temperature and relative humidity make the apparent air temperature ‘feel like’ 95 to 99 degrees.

Activists in New York want the state to adopt the National Ashanti Alert Network.  Much like the silver alert network which sends out an alert if a senior citizen goes mission, and the Amber alert network which sends an alert if a child is missing, the Ashanti Network would send an alert for a person over the age of 17 but under the age of 65.  It is named after Ashanti Billie, a 19 year old who was abducted and killed in Virginia in 2017.  The network does not take notices from the public but is tied in with law enforcement to send out the alarms.  The Ashanti Network is not in full effect throughout the country, yet. States must opt into the network’s pilot program.

A mass shooting at a Rochester Walmart claimed the life of an 18 year old man this morning at 12:50.  Police say a fight broke out in the parking lot of the Walmart on Hudson Ave in Rochester well after the store had closed for the night and shots soon rang out.  4 people were taken to Rochester General Hospital by private vehicle including a 15 year old girl, a 43 year old man, and a 23 year old man.  Over 200 vehicles were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting and fights.

According to the AAA this coming July 4th weekend is going to be a busy travel weekend.  Record breaking in fact.  48 million Americans are expected to be traveling.  43 million by car and the remaining 5 million by air or bus or train.  Previously 2019 had been record breaking and this year is expected to raise that by 5 percent.

Genesee County Office for the Aging will be handing out Senior Farmers’ Market Coupons every Thursday in July from 2-4pm at our outdoor patio location on 2 Bank St, every Friday in July from 10am-12pm at the Genesee Country Farmers’ Market in the old JC Penney’s lot and every Saturday in July from 9am-12pm at the LeRoy Farmers’ Market on Trigon Park.  Stop by and get your coupons.

The Richmond Memorial Library closed today at 1pm and will remain closed tomorrow due to a broken air conditioning system in most of the library. Temperatures have reached 86 degrees in staff areas and no air flow is available.  Wednesday through Saturday the library will try to resume morning hours, 9am to 1pm. Wednesday’s family program scheduled for noon will proceed as planned, and Friday’s afternoon program has been rescheduled. Air conditioning is expected to be back by the 6th of July. Online resources can be accessed anytime.

Today the average price of gas in Batavia is 3.10 which is up 10 cents from last month and 90 cents up from last year.  The New York state average is 3.15 for a gallon of regular.  The price is expected to go up as we head into the July 4th weekend.  Higher demand and lower supply has pushed crude oil prices up above 73 dollars a barrel.

Midday News Brief

The remains of a porch fire at a home on Gilhooly Road in Alexander have rekindled and brought volunteers firemen back to the scene.
The original fire was reported around 3 this morning.
All occupants were safely out of the house when firemen got to the scene.
Alexander and Batavia were first to respond, later Bethany, Darien and Pembroke along with the city’s safety team were called.
Cause is still under investigation.

As has been the case for weeks now, the price of gas is continuing to rise in Western New York. According to Triple A, the average cost for a gallon of regular in Batavia is now $3.10…that’s up a dime from last month and about 90-cents a gallon higher than a year ago.

A case of domestic violence on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation brings felony charges against a 19-year-old man.
Deputies say Ray Saile was arrested for allegedly back-handing a person he had been ordered to stay away from. He was also charged with assault for causing physical injury to another person over the age of 65.
Salie was released under supervision.

A fracas between neighbors led to the arrest of 61-year-old Thomas Tacito of Batavia.
BPD says Tacito allegedly slashed all four tires and smashed out the windows of a neighbor’s vehicle causing about $250 damage.
He was charged with felony criminal mischief. Police did not disclose the location of the incident.

Gov. Cuomo says COVID-related hospitalizations in the Empire State dropped down to 371. That’s the lowest number the state has had since the beginning of the pandemic. Throughout the state, the 7-day average positivity rate of COVID-19 is 0.36%.

 

Morning News Brief

Gov. Cuomo says COVID-related hospitalizations in the Empire State dropped down to 371. That’s the lowest number the state has had since the beginning of the pandemic. Throughout the state, the 7-day average positivity rate of COVID-19 is 0.36%.

A man faces felony and other counts stemming from a domestic dispute in the Town of Alabama. Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested 19-year-old Ray Saile of Judge Road. He was charged with felony assault, first-degree criminal contempt and harassment. Deputies allege Saile back-handed a person who had a stay-away order of protection. He also allegedly caused physical injury to another victim who was 65 or older. He was arraigned in Alabama Town Court and released under supervision. He’ll return to court July 20th.

A neighbor dispute led to the arrest of 61-year-old Thomas Tacito of Batavia. Police said he allegedly slashed all four tires and smashed out the windows of a neighbors vehicle. He was charged with felony criminal mischief and will appear in court July 6th.

The Batavia Police Department has announced that it has joined the nationwide OffenderWatch sex offender registry network. This enables collaboration on investigations and sharing of critical information involving registered sex offenders with more than 4,000 other local law enforcement agencies across the country. In addition, residents of Batavia can use the Batavia Police Department’s website to search for sex offenders residing in their neighborhood and subscribe to receive email alerts from the Batavia Police Department. OffenderWatch is the nation’s leading sex offender registration solution, with law enforcement agencies in 39 states using the technology and more than 15,000 users.

A court appearance is pending for a Batavia man after he was pulled over in the Town of Shelby. State Troopers charged 37-year-old Brandon Stafford with criminal possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated.

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $230 million to New York state to settle claims that the pharmaceutical giant helped fuel the opioid crisis…that announcement was made over the weekend by Attorney General Letitia James. The drugmaker also agreed to permanently end the manufacturing and distribution of opioids across New York and the rest of the nation.

Weekend News Brief

Batavia Police are asking for the publics help in locating a missing 66 year old man.  Lewis Morris of Batavia is an African American male who may be driving a 2011 black Hyundai sonata with the license plate JAT 5955.  He was last seen at his home at 1230 am on Friday.  Police believe he left his home at around 3am and may have traveled to Rochester.

Governor Cuomo announced that a final siting permit has been issued for a major solar facility in Livingston county.  Morris Ridge Solar Energy Center LLC is a 177-megawatt solar electric facility coupled with 83-megawatt battery energy storage in the Town of Mount Morris.  It is expected to generate enough energy to power over 38000 homes a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 173 thousand metric tons of carbon, or the equivalent of taking 34 thousand cars off the road.

The Jackson square Friday Night Concert series kicked off this past week with Penny Whisky playing a mix of Celtic, folk, Rock and Bluegrass.  Executive Director for the Batavia BID, Beth Kemp said, “The Batavia Business Improvement District is so thrilled to be able to host Jackson Square Summer Concert Series this summer!  It has been a tough last year for our businesses and community and we are happy to be providing events and opportunities for people to come together again in our Downtown!” For a complete schedule of Friday night concerts in Jackson Square follow the link on wbtai.com  https://www.thebatavian.com/events/free-concert-in-jackson-square-penny-whiskey/565210

The cat that was missing from a home on State Street in Batavia has been found in a boat on the owners property.  Spot had been missing since June 19th when he ran out of the house and disappeared.

A note on water usage from Tim Hens, County Highway Superintendent: Heading into the weekend, it looks like a few days of 90° weather are forecasted for our area.  It has been abnormally dry and this combo is exactly what causes water usage to spike. The County is continuing to urge all residents connected to the public water supply system to make small changes to conserve water usage.  Please avoid watering lawns, washing vehicles and any unnecessary water usage.  If you need to water a garden, please do so at night.  Small changes at the residential level add up quickly.

Evening News Brief

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the signing of the Gender Recognition Act into law Thursday. The legislation allows New Yorkers to use “X” as a non-binary sex designation on New York State driver’s licenses. Officials say the legislation ensures New Yorkers will be able to have their gender identity on official documents and allows name and sex designation changes to be sealed more easily.  The legislation also allows New Yorkers to amend birth certificates and use a designation of mother, father or parent.

If you’ve driven in Rochester lately you have likely seen packs of people riding dirt bikes, 4 wheelers and tiny motorcycles around the city.  These vehicles are illegal to drive on the city streets and new legislation from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello allows police to impound the vehicles and charge drivers 500 to 2000 dollars to get the vehicles out of impound.  The new law takes effect in July.

Starting in July families that have children under 17 will start getting child tax credit payouts.  250 dollars for each child 6-17 and 300 for each child under 6 years old.  In order to receive this benefit, which basically splits the child tax credit that US citizens normally receive at tax time in half and gives half up front as monthly payments and the other half redeemable at income tax time, a family must have filed income taxes in 2019 or 2020.  If you didn’t file then you can register by following the link on wbtai.com.  This is part of the American Rescue Plan Act.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit/sign-up/

A Long Island man is running for a cause!  To raise money and awareness for the Thomas Hartman Center for Parkinson’s Research at Stony Brook University Wai Law is running the entire 555 mile long Empire Trail.  The trail starts in Buffalo and roughly follows the Erie Canal across the state before turning south at Albany and going down to Battery Park in New York City.  The run is expected to take 10 days if he can run about 55 miles a day.

The roadwork scheduled for Monday June 28th in Batavia on north spruce Street, Fisher Park, and Chase Park has been reschedule to Tuesday June 29th. This work is weather dependent and if the work is delayed due to rain it will be scheduled for the next workday. These 3 streets will be closed to all through traffic. Residents living within the work area will have limited access to their driveway and may experience delays while the paving operations are ongoing and there will be no roadside parking.

Midday News Brief

A Rochester man has been jailed without bail following a fight at a West Main Street motel in Batavia.
39-year-old James Saddler III collared for assault and weapons possession following a fracas at the motel late yesterday afternoon.
Deputies say Saddler struck one victim with a tire iron and a second person with his fists. The motive for the melee is unknown.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office did not disclose just where the fight occurred.

Here’s a reminder for Batavia motorists. BPD reminds you now that the State of Emergency has been lifted, no more extensions for expired driver’s licenses.
Expired drivers licenses and permits are no longer valid and need to be renewed.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Frankie is a lucky dog today.
Batavia Downs has donated $2,300 to the K-9 patrol.
It was money left behind at the Downs and never claimed.

The owners of Eli Fish Brewing Company announce that three third floor apartments in their building are ready for tenants.
There are already four apartments occupied on the second floor.
The new apartments rent at what’s called “market rate” which is about $1,000 a month.

Landmarks across New York State will be lit in rainbow colors this weekend in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month. In Western New York, the water at Niagara Falls be decorated in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.

Morning News Brief

A Rochester man is behind bars after a fight broke out at a Town of Batavia motel. Sheriff’s deputies arrested 39-year-old James T. Saddler III. He allegedly got into a physical altercation and struck one victim with a tire iron and another victim with his fists. He was charged with felony second-degree assault, criminal possession of a weapon, trespass and harassment. Saddler was arraigned in Alabama Town Court and remanded to the Genesee County Jail without bail.

New York’s COVID State of Emergency declaration has ended…and has so the ‘alcohol-to-go’ program. A permanent extension of alcohol-to-go is supported by 78 percent of New Yorkers, but the Legislature failed to extend it and now the Executive Order has ended. The president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association issued a statement saying – “Only in New York would elected officials ignore an overwhelming majority of the public.”

An appeals court suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law in New York because he allegedly made false statements while trying to get courts to overturn Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential race. An attorney disciplinary committee said in its motion there was “uncontroverted evidence” that Giuliani had made false statements to the courts, the public and lawmakers as he pushed theories that the election was stolen through fraud. The ruling, signed Thursday, will prevent Giuliani from representing clients as a lawyer.

State Police arrested 29-year-old Casey Hale of Holley for felony first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. He was also charged with DWI. He was released with court appearance tickets.

Batavia police…out with some advice regarding driver licenses and permits. The State of Emergency has ended…Therefore, the extension of expiration dates for driver licenses and permits that expired on or after March 1, 2020 also ended Thursday. Expired drivers licenses and permits are no longer valid and need to be renewed.

New York’s Medicaid and Child Health Plus programs added three-quarters of a million enrollees during the coronavirus pandemic, roughly matching the pace of a national surge in sign-ups. Between February 2020 and January 2021, the combined rolls of the two health plans grew by 760,000 New Yorkers, the second-largest total in the country. The state’s growth rate of 13 percent was lower than the national average of 14 percent—in part because New York’s pre-existing enrollment was proportionally high.

Earlier this year, a ceremony was held in the lobby at Batavia Downs Gaming as Batavia Downs showcased their $2,300 sponsorship of the Genesee County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit. The money was left at Batavia Downs and was turned into the Sheriff’s office. When the money went unclaimed, Batavia Downs decided to sponsor the Department’s K-9 Unit. The money will be used to help provide equipment for the unit, headed up by Officer Andrew Mullen and K-9 Frankie.

Rochester Police are getting help from federal prosecutors to help address recent gun violence. Interim Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan says she has been in touch with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo in order find ways to prosecute acts of violence involving guns in federal court. Herriott-Sullivan said the meeting with the U.S. attorney will focus on how to move forward with criminal cases and what kinds of cases will be targeted. She added that U.S. Marshals will be assisting with tracking down wanted suspects.

Evening News Brief

If you are a student at St Bonaventure and plan on going back to campus in the fall you have to get a shot in the arm first.  St Bonaventure University has announced that all students who plan to take classes on campus, whether you are I the dorm, commuting, or living off campus as long as you plan on coming on campus you need to provide proof of vaccination against COVID 19 before being allowed back.  Fully online and non residential graduate students do not need to provide proof of vaccination.  According to the university limited religious and medical exemptions will be granted and reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with guidance from public health officials, St. Bonaventure policy and applicable law.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo previously announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for all in-person students at SUNY and CUNY schools.

Tops Friendly Markets is holding a hiring event online on Wednesday June 30th from 11am to 3pm.  Many positions offer a 2500 or more dollar signing bonus. Positions include Day shift and Evening shift selectors, both Full and Part-time Part-time freezer selectors, Full and Part-time Sanitation, and CDL Class A Drivers.  Sign up for the hiring event by following the link on wbtai.com.  https://www.topsmarkets.com/careers

The owners of Eli Fish Brewing Company are conducting an open house to provide tours of three new apartments on the third floor of the former J.J. Newberry Department store.  The three units are in addition to 4 apartment units on the second floor that were built with the brewery in 2017.  The construction of the new units were supported through a $137,600 grant from New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

The Batavia Muckdogs had their first double header Wednesday night at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls.  Against The Power the Muckdogs prevailed in the first game 4 to 1 but in their second game Niagara Falls called the dogs to heel 10 to 2.  The Muckdogs will be back home tonight on Guaranteed Win Night against the Geneva Red Wings with the first pitch set to be thrown out at 7:05pm.

Midday News Brief

As New York ends its COVID state of emergency today, Governor Andrew Cuomo warns people not to let their guards down
Public health officials are particularly concerned about the delta variant… which is feared to spread more rapidly and possibly cause more severe cases than others. Assemblyman Steve Hawley said the needless restrictions the governor mandated within businesses, schools, places of worship and communities caused a great deal of struggle and suffering.

A Batavia man faces a decade or more behind bars. 53-year-old Matthew Barber has pleaded guilty to having over 1,000 images and 200 videos of child porn. The plea comes following prior federal and state convictions relating to sexual abuse involving a minor. He was arrested after parole and probation officers searched his home and seized a cell phone, which was found to contain images and videos of child pornography. A flash drive containing child pornography was also seized. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 27.

While it appears, he’s lost the Democratic primary, Mayor Byron Brown might not be ready to give up his job just yet. The Buffalo News reports he’s considering a write-in campaign to challenge India Walton who is on track to become the city’s first female mayor. However, Brown wouldn’t have the support of the Erie County Democratic party who has already pledged to back Walton. The winner of the primary won’t officially be known until all absentee ballots are counted.

The State Liquor Authority says alcohol-to-go sales are coming to an end today at bars and restaurants across New York. That means for the first time in several months, those businesses will no longer be able to sell beverages such as wine and cocktails on a to-go basis.

Another sign of a return to normal. The Batavia Concert Band is back with weekly performances in Centennial Park. It was only the second time in the band’s 97 year history they had missed a season. The band remained silent last summer due to COVID.
But they are now back, drawing a nice size crowd for their season opener last night. The band will perform every Wednesday night at 7, Centennial Park, until August 4th.

Morning News Brief

On March 7, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a state disaster emergency in response to the COVID pandemic. At the end of the day, the order will be lifted. Federal CDC guidance will remain in effect, which includes masks for unvaccinated individuals, as well as all riders on public transit and in certain settings, such as health care, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters. State and local government health departments will still be able to ensure mask rules and other health precautions are adhered to in those settings. According to Cuomo, New York went from one of the worst infection rates to the lowest infection rate in the country, and it was all because of the efforts of New Yorkers who were smart, united and did what they needed to do.

A wicked story continues regarding a brutal murder on a Main Street to our south in Allegany County. A Wellsville teenager was sentenced Wednesday afternoon to ten years in state prison for his role in a brutal murder last March. Judge Thomas Brown handed down the sentence to 17-year-old Jason Darden for his role in the savage beating death of Nicholas Burdge inside a North Main Street apartment. Seven others were also charged. One defendant, Howard Burroughs, will head to trial January 10, 2022. Burdge was murdered after hours of torture.  His body was later dumped in the Genesee River. Darden was initially charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping, manslaughter, first-degree gang assault and conspiracy.

A Batavia man has pleaded guilty to having over 1,000 images and 200 videos of child porn. The plea comes following prior federal and state convictions relating to sexual abuse involving a minor. 53-year-old Matthew Barber made the admission in federal court. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison. He was arrested after parole and probation officers searched his home and seized a cell phone, which was found to contain images and videos of child pornography. A flash drive containing child pornography was also seized. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 27.

New York State will provide $25 million in child care scholarships to all essential workers starting right away. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, transportation workers, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others. This is the first in a series of new investments to support working families and the child care industry through the federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and American Rescue Plan Act. Workers who need child care can contact their local child care resource and referral agency to find openings.

During the early morning hours, a motorist was in need of some assistance at Main and Oak in Batavia and two Batavia police officers stopped to help change a tire — Pete Flanagan and Jordan McGinnis. Tom Wood is the former chief for Le Roy. He said he was driving past and couldn’t stop for a picture but says he thought the officers deserved some recognition. According to Wood, with all the negativity around police officers, he thought I\he should share this moment.

Evening News Brief

The State of emergency which has existed since March of last year is being allowed to expire tomorrow and will not be renewed.  Governor Cuomo says “The emergency is over. The state of emergency that I had declared in consultation with commissioner Zucker, a health emergency, it expires tomorrow. It will not be renewed, it will punctuate the expiration of the emergency that we have been in because New Yorkers rallied and essential workers rallied.”  The ending of the state of emergency removes Cuomo’s emergency powers and puts the power back in the hands of the legislature.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state will provide $25 million in child care scholarships to essential workers beginning today.  A release from the governor’s office says essential workers include: health care providers, Pharmaceutical staff, Law enforcement, Firefighters, Transportation workers, Food delivery workers, Grocery store employees and others.  Child care costs will be covered for essential workers whose income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level, the state says this amounts to about $79,500 for a family of four. It will be paid up to market rate for each region across the state for children aged six weeks to 12 years. The state says parents can apply through a single online application and the providers will be paid directly on behalf of the parent. The online applications open today and will remain open until funds are depleted. To learn more or apply follow the link at wbtai.com.  https://ocfs.ny.gov/main/contracts/funding/COVID-relief/essential-workers.php

The City Church and St. Anthony’s are announcing the opening back up of their Tuesday Night Activity Nights on July 6th.  They offer basketball, four square, a game room and the Liberty Arts room will be open.  The gym floor has been recently updated and is ready to be played on!  This will occur every Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. at the St. Anthony’s Community Center located on 114 Liberty St. in Batavia.

Have an ezpass?  You might want to check your bill and make sure its right.  Trucking companies are saying that the ezpass system has been overcharging them since the tolls went fully automated.  The truckers say that they were charged twice, once for the truck and once for the trailer.  Officials pointed to a malfunctioning reader at exit 55 as the culprit.  Other drivers have said that they were charged twice, charged for driving far further than they actually drove, or received tolls in the mail when they had the tag.  Check your statements to make sure you aren’t getting overcharged.

Midday News Brief

Rochester will have a brand-new leader after City Councilman Malik Evans defeats incumbent Mayor Lovely Warren in the Democratic primary.
To the west of us, Community activist India Walton is declaring victory in Buffalo’s Democratic mayoral primary. Right now, she’s ahead of four-term incumbent Mayor Byron Brown, but absentee ballots will need to be counted for a winner is declared.

Here in Genesee County: Joseph Nowakowski and Jeff Wolak are the apparent winners for Town of Bethany Justice. Peter Yasses has a ten-vote lead for Byron Town Supervisor and Barbara Radly has a commanding lead for Town of Stafford Clerk.

BPD continues to probe a car-pedestrian accident on West Main Street. Police say the pedestrian was crossing West Main yesterday afternoon when he was struck by an east bound SUV. The victim was flown to Strong Hospital. His name has not been released.

If you live in the area of number-10 Vernon Avenue this is for you.
The Water Department is repairing a water line. The street will be closed until mid-afternoon.

Continued good news on New York’s COVID-19 positivity rate.
The latest numbers show the state’s 7-day rate has dropped to .36-percent.
That’s another record low.
On the vaccination front: the state’s rate has gone to 71.1 percent.

Rene Robert  NHL.com

 

The Buffalo Sabres are mourning the loss of one of the most popular players in franchise history.
Rene Robert has passed away at the age of 72 after suffering a heart attack in Florida last week.
Robert was part of Buffalo’s “French Connection” line and played several seasons for the Sabres in the 1970s.

Morning News Brief

Here are the unofficial winners from Tuesday’s GOP primaries. Joseph Nowakowski and Jeff Wolak are the apparent winners for Town of Bethany Justice. Peter Yasses has a ten vote lead for Byron Town Supervisor and Barbara Radly has a handy lead for Town of Stafford Clerk.

The City of Batavia Water Department is repairing a water line at #10 Vernon Ave. this morning. The repair will require the road to be shut down for through traffic. This will include emergency vehicles. The road should be open by 3:00 PM.

The City of Batavia Police Department is investigating a car/pedestrian personal injury accident that occurred on Tuesday afternoon in front of 229 West Main St, Batavia. A pedestrian was crossing West Main Street and was struck by an SUV that was traveling eastbound. The pedestrian was transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Hospital to be treated for his injuries, which are unknown right now. The investigation is ongoing and police say the names of the individuals involved will not be released at this time.

The rate continues to decline. That’s the COVID-19 positivity rate. The latest numbers show the statewide 7-Day average positivity number has dropped to 0.36%. That’s another record low, for the 25th consecutive day. New York has had declines for 78 consecutive days. Also, good news on the vaccination front…the shot rate has elevated to 71.1%. Sadly, official have reported another eight virus-related deaths.

For the fourth consecutive year, Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse has been selected as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York. The annual listing of businesses honored through the Best Companies to Work for in New York program was created by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management and Best Companies Group. This statewide survey and awards program is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in New York, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses.

New York State’s Parks and Recreation Department announced the first-ever camper reward program for overnight stays at state campgrounds. You can earn points for every dollar spent on overnight accommodations, and redeem the points toward use fees on future stays. Points will be given once the visit is over, so campers can earn them on new or already-booked reservations.

New York Attorney General Letitia James co-led a coalition of 21 attorneys general and two cities in calling on the Postal Regulatory Commission to reject Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s proposal to cut services at the Postal Service, which she said would result in increased delivery times for First-Class Mail and other essential postal services. The proposed changes could impact up to 96 percent of ZIP codes in the United States.

Malik Evans has been a Rochester city school board member and city councilman. Now, he’s poised to become Rochester’s next mayor. Evans defeated Mayor Lovely Warren for the Democratic nomination in Tuesday’s primary. Rochester’s population is heavily Democratic, so it is likely the primary election will determine the winner of the race. Addressing supporters, Evans pledged to “build bridges and stop the bloodshed.”

Evening News Brief

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced that the county and the buffalo Bills have no agreement about building a new stadium.  He says that the Bills and the county have met and talked but there is no agreement.  There are lease negotiations and the Bills have hired a consultant to explore options.  Poloncarz said he had to make this announcement to dispute reporting that there was an agreement to build a new stadium on Abbott Road in Orchard Park.

Independence day travel is expected to be up 40 percent compared to last year.  AAA is expecting 47.7 million Americans to drive or fly over the July 4th weekend.  The top destinations are Orlando Florida and Anaheim California.  If you are driving expect delays because the vast majority, 43.6 million travelers, are planning on driving this year.

A good Samaritan helped out a struggling motorist in need in Warsaw on Monday after a car on Ryan rd went off the road and became wedged over the edge of a deep embankment.  Another driver stopped and assisted the driver out of the vehicle. The driver was not injured and an accident report was completed. Valley Sales and Service was able to remove the vehicle from the ledge without further incident.  The stuck vehicle was precariously perched against a tree which was all that stopped it from tumbling down over 20 feet.

Starting July 1st Northgate Free Methodist Church will be offering free youth pickleball this summer for students in both middle school and high school on Thursdays at 1 p.m. at their south campus at 350 bank street.  There is no cost, no equipment or knowledge of the game required to attend.

Midday News Brief

There are three Republican Party primaries today in Genesee County.
There is a five-way race in the Town of Bethany for Town Justice.
Voters can select two candidates to carry the GOP banner into the fall election.
There is a GOP primary for Town Supervisor in Byron: Gerald Heins and incumbent Peter Yasses square off.
In the Town of Stafford, there is a Republican primary for Town Clerk.
Incumbent Julie Scheuerlein is in a bitter battle with Barbara Radley. Voting continues until 9 tonight.

The Canadian government says the COVID-19 vaccination rate among its citizens is key to reopening the border with the United States. 75-percent of Canadian residents will need to be fully immunized against the virus before the ongoing shutdown is lifted. Only 19-percent of Canadians are completely are completely vaccinated.

Jeremy Lyons

What police describe as a case of a roadside domestic dispute has led to felony charges.
36-year-old Jeremy Lyons of Genesee County was stopped by Livingston County deputies in the Town of Geneseo while they investigated the dispute.
As a result of the investigation, Lyons was charged with a felony county of DWI under Leandra’s Law as Lyons had a passenger in the car under the age of 16.
A computer check revealed Lyons had three previous felony convictions

 

When the Buffalo Bills take the field at Highmark Stadium this season, they’re going to be greeted by tens of thousands of fans.
The team says that the stadium will be open at 100-percent capacity.
Fans will not have to be vaccinated in order to enter the stadium…but. unvaccinated fans will be required to wear a mask.
If you have been vaccinated – you don’t have to mask up.

 

On Wednesday June 23, 2021 and Monday June 28, 2021, Chase Park, Fisher Park, and North Spruce Street will be closed to all through traffic, for a two course pavement operation. Residents are asked to not park in the street on these two days
All motorists that regularly use these streets are asked to seek alternative routes while the closures are in place.

Morning News Brief

Jeremy Lyons

A Genesee County man now faces felony and other counts after he was stopped in the Town of Geneseo. Livingston County deputies said they investigated an apparent roadside domestic dispute. The sheriff’s office said 36-year-old Jeremy Lyons had a passenger under the age of 16. Lyons was later charged with felony aggravated DWI under Leandra’s Law. He was also charged with felony first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, child endangerment as well as traffic infractions. A computer check showed he had three previous felony convictions. Lyons was remanded to jail pending further court action.

Get your fishing poles ready for the first weekend of summer vacation. Governor Andrew Cuomo says that this Saturday and Sunday will be a Free Fishing Weekend in New York State. This is the second of six Free Fishing Days to be held in the state. During these designated free fishing days, New York residents and non-residents can fish for free without a fishing license.

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and the Batavia Community Schools initiative are joining forces to present a “School’s Out for Summer!” informational fair from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Recovery Station at 5256 Clinton St. Rd. Shannon Ford, GCASA’s director of Communications/Development/Prevention, said the event is set up to provide available resources, such as summer activities and educational opportunities, for both parents and youth. Batavia Community Schools is a new program developed by the Batavia City School District. Its mission is to unite the Batavia community and schools through shared resources, working partnerships, and open, collaborative communication.

The USDA has been providing free school meals through COVID-19 waivers, and will continue to do so through the 2021-2022 school year. Elected officials caution that food insecurity will stick around longer than that. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand traveled across the state on Monday pushing for broader assistance that goes beyond the pandemic through the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021. The U.S. Senator from New York says she supports the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021, which would permanently provide free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to all children, regardless of their income. According to Feeding America, 22 million kids rely on the National School Lunch Program for free and reduced-price meals.

The Genesee County Youth Bureau is seeking applicants for the Genesee Youth Lead Program. Applicants should be a Genesee County high school student entering their freshman through senior year. The deadline to apply is Sept. 3. The eight-month program is focused on developing leadership skills within an individual through each specific session and through hands-on experience.  Each session will have a different focus on the community and leadership. The Youth Lead Program will take place at BOCES beginning Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will be held once a month on the second Wednesdays of each month except for November due to the holiday.

Evening News Brief

The National Weather service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for western, central and parts of the North Country in NY through 8pm tonight.  The time period when we’ll have the highest risk of thunderstorms will be the mid-to-late afternoon. The high humidity levels will allow any thunderstorms to drop a significant amount of rain in a short period of time.  There may also be hail and gusts of wind.

The famous Nick Tahou’s restaurant in Rochester is closed through Tuesday after an unidentified man broke into the store after midnight Sunday morning.  The suspect bicycled up to the back door and broke in the glass and then rummaged under the front counters before leaving.  Owner Alex Tahou says there was only minor damage, the restaurant has been for sale since February and Tahou says deals are being worked on to sell the landmark restaurant.

The Buffalo Bills announced today that Highmark Stadium will be dropping seating restrictions and returning to full capacity.  They are still asking unvaccinated fans to wear masks.  Erie county has rescinded its requirement for vaccines being needed to attend stadium events.

Starting July 5th the Canadian border will be open to fully vaccinated people who are permanent residents or citizens of Canada.  US representative Brian Higgins was upset about the delayed reopening, “First the public was told vaccinations were the key to reopening the border,” Higgins said this morning in response to the latest announcement “Yet the vaccinated continue to be shut out. Then it was said, 75 percent partially vaccinated and 20 percent fully vaccinated was the threshold Canada needed to meet to loosen restrictions. That goal has been reached and still the border restrictions were extended for another month.”

UMMC Receives Largest Donation in its History

Marian Ransom

United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) has been gifted the largest donation in its history of more than 100 years. Marian Ransom, who lived in LeRoy, left her entire estate of more than $1.2 million to the hospital upon passing away last year. In honor of Marian Ransom and her generous contribution, the second floor medical wing at UMMC has been renamed the “Marian Ransom Medical Unit”.

“Its contributions like, Marian’s that make such a profound impact on the community,” said Dan Ireland, President of United Memorial Medical Center. “We are beyond grateful for Marian’s contributions and what it will mean for the hospital, our patients and the community. With the support of her donation, we’ll be renovating the intensive care unit (ICU), which will also have a significant impact on the newly named Marian Ransom Medical Unit.”

The ICU project is still in the early stages of development, but when complete will improve patient, visitor access and flow to both the ICU and the Marian Ransom Medical Unit. The ICU will get a new waiting area and greeting area and also, clinical support spaces for both units.

“Marian desired to make a difference at the end of her life and so bequeathed her entire estate of more than $1.2 million to United Memorial Medical Center, said Michael T Welsh, Marian’s attorney. “This humble and philosophical woman has left a legacy which will benefit so many of our citizens for years to come.”

Midday News Brief

A Wind Advisory is in effect for Genesee and Orleans counties.
The advisory is in effect until 6 tonight.
Winds out of the southwest at 20 to 30 miles per hour are expected with gusts to 50.
The National Weather Service says the winds could blow around unsecured objects, could down tree limbs and a few power outages may result.

Scientists with the University at Buffalo say the Delta COVID-19 variant has been found in Western New York.
Experts say this discovery is concerning for people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 yet, especially younger children.
They’re urging everyone to take the proper health and safety precautions to protect themselves and others from the virus.

Gasoline prices in Batavia remain unchanged from a week ago.
The Triple A reports the average price of a gallon of regular remains at $3.08.
One year ago, a gallon of regular in Batavia would cost you $2.25.

The Department of Homeland Security says the border between the United States and Canada will remain closed for a bit longer. The shutdown that was initially set to expire today has now been extended another month until July 21st. Officials from both countries have been talking recently about the safest way to reopen the border, but no final agreement has been reached.

Some good news for Bills fans – Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz now says he is rescinding the vaccine requirement for Buffalo Bills games and stadium events due to low COVID-19 case numbers. In a tweet, he cited low hospitalizations and good vaccination rates.

Morning News Brief

49 years ago, this week…the rain started and the devastation began. Hurricane Agnes was like a house guest that just wouldn’t leave. The region was ravaged for five long days beginning the night of June 20, 1972. Lives were lost. Infrastructure ruined. In New York, the headlines featured the Allegany County village of Wellsville, where a record-setting crest of the Genesee River caused the west wing of Jones Memorial Hospital to collapse. The National Weather Service Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center said the most significant destruction caused by Agnes occurred in the Susquehanna River basin in Pennsylvania.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the New York State Department of Public Service has commenced an investigation into National Grid’s downstate gas business after several former National Grid employees were charged in a bribery and kickback scheme involving contracts worth tens of millions of dollars. A federal complaint unsealed against five former National Grid managers employed in the company’s facilities department with conspiring to violate the Travel Act by accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for steering contracts to certain Long Island-based contractors with whom the company did business. One contractor, according to the complaint, secured more than $50 million in facility maintenance contracts from the company during the time that the contractor was paying bribes to the defendants.

Hang onto to your hats…The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for Genesee and Orleans Counties. The alert is in effect from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Winds could gust to 50 p.m. and some power outages could occur. Severe thunderstorms are also possible this afternoon.

Governor Cuomo has signed legislation establishing clinical staffing committees in general hospitals. The staffing committees, which will be jointly composed of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, ancillary staff members providing direct patient care, and hospital administrators, will be charged with developing clinical staffing plans that include specific guidelines on how many patients are assigned to each nurse and how many ancillary staff are assigned to each unit. The first plan must be adopted by the committee and submitted to the New York State Department of Health by July 1, 2022.

Batavia police report the arrest of 30-year-old Robert L. Williams. He was charged with felony first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, driving while intoxicated, unlicensed operation and driving a vehicle without a court-ordered ignition interlock device. He’ll respond to the charges in court tomorrow.

New York’s COVID positivity rate has dropped to the lowest point since the start of the pandemic. The statewide 7-Day positivity rate is now 0.38% and has declined for 76 consecutive days. The statewide vaccination rate is 70.9%. Only 258 new positive cases were confirmed on Sunday.

Weekend News Brief

Governor Cuomo announced Friday that state run COVID vaccination clinics will start scaling back on Monday.  Instead of having mass vaccination clinics the state will begin focusing on targeting areas that have the lowest rates of vaccination.  Several state run testing sites will begin closing up shop.  The first vaccination clinics to shut down will be the mass vaccination sites in Corning, Oneonta, Potsdam and York College with more being announced in weeks to come.

Rochester Police are saying that the recent string of shootings in the area of Bartlett, Garden and Genesee streets in Rochester are not random.  Stopping short of saying that they are gang related the police say that the shootings which have happened over the last several days involved victims which were shot multiple times with more than 1 weapon.  Interim Rochester Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan said that there is no question that Rochester has a major violence problem right now.  Friday’s shooting is the 147th shooting in the city of Rochester this year, 22 of them being fatal.

The Buffalo Bills and Pegula Sports and Entertainment are consulting with Legends Global Planning about possibly getting a new stadium.  The Bills have reportedly started a contract with Legends to sell sponsorships and seating for a new venue.  Pegula Sports completed a study over COVID into Highmark Stadium but have not reported what conclusions they arrived at.

On Monday the 14th the GLOW YMCA held a golf outing at Terry Hill’s Golf Club to raise money for scholarships.  The event was a massive success raising over 12 thousand dollars for families in the GLOW region.  Winning foursome was Matt Woods, Mark Marcello, Mike Schuth and Andrew Daily shooting a 12 under 60.  Longest Drive winners were Susie Ott and Andrew Daily.  Closest to the pin winners were Peggy Miller and Jason Krempa.

Godfreys Pond is putting on a Golden retriever hunting challenge June 26th.  The event which represents a duck hunt over water and a field goose hunt is open to all breeds that are used to hunt waterfowl and all handlers 12 and up.  All dogs should be familiar with multiple shots from a 12-gauge shotgun.  No dogs that currently hold a hunt test or field trial title can enter.  No professional trainers allowed to handle dogs; professionally trained dogs may participate.  Registration fee is $35 per dog. All fees for the event will be donated to the Godfrey’s Pond’s conservation programs.  Event starts at 10:30am at Godfreys Pond.

Evening News Brief

Darien Lake Amusement park is lifting restrictions for the park due to the lifting of mandates in New York.  The park will no longer require reservations, temperature checks, or social distancing while outdoors.  Unvaccinated people are still requested to wear masks if they are unable to social distance.  Previously park goers had to use an online portal to sign up for a timeslot to enter the park and enter through a stand up temperature reader before going into the park.

The border crossing between the US and Canada remains closed and will be closed until at least July 21st as the order to close it has been extended again.  Canadian officials say this is to protect Canadian citizens from the unvaccinated or different strains of COVID entering the country.

The Auto Dealer known for his huge commercials, 64 year old Billy Fucillo, has passed away.  Fucillo owned several car dealerships across New York and Florida.  His family says he had been in declining health for several months.  He was known for his philanthropy toward many charities and police groups.  His funeral mass will be held Friday in Syracuse.

Fireworks tents are popping up across New York and the flashy noisemakers are already on sale in tops and Walmart.  Fireworks that are legal in New York must be either handheld sparklers or remain on the ground fountains that do not shoot anything other than sparks up into the air.

Midday News Brief

 Jacob Minnick

The questions surrounding the drowning death of a young man at Indian Falls are compounded today by the knowledge that he was an accomplished swimmer.
18-year-old Jacob Minnick of Lockport drown yesterday afternoon in Tonawanda Creek at Indian Falls in Pembroke.
We have learned today that Jacob had just finished his first year at Clarion University in northwestern Pennsylvania. It was there that Jacob was an active member of Clarion’s Men’s Swim Team.

Genesee County Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yeager says the Tonawanda at Indian Falls is familiar territory to first responders

Clarion University head swimming and diving coach Bree Kelley described Jacob as a very sincere, polite and caring kid. Jacob graduation from Lockport High School. He was a biology and Ecology major at Clarion.

Jill Wiedrick

More shuffling of management at Batavia City Hall.
The city announcing today the appointment of Batavia native Jill Wiedrick to the post of Assistant City Manager.
Wiedrick holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning. She was once a senior planner for Genesee County and is currently Manager of Zoning for the City of Rochester.
She will return to Batavia as required by charter.

 

Batavia’s Juneteenth celebration is tomorrow at Williams Park from 12-7 pm. There will be vendors, food, horses, & more. More information has been posted on the Batavia City School District website.

Genesee County continues to ask residents to conserve water, especially on hot dry days. Why? Two reasons – The first is that the water infrastructure improvements the County planned to have in place by the summer of 2020 still have not been completed due to the pandemic. Second, and more recently, the water level in the aquifer that feeds the City of Batavia Water Treatment Plant is approaching historic lows. Without water conservation measures in place, had events like Monday’s large barn fire in Le Roy occurred in the middle of a hot/dry stretch, there would have been major supply issues.

Morning News Brief

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate a drowning in the Tonawanda Creek at Indian Falls in the Town of Pembroke. It happened shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon when calls to 911 reported a person jumped into the water and did not resurface. Several bystanders jumped into the water in an effort to locate the individual but were unsuccessful. The Water Rescue Team from the City of Batavia Fire Department and the Dive Team from Alden Fire Department eventually located the body. The victim was identified as 18-year-old Jacob Minnick of Lockport. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Genesee County officials continue to ask residents to conserve water, especially on hot dry days.  According to county officials, there are two driving factors behind the conservation efforts. The first is that the water infrastructure improvements the County planned to have in place by the summer of 2020 still have not been completed due to complications with the pandemic.  Second, and more recently, the water level in the aquifer that feeds the City of Batavia Water Treatment Plant is approaching historic lows. The County stressed it has plenty of water on average days, but without conservation efforts, producing enough water on hot, dry days will be challenging as groundwater levels will continue to drop through the summer.

An Albion man now faces multiple felony counts. State Police arrested 32-year-old Kenneth martin. He was charged burglary and grand larceny following an incident in Ridgeway. He was initially detained. A second suspect was previously arrested on the same felony counts. His bail was set at $50,000.

Batavia’s Juneteenth celebration is tomorrow at Williams Park from 12-7 pm. There will be vendors, food, horses, & more. More information has been posted on the Batavia City School District website.

Watkins Glen International has announced that former IMSA President Scott Atherton will give the command to fire engines for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on Sunday, June 27, to kick off the return of the prestigious IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship endurance race following a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Atherton’s nearly 35 years of leadership in motorsports spans the industry. WGI President Michael Printup said “His leadership in motorsports helped this race rise to the level of prominence it currently enjoys and we’re excited to honor that dedication.” Atherton said he is honored to serve as the Grand Marshal.

According to preliminary figures just released by the New York State Department of Labor, the number of private sector jobs in New York increased over the month by 17,500, or 0.2%, to 7.4 million in May. By comparison, the number of private sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 0.4% last month. New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 8.2% to 7.8% last month.

From Wyoming County…Beth Russell was honored this week as she retired after 22 years as an Attica Police Department School Crossing Guard. Police Chief Dean Hendershot said Russell performed her duties at the intersection of Exchange and Main Street. He thanks her for her devoted service to the community, the children, and the parents of the Village of Attica.

Evening News Brief

New York’s Assembly has passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act and it has been sent to the governor’s desk.  The measure officially creates a public commitment for the state to reduce child poverty by 50% over the next decade. It will also establish a Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council that will develop plans, assess policies and send out annual progress reports. That council will also examine structural racism and determine sources of inequity that result in poverty.  There are over a million children living in Poverty in the Empire State with almost a third of them going into poverty during COVID.

A family in Darien is looking for the driver of a car that hit their dog on Harper Road Wednesday at around 9am.  The car was a blue sedan thought to be a Chevy Impala which did not stop after hitting the dog.  A complaint was made to the Sheriffs office and the car is believed to have been captured on a neighbors security camera.

Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott flew with the Blue Angels yesterday after the flying team arrived in Niagara Falls ahead of the Buffalo air Show Saturday.  McDermott flew in an F18 hornet over Lake Ontario.  He said that the flight was 3 times more intense than coaching at the Super Bowl.

Midday News Brief

Andrew Maguire

The Batavia Development Corporation (BDC) is looking for a new Director of Development.
Andrew Maguire, who has held the city job for less than two years,  will become the Operations Manager for the Town of Batavia. In that role, Maguire will be in charge of the Town’s water system.
He’ll make $74,800 a year in his new job, about $15,000 more than his job with the city. Maguire’s last day with the city will be June 30th.

A man was taken into custody in the Orleans County Town of Holley for lunging at a police officer with a knife.
Witnesses called police after watching the man walking around antagonizing people with the knife. The officer got the knife away from the suspect after deploying a taser. The suspect has not been identified. He has been charged with attempted murder.

The harvest season for black bass opens Saturday in New York State. They are state’s most popular freshwater sportfish, and account for 31 percent of total freshwater angling efforts.
New York’s traditional bass season opens on the third Saturday in June each year and runs until Nov. 30.

Daredevil Nik Wallenda will be putting his life on the line again today as he takes part in a high-wire walk in Western New York.
Wallenda will start crossing a 320-foot wire above the Library at D’Youville College in Buffalo and finish on top of the school’s new Health Professions building.
The public is invited to watch the event which is expected to start at roughly 3:30 this afternoon.

Organizers of the Erie County Fair say this year’s event is going to operate at 100-percent capacity. Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo said limits on crowd sizes were lifted because the state has hit a 70-percent COVID-19 vaccination rate among adults.

Morning News Brief

Batavia has a new town operations manager. Andrew Maguire has been tapped for the position. Maguire has served as director of economic development for the Batavia Development Corp. since November 2019. Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post said Maguire will begin his new duties next month. Maguire says he’s excited for the new opportunity adding that the “the town has a ton of potential.” His salary will be just shy of $75,000.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo says “we cannot get cocky” with COVID successes. He says the best way to honor frontline and essential workers for all they have done for us is to stay vigilant and get everyone vaccinated. New York’s statewide positivity rate has dropped to 0.35%…it has declined for 72 consecutive days. Sadly, nine more virus-related deaths have been reported in New York.

State Police have taken two Orleans County men into custody stemming from a burglary complaint last December. Troopers arrested 27-year-old John Cecchini and 37-year-old Terry Holloway, both of Medina. Each was charged with two felony counts each of burglary and grand larceny of a firearm. The pair was also charged with felony third-degree grand larceny. The men face similar felony counts in a second case as well.

Here’s a report from WETM in Elmira and the Associated Press…President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held diplomatic talks in Geneva on Tuesday that included a gift with connection to the Southern Tier. According to the White House, President Biden gifted President Putin a crystal sculpture of an American Bison by Steuben Glass of New York. In 1918, Steuben became part of Corning Glass Works, now Corning Incorporated. President Biden also gifted President Putin a pair of custom Aviators made by Randolph USA.

The harvest season for largemouth and smallmouth bass opens Saturday in the Empire State. These two species, also known as black bass, are New York’s most popular freshwater sportfish, and account for 31 percent of total freshwater angling effort in the state.  New York’s traditional bass season opens on the third Saturday in June each year and runs until Nov. 30.

Local sales tax collections in New York in May increased by 57 percent over the same month in 2020, the highest one month increase in recent history…that’s according to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. Collections totaled $1.4 billion, up $530 million from May of last year.

From Orleans County…A man was arrested by police in the village of Holley after officers said he lunged at and tried to stab an officer with a knife. The man, according to witnesses, was “walking around with a knife antagonizing people.” police said the man lunged at the officer and tried to stab him with a knife. Other people nearby jumped in to try to help the officer, at which point police said the officer was able to get the knife away from the man and use his Taser. The man, who hasn’t yet been identified, was charged with attempted murder. Court action is pending.

A Lyndonville man remains in critical condition in a Rochester hospital more than a week after he was found unconscious inside a tanker truck. 35-year-old Chase Johnson and 19-year-old Keegan Bayne were clean the inside of the tank when they were overcome. Bayne died. The incident happened at Millennium Roads company, where Johnson is the operations manager. His family owns the company. A Go Fund Me page has raised more than $9,300 for the family.

A New York City man accused of illegally accessing others’ social media accounts has pleaded guilty to a federal charge. Among his victims were SUNY Geneseo students. 29-year-old David Mondore pleaded guilty to accessing a protected computer without authorization. Between July 2018 and August 2020, Mondore accessed others’ Snapchat accounts, in some cases accessing explicit photos users had saved in personal “my eyes only” folders and saving them to his phone. Prosecutors say Mondore accessed Snapchat accounts of 14 people in the Western District of New York – and that he admitted to accessing at least 300 accounts in all.

Evening News Brief

D’Youville College has announced that international acrobat, daredevil, and high wire star Nik Wallenda will be coming to buffalo to celebrate the opening of its Health professions hub tomorrow.  He will walk a wire five stories up in the air between the top of the Montante Library and the top of the new Health Professions Hub Building.  The wire is 320 feet long.

The Batavia Muckdogs have teamed up with the Challenger Division Baseball League to host a game at Dwyer Stadium at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 19th.  Challenger Baseball is a community program sponsored by the YMCA and Arc of Genesee & Orleans that provides children in the area with disabilities the opportunity to play organized baseball.  With the support of volunteers trained in disability awareness and sensitivity, these athletes who range from ages 5-21 can have the opportunity to play the sports they love along with the professionals.

Frontier field in Rochester is removing its vaccinated and unvaccinated sections from the seating areas for Red Wings games.  Fans will no longer be asked if they are vaccinated.  The seating bowl will return to normal capacity on July 6. Some sections will still be set aside for social distancing.  Visitors who aren’t vaccinated are still asked to wear masks inside the stadium, except when eating or drinking.

 

Midday News Brief

A home in LeRoy originally thought to have been saved when fire swept an adjacent barn, has now been declared a total loss.
The fire occurred Monday morning on a horse farm along Warsaw Raod.
Fire fighters believed at the time that a fire wall between the barn and the house was enough to save the living quarters. LeRoy First Assistant chief Josh Pfendler says today that only a few personal items and some photographs could be saved from the house.

The Buffalo Catholic Diocese has announced a plan to monitor 18 priests who were accused of sexually abusing children.
The Diocese has been criticized by the State Attorney General’s office for not doing enough to track their actions.
The new program will include both monthly home visits and restrictions on how closely they can live to places where kids gather including schools and playgrounds.

Most of the COVID-19 restrictions put in place statewide to prevent the virus from spreading have now been lifted.
70-percent of people 18 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and life can return to normal for the first time since last year.
There will still be some safety guidelines in effect at places such as schools and health care facilities.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen will be taking to the mound at Sahlen Field later this week. He’ll be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Toronto Blue Jays battle the New York Yankees Thursday. Allen is currently in town to take part in the Bills’ mandatory minicamp. He’s also no stranger to the game of baseball, having played on the varsity team at his high school in California.

Morning News Brief

New York’s COVID-19 mandates are lifted, effective immediately. As of Tuesday, the 70% threshold was reached, meaning cleaning and disinfection, social distancing, health screenings, and contract tracing will be lifted for retail, food services, offices, gyms, amusement parks, barbershops and hair salons. There will be exceptions to the state’s rollback, including federal guidelines that stay in place: COVID-19 health protocols will still be in place for large-scale event venues, school’s pre-k to 12th grade, public transit, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, nursing homes, and health care facilities. Unvaccinated people would still be required to keep a social distance of six-feet and wear a face mask.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge will offer for bid 167 acres of grassland hay in three different fields ranging in size from 49 to 60 acres. The Refuge annually provides a total of 1,100 acres of grassland habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife. Active management of these grasslands is necessary to provide the highest quality nesting and migration habitat. Hay will be allocated on a highest bid per field basis for each field. Sealed bids will be accepted until close-of-business (COB) on Friday, July 2. An official Bid Sheet, available from the Refuge headquarters, is required to make a bid.

Larger fires and especially barn fires, can be problematic. That was the annoying case for Le Roy firefighters Tuesday. Earlier this week they spent hours dowsing a barn fire on Warsaw Road. But fires are unpredictable and Tuesday the barn rubble reignited. Le Roy firefighters responded again and poured more water on the embers. They cleared the scene right around 2 p.m.

Here’s a traffic alert for the City of Batavia… North Spruce Street (East Ave. to North St.) and Farwell Drive (North Spruce St. to Trumbull Pkwy.) will be closed today to all through traffic. The closure is for the installation of storm water facilities. Residents and property owners within the closure may experience limited or delayed access to and from their residence. All through motorists are asked to seek an alternate route.

U.S. Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of NY joined Senate colleagues in calling for legislation to increase penalties for automated and illegal phone calls. The Deter Obnoxious, Nefarious, and Outrageous Telephone Call Act…or the DO NOT Call Act would increase penalties for individuals and companies intentionally preying on consumers through unsolicited and illegal robocalls. According to YouMail, nearly 4.5 billion robocalls targeted Americans in April 2021. Of those calls, 229 million took place in New York State, making it the fifth most-called state in the nation. The Office of the New York Attorney General says consumers lose approximately $40 billion a year through telemarketing fraud.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the launch of the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation’s “On the Canals” excursions, a free, recreational program offering unique opportunities to experience the outdoors on the New York State Canal system and the adjoining Empire State Trail. As part of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals initiative, “On the Canals” excursions will highlight six, free outdoor excursions in the five canalside communities of Medina, Macedon, Waterloo, Savannah, and Amsterdam in summer 2021. The program will also support and promote local businesses through a comprehensive marketing effort, increasing visitation to villages, towns, and cities along the Canal system.

Kodak’s CEO will be required to testify as part of the Office of the New York State Attorney General’s investigation into potential insider trading. Attorney General Letitia James says a State Supreme Court order will require the CEO to testify in October, and the company will also have to turn over documents to the A.G.’s office.

Midday News Brief

Artist rendering of Batavia Police Department

After years of study and citizen recommendations and political “kicking the can down the road” – the City Council may be ready to build a new police station.
The existing police headquarters on West Main has been around for 160 years and just doesn’t work for modern policing. Now, the city has proposed a new police station at Alva Place and Bank Street at a price tag of 10-million dollars. Council President Gene Jankowski says waiting so long has been costly

PHOTO: Batavia City Council President Eugene Jankowski

Among the troubles with the existing police station: it leaks, the walls are deteriorating, there is no air conditioning and inconsistent heat – just to name a few.

New York state is as close to being back to normal as it has been in 15 months. At any moment, capacity limits, social distancing, and health screenings in indoor businesses could be lifted. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said when at least 70 percent of the state population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, the state would lift most COVID restrictions.

The New York State Fair is just a couple of months away, and there won’t be any limits on how many people can attend. Governor Cuomo says the fair, which is held in Syracuse, will operate at 100-percent capacity this year. In 2020, the fair was canceled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

A win for the Muckdogs. The dogs beat the Elmira Pioneers last night 6 to 5 at Dwyer Stadium.
After a few days on the road, the Toronto Blue Jays return to Sahlen Field in Buffalo tonight to take on a longtime rival. Toronto will host the struggling New York Yankees in the first contest of a three-game series.
First pitch for tonight’s showdown with the Yankees is set for 7:07pm.

Morning News Brief

Gas prices in Batavia leaped 6-cents per gallon in the past week. The New York State average is $3.11 – up 2 cents from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.22. The new report is fanning market concerns that inflation is driving prices higher. Weeks ago, analysts predicted that gas prices would drop by Father’s Day, but if domestic crude prices remain high, American drivers will likely continue to see pump prices fluctuate through the end of the month.

The New York State first dose vaccination rate is now 69.9 percent, which is just shy of dropping all remaining COVID-19 restrictions. The statewide 7-day average positivity rate has reached a record low for 17 consecutive days and has declined for 70 straight days.  The number of people in the hospital with virus-related complications has dropped to 617.

The Batavia City Council may be ready to pull the trigger on construction of a new $10.8 million police headquarters on the parking lot at Alva Place and Bank Street. Lawmakers listened to a presentation of a City of Batavia Police Station Feasibility Study. The City is considering a $10 million improvement serial bond with a 30-year term, with annual payments around $500,000.  Other debts will retire soon, making the new debt more manageable.

The 2021 New York State Fair, an end-of-summer celebration at the New York State Fairgrounds from August 20 to September 6 in Syracuse, will increase capacity to 100 percent and reopen many popular buildings with additional vendors, given the significant progress New Yorkers have made against COVID-19. In accordance with the State’s evolving health guidelines, indoor spaces will be subject to capacity limits to allow attendees to be socially distanced within each building.

It appears the border between the United States and Canada is going to remain closed for the foreseeable future. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters over that he spoke with President Biden about a reopening plan during the G-7 summit but they weren’t able to reach a deal.

Catholic Health made the decision to eliminate unionized positions at its Western New York facilities and to contract the work out to a non-union Catholic Health subsidiary. The work in question is patient registration and the employees affected are those in Patient Access and Radiology Clerk job titles. According to the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, this illegal outsourcing is taking place while Catholic Health has rejected union bargaining proposals for safe staffing as members fight for a new contract.

Evening News Brief

A fire broke out at a large barn on Warsaw road in Leroy this morning at around 7:30am.  It was a horse barn filled with bales of hay, all animals were out by the time firefighters arrived on the scene.  Leroy Assistant Chief Pfendler talked about the fire.  The attached house was also saved by having a good firewall in place. Alexander, Batavia and Darien Fire Departments responded to requests for aid from LeRoy and Bergen Fire Departments.  Brockport filled in for Leroy’s fire hall while fighting the fire.  The flames were controlled by 9:40.

Gas prices went up by a big jump this week in Batavia.  In Batavia prices are up 6 cents to 3.08.  In New York the average is 3.11 which is 2 cents higher.  The national average is the same as Batavia.  The blame for the higher prices lies with the price of Oil going up to 71 dollars a barrel which hasn’t happened since fall of 2018.

On Saturday Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo gained a new baby animal.  An 8 week old Snow Leopard cub.  The cub has no name yet and a contest was launched for people to find a name for him.  You can view the cub on Seneca Zoo’s new cub cam, a 24 hour streaming look into the cubs den.  Follow the link on wbtai.com to watch the cub online.  The naming contest will be ended on June 26th.  After that the 5 most popular names will be voted on.

The New York State Fair will be operating at 100 percent capacity in August and September.  The 18 day festival will have everything open according to Governor Cuomo.  Social distancing will be encouraged at times when it is possible, and unvaccinated visitors will be asked to wear masks. Individuals’ vaccine status will not be checked; the fair will operate on an honor system.  Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo also announced Monday that the state is working with six upstate transit agencies to provide a free, unlimited seven-day public transit pass to anyone who gets vaccinated between Monday through July 14.

Today is the day for the flag to fly.  The new flag designed by Alexander 8th grader Riley Wall for Genesee county which depicts an ear of corn against a blue and green field being held up by 2 hands, one dark skinned and one light skinned.  The flag will fly at the Alexander Courthouse all day today.

You may have heard honking and some loud noises Sunday afternoon and perhaps seen a caravan of cars and trucks with American flags coming off the highway and heading toward the Batavia Veterans Home.  This was the rolling Patriots and Patriot Guard Riders escorting the Save Our Seniors and SOS Air Band who went to the veterans home to serenade the residents with 1950’s rock music and honor them for their service.  See pictures from the event on our news partner the Batavian.

Midday News Brief

Fire destroyed a large barn on a horse farm in LeRoy early this morning.
The structure was located at the Garry Wilson farm on Warsaw Road in LeRoy.
What initially concerned fire fighters was the location of the home – it was attached to the barn.
The LeRoy Fire Chief is Josh Pfendler, he was in charge of the scene …

(Photo & Audio Courtesy of The Batavian)

Witnesses said smoke from the fire was visible from Route 33 and Prole Road.

New York State’s COVID stats remain encouraging. The statewide positivity rate has declined to 0.35%. It remains the lowest in the nation.

Early voting in Genesee County has been a big disappointment.
This according to the County Board of Elections.
Early voting started on Saturday.
GOP Election Commissioner Richard Seibert tells us about the turnout – or lack of it…

Seibert says they are just three primaries, all Republican: One in Stafford for Town Clerk, one in Byron for Town Supervisor and it Bethany, where five candidates are vying for the GOP endorsement for Town Justice. five in Bethany for Town Justice.
Total cost of the early voting: about $6,000 that gets split among the towns holding the primaries.
If you are eligible to vote in any one of the three and wish to cast a ballot, you can do so at the ARC Community Center on Woodrow Road in Batavia.

It appears the border between the United States and Canada is going to remain closed for the foreseeable future. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters over the weekend that he spoke with President Biden about a reopening plan during the G-7 summit but they weren’t able to reach a deal

Morning News Brief

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 15 properties to the State and National Registers of Historic Places and one of those sites is in Genesee County. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery was constructed in 1869 and designed by prominent Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner. The Gothic Revival church in the village of LeRoy was built from locally quarried limestone and retains nearly all its original features. The property includes a cemetery that dates to 1826.

New York State’s COVID stats remain encouraging. The statewide positivity rate has declined to 0.35%. It remains the lowest in the nation. Hospitalizations have dropped below 700 and statewide vaccination rate has climbed to 69.9%. More than 20 million COVID vaccine doses have been administered in New York.

Today is world blood donor day. The Day is recognized annually to thank blood donors around the world for their voluntary, unpaid contributions which ultimately save lives and contribute to better health. It also serves as a call to action for more people all over the world to donate blood on a regular basis. Safe blood, blood products, and their transfusions are an essential aspect of care and public health – saving millions of lives and improving the health and quality of life for many every day. Blood is in continuous need because it can only be stored for a limited amount of time before use.

Some serious trouble for a Darien man following a domestic dispute. Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested 56-year-old Dean Conboy Sr. of Harper Road. He’ll head to court to respond to significant charges, including two counts of attempted aggravated assault on a police office, two counts of menacing a cop, unlawful imprisonment, attempted felony assaults, and a bunch more. Conboy is accused of threatening a person with a butcher knife, forcing the person to barricade themselves. When deputies arrived, they too were threatened with the butcher knife. There was a struggle as deputies attempted to disarm him and place him in custody. He was initially hauled to jail on cash bail.

Rochester police confirm a boy in his early teens was shot and killed Saturday afternoon. A 14-year-old boy was also shot on Genesee Street. One victim died at the hospital, while the other remains hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

A New York State Appellate Court upheld a decision to strip the Rochester Police Accountability Board of its disciplinary powers. A judge called the original law “invalid, void and unenforceable.”

Batavia police say they arrested 54-year-old Kevin McCoy after he allegedly threatened three other people with a knife during an argument in a parking lot on E. Main Street. He was charged with menacing and criminal possession of a weapon.

The Just Kings Social Club of Batavia will host its Second Annual Juneteenth on Saturday, June 19 from noon to 7 p.m. at Williams Park. The event will include vendors, food, a talent show for ages 8 to 16 (with cash prizes), a bounce house, dunk tank, other fun and games, and live music. There will also be a guest speaker. Everybody is invited. The Park is located at 101 Pearl St. in the City of Batavia. Juneteenth is the traditional day to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.

Weekend News Brief

The New York State Department of Health has announced new testing guidelines for nursing home workers.  Workers who are fully vaccinated no longer need to be tested weekly for COVID.  Before today they were getting tested at least twice a week.  Those who are unvaccinated will still need to get tested weekly.  This also applies to group homes.

The New York Assembly has passed the Less Is More Bill which makes it less likely that parole violators will face jail time for technical violations such as missing parole meetings, being late for curfew or testing positive for drugs and alcohol.  It also applies the bail reform legislation to the parolees and caps any new jail time for parole violation at 30 days unless a new crime is committed.

COVID Update From Friday at 4pm: Since Tuesday there have been 7 new cases of COVID 19 in Genesee county and 7 people have recovered.  In Orleans county there are 2 new cases and 2 people have recovered.  There are 8 active cases in Genesee county and 3 in Orleans.  GO Health has announced that this is the last update they will be sending out as cases continue to drop and more and more people are vaccinated against coronavirus.  The information on positivity rates, case numbers and recoveries will be available on the GO Health Website.

The new Quicklee’s gas station and convenience store planning on being put in on the corner of Oak and Noonan will have a Tim Hortons if all goes as planned.  Louis Terragnoli, director of real estate and development for Quicklee’s, was on the Zoom call of the meeting of the Genesee County Planning Board, which approved a site plan and area variances for a 2,771-square-foot convenience store with 1,000-square-foot drive-thru and a four-pump fuel station.  Quicklee’s is in negotiations with Tim Hortons for what would be the third location in the Batavia Area.

There is free fishing at Dewitt park on June 26th.  The Oakfield Alabama Lions club is sponsoring the Kendra Haacke Memorial fishing Derby for kids up to age 16 from 10-1.  If you don’t have fishing gear it can be provided for free and fishing guides will be there to help you learn the sport.

Evening News Brief

Fantasy Island has an official new owner, Gene Staples, CEO of IB Parks and Entertainment, now has control of the property and is moving forward with new plans for the closed down park.  Staples says that he is pushing to open the water park this summer and have the full park ready by next summer.  Staples had previously bought and refurbished the Indiana Beach Amusement and Water Park.

The New York State Legislature has passed the Jose Webster Untraceable Firearms Act which requires all firearms to have serial numbers and bans all so called “ghost guns.”  Ghost guns are firearms built from pieces which do not have serial numbers.  Gun owners can purchase a kit that allows them to build the guns.  Under previous laws these types of guns were legal for personal purchase and use but were illegal to sell.  The new law bans them completely.  The new law does not say what gun owners can do to make their ghost guns legal but says that all gunsmiths must serialize and register all guns they own.

Governor Cuomo announced the 15 locations in New York state that have ben recognized this year as historical landmarks in the national registry of historic places and one local landmark is on that list.  St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery in Leroy, Constructed in 1869 and designed by prominent Rochester architect Andrew Jackson Warner, this Gothic Revival church is built from locally quarried limestone and retains nearly all its original features. The property includes a cemetery that dates to 1826.

Midday News Brief

Chief Stefano Napolitano

Batavia Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano is leaving the city fire department after four years as its chief.
Napolitano has accepted a job as Deputy State Fire Administrator.
City Manager Rachel Tabelski wished the chief well. She said an interim chief will be named upon Napolitano’s departure on July 9th.
The chief was not available for comment this morning.

The Genesee County Farmers Market is ending its first full week of operation.
The market is welcoming shoppers until 4 this afternoon. They are featuring locally grown strawberries and homemade ice cream.
The market is located off of Alva Place behind the City Centre Mall.

Officials report that New York has had 13 consecutive days of record-low COVID positivity rates statewide. The 7-day average has now dropped to 0.47% and has declines for 66 consecutive days. The rate is the lowest in the country. The statewide COVID vaccination rate is 69.2%.

It looks like there will be a Labor Daze celebration in Oakfield in 2021 after all. Jamie Lindsley said the Oakfield Betterment Committee “jumped at the chance to reevaluate” hosting the event with COVID-19 restrictions lifted. Lindsey said “Everything is planned and ready to go.” Lindsley confirmed that both the town and village are on board with supporting putting together a Labor Daze celebration even on short notice.

An Erie County student is among the latest group of people to win New York State’s COVID-19 vaccine scholarship raffle. It was announced yesterday that Ella Campbell will be able to attend any State University of New York, City University of New York or public community college and have her tuition, room and board all covered. To enter the contest, teens between the ages of 12 and 17 must prove they’ve been vaccinated against coronavirus before July 7th.

Morning News Brief

Officials report that New York has had 13 consecutive days of record-low COVID positivity rates statewide. The 7-day average has now dropped to 0.47% and has declines for 66 consecutive days. The rate is the lowest in the country. The statewide COVID vaccination rate is 69.2%.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that applications are now open for the $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. The program reimburses New York small businesses with grants of up to $50,000 for COVID-related expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021. Grants will be awarded to small and micro businesses and small for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations, with priority being given to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, including minority- and women-owned business enterprises, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses and veteran-owned businesses, and businesses located in economically distressed communities. Grants will be for a minimum award of $5,000 and a maximum award of $50,000.

An arrest has been made after a NY congressman was targeted…Authorities say Jack Kahabka of Watkins Glen has been arrested and charged with throwing a brick through Congressman Tom Reed’s Corning office and for leaving a dead rat at the Congressman’s home in Steuben County. Kahabka has been charged with making terroristic threats and criminal mischief, both felonies. Corning Police were assisted by the FBI.

An Elba woman was involved in a two-vehicle crash in Allegany County in which three people were reported to be injured. Troopers did not say who was hurt or the extent of injuries. The drivers were listed as 24-year-old Amanda Norway of Elba and 36-year-old Danielle Zinklaskowski of Arcade. The crash happened in the Town of Centerville.

A local law to repeal and replace the Genesee County legislature’s ethics and disclosure law is now primed for a public hearing. That public hearing has been scheduled for June 23rd at 5:30 p.m. It will be held in the legislative chambers as well as via Zoom conference. Written comments will be accepted until the close of business June 23. Contact the Clerk for the ZOOM link. A legal notice says all interested persons will be heard.

The Oakfield-Alabama Central School District announces its participation in the free Summer Food Service Program, offered through the USDA. Meals will be provided to all age 18 and under without charge. No paperwork is necessary — just show up for great meals! The lunches will be available for pick up at Triangle Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. starting July 13 through Aug. 19. The Park is located at 5 N. Pearl Street in Oakfield. Each pick up includes three days of meals.

It looks like there will be a Labor Daze celebration in Oakfield in 2021 after all. Jamie Lindsley said the Oakfield Betterment Committee “jumped at the chance to reevaluate” hosting the event with COVID-19 restrictions lifted. Lindsey said “Everything is planned and ready to go.” Lindsley confirmed that both the town and village are on board with supporting putting together a Labor Daze celebration even on short notice.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is hailing the passage of a bill through both houses of the Legislature that would give members of gold star families free college tuition. The passage of this bill comes two years after Hawley himself proposed a bill to provide gold star families with free tuition, though that bill was blocked in the Higher Education Committee by the Assembly Majority and never brought to the floor for a vote.

Evening News Brief

The mandate allowing Alcohol to go sales at bars and restaurants is set to expire this week and most people in New York State would like it to stay permanently.  A poll from the New York Restaurant association found that 78 percent of the public supports to go sales.  Proponents want the rule to stay till at least the end of the year.

One of the ways that New York State is hoping to get to zero emissions energy production by 2040 is to put windmills in the water.  Specifically the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie Water.  The NYSERDA has started a Great Lakes Wind Feasibility Study and is asking for public input.  There will be 4 informational public hearings each quarter.  All will be online.  To participate check out the website link on wbtai.com

https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All%20Programs/Programs/Clean%20Energy%20Standard/Important%20Orders%20Reports%20and%20Filings/Great%20Lakes%20Wind%20Feasibility%20Study

Canada is beginning its phased reopening of the border with baby steps.  Come July, fully vaccinated Canadian citizens or eligible foreign nationals can now leave Canada and return to Canada without having to quarantine for 14 days in a government authorized hotel. Upon arrival, those Canadian citizens will be required to take a COVID-19 test and quarantine until that test comes back negative.  According to the CBSA, “U.S. citizens without a right of entry to Canada or who do not meet an exemption, attempting to visit Canada for an optional reason will be turned away at the border, even if they are vaccinated.”

The Buffalo Bills have announced their pre-season schedule.  It will only be 3 games and those will be August 13th at Detroit, August 21st at Chicago and August 28th in Buffalo against Green Bay.  The Bills open the regular season on September 12 at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Midday News Brief

New York State is inching ever closer to having a 70-percent coronavirus vaccination rate among people 18 and older. Right now, that number is at 69-point-one percent.
70-percent is the benchmark where most COVID-19 restrictions are going to be lifted.
Governor Cuomo says this continued progress is quite a turnaround from when New York had one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the country.

The Canadian government has made a very slight change to its existing border crossing rules. Starting in early July, anyone who is already allowed to enter the country can do so without having to quarantine for two weeks after arriving. However, they’ll have to be vaccinated against coronavirus and also pass two COVID-19 tests.

An application has been filed with the state to build a huge solar energy farm in the Towns of Elba and Oakfield.
If actually constructed, the Cider Solar project would become the largest solar farm ever built in New York State.
The project is estimated to cost $500-million and create 500construction jobs.
The developer is Heckate energy headquartered in Chicago.

Baseball fans who haven’t had the chance to buy tickets to see the Toronto Blue Jays at Sahlen Field will get another chance today. Seats for games taking place between June 24th and July 21st went on sale beginning at 10am today. When the first round of tickets became available last month, they sold out quickly and that’s expected to happen again this time.

Morning News Brief

The Genesee County Planning Department is recommending approval of a site plan review submitted by Plug Power Inc., the Latham-based company specializing in the development of hydrogen fuel cells systems for applications such as heavy-duty freight and forklifts. The referral is one of 15 on the agenda of the county planning board’s meeting scheduled for tonight. According to information provided to the planning department, the site plan to place the green hydrogen facility at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park includes three structures – an 8,000-square-foot operations and maintenance building, a 40,000-square-foot electrolyzer building and a 68,000-square-foot compressor building.

Hecate Energy has announced that it has filed an application with the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting to construct a 500-megawatt solar farm in the towns of Elba and Oakfield, representing the first new application to be submitted under the state’s new permitting process for large-scale renewable projects. If approved and constructed, the Cider Solar Farm would be the largest solar project ever built in New York State. The $500-plus million-dollar private infrastructure investment is expected to create over 500 construction jobs and will be capable of supplying 920,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year – enough to power more than 120,000 average New York households.

New York inches closer to lifting most COVID restrictions. Officials in Albany say the state’s 7-day average positivity rate has dropped below 0.50% for the first time since the onset of the COVID crisis. The new rate is 0.48%, the lowest in the nation according Johns Hopkins University. The state’s single-day positivity rate, 0.37%, is also the lowest single-day rate the state has seen since the onset of the crisis.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run will pass through Genesee County this morning as the Flame of Hope makes its way around the state in support of Special Olympics New York. The Torch Run is a time-honored Special Olympics tradition of more than 30 years, led and orchestrated by the “Guardians of the Flame,” which include more than 6,200 law enforcement personnel from more than 470 agencies throughout New York. Together with local athletes and supporters, Torch Run representatives raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New York. More than 75 members of local law enforcement and Special Olympics athletes will participate. Torch runners will carry the Flame of Hope from the Sheriff’s Office to the Arc of Genesee Orleans. Participating agencies will include the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Batavia Police Department, Genesee County Jail, and Genesee County Probation Department. In 2019, this event raised nearly $20,000 to support Special Olympics New York athletes and programs in the Genesee Region.

Watkins Glen International has nominated for USA Today’s Best NASCAR Track for the fifth time in seven years. Watkins Glen International is among 10 tracks in the United States to be nominated.

The city of Buffalo is trending toward a new record…but it’s not one city officials want. Over the past six months, there have been 122 shootings and 39 homicides in the Queen City. If the pace continues, it could top the record in 1994.

Southern Tier state Senator George Borrello heralded the passage of Senate Bill 7028, which he co-sponsors, as a critical step forward in expanding access to broadband service in rural areas. The measure will ease cost and operational obstacles faced by broadband service providers seeking to build out infrastructure in rural and underserved areas of the state. One key provision of the bill would allow broadband providers seeking to install internet service via utility poles in a given area to obtain one contract for all the poles in that city, town or village, rather than being forced to get a contract for each individual pole, as is currently the case. Streamlining this process for providers will encourage more broadband development while also ensuring equitable service and access to the homes within a given municipality.

Midday News Brief

Canada may begin easing border restrictions this month. The mayor of Niagara Falls, Ontario says the country is looking at a June 22nd reopening date if certain benchmarks are met.
The country’s Public Safety Minister suggested that 75-percent of people must have at least one dose of the vaccine and 20-percent must be fully vaccinated.
Data from Canada’s coronavirus commission indicates that nearly 62-point-two-percent of Canadians have received at least one dose and eight-point-two-percent are fully vaccinated.
As for Western New York, 45-percent of residents are fully immunized against the virus while 52-percent of people have received their first dose.

On the bad boys report this afternoon: 23-year-old Charles Allis Junior of Lyndonville is charged with arson and trespassing. Genesee County Sheriff’s Deputies say Allis allegedly entered a property on Ham Road in the Town of Alabama, without permission, and set the building on fire.
Allis received an appearance ticket for Alabama Town Court.

23-year-old Tyler Reeves of Main Road in Pembroke is charged with 2nd degrees criminal mischief. Deputies say Reeves as arrested following a domestic incident early yesterday morning. He was released under supervision.

A note from Genesee County Board of Elections. The location for early voting has changed.
Early voting has moved from County Building 2 on West Main Street to the ARC Community Center on Woodrow Road.
See the schedule of early voting dates and times HERE
Primary Day is Tuesday, June 22nd.
There are only three communities where primaries are being held this year. They are:
Bethany, Byron and Stafford.

Early Voting Change in Genesee County

Location for Early Voting has changed. Early Voting has moved from County Building 2 to the ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Rd., Batavia, NY 14020.
Contests are ONLY for registered Republicans in Bethany, Byron and Stafford. No other jurisdictions have contests. Registered Republican voters from those three communities can plan to vote early, if they wish, at the ARC Community Center during the following dates and times;

 

 

June 12 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
June 13 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
June 14 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
June 15 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
June 16 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
June 17 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
June 18 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
June 19 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
June 20 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 22nd from 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM for the Republican contests in the three jurisdictions — Bethany (Bethany Community Center 10510 Bethany Ctr. Rd.,) Byron (Byron Town Hall, 7028 Rte. 237) and Stafford (New Town Hall, 8903 Rte. 237). There are no contests in any other Genesee County towns or in the city.

Morning News Brief

A fire in the Town of Alabama has resulted in an arson charge. The incident happened on Ham Road. Genesee County deputies arrested 23-year-old Edward Allis Jr of Lyndonville, charging him with fifth-degree arson and trespassing. Deputies said Allis allegedly entered onto property without permission and started a fire. He’ll appear in Town of Alabama court July 20th.

Sheriff’s deputies have leveled a felony count against a Pembroke man. 23-year-old Tyler Reeves of Main Road was charged with second-degree criminal mischief. After investigating a domestic incident, he was charged with the felony crime. He was arraigned virtually and released under supervision. He’ll appear in county court August 3rd.

The City of Batavia Police Department reminds residents of their Camera Registry Program. Police say many investigations are solved due, in part, to cooperation from homeowners, landlords and business owners sharing video from their private camera surveillance system. In order to streamline the investigative process, the Department asks anyone with a camera surveillance system to register it with police. You can register your system on CrimeWatch by clicking this link.

For 64 days, New York’s COVID case count has declined. The Statewide 7-Day average positivity rate has now dropped to 0.51% – the lowest in the country.  The number of people hospitalized with virus-related complications has dropped to 796. There were 14 COVID-related deaths on Monday.

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office says one person is dead and another flown to Strong Memorial after they were found unresponsive inside a semi-tanker. It happened at Millennium Roads LLC on East Yates Center Road in the Town of Yates. Pronounced dead at the scene was 19-year-old Keegan Bayne. 35-year-old Chase Johnson was taken to Rochester. According to a press release, the two had been cleaning inside the semi-tanker that was used to haul the product “Lignin.” The incident remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley announces the passage of an Assembly Bill which designates State Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road in the Town of Pembroke as the “C. Jay Hall Memorial Highway.”  Specialist Four Clarence “C. Jay” Hall served as a rifleman in the Army in Vietnam. On Oct. 7, 1969, Specialist Hall exposed himself to hostile fire so his comrades were able to obtain cover with a complete disregard for his personal safety. During this action, he was mortally wounded. Hawley said. “The selfless service of our nation’s heroes must never be forgotten.”

The reality that “once you’re in, you can never leave” has Le Roy Town and Village board members taking a cautious approach to any potential participation in the state’s new Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act. Officials from both governing bodies gathered with about a dozen residents at the Town Hall courtroom this week for what turned out to be a 30-minute discussion on the recently passed legislation that immediately permits the recreational use of marijuana for residents 21 years of age and older. In any event, the deadline to decide is Dec. 31 of this year. But with the state still trying to figure out all the rules and regulations attached to the law, many local governmental leaders seem to be in no hurry. Le Roy Village Mayor Greg Rogers said he is part of that group. He said the village plans to take as much time as it can…noting the landscape will change eight or nine times until then.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed legislation to waive taxes on grants from the $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program. Applications for the program will be accepted starting tomorrow for small and micro businesses and small for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations to help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. Flexible grants up to $50,000 will be made available to eligible small businesses and can be used for operating expenses, including payroll, rent or mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, personal protective equipment, or other business expenses incurred during the pandemic. Over 330,000 small and micro businesses are potentially eligible for this program.

Evening News Brief

Close to 40 people, mostly mothers of Batavia City School children, rallied at the Upton Monument to protest the need for their kids to continue to wear masks in school.  They carried signs during the afternoon commute yesterday questioning the need for the masks…and demanding the right to not wear masks or make their own choice.  Michelle Gillard was one of them.  The day began with an announcement by Governor Cuomo that students need not wear masks at school while they are outside.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada is planning to reopen their borders now that COVID numbers are starting to come down in the US.  He says that the first people to be allowed to cross the border will have to be vaccinated and have a negative COVID test.  No date has been announced but Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a border mayor meeting that it could begin in late June.  Multiple national and New York state politicians have called on Canada to open the borders and complained about Canada allowing citizens to enter the US and receive vaccinations and medical care while blocking US citizens form entering Canada.  45 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated compared to only 8 percent of Canadians.

Main St 56 Theater will be holding Summer Theater Camp in 2 sessions next month.  Workshops will include: theater background — monologues; pantomime — improvisation; dancing, singing, skits.  For campers ages 5 to 8 will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 19 to 23.  For campers age 9 to 12, camp will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 26 to 30.  Camp tuition is $175 per camper.

The Buffalo Bills training camp will not be at the St John fisher College campus again this year.  It will instead be held in Orchard park at the ADPRO training center.  The team cites COVID concerns for having the training camp not going to Fisher for the second year in a row.

Morning News Brief

The COVID rate in New York continues its downward descent. As of Monday, the statewide 7-Day average positivity rate was reduced to 0.51%. It’s a new record for the ten consecutive day and the 63rd straight day of decline. Hospitalizations dropped to 799 – the first time below 800 since October 8th.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is being joined by his colleagues in the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences in demanding the termination of the state disaster emergency declared by Executive Order before the end of the legislative session, which is scheduled to finish this Thursday. As of June 2, New York State’s seven-day average coronavirus positivity rate was the lowest in the nation and hospitalizations also dropped to new lows. Within Hawley’s district numbers are similarly low, with a seven-day positivity rate of 1 percent in the Finger Lakes Region.

Governor Andrew Cuomo now says that most of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted once 70 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 or older have received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccination series. After 70 percent of adult New Yorkers are vaccinated, businesses may choose to continue to adhere to the State’s guidance or implement other health precautions for their employees and patrons. Businesses are also authorized to require masks and six feet of social distancing for employees and patrons within their establishments. Any mask requirements that businesses choose to implement must adhere to applicable federal and state laws and regulations. The Department of Health continues to strongly recommend masks and six feet of social distancing in indoor settings where vaccination status of individuals is unknown.

There’s an innovative new Financial Literacy program through the Ministry of Concern, open to residents of Orleans or Genesee County, for ages 12 and up. The youth investment program will focus on everything from investing money and saving for the future to interviewing skills, how to get and keep a job, life insurance, budgeting and your credit score. Spots are limited. orleansadvocateministryofconcern.org.

After hours of confusion and outrage from parents across New York, a quick reversal by the State Health Department will ensure students continue to wear masks inside the classroom. The pivot came after an announcement on Friday that the mask mandate would be dropped for vaccinated students the following week. However, on Sunday, New York education officials sent a letter to districts clarifying mask guidelines would not be updated until more guidance was given from the CDC.

The Boards of Directors of The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming and Arc of Genesee Orleans announce Martin Miskell, current Executive Director of the Livingston-Wyoming chapter, will lead the agencies through their planned merger. The unification of the agencies serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families will create a one-chapter, four-county service area covering roughly 2,400 square miles—geographically, the largest Arc chapter in New York State.

Gasoline prices in Batavia are up 2-cents from a week ago, this according to Triple A. The Batavia average is now at $3.02 a gallon. Nationally, the average is at 3:05.

Executive Director named for Combined Arc of Genesee Orleans and Livingston Wyoming

The Boards of Directors of The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming and Arc of Genesee Orleans announce Martin Miskell, current Executive Director of the Livingston-Wyoming chapter, will lead the agencies through their planned merger. The unification of the agencies serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families will create a one-chapter, four-county service area covering roughly 2,400 square miles—geographically, the largest Arc chapter in New York State.

Martin Miskell

Martin Miskell began his Arc career as Director of Finance at the Livingston-Wyoming chapter in 2002, becoming Associate Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer in 2007 and Executive Director in 2015. He calls this an exciting time. “The merger will offer all four counties more program and service opportunities for individuals and families served,” Miskell said. “We have experienced changes over the last decade in the field of disabilities and this merger will make the agency and its services more fiscally sustainable and poised for the future.”

Over the last several months, Miskell has met with senior leaders, board membership and retiring Genesee Orleans Executive Director Donna Saskowski to develop a regional approach and plan for legal and programmatic strategies to ensure a smooth transition. The merger process is expected to take as long as five more months to complete. The new agency will use consolidated resources to ensure quality services to all people with disabilities and their families served in the Genesee Livingston Orleans Wyoming (GLOW) counties region. Once merged, the new agency will be called Arc GLOW.

Miskell grew up in the Geneseo area, and he and his wife Theresa have four adult children. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from SUNY Geneseo and his Master of Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. He also serves on the NYS Genesee Valley Parks Commission, SUNY Geneseo Foundation, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club.

Midday News Brief

Gasoline prices in Batavia are up 2-cents from a week ago, this according to Triple A.
The Batavia average is now at $3.02 a gallon.
Nationally, the average is at 3:05.
One year ago the national average was $2.02 a gallon.

A water main break at the corner of South Swan and Summer Streets has caused service to be cut off. Repairs started around 8 this morning and should be completed by mid-afternoon.

Students and staff at schools across New York State will still have to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The state Education Department says despite a letter from state Health Commissioner Doctor Howard Zucker saying the state intended to waive the mandate today, it’ll stay in place.

This week, members of the state Legislature are expected to approve a bill to fund the impeachment investigation involving Governor Cuomo. The measure would cover both the cost of the probe and also any trial that may be held. The Assembly Judiciary Committee is looking into allegations the governor sexually harassed several women, claims he has denied repeatedly.

Wyoming County deputies say the death of an Orchard Park man at Jellystone Campground isn’t being considered suspicious. The body of 41-year-old Michael Nicholoff was found in a pond at the North Java campground yesterday. Officials are still waiting on autopsy results to find out Nicholoff’s cause of death.

The new Batavia Muckdogs have yet to win a home game. The dogs lost yesterday against Geneva 4 to 2. On Saturday, the Muckdogs were slaughtered by Jamestown 12 to nothing…the home opener on Friday went the wrong way to Elmira 9 – 7.
The Dogs only win came on the road against Elmira last week.

Morning News Briefing

New York is not yet lifting its mask mandate in schools. The state Education Department on Sunday emailed guidance to the roughly 700 New York school districts that said state agencies have agreed to wait until the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention responds to the state’s request Friday for more information before lifting the COVID-19 mask mandate in schools. The Education Department says “No changes have been, or will be, made by the Executive until after Monday, to afford the CDC an opportunity to respond to the letter.” The updated guidance from the Education Department appears aimed at addressing confusion from schools after the state Department of Health on Friday abruptly notified the CDC that New York intends to lift its statewide mask requirement for schools.

The properties of the Mancuso Business Development Group on Harvester Avenue in Batavia have been sold to a New Jersey-based company. The Batavian has learned that a venture headed by the father-son team has purchased The Harvester Center Business Incubator Center at 56 Harvester Ave., the Joseph Mancuso Building at 26 Harvester Ave., and two Masse Place facilities. Currently, there are around 70 tenants in the buildings – businesses, storage areas and personal use spaces. Credited as the world’s first business incubator, The Harvester Center is a mixed-use industrial building that was founded by Joseph L. Mancuso in August 1959.

New York’s 7-Day average COVID positivity rate has reached a new low. With more than 60 straight days of decline, the rate dropped to 0.52%. Hospitalizations have also dropped to below 900…the lowest level in nearly nine months.

After a week-long investigation, Genesee County deputies arrested a 56-year-old woman from Dalton. Deputies charged Joanne Harper with petit larceny following an incident on Vallance Road in LeRoy. She’ll be arraigned in town court next week.

New York State Police issued a total of 9,214 tickets statewide during the Memorial Day Weekend enforcement campaign to combat drunk and impaired driving. Across New York, Troopers arrested 185 people for DWI and investigated 851 crashes, including 163 personal injury crashes and two fatalities. The greatest number of tickets were issued in Western New York.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is investigating a possible petroleum spill into the inlet on the west side of Horseshoe Lake in the Town of Batavia. According to the DEC, agency personnel on Saturday responded to a report of fumes and a spill, and immediately deployed containment booms, pads and a vacuum truck to skim diesel fuel from the surface of the water. Officials said the spill is currently contained and DEC’s oversight of the cleanup efforts will continue until it is complete.

The Little Free Pantry will be hosting a FREE Make-and-Take Baby Sunflower Station and sidewalk chalk art as part of the Pride Game Night and Royal Court Crowning at Batavia First Presbyterian Church from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday. Make and take your own baby sunflower — soil, seed and containers provided. A Plant Sale by donation will also be offered. The Royal Court Competition begins at 7:30 p.m. and is open to all genders and ages. The theme is DISCO.

An Orchard Park man was found dead Sunday in a pond in Wyoming County. After an extensive search of the property, 41-year-old Michael R. Nicholoff was found deceased by Water Rescue and Recovery Teams. There is no foul play suspected at this time. Nicholoff was transported to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.  The investigation will continue.

Weekend News Brief

The State Health Department has announced that mask mandates are being eased for kids in Schools starting Monday.  Masks will be encouraged but not required indoors in schools and camps for both students and teachers vaccinated or unvaccinated.  Masks will not be required outdoors unless in high risk situations.  Those who are vaccinated can forgo mask wearing entirely.  Schools and camps are allowed to make their own stricter rules.

GO Health has vaccination clinics coming up this week.  There is a Johnson and Johnson clinic Tuesday in Lyndonville at Yates Community Library from 11-12:30.  A Johnson and Johnson clinic Wednesday at State Street Park in Medina from 2-3:30pm.  A Moderna and Johnson and Johnson clinic Wednesday at the Genesee county health department building in Batavia from 1:30-3:30.  A Pfizer clinic at the Orleans County Health Department from 1:30-4:45 Thursday afternoon.  And on Friday a Pfizer clinic at the Alabama Fire Department 11-12:30.  All clinics take walk ins and appointments.

The Customs and Border Protection service seized over 4500 pounds of Marijuana being transported in 2 trucks labeled as paper earlier this week.  One was crossing the Peace bridge and one was crossing the Lewiston bridge.  The total worth is over 9 million dollars.

COVID Update from Friday at 4pm: Since Tuesday Genesee county has 11 new cases and 15 people have recovered.  Orleans county has 7 new cases and 28 people have recovered since last Friday.  There are 11 active cases in Genesee county and 11 in Orleans.  44 percent of people in Genesee county have completed their vaccine series and 38 percent of Orleans County residents have completed theirs.

The Batavia public Market is now operational.  Its first day was Friday of off Alva Place near the old JC Penney parking lot.  You can stop by and get hand made crafts, fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods, flowers, honey and maple syrup and much more.

The Muckdogs lost their Home Opener to the Elmira Pioneers 9 to 7 Friday night.  The opening night was full of festivities, a helicopter dropped a ball to the pitcher, the Diamond dance team performed before the game, There was a veterans flag ceremony and the national anthem was sung by Katherine Fitzpatrick, a senior at Batavia High and granddaughter of a former Clippers Manager Brad Rogers.  And everyone in town could enjoy the fireworks display at the end of the game.

Evening News Brief

The Gun Liability Law is making its way through the assembly after passing the Senate on Wednesday.  The law would hold gun manufacturers and dealers responsible if their firearms enter the criminal market.  Proponents say that federal law has shielded gun businesses from being prosecuted for irresponsible and reckless practices but this law would bypass it.  There are 7 other gun laws being pushed through as part of the Gun Safety Package.

The New York State assembly just passed legislation making forging proof of vaccination, including the COVID vaccine, a felony.  Supporters say this will prevent anti-vaxxers from circumventing public health regulations and participating in so called super spreader events and activities.  People who knowingly possess fake COVID vaccination record would be guilty of criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Due to unseasonably hot weather ahead, Genesee county, the county health department, the villages of Oakfield, Elba and city of Batavia officials are urging residents to attempt to conserve water.  They advise the taking of shorter showers, checking your pipes and toilets for leaks and not filling swimming pools.

In their first game of the season and the first game at a Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League member, the Muckdogs defeated the Elmira Pioneers 7 to 0 at Dunn Field.  All 7 of the runs were scored with 2 outs.  The Muckdogs are playing at home tonight against the Pioneers for their first home game in 637 days.  First pitch is schedule for 7:05.

Midday News Brief

Great Lakes Cheese, an Ohio based cheese processor, has visited the LeRoy Ag and Teck Park as a possible location for a new half-billion dollar facility.
As WBTA has reported this week Great Lakes has abandoned plans to build a new plant in Allegany County.
The LeRoy site is on Route 19 and West Bergen Road. It is owned by the Genesee County Economic Development Center.
The GCEDC would neither deny nor confirm an interest by Great Lakes but LeRoy Town Supervisor James Farmholz did…

Such a development, if it happened, would come along with strings – not the least of which is a barrel full of tax incentives amounting $200-million dollars over 20 years.

The man wanted in connection with a deadly shooting in Niagara Falls is behind bars.
35-year-old Matthew Figura Junior is accused of shooting a co-workers in then head in a scrape yard in then falls.
Figura fled the area but was later taken into custody by Wyoming County deputies.

Veterinarians can now allow owners inside with their pets with no masks if they are vaccinated. Previously the restriction that made vets have to do curbside service were in effect but the new guidelines allow vets to operate as any other business.

United Memorial Medical Center and the Genesee County Parks Department are partnering to prevent park visitors from skin cancer. Through a grant provided to the Medical Center’s Healthy Living Program, five sunscreen dispensers have been installed throughout DeWitt Recreation Area for the 50,000 people who frequent it each year. This project is supported by Health Research, Inc. and the New York State Department of Health with funds from the CDC.

The reincarnated Batavia Muckdogs are off on a winning notes.
The Dogs won their season opener on the road last night defeating Elmira
Pioneers 7-0 in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
The Dogs home opener is tonight at Dwyer Stadium.
The Muckdogs first home game in 637 days.
First pitch is 7:05pm. You can view the game by subscribing to Batavia Muckdogs Baseball on YouTube.

Morning News Brief

New York has a new record-low for single-day and 7-day average COVID positivity rate. The statewide rate had dropped to 0.44% with the 7-Day average has been lowered to 0.60%. New York has had 59 consecutive days of decline. Hospitalizations have also dropped to under 1,000 for the first time since October 21st.

United Memorial Medical Center and the Genesee County Parks Department are partnering to prevent park visitors from skin cancer. Through a grant provided to the Medical Center’s Healthy Living Program, five sunscreen dispensers have been installed throughout DeWitt Recreation Area for the 50,000 people who frequent it each year. This project is supported by Health Research, Inc. and the New York State Department of Health with funds from the CDC.

The New York State of Health – the state’s official health plan Marketplace – has reached a record-breaking enrollment total of 6 million New Yorkers who have signed up for health insurance through the Marketplace across Medicaid, Essential Plan, Child Health Plus and Qualified Health Plans. This coincides with the new and increased financial assistance now available to New Yorkers through the American Rescue Plan for consumers enrolling in commercial coverage.

Field trip dates at the Genesee Park & Forest are open for schools, youth groups, scouts and more for June and throughout the rest of the year. This summer the parks are offering The Great Escape, a grant-funded program that provides outdoor recreation for youth groups in Genesee County. Activities include fishing, kayaking and hiking. School field trips at the Genesee County Parks are designed to support state learning standards for STEM, grades pre-K through 12. In addition to field trips at county parks, you can book a visit to your facility year-round.

New York State Senate Republican Rob Ortt has penned a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to ease mask mandates in schools, particularly as new COVID cases are at record lows and temperatures are expected to increase dramatically next week. According to Ortt, we are heading into the summer months, and with temperatures expected to soar into the 90s throughout New York State next week, it’s time to ease the mask mandate in our schools. He added many school buildings do not have air conditioning, so to require face coverings in dangerous temperatures will be detrimental not only to their physical health, but also to their ability to focus and learn.”

A murder suspect has been apprehended in Wyoming County. An alert sheriff’s investigator spotted 35-year-old Matthew Figura Jr. Thursday. Once backup arrived, police swarmed around the man. He was taken into custody without incident. He is accused of shooting a co-worker at Niagara Metals.

A new trial to test the effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children will be starting this month in Rochester.  Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are enrolling participants in pediatric trials starting on Monday.

Veterinarians can now allow owners inside with their pets with no masks if they are vaccinated.  Previously the restriction that made vets have to do curbside service were in effect but the new guidelines allow vets to operate as any other business.

Evening News Brief

A new trial to test the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children will be starting this month in Rochester.  Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center are enrolling participants in pediatric trials starting June 7.  Children ages 5-11 will be enrolled in Phase 2 and 3 trials – which involve mid-to-large population groups in various communities.  In addition, URMC will be taking part in future trials for both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years.

Veterinarians can now allow owners inside with their pets with no masks if they are vaccinated.  Previously the restriction that made vets have to do curbside service were in effect but the new guidelines allow vets to operate as any other business.  This guidance comes form the CDC and New York State Veterinary.

Girl Scouts of Western New York announced 56 Gold award recipients and 33 Scholarship recipients and one scout in Genesee county was honored with both.  Ava Flores from Oakfield troop 42141 did a project called feed the Need and fulfilled the Gold award goal of fulfilling a need in the community and creating a change that has the potential to be ongoing or sustainable.  Flores also received a 1000 dollar scholarship.

The Buffalo Sabres will start off the draft pick with the first overall pick for 2021.  This is the second time since 2018 that the Sabres will have this opportunity.

Midday News Brief

In person visitation resumes next week at the Genesee County Jail.
Sheriff Bill Sheron announcing today that beginning June 12th, you will be able to visit – in person – an inmate in the county jail.
You have to make an appointment at least 24-hours in advance.
In person visitation was halted last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taxpayers are reportedly forking over two and a half million dollars for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s defense teams.
The New York Post got a hold of documents that show taxpayers are paying 900-dollars an hour to his lead attorney.
Cuomo is fighting charges that he used staff members to help write a book on his handling of coronavirus and also charges he hid the true number of coronavirus nursing home deaths.
Cuomo made $5-million on the book.

Two Western New York students are among the first 10 people to win New York State’s COVID-19 vaccine scholarship raffle. Chase French of Penfield and Jack Lucchesi of Victor will be able to attend any State University of New York, or public community college and have their tuition, room and board all covered. To enter the contest, teens between the ages of 12 and 17 must prove they’ve been vaccinated against coronavirus before July 7th.
More information on the program is available HERE

New York’s 7-day average positivity rate is now the lowest in the nation. After 58 consecutive days of decline, the rate is now just 0.64%. Hospitalizations have also dropped. Genesee County’s positivity rate has fallen again…it is now point-5 percent.

Honors for artwork by an Alexander Central 8th grader. Riley Wall created a flag that depicts a health ear of corn supported by two different color hands in a background of blue sky and green fields.
Her entry received the most votes in the Genesee County flag contest conducted by the county’s planning department.

Morning News Brief

St. Paul Lutheran School in Batavia will be holding an Amazing Race type of fundraiser called the “Amazing Grace Race” at 10 a.m. on Saturday. For $20 per vehicle, you can travel to five different locations to complete a family friendly task. The top finishers will be recognized at the finish line and can try and win a prize. All vehicles registered for the race will meet at St. Paul School, 31 Washington Avenue in Batavia to get their race directions and first location to begin the race promptly at 10 a.m. Once all vehicles have finished the race and the tasks, everyone returns to St. Paul School. If you are interested in participating, call the St. Paul Lutheran School office.

Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. has announced that he is reinstating in-person inmate visitation at the Genesee County Jail effective Saturday, June 12 beginning at 12 p.m. Appointments are highly recommended and can be made in advance by calling the Genesee County Jail. Additions to a visit must be made 24 hours prior to the time of the scheduled visit. Visitors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian with acceptable photo ID.

Tops Friendly Markets has announced that it has awarded more than $267,000 dollars to 238 Tops first-year and matriculated college associates, associate dependents, and associate grandchildren for the 2021-2022 academic year. In Genesee County, Mary Caprio, of Oakfield, and Margaret Demare, of Batavia, were both awarded scholarships for $1,150 each. Since the start of the scholarship program in 1989, Tops has awarded $21 million to more than 22,000 recipients. All Tops associates, union and nonunion, their dependents and grandchildren are eligible to apply for scholarship awards ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 annually over the course of four academic years.

An Alexander Central School eighth-grader’s design promoting agriculture and the people who work to get crops from the field to the table received the most votes in the Genesee County Flag Contest conducted by the county planning department. Riley Wall created a flag that shows a healthy ear of corn supported by two different color hands in a tapestry of blue sky and green fields. Her entry edged out four other finalists in the contest that had citizens vote on the Genesee 2050 website in March and April. The 13-year-old said she participated in the project as a class after it was suggested by her teacher.

Taxpayers will spend up to $2.5 million defending Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office in a federal investigation examining its alleged suppression of figures showing the true number of nursing home deaths from COVID-19. That’s according to a report from the Albany Times Union. All the info comes from OpenBookNY.com, a website maintained by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office, which discloses information about state contracts. The website states that the Executive Chamber’s contract for legal services was “approved and filed” on April 27.

New York’s 7-day average positivity rate is now the lowest in the nation. After 58 consecutive days of decline, the rate is now just 0.64%. Hospitalizations have also dropped.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the launch of a new $40 million global campaign aimed at revitalizing the state’s tourism industry. The campaign will promote tourism attractions across all regions of the state through the summer, fall and winter tourism seasons as the state begins to welcome all visitors – local, national and international – back to New York State. The first phase of this campaign focuses on New York City and will run on digital outlets in select international markets and on broadcast TV in national and local markets. Upcoming spots in the campaign’s second phase will feature a variety of attractions from the state’s diverse and unique regions outside New York City.

Evening News Brief

The Upstate New York Poison Center is warning people who choose to use marijuana now that it is legal in New York State to keep it out of the hands of kids.  Children are getting into marijuana that looks like cookies or candies and it can cause serious illness or even death especially in kids under 6.  Marijuana edibles can look like gummy bears or brownies or cookies and kids that get access to them usually eat far more than the normal dose.  So far this year cases of calls to the poison center for kids consuming marijuana are on track to be at least twice that of last year.

Republican State Senator Ed Rath has introduced a bill to pay people to go back to work.  He is proposing that workers can be paid 1200 dollars after they return to work and work for at least 4 weeks.  This legislation would repeal the Excluded Workers Fund.  Senator Rath said “Getting New Yorkers back to work is one of my top priorities. Businesses are struggling to find workers as the rate of unemployment in the State remains unsustainable. This incentive would benefit both those looking for work and the employers, a win-win for everyone.”  Other states including Arizona, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma have offered a form of a return to work bonus.

COVID Update: Genesee county has 3 new cases since Friday and 18 people have recovered.  We are saddened to report the death of a community member from COVID.  Orleans county has 2 new cases.  There are 16 active cases in Genesee county and As of Friday there were 45 active cases in Orleans but due to a computer error we don’t have the count of how many people recovered.

The Western New York Gas and Steam show grounds in Alexander are hosting a Day of Tractor Pulling on June 19th.  The action starts at 9am with deadweight classes 4500-6500.  Stock pull starts at noon.  There will be a 4 wheel drive event as well.  Tickets for Adults are 10 dollars and children 5-12 are 5 dollars.

Amazing race may not be on the air but St Paul Lutheran school is bringing it to Batavia.  For 20 dollars a vehicle you can participate in a family friendly race around the area stopping off at several locations where there will be challenges to complete.  The race will start at 10am on Saturday June 5th.  If you are interested call St Paul Lutheran School at 343 0488.

Midday News Brief

Steve Hawley

Republican State Assemblyman Steve Hawley has come out in favor of a legislative package known as the “Restore Order” initiative.
The bill would essentially restore elements of the bail reform law passed in 2019 which has been sharply criticized for its leniency in allowing bail for violent offenders.
Hawley says he wants to restore judicial discretion when it comes to setting bail. The bail reform, Hawley says, has restricted judges from making decisions to safeguard the public.

New York’s average COVID positivity rate continues to drop to new lows. The rate has declined for 57 straight days.
The 7-day average positivity rate in every region in now below 1.5% for the first time since September 25th. Genesee County’s 7-day average positivity rate has fallen to point-six percent.

The latest COVID numbers for Genesee County:
Only three new positive cases of COVID 19 have been reported over the past 24 hours. One county resident has died from the virus.
In Orleans County, two new positive cases have been reported.

 

GCASA, Genesee County’s Council on Alcoholism, said today their latest project is actually ahead of schedule.
The 8-thousand square-foot facility will house 20 people for short term detox.
That usually means a five to seven day stay.
GCASA broke ground for the new building in January and could open by the end of October.

Morning News Brief

A proposed half-billion-dollar cheese plant expansion project in Allegany County has reportedly been abandoned by the developer…and numerous sources say Ohio-based Great Lakes Cheese has turned its attention to Batavia. There has not yet been local confirmation. The expansion in Allegany County has been filled with issues, including a highly controversial eminent domain seizure of farm land. According to one source, the bottom-line reason for the bad news was reportedly “a death by a thousand cuts.” State Senator George Borrello said in a statement the he and others have been working behind the scenes with company executives and state officials to help resolve some of the complicating issues.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center Board of Directors will consider approving final incentives for a $345 million solar project in the Town of Byron, and construction of a campus-wide electrical substation at the Science Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP). Both matters will be discussed at the agency’s board meeting tomorrow. The meeting will be conducted via videoconference and can be viewed online at www.gcedc.com.

A traffic stop in the Town of Oakfield resulted in a felony charge for a Cheektowaga man. State Troopers say they arrested 29-year-old Frederick Simmeth. He was charged with felony aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of DWI and having a blood alcohol content above .08%. He’ll chat with a local justice at a later date.

New York’s average COVID positivity rate continues to drop to new lows. The rate has declined for 57 straight days. It now stands at 0.65%. The 7-day average positivity rate in every region in now below 1.5% for the first time since September 25th. Currently, there are 1,032 people hospitalized with virus-related complications.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.05, up 1 cent from last Monday. One year ago, the price was $1.98. The New York State average is $3.08 – up 1 cent from last Monday. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.18. Prices in Batavia have remained unchanged during the past week. Pump prices increased slightly over the past week as demand increased with Memorial Day travel. Motorists were able to avoid drastic holiday hikes at the pump following large increases in prices when the Colonial Pipeline was offline. Analysts had predicted lower prices by Father’s Day, but demand continues to increase.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is joining his colleagues in the Assembly Minority in calling for the passage of a legislative package known as the “Restore Order” initiative, which would restore elements of judicial discretion eliminated by the “bail reform” law passed in 2019 by the Assembly Majority. The package would also increase the penalties for particularly hateful and violent crimes, such as shooting into a crowd, among other measures. These bills were drafted in response to a widespread spike in violent crime that has persisted for months throughout the state, which Hawley and others attribute to limitations placed on the ability of local judges to exercise their judicial discretion by previously passed “bail reform” laws.

Special Olympics New York and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association are proud to celebrate an ongoing 2021 Unified Basketball season as teams across the state have been back on the courts in recent weeks, following a year-long hiatus due to the global health pandemic. In Unified Sports, athletes with and without disabilities compete together as teammates. In New York, most Unified programs offer bowling and/or basketball. Statewide, Special Olympics New York partners with nearly 250 Unified Champion Schools and 10,000 participating students.

RESTORE Sexual Assault Services, a program of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York, is recruiting volunteers for an upcoming training cycle in July. There is an urgent need for volunteers in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Volunteer Advocates are responsible for taking crisis phone calls from their home and providing information and advocacy to sexual assault survivors at a hospital or police station. All applicants will be screened and must complete 32 hours of training prior to beginning their volunteer commitment. The training will take place in a virtual setting. For further information about volunteering with RESTORE, email:  restore@ppcwny.org.

Evening News Update

The mandate that established a curfew for restaurants in New York state has expired and now eateries may establish and keep their own hours.  With COVID-19 cases down and vaccination numbers up, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he hopes restaurant restrictions won’t be needed again.

The Genesee Orleans County health departments have several pop up vaccination clinics this week.  Wednesday at the Genesee county health department there are walk in vaccinations from 1:30-4:30.  Thursday from 4 to 6pm there is a clinic at the Orleans County YMCA.  Saturday from 12-1 there is a clinic at the Genesee County Health Department.

The gas prices in Batavia are holding steady after the Memorial day weekend.  In Batavia the average is 3 dollars even and the New York State Average is 3 o 8.  Analysts have predicted that prices will drop before Father’s Day but demand is increasing.

Oakfield Community Bible Church is having a summer vendor and craft event on Saturday June 12th from 10-2. There will be over a dozen vendors at 82 N Main Street along with food trucks and crafts.

Midday News Brief

A $345-million utility scale solar project has been proposed in the Town of Byron.
NextEra Energy is proposing the solar farm to be located on multiple agricultural properties.
NextEra is seeking a host of tax incentives through the Genesee County Economic Development Center amounting to about $33-million.
The GCEDC Board will consider final approval for the incentives at its meeting this Thursday.

A six-year-old Batavia girl continues to recover after she was accidentally run over by a pickup near her home. The incident happened late yesterday afternoon on Otis StreetPolice said the driver of the pick-up that struck the girl did not realize where the child was until she started to scream. The girl was airlifted to Strong Memorial and is in serious but stable condition.
Police say there will be no charges.

State officials now say that New York’s 7-day average COVID positivity rate has dropped to 0.67 percent, a new low.
It marks the eighth consecutive week of decline.
Hospitalizations have also dipped to the lowest figure since October 24th.

Starting tonight, the Toronto Blue Jays will once again be calling Sahlen Field in Buffalo their home. The team currently isn’t allowed in Canada due to border restrictions that are still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Blue Jays also played in Buffalo last year, but this time fans will be able to watch them in-person.

It’s a go for the Genesee County Fair. The event will run from July 24-31. Events will be posted at gcfair.com.

Morning News Briefing

A child was seriously hurt after she was accidentally run over by a pickup in Batavia. First responders were called to a home on Otis Street just before 4 p.m. Monday. A person at the home was reportedly unhooking four-wheelers on a trailer and putting them in a side yard. Batavia police said the individual did not know a 6-year-old child was also in the side yard. When the man unhooked the trailer, got back into his vehicle, and started to move it, he heard the child scream. The child was airlifted to Strong Memorial and is in serious but stable condition. No charges are pending.

New York Officials now say that the statewide 7-day average COVID positivity rate has dropped to 0.67 percent, a new low. It marks the eighth consecutive week of decline. Hospitalizations have also dipped to a new low… slightly more than 1,000…the lowest figure since October 24th.

A rock throwing event in the City of Batavia led to the arrest of a 25-year-old man. Batavia police say they took 25-year-old Zachari Morgan into custody. He was charged with felony assault involving serious injury and criminal possession of a weapon. It’s alleged that Morgan threw a rock at another person causing serious injury. Morgan was released under supervision.

32-year-old Kevin Thomas turned himself in to Genesee County Jail on, on numerous active warrants he had. Thomas was arraigned in Batavia City Court. He was arraigned on charges of burglary in the second degree, criminal contempt in the second degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, criminal mischief in the third degree, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal contempt in the first degree following a domestic incident that occurred last month. He’ll return to court this month.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Romulus, Seneca County, has been chosen by a State-appointed committee as the site of New York’s first State Veterans Cemetery. This decision brings New York one step closer to establishing a permanent, State-owned resting place to honor New York’s veterans and their family members. Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery is situated on 162 acres along the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region. New York is one of only a few states nationwide that does not have a state veterans cemetery.

New York Congressman Tom Reed has joined with over 100 members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to push for more funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The program aims to help restaurants and other impacted businesses keep their doors open throughout the pandemic. In a statement, Reed said while he did not support the American Rescue Plan Act, this program is critical to small businesses and restaurants across the district. Providing more funding to this program will deliver significant benefits to our local businesses and help keep them open as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

It’s a go for the Genesee County Fair. The event will run from July 24-31. Events will be posted at gcfair.com.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation allowing veterans to qualify for state benefits after a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a traumatic brain injury or disclosure of military sexual trauma from any person licensed to provide health care services in New York State. Previously, veterans had to be diagnosed by a provider at the Department of Veteran Affairs. This legislation removes barriers from access to care for those who have given so much for our freedom, and builds on the Restoration of Honor Act, signed in 2019, that allowed additional discharged veterans to receive benefits for certain qualifying conditions.

Memorial Day News Brief

Health officials say the state’s 7-day average positivity rate is now 0.71%.  That’s the lowest number since the COVID-19 crisis began.  The previous record was 0.75% set in August 2020.  We have now seen 55 days of consecutive decline here in New York State.

Attica celebrated Lt Chelsey Hibsch Day yesterday in honor of the first woman in the Air Force to qualify as a Ranger.  Only about 300 Air Force personnel have qualified as rangers since the Army started accepting Airmen into the program in 1955.  In 2019 Hibsch made the cut.  Hibsch has now been assigned to Travis Air Force Base in California, where she will serve as a flight commander in the 821st 821st Contingency Response Squadron.

Labor shortages, disruptions to trade caused by the COVID pandemic, and a whole lot of new people getting into camping have caused a shortage of camping supplies in Upstate New York.  Tent stakes, fishing rods and many other staples of going out into the outdoors are missing from store shelves because more people are buying and the supply is not coming in.  The closure of the border with Canada and less trade coming in from places like China are reducing the supply to a 42 year low coinciding with a 70-100 percent increase in purchases.  Sales of new powerboats are also up 35 percent.

There are still spots open for the Genesee Park and Forest Environmental Science Camp.  This outdoor hands on camp is for 7th through 10th graders and goes from Monday July 12th through Friday July 16th from 9am to 4pm.  This weeklong adventure includes wildlife surveys, stream studies, tree identification and more taught by professionals in different fields of Environmental Science.  Deadline to register is Monday June 28th and the cost is 95 dollars per camper.

Morning News Briefing

New York State’s 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate dropped over the weekend to 0.73%. That’s the lowest since the pandemic began. 1,142 patients remained hospitalized.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 30-year-old Marc C.J. Cook Sr. of Church Street in Alabama. He was charged with third-degree bail jumping. Cook was arraigned virtually and remanded to jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $5,000 bond. He is due back in city court on June 15.

A State Supreme Court, Appellant Division has ruled against a claim filed by the Batavia Fire Chief. Stephano Napolitano had challenged the City of Batavia and the Workers’ Compensation Board. The Chief filed a claim for benefits in April 2019 seeking to recover for an injury sustained as the result of a work-related slip and fall that occurred in December 2018. Upon administrative review, the Workers’ Compensation Board disallowed his claim, finding that he failed to give timely notice of his injury. In a four-page ruling, the court said it found the arguments from the chief lacked merit.

A Corfu man was ticketed after an ATV crash in the Town of Bennington. 29-year-old Brandon D. Forsyth was charged by Troopers with driving while intoxicated and failure to stop at stop sign. Forsyth was issued traffic tickets returnable to Town of Bennington Court in June.

After investigating a domestic dispute, sheriff’s deputies arrested 39-year-old Matthew Zon of Byron. He was charged with felony first-degree criminal contempt and criminal obstruction of breathing. He was arraigned and sent to jail in lieu of bail.

After waiting more than a year for substantial rent relief, struggling New Yorkers can soon apply for funds from the state’s $2.7 billion Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program will begin accepting applications starting tomorrow. The state Office of Temporary Disability and Assistance (OTDA) will open the application portal at 9 a.m.

Spots are still open for Environmental Science Camp at the Genesee County Park & Forest! This hands-on outdoor camp is for students entering seventh – 10th grades. Maximum 15 campers, registration deadline to register is Monday, June 28th. Camp meets Monday through Friday, July 12th – 16th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Interpretive Nature Center at the Genesee County Park & Forest.

As people across the United States observe Memorial Day, a Western New Yorker killed in action is being honored on the national stage. From WIVB…during the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR’s Kurt Busch drove with Marine Corporal Jason Dunham’s name on his windshield. Dunham, an Allegany County native, threw himself on a grenade while serving in Iraq in 2004. He died eight days later. Marine Cpl. Dunham’s actions saved the lives of his fellow marines. He posthumously received the medal of honor. Dunham, who was from Scio, was just 22-years-old when he died.

New York State Park Police were able to successfully rescue a dog at Letchworth State Park Sunday. In a Facebook post, they say a 3-year-old black lab fell nearly 200 feet into the gorge at around 5 p.m. The Genesee High Angle Rope Rescue team was able to find the dog and pull him from the gorge. The dog suffered a broken rear leg, but is otherwise healthy.

Court action is pending for an Alexander man who allegedly sent threatening text messages that caused another person to be in fear. Deputies charged 40-year-old Ernest Heineman of Old Creek Road with aggravated harassment. He’s due in county court July 13th.

BPO to Perform at Batavia Downs

Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel is pleased to announce that in conjunction with Twenty6 Productions they will welcome the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to their stage along with the Strictly Hip, Western New York’s top tribute band to The Tragically Hip, for a concert on Sunday, July 18th.

The Strictly Hip and the BPO have teamed up several times before to celebrate the legacy of the Tragically Hip, the legendary Canadian band that defined rock for a generation.

The special performance will take place at 6pm with doors opening at 5pm.  Tickets will go on sale Wednesday, June 2nd at 10am at  bataviaconcerts.com.  Tickets will range from $20 to $75.

Due to limited capacity, A limit of 4 tickets purchased per person will be enforced.

Batavia Downs will not require a negative COVID test, nor vaccination to enter the concert.  All pairs of seats in the VIP and Premium Sections will have chairs provided and be arranged as per CDC regulations.  Those who purchase tickets in the Lawn Section are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs or rent a chair for $5.  Limited rental chairs are available.

“We are pleased to welcome the BPO & Strictly Hip to our concert venue this summer,“ said President and CEO of Batavia Downs, Henry Wojtaszek.  “We know what kind of fantastic performance is expected when these two great bands get together and we look forward to the show.”

Midday News Brief

Genesee County residents are being asked to conserve water.
That might be hard to understand with days of rain, but demand for water is outpacing supply.
County officials say rapid increases in residential growth and increased agricultural and industrial use are the reason for the shortage.
Officials are asking residents to avoid filling swimming pools, watering lawns and washing cars….and only use your automatic dishwasher for full loads.
The County says if voluntary conservation measures are unsuccessful, mandatory water conservation may have to be enforced.

A Town of Alabama man is behind county bars charged with bail jumping. Deputies say 30 year old Marc “C J” Cook of Church Street never showed up for a court date last year on a drug charge. Lawmen caught up with him yesterday, and jailed.

No damage has been reported after a small earthquake rattled part of Livingston County.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the epicenter of last night’s two-point-four magnitude trembler was near Mount Morris.
The Livingston County Sheriff says everyone at the salt mine on Route 63 has been accounted for, and the mine itself didn’t collapse.
No injuries have been connected to the earthquake.

New York State has experienced the lowest COVID positivity rates since last August.
The statewide rate has plunged to 0.65%. Just around 1,200 people remain in the hospital for virus-related issues and the number of people in Intensive Care has dropped to 300.
In the latest report, there were only ten COVID-related deaths.

If you’re looking for work or want a new job, the Transportation Security Administration has positions available. With a busy summer travel season expected, the agency is hiring new officers at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Pay starts at $17.11 per hour for full-time positions, and benefits include paid training, health care and paid sick leave. Plus, anyone who is hired before September 30th will receive a $500 bonus plus an additional $500 bonus after one year

United Way Thanks Volunteers for Day of Caring

The United Way of Genesee County and the Day of Caring Committee would like to thank all volunteers who participated in completing 26 projects throughout Genesee County on May 19th for the Annual Day of Caring.

Projects included planting a vegetable garden at Community Action, staining the decks at the Arc residential homes, repairing bicycles for those in need with the Lions Club, and grooming the sensory trails at Purple Pony Therapeutic Equestrian Center; plus, many outdoor spring clean up projects.

The Muckdogs have annually offered Dwyer Stadium as the host site for the energizing Day of Caring kick-off. Due to restrictions this year, the kick-off could not happen. Therefore, the Day of Caring Committee created their own volunteer team and gave back to the Muckdogs by spending the entire day cleaning the stadium.

The Day of Caring this year was a huge success, because of the commitment of volunteers who register through their company, service group, agency or individually to participate in making an impact to the agencies, schools and churches in our community.

An enormous thank you to the following volunteer teams:

  • Team OATKA Milk Products
  • Team Leadership Genesee
  • Team Northgate Church
  • Team Freed Maxick
  • Team GCASA
  • Team Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Team Tompkins Bank of Castile and Insurance Agencies
  • Team Howard Hannah
  • Team Student Transportation
  • Team Remedy Staffing
  • Team PathStone
  • Team Lions Club
  • Team Batavia Rotary
  • Team Liberty Pumps
  • Team YWCA
  • Team UMMC Staff
  • Team UMMC Residents
  • Team Town of Batavia
  • Team US Gypsum Corp
  • Team Day of Caring Committee

An additional thank you to Arctic Refrigeration for supplying water and ice to all of our volunteers. And, to the agency project sites for feeding lunch to almost 175 hard-working participants.

The Day of Caring would not exist without all of these amazing folks.

For questions about the United Way of Genesee County, or how to make a donation, please contact Tammy Hathaway at 585-343-8141.

Morning News Brief

Directors of the Batavia Development Corporation have approved a revolving loan fund grant request of $18,800 for sidewalk replacement at Ellicott Place. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative project will result in 10 new market-rate apartments on the upper floor of the Save-A-Lot building at 45-47 Ellicott St., as well as the rehabilitation of 18,000 square feet of vacant commercial space.

Here are some updates for construction and road work that will be happening in Genesee County in the next few weeks. The Tower Hill Road Bridge west of Searls Road in Byron will be closing Tuesday for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take three and a half months. The County Highway Department will be doing work on June 1st and June 2nd on Swamp Road in Bergen between West Sweden Road and the Village line. The road will be closed during the day and reopened at night. On June 3nd and 4th the Highway Department will be doing work on Cook Road in Pavilion between Route 63 and Route 20. The road will be closed during the day and reopened at night.

New York officials say the state has experienced the lowest COVID positivity rates since August 27th of last year. The statewide rate has plunged to 0.65%. Just around 1,200 people remain in the hospital for virus-related issues and the number of people in Intensive Care has dropped to 300. In the latest report, there were only ten COVID-related deaths.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region welcomes Holly McAllister as a Taking Control Consumer Administrator. McAllister has a range of office work experience.

Officials from Genesee County, the City and Town of Batavia, Village of Oakfield, Village of Elba, and the Genesee County Department of Health are requesting residents connected to the Public Water Supply System to conserve water. Demands for water are outpacing supply improvements during the summer months. To avoid water emergencies, all residents served by the countywide public water system are asked to do their part to conserve water.

Western New York Off-Track Betting has confirmed that, as of now, people heading to Batavia Downs Gaming for its summer concert series performances will not be subject to testing for the coronavirus and will not be required to have face coverings. Attendees will be required to follow any CDC rules in effect at the time.

NY state representatives will join advocate Travis Flanagan and his family to announce the passage of important legislation to allow New York air ambulance services to carry and transfuse blood products while transporting patients to hospitals. The legislation’s swift passage is credited to the tireless advocacy of Travis Flanagan, who lost both legs in a tragic farming accident but could have lost his life if not for the quick actions of first responders and the fact that a Pennsylvania-based medical helicopter was able to treat him. Travis’ dedication to use his tragedy to enact positive change was instrumental in propelling this bill forward to help save lives. A joint press conference is set for Saturday morning.

The Byron Town Board will hold a special meeting via Zoom, today at noon. The purpose of the meeting will be to consider the Intermunicipal Agreement with the Town of Elba to allow residents on Transit Road to receive water from the Elba Water District, and also an Executive Session to consider strategy for presentations before the Siting Board on the Excelsior Solar Project Application.

What felt and sounded like an explosion reported Thursday night in Livingston County was an apparent earthquake. 13WHAM meteorologist Scott Hetsko confirmed the tremors felt were from a quake in southern Livingston County. Livingston County Sheriff Tom Dougherty said a preliminary report indicated it was a 2.4 magnitude quake. It was felt near the American Rock Salt mine.

Evening News Brief

The impeachment investigation into Governor Cuomo met with the Assembly Judiciary Committee yesterday to give an update on the case.  Public was not allowed to be a part of the meeting but the chairman of the committee Charles Lavine said that the attorneys are representing 75 individuals and entities and they have reviewed over 10,000 pages of documents.  Lavine also says the Assembly investigation hotline has received 290 messages.  There was no talk of a timetable for completing the investigation.

Governor Cuomo announced today that if someone misses work because of the COVID 19 vaccine side effects it will be covered by the New York Paid Sick Leave Law.  A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 48% of people who were unvaccinated said they were afraid of missing work due to potential side effects from the vaccine.  New York’s positivity rate stands at 0.65% Thursday. That is the lowest point since August 27.

Batavia Downs has just announced that there will be no testing requirement for entry into the Rockin’ The Downs Concert Series.  Those attending who have been vaccinated will not be required to mask up but pairs of seats will be 6 feet apart.  In accordance with CDC regulations, those that are not vaccinated, including minors attending the concerts, are encouraged to wear a mask while indoors but can take off their mask once outside.  If rules or regulations regarding testing or vaccinations within New York State change, then Batavia Downs will adapt to any such modifications.

The Agribusiness Child Development Center on 18 Brooklyn Ave was shut down today due to a gas leak.  The children in the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program were dismissed for the day.  No one suffered any ill effects due to a small leak in the kitchen natural gas pipeline.  National Fuel And the Batavia Fire Department responded and the line was repaired.

Some Updates on the road work going on about Genesee County: The Tower Hill Rd west of Searls Road in Byron will be closed June 1st for a bridge replacement.  This will take about 3 and a half months.  Swamp Road in Bergen  between West Sweden Road and Village line will have road work June 1 and 2.  The Road will be closed during the day but open at night.  Cook rd. in Pavilion between Rts 63 and 20 will have road work on June 3rd and 4th.  It will be closed during the day and open at night.

Morning News Brief

A fallen Marine from WNY will be honored this weekend at Nascar’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driver Kurt Busch will pilot the No. 1 GEARWRENCH Chevy Camaro and will carry the name of fallen U.S. Marine Corporal Jason Dunham. A native of Scio in Allegany County, Dunham was just 22-years-old when he died during the Iraq War. On April 14, 2004, his unit came under attack. Cpl. Dunham threw himself on a grenade, which exploded. He saved the lives of his fellow Marines. Dunham died eight days later. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. The United States Post Office in Scio was also renamed the Corporal Jason L. Dunham Post Office.

Genesee County Manager Matt Landers said he is ready to do his part to conserve water this summer as all indications point to “another tight water season for us here.” Echoing what County Engineer Tim Hens said in a report on The Batavian last month, Landers is urging residents to take steps to use less water as hot summer days near. Speaking at the Genesee County Legislature, Landers said a water conservation press release is going out on Friday, listing 10 “little things” that people can do to conserve.

The New York Statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 0.70%, the lowest since August 30th. The state has also had 51 straight days of decline. The hospitalization rate is now less than 1,300 with only 297 patients in the ICU. The latest report shows 17 COVID-related deaths,

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the ‘Get a Shot to Make Your Future’ incentive for 12- to 17-year-olds to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Participants can enter into a random prize drawing and potentially receive a full scholarship to a SUNY or City University college beginning tomorrow. Winners receive a full scholarship to any public college or university, including tuition and room and board. New York State will administer the random drawing and select 10 winners a week over five weeks for a total of 50 winners. Federal COVID-19 relief and outreach funds will be used to cover the cost of this vaccination incentive program. The winners will receive up to four years of full-time undergraduate study or five years in an approved five-year bachelor’s degree program.

The 10th annual free Shred Day hosted by Brighton Securities in Batavia happens tomorrow from 12 to 3 p.m. The location is 212 E. Main St. downtown. Bring your old bank records, credit card statement and any other sensitive documents for secure, eco-friendly destruction and disposal!

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s estimated overall investment return was 33.55 percent for the state fiscal year that ended March 31. It reflects the financial markets’ dramatic rebound from lows reached during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evening News Brief

Route 77 between Pembroke Town Park and the intersection of Indian Falls Road will be designated as the “Specialist Four Clarence ‘C. Jay’ Hall Memorial Highway.” This change was championed and passed by Senator Rath who said “Specialist Four Clarence “C. Jay” Hall served as a rifleman in the United States Army in Binh Duong, Vietnam.  He was mortally wounded on October 7, 1969, during an intense attack by enemy forces.  Specialist Hall earned the NYS Conspicuous Service Cross, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with One Bronze Star, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Silver Star, which is the nation’s third-highest award for valor.”

Governor Cuomo in a press conference today in New York City announced a new incentive program for getting people, especially young people to take the COVID vaccine.  The state will be holding a weekly raffle Wednesdays, giving away full-time scholarships – covering room and board – for any public college or university for four years. Anyone between the ages of 12-17 who gets a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine between Thursday and July 7 will be entered into a pool for a weekly drawing.  Demand for the vaccines has dropped 50 percent in the last few weeks.

COVID Update: Since Friday there have been 14 new cases in Genesee county and 24 people have recovered.  In Orleans county there are 18 new cases and 16 people have recovered.  There are 41 active cases in Genesee county and 50 in Orleans.

The Genesee Orleans Counties Health Department announced a new joint website this morning.  Go Health Director Paul Pettit says, “This effort has been in the works for almost a year and a half in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We believe having a joint website will not only save time and resources, but be easier for our residents to access our forms, data and timely updates.”  There are two ways to access the new website:  www.GOHealthNY.org or by going to the respective county websites and choosing Public Health.”

Police Chief Shawn Heubusch issued a statement today on the problems with bail reform in the case of Devon Wright.  Chief Heubusch writes:  Bail reform, a measure recently passed into law by the state legislature and the Governor, is seriously flawed. In this particular case, we get a front-row seat of the unintended consequences of so-called bail reform playing out across our State. Bail reform is putting the safety of our officers and our citizens at risk. I, along with my colleagues in law enforcement, implore the State Legislature to examine the current bail reforms and restore protections for the citizens of New York against violent criminals who are brazenly flaunting the law, knowing they will be back out on the street in a matter of hours.

Morning News Briefing

The local unemployment rate hit its lowest level in April at 5 percent, more than 10 percentage points down from what it was in April 2020, the worst month locally for the job market during the pandemic. The 5 percent rate is still a point-and-a-half or so above the 3.6 percent rate of April 2019. The Labor Department reports 27,900 people in Genesee County’s labor force, which is the aggregate of everybody employed and everybody seeking work.  Of those, 26,500 have jobs and 1,400 are looking for jobs.

Two people are facing charges following a pursuit Monday night in Genesee County. The Sheriff’s Office says the chase began on Route 63 in Oakfield. When the deputy attempted to pull the vehicle over for speeding, the sedan reportedly did not stop. The vehicle continued onto Route 262 and Fox Road. At the intersection of Fox and Maltby Roads, deputies say the sedan drove through a stop sign, went airborne off the shoulder, hit a tree and drive into a field. At this point, deputies say a passenger in the back seat jumped out of the sedan while it was still moving. The vehicle allegedly kept traveling northwest, into a crop field nearby. Deputies say an illegal weapon and scales containing residue were found in the vehicle. The driver, 38-year-old Jason Fitzpatrick of Michigan, was wanted as a parole absconder out of Michigan. He also faces several charges locally. 22-year-old Samantha Makar of South Carolina was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing governmental administration. Deputies say the back seat passenger complied with the investigation and was ultimately not charged.

New York’s statewide 7-day average COVID-19 positivity rate has declined for 50 consecutive days, dropping to 0.89%. Hospitalizations have declined to less than 1,400, with 307 patients in an Intensive care Unit. On Monday, just 16 new deaths were reported.

Picnic in the Park, scheduled for July 4th at Centennial Park in Batavia, will be cancelled this year due to COVID.  Beyond the issues of COVID regulations, sponsors of the event have had to pull their funding, as a result of the restraints COVID put on their budgets.

This Memorial Day weekend, the average price for gas will be the highest since 2014. The national average for the price of gas is just over $3 per gallon. The forced shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline after a cyberattack is still partly to blame, along with an increase in demand. AAA predicts 37 million Americans will travel by road and air this holiday weekend.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced $3.5 billion in assistance for renters and small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rental assistance program makes emergency rental assistance available for struggling New Yorkers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the program will be accepted starting June 1 for eligible New Yorkers who are behind on their rent and have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19. Administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide assistance with up to 12 months of past-due rent, 3 months of prospective rental assistance and 12 months of utility arrears payments to eligible New Yorkers. The program is expected to serve between up to 200,000 households.

Evening News Update

The Old Hippies have announced 4 free concerts for the summer.  They are calling it the Home to Home concert Series: for the Common Good.  The Band plays Americana Roots Music and the concerts will be on July 3rd in Jackson Square, August 8th in Jackson Square, August 22nd at Elba Town Park, and September 12th back in Jackson Square.  For updates and info check out their website at oldhippiesmusic.com.

The problems with bail reform continue as Judge Charles Zambito is frustrated over his inability to keep a violent offender in jail.  19 year old Devon Wright has been charged with sexual misconduct with a person under 15 years old, stealing from a minor under 17, burglary, assault, running down a person with a car and then fleeing the police on foot, criminal mischief, violating an order of protection and failure to appear for a court date, among others.  He was previously held on bail but was released anyway.  Judge Zambito remarked his frustration that the bail reform make it so judges cannot use a person’s threat to the community as a reason to hold them.  Currently Zambito has ordered a mental health evaluation and ordered that Wight can’t leave his home after 9pm or before 6am and police are allowed to search his home at will.

Morning News Briefing

The Batavia City Council is leaning toward the “let’s try it and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll end it” approach to an offer by Casella Waste Systems of New York to empty the trash receptacles at city parks and downtown at no charge. The company previously had reached out to City Manager Rachael Tabelski with the proposal that allows Casella crews to service the parks on a daily basis and downtown on a weekly basis in return for letting the company paint the receptacles (dark blue) and place a sign on them, stating “Serviced by Casella Waste.” At Monday night’s Conference Meeting at City Hall, the board agreed to move a resolution to enter into a contract with Casella to its June 14 Business Meeting for a formal vote.  After a brief discussion on the matter, the consensus was to take the business up on its offer and if things don’t proceed as expected, it would use a clause in the pact to terminate it.

In a joint statement released from New York State and the Department of Health, guidance has been revised for child care programs saying young children no longer have to wear masks. This comes after hundreds of parents were set to sue the state over the revised rule. The statement reads that while masks for children ages 2-5 are encouraged, it is not required.

Authorities report the arrest of 18-year-old Ermonie R. Schichler of State Street in Batavia. She was charged with disseminating indecent material to a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor. It is alleged that she sent sexually explicit photos to a minor over a period of time. She was arraigned via Skype in Batavia City Court, then released on her own recognizance.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.04, down one cent from last Monday. One year ago, the price was $1.96. The New York State average is $3.07 – up one cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.18. Batavia prices have ticked up 3 cents.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed flags on State government buildings to be flown at half-staff and state landmarks to be lit red, white and blue on Sunday, May 30 to honor the essential workers who lost their lives due to COVID-19. Flags will remain at half-staff until noon and landmarks will remain lit on Monday, May 31 for Memorial Day in honor of the service members who lost their lives fighting to defend our country.

Voters now say Governor Andrew Cuomo should not resign by a 49-41% margin, compared to a 51-37% majority who said he should not resign last month…that’s according to a just released Siena poll. Cuomo’s favorability rating has also ticked up slightly.

The Genesee County STOP-DWI coordinator has announced that police agencies, including the Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department, will participate in special efforts to bring awareness to the dangers of impaired driving. The statewide STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign will start on Friday and will end on Tuesday, June 1st. Memorial Day is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year and marks the unofficial start of summer.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he projects all students across the state will be back in the classroom for in-person learning this fall. The governor said New York will be setting a statewide policy for all schools in the future.

Afternoon News Brief

Gas prices in Buffalo have reached the 3 dollar mark for a gallon of regular.  Experts expect that the price will continue to rise through the memorial day weekend.  The average price of gas in New York is now 3.07 and the national average is 3.04.  The average in Batavia is 2.99  New data from the Energy Information Administration shows demand is up while supply is down ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, in which more than 37 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles by road or by air.

The Jays at Sahlens Field are planning on increasing the size of their vaccinated seating section before their first home game on June 15th.  They are moving up from 35 percent to 45 percent making 66 percent of all seating fall into the fully vaccinated category.  Tickets for the seats will go on sale Thursday at 10am.  According to the Blue Jays, based on the latest CDC and NYS guidance fans will no longer be required to wear face coverings while in the outdoor seating bowl.

Darien Lake amusement park is back open again but one beloved ride will not be returning.  The Giant Wheel has ended its 38 year run at the park.  Originally the 165 foot tall Ferris wheel was at the 1982 Worlds Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee and was the tallest in the world when it was first built.  Also not opening this season and reportedly being dismantled is the Grizzly Run raft ride.

The Free Concert series at Jackson Square artists have been announced.  The concerts go from June 25th through August 27th.  The artists who will be performing are: Penny Whiskey, Old Hippies, Home to Home Concert Series, Skycats, The Don Newcomb Band, Ghost Riders, Tommy Geraci’s Rio Bravo, SDP Jazz Trio, Bluesway Band, Mitty and the Followers and Red Creek.  For the complete Schedule check out our news partner the Batavian.

Genesee County is participating in the stop DWI program from Friday to Tuesday.  This campaign will mean more police in high traffic areas and an increase in pulling people over if they are suspected of drinking and driving.  Memorial day weekend is a time when more people get behind the wheel after drinking and targeted enforcement has lowered drunk driving deaths by as much as 25 percent.

Morning News Brief

It’s rare when a state audit doesn’t dig up any dirt…but that was case in a recent review of the Genesee County 2021 budget. According to a report summary, Genesee County officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget. There was one key recommendation – the report suggested in consideration of the continually new and evolving impacts caused by the pandemic, County officials should carefully monitor their budgeted to actual revenues and expenditures and make amendments to the budget as needed throughout the year.

Three Buffalo residents are facing felony counts stemming from an alleged crime in the Town of Batavia. Charged with criminal possession of stolen property valued above $1,000 – 26-year-old Shelby McElwain, 47-year-old Steven Cameron and 50-year-old Gary Cameron. Shelby was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Court appearances are pending.

An Albion man faces felony counts. During a traffic stop, state troopers arrested 27-year-old Randall Vanhouten. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and having a blood alcohol content at or above.08%. They are each felony crimes because he has previous alcohol-related convictions within the past ten years. A court appearance is pending.

After missing the 2020 season due to COVID-19 restrictions, Darien Lake Theme Park, has reopened for the year. Currently, the park can operate at 33-percent capacity but expects to be open at 100-percent capacity in about a month. COVID-19 protocols include a touchless temperature check as patrons enter the park and social distancing. People who are full vaccinated do not need to wear masks. The mask protocol will operate on the honor system. Patrons will not be required to show proof of vaccination. All of the rides and attractions are open.

Batavia police say they arrested Justin Thagard, charging him with felony first-degree criminal contempt. According to police, he allegedly violated an order of protection. He was initially jailed in lieu of cash bail.

City police arrested 30-year-old Robert Wood. He was charged with felony first-degree criminal contempt. Police said he allegedly had contact with a woman who has an active stay away order of protection. Wood was initially arraigned and jailed without bail.

64 percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 55 percent have completed the vaccine series. More than 822,000 doses have been administered statewide over the past seven days.

Weekend News Brief

Community Action of Genesee and Orleans counties has decided to downsize the Community Action Transportation System or CATS for short because too few people are using it.  Community Action Executive Director Renee Hungerford says that “Fuel and bus maintenance is costly, while ridership is low due to COVID and new conveniences such as remote work, grocery delivery, and telehealth,” and that the system was often making transports of just 1 or 2 people.  The CATS program has been providing for residents, bus transportation service for established routes and for “on-demand” rides year-round, five days per week.  Destinations included community health centers, doctor and hospital visits, treatment centers, clinics, dialysis, and retail store shopping.

The Muckdogs released their schedule Thursday with the first home game being June 4th.  They also released which promotions they will be doing throughout the season.  The Muckdogs are bringing back many of the old ways including: Meet the Team; Postgame Fireworks; Free Posters; Thirsty Thursdays; Sahlen’s Dollar Dog Nights; Free T-shirt Night; O’Lacy’s Irish Night; 716 Night; Free Face Masks; and more.  For a full schedule and list of promotions go to canusamuckdogs.com.

North Bergen Rd between Merrill Rd and Bird Rd has been reopened.  The next road closure will start Monday and be between Townline Road and Galloway Road on Macomber rd.  It will be closed for about 2 weeks.

COVID Update:  Since Tuesday there are 22 new cases in Genesee county and 25 people have recovered.  In Orleans county there are 13 new cases and 17 people have recovered.  There are 50 active cases in Genesee county and 44 in Orleans.  Genesee county has 22 thousand five hundred people fully vaccinated and Orleans county has just over 13 and a half thousand people vaccinated.  New York is in 10th place nationally with 43.8 percent of residents fully vaccinated.  Maine is in first place with over 50 percent and Mississippi is in last place with just over a quarter of it’s population fully vaccinated.

The Genesee Orleans county Health department will have pop up clinics for everyone 12 and up from Tuesday through Thursday this week.  Walk ins are welcome.  The locations are Tuesday: Ridgeway Fire Hall in Medina from 10am to noon, Wednesday, the GCC Athletic Arena from 1:30 to 3pm.  Thursday Holley American Legion from 11AM to 12:30, And Thursday the Kendall Fire Department 2 through 3:30pm.

Evening News Brief

The DEC has issued an air quality warning for Western New York again today till 11pm.  The pollutant of concern is Ozone.  Officials warn that ozone in the air can create health problems for people with breathing difficulties especially children.  They advise that those who may be more susceptible not do strenuous activity outdoors.  Ozone at ground level can form when there is summer heat combined with a specific pressure system which traps car exhaust and other pollutants at a level that it effects people on the ground.  Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consider consulting their doctor.

The Empire Hemp Company at 204 Main Street has had its grand opening.  The CBD shop owned by Chris VanDusen and Sally Wolanske have actually been open for about a month but yesterday was the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Empire Hemp’s retail store is new. A processing and manufacturing facility has been operating for several months.  During the ceremony, VanDusen talked about the company’s best sellers.  The company extracts the CBD oil from hemp and processes various products in concentrations of THC –  the active ingredient in marijuana – that are within legal limits.

The incredibly popular week long Christian music festival Kingdom Bound held annually at Darien Lake Amusement Park has announced that it will not be running this year.  The Kingdom Bound organization sent out a press release that said that because of New York State’s COVID guidelines and “despite exhausting all possible options and pursuing all possible solutions, Kingdom Bound has been postponed and has been rescheduled for July 24-27, 2022 at Six Flags Darien Lake.”  For those who already bought tickets or other packages to the 2021 festival their tickets will be automatically rolled over to 2022 and they will be sent a gift card for 15 dollars towards next years Kingdom Bound.

Did you get a ticket to see the Blue Jays at Sahlens field?  If you didn’t grab a ticket for the first 8 games it’s too late now.  The tickets went on sale yesterday and they are already sold out for all games available.  Tickets for the next 10 games will be available June 8th.  The Blue Jays say that capacity may increase so keep checking for more tickets to become purchasable.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the closure of the U.S.-Canada border to non-essential travel has been extended through June 21. It was set to expire today.

You might notice that Main Street in Batavia looks a little different today.  The Batavia Downtown Business Improvement District has put 111 new banners up on light poles down the street.  The department of Public Works and Hodgins Printing worked with the BDBID for the collaborative effort.  The new banners feature a picture of downtown Batavia.

Midday News Brief

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New information has been revealed involving the sexual harassment allegations made against Governor Cuomo.
According to The Washington Post his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, was involved in giving advice about how the governor should respond to the claims.
In a statement, CNN said it was inappropriate for Cuomo to take part in those talks and that he won’t be involved in them going forward.
Governor Cuomo has denied sexually harassing anyone and says he has no plans to step down.

Everyone who missed out on winning the big Mega Millions jackpot earlier this week will get another chance to strike it rich tonight.
The jackpot has grown to 515-million-dollars which is one of the top 10 totals in the game’s history. No one has won Mega Millions since February 16th when a New York couple took home a huge prize. Tickets cost $2 and the live drawing starts at 11 pm at www.megamillions.com.

The Empire Hemp Company has officially opened it’s doors at 204 Main Street
Owners Chris VanDusen and Sally Wolanske have actually been opened for about a money but yesterday was the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
Empire Hemp’s retail store is new. A processing and manufacturing facility has been operating for several months.
The company extracts the CBD oil from hemp and processes various products in concentrations of THC – at the active ingredient in marijuana – that are within legal limits.

New York State is putting up quite a large amount of money to urge people to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19. As part of the “Vax and Scratch” program, a lot of folks who receive vaccine next week will get a free lottery scratch-off ticket that could be worth up to five-million dollars. The promotion runs this coming Monday through next Friday at some of the state’s mass vaccination sites. So far, over 18-million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the Empire State.
The nearest state operated mass vaccination site

Morning News Brief

$250 million is available to transform and modernize airports in Upstate New York and foster regional economic development. The Genesee County Airport is among the 24 airports eligible for the funding. Funding applications are due by September 15th.

The NY Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee joined with law enforcement Thursday to announce the kickoff of the annual “Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket” campaign. This education and enforcement mobilization runs from May 24 to June 6 to promote seat belt use as the spring travel season ramps up. New York State Police and local law enforcement agencies will also use marked and unmarked vehicles, checkpoints, and roving details to ticket unbelted drivers during the campaign.

Thursday morning at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new incentive to get more people protected against COVID-19. It’s called “Vax & Scratch.” Next week, Monday through Friday, people have the opportunity to go get vaccinated and take home a free lottery ticket. This is happening at 10 mass vaccination sites across the state. The top prize is $5 million, while lower prizes go down to $20. According to Gov. Cuomo, the chances of winning something are 1 in 9. New York’s latest statewide COVID-19 positivity rate is 0.85 percent.

New York’s statewide COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 0.85 percent, the lowest since September 11.

While the Kiwanis Club of Batavia announced several award winners for its annual Law Day event in advance, there was one person kept in the dark about all of the planned awards. District Attorney Lawrence Friedman. He is finishing out his final term as district attorney, ending a 24-year run as the county’s longest-serving DA, and to recognize him for his service to the community, the Kiwanis Club presented him with a Special Service Award.

The Canadian government says its border with the US will remain closed until June21st…and that has annoyed Congressman Chris Jacobs. He issued a statement saying “This indefinite closure is unacceptable. To continue to do this for over a year without a plan for heartbroken families and anxious homeowners represents a failure of leadership.”

New York State Police Troop A held their annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service Thursday at the WNY headquarters in Batavia. This was Troop’s first service since 2019 after last year’s service was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The service honors troopers who have died in the line of duty.

Midday News Brief

Timothy Granison, the husband of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, was arraigned this morning on criminal charges resulting from the search of the home he shares with the mayor.
That same investigation, a drug-related probe by the New York State Police, also led to the arrest Wednesday of a second man.
The 42 year old Granison pleaded not guilty to three felonies — two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and one count of criminal possession of a firearm.
Court records show Granison is accused of possessing 31 grams of cocaine and an unregistered gun.
He was released on his own recognizance this morning.
This is not Granison’s first brush with the law. He was convicted for his role in a 1997 armed robbery and sentenced to five years’ probation.

The City of Batavia is out with a chart on how to contact City Hall.
It lists the services provided along with the department phone numbers and email address to get the information you want.
The list is published on our website

Construction of a renovated Jackson Square is expected to begin in the next few months.
The preliminary design has been completed. Some changes were made as a result of two public meetings. The budget for the project is $750,000.
The space will feature decorative pavement upgrades, a professional multi-purpose stage and seating, lighting, and decorative signage.
We have pictures of the new design on our website.

Kids who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 won’t need to wear masks while attending day camps or overnight camps this summer. New guidance released by the state also says they won’t have to maintain proper social distancing. Unvaccinated children and staff will still need to have a facial covering on.

Jackson Square Design is Complete

News Release

A transformative project in the center of Downtown Batavia will advance towards construction in the next few months.  The Jackson Square revitalization project has completed preliminary design after numerous public engagement and stakeholder meetings.

On October 6, 2018, Governor Cuomo announced eight transformational projects for Downtown Batavia as part of $10 Million Downton Revitalization Initiative (DRI).  Enhancing Jackson Square was one of the eight projects chosen to receive a strategic investment grant of $750,000 to transform public space in a public plaza.

“The upgraded public plaza will become a lively hub and common space for community interaction, and provide connections to multiple businesses through its unique configuration.  As we continue to recover from the pandemic, I am happy to see the City complete this project and be able to offer citizens and visitors a unique experience in downtown Batavia,” said Eugene Jankowski Jr., City of Batavia Council President and DRI Co-Chair.

Jackson Square, a public gathering space bordered by historic buildings in the heart of downtown will be transformed with decorative pavement upgrades, a professional multi-purpose stage, seating, lighting, and decorative signage.

“Jackson Square is a hidden gem in the City of Batavia, currently hosting lively concerts and urban events.  After the project is complete the Square will bring in more opportunities for the community to gather creating a downtown neighborhood,” said Steve Hyde, CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center and Co-Chair of the Batavia DRI.

Architectural Resources, the architectural firm selected to design the project, will advance the project into final design, engineering and permitting.  The project is on schedule to go out to bid this winter 2021 and construction finishing in the spring of 2022.

“We received feedback from the residents, the Batavia Business Improvement District (BID), Batavia Development Corporation (BDC), adjoining building owners, and users of the square.  The pavement and lighting elements will give a square a historical feel in a unique urban setting,” said Rachael Tabelski, City of Batavia City Manager.

The concept integrates many historical layers of Batavia including the Great Bend- changing the trajectory of the Tonawanda Creek, the Ancient Seneca Footpaths, and the history of “old” downtown Batavia

“The BID was engaged throughout the entire process including selecting the design firm, reviewing and refining the project.  The adjacent building owners were consulted, as well as the multiple users of the square to advance the project.  Jackson Square will continue to drive community events and business to downtown Batavia,” said Beth Kemp, Executive Director of the BID.

Input received at each of the two public meeting informed the design of Jackson Square.  The design of the stage and canopy was revised based on suggestions that were made during the second public meeting.

How to Contact Batavia City Hall

The City of Batavia wants to remind residents how to access the various City departments for service requests or questions.  Below is a listing of Departments and what different services they perform throughout the City.

“The City of Batavia employs 150 professionals, working different shifts and schedules, on behalf of the residents of the City to maintain public safety, provide fire protection, maintain streets, water, sewer, enforce local codes/ordinances, issue building permits, marriage certificates, hunting and fishing licenses, as well as many other services.  Access to these services are important and the guide below is a quick index of the main services each department performs, and how to contact the department,” said Rachael Tabelski, City Manager.

If you are experiencing an emergency, always call 911.

Department/Office Contact Services Provided
Emergency Situations (Fire, Crimes in Progress, etc.) Call 911 Dispatch Police and Fire Services
Police Department

Phone: 585-345-6350

bataviapolice.org

 

Email: “Contact Us” page of bataviapolice.org

 

Address: 10 West Main St.

Police records and reports

–          Accident reports

–          Police records check

–          Tenant background check

–          Community policing

–          Crime prevention education

–          School Resource Officer

–          Property owner foil request

–          Vacation home check

–          Traffic complaints

–          Camera registry

–          Alarm Registry

–          Safe trade location

–          Sex offender registration/house check

Fire Department

Phone: 585-345-6375

 

Web Contact:

https://www.batavianewyork.com/home/webforms/contact-form

 

Address: 18 Evans St.

 

–          Fire protection

–          Fire investigation

–          Fire prevention education

–          Fire safety inspections

–          CRS flood information

–          Emergency preparedness

–          Child passenger safety  inspection/installation

–          Smoke detector service

–          Open burning questions

Bureau of Inspections

Phone: 585-345-6345

 

Web Contact: https://www.batavianewyork.com/home/webforms/contact-form

 

Address: One Batavia City Centre

–          Reporting tall grass

–          Reporting trash left on property

–          Reporting cars parked in grass

–          Reporting cars parked across sidewalk

–          Street opening permits

–          Vacant property issues

–          Exterior code issues/violations on homes

–          Junk cars

–          Permits

–          Inspections

–          Information on flood plain and flood insurance

Bureau of Maintenance

Phone: 585-345-6400 option # 1

Web Contact

https://www.batavianewyork.com/home/webforms/contact-form

 

Address: 147 Walnut St.

–          Issues with City trees

–          Reporting potholes

–          Reporting street sign damage

–          Snow plowing questions

–          Sidewalk issues

–          City parks

–          Street opening/closing permits

–          Yard waste station

DPW Administration

&

Bureau of Water and Wastewater

Phone: 585-345-6325

 

Web Contact:

https://www.batavianewyork.com/home/webforms/contact-form

 

Address: One Batavia City Centre

–          Street light issues

–          Traffic signal problems

–          Community Garden

–          Cross walk issues

–          Fire hydrant issues

–          Water or Sewer issues

–          Sanitary and storm water issues

City Clerk’s Office

Phone: 585 345-6305

 

Web Contact: https://www.batavianewyork.com/home/webforms/contact-form

 

Address: One Batavia City Centre

–          Birth, death and marriage certificates

–          Marriage licenses

–          Dog licenses

–          Handicap parking tags

–          Payment of tax, water and other bills

–          Hunting and fishing licenses

–          FOIL requests

–          Event applications

–          Overnight parking permits

–          Pavilion rentals

–          Pavilion rentals

Assessor’s Office

Phone: 585-345-6301

 

Web Contact:

https://www.batavianewyork.com/home/webforms/contact-form

 

Address: One Batavia City Centre

 

–          Assessment questions

–          Grievance

–          Property records

–          Tax rolls

–          Property tax exemptions

City Manager’s Office

Phone: 585-345-6330

 

Web Contact:

https://www.batavianewyork.com/home/webforms/contact-form

 

Address: One Batavia City Centre

–          General legislative requests

–          Budget questions

–          Contract questions

–          Community engagement opportunities

–          Assistant forming Neighborhood Action committees

–          Finance

–          Human resources

–          Media requests

–          Youth programs

–          Comprehensive plan questions

 

Morning News Briefing

New York voters approved 99.2% of school district budgets on Tuesday, May 18, according to preliminary results compiled by the New York State School Boards Association. Executive Director Robert Schneider says “The high passage rate for proposed budgets is a welcome endorsement of spending plans that will strengthen educational programs and restore some of the academic and student support services that were curtailed by the pandemic.” A decade after the state’s property tax cap went into effect, 654 districts proposed budgets with tax levies that were within their caps and required only a simple majority to pass. Of those districts, 99.7% saw their budgets pass.

An arrest has been made almost two years after a vehicle was reported stolen in the Town of Batavia. State Troopers say they arrested 57-year-old Edward Ruckdeschel of Batavia. He was charged this week with felony third-degree grand larceny. But it didn’t end there…Troopers leveled additional counts of grand larceny for vehicle thefts in Bethany in January 2020 and Le Roy in February 2020. He was initially detained.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is joining his colleagues in the Assembly Minority calling for the passage of a bill that would prohibit statewide elected officials from profiting on published works while serving in their position. This legislative push follows news that Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be earning more than $5 million on a book deal for a memoir he wrote during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when over 15,000 seniors passed away in nursing homes under his administration’s watch.

The Batavia Fire Investigation Team continues to examine the cause of a house and garage fire from Tuesday night. A garage at 202 Liberty Street was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived at 8:15 p.m. Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano said responding crews made an aggressive exterior attack on the garage and a concurrent interior attack containing and extinguishing the fire to a single room on the second floor of the home. The situation was call under control in under 30 minutes. The home was occupied with three residents and one pet that were able to safely escape prior to the fire department’s arrival. Due to the intensity of the fire, the home received significant smoke, heat and water damage. City Fire was assisted at the scene by the City of Batavia Police Department, Bureau of Inspection along with Elba and Alexander Fire Departments. Additional assistance was provided by the Town of Batavia Fire Department, Mercy EMS and Genesee County Emergency Dispatch.

A transformative project in the center of Downtown Batavia will advance towards construction in the next few months. The Jackson Square revitalization project has completed preliminary design after numerous public meetings. In 2018, Governor Cuomo announced eight transformational projects for Downtown Batavia as part of $10 Million Downton Revitalization Initiative (DRI). Enhancing Jackson Square was one of the eight projects chosen to receive a strategic investment grant of $750,000 to transform public space in a public plaza. Eugene Jankowski Jr., City of Batavia Council President and DRI Co-Chair says “the upgraded public plaza will become a lively hub and common space for community interaction, and provide connections to multiple businesses through its unique configuration.”.

Gov. Cuomo announced updated guidance for health and safety measures at child care, day camp, and overnight camp programs, effective right now. The measures include protocols for COVID testing, physical distancing, and sanitation, among other requirements to help prevent COVID-19 cases. The Department of Health will continue to monitor and evaluate health metrics for child care facilities and camp programs and, if necessary, will issue further guidance.

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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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