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May 22, 2017 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in STEAM, stem, schools, education, John Kennedy School, news.

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Press release:

By all counts, the Fourth Grade Innovators STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Program that was started at Batavia’s John Kennedy Intermediate School this year is a huge success – whether being measured by student enthusiasm, teacher observation of growing skills, or meaningful partnerships with the community. It’s no surprise, then, that plans are in the works for next year, including greater expansion into the younger grades at John Kennedy.

What did come as a surprise, however, was recognition from beyond our community. The Program won the Elementary STEM (Science/ Technology/ Engineering/ Mathematics) Innovation Award from The Finger Lakes STEM Hub and was honored at a reception in early May at St. John Fisher College. The Hub is the regional arm of the Empire State STEM Learning Network - a statewide, community‐led collaborative that works to advance STEM education. The Finger Lakes STEM Hub covers a nine-county area (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates Counties) and consists of leaders from K-12 education, higher education, business, government, and community organizations who work together to advance the interdisciplinary teaching and learning of STEM disciplines with the goal of sustaining economic vitality. As part of their commitment to students, they identify and highlight exemplary STEM activities and events that are engaging, exciting, and empowering for students.

JK’s STEAM Program was recognized as being such a program.

Evolving out of a request last summer by fourth grade teacher Melissa Calandra to do some STEAM activities once a month, JK principal Paul Kesler was quick to give his approval and support.

“STEAM is so important for young students,” said Mr. Kesler, “basically because science, technology, and math are really life-long concepts that students are going to need in whatever job that they have, but especially because so many jobs in the future are going to have a math and science emphasis. It’s important that our students gain experience now.”

To help bring the idea into fruition, they were joined by fourth grade teacher Jennifer Sloan, ACE teacher Karen Shuskey, and librarian Katelin LaGreca.

“This team,” Mr. Kesler said, “really got the ball rolling and, as it got going, we were able to start partnering with GCDEC (Genesee County Economic Development Center) in terms of bringing local businesses in to help us and see how we can partner with them.” In its promotion of regional economic development and growth, the GCDEC advocates for the education and skill development that students need to equip themselves for meeting that growth. Their help and support was extremely valuable to the planning and implementation of the STEAM opportunities for the JK students.

Each month, all of the fourth graders took part in the planned STEAM opportunity. Through the year, these activities helped students explore DNA and living systems, structures and design, robotics, coding/computer programming, graphic design, 3D printing, electrical circuits, math and movement, robotics in agricultural, and ecology/environmentalism. Nearly every hands-on activity was introduced to the students by a professional from the community who had expertise in that area, so the students were also introduced to an array of careers.

It was one of the community presenters who told the team about and encouraged them to apply for the STEM Hub award. Despite coming at a particularly busy time of the school year, they were so proud of the program that they wanted to make the time to enter the competitive application process.

Much to their delight, they won!

While it was very exciting to be held up as an example of fruitful partnerships with the community that help students learn about and grow in an increasingly needed skill set, it is even more exciting to contemplate the future of JK STEAM.

“For next year, we’re looking at an expansion to include third and second graders,” said Mr. Kesler. “We’re opening up a STEAM lab next year. Melissa Calandra is going to lead that, and it will allow us to offer activities to students once a week versus once a month. We’re really excited about that!”

“My hope,” he continued, “is that students will see how interesting science, technology, and math can be, and, in the long-term, that they recognize the opportunities coming available to them in the STEAM field.”

May 22, 2017 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at Cole Road and East Bethany - Le Roy Road. One of the vehicles is in a ditch. Le Roy fire and Mercy medics are dispatched.

UPDATE 3:54 p.m.: Le Roy ambulance is dispatched and the Mercy rig is to proceed in non-emergency mode.

May 22, 2017 - 10:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, bergen, Alabama, Oakfield, news.

Jolene Michelle Lawson, 35, of West Main Street, Batavia, is charged with grand larceny, 4th. Lawson allegedly stole a purse from a person at Delre's Greenhouse & Garden Center, 4062 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. The purse reportedly contained a debit card, money, and personal papers. Lawson was located on West Main and taken into custody. The property was recovered from a wooded area and returned to the victim.

Michale Paul Bartovich, 34, of Burncoat Way, Pittsford, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Bartovich was charged following a traffic stop on Judge Road, Oakfield, at 5:48 p.m. Saturday, by Deputy Chris Erion.

John Paul Daley, 36, of Alleghany Road, Alabama, is charged with felony DWI, muffler violation, and refusal to take a breath test. Daley was stopped at 12:19 a.m. Sunday on Route 77, Alabama, by Deputy James Stack.

James K. Clarke, 26, of 4th Section Road, Brockport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving without an ignition interlock device and aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd. Clarke was stopped at 5:37 a.m. Saturday on North Bergen Road, Bergen, by Deputy Jeremy McClellan.

May 22, 2017 - 10:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
May 21, 2017 - 9:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia society of artists, arts, batavia, news.

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Jenny Wood hosted the Batavia Society of Artists today at her home on West Main Street Road, Batavia, for a "sketch out," a chance for artists to paint and draw the landscape of her yard, which is well known locally for the annual bloom of forget-me-nots.

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May 21, 2017 - 8:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, schools, education, news.

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More than 600 students received their diplomas this afternoon from Genesee Community College in a ceremony that also honored a local philanthropic couple, a man long dedicated to the college and featured a keynote address by a nationally recognized local author.

Bill Kauffman, author of "Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette," "Ain't My America," and "America First!," as well as the screenplay for "Copperhead," encouraged students to pay attention to small kindnesses, to be good neighbors, to be present, and make a difference in the place where they plant their roots.

"Engage with each other," Kauffman said. "Talk face to face in communion with one another. Live a real life, not a virtual life. The vividness, the color of the world outside is so much more spectacular than anything you can see on a high-definition TV screen."

The college is celebrating its 50th year, Kauffman noted, and that too has a message about place and the connectedness of community.

"It was born in the summer of love through a citizens' initiative, a grassroots movement of the people in Genesee County," Kauffman said. "It was organic, a natural outgrowth, not something imposed upon us by some distant authority."

Kauffman ran down the list of names of local people who have been honored with buildings named after them at GCC, such as Anthony Zambito, William Stuart and Barber Conable.

He remembered Zambito as a man of many talents and great knowledge, a scientist, a broker, and a muck farmer. He was also a trustee of the college and fan of Cougars sports. Kauffman said he knew him only briefly, when he and his wife, Lucine, first moved to Elba. He exemplified the small kindnesses, Kauffman said, of a person who tended to leave people feeling better after meeting him.

“He was a kind old man with wise eyes who would always find times to speak to me when I saw him in the post office,” Kauffman said.

Conable, the namesake of the technology building, served in Congress for 20 years, and later was head of the World Bank, but he always came back to Genesee County.

"He effortlessly moved between worlds," Kauffman said. "One day he would fly to Washington and chair a meeting of the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents and the next day he would be back in Genesee County having coffee and donuts with his friends at Genesee Hardware."

Kauffman recalled that Conable once told him that eventually all of his accomplishments in Congress would soon be forgotten, but Kauffman said he did make a difference in the lives of people around him.

"The difference these people made were on a more intimate scale, the human scale -- the only scale that measure a person’s worth," Kauffman said.

He also talked about his friend, author, and newspaperman Henry Clune, who lived to 105 and still performed windsprints in his front yard into his late 90s. He also drank a martini every day promptly at 5 p.m. 

But that wasn't what led to a long life, Kauffman said.

"Henry was interested in his neighbors, in his own backyard, in what was going to happen next," Kauffman said. "He participated. He listened. He engaged. He reached out. He found something he loved to do and he did it as well as he could with joy and pride and always with a sense of gratitude. Henry wasn’t jaded. He wasn’t bored. His mind hadn’t been dulled by hundreds of hours of video games."

Clune celebrated Rochester in his writing, the way Kauffman has frequently celebrated Batavia in his, and in the end, Kauffman told the graduates, wherever they wind up, they should find the wonder and mystery of the place they live and love it.

"You're not just graduating today," Kauffman said. "You're graduating from Genesee Community College. The name means something. It's important. The community in Genesee in varying ways and varying degrees shaped you. Now it's your turn to shape it.

"For those living in other counties, in other states, in other countries, it's your turn to shape those places," Kauffman added. "You can enrich your place. You can make it better, kinder, livelier, more inviting, or you can just skate along on the surface, making no difference, leaving no one's life better for having met you. It's your choice."

Honored during the ceremony were Edgar and Mary Louise Hollwedel, who have spent lives dedicated to making life better in Genesee County, especially through education, most recently giving a large gift for a new children's room at the Pavilion Library, as well as being long-term supporters of GCC. They were awarded GCC Foundation's Alpha Medal of Service.

They had their own message about the secret of life: "The harder you work, the luckier you get."

Norbert J. Fuest, an advocate for the college since the 1980s, and credited with encouraging hundreds of people of all ages to start their college careers at GCC, was awarded an honorary degree.

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Bill Kauffman

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Edgar and Mary Louise Hollwedel

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Norbert Fuest

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May 21, 2017 - 3:51pm

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The Genesee County Magistrates Association elected its first female president this year, Patricia Buczek, a justice in the Town of Alabama.

As president, Buczek will disseminate information that comes down from the New York State Magistrates Association or the Office of Court Administration.

“My goal would be to try to encourage more participation and awareness of changes,” Buczek said. “Whenever there’s a change in legislation, all the judges have to be on board.”

 Buczek grew up in Akron and currently works for Oakfield-Alabama High School in the computer lab. She is the webmaster and the yearbook advisor.

In 2004, she became a clerk for the Town of Alabama and later became a judge in 2010 when the judge at the time retired.

She then served as the secretary of the Genesee County Magistrates Association for six years, up until she was nominated as the president-elect. According to the Genesee County Magistrates Association website, there are 33 members currently.

The Genesee County Magistrates Association meets the second Saturday of every month.

Buczek said her job as president is primarily serving as a liaison.

“As the association president, you make sure information is out to everybody,” Buczek said. “You run the meeting and make sure everyone’s training components are taken care of.”

Buczek said a lot of people don’t understand that the job is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She said she is hoping they will be able to do centralized arraignments, which would help streamline the process.

“I think a lot of people aren’t aware of the components for a town justice,” Buczek said. “We don’t prosecute felonies. We are the initial court. We can do an arraignment for a felony but we can’t prosecute a felony.”

According to the New York State Magistrates Association, they exist to “develop better methods and desirable improvements in the administration of the magistrate’s courts; to promote education and interchange of ideas and experiences of magistrates to that end; and to promote appropriate legislation for these purposes.”

Buczek said the town court is the court closest to the people.

“Your town elects you and that person takes care of your town,” Buczek said. “They are responsible for the justice in that town. I don’t think people remember that or are clear on that as much as they used to be.”

May 21, 2017 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

"A lady says she waited at the red light for half an hour," says a dispatcher about the complaint of a caller regarding the traffic signal at the exit of the Tops Market parking lot on West Main Street, Batavia.

"There's definately a problem with the light," says an officer.

Law enforcement is aware of the issue and the state Department of Transportation has been notified.

"Can it wait until tomorrow?" someone asks about the need to fix it.

"We have to wait on the DOT," is the response.

May 20, 2017 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in rodeo, sports, batavia, fairgrounds.

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The New York State High School Rodeo Association held its annual state championship rodeo at the Genesee County Fairgrounds today.

This is the first time Batavia has hosted the rodeo, which in the past has generally gone to Attica or Caledonia. 

The three-day event includes two days of competition, a dance tonight and awards presentation tomorrow.

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May 20, 2017 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A two-car accident with possible injuries is reported at Center Street and Ellicott Street, City of Batavia.

City fire and Alexander's ambulance are dispatched.

UPDATE 3:47 p.m.: This was an accident between a Cadillac Escalade and a milk truck. The Escalade rear-ended the truck. The Escalade driver is being transported to UMMC for evaluation.

May 20, 2017 - 11:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in RTS, transportation, batavia, Le Roy, news, business.

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Customers of RTS will find it easier to get from Le Roy to shopping in Batavia, or from Batavia to neighboring counties, or from Batavia to Genesee Community College now that the transportation company has devised a new plan to help people get around better; it's based on an efficiency study RTS conducted.

  • There are new connections between Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays;
  • There are now 10 trips a day to and from Big Tree Glen, the new apartment development on West Main Street;
  • Trips to and from GCC have been bumped up from five to six;
  • There is one new trip to and from Le Roy, which is an afternoon route, and times have been changed for two other Le Roy trips (to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.).

The routes are also linked together more smoothly, so it's easier to change buses in a timely manner.

“Somebody coming in from Le Roy can go all the way to Tops, all the way to Walmart, all the way to Kmart," said Jamie Mott, regional manager for RTS for Genesee and Orleans. "With the current system, if you come in from Le Roy, you’re done at the City Centre and then you have to wait. Now it’s a little bit different. You can actually continue on."

The former dial-a-ride service in the city and the current countywide service have been combined to add flexibility to the program. Riders more than a quarter mile off the regular routes can make appointments for pick up and drop off at least 24-hours in advance of their planned trips.

All these changes came with the requirement from RTS management that service be expanded without increasing expense.

"We had to do redesigns based on what we were already budgeted for, so that was a big challenge -- to figure out how we could expand our services, especially when you have on-time performance that you have to maintain," Mott said.

May 20, 2017 - 11:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A bicyclist has reportedly hit a car at 375 W. Main St. Batavia.

Injuries are reported.

City fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

May 20, 2017 - 8:10am

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New Hope Ministries Pastor Tammy Smith (left) and Michelle Gillard from Essentials of Life (right) will be hosting a Sole Hope Care Kit Assembly Party at New Hope Life Center 8052 Bank Street Road, Batavia, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6th.

The public is invited to help assemble care kits to help children in Uganda heal after their "jiggers" -- parasitic fleas that burrow into the soles of feet -- are removed. The Sole Hope nurses will hand these kits out along with a washbasin, soap and clothing before the patients return home from their stay at the Sole Hope Outreach House.

Items that are needed for donation:

Each Kit will be packed in a quart-sized freezer bag and will contain:
1. One tube of triple antibiotic cream
2. Ten Band-aids (various sizes)
3. Five sturdy, large safety pins
4. One snack-size Ziplock bag of cotton balls
5. One page of children’s stickers (no holiday-themed ones please)
6. Ten alcohol wipes
7. A card/letter to the recipient (optional)
8. $2  (This helps with the washbasin, soap & clothes)

Deadline for donation of supplies is Friday, June 2nd, to give enough time to calculate and obtain any shortages of a particular item.

All monetary donations should be in the form of a check and should be payable to Sole Hope. Please write FUN224151 in the memo line of your check so that they know your donation is for the Care Kit-related donations.

If you are unable to attend but would like to donate supplies or are able to give a monetary donation, please contact Michelle Gillard at 585-297-0779 to arrange a pickup.

To watch jiggers being removed, watch this YouTube video here.

For more details visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/615905055266806/

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May 19, 2017 - 7:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hobbies, batavia, news.

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Plastic model hobbyists from throughout the Northeast were in Batavia today at the Quality Inn & Suites for their convention, NOREASTCON, which included displays, vendors, demonstrations, and contests that provided awards in multiple categories.

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May 19, 2017 - 5:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, batavia, news.

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GO ART! opened two shows at Seymore Place last night -- the member's show, with the theme, "Summer of Love," in honor of the 50th anniversary of the hippies' heyday --summer of 1967, and "The Dream of America."

"The Dream of America: Separation & Sacrifice in the Lives of North Country Latino Immigrants," is a display of the photography and writing of Lisa Catalfamo Flores. It originally was on display at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls. GO ART! is its first stop on a statewide tour. The show will be on display through July 7.

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