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May 25, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, GV Pride, basketball.

Submitted photo and press release:

On May 15, the Genesee Valley Pride eighth-grade Girls Basketball Team won the championship game at the North Country Rumble at the Boarder Shootout Tournament in Canton. The win qualified them to participate in the Girls National Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla., in July.

This is a significant accomplishment and honor to achieve such success at a young age. The team is looking to the community to help support their fundraising goal to head to this National Championship. 

​If you would like to donate or sponsor the team to assist with tournament fees and travel expenses please contact the team at [email protected]

Also, they will also host an event at T.F. Brown's located at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, from 7 to 10 p.m on Friday, June 10th. Cost is $25 per ticket or two for $40, and includes beer, wine, soda, hors d’oeuvres, 50/50 Raffle and DJ Frankie Gioia.
 
May 25, 2016 - 12:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, downtown batavia.

Batavia is competing with other municipalities for $10 million to revitalize Downtown.

"Bet on Batavia" -- a Downtown Revitalization Initiative Community Forum -- and the premiere of a community video will be the focus of panel at the Generation Center, 15 Center St., Batavia, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 6.

Come hear what it's all about from these panelists:

  • Jason Molino, city manager
  • Jay Gsell, county manager
  • Julie Pacatte, Batavia Development Corp. director
  • Steve Hyde, president/CEO of the GC Economic Development Center

City Councilman Adam Tabelski will serve a moderator.

All community residents are invited to come and learn about Batavia's efforts to win $10 million for downtown revitalization projects.

May 25, 2016 - 12:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in darien lake theme park, darien center, news.

This summer Darien Lake will host four special in-park concerts completely free with any daily admission, season pass, or hotel/camping package.

“Our free in-park concert series features the hottest up-and-coming stars that resonate with today’s families and even cross over with some of our favorite Disney TV shows,” said Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe.

In-Park Concert Dates and Times:

Jacob Whitesides and Laura Marano, May 28th

Jacob started winning over the Youtube community with his cover videos and, soon after, his original songs. This summer (July-August), Jacob is heading out all over North America with AEG Live Presents R5 “Sometime Last Night” tour including prestigious venues like The Greek Theater in L.A. He has also recently partnered with BMG as the CEO of his own record label, Double U Records.

Currently, Marano stars as “Ally” in the lead of the Disney Channel international hit television series Austin and Ally. This multi-talented star has signed an exciting record deal with Big Machine Records, and is currently producing her first album due out next year; her first single will be released in the first quarter of 2016.

Rachel Platton, June 4th

Rachel would find her first big spark with “Fight Song,”  the life-changing inspirational song of 2015, topping iTunes and radio charts, and selling more than 2 million downloads in the U.S. Rachel’s major label debut, “Wildfire,” will be released January 1st, 2016. Rachel recently premiered the beautifully uplifting music video for her current single “Stand By You.”

Sabrina Carpenter, June 25th

Though she’s established a diehard international fan base by playing rebellious Maya Hart on the popular Disney Channel show “Girl Meets World,” she also recently released her debut album, “Eyes Wide Open” in April 2015. Her new single, “Smoke and Fire” is a dynamic, upbeat and introspective song that laments on a past relationship.

Shawn Hook and Daya, July 2nd

Shawn Hook's last album, 2012's 'Cosmonaut and the Girl,' yielded three Top 20 hits, "Every Red Light," "So Close" and "Two Hearts Set On Fire." The accomplished singer-pianist has now finished working on his new album for Universal Music Canada, due June 2015.The first single, "Million Ways," is a mix of pop, disco, soul, R&B and electronica.

Daya [pronounced "dey-uh"] drives pop music down a different path. Her debut single "Hide Away," combines simplistic synth melodies, a power hook, and an emotionally charged vocal. "Hide Away" began to organically catch fire online, drawing acclaim from YouTuber Tyler Oakley and celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton and landing on Spotify's Artists To Watch 2015 Playlist. It set the foundation for her self-titled EP, 'Daya.'

About Darien Lake 

Darien Lake’s wide variety of entertainment has made it “destination fun” since 1964. Located 45 minutes from Niagara Falls between Buffalo and Rochester, today the park boasts more than 50 rides, including six world-class roller coasters; dozens of family-friendly rides and entertainment; the region’s largest water park complete with wave pool; and a 20,000-seat world-class performing arts center, operated by Live Nation.

The park is open May 7 to Sept. 25, and welcomes overnight guests in a wide range of accommodations – from a full-service hotel and modern cabins to rental RVs and campsites. For more information or to order season passes, visit www.DarienLake.com.

May 25, 2016 - 12:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in STOP-DWI, news, law enforcement, Le Roy, batavia, genesee county.

Press release:

Genesee County STOP-DWI Coordinator Matt Landers has announced that the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, City of Batavia Police Department and the Village of Le Roy Police Department will participate in a special enforcement effort to crackdown on impaired driving. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on Friday, May 27th and will end on Tuesday, May 31st.

Memorial Day week is historically a deadly period for impaired driving. Memorial Day weekend is the traditional beginning of summer. In addition there will be thousands of parties and barbeques to celebrate graduations, proms, communions, confirmations and the fact that the better weather has arrived. This combination of factors equates to more people on the road in general and more people specifically driving impaired with 13 percent more fatalities than on a non-holiday weekend.

The New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies will collaborate across the state and will be out in force in this coordinated effort to reduce the number of alcohol related injuries and deaths during this period.

“Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season. Traffic will increase making it more important than ever to drive defensively. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will have extra patrols out to help keep the roads safe for all travelers” said Undersheriff William Sheron. “The City of Batavia Police Department will be out aggressively enforcing DWI laws over the Memorial Day Week in an effort to ensure that all have a safe and happy holiday week. Make sure to have a plan to get home safely and ensure that all in your party do the same.”

The Memorial Day Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the STOP-DWI Foundation with a grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign also targets 4th of July and Labor Day Weekend, Halloween and the national Holiday Season in December.

While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.

May 25, 2016 - 12:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Peter Arrigenna, a longtime horseman who also serves as a trustee of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and as a director of the Horse Harness Breeders of New York State, has been named the new track superintendent at Batavia Downs.

Arrigenna will replace Ralph Horton, who has retired after working at the Downs for 14 years.

Besides running a successful stable that produced 2012 Yonkers Trot champion, Archangel (Credit Winner-Michelle’s Angel 1:50 $1,140,972), Arrigenna also runs his own construction company. And it’s the combined experience from both fields that has provided him the insight and knowledge to design, construct and maintain very fast race tracks.

Arrigenna has built many farm tracks from scratch, but he also resurfaced Buffalo Raceway in 2014 to the rave reviews of the horsemen and was hired this year as a consultant at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Although the meet doesn’t begin for another two months, Arrigenna’s duties will start immediately as his first order of business will be to rebuild the track.  

“We will be leveling and filling the existing track to the grade indicated from a survey done in 2009. It will entail filling the ditches where it washed out, banking the turns better and putting it back to the original grade,” Arrigenna said. “Once that is complete, we will be putting a new surface on top of that which should make it much better for the horses competing there.”  

This will be the first time the track at Batavia has been resurfaced since 2010 and the $125,000 project will see the turns banked up to 8 percent and over 5,000 tons of new material (a mixture of washed screenings and washed crushed stone) added to the surface.

The project is scheduled to begin on Monday (June 6) and be completed by Friday (July 1), well in advance of opening night of live racing, which is Monday (July 25).

“I look forward to starting at Batavia because it’s close to home and it’s a project I like to do,” said Arrigenna.

Todd Haight is the director/general manager of live racing at the Downs and he has high praise for Arrigenna’s abilities.

“We’re thrilled to have Peter as our track superintendent,” Haight said. “He knows what it takes to make a race track fair, but also safe, because he is a horseman as well as a contractor. His knowledge and experience will serve him well in his new position.”

“I would also like to thank Ralph Horton for his many years of service to the track and wish him the best in his retirement,” added Haight.

May 25, 2016 - 9:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ladder 15, City Fire, batavia, news.

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City firefighters were out at about 8:30 last night training with the new truck that will become Ladder 15 early next month and with all the lights on, it was a great chance to get some pictures of what it looks like at night.

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May 25, 2016 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, alexander.

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Jake Wozniaka struck out four over six innings, but errors proved costly for Alexander on Tuesday at Dwyer Stadium in the Section V Class C1 semi-final.

Avon scored two unearned runs to beat the Trojans, 2-1.

In other baseball action yesterday:

  • Batavia beat Wayne, 11-5. The Blue Devils play for the Section V championship Thursday at a location to be announced against Aquinas. 
  • Oakfield beat Geneseo, 11-3, and will play Bolivar Rickburg at a location to be announced Friday.
  • Notre Dame beat Lyndonville, 8-3, and will play Genesee Valley on Friday at a location to be announced.

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May 25, 2016 - 8:42am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, air quality, news.

The National Weather Service has issued an air quality alert for Genesee County starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 11 p.m.

The index value for outdoor air quality is expected to exceed 100 for the pollutant ozone.

The higher the number of the air quality index, the greater the health concern.

When the index is high, the State Health Department recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. Those with preexisting respiratory problems, such as asthma or heart disease, and with such symptoms, should consult a personal physician.

The toll-free number for air quality reports is (800) 535-1345.

May 24, 2016 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Frostridge Campground, Le Roy, business, news, steve barbeau.

The fight over live music and other alleged zoning code violations at Frost Ridge Campground is far from over and court documents indicate the fight has recently involved some name calling and an accusation of anti-gay bias driving the attempts to shut down the park.

Attorneys for David and Marney Cleere and Scott and Betsy Collins, neighbors of Frost Ridge, have filed motions seeking a permanent ban on live, amplified music and long-term camping at the facility.

Their court papers alleged that a ZBA hearing in February that led to a finding in favor of David and Greg Luetticke-Archbell, owners of Frost Ridge, violated the state's opening meeting law and therefore the ZBA's decision should be voided.

The Luetticke-Archbell's position is that the meeting was given proper public notice, a position backed by sworn statements from the ZBA's then-chairwoman Debbie Jackett and answer filed by the ZBA's attorney, James M. Wujcik.

Any appearance of inconsistencies in the ZBA's actions, before being disbanded by the town board, is purely the result of the anti-gay bias, David Luetticke-Archbell claims in a sworn statement, of Town Supervisor Steve Barbeau.

It's a charge that Barbeau vehemently denies in his own sworn affidavit, but Luetticke-Archbell accuses Barbeau of calling his husband a "faggot" after a "contentious" Nov. 12 meeting. To support his charge of an anti-gay agenda, Luetticke-Archbell also points to several actions by Barbeau throughout the legal and civic process over the past couple of years, including a statement in a court filing approved by Barbeau that Frost Ridge is a "malignancy which cannot be allowed to metastasize."

"Mr. Barbeau, with the Town Board in tow, has unabashedly trampled on the due process rights my husband Greg and I would have been afforded but for our sexual orientation," Luetticke-Archbell wrote in his statement.

Barbeau said that Luetticke-Archbell didn't tell the whole story of the events of Nov. 12.  First, he denies using the word "faggot," but he also accused Greg of calling him a couple of choice names while following him into his office after the meeting, including a "piece of shit."

In his statement, Barbeau states he holds no bias against the owners of Frost Ridge.

"The Luetticke-Archbells have a place in the Town of Le Roy, one they have earned through their commercial and charitable efforts," Barbeau states. "The Town of Le Roy is merely trying to enforce its zoning ordinance so as to not render it irrelevant."

Barbeau said that the actions he and the town board have taken have been supported by a majority of town residents. The evidence is in the election results, he said, given that he and other incumbents handily won reelection despite opposition focused on the Frost Ridge issue.

David Luetticke-Archbell is equally convinced that Barbeau is driven by an anti-gay agenda.

Besides the slurs, Luetticke-Archbell says Barbeau's pattern of actions is further evidence of his anti-gay position.

He accused Barbeau, rather than code enforcement officer Jeff Steinbrenner, of drafting an e-mail denying Frost Ridge prior, non-conforming use status; of purposefully mucking up the application process on a couple of occasions; of usurping the independence of the Zoning Board of Appeals by filing court documents on its behalf without properly notifying the ZBA of the proceedings; of then wrongly admitting to adverse allegations of improper conduct by the ZBA; and, of illegally firing the previous ZBA attorney and then appointing an attorney who works in the same law office as the town attorney's son.

"Mr. Barbeau's motivations and actions here have always been and remain malicious," Luetticke-Archbell wrote in his statement. "His allegations, if considered at all, should be weighed accordingly."

Barbeau called Luetticke-Archbell's affidavit an ad hominem attack and asked that it be stricken from the record.

The attorney Barbeau appointed is James Wujcik, who continues to represent the ZBA and filed documents in the current court battle defending the ZBA against allegations leveled by the attorneys for the Cleeres and Collins.

As for the motion for injunction filed by Mindy L. Zoghlin, attorneys for Cleere and Collins, it's long (32 pages) and legal, and the responses from David Roach, attorney for Frost Ridge, are also detailed.

Whereas in the first round of lawsuits, it was Cleere and Collins along with the Town of Le Roy against Frost Ridge, Luetticke-Archbell and the ZBA, the new motion names the Town of Le Roy as a defendant.

The Town of Le Roy is accused of not upholding its own zoning laws.

It accuses Frost Ridge of violating town ordinances by allowing permanent RV camping, of violating the noise ordinance, of relying on a defective ZBA interpretation of the law, and of violating Judge Robert C. Noonan's preliminary injunction against amplified live music that he issued in September 2014 by allowing live amplified music before 4 p.m.

It accused the ZBA of violating the open meeting law after the case was remanded back to the ZBA for a determination on whether live, amplified music is a prior, non-conforming use. The suit accuses of the ZBA of not providing proper public notice and of not deliberating its decision in public. 

In his response, Roach denies all the substantial allegations.

Acting Superior Court Judge Emilio Colaiacovo is expected to make a ruling on the current set of motions at a later date.

May 24, 2016 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in Suzanne Corona, batavia, news, crime.

After violating her one-year interim probation twice, Osterhout Avenue's most infamous denizen, Suzanne Corona, was back in Genesee County Court today for a bail review.

Her attorney, Brian Degnan, brought a freshly minted certificate of completion for a 28-day stint in an inpatient recovery facility for substance abusers, which was ordered by the court last month after Corona's second violation -- both for using alcohol.

On April 13, she admitted to Acting Judge Michael F. Pietruszka that she laced her coffee with the almond-flavored Italian liqueur Amaretto. With the admission, Pietruszka allowed her to continue serving probation without any additional penalty.

But a week later, she tested postive for alcohol again and was sent to jail for the weekend (mug shot at right). On April 25, she was back in court wearing a bright orange jailhouse jumpsuit. Degnan said a bed in a recovery facility was available immediately and the judge released her to their custody for a month after signing a court order for the medical care.

Despite the certificate for completing rehab as required, it was determined that she had violated the terms of her release under supervision, as set forth last year when she admitted selling $60 worth of suboxone to an undercover drug task force agent. (She pled guilty to attempted fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, a felony. By doing so, she avoided serving up to one and a half years in prison and got one year of post-release supervision and probation instead...until now...)

She is to be sentenced in Genesee County Court at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14. 

May 24, 2016 - 2:35pm

Press release:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced the name "Western New York National Cemetery" for the new national cemetery planned for construction in Pembroke, New York.

“The Veterans of Western New York deserve a final resting place worthy of their service to our nation,” said Ronald E. Walters, interim under secretary for Memorial Affairs.

National cemeteries are named based on the geographic location of the cemetery. VA relies on local veterans and community leaders to submit name suggestions. Of the names submitted, “Western New York National Cemetery” best met VA’s naming criteria and is consistent with the requirements specified in title 38 United States Code § 531, requiring VA property, including national cemeteries, to be named for the geographic area in which the facility is located. Any other name suggestion, such as that of a particular person, requires congressional action.

VA purchased the Genesee County property at 1232 Indian Falls Road off Exit 48A on Interstate 90 for $625,000 in May 2014. The cemetery will serve more than 96,000 veterans, their spouses and eligible children in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. The initial phase of construction will develop approximately 70 acres and provide for approximately 10 years of burials, accommodating both casketed and cremated remains.

The nearest open national cemetery is Bath National Cemetery located in Bath, New York, approximately 85 miles away.

May 24, 2016 - 2:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Fire, batavia, news, Ladder 15.

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This week, city firefighters will be training in Batavia's new ladder truck.

Representatives of E-One, the company that delivered the truck, will be on hand to train firefighters on all aspects of the truck's operations and equipment.

"As with any new piece of equipment detailed and repetitive training is required to develop the 'muscle memory'that enables the CBFD to perform in a proficient and expeditious manner under emergency conditions," said Capt. Robert Fix.

As part of the training, crews will set the truck up at various locations throughout the city over the next week. At times, this may cause some roadway lane restrictions as well as minor inconveniences near mid-rise and high-rise buildings, Fix said.

The new truck is expected to be in service by June 1.

(Yes, I was given a ride all the way up the 100-foot ladder.)

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May 24, 2016 - 12:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news, Darien, bergen, Alabama, alexander.

Julia K. Hahn, 18, of Lyman Road, Bergen, is charged with public lewdness. She was arrested at 3:54 p.m. on May 19 after she was allegedly found by police to be engaged in sexual activity with another individual in DeWitt Recreation Area on Cedar Street in the City of Batavia. She was issued an appearance ticket for 1 p.m. on May 31 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Robert V. Wasinger, 18, of Delevan Elton Road, Delevan, is charged with public lewdness. He was arrested at 3:54 p.m. on May 19 after he was allegedly found by police to be engaged in sexual activity with another individual in DeWitt Recreation Area on Cedar Street in the City of Batavia. He was issued an appearance ticket for 1 p.m. on May 31 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Britanny B. Cina, 27, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with DWI -- common law, and DWI per se. At 1:56 a.m. on May 21, Batavia police responded to the 7-Eleven store on East Main Street for the report of multiple subjects fighting in the parking lot. Upon further investigation, Cina was arrested after it was learned that she allegedly drove a motor vehicle to the convenience store in an intoxicated condition. She was arrested and processed at BPD headquarters where a chemical test was administered, and allegedly it found her BAC to be over the legal limit. She was issued traffic tickets and her City Court date is set for June 1. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Police Chief Shawn Heubusch.

Alexander J. Jasinski, 22, of Godfreys Pond, Bergen, is charged with: driving with a BAC of more than .18 percent; DWI; third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation; failure to stop at a stop sign; and moving from lane unsafely. At 9:52 p.m. on May 21, Jasinski was allegedly involved in an accident at the intersection of West Avenue and Weatherwax Road in the Town of Elba. He was westbound on West Avenue when he allegedly failed to stop at the stop sign and his pickup truck went through the intersection and struck a 15-by-15 foot building, a fence and a parked car before coming to rest. The case was handled by Sheriff's Sgt. Ronald Meides, assisted by Deputy Eric Meyer.

Byron Gilbert Keller, 21, of Sumner Road, Darien, is charged with: driving with a BAC of more than .08 percent; driving while intoxicated; unlawful possession of marijuana; and failure to keep right. At 4:59 p.m. on May 21, following a report of a motor-vehicle accident at 9864 Alexander Road in the Town of Alexander, Keller was arrested and charged as noted above. Keller is to appear in Town of Alexander on June 14.

Nikki L. Stonebraker, 27, of Liberty Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Stonebraker was arrested following an investigation into an alleged distrubance on Liberty Street at 9:21 a.m. on May 19. The defendant was issued an appearance ticket for this afternoon in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis, assisted byn Officer Kevin DeFelice. At the same incident, she was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child following a physical domestic incident with her former boyfriend which was allegedly witnessed by her children. For that case, she was released under supervision of Genesee Justice and is to be in City Court to answer the charge at a later date. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Marc Lawrence, assisted by Officer DeFelice.

Christopher T. Sprague, 22, of 36 Dellinger Ave., Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested at 5:55 p.m. on May 12 after NYS Parole checked his residence and allegedly found drug packaging material inside. He was issued an appearance ticket for City Court on June 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

Selina Sarai Tapia, 20, of State Street, Holley, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. She was arrested following a traffic stop at 4:20 p.m. on May 16 on Alleghany Road in Alabama during which time was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana. She was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Alabama Court on June 21. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

May 24, 2016 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, softball, sports, Oakfield, Alabama.

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Oakfield-Alabama will advance to the Section V, Class C2 championship game after beating Geneseo on Monday at GCC, 4-2. 

Hannah LaGrou tripled home her sister Madi for the go-ahead run. Hannah later scored on a wild pitch.

O-A faces Cal-Mum at 5 p.m., Wednesday, at GCC in the final.

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May 24, 2016 - 9:34am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, Vibrant Batavia, deer management, BID, business.

Rather than a typical Monday night meeting, the Batavia City Council is holding its conference meeting tonight, Tuesday night, and discussions are expected to include what to do about deer, what to do with funds previously earmarked for Vibrant Batavia, what happened with funding for the Business Improvement District.

The city's deer population has been a point of discussion with the council before, and after researching the issue, City Manager Jason Molino is asking the council for direction on what to do next, how much city staff time should be spent on the issue and what approach might the city take on the topic. Council members received, as part of their agenda packet, a 50-page pamphlet on community-based deer management. There are several approaches the city could take, Molino said in his memo to council, and the best approach depends on the situation in the community and what community members will accept as an appropriate response. "There is no right answer," the memo says, based on the recommendations of the pamphlet authors.

Councilman Adam Tabelski requested an item on tonight's agenda regarding the disposition of funds previously earmarked for Vibrant Batavia, which the council decided to defund at its last meeting.  That creates a pool of $97,000 in unallocated funds. Tabelski is suggesting the money be used for the as-yet unfunded Batavia Pathway to Prosperity Capital and Reinvestment Fund. New PILOT agreements with property developers is supposed to generate funds for that program, which is intended to help mitigate clean-up of brownfield sites in the city. That creates a bit of a chicken and egg problem, because funds are needed to clean up brownfields and there's no money in the fund. "Kickstarting the BP2 fund with a significant amount of seed money will help turn an innovative approach to target economic development into reality," Tabelski wrote in his memo.

The council will also discuss changes in the funding formula for the Business Improvement District. The reduction in funding for the BID prompted its board of directors to cancel Summer in the City.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

May 24, 2016 - 6:45am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news.

City fire is responding to a report of possible power lines down at Ross Street and North Street, Batavia.

The roadway is partially blocked.

No arcing or sparking reported.

May 23, 2016 - 5:48pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee County Sheriff's Sgt. Gregory H. Walker has been selected by the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) New York State to receive its “2016 Special Recognition Award." He was one of only two individuals statewide to be selected for this award.

Sgt. Walker was nominated by Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha for his extensive involvement with DWI enforcement and drug recognition throughout his 28 years at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

In 1999, Sergeant Walker was the Office’s first DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) and was certified as a DRE Instructor in 2003. He continues to be very involved in the DRE program by assisting the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee with its DRE training, which covers several neighboring counties. He has played a role in reaching more than 300 educational professionals. Sgt. Walker has instructed 11 DRE classes and has conducted 169 DRE evaluations.

The award was presented to Sgt. Walker during a luncheon held in Schenectady on May 18. Attending the luncheon were Sheriff Maha and Chief Deputy Gordon L. Dibble.

May 23, 2016 - 5:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, developmentally disabled, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) hosted a forum in Batavia focused on supporting the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. Invitees included people with developmental disabilities and their families, nonprofit organizations, mental health experts and community leaders.

Last Thursday's forum, held at Genesee Community College, was the ninth in a series of forums being conducted around the state in response to concerns from families, non-profits, community organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities about the impact of the Olmstead Decision.

Discussions focused on identifying better ways to support the rights of people with developmental disabilities; expansion of community-based care programs; the effectiveness of current transition plans for individuals in sheltered workshops; and identifying whether the input and desires of people with disabilities are being considered.

“Information gathered at the forum will help us to better serve the needs and choices of people with developmental disabilities,” Hawley said. “For many, the transition process to a more integrated work setting has resulted in frustration and disappointing changes in services and care programs. New York must do a better job of assessing and meeting the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities."

Participants included representatives from Genesee ARC, ARC of Orleans, ARC of Monroe, New York State School for the Blind, Western New York Independent Living and local families. 

“As legislators and residents of this state, it is our obligation and goal to provide services and address the needs of every New Yorker, regardless of age, religion, creed or disability,” said Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge), task force chairman. “These forums provide us with the opportunity to hear from families, caregivers and individuals with developmental disabilities to offer another layer of support when it comes to aiding those with disabilities in communities across our state.”

The next Assembly Minority Task Force on Protecting the Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities forum will be held on Thursday, May 26, in Buffalo. For more information on the task force, please contact the Assembly Minority Office of Public Affairs at 518-455-5073.

May 23, 2016 - 5:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, news, beauty pageants, Milestones.

(Submitted photos.)

Alexander High School graduate Fleur Remington (Class of 2013) was crowned Miss New York State in Syracuse on Sunday after winning the Sunburst Beauty Pageant there on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Genesee County native grew up in the Bethany hamlet of Linden and will be attending her second semester at SUNY Brockport this fall, where she will continue her studies as a Biology major, with a minor in Forensic Science.

As pageants go, she's pretty new to the scene. She competed with young women who've been participating in them since kindergarten. Remington's first beauty competition was at age 18 when she was a freshman at Genesee Community College. It was the Miss New York USA Pageant. She won a local title for Sunburst in Watertown in 2014 then tied for fourth place at the Sunburst Miss New York State last year.

Those experiences allowed her to gain some useful experience and knowlege.

In Saturday's pageant, she also won Photogenic categories A and B, Swimwear, Top Model Look and Model Search, and was second runner-up in Casual Wear. 

"I cried, to be honest," she said of being named Miss New York State. "It was so surreal for me. I worked so hard and I was competing with girls who've been doing this since age 5. It doesn't feel real yet."

Now that she's won a state crown, she will compete in July for the Florida-based Sunburst Pageant's International crown, which is sort of a misnomer: "It's called the International Pageant, but only girls from the U.S. compete."

When proof of talent is called for, she has the gift of song.

"I can sing," she said. "I've been singing since I took chorus in fourth grade. I was the only soprano to make all-county chorus every year from sixth through 12th grade."

In fact, Remington will perform at a USO show in Rochester on the 4th of July. She hasn't decided what song she'll perform yet.

Her minute in that bit of limelight comes at the behest of beauty pageant maven Mary Therese Friel, a native (born in 1960) and current resident of Pittsford who won the titles Miss New York USA and Miss USA. She later modeled and opened her own agency and now trains pageant participants.

Friel is credited with teaching her about the world of pageants. And Remington's experiences to date have helped her to become, as she puts it, "a professional young woman."

"I represent myself, my hometown, my family, and Genesee County," Remington said. "I want everyone to see me, and them, as part of a great community."

Besides making lasting friendships with her peers, she has gained self confidence by taking part in pageants. She tries her best, she said, and knows that with persistance and work she can achieve her goals.

And when she's ready to start a career, she has known since age 10 what she wants to do -- work in a crime lab. The gross things that those scientists get to study and investigate absolutely fascinate Miss Fleur Remington.

May 23, 2016 - 4:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in County Airport, news.

A plane that made an emergency landing on East Saile Drive on Thursday afternoon was in a mishap on the runway of the Genesee County Airport moments before and caused possibly as much as $20,000 damage, according to County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.

Hens does not yet have actual estimates to fix the damage yet, but he's figuring it will be at least $15,000 and possibly as much as $20,000.

The county will seek reimbursement from the pilot's insurance carrier, Hens said.

The name of the pilot is not yet available, but Hens said he is apparently inexperienced and was performing touch-and-go practice at the airport when his plane veered off the runway for some reason.

The plane struck a light, a guidance sign, more lights and another guidance sign. There were very visible wheel marks in the grass along the south side of the runway, to the pilot's left, The marks go for at least 500 feet after the last sign was struck and then the pilot took off again, but he was losing fuel fast from a puncture in one of his tanks.

"It's pure speculation on my part as to why he took off again," Hens said. "It's almost like a hit-and-run or maybe he panicked and pulled up on the throttle, but when you're driving a car and hit something, you don't usually speed up."

The FAA is investigating the accident.

Losing fuel as fast as he was, he was unable to maintain altitude and was forced to find a place to land quickly.

"How he managed to not hit any power lines or the fence and still land on Saile Drive is beyond me," Hens said.

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