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October 14, 2016 - 6:00pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in batavia, fire, emergency responders, Announcements, news.

Press release:

Benefits volunteer emergency responders receive as a reward for their service is no longer subject to federal income tax, withholding and reporting. On Sept. 21 the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation exempting these nominal benefits. 

Language from the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (VRIPA), which excludes property tax benefits and up to $600 of other types of benefits for the 2017 tax year, was added to the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act. The Committee approved the benefit by a voice vote. The amendment was sought by senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the sponsors of VRIPA (S. 609/H.R. 2752).

“On behalf of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) I’d like to thank senators Schumer and Collins for their work on this important legislation, which will help local emergency response agencies recruit and retain volunteer personnel,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “On average a volunteer firefighter in the United States donates services worth more than $18,000 to the community that he or she serves. It is common sense to clarify that the nominal incentives that volunteers receive as a reward for their service should not be taxed by the federal government.”

The NVFC will continue to work to identify opportunities to pass VRIPA before the end of the year and will provide updates if and when votes take place on the House or Senate floor. In the meantime, you can use the NVFC’s Legislative Action Center to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to ask them to support VRIPA.

October 14, 2016 - 5:06pm

WANTED: Your gently used coats, sweaters, parkas and such for women, men, boys, girls and babies, too. All humanity!

Bahama Bay Salon and Spa in Downtown Batavia is having a winter coat drive through the month of October to benefit the Genesee County YWCA.

"We are doing it to support victims of domestic violence as October has been designated Domestic Violence Awareness Month," says Shirley Puleo.

The business is located at 2 School St.

Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., closed Sunday.

For salon services, call for appointment. Phone is 345-9644.

October 14, 2016 - 4:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in east bethany, news, arts, crafts, Announcements.

Several local artisans have gotten together to sell their homemade items from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-16.

The location is 5444 Ellicott Street Road (Route 63), East Bethany.

Some items include home decor, fall decor, fine art done on reclaimed wood, refinished/painted furniture, repurposed items, jewelry, and flavored popcorn.

Discover all-handcrafted rustic and primitive decor, and pottery, too.

October 14, 2016 - 3:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in lost pets, animal rescue, Stafford, news.

A large, pure white, neutered male German shepherd was found wandering around this morning at 6289 Westacott Road, Stafford. He is reportedly "good natured."

If you own this dog, know him or can help, please contact Reggie at (585) 721-4180.

October 14, 2016 - 3:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Oakfield, Alabama, news, charity, Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club.

Press release:

Members of the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club will be at Denny’s Restaurant on Main Street in Batavia on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to raise funds as part of Denny’s Benefit Night. From 4 to 9 p.m., Denny’s will donate 20 percent of all pre-tax sales directly to the club. Funds will be used to support the Oakfield-Alabama Lions program for vision screening.

According to Bill Barbur, president of Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club, “Money raised on October 19 will allow Lions to meet pressing needs in our community including screening school children for visions problems and aid for furnishing eyeglasses and hearing aids to the needy.

"Lions members thank everyone who contributes to this important work. This year were able to purchase our own SPOT eye screener and to date have screened 265 students with 23 having been referred for further testing. You are truly helping Lions make a difference in our community.”

The Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club has 29 members and meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6:45 p.m. at the Oakfield Hotel on South Pearl Street in Oakfield.

Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information or to get involved with the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club, please contact Bill Barbur at 585-948-9882 or Bonnie Woodward at 585-739-2928.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the website at

October 14, 2016 - 3:31pm

Press release:

New York Sea Grant is reminding Great Lakes residents that Saturday, Oct. 22, is a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day for dropping off unused medicines at collection sites statewide. The goal is to keep the pharmaceuticals out of the freshwater Great Lakes system that provides drinking water to 42 million people in the United States and Canada.

"The simple act of dropping off your unused prescription drugs at a nearby collection point helps reduce the impact of such substances as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives, antidepressants, cosmetics, and vitamins on the aquatic environment and on human health," says New York Sea Grant Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske.

More than 350 tons of prescription drugs were dropped off at more than 8,000 sites across the United States on the Fall 2015 collection day.

For the complete list of authorized collection sites for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, visit the U.S. DEA National Take Back Day Initiative website here.

Collection hours at all sites are 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

In Genesee County, you can drop off unwanted drugs, no questions asked, at these locations:

  • Batavia Police Department, 10 W. Main St., Batavia
  • Genesee County Sheriff's Office is conducting a drop-off at the Pembroke Town Highway Barn at routes 5 and 77, East Pembroke
  • Village of Le Roy Police Department, 3 W. Main St., Le Roy

Domske is a 2016 Western New York Distinguished Scientist and author of the Undo the Environmental Chemical Brew: Keep Unwanted Medications and Chemicals Out of the Great Lakes guide with tips on how citizens can keep unwanted pharmaceuticals and personal care products out of Great Lakes waters. Find more information online at

Research by New York Sea Grant and other science organizations has tracked the feminization of fish populations downstream from wastewater treatment plants to estrogen and its components found in prescription drugs.

A New York Sea Grant-funded, two-year research project that began in February 2016 is examining the effectiveness of advanced water treatment options, environmental levels and potential effects of pharmaceuticals in New York waters. Stony Brook University research Anne McElroy noted earlier this year, "The number of pharmaceutically-active ingredients (API) and their known or suspected active metabolites in coastal waters is in the hundreds and continues to increase. Data collected from our project will help to fill important data gaps and enhance knowledge about sewage-derived APIs and their effects on fish behavior and how well advanced wastewater treatment technologies reduce API discharges and mitigate these effects."

The biannual National Prescription Drug Take Back Days are an initiative of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in cooperation with law enforcement agencies nationwide.

New York Sea Grant, a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971. For updates on New York Sea Grant activities, has RSS, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube links.

October 14, 2016 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in scam, crime, news.

Press release from the Genesee County Sheriff's Office:

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office is advising citizens to be aware of a scam targeting local area residents and businesses. The scam involves a phone call from a utility company claiming that the customer is overdue on their utility payments and that their service will be shut off within an hour if they do not make an immediate cash payment in person to their representative.

They are using a realistic call-back number and automated message that resembles an actual utility company's message and slogan. Once you contact the representative at the number given, and follow the prompts, the customer service person with whom you speak will demand that you make a cash payment to their representative in person to avoid the shut off.

This is a scam to steal money from you; the legitimate utility companies contacted advised that they will never send a representative to your home to collect overdue payments in person, or ever meet you at a specified location to receive payments from a customer.

Utility companies also indicate that they do not take payments with a "green dot" card or by Western Union. Payments for legitimate service will be made through the utility company website, call centers and by mail.

Please contact your utility company at the number provided on your bill or in the phone book if you have questions regarding the legitimacy of a service employee or communication from the company.

October 14, 2016 - 2:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in Medicare, office for the aging, news, Announcements, healthcare.

According to a specialist in aging services and Medicare at the Genesee County Office for the Aging, "this year is utter chaos with Medicare Advantage Plans as FIVE out of six companies selling in Genesee County have dropped at least one plan."

"We have been slammed with calls (as many as 43 within hours!) from people seeking guidance on what to do," she says.

So they are holding four Medicare Open Enrollment Vendor fairs during Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15 through Dec. 7) to help people sort through the maze. ​The fairs are provided through grant funds from the NYS Office for the Aging, the Federal Older Americans Act, and generous support of the Genesee County Legislature.

Charts will be available at the vendor fairs (and in the Office for the Aging) comparing ALL available plans for 2017. Reps from local Medicare Advantage Plans and AARP Medigap will be present to help attendees understand the changes for 2017. They can help sign you up if you wish to choose a different plan or company. And Medicare trained/certified counselors from the Office of the Aging will be there to answer questions and offer unbiased assistance.

The fairs are scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Paddock Room at Batavia Downs, 8315 Park Road
  • Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Oakfield Community and Government Center, 3219 Drake St., Oakfield
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St., Batavia
October 14, 2016 - 11:59am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Dunkin' Donuts, batavia, business, news.


Construction began this week on the new Dunkin' Donuts location on West Main Street, Batavia. The location is on the south side of the street, across from Redfield Parkway and next to Barrett's Batavia Marine.

October 14, 2016 - 11:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

Officially, it's the last day to register to vote, but with a couple of qualifications to that statement.

First, if you are mailing in your registration form or having another person drop it off for you at a town hall, today is the last day. If by mail, it needs to be received by Oct. 19, with a postmark of today.

Second, the state allows local registration tomorrow. That means, you need to register in person, no drop-off registrations, at a town hall. In the City of Batavia, the location is the Fire Hall on Evans Street.

There are four candidates who have qualified for New York's presidential ballot:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Donald Trump
  • Jill Stein
  • Gary Johnson

Other key races are U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate, CIty of Batavia Councilman at Large (click here (pdf)) for a complete list of offices on local ballots and the candidates in each race).

Richard Siebert, one of the county's elections commissioners, has said that he's expecting a record turnout for the Nov. 8 election.

"We’ve had a lot of activity," Siebert said. "We had a strong turnout in the primary. We had a 40-percent turnout on the Republic line in the primary. There’s been a lot of interest, both for Trump and for Hillary in our county. We normally experience anywhere around 70 to 72 percent in a presidential year. I think this year we will exceed that."

Up for grabs in New York for the presidential election are 29 electoral votes, which is 5.3 percent of the total electoral votes in the nation, and a little overf 10 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.

October 14, 2016 - 11:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Liberty Street, batavia, news.


Two days ago when workers for National Grid went to a residence on Liberty Street to turn off the electricity, they found themselves locked in the basement.

They reportedly heard the resident outside the basement making threatening statements, but no charges were filed.

Today, National Grid returned to the same apartment, the same basement, to reconnect electric service, but not wishing to take any chances, they requested a police presence while they were on scene.

The electricity was reconnected without incident.

October 13, 2016 - 9:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in State Police, batavia, news.


Cody Towner, a former Town of Batavia fire volunteer, joined 226 other cadets today as the latest graduates of the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy. The cadets are the 204th graduating class.

Towner will join Troop C, based in Sydney.

October 13, 2016 - 8:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, batavia.


A blue sky and fall colors starting to pop in the BJ's parking lot in Batavia.

October 13, 2016 - 8:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, news, business.


The new Hotel at Batavia Downs opened for business today.

The ribbon cutting for the new facility won't be until early November.

October 13, 2016 - 6:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.


There's a police confrontation on Bank Street Road in the city. A man who appears to be in his 20s is outside yelling at police officers. Multiple units responded to the call and officers have their weapons drawn. A family member on scene said the man is armed with a knife.

The Emergency Response Team is on scene.

The man is yelling: "Go away! Now that I'm armed with a knife, want to do your job?"

UPDATE 6:36 p.m.: The initial call was to a location on Denio Street. The incident is near Dwyer Stadium.

UPDATE: Police are treating this as a mental health incident at this time, and unless new information develops, there will be no charges against the subject of the incident, said Chief Shawn Heubusch. (As such, we're withholding pictures that show the individual involved, unless and until charges are filed (which doesn't sound likely. No name is likely to be released unless there are charges).

The incident started with the subject on the phone with dispatchers (though Heubusch was not sure if the subject called in or somebody else first called emergency dispatchers). The subject said he had a knife and was looking for police officers to harm him, Heubusch said.

Initially, responding officers had only a general idea of where the subject was -- somewhere in the woods around Dwyer Stadium and the Youth Bureau.  

"We’re relying on dispatchers to relay us information and they did a good job of relaying us information about where he was and what his intents were, keeping the members updated constantly," Heubusch said.

Shortly after 6 p.m., the subject emerged from the woods on Bank Street, at the old Batavia Iron and Metal property, where a Batavia police officer was parked.  Backup units from Batavia PD, the Sheriff's Office and State Police arrived on scene immediately, followed quickly by the Emergency Response Team. Within minutes, the State Police helicopter was overhead, as well.

"I can tell you, in an incident like this, you want to get as many people in as possible as quickly as you possibly can because you never know what it can evolve into or how quickly it can evolve," Heubusch said.

The chief also noted the incident was taking place in a residential neighborhood, warranting more concern for public safety.

A big reason to call out the ERT unit is the possibility the situation could become a barricaded suspect incident, Heubusch said.

"The more resources you have, the better you can contain it," Heubusch said. 

The subject retreated to a corner of the building as officers converged, but kept their distance. He backed behind the corner and continued to yell at officers.

Two members of ERT and a Batavia detective with bolt cutters entered the fenced area to the south of the building, giving them access to come up from behind the suspect's position.

A few minutes later, the subject threw his knife toward Bank Street.

Officers then rushed in to take him into custody.

"He made no threats toward us," Heubusch said. "He made no threats toward anybody else in the community that I’m aware of, so the officers, obviously, wanted to make sure that he remained safe and they remained safe. They operated with great restraint and took him into custody without the use of force."

He was transported to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation. The results of the evaluation along with any further information that may develop about the case will have some bearing on whether there are charges, but Heubusch said right now, it looks like a mental health case.

He praised the discipline of the officers for resolving the incident without violence.

"It’s extremely difficult to have an officer have the composure they have to have to ensure nobody gets hurt, including themselves," Heubusch said. "It’s a split-second decision these guys are making when they’re in the field and they’re dealing with people like this. They did a good job."

October 13, 2016 - 4:15pm

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October 13, 2016 - 4:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in notre dame high school, batavia, news.

From 6 to 8 p.m. next Wednesday, Oct. 19, Notre Dame High School will hold its annual Fall Open House for prospective students. Everyone is invited to come “Experience the Difference” of a Notre Dame education.

Teachers will be on hand along with many clubs and sports coaches. The Notre Dame experience is affordable for all, with more than 80 of students receiving financial aid and scholarships.

Notre Dame is a Catholic school with a physically and emotionally safe learning environment welcoming to all. Its Tradition of Excellence continues with a graduation rate of 100 percent for the Class of 2016, earning $4.6 million in scholarships. Please visit to learn more about this small school community with big school possibilities.

Notre Dame is located at 73 Union St. in the City of Batavia. Phone is 343-2783​. Email is:    ​[email protected]

October 13, 2016 - 3:18pm

The Batavia Jr. Blue Devils Boys Basketball Saturday Program will be offered from Nov. 12 to Dec. 17 at John Kennedy School's gym. It is only open to boys in grades one through six who attend school in the Batavia City School District.

The Satruday program is FREE but there will be a fee for league play to cover the cost of uniforms/gym use, etc.

  • Grades 3-4 will meet from 9 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Grade 5-6 will meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon
  • Grades 1-2 will meet from noon to 1 p.m.

The program will focus on the offensive fundamentals of the game including shooting, passing, dribbling, and ball handling, with a major emphasis on shooting. There will be contests with full-court and half-court games.

Participants will have the option to join our youth league from January until early March. Practices will start after Winter Recess and will be held twice per week in the evening. Games are played on the weekends, either on Saturday or Sunday or both.

A parent or guardian must fill out an application that includes: name, address; age; grade; school; phone number; medical concerns; and signature.

If you want yopu child to play on one of the teams that competes in the league, which is for grades 3-6 only and runs January through early March, you will have to choose a jersey size -- Youth S-XL and Adult S-XL, and it is advised that you order a size up as they run small.

Batavia City Schools are not responsible for injury that may happen during the program.

Refer questions to Coach Jim Fazio at (585) 356-0901. Email:     [email protected]

Fazio is the Jr. Blue Devil youth director and he coaches current Blue Devil players.

October 13, 2016 - 2:40pm

Press release:

The Alexander Central School District’s Board of Education (BOE) has named two finalists for the district’s next Superintendent.

Reed Pettys, president of the Alexander Central School District’s BOE, said he is pleased with the high-quality candidate pool and is enthused about the potential the two finalists have to offer.

“Our district has a great reputation in the educational community and the Board anticipates a difficult decision, with superior candidates in contention," Pettys said. "We are eager to find a strong individual who believes in our district’s mission and is an educational expert who can guide our schools into the future."

The two finalists are Teresa Gerchman and Catherine Huber, Ed.D.

Gerchman is currently the Chief Schools Officer for Innovative Schools in Wilmington, Del., a position she’s held since 2014. Gerchman served as the Director of Achievement in both the Northeast and Pacific Regions for Edison Learning Inc. from 2006 until 2014. During her tenure with Edison Learning, she led a team as part of the Hawaii Alliance where she supported the restructuring of nine schools and provided focused support to increase student performance levels.

In her role as Academy Director for the Charter School of Science and Technology in Rochester, Gerchman was responsible for 1,110 students in grades K-8. Her career includes serving as Curriculum and Assessment Director for the Charter School of Science and Technology, Science and Technology Teacher Leader for Spencerport Central Schools, and math and science teacher for Spencerport Central Schools and Beacon High School. In 1987, Gerchman began her work in education as math and science teacher for Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghamton.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from the State University College at Buffalo, and a Master of Science in Secondary Chemistry/General Science from the State University College at Cortland. Gerchman earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from The College at Brockport.

Huber presently serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda (Ken-Ton) Union Free School District. She previously served as Director of Secondary Education for Ken-Ton Union Free School District. Huber was the Director for the Center for Professional Studies for D’Youville College from 2013-2015. She spent eight years as Principal of Northwood Elementary School in West Seneca Central School District. Huber served as the Coordinator of K-12 English Language Arts for Frontier Central School District.

From 1999-2002, she was responsible for staff and curriculum development at Erie 1 BOCES. Her teaching experience is vast and ranges from middle school to college-level. Huber taught at Canisius College as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Program. She started her career in education in 1996 as a middle school English teacher in the Iroquois Central School District.

Huber holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ithaca College; a dual Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership and English Education from Canisius College; and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from D’Youville College.

The finalists will visit the district on Oct. 17 and 18. Gerchman will visit on Oct. 17 and Huber on October 18. Meet-and-greet forums, which are open to the public, will be held each day at Alexander Middle-High School in the auditorium from 3:40-4:15 p.m. Final interviews with stakeholder groups and the BOE will follow the meet and greet forums. The anticipated start date for the new Superintendent is Jan. 2.

Kevin MacDonald, district superintendent of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, who is acting as search consultant, said the Board has developed and implemented a process that will help determine the best candidate.

“This is a rigorous search process,” MacDonald said. “Finalists will visit at the district, and go through another round of interviews. The process concludes with the Board meeting to make a final decision.”

October 13, 2016 - 2:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in lost pets, animal rescue, batavia.

Is your BFF missing?

Brian Kemp, of the Batavia business T-Shirts Etc., wrote to us about this black and white cutie:

"We found a very friendly dog wandering around on Jackson Street. ... We have it here at our shop. He has no tags on him."

The shop is located at 37 Center St. Phone is 345-1993. 

At 3:37 p.m., we received this email:

The dog has been picked up by his mommy. Thank you so much for your help!

Have a great day!



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Welcome Center Staff (Member Services Representative)

Front line, part-time position, various evenings and weekend shifts primarily, also looking for various morning and afternoon shifts. Previous customer service experience preferred, sales experience preferred. Applicants must be outgoing, energetic, friendly, have great oral and written communication skills and enjoy interacting with members and guests. Qualified applicants can download an application online at or contact Josh Bender, Director of Membership & Wellness at 585-344-1664 ext. 1174 for more information.

Customer Service Consultants

Customer Service Consultants needed at our Greece & Pittsford Travel and Insurance Centers! Candidates should possess excellent customer service and communication skills, knowledge of U.S geography, map reading ability, and great computer skills. Prior face-to-face customer service experience necessary. Degree in Travel & Tourism highly desired. Banking or hospitality background preferred. Must be able to work flexible hours including Saturdays.

mobile home-discounted

OPEN HOUSE Saturday Oct 15 11-1pm for mobile home on lovely lot in Country Meadows Park Sterling Expando model,many updates done over past couple years, such as gas tankless hot water heater,gas furnace, gas fireplace in living room, tip in windows, new double sink & countertops, newer appliances include dishwasher, garbage disposal, gas stove, older side by side refrigerator, carpeting, bathroom has washer/dryer hookups, new bath fan, has 2 bedrooms( could easily make 3), large kitchen with many cupboards and counter space, large living room, 2 outbuildings on treed

3 bedroom, 1 bath home

Updated 3 bedroom, 1 bath home for rent. Washer and dryer hookups, includes refrigerator and stove. Driveway. family friendly Thorpe Street neighborhood. $900/month plus security deposit



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