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March 15, 2018 - 7:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, weather, City Hall.


As I walked out of Batavia City Hall tonight, the snow had just started falling.

The forecast is for periods of snow tonight and tomorrow. The total accumulation tonight is expected to be less than an inch.

March 15, 2018 - 12:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia.
      Jonathan Hoges

Jonathan C. Hoges, 35, of Jackson Street, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd.

Hoges is accused of selling crack cocaine to an agent of the Local Drug Task Force on two occasions.

He was arrested on Jackson Street on Tuesday by members of the Task Force with assistance from Batavia PD.

Following arraignment, he was jailed without bail.



March 15, 2018 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, Stafford, Alabama, Le Roy, notify.
      Lisa Sinclair

Lisa Marie Sinclair, 43, of Myrtle Street, Le Roy, is charged with forgery, 2nd, and grand larceny, 3rd. Sinclair, employed by a company in Stafford, allegedly falsified checks on her employer's bank account, enabling her to steal more than $23,000. She was arraigned in Stafford Town Court and released under supervision of Genesee Justice.

Philip David Amedio, 18, of Hartland Road, Gasport, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Amedio was charged following an investigation by Deputy Matthew Bailey of an accident on Bloomingdale Road, Alabama, at 3:18 a.m. Wednesday.


March 15, 2018 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, news, batavia, Le Roy, notify.
      Lance Mercado
     Mitchell Freeman

Among the 11 people arrested on drug sales charges over the past few weeks in Wyoming County were two Genesee County residents, according to arrest reports released today by the Wyoming County Drug Task Force.

Mitchell Freeman, 29, of Quinlan Road, Le Roy, was arrested Feb. 17, and charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th, and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th. Freeman is accused of selling buprenorphine in the Village of Attica in the fall. He was ordered held in the Wyoming County Jail.

Lance Mercado, 27, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, is charged with two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance, 4th, and two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, 5th. Mercado is accused of selling buprenorphine on two occasions in the fall in the Village of Attica. He was arrested Feb. 1 and jailed on $25,000 bail.

Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory J. Rudolph said the task for continues to seek several other suspects on drug indictment warrants and that his office will continue to do its part to help fight the current drug epidemic.

“The Wyoming County Drug Task Force continues to diligently investigate in the enforcement piece of this drug epidemic," Rudolph said in a press release. "Enforcement will not combat addictions and intense treatment is needed to tackle that difficulty, however, we as a law enforcement community are all committed to investigating and arresting drug dealers who prey and profit from those addictions.

"It is also our hope that taking drug dealers off the street contributes to the prevention piece of this epidemic, particularly with our youth. Stemming the opioid crisis is a multi-prong approach and the Wyoming County Drug Task Force is resolved in doing our part.”

March 15, 2018 - 11:23am
posted by Howard B. Owens in columbia avenue, fire, news, batavia.

A fire at 20 Columbia Ave., Batavia, in the early morning of March 6, appears to have been caused by an electrical issue and was accidental, according to City Fire Chief Steve Napolitano. 

Several animals apparently lost their lives in the fire, though no people were hurt.

The house was owner-occupied by Peter and Marilyn Demmer and five people, including a newborn infant, were home at the time of the fire, which was reported at about 4:15 a.m.

Napolitano did not have a count of how many animals lived at the residence. Firefighters located four deceased pets. One dog escaped the fire.

The structure of the house is sound, Napolitano said, but the interior was a total loss. The ground floor sustained massive damage from heat, smoke and water and the second floor had extensive smoke and heat damage. The total loss estimate is $180,000 to $200,000.

"Firefighters were able to recover some personal items of value to the family," Napolitano said.

Napolitano said the residents were offered assistance by the Salvation Army and Red Cross but he is uncertain if they accepted or made other arrangements on their own.

March 15, 2018 - 11:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, news, batavia.

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County is facing major financial challenges, including problems of cash flow. The Board of Directors, working with newly appointed Executive Director Millie Tomidy-Pepper, who began Feb. 5, has retained an independent auditor to assist in determining the extent and causes of the problems.

They are also actively pursuing financing options and revenue-generation opportunities to enable the 150-year-old organization to continue its mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Details will be shared with the community as soon as they become available.

March 15, 2018 - 10:10am
posted by Steve Ognibene in entertainment, music, batavia, steve ognibene's blog.


The trio performed their monthly jazz tunes last evening at a packed T.F. Brown's 214 Main St., Batavia. 

They perform once a month, traditionally on Thursdays, but decided to change it up because of the NCAA basketball. Here are a couple photos.




March 15, 2018 - 9:50am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports.


Batavia Jim Pursel and Oakfield's Robin Blaun are the Genesee Region's latest "royal" couple as they took first place in the annual King & Queen Mixed Doubles Tournament on Saturday at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia.

For more about this and to see who's bowling in the GRUSBC Association Tournament -- and how to enter -- click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

March 14, 2018 - 8:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in St. Joe's, batavia, news, education, reality check.


Press release:

Why did you join Reality Check? That’s the question Reality Check coordinator Brittany Bozzer asks each student when they join the tobacco-free advocacy group and attend their first meeting.

There is simply no right or wrong answer. But it’s always inspiring to find out why our youth advocates join us and what it means to them to be a part of the group.

Here’s what Reality Check members from St. Joseph School in Batavia have to say:

Seventh-grader Maylee joined Reality Check so that she could make a difference to smokers.

“I want to learn about the dangers of tobacco and other products so that I can educate peers and those who smoke,” Maylee said.

 “I am anti-smoking smoking and think it is a bad habit or addiction for people to get involved with,” said James, also a seventh-grader, on why he got involved. “I also want to help out in the community.”

Amelia joined Reality Check to gain “knowledge, power, strength and confidence.”

And Paige joined to get “a good education on tobacco use and other drugs so that I can tell people about what I learned.”

Each young student has his or her own unique reason for joining, but there is one common thread. Each one has been affected by tobacco products in some way and they are choosing to help make a difference in their community.

What is Reality Check? Reality Check is a youth-based, adult-mentored, statewide youth program operated by the New York State Department of Health in Albany as well as Roswell Park Comprehensive Center.

The goal of Reality Check is to educate teens about the manipulative marketing practices used by the tobacco industry as well as to teach them how to advocate in the community for themselves and their peers. 

What do we do? Reality Check exposes the truths about tobacco marketing through point of sale and smoking in movies.

Through various activities led by youth, they are able to gather facts and statistics to show the reality that tobacco use among youth is very prevalent in their community and that it needs to be stopped. This tobacco is not exclusive to cigarette use; it also includes e-cigarettes and vaping as these also contain nicotine.

Most youth begin to get involved in Reality Check between seventh and eighth grades and continue on through high school, bringing awareness to the community and advocating for change!

March 14, 2018 - 7:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in steve hawley, news.

Press release:

“While today’s budget resolution was sprinkled with sound proposals, like a restoration of library aid and more flexibility in our Lake Ontario relief program, I am concerned by billions of dollars in new taxes and spending.

“At a time when residents are leaving the state in droves and retiring elsewhere, we should be working to cut taxes and foster real business growth, not freezing property tax credits and sending our families’ money to fund more Downstate programs.

“Rest assured, I will be fighting for law-abiding, middle-class taxpayers as budget talks heat up, not illegal aliens and New York City handouts.”

March 14, 2018 - 7:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, batavia, business.

Press release: 

The New York State Senate’s one-house budget resolution– approved earlier today– establishes tax parity between the Batavia Downs and other gaming facilities across the state. The Senate Budget proposal increases the facility’s portion of net winnings to 42 percent.

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“I am pleased that the Senate Budget Resolution levels the tax playing field for Batavia Downs. Decreasing the tax rate for the oldest nighttime harness track in the nation will ensure a fairer share of revenues are returned to taxpayers through our local governments. Now, the Genesee County racino will be more competitive with other gaming facilities. I will continue working to address this issue in the final budget.” 

In January, Senator Ranzenhofer introduced legislation (S7397) in the State Senate that would lower Batavia Down’s taxes paid to New York State by increasing the facility’s portion of net winnings from 35 percent to 41 percent. The Executive Budget proposes increasing net winnings to 37 percent.

March 14, 2018 - 3:42pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in GCASA, opioid addiction.

Press release:

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse is hosting Recovery 101: For Families and Loved Ones” on Wednesday, March 21.  The event will be held at City Church Generation Center at 15 Center St., Batavia. 

Doors will open at 5 p.m. with various agency display tables and refreshments.

The event will include a panel presentation from 6-7:30 p.m. featuring Dr. Matthew Fernaays, GCASA’s medical director; Riley, a person in recovery; and Sandy, the parent of a young person in recovery. There will be time for questions from the audience.

In addition, training for use of opioid overdose reversal medication (NARCAN®) will be offered from 7:30-8 p.m. to those interested.

Please plan on attending if you are concerned about a loved one’s opioid use or want to know more about the disease of addiction and how it affects families. Registration is not necessary, but greatly appreciated. Please RSVP by calling 585-815-1883 by Friday, March 16.

March 14, 2018 - 11:38am
posted by James Burns in news, batavia, Batavia High School, #neveragain.


Students of Batavia High School stepped outside and into the wind and the snow for 17 minutes today. They were there to express their concern for their safety and for a moment of silence for the 17 people that lost their lives in the mass shooting at Parkland HS in Florida.

The Batavia HS students all had slightly different views on how to stop mass school shootings including: gun control, more police, better mental health, less bullying, and students taking responsibility for their own safety. Certainly these feelings reflect the feelings of the rest of society.

Perhaps the wisdom of the crowd is pointing to the fact that not one single thing is responsible for these mass shootings and there are multiple causes that need to be addressed simultaneously.  


Along with the varied solutions, all but one of the students interviewed felt that our political system has failed them. To address this issue there is a push for voter registration along with the protest.

Sydney Atchinson one of the students who helped with the organization of the protest said, “We are fed up with talking and politics (nothing is getting solved). Students will change politics by voicing their opinions and with votes.”

Students with pro gun signs stood in solidarity next to students with #neveragain signs. Despite not all pushing for the same solution, the students stood united to end the extreme violence in schools. This is very much a grassroots movement; there is not a leader of this walk out, just a collective understanding something needs to be done.

The student government body did not officially sanction this event but there are members who actively participated.

Not all students were involved the in walk out. Some stayed inside because they disagree with Woman’s March organization, others said they just don’t care enough. For some, it was just too cold to go outside.

A student made a point to tell me that they do understand the importance of the Second Amendment. They also do believe in the students' right to “live without fear and without being shot and massacred.” Living without fear and persecution, isn’t that one of the main reasons the Constitution was written? 





March 13, 2018 - 4:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, broadband, news.

Press release:

On the heels of a rural broadband roundtable, Friday afternoon with local community leaders, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) called for easing regulations on Internet service providers helping them to invest in underserved communities like northern Niagara, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties.

“It is staggering that 65 percent of my Congressional district is underserved by high-speed Internet, which is why it is so important government and providers work together to make sure our communities have the services they need,” Collins said.

Collins also expressed concern about recent efforts by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Chuck Schumer to implement overbearing regulations that would make it harder to provide internet service in these areas.

“Governor Cuomo and Senator Schumer could hurt rural Internet expansion by falsely claiming that the internet is broken and the only way to fix it is more regulations. Their actions would be detrimental by creating more red-tape that providers would have to navigate,” added Collins.

Collins pointed to the Obama Administration’s implementation of heavy-handed rules that deterred Internet providers from investing in Western New York’s rural communities. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Collins has worked to correct discrepancies in current law to make sure companies who build the groundwork to provide everyday Americans with internet service are able to continue expansion.

"The promise of reliable and affordable high-speed Internet in the rural parts of our counties has been an elusive dream for over seven years, and our residents and businesses continue to be frustrated with the progress to-date,” said David Godfrey, Niagara County legislator.

“Current Internet services in the rural areas fall well short of the expectations of our taxpayers, and the promise for newer technology seems well over the horizon. Thank you, Congressman Collins, for always being here for us."

"Our meeting with Congressman Collins brings continued hope that our counties will receive the technology they deserve and desperately need,” said Lynne Johnson, Orleans County legislator. “The Congressman has always given his fullest support to the Niagara-Orleans Regional Alliance (NORA) as we push for those services that will help ensure every resident, student, school, small and agribusiness across our two counties, and the entire GLOW region receive internet that is equal to that of more metropolitan areas in New York State."

Collins said “We need to work together to ensure our communities have the resources they need to run their businesses, pursue educational opportunities, and connect with their loved ones. I am thankful for the support of local leaders that know what is best for Western New York as we continue to fight for an environment where businesses can succeed so consumers can benefit.”

March 13, 2018 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, news, business, Le Roy.


Press release from American Dairy Association North East:

Do you have trouble adjusting to daylight saving time? If you do, then you aren’t alone. Dairy cows do, too.

“Like many of us, cows are creatures of habit,” said Natasha Stein Sutherland, dairy farmer and owner of Stein Farms in Le Roy. “That first week after the time changes takes a little adjustment for everyone on the farm – cows and farmers alike.”

To ease the transition, some farmers will make gradual adjustments to the cow’s schedules – shifting milking times in 30-minute increments over two days. Others find it’s just as easy to make the switch all at once.

“It really depends on the individual farm and their management practices,” said Stein Sutherland. “There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dairy farming. But, keeping cows comfortable and content is something we all practice every day.”

According to Stein Sutherland, research shows that more light helps cows produce more milk and ideally, cows should have 16 to 18 hours of daylight each day. Farmers use a variety of practices – including lights on timers – to ensure cows have the light they need.

This year marks the 44th year when clocks are set forward one hour. President Nixon signed into law the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act in 1974. The extra hour of daylight will last until Nov. 4.

Photo submitted by Stein Farms.


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