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April 14, 2018 - 3:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news, notify.

With as much as half an inch of ice accumulation in the storm the National Weather Service says is heading our way, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens is recommending local residents treat this as a significant weather event and "stay put" for the night.

"Most of the area will be getting about half an inch of ice, which will be heavy enough to bring down trees and power lines," Hens said. "Combined with a strong northeast wind, which is opposite of our normal prevailing wind, there is likely to be major tree damage and sustained power outages.

"There is likely only a few hours left to gather last-minute supplies," he added. "After that, I would recommend staying put."

Unnecessary travel, he said, will only make matters worse for highway departments, emergency vehicles an utility crews.

He advises that those running generators use safe fueling and operating methods.

"Do not run a generator indoors under any circumstances," he said.

National Grid also sent out this advisory:

Storm Alert from the National Weather Service in Buffalo

In preparation for strong winds, freezing rain and ice accumulation across much of Upstate New York over the next 24 hours, National Grid has more than 2,000 line, service and tree workers on alert, including additional support from the company’s New England workforce and from neighboring New York utilities.

Crews are being deployed across upstate as needed, particularly in areas where the weather is expected to be the most severe. We urge customers to be prepared and remain safe.

Safety Tips:

  • Remember to never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 9-1-1.
  • Keep a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. Also, make sure to keep your mobile devices charged prior to an event.
  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.
  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at -800-322-3223. (In a medical emergency, always dial 9-1-1.)

Stay Connected

  • Use your mobile device to track outage information, report outages and storm-related safety tips through National Grid's mobile site accessible at www.ngrid.com/mobile(m.nationalgrid.com).
  • To receive text message alerts and updates from National Grid, text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).
April 14, 2018 - 8:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

An ice storm is forecast for today starting at 2 p.m. with significant icing and gusty winds expected.

The ice storm warning is in effect until 2 p.m., Sunday.

Power outages and tree damage are likely, according to the National Weather Service, due to the wind and ice.

Travel will be difficult at times. Drivers should expect ice-covered surfaces and be on the lookout for downed tree limbs and power lines.

April 13, 2018 - 11:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

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Michael Piasta in  2010

More than seven years ago, Michael J. Piasta stood before Judge Robert C. Noonan and said he thought he could turn his life around.

"At this point, I just want to say I don’t feel that I’m hopeless," Piasta told Noonan before receiving a maximum state prison term of seven years for burglary. "Regardless of what happens today, I think I can make things better."

Piasta served the maximum term. He was released Oct. 24.

In March, he allegedly robbed the Arby's Resturant in Batavia. Today, he was arrested by Batavia PD with assistance from members of the Local Drug Task Force.

He is charged with robbery in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, and grand larceny in the third degree.

He allegedly got away from the Arby's robbery March 23 with more than $6,000 in cash.

When he was arrested on West Main Street, three other individuals were in the truck with him. Batavia PD did not release any information on those individuals or whether they were charged with any crimes.

Piasta was jailed without bail following arraignment in City Court.

When he appeared before Noonan in 2010, Piasta already had a lengthy criminal record. 

On Nov. 5, 2010, Piasta entered a guilty plea to burglary, 3rd, and two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument. Piasta also admitted that he broke into a business at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, and stole a credit card -- running up more than $500 in charges -- and checks. He attempted to forge the checks at two local banks.

That summer, Piasta was also accused of stealing DVDs from Pandora's Boxx and shoplifting from Wilson Farms.

April 13, 2018 - 7:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, notify, Batavia PD, Sheriff's Office.

The snowfall was pretty heavy just before midnight, Saturday, Dec. 10, 1977.  That hour was shift change for Batavia PD then and Officer Douglas D. Squires manned the only patrol car on the road in the city. He was parked at Main and Oak watching the green, yellow, and red lights change, swirls of big snowflakes fall, and any cars that might pass through the intersection.

Down the street, at Quik-N-EZ Food Mart, 40 Oak St., employees were about to close up for the night. The little shop had recently hired some new employees and Squires remembers that two or three times that week they had accidentally triggered the alarms while trying to get them set.

Carl Salway, the only law enforcement officer shot in the line of duty in Genesee County


A police-involved shooting is generally defined as a police officer discharging his weapon in the line of duty.

Based on a search of historical records and conversations with law enforcement professionals in the county who have worked locally for decades, it appears that Officer Doug Squires and Deputy Ryan Young are the only LEOs in Genesee County history to be involved in an officer-involved shooting.

It also appears that only once in Genesee County history has a police officer been shot.

In August 1921, Officer Carl Salway, Batavia PD, came within an inch of his life, literally.

That night, shortly after 10 p.m., he stumbled upon a burglary in progress of an auto storage warehouse owned by Raymond M. Walker at 241 West Main St., Batavia. 

Inside were Harold W. Pratt, 27, of 128 South Main St., Batavia, who owned a cider mill, and Earl Lee Smith, of Law St., Batavia, 27. 

Pratt shot Salway with a .45-caliber automatic pistol. The bullet passed through Salway's chest, just missing his heart.

Salway would eventually retire from the police department, but not before serving a suspension in 1931 for insubordination.

Squires, now 64, grew up in Batavia but graduated from Byron-Bergen High School. That night in 1977, he was more than a year into his five-year stint with the Batavia Police Department. He would go on to work security for Kodak before moving into sales and marketing with the company. As he moved up, Kodak moved him, first to Orlando, then Birmingham, then Atlanta, and eventually Charlotte, N.C., in 1989, where he lives in with his wife. 

He didn't realize until told today that what would transpire just before midnight that Saturday night in 1977 would stand as the only officer-involved shooting in Genesee County history until two nights ago.

As the minutes drew tighter toward midnight that night, a Batavia dispatcher informed Squires the alarm at the Quik-N-EZ Food Mart had gone off again.

Squires put his patrol car in drive and drove down Oak. As he approached, he turned off his lights. The store lights were on and the parking lot was empty.

As he pulled up, he remembered a news story out of Buffalo from a couple of days before. Two police officers had been shot and killed responding to a robbery alarm at the Holiday Inn by the airport.

"I remembered that when that alarm came in for that store, that incident came to mind and I thought I’m not going to just wheel in there and think they made a mistake and set off the alarm again," Squires said.

As he approached, he unholstered his revolver.

Peering in, he saw two female employees, Edwina Heschke, of Batavia, and Debbie Maskell, of Indian Falls, lying face down on the floor. Behind the counter, pulling money out of the cash register was a male in a ski mask.

The man in the ski mask turned out to be William M. Timoney, who was 34 at the time, recently released from Attica on parole, and a resident of Dewey Avenue. 

Squires pushed the door open, identified himself and yelled, "freeze."

Timoney looked at Squires, pointed his 14 shot .22 long rifle calibre handgun with a full magazine, at the back of one of the clerks and told Squires, "Pig, you get out of here or they’re both as good as dead."

"At that point," Squires said, "the gloves were off. He's threatening a third party with physical harm and possibly their lives."

Squires fired at Timoney and missed. Timoney ducked behind a counter, popped up again and Squires fired again, missing again.  

As the gun battle ensued, another Batavia officer, D.G. Kopper, arrived as back up.

When the perp's head popped up from behind the counter again, between the cash register and orange drink dispenser, Squires fired again. This time he caught Timoney in the face, the bullet hitting his cheek and ear.

"He was quite a mess," Squires said. "He lost his right ear. The shot picked him right up off the floor. The money went one way and the gun went another."

As Sheriff William Sheron noted today, police officers go to work every shift knowing this may be the eight hours where they get shot at or they may have to shoot another person.

Just because there have only been two incidents in Genesee County history, and now three, where an officer either shot someone or has been shot himself, doesn't mean it isn't an ever-present danger. Every chance encounter, when you're in law enforcement, can turn deadly with very little warning.

“Law enforcement officers go to work every day knowing that they may be required to sacrifice their own lives, or take the life of another human being in order to fulfill their obligation of protecting the citizens of our communities," Sheron said.

Two nights ago, Deputy Ryan Young faced the challenging decision of whether to fire his weapon after responding to a report of a disturbance and shots fired at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Indian Falls. As Young and other officers pulled into the parking lot, Keith Kent, 61, of Albion, fired another shot. Young and his colleagues yelled at Kent to drop his weapon. He didn't. Rather, Kent turned -- according to information available so far -- toward Young and pointed his pistol at him.

As Undersheriff Gregory Walker put it describing the incident while talking with reporters on Gilmore Road early Thursday morning, "Our officer did take the shot and the suspect was killed."

Timoney, the 1977 robber, was lucky. He lived. After he was shot, Squires and Kopper rushed to his side and cuffed him.

Timoney, who used a gun stolen from a home in Alexander, was treated at St. Jerome Hospital then hauled before County Court Judge Glenn R. Morton, charged with robbery in the first degree along with several other charges, then jailed without bail.

The district attorney in 1977 was Ronald L. Fancher. He settled on a plea agreement for Timoney, attempted robbery.  Timoney entered a  guilty plea and was sent to state prison for less than four years. He was released in 1982. By 1984, he was back in prison for an armed robbery in Queens, serving a maximum 15-year sentence. He was released in 2000.  In 2000, his name pops up in a couple of stories in the New York Daily News about homeless people in the city.

Squires described shooting Timoney as "a surreal experience." He was put on paid leave and he had to turn over his revolver for ballistic testing. 

"I had a lot of sleepless nights," he said. "It was quite an experience. Most police officers never even draw their weapons or let alone fire their weapons over a 20 or 30-year career. Here, I'm on the job for at most a couple of years and I run into something like this."

Eugene Jankowski, who served Batavia PD for more than 35 years, starting in 1978, was a corrections officer in the Genesee County Jail the night Squires shot Timoney.  He remembers Timoney coming into the jail with a big bandage on his ear.

Now City Council president, Jankowski is a firearms expert and led in the creation of the county's Emergency Response Team.

Even though Jankowski never encountered a situation that escalated into the need to shoot somebody, he faced many life-and-death decisions during his career. Training and experience are critical to helping officers handle the unexpected, he said.

"I’ve found scenario-based firearms and defensive tactics training, combined with state law and department policy, was the most beneficial to me," Jankowski said. "That, along with real-life experience helped me to physically and mentally prepare for many types of use-of-force encounters."

Squires said he thinks about Dec. 10, 1977, every time another police shooting hits the news.  

"Until you're a police officer and you go through it, there's really not much you can think about to know what it's like," he said.

His advice for Young or other officers who must fire their weapon at suspects: Don't second guess yourself.

"And don't let others second guess you. Just know that it's your job and you have to do what you have to do to defend yourself or innocent bystanders. You have to know what you did is right."

April 13, 2018 - 4:20pm

young_ryan_w_deputy.jpgPress release:

Deputy Ryan W. Young has been identified by Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. as the officer involved in Wednesday night's shooting at the Indian Falls Log Cabin Restaurant.

Deputy Young is a six-year law enforcement officer who joined the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in 2016.

Sheriff Sheron said: “Law enforcement officers go to work every day knowing that they may be required to sacrifice their own lives, or take the life of another human being, in order to fulfill their obligation of protecting the citizens of our communities. Deputy Young’s actions on Wednesday night did just that.”

ADDITIONAL INFO: Deputy Young was with the Le Roy Police Department prior to joining the Sheriff's Office. On Dec. 1, 2015, he distinguished himself at a crime scene on Seldon Road, Le Roy, where Kyle G. Johnson had already killed a neighbor and set his own house on fire as Young arrived on scene. After he arrived, Johnson fired in his direction toward a fire chief. Young immediately took command of the situation, took cover, instructed neighbors to seek shelter in their basement, and kept other responding units informed of Johnson's movements and whereabouts, even, while at times, under the threat of being fired upon. He received a Distinguished Service Award from Le Roy Chief Chris Hayward for his valor. Johnson was eventually taken into custody without further shots fired.

After the duty-related death of Deputy Frank Bordonaro in 2014, Young made rope bracelets with brass plates honoring Bordonaro and sold them to others in the law enforcement community to help raise funds to donate to Bordonaro's sons.

Earlier this year, Young received his first Commendation from the Sheriff's Office.

April 13, 2018 - 4:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in swing fling, geneseean awards, news, batavia, GO ART!.

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The 2018 GO ART! spring awards gala will be held in a new venue this year -- at GO ART! itself, in historic Seymour Place in Downtown Batavia.

The theme of "Swing Fling" is "Come back to the 1940s," it will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 28, and feature music, dancing, appetizers, a cash bar, live radio show and awards. 

Geneseean Awards will go to:

  • Organization of Year: Genesee Chorale
  • Individual Artist of the Year: Lisa Roeseler, Medina High School Medina High School A Cappella Choir Director 
  • Supporter (of the cultural sector) of the Year award will go to one of three nominees: Bryan DeGraw, 810 Meadworks, OR Diana Kastenbaum, Pinnacle Manufacturing, OR Brian Kemp, T-Shirts Etc.

Tickets: $20 for non-members, $15 for GO ART! members.

Contact GO ART! at goart.org, 343-9313, or stop in at Seymour Place, located at 201 E. Main St.

Platinum Sponsors for the Swing Fling are: WBTA, and Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel.

Gold Sponsors are: J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home, Jim Burns Photography.

Silver Sponsors are: Carrotman Productions, St. Joseph Catholic School.

(To help attendees prepare with flair for this affair, we offer this link about the 1940s -- here -- and it's a real Humdinger, as they used to say. And also, for your listening pleasure, this obscure oldie, here.)

April 13, 2018 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in BCSD Foundation, scholarship, batavia, news.

Press release:

The BCSD Foundation is seeking nominations for its 2018 scholarship.

You are invited to nominate a Batavia High School graduating senior for the Batavia City School District Foundation Scholarship. The nomination deadline is May 11 and the scholarship will be awarded at the BHS graduation in June.

The candidate should be a senior who is academically successful, who has tried to improve on skills to further his or her career goals, and who is a role model for others in creating a school climate of "Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, Be Connected and Be Ambitious."

The nomination form, as well as further information on the BCSD Foundation, may be found on the District’s website (www.bataviacsd.org) by clicking on the District Information tab, then on the link labeled “More” for the alphabetical District Information Directory, then on the BCSD Foundation link.

If you have any questions, please contact Julia Rogers at [email protected].

April 13, 2018 - 3:21pm

Press release from Frank Panepento:

There will be a free music concert to show thanks and appreciation for Crossroads House and its 20 years of community service. It will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, at the Attica High School Auditorium.

Over the span of two decades, the nonprofit Crossroads House, providing comfort care for the dying, has helped more than 470 residents and their families.

This will be "a celebration concert" featuring original and longtime supporters -- the Attica High School Marching Band, and Amanda Hofheins and Don Rogers, plus the Hamburg Kingmen Drum Corps, Batavia Jazz Ensemble, St. Joe’s Brass Ensemble, Alexander Fireman's Band, and the St. Joe’s Alumni Drum Corps.

The Attica Marching Band has been one of the very first and longest supporters for the house. The house took a few years of planning and fundraising to put all the necessary pieces in place before the house was able to open. The Attica Free Music Concerts were building blocks that helped fund the house and educate the communities that Crossroads served. These concerts were an avenue to help explain what Crossroads House was able to do for its residents.

Rogers, while spearheading the earlier shows moved into retirement while Hofheins took his place literally and figuratively. She took over filling in for Rogers’s duties and supporting Crossroads House and the Free Musical Concert.

Come on out to enjoy the music! This is going to be a great afternoon while supporting Crossroads House and Gateway House (Attica’s own soon-to-open comfort care home). Attica High School is located at 3338 E. Main St. in Attica.

April 13, 2018 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tim Hortons, Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Press release:

The Batavia Police Department, along with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Genesee County Probation, Le Roy Police Department and the New York State Troopers – Troop A, would like to thank Dave Lumberg, Owner/Operator of Tim Horton’s (20 Main St.) for their daily donation of fresh, hot, coffee to our officers and instructors during the last two weeks of Active Threat Training, which is concluding today. The added level of convenience aided in the productivity of the training.

April 13, 2018 - 11:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, appeared before Congress where lawmakers took turns asking how (and if) Facebook respects our privacy. One Congressman, however, seemed less concerned about privacy and more concerned about using his seat to make another rich friend.

Chris Collins said, after hearing his fellow members of Congress interrogate Zuckerberg, "I sincerely know in my heart that you do believe in keeping all ideas equal. You may vote a certain way or not, but that doesn't matter."

Reacting to that response, Collin’s Congressional opponent Nate McMurray says, “In his heart? His heart? No one cares about his heart. We care about what’s in his servers. That company collects and searches every little detail of our lives. And we know that this data has been used for malicious purposes.”

McMurray further adds, “I’ve been to Facebook's headquarters. It’s an amazing company, with great power. And that's the point. We need to understand how that power is used and whether it is being manipulated. Collins, once again, failed to do his job. Indeed, it seems Collins was more worried about control and manipulation than about Facebook's actions."

April 13, 2018 - 11:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, hockey, batavia, Babes on Blades, women's senior hockey team.

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Press release:

The Batavia “Babes on Blades” women’s senior hockey team finished off a strong season this year by competing in and winning the local annual Scottsville women’s senior hockey tournament last weekend.

In the first game, the Babes were down 5 to 3 in the second period before rallying to win 7 to 6. The second game against the host Scottsville team was a defensive battle with the Babes scoring the first goal of the game with 3 minutes left in the third period. The Babes scored an open net goal at the end of the game for a 2 to 0 win. In the third game, the Babes team’s offense exploded for 9 goals in a 9 to 2 win over Brockport.

The championship game ended up with a rematch against the host Scottsville team again. the Babes team scored early in the game and were able to maintain the lead throughout the hard-fought game for a 4 to 2 win.

April 13, 2018 - 11:19am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball, news.

Press release:

The Class-A Short-Season New York-Penn League and its member clubs are proud to announce that the league's philanthropic arm, the NYPL Charitable Foundation, will once again award more than $10,000 in scholarships this summer to deserving high school graduates from the league's 14 markets.

Now in its 10th year, the 2018 NYPL Scholarship Contest is open to any graduating senior from a public or private high school within the league's footprint. Any student who has been accepted at a two- or four-year college or university, vocational school, or technical education institution is eligible.

Applicants will be judged based on academic performance, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and the impact their local NYPL club and Minor League Baseball have had on their lives.

The scholarship contest will consist of two stages -- a local round and a league round. In the local stage, students will apply directly to their local NYPL team, with one applicant chosen by each of the 14 teams to advance to the league/final round. The 14 finalists will then be judged by league representatives.

Three applicants will be selected to receive the top prize of a $2,500 scholarship. All other finalists will receive a $250 book award.

“The New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation and our 14 member clubs are pleased to have the opportunity to assist outstanding high school seniors within our league’s footprint for the tenth consecutive season,” said Ben J. Hayes, president of the New York-Penn League.

“This program will again recognize those seniors who not only meet and exceed traditional scholarship criteria, but demonstrate the positive community impact and lifelong memories fostered by their local NYPL clubs throughout the year.”

High school seniors interested in entering the 2018 Scholarship Contest can obtain the official application from their local NYPL club, or by visiting the league's official website, NewYork-PennLeague.com.

The deadline to submit applications to the nearest NYPL team is June 4. Each club's winner, including the three $2,500 scholarship recipients, will be selected in mid-July.

April 13, 2018 - 11:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bdc, Batavia Development Corp., batavia, news, notify.

Press release:

The Batavia Development Corporation accepted the resignation of Julie Pacatte, economic development director in charge of economic development for the City of Batavia. Pacatte has accepted a position for a private-sector employer located in New York’s Capital District Region. 

“To say that she will be missed is an understatement, Ms. Pacatte was instrumental in a number of initiatives to improve the economic environment in Batavia,” said Pierluigi Cipollone, president of the Batavia Development Corporation. “She has advanced economic development in the city to new levels and facilitated more than $30 million in pledged investment into the city."

Pacatte was successful in leading the way to develop the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2), a first in the state PILOT Increment Financing (PIF) district that diverts new PILOT payments from three tax jurisdictions (City, School, and County) to develop the most blighted and impoverished areas of the city.

The program was developed following the city’s success in creating the Brownfield Opportunity Area and identifying sites primed for investment. These efforts lead to the attraction of $20 million investment pledge by Savarino Companies at the Ellicott Station brownfield site. 

Pacatte led efforts to craft the successful $10 million Downtown Redevelopment Initiative (DRI) application, was the driving force behind the BDC’s Public-Private Partnership, the freshLab restaurant incubator, as well as an administrator for loans and grants to aid new and existing businesses in the city.

She has helped bring the BDC to solid ground and advance our mission of new economic opportunities in the city of Batavia. The BDC still has much to do and will continue to work in the city helping small businesses, ensuring that the Savarino project can break ground this summer, working to advance development at Creek Park, assisting DRI project winners and working with all economic development partners in county and across the region. 

“Thank you, Ms. Pacatte for your passionate efforts to make Batavia a better place to work, live and play and I wish you continued success in your future pursuits,” Cipollone said.

April 13, 2018 - 11:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17) today introduced The Fairness to Pet Owners Act. This legislation would save pet owners money by allowing them the freedom to choose where they buy prescription pet medications.

Currently, pet owners must ask for a written prescription from their veterinarian for medications. Most consumers do not realize they have the right to request a written prescription in order to shop around and find the prescription at a lower cost. This bill ensures that pet owners receive a written script, either on paper or electronically, which gives more power to the consumer to choose where to purchase their pet’s prescription.

“When it comes to eyeglasses or contacts, consumers receive a copy of their prescription and are able to do the research to find the lowest price,” Collins said. “As a pet owner myself, I know that most owners will do anything to keep their pets happy and healthy, although these expenses do add up. There is no reason that pet owners shouldn’t have the flexibility to shop around to see if they can save some money.”

“As a dog owner, I know how much of an investment it is to have a pet,” Cartwright said. “This bipartisan legislation is a simple, yet important step in giving pet owners the flexibility they need to save money and keep their animals healthy.”

“PetSmart is pleased Congressman Chris Collins and Congressman Matt Cartwright have reintroduced the Fairness to Pet Owners Act,” said Kathy Mitchell, senior director, Government Affairs at PetSmart. “We believe the benefits of pet ownership should be accessible to all Americans.

"Helping to lower the cost of caring for a pet is a fundamental part of ensuring everyone can experience the joys of pet ownership. Giving pet owners the ability to take prescriptions to their preferred pharmacy will help achieve this goal.”

Robert D. Atkinson, president, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said: “Just as the Contact Lens Prescription Release Act gave contact lens wearers the right to receive a copy of their prescription so they had the choice as to where to purchase their lens, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act will give pet owners the right to choose where to purchase pet medication. This legislation is pro-consumer and pro-competition.”

This issue impacts most American families, 65 percent of households in the United States own at least one pet spending a total of approximately $10 billion on pet medications each year. Pet medications are a significant and frequent expense, with 77 percent of all dogs taking some sort of medication.

This legislation has the potential to create competition in the marketplace leading to lower costs for consumers. Additionally, consumers will have more flexibility to purchase generic medications or have them filled online or at big box pharmacies, which are oftentimes cheaper. For example, a common heartworm tablet given once a month to dogs is sold for about $61 at a veterinary clinic but a generic version retails for only $42, saving a pet owner more than $200 per year.

April 13, 2018 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, news.

Press release:

At the Batavia City School District Board of Education meeting on April 10, several students, staff members and volunteers were presented with awards by Board of Education president Patrick Burk for their exemplary work and contributions.

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In recognition of the positive example she provides, Gabriella Smith was presented with an Outstanding Student Award.

She was nominated by kindergarten teacher Debra Wolff, who wrote, “Gabby is a quiet, confident leader in our class. She is respectful, responsible, and safe without needing to be reminded. She is a very kind and caring friend who always makes sure to include others.

"Gabby always has a smile on her face, which makes everyone's day brighter. We can always count on her to be setting a very positive example of what a good listener and what being a good friend look like.”

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In recognition of her enthusiasm and hard work, Daisylynn Bastedo was presented with an Outstanding Student Award.

She was nominated by pre-kindergarten teacher Emily Giuliano, and teacher aide Nancy Okoniewski.

Mrs. Giuliano wrote, “Daisylynn is a perfect example of a kind, caring, polite, and hard-working student. She always comes to school with a smile on her face and looks forward to greeting her teachers. Daisy consistently makes good choices in all parts of the school day.

"She shows an enthusiasm for learning and tackles new challenges seriously and with a positive attitude. We can always count on Daisy to be polite and respectful in and out of the classroom. She is always willing to help a classmate, whether it is during an activity or zipping up their coat at the end of the day. Daisy has made so much growth this year."

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In recognition of her infectious enthusiasm and dedication, Nancy Okoniewski was presented with an Outstanding Staff Award.

She was nominated by pre-kindergarten teacher Emily Giuliano, who wrote, “Mrs. Okoniewski has been working for the District for over 18 years at both the High School and the Middle School but has found her calling at Jackson Primary. She has been the UPK teacher aide (in Mrs. Giuliano's UPK classroom) since the start of the program in 2007.

"Mrs. Okoniewski wears a smile on her face each and every day. She has a very bubbly and friendly personality and you may catch her singing to the children as well as the adults. She makes people laugh and feel happy right along with her. She is a hard worker who goes above and beyond her duties as a teacher aide.

"She is also a bus monitor and rides the bus home with the kids to make sure they get home safe. She is the Batavia Clerical Association building representative at Jackson Primary and continues to put in hours of work outside of her normal workday by attending union and BCA meetings. Mrs. Okoniewski is a very special person who is thoughtful, kind and always willing to help others.

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In recognition of their continued dedication to our students, Barbara Holder and Paula Wortzman were each presented with an Outstanding Community Member Award.

They were nominated by first-grade teacher Jessica Torrey, who wrote, “Since their retirement from the District, Barbara Holder and Paula Wortzman have devoted countless hours to the students in the first-grade classroom at Jackson Primary.

"Many students over the years have been so lucky to share their first-grade experience with these two ladies. They are kind, loving, and offer a wealth of knowledge in working with our young population. Their hard work and dedication is very much appreciated.”

April 13, 2018 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

After months of walking petitions and knocking on doors throughout New York's 27th Congressional District, the Collins for Congress campaign has announced they have filed 9,017 petition signatures to qualify for the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party ballot lines in November.

"First and foremost, I want to thank all of our tremendous volunteers for braving the cold weather and devoting their personal time over the last few months to collecting petition signatures for our campaign," Congressman Chris Collins said.

"After working with President Trump to protect our shorelines, help create more jobs in Western New York and defend our constitutional freedoms, our filing proves that our efforts are resonating all across New York's 27th Congressional District.

"While I'm proud to have qualified for the Republican, Conservative, and Independence Party ballot lines, I am going to continue fighting for the support of every NY-27 resident."

Among the 9017 in total petition signatures submitted to the New York State Board of Elections, Congressman Collins has filed the following number of signatures for each Party Ballot line:
- Republican: 6,182
- Conservative: 1,197
- Independence: 1,638

"Whether it's defending President Trump against partisan attacks, standing up for our Second Amendment rights, or helping to create more jobs in Erie County, Congressman Collins has proved time and time again he's the leader we need in Congress," said Nick Langworthy, chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee.

"Working families in Erie County know Congressman Collins will always fight for our values in Washington. We're proud to support his reelection campaign."

Ellen Grant, chairwoman of the Wyoming County Republican Committee, said: "The members of the Wyoming County Republican Committee are committed to supporting Congressman Collins in his reelection campaign.

"He understands the diverse issues that concern the residents of our county and has a strong voice in Washington. We appreciate all of his efforts on our behalf and look forward to working with him for years to come."

Jason J. McGuire, chairman of the Livingston County Conservative Party, said: "Livingston County Conservatives appreciate the attentiveness that Rep. Chris Collins has shown to local issues. Our meetings with Mr. Collins have demonstrated that he has a firm grasp of the issues pertinent to our region.

"His record of representation has thus earned him another term, and our party is pleased to assist in putting his name on the ballot. We look forward to Livingston County's continued relationship with our congressman."

Ralph C. Lorigo, chairman of the Erie County Conservative Party, said:"The Erie County Conservative Party is proud to be 100 percent behind our Congressman, Chris Collins. He knows Erie County…he knows his constituents and he is a fighter to return our country to one of lesser governmental interference and greater process prosperity."

April 12, 2018 - 8:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in indian falls, pembroke, corfu, log cabin restaurant, news, notify.

With police sharing few details, it's still not clear what led to a deadly confrontation between a 61-year-old Albion man and a Sheriff's deputy outside of the Log Cabin Restaurant last night.

According to sources, Keith Kent may have gotten into some type of argument after stopping at the restaurant for dinner while on his way home. The argument may have become physical and he may have been hit.

It's unclear what happened next, but a source said employees ushered themselves and customers into the basement once the disturbance started.

According to Undersheriff Gregory Walker, Kent was confronted by officers outside the restaurant at about 11 p.m. after receiving reports of shots fired. Walker said when officers first arrived on scene, Kent fired a shot. It's unknown what if anything he was aiming at. Officers, according to Walker, shouted commands at Kent but he did not obey them. When he turned toward a deputy and appeared to point his handgun at the deputy; the deputy fired at least one round that struck Kent and killed him.

Kent owned a logging business in Albion, Jordan River Logging, on Route 31A. According to news reports going back to the early 2000s, Kent was involved in disputes related to his business.

Orleans Hub reported today that Kent had complained in the past about how authorities handled his cases, including one where he was charged with felonies but a grand jury did not indict him following a hearing.

He was accused of taking far more trees than he was supposed to from a Barre woman. In an agreement, Kent was to take 40 trees but was accused of taking close to 200.

Kent, 61, complained to friends and neighbors, and in letters sent to newspapers, that he was wrongly prosecuted with the charges, hurting his reputation and business.

Kent also said his business was destroyed by the “Rutherford-Cain gang” from Niagara County, who were rival loggers. Kent in an email to the Orleans Hub on June 29, 2017, saying the two from Niagara County caused him “eight years of hell on earth, including vandalisms, thefts, arson and attempts on my life.”

According to a 2007 article in the Buffalo News, David Cain, then 38, was convicted in Federal Court of 17 felony charges, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, three extortions, two mail frauds, five arsons, three tamperings with witnesses, conspiracy to tamper with witnesses, and evidence tampering.

His brother, Christopher, and cousin, James Soha, were convicted of five felonies each, including racketeering.

David Cain was eventually sentenced to 55 years in federal prison.

In 2011, Kent sent a letter to several publications, including the Medina Journal-Register, accusing Orleans County District Attorney Joseph Cardone of using incidents stemming from the Cain criminal activity to "create" a crime against him, even though Kent has assisted in the prosecution of Cain.

He wrote:

Although the Grand Jury soundly rejected issuing an indictment for “timber theft,” through highly suspect means, a lesser indictment was obtained against me. Judge Punch swiftly ruled to dismiss all charges, stating, “... the evidence before the Grand Jury was legally insufficient.”

Adding,

What was your true motive, Cardone, had I not just handed you the key witnesses that gave you no alternative but to indict David Cain Jr., who was later sent to federal prison for 55 years? I had essentially rid Western New York of the worst gang of criminals in the last century after enduring a living hell at their hands. Until I brought you the witnesses and gave you no choice, I received no help at all from you. Was my arrest your attempt to destroy my name and all I’ve worked for because I embarrassed you into doing your job?

Kent sued Cardone and lost, with a court ruling that Cardone had "absolute immunity."

For Kent, the dispute seems to have remained unresolved, according to Orleans Hub:

Kent in his email to the Orleans Hub said he was terrorized for eight years while law enforcement did nothing to protect him or his family. He said he was treated “shamefully” by District Attorney Joe Cardone, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Marshals.

The Batavian's news partner 13WHAM was able to conduct a short phone interview with Keith Kent's older brother, Gary, who described Keith as a family man who loved his children. He had a wife, two adult children, and four grandchildren.

Previously:

April 12, 2018 - 7:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, news.

placingflagsbethany2018-2.jpg

This afternoon on Old Telephone Road in Bethany, Wesley and Joan Spring were doing something they do just about every spring -- putting out American flags.

"We’re just putting out flags because we believe in America," Wesley said.

They were eager to get it done this year because of the extra traffic on Old Telphone Road with Route 20 being closed for reconstruction of the Bethany Center Road Bridge, and they wanted to get it done while the weather is good before there is more snow.

"We believe in our country," Wesley said.

"Right now, it’s in so much turmoil but we still believe in it," Joan added.

placingflagsbethany2018.jpg

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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