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June 9, 2017 - 8:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, infrastructure.


Creek Road near Lehigh Avenue, Batavia, is closed for culvert replacement.

Even though signs warn of the closure as far back and East Road, people are still driving all the way down to the barriers, even semi-trucks, according to a Creek Road resident, who thought it might be a good idea to remind residents of the closure.

The closure started Wednesday and is expected to last for seven to 10 days.



June 9, 2017 - 8:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Flag Day, veterans, va center, batavia, news.

It would mean a lot to Frank Panepento if you would come out to the VA Center in Batavia at 1 p.m. on Sunday to celebrate Flag Day with our veterans.

It will mean a lot to him because it means a lot to the veterans living at the center.

Panepento helped organize the event, which will include a motorcycle procession from Stan's Harley-Davidson and a presentation by students from Batavia Middle School, who wrote essays on what the flag means to them. 

The BMS Art Department also created flags for the veterans.

"For the residents in the hospital, just to know that someone cares about them is huge," Panepento said.

St. Joe's Brass Ensemble, which Penepento leads, will also play.

June 9, 2017 - 6:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, elba, corfu.

Nicholas A. Cianciosi, 68, of 400 E. Main St., Apt. #429, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal mischief -- property damage greater than $1,500. The defendant is accused of intentionally knocking over a 2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was parked in the 400 Towers apartment complex parking lot, causing $5,014.78 in damage to the motorcycle. The incident allegedly occurred at 6:15 p.m. on May 23. Cianciosi is due in Batavia City Court on June 21 to answer the charge. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack.

Karissa K. Sardina, 34, of Needham Street, Perry, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and having an unattended motor vehicle. It is alleged that at 11:55 a.m. on June 1 on Main Street in Batavia that Sardina parked her vheicle in the parking lot of a local bank and left the vehicle running and unattended. She is accused of leaving her 3-year-old daughter in the car to go inside the bank and conduct personal banking business. She was due in City Court June 6 to answer the charges. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Frank Klimjack, assisted by Officer Kevin DeFelice.

Marshall R. Steffans, 38, of Condon Avenue, Buffalo, is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child -- acting in a manner injurious to a child under age 17, criminal mischief -- intentionally damaging property, and third-degree criminal assault -- acting with intent to cause physical injury. Steffans was arrested on June 2 on an arrest warrant out of City Court on the charges, which followed his arrest on April 18 on Liberty Street in the city following a domestic incident. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

Michael T. Coffey, 48, of South Main Street, Albion, is charged with third-degree burglary, criminal mischief -- intentionally damaging property, and petit larceny. Coffey was arrested at 6 p.m. on June 5 on East Main Street in Batavia after police responded to a reported burglary in progress. While officers were en route, the suspect was located in the area and detained. Coffey is accused of breaking a window and stealing property from inside the building. He was due in Batavia City Court on June 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Nicole McGinnis.

Brandon James March, 32, of South Main Street, Batavia, is charged with disabling equipment -- preventing communication with emergency services, and fourth-degree grand larceny -- taking property from another person. March was arrested on Cone Street in Batavia at 10:05 p.m. on June 2 following a domestic incident. March is accused of taking a cell phone belonging to another person while that person was attempting to call 9-1-1. He was jailed without bail and was due in City 
Court June 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Andrew Charles Maier, 30, of Main Road, Corfu, is charged with aggravated DWI with a BAC of .18 percent or more with one prior conviction, DWI with a previous conviction within the last 10 years, and speeding over 55 mph. He was arrested at 8:29 p.m. on June 3 on Colby Road in Pembroke following a traffic stop. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Pembroke Court on July 18. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy McClellan, assisted by Deputy Eric Seppala.

Patrick D. Moore, 39, of Strouts Road, Elba, is charged with third-degree criminal mischief -- intentionally damaging another person's property in an amount greater than $250. Moore was arrested June 4 on an arrest warrant out of City Court. Batavia police were dispatched on March 1 to 13 Holland Ave., Batavia, for a disturbance. After an investigation, charges were levied and an arrest warrant was issued for Moore. He was due back in City Court on June 5. The case was handled by Batavia Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Chad Richards.

Bennie Wright, 32, of Jay Street, Rochester, is charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 5 p.m. on June 3, Wright allegedly stole money from another person on Central Avenue in Batavia by taking the money out of the person's hand. Wright was allegedly found to possess marijuana during his arrest. The case has handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Officer Jason Davis.

Nichol L. Schutt, 29, of West Crest Drive, Gates, is charged with second-degree harassment. On June 3, Batavia police arrested Schutt on an arrest warrant -- stemming from an unspecified incident at 1:50 a.m. on June 1 on West Main Street in Batavia -- after Gates police detained her for a traffic stop. She posted $500 bail and was released. She is due in City Court on June 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Morgan L. Cox Jr., 25, of Xavier Street, Clarence, is charged with DWI, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and refusal to take a breath test. Cox was arrested after an investigation into a fight that occurred on Trumbull Parkway, Batavia, at 11:05 p.m. on June 3. Witnesses allegedly identified Cox as being involved in the fight and claimed he drove away from the scene. He was located in the area and subsequently arrested. He was jailed on $1,000 bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Travis Martin Klotzbach, 26, of Elm Street, Batavia, is charged with: moving from lane unsafely; drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle on a highway; DWI -- common law; and aggravated DWI -- per se -- with a BAC of .18 percent or more. Klotzbach was arrested following a traffic stop at 10:02 p.m. on June 3 on Pearl Street. Police pulled over his 1997 blue Ford Expedition after a complaint of erratic driving. He was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while intoxicated with a BAC of .23 percent. He was issued traffic tickets and released. He is due in City Court on June 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Eric Bolles.

Aisha I. Culver, 18, of Willow Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment -- physical contact, and endangering the welfare of a child -- acting in a manner injurious to a child under age 17. She was arresred on May 26 on Willow Street. The charges are linked to a disturbance that police responded to at 8:05 p.m. on May 20 on Maple Street. She was released with an appearance ticket and was due in City Court on May 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Nicole McGinnis, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

David P. Grossman Sr., 34, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with obstructing governmental administration and unlawful possession of marijuana. The charges stem from an incident at 5:44 p.m. on March 1 on State Street, Batavia. Officers responded to a distrubance and it is alleged that Grossman Sr. was resistant with officers and tried to prevent the officers from taking him into custody. After his arrest, he was allegedly found to possess marijuana. He was due in City Court June 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Chad Richards, assisted by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Dora L. Poodry, 23, of East Main Street, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. She was arrested on May 28 on East Main Street in Batavia after allegedly stealing multiple items from a convenience store. She was issused an appearance ticket and was due in City Court on June 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Stephen Cronmiller, assisted by Officer Lindsay Christopher.

Thomas A. Carson, 41, of Wood Street, Batavia, was arrested on June 5 on a Batavia City Court bench warrant issued May 5. He was jailed on $2,500 bail and was due back in court the same day as his arrest, June 5. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Patrick J. Dickinson, 48, of East Henrietta Road, Henrietta, is charged with second-degree harassment and unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested following the investigation into a road rage incident which occurred at 10:05 a.m. on June 3 on Main Street in Batavia. Dickinson is accused of chasing down the occupants of another vehicle and shoving one of them. At the time of his arrest, marijuana was allegedly located inside his vehicle. He was released on an appearance ticket was due in City Court on June 6. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Christopher M. Grant, 28, of Schaefer Drive, West Seneca, was arrested June 3 on a bench warrant out of City Court. The warrant was issued after Grant failed to appear on a misdemeanor traffic ticket. He posted $250 bail and was released. He is due back in City Court on June 20. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay.

June 9, 2017 - 6:00pm

Don't miss the open house this Saturday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. for this solid and cozy brick ranch in Darien hamlet with great neighbors!

This home has loads of possibilities and plenty of spread-out room for its size! Hardwood floors throughout and mechanically up to date with newer furnace and metal roof. Downstairs features awesome walkout basement with great hobby shop and three additional rooms currently used as bedrooms and or playrooms...come check it out!

Call Lynn Bezon at Reliant Real Estate today to see this listing or stop by the open house this Saturday from 11 a.m - 1 p.m. Click here to see the full listing.

June 9, 2017 - 4:45pm

One of New England's largest dairy producers, HP Hood, with an increasing reach into New York, is acquiring the former Muller Quaker Dairy plant in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia.

The plant has been vacant, except for a few maintenance workers, since Theo Muller Group and PepsiCo dissolved their yogurt-making partnership in December 2015. A month later, Dairy Farmers of America, a dairy farmers cooperative, purchased the 363,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art milk processing facility for $60 million.

Since then, DFA has been mum about its plans for the plant, and for 2017, the company wound up paying all of the property taxes due on the two parcels, more than $650,000, because they were not meeting the employment obligations of the PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) agreement Muller Quaker received for the project.

Rumors have started circulating weeks ago that DFA planned to sell the plant to a large dairy producer.

Public documents released by the Genesee County Economic Development Center in advance of a meeting next week where new tax incentives will be considered indicate that Hood is the buyer. It is a 170-year-old company that does more than $2 billion in business annually, and is based in Lynnfield, Mass..

Hood is a subsidiary of Catamount Companies. The owner and CEO is John A. Kaneb, who is also a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox.

News of Hood's purchase is good news to local dairy farmers. Both Shelly Stein of Stein Farms and Dean Norton, former NY Farm Bureau president and owner of a dairy farm in Elba, said anything that creates more demand for local milk helps all farmers.

"Anything that can go into that plant and help with the oversupply of raw milk that we have in the Northeast right now, that would be good," Norton said.

Norton said he has met Kaneb a couple of times.

"He's a good guy and it's a pretty solid company," Norton said.

Bill Baskin, owner of Baskin Livestock in Bethany, got his start in the dairy business in Massachusetts, so he is very familiar with Hood and said it's a good, old, old, old company with deep roots in Boston.

The funny story, he said, is that his great uncles had a 700- or 800-cow dairy farm back in the 1940s and they didn't like the price they were getting from Hood for milk, so they started their own bottling plant, which years later they sold.

Both Stein and Norton are DFA members. Norton said he doesn't know, but he would expect that DFA will become the supplier of milk for Hood's operations.

Monica Massey, senior vice president and chief of staff for DFA, said she could not confirm the transaction with Hood.

"We are getting close to finalizing an agreement," she said.

Massey said DFA acquired the plant as a "strategic opportunity" because the region is an important and underserved milk shed.

Asked if DFA would supply milk to Hood, Massey said, "We acquired the facility because we thought it would benefit our member-owners." That is still the goal, she added.

Hood's purchase price for the former Muller Quaker plant has not been released, but GCEDC documents indicate that Hood plans to add another 100,000 square feet to the plant, which is already considered the largest in the United States, for a warehouse.

How much that additional investment will cost is not disclosed in the documents.

While Muller Quaker topped out at 162 jobs created, Hood promises 250 jobs at the plant, with an average annual salary of $47,000.

Hood plans to begin construction this summer and be operational by the first quarter of 2019.

Construction will create 524 jobs with a payroll of nearly $26 million.

The original cost of construction for the plant was $206 million, which is the cost of capital investment still tracked by GCEDC for its accounting purposes.

The GCEDC board will be asked to consider reinstating the PILOT, which will provide Hood with more than $7 million in tax abatements over 10 years, with an anticipated total economic benefit to the region of more than $330 million.

Hood has been expanding into New York and other parts of the United States over the past few years. In 2004, the company acquired Crowley Foods, based in Binghamton. It's also acquired dairy companies in Minnesota and Sacramento, Calif.

Eric Zuber, a local dairy farmer and VP of Upstate Niagara Milk Cooperative, said he hasn't heard what Hood plans to do with the plant, but like Stein and Norton, he believes anything that will "soak up some of the milk supply" is a good thing.

"There sure is a lot of milk around right now," he said. "A little more capacity with the right thing is a good thing. We need more processing capacity. I don't care where it comes from."

Hood and Kaneb, he said, have a good reputation in the dairy industry.

"He’s done a fantastic job with (Hood)," Zuber said. "They know how to manage a milk plant. Whatever they decided to do, I'm sure it's going to be first class."

June 9, 2017 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia.

Several city police units are responding to Holland Avenue for a reported fight outside involving several people. The call was then switched to a secure communications channel.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: There was Taser deployment.

UPDATE 4:47 pm.: Mercy medics are en route to 1 Holland Ave.

UPDATE 4:48 p.m.; A male subject suffered a BB shot to the chest.

UPDATE 4:53 p.m.: An ambulance from Alexander is called to respond to the city's incident involving "several victims of assault."

UPDATE 5:16 p.m.: City fire is responding to a reported cooking fire on the stove at 23 Holland Ave., which is also one of the places involving people in the police incident.

UPDATE 5:22 p.m.: The fire appears to be out, according to a dispatcher.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: Medics are transporting to UMMC a 45-year-old male who was pepper sprayed in the face and a 16 50-year-old male who was shot in the chest with a BB gun. 

UPDATE 6:44 p.m.: Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch at the scene said the call that came in was for a fight involving about 30 people, including the possible use of weapons. Police responded and the incident involved a number of mostly juveniles. Some adults, possibly parents, were also at the scene. At least one adult male was Tazed and another adult male -- or possibly even the same one -- was pepper sprayed by police. A witness said initially, before officers arrived, there was shouting, some individuals took their shirts off, then fighting ensued. Police arrived shortly thereafter, along with medics, and the city fire department responded to a cooking incident -- stove fire that spread to a wall -- that occurred during the ruckus. Heubusch said a press release is being prepared and will be released later.

June 9, 2017 - 3:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Grand Jury, crime, batavia, animal cruelty.

Joseph B. James is indicted for the crime of second-degree assault, a Class D violent felony. It is alleged that on May 7 in the City of Batavia that James, with intent to prevent a police officer from performing a lawful duty, caused physical injury to a police officer. In count two, James is accused of the crime of third-degree criminal mischeif, a Class E felony. It is alleged in count two that James damaged another person's property in an amount exceeding $250 -- a surveillance camera and housing in the holding room at the BPD on West Main Street in the City of Batavia.

Shawn M. Twardowski is indicted for the crime of third-degree robbery, a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Jan. 26 in the City of Batavia that the defendant forcibly stole property -- a cell phone. In count, Twardowski is accused of the crime of cruelty to animals, a Class A misdemeanor, according to the state Agriculture and Markets Law Section 353, and it is alleged that he cruelly beat and strangled a dog belonging to a female.

Darrell Smith is indicted for the crime of first-degree coercion, a Class D felony, for allegedly threatening to kill three people on May 6 in the City of Batavia. Smith is accused of compelling or inducing a male to abstain from engaging in conduct in which he had a legal right to engage. Smith allegedly held a knife in his hand and a glass bottle in another as a means of instilling fear in the victim that, if his demand was not complied with, the defendant would cause him physical injury. Smith allegedly threatened the victim with physical injury if the victim were to try and leave the residence before "he produced property demanded by the defendant." In counts two and three, Smith is accused of the same crime on the same day involving another male victim and a female victim, respectively. In count four, Smith is accused of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, a Class A misdemeanor, by applying pressure on the throat or neck of a male victim. In count five, Smith is accused of fourth-degree criminal mischief, also a Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally damaging another person's property -- a shelving/stereo unit and items displayed or stored on the unit. In count six, Smith is accused of second-degree menacing, another Class A misdemeanor, for allegedly intentionally placing or attempting to place a male victim in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a deadly weapon -- a knife.

June 9, 2017 - 3:08pm

Public Health Column from the Genesee County Health Department:

Do you know that mammals, including humans, can contract rabies? Bats, raccoons, foxes and skunks are assumed to be infected with this deadly virus and must be avoided. In any case with animals, it is better to love your own and leave others alone!

What is rabies? How is it transmitted? What are Signs & Symptoms?

Rabies is a virus that attacks the nervous system of mammals, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. There are more than 4,000 different species of mammals, all of which are vertebrates (they have a backbone or spine), are endothermic (“warm-blooded”), have hair on their bodies, and produce milk to feed their babies.

Transmission of the rabies virus usually begins when the saliva of an infected host is passed to an uninfected mammal. The most common way rabies is transmitted is through the bite and virus-containing saliva of an infected host. Other routes include contamination of mucous membranes (i.e., eyes, nose, mouth), aerosol transmission, and organ transplantations.

The first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu including general weakness or discomfort, fever or headache. These symptoms may last for days. There may also be discomfort or a prickling or itching sensation at the bite site, progressing within days to symptoms of cerebral (brain) dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, agitation.

As the disease progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations and insomnia. Common signs of rabies in animals are; nocturnal (night) animals active during daylight, foaming of the mouth, overly aggressive, or uncoordinated. The acute period of disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days.  Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive.

What to do if potentially exposed to rabies?

“If you are bitten, or if infectious material (such as saliva) from a wild or stray animal gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, or a cut, wash the area with soap/water and call your doctor or local County Health Department immediately. Please note that bats have very tiny, razor-sharp teeth so you may not feel or see a bite mark,” said Sarah Balduf, director of Environmental Health for Genesee & Orleans Counties.

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to safely capture the suspect animal if it has or may have been in contact with people, pets or livestock so it can be tested for rabies. Capturing the suspect animal for testing is important because unnecessary medical treatment to people and confinement of pets or livestock may be avoidable.

“To diagnosis the rabies virus in animals testing the tissue of the brain is needed. Keep this in mind when capturing the animal because damage to the head/brain can cause it to be untestable. If treatment is recommended, it consists of a series of four shots, over a period of 14 days. An additional fifth dose of rabies vaccine is given on day 28 to immunocompromised patients (less capable of battling infections),” Balduf said.

*A link to a video on how to safely capture a bat is located below.

How do you to prevent rabies?

Rabies is 100-percent preventable! Here are some ways to protect your families and animals.

·      Don't feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats, including the babies.

·      Be sure your pet dogs, cats and ferrets as well as horses and valuable livestock animals are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Vaccination protects pets if they are exposed to rabid animals. Pets too young to be vaccinated (under 3 months old) should be kept indoors and allowed outside only under direct observation.  Keep family pets indoors at night. Do not leave them outside unattended or let them roam free.

·      Do not attract wild animals to your home or yard. Keep your property free of stored bird seed or other foods that may attract wild animals. Feed pets indoors.  Tightly cap or put away garbage cans. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cap your chimney with screens. Bats can get in spaces as small as the width of a pencil.

·      If nuisance wild animals are living in parts of your home, consult with a nuisance wildlife control expert about having them removed. You can find wildlife control experts, who work on a fee-for-service basis, in your telephone directory under pest control.

·      Teach children not to touch any animal they do not know and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten by any animal.

·      If a wild animal is on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors who are outside. You may contact a nuisance wildlife control expert who will remove the animal for a fee.

Upcoming Dog, Cat and Ferret Anti-Rabies Vaccination Clinics:

Clinics are free to county residents -- charges may apply for out of county residents.

Donations are appreciated -- for complete details visit the county health department’s website.

Genesee County Clinics are held on Thursdays from 4 - 7 p.m.:

  • Aug. 17th, Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5031 E. Main St., Batavia
  • Sept. 21st, Pembroke Highway Department, 1145 Main Road (Route 5), Pembroke
  • Oct. 19th, Le Roy Village Highway Garage, 58 N. Main St., Le Roy

For more information on rabies, how to catch a bat safely, and much more visit,

For information about Health Department services contact,

June 9, 2017 - 12:00pm

YMCA Summer Camp 2017 registration is underway! Register today for YMCA Kinder Camp or traditional Day Camp. Spaces are limited and programs fill up fast. This summer's dates are from June 26th – Aug. 25th. You can register for a week or as many as you’d like.

•  Kinder Camp is for children ages 3 to 5 and is ideal for families looking for safe, structured play this summer. Kinder Camp fosters social development, problem solving, team building and self-esteem. With two options to choose from, 5 day or 3 day, we have something to fit the needs of all parents.
•  Traditional Day Camp is for ages 6 – 12 and is the perfect place for children to have a fun and safe summer. Day Camp allows children to grow and thrive while working with peer groups and enjoying a variety of both indoor and outdoor games and activities. Each week is based around a special theme and we offer age-appropriate activities like sports and games, arts and crafts, weekly field trips, swimming and more.

Our caring and nurturing staff are carefully selected based on their previous experience and schooling. This ensures that our staff is the perfect fit for making your family's summer experience one you will never forget.

YMCA Day Camp is certified by the New York State Health Department and we adhere to strict safety regulations. Register for one week or join us for all nine. The YMCA offers flexible enrollment and payment plans to fit the needs of any family. The Y also provides scholarships to those who qualify which makes YMCA summer camp one of the most affordable options around. For more information on the YMCA’s summer camp programs or to register, contact the YMCA at 585-344-1664 today.

June 9, 2017 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in uber, lyft, ride sharing, news, business.

The demand for ride sharing in Western New York, including Genesee County, is strong and has been growing for years, according to the two leading companies expected to provide service locally as soon as it's legal on June 29.

Representatives of both Uber and Lyft said they anticipate being able to provide service to Batavia and the rest of the county that day and they're getting ready to meet the demand.

Both companies are eager to be ready for a potential surge in demand around the July 4 holiday.

Ride-sharing services are a child of the mobile digital age, allowing private drivers to make themselves available to offer rides to people who hail them through a mobile app on a smartphone.

Both Uber and Lyft have become global companies with valuations in the billions of dollars and both companies compete fiercely for drivers and riders. It's been years since either company has been able to expand service in a U.S. market, such as Upstate New York.

Sen. Micheal Ranzenhofer sponsored a bill passed by NYS Legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make ride sharing legal Upstate in time for the July 4 weekend, after the Legislature had previously approved ride sharing this year.

The lobbying effort by Uber and Lyft included more than $2.6 million combined in campaign contributions. Details do not yet seem available on how much in campaign contributions Ranzenhofer might have received.

A spokesperson for Uber said the company has been eager to start service in Upstate because the demand for the service has been so strong. Certainly in Buffalo, but even in Genesee County, said Alix Anfang, adding that drivers have been signing up in numbers that give the company confidence they will be able to provide fast and reliable service.

"New York, Upstate New York, is one of the last places in the country to have access to ride sharing and people in the area have been demanding it for years," Anfang said. "The governor and the Legislature listened to their constituents and their desire for better transportation options and we're excited we will be able to offer the service."

While there are small cab companies in Batavia and a bus service, ride sharing helps enhance those services rather than compete against them, Anfang said.

"The reports show that more the ride sharing available, the more people use public transit," Anfang said. "The real competition for ride sharing is personal car ownership."

Oftentimes, Anfang said, ride sharing is a "last-mile solution" for people who would want to use public transit, but a bus doesn't get them close enough to their intended destination. Many ride sharing customers, she said, take a bus and then use ride sharing for that last mile.

"If you can get reliable ride sharing, you're more likely to leave your car at home," she said.

Bar and restaurant owners may be one of the biggest beneficiaries of ride sharing. It's smarter to hail a ride, and even plan ahead, with an app on a smartphone than it is to risk a DWI arrest, which is one reason Uber and Lyft were eager to get the service legal and up and running by July 4.

Uber isn't just successful in large cities, Anfang said. Throughout the country, Uber has found willing drivers and demand for services in rural areas as well.

"We want to be everywhere and serve every customer as soon as we possibly can and we're working to make sure we can be ready, especially with the July 4th holiday coming," Anfang said.

Campbell Matthews, representing Lyft, provided the following statement:

"We are excited to officially become a part of communities across New York State,” said Jaime Raczka, regional director of New Markets for Lyft.  “In every community in which ride sharing operates, it improves road safety, boosts local economies, and brings local families needed income.

"We thank the thousands of New York State residents who fought to bring these benefits to their neighborhoods and cities, and we look forward to becoming New Yorkers' ride-sharing platform of choice.”

UPDATE: Daniel Aikin, a spokesman for Micheal Ranzenhofer, said the senator hasn't take a dime in contributions from either Uber or Lyft. "His support for the expansion of ride-sharing across Western New York is a result of thousands of Upstate New Yorkers demanding access to this new, safe and reliable transportation option."

June 9, 2017 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Station, Dellapenna Building, batavia, news.


The financing of the Ellicott Station project by Buffalo-Based Savarino Companies is complicated, but it's moving along at a swift pace and CEO Sam Savarino doesn't expect any delays in financing that would prevent construction from the starting this summer.

Savarino Companies will have a direct investment of about $3.5 million and will borrow approximately another $10 million or more and local, state, and federal programs will cover another $5 million or so of the more than $18 million in project expenses (a bit of an increase over prior project estimates).

Assistance programs to make the project viable come in three forms: tax abatements from the Genesee County Economic Development Center, grants from the State of New York, and a federal New Market Tax Credit program.

"We knew going in we had a hole in this budget of about $5 million," Savarino said. "The state came in, Empire State Development, and filled part of the hole with the grants that they have, but it's still left us out there and that's why we went out we said we need enough allocation to fill that hole."

That hole is being filled by the New Market Tax Credit program, created about two decades ago in part to replace grants that financed many failed urban renewal programs. Tax credits on the project that can be sold as assets help create a market-driven way to encourage development in economically distressed neighborhoods. It's a way for the market to help decide which projects are worthy of assistance rather than the federal government making the decision.

The tax credits are administered by Community Development Entities (these can be for-profit companies or nonprofit agencies). The CDEs decide which projects to back. The tax credits are then sold to investors, who can use the tax credits or sell them on the open market.

"An area like this particular area is a distressed area," Savarino said. "It's got way more unemployment than other areas in the county. It's got way more incidents of poverty of people living there, more than any other part of the county. It's also a brownfield site. So it's got all those things going against it. That's just the type of site -- and by the way that has prevented its redevelopment --  it makes it too expensive to really redevelop. It's not really marketable. That's exactly the type of project that the New Market Tax Credit program is meant to address. But there are federal tax credits and they're meant to bring life into sites and generally in cities that don't have that much of a chance."

Julie Pacatte, economic development coordinator for the Batavia Development Corp., said Ellicott Station is unique in the county because the total investment exceeds $5 million to $10 million, which is necessary to even attract New Market Tax Credits.

"That's what makes it difficult for rural communities to access the program because projects generally don't project to that kind of scale to access the program," Pacatte said.

Savarino said the Ellicott Station project will use about $7.5 million in tax credits, which will translate into about $2.5 million in direct investment into the project.

Without the assistance programs, traditional lenders wouldn't even consider a project with the liabilities of the former Della Penna property, which needs extensive environmental remediation and is in a neighborhood with higher than average unemployment and lower than average incomes.

"There's no way it would even be financeable," Savarino said. "It's not just a developer like ourselves coming in and so everybody can gainsay your efforts over there because of you and you are out there trying to -- you're not going to do this to lose money. We're judged more harshly by the people who come and provide the financing for something like this.

"So we take a risk for going out and risking that we're going to lease up these units. We're risking that will lease up the commercial space. We're taking the risk that we've got a cap on the cost, and we have all the normal risk that you have (in a development)."

Some of the risk is mitigated by the fact that Savarino has already secured an anchor tenant for the project, Resurgence Brewery, out of Buffalo, which will open a restaurant, beer garden and sour beer brewery at the location. That business is expected to create at least 15 full-time jobs.

Savarino said the Resurgence owners are eager to get going and would move in today if they could.

The complicated financing isn't anything new for Savarino Companies, which has been involved in redeveloping several properties in Buffalo that were also highly distressed and needed to make variety a variety of financing and investment options to make them viable. 

The New Market Tax Credit is limited to the commercial side of the project. For that, Savarino must secure the tax credits, attract the investors, find additional financing, get the proper approvals from local and state officials, and then the company must still also secure financing for the apartment complex.

Over the course of planning, the apartment complex has gone from 30 units to 42, to 47, and now the plans call for 54 units.

"When we started laying it out and we actually got the building down, we got to our unit mix and it turned out that we could fit 54 units in there," Savarino said.

That's one reason the costs have gone up a bit, but a recent environmental examination of the property also uncovered a surprise -- a previously unknown storm water drainage canal running under the entire length property.

The canal -- they're calling it the "Grand Canal" -- shows up on no maps, no site drawings, no infrastructure maps. It was built of brick long, long ago and forgotten about.

There's also evidence of contamination in the canal.

The best-case scenario is the canal can be declared as abandoned and filled in (as a matter of engineering, the buildings can't just be built on top of it), but if it needs to be rerouted, it can either be mitigated by connecting it to existing drainage lines under Ellicott Street or put under the easement for the new Ellicott Trail, which will run behind Ellicott Station. Savarino isn't expecting the canal to blow up the budget.

"Some of that is just the nature of the brownfield redevelopment and the remediation program of the state's is intended to offset those costs," Savarino said. "So to the extent that you find something that's a little worse than what you knew about, your site-prep costs will go up, and hopefully it works out such that you get the tax credits to offset that cost."

Savarino and Pacatte were at the Genesee County Planning Board meeting last night as part of the process of getting land-use approvals for the project.

The planning committee recommended approval of the site plan.

The project moves forward next with a GCEDC public hearing June 20 on the $1.5 million tax incentive package, which includes breaks on sales and mortgage tax, and a payment in lieu of taxes plan on the new tax liabilities generated by the increase in assessed value of the property. That same day, the city's Planning Committee will review the site plan and on June 22, the Zoning Board will review the plan.

This morning, the County Legislature held a special meeting to approve a $225,000 grant to assist construction of the brewery and restaurant for Resurgence Brewery. The grant is a pass-through of federal Community Development Block Grant money administered by the state's Office of Community Renewal. The special meeting was necessary because today was the deadline for completing the application.

Savarino said he doesn't anticipate any delays in financing, that financing should close in July and construction will begin in August.


June 8, 2017 - 6:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, corfu, Stafford, Darien, pembroke, news.

Christina V. Dadey, 43, of Corfu, is facing numerous charges after an investigation following a 9-1-1 call about an erratic driver around 4 p.m. on June 7. Dadey was stopped on Gulf Road in the Village of Wyoming by Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Chase and Sgt. Colin Reagan. They had responded to a call that originated in Genesee County about a vehicle that was all over the road. The vehicle had failed to keep right and the driver was pulled over and a roadside investigation was completed along with field sobriety testing. Dadey was subsequently arrested on suspicion of DWI and transported to the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office where she allegedly supplied a positive BAC or .18 percent or higher. She was charged with DWI, aggravated DWI, failure to use an ignition interlock device and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Dadley was convicted earlier this year of DWI, making this a felony arrest. She was put in Wyoming County Jail on $500 cash bail or $2,000 bond. She is due in Town of Middlebury Court on June 19.

Marissa Marie Yott, 21, of Livingston Street, Warsaw, is charged with second-degree assault. Yott was arrested at 7 p.m. on June 3 on Alleghany Road in Darien after allegedly striking another person in the head with a glass bottle, which caused injury to the victim. Yott was arraigned in Pembroke Town Court and subsequently released under supervision of Genesee Justice pending futher court appearances to be scheduled in Darien Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Graff, assisted by Deputy Ryan Young.

Jordan David Edenholm, 28, of Gabbey Road, Corfu, is charged with: operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more, first offense; DWI -- first offense; DWAI (driving while ability impaired) -- combined influence of drugs or alcohol and drugs; criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th; and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 7:57 a.m. on June 8, Edenholm was arrested on Griswold Road in Stafford. Following a traffic stop, Genesee County Sheriff's deputies conducted an inventory search of the vehicle and allegedly found a controlled substance and marijuana. The defendant was released on appearance tickets and is due in Stafford Town Court on July 27. The case was handled by Deputy Chad Cummings, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

June 8, 2017 - 6:30pm

Open House this Sunday June 11 from 1-3 p.m. and again Wednesday June 14th from 5:30-7:30 p.mEVERYTHING BRAND NEW! (2016-2017) Three bedroom, 1683-square-foot ranch on 2.3 acres. NEW roof, gutters, vinyl-brick siding-deck, patio, electric, plumbing. Custom built oak kitchen, granite countertop, stainless steel appliances, waterproofed basement, attached garage, shed, two wood-burning fireplaces, first-floor laundry. Interior & exterior quality workmanship. Central air. Public water. Caledonia Mumford Schools. Call Nancy Crocker to view this listing or click here for more information.

June 8, 2017 - 6:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Lost Dog, pets, batavia.

This afternoon, a reader named Tracy Gaus submitted this photo of a lost dog and sent us this email:

"This very friendly dog was found wandering around our back yard (at) 3701 Pearl Street Road, Batavia. The dog does have a choke collar with a rabies tag. But no other ID. Can anyone help us find his home? I can be reached at (585) 409-0826."

UPDATE Friday, June 9, 2:37 p.m.: We are happy to report that shortly before 9 a.m. this morning, Tracy Gaus emailed us and told us the dog has been reunited with its family.

June 8, 2017 - 4:43pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, Le Roy, planning.


Le Roy is open to anything at this stage regarding waterfront and downtown revitalization, Mayor Greg Rogers said at a strategic planning meeting on Wednesday. 

Rogers opened the meeting, explaining that Le Roy received a grant for planning the revitalization of Main Street and the waterfront. He said they put together a planning committee for this.

“We’re just trying to make Le Roy better than what it is now and it’s pretty darn good now,” Rogers said. 

John Steinmetz, a member of the committee, said the biggest challenge is that there are many ideas, but that they still want more. He said they are in the very beginning planning stages.

“We’ve been at this about a month,” Steinmetz said. “We were awarded the grant well over a year ago, but it took about a year to get the contract from the state. Now it’s officially a go.”

Residents at the meeting expressed their concerns about always having a plan for Le Roy, but never following through. Steinmetz said he thinks there hasn’t been enough momentum for the previous plans to follow through.

“Le Roy has done a lot of planning,” Steinmetz said. “The problem is, it’s not in one place. This grant is a way to say, ‘Are these ideas still relevant? What are the new ideas the community has?' and 'Let’s put them all in one document.’ ”

Steinmetz encouraged residents to think big and small when generating ideas.

“The most successful communities make sure the buildings designed can be reused,” Steinmetz said.

During the meeting, attendees rated pictures from other local communities, in order to give the committee an idea of what the public wants to see, regarding landscaping, residential development and mixed-use development.

Attendees were then put into three groups to brainstorm ideas they had for Le Roy, regarding specific parts of town.

Sandy Brady, a Le Roy resident, said there should be a bike path.

“We missed out when we did some work on Main Street,” Brady said. “We didn’t leave a bike path. Wherever you go these days, there’s a bike path.”

Brady said that bikes are everywhere nowadays and Le Roy does not have enough bike paths.

“It’s a different time now,” Brady said. “It’s many years later and we feel differently about bikes."

Committee Member Molly Gaudioso said this meeting was essential for them to hear what is important to the community.

“We want to know what ideas are out there,” Gaudioso said. “Of the ideas are already in plans, we want to know what ideas still make sense. It’s our job now to take this and make some sense out of it and put it into the plans.”

Steinmetz said the next meeting will be held toward year's end or the beginning of 2018.




June 8, 2017 - 3:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, business, batavia.

Press release:

The marketing efforts of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) were recognized during the New York State Economic Development Council’s (NYSEDC) annual meeting in Cooperstown on May 24th and 25th.

The GCEDC received Certificates in Excellence in the categories of Multimedia Advertising and Printed & Electronic Newsletter and Honorable Mention in the Brochure and Annual Report categories.

The Multimedia Advertising Award is shared between the City of Batavia, the Batavia Development Corporation and the GCEDC. That award recognized the “Bet on Batavia” video produced in 2016 for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative competition

“We were very proud of the collaboration to produce the ‘Bet on Batavia’ video,” said Jason Molino, Batavia city manager. “We will once again utilize the video, and other social media platforms and strategies as we pursue funding from New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative."

“Collaboration is an extremely important component of economic development especially in presenting a unified vision for a community and region,” said Pierluigi Cipollone, president of the Batavia Development Corporation. “In this instance, the video told a powerful story about the uniqueness and pride we have in our city.”

The NYSEDC annually recognizes the economic development marketing efforts of its member organizations.

“These awards demonstrate creativity, impact, and visual appeal by our members who are effectively marketing their communities for economic development purposes,” said Brian McMahon, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council.

“Economic development is extremely competitive with regions, states and countries competing against each other, so it is imperative that our marketing materials stand out among those making investment decisions in Batavia and Genesee County,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO, GCEDC.

“Our marketing team under Rachel Tabelski and the marketing professionals at our economic development partners do a tremendous job in distinguishing our region through the materials they collaborate on to produce.”

NYSEDC has been the state’s principle organization representing economic development professionals, businesses, and colleges and universities for more than 40 years.

June 8, 2017 - 1:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Foxprowl, downtown, batavia, business, news.


Saying it's a reality of business these days, Foxprowl Collectibles announced on Facebook that it is closing its downtown store, though the business will continue as an online-only business.

"This is by no means the business ending," Bill Hume said in the statement. "It is simply changing and adapting with the current state of retail (over 50 percent of U.S. retail sales now occur online)."

Hume, who operated the business with his wife, Joy, started Foxprowl as an online-only business and opened a store on Ellicott Street in 2010. They moved the store to Main and Jackson streets less than a year ago, in September 2016.

Foxprowl won the Chamber's "Entrepreneurial Business of the Year" award for 2016.

The store also operates an annual local comic and collectibles convention, Foxprowl Con. Hume said the convention will be on hiatus this year because of the business transition but will return in 2018.

The physical store location closing is effective July 1.

Photo: File photo of Joy and Bill Hume.

June 8, 2017 - 8:58am
posted by Maria Pericozzi in news, batavia, Genesee County History Department, Emory Upton.


At the end of May, the Genesee County History Department received a collection of $10,000 worth of Emory Upton documents from a donor from Georgia.

Michael Eula, Ph.D., the county historian, said the donation is a type that is usually received by large university libraries.

“We have a number of his papers here already,” Eula said. “These are all originals.”

Salvatore Cilella, of Atlanta, donated the documents.

The collection consist of 28 documents dating between 1862 and 1892. These include special orders, military passes and letters to friends and family.

Also included is a Western Union telegram from 1864. Upton wrote to his brother, Parley, about the wound he suffered at the Battle of Winchester.

Eula said there is no plan for the Upton documents to be put on display at this time.

“This is the sort of thing that UB would get,” Eula said. “I am proud to say that we have it here.”

Eula said Upton is one of Genesee County’s most famous people.

According to a history compiled by Eula, Upton was born on Aug. 27, 1839 on a farm near what is now in Batavia. He was the 10th child born to Electra and Daniel Upton.

Upton attended Oberlin College, transferring to the U.S. Military Academy, graduating shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, in 1861.

Being in his mid-20s, Upton rose to the rank of Major General by the end of the war.

“He had displayed his bravery and leadership skills at such noteworthy Civil War battles as Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg,” Eula wrote.

In 1868, Emily Martin married Upton in Auburn. She died from tuberculosis a little more than two years later in 1870.

After the Civil War, Upton became an educator and policy maker through his tenure as Commandant of Cadets at West Point and through his research and writing.

Upton published “A New System of Infantry Tactics” in 1867. His other famous work, “The Military Policy of the United States,” was published in 1904. It analyzed American military practices and examined the nation’s military history.

“Upton was more than a West Point graduate and a Civil War hero,” Eula wrote. “He was more than an accomplished scholar who met a sad end. He was instead a clear product of his historical moment.”

In 1881, Upton committed suicide while serving as the Commanding Officer of the 4th U.S. Artillery at the Presidio in San Francisco.

“Why had he taken his own life?” Eula wrote. “For some, it was believed that he never fully came to term with Emily’s passing. For others, it was the result of severe headaches which had become so overwhelming that the only recourse was this ultimate physical escape.”







June 8, 2017 - 8:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Players, harvest 56 theater, theater, arts, entertaiment, news.


Edith Bouvier Beale once famously said, "It could have been me instead of Jackie Kennedy in the White House."

It's not that Beale was ever courted by Jack Kennedy, but she was engaged to Joe Kennedy Jr., the young man his father groomed to eventually become president before he was killed in World War II.

We meet a young and potentially betrothed Joe  Jr. in G'rey Gardens, The Musical," being staged this weekend and next by Batavia Players at the Harvest 56 Theater.

Society and history might have forgotten the Beales except that two, young, aspiring documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles happened across Edith Bouvier Beale, known as "Little Edie," and her mother, "Big Edie," living alone, mostly confined to a single room, of their once-majestic East Hampton mansion in 1975. 

The Maysles brothers secured permission to show up at the mansion, known as Grey Gardens, and film whatever they saw. In an age before reality TV, the Beale women were unselfconscious and uninhibited in letting their lives be documented, with all of their odd, besotted and eccentric peculiarities. 

The documentary was critically acclaimed in 1976 but faded into near oblivion, except as a cult favorite, until resurrected in the age of Netflix and 500-channel cable boxes. That led to a feature film, starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore, and finally a hit Broadway musical.

The Batavia Players are presenting one of the first off-Broadway performances.

"Grey Gardens has been a unique kind of cult following, you know -- Americana story, for quite a few years," said Pat Burk, who is producing and directing the show. "I know that that's a lot of adjectives to describe it, but I don't know how else to describe it.

"The reason why Batavian Players wanted to do it was because we have always looked for sort of new and original things that can be done in the community that normally would not be done by another theater company," Burk added. "It just seemed like the right fit and I knew I had the perfect cast and I was kind of like stalking them for a little while to make sure that I had the right cast for the show."

We spoke with Burk during a taping of the WBTA radio show "Genesee Life," which is normally hosted by Lucine Kauffman. Kauffman is an avid fan of Grey Gardens, and really, a kind of subject-area expert on the documentary. Since she couldn't interview herself, The Batavian stepped as guest host (you can hear the full broadcast on WBTA's website).

"It was really just by accident (that I found the documentary)," Kauffman said. "I was browsing through Netflix -- this had to have been at least five years ago -- and I love documentaries, so I was looking to the documentary section and came across 'Grey Gardens.' I thought 'oh this sounds interesting' and watched it and just fell in love with the movie and the characters."

Like many Grey Gardens fans, Kauffman has delved deeper into the background and history of the Bouviers and the Beales and the lives of Edith and Edie, so when she heard Batavia Players was going to stage the musical, she certainly wanted to audition for the part, and in fact Burk already had her in mind to play Edith in the second act.

"She was a Bohemian and she was an artist -- she wanted to sing," Kauffman said. "She did sing in at parties. She did give some concerts, smaller concerts.

"We take for granted," Kauffman added, "that the Kennedys were a very prominent Catholic family and that it was the WASPS, the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, were the ones who were dominating the social scene. And Phalen (Beale, husband of Edith and an uncle to Jackie), and I think Major Bouvier, to an extent, wanted to fit in with that WASP culture, and so Phalen was very conservative socially. He did not want his wife out singing in public and giving concerts. He thought she should act like a reserved society matron. She fought against that.

"When they bought Grey Gardens -- when they first married they lived in Manhattan -- when they bought Grey Gardens out on Long Island he basically just let her give recitals in the home for some of her friends. I think it broke her heart because I think she really thought she could have been a star."

The star of the documentary is, perhaps, Little Edie, the once-gorgeous, former '40s-era debutante who may have been engaged to Joe Kennedy Jr., who turned down a proposal from J. Paul Getty, and probably dated Howard Hughes. By the 1970s, in a dilapidated mansion, she seems a little touched.

"She went out with the creme de la creme of the most eligible bachelors," Kauffman said. "She was a debutante. She was absolutely gorgeous. She did some modeling."

The musical's two acts are set in better times and decaying times, first when the Beales still had some money, were still young and living the life of high society, and then in the second act Edith and Edie are living with a motley bunch of cats and scavaging raccoons. The first act is largely fictional, providing a backdrop to how the family was torn apart, and the second act cuts closer to the Beales' life as revealed by Maysles brothers.

One of the fascinating turns of the documentary is the creative ways Edie wears clothes, turning mundane garments into fashion statements, always wearing a turban or head scarf of some sort, adorned with a favorite brooch.

That came about, it seems, Kauffman said, because the Beales had no money left, or not much of it. Major Bouvier had cut his daughter Edith from the will, and once Edith and Phalen divorced, Phalen didn't pay alimony, he just left her the mansion and a small stipend. 

"So imagine you have this house, this big mansion, and you have no money for upkeep or maintenance. You don't have money to go out and buy new clothing or new furniture," Kauffman said. "You see the decay. Everything is pretty much exactly the way it was but decayed, and as far as the clothing choices, I think she (Little Edie) just made do with what she had. You know she might have had this old brown skirt from the '40s and she just turned it upside down and pinned a brooch to it. She wanted to create a new fashion out of what she had."

The first performance is Friday at 7:30 p.m. There are also shows Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., then again the following weekend with shows on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students.

The cast is: 

  • Edith Bouvier Beale (Act 1 Prologue/Act 2) -- Lucine Kauffman
  • Edith Bouvier Beale (Act 1) /Edie Beale (Act 2) -- Jennifer Neroni-Trupo
  • “Young” Edie Beale (Act1) -- Kristin Gelia
  • George Gould Strong-- Dylan Tomas Kastel
  • Jackie Bouvier -- Kathryn Fitzpatrick
  • Lee Bouvier -- Leigh Le Fevre
  • Brooks Jr/Sr. -- Gregory Munroe
  • Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. -- Colin Fleming
  • Major Bouvier -- James Barcomb
  • Jerry -- Jonah Bower
  • Norman Vincent Peale -- Jim Bauer

Musicians: Cindy Baldwin, Bob Chaplin, Tristan Korzelius, Pamela Wentworth, Kathy White, Melzie Case.









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