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February 19, 2018 - 3:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, ice hockey, batavia, Ramparts, Squirt B.
 
Submitted photo and press release from Ritchie Kirkum:
 
The Batavia Ramparts Squirt B team won the Tier 2 Championship this weekend at the Rock & Roll tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. They are coached by Rob Smith, Randy Havens and Steve Tanner.

Tournament stats:
 
Colton Smith -- two goals
Ashton Pfendler -- three goals
Cooper Augello -- four assists
Cole Davis -- two goals, one assist
Colin Kirkum -- two goals including the game winner in overtime to win the championship.
 
Colin was named MVP.
February 19, 2018 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, crime, elba, batavia, notify.

Laura Del Carmen Vazquez Coronado, 38, of North Byron Road, Elba, is charged with DWI, unsafe backing, moving from lane unsafely, driving on the shoulder. Vazquez Coronado was charged following a motor-vehicle accident reported at 7:06 a.m. Thursday on North Byron Road, Elba. The accident was investigated by Deputy James Stack.

Devon Robert Peters, 23, of Franklin Street, Batavia, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana, driving a vehicle without an inspection sticker, and failure to notify DMV of an address change. Peters was stopped at 9:26 a.m. Sunday on Route 33, Bergen, by Deputy Kyle Krzemien.

Joseph Earnest Marr, 39, of Nesbitt Road, Attica, and Jenna L. Josephite, 29, of Main Street Road, Batavia, are charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Marr and Josephite are accused of using cocaine while in the presence of a 1-year-old child before driving the child from Attica to Batavia while under the influence of drugs.

Douglas Brian Uberty, 45, of North Main Street, Warsaw, is charged with unlawful surveillance, 2nd. Uberty is accused of using a mobile phone to take pictures under the clothes of a person while at Walmart.

February 19, 2018 - 9:04am
Event Date and Time: 
April 14, 2018 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Chicken & Biscuit Dinner with Chinese Basket Auction
April 14, 2018
Salvation Army, 529 E. Main St., Batavia, New York • 4:30 - 6:00
Price $10.00
Take Outs at 4:30
Tickets available at the Salvation Army, from Salvation Army Women's auxiliary members AND at the door.
 585-343-6284

 
 
February 18, 2018 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alpine Ski Team, skiing, sports, batavia.

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Earlier this week, both the boys and the girls Alpine Ski teams finished in ninth place at the sectional championships at Bristol Mountain in what Coach Matt Holman described as a deep Class A field.

For the boys, top finishers for were Brandon Bradley (33rd in Slalom, 38th in Giant Slalom), Zack Wagner (35th in SL, 43rd in GS) Alec Wagner (40th in GS), Matt Grover (41st in GS), Ryan Bowen (36th in SL, 47th in GS).

For the girls, top finishers were Aubrey Towner (30th in SL, 31st in GS) and Lily Whiting (38th in GS).

Holman said Batavia has had a ski team since 1991 and he's encouraging more students to participate.

"With the Olympics in full swing," he said, "if anyone who is a student in the Batavia Middle or High School is interested in learning more about ski racing can contact Coach Matt Holman by emailing him at [email protected]."  

If you are not a Batavia City School District student and interested in ski racing, contact your school's athletic director. In the past Notre Dame High School and Elba Central Schools have been represented in the Southern Tier Race League and have trained with the Batavia Ski Team.

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February 17, 2018 - 6:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in fire, news, batavia, notify.

A garage fire is reported at 17 Porter Ave. City fire is responding. The location is between West Main Street and Washington Avenue.

UPDATE 6:23 p.m.: Fire is out. Mercy medics responding to a victim with burns on his arm(s).

UPDATE 7 p.m.: According to Lt. Greg Ireland, City fire, a small box was on fire in the garage and the resident had it 95 percent out when firefighters arrived. A fire investigation team from City fire is investigating the cause of the fire. The resident was transported to UMMC for treatment.

February 17, 2018 - 2:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, batavia, St. Paul Lutheran Church, news.

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Deputy Ryan DeLong talks about the decision-making process during stressful, emergency situations that people might encounter during a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events class at St. Paul Lutheran Church this morning.

More than 100 people attended the class, which covered a range of emergency situations, with an emphasis on active shooters, and how people can safely and intelligently respond during such events.

For more background information on the class, click here.

If you missed the class, Frank Klimjack, a Batavia police officer, will present a class called "Do I Need A Bodyguard?" at Grace Baptist Church, 238 Vine St., Batavia, at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 25. Klimjack is a police defensive tactics instructor.

February 17, 2018 - 9:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in hlom, Holland Land Office Museum, history, news, batavia.

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David Fitzpatrick, the author of "Emory Upton: Misunderstood Reformer," spoke about his book and what he learned about the Civil War officer who was born and raised in Batavia while researching and writing the book.

At 10 a.m., Fitzpatrick will participate in a panel discussion with local historians at Genesee Community College in the Conable Technology Building, room T119.

Previously: New book corrects the record on Emory Upton's attitude toward the military and the Republic

February 16, 2018 - 5:51pm

Information from Music Theatre International and Batavia High School:

"Into the Woods" is an epic fairytale about wishes, family and the choices we make. It will be performed by the Batavia High School Production Club next month.

Book author James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the music and lyrics, take favorite storybook characters created by The Brothers Grimm and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece...and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

One of Sondheim's most popular works, "Into the Woods" is a musically sophisticated show with the opportunity to feature actors adept at dark comedy. Designers will especially enjoy highlighting the fantastical elements of this magical word.

The production was originally directed on Broadway by author Lapine and Jonathan Tunick created the orchestrations.

The BHS performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4.

Tickets at the door are $10 for adults; $8 for students and seniors. Presale tickets are $8 for adults and $6 students and seniors. They are available at the high school's main office, 260 State St. in the City of Batavia.

February 16, 2018 - 5:29pm

Press release:

After a successful inaugural season in 2017, Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball, also known as the Batavia Stingers, is excited to announce that they will be hosting a registration day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Dick's Sporting Goods in Batavia.

The store is located in the Towne Center at Batavia mall on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Sign-ups will be for teams in the 10u, 12u and 15u divisions. (Sign-ups will be held alongside those for Batavia Minor League Baseball.)

Registration is open to girls who live in the City or Town of Batavia or who attend school in Batavia.

Board members and coaches will be present to answer questions. The registration fee of $75 is not due until April 1.

The 10u and 12u teams begin practice in April, with games beginning in May. The 15u season will begin in June and games will be held from July to the beginning of August.

If you are unable to attend this registration event, please email [email protected] or visit the league's Facebook page (Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball) in order to download a registration form.

Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball welcomes players of all skill levels, including those who are new to the sport.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Coach Stan Kaus at 370-9861.

Coach Stan Kaus

Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball

P.O. Box 209

Batavia NY 14020

February 16, 2018 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

A deal that capped the prison term for Marlek Holmes at 25 years and saved the county the expense of another trial almost came apart after Holmes appeared to renege on the agreement.

As part of the deal, Holmes had to agree to drop an appeal related to his conviction on sexual assault, and everybody -- District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Defense Attorney Fred Rarick, appeals attorney Timothy Murphy, and Holmes himself -- all signed the document Murphy was supposed to send to the appeals court informing the justices that the appeal was dropped.

Then Holmes wrote Murphy and said he changed his mind.

Today, Holmes was transported from Auburn, where he is serving his sentence, to Batavia, and after meeting with Rarick and Murphy for 30 minutes, agreed to stick by his original agreement to drop the appeal.

Friedman said he wanted to make clear on the record, however, that there is little to prevent Holmes from just changing his mind again later, and creating an endless loop of back-and-forth over the case.

If Holmes does back out of the deal again, Friedman said as far as he's concerned, there won't be a second chance. He will make motions to proceed with a trial on the charges against Holmes that he failed to register a change of address as a convicted sex offender in 2016. He would also want to proceed with a hearing on whether Holmes is a persistent violent felony offender, which would expose Holmes to a potentially harsher prison sentence on his conviction of assault on fellow inmates at the Genesee County Jail.

Zambito indicated he would be inclined to entertain those motions if Holmes again changed his mind.

February 16, 2018 - 4:46pm

Batavia's St. Paul Lutheran Church will cap off a week that has focused the nation's attention once again on the tragedy of mass shootings by hosting a special countywide training event tomorrow at its Washington Avenue church.

The Genesee County Sheriff's Office was invited to present training in CRASE -- Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events. Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, congregation leaders will learn how to prepare and respond to an active shooter situation, should one occur at their respective houses of worship.

St. Paul Pastor Allen Werk, who has also served as the Sheriff's Office chaplain for about five years, attended national training in order to return to his community and in turn help train others. It is useful for schools, congregations and businesses alike -- open places that may be easily accessed by someone intending to harm people.

"This training affords congregation leaders the opportunity to come together to talk about ideas they may want to implement in their own churches should the unthinkable occur," Werk said in a press release. "We pray this will help all our churches be better prepared if the inconceivable happens."

CRASE Training addresses individual responses as well as group preparations. It has been developed in partnership with Texas State University and is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Werk says the cornerstones are ADD -- Avoid / Deny / Defend. Participants are taught to quickly recognize a threat and to take evasive action by getting away swiftly or rapidly taking steps to deny access to a shooter, then defending lives in any way necessary.

"The training teaches you what happens, what to expect in an active shooter situation," Werk said, adding that it is beneficial in getting larger groups to think about this, to be aware of the potential, and what steps to take in response.

For example, the leaders of a congregation may want to limit access to worship services to one or two entryways, effectively funneling the foot traffic. They may consider the benefit of having greeters and ushers who are trained to keep an eye on who's coming and going in the building throughout the service; noticing and greeting a person -- a signal they have been seen -- in itself could be a deterrent in some cases, the pastor noted.

Taking cues from how others are responding in a public space is important.

"If you see something that could be a danger -- step up -- make the congregation aware, help provide safety," Werk said.

Asked if certain individuals should be armed, like a security detail, to counter an active shooter, Werk said that is not part of CRASE Training; and although it's widely argued that "a good guy with a gun" is what you want to have when a bad guy is wielding a firearm, Werk said that is something the organization itself must decide.

"We are pleased to assist Pastor Werk in educating congregation leaders on the appropriate actions to take should an active shooter situation arise," said Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. in a press release.

Our news partner WBTA contributed to this story.

February 16, 2018 - 3:51pm

Submitted photos and press release:

The Alternative Fuel Vehicles & New Technologies four-hour class was offered by the Genesee County Office of Emergency Management Services in conjunction with the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control on Feb. 12 at the Fire Training Center.

It was attended by 63 fire personnel from Genesee County and the surrounding area.

Information about the hazards of the new fuels such as methanol, compressed natural gas and electric power; as well as the pressures created within fuel cylinders was addressed in addition to safety information on other possible hazards related to alternative fuel vehicles. State Fire Instructor David Harrington also addressed the changing technology of the automobile. 

Genesee County participants included: 

Alabama

Aron Kehlenbeck

Gary Patnode

William Schutt

Ryan Thompson

Todd Thompson         

Town of Batavia

Josh Boyle         

Daniel Coffey         

Paul Dibble         

Gary Diegelman         

Clayton Gorski

Stephen Kowalzyk

Scott Maloy

Ian Sanfratello

Tyler Stewart

Robert Tripp

Ray Zwolinski

Corfu

Mitchell Bates         

Cyle Felski

Kristen Gaik

James Hale

Tyler Lang

Matthew Lenhard

Rob McNally

Steve Rodland

Lori Ann Santini

Brian Schollard

Daniel Smith

Jacob Stiles

Ben Trapani

Ray Zwolinski

Darien

Joe Marino

David McGreevy

Tim McGreevy

Brandon Scott

Mark Starczewski         

Elba

Jennifer Cardinali

Michael Heale

Tim Hoffarth

John Mudrzynski

Michael Pfendler

Michael Schad

Oliver Shuknecht

Megan Tabor

Nathan Tabor

George Underhill

Bob Zipfel         

Caitlin Zipfel

Conor Wilkes        

Stafford

Rodney Bobo         

Samantha Call

Ken Collins

Ronald DeMena

Tim Eckdahl

Matt Hendershott

Randal Henning

Steve Johnson

Ashley Swatzenberg

February 16, 2018 - 2:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Crosby's, elba, batavia.

Submitted photos and information:
 
Crosby's celebrated the grand reopening of two convenience stores in Genesee County last week.
 
Above is a photo of the one for the Batavia location at 5267 Clinton Street Road. Pictured from left are: Jay Gsell, Genesee County manager; Brenda Thompson, Central West district leader; Gregory Post, Batavia Town supervisor; Pamela Kilgore, Batavia team leader; Patrick McKinney, representative from Congressman Chris Collins' office; Mickey Edwards, Byron-Bergen School superintendent; Stephen Hawley, New York State assemblyman; Ryan Young, Batavia deputy; Paul Quebral, president of the Reid Group; and Doug Galli, VP and general manager of Crosby’s.
 
Below is a photo taken at the reopening ribbon-cutting ceremony in Elba. That store is located at 64 S. Main St.

The people shown in the Elba photo above are, from left: Dan Okun, director of Sales and Merchandising; Keith Palmer, Elba superintendent; Gregory Walker, Elba undersheriff; Jay Gsell, Genesee County Manager; Brenda Thompson, Central West district leader; Patricia Seefeldt, Elba team leader; Melissa Clark, Elba team leader; Jay Grasso, representative from State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer’s office; Bob Bausch, Genesee County legislator -- District 2; Stephen Hawley, New York State assemblyman; Doug Galli, VP and general manager of Crosby’s; Patrick McKinney, representative from Congressman Chris Collins’ office; Paul Quebral, president of the Reid Group; Joseph M. Graff, Elba chief deputy; Darrin Barber, senior director of Operations.

About the Crosby's convenience stores in Genesee County

Both of these locations were existing structures acquired by Crosby’s in early 2017 that underwent remodels that included major cosmetic upgrades and a variety of customer-friendly amenities including fuel, a sub shop and multiple hot and cold beverage options.

At each location, customers can get a cup of Crosby’s signature 100-percent Arabica bean premium roast coffee for only 99 cents for a regular size. The Elba location will also feature f’real milkshakes; smoothies; and Crosby’s Arctic Express, which offers frozen carbonated beverages (Arctic Chill and Arctic Freeze) or frozen fountain sodas in more than 12,000 flavor combinations.

Each location also features an extensive take-out menu that includes fresh-baked pizza, made with Crosby’s own 100-percent whole-milk mozzarella, served whole or by-the-slice; fresh, made-to-order hot and cold subs prepared in an in-house Sub Shoppe; and fresh-baked cookies prepared on site. The Elba location will also have fried foods, including chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, pizza logs and more.

The stores will also offer a newly expanded selection of cold beverages, dairy and frozen foods, fresh fruit, competitively priced grocery items, tobacco products and other amenities including an ATM, prepaid wireless phone cards, gift cards, propane exchange and a variety of New York State Lottery games. Both locations will accept SNAP benefits.

The Batavia location recently upgraded the fuel facility and now offers Mobil fuel. The Elba location offers Mobil gas and diesel fuel. Both locations are also on the Plenti rewards program. See the store for further details.

Crosby’s, a division of the Reid Group, is headquartered in Lockport, NY. The company operates 87 Crosby’s convenience stores throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.

The Reid Group, founded in 1922, is a full-service independent motor fuel marketer providing a comprehensive range of products and services for retail motor fuel outlets and convenience stores. The Lockport-based company serves retail and commercial customers.

For more information, visit www.CrosbysStores.com.

February 16, 2018 - 1:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news, notify.

An Erie County construction worker will spend weekends in the Genesee County Jail for the next four months, starting tonight, for defrauding a Batavia resident on a contracting job.

Matthew B. Hardesty, 24, of Blasdell, was originally charged with fourth-degree grand larceny. He was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge after paying restitution to the victim, who hired him to construct a fence at his residence on Narramore Drive.

According to court proceedings this morning, Hardesty is facing a similar complaint in Buffalo.

Before sentencing, Hardesty apologized for his actions and said it was the result of being a young and inexperienced businessman; that he had taken on a contract that was too big and had a payout too far in advance, and rather than notify customers of his difficulties, he didn't respond to their complaints.

After becoming embroiled in financial difficulties, Hardesty gave up his contracting business and went to work for another construction contractor.

District Attorney Lawrence Friedman rarely responds to the statements defendants make at their sentencing, but this morning he stood up and said he was going to make a rare response.

"He's a scam artist," Friedman said. "He's trying to con the court now."  

Friedman said Hardesty already got a substantial break on his potential sentence by being allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and didn't deserve any further consideration because he was clearly trying to scam people.

Judge Charles Zambito agreed. He said considering the length that his victim had to go to in order to get his money back indicates Hardesty was trying to evade paying back the money. It was only after he was facing potential jail time that he made restitution.

"The message needs to be clear to the public that you can't do this kind of thing here," Zambito said. "When you start a business, you take on a responsibility. You take on a burden. You can't take people's hard-earned money and just walk away with it."

February 16, 2018 - 1:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, arts, entertainment, news, batavia.

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Two art shows opened at GO ART! on Thursday night -- "Where Do I Go From Here?" a ceramics exhibit by Shirley Nigro, and "The Kite Boy,"  an acrylic exhibit by Alex Segovia.

Nigro is the owner of Fire Up Ceramics on Ellicott Street in Batavia. 

Her ceramic work is nothing like most people might associate with the word -- figurines and knickknacks to scatter around the home. Her work is complex and imaginative but still leaning heavily on realism.

The exhibit is a good demonstration of how ceramics can be used to create art.

Segovia is originally from El Salvador and now resides in Avon. He started painting three years ago after watching a documentary about Vincent Van Gogh. His work reflects that post-impressionistic style, though he says he's moving more toward abstract expressionism. The bright colors recall Henri Matisse or fauvism.

Both shows run through April 7. 

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February 15, 2018 - 6:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Attica, alexander, batavia, news, notify.

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Alexander volunteer firefighters along with the hazmat team for Genesee County Emergency Services and with the county's emergency management coordinators responded to a train derailment in the Town of Attica today.

The accident was in the area of Route 238 and reported at 4:05 p.m.

Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Yaeger said the accident was in a pretty inaccessible location in Wyoming County and because of that, an engine fire was being allowed to burn itself out. There was no hazmat concern other than the diesel fuel of the engine. The hazmat team set up booms to contain any potential fuel.

As a precaution, the City of Batavia was contacted to temporarily close the water intake from the Tonawanda Creek.

Eleven cars derailed along with two engines from the Norfolk Southern line.

Two crew members self-extricated and were transported to an area hospital. They suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Yaeger said.

Town of Batavia fire responded to Alexander's hall as a fill-in.

UPDATE 8:14 p.m. (By Billie): All Genesee County responders are clearing the scene. Federal, state and local officials involved at the scene will remain for now. Heavy equipment will be forthcoming to remove some train cars so that Route 238 and Main Road in Attica can be reopened. Train crossing sites should be reopened by 10 o'clock tonight. The diesel fuel is allowed to continue to burn.

UPDATE: Press release from the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office:

On Feb. 15,  at 4:03 p.m. hours, the Communications Division at the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call of a train derailment near the East Main Road intersection in the Town of Attica.

The Attica Fire Department responded to the scene. Attica Fire Chief Jay Myers reports, “two engines and approximately 10 railroad cars derailed of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. The railroad cars were carrying new cars as cargo.” 

Chief Myers also stated there were two railroad personnel on the engine who were injured. They were taken to Erie County Medical Center. 

“The lead engine is on fire and in coordination with the Norfolk Southern, the engine will remain burning, primarily due to the difficult location of the derailment,” Myers said. 

Wyoming County Emergency Services Director Anthony Santoro is on scene, coordinating efforts from the federal, state, local and railroad resources.

Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory Rudolph says “an initial investigation was conducted and we are turning over our investigation to the Norfolk South Railroad Police and the Federal Railroad Administration and a cause has not yet been determined.” 

Director Santoro says, “the mutual-aid resources that responded and assisted were the: Alexander Fire Department, Varysburg Fire Department, Bennington Fire Department, Wyoming County Emergency Services and Hazmat Team, Genesee County Emergency Services and Hazmat Team, the New York State Police, the Attica Fire Department and Wyoming Correctional Facility.” 

Norfolk Southern personnel are on scene and making efforts to clear the Route 238 and East Main Road intersections with an estimated time of 10 p.m. The long-term cleanup of the damaged engines and railcars will be days.

Photos: Reader submitted photos.

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February 15, 2018 - 3:44pm
posted by Maria Pericozzi in batavia, news, Lou Gehrig's Disease, ALS.

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This past summer, Batavia resident Mike Fiorella was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a fast-progressing neurodegenerative disease with no cure.

His stepdaughter, Colleen Kemp said everyone knows him because he was a “help to the golf pros” at Terry Hills in Batavia until his recent retirement.

“Everybody knows him and knows how active he was and what a great sense of humor he has,” Kemp said. “He’s a big jokester, and has kept that in him.”

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, slowly taking away the ability to walk, speak, swallow and eventually breathe.  

Kemp said Fiorella has progressed enough that he is losing his ability to walk and his speech has been effected.

The lifespan is usually one to three years after diagnosis.

“It’s a terrible disease,” Kemp said. “And there is no cure, so there is no hope. It’s not like cancer where you get chemo and possibly have a cure. There is no cure.”

Fiorella went to DENT Neurological Institute, in Buffalo, the only place at the time that had a new drug that came out, Radicava. Fiorella was one of the few approved to receive the drug. Radicava costs $149,000 a year, with insurance only covering part of the cost. He will need to be on the drug for the rest of his life, which will hopefully slow down the progression of the disease.

“They’re draining their savings account to get the drug,” Kemp said. “We’re asking all family and friends to help us raise these funds.”

Fiorella is currently using a walker, but Kemp said he will soon need an electric wheelchair, which will cost around $20,000.

“They already put a $5,000 ramp in the house,” Kemp said. “The next step is to get handicap bathrooms.”

Kemp said dealing with it mentally and knowing that he is going to pass away is bad enough, but adding the financial burden makes it so much worse.

“The cost with this disease is astronomical,” Kemp said. “The deterioration is so fast and you can’t just go to the hospital.”

Kemp started a Go Fund Me page located here to assist with the costs.

“There are so many different aspects and costs, and this is his life,” Kemp said. “It’s financially draining.”

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

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