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August 3, 2016 - 1:40pm
posted by Zachary Lee in dan crofts, autism, business, Aspberger's Syndrome, news, batavia.

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Autism has become less taboo in today's rather accepting culture; native Batavia resident and author Dan Crofts is leading the charge in developing an online learning tool for parents and teachers.

Crofts has Aspberger Syndrome himself, which is a mild autism spectrum disorder, and gives a firsthand view from the mind of the unknown. Crofts's website FormingHorizons.com mixed with his rather personal writing style gives you a true through-the-eyes view of how someone with a form of autism thinks.

"I want this to become a tool any parent, teacher, and eventually employer, can use to further understand this disorder," Crofts said.

He hopes this website grows and educates people on how autism or Asperger Syndrome can cause the person to think extraordinarily differently; something people without the disorder cannot easily understand.

Crofts wants to develop a community full of parents and teachers who deal with autistic kids on daily basis and help them better understand their thinking ways; doing so will help their elders teach them a more effective way to learn academically and help them function better in a broader social setting.

Crofts believes his philosophy for the website is what sets him apart from other autism websites.

"You have to see the person behind the diagnosis if you want to help the person with the diagnosis," Crofts said, "You have to start with the sensory issues."

Crofts considers himself "blessed" to be apart of the high-functioning autism group; it gives him a real way to communicate to people without this diagnosis. 

"I feel like I have a lot to offer on my experiences, especially to parents," Crofts said. 

FormingHorizons has been in development as a for-profit. Crofts hopes to bring in that profit through advertisements and affiliate links on his website. But for now he is concentrating on its content and structure.

Lucille DiSanto has helped Crofts in significant ways and has become a mentor to him; DiSanto met with Crofts to talk about the development of the website.

"I feel like my next step in life is to create an autism website ... to help people further understand," Crofts said. 

Croft officially bought his domain name http://forminghorizons.com in August of 2015. 

"I want to work on my substance first," he said.

Crofts has always excelled in academics and graduated from Brockport University with a master's degree in English Literature; Crofts started free-lance writing for The Batavian in November 2009 and stopped doing it so much in August of 2011. 

"I want to create a handbook like writing that people with this disability can use to excel in college, much like I have," Crofts said. "People with this diagnosis don't quite understand common sense." 

Common sense is defined in Webster's Dictonary as "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." Crofts explained those common sense actions really aren't quite as simple as the definition; autistic people think differently. 

(Photo by Zach Lee of Dan Crofts from FormingHorizons.com.)

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(Dan Croft's latest article.)

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(FormingHorizons Forums

August 3, 2016 - 12:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia PD, batavia, news.

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Batavia PD has been conducting bicycle safety training at parks throughout the city this summer, in conjunction with the Youth Bureau. Today's bike rodeo was at Lions Park.

City fire also brought Ladder 15 to the park for the kids to check out.

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August 3, 2016 - 9:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, National Night Out, Birchwood Village, news.

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Six-year-old Devin Polk learns how to use a fire extinguisher during a kitchen fire demonstration set up by City firefighters at Batavia's annual participation in National Night Out, which is an opportunity for police, fire and city services to come together with community members.

The event was held at Birchwood Village on Dewey Avenue.

There were games, activities, community groups supplying health and safety information, bike registration and pizza and popcorn. Local musicians also performed.

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August 3, 2016 - 6:08am
posted by Billie Owens in City Church, St. Anthony's, batavia, news.

Everyone is invited to City Church's first big event at its new property "St. Anthony's -- A City Church" for "The Picnic in the Parking Lot" starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4.

It's located at 122 Liberty St. in Batavia. There will be food, live music, kids' activities and more.

"We've really pulled out all the stops on this one," says Pastor Marty Macdonald in a Facebook message about the event. "I'm excited about it, about the people who will be here, the music. ... We have enough food to feed half the city...Let's get to know one another."

In another mesaage, aimed at dispelling "myths" that apparently have sprung up about City Church's plans for St. Anthony, the pastor says the beautiful, historic wooden pews inside the sanctuary are staying put, so too are the finely crafted stained-glass windows, which add "architectural splendor" to the whole place. And the existing church on Main Street Downtown will remain open. A third City Church Sunday service, to be held at St. Anthony's, will be added at some point, time to be announced.

City Church closed escrow on the former Roman Catholic parish and school this spring.

August 2, 2016 - 3:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, irs scam.

Press release from the City of Batavia Police Department:

The Batavia Police Department has been made aware of an IRS Scam involving phone numbers associated with the City of Batavia Government Offices.

The scammers state that they are with the City of Batavia and that they are collecting for the IRS.

They then ask for funds to be transferred into an account within an hour to prevent arrest and / or additional charges. The caller ID shows an actual phone number associated with the City of Batavia. City Officials were made aware of the scam by a subject in New York City who had received several calls.

The City of Batavia is not collecting funds for the IRS.

The Batavia Police Department is urging citizens to not provide any personal information over the phone and to never transfer money to anyone unless the recipient can be verified.

Below is a list of things that the IRS will not do per their website: https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/phone-scams-continue-to-be-a-serious-threat-remain-on-irs-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-the-2016-filing-season

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:

  • Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
August 2, 2016 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Alabama, elba.

OV Murphy, 57, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with: DWI -- previous conviction; aggravated DWI -- previous conviction; DWI -- with a child passenger under age 16; back seat child passenger with inappropriate restraint; and endangering the welfare of a child. Murphy was arrested at 9:36 p.m. on July 31 on Ross Street in Batavia. Police were called to Northwside Meadows apartments for the report of people arguing in a vehicle. Police located the vehicle traveling on Ross Street. An investigation allegedly revealed that Murphy was intoxicated and had two children under age 15 in the vehicle with him. He was jailed without bail. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Christopher Lindsay, assisted by Officer Stephen Cronmiller.

Alisha Adara Soule, 20, of Route 237, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. At about 9:30 p.m. on July 26, Batavia Police were dispatched to a residence on Tracy Avenue in the city for a reported family distrubance which became physical. A subsequent investigation determined that Soule had allegedly struck a family member during a verbal altercation prior to leaving the residence. She turned herself in and was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 9 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia PoliceOfficer Arick Perkins, assisted by Sgt. Matthew Lutey.

Jacob L. Hernandez, 21, of Warren Acres Lane, Taylorsville, NC, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested at 3:09 a.m., July 23, on Jackson Street, Batavia, following an investigation into a damaged window. He was processed, issued an appearance ticket, and ordered to appear in City Court this afternoon. The case was handled by Batavia Police Sgt. Matthew Lutey, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Gregory S. Yark, 52, of Walnut Street, Batavia, is charged with third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal contempt, and possession of a hypodermic instrument. On the morning of July 29, while on patrol, Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis noticed Yark riding his bicycle into a driveway of a residence on Roosevelt Avenue. The residence in question was that of a person who had a full stay-away order of protection from Yark, barring him from being on the property. Yark allegedly entered the garage, sat down to enjoy a smoke, making himself right at home. He was arrested at 8:45 a.m. and allegedly found to be in possession of two hypodermic needles. He was jailed in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bound and was due in City Court Aug. 1. Officer Davis was assisted by Officer Jason Ivison.

Elizabeth Michelle Grattan, 26, of West Main Street Road, Batavia, is charged with: unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 3rd; leaving the scene of a property damage accident; and unsafe backing. Following an investigation in the Town of Alabama, Grattan was arrested for allegedly operating a motor vehicle with the owner's consent. On Aug. 1, between 12:30 and 2 a.m., she allegedly took the vehicle from a residence on Judge Road in Alabama without permission. While doing so, she allegedly damaged the person's mailbox. She was released on an appearance ticket for Aug. 23 in Alabama Town Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Lee A. Baxter, 32, no address provided, was arrested at 1:38 a.m. on July 26 on Central Avenue in Batavia for allegedly violating an order of protection in place for a person on Central Avenue. He is charged with second-degree criminal contempt. He was jailed on $1,000 cash bail or $2,000 bond. Baxter is due in City Court on Wednesday (Aug. 3). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk.

Matthew C. Olcott, 37, of Woodstock Gardens, Batavia, is charged with second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. At 9:30 a.m. on July 27, during a Probation home search conducted by Probation officers Williams, Buchholz and Heale, the defendant was allegedly found to be in possession of a crack pipe with residue. Probation Officer Williams contacted Batavia PD for further investigation. Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis assisted Probation in the arrest of Olcott, who was jailed in lieu of $15,000 cash bail. During this investigation, Olcott's girlfriend, 30-year-old Sara Elliott, was arrested for allegedly being in possession of marijuana. She was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 9 in City Court. Officer Davis was assisted in both cases by Officer Frank Klimjack.

Thomas T. Bennett, 51, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree contempt. At 4:35 p.m., July 28, on Ellsworth Avenue, Batavia, Bennett allegedly had contact with, and went on the property of, a party protected by a stay-away order of protection. He was issued an appearance ticket for Aug. 4 in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Tierance J. Davis, 29, of Hundremark Road, Elba, is charged with failure to appear. Davis was arrested July 28 on an arrest warrant for allegedly failing to pay a parking ticket after is was issued on Jan. 6, 2013. Davis posted the unpaid fine and was released from custody. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

Joseph W. Freeman, 32, Platten Road, Lyndonville, was taken into custody from Orleans County Jail on July 26 on a bench warrant issued out of Batavia City Court. He posted bail and was issued an appearance ticket for this afternoon in City Court. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Mathew P. Parker, 26, of West Avenue, Medina, was arrested on a bench warrant for allegedly failing to pay a fine issued because of an incident on May 24, 2015. He was released and is due to return of City Court on Wednesday (Aug. 3). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens.

John Anthony Hertz, 32, of Mechanic Street, Elba, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 11:02 p.m. on Aug. 1, following the investigation of a cehck-the-welfare complaint, Hertz was arrested for allegedly unlawfully possessing marijuana. He allegedly hid a small amount of marijuana and a glass smoking pipe in his yard prior to police arriving. He was issued an appearance ticket for Town of Elba Court on Aug. 31. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer.

August 2, 2016 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

Press release:

The NYS Office of the Comptroller’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability recently completed a routine audit of the District’s finances to review efficiency and accountability. Looking at the period of July 1, 2012, through March 10, 2016, we are pleased to report that the audit revealed no weaknesses in internal controls, policies, practices, procedures and operations.

As a result, there no findings of fraud, waste, abuse, misconduct, or negligence.

The audit did cite one area of concern: a claim that the District did not effectively manage fund balance, which is the residual money accumulated from prior fiscal years that can be reserved for future expenditures or emergencies. When fund balances are accumulated for a targeted and specific purpose, such as saving for a capital project or an anticipated increase in retirement costs, the law specifies that the amount in these restricted funds must be “reasonable” as opposed to excessive. When a fund balance is categorized as unrestricted (containing monies not targeted for a specific upcoming expense), it must be used to lower property taxes if the amount exceeds 4 percent of the proposed budget for the coming year.

The Comptroller’s Office concluded in its most recent report that the District has too much money reserved in fund balance and debt service reserves.

Ironically, this speaks to one of the practices that the Board of Education and administration feel has been one of its greatest strengths – planning and preparing for the future, whether that be enhancing programming or facing unforeseen expenditures as we have seen in recent years with the pullback of New York State funding and the unstable financial picture.

Our philosophy has enabled the District to weather numerous constraints placed by State and federal laws, regulations, and mandates, as well as the significant unpredictability and fluctuations in both expenses and aid. While weathering these financial storms, the District has continued to deliver exceptional educational programs to our students at a per-pupil cost significantly lower than the State average, maintained a stable tax levy history for over 10 years that frequently has decreased or remained flat (with a 10-year average increase of 0.68 percent), consistently remained under the Tax Cap permissible by New York State, and, by prudent planning, earned State tax rebates for our residents for the three years that has been enacted.

Interestingly, our tax rates have decreased over the years (from 2006-07 at $24.22 per thousand of assessed valuation to $23.02 per thousand of assessed valuation in 2015-16). To analyze taxpayer impact, we conducted a study of an individual taxpayer in the District currently (in 2015-16) assessed at $106,000. The study revealed that, since the 2004-05 fiscal year (base year), the school taxes paid increased a total of $129.95, or 8.49 percent, which is an average of $11.81 or 0.77 percent a year -- amounting to less than $1 a month.

Outside of the District’s control, the taxpayer’s assessed valuation increased from $98,000 to $106,000 in 2008-09 (or an 8.16 percent change). In essence, the increase in school taxes is attributable to the increase in assessed value. Also noteworthy is that this overall increase in school taxes does not include the two rebate checks that the taxpayer received directly from NYS in 2014-15 and 2015-16 as a result of the District compliance with the Tax Cap and with efficiency established since July 1, 2012.

The Comptroller’s Office has recommended several strategies, and the District is in the process of evaluating these recommendations while remaining mindful that changes in practice must not result in significant fluctuations that will potentially harm the community in the long run nor leave taxpayers unprotected from fluctuations in the tax levy due to factors outside its control.

The report noted the belief that, from 2012-13 to 2014-15, the District had overestimated appropriations in budget projections and recommended that the District be more “realistic” as well as use more of the fund balance and reserves for the budget. First, we would clarify that this year’s pre-audited surplus is only $189,600 above the 4-percent maximum, and regarded by the Comptroller’s Office standards as a "good" budgeting process with realistic estimates.

In addition, we would like to highlight that the first couple years of the audit were the years immediately following the consolidation. Not knowing the full impact on major budgetary expenditures, such as transportation, resulted in conservative budgets in these areas. The budgeting practices have been modified, implemented, and are reflected in the 2015-16 budget results.

The District also points out that, in addition to utilizing internal staff’s expertise in analysis and projections, they also rely each year on the input from community budget ambassadors who review the budget proposals line-by-line and provide valuable feedback on the educational programs and potential modifications to the proposed budget for the Board to consider.

Regarding fluctuations in State aid, it is important to note that NYS has a history of reducing its aid to school districts. Most recently this resulted six years of reductions and, in essence, shifted the burden funding the budget to the local taxpayer if a district chose not to make changes and maintained the status quo. The District made tough decisions and changes, most markedly consolidation, and complied with the NYS Tax Cap (well before it was implemented) while receiving a cuts in State aid during these years.

Likewise, the Comptroller’s recommendation to review all reserves to determine if the amounts reserved are necessary and reasonable has been a regular part of the District’s annual budget process. In fact, one such fund, the Tax Certiorari reserve, is slated to be eliminated pending Board approval at its next summer meeting, and the Unemployment Insurance reserve is being significantly reduced. On the other hand, based on factors previously mentioned, the District’s practice is to budget conservatively for a worst-case scenario in order to protect the educational program for our students and to avoid crisis tax increases for our residents.

While there is no concrete regulation on funding amounts or limits (other than “reasonable”) on some restricted reserves, the District plans to continue its practice of periodically evaluating the reserves according to what is believed to be reasonable by District officials.

As for the Debt Service fund, which has operated as such for twenty-plus years without raising any concerns in audits, the District has reduced the balances by nearly $3 million since 2009 and has accounted for all current obligations in this Fund. In 2015, the citizens authorized a $7.5 million capital reserve fund to offset the local share of future projects beginning with the 2013 capital project.

The District will also research the current accounting method for the financing of prior capital projects. It is also important to note that Note 3 in the Comptroller’s response is incorrect. The District has always recorded transactions related to capital projects in the Capital Project fund. The accounting for long-term financing of the projects (Serial Bond principal and interest payments), along with annual revenue received (State aid, transfer from General Fund and interest earning) are the concerns cited in the audit raising the question of whether they should be recorded in General Fund or Debt Service Fund. The District will evaluate the law regarding these concerns during the 2016-17 fiscal year.

In addition, the District felt that the audit did not capture several positive initiatives, which are worthy of mention:

1. The District consolidated and restructured its educational plan in July 2012. One building was later sold and the other building is being used for some district offices along with being leased to generate additional annual revenue which results in tax levy savings. District vacant land was also sold.

2. The District partnered with the City of Batavia to approve three exemptions (Home Improvement Exemption; Mixed-Use Exemption and Inhibited Property Exemption).

3. After receiving community input, the Board approved the Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption.

4. The District refunded Serial Bonds in 2012 which resulted in $764,814 net present value savings.

5. Debt as a percent of the General Fund budget has been reduced from 101.87 percent as of June 30, 2008, to 39.19 percent as of June 30, 2016.

6. Taxpayers this year will be receiving their third (out of three opportunities) rebate check directly from New York State as a result of District compliance with the New York State Tax Cap law and efficiencies undertaken since July 2012.

7. In the five years since the New York State Tax Cap, the District tax levy has increased an average of 0.80 percent, while the allowable increase was 3.15 percent. In dollars, this amounted to a $2,146,484 total tax levy less than allowed. Also, three of the last four years (through 2016-17), have had no increase of the tax levy and the average increase is less than 0.50 percent. As previously mentioned, the 10-year average tax levy (five years prior to the 2012 Tax Cap law) is 0.68 percent.

8. From  fiscal years 2007-2008 to 2014-15, General Fund Payroll decreased 2.2 percent, from $20,701,103 to $20,248,248. In 2015-16, payroll was $20,324,816 --an increase of only 0.38 percent over the previous year. Each year since 2007-08, payroll was less than the 2007-08 base year. Savings in payroll have been achieved via strong negotiation strategies and District consolidation.

9. Contracts with all of our bargaining units (Administration, Teacher, Clerical, Custodial, Food Service and individual contracts) were negotiated two different times during the period audited resulting in significant cost savings to the District on employee healthcare contributions.

10. The Batavia City School District survived the 2010-11 to 2015-16 Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) which resulted in a loss of $8,649,980 of New York State aid during those six years. The single highest year of reduction was $2,570,826 and the average State aid cut was $1,441,663. It is also important to note that, from 1990-91 to 1992-93 (three years), New York State also reduced funding to school districts, the first being a mid-year cut. In this 26 year time span, New York State has cut its aid for public schools nine years, or 34 percent of the time. New York State must look into and fix the politics of the New York State public school funding.

11. Since 2010-11, the District has also absorbed $1,704,152 in corrections (current year reduction in State aid) to New York State building aid. These reductions, which were in addition to the GEA previously mentioned, were a result of New York State overpayment of building aid over many years.

12. Since June 30, 2003, all Independent External audits and New York State Comptroller audits are available to our public on the District website in an attempt to enhance transparency.

13. Moody’s has the District rated as A1 which is slightly lower than the median rating of Aa3 for school districts nationwide. According to Moody’s, the financial position of the District is strong and is a notable strength with respect to the assigned rating of A1; the economy and tax base of the District are solid overall and positive operating margins are a component of strong financial management (surplus being generated and the tax base expanded modestly).

While the opinions of the Comptroller’s Office and recommendations of the audit are valued, appreciated, and will be utilized to further enhance District budgeting practices, the Batavia City School District and the Board of Education will not abandon our philosophy and belief that our residents expect and prefer a stable, consistent, and predictable tax rate while incorporating an effective long-range financial plan.

We will use this report and incorporate recommendations that align with our philosophy and long-range planning strategy. It is also important to note that the Comptroller recently released an analysis of State spending that shows the potential for budget gaps in future years - shortfalls that could reach nearly $5 billion beginning in the State fiscal year 2017-18. This could invariably directly impact schools again just as the Gap Elimination Adjustment did when the State had significant budget deficits only a few years ago.

The Board will be careful regarding the choices that are made today to ensure that they don’t put the District in a bad financial position in future years.

August 2, 2016 - 11:47am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, batavia, news.

The driver in yesterday's fatal accident on Route 63 has been identified as Robert L. Williams, 67, of Pavilion.

Williams was northbound on Route 63 just south of Shepard Road in a Chevy sedan when a 1989 Mac bix truck made a left-hand turn in front of his vehicle, according to State Police.

The driver of the truck is identified as Arnold D. Duck, 83, of Attica.

State Police say this is an ongoing and active investigation. No further information was released.

August 1, 2016 - 6:30pm


Hogs 4 Paws is scheduled for Saturday, Aug.13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; don't miss this event! All proceeds benefit the Genesee County Animal Shelter. Bike run registration is from 9 to 10 a.m. and kickstands up 10 a.m. at Stan's Harley Davidson! Click here for more information

August 1, 2016 - 5:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Daniel Dioguardi was sentenced in Genesee County Court today to a prison term of two to four years on his conviction for third-degree burglary.

The Le Roy resident was arrested in May, 2015, in connection with a break-in on Columbia Avenue that resulted in the theft of some PlayStation4 games, which were traded in at a local game store. That helped police identify Dioguardi, Det. Eric Hill said, and Dioguardi was also known to the victim.

Dioguardi apologized to the people he hurt, his family, and the court "for taking up everybody's time."

He thanked Interim Judge Michael Pietruszka for giving him a shot a substance-abuse rehabilitation, which his attorney Jamie Welch said had gone well for Dioguardi.

Dioguardi said getting clean allowed him to reconnect with his family, especially his 4-year-old son, whom he called his "little angel."

The sentence was enhanced because Dioguardi has a prior felony conviction. He was on probation at the time of this arrest, and under terms of the plea deal, Pietruszka gave Dioguardi one-and-a-third to four years in prison, to be served concurrently with the prison term for burglary.

August 1, 2016 - 5:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

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A car vs. motorcycle accident is reported in the area of Ellicott Street Road near Shepard Road. Town of Batavia fire command asks for traffic to be shut down at Ellicott Street Road and Batavia Stafford Townline Road. Mercy medics are also responding. No word on injuries.

UPDATE 5:38 p.m.: Eastbound traffic on Ellicott Street Road is being diverted at Cedar Street.

UPDATE 6:15 p.m.: This accident did not involve a motorcycle. According to Town of Batavia Fire Chief Dan Coffey, it was a collision between a car and a "dump-style" agricultural vehicle and there were serious injuries. One person was transported via ambulance to UMMC. A small amount of hydraulic fluid was spilled as a result of the accident; thus it included a haz-mat incidence response.

UPDATE 6:44 p.m.: According to a just-issued press release from the State Police, this was a fatal accident. There were no other injuries. Route 63 between Shepard Road and Batavia Stafford Townline Road will be closed till 8 p.m. The investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE 8:28 p.m.: State Police just notified local media that family notifications have been completed; however, the name of the deceased has not yet been released. Route 63 is still closed.

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August 1, 2016 - 4:40pm

Submitted photos and information:

Lost Dog. Found today on East Main Street in Batavia. Female, approximately 30 pounds. Very friendly, at some point had puppies. No tags so she is at the Genesee County Animal Shelter.

August 1, 2016 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Birchwood Village, National Night Out.

Press release:

National Night Out will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the Birchwood Village Apartments in Batavia.

The City of Batavia Police Department along with other police agencies nationwide will take time to celebrate positive community relations with neighbors and citizens during this event.

Locally, it is being coordinated by the city's Youth Bureau, with donations provided by Target, BJ's Wholesale Club, and the Batavia Police Benevolent Association.

Everyone is welcome. The complex is located at Pearl Street and Dewey Avenue in the City.

"The Batavia Police are fortunate to serve a community that strongly supports the mission of safety and well-being of all citizens," says the press release.

August 1, 2016 - 4:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, Alabama, batavia, Stafford.

Ricky On Lei, 27, of South Clinton Avenue, Rochester, is charged with possession of 10,000-plus unstamped cigarettes, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop at a stop sign. Lei was arrested at 7:34 p.m. on July 31 at 7238 Alleghany Road, Alabama, after a traffic stop. Lei allegedly was in possession of more than 10,000 untaxed cigarettes at the time. Allegedly, he was also operating the vehicle with a suspended driver's license and failed to stop at a stop sign. He was arraigned in Town of Alabama Court and put in jail in lieu of $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He is due in Alabama court on Aug. 11. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

Summer Anne Bliss, 22, of Overlook Drive, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment. She was arrested at 10:30 a.m. on July 28 on Overlook Drive for allegedly punching a person in the head during a verbal altercation that turned physical. Bliss was arraigned in Town of Batavia Court and released. She is due in Town of Batavia Court at a later date. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hale.

Mark Christopher Hanna, 36, of Lenox Street, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding. Hanna was stopped at 9:06 a.m. on July 30 on Route 33 in the Town of Stafford for a speeding violation. It was determined after an interview that Hanna was allegedly in possession of a quantity of marijuana. He was arrested on the charge, processed and released on an appearance ticket for Aug. 18 in Town of Stafford Court. The case was handled by Genesee County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Schildwaster, assisted by Deputy Andrew Hale.

August 1, 2016 - 12:00pm

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  • Day 11 (8/23) - Buy 1 Product, Get 25% Off 1 Product!
  • Day 12 (8/24) - FREE Clarifying Treatment with Full Color!

Enter to win: One of our many prizes; Keratheray Basket, Avon, Mary Kay, Longaburger, Jamberry Nails, Mr. Wine & Liquor, Ari Originals, Cookies by Lori, Tupperware, Essential Oils, Usborne Books, Photography by Susan Meier, Thirty-One and more!

Earn 1 ticket for every time you “check-in” at the Mane Attraction on Facebook, one ticket for each reservation during our anniversary sale and 1 ticket for each retail purchase. 
Feel beautiful today at The Mane Attraction, come in and win!

August 1, 2016 - 10:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in pets, animals, batavia, news.

lostdogaug12016.jpg

A reader found this dog wandering in the area of College Road near Bank Street at 10:30 p.m., Friday. They've looked for info on lost dogs and seen none reported in the area and there's been no such dog reported missing to the Animal Shelter, they said. "He's the sweetest dog." They will be giving the dog a temporary home hoping the owner will be found soon. If you think this dog is yours, please call 585-409-3383.

July 30, 2016 - 6:00am

Home for Sale - 8 Union Street, Batavia! Don't miss our open house this Sunday from 1pm-4pm! 

Colonial Style 3 bedroom, 1 bath with 1,300 square feet! This home features a new driveway, electric panel/breakers, front porch. New patio doors leading to a new backyard deck. New energy efficient windows & light fixtures. New kitchen cabinetry, counter tops, flooring, along with microwave and dishwasher. Newly remodeled bathroom and finally new laminate flooring and carpeting throughout. This house has been completely repainted inside and out with updated landscaping. Easy maintenance, charming and move-in ready! $104,900

Offered by owners: Call 585-344-1286

July 29, 2016 - 12:00pm

Register today for our 4th annual Glow Corporate Cup!

At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4, Merrill Lynch in Batavia will sponsor the fourth annual GLOW Corporate Cup. Each year local businesses form teams to compete in a 5K race wherein the company with the lowest combined time takes home the GLOW cup.

Following the race is the region’s largest office party. Businesses are encouraged to set up tents in Centennial Park, bring refreshments and prepare to have a great time as they mingle with other local companies. Live music is provided as runners and supporters enjoy the post-race “AfterGLOW.” 

Last year, the race included 700 runners and more than 1,000 people participated in the post-race celebration. In the first two years more than $30,000 was raised for the GLOW YMCA and this year event is expected to exceed last year's total in participants and funds raised.

“Our purpose is to bring the businesses of the GLOW region together for a common cause,” said Joshua Dent, one of the race organizers. “The after-party was intended to celebrate the outstanding companies we have in the region that are giving back to their community.” 

The GLOW YMCA serves the communities of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties.

“This year we would like to see even more participants from beyond Genesee County,” Dent said.

Registration is $25 per person and individuals must be 18 or older to participate. The route has been certified as a USA Track and Field Course.

All funds raised go toward programs for the GLOW YMCA. Register today! Click here for more information. Questions concerning the event may be sent to: [email protected]

July 29, 2016 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Calling All Dogs, Tori Ganino, batavia, pets, animals, news.

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Because choke, pinch and prong dog collars really don't help improve a dog's behavior, and can actually make bad behavior worse, Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia, is offering a discount on training to owners who leave those collars with her so they can be destroyed.

Leave one of those types of collars and get $12 off a group class or $12 off an in-home training visit, or leave an electric collar and get $15 off.

"These collars create all kinds of negative associations and don't help build a relationship with your dog," Ganino said. "They create bad associations, so if a person is walking by and a dog is already a little bit nervous and then they see the person and they get pinched or they get choked, that just validated the feelings that the person is bad because they got hurt when they saw the person. It can make behaviors worse."

If a dog learns that pain will be associated with pre-bite warnings, such as barking or lunging, the dogs will learn to suppress those warnings and instead just bite, Ganino said, which makes them very hard to work with later when tryng to unlearn that behavior. 

And even in a good-natured dog, the pain hurts the dog's relationship with its owner, she said, because they see the owner as the one inflicting the pain. 

Ganino wants owner to bring punishment collars in and learn the kind of behavioral techniques, build around rewards and learning alternative behaviors, for the sake of the dogs, the owners and anyone they might encounter.

"I want to be able to show people is that they can change their dog's emotional response so things are not nearly so scary," Ganino said.

The phone number for Calling All Dogs is (585) 455-5387.

NOTE: Rocky update: Tori helped us a lot with Rocky and we continue to work with him.  His behavior has improved; he's lost a lot of his fear and demonstrates a lot more happy and loving behavior. 

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Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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