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May 26, 2018 - 3:34am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news.

City fire and Mercy medics are called to 324 W. Main St. in Downtown Batavia for a subject with a laceration. Police are on scene.

May 25, 2018 - 4:25pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, Memorial Day, veterans, armed forces, news.

Press release:

“This Monday is dedicated to the countless men and women who have given their lives to protect our freedom and way of life," said Assemblyman Steve Hawley in a special Memorial Day message today. "The American dream is uniquely cherished and we owe our gratitude to the veterans who courageously defended it throughout our nation’s history.

“As a veteran, son of a World War Two veteran and member of the Assembly’s Veterans Affairs Committee for many years, our servicemen and servicewomen have always held a special place in my heart and are an inspiration for me to keep fighting in Albany.

“As you are enjoying this special day with family and friends, I ask that you take a moment to reflect on those who have given their lives so future generations can live free and thank a veteran in your life for their service. Lastly, always remember to be safe and responsible when driving but, most importantly, have a happy Memorial Day!”

May 25, 2018 - 4:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, education, Gail Stevens.

Submitted photo of Gail Stevens and information from SUNY Empire State College:

Gail Stevens, a past member of the Batavia City School District Board of Education, has been selected to speak at SUNY Empire State College’s commencement event at Rochester.

It will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 31, at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E. Main St..

Stevens was a longtime resident of Batavia, now residing in North Port, Fla.  

She worked in the Batavia County Sheriff’s Office and then for Troop A of the New York State Police as a clerk for more than 20 years. Stevens remarried in 1998 and, in 2013, returned to Florida to work for Paychex Inc., her current employer.

She is an alumna of Genesee Community College, Class of 1980. The single mother of Michelle and Eric began work on her bachelor’s degree in 1991.

Twenty-seven years later, she has completed her Bachelor of Science in Business, Management and Economics, with a 3.80 GPA, and graduates this spring.

As she studied long and hard to complete her degree, Stevens met significant challenges, including the death of both parents, divorce, a career change, a move from Florida to New York, then back to Florida, and a son who became addicted to heroin, and who now has recovered.

Her volunteer leadership experience in Genesee County includes serving as:

  • A member, and then president, of the Board of Education of the Batavia City School District from 2004-13;
  • President of the City of Batavia Youth Board, 2004-12;
  • Treasurer of the Batavia Players Inc., 2005-13;
  • Treasurer of the Batavia High School Band Boosters, 2005-13;
  • President of the Batavia High School Parent Teacher Group, 2005-12;
  • A member of the City of Batavia Consolidation Team, 2010-11;
  • A member of the Genesee Valley Educational Leadership Board, 2006-13.

In Florida, she volunteers at San Pedro Catholic Church as an usher, serves on the City of North Port Parks and Recreation Committee and is helping to launch a Celebrate Recovery Group at the New Hope Community Church of North Port, as she continues her career at Paychex.

May 25, 2018 - 3:25pm

There will be a car wash at the Tractor Supply Co. store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, to raise money for the Genesee County 4-H Sheep Club.

It is located at 4974 E. Main Street Road, Batavia.

All proceeds will go toward fair awards/trophies and barn improvements at the GC Fairgrounds.

Cost is $5 per vehicle.

The club will also be selling hotdogs, chips, soda and water at the fundraiser.

May 25, 2018 - 3:16pm

Press release:

When the Legislature returns from Memorial Day break, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) will be garnering support and fighting for new legislation he is optimistic will move forward before the Legislature adjourns for summer break beginning in late June.

Hawley has amended legislation to further expand rights for charitable gaming organizations such as churches, fire departments and not-for-profits to build on the successes of the  Charitable Gaming Act that became law last year.

Hawley’s bill would allow raffle tickets sold on the Internet to be purchased by any resident regardless of their location. Current law only allows for raffle sales in the county by which the charitable organization is operating or any contiguous county.

“This is about continuing to modernize our antiquated charitable gaming laws and allowing the wonderful organizations that conduct these raffles to sell tickets all over the state,” Hawley said.

“There are tens of thousands of churches, fire departments, nonprofits, Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs across New York that are struggling to still provide great community resources while dealing with these outdated regulations.”

On the heels of Barbara Underwood’s appointment to fill the last several months of Eric Schneiderman’s term as New York attorney general, Hawley is making a renewed push for legislation that would return power to the voters in the case New York’s comptroller or attorney general resigns or passes away.

Currently, the Legislature has the power to hand-pick candidates to fill these vacancies no matter how long of a term is left to serve, while Hawley’s bill would require a statewide election.

“We have seen far too many statewide elected officials leave office in disgrace, and setting aside the need for more honest government officials, the citizens of this state should always have the supreme right to elect who they wish, not the Legislature,” Hawley said.

“This legislation is about protecting our democratic process and sanctity of elections, and I am hopeful it will gain much support after recent events.”

Following the string of deadly school shootings in recent months, Hawley has introduced new legislation that would allow school districts to employ retired police officers as school safety officers and continue to receive their retirement benefits.

In March, Hawley sent a public letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie requesting $50,000 for each school across the state to hire resource officers.

“This is about priorities, and I cannot think of a priority more preeminent than the safety and security of our students,” Hawley said.

“My bill includes $50,000 in state funding per school to offset the cost of hiring security officers and an increase of the cap for retired police officers who are receiving a pension in order for them to earn between $30,000 and $50,000 per year.”

May 25, 2018 - 2:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, GCC, education.

Photo of the 2018 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence winners, from left: Raymond A. Boucher, Raymond Strzelecki, Tara E. Conrad; Joseph L. Ziolkowski, Candice S. Vacin, David W. Johson, Carol E. Geiselmann, and Timothy P. Tomczak. Missing from the photo is Amy Masters.

Submitted photo and press release:

A new formal ceremony -- "SUNY GCC Employees Serving Beyond Expectations"

As Genesee Community College prepared for its 50th Commencement on May 20, a new ceremony was introduced reinforcing the spirit of achievement, hard work and dedication. Instead of GCC graduates walking across the platform stage, College officials recognized members of faculty and staff.

"The new SUNY GCC Employees Serving Beyond Expectations was a formal ceremony, yet a fun and festive way to recognize the quality of service and the hard work of our GCC family," GCC's President James M. Sunser, Ed.D., said.

"It is a new tradition that combines several different award programs, and gives us all a chance to celebrate our hard work and also decompress at the end of the academic year."

The new event collectively recognized:

Longevity Service Awards recognizing 38 employees who reached milestone years between 10 to 30 years of service, collectively serving 630 years!

SUNY Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

The new Cougar Awards honorees were awarded as a surprise to the honorees in the following categories: Rookie of the Year; Teamwork Award; Spirit and Community Award; Innovation Award; Cougar Salute; Inclusive Excellence Award, and President's Award.

A special congratulations was also given to nine employees who have or will soon be retiring from GCC.

At this special ceremony, in front of the GCC community, Sunser and GCC's Board of Trustees Chair Laura Bohm awarded nine prestigious 2018 State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Awards for Excellence.

Receiving the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service,which recognizes consistently superior service contributions of teaching faculty over multiple years, was Professor and Director of Social Sciences, Timothy P. Tomczak.

Tomczak joined the faculty at GCC as an Instructor of Psychology in the fall semester of 1987. In that capacity his teaching load consisted primarily of courses in General, Abnormal, and Social Psychology. He expanded the range of his teaching subjects at the College to include Introduction to Logic and Child and Adolescent Development as well as Beginning Karate.

He has been a pioneer of the College's distance learning movement, first teaching "telecourses" and moving on to teaching online sections of psychology. Tomczak was also one of the first full-time faculty members to teach in GCC's ACE program at the program's inception.

In 1994, Tomczak received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Tomczak was promoted to associate professor commencing with the fall 1996 semester, and to the rank of Professor effective fall 2007, the year that he received the Chancellor's Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities. Tomczak holds a B.A. in Psychology from Mercyhurst College and a M.A. in General Experimental Psychology from the State University of New York, College of Geneseo.

Recognizing consistently superior professional achievement, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service was awarded to assistant registrar, Tara E. Conrad. Conrad came to GCC in 2007 as the records information specialist. She joined the highly productive Records Office which provided a great base of functional user knowledge of Ellucian Banner and that has been a central building block of her career.

Conrad has been a leader in developing technological solutions to complicated processes, creating time and cost efficiencies that support the mission of the college. She is recognized for her work both within the SUNY system and in other organizations and has been sought after to help in system-wide ways. Conrad's enthusiasm and flare for technology and her desire to work with software applications prevailed as her career unfolded at Genesee. She has lead several software implementation and has become an effective and essential functional resource for the college.

Conrad earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Merrimack College and a M.S. in Education from the State University of New York, College at Brockport. In addition, Conrad has received a one-year full-time appointment as a SUNY Provost Fellow, the first-ever at GCC. The focus of this fellowship is to perform research and develop recommendation for the implementation of Enrollment and Completion Infrastructure that would support SUNY's student access, completion and success initiatives with a particular focus on Re-enroll to Complete.

Technical specialist/ financial aid retention, Amy A. Masters, was also awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Masters first joined the joined the College staff in the Business Office in 2008 and transferred to her current position in Financial Aid in 2012.

As she did in the Business Office, she has made significant contributions to the operations and procedures of the Financial Aid Office, particularly in the areas of scholarship awards and tracking and streamlining office processes and forms. She was instrumental in making the scholarship application process a smoother one for students, both for institutional scholarships and emergency scholarships for students in need.

Masters has a B.S in Psychology from Elmira College and she continued her education since she has been at Genesee, receiving her M.S. in Management from Keuka College.

President Sunser and Bohm awarded Assistant Professor of Photography and Art Joseph L. Ziolkowski the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Service for his consistently outstanding scholarly and creative productivity, conducted in addition to teaching.

Ziolkowski has been a member of GCC's Fine Arts faculty since August of 2012. Upon arriving, he immersed himself completely in the GCC classroom the college community, and in continuing his own professional development. Ziolkowski provides "applied learning" opportunities for his students by frequently organizing field trips to exhibits and museums to expose them to all types of art.

He uses technology and other teaching modalities to engage the students and encourage them in their own creative development. He has a passion for creating and sharing it with the world around him that benefits his students and the internal and external college community.

Ziolkowski received a B.A in Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a M.F.A. in Photography from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.S.Ed. in Art Education from Nazareth College of Rochester.

The fifth award at the ceremony, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate, or professional level of the highest quality was received by Associate Professor of Psychology, Candice S. Vacin. Vacin has been teaching psychology for over sixteen years and joined the GCC faculty in 2007.

She is committed to providing a learning environment for her students that helps them to be successful in her class and beyond, and she creates an environment that encourages each student to express their individuality in a safe and respectful way. She brings much energy to the classroom in her teaching, and she not only makes herself available to students via office hours, but she also meets with each student individually at various points in the semester to provide feedback on their progress and assist them as she can.

She uses a great deal of creativity in presenting the subject matter, and does so in a way that students can relate it to "real life." Vacin holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Niagara County Community College, a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a M.A. in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Also receiving the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching was David W. Johnson, instructor of Biology at GCC. Johnson joined the GCC faculty in 2014.

He is a strong advocate of the natural science program, bringing tremendous passion and enthusiasm for science, the teaching of science, and he values the role community colleges play in today's educational arena. The enjoyment that students get from his classes is evident by their enthusiasm in and out of class. He can often be found in the lab working with students and perfecting labs the students will be doing.

Johnson has spent a great deal of time reworking the General Biology sequence and bringing it into the new century with a modern focus. He belongs to several professional organizations in his field and has made several presentations both on campus and off.

Johnson received a B.S in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Oswego and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester.

Similarly, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching, recognizes consistently superior teaching at the graduate, undergraduate, or professional level of the highest quality. Receiving this award was adjunct instructors Carol E. Geiselmann and Raymond A. Boucher.

Geiselmann has been a member of the Genesee adjunct faculty since 2011 teaching several English courses. For 10 years prior to that, Geiselmann was an instructor in the College's Accelerated College Enrollment program. She provides her students with clear syllabi so they understand their responsibilities for the course.

She willingly comes to campus on her days off or stays after class to meet with students and she continually provides feedback and encouragement. Geiselmann is an instructor who meticulously and tenaciously provides students with a solid foundation for life success, and an opportunity for each to develop their own style and voice, simultaneously instilling confidence as students learn and develop writing skills.

Geiselmann earned an A.A. in Arts from SUNY's Orange County Community College, a B.A. in Education/English from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a M.S. in Education/English from Elmira College.

Boucher joined the adjunct faculty at Genesee in 2003 and has taught a variety of course in Theatre, English and Speech. A 2014 winner of the NISOD Award for Teaching Excellence, Boucher is a master teacher.

While he sets high expectations for his students, he is cognizant of the differences of learning styles and he varies his teaching methods to help students be as successful. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom that students find intriguing, and a disciplined yet fun energy that keeps control of the classroom and invites students to explore. Boucher takes his teaching responsibilities very seriously and is a role model for faculty.

Boucher holds a B.S in Theatre Arts and in Literature from the State University of New York at Brockport, post-graduate classes in English Education from Buffalo State College, and a M.A. in Literature from the State University of New York at Cortland.

The final SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence was presented to Raymond J. Strzelecki, Building Maintenance supervisor, for Excellence in Classified Service. This award is a system-level award established to give recognition for superior performance and extraordinary achievement by employees in the Classified Service.

These awards demonstrate SUNY's commitment to individuals who provide superior service to its students and the community at large.

Strzelecki started his career at GCC as building maintenance mechanic in 1991 and went to building maintenance supervisor in 2002 and has been an outstanding employee ever since. He is a team player and demonstrates excellence by continuously going above and beyond in the scope of his job description.

He provides exemplary customer service to the entire College community and is highly respected by his colleagues. This recognition formally thanks Strzelecki for being a role model to everyone on campus.

For the newly established "Cougar Awards," nominations for each of these categories were collected throughout the last semester, and the selected honorees were a tightly keep secret until the moment the awards were announced catching all recipients as a complete surprise.

Recognizing Cougar Accomplishments

In the Cougar Awards segment, Director of Buildings and Grounds Levi T. Olsen was recognized as the Rookie of the Year for his outstanding accomplishments in his first six months on the job.

Fittingly, the entire Buildings and Grounds team, 37 members in all, were called to the stage next to receive the Teamwork Award. The field house audience came to their feet showing appreciation and gratitude for the tireless work of this group especially in light of the two new buildings that were brought online in the past year.

For her exemplary school spirit, secretary in the Financial Aid Office Rebecca S. Patterson received the Spirit and Community Award. Next, ACE Program specialist Karlyn M. Finucane was awarded the Innovation Award for the inception and implementation of the STEM Program that provides young students who are gifted in the math and sciences with the opportunity to pursue college credits while in middle and high school.

The Cougar Salute, which was presented to GCC's Dean for Distributed Learning and Learning Technologies Craig R. Lamb for consistently demonstrating the College's core values.

For embracing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of the campus community, Director of Student Activities Clifford M. Scutella was awarded the Inclusive Excellence Award. The final Cougar Award, the President's Award, went to Director of Athletics Kristen E. Schuth for her distinguished efforts and services in support of the College's mission and strategic priorities.

Milestones of Service

Genesee Community College also used the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony to recognize employees' attainment of milestone service through the Longevity Awards.

  • Celebrating 30 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Meredith L. Altman, Math/Science; Wayne R. Gruendike, Buildings and Grounds; Timothy P. Tomczak, Social Science; and Mark E. Yasses, Housekeeping.
  • Marking 25 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Patricia S. Furness, Albion Campus Center; Karin E. Kovach-Allen, Ph.D., Social Science; and Garth P. Swanson, Humanities.
  • With 20 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Ricky D. Bezon, Buildings and Grounds; Jennifer L. Ross, Computer Services; Kathleen A. Kimber, Humanities; Pamela E. Swarts, Art Center; Robert J. Terry, Buildings and Grounds; Diane M. Marchese, Buildings and Grounds; Tanya M. Lane-Martin, Student Services; and Lorraine S. Anderson, College Services.
  • For 15 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Celina M. Bartz, Student Support Services; Christine Belongia, Humanities; Michele L. Terry, Student and Enrollment Services; Patricia E. Chaya, Student Services; Timothy D. Davalos, Buildings and Grounds; Jessica L. Hibbard, Warsaw Campus Center; Michael C. Perry, Media Services; Edward J. Levinstein, ACE Programs; Susane J. Nugent, Records; and Margaret I. Szczesniak, Dansville Campus Center.
  • The newest milestone employees, celebrating 10 Years of Service, GCC recognized: Erik L. Anderson, Campus Safety; Charmayne R. Bloom, Medina Campus Center; Tara E. Conrad, Records; Debra J. Crossett, Math Science and Career Education; Rebecca J. Day, Upward Bound; Michelle A. Peck, Athletics / Health and Physical Education; Ebony N. Ross, Admissions; Charles L. Scruggs, Humanities; Daniel E. Snyder, ACE Programs; Candice S. Vacin, Social Science; John M. McGowan, The BEST Center. This category also included Alicia M. Catlin, Career Pathways and Richard P. Bartl, Alfred C. O'Connell Library for 10 years of part-time service.

Faculty and Staff: Quality & Compassion

Lastly, but no less important, the "Serving Beyond Expectations" Ceremony took a moment to share and admire the numerous accomplishments and contributions made by GCC's faculty and staff throughout the past academic year.

The number and breadth of these achievements exemplify the quality and compassion that seems near endemic across all departments and divisions at GCC.

From professional presentations to serving as a panelist, board member, keynote speaker, juror, volunteer, evaluator, singer, exhibitor and even earning a certified drone piloting license, 44 members of GCC's staff illustrated their dedication and top-notch professionalism, as well as their passion, patriotism and the idea of making the GLOW community a better place to live and work and flourish.

May 25, 2018 - 1:08pm

Press release from the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce:

Ignite Buffalo is providing local small businesses a new opportunity for growth through a grant program that will award up to $100,000 to Western New York businesses.

Ignite Buffalo is a business grant and mentorship program that promotes sustainable growth, job creation, and ongoing education to local small business owners. Ignite Buffalo is presented by 43 North in partnership with national and local partners including Facebook, M&T Bank, Quickbooks, AWS, WordPress.com and Woo Commerce.

Finalists selected will be in the running to receive one of 27 grants awarded ranging from $25,000-$100,000 and free access to a curated mentorship program. Within this program, business owners will gain access to industry experts offering ongoing educational programming, access to resources and curated workshops.

All applicants need to do is tell their business story. Applications can be made online at www.ignitebuffalo.org and must be submitted by June 13 at noon EDT.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and 43 North will be hosting an informational meeting regarding the Ignite Buffalo grants on Thursday, May 31, from 4-6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at the Batavia City Centre, 105 Main St., Batavia. Food and refreshments will be served.

The meeting is free and open to the public. You can register for the meeting on the Chamber’s website at www.geneseeny.com.

May 24, 2018 - 3:48pm

Above, a photo from the RSVP Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon May 8 at the GC Office for the Aging; volunteers received certificates and longevity pins. 

Submitted photos and press release:

RSVP Volunteer Placement Program of Genesee County announced the results of this year’s Tax Assistance Program. A total of 21 RSVP volunteers prepared nearly 1,200 federal and state tax returns, bringing back to the community over $1 million in refunds.

The volunteers served 3,750 hours through RSVP in collaboration with AARP and the IRS, who provide training, materials and equipment.

Each year, the program is open to all individuals in need of basic tax preparation and is designed to assist low to moderate income households. There is no charge for the service, but donations are accepted.

For many people, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program provides peace of mind along with their filings.

A recipient commented, “I am very satisfied with the service. I don’t know what I would do without it! The volunteers were very thorough, professional and friendly…THANK YOU!”

The RSVP Volunteer Placement Program helps individuals 55+ find meaningful volunteer opportunities with 25 different agencies in Genesee County.

If assisting with tax preparation sounds interesting to you, please call Courtney Iburi, RSVP coordinator, at 343-1611 to learn more about how you could help those in need next tax season.

In photo below, Vern Rupert, longtime RSVP Volunteer and AARP Tax-Aide Foundation coordinator, reads a thank you card from a grateful program participant.

May 24, 2018 - 3:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, news, batavia.

A three-vehicle accident is reported in the area of 22 W. Main St. in the city. It is blocking traffic and injuries are believed to be minor. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

May 24, 2018 - 1:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia girls fastpitch softball, sports, news, Lions Club.

The Lions Club presents Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball with a check for $1,000 to cover the Memorial Day tournament costs.


Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball (BGFS) organization is holding its debut Lions Club Memorial Day Softball Tournament this Saturday, May 26th, over the Memorial Day Weekend.

The Batavia Lions Club has generously agreed to partner with BGFS in sponsoring what is hoped to be the first of a long-running annual fastpitch softball tournament.

The inaugural tournament will be comprised of four 12-and-under teams from Batavia, Perry and Lyndonville.

The day’s events are listed below:

  • Batavia Stingers Black vs. Lyndonville – John Kennedy School – 9 a.m.
  • Batavia Stingers Yellow vs. Perry – Lions Park – 9 a.m.
  • Skills competition – individual hitting contest and team throwing accuracy contest – Lions Park – 11:15 a.m.
  • Consolation game (losing teams from morning games) – Lions Park -- 12:15 p.m.
  • Championship game (winning teams from morning games) – Lions Park – 2:30 p.m.

There will be a concession stand open throughout the day serving hot and cold drinks, hot dogs, pizza and snacks.

Come on out and watch these young ladies compete while enjoying a snack or lunch at the ball field. 

May 24, 2018 - 12:58pm

Press release:

During the month of June, designated by the Alzheimer’s Association® as Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, you can take advantage of a free educational program being offered by the Association’s Western New York Chapter.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease makes planning for the future a very important task for families. Concerns about care planning and programs that can help offset costs mean that families need accurate information about legal and financial matters specific to the disease.

"Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease" is an opportunity to learn about important legal and financial issues to consider, how to put plans in place and how to access legal and financial resources in the community.

The Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter is offering the program on Wednesday, June 13, at 4:30 p.m. in The Manor House at 427 E. Main St. in Batavia. A light meal will also be provided.

Topics to be discussed include:

• Making legal plans that fit individual and family needs;

• Legal documents and what they mean;

• How to find legal and financial assistance;

• Practical strategies for making a long-term plan of care;

• Government programs that can help pay for care;

The program is free and open to the public, but seating reservations are requested by calling 1-800-272-3900.

May 23, 2018 - 7:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, notify, news.


milesarrestfirejan82017.jpgUnder a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office, Eddie Lee "Pops" Miles pled guilty to three felonies this afternoon in Genesee County Court. They were culled from multiple charges in three Grand Jury indictments.

In addition, he accepted a number of conditions and terms and in return, two cases pending in Batavia City Court from last year will be dismissed. He was arrested in August for allegedly putting his arm around the neck of another person and charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and/or blood flow; and he allegedly injected his dog with an unknown purple liquid, garnering a charge of torturing or injuring an animal in violation of Agriculture and Markets law.

As part of the plea agreement, he agreed to relinquish ownership of his dog so it can find a new home.

Also in 2017, he was arrested on a warrant for allegedly selling crack cocaine on two occasions to an agent of the Local Drug Enforcement Task Force. Then on Jan. 7, he used a couch to barricade himself in an apartment at 20 Washington Ave., then set it on fire.

After a standoff, because Miles had allegedly threatened to shoot police officers, Miles exited the burning apartment through a back window and refused to come down from a roof, before agreeing to climb down a ladder.

He has been in Genesee County Jail since then without bail.

Today the 47-year-old Batavia native, who has a GED, made a factual admission of guilt on count three of Indictment 6074:

  • Third-degree arson, a Class C felony. Prison is mandatory. The minimum is one to three years; the max is 5-15 years.

He made a factual admission of guilt on count one of Indictment 6036:

  • Third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, a Class B felony, but if sentenced to the maximum prison term, becomes a Class C felony. He agreed to pay $160 restitution at the time of sentencing. The minimum is five and a half years, with one to two years of post-release supervision; the maximum is nine years with three years of post-release supervision.

He made a factual admission of guilt on count one of Indictment 6015:

  • Second-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, a Class E felony, for taking a 2000 Mercury Sable and operating it in the City of Batavia on May 18, 2017, without the owner's permission. This would garner an indeterminant sentence of one and a third to four years. He also had to admit to the Special Information filed by the District Attorney in the case wherein he acknowledged having been convicted of the same crime in the Town of Pembroke within the last 10 years. 

He will remain in custody until his sentencing, which is set for 2 p.m. on June 22, on the first two counts cited above. Those will run concurrently.

Sentencing on the count in Indictment 6015 is delayed until Aug. 13, pending the submission to the court of blood-test results.

As a condition of his plea agreement regarding the count in Indictment 6015, he must be tested for blood-borne pathogens; why was not explained. Failure to do so will result in voiding the plea agreement and subjecting him to maximum sentence guidelines and/or consecutive sentencing.

Miles has a prior felony conviction but it was 20 or more years ago, therefore for sentencing purposes, he will not be considered a second felony offender.

Judge Charles Zambito ordered a pre-sentencing report.

Henceforth, Miles cannot own or possess firearms. An order of protection was issued for a female victim until May 23, 2019.

Two blondes, neither of whom is the subject of the order of protection, sat in sandaled feet in the front row of the gallery this afternoon and they smiled at Miles when he entered the courtroom in shackles, wearing an orange jumpsuit. His hair was combed neatly and tied in a little graying ponytail in back. The older of the two women, who had ankle tattoos, mouthed something nice as he was led away.

May 23, 2018 - 5:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, business, BID.
Press release:

The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (B.I.D.) Board elected new officers for the 2018-2019 term.

New executive board is made up of Board President Jennifer Gray, Board Vice President Leanna DiRisio, Board Treasurer Kristine Duran, and Board Secretary Lisa Casey.

The BID Board welcomed five new board members this year that were announced at the BID’s Annual Meeting in April. The new members to include: Wesley Bedford, Joann Baiocco, Marc Johnson, Rick Mancuso and Tina Rose.

The newly elected officers represent the first female President and Vice President to serve on the BID Board since its origination in 1998. 

For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit here.

May 23, 2018 - 1:41pm

Press release:

Today, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer called on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to administratively fund the work being done at the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing (NEC) on the National tractor rollover protection systems (ROPS) rebate program.

Schumer said ROPS is a vital program, especially considering that farm-related deaths are up to 800 percent higher than many other major industries, with tractor overturns being their most frequent cause at a rate of 96 cases per year.

“ROPS is a critical and cost-effective rebate program that provides important information to farmers across the country on how to find and install the right rollover bar for their machinery. It is imperative that the CDC does everything possible to fund this program to help ensure that farmers and growers have every tool possible to stay safe and succeed,”Senator Schumer said.

The ROPS program facilitates rebates in states with state-based funding to farmers to cover approximately 70 percent of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS roll bar retrofit kit on their tractor. According to Schumer, the original grant funding for this important program is slated to expire in September, and the CDC has discontinued the funding mechanism to allow for the continued federal investment in this program.

“Keeping family farmers and farm workers who operate dangerous machinery safe must be a major priority. That is why I am the urging the CDC to restore funding for this critical farm safety program and the subsequent research,” Schumer said. “The work done by organizations like the NEC is exactly the type of work the federal government should be investing in: it’s cost-effective, informed by real industry experts, and helps save farmers’ lives every day.

"By slashing available funding to this life-saving organization, we jeopardize successful programs that are providing critical resources to farmers, like a 1-800 safety hot-line number and on the ground experts in rural communities, so farmers can access the ROPS Rebate Program, which helps farmers correctly install rollover bars on their tractors just in case the tractor flips over. We need to do everything possible to make sure we are investing in developing new safety solutions for our farmers and growers. and I will be doing everything possible to make sure this program, which puts farmers first, is protected.”

According to NEC Director, Dr. Julie Sorensen, the program has also been considerably cost-effective with recent economic assessments pointing to a $5 million savings in NY State due to deaths and injuries averted through the program.

As stated by Sorensen, “Senator Schumer’s support for the ROPS program and dedication to the farming community is so essential to ensuring the sustainability of one of our state’s most crucial industries.”

Schumer said the agricultural community is the lifeblood of Upstate New York, and that protecting the well-being and safety of farmers must be a major priority.

In response to the hazardous environment of working on a farm, the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing launched an effort to create the life-saving ROPS Rebate Program, which covers approximately 70 percent of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS rollbar kit on their tractor.

In most cases, this means farmers only pay $500 or less for this life-saving equipment that can otherwise cost up to $1,200.

NEC also provides information to farmers throughout the country on how to find and install the right rollover bar.

Since its inception in 2006, the NEC reports that more than 2,150 tractors have been retrofitted with protective structures in seven states, with more than 1,500 of those retrofits occurring in New York State alone. Farmers throughout the country benefit from the hotline and administrative support that is provided through CDC funding.

Furthermore, Schumer said, participants in New York reported 221 close calls and 19 serious incidents in which death or injury was likely without the protective ROPS structures. However, all of this critical outreach and infrastructure surrounding the ROPS program could come to an end if the CDC allows the federal funding for the ROPS program to come to a halt. Schumer said that this program is vital to farmers and growers, and that he will do everything possible to ensure that the CDC administratively funds the program so that the inroads the ROPS program has made can continue.

A copy of the Senator’s letter appears below:

Dear Director Redfield, MD:

"I write to bring attention to a problem which continues to threaten the lives of farmers and growers in Upstate New York and nationwide. As you know, farm-related deaths are 800 percent higher than many other industries, with tractor overturns being the most frequent cause of deaths on farms, at a rate of 96 cases per year. I commend and appreciate the great work being done at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to invest in tractor rollover protection systems (ROPS) and the continued safety of our farmers. However, it has come to my attention that the federal funding for the ROPS program through NIOSH is in jeopardy of coming to an end in September. Therefore, I urge you to work with the Northeast Regional Center in Cooperstown, New York, as well as other NIOSH Centers across the country, in order to administratively fund this important work that saves almost 100 lives a year across the country.

As you know, our agricultural community is the lifeblood of rural America, and protecting the well-being and safety of our farmers must be a majority priority. In response to the hazardous environment of working on a farm, the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (NEC) launched an effort to create the life-saving ROPS Rebate Program, which covers approximately 70% of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS rollbar kit on their tractor. In most cases, this means farmers only pay $500 or less for this life-saving equipment that can otherwise cost up to $1,200. NEC also provides information to farmers on how to find and install the right rollover bar. Since its inception in 2006, the NEC reports that more than 2,150 tractors have been retrofitted with protective structures in seven states, with more than 1,500 of those retrofits occurring in New York State alone. However, all of this critical outreach and infrastructure surrounding the ROPS program could come to an end if federal funding comes to a halt.  This is why I urge you to administratively provide funding to the ROPS program, so that the  important inroads the ROPS program has made can continue. 

During these challenging times for our agricultural communities, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure that our farmers and growers have every tool available to succeed. In New York State alone, the ROPS program has been extremely effective in preventing tractor rollover deaths and injuries to our farmers and growers. Feedback from the agricultural community has been extremely positive, with participants in New York reporting 221 close calls and 19 serious incidents in which death or injury was likely without protective structures. This kind of success should be touted and continued, which is why I urge you to ensure that you continue to fund the great work done by the NEC and ROPS as soon as possible.     

I understand that in the current fiscal climate resources are constrained, and as always, I vow to stand with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) throughout the budget process. However, based on the critical importance of protecting the health and safety of our agricultural workers, I ask that you ensure that federal funding continues to flow to the ROPS program past September. I look forward to working with you on this important request."

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer

May 23, 2018 - 1:28pm

Press release:

Town of Bethany Republican Committee seeks Highway Superintendent candidates for consideration of endorsement on the Election Ballot this Fall.

The committee will hold its Endorsement Meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5, at Bethany Town Hall, located at 10510 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

Interested candidates please contact Thomas J. Douglas, chairman, via email: [email protected] or call 585-356-0824 on or before Tuesday, June 5th.

May 22, 2018 - 9:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, notify, child sexual offender, Bethany, Alabama.

A man convicted of two counts of first-degree child sex abuse and one count of second-degree child sex abuse is counting down the days until his release after three years of incarceration.

Storm U. Lang, now 21, was sexually involved with three different victims on multiple separate occasions in 2014 when he was 17 years old.

He subjected a 7-year-old to sexual contact in the Town of Alabama; a 12-year-old to sexual contact in the Town of Alabama; and a 5-year-old to sexual contact in the Town of Bethany.

The child molester was back in Genesee County Court on Monday for a Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) hearing to determine his threat level, which must be made within 30 days prior to his release.

Where he plans to live when he gets out was not discussed yesterday. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and will be under post-release supervision for a decade.

The state Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders evaluated this case and provided a risk-level recommendation to the court -- Level 3 -- which means there's a high risk of repeat offense and a threat to public safety exists.

There are also three designations that may be assigned to a Level 3 sex offender: sexual predator, sexually violent offender, or predicate sex offender.

After lengthy discussions in both the morning and afternoon sessions, Judge Charles Zambito determined Lang warranted a Level 3 designation and deemed he met the legal definition of a sexually violent offender.

In making a decision, a point-scoring mechanism known as Total Risk Factor Score is considered; there may also be a request by the defense for a "downward departure" of the overall "presumptive score," which seeks to reduce the designation level as recommended or assigned -- an "override."

The District Attorney's Office agreed with the Board of Examiners' recommendation, which considers such factors as to whether there was use of force, weapons, alcohol or drugs, victim's age, number of victims, assault upon or injury to a victim, and relationship to the victim.

Public defense attorney Lisa Kroemer took issue with the points accrued in scoring her client's risk level -- a "presumptive score of 125"; her aim was to reduce the point score and persuade the judge that Lang is a Level 2 sex offender.

In part, her argument hung on a typo brought to her attention by the people earlier that morning that cited a victim instead of the plural victims for one of the risk factors.

"I'm arguing that the concept of double counting applies; I don't think you can pick and choose," Kroemer said.

First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini denied double counting, saying the score remains 125 even without the typo, because one victim -- a 12-year-old -- was asleep, and therefore defenseless, when the sexual conduct occurred.

Calling Kroemer's argument "baseless and unwarranted," Cianfrini further characterized her logic as "a distinction in search of a difference."

Zambito said no matter how you add it up, Lang earned a score of 125 by his counting, the Board of Examiner's counting, and that of the DA's Office.

The duration of Lang's admittedly ongoing behavior, though no physical violence was used, constitutes "a continuing course of sexual conduct," sexual contact -- over clothes in Lang's case, and the age of victims was factored, too. 

Moreover, the prisoner admitted to authorities in three different instances that he also had sexually abused a 4-year-old victim when he was a juvenile, which was not included in the accounting made in his risk assessment, according to the judge.

"He is a sexually violent offender, based on his conviction -- a risk Level 3," Zambito said.

The Board of Examiners report says Lang has pedophilia and an anxiety disorder.

In addition, a state clinician specializing in sex offenders reported: Lang's likelihood of sexual recidivism is (determined to be) moderate to high; he has multiple and enduring high-risk personality traits; emotional disorders; impaired judgment; and impulsivity, and an inability to control himself."

"He's a Level 3 all day long, whether by points, by upward departure or override," Zambito said.

The defense attorney cited case law (People v. Burgos) that states that psychological/organic abnormality and decreased ability to control sexual behavior must be demonstrated before an upward override -- from a Level 2 (sought by the defense) to a Level 3 (sought by the people) -- can be granted.

The judge asked, "Doesn't the evaluation say that?"

No, Kroemer argued, it assessed his sexual recidivism risk as moderate to high, but she said if her client received treatment, the recidivism risk "should go down."

Kroemer also questioned the credentials of the clinician who performed the mental health assessment.

Cianfrini assured the court that Forensic Mental Health Counseling of Western New York and its clinicians were skilled specialists in the area of evaluating sexual offenders.

Whether or not treatment might help Lang was not considered.

The clerk of the court read Lang the law pertaining to his SORA responsibilities. He has to provide a new photo every year, register wherever he lives within 10 days, and provide authorities with his email address(es), online screen names, etc.

Lang has 30 days to appeal Monday's court decision.

Dressed in a white shirt, tan pants, brown lace-up boots, a belt, Lang was shackled, hands and ankles; accompanied by two state guards wearing uniforms with light-blue shirts. He is about 5'11" and 200 pounds, pale skinned, with heavy brows and chin-length brown hair.

He said nothing until he blurted out before leaving court that he gets out in "40 days."

There are currently 46 Level 3 sex offenders living in Genesee County, and a total of 186 convicted sex offenders at all levels reside here.

May 22, 2018 - 1:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in Memorial Day, news, veterans.

Here's the roundup of parades and ceremonies in Genesee County for Memorial Day on Monday, May 28, from William R. Joyce, director of the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency.


  • City of BATAVIA: Parade starting at 9:45 a.m. beginning at the Eastown Plaza, traveling west along Main Street to Alva Place.
  • BERGEN: Parade at 9 a.m. beginning at the Fire Hall (Routes 19 & Hunter Street), traveling south on Route 19 to Hickory Park, with ceremony to take place at the park immediately following the parade.

  • ELBA: Ceremony at Maple Lawn Cemetery at 10 a.m. No parade. The Elba Historical Society Museum will be open for tours after the ceremony.

  • ALEXANDER: Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Alexander High School and travels to the cemetery on Railroad Avenue with a ceremony to take place at the cemetery following the parade.

  • LE ROY: Parade at 10:30 a.m. from the American Legion to Trigon Park with a ceremony at Trigon Park at 11 a.m. following the parade.

  • BYRON: Parade at 11 a.m. from Terry Street to Swamp Road, with a ceremony immediately following at Byron Cemetery.

  • OAKFIELD: Parade at 11 a.m. from the Oakfield Fire Department to Triangle Park, with ceremony to be held at Triangle Park.

  • CORFU: Parade at 12 p.m. from Corfu Fire Hall on Route 33 to the Intermediate School on Route 77. Ceremony immediately following the parade.

***No parades/ceremonies for the following:

Alabama / Bethany / Darien / Pavilion / Pembroke / Stafford

  • 7 a.m. --- Genesee County Park – Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVA#193)
  • 8 a.m. --- Williams Park World War I Memorial (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)
  • 8:30 a.m. --- Batavia VA Medical Center
  • 8:45 a.m. --- NYS Veterans Home
  • 9:30 a.m. --- Harvester Avenue Plot (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)
  • 10 a.m. --- Upton Monument (wreath laying, rifle salute & Taps)
  • 10:30 a.m. --- UMMC – Jerome Center – (Invocation; National Anthem w/ Batavia Concert Band; G.A.R. Order of the Day; Veterans Service Organizations Commemorations; Wreath Laying w/ Gold Star Mothers; Honor Roll w/ drum roll; Rifle Salute; Taps; Benediction; “God Bless America”)
  • 11:30 a.m. --- Glenn S. Loomis Grave – Elmwood Cemetery (Legion #193)
  • 12 p.m. --- Hansen Bros. Grave – Grandview Cemetery (MCL #951)


Hansen Brothers Marine Corps League Detachment #951

Glenn S. Loomis American Legion Post #332

Veness-Strollo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1602

Disabled American Veterans Chapter #166

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #193

Sons of the Union Veterans – Abraham Lincoln Camp 6

May 21, 2018 - 6:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, crime, notify.

Lionel J. Anderson Jr. got some bad news and some good news in Genesee County Court this morning. Judge Charles Zambito sentenced the 16-year-old to an indeterminate state prison sentence of one to three years. But the judge also vacated his felony conviction on attempted second-degree assault, a non-violent Class E felony, and granted him youthful offender status.

That means his record in this matter will be sealed.

The judge could have sentenced Lionel up to four years under the terms of a plea agreement in this case.

He has served 160 days so far; with good behavior, he could get out in a little over six months -- before the end of the year.

In making the decision, Zambito said it serves the interests of justice, protects the community, and gets Lionel some help.

The Oklahoma native will serve time for his role in an altercation on Highland Park, Batavia, on the evening of Nov. 28. His 13-year-old victim was slammed to the ground, face first, then struck in the face, twice; the injuries stemmed from contact with a "metal belt buckle and/or curb."

He has remained in custody since the incident; his bail was $25,000.

Since his last court appearance, in April, a pre-sentencing report was completed, and attorneys on both side as well as the judge had read it in preparation for today.

Before sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell told the court even though Lionel is young, he has amassed "a pile of history" in the last few months.

"He is in desparate need of services; he continues to use drugs; he behaves inappropriately at school," Finnell said. "He is a threat to society. He is a violent aggressor."

Thus, Finnell said the defendant should not be considered eligible for youthful offender status.

"It is fortunate that the victim in this case was not more harmed" as a result of Lionel's actions, Finnell said.

Public defender Michael Locicero said Lionel is utterly lacking in family support. No mention was made of his mother or her whereabouts. His father is incarcerated and his grandfather moved out of the area. He has been moved around a lot throughout his young life.

"He has had a tough go of it," Locicero said.

As for the altercation, Locicero noted that there were several individuals involved and Lionel "has taken responsibility for his part."

Locicero then asked the judge to consider granting his client youthful offender status and to sentence him to local jail or intermittant incarceration (weekends).

He cautioned Zambito that it would be "a mistake not to consider other factors" in Lionel's life that have shaped and influenced him.

When asked if he had anything to say on his own behalf, Lionel said clearly "No, sir." He was quiet and composed throughout the proceeding.

Judge Zambito said the report by the probation department deemed the defendant to be at the greatest risk; he has nowhere to go, no home to go home to. He was on probation at the time of his criminal act and was not doing well -- well beforehand. He noted the youth's prior history involves violence.

But despite his run-in with authorities, including at school, law enforcement and Family Court, Zambito noted this was his first criminal conviction and that it stemmed from a verbal argument involving several people that escalated. 

"He was not the primary aggressor," Zambito said about the incident, as documented in the probation department report. "He came to the aid of a friend. Whether this was a 'youthful indescretion' (as argued by the defense counsel) is debatable."

Wielding a belt, not inherently a weapon, was unusual, the judge said.

"You need to get some counseling," in order to figure out why you behave as you do, Zambito told the teen.

The defendant is not to possess guns. He has to pay $325 in fees/fines but does not have to submit to the DNA database because of his newly minted youthful offender status.

An order of protection is place for the victim until May 21, 2026.

May 21, 2018 - 4:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Announcements, Genesee County Courthouse.

Press release:

Please be advised that the Courts and Commissioner of Jurors Office in the Genesee County Courts Facility (1 W. Main St., Batavia) will be converting to the New York State Court’s IP phone system on Friday, June 1, at which time their phone numbers will change.

The new main number for each Court is listed below:

Genesee County Courts Facility – main number

(585) 201-5715

Genesee County Supreme Court

(585) 201-5728

Genesee County Court

(585) 201-5731

Genesee County Surrogate’s Court

(585) 201-5733

Genesee County Family Court

(585) 201-5717

Genesee Commissioner of Jurors Office


(585) 201-5719

Batavia City Court


(585) 201-5764


This information will also be posted on the Eighth Judicial District's website, which can be accessed here and the Genesee County Court’s Web page here.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact my office at your convenience and we will endeavor to assist you.

NYS Unified Court System

Eighth Judicial District

District Executive Andrew B. Isenberg

(716) 845-2506 

May 21, 2018 - 2:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, patriot trip, veterans.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia)[center] poses with veterans of the Air Force at a memorial honoring Air Force veterans during last year’s Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C.  

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that his 11thannual Patriot Trip to Washington, D.C., will take place Sept. 20 – 23.

More than 100 veterans and their family members participated in the 2017 trip, which included stories of valiant service members and valuable time spent together reflecting on the courage and dedication exhibited by our nation’s veterans.

Hawley is a longtime supporter of veterans and has served on the Assembly Veterans’ Affairs Committee since 2006.

Only veterans who have never been on the trip before may sign up now. After Aug. 1, veterans who have been on the trip before and those living outside of the 139thAssembly District may apply. The approximate cost of the trip is $400, which includes meals, transportation and admission to the memorials.

“The Patriot Trip is one of my favorite events throughout the year,” Hawley said. “This trip was inspired by Mike Paduzak, a World War Two veteran, who asked me to come together with local veterans and host a trip to Washington D.C.

“Through the experiences of my father, veterans I have met during previous year’s trips, and my own service in the military, I have gained a tremendous understanding and admiration for the sacrifices endured by our veterans. It is for these reasons that I continue the Patriot Trip each year and have solidified it as one of the staples of my service to our community.”

Attractions Hawley plans to visit this year on the trip include:

  • White House
  • U.S. Capitol
  • World War II Memorial
  • Gettysburg
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Vietnam War Memorial
  • Iwo Jima – The Marine Corps Memorial
  • American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial
  • Air Force Memorial
  • 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon
  • Arlington National Cemetery, including the Changing of the Guard
  • Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

If you or a veteran you know want more information about this year’s Patriot Trip XI, please call 585-589-5780 or email[email protected].

To view photos from previous years, use the following link: http://vetsdctrip2008.shutterfly.com/




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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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