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August 25, 2016 - 2:10pm

Press release:

The Richter Family Foundation runs a program that gives books to children under age 5 through The Dolly Parton Imagination Library. It has been in operation since 2004 and the Oakfield-Alabama, Elba, Pavilion, and Pembroke school districts participate in the program. Recently, Byron-Bergen was added to the program.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a set of books beginning with the children’s classic "The Little Engine That Could." Each month a new, carefully selected age-appropriate book will be mailed in your child’s name directly to your home. Best of all it is a FREE GIFT! There is no cost or obligation to your family.

To be eligible in the Byron-Bergen School District, the child must live in the Byron-Bergen School District and must be between the ages of birth and his/her 5th birthday.

A committee representing the Byron-Bergen School District, the Byron and Bergen Communities, and the Byron-Bergen Library is partnering with the Richter Family Foundation to bring the Imagination Library to the children.

If your zip code is 14020, 14021, 14058, 14143 or 14482, the only way to register is to fill out a registration form and mail it to the address indicated on the form. The forms can be found at the Byron Town Hall, the Bergen Town and Village Offices, the Byron-Bergen Library, and the Byron-Bergen Elementary Office.  

If your zip code is 14416, 14422, 14428, 14429 or 14470, you may fill out and send in a registration form or, you may register online at www.imaginationlibrary.com by clicking on the box “register my child” and following the directions.

The Byron-Bergen Imagination Library Committee consists of: Nancy Bailey, librarian, Bergen Public Library; Anna Marie Barclay, Village of Bergen mayor and retired teacher; Donna Gerrard, Byron resident and a mom and grandmother; and Brian Meister, Byron-Bergen Elementary School principal.

They know that you, the parents and your children, will love the Imagination Library and encourage you to sign up your children today. A family can register several children within the household as long as they are under age 5.

August 25, 2016 - 2:02pm

Submitted photo. David Little, left, president of the Rural Schools Association of New York State, presents the Appreciation Award to Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer during the 2016 RSA Conference in Cooperstown.

Press release:

The Rural Schools Association of New York State (RSA) has recognized Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer with an Appreciation Award for his advocacy and leadership on behalf of rural schools in Western New York and across New York State.
 
“The Rural Schools Association of New York State is proud to honor the efforts of Senator Ranzenhofer with our annual Appreciation Award," said RSA Executive Director David A. Little. "Senator Ranzenhofer’s tireless efforts to eliminate the harmful Gap Elimination Adjustment from school funding was of tremendous benefit to all schools. His recognition of the impact of unfunded mandates on school districts and his collaborative approach to working with those he represents serve as examples of the leadership needed to support our rural school districts."
 
Ranzenhofer was the first to organize a forum at Genesee Community College for rural school districts to express the negative impact of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) budget cuts with then Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan in November 2011. Earlier this year, Ranzenhofer successfully worked to eliminate the GEA once and for all.
 
“Fighting for our rural schools has been one of my legislative priorities, and it is such an honor to be recognized for my efforts,” Ranzenhofer said. “The GEA budget cuts were even more severe to the bottom lines of rural school districts. Ending the GEA is a major victory for students and parents, and I am proud to champion their cause.”
 
Genesee Valley Educational Partnership Board Member & RSA Zone Four Director Edward Engel nominated Ranzenhofer for the honor.
 
"Senator Ranzenhofer has been a steadfast supporter of our rural schools. He is a true legislative partner who listens and understands first, then collaborates to find solutions. For example, he helped to jump start a new Agri-Business program for high school seniors. In a data-driven world, agriculture education programs continue to deliver more significant value than any report or test can demonstrate in the lives of our students," said Engel.
 
Since 2013, Ranzenhofer has secured $100,000 in state funding annually to support the Agri-Business Academy at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. The one-year program helps high school seniors – from across school districts in Genesee County – explore careers in the agri-business industry.
 
About the Rural Schools Association of New York State (RSA)
The Rural Schools Association is a statewide, member driven organization dedicated to representing the interests of small and rural school districts in New York State. Approximately 300 school districts and BOCES units are currently enrolled as members of RSA. In addition to the financial support provided by RSA members, supplemental assistance is given by New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, in the form of office facilities, utilities, clerical assistance, and the use of equipment.
August 25, 2016 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Middle School, batavia, news.

Fifth-grade Student & Parent Orientation

Batavia Middle School, located at 96 Ross St. in the City of Batavia, will have a brief orientation program at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Batavia Middle School Auditorium for fifth-grade students and parents.

Students will have the opportunity to purchase their locks. This will give fifth-graders an opportunity to practice, at home, before school starts. Please bring $4.50 for your child's lock. Exact change is always appreciated. If you choose to write a check, please make it payable to: Batavia City School District.

We will review the schedule for Connect Day (on Sept. 7th) and parents and students will receive some helpful materials.

It is not necessary to bring any school supplies with you at this time. Do, however, complete and bring with you the Emergency Go Home Plan, which will be mailed home with your child's teacher/homeroom assignment.

Come and get acquainted ~ We look forward to working with you as your child transitions to Middle School. If you have any questions, please call Julia Rogers, House Administrator at (585) 343-2480, ext. 3001, or at (585) 201-3389.

Transfer Student Orientation

All students in grades 6-8 who are transferring to Batavia Middle School are invited to attend an orientation program at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Middle School Auditorium. The program will include an overview of our Middle School and will be followed by a building tour. School counselors will be available for students and parents.

August 25, 2016 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The $9,500 mares Open pace at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Aug. 24) was like “Groundhog Day” for the winner as My Tallia Ideal once again came from off the pace to dominate at the end and score consecutive victories in the Genesee County oval’s top distaff class.

Looney Dune (Ben McNeil) took a slow slow methodic outside route to the lead after the small but select field of mares broke from the gate for race one. She cleared before the quarter in :27.3 and from that point, the trailing field followed her in post-position order until they straightened out for the half.

At the head of the stretch, My Tallia Ideal (Dave McNeight III) pulled and began motoring up towards the leader followed by All Charged Up (John McDonald) and Who Says That (Drew Monti) in the outer flow. By the middle of the backstretch, My Tallia Ideal’s forward assault was complete when she cleared and tripped the three-quarter timer in 1:25. From there, the gauntlet was laid down as the daughter of Western Ideal opened up by two, then three and pulled away more to a 1:53.4 win over All Charged Up and Who Says That.

It was the sixth win of the year for My Tallia Ideal ($5.90), including three out of four Batavia Downs starts, all being in the top class at the Downs. The win pushed her earnings for the year to $43,525 for owners Peter Kibler, Kenneth Owczarczak and Courtney McNeight. My Tallia Ideal is trained by Dave McNeight Jr.

Four drivers owned most of the card as Todd Cummings won three races and Kevin Cummings, Jack Flanigen and Dave McNeight III each won two. Trainer Dave McNeight Jr. also sent two horses to the winner’s enclosure.

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Aug. 26) with post time for the first race at 6:15.

August 24, 2016 - 7:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Le Roy, accident.

One person is injured following an accident at the intersection of Oatka Trail and Circular Hill roads. Le Roy fire and ambulance are responding.

August 24, 2016 - 3:35pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

WILKES-BARRE, PA (08/23/2016)-- Wilkes University welcomes Samantha Cecere, of Batavia, into the Class of 2020. Cecere is one of more than 700 students who make up the University's newest undergraduate class. Cecere's major is Pre-pharmacy GS.

About Wilkes University:

Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university is on a mission to create one of the great small universities, offering all of the programs, activities, and opportunities of a large, research university in the intimate, caring, and mentoring environment of a small, liberal arts college, at a cost that is increasingly competitive with public universities.

Learn more at www.wilkes.edu

August 24, 2016 - 3:08pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, batavia, Bulldawgs, blue devils.
Press release:
 
Tonight is the annual BLUE DEVIL EXPERIENCE night. The Mini Division Bulldawgs (8-9 year olds) will play against the Blue Devils varsity team under the lights.

 

Prior to the game, the kids will be allowed to go into the varsity locker room to hear Coach Brennan Briggs' pre-game speech and come out onto the field alongside the Devils.

Game time is at 7:15 p.m. at Van Detta Stadium in Batavia (Mini players are to arrive by 7 p.m.).

This will be the battle of champions ... as the defending 2015 NOFA Mini Division Champion Bulldawgs look to defend its 2-0 record vs. the TWO-time defending Section V Blue Devils.

Come out for an exciting game! GO BULLDAWGS!

August 24, 2016 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, pembroke, Arsenal Baseball.
Press release:

Arsenal Baseball is Western NY’s newest boys travel baseball program committed to bringing quality coaching and baseball to Genesee County and the surrounding areas.

The coaching staff at Arsenal Baseball is excited to announce try-outs from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27th at the Pembroke High School varsity baseball field for the 2016-2017 travel baseball season. 

Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.

For additional questions please contact Brett Willitt at [email protected]

August 24, 2016 - 2:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, corfu.

A 26-year-old Corfu woman was arrested on Route 98 in the Village of Attica after Attica PD initiated a traffic stop for a vehicle traveling with a flat tire at 2:59 a.m. on Aug. 19.

Upon further investigation, Jessica L. Zellner was allegedly found to be driving while intoxicated.

It was determined by Attica PD and the Wyoming County Sheriff's Department that Zellner had left the scene of two separate property damage accidents, one of which took place on Maxon Road, Town of Bennington, and the other on Route 354 in the Village of Attica.

During the arrest process, Zellner was also charged with refusal to take a breath test and unlawful possession of marijuana. She was also charged with resisting arrest, third-degree escape and third-degree attempted assault, following two different altercations that allegedly occurred at Attica PD headquarters.

She was arraigned in Village of Attica Court and put in Wyoming County Jail on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. Zellner is to reappear in Village of Attica Court at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 12.

August 24, 2016 - 1:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, batavia, Le Roy, Stafford.

Joshua D. Murphy, 30, of Pleasant Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Aug. 23 by the Le Roy Police Department. Murphy was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. Murphy was arrested following the investigation of a child who had been struck in the ribs. Murphy allegedly struck a 20-month-old child in the ribs on Aug. 13. Murphy was issued an appearance ticket on the charge and is due in the Le Roy Town Court on Sept. 26 to answer to the charge.

Kenisha A. Thomas, 18, of Dellinger Avenue, Batavia, was arrested on Aug. 14 by the Le Roy Police Department. Thomas was charged with: two counts of criminal mischief in the 4th degree, a Class A misdemeanor; one count of petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor; and second-degree harassment, a violation. Thomas was arrested following a larceny complaint at the Beautiful Kitchen Chinese restaurant on West Main Street. Thomas allegedly stole a tip jar from the counter of the establishment, which had approximately $60 inside. While fleeing the scene, Thomas allegedly damaged the exit door and struck an employee in the face. Thomas was arraigned and is being held at the Genesee County Jail in lieu of $200 cash bail or $400 bond. Thomas is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on Sept. 6 to answer to the charges.

Jon Roblee, 40, of Bank Street, Batavia, is charged with second-degree harassment, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of marijuana. He was arrested on the charges following an incident on Aug. 16 that originally occurred at 10 p.m. on Oak Street in Batavia. He allegedly pushed a subject at that location but left prior to arrival of police. Patrols later located Roblee on Bank Street and attempted to take him into custody. He allegedly resisted but was eventually subdued and arrested. He was allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana. He was arraigned and jailed on $2,500 cash/bond. Roblee was due back in City Court on Aug. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Felicia DeGroot, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Nicole R. Elmore, 28, of Erie Street, Le Roy, was arrested on Aug. 22 by the Le Roy Police Department. Elmore was charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. Elmore was arrested after she allegedly allowed a child to be in the area of numerous items of drug paraphernalia in her residence. Elmore was arraigned and released under supervision of Genesee Justice. Elmore is to return to the Le Roy Town Court on Sept. 6 to answer to the charge.

Jason A. McFollins, 39, of Union Street, Batavia, is charged with: DWI; open container of alcohol; obstructed vision; aggravated unlicensed operation -- previous conviction; and operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08 percent or more -- first offense. McFollins was arrested at 2:05 a.m. on Aug. 14 on Olyn Avenue in Batavia for allegedly operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was released on an appearance ticket and is due in Batavia City Court on Sept. 14. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Matthew Wojtaszczyk, assisted by Officer Eric Foels.

Jonathan H. Wincott, 22, Gilbert Lane, Plainview, is charged with: refusal to take a breath test; speeding; unlawful possession of marijuana; and driving while ability impaired by drugs. He was arrested at 12:18 a.m. on Aug. 16 following an investigation into a traffic violation that occurred on East Main Street in Batavia a short time earlier. Wincott was processed at BPD headquarters and given several traffic tickets and an appearance ticket for City Court on Aug. 31. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Eric Foels, assisted by Officer Felicia DeGroot.

Dianna Leon, 18, of Richmond Avenue, Batavia, turned herself in at city police headquarters on a bench warrant. It was issued because she failed to appear in court on a driving-while-ability-impaired charge stemming from a hit-and-run accident on Ellicott Street in Batavia on Halloween 2014. She posted $250 cash bail and was issued a computer-generated appearance ticket. She was due in City Court on Tuesday (Aug. 23). The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze.

Patrick Neaverth, 35, no permanent address, is charged with second-degree criminal contempt and second-degree burglary. On Aug. 13, Batavia PD was dispatched to a Kingsbury Avenue address for a report of a male lying on the floor of an enclosed porch. Police found Neaverth in the enclosed porch. The female resident has a valid order of protection against the defendant out of City Court. He was arrested and jailed without bail. He was due in City Court on Aug. 15. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins, assisted by Officer Mitchell Cowen.

Matthew Joseph Engert, 25, of Geddes Street, Holley, was arrested Aug. 8 on a bench warrant out of City Court for allegedly failing to appear on a charge of aggravated harassment. He was jailed in lieu of $2,000 cash or $4,000 bond and was due in City Court Aug. 10. The case was handled by Batavia Police Sgt. Jason Davis.

Darryl Simone Robinson, 52, of East Main Street, Batavia, turned himself in on a City Court bench warrant on Aug. 16. Robinson allegedly failed to pay a fine on Aug. 3 on an unnecessary noise conviction. Robinson was arraigned on the warrant then released on his own recognizance. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jason Ivison.

Tyanna D. Green, 21, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on Aug. 16 on two bench warrants -- one for failure to appear in court, the other for failing to pay a fine from two separate incidents. Green was arraigned and the judge also signed and executed a warrant for violation of Probation. Green was jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail and was due back in City Court on Aug. 18. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Jamie Givens, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Gina L. Avino, 41, of Haven Lane, Batavia, was turned over to BPD by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office on Aug. 19 on a bench warrant out of City Court. Avino was arraigned and jailed on $250 cash bail or bond and is due in City Court today. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Arick Perkins.

Cody Moore, 27, no permanent address, was arrested on a bench warrant Aug. 22. He allegedly failed to appear in Batavia City Court to answer charges of traffic violations. Moore was arraigned and put in GC County Jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail. He is due in City Court on Aug. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Sgt. Jason Davis, assisted by Sgt. Dan Coffey.

Jordan G. Merica, 24, of Main Road, Stafford, was arrested at 9:46 p.m. on Aug. 20 after being located in Kibbe Park in Batavia after hours and allegedly in possession of marijuana. Merica is due in City Court on Aug. 30. The case was handled by Batavia Police Officer Mitchell Cowen, assisted by Officer Arick Perkins.

August 24, 2016 - 12:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, crime, Darien.

Two people were arrested by the Genesee County Sheriff's Office during the ZZ Top concert at Darien Lake PAC on Tuesday (Aug. 23).

The following were issued appearance tickets to be in Town of Darien Court on Sept. 13:

George J. Kovach, 59, of Adam Street, North Tonawanda, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance not in its original container, after allegedly possession a quantity of a controlled substance during a suspicious condition investigation.

Earl J. Spencer, 39, of Grove Street, Tonawanda, was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of marijuana.

August 24, 2016 - 12:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in hazardous household waste, batavia, news, Announcements.

Press release:

Don’t miss out! Spots for the GLOW’s 2016 Household Hazardous/Pharmaceutical Waste Collection Event are going fast. Residents who want to dispose of materials at the Saturday, Sept. 17, collection in Batavia must have an appointment in order to attend.

GLOW accepts a wide range of household chemicals, oil base paint, home computers (NOTE LIMIT OF TWO (2) CRT TVs AND/OR MONITORS PER REGISTRANT), propane tanks and canisters, vehicle batteries and other materials. Microwave ovens and for the seventh year, thanks to the assistance of the Genesee County Sheriff’s office, pharmaceuticals (unwanted, outdated, unusable and over-the-counter medicines) will be accepted. These materials are accepted FREE OF CHARGE. There is a nominal fee for tires.

Funding is provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), GLOW’s county contributions and Covanta Energy.

This is a great opportunity for residents to dispose of household chemicals and medicines they no longer want or need. Past collections have resulted in the safe and legal disposal of thousands of tires, thousands of gallons of solvents, cleaning products and paint, not to mention vehicle batteries, propane tanks and computers. Whenever possible materials collected are recycled.

The collection is open to residents in Genesee, Livingston and Wyoming counties. To make an appointment residents are asked to call the GLOW office at 585/815-7906 or 800/836-1154, or email [email protected]

August 23, 2016 - 7:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, batavia, news.

A car vs. bicycle accident is reported at 505 E. Main St. and the bicyclist is said to be lying in the roadway. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 7:32 p.m.: A 14-year-old male who was the bicyclist is being transported to UMMC with a complaint of right knee pain. He was boarded and collared as a precaution, according to a medic.

August 23, 2016 - 2:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, batavia, news.

Press release:

The two new facilities under construction at Genesee Community College are beginning to take shape and both projects are on schedule to be completed next summer, the College's Board of Trustees learned at its monthly meeting following a project tour. 

The structural steel is rising on the new 18,478-square-foot, two-story Student Success Center, which will connect to the existing Conable Technology Building through a second-story bridge. As the new "front door" of the Batavia Campus, the Student Success Center will partially enclose the College's central clock tower quad and provide a one-stop service center for students seeking admissions, financial aid, academic advisement, as well as job and career counseling. 

The site work for the new, 56,614-square-foot Richard C. Call Arena continues with the structural steel anticipated in the coming two or three weeks. Located adjacent to the Soccer and Lacrosse Turf Field at the far west side of campus, the new facility will be the largest open public space in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties and is expected to draw as many as 500,000 visitors to the campus each year. The large arena will not only accommodate an array of athletic competitions, but all kinds of civic, community, trade, industry as well as college events -- from farm, boat and tractor shows to commencement ceremonies where a whole family can sit together. 

Combined, the two projects make up the largest component of a nearly $25-million overall capital project. 

In other business, the Board of Trustees:

• Heard a report from Barbara Sadden, director of the Upward Bound program, which is celebrating its 32nd year as part the federally funded TRiO Program. Through a partnership between Genesee Community College and numerous area secondary schools, the program serves students in Genesee and Wyoming counties from low-income families and/or families where neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. Upward Bound provides these students with year-round academic instruction, tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment, work-study programs and other activities all focused on increasing their likelihood of graduating from high school and enrolling in a college or university. Since 1984 when the program was introduced, 1,671 students have been served, and Upward Bound students have successfully enrolled in more than 24 different colleges and universities. In addition, as high school students enrolled in GCC's Accelerated College Enrollment Program, Upward Bound students have taken 324 college credits. 

Approved President James Sunser's report on the reaffirming of the following College policies with minor revisions: Use of Equipment (5006), On-Campus Sales (5007), Parking Regulations (5008), External Support of Research and Development Activities (5010), Process for Independent Auditing Services (5011), Purchasing Policy (5015) and Petty Cash (5016). 

Appointed the Board of Trustee committee assignments as follows: Buildings & Grounds -- Donna Ferry (chair), Peter Call, Maureen Marshall, Laurie Miller and Jacalyn Whiting; Personnel -- Laurie Miller (chair), Benjamin Bonarigo, Robert Boyce, Maureen Marshall, and Diane Torcello; Policy -- Benjamin Bonarigo (chair) and Jacalyn Whiting; Finance -- Peter Call (chair), Donna Ferry and Diane Torcello; NYCCT -- Donna Ferry; Foundation -- Robert Boyce, Peter Call, and Jacalyn Whiting; GCC Association -- Laurie Miller; Nominating -- Donna Ferry (chair) and Robert Boyce.

Heard President Sunser report on the following new personnel appointments:

  • Laurel Sanger, will begin as the new director of GCC's Nursing program on Sept. 5. She leaves Monroe Community College after nearly 20 years of experience as the dean of Science, Health and Business, the chair of the Nursing department and a nursing instructor. She earned two master's degrees, in Gerontology Nurse Practitioner and Public Administration from Nazareth College and The College at Brockport, respectively. She resides in Rochester.

Other new Nursing program instructional staff include: 

  • Crystal Shelanskey earned her master's degree in Nursing Education from Roberts Wesleyan College, and has been clinical adjunct instructor at GCC for three years and a visiting nurse in the Rochester area performing in-home patient support. She resides in Rochester.
  • Beth Felix also earned her master's degree in Nursing Education from Roberts Wesleyan College. She has worked as a clinical instructor for both GCC and MCC and currently works as an intensive care RN in the Rochester Regional Health System. She resides in Rochester.
  • Sabrina Schwartz is a 2010 graduate of GCC's Nursing Program and earned her master's degree from SUNY-IT Utica. She has worked in a variety of nursing specialties including clinical teaching, in-service and telehealth, and has three years of maternity experience. She currently is a per diem nurse in maternity and newborn nursing. She resides in Newfane.
  • Mary Dixon is a 1984 graduate of GCC's Nursing Program and earned her master's degree in Nursing Education from St. John's Fisher College. She has since served as an adjunct nursing instructor at both institutions. As a certified oncology nurse, she currently practices oncology and hematology nursing. She resides in Batavia.
August 23, 2016 - 2:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in road repair, batavia, news.

Press release from the city Department of Public Works:

Paving operations are scheduled to begin on Washington Avenue and Jefferson Avenue with pavement milling on Thursday, Aug. 25, and work continuing through next week until the new pavement is completed.

The paving aspect of this project includes Washington Avenue in its entirety and the northern end of Jefferson Avenue.

Traffic delays can be expected during this phase of contruction and alternate routes should be used when possible.

August 23, 2016 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, sports, news, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

If you have ever attended live harness racing and realized you may be interested in becoming an active participant in America’s oldest organized sport, Batavia Downs is offering a new owner seminar at 3 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 10) in the Robert J. Kane Boardroom, located in the lower grandstand. It is being held in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association and the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State.

The program will include a two-and-a-half hour classroom presentation by representatives of the United States Trotting Association (USTA) and the Harness Horse Breeders of New York (HHBNYS) and will include guest trainers, drivers, owners and management from Batavia Downs Racetrack. Topics will include risk and reward, what it costs, choosing your horse, trainer and driver, and time will be allowed for questions and answers throughout the evening.

The package includes:

  • All needed classroom materials;
  • A hands-on tour of the paddock as horses prepare for the night's action;
  • Reserved seating in the clubhouse;
  • Dinner at the prime rib, crab leg and shrimp buffet;
  • A trip to the winner’s circle for a win picture after a race;
  • Membership to the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State;
  • $20 worth of free-play on the gaming floor;
  • and a free one-year subscription to the industry’s award-winning publication, "Hoof Beats Magazine."

The cost is only $30 for a single and $50 for a couple. Reservations should be made in advance but payment will be made at the door. There are several ways to register. There are links on both USTA and Batavia Downs Facebook pages or go to shop.ustrotting.com and click Prospective Owners Events. You can also e-mail [email protected] or call 877-800-8782, ext. 5555 or 585-343-375, ext. 6322.

This is your opportunity to own your own sports franchise and go from the grandstand to the winner’s circle with your winning horse. Purses have never been higher at many tracks in North America and there has never been a better time to get involved in all the fun and excitement of harness racing ownership than right now.

August 22, 2016 - 4:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in charity, Stafford, Madisonation, sports, golf.

Submitted photo of Ella Suhr; she and her family are the designated recipients of this year's "Madisonation" Golf Tournament proceeds.

Kevin Muckle, of Stafford, is continuing the fight against childhood cancer and has organized the sixth annual "Madisonation" Golf Tournament, which will be held at Hickory Ridge Golf Tournament this Sunday (Aug. 28).

Hickory Ridge Golf Resort and Country Club is located at 15816 Lynch Road in Holley.

The tournament's motto is "Never Give Up."

His family never did. Madison Marie Muckle was diagnosed just after her third birthday. She endured two and a half years of treatment and received her final round of chemo in April of 2013.

Today Kevin's 8-year-old daughter is cancer free. This thankful dad has spearheaded the tournament each year on her behalf and for other children battling acute lymphocytic leukemia and other children cancers.

Since the tournament began, recipients of the annual proceeds have included Golisano Children's Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a local family with a 4-year-old daughter who is fighting the disease. More than $6,800 was raised for that family.

This year, proceeds will be donated to the family of Ella Suhr, who is about 8 months old and was diagnosed in March with primitive neuroectodermal tumor, a cancerous neural crest tumor that is extremely rare.

The funds raised on Sunday will help her parents with medical expenses, travel costs (to Tampa, Fla., and Rochester) and bills that continue to mount while they strive to save their baby girl's life. The parents, Joe and Maegan Suhr, are both local school teachers, and have been out of work since the diagnosis and will continue to be for the next several months.

"Please help us in our efforts to help Ella and her family beat this disease," Muckle said.

Sunday's event is a semi-competitive best ball tournament, with prizes awarded to the lowest men's, ladies, and mixed team scores.

The registration fee is $380 per foursome. Individual golfers seeking a team are $95 each. Those who wish to skip golf and just enjoy the banquet and fundraiser are just $30 each.

The tournament schedule is:

  • 8 a.m. -- Registration/check in begins
  • 9 a.m. -- Shotgun start
  • 2 p.m.-ish -- "The Cool Down"
  • 3 p.m. -- Presentations
  • 3:15 p.m. -- Dinner is served
  • 4 p.m. -- Guest Speaker: Ernie DiGregorio
  • 4:15 p.m. -- Raffles for prizes
  • 4:30 p.m. -- Check presentation to Suhr Family

Contact Kevin Muckle at (585) 300-7499 with any questions or to contribute or donate to the tournament and this cause. Any donations can be mailed to: Madisonation, 9206 Transit Road, Stafford, NY 14143.

Visit the Madisonation website by clicking here.

August 22, 2016 - 1:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, alexander, elba, pembroke.

Salvatore Sam Sciarpa, 19, Chili Avenue, Chili, is charged with driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or more, DWI, and failure to yield the right-of-way of approaching an intersection. At 10:26 p.m. on Aug. 19, a two-car accident was reported at the intersection of Route 98 and Lockport Road. Upon investigation, Sciarpa was arrested on these charges. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due in Elba Town Court on Sept. 26. The case was handled by Sheriff's deputy Rachel Diehl, assisted by Deputy Ryan DeLong.

Joseph Matthew Barnaby, 20, of Main Street, Alexander, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. At 10:10 p.m. on Aug. 19, upon responding to Barnaby's residence for a noise complaint, Barnaby was allegedly found to be in unlawful possession of marijuana. He was released on an appearance ticket to Alexander Town Court on Sept. 13. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Forsyth.

Khem Bahadr Adhikari, 25, of Parkway, Rochester, is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. The subject was allegedly in possession of a marijuana cigarette during a traffic stop in which he was a passenger in the vehicle. The traffic stop was made at 3:22 p.m. on Aug. 20 on Alleghany Road in Pembroke. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Chris Parker.

August 22, 2016 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, GCC, BEST Center.

Photo provided by GCC of Jennifer Wakefield, left, and Justine Briggs.

Press release:

The GCC Business and Employee Skills Training (BEST) Center recently welcomed two new staff members to its team with the addition of Justine Briggs and Jennifer Wakefield in the roles of business training specialist and program coordinator, respectively. Briggs and Wakefield both began their new roles with the College on July 25.

"The BEST Center is extremely pleased to welcome both Jennifer and Justine," said Reid Smalley, executive director of workforce development and The BEST Center. "Both individuals bring outstanding professional credentials to our team, including new program development and training design experiences, and creative and innovative ideas to further expand our presence in the GLOW area."

Briggs, a Batavia native, graduated with both a bachelor's and master's degree in English from St. Bonaventure University. Her work experience includes multiple roles at Paychex in Rochester since 2012, including human resources online advisor and online services trainer. Among her many duties, Briggs was charged with researching and gathering information to implement new training processes across multiple products and designing and scheduling training sessions and webinars to new, existing and perspective clients. These skills will readily transfer to her new role with the BEST Center.

In her spare time, Briggs enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, swimming, hiking and running, and she also enjoys spending time with her family, which is about to grow. Happily married to her husband, Brennan, for two years, the couple is expecting their first child at the end of September. Briggs currently resides in Batavia.

Wakefield moved to Western New York in 2001 when her husband, veterinarian Tom Wakefield, became a partner at the Perry Veterinary Clinic. Originally from Ohio, she graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in International Studies and a minor in Spanish. Prior to joining The BEST Center, Wakefield taught Spanish at Holy Family Catholic School in Le Roy and at Genesee Wyoming Catholic School in Attica. Most recently, she worked at the Geneseo Migrant Center through Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in Leicester as a family educator and as a Spanish speaking outreach worker.

Wakefield has three children, twin boys, Tanner and Quentin, who are both sophomores at The University at Buffalo, and a daughter, Meryl, who is a junior at Warsaw High School. Her personal interests include watching Ohio State football games, watching her daughter's soccer games, running, cross-country skiing, cooking and increasing the stamps on her passport. She currently resides in Warsaw.

The BEST Center at GCC is the recognized regional leader in developing the skilled workforce that powers local economic growth. The Center serves individual employees as well as businesses large and small with seminars, workshops and trainings designed to improve the performance of people and processes. For more information, visit www.bestcenter.og

August 22, 2016 - 12:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, SUNY awards, Le Roy, batavia, corfu.

Photo provided by GCC. Award winners -- all wearing medals around their necks -- are pictured from left: Michelle A. Peck, M. Richard Dudkowski, Rafael Alicia-Maldonado, Ph.D, Karen Huffman, Ph.D, Carol Marriott, Pamela N. Lusk, Edward J. Grabowski, and Karen K. Wicka. (Not shown: Roxanne M. Holthaus.) GCC President James Sunser is standing in back in the center. Chair of GCC's Board of Trustees Laura Bohm is standing in front with her hands clasped together. 

Press release:

Nine members of the Genesee Community College faculty and staff, two of whom live in Genesee County, have been recognized by State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher for outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus and the community. The Chancellor's Award for Excellence is given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

The following GCC faculty and staff members earned the 2016 award and were honored at a reception on the Batavia Campus Thursday, Aug. 18, in the Stuart Steiner Theatre.

Award for Excellence in Teaching

***Roxanne M. HolthausAssistant Professor, Nursing – Holthaus joined GCC as a full-time faculty member in 2009. With over 16 years of experience, both as a highly engaged registered nurse and a family nurse practitioner in a university setting, Holthaus was promoted by the College to the rank of assistant professor of Nursing in 2015. She earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from SUNY Binghamton and a bachelor's and master's degree in Nursing from the University of Rochester School of Nursing. Entirely dedicated to the success of her students, Holthaus is the coordinator and point of contact for the "Nursing Boot Camp" program, a series of clinical lab and simulation exercises run for two to three nights during the months of July and/or August, as a means of helping students maintain their nursing skill set during the semester break. In the classroom, Holthaus uses multiple techniques to enhance the learning environment and believes that all students enrolled in the nursing program have the right to learn and the chance to be successful. She believes that students need to be reached where and how they learn best, which means understanding that the same approach will not work for all. ***Holthaus resides in Le Roy.

Karen K. WickaAssistant Professor of Criminal Justice – Wicka was an attorney who left the practice of law to pursue her passion of teaching. She began her time at GCC as an adjunct professor of criminal justice in 2001 and was hired as a full-time instructor in 2008. As of 2012, Wicka has held the title of assistant professor. In addition to classroom learning, she has taken an active role in promoting learning through other school activities, including the Criminal Justice Club which she is a co-advisor for. Within the club, Wicka aids students in running various activities and events which help them learn more about and participate in the criminal justice field. She has also inspired in students to give back to the community through various service activities such as raising money for the Genesee County K-9. Wicka obtained a bachelor's degree in Political Science from SUNY Potsdam before earning a juris doctorate from Albany Law School of Union University. Her legal experience includes serving as an associate for Bond, Shoeneck & King, LLP, in Buffalo and O'Connell and Aronowitz, P.C. in Albany, where she previously worked as a law clerk. Wicka is a member of the Criminal Justice Educators Association of New York (CJEANYS), Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York Bar Association. She continues to give back to the College with her time as a volunteer for the Scholars Symposium and the New York State Historical Society Essay Contest for GCC, helping students prepare and revise essay submissions. She resides in Hamburg.

Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

Edward J. Grabowski, Adjunct Instructor of Social Science and Business – Grabowski teaches a variety of courses at GCC across multiple disciplines, including Criminal Justice, Business Law and Paralegal Studies, and at several locations. He has taught on an adjunct basis at the College since 2007, bringing a level of excitement and entertainment to the classroom. Grabowski's teaching style creates an atmosphere that is highly conductive to student learning and he does whatever he can to help students be successful, frequently going above and beyond expectations of adjuncts to help a student in need. His career in law enforcement began with an A.A.S in Police Science from GCC in 1976. He then earned a B.S. in Police Science and Education from Buffalo State College and finally, Grabowski received a J.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law in 1997. Heavily involved in his community, he has been a Boy Scout leader for 20 years and teaches law and criminal justice-related merit badges to Boy Scouts. Grabowski is a member of the Orleans Niagara BOCES School Board and has a professional Santa Claus costume, portraying Santa since 1982 at local events. He resides in Medina.

Pamela N. Lusk, Adjunct Instructor of Social Science and Health – Lusk has taught for GCC since the Albion Campus Center opened in the fall of 1990. Her background and education allow her to teach in multiple subject areas, including Psychology, Health, Human Services and Sociology. Lusk obtained a dual-major bachelor's degree in Health Education and Community Development and a master's degree in Health and Social Sciences from The College at Brockport and completed her Ph.D in Psychology from Cornell University. She has been so highly regarded at Genesee that she has been asked to fill other temporary assignments for the College including acting associate dean for the campus center and wellness coordinator the Title III Grant. In addition to teaching, Lusk volunteers her time both within the College and in her community and encourages her students to do the same. She has led the Albion Campus Wellness Student Club and has overseen numerous fundraisers and other service projects to help those in need. Lusk's exuberance and positivity is contagious, not only with students, faculty, and staff but also with community members.

Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

Karen Huffman, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Biology – Huffman has been a member of the College's Science faculty since 2011 and has become an integral part of the department, being promoted to the rank of assistant professor in the fall of 2014. She has been instrumental in developing service learning at Genesee and has worked to develop coursework with colleagues from across the academic divisions to help students learn better study skills, note taking, and develop writing skills. Huffman graduated with Honors from Indiana University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. She then moved to Texas and completed a Ph.D in Biology at the University of Texas, teaching, carrying out original research, and presenting at national meetings. Her teaching includes stints as an adjunct professor at a number of community and four-year colleges in Chicago and Buffalo, and as a high school biology teacher at Mt. Mercy Academy in Buffalo. Beyond GCC, Huffman serves on several state level committees including the NYS Science Content Advisory Panel and the Science Teachers Association of New York State, where she serves on the Board of Directors and was recently elected as the statewide college level representative. She was instrumental in planning and executing the College's first Scholars Symposium Day, which was held in the spring and provided a platform for students and faculty to present their research on topics of interest to them. Huffman continues to represent GCC through presentations that she makes at local, state and national conferences as well as through a long list of publications.

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

M. Richard (Rick) Dudkowski, Professor of Business/Marketing/Fashion – Dudkowski has been a valued member of the GCC faculty since 1984, making significant contributions to the College and in particular, the Fashion Business program. He was hired as the first full-time faculty member in the Fashion program and through his leadership, the program has grown from 12 students to its current enrollment of 73 students. He is well known in the Western New York fashion industry and is frequently sought after to serve as a guest speaker or judge for an event. "Mr. D," as he is called by his students, was the 2001-2002 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2008-2009 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. He is currently co-chairing the College's 50th anniversary steering committee and he co-chaired the 20th anniversary steering committee, helping to organize special events to recognize the founding of GCC. Under Mr. D's watch, the annual fashion show celebrated its 35th anniversary in the spring and has grown into the largest and longest-running fashion show in Western New York. For the past 15 years, under the direction of Mr. D, the Business Forum Club has hosted the annual "Ducky Derby," raising thousands of dollars to support the United Way. Richard earned an associate degree in Business Administration from Erie Community College, a bachelor's degree in Consumer and Business Studies from Buffalo State College, a master's degree in Vocational and Technical Education from Buffalo State College, and he has completed all but the dissertation at the University at Buffalo in the Educational Doctorate program in Vocational Education. He resides in Clarence.

Award for Excellence in Professional Service 

Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, Ph.D, Dean of Math/Science and Career Education – "Dr. RAM," as he is known on campus, came to GCC as an instructor of Chemistry in 2000. He received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004-2005 and after reaching full professor status in 2010, and he won again in 2011 for Faculty Service. He oversees 40 academic programs, a significant portion of the Academic Affairs division. A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. RAM earned a bachelor of science degree in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico and a doctoral degree in Chemistry from the University at Buffalo. He was awarded the Mattern-Tyler Excellence in Teaching Award from the Department of Chemistry at UB, has authored several publications, and has presented at over a dozen conferences. In August of 2011, Dr. RAM was became the academic dean of the Math, Science & Career Education Area at GCC after the College conducted a nationwide search for the position. He currently teaches the Intro to Chemistry course in an online format, which he developed. Dr. RAM resides in Buffalo.

***Carol Marriott, Associate Vice President for Institutional Research and Assessment – Marriott's career at the College began in 2000 as a temporary grant coordinator to oversee operations of a Title III Grant. Under her direction, the grant provided GCC with a strengthened endowment and several facilities that greatly improved the quality of the learning experience, setting the College apart from its peers. At the end of the grant, Marriott returned to school and obtained a master's degree in Higher Education from the University at Buffalo before returning to work at Genesee as the director of Institutional Research. She advanced to the position of associate dean for Institutional Research and Assessment in 2009 before being named associate vice president in 2012. Under Marriott's leadership, Genesee has never missed a deadline, or been unable to accommodate a change to reporting requested by external stakeholders such as SUNY or Middles States Commission on Higher Education. Her creative and innovative approach to problem solving has resulted in the development of major decision-making tools at the College, such as the Genesee Strategic Intelligence (GSI) system. Her leadership has put GCC at the forefront of its peers and been recognized at the state level as well as by Middle States. ***Marriott resides in Corfu.

Award for Excellence in Classified Service

Michelle A. Peck, Secretary of Health, Physical Education and Athletics – Peck started her career at the College in 2007 and she has been an integral part of the Health, Physical Education and Athletics departments from that time forward. Serving as secretary to both the director of Athletics and to the director of Health and Physical Education at GCC, Peck's work requires a high level of organization and her daily routine consists of multitasking to complete several projects in a timely manner. She has served on several search committees and is a member of LEAD, which is a leadership, development committee for student athletes. Peck actively assists in organizing and participating in several events each year, such as the GLOW Corporate Cup, athletic team games and fundraisers, Mission Condition, Athlete Olympics, Mini-Summit, Athletics Hall of Fame, and more. She continuously meets the needs of hundreds of students, faculty, athletes and coaches each year while balancing her responsibilities and efforts under two supervisors. Peck resides in Orangeville.

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