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February 16, 2018 - 3:17pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Turn 27 Blue proudly endorses Nate McMurray for Congress. For the first time in a generation, Democratic leaders, who normally endorse, have joined ranks with grassroots activists to make a strong endorsement in this year’s congressional race. We believe that McMurray has what it takes to represent the people of Western New York. His impassioned and energizing campaign is already gathering the momentum and support it needs to win in November.

McMurray is an experienced businessman, dedicated public servant, and Western New York native, who believes that families should have access to quality healthcare and education, that full-time work should come with a decent paycheck, and that elected representatives should represent their constituents, not their donors.

Turn 27 Blue brings together voices from the county Democratic chairs and from many of the district’s dedicated activist groups. We endorse McMurray because of his demonstrated ability to work across the aisle as Town Supervisor of deep red Grand Island (NY) and his dedication to improving the lives of hardworking Americans.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of this group of county Democratic Chairs and grassroots leaders. I’m confident we are going to turn the 27th District blue, and I’m eager to take this fight to Chris Collins,” McMurray said, in response to the news.

Michelle Johnston Schoeneman, a resistance leader in the 27th and member of Turn 27 Blue, said “we were incredibly impressed with Nate’s passion for Western New York, his platform for bringing jobs and prosperity to the area, and his ability to persuade people who have never voted for a Democrat that he’s the person for the job.”

Over the past several months, Turn 27 Blue has hosted public forums, meetings, and interviews with the several talented and dedicated individuals running.

“From the start, our goal was simple: identify the best candidate to beat Chris Collins,” said Judith Hunter, chair of the Livingston County Democratic Committee, “and create the best possible conditions for victory in November. Each of the five announced candidates has something to offer, and we are grateful that they volunteered to serve. We are extremely proud to conclude our process by supporting Nate McMurray for the Democratic nomination.”

As the candidates traversed the 27th and met residents from every county in the district, one thing was clear: “from the pending ethics investigation against him to his decision to ignore his district in favor of his wealthy donors, people were fed up with Chris Collins and his cronies," said Jeremy Zellner, chair of the Erie County Democratic Committee.

Supporters of McMurray say Collins’s arrogant disregard for his constituents and his support for extreme policies that directly hurt New Yorkers has remade NY-27 into a competitive district.

Jamie Romeo, chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee added, “we urge everyone who cares more about Western New York’s economy than tax cuts for the rich, who cares more about affordable healthcare for our families than favors for donors, and who cares more about a true representative of the people than a talking head who rushes onto cable news to talk about anything but the needs of his constituents, to support Nate McMurray for Congress.”

February 16, 2018 - 2:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, news, Milestones.

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee Community College is pleased to announce the appointment of Lindsay A. Gerhardt as the new assistant dean of Admissions and Recruitment.

Gerhardt will be responsible for the administration of college admissions and recruitment efforts, overseeing a team of recruitment specialists who travel extensively across the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming County region, as well as to Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, New York City area, and occasionally internationally. 

Gerhardt comes to GCC after 11 years of service at SUNY Geneseo in progressively more demanding admissions roles, culminating as the associate director. She served on numerous committees at Geneseo, among them: President's Commission on Diversity and Community; Enrollment Marketing Strategy Team, Equity Scorecard; and the Scholarship Committee. She also worked Alfred University as an admissions counselor, where she was recognized as the #1 Recruiter in 2005-2006.

"Lindsay is a solid addition to our already fantastic Admissions and Recruitment team," said Virginia (Ginny) Taylor, Ph.D., vice president of Student and Enrollment Services. "Her professional experience and obvious dedication to student success aligns perfectly with our student success coaching model and with GCC's student-centered philosophy to higher education."

Gerhardt first cultivated her love of education during her four years as a teacher in Rochester. Since 2007, she has been very involved in the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association -- a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to the promotion and mobility of transfer students in higher education. She has served as a member of the NYSTAA executive board, newsletter committee and annual conference co-chair. In 2014, she received the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association Distinguished Service Award.

Gerhardt earned her M.S. Ed. in Literary Education from Nazareth College of Rochester in 2006, and her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Mercyhurst University in 2002. A Rochester native, Gerhardt currently resides in North Chili with her family.

February 16, 2018 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in assemblyman steve hawley, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) proposed a measure on the Assembly floor this week that would require a two-thirds vote of the house for Messages of Necessity to be accepted when issued by the governor.

“Too often, controversial measures are rushed through the legislative process in the middle of the night without adhering to the constitutionally-mandated, three-day ‘aging’ process,” Hawley said. “This is the people’s government and they have a right to know what bills are being passed with a high level of transparency.”

Legislation is usually subject to an “aging” period of three days before it can be voted on. However, Messages of Necessity are issued by the governor to forgo this process and rush a vote on important and/or controversial legislation, as was done with the SAFE Act.

“Messages of Necessity rob the public of the right to know what’s in a bill as was the case when the unconstitutional SAFE Act was rammed through the Legislature leaving many lawmakers no time to actually read the legislation that was to be voted upon,” Hawley continued.

“I am disappointed that this and over a dozen other common-sense ethics reforms were voted down by New York City Democrats. Our citizens deserve better.”

Assemblyman Hawley represents the 139th District, which consists of Genesee, Orleans and parts of Monroe County. For more information, please visit Assemblyman Hawley’s Official Website.

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

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

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

About the Crosby's convenience stores in Genesee County

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit

February 16, 2018 - 1:19pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, Grand Jury, Attica, Le Roy, news, notify.

Leah R. Wimmer is indicted for the crime of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, a Class E felony. It is alleged that on Sept. 17 at the Rite Aid store on Prospect Avenue in the Village of Attica, Genesee County, that she knowingly possessed stolen property -- a Visa debit card belonging to another person. In count two, she is accused of second-degree forgery, a Class D felony. It is alleged in count two that Wimmer falsely signed two debit/credit card receipts in the name of the victim, one for $186.95 and another for $105.95.

Beau T. Bressler is indicted for the crime of driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs, as a Class D felony. It is alleged that on Oct. 29 in the Town of Le Roy that Bressler drove a 2006 Pontiac on West Main Street (Route 5) while his ability to do so was impaired by the combined influence of drugs or  of alcohol and any drug or drugs. In count two, the defendant is accused of circumvention of an interlock device, a Class A misdemeanor. It is alleged in count two that on Oct. 29, while subject to a court-ordered ignition interlock device, Bressler drove the Pontiac, which was not equipped with an ignition interlock device. In count three, he is accused of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree, a Class E felony, for driving while knowing or having reason to know that his driving privilege was suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by authorities. It is further alleged in count three that Bressler was operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug at the time.

February 12, 2018 - 5:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in hawley, Pavilion, news.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that he will be hosting a free community forum open to the public at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Hollwedel Memorial Library, located at 5 Woodrow Drive in Pavilion.

Hawley will provide an update on the happenings of Albany and will answer questions from the audience. The event is sponsored by the women’s group “RAP.”

“I enjoy these open community forums as a channel of communication between the residents I represent and the inner-workings of state government,” Hawley said. “We have a responsibility as public representatives to be open and accountable, and that is what forums like these are all about. I encourage everyone who is able to attend and I look forward to seeing you there.”

Hawley is Assistant Minority Leader of the Assembly Republican Conference and currently serves on the Agriculture, Ways & Means, Rules, Insurance and Racing & Wagering committees.

Assemblyman Hawley represents the 139th District, which consists of Genesee, Orleans and parts of Monroe County. For more information, please visit Assemblyman Hawley’s Official Website.

February 12, 2018 - 2:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Oakfield, alexander, corfu.

SUNY New Paltz announces its dean's list for the fall 2017 semester, a recognition for students who excel academically and earn at least a 3.3 grade-point average in a semester with a full-time course load.

The following New Paltz students made the Dean's List in fall 2017:

Olivia Carroll, of Oakfield (14125)

Lilly LeTourneau, of Alexander (14005)

Eva Muir, of Corfu (14036)

Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, ninety minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in BusinessLiberal Arts & SciencesEngineeringFine & Performing Arts and Education.

New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.

February 12, 2018 - 2:10pm

Anyone who is looking for some help in enrolling in college will get that opportunity at two upcoming College Entry Help Sessions, offered free of charge at Genesee Community College.

The first one scheduled is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in Room T121 of the Conable Technology Building at the Batavia Campus, One College Road. The second one will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, at the same location.

Both appointment and walk-in sessions will be available on both dates. Appointments are also available on additional dates by request. To schedule any appointment, please email [email protected] or contact Adult Education Director Kate Trombley, M.S. at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6285.

This is a continuation of the Adult Educational Opportunity Center's yearlong schedule of open monthly sessions designed to get anyone started on their way to a college degree.

During these sessions, the AEOC's outreach specialists will help potential college applicants with a variety of services, including:

  • Financial Aid Counseling: help completing the FAFSA, understanding various financial aid options including student loans and Pell grants, retrieving transcripts, and assistance with special circumstance applications.
  • Enrollment Assistance: completing college applications or enrollment forms, ACT Test registration and completing Entrance Exam Prep through Accuplacer. 
  • Veterans Services: AEOC outreach specialists are trained to assist any veteran in navigating services available for higher education.

It is important to note that these College Entry Point Sessions are not limited to students attending or planning to attend GCC. Anyone interested in attending ANY college or in need of assistance in getting started can participate. Information regarding GCC and all other area colleges will be available at these sessions. 

Additional details and a list of the session dates for all of 2018 is available here.

February 12, 2018 - 1:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, p.w. minor, GCC, Fashion Business Speaker Series.

Submitted photo and press release:

On March 7 Kristine McCarthy (in photo above) will be part of Genesee Community College's Fashion Business Speaker Series sharing her inspiring story of dedication, hard work and success. McCarthy currently serves as a senior vice president, operations lead at P.W. Minor.

P.W. Minor has been making shoes in America since 1867 and operates the second oldest shoe factory in the country.

McCarthy's presentation will take place in room T102 of GCC's Conable Technology Building at the Batavia Campus from 1 - 2:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public; however seating is limited.

Those wishing to attend can RSVP by calling (585)345-6830 in advance. If you are unable to attend the event, McCarthy's presentation will also be streamed live at

For the past decade McCarthy has led product development teams at Coach Inc. and Ann Inc. working with and managing the development process from design conceptualization to supply chain management and product profitability. McCarthy's learning and experience has taken her to New York City and China, and she now enjoys working in her hometown of Batavia.

McCarthy said, "Believing that anything is possible and not backing down from any challenge, I have delivered consistent results throughout my career on a global scale and I am proud of the work I do every day."

She graduated from GCC in 2001 with an associate degree in Fashion Merchandising and then transferred to Buffalo State College to earn her Bachelor of Science in Fashion Textile Technology in 2003. After 12 years in NYC, McCarthy currently lives in Batavia with her husband Brian McCarthy (also a 2001 GCC graduate) and their two sons, Jack and Ronan.

February 10, 2018 - 5:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, notify, p.w. minor.

Batavia-based P.W. Minor -- the nation's second-oldest shoe manufacturer founded here in 1867 -- has been sold to Tidewater+Associates, which has offices in Delaware and California.

P.W. Minor CEO Peter Zeliff will transition to board member and Hundley Elliotte of Tidewater's leadership team will become managing CEO.

"We have made significant progress turning this business around," Zeliff said in a press release about the sale. "I now feel that it is the right time to step away from my day-to-day involvement and I'm extremely confident in Tidewater's ability to guide this business to the next level of success."

That's good to know and no doubt a relief for Zeliff, who saved Genesee County's oldest business from doom when he and then-business partner Andrew Young bought the business in mid-2014. It was set to close due to slumping sales and a frumpy product line, despite having outsourced 100 jobs to China in a bid to keep it going.

Zeliff and Young poured investment into P.W. Minor, located at 3 Treadeasy Ave. in the city, and worked with state and local officials to bring back the  jobs lost to China. Young subsequently left the company; he's a real estate broker, investor and county legislator representing District 4 (towns of Batavia and Stafford).

It was a big task. Production facilities were upgraded and automated. New designers were hired and the product line was revamped. Shoe molds were brought over from Italy, world-renowned for its shoes and leather goods. The price tag to do all this was estimated at $7.5 million.

Empire State Development pledged to provide up to $1.75 million in performance-based tax credits, including a $900,000 state-backed aid package to re-shore the China jobs and add jobs. Though some layoffs were made in the interim.

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce named P.W. Minor its 2015 Business of the Year.

"We are excited to be a part of the resurrection of this American icon," Zeliff told The Batavian in an interview before the 2016 awards ceremony.

He also admitted there was a sizable learning curve for him; he's been in the landfill-gas-to-energy business. And he expressed frustration with the bureaucratic slowness of state government.

Although the company's reputation was built on its orthopedic shoe line, rebuilding the brand and the business in that market has proven to be difficult. It currently operates three key brands -- P.W. Minor; Abram Boot Company; and the Batavia Boot & Shoe Company. A subsidiary -- Minor Brothers Boot and Shoe Manufacturer -- develops and makes products for several leading brands in the United States.

Tidewater's Elliotte says "We believe there are significant opportunities to scale P.W. Minor's social and environmental benefits through its current core brands and to embark on new developments.

"The organization's legacy of craftsmanship and capabilities to deliver product sustainability can be leveraged to expand and grow the brand base."

Tidewater has a history of more than 80 years of focusing on "small cap brands and businesses," to which it applies a unique loyalty business model and operational expertise to accelerate and scale, according to a statement released by the company.

February 10, 2018 - 12:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, batavia, news.

A person has severed several fingers in an accident on Bank Street in the city involving a snowblower. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m.: A 26-year-old male with "finger amputation" is being transported to UMMC. City fire is back in service.

February 9, 2018 - 5:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in BEST Center, business, GCC, education, healthcare, news.

Press release:

With a projected 18 percent growth in job opportunities in the next five years, it is an exciting time to be in or entering the medical profession. To meet the workforce demand, The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is offering three exciting professional training opportunities with tuition scholarships available! With registration deadlines just two weeks away, interested applicants should apply today! 

Patient Access & Registration Professional -- This 90-hour comprehensive program prepares students for patient intake and healthcare experience coordination including patient confidentiality, medical ethics and law, medical terminology, insurance billing and coding basics, appointment scheduling, medical records management and much more! This course costs $1,950 which includes required textbooks. Registration deadline is Feb. 26 and the course runs Mondays and Wednesdays, March 5 through May 14!

Clinical Medical Assistant -- This 140-hour course includes an optional 160-hour clinical externship. During the course, students will train to assist physicians by preparing patients for exams and treatments, routine laboratory procedures and diagnostic testing. Students will review technical aspects of phlebotomy, pharmacology, the proper use and administration of medications, taking and documenting vital signs, cardiology including proper lead placements and the legal aspects of healthcare. This course costs $2,599 which includes required textbooks. The optional externship costs an additional $350 which includes CPR Certification, background check, immunizations, drug screening, uniforms and more. Registration deadline is February 26, 2018, and the course runs March 5 through June 11, 2018!

Phlebotomy Technician -- This 90-hour hands-on program prepares students to collect blood specimens for laboratory analysis. Classroom and lab work includes coverage of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, blood collection procedures, and skills and techniques for performing puncture methods. This course costs $1,799 which includes required textbooks. Registration deadline is Feb. 27 and the course runs Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 6 through May 6!

All of these training programs take place at GCC's Batavia Campus located at One College Road in Batavia. Registration for these programs requires a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.

Additional information on each of these programs is available at All participants can register under "View our classes now" at

Those who are underemployed, unemployed and under skilled may be eligible for tuition scholarships through NY INSPIRE. GCC is part of the statewide program that focuses on training qualified candidates for high demand growing industries in the areas healthcare, advanced manufacturing and information technology.

The $20,000 grant to GCC will help offset tuition costs qualified recipients in this year's healthcare training programs. Scholarships are designated for those who are over 17 years of age and do not exceed the income threshold of $40,000 per year.

Don't delay! Contact The BEST Center at (585) 343-6868 or visit to find out if you are eligible!

February 9, 2018 - 5:08pm

Press release:

Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the forest on a full moon night! Naturalists lead you on a peaceful Moonlight Hike and Winter Walk from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb, 24th.

Meet at Pavilion B. Hikes begin and conclude with refreshments by a warm fire in Pavilion B! For ages 18 and over. Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family. Preregistration is required, call 585-344-1122!

Make a memory this winter with your own Private Group Snowshoe Hike! A Naturalist guides your group through peaceful woodland trails and open meadows. Listen to winter’s quiet beauty and find signs of wildlife in this 431-acre park. Private hikes are available on Saturdays in February from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. by reservation only at the Interpretive Nature Center. No previous experience is needed; snowshoes provided or bring your own. Rental is included in the price, $5/person, minimum group fee is $75. Call 585-344-1122 to book your own adventure!

Snowshoe rentals are available at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Center 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 12 – 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays December through March, weather permitting. Snowshoes must be used in the park. Fee is $5/pair and all proceeds go to ACORNS, the nonprofit organization that supports the parks!

Call (585) 344-1122 to register. For more information visit our website here, or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

February 9, 2018 - 5:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, education, business.

Press release:

The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is constantly developing new certificate programs and training opportunities to support the ever-changing needs of the local and global workforce. With the explosion of online marketplaces many have found themselves in supply-chain management roles. 

The BEST Center's Supply Chain for Managers Certificate program has been geared specifically to take the seasoned supply-chain manager to the next level.

The 30-hour program is taught by experienced instructors with a detailed, working knowledge of the entire supply chain management process which impacts every industry-from healthcare to agriculture, manufacturing to the military, IT to retail and beyond.

The course costs $995 and takes place on 10 Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., March 1 through May 3, at GCC's Batavia Campus. Registration deadline is Feb. 22!

The "Supply Chain for Managers Certificate Program" will focus on various key aspects of the supply-chain manager's responsibilities:

  • Logistics -- This module will encompass warehousing, transportation management, organizational and managerial issues and information technology systems.
  • Inventory and Purchasing -- Focused on inventory control, forecasting, international purchasing, vendor management and product seasonality, this module builds on the manager's knowledge and experience.
  • Operations -- In addition to product and purchasing, the supply-chain manager needs to manage his or her team. This module covers making changes, staff and production performance measurement, and employee motivation.
  • Quality -- This module covers the necessary quality-control measures including LEAN, Six Sigma and TQM.
  • Strategic Management -- Critical to the supply-chain manager's role is the ability to manage through changes. This module covers communication and project management for change, customer service, sustainability and more.

The certificate program concludes with a capstone project designed to demonstrate the application of the skills, techniques and practices learned during the course. This project could be connected to an actual workplace challenge. 

There are no prerequisites for this course, however, it is recommended for seasoned supply-chain managers. Additional information is available at All participants can register under "View our classes now" at

February 9, 2018 - 4:55pm
Press release:
St. James Episcopal Church announces their annual Lenten Fish Fries beginning Fridays Feb. 16 through March 23.
Fried or baked fish, French fries or baked potato, coleslaw or applesauce, homemade desserts.
Eat-in beginning at 5 p.m. or take-out beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Fish Fry -- $9
Desserts -- $4
Beverage -- $1
St. James Episcopal Church
February 9, 2018 - 4:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, stem, news.

Press release:

Dear STEM educators and friends of STEM,

The Finger Lakes STEM Hub is pleased to announce the application for the 2018 STEM Program Awards is now OPEN! The goal of this recognition event is to honor exemplary STEM programs in our community, and to inspire others to incorporate STEM opportunities in their work with youth.

Who is Eligible? Classrooms, schools, districts, and afterschool programs from the STEM Hub’s nine-county service area: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties, that incorporate STEM education into their curriculum.

How to Apply? Complete the application on the Finger Lakes STEM Hub website: Award categories are based on the NYS STEM Quality Rubric, also found on our website, and applicants self-select their program’s level of achievement in each of the 9 categories, highlighting what their program does best! Applications must be received by March 1.

When is the STEM Program Awards Event? The awards dinner reception is Wednesday, May 16th from 5-8 p.m. at the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Riedman Gallery.

Is There a Cost to Apply or Attend? There is no cost to apply for this recognition event. Applicants receive two complimentary tickets for the dinner reception. Additional tickets can be purchased for $36 each beginning in April.

If you, or someone you know, is inspiring kids through STEM education, please apply! For questions or to learn more, visit the Finger Lakes STEM Hub’s 2018 STEM Program Awards webpage:

Nadia Harvieux

STEM Program Award Committee

Finger Lakes STEM Hub

February 9, 2018 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, GCC, business, creativity.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is excited to share the details of the fifth annual Creativity Conference: Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone taking place Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Batavia Campus. Do you have a hobby or passion? Ever consider turning it into your own business? Then you won't want to miss this conference!

"So many people in the world dream of being their own boss. What they don't see is just how realistic that opportunity is!" Lina LaMattina, Ph.D., director of GCC's Business Programs. "This year, every piece of the creativity conference has been carefully aligned to inspire those creative business ideas and show participants just how far their entrepreneurial aspirations can take them."

The Creativity Conference will open for participants to check in at 8:15 a.m. in the Conable Technology Building lobby. The conference cost is $49 per person. For GCC students, faculty or staff, the conference cost is $25 per person. Registration includes a continental breakfast and delicious lunch.

Seating is limited, so register today at under "View our classes now!"

At 9 a.m. the conference will begin with keynote speaker, Erica Swiatek. She will address the link between creativity and entrepreneurship. Swiatek has made her living doing just that as one of the founders of Innovate Faster, a training, consulting and facilitation company based in Buffalo. Innovate Faster offers training courses on the creative process, enhancing teamwork, managing change, customer service and much more. Details on Innovate Faster are available at

Swiatek's own creative thinking and ideas have come to fruition in her business, 3600 Escape, a company located in Buffalo that hosts groups in one of two specially dedicated Escape Rooms. Participants select either the "Conspiracy Theory" or the "Mineshaft" room and then are locked inside!

They have to work as a team to find and put together clues to escape the room -- and they only have 3,600 seconds to do it! Swiatek has now taken this concept on the road allowing her to perform the escape room experience for companies and corporate events on their premises through a package of creative characters, clever clues and utilizing the participant's own spaces.

The escape room experience can be done just for fun, or as a real-life learning tool. Swiatek's post-experience debrief session breaks down the steps and actions taken by individual participants during the exercise to help them understand the personality traits that they draw from while working to solve a problem.

Learning about one's strengths and tendencies is a powerful way to unite a team, helping them to understand each other better and to work together more efficiently. More information is available at

Swiatek earned her master's degree in Creative Studies and is currently an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. At both Innovate Faster and 3600 Escape, Swiatek blends her expertise in the fields of innovation, learning and development to design activities, courses, programs and experiences to facilitate innovation, professional development, change management and teambuilding.

Certified in Myers-Briggs, DiSC and FourSight assessments, Swiatek draws on these tools to help participants problem solve, communicate and understand each other better.

From 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Swiatek's will host a special escape room experience right here at GCC! Participants will work in small groups to look for clues, propose hypothesis and race against other teams to solve the problem first.

At the end of the session, Swiatek will breakdown the skills and tools used by each personality type to help participants better understand their individual problem solving strengths. Anyone registered for the conference can sign up for this special breakout session which costs an additional $15 per person and is limited to 30 participants, so sign up quick! 

For those not attending Swiatek's escape room experience, there will be nine unique and inspiring breakout sessions featuring entrepreneurial leaders from our region to share stories of their own startups, answer audience questions, and inspire the next generation of great new ideas.

Conference participants will be able to select three of these sessions to attend. Each session will be offered at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon.

Among the breakout sessions will be:

  • Rashaad Santiago, special effect/ makeup artist, Face Off-Season 6 Winner (2014)
  • Sue Fuller, owner of Della's Chocolates in Medina
  • Trace George, owner of VSP Graphic Group in Buffalo, (the official graphic company for the Buffalo Bills) and GCC Alum
  • Shawn Ramsey, owner of Canalside Tattoos in Medina
  • Maureen Spindler, owner of The Village Photographer in Hilton and GCC's own visual communications specialist/photographer

Additional sessions will be available and session schedules are subject to change.

At 12:45 p.m., everyone will come together for a sit-down lunch, provided by American Creative Dining, served in the centrally located William H. Stuart Forum.

After lunch, the team from Startup Genesee will conduct a powerful wrap-up session for all conference attendees with giveaways and a very exciting announcement sure to help take entrepreneurial ideas to the next level!

The Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone conference, presented by GCC, is made possible through partnership with the Startup Genesee Committee and the Ain Center at the University of Rochester's ongoing support for the "Year of Entrepreneurship" series.

Behind every great business is a great idea! Let GCC be a resource for your idea and your path to success! GCC offers both an associate degree and a Certificate program on Entrepreneurship. Check out the options at

February 9, 2018 - 4:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, GCASA.

Press release:

Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) is very pleased to announce that it has been named one of the "Best Companies to Work for in New York State" for 2018.

“As a nonprofit organization it is often difficult to be competitive with compensation and benefits offered by the for profit sector," said John Bennett, GCASA executive director. "Here at GCASA, we are always looking to enhance employees’ day to day job satisfaction in meaningful ways.

"Being honored as a best company is the result of servant leaders, a dedicated professional staff and a wonderful board of directors.” 

GCASA will be honored at a public awards dinner to be held at the Albany Marriott on Wednesday, April 18. During the event, GCASA will learn its rank among the 27 companies in the category for small employers with 15-99 U.S. employees.

GCASA has been serving Genesee and Orleans Counties for more than 40 years. Services include prevention education and outpatient and residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders; and an employee assistance program.

For more information, please contact Human Resource Director, Kim Corcoran at 585-815-1801.

February 9, 2018 - 3:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in art, el salvador, news, batavia, GO ART!, Announcements.

The above work by Alex Segovia is entitled "A New Beginning."

Submitted photo and press release:

"The Kite Boy" -- An Acrylic Exhibit by Alex Segovia will be displayed in the Oliver’s Gallery in the Seymour Dining Room at GO ART! in Downtown Batavia now through April 7.

There will be an artist's reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 15.

Segovia writes: "I was born September 4th, 1970, in El Salvador, Central America. I come from a very humble poor family. We were cotton pickers. I had a wonderful childhood, in spite of having limited resources and also my country having a civil war, that lasted 12 years.

"I was good at drawing, writing and making kites. Sometimes kids would come up to buy from me drawings and kites. I do not have any education in arts, but I did finish (high school) and since I went to an American school, by 14 years old, I was already speaking English.

"The 2 most important jobs I've held in my life, (are) making furniture and being part of an NGO that did social work in poor communities. Since most people don't make much money in my country, and I wasn't the exception, I could not buy the proper materials for painting. It was until I came to the U.S. that I eventually started drawing and painting."

GO ART!  201 E.  Main St.   Batavia, NY 14020

Gallery Hours: Thursday, Friday 11-7 / Saturday 11-4 / Second Sunday 11-2


February 9, 2018 - 3:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, Milestones, batavia, pembroke, Darien, Alabama, Oakfield.

Press release:

Newly elected Genesee County legislators Gordon Dibble (District 3, towns of Pembroke & Darien), John Hilchey (District 1, towns of Alabama & Oakfield), and Gary T. Maha (District 9, Wards 4 & 5, City of Batavia) attended an Orientation Program for Newly Elected and Appointed County Officials, sponsored by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) at its annual Legislative Conference held in Albany Jan. 29-31.

Topics of discussion and presentations included an overview of the New York State Association of Counties; New York State Open Government Laws; Major Policy Issues Affecting Counties; Introduction to County Finance and Budget Issues; County Government Structure in New York State; Ethics in Government; Adopting Local Laws; and Role of the Clerks of Legislative Boards.

Approximately 70 newly elected and appointed county officials attended the training program, and upon completion were awarded Certificates of Achievement by NYSAC’s County Government Institute and Cornell University.




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

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