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June 15, 2016 - 4:20pm

Whatever differences of opinion may exist about how to address the problems faced by small, rural volunteer fire companies, one thing pretty much all the stakeholders agree on is this: they are struggling and need help.

So said Emergency Services Manager Tim Yaeger at Monday afternoon's Public Service Committee meeting.

He asked for permission to apply for a state Management Performance Grant offered as part of the 2015-16 Municipal Restructuring Fund Program. Permission was unanimously granted.

The aim is to secure funds to contract with a consultant to assess the county's firefighting needs.

Yaeger said he and Bill Schutt, the West Battalion coordinator for the Genesee County Emergency Management Office, have talked with County Manager Jay Gsell about bringing a consultant on board. Schutt, a volunteer for more than 25 years with Alabama fire, also works full time as general manager of Mercy EMS, where he manages a staff of more than 60 and its fleet of vehicles.

"We want to look at fire services in Genesee County -- how do we provide that service in the future in a very efficient and professional manner," Yaeger said. "As you know, we've had conversations before, we're struggling, in some places more than others."

The amount of funding available to conduct such a study is "kind of open-ended."

Schutt said the grant is designed for consolidation-of-services projects, but fire service was listed as eligible and after confering with state officials, it was deemed that assessment and evaluation of Genesee County fire services would fit within that scope.

"The 10,000-foot view of what we'd like to look at, is what this grant is asking us to apply for, and it kind of goes down from there," Schutt said. "A lot of it is based on what you'd save for money. I don't think this project is going to be looking at saving money directly, but in the long term it will, so there's a way of working it in there in terms of the long term."

Committee Chair Marianne Clattenburg asked how long the process will take.

A timeline is not known. It would be a process of stages, perhaps two or three studies or consultations. 

"It's not going to be 'here's your information' and we're going to walk away," Yaeger said, "because it's such a vast program. There's so many moving parts to this."

If, say an initial study is done and that takes six or seven months just to identify what they true issues are, that may constitute the first step.

"This is not going to be done in a year or two and find a solution," Yaeger said. "I think it's going to take a few years to get to a position to where we can make some decisions."

It was asked, when looking at the big picture, if there is consenus amongst those in the firefighting community about what the future is and what changes may be forthcoming.

"I think today more than ever, there's a level of agreement that a level of government beyond the local fire company has to find some solutions for them," Yaeger replied. "I think they'll all agree to that -- that they are not able to find those long-term solutions for themselves and they need assistance.

"And the next step up would be to the county, because obviously we're going to be able to benefit everybody here. The issue with the volunteer fire service is you may have consensus today, and then two or three elections from now, the consensus changes."

To that, Clattenburg deadpanned: "Exactly."

"So it's a moving target," Yaeger reiterated, adding that no one should expect sweeping changes anytime soon and noting that Oswego is looking at this issue, but the problems in volunteer firefighting companies are statewide.

Thus he's meeting with fire associations of NYS this week to get the them moving toward a solution. He's already met with WNY fire personnel and emergency coordinators, "all agree...we have to start addressing these things."

"So some may go screaming, but some don't really have much to defend. In many cases, they should be the first to tell you they need assistance," Yaeger said. "They need to be doing something different than what we've been doing right now because it's not working. Right now it's primarily daytime, but we're seeing nighttime problems as well."

Gsell said, actually this is a national issue: "Volunteer fire companies are the backbone, particularly in rural jurisdictions, like ours to some extent, versus urban areas, where they have not just a full-time department but a number of them surrounding in a ring of suburbs.

"In talking with others, they have been able to find solutions that in New York State are not yet on the table, because the state has certain issues and preclusions built into statutes that say 'you just don't do it that way here.' So this (study) might be part of what the future might hold as far as prospective legislation that might need to change."

Any consultant up to the task, Yaeger said would "have to work with us and realize this is going to take some time. The more grant money that becomes available, the more services can be done. The preliminary numbers we were talking about on the phone were good numbers. I think we're trying to keep those numbers small, but understanding that if we expand it to $150,000 that may complete the entire project. ....But it's hard to say exactly what the total will come to."

Committee Member John Deleo asked about the scope of a grant-funded study.

"We're not talking about just two outfits combining together," Deleo said. "Is there a chance we could look at a whole big umbrella? I'm not advocating anything. I'm just asking."

No, this is not about just looking at how to combine or consolidate services.

"There's so many moving parts -- locations of fire stations, response times, and combining -- in some cases there's an opportunity but in our county, not many, because we're fairly spread out already," Yaeger said.

"But we're looking at the entire fire service. What does the city provide? What do the remaining volunteer fire companies provide? And they're all in different categories of capabilities, based on their manpower and their budgetary constraints. We're going to look at this whole thing, absolutely."

The thing that won't be done is approaching the issue with any preconceived notions about a solution.

"The first thing is, everybody understand," Gsell said, "and maybe start developing some consensus around all the constraints there are, and then, how do you address those going into the future."

June 15, 2016 - 3:00pm

Summer is here. Mini Golf is, too. Terry Hills Miniature Golf Course opens Friday, June 17th! Excitement for all ages as you putt your way over ramps, bridges, dips & other fun obstacles in pursuit of those Hole-In-Ones! Bring Dad this Father’s Day and he plays for FREE (and if you let him win, that’s OK, too).
Make it a day and stop into the restaurant before or after you play for a delicious lunch, dinner or Sunday Brunch! Click here for our menus (Restaurant Hours: Mon-Fri 11-9, Sunday Brunch 10-2). Terry Hills is located at 5122 Clinton Street Road, Route 33, Batavia, NY. (585) 343-0642

June 15, 2016 - 12:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Gillibrand, education, news, business.

Press release:

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today passed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s bipartisan legislation to help universities in New York and throughout the country strengthen their engineering programs to meet the demands of the modern manufacturing industry.

The "Manufacturing Universities" legislation, which was led by Senators Gillibrand, Chris Coons (D-DE), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), passed as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This provision authorizes the Department of Defense to support training at U.S. universities to help equip students with skills to compete in the 21st century manufacturing workforce. Universities would be selected through a competitive grant-based process and would tailor their educational curriculum to the needs of modern U.S. manufacturers.

“I am so pleased that the Senate came together to pass our bipartisan Manufacturing Universities bill as part of this year’s NDAA,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This legislation gives our universities access to new resources that can help them prepare more engineers, more product designers, more innovators, and more men and women to drive our economy forward.

"No job should go unfilled and no company’s expansion should ever be inhibited because there aren’t enough trained workers ready to work, and this legislation takes important steps to give students the skills they need to compete in the 21st century manufacturing workforce.”

The Manufacturing Universities legislation would establish a program within the Department of Defense charged with designating schools as ‘Manufacturing Universities.’ Designated schools would receive federal grant funding to meet specific goals, including focusing engineering programs on development of industry-relevant advanced manufacturing skills, building new partnerships with manufacturing firms, growing hands-on training opportunities for students, and fostering manufacturing entrepreneurship.

This bill was endorsed by the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Precision Metalforming Association, the National Tooling & Machining Association, the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Drexel University, the University of Missouri System, the University of Illinois, the University of California, Davis, the University of California, Irvine, Boston University, the University of Rochester, the Rochester Institute of Technology, the State University of New York (SUNY) System, Kent State University, the University of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Connecticut, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, The Ohio State University, Dow, DuPont, and Siemens.

June 15, 2016 - 12:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, downtown revitalization.

Press release:

The City of Batavia has been selected as a finalist in the Finger Lakes Region $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Competition.

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) will invest $10 million in one community that is ripe for development within the Finger Lakes Region. The DRI will transform the selected community into a vibrant downtown where tomorrow’s workforce will want to live, work and raise families. The program emphasizes using investments to reinforce and leverage additional public and private commitments.

The City has submitted a DRI strategy that encompasses 366 acres of the central business corridor and nearby neighborhoods. The DRI award would be a catalyst for the Batavia Opportunity Area plans to materialize.

“This is the most positive momentum during my time in Batavia. I believe the unprecedented collaboration is a good reason for the Finger Lakes Region to “Bet on Batavia”, said Jason Molino, city manager.

Please show your support and “Bet on Batavia” by participating in a “Sidewalk Chalk Campaign” in front of City Hall today (June 15)Chalk your ideas down on how you would place your $10 million “Bet on Batavia”!

The award winner will be announced by New York State Regional Economic Development Council on Thursday, June 23rd.

Please come out and “Bet on Batavia”!



From the City of Batavia:

Batavia Downtown Revitalization Initiative -- Target Area and Nearby

By the Numbers:

$109 million -- Investments in a decade

$88 million -- Investments planned in five years

$4 million -- Building and facade renovations

$2.5 million -- Multi-modal improvements

10,000 -- Workers at WNY STAMP

25 Mllion -- Travelers through Batavia

5 percent -- Unemployment

Need to Address -- POVERTY

Living in poverty -- City of Batavia

Children under 18 years of age

  • 2014  --  34.9 percent
  • 2000  --  16.5 percent


  • 2014  --  22.2 percent
  • 2000  --  12.3 percent
June 14, 2016 - 3:18pm

There will be a big honkin' garage sale at Rick's Storage to benefit the critters at the Genesee County Animal Shelter from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 16-18. All proceeds will go toward the homeless animals. Rick's Storage is located at 3566 W. Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

Donations are still being gratefully accepted at the shelter. Drop off good used stuff at the shelter, located at 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. NO CLOTHES OR TVs.

Go on, clean that garage, get rid of the old china you never use, toss those doodads and whatnots, be gone with the plastic flowers and rusty tools. Out with it, already! Let someone else take pleasure in your treasure. Recycle your finds. You'll be glad you did and so will the cats and dogs in need.

June 14, 2016 - 2:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in Stafford, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

A local pastor is embarking on a 300-mile bike ride to benefit Crossroads House. Rev. Jim Morasco, (inset photo, right) is pastor at the Morganville United Church of Christ in Stafford. He is taking on the Great Alleghany Passage from Pittsburgh, Pa., to Washington, D.C., in honor of his mother, Margaret Morasco, who passed away at Crossroads House in October.

Since his mother’s passing, Rev. Morasco and his family have been finding creative ways to give back to the organization that cared for Margaret in her last days.

The family funded a new medication/nurses room that was moved from a cramped closet into a spacious room complete with counter space, cabinets, enhanced security for medication storage and administration. The room is now known as the Margaret Morasco Nurses Station, fittingly so since Margaret was herself a nurse.

Recently Rev. Morasco and his granddaughter Ella teamed up to write and illustrate a book of poems called “Changing Season and the Circle of Life.” The book contains poems and short stories that reflect the legacy of Margaret and her family. Copies are available at Crossroads House for a $5 donation.

On July 9th, Rev. Morasco will depart for Pittsburgh to begin the Great Alleghany Passage. He chose this particular journey since his mother was from Pennsylvania. The ride will take him southward with notable crossings of the Mason Dixon Line and the Eastern Continental Divide.

You can sponsor Rev. Morasco’s journey by making a one-time pledge toward the ride in honor of Margaret. He has raised money for charities in the past through cycling and donors have pledged from $5 to $400 in support of the organizations. Crossroads House is a 501(c)3 Non-profit and donations can be tax deductible.

To partner with Rev. Morasco and make a pledge, contact him at [email protected]

June 14, 2016 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in kirsten gillibrand, veterans, military families.

Press release:

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement today following the Senate’s failure to vote on the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act:

“I am deeply upset that the Senate closed the National Defense Authorization Act without even debating military sexual assault and the Military Justice Improvement Act specifically. The bipartisan amendment has previously earned the support of a majority of senators twice before and is widely supported by Veterans Service Organizationsretired military memberssexual violence NGOsmilitary law experts and most importantly military sexual assault survivors.

“When the Department of Defense tells us they estimate there are over 20,000 sexual assaults on service members each year, that nearly eight out of 10 of those attacked do not report the incident and that 62 percent of those brave souls who do report then face retaliation – often from someone in their chain of command who is supposed to protect them – how can it be possible that the Senate refuses to even debate reforming this system?

"The Department of Defense has buried its head in the sand on sexual assault for over 25 years and today the U.S. Senate joined them. Despite evidence uncovered by the Associated Press that the DoD misled members of the Senate on sexual assault cases, this simple reform was blocked from even being considered by this Senate. They used to just filibuster the bill, but now they won’t even debate it – pushing this national scandal to the shadows. I think that sends a shameful message to military sexual assault survivors.

“We know today that the men and women in the military who are sexually assaulted do not get a fair chance to get justice in the current system. Today, I am saddened to say the same appears to be true from the U.S. Senate. Given this abject failure on behalf of Congress, I will again call on President Obama, the Commander of Chief, to fulfill his responsibility to service members and take action to give them a system of justice worthy of their sacrifice.

"In December of 2013 President Obama put the Department of Defense on notice that they had one year to show ‘the kind of progress I expect’ before considering additional reforms. The data does not lie – significant progress has not been made, retaliation remains exactly where it was then and in the case of unrestricted reporting we have actually gone backwards from last year.

“The question for the Senate and the President shouldn’t be, ‘have we done enough to combat military sexual assault?’, but rather, ‘have we done everything we can to fight this epidemic?’ The answer to that question is a resounding 'no', and brave service members pay the price every day for our inaction. In recent surveys and in their countless stories, survivors tell us they lack faith in the command-controlled system. They simply fear that nothing will be done or they will be retaliated against for reporting. I don’t know why the President and members of the Senate refuse to believe them.

“Today is a setback in our fight on survivors’ behalf, but it is no more than that. I will continue to advocate for reform, and I refuse to back down or go away from fighting for survivors on this issue. Whether it is this President and Congress or the next, we will not give up until we can provide service members with a system of justice that is fair.”

June 14, 2016 - 2:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, Announcements, basketball.

Press release:

A 2016 Summer Basketball Camp will be held July 18-22 in the Batavia High School Auxiliary Gym. 

It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday.

The camp is open to boys and girls entering grades 3-8 in the fall. Cost of the camp is $65 and includes a camp T-shirt. Participants are asked to bring their own basketball every day and have their name on it.

The camp will feature Coach Jim Fazio, Batavia Jr. Blue Devil Youth Director, coaching intern Antwain Richardson, youth coaches, and current and former Blue Devil players.

Camp benefits: The camp will focus on the offensive fundamentals of the game including shooting, passing, dribbling, and ball handling, with a major emphasis on shooting. Sportsmanship, fair play, and safety will be emphasized all week. There will be daily contests with full and half court games.

Batavia City Schools are not responsible for injury that may happen during camp. Please enter and exit the high school in the front circle.

Contact info: [email protected]    585-356-0901

Make checks payable to: Batavia Boys Basketball Boosters.

Mail to: Jim Fazio 5190 Ellicott Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020.

Also, provide this information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Town
  • Age
  • Grade entering in Fall
  • School
  • Phone #
  • Medical concerns
  • T-shirt size (Youth S-XL; Adult S-XL)
  • Parent/Guardian signature
June 14, 2016 - 1:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, batavia, news.

Press release:

The following arrests are reported following a neighborhood complaint of drug activity on Union Street:

Clifford A. Keene, age 38, of Pratt Road in Batavia, was arrested on June 9 by Sgt. Dan Coffey and Officer Frank Klimjack following a traffic stop of a vehicle in which he was a passenger. He was found to be in possession of a number of prescription narcotics and drug paraphernalia. He was charged with: one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 4th degree (Class C felony); one count of criminal use of drug paraphernalia (Class A misdemeanor); and one count of possession of a controlled substance not in original container (violation). Keene was processed and arraigned before Judge Balbick then committed to the Genesee County Jail on bail. At the time of his arrest, Keene was under the supervision of Genesee Justice on unrelated charges.

Madelyn R. Muntz, age 30, of Central Avenue in Batavia,  city was arrested June 9, by Officer Frank Klimjack following a traffic stop. She was found to be in possession of a narcotic substance. Muntz was charged with one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th degree (Class A misdemeanor). Muntz was processed and released with an appearance ticket to appear on June 21st in City Court.

The Batavia Police Department is committed to working with the community to respond to illegal drug concerns and request that anyone with information on drug or criminal activity in their neighborhood contact our dispatch at 345-6350. Information can also be left confidentially by calling the Confidential Tip Line at 345-6370 or by email at

June 14, 2016 - 1:44pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region will be holding a series of FREE Chronic Disease Self-Management workshops for the community beginning June 20th.

Those who attend will be shown practical steps to gain control of their daily health concerns. Participants will learn about healthy eating, problem-solving, action plans, medications, weight management, physical activity, sleep, and relationship communication skills.

The workshop information is relevant for those experiencing chronic conditions such as: Arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Eating Disorders. The workshops are taking place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Independent Living of the Genesee Region, 113 Main St., Suite 5, Batavia, over six Mondays, but skipping the Independence Day holiday. 

The actual dates are June 20th and 27th; July 11th, 18th and 25th; and Aug. 1st.

Registration priority is given to Medicaid recipients, but Medicaid eligibility is NOT required for attendance. Pre-registration IS required. You can receive more information, and sign up for the workshops by contacting Patricia McAllister at [email protected] or (585) 815-8501, ext. 402. Again, please be sure to RSVP if you are interested!

June 14, 2016 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in byron, bergen, news.

From left: Counselor Mrs. Feeney, seniors Nick Dubois and Aaron Holley, Dr. Moscicki, and Principal McGee at a new marker and flower bed leading into the Tamra Troke Memorial Trail.

Submitted photo and press release:

Byron-Bergen Central School seniors, Nick Dubois and Aaron Holley, rebuilt wellness trails on the Byron-Bergen school grounds as part of their work-based learning hours associated with the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential.

Nick and Aaron completed an 11-day work experience on the Tamra Troke Memorial Trail. They cleaned out all the fitness stations, cut and lined all of the hiking trails, made benches and a new flower bed, and constructed a campfire area.

Vocational Coordinator Roxanne Noeth, CSE Chairperson Dr. Donna Moscicki, Jr./Sr. High School Principal Patrick McGee, and School Counselor Andrea Feeney were all thrilled with the hard work and effort the two students put into this project. It was wonderful to see them take such pride in their work.

The Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential is part of the four Regents exams and one project-based program to graduation.

The project-based program requires: students complete a career plan; demonstrate attainment of commencement level learning standards in the areas of career exploration and development, integrated learning, and universal foundation skills; satisfactorily complete two units of study (216 hours) in Career and Technical Education coursework and work-based learning; and have one completed employability profile or have met the criteria for the national work readiness credential.

June 14, 2016 - 1:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, Announcements, audit advisory committee.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Audit Advisory Committee was established to provide oversight to the financial and compliance reporting process, external audit process and control environment. 

If you are interested in serving on the Audit Advisory Committee, please submit your application (which can be obtained from the Clerk’s Office or found on our website, to the City Clerk’s Office by June 30th.

The Committee aids in the communication between the City Manager and the independent auditor in areas including integrity of the City’s financial statement, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and the performance, qualifications and independence of the auditors.

The Committee will be responsible for meeting with the auditor’s prior to the audit, reviewing risk assessment, reviewing the draft financial statements and making a recommendation on acceptance of the external audit reports to the City Manager. Additional responsibilities include reviewing the management letter and establishing internal controls. The Committee is made up of three City residents and two Council members.

Thank you for your interest!

June 14, 2016 - 1:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, news, batavia, deer management committee.

Press release:

The City Council is seeking interested individuals to take part in a Deer Management Committee. The committee will be comprised of both citizens and city staff members and will seek to identify and quantify the deer problem within the city and explore all deer management techniques.

The outcome will be a definition of the problem, an outline of all techniques utilized by other communities and identified as best practices to deal with the problem, and a comprehensive list of resources including costs associated with each management practice.  From there, City Council will decide which, if any, deer management practice to initiate for the City of Batavia.

Council is seeking individuals from a diverse background and who are interested in this subject matter. Individuals should reside within the City of Batavia. All interested individuals should submit their application, which can be obtained from the City Clerk’s office or online at, by June 30th.  Thank you for your interest in this committee!

June 13, 2016 - 6:43pm
posted by James Burns in batavia, w7, genesee airport, news.


The National Warplane Museum's C-47 W7 was using the Genesee County Airport this evening for flight operations. W7 served in World War II forn 1943 to 1945. It was a lead plane on one of the first waves of attack starting the D-Day invasion. 




June 13, 2016 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, news, Notre Dame, batavia.

Connor Logsdon, a newly graduated senior from Notre Dame High School with an exemplary record of leadership and community service, has been selected to receive the William F. Brown Jr. Memorial Scholarship from The Jerome Foundation.

The $1,000 award was established in the spring of 2015 in memory of Brown, noted Batavia author, broadcaster and journalist, who died in November 2014 at the age of 91.

A former owner and president of WBTA Radio and longtime correspondent for The Buffalo News, Brown also was a charter member and trustee emeritus of The Jerome Foundation, a not-for-profit association that distributes funds to benefit United Memorial Medical Center and other entities.

The scholarship is awarded annually to a 12th-grader who intends to pursue at least a four-year degree in Journalism, Communications or Public Relations. The honoree must attend a high school in Genesee County and reside in Genesee County.

Logsdon served as class president and National Honor Society president at Notre Dame, where he compiled a 91 average while completing a dozen advanced placement courses. He will be attending Fairfield University in the fall, majoring in Public Relations through the Connecticut institution’s College of Arts and Sciences.

He was awarded the Bellarmine Scholarship by Fairfield University, a tuition award of $18,000 that is renewable for four years.

Logsdon has been active outside of the classroom, most notably for his role as volunteer coordinator for the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation, a Batavia-based organization that oversees several events throughout the year to support families dealing with cancer.

The foundation was founded in 2007 in honor of Michael Napoleone, one of Connor’s best friends, who died at the age of 8 due to an aggressive form of blood cancer.

Logsdon has been recognized for his leadership skills with awards from Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley and Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer. 

He also participated in drama club, and the school’s mock trial program and volunteered at his church and for other community projects. A three-sport athlete, Logsdon received the Joe Zais Memorial Award for leadership in 2015 as a member of the Little Irish varsity football team.

 “Connor’s resume speaks for itself,” said Justin Calarco-Smith, president of The Jerome Foundation. “Both in the classroom and in the community, he is a proven leader.

“We wish him nothing but the best as he pursues a career in the Public Relations field. Without a doubt, Bill (Brown) would be thrilled with Connor’s selection.” 

June 13, 2016 - 3:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, news, Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

Submitted photo.

Press release:

Genesee County Undersheriff William A. Sheron Jr. (center), along with 40 undersheriffs from across New York State, attended a training conference at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs last week. Sponsored and organized by the New York State Sheriffs' Association and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute, the program provides the Undersheriffs with training in the latest advances in law enforcement and correctional practices.

During the three‐day program: Oneida County Undersheriff Rob Swenszkowski presented the International Association of Chiefs of Police leadership training program; Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley and Associate Counsel Alex Wilson reviewed legislative issues including “Raise the Age” proposals; Niagara County Undersheriff Michael Filicetti discussed a Niagara County officer involved shooting and recruiting for law enforcement officers; Madison County Lieutenant Jeff Franceschelli, assistant jail administrator, presented the benefits and continuing hurdles of PREA compliance; Chautauqua County Undersheriff Chuck Holder discussed their Pistol Permit Program; and Lt. Robert Richards, Niagara County Stop DWI coordinator, and Michelle James, St. Lawrence County, discussed collection of DWI fines and fees.

The Undersheriff is appointed by the County Sheriff and often functions as the chief administrative officer, reviewing all operations of the Sheriff’s Office, including the road patrol and investigative divisions, the county jail, the civil law enforcement division, court security, and the 911/communications and dispatch division.

NYSSA is a not‐for‐profit corporation formed in 1934 to assist New York’s Sheriffs in the effective delivery of services to the public. It’s comprised of all 58 Sheriffs in New York State. The Sheriffs’ Institute was established in 1979 to advance criminal justice education, prevent juvenile delinquency, and support victims of crime and their families.

June 13, 2016 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in crime, news, pembroke, Alabama, Darien.

Leroy Hannah Jr., 43, of Bradfield Street, Rochester, is charged with improper left turn, unlicensed operator and aggravated unlicensed operator for allegedly having 36 active suspensions on an ID card (not a driver's license). The subject was stopped at 1 p.m. on June 11 on Alleghany Road in Darien for making an illegal left turn. He was jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail and is due in Darien Town Court on Tuesday. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Nati.

Eli Matthew Aaron Smoke, 27, of Meadville Road, Alabama, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested at 6:13 p.m. on June 11 on Meadville Road following a domestic incident wherein he allegedly struck a child several times leaving bruising and welts on the child's body. He was arraigned, then released and a stay away order of protection put in place. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Michael Lute.

Amy R. Doxtater was arrested on June 11 following a traffic stop on Route 20 in Darien. She is charged with: driving while intoxicated; aggravated DWI with a BAC of .18 percent or higher; aggravated unlicensed operation, 3rd; moving from lane unsafely; driving left of pavement markings in a no-passing zone; and refusal of breath-screening test. She was issued tickets and is to appear in Darien Town Court on July 12. The case was handled by Sgt. Jason Saile, assisted by Deputy Howard Carlson and Deputy Robert Henning.

Megan Ann Burns, 23, of 5668 Leete Road, Lockport, is charged with criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. During a traffic stop on Feeder Road in Alabama at 1:40 p.m. on June 8, Burns was allegedly found to possess several hypodermic needles loaded with suspected narcotics. She was issued appearance tickets and released. She is to be in Town of Alabama Court on July 12. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Nati.

Jeremy Charles Kaufman, 24, of 2868 Maple Road, Wilson, is charged with criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. During a traffic stop on Feeder Road in Alabama at 1:40 p.m. on June 8, Kaufman was allegedly found to possess several hypodermic needles loaded with suspected narcotics. He was issued appearance tickets and released. He is to be in Town of Alabama Court on July 12. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Nati.

Tyler Michael Confer, 23, of Walk Road, North Tonawanda, is charged with driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, first offense, and driving while intoxicated, first offense. The defendant was arrested at 4:57 a.m. on June 12 after he was allegedly found doing donuts on Lewiston Road. He was released on appearance tickets for Pembroke Town Court on July 17. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young.

Alizet Krysthalia Espinosa, 18, of Glendale Park, Rochester, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th. She was arrested at midnight on June 12 following the investigation into a property damage complaint at Darien Lake Theme Park. She was arrested for allegedly damaging an entry door and a touch screen monitor. She was jailed in lieu of $250 bail and is due in Darien Town Court on July 21. The case was handled by Sheriff's Deputy Eric Meyer.

June 13, 2016 - 3:21pm
posted by James Burns in genesee, Bald eagles.


There are an estimated 350 nesting pairs of bald eagles in NYS this year and about seven pairs are here in Genesee County. The birds pictured in this post live just outside of Le Roy. Other nesting pairs have been reported in Attica, around Silver Lake, and a few pair in the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. The oldest recorded banded bald eagle in the country lived close by in Henrietta to the age of 38.

This nesting pair was first reported to The Batavian in March of this year. (Original story.) From what is reported by local residents, this is the first year for this nest in this location. Most bald eagle clutches consist of one to three eggs. From what was observed in this nest, there may have been only one egg. There was only one chick ever spotted in the nest.

It is common for the chick that hatches first to eat the small chick once it hatches. This is normal and the parents pay no attention if this happens. In this bald eagle family, the father was banded and the mother was not.

Mom and Dad trade places sitting on the incubating egg(s).


Father sits in nest on eggs as mom flies by.


After about 35 days of incubation, a chick was hatched. At the time this picture was taken, the chick was about two to three weeks old.


The chick has fresh fish flown in for lunch by Dad.


Mom and chick snuggle up in nest as the weather turns cold again in April.


Growing very quickly...the chick, about six to seven weeks old, is still fed by Mom.


Even though the chick now looks like a big bird, there is a lot of learning and practice that needs to be done before the chick can leave the nest.

About the second week in June, the chick fledged the nest. While looking strong and graceful in flight, this eaglet is still not very graceful at landing. Mom will still hunt for the eaglet for about another five weeks. After that, the eaglet will be on its own until it mates in maturity in about five years. After about four years, the eaglet will have the white feathers on its head, yellow beek and solid brown body that we are familar with as our national bird. 


Below the eaglet practices life skills, in this case, using its talons to pick up a stick.


If you haven’t already seen some of the local eagles, keep an eye to the sky and look for them, thanks to a managed recovery program we are blessed with quite a few in this area.

For more information about bald eagles visit 

If you would like to learn more about photography visit: Batavia Photography Club

Eagle pictures

June 13, 2016 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, politics, batavia, news.

City Councilman At-Large Adam Tabelski is pleased to announce that he has received the endorsement of the Independence Party in his campaign to continue serving on the Batavia City Council.

“I’m delighted to have the support of the Independence Party and its members as we work together to create a better Batavia,” Tabelski said. “From revitalizing our downtown to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods, the City is on the right track in meeting its residents’ needs. Of course, there is always more to do.”

Tabelski was appointed to fill a vacant City Council At-Large position in January and now he is running to serve out the remainder of the unexpired term.  He was previously endorsed by the City of Batavia Republican Committee. 

June 13, 2016 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian.

Many readers probably remember that about three months ago I had surgery for a detached retina. I was unable to work for three weeks.

That surgery went well and I seem to have healed fine. Now it's time to have the silicon oil put in my eye to hold the retina in place while it healed removed. That surgery is this morning.

This time, the doctor says I can't work for a week.

At least, if all goes well, when it's over, my vision should be back to where it was.

We have our great freelancers to help with coverage, and Billie, of course, and our news partnerships with WBTA and 13WHAM to help out, so we should be fine, but that's why I won't be doing much over the next week.




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