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December 18, 2013 - 7:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture.

There's an upside to dropping corn prices -- higher profits for dairy farmers, which is a good thing in Genesee County, but if prices fall much further the impact on corn growers could be substantial.

Today, corn is selling for $4.25 a bushel, which is still high enough for a profit, said Craig Yunker, CEO of CY Farms in Elba. The cost of growing corn, he said, is at least $4 a bushel and as low as $3.50 for more efficient operations, so any further drop in price could put a squeeze on corn growers.

That could be a bigger problem in the Midwest, where corn is often grown on a much larger scale and without the crop diversity common locally.

"I think we could see a range of corn prices from $3.50 to $5.50," Yunker said. "Much depends on the demand in China and depending on the production around the world. At $4.25 we're right in the middle of that range."

The big beneficiaries of lower corn prices are dairy farmers, Yunker noted, and with dairy being a big part of the local ag economy, the current corn price is a big help to some local farmers.

Jeff Post, at Post Farms in Oakfield, agreed lower corn prices help local dairymen.

"A significant amount of our milk checks goes for purchasing feed, so when the corn prices are really high, we're definitely not as profitable," Post said. "We're fortunate that we grow a lot of our own corn, so we haven't had such a steep swing (in profits), but not every dairy farm can grow its own corn. Farms that rely on buying a lot of corn grain, it definitely has a bigger impact."

It would help, Post said, if soybeans would drop in price (soy being the key source of protein for dairy cows).

"From what I'm seeing, it's not trending down," Post said.

Corn has been in a bit of a bubble the past two years, trading for a period at more than $6 a bushel. What's happening now is likely a predictable market correction.

"We're coming back to normal," Yunker said. "The last two years have really been abnormal."

The big fear in the Midwest, where corn is king, is that farm land prices could see a big drop in value, threatening some farmers with insolvency.

It could mean the kind of farmland price bubble experienced by farmers in the 1980s, according to media reports.

Yunker doesn't see that kind of collapse coming, however.

"Farmers were much more leveraged (in the 1980s)," Yunker said. "When prices started to fall, there were no buyers for farmland because everybody was leveraged and couldn't buy. Now farmers are more balanced. There will be buyers because there are farmers who are healthy."

Locally, corn prices will have a minimal impact on farmland prices.

Post noted the same land in Genesee County that might grow corn can just as easily grow other produce.

Yunker, whose farm is diversified in what it grows every season, said he and his managers won't decide on the coming season's crops and how many acres of corn to plant until February. That will give him a lot of time to study what's happening in the international markets.

The big factors, Yunker said, are what happens in China and how the corn growing season does in South America and how much the Ukraine produces.

But the biggest factor is how much demand for corn there is out of China. That demand is effected both by how much meat the Chinese eat and how widely disease spreads through China's chicken farms.

If Chinese demand for corn drops, so will prices.

Recently, China rejected some shipments of corn, reportedly because of an assertion that the corn was genetically modified in a way not approved by China. Yunker doesn't think that's the real reason.

"I think it's because the prices went lower," Yunker said. "They're finding a reason to kick the load now. It's always a problem when prices go lower. People find a reason not to accept what they purchased."

If prices drop below $4 the impact on local farmers could become more severe because the cost of production is relatively fixed. It's a price local farmers will be watching closely over the winter.

"A lot depends on the demand in China and it depends on the production around the rest of the world," Yunker said.

December 18, 2013 - 4:19pm

T.F. Brown's and the Lions Club of Batavia will host their annual community Christmas dinner Dec. 25.

The dinner is free to all.

There are two seatings available, noon and 1 p.m. 

An RSVP is requested by Dec. 20. If planning to attend, please call (585) 345-1000 and let Maud know how many people are coming, for which seating, and the gender, ages and first names of children.

Children will receive a present from Santa.

T.F. Brown's is located at 214 E. Main St., Batavia.

Pictured are: Tony Scalia, Joe Teresi and Michael Tomaszewski from the Lions Club and T.F. Brown's owner Rick Mancuso.

December 18, 2013 - 1:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A two-car accident with injuries is reported at 229 W. Main Street, in front of Ken Barrett's car dealership. It is blocking traffic. City fire is on scene along with police. Mercy medics are also responding.

December 18, 2013 - 10:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Le Roy.

Duane Lewis Garlow, 29, of 110 Woodcroft Drive, Rochester, is charged with felony DWI, felony driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, unreasonable speed in a curve and unsafe lane change. Garlow was charged following a motor-vehicle accident at 12:33 a.m., on Perry Road, Le Roy. Garlow's vehicle reportedly struck a stop sign and utility pole after failing to negotiate a curve in the roadway. The accident was investigated by Deputy Frank Bordonaro.

Emma Jean Brinkman, 58, of Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Brinkman is accused of shoplifting from Walmart and stealing $43.23 in merchandise.

Eva Gristina Hernandez, 23, of Spencer Court, Batavia, is charged with petit larceny. Hernandez is accused of shoplifting from Kmart and stealing $41.58 merchandise.

December 17, 2013 - 10:40pm
posted by Nick Sabato in sports.

You can’t make all of the shots you take, so when they don’t fall, you rely on other facets of the game.

That is exactly what Batavia did as defense was the key in their 49-26 rout of Greece Olympia.

The Lady Blue Devils came away with 19 steals, including five from sophomore Madison McCulley.

“Madison sees the court from both ends of the floor,” said Batavia Head Coach Marty Hein. “We’re not the same team when she’s not on the floor.”

While McCulley led Batavia on defense, another sophomore, Tiara Filbert, led the way on offense.

Filbert scored a game-high 17 points, pulled down nine rebounds and came away with three steals on the night.

It was a superb all-around night for the Blue Devils, as nine different players reached the scoring column and seven players recorded a steal.

“We have a great core to start with,” Hein said. “But our future is depends our depth. Right now the biggest thing we’re working on is getting the depth on the bench to carry forward.”

Sophomore Sam Cecere also chipped in 10 points and six rebounds for Batavia (5-1).

Phalen Greene paced Greece Olympia (0-5) with 10 points and four assists, while Melissa Carroll added 10 rebounds.

December 17, 2013 - 8:43pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in st. joseph's school, handbell choir.


St Joseph's School Handbell Choir performs "Angels We Have Heard on High" for the Christmas Concert Dec. 17, 2013. The group is directed by Kae Woodruff Wilbert.

From left: Matthew Zehler, Jaylee Maniscalco, Matthew Stevens, Benjamin Paserk, Samuel Bowman, Faith Falkowski, Mark Hoerbelt, Mary Warner, and Mary Kochmanski.

Other members of the Choir are: Amanda Bergman, Ariana de Sa e Frias, Doria Gallison, Jennifer Miller, Rachel Nickerson, Katherine Warner, Katelyn Zehler, Kaylyn Carlson, Christopher Gualtieri and Hannah Gualtieri.

December 17, 2013 - 4:27pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in batavia, post office.

Long lines formed at the Batavia Post Office today.

According to Darlene Sharping, who has been at the customer service desk for 14 years, the Batavia Post Office has been one busy place for the last three weeks.

Today the wait in line was about 20 minutes. Some people walked in and walked out, while others braved the line and waited. 

Marybeth Bowen needed to mail a large envelope for $1.90, but did not have enough stamps. She had six but needed eight. In the Christmas spirit, another woman who was waiting in line to mail a lot of packages, volunteered to mail her envelope so she would not have to wait in line for stamps.

Sal Oddo, who has worked behind the customer service desk for 35 years here in Batavia says tomorrow is the last day to mail out packages to places like Florida or California. Anything after tomorrow might not make it in time for Christmas.

If you are mailing in the Northeast the last day is Thursday.

The Batavia Post Office will be open from 9-5 during the week.

Boxes were the theme in line today.

Even though the lines were long most people seemed to be in the Christmas spirit.

December 17, 2013 - 10:42am
posted by Bonnie Marrocco in Le Roy, dot.

Le Roy residents, business owners, community leaders and public safety officials packed into the Le Roy Town Hall Monday night to express their opposition to potentially reducing the number of lanes through the village. A proposed plan would make Main Street two lanes instead of four.

The public meeting was hosted by Le Roy Business Council and was attended by NYS Department of Transportation officials.

DOT Regional Traffic Engineer David Goehring said that Le Roy was targeted as an area that needs minor, preventative resurfacing. As part of the project, they looked at the roads and discussed with village leaders ways to make the village more pedestrian and parking friendly, concerns about speeding, as well as traffic issues at the corner of routes 5 and 19, Lake Street.

Using DOT jargon such as “calming traffic” (slowing down traffic) and “road dieting” (reducing the size of current roads) he cited research that shows how four-lane roads encourage speeding and quick lane changes, as well as being a tight squeeze for trucks and people parked on the street. 

“We looked at traffic volume and saw an opportunity for 'road dieting' when preventive maintenance to pavement on Route 5 is performed in July -- dieting the current four lanes in order to trim them down to two lanes,” Goehring said. “The volume of traffic that comes through Le Roy would allow a single lane of traffic in each direction to accommodate it.”

The plan reduces the four-lane traffic that runs from the railroad overpass eastward to Le Roy Country Club into wider, single lanes of traffic in both directions and a middle turning lane, along with modifications to increase the turning radius at the intersection of routes 5 and 19.

The proposed route would have a 14- to 16-foot-wide center lane throughout the village, with 10-foot-wide parking spaces on both sides of the street in the business district. Parked traffic would have an additional eight feet of space between them and vehicle traffic due to the installation of “bike lanes” in both directions.

“This tends to reduce speed and reduce rear-end accidents because left-hand turn traffic is not in a live lane. People exiting driveways only have to gauge one lane both ways and can turn into the center lane, which gives you a refuge spot to get in and out of your driveway,” DOT Civil Engineer Brad Walike said.

Le Roy Mayor Greg Rogers and Town Supervisor Stephen Barbeau both said their constituents would prefer downtown parking be the focus of the changes, not the roadways.

“In an ideal situation, we’d like to see reverse diagonal parking and keep the existing highways the same,” Rogers said. “I don’t know if we have the right to request this, but that’s our feeling.”

Reverse diagonal parking allows traffic to back into slots instead of pulling in.

Emergency responders warned that they need the extra space to maneuver through downtown.

“When we respond on Route 5 going east, traffic has a place to get out of the way. There would hardly be enough room for our trucks to get down Main Street under the proposed new plan,”  Le Roy Fire District Chief Tom Wood said. “We think you need to take a closer look at the west side, near the underpass.”

Le Roy resident John Duysson, a deputy whose job with the Sheriff's Office includes accident reconstruction, said he understood the plan, but disagreed with some of it. Besides improving traffic at the intersection of routes 5 and 19, he said he believes it will only increase traffic congestion.

“You’re dead on about routes 5 and 19, but on the rest, you’re nuts,” Duysson said. “I disagree with the proposal all the way through.”

Le Roy Historical Society Director Lynne Belluscio said the traffic pattern along Route 5 in Batavia keeps her from going downtown and she’s afraid people will feel the same way about coming into the village.

“I’m concerned people will feel it’s easier just to go around Le Roy,” Belluscio said.

Goehring said the projects in Batavia and East Bethany weren’t the best comparisons to the proposed Le Roy plan, which he equated more to the traffic plan implemented in Avon along Route 5.

NYSDOT officials will consider the community input and meet with local officials with a revised plan early next year.

December 16, 2013 - 10:50pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in Batavia fire, transformer fire.

The City of Batavia Fire Department has been called to Pearl Street and Brooklyn Avenue for a transformer down in the road and on fire.

There are reportedly many lines down on the road.

UPDATE 10:50 p.m.: City fire is on location and investigating.

UPDATE 10:53 p.m.: There is a primary line down in front of Tonawanda Terrace. National Grid has been called to the scene. No ETA given. There are some power outages in the area.

UPDATE 10:57p.m.: Pearl Street is blocked to traffic at Brooklyn Avenue.

UPDATE 11:20 p.m.: Some signal lights are out on West Main Street and traffic is reportedly not stopping at the Lyon Street intersection with West Main.

UPDATE 11:27 p.m.: A Sheriff's deputy is directing traffic at Lewiston and Park roads.

UPDATE 11:33 p.m.: National Grid is on location.

UPDATE 12:15 a.m.: National Grid has started to work on the problem. The outage is affecting about 746 customers. The scene has been turned over to National Grid and City fire is going back into service. Estimated restoration time is 2:30 a.m.


December 16, 2013 - 8:39pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in accident, Darien, snowmobile, drill.

According to Darien Fire Chief Dale Breitwieser, an earlier post about a reported snowmobile accident in Darien was part of a drill involving the Darien and Corfu fire departments. 

The drill started a little before 7 p.m. and just finished up about 8:30 p.m.

December 16, 2013 - 4:26pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in Batavia Police Benevolent Association.

Pictured from left: Officers Matt Lutey, Chad Richards and Felicia DeGroot

Press release

Dec. 16, 2013

This holiday season, the Batavia Police Benevolent Association has sponsored two families in need. These families have been affected this year not only financially, but by abuses involving children. The Child Advocacy Center assisted the PBA in connecting with these families in need.

This year, the Batavia PBA purchased items ranging from toys to food to basic necessities, for seven children and their families. We know this will bring many smiles to these children during this holiday season.

The Batavia PBA uses monies which it receives through donations from the community to fund such programs, and wishes to thank all of those who have contributed this year. With the continued support from our community, the Batavia PBA can assist more families throughout the years to come.

December 16, 2013 - 2:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alex's place, contest, Sponsored Post, advertisement.

Like Alex's Place on Facebook, complete the registration form and become eligible to win a $100 gift card from Alex's Place. Click here to enter.

December 16, 2013 - 10:11am
posted by Bonnie Marrocco in chamber of commerce, Tom Turnbull.

Tom Turnbull is no stranger to Batavia, its Chamber of Commerce, or the business community. He is a lifelong resident of the city; he’s been active in the Chamber for many years and was the publisher of the Daily News for the past 11 years. He is a familiar face and a respected leader.

The skills and experience Turnbull brings from his career at the The Daily News, journalism, business, marketing, public relations and community involvement, align well with his new position as the president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

“From my time as an advertising representative and also as publisher, I am used to working with area businesses on marketing and promoting their businesses. A lot of what we do here at the Chamber is just an extension of promoting and marketing area businesses and Genesee County as a whole,” Turnbull said.

The son of a local business owner, Turnbull, 60, holds a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and an MBA from the State University at Buffalo. Following the retirement of former Chamber president Lynn Freeman, Turnbull took over the job in October. He’s settling into his new role and is enthusiastic about his new career.

Turnbull jokingly says that his biggest challenge so far has been trying to figure out predecessor Lynn Freeman’s filing system.

“Seriously though, the biggest challenge has been getting my arms around all of the different aspects that the Chamber is involved in,” Turnbull said. “I have been amazed at the breadth and scope of our Chamber’s activities. From tourism to insurance to small business consulting and loans to public policy advocacy to regional collaborations to networking… it just goes on and on. Our Chamber is a very dynamic organization and I’m still learning about all that we do here.”

After 38 years at The Daily News, where he worked his way up from an advertising representative to the publisher, Turnbull was used to knowing his field inside and out. There weren’t many situations that he hadn’t run into in the newspaper business. As the new kid on the block at the Chamber, he’s getting used to not having all the answers and he’s embracing the challenge of researching the ins and outs of his new profession.

“It is different but that’s also part of what makes this switch to the Chamber so exciting. I’m learning something new every day and enjoying every minute of it,” Turnbull said. “Our chamber is one of the best run in the state and that was one of the things that excited me about taking this position. Lynn and the staff have done a great job. The way I look at it is I’m just going to take the baton and keep on running.”

Being born and raised in Genesee County and having lived here his whole life, Turnbull values and believes in the Chamber’s mission of creating an environment for business success that will enhance the quality of life for all the citizens of Genesee County.

“I love this county and I believe that this position will allow me to give back to the area which has been so good to me and my family.”

The Chamber has around 600 members and plays an important role in supporting the business community because a strong business community ensures a better quality of life for everyone.

The Chamber's function includes training for businesses, representing business to elected leaders and providing networking opportunities for business owners and employees. The Chamber helps businesses connect to the community and grow.

For 2014, the Chamber is sponsoring the return of the Home Show, which will take place March 28, 29 and 30 at the Ice Arena. Planned events are the awards dinner Feb. 22 at the Clarion, Celebrate Agriculture dinner March 22, golf tournament Aug. 6, and the Decision Makers Agricultural Forum in September.

Currently being discussed by the Town of Batavia, is the possibility of a new Welcome Center to be built on Veterans Memorial Drive and Park Road. The Welcome Center would house the offices for the Chamber, which serves as Genesee County’s tourism agency.

Turnbull has been married to his wife, Michelle, for 20 years and they have a 14-year-old son, JT.

December 16, 2013 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Stephanie Ann Bonin, 19, of Ross Street, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, 4th. Bonin was arrested following an incident reported at 1:24 p.m., Dec. 6, at 4330 Commerce Drive, Batavia. She was allegedly found in possession of an expandable metal baton in her purse.

Joshua John Lein, 34, of Kibbe Avenue, Batavia, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .18 or greater and criminal possession of a controlled substance, 7th. Lein was stopped at 1:12 a.m., Saturday, on West Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Joseph Corona.

Raymond W. Schramm, 27, of East Pembroke, and Marla A. Mugler, 24, of Batavia, are each charged with harassment, 2nd. Schramm and Mugler were arrested by State Police in connection with an alleged incident reported at 3:45 p.m., Dec. 9. No further details released.

December 16, 2013 - 8:45am
posted by Alecia Kaus in batavia, Bank of America.

The City of Batavia Fire Department is on scene at Bank of America, 100 Main St., for the odor of  natural gas.

Fire crews have been on scene for about 20 minutes and have detected some levels of CO on the first floor and in the basement. A crew on the roof has detected the same smell there and they are shutting down the heating/cooling system.

UPDATE 8:52 a.m.: City fire has cleared the building of CO and levels are down to zero.They have isolated the problem to the heating units on the roof and all of the heating and cooling units have been shut down until maintenance arrives. Engine 12 will remain on scene until they arrive.

UPDATE: 9:06 a.m.: Engine 12 has now cleared the scene and is back in service.

December 15, 2013 - 8:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

A community forum to discuss a Route 5 resurfacing project will be held at 5:30 p.m., Monday, at the Town Hall in Le Roy.

The informal discussion is hosted by the Le Roy Business Council and will include officials from the NYS Department of Transportation.

The project involves potentially reducing the number of lanes on Main Street in Le Roy from four to two.

Topics will include the project itself, how the project came to be, input from public safety officials and local businesses as well as community leaders.

The Le Roy Town Hall is located at 48 Main St.

December 15, 2013 - 6:19pm
posted by Diane Burroughs in dinner, Service Clubs, fire safety.

Dinner will be at the Dibble Family Center, 4120 W. Main St., Batavia. Choice of Country Chicken Breast or Vegetable Lasanga. Cost is $15. Fire Safety "Let us Help You" will be the topic of discussion, led by Fire Dept. officials. Call Connie at 585-343-4603 or Pearl at 585-343-9108 for reservations, by Monday, Dec.30th. All are welcome!




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

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