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May 20, 2014 - 9:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Schools.

The Batavia City School District unofficial results for today:

Budget - $42,986,362: 

  • Yes  -  402 (70.77%)
  • No  -  166 (29.23%)

Student Ex-Officio non-voting member of the Board of Education

  • Yes  -  493 (85.89%)
  • No  -  81 (14.11%)

Sale of Property (279 East Ave.) for $150,000

  •  Yes  -  466 (82.04%)
  • No  -  102 (17.96%)

Non-Binding Advisory Proposition (pending Board of Education action) - Veterans' Exemption

  •   Yes  -  428 (75.09%)
  •   No  -  142 (24.91%)

Three Board of Education positions:

Two (2) from 7-1-14 to 6-30-17 (the two highest votes)

  • Jessica M. Maguire-Tomidy:  470
  • Andrew Pedro:  445

and

One (1) from 5/21/14 to 6/30/15 (least number of votes)

  • Leslie Johnson:  430
May 20, 2014 - 9:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama.

Voters approved the Oakfield-Alabama budget today, 226 to 70. 

There were three vacancies on the school board.

Results: 

  • William Snyder, 217
  • Bonnie Woodward, 213
  • Tim Edgerton, 212
  • Joel D'Alba, 195
May 20, 2014 - 9:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A two-car accident with minor injuries is reported at 472 Ellicott St., between Clifton and Harvester. City fire and Mercy medics are on location.

UPDATE 9:31 p.m. (by Howard): Confirmed, minor injuries. One of the drivers reportedly claimed his brakes went out.

May 20, 2014 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Jackson Square, Jackson Street.

National Grid crews had Jackson Street closed off late this afternoon for the installation of a new utility pole behind the old Bank of Genesee building. The pole is one of two put up today to replace one in Jackson Square. The old pole interferred with the third story reconstruction of the former Carr's warehouse. The old warehouse is being converted into apartment units.

May 20, 2014 - 2:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones.

Nearly 300 students were candidates for graduate degrees during commencement exercises May 17 at Emporia State University. Students from this area and their degrees are:

  • Brennan James Briggs, of Batavia, master of science degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation;
  • Julie M. Savage, of Bergen, master of science degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Founded in 1863 as Kansas State Normal -- the state's premier institution to educate teachers -- Emporia State University offers 42 undergraduate and 27 graduate degrees in the School of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Library and Information Management and The Teachers College. SLIM also offers a Ph.D. program.

May 20, 2014 - 2:10pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones.

Batavia native David Wolcott, a senior Clinical Health Studies major in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance at Ithaca College, was recently awarded the Professional Excellence Award.

The Professional Excellence Award is given in recognition of undergraduate student(s) who exhibit excellence in one or more of the following areas: leadership, clinical practice, service, professionalism, academics, or scholarship.

May 20, 2014 - 1:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accidents.

A three-vehicle accident, including a disabled semi-truck, is blocking Ellicott Street just past Swan Street. It is believed to be without injuries. City fire and Mercy medics are responding.

May 20, 2014 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in accident, Darien, water rescue.

An adult male in a boat in a pond flipped over the boat and is clinging to the side of it, unable to swim to shore. The caller to dispatch said she doesn't believe he is injured. The location is 11221 Harlow Road. Darien fire and EMS are responding to rescue the man from the water.

UPDATE 1:35 p.m.: Law enforcement is on scene.

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: Darien fire reports the man is now on shore, conscious and alert. He still needs to be evaluated by medics.

May 20, 2014 - 12:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements.

Wednesday, May 28, 6:30 - 8 p.m. Jon Ehrmentraut, of Landscape Concepts, LeRoy, will present a program on identifying and growing native plants in this area.

Registration is required and can be done online at www.woodwardmemoriallibrary,org or by calling 585-768-8300.

May 20, 2014 - 12:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bethany, accidents.

A motorcyclist struck a deer on Route 63, near Clapsaddle Road, in Bethany. Bethany and Stafford fire departments and Mercy medics are dispatched.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.: Mercy Flight will be responding. Firefighters have to set up the landing zone.

UPDATE 12:47 p.m.: The landing zone will be at the self-storage facility at Route 63 and Stafford Batavia Town Line Road.

UPDATE 1:20 p.m.: The rider was transported by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, mainly as a precaution for a possible head injury. He was wearing a DOT-approved half-helmut. He was riding about 55 mph on southbound Route 63 when a deer ran into the side of his motorcycle, throwing him off the bike and onto the roadway. The bike continued southbound and came to rest off the east shoulder of the roadway. The button buck did not survive the crash.

May 20, 2014 - 8:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime.

Desiree Michele Hutchinson, 18, of Walnut Street, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant for alleged misapplication of property. Hutchinson allegedly failed to appear on the initial charge, which stems from an accusation that she pawned a tablet computer that she did not own or have the consent of the owner to pawn. 

Jennifer Lyn Stack, 28, of South Main Street, Batavia, was arrested on three warrants stemming from three separate petit larceny charges. Stack was arrested following a traffic stop by Deputy Joseph Corona and taken into custody on the warrants. Stack is accused of shoplifting Nov. 19.

May 20, 2014 - 7:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office.

Not wearing a seat belt while in a moving vehicle is always perilous to your health, but for the remainder of the month it will represent a little extra danger to your pocketbook.

The Sheriff's Office is participating in a nationwide effort over the next couple of weeks to more diligently enforce seat belt and child restraint laws.

Deputies routinely enforce these laws, Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble noted in a press release, but during this mobilization, there will be extra patrols on the streets and roadways specifically looking for seat belt violators.

The national program is called "Click It or Ticket."

The extra patrols will continue until June 1.

According to stats included in the press release, among motorists who were involved in a crash, those who were unrestrained were almost eight times more likely to require hospitalization. Unrestrained motorists are five times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injury. 

In 2011, 47 motorists in Genesee County who did not wear a seat belt were treated at a hospital for injuries. Those treatments resulted in $309,000 in emergency room charges.

May 20, 2014 - 12:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Le Roy, Frost Ridge Campground.

Greg Luetticke and David Luetticke, 
owners of Frost Ridge Campground
(file photo)

The Town of Le Roy has filed a lawsuit that, if successful, would put Frost Ridge Campground out of business.

Frost Ridge, according to the suit, is a cancer on the community.

The chief complaint in the suit is the summer concert series in the facility's natural amphitheater, but the complaint also says the campground violates the town's zoning law, and it has since 1967.

The defendant's uses and occupancy of the property, the suit states, "corrupt the general area so as to destroy the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of residents of the Town in the vicinity, having endangered, impaired and imperiled and threaten to endanger, impair, imperil the health of the public."

The campground, that paragraph continues, "(has) caused and will cause irreparable injury to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the town."

No evidence of such harm is stated in the complaint, which was filed May 2.

While the suit purports to represent all the residents of the town, the town's own Frost Ridge file -- a copy was obtained by The Batavian through a FOIL request -- lists only one neighboring couple as ever filing any written complaints about Frost Ridge.

"By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiff and residents and taxpayers of the Town will continue to suffer great and irreparable harm, damage and injury from the further continuance of the public nuisance, which cannot be caused to cease except by the injunctive order and in a court of equity," the suit states.

Frostridge, operating under various names over its long history, was opened as a winter ski resort in 1957 and has included campground sites since at least 1961, according to the town's documents.

It's currently owned by David Luetticke and Greg Luetticke, who purchased the business in 2008 and moved from San Diego to Le Roy to operate it.

In 2012, David and Greg started a summer concert series, but records show they weren't the first owners to host live music at the campground.

Last summer, David and Marney Cleere started complaining about the concerts and since then the Town has built a long paper trail of town board meetings, zoning board meetings, attorneys' letters, accusations and counter claims as the town has sought to block David and Greg from bringing some of the nation's biggest country stars to Le Roy.

A hearing on the suit is scheduled for 9 a.m. in the Genesee County Supreme Court in front of Judge Robert C. Noonan.

The lawsuit takes direct aim at the concerts and an alleged plan by David and Greg to open a bar and grill called The Barn on the property.

It also accuses the previous owners of operating and expanding the property as a campground illegally.

"In June 1998, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) held a public hearing concerning the upcoming sale of the premises by Frost Ridge, Inc., to Molly Perry," the suit reads. "The ZBA determined, erroneously in the view of the current Town Board, that the use of the premises as a campground was a preexisting nonconforming use and thus could continue to be used as a campground after her purchase of the premises."

The property sits within a residential/agriculture zone that was established in 1967. The R/A zone in the Town of Le Roy typically allows only for single-family homes or various types of agriculture use, according to the suit.

The campground has undergone several expansions that violated even a nonconforming use allowance, if such a use were even permitted, which it doesn't, the suit states.

And now what David and Greg have done, and want to do, with their country music concerts and proposed restaurant and continued family camping fun is a cancer that must be eradicated, the suit alleges.

"The size and scope of the planned uses are unsuitable and inappropriate for the area, constituting a maligancy which cannot be allowed to metastasize any further," the suit reads.

The suit was written and filed by Le Roy attorney Reid A. Whiting.

In recent years, Frostridge has booked such name acts as Marty Stuart, the Little River Band, Restless Heart, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Connie Smith -- a 2012 inductee of Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame, Jerrod Neimann, Jo Dee Messina and Phil Vassar as well as rising stars like Blackjack Billy.

Last year's line-up included a homecoming show for Alexander native Krista Marie and her band The Farm.

The ampitheter can accommodate up to 5,000 people, making it a much smaller venue than Genesee County's only other notable concert venue, Darien Lake. But even so, while Darien Lake's concerts require a substantial law enforcment presense and dozens, if not more than 100 arrests, might be reported following a show, there hasn't been a single arrest reported at Frost Ridge related to a concert since 2011.

There is no immediate information available on the local economic impact of Frostridge, and David and Greg said they could not talk with the press on advice of their attorney. But from previous conversations with The Batavian over the past view years, we know they book thousands of guests every season as well as attract tens of thousands of tourists to Genesee County for their concerts.

Each season, they employ nearly 40 people for concerts and camping.

The town's file on Frost Ridge also contains an apparent notice from earlier this year of violations and an order to cease certain activities, listed by code number. It's signed by the town's code enforcment officer, Jeff Steinbrenner.

David Roach, attorney for Frost Ridge, responded March 17 and stated the notice was dubious in meaning, sweeping in scope, constituted discrimintory enforcment because only Frost Ridge is targeted and runs counter to findings in 1989 and 2013 by the town Zoning Board of Appeals that the campground was operating legally as a preexisting, nonconforming use.

Roach accuses the town of merely perpetuating a political agenda driven by the Cleeres.

"We are aware that one married couple, David and Marny Cleere, just last year expressed their displeasure for the first time with the ongoing 50-plus year tradition of live music at Frost Ridge," Roach wrote. 

He continues, "they in fact demand the town 'abate the violations of the Town Code,' in what seems like a frontal assault on Frost Ridge's very existance. If not entirely arbitrary and capricious, the town's intended action against Frost Ridge may be construed as furthering the Cleere's personal agenda, which has absolutely no legitimate bearing on Frost Ridge's compliance with the Zoning Code."

The suit also alledges that the campground's current use and configuration constitutes a serious fire hazard to the surrounding area, campground guests and the campground's owners.

The town's file on Frost Ridge contains a Jan. 9 letter from the Le Roy Fire Department finding five minor possible fire safety violations, including problems with signage, no site map and no letter in the department's file on how many permanent residents there are at the campground.

The campground sits on two parcels of a combined 31 acres with an assessed value approaching $130,000.

Marty Stuart performing at Frost Ridge, Sept. 2011.

Alexander native Krista Marie peforming at Frost Ridge, August 2013.

Blackjack Billy performing at Frost Ridge, June 2013.

Phil Vassar performing at Frost Ridge, July 28. During his performance, Vassar praised Frost Ridge. He praised the setting. He praised the hospitality. He praised the acoustics of the venue. "This is a special place," Vassar told the crowd after his fourth song. "We play a lot of places around the country and there's no place else like this."

May 19, 2014 - 4:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, fire.

A mulch fire is reported in the parking lot at Save-A-Lot in the city. That's at the corner of Jackson and Ellicott streets. City fire is on scene.

UPDATE 4:01 p.m.: The call to dispatch was made by DPW.

UPDATE 4:04 p.m.: Fire commands reports mulch fire was out upon their arrival. The assignment is back in service.

UPDATE (By Howard): Fire started by a discarded cigarette, apparently. A passerby stomped it out before fire crews arrived.

May 19, 2014 - 12:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, tech wars.

Press release:

An exciting, hands-on learning opportunity returns to Genesee Community College on Tuesday, May 20, as the College's ACE Programs hosts the 7th annual Tech Wars for students in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Counties) region.

The event brings area middle and high school students to GCC's Batavia campus where they'll demonstrate their technology knowledge through innovative, mind-expanding competition. Students arrive on campus at 8:30 a.m. The competition runs from 9:30-12:30. The event is open to the public. Tech Wars had originally been scheduled for March 13 but was cancelled due to a snowstorm.

Students participate in a variety of challenges, generally in groups of two or more. Some of the competition involves bringing to campus projects they've been working on. This year students have been challenged to create a power-producing sculpture that utilizes renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal or hydroelectric. The sculpture is meant to be a functional piece of art, both utilitarian and aesthetically appealing.

Other competition involves working onsite, such as drawing with CAD (Computer Assisted Drafting) software. From a robotic tractor pull to CO2 truck designs and the ever popular sumo robots, Tech Wars offers fun and challenging events.

"Tech Wars gives students a chance to really exercise creative problem solving skills," said GCC Career Pathways Director Debbie Dunlevy. "Working in groups also helps them understand what it takes to collaborate successfully. And these challenges give them insight into what types of jobs they might pursue in the future."

Last year 450 students from 16 schools participated in Tech Wars.

Batavia's Graham Corporation and Liberty Pumps of Bergen return as Gold Level ($500+) sponsors this year along with Northeast Industrial Technologies, of Lima. Other sponsors include Ken Barrett Chevrolet Cadillac, Allen-Bailey Tag & Label, Lapp Insulators. OXBO, American Douglas Metals and Milherst Construction.

"The support of these businesses is essential to putting on this event," Dunlevy said. "We thank them for investing in what could be future employees."

The Career Pathways Program helps students explore career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college and ultimately to professional careers. Tech Wars is among several dynamic programs giving students the opportunity to learn hands-on, often in business settings and with industry professionals.

May 19, 2014 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College Foundation invites nominations for its Alumni Hall of Fame, which recognizes those alumni who have achieved outstanding success and made a lasting impact on their community. The Foundation will induct the next class of nominees in March 2015.

"We encourage those who know outstanding graduates to nominate them now," Jackie Christenson, GCC's Alumni coordinator said. "We know there are lots of deserving graduates out there, and we hope people will begin now to submit nominations."

Nomination forms can be downloaded from GCC's Alumni Web site (www.genesee.edu/alumni/HallofFame/) and e-mailed or sent to the College's Alumni office.

GCC introduced the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007. Over eight years, the College has recognized 28 outstanding graduates in a variety of fields, from law enforcement to economic development.

"The success of these graduates serves as an inspiration to all of us here at the College and the community at large," Christenson said. "We are eager to honor more of GCC's best and brightest."

The criteria for nominating an individual to the Alumni Hall of Fame are based on the individual's contributions to his or her profession, distinguished service to the community and/or service to Genesee Community College. Nominees must be well-established in their professional lives, completing their GCC degree at least 10 years prior to nomination.

Nominations may be submitted by the nominee or by friends, family, work associates or other colleagues who are familiar with the nominee. A selection committee will choose honorees. New inductees will be honored at a reception, and their photo and a short biography will be featured on a plaque displayed in the Alumni Hall of Fame, located on the second floor of the Conable Technology Building.

May 19, 2014 - 12:15pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia.

A benefit dinner for Adam Figlow will be held on May 31 at Ascension Roman Catholic Parish, located at 15 Sumner St. in the City of Batavia.

Adam is a 35-year-old single father of four who is the custodian at the parish. He was diagnosed in December with spindle cell sarcoma of his left arm. He has since undergone two surgeries and a course of radiation therapy.

Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and the proceeds will help him with his medical expenses. There will be spaghetti, a Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle.

Presale tickets are $7 for adults; $8 at the door; $5 for children 4-10.

 

May 19, 2014 - 12:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in south byron, Announcements.

Two local Nazareth College graduate students were among a class of 185 earning master's or doctoral degrees at the 87th Annual Commencement ceremony that took place at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on May 11.

They are Colleen Swinton and Heather Currier, both of South Byron.

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