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October 22, 2016 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, batavia, Batavia HS, news.


Wet and cold and a slippery pigskin defined much of Batavia's opening round game against University Prep at Van Detta Stadium on Friday night.

Batavia pulled out a win, 24-12, after falling behind in a first half 12-8 marked by four fumbles.

In all, both teams would combine for more than 10 turnovers on the rain-soaked night.

Uprep held Batavia's season-leading rusher, Ray Leach, to less than 40 yards on the ground.  He did score the opening touchdown.

It was a tough night for passing, and with Leach pretty well bottled up by Uprep's defense, Batavia turned to QB Jerry Reinhart to run the ball.  He rushed for 66 yards and two touchdowns.

The star of the night was likely Anthony Ray, who had 10 tackles and two sacks, including one for a safety.









To purchase prints, click here.

October 22, 2016 - 9:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, alexander.

Alexander roared out of the playoff gate with an impressive 53-0 win over Lyons in the first round of the Section V Class D tournament.

Dane Heberlein led the way for Alexander with 22 carries for 222 yards and four touchdowns. Chris McClinic added 109 yards and a TD on seven carries.

Senior QB P.J. Brennan scored a touchdown on the ground and was 6 for 12 passing for 109 yards and a two TDs. Brennan has tossed 18 touchdown passes on the year against only two interceptions.

Hauling Brennan's tosses for TDs were Dustin Schmeider and Job Smith.

Hannah Paolucci notched five extra points.

The Trojan defense recovered three fumbles on the night. Erik Scharlau blocked a punt and had five tackles. Schmeider had a sack and five tackles. Zack Jasen had six tackles.

The news wasn't as good out of East Rochester, where Le Roy fell 70-0 in its sectional playoff game. East Rochester's Cameron Cleveland rushed for 249 yards and six TDs on 13 carries. 

Game photos by Rick D. Franclemont

October 22, 2016 - 8:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Oakfield, news.

A caller reports a vehicle on its roof in the area of 6042 Fisher Road, Oakfield.

Unknown if any injuries.

Oakfield Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 8:58 a.m.: Mercy Flight #7 is on a ground standby.

UPDATE 9:01 a.m.: Patient out of the vehicle.

UPDATE 9:05 a.m.: Cancel Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 9:21 a.m.: The road can reopen.

October 22, 2016 - 8:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
October 21, 2016 - 12:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jackson School, schools, education, batavia, news.


Turning math into playtime was the theme of Family Fun Night at Jackson School last night. 

The elementary schoolchildren and their parents were given a booklet with math problems to solve, and then they went through various game boards to help them solve those problems.

Prizes were award to students who successfully filled in their booklet with the correct answers.






October 21, 2016 - 9:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, pembroke, Notre Dame, news.

In Connors and Ferris Bowl play on Thursday, Pembroke notched one more victory for 2016, making it a total of four against four losses, by beating Notre Dame, 20-0.

In a rain-soaked game, there were only six pass attempts between the two teams, so the ground game dominated, and Pembroke dominated on the ground, with Zachary von Kramer rushing for 188 yards on 33 attempts and two TDs for the Dragons. Nick Clark added another 44 yards on a single run that went for a score. 

Jordon Weatherwax gained 51 yards on 16 carries for Notre Dame. 

Notre Dame's Caleb Wolcott led all defensive players with 12 tackles. Jim Zickl added seven tackles for the Irish.

For Pembroke, Von Kramer had eight tackles and Brian Seweryniak added seven and a sack. Jarrod Carrow had an interception.

In the area's other Connors and Ferris Bowl game, Perry/Mt. Morris beat Oakfield-Alabama/Elba, 27-0.

Section V playoffs begin tonight. The #1 seed in Class B, Batavia, hosts University Prep, coming in at #8, at Van Detta Stadium tonight. Game time is 7 p.m. Alexander, the #1 seed in Class D, also has a 7 p.m. home game against Lyons. 

Pembroke/Notre Dame game photos by Rick D. Franclemont. 

October 21, 2016 - 8:30am
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

A storm passing through Western New York today could bring as much as two inches of rain to Genesee County, according to the National Weather Service.

A flash flood watch has been issued locally because of the potential for rapidly rising water in populated areas, especially along feeder streams.

The watch is in effect until 4 p.m.

The NWS reports that an elongated low-pressure zone over West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania is directing widespread soaking rain to zones north from the Southern Tier across the Genesee River Valley and Finger Lakes to the Eastern Lake Ontario region.

October 21, 2016 - 8:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
October 20, 2016 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, chris collins, NY-27, politics, news.

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic Congressional Candidate for NY-27, has called upon Rep. Chris Collins to step forward and declaratively disavow Trump’s recent statements that the election is rigged. As a an elected official himself, Mr. Collins should persuade Mr. Trump that he should accept the outcome of the election if Secretary Clinton wins. That is what we know in this country as a peaceful transfer of power. That “peaceful” transfer of power is the very essence of what a democracy is all about.

“There used to be civility amongst opponents running for public office. However, the tone the Trump campaign and all of its surrogates have set forth, including Mr. Collins, is anything but civil. The time has come for all patriotic Republicans to speak out against this unprecedented attack on our core beliefs and our fair election process.”

October 20, 2016 - 2:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, genesee county, news.


Legislators are faced with a number of hard choices as the county's 2017 budget comes together.

Increases in mandated spending, increases in personnel expenses, flat sales tax revenue and unsettled questions about expenses related to the soon-to-be-former Genesee County Nursing Home means the county needs to raise more money than allowed by the tax levy cap.

County Jay Gsell laid out several options for the legislators, except one, but Chairman Ray Cinifrinit put it on the table: Voting to override the tax cap limit.

To override, the Legislators would have to hold a public hearing and then vote on a resolution. That would have to be done before completion of the budget process, so approving the resolution wouldn't necessarily mean there would be a tax increase above the cap amount.

"I'm suggesting that we at least pass the resolution," Cianfrini said. "That's just good planning."

Gsell said he won't submit a budget proposal, which is due within 48 hours, that includes a tax increase above the cap amount.

The formula for figuring the cap takes into account the $14 million in increased assessed value for real property in the county, but the county can only use a portion of that increase for any pre-cap increase in the levy.

If the county were to raise no more money from the levy than in 2016, it would put the tax rate for the county at $9.69 per thousand of assessed value.

The rate can't go past $9.86 to stay under the levy cap. 

If Gsell accepted all of the funding requests by various county departments, which by direction were already frugal requests, the tax rate would be $10.27.

To get the rate down to at least $9.86, Gsell said there will be no new hires for county staff, except two new corrections officers, and he's looking at using $1 million from the county's reserves, as well as diverting 1 percent of the sales tax that would normally go to next year's capital projects (think roads and bridges), for another $800,000 in savings. He's also cutting 10 percent from all non-mandated services, except for mental health related services, Genesee Community College and the Chamber of Commerce (the tourism office helps generate revenue for the county and gets funding from the hotel bed tax).

Here's the list of programs and agencies slated for a 10 percent cut from their funding requests:

  • GO-ART!
  • Business Education Alliance
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Holland Land Office Museum
  • Housing Initiative Committee
  • Genesee County Economic Development Center
  • Libraries
  • Mercy Flight
  • Soil & Water Conservation District

Legislator Andrew Young expressed concern about the county once again dipping into reserve funds to balance a budget. He noted that practice can't last forever. He is also concerned about diverting funds from capital projects when the county is looking at a $15 million bill for road and bridge repairs over the next five years.

So take those two revenue diversions off the table, that leaves Legislators with two big options -- raise taxes above the levy cap, or go to what Gsell called "the nuclear option," the "scorched earth policy."

That option is completely eliminating a service the county currently provides but isn't mandated by state law. Those options include closing county parks and eliminating the road patrol deputies in the Sheriff's Office.

Such drastic cuts could also include elimination all funding for the nine programs and services listed above.

"If they (the legislators) don't like what I recommend in terms of how the revenues are put together," Gsell said after the meeting, "that's when I have to go back to the expense side of the equation and get rid of $1 million to $2 million worth of expenses."

But Gsell warned legislators that drastic cuts will certainly bring about intense pushback from the community.

"We tried that with Genesee Justice a few years ago and I believe there were 200-plus people at a public hearing over in the court facility," Gsell said. "Everybody and the kitchen sink came in and said that's the worse thing the county has ever thought of, let alone tried to do as far as county government goes. So that's just a caution."

The two-and-a-half hour meeting Wednesday also included a lengthy discussion about how to eliminate some of the overtime costs within the Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Gary Maha, Undersheriff William Sheron (top photo), Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble and Jail Superintendent William Zipfel participated in the conversation.

The two main areas of overtime expense are deputies in training with their four-hour daily commute to and from basic training in either Niagara Falls or Monroe County and prisoner transport of female inmates between Genesee County, which doesn't have a jail that can house female inmates, and the jails in the area that can accept female prisoners.

Currently, deputies are taken off of road patrol for transports.

The Sheriff's Office budget requested three new corrections officers to handle the transports, but the discussion headed toward a proposal to hire two new corrections officers and find retired law enforcement officers to work part-time help with transports.

County Attorney Charles Zambito, soon-to-be County Judge Zambito, said once he's judge he can probably make sure the calendar is adjusted to ensure prisoners to be transported are scheduled for appearances in batches, reducing the number of transport trips. 

Jail expense is also going up, Zipfel said, because of the changing demographics of the jail population. There is more time and expense with medical transportation and dealing with mental health issues, including more one-on-one watches for inmates who may be suicidal.

"The jail population is aging and getting sicker with every month that goes by," Zipfel said. "We're encountering more people who have drug and alcohol addictions, more people who are older. We've had several people recently in their 70s and 80s who are getting sentenced because of drug and alcohol addictions."

The legislature will meet again on the budget next Wednesday.

October 19, 2016 - 8:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Emergency Dispatch, batavia, news.


Once a year, the Sheriff's Office is required to test its backup emergency dispatch center and tonight's the night for dispatchers to work out of the location at 14 W. Main St., instead of their normal home on Park Road.

The facility is configured exactly like Park Road for an easy transition from one location to the other.

The backup facility would be used if Park Road couldn't be used for some reason.

The room in the old Sheriff's Office on West Main was the dispatch center for the Sheriff's Office for decades before the Park Road office was built.

These days, emergency dispatchers handle all traffic in the county for the Sheriff's road patrols, Batavia PD, Le Roy PD, State Police and the fire departments.

Dispatchers handle somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 calls for service annually.

October 19, 2016 - 4:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, elba, news.


Investigators have spent the day trying to track down new leads that might help them discover who was involved in yesterday's robbery of the M&T Bank branch in Elba.

The robbery was reported at 2:35 p.m. yesterday and seems to have involved two men dressed in masks, gloves and hoodies who fled in a stolen car before switching cars about a block away from the bank.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said a team of investigators spent the day canvassing the area looking for witnesses or images from surveillance cameras that might assist in developing leads.

Investigator Joseph Graff told our news partner 13WHAM that investigators are also checking with costume shops to see if any connection can be made between the masks and gloves the suspects were wearing and a recent purchase.

Brewster said the Sheriff's Office is conferring with the FBI and law enforcement in Monroe County.

The initial getaway car was stolen from a car dealership in Rochester and had a stolen plate on the rear of the car.

Anybody who might have information that can assist in the investigation can call the Sheriff's Office at (585) 343-5000.

Photo released this afternoon of the second suspect.

October 19, 2016 - 4:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, fire, news.

There is a report of a combine on fire in Pavilion, across from the high school, at 7014 Big Tree Road.

Pavilion fire dispatched.

October 19, 2016 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in City Schools, batavia, schools, education, news.

A consolidation plan enacted by Batavia City Schools four years ago has led to cost savings in some key areas, Sandra Griffin, now a retired principal from Batavia Middle School, told the school board at Tuesday's meeting.

Overall, personnel costs have decreased by $31,000.  

The first year of consolidation, in 2012-13, there was a $1.2 million cost savings, but since then the district has added new staff or AIS support and personnel for arts and music. Even so, there has been a payroll savings each year since consolidation.

When consolidation was implemented, district administration moved from its offices on Washington Avenue to offices at Batavia High School, closed Robert Morris School and shuffled grade levels between Jackson, John Kennedy, and Batavia Middle School.

One of the biggest areas of cost savings was in operations and maintenance, which is down $414,000.

Unemployment costs are down $103,000.

Utility expenses are down $292,700.

The one area of increase is bussing, which has jumped $484,000, the result of a more open bussing policy which has mean 305 more students are able to take a bus to and from school.

October 19, 2016 - 11:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, schools, education, news, batavia.

Academically, Batavia High School is in good shape, Principal Scott Wilson told school board members at Batavia City Schools regular meeting Tuesday night.

Last year, the high school hit a 95-percent graduation rate and Wilson is pleased with regularly hitting a 90-percent-plus rate, but repeating 95 percent will be a daunting challenge, he said.

In eight of the 10 regents exams, the school has improved its passing rate. He said there as been a steady growth in improved scores, especially in math, where staff has invested more time and resources.

"I'd like to see a higher passing rate, but a slow and steady climb is continuing to sharpen the saw," Wilson said.

He described the passing rate for students in advanced placement classes as "healthy."

Last year, 49 percent of students went on to a two-year college and 25 percent to a four-year college. Wilson would like to improve those numbers, but, "those are good numbers and very healthy for us."

About 19 percent of graduates leave school, after study at BOCES, with skills to enter the workforce in a trade.

The introduction of Chrombooks into the classrooms has gone over well with students and parents, Wilson said.

"All you have to do is walk the halls and see the progress in action," Wilson said.

October 19, 2016 - 11:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in district attorney, genesee county, news.

Moments after being told on Monday by County Manager Jay Gsell that a pay raise for the district attorney is being mandated by the state and the County Legislature really had no say in the matter, members of the Public Service Committee decided to say nothing at all.

No member of the committee spoke up to make a motion to approve the mandated pay raises, so there was no second to a motion, and without a motion or second, there could be no discussion.

Afterward, Chairman Ray Cinanfrini, who was in the room, but is not a member of the commitee, was totally surprised that the committee acted as it did.

He said there was no prior discussion that gave him a clue there would simply be no action on the matter.

Not that he was disappointed.

"I'm not in favor of the way it was handled by the governor's office," Cianfrini said. "This is no reflection whatsoever on our district attorney and the services provided by his office. They do a great job. It's just that we had no control over the  whole process."

A committee appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended that salaries for district attorneys throughout the state be pegged to the salary structure of Supreme Court justices, which are pegged to the salary rates of federal judges.

Under the mandate, the district attorney pay would hit $193,000 annually in April 2018, or 95 percent of a Supreme Court justice's salary in that year.

Last year, Friedman, who hadn't received a pay raise in about eight years, was paid $152,500. The governor's plan would give Friedman an immediate boost to $183,350.

The lack of action by the Legislature really puts the ball in Friedman's court, Cianfrini said. 

"Certainly, as the law stands right now, our district attorney is entitled to the money," Cianfrini said. "The fact that we did not take action on it today, I think, puts a lot of pressure on us on how we can justify the decision of the Public Service Committee."

County Attorney Charles Zambito agreed that it is probably up to Friedman to decide how to proceed.  

Friedman declined to share specific thoughts on the pay issue.

"While I certainly have some very strong feelings about this issue, rather than making statements to the media at this time, I will begin by promptly addressing it with the County Legislature," Friedman said.

If push comes to shove, he and Gsell said, the Legislature could vote to make the district attorney's job part time. That would get the county out from under the state mandate.

Up until the early 1990s, the job, along with all the assistant jobs, were part-time. Just prior to Friedman's election to DA, the legislature voted to make the job full-time, so Friedman is the only full-time DA in the county's history.

October 18, 2016 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A caller reports being hit by a car on Swan Street, Batavia, with the vehicle fleeing the scene.

The caller says it was a red or maroon Jeep.

The caller went home to his residence on Jackson Street before calling dispatchers. He denied the need for EMS, but an ambulance is being sent to that address as a precaution to check on head, arm and knee injuries.

October 18, 2016 - 7:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Ellicott Station, Ellicott Street, news.

When it comes to redeveloping the Santy and Della Penna properties on Ellicott Street in Batavia, local officials are ready to go, but on the Empire State Development's map of projects, the project is somewhere five years down the road.

To help move things along, Julia Pacatte, economic coordinator for the Batavia Development Corp., is seeking support from the County Legislature and the City School District, both economic partners in the project, to pass resolutions asking ESD to speed up the process.

"This is an affirmation that the local community is ready to support the project and asking the state to move more quickly than in the next five years," Pacatte said. "We’re ready to go now."

Most of the money for the $17 million Ellicott Station Project is coming from private investment, with a portion of financial support coming from local tax abatements. But officials are also looking for ESD to follow through on its commitment of $2.4 million in grants to pay for environmental cleanup of the properties.

The property qualifies for assistance under state programs because: of the environmental remediation required; the adaptive reuse of property that was developed but fell into disuse; and the economic struggles of the census tract the property is in, with 30 percent of the residents at the poverty level or lower and an unemployment rate of 7 percent. 

The project is expected to produce 60 temporary jobs and 90 permanent jobs.

There are already tenants lined up for office space and the entertainment and restaurant space within the project, and ensuring those potential tenants stay on the hook is one reason for trying to get a faster response from ESD.

The county's Public Service Committee approved the resolution unanimously and the school board will be asked to act on it tonight.

October 18, 2016 - 6:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the new Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. This is its own registration system, separate from the main registration for The Batavian.
  • Once registered you must be logged in.
  • You click on the orange button, if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
October 17, 2016 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, missing person, news.

UPDATE 12:25 p.m.: Law enforcement units are with a man in the woods near Francis Road. Unconfirmed at this moment that it's Mr. Aubrey. 

A 75-year-old vulnerable adult from Alexander is still missing this afternoon and a new coordinate search effort will open a command post in the Francis Road area at 1 p.m.

As many as six, possibly more, K-9s from various law enforcement and search and rescue teams will join the search, said Tim Yaeger, emergency management coordinator for Genesee County.

The property of Robert W. Aubrey, as well as adjacent properties will be searched thoroughly, Yaeger said. If he's not located, according to Yaeger, then at least those properties can be ruled out as a possible location for the missing man.

Yaeger said Aubrey is known to walk along roadways, not so much into the woods, so if he left his property, then there's a chance he is walking along a roadway somewhere or was given a ride to some unknown location.

He was spotted on Putnam Road on Saturday.

Yesterday, a pair of blue pants, like those Aubrey may be wearing, were found in Kiwanis Park, but it was determined the pants did not belong to Aubrey, Yaeger said.

DEC forest rangers will also join the search today.

If the cloud cover lifts this afternoon, State Police aviation will join the search.

Should you have information regarding this incident please contact the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office at 585-343-5000.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: The missing man has been found alive and is being transported to a hospital.

UPDATE 1:05 p.m.: According to Tim Yaeger, Genesee County Emergency Services coordinator, Robert W. Aubrey was found about 30 minutes ago by a family member who joined the search party. The missing man was about a quarter mile, south by southwest from his house. "He's in good condition, considering he spent two days in the woods," Yaeger said. Rescuers were preparing to deploy more canine units and air patrols when the dementia patient was found. His wife told responders she last saw him around 1 p.m. yesterday, when he went outside. He usually walks along roadways, and searchers, led by Bethany fire command, concentrated on roads after a few people reported sightings. But on Saturday he apparently went for a walk in the woods, or got turned around and ended up in there. Aubrey seems to be in good condition, was looking for water, and understood he was being taken by ambulance to UMMC for evaluation. The weather over the weekend was fairly warm and that was fortuitious. Yaeger said a tracking device would have helped locate Aubrey sooner.




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