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September 25, 2017 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in thebatavian, news.

Today, The Batavian is releasing its new mobile app for the iOS platform (iPhones and iPads). You can download it through this link from your iOS device.

This is a completely homegrown app. I decided two years ago I could no longer ignore mobile publishing.

My initial impulse was to try and raise money for development, but as that started looking really difficult, I weighed that difficulty (and spending a lot of time with an uncertain outcome) against just writing all the code myself. The actual code writing started 18 months ago. First I built all the backend (server stuff) to support the app (building the Deal of the Day program was a "getting my feet wet again in programming" exercise), then eight months ago I started building the actual app.

It was every bit as hard as I anticipated, which is why I had avoided the idea for years, especially going through two eye surgeries and now a dislocated knee.  

The future of news is mobile. It makes a lot of sense. People with smartphones and tablets always have the world with them, including their local community, and they like to check in frequently to find out what's going on. On the other hand, local news on mobile is still a specialty product, a niche. I think the website is going to be our dominant news and business promotion platform for several years yet, but I also don't want to lose out to mobile when it becomes a bigger part of how people access local news.

The people interested in mobile news, studies show, want fast, smooth access to check the latest headlines. The Batavian's new mobile app is designed to meet that need for those people looking for a fast and convenient mobile news experience. We've streamlined news delivery and what we ask in return is that those who use the app regularly pay just $2 a month for a subscription.

We also use the app to help promote local businesses. Our shoplocal.thebatavian.com local business directory is featured on the app. The directory is now only a framework for the long-term goal of creating a model for business-promotion-as-a-service for mobile and social networking, to bring local readers and local businesses together in a friendly, safe and mutually beneficial environment.

For those on Android: I don't expect to have the Android version of the app completed anytime soon. I'm guessing three months or a little longer. Most of the code that makes the iOS app is the same for Android as it is for iOS, but there are some significant differences to work through. I have some other business tasks to attend to while continuing to cover local news, so my available time for coding is limited.

Download the iOS app.

September 25, 2017 - 3:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, pembroke, news, notify.

The Pembroke Dragons get a night off, get to skip a road game and they will pick up a win this Friday because Geneseo High School has forfeited its entire season over an apparent drug scandal.

This Friday's game was supposed to be Geneseo's homecoming game, too.

Geneseo Superintendent Tim Hays announced the district was scrubbing the team's season this afternoon.

"A number of players have been dismissed from the Geneseo High School Varsity Football Team," Hayes said in a statement. "These dismissals stem from serious violations of the District's Code of Conduct and Athletic Eligibility Standards.

"Due to the number of student-athletes involved and the serious nature of this incident, pursuant to our Athletic Code and New York State Public High School Athletic Association standards, the remainder of the varsity football season will be forfeited."

The Livingston County News reported today that police are investigating a report that a player brought OxyContin pills to Friday's game against Bolivar-Richburg. The player allegedly distributed the pills to teammates.

Geneseo won that game on the field 26-24 but that game will now revert to the loss column with the Geneseo Blue Devils giving up that win as well.

Pembroke moves to 5-1 on the season and next plays Attica on Oct. 6 at home.

"The Geneseo Central School District is committed to upholding the highest standards of excellence in all of our academic, extracurricular, and athletic programs," Hayes said. "We will continue to work with all of our student-athletes to ensure that their actions represent the expectations of the District and our community."

September 25, 2017 - 3:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield, news, accident.

An accident with unknown injuries is reported at Alleghany Road and Lockport Road.

A pole may be down. 

Oakfield fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

September 25, 2017 - 3:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A bicyclist has been hit by a car on Center Street, across from Adam Miller Toys and Bicycle.

Minor injuries reported.

City fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Photo by Alex Feig, WBTA.

September 25, 2017 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, news, accident.

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A two-car accident is reported at East Main and Center Street.

Injuries are reported.

City Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 3:12 p.m.: Possible hit-and-run.  Top photo by Dan Fischer, WBTA.  Bottom photo by Lisa Ace, The Batavian.

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September 25, 2017 - 11:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, batavia, crime, byron, Stafford, Alabama, Le Roy.

David Alan Leach, 23, of Morganville Road, Stafford, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, failure to stop at stop sign, and driving a motor vehicle on a sidewalk. Leach was charged following the report of a property damage accident at 12:18 a.m. Thursday at 337 Bank St., Batavia. The accident was investigated by Officer Peter Flanagan.

Brian Thomas Resch, 29, of Buffalo Road, Bergen, is charged with criminal mischief, 4th, criminal possession of marijuana, 5th, and unlawful possession of marijuana. At 5:33 p.m. Saturday, the Sheriff's Office received a complaint on Buffalo Road of man who had disabled a phone to prevent a person from seeking emergency assistance. Upon investigation by deputies Ryan DeLong and Richard Schildwaster, Resch was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of marijuana and he was accused of smoking marijuana in a public place.

Derek James Wert, 35, of Tracy Avenue, Batavia, is charged with harassment, 2nd. Wert is accused of pushing another person during an argument at noon Sept. 18 at a location on North Street, Batavia. Wert was also charged with second-degree criminal contempt related to an incident at 7:02 p.m. Wednesday in Austin Park. Wert is accused of violating an order of protection.

Markeda D. Starks, 26, of Highland Park, Batavia, was arrested on a warrant. Starks posted bail and was released.

Adam Ross Atkinson, 29, of Kent Road, Stow, Ohio, is charged with under the influence of narcotics in public. Atkinson was arrested after deputies responded to multiple calls at 6:35 p.m. Friday of a disruptive male at a convenience store in Byron.

Brian R. Barnard, 53, of Leicester, is charged with burglary, 3rd, burglary, 2nd, and criminal mischief. The alleged burglary was reported at 3:08 p.m. Thursday in Le Roy. This is a State Police case. No further information released.

Brandon A. Brott, 20, Jacey L. McGregor, 19, and Jessica H. Shepard, 26, all three of Lockport, are charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Brott, McGregor, and Shepard were arrested at 3:36 a.m. in the Town of Alabama by State Police.

September 25, 2017 - 10:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Thurway, pembroke, notify.

State Troopers are investigating why a 47-year-old man from Hilton got out of his vehicle on the Thruway at 8:40 p.m., Saturday, and ran into traffic.

William H. Ferguson was struck and killed by a car near the exit of the Thruway in Pembroke.

The accident is being reconstructed by the State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.

No further information was released.

(Initial Report)

September 25, 2017 - 10:24am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the home page).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears 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.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual purchaser must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
September 24, 2017 - 8:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, corfu, fire services.

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Press release:

Corfu Firefighters have put into service 13 new SCBAs purchased through the federal government’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Awards.

The Corfu Fire District was successful in securing the grant through efforts of Rosalie Mangino-Crandall and her Insights Grants Development Company. She donated her time for the Corfu project which is greatly appreciated by the department. 

The newest and latest model of SCBAs replaced our outdated 1997 NFPA edition SCBAs that have been costly to repair and were at the end of their life cycle. The grant enabled the district to purchase 13 complete units and one mask integrated radio Bluetooth. The total cost of the grant is $88,400, with the district’s share of $4,209.

This will ensure our firefighters are well protected and have the latest technology available to them for the foreseeable future at a small cost to the taxpayers of the Corfu Fire District.

September 24, 2017 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, NY-27, agriculture, batavia, news, notify.

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Local farmers and other members of the agriculture industry were briefed Saturday on various legislative issues by Rep. Chris Collins and a member of his staff.

The topics discussed included immigration, the new farm bill, the Waters of the U.S. rule and even a couple of non-agricultural items. The meeting was held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office on East Main Street, Batavia.

Legislative Assistant Taylor Kloustin provided an update on key issues Collins is working on, including the H2A work visa program, workforce legislation, the upcoming effort to pass a new farm bill, and Waters of the U.S. rules.

Collins is meeting next week with the Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, to discuss immigration issues, most notably expanding the H2A visa program to allow workers from other countries to stay in the United States all year long when employed in certain farm jobs, such as dairy and livestock.

She said Collins is also interested in seeing the program revised for temporary workers so that they can get back into the country easier once they've established ongoing employment, such as a TSA-like precheck, perhaps with a biometric ID card.

There's also legislation pending that would move responsibility for farm labor from the Department of Labor to the USDA, which Kloustin said is an agency more familiar with the needs of farmers for labor.

The committee working on the Farm Bill renewal is expected to have language in place by November.

Collins is chair of the specialty crops caucus so his office is working with United Fresh on setting up a specialty crops awareness program in November for House staffers working on the Farm Bill so they can better understand the needs of specialty crop growers.

Dean Norton, an Elba dairy farmer, was one of those who brought the conversation back during the Q&A time to the Waters of the U.S. rule. The rule was approved during the Obama Administration and Trump has rescinded it by executive order. Farmers were upset by the bill because it could be used to regulate the smallest bodies of water on farms.

Norton and other farmers noted that what can be undone by executive order can be reimplemented by executive order in the next administration. They encouraged Collins to pursue legislation that would make Trump's order permanent.

Craig Yunker, CEO CY Farms, expressed concern about the direction the Trump Administration is taking on trade. He's particularly concerned about the seeming protectionist positions of Peter Navarro, a trade advisor to the Trump Administration. Yunker said with the United States pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership there are already trade problems with Japan.

Collins said there's a lot of uncertainty about what will happen with trade during the Trump Administration because we're only eight months into his presidency. He thinks Trump has the right people around him, though, to handle the issue.

"Trump very clear at the U.N.," Collins said. "It’s America first; he’s going to look out for America’s interest. He is going to expect other countries to do their fair share. He's looking for fair trade.

"My worry is your worry," Collins added. "Typically, the retaliation is on ag. That’s the gotcha. Whether it’s Canada or whether it’s Mexico or whether it’s something like apples going to Asia, we do know they retaliate using ag. I share that concern, but the administration knows this. They’re smart guys. To me, it’s too early to tell."

Maureen Torrey, of Torrey Farms, a large grower of produce, said her big concern remains trade restrictions in Canada, which makes it harder to sell U.S.-grown produce north of the border, even though there is no restriction on produce from Canada being sold here.

"It’s pretty sad that within five miles of the border you have 95 percent the population of Canada and the only time I can sell is if they don’t have it and then I have to go through a process to have them to say 'yes, you can ship something', " Torry said. "We need to get that door a little bit more open."

One farmer wondered if the bipartisan spirit displayed by Trump when he reached a deal a couple of weeks ago with Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi is something the GOP leadership in both houses will pick up on and follow.

"To be honest I think Trump is going to lead it from start to finish," Collins said.

While Trump's deal on the debt ceiling and relief for the victims of Harvey and Irma may have shocked and even upset some members of Congress, the leadership is going to have to fall in line, Collins said. 

"I think he's telling Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, 'You better get behind me,' " Collins said. " 'I'm the president. I'm the CEO.' "

Collins said he's solidly behind the president on this point and thinks a lot of what the president wants to get done this congressional term, most notably tax reform, will require bipartisan effort. Even within the GOP, he noted, there are too many divergent interests for the Republicans to act unilaterally. 

"I applauded him for doing what he did, though others just thought it was the worst thing that ever could have happened," Collins said. "There are a lot of folks that want to protect their own turf, if you will, and they didn’t like it. But as I’ve said, 'How did we do on health care?' Not so good, and that’s something we unanimously agreed on until the rubber hit the road and the document’s there. That’s the whole problem."

The other non-farm issue to come up was North Korea.  

" 'Rocket Man', " Collins said with a chuckle. "I’ve got to give Trump credit. He is so good with nicknames. I think Rocket Man is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s poking at Kim Jong-un. It’s getting under his skin. And it’s appropriate. He’s going to be Rocket Man from now on.”

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Dean Norton, dairy farmer from Elba.

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September 24, 2017 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in freshLAB, batavia, business, news, notify.

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Victor Figueroa's ambition is to open a Puerto Rican restaurant in Batavia specializing in empanadas, and after winning both the Top Competitor Award and the People's Choice Award on Saturday night at the FreshLAB's Foodie Challenge, that dream is a step closer to reality.

Figueroa along with four other top finishers in the cook-off held at BOCES will now be able to take a tuition-free course in restaurant management and then compete in a Shark Tank-like business plan pitch. The top two contestants will be offered spots to try out their restaurant concept in the new FreshLABs facilities inside the former Newberry Building on Main Street along with Eli Fish Brewing Company.

In all,12 aspiring restaurateurs signed up for the Foodie Challenge, eight competed Saturday night and the other finalists were: Gina Bianco, of Middleport, with an Eggplant Busiolo; Judy Hysek, of Batavia, with a vegan mushroom and sage stuffed ravioli with a cashew cream sauce; Rob Rudnicki, of Batavia, with a fish taco; and Ronald Smith, of Rochester, with a pollo de miel (honey chicken).

The contestants are expected to come up with a restaurant concept and menu that is unique to Batavia and Figueroa is counting empanadas as his path to victory. He made a Puerto Rican cheeseburger empanada with a passion fruit chili sauce.

“It’s one of our favorites in Puerto Rico," Figueroa said. "We eat them for lunch, lunch breakfast and dinner every single day. You can walk with them. It’s just one of those things, when we eat it takes you back Puerto Rico.”

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Photo of the winning empanadas by Alex Figueroa.

September 24, 2017 - 10:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, education, college, news, GSO.

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This weekend GCC celebrated its 50th anniversary with the Cougar Crawl (visiting downtown businesses), homecoming activities, including a kids zone, a car cruise, and campus tour, and a Golden Gala capped by a performance of the Genesee Symphony Orchestra.

Photos Courtesy of Genesee Community College.

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September 24, 2017 - 10:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the home page).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears 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.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual purchaser must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
September 24, 2017 - 8:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, GCC, volleyball.

Press release:

The Genesee Community College volleyball team hosted some of the top teams in the region during pod play at the GCC Gymnasium Sept. 23.

Three of the teams competing  appear in the current National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association D-III Volleyball Poll and have an impressive collective 31-2 record that include: Erie (10-1), Jamestown (9-0) and Monroe (12-1). Also participating with the Cougars today were Finger Lakes and Niagara County.

The Cougars opened play with two of those top-three teams appearing in the national poll and came away with a set win over No. 9 Erie 25-14. The Cougars just continued the momentum they'd built from the previous set that resulted in a close loss at 25-23 that saw Erie improve to 11-1 on the season with a 3-1 win. Genesee recorded 16 in the first and 18 in its last sets against the Kats.

Genesee then went against the undefeated Jayhawks and Jamestown kept their perfect record intact with three set wins the Cougars coming closest in the first set with 21 points. Jamestown moved to 11-0 with the win and 33-0 in set wins for the season. The Cougars recorded 16 and 15 points, respectively in the final two sets.

In the Cougars' final match of the day, the Cougars finally had an opportunity to play a team not mentioned in the national polls and made the best of it by sweeping Niagara County Community College 3-0.

The Thunderwolves came closest to beating the Cougars in the first set and with the score tied at 23, Sha-Ony Obispa broke the stalemate with a key kill and Lyndsey Rowland sealed the win with a block for set point. The Cougars cruised after that with wins of 25-11 and 25-16 in the final two sets against Niagara.

The Cougars next travel to Erie, Pa. to take on Mercyhurst North East Sept. 28 with a 6 p.m. start. It will be another tough matchup as the Saints snapped No. 9 Erie's 10-0 record last Thursday.

September 23, 2017 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

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Five people were hospitalized late this afternoon after a T-bone accident at the intersection of Griswold Road and West Bergen Road, Le Roy.

The extent of the injuries is not known at this time. Troopers are handling the investigation. There has yet to be a press release issued on the accident.

There were a driver and three passengers in the vehicle that was struck. 

The car with heavy front-end damage was heading south on West Bergen Road and the car that was struct was heading west on Griswold Road.

Le Roy fire responded to the scene.

(Initial Post)

Photos and information provided by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

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September 23, 2017 - 4:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chris collins, Le Roy, news, NY-27, SAFE Act, 2nd Amendment.

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About 70 members of rod and gun clubs in Genesee County were at the Northwoods Sportsman Club in Le Roy this afternoon to fire one shot each at noon to protest the SAFE Act and express support for Rep. Chris Collins' bill to block the SAFE Act at the Federal level.

Both Collins and State Senator Micheal Ranzenhofer were on hand to participate in the "Shot Heard Around New York" event at precisely noon today.

Collins said his bill, the Second Amendment Guarantee Act, has a good chance at passage if it gets out of the Judiciary Committee for a vote on the House floor because the NRA has said it will score the vote if it comes to a floor vote.

Even though New York's SAFE Act is the impetus for the bill, many members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, recognize this isn't just a New York issue because their states could also pass bills that violate the Second Amendment.

"I absolutely support the 10th Amendment, states' rights," Collins said. "Some folks have said this is a Federal preemption of sorts, and I’ve tried to remind them what we’re doing here is preventing a state from restricting Second Amendment rights; just like a state cannot restrict First Amendment rights, a state cannot restrict religious freedom, and they should not be able to do as New York has done -- restrict Second Amendment rights."

The bill has not been popular in Albany, Collins said.

"Andrew Cuomo knows this is a real fight because we know how he does things," Collins said. "He threw a tantrum in his office. The report we got back was there were objects being thrown through the area. That’s typical of what we’ve heard of the governor.

"He knows once we get this passed he can sue us all day long, but we’re going to make sure it’s written in a way that we’re simply saying that a state cannot preempt federal law when it comes to restrictions or requirements on long guns."

Ranzenhofer thanks Collins for his efforts.

"Every year issues come before us and we stop a lot of bad legislation from coming through, but we need your help on this particular piece of legislation," Ranzenhofer said. "You know with our governor, he is not going to sign a repeal bill.

"That’s why I’m so thankful that Congressman Collins is leading this fight in Congress because when you can’t do it directly this is the option that we have, doing it at the Federal level and saying 'New York State, this is not going to happen.' "

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September 23, 2017 - 4:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A two-car accident, blocking, is reported at Griswold Road and West Bergen Road, Le Roy.

There's a report of CPR in progress.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy ambulance dispatched.

UPDATE 4:19 p.m.: Mercy Flight #9 out of Buffalo is available if needed.

UPDATE 4:27 p.m.: Cancel Mercy Flight.

UPDATE 4:22 p.m.: Two victims, unresponsive but breathing.

UPDATE 4:38 p.m.: An additional ambulance requested to the scene.

NOTE: We anticipate more coverage of this accident, but I won't be available for further updates of this post.

September 23, 2017 - 3:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alzheimer's Association, batavia, news.

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The Alzheimer's Association held its annual Walk to End Alzheimer's through Batavia today.

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September 23, 2017 - 3:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the home page).
  • Once registered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears 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.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual purchaser must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
September 23, 2017 - 8:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee Symphony Orchestra, GCC, news, entertainment, music.

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The Genesee Symphony Orchestra performs today as part of Genesee Community College's 50th Anniversary Fall Gala in the brand new Richard C. Call Arena.

The concert starts at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

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