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March 10, 2012 - 1:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in basketball, sports, Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame beat the Section VI champion, Panama, on Saturday by a score of 62-51 and will now advance to the state championship semi-final round.

Doane McCulley was named player of the game.

We anticipate having some pictures from the game to publish later.

March 10, 2012 - 9:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, Oakfield, Allens Inc..

Allens Inc., a food-processing company based in Arkansas, has sold four of its six frozen vegetable processing plants, including its Oakfield and Bergen plants, to Bonduelle Group, a privately held firm based in France.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The sale is expected to close by the end of the month.

The four plants employ 400 people. The number employed in just Bergen and Oakfield were not released.

Allens is reportedly using the funds generated by the sale to invest in new technology and expand its canned-food operations in Arkansas, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

"We're excited to put a renewed focus on the core of our business and the market segments we are most passionate about," said Rick Allen, president and CEO of Allens. "With this renewed concentration, we anticipate greater growth, more innovation and even better customer service and product quality. We're excited about what this will mean to the marketplace and to our customers and partners, overall."

The purchase includes the Chill Ripe brand and the frozen Garden Classics brand, as well as a license to use certain brand names owned by Allens in the frozen business for a limited transitional period.

The two Genesee County plants were acquired by Allens in 2006 from Birds Eye.

Sources: Rochester Business Journal and a press release.

March 9, 2012 - 7:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, District Attorney's Office, David Gann.

In retirement, David Gann still worries about how technology will change law enforcement.

"When I started, an IBM Selectric (typewriter) was state-of-the-art technology and copy machines were still brand-new," Gann said. "Now, pretty soon, we won't have paper files any more. It's interesting to see the transformation going on, but we don't know if we will be able to access these files in 50 years. We still have files in MS-DOS and we don't know how much longer we can access those."

Former colleague Bob Zickl said in a letter recommending Gann for a major award that Gann could always talk "matter of factly about the next great technical or financial catastrophe."

The predilection to fret about looming technical difficulties is only one of the qualities of the former first assistant district attorney that enamored Gann to his colleagues.

He retired from the District Attorney's Office at the end of 2011, voluntarily giving up his position so that nobody else in the office would lose a job to satisfy the county's budget ax.

With his retirement came a statewide award from District Attorney's Association, the Robert M. Morgenthau Award, given to an assistant of the highest professional standards.

It's the first time an attorney from Genesee County received the fairly new honor.

"The greatest honor was just being nominated," Gann said. "To have my professional colleagues recommend me for such an award means a lot to me."

Besides ADA Zickl, backing Gann's nomination was District Attorney Lawrence Friedman, Genesee County Court Judge (and former District Attorney) Robert Noonan, Sheriff Gary Maha, Batavia Det. Charles Dudek and Le Roy Police Det. John Condidorio.

Gann's supporters praised his work ethic, his encyclopedic knowledge of criminal statutes and case law, his even temper (Zickl said he never once heard Gann utter a profanity in 27 years of working together), his ethics and adherence to the law and his desire to see justice done.

Besides handling all felony drug cases, Gann was the DNA expert in the office and handled the DNA portion of all murder trials from January 1997 through March 2010.

The drug work, Gann said was particularly important.

"I don't think we will ever totally eliminate drugs from the community," Gann said. "What we tried to do was make sure the guys who came out here to deal to think twice before doing it. We wanted to chase them inside so they would only deal with people they knew, so they wouldn't feel comfortable with people outside and stay off of street corners."

Condidorio praised Gann's work in helping investigators make cases against drug dealers.

"(Gann has) made a tremendous impact on Genesee County, taking significant drug dealers off the street and making it more difficult for them to spread their poisons to our youth and underprivileged," Condidorio wrote.

Noonan wrote a mock "help wanted" ad as part of his recommendation that demonstrated what big shoes the DA's office will need to fill if there's ever money in the budget to replace Gann.

Among the qualifications -- more than 30 years experience in New York's criminal justice system, scores of grand jury presentations and hundreds of briefs responding to appeals.

The candidate must also have the personal strength to deal with strong-willed police officers dealing with stressful searches in order to guide them toward the proper procedures.

"It is essential that this individual have the personal self-confidence to never gloat about an intellect that exceeds coworkers, lawyers and judges," Noonan wrote.

With the award won and no cases on the court docket, Gann's days and nights are no longer spent fretting over the proper wording of a search warrant application.

He's busy helping out with Friday fish fries at St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia, or reading, or getting out to community events with his wife, Marcia.

The Ganns have no plans to leave Genesee County.

"In Batavia, a small town, everything is smaller scale," Gann said. "You tend to know everybody and that makes it more rewarding to get involved. It's part of what makes Batavia, Batavia."

Gann's biggest plan for retirement is to do more things with Marcia.

"I have a wonderful wife and I enjoy being around her," Gann said. "That's my number-one priority."

March 9, 2012 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Middle School, schools, education.

Batavia City School District officials are trying to use the posting of a video on Facebook of two middle school girls fighting as a "teachable moment," according to Deputy Superintendent Christopher Dailey.

He met with reporters from area TV stations Friday afternoon to answer questions.

Dailey admitted there were things he would rather do on his Friday afternoon than meet with the media over a little dust-up involving student conduct, but was hopeful that lessons can be learned from the incident.

"It's a teachable moment about what not to do on Facebook," Dailey said. "Unfortunately, in this day and age when something is out there online, it doesn't go away, even though we acted very quickly to get it removed.

"There is the potential for ongoing (problems). We don't want anything out there to come back and harm kids later on."

Getting the "Batavia Fights" page removed from Facebook was a combined effort involving the school district, Batavia PD, along with the cooperation of the parents of the child who created the page and the staff at Facebook, Dailey said.

"In this case, somebody let us know last night (about the video)," Dailey said. "Even if we hadn't learned about it last night, we would have found out about it today. We have wonderful kids in Batavia. We have kids who really care about their community."

There is a constant effort in the schools, Dailey said, to educate children about the pitfalls of online behavior.

"It's a new media and we try to teach them the right way to handle it," Dailey said.

The district is still investigating the incident and officials have yet to determine if the fight was staged for the benefit of a video camera or if it was a spontaneous fight.

Two middle school girls were involved in the fight and they suffered minor bumps and scrapes, according to Dailey.

At this time, officials don't believe the fight was related to any specific ongoing bullying issue, but officials were concerned that if the video stayed on Facebook, it might lead to harassment and bullying.

The fight occurred just after dismissal at the middle school, Dailey said, and in the 26th second of the video, a teacher at the school is seen arriving and intervening.

"Facebook is a blessing and a curse," Dailey said. "I used it for the reunion of my high school class and it was wonderful. When not used correctly, it can be hard for kids to handle."

The video was captured by WBTA's Geoff Redick before it was removed. The version below was altered by Redick to obscure the faces of the youngsters involved.

March 9, 2012 - 2:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, agriculture, Empire Tractor.

Last October, Empire Tractor moved to a new location at 5072 E. Main St. Road and has taken the past few months to get settled into the new, larger facility.  Today and tomorrow, Empire Tractor is holding a grand opening and open house.

Among the items on display is a newly released Oxbo Model 4334 self-propelled merger. The merger -- pictured below -- is made by Oxbo in Byron and is the only piece of equipment in its class in the world. Several aspects of the technology behind it are patented. The merger can gather hay on 250 to 400 acres in a day. It moves across a field at 8 to 12 mph.

Standing in front of the 4334, above, are Tim Call, president of Empire Tractor, Ken Krokowski, of Oxbo, Steve Werner, Dan Athoe, John Bannister and Bill Friese.

The open house continues tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

March 9, 2012 - 12:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, schools, education, Facebook.

UPDATED 1:39 p.m.

For a brief time overnight and this morning, a page appeared on Facebook called "Batavia Fights," which promoted itself as a place for students to post videos of their friends and classmates fighting.

One video was posted of two girls reportedly at Batavia Middle School involved in a fight as classmates cheered them on.

Christopher Daily, assistant superintendent of the school district, said the district was aware of the page and video and were investigating possible student involvement.

"Obviously, we don't condone it," Daily told WBTA. "We will work with the authorities as well to make sure that our students' safety is of utmost concern."

The school district contacted Batavia PD this morning and according to Det. Todd Crossett, the PD used a special law enforcement phone number to contact Facebook and alert the social network to the page.

Crossett he didn't have information on whether Facebook removed the page or if the original poster removed it.

There's nothing criminal, Crossett said, about shooting or posting the video and the actual fight itself is a school disciplinary matter and at this point law enforcement isn't involved.

Comments on the video were mostly approving, calling it "cool" and "funny."

At the end of the video an adult appears to enter the shot and break up the fight.

The video appears to have been posted around 5 p.m., Thursday.

By 11:40 p.m., the page was no longer available on Facebook.

A screen shot and the video were saved by WBTA's Geoff Redick before the page disappeared. Redick blurred the video to make it harder to identify individuals in the shots.

March 9, 2012 - 12:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, agriculture, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stein Farms.

Even two new Greek yogurt plants in Batavia won't be of much help to small dairy farmers, which are finding it harder to survive in a globalized market and stringent regulatory environment.

Dale Stein, who operates a large dairy farm in Le Roy, said his heart is with the small dairy farmer, but knows they need to make some tough choices to stay in business.

"I have great sympathy for the small dairy farmer," Stein said. "We were a small dairy farm once. My brothers and I did the milking while my father worked in the fields. He went 20 years without a day of vacation."

The Batavian spoke with Stein Thursday and asked him about a New York Times story that said small dairy farms throughout the state are struggling.

How could Robert and Fred — who produce so much more milk than their dad — end up making less money? There are a number of reasons, some obvious, others less so. Milk went from a local industry to a national one, and then it became international. The technological advances that made the Fulpers more productive also helped every other dairy farm, too, which led to ever more intense competition. But perhaps most of all, in the last decade, dairy products and cow feed became globally traded commodities. Consequently, modern farmers have effectively been forced to become fast-paced financial derivatives traders.

In other words, if a dairy farmer doesn't hedge -- buying options to bet against an increase in prices -- they can't make money. (In hedging, if prices increase, the farmer profits; if prices decline, the farmer offsets losses on product with gains on the options.)

Stein said his farm is big enough to manage the fluctuations in commodity prices, but small farmers simply can't do it.

"Margins are tiny and getting smaller each year," Stein said. "The only way to survive is to sell more product, and if the size of your herd is limited, the less you have to sell."

EPA regulations define a small dairy as 199 head of cattle or less. If a farmer wants to milk a 200th cow, the amount of equipment, technology and infrastructure required to comply with government regulations would cost at least $250,000, Stein said.

Few small farmers want to take that chance.

Especially in today's labor market with fewer qualified migrant workers available.

"It's very difficult for them to compete for labor and for land," Stein said. "We started small. My dad started with two cows. We've slowly grown our business so we can employ more people and give everybody a middle-class wage. It's not that we wanted to be big, but we had to grow to survive."

John Gould, owner of Har Go farms in Pavilion, decided to go a different direction in his effort to keep a farm going that his father bought in 1956.

It's a decision many small farmers have made to survive, according to the Times article.

As tough as it might be to grow from a small dairy farm to a large dairy farm, Gould made the equally daunting decision to switch his farm to certified organic.

Making the switch, which he began in 2005, took three years. It involved building fences (because cows would graze rather than be confined to feed lots), put in water lines and pave drive ways. It takes time for the herd to adjust to a different diet -- corn and soy raised without pesticides or herbicides -- so milk production can drop to nothing for a time. Fields that once relied on chemicals to be productive must be slowly turned back into fields that are mechanically tilled for weeds and can tolerate a few bugs.

"You've got to think those things through and plan how you're going to handle all of that," Gould said.

But Gould said he got what he wanted out of the switch to organic: A profitable and viable small dairy farm.

"It seems to have been a good decision for us," Gould said. "It's certainly a different lifestyle from the type of farming we had been accustomed to, but we continue to make very high quality milk, which is very important to us and important to our customers."

Gould is philosophical about the choice for small dairy farmers -- spend the money to comply with environmental regulations or take a loss for three years and switch to organic.

"Nothing in this business is simple or automatic," Gould said. "That's the life we chose. If we're going to be in the business, we have to make those kinds of decisions."

Small dairy farms that decide to grow would indeed help New York meet the anticipated demand for milk created by two new Greek yogurt plants in Batavia. But Stein said obstacles to growth for small dairy farmers will hold back the industry.

Even now, before Alpina and Pepsi open their plants, the local supply of milk is limited.

"Chobani (operating a Greek yogurt plant near Albany) already uses so much milk that we don't have any extra milk now in our market," Stein said.

It would help the New York dairy industry tremendously, Stein said, if it were easier for the small dairy farms to grow and help meet increased demand.

"We all want to protect the environment, but current environmental regulations are stopping growth of the dairy industry in New York," Stein said. "Pepsi's milk may well have to come out of Michigan because they have enough milk and we don't, which is a shame, because we could use the jobs."

March 8, 2012 - 10:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Darien.

Firefighters did their best Thursday to try and save dozens of pigs caught in a barn that burst into flames at about 1:30 p.m., but some piglets were killed, according to officials.

A quick response by Darien and Corfu firefighters along with a State Trooper helped keep the fire from spreading north in the barn and destroying more animals.

Willow Ridge Pig Farm, owned by Charlie Miller, housed at least 1,000 pigs, but the number killed is not yet available.

The fire apparently started in the nursery, but the cause has not yet been determined.

Some pigs from the burned structure were moved to other barns on the property, and some pigs were relocated to climate-controlled facilities at other barns.

After the fire was largely knocked down, more than two dozen piglets were carried out of the nursery by firefighters. They were covered with soot and Indian Falls Chief Ed Mileham feared some were overheated, so he sprayed them with water.

Miller's staff then put the piglets in another barn.

One firefighter familiar with hog farming and Miller's facility said normally people not wearing protective garb would not have access to the young pigs. The animals who survived the fire may yet be susceptible to disease.

Besides Darien, Corfu and Indian Falls, responding to the scene were Pembroke, East Pembroke, the Town of Batavia, Attica, Alexander, Bennington, Oakfield, Akron, Alden, and Crittenden, and the city's Fast Team.

Darien Fire went back in service at 5:26 p.m.

(Initial report, with more pictures)

March 8, 2012 - 8:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC.

Today, students and staff gathered at the college's pool for the annual Duck Derby.

Here is a press release from Genesee Community College:

Genesee Community College students in the Business Forum Club made a big splash for a local charity. The fourth annual Ducky Derby raised $2,523 for the United Way – $293 more than collected last year, and the most money ever for the event.

Students sold 1,080 numbered rubber ducks, which were then set free in the Olympic-sized pool at the Batavia campus. With the help of a "current" created by members of the college’s Swim Team, the first duck that made it to the end of the pool won the race to the hooting, hollering and cheers of a captive fan base of staff, students and faculty. 

The winner of this year’s race was a duck purchased by student Taylor Schmieder who won $504.60. The remainder of the money, $2,018.40, will benefit the Genesee County United Way, which is also higher than last year’s donation of $1,561.

Here's a video from GCC:

March 8, 2012 - 10:04am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Darien.

Joseph Henry Schenk, 20, of Overlok Drive, Batavia, is charged with criminal possession of stolen property, 5th. Schenk is accused of possessing a watch and refusing to give it back to its owner.

Martin Robert Maye, 36, of Johnson Mill Road, Berkeley Springs, W. Va., is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, and endangering the welfare of a child. Maye allegedly had contact with a child he is barred from visiting unless a supervisor is present.

Jordan James Bennett, 18, of Tinkham Drive, Darien, is charged with unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under age 21.

March 8, 2012 - 9:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, byron.

A 26-year-old Batavia resident suffered a head injury in an overnight rollover accident on Townline Road in Byron and was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Michelle T. Crawford, of 7963 Batavia Stafford Townline Road, is listed in guarded condition.

Charges are pending against Crawford, according to the accident report prepared by Deputy Frank Bordonaro.

Crawford was reportedly westbound on Townline Road at 12:55 a.m. when her vehicle spun counterclockwise and traveled off the south shoulder near Ivison Road. Her 1999 Ford sedan went into a ditch and continued into a field, overturning and coming to rest on its wheels.

Crawford reportedly was bleeding from her head and was in shock when transported to Strong.

March 7, 2012 - 10:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, photos, Tonawanda Creek.

Taken this evening on the Tonawanda Creek behind the Kiwanis Park on West Main Street Road, Batavia.

March 7, 2012 - 8:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy.

Susan Dominus, writing for the New York Times Magazine, has produced a lengthy article looking at Mass Psychogenic Illness in Le Roy, which resulted in at least 19 people developing motion symptoms and verbal tics.

Dominus covers not only the personal history of some of the girls involved, but also the sociological and economic changes that have taken place in Le Roy in recent years.

In some detail in a couple of cases, Dominus reveals significant stresses in the lives of some of those afflicted -- stress factors that a few of the girls and their families still seem to dismiss as irrelevant.

Dominus summarized her findings:

A common thread emerged among the five girls I interviewed extensively: none had stable relationships with their biological fathers. And the father of a sixth girl had seen little of his high-school daughter until his concern about the tics galvanized their relationship. Another student was a foster child who switched foster homes shortly before his tics came on; yet another is in the custody of an older sibling. Another two have spotty contact with their fathers. One young woman I interviewed was close to homeless after she and her mother left her father’s trailer. They’re staying with a friend of a friend while her mother, who was laid off two times in the last year, tries to scrape together first and last month’s rent so they can get a place of their own.

Dominus also reveals that Dr. Rosario Trifiletti, who has diagnosed a mysterious and ill-defined "PANDAS-like illness," was unaware of the trauma in his patients' lives:

When I spoke to him in late February, Trifiletti told me that the girls he was treating were showing dramatic signs of improvement. Katie’s parents said they believed that she was responding well to the antibiotics; Chelsey’s family reported that the drugs are helping her as well. But another patient of Trifiletti’s said she was still fainting.

When the subject of the girls’ personal backgrounds came up — the biopsychosocial factors that might be affecting their health — Trifiletti said he had not had the time to ask them about those kinds of things. The abuse, the troubling family circumstances — much of it came as news to him. “Jeez, I didn’t realize the extent,” Trifiletti said. “These aren’t things people want to talk about. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong. It’s hard to distinguish between the drug and the placebo effect.”

Read the whole thing.

March 7, 2012 - 10:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in GO ART!, art.

Press release:

The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council is pleased to announce the Decentralization Regrant recipients for 2012 in Genesee and Orleans counties, funded by the New York State Council on the Arts. This year GO ART! received 24 applications to the Reach Grant Program requesting a total of $61,454. With $37,160 available, 20 of the applicants were awarded grants (listed below).

GO ART! is also pleased to regrant two Ripple Grants ($2,000 each listed below) to provide funding for the creation of new arts and cultural projects within a community context. These will done by local individual artists who wish to involve the community in their creative process.

History of the grant program:

The Decentralization Regrant Program (known locally as Reach and Ripple) was first developed in 1977 by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in response to a mandate by the New York State Legislature to encourage greater participation in the state’s cultural funding at the local level. Local decision-making is the basic principle of the Decentralization Regrant Program. It supports a wide range of community-based professional and avocational arts programs in diverse communities throughout the state, and fosters the work of individual artists. GO ART! is proud to administer the NYSCA Decentralization Regrant Program in Genesee and Orleans counties.

The grant process begins in the summer with grant workshops held throughout Genesee and Orleans counties. Individuals, nonprofit organizations and local government agencies submit applications in the fall for community-minded artistic and cultural programs. These proposals are reviewed by a panel (there are separate panels for the Reach and Ripple grants), made up of artists, community leaders and educators from the two counties.

The panel then submits funding recommendations to the GO ART! Board of Directors for approval, and grants are awarded. Through the Decentralization Regrant Program, GO ART!, NYSCA, and the New York State Legislature hope to expand, upgrade and increase arts and cultural programming in Genesee and Orleans counties. In order to publically recognize and congratulate this year's recipients, a Grant Awards Ceremony is scheduled for March 9.

For more information on the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council’s Regrant Program, please contact Heather at GO ART!, 585.343.9313 or [email protected]

2012 GO ART! REACH GRANT PROGRAM AWARDS

(to individual artists, nonprofit organizations and local government agencies for arts and cultural programs or projects in our two counties)

Organization

Project

Grant Award

Batavia Concert Band

Summer Concert Series

 $ 3,000

Genesee ARC

Sprout Film Festival & Art Show

 $  1,800

The ARC of Orleans County

Quilting our Community

 $  400

Lake Plains Players

Musical Theater Production

 $ 1,000

Le Roy Christian Community Project

After School Theater Program

 $  400

GCASA sponsoring Lisa Barrett

Everyday Hero Recording and Music Video

 $  2,075

Mental Health Association in Genesee County

Theatrical Performance

 $  925

Yates Community Library

Books, Music and More

 $  1,400

Lyndonville Lions Club

Fun in the Summertime

 $  800

Village of Corfu

Corfu/Pembroke Community Winterfest

 $  1,200

Batavia Players

Summer Youth Theater - “Camelot”

 $     3,200

Batavia Players

Shakespearian Theater - “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

 $  1,000

Lee-Whedon Memorial Library

Finally Fridays! Music Series

 $   2,500

World Life Institute

Voices from the Earth

 $  4,000

Gillam-Grant Community Center

Uncover the World… Passport to Culture

 $  2,500

Genesee Chorale

Fireworks, Fanfare and Flair: Concert Series

 $  3,450

Genesee Symphony Orchestra

A Timeless Musical Journey - Concert Series

 $  3,450

A Tale for Three Counties Council

A Tale for Three Counties 2012

 $    1,760

Byron-Bergen Public Library

Get Culture @ Your Library!

 $     1,500

Woodward Memorial Library

Everyone’s an Artist

 $  800

 

2012 GO ART! RIPPLE GRANT PROGRAM AWARDS

(to individual artists residing in our two counties who wish to create new arts and cultural projects within a community context)

 

Artist

Project

Discipline

Amount

Kim Argenta

“Many Hands…one heART” Mural for YMCA in Batavia - Entryway

Painting

$2,000

Richard Mufford

Composition and performance of new song “Hometown Hero”

Music

$2,000

Kim Argenta is a self-taught artist from Genesee County. She is the owner of Art Ah La Carte, a teaching studio in the Artisan Center on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. Her project “many hands…one heART" is a mural painting to measure 38’ x 7.5’ located in one of the main entrances to the Genesee County YMCA in Batavia. Children and adults from the various YMCA programs will be invited to assist Kim in the painting process. All are welcome and there is no minimum artistic level required to participate. Students from Art Ah La Carte will also be invited to participate and this will offer them the opportunity to see a project in “real time” from inception to sketching to completion. Community members will also be invited to participate through press releases and announcements in local media. The finished project is expected to be complete in Spring 2012.      

Richard Mufford is a local musician residing in Waterport. He will be composing and producing a song entitled “Hometown Hero” in memory of the late Trevor Cook, a young marine from Orleans County, who was killed at the age of 25 during a training operation at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. The song will be a full-scale piece for concert band with a choral section. The music will be distributed to Medina area churches so that choirs, musicians may perform the piece. On May 31, the Lyndonville High School Band will publically debut the full concert band and choral performance of “Hometown Hero." Furthermore CDs and sheet music will be produced to distribute to others who wish to use this music.

March 7, 2012 - 8:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, Oakfield.

Justin M. Wotherspoon, 25, of Gibson St., Oakfield, is charged with criminal trespass. Wotherspoon is accused of entering the hotel room of two women, who were sleeping, without permission.

Melissa J. Vesosky, 25, of 1260 Lehigh Station Road, Henrietta, is charged with DWI, driving with a BAC of .08 or greater and moving from lane unsafely. Vesosky was stopped at 10:26 p.m. Sunday on East Main Street, Batavia, by Deputy Matthew Fleming.

Douglas S. Sprague, 44, of 63 S. Pearl Street, Oakfield, is charged with criminal contempt, 2nd, unlawful possession of marijuana, and was wanted on a Family Court warrant for alleged failure to pay child support. Sprague allegedly violated an order of protection. At the time of his arrest, at 8:07 p.m, Tuesday, Sprague was allegedly found in possession of two glass pipes containing marijuana. Sprague was jailed on $1,500 bail.

March 6, 2012 - 5:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, steve hawley.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia) hosted a statewide group of 4-H participants at the Capitol in Albany. The assemblyman, who has a lifelong connection to the agricultural industry and way of life, spoke to the young people about public service, improving state government and New York pride.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to speak with these 4-H participants who are poised to be the leaders of tomorrow,” Hawley said. “I was happy to discuss many aspects of civic engagement, such as the value of community service, the process of how a bill becomes a law, and viewing public service as a vocation rather than an occupation.

"I not only encouraged, but challenged the young people to stay here in New York and help clear the path for economic growth by eliminating unfunded mandates and reducing excessive local costs like Medicaid spending, rather than fleeing the state and being a part of the problem. The group was responsive and energetic, and it does my heart good to know that these youngsters will be the next generation of great New York leaders.”

Hawley grew up on his family’s Hawley Farms, which he would later go on to operate. He is a past president and current member of the New York State Farm Bureau, and a former 4-H Club member of the Light Horse Club in Genesee County.

March 6, 2012 - 5:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, agriculture, My-T Acres.

DEC officials and the owners of MY-T Acres have agreed to a $7,500 fine for the farm's Oct. 12 release of a pesticide that led to the evacuation of as many as 300 homes along West Main Road.

The DEC faulted MY-T Acres for application of a restricted use of a pesticide by a non-certified applicator, use of pesticide contrary to the label and contamination adjacent the non-target area.

The pesticide used, Chloropicrin, is applied to potato fields prior to planting.

Oct. 12 was a humid, windless day and the pesticide hung close to the ground. One person was treated for minor exposure and residents who did not evacuate the area were encouraged to close their windows.

MY-T Acres waived a hearing on the violations and agreed to pay the fine.

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